Prostitutes to power Iden
Wetherell RETURNING from the warmth, tolerance and tranquillity of Asia to
the toxic political climate of Zimbabwe is an uncomfortable experience at the
best of times but this time the atmosphere seemed particularly
One example was a vicious assault on the independent media by
the editor of the Herald published on August 24. Responding to a claim by US
Assistant Secretary of State Walter Kansteiner that the Bush administration
was working with independent journalists' groups and other representatives
of civil society to isolate the Mugabe regime (not "topple" it as the
Herald dishonestly reported), the paper's editor proceeded to argue that
this revelation confirmed suspicions that the private media in Zimbabwe
was controlled by Britain and the United States. He then went on to
describe those of us working in the independent media as "shameless turncoats
who are prepared to sell their country to the highest bidder".
said the emphasis had shifted from the quest for excellence, such as getting
the true story no matter what.
"Even journalists whom we once fought
side by side with against foreign domination and were prepared to defend
their country and sovereignty have capitulated to become the devil's
advocates (sic)," he claimed. "To them Zimbabwe's independence is a sham.
Life was better under white rule."
How will their children judge such
a betrayal, he asked?
Who exactly is betraying who here? The corrupt
and lawless political aristocracy which the Herald speaks for are no longer
seen by anybody as the legitimate heirs to the liberation war of the 1970s.
They have betrayed the trust vested in them by their brutal suppression of
the liberties they pledged to uphold and the systematic pillaging of the
vibrant economy they inherited. Zimbabweans are poorer today than they have
ever been. As a nation we have been overtaken by virtually all our neighbours
in terms of per capita GDP and standards of living.
Zanu PF leaders and their business allies have become obscenely rich. The
theft of productive farms is merely the logical conclusion to a career of
crime for many in power that includes helping themselves to large amounts
from the War Victims Compensation Fund and the VIP housing scheme.
is little wonder that most people regard Zimbabwe's independence as "a sham".
What was hailed as the attainment of freedom and dignity has become a prison
where a corrupt and violent elite holds sway denying the majority their right
The editor of the Herald is of course the last person to
lecture us on professional standards. Under his watch the Herald has been
prostituted to the increasingly desperate needs of an unpopular regime that
has manipulated electoral outcomes to allow it continued access to the public
feeding trough. Unelected officials with no public mandate acting on the whim
of an illegitimate president abuse the law to suppress opposition,
confiscate property, and reward their followers.
They and their
media puppets are the "shameless turncoats prepared to sell their country to
the highest bidder". At the moment that is Libya, but Zanu PF is evidently
prepared to mortgage the country to any bidder who can offer it a further
lease on power. Exactly what their children will make of this record of
betrayal should worry them sick.
No journalist I know has been in
touch with Walter Kansteiner. But we should not allow fear of abuse from the
state media to deter us from conferring with all those who are working for
the restoration of democratic rule in Zimbabwe (and at the same time feeding
the victims of Mugabe's famine), especially at a time when the Public Order
and Security Act has made it illegal to confer with our fellow citizens at
home. Building a democratic consensus both at home and abroad where millions
of Zimbabweans have been forced to seek refuge by Mugabe's disastrous
policies should be the duty of all journalists who subscribe to freedom of
We have a duty to ensure a regime that assaults and even
murders its opponents, confiscates their property, bombs their premises and
deprives them of the right to democratically oppose its bad laws is
effectively isolated. Why should it get away with electoral theft and
manipulation of the courts? Why should it get away with a blank refusal to
bring to justice those of its followers responsible for murder and torture?
Why should its leaders be received abroad as anything other than the
political criminals they are?
Which brings us to those who parrot
the regime's mantras, justify its tyranny and support its theft and political
thuggery. Should those media apologists for misrule continue to enjoy the
benefits of international travel and professional recognition when they have
betrayed their profession and become no more than instruments of oppression?
What they are doing is wrong - and they know it.
Africa's tyrants hinder political stability, economic
recovery Dumisani Muleya PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe and other "tyrants" are
undermining Africa's political stability and economic recovery, chairman of
the United States Congressional subcommittee on Africa, Ed Royce, has
Royce, who is a California Republican, said last week while
Africa's progressive leaders were battling to rescue the continent from
economic and political backwardness, Mugabe and his allies were struggling
"On the world's poorest continent, two
African futures are duelling," Royce said. "South African President Thabo
Mbeki and others speak of an African renaissance, a growing prosperity
founded on democracy and the rule of law, and want it backed by greater
While that was happening, Royce said, Mugabe was
pulling in a different direction.
tyrannical Mugabe is destroying one of the continent's more promising
countries as he clings to power," he said.
"For Africa's sake, its
leaders' discouragingacceptance of Mugabe's tyranny cannot gounchallenged."
Royce said Mugabe was illegitimate and his pretended democratic leadership
should be rejected.
"Zimbabwe's presidential election in March was a
sham. The independent press was terrorised and ballots were corrupted.
Political opponents were murdered. Human rights groups in Zimbabwe have
documented ongoing government-sanctioned torture," he
"Today, some six million Zimbabweans, half the country, face a
famine made mostly by Mugabe. His regime blames drought, but reservoirs are
near full. Its 'land reform' policy of evicting several thousand commercial
farmers, besides hammering the economy, has slashed maize production. While
begging for food aid, the Mugabe government is arresting evicted farmers for
tending to their crops."
He pointed out Mugabe's land reform
exercise was a feudal patronage arrangement.
allies are now farm owners. The government's land scheme is simply a
patronage programme for supporters, including Libyan interests who have given
the Mugabe regime key aid," he said.
"Even the 'war veterans' are
being discarded, losing their just-seized land to generals and other
apparatchiks. Besides shredding the rule of law, land reform has darkened
food security prospects, with once-productive agricultural land now in
Royce said Zimbabwe's democratic institutions
were under siege from autocracy.
"Mugabe is all the more notorious
for attacking institutions few other African countries have enjoyed. He has
savaged an independent press and judiciary, an educated middle class, an
organised civil society, and productive commercial farmers, hallmarks of
Zimbabwe and key to its relative prosperity," he said.
Africa has suffered many tyrants, it is hard to recall one having to do more
damage to his country's potential in order to cling to power. In killing
Zimbabwe's present, Mugabe is killing its future."
Royce said, were collaborating with Mugabe's dictatorship.
leaders spoken out against this tyrant who stole an election, plunders the
economy and whose legacy is shaping up to be the death by famine of tens of
thousands? Hardly. Countering other international observers, most African
delegations whitewashed Mugabe's 're-election',"
While Zimbabwe's president is a case apart, too many
African leaders brook no dissent. Journalists and political activists are
jailed and worse through much of the continent," he said.
said Africa was however not doomed to tyranny.
"Several African heads
of state have distinguished themselves by standing down recently," he said.
"Though battered, democracy is still a force in Zimbabwe. Mugabe is being
driven to new depths everyday by Zimbabweans rejecting his misrule."
Seed, fertiliser firms demand 200% price
hike Augustine Mukaro SEED and fertiliser companies are demanding a 200%
price hike on their products before they release any more inputs for sale to
retailers for the coming season, it emerged this week.
price of fertiliser has been pegged at $900 per 50kg bag but the few bags
already delivered to retailers are being sold for $2 800 each.
at Windmill said the prices are going up on a weekly basis at a rate of 5%.
The manufacturers fear that with the onset of the rains the government would
fix prices way below the current $2 800 a bag.
Last year the
government forced retailers to sell seeds and fertiliser at controlled prices
but these were easily diverted onto the black market where they were sold at
as much as four times the official price.
A spokesperson for SeedCo,
the country's biggest maize seed supplier, Daniel Kwaramba, this week said
seed producers were asking government to review the price of seeds to remain
"We will not release seeds to retailers until an
agreement is reached," Kwaramba said. "I cannot however give you details of
the discussions at the moment but I can confirm that we are asking government
to produce a detailed working plan for the coming season."
& City, Zimbabwe's biggest agricultural inputs distributor,
confirmed producers had not supplied them with seed citing irrational
"Agricultural input producers are withholding the inputs in
their warehouses demanding an urgent price rise to cover up for huge losses
they are making," an official at Farm & City headquarters in Harare
Seed companies opted to hold on to their products after government
indicated it wanted to buy large quantities of the seed at unreasonably
subsidised prices under the $8,5 billion agricultural input
Zimbabwe Farmers' Union Wilfanos Mashingaidze has said new
farmers would need about $150 billion to successfully finance the coming
Seed houses report that there are more than 50 000 tonnes of
maize seed available and such a quantity could cater for two seasons supply
but may not be on the market because of the controlled prices.
seed houses buy seed from growers at $110 000 a tonne but are required to
sell it at a give-away price of $75 000 to the farmers. Zimbabwe needs about
600 000 tonnes of fertiliser to meet production. About 400 000 tonnes of the
fertiliser is a locally manufactured Compound D normally used in the planting
of the crops and 200 000 is ammonium nitrate whose raw materials are
Concern over Harare's water Augustine Mukaro THE
quality of Harare's water has come under scrutiny - this time from the city
fathers themselves - because of its unpleasant taste and the odour it is
Despite claims by the city council that Harare water was safe
to drink and did not contain high levels of micro-organisms detrimental to
health, in council minutes dated August 7 councillors expressed concern over
the smell and unpleasant taste which often characterises the
In April the Zimbabwe Independent revealed that Harare's water
had high levels of impurities. This was immediately denied by the council,
which ran adverts saying the water was safe to drink. Yet city councillors
attending a capacity-building workshop at Wild Geese Lodge on April 15/16 had
expressed concern at the poor quality of Harare's water. Councillors
requested the acting director of works, Vusumuzi Sithole, to report on
measures to eliminate odours in the drinking water.
of the odours and unpleasant taste in the water was the organic pollution of
Lakes Chivero and Manyame by industries, the city's sewage works and the
surrounding local authorities," his report said.
The minutes said the
acting director of works reported that measures were continuously being
undertaken to remove smells and odours from drinking water at Morton Jaffray
"The measures included, inter-alia, addition of chlorine
and ammonia, addition of activated carbon, superchlorination, aeration and
ECOL2000," said the minutes.
The minutes said the addition of the
activated carbon, chlorination and addition of ammonia and chlorine had been
in use for years at Morton Jaffrey waterworks. However, of late council has
resorted to the use of an imported chemical, ECOL2000, to treat most of the
impurities and remove the smells from the water.
"A combination of
ECOL2000 and continuous dosing of the treatment works with activated carbon
have the capacity to remove the smells from the water," the minutes
Harare City Council chief chemist Lisben Chipfunde this week
confirmed that there were smells in the water in March and April but said
these had since been rectified.
"We have increased the quantity of
chemicals being used to remove smells and odours in drinking water at MJ
waterworks," Chipfunde said.
"We are continuously dosing the treatment
works with activated carbon combined with ECOL2000 chemical and that has
achieved a 100% success in the removal of the smells."
engineer said the quality of raw water in Lake Chivero had deteriorated as
water levels dropped.
"The unpleasant smells and tastes have been
caused by the increased presence of the blue-green algae," the engineer said
at the April meeting.
"By February the quality of raw water in Lake
Chivero had drastically deteriorated to an extent that water filters were
being clogged more than before. The deterioration in the quality of raw water
has resulted in greater use of chemicals to treat impurities."
Moyo builds fiefdom in Tsholotsho constituency Loughty
Dube INFORMATION minister Jonathan Moyo has been accused of fomenting chaos
in Tsholotsho in Matabeleland North in his bid to make inroads into
the constituency, the Zimbabwe Independent has heard. The MP for
Tsholotsho, Mtoliki Sibanda, said Moyo's interest in the district had brought
with it violence ahead of the rural council elections due at the end of this
"Jonathan Moyo's idea to create a constituency in
Tsholotsho is creating havoc in the district as Zanu PF thugs masquerading as
war veterans are constantly harassing people and forcing them to attend his
campaign rallies that come in the guise of donations," said
He said since Moyo started showing an interest in Tsholotsho
the area had known no peace.
"There has been a lot of violence in
the district since Moyo showed an interest in the area and it is quite
obvious from his actions that he wants to create a constituency for himself
through the numerous donations that he is making throughout the district,"
Moyo is one of the 30 non-constituency members of
parliament appointed by President Mugabe after the ruling Zanu PF lost 57
seats to the opposition MDC during the hotly-contested 2000 parliamentary
election. "Soldiers who were deployed to Tsholotsho before the presidential
election are still operating in the area disguised as civilians and those are
the people that cause mayhem when Moyo comes to the district with his
donations," Sibanda said.
Since the presidential election in
March, Moyo, Mugabe's propaganda chief, has been making trips to Tsholotsho
raising suspicions that he is trying to carve out a political base for
himself in the area.
Sibanda said Zanu PF chairman John Nkomo and
President Mugabe were imposing Moyo on Tsholotsho.
Moyo has donated and made pledges of over $180 million to
In July he personally initiated a $164 million
irrigation programme in the district and followed it up with a personal
donation of $1,5 million to Mabale primary school.
Moyo has also
sourced and donated $1,5 millon for the Albino Association in Tsholotsho.
Bakeries scale down operations Stanley
James ZIMBABWE'S bakeries are operating at 50% of capacity because of
rationed flour supplies from major milling firms as the country's wheat
The situation has culminated in the black market
trade of bread at $100 a loaf instead of the gazetted
Bakers Association of Zimbabwe (BAZ) chairman Armitage
Chikwavira confirmed the scaling down of operations, attributing the problem
to the decimated supplies of flour from millers.
bread shortage has been due to severe difficulties in getting normal supplies
of flour from the millers," said Chikwavira. "At the moment millers are
rationing wheat to the extent that we are operating at 50% of our normal
"The situation is expected to persist in the next three
weeks before a consignment of 22 000 tonnes of imported wheat which was
procured by government arrives in the country," he said.
are currently rationing flour to bakeries from the normal 639 tonnes a week
to 336 tonnes a week adding to the financial woes of bakers.
"We are at
the moment securing about 40% to 50% of flour supplies and bakeries have
resorted to reducing working hours and sending some workers on leave to
minimise costs," he said.
"Government has been frantically working
towards restoring normal supplies of bread. However, we fear that in the
event that the deplorable situation is not addressed, we will experience a
continuous shortage of the commodity that will negatively impact on the
Consumers are concerned with the deteriorating quality of
bread on the market amid allegations that bakers were mixing flour with maize
meal in the production process. Major bakers have also stopped slicing bread
in a bid to reduce production costs.
Bakers are also concerned
with the government's controversial price control system for bread which they
said adversely affected viability.
Chikwavira said that as the winter
wheat harvest was about to start there was a possibility that flour shortages
might be solved on a short-term basis.
However, analysts forecast a
significant drop in wheat output because of government's land redistribution
programme which has left many of the commercial wheat farmers landless.
September 5, 2002 Posted to the web September 5,
Men, women and even children in Zimbabwe are
turning to small-scale gold mining, some of it illegal, as a last resort in
the face of parched and empty maize fields.
In spite of the dangers,
illustrated by two serious mine collapses this year, people have continued to
arrive at riverbeds and disused mines hoping to extract enough of the
precious metal to cover their basic food needs.
With no training or
sophisticated equipment, miners pan or dig for long hours, for small
A recent report by the feature service AfricaNews, said that up
to 30 percent of the new miners were women, who saw their labour as a form
of financial empowerment. They used the money for fertiliser, seeds,
school uniforms or travel expenses. Worryingly, many of the miners were
The current rise in the number of small-scale miners reflects a
similar trend seen during the severe drought of 1992.
Up to half of
Zimbabwe's 12 million people face food shortages in the coming months. This
time the reasons go beyond drought, and include economic and political
Zimbabwe's controversial land-reform programme has also left
hundreds of thousands of farmworkers and their families with an insecure
future, and few alternative job opportunities.
"There has been an
increase in small-scale miners, although government is trying to clamp down
due to accidents and environmental degradation," said Tinago Ruzive,
president of the Associated Mineworkers Union of Zimbabwe.
The new miners
come primarily from rural areas and tend to work either for licenced small
mines, or move illegally through disused mines in search of traces of gold
previous miners missed.
A study by the International Labour Organisation
found that miners were paid poorly and lived in bad conditions. Some were
paid on a "gwaza" basis, where they were remunerated according to how much
rock they brought to the surface.
The study, by mining consultant John
Hollaway, said small scale-mining had a "well established reputation for a
disproportionately high number of fatalities".
"This has arisen
principally from the deaths caused by such miners re-entering closed mines
illegally to win gold from the pillars, and from alluvial miners burrowing
into uncompacted river banks," he said.
In August, it was reported that
between 20 and 30 people died when a mine shaft caved in in Mhondoro,
southwest of the capital, Harare.
"We have seen a lot of small-scale
panning primarily due to the serious collapse of the economy," Munyaradzi
Bidi, director of the human rights group ZimRights, told IRIN.
households are finding it difficult to cope, and the unemployment rate is
very high. School leavers can't find jobs, so illegal gold panning is seen as
a way of finding a quick buck," he said.
"They hope to sell the gold they
find for basic commodities like oil and grain. They sell to buyers from as
far afield as Botswana and South Africa, and to the elite in
Bidi said the panners formed camps, and moved to new sites
when they stopped finding gold, as they had no machinery to dig or
However, ZimRights was concerned about the number of children
"They have to fend for themselves and to subsidise the family
budget for food and rations," Bidi said. "We want them to go to
He said that during the current food crisis, people were looking
for any way to survive, and this included commercial sex work by some women
at the camps.
He urged the government to formalise small-scale mining,
and to introduce a welfare grant to help needy people.
Ruzive said the
government was currently instituting training programmes for small-scale
A spokesman for the Ministry of Mines was not immediately
available for comment.
Zanu PF could engage SA lawyer Blessing Zulu THE
ruling Zanu PF could follow the opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) in engaging a lawyer from South Africa for their petition challenging
President Robert Mugabe's election victory in March.
comes after the Ministry of Justice reversed its initial decision denying the
MDC permission to hire a leading South African attorney.
leader Morgan Tsvangirai filed a petition in April challenging the legitimacy
of the March presidential poll controversially won by Mugabe. The legitimacy
of the election is being challenged on the grounds that it was not free or
Sources in the ruling Zanu PF party said they might be obliged
to hire Advocate Nazeer Cassim who has represented the government
"Zanu PF is seriously considering bringing in Advocate Cassim
from South Africa," said a source.
Cassim was engaged by Zanu PF
in January last year when the MDC filed petitions to challenge the
parliamentary results in 37 constituencies in the 2000 parliamentary
Terrence Hussein, who is part of Mugabe's defence team,
said they may consider hiring a South African lawyer.
of whether to hire a South African advocate rests with the defence team,"
"If and when we need an outside counsel we may engage
one. At the moment I feel that we have the necessary experience and depth,"
Hussein was instrumental in hiring Cassim last
Cassim is likely to be assisted by Advocate Adam Kara who has
worked in the United States and Caribbean.
Chinamasa and Mudede
will be represented by the Attorney-General because they are being sued in
their official capacity. George Chikumbirike will represent the
Hussein and Kara handled the bulk of cases in response to the
MDC parliamentary petitions. Hussein has also represented Minister
of Information Jonathan Moyo.
The Ministry of Justice which had
initially refused to allow the opposition to bring a South African advocate
into the country despite its own precedent, gave the green light to the MDC
to hire Senior Counsel, Advocate Jeremy Gauntlet who is chairman of the South
Zimbabwe - call for more sanctions
Joint motion for a resolution on Zimbabwe Doc. : B5-0464/2002,
B5-0467/2002, B5-0468/2002, B5-0469/2002, B5-0482/2002, B5-0485/2002
Debate : 05.09.2002 Vote : 05.09.2002 Vote
wake of the deteriorating situation in Zimbabwe and food shortages which
Parliament considers have been made worse by the action of the Mugabe regime,
MEPs voted 113 with none against and 6 abstentions in favour of another
resolution strongly condemning the use of food supplies as a political weapon
against opposition supporters, by Mr Mugabe's government. The resolution
expresses 'grave concern at the magnitude of the food crisis facing Zimbabwe
and other African countries' and reaffirms Parliament's commitment to provide
the Zimbabwean people with emergency aid. MEPs also take the view that the
question of land reform can only be resolved through a legal and transparent
process. There is condemnation of human rights violation in the country and
the continued attacks on the media. Parliament also wants South African
President Mbeki and Malawi's President Bakili Muluzi in his capacity as
chairmen of the South African Development Community (SADC) to put pressure on
Zimbabwe with a view to holding fresh presidential elections. The EU is
requested to extend the present range of sanctions against the country while
other G-8 countries are requested to impose further financial sanctions
against the country. Parliament also wants to see Zimbabwe's Foreign Minister
barred from attending the SADC/EU Foreign Ministers Meeting in Copenhagen in
ZIMBABWE OPPOSITION MP ALLEGES
WIDESPREAD INTIMIDATION IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT POLL
widespread intimidation in the Zimbabwe local council elections were made in
London today by Zimbabwean Opposition Member of Parliament, Edward Mkhosi,
MDC Information and Publicity Secretary, Matabeleland South Province.
a meeting with the "Save Zimbabwe" campaign Mr Mkhosi, who is the MDC
Information and Publicity Secretary for the Matabeleland South Province,
said that reports from his constituency received today indicate that of six
Opposition MDC candidates in the Plumtree town area, four had withdrawn in
fear as a direct result of regime intimidation.
In addition, Mr
Mkhosi said the government had introduced a regulation requiring all council
candidates to hold a special form of long birth certificate. "Very few
people have one of these. I do not have one myself", said Mr Mkhosi. "It
takes six months to process an application for a long birth certificate, but
this requirement was introduced only a few weeks ago. Today is the deadline
for candidate registration and this requirement has thrown the whole
electoral process into confusion. Of course, we do not expect the ZANU-PF
(Government party) candidates to have any problems in obtaining these
The Save Zimbabwe campaign said that this provided further
evidence that the Zimbabwean government continues to thwart basic democratic
practices. Ephraim Tapa, Chief Spokesman said "This is a serious blight on
local-level democracy and prevents ordinary Zimbaweans from engaging in the
government of their communities. It is not just confined to Matabeleland.
There are reports of intimidation and bureaucratic obstruction to the
registration of opposition council candidates nationwide".
"Save Zimbabwe" campaign is a non-partisan international initiative, with
broad-based support drawn from both political parties and community groups.
It was launched during the African Union meeting in Durban and is designed
to ensure the restoration of democracy, human rights and legitimate
government to Zimbabwe. The holding of early, free and fair elections, under
full and proper international supervision, is a key objective of the
For more information, please contact Terence Fane-Saunders
on: 0044 20 7939 7934 or 0044 7768 283 144, or Helen Campbell on: 0044 20
7939 7939 or 0044 7768 283 145
New Zealand Herald Uproar as Powell backs NZ on
05.09.2002 By KEVIN NORQUAY United States Secretary of State
Colin Powell caused an uproar at the World Summit on Sustainable Development
yesterday when he openly criticised Zimbabwe.
Mr Powell mounted only
the second serious attack on the regime of President Robert Mugabe - after NZ
Prime Minister Helen Clark had been unsupported for two days.
guards had to eject at least one man from the auditorium, as several outraged
listeners heckled Mr Powell during a speech that echoed New Zealand
Several times Mr Powell - in Johannesburg for the final
session as President George W. Bush would not come - was forced to break a
speech that ended amid loud booing.
Helen Clark was in the auditorium
and said she fully agreed with everything Mr Powell said.
Aids, famine, economic mismanagement and wasteful land use in Africa, Mr
Powell turned his guns on Zimbabwe, going further than Helen Clark by naming
"In one country in this region - Zimbabwe - the lack of respect
for human rights and the rule of law has exacerbated these factors to
push millions of people forward toward the brink of
Booing, followed by loud chanting, prevented him
It was the second time this year Mr Powell had expressed
solidarity with New Zealand. In Washington in March, he told Helen Clark
New Zealand and the US were "very, very, very good friends".
yesterday, Helen Clark had been alone in using her address to the summit to
list her objections to Mr Mugabe's regime.
On Monday, she told more than
100 world leaders that famine in Zimbabwe had been worsened by "deliberate
and cynical Government policies". New Zealand is bitterly opposed to Mr
Mugabe's policy of evicting white farmers from their land, a process he
yesterday called "agrarian reform".
Helen Clark was left to go solo on
the issue by allies such as British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who avoided
the issue in his address, then dodged it at a press conference as
While her speech was greeted with polite applause, the address
later by an aggressive Mr Mugabe was interrupted three times by
If it's war on Saddam, why not on Mugabe? By Boris
Johnson (Filed: 05/09/2002)
You may think there is something a
little bit preposterous about Big Tone's swagger on Tuesday, tucking his
thumbs into his belt as he told that pesky varmint Saddam Hussein to quit the
corral. And, OK, there is something comical about this gifted actor-prime
minister. Whatever happens, Britain will not make any decisive military
contribution in Iraq. But that is not why they lurve him in the Pentagon.
They need him, because he is just so charming and persuasive on the
international stage. He has that special British cachet. He is the Hugh Grant
When they set out to bomb Kosovo, Clinton was slick, but
Blair was sincere. When they bombed Afghanistan with B52s, Bush was bumbling,
while Blair was a fluent and hot-gospelling evangelist for war. And while
Bush seems to have difficulty convincing his own pop of the need to topple
Saddam, Blair can now be relied upon to woo those tricky and discerning
Once again, Tony takes the role in which history has
already twice triumphantly cast him - the informal porte-parole of the
American war machine.
We should be proud of him, grateful to those
drama tutors at Fettes, because they have given him, and us, a voice on the
world stage. We should not mock the Prime Minister, just because he is
essentially the front man for someone else's war. His task is difficult, and
his stance, in its way, is brave. The grim reality, a year after September
11, is that America is even less popular around the world than it was before
that massacre. Listen to the hideous booing of Colin Powell in Johannesburg.
Look at the cretinous anti-American slogans daubed on the walls of Italian
towns. Drink in the moronic, ignorant sermonising of students in every campus
bar in the land. It is the settled view of the audience of Rupert Murdoch's
Sky News, by a majority of two to one, that George Bush is more of a threat
to world peace than Saddam Hussein.
In arguing for military action in
Iraq, Blair must now overcome the deep scepticism of his backbenches, a
simmering revolt in his cabinet, the dismay of his European counterparts, and
the mistrust of a huge proportion of the British public. In fact, I hope
readers will not be too shocked if I say I have a few questions of my own,
which it would be nice to answer before giving wholehearted support to this
Most of us are perfectly willing to be convinced that Saddam is
a threat to the region, possesses weapons of mass destruction, and must be
taken out. But we have not so far been convinced, and it would be nice to
feel that someone was making an effort to do that. More important, most of us
need to be filled in on how this "regime change" is to be accomplished,
without a revolting and unjustifiable loss of life in Iraq.
of us, finally, would like a clearer articulation from Mr Blair about the
priorities in British foreign policy. It is an irony, to say the least, that
we are about to make war on Saddam Hussein, who directly threatens no British
citizen, when we are doing nothing to stop Robert Mugabe, who has purged or
murdered thousands of farmers, many of whom still carry British
Let me ask a simpleton's question: why Saddam, and not Mugabe?
It can't be the military difficulties. If the US Air Force can fly stealth
bombers from Missouri in transatlantic round trips, and spend three months
and $3 billion bombing Serbia and Kosovo on behalf of the Albanian farmers,
why can it do nothing to help the 800,000 blacks and 12,000 whites being
persecuted by Mugabe? If regime change is possible in Baghdad, which has one
of the most fearsome armies in the world, why not in Harare, which is guarded
by two men and a hyena?
It's not as though the geopolitical
consequences are unthinkable. Any ferment in southern Africa would be nothing
to the reaction in the Arab world, if and when an attack on Saddam is
launched. Saddam may be an evil dictator; but then Mugabe patently stole his
election, and has no democratic legitimacy.
Saddam may be a menace,
but Mugabe is already causing the starvation of his own people, most of whom
would rejoice to be rid of him. Why, then, is military action against Mugabe
not on the agenda? Why is it so little discussed that it seems somehow
bizarre even to raise the question? There are several answers. The first is
that America has no interest in the area, or certainly no interest comparable
to Britain's. Zimbabwe is not a notable hotbed of al-Qa'eda; it is not part
of the Axis of Evil.
Blair supports Bush over Iraq, because he rightly
sees that the war against terror enlists us all. There is no question,
however, of America making any kind of reciprocal gesture when British
interests are at stake. Nor, frankly, would Britain ever dream of
The idea of a neo-colonial escapade makes New Labour shudder. It
was not for this that they spent their years in the anti-apartheid movement.
They know there is something deeply unfashionable about sticking up for the
Zimbabwe farmers, who are about as popular, in their personal pantheons, as
the Ulster Unionists or the Serbs. In fact, they think, there is
something faintly racist about the whole protest. That strikes me as
shameful, as shameful as Mugabe's assertion that Africa is a continent
exclusively for the black man. But never mind.
We are going to war
with Saddam, and enormous efforts will accordingly be made to discover ways
in which he threatens the interests of the British people. We are not going
to war with Mugabe, and the Government is accordingly doing nothing to
publicise the destruction of British lives and livelihoods already going on.
That may be very sensible. But there is something sickening about
a.. Boris Johnson is editor of the Spectator and MP for
THE United Nations (UN) invited Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe to address
the World Summit on Sustainable Development. It is said that this was an act
of hospitality to a head of state.
The world body appears to have
forgotten that no credible observer mission was prepared to declare the
Zimbabwean presidential elections free and fair.
Mugabe is invited onto the world stage, his illegitimate election becomes
that much more entrenched and takes on the veneer
It is necessary to secure by acts, not words,
that Mugabe is brought to account for charges of torture, of tyranny and the
methodical destruction of a society.
Our own country speaks of
moral regeneration. We are signatories to an international convention against
torture. We sign with one hand a document that obliges us to legislate into
place domestic laws to arrest and try those accused of institutionalised
torture, but then we embrace him with both arms in an act of seeming
It is necessary to address those who wish to call
Mugabe brother, to those who believe keeping the door open to discussion will
somehow assist the people of Zimbabwe and our region and to those who wish to
see him only as a leader who once brought freedom to a country and aided
others in their freedom struggles.
There comes a time when
expediency and sentimentality has to submit to moral integrity.
Half a century ago, Albert Camus wrote: "If you keep on excusing,
you eventually give your blessing to the slave camp, to cowardly force,
to organised executioners, to the cynicism of great political monsters;
you finally hand over your brothers."
No democratic society
should pardon Mugabe's destruction of the structures of Zimbabwean society.
He has made law-abiding citizens fear the apparatus of state. He does not
apply the law but acts in contempt of it. Those who gave Mugabe an ovation
should consider that the systematic violation of basic rights by a tyrant
brooks of no debate.
Those who may still wish to engage him in
debate should be reminded of the well documented massacres in
Those who felt obliged to share a podium with him may
not be adequately informed of the undermining of the judicial process and the
rule of law by Mugabe and his appointees.
Mugabe proclaimed more
than 10 years ago "the government cannot allow the technicalities of the law
to fetter its hands .... We shall, therefore, proceed as government ... and
some of the measures we shall take are measures which will be
Also, Mugabe has a history of giving amnesty to
criminals convicted of acts of violence and arson in the 1990 and 2000
elections. These were crimes mainly committed by ruling party supporters
against supporters or supposed supporters of political parties in
Land reform in Zimbabwe is necessary, provided it is
effected in accordance with a constitution whose core civil rights values
have not been bastardised. Leaving aside the issue of expropriation without
compensation, there is an entire population of farm workers who have lived on
the land and have been dependent on it for sustenance.
legitimate occupiers with a prior claim to remain where they have been for
generations. If a law is to be introduced to protect them, then it is too
late. They have been kicked off the land by the new land barons.
Reports indicate Mugabe's wife is the recipient of prime land as are cabinet
members and high ranking military and police officers. Although land is
supposed to be a scarce resource, it is reported that more than 1,5-million
workers and their families could end up being displaced. Mugabe's failure to
protect farm workers' rights to occupy land demonstrates his true
There are those who may be tempted to trust what he says.
It is well to remember the time Mugabe was putting the final touches to his
speech at the summit, independent radio station, Voice of the People, was
bombed at the weekend in what was an efficient military-type operation. It is
the third bombing of offices belonging to the independent media.
It is no good to say crimes against a people can be ignored while Mugabe and
his associates remain beyond the reach of international justice. Mugabe's
acts are rendered no less abhorrent because there is not yet a tribunal to
which he is accountable.
The invitation given by the UN to Mugabe,
the applause he received and the laughter he elicited demonstrates the world
community will not of its own accord bring Mugabe to justice.
becomes necessary for concerned organisations to pool skills and other
resources and find effective ways of bringing Mugabe, and those who have
gained through him, to justice, to have them disgorge what they
have plundered, and to compensate the victims of their tyranny.
Spilg is a senior advocate and the convener of the Human Rights Committee of
the General Council of the Bar of SA. He writes in his
There comes a time when expediency,
sentimentality has to submit to moral integrity
Sep 05 2002
12:00:00:000AM Brian Spilg Business Day 1st Edition
President Robert Mugabe arrives in SA and the red carpet is laid out for him.
Do we really want this man in our town? Whatever his reasons for his land
redistribution programme the effects are devastating. And yet, it appears
that we all sit here and watch.
It is not easy to have your say. I had an
idea of a legitimate, peaceful way to express my opinion. I wanted to rent a
large billboard in Sandton or on the airport highway that said, very plainly,
"Robert Mugabe, you are not welcome in this town". I thought this would be a
far more effective way of expressing this opinion than arranging a motley
crew of demonstrators. It would be in the full glare of the local and foreign
media for weeks. I would feel a lot better. The government would realise that
they are not the only ones who can speak for the people of SA.
unfortunately, in practice, it proved difficult. I phoned up the companies
that own large billboards in the places I wanted. They listened with
interest. They personally expressed agreement. But, none of them wanted to do
it. I had the money lined up. But this was not enough to compensate them for
the feared loss of business if they were seen to be associated with my
They felt it would somehow prejudice themselves commercially.
One company pointed out that they have billboards in Zimbabwe. I pointed out
that it was just a matter of time before there was nothing left to sell
there. I got the strong impression that they were all prepared to do business
in a corrupt country as long as they could make money.
But really, what would they have to lose if they helped me express
my opinion? At worst they would learn an extremely valuable lesson. The
SA government (or its cronies) would crack down on them, restrict them,
defame them, ridicule them or worse, punish them with fines or time in jail.
The lesson would be: We the government of SA clearly agree with what Mugabe
is doing and we intend to also curtail your rights to freedom of speech
and ultimately steal your property.
Would not that have been worth
learning now, rather than wait ten years for an expensive destruction?
Zimbabwe Land Reforms Should be Fair and Legal, says Annan VOA
News 4 Sep 2002 14:11 UTC
At the Earth Summit, United Nations
Secretary General Kofi Annan has repeated his belief that land reform in
Zimbabwe is necessary, but he said should be done in a fair and legal
Mr. Annan made the comments after meeting with Zimbabwe's President
Robert Mugabe Wednesday on the sidelines of the summit in Johannesburg,
U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell also addressed the
issue of Zimbabwe's land reform while at the summit, saying the policy has
pushed "millions of people to the brink of starvation." His comments brought
heckling and booing from protesters in the audience.
government has ordered 2,900 white commercial farmers to surrender their
farms to landless blacks without compensation. Last month, the government
arrested at least 200 farmers, who have defied eviction orders to leave their
President Mugabe says the policy is meant to correct the wrongs of
British colonialism, which left 70 percent of the country's best farmland in
the hands of minority whites.
The U.N. World Food Program estimates
six million Zimbabweans - about half of the population - are at risk of
starvation. It says Zimbabwe's land reform process has compounded the
Zimbabwe Arrests Farm Workers Who Volunteered for Charity
Group Peta Thornycroft Harare 4 Sep 2002 17:48 UTC
former farm workers serving as volunteers for a Zimbabwean charity were
charged Wednesday with violating security laws that were approved earlier
this year. The men were arrested last week and have now been remanded in
custody until September 17.
Lawyers for the 17 men say they have been
charged with recruiting militia, undergoing military training, banditry and
The men were building a refugee camp about 30 kilometers west
of Harare in the once productive Mazowe Valley.
The camp was being
built on land donated by a farmer who has abandoned his farm and was to
become a place of refuge and self-employment for farm workers, tens of
thousands of whom are in the process of losing their jobs. It was being built
under the auspices of a local charity, the Farm Communities Development
The detained men were volunteers working for the trust. The deputy
head of the organization, Bigson Gombers, was arrested at his home and has
also been charged.
The law under which the arrests were made, the
Public Order and Security Act, was rushed through parliament ahead of
presidential elections in March.
Legal experts say it is even harsher
than the colonial law it replaced, which President Robert Mugabe kept on the
statute books after independence from Britain in 1980.
seizures of most white-owned land began 31 months ago, there were about one
point eight million people living on the commercial farms.
Farmers Union estimates a third of the farm-worker families may have already
lost their jobs and homes.
The workers trade union on Wednesday said tens
of thousands more workers are now being paid off with terminal benefits and
most are then forced to leave their homes on the commercial farms.
We must help
Zimbabwe's hungry, urges Short By James Lamont in
Johannesburg Published: September 4 2002 19:36 | Last Updated:
September 4 2002 19:36
Clare Short , the UK's minister
for international development, on Wednesday appealed to the donor community
not to let misgivings about President Robert Mugabe's regime blunt the
generosity of food relief efforts for Zimbabwe.
per cent of the 450,000 tonnes of food aid needed in the country have so far
been pledged by international donors, and Ms Short's call followed a sharp
divergence of views this week between Mr Mugabe and Tony Blair, UK prime
minister, at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in
About 6m people face severe food shortages in
Zimbabwe as a result of a drought. But a controversial land reform scheme to
resettle landless blacks on white-owned land, which has disrupted farming,
has intensified the threat of widespread starvation.
dispute over genetically modified (GM) food aid from the US has meanwhile
left maize stranded in the region's ports. "We can't allow the people of
Zimbabwe to starve because the government is misbehaving," said
Mr Mugabe used his speech to the summit on
Monday to accuse the UK - which has raised its humanitarian assistance to the
country - of supporting Zimbabwe's "obdurate" white farming
Britain, along with the US and other European
Union and Commonwealth members, has been trying to persuade southern African
countries to harden their stance against Harare's clampdown on opposition
parties and abuse of the law.
Zimbabwe, Zambia and
Mozambique have resisted the import of GM food aid from the US, fearful of
the damage it might do to their agricultural exports. While Zambia has
reiterated its rejection of GM maize this week, Zimbabwe is negotiating a
deal with the US Agency for International Development for non-GM food
Colin Powell, US secretary of state, took up the
issue again in his speech yesterday to the summit. "In the face of famine,
several governments in southern Africa have prevented critical US food
assistance from being distributed to the hungry by rejecting biotech corn
which has been eaten safely around the world since 1995."
But campaigners remain unrepentant. "[If African countries allow in GM foods]
we are giving away the food security of the world," said Fred Kalibwani, of
Participatory Ecological Land Use Management, an African farmers'
Zimbabwe's loss, Mozambique's gain By
Michael Holman Published: September 4 2002 19:44 | Last Updated:
September 4 2002 19:44
Any hopes of re-solving the crisis in
Zimbabwe while Robert Mugabe remains in power were dashed at the Johannesburg
summit this week. The country's 76-year-old president was brutally frank when
he spelt out his objective: to end the days when commercial farming in
Zimbabwe was dominated by white farmers. Speaking in front of a packed house
and the world's media, he lost no opportunity to show his contempt for Tony
Blair, the British prime minister.
At first sight, the
sympathetic response to Mr Mugabe's speech may suggest that he has more
support on the African continent than many had believed. It may also give the
impression that Mr Blair is powerless to help a country where a double
tragedy is unfolding.
The chaos in Zimbabwe's farm sector is
exacerbating the effects of drought in the region. The consequences are still
unfolding but could be catastrophic. And the region is losing one of Africa's
scarcest resources: a group of people who, whatever their shortcomings in
terms of vision and tact, are technically qualified, experienced and
The reality, however, is that Mr Blair still has cards
he could play. The problem is that he may not realise he holds them in his
For a start, in Joaquim Chissano, president of Mozambique,
and Thabo Mbeki, South Africa's leader, Mr Blair has two important allies in
southern Africa. He should draw on the respect and influence they command in
the region. But he should not ask them to apply sanctions: Zimbabwe's
tourism, once the leading foreign exchange earner, has dwindled to
near insignificance, agriculture is in rapid decline, inflation is in
three figures and the currency is grossly overvalued. These problems are
pushing Zimbabwe ever closer to collapse and the two men fear that any
additional measures could precipitate the crisis they want to
Second, Mr Blair should recall (or learn) the lessons of
Britain's colonial past - and help put them into effect.
40 years ago, Britain had to defuse an explosive situation in Kenya. A few
hundred white farmers held more than 8m acres of the best land and memories
were fresh of a guerrilla war to dislodge them. More than 6,000 British
soldiers had been sent out to protect the farmers and suppress the rebellion
in which 37 settlers and more than 10,000 "terrorists" were to die. The
country's 6m African majority, impatient for change, controlled parliament.
Full independence from Britain was only months away and land redistribution
was high on the agenda.
"Is European farming going to carry on?"
asked an anxious writer at the time. "Can the country keep going when it
turns sound economic farms into subsistence units? Farming and expediency are
at loggerheads," he concluded.
The British government - with
World Bank help - was able to resolve a crisis with a well funded
resettlement programme. It was prepared to be the main contributor to a £20m
land resettlement fund - worth £250m (?390m) at today's prices - to help pay
for the redistribution of former white farms.
As part of this
redistribution, the Commonwealth Development Corporation, then the aid arm of
the British government, launched what was to prove its most successful
agricultural co- operative in Africa: the Kenya Tea Development Authority.
The authority has since been privatised but the original lessons hold firm:
good infrastructure, timely availability of inputs and decent management are
the essential ingredients of successful farming.
programme was never implemented in Zimbabwe: by the time the country won
independence in 1980, the British government's purse strings were much
tighter, even though Zimbabwe then had about 5,000 white farmers - five times
as many as Kenya. The UK's initial contribution to Zimbabwe's land
resettlement programme was just £30m - £75m at today's prices. And while a
further £14m was provided, and an additional £36m has been promised, the
total is well under half the support that Kenya received.
has made it impossible for the promised £36m to be spent in Zimbabwe. But the
money is there and it can be spent in the region, using an agency with a
record of success.
It would be unrealistic to expect now that Mr
Mugabe would agree with the British government or the European Union on a
proper process for transferring land from the white farmers who currently own
it to the black farmers who believe they should own it. But there are other
One is to look over the border to Mozambique, where there
is land available and, more importantly, the government has a pragmatism born
of experience: it is still coming to terms with the economic effects of
the exodus of its white minority in the tumultuous months that
marked independence from Portugal in 1975.
One result of that
pragmatism is that the government has made land available for purchase, or
long-term lease, to the commercial farmers of Zimbabwe. So far, no more than
a handful of them have taken it up. Most of the 3,000 who are being evicted
do not have the capital; what they have is tied up in Zimbabwe, in the
near-worthless local currency. And even if they do have the capital, life is
tough in Mozambique: there is only rudimentary infrastructure in much of the
country. (Ironically, that was destroyed in the 1970s by white Rhodesia's
armed forces and their local allies, but that is another story.)
It should be possible to find a solution for farmers with no land in
a country where land is available but commercial farming expertise is in
short supply. What is needed is a little imagination and some
CDC still invests in Africa and is the obvious vehicle for
a resettlement scheme in Mozambique. Agriculture has fallen out of favour
with CDC because returns are low. This is usually because management is
poor, which should not be the case in this instance. But if CDC is not
willing to act, there is nothing to stop Britain's international development
ministry setting up a vehicle specifically for this purpose.
There could be no better way to tackle poverty in southern Africa.
The writer was Africa editor of the Financial Times from 1984 until this
year. He was brought up in Zimbabwe
will next year benefit from a US$100 million funding facility that the US
government will set aside for the development of Africa's agricultural
sector, according to a US State Department official.
under-secretary for Economic, Business and Agriculture Affairs Alan Larson
said the funding would benefit farmers in east, west and southern Africa,
He said the funds would be used mostly to
rebuild agricultural infrastructure and to provide machinery necessary to
improving farm output.
"We have provided for a 25 percent increase
in the 2002/2003 fiscal year for specific agriculture initiatives to US$100
million in Africa," Larson told journalists from Malawi and Zimbabwe during
an American Embassy live television Africa journal programme at the
"The money will be used to rebuild agriculture
infrastructure and machinery that would increase agriculture output in east,
west and southern Africa. Your country (Zimbabwe) will benefit from this
He however did not indicate how much Zimbabwe, which
has had all other non-humanitarian aid withdrawn by Washington and other
international donors, would receive from the funds meant to help develop
Part of the funds donated by Washington will fund
research aimed at improving food security in Africa and the rest will be
disbursed to the private sector for projects aimed at benefiting
"We will also help the farmers to get information about
markets and finance and to get access to markets so they can get enough money
and feed themselves," Larson said.
The US official however
reiterated Washington's criticism of President Robert Mugabe's controversial
land reform policies, saying the reforms were disruptive and damaging the
country's ability to feed itself.
Mugabe has ordered 2 900
large-scale white farmers to give up their land without compensation to
blacks, virtually all of them his supporters and cronies.
government's disruptive land reforms and poor rains last year caused a 60
percent drop in food production which has left more than six million
Zimbabweans, or half the country's population, facing starvation unless the
international community provides more than 500 000 tonnes of
The United States, the European Union, Canada,
Switzerland and New Zealand have slapped Mugabe and his top officials with
travel and financial sanctions because of his land policies and his March
re-election, which they say was achieved through violence and
Mugabe denies the charge of electoral fraud and insists that
his often violent land reform programme is necessary to right unequal land
ownership caused by British colonialism.
By Joseph Ngwawi Business News Editor 9/5/02 6:34:25 AM (GMT
THE Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA), which owes
more than US$24 million ($1.32 billion) to the Southern Africa Power Pool
(SAPP) for imports, is demanding payment for electricity bills in foreign
currency amid fears that major regional power companies could cut Harare off
unless outstanding electricity accounts are settled.
The SAPP is
a grouping of regional electricity firms that share power according to the
needs of the various members.
ZESA imports up to 35 percent of
Zimbabwe's power requirements from Hydro de Cahora Bassa (HCB) of Mozambique,
South Africa's ESKOM, Societe Nationale d'Electricite (SNEL) of the
Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Zambian Electricity Supply
The total monthly foreign currency requirement
for Zimbabwe's electricity imports is US$5.5 million, but the cash-strapped
ZESA needs more than US$17.4 million monthly to sustain its entire
operations, including debt servicing and procurement of spare
But according to documents with this newspaper, ZESA has
since the beginning of the year defaulted on its obligations to its
external suppliers, prompting some of them to threaten to switch Zimbabwe
The largest arrears of US$12 million were owed to HCB as of
June 28 2002, followed by US$5 million for ESKOM and US$1 million each for
SNEL and ZESCO.
Another US$5 million is owed to a Mozambican
firm called EDM which provides power transportation services to
The documents show that ZESA failed to pay US$1.5 million a
week to HCB for the first six months of the year and that the Mozambican
power utility has threatened to reduce supplies by 50 megawatts progressively
for each week the Zimbabweans fail to honor their payment
"The arrangements which have been put in place to
facilitate payments to SNEL and ZESCO in Zimbabwe dollars are no longer
sustainable due to the managed exchange rate and lack of substantial exports
to SNEL and ZESCO," says part of a circular written by ZESA chairman Sidney
Gata to Zimbabwean firms that consume a lot of electricity.
"Furthermore, SNEL is also desperate for foreign currency to procure spare
parts for their system in order to sustain exports to ZESA," he
It is understood that because of ZESA's problems, the DRC
firm is now giving first priority to ESKOM and has demanded that Zimbabwe
pays for its electricity imports in US dollars.
"However, as the
US dollars are not available we cannot expect firm supplies from SNEL," Gata
It is now feared that due to acute shortages of hard cash in
Zimbabwe, the country could soon be plunged into darkness unless measures are
taken to ensure adequate foreign currency is available to ZESA.
ZESA and the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe get preferential treatment in
terms of allocations of foreign currency from the central Reserve Bank of
At least 40 percent of all export receipts are
channelled to the two parastatals for power and energy imports but ZESA says
the supply of hard cash from the RBZ has dwindled since the end of
"In view of our current financial problem and, in particular,
our inability to raise foreign currency to pay for our power imports, there
is a serious danger that power imports will be curtailed and
eventually terminated," Gata said.
"This will have very adverse
effects on business operations and indeed the economy at large," he
A power blackout could condemn local industry to further
hardships at a time Zimbabwe is battling to generate foreign currency to
sustain operations and pay for external commitments.
ZESA is now
proposing that Zimbabwean firms pay their electricity accounts in hard
currency or risk having their operations grind to a halt.
solution as a way forward is to ask you, our valued customers, to settle your
electricity account in foreign currency with effect from the July billing,"
Gata's circular said.
"This will be done by dividing your total
electricity bill in Zimbabwe dollars by the official exchange rate ruling on
the billing date," it said.
It is however illegal for ZESA to
charge for electricity in foreign currency because it has not been sanctioned
by the RBZ.
Sources in the banking industry said the central bank
had already written to ZESA instructing it to withdraw the circular because
it was a violation of exchange control regulations.