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

Back to Index

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Sunday Times (SA)

Zimbabwe arrests women marchers

Tuesday September 28, 2004 15:32 - (SA)

HARARE - Dozens of women were arrested in Zimbabwe on Tuesday as they neared
the end of a more than 400-kilometre protest march between Harare and the
second city of Bulawayo, a spokeswoman for the marchers said.

A police spokesman could not immediately confirm the arrests.

Jenni Williams of Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) said all but four of 62
women had been arrested in the town of Norton, southwest of the capital
Harare for staging a street demonstration.

"Apparently the police this morning said WOZA was demonstrating in the
street," said Williams via telephone from the town. "There's four of us not
arrested," she said.

Thirty-five of the women activists began their march more than a week ago to
the capital Harare from the southern city of Bulawayo, which is 440
kilometres from Harare.

Another 27 had driven out from Harare to join them late Monday for the last
leg of the march.

They were due to walk into the capital Wednesday to stage a peaceful protest
outside parliament buildings against a proposed new law banning foreign
human rights groups from operating in Zimbabwe and cutting off outside
funding for local groups engaged in similar work.

The Non-Governmental Organisations Bill, which has been widely condemned by
rights groups at home and abroad, is due to be brought before parliament
early next month, when it is likely to pass into law.

Williams, who has been marching with the women from Bulawayo to Harare, was
not arrested on Tuesday because she had gone to find food for the group at
the time of their arrest.

She said the women were being held at a police station in the town of
Selous, also southwest of Harare.

AFP
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily News online edition

Turning farms into suburbs could be political

Date:28-Sep, 2004


IT has been announced that the government has seized 40 farms around
Harare. It intends to turn them into housing estates.

Some of the farms were owned by a company which bred chickens on a
very large commercial scale. Others were owned by an international cigarette
manufacturing company.

The names of these companies will long be remembered for contributing
to the creation of thousands of jobs and providing consumers with attractive
products.

Like many other free enterprise ventures, the companies were victims
of an economy so mismanaged they decided to scale down or cease their
operations altogether.

The take-over of the farms by the government is a symbol, not of the
success of the agrarian reform programme, but of its dismal failure.

For a country once hailed as the breadbasket of the region, Zimbabwe
is converting farms into real estate.

There is something utterly absurd about this transformation.

The government will inevitably deny that this is another political
gimmick. In the 2005 parliamentary elections, Zanu PF is hoping to regain
all the urban seats it lost to the MDC in 2000.

Giving Harare residents a chance to own residential stands near the
city is obviously going to attract people hard-pressed for housing in the
overcrowded capital.

Zanu PF hopes all this gratitude will translate into votes come March
2005. There is, however, the imponderable likelihood that the voters could
be fickle: they might decide it's not generous enough for them to change
their political allegiance.

It's a chance Zanu PF has to take, although its well-tried alternative
of violence cannot be ruled out entirely.

But the transformation of these farms must surely spell a drop in
agricultural productivity. As most people have understood it, the agrarian
reform programme is designed to boost farm production.

But here we have the government actually preferring urban housing to
farming - as if there was no need to enhance agricultural productivity as a
major component of foreign currency generation.

How a government saddled with a heavy foreign debt and not earning
much foreign currency is going to raise the capital to service the stands is
difficult to imagine.

But as this is mostly a political venture, we can imagine the
government overcoming that hurdle easily, and saddling the taxpayer with
more bills for the future.

Voters must know that Zanu PF is a past master of promising them the
moon at election time, but delivering little afterwards.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Flintoff and Trescothick stay at home

Wisden Cricinfo staff

September 28, 2004

The England selectors today announced their one-day squads to tour Zimbabwe
and South Africa this winter. Andrew Flintoff and Marcus Trescothick were
both rested for the Zimbabwe leg of the trip, and while Ashley Giles was
given the option to rest too, he chose to make himself available.

The squad includes four players new to one-day internationals: Ian Bell,
Simon Jones, Kevin Pietersen and Matt Prior. Flintoff, Giles, Trescothick
and Steve Harmison (who opted out of the Zimbabwe trip on moral grounds last
week) have all been included in the 15-man squad for the one-dayers in South
Africa in the New Year, along with Worcestershire's Kabir Ali.

Darren Gough, written off by many after some lacklustre performances in the
recent Chanmpions Trophy, gets another chance to prolong his dream of
playing in the 2007 World Cup. David Graveney, England's chairman of
selectors, explained that Gough had a lot to offer the younger bowlers, and
would be keen to show that his recent dip in form wasn't terminal.

The South African-born Pietersen, 24, only becomes eligible for full England
selection at the end of October, so has been rushed into the side at the
first opportunity following several productive seasons with Nottinghamshire.
Prior, 22, who was also born in South Africa, impressed on tour with England
A last winter, and has had another good season with the bat for Sussex, for
whom he also keeps wicket.

The concessions made by the ECB management regarding Flintoff and
Trescothick had a trade-off, and that was that Michael Vaughan led the side.
"As the ECB is a member of the global cricket family, we have a duty to
protect the integrity of the international game and ensure that the level of
competition on any England tour is not diluted by the wholesale resting of
players without good reason," said David Morgan, the ECB's chairman. "After
carefully considering the matter, Michael has chosen to lead the team in
Zimbabwe mindful of his responsibilities both to his fellow players and to
the long-term future of cricket in this country. He deserves great credit
for doing so.

"Neither the ECB nor the captain condones the situation in Zimbabwe and I
would like to re-emphasise that the team will not be involved in state
functions during this tour."

"Under normal circumstances, I would have welcomed an extended break after a
long international season," Vaughan explained. "But the England team and the
game as a whole are faced with an extraordinary situation in undertaking
this tour to Zimbabwe. I am proud to be captain of my country and I feel
that I have a duty to my team-mates to lead the team on this tour. It has
taken me considerable time and effort to come to this decision, but
ultimately it was my choice and one that I stand by.

"While I certainly do not condone what is happening in Zimbabwe, I do not
want to shirk my responsibilities as England captain and would not want to
let the burden of captaincy fall onto another player's shoulders."

England will play two warm-up matches in Namibia ahead of the Zimbabwe
series.

England squad to tour Zimbabwe
Michael Vaughan (capt), Vikram Solanki, Andrew Strauss, Ian Bell, Paul
Collingwood, Kevin Pietersen, Matthew Prior, Geraint Jones (wk), Gareth
Batty, Ashley Giles, Simon Jones, Alex Wharf, Darren Gough, James Anderson.

England one-day squad for South Africa
Michael Vaughan (capt), Marcus Trescothick, Vikram Solanki, Andrew Strauss,
Ian Bell, Paul Collingwood, Andrew Flintoff, Geraint Jones (wk), Gareth
Batty, Kabir Ali, Ashley Giles, Alex Wharf, Darren Gough, Steve Harmison,
James Anderson.

Wisden Cricinfo Ltd
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Reuters

England team will not attend state functions in Zimbabwe
Tue 28 September, 2004 16:19

By John Mehaffey

LONDON, Sept 28 (Reuters) - England's cricketers will not attend any state
functions during their tour of Zimbabwe in November, England Cricket Board
(ECB) chairman David Morgan said on Tuesday.

In a statement on the ECB's website Morgan said neither the board nor
captain Michael Vaughan condoned the situation in the African state.

"I would like to re-emphasise that the team will not be involved in state
functions during this tour," Morgan said.

Britain has campaigned for Commonwealth sanctions against Zimbabwe President
Robert Mugabe because of his redistribution of white-owned farms to landless
blacks and his 2002 re-election in a poll which international observers said
was gravely flawed.

Vaughan was named on Tuesday to lead a 14-man squad for the five one-day
internationals in Zimbabwe, although he said he would have welcomed a break
after a long international season.

Steve Harmison, the world's top-ranked bowler, asked the selectors to omit
him from the tour for political reasons. Batsman Andrew Strauss expressed
reservations but was named in the squad.

"I am proud to be captain of my country and feel that I have a duty to my
team mates to lead the team on this tour," Vaughan said.

"While I certainly do not condone what is happening in Zimbabwe, I do not
want to shirk my responsibilities as England captain and would not want to
let the burden of responsibility to fall on another player's shoulders."

Last year England, captained by Vaughan's predecessor Nasser Hussain, pulled
out of a World Cup one-day match in Zimbabwe because of what the ECB said
were security concerns.

In March the International Cricket Council said any country refusing to
fulfil their tour obligations for anything other than security reasons or
governmental direction would face a minimum $2 million fine and possible
suspension.


COMPLICATED

The position was further complicated in June when Zimbabwe agreed to
postpone their remaining tests this year after a dispute in which their
cricket board sacked 15 of the country's leading white players.

The conflict started on April 2 when Heath Streak was dismissed as national
captain after questioning the composition of the selection panel.

Fourteen of his team mates aligned themselves with Streak and the group
demanded arbitration on his removal from the captaincy and the composition
of the selection board.

The ICC will hold a three-day hearing, starting on Wednesday, in Harare into
allegations that the team was being selected on racial grounds.

In his forthcoming autobiography, Hussain is highly critical of both the ICC
and the ECB over their roles at the World Cup.

In a passage quoted in the Daily Mail on Tuesday, Hussain said ICC chief
executive Malcolm Speed had treated the team dismissively by speaking to
them for only half an hour to explain his viewpoint.

He said the ECB and its chief executive Tim Lamb had then used "emotional
blackmail" to try to force the team to play in Zimbabwe.

"At one point Lamb broke down and cried in front of me," Hussain said. "A
number of our players and officials disliked him. He would always say the
wrong thing."

Hussain said the ECB had then changed tack when they were told that
protesters in Zimbabwe represented a genuine threat to the team's safety.

"They insisted on saying we had made our decision purely on safety grounds
but it wasn't like that," he said. "Safely was a consideration but the
decision was made overwhelmingly for moral reasons."

Back to the Top
Back to Index

News24


Hearing into racism begins
28/09/2004 18:10 - (SA)


Harare - Several of the white former Zimbabwe cricketers who
were sacked by the Zimbabwe Cricket Union earlier this year will make
opening statements alleging ZCU racism when a formal hearing ordered by the
International Cricket Council gets under way here on Wednesday.

Their evidence will be preceded by an opening statement from
attorney Chris Venturas, who has represented the 15 players in dispute with
ZCU ever since the removal of national captain Heath Streak six months ago.

And at some stage he will give evidence of a private nature to
allege racism against him personally by ZCU directors.

The players wanted a leading advocate, Adrian de Bourbon, but
were unable to afford him.

The ZCU is expected to be represented by advocate Chris
Andersen, who has been briefed by their own attorney and former president
Alwyn Pichanick.

The hearing, which is expected to take at least two days, will
be held at the Crowne Plaza hotel in downtown Harare, and will be not be
open to the media and public.


Back to the Top
Back to Index

New Zimbabwe

Mapfumo's controversial album frozen out of airwaves

By Showbiz Reporter
Last updated: 09/28/2004 22:56:33
THOMAS Mapfumo's latest album Chaputika, released in Zimbabwe last Friday,
has been banned from state radio for its lyrics interpreted as critical of
President Robert Mugabe's regime.

The album, whose release was delayed for months, has been snapped-up from
the music shelves, and by noon on Saturday, an intial 15 000 CDs put out on
Friday had been finished, according to early figures released by Metro
Record Company.

Only one less controversial track has been played on all the ZBC's radio
stations, and a Radio Zimbabwe DJ told us: "It doesn't necessarily have to
be an instruction from the top. Most of the guys here practise
self-censorship and everyone is scared of playing that CD."

The 10-track album has been described as an artistic triumph by music
critics. The album is a mixture of old Mapfumo classics and new songs all
recorded during a live performance before a sell-out crowd in Milton Keynes,
England.

Previous attempts to record the new album failed after album material twice
disappeared at a Harare recording studio.

Probably the most controversial song on the album, the number 5 track Masoja
neMapurisa (Soldiers and Police) opens with the line "Mamvemveeee!", another
Mapfumo classic which was banned from the airwaves. In the song, Mapfumo
asks an unnamed politician, thought to be President Mugabe, what he would do
if the police and soldiers that he has been sending to beat up innocent
civilians suddenly refused to take his orders.

"Tinotizira kure vasatibata/Tinotizira kunyika dzavamwe (We will flee so
that they don't catch us/We will seek sanctuary in foreign lands)," the
politician responds in the chorus.

He then reminds the politician of the fate of African dictators like Mobutu
Sese Seko [Zaire (now DRC)] and Idi Amin (Uganda) who both died in exile
after the collapse of their autocratic regimes.

Rodreck Chipezeze, of Quality Video and Film Productions UK, the producers
of the album, said: "It has been well received in Zimbabwe and more copies
are being released to the record bars."
The album CHAPUTIKA is on sale at Spinalong, Express and Edgars Stores. In
the UK the album is already out and is available from Sterns Music in London
(http://www.sternsmusic.co.uk). Alternatively you can contact 02075824343 or
07968129345

Back to the Top
Back to Index

BBC

Zimbabwe tour will benefit no-one


By Jonathan Agnew
BBC cricket correspondent


Every aspect of the Zimbabwe tour has been mired in controversy, which
even the selection process did not escape.

The selectors - David Graveney, Rod Marsh and Geoff Miller - together
with the coach, Duncan Fletcher, originally came up with a squad of players
which, they felt, was strong enough to beat the badly depleted Zimbabwe
team.

The squad would also serve England's priority to rest jaded, key
players.

One of these was Michael Vaughan, the captain.

For David Morgan, the chairman of the board, this was one step too
far.

He is right to say that England is part of a global cricketing
community and, therefore, responsible for sending the strongest possible
team.

But Vaughan has been on the 'go' - just like Andrew Flintoff, Marcus
Trescothick and Ashley Giles - since February.

For the chairman of the board to overrule the selectors and coach, who
were implementing their responsibility in planning for the long-term benefit
of the England team, is extraordinary.

However, there have been a number of times these past six months when
the ECB really should have taken a step back, and viewed the situation from
a more realistic situation in order to obtain a stronger position.

The ECB's handling of the whole Zimbabwe issue has been weak, in
order to appease the ICC

It is true the ECB's relationship with other members of the
International Cricket Council is poor, to put it mildly.

The leaking of Des Wilson's document, which gave guidelines of how
England might opt out of tours on moral or political grounds, was
disastrous, and was the last straw for a number of county chairmen.

But the ECB's handling of the whole Zimbabwe issue has been weak, in
order to appease the ICC, and the players have been left in the front line
even though the board claimed it would not put them in that difficult
position again.

Even the warm-up to the series is bizarre.

The South African cricket board apparently refused to cooperate with
England's desire to practice in Johannesburg.

This could be a decision that could be deeply embarrassing to them if
the ICC's inquiry into racism within Zimbabwean cricket substantiates the
allegations made by Heath Streak and his fellow white players.

Memories of the highly successful sporting boycott against South
Africa appear to have faded fast within that country's new cricket
administration.

So, England will head for Namibia instead, and play two games there
before travelling for Harare on 24 November for a series that nobody - other
than the cash-strapped Zimbabwe Cricket Union - appears to want.

And which, in cricketing terms, promises to be utterly meaningless.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

News24

Zim soothes panic run on banks
28/09/2004 15:23 - (SA)


Harare - The state central bank tried to stem panic withdrawals from several
troubled banks on Tuesday, saying it won't let the finance houses collapse,
state radio reported.

A run on banks has been triggered by a September 30 deadline set by the
Reserve Bank for all financial institutions to declare their capital
reserves and show they have enough liquidity to continue operating, or face
being shut down.

State radio quoted Central Bank Governor Gideon Gono saying banks showing
inadequate capital reserves will be helped to "regularize in a manner that
is non-disruptive".

Central bank officials would work with shareholders, directors and managers
to keep troubled institutions afloat by recapitalising them, he said.

"The market is therefore being advised to continue conducting banking
business in a calm manner ... The deadline would not translate into a
free-fall Armageddon for the banking system as some have been speculating,"
Gono said.

A rush for cash emptied many automatic teller machines in Harare during the
weekend. Some lines have formed outside banks during business hours since
the closure on Thursday of the locally owned Trust Bank.

The central bank put Trust Bank under the curatorship of an independent
accounting expert and said its assets were being frozen for six months.

Three other locally owned banks have been closed while being put under
fiscal supervision this year, with central bank-appointed curators sent in
to try and resuscitate them.

The central bank said Trust Bank's own plans to seek new investors and shore
up its viability had failed.

Trust Bank is one of a dozen local banks licensed to black owners after the
government said it wanted to break a banking monopoly traditionally held by
the main international banks.

In a total of 41 banking institutions, including loan funds and small asset
management firms, six are under the supervision of curators and two are
being wound up by liquidators.

Gono last week told a parliamentary committee on the economy that another
nine institutions were expected not to be able to meet the September 30
deadline to show they had minimum capital reserves of Zim$10bn (R12m).

Zimbabwe is suffering its worst economic crisis since independence with an
inflation rate of 314%, the highest in the world, and soaring unemployment.

Since 2000, the agriculture-based economy has been crippled by the often
violent seizure of thousands of white-owned commercial farms.

Shortages of gasoline, food, hard currency and even local bank notes spurred
speculation that gave finance houses a boom.

Businessmen were borrowing money to invest in cars, scarce imports, building
materials and hard currency in expectation of quick profits as prices rose
with inflation.

But a sudden drop in consumer demand, coupled with sharply rising interest
rates at the end of last year, left many speculators unable to repay their
bank loans.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

News24

Zim hotels 'full of spies'
28/09/2004 13:52 - (SA)

Media 24 Africa Bureau



Zimbabwe's hotels and resorts, which are surviving only because of workshops
and congresses, are now coming under threat by security police who use the
establishments to spy on members of non-governmental organisations and
opposition groups.

An investigation by Zimbabwe's weekly newspaper, The Standard, revealed that
holiday resorts at Mutirikwi lake were often visited by Central Intelligence
Organisation members and the so-called Green Bombers, Zanu-PF youth gangs.

They visit the resorts in the hope of tracking down members of the Movement
for Democratic Changes (MDC), the Zimbabwean Congress of Trade Unions and
NGOs such as the National Constitutional Assembly, which is lobbying for a
new constitution.

Hotel staff told The Standard they were particularly concerned about the
regular visits of CIO members and the Green Bombers as their presence
frightened off visitors.

"Only last week three CIO members, who I can identify, stormed into the
hotel looking for union officials, who they said were here for a seminar,"
said one staff member.

"Attempts to keep them out of the conference hall were useless and shortly
afterwards our guests left the hotel. This isn't good for the tourism
industry."'

The number of visitors to Zimbabwe dropped by 36% in the first half of this
year. However, the government is now trying to attract tourists from Asian
countries, including China.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

28 September 2004

PRESIDENT TSVANGIRAI'S TUESDAY MESSAGE TO THE PEOPLE OF ZIMBABWE



Zimbabweans live with the crude fact that the past five years have turned
our entire national resource base into dead capital. Land no longer has any
economic value. Labour, despite its high quality, impressive literacy levels
and agility, lies untapped, dead.



With 85 percent unemployment, labour has indeed become a dead economic
resource.

Highly mechanised farms, expensive farm machinery, first class hotels,
lodges and holiday facilities, developed conservancies and wildlife
sanctuaries, well-equipped hospitals and a glossy mining, manufacturing and
service infrastructure stands idle. We all know that our base is wasting
away; plenty of dead capital in our midst.



That this should have been allowed to happen in a country once generally
described as the jewel of Africa beggars belief, the more so since the
wounds have been self-inflicted.



We have witnessed our country slide into a subsistence economy in short
space of five years. Nobody disputes the fact that we have joined the ranks
of failed states. And, indications are that unless we stop the rot through
a national resistance project, we risk slipping further into disparate
hunter-gatherer communities, led by senile warlords using an outdated
nationalistic ideology as a survival tool.



The reality reads like high-grade fiction: our gross domestic product is
down by half from US$8,4 billion to US$4,1 billion; our productive
population lost an estimated four million active, young adults to the
Diaspora; food availability is down 60 percent; exports down to a third of
the 1999 levels; life expectancy down from 59 to 33 years; tourism dropped
80 percent of its traditional market share; industry is tottering at 30
percent capacity; the list is endless.



Let me point out that in the five-year political chaos, close to two million
people were displaced by the regime's land reform exercise. Compare that to
a mere 130 000 who were officially resettled.



Among the so-called farmers, who were misled and used in driving out white
farmers and pave the way for fake Zanu PF victories in two previous
elections, insecurity reigns supreme as their mud huts and measly
possessions are being torched and destroyed daily to make way for the ruling
elite.



A major casualty of Zanu PF's emotional behaviour and political greed has
been the job-creation sectors of our economy.



Opportunities were shut out overnight as terrified investors scurried for
cover; as tourists felt so frightened to sample out world-class products;
and as established businesses, especially in agriculture and agro-industry
were hounded out, all in the name of correcting historical backlogs and
imbalances.



Overnight 15 000 people who benefited from agro-industrial units like
Kondozi were pushed back to their villages in Marange (Manicaland) --
hungry, hopeless and confused - all for a worthless political victory.



The main productive sectors have been on a downward trend since 1999, this
has had a serious effect on the general welfare of the majority of
Zimbabweans.



The primary economic barometer of the country's standard of living (per
capita income) has declined substantially since then. The extent of the
decay can best be illustrated by the fact that in 1999, workers campaigned
for a minimum wage of Z$5 000. Today, they need $1 500 000 to scrap through
a normal month.



Given the above undisputed facts, our calls for a new start, a new beginning
and a new Zimbabwe show us the only way forward. At the centre of our
economic and reconstruction plans is the need to knock-down and restructure
government, to institutionalise participatory decision-making and to devolve
of power in order to ring fence our nation against costly political mistakes
such as what we witnessed in the past five years.



Our objective is to see a secure society with full employment, a society
that enjoys universal benefits and rights. Our objective is to place solid
safeguards for job security as a first step towards total empowerment.



What Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF sought to do was to drive everybody away from
the current international industrialisation thrust to a subsistence way of
life. No nation has ever progressed through that route. The global trend
supports the movement of people from the land to industry, towards exports
and to international competition.



Agriculture, which has been the mainstay of the economy in terms of foreign
currency generation (34 percent attributed to tobacco), 30 percent of total
employment and food self-sufficiency has suffered the greatest knock. We
shall fight hard to revive that sector as a matter of urgency in order to
increase the labour absorptive capacity of the industry.



The manufacturing sector contributed 25 percent to GDP in 1980 and was one
of the most advanced and diversified industrial sectors in sub Saharan
Africa, has not been spared in the economic downturn. The sector registered
negative year to year growth from 1999 to this day, shedding off hundreds of
thousands of workers in the process.



Our economic policy realises the severity of the crisis. Our policy seeks to
address our immediate stabilisation and reconstruction needs as a basis for
a comprehensive industrialisation strategy through which jobs and growth
shall be sustained in the long term. The level of unemployment here is a
national disaster, a national emergency.



We have job creation plan that will see an upsurge in new formal-sector jobs
within the first year of assuming power. Through macro-economic stability,
we shall provide a favourable environment for the resumption of savings and
investment in our country.



That environment shall open-up opportunities for the construction industry,
a major source of employment alongside agriculture. The reconstruction phase
will call for increased labour as we put together our damaged infrastructure
and new facilities for a nation emerging from a war-like situation.



We shall support initiatives from small businesses with access to capital,
through training, input supply and other services to encourage job creation.



The revival of tourism will see our resorts and holiday destinations spring
to life once more, attracting and accommodating thousands of job-seekers and
increasing our foreign exchange inflows. With such a development comes with
advances in the transport, food, art and craft industries.



Agriculture, manufacturing, mining and commerce and industry shall be the
major beneficiary of a new Zimbabwe.



There will be early opportunities in the mining industry, while recovery in
commercial agriculture and the manufacturing sector - the two extremely
damaged in the past five years - could be more protracted unless we get
sufficient balance of payment support.



The key to the re-generation of faith and confidence in a new Zimbabwe rests
with the restoration of the rule of law and the protection of private
property rights -- principles to which we are religiously committed as a
party.



We shall mount an immigration and resettlement campaign for the prime minds
of our estimated four million nationals plying their trade in foreign lands.
That campaign has among its elements a relocation package, assured
employment and associated benefits to reduce our reliance of expatriates and
to reduce our labour imports.



To absorb the shocks of the current damage, our initial stabilisation
challenge shall be to tackle the nexus of inflation, interest rates and
exchange rates in order to steady prices, encourage savings and restore
sanity on the market.



Zimbabwe must re-gain its former position in Africa, dismantle the present
economic structure which favours a male-dominated formal sector and harness
all our national resources for development. We must make a fresh start.



Together, we shall win.



Morgan Tsvangirai

President.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily News online edition

Ex-workers drag Gono to court

Date:29-Sep, 2004


Former workers of the Gold Mining and Minerals Development Trust have
dragged Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono to the labour court in a bid to
determine their status at the central bank.

Gono allegedly shut down the Gold Mining and Minerals Development
Trust after he told 22 workers of the trust that he would employ them in a
new trust he was scheduled to establish.

He is yet to establish the new trust.

The trust was responsible for sourcing gold from mines and acted as an
agent between the RBZ and Fidelity Printers which buys gold from miners.

The trust was also responsible for gathering minerals data for the
RBZ, projecting how much gold mines would produce during a set period of
time. It provided statistics for the RBZ. The RBZ paid the salaries of the
trust's workers.

The workers have now taken their case to the Labour Court for a legal
determination on their status.

Information supplied to The Daily News Online indicates that as soon
as he came in as the RBZ governor, he allegedly vowed to remove all the
people who had worked for subsidiary companies of the RBZ because they were
part of the old system of "incompetence and corruption".

A senior worker at the now defunct Gold Mining and Minerals
Development Trust said Gono made it abundantly clear to them that he would
punish them.

Gono allegedly told the board of trustees chaired by Nhlanhla Masuku
that he had dissolved the mining trust and was forming a successor trust to
collaborate with his monetary policy objectives.

The Gold Mining and Minerals Development Trust were founded by the
former RBZ governor Leonard Tsumba.

"We have been forced to close down our four regional offices in
Kwekwe, Bulawayo, Mutare and the head office in Harare," the employee said.
"The main reason is that we owe our creditors several millions of dollars in
unpaid rentals and telephone bills. They have started attaching our
property."

The official said the governor had asked them to submit a working
budget for the year so that he could facilitate the payment of their
salaries. They submitted their budget but the last disbursement of money
from the RBZ was in March.

The workers have not been paid since June.

According to the official, their predicament came about as a result of
Gono's "vindictive behavuiour" towards former RBZ workers, including
governors.

The official said the understanding was that the RBZ would give funds
for mining development programmes.

"Despite Gono's claims that he dissolved our trust, all the workers in
Harare still report for duty because our contracts have not been terminated.
Those in the regions no longer go because they have been barred by the
messengers of court after over three months default on paying rentals. They
have been thrown out of their offices. More property is set to be attached."

The official said the last meeting they held with Gono and his team
from the RBZ was in April when they agreed to form a successor trust and
requested them to submit a salary bill, promising to continue working with
them.

"Gono then claimed he wanted a meeting with our chairman but later
reneged on that pledge," the official said. "That was the last we heard from
Gono. As workers we have now taken our case to the Labour Court for an
urgent hearing.

"We are told that the hearing is within a fortnight. The basis of our
court action is that the workers are being discharged without being given
notices of termination, without salaries and without their contracts being
terminated."

On Sunday, Masuku refused to comment on the issue. He said: "I do not
need the media to be writing on this matter. I am flying out of Zimbabwe and
I do not have time to talk to you about the trust. Why is it news to you?"

Other members in the Masuku-led trust are Violet Madzimbamuto, Chief
Cyprian Malisa, Doctor Shandral Mandal, Samuel Ngwenya, Doctor Nyepudzai
Nyangulu and Engineer Charles Chipato.

Fortune Chasi, the RBZ spokesman was yesterday said to be out of his
office when The Daily News Online sought his comment.

The workers' lawyer Tendai Biti was yesterday not available for
comment. The other lawyer only identified as Machingauta was unavailable for
comment.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily News online edition

Harare may fail to raise $49 billion to revamp city's water
infrastructure

Date:29-Sep, 2004


HARARE - The Harare city council is unlikely to raise $49 billion on
the market needed to upgrade its crumbling water infrastructure because its
accounts are in tatters, the city's residents association has said.

Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) chairman, Mike Davies
told the Daily News Online it would be difficult, if not impossible for the
to city borrow money because its accounts had not been audited for years.

"It's unlikely that they will be able to raise the money. What is most
likely to happen is that the government will direct certain financial
institutions to purchase bonds from the city of Harare," Davies said.

The government last week granted the city council authority to borrow
$49 billion so that it can revamp its water infrastructure following weeks
of water cuts and related problems in the city.

Davies said whichever way the money was raised, residents would bear
the costs in interest rates and this was unwarranted in the face of
deteriorating services.

He said pumping money into the Harare city council would not help the
water crisis in the city unless the crisis of governance that the city and
the government were facing were resolved.

"We need to sort out the politics before we can sort out the technical
side," Davies said.

He said in the absence of a democratically elected council, city
residents could not support the local authority financially or in any other
way.

The decisions made at Town House, Davies said, were not legitimate as
they "are made by Chombo, Mangwende, Chideya and Makwavarara their puppet."

Ignatius Chombo is the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and
National Housing, Witness Mangwende is the Governor for Harare province,
Nomutsa Chideya is the town clerk while Makwavarara is the acting mayor.

Harare has been without a substantive mayor since last year following
the firing of Elias Mudzuri. It is operating with only four councilors after
several councillors were suspended on flimsy grounds and the remainder
resigned in solidarity with their colleagues.

Back to the Top
Back to Index