Memo to Mugabe: Sata just not bothered

via Mugabe memo: Sata just not bothered 03/11/2013 by Tafadzwa Musarara for NewZimbabwe

FOR more than 20 years after Independence, President Robert Mugabe gave with a shovel to Zambians and he is now receiving a spoonful of assistance. Siamese twins my foot!

In the past three decades Zambia and Zimbabwe have never both enjoyed economic prosperity at the same time and hence many expected that, in the African spirit of neighborliness, the two would equally reciprocate by assisting each other during times of need.

The attitude of Zambia’s post Kenneth Kaunda presidency towards Zimbabwe has never shared our affliction. The major commodity traded by these two former British colonies since black majority rule is maize. Millions of tones of maize were exported to Zambia from Zimbabwe up to about 2003. In fact, Zimbabwe over exported and ran down her Strategic Grain Reserve in early 2000s to help arrest the biting food shortage prevalent in Zambia at that time.

Zimbabwe has been battling to attain above national requirement maize harvest since 2002, leaving the country with no choice but to get maize from Zambia, which was, ironically at that time, enjoying bumper harvest. Zambia has been demanding upfront cash payment and when these payments are made, there have been and still react very painfully slow in preparing the maize stocks for dispatch.

The Food Reserve Agency Zambia (FRAZ), has the habit of holding hundreds of Grain Marketing Board hired trucks stranded at the collection points for several days before loading. The maize, in many cases, is fumigated on the supposed date of collection, delaying the loading for a period of more than 2 weeks as the chemicals subside. The loading is manual and very time consuming.

In 2006, in an attempt to quicken the loading process, GMB had to send over a hundred personnel to load the maize but the Zambian Immigration Department changed its mind a few hours later and ordered the whole team back to Zimbabwe before they even started work.

It must noted that at all material times, Zambia bought maize from Zimbabwe on various terms other than cash. In fact, as late as May 2013, Zambia still owed Zimbabwe for maize sold in 2002.  We now hear that Michael Sata Administration is demanding cash upfront. Is this how Siamese twins treat each other?

One must be pardoned for trying hard not to vomit and frown when the Zambian Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Ndiyoyi Mutiti, appeared on national television and said: “The decision was made long ago that Zambia is going to give Zimbabwe maize and the decision was made at the highest level so there is no backtracking. Usually when technocrats work on the modalities of implementing a decision, sometimes they run into bottlenecks and these are the bottlenecks that both Zambia and Zimbabwe are committed to ironing out. So as President [Michael] Sata said, he does not want the people of Zimbabwe to starve in as much as he does not want the people of Zambia to starve.”

The madam Ambassador must tell us whether the maize is strictly on cash basis or open account terms, which Zimbabwe used to extend to her country. There are no bottlenecks here and technocrats must not be sacrificed for diplomatic expediency.

Several Zimbabwean millers and grain traders were owed more than US$12M dollars of maize as at February 2013, which was prepaid more than two years earlier.  Its practically impossible to litigate against The Food Reserve Agency Zambia (FRAZ) and so the best one can do is to bribe FRAZ officials so that you may start receiving the maize you had paid for.

Historically, Zambia has never been receptive to Zimbabwean exports opting to favor South African products. In 2001, Zimtrade, the country’s export promotion body, opened a permanent office in Lusaka and also a trading warehouses that sought to ensure that Zimbabwean products were always available in Zambia. This was done to countenance the emerging South Africa hegemony on the Zambia economy which saw several shopping centres built by Old Mutual South Africa to house South African retail chains such as Shoprite, Game and many others.

The Zimbabwe Trading House, which was operated jointly with a Zambian company, Sulmach Limited, closed prematurely when then Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa slapped a ban on number of Zimbabwean products.

The Financial Gazette of 16 October 2003 reported that “An ambitious bonded warehouse project established in Zambia about two years ago has collapsed on the back of a ban imposed on Zimbabwean products by President Levy Mwanawasa’s government.

“The ban, which was reserved on certain products, had the effect of cutting off supplies into the warehouse – Zambia Trading House (ZTH) – established by ZimTrade to improve dwindling foreign exchange receipts.”

When Hillary Clinton, the former USA Secretary of State, met Michael Sata on 11 June 2011, Zimbabwe was not topical in their discussions. The Siamese twin did not make efforts to lobby for the removal of economic sanctions illegally imposed on the other twin who gives passage of goods from the sea to the other Siamese twin.

Zimbabwe is learning the hard way that it is important to retain  former maize output status that saw us exporting excess production. Zambians cannot be counted as our allies but a neighbour who happened to be there by virtue of geography. Many Zimbabwean businesses have tried to open and run businesses in Zambia but found the environment harsh for them.  Let’s till the land seriously this season and grow our own food because we are on our own.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 35
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    It’s called sadcc management by crisis!!!!

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    Tiger Shona 8 years ago

    ” Let’s till the land seriously this season and grow our own food because we are on our own.”

    What an idiot! It is not going to happen

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    from SA 8 years ago

    “vomit and frown”? “iron out a bottleneck”? “The Siamese twin did not make efforts to lobby for the removal of economic sanctions illegally imposed on the other twin who gives passage of goods from the sea to the other Siamese twin.”
    Huh?
    Who is the Musarara who wrote this drivel? And why does Zimbabwesituation give it credence by publishing it?

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    White farmers which were thrown out by Mugabe are the ones who tilt to Zambia’s favour

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    Austin Vuma 8 years ago

    Lets call them back. We are fools lets admit!

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    goodlife 8 years ago

    my foot! so you want to buy maize from the white farmers whom we kicked out from Zimbabwe hakuna mablack farmers here ikoko kuZambia kwacho. What about our dear gud friend China cant they bail us out of this one!

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    Bazur Wa KuMuzi 8 years ago

    This article can only harden the attitude of the Zambian technocrats. The tendency by Zanupf people to go even to unsubstantiated histories is absurd. The article does not mention that whites whose propertiers (not Zimbabwean land) were forcibly seized went to Zambia. Its them who are producing part of that maize and they need their money now. Its not the former ruling parties who are producing maize today in Zambia. So cash up front! Some of the farmers lost livestock such as cattle and agricultural machinery to Zanupf gurus. Truely they cannot sell their produce on open credit.

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    Its not politicians who produce and in Zambia we have seen that parties come and go. Zambia today is different from the Zambia of 20 years ago. If the white farmers are now producing part of the maize it goes without saying that they want to be paid as early as possible. Who ever consumes their produce must pay up front or very short term credit. Period! After all they lost their cattle and machinery to Zanupf gurus.

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    gorongoza 8 years ago

    use diamond money to pay food for the people not to enrich a few connected pple incl the state president! we are tired of this. i am sure if it was another country in europe you would call them sanctions, but now its zambia. pay and get what you need! do you also give diamonds to zambia for free?

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    Someone told me very recently that Madam Ambassador at a meeting, if one read between the very open lines, practically fell over herself thanking Zimbabwe for the gift of experienced ex Zimbabwean commercial farmers. Surely, ZPF threw the baby out with the bath water. They could have appropriated enough land to do a peaceful and orderly land reform and retain many commercial farmers on a restructured fair and equitable land basis. There is enough land for all if we et common sense and wisdom prevail. And it is not too late!

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    munzwa 8 years ago

    whats harsh about doing business in Zambia, the place is progressing at a phenomenal rate.I believe a lot of the maize loaded destined for Zim from Zambia and Malawi had been stolen and diverted north!!

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    Jrr56 8 years ago

    All this reminds me of Kaunda basing his economy on copper to the detriment of farming. Result, a collapse in the economy of Zambia. Mugabe/Zimbabwe seem to see the diamonds to be the basis of the economy. Like Zambia they will perish. Short sighted politicians are plentiful. Bring back Biti

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    Shebah 8 years ago

    Austin Vhuma we are not fools. come to my farm and see for yourself. I have 10 tons maize reserve but GMB can not buy cash, so I sell direct nebucket to those without. The farms have really transformed individuals, but not all are enterprising. However, the farm is also a home regardless of your production.

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    Chitova weGona 8 years ago

    Musarara ndiJoseph Made. Zanu took land from commercial farmers and fled to Zambia. Now they are producing for Zambia. Why follow their maize when they are not wanted here in Zim? Sata puwa cash dnt listen to Mugabe. Riots wl come soon in Zim.

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    Johnny k 8 years ago

    In Zimbabwe in the early 2000’s ZANU stole the land from white farmers and in many cases stole the crop from the farmer as it was ready to reap. The age old saying “You cannot reap what you did not sow” comes to mind. A good number of the Zimbabwean white farmers moved to Zambia, started from scratch, borrowing money against cast iron lease agreements. These farmers are now providing the excess maize that is available for sale. I would hazard a guess that these farmers want to be paid for their produce. I suggest that they are asking for payment of the maize because they know if President Sata gives it to Mugabe before they are paid they will never see the money. I would suggest that a new saying should be written ” You cannot eat for free forever what someone else produces.” Mugabe and ZANU are thieves, they have taken maize from thousands of peasant farmers in Manoti and Kana areas in 2006 and this has never been paid for and the thousands of tons of maize went rotten in the stack. Maybe try printing Ma US$ in bearer cheques and offer it to the Zambian farmers in exchange for their maize. They will be told to F”^k off

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    Johnny k 8 years ago

    Shebah, I bet you are sitting on 1000 acres or more of stolen farmland and are only able to produce an excess of 10 tons of maize?? Where is you sense of duty anyway?? you should give it to your people for free. After all, you probably took the land for free.

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    Every white farmer is business minded, they can only grow maize for fattening their cattle that make more cash. Avail to me GMB stats that indicate White farmers produced the bulk of maize that trickled to GMB even before 2000. I know they will always prefer cash crops and maize is not one.

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    farai 8 years ago

    There is an oft peddled but never substantiated claim that former Rhodesian farmers are responsible for Zambia’s maize surplus. I doubt that it’s true. A few years back Malawi used to produce a maize surplus on the strength of massive donor funding of subsidized inputs. A tiff with the then Prezee, the surplus became a shortfall in one season as donors in unison all withdrew their funding. No Rhodies there, locals chete! What’s going in in Zambia? They would need at lease a thousand Nicoles to produce enough maize for themselves and everyone else. I guess hardly a hundred are in Zambia now, 200 are still farming here and they can’t produce the surplus. What’s going on?

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      Angel 8 years ago

      But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

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      Tyler 8 years ago

      There are fewer than 200 white farmers left. That’s a fact. There are so few, in fact, that the Commercial Farmer’s Union isn’t even holding its annual congress. However, there are more than 300,000 farmers overall in the country. Why are they not feeding the nation? Where is the subsidy?

      No, Zambia has benefited from the Rhodie farmers because, not only are they farming, but they have created programmes to train existing farmers in the country as well. They’ve helped to refine the Zambian farming process which includes farming a maize surplus to include food and animal feed.

      But, it doesn’t matter that there are white farmers in Zambia. Of course there are. The blatant and unfortunate fact was that land reform wasn’t handled appropriately and smoothly, with farms lying derelict for months before farming by new owners or tenants began. Zimbabwe will be on its feet again, but it will take some time.

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    Tabvuma 8 years ago

    Indirectly it shows that the present government has no support from its so called neighbours, because Mugabe has shown for years that he is arrogant , bullish and spiteful to those that do not agree with his policies. Where is China?

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    Pastor 8 years ago

    Can somebody please inform us what has happened to all those farms which have been looted by the Ali-Baba and his thieves?

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    gabarinocheka mugabe 8 years ago

    Unbelievable tafadzwa musarara , Zambia has got no obligation whatsoever to support us .zvauri kutaura zvakafanana nekuti baba vepa next door must feed us and clothe us . dai wanyora zvekuti ma next elections toita sei netransparency zvimwe

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    Pastor 8 years ago

    With another 5 years in power, Mugabe promises to expand his “indigenization” policy, whose failure would beget a drying up of foreign investment and increased economic isolation.This year Mugabe will be spending the billions of dollars looted from the people to buy the people’s votes so he can steal from them for another five more years. He is confident that the people are too stupid to realize he is using their own money to help him steal some more money from them and make their lives even more miserable.Unemployment is seating at a nauseating 90% and the money that should have been used to get the national economy back on its feet.

    The wealth from the Marange diamonds valued at $800 billion; used wisely could get Zimbabwe back to where it was in 1980 in 25 years. So far the diamond windfall has largely disappeared and shared out amongst the same looting class! Mugabe has no intention of getting the looting class to give up the farms and everything else they have looted. Indeed Mugabe’s solution to the nation is that we will all prosper if we loot(indigenize)! As always it is the looting class who get even richer whilst the rest sink even deeper in the economic hell. More looting is not going to revive the Zimbabwe economy and create the much needed employment. More looting is not going to get the 90% unemployed back to work, but will keep them there.

    The people of Zimbabwe are poor, ignorant, but they are not stupid.The nation is live in abject poverty because of all the 33 years of mismanagement, corruption and looting by Mugabe and his cronies.Like it or not Zimbabweans are unbelievable gullible and naïve – let’s hope they are not unbelievable stupid too! Do not hold your breath!One consequence of indigenization reforms will result in a sharp decline in capital inflows and foreign-investment, simply because few investors, be they from the West or elsewhere, want to be stripped of half a business after pouring in the capital and know-how. Just as the land seizures created instability and eventual normalization, there is a strong possibility that further reforms will create turbulence and economic insecurity if ZANU-PF fails to ensure a smooth and harmonized investment environment. What do you believe that they will do ?

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    Mr Mixed Race 8 years ago

    Hon.Shebah you must learn to tell the truth about your maize reserves because a few days ago you claimed that you have in excess of 20 tonnes, now that figure has dropped to only 10 tonnes.In my personal opinion you are not a serious farmer but a cellphone farmer.We need serious farmers to feed our people. I pray that you do not ruin that fertile land you have and turn it to a desert.Let us be honorable citizens and protect our land.

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    Chivulamapoti 8 years ago

    My brother moved from Zimbabwe to Zambia after selling his farm to another white farmer, for a pretty penny. He now farms 13,000 hectares, 20 miles outside Livingston. He has 200 hectares are irrigation, from the Zambezi, producing fruit, vegetables, legumes and flowers for the local market and the luxury hotels on both sides of the Falls. He has 2000 hectares under maize, at 8-9 tonnes/hectare. This is sold, cash up front, to ZANU-PF.
    His tobacco is better than it was in Zimbabwe, and Imperial Grade crop produces almost 2000kg/hectare. He also has his Jersey and Hereford cattle that were trucked up from his Bindura farm, on the Mazoe River. They have increased their number 600% in 8 years. I visit him often and although I live as a retiree in Avondale, love Zambia. I am thinking of buying a second home on the banks of the majestic Zambezi. Zambian farmers from Zimbabwe, and earlier from Rhodesia-Zimbabwe, are doing extremely well, as usual. There are also many in Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania and Mozambique as well. Zimbabwe is NOT the end all or be all people, just another African stop-over for Colonists like the Shona, Chinese or British, it doesn’t matter who. The rains have started in Livingstone and are it promises to be another ‘bumper’ year!

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      Tendai Sangi 8 years ago

      @chivulamapoti… Your very right Zim is not the end all etc.. I visited Northern Tanzania in a town called USA River 30 minutes drive from the lovely East African capital Arusha. A former Zim farmer has a farm that left me speechless with its majestic size and crops and animals.

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    farai 8 years ago

    @chivulamapoti, congratulations on your brother’s achievement. 13000 ha, wow! You forgot to tell us how he did it? How did he get the land? Are his beast on some fertility drug? Who financed him? How is he getting paid for his produce?

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      Pastor 8 years ago

      We should love each other as brethren by the Lord Jesus Christ. The Book of Acts tells us that we all come from the same blood and so in God there is no colour race or tribe. Your reply is sad because of your obvious delight at the suffering of others. This nation desperately needs healing and forgiveness. And without repentance restoration can never take place. If there was victory of good over evil in Zimbabwe we would be seeing God’s blessings: we are not. We are a suffering, starving and impoverished nation. This is a sign of judgment. God’s thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways; His ways are higher than our ways. Someone once said that if a man choose a road to revenge he must dig two graves. The whole issue of land needed to be resolved but was done in a way that destroyed this nation. lets begin to fix this before God with forgiveness and tolerance for one another. “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free” That’s for all of us.

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        On the other hand of the whole story in this issue as i know is the foreign investment. Just a small number of countries without that.
        Im not an economist but please, just check on how things are happening in our time rather.
        Any economy can sometimes shake like in the us right now, i had one juvinile saying >> hey its now difficult you cant go out with your girl friend its now very expensive

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    Zvichapera 8 years ago

    Where are you Joseph Chinotimba, now that people are starving in Zimbabwe you want to say Zambia must just give us maize when we failing pay our debt for the last 10 years. Mugabe is arrogant and now rig the economy. Made where are you? Zanu PF should be really proud of themselves, Chinos now feed the nation.

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    Why can’t Zanu PF look east at China for food. The Chinese have millions of tons of rice that they can give to their all weather friend Zimbabwe.

    With Chinese rice, Zanu PF does not need Zambia, the farmers or anyone else.

    The biggest question is, can Zimbabweans survive on rice only? Can Zanu Pf rig this as well???????

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    BossMyass 8 years ago

    Do you really expect anything good from these selfish and greedy looters ?