Zimbabwe losing faith in
democracy Sharon LaFraniere NYT Friday, August 27,
JOHANNESBURG Zimbabweans, weary of political conflict, are
increasingly losing faith in democracy and tempted to accept a one-party
system, a survey released Thursday has found.
The poll, overseen by
the Institute for Democracy in South Africa, found that 46 percent of
Zimbabweans now say they trust President Robert Mugabe, up from 19 percent in
1999. Seven out of 10 said they distrusted the opposition.
concluded that the biggest factor behind Mugabe's growing popularity was his
government's control of the press, which now largely functioned as an organ
of the ruling ZANU-PF party and muted opposition.
"However crude, the
government's nationalist appeals have apparently induced numerous Zimbabweans
- especially older, less-educated elements in rural areas - to accede to the
political status quo," the study concluded. "Apparently, ZANU-PF is
succeeding in shoring up its base with propaganda about the liberation war
and land seizures, while painting the opposition as a foreign-backed
The poll of about 1,100 people, conducted in late April and early
May, documented widespread hunger and economic distress. But the majority
of those surveyed did not see democracy as the solution. Only 48 percent
said democracy was the best form of government, down from 71 percent in
1999. Three-quarters said that competition between political parties led
The survey bodes ill for the Movement for Democratic
Change, or MDC, Zimbabwe's leading opposition party. Fewer than one-fifth of
those polled said they trusted the MDC's leader, Morgan Tsvangirai.
Wednesday, the MDC declared that it would suspend its participation in coming
parliamentary and local elections because Mugabe's policies had effectively
eliminated any chance of a fair vote. MDC officials said that they would take
part in the votes only if Mugabe's government adopted political reforms,
including establishing an independent authority to oversee the electoral
Some Harare residents subdividing agric plots for residential
Municipal Reporter DESPITE the existence of legislation that
promotes and encourages the practice of urban agriculture in Zimbabwe, a lot
of land designated for the purpose is going to waste in Harare as residents
occupying huge plots are instead subdividing their stands for residential
purposes or leaving the arable pieces of land desolate.
discovered that the practice of subdividing land earlier designated for urban
agriculture is widely practised in such areas like Queensdale, Hatfield,
Greendale, Waterfalls and Highlands.
These properties allocated between
the 1940s and 1960s were originally meant to promote urban
Some of the areas that were designated for urban agriculture
in Harare include parts of Borrowdale, Mandara, Greystone Park and Glen
Lorne. There were further efforts to promote peri-urban agriculture as a
means to assist low-income earners among the white population that
exclusively occupied the areas.
They were allocated plots in areas
like Ruwa (Mandalay Park which was then called Twentydales Township), Tynwald
in Harare, Christon Bank in Mazowe and the Glen Forest area.
White men must stop meddling in Africa By Alice
Thomson (Filed: 27/08/2004)
Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of
war. Margaret Thatcher, Christmas puddings, smooth Old Etonian mercenaries, a
dictator who - it is claimed by his enemies - likes to eat the testicles of
his opponents to boost his libido, 500,000 terrified Africans waiting to be
liberated. It's fantastic, fabulous, the next Frederick Forsyth.
are friends with nicknames such as Smelly and Scratcher, mysterious puppet
masters, large splodges of wonga, and Mark Thatcher insisting his only
interest in Africa is as a wildlife photographer. And that's not
We've had a breakfast raid by the elite Scorpions, an alleged link
with Lord Archer and even a shared flat with Peter Mandelson, who for once
has nothing to do with the plot.
True or not, it sounds incredibly
romantic. Equatorial Guinea has been run by a tyrant for 25 years and now
some English public school boys reportedly want to liberate the country,
aided by their South African chums.
Their alleged aim is to provide a
new, more Westernised leader and, in the process, free up some of the oil
reserves for more worthy causes than the dictator's Swiss bank accounts.
Surely that's all President Bush was trying to do in Iraq. These mercenaries
were allegedly prepared to do it for a fraction of the money.
President Teodoro Obiang Nguema's people starved, his cronies have been
benefiting from the oil deposits that were found in the 1990s. Exxon
is already exporting nearly 300,000 barrels a day to America and there
are direct flights to Houston. The World Bank and the International
Monetary Fund gave up on the country 10 years ago. The proposed alternative,
Severo Moto, is said to be a benevolent, honest man who once trained for
It could all be fiction, and if so we must hope that
the alleged mercenaries are released from their cockroach-infested jails as
soon as possible. But if true, how these men of fortune must have enjoyed
preparing for the coup.
What fun raising the money for this extended
camping trip and all those boys' toys, the helicopters, the AK-47 rifles, the
hand grenades. They would be making history in a forgotten corner of west
Africa. They would become the modern-day Lawrence of Arabias, dashing white
paternalists riding to the rescue of the oppressed black
Whether or not the men now accused of the plot really were
trying to re-enact The Dogs of War, they initially seem inspiring. But the
last thing that Africa needs is a bunch of hypocritical, homicidal
mercenaries taking up the white man's burden.
The persistent excuse
used by every black African dictator when asked about his country's plight is
to blame it all on the Europeans. They got the continent into this mess, it's
all their fault. President Robert Mugabe's bedside reading is Thomas
Pakenham's Scramble for Africa, which details the rapacious way 19th-century
Europe carved up Africa with no concern for ethnic lines.
But that was
then. Today, Africans are responsible for the chaos their continent is in. Mr
Mugabe inherited a well-run, prosperous, democratic Zimbabwe and turned it
into a despotic basket case. Even South Africa has a president who for many
years refused to accept that Aids existed. The many peoples of the African
continent are uniquely ill-served by their leaders.
But now a bunch of
mercenaries has provided the perfect evidence that white people are still
meddling incompetently in Africa. They might claim that their motivation was
humanitarian, but their backers were paying them to get their hands on
Equatorial Guinea's natural assets, and the mercenaries were apparently ready
to kill to do it. What a propaganda coup for Mr Mugabe, especially since many
of those involved appear to have been British.
The more fundamental
question is whether Tony Blair will do any better than these alleged
mercenaries. This week, he sent Jack Straw to Sudan to try to sort out
Africa's problems. The Foreign Secretary put in his contact lenses, scooped
up some journalists and headed off for Darfur to lecture the Sudanese leader
before posing for the cameras with a suitable gaunt-eyed, match-stick thin
"Children have lost their lives, their loved ones," Mr Straw said.
At least Mr Straw was armed merely with words rather than AK-47s, but isn't
he just another meddling European who thinks he knows best?
To most in
Westminster, next year is general election year, but senior civil servants
are not thinking about the vote, which they have concluded is just a
formality. They are focusing on the two big events for Mr Blair next year -
Britain taking over the presidency of both the G8 and the
The Prime Minister is determined that, newly elected
for his third term in office, he will make his mark as the elder statesman of
the Western world. And guess where he wants to do it? In Africa. His party
conference speech in 2001 called for "a partnership for Africa", in 2002 it
was "a coalition to give Africa hope", and last year he was still "fighting
to give hope to Africa".
He is desperate to sort out the African
continent. He believes it is his Berlin Wall, a land of simple moral
imperatives after the quagmire of Iraq and Afghanistan. He has set up an
Africa Commission ahead of the G8 presidency, and he's urging the EU to come
up with a unified strategy on the former colonies.
Both he and Gordon
Brown know that, while any talk of Iraq plays badly with Labour backbenchers,
they all love any mention of Africa. Almost the only time Mr Brown mentions
foreign affairs is to discuss how much money he has spent on the continent.
Mr Blair is determined not to be outdone.
But all this talk of coalitions
and partnerships obscures a truth that neither Mr Blair nor the Dogs of War
understand. The only lasting solution to Africa's problems will be an African
one. Interfering Europeans, whether they come clutching guns or a microphone,
should stay at home.
Moyo in farm purchase row Dumisani Muleya/Gift
Phiri CONTROVERSY surrounding Information minister Jonathan Moyo's purchase
of Patterson Farm in Mazowe has deepened amid disclosures that he
violated government policy and set a bad precedent for land
Moyo is also entangled in a row over Subdivision 1 of Lot 2 of
Dete in Hwange where illegal poaching is reported to be
The minister has said Patterson is a family farm which he
But sources said Moyo's acquisition of Patterson had caused
ructions in government circles and fuelled current tussles over land among
top ruling Zanu PF officials.
Moyo's move was "fundamentally
improper", sources said, because it breached government policy. Cabinet has
taken a decision to ban the sale of state land.
Lands, Land Reform
and Resettlement permanent secretary Simon Pazvakavambwa said state land
could not be sold or bought.
"As a matter of policy nobody can buy or
sell state land," he said.
However, official records show that Moyo
bought Patterson Farm, described in Agriculture minister Joseph Made's offer
letter dated November 30 2001 as state land, for a mere $6
Documents show Moyo, whose ID No was 63-0857281M-73, wrote a
Jewel Bank cheque at the Westgate branch on July 22, 2002 as payment for the
farm. The bank's branch number was given as 6118 and the cheque number as
000003, while the account number was (01211) 66058401.
Agriculture ministry receipt No 955419 shows that the payment was made on
July 22, 2002 by "Prof JN Moyo" whose address was given as P Bag 7700
The payment followed a letter written by
Agriculture permanent secretary Ngoni Masoka on April 29 2002 to Moyo
informing him about the cost of the land and improvements.
sources said the $6 million which Moyo paid to Made's ministry was still in
the government's suspense account because "it had no
The sources said it could not have been
possible for Moyo to buy the farm given that he had no lease agreement and
that the property's acquisition had not, in any case, been confirmed by the
As a result, the title deeds for the farm -
which Moyo initially wanted to buy for a paltry $1,8 million - are still with
the farm's legal owner, a company run by a trust.
official documents show Lot 2 of Dete - where widespread poaching has been
reported - was offered to Moyo by Made on July 19 2002 although a company
called Eternity Trading is said to be operating there now. While the firm has
been linked to Moyo, he has denied any interest in the farm saying it was
owned by his cousin, a Jackie Meyers. But government recently withdrew the
farm from Moyo whom it said owned it.
The farm has a 32 bedroomed
top-of-the-range lodge, Sikumi Tree Lodge, which is an ecotourism facility
that offers upmarket accommodation and photographic safaris to
Legally the farm, which is the subject of a legal wrangle,
is owned by Lions' Den Enterprises which was run by Buck de Fries and his
family, including his son Thys. The lodge was leased by the Rainbow Tourism
Group, which had tried to prevent Moyo from taking it over.
in which the government has a 17% stake, wanted Lot 2 occupiers out as it
claimed they were disrupting its tourism activities there. Moyo, who
has threatened to sue the Zimbabwe Independent over his farm interests, has
been linked to other farms but he has denied any connection.
Ministers fire Sable managers Augustine Mukaro IN a
bid to win back the Kwekwe constituency, cabinet ministers and ruling party
chefs have involved themselves in the affairs of Sable Chemicals
and dismissed five top managers for allegedly failing to resolve a
Highly placed sources said ministers Webster Shamu,
July Moyo, Rugare Gumbo and Olivia Muchena visited Sable in early June and
ordered an unconditional reinstatement of around 30 employees whose services
had been terminated.
The government has already directed the company
to suspend senior managers.
"Following a government directive issued
through the board of directors, you are suspended on full benefits with
effect from the 5th August until further notice," reads a letter sent to one
of the managers by Sable acting general manager, J
"After holding separate meetings with management and
workers, the four brought together all employees to an open ground where the
reinstatement was ordered," sources said.
"The whole process
including meetings were conducted with political sloganeering and open
denunciation of the Movement for Democratic change (MDC) leadership as well
as accusations that the majority of Sable employees were opposition
Sources said the move was meant to restore Zanu PF's
authority at Sable Chemicals ahead of next year's election. The fertiliser
manufacturing company is viewed as an organising hub for the opposition MDC.
The sitting MP Blessing Chebundo worked at the company before
Sources said a week after the visit, government issued a directive
to the Sable board of directors to suspend five top managers. They
were subsequently dismissed at the beginning of this month along with 11
"The key positions are currently being manned in
acting capacities by well-known Zanu PF functionaries now indirectly running
the company," a source said.
Contacted for comment, Chebundo said
he was not in a position to discuss the matter as he had applied to
parliament to move a motion on the issue.
"I can't give details at the
moment," Chebundo said. "I can confirm receiving the complaints but it will
prejudice my presentation to parliament."
Sable Chemicals, Zimbabwe's
sole ammonium nitrate fertiliser producer, is owned by the Industrial
Development Corporation, TA Holdings and Norsk Hydro.
Mutasa attacks political rival Itai
Dzamara ANTI-CORRUPTION minister Didymus Mutasa's supporters last weekend
attacked an aspiring Zanu PF candidate for next year's general election in
Makoni North, Manicaland.
Mutasa's followers assaulted James Kaunye,
who wants to wrestle the Makoni North seat from Mutasa who is Zanu PF's
secretary for external affairs.
Mutasa, who was involved in a scuffle
in parliament in May with opposition MP Roy Bennett, confirmed the attack on
"He was attacked by my supporters. But if he was attacked by
Zanu PF members and supporters, that makes his membership
Probably it has to be asked whether he is a true member of
the party," Mutasa said.
The attack took place last Sunday as
tension rises ahead of the ruling party's primary elections later in the
The Zimbabwe Independent in Rusape last Sunday saw Mutasa's
supporters driving in four vehicles behind the minister's Jeep Cherokee
towards Kaunye's farm.
Kaunye's relatives alleged Mutasa's
supporters visited the victim at the farm where Kaunye and his wife were
assaulted for trying to stand in Makoni North.
Kaunye was left
naked after the attack. He was later admitted to Rusape General Hospital
after he sustained serious injuries to the head and a suspected broken
Kaunye's assailants were arrested on Monday and appeared in
court on Wednesday before they were released on bail.
Mutasa said he
paid bail for them.
"Of course, I have to pay for my supporters. I
have paid for 31, and it was $300 000 for each," he said.
only 10 of them were involved, the rest were not involved. I am trying to
find out how the others were arrested. I don't understand. Yes, it's a very
interesting issue but I am not sorry for Kaunye, wherever he
Mutasa claimed that Kaunye had provoked him by invading his
constituency while he was attending a church service.
"I had gone
to a church service in my constituency and Kaunye came to provoke me. He got
what he deserved. Akabatwa neriva rake (He was caught in his own
Police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena confirmed 42 people were
arrested over the incident.
Zanu PF has been accused by the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change of using violence to win elections.
The ruling party has however always denied this.
Probe leaders' wealth - Shamu Conrad Dube MINISTER
for Policy Implementation Webster Shamu says greed has seriously affected the
ruling Zanu PF's campaign efforts - especially in Mashonaland West
Shamu told the Zimbabwe Independent that people who wanted
everybody to know what they drive and that they live in big mansions need to
attend the national youth training orientation
"Problems within the party are caused by people who want
everyone to know that they drive a Mercedes Benz ML or the size of their
mansion. They have destroyed the party in the province. Such people buy their
way into office and hence cause conflict with genuine party members," said
Although Shamu did not mention names, it is believed his
attack was directed at the party's flamboyant provincial chairman, Phillip
Chiyangwa, the MP for Chinhoyi who recently allowed a Zimbabwean online
property magazine, Expo Properties, to tour his Borrowdale
The mansion has 15 carports, 18 bedrooms, 25 lounges, four
balconies, domestic quarters for nine, two swimming pools and three helipads
among other features.
Shamu said there was need for political
lessons even at higher offices so that members understand discipline and
protocol over and above constitutional expectations placed on
"This process is needed. Orientation at all political levels is
necessary for people to appreciate the existence of structures and this will
remove not only unnecessary contradictions but will create a
conducive environment," said Shamu.
He said wayward attitudes had
caused problems as officials resorted to unscrupulous acts to cover up their
"Corrupt officials ha-ve tried to usurp the restructuring
process in order to
appoint their henchmen to ensure their
re-election," said Shamu.
To fight corruption, Shamu said it was now
necessary for public officials to declare their assets to avoid a situation
where leaders take advantage of their offices to amass wealth overnight.
MDC councillors defy party directive Staff
Writer Movement For Democratic Change (MDC) Harare councillors yesterday
defied the party's directive to withdraw from Town House as they turned up to
a council meeting.
The meeting did not however take place because of
the absence of a quorum. A total of 14 out of the required minimum of 16
councillors, among them acting mayor Sekesai Makwavarara, turned up for the
meeting. At least 10 of them were from the MDC.
month dumped the MDC to join Zanu PF.
The MDC executive on Wednesday
announced that it was withdrawing its remaining councillors from Town House.
Government has already fired 19 MDC councillors on charges of
The MDC leadership announced on Wednesday that the
party was withdrawing from all polls until Zanu PF adhered to electoral
reforms agreed in Mauritius.
Commentators yesterday welcomed the
MDC's decision to suspend participation in all future elections until the
proposed electoral reforms are adopted.
Crisis Coalition chairman
Brian Kagoro said that the grouping of civil society organisations supported
the MDC's decision.
"The position taken by the MDC is crucial in that
the party seeks to restore Zimbabweans' sovereign right to freely choose
their leadership," Kagoro said.
"That sovereign right has been
stolen by the regime. For instance, the
people of Harare chose their
executive mayor and councillors in March 2002 but the regime has dismissed
half the councillors and the mayor and appointed a bogus commission to
support an illegitimate acting mayor, Sekesai Makwavarara."
said Zimbabwe needed to be rid of the culture of violence whilst at the same
time implementing the Sadc principles on elections.
Constitutional Assembly chairman Lovemore Madhuku has also endorsed the MDC's
"This was long overdue," he said. "We have always said that
nobody should contest elections under this manipulated system.
support the decision taken by the MDC but it must be followed up by action.
We must come together and pile pressure on Mugabe for genuine electoral
reforms as well as the restoration of the rule of law. They won't come on a
MDC national youth chairman Nelson Chamisa said his
party's youth wing agreed.
"We are in agreement with the decision.
The reality is that contesting elections under the current environment is a
waste of time because the results are predetermined," he
"Repressive laws are being used to deny us political space and
Zanu PF uses its militia to perpetrate violence. There must be an alternative
programme or follow-up to this decision and we are saying more pressure
should be piled on the regime to reform."
Mugabe rediscovers Mat region Loughty Dube WITH the
2005 parliamentary election beckoning, never has the Matabeleland region
witnessed so many promises of development and attention from President
Development projects likely to surpass the
trillion-dollar mark have been promised. The Matabeleleland region, forgotten
in the past 24 years, has suddenly been rediscovered as President Mugabe's
Zanu PF goes on a massive drive to win votes.
Lupane, the proposed
capital of Matabeleland North, is a hive of activity where an assortment of
equipment has been offloaded in the sleepy growth point that recently was
accorded provincial capital status after former governor Welshman Mabhena had
opted for Hwange as the provincial capital.
Just a stone's throw from
the home of the late MDC MP for Lupane, David Mpala, bulldozers and
earthmovers are tearing at the earth as preparations for the construction of
a dam to supply Lupane with drinking water move a gear up.
completion of the dam is expected to cost over $300
According to government, Matabeleland will soon realise the
fruits of the long-promised Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project (MZWP) and the
upgrading of Tsholotsho and the Kezi roads, while the sleepy town of Lupane
will boast a fully-fledged university, a state-of-the-art provincial
hospital, a provincial police headquarters, recreational facilities, a bank
and an upmarket hotel, among other things.
The MZWP, on the
drawing board since 1912, is now estimated to cost a whopping $150 billion to
Mugabe was in Lupane last week to officially launch the
site where housing for the hundreds of civil servants who are expected to
throng the service centre will be constructed.
The government is
expected to fork out $250 million in infrastructural developments for the
The ambitious water project has remained rooted in the
planning stages and the Zanu PF government has used it as an electioneering
tool for a long time.
Government has promised to spend $150
billion on the proposed Lupane State University which is to have its fist
intake in September.
"The people of Matabeleland will always remain
sceptical about the intentions behind these development projects," Gorden
Moyo, a Bulawayo Dialogue commentator, said. "If the government is genuine
then we should see the projects going on even when Zanu PF loses the election
Moyo said the Matabeleland water project had always been
Zanu PF's election trump card.
"Similarly, the government has been
using the land issue for the last 20 years but would shelve the idea once the
elections were over. Zanu PF history tells us that we should be sceptical of
Other projects in the offing include the construction of a
hotel in Tsholotsho.
A hotel group says it was invited by
Information minister Jonathan Moyo to
construct the hotel. Moyo has been
donating generously in the area where he wants to stand as an MP next
In July Moyo poured over $100 million in a space of one week
into Tsholotsho. Moyo has donated $125 million to various
In the second week of July Moyo donated over 700
blankets worth $90 million to several health institutions and followed that a
day later with a donation of two computers and a printer worth $22,1 million
to Tsholotsho hospital.
A few days later the minister made another
donation of a computer and printer worth $13 million to Tsholotsho
Moyo has also donated medical equipment worth $28 million and
1 000 bags of cement worth $40 million to various institutions in the
MDC slams govt over Nigeria attack Loughty Dube THE
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has slammed government's attack
on Nigeria for allegedly interfering in local politics.
"The MDC notes
with dismay the Zimbabwe government's unrelenting attack on the state of
Nigeria. We are also dismayed by the government's personalised insults on the
Nigeria head of state," MDC spokesperson Paul Themba Nyathi said this
The state media recently claimed the Nigerian government had
promised to channel $200 million into the MDC's 2005 parliamentary election
chest. Nigeria however dismissed the story as "false and
"The Chronicle of August 24 carried an insulting cartoon
depicting President Obasanjo polishing the boots of President Bush," Nyathi
said. "This follows on the heels of an unfounded accusation that Nigeria was
funding the MDC at the behest of the British government.
vitriolic attack on Nigeria is in our view an attempt to head-off Nigeria's
likely insistence as chair of the AU that the report recently produced by the
committee that investigated and condemned Zimbabwe's appalling human rights
record be debated openly."
Nyathi said the insults against Nigeria
were an attempt to intimidate its leadership and stop it from condemning bad
governance, corruption, human rights violations and violence.
Nigerian government recently assumed the chairmanship of the African Union
and wanted the AU Human and People's Rights Commission report on Zimbabwe
"Zimbabwe is highest on the list of countries whose bad
governance gives Africa a bad name," Nyathi said. "The attack on Nigeria is a
pre-emptive attempt at neutralising it. Zimbabwe's attempts will fail. The
rest of Africa yearns for progress and will resist those who seek to drag
Another committee to audit land reform Augustine
Mukaro GOVERNMENT is setting up yet another committee to correct anomalies in
the land reform programme which saw thousands of peasant farmers being dumped
on pieces of land which they are unable to till.
questions on behalf of Lands, Land Reform and Resettlement minister, John
Nkomo, Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa told parliament last week that
government was putting in place a vetting committee to assess the level of
land utilisation throughout the country.
"My ministry is currently
putting in place a vetting committee, which will go round the country to
ensure that beneficiaries allocated land fully utilise it," Chinamasa
"The main focus at the moment is to ensure that all those who
have been allocated land put the land to productive use."
committee is the sixth to try to clean up the mess caused by the haphazard
seizure of formerly white-owned commercial farmland. The first attempt was by
former Land Reform minister Flora Buka.
The committee's findings were
swept under the carpet after unearthing serious irregularities in the land
It was followed by the Charles Utete land audit
which made similar findings. It also revealed that ministers and other top
Zanu PF officials had grabbed more than one farm each against government
policy. The report also revealed that while government claimed to have
resettled 300 000 families under the A1 and 54 000 under the A2 schemes the
situation on the ground was more sobering. Only 129 000 families had been
settled under A1 and a mere 7 000 under A2.
In a bid to correct
the glaring shortcomings, government came up with the Cabinet Land
Acquisition Committee chaired by Vice-President Joseph Msika.
committee did not do much before it was overtaken by the Presidential Land
Review Committee led by John Nkomo mandated to implement Mugabe's call to
recover excess farms.
There was also a parliamentary committee that
audited the land reform programme.
Lack of funds delays demining Itai Dzamara LARGE
tracts of land are still heavily mined along Zimbabwe's borders
with neighbouring countries as the demining efforts slow down due to lack
of funding after the European Union (EU) and the United States
About 400 km of Zimbabwe's border are still covered by land-
mines, posing a serious danger to human and animal life. Already more than
800 human lives have been lost to anti-personnel mines, the Zimbabwe National
Army (ZNA) said this week.
Most of the anti-personnel mines were
planted by Rhodesian forces in the 1970s to stop independence war guerilla
forces from crossing into or out of Zimbabwe.
Goora of the ZNA public relations department said donor support had dried up.
He said army engineers would however continue with the exercise "with or
without donor assistance" to clear the remaining "dangerous" mine
Goora said the United States, Britain and Germany had made a
one-time donation of equipment towards the project while Zimbabwe provided
funding for logistics and demining troops before the scheme ground to a
The EU Commission and the US embassy in Harare confirmed last
week that Zimbabwe requested more funding but that was rejected. The ZNA said
vast stretches of the border with Mozambique and Zambia were still covered
in minefields and the project was proceeding slowly due to lack of
"The programme began in 1998. We provided training and
equipment until 2001," said Lt Col Daniel Hampton, the Defence Attaché at the
US embassy in Harare.
"Zimbabwe afterwards requested more funding
especially for equipment and repairing of equipment, most of which came from
the USA. But there was no more funding provided by the USA."
EU press and information officer, Josiah Kusena, said the EU had funded a
demining project for 10 million euros.
"We don't have a demining
project currently on our programme. The programme, which was called the
Minefield Clearance in North-East Zimbabwe, was approved in 1995 and became
operational in 1996," he said.
Teachers condemn Porta Farm evictions Gift
Phiri THE Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) has condemned the
eviction of Porta Farm residents saying the relocation will prejudice more
than 1 600 pupils currently enrolled at schools around the area.
infor-mation officerMasimba Nya-manhindi told the Zimbabwe Independent on
Wednesday that there were students registered to sit for their Grade Seven
and Ordinary Level examinations at the end of the year at the two schools at
Porta Farm but their hopes had been dashed.
"Zimsec (Zimbabwe Schools
Examination Council) candidate numbers are not transferable, and the effect
on these students might be irreversible,"
Nyamanhindi said. Porta Farm
has one primary and one secondary school with enrollments of 1 300 and 315
pupils respectively. The primary school employs 28 teachers while the
secondary school has 11 teachers. National Housing minister Ignatius Chombo
last month issued a directive for the settlers to vacate the farm by August
15. He said the settlers would be moved to Caledonia Farm close to
Nyamanhindi said most teachers stay in Norton and now face
the daunting task of commuting all the way to Caledonia Farm.
it stands, the teachers face an uncertain future, there are no
building structures at Caledonia farm, and schools have to be built,"
Nyamanhindi said. "In any case the Ministry of Health clearly stated that if
the residents of Porta Farm were to be moved to Caledonia Farm, the stands
at the farm had to be serviced first because it is a health
Some of the residents had registered as voters in Zvimba
THE adoption of the Southern African Development Community (Sadc)
guidelines governing democratic elections in Mauritius last week was widely
welcomed but analysts have voiced reservations about the "weak link" in
the protocol - the issue of observers.
Although the Sadc principles
stipulate that elections in the region will be observed by an official
delegation from the regional bloc, the rules are silent on the role of
observers from individual member countries and other interested
The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (Zesn) said even as it
welcomed the regional electoral norms and standards, it was concerned that
the protocol only refers to Sadc election observers and not other
Zesn, which has been at the forefront of the
campaign for electoral reform, said it was important to invite observers from
all over the world. The group recently held a meeting on the issue in
conjunction with the Electoral Institute of Southern Africa in Victoria Falls
where a number of aspects of electoral changes were discussed, including the
issue of observers.
An Independent Electoral Commission Bill proposed
recently by Zesn, a coalition of 38 civic organisations, states that
Zimbabwe's envisaged elections body should invite "foreign observers", which
means those from Sadc and elsewhere.
The opposition Movement for
Democratic Change and civic groups like the National Constitutional Assembly
have demanded an overhaul of the electoral system to create a conducive
environment for free and fair elections. In the process, they have called on
observers from all over the world to be given unfettered access to oversee
However, nothing in the Sadc principles is said about inviting
observers from regional parliaments and other groupings such as the Sadc
Parliamentary Forum whose secretary-general Kasuka Mutukwa attended last
week's summit in Grand Baie, Mauritius.
Then there is the African
Union, Commonwealth, and European Union - which have diplomatic relations in
the region - that might be interested in observing elections in southern
The otherwise well-received protocol leaves it to the member
states to choose who to invite as observers. In fact, it is a matter of
choice whether or not Sadc countries invite observers at all. There is no
obligation to do so, according to how the principles are written.
electoral norms and standards say Sadc countries will issue an invitation to
the regional bloc's observer mission three months before voting if they "deem
it necessary" to allow adequate preparation for the deployment of the team.
The Sadc observer mission would be in the country at least two weeks before
"In the event a member state deems it necessary to invite Sadc to
observe its election, the Sadc Electoral Observation Mission (Seom) have
an observation role," the principles say. "The mandate of the mission shall
be based on the Treaty and the Protocol on Politics, Defence and
The chairperson of the organ - currently
President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa - "shall officially constitute the
mission upon receipt of an official invitation from the electoral authority
(not government) of a member state holding the elections".
principles further say that the chairperson of the organ shall mandate the
Sadc executive secretary to issue a letter of credentials to each member of
the Seom prior to their deployment into the country holding
"The constitution of the mission should comply with the Sadc
policies relating to gender balance," the principles say. "While recognising
that the members of the mission may come from different political parties in
the home countries, they should behave as a team."
The Seom would be
headed by an official from the chairperson of the organ's office who would be
the spokesperson of the mission. The team would send regular reports on the
election observation process to the representative of the organ on issues
that might require urgent attention.
The mission would also issue a
statement on the conduct and outcome of the election immediately after the
official announcement of the results. It would then prepare a report on the
elections within 30 days of the declaration of the results.
principles also contain a code of conduct for election observers. The set of
rules of behaviour are consistent with those of the African Union 's
Declaration on the Principles Governing Democratic Elections in
Sadc observers are obliged to comply with laws and regulations in
the country holding elections. They are also required to "maintain
strict impartiality in the conduct of their duties, and shall at no time
express any bias or preference in relation to national authorities, parties,
The observers would not be allowed to "display, or
wear any partisan symbols, colours or banners". Furthermore, the observers
would not accept gifts from parties or candidates, as well as attend parties.
They would also be given unhindered access to all relevant areas during the
course of duty and be allowed comment on issues freely.
Sadc's silence on foreign observers from outside the region could have been
designed not to offend sovereignty sensitivities of some Sadc member states,
although that leaves open one of the most important questions regarding the
conduct of elections.
The exclusion of foreign observers from outside
Sadc seems to have been for President Robert Mugabe the most encouraging part
of the process.
Mugabe openly expressed his contentment with the issue
upon his return from Mauritius last week.
Over the years the issue of
observers in the region has generated controversy, especially during
Zimbabwe's last two crucial polls in 2000 and 2002 which were riddled with
political violence and blatant vote-rigging. The Sadc principles prohibit the
"perpetration of electoral fraud, rigging or any other illegal
Zimbabwe's past two controversial national elections, in
particular the presidential poll, got a mixed response from observers.
Missions from Sadc and the AU and some individual African countries like
South Africa and Tanzania said the election was "legitimate", while the
Commonwealth, Sadc Parliamentary Forum, EU, and countries like the United
States, Ghana and Japan said it was "not free and fair". The international
community broadly rejected the election result.
While some countries
have welcomed foreign observers without restrictions, others like Zimbabwe
have been grumbling, claiming some observers, in particular those from the
Commonwealth, EU and North America, were coming with mindsets or hidden
Although analysts say this could be partially true, the point
remained that Zimbabwe's complaints only started recently when Zanu PF became
unpopular due to its governance failures following which it came to rely on
voter coercion to "win" elections.
Fate of a poor schemer for power IF
Joshua Nkomo was the "Father of the Nation" and Simon Muzenda the "Soul of
the Nation", how should we describe the country's most eminent
President Robert Mugabe couldn't find an equally
pithy description for Eddison Zvobgo to etch his name in the heart of the
nation. That perhaps reflects Zvobgo's mercurial character as he traversed
the Zimbabwean political landscape.
What Mugabe did was give us a
definition of what constitutes a national hero, the one enduring
characteristic that separated Zvobgo from many of the dubious characters
today laid at Heroes' Acre.
He said in his condolence message: "Zvobgo
was indeed a true nationalist who faithfully espoused the principles and
objectives of our liberation struggle and upheld them to the
With the death of Zvobgo, Mugabe said, the nation had "lost one of
the great and sharp legal minds upon whom the ruling party and government had
relied for his professional advice and craftsmanship of the country's
It is a tragic tale of our political vicissitudes
that such a towering political and legal figure spent his last days in almost
enforced obscurity, because the ruling Zanu PF does not allow individuals to
rise above the herd.
But there is no doubting that Zvobgo was also the
author of his unenviable end. In the early days of Zimbabwe's Independence
Zvobgo clearly saw himself as standing in the line to succeed Mugabe, first
as prime minister and then president of the country.
But in crafting
the constitutional amendment that gave us the overbearing executive
presidency in 1987, Zvobgo sealed his own fate as a poor schemer for power.
Instead of ensuring there were sufficient checks and balances and a
sufficiently strong parliament to rein in the executive, Zvobgo gave
a hostage to fortune. That amendment has been the albatross around the neck
of the nation and indeed around the necks of all those wishing to
So it is that Mugabe can today proclaim how Zvobgo
meets all the criteria of those he says qualify to rule Zimbabwe yet
Zimbabweans cannot choose Mugabe' s successor. So it is that Mugabe can
praise Zvobgo's "great and sharp legal mind" because the amendment ensured
his position as executive president was impregnable until he - and not the
nation - decided he had hung on long enough.
It is almost an oxymoron
to belong to Zanu PF and be independent-minded at the same time.
Unfortunately that is what Zvobgo tried to do. He criticised the party. That
led to his gradual fall from grace - from Legal Affairs minister to an
ineffectual portfolio as Minister of Mines and then Minister without
Portfolio and finally out in the cold completely. Because of his maverick
nature, Zvobgo found himself aligned to Dzikamai Mavhaire's faction in
Masvingo which believed Mugabe had become the nation's greatest liability who
He had a huge constituency in Masvingo and beyond. His
intellectual prowess endeared him to many across the political divide. His
speaking skills could have won him votes from a nation long disenchanted by
Mugabe's economic failures. But Zvobgo could not bring himself to be anything
other than what he was in essence - Zanu PF.
Come the presidential
election in 2002, Zvobgo told of the story of the madman from Ngomahuru
psychiatric unit who, instead of passing on the baton in the relay, ran with
it into the nearby mountains.
Enemies were ranged against Zvobgo accusing
him of not campaigning vigorously enough for President Mugabe. He was even
accused of campaigning for Morgan Tsvangirai.
As fate would have it,
ill-health saved him from being hauled over the coals by "mafikizolos" who
knew perfectly well he couldn't be a member of the opposition.
dismissed the allegations with characteristic scorn as "ill-founded rumours
peddled by ciphers". He described his detractors as
His sharp attack on the Access to Information
and Protection of Privacy Bill as chairman of the Parliamentary Legal
Committee was the final outrage on the dead conscience of Zanu PF. He
wondered aloud why the Information department wanted such "frightening
powers"? He said the Bill was the "most calculated and determined assault on
our liberties, which are guaranteed by the constitution".
yourself whether it is rational for a government in a democratic and free
society to require registration, licences and ministerial certificates in
order for people to speak. It is a sobering thought," he said.
we heard of Zvobgo's voice was in defence of the Iraq invasion. He defied the
party mob and said leaders who abuse and kill their own people did not
deserve to remain in power. It was the heresy of regime change. His terminal
illness silently took him out of the limelight and saved him
the embarrassment of having to explain who else he thought needed to be
ousted from power.
So as we mourn the passing of a dedicated freedom
fighter in the bush and at law and a "nationalist who faithfully espoused the
principles and objectives of our liberation struggle up to the end", let us
not forget those ideals have not been fulfilled. In fact, most of our
"liberties" are in grave danger from opportunistic mafikizolos.
Zvobgo cherished most of the liberties that political independence promised,
he died almost a forgotten hero who managed to survive this long because of
his personal wealth.
While the jury will be out for a very long time on
the quantum of his contribution to our freedom and the legal history of this
country, what cannot be denied is that Zvobgo was part, and also the victim,
of a party that is unforgiving in dealing with wayward members and whose only
homage to independent-minded heroes is writing their epitaphs.
ONE of Zimbabwe's national daily newspapers
last week demonstrated, in an editorial, that it is totally detached from
reality. It evidenced an inconceivably abysmal awareness of the fundamentals
of sound operations of the financial sector of the economy, that absence of
knowledge being exceeded only by its lack of knowledge as to how
Zimbabwe's agriculturalsector was funded in the past, and by its blatant
Almost the only factually correct statement in the editorial was
that Zimbabwe's commercial farming has "from time immemorial" been very
reliant upon financing from banks and other financial institutions.
Agriculture, on any basis other than very small-scale subsistence farming, is
very capital intensive.
For most of the past century, the initial
capital cost was the acquisition of the land even though today's Zimbabwean
politicians delude themselves and others into believing that the land was
stolen. As of the 1990s, almost every farm in the country had been bought by
the sitting tenant, and even the original commercial farmers established
themselves upon lands unused by any of the people of the country. However, it
does not suit the government, the ruling party, the war veterans and many
others to admit to the facts when such are not conducive to their intents of,
in fact, stealing the land.
After that initial capital cost, farmers were
confronted with massive outlays on development and improvement, including
farm buildings, dams, boreholes, fencing and the like, and upon obtaining
necessary capital goods, inclusive of irrigation equipment, pumps, tractors,
ploughs, and very considerable other needs. And after all those expenditures,
there are very great operational expenditures, ranging from procurement of
inputs such as seed, fertilisers, chemicals and so forth to wages and allied
labour costs, electricity, fuel, insurance and an almost endless list of
other operating costs.
Very few farmers had the resources to fund all
their unavoidable capital and recurrent operating payments and, therefore, as
stated in the editorial "banks provided money for labour, farm inputs" and
all else. However, the editorial fallaciously contends that all that the
farmer was required to do "was to come up with a detailed annual budget of
his requirements", and continues to allege that the "Land and Agricultural
Bank that advanced loans to white commercial farmers did not ask for
collateral because owning a piece of land was enough security".
editorial is wrong! When the "piece of land" was hypothecated to the bank and
had a value sufficiently in excess of the loans, it sufficed as collateral.
But when it did not, the farmer had to mortgage the land and provide
supplementary security, be that hypothecation of other property, cession of
insurances, pledges of shares, provision of guarantees,
The Land and Agricultural Bank, and all other banks,
necessarily sought security for the funds to be advanced by them. This they
had no alternative but to do, for the bulk of the monies that they advanced
were not their own, but those of numerous depositors who lodged their
hard-earned income and accumulated capital with banks in the belief that
their resources will be secure and fully protected. Banks had, and have, a
fiduciary responsibility to their depositors, investors, clients, the public
and the country as a whole to administer funds responsibly, cautiously and
securely, and hence made their advances against adequate
Implying that "white commercial farmers" were accorded required
funding without security, or against security of the land only, and that
today's new farmers are confronted with unjust demands for collateral, the
editorial poses the question: "Why should the goal posts be changed
The editorial justifies its question by stating that Zimbabwe now
has farmers "who have over the years survived many adversities such as
poor soils, lack of financial backing and were even denied access to
agricultural extension officers". The editorial argues that what these
farmers now require is "just access to financial resources to enable them to
work the land", andplaces responsibility for achieving this upon the
government, which, it says "should reject outright calls for collateral
security by financial institutions".
And the editorial does not rest
there, for it urges that if persuasion of the financial institutions fails,
"the government will have no option but to resort to using its powers to whip
the defiant banks into line", and yet it is that same national daily that has
very correctly berated the irresponsibility of financial institutions that
have reduced themselves to liquidation or curatorship and placed in great
jeopardy the thousands of depositors whose funds have been put at
Nevertheless, the editor put his finger on the nub of the situation
when he wrote that "owning a piece of land was enough security". The
government has adopted a very determined and obdurate stance that all land
should be owned by the state. It has discarded any respect for title deeds,
which evidenced land ownership. It has resisted all representations that
farmers, be they white commercial farmers, or newly settled A1 or A2 farmers,
should be vested with land tenure.
Therefore, the position of the past
that ownership of land was enough security - although contingent upon the
value of the land in question to the extent of the loans - no longer applies,
for the government is fast creating a position where none owns the
Instead, the government has recently proposed that farmers who
qualify under yet-to-be-specified criteria will be granted 99-year leases
over land allocated to them, although as yet the terms and conditions of such
leases are still to be disclosed. However, the government has intimated that
the leases will be specific to the particular farmer and will not be capable
of transfer to others.
Thus, those leases will be devoid of any
collateral value. If, contrary to the government's heretofore declared
intents, the leases would permit transferability, then they would have some
collateral value and could be used as security for loans and other funding
facilities required by the farmers of Zimbabwe. If not, the only other
alternative would be for the government to be the guarantor for the due
repayment of all advances to farmers.
Despite the gross misconceptions
that characterise the editorial, its final statement cannot be denied, for it
states that "agriculture is the backbone of Zimbabwe's economy and it
therefore means that a successful agricultural season means a positive
economic growth". If the government would recognise this fact, it would
reverse its ill-conceived, and catastrophically implemented agricultural
Instead of those policies, it would apply justice and
equity, constructiveness and realism. It would implement the agreements it
entered into at the 1998 Harare Donor Conference, and again in 2001 in
Abuja, instead of pretending that the other parties to those agreements had
reneged and that, therefore, these agreements are null and void.
the government would restore farms to those unjustly displaced
under spuriously promulgated, destructive laws and would then acquire land on
a willing buyer, willing seller basis and by cooperation and
collaboration between the government and all representative farmer
organisations, Zimbabwe would be on the path to agricultural recovery. And if
Zimbabwe would recognise that tenure is a prerequisite to responsible
financing - as well as a productivity motivant to the farmer - the necessary
funding would become available.
But if the government hearkens to the
editorial's call to force bank and financial institution lendings without
security, then the financial sector will soon be as decimated as is
A positive stance by the government towards
agriculture will be the catalyst to total economic recovery. The government
will no longer have to deceive as to the availability of food; it will no
longer have to beg the international community for food support.
AS the nation's institutions line up to say how much they support
the new electoral principles agreed last week by Sadc leaders in Mauritius,
some have been demonstrating a rather limited grasp of what is
The Herald told us on Saturday the police had welcomed the Sadc
guidelines. Police spokesperson Oliver Mandipaka said they already had a
"strategy" to ensure the March parliamentary elections are held in a peaceful
environment. The ZRP was fully prepared to deal with political "malcontents"
and elements bent on destabilising the peace of the nation, he
But at the same time, Mandipaka said the police aimed to provide
"the best service possible, a service which would earn the total
satisfaction, confidence and support of the general public".
thought the Police Act already required this of a professional police force!
Is Cde Mandipaka telling us that before the Sadc guidelines he didn't know
the police were expected to operate impartially and inspire confidence in all
citizens regardless of political affiliation?
We have heard the warnings
in the past against those who engage in violence or incite their supporters
against opponents. In most cases these are politicians from the ruling party.
What does Mandipaka expect the youths from Border Gezi centres to do when
they hear people like President Robert Mugabe and Jonathan Moyo describing
the official opposition party as puppets, sellouts and enemies of the people?
Is that not incitement by the highest office in the land?
And how does
Cde Mandipaka hope to get an impartial and professional police force when the
head of that force declares that he is a member of the ruling party? Isn't
that partly the reason why most professional officers have left the
While we suspend belief because of past experience, we would love
to see a reformed ZRP sooner rather than later and we wish Mandipaka all the
best in his endeavour.
One-party-state dreamers appear to be
winning their war against democracy. That was the message Muckraker got from
reading the editorial comment in Zanu PF's The Voice this week. The comment
was smugly titled "No more MDC to talk about". You would expect such a bold
proclamation to be supported by concrete evidence of the MDC's demise. There
was nothing except the gratuitous insults that we have become accustomed
"While opposition parties in other countries enhance democracy,"
wrote the editor, "the MDC has been doing everything possible to kill all
associated with democracy in the country."
Is this the conclusion the
public reached from the Cain Nkala case - that it is the MDC that is
associated with murder and terrorism? Was that the view of the court? Has the
editor of The Voice been asleep?
And how can the opposition enhance
democracy in Zimbabwe when it is demonised daily in the state media and its
democratically-elected councillors and mayors are hounded out of office by
latter-day Stalinists wanting to control everything?
Then we are told
the MDC demonstrated it was anti-Zimbabwe "when it vehemently opposed the
land reform". This is immediately followed by the following revelation from
the MDC manifesto: "The MDC said it was going to redistribute five million
hectares to at least 100 000 families in a period of five years."
the same thing as "vehemently opposed" is it?
The comment ended with a
big reassurance to Zanu PF supporters: "The MDC is obviously now history and
Zimbabweans can now freely do their business without risking being bothered
by power-hungry thugs who think ruling a country is the same as running their
Which thugs are these? Those like Joseph Mwale who despite
belonging to the country's intelligence service cannot be traced?
Voice editor should ask Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa why he
needs pernicious laws like the Public Order and Security Act under which
the opposition cannot hold rallies freely and ordinary Zimbabweans need
police clearance to congregate in an independent Zimbabwe.
He can also
check with President Mugabe why the country needs to indoctrinate the youths
with phoney histories when other nations are empowering their children with
technological skills to compete with the best in the world. Does he believe a
Kirsty Coventry can emerge from a Border Gezi training
Talking about Coventry, we notice that she has suddenly
become "a son of the soil" even among those who only yesterday were telling
all whites to go back to Britain. Can anybody recall a kind word about whites
since Mugabe called on his venal war veterans to "strike fear in the heart of
the white man"?
Come Coventry and the Olympic medals and the
state-controlled media couldn't miss an opportunity to be associated with
her. Suddenly her medals had become Zimbabwe's after we failed to produce a
single medal winner from our own soil!
Muckraker might have missed
something. But we do not remember government contributing a cent towards
Coventry's training. The best they ever did for swimming was to construct the
now moss-covered Olympic-size Chitungwiza Aquatic complex in preparation for
the All-Africa Games in 1995. It has become a shining monument to all that is
wrong with sports administration in this country.
And all that is
wrong is there in our cricket which has been ruined by the actions of a few
racists who think people should be rewarded for their skin pigmentation
instead of talent. The chaos is there at Zifa for all to see. Rugby lies
comatose. It will be many generations before we can produce another Black
family in tennis.
We have crowned all that with a ruined economy. We
would not be far off the mark in postulating that were Coventry locally-based
and belonged to some club she would not have won an Olympic gold. While we
are happy that she won three medals, let's also acknowledge our failure as a
nation to produce sports stars. Instead we persecute them. Ask Heath Streak,
Andy Flower and Henry Olonga!
The biggest consolation for Muckraker in
this respect was that the Greeks made sure Sports minister Aeneas Chigwedere
was nowhere near Athens for the Olympics. He has done just about everything
imaginable to destroy both sport and education in this
The foul-minded Lowani Ndlovu reckons every NGO in the
country has evil designs against his party, Zanu PF. He doesn't say why, if
his party is the love of the voters, it is so hated. Because there is no love
lost between government and the people, instead of voluntary compliance, laws
have to be dreamed up daily to force people to love the party. It's a crying
shame for a party that came to power on a wave of popular support that it has
to remain in power by threats and coercion.
Lowani's latest project is
the NGO Bill that seeks to register and regulate the operations of all NGOs
in the country which he claims are seeking to effect a "regime change".
That's the fellow's bugbear when he's not running away from the ghost of Tony
We can only hope that this time around Zanu PF MPs will scrutinise
the Bill when it comes before them and pass it on its merit instead of
foolishly listening to bogeys being raised by Lowani about NGOs threatening
They were previously cheated about the Access to
Information and Protection of Privacy Act and now they rue the day they voted
with party emotions rather than their national brain. Now they have to go
down on their knees to beg for space to express their views, even in the
state media. Once "beaten" twice shy, as the government's semi-literate
columnists would say!
For good measure Lowani also accuses NGOs of being
corrupt. That might be so but they can't be worse than people who seized more
than one farm illegally and are now obfuscating issues to avoid surrendering
them. Land is a national resource, not a treasure trove for looting in the
name of Zanu PF.
And why does Lowani maliciously repeat the lie that Care
International "unilaterally distributed poisonous sorghum seed in Chivi" when
it has been explained that all they did was contract companies to supply the
seed? And everyday we are reminded of falsehoods under
Lowani, whose column has been successfully colonised by a
big-headed opportunist, darkly suggests that NGOs have been undermining
Zimbabwe's sovereignty "in ways that are yet to be fully told to
Needless to say, he supplies no evidence to support this
calumny. But we all know what he means: Some NGOs have been helping people to
exercise their rights, improve their lives and aspire to the same standards
of governance as apply elsewhere in the region. This is what Sadc leaders
meant when they said citizens must have the right to fully participate in the
political life of their countries. Zanu PF is doing precisely the opposite:
it is denying people the right to participate just as it denied people the
right to vote in 2002.
Let's record not only this abridgement of
rights which contradicts Zimbabwe' s undertakings made last week, but also
the role of ruling-party spokesmen in attacking existing NGOs representing
churches, lawyers, and journalists.
"All these organisations and more,"
we are told by Lowani, "are among those included by (US Assistant Secretary
of State Walter) Kansteiner as working closely with the US government to
effect regime change in Zimbabwe."
Is there a shred of evidence that
Kansteiner contacted any NGOs or journalists' organisations in Zimbabwe? Does
Lowani know of any? If so why hasn't he told us?
cousin, Mzala Joe, writing in the Sunday News, is indignant that a recent
survey could suggest that an increase in President Mugabe's popularity is due
to propaganda in the public media.
"What propaganda?" he wanted to know.
"The public media has merely reported what President Mugabe does and says
whereas Blair's media - that includes the so-called Zimbabwe Independent -
has always lied about the president."
A closer reading of the survey,
Mzala Joe suggested, "would indicate that the public is sick and tired of the
lies and that the reason why the president's popularity is increasing is
because the public is punishing the liars in the opposition press, such as
the Zimbabwe Independent, which never says anything true or good about
President Mugabe. The bottom line to all this is that lies do not pay. The
public media is succeeding because it does not lie."
This, coming from
the sister paper of a publication whose editor sees nothing wrong with
inventing comments and conversations and then stands by his lies when
challenged by regional editors, is more than a little rich!
But what we
suspect Mzala Joe wants us to say is that under President Mugabe 's regime
Zimbabweans have seen vast improvements in their standard of living, an
increase in agricultural production, and huge strides
Anybody could have said that in 1985 or 1990. But who
could say it now 14 years later without lying?
So it came to
pass that a Herald reporter had a nasty encounter with our thuggish law
enforcers in front of the Magistrates' courts on Monday. The photographer
said he was taking a picture of Charles Charamba being led to court on fraud
charges. Is this what Cde Mandipaka termed "the best
The police detectives accosted the photographer and
damaged his camera worth about $10 million. We wish former Daily News
photographer Virginia Mauluka was around. Her experience at the hands of the
riotous police was life-threatening although the state media then jeered at
her claiming she was part of an illegal demonstration.
interesting is that although a Newsnet camera crew was at the scene, they
chose to keep a safe distance from rioting police detectives. They reported
it as simple "manhandling". It reminds us of the late Defence minister Moven
Mahachi who, after the army tortured Mark Chavunduka and Ray Choto,
shamelessly claimed the two journalists had "scratched themselves". Meanwhile
each evening Newsnet promises us: "When it happens we will be there". But
with their eyes and cameras shut. To be or not to be there, what is the
What is happening to our Chinese and Malaysian
friends? The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority says the industry is in dire straits.
"Figures for holiday and business makers in Zimbabwe are quite high," it
says, "but the majority of them, about 70%, are staying with friends or
This has seen hotels in Harare having room occupancy of as low
as 38%. So which sector of the economy is on a firm recovery path, we
And how come all these foreign tourists suddenly have families
Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa, asked in parliament
about relations with Nigeria following a false report in the Sunday Mail
about Nigerian support for the MDC, replied that relations with Nigeria were
"excellent". Opposition MPs were attempting to "drive a wedge" between
Zimbabwe and its friends, he said.
The government was not responsible
for what was carried in the media, he said.
Does that include the
government media? Is Chinamasa seriously suggesting that government-owned
newspapers are not controlled by government? What else is he asking us to
believe? That pigs have wings?
He also claimed, by the way, that
government did not interfere with the judiciary. At least the minister still
has a sense of humour!
Congratulations to Kumbirai Kangai for not
losing sight of the important things in life.
He told parliament on
August 17, in reply to the presidential address, that he would share with
colleagues the "issues of today".
And what were these? "The president
came to this House with his graceful wife who was well-dressed (hon members:
"I acknowledge that she was
Really enlightening stuff kk!
Muckraker would like to know if there is any connection between Zesa's power
cuts and Jonathan Moyo's Back2Black initiative.
Sydney Gata announced at
the CZI conference early this month that he would not be going to George Bush
or Tony Blair for supplies.
As nobody had suggested he should, he is
obviously once again in campaign mode.
Govt runs NRZ dry Ngoni Chanakira POLITICAL instead
of business considerations are the major factors causing mayhem at the
cash-strapped National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ), insiders have
To compound matters, the recent regrouping of staff into single
categories instead of the usual technical (mechanics and engineers) and
administrative (messengers and clerks), has resulted in the NRZ's wage bill
skyrocketing to more than 140% of revenue collected.
which is operating at 40% capacity, is currently collecting less money than
it is forking out daily.
Incensed by the problems bedevilling the
NRZ, Minister of Transport and Communications Christopher Mushowe two weeks
ago held a meeting with the board to try and thrash out problems at the
parastatal. The meeting is understood to have ended in
In his monetary policy statement for the first quarter to
March 31, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono said the problems
facing the NRZ were not only affecting passenger transportation but also the
movement of goods within the country, as well as shipment of exports and
imports. He said the situation was worsened by the fact that road transport
for bulk consignments was relatively costly for producers.
on available business, the NRZ requires around 108 mainline locomotives (DE10
class) compared to about 60 currently available. Unavailability of
locomotives has seriously impacted on the company's ability to return foreign
wagons to the owning railway administration, especially South Africa's
This limitation has resulted in NRZ paying monthly
interchange costs of around R6 million to Spoornet, effectively eating into
the country's limited foreign exchange resources.
such as coal, tobacco, minerals, cotton lint, sugar, maize
and fuel have
been directly affected by the capacity constraints at the NRZ, which has now
been asked to produce a turnaround programme.
A senior NRZ official
speaking on condition of anonymity told businessdigest that there was too
much politics at the NRZ.
Government launched commuter trains before
the 2002 presidential election amid much fanfare in Harare and
The official said each commuter train was milking about $3
million from NRZ coffers.
"Each train brings in about $1 million
per trip," he said.
"We run two trains from Dzivaresekwa each morning
and evening which means that we are losing more than $12 million every day
from this route alone. We also run trains from Mabvuku and Luveve in
He said to worsen matters each train had a duty manager
who was paid overtime whenever there was a mishap.
and manager are collected from their homes by company vehicles every morning
and this means huge fuel bills. It's just a disaster. The trains are also
very cheap - $300 - so we all know this is a
Government has however dismissed sentiments that
the move to introduce commuter trains was political, claiming it was meant to
alleviate transport blues for urban workers.
Banks make a killing on TCs Conrad Dube BANKS are
reported to be making a killing on prospective travellers to South Africa who
want travellers' cheques (TCs) as Zimbabweans struggle to get the R1 000 to
get a visa to South Africa.
Investigations by businessdigest revealed
that most banks charge between $100 000 and $300 000 as commission for TCs.
To get TCs clients are required to deposit at least R1 000 with the
Stanbic Bank is charging the highest amount of $300 000 and is
reported to be making good business from commissions while Kingdom Bank is
charging R100 for TCs equivalent to R1 000. Standard Chartered said it was
issuing TCs to foreign currency account holders but charging 0,5% of the
total amount to non-foreign currency account holders.
Bank said they only give account holders while First Banking Corporation is
charging 10% of the foreign amount although the TCs were not available.
Zesa unveils investment projects Ngoni
Chanakira AMBITIOUS Zesa Hold-ings (Pvt) Ltd has released investment projects
for its various subsidiaries in a bid to solve the country's worsening
The southern African region, including Zimbabwe, is
expected to experience power shortages beginning in
Operational challenges facing Zesa include persistent coal
shortages at all stations, new imports contracts required for the 2005 to
2007 period as well as the fact that only one firm contract has been signed
The contract was signed with Snel of the Democratic
Republic of the Congo (DRC) for 150 megawatts.
Zesa has, however,
released business plans for the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC), the Zimbabwe
ElectricityTransmission Companyand the Zimbabwe Electricity Distribution
The ZPC, which is 100% owned by Zesa, is planning generation
investment projects worth about US$800 million. The transmission company has
investment plans in the pipeline worth US$543 million while the distribution
company's investment projects will cost US$247 million.
currently facing severe foreign currency problems leading to its being
regarded as an interruptible customer by neighbouring suppliers such as the
DRC, Mozambique, Zambia and South Africa.
The power utility also owes
about $9 billion to local suppliers such as Wankie Colliery Company
Zesa executive chairman Sydney Gata said planned power sector
investment projects for the period 2004 until 2010 would cost a staggering
Analysts contend that the plans are too
ambitious and Zesa will never be able to raise the amounts judging from its
poor pricing policies, escalating regional debts, as well as an increasing
interest rates bill.
Gata said ZPC's investment projects would cost
He said expansion of Hwange 7 and 8 would cost US$368
million while that of Kariba 7 and 8 would chew up US$175
The projects would include upgrading the coal bed methane
power generation facility.
Upgrading the gas turbine plant will
cost US$200 million, gas extraction US$50 millionand proving commercial
viability US$6 million.
Zesa is currently searching for local and
international investors. Gata said investors could take up both the Hwange
and Kariba projects.
According to the ZPC business plan, the future
was 650 megawatts for import displacement, 450MW
for the expanded rural electrification pro-gramme, 250 MW for spinning
reserve, giving a minimal additional of 1 350 MW for the period up to
Zesa said for its trans-mission investment pro-jects which
would cost US$543 million, the costing was as follows: reinforcement bulk
supply substations would take up US$40 million, interconnection to Hwange 7
and 8 US$90 million, interconnection to CBM project US$81 million, sub
trans reinforcement for the Expanded Rural Electrification Programme (Erep)
with Electricity End-Use Infrastructure Development (EEUID) US$108 million,
330 kV sub-stations for major customer projects US$81 million, second
Cahora Bassa interconnector US$57 million, new 330 kV bulk supply
sub-stations US$31 million, 330kV grid extensions US$50 million as well as
the upgrade of 88 kV sub transmission network US$5
Analysts however que-stion whether these projects will
indeed be carried out with the serious foreign currency shortages that
Zimbabwe is currently facing.
Zimbabwe dollar under siege By Addmore
Chakurira ANALYSTS are asking whether the Zimbabwe dollar is now at its
greatest risk and could collapse.
The Zimbabwe dollar has been losing
ground against major currencies over the past weeks, both on the auction and
the parallel markets.
The local unit is now trading at over $5 600 -
the diaspora rate - to the US dollar and appears to be heading towards $5 700
to the US dollar at the auction market.
However, the likelihood of
a further "devaluation" of the Zimbabwe dollar to a more realistic level on
the managed auction system is remote given the immediate impact such a move
will have on the economy and on the inflation rate, targeted to be reduced to
200% by December by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ).
looming balance of payments deficit combined with escalating inflation, the
local currency will remain under strain. With no external support to shore up
the currency in the short to medium-term and to restore both international
and local confidence, the pending BOP crisis will further shake the currency
and fuel inflation exacerbated by firming world oil prices.
current economic situation, especially the country's disappointing export
performance, the continued high import demand will continue to put pressure
on the Zimbabwe dollar. In order to achieve long-term economic stability and
restore local as well as foreign investor confidence, it is necessary to curb
the inflation scourge, runaway fiscal expenditure and revive production
through increased capacity utilisation.
economic slowdown has resulted in the currency crisis the country is facing.
The country has witnessed a sharp pullback in production across all sectors
of the economy and the economic performance has
Agriculture, the mainstay of the economy,
has been affected by a barrage of factors which include the land
redistribution programme, drought and shortage of inputs.
has been marked erosion of foreign exchange inflows and throughput from
tobacco - once the country's main foreign currency earner. To date, around
49,3 million kg of tobacco have been sold at the auction floors earning
around US$95,3 million.
The tobacco-selling season is coming to an
end, penciled to close on August 31 and it is unlikely that the total crop
will exceed 55 million kg this year compared to 80 million kg sold last
Cotton, which is grown mostly by the rural peasant farmers, has
overtaken tobacco in terms of foreign currency earnings, with a total crop of
300 tonnes projected for 2003/4 season, up from the 2002/3 crop size of
Preparing for trouble
Availability of input
schemes can be attributed to the increased production in cotton hence the
need to have concrete input schemes for tobacco, which is highly
capital-intensive. This would consequently result in increased agricultural
Added to that, the access to markets will greatly enhance
farmers' viability, ie the re-introduction of a commodity market will improve
the marketability of the products. With the tobacco planting season behind
us, there have not been a lot of initiatives to support local farmers and
hence increase tobacco production.
The beauty about financing
tobacco cropping is that it results in a win-win situation for tobacco
merchants and farmers. On top of that, the country is likely to receive
foreign exchange in advance. Ideally, what might happen is that inflows of
foreign currency from tobacco merchants' offshore credit lines will be used
to finance the crop, thereby injecting a significant amount of foreign
currency into the country.
The merchants will only buy a crop
equivalent to what they injected in the out-grower scheme with the contracted
farmers selling anything in excess to the market.
This might also
help in stabilising the local currency as merchants will only require
Zimbabwe dollars when purchasing the crop some nine months down the
If such schemes can be structured for a variety of agricultural
products this might ease the pressure on the local currency. Increasing
the production and properly structuring foreign currency instruments from
cotton and tobacco which are out of phase, backed by these commercial crops,
sanity can prevail in the foreign currency market to a certain
In conclusion, such efforts should not only be limited to a
few crops but should cover a wider variety, more- so the lucrative
horticultural sector. That said, the efforts being made by the authorities
and industry players alike is a welcome development if Zimbabwe is to
overcome problems it is reeling under.
herein has been derived from sources believed to be reliable but is not
guaranteed as to its accuracy and does not purport to be a complete analysis
of the security, company or industry involved. Any opinions expressed reflect
the current judgement of the author(s), and do not necessarily reflect the
opinion of Sagit Financial Holdings Ltd or any of its subsidiaries and
affiliates. The opinions presented are subject to change without notice.
Neither Sagit Financial Holdings nor its subsidiaries/affiliates accept any
responsibility for liabilities arising from use of this article or its
I WOULD like to bring to the attention of the travelling public
and government officials the scam that is going on at the Beitbridge
On August 15, three other people and I were returning
from South Africa aboard a private motor vehicle.
As we approached
the customs and immigration building we saw hundreds of people milling around
and a queue of about five to 10 motor vehicles comprising mainly small
pick-up trucks laden with goodies purchased from South Africa.
we disembarked from the car, a tall burly gentleman approached us and offered
to "arrange" to spare us the long wait - perhaps two to three hours.
initially spurned his offer. But as time wore on we obliged since we did not
want to travel in the dark.
The gentleman at first asked for R200 for
the service but my friend did not have foreign currency and offered him $40
000 in local currency.
He argued this was insufficient and after some
haggling settled for $150 000.
We passed through and met up again
with the gentleman. He guided us through a fleet of cars which, judging by
the dust that had gathered on them, had been there for weeks
In front of us was a sign post marked "searching". After
waiting for a while, my friend approached a customs official who was checking
people's documents and waving them to proceed.
He looked at our
documents and then looked into the distance to our "arranger" who gave him a
The official signed the documents and allowed us to proceed to
the final departure gate.
It is quite obvious that the customs
official and the "arranger" were in cahoots.
It was apparent too
that a scam is rife whereby the travelling public is forced to pay for quick
entry. Talk of corruption!
I hope that the powers-that-be will put a
stop to this corruption.
with so many others at home and scattered throughout the world, I would like
to express my admiration for Kirsty Coventry and congratulate her on her
It was also wonderful to see our other athletes all
doing their best for our poor country.
However, I am deeply
disturbed at what appears to be an attempt by the government to hijack her
achievement and use her victory for propaganda purposes. We should remember
that this is a regime so repugnant in the eyes of the free world that even
the Minister of Education, Sport and Culture Aeneas Chigwedere was barred
from attending the games.
If Coventry is to be feted at home, that
would be truly wonderful, she truly deserves it. But I fear that an innocent
young woman could be shamelessly used by a pariah
WITH the massive land resettlement programme which has taken place
in Zimbabwe, have there been any moves to monitor the impact it has had on
My experience has proved that it has been implemented
with very little, if any, regard for Zimbabwe's natural
A prime example is the massive destruction of Miambo
woodlands along the Eiffel Flats/Mhondoro road.
hectares of brachyslegia/julbemardia woodland are being cleared daily in
areas clearly unsuitable for agriculture on hills and watersheds and on land
particularly susceptible to erosion. It appears that this is occurring
throughout Zimbabwe where "new farmers" are instructed by government to clear
their land or lose it!
It appears that members of the Forestry
Commission and the Natural Resources Board of Zimbabwe are not fulfilling
their duties to protect our forests and woodlands. This is a national
disgrace which cannot go unchecked by international environmental
President Mugabe will never be able to claim that his land
resettlement programme was done with the future environmental health of
Zimbabwe in mind. It has been one of the most destructive and senseless
onslaughts on the environment I have ever had the misfortune of
Please, will someone save what is left of our precious,
life-giving woodlands and forests. Is there someone, somewhere with the
courage to speak out and put an end to this senseless destruction of our
flora and fauna.
rule of propaganda as espoused by Josef Goebbels -the Nazi minister of
propaganda - is to tell a big lie.
Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa -
while responding to a question in parliament last Wednesday - came up with
diabolical untruths which fit this technique.
Gweru Urban MP
Timothy Mukahlera asked the minister if government would ensure the
opposition gets equitable media coverage in the run-up to the Seke
by-election. Chinamasa had the effrontery to suggest the MDC was already
getting more media coverage than Zanu PF.
"As we know, out of some 52
publications in Zimbabwe, 50 of them are belonging to the private sector,
which in fact support the opposition," Chinamasa told
"That is the truth in Zimbabwe. The point I am making is
that the field in respect of the media is very level. If it is uneven, it is
tipped against Zanu PF both locally and internationally in terms of movement
of persons. I do not think basically that there is a problem in that
Nothing could be further from the truth.
dictator Adolf Hitler writing in Mein Kampf said this about the big lie: "In
the primitive simplicity of the people's minds, they more readily fall
victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell
small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale
"It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal
untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to
distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be
so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and
will continue to think there is some other explanation."
technique of the big lie demands that it defies logic. In order to work, all
the evidence and logic has to point the other way, said best-selling author
Hal Lindsey in a newspaper column in 2001.
MPs were made to
swallow the dross by Chinamasa, which from elementary analysis is an
embarrassing falsehood and an assault on the intelligence of the
Chinamasa would like the nation to believe that 50
publications registered by the Media and Information Commission (MIC) all
support the MDC and there are only two which are not sympathetic to the
opposition! Which are the two publications not owned by the private
There are six titles in the Zimpapers stable, owned by the
government, which have not disguised their crude allegiance to Zanu PF. The
government owns at least eight community newspapers under New Ziana, which
churn out anti-MDC messages with gusto. Zanu PF has its own publication - The
Voice - as part of its information machinery designed to prop up the
incumbent and make vituperative attacks on the opposition.
obvious truth which evidently never occurred to Chinamasa is that the Zanu PF
government runs four radio stations and a television station which have all
been schooled to ensure that President Mugabe is portrayed as a hero and to
preach the notion that the MDC is a reincarnation of
The minister's suggestion that all private-sector
publications support the MDC is simply fatuous. Does that include fashion
magazines, trade magazines or innocuous in-house journals which are all
registered with the MIC?
There was no one in the House to
challenge the minister's ridiculous statement, which is crucial for
propagandists hooked onto the big lie stratagem - if noone challenges a big
lie then it transmutes into fact.
The opposition's silence on this is
tantamount to aiding and abetting the process of distortion.
record in column 132 of Hansard of August 18 should be kept for posterity as
an illustration of our rulers' integrity.
Despite its diabolical
intention, Chinamasa's statement is a useful disclosure on government's
perception of the current media scene.
His prognosis is that the MDC
is already overexposed in the media and Zanu PF is getting a raw deal. What
deception from a minister who told parliament on the same day that "my
reputation as minister responsible for delivering justice is at an all-time
He was responding to a question by Job Sikhala (MDC, St
Mary's) as to why he had remained silent on accusations that he interferes
with the judiciary.
Chinamasa's statement on the media, if it
represents government's view, puts paid to any hopes of equitable media
coverage of political groupings in the build-up to next year's election. The
Sadc guidelines make clear that equal access to the public media is a
fundamental condition of democratic due process. Without it, voters cannot
make an informed choice.
As Paul Berenger made clear, that includes
access to radio and television.
So within 24 hours of Zimbabwe signing
the Grande Baie protocol ministers were dreaming up ways to circumvent both
the spirit and letter of that agreement.
Is this the beginning of
Zimbabwe's disregard for the electoral principles which President Mugabe
spoke so highly about on his return from Mauritius? It certainly looks like
Need a little bit of help. There seems to be many conflicting
statements recounting the accident on Samora Machel cnr Rhodesville Ave on
Friday the 13th of August 2004 where a lady, Mrs. Diane Hewitt tragically
passed away. We know that so many people were at the scene of the accident,
saw it happen and/or arrived shortly afterwards. We ask that perhaps they
could come forward and help by sharing what they saw, and in trying to help
the family and the police find out exactly what happened. If you were there
or know of someone who was, please could you contact either:
Hewitt 091 341 334 or Sam Hewitt on 490 416/091 315 768 or John Falkenberg
333192/011 403 172
send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to firstname.lastname@example.org with "For Open Letter
Forum" in the subject
292 --------------------------------------------------------------------------- THOUGHT
FOR THE DAY
The Triple Filter Test In ancient Greece, Socrates was
reputed to hold knowledge in high esteem.
One day an acquaintance met the
great philosopher and said, "Do you know what I just heard about your
friend?" "Hold on a minute," Socrates replied. "Before telling me
anything I'd like you to pass a little test. It's called the Triple Filter
"Triple filter?" "That's right," Socrates continued. "Before
you talk to me about my friend, it might be a good idea to take a moment and
filter what you're going to say. That's why I call it the triple filter
The first filter is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what
you are about to tell me is true?"
"No," the man said, "actually I
just heard about it and..."
"All right," said Socrates. "So you don't
really know if it's true or not.
Now let's try the second filter, the
filter of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my friend
"No, on the contrary..." "So," Socrates continued,
"you want to tell me something bad about him, but you're not certain it's
You may still pass the test though, because there's one filter
left: The filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about my friend
going to be useful to me?" "No, not really."
Socrates, "if what you want to tell me is neither true nor good nor even
useful, why tell it to me at
Letter 1. Subject: Just a Thought
In the years between the
Battle of Chinoyi and the raising of the Zimbabwe flag at Rufaro the
liberation movements tried without success to remove the white farmers from
their farms. Despite every act of violence and the use of guns, bombs and
intimidation they failed. The efforts of ZANU-PF supported sanctions, the
constant call ups, and the vilification of their efforts by the entire
Western world and the Soviet block, to say nothing of the AOU and the UN
combined were not up to the task of displacing the white farmer.
was only in the period after the 2000 Referendum that it was possible to
achieve that long held objective. And to do it the only surviving liberation
movement had to do a number of things; mobilise the Army and Airforce,
utilise the CIO and Police, bribe the war veterans and youth with food, drugs
and alcohol as well as the promise of free land. Remove any legal protection
that the courts and police force might provide. Legitimise murder, rape and
theft on a grand scale and many other acts of greater or lesser
But let us not forget that probably the single most telling
blow was the destruction of the concept of legally enforceable title to land.
It took the abandonment of the rule of law, which was the secret of
this country's economic success, to finally achieve this narrow
political objective of stamping out opposition to ZANU-PF hegemony.
That generations will pay for this vandalism is not the point; the point
is that it took the full might of the State machinery to displace a
small part of the population
Only after all this was it possible for
the liberation movement, in its present incarnation as a government, to
actually get the white farmer off his land and out of the country. It makes
you realize the resilience of the white farmers, and that this strength of
character will hold them in good stead in Zambia, Mozambique, and Nigeria or
wherever they settle next. I just hope that other sections of the Zimbabwean
population have learned from this sorry saga and are better placed to do the
right thing as the future unfolds.
I have tried this myself, and
got the number of my own cell phone. It seems too good not to pass on to you.
I hope it is genuine. Yours, MARTIN
TRACEY. * Originally by Ross Pharmacy, email@example.com * Originally
to mtracey, 5:7211/1.1552 * Originally dated Sat 10 Jul 2004
-*- Forwarded message follows: -*-
A BRILLIANT BIT OF
INFO. Date: 06 July 2004 10:29 Subject: FW: useful information about
mobile/ cellphone Interesting that mobile sellers don't tell you this - How
to disable your stolen Mobile? A bit of useful information to those Mobile
Users among you,just in case you lose your mobile or it gets stolen. To
check your Mobile phone's serial number, key in the following digits on your
phone: < * # 0 6 # > A 15 digit code will appear on the screen. This
number is unique to your handset. Write it down and keep it somewhere safe.
Should your phone get stolen, you can phone your service provider and give
them this code. They will then be able to block your handset so even if the
thief changes the Sim card your phone will be totally useless. You probably
won't get your phone back, but at least you know that whoever stole it can't
use/sell it either. If everybody did this, there would be no point in
stealing mobile phones. Send this to as many people as
possible. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- All
letters published on the open Letter Forum are the views and opinions of the
submitters, and do not represent the official viewpoint of Justice for
JAG Hotlines: (091) 261 862 If you are in trouble or need
advice, (011) 205 374 (011) 863 354 please don't hesitate to contact us
- (011) 431 068 we're here to help! 263
4 799 410 Office Lines
Please send any
classified adverts for publication in this newsletter to: JAG Job
Opportunities firstname.lastname@example.org --------------------------------------------------------------------------
Advert Received 20th August 2004
Farmworker required in Esperance
W.A. 14000 acres wheat, canola, barley. 4000 cattle, 3000 sheep. Join a
team of 8 (including 1 ex-Zimbo). 80km east of Esperance. Junior school
10km away, High school and two other Junior schools in Esperance, serviced by
bus. Position is available +/- February 2005.
We recently arrived here in Western
Australia from Zimbabwe. We are here on a Regional Sponsorship Visa and since
arriving have been asked by numerous farmers in our area if there are any
people back in Zimbabwe who would like to find employment on farms here. They
are desperate for full time and seasonal leading farm workers. I am willing
to help put anyone who is thinking of coming to Western Australia in contact
with farmers here in our area, and to give as much advice as I can from our
experience thus far.
The work is enjoyable and rewarding and is not as
what most Zimbabweans imagine, that you will be a farm labourer. Though it is
true that there is only one or two of you on the farms and you do do all the
work that is necessary, most work is backed up by modern mechanical
equipment. Anyone wishing to immigrate to Australia and felt that they did
not meet the relevant criteria to do so, this may be a very good way as it is
likely that your visa application may be looked at more favourably as they
are so short of people in the rural areas.
Our contact details for
anyone who would like to ask any questions is Karen & Lawrence
Herewith is one
job offer that may interest someone back home. TURUA PARK
is one of Western Australia's largest cereal cropping & sheep grazing
enterprises and run by the Iffla family.
The crops that are grown are
predominantly wheat & barley. Lupins, peas, canola and oats are also used
in the rotation and make up the 8,200 ha (20500acres) of crop.
are also some 6000 Merino ewes plus lambs along with other dry sheep which
make up the 13 000 Merino sheep on the property. We use contractors to shear
and mark the lambs.
Most of the work centres around the cropping
enterprise which entails a lot of preparation. Machinery looked after and
serviced, spraying weeds, seeding crops and harvesting them.
& green leaf testing are conducted at different intervals to determined
available nutrients required and the uptake in both pastures
Although here is not the large amount of manual labour
required today compared to a few years ago due to the advanced technology
Machines like boomsprays now have GPS systems in to help guide
the machine. Our boomspray is 120ft wide and has automatic steer. Obviously
no person could accurately judge the width without this
Permanent staff are required to run the day to day
operations, help with planning and also give leadership at busy times when we
use casual staff to help during planting and harvesting crops.
staff are well housed and although there is a small rent on the house ($30 -
$50 per week) sheep meat, water are free.
Although the machinery we use
is a lot larger than most people have driven it doesn't take long to adjust.
In fact the larger more modern machinery is most times easier to
Our family is looking for skilled people with a reasonable
education that are prepared to learn and take on new ideas and challenges,
people that are prepared to do any duty on the farm when required.
preference on the wage side of things is to pay a reasonable base rate and
further increases to be performance based. (sharing profits) however, this is
determined between parties. For further information, please contact the above
e-mail address. ______________________________________________
Advert Received 24th August 2004
Wanted: Lady Warden at Borradaile
Borradaile Trust, a retirement complex in
Marondera, requires the services of a special, caring lady who would fill the
position of Lady Warden of the B Scheme. This is a cloistered area, where
some 30 residents live independently in their own flats off the cloisters,
but are provided with all meals in a communal dining room. The incumbent
enjoys free board and lodging and a salary commensurate with qualifications
and experience. Trained nursing staff would be preferred, but this is
not essential. Interested parties should apply to: The Warden,
Borradaile Trust, Pvt Bag 3795, Marondera, enclosing two references and a
c.v.. E-mail: email@example.com
The position is tenable w.e.f. 1st September, 2004.
The Warden regrets that he will only be able to acknowledge applications
of short-listed applicants. ( 21st August,
Received 25th August 2004
Foreman / Manager required at BR Toyota Phone: Len Idensohn or Darrin
Keates E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or
email@example.com Tel: 304650
/ 304659 ______________________________________________
Received 26th August 2004
Cawston Ranch (Rosslyn Safaris) requires a
general manager for this well developed game ranch with ostrich production
section, 60 km north of Bulawayo on the Vic Falls road.
This is a
substantial position and needs a person of energy, integrity and organising
ability, with good people skills and a keen interest in land and wildlife
management. Experience in wildlife and ostriches not essential but obviously
In return we offer a very good package with accommodation
and sundry perks.
Please contact Peter Johnstone: by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone
at 09-244155, or cell
Received 26th August 2004
1. Tobacco Manager -
2. Crops in Agriculture with Tobacco experience,
good knowledge of irrigation
Contact T I Beattie Cell 011 404
297 Home 053
2448 Office 053
Received 26th August 2004
Butchery looking for a Shop
Manager/Supervisor. Possibly suit an ex farmer. Require own transport,
will supply fuel. Interested persons please contact: