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

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      Mugabe sells platinum rights to Chinese
      [Many African Americans attacked me over the years for saying the
Mugabe was actually armed by the Communist Chinese in the 1970's. This
article below mentions this fact. I also think this article is optimistic
when it says "Mugabe could fall from power any day". I disagree. I think the
Chinese and South Africans have no intention of letting Mugabe fall from
power. I think Implats is actually a South African mining company with
holdings in Zimbabwe. Jan]

      ZIMBABWEAN PRESIDENT ROBERT MUGABE has signed a deal with his Chinese
counterpart Hu Jintao in Beijing. The details have not been made public but
sources say that China has been given mineral rights to platinum and other
minerals. A land deal for tobacco may also be included. Mugabe requires
Chinese investors to finance ferrochrome production, irrigation projects,
power plants, and transport. The reward is a stake in the nation's platinum

      The big loser in the deal may well be the largely privately owned
Impala Platinum Holdings (Implats), which controls most of Zimbabwe's mines.
Implats annoyed Mugabe after it put a $750 million expansion program on hold
in February. Implats, the world's second-largest platinum producer, was
worried about government proposals that would force the company to sell an
unspecified stake to black investors and keep foreign currency earnings in

      Implats main holdings are in Zimbabwe (with an estimated 187 million
ounces of platinum worth over $40 billion--three times the resources it has
in South Africa). Implats holds 84 percent of Zimbabwe's platinum reserves
and has remained largely untouched by Mugabe until now, since the foreign
exchange earnings made by the mines have kept the regime alive by buying
much needed fuel and machinery and, more recently, food.

      A month ago, however, the concerns were that Implats and other
companies would be forced to relinquish some of their assets at unattractive
prices to black and Chinese investors. Today the situation looks far more

      CHINA KNOWS that Mugabe could fall from power any day and cannot
assume that mineral rights deals done today will survive regime change. It's
likely that what they have agreed to is a substantial portion of currently
mined platinum, as well as significant short-run mining rights. The Chinese
will also have longer-term rights included, in case Mugabe survives for
another several years, but it's unlikely they will be relying on such rights
to make the deal worthwhile to them.

      What this would mean is that Mugabe plans reneging on current mining
rights agreements. After the destruction of the white-owned farms there
really was only one place Mugabe could extract revenue--mining.

      It is also possible that Mugabe will now no longer need the loan he
originally sought from his old comrade South African President Thabo Mbeki.
For while the Chinese care not a jot for international conventions and their
reputation in the west, and will have no human rights strings attached to
their help, Mbeki does care. He was trying, albeit unsuccessfully, to get
Mugabe to halt the destruction of opposition area housing and businesses.

      This latest deal emphasizes China's determination to strengthen ties
with Mugabe, which date back to the 1970s war of independence, when Mugabe's
fighters were armed by the Chinese. China's involvement is economically
astute, but their willingness to take over the economic means of production
in a pariah state is politically worrying.

      Source: Weekly Standard

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MDC will never be a partner party - Mugabe
          August 01 2005 at 07:59AM

      Harare - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe said on Sunday that his
ruling party would never accommodate the main opposition Movement for
Democratic Change in government and vowed to resist pressure from Western
powers to strike a deal with the party.

      Mugabe's ruling Zanu-PF party won a March 31 parliamentary election
amid charges of fraud by the opposition MDC.

      "They have no right to demand that they be partners with us in
government, that they be a member of our government, that members of the MDC
be incorporated into our government," said Mugabe in remarks broadcast on
state television on his arrival from a weeklong trip to ally China.


      "We can never do that. We shall never do that. But debate with them in
parliament yes ... no one has the right to want to dictate to us that we
accommodate the MDC," he said.

      African leaders have tried unsuccessfully to foster dialogue between
Zimbabwe's two main political groups in attempts to resolve a political and
economic crisis that has left Zimbabwe struggling with high inflation and
unemployment, and shortages of food, foreign currency and fuel.

      The MDC, supported by some Western nations, has also disputed the
victory of Mugabe's ruling Zanu-PF party in elections held in 2000 and 2002,
alleging rigging and pre-poll violence against its supporters.

      The ruling party denies the charges and says the opposition party is a
puppet of former colonial power Britain.
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Business Day

Beijing loan snub 'boosts SA's sway over Mugabe'
Jonathan Katzenellenbogen


International Affairs Editor

AS ZIMBABWEAN President Robert Mugabe returned to Harare from China at the
weekend almost empty handed, SA's ability to extract political concessions
in return for a loan increased, observers said.

They said that with Mugabe in desperate need of foreign currency to pay for
energy, fuel, and essential imports, SA could now put the squeeze on him to
deliver his side of the deal, if South African aid is to be forthcoming.

Some diplomats have said China's refusal to extend Mugabe's government more
than $6m for grain imports, which Zimbabwe's state-owned Herald said he had
been given, may be part of a co-ordinated play between SA, China and other
countries to ensure the beleaguered leader has to turn to SA for help.

Mugabe received minimal economic help last week, and China, Russia and
Algeria tried unsuccessfully to block United Nations (UN) special envoy Anna
Tibaijuka from addressing the UN Security Council about her report on
Operation Murambatsvina, which says the urban clean-up campaign made 700000
people homeless.

It is understood Mugabe wants to visit SA soon to speed-up talks on a
bale-out package for Zimbabwe. A number of his ministers would come to SA
next week for talks, sources said.

The total assistance from China is well short of the loan SA is considering
and makes a very small dent in the country's foreign exchange shortfall.

Despite Zimbabwe's desperation for external financing to ease its fuel
crisis, SA has given no signal that this is being considered with the
urgency Harare would prefer. Last week SA helped Zimbabwe gain a reprieve
from imminent expulsion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The matter will be put to the IMF's board on September 9.

Even if Zimbabwe pays its overdue debt to the fund, it has no prospect of
new IMF finance unless it embarks on an approved programme of reform.

While the South African loan is earmarked for IMF repayment, the country
more urgently needs money for energy, fuel, and food.

President Thabo Mbeki has said SA would take "some financial responsibility
for Zimbabwe's IMF debt". He did not say what this would be, but indications
from government were that it would be to help pay Zimbabwe's arrears of
close to $300m.

The matter has to be placed before Parliament in order for any loan to be

Mugabe took a large delegation of government officials and business
representatives with him to China, which has been the centre of Mugabe's
"look east" policy, launched after European Union and US sanctions on his
government were imposed.

According to the Herald, agreements were signed during Mugabe's China trip
for a $6m grant to import grain and finance projects. China also agreed to
give Zimbabwe 100 computers.

Mugabe met Chinese President Hu Jintao in Beijing last week, but a source
said China had decided to give him temporary political protection, but no
economic aid of substance.

"The Chinese have done their assessment and it's 'Mugabe, you are not worth
investing in'," the source said.

Even with the devaluation of the Zimbabwe dollar's official exchange rate,
the ability of exporters to retain foreign exchange and the move toward high
interest, the Chinese did not show long-term confidence.
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Sokwanele - Enough is Enough - Zimbabwe

Transfrontier Park and World Heritage Site under threat
Sokwanele Report : 1 August 2005

Gonarezhou unfit for incorporation into a Regional Transfrontier Park

In the south east of Zimbabwe lies the massive Gonarezhou National Park, a previously unspoiled wilderness. The Park is flanked on its eastern boundary by the border with Mozambique and just to the south lies the mighty Kruger National Park. Before the Mugabe regime initiated the chaotic land grab in Zimbabwe to bolster its rapidly declining popularity, conservationists and wild life experts had been planning, and the governments concerned had committed themselves to, a Transfrontier Park which would straddle the borders between Mozambique, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

It was to have been an ambitious project which would have created the largest wildlife sanctuary in the world, and no doubt boosted tourist earnings and employment prospects dramatically for the three countries concerned. Alas Zimbabwe has reneged on the deal, allowing the once pristine wildlife area it was to have contributed to the joint venture to be so ravaged by human invasion as to be no longer suitable as a national, let alone trans-national game park.

Our reporter saw this for himself when he recently joined a group of visitors to Gonarezhou. Their observations are truly shocking.

The first thing they noticed on entering what used to be a strictly controlled ecozone of outstanding natural beauty, was that all the fences had been removed. All that remained were the steel poles bedded in the hard earth. Entering the park they were then struck by the number of indigenous trees that had been felled - literally thousands - leaving bare, empty plains where mixed woodlands had once stood. So much for the natural habitat that once supported a vast range of wild and bird life, but there was worse to come.

The formerly abundant grasslands had been devastated too, grossly overgrazed by cattle and goats, which now wandered freely through the area. The cause of this massive degradation of natural resources was of course the settlers who had moved into the area in search of fresh pastures and easy-to-harvest game. Indeed our reporter found abundant evidence of the hunting and slaughter of wildlife with rifles. The game wardens who at one time jealously guarded the wildlife against poachers are now instructed by their new political bosses to let things be.

From various vantage points it was clear that the settlers, numbering many hundreds, had penetrated a distance of between five and 10 kilometres into Gonarezhou from what used to be the western boundary of the Park. It was in this vast swathe of land that the greatest destruction of flora and fauna had occurred. Here the only wildlife seen was a herd of about 30 elephant. In the vicinity of the renowned Chilojo Cliffs, in an area once teeming with wild life, the observers spotted only 7 bull elephants and no small game. For the rest they saw nothing but cattle and goats along the way. The roads were bare of game spoor.

Further investigation confirmed that some of the settlers had ventured as far as the Pamadzi River where they had set up makeshift homes. Only as the visitors thrust farther to the east and away from the area already inhabited by the new settlers, did they begin to find signs of the once pristine vegetation that had previously covered the whole of the National Park.

It is clear from the ongoing reports we have received that there is absolutely no prospect of proceeding with the plans for a Transfrontier Park in the area until law and order have been restored in Zimbabwe under an altogether new political dispensation which is serious about tourism, employment and wildlife conservation. And even then there will be a huge amount of work involved in making good the depredations of human settlement and exploitation, for which the Mugabe regime is entirely responsible.

Chirundu Project Threatens World Heritage Site

During the past five years the regime has destroyed Zimbabwe's once thriving tourism industry and the highly efficient commercial agricultural sector which, together with mining, were the country's largest foreign currency earners.

Sokwanele has been informed of yet another critical threat to conservation in Zimbabwe: the proposed invasion of a vast tract of pristine wilderness area, part of which is a World Heritage Site, for an ill-advised 120 000ha agricultural venture.

According to a communiqué released by the Zimbabwe Conservation Development Foundation (ZCDF), a structured group comprising farmers, business people, companies and other independent stakeholders has developed an agricultural concept known as the "Chirundu Project". Although this massive project has yet to be announced publicly, the launch of the first stage - which purportedly has the approval of a senior government executive - is scheduled for 1 November.

The full extent of the project will invade not only the pristine Urungwe Safari Area, but a vast tract of land from Urungwe's western boundary, across Mana Pools National Park and the Sapi Safari Area to the Chewore Safari area's eastern boundary, with the Zambezi River as its northern boundary. The land measures an estimated 100km long and 10km wide, which equates to approximately 100 000ha. This region constitutes one of Africa's most outstanding wildlife spectacles and contains the last remaining natural stretch of the Middle Zambezi River.

In recognition of their international importance, the Mana Pools National Park, Sapi and Chewore Safari Areas were ratified by the IUCN (World Conservation Union) as a World Heritage Site in 1984 (reference: 302). The summary prepared by the IUCN was based on the original nomination submitted by Zimbabwe and states that the area is under public ownership. It is protected by the Parks and Wildlife Act of 1975 and is managed by the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management. It takes into account the contiguous status of Urungwe in the east and Dande in the west being proclaimed Safari Areas that afford Mana Pools National Park and adjacent areas an auxiliary field of protection.

The area under threat from the proposed Chirundu agricultural project constitutes a total of 6 766 square kilometres. No environmental impact assessment has been submitted to the Department of Natural Resources, nor has it invited one, and no known key stakeholders or interested persons or groups have been consulted on this matter.

Despite this, in excess of US$ 30 million worth of agricultural equipment in the form of extensive irrigation equipment, earthmoving machinery and heavy duty transport is reportedly in the final stages of being ordered for Phase 1. The contract for the construction of 600 low-cost houses in the area has apparently already been awarded.

The proposed project will include the growing of four major crops. However, the area is geologically unsuitable for commercial agriculture, with low sandy soil values over much of the affected land. Furthermore, there is a strong prevalence of tropical diseases such as tripanosomosiasis (sleeping sickness), malaria and bilharzia, making the region unsuitable for human habitation and domestic livestock.

The catastrophic consequences of allowing commercial agriculture in the area, which constitutes one of Africa's most outstanding wildlife spectacles, will include:

The ZCDF is requesting concerned individuals, organisations, institutions, trusts, regional authorities and international governments to write urgently to the ZCDF supporting its opposition to the proposed Chirundu Project.

The Zimbabwe Conservation and Development Foundation
Chief Executive Officer
Johnny Rodrigues
Phone: 263 4 336710, 263 4 339065, 263 11 603213

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1 August 2005



MDC PRESS: Mugabe's Veiled Attack on Annan Is An Attempt To Undermine UN Efforts


The contemptuous comments made by Robert Mugabe yesterday, in relation to a possible visit to Zimbabwe by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, were a deliberate attempt to undermine UN efforts to help the estimated 700,000 Zimbabweans who have had their homes and livelihoods destroyed as a result of the internationally condemned Operation Murambatsvina (Operation Restore Order).



In a brief address to a small group of Zanu PF officials, who had assembled at Harare International Airport to greet their leader on his return from China, Mugabe effectively warned the UN Secretary General that he would not be welcome in Zimbabwe if his visit was conditional upon Zanu PF engaging in dialogue with other stakeholders. Mugabe said that the invite had only been issued because he was keen for the UN Secretary General to visit Zimbabwe to ‘come and see what demolitions we have done here and why we did them’. 



The warning to the UN Secretary General betrays the extent to which Mugabe has been rattled by the damning report on Operation Murambatsvina, published by UN Special Envoy Anna Tibaijuka on July 18.



The report exploded many of the myths around Mugabe and Zanu PF. Mugabe can no longer claim to be a champion of the poor without inviting ridicule. Even more damaging are the continued attempts by Mugabe and Zanu PF to put a positive spin on Operation Murambatsvina and the shocking absence of remorse for the scale of human misery documented in the UN report.  



The MDC, and the hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans who have been left without shelter, food and other basic means of survival, hoped that at the very least the UN report would prick the consciences of the Zanu PF elite and persuade them of the magnitude of the humanitarian crisis, and the urgent need to help mobilise immediate humanitarian relief.



Regrettably, the response of Mugabe and Zanu PF has been to retreat into denial mode and flippantly dismiss international concerns of widespread suffering amongst the poor.



The MDC urges regional leaders to be cognisant of the evidence and recommendations contained in the report published by Special Envoy Anna Tibaijuka, and to use the report to inform a revised policy approach towards Zimbabwe. The humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe is so dire that only a collective effort by all stakeholders will prevent a further deterioration in conditions on the ground, and begin the process of undoing the damage that has been caused.  



As Mugabe indicated yesterday, he has no interest in talking to, or working with, other stakeholders in Zimbabwe. For the sake of Zimbabwe’s future stability, the onus is now on regional leaders to persuade him otherwise.



The MDC would like to reiterate the point that the UN report gives Mugabe an opportunity to break with the past and make peace with the people of Zimbabwe and the outside world. The MDC urges Mugabe not to waste this opportunity.



Professor Welshman Ncube

MDC Secretary General


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Zim Online

Mugabe rejects UN political mediation
Mon 1 August 2005

      HARARE - President Robert Mugabe on Sunday rejected United Nations
(UN) calls for political dialogue in the country between his ruling ZANU PF
party and main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party.

      Mugabe was addressing party supporters at Harare International Airport
after his arrival from a week-long visit to China where he was seeking
assistance to avert economic meltdown in crisis-sapped Zimbabwe.

      Mugabe said UN secretary general was only welcome to Zimbabwe to
assess the after effects of a controversial clean-up exercise and not to
push for dialogue between ZANU PF and the MDC.

      "I invited the secretary general of the United Nations to come and see
what demolitions we have done here and why we did them. That's the area I
invited him for. I never said he should superintendent our political
relations with the MDC," Mugabe said.

      UN special envoy Anna Tibaijuka, who issued a damning report on
Zimbabwe's controversial housing demolitions two weeks ago, among her
recommendations urged political dialogue between the two main political
parties to haul the country out of its present crisis.

      But Harare has rejected the UN report alleging bias on the envoy's

      South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki is also pushing for political
dialogue between Mugabe and the MDC as a condition for a massive US$1
billion loan Zimbabwe urgently needs to avert economic meltdown.

      Mugabe has in the past consistently rejected calls for political
dialogue with the MDC arguing the opposition party was a front for the West
out to reverse the country's political gains.

      Yesterday, Mugabe also insisted that ZANU PF will only talk to the MDC
in Parliament where the opposition party holds 41 seats after a
controversial election held last March.

      "They (MDC) are in Parliament; they can debate in Parliament in any
way they like. But they have no right that they should be partners with us
in Government. We can never do that. We shall never do that . . . No one
shall dictate to us that we should accommodate the MDC," Mugabe said. -

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UN News Centre

Any visit by Annan to Zimbabwe should be carefully planned - UN spokesman
1 August 2005 - Any visit to Zimbabwe by Nations Secretary-General Kofi
Annan should be carefully planned in order to achieve its main objectives of
alleviating human suffering and addressing social, economic and political
challenges, a UN spokesman said today.

Mr. Annan has accepted "in principle" an invitation from Zimbabwean
President Robert Mugabe following the release of a UN report calling the
evictions of up to 700,000 people in the southern African country a
"disastrous venture" carried out with "indifference to human suffering" and
with "enormous" humanitarian consequences.

"He's not about to jump on a plane," spokesman Stéphane Dujarric told the
noon daily briefing. "As we've said in the past, he's agreed in principle,
but the trip should be carefully planned in order to achieve its main

"The visit needs to contribute to the alleviation of human suffering and
assist in addressing the social, economic and political challenges in
Zimbabwe," he added.
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Air Zimbabwe Fares Go Up 75 Percent

The Herald (Harare)

July 30, 2005
Posted to the web August 1, 2005


Air Zimbabwe has increased its fares by 75 percent in line with the new
exchange rate announced by Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor Dr Gideon
Gono in his recent monetary policy review statement.

Mr David Mwenga, the national airline's spokesman, yesterday confirmed the
increase saying it was meant to match with the new rate of $17 500 to the

"We set our fares in United States dollars but we convert that to our local
currency to cater for local travellers," he said.

The airline, Mr Mwenga stressed, has not adjusted the fares in foreign
currency terms.

"Only the local currency has been adjusted because we now quote using the
new auction rate, which went up from $10 500 to the United States dollar to
$17 500 to the US$."

The airfare adjustments will result in an economy class return ticket for
Harare-Johannesburg going for between $5 million and $8 million.

There are various economy classes depending on whether it was an early or
late booking.

Before the latest fare adjustment, travellers were paying between $3,3
million and $5million for the economy class seats.

A return ticket for Victoria Falls-Johannesburg now costs between $4,5
million and $8 million up from between $3 million and $5 million for the
economy class.

Economy class return ticket for Harare- Bulawayo is now at $3,5 million, up
from $2million.

Harare-Victoria Falls has gone up to $4,7million from $2,7million.

Economy class for a return ticket to London has had a giant leap from
between $11 million and $21 million to between $19 million and $36 million.

Mr Mwenga said the Harare-Beijing route, which has currently been the
busiest of all routes, has now stabilised and the airline will no longer
charge promotional fares.

"We are now charging the market rate and realistic fares though it would
still be not much compared to what other airlines are charging," said the
Air Zimbabwe spokesman.

"We are convinced the new adjustment in local currency fares is the fairest
of deals considering that the bulk of our expenditure when we land in
transit to or back home we pay for all that in foreign currency. We also pay
all our staff in foreign countries in foreign currency."

He said the foreign currency they pay for all their expenditure has to be
attained from the services they provide.

Air Zimbabwe is set to receive more than $500 billion from the RBZ's
Parastatals and Local Authorities Reorientation Programme.
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Chinamasa Named BAT Tobacco Grower of the Year

The Herald (Harare)

July 30, 2005
Posted to the web August 1, 2005


Mrs. Monica Chinamasa - the wife of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs
Minister Cde Patrick Chinamasa - has scooped the 2004/2005 BAT Tobacco
Grower of the Year Award.

She walked away with a miniature trophy, $25 million prize money and a
certificate at a colourful ceremony in Harare last night.

The farmer averaged 3 500kg of tobacco per hectare during the 2004/2005
agricultural season from her 90 hectares of tobacco.

Mrs Chinamasa also grew 80 hectares of seed maize, 25 hectares of commercial
maize and another 80 hectares of barley as a winter crop.

In addition, she grew such horticultural crops as garlic, soyabeans, sugar
beans and tomatoes besides rearing 220 herd of cattle at their Tsukumai Farm
in Headlands.

The Minister of State for Security, Land, Land Reform and Resettlement Cde
Didymus Mutasa, who officiated at the ceremony said although tobacco was a
major foreign currency earner, punitive interest rates after the expiry of
the Productive Sector Facility affected most farmers.

Cde Mutasa said some of the challenges facing the farmers include their
urgent desire for 99-year leases as security of tenure, shortage of hessian
and paper to wrap their tobacco before marketing and shortage of transport.
The minister urged farmers to increase their hectarage to achieve a national
target of 80 000 hectares of tobacco.

"Please do not despair for we, as Government, are looking at ways of
neutralising these challenges. Go ahead and brace yourselves to cultivate 80
000 hectares next season," he said.

Cde Mutasa said he was pleased with the winners as the competition comes in
the wake of calls for farmers to grow crops which generated foreign

He said it was also important to note that out of 231 063 families that
benefited from the land reform programme, some 40 000 families are
flue-cured tobacco farmers.

"We believe that our strategic land distribution objectives have been met,
not just for tobacco farmers but for all other producers. Above all, we
sought to create a sustainable socio- economic environment where all
beneficiaries would thrive.

"It is for this reason that Operation Restore Order was not limited to urban
areas only but was extended to farming areas for your benefit."

Cde Mutasa urged farmers to fully utilise land allocated to them during the
land reform programme.

"Let me re-emphasise the importance of capacity building of our emerging
tobacco producers, lest our detractors will think that land was given to

He commended the Farmers Development Trust and BAT Zimbabwe for awarding
scholarships from which farmers were trained in tobacco production
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Mugabe Has Dug Zanu-PF's Grave

Sunday Times (Johannesburg)

July 31, 2005
Posted to the web August 1, 2005

Jonathan Moyo

IF THERE is one apt description of President Robert Mugabe's current
quandary as he sought international relevance in a widely publicised visit
to China this past week, it is Edmund Burke's 1795 observation that all men
who are ruined are ruined on the side of their natural propensities.

Mugabe is ruined but, tragically, he continues to be self-indulgently blind
to his ruin and its consequences.

Zimbabweans at home and in the diaspora now face a serious challenge: will
they allow Mugabe's ruin to be their ruin, and to wreck the country beyond
recovery in the foreseeable future?

Mugabe's ruin is all on the side of his natural propensities. Over the
years, pre-dating Zimbabwe's independence in 1980, he has displayed the
energetic natural propensities for nationalism, pan-Africanism and Third
World solidarity that have inspired many in Zimbabwe and around the world,
especially in Africa, and earned him respect as a champion of the rights of
the downtrodden.

But Mugabe's international reputation has generally been built from what he
says, and not what he actually does.

Without doubt, he is a great speaker, who uses the emotive words that can
move mountains when railing against neo colonialists and imperialists.

He comes across as a visionary leader deeply concerned about the plight of
the poor in Zimbabwe and the rights of poor nations in the world.

Yet there is a huge gulf between what Mugabe says and what he actually does.
In fact, there is no positive relationship between the two.

For example, on many occasions he has said that his ruling Zanu-PF should
not be taught democracy by anyone, because it brought democracy to Zimbabwe
after waging a protracted armed liberation struggle.

But a closer look at Zanu-PF since independence shows that Mugabe has used
his unchallenged power and influence in the ruling party to either squander
or spurn every opportunity to practise democracy within its own ranks. This
has had far-reaching, negative consequences for the party's governance of
the country.

While there are many examples that demonstrate this, the most recent was on
November 18 last year, when Mugabe hurriedly convened an unscheduled,
special Politburo meeting.

He used this meeting - which did not even have a quorum - to unprocedurally
and unconstitutionally amend Zanu-PF's constitution in order to prevent the
party membership from freely and democratically electing the presidium and
central committee of the party.

This was done three days before the constitutionally scheduled election took
place on November 22.

Zanu-PF's constitution is usually amended by the party's congress, which
meets every five years. In between, amendments can be made by the party's
central committee and ratified by its annual conference.

The Politburo, which Mugabe chairs and controls, is an organ of the central
committee and has no authority to amend the party's constitution.

Mugabe, with the support of a tribal clique, feared that free and fair
elections within Zanu-PF would result in the election of Emmerson Mnangagwa
as vice-president, when his preferred candidate was Joyce Mujuru.

To guarantee her imposition, an irregular Politburo meeting was irregularly
used to amend the party's constitution. The rest is history.

Many so-called Young Turks in the party, including this writer, who had been
working very hard to promote and institute internal democratic reform and
processes, and encourage the development of competence and merit-based
leadership within the ruling party, were shocked by this development.

But to a few others among the more democratic-minded old guard, who remain
in Zanu-PF only because of the fear of fear itself, Mugabe's eleventh-hour
intervention was typical of his undemocratic leadership style.

Mugabe's nationalism is not informed by any democratic ideals with a
practical meaning. He is a rhetorical nationalist who does not want to see
democracy anywhere near him.

While this has served him for much of his troubled rule over a quarter of a
century, the chickens are now coming home to roost.

There is an ongoing upheaval in Zanu-PF, which is certain to seal not only
Mugabe's ruin, but also the ruin of the party itself.

November 18 2004 will go down in the history of Zanu-PF as the day that
Mugabe dug his own political grave, and that of the party.

The damage to Zanu-PF, which is now a party on the shelf, is such that it is
no longer able to produce a constitutional - or any - successor to Mugabe.
And Mugabe must not be allowed to rule Zimbabwe beyond 2008, whether he
wants to or not.

Zanu-PF's failure to play by democratic rules ahead of its congress means
that it has irretrievably lost a legitimate claim to survive Mugabe's rule.

What further compounds Mugabe's quandary on the eve of what is increasingly
looking like a most unceremonious exit is that the second half of his 25
years in power has seen the total collapse of the economy against the
backdrop of an unsustainable political environment.

The fact that the unemployment rate is over 75% and that 70% of the
population, made up of the downtrodden who are his core constituency, live
below the poverty datum line has made Mugabe a certified failure in policy
terms. This has cost him moral and political legitimacy, of which he now has

The land-reform programme has fallen victim to political patronage and is
now being used to punish dissenters, rather than to empower the needy.

The recent so-called Operation Murambatsvina, which destroyed the homes and
livelihoods of around 700 000 Zimbabweans and negatively affected a further
2.4 million, has had social, economic, political and institutional

The campaign is as disastrous as the effects of gukurahundi, Mugabe's
campaign to kill and silence his political foes from Matabeleland, which
caused the death of more than 20 000 people and destroyed the homes and
livelihoods of many more thousands in the '80s.

Mugabe remains steeped in a past ruined by his own natural propensities, but
Zimbabwe and the world have changed drastically since the gukurahundi days -
and, this time, Zimbabweans who are living through the evil effects of
Operation Murambatsvina are not going to sit idle and hope for the best.

Zimbabweans are now very clear that none of the problems besetting their
country will be solved as long as Mugabe is president of Zimbabwe and
Zanu-PF is the ruling party.

There is a growing national consensus that Mugabe must find an early
constitutional exit and go now, before it is too late for him and the

Because things in Zimbabwe will get worse before they get better, any other
option is too ghastly to contemplate.

Until recently, Moyo was minister of Information in Mugabe's government. He
is now an independent MP

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Mail and Guardian

      Keep your distance, defiant Mugabe tells West

      Susan Njanji | Harare, Zimbabwe

      01 August 2005 04:33

            Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe returned to work on Monday
after a visit to China yielded a few agreements but fell way short of an
expected rescue package for his country, and remained defiant of Western
criticism of his regime.

            On arriving home, the 81-year-old leader shrugged off global
pressure over his government's urban demolition blitz, which has left about
700 000 people homeless, telling the West to "keep your distance".

            Zimbabwe faces expulsion from the International Monetary Fund
(IMF) unless it pays back a $300-million debt, amid shortages of basic
commodities and United Nations accusations that the demolition drive fuelled
a humanitarian crisis.

            "Zimbabwe will always resist any interference in its domestic
affairs," Mugabe said.

            Bill Saidi, a social commentator, said Mugabe had expected "some
real rescue package" during his visit to China last week.

            But although he was very warmly received, he returned home with
a few cooperation agreements on the expansion of hydroelectric power
stations, the reopening of collapsed copper mines and a pact to establish
new coal mines.

            China also agreed to supply trains and rehabilitate Zimbabwe's
rail network, apart from pledging food relief for millions of Zimbabweans
who face hunger due to poor crops.

            "He obviously was hoping that the Chinese would come to his aid
because of his openly anti-West position, but he misunderstood them, the
Chinese are trading with the West. So, to some extent they are indebted to
the West," said Saidi.

            Mugabe, who has been shunned by the West in recent years over
rights and governance issues, has assiduously courted Asia, describing China
as "our greatest friend outside Africa".

            The United States and New Zealand voiced concern over China's
invitation to Mugabe, which coincided with a damning UN report over a
state-run drive to demolish illegal shacks and shops in urban areas.

            The report criticised the government's demolition campaign,
saying it rendered at least 700 000 people homeless and left another
2,4-million affected.

            Irked by the report, Mugabe invited UN Secretary General Kofi
Annan to Zimbabwe to assess the impact of demolition campaign.

            "I ... extended an invitation to the secretary general of the
United Nations to come and see for himself what demolitions we have done and
why we have done that, that's the area for which I invited him," said

            "I never said he should come and superintend over our political
relations with the MDC [opposition Movement for Democratic Change party],"
he said on Sunday.

            Mugabe vowed he will not "succumb" to pressure to enter into
dialogue with the MDC.

            "Anyone who seeks to foster relations with the MDC will be going
against our democratic principles and we shall resist," he said.

            "We can never do that [take on the MDC into the government], we
shall never do that ... and no one has the right to want to dictate to us
that we accommodate the MDC," he said.

            Meanwhile, southern neighbour South Africa is continuing talks
with Zimbabwe on a possible bail-out deal that would prevent Harare's
expulsion from the IMF.

            "Consultations are continuing," South African government
spokesperson Joel Netshitenzhe said. "The matter will probably be resolved
before the point at which the IMF would have to make its decision."

            Saidi said while Mugabe has turned eastwards, he has little
option but to mend fences with the West to avoid a further economic slide.

            "It's shameful for a man, proud as he is, to have to go with a
bowl in his hand to South Africa," said Saidi.

            "I think his only option now is to swallow his pride and get
back to terms with the international community." -- Sapa-AFP

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Church leaders to meet Mbeki on UN Zimbabwe report

August 01, 2005, 18:30

Church leaders expect to meet President Thabo Mbeki soon to discuss the
United Nations report on Zimbabwe's "clean up" operations, believed to have
affected around 700 000 people.

Anglican Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane revealed this today that after he
and other church leaders blessed consignments of humanitarian aid the SA
Council of Churches (SACC) has donated to Zimbabwean people affected by the
operation. This follows a recent visit by the leaders SACC leaders to

"The president indicated to us that he would like to meet us to engage on
the United Nations report," Ndungane told reporters. Last month, the UN
released a scathing report on the campaign of demolitions stating that it
had left 700 000 Zimbabweans homeless and destitute and affected a further
2.4 million. Ndungane says they all know that Zimbabwe goes from one crisis
to another and they are all interested in long-term solutions to the
economic and political problems in Zimbabwe.

The cleric echoed Trevor Manuel, the finance minister's, concerns that South
Africa had to make sure it did not have a failed state on its borders.

Today's consignment, containing 37 tons of food and over 6 000 blankets, was
the first of many loads the churches would send across the Limpopo river
border. The Zimbabwe Council of Churches' humanitarian distribution agency,
Christian Care, will distribute it where it deems necessary.

The next consignment, on August 18, will be accompanied by a South African
military escort. Ndungane said the SACC had consulted with the South African
government to help with the smooth transportation of the consignments into

On the pavement outside the SACC office in Marshall Street, Johannesburg,
Ndungane prayed for "sanity" to be brought to the leadership of Zimbabwe. -
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World Peace Herald

China rejects Zimbabwe appeal for money
Published August 1, 2005

HARARE, Zimbabwe -- China has refused Zimbabwe's request for financial help,
despite a visit and direct appeal by the African nation's leader to Beijing.

    President Robert Mugabe spent a week in China seeking a reported $1
billion to bail his country's economy out of its growing crisis. Harare owes
the International Monetary Fund $300 million.

    China offered Mugabe a $6 million grain import deal, the BBC reported

    The China trip was Mugabe's second public effort to find outside help.
Last month he asked South Africa for a loan. No announcement has been made
about that request.

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Africa's Excuse for Harare 'Looking Limp'

Business Day (Johannesburg)

August 1, 2005
Posted to the web August 1, 2005

Jonathan Katzenellenbogen

ARGUMENTS against putting greater pressure on Zimbabwe's government to
change were beginning to "look limp indeed", the president of an
international lobby group said at the weekend.

Gareth Evans, president of the nonprofit International Crisis Group, said at
a meeting of international social democratic movements that pressure from
southern African neighbours could do more to bring about change in Zimbabwe
than Europe and America's punitive action.

The call for greater regional pressure follows the release of a United
Nations (UN) special envoy report on the Zimbabwean government's
controversial urban demolition operation.

UN envoy Anna Tibaijuka was fiercely critical of Operation Murabatsvina, a
demolitions campaign targeting informal settlements and businesses, mostly
in Zimbabwe's urban centres.

The two-month demolition campaign has left up to 700000 people homeless.

President Thabo Mbeki had said government would wait for Tibaijuka's report
before deciding on any action with regard to Operation Murambatsvina, but
last week Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said the drive was "an
internal matter" for Zimbabwe.

African National Congress spokesman Smuts Ngonyama said last week the party
supported the document as it opened the way for engagement.

But Evans, who was Australia's foreign minister from 1988 until 1996, poured
scorn on the South African government's stance.

"We have reached a tipping point in terms of what can no longer be ignored
or downplayed, and it is time for action" in Zimbabwe, Evans said.

By far the most effective action, he said, would come from the region.

"In an African context peer group pressure is a formidable force," he said.

Evans said that until clear statements were made on the deteriorating
situation in Zimbabwe by African leaders, "it will be difficult for African
leaders to persuade the rest of the world that, when it comes to peace and
security and what is necessary to maintain and sustain it, they really are
acting in accordance with the highest international principles".

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party
leaders held a meeting near Johannesburg at the weekend.

No statement was issued after the meeting, but insiders said it was clear
the party would have to deal with internal problems to become more effective
as a political force.

Sources said the meeting was called for the leadership to lay the groundwork
for an effective response to Operation Murambatsvina, which it currently
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DA's "no loan for Mugabe"campaign hots up

      By Tererai Karimakwenda
      01 August 2005

      South Africa's opposition Democratic Alliance party has intensified
its campaign to make sure Thabo Mbeki does not bailout Robert Mugabe by
giving him a loan, with or without conditions. The party placed adverts in
at least 4 local newspapers urging the South African public to send emails
and text messages to Mbeki, and has written to the appropriate authorities
asking for a debate in parliament on the loan issue. DA foreign affairs
spokesman, MP Douglas Gibson, said the country should not prop up a dictator
who will not be able to pay back the loan.

      The DA campaign is gaining steam just when the Mugabe camp is
regrouping after having returned rather empty handed from China at the
weekend. Reports say Mugabe was handed only US$6m and not the US$1b he
requested and left with South Africa as his only other hope. Observers are
viewing this development as an opportunity for Mbeki to show strength and
moral conviction by imposing conditions on Mugabe if he wants help. Mugabe's
spokesman George Charamba said last week Zimbabwe would not accept any
conditions, but it is widely believed Harare will give in to some political
concessions, then turn around and refuse to comply once the pressure is off.

      Gibson said the long-term solution is for Mugabe to resign and make
way for a government of national unity. This government should immediately
draft a new constitution and arrange for democratic elections to take place.
Gibson encourages not only South Africans but also Zimbabweans to let Mbeki
know that Mugabe is a dictator who should not be bailed out. He said helping
Harare will prolong the suffering of the Zimbabwean people.

      With Mugabe in desperate need of foreign currency to pay for energy,
fuel and other essential imports, SA could now put the squeeze on him to
deliver his side of the deal, if South African aid is to be forthcoming.
      Join the campaign. Send emails of protest to Mbeki at
      And texts to 27-12-323-8246

      SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
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Women of Zimbabwe Arise

      By Violet Gonda
      01 August 2005

      Over 300 Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) and over 20 male members
marched in Bulawayo to Mhlahlandlela Government Complex to hand over a
letter for Robert Mugabe to the Provincial Governor Cain Mathema. The letter
called for the repealing of unjust laws and implementation of the UN Special
Envoys recommendations. Riot Police attended the scene after the women had
disbursed but no one was arrested. The march was conducted in silence to
demonstrate that the Public Order and Security Act and Access to Information
and Protection of Privacy Act have silenced the nation. The peaceful
activists also wore black armbands in solidarity with the Liberation War
Heroes who sacrificed their lives to bring Independence and say they must be
turning in their graves, as Zimbabweans are not free. The group said
Operation Murambatsvina has awakened them from their rest. The armband is a
way of respecting their sacrifices but signaling them that some Zimbabweans
are still fighting for freedom.

      Letters were delivered to the Provincial Governor, the High Court and
Tredgold Provincial Courts and the Provincial Zimbabwe Republic Police

      SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
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Letter From America

      By Professor Stanford Mukasa
      01 August 2005

      The news that the remaining mostly white commercial farmers financed
the ZANUPF campaign during the last elections raises two fundamental
questions about the nature of the struggle for democracy in Zimbabwe. Many
political scientists use what is known as political economy as a method of
studying the politics of power and coalitions in Zimbabwe. In this method
they look at power relationships among the key political and economic
players in Zimbabwe. When Zimbabwe gained independence in 1980 three power
groups came into a coalition that ruled the country. These were the
political power group made up of the ZANU-ZAPU loose alliance. Next, was the
industrial and manufacturing group which together with the commercial
agricultural sector formed the economic power base in post colonial
Zimbabwe. The nationalists who supposedly gained political power formed a
coalition with the economic sector. This coalition was necessary because the
political elite did not have the resources to sustain themselves. ZANU and
ZAPU leaders and their top cronies became dependent on the economic power
elites, namely manufacturing, industrial and commercial agriculture.

      Thus the role of the state under the Mugabe regime was traditionally a
support base for the ZANU and ZAPU. The state became the mother of ZAPU and
ZANU. But unlike children ZAPU and ZANU were never weaned off the state.
Such a coalition was fragile of course because it depended on Mugabe
maintaining strong control over the masses. To achieve this Mugabe co-opted
the army, police and CIO to keep the masses at bay so to speak. For several
years after independence this coalition was able to sustain a national
growth rate of about five percent. This was above average in many developing
countries. The routine was the same: the economic elites created wealth and
paid taxes to the State. The State used some of this money for development
projects. But other money was used to reward the ZANU ZAPU elites. The
subvention for these elites also came from development aid. Part of aid and
loans and grants from developed countries was diverted to feed the ever
hungry ZANU/ZAPU monster. This monster was made up of cronies whose primary
task was to keep the masses under control. But the demands and numbers of
cronies were skyrocketing. Mugabe was forced to create meaningless positions
both in government in the united ZANUPF and in the party. This meant
diverting even more resources from development to the cronies. However,
international aid to Zimbabwe meant Mugabe did not rely only on the economic
elite for his sustenance and that of his cronies. I must state here that
national growth rate as measured by the World Bank and other economists are
based on the performance of the formal economy. The informal economy, which
sustains the vast masses in Zimbabwe, has never been traditionally and
systematically measured as part of the national growth rate. Some economists
have argued that the informal economy does not contribute significantly to
the creation of wealth. If we look at the political economy of Zimbabwe
under Mugabe we will have a better understanding of the dynamics of the
politics of power and the contexts in which problems and issues are
addressed. There can be no doubt that Zimbabwe is now a class society. And
the problems and issues in Zimbabwe today have to do with the haves and have
nots. It is within this context that we can better understand why the
commercial farmers funded the ZANUPF campaign. Both the commercial farmers
and the top ZANUPF politicians have similar class interests because they
belong to the same class. While nearly 5,000 white commercial farms were
seized by Mugabe, it was the black farm workers who suffered untold
hardships. Over 500,000 blacks were displaced and dumped by the roadside in
an operation that ostensibly was aimed at, according to Mugabe, taking farms
from the whites to blacks. The true nature of this operation was Mugabe
seized farms from one class, the white farmers, and gave the farms to
another class, the top ZANUPF officials.

      Even in the opposition movement some of the leadership actually
belongs to the elite class. Thus in between the opposition leadership and
the white commercial farming community the struggle for democracy can be
defined as the struggle for equitable distribution of goods and resources
among the privileged and elite class.Where their farms have been seized the
commercial farmers have enjoyed lucrative loans and concessions in other
countries like Zambia, Mozambique, Uganda and Nigeria. Such invitations,
concessions and loans have not been extended to the displaced blacks. None
of the neighbouring countries have invited displaced blacks. Using the model
I outlined above for understanding issues and problems in Zimbabwe one can
understand Mugabe's reckless behaviour. All the criminal acts committed by
Mugabe have been targeted mainly at the masses. One may ask the question: If
the masses ' informal sector does not produce wealth in sufficient
quantities to be measured on the national GDP why should Mugabe even waste
his time harassing them? The answer is simply to consolidate his political
power base. It was Jonathan Moyo at the time he was a Mugabe fanatic who
advised Mugabe the Machiavellian politics of instilling fear in the people
so they can never think of ever staging a demonstration against him. Mugabe
has a political power base. And he has consolidated that power through his
actions ranging from the massacre of over 30,000 Ndebele in 1982; the
rigging of elections, lack of respect for the constitution and the rule of
law, the creation of the militia thugs and the manipulation of the army,
police, CIO into agents of ZANUPF rather than the state. To this extent
Mugabe feels he is now firmly politically entrenched. But Mugabe is not in
control of the economy. Mugabe belongs to the political elites who are
incapable of creating wealth. These elites have traditionally depended on
the industrialists, manufacturers and commercial farmers to sustain them. So
did Mugabe by his actions kill the golden goose that laid the golden eggs?
In a way he unwittingly did so. What Mugabe wanted was to create a new
ZANUPF economic class that would not only create wealth but reduce ZANUPF
reliance on the economic class of industrialists, commercial farmers and
manufacturers. Mugabe must have looked at China and, to a lesser extent
Cuba. He must have concluded that, as in China, Zimbabwe could adopt the
Chinese model of economic prosperity without democracy or the rule of law.
In looking at Cuba Mugabe must have seen in Fidel Castro a survivor of US
sanctions even though the Cubans had been reduced to a difficult life.

      Mugabe's model for socially engineering Zimbabwe is primarily to
instill fear among the Zimbabweans not to protest against him. Even the
opposition movement is unsure about staging massive protests. Next, Mugabe
hopes that hitching Zimbabwe on the Chinese economy Zimbabwe can achieve the
economic growth and prosperity that China currently enjoys. Mugabe's dream
is a Zimbabwe that he controls both politically and economically.
Politically he has staffed his regime with pro-ZANUPF sympathizers.
Economically he is steadily giving control of the country's manufacturing,
industrial and especially commercial agricultural sectors to ZANUPF cronies.
In reshaping Zimbabwe Mugabe has had to contend with disgruntled voices from
within his party. The last thing Mugabe wants to see is a fragmented ZANUPF.
One way of dealing with rebels, apart from sacking Moyo, is to give his
staunch supporters commercial farms or other industrial, manufacturing
companies. Mugabe now has two major projects. The first is to consolidate
the country's economic machinery under ZANUPF control. A select number of
whites will still command some aspects of the economy but they will be under
political control and direction of ZANUPF.

      The problem with Mugabe's grand plan to give ZANUPF control of the
economy and the wealth producing institutions is that ZANUPF has no capacity
or tradition to create wealth.

      ZANUPF is a viper's nest of consumers of wealth but not producers.
ZANUPF simply does not know how to create wealth. They cannot even manage
their party accounts.

      Herein lies the root of the economic problems in Zimbabwe, namely bad

      SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
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Chinese buses not made for rough Zimbabwe roads

      By Tererai Karimakwenda
      01 August 2005

      The transport problem has become more critical in Zimbabwe with the
introduction of ZUPCO buses that came from China. Commuters who are
struggling and walking to work daily, report that many minibuses are
spending days on end in queues for fuel, and this has left mostly government
operated ZUPCO buses on the roads. But many of the new ZUPCO buses from
China have very low suspension systems. This makes it impossible for them to
travel to areas with bad dirt roads and pot-holes.

      The shortage of both bath soap and laundry detergent has also become a
serious problem. There are many people reported to be making money by
travelling to Mozambique and buying soap for resale on the black market. But
the prices are said to be very high.

      Another issue that is causing Zimbabweans much grief these days is the
shortage of accommodation. Many people who were forced to destroy their own
homes during the cleanup operation are still looking for a place to stay.
Some are allegedly paying rent to their former landlords just to be allowed
to stay in the yard and use the toilet and water facilities. A resident of
Highfields said that the council workers who read the water meters are
providing information to the police as to who is still keeping lodgers in
their yards. The police then come and raid the surprised tenants who have no
other place to go.

      SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
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Zimbabwe: UN Expert Calls for Action to End Massive Human Rights Violations

UN News Service (New York)

August 1, 2005
Posted to the web August 1, 2005

A senior United Nations human rights official has called for rapid action by
the world body in conjunction with the Government of the southern African
country to end the "ongoing violations of human rights on the massive scale"
entailed by the eviction of more than a half a million people.

"What has already happened cannot be undone," Secretary-General Kofi Annan's
Representative on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons, Walter
Kälin, said in a statement, noting that the Government of Zimbabwe had
fallen far short of its obligations on internal displacement.

"What is now critical is that swift action be taken to protect the rights of
the displaced - they are entitled to proper shelter, food, water and health
care, and equal access to education for their children. They also have the
right under international law to compensation for the loss of lawful
possessions, and to freely choose their future place of residence," he

A UN report issued last month noted that the evictions, which the Government
said were intended to clear illegally built slums, had been carried out
"with indifference to human suffering," and Mr. Annan stressed that the
operation had done "catastrophic injustice" to up to 700,000 of the
country's poorest citizens.

"Destruction of homes and forced movement of people on such a scale comes
squarely within the definition of internal displacement, which covers people
forced to leave their homes to avoid human rights violations and other
disasters, whether human-made or natural," Mr. Kälin said. "What underscores
the tragedy is that this crisis has been, from the start, entirely

Calling the Government's action incompatible with international law in many
respects, he noted that the UN's Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement
protect against arbitrary displacement, require due process, adequate
notice, appropriate relocation and minimization of adverse effects, as well
as appropriate provision of the necessities of life to displaced persons,
protection of their property and voluntary choices to displaced persons as
to where they will return.

"On each and every [one] of these points, the Government of Zimbabwe has
fallen far short of its obligations," he declared.

With rapid action on the part of the UN in conjunction with the Government,
"ongoing violations of human rights on the massive scale we have witnessed
can be quickly brought to an end, and the task of putting people's lives
back together again can begin," Mr. Kälin said. "The half-million displaced
deserve, and are under law entitled to, no less than that."
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Zim refugees in SA suffering
01/08/2005 16:18  - (SA)

Johannesburg - Refugees from Zimbabwe's operation "Drive Out Trash" are
suffering in South Africa from hunger, destitution and harassment by the
authorities, the Crisis Coalition of Zimbabwe said on Monday.

Crisis Coalition spokesperson Eleanor Sisulu said this at a South African
Council of Churches (SACC) news conference on Monday.

She called on the church movement to address the issue of Zimbabwe refugees
with the South African government.

Her colleague, Dr Elizabeth Marunda, said many of these people had earned
their living through the informal economy.

"They are now helpless," Marunda said.

Earlier church leaders blessed the first consignment of humanitarian aid for
Zimbabwe donated by the SACC.

Anglican Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane prayed for "sanity" to be brought
to the leadership of Zimbabwe, while Rhema Church leader Ray McCauley prayed
the event would mark the beginning of momentum to help suffering people in
that country.

A convoy of trucks carrying aid relief of 4 500 blankets and 37 tons of
maize, beans and oil is to leave Johannesburg for Zimbabwe later in the day.

Ndungane's office said the convoy would be escorted by SA soldiers.
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Mail and Guardian

      Life in Zim prison: A pilot's story

      Johannesburg, South Africa

      01 August 2005 12:28

            South African pilot Niel Steyl experienced his release from
Zimbabwean prison at the weekend as the start of a second innings, News24
reported on Monday.

            "It feels as if I was clean-bowled out of my first life, but the
second innings of my life started on Saturday," he told reporter Erika

            Steyl and Hendrik Hamman, a pilot from Namibia, were held in the
Chikurubi maximum security prison in Zimbabwe for 17 months before being
freed on Saturday.

            "I would probably have done better sleeping on the carpet in
front of the bed rather than on the bed," Steyl said after his first night
back in a clean and comfortable room. The men slept on a bare concrete floor
in prison.

            Steyl and Hamman were arrested with 67 South Africans at the
Harare airport in March last year. They had allegedly stopped to pick up
weapons to overthrow the government of Equatorial Guinea.

            Steyl said the Zimbabwean prison officials played games about
when and how the two pilots would be released.

            The pilots' families bought airline tickets for them to fly to
South Africa, but things did not go as expected.

            "We were woken up fairly roughly at 4.30 that [Saturday]
morning. We were handcuffed and shackled and put on the back of a bakkie,"
Steyl recounted.

            "We did not know what was happening until we realised we were
moving in the direction of the border.

            "Before and behind us there were vehicles with armed soldiers.
At Masvingo, the bakkie was low on petrol and we turned in the direction of
Mutare before going to the border post.

            "At Beit Bridge, we were still in chains until an official from
the South African side came to fetch us."

            Steyl then flew to Pretoria with his brother Johan, and his
father, also Johan. Hamman's family came to fetch him.

            Speaking about his time in prison, Steyl said his saving grace
was that he remained fit.

            "I stepped up and down on the toilet 900 times with both feet
every morning. I made weights with water bottles and towels and exercised.
When we were let out, I jogged."

            He also taught other inmates how to play chess.

            "I was initially very scared. These are some of the roughest
guys you can imagine and homosexual activities were the order of the day.
Funnily enough, they left me alone. The other bad thing was the number of
people who die all around you."

            Steyl said he would miss Philip Bezuidenhout, a farmer from
Mutare who lost his farm in 2001 when war veterans started taking over the

            "He accidentally killed one of the veterans when he hit him with
his car and was found guilty of murder. He was sentenced to 20 years in
prison, but he is such a decent person who will probably not hurt a fly. He
will have to spend at least another seven years behind bars."

            Steyl was united with his three brothers, parents and family on
Saturday night and spent the day with them on Sunday.

            Said his mother Rina: "I am so happy; I missed him terribly. He
looks good and fit and has not lost his sense of humour." - Sapa

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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Doctors' strike enters fifth day

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Aug-02

PATIENTS were yesterday turned away from the two major referral hospitals in
Harare as the strike by junior doctors, who are demanding at least 800
percent salary increment, entered its fifth day.
The doctors downed their stethoscopes on Thursday and have vowed to continue
with the industrial action until their grievances have been addressed.
Scores of patients were yesterday turned away at Harare Central Hospital,
with a few senior doctors attending to critical cases only.
Mavis Matapura, who had accompanied a sick relative to Harare Central
Hospital, told this newspaper that they were turned away and told to return
next week.
"We were told to come back next week. My aunt was supposed to undergo an
operation," she said.
Most expecting mothers were turned away.
While the hospital's acting medical superintendent, Alfred Mukosi, insisted
that all doctors were at work, hospital staff maintained the strike was
Mukosi took The Daily Mirror on a staff assessment tour in some of the
hospital's departments, where some doctors were seen carrying out their
"There is no strike here. All our doctors are working and business is as
usual," said Mukosi.
He claimed that 28 students who were deployed to the hospital yesterday
morning were assisting in the wards.
Some doctor interviewed yesterday claimed that only senior medical
personnel - consultants - and some students were working.
At Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals, consultants and senior doctors were only
attending to seriously ill patients.
A nurse, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: "Junior doctors did not
even report for work. Consultants and senior doctors are assisting patients,
but only those seriously ill."
The hospital's chief executive officer, Thomas Zigora, could not give an
official comment on steps being taken by administration to ensure that
business continued as usual.
The Deputy Minister of Health and Child Welfare, Edwin Muguti, castigated
the move by the doctors to down tools. He said government was working flat
out to revamp remuneration and working conditions in the health sector.
"It is very unfair, unwise and cruel for these doctors to down tools at this
stage when the government is busy working out their conditions of service.
"The service conditions include salaries, accommodation, transport and other
things, which the doctors have mentioned in their plight. The government has
already made a step forward by appointing the Health Services Board, which
is currently looking into the conditions of the health sector," said Muguti.
He added that the doctors should give government a chance to do its
work.Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors' Association (ZHDA) chairman, Takaruda
Chinyoka, maintained that they would not end the strike until the Health
Services Board capitulates to their demands.
The doctors are demanding an 800 percent salary increase. Currently a junior
doctor earns $5 million a month. They want the salary adjusted to $47
They also want the government to review transport and housing allowances.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

37 tonnes of food aid expected from SA

Nkululeko Sibanda
issue date :2005-Aug-02

HUMANITARIAN food aid sourced by the South African Council of Churches
(SACC) to alleviate the plight of hungry Zimbabweans, is expected in the
country tomorrow, SACC secretary-general Molefe Tsile said yesterday.
The 37 tonnes of food aid - consisting of corn flakes, maize meal, sugar and
cooking oil - left South Africa by road yesterday afternoon and was due at
Beitbridge later in the day, before crossing into Zimbabwe.
Tsile told The Daily Mirror in an interview from Johannesburg that two
truckloads of food assistance were dispatched to Zimbabwe at the request of
churches looking after some victims of Operation Murambatsvina/Restore
He said: "Two trucks left Johannesburg for Zimbabwe this afternoon. We are
expecting the food aid to arrive on Wednesday after all the clearance has
been done at the border."
Tsile said the aid would be stored at a Christian Care warehouse before
distribution via the organisation's centres throughout the country.
Tsile also said 6 000 blankets were also on their way to cushion people
affected by the blitz from the harsh winter.
 "We are also making efforts to get washing soap and bathing soap that we
will be sending soon. There are also plans to acquire tents," he said.
Information at hand indicates that numerous South African  churches had also
responded generously to the philanthropic call for food aid to needy
"We as the South African Council of Churches want to make it clear that we
do not intend to force our way into Zimbabwe.
"For now, we are dealing with the churches and not the government. The
churches communicated that they need help and we acted upon their request.
"If the Zimbabwe government insists on the adequacy of food in Zimbabwe,
then we will be left with no option but to let the Zimbabwean government and
its people sort out their differences," Tsile added.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Zanu PF politburo member lambasts inept civil servants

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Aug-02

ZANU PF politburo member Stanley Sakupwanya has lambasted some civil
servants for gross incompetence, saying their attitude threatened the
country's agrarian reforms.
Sakupwanya said last Friday that conflicting statements by agriculture
ministry officials and other stakeholders over the extent of preparations to
assist farmers ahead of the next farming season had irked him.
What boggled the mind most, he said, was that Minister Joseph Made had
assured the politburo that all was now in order for the new season, yet
ministry officials said something to the contrary. "We do not know if these
people are really serious in all their operations and planning. We begin to
suspect them of harbouring ultra-motives to sabotage the agrarian reform
programme," Sakupwanya said.
"Just recently minister Made assured us that everything was now readily
available for the on-coming farming season and yet official on the ground
are saying there is virtually nothing, except funds for tobacco seedbed
preparations," he added.
"If they are incompetent, please just resign so that government engages the
right people. We are now seeing that you are all liars."
Preparations for the summer farming season should have already started in
earnest but for resources not to have been secured to date defies logic, he
Sakupwanya also that the application for loans needed urgent review as the
process was too long and conditions prohibitive to many farmers.
"These people strictly ask for collateral security which can not be managed
by the majority of our farmers," he said. "But is that what the whites did
to their farmers? How can we have a meaningful agrarian reform if we treat
farmers in such a way?"
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

'Satanism' forces school closure

Farirai Machivenyika
issue date :2005-Aug-02

MAVHUDZI Secondary School in Nyazura, Manicaland, was on Friday shut down
prematurely amid serious concerns that some students and staff at the
government-run institution were afflicted by mass hysteria - allegedly
linked to Satanism.
The school is the second to close within a fortnight.
Education, Sport and Culture Minister Aeneas Chigwedere closed Macheke
School  last week to enable thorough investigations into allegations of
sexual abuse of at least 53 girls by a male teacher, two general hands and
an as yet to be identified person.
Acting Manicaland provincial education director Peter Muzawazi, yesterday
confirmed that Mavhudzi Secondary School had been granted permission to
close ahead of the second term's official closing date set for  Thursday.
He said this had been done to allow students and teachers to rest and have
peace of mind, amid the harrowing allegations of Satanism.
Muzawazi said they had since advised school authorities to ban jewellery and
any other regalia depicting symbols associated with Satanists in a bid to
safeguard the pupils and staff against further trauma.
"We advised that students should not bring certain items to school.  Such
items include bangles, necklaces, cassettes and other strange items that we
have been told can be used by those who practice Satanism. We will be going
to the school again during the holiday to see how we can solve the problem
once and for all," Muzawazi said.
A number of students and members of staff were reportedly hypnotised by the
hysteria, blamed on suspected  Satanic practices at the school.
The strange occurrences reportedly affected mostly female students who are
said to have turned violent and exhibited extraordinary strength, besides
speaking in unusual voices and tongues.
A male student at the school, whose identity this newspaper can not
disclose, added to the puzzle.  He claimed that even snakes were also
occasionally seen on school grounds.
"Snakes were also being seen at the hostels and on some occasions we would
see at least three in a day but they would all disappear whenever people
tried to kill them," the boy claimed.
Numerous boarding schools have been affected by bouts of mass hysteria in
Zimbabwe and these included Moleli High in Chegutu and Kadoma's Sanyati
Baptist High - both in Mashonaland West.
Despite the mysterious happenings, Muzawazi said there was nothing peculiar
or wrong in schools seeking permission to close early. "It's normal for
schools to apply to the ministry to be allowed to deviate the calendar if
they feel there is a good reason for that," Muzawazi said. "Given the
activities that were experienced at the school during the term, school
authorities felt that the students and staff were exhausted and needed more
time to rest and we did not see anything wrong with that," he added.
He also explained that Mavhudzi Secondary School had been given the
greenlight to close early, given that they had already completed their
midyear examinations.
"They will reopen together with other schools for the third term in August.
But they have proposed that they will begin their working days early and
finish late to cover for the lost time," Muzawazi said.
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Zim opposition blasts Mugabe
01/08/2005 21:02  - (SA)

Harare - Zimbabwe's main opposition party on Monday blasted President Robert
Mugabe for refusing to hold talks on resolving the country's crises and said
it was now up to southern African leaders to persuade him to take that

The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party also denounced Mugabe for
saying that United Nations chief Kofi Annan's visit to Zimbabwe would be
strictly limited to assessing the humanitarian situation after the
demolitions campaign that had left hundreds of thousands homeless.

MDC secretary general Welshman Ncube said: "The humanitarian situation in
Zimbabwe is so dire that only a collective effort by all stakeholders will
prevent a further deterioration in conditions on the ground, and begin the
process of undoing the damage that has been caused."

Ncube said: "As Mugabe indicated yesterday (on Sunday), he has no interest
in talking to, or working with other stakeholders in Zimbabwe."

SADC to hold summit

He said: "For the sake of Zimbabwes future stability, the onus is now on
regional leaders to persuade him otherwise."

Leaders of the 14-nation Southern African Development Community (SADC) were
due to hold a summit in Gaborone on August 17 to 19.

A UN report compiled last month by Annan's special envoy, Anna Tibaijuka,
estimated that 700 000 people had been left homeless in the government's
drive to demolish shacks and homes, market stalls and other buildings mostly
in shantytowns and other poor areas.

The demolitions campaign had compounded the country's economic problems
including food and fuel shortages, hyperinflation and unemployment at about

Mugabe invites Annan to Zim

Irked by the report - which stopped short of blaming Mugabe, but called for
the prosecution of the architects - Mugabe invited Annan to come to Zimbabwe
to assess the impact of demolition campaign.

Mugabe said: "I ... extended an invitation to the secretary-general of the
UN to come and see for himself what demolitions we have done and why we have
done that."

But, he said:"I never said he should come and superintend over our political
relations with the MDC", adding that he would not "succumb" to pressure to
enter into dialogue with them.

He said: "Anyone who seeks to foster relations with the MDC will be going
against our democratic principles and we shall resist. We can never do that,
we shall never do that ..."

Ncube said the UN report "gives Mugabe an opportunity to break with the past
and make peace with the people of Zimbabwe and the outside world".

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Zim threatens manufacturers
01/08/2005 21:03  - (SA)

Harare - The Zimbabwe government has threatened to "descend heavily" on
manufacturers it blames for causing shortages of basic commodities, reported
the state-controlled Herald on Monday.

"Our ministry is concerned about the continuous shortages of commodities at
a time when we have reached an agreement with manufacturers about price
adjustments," said secretary for industry and international trade, Christian

"Some measures are being discussed to ensure that operations of
manufacturing firms are strictly monitored," he said.

Shortages of basic goods like bread, cooking oil, maize meal, sugar and soap
are worsening in Zimbabwe. Imported substitutes are often available, but at
a much-higher price.

Increasingly difficult economic factors

President Robert Mugabe's government sets the prices for these goods when

Katsande said his ministry's main aim was to ensure "manufacturers comply
with production targets".

Fixed retail prices

Manufacturers say they are operating under increasingly difficult

They say high inflation, fuel shortages and a critical lack of foreign
currency - which forces many to turn to the expensive parallel market - make
it difficult for them to continue producing goods for sale at fixed retail

Where local goods are available like milk and soft drinks, many supermarkets
in Harare now ration customers, allowing them only to buy one or two at a

Katsande said the government was worried that shortages of basic goods would
lead to "unnecessary inflationary pressures".

Zimbabwe's inflation rate is one of the highest in the region, running at
more than 164%.

Although the government has vowed to bring it down to double-digit figures
by the end of the year, independent economists forecast it could reach 1
000%. - Sapa-dpa

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Corruption Charges Rock Culture Fund

Zimbabwe Standard (Harare)

July 31, 2005
Posted to the web August 1, 2005

Our Staff

THE Swedish government is reviewing its funding method to the arts and
culture sector in Zimbabwe after the recent evaluation of the Culture Fund
revealed that there were a number of irregularities in the handling of

Introduced in 2003, the fund has been marred by a number of resignations of
both board and staff members, amid serious allegations of corruption in the
selection criterion for disbursement of funds.

Sources said recommendations from the evaluation report of the fund done
early this year reveal that the current handlers had failed to invest

"The evaluation emphasises the need for investment in the capacity of
individuals and groups tasked with managing the affairs of the Fund,
including a pro-active use of information and communication technologies to
enhance the Fund's operations," said a source. He said it also recommends
the need for a strong ideology and a clear vision for the Fund.

The fund was established through the Swedish International Development
Agency (Sida) with the purpose of extending financial support to individuals
and cultural organisations in Zimbabwe, so that they can strengthen and
realise their full potential in the arts industry.

Despite benefiting hundreds of artistes throughout the country, the fund has
been hit by massive resignations from its board and staff, with allegations
of irregularities in the disbursement of the funds.

Alpha Chapendama, Programme Officer at the Embassy of Sweden in Harare
confirmed the developments but could not shed light on the restructuring

"We are looking at establishing the Culture Fund as a technical and
financial conduit for all programmes in the arts and culture sector to
ensure consistency and administrative effectiveness", said Chapendama in the
Swedish publication, Its Sweden.

However, StandardPlus understands that the process would see Sida phasing
out support to some partners receiving direct funding from the embassy.

The evaluation exercise also recommended that the Fund should ensure that
there is a regional and gender balance among the artistes receiving support.

Efforts to get a comment from the current chairperson of the fund, Titus
Chipangura, proved fruitless as he was said to be out of town.

Sweden's support to the culture sector in Zimbabwe started over two decades
ago and today, cultural support has become one of the largest areas of
support with grants amounting to over US$1,5 million each year, according to
Swedish sources.
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'Annan Only Welcome to Assess Clean-Up Aftermath'

The Herald (Harare)

August 1, 2005
Posted to the web August 1, 2005


United Nations Secretary General Mr Kofi Annan is welcome to Zimbabwe only
to assess the aftermath of the clean-up operation and not to mediate
dialogue between Government and the MDC, President Mugabe said yesterday.

Addressing Zanu-PF supporters at Harare International Airport, Cde Mugabe
said Government, through him, invited the UN secretary general to see the
situation on the ground after the clean-up operation and not to interfere in
Zimbabwean politics.

"I invited the secretary general of the United Nations to come and see what
demolitions we have done here and why we did them. That's the area I invited
him for. I never said he should superintendent our political relations with
the MDC," President Mugabe told the Zanu-PF supporters who were at the
airport to welcome him from his week-long State visit to China.

He said the MDC was in Parliament and Zanu-PF would only dialogue with the
opposition party in the legislature and no other forum.

"They (MDC) are in Parliament; they can debate in Parliament in any way they
like. But they have no right (to say) that they should be partners with us
in Government. We can never do that. We shall never do that. But debate with
them in Parliament, yes. No one shall dictate to us that we should
accommodate the MDC (in Government). Anyone who seeks to foster relations
with the MDC will be going against our own democratic principles and we
shall resist that stance from whomsoever," President Mugabe said.

He added: "I wanted to say that because there are these moves from various
quarters and we cannot succumb to them. We are a revolutionary party. We
derive our power from the people; that is where we came from as the
Government of Zimbabwe after the elections."

The President said the MDC had contested the March parliamentary elections,
winning 41 seats, and should, therefore, use its representation in
Parliament to debate issues with Zanu-PF and Government.

His statement comes in the wake of reports quoting Mr Annan's spokesman as
saying the UN boss "would not substitute himself for special envoy Anna
Tibaijuka", who drafted the damning report on the clean-up operation, and
that he would only visit Zimbabwe on condition that there was political
dialogue between the Government and opposition.

Political dialogue is one of the recommendations Mrs Tibaijuka made in her
report, which Government dismissed, saying it was not part of her terms of

Turning to his State visit to China, Cde Mugabe - who led a Government
delegation to the Asian country - castigated the West for attempting to
dictate which countries should be friends with Zimbabwe.

He said no country should determine who Zimbabwe associates with.

"Zimbabwe will never accept their stance. We don't choose friends for
America. Why should America say China should not have invited us? Who are
they to us? Who are they to China? We say to them: 'Keep your distance. If
you do not want to be our friends, you can choose to be our enemies.'
Zimbabwe will not seek to be enemies with anyone, but will accept friends,"
said President Mugabe.

He said there is a UN Charter which bars non-interference in the domestic
affairs of other countries.

Last week, China rebuffed attempts by some Western countries to bar
President Mugabe and his delegation from undertaking the State visit. Prior
to the Zimbabwean delegation's visit, a New Zealand diplomat based in
Beijing was told off by China after protesting over the State visit.

Cde Mugabe said the State visit was at the invitation of the Chinese
government and was undertaken to strengthen the already good relations
between the two countries.

The two countries signed a number of agreements for co-operation in various
sectors of the economy such as expansion of power stations, the reopening of
collapsed copper mines, the opening-up of new coal mines, supply of commuter
trains and upgrading the rail network, and dualisation of the country's
major roads, among others.

China also pledged to give Zimbabwe a grant for food relief following the
drought that hit the country last season.

President Mugabe described China as Zimbabwe's greatest friend outside

Among those who welcomed the President were Vice President Joice Mujuru,
State Security, Lands, Land Reform and Resettlement Minister Cde Didymus
Mutasa, Mines Minister Cde Amos Midzi, who is also the Zanu-PF Harare
Province chairman, officials from the Chinese Embassy, senior Government
officials and service chiefs.
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Bread Price Announcement Affects Operations

The Herald (Harare)

August 1, 2005
Posted to the web August 1, 2005


Delays in announcing new bread prices have forced some bakeries to close
shop while others are currently operating at a loss, bakers have said.

Although negotiations have been taking place over the last four months,
these are yet to produce results.

According to sources in the baking industry, it was agreed two weeks ago
that if a basic standard loaf was to be produced using Grain Marketing Board
(GMB)-supplied wheat which accounts for 60 percent of the industry's
consumption, the minimum cost would be $7 500 per loaf.

However, in order to cushion the consumer both parties agreed to wholesale
bread at a conservative $8 000, while retailing at $8 500 per loaf.

There has, however, been a delay in announcing the new price and some
bakeries such as Continental, Koullas and N & B either closed shop or sold
their assets.

While both industry and Government's costing models established that at a 20
percent return, bakers would have to wholesale the bread at $11 000 and
retail it at about $12 000, the authorities felt that the jump from the
current $4 200 for wholesale and $4 500 for retail would be too high.
Although Government has been assisting the baking industry by buying wheat
at $2 million per tonne and selling it to the milling industry at $900 000
per tonne, the proportion of flour to the cost of bread has dropped from 60
percent to 22 percent because other inputs such as yeast, packaging,
additives, fuel and spare parts for baking equipment have continued to rise
at an alarming rate.

Demand for bread has skyrocketed, resulting in shortages causing some
traders, particularly on the black market, to charge as much as $15 000 per
loaf which they buy at $4 200 from the established bakers.

The industry is further threatened by the shortage of diesel to fire the
baking ovens as well as to distribute the bread. So far, the National Oil
Company of Zimbabwe has only been able to meet a third of the industry's

"At the current consumption, GMB wheat will only last up to the last week of
September whilst the new harvest is expected at the end of October implying
that there will be two months of extreme bread shortages if no solution is
put in place," said a baking industry source.

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