for Democratic Change (MDC) has intensified its campaign in the country's
rural constituencies, hitherto Zanu PF's political stronghold, in a bid to
unseat the ruling party in next year's crucial
In a wide-ranging interview with The Standard
at his house in Harare on Thursday MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, said his
party had launched "vigorous political campaigns in rural
Already, said Tsvangirai, the MDC has visited Seke,
Goromonzi, Buhera, Chipinge, Mvurwi, Chimanimani and Uzumba Maramba-Pfungwe
to commission campaign structures.
"The structures which go down up to
village level have been on a membership drive for a while and have been
campaigning for the MDC as we approach the elections," he
Tsvangirai, the only opposition leader to mount a credible
challenge against President Robert Mugabe since 1980, said he would soon
commission other structures countrywide, including Mashonaland Central, Zanu
PF's volatile political stronghold.
"Unlike in the 2002 presidential
elections, never again shall any place in Zimbabwe be declared a no go area
for the MDC," he said.
However, there have been several attempts by Zanu
PF militia and the police to block the opposition party's meetings in some
provinces after realising that MDC was "covering a lot of ground" in the
He said: "In Bikita West and East, we applied for
permission to hold our meetings but we were told that there was no police
officer to authorise any of the meetings.
"In Hwedza, where we wanted
to hold the meeting at a shopping centre, we were told that Zanu PF had
booked the entire shopping centre to prevent us from holding our
The MDC leader said the cancellation of its meetings was clear
testimony that the 2005 elections would not be free and fair.
the MDC would go into the 2005 poll much more prepared than in 2 000 when the
party was just nine months old. Then, the opposition did not have substantive
political structures in place.
He dismissed the perception that MDC was
an urban based political party saying the party had a huge following in rural
areas. He said people in rural areas were tired of Zanu PF's misrule which
has led to the deterioration of the standard of living of the majority with
hunger, shortages of most goods and services - including transport, health
and employment - becoming the order of the day.
In 2000, the MDC won
some rural constituencies in Matabeleland, Manicaland, Masvingo and the
Midlands while in some provinces like Mashonaland West, Central and East, the
opposition party lost by just a few votes.
Tsvangirai warned Zimbabweans
against being used by Zanu PF into committing acts of violence and murder
against their fellow countrymen.
"We are one people. We are one family of
Zimbabweans. We should not beat or kill people because they hold different
views from our own.
"Zanu PF is abusing the youth of Zimbabwe by turning
them into murderers in order to divert them from real issues like
unemployment, poor standards of living, poor health delivery among a host of
failed promises," said the MDC leader.
.MEANWHILE, police raided
Tsvangirai's Strathaven home in Harare yesterday evening. According to his
spokesman William Bango, police officers from the Law and Order Section,
invaded the MDC leader's home saying they were searching for arms of war. The
officers accused Tsvangirai of hiding guns that might allegedly have been
used during recent clashes between MDC and Zanu PF supporters.
Ministry mulls exposing multiple farm owners By Valentine
THE Ministry of Lands, Land Reform and Resettlement is
contemplating publishing the official list of multiple farm owners but is
awaiting Presidential approval, The Standard has learnt.
the ministry said the list was ready but could only be published after
President Robert Mugabe had given the greenlight.
"Some of the
findings of the Flora Bhuka and Charles Utete led commissions were forwarded
to the President," said a source.
Mugabe has in the past repeatedly
condemned multiple farm owners and urged them to surrender excess land but
this has fallen on deaf ears.
"The list is ready for publication and
whatever we do in this office is sanctioned by the President and that is the
reason why it has not been made public," added the source.
however, could not reveal how the list was going to be made public but
admitted there were serious problems as some top government ministers
clinging to multiple farms were now trying to get rid of ministry officials
pursuing the matter.
The ministry, headed by Zanu PF chairman, John
Nkomo, has been under serious and intense attack from politicians who do not
want to surrender extra farms.
An senior official said Information
Minister Jonathan Moyo was among ministers who had received withdrawal
letters. The official, who preferred anonymity for professional reasons, said
Moyo was being vindictive and was using the State media to vilify the
"He (Moyo) is on the list of those who received withdrawal
letters, yes he got the letter," said the official.
Nkomo could not be
reached for a comment as he was said to be locked in a meeting for the
greater part of yesterday.
Galz gets nod to exhibit at ZIBF 2004 By our own
GAYS and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ) has been granted the
greenlight to exhibit at the Zimbabwe International Book Fair (ZIBF) which
starts today and ends on Saturday, The Standard has established.
move is likely to anger President Robert Mugabe who has described homosexuals
"as worse than dogs and pigs". His hatred for gays and lesbians which is well
documented, worsened after he was hunted by British gay rights activist,
Peter Tatchell who tried to effect a citizen's arrest on him for alleged
human rights abuses.
ZIBF executive director, Samuel Matsangaise,
said his organisation found nothing wrong with Galz's participation. "If they
were an illegal entity the police would have arrested them by now,"
Galz director, Keith Goddard, said his organisation had
a right like any other to exhibit at ZIBF.
Concern over Zanu PF plan to extend city boundaries By
ZANU PF government should leave matters relating to
change of constituency boundaries for next year's parliamentary elections to
the proposed new Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), civil bodies have
Their reaction comes in the wake of intentions by government to
incorporate illegal peri-urban settlements into Harare and Chitungwiza, a
move largely seen as aimed at diluting the influence of the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC ahead of next March's poll.
were created during the 2000 Zanu PF-sponsored land invasions, spearheaded by
war veterans and they are occupied mainly by Zanu PF loyalists.
the Urban Councils and Rural District Councils Acts, Zanu PF wants to alter
the council and ward boundaries for Harare City Council,
Chitungwiza Municipal Council, Epworth and Ruwa Local Boards and, Goromonzi,
Mazowe, Manyame/Seke and Zvimba Rural District Councils.
proposed changes, announced in a notice published recently, Harare, which is
the bastion of opposition politics, stands to be carved up.
are to be annexed into Harare include WhiteCliff and Marwede Township,
largely populated by Zanu PF supporters and war veterans. They are presently
under Zvimba Rural District Council.
Estates such as Galway Estate
Boulders and 1, 2 & 3-of Galway Estate, presently under Goromonzi RDC,
would be incorporated into the Ruwa-Epworth District under Ward
Chitungwiza will incorporate properties such as Cawdor, Tantallon
and Edinburg, presently under Manyame RDC into Ward 18, Seke
The chairman of the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (Zesn),
Reginald Matchava-Hove, said anything that relates to voter registration and
change of constituency boundaries for the next year's elections must be left
to incoming Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).
recently agreed to an IEC, the use of translucent ballot boxes as well as
that voting be conducted in one day. It also accepted that counting of votes
be undertaken at the polling stations.
"Any measures that can easily be
viewed as gerrymandering must be stopped forthwith. If boundaries are to be
changed there should be wide consultation," said Matchaba-Hove, whose
organisation advocates for fair electoral laws.
The Combined Harare
Residents Association (CHRA) said Zanu PF's change of boundaries was
"election thuggery" that could not go unchallenged. Presently, the
organisation is collecting residents' signatures in a bid to lodge a strong
objection to the proposed boundary changes.
The Urban Councils Act allows
oganisations or individuals opposed to the incorporation of the areas to
lodge their objectives with the Ministry of Local Government within 30 days
of the notice.
MDC secretary-general, Welshman Ncube, said the annexation
of the illegal settlements in greater Harare and Chitungwiza was a political
machination by Zanu PF to deceitfully win next year's election.
said the incorporation of the shanty peri-urban settlements was part of
a grand plan to dislodge the MDC from urban areas, which started with
the imposition of Governors in Harare and Bulawayo. "We are well aware that
it's political conspiracy by Zanu PF," he said.
Too prickly, analysts criticise RBZ's Gono By Kumbirai
ECONOMIC analysts last week hit back at central bank Governor
Gedion Gono, accusing him of being subjective and "bombastic" during his
mid-term review of the monetary policy statement.
They said by
attacking and christening his critics "false prophets of doom" Gono -
President Robert Mugabe's self-appointed economic tsar - had become the same
as his mentor whose reaction to critics of his policies is
During his Wednesday address broadcast on national television
Gono took a swipe at his critics whom he accused of throwing spanners into
the economic recovery programme.
In a veiled attack largely seen as
aimed at free market reformists, the private media and the opposition who
have constructively criticised his policies, Gono accused his critics of
"Greatly appalling, however is an increasing number of
self-proclaimed 'experts' in some segments of our society, who are bent on
derailing the momentum of the economic recovery programme, through
proliferation of thump-sucked, and overtly pessimistic trajectories on the
country's economic performance in the future," said Gono.
happy to feed our external partners with falsehoods which see no good at
all," roared Gono.
John Robertson, an independent economic commentator,
said by engaging in a blame game Gono is looking for scapegoats to sacrifice
for his shortcomings when his set targets would be under the
"He is not confident in making his forecast and is looking for
someone to blame," said Robertson. "If he is confident he wouldn't have that
Despite making the reduction of inflation his main targets,
figures show that inflation is in fact beginning to increase. This is evident
from the month-on-month inflation rate which in spite of falling to 4,9% in
April rose to 6% in May before climbing up to 9,2% in June.
opposition MDC has also dismissed Gono's monetary statement as "more smoke
and mirrors" saying he only painted a high profile performance.
function is to sanitise this regime and part of the sanitising programme is
to create an impression that the economy is doing well," said a spokesperson
for the party's economic affairs department.
"Zanu PF has made the art of
insulting and profanity from Jonathan Moyo to Gedion Gono," he
Turning to the monetary statement, Robertson said it was devoid of
any strategy to address the fundamental pre-conditions for economic
recovery, which include the central question of good governance, the
restoration of the rule of law and property rights.
"It is a lot of
words without substance. I am not impressed with the depth of the proposals
but by the manner he delivered the speech," said Robertson.
Mbedzi to challenge Mohadi for Beitbridge By Savious
BEITBRIDGE - Former Beitbridge district administrator Edison
Mbedzi, who is out on $500 000 bail, says he is ready to face Home Affairs
minister, Kembo Mohadi, in the Zanu PF primaries, The Standard can
Mbedzi, who got into the spotlight a few weeks ago after he was
arrested on allegations of stock-theft and clandestinely allocating himself a
farm under the controversial land reform programme, says he will definitely
seek the Zanu PF ticket to contest the 2005 general
Mbedzi, who is the acting Bulawayo PA, told The Standard
he would not bow down to threats meant to stop him front contesting the
"Definitely I am standing. I don't care whether one is a
minister or not but the truth on the ground is that the people favour me
most. I am just waiting for the primaries and the people shall speak," said
Mbedzi, who became the first official in the Zanu PF government to be
arrested for allegedly grabbing land.
Mbedzi's lawyer Sindiso Mazivisa
of Cheda and Partners Legal Practitioners said he was aware of machinations
meant to block the acting PA from challenging Mohadi.
"We know that
his political detractors are after his downfall hence the attempt to block
him from standing in the election, but I would like to warn that those dirty
tactics will fail dismally," he said.
The Standard is informed that Zanu
PF Matabeleland South provincial leadership and war veterans national
executive have thrown their weight behind Mbedzi, ahead of Mohadi as
jockeying for positions intensifies for the 2005 parliamentary
Last Sunday, at a meeting held at Beitbridge Country Club, both
the war veterans and Zanu PF Matabeleland South provincial leadership
supported Mbedzi's candidature, a development that angered Mohadi.
an interview on Thursday, Beitbridge War Veterans chairman, Adziliki Mbedzi,
said no one was supposed to be barred from challenging Mohadi
Zanu PF Matabeleland South provincial chairman, Lloyd
Shyoka, said: "Whether there are 10 people vying for Beitbridge seat, let
them go into the contest. It is allowed and we call it democracy."
IMAGINE the revolting nightmare of having a "small stream" of raw
sewage running across on your doorstep or worse still, at the outdoor sink
where you have to wash your pots and plates everyday.
While many out
there would cringe at the thought of such a scenario, to three families
living in Warren Park I, this has become their
Three weeks ago, a sewer pipe at the back of
their house burst, and started disgorging raw sewage onto their yard.
Initially they expected city council workers to quickly rectify the problem
but this was not to be.
Day in day out, the unsightly waste came out
thick and fast and ended forming a small stream that now runs about two
hundred metres away from their house.
A visit by The Standard to Fifth
Avenue in Warren Park 1 revealed what locals say is living testimony of how
the city fathers are running down what was once a beautiful
"This sewage discharge has been flowing past my doorstep for
almost three weeks now," says an affected Warren Park woman pointing
irritably to the raw sewage.
"I have been trying to get the city
council to repair it but they have said say they have no service vehicles to
come here. I just don't know what to do."
Oblivious of the danger,
young boys play street soccer next to the toxic waste.
As the ball
game progresses, one boy accidentally kicks the ball into the raw sewage,
disrupting the game for a while as the team gets into an argument about who
should fish the plastic ball out.
After a heated argument the 'soccer
team' finally agrees to make another plastic ball on the basis that they can
no longer kick around the sewage drenched ball with their bare
They also agree to play carefully this time around to avoid losing
another ball. There are now five plastic balls that have been lost in the
same way, one of the boys says pointing to the half submerged plastic
"We have to be careful now. We have no plastic
material to make another ball. Whoever kicks it to the sewage this time will
have fish it out and wash it," says Tanaka Gwanzura, who appears to be the
leader of the 'team'.
This is certainly the lighter side of the Fifth
Street residents' predicament. However to the older and more informed adults,
the situation in no laughing matter.
"They (council officials) have
told us that they have no service vehicles to come and repair the sewer
pipes," complained Chipo Tendayi-Moyo, with a baby strapped on her back. When
she gets in and out of the house every day, she has a difficult time trying
navigate her way through the puddlesof human waste.
"Last week we gave
them an option of sourcing our own vehicle and on the day we hired the car to
collect the engineers, we were told they had left for Warren Park to repair
"We then rushed back home but when we arrived we were told no
one from the city council had come to repair the burst pipe. They continue to
play games with our minds and it's really not fair."said
The Warren Park case, is just a tip of the
Unattended burst sewer pipes, among other problems, remain a
daily nightmare for an increasing number of ratepayers in Harare.
slow reaction by the city council to emergencies such as burst sewage pipes
and water leakages has become a major problem for most people, posing a
serious health hazard for residents.
According to residents, the city
council has even failed to make the traditional visit to disinfect and kill
the stench that is fouling up the area.
Investigations by The Standard
revealed that old suburbs such as Mabvuku, Highfield and Tafara whose
ablution systems are aging, are the major victims of city council neglect.
The council is also failing to collect waste forcing desperate residents to
dump their rubbish in open areas in their residential suburbs.
residents' woes come at a time when the city council has hiked rates.
his 2003 annual report, the director of health services in the city council
Dr Lovemore Mbengeranwa, admitted that the 'non collection of refuse, non
attendance to sewer blockages and burst water pipes' were major problems
Mbengeranwa cites shortages of manpower and erratic fuel
supplies in 2003, as the major causes of the problems.
beginning of 2004,however, the fuel supply in the country has greatly
improved and residents have not seen an improvement.
IT WAS Albert Einstein who once said: "The problems we face
cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them". How right
We strongly believe that this is the context within which the
Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono presented his Second Quarterly Monetary
Policy Statement last Tuesday. In times of crisis, a dose of optimism is all
that we may have to hold on to.
Of course, we would not go to the
ridiculous extent of claiming that the economy has turned the bend and is now
on a path of recovery -NO. To claim thus would be a gross perversion of the
truth. In short, that would be putting optimism ahead of the
But we cannot fault the Governor's forceful point that
"challenges can be turned into opportunities, internal discourse into
cohesion, despair into hope and dreams into reality".
Are the war
veterans listening? Are the Moyo-Manherus, Chigwederes, Mades, Chinamasas and
Chombos of this world listening? This is the billion dollar question we must
ask. For there is no denying that these political upstarts have done much to
destroy what was once a beautiful and lovely country - all in the name of the
Gono is doing things in the name of the President - but in a
constructive and patriotic way. This is what distinguishes men from boys; men
of steel from political mongrels.
Human destiny is a choice. You can
either mourn perpetually or make any environment what you want it to be. You
can either work with the environment or against it. It is one's choice. It is
not a question of right or wrong. But what one thinks will bring about
results in the short or long term.
Gideon Gono has decided to work with
the existing environment in an effort to make a difference. His driving
passion to try to change things for the better cannot be faulted. His is not
an easy job particularly when everybody is agreed that in the final analysis
it is a political problem requiring a political solution.
It is a
difficult situation for anyone when people want you to remain asbestos in a
melting pot. The man is clearly impaled on the horns of a dilemma.
key question that needs to be asked is this: do we fold our arms in the hope
that things will change or do we try to assist the process of change - each
in our own way. Yes, in the final analysis the answer lies in the hands of
political leaders but what do we do in the meantime? This is the crux of the
Perhaps we need to look beyond President Mugabe - in any event,
he is in the sunset of his life and will bow to the passage of time sooner
rather than later.
Unlike people like Aeneas Chigwedere, Jonathan
Moyo, Joseph Made and Ignatius Chombo who have invested so much personal and
ministerial energy into subverting the will of the people of this country -
not to mention the so-called war veterans - the Reserve Bank Governor has
taken the stance of being a life-enhancer to nibble at what is to all intents
and purposes a very difficult economic and political environment.
might disagree with his stance and that is perfectly alright but within his
prescribled mandate he has tried to identify issues really at stake in our
present situation. "When we take over a farm and destroy greenhouses we are
destroying our source of foreign currency" Gono said.
Who really in his
right mind can disagree with this? We must boldly accept and recognise that
the political authorities have only themselves to blame for the economic ills
of the country for allowing the so called war veterans to run riot and loot
left, right and centre. The national trauma that this country has suffered
over the past four years will take many years to heal.
The process of
healing has to start both at the political and economic level. Gideon Gono is
trying in a small way to tackle the latter level i.e. the economic level.
Indeed, we have to put our own house in order. Others may help but the world
does not owe us a living.
It is inconceivable that a country like
Zimbabwe with such an educated and highly skilled population can be allowed
to die because of an obsession with power and mafikizolos serving their own
The challenge we face, therefore, is to continue fighting the
misgovernance of this government from many fronts. As long as we are living
and not dead, we must continue to be soldiers for justice, fair play and
It is very easy in our present situation to sit in some
kind of an ivory tower philosophising and decrying our fate. We must do
something about it. There is a sense of hopelessness, discontent and
dejection all round but this will not get us anywhere. Pessimism does not
have a positive value. When things get tough, it is no good cutting and
running. We must fight.
All the signs indicate that the days of
mafikizolos are numbered. We know we have been saying this for quite sometime
now. But read our lips: they are truly numbered. So are President Mugabe's
days as well. After all, he is a mere mortal and he is 80.
PF's rule, particularly the last four years, has been a wasteful and costly
ambition. But the political turnaround is not that far off. Mark our
Essentially, we are dealing with a political problem. But until
that politics is put right, Gono needs to be encouraged and supported if
nothing else at least in his abiding optimism and enthusiasm - particularly
at this time in our country when almost everyone black or white is very
pessimistic about the current situation as well as the future of the
Progress will require determination, staying power and
statecraft of a high order. Without hand wringing on our part, we feel that
Gono is showing the way - at least within the narrow parameters that he has
been allowed to operate and manoeuvre.
Cops, robbers and elections overthetop By Brian
ZANY police will soon be deployed throughout a troubled central
African nation in an effort to prevent a forthcoming election from being
stolen, said sources within the Zany Party.
"It is an established fact
that the Zany Party is the vanguard of the troubled central African police
State," said a Zany spokesman. "For this reason it is imperative that no one
steals the election from us."
The move is expected to send shivers up
the spines of millions of members of the opposition More Drink Coming Party
who say the last election was stolen from them.
"It is an established
fact that elections in 2000 and 2002 were stolen from the More Drink Coming
Party," said a party spokesman. "The Zany Party and its strange police force
robbed us," he added.
Still, the standoff leaves the More Drink Coming
Party at a distinct disadvantage, analysts claim. Speaking on condition of
anonymity, one analyst told Over The Top that the More Drink Coming Party had
less chance of winning an election than it did of organising a national
"The Zany Party controls the police and the military, the
election officials and the counting process," said the political analyst.
"The More Drink Coming Party controls. well, actually it doesn't control
Another analyst told OTT, "While I'm not suggesting that the
deployment of heavily armed Zany cops and soldiers has any effect on the way
people may vote, people tend not to put their "x" in a box that might get
He added that there was no reason to believe election
officials loyal to the ruling Zany Party would rig an election unless there
was something in it for them.
Meanwhile, concerned members of the
opposition were worried that food might also influence the outcome of next
year's poll. With millions of troubled central Africans under the mistaken
belief that much needed food was being provided by a kind and caring Zany
Party, the More Drink Coming Party was keen to point out that the food
actually came from kind and caring capitalist imperialists in the western
For its part, the Zany Party says there is no shortage of food in
the troubled central African basket case, but it will happily provide
food anyway, on the off chance it will help people decide who it is best to
While the election is still some months off, both parties
are predicting they will win. Dual victories are not uncommon on the troubled
continent, a situation that sees more than one party claiming victory. The
situation is generally followed by a period of unrest during which large
pieces of pavement are thrown at the police who in turn respond with tear gas
But regional governments, anxious to avoid a repeat of
the embarrassment of previous elections in the troubled central African
police State, are said to be insisting on certain conditions. One of these
will be transparent ballot boxes.
These can be stuffed only after
polling has taken place, rather than before, which was the normal
There is also considerable alarm about the hundreds of
thousands of dead people on the voters' roll, though a Zany Party official in
the Registrar General's office said it would be undemocratic to discriminate
against the deceased.
"In our glorious socialist democracy, we even
extend rights to the dead," he said.
Still, all troubled central
Africans agreed that the run up to the elections would be "interesting" and
that they expected to see new and innovative campaigns to emerge in the
increase in value on equities on the Zimbabwe Stock market that has taken
place over the last few weeks, will have grown the value of probably all
Pension Funds in Zimbabwe substantially.
As we know, pensions in this
country have been caught by the massive rate of inflation which has eroded
their purchasing power because pension increases from pension funds have
fallen way behind .
Chairmen of Trustees of Pension Funds should be
holding emergency meetings to award starving pensioners increases immediately
to alleviate the pensioners' plight as quickly as possible. That is, if they
care. The real problem is most of them don't.
Hard currency ban to promote black market By Kumbirai
INCONSISTENCIES and reversals - the government's main Achilles
heel for years - appears to have caught up with Reserve bank Governor Gedion
Gono in his latest monetary policy review.
Gono shocked his major
source for foreign currency - Zimbabweans living and working abroad - by
banning a facility that earlier allowed relatives to access remittances in
Following the ban, announced on Tuesday during his
quarterly monetary review, beneficiaries can now only get remittances locally
in Zimbabwean dollars at the prevailing auction or "Diaspora" rate, which
ever is more attractive.
Economic analysts have over the years blamed
President Robert Mugabe's government for crafting several high-sounding
policies that were later dumped, sometimes before
Since the inception of the government's "Homelink"
facility in April, recipients of hard currency paid by relatives and friends
overseas to foreign banks had an option to receive payouts in foreign
currency or the Zimbabwe dollar equivalent at the "Diaspora" floor price of
$5 200 or the prevailing auction price.
On Tuesday Gono outlawed the
foreign currency transactions blaming the exercise for aggravating illegal
black market transactions.
Economic analysts however pointed out that the
latest modification of the payment framework could ruin the mobilisation of
much needed foreign currency from Zimbabweans living outside the
They said the ban would make it unattractive for Zimbabweans
living abroad to remit funds back home and could result in the emergence of
an even more powerful parallel market.
The analysts pointed out that
even the 7,7% devaluation of the local currency to $5 600 against the
American greenback, also announced by Gono on Tuesday, was unlikely to affect
the thriving parallel market.
The US dollar is currently fetching $6 500
against the local tender on the parallel market while at the twice-weekly
auctions it is worth around $5 357 per US dollar.
Other experts said
only the resumption of exports would curtail the illegal foreign currency
deals now rampant. "The whole reason the black market is flourishing is that
Zimbabweans in the Diaspora are not supporting the facility. They are
resorting to their traditional means," said Tendai Biti, the opposition MDC's
shadow minister of finance.
Jonathan Moyo: Mugabe's ally or heir? sundayopinion By
AN unlikely but resolute contender has emerged from the
ranks of Zimbabwe's ruling party to position himself as likely successor if
President Robert Mugabe retires in 2008.
Jonathan Moyo, an
American-educated political scientist, was once Mugabe's severest critic.
Then he became his outspoken and controversial spokesman. Now he has defied
his many critics to secure a foothold in a race that is shrouded in mystery
A workaholic with a penchant for creating enemies,
Moyo has deviated from established protocol within Mugabe's ruling Zanu PF
party to formulate his own political strategy, leaving observers in no doubt
as to his real intentions. Aides say the former university don works late
into the night to churn out long and blistering articles.
thread runs through his eloquent discourse. It is to promote himself, to
deflect any criticism of Mugabe and to castigate perceived rivals, especially
politicians and journalists.
Such articles, hard-hitting and daring at a
time when Mugabe, now 80, was untouchable, propelled Moyo to prominence in
the early 1990s. He became the voice and the conscience of the
'His uncanny propensity to shoot himself in the foot has
become a national problem which needs urgent containment,' Moyo wrote of
Mugabe in The Mirror a year before he incurred the wrath of the president,
who brooked no criticism. Insiders say, however, that Mugabe was an avid
reader of his venomous pieces. 'He never missed any of Moyo's articles,' says
an aide close to Mugabe at the time.
'Moyo is now obviously gunning
for the presidency,' says Wilson Nharingo, a businessman who follows
political developments in Harare closely. 'His bid has the support of the
President. Recently Moyo publicly clashed with Vice- President Joseph Msika.
Then he clashed with Nathan Shamuyarira and with John Nkomo.
said nothing. That is tacit endorsement of Moyo's campaign. Unfortunately for
Moyo, his campaign does not seem to have the support of anyone else within or
outside Zanu PF.
Moyo, once described as Zimbabwe's most hated
politician, has openly challenged Mugabe's veteran cohorts. As secretary for
Information and Publicity, Shamuyarira is Moyo's immediate boss in Zanu
Nkomo, the Lands and Land Reform and Resettlement minister, is the
party's chairman, is also the most senior politician in Zanu PF to emerge
from Moyo's home area Matabeleland. Nkomo has been named as a likely
successor to Mugabe.
Moyo has also berated parliamentary Speaker, the
feared Emmerson Mnangagwa, long regarded as heir apparent to
Zanu PF normally deals ruthlessly with junior politicians who
openly criticize its geriatric leadership. Moyo has repeatedly lambasted them
At the height of his popularity, Moyo suddenly resigned
from the University of Zimbabwe. He reappeared on the country's political
radar in 2000 when he spearheaded a campaign to sell proposed constitutional
changes on behalf of Mugabe. Harare's independent newspapers dropped a
bomb-shell, meanwhile. A series of articles linked Moyo to allegations of
embezzlement of thousands of dollars while working for the New York-based
Ford Foundation in Nairobi, Kenya.
Moyo threatened legal action over
the damaging articles but new allegations of impropriety surfaced, this time
in South Africa where he had secured a research fellowship at a university.
It was alleged that the research had not been completed and that Moyo had
failed to account for the funds advanced for the purpose.
for Democratic Change (MDC) party of opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai,
campaigned for the rejection of a draft constitution. The proposals sought to
consolidate Mugabe's grip on power, while granting him authority to
dispossess 4 000 white farmers of commercial farmland without compensating
Throwing his weight behind his former nemesis, Moyo vigorously
campaigned for acceptance of the proposed constitution. Esconced in the
five-star Sheraton Hotel, the 'astute' political scientist however failed to
assess the prevailing political climate. The MDC, then only five months old,
scored its first.
Undaunted by this dismal failure, Moyo took up the
cudgels to spearhead Zanu PF's campaign ahead of parliamentary elections
scheduled for June 2000. He replaced Mugabe as the public face of Zanu PF at
a time when the ruling party's veteran politicians tactfully withdrew to the
sidelines in the face of a determined onslaught from the opposition. The MDC
won 47.5 percent of the vote against a backdrop of massive intimidation and
Despite this second catastrophe, Mugabe rewarded Moyo
with a ministerial appointment. He had perhaps decided it was prudent to have
his fiercest critic inside looking out than outside looking in. Having deftly
switched political allegiance, Moyo impressed Mugabe with his capacity for
devotion to any cause, once he embraced it.
In the eyes of Mugabe,
Moyo's most singular achievement was his single-handed onslaught on what Zanu
PF perceived to be the backbone of the MDC. Moyo's campaign left the small
but increasingly daring independent press in total disarray, with three
newspapers, including the popular Daily News, now fallen by the
'If there are any reporters who think they would effect a regime
change here,' Moyo warned Bulawayo journalists in May, 'they would find
themselves in jail.
We have enough prison room for
Ironically, the first significant indication of Moyo's quest for
the presidency was to surface back in Nairobi, after Moyo granted
Kenyan newspaper and television journalists a rare opportunity to interview
Following their visit to Harare The East African Standard
reported in May: 'Analysts in Zimbabwe view ÉÉÉ. Moyo as the favourite to
succeed Mugabe. Of the cabinet ministers, he is the closest to the President
and the most powerful.'
Jonathan Nathaniel Moyo was clearly on the
He has distinguished himself as a skilful political
strategist. While his rivals wait patiently for favours from Mugabe, Moyo has
proactively charted and plotted his own political destiny. He has
strengthened his grip on the State's awesome media machinery which he
exploits, so his critics say, to discredit and embarrass his rivals, while
propelling himself to the forefront of the presidential succession
'I first met Jonathan Moyo in 1984 when he was a student in
Los Angeles,' says Charlemagne Chimbangu a Zimbabwean businessman who is
based in Worcester, Massachusetts, and has closely followed Moyo's
spectacular rise. 'I met him again in Johannesburg in 1995 when he visited
from Nairobi. A white man in his company said to me, 'Do you realize that
this man is the future president of Zimbabwe?' Moyo stood by and
Like Mugabe, Moyo blames Zimbabwe's endemic problems on white
Zimbabweans and the West. While he studied at the University of Southern
California and, until his unceremonious departure, worked for the Ford
Foundation, an American organization, Moyo openly despises fellow Zimbabweans
who have fled economic quagmire and political upheaval to settle, despite
their skills, for menial jobs in the United States and the United
While he is a shrewd strategist, Moyo has no grassroots
political support. Neither does he have any known strategic ally within the
ruling party. His penchant for stepping on important toes could be
He may also have to act to redeem the public goodwill
squandered when he jumped political ship and rescued a president who was on
the verge of dispatch into political oblivion.
Moyo has partly stacked
his political destiny on Mugabe, whose own power and credibility have been on
the decline since the political upheaval of 2000.
Sunday Times described him as 'Mugabe's flak-catcher and an infant in the
real-politik of Harare. He will have reached his sell-by date the moment
Mugabe leaves office'.
Events during the run-up to Zimbabwe's
parliamentary elections next year will determine if the newspaper's
assessment was accurate.
(Geoff Nyarota is the founding Editor-in-Chief
of The Daily News, Zimbabwe's independent daily newspaper, which was banned
by the government in 2003.)
Gono's efforts are not enough Sundaytalk with Pius
WHEN I first visited Ghana just before Jerry Rawlings forcibly
took over the country as President, for the second time,their economy was in
a critical state.
I went to a bank to change a US$100 bill. The teller
took my bill and started to count stacks and stacks of various denominations
of faded cedi notes. After some time, I became impatient thinking he was
taking stock of his money before serving me. I only realised that all that
money was mine when he shoved the piles of money at me. Just to be sure that
he had not made a mistake I said, 'I gave you a hundred
'Yes,' he answered, giving me a paper bag. I filled the bag
as well as all my pockets. This is exactly what has happened to our money
except we smartly invented big denominated bearers' cheques.
waited for a friend at the airport, I asked my Ghanian friend, George Kom,
about the state of the economy and he painted a gloomy picture indeed. When
he noticed my concern he said, 'Ah Ð don't worry. It will be over soon. Do
you see those Lebanese alighting from the plane. They are coming back
to invest. It is a sign that the economy is on the path to recovery. They
have confidence in Jerry's government.
I was reminded of this visit to
Ghana by what I have heard and read about our economy this last week after
Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Dr Gideon Gono, who is also the de
facto Minister of Finance, presented his monetary review
The government owned Herald's lead story headline
screamed,"Economy on the mend!' (The exclamation mark is mine).
know that positive thinking is good. It is good for the heart because it
lessens stress. But, that is all it does. If positive thinking is not backed
by positive action it becomes folly and will eventually be followed by a
heart attack when things really begin to fall apart. It is like putting your
head in the sand so that you don't see the reality around you, like
the proverbial ostrich.
In The Herald of July 28, 2004, the newspaper
enthused,'The economy has turned the bend and is now on a firm recovery path
which will be bolstered by measures contained in the monetary policy review
statement presented by the Governor of the Reserve Bank, Dr Gideon Gono,
The inflation rate Ñ though unsustainably high Ñ the foreign
exchange inflows, the availability of basic commodities and other
macro-economic fundamentals have stabilised over the past six months in
response to monetary and fiscal policy measures implemented since the
beginning of the year'
In his celebrated report, Dr Gono blasted those
he called 'false prophets of doom,'who only see and prescribe that the
Zimbabwean economy can only go down one path: that of deterioration with no
capacity or prospects for recovery.
I proudly confess that I am one of
the prophets of doom that he is talking about. I am proud because I am in
good company. Jeremiah was also a prophet of doom to his people of
Jeremiah did not prophesy gloom and doom to his people of Judah
because of lack of patriotism or love of money. He told them the truth
because of his fear of God and love for his people.
society was deteriorating economically, socially, politically and
spiritually. For 40 years Jeremiah preached repentance to the people. He was
ignored, rejected and persecuted for this. To bring such gloomy messages of
impending judgment and destruction was deemed to be unpatriotic. By Gono's
standards, he was an abysmal failure.
Kind Josiah had made some efforts
at reform but these did not go far enough. The people continued in their
selfishness and worship of idols. They oppressed aliens, shed innocent blood,
lied, and raped with impunity. There was no rule of law at
Jeremiah lived to see many of his prophecies come true Ð notably the
fall of Jerusalem and the captivity of Judah.
Like King Josiah of
Judah, our government has embarked on more reforms. But these don't go far
enough for there to be real economic recovery and prosperity in Zimbabwe. For
this to happen, the whole system needs to be overhauled.
In his report
Gono says,' Sincerity, goodwill; integrity and good corporate governance; as
well as policy consistency and persistence are indispensable pillars of
successful economic turnaround programme.'
I can't say I fault this
scholarly mumbo-jumbo at all. The only thing is I don't see how it translates
into real reform on the ground. Do you? On the other hand it completely
misses the real reason for our economic demise, which is political. Gono
talks of good corporate governance but evades talking of good national
governance. Of course, the good governor will say he is not a
This is why I say he has done all he can but that is not
enough to resuscitate and get our economy on the path to recovery. Half baked
monetary and fiscal engineering alone will not save us from doom. Arresting a
few errant political weaklings without getting at the real Mafia
god-fathers will not rid the nation of corruption.
Getting a few
measly pounds from economic and political refugees whom we, just yesterday,
called 'British bum cleaners' will not get us anywhere, especially without
allowing them to vote.
The complicated auction system will not see
foreign currency flowing into the manufacturing sector to create jobs and
earn foreign currency. Neither can it kill the black market. This can only be
done by devaluing the dollar to black market levels.
Zanu PF chefs to give up their illegally gotten multiple farms, most of which
now lie idle, will not put the land reform programme on course. They must be
arrested and prosecuted like the common criminals they are.
for there to be real economic recovery, Zimbabwe needs a massive injection of
foreign and local investment as well as international donor support. Gono
himself said so. Investors and international lending institutions fled
Zimbabwe to other countries mostly for political reasons.
There is no
respect for human rights including those of private property. There is no
independent judiciary and general disrespect for the rule of law. Democratic
principles are flouted through unjust laws and political machinations. All
this creates an atmosphere of instability. No one in his right mind wants to
risk his money in such an unstable environment.
The recent about-turn by
government in regard to reforming the electoral environment should be
Finally, we seem to be getting the right idea that all is not
well and that Tony Blair is not the root cause of our problems. We should all
thank God for these small mercies but at the same time remind Him that what
we really need are showers of blessings.
I am not alone in my
applause. Even the militant Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition commended President
Robert Mugabe for the electoral reforms he made. They however, pointed out
that the reforms were not enough but should be followed by the repeal of all
'archaic and draconian laws,' which have a negative impact on free and fair
Andrew Meldrum in
Pretoria Monday August 2, 2004 The Guardian
government has drawn up legislation to curtail the activities of charities,
church groups and other non-governmental organisations. Announcing the draft
legislation, President Robert Mugabe said non-governmental organisations
"must work for the betterment of our country and not against it ... We cannot
allow them to be conduits or instruments of foreign interference in our
Civic leaders have denounced the bill, expected to be
tabled in parliament within weeks, as an attempt to strangle all independent,
critical voices in Zimbabwe in the run-up to parliamentary elections in March
next year. The bill would make it difficult for independent bodies to speak
out against state torture and other human rights abuses, the prevalence of
hunger and vote rigging, they warned.
"It's very threatening," said a
community leader, Rutendo Hadebe. "Obviously it is all about the elections.
Before the last elections the government passed legislation to restrict the
press. Now civic organisations are the next stumbling block so the government
is taking measures against us."
The bill forbids local organisations from
receiving foreign funding and requires them to register with the government,
which can ban them. The bill also prevents foreign organisations from
operating if they intend to work in the areas of governance and human
Amnesty International said: "The government will use this new
bill to silence critical voices and further restrict the right to freedom
of expression. It is a clear attempt to suppress dissenting views
as parliamentary elections draw closer."
Iden Wetherell, chairman of
the Zimbabwe National Editors' Forum, said: "This bill is part of a wider
campaign by government to close down democratic space in the
country." This week the Zimbabwe Election Support Network urged the
government to carry out new and transparent voter registration. It said the
voters' roll was so riddled with dead voters, multiple entries and "ghost"
voters that it could not be used in free and fair polls.
Zimbabwe's main opposition party accused police of harassing its leader to
hinder his political activities before the elections. Police on Saturday
searched the northern Harare home of the Movement for Democratic Change
leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, looking for weapons. None was found, said an
opposition spokesman, William Bango.
Reporter THE Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), Dr Gideon Gono
has set sights on invigorating the agricultural sector in efforts aimed at
forming the basis for economic recovery as well as ensuring food security for
During the presentation of the second quarter review of
the monetary policy last week, Dr Gono clearly indicated that he firmly
believed in agriculture as one sector of the economy on which the turn around
strategies for the revival of the economy could build.
remains the mainstay of the Zimbabwean economy, and this primarily derives
from the land being an endowment where the country has immense comparative
"Because of this, and the inextricable downstream linkages
between agriculture and the rest of the economy, there is need for
collective efforts, aimed at invigorating effective utilisation of land,"
said Dr Gono.
Dr Gono said food security was also indispensable
prerequisite to the national development, as no amount of insistence or
persistence could turn a hungry society into productive human
He also said that food security was critical for containment of
the country' s 'number one enemy', inflation.
"A stable food supply is
also an integral part of the preconditions of inflation stabilisation in
Zimbabwe, as the food component of the consumer price index accounts for a
significant proportion," he said.
Much attention will be given to foreign
exchange generating crops such as tobacco, cotton, paprika, soya beans and
Already, Dr Gono said, $150 billion has been ring-fenced and
disbursed to enhance winter wheat production, while $85 billion was set aside
for disbursement through the ministry of agriculture to
rehabilitate infrastructure in the agricultural sector.
usage of agricultural equipment which had been lying idle, Reserve Bank set
up an agricultural equipment facility, based on the willing buyer willing
Through this scheme, 129 tractors, 15 combine harvesters,
three bulldozers, seven rippers and 15 ploughs among other equipment where
made available to government for deployment into need farming areas by 30
June this year.
Furthermore, the central bank expressed the need for a
comprehensive marketing strategy for the country's agricultural products to
achieve sustainable productivity.
"Such marketing arrangements should
be supported by necessary regulatory structures, which effectively wade off
such retrogressive practices, as has been experienced in some contract
growing schemes where flybyharvesttime traders have cropped up, offering
prices that are out of touch with structures," said the financial overlord
He said comprehensive, long-term frameworks that allows for
pooled procurement of inputs, discharge of tillage programmes and
marketing strategies should be structured and implemented to lay a firm base
for revival of agriculture.
Said Dr Gono; "As monetary authorities, we
stand to work with government and the farming community in making sure that
success is registered in such initiatives."