true testimony of how the livestock industry has been badly affected by the
government's controversial land reform programme, this year's agricultural
show, which ended yesterday, exhibited only nine cattle.
Apart from the
nine cattle, there were also two East African goats and three sheep two
Marino and one Sabi in the dull livestock section.
This was in
clear contrast to the period before the chaotic land invasions when the
livestock section at the agricultural show was the centre of attraction for
In previous years, there used to be exciting livestock
parades but this year's show saw no such activities.
Robert Mugabe and the guest of honour Malawian P resident Bingu wa
Mutharika, who toured most sections in the show, did not go near the cattle
According to banners at the stand, the cattle exhibited were from
the government-run Agricultural Rural Development Authority (Arda)
and Agricultural Research Extension Services .
Society (ZAS) spokesperson, Chido Makunike, admitted that the situation has
never been the same since the land invasions, which were spearheaded by war
veterans and Zanu PF supporters.
'The cattle industry has been disrupted
by the agricultural reform and the country's herd has shrunk significantly.
However, there are also still some restrictions in movement of cattle because
of foot-and-mouth outbreaks,' Makunike said.
He said individual
exhibitors were failing to showcase their beasts because most of the new
farmers cannot afford to transport their livestock to the show.
are no individual exhibitors in the livestock section because it is very
expensive to transport animals. Farmers also need to be sure that
their animals are of good quality and are going to win,' Makunike
Since 2001, no livestock have been showcased at the show because of
fear of the foot-and-mouth disease, as well as the destruction of the
cattle industry caused by the land invasions.
The land invasions have
also resulted in the spread of foot-and-mouth disease in the Midlands,
Matabeleland and Masvingo provinces as new farmers moved cattle from one farm
to the other.
The farm invasions displaced more than 3 500 white
commercial farmers, who were the main cattle exhibitors at the annual s
War Veterans and Zanu PF supporters invaded commercial farms
and destroyed most of the infrastructure resulting in a sharp decrease of the
TOP executives at the state-owned Zimbabwe Newspapers group
(Zimpapers) allegedly defied government exchange control regulations since
January by illegally selling foreign currency to the company at inflated
rates, The Standard can reveal.
An investigation by this
newspaper shows that some senior Zimpapers officials, including group
financial director Oswell Matore, and group financial controller Adolf
Makumbe, sold hard currency to Zimpapers after the government announced in
November that it was illegal to deal in foreign currency.
possession of The Standard show that the scam is widespread among senior
executives of the newspaper group. It is understood the Reserve Bank of Zi
ãmbabwe has started investigations into some of the
Sources at the newspaper company yesterday said
Zimpapers' management were likely to cover up the illegal trade by
instructing accounts clerks to indicate that the money paid out to those
selling hard currency was entered into the books officially as 'travel
In three days in January alone, Zimpapers made hard currency
purchases amounting to US$1 606 from four executives at higher exchange rates
of $5 500 and $5 600 against official auction exchange rate of $3
It was only in July that the central bank devalued the Zimbabwe
dollar to $5 600, an exchange rate that had already been in use at Zimpapers
Some of the transactions show t ãhat one S Taruza was
paid $665 500 for US$121 on January 6 instead of $464 882, while Information
Technology manager Thompson Ndovi was paid $632 500 for US$150 the previous
An S Simemeza was paid $935 000 on January 5 instead of $653 140 for
US$150 while a J Chihota received $5 600 000 after selling US$1 000 on the
same day instead of $4 860 130 (at the government's auction
Makumbe, who sold US$200 to Zimpapers on January 6, ended up
collecting $1 100 000 instead of $768 400.
Zimpapers' titles have been
at the forefront of reporting individuals and companies caught illegally
dealing in foreign currency.
Early this year, prominent businesswoman,
Jane Mutasa, was convicted for contravening the Exchange Control regulations after dealing in foreign currency while not an authorised
Zimdollar reels under pressure By Rangarirai
THE Zimbabwe dollar will trade weaker in the coming weeks, under
pressure from a steeper rise in import demand and suppressed supply,
Fuel importers, having to pay more for petroleum
products, are expected to drive much of that demand. World oil prices have
risen to record highs on global fears of supply disruptions in some of the
At Monday's foreign currency auction, the dollar eased
to $5610,46 on the US dollar from $5604,70 at the previous auction. The
dollar has slipped below the $5600 diaspora rate set by central bank Governor
Gideon Gono only last month, and is trading even weaker on the unofficial but
more indicative parallel market. The rate there has reached $7000 on the
benchmark US unit.
Demand has firmed steadily since the auction opened in
January, and bids have consistently surpassed amounts put on offer. The
number of rejected bids has also been rising. At the August 20 auction, some
1056 of the total of 1376 bids were rejected. Critics worry that
unsuccessful bidders would increasingly turn to the illegal market for their
requirements, placing further strain on the Zimdollar.
said they see more foreign currency being taken out of the RBZ's Homelink
system, set up to divert forex inflows away from the black market and into
official hands. Homelink had, according to the RBZ, accounted for US$23,8
million up to July 26. However, a controversial decision to end payment in
hard money has immediately placed the vulnerable local unit back under
'The exchange rate at the auction has moved faster than we
thought since the (monetary policy) review. Demand has also risen strongly
over the period. This, perhaps, is as a sign that there is a belief that
the market will run short in the coming months,' an economist commented after
Other economists see the RBZ allowing the dollar to
slide further, hoping to find some stability towards the end of the last
quarter on expectedly improved supply from visiting non-resident
The market has taken Gono's 'Diaspora' rate as a cue; the US
dollar has run on both occasions that the Governor has set a rate. The rate
went above the first $5200 rate soon after its introduction, after having
held steady at around $4700.
The RBZ on Tuesday held the second of its
new forex auctions for small businesses and individuals, a further attempt by
authorities \ to cut off business to the black market. At the first auction,
held a week earlier, US$174 383,07 of the US$250 000 put on offer was taken
up. However, experts say the new auction will not ease the pressure on the
dollar unless the rate is allowed to float freely.
inflows in the first half-year amounted to US$778,6 million, up 385% from the
US$160,7 million earned a year earlier. However, despite concessionary
funding to producers, Zimbabwean exporters still maintain hazy forecasts on
their future, given the uncertainty surrounding movement of the exchange
Shumba spits venom EDDISON Zvobgo Junior (41), son of veteran nationalist Dr
Eddison Zvobgo, who died on Monday last week, yesterday said he was ready to
continue the family's political dynasty.
Dr Zvobgo and his spouse, Julia,
were very prominent politicians in both pre and post-independent
The younger Zvobgo made the disclosure after thousands of
grieving Masvingo residents trooped into Mucheke Stadium, to pay their last
respects to the veteran nationalist.
He told The Standard that he was
getting into full-time politics, setting the stage for a showdown with
TeleAccess boss Daniel Shumba in Masvingo central constituency.
Junior, a lawyer, said he had seriously considered following in his
father's footsteps after many of the veteran politician's followers implored
him to continue the legacy left behind by his parents.
As he spoke the
casket carrying the body of his father was less than 10 metres away and was
the focus of grief-stricken Masvingo residents.
Residents and high
profile local politicians such as Masvingo governor Josiah Hungwe, foreign
affairs minister Stan Mudenge, MDC executive mayor Alois Chaimiti and some
barefoot youths from Shonganiso communal area where the national hero hails,
Zvobgo Junior said: 'People have been asking me to
consider standing as MP. I have come to the realisation that if this request
had been made to my father, he would not have failed the people. And so it's
impossible for me to run away when it's time to serve the people in Masvingo
Hardly five minutes later, these pronouncements had raised
the ire of the Zanu PF provincial chairman, Daniel Shumba, who last December
declared that he was ready to 'evict' the opposition MDC from the Masvingo
Shumba dismissed the young Zvobgo whom many in
the ruling party believe could revive the fortunes of the Zvobgo faction in
'Let him (Zvobgo Jnr) not mistake the turnout for an
endorsement of his candidature. He should also realise that he is not his
father and he can never be,' said Shumba.
Shumba said he had covered
much ground and was prepared to meet the young Zvobgo in Zanu PF primaries
scheduled for the end of the year.
Gutu North MP Josiah Tungamirai, now
the most senior politician in the province following the death of
Vice-President Simon Muzenda and Zvobgo, said there was nothing wrong with
Zvobgo Junior's entry into politics.
Silas Mangono of the MDC is the MP
for Masvingo Central. Yesterday he and scores of MDC officials and supporters
were also at Mucheke Stadium where the Roman Catholic Church led in
Mangono said: 'Zvobgo used to point out wrongs for what they
were, whether it was in MDC or Zanu PF. As MDC we found him to be a very
sober and rational man, hence our presence.'
Walter Mzembi said: 'This is an undiluted demonstration of who Zvobgo was.
The challenge facing whoever is going to replace him is to fit the national
and international stature to which Zvobgo belonged, anything less will be a
mockery of his legacy.'
Mzembi is interested in running for Masvingo
As the blue and white Air Force of Zimbabwe
helicopter carrying Zvobgo's body took off for Harare late in the afternoon,
an old woman cried loud: 'Aenda Zvobgo, mwene weruzivo.' (Zvobgo the fountain
of knowledge and wisdom is gone).
shortages have returned to haunt Zimbabweans, at least for the
next fortnight. Some filling stations in Harare ran dry on Friday, while
small towns like Gweru, Shurugwi, and Kwekwe had virtually run out of
A survey by The Standard established that petrol was
available at a few service stations in the capital but diesel was
Several Mobil service stations had not received supplies for
days, while some BP and Shell outlets were only supplying
Sources in the fuel industry said most players in the market
could not afford to pump their fuel through the Beira-Feruka-Masasa pipeline
and were using road transporters.
'The problem now is that Mozambican
authorities have indicated that road hauliers which carry fuel from the port
of Beira to Zimbabwe are destroying their road network and this has left many
transporters in a lurch,' the source said.
Most indigenous fuel
suppliers, he said were busy trying to contribute money in order to purchase
fuel in bulk, which would be pumped straight to Harare.
A spokesman for
the Petroleum Marketers of Zimbabwe, Rodrick Kusano, who is also the
corporate affairs manager at BP and Shell, confirmed the
'On the part of BP and Shell, we were experiencing a
few logistical problems in terms of transporting fuel around the country, but
it is something that we should soon have dealt with in no time at all,'
Within two weeks, fuel should be flowing through the
pipeline, according to Kusano.
He said Petroleum Marketers of
Zimbabwe, whose members are fuel suppliers around the country, floated a
tender for the supply of 24 million litres of petrol and 36 million litres of
diesel every month.
'Ordering fuel in bulk as a consortium will make our
members enjoy economies of scale and because it will be piped straight to
Harare, it will be faster and convenient for our members,' Kusano said.
Skepticism over Mugabe commitment to reform By Caiphas
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe is unlikely to conform with the Southern
African Development Community (SADC) principles on elections recently adopted
in Mauritius recently because that would expose the ruling Zanu PF party to
its stiffest electoral challenge in next year's general elections, analysts
They said Mugabe, accused of running down a once
thriving economy and perpetrating gross human rights violations, knows that
Zanu PF cannot win an election in a democratic
Adhering to the principles, they said, would expose Zanu
PF to a stiff challenge from the opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC), which last week threatened to pull out of next year's parliamentary
poll if the playing field remains uneven.
A researcher with the
Institute of Development Studies (IDS), Choice Ndoro, said Mugabe would not
adhere to the principles, as that would be equivalent to signing his death
She said implementing the SADC principles and guidelines would
require the government to repeal the country's repressive laws, apparatus
that Mugabe has been using to maintain political grip on and silence any
'Implementing the reforms would require revisiting
the country's numerous laws to make them conform to the SADC principles. It
would mean doing a ¿way with laws such as POSA (Public Order and Security
Act) and I don't imagine the government doing that,' she said.
who was speaking at a post-SADC summit meeting in Harare organised by the
Zimbabwe Election Support Network (Zesn) last week, also said she does not
believe opposition parties would have access to State media as required by
Collin Gwiyo, the deputy secretary-general of the Zimbabwe Congress
of Trade Unions (ZCTU), shares her reservations. 'It's one thing to have good
laws. Implementing them is another thing. There is no political will in
Zimbabwe to implement the SADC principles,' Gwiyo said.
principles for conducting democratic elections call for freedom
of association, political tolerance and equal opportunity for all
political parties to access the State media.
It is also mandatory that
the judiciary be independent as is the impartiality of all electoral
However, in Zimbabwe, freedom of asso ÷ciation is
prohibited under the draconian POSA while political intimidation, torture and
murder have characterised previous polls.
According to the Zimbabwe
Human Rights NGO Forum, most of the human rights violations in 2001 and 2002
were committed by Zanu PF supporters, youth militia and war veterans. The
police and the army have also been accused of being sympathetic to the ruling
Apart from this, there are also laws such as Access to Information
and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) and the Broadcasting Services Act
(BSA), which have to be repealed if Mugabe is to correctly implement the
Gwiyo said: 'The government has to go back to the
drawing board to make sure that what it has started (electoral reforms)
conform with re gional standards.'
University of Zimbabwe political
scientist, Professor Eldred Masunungure, believes the government Ôwill
partially implement' the reforms while gauging the reaction of the region and
international community. 'It will implement them in small doses and wait for
internal and international response. I don't see comprehensive changes in the
near future,' Masunungure said.
He said if the region and the
international community failed to put pressure on Zimbabwe, Mugabe would just
ignore the SADC principles and guidelines.
But Zesn chairman, Dr Reginald
Matchaba-Hove, was somehow upbeat that Zimbabwe would adhere to the
principles. 'The major stumbling block in Zimbabwe is the issue of mistrust,
where there are opportunities, let's give them a chance,' Matchaba-Hove
Matchaba-Hove, however, expressed concern that the SADC charter was
silent on actions that would be taken against member states that do not
adhere to the principles.
'It is also silent on the role of civil
society, it just talks about voter education but does not say by who,' noted
the Zesn chairman, whose organisation has been advocating for electoral
reforms to enable an even playing field.
BULAWAYO Fear of Zanu PF infiltration in the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) has led to the removal of Bulawayo's deputy-mayor,
Alderman Charles Mpofu, from his position, insiders in the opposition have
Mpofu, a former Zanu PF councillor was removed from his
position two weeks ago at the same time another former ruling party
councillor, Matson Hlalo-Mpofu was suspended from the opposition party on
allegations of sponsoring a demonstration against incumbent Member of
Parliament for Makokoba, Thoko Khuphe.
denied sponsoring the demonstration.
The removal of the two Mpofus
from their positions generated angry protestations from government-controlled
media organisations in Bulawayo, which sympathised with the two
The two, together with former Sizinda councillor, Mika
Parira-Mpofu, were booted out of Zanu PF in 1999 on allegations of
destabilising the ruling party ahead of the 2000 parliamentary
Hlalo-Mpofu had indicated that he wanted to contest
Makokoba constituency against Sithembiso Nyoni, while Charles Mpofu was ready
to battle it out with the incumbent MP, David Coltart in Bulawayo
Parira-Mpofu became even more daring after
throwing his hat into the ring against Russian-trained former Zipra
intelligence supremo, Dumiso Dabengwa, in primary elections for Nkulumane
Hlalo-Mpofu and Parira-Mpofu contested the
parliamentary elections as independents and performed
The trio then joined the MDC but Parira-Mpofu made a
dramatic u-turn, left the opposition and rejoined Zanu PF.
sanctions against Charles Mpofu and Hlalo-Mpofu come at a time when the MDC
is still smarting from the defection of acting Harare executive mayor,
Sekesai Makwavarara, to the ruling party. Her actions all but handed back
control of the capital city to Zanu PF.
Makwavarara defended her
actions saying she had been born in Zanu PF and grown up in the same party
and did not regret going back to her roots.
The ousted deputy mayor
attacked the Bulawayo executive mayor, Japhet Ndabeni-Ncube, accusing him of
influencing councillors not to vote him into power for a second
'The mayor would rather work with ignorant people and is
afraid to work with intelligent people who know what they are doing. He did
not want me as deputy- mayor because I was hogging the limelight and he was
feeling threatened. It actually weakened my credibility to deputise somebody
like Ndabeni Ncube,' said the former deputy-mayor.
suggestions that he could have been a victim of the opposition taking
precautionary measures to avoid another Makwavarara scenario, Mpofu said: 'I
do not vomit something and go back to eat it. I left Zanu PF because I did
not agree with their policies and I am an MDC member but I will always
question unscrupulous activities that take place. Zanu PF has approached me
in the past to rejoin them but I have always refused.'
Ndlovu is the new Bulawayo deputy mayor.
Bulawayo mayor, Ndabeni
Ncube said he had not in any way contributed to the downfall of
'To start with, I am the executive mayor, voted into office
by the whole of Bulawayo while Mpofu represents a ward, which means there is
a world of difference between our offices and the constituencies that
we represent. There is nothing that can cause me to have differences
with him.,' Ndabeni Ncube said.
defiant residents at Porta Farm squatter camp started moving out on Friday
under the watchful eye of anti-riot police.
They are being relocated to
housing co-operatives on farms around Harare.
A sombre mood engulfed
Porta Farm as squatters were being ferried to their various 'new homes',
including the Chenjerai Hunzvi Housing Co-operative at Retreat Farm along
Seke road in government trucks.
A representative of the squatters,
Khumbulani Khumalo, told The Standard that people were moving out because
they feared the armed police, who have descended on the farm.
lorries packed with anti-riot police arrived at the farm on Friday
and proceeded to Norton later.
'I do not know why they had to send all
those police officers. We are not refusing to go. What we want is security
and assurances that we are not going to be dumped just like they did in the
first place when we came here,' explained Khumalo.
The squatters are
being taken to farms such as Retreat, Glen Eagles, Saturday Retreat,
Caledonia, Crest, and Eyecoat.
Khumalo said that some of the people were
being put in 'holding camps' or old farmhouses.
'We demanded title
deeds but we were told that we should not worry about that since we have
managed to stay at Porta for 13 years without them,' Khumalo said.
an interview with The Standard, some of the squatters alleged that they
were being forced to pay contributions equivalent to those of
existing members in order to join the co-operatives.
'When we went to
Caledonia Farm on Tuesday, we were told that we should pay $2 million in
joining fees and subsequent monthly subscriptions of $40 000 per stand in
order for us to stay at the farm. It is very difficult for us. Where do they
expect us to get such amounts?' asked Stanley Moyo, one of
However, when confronted by The Standard, an official
at Retreat Farm denied that people were being asked to pay
'They are just being helped. We are not going to ask for money
from them,' said the official.
He said he had facilitated the movement
of more that 100 families on Friday.
Officials from the Ministry of Local
Government, Public Works and y National Housing had ordered that the
squatters move out by Friday.
Some of the squatters said they feared for
their security at the farms where they were being relocated.
it could be difficult to co-exist with the people who invaded
'We have always wanted to be resettled but not in such a
manner. In any case, how are we going to live with the war veterans who are
at those farms?' asked Lissa Makoni, one of the residents at Porta Farm.
United States government has donated Anti Retroviral (ARV) drugs valued at
over US$500 000 to the Ministry of Health an ±d Child Welfare. The ARV's are
going to benefit at least 500 people living with HIV/Aids at five selected
hospitals across the country for at least a year.
The donation was
officially handed over at the Harare hospital Opportunistic Infections (OI)
clinic last week.
The ARV programme will support the initiation of
Zimbabwe's National Anti-retroviral Treatment Programme at two pilot sites
Harare Central Hospital and Mpilo Hospital in Bulawayo.
sites, Howard Mission Hospital in Mashonaland Central Province, Khami Road
Clinic in Bulawayo City's Health Department, and Colin Saunders Hospital in
Triangle Limited in Masvingo Province will also roll out the ARV programme
would also benefit by the end of the year.
Launching the ARV programme,
US ambassador to Zimbabwe, Joseph Sullivan, said he hoped his government
would continue to work together with the Zimbabwean government in order to
avert the effects of the Aids pandemi µc.
political situation in Zimbabwe is affecting various HIV/Aids interventions
in the country, as numerous donors continue to withdraw their technical and
financial support to Z Öimbabwe in protest against the maladministration of
the President Robert Mugabe-led government.
Recently, in a huge blow to
Zimbabwe's fight against HIV/Aids, its application to the fourth round of the
Global HIV/Aids Fund was turned down, in what was generally viewed as a
The refusal by the Global Fund to give money to
the country gravely affected Zimbabwe's chances of rolling out a large scale
anti-retroviral (ARV) programme.
At present, the Ministry of Health
and Child Welfare has the national ARV programme being run only at Harare and
Parirenyatwa hospitals in the capital and Mpilo and United Bulawayo hospitals
Soon after the launch of its national ARV programme, the
government admitted that it had no capacity to spread the anti-retroviral
therapy (ART) to other clinics and hospitals in the country and would be
counting on major donors to come in and assist.
But as recent events
have suggested, the donor community is reluctant t µo offer more
humanitarian assistance to a country characterised by both political and
A recent study conducted by the United States
Institute of Peace shows that the health of the nation is on a 'downward
spiral' and that poor leadership by President Mugabe is hindering Zimbabwe's
struggle against the HIV/Aids epidemic.
The 50-page study, entitled
Downward Spiral: HIV/Aids, State Capacity, and Political Conflict in Zimbabwe
was authored by Andrew T Price-Smith and John L Daly, science professors at
the University of South Florida in Tampa.
The study notes Zimbabwe
'exhibits one of the highest levels of HIV/Aids sero-prevalence in the world,
with approximately 34 percent of the adult population now infected with the
human immunodeficiency virus'.
More than 600 000 Zimbabweans have died
from Aids since 1998 and at least 2 500 people are dying each week due to the
'This health tragedy is compounded by President
Mugabe's seizure of white-owned farms and his muzzling of the Press and
crackdown on political opponents through intimidation and even physical
torture,' says the report.
'The result has been an almost total breakdown
of health and social services that could help to stem the spread of the
disease in what was once regarded as one of Africa's most prosperous
According to the USIP study as long as there is continuing
absence of the rule of law, foreign aid will not come into the country,
further worsening the situation.
'The continuing absence of the rule
of law in Zimbabwe, widespread corruption, electoral fraud, and the
government's renowned propensity to default consistently on loans have
generated significant mistrust of the Mugabe regime by foreign donor
The report, however, credits Mugabe for recognising 'the
HIV/Aids epidemic constitutes a significant threat to
'He has begun to give the issue a higher priority on the
regime's agenda. However, many of the funds raised to combat the disease have
been lost to corruption,' says the report.
'Schemes to fight the
disease, such as a three percent tax on companies and individuals, have come
under fire for politicising medical services to the sick by providing relief
only to regime supporters.'
The study further asserts: 'The removal of
Mugabe from power would probably benefit the country enormously, as it would
permit a new and accountable leadership structure to be
'However, any successor regime would face a similar
situation of worsening economic and political destabilization while the
HIV/Aids epidemic rages unabated.'
The US Institute of Peace is an
independent research institution created by the US Congress in 1984 to
promote conflict resolution worldwide.
Zim mourns a true 'son of the soil' By David
EDDISON Jonas Mudadirwa Zvobgo, the veteran politician who died
last Sunday and will be buried at the National Heroes' Acre in Harare today,
was one of the sharpest minds to shape post-independent Zimbabwe.
eloquent speaker, the Harvard-trained lawyer strode the political field of
his home province Masvingo like a colossus for the first two decades
of post independent Zimbabwe.
Such was his popularity in Masvingo,
Zimbabwe's largest province by population, that for years President Robert
Mugabe would seek his mere presence to be assured of a huge turnout in this
very restive province when addressing supporters of the governing Zanu PF
Zvobgo, one of the triumvirate of sharp 'Young Turks' close to
Mugabe after Zanu PF transformed itself from a Marxist guerrilla movement
into a formidable political party at independence in 1980, was for long
considered the man most likely to succeed Mugabe as the president of
Zimbabwe. (The other two were Edgar Tekere, later thrown out of the party
after a fallout with Mugabe, and the late Dr Herbert Ushewokunze).
fiery politician gained international recognition during the 1979 Lancaster
House conference that brought Zimbabwe's independence when he and the late
Willie Dzawanda Musarurwa were appointed joint spokesmen for
the liberation movements Mugabe's Zanu and Joshua Nkomo's Zapu during
Zvobgo was every journalist's dream a book of quotable
quotes on two feet.
In the late 1980s he was to be embroiled in the
political battle of his life after Mugabe's trusted long-time deputy Simon
Muzenda who with the tacit approval of the Zanu PF leader (who was known to
secretly despise Zvobgo's rising popularity) abandoned his Midlands seat for
Masvingo, which was also his home area.
The move, which resulted in
'two bulls in one pen' precipitated one of the bitterest turf wars seen in
the governing Zanu PF party: a battle that still rages on today even after
the two mentors have died.
But Zvobgo was far from a saint.
extremely boastful person, he would taunt Mugabe at some Zanu PF
meetings where the party leader was absent and one time reportedly said
should he ever be fired from Cabinet, he had a rosy future in the legal
world where he and his siblings who were both legal practitioners would
form a legal firm that could be called 'Zvobgo, Zvobgo and Zvobgo'.
the 1980s, Zvobgo was also involved in a messy court struggle over
the ownership of his two hotels in Masvingo with a former white partner,
Ian MacIntosh, who accused Zvobgo of abusing his position in government to
elbow him out of the business. MacIntosh was soon deported.
years, some Zimbabweans began to blame Zvobgo the architect of most of
country's post independence laws of creating the widely criticised and
sweeping Presidential Powers Amendment Act, which created the
Executive Presidency that the Zimbabwean ruler has used to subdue the
In one of his rare and widely quoted interviews, which I
conducted with him at his Flamboyant Hotel in Masvingo in July 2000, Zvobgo
who for the first time had been dropped from Mugabe's Cabinet was openly
critical of 1/4how the Zimbabwean President had abused the Act to suit his
long-term grip on power.
'The usual case is that I personally created
a monstrosity of a Presidency É what we did was laying down simply a skeleton
of powers and functions that can be operated or applied by five different
people in five different formats,' in the interview that was carried by the
private Financial Gazette, of which I was deputy editor-in-chief.
continued: 'Reading it (the amended Act) as I often do, it's fairly innocuous
but how certain powers have been used (by Mugabe) is what is
'I am quite sure that the same document can be operated
extremely democratically with consultations throughout. But depending on
the temperament of the individual, it can be fairly a nefarious
In the same interview, Zvobgo ever the lawyer hinted at
his long-held ambition to succeed Mugabe and let out that the only reason he
had never openly challenged the Zanu PF leader was because of the ideals
they shared when both were in the bush fighting the enemy.
never crossed my mind that I could, for example, stand against him in an
electoral contest because that would have violated the agreements which we
always had the understandings, the friendships.
'I continued to say
that, but I have also said that should he decide not to run, then I have to
reconsider my options. In those circumstances, I might decide to offer
myself,' he said.
Of course, it is now history that a few weeks after the
July 2000 interview, Mugabe announced that he would run once more for the
presidency against Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the newly formed Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC), dashing the hopes of many Zimbabweans who had
hoped that Zvobgo or another top Zanu PF official would contest the
watershed 2002 presidential election.
After Mugabe's announcement, the
fallout between the tw Ìo founding members of Zanu PF was
Zvobgo openly told followers in Masvingo that he would not
campaign for Mugabe. Mugabe begged Zvobgo to help him win the tricky election
at a rally in Masvingo town a few months later, but the stubborn lawyer would
hear none of it.
He continued to make disparaging remarks about
Mugabe, sometimes at Zanu PF rallies, triggering rumours that the veteran
lawyer would soon cross the floor and join Tsvangirai at the MDC.
though never happened but the damage had been done. The two Zanu PF leaders
never saw eye to eye.
There were even reports that Zvobgo was about to
launch a new political party of his own, as did Tekere when Mugabe booted him
out of Zanu PF in the late 1980s.
This was his response: 'I love Zanu,
I can't leave it. I created it with others, of course. I have no other home
and so I wish the party well. This is from my heart.' That was at a time when
some polls were saying Tsvangirai would wallop Mugabe.
'I say so
even during these moments of serious adversities which have visited the
party. To form a new party? That's out of the question.'
Mugabe should be pressurised to retire, Zvobgo once again demonstrated his
dexterity with words: 'In this business, individuals can become masters of
their own destiny. They decide whether they want to continue or whether they
want to retire. I express no view.'
Sadly for him, a horrific motor car
accident while on his way to Harare from Masvingo was the harbinger of bad
things to come. Although he recovered after surgery in South Africa and in
Europe, Zvobgo was never the same: he was soon in and out of
Last year he was rushed to a hospital in South Africa where he
spent months recuperating. But the stress and the political battles had taken
their toll on Zvobgo and his wife Julia, another Zanu PF stalwart. Julia
Zvobgo died in February and was declared a national heroine.
her f uneral, it was evident that it would not be long. Zvobgo, now
confined to a wheelchair, cut a lonely figure when he could only
observe proceedings of Julia's wake from the veranda of their Harare
Zvobgo spent about 10 years in Rhodesian prisons and joined other
Zanu leaders in Maputo, Mozambique, in 1976 to wage the last leg of the
armed struggle that forced the white Rhodesian government of Ian Smith to
the negotiating table in 1979.
Seven children and 12 grand children
survive him. After Mugabe had fired him in 2000, I posed this question: 'Do
you feel let down by President Mugabe?'
Zvobgo said: 'Oh no, in fact I
said (to Mugabe), I am relieved.'
Farewell Dr Zvobgo. If there is a court
in heaven, then the heavens have gained a brilliant lawyer.
DESPITE State media reports that the Catholic community was divided
over the appointment of former Hwange Bishop, Robert Christopher Ndlovu as
the Archbishop of Harare, the carnival atmosphere thousands witnessed at
his installation last Saturday indicates there is abundant support for the
Thousands of Catholics, including President Robert
Mugabe and the First Lady, Grace, thronged the City Sports Centre in Ha
'rare, while those who could not find a seat on the bays, benches and chairs
gladly sat on the floor. The unlucky ones had to make do with following the
proceedings from outside the complex.
Several of the people who
had packed the sporting complex fainted as the venue had taken more people
than could be accommodated.
The Pope's representative in Zimbabwe,
Archibshop Joseph Edward Adams and bishops from the Southern African region
attended, ignoring attempts to divide Catholics in Zimbabwe.
to The Herald, some Catholics were reportedly not happy about the two main
Archdioceses of Bulawayo and Harare being led by people drawn
from Matabeleland. The anonymous critics of the appointment quoted by The
Herald, described the appointment as a slap in the face. Archbishop Pius
Ncube is the head of the Catholic Church in Bulawayo and comes from
Quoting unnamed Catholics, including an unnamed cabinet
minister, the State-controlled newspaper said concerned church members were
questioning the rationale of appointing someone from Matabeleland to head the
Harare archdiocese, sidelining 'suitable' candidates from Mashonaland,
Masvingo and Manicaland.
Joseph Shumba, a member of the Catholic
Church had his own explanation for the story that appeared in The
'The Catholic Church is a very crucial institution and has a
very illustrious history in the affairs of Zimbabwe, including the
liberation struggle. Zanu PF naturally had its own favourite candidates for
the post of archbishop and when they were wrong-footed by Pope John Paul
II, they started panicking because they probably did not know anything about
Ndlovu. They were probably trying to cause confusion so that their
preferred candidate would be appointed archbishop of
Catholics who attended the ceremony, which was punctuated by
song and dance, said they were not concerned about the origins of their
priests and archbishops.
Nyambuya warns MDC-dominated city council By our own
MUTARE Mike Nyambuya, the provincial governor for Manicaland has
warned the city council to improve service provision to residents, saying he
is keeping an eye on its activities.
He made the remarks last week at
the commissioning of three refuse trucks bought by the city of Mutare for
$1,5 billion and the ground-breaking ceremony of a six kilometre water pipeline from Christmas Pass to Sakubva.
The pipeline which cost
an estimated $9,2 billion is expected to end perennial water woes for the
residents of Dangamvura, Fern Valley and Chikanga.
'I will continue to
monitor and supervise their activities in this regard to ensure that our
communities are not short-changed in the process,'
Nyambuya's comments come at a time when provincial
governors are being accused of interfering and meddling in the running and
affairs of urban councils in the country.
The interference has
targeted local authorities mostly run by the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC).
Already in Harare, Witness Mangwende, the
governor appears to have gained an upper hand over the city council, previo
Þusly dominated by the MDC.
Nyambuya also warned the council to act
speedily against the problem of squatters in Sakubva suburb.
'The high levels of squatting in Sakubva worry me. I want to see the
situation ameliorated as soon as possible. We need to prioritise these people
living in backyards in Sakubva, in terms of housing provision.'
has a population of about 150 000 but half the people live in wooden shacks
The Mutare executive mayor Misheck Kagurabadza, speaking at
the same function, said the current MDC council assumed office with no
financial books to talk about.
He said the previous council had no
refuse trucks and that the whole city relied on three tractors for refuse
'I want to make it categorically clear that I am not in
anyway trying to castigate the previous council. The old council (Zanu PF)
could not buy the same (refuse trucks) because of financial constraints,' the
Kagurabadza said the council required at least 16 refuse
trucks for it to remove garbage effectively in the city.
THE Southern African Development Community (Sadc)
Charter of rules and electoral guidelines represents one of the rapidly
shrinking avenues of returning Zimbabwe to the international
William Shakespeare in Julius Caesar writes:
'There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which taken at the
Leads on to fortune.
Omitted, all the voyage
of their life,
Is bound in shallows and miseries,
such a full sea we now afloat,
And we must take the current when it
Or lose our ventures '
After the country's
isolation and the attendant hardships, Zimbabwe has suffered as a consequence
of undemocratic practices at the hands of its rulers. The Sadc Charter
therefore offers the country the gateway to normalisation of relations with
the rest of the international community.
It is this assumption that
led Paul Berenger, the Prime Minister of Mauritius, to suggest at the
just-ended Sadc summit in Grande Baie: 'With free and fair elections due in
Zimbabwe at the beginning of next year, we can already start preparing for
the normalisation of relations between Sadc, the European Union and the
Regional leaders have agonised over the plight of the people
in this country and how they can assist its leaders in ensuring that Zimbabwe
takes its rightful place in thecommunity of nations. The ball is,
therefore, firmly in Zimbabwe's court.
However, the concern is
whether they can persuade their colleague, President Mugabe, to fully agree,
as opposed to selective application of the rules or how they will enforce
implementation of the principles.
If they can persuade and achieve
full compliance, they will have allayed fears of the majority of Zimbabweans
that Sadc leaders have abandoned them to Zanu PF and its youth militia ahead
of next March's parliamentary elections.
statement soon after his arrival from Mauritius suggests he is disowning the
document before the ink on it has dried.
In one of his comments on
the Charter, the President said that member-states could only observe
elections at the invitation of the host nation. He found support in President
Benjamin Mkapa of Tanzania. But then this is just two out of the 14 leaders
of the regional grouping. It is important to appreciate that Mkapa gave
his support to Mugabe before, and not after adoption of the
In the past, President Mugabe has said he would not
countenance the presence of foreign observers. This is one reason why Pierre
Schorri's European Union observer team was kicked out just before the
2000 parliamentary elections.
There appeared to be no problem in
the eyes of Zanu PF with poll observers and monitors from the African,
Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) bloc, the continent or the Sadc
But the President seems to suggest that the inviting
authority is the State. It isn't. The body empowered to organise, run and
supervise the election process is the proper authority to invite observers
President Mugabe's comments suggest that his
government is determined to circumvent both the spirit and letter of the Sadc
Charter. His government is in the process of introducing a Bill for
Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), which is a far-reaching and draconian
law clearly designed to exert full and complete control over NGOs and
other human rights organisations in Zimbabwe.
We are clearly
dealing with an oppressive regime in Zimbabwe. There has been a systematic
and unrelenting assault on the civil and political rights of Zimbabweans
during the last four years. And there is no let up on this. The sooner the
Sadc leaders understand this fact the better for all of us.
Zimbabwe's history and track record of breaching its own commitments is well
documented. The October 1991 Harare Declaration by the Commonwealth is one
example of Zimbabwe's contempt of accords unless they serve its interests.
The case of Zimbabwe's forced withdrawal from the Commonwealth can be traced
to this declaration.
Implementing the Sadc principles will entail
scrapping the Access to Infor Èmation and Protection of Privacy Act (Aippa),
Public Order and Security Act (Posa), the Broadcasting Services Act (BSA) and
the proposed NGO Bill.
These laws are nothing more than actions
by the Zimbabwe government to exert a stranglehold on those perceived to be
in opposition to government and government policies. It is a clampdown on the
opposition, the independent presss and the civil society. And it is common
knowledge that these laws are not consistent with an enlightened, open and
democratic system of government.
Zimbabwe would not be scared of
regional and international poll observers if it has no intention of doing
anything undemocratic. But then, the guilty are always afraid. Why close the
door when you know that you have nothing to hide?
government of Zimbabwe and Zanu PF are clearly not ready to commit themselves
to the Sadc Charter of rules and electoral guidelines.
wonder therefore that the Movement for Democracy Change (MDC) has decided to
suspend participation in all forms of elections in this country until the
Zimbabwe government adheres to the Sadc protocol on elections in its truest
and broadest sense.
You have to be in it to win it overthetop By Brian
THE troubled central African nation's opposition More Drink Coming
Party has pulled out of all elections in the country in a move that means it
cannot be blamed for losing next year's polls.
The precipitous action
came just days after the Southern African Disaster Committee announced new
protocols for holding elections in the region.
But while the troubled
central African country's ruling Zany Party said it would abide by the
protocols, there was obviously considerable scepticism in the
Without waiting to criticise the Zany Party for lying
flagrantly about poll reform, the More Drink Coming Party withdrew from the
The move means the Zany Party now has no need to institute
electoral changes because it will hold elections with itself.
said that without an opposition, the Zany Party could now hold elections
modelled on the North Korean model.
These are expected to see 99,8% of
the vote going to the Zany Party. Anyone who questions these amazing
statistics when only 2% of the population turns out to vote could find
themselves deprived of their liberty and the soles of their
Still, the disturbed leader of an equally disturbed southern
African nation last week announced that any country that did not abide by the
new protocols could see itself kicked out of the Southern African Disaster
The news was treated with disdain by the Zany Party who said
they were now accomplished at resigning from regional and world bodies, thus
depriving anyone of the satisfaction of giving them the
Meanwhile observers said they await the implementation of the new
voting rules with keen anticipation. Most observers, who said that officially
they could not be called observers because that might be illegal, said they
would hope for change, but that might also be considered illegal or at
least a sinister western plot.
'Actually we expect many
announcements,' said one foreign diplomat who cannot be named for the same
reasons diplomats in the state-controlled press cannot be named.
expect Zany officials to announce that the elections will be free, fair and
¤ a true expression of the people's will.'
The unnameable foreign
diplomat went on to say: 'We also expect the results to show that the Zany
Party has won a landslide victory and that the results will be accepted
wholeheartedly by the Southern African Disaster Committee.'
The Top can reveal that rumours that the results of next year's elections are
already available are vastly exaggerated. Had the More Drink Coming Party not
decided to withdraw from the race, the results might have been available, but
their withdrawal has created considerable work for officials who must now
return to the drawing board.
Meanwhile supporters of the More Drink
Coming Party were not entirely in support of the decision to withdraw from
elections in the troubled central African nation, pointing out that the move
was likely to draw criticism from the Southern African Disaster
And for it's part, the ruling Zany Party gloated
predictably that the announcement to withdraw signified surrender on the
part of the opposition. The interpretation was mirrored in the streets among
ordinary members of the More Drink Coming Party.
They said they
wondered whether the move would really put pressure on the Zany government
or whether it would simply leave the opposition in a void from which it could
not garner official support from the rest of the region.
The astronomical increase in the basic charges, from $180 to $8
600, announced by the Harare city council is unacceptable. An increase of up
to $360, which is double the old rate makes sense.
It would be
advisable for the City Council to refund ratepayers the difference between $8
600 and $360. It seems the motorcades for acting executive mayor, Sekesai
Makwavarara, and Town Clerk, Nomutsa Chideya, have necessitated these
The Minister of Local Government, Dr Ignatius Chombo,
should reassign these two officials, so that they continue to perform
other duties in the City Council that do not necessarily require them to have
motorcades and therefore punish residents through ever-rising
Why should the Minister approve the increase knowing that the cost
of living in Zimbabwe is sky-rocketing and unemployment is on a run-away
course. Where on earth does he think we will get the money to meet such
By taking action, Chombo will demonstrate to all residents
that he is aware of the economic hardships we are all suffering. The
increases should be suspended. We should revert to the December
an appeal to the minister responsible for educating the future leaders of
this country, Aneas Chigwedere, that ZIMSEC has long been exposed as an
unreliable custodian of our examinations system,and now is the time to call
Over the years, the board has had chronic failures, not to
mention examination leakages, fraud, corruption and total systematic l
(tm)oopholes and doctoring of results. All these have eroded all the
credibilty of our examinations.
The board has failed to live up to
our expectations or to come up with a strategic turnaround programme and
tight security measures.The only solution to all this mess is to disband this
ineffective scapegoat and replace it with a more aggressive
This is the only way we can save our reputed education system
which has taken decades to build.
Why buy these posh cars when health services
To most readers, your article of last week regarding
the government's purchase of top notch vehicles for army chiefs is history
and by now forgotten. It is my habit also to do the same with most news I
read, regardless of the direct or indirect impact such issues have on
I visited Parirenyatwa Hospital on Saturday 21/08/04
and the news about thes Àe billions going into the purchase of such
executive vehicles was dismaying. The state of the country's major referral
hospital is so pathetic. I left Parirenyatwa Hospital three hours later
having failed to get attention. I do not begrudge the defence chiefs their
My concern is that whoever has the authority to use
tax-payers money in this manner should also stop to think about the state of
our hospitals and the service delivery one encounters there.
one doctor attending to out-patients and emergencies, no matter how dedicated
the guy was, was a sorry sight to witness. At the end of his/her duty, the
same professional gets into a dilapidated 323, headed for some cheap flat
that he calls home, somewhere, does make one even sadder.
Then on one
extreme we have other professionals zooming to extra posh low-density suburbs
in even poshier vehicles.There is obviously a misplacement of
To condone this misplacement of revenue is to sign the
death warrant of countless suffering people who cannot afford the fees
charged at private hospitals and whose revenue has been directed to buy
Toyota Prados which replace Peugeot 406s instead of medical equipment and
What about the welfare of the said doctor? Is it then a
question of political significance, with those who hold the sway benefitting
at the direct expense of such hard-working and dedicated medical staff and
the suffering ordinary people.
The Prados can be bought, but let us
also see massive injection of billions of dollars into institutions that
benefit the common person.
This is Zanu PF hypocrisy towards white
I JOIN the many Zimbabweans, among them President Robert
Mugabe, who have congratulated Kirsty Coventry for winning three medals at
the Athens Olympics.
Many other Zanu PF officials, including
Education, Sport and Culture Minister, Aeneas Chigwedere, who could not
himself attend the games because of his government's human rights abuse
record, also sent congratulatory messages.
I tried har 'd to
imagine what message Mugabe's Minister for Justice, Legal and Parliamentary
Affairs, Patrick Chinamasa, would have for Coventry, but I am yet to come up
The world should remember that Chinamasa, a favourite of
Mugabe, accused the ancestors of white people in Zimbabwe of stealing 'our
land and our cattle' during a debate in parliament, resulting in Chimanimani
Member of Parliament, Roy Bennett, who was the target of Chimanasa's attack,
getting angry and pushing Chinamasa to the floor.
Juxtaposing the two
developments, one can conclude that Mugabe and his cronies hate white people,
but only pretend to like them to give the world a false impression that there
is racial harmony in Zimbabwe.
What had Bennett done wrong when Chinamasa accused him and his ancestors of being thieves? Nothing. I hear Bennett
is loved by the people of Chimanimani because of what he does for them. I
also hear that before joining the MDC (Movement for Democratic Change),
Bennett was in the Zanu PF structures. In fact, some people say the MDC won
the Chimanimani seat because of Bennett's popularity.
He just has the
ordinary people at heart, even during his days in Zanu PF. But Zanu PF does
not like such people in its ranks. Bennett left Zanu PF because he could not
put up with cruel, directionless dictators who pretend to be what they are
The day Coventry reveals her political affiliation, and it happens
to be not in the interests of Zanu PF, Mugabe, Chinamasa and all the other ê
Mugabe cronies will take turns to attack her Ð mark my words.
and his cronies are trying to use Coventry's victory to paint a false and
misleading impression that there is racial harmony in Zimbabwe. In turn, the
world should simply cross check that position with remarks that are always
made by Zanu PF when they refer to whites who are thought to support, or are
sympathetic to the MDC.
PLEASE may I be allowed to tell the whole nation that the
Electoral Supervisory Commission (ESC) cheated the monitors who spent
two-and-a-half months in the bush carrying out voter education from the
beginning of May to mid July.
The monitors were promised $130
000.00 a day as their allowances as most were working away from their homes.
However, not even a single cent has been paid and no they have just forgotten
A lot of money was used for transport by the monitors because
the commission was not able to provide transport.
When one asks what
happened to the promised allowances, one is told they are still waiting for
treasury to release the money. To me this only suggests the inability of the
commission to run elections in Zimbabwe.
There is a lot to suspect about
the whole situation. Unfortunately most monitors can not come out in the open
to complain since they are state employees. Please do your own
investigations, Editor you will be able to unearth skeletons,
do not publish my name as I fear I could be victimised
Wankie targets rural deforestation By our own
LEADING coal extractor Wankie Colliery has entered into a
partnership with the Forestry Company of Zimbabwe (FCZ) and Zimcast that is
intended to arrest the wholesale chopping down of trees for
Wankie managing director Godfrey Dzinomwa told Standard
Business that the coal miner is supplying coal to newly resettled families
who are using it as alternative fuel.
Zimcast, a leading foundry
firm based in Gweru, is providing solid fuel stoves to the families.
Currently most families rely on firewood as a form of energy due to
escalating costs of other forms of power.
Dzinomwa said the project
which is still in its promotional phase and is being rolled out freely
will serve as a way of conserving resources for future
'If more people turn to coal they can allow trees to grow
and we can help preserve some forests,' he said.
newly resettled areas, the project is also being promoted in deforested areas
such as Ndabazinduna in Bulawayo. Some resettled families in Chiweshe,
Mashonaland Central, have been the first beneficiaries of the
In the past four years of State-sanctioned seizures of
white-owned productive farmland, resettled farmers have turned themselves
into wood poachers.
Cut empowerment stake, say mines firms By Kumbirai
MINING industry representatives are lobbying government to reduce
and stagger the share representation of empowered groups that they would
be forced to take on board as part of a proposed government directiv ye
to increase the participation of blacks in key industries, Standard
Business has learnt.
According to official sources, mining
representatives want the government to reduce the proposed 49 % equity set
aside for indigenous blacks in mines owned by foreign companies to a
staggered 40 % over eight years.
The sources said the Chamber of
Mines submitted such proposals to the Ministry of Mines and Mining
Development a fortnight ago.
According to a draft law that rattled mining
barons and prospective investors early this year, foreign companies have to
relinquish 49% of their shares in local operations to indigenous Zimbabweans
within three years. For public companies, the requirement is 25%.
Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill 2004 is expected to be tabled in Parliament
during its last sitting before key general elections slotted for March next
The Chamber of Mines hashowever proposed that foreign firms
sell their shareholding to indigenous Zimbabweans in a staggered process. The
mines body proposes that the mining houses sell 15% of their equity to
locals within the first three years and another 25% in five
This would bring down to 40% the amount of shares
'historically disadvantaged people' will get in eight years as opposed to the
proposed 49% within three years.
In South Africa, a revised
empowerment mining legislation requires that 15% shareholding be taken by
indigenous people within five years and the rest 26% within the next 10
The chamber's recommendations, according to sources, were arrived
at after assessments were carried out of the current values of the Australian
stock exchange-listed Zimbabwe Platinum Mines (Zimplats) and Anglo
A 15% empowerment portion set aside by Zimplats was recently
snapped up by Nkulul ¢eko Rusununguko Mining Company (NRMC) ahead of
Needgate and its Grassroots partners in a hostile bid.
empowerment deal, Anglo Platinum says it has set aside a 20% shareholding in
its Unki platinum project for the participation of local formerly
According to sources, the chamber is also stressing
that 'empowerment' be accompanied by the ability of the disadvantaged to pay
for their stake.
'Although empowerment is a very important key for the
development of this country it must be linked with growth,' a mining source
The chamber has also made its own proposals on mining claims,
tenure and Exclusive Prospecting Orders (EPOs). Those holding a mining claim,
the chamber says, should use it or lose it if there is no significant
'People can't hold mining claims in perpetuity,' said
the mining source, in reference to claims that some companies and individuals
were sittin ýg on mining claims that they have never developed since
Several companies have also had their EPOs recently revoked
as the government tries to weed out those believed to be holding on to the
rights for speculative purposes.
EPOs are mining rights, which are
given to mining companies to explore possible mineral deposits in specific
areas. They are issued by the Minister of Mines and Mining Development in
terms of the Mines and Minerals Act on the recommendation of the Mining
Since the announcement of the proposed amendments, there
have been reports that some new mining projects were put on hold by worried
investors who have adopted a wait-and-see attitude. Primary and secondary
listing partners have also withdrawn from future ãfinancing activities, it
has been learnt
Kirsty Coventry is a light in the darkness Sundaytalk
with Pius Wakatama
SOME pronounce her name as 'Kiristi', others as
'Kisiti'. If you want funnier versions of the name just listen to ZBC Radio
or watch ZTV.
What is common to both mispronouncers and proper
pronouncers of the name, however, is that they all mention it with much
affection. The name is that of Kirsty Coventry, a 20-year-old white
Coventry first became the toast of Zimbabwe when she won
the country's only gold medal at the 2002 Commonwealth Games i \n
Manchester, England. Not only did she win the gold but, she set a new record
in swimming with her time of two minutes, 14,43 seconds. The whole country
was proud of her.
Today Coventry's name is on the lips of most
Zimbabweans again. She just won her beloved Zimbabwe three medals Ð a gold,
silver and bronze, at the Olympic Games in Greece.
performance at the Olympics was a much-needed morale booster for Zimbabwe,
which is now a pariah among democratic and civilised countries of the
Its once prosperous people are now hungry beggars existing on
handouts from well-wishers or money sent by relatives who are economic
refugees in other countries.
Zimbabwe's Minister of Education Sport an
Culture, Aeneas Chigwedere, could not even accompany the Zimbabwean team to
Greece. He is banned from travelling there because the European Union imposed sanctions targeted at Zimbabwe's ruling elite.
last week, Zimbabweans forgot their misery for a change. They came out in
full force to welcome the swimming superstar home at the Harare International
As soon as she disembarked from the plane, the smiling and very
white Coventry was mobbed and almost drowned in a sea of jubilant black faces
with arms outstretched to shake her hand.
In the background Oliver
Mutukudzi's smooth voice sang the victory song, 'Nhasi Ndezveduwo',
congratulating Coventry for elevating the people whose ancestral home is
Zimbabwe (Kupembedza dzinza).
After Coventry's win in Manchester, I wrote
an article in The Daily News of August 10, 2002. I wrote of how after
reporters in Manchester had questioned her about the situation in Zimbabwe,
she had said: 'My parents and sister still live there. It helped being in
the US because I wasn't involved, but knowing what they were going through
was hard. But everyone pulled together at a difficult time.'
article I asked about what the Zimbabwean heroine was talking about. I
answered myself thus: 'This actually is a stupid question because we all know
what she was talking about. She was talking about the hell that her parents
and most whites are going through today whether they are citizens
We all know that she was talking about the racial insults,
threats, extortion, rape, torture and murders that the white Zimbabwean
community and those blacks labelled 'British supporters' are going through at
the hands of the government.
'ÉA reporter asked Coventry about her
winning experience. Despite her family's trauma, which she had alluded to in
Manchester, she said: ÔI was ecstatic. Hearing the national anthem from
the podium made me feel so proud to be a Zimbabwean.''
I concluded the
article by saying: 'I must say Coventry, all patriotic Zimbabweans are proud
of you. We hope you will win more medals for your country and that you will
continue to be the role model for your peers. Keep your head
Coventry did just that. She has won more medals and is indeed a
role model for young Zimbabweans. She should be doubly applauded for being
proud of her country of birth at this time in its history. There is not much
to be proud of except its beauty, which God created.
are now ashamed to be called Zimbabweans. Henry Olonga, Heath Streak and most
white top cricketers for Zimbabwe left in disgust.
A few days ago, Edgar
Rogers, former Secretary-General of the Zimbabwe Olympic Committee and
out-going Commonwealth Games Federation vice-president for Africa, literary
renounced his Zimbabwean citizenship and said he was preparing to move to
I can't say that I blame Zimbabweans who choose to leave. I
can only say that I admire those who choose to stay despite the appalling
political, social and economic hardships the country is facing, especially
knowing that a rabidly ethno-centric government causes them.
watched the enthusiasm with which Zimbabweans welcomed and congratulated
Coventry and how they took her glory as their own, I again concluded that
black Zimbabweans are not hate-filled racists at heart. If that is the case,
why is it that our government media propagate racial hatred and negatively
stereotype whites as part of their political propaganda?
Don't get me
wrong. I am not and will never be an apologist for white racism. I am more
aware, than some, of the evils of colonialism and the racial
discrimination of the past. I was a victim of that myself. However, I am
intelligent enough to realise that living in the past will not get
In fact, it will eventually destroy us. For Zimbabwe's
sake, I will not replace white racism with black racism. I believe that this
is the attitude of the majority of black Zimbabweans.
racist propaganda we are daily bombarded with, through the media comes from
idiotic politicians who are good for nothing.
They have failed to run
this country properly and are now finding scapegoats to blame for their
inability to govern. They, therefore blame the few whites left in the country
for all evils besetting Zimbabwe today. History, therefo xre, becomes very
convenient to them.
I laughed cynically when I read our President's
congratulatory letter to Coventry. I asked myself whether he realises that
she is white.
Isn't he the one who, at the height of the white farm
invasions, when violence against whites was rampant, urged black Zimbabweans
to 'instil fear into the hearts of all whites?'
I don't remember him
making any exceptions so that included Coventry and her parents,
Mugabe claims Blair
trying to oust him By Cris Chinaka
HARARE (Reuters) -
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has vowed he will never retreat in the
face of what he calls British and U.S. government attempts to oust
In a speech to thousands of mourners on Sunday at the burial
of veteran Zimbabwean nationalist Eddison Zvobgo, Mugabe said the two
countries wanted to topple his government following his seizures of
white-owned farms to resettle landless blacks.
"They talk about
regime change unashamedly ... Who are they to us?" he said to loud
"It's not going to happen in this country. There will not
be regime change except through the people of Zimbabwe. They are the only
ones who can bring about regime change," he said.
power since Zimbabwe won independence from Britain 24 years ago, has been at
the centre of a storm over charges he rigged his ZANU-PF party's victory in
parliamentary polls four years ago and his own re-election in
Mugabe said his government's western opponents, led by
Britain, had deployed hundreds of people working under non-governmental
organisations (NGOs) to destabilise Zimbabwe, and to try to oust
"We are now wise, too wise to be cheated," he said. "We shall
Mugabe has previously drawn comparisons between
the U.S. and British-led ouster of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and
their stance against his own government, mainly over his land reforms and
his controversial re-election.
Both the main opposition and
several western countries say that election was rigged.
Blair told parliament his government was working closely with Zimbabwe's
opposition Movement for Democratic Change on measures to be taken in
"It is still important that we give every chance to, and
make every effort to try to help, those in ... the southern part of Africa to
put pressure for change on the Mugabe regime, because there is no salvation
for the people of Zimbabwe until that regime is changed," Blair said.
Coup attempt far more serious than it seems August 29
2004 at 02:50PM
The story of Mark Thatcher's arrest in Cape Town,
and the trial of suspected mercenaries in Zimbabwe and Equatorial Guinea, is
so like a far-out thriller about the Dogs of War that it's hard to realise
its full diplomatic significance.
The characters and situations
seem fictional stereotypes: a former prime minister's son with a dubious
history arrested in Cape Town; his friend, the Old Etonian mercenary Simon
Mann, imprisoned by the black villain Mugabe and convicted yesterday by a
court in Zimbabwe; the Afrikaner accomplice Nick du Toit facing the death
sentence in a brutal dictatorship Equatorial Guinea; an international
network, including the crudely coded "Scratcher" and "Smelly" and, allegedly,
the ex-jailbird Lord Archer.
They all appear to belong to an
old-fashioned story about white adventurers intervening to safeguard the
interests of Western businessmen.
But the truth is more
interesting, and much less racial: the real reason for South Africa's
intervention was finally to move against the networks of mercenaries which
are the most dangerous legacy of the apartheid government.
understand South Africa's problem, we have to look back to the last years of
the apartheid government when it unleashed secret troops across the continent
to enforce its foreign policy. It provided the training ground of many of the
freelance mercenaries today.
South Africa became the world's chief
base for mercenary activity, while weak and corrupt governments across the
continent were easy targets for rebel leaders, backed by big-business
interests, which could deploy mercenaries against the ill-trained local
It was this legacy which the ANC inherited 10 years ago.
The continued presence of mercenaries threatened the effectiveness of the
army and intelligence services, while other African states constantly
feared intervention from free-booting groups flying up from the
President Thabo Mbeki, after he took office, wanted to
establish his country's leadership and reputation in the rest of
The extraordinary story remains a thriller, but it is not
about intrepid white daredevils confronting black dictators. It is more
serious; about the need to move against lawless mercenaries who need to be
checked before they wreck the prospects of peace in Africa and elsewhere. -
. This article was originally
published on page 5 of Sunday Tribune on August 29, 2004
Harare - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe described on
Sunday non-governmental organisations in the country as imperialists working
to destabilise the southern African nation.
Speaking at the funeral of
a veteran nationalist, Eddison Zvobgo, Mugabe warned thousands of Zimbabwean
spectators to guard against those who wanted to work with Western nations to
effect "regime change".
"We now know their tactics, these imperialists...
as they deploy hoards of their compatriots under the cover of innumerable
non-governmental organisations to destabilise our country and to try and
effect the so-called 'regime change'," the 80-year-old head of state
The Zimbabwe government last week published a Non-governmental
Organisations Bill, which aims to tightly control the work of aid
organisations, and ban foreign human rights groups from operating in the
Mugabe also hit out at former colonial power Britain for
"unashamedly" talking about changing Mugabe's government, which has been in
power since it gained independence from white minority rule in
"We ask, what right do they have to effect that change, even to
talk about it. Who are they to us? Yesterday they were our colonisers, the
British. Today they still want by remote control to remain our
Recently parliament, which is dominated by Mugabe's ruling
Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF), adopted a motion
to probe the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) for alleged
"treasonous activities" in the country.
This came after British Prime
Minister Tony Blair told the House of Commons that his goverment works
"closely with the MDC on the measures that we should take in respect of
Britain helped to foil Africa 'coup' plot By Raymond
Whitaker, Francis Elliott and Paul Lashmar 29 August 2004
intelligence services stepped in to foil an African coup plot which Sir Mark
Thatcher has been accused of helping to finance, according to sources close
to the affair.
Simon Mann, a former SAS officer, was convicted in
Zimbabwe last week on arms charges connected to a failed coup in the oil-rich
West African state of Equatorial Guinea last March. More than a dozen alleged
mercenaries are on trial for their lives in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea's
capital, accused of being the advance guard for Mr Mann and his colleagues.
But it was the arrest of Baroness Thatcher's son in South Africa last week
that drew worldwide attention to the plot.
Sir Mark, who is on bail of
£165,000, is expected to face two charges under South Africa's Foreign
Military Assistance Act, which is intended to prevent the country being a
base for mercenary activity across the continent. The South African
intelligence service has announced publicly that it infiltrated the alleged
plot, but The Independent on Sunday has learnt that British agencies were
also monitoring preparations. Several figures in Britain have been accused of
helping to organise and finance the attempted coup.
The US, whose oil
giants have large contracts with the tiny West African state, was also said
to be aware of the alleged conspiracy to overthrow Equatorial Guinea's
president, Teodoro Obiang Nguema, and replace him with an opposition figure
said to have been backed by foreign financiers who would have been rewarded
with oil concessions and other deals. Sources close to the Obiang regime have
accused the former Spanish government of Jose Maria Aznar of complicity in
"Britain co-operated with South Africa in gathering information
about the planned coup and helped to put a stop to it, but its intelligence
agencies are happy to let the South Africans take the credit," said one
The plan collapsed when Mr Mann was arrested in
Zimbabwe and a plane carrying 64 alleged mercenaries, most of them former
members of South Africa's apartheid-era special forces, was seized at Harare
airport. Since Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe frequently accuses Britain
of attempting to undermine him, it was convenient for South Africa, which
maintains cordial relations with its unstable neighbour, to take the leading
Last week Zimbabwe acquitted most of Mr Mann's associates of the
arms charges, accepting their claim that they did not know what their mission
was to be. But South Africa is considering charging them under
its anti-mercenary law on their return, and a spokesman for its elite
Scorpions investigations squad said it could seek the extradition of Britons
against whom there is significant evidence. Neither South Africa nor Britain
is willing to extradite suspects to Equatorial Guinea, which retains the
death penalty. But a Home Office spokeswoman said that Britain had
full extradition relations with South Africa: "Requests for the extradition
of British nationals would be considered. The UK always stands ready to
fulfil its international obligations."
How new Africa made fools of the white
mischief-makers The days when white mercenaries could walk into small African
countries and take them over appear to be gone. The coup plot against
Equatorial Guinea, with its cast of old Etonians, adventurers and shady money
men, failed because of its leaders' incompetence - and because of a new
spirit of co-operation among Africans By Raymond Whitaker and Paul
Lashmar 29 August 2004
"Things have changed in Africa over the
past few years," said a friend of Simon Mann, the old Etonian now awaiting
sentence in Zimbabwe for attempting to buy arms illegally. "The days are gone
when you could recruit a bunch of moustaches, load up some ammunition and
take over a country - especially if you are a white man."
Mr Mann says
the weapons were for a mine security operation in the Democratic Republic of
Congo; the Zimbabweans and others say they were for a coup in the oil-rich
state of Equatorial Guinea. But the truth of his friend's words are evident
as the 51-year-old former SAS officer sits in Chikurubi prison near Harare,
facing a heavy sentence at his next hearing on 10 September.
Malabo, the capital of Equatorial Guinea, Nick du Toit, Mr Mann's associate,
is on trial for his life. And under house arrest behind heavy iron gates in
Constantia, one of Cape Town's smartest suburbs, Sir Mark Thatcher is
contemplating his future.
The indulged son of Baroness Thatcher got out
of several scrapes when his mother was Prime Minister, but there is nothing
she can do to extricate him from his most serious trouble yet. The
businessman, also 51, has been charged under South Africa's Foreign Military
Assistance Act with involvement in financing the coup plot, and faces up to
15 years in jail if convicted. Although he is unlikely to be extradited to
Equatorial Guinea - no extradition treaty exists between the two countries,
and South Africa, like Britain, refuses to send suspects to states that
retain the death penalty - legal officers from there may be allowed to
question him in Cape Town.
According to legal statements by Mr Mann
and Mr du Toit, a force of mercenaries recruited in South Africa were to fly
to Zimbabwe, pick up arms and ammunition and fly on to Equatorial Guinea. In
return for $1.8m (£1m) and lucrative contracts, they would help to depose
President Teodoro Obiang Nguema and replace him with Severo Moto, an exiled
opposition politician based in Madrid. If he was not killed in the operation,
President Obiang was to have been flown to Spain.
But how could the
politics of a small, sweaty African microstate have entangled such a varied
cast of characters? These include not only Lady Thatcher's son but some of
her closest former aides, such as Lord Archer, whose friend, the
Lebanese-born, British-based oil trader Ely Calil, is named by Mr Mann as the
chief sponsor of the coup. (Both Lord Archer and Mr Calil have denied any
prior knowledge or involvement.) Add in ex-special forces operatives from
Britain and South Africa, not to mention two African dictators - President
Obiang and Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe - and the story begins to resemble a
Frederick Forsyth thriller, a post-modernist Dogs of War in which the
"natives" actually win.
And that, an Independent on Sunday investigation
shows, is the point. Not only does the affair resurrect the era when white
mercenaries attempted to overturn regimes across Africa, it brings back
half-forgotten figures from the 1980s in Britain, when a class of deal-makers
and influence-peddlers operated in the shadow of the seemingly unconquerable
Iron Lady, seeking to turn her grip on the British electorate to
When his mother took power Mark Thatcher was 26, with an
undistinguished career at school and in business (see box). There was little
reason to expect that 25 years later he would be worth an estimated £60m,
with mansions in Cape Town and Texas and a network of business contacts
around the world.
Like others, Sir Mark (who inherited a baronetcy
when his father, Sir Denis, died last year) did well out of his connection to
one of the most internationally admired British Prime Ministers of recent
times. But the questions and controversies arising from his use of the
Thatcher name drove him first to the United States and then to South Africa.
There he made friends with Simon Mann - who owns a luxury homestead in Hout
Bay, another up-market Cape Town enclave - Nick du Toit and other former
military men using their expertise to make money out of Africa's chronic
Mr Mann appears to be the only person who really knows where
all the pieces of this jigsaw fit, who was really behind the coup plot and
who is on the mythical "wonga list" of investors. But the whole affair would
never have acquired such international notoriety if it were not for the
letter he smuggled out of prison.
"Please!" read the intercepted note
to his advisers. "It is essential that we get properly organised." It urges
them to make maximum efforts to contact "Smelly" - taken to refer to Mr Calil
- and "Scratcher", a nickname for Sir Mark. It also names David Hart,
presumed to be the same businessman who helped Lady Thatcher break the
1984-85 miners' strike. Mann writes: "What will get us out is MAJOR CLOUT ...
once we get into a real trial scenario we are f****d."
On a page torn
from a magazine, Mr Mann tells his team to chase up expected "project funds"
from investors including "Scratcher" who has the figure "200" in brackets.
This has been interpreted as meaning that Sir Mark had promised a sum of
$200,000, but gives no indication that it was intended for any illegal
activity, and indeed implies that no money was ever actually handed
Among the four people to whom the note was addressed are Nigel
Morgan, like Mr Mann a former Guards officer, and James Kershaw, a
24-year-old who has worked for both men. Mr Kershaw, who is said to have
handled money transfers for Mr Mann's company, Logo, is expected to testify
against Sir Mark, according to the Scorpions, the elite anti-corruption unit
that arrested him on Wednesday. His evidence may be crucial: despite
voluminous paperwork connected with the coup attempt, there have been no
reports of any document that carries Sir Mark's name.
their past friendship, "Scratcher" must be ruing the day he ever met Simon
Mann. The former secret soldier is a throwback to the days of empire, a
British public schoolboy adventurer prepared to interfere in the Byzantine
politics of third world countries. "He is very English, a romantic,
tremendously good company," said the film director Paul Greengrass. In his
first and only role as a professional actor, Mr Mann played the part of
Colonel Derek Wilford, commander of the paratroopers in Londonderry in
Greengrass's gritty television reconstruction of Bloody Sunday.
Eton and Sandhurst, the 19-year-old Mr Mann joined the Scots Guards in 1972,
but his daredevil instincts soon drew him to the SAS. A troop commander in 22
SAS, specialising in intelligence and counter-terrorism, he served in Cyprus,
Germany, Norway, Canada, central America and Northern Ireland before leaving
the Army in 1985.
Although he began by selling supposedly hack-proof
computer software, like many SAS veterans he also operated in the security
business, reportedly providing bodyguards to wealthy Arabs to protect their
Scottish estates from poachers. He remained part of 23 SAS, the Territorial
Army section, and briefly returned to the colours on the staff of General Sir
Peter de la Billiere during the first Gulf War in 1991.
consulting in the Gulf area followed, but his connection with Africa
predominated. He was hired by Eben Barlow, a South African, to help run
Executive Outcomes, the first of the many private military companies
now operating around the globe. Both men rapidly became rich, most notably
from a series of security deals in Angola, where Executive Outcomes not
only protected oil and diamond fields, but trained Angolan troops and
fought Unita rebels. The company also helped the Sierra Leone government
fight off rebels in the mid-1990s.
All this gained Mr Mann not only a
mansion in Cape Town but Inchmery, a 20-acre riverside estate in Hampshire
that once belonged to the Rothschilds. Until recently it was rented out to
Dame Marjorie Scardino, chief executive of the Pearson group, owners of the
Financial Times. Mr Mann, now a dual citizen of Britain and South Africa,
bought the estate through a company registered in the offshore tax haven of
But why should a man past 50, who had earned enough to live in
style without ever working again, have become involved in such a hair-raising
caper as the Equatorial Guinea plot appears to have been? According to his
friends, it was the drug of adventure. One said he had been warned by the
British as well as the South African authorities that he should "hang up his
boots", but the ex-SAS man seems to have ignored the advice.
perhaps most surprising about the attempted coup is its incompetence. A
planeload of obvious mercenaries leaves South Africa, no longer a country
which encourages such activity, then lands in Zimbabwe. If the receiving
officials were supposed to have been bribed, it had not been done
effectively, but in any case the Zimbabweans appeared to have been warned in
advance. It took little time after that to arrest the alleged advance guard
in Equatorial Guinea, where Mr du Toit is on trial with seven other South
Africans, six Armenians and four local citizens. But the greatest folly was
the lack of security. Mr Mann's 66 fellow defendants in Zimbabwe, including
the 64 men who were travelling on South African passports when their plane
was seized, were acquitted on the arms charge, with the magistrate accepting
their plea that they did not know where they were going. It would seem,
however, that half of South Africa did. Rumours of the impending coup attempt
were circulating in Cape Town, Johannesburg and London well in
The paper trail linked to the plot was so extensive that some
observers at first believed that they had been faked to make a case. But Mr
Mann, it seems, wanted contracts signed for every part of this dubious
scheme. Mr du Toit was even required to sign a company-to-company contract to
perform his part of the coup. Why the former SAS officer might have wanted
such a document is a mystery: it could hardly have been produced in court in
the event of a dispute.
That the plot fell apart so damagingly is
hardly surprising, given how wide knowledge of it went in Britain as well as
South Africa. "What Simon Mann appears not to have realised is that there is
much greater co-ordination among African countries, including intelligence
co-operation, to put a stop to coups," said one source. "Nigeria, the
regional power, stepped in recently to reverse a coup in Sao Tomé, and was
ready to do the same in Equatorial Guinea. The fact that the operation was
penetrated by South African intelligence prevented a lot of
Britain, as well as South Africa, has changed, but Mr Mann
and his friends seemed equally oblivious to that. Gone are the days when
operators such as Sir James Goldsmith and John Aspinall, both now dead,
sought to convince a Conservative government that Britain's interests as well
as their own would be served by backing such Africans as Angola's Jonas
Savimbi, also deceased, and South Africa's Mangosuthu Buthelezi.
two African leaders were promoted as the Christian,
anti-Communist alternative to the likes of Nelson Mandela, whom Lady Thatcher
once described as a terrorist. But the Conservatives are no longer in power,
and Mr Mandela has been welcomed here on a state visit as president of a
free, democratic South Africa - facts which appear to have been overlooked by
the heedless coup plotters.
The hapless Nick du Toit, a former South
African special officer and member of Executive Outcomes, stands to come off
worst. He confessed to his role within a day of arrest in Malabo, and has
continued to help identify other plotters since. Despite President Obiang's
claim that he is not seeking the death penalty, the prosecutor in the Malabo
court has called for the execution of those found guilty. The verdicts are
expected by the end of this week.
Unless Zimbabwe goes back on its
decision not to extradite him to Equatorial Guinea, Mr Mann will fare better,
even if he receives the maximum sentence of 10 years. He could well be
extradited back to South Africa to face further charges, but some believe
that with his rich and influential friends, he could receive a discreet
pardon in a year or two, once the dust has settled. He could even be in line
for a healthy cheque from Hollywood.
As for Mark Thatcher, he is fighting
back. His circle is claiming that much disinformation has been spread to
implicate him and distract attention from the real culprits. But his past is
troubled, and the proceedings against him are likely to be protracted and
messy. Clearing his name could require every ounce of his much-touted
THE MAKING OF MARK
Sir Mark Thatcher never seemed to
have anything going for him but his name and his mother's uncritical
He is famously charmless and not noted for his academic prowess. He
left Harrow School with three O-levels, and left his first job, at the City
firm Touche Ross, after failing his accountancy exams three times. But when
it comes to exploiting the opportunities afforded by the Thatcher surname,
he has graduated cum laude.
Mark and his twin sister, Carol, with whom
relations are frosty, were 26 when Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister in
1979. Various failed ventures lay behind him, including an attempt to break
into motor racing, but it was not until he went missing on a rally in the
Sahara in 1982, causing his mother much public anguish, that his activities
came to public attention.
Two years later, it was reported that he had
gained a commission on a £300m deal won by the Cementation construction
company after Lady Thatcher had recommended it to the Sultan of Oman. It was
a factor in his departure for the US, and he has not lived in Britain
In Dallas, Mark met his wife Diane, from a super-rich Texas
family, but controversy continued to dog him. He was accused of exploiting
his mother's name to gain a £12m commission on the giant al-Yamamah arms deal
with Saudi Arabia, and hit legal troubles in the US, including a charge,
later dropped, of alleged underpayment of taxes.
In 1995, Sir Mark
moved to Cape Town with his family, although Diane and the two children are
reported to spend lengthy periods in Texas, where they are now to attend
school. Apart from a money-lending scheme to local policemen which collapsed
amid rancour, his business activities in South Africa have attracted little
attention - until now. But he will always have the Thatcher name, with its
lustre enhanced on the death of his father last year by an inherited title.
Once again, the family has helped. Raymond Whitaker