Zimbabwean police on Tuesday arrested a leader of a teachers' union at a
university in the eastern city of Mutare for allegedly addressing students
without police clearance, a lawyer said.
Alec Muchadehama said Raymond
Majongwe, secretary general of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe,
was arrested at Africa University in Mutare, near the border with Mozambique
and about 250km east of Harare.
"He was addressing students at Africa
University when he was picked up," he said.
Majongwe was trying to
promote unionism among students, the lawyer said, adding that police were
questioning him but had not pressed any charges yet.
Police in the Harare
could not confirm the arrest.
broke up a labour meeting being addressed by the leader of the country's
largest workers representative, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU)
in the southern city of Masvingo, 300km from Harare.
Wellington Chibebe said he was briefing labour leaders on the outcome of a
recent International Labour Organisation meeting he attended on labour
standards when police ordered him to call it off.
He said he complied
"for the safety of our officials," he said.
Zimbabwe's security laws make
it mandatory for most public meetings to be cleared by police.
says it has a high court order which exempts police permission for labour
The National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) has begun a
rural outreach programme to campaign for a boycott of parliamentary elections
set for March next year, the organisation has said. Earnest Mudzengi, the NCA
information and advocacy officer told the Daily News Online yesterday that
the coalition group wanted the public to boycott next year's legislative
polls unless the government made "meaningful" and sweeping changes to the
constitution. Mudzengi said the campaign kicked off in Manicaland and had
also covered Gutu, Zaka, Chiredzi and Chivi in Masvingo province over the
past month. "The rural areas are our primary target because this is where
Zanu PF has sought to entrench itself. We want both the urban and rural
population to form the critical mass from where the NCA will derive power to
make sure that the elections do not proceed under the current electoral set
up and constitution," said Mudzengi. The NCA, a coalition of civic groups,
churches and the student movement fighting for a new constitution, says the
current constitution is flawed and gives an unfair electoral advantage to
the incumbent government over the opposition.
Mugabe has however, said that the government would introduce reforms to the
electoral process before next year's elections. According to reports, the
reforms would include the setting up of an electoral commission to take over
the running of elections from the registrar-general. But the opposition and
civic groups have dismissed the proposed reforms as a window dresser, arguing
that Mugabe could still manipulate the electoral body since he would appoint
members of the commission. "The changes proposed by Mugabe are cosmetic. They
do not go far enough in addressing the flawed electoral process. We need a
genuinely independent commission, an environment that makes it possible for
other candidates to campaign freely without intimidation and harassment and
above all, a democratic constitution," said Mudzengi. Movement for
Democratic Change President (MDC) Morgan Tsvangirai last week accused state
security agents of banning MDC rallies in several rural constituencies.
Tsvangirai said the move was meant to sabotage the opposition's election
If the government failed to make these reforms, Mudzengi
said, the NCA would ensure that the elections would not take place. "We will
employ various strategies and there are a number that we are mulling at the
moment. Boycotting the election is just one option. People can disturb the
whole purpose by deliberately spoiling ballot papers or just disrupt the
whole process so that it does not even take place. "But it will be a matter
of strategy. That is why we have stepped up our campaign because we want
to convince as many people as possible. We want to have reached all
villages and wards by election time and our structures are working hard on
that. We should have reached saturation levels by the March,' said
opposition official had his business looted and then forcibly closed on the
weekend, the MDC said yesterday. Claudious Marimo, national executive member
for Goromonzi, owned a grinding mill, bottle store and general dealer shop at
Svasvi business centre in the Musana area of Mashonaland Central. On Saturday
afternoon, the party reported, around 30 Zanu PF youths arrived at the
business centre, forced the businesses to close, and stole Z$4 million from
Marimo's wife. The mob claimed they were acting on the instructions of the
provincial governor, Ephraim Masawi, who had ordered them to close
all businesses owned by opposition supporters. A fortnight ago, Marimo
was summoned by local headmen acting on Masawi's orders and told to close
his businesses. The names of some of the members of the mob - Terence
Jawaira, Mind Jawaira, Sylvester Munemo and Israel Munemo - were passed to
the local police, but no arrests have been made.
NOTE THIS LIST IS CALLED LOT 12 AND IS NOT A DUPLICATE OF THE LOT 12 FROM THE
23RD JULY 2004 _______________________________________________
ACQUISITION ACT (CHAPTER 20:10) Vesting of land, taking of materials
and exercise of rights over land
NOTICE is hereby given, in terms of
paragraph (iii) of subsection (1) of section 8 of the Land Acquisition Act
(Chapter 20:10), that the President has acquired compulsorily the land
described in the Schedule for resettlement purposes.
NKOMO, Minister of Special Affairs in the President's Office in Charge of
Lands, Land Reform and
of Section 8 Orders for lodgement of Section 5 Notice objection letters can
be effected at the following address which is not given in
Block 2 Makombe Complex cnr. Herbert Chitepo
Street/Harare Street Harare See Mr.
Pazavakombewa _______________________________________________ LOT 12
SECTION 8 30TH JULY 2004 Hartley 1. 3664/95. Hallingbury Farm (Private)
Limited: Hartley: The Remaining Extent of Hallingbury: 1208,1417
Lomagundi 2. 5158/85. A and A Farms (Private) Limited:
Lomagundi: Abercorn: 1 880,4950 ha 3. 6045/56. Cango Farm P/L:
Lomagundi: Cango of Nidd Valley of Nidderdale: 742,4693 morgen 4.
7215/89. Dalston Estates P/L: Lomagundi: Chaosina: 577,7828 ha 5.
3192/76. Patabac (Private) Limited: Lomagundi: Clonsilla Portion of
Trelawney Estate: 444,0599 ha 6. 1241/77. Dulwich Estate P/L: Lomagundi:
Dulwich of Trelawney Estate: 176,4426 ha 7. 1241/77. Dulwich Estate
P/L: Lomagundi: Dulwich Extension of Trelawney Estate: 1 131,8911 ha 8.
4210/93. Turner Estates (Pvt) Ltd: Lomagundi: R/E Glen Esk Estate A:
744,0761 ha 9. 2300/86. Kingston Farm (Private) Limited: Lomagundi: Lot 1
of Mowe Flats: 397,3826 ha 10. 2129/60. Becket Dallaway Creasy Wheeler:
Lomagundi: Lot 1 of Uitzigt: 999,9701 acres 11. 417/89. Gold Dust
(Private) Limited: Lomagundi: Lot 2 of Ayshire Annexe A: 669,500 ha 12.
7821/90. Mazwikadei Farm (Pvt) Ltd: Lomagundi: Lot 3 of Ayshire Annexe A:
78,4497 ha 13. 6942/86. Brixton (Pvt) Ltd: Lomagundi: Monga Farm:
613,3540 ha 14. 10816/97. Agro-Economic Consultants Africa (Private)
Limited: Lomagundi: Morton: 526,3303 ha 15. 263/73> Mandara Farm P/L:
Lomagundi: Pambili: 504,7632 ha 16. 7216/89. Dalston Estates P/L:
Lomagundi: R/E Dalston: 1 223,3036 ha 17. 1833/72. Kilmacdaugh Estate:
Lomagundi: R/E of Kilmacduagh Estate: 7 999,1883 ha 18. 1025/63.
Stephanus Francois Du Toit Le Roux: Lomagundi: Remainder of Dunphalle:
866,2450 acres 19. 1048/91. Agtrak (Pvt) Ltd: Lomagundi: Remainder of
Henley Park: 188,4694 ha 20. 203/61. Philipus Jeremia Riekert De Beer:
Lomagundi: Rukoba Estate: 1 719,0718 acres 21. 5553/90. Trelawney
Estate: Lomagundi: The Remainder of Trelawney Estate: 2 314,9266 ha 22.
1009/52. Weston Park Estates: Lomagundi: York Estate: 424,3763
morgen 23. 2114/92. Chibuli Farm (Private) Limited: Lomagundi:
Verblyden of Dunphaile: 435,6789 ha
Sipolilo 24. 4353/76.
Pamwechete Farm (Private) Limited: Sipolilo: Lot 1 of Yomba Extension:
Urungwe 25. 2079/86. P W Dawson (Private) Limited:
Urungwe: Glendene Estate: 489,3249 ha
Lomagundi 26. 1505/79.
Bernard George Rutter: Lomagundi: Montegomery: 2066,2431
JAG Hotlines: (091) 261 862 If you are in trouble or need
advice, (011) 205 374 (011) 863 354 please don't hesitate to contact us
- (011) 431 068 we're here to help! 263
4 799 410 Office Lines
ACQUISITION ACT (CHAPTER 20:10) Vesting of land, taking of materials
and exercise of rights over land
NOTICE is hereby given, in terms of
paragraph (iii) of subsection (1) of section 8 of the Land Acquisition Act
(Chapter 20:10), that the President has acquired compulsorily the land
described in the Schedule for resettlement purposes.
NKOMO, Minister of Special Affairs in the President's Office in Charge of
Lands, Land Reform and
Resettlement. _______________________________________________ Collection
of Section 8 Orders for lodgement of Section 5 Notice objection letters can
be effected at the following address which is not given in
Block 2 Makombe Complex cnr. Herbert Chitepo
Street/Harare Street Harare See Mr.
NOTE THAT LOT 149 WAS REPEATED IN THE HERALD ON FRIDAY 30TH
LISTED BELOW ARE THE LOT NUMBERS 71 - 75 WHICH WERE MISSING
ON THE 23RD JULY
LOT 149 SECTION 5
23RD JULY 2004 Makoni 71. 1003/90. PVP P/L: Makoni: Remainder of
Lesapedale: 329,6738 ha 72. 5173/94. Brookdale Estates P/L: Makoni:
Devos: 1 388,000 ha 73. 6872/84. FAR P/L: Makoni: Remaining Extent of
Lesapi Cave: 1 062,7386 ha 74. 1205/40. Government of Colony of S R
Makoni: Mapopi of Falls: 472,2810 morgen 75. 1011/98. Cotleigh Farm P/L:
Makoni: Cotleigh Farm P/L: 1009,7391
THE JAG TEAM
Hotlines: (091) 261 862 If you are in trouble or need advice, (011) 205
374 (011) 863 354 please don't hesitate to contact us - (011) 431
068 we're here to help! 263 4 799 410
PRESIDENT TSVANGIRAI’S TUESDAY MESSAGE TO THE PEOPLE OF ZIMBABWE
Zimbabwean women show a deep level of mistrust over their exclusion in key
decision-making processes, in politics, in public administration, in management
and in the allocation of national resources.
The issue is rooted in our
history. It is true that women have been denied their space, by customary laws,
tradition and patriarchy, by colonialism and exploitation, through political
oppression and by certain biased practices in our African culture. It is true
that they lead a life characterized by obstacles which demand serious attention
and long term solutions.
Because of the absence of a visible gender
revolution, we are still to come to grips with these legitimate concerns.
Zimbabwean women have yet to realize their real dreams, to taste their freedom
and to access their basic rights.
I understand that as long as such a
large and active portion of our population nurses a fundamental grievance, there
can never be peace and security in our nation. Men must accept that the concerns
of women are genuine. The concerns will never disappear, unless we address them
sincerely and openly.
The majority of the MDC members are women.
Without the women’s vote, the MDC would never have been where it is today. Yet,
debate rages within the party on women’s participation and contribution to an
equal opportunity society under an MDC government.
We have to accept the
challenge, with the guidance, direction and help of the women themselves. We
must ready ourselves for a major cultural, attitudinal and social test in a
conservative society still steeped in a distorted, traditional
We need to transform our entire political culture to include
everybody in the administration and governance of our nation. As a party, we are
determined to act against all forms of prejudice. I am aware that women are
always on their guard in our discussions, in our analysis of our structures,
when we select or appoint representatives and candidates for public office, and
when we allocate finances for specific projects.
The liberation struggle
held a lot of promise for the total emancipation of women. Sadly, nothing came
out of it. The mainly male traditionalist leadership seized the national project
– they “masculinised” the struggle, lowered the status of women and discouraged
any meaningful shift towards gender equality.
Those who dared ask
questions about equity and opportunity for women were harshly reminded that the
main objective of the struggle was to rid the country of colonialism. Everything
else, including debate on gender, was to be postponed to an unknown time and
After independence, the Zanu PF regime was never serious about the
question of equality and women’s participation. The least regime did was to
establish a token Ministry of Women’s Affairs. That ministry concentrated its
efforts on mobilizing women to perform mundane and, sometimes, humiliating
Women were supposed to go down on your knees on the tarmac at
Harare International Airport cheering Robert Mugabe as he left and returned home
from his numerous trips abroad. The media was also awash with stories of
donations of sewing machines to various women’s groups in what the regime
thought was a form of empowerment for the women.
Further, the political
leadership of the women was mainly imposed upon them by the ruling party, thus
widening the gulf between those in the leadership of the so-called Women’s
League and the ordinary Zimbabwean woman, whether a peasant or a professional.
There were no role models and gender reforms were excluded from the national
The MDC, as a party, and an MDC government seek to reverse that
unfortunate situation. We cannot allow women to be elbowed out simply because
they are seen to be weak. Solidarity is one of our core values. We believe the
strong must support the weak. Men have a responsibility to support women in a
We must move beyond rhetoric and show our revulsion with
all forms of intolerance and the political abuse of women. Women should be
leaders, not just praise-singers and passive followers.
We seek to
create conditions for, and direct resources towards, equal opportunities for
women in line with our public pronouncements.
An MDC government aims to
change, in a radical way, all the negative attitudes, perceptions and practices
which impede the development of women as a national resource. The process begins
with an introspection and cross-examination of ourselves as change agents in
order to connect gender integration with all spheres of our activity. The place
of a woman is our society today is a cross-cutting issue, straddling across
education, economic security, freedom and the question of human rights.
We seek to transform our institutions to ensure that they facilitate
the inclusion, political participation and leadership of women from the
community to national level. Our public pronouncements as politicians and as a
party on the subject of women’s empowerment and advancement will remain
meaningless unless the women see the change. Zimbabwean women must feel the
We need to increase the representation of women in the
leadership of the party, in the national executive and in Parliament. If the
process is right, the result will benefit all. Right now, there are 66 elected
parliamentary seats occupied by Zanu PF, mostly men.
We are persuading
our party structures to work towards the realization of the MDC quota system for
women parliamentarians. We must match our pronouncements with our deeds. Our
party’s Women’s Assembly has already begun to select suitable candidates. We
particularly encourage capable women to present themselves for these positions.
I must accept though that despite the party’s commitment, there exist
some shortcomings in the MDC. Total success in the struggle for women’s
emancipation depends on a major shift in the nation’s attitude, supported by
advances in confidence and in the economic security of women.
of crisis and in situations of poverty, women tend to scatter around for
personal safety, ending up in male bondage. As they defend themselves against
exploitation and disadvantage, they are easily taken in as informal refuges of
men – further weakening themselves to a point where they see no benefit in
supporting other women. I am happy to note that in the MDC, women taking part
in critical national debates, making key decisions on the party’s welfare,
representation and growth. We have to increase the numbers in leadership
positions to help our nation to recognize the ability and effectiveness of women
leaders. We must reverse the demobilization of women of the past three decades.
Women should never allow men to dismiss them casually. As President, I
encourage the women to come out openly to claim their space. Resist attempts to
elbow you out. Your constituency is so large, so influential and so powerful
that any political system that ignores this reality is bound to fail.
a social liberation movement, our government will be underpinned by a strong
social agenda. In this movement, we must strive for total peace and security in
our homes, in our villages and in our communities. We need complete freedom and
change at every level.
The MDC is determined to tackle structural
inequalities and to deal with historical service backlogs in a more programmed
and systematic manner. We are a young party with a new generation of leaders who
are determined to restore the dignity of all in line with the ideals of the
I must make it clear that I am against the concept
of separate development. I do not believe separate development or reckless
empowerment programmes can lead to equality. Normal societies must discourage
it. Empowerment projects must be inclusive to enable our society to move
The gender debate must occupy our minds and our policy
initiatives because it is a cross-cutting subject. It touches and influences all
aspects of our lives.
The Circus versus the WOZA Whistle-blowers By Jenni Williams 3rd August
Dear Friends, I think I have recovered my intellect enough to
write you all. Having spent over 4 hours being questioned about WHISTLES, I
became depressed and friends heard it in my voice. What depressed me? NO it
was not my being arrested, I expected and planned for that. NO it was not the
fact that they raided my mother's house saying they were looking for
'inflammatory materials, weapons and explosives'. Instead they confiscated
thousands of WOZA scarves, Valentine Cards and WOZA MOYA newsletters - all
are not weapons of mass destruction! NO the fact that they arrested the
blackboard did not trouble me much as I was sure it would not talk under
torture. I was pleased to hear that Police mounted a 24-hour guard under
freezing conditions outside my company's offices, as people need more money
to survive! Neither was it the fact that Police also confiscated 2000
whistles made of plastic with no exploding parts? No I had to face up to a
personal deficiency - I realised that I was not clever enough to be stupid
and that depressed me!
On Monday 2nd August I was in Remand Court with 10
of my colleagues when we noticed Police officers, we estimated about 20, in
attendance. After court was concluded I was asked to accompany the officers
to Police Central alone. Of course I was in the company of about 20 WOZA
women who were not going to miss out on the action. They accompanied me to
the gate and two of them voluntarily allowed them to be arrested and
interrogated with me. After an afternoon of interrogation our benevolent
Investigating officer said he would allow us to go home to sleep in our own
beds and clear the confusion from our heads about the name and address of the
person who donated 2000 whistles to WOZA. We duly went home but instead went
to our beds feeling stupid for having spent a whole afternoon talking about
whistles. Of course having gone to bed in that frame of mind, no names and
addresses came into our heads by osmosis and instead we reported back as
instructed at 8:30 am ready to restore our intellect. By mid morning it was
apparent that no progress was being made. We had spent hours the day before
without access to water or toilet facilities and did not fancy a second day,
so we stepped up the pressure! We had bad luck, as our lawyers were too busy
to attend when we needed them, so for the second day we had to go into
interrogation without counsel.
As the interview began the opening
remark was that a barter exchange was to be brokered. We would be given our
freedom if we divulged where the whistles came from. We could go home never
to be arrested again as long as we stayed off the streets of course!! However
if we refused this barter deal, the next time we are arrested we would have
to go to the High Court in order to make bail or would never make
I think it was at this point that we remembered the phrase on the
WOZA scarves - 'Enough is enough' and announced that further conversation was
not necessary. He could take us to his police cells, to court or release us.
We walked out of his office and went to sit in the corridor to stress
this point. After 15 minutes he came and said he was releasing us but would
I 'consent' to him calling me through my lawyer in the future? As a just
law abiding citizen I agreed and departed. After cooling off and at least
10 cups of tea my intellect is restored. Sometime tomorrow I shall
probably find my sense of humour again. I would like to thank you all for
the incredible support phone calls, text messages and emails. I have been
critical in the past of the lack of support when I have been in state
accommodations but I can say that is in the past. Thank you for supporting
me! Things looked pretty grim when I heard they were searching for weapons
and that 2 warrants of arrest had been issued on me. I had moments when I
questioned my sanity in coming back to Zimbabwe to face the music having been
visiting my sick mother. There is always a reward for doing the right thing
and my reward has been in receiving words of encouragement from you
Please could I request those of you resident in our Zimbabwe help
us replenish our supply of whistles as they are obviously an 'item' and we
will need to incorporate them in our peaceful demonstrations as suggested by
our police 'advisors'. These can be found at any children's toy store and
posted to P. O. Box FM 701 Famona, Bulawayo. Please do not post more than
20 whistles per packet so we avoid congesting our letterbox. Thos is
diaspora could have whistling sessions outside Zimbabwean
P.s By the way 46 of us are
currently on trial for 'blocking the pavement'. The trial resumes on Friday 6
Majoni Last updated: 08/03/2004 21:22:37 ZIMPAPERS employees at Herald
House in Harare on Monday went on a sit-in, protesting against the sexual
abuse of female staffers by senior managers, gross mismanagement, nepotism
and unilateral salary hikes.
An on-the-spot survey by this paper
indicated that most of the staff in non-managerial positions in all the
departments partook in the industrial action, characterised by a
floor-by-floor demonstration in which some of the protesters waved placards
that denounced the harassment of female employees.
Even though Zimpapers
employees outside Harare have not yet joined the strike, the workers
committee chairman, Samuel Kabasa said they were expected to down tools from
The protesters reportedly besieged the office of one of the
senior employees, who is an editor of one of the Zimpapers
The editor (name supplied) is being accused of having
attempted to rape a female journalism student on attachment with the Herald
last weekend but one. The named editor, who is a single father, reportedly
stalked the student to Chitungwiza where she had gone to cover a musical
show, offered her a lift back home but instead drove her to a friend's place
where he attempted to rape her.
he woman however refused and insisted
on being taken home but on the way, he allegedly drove to a secluded place
where he again attempted in vain to rape her.
The intern has since
compiled a complaint, copies of which sources say have been availed to the
human resources manager, Dilfern Moyo and the Herald editor, Pikirayi
Moyo however insisted that there was no sit-in at Herald House,
refusing to further respond to questions posed to him. The named editor, it
has been established, did not report for duty last week immediately after
the complaint, over which a decision is yet to be made, was
He was however at work yesterday but was spotted driving away
by the Daily Mirror after his office had been stormed. Already, two managers
at Zimpapers have been fired for abusing female staffers, some of them
"This is only the tip of the iceberg. On a daily basis, we
hear women here at Herald House complaining that so and so harassed them
sexually, by touching them indecently, making suggestive phone calls,
attempting to have sex with them and making unsolicited moves.
makes the situation even sadder is that a significant number of these victims
are married women but the perverts never seem to bother. These women are in a
fix because they feel that if they report the sexual harassment, they will be
exposed socially, a situation that can easily lead to strained marriages,"
said one female journalist.
The industrial action has been precipitated
by a number of factors reflected in communication the workers, through their
representatives and among them a petition signed by more than 300 employees,
sent to management.
Standing high on the list of grievances is an
alleged vehicle scheme which, it is being charged, senior management abused.
In correspondence dated July 12 2004 and addressed to the Zimpapers board
chairman, Herbert Nkala, the workers committee highlighted that management
had "embarked on a luxury vehicle scheme solely for their
The communication was copied to President Robert Mugabe, the
Minister of Information and Publicity, Jonathan Moyo and the group chief
executive, Justin Mutasa.
The executives are being accused of
replacing state of the art vehicles they were bought less than two years ago
with expensive luxury cars of the latest makes and types, among them ML
Mercedes Benz, Kompressors and Nissan Wolfs.
This, the workers said, is
in spite of the fact that the Zimpapers policy stipulates that executives'
vehicles might be replaced after five years, after which they can be sold at
"What eats into the employees most is that these executives
can afford to replace their own vehicles with expensive luxury cars.yet the
company's fleet for (the) day to day running of business is depleted," the
They described as scandalous the alleged practice
whereby the book value of the vehicles being sold off to the executives was
grossly understated, saying a Nissan Hardbody was being disposed of at a mere
$800 000 and a Prado at $2 million, when real values were far higher than
In contrast, they said, a "ramshackle" Mazda B1600 (registration
number 620-044K) was being sold to employees at $16 million, adding that
the allocation for the luxury vehicles had claimed a whopping $2.7
billion "resulting in a bank overdraft of $400 million" which attracted an
interest rate of 200 percent per annum.
The purchase of the vehicles,
they added, was approved despite the fact that Zimpapers was failing to pay
Mutare Board and Paper Mills-who supply them with newsprint-in addition to
other creditors, while the company is allegedly failing to buy spares for the
The employees charge that management is acting in bad
faith by imposing a meager salary increment on them. Mutasa recently
announced that he would be giving the workers a 25 percent salary increment,
saying Zimpapers could not afford more.
"What riles us is that in
December, we agreed on sensible quarterly reviews, yet Mutasa went ahead and
declared that paltry increase even though month-on-month inflation stands at
35 percent. And these guys (management) have the temerity to go on a shopping
orgy," said one workers' committee member. He accused Mutasa of lying in
the Herald of July 15, when he said the lowest paid worker was grossing $1.3
million a month when in fact it was far less than that.
widespread nepotism at the largest media house in Zimbabwe, workers said,
whereby senior management impose their relatives on the company and award
them hefty salaries ahead of their seniors.
They cited the case of one
Simon Mutasa, who they said was believed to be the younger brother of the
CEO, saying the elder Mutasa unprocedurally made him general manager at
Natprint, one of Zimpapers' subsidiary concerns.
The younger Mutasa has
since quit the company, following allegations of the misappropriation of
"Recruitment of key positions is being done in a corrupt manner as
relatives and friends of top management mainly occupy these positions. E.g.
(sic) the Former General Manager of Natprint (Simon Mutasa) was co -opted to
Zimpapers as an Advertising Manager and in less than 6 months he was elevated
to General Manager, Natprint," read the document addressed to
On July 14, management wrote to Kabasa, saying he had misplaced
himself by writing to the board chairman without first bringing the workers'
grievances to the general manager, the CEO and the Works Council.
riled the workers further was that Mutasa on July 15 dismissed
their grievances as a "figment of your imagination" and described them as
the "epitome of malice and wickedness" and instituted a lawsuit against
them, saying their document was libelous.
His lawyers denied that he
had improperly engaged and promoted the younger Mutasa or corruptly approved
the vehicle scheme. They demanded $180 million from the workers who had
signed the document.
The matter was then referred to Public Service,
Labour and Social Welfare ministry and was supposed to be heard on July
However, the hearing was aborted because Mutasa failed to show
cause, resulting in the workers resolving to go on strike. The matter will be
heard today, after Mutasa's lawyers finally managed to file their papers
showing cause. Follow-up comments could not be obtained from Mutasa, Deketeke
or Nkala as they could not be reached on their phones. Daily
Zimbabwe's private schools see red over fees
By Agencies Last updated: 08/03/2004
19:46:32 GOVERNMENT-ordered fee cuts are bankrupting Zimbabwe private
schools, once among the southern Africa's best, officials at one non-profit
institution said today.
Eaglesvale School, which teaches 1,000
students in western Harare, filed for provisional liquidation.
near 100-year-old school will be forced to close for good unless it can raise
£135,000 in the coming weeks, school officials said.
"We are living on a
knife edge," school board chairman Deon Theron said.
Police and education
authorities briefly shut down 45 private schools in May, including
Eaglesvale, in a dispute over children's fees.
The Education Ministry
alleged the schools, which cater mainly to the nation 's ruling and wealthy
elite, raised their fees without government approval, and ordered them to cut
Private schools argue they were forced to impose the
increases to meet escalating costs due to Zimbabwe's spiralling inflation and
soaring land tax, power and water costs.
Zimbabwe is suffering its
worst economic crisis since independence in 1980, with acute shortages of
petrol, food and key imports.
The often violent redistribution of
white-owned farms to black Zimbabweans, coupled with erratic rains, has
crippled the agriculture-based economy. Inflation is approaching 390%, the
highest rate in the world.
Eaglesvale, which began in 1911 as an
orphanage for the children of early white settlers, was forced to halve its
fees to about £130 a child for a 12-week term, Theron said.
government suggested the school cut costs by reducing the number of teachers
and enlarging the size of its classes, which average 30 pupils, compared to
about 60 in state schools.
"That wasn't really an option. We would need
to build bigger classrooms," Theron said.
Parents also demanded that
the school not "drop standards," he said.
Theron denied government claims
that private schools gave preferential treatment to white children. Nearly
80% of Eaglesvale's pupils are black.
"What is also sad is that we are
one of the few privately run schools that take children with learning
difficulties," Theron said.
By Takunda Maodza Last updated: 08/03/2004 20:02:46 THE
trial of Chinhoyi Member of Parliament and businessman Phillip
Chiyangwa opened in Harare on Monday with a diary of police investigations
known as the logbook missing in the docket.
The defence led by
Advocate Chris Anderson had requested the State to produce the book saying it
was of significance to their case.
Chrispen Machingura, assisted by Mercy
Dube said the police had indicated to them that the book was in the docket
yet it was nowhere to be found.
"I asked the investigating officer about
the logbook and he said he placed it in the record, as to where it has gone
now l don't know and I cannot speculate," Machingura said.
Chiyangwa who stands accused of attempting to defeat or obstruct the course
of justice, contempt of court and perjury has pleaded not guilty to the
charges when he appeared before magistrate Judith Tsamba.
The State is
alleging that Chiyangwa attempted to defeat the course of justice when he
allegedly tried to hide some of the cars belonging to the directors of the
now defunct ENG Asset Management, Nyasha Watyoka and Gilbert
Muponda and Watyoka were arrested by police on December 31 last
year for allegedly defrauding investors which included Century Holdings,
First Mutual Asset Management among others of a staggering $61
Machingura said information gathered by the police during the
course of investigations revealed that the youthful directors had bought
buildings and luxury vehicles using the investor funds.
the vehicles that they had bought were, Watyoka and Muponda are said to have
indicated that some were with Chiyangwa.
On January 2 this year, police
visited Chiyangwa's house number 11 Crowhill road Borrowdale and recovered a
BMWZ4 vehicle grey in colour and registration numbers 837-109A.
police recovered the vehicle from Chiyangwa's son. When the police visited
the accused's house Chiyangwa allegedly denied knowledge of a Mercedes Benz
Kompressor grey in colour and a green BMW.
However, when they
re-interrogated Muponda and Watyoka on the whereabouts of the vehicle, they
allegedly indicated that Chiyangwa had the two vehicles. Chiyangwa allegedly
adamantly continued to show ignorance on the whereabouts of the vehicles
after the police interviewed him for the second time. On January 12 this
year, acting on a tip off police recovered a Kompressor Mercedes Benz grey in
colour and a green BMW X5 at number 11 Plew Crescent Cotsworld, where
Chiyangwa's acquaintance resides.
The State is arguing that Chiyangwa had
not disclosed the two vehicles to the police although he had been earlier on
warned to declare and surrender all properties belonging to
Machingura said one of the vehicles that were recovered belonged to
Muponda while another to Amalgated Health Services, a company allegedly owned
by the two directors.
Chiyangwa also attempted to defeat or obstruct
the administration of justice when he allegedly threatened to take
unspecified action against a detective inspector Mangwenzi, an investigating
officer in the ENG case, who was testifying in court on January 8 this
Machingura said Chiyangwa refused to withdraw his remarks when he
was asked to do so by Mishrod Guvamombe, the magistrate who was presiding
over the case.
"His conduct was becoming unacceptable in a court of
law and contemptuous. "This was calculated to intimidate and frighten the
investigating officer who was in court," added Machingura.
allegation leveled against Chiyangwa is that on January 8 this year,
Chiyangwa misled the court when while testifying in court under oath he said
that Muponda asked for food when he phoned him using a detective Tongogara's
"In truth and fact Muponda had informed the accused person
to avail to the police the outstanding vehicle, a Cyanne porche," allege the
State adding that in so doing, Chiyangwa misled the court.
through his counsel advocate Anderson said the vehicles namely a Mercedes
Benz Kompressor and BMW X5, were in his custody pursuant to a mandate to
negotiate with ENG creditors and the need to secure its assets against
creditors who wished to seize them unlawfully.
"The accused will deny
that prior to January 12, 2004 he was asked about the whereabouts of the two
vehicles or that he made any statement to the police misdirecting them as to
their whereabouts," argued Anderson.
He said on that day Chiyangwa was
asked for the keys to the vehicles, which he immediately provided to the
police. Anderson added that Chiyangwa co-operated with the police during
their investigations contrary to assertions that he had also supplied them
with share certificates belonging to ENG and Century Holdings valued of $140
The defence said on January 10, 2004 Chiyangwa was arrested and
detained on a different charge of attempting to defeat the course of justice
in respect of a Cayenne Porsche 4x4, a charge that has now been abandoned by
the State. Adding, Anderson said prior to Chiyangwa's arrest, false
allegations were made that he had concealed the whereabouts of Muponda,
Watyoka and three vehicles different from those referred to in the charge
sheet namely a BMW X4, BMW Z4 and Cayenne Porsche 4x4.
person was in possession of the first two vehicles, which he surrendered to
the police and denied that he was in possession of the third," argued
Anderson. Daily Mirror
was one of the first in my class to leave the country. Of course others had
left before me, but they had emigrated with their families, either drawn out
by money or pushed out by fear. I was the first to leave on my own. I was
going to university in the United States.
Since I left my Zimbabwe in
August 2002, I have been lucky enough to come home four times. I pray that I
will continue to be able to return so often, and I fear that even this may
not be often enough. Over the past two years, since I moved to the United
States, I have already begun to feel a rift. Is it possible to find fuel
these days? How much money do I need to take when I go grocery shopping? What
do you do at a road block? How much is an appropriate tip in a restaurant?
How much do I give the guy who was watching my car? Is it safe to go out at
night? My homeland and I are growing in different directions.
this year I attended a lecture by Malian author Manthia Diawara. He discussed
an event that took place when he was a student, an incident in which he
described his experience as an immigrant in the United States and his worry
about becoming too American, to his uncle. Diwara's uncle replied to him
saying, "no matter how long a log stays in the water, it will not turn into a
crocodile." The problem faced by myself, and other young Zimbabweans today,
is that although we might someday be taken out of the water, we will be
rotten and it will be too late for us to re-sprout roots. Basic things that
have changed so rapidly in Zimbabwe, that we have not been able to keep
Each homecoming has been a different experience for me, and I have
begun to know what to expect based on what I see when I arrive at the
airport. On my first arrival home, as I was passing through immigration, I
looked up at the cyclopean glass window that exhibits the arrivals area to
the upstairs cafe. I saw my parents and three friends jumping and waving
frantically. There were two friends on my second arrival and one on my third.
On my most recent return home, none of my friends were there to welcome me.
This is a positive thing for the individual friends. They have moved away, as
I did, in order to improve their minds, and increase their opportunities. But
an important question to ask is, what does this mean for Zimbabwe? How many
of these young minds will return home?
During the first few weeks of
my time at home I would go out to the few remaining bars and clubs with a
handful of friends who are still in Zim. Harare's night scene felt like a
ghost town. Everything was familiar, in terms of architecture and decor, but
it wasn't quite right. In the two years that I had been away, the city had
aged twenty. I felt detached and bewildered, as if I was having a strange
dream. I was confused, most of the haunts of my teen years were either
deserted, or had been taken over by my former teachers.
As June rolled
around there was a sudden and refreshing change. Music was louder, laughter
was heavier, conversation was lighter. Bars and night clubs were teaming with
youth. While the South African universities were on vac, a breath of dynamism
had infiltrated the gray and beige bars that we knew existed only because of
the stale smell of cigarette smoke. The brilliance and energy of the 18-25
age group returned to Harare. Only to disappear just as suddenly. After a
month, music was muted, laughter became shy, and the gray walls of the night
spots were no longer obscured behind colourful, shiny, spandex.
although the city will be reminded of the existence of youth at
regular intervals, it will not forget the young people who have left and
cannot afford to come home. Many of them will not be allowed to reenter the
country by the time they have saved enough money to return. They will gain
training, earn degrees and enter into the workplace elsewhere, all the while,
wishing that they could spend their skills in Zimbabwe. But we will lose
them, and everything that we have invested in them.
Those who can
afford to return home, I am sure, will continue to do so. They love Zimbabwe,
her sunshine, her people, her 'perfection'. But most of them will never live
here again. They will come back for two weeks every year and wish that it
could be longer. We will lose them, and everything that we have invested in
When you consider the fact that Zimbabwean family life recognises,
and is based upon, the importance of children both for their economic
contribution while their parents are alive, as well as the foundation upon
which the future will be built; it is ironic that the environment has become
so hostile and discouraging to the youth.
Forty years ago my father
moved to the United States for the purpose of furthering his education. My
mother sometimes tells me stories about that time. There was a large
community of young Africans in Washington, where my parents lived. My mother
says that there was always a very noticeable difference between the way in
which Zimbabweans and the other Africans talked about home. It was clear that
the Zimbabweans would return. They were there so that they could return. They
had hope, and a unifying dream of going back to something great.
generation of Zimbabweans abroad is jaded. In February of this year,
I attended the sixth annual Harvard Business School, African
Business Conference. One of the major themes discussed at this panel was the
issue of the 'Brain Drain.' All over the continent of Africa, countries are
losing their best educated citizens to higher paying jobs elsewhere. We are
losing our future leaders! This phenomenon is impeding the continent's
economic and social development. Many of the people at the conference had big
plans of returning home and starting businesses, making their fortunes at the
same time as improving their countries of origin. Unfortunately, very few
of these young entrepreneurs were Zimbabwean. Young Zimbabweans no longer
dream of something great that they will come home to, rather, they mourn
for something great that they have been denied.
Make Zimbabwe great
once again. Invite the young people home.
Like every developing
country that still relies largely on a manual system, Zimbabwe experiences
delays in its justice delivery system. Such delays can be attributed to human
error, absence of urgency in the prosecution of the case by the lawyers, a
failure to properly co-ordinate witnesses, in criminal cases, and a host of
However, of late the delays have increasingly come from
the bench after a case has been argued or prosecuted. This alarming trend has
become of grave concern to litigants and the legal profession, particularly
as the delays in passing judgment have become endemic in the Superior Courts
such as the High Court and the Supreme Court, which also doubles as a
Constitutional Court. It is no longer unusual for litigants to wait for more
than six months for a judgment that does not involve complex issues of law.
Indeed, even applications that are heard on an urgent basis can have judgment
passed many months afterwards and long after the feared harm has occurred. It
has also become normal practice that applications determined in the High
Court on an urgent basis receive no urgent attention in the Supreme Court if
an appeal is lodged.
The Law Society of Zimbabwe has raised the issue
of delays at the highest possible level in the hierarchy in the Judiciary.
Although the Chief Justice acknowledged the delays, he attributed these to
the inexperience of both the High Court and Supreme Court judges following
the forced departure of more experienced judges. The Judge President in the
High Court has directed his judges to deliver judgments within six months of
hearing argument, unless the matter is particularly complex, in which event
the parties and his office must be informed.
There is general
skepticism surrounding the reasons given for delays as these have, in the
main, been cases that involve the Government and in which a delayed result
would suit it. The recent revelation by Judge Michael Majuru that the
Minister of Justice had asked him to delay the Daily News case for at least
three months gives credence to the belief that certain delays are
deliberately engineered in order to favour one of the litigants, usually the
Government or its agents, and to inflict maximum harm or damage on any
litigants that are perceived to be anti-government. A look at the Daily News
cases will show that although the High Court and the Administrative Court
heard the cases fairly urgently, the appeals in the Supreme Court have moved
at a snail's pace. The Constitutional challenge filed in January, 2003 still
awaits determination. Although argument on the Constitutional challenge,
which the court had already looked at when it made the startling 'dirty
hands' judgment was heard in March 2004 judgment is yet to be delivered. The
effect of this is that the Daily News remains in limbo and the general belief
that this delay will persist until after next year's general election cannot
be discounted as fiction.
The contempt of court application against the
Immigration Officers who unlawfully deported Andrew Meldrum was argued in the
High Court in August, 2003. Yet as at the end of July 2004, no judgment had
been delivered. The election petitions that were heard mainly in 2001 and
2002 still remain unresolved as not one appeal has had judgment delivered.
With the looming general elections in the first half of 2004, there can be no
question that the entire exercise has been rendered academic as Parliament is
now in its final session before the next elections.
The failure to
timeously deliver judgments has of course spread to virtually all kinds of
litigation, including mundane issues dealing with normal family law disputes
and normal commercial litigation. This is a spin off of the general decay in
the judiciary where litigants no longer take center stage. The delays have
also become endemic in the general day to day operations of the courts as
time is no longer an important consideration. In the Magistrates Court,
although the courts are supposed to sit at 0830hours, litigants and accused
persons are told to be at court by 0800hours. However, virtually no court
sits at the starting time of 0830hours and cases are unlikely to be called
In the High Court, the judges generally regulate their
commencement times although the normal starting time is 1000hours for trials
and 0900hours for applications. While there is a small number of judges in
the High Court that still have respect for time, the majority simply do not
care for time. One judge who lives many kilometers away in a farm allocated
to him through the fast track land reform routinely starts his court long
after the time he would have advised to the parties. Regrettably, very little
is being done about this as those tasked with ensuring the smooth running of
the Judiciary are as guilty of these delays as their juniors. The net effect
of these deliberate delays in the administration of justice is that
unnecessary bottlenecks are created. Once one case or judgment is delayed, a
ripple effect is created and an unnecessary backlog is created.
can be no question that these delays are extremely prejudicial to
the litigants as their rights are not timeously determined. The
financial prejudice in these cases that involve money assume proportions that
could lead to bankruptcy, particularly in a country with the high inflation
that Zimbabwe has. And of course, the general populace loses confidence in
a judiciary that fails to determine litigants' rights in a speedy manner.
But however adverse the situation, the judiciary can redeem itself from
the general belief that these delays are deliberate by ensuring that
judgments are delivered in a timely way.
Urgent and stern measures are
needed to correct this development, but if the delays are deliberate and
meant to serve certain purposes, Zimbabweans will continue with the charade
of a functioning judiciary until the political will to change things returns
to those responsible for the present decay.
The adage that justice
delayed is justice denied is no longer a cliché in the Zimbabwean legal
system, but a grim reality.
The International Bar Association is an
organisation that represents the Law Societies and Bar Associations around
the world, and works to uphold the rule of law. For further information,
visit the website www.ibanet.org
Herald Reporter DARING
armed robbers exchanged fire with police detectives at a house in Marlborough
and used one of the occupants at the house as a human shield against a hail
of bullets as they tried to escape on Friday night.
A team of detectives,
who had received a call that armed robbers had broken into the house, arrived
at the scene of crime at around 8pm when the four armed robbers were ordering
the family around.
Unaware of the presence of the police, the gang
force-marched the owner of the house, who is aged 60, and another family
member upstairs, after which they demanded all the money in the
Police officers followed upstairs with a plan to order the robbers
The assailants presumably became suspicious when they
heard footsteps and hid in different places within the house.
police, who sensed that their presence had been detected following an abrupt
silence, shouted orders for the men to surrender.
But the robbers fired
several shots towards the entrance.
Police spokesperson Assistant
Inspector Memory Pamire yesterday said the shots were fired from various
angles to mislead the detectives into assuming that all the robbers were
"The detectives fired back until they realised that the firing
could not have been done by more than one person," Asst Insp Pamire
One detective stealthily crawled into the room to the surprise of
one of the robbers, who hastily grabbed an elderly woman and threatened to
harm her if the detective got anywhere near him.
"The suspect, Noah
Ngoma, who is aged 26, managed to escape while the other three were
arrested," Asst Insp Pamire said.
One of the suspects arrested was a
gardener who worked at the house and had his face covered at the time when
they broke into his employer's house.
The other two suspects are also
domestic workers in the area, but are Dzivaresekwa residents.
managed to recover a pellet shotgun, a weapon that is suspected to have been
stolen during an earlier robbery after which it was used in several armed
robberies in Marlborough.
Also recovered were two mobile phones, two sim
cards, a gold wristwatch and a colour television set worth over $5
Police in Marlborough have introduced cycle patrols to curb such
crimes as housebreaking and theft.
Last year a Marlborough couple was
attacked and killed by domestic workers who had worked for them for several
The former employees then burnt the bodies to ashes to conceal the
Advertisements were flighted in several newspapers appealing for
information on the the whereabouts of the couple, who were presumed missing
until the gruesome discovery.
However, police eventually established
that the domestic workers had moved into the main house and were disposing of
the household property, leading to their arrest.
Despite opposition from many quarters,
some of the white farmers ejected from Zimbabwe lands are now in Nigeria for
a multi-million Naira project that may bail
Nigeria out of her
inadequate food production problem.
Farmers contribute more than 40
percent of the Gross
Domestic Product (GDP) in Zambabwe. 75 of those
displaced by the land problem in the country (Zimbabwe) have moved to Zambia.
Very soon, Zambia will export maize to Zimbabwe. We are very positive that we
can work in Nigeria. Irrigation is central to what we will do here". With
these words, Mr. Alan Jack explained the credentials of the white farmers
group of six members who last April came into Nigeria under the auspices of
Zimbabwe Farmers Council.
The visit had been undertaken to Nigeria by
the white farmers following their ejection from their lands by the Mugabe
administration in Zimbabwe under the guise that they had taken over most of
the lands in the country.
The white farmers, whose ejection from the
lands made their relocation from Zimbabwe inevitable with some moving to
places as far as Australia and New Zealand, did not come without prompting.
The visit was at the behest of Kwara State Government whose Governor Bukola
Saraki must have been impressed by the agriculture revolution the white
farmers had carried out in Zimbabwe.
If the input of the white farmers
had significantly contributed more than 40 percent to the GDP of Zimbabwe as
explained by Jack while reeling out the credentials of the Southern African
white farmers, Saraki must have reasoned that it did not amount to
over-reaching oneself to bring these farmers to Nigeria to reverse the
dwindling fortunes of agriculture. Agriculture had done well in the period
preceding the oil boom in Nigeria such that it was the mainstay of the
national economy with cocoa abundantly produced in the west, groundnut and
cotton in the north and oil palm in the east. Today, the nation cannot feed
itself not to talk of exporting any agricultural produce. The vast majority
of the people is on the hot chase of petro-dollar.
But the grim reality
that sooner than later, the nation's oil deposits would be exhausted has
forced the government, especially at the centre, to look inwards, the result
of which is the decision that the people should return to the farm. It is
against the backdrop of this scenario that the Saraki administration extended
invitation to the Zimbabwe farmers so that now that the government of that
country had dispensed with their services, they could avail the people of
Nigeria the technology they had used in Zimbabwe to turn around the nation's
fortunes in farming.
The problem with agriculture in the country is not
so much with the unwillingness of the people to go into the profession, but
with the lack of technology to embark on large scale farming especially since
the prevailing situation has reduced the Nigerian to a subsistent farmer.
Closely associated with this is the problem of funding in a society where
lending rates are prohibitive. These are the problems the Saraki
administration believed would be solved with the white farmers involvement in
the nation's agriculture with a view to putting the people on acceptable
pedestal in food production.
Aside the inflow of foreign investments
the initiators of the project believed it would engender, it was also thought
that the white farmers involvement would supply the confidence needed to get
the local banking process to augment agriculture funding. On the latter, they
have not been wrong as no fewer than five banks are already involved in the
white farmers project.
The move to change the face of agriculture in
the country was consummate last week when the government of Kwara State
signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the white farmers.
Significantly, the brains behind this initiative have not pushed the project
to this stage of acceptance without stirring a controversy.
controversy had largely bordered on the fear that the problem that sent the
white farmers packing from Zimbabwe may re-occur here. The critics grouse was
predicated on the grounds that the white farmers, if allowed in Nigeria,
would in a matter of time, appropriate Nigerian lands.
presidential backing the initiative got with President Olusegun Obasanjo
explaining that the nation had sufficient laws to take care of whatever
lapses that may result from the Zimbabwean experience appeared inadequate to
calm the critics.
Some National Assembly members in fact joined the fray.
The chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture, Dr.
Ahmed Lawan, however, clarified the position of the House when he said that
although the (white farmers) investment proposal was in order, the farmers
must fulfil some conditions before they would be allowed to begin
His statement captured the stand of the opposition. "Having
people bringing money into our country by way of investment is a welcome
idea. If there are people who are willing to come, we should welcome them,
but it should be on some conditions", he said. One of the conditions,
according to him, is for the farmers to specify how long they would use the
This was ostensibly to prevent the Zimbabwean experience from
occurring here. Ahmed said the lawmakers would insist that the land should be
used for crops of national priority. One other things that would determine
allocation of land to the white farmers, he stressed, was the issue of
In this regard, he was of the view that the Federal
Government should be entitled to a certain percentage of the proceeds from
According to the chairman, the law to be made on the issue will
ensure that indigenous farming activities are not jeopardized by the foreign
With the signing last Tuesday of the MOU between the government
and the white farmers, the grey areas have apparently been
For instance, on the fear that the Zimbabwean problem would
resurface in Nigeria, an argument that forced the chairman of the House
of Representatives Committee on Agriculture to demand that the white
farmers should specify how long they would use the Nigerian land, Governor
Bukola Saraki, who signed the MOU on behalf of his government, said land
leasehold to the farmers would last for only 25 years, saying however that
the leasehold is renewable. "What we have done is to limit the lease to 25
years and renew it after that period.
Initially, we talked about
longer lease but when we took into consideration people's contributions and
the issue of truth, we arrived at 25 years, renewable after 25 years", the
governor said. But the point we should also appreciate is the value we
believe the land would bring.
We have land and most of the lands are
expensive to government in terms of clearing for agricultural purposes. The
main objective is making our land productive and reassure the royal fathers
and seek their participation. I have reassured them and series of meetings
have been held with members of the communities to allay their
Saraki, in a nutshell, explained what the white farmers project
will achieve. His words: "Food production would improve and increase. We hope
to see improvement in beds practices, we hope to see an increase in yield
per hectare which has always been a problem of agricultural production
in Nigeria, where farmers after all the hard work produce yields of just
one hectare or one tonne per hectare. Meanwhile in many other places
(countries) you could get about 5 to 8 tonnes per hectare.
the key issues, if that can be one of the things we can achieve, showing the
techniques at the farm bases, based on research taking cognisance of
temperature, recording sunlight, soil test among others to determine the best
type of seedlings for the area, this kind of technology could be passed on to
our farmers. The most important thing is agro-allied -- every thing processed
goes into agro-allied (e.g) dairy products for mill processing, rice
production, flow export and vegetables processing.
Asked why the
choice of the white Zimbabwean farmers among others options, the governor
said: "They are the best farmers today in Africa. An alternative is the South
Africans. The best farmers we have today with the best practices are the
Zimbabwean farmers, who presently today due to their predicament are looking
for alternative, and they want to stay in Africa, some of them have moved to
New Zealand or Australia but some of them believe they have been here now as
the fifth generation, so they want to stay in Africa.
They have the
best practice, hence, we want the values transmitted here". He continued: "By
this action, processing is no longer the problem of government . The farmers
would sell their produce somewhere. Majority of these farmers are commercial
farmers, as they are producing, they are thinking of the processing, people
are already thinking about setting up processing plants.
My concern is to discard the idea of government spoon feeding with
huge amounts without any tangible result at the end of the day even with the
good intention. If you look at how much we have spent, and I keep on
making example with tractors, if you look at what each state military
administrator spent on tractors, we should have no problem with agriculture
in Nigeria. But that is not the case. So what we are doing now is finding the
private sector to take the initiatives, and if they are successful, terms
The first farmers are getting this concession because
they are the pioneer, we need the support of everybody. And I keep on saying
it, how many of them, 10 to 15 compared to a state of population of 2.2
people million. I don"t think they can take over land, let us look at it from
that angle and give the required support in the interest of our own
We made it clear to them, maximum of years they must develop the
land fully, the banks need to come and support the programme for the abundant
benefit to the people". Expectations are high that with the white farmers
programme on stream, the nation would, in the not distant future, not only be
self sufficient in food production but have extra to export.
The Private Sector, Political Elites and Underdevelopment in
South African Institute of International
ANALYSIS August 2, 2004 Posted to the web
August 2, 2004
Why are most Africans in
Sub-Saharan Africa poor and why are they getting poorer while most people in
the rest of the world are becoming better off? The World Bank and the
International Monetary Fund who have become Sub-Saharan Africa's fairy
godmother and godfather respectively, every year churn out statistics that
tell the same tale - Africans are poor and in many instances have fallen so
far down it is difficult to imagine them getting poorer. With poverty and
growing impoverishment go conflicts over scarce and shrinking resources.
Hence Sub-Saharan Africa's apparently never ending cycle of violent
In its seminal study, Can African Claim the 21st Century?, the
World Bank made the following observations about Sub-Saharan Africa (1):
"Despite gains in the second half of the 1990s, Sub-Saharan Africa (Africa)
enters the 21st century with many of the world's poorest countries. Average
per capita income is lower than at the end of the 1960s. Incomes, assets, and
access to essential services are unequally distributed. And the region
contains a growing share of the world's absolute poor, who have little power
to influence the allocation of resources."
The World Bank's
observations are collaborated by other researchers. This was how the
prestigious (US) National Bureau of Economic Research summarised the living
condition of Africans (2): "Thirty six percent of the region's population
lives in economies that in 1995 had not regained the per capita income levels
first achieved before 1960. Another six percent are below levels first
achieved by 1970, 41% below 1980 levels and 11% below 1990 levels. Only 35
million people reside in nations that had higher incomes in 1995 than they
had ever reached before."
Key to economic development
schools of political thought, from Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin on the left
to Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman on the rights are agreed on at least
one thing; the private sector is the driver of modern
In a quest for greater security and comfort, the
theory goes, private individuals and their households are driven to seek more
and more material wealth. This process in turn compels these private
individuals to produce more and more and exchange what they produce with
other individuals who are also seeking greater security and comfort. The sum
total of these acts of production, exchange and consumption constitute the
modern capitalist economy. The capitalist economy is therefore inherently
driven to produce more and more so that its denizens may get greater and
greater security and comfort.
For the private individuals to produce
more and better, they must generate savings that they plough back into the
production process as new and improved techniques, processes and products.
This enables these private individuals to constantly produce more products,
better products and more diverse products that are capable of exchange with
other private individuals who are doing the same.
This is the
inexorable logic of capital accumulation. The more you produce the more you
must produce, the cheaper you must produce and the better products you must
produce because if you do not, others who are seeking greater security and
comfort will displace you in the marketplace and you will therefore suffer
reduced security and comfort. The key words of this system are therefore
production, exchange, markets, savings, improved techniques (research &
development), medium of exchange (money), and economic
Africans are of course no different from other human beings in
that they also want security and comfort. What is happening however is that
the great majority of Africans are today experiencing the opposite; less
security and comfort and in many instance they face hunger, homelessness,
threats of violence and actual violence, and starvation on a daily
Africa however has arguably one of the largest private sectors in
the world today. Most Africans live and work in private households that
populate the African countryside, see Table 1. Theoretically, if we refer to
the model described above, Africa should be a hive of economic activity and
growth driven by the logic of these private individuals and households
attempting to maximize their security and comfort. What has gone
In the model described above the underlying assumption is that
private individuals are free to pursue their search for security and comfort
and they therefore own and control the means of achieving their objectives.
They are assumed to be free to exchange what they produce without let
or hindrance and that where they are able to make savings, they are free
to retain those savings and plough them back in improved techniques or in
other investment avenues as they may wish.
This is not the case with
the private sector in Sub-Saharan Africa. Africa's private sector is
predominantly made up of peasants and secondly, of subsidiaries of
foreign-owned multinational corporations. Neither of these two groups have
the complete freedom to operate in the market place because they are both
politically dominated by others - non-producers who control the state. Herein
lay the weakness of the private sector in Africa that explains its inability
to become the engine of economic development. Africa's private sector lacks
political power and is therefore not free to operate to maximize its
objectives. Above all, it is not free to decide what happens to its savings.
Let us start with the situation of Africa's peasants.
According to Marx, peasants are not able to form an
independent political force that can represent their interests; they are
therefore open to exploitation by other social groups that dominate them
In one of the famous passages from his classic analysis of
French society in the 19th century, Marx had this to say about the
powerlessness and therefore vulnerability of peasants (3): "The small-holding
peasants form a vast mass, the members of which live in similar conditions
but without entering into manifold relations with one another. Their mode of
production isolates them from one another instead of bringing them into a
mutual intercourse. Each family is almost self-sufficient; it itself directly
produces the major part of its consumption and thus acquires its means of
life more through exchange with nature than in intercourse with society. A
smallholding, a peasant and his family; along side them another peasant and
another family. A few score of these make up a village, and a few score of
villages make up a Department . In so far as millions of families live under
economic conditions of existence that separate their mode of life, their
interests and their culture from those of the other classes, and put them in
a hostile position to the latter, they form a class. In so far as there is
merely a local interconnection among these small holding peasants, and the
identity of their interests begets no community, no national bond and no
political organization among them, they do not form a class. They are
consequently incapable of enforcing their class interests in their own name,
whether through a parliament of through a convention. They cannot
represent themselves, they must be represented."
But who represents
the interests of the peasants in Africa today? The answer is nobody. The one
African politician who claims to act in the interests of peasants, Zimbabwe's
Robert Mugabe, has reduced the once proud and almost self-sufficient
Zimbabwean peasants to paupers who now have to be fed by the United Nations'
World Food Programme. Africa's peasants are therefore prey to the forces that
have the ability to form political organization and therefore control the
state. The way that peasants are preyed upon by the controllers of the state
- the political elite - has been studied extensively not least by the World
Fundamentally, the political elite uses its control of
the state to extract the surplus or savings that if the peasant were free to
retain they would have invested in improving their production techniques or
to diversify into other economic activities. Through marketing boards,
taxation systems and the like, the political elite diverts these savings to
finance its own consumption and the strengthening of the repressive
instruments of the state. A great deal of what Africa's political elites
consume and what the African state consumes, is however not produced locally
but is rather imported. Elite and state consumption therefore does not create
a significant market for African producers but instead acts as a major
drain of national savings that would otherwise have gone into
productive investment in Africa.
This is the secret to Africa's
growing impoverishment despite its large private sector. The more the African
political elites consolidate their power, the more they strengthen their hold
over the state, the more the peasants are likely to become poorer, and the
more the African economies are likely to regress or at best, to mark
One of the most striking illustrations of this phenomenon is
Nigeria. According to a study of Nigeria prepared by the Centre for the Study
of African Economies at Oxford University, over the period from 1980 to
2000 per capita GDP (in $1996 purchasing power parity terms) fell from
US$1215 to US$706. The authors point out that growth and poverty are very
closely related and that the 40% drop in purchasing power parity understates
the size of Nigeria's problem. "First the fall in real per capita
consumption was very much greater while the available evidence suggests that
inequality rose. This combination of a very large fall in per capita
consumption combined with increasing inequality implies a large rise in
poverty." (5) According to another source, the number of Nigerians living
below the poverty line increased from 19 million in 1970 to 90 million in
2000. This was accompanied by a massive rise in inequality. In 1970 the top
2% of the population earned the same income as the bottom 17% but by 2000,
the income of the top 2% was equal to that of the bottom 55%.(6)
most graphic illustrations of this iron law of African underdevelopment is
the role the oil industry plays in Africa. Oil revenues make it possible for
the political elite to literally become detached from the local population
and economy and therefore to live in an oasis. When this happens there is
therefore no need for the political elite and the state it controls to invest
in mass education, health care, housing and transportation infrastructure
that the population at large needs. Everything thus goes into a state of
decay except of course for the welfare of the political elite and the
repressive machinery of the state.
This was how The Economist (London,
25.01.2003 ) described the impact of oil production on Equatorial Guinea and
Gabon: "Equatorial Guinea now pumps more oil per person than Saudi Arabia.
Its economy, once negligible, has grown at an incredible 40% annually since
1996, when the oil boom began. A few years ago, the streets of the capital,
Malabo, were as quiet as Sao Tome's are today. Now, Malabo's pretty Spanish
colonial architecture bristles with satellite dishes, and the streets, bathed
at night in an orange glow from gas flared at a nearby methanol plant, are
gaudy with sports cars, tropical palaces and prostitutes who flutter in from
nearby countries such as Cameroon. And the tiny country's agriculture is
blighted: cocoa and snail farmers have rushed to the town to grab at the oil
bonanza. Equatorial Guinea was never well governed: Obiang Nguema, the
president, seized power by executing his uncle in 1979. But oil has made his
regime increasingly paranoid. Several members of the ruling family are
thought to want a bigger slurp at the oil barrel. Mr Obiang sees plots
everywhere, and arranged periodic crackdowns. Several opposition leaders were
jailed last year after a mass trial, to which many defendants turned up with
broken arms and legs. Mr Obiang scoffs at western notions of transparency,
insisting that how much money his government earns from oil is nobody's
business. 'Oil has turned him crazy,' says Celestino Bacale, a brave
"In next door Gabon, Omar Bongo has been in power
since 1967. He is more subtle than Mr Obiang. He does not torture his enemies
but buys them off. Decades of oil revenues have corrupted Gabonese society
and eroded its work ethic. Citizens aspire to soft billets in the civil
service, and turn their noses up at menial jobs like taxi driving and shop
-keeping, which they leave to immigrants from poorer places such as Togo and
Mali. Agriculture in Gabon, as in Equatorial Guinea, is all but
Vulnerability of Multinational Corporations
stock companies have operated in Africa since the dawn of the capitalist era.
They financed, insured and operated the ships that transported the slaves to
the New World. One of the most famous among them, the Dutch East India
Company, started the colonization of South Africa in the mid-17the century.
With the emergence of colonialism proper after the 1884 Berlin Conference,
these companies followed close on the heels of the colonialists' conquering
armies and established agricultural plantations, mines, railways, harbours
and new cities. Later they diversified into making consumer goods for the
burgeoning African market, from soap and beer to blankets, fishing nets,
processing of raw materials etc.
When the colonialists retreated from the
1950s onwards, these colonial subsidiaries lost their key protector, the
colonial state. Before long they, like the peasants, fell prey to the
appetites and whims of the new African political elites who controlled the
newly independent African states. The lucky ones were nationalized and their
owners were therefore paid compensation; the not so lucky ones were
'privatized'. Many survived as best they could through corrupting the new
elite or finding ways of ingratiating themselves with the new
What has been most striking about the political elites in
Sub-Saharan Africa has been their aversion to becoming involved in industry
whether manufacturing or mining. The private sector in these sectors is
therefore still dominated by foreign owned companies with parastatals
increasingly playing a minor role.
A recent study by the World Bank
shows that the most productive companies in, for example Nigeria, are those
owned by Multinational Corporation or by non-African industrialists -
Indians, Chinese, Lebanese etc., see Table 2. All these owners are easy
targets as they are not represented within the political elites. In common
with the peasants, they are therefore subjected to all sorts of official and
unofficial taxes ranging from backhanders for factory inspectors and customs
officials through to artificially high electricity tariffs, arbitrary
municipal rates and the like.
This is another way that the African
political elite contributes to fostering Africa's underdevelopment. By
obstructing the operations of industry and diverting a large part of its
profit to elite consumption, Africa's manufacturing industries are unable to
grow and therefore to create employment for all grades of
According to a Ghanaian researcher his country's economy was in
"free fall" before 1983 when the World Bank came to the rescue.(7) "Between
1970 and 1980 per capita GDP declined by a total of 19,7%; from 1980 to 1983
it dropped by a further 21,3%. There was sharp decline in both domestic
and export production. The manufacturing index plunged from 100 in 1977 to
69,0 in 1980 and 63,3 in 1981, with average capacity utilisation in that
year estimated at only 24%." Even after a decade of the World Bank and
other donors trying to breathe life into Ghana's industry from 1983:
"Overall capacity utilization improved from 30% in 1983 to 40% in 1989 and
appears to have stagnated at around this level for much of industry in the
1990s." Not surprisingly, Africa loses more than 20 000 graduates every year
who emigrate out of the continent.
The Peculiarity of South Africa
Though part of Sub-Saharan Africa geographically, South Africa has two
features that distinguish it from the rest of the region. Firstly, South
Africa does not have a peasant social class.(8) Secondly, its private sector
is owned mainly by South African citizens, one of the unintended consequences
of sanctions and dis-investment in the 1970s and 1980s. These two features
have enormous implications for governance in South Africa.
Africa is ruled by a political elite that has much the same roots and
characteristics as most of the political elites in the rest of Sub-Saharan
Africa, its room for manoeuvre is enormously constrained by the fact that it
does not have a passive peasantry to exploit. Instead it is surrounded by a
dynamic private sector that is owned by South African citizens whose rights
are entrenched constitutionally and are enforceable by the propertied classes
themselves through the franchise; through the judiciary; and through the
independent mass media that sees itself as the watchdog over the rights of
Secondly, the political elite in South Africa was compelled in
the struggle against apartheid to enter into alliances with the black urban
working class. South Africa's urban working class is existentially the
opposite of peasant smallholders in that it is organized into independent
social movements, especially trade unions, which articulate and represent
its interests. Central to the interests of the black working class and
private sector owners is job creation for the former and profit maximisation
for the latter. Both these major social and political forces thus have a
common interest to promote economic growth and therefore to minimize the
private consumption of the political elite.
It is this that makes
South Africa different from the rest of the region and that accounts for its
ability to grow its economy while the economies of the rest of Sub-Saharan
Africa are stymied by the dead weight of political
All this does not mean that the political elite in
South Africa, like other political elites in the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa,
will not try to enrich itself at the expense of private sector producers.
Black Economic Empowerment, BEE, in South Africa is in reality the flipside
of the attempt to siphon savings from private sector operators in an
environment where there are no peasants and where most of the private sector
is locally owned. The fact that BEE has proved to be a far more uphill battle
for the political elite in South Africa is due to the ability of the private
sector to resist dispossession. But these are early days. Time will tell who
will come out best from what could be a titanic struggle by the political
elite to 'privatise' the private wealth of South Africa's current private
Interestingly, the political elite in South Africa is
being encouraged in this venture - BEE- by elements of the super-rich who
seek political favours from the state to externalise their assets and to get
the first bite of government contracts and privatisation deals.
Democracy for Sub-Saharan Africa
Can the New Partnership for Africa's
Development, NEPAD, change the lethal equation that afflicts Sub-Saharan
Africa? While NEPAD may address some of the worse excesses of the political
elites through the African Peer Review Mechanism it does not address the
fundamental malaise, that is, the enormous power imbalance between the
political elite and key private sector producers.
If the driving force
behind Sub-Saharan Africa's underdevelopment is the structural powerlessness
of producers and therefore their inability to retain and control their
savings, it should be self-evident that until this equation is reversed there
will be no development in the sub-region. But how is this to be reversed and
If Sub-Saharan Africa is to develop, it needs a new type of
democracy, a kind that will empower not just the political elite but that
will empower Sub-Saharan Africa's private sector producers as well. In the
first instance, it is necessary that peasants must become the real owners of
their primary asset, land. This is the only way that there can be
land improvements in Sub-Saharan Africa instead of what is happening at
present, that is, rampant deforestation and accelerating desertification.
This means freehold must be introduced and the so-called communal land tenure
system which in reality is state land ownership, must be
Secondly, peasant producers must gain direct access to world
markets without the political elite, through state corporations, acting as
the go-between. This means that cash crops must be auctioned by the producers
themselves rather than being sold first to state controlled marketing boards.
This is already the case with tobacco in Zimbabwe.
innovation that is needed are new financial institutions that are independent
of the political elite that will address the financial needs of not just
peasants but also other small to medium scale producers. These could be
co-operatives, credit unions, savings banks etc. Besides providing financial
services these institutions would undertake all the other technical services
that are not being provided at present by the political elite such as crop
research, extension services, livestock improvement, storage, transportation,
distribution and many other services that would contribute to make
agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa more productive.
This is where
foreign donors could play a more constructive role than they are doing at
present through their current efforts to sustain the political elites and
African states with budgetary support and the like. Donors could support
these independent institutions by providing the expertise to manage them and
to some extent help shield them from predators.
system would these changes bring about? Certainly not socialism! These
changes would for the first time bring into being in Africa a capitalist
market economy that answers to the needs of African producers rather than
what has happened in the past, to the needs of colonialists and in more
recent time, non-producers, who try to perpetuate the role cast for Africa by
colonialists as a primary producer.
An important lesson Sub-Saharan
Africa could draw from are the agricultural reforms that took place in China
during the past 25 years or so. It was in the first instance changes in the
agricultural sector that made it possible for China to embark on its current
break-neck industrialization process.(9)
For labour statistics and tables
1. World Bank, Washington DC, 2000,
2. Richard B. Freeman & David L. Lindaner; Why not Africa?, NBER
Working Paper 6942, Cambridge MA, 1999
3. Karl Marx, The Eighteen
Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte in Karl Marx & Frederick Engels; Selected
Works in One Volume, London 1970, pp.170-1
4. Can African Claim the 21st
Century, Chap 6. See also World Bank, Accelerated Development in Sub-Saharan
Africa, Washington DC, 1981
5. Centre for the Study of African Economies;
Sources of Growth in Nigeria: An Initial Analysis, Oxford University, Oxford,
April 2003 (unpublished)
6. Nancy Birdsall & Arvind Subramanian;
Saving Iraq from Its Oil, Foreign Affairs July-August 2004 pp. 77 - 89, New
7. Eboe Hutchful; Ghana's Adjustment Experience; The Paradox of
Reform, Oxford 2002, p.6 & pp. 81-2
8. Colin Bundy; The Rise and
Fall of the South African Peasantry, London 1979
9. Chen Xiwen; Reform
of Economic Structure in China's Rural Areas, in Wang Mengkui (ed), China's
Economic Transformation over 20 Years, pp. 197-264, Beijing
*Moeletsi Mbeki is deputy chairman of the South African Institute
of International Affair, an independent think tank based at the University
of the Witwatersrand. This is an expanded version of a talk given to the
Africa Club at the London Business School in June 2004.
[ This report does not
necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]
3 Aug 2004 (IRIN) - Zimbabwe's ruling ZANU-PF on Tuesday called for the
support of its opposition rival, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), to
amend the constitution to allow electoral reforms before next year's
"We only need four votes from the opposition to form
a [two-thirds] majority and then make constitutional amendments to enable us
to implement the electoral reforms, and we hope the MDC will join us in
effecting the reforms," ZANU-PF secretary for information and publicity,
Nathan Shamuyarira, said at a two-day conference in the resort town of
Victoria Falls on democratising Southern Africa's electoral
Among the key revisions proposed by the government would be the
appointment of an independent electoral commission, combining the functions
of four controversial electoral bodies, which would require a
constitutional amendment. Under the plan, President Robert Mugabe would
appoint the chairman of the commission, while its five commissioners would be
appointed by parliament.
Other reforms Shamuyarira said the government
intended to introduce before the March 2005 poll include reducing the voting
period to one day, the use of visible indelible ink, the counting of ballots
at polling stations and more polling stations.
The revisions would
comply with standards set by the Southern African Development Community
(SADC) parliamentary forum, and could help deflect some of the criticism
levelled at the management of previous elections in Zimbabwe. Senior ZANU-PF
officials remain under sanctions by the European Union and United States over
the violence surrounding the 2002 presidential poll, and the country is still
suspended from the Commonwealth.
But MDC secretary general Welshman Ncube
suggested at the Victoria Falls conference that far more needed to be done
before Zimbabwe's electoral process could be considered free and fair. This
included the restoration of the rule of law, suspension of political violence
and the repeal of sections of the controversial Public Order and Security Act
(POSA) and the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, which
limit freedoms of association and expression.
"Having all those
reforms would be very good, but as long as the environment in which elections
are held is not conducive to free and fair elections, then there would be no
point in having the reforms," Ncube said. He noted that MDC campaign rallies
were cancelled by the police, while ruling party gatherings went on
Ncube complained that the ruling party had failed to consult
on the proposed amendments. "Strangely, they now want us to go and endorse
reforms which they refused to discuss with us". He said a decision on
cooperation could only be made by the MDC's national
Shamuyarira responded that talks were needed between the two
parties to find areas of common understanding, and "I will definitely pursue
that issue of dialogue so that we map the way forward".
law expert and chairman of the pro-democracy National Constitutional
Assembly, Lovemore Madhuku, said collaboration between ZANU-PF and the MDC on
electoral reform could expand into a wider dialogue, which officially has
been stalemated since 2002 over the MDC's refusal to accept Mugabe's
controversial poll victory.
"This could actually open opportunities for
dialogue, which everybody has been crying for, and the ball is in the MDC's
court. Without the opposition, the ruling party cannot amend the
constitution, so it would be the only chance for the opposition to attach
conditions before supporting the amendments," he told IRIN.
analyst Reginald Matchaba-Hove said the request by the ruling party was an
indication that the two parties needed each other. "Whatever room there is
should be exploited to introduce dialogue between the two major political
parties. If there are areas on which they agree, like introducing electoral
reforms, then that would be a good starting place,"
However, Brian Kagoro, chairman of the NGO umbrella
group, Crisis Zimbabwe Coalition, said he was concerned that talk of reform
was "dangerously deceptive". "The reforms do not sound genuine because there
are no attempts to normalise electoral issues, like the use of POSA in
restricting the opposition from holding rallies."
conference on Promoting Regional Initiatives on Electoral Reforms in Southern
Africa was co-hosted by the Electoral Institute of Southern Africa and the
Zimbabwe Election Support Network and attracted parliamentarians from the
ZIMBABWE 3/8/2004 17:14 AIDS: NEW STRATEGIES
AGAINST 'BLACK MARKET' OF HOPE
The Medicines Control
Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ) has appealed to Zimbabweans to help police by
coming forward with all possible information concerning the sale on the black
market of anti-AIDS drugs. Speaking on state television on Sunday evening,
the director of the government agency Mofios Dauramanzi stressed that the
sale of unregistered anti-retroviral (ARVs) drugs (which slow down the
progression of HIV/AIDS) represents a health risk for citizens as well as
being illegal. Dauramanzi also explained that an awareness-raising campaign
is underway in conjunction with the police to inform people of the risks
involved in taking non-prescribed drubs outside all medical supervision. The
Zimbabwean authorities sounded the alarm over the arrival of large quantities
of counterfeit anti-AIDS drugs from southern Africa, and which are sold on
the domestic black market without medical supervision. According to a health
ministry spokesman, Zimbabwe (and perhaps also other African countries) is
the target of very lucrative but equally dangerous illegal activities. In
effect, a network of unscrupulous salespersons has allegedly started to
purchase batches of anti-AIDS drugs from poor families in countries where
governments have already started distributing ARVs free of charge only to
sell them at low cost in those States where the cost of such treatment is
still high. According to the Zimbabwean health minister, the risks for
patients are extremely high, as the administration of ARVs requires regular
contact between doctor and patient in order to monitor the efficacy of the
medicine and to keep an eye on possible side effects. The experts stress that
the main risk arising from 'casual' treatment is that over time the body
becomes resistant to the drug, for now the only substance able to slow down
the development of the most devastating symptoms of HIV/AIDS. Zimbabwe is one
of the countries worst hit by the virus, with an average of 3.000 deaths
a week. In July 2003, the government published its own study showing that
24,6 % of the 11,6 million Zimbabweans carried HIV, the virus that causes
AIDS. According to a recent study by a non-governmental organisation
published by the Zimbabwean news agency 'New Ziana' recently, approximately
70 % of people receiving hospital treatment in Zimbabwe are HIV positive or
sick with AIDS and "33% of pregnant women carry HIV". [LC]
AN estimated 36,5 million people of working age now have
HIV and by next year the global labour force will have lost as many as 28
million workers with the majority of them in Africa due to Aids since the
start of the epidemic, according to a new International Labour Organisation
global report released recently.
In the first global analysis of the
impact of Aids on the world's labour force, the ILO estimates that in the
absence of increased access to treatment, the number of workers lost due to
HIV/Aids will have increased to 48 million by 2010 and 74 million by
This would make the disease one of the biggest causes of mortality
in the work world.
New findings in the new ILO report indicate that of
the 35,7 million persons between the ages of 15 and 49 estimated to be
infected with HIV, 26 million are workers, if others aged over 64, those in
the informal sector are included, the figure rises to 36,5
"HIV/Aids is not only a human crisis, it is a threat to
sustainable global, social and economic development," says ILO
director-general Juan Somavia.
"The loss of life and the debilitating
effects of the illness will lead not only to a reduced capacity to sustain
production and employment, reduce poverty and promote development, but will
be a burden borne by all societies - rich and poor alike."
international labour agency estimates that in 2005, two million
workers globally will be unable to work - up from 500 000 in 1995 - and by
2015 the number will double to four million people who are unable to work due
As a result, other economically active workers will be
forced to shoulder an increased economic burden as their colleagues die of
Other adults in the household of a person with HIV/Aids
will have to shoulder an increased burden of care while adults in the working
ages, too, may have to drop economically productive activities to divert time
to care especially in developing countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and
The ILO says the indirect impact of care can double the
indirect impact of the illness where the burden of care is in the household
and on the family.
"These effects of HIV/Aids on the labour force and on
all person of working age are measurable in their overall impact on economic
growth and development," says Franklyn Lisk, director of ILO Aids
"By causing the illness and death of workers, the HIV/Aids
epidemic reduces the stock of skills and experience of the labour
"This loss in human capital is a direct threat to the Millennium
Development Goals of reducing poverty and promoting sustainable development,"
The majority of countries affected by the epidemic are in
Africa where the regional average prevalence among the 15 to 49-year-olds is
According to ILO findings of 2000, the size of the labour
force in some African countries could be up to 35 percent smaller by the year
2020 than it would have been without Aids.
Africa today is losing its
prime labour force to the pandemic and most of those infected are experienced
and skilled workers in both blue and white-collar jobs.
experts say workers at special risk on the continent include miners,
transport workers, security personnel, teachers, health workers and seasonal
or migrant workers in agricultural, construction and
They say Aids is having an especially severe impact
on agriculture in Africa, in particular on women who perform most principal
tasks in farming.
The World Health Organisation in 2003 reported that
there were 3,5 million new cases of HIV and Aids in Africa.
Southern Africa were the hardest hit regions on the continent having 38
percent of 3,5 million cases on the continent.
The pandemic has claimed
the lives of more than 17 million Africans and has affected 25 million others
living with disease.
Children, the ILO says, will suffer from a lack of
parental care and guidance or find themselves forced to abandon schooling and
seek work that not only threatens their physical well-being but will deprive
them of education, skills and training, threatening the twin goals of
eliminating child labour and sustainable development.
figures show that the number of children around the world who have lost one
or both parents to Aids has reached 15 million and is expected to rise to
18,4 million by the end of the decade. In sub-Saharan Africa, the number of
children orphaned by Aids increased from less than one million in 1990 to
about 12 million in 2003.
Extended family members are caring for about 90
percent of children without parents.
"The challenge for national
policy is to address human capital issues and develop means to sustain the
supply and quality of public goods and services," the new ILO report
To reach a critical mass of response to the epidemic, the labour
agency says, a supportive and enabling environment needs to be fostered
with specific focus on the legal framework, sustaining educational and
employment capacity and reduction of poverty.
But the workplace holds
out extraordinary promise as part of the solution to implement programmes to
fight the epidemic.
"The workplace is an ideal medium for a comprehensive
approach to HIV/Aids," the report says.
"Work provides a venue - the
workp- lace - where talking about Aids is especially relevant, where
prevention skills can be directly transmitted and where treatment can be
The study was carried out in countries in
Africa, Latin America, Asia, the Caribbean and in two developed regions.