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- may peace, truth and justice prevail.

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Zimbabwe Farmers Inspect Uganda Land

New Vision (Kampala)

August 4, 2003
Posted to the web August 4, 2003

Felix Osike

TWELVE white farmers evicted from their farms in Zimbabwe have inspected
land in different parts of the country with a view to re-locating to Uganda,
the executive director of Uganda Investment Authority (UIA), Dr. Magie
Kigozi, has said.

About 11 million hectares (26 million acres) have been seized from the white
owners by President Robert Mugabe's government since 2000.

"They came here in three groups. We arranged and showed them UIA land and
and that of other Ugandans. They found the land good but had no source of
funding, having lost their money in Zimbabwe," Kigozi said.

She said the farmers could not immediately obtain 100% financing from the
local banks.

She said the farmers were early this year shown big chunks of land in Hoima,
Mubende, Nakasongola and Pallisa districts.

Kigozi said UIA has a databank of all land in the country for investment.

"It was not possible to move on because they didn't have the money ready,"
said Kigozi.

UIA sources told The New Vision on Friday that some of the farmers are
expected in the country this week for more site inspections.

The chairman of the Uganda Manufacturers Association, Dr. William Kalema,
said the farmers expressed interest in commercial farming.

Health state minister and Soroti municipality MP Mike Mukula invited the
farmers to Teso.

President Yoweri Museveni has proposed a constitutional amendment under
which the Government can compulsorily acquire land for private investors.

Article 237 of the Constitution says the Government or a local government
can only acquire land in public interest for Government projects.

There were unconfirmed reports that many of the former Zimbabwean farmers
have resettled in Uganda while others have moved to Mozambique, Zambia and

Zimbabwe's white-run Commercial Farmers' Union earlier this month claimed
that evictions of the few remaining white farmers were continuing.
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The Herald

Talks agenda will not be set through Press: Shamuyarira

Herald Reporter
THE agenda for the proposed talks between Zanu-PF and MDC will only be set
by the two parties’ delegations when they meet and not through the Press,
Zanu-PF secretary for information and publicity Cde Nathan Shamuyarira said

Cde Shamuyarira was responding to a list of items on the MDC drafted agenda
published in The Daily News yesterday dropping the issue of President Mugabe
’s legitimacy, but insisting on the so-called restoration of political
liberties and cessation of political prosecutions.

"We will wait for the talks and dialogue between representatives of both
political parties," said Cde Shamuyarira. "We cannot negotiate in the Press
or in public. The agenda will be the subject of discussion for the

Cde Shamuyarira said if the talks were to be held, they would be behind
closed doors just like those held between the two parties last year.

"Last year when we held the discussions they were between the two groups
behind closed doors," he said. "Whether they agreed on issues or not it was
between them."

Cde Shamuyarira could not say when the talks were expected to start.

"I cannot speculate on the talks," he said. "I have nothing to say because
the groups have not started the talks and the negotiating teams have not

The MDC leaders presented their agenda for the talks to church leaders who
last week met both President Mugabe and MDC leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai
separately in a bid to revive talks between the two parties.

Cde Shamuyarira together with Vice-President Msika and Zanu-PF national
chairman Cde John Nkomo were part of President Mugabe’s delegation that met
the church leaders.

Zimbabwe Council of Churches president Bishop Sebastian Bakare led the
church delegation that included Reverend Trevor Manhanga, Bishop Patrick
Mutume, Reverend Charles Chiriseri, Mr Denson Mafinyane and Mr Goodwin

The MDC said one of the items on its agenda was that the High Court
challenge on President Mugabe’s re-election last year would go ahead.

The opposition party insisted on its agenda on the cessation of perceived
political prosecutions, restoration of political liberties, restoration of
economic stability and the restoration of law and order.

The other issues on the agenda were the alleged politicisation of food
relief, the establishment of a fair, just and equitable electoral framework,
constitutional reform and food security.

All the items on the MDC agenda were similar to those that constituted an
"ultimatum" to the Government early this year that led to the party’s
five-day violent mass stayaway in March.

Dialogue between Zanu-PF and MDC was stalled last year after the opposition
party filed an election petition at the High Court challenging President
Mugabe’s re-election.

President Mugabe indicated to the church leaders last week that Zanu-PF had
never opposed dialogue, but was concerned about the impediments caused by
the MDC.

The impediments included the opposition party’s refusal to recognise his
re-election and its subsequent challenging of his victory in the courts.

Other impediments were that the MDC was not an indigenous opposition party,
but one that was controlled by certain Western powers.
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The Herald

Tobacco auction floors resume sales

Business Reporter
TRADING at the country's three tobacco auction floors resumed yesterday as
management and tobacco growers agreed to wait for Government's official
response to a price adjustment of the cash crop.

It was a beehive of activity at Tobacco Sales Floor, Burley Marketing
Zimbabwe (BMZ) and the Zimbabwe Industry Tobacco Auction Centre (Zitac)
floors as trading went in full swing after last week's disruptions when
farmers protested over the low prices.

Officials from the three auction centres said business had gone back to
normal yesterday.

Tobacco Sales Floor managing director Mr David Machingaidze said 5 600kg of
the product went under the hammer by the close of business yesterday.

"The situation has gone back to normal. Farmers have agreed to continue
trading while waiting for a response from Government,'' he said.

Burley Marketing Zimbabwe managing director Mr Bruce Searles said business
progressed well yesterday.

"Trading was normal today, like any normal day without any disturbances. The
prices firmed with the highest grade trading around US$2 to US$2,85 per kg",
said Mr Searles.

Zitac general manager Mr Kennedy Chiramba also said the prices had firmed
substantially with the highest grade trading around US$3,15 per kg.

The growers went on strike on Friday in protest over low prices that were
being offered for the cash crop.

They were also pressing for a review of the exchange rate arguing that the
existing rate of $824 to the greenback was unrealistic.

In February, the Government promised to review the exchange rate on a
quarterly basis.

However, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Dr Herbert
Murerwa, has said that the Government was still assessing the situation and
would soon announce further measures to sustain the economy.

He would not disclose the exact date on which the new measures, including
the possible review of the exchange rate, would be announced.

Tobacco growers are demanding at least $2 000 for every United States dollar
up from the prevailing $824.

They are arguing that existing prices were unrealistic compared to
production costs.

The prices of various commodities shot up by more than 100 percent while
transport costs had become unbearable for the smallholder farmers.

Tobacco is the country’s largest foreign currency earner.

Last year more than US$430 million was realised from tobacco exports
representing 35 percent for the country’s total foreign earnings.

By the end of the selling season, close to 10 million kg of tobacco is
expected to have been sold at the floors.

Total output plummeted from about 200 million kilograms in 2000.
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The Scotsman

Africa's misery stems from human failings


IN THE past month, as the former dictator of Uganda, Idi Amin, was slowly
slipping towards an unmourned death in Saudi Arabia, I had the opportunity
to meet two of the new generation of African leaders, President Mbeki of
South Africa and President Obasanjo of Nigeria.

Thabo Mbeki is a small, dapper man who favours elegantly cut western suits
and who speaks softly - and surprisingly for the democratically elected
leader of Africa’s richest country, almost with a degree of shyness.
President Obasanjo, on the other hand, is a bigger and louder figure, much
more animated in his speech. He favours the elaborately colourful
traditional Nigerian cloth dress.

But in their very different ways, these two men from the two most powerful
black African states personify both the hope and the hopelessness of Africa
a generation after Amin was forced from power and some 50 years after the
imperial powers began to get out of Africa on the breath of the winds of

FIRST, the good news. Thabo Mbeki is a democrat in a country which has made
the painful transition from white minority rule. He lives in the shadow of
Mandela, and that is enough to keep most men honest. Meanwhile, in Nigeria -
a country impossibly split between Muslim north and Christian south -
President Obasanjo’s very existence is proof that military dictatorships
(from which Nigeria suffered for years) do not work. They impoverish their
countries, feed corruption and lead to the military being hated as parasites
and brutalisers. As far as the good news is concerned, that’s about it.
Almost everything else these days across Africa looks bleak.

For weeks, Obasanjo has promised 1,300 peace-keepers to go to Liberia as
part of a west African force to stop the country’s civil war, which has
raged on and off since 1990. The problem, as the president explained it to
me, was that his men could not get into Liberia without outside assistance.
He means the kind of big transport planes that the Americans use. When I
pressed him on this, he said a previous peace-keeping role in the Nineties
had cost 1,000 Nigerian lives and billions of dollars while Nigeria had not
received any debt relief from rich western countries. The result is that
peacekeepers which were talked about in June and said to be ready to go in
July, by early August still had not set off.

I asked the president whether under such circumstances there were African
solutions to Africa’s problems. The British had brought order to Sierra
Leone and the French brought order to Cote D’Ivoire. It might take the
Americans to bring order to Liberia.

President Obasanjo replied that he never claimed there were African
solutions to all Africa’s problems.

Well, fine. Except that at the other end of the continent, in Zimbabwe, that
is exactly what is being claimed. President Mbeki of South Africa (assisted
by President Obasanjo) is supposed to be helping solve the problems of
Zimbabwe, which are said to be "internal matters" and a problem for
Zimbabweans themselves.

When I talked to President Mbeki, he claimed that talks were going on
between the Mugabe government and the opposition. The opposition - (who you
might think would know) - denied strongly that any talks were taking place.
Meanwhile, President Mbeki presides over a country where AIDS and TB are
devastating the most productive young people in a relentless plague made
worse by the inability or unwillingness of the government to provide the
latest drugs and healthcare advice to those who are suffering.

And so, 50 years after de-colonisation began, Africa is a continent of
biblical misery. The root cause is human incompetence rather than acts of
God or the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. The famines in Ethiopia and
Zimbabwe are largely the creation of men. The destruction of the Congo, of
Sierra Leone and Liberia, were all fuelled by greed for diamonds and other
resources. Those of us on the outside see Africa as the face of a starving
child, an AIDS mother or a drug-addled teenage thug with a Kalashnikov.

For us, too, there is a simple, almost biblical choice. We can pass by,
shrug our shoulders and say that Africa is hopeless. Or we can do what we
can. I suggest that despite the air of hopelessness, we have no choice but
to do what we can.

INCIDENTALLY, when it comes to Africa’s variety, nothing quite prepared me
for an interview with a tall black man with an African name I had to
interview live on BBC News24 a year or so ago.

"What part of Africa do you come from?" I said as he sat down in the studio.

"Peckham," he replied, in an impeccable Sarf London accent. As Pliny wrote:
Out of Africa, always something new.

Gavin Esler is a presenter on BBC2’s Newsnight.
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It is the MDC view that the current crisis in the country is multifaceted and has political, economic, social and humanitarian aspects to it.  However, at the core of the crisis are issues of governance and the people’s freedoms and liberties to determine their destiny through free, fair and open elections.  Election times should be times for celebrating our freedoms, liberties, independence and sovereignty in the process of choosing those in whom we wish to repose the power of government.  Unfortunately, this has not been the case.  We need to return to a situation where we can hold elections whose results are not contested and are pulpably a reflection of the will of the people.  In order to do this there is an urgent need to address the following issues without which there cannot be a return to normalcy.
1.                 Restoration of Political Liberties
This should involve a return to a fully democratic political environment in which every citizen is free to participate in the political processes in the country.
a)     This should involve restoration of freedoms of association, assembly, movement, demonstration, expression or speech as well as an end to all forms of political violence against persons and property.
b)    The militias trained and deployed under the guise of national service should be disbanded.
c)    War veterans should be restored to a civilian role
d)    Repressive legislation such as the Public Order and Security Act, (POSA) and the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) should be repealed or at the very least extensively amended to remove all offending provisions which are inimical to the enjoyment of political freedoms and liberties which underpin any democratic political system.
e)     The Public media must serve all the people and therefore must not stand in support of any political party but must provide a medium of communication of all Zimbabweans of different political persuasions so that their voices can be heard by the entirety of the nation.
f)       The police should be restored to a professional, non-partisan role in which they apply the law of the land evenly, impartially regardless of political opinion or affiliation.  This must involve a full restoration of the rule of law where every citizen is fully amenable to the law of the land and all are equally protected by the law regardless of their political persuasions and/or objects.
g)    The persecution and prosecution of the private media must stop.
h)    All areas of Zimbabwe must be accessible to all political parties.  Freedom of movement throughout Zimbabwe must be guaranteed in practice so that every political party can canvass for support in any area of Zimbabwe.
2.                 Cessation of All Political Prosecutions.
All politically motivated prosecutions across the width and breadth of the country must be discontinued.  All political prisoners should be released.  Political arrests and detention must cease.
3.                 Stopping Torture
The use of torture, either by state security agents or political activists of all kinds, as an instrument of political coercion or as an investigative tool must come to an end.  After all, it is completely prohibited by international law.
4.                 Depoliticisation of Food Relief and General Provision of State Services
The use of food aid as a political weapon of coercion must be stopped, particularly by state agencies such as GMB.
5.                 Establishment of a Fair, Just and Equitable Electoral Framework
Without a transparent, fair and just electoral regime Zimbabwe’s political crisis cannot be solved.  It is imperative that there be an agreement on the creation of an electoral regime which secures or rather which will deliver free and fair elections in future.
6.                 Restoration of Law and Order
Law and order must be restored throughout the country. All areas of Zimbabwe must be secure for all Zimbabweans regardless of political affiliation or persuasion.  Resettlement areas should not be a preserve of supporters of one political party and should not operate as terror areas and open prisons for those not disposed to support a particular political party.  Everyone who resides in a settlement area or who visits one should be completely secure in their person and property.
7.                 Restoration of Economic Stability
There must be agreement on how to deal with the free falling economy, particularly on measures to address the energy crisis, the currency crisis, inflation, etc.
8.                 Restoring Zimbabwe Into the Comity of Nations
There should be agreement on how to return the country to friendly relations with the rest of the world, i.e. with individual nations as well as with multilateral institutions such as the Commonwealth, the European Union, the IMF ad the World Bank.
9.                 Constitutional Reform
A programme for comprehensive constitutional reform is necessary and must be agreed upon so as to remove one of the major sources of political instability and contestation in the country.  Such constitutional reform should guide us in returning to full political legitimacy.
10.            Food Security
Measures for ensuring national food security need to be agreed upon to include internal food security as well as the importation of food.
Professor Welshman Ncube
Secretary General
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Daily News
Mandela is an embarrassment to Africa’s dictators
 WHEN former United States president Bill Clinton left the White House, he was at one time spotted in a supermarket parking lot in a small New York town. He was obviously mobbed by well-wishers.
One of them simply pumped Clinton’s hand and thanked him for his services during the previous eight years as president. Clinton submissively retorted: "It was an honour to serve you."
The modesty struck me. The sincerity. The humility. Genuine leaders are made of this.
Sadly, on my home continent, I find no leader who can surpass that. In all honesty, I can’t see the president of my country stooping so low as to say such a demeaning thing to a voter, a voter who may not even hear him after his eardrums had been busted by pro-president thugs during the preceding presidential campaign.
Dictators and democrats around the world don’t know what to do about a man called Nelson Mandela – you might have heard of him. Sociologists, commentators and political analysts have all tried to explain the man and they always fall short.
They even try, but fail, to exaggerate what the man is. He seeks no publicity, but the Press, both local and international, will not leave him alone. The people and the Press fail to understand how the man is what he is.
But I have noticed though that when dealing with Mandela, people are always honest and genuine. Amusingly, they fail to connect with the frighteningly simple fact that he is an enigma to them because he is just honest and genuine. He is unlike other African leaders who find pleasure in cruelty, who always have a self-serving agenda behind their memorised speeches and well-practiced, rehearsed answers to prepared questions.
Mandela does not exaggerate himself like most of our weather-beaten dictators.
The Europeans and Westerners, who can never believe anything good can come out of Africa, seem confused by the reality that the world’s most revered statesman is an African, a black African not an African Arab.
True to their cunning, they say if you can’t beat them, then join them! Now we see European presidents and prime ministers; we see kings and queens and other hardly impressive royalty falling over each other for a photo opportunity with Mandela, or just to simply shake his hand.
I was severely touched by the manner in which the world reacted to Mandela’s 85th birthday. It was a highly eloquent statement of what the world thinks of Nelson Mandela.
As I thumbed through volumes of magazines, specials and newspapers, I felt truly humbled by a man I have never met. The world noted with great appreciation that Mandela has been gifted with an appreciably long but very influential life. His gift of self, his demeanour seem to have made him accomplish more while in chains than as a free man.
The heart of the matter is that Mandela is a constant embarrassment to African presidents because he does not fit their mould.
He has proved that brutality, greed, corruption and viciousness are not African traits, but are qualities of individual African dictators who find pleasure in cruelty. Forgive me, for I am just an admirer like millions of others.
I am, however, a writer, a journalist who during my training was warned about being emotional when writing. I was taught to avoid being emotional and logical at the same time. But now I experience the perfectly normal and unavoidable sense to feel what I think as I write. I have discovered that emotion does not necessarily cancel out reason, nor does reason exclude emotion.
I must therefore acknowledge the man whose decency has infuriated me. He shattered my belief that Africa, with its murderous, oppressive, violent tradition streaming one way from ruler to the governed, could produce a son of his stature.
Mandela annoys me because I now know Africa can produce the best of humanity; I grew up being taught otherwise.
Now Europeans and Westerners do not view Mandela as African, but as a product of their influence. This is helped by the fact that African leaders have been unlike him. They watch and even sanction the murder or incarceration of political opponents. They starve their people. They steal from their people and turn their countries into presidential pantries.
It is Mandela who makes me feel cheated when I look at presidents of Africa from Charles Taylor in Liberia to Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe (God have mercy!) and from callous Muammar Gaddafi to brutal Denis Sasso Ngueso. I feel cheated. Why did Mandela have to set such a standard? Why is he easily a person so full of humility when the rest of us are trying but failing just to be people?
He served one term just to please the people for their efforts. He stepped down with humility but most importantly with sincerity.
I do not know how many other former presidents the likes of Oprah Winfrey repeatedly visit. Even former president Bill Clinton came for the birthday party. The acknowledgments are there and it pleases and pains me to see Madiba effortlessly acknowledging and without hypocrisy, appreciating a world that imprisoned him for a very painful, wasteful and unforgettable 27 years. In the case of Oprah, I do not overlook what a few million dollars mean to disadvantaged children. But I also am aware of the fact that by giving through Mandela, the giver gains more out of the donation. These high profile visitors’ attention is not on Africa but on an African. They come, have dinner with him, hug him in front of TV cameras then dump some money for Mandela’s cause then go away only to reappear to try and renew non-existent acquaintances a year later. But I cannot be jealous. Mandela is not a son of South Africa nor is he a son of Africa. Mandela is a son of the world. I look to the skies and prod the heavens for an answer. How did it happen that God gave South Africa a Nelson Mandela and only gave us someone else? Was it because of the geographical divide of the Limpopo? Couldn’t the energetic waves of creation spill into Zimbabwe and give us even a watered down version of Mandela? I resign myself to reality and fate. I and my compatriots are stuck with Robert Mugabe while the South Africans are stuck with Mbeki. Maybe it’s not fair to Mbeki, coming so soon after Mandela, but he appears to be failing to put his mark on the political and economic history of the region. Now a Mr George W Bush had to fly all the way from America just to shake Mbeki’s shoulder while pointing at a map of Zimbabwe. One would have hoped that African leaders learned and observed the power of humility from Nelson Mandela. Mandela relinquished his freedom and accepted the necessity and authority of the law in order to achieve the desired goal of real permanent freedom for himself and his people. He remarkably shows no detectable hostility or bitterness towards those who unjustly robbed him of 27 years of his life. I note with respect Graca Machel did not try to change the man, but they just became a natural part of each other. She deserves my mention because it can’t be easy being married to the people’s man. By his deeds, Mandela succeeded to argue for the sovereignty of individual conscience, something other leaders are suppressing and killing others for. Happy birthday, Madiba! And thank you, Graca! By Tanonoka Joseph Whande Tanonoka Joseph Whande is a Zvishavane-based writer.
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Daily News
‘$60 billion needed monthly to maintain cash availability’  

THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) should be issuing bank notes at the rate of $60 billion a month to maintain the availability of cash in the country’s banking sector, according to the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)’s economic affairs committee.

Zimbabwe is experiencing severe cash shortages because of escalating inflation and foreign currency shortages that banking sources say have hampered attempts to import the special paper and ink needed to print bank notes.

The shortages have resulted in a black market for cash, where cash-rich individuals and businesses are selling money at a premium.

In its economic review for June, the committee said: “With about $200 billion in circulation as cash, the Reserve Bank should be issuing cash notes at the rate of $60 billion a month to maintain the availability of cash in the system.

“By ignoring the very rapid rate of inflation (the Ministry of Finance still thinks the rate will be down to 96 percent by the year-end despite the evidence to the contrary) and not bringing out new bank notes with a higher face value, the Reserve Bank is trying to meet demand by printing $50 and $100 notes.”

The committee, which comprises Tapiwa Mashakada, Tendai Biti and Eddie Cross, said the RBZ should move quickly to print $20 000 bank notes to acknowledge the high rate of inflation.

The country’s year-on-year inflation rose 300.1 percent in May, from 269.8 percent the month before. Analysts expect inflation to end the year at more than 500 percent, although the Ministry of Finance is looking to reduce it to 96 percent by year-end.

“It is now urgent that the government acknowledges the high rates of inflation and that bank notes with a much higher denomination are issued,” the MDC’s economic committee said. “We need $1 000, $2 000, $5 000

and $10 000 notes immediately, with a $20 000 bank note to follow before the end of the year.

“It is also time that coins were withdrawn from circulation. There is no point in issuing coins in an environment where a $10 note is worth the equivalent of two cents in South Africa.”

Business Reporter

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Daily News
Settlers cry foul over land allocations  

MASVINGO – New farmers resettled by the government in the sugarcane-growing Chiredzi area in Masvingo province have petitioned Agriculture Minister Joseph Made over what they say are irregularities by top civil servants and politicians in Masvingo in the allocation of land.

The farmers accused land officers here of unilaterally withdrawing land offered to them under the government’s controversial and often chaotic fast-track land reform programme.

The farmers also claimed in the petition that land officers had on several occasions connived with local war veterans to dispossess some of them of land already allocated to them by the


Powerful politicians and top civil servants are said to have moved onto the land grabbed from the new farmers.

The petition, which was also copied to provincial governor Josiah Hungwe read in part: "Whilst we appreciate the immense task our president has embarked on with regards to A2 cane farmers in Chiredzi, the programme is now being hijacked by some self-styled politicians and civil servants.

"First the issue of offer letters. A number of new farmers had their offers withdrawn for no apparent reason by the provincial lands officer Aibu Musanhu.

"Most of those affected are heavily indebted with loans they had accessed under the programme. We gather information that those affected plots would be re-allocated to relatives and friends".

Musanhu yesterday refused to speak on the matter unless authorised to do so by his superiors in the Agriculture Ministry.

He said: "I have not authority to comment but if my boss phones me and tells me to comment I will do that, but as of now I have no authority".

Made could not be reached for comment on the matter by the time of going to print last night.

Own Correspondent

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Daily News
SA wants Zimbabwe back in Club  

JOHANNESBURG – South Africa will actively campaign for Zimbabwe’s reintegration into the international community once formal dialogue between the government and opposition resumes in the neighbouring country.

Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Aziz Pahad said this week that there should be "no debate" about Zimbabwe’s re-admission into the Commonwealth once talks are under way.

Zimbabwe’s one-year suspension from the Commonwealth – imposed due to the flawed presidential elections – was extended to December following a dispute between the group’s member states.

Many African nations, led by South Africa and Nigeria, opposed the extension of penal measures, while countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Britain have pushed for harsher action.

The decision to extend the suspension was taken after Commonwealth secretary-general Don McKinnon canvassed the views of member states and found that this was a "broadly held view".

South Africa sharply criticised the move. Commonwealth heads of state will now decide on the issue when the group meets in December for its biennial summit.

Pahad said this week: "We are hoping for real movement in Zimbabwe long before the Commonwealth meets."

The Commonwealth body should be assisting in the process of reconciliation, not imposing penalties, Pahad said.

"We can’t continue to argue about Zimbabwe. It is best to engage with the parties and assist with the dialogue. Punitive actions are clearly not helping the situation," Pahad said.

While South Africa was "perpetually involved" in facilitating the talks, it had not been asked to mediate or chair the dialogue between the ruling Zanu PF and opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), he said.

"Our interest is not to get the limelight, but to get progress," Pahad said.

The Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), which meets in Tanzania later this month, is also expected to rally behind Zimbabwe in campaigning for its re-entry into the Commonwealth, and the easing of penalties by Europe and the United States.

SADC officials said President Robert Mugabe would, however, have to report "tangible progress" in the talks if his counterparts in Dar es Salaam were to throw their weight behind him.

Despite repeated denials by Zanu PF and the MDC that they were engaged in direct talks, it emerged last week that the two parties have been talking for several months.

Sources said talks had been in progress since May. The talks were to clear disputed issues before an announcement of formal dialogue.

MDC delegation leader to the talks, Welshman Ncube, and his Zanu PF counterpart, Patrick Chinamasa, have held numerous meetings to discuss the contested issues in last year’s agenda.

The talks stalled last year following the MDC’s court challenge of the election results.

Issues in contention include confidence-building measures; Mugabe’s legitimacy; political violence; constitutional changes; and the economy.

The two parties want to build sufficient confidence in the process of dialogue before talks restart. This is to prevent a collapse once again.

Progress has apparently been made in the removal of some hurdles.

Both parties have reached consensus on the issue of Mugabe’s re-election. The MDC has agreed to suspend its court petition challenging Mugabe’s disputed election victory, once formal talks resume. And Zanu PF has also agreed to the terms. The two parties have also agreed to deal with the issues of political violence, legislative reforms, changing of electoral laws and restoring civil and political liberties. Zanu PF and MDC delegates to the negotiations are exploring ways of coming up with a new constitution. This is seen as a short-cut to resolving the country’s crisis. If a new constitution is agreed upon, it could lead to fresh elections. In this case, most of the currently contested issues would be automatically addressed. Religious leaders have also stepped up efforts to see formal dialogue resume as soon as possible. On Friday, the MDC submitted its proposal on the agenda, and the way forward, to the leader of the church mediators, Bishop Sebastian Bakare. The MDC document contains issues such as the need to modify the electoral framework, the repeal of repressive legislation, the de-politicisation of the security forces, the disbanding of Zanu PF militias, the ending of political violence and the assurance of non-partisan distribution of food. The document also deals with economic issues, and proposes urgent measures to be taken to address the crisis. Zanu PF is expected to submit its own report to the church leaders this week. The clerics will formulate an integrated agenda, the terms for dialogue, and time-frames before the talks begin in earnest. – Sunday Times

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Daily News
Mission to sabotage talks pathetic  

It is pathetic to learn that some senior members of the ruling ZANU PF party have embarked on a mission to sabotage dialogue between the two main political parties.

Any sane person knows that our economy is going through a bad patch.

The damage afflicting our economy is to a larger extent a product of unnecessary bickering between ZANU PF and the MDC. At this juncture, it is imperative for the two political parties to engage themselves into meaningful dialogue for the benefit of our tattered economy.

Come to the negotiating table now!

A Pendeke


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Daily News
Everyone blames someone for worsening crisis  

"I am not the one!" These five little words must make up the most commonly used phrase in Zimbabwe today.

Everyone from local councillors to provincial administrators, policemen and Cabinet ministers say they are not the ones. They are not the ones responsible for food, fuel and bank note shortages.

They are not the ones responsible for the man-made famine which has left us begging for international food aid for the last three years.

They are not the ones responsible for the 365 percent inflation, over 70 percent unemployment and half a million destitute ex-farm workers.

Like a group of little junior school children who have just broken a window with a ball, all the men and women who lead and govern our country have become masters of the art of blaming someone else.

The shortage – or to be accurate I should say the non-existence – of bank notes in the country for the past month has produced an extremely confusing reaction from the government of Zimbabwe.

First, there has been the establishment of the now predictable "task force" made up of a peculiar assortment of Cabinet ministers.

Why the junior Minister of Information, or the Minister of Defence should be involved in finding out where all the money’s gone, I’m not sure.

If they are going to follow the usual procedure, the task force will now probably have to hold workshops and seminars before they can tell us why we can’t get our own money out of the banks.

Then they’ll present a preliminary report which will have to be "audited" by another commission and then maybe they’ll tell us what we already know – there just isn’t any money left in the banks.

Aside from the task force, the Minister of Finance has announced a ban on the hoarding of money. I wonder if there’s going to be an amount pegged to the ban. Will it be $20 000, or perhaps $100 000?

Will it now be a crime for an employer to hold enough cash back from his daily takings so that he can pay the wages of his workers?

While the investigations are being made and the bans imposed, the Minister of Finance tells us that we should all rush to the banks and hand in our red $500 notes because they will soon cease to be legal tender.

What are they going to be exchanged for though? How can the people of Zimbabwe be expected to hand in the red note before being offered something to exchange it with?

Then the Minister of Finance tells us that after all the red notes have been withdrawn, the government will introduce another colour bank note also worth $500.

I can’t see the sense of this when just a few weeks ago, the Reserve Bank said they didn’t have enough foreign currency to import the security paper on which money is printed.

If the government didn’t have the forex a month ago to print the much talked about $1 000 notes, how are they suddenly going to find the money to print two new notes?

Most confusing of all, though, is the reaction by the government and the flurry of activity to resolve the problem of the non-existence of bank notes. When we completely ran out of petrol and diesel two months ago, there was no flurry and no hurry.

While we’ve staggered on for weeks and been forced to walk, cycle or simply not move around, the government of Zimbabwe has done absolutely nothing.

Everyone knows that some petrol and diesel supplies are continuing to come into the country through various means, but that every drop of every litre is being sold on the black market and yet the government does nothing to stop it.

There is an old saying which goes: "I’m alright Jack, so pull up the ladder." This saying is never more true than in Zimbabwe today. While our government and its supporters are alright, while they are able to get fuel, bread, maize-meal, sugar and cooking oil, they are alright and have pulled up the ladder which hangs down into the dark hole in which the rest of us are writhing. But now, when there are no bank notes for the wheeler dealers and the men and women who continue to control the black market, there is a flurry of activity. Why has there not been a similar response to a country being run entirely by a black market? Why are these people who run the black market and who are holding the nation to ransom, not being arrested, charged and imprisoned? Could it be that they use their political connections to stay in business or could it be the fact the police too are "not the ones" because "it is political" ? The Minister of Finance has not admitted that he is "The One" responsible for the non-existent $500 note. The government have led us to believe that that there are huge warehouses over the border stacked to the roof with $500 notes. They have not said that when something like a loaf of bread costs $300 one day and $1 000 the next, it makes sense to even the simplest of simpletons that we will need a heap of extra notes in circulation. I do not have a degree in economics, so I know in this case I can say in all conscience: I am not the one. I believe that our President has a degree in economics, I’m sure Herbert Murerwa has too. Maybe they can make more sense of this than me. By Cathy Buckle

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Daily News
Time to put differences aside  

I believe this is the time for the two belligerent parties, ZANU PF and MDC, to put aside gluttonous gormandisers within their parties who oppose talks because they benefit from the malady that is feeding on the flesh of unfortunate Zimbabweans.

People are toiling, reeling under this relentless maladministration of our socio-economic affairs by the powers-that-be. We need leaders with moral rectitude, not those with dubious credentials.

In 1979, the Lancaster talks were attended by tough-talking leaders with Zimbabweans at heart. Those in opposition of the new order that time were also critically aware that people were, and had been, subjected to an extremely long period of suffering.

A solution was needed.

The selfish tendencies to want to maintain the present status quo is untenable. In this way, we may eventually be courting the unthinkable – another armed confrontation.

When the Russians could not get their government to reform, they (The Socialist Revolutionary Party) resorted to violence targeting government officials in an undeclared war that saw many ministers and other people dying between 1880 and 1911.

Let’s talk honestly, both sides.

We, the mud-splashed people, are in need of a normal life in Zimbabwe. We need to catch up now with other southern Africans and stop being caricatures at a time when others are progressing.

Check the growth rate of our eastern neighbours who we used to despise. Do leaders really care about the image they give their country when nationals cross borders pathetically cap-in-hand for subsistence?

Ini ndosvoda ini. Nyika yaimbove zidziva yave zizambuko, yofambwa navanamudune namagwavava! (I’m so ashamed of the situation. A country which which used to be well-run has now been run-down. The country has gone to the dogs). We need patriotism.

Mark Zabron Mponda


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Daily News
End impasse to avert collapse

 REPORTS that the University of Zimbabwe (UZ)’s medical school has been
forced to reduce its intake because of the exodus of lecturers should be a
major cause for concern to a nation whose health delivery system has been
severely compromised because of inadequate staffing at public hospitals and
According to reports in the public Press yesterday, the UZ, the country’s
premier institution of higher learning, has been forced to reduce its
student intake for the new academic year that starts this month from 120 to
70. About 15 lecturers are said to have resigned in the past year, leaving
only five people to handle the workload.
Because of the decline in staffing levels, the university’s faculty of
pharmacy is said not to be taking new students for the new academic year.
Yet, Zimbabwe urgently needs both doctors and pharmacists, about 30 of who
are said to have left the country in the past two years in search of better
pay and working conditions.
Of course, the problem of inadequate staff is not restricted to the medical
school nor, indeed, to the University of Zimbabwe alone.
As we reported last Friday, lecturers from all the country’s state
universities are unhappy with their working conditions and have given the
government until 7 August to respond to several demands or face unspecified
action. The lecturers are demanding monthly salaries of between $700 000 and
$5.7 million, which they say will put them at par with their counterparts in
the southern African region and will enable them to survive Zimbabwe’s
hyperinflationary environment.
Even before the expiry of the 7 August deadline, representatives of the
lecturers are accusing the government of ignoring their plight and taking a
"casual approach to (their) grievances".
While it must be obvious to most observers that the government does not have
the money to pay lecturers even a fraction of what they are asking, there is
need for the relevant officials to urgently engage the country’s academics
over this very important matter.
It will serve neither the government nor the nation to ignore the lecturers’
grievances and hope the whole problem will go away, something the government
has, unfortunately, become a master at.
Indeed, failing to urgently and adequately respond to doctors, lecturers,
nurses and pharmacists’ grievances is partly responsible for the mass exodus
of medical personnel and university teaching staff in the past few years.
It is important that the Higher and Tertiary Education Ministry does not
allow the crisis at state universities to deteriorate any further and then
attempt to come up with solutions only when the government can no longer
ignore the problem. It would be criminal, for instance, to turn a blind eye
until the five lecturers said to be left at the UZ medical school have also
thrown in the towel in disgust.
It would also be short-sighted if the government were to ignore the looming
crisis at the country’s tobacco auction floors, where growers are agitating
for a review of the exchange rate.
Trading was halted twice last week as tobacco farmers demanded that the
exchange rate be devalued to $2 000 against the American greenback from
$824. With Zimbabwe battling severe foreign currency shortages, it is
important for the government to urgently engage tobacco growers to ensure
that trade is not disrupted again.
Engaging the many disgruntled sections of the country’s population to avert
intemperate action is about all the government can do at this stage, unable
as it is to come up with sustainable solutions to Zimbabwe’s crises.
Isolated from the rest of the world, hamstrung by smart sanctions and unable
to secure crucial foreign investment or financial aid, Zimbabwe’s leaders
clearly do not have the capacity to tackle the root causes of the country’s
It must be clear by now to most right-thinking Zimbabweans, among whom we
hope we can include at lease SOME officials of the government, that
addressing the concerns that have been raised by the international community
in the past four years cannot be put off for much longer.
No time can be lost in restoring the rule of law and property rights,
stemming political violence, restoring political liberties and, most
importantly, holding fresh elections under conducive conditions so that
their outcome is not disputed. This, and nothing less, is the only option
left to the government if it is serious about reversing the damage inflicted
on this nation in the past few years.
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Daily News
Government fires ZESA board, retains Gata  

THE government has fired the entire board of its cash-strapped Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) but is understood to have retained President Robert Mugabe’s brother-in-law Sydney Gata, who doubled up as chairman of the dismissed board and chief executive officer of ZESA, it was learnt yesterday.

Insiders at the debt-ridden power utility said the ZESA board, which had clashed with Mugabe over what he said was its failure to expedite the government’s rural electrification programme, was effectively dissolved on 21 July.

A new board had already been picked and Energy Minister Amos Midzi was expected to announce it in the next one to two weeks, the well-placed source told the Daily News yesterday.

"Gata and all the other seven ZESA board members were issued with their letters of termination of service to the power utility on 21 July and were signed by the permanent secretary in the Energy and Power Development Ministry, Justine Mupamhanga," said a ZESA source, who spoke on condition he was not named.

He added: "The board members were thanked for their services to ZESA but the information that we have is that Gata will remain in charge until other new board members are announced."

The source said Gata, against whom ZESA workers held demonstrations in June this year saying they wanted him fired from the state power company, was being retained as a board member.

It could not be immediately established in what capacity Gata, who was the only executive member of the dismissed board, was being retained.

Gata yesterday refused to speak on the matter only saying: "The new ZESA holdings board will be announced by the minister."

Midzi and Mupamhanga could not be reached for comment on the matter by the time of going to print last night.

Mugabe in June called for the dismissal of the ZESA board which he accused of failing to quicken the provision of electricity in rural areas.

Analysts say Mugabe views the electrification project as an important vote-catcher for his ruling ZANU PF party which is grappling with its worst economic crisis since taking power 23 years ago.

But observers say the old board could not have achieved much on the government’s favourite project because ZESA does not have enough cash resources to finance the electrification of rural Zimbabwe.

The old board, whose other members were Joshua Chifamba, Wilbert Mubayiwa, the vice-chairman, Timothy Chiganze, Gata, Tichaona Manyika, Thembiwe Mazingi, Peter Madara and Ernest Matienga, was appointed in August last year.

By By Precious Shumba

Senior Reporter

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Daily News
Electoral fraud on: MDC

THE opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party yesterday accused the government of clandestinely registering voters to boost the ruling ZANU PF party’s chances of winning urban council elections scheduled for the end of this month.

MDC secretary-general Welshman Ncube said his party was still compiling a catalogue of the people registered after closure of registration for the local government polls at the end of June.

Ncube said his party, which is already challenging the nomination of candidates in Chegutu town – where it claims its candidates were prevented from submitting nomination papers – will challenge in court the alleged illegal registration for the council elections.

He said: "These things have been happening all over the country. We have a catalogue of all these malpractices and we are going to challenge this daylight electoral fraud in the courts. We are already preparing for that.

"It is not just the illegal registration of ZANU PF supporters that we are dealing with. We also know that the government is using Central Intelligence Organisation and army officers to run the elections and this is meant to rig the elections.

"It is like a repeat of the elections we have had before where electoral fraud takes centre stage."

Registrar-General (RG) Tobaiwa Mudede, who is in charge of registering voters, was not available for comment on the matter. His office said he was busy attending meetings.

Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi, under whose portfolio the RG’s Office falls, however denied that people were still being registered for urban council elections on 30 and 31 August.

Mohadi said: "There is no truth in that. I would have known about it if people were still registering. People always make unfounded allegations when we are going towards elections. There is no story there."

A spokesman for the government’s Electoral Supervisory Commission (ESC), which oversees elections in Zimbabwe, also denied voters were being registered for the upcoming local government elections.

The ESC’s Thomas Bvuma said: "We are not aware of any voter registration that is taking place. Advertisements were placed in the Herald of 1 July and the Chronicle of 2 July announcing that voters’ rolls for these elections had been closed so there can’t be any registration taking place."

ZANU PF spokesman Nathan Shamuyarira could not be reached for comment on the matter but an official of the ruling party in Manicaland province, allegedly one of the areas where voters are still being registered, confirmed people were being registered as voters. But the official said the registration was for future elections and not for the council elections this month.

"Voter registration is an ongoing exercise and it doesn’t stop because you have an election coming. But what I can assure you is that all those who are registering now are not going to vote in the elections," said Mike Madiro, who is ZANU PF’s chairman for Manicaland.

He added: "They will only participate in future elections. In any case, how does one know whether those who are registering will vote for ZANU PF? Voting is secret and they might be MDC, National Alliance for Good Governance or Zimbabwe Union of Democrats supporters. The allegations by the MDC are lame."

A candidate for the MDC, who is contesting for the job of executive mayor of Mutare city in Manicaland, Misheck Kagurabadza, accused ZANU PF councillors in the city of launching a campaign to register supporters of the party way after registration for the local government elections ended.

Kagurabadza said: "We have established that some ZANU PF councillors are working with some people from the ESC and the RG’s Office to register their supporters illegally."

ZANU PF, which has lost nearly all major elections in urban councils to the MDC since the opposition party’s birth in 1999, battles it out with the MDC in about nine municipalities across the country.

But there have already been allegations of unfairness in the polls with the MDC complaining that at least 30 of its candidates in several municipalities were unfairly disqualified after they failed to submit nomination papers because ZANU PF militants chased them away from nomination courts.

Staff Reporter

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Daily News
ANZ files $58 m defamation suit against Moyo, Herald

ASSOCIATED Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ) has filed a $58 million defamation suit against Information and Publicity Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo, the state-owned Zimbabwe Newspapers (ZIMPAPERS) group and Nathaniel Manheru, a columnist for ZIMPAPERS’ flagship Herald newspaperANZ publishes The Daily News and its sister weekly, the Daily News on Sunday.

ANZ secretary and chief legal adviser Gugulethu Moyo yesterday said the newspaper publisher had instructed its lawyers to issue summons against Moyo in his personal capacity.

She said the ANZ was suing Moyo over various statements he allegedly made in the state media claiming that the company’s papers were being used by group non-executive chairman Strive Masiyiwa to destabilise the country.

Moyo is also alleged to have claimed in the offending statements that Masiyiwa was using ANZ papers to oust opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party leader Morgan Tsvangirai from that party so he could take over its leadership.

The ANZ official said: "ANZ has been extremely restrained in the face of highly defamatory and malicious attacks by Jonathan Moyo since he took over at the Department of Information and Publicity, but we have more than 300 articles in which he has made statements which were untrue, defamatory and highly prejudicial to the newspaper group."

She said Moyo had through the statements attributed to him deliberately sought to bring into question the integrity of the (ANZ) newspapers and their editorial staff.

Among the offending stories cited in the summons is an article carried in the Herald issue of 17 May. In the article in question Moyo attacked the Daily News, its staff and Masiyiwa over a story earlier published by the ANZ paper about a plan proposed by the international community to help lift Zimbabwe out of the economic crisis in the event a transitional government took charge of the country.

Moyo is quoted by the Herald saying: "If Strive Masiyiwa, who has been recently reported by some sections of the media to be harbouring presidential ambitions, imagines that he can improve his chances of leading an imaginary transitional government in Zimbabwe by using The Daily News’ outright fabrications, then he and his blue-eyed editors at The Daily News should think again."

Another defamatory article cited in the summons appeared in the Herald of 10 June. Moyo is quoted in that article accusing Masiyiwa of using the Daily News to destabilise Zimbabwe.

The government official is quoted saying: "Of late, Masiyiwa has been using the Daily News to push Tsvangirai beyond the brink into the abyss of lawlessness and anarchy while at the same inciting MDC hooligans and sections of the business community that advertise in the Daily News and which support Masiyiwa’s ambitions to lead the MDC, to break the law by either taking to the streets or locking out workers and consumers from business premises."

In the Herald of 14 June, Manheru allegedly wrote and ZIMPAPERS published and distributed an article suggesting that Masiyiwa owned and ran a newspaper "to advance his personal interests in opposition politics".

ANZ’s lawyers said the statements were wrongful and defamatory to their client and were intended to damage the newspaper group’s reputation and commercial interests.

The ANZ legal adviser said Moyo must produce before the courts proof that Masiyiwa had expressed interest through the Daily News that he intended to be the President of Zimbabwe.

The Information Minister would also have to provide evidence that Masiyiwa issued directives to editors at the Daily News to write stories to promote his alleged presidential aspirations.

Moyo had by yesterday not yet filed his papers at court responding to the ANZ suit against him.

Meanwhile the ANZ said it would have to enlist the services of a top defamation advocate from South Africa because local advocates were committed to other matters.

Court Reporter

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Corruption remains the number one enemy in this country          

Due to the limited space, I would like to highlight just two areas where I believe the police have done this country a great disservice.

Firstly, I refer to the recent murder cases committed by gardeners. The public might be impressed by the police that they managed to catch some of these murderers, but I am of the opinion that if the police had performed their work diligently, they could have prevented these tragedies in the first place.

On more than one occasion, our domestic workers disappeared with our properties. We provided all the details as well as the address of the suspect to the police but they never even went to apprehend the suspect.

The excuse was that there was no transport. But every time I phoned, I was told that the investigating officer was out on some other business with the police vehicle. One can’t help thinking that they use the police vehicle for their private business.

Counting on the incompetence of the police force, these thieves then became bold enough to steal and to kill as well.

Secondly, some police officers are busy on the road asking for spot fines that could eventually turn into bribes. Once bribed they would not hesitate to let people go even if the vehicles were not roadworthy. Is there any wonder that there are so many accidents on the road?

As a Malaysian resident here, I wish the best for this country. Corruption is considered as the number one evil in Malaysia. It is certainly one of the deterrents that keep the Malaysian investors away and perhaps other investors as well.

Concerned Resident


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Minimum deposits up          

SEVERAL local banks have hiked, while others are planning to increase, by at least 50 percent minimum deposits by existing and new personal account holders, in a bid to improve their revenue inflows in a hyperinflationary environment, it was learnt yesterday.

Most of the increases are effective from 1 August.

Trust Banking Corporation, for instance, now requires a new savings account holder to make an initial deposit of $100 000, which must be maintained in the account at all times.

This represents a 50 percent increase from $50 000.

The commercial bank will now only open a new Success current account for someone earning a gross monthly salary of $750 000, up from $250 000. Those wishing to open a Power current account must earn $1.5 million.

Trust is phasing out the Achiever current account, which had a low deposit requirement.

An official at Trust Bank said the adjustments had been necessitated by the escalating cost of maintaining clients’ accounts.

"We are trying to make sure we do not lose out by subsidising the maintenance of clients’ accounts," the official said.

"Unfortunately, because of the high inflationary environment, we will be forced to adjust our requirements when the need arises without much of a convenience to our valued clients."

NMB Bank Limited has also increased the requirement for new current account holders from $400 000 to $1.2 million, with effect from last week.

New NMB account holders must also have a certified three-month bank statement from another bank and if this is not available, a bank manager will use his/her discretion when dealing with the account application.

A savings account client at the same bank will have to keep $100 000 in an account at all times.

Kingdom Bank Limited has also advised its clients that it will, from 1 September, increase savings account deposits from $8 000 to $20 000.

Members of the public yesterday told the Business Daily they felt as if they were being slowly pushed out by local banks in favour of high-earning clients.

Analysts pointed out that most workers, whose incomes have not kept pace with inflation, could not afford to keep money in their banks, let alone a sum of $100 000.

"I think we might as well just close the accounts because $100 000 is what most people gross," a local bank client said.

But an official with a local financial institution said most banks were now more comfortable with a few high-value clients’ accounts rather than having a "glut" of clients with low-yield accounts.

The banks are also seeking to maximise on the number of people who are less reliant on cash transactions and use plastic money to reduce queues that have emerged as a result of cash shortages.

Business Reporter

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