by Own Correspondent Tuesday 16 February 2010
HARARE - At least 16 judges have received land seized from whites under
President Robert Mugabe's chaotic and bloody farm reforms, the Commercial
Framers Union (CFU) has said, raising questions about the impartiality of
Zimbabwe's judiciary when handling land disputes.
"To date approximately 16 High Court and Supreme Court judges have been
given farms under the land reform programme," the CFU said, in a report
released last weekend chronicling events starting in 2000 when invasions of
white-owned farms by Mugabe's supporters started.
"These same judges preside over litigation involving commercial farmers
attempting to enforce their rights," added the report that, however, did not
name the judges given land by Mugabe.
The report says since the beginning of land seizures 19 white farmers and 29
farm workers have been prosecuted and found guilty of remaining on their
properties "without lawful authority". The report, which does not name the
convicted farmers and their workers, is also silent on sentences imposed by
Under Zimbabwe's controversial land reform laws it is illegal for an owner
to remain on their farm after a specified period once the government has
acquired the land for purposes of redistribution.
The CFU - the main representative body for white farmers - said of the
approximately 4 500 white farmers in the country before the land invasions
began less than 300 remain controlling "less than 1 percent of Zimbabwe's
The report also said that some white farmers were able to continue farming
on land they were leasing from the new blacks owners to whom it was
allocated by the government.
Mugabe's land reforms that he says were necessary to correct a colonial land
ownership system that reserved the best land for whites and banished blacks
to poor soils, are blamed for plunging Zimbabwe into food shortages after
Harare failed to support black villagers resettled on former white farms
with inputs to maintain production.
In addition critics say Mugabe's cronies - and not ordinary peasants -
benefited the most from farm seizures with some of them ending up with as
many as six farms each against the government's stated one-man-one-farm
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai who formed a power-sharing government with
Mugabe 12 months ago has called for an audit to establish who owns which
land before an orderly land reform programme can be implemented.
But Mugabe's ZANU PF party is reportedly blocking the audit accusing
Tsvangirai wishing to use the farm audit to return land to former white
Mugabe has also refused to honour a November 2008 ruling by the Southern
African Development Community (SADC) Tribunal declaring his land reform
programme discriminatory and illegal under the SADC Treaty.
Article 6 of the Treaty bars member states from discriminating against any
person on the grounds of gender, religion, race, ethnic origin and
culture. - ZimOnline
by Basildon Peta in Brussels Tuesday 16 February 2010
MEMBERS of the European Parliament (MEPs) have urged EU ministers meeting
today to renew targeted sanctions on President Robert Mugabe and his
henchmen to punish them for lack of progress in implementing the global
political agreement (GPA).
The GPA is the power-sharing agreement signed in 2008 by Mugabe and former
opposition leader and now Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai at the behest of
southern African leaders and which gave birth to the Harare coalition
On the eve of the meeting by the EU Council of ministers to review the
sanctions, Geoffrey Van Hordern, the MEP, who spearheads the European
Parliament's campaign for freedom and democratic change in Zimbabwe and,
speaks for many MEPs outraged by Mugabe's conduct, said the sanctions must
be renewed because nothing much has changed in Zimbabwe despite last
February's inauguration of the unity government.
"Not much seems to have changed on the ground . . . ZANU PF activists
continue to harass journalists and MDC supporters, with the connivance of
police and army bosses. Mugabe still grasps the levers of power and manages
to trample on the basic rights of the Zimbabwean people. Key elements of the
economy are still controlled by the Mugabe clique," said Van Hordern in a
"Until Mugabe and his cronies step aside and there is real evidence of
change, including free elections and an end to harassment of the opposition,
then the EU must keep its measures in place. Contrary to the false claims by
Mugabe's people, these are not 'sanctions' against Zimbabwe but carefully
targeted measures against 203 individuals and 40 companies that have
supported the Mugabe kleptocracy."
He said the EU council of ministers must set an example and not let Mugabe
off the hook just when he is wriggling.
MEPs Olle Schmidt and Anna Gomes have also strongly spoken out in favour of
retaining the sanctions as they see little movement on the ground.
Some Zimbabwean civic society activists who participated at a meeting in the
European Parliament about two weeks back to review the first year of the
unity government even urged the tightening of sanctions against those
impeding the implementation of the GPA.
Differences of opinion had crept into the EU, ahead of today's meeting, with
some countries preferring a softening of the targeted measures to encourage
the implementation of the GPA.
But as the EU works by consensus, sources said the view that was likely to
prevail was that of retaining the sanctions on the individuals targeted
despite efforts by Morgan Tsvangirai to have them lifted.
If the EU ministers agree on any softening of the sanctions, these would be
limited to the names of some of the 40 sanctioned companies only, the
A meeting recently held in Denmark by the country desk officers responsible
for Zimbabwe in some EU countries to recommend a position to the council of
ministers had eventually decided on retaining the measures despite strong
recommendations by some to heed Tsvangirai's calls to have them lifted.
The Harare unity government that came into office last February has been
credited with stabilising the Zimbabwe's economy to improve the lives of
ordinary citizens. But the administration has made no real progress in
implementing political reforms and ending human rights abuses after a year
In addition incessant bickering between Mugabe and Tsvangirai over how to
equally share executive power, the appointment of senior government
officials and the removal of Western sanctions threaten to cripple the
government and render it ineffective in the long run. - ZimOnline
by Own Correspondent Tuesday 16 February 2010
HARARE - South Africa's ruling ANC party has described neighbouring Zimbabwe's
power-sharing government as characterised by "confrontation and stalemate"
but lauded the one-year-old coalition for remaining intact despite the many
problems it has faced.
Former ANC and South African President Thabo Mbeki brokered the 2008
power-sharing deal between President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai that gave birth to the Harare coalition.
Current ANC and South African President Jacob Zuma is mediating in talks to
end a power-sharing dispute between the Zimbabwean politicians that is
threatening to cause more instability in their already shaky coalition
In a statement to mark the first anniversary of the Harare coalition
government the ANC said: "The unity government has been marked by
confrontation and stalemate. Coalition governments are said to be fragile by
nature. But despite the challenges the government has stayed together."
The unity government that came into office last February has been credited
with stabilising the country's economy to improve the lives of ordinary
Zimbabweans. But the administration has made no real progress in
implementing political reforms and ending human rights abuses after a year
And incessant bickering between coalition partners over how to equally share
executive power, the appointment of senior government officials and the
removal of Western sanctions on Mugabe and his top allies threaten to
cripple the government and render it ineffective in the long run. -
Harare, February 16, 2010 - Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said
Zimbabwe is drawing an urgent drought mitigation plan as the country's food
situation has reached "catastrophic" levels with most parts of the country
having received below normal rainfall.
"I'm sure we are already faced with a drought disaster. It's already in the
plans of government to come up with a drought mitigation plan," he said.
He said at least USd 500 million will be required for food aid this year.
Tsvangirai last week undertook a food assessment tour that saw him visit
Matabeleland and Midlands provinces. Tsvangirai described what he saw as
"disaster", saying climatic conditions and man-made activities had combined
to pull down a once vibrant agricultural sector.
"We all have witnessed a catastrophic situation in terms of the drought in
this part of the country. These provinces are drought stricken areas. We
already face an immediate food need. So we do not have much time and
therefore some capacity must be built to be able to alleviate this problem,"
"The challenge we have got is that of infrastructure rehabilitation which
certainly would go a long way to ensure that the food situation improves in
this country," he added.
Farm invasions have continued in Zimbabwe despite the new unity government,
a situation which has continued to worsen Zimbabwe's agricultural
Public Service Association Executive Secretary Emmanuel Tichareva said
government department heads in Harare and elsewhere have been taking down
the names of those who fail to show up for work, leading some of the
striking employees to return
Patience Rusere | Washington 15 February 2010
Amid mixed reports on the extent of participation by state workers in a
strike called February 5 over salaries, the Public Service Association has
charged that civil servants in Harare and elsewhere have experienced
intimidation by supervisors to discourage them from taking part in the
Public Service Association Executive Secretary Emmanuel Tichareva said that
government department heads in Harare, the capital, and eastern Manicaland
province, have been taking down the names of those who fail to show up for
work, leading some of the striking employees to return.
But the organization claims 80 percent participation in most locations
including Bulawayo, Gweru and Masvingo.
VOA was unable to obtain comment on the strike from Public Service Minister
Eliphas Mukonoweshuro or another senior official in the ministry.
Tichareva told VOA Studio 7 reporter Patience Rusere there have been no
talks with the government as the strike enters its second week.
By THULANI MLILO
Published on: 15th February, 2010
HARARE - Zanu-PF crook and CLERK of Parliament Austin Zvoma and the Speaker
of the House of Assembly, Mr Lovemore Moyo, have clashed again, this time
over procedures pertaining to the presentation of motions for debate.
A motion moved by Kudakwashe Bhasikiti (Zanu-PF, Mwenezi East) two weeks ago
on the need for MDC to call for the lifting of the sanctions on Zanu-PF
thugs ignited the latest spat, with the two arguing on how it should have
been brought before the House, a development observers described as an
attempt by the MDC - of which Mr Moyo is national chairman - to sabotage the
MDC legislators interjected when Zanu-PF crook Bhasikiti presented the
motion, prompting the House to
adjourn prematurely. Although he successfully moved the motion the next day,
it is still to be debated.
In an interview on Friday, Mr Moyo said there were some things that needed
to be "ironed out" before the motion could be debated.
"I am trying to check whether it was brought procedurally or not," he said,
without elaborating. It is believed that Mr Moyo wanted to have sight of the
motion before it was moved for debate.
However, in a detailed response to questions sent to him, Mr Zvoma yesterday
said it was not mandatory that the Speaker first have sight or be informed
of motions before they were tabled. "Clearly, there is a mistaken belief
that for a
Member of Parliament to give notice of motion, the Speaker must have prior
sight of the wording of the motion for him or her to consider whether to
prevent its publication or amend it.
"No presiding officer has those powers. "That is not supported by any rule
in the Standing Orders or in the Constitution," Zvoma said. He said
Honourable Members of Parliament were adults and "the role of the Speaker as
advised by Clerk of Parliament and other clerks- at-the-table is to
"Let me point out incidentally that Members of Parliament have co-operated,
although it is not an obligation, by bringing their draft notices of motions
to the Clerk or to the Papers Office for any editorial work and scrutiny for
"In other words, members have co-operated voluntarily not as a legal
obligation to have their motions vetted."
He said Bhasikiti had informed him about his intentions well before he
tabled the motion. "The clerk had sight of it and came to the con clusion
that it did not offend any Standing Orders and advised the Acting Speaker
On whether the motion violated the Global Political Agreement or not, the
Clerk of Parliament said that was a political rather than a procedural
matter and should be dealt with by inter-party, inter-caucus or inter-whip
Mr Zvoma said there had been debates on issues impacting on the GPA since
the formation of the inclusive Government.
"One such motion was by Mr (Settlement) Chikwinya (MDC Mbizo) in June 2009,
where the House was calling upon the
Minister of Media, Information and Publicity to constitute the Broadcasting
Services Board immediately to start grating licences and other media players
by August 6, 2009," Mr Zvoma said.
Mr Chikwinya called on the executive to bring before Parliament for
amendment or repeal all pieces of legislation that "curtailed" media
He said in October last year Mr Innocent Gonese (MDC Mutare Central) gave
notice to move a motion for a Select Committee of the House to be appointed
to investigate the violence that took place after the March 2008 harmonised
"After inter-party consultations, he voluntarily withdrew it from the Order
Paper, but he has now resuscitated it.
"Those are matters in the GPA," he said.
Mr Zvoma said Masvingo Urban legislator Mr Tongai Matutu brought a motion
calling for Parliament to set up a Commission of Inquiry to investigate the
Attorney General's conduct.
"This motion dealt with a matter of the AG, which was being raised at the
discussion of the principals. "So by any stretch of imagination, it is quite
clear that Hon Bhasikiti's motion is not outside the parameters prescribed
in the Standing Orders.
"If it touches on matters relating to the GPA, it is not the only motion in
this case, which does so." Zanu-PF and MDC-T legislators last week agreed to
defer Bhasikiti and Mr Gonese's motions to consider their implications on
current efforts for national reconciliation.
In what appeared to be an attempt to counter Bhasikiti's motion, Mr Gonese
had on Thursday moved his own motion calling for the appointment of a Select
In December, Zvoma and Mr Moyo were embroiled in a war of words after
accusing each other of over-reaching in carrying out their respective
Mr Moyo said Zvoma was encroaching on his territory with the latter
explaining that the Speaker seemed not to be conversant with his role as
outlined in the Constitution.
Two senior cabinet ministers encourage successful entrepreneurs in
neighboring South Africa to help revive moribund economy
Scott Bobb | Johannesburg 15 February 2010
Zimbabwe's two home affairs (Interior) ministers earlier this month told a
gathering of successful Zimbabwean businessmen in Johannesburg that the
government of President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
wants them to return to help revive the economy.
Mr. Mugabe's ZANU-PF party and Mr. Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic
Change jointly run the Home Affairs portfolio in the power-sharing
government that emerged one year ago.
The unity government has stabilized the Zimbabwean economy after years of
hyper-inflation and economic decline.
The home affairs minister representing ZANU-PF, Kembo Mohadi, urged exiled
businessmen who wish to invest in Zimbabwe to visit the country, saying
foreign media were responsible for the negative reports on the investment
"Investment opportunities in Zimbabwe are abundant and conducive for every
business interest. As a country and government we do not trample on
individual or property rights," Mohadi said.
The MDC Home Affairs Minister Giles Mutsekwa, said it is the duty of every
Zimbabwean to help rebuild the nation and he added that the government knows
it must make the business environment free.
"The main reason why we have come here is to give assurances, as the two
ministers who are responsible for the interior, that we will - the two of
us - endeavor to ensure that you come back home without any hindrance, most
importantly that you come back home without anybody victimizing you whilst
you are in that country," Mutsekwa said.
Several businessmen attending the event had experienced difficulties with
the Zimbabwean government. They had been "specified" which means their
companies had been taken over by government-appointed administrators after
they were accused of alleged illegal activities.
Critics say the controversial specification law has been used by some
individuals with political connections to raid profitable companies.
One of those present was John Moxon, the former chairman of the board of the
Meikles corporation that owns extensive tourism operations in Zimbabwe.
Moxon was specified amidst a dispute with the company's chief executive and
fled Zimbabwe after a months of harassment.
Home Affairs Minister Mutsekwa said a debate had been launched on whether
specification discourages investment and whether methods other than
specification could be used to investigate suspected law-breakers.
"That debate is going on. But while that debate is going on the two minister
of Home Affairs have taken it upon themselves that we will clear all
outstanding issues regarding specification," Mutsekwa said.
The head of the defunct Trust Bank, William Nyemba, who had also been
specified, said many businessmen are keen to return.
"And I can't wait to be going back home soon, I believe so, to go and
resuscitate Trust Bank. And if we can get the opportunity to try and help
rebuild our country, let's do so," Nyemba said.
Nevertheless, many foreign investors have been unnerved by recent moves on
profitable companies, including renewed seizures of white-owned commercial
farms and orders to some tourism operators to take on local partners.
A new law was published last week in the official government gazette that
would require foreign owners of major companies in certain sectors to sell
51 percent ownership to black Zimbabweans within five years.
The law was passed by the ZANU-PF controlled parliament before the
inauguration of the unity government. Prime Minister Tsvangirai has rejected
the law saying it was published without consulting the cabinet and would
scare away foreign investment.
February 16, 2010
At a Harare residents' meeting the clock seemed to have been put back 30
The ample, tree-shaded suburbs of Harare have undergone a fundamental
transformation in the 30 years since the city was Salisbury, capital of
Rhodesia, and the residents were all middle-class whites, except for their
retinues of what were known as house boys and garden boys. Harare's white
population collapsed from 112,000 to perhaps 12,000, while the black
population exploded from 340,000 to 1.6 million.
As the whites moved out, their spacious homes, lawns and herbaceous borders
were filled by the new middle-class black population. In some cases whole
areas were obliterated by neglect and turned into squalid townships. In
others the hedges stayed clipped and the sprinklers still sparkle on the
The retinues have been retained and, interestingly, they are still called
houseboys and garden boys, and still live in "boys' kias" (small houses in
the Rhodesian "kitchen kaffir" argot) in a corner of the boss's yard.
Last month a group of active residents organised the first meeting between
suburban residents and Harare city council's managers in a church hall.
Leaflets were dropped at 2,000 homes. I was not surprised that only 100
people turned up, but was stunned that everyone was white. The city managers
must have thought themselves hurled back in time to racist Salisbury.
A handful of blacks eventually arrived but the edginess remained: the white
residents were uncomfortable at being so numerous that they might provoke
suspicion; and the managers anxious that this crowd of whites was going to
turn on them for letting the Sunshine City fall into an urban chaos of
dumped garbage, potholed roads and uncut verges.
The tension sharpened when a large, fat, white man with a voice like a
factory hooter rose and boomed at the managers, jabbing a fat finger at
them: "You sir, I want to know, waddayou gonna do." It was about his house
in Kingsmead Road. "Next door is full of Chinese, dozens of them."
They were building an illegal four-storey dormitory to accommodate Chinese
workers in tiny rooms. "When my wife and daughter are swimming in my pool,
these Chinese stare at them over the wall."
It broke the ice. The residents laughed, cheered and clapped. The manager
knew all about the Chinese. He had been there to tell them they had no
planning permission, but none of them could understand him. Laughter.
Construction would be stopped and the building would be demolished, he said.
The whites cheered and clapped him too.
It opened the gates for us to vent our grouses, and we sympathised with the
city managers when they said the city has no money. Our mutual mistrust of
the Chinese was the catalyst for a comradely encounter.
Near the end, a middle-aged woman turned to confide in me breathlessly: "You
know, they've got an abbatoir near the airport. For dogs and pythons."
Something to crow about
One of the grouses was chickens. They are kept in suburban backyards
everywhere as a cheap food. Also, the group known in local culture as SRBs
(strong rural background), mostly in rundown suburban areas, keep poultry
because cockcrow is a vivid reminder of home.
My friend Desmond, who lives a few blocks away,is a journalist and his wife
used to bewell, "but now she is a chicken farmer", he said.
"We have a love-hate relationship with our neighbours. There are a lot of
"No, Desmond," I said. "They just hate you."
My neighbour Canaan has a rooster that starts crowing at 4.15am, scarcely
five metres from my bedroom window. It does a duet with the rooster of my
other neighbour, Venus. The farmyard ambience is engaging for a while, but
the crow of a cock is a raw, raucous bray. I asked Canaan's gardener to put
it in a box at night. He said there were actually seven roosters, but only
the one at the top of the pecking order does the crowing.
The next morning was deliciously quiet. I asked Canaan's gardener how he had
managed it. "We ate him," he said. The next day the second rooster in the
pecking order took over the crowing.
Pointless, wilful violence by soldiers, police, Zanu (PF) youth is still
part of living in Zimbabwe. People expect it anywhere, anytime. When it's
done you have your injuries seen to and go about your business.
Father Wolfgang Thamm, 76, a German Jesuit who has spent 51 years working
with the rural poor, was driving to visit a parishioner in November, when he
passed a barracks hear Harare and didn't notice four guards waving him down
until he was 20 metres past.
He reversed, opened his window and got a fist in his face. He was dragged
out of the car, punched again so he fell into a puddle of mud, where they
Last week the unheard of happened. The four guards were arraigned in front
of a magistrate on charges of assault. No one could remember such a thing
happening in 30 years of rule by Mugabe. It helps to have big strong friends
like the Catholic Church.
Published: 2010/02/16 06:58:01 AM
DID you know that white Zimbabweans may soon no longer be allowed to run
hairdressing salons? Apparently, part of the Indigenisation and Economic
Empowerment (General) Regulations 2010 passed by President Robert Mugabe’s
government specifies that certain industries will be available only to black
Zimbabweans. These include employment agencies, estate agencies, valet
services, grain milling, bakeries, tobacco grading and packaging, tobacco
processing, advertising agencies, milk processing and provision of local
arts. They also include barber shops and beauty salons.
Incredibly, they also include agricultural production of food. I suppose
that’s because there is such an oversupply of food in Zimbabwe that you
wouldn’t want just anybody growing it. The inclusion of “milk processing” is
also interesting, given Grace Mugabe’s investments in the milk business.
The legislation is intended as a kind of black economic empowerment process,
but has all the usual hallmarks of Zanu (PF) thuggery and brainlessness;
absurd, unworkable targets and deadlines.
In a memorable piece on Moneyweb, Zimbabwean Cathy Buckle writes: “We all
wondered what would happen when there were no more farms left to grab, now
“After a year of appeals, conferences and seminars to try and attract
investors back to Zimbabwe, everything was wasted in a single stroke this
week. A new regulation has just been gazetted requiring that all local and
foreign owned companies must hand over at least 51% ownership to ‘indigenous’
Zimbabweans. Multiple thousands of companies are going to be affected and
economists predict that many local industries will be forced into
But what’s interesting about these laws, which are so obviously and
flagrantly racist, is how little South Africans seem to care about it.
The African National Congress (ANC) Youth League cannot write a press
release without condemning racism, yet it cannot bring itself to condemn
racism that is happening now, in the country right next door. I guess racism
is not racism if the victims are not your own kind.
Johannesburg churches are overflowing with Zimbabwean refugees who prefer to
be on the winter streets of the city than in their own country. Yet ANC
leaders remain totally unmoved.
The legislation, being announced just before President Jacob Zuma ’s opening
of Parliament speech, was an obviously intended as a kind of “up yours” to
the South African government, which the South African government blithely
ignored, as it always does.
The foreign policy announcements Zuma made in his speech were really of the
most gloriously general kind. Zuma said SA would “intensify efforts to
promote the interests of SA globally”. Shock! He then mentioned the Southern
African Development Community, the African Union and the New Partnership for
Almost as much time was spent in the speech on broadband issues as on
foreign affairs, not including the Copenhagen climate change conference, if
that can be called a foreign affairs issue.
Foreign affairs was one of the areas where Zuma sought to differentiate
himself from the Mbeki administration. Mbeki was known for constantly
jetting off to some conference with the leader of this or that organisation
or international working group, at which long discussions would be held
about the necessity for global moral rectitude and more Scotch. By contrast,
Zuma intended to keep his focus local — something his party and supporters
clearly appreciated about his campaign.
But insisting that a neighbouring country which has ejected perhaps a
quarter of its population into SA should try to remain within the realms of
reasonable barbarism ought not to offend against this general approach.
Zuma needs to do more than just push for “a solution”. He needs to choose
And please let it be against one of the most openly racist regimes on the
Cohen is a freelance writer.
By SINIKIWE MPALA
Published on: 15th February, 2010
HARARE - The University of Zimbabwe has less than 500 of the required 1 200
lecturers forcing the institution to halt enrollment for some programmes,
Of the 211 lecturers needed in the Faculty of Science, only 32 are available
with the rest having gone either into private practice or crossed the
No students have enrolled for metallurgy and mining engineering this year.
UZ Vice Chancellor Professor Levy Nyagura said that the institution was
hiring expatriates to shore up its staff complement.
"We have two professors from the Netherlands who are serving in the civil
engineering department. "We also have some lecturers from Egypt who are in
the Veterinary Department, while some are from Belgium and are discharging
their duties in the computer science department," he said.
The UZ has also started hiring from universities in Zambia and Mozambique.
The highest paid lecturers at the UZ are getting US$290 a month while their
counterparts in South Africa get about US$1 500.
Prof Nyagura, however, said the situation had improved in the medical
department with the university recruiting seven lecturers last week.
"The situation here is being further eased by some senior Government health
officials whom we engage as part-time lecturers.
"Some of the officials travel as far as Bulawayo for at least two days per
week to Harare," said Prof Nyagura.
He said it was costly but necessary to maintain quality standards.
Reporting its findings on the status of UZ to Parliament a fortnight ago,
the Portfolio Committee on Higher Education, Science and Technology said
science-related faculties were the most affected.
Their report showed that the departments of animal science, metallurgy
clinical pharmacology and community medicine required 20, 13, 11 and 18
lecturers respectively but had none.
Other affected departments are computer and veterinary sciences where 26
lecturers are required but only two are available.
The report indicated that psychiatry, geo-informatics and engineering were
also not spared as the departments had one lecturer each against
requirements of 16, 10 and eight respectively.
The School of Medicine has a shortfall of 18 lecturers to meet the required
26. Anaesthetics, anatomy, and haematology have two lecturers each instead
of 16, 11, 10 and eight respectively.
The UZ has not enrolled students in metallurgy and mining engineering this
Government has cited illegal Western sanctions on Zimbabwe as the main
factor behind staff flight as the State fails to generate sufficient revenue
to pay competitive salaries.
Organisations like Usaid are currently on massive recruitment drives to take
Zimbabwean lecturers to work in Lesotho.
February 16 2010 ,
The Limpopo Department of Education has enlisted over 600 Zimbabwean
educators to teach Mathematics, Science and commercial subjects in the
province. The move is an attempt to jack-up the performance of Grade 12
Performance contracts have also been signed with senior managers and newly
appointed Head of Departments to reach a 60% pass rate this year. Limpopo
was one of the provinces that produced poor matric results in 2009.
The teacher shortage will also be influenced by the end of temporary
teachers' contracts by the end of next month. Limpopo Education MEC Dickson
Namane Masemola says the Zimbabwean teachers are doing wonders for the
Lack of classrooms
He further indicates that his ministry has set aside funds to cater for
bursaries for their top learners so they can further their studies at
tertiary level. Natural disasters at the beginning of the rainy season last
year have also contributed to lack of classrooms, which led to teaching
under trees and in the open. According to Masemola, they will be talking to
the Treasury to see how money can be allocated to attend to the problem.
Meanwhile, although the Department set aside about R44 million for scholar
transport until the end of this financial year, learners continue to walk
long distances to school. The Department intends to spend R100 million on
scholar transport in the coming financial year which will represent an
increase of more than 50%.
by Brain Chiwara Tuesday 16 February 2010
HARARE - More than 200 heads of leading international companies descended on
Harare on Monday to join at least 100 others who trooped into the country
last week to attend the International Tourism Investment conference, the
biggest such event since the formation of the country's power sharing
government in 2009.
The conference, which was due to officially kick off with a cocktail in
Harare last night, will begin today until Thursday and will see Zimbabwe
explaining its case to sceptical international investors and tour operators
to convince them that it remains one of Africa's safest investment and
The conference is being coordinated by Africa Investor, a leading
international investment research and communications company, which has
partnered with Government, through the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority.
At least 700 more local delegates are expected to attend the investment
Zimbabwe has suffered a decline in tourist arrivals after a spate of bad
publicity orchestrated by violent farm seizures, human rights violations and
disregard for the rule of law since 2000, dampened confidence in the
But the country's Tourism Minister Walter Muzembi told reporters at a
pre-conference meeting in Harare on Friday that his strategy was to make
2010 the year of investment after what he called the year of reengagement in
2009 when President Robert Mugabe and former foe Morgan Tsvangirai joined
hands to form an inclusive government.
"Last year was a year of reengagement for the tourism industry, 2010 is a
year of investment," Muzembi said.
"I met everybody last year from the king and queen of Spain to (British
Prime Minister) Gordon Brown even though my brother (US President Barack)
Obama felt threatened by me," he said.
"We are the 35th most attractive country in the world but in terms of
confidence we are ranked 122 out of 133 (countries studied by the World
Tourism Organisation). That gap between 35 and 122 is what we should
bridge," Muzembi added.
He said despite the impediments his ministry had faced as it tried to
reverse the decline in arrivals, Zimbabwe's tourism industry had bounced
back to recovery in 2010, putting up a 13-percentage point surge from -9
percent in February 2009 to a positive growth of 4 percent in November.
The industry is expected to grow by 10 percent this year, the minister
said. - ZimOnline
by Own Correspondent Tuesday 16 February 2010
JOHANNESBURG - South Africa's government on Monday said it plans to
introduce a new draft policy on land tenure this year aimed at quickening
the country's snail-paced transfer of land to landless black people.
Thousands of poor blacks are still waiting for the ANC government to deliver
on its promise on coming to power in 1994 when it set itself an ambitious
target of redistributing 30 percent of all agricultural land to the black
majority by 2014.
With four years before the delivery date the South African government has
only acquired about 4 percent of land from private owners for
redistribution, and says it needs to accelerate the process amid growing
unrest among the poor landless blacks.
The huge cost of acquiring land - estimated at R75 billion for 82 million
hectares of land - as well as problems in negotiating land prices under a
"willing-buyer, willing-seller" policy have prompted the government to
rethink its ambitious programme.
Land Affairs Minister Gugile Nkwinti said his department was working on a
policy framework that would set out how the government should go about
reversing inequalities in land ownership in which the white minority holds
87 percent of commercial farmland while black South Africans only own 13
"We are going to present to Parliament, very soon, a green paper . . . where
we open the debate about reviewing the whole land tenure system in South
Africa . . . that's the elephant in the room," Nkwinti told reporters.
"We must open the debate . . . on the 87 percent to 13 percent split in land
ownership in South Africa," Nkwinti said.
He said the green paper, which would be used as a framework for future
legislation, was almost complete and would be taken to Cabinet before the
end of March, before going to Parliament for approval.
"We are looking at finalising the whole process . . . (by) March 31 2012,"
South Africa - just like Zimbabwe - inherited an unjust land tenure system
from previous white-controlled governments under which the bulk of the best
arable land was reserved for whites while blacks were forced to crowd on
mostly semi-arid and infertile soils.
But South Africa, which has one of Africa's biggest farming sectors and its
biggest economy, has repeatedly said it will not follow the example of
Zimbabwe where President Robert Mugabe seized most of the farms owned by
that country's about 4 500 white commercial farmers and gave them over to
Harare refused to pay for land, saying whites had in the first place stolen
the land from blacks. The Zimbabwe administration said it would only pay for
improvements on farms such as buildings, boreholes, dams and roads - and
that it would determine the levels of compensation to be paid to farmers.
Farm seizures are blamed for plunging Zimbabwe - once a net exporter of the
staple maize grain - into severe food shortages since 2001 after black
peasant farmers resettled on former white farms failed to maintain
production because the government failed to support them with financial
resources, inputs and skills training. - ZimOnline
Harare, February 16, 2010 - Harare, dubbed the Sun Shine City could be
losing its shine after it was pronounced as the toughest city to live in
according to a survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
The EIU, the business information arm of the Economist Group, publisher of
The Economist magazine ranked Harare last out of 140 cities surveyed in its
2010 liveability survey.
The EIU said the on-going social and economic crisis in the troubled
southern African country ensures that Harare is still the worst of the 140
The EIU liveability survey assesses which locations around the world provide
the best or the worst living conditions. Assessing liveability has a broad
range of uses, from benchmarking perceptions of development levels to
assigning a hardship allowance as part of expatriate relocation packages.
The EIU's liveability rating quantifies the challenges that might be
presented to an individual's lifestyle in 140 cities worldwide.
Zimbabwe's ranking was worse than that of Senegalese capital Dakar ranked
130, Lagos 136 and Algiers at 138.
Canada's Vancouver once again topped a list of the top 10 most liveable
cities in the world, giving the Canadian west coast city an extra boost as
it opened the 2010 Winter Olympics.
There was little change in the top positions with Vienna, Melbourne and
Toronto still taking the second, third and fourth positions and the top 10
dominated by Canadian and Australian cities which took seven of the 10
HARARE, Feb 16 (AFP)
Morning in the Dzinamurungu household finds husband and father John washing
up under a tap of running water while his wife Gertrude prepares a large
breakfast for the kids.
It might appear a banal morning routine but such tasks have become a daily
source of pleasure for this Zimbabwean family, whose lives were a nightmare
this time last year.
"Now we have eggs in the morning. Before it was only mealie (maize) meal and
bread. Sometimes we had nothing because the shops were empty," said John.
"It started improving after the government of national unity."
And that's the point. A year ago, on February 11, 2009, a unity government
between President Robert Mugabe and bitter long-time rival Morgan Tsvangirai
took office in the face of an unprecedented economic meltdown.
The Dzinamurungu family are among the privileged in a nation where nearly
two million people -- 15 percent of the population -- are expected to need
food aid this year and unemployment remains sky-high after peaking at 94
percent in 2008.
But they, like others, say they are seeing signs of improvements in dozens
of small ways every day.
The coalition between the two leaders has more or less worked, off and on,
for the past 12 months, allowing for the partial resumption of international
aid and restoring at least a semblance of normality to Zimbabwean life.
In early 2009, the country's economy had ground to a halt as the Zimbabwe
dollar was left worthless in the face of hyperinflation estimated in
multiples of billions.
So the unity government abandoned the currency in favour of the US dollar,
stabilising prices and allowing the country to resume imports.
For middle-class families, the improvements are visible in every detail of
their daily routines, said John Dzinamurungu.
"Today petrol is affordable," he said as he climbed into his car to go to
"You can get petrol at any service station, unlike in 2008 when people were
almost sleeping in queues. Plus we had to queue to get coupons" to buy fuel.
On his way to the office, he dropped his youngest daughter, Ruvimbo, at the
private school she attends in southeast Harare.
"I had to change school because the teachers were not coming," she said.
Public school teachers went on strike for most of 2008, protesting salaries
whose value had been decimated by the rampant inflation.
After the launch of the unity government, they returned to work at a salary
of 150 dollars a month, but went on strike again earlier this month to
demand better wages.
Spiralling prices also sowed chaos for businesses.
"We had to reconfigure our computers because there were too many zeros" on
the banknotes, which required stacks of billions just to buy bread, said
John Dzinamurungu, the head of human resources at a local company.
Many of the firm's clients closed, and his company's staff was slashed from
150 to 30 employees, he said.
"At the height of the crisis, the company bought food to pay the employees,"
he said. "They would get sugar, dried fish."
"For more than two months, it was only barter trade," a female colleague
recalled. "Once we even got paid with bottles of alcohol."
But Dzinamurungu said improving conditions meant the company has been able
to settle its accounts, resume paying salaries normally and re-hire part of
its laid-off work force.
At the end of the day, after stopping off at a well-stocked supermarket to
buy necessities, he returned home. Electricity and water cuts do not occur
as often as before, but remain a regular nuisance.
Still, wife Gertrude says the family has seen "a very big change over the
past two years."
"Most of the time we spent the day stressed, wondering 'What am I going to
cook for the kids and for my husband?'" she recalled.
"Now he comes back with a smiling face. Everything is better."
Published on: 16th February, 2010
My name is Tapiwa. I am a single father of two daughters and we arrived in
the UK in August 2003. I had no idea that I would be prohibited from working
for the upkeep of my family. It seemed so strange I was told that I would be
given money from the state every week, instead of being allowed to work.
After a few weeks of this money, it became clear to me that the amount of
money I was receiving was calculated to allow me to simply stay alive while
the Home secretary decided whether or not to grant us leave to remain. I
called it "Breathing Money". It was enough to keep us breathing and not much
It was hard living on NASS support with two children, seeing we had to pay
for most other things just like anyone else. We had to buy school uniforms,
shoes, clothes and pay for school trips among other things.
It became clear soon enough that we were not wanted in this country and it
was clear to my children's school friends that my children were second class
non-citizens of this country. It was an embarrassing and humiliating five
years for us as a family.
We couldn't afford enough food, even going without on some occasions, let
alone the things young people demand as they grow up and see other children
having. We became the experts on buy-one-get-one free offers.
We had no choice. I couldn't understand why a skilled industrial worker like
me would be barred from using my trade skills to fend for myself and my
children and pay taxes as well.
To hear that NASS intends to cut the support given to asylum seekers to
below current levels is unthinkable. They might as well build a tin shack
refugee camp somewhere in the UK and hand out relief food and tents from
there. I certainly wouldn't have coped.
I was so stressed during my time as an asylum seeker. While I am grateful to
the UK for giving my family safety from the regime in Zimbabwe, I dread to
think how those single parents still in the asylum system are coping now,
and when further cuts to support are affected.
Tapiwa now has refugee status, and is studying for his citizenship test.
MOLOPO RIVER, SOUTH AFRICA - From Tuesday's Globe and Mail Published on
Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2010 12:00AM EST Last updated on Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2010
In a vast wilderness of thorn trees and grasslands on the edge of the
Kalahari desert, Peter Knipe farms a menagerie of thousands of animals, from
goats and cattle to impalas and giraffes. His most exotic import, however,
is a friendly looking dog named Neeake.
Raised with a herd of goats since he was a puppy, Neeake has bonded with the
goats so loyally that he guards them with his life. He scans the horizon
constantly, searching for predators, keeping the cheetahs and leopards at
Neeake, a Turkish breed known as an Anatolian shepherd, is the latest
experiment by Africa's conservationists as they search for new ways to halt
the dramatic decline of African wildlife. Because of Neeake, and other dogs
like him, the farmers of Molopo River don't need to shoot or trap the
cheetahs. The dogs protect the livestock, and the cheetahs survive.
"We've had zero losses where we use the dogs," Mr. Knipe says. "They're
great protectors. Since we've gotten the dogs, everyone here has become
Lions and cheetahs, two of the iconic creatures of Africa, are in serious
decline across the continent. Cheetahs, the world's fastest mammal, numbered
about 100,000 worldwide a century ago, yet only about 7,500 survive today.
Lions, the king of beasts, have fallen from 200,000 in the 1970s to fewer
than 40,000 today. Both are classified as "vulnerable" on the global list of
Other species, such as elephants, have recovered their numbers in most
regions of Africa, but remain under threat from poachers. And then there are
lesser-known animals such as the African wild dog, which has declined from
500,000 to less than 6,000 today.
To preserve them from the ravages of human encroachment, experts are turning
to a wide range of innovative ideas.
Elephants, for example, are getting help from the Elephant Pepper
Development Trust, based in Zambia. The trust helps farmers to grow
hot-chili peppers around their crops, discouraging elephants from trampling
on the crops, since elephants - oddly enough - hate the smell of chili. This
reduces the conflicts between humans and elephants, giving the animals a
better chance of survival.
Lions, meanwhile, are being reintroduced into the African wilderness in an
ambitious multi-generational program by the African Lion and Environmental
Research Trust. Captive lions are bred in large fenced areas in Zimbabwe and
Zambia, where their offspring become habituated to humans. Tourists generate
money for the breeding project in a "walk with the lions" program. When the
cubs mature and learn to hunt, they are released into larger areas and
shielded from human contact. Their cubs, in turn, are released into the
African wild dogs, perhaps the most endangered of all, are bred and studied
at the Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre in South Africa. When tourists visit, the
guides urge them to ask for wild dogs at any game parks they visit. Since
wild dogs need vast hunting territories, their best chance of survival is in
wildlife parks, but the owners need to be persuaded that there is a demand
for wild dogs - so tourists are enlisted in the campaign.
Cheetahs, once a favourite hunting companion of Egyptian pharaohs and
Chinese emperors, are today a familiar sight in game parks from Namibia to
Kenya. But they, too, are in trouble. They have weak immune systems, a low
fertility rate and are prone to birth defects. Because they hunt in the
daytime, their hunting is often disrupted by safari jeeps and gawking
tourists. And because they are winded after their legendarily swift hunting
pursuits, they can be chased off their prey by tougher predators such as
lions and hyenas. So they often migrate to farmland, where they come into
conflict with gun-toting farmers. Conservationists first tried to help the
cheetahs by advising farmers to guard their livestock with donkeys, which
can aggressively attack predators. But by the mid-1990s, they discovered a
better option: the Anatolian shepherd. Courageous and formidable, these dogs
have a history of 6,000 years in the Anatolian plateau of Turkey, where they
were bred to protect livestock from bears and wolves.
The Anatolian shepherds weigh up to 70 kilograms, with a powerful neck and
shoulders, and can run at 75 kilometres an hour. They have sharp eyesight
and hearing, an excellent sense of smell, a calm disposition, and an
instinct to investigate and confront any threat to their herd.
Introduced by conservation groups in Namibia in the 1990s, the dogs proved
successful in scaring away cheetahs without killing them. Now they are
distributed free of charge to farmers in South Africa by charities such as
Cheetah Outreach. They reduce livestock losses by 95 to 100 per cent,
according to Cheetah Outreach.
The group tells the story of Crikey, an Anatolian shepherd that was attacked
by a leopard at the age of seven months. He suffered serious wounds, but
none of his herd was lost. He was taken into the farm house to recover, but
escaped on the first night to walk 14 kilometres back to his herd.
Mr. Knipe, whose 7,500-hectare farm is on a remote stretch of the border
between South Africa and Botswana, says his Anatolian shepherd was so
effective that he quickly asked for a second one. Before the arrival of
Neeake, he was losing 50 to 70 goats to predators every season. Now he moves
Neeake from herd to herd, depending on where cheetahs are detected, and
never suffers any losses in herds that the dog accompanies.
"He can see things that we can't even see - even a snake," Mr. Knipe says.
"He's very loyal and protective."