The ZIMBABWE Situation Our thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.

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Discontent in army over pay hikes

By Farai Mutsaka
THERE is simmering discontent within the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) over government’s decision to restrict the recent 100% salary hike to infantry soldiers, The Standard has learnt.

Sources within the army told The Standard last week that members from specialist units such as engineers and doctors were demanding to know why they had not benefited from the 100% windfall.

Soldiers from specialised units say they were excluded from the huge hike because they could not be relied on to campaign for the Zanu PF candidate, President Mugabe.

“Those awarded the money are the ones who can be relied on to prowl the streets for MDC supporters and to then beat them up. We cannot do that and that’s probably why we were left out,” said a specialist in the army.

Added a medical doctor in the force: “We believe we were discriminated against because we don’t fit into the scheme of the presidential campaign. Guys in the infantry are being enticed to campaign for Zanu PF by being given these huge increments. If indeed the increments were genuine, then why were they not awarded to everyone else? We are very bitter about this discrimination.”

The increments were awarded as a result of a new salary regime called the Military Salary Concept which seeks to empower general duty soldiers ahead of specialists.

Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) spokesman, Colonel Mbonisi Gatsheni, dismissed the specialists’ complaints saying the new salary structure had been under negotiation since 1989. He said the complaints emanated from specialists who were uncomfortable with earning salaries similar to those of general duty soldiers.

The recent salary increases had resulted in unskilled soldiers being paid more than skilled workers, the specialists complained.

“Our understanding all along was that people were paid according to their brains. Now it appears people are being paid more for their ability to beat up people on the streets. That is a sad situation,” said a source.

Said Colonel Gatsheni: “It appears here, that the complaint of the so- called specialised units is not about the absence of salary increments but about the closeness of salaries now received by a general duties member and a ‘specialist’.
The ‘specialists’ still enjoy better allowances than the general duties member and as a result, still earns a more superior salary.

“The complaints raised by certain serving members in the ZDF are a result of a new salary regime which has been under negotiation since about 1989. In the interim, the ‘specialists’ have had their increments. In essence, the concept is meant to remunerate the servicemen according to their ranks and responsibilities in the forces, first and foremost. In addition, allowances are also paid in consideration of the nature of duties the incumbent undertakes,” said Gatsheni.

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Army settles on Bennett’s farm

By Farai Mutsaka
THE Zimbabwe National Army has permanently stationed a group of soldiers at MDC MP for Chimanimani Roy Benne-tt’s farm to intimidate workers and supporters of the opposition in the area, The Standard has learnt.

Bennett confirmed to The Standard on Friday that his workers were now living in fear because of the soldiers who have mou-nted a terror campaign on the farm and surrounding areas.

A group of about 50 soldiers have been at the MP’s Charleswood farm since October last year. They are camped at Charleswood Primary School.

Workers and villagers living in surrounding areas told The Standard that the soldiers harassed farm workers and villagers suspected to be opposition members. The soldiers, said the villagers, gave Zanu PF supporters resettled on part of the farm a free hand to harass opposition supporters.

Despite being a rural area, Chimanimani, like most rural areas in Manicaland, is an
MDC stronghold.

“I did not invite them (the army). They are arresting my workers, beating them up and threatening them. The situation is bad. I have reported these things to the police but they have not done anything,” said Bennett.

Charleswood Farm manager, Rocky Stone, said when the soldiers arrived at the farm, they claimed they wanted to maintain peace at the farm but were fanning violence by siding with resettled farmers.

“They pitched up last year and introduced themselves to us saying they were here to keep the peace, but they have not been doing that. They are now helping themselves with the fish in our dams and are encouraging the settlers to do the same. They are harassing anyone wearing MDC t-shirts, but Zanu PF supporters are free to wear their regalia without any problems. The police are not doing anything about the situation,” said Stone.

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Bulawayo churches spurn Mugabe’s overtures

By Trevor Muhonde
BULAWAYO churches have spurned President Mugabe’s efforts to lure them into joining the ruling party campaign trail.

According to information gathered by The Standard, the ministry of youth, gender and employment creation recently approached Bulawayo churches to hold a day of prayer, similar to the one held in Harare early last month.

Officials from the ministry confirmed that they had offered to sponsor a prayer session, but the churches turned it down fearing that the prayer meeting would degenerate into a political rally for Zanu PF, as happened in January. At the Harare meeting, in what was seen as a disgrace to the Christian faith, church leaders, led by Anglican Harare Diocese Bishop Nolbert Kunonga, took turns to shower praises on Mugabe.

Bulawayo church leaders who spoke to The Standard confirmed they were approached by Elliot Manyika’s ministry.

The function was supposed to have been held this weekend at the Trade Fair Grounds but flopped after most churches boycotted.

“We were approached by officials from the ministry of gender to organise a day of prayer. The ministry said government would fund the programme, but it appears the generality of churches were against the idea so we turned down the offer,” said a church leader from Bulawayo.

A pastor with the Salvation Army said parishioners from his church shot down the request.

“I took the suggestion to my church members who refused to be used to campaign for political parties. The suggestion was basically shot down on moral grounds. The current wave of violence being sponsored by government rekindles memories of the genocide that took place here and we cannot be seen to associating with such a violent party. We also took into account that most violence is now being perpetrated by Manyika’s youths. How then can such a person sponsor a day of prayer?” queried the pastor.

Meanwhile, The Bulawayo Catholic Church has castigated the state-controlled Chronicle newspaper for trying to divide the church along ethnic lines.
In an open letter to the editor of The Chronicle, Stephen Ndlovu, the Archdiocese of Bulawayo Pastoral Council said the newspaper’s efforts to alienate Archbishop Pius Ncube from the Catholic church would fail.

The Chronicle has over the past months launched a tirade of attacks on Archbishop Ncube for his outspokenness against state-sponsored violence.
So outspoken against violence has been Archbishop Pius Ncube that President Mugabe threatened to boycott a memorial service for the late vice president, Joshua Nkomo, if the bishop presided over the service.

“The lay people of the Catholic Church are disgusted by your ongoing campaign of lies, and persecution of Archbishop Pius Ncube. Your reports are false, irresponsible, and clearly intended to divide the Catholic community along ethnic lines. We affirm our support and for the policies that guide our church,” wrote the council.

“Over the years, he has distinguished himself in taking a principled stand on issue of social justice. The unwarranted and spurious attacks on his person by the state media are part of the campaign by government to silence its perceived critics through violence and intimidation,” read the letter.

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Fireworks at London meeting

By our own Staff
LONDON—Zimbabwe’s high commissioner to Britain, Simbarashe Mum-bengegwi, has given assurances to the international community that invitees from the European Union will be allowed to freely observe the country’s March 9 and 10 presidential election.

He however said no provision had been made for monitors because in terms of the country’s constitution, that duty was the responsibility of the Electoral Supervisory Commission.

Participating in a highly explosive debate on Zimbabwe at the Royal Commonwealth Society in London on Monday night, Mumbengegwi fielded a barrage of questions from international journalists, politicians, and academics who demanded specific answers on a number of issues ranging from the issue of observers and monitors, the Zanu PF orchestrated wave of violence prevailing in the country, and human rights abuses.

The highly emotional high commissioner charged that the MDC was responsible for the political violence prevailing, while the Zanu PF government was at pains to implore its supporters not to retaliate to provocation from the opposition.

“President Mugabe has never ever said Zimbabwe does not want election observers. In 2000 we had parliamentary elections on time and on the dot.
Observers yes, monitors no, because the Electoral Supervisory Act gives powers to the Commission to monitor the elections.”

Asked about the status of 30 000 independent monitors trained by the Zimbabwe Election Support Network, Mumbengegwi said monitors organised by non-governmental organisations would not be tolerated because they were not impartial.

He said only ESC monitors, whose members were appointed by the same process as court judges, would monitor the elections—an assertion immediately challenged by prominent businessman, Sam Nkomo, who pointed out that even the ESC chairman, lawyer Sobusa Gula-Ndebele, had himself conceded that the process of monitoring was best left in the hands of independent observers.

Asked by Lord Astor of Hever what the consequences were of Zimbabwe becoming a pariah state if it was isolated by the international community, the high commissioner replied: “That situation will not arise because the election will be free and fair, and observers will come to that conclusion.”

Mumbengegwi, who repeatedly took a sharp bashing on a number of issues from the highly respected Baroness Park of Monmouth, also took an angry swipe at the evening’s guest speakers, University of Zimbabwe political scientist, Prof Elphious Mukonowe-shuro, and the editor of The Standard, Mark Chavunduka, whom he described as “MDC politicians masquerading as independent observers”.

“These are MDC politicians masquerading as something else. They are insulting the intelligence of people who come and listen when they paint a picture that MDC is free from violence. This is dishonesty. The MDC security is run by former Rhodesians Selous Scouts, and the Zanu PF leadership has been appealing for a peaceful election,” said an angry Mumb-engegwi to loud laughter.

At one point, the meeting came to a brief standstill as Mumbengegwi and Mukonoweshuro were involved in a heated exchange, following an expletive used by the UZ professor in response to an answer previously given by the high commissioner.

In his address, Mukonoweshuro said the international community was witnessing the gradual installation of a civil-military junta in Zimbabwe.

“On the eve of the presidential poll, we are now actually in the concluding phase of what is virtually a slow motion coup de tat. The erosion of the people’s supremacy and therefore civil authority has been going on for some time now. Therefore, any current speculation about whether or not there will be free and fair elections in Zimbabwe, is simply idle talk, an excuse for inaction. Sadc, the Commonwealth, the US, and the international community in general, no longer have any justifiable reason for not taking drastic action against the Harare regime.”

Chavunduka outlined the repressive laws recently passed by Zimbabwe’s Zanu PF-dominated parliament and aimed at making the work of journalists from the independent press more difficult, if not impossible.

“The independent press in Zimbabwe has for a long time operated under very difficult conditions, with a host of restrictive laws carried out from the colonial era. In the present situation, where we have new laws similar in their brutal intensity to legislation in apartheid era South Africa, there is no way that the presidential election can be free and fair,” said Chavunduka.

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Soldiers terrorise Sakubva residents

By Farai Mutsaka
MUTARE—Soldiers in this eastern city have embarked on a serious terror campaign targeted at MDC supporters ahead of next month’s presidential poll, The Standard has learnt.

The soldiers, manning the Mutare Aerodrome, have become a menace to residents living in Sakubva High density suburb.

Residents who spoke to The Standard last week said the soldiers demanded Zanu PF cards from residents who passed through the aerodrome and harassed those who failed to produce the cards. They are being assisted in their campaign by militias who recently graduated from the Border Gezi Training Centre and deployed to Manicaland.

Most residents from the sprawling high density area pass though the Aerodrome on their way to their maize fields which are situated in its vicinity.

“They demand to see our party cards and when we fail to produce them they beat us. They make us chant Zanu PF slogans and sing revolutionary songs,” said one resident.

The terror campaign comes at a time when the army is trying to convince the nation that it is non-partisan.

Zimbabwe Defence Forces spokesman, Colonel Mbonisi Gatsheni, said the soldiers were at the aerodrome at the invitation of the police.

“Remember, in peace time the ZDF are always deployed in support of civil authority, in this case the ZRP. In cases where the ZDF members are found to have breached the law, the commanders will always let the culprits get prosecuted according to military law or the law of the land,” said Gatsheni.

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Students stranded

By Monique Brogan
WITH universities due to open for 2002, a number of parents with children studying in South Africa are desperately seeking finance for the continued education of their children.

Many Zimbabwean parents say these universities afford their children the opportunity to study specialised courses, such as journalism—for which Rhodes University in Gra-hamstown is renowned.

“It is also a chance to study in a stable environment without fear of disturbances like the ones the University of Zimbabwe often experiences and with the promise of a safe and active campus life,” said the mother of one first year student.

For Zimbabwean students hoping to return to Rhodes and the University of Cape Town this year, the cost of tuition—including books—and accommodation will amount to about 40 000 rands and though this amount, when converted at the official rate of 4,8 to the rand, does not seem so steep, there is in fact no money available at this bank rate.

A teller at one commercial bank confirmed that there was no foreign currency available for those wanting to send their children back to South Africa.

This has forced parents to turn to the parallel market where exorbitant rates are charged. Currently, on this market, the exchange rate to the South African Rand is at about 38 to 1, meaning that for a full year’s fees for a student at university, the payer will most likely need in excess of a million dollars.

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Zim Standard Comment

Lilian Patel’s folly

IT is a sad fact that every democratic-minded and peace-loving Zimbabwean believes our Sadc brothers and sisters have let us down when it mattered most. While the rest of the international community, particularly the European Union and the United States, is taking steps to ensure that Zimbabwe conducts its presidential election in a democratic fashion, Sadc has decided to look the other way and let Zimbabweans bear the brunt of both state-orchestrated violence and a flawed electoral process.

It is folly for Sadc to claim that it is in the best interest of Zimbabweans to let “Harare solve its own problems”. History has shown that the Zanu PF government falls short when it comes to administering elections where there is a real chance of it losing. The 1990 and 2000 general elections bear testimony to this. Faced with defeat in 2000, Zanu PF decided to take a shortcut to victory by embarking on an orgy of terror to cow people into voting for it.

It is now a fact that thousands of people were terrorised by Zanu PF thugs during the run-up to the last parliamentary election, while many others either lost their lives or were beaten and maimed. The same pattern has emerged during the campaign for the March 9/10 presidential election in which short of a massive fraud, 78-year-old President Robert Mugabe is expected to lose soundly.

Against such a background of state-sanctioned terror and electoral chicanery, our friends in Sadc have the audacity to claim that democracy exists in Zimbabwe and that the international community should leave us alone.

Leading this exercise in deception is Malawian foreign affairs minister and Sadc Zimbabwe task force chair, Lilian Patel. Last week she was here to lend legitimacy to a shamelessly flawed electoral process. How a person who flies to Harare and stays in some city hotel, mixing only with government officials, can claim that political persecution does not exist in Zimbabwe is difficult to understand. The silly woman claimed the independent press was totally free in Zimbabwe because she had seen “piles” of the “opposition press” on the streets of Harare.

Did she ever bother to stop and ask the newspaper vendors themselves whether they were able to freely conduct their business? What about those towns where her so-called “opposition press” has been banned together with the opposition?

She is blind to the raft of repressive laws that were hastily enacted in the weeks surrounding her visit, including a draconian press law passed while she was still here. 

Perhaps it is too much for one to expect tough and honest talk from Patel. She hails from a country which has experienced 30 years of dictatorship and is struggling with corruption and the usual indispensibility syndrome by its current leadership. There has been systematic intimidation of the opposition.

Many Sadc leaders regard their organisation as a mutual support group. Their commitment to the democratic values set out in the Sadc protocol is paper thin. And they have chosen to ignore the electoral principles laid down by their parliamentarians as recently as last year.

Admittedly South Africa and Botswana are inclined towards a more robust policy on Zimbabwe. And Mozambique is becoming increasingly disenchanted with its former allies in Harare.

But Sadc is not an organisation we can look to for principled leadership given the sort of acumen demonstrated by Patel and Co. Sadc has so far ignored violations of laid-down procedures in the land acquisition process, turned a blind eye to orchestrated political violence—pretending that both parties are equally guilty—and collaborated with Zanu PF in the facile pretence that the media is responsible for Zimbabwe’s poor image. They even touchingly asked our ministers to send them details of what was happening in the country so they could put the record staright!
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What do they take us for?

A LOT has been said and repeated about our current situation. Every body knows the truth but sadly, some people still make noises about things that are obviously wrong.

I went to a funeral in the rural areas a couple of weeks ago and the people I came across uplifted my spirits. I was, however, fortunate not to have come across ‘youths’ demanding to see my non-existent ‘card’.

All the men I spoke to are going to put their Xs in the right place. In response to a question on how they were dealing with the ‘requirement’ to have Zanu PF cards, they said tinawo, ko macard anozivei? I also campaigned a great deal among the elderly and would like to urge everyone going to the rural areas to do the same. Our victory is imminent.

I would also like to register my disgust at the entire Zanu PF lot. They are such spineless wimps and I cannot understand how they can go to parliament, among other places, and make those awfully shallow statements obviously designed to please Mugabe.

To Kasukuwere and Chiyangwa, I say: Tipeiwo maserious. Please resign from your positions muende kunoruka madhoiri muchitaura nyaya dzenyu idzodzo because you have nothing to contribute to the positive development of our country at such a critical stage.

People like Mudenge have mastered the art of frothing at the mouth while talking utter rubbish. They want to treat the electorate like they’re so dumb they can’t tell their mouths from holes in the ground. Allegations against the western countries are so stupid yet we are expected to believe them. What do they take us for? Tapota, spare us your rubbish.

The Zanu PF campaign messages are another example of terribly cheap politicking. Hanzi ‘Zimbabwe will never be a colony again’. Please! There is no food in the shops and everything else is unaffordable so why should ‘price controls’ appeal to us?

I also urge ZBC newscasters and the staff at Zimpapers to strike over how they are being made to lie to the whole world. How do people like Obriel Mpofu, Reuben Barwe, Pikirayi Deketeke and Jonathan Moyo live with their families? I am glad I am not related to any of them. God knows what I would do if I was!

I could go on and on but I know my brothers and sisters know what they have to do come 9 and 10 March. It will be the first step towards getting our lives in order.
Think about it.

D Mareva
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Business News: Cresta Calling—Hunting the hunter, part four

By Shingi Munyeza
RECENTLY, while driving from Francistown to Kasane in Botswana, I and my companions came across an elephant which had been knocked over by a haulage truck. The jumbo was still alive but could not get up while the haulage truck had come to rest off the road. The truck could not move and the elephant could not move—a true clash of titans.

As we stopped to witness this deadlock, I wondered how these kind of animals could possibly survive in our current civilisation? Preservation of our wildlife is key to the growth and development of our tourism industry. Tourists from all over the world come to our country mainly for the game experience rather than for the comfort of our hotels. My experience of seeing a hopelessly wounded jumbo made me wonder whether we have too much wildlife and if so how we can possibly cull them without threatening their existence.

Zimbabwe has had a very successful programme funded by USAid called Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources (Campfire).
This programme has gone a very long way towards helping us to manage our wildlife resources amongst other natural resources which Zimbabwe has been endowed with. Overcrowding of wildlife has also been addressed through sustainable means instead of through poaching which has been on the increase of late.

However, allegations have been thrown at programmes such as Campfire to the effect that they have been hijacked by a handful of slick academics for the benefit of the international, rather than local, communities. One could argue for and against this viewpoint, particularly given the heated debates that go on at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wildlife Fauna and Flora (Cites). Africans argue that the rest of the world must leave the management of wildlife to Africans whilst the rest of the world has a different view.

The Upper Zambezi Valley has a ballooning population of elephants, a situation which has resulted in lives being lost and crops being destroyed. The communities in the Upper Zambezi region appreciate the reduction in the elephant population. Not only have the elephants been destructive to both lives and crops, but they continue to destroy vegetation in the region.

Culling the elephant will not only result in less destruction but in more revenue generation through the sale of ivory. Because the sale of ivory has resulted in poaching and uncontrolled culling, a debate has raged at the recent three Cites conventions as to whether the elephant should be listed in Appendix 1 or Appendix 2.

Kenya has become one of the most vocal critics of the sale of ivory by three southern African countries—Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe, and has persistently objected to the de-listing of the African elephant from a highly endangered species to that whose population can be managed.

The last Cites meeting in Gigiri, Kenya, in April 2000 saw the Nairobi government supporting a total ban on the controlled sale of ivory. It was joined by western environmental pressure groups such as Green Peace. South Africa, which also wants to sell some of its stock piles of ivory, joined its neighbours in a bruising battle to keep the elephant in Appendix 2 to allow for monitored trade of ivory.

Therefore, the debate on the elephant and its status within Cites, has consequences for both the local community and the hunter.

As highlighted last week, the elephant commands the highest trophy price of US$10 000, making it the most favoured prey for the hunter. It is therefore imperative to maintain an ecological equilibrium between the hunter, the hunted and the community. Then on the other side you have animal rights activists who are seeking an end to hunting as a sport. This then leaves us confused; the hunter does not want to come and hunt due to security issues, the hunted is destroying the environment and communities whilst the community is poaching the hunted! Join me next week as I discuss the impact of poaching and hunting concessions.
• Shingi Munyeza is the Group Commercial Director for Cresta Hospitality.

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Chenjerai Hove: Local Insight—Education is the next victim

Chenjerai Hove
When I think about the current school closures and the victimisation of teachers by Zanu PF vandals, I cannot avoid suspecting that the next victim on the line is the education system. That is if it is still there at all.

A few weeks ago, I remember the president urging urban voters to be like rural voters. He was in fact glorifying rural folk for voting for his party. At the same time he was lambasting us the urban people for voting for the opposition.

The ruling party, and indeed the president, do not have to hire a sociologist to advise them on why we have the voting pattern we have now. The matter is simple: rural people suffer the heaviest levels of illiteracy, and so have no access to current alternative information except through the government propaganda machinery. And the rural people are easy to intimidate since their world is usually limited by their isolation in the village. If the vandals arrive, they can terrorise each homestead without much intervention from the other distant villages.

Interestingly, the Zimbabwean government is one of the few in southern Africa which never ran a serious literacy campaign. The campaign I know of was run on a voluntary basis by the Zimbabwe Adult Literacy Organisation, and it is still the case.

My impression is that it was a deliberate plan to ensure that the villagers continue to be illiterate so the Zanu PF politicians could tell them lies without risking serious opposition. For example, years back I found some small political official telling my mother that the drought relief the villagers were receiving was courtesy of the ruling party. I stopped the man and told my mother that the maize she was receiving came from her hard-working children in the city because they were paying drought levy. The official later accused me of fanning protest in the village.

The ruling party knows that illiteracy in the rural areas is a sure way of ensuring that the villagers and peasants are excluded from participating in the political life of the country in a serious and critical way.

Not so with the urban people. There are so many sources of information in the cities, and the people will have it even if all the newspapers are banned.

Right now, when teachers become refugees in their own country because of ruling party thugs, all the efforts of the parents to build their own schools will come to nothing. The roofing, doors, windows, desks and chairs will end up in some thug’s house.

So, all the basic infrastructure of schools will be gone. That means later on parents would have to deal with starting all over again, and at the same time be stuck with children who have lost so many years of education.

Zimbabwe was lucky to inherit a sound education system created mainly by missionaries. It took decades upon decades to put that system together. But now it is taking a few months to destroy it without ever thinking what it takes to put it back in place.

As the buildings collapse and education officials and teachers are rendered useless for the purpose of political power, teachers will once again start flooding neighbouring countries like South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho and even Mozambique which is introducing English in schools.

A few years after independence, we discovered that the ruling party hated educated people. I recall that even the president himself, as chancellor of the University of Zimbabwe, never had a meeting with student leaders whenever there were problems. All he did was, I remember, to tell them that he had several degrees in violence.

The ruling party does not like educated people because it hates people who think critically about their society and their social and political conditions. But the leaders’ selective memory is short. Many of them were student political activists at the university, and some got their fame from there.

Instead of listening to the students and their problems, the government went on a systematic path of destroying university education. I wonder whether some of our academic degrees are still recognised in some important parts of the world. What a shame when every ‘A’ student hopes to go and study outside the country.

I fear that there is very little the ruling, or ruining, party has not left untouched in its warpath against the people of Zimbabwe. The past has been destroyed through a history of lies, and the present is being destroyed by the use of thugs trained to kill and destroy their own families and social systems.

The future is also gone for those young men and women who will be forced to live with a guilty conscience for a long time to come. Some of them have already started getting mad because of their horrendous psychological torture they are put through in the name of training for community service.

Zimbabwean citizens all over the country are made to feel as if they were strangers by being forced to buy Zanu PF cards, as if to say to them they are children who do not know what is good for them. Elliot Manyika (by the way I went to school with him) should know that the most important political party card is the conscience of the voter.
Now that Zanu PF has vandalised education and is keen to vandalise the independent media, I shudder to think what is on line next. All I know is that by vandalising everyone and anything which works, the ruling party is actually vandalising itself.

• Chenjerai Hove is a renowned Zimbabwean writer

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Standard Plus: We want more than just land—youths

By Selina Zigomo and Fungayi Kanyuchi
“It’s our land, our destiny, our pride,” so go the lyrics to an advert on the controversial land redistribution programme. The advert is screened on ZTV on a daily basis ad nauseum, and features a group of teenagers celebrating the acquisition of land.

Emitted from Jonathan Moyo’s propaganda office, this advert appears aimed at capturing the support of the younger generation which Zanu PF had all along ignored, ahead of the crucial 9-10 March presidential election. Whether or not it will work remains to be seen.

Standard Plus recently spoke to a cross section of young Zimbabweans to find out their opinion on the advert and the land issue in general. It would appear that the youths have become a favourite target of the ruling party, what with the opening of the national service training centres, whose products have unleashed terror on innocent civilians.

Pamela Mawoza, a student at Christian College of Southern Africa had this to say about the land commercial: “My brother is more interested in the clothes the young people in the videos are wearing and how they are rapping (singing) but the content is lost on us. We only identify with the music as it is the type we listen to.”

Another student who refused to give his name said: “The first time my father watched the advert he asked: ‘Can those children till the land ? If we put them in the fields will they know what to do?’”

Anna from the Hara-re Polytechnic says: “It’s just propaganda, the adverts are trying to get us to be patriotic but that will be difficult as the land issue is not the only problem with this country.”

Nelson Chamisa, the national youth secretary for the MDC, says that the campaigns are an indication that the product they are trying to sell is not really selling and they are targeting the youth. He described the attempt as “too little too late”.

“The government has had a clear record of abusing the young people and those adverts are part of the abuse. They are trying to instill a sense of partisan loyalty by saying that Zanu PF are the custodians of liberation, when in actual fact the people are. They have tried other ploys such as the National Youth Service, banking services for youths and even Christianity, but to no avail.

“Young people are very clear about what they want. They want to save their country, not to be partners with the government in a land reform which is characterised by violence, lawlessness and corruption,” he said.

He added that young people were very clear about what they wanted and it was not land.

“They want jobs also. Imagine the many college graduates sitting at home. Most of these would rather have a job than land.”

Yet another student said: “As for me, I don’t have the capital and nowadays there are so many choices. I should not be forced to be attached to the land.”
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Standard Plus: What’s On Air—Don’t our weather presenters look resplendent

Jonathan Moyo should stop using the national broadcaster as a tool for fighting his personal jousts with the private press. I hope he doesn’t think that by appearing on TV as often as possible, he is somehow helping ZTV meet the 75% local content threshold.

The good news is that the nutty one has finally found his match in none other than Eddison Zvobgo who exposed Johno for what he is when he critiqued the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Bill. For starters, Johno can’t even put his Bill “a bit more neatly”.

Thumbs up to ZBC who showed us quiet a chunk of Zvobgo lashing out at Johno.
Remember how the Nutty Prof insulted Zvobgo on This Morning? Obviously Zvobgo was not going to take the ‘memory loss’ insult lying down. The fundi was mature enough not to fall prey to the cheap, insult slinging match, hence he categorically told parliament what he thinks of the rocket scientist and his fictional science which again has hit a brick wall. Maybe it is Johno who suffers from memory lapses as it is the same private media he is trying to stifle which he used to attack the Taliban PF in the past.

So, Lovemore Madhuku wants to push forward and garner support for his new draft constitution by aligning himself with the Taliban PF’s thuggery which he says has been facilitated by the current constitution. Madhuku should campaign and push for his new draft constitution without legitimising the crooked ways of current regime that is determined to stay in power by hook or crook. History will judge him harshly for such careless talk.

A big bravo is due to ZBC’s weather presenters who appear to have taken our advice on dress etiquette. Although a few presenters haven’t fully mastered the art of smiling, at least they are no longer an eyesore.

I have always believed that no matter how much money a person is offered, there are certain principles and beliefs that one would never swop for a job. Now enter young Tarzan Mandizvidza, (whose name is derived from that fictional television character who lived with animals) as ‘executive producer’ of Media Watch. Not long ago, Mandizvidza was ZTV’s worst critic when he was doing his TV column at the Zimbabwe Mirror. The same young man has taken the role of media expert cum-state-propagandist.

On Media Watch he goes on to justify and support blatant lies churned out by the Taliban PF. Mandizvidza has the nerve to tell the private press to believe Mugabe when he says he has no foreign assets. Please!

I believe Norman Tirivavi was doing a better job on this programme than Tarzan who seems to be addicted to his orange shirt.

Is it not time that Augustine Chihuri, who is presiding over the Taliban PF’s brutal cops, went.

Chihuri, and whoever is in charge of the riot police, must be thrown into a small steel walled cell into which 10 teargass canisters will be hurled—the shrapnel loaded type, I mean. He will come out of there singing a new tune devoid of his “I am Zanu PF” line.

He should consider resigning in light of the menace that his partisan boys have become to innocent citizens as the Prez election campaign turns bloody. As if in sync with his militarised and politicised police, the Guvnor was at it again last week, telling the nation that he has more campaign and ruling experience. Did you see how he kept pounding his frail fist into his hand as he talked about “experience in campaigning”?

Wednesday afternoon saw private press journalists going to protest in front of parliament about yet another Jonathan Moyo- crafted draconian bill, the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Bill, which even left seasoned politician Eddison Zvobgo’s mouth agape with astonishment.

A few journalists from the state media came by pretending that they, were a part of the protest but what was conspicuous was the absence of placards in their hands, which we all had.

As we peacefully waved our placards, a white unmarked police vehicle snailed past in time for us to overhear the driver speaking into his walkie talkie: “Come now, they are here.” I knew disaster would strike anytime. Within 10 minutes, police trucks descended on us and button stick and tear gas wielding brutal cops spread helter-skelter in Africa Unity Square. Immediately we made a bee-line in different directions.

Now you might wonder why we took to our heels. There is a very thin line between bravery and stupidity, for no sane individual would stand by as a bunch of hate-filled cops menacingly pounced on defenceless scribes armed with pens, note books and placards.

Arrested in this running battle was Daily News reporter Rhoda Mashavave, and three other male journalists. What was our crime? Expressing our disapproval of a law that would render us useless as journalists. A law which would not only gag us but make us apply for a licence to express ourselves. A law that would make it an offence to report on the President’s life as well as that of his side kicks.

Ironically ZBC’s news-net reporter, Joshua Munthali, went on to lie that the police were “just monitoring” our demonstration. Does monitoring have anything to do with armed-to-the teeth cops literally jumping out of moving trucks and charging towards a peaceful and harmless lot?

The police’s defence obviously is that we did not apply to stage this peaceful demonstration. Who does not know that this application procedure was put in place so as to screen demonstrations viewed as anti-government? Applying for that permission would have been useless. This scenario is clear evidence that an impartial police force is long dead and non-existent.

What we have are blinkered uniformed robots who follow instructions, to inflict pain or take away life under the guise of order maintenance. When has the term public disorder become synonymous with placard-wielding journalists standing in front of parliament to protest against a violation of freedom of expression, which the whole parliament, minus Jonathan Moyo, are clearly aware of?

Why should a country’s sanity be held to ransom by one man hiding behind the banner of regulating media laws? It is high time that Zanu PF and its police force stopped this buffoonery and accepted the fact that they are to blame for the break down of the rule of law and that it is within their means to restore it.

By their actions, the police and the army are the ones who turn peaceful demonstrations into running battles. They are the ones who beat people to death, and when the foreign media highlights this injustice, some buffoon stands on a pulpit and declares that the private media is destroying the image of Zimbabwe.

The world is not stupid! If we do not accept everything that Moyo tells us, that does not mean we are rebellious or unpatriotic. It simply means that we are conscious of our constitutional rights to freedom of expression, choice and political affiliation. The same rights that those in the present regime enjoy.

Democracy, which should be enjoyed by all, is threatened by a mafia-type clique which is shamelessly unleashing intolerable violence upon the people, in an attempt to force them to support ideas and philosophies that they do not believe in.
Let us continue to print the news and expose the corrupt!
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New teeth for Grass Hat
Chinos goes shopping for teeth
From rags to riches—that’s how one can describe the story of self-styled commander-in-chief of farm invasions, Chinos. He started as a Harare City Council security guard and then became the commander of farm invasions, wearing a trademark hat which a bird could have easily mistaken for a lovely nest. There has been a dramatic change in his life; the straw hat is now off and suits are now the order of the day. He has been promoted to driver in the City Council, despite being absent without official leave. He even now has his own Jeep Cherokee which he was famously quoted as saying he bought himself.

The man has gone shopping again, after being voted the most improved personality (dress wise) in the Standard Plus. He is said to have bought false teeth to spruce up his image further. Seen in court last week, his formerly missing two inscissors had miraculously appeared.

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February 17, 2002 8:10am

Mugabe appoints Zimbabwe intelligence chief head of emergency food task


HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) _ With food shortages gripping Zimbabwe, the
government set up a task force headed by its feared intelligence chief to
distribute emergency food imports, state media reported Sunday.

The appointment of Minister of State Security Nicholas Goche, head of the
Central Intelligence Organization, to run the distribution raised concerns
the food would be used as a political tool to help President Robert Mugabe
win hard-fought presidential elections scheduled for March 9-10.

Last week the government said state intelligence agents, widely used for
surveillance in opposition strongholds, would help coordinate the food
deliveries. The opposition Movement for Democratic Change has expressed
fears their strongholds would be starved of the emergency food.

Mugabe promised "no one will die of hunger. Maize is being delivered to
every corner of the country," state radio reported Sunday.

Mugabe flew to Mozambique Sunday to meet with Malawian President Bakili
Muluzi and Mozambican President Joachim Chissano to discuss the situation in
his country.

Meanwhile, European Union officials were preparing for their Monday meeting
in Brussels, Belgium, where they were to discuss what action to take against
Zimbabwe for throwing out their top election observer Pierre Schori

EU officials have threatened to withdraw all their observers and impose
sanctions that could include aid cuts and a travel ban on Mugabe and other
government officials.

The World Food Program said in November that more than half a million rural
Zimbabweans faced acute food shortages and many others were eating only one
meal a day.

It blamed the shortages on Zimbabwe's political and economic crises and the
agricultural disruptions caused by ruling party militants' occupation of
white-owned farms. Floods and erratic rainfall were also to blame, the WFP

State radio said the government had arranged daily trains to bring 1,500
tons of corn from neighboring South Africa from Monday through Saturday and
trucking firms were being hired to transport another 2,000 tons a day from
South Africa to distribution centers across the country.

"If all goes well, the food situation should be back to normal by Saturday,"
Justin Mutasa, operations manager of the Grain Marketing Board, told state

Zimbabwe consumes about 5,000 tons of corn a day.

The government has said it has bought 200,000 tons of corn from South Africa
for dlrs 25 million to meet food needs until after the sharply fought polls,
just 20 days away.

Long lines supervised by police have formed this months outside most food
stores awaiting rare deliveries of the corn meal staple.

The state Sunday Mail newspaper said the shortages have spurred black-market
trading in impoverished townships around Harare, with a standard 20 kilogram
(44 pound) bag that can feed a family of four for a week fetching 1,150
Zimbabwe dollars (dlrs 20), about double the official price.

The average family income in Zimbabwe is about dlrs 400 a year.

The United Nations Development Program, in a report issued Wednesday, said
the often-violent land reform program was the cause of much of the economic,
political and social instability in the country.

Mugabe, who has become increasingly unpopular as economic woes deepen, is
fighting for his political survival after ruling the country for nearly 22

The U.N. report also noted that most blacks resettled on land seizef#from
white Zimbabweans faced "totally inadequate" infrastructures to farm the

With weak social and agricultural support services, it was difficult for new
farmers to address the problems of successfully settling into a new
environment, it said.

Mugabe, during weekend campaigning, blamed Britain, the former colonial
power, for failing in its "colonial obligations" to pay for land reform in a
bid to keep land in white hands.

He described British Prime Minister Tony Blair as "a liar, a dishonest
scoundrel" who wanted Zimbabwe back under the control of "former white

"We will never let that happen. We will fight to the last man," Mugabe said,
according to The Sunday Mail.
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Baltimore Sun

Mugabe's political decline mirrors Zimbabwe's ruin
As vote nears, leader fights to retain power
By John Murphy
Sun Foreign Staff
Originally published February 17, 2002

KUTAMA, Zimbabwe - The civil war was over, and people watched with pride and
disbelief as the British flag was lowered over Rhodesia's capital, marking
the end of 90 years of white colonial rule.

It was 1980. Their Southern African nation had a new flag, a new name -
Zimbabwe - and its first black leader, who on a sunny June day returned
triumphantly to this village of his birth.

The man the villagers welcomed home was Robert Gabriel Mugabe.

Held aloft by a crowd of cheering schoolboys, he cut a commanding figure.
Mugabe, dressed impeccably, as always, in a suit and tie, balanced himself
atop the plywood platform, arms by his side, his head cocked forward as if
he were posing for a sculptor.

At 56, the former freedom fighter turned prime minister garnered praise
worldwide for preaching a gospel of racial reconciliation after years of
struggle in the fight for independence. His eyes, framed by his trademark
thick-rimmed glasses, looked straight ahead, stern and proud, at the
hundreds of people gathered to greet him not only as their new leader, but
as much more - a savior.

"We could never believe there would ever be such a day," recalled George
Kahari, a longtime friend of Mugabe's who stood among the jubilant villagers
22 years ago. "We were all feeling high. We were very proud of him. We all
believed he was going to take this country out of colonialism into a new

Stirring hatred

But after more than two decades in power, Mugabe, now president, is steering
his country into ruin and racial division, not riches and reconciliation.
The man who once calmed the fears of whites, persuading nervous families to
unpack their bags and stay to build a nation, now stirs racial hatred and
lashes out at enemies real and imagined: political foes, the British, gays,
the West and, most of all, the country's 50,000 whites.

In the past two years, in the name of land reform, he has sent veterans of
the liberation war and party supporters into the countryside to seize
thousands of white-owned commercial farms. Bands of Mugabe's henchmen have
beaten up and killed white farmers, black farm workers and supporters of
opposition parties. Human rights groups say dozens of people have died in
political violence.

Mugabe says he is correcting the imbalances of the colonial era and
defending his nation against an opposition party controlled by "white
imperialists" and the British. Critics say his actions are those of a
desperate man looking to win political support as his popularity dwindles.
In a last-ditch effort to stay in power, he seems intent on turning the
clock back, hoping to rekindle the passions of his days as a guerrilla

At age 77, Mugabe is up for election March 10, and for the first time in his
long political career he faces a formidable challenger, former labor leader
Morgan Tsvangirai.

Nearly three decades younger than his opponent, Tsvangirai represents all
that is dangerous to Mugabe: a new generation of urban Zimbabweans
frustrated with the government's economic mismanagement and corruption and
far more concerned about finding jobs than about a liberation war that
occurred before many of them were born.

In June 2000, Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change stunned the
government by winning nearly half of the parliamentary seats up for

Polls indicate that Mugabe is likely to lose the election if it is free and
fair. But even his opponents say Mugabe is still a scrappy fighter. He has
muzzled the news media, made it a crime to criticize his government and
banned election observers except those of his choosing.

According to the Associated Press, the government forced Europe's top
election observer to leave the country yesterday, further raising tensions.

"We have geared up for a last stand," said Kahari, a longtime supporter and
a former ambassador to Germany and other countries. "Both inside and outside
Zimbabwe, we have no friends. We fight everybody along the road. Hitler once
did the same thing. He was fighting everybody and lost."

If Zimbabwe's economy collapses, or, worse, if the election sparks
widespread violence, the country could pull down the rest of Southern Africa
with it. Regional leaders fear thousands of refugees would pour out of the
country. South Africa is making preparations for a refugee camp near its
border with Zimbabwe.

The year he became prime minister, Mugabe was celebrated as a liberator and
near-saint, much as South Africa's Nelson Mandela is today. During his first
decade in power, he began an ambitious program to bring schools and
hospitals to the millions of poor black peasants in the countryside and
improve blacks' wages and social conditions.

Now, Mugabe rails against his growing list of enemies, shaking his clenched
fist and earning a reputation as of one of Africa's last corrupt "big men."

As Mugabe's fortunes have fallen, so have his country's. Entering Zimbabwe
today is like boarding a sinking ship. More than 60 percent of the work
force is unemployed. In the past three years, the economy has shrunk nearly
20 percent. The annual inflation rate has accelerated to more than 110
percent. More than a quarter of the population of 12 million is infected
with HIV/AIDS.

The government-sponsored land seizures of white-owned farms have disrupted
agriculture, leading to dire food shortages. In many areas of the country,
families line up for as long as a week outside grocery stores waiting for
the next shipment of mealie meal, a thick cornmeal porridge that is the
staple food in most black households. Desperate farmers have resorted to
slaughtering their chickens and cows because they are unable to buy grain to
feed them.

Adding to its woes, Zimbabwe is experiencing its worst drought in a decade,
crippling the next season's crop of maize. In 1985, it was one of the few
African countries with surplus food. This year, Zimbabwe will import up to
600,000 tons of maize to avert a famine.

To control the unraveling economy, Mugabe's government has fixed its
exchange rate at 55 Zimbabwe dollars to one U.S. dollar. But it is an
exercise in futility because black market moneychangers openly trade
Zimbabwe currency at its true street value, about 300 to a U.S. dollar. The
ruling party has also fixed the prices of vegetable oil, soap and other
basics, hoping to create a feeling of stability for voters but instead
putting many companies out of business because they can't afford to produce
their goods at those prices.

Saddled with billions of dollars in debt, Zimbabwe survives only through the
generosity of its neighbors. It gets its electricity courtesy of South
Africa. And after months of fuel shortages, it received a line of credit
from Libya.

More and more, the economy is propped up by little more than faint hopes
that the country will turn the corner, analysts say.

"We are on the edge of a major calamity," said Harare economist John
Robertson. "We are dealing with a set of absurdities that make it certain we
cannot carry on."

Yet the government does carry on as if conditions were stable. Mugabe's
office continues to offer a glowing forecast. Any food shortages are the
work of white saboteurs who are hoarding maize, the state-run media declare.
As the World Food Program organized its first shipments of food relief to
Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe high commissioner to South Africa, speaking at a news
conference in Pretoria, predicted bumper crops this year. "Things are
getting better," he promised.

Mugabe's hometown, Kutama, is one of the few places where that statement
might be true. About 50 miles west of the capital, Harare, Kutama sits at
the end of what residents say is the best-maintained stretch of highway in
the country and boasts one of the better hospitals.

Hometown an exception

At Mugabe's country home here, there is no drought. In the heat of midday on
a recent afternoon, sprinklers showered his maize crop. Fattened pigs rested
in the shade.

"The people of Kutama all support him because he is doing everything for
them," said James Chikerema, a childhood friend of Mugabe's who owns a
2,000-acre farm in Kutama. "But the rest of the country is in trouble."

At the Jesuit mission school where Mugabe was a student and later a teacher,
schoolboys in crisp blue dress shirts, ties and gray shorts - the sons of
government ministers and businessmen - race across the playgrounds.

Asked whether there was any problem with finding mealie meal for the school,
the kitchen manager looked puzzled. "Shortages? There is plenty of maize in
Zimbabwe," she said.

It's no wonder Kutama is the place Mugabe goes to find solace these days.
"When he comes here, he is a free man," said an elderly caretaker at the
mission. "He can relax here. This is his home."

On Sundays, Mugabe often walks from his home to the mission church. "He
doesn't have a lot of bodyguards, just two or three," the caretaker said.

But just down the road from his hometown, the troubles of Zimbabwe appear to
be creeping closer.

A group of war veterans who said they had kicked out a white farmer last
year lounged around a farm watching their dwarf-like maize crop blister in
the heat. They wanted a sprinkler system, they said, but the government was
not taking care of them. Nearby, dozens of unemployed youths staggered out
of beer halls at midday, asking where to find work.

The son of a village carpenter, Mugabe was born in 1924 into a world
controlled by white British settlers who had traveled by oxcart three
decades before in search of land and better lives.

The whites named their new colony Southern Rhodesia to honor Cecil John
Rhodes, the gold and diamond magnate who organized the first journey to the
territory. Thousands more white settlers arrived from England after World
War II, drawn by the possibility of living in luxury unthinkable back home.

Here, whites owned the best land. They took the best jobs. They earned the
most money.

At the Kutama mission school, Mugabe was by all accounts a brilliant
student, though introverted.

"He doesn't mix with the people," said Chikerema, describing Mugabe as a
young man and as president. "He is very aloof. He is not the sort of person
you sit under a tree and talk and joke with. He's a very serious sort of

Mugabe became a teacher, working at schools across the country. Then, at age
25, he won a scholarship to study at Fort Hare University in South Africa,
where Mandela and other African National Congress leaders had earned their
degrees, before continuing his studies in Ghana.

Inspired by the wave of independence that was sweeping Africa, Mugabe
returned to Rhodesia and set out to work for his country's independence,
helping to found the black nationalist group the Zimbabwe African National
Union. Rhodesia's iron-fisted prime minister, Ian Smith, jailed Mugabe in
1964 on charges of "subversive speech." Newly married to Ghanaian
schoolteacher Sally Heyfron and a father of a 1-year-old boy, Mugabe spent
the next 10 years in prison. In 1966, his son died of cerebral malaria, and
authorities denied Mugabe's pleas to be allowed to attend his burial.

When Mugabe was freed, in 1975, he dedicated himself to the civil war that
pitted the country's black majority against the white-led Rhodesian
government. The campaign of night raids and bombings launched from Zambia,
Mozambique and Angola raged for five years, claiming more than 20,000 lives.
In the end, the Rhodesian government had little choice but to accept a
settlement and new elections that would include the black majority.

White Rhodesians despised Mugabe, dismissing him as a terrorist and a
Communist. They openly wept as news spread that he would be the country's
new leader.

Paul Hanly, a 36-year-old white farmer, remembers sitting around a radio at
his high school's rugby field with his white classmates listening to the
results. Many of his friends had been asked to gather their belongings and
to be prepared to flee if necessary. Other families talked of burning their
farms, afraid that their possessions would be seized.

But that was before Mugabe spoke. "I urge you, whether you are black or
white, to join me in a new pledge to forget the grim past," he announced
during a nationally broadcast message that same day.

His call for peace surprised Hanly's mother and father, who had debated
whether to leave. His appeals for reconciliation persuaded them to stay.

During his first years in power, Mugabe kept his promises, reassuring the
white commercial farmers whose tobacco and maize crops formed the backbone
of the economy and including whites in his government.

It wasn't long, however, before Mugabe demonstrated his impatience with
dissent. When there was unrest among the minority Ndebele people in the
southwestern corner of the country, Mugabe, a member of the majority Shona
tribe, called out the troops. Thousands of people died in the systematic
killing of suspected dissenters.

Mugabe's tenure has been marked by his attempts to form a one-party state
and revive the country's ailing economy, which suffered as the result of
socialist policies pursued in the 1980s.

In recent years, Mugabe has faced growing civil unrest from the country's
urban population, angry at the government's failure to save the economy and
root out corruption. Increasingly, Mugabe has resorted to violence and
intimidation to remain in control.

But nothing has equaled the rage he has demonstrated in the past two years.
Twenty-two years after Zimbabwe's independence, Hanly and his wife find
themselves arguing over whether they have overstayed their welcome. He talks
of selling his home and farm equipment and starting anew in Australia or New

Hanly endorses land reform in Zimbabwe, where about half of the country's
best farmland is owned by whites, who make up less than 1 percent of the
population. But Mugabe's violent, unlawful program of land seizures is not
the way, he says. "It would have been fine if Mugabe said, 'I don't like
white people.' We could have left. Why did he wait 22 years for that?" Hanly

How leader changed

How Mugabe, who once embraced such high ideals, hardened into such an
embittered man is a question that puzzles many Zimbabweans. The answer,
friends say, is not so much that Mugabe changed, but that his country did
and he failed to change with it. His ambitious programs to bring education
to the farthest corners of his country raised the literacy rate among
blacks. In 1980, fewer than 50 percent of Zimbabweans could read and write.
Today, Zimbabwe has one of Africa's most educated populations with a
literacy rate topping 85 percent.

Masapulu Sithole, a professor of political studies at the University of
Zimbabwe, said Mugabe created a danger for any aging leader: a generation of
young, educated Zimbabweans who can think for themselves. "He dug his own
grave," Sithole says.

Mugabe is doing everything within his power not to fall into it. On the
state-run television network, the government seeks to woo the younger
generation with ads for a government propaganda Web site, ("Check
it out. It's really cool," a thick-voiced announcer advises.). Late on a
Saturday night, the station airs dramas about liberation war veterans, music
videos of singers dancing in maize fields and reruns an April 1980 Zimbabwe
Independence Day celebration concert.

Members of the opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change, say
Mugabe's efforts to charm voters are in vain. The only way he can win the
election is if it is rigged or if he continues to terrorize the nation with
his henchmen, they say.

"These are the last kicks of a dying horse," said Raphael Gumede, an
opposition party supporter from Bulawayo. "But the last kicks are dangerous.
They can kill."

That's why it is difficult to find Zimbabweans who openly support opposition
candidate Tsvangirai. Most people look down when asked about politics,
afraid they will pay a heavy price for revealing their loyalties.

"Nyararai zvirimumoyo," the people say, a Shona expression meaning "Keep
quiet. It's in my heart." So people will wear Mugabe T-shirts, attend his
rallies and sing his songs, but on March 9 and10, they will vote for
Tsvangirai, a candidate whose most attractive quality, some say, is that he
is not Mugabe.

In these last weeks before the election, the two candidates are
crisscrossing the country. Mugabe asks the country to remember the
sacrifices made by the liberation fighters decades ago. His opponent,
Tsvangirai, is asking voters not to forget that the election is about the
many questions surrounding Zimbabwe's future, not the least of which is what
to do about Mugabe.

Tsvangirai, sounding like his opponent 22 years ago, cautions that
Zimbabweans should commit to a new beginning, forget the past again and
allow Mugabe to retire quietly to the village of his birth.

"Let him go back to his little place," Tsvangirai says at rally after rally.
"And we'll forget about him, and hopefully he'll forget about us."
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Zimbabwean President Leaves for Mozambique for Talks With SADC Leaders

Xinhuanet 2002-02-17 21:00:49

   HARARE, February 17 (Xinhuanet) -- Zimbabwean President Robert
Mugabe left here for Mozambique on Sunday for talks with his
Mozambican and Malawian counterparts on the situation in Zimbabwe
ahead of the country's presidential election, local television
   The talks are taking place in the Mozambican central port city
of Beira under the aegis of the Southern African Development
Community (SADC).
    Malawian President Bakili Muluzi is the current chairman of
the SADC and Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano chairs the SADC
organ on politics, defense and security.
   The three leaders are expected to discuss the situation in
Zimbabwe, in the run-up to the presidential elections scheduled
for March 9-10.
   The 78-year-old Mugabe, who has been in power since Zimbabwe's
independence in 1980, is facing a strong challenge from Morgan
Tsvangirai, leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC).
   Doubtless Chissano and Muluzi will be interested in hearing
from Mugabe to what extent the Zimbabwean government has
implemented a long string of promises that it made at a SADC
summit held in the Malawian city of Blantyre in mid-January.
   At the Blantyre summit, Mugabe promised to accredit "a wide
range of international election observers".
   Attending the Beira meeting along with Mugabe will be his
Foreign Minister Stan Mudenge, State Security Minister Nicholas
Goche and Information Minister Jonathan Moyo.  Enditem


Zimbabwe oppsn leader says SADC endorsing Mugabe

CHITUNGWIZA, Zimbabwe, Feb. 17 — Zimbabwe's main opposition leader accused
southern Africa on Sunday of endorsing President Robert Mugabe and ignoring
a flawed electoral system.

       Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai told an
opposition rally attended by observers from neighbouring South Africa that
the Southern African Development Community (SADC) appeared bent on
supporting Mugabe.
       Tsvangirai poses the greatest threat to Mugabe's plans to extend his
22 years in power at elections on March 9-10.
       ''You cannot endorse an election process before it is complete,''
Tsvangirai said. ''It only reflects that you want to be in solidarity with
the leadership and not in solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe.''
       An advance team of 13 South African observers arrived in Zimbabwe
last week with a pledge to ensure free and fair presidential elections next
month, just days before Pierre Schori, the head of a European Union (EU)
observer mission, was expelled.
       Regional powerhouse South Africa had urged the EU not to press the
point of Schori's accreditation, but concentrate on observing the voting
       ''I want to say that SADC must live up to its responsibilities which
is to protect the people and not the leaders,'' Tsvangirai told a cheering
crowd of around 15,000 people.
       Mugabe travelled to Mozambique on Sunday to meet President Joaquim
Chissano and SADC head Bakili Muluzi, President of Malawi, to discuss the
crisis in his country.
       The regional grouping has come under fire for what critics say has
been a softly-softly approach to Mugabe.
       Tsvangirai also repeated his denials that he had any involvement in
an alleged plot to ''eliminate'' Mugabe and said it was a ploy by the
president to discredit him.
       ''He (Mugabe) is pulling the last card, trying to eliminate
Tvsangirai from the race. But if Tsvangirai is terminated in the grave or in
jail, Mugabe will not win this election,'' he said.
       Last week the Australian Special Broadcasting Service aired a video
it said showed Tsvangirai discussing a plot to kill Mugabe.


Zimbabwe's Mugabe seeks African support in EU row

HARARE, Feb. 17 — Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe briefed African leaders
on Sunday on the political crisis in his country and explain why he expelled
the head of an EU mission sent to monitor next month's presidential
        ''Because of recent events...regarding some monitors and
observers...we thought that we should convene this meeting to find out what
was going on,'' Southern African Development Community (SADC) chairman
Bakili Muluzi said after the meeting in Mozambique.
       A standoff between Zimbabwe and the European Union deepened on
Saturday after Harare risked EU sanctions by ordering out Swedish diplomat
Pierre Schori, who was leading a 30-strong team sent to observe the March
9-10 poll.
       Mugabe said on Sunday Schori had been expelled because he was not
from one of the nine European Union countries invited to observe elections.
       ''We had not invited them. No uninvited guests are allowed to come to
our election banquet,'' he said. ''And so Mr Schori went to our embassy in
Washington and got a tourist visa, which was unlawful, irregular, dishonest
and crookish.''
       Sweden and Britain are among six EU countries that Zimbabwe has
pointedly refused to invite to observe the election.
       Schori said on Sunday his ejection was absurd.
       ''They are trying to fabricate a bad case on semi-legal grounds, but
the whole thing is absurd,'' he told reporters after he arrived in London on
Sunday from Zimbabwe.
       Mugabe, facing the toughest electoral challenge in his 22 years in
power, is looking to his neighbours for support in the row that comes just
three weeks before the election.

       In public, the SADC has stood with Mugabe in the face of foreign
criticism. But regional analysts say the group has been trying privately to
persuade him to end a violent drive against opponents and a controversial
land seizure programme.
       In the row over Schori's accreditation, the regional power South
Africa urged the EU not to press the point but to concentrate on observing
the election process.
       The SADC opposes any sanctions against Mugabe, Zimbabwe's sole ruler
since the former Rhodesia gained independence from Britain in 1980.
       Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai told a rally on Sunday that the
SADC was endorsing Mugabe and ignoring a flawed election process.
       ''I want to say that SADC must live up to its responsibilities, which
is to protect the people and not the leaders,'' Tsvangirai told a crowd of
around 15,000 people that included a group of South African election
       Mugabe, who said on Sunday he was happy to receive invited observers,
particularly from Africa, said the elections would be free and fair.
       ''But of course the elections are going to be free and fair and we
don't want any violence. Where there has been violence, we have said it is
wrong,'' he said.
       Foreign ministers of the EU, which has threatened to slap sanctions
on Mugabe if its observer mission is hampered or if foreign media are barred
from covering the event, are to discuss Zimbabwe when they meet in Brussels
on Monday.
       At least three Swedish journalists were informed on Sunday that their
application to cover the elections had been turned down. No reason for the
refusal was given even though SADC leaders said last month that Mugabe had
told them he would allow international media to cover the elections.
       Mugabe has rejected European criticism of his human rights record and
accusations of dirty tricks and intimidation in the election campaign.
       In a separate development, the United Nations said on Sunday that
Zimbabwe had agreed to withdraw several hundred troops from the Democratic
Republic of Congo on Monday. The withdrawal of foreign armies is seen as
fundamental to pushing forward the shaky peace process in the former Zaire
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Zimbabwe to start Congo troop withdrawal on Monday

KINSHASA, Feb. 17 — Zimbabwe has said it will withdraw several hundred
troops from the Democratic Republic of Congo on Monday, a United Nations
official said on Sunday.

       Colonel Peter Williams, chief of staff for the U.N. mission to Congo
(MONUC), said the South African Defence Council issued a release on Friday
saying a ''mechanised battalion'' of 600 Zimbabweans would leave Mbuji-Mayi
in Eastern Kasai province.
       The withdrawal of foreign armies is seen as fundamental to pushing
forward the shaky peace process in the former Zaire, embroiled in a complex
three-and-a-half year war against rebel movements backed by eastern
neighbours Uganda and Rwanda.
       ''This would be the first major withdrawal of Zimbabwean troops we've
seen to date. Of course, we need to make certain that they do actually leave
and that they arrive in Harare and not in some other corner of Congo,''
Williams told Reuters.
       Long-awaited peace talks between the warring parties are set to begin
in South Africa on February 25 and Williams said the Zimbabwe withdrawal
would shift the spotlight onto Rwanda.
       ''Rwanda is already under a lot of international pressure to withdraw
their troops from Congo and this will certainly make Kigali's position that
much more exposed. Whether that bothers them or not I don't know,'' he said.
       Rebel groups control Congo's northern and eastern provinces while
their Ugandan and Rwandan backers use them to pillage the resource-rich
region by proxy. Rwanda says it will stay until it has caught those it
claims were behind a 1994 genocide.
       Zimbabwe, Angola and Namibia all sent troops to support Congo's
government. Namibia pulled out last year and Angola said it withdrew the
last of its forces this month, although Angolan officers are still in the
capital Kinshasa.
       Zimbabwean soldiers form the core of the presidential guard but the
exact number in Congo is difficult to confirm. Estimates run as high as
10,000 troops, or a third of Zimbabwe's army.
       President Joseph Kabila has rewarded Zimbabwe's support with valuable
diamond-mining concessions near Mbuji-Mayi.
       Kinshasa newspaper Le Potentiel said on Saturday Zimbabwe planned to
withdraw three of its five battalions by April.
       Many of the countries involved in the conflict have civil wars or
serious domestic problems of the own, including Zimbabwe which is scheduled
to hold controversial presidential elections in March.

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EU foreign ministers to weigh Zimbabwe sanctions

BRUSSELS, Feb. 17 — European Union foreign ministers may decide to slap
''smart sanctions'' on Zimbabwe on Monday following President Robert
Mugabe's expulsion of the head of an EU mission sent to observe next month's
        On Saturday, Zimbabwe ordered out Swedish diplomat Pierre Schori,
leading the 30-strong observer team for the March 9-10 presidential
election, accusing him of ''political arrogance.''
       ''Now that Schori has been forced to leave, an assessment has to be
made on the viability of the EU mission in Zimbabwe and that will be the
task of the ministers in Brussels on Monday,'' said Emma Udwin, spokeswoman
for the European Commission.
       The 15 EU ministers have threatened to impose targeted sanctions
against Mugabe and his closest associates -- including a visa ban and a
freeze on their overseas assets -- if they do not allow the observer mission
to carry out its job.
       The EU sanctions could also be triggered if Zimbabwe fails to allow
international media free access to cover the election.
       On Sunday, three Swedish journalists said Zimbabwe had refused to
accredit them for the election. Scores of other journalists have been turned
down by the authorities in the past six months and the BBC is banned from
Zimbabwe for alleged bias.
       ''The ministers will take a very hard-headed look at the situation on
the ground in Zimbabwe,'' said one senior diplomat.

       But some member states fear imposing sanctions would play into
Mugabe's hands by giving him the excuse to expel all independent election
observers. In addition, France is sceptical about the effectiveness of any
economic sanctions.
       ''Our objective is not just to keep the observers there,'' said the
senior diplomat. ''They also have to be operational. If the ministers feel
the mission is being frustrated, strung along...I think they'll conclude
that sanctions are unavoidable.''
       The foreign ministers have also to consider the future credibility of
the EU as an election observer, diplomats said.
       ''After all, this is not the last election we will be called upon to
observe. And the ministers made clear in January that sanctions would be
imposed if the observer mission was not allowed to function properly,'' the
diplomat added.
       Britain, Zimbabwe's former colonial power, favours a tougher stance
towards Mugabe, who has accused London of ''poisoning'' the rest of the
wealthy bloc against his country.
       Zimbabwe said observers from Britain and five other EU countries that
have been especially critical of Mugabe's human rights record -- Sweden, the
Netherlands, Germany, Finland and Denmark -- would not be welcome.

       So far only Schori has had his visa revoked. Zimbabwe said it took
the action after Schori, who is Sweden's ambassador to the United Nations,
made public statements despite having entered the country only on a tourist
       In a statement issued on Saturday, Schori said: ''Leaving Harare
today, my feelings are more of sorrow than of anger. I know that most
Zimbabweans earnestly desire that relations with the European Union should
continue to deepen and flourish.''
       He added the rest of the EU observer mission had been officially
accredited and was deploying across the country. His report will form the
basis of Monday's decision.
       Mugabe, who left Harare on Sunday to tour neighbouring countries in a
bid to rally African support, faces the biggest political challenge of his
22-year rule.
       He rejects the EU criticism of his human rights record and
accusations of dirty tricks and intimidation in the election campaign,
taking place against a backdrop of deepening economic crisis and political
       The foreign ministers are also due on Monday to discuss Bosnia, the
Middle East and the EU's plans to admit new members from ex-communist
eastern Europe.

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Sweden's Schori hits back after Zimbabwe expulsion

LONDON, Feb. 17 — The Swedish diplomat expelled from Zimbabwe amid a tense
standoff over election observers hit back at President Robert Mugabe's
government on Sunday, saying his ejection from the country was ''absurd.''

       Pierre Schori, who flew into London on Sunday after being forced to
leave Zimbabwe on Saturday when his visa was cancelled, accused Zimbabwean
authorities of fabricating false reasons to expel him.
       Officials in Harare say Schori -- who had been at the head of a
30-strong European Union mission sent to monitor next month's presidential
election -- breached his visa conditions and was ''guilty of political
arrogance and insulting behaviour.''
       But Schori dismissed the claims.
       ''They are trying to fabricate a bad case on semi-legal grounds, but
the whole thing is absurd,'' he told reporters when he arrived in London.
       Sweden and Britain, the former colonial power, are among six EU
countries Zimbabwe has pointedly refused to invite to observe an election
which is being held against a backdrop of deepening economic crisis and
political violence.
       Schori said he feared Mugabe was bent on making life difficult for
observers, and determined to keep opposition to his rule to a minimum.
       ''Things have gotten much tougher, they are tightening the screw,''
the diplomat said. ''I don't know what they want to hide, but evidently they
do not want some of us to be there.''
       Mugabe has rejected European criticism of his human rights record and
accusations of dirty tricks and intimidation in the campaign for next
month's voting.
       The EU has threatened to impose sanctions on Mugabe -- including
possible travel bans on Mugabe and his closest associates and a freeze on
their foreign-held assets -- if its observer mission is hampered.
       EU foreign ministers are due to discuss Zimbabwe at a meeting in
Brussels on Monday.
       But Schori said he did not think sanctions were imminent.
       ''At the very far end, there might be sanctions or there might be
agreements or whatever,'' he told the BBC.
       ''The election observation stands on its own feet and it's up to the
ministers to see whether these two tracks go together or not.''

Yahoo News

EU observer doubts fair Zimbabwe poll

LONDON (Reuters) - The Swedish diplomat expelled from Zimbabwe amid a tense
standoff over election observers says that prospects for a free and fair
poll there next month do not look bright.

Pierre Schori, who flew into London on Sunday after being forced to leave
Zimbabwe on Saturday when his visa was cancelled, said the presence of
international election observers was important for the proper conduct of the
March 9-10 poll.

Asked by Channel 4 television news whether there was any chance of free and
fair elections in Zimbabwe, Schori said: "Of course it doesn't look bright.

"The presence of international observers is very important because they help
to reduce the level of violence by their visibility, and they also inspire
confidence in the voters to feel more secure to go out to vote on voting

Officials in Harare say Schori -- who had been at the head of a 30-strong
European Union mission sent to monitor presidential election -- breached his
visa conditions and was "guilty of political arrogance and insulting

But Schori dismissed the claims.

"They are trying to fabricate a bad case on semi-legal grounds, but the
whole thing is absurd," he told reporters when he arrived in London.

Sweden and Britain, the former colonial power, are among six EU countries
Zimbabwe has pointedly refused to invite to observe an election which is
being held against a backdrop of deepening economic crisis and political

Schori said he feared Mugabe was bent on making life difficult for
observers, and determined to keep opposition to his rule to a minimum.

"Things have gotten much tougher, they are tightening the screw," the
diplomat said. "I don't know what they want to hide, but evidently they do
not want some of us to be there."

Mugabe has rejected European criticism of his human rights record and
accusations of dirty tricks and intimidation in the campaign for next
month's voting.

The EU has threatened to impose sanctions on Mugabe -- including possible
travel bans on Mugabe and his closest associates and a freeze on their
foreign-held assets -- if its observer mission is hampered.

EU foreign ministers are due to discuss Zimbabwe at a meeting in Brussels on

Schori said they faced a "very difficult" choice, with possible sanctions
and the withdrawal of the observer mission all matters to be discussed.

He had submitted his own report on the observer mission and did not want to
say anything in advance.

But he added: "The expulsion of the leader of the EU mission doesn't help."

Sunday, 17 February, 2002, 20:11 GMT
Zimbabwe dilemma for EU ministers
Pierre Schori at Harare International Airport
The EU observers have lost their leader
European Union foreign ministers will meet on Monday to decide what action to take against Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe after the expulsion of the head of their team of election observers.

Pierre Schori, who flew into London after his visa was cancelled, is expected to report to the ministers at the meeting in Brussels.

Possible EU sanctions
Travel ban on Mr Mugabe and about 20 close associates
Freeze on any assets they hold in EU states
Mr Schori said he had been ejected on "false grounds" in an unprecedented move against the head of a monitoring team.

But he appeared to play down the prospect of immediate sanctions against President Mugabe's government.

He said he had been accused by the Zimbabwean authorities of political bias and of abusing his status as a tourist - despite stating all along that he was in the country as part of the EU observer mission.

"I think they are trying to fabricate a bad case on semi-legal grounds but the whole thing is absurd," Mr Schori said.

Policeman arrests opposition supporter in Harare, 15 February
Mugabe is accused of using his power to suppress opposition
He said he was "not in the sanctions business" and would prefer further talks with Harare, before adding that it was up to the EU's foreign ministers to decide on what action to take.

Mr Schori leaves behind a team of 30 observers in Zimbabwe who are continuing to prepare to cover the vote.

Mr Mugabe has been seeking to enlist the support of other African leaders in the face of allegations of violence and intimidation against his political opponents.

He justified the expulsion of Mr Schori when he met other African leaders on Sunday in Mozambique, describing Mr Schori, a Swede, as an "uninvited guest" to Zimbabwe's "election banquet".

His government accuses Britain, Denmark, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden of supporting the opposition.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe
Mugabe: Elections will be "free and fair"
"Mr Schori went to our embassy in Washington and got a tourist visa, which was unlawful, irregular, dishonest and crookish," Mr Mugabe told Mozambique President Joaquim Chissano and President Bakili Muluzi of Malawi.

He insisted that the election would be "free and fair".

The president of Malawi also chairs the South African Development Community (SADC), which is due to send its own election observers to Zimbabwe on Monday.

But the head of the Zimbabwean opposition, Morgan Tsvangirai, has accused the SADC of backing Mr Mugabe.

"SADC must live up to its responsibilities, which is to protect the people and not the leaders," he told a meeting of his supporters

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Money Supply Growth Continues to Spiral

Zimbabwe Independent (Harare)

February 15, 2002
Posted to the web February 17, 2002

Forward Maisokwadzo

ECONOMISTS have warned that government's failure to control money supply growth, which continues to move upwards towards three digit levels on the back of high domestic credit expansion, will fuel inflation.

Bulawayo-based economist, Erich Bloch said the surge in money supply growth was catastrophic as it is the biggest single cause of inflation.

Make calls to Zimbabwe

Money supply growth maintained its upswing (89,2% in October 2001) on the back of high domestic credit expansion (75,5%) of which government accounts for 50%.

"Government is the principal cause of inflation," said Bloch, arguing that the extent to which government was heavily borrowing from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe was tantamount to the printing of money.

He said the upward trend would continue considering the government's high expenditure to bolster the presidential campaign.

"Until a time when government manages to cut and control its expenditure, the current inflation pattern will remain on the horizon," he said.

Analysts say the prevailing economic instability stifled investment and the situation was worsened by a manipulated foreign exchange policy.

Government's domestic debt had already breached the $200 billion dollar mark. Analysts said this fuelled inflationary pressures.

Independent economist John Robertson said a surge in money supply growth was worrying because it showed that credit creation by government exceeded economic growth.

Robertson warned that borrowing for commercial purposes instead of industrial production was a great source of inflation.

Economists attributed the continued increase of money supply to the government's over expenditure and heavy borrowings from the domestic banking sector amid foreign currency shortages.

They said that government was spending more money than it could save for investment, a situation which would result in continued borrowings to meet its debt repayment obligations.

Robertson said he was worried at the rate at which the economy was shrinking compared to the high rate of money supply.

"We are rapidly heading for a hard landing," one bank economist said.

The economists said with the inflation rate at 112,1%, money policy in 2002 would continue to be driven by the government's need to finance the fiscal deficit, mainly by local borrowings through Treasury bills and by printing of money.

The RBZ reported that the annual broad money supply rate averaged 21,9% in 1998 before accelerating to the current level which is in excess of 8,2% by October 2001.

Analysts said the introduction of higher Zimbabwe dollar denominations was indicative of a rising demand for money transactions on the back of rising commodity prices.

Analysts maintained that the multiple shocks to the government budget which had seen financing increasingly being done through money creation, was also accelerating the depreciation of the local currency.

They said a vicious circle of fiscal deficits, currency devaluation and substitution, fuelling the inflation spiral through the quick rise was now very apparent.

Fund managers said other solutions to arrest money supply growth were to hike the bank rate currently at 52% or for the RBZ to increase the statutory reserve for banks.

Although the government has so far been successful in manipulating monetary policy, pushing interest rates down to levels well below the rate of inflation in the first half of the year, it was not clear how long it could continue with the strategy.

Currently indications were that the domestic financial markets expected interest rates to remain negative until the presidential election next month, although they could increase modestly.

Analysts said they believed that after the election a more conventional (and tighter) monetary policy was likely to be introduced, as part of a post-election reform package, which would push interest rates up.

They said money supply forecasting proved to be difficult as the RBZ confirmed announcing surpluses. The rate at which the money market was continuing to be in surplus even without made difficult for analysts to forecast the direction the market would take, they said.

Maize Shortage Hits Milling Companies

Zimbabwe Independent (Harare)

February 15, 2002
Posted to the web February 17, 2002

Stanley James

ZIMBABWE'S milling industry is set to scale down operations because of the maize shortages which have thrown the sector into crisis, it emerged this week.

Sources in the industry who spoke on condition of anonymity said inadequate maize supplies had adversely impacted on the production processes of the three major milling companies, National Foods, Blue Ribbon Foods and Victoria Milling.

The country is experiencing serious maize shortages which have resulted in the staple mealie-meal becoming scarce.

It is feared the shortages in the supply of maize-meal might force the industry to adopt measures to minimise production costs.

The Zimbabwe Independent established that while there had been efforts to improve the supply of maize to the milling firms, most millers were still short of the commodity.

"If the situation does not improve, it will be difficult to sustain production in the long term," said a manager for a top milling firm.

The shortage of maize has impacted on the bottom line of the milling sector already reeling under escalating production costs and the negative impact of price controls on the commodity.

Sources in the industry said some millers were planning to scale down non-production departments to stay solvent.

The erratic supply of mealie-meal has also impacted on the retail sector where demand outstrips supply. Long queues have sprouted all over the country and people are being forced to spend days waiting for supplies Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe vice chairman, James Mangwana Tshuma, yesterday said milling industry officials were holding numerous meetings with the Grain Marketing Board to map the way forward.

He refused to give details on the operational crisis being faced by the industry

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