Sent: Tuesday, February 01, 2005 1:37 AM
Five down, six to go.
It was quite an experience
to watch the BBC backtrack on Monday morning as
news came in on the Iraq
elections. It now looks as if up to 68 per cent of
the people voted and what
was even more astonishing is that they were
clearly enthusiastic about the
experience. So much for the doomsayers.
In the Sunni areas where
voting was lowest, the women led the way in a
remarkable display of courage
and commitment to their own freedom.
The Americans have been
there before of course. First there was the way in
which an American General,
Marshal, took a shattered Europe after 5 years of
war against a tyrannical
government, which had at last overstepped the mark.
Millions died in the
conflict but it took the Americans to make the peace.
Today, modern Europe is
a child of American military intervention on the
side of democracy and
Secondly, there was Japan. Ruled by another tyrannical
regime Japan had
fought a war against the rest of the world in an effort to
control over much of China and the Pacific Rim. Once beaten by
arms - mainly American - it was another American General who took
Japan and put it back on its feet, in a way that created modern
democratic, principled and dynamic. This was a remarkable story - of
General who insisted his men ate what was only available to every
citizen. A man who recognized the value of Japanese culture and
it was respected in the modern structures being established. A
ideas remain at the heart of modern Japan 60 years
Then came the collapse of the Soviet Union and the global
effort by the
Americans and the new Europeans to ensure that the fires of
freedom set loose in the Soviet landscape was fed and nurtured
much of the old empire is democratic and free.
world has a very short memory but we need to keep this in mind when we
fault with what the US is doing today in Iraq and Afghanistan. Lets be
enough to accept that what they have achieved in these two countries
remarkable. Especially when you understand how little they will get back
return. In military terms the effect of regime change in both countries
been a stunning story and the loss of such a small number of men and
in the exercise is a tribute to training and
But even more remarkable is the commitment to giving
these liberated people
the right to self-determination as quickly as possible
and making the
commitment to ensure the resulting government is
self-sustaining. In the
history of global conquest, these actions are
absolutely unique. Both
Britain and the US leadership deserve recognition for
Now Condoleezza Rice turns the sights of the
American administration to the
other "tyrannies" in the world. Belarus, Cuba,
Burma, North Korea, Iran and
Zimbabwe. She talked of the test of freedom as
being the ability of any
citizen to walk to the town center and say in public
what they think of
their governments and not suffer any consequences. She
committed her period
as the most powerful woman on earth to eliminating these
regimes and winning
for their peoples the kind of simple freedoms that
citizens in free
countries take for granted.
Now that Iraq and
Afghanistan are on their way to becoming democracies in
which the rule of law
and the respect for human and political freedoms are
the norm, rather than
the exception; surely we are next!
Zimbabwe is an easy case to
deal with - no military conflicts, military
intervention not required. Global
consensus that change is needed to put the
country back on the map. A
powerful neighbor who is susceptible to pressure
and committed to the same
principles as they are - at least on paper. Regime
change here would not be
hard to secure by democratic means, all it requires
is a bit of pressure in
the right places.
There are signs that this is happening - the
statement by the ANC that
conditions in Zimbabwe are "not conducive to free
and fair elections" and
the accompanying threat that if this is not changed,
and soon, they might
not recognize the elections. That is tough talk. Then
Cosatu coming back to
Zimbabwe and also talking tough, throw us out this time
- at your peril.
At stake is a great deal. Zimbabwe as the bad
apple in the region is slowing
down regional economies, inhibiting trade and
other agreements with the
developed countries and interfering with the
proposed massive effort by the
EU and the United States to turn Africa around
and get us on track to
achieve the Millennium goals by 2015. We stand in the
way of progress and
recovery and are being held to ransom by the whims of an
aging group of old
style nationalists who simply do not know when it is time
to step down.
Zimbabwe is a test case for African leaders. Can
they sort it out in a way
that puts us back into the community of Nations and
international effort to help Africa meet its peoples needs? We
are about to
see if this is something they can do without US or European
A few years ago my son and I were driving through
the bush in eastern Zambia
some 100 kilometers from the Malawi border. We
came across a small clearing
with a few huts and three small children, two
boys and a little girl. The
boys were selling mushrooms and we stopped to buy
some from them. While this
was going on something caught my eye - the sight
of the small girl pulling
herself along the path on the ground in a frantic
effort to get to the
action. I took some chocolate cookies and walked down
the path to where she
I do not know how old she was but
she was paralyzed from the waist down and
was filthy from pulling herself
along the ground. But what caught my
attention was her face - two intelligent
and bright eyes looked at me, no
sign of self-pity or pleading, just a steady
look at this stranger from
another planet. I gave her the cookies and sat
with her on the ground for a
minute - she spoke Chinyanga and I knew a little
She haunted me for weeks afterwards - I contacted a
Presbyterian Hospital in
Malawi and asked them to go and see what they could
do for her - offering to
pay whatever it cost. I heard no more but I still
remember that bright young
face on a broken body with a spirit that would not
lie down. I am in this
fight for her and millions like her who need a better,
brighter future. You
might disagree, but I think that what Ms. Rice intends
doing will help in
31st January 2005.
PROMOTING NON-VIOLENT PRINCIPLES TO
We have a fundamental
right to freedom of expression!
Education – A Shattered Hope
Sokwanele Reporter: 31
January is a time of new beginnings. For the adults – new year
resolutions, for the children – new schools, new teachers, new classrooms and
new friends. But in Zimbabwe January brings the same old problem: where to find
money for school fees, for uniforms, for books. The only difference is that it
gets worse every year. In 2005, not less than $400,000 will be required for each
child to begin the school year, to pay fees, levy, buy a pair of shoes, one
dress or shirt and shorts, socks and jersey. But new books are needed too – at
least $600,000 for a set if they are new, perhaps $300,000 if you are lucky to
get them second-hand. That is for one child, in an urban primary school, but
most parents have more. Imagine a working man or woman, who earns one million
a month, or much less, trying to find the money to send 3 children to school.
They simply can’t. The first item abandoned is the books, so children’s chance
of success is prejudiced. Next they have to decide which of the three will have
to drop out. Will it be the girl, who can perhaps marry a working man, or the
oldest who at least has finished grade 7?
It wasn’t always like this. Fifteen years ago the
biggest problem was to find a place in a school close to your home. The schools
were overflowing. Places had to be booked half way through the previous year,
or even earlier. Fees still had to be found, but they were relatively low,
books were available, often purchased by the school. Government allocations did
not cover everything, but they covered far more than they do today. Levies
charged were used to supplement – for sports, extra books or teachers,
equipment, capital development. Classes were large and teachers underpaid,
older buildings were deteriorating, but the system somehow functioned with its
imperfections. Those who were not satisfied and who could afford to, sent their
children to private schools runs by missions, churches, or the very expensive
But already in 1990 there was a serious disjunction
between education and the economy; the thousands of school leavers each year
were having difficulty finding employment. Pressure built up to invest more in
tertiary education so that they could occupy themselves in more advanced courses
which might lead to better jobs. The lack of integrated national policies was
leading towards major contradictions. Fifteen years later, those
contradictions, combined with the destructiveness of the “land reform” and all
that goes with it, has brought education to near breaking point.
Educational development was hailed as one of the
great achievements of the Zimbabwean government of the 1980’s. Within a few
months of Independence in April 1980, the government had announced that all
grade 7 pupils could proceed to Form 1, thus transforming an exclusive,
selective system into one which was open for all. There followed a frenzy of
building and development, especially of secondary schools, but also of teacher
training facilities. Syllabuses were changed and developed and textbooks
written, printed and distributed.
The subsequent progress was not without its
conflicts, as politics took the forefront. In the interests of socialist
equality, the despised but in fact highly practical F2 vocational secondary
schools were dismantled. Everyone must follow an academic curriculum and write
O level in four years. Added to that was the programme of “Education for
Production”, widely misunderstood and variously interpreted in different schools
and colleges, but universally resented by teachers, pupils, parents and
administrators. Eventually it died a natural death. What a pity; in a
different context it could have been a positive and practical programme which
would have contributed to productive activity.
The greatest achievement was in quantitative
expansion, as enrolments doubled and redoubled, especially in secondary
education. Predictably, standards dropped through the 80’s, as class sizes
doubled, and pupils who failed O levels became “temporary” teachers in rural
“upper tops” – primary school classrooms used temporarily to accommodate Form 1
and 2 classes while their schools were built. Pupils walked up to ten
kilometres to learn from unqualified youth and returned home exhausted at
night. In urban schools, shifts were used to multiply the numbers. Yet all
were presented with an academic curriculum designed in other countries for less
than half the population. Nevertheless, the small fee required for secondary
school attendance was affordable, primary school pupils paid practically
nothing, and parents were happy that their children were at last able to be
educated and hope for a better future. Enrolments reached 86% of the primary
school age population in 1990, and 90% in 2000. Secondary enrolment never
attained the same percentages, but it more than quadrupled over the years. The
effect on adult literacy rates was dramatic – by 1990 they were the highest in
Africa, and by 2002 reached 90%. The youth literacy rate (age 13-24) hit 94% in
1990 and 98%in 2002.
What a resource had been created for the country’s
But the development was uneven. It was not planned
in relation to the growth of the economy. Commercial agriculture remained
largely in the hands of white farmers, using manual labour. It could not absorb
much more educated labour without a major reorganisation, which did not come,
and there were cases of farmers resisting the establishment of secondary schools
for the children of their workers. In the communal areas as well, those
adolescents removed from their traditional role in the family fields to linger
in the classroom do not expect to return to the arduous and often unrewarding
tasks of ploughing, cultivating and harvesting. They join the trek to the towns
where they look for “real” jobs. Rural educational development swelled the
long-established urban migration to a flood and depleted the rural areas of
essential labour. The addition of agriculture to an otherwise academic rural
curriculum did nothing to alleviate the problem. The notion of an “educated”
person who had gone to secondary school finding a future “at home” was simply
laughable. In the thinking of most rural people, the whole purpose of being
educated was to leave the village.
The failure to dovetail educational development
with economic development only began to have serious consequences after a decade
of Independence. There was such a long way to catch up, and the economy was
growing, still enjoying the “Independence dividend” right through the 1980’s.
The contradictions remained simmering under the surface. But when the economy
began shrinking after 1990 under the influence of ESAP, steam began escaping
from the pot. Government spending was not matching its income. An ESAP
programme dictated that this must be corrected. The high expenditures on social
services, primarily education and health, must cease, and the costs of these
must be recovered from the beneficiaries.
School fees were reintroduced on a higher scale.
The School Development Associations, which had replaced Parent-Teacher
Associations were now expected to take a major role in “developing” the
schools. For this purpose they could levy the parents for payments approved by
the Ministry. Gradually “development” changed from simply meaning expansion of
buildings, to cover repairs, textbooks, all science and sports equipment,
security, grounds maintenance and finally even electricity and water bills.
Government continued to charge a “tuition fee” and to provide a per capita grant
to each school, which was meant to pay for school administration and general
operating costs, but by 2000, it was the SDA-administered levies which were
sustaining the schools. Obviously this type of arrangement produced enormous
discrepancies between schools in high-income and low-income areas. The former
could afford to vote for high levies which would provide all the amenities a
school could want, while the latter could afford the bare minimum. The
wealthier schools could also afford to pay professional book keepers and keep
track of the expenditure, while the poorer schools, with fewer well-educated
parents, experienced high levels of fraud and corruption in the administration
of SDA funds.
For those who were losing their jobs under the
onslaught of ESAP and those who never had jobs, a Social Dimensions Fund was
established which would pay fees. Others depended on various charitable
initiatives. But by the end of the 90’s, the government was no longer
allocating adequate amounts to the Social Dimensions Fund, and larger numbers of
children simply dropped out, especially from secondary education which was far
more expensive. The BEAM programme which replaced it catered for only a few of
The lack of allocations for education was affecting
teachers as well. Teaching was not a profession of choice for many. Even from
the early 80’s it had been seen as a stepping stone to something better for
those who could not qualify to attend university. The fact that most teachers
would have to work in rural areas without modern amenities made it unattractive
for most ambitious youth, and the deteriorating salaries in comparison to other
professions put the seal on the matter.
A mood of despondency gripped the whole education
sector. Many teachers only remained because they had no other opportunities;
pupils could not expect to do well with little equipment, and for most, their
years in school did not lead to jobs. Hundreds of thousands of school leavers
were unemployed by the early 90’s. Government did not look for an economic
solution, as they were already committed to ESAP. The best they could attempt
was the expansion of tertiary education. Thus, instead of putting money into
job-creation, they put up new universities and colleges, to absorb the thousands
who could not find jobs. Fees were again low, heavily subsidised. While an
attempt was made to integrate some of the courses with economic requirements,
especially at NUST, at Midlands State University and the Hotel School at the
Bulawayo Polytech, the sad thing was that the economy was no longer developing
to absorb them.
The best most could do was to get jobs teaching – engineers
teaching maths in secondary schools, for example.
For a while it seemed as if Zimbabwe was only a
nation of teachers and learners. The products of the new institutions
immediately became lecturers in the next new institution. But this could not
continue for long. The exodus began, and the new ambition of youthful graduates
was to get enough qualifications to leave Zimbabwe for a place where they could
get well paid. Just as secondary schools in rural areas became funnels
channelling young people to the towns, tertiary institutions became avenues
leading out of the country. The amounts of money being poured into tertiary
institutions became a drain on the economy, because the graduates could not find
productive employment. Zimbabwean institutions became training grounds for
The situation in education was already bad by 2000
when Zimbabwe plunged over the edge. Since then, along with everything else in
the country, it has become catastrophic. Government policies which have
destroyed the economy have impacted heavily on education. All efforts to
balance inputs and outputs have been sacrificed for political expediency and for
the perceived need to retain ZANU PF in power.
The current crisis in education is manifested in a
variety of ways; these include contraction of enrolment, especially at primary
level, but also at secondary, under-funding, declining standards and
politicisation of education. Government doesn’t seem to have any policy at all
about how education relates to the economy or develops the potential of
individuals. It is just a matter, as with everything else, of keeping systems
running in any manner possible, as long as ZANU PF can stay in government. In
this context, education has assumed another important role – another channel for
control of the population.
Much of the loss of enrolment has occurred from the
former farm schools. They may not have been as good as they should have been,
but at least they existed, providing a basic primary education for children on
commercial farms. When white farmers were driven off the farms, these schools
went with them. The drop in enrolment from over 90% of primary school age
children in 2000 to 65% today is in large part attributable to the dispersal of
the farm worker communities and the demise of their schools. Those who remain
on the farms are generally not paid workers and most of the schools are no
longer functioning. Those who have moved elsewhere generally cannot afford even
the primary school fees. The rest of the drop comes from families who cannot
raise school fees and in any case have lost hope that schooling will benefit
their children. Why struggle to pay for secondary education when it does not
lead to employment?
Under-funding has several causes. The first is
government’s lack of funds as a result of the mismanagement and subsequent
collapse of the economy. Second is the poor prioritisation of budget
allocations, also caused by inappropriate policies. Money goes to heavy
subsidisation of corrupt loss-making parastatals, to fuel procurement, to
subsidise agricultural produce. It is being thrown at “new farmers” who produce
little and rarely repay the loans, and being stolen by a predatory governing
elite. And it is being spent on “state” security which is in reality the
retention of power by ZANU PF. There is a clear lack of commitment to maintain
standards in education, as all attention is focussed on the “third chimurenga”.
Government has now indicated that it will fund virtually nothing except
teachers’ salaries, which are also far too low. True, that is the single
largest item of recurrent expenditure on education, but there is much, much
more, and parents have to provide the difference – parents who are already so
hard pressed that they live in despair and desperation. Education takes up an
ever higher proportion of their income, at a time when real incomes are falling
rapidly. Parents simply are incapable of doing it. The consequence is low
morale amongst teachers and pupils, crumbling buildings, few text books, crowded
classrooms, an absence of any other equipment, and much higher levels of school
dropouts, in both rural and urban areas. Even a substantial increase in
teachers’ salaries will do little to improve the situation. With the lowest
paid teacher earning only half as much as the lowest paid soldier, it is clear
where government priorities lie.
The politicization of education is not new. We saw
how socialist ideology affected the curriculum in the 1980’s. But with ZANU
PF’s popularity in question since 2000, every government institution has been
swept into the campaign to protect their hold on power. Teachers in rural areas
have been targeted and chased from their schools, accused of being opposition
supporters. Too frequently they have been replaced by unqualified graduates of
Border Gezi militia camps. Entry into teacher training colleges is reserved for
those who have been through the same training and can be deemed “loyal”.
Administrators who refused to be drawn into open support of ZANU PF have been
forced to resign, while spies and informers are placed in schools to report on
any anti-ZANU PF sentiments. History has been made a required secondary school
subject, and its content distorted to glorify ZANU PF and its liberation war. A
modern society needs young people who have learned to question and be creative,
not those whose minds are dulled by being refused the privilege of thinking. It
needs an enlightened concern for the individual child’s needs, not the militia
idea of harsh discipline verging on brutality.
And finally, having failed to allocate sufficient
funds to education, government prevents others from filling the gap. It has
refused to allow those who have the means, to raise levies to a level adequate
to the proper running of a school. SDA’s are expected to raise money to run the
schools, and inflation still close to 200% and rising again, it is inevitable
that levies must go up. But government prevented this last year, and is doing
Government knows that parents are struggling to pay
the levies raised; instead of raising budget allocations, they hope to gain
political capital by preventing SDA’s, and in private schools, the boards, from
raising fees beyond a given level, while insisting that they provide the same
service they have always done. This is the same “we can make water run uphill”
attitude that they have shown towards economic imperatives. An urban primary
school which calculated it required a levy of $200,000 per term per child to
cover all essential costs, is told that it cannot peg it higher than $60,000.
Yet $60,000 will not be enough to run the school. Already, water is restricted
to flushing the toilets, while washing of hands is not allowed, and the taps are
dry. What kind of hygiene education is this? How long can a school function on
one third of the funds budgeted? How long before schools become health hazards,
and cease to teach because there are no books, furniture, or exercise books to
write in? Certainly, ZANU PF will blame the SDA’s when schools collapse. But
it will not be the fault of the school or the SDA. It is the fault of
government who abrogate their responsibilities and sacrifice everything for
Instead of telling the people the truth – that it
is unable or unwilling to provide affordable education, government blames the
SDA’s and the boards of the private schools for trying to maintain their
schools. Private schools have even had to obtain a court order to stop
government from using force to close them down. Up to now, the schools have
managed to hold together. But after two years of holding back school fees for
the sake of ZANU PF’s popularity, we have a catastrophic situation: fees which
parents still cannot afford, plus collapsing infrastructure, plus decreasing
quality of education.
A similar situation prevails at the universities.
We spent a lot of money putting up expensive buildings. The fees, which used to
be heavily subsidised, were raised drastically two years ago, making university
education beyond the reach of the vast majority. But still there is not enough
money to attract qualified staff, essential equipment to teach technical courses
is not available, and libraries are pathetically under-stocked. Students pursue
courses and graduate, but the majority spend months before they secure
employment, while many take the first opportunity to leave the country. It is
testimony to the calibre of both staff and students that the universities
function at all. And yet, unbelievably, government continues to promise people
universities in places where there are no A level schools, and A level
classrooms in schools where no one passes O level.
The funnel gets wider and more powerful as schools,
colleges and universities are utilised by each participant for their own
purposes: by politicians to get votes, by young people to get enough
qualifications to escape from Zimbabwe, by teachers to gain a wrung on the
employment ladder which may lead to something better, by political thugs as
targets for their frustrations. No one seems to see education any more in terms
of the visions of a decade ago – “preparing our future leaders”, “instilling
moral values”, or even as a tool of social and economic
With the economy in freefall, government continues
to make promises while delivering nothing. Our once vibrant system, in spite
of some contradictions, promised much for the future; but it is in shambles.
Fewer and fewer children are able to participate and of those who do, fewer are
able to benefit from the low quality education now being offered. It is clear
that it will take many years before the educational institutions can be turned
into what they should be – well-resourced centres of learning which provide the
moral and intellectual development for young people while supporting a growing
Very little can be expected until the government
changes and the economy returns to a growth pattern. Then a more realistic new
policy can be devised which will link education with the needs of development.
Until that happens, parents will still struggle to keep their children in
schools, but most are having to accept the sad reality that education will not
bring a better life for youth in Zimbabwe. It is more likely to lead only to an
unproductive life on the streets, or for the lucky ones, escape to a happier
life beyond Zimbabwe’s borders.
ZIMBABWE: "Govt has to import to improve food security situation"
report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United
JOHANNESBURG, 31 January (IRIN) - Humanitarian workers are
the food security situation in Zimbabwe but told IRIN the
extent of the
problem hinges on the ability of the government to import
enough grain to
cover a production deficit.
The US-funded Famine Early
Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) last week
said 5.8 million Zimbabweans -
almost half the population - were in need
of food aid.
In its overview
of food security threats in sub-Saharan Africa, FEWS NET
noted that the
situation in Zimbabwe is "deteriorating", and "staple food
declining as market prices continue to rise".
The minister of lands,
agriculture and rural development, Joseph Made, has
dismissed the FEWS NET
report. He was quoted by the official newspaper,
The Herald, as saying,
"Those claims from the West are simply because we
have embarked on an
anti-Blair [British Prime Minister] campaign for our
elections, and they can
see the land is in our hands. This is a clear
signal of how desperate they
Made said the state-owned Grain Marketing Board (GMB), which holds
monopoly on the purchase and distribution of cereals, was
370,000 mt of grain. "That is besides the 400,000 mt sitting in
strategic reserve. Apart from that, we are moving some carryover
into the country."
The government has maintained that Zimbabwe
produced 2.4 mt of maize last
year, against a national requirement of about
1.8 mt. However, a report by
the parliamentary portfolio committee on lands
and agriculture revealed
that by October 2004, the GMB had received only
388,558 mt: the board told
the committee that some farmers preferred to hold
onto their grain stocks
rather than sell to the GMB.
estimates said the country produced only about a million
metric tonnes of
maize last year.
In May 2004 the government decided not to renew an
international food aid and controversially cancelled a crop
mission by the Food and Agriculture Organisation and World Food
(WFP), claiming there would be a bumper harvest.
to the South African Grain Information Services (SAGIS), more
than 32,000 mt
of maize was exported to Zimbabwe through South Africa
between November 2004
and January this year.
A report on informal cross-border food trade,
released by FEWS NET last
week, indicated that since July 2004, Zimbabweans
had also informally
imported 8,290 mt from Zambia.
Aid workers in
Zimbabwe told IRIN they suspected the figures reflected in
import/export records were "too low" and did not fully reflect
the amount of
grain the government was bringing into the country.
They also stressed
that the government's capacity to cover its import bill
would determine the
food security situation over what is traditionally the
lean season, from
December to March.
The humanitarian community faces a difficult working
Zimbabwe, and aid officials said it was difficult to gather
comprehensive assessment of household-level food availability in
But, according to separate surveys released by both
FEWS NET and WFP
earlier this month, while staple cereals are increasingly
rural areas, maize prices on the parallel market continue to
limiting the ability of households to buy enough food to satisfy
"Zimbabweans have been facing food shortages since 2002
[when 7.2 million
people through to March 2003 were in need of food aid] and
mechanisms are exhausted", an aid worker commented.
McIvor of the development agency Save the Children, which operates
impoverished northern Zambezi Valley said, "People's survival
raised similar concerns, as they did in 2002, primarily
because of the impact
on children's lives. For example, their withdrawal
from school; the time
spent on labour activities rather than on education;
the exposure to hazards
occasioned by trying to find wild foods to
supplement their family's
"We continue to note a high incidence of chronic malnutrition [in
Zambezi Valley], which is indicative of a perennial food shortage in
area, which impacts on the growth of children. Acute malnutrition,
is an indicator of sudden food crisis, continues to remain
Other aid workers said the GMB was struggling to
regularly supply all its
depots in the countryside. Maize was available in
some GMB outlets, but
only for "a few days" at a time.
Vulnerability Assessment Committee report in April 2004,
endorsed by the
government, projected that around 41 percent of the rural
million people) would be food insecure from December 2004
to March 2005 if
the price of maize reached Zim $750/kg. Maize is already
selling at above Zim
$1,100/kg in most rural areas, reaching Zim $2,000/kg
in the worst hit
districts, FEWS NET said in a report published in
of living in urban areas increased steadily during 2004, and the
urban households struggle to meet their basic expenditure
The cost of food, as well as non-food items, rose by 92 percent
January to November 2004, but wages failed to keep up. According to
Consumer Council of Zimbabwe, the minimum industrial wage of Zim
(about US $86.96) could cover only 31 percent of the November
Zimbabwe could have another poor harvest this year
after late seasonal
rains, particularly in the midlands and southern
provinces, and lack of
inputs for farmers.
WFP spokesman Mike Huggins
said although it was too early to make a
definitive assessment, "Delayed
rains, given the limited availability of
fertilisers and seeds, and low
tillage, these are some concerns about
From Zim Online (SA), 31
Zanu PF Politburo demands sacking of
Harare - The ruling Zanu PF party's inner politburo cabinet
wants government information minister and propaganda chief, Jonathan Moyo,
dismissed, party spokesman Nathan Shamuyarira told Zim Online last night.
Shamuyarira said the politburo, Zanu PF's most powerful organ outside congress,
discussed Moyo's fate last week with several members calling for his dismissal
because his conduct was damaging to both the ruling party and the government.
The Zanu PF spokesman would not say how Mugabe reacted to calls to fire his
acerbic propaganda chief or whether Moyo was allowed to defend himself, only
saying the politburo, which meets every Wednesday, will take a final position on
Moyo this week. "Politburo members have suggested that Moyo be removed from
government because having a chap like him as a member of the party and
government will reflect badly on both the party and government," Shamuyarira
said, officially confirming for the first time that Moyo could be facing the
sack. He added: "He (Moyo) received a lot of criticism for attacking government
and party leaders and this criticism will definitely be taken into account at
our next meeting. Politburo members have expressed concern that he must be dealt
with before the situation gets out of hand."
Moyo, an arch-critic of the government before his surprise
conversion to become its chief defender five years ago, could not be reached
last night for comment on the latest development regarding his continued stay in
Zanu PF and the government. According to Shamuyarira, the politburo wanted Moyo
urgently removed from the information ministry where he has used his control of
the government's vast media empire to attack senior party and government leaders
he disagrees with. The party's top committee also wanted Moyo punished for
organising a meeting in his Tsholotsho rural home last year to plot ways to
scuttle the appointment of Joyce Mujuru as Zanu PF and subsequently Zimbabwe's
second vice-president. Mujuru, who had the backing of Mugabe, was appointed to
the vice-presidency late last year, a position seen as a key stepping stone to
the top job. Seven out of Zanu PF's 10 provincial chairmen, who attended the
Tsholotsho meeting, were suspended by Mugabe for four years. Justice Minister
Patrick Chinamasa and Moyo were subsequently fired from the politburo. Mugabe
also blocked Moyo's selection to the party's central committee as further
Moyo's stay in Zanu PF had remained tenuous since the
Tsholotsho meeting but Mugabe had appeared unprepared to dismiss an efficient if
crude lieutenant who was able to smoother much of the independent media and
other critical voices, while ensuring the government's voice was the only one
heard - loud and clear. But Moyo's unrelenting attacks against senior party
leaders and his decision two weeks ago to sue party chairman, John Nkomo and
senior politburo member, Dumiso Dabengwa, whom he accused of defaming him,
finally pushed the politburo to demand his dismissal, according to Shamuyarira.
Moyo, who is a political scientist educated in the United States, will forever
be remembered for crafting some of Zimbabwe's most autocratic media laws under
which hundreds of journalists were arrested and three newspapers including the
country's biggest privately-owned daily, the Daily News, were shut down.
From: Michael Laban
Date: Sun Jan 30, 2005 10:16:32 p.m
Laban's Occasional Newsletter - 30 January 2005
What used to be a
bulletin of discussions, resolutions, events and
Ward 7 (Avondale, Alex Park, Strathaven, KG6 Barracks,
am listening to the elections in Iraq, and pondering the meeting on
27 January, at which Tendai Biti (MP, Harare East) and Brian
spoke on the MDC's participation in the elections. My mind is
not made up,
but I thought I would pass on some of their arguments, since
they are the
first developed, rational and sane arguments I have ever heard
on why the MDC
should participate. This will at least give you information
to make your own
decisions, and you can do your own thing, in your own
constituency, when the
Tendai started by pointing out that the real power in
Zimbabwe is in the
Executive, i.e. the President, and therefore the next real
possibility of a
power change would be in 2008 with the Presidential
the real question must be, is 2005 a building block, or
not, for 2008?
He commented on our "Vulture state", and how individuals
institutions, as indicated by the gutting of the judiciary,
the police and
the soldiers; institutions of the nation sate were being
replaced by groups
loyal to an individual and hence, as with Mobutu and
Zaire, the whole
institution of the nation state did not survive the passing
On the SADC Guidelines, it was clear. They have not
been complied with. Not
in the slightest. Not in any respect. However, the
MDC's 26 August 2004
Declaration - not to participate in the elections
without there being a
level playing field did have a modifier that is
currently relevant. That
is, the declaration made it clear that the decision
remained with the people. The Resolutions of 8 and 9
December 2003, from
the Show Grounds, made it clear that the decision would
not be made by the
National Executive, nor "top people" at Harvest House, but
would be decided
by the people.
He went on to note that the debate is
largely divided on class lines. The
people who "live behind durawalls" are
one class, and these people are
against participation. However, the people
outside the durawalls are in
favour of participation.
issues around the debate;
1. The "Sanitisation of Zanu PF". It is clear
they need it. They need it
badly. Gideon Gono's statements on Wednesday were
not economic; they were
aimed at the sanitisation of Zanu PF. That was the
major aim. That is why
the Zanu PF President did not put forward Zanu PF
platform on Saturday.
Specifically on participation, the MDC's
participation in 2002 did not
legitimise Zanu PF in 2002.
political space. We had lost space in 2000 and 2002. And we have
lost a great
deal of space with the closing of the Daily News since then.
people outside the durawalls, the above two points are not an issue.
no newspaper before, and have none now. The SADC guidelines were
before, and they are not there now. So what has changed? Tendai
District chairman on the attitude of the people, "A dead rabbit
does not run
away from the dogs".
Participation in the Election allows action. It
Brian Raftopoulos then spoke, and thanked Tendai for
inviting him, and then
taking his speech.
He said that an election is
about constructing a majority. Or the
perception of a majority.
region is keen to give legitimacy to Zanu PF/Zimbabwe. Their legitimacy
well be based on based on the reform of Zanu PF. On USA - Zimbabwe
small part in the USA's agenda on foreign affairs. Notwithstanding
comment about outposts of tyranny. On the EU - they are divided
Some players are looking for reasons to legitimise the
situation in Zimbabwe
and wash their hands of it.
Therefore, with participation or without,
Zanu PF might well get the
legitimacy it needs.
restrictions on our space were not made after 2002. They were
consolidated after 2002. The major change since 2002 has been people
forced "out of the sphere of public hope, and into the sphere of
despondency." This change of space has lead to a desire to do
nothing (i.e. a
boycott) because this matches the sphere many people are
PF succession question if far from over. The regime has
constituencies around economic control, e.g. land, finance,
and a few others, which I could not write fast enough to
capture. Zanu PF
also has a base - a social base. This is not to be
forgotten. They do not
rule by fear alone. Deconstructing this regime needs
Brian strongly believes that we need to participate in the
space we have was hard fought for. It should not be given up
struggle. Even an uneven struggle. We should be always raising
obstacles to the ruling party.
Our regional connections are
bearing some fruit. Cosatu, the SACP, Namibia.
People and organisations are
coming onto our side. Tendai later said that,
"things said by the SACP
speaker in the debate about Zimbabwe would never
have been said about Zanu PF
a year ago".
Brian went on to mention that we cannot fight Zanu PF on its
While the MDC is showing signs of being like Zanu PF, this is
to its growing up in a political culture with no alternative
models to look
We then had some questions and answers (and the
usual statements and
grandstanding from the floor). I asked if we fought the
elections an lost,
could the MDC survive that?" The response was that the
party has already
fought the regime and lost, and is surviving. Tendai said
we must "Fight
the regime in whatever small space we occupy". The election is
power. Therefore, if we do not take power, there is no problem.
that the movement is derived from a broad social movement, and
will stay so
long as Zanu PF suppresses society.
I was very surprised
by the number of people in the audience who firmly
believe that the MDC can
win 80 seats.
My comments on the whole thing, realising that I am a very
and it takes me time to come up with responses; The largest
for me was the two speakers. They both seem to firmly recognise
one of my
most important points; that Revolution's are made from hope and not
despair. This is a historical fact. Their arguments are firmly rooted
the recognition of this fact.
Brian spoke again that the Orange
revolution and the Purple revolutions
(Ukraine and Georgia), arose from hope.
Staying home can only lead to
despair. There needs to be a sense of doing. We
must fight. Tendai talked
of building hope, not despondency. We need to keep
the cost of dictatorship
high. He then talked about bashing dimwitted Zanu PF
heads in Parliament,
forcing the Zanu PF MPs to remain in house and sleep
there. He really
Nevertheless, the background of the
Declaration of 2004 and the Resolutions
of 2003 strike me, gut feeling, as
being political and verbal gymnastics to
extricate the party from a hole they
have dug themselves in to. A bit like
"the Final Push", but perhaps not as
The class division on the opinion to participate or not, the
durawalls, is highly accurate in my opinion. The mass opinion
in favour of participation. The reasons they give, however, are
rational, and again are perhaps due to the party failing to give them
other alternative action (positive action, Hope, etc.) or plan to focus
I am afraid I agree with the comments on legitimacy and sanitisation.
PF is keen to appear to be a clean party, with good policies, and
Zimbabwe back on a development path. If they can do this, or even if
can appear to do this, they may well be regarded as the proper rulers
Zimbabwe, one that foreign governments, NGOs, the World Bank,
Commonwealth, the Cricket Board and others can deal with.
comments on space are also very accurate. We have always fought with
un-level field, and in limited space. We have less space and more slope
the playing field now, but it is possible to fight. They mentioned that
should not fight Zanu PF on its own ground, and we should fight in
space we can find. We must make the cost of dictatorship high. I
agree with this, but there are other spaces to fight the regime in,
City Councils, suing individual policemen for false arrest, and a
others I have suggested, which have not been used. And fighting
elections is meeting Zanu PF on its own ground, where their
administrative and physical clout can be best used by them. Surely
party should have come up with something more creative.
back to Tendai's original question. Will this be a building block
When if and how you vote will be for your local Member of
Parliament. I am
firmly convinced that it will not be for a new ruling
party in Parliament.
Therefore, will your local MP be a building block
The fourth African Union heads of state summit kicks off in Abudja, Nigerian
this morning with discussions on the restructuring of the UN expected to top the
agenda. Among the leaders attending are Kofi Annan, the UN secretary-general,
President Thabo Mbeki and Robert Mugabe, the Zimbabwean leader.
Obasanjo, the Nigerian president and African Union chair, will officially open
the two-day summit. African leaders are expected to review the security
situation in the continent.
The report of foreign ministers states that
there is stability in Burundi, Somalia, Liberia, DRC and the Ivory Coast. It
commended the peace process in the DRC but warned that the peace process could
be compromised if there is lack of support from the international community and
the AU. The threat of diseases such as Aids, malaria, polio will be
Mail & Guardian
Zimbabwe denies that it's facing famine
31 January 2005 01:26
on Monday denied Zimbabwe faces a hunger crisis and accused a United
States-funded famine early warning unit of exaggerating food shortages to cause
A report on Friday by the US-funded Famine Early Warning Systems
Network, a food security monitoring group, said 5,8-million people in the
country of 12,5-million will need food aid to avert starvation before the next
harvests in April.
Agriculture Minister Joseph Made said the United
States was stepping up efforts to destabilise Zimbabwe ahead of parliamentary
polls in March by causing alarm over food stocks.
He said 370 000 tonnes
of grain was now being distributed by the state grain marketing board to needy
groups around the country and another 400 000 tonnes were being held as
strategic food reserves.
Some food -- he called it carry-over stocks
ordered in 2003 -- was also being imported.
The government insists
Zimbabwe produced a bumper harvest of 2,4-million tonnes of maize last year,
much of it still being held in private rural granaries by growers.
country consumes about 1,8-million tonnes of maize a year, or 5 000 tonnes a
Independent crop estimates have cast doubt over the government's
harvest figure, saying about one-million tonnes of food was produced last
Made said the famine unit report was part of a campaign by the
United States to vilify the government's land reform programme in which about 5
000 white-owned commercial farms were seized, often violently, for
redistribution to blacks since 2000.
He described the programme as "a
resounding success" despite shortages of farm equipment, gasoline, seed and
The government has repeatedly accused Britain, the former
colonial power, and the Unites States of campaigning for "regime change" and the
ouster of President Robert Mugabe.
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
earlier this month described Zimbabwe as one the world's last "outposts of
Zimbabwe is suffering its worst economic and political crisis
since Mugabe led the nation to independence 1980. Inflation is 132%, one of the
highest in the world and an estimated 80% of the population are living in
poverty. Acute shortage of hard currency, gasoline and medicines and other
imports are routine. - Sapa-AP
Exiled Zimbabweans to launch weekly paper in UK
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - The founder of Zimbabwe's
ill-fated pro-opposition Daily News paper plans to launch a weekly newspaper for
exiled compatriots in Britain and South Africa in time for elections in March.
Wilf Mbanga, founding editor of the Daily News which was closed by Zimbabwean
authorities in 2003, said he would launch "The Zimbabwean" on February 11 in
Britain, with an initial print-run of 120,000 and a Southern African edition
published in Johannesburg.
"We believe the paper can play a role in drawing attention to so much that is
offensive to basic human decency and hostile to peace in our beloved Zimbabwe,"
Mbanga said in a statement on Monday.
"We believe those in positions of authority and power should be held
accountable to those they are supposed to serve and that a free media is
fundamental to ensuring such accountability."
He said the tabloid publication "will obviously have a heavy emphasis on
Zimbabwean politics" but would also cover arts, culture, business, sports, and
The closure of the Daily News was the most high-profile case brought under
strict new media laws introduced by President Robert Mugabe's government.
Dozens of journalists have been arrested under the laws and a number of
foreign correspondents have left the country.
Mugabe has accused his opponents, including pro-opposition publications, of
supporting a Western agenda driven by a desire to avenge the forced seizure of
white-owned farm land to give to landless black Zimbabweans, and says opponents
at home and abroad have sabotaged Zimbabwe's once prosperous economy.
"A news blackout is dangerous for any society. The forthcoming general
election scheduled for March adds urgency. We will ensure that our coverage is
accurate, fair and balanced," Mbanga said.
Parliamentary polls are due in March although a date has yet to be announced
and the main opposition has threatened a boycott.
Church protests rape victim's return to Zimbabwe -31/01/05 The views
expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of
The United Reformed Church has called on its
members and others to help in the fight to prevent a refugee who escaped a
nightmare of persecution in Zimbabwe from being sent back.
fled Zimbabwe in October 2002. Her husband had been a prominent figure in the
Movement for Democratic Change. He spoke regularly at meetings and rallies and
distributed literature criticizing the ruling Zanu PF Party.
2002, a series of brutal attacks began. In February Edneth and her husband were
beaten by Zanu PF youths. In March, Edneth's husband was arrested, detained and
beaten by Zimbabwean Police before being released without charge.
23rd March a group of Zanu PF members came to the house and subjected the family
to the most unspeakable ordeal. Edneth's husband was taken and killed, and her 4
year old daughter later died from her injuries.
Edneth reported the
incident and the perpetrators were apprehended. They were later released on bail
and proceeded to threaten Edneth. After a series of such threatening visits
Edneth was abducted and taken to a 'rehabilitation camp' where her abductors
told her she would be encouraged to 'follow the right path' – a result normally
achieved by the practice of torture. Whilst at the camp, Edneth was raped by the
camp leader. She became so unwell that she was taken to the hospital from where
she made her escape.
After her arrival in Britain Edneth settled in
Stockton-on-Tees where she became a member of the local United Reformed Church.
While the facts of her case have not been disputed, her application for
asylum has been refused on the grounds that it was her husband who was the
activist and he is dead – a conclusion which the Church rejects as both naïve
and grossly lacking in compassion.
Until 2004 the Government accepted
that no-one was to be returned to Zimbabwe, whatever the status of their
application, on the grounds that it was too dangerous. Now, with no change for
the better in the political situation, refugees are being returned. Edneth is
virtually in hiding and is very afraid.
Edneth and her local URC
minister, the Revd Colin Offor presented a petition of some 300 signatures to
their local MP. They were told that such is the hard line within the Home Office
that it stood little chance of making an impact unless its size was
substantially increased before it is next presented on February 21st.
The full text of the petition, together with the return address, can
be found via the front page of the URC’s
$100bn Lifeline for Harare Hospital
The Herald (Harare)
January 29, 2005
Posted to the web January 31, 2005
By Tsitsi Matope
GOVERNMENT and well-wishers have come to the rescue of Harare Central
Hospital, pouring in $100 billion and $230 million respectively in a development
expected to save one of the country's major health institutions from collapse.
The injection of funds into the ailing hospital follows a story published
exclusively by this paper on Tuesday highlighting the operational constraints
which posed a serious threat to the hospital's viability.
Following publication of the article, officials from the Ministries of Health
and Child Welfare and Finance visited the 1 428-bed health facility to assess
the situation first-hand.
Touched by the plight of the hospital, well-wishers poured in funds to ensure
the institution remains viable.
Harare Central Hospital medical superintendent Mr Chris Tapfumaneyi
appreciated the gesture by the Government and the well-wishers.
He said plans are being drawn up to address critical areas in need of
These include the maternity ward, where up to 60 babies are born everyday,
and the psychiatric unit which had almost been abandoned.
"We are working out the logistics of procuring equipment which costs less
than $300 million, but for anything above that we have to go through the State
Procurement Board to float tenders on our behalf," Mr Tapfumaneyi said.
In addition to injecting $100 billion into Harare Central Hospital, the
Ministry of Health and Child Welfare yesterday revealed it had now secured
foreign currency to buy new elevators to replace at least five of the
broken-down lifts at the hospital.
A meeting with officials from the State Procurement Board, which has been
blamed for some of the delays that saw facilities at the hospital go down to
unprecedented levels, was on the cards to avoid such situations in future, said
"We are concerned about the way they sometimes handle urgent matters at the
"Sometimes prices of equipment or refurbishment material doubles while we
wait for them to process our papers. We hope all the issues we have raised
before will be taken seriously this time," Mr Tapfumaneyi said.
Staff at the hospital and the general public yesterday praised the Government
for its quick response.
"But the whole thing shows us that somewhere along the line some people are
sleeping on duty - they are not relaying information to the powers-that-be,"
said one caller.
Describing this week's events, a nurse at Harare Central Hospital said she
does not remember a time when senior officials at the health institution acted
with such urgency.
"Some of our colleagues who include doctors and nurses left this hospital
because they were frustrated by the working environment. The relevant
authorities did not think that the staff exodus had anything to do with the
working conditions," she said.
She said while poor salaries were another factor which the Government was now
addressing, the flight of skilled personnel from public health institutions was
also due to poor working conditions as professional health caregivers could not
stand the emotional strain of watching their patients' conditions deteriorate in
the absence of life-saving facilities.
"There is nothing as bad as failing to get to another floor in time to
collect oxygen for a dying patient because the elevators are down. And it hurts
when you finally get back minutes later only to find the patient dead. The
experience haunts you for the rest of your life. And to get over the trauma, you
sometimes just have to leave the institution," the nurse said.
Opened in 1954, Harare Central Hospital was the biggest hospital of its kind
in Africa at the time. But its fortunes have taken a knock over the years,
leaving it a pale shadow of its former glory.
Apart from its unkempt appearance, five of its elevators have broken down,
many toilets and sinks are blocked, part of the ceiling leaks, the laboratory
equipment and anaesthetic services are operating at reduced capacity.
Only three out of its five dialysis machines, the lifeline for patients
suffering from kidney failure, are malfunctioning.
This has put under threat the lives of hundreds of patients referred to the
hospital from different parts of the country on a weekly basis.
Mr Tapfumaneyi urged anyone wishing to help in the resuscitation of the
hospital to deposit the money into the hospital's two bank accounts.
These are: Zimbank, Douglas Road branch, code number 4157, account number
120931001; and Barclays Bank, Graniteside, code number 2128, account number
He said the money would go a long way in improving standards at the hospital
as well as boosting staff morale.
Zimbabwe hunger claims 'US plot'
The government says land reform has been a
The Zimbabwe government has angrily denied reports that
half the population will need food aid this year.
Agriculture Minister Joseph Made said the report was part of western plans to
destabilise Zimbabwe ahead of elections due in March, state media reported.
A US-funded food monitoring body said last week that almost six million
Zimbabweans would need food aid before the next harvest.
The opposition accuses the government of using food as a political tool.
The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) says its supporters are denied state
They say the government
refuses international food aid in order to retain control of its distribution.
These claims are rejected by the government.
Last year, Mr Made said that, after three years of shortages, Zimbabwe had
grown more than enough food to feed the population and even had a surplus.
Last week, the Famine Early Warning Systems Network reported that, of the
12.5 million Zimbabweans, some 5.8 million would need food aid before the next
harvests in April.
"You see God has been smiling on us and we are lucky that in the northern
parts there were some good rains in the last few days and crops are doing well,"
Mr Made was reported as saying in The Herald newspaper.
'Outpost of tyranny'
Government critics say the seizure of white-owned farms for redistribution to
blacks has led to food shortages.
These claims are also rejected by the government.
"The land reform is a resounding success under the circumstances," Mr Made
Earlier this month, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice described Zimbabwe
as one the world's last "outposts of tyranny."
The US and the European Union accuse President Robert Mugabe of rigging his
2002 re-election. Mr Mugabe denies the claims.
Harare Fails to Produce Budget Again
The Herald (Harare)
January 29, 2005
Posted to the web January 31, 2005
HARARE City Council has once again failed to produce the much-awaited draft
of the 2005 budget for as yet unknown reasons.
This is the second time that the commission has deferred the unveiling of the
budget with the first deferment having been attributed to "inconsistencies and
inaccuracies" within the proposed draft.
Part of the minutes of a commission meeting held on January 7 this year
reads: "That in view of the inconsistencies and inaccuracies observed in the
2005 budget proposals, consideration of the proposals be deferred pending
rectification of all the anomalies."
The estimated $1 trillion budget is however, set to be delayed further
following Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Dr Gideon Gonos announcement that
all rates and tariff increases by local authorities should not exceed 70
Commissioners were locked in a meeting on Thursday evening, which was closed
to the public and media where the issue of the budget was discussed.
However, council position on the formulation process could not be
Town Clerk Mr Nomutsa Chideya said council was still finalising the 2005
"We will convene a special meeting on Tuesday next week to finalise the
budget but our proposals have to be reviewed in line with Dr Gonos announcement
that tariffs increases should not exceed 70 percent," said Mr Chideya.
Acting city treasurer Mr Cosmas Zvikaramba said the commission was
deliberating on the draft budget.
"The commission is deliberating on the draft budget before it is endorsed and
presented to the public for perusal," said Mr Zvikaramba.
He revealed that the unveiling of the budget had been delayed owing to
"problems" that he could not make public.
After discovery of the problem, he said a committee was set up to look into
the anomalies. The team then resubmitted the draft with amendments.
All other local authorities have submitted their budget proposals to the
Ministry of local Government for approval but those who had proposed huge
increases would be forced to make changes in line with RBZ requirements. The
prohibition to effect huge tariff increases is part of a comprehensive package
by RBZ to reduce inflation.
To gain temporary reprieve from councils dire financial position, the
commission resolved to seek the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and
National Housing Cde Ignatius Chombos approval to effect 2004 quarterly tariff
The town clerk is expected to brief the commission on the progress made in
requesting the local government ministrys approval to increase tariffs while the
budget process was underway.
Council briefly implemented some of its budget proposals that saw vehicle
licence fees going up 1000 percent with effect from January 2004.
The licence for a light motor vehicle, which previously cost $16 000 per four
month term, had been pegged $184 000 including 15 percent Value Added Tax (VAT).
The annual fee shot up to $552 000, from $48 000.
However the Harare commission rescinded the increases after a realisation
that the move was illegal as Government had not yet approved the councils
Further delays in the approval and implementing of the citys budget would
scupper revival efforts and turnaround of the capital. Harare has been dogged by
serious financial problems, which have compromised service delivery in areas
such as efficient provision of water, road maintenance and public lighting among
Residents have been patiently waiting for the unveiling of the citys budget,
which is expected to bring better fortunes while others want to know the level
of tariff increases.
Prior to the anticipated amendments, Harare had proposed a $1,1 trillion
budget with the intention to raise $398 billion through revenue collection while
incurring a budget deficit of $783 billion.
Membathisi Mdladlana, the labour minister, says he will advise the leadership
of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) not to go to Zimbabwe
without the necessary permission and protocols, because Zimbabwe is not a
province of South Africa.
Mdladlana said this during his meeting with
Paul Mangwana, his Zimbabwean counterpart.
Mdladlana is in Zimbabwe to
discuss the planned visit by Cosatu to that country as well as other labour
issues. He says he is not convinced that there is a need for Cosatu to visit
Zimbabwe as issues raised by the federation can be handled through the social
dialogue provision enshrined in a memorandum of understanding between the two
Cosatu said earlier that it would send a fact-finding mission
to Zimbabwe this week. Zimbabwe expelled an earlier team from the labour
federation in October last year and has warned the federation not to come back.
January 31, 2005, 17:45
The Musina Magistrate's Court has referred the case against a local farmer
who allegedly shot and killed his Zimbabwean employee, to the Polokwane High
Jewell Crossberg allegedly shot at a group of seven Zimbabweans
on his farm, killing Jealous Dube instantly. Six others escaped unhurt. Police
say Crossberg claimed that he mistook Dube for a baboon.
appeared briefly today. He entered the court room during the adjournment and
went straight to the dock, a move that angered residents of Musina.
Sinky Makushu, a community spokesperson, said: "He doesn't even sit or
stand. He puts his feet on a chair and then do whatever he wants. He has his own
body there. He didn't sit with the people. He just came straight to the box and
then he was just told that he must come again on the 17th. We were angry you
know. We don't know whether the law is for whites."
The suspect is out on
R8 000 bail.
Revert to Traditional Foods: First Lady
January 29, 2005
Posted to the web January 31, 2005
By Respect Bangu
THE First Lady, Amai Grace Mugabe, has urged Zimbabweans to revert to the
healthy traditional foods especially in a global village that is aggressively
promoting exotic diets that may not be as healthy as our own.
In a speech read on her behalf by Vice President Cde Joyce Mujuru, Amai
Mugabe said mothers had a role to play by encouraging children to eat indigenous
food from a tender age.
"As a mother, I face a challenge of teaching my children the right eating
habits especially in a global village that is aggressively promoting diets that
may not be as healthy as our own.
"If the opportunity is not used at infancy, it becomes difficult to regain
the lost ground late in life," she said.
She said people who ate a balanced and diversified diet were unlikely to
succumb to physical ailments or suffer from malnutrition.
"Chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, gout and some forms of
cancer are in many instances occasioned or exacerbated by poor diet.
"Unfortunately, many young people in our nation have not acquired the taste
for our indigenous foods and as parents we are totally to blame for failing to
promote the indigenous diet within our family," Amai Mugabe said.
She, however, said Zimbabwe, as a nation, was still to take full advantage of
the rich diversity of its traditional foods to prevent diseases.
The First Lady said she was happy to be associated with the opening of the
first ever food fair in the country and valued the benefits that come with it.
"I am delighted to officiate at this important inaugural national event which
not only showcases our natural dietary heritage but also serves to show us the
health burden we could alleviate by adopting healthier nutrition," she said.
She said she was happy that young people had also attended the exhibition and
stood to benefit from some of the traditional foods on display.
She castigated people who shun traditional diets in favour of refined foods
when they prosper in life saying that such people should take pride in their
nutritious and healthier indigenous foods.
She thanked the Food and Nutrition Council for coming up with the idea of a
food fair that had brought together major players in the food industry.
"The Food and Nutrition Council at Scientific and Industrial Research and
Development Centre (SIRDC) is therefore to be congratulated on coming up with
this noble and ground-breaking event that brings together key players in
nutrition, food processing, storage and security to inform us about the impact
of our dietary habits on our health and livelihood," Amai Mugabe said.
She challenged agencies involved in science and technology development to
come up with innovative solutions to ease the burden of women in preparing some
of the traditional food.
"There is therefore need to develop technologies that would enable women to
better meet the demands made on their time and resources as well as participate
other development activities.
"Our food industry should also strive to make food available in a more
convenient way," she said.
The permanent secretary in the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, Dr
Elizabeth Xaba, said the need for nutritious food could not be overemphasised as
diet was linked to the 10 leading causes of death in the country.
She said the country would lessen its health burden by improving the people's
"With regard to HIV/Aids, a more diverse and nutritious diet will ensure that
all essential nutrients are consumed and will increase the life expectancy of
parents thus reducing the period children are left to head households.
"The majority of people cannot afford ARVs and to date many people have
survived for long periods just managing on good nutrition," she said.
She said the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare recognised the role played
by good nutrition in the management of HIV and Aids hence the ministry had
produced guidelines for dietary management.
More than 500 people including Government ministers, senior Government
officials, members of the diplomatic community and some captains of industry
attended the fair.
The food fair, the brainchild of the Food and Nutrition Council of Zimbabwe
which falls under the SIRDC, was supported by the Food and Agriculture
Organisation of United Nations (FAO), Kellogg Foundation, and United Nations
Children's Education Fund.
The fair is set to become an annual event aimed at inculcating a sense of
national pride in traditional cuisine and fostering the value of traditional
food in disease prevention and management.
Civil Furore Over Nepad's Integration
This Day (Lagos)
January 28, 2005
Posted to the web January 31, 2005
As African leaders converge on Abuja for the 4th Ordinary Session of the
Assembly of the African Union (AU) which concludes this weekend, top on the
agenda is the briefing on the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD)
and the Integration of the NEPAD Secretariat into the AU Commission (Economic).
Tunde Okoli writes on the dissenting voices for and against the move
Africa has a long history of regional cooperation and integration initiatives
and programmes, Kenyan High Commissioner to Zimbabwe, Prof. Maria Nzomo observed
in a keynote address titled "From OAU to AU and NEPAD: Regional integration
processes in Africa and African Women" at the regional strategy meeting on
women's political participation and gender mainstreaming in AU and NEPAD in
October 2003 in Nairobi, Kenya.
She averred that the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), an
economic project of the African Union (AU), is the most current in a series of
blueprints and policy frameworks aimed at laying the foundation for a viable
path for Africa's socio-ceonomic development and African economic integration.
Since its establishment, experts have hailed the initiative as the "Marshal
Plan" for Africa, the NEPAD purports to do what its predecessors such as Lagos
Plan of Action (1980), the African Alternative Framework to Structural
Adjustment Programme for Socio Economic Recovery and Transformation (1989) and
the African Charter for Popular Participation for Development (1990) failed to
do. NEPAD is so hailed by every strata of the African society because its
central goal is to eradicate poverty and in so doing help Africa to achieve
sustainable growth and development.
Since its establishment, the continental agency has continued to serve as
catalyst of socio-economic development in the continent, so much so that it had
made the continent attractive for foreign direct investments (FDIs) from,
especially the G8 countries who have continued to pump considerable funds for
developmental projects in the continent.
Within its relatively short life, NEPAD has achieved a lot in the area of
education, agriculture, civil society, infrastructure, information and
communications technology (ICT), health, conflict resolution etc. as a modem
Marshal Plan aimed at lifting Africa out of the doldrums of poverty and misery.
However, top on the list of the agency's achievement is the conception and
establishment of African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), an instrument that seeks
to promote democracy and accountability on the continent. Described as the most
innovative aspect NEPAD, member states agree to undergo APRM review in
conformity to agreed values in follows: democracy and political governance,
economic governance, corporate governance and socioeconomic development. The
initiative, pundits observed, has particularly endeared NEPAD to the G8 who have
recognised it through its African Action Plan, as the only organisation through
which they can help develop the continent.
It is in the light of these laudable achievements and the greater
assignment(s) that lying ahead of the agency that the civil societies across the
continent are vehemently opposing the planned integration of NEPAD into the
operating mechanisms of the AU.
The worried civil society, who have since organised themselves into a
coalition of a strong pressure group told THISDAY that the purported integration
is "a French government's agenda to perpetually keep Africa under its
government." They accuse the French government of using Francophone African
leaders to trump up the idea.
The coalition's spokesperson who pleaded anonymity told THSIDAY that "You can
sense the unseen hands of the French government in AU meetings. In fact, the
French have always been well represented by 22 Francophone countries, who we all
know, have continued to act on the instruction of from the government in Paris."
According to the spokesperson, the civil societies recognised and identified
with the achievements of the AU especially for the conception and launching of
the Pan African Parliament - the Peace and security council - the African court
of justice. "In fact, one needs to praise the chairperson of the AU President
Konare for these achievements."
The societies are teaming up against the planned integration of the two
bodies, because they think time is not matured enough to do that. They reason
that the AU, as the mother body should, for now continue to function as a body
formulating developmental policies for continent while NEPAD, who have a track
record of successfully implementing developmental projects across the continent
translate AU policies to actions.
"This is because NEPAD is the hope of Africa for development. You know, NEPAD
is about bringing development to the vast majority of the people of Africa. This
is what some countries in the West do not want and are set to thwart. To ensure
that these countries do succeed with their plans, the civil society groups from
over 40 countries across the continent are assembling in Abuja to mount pressure
on African leaders, who will be converging at the 4th Ordinary Session of the
Assembly of the African Union holding in Abuja, Nigeria this weekend.
The spokesperson explained further that the civil society groups are not
opposed to the integration move, but that it is still early since NEPAD has a
better track record and more credibility on the international arena than the AU.
"They are saying that the AU still needs to finish with restructuring before
thinking about the integration of NEPAD which to them has a better structure."
He added that the utmost concern of the group is that if NEPAD is integrated in
the AU the way the AU wants to do it, NEPAD will be disintegrated and the
development partners (G8, EU, IMF, UN, IMF ...) that already have established
reliable relationship with NEPAD will be confused about who to deal with."
Representatives of the civil societies have continued to advance arguments
highlighting the demerits of the planned integration to NEPAD and Africa as a
whole. They reasoned that the planned integration will ultimately dismantle
NEPAD structures, the APRM, e-Africa commission, and NEPAD secretariat which
will inevitably be relocated.
"Integration of NEPAD into AU will mean that NEPAD will no longer exist as a
structure which should implement development policies of the AU. If this
happens, it will inevitably kill the enthusiasm of the people about this new
vision to bring about sustainable development to Africa, because the vast
majority of the people of Africa see NEPAD as the symbol of a greater future of
the continent," argued the spokesperson.
Nevertheless, there has been dissenting voices against NEPAD by some notable
Africans. Dr. Samuel Nyandemo, a University of Nairobi economics lecturer, says:
"NEPAD is an amorphous outfit that only exists in the minds of its architects
and West donors."
In the same vein, Prof. Jasper Okello, also an economics lecturer in the same
university, opined that NEPAD's direction is still muddled. "We were told it was
to make the investment environment in the continent better, but nothing to that
effect has happened," he says.
NEPAD, a blueprint for growth and poverty reduction in Africa, was formed in
2001 by five African leaders: South African President Thabo Mbeki, Olusegun
Obasanjo of Nigeria, Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal, Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and
Tunisia's Abdelaziz Bouteflika. The initiative was almost immediately adopted by
the defunct Organisation of African Unity during its last summit in Lusaka,
Zambia, a move that was immediately endorsed by the G8 in Genoa, Italy.
Peter Ondeng, the immediate former head of the NEPAD secretariat has
described the initiative as "...a new spirit of optimism emanating from the
continent, a historic opportunity for both Africa and the international
community to work together in a renewed spirit of partnership."
Copyright © 2005 This Day. All
rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com).
Gold Panners Wreak Havoc
The Herald (Harare)
January 29, 2005
Posted to the web January 31, 2005
By Respect Bangu
THEY came looking for gold and found it.
Today the men who left their homes from various parts of the country are very
rich, at least by the standards of Makonde villagers.
But their wealth has become the source of contempt for locals and villagers
accusing Chikuti gold panners of disrespect, causing environmental degradation,
driving little girls out of school and worst of all - wife-snatching.
"We are now afraid of the panners, they are doing all sorts of ills in our
community and the worst is that they snatch our wives," complained an old man
requesting for anonymity.
"I cannot risk my name appearing in the papers or over the radio, these
people will hunt me down," he said, adding the gold panners had a common saying
that "ane mari ndiye muridzi wemukadzi (he who has the money owns the woman).
The villagers accused the panners of bringing a "bad" influence to their
community saying public fights among panners were common.
Fetching some $60 000 per gramme of gold on average, the panners had left no
stone unturned and have in some instances dug through villagers fields in search
of the precious yellow stone.
A villager said if gold panners were dissuaded from digging through someone's
field, they would openly defy and threats to report them to local chiefs were a
waste of time.
"They do not care about chiefs or headmen, they simply ignore us and threaten
to beat us up," said the villager.
The panners were reportedly responsible for corrupting young girls who were
being driven into early sex and some men were losing their wives to them.
The villagers further alleged that since the arrival of the gold panners,
prostitution was rife because gold panners lured women with cash.
Theft of small stocks such as chicken and goats had also increased in the
villages while some children steal to sell to the gold panners.
"Who knows? the gold panners might also be stealing; they are not leaving
anything behind," said another villager.
The gold panners brought with them a wave of violence in their fights for
"mine shafts" and "gold belts" or "claims" and on New Year's Eve one gold panner
was killed in one such fight.
Police in Mashonaland West have confirmed receiving the reports and said one
man identified as Edwin was assisting them with investigations.
Two others were still at large.
"We have also tried our best to keep under check the activities of the
panners whose arrival has seen a lot of illegal vendors swarming the area,"
Mashonaland West police spokesman Assistant Inspector Paul Nyathi said.
A number of raids had been made in the area where the prices of commodities
had been pushed up by the sudden availability of cash from the gold panners,
which irked villagers.
Police had at one time ordered the gold panners to fill up the "mines" they
left in their trail of environmental destruction.
Another swoop netted vendors selling goods and operating illegal beer
Although police are doing all within their capacity, villagers look at the
open defiance of their traditional leaders, the abuse of their school-going
daughters and the violence as things not worth any amount of money.
"We are hurt, the number of young boys that are leaving school to venture
into gold panning means we will have this problem for a long time after the gold
is gone," lamented an elderly woman.
Acid Spillage: Zim Shows Readiness
The Herald (Harare)
January 29, 2005
Posted to the web January 31, 2005
THE unfortunate railway accident that saw 40 tonnes of sulphuric acid spill
on Wednesday near Gwanda provided ample proof that Zimbabwe can cope with such
It seems that someone moved remarkably fast to have ponds dug and bringing in
the necessary alkali to neutralise the acid.
Sulphuric acid is a hazardous substance, but it is also a common substance
and is a second choice for acidifying swimming pools, so the alarm needs to be
kept in proportion.
The most likely result of the spill is serious environmental damage over a
very small area, but little or nothing over the general Gwanda area.
While someone must check the water in the stream, river and dam for possible
contamination, it is unlikely that the town's water supply is in any danger.
Even if the whole 40 000 litres reached the town's dam, it would be so
diluted that even a first-class analytical chemist would have difficulty finding
a trace in the water.
The danger lies in the stream and the river, where dilution is a lot less, so
the prompt reaction of the police to seal off the area of the spill and warn
local communities was the right thing to do.
The fact that the accident happened near Gwanda, a reasonably-sized town and,
indeed, the capital of Matabeleland South, obviously helped to ensure that the
correct procedures were followed.
There would have been senior railway and police officials living in the town,
and they, if necessary, would have access to high-level expertise in the
handling of chemicals since the area has several large mines with staff who know
how to handle dangerous chemicals.
What is more worrying is if the accident had occurred in a more remote area.
The person landed with the problem at the beginning would almost certainly be a
police sergeant or inspector with nothing more than a radio link to his station
or district headquarters as a source of advice.
Most experienced policemen, regardless of rank, have the training to deal
with more common accidents, especially road accidents.
We have all seen how quite junior policemen have acquitted themselves well
when they have had to take charge of rescue efforts at the scene of a road
We realise that the necessary knowledge to deal with far rarer accidents,
such as Wednesday's, is more limited.
That accident throws up the need to ensure that every station or police post
has someone who can cope with a serious environmental accident for the first few
hours while the experts are on their way.
In almost all such accidents, prompt action can minimise the effects of the
The simplest solution in the case of spilt liquids is to do exactly what they
did in Gwanda, dig ponds and channels and stop the liquids getting into nearby
rivers, dams or lakes.
The expert squads brought in later to clean up the mess then have a far
smaller problem to deal with, and the danger to the general public is
The risk of such accidents is increasing. A growing economy has more
dangerous chemicals and the like in use or in transit every year.
And in Zimbabwe, much of the economic growth is by propelled by small
companies and mines, concerns that do not have high-level experts on the payroll
and who, sometimes, can be more careless.
So there is a need to ensure the man on the spot, who will usually be a quite
junior policeman, can cope, just as they are trained to handle so many other
things that have little or nothing to do with crime.
The Gwanda accident shows that danger can be minimised dramatically when the
right action is taken quickly. We hope that all future similar accidents are
handled just as well, even if they take place far away from a major town.
Don't Panic, Gwanda Residents Told
The Herald (Harare)
January 29, 2005
Posted to the web January 31, 2005
GWANDA residents should not panic since the sulphuric acid spilt from tankers
of a derailed train had not flowed into the town's supplier dam.
"We would like to inform residents not to panic as the water is safe, the
acid did not fall into the area in which we get our drinking water so there is
no need to panic," the provincial administrator of Gwanda Mr David Mpofu said in
a telephone interview yesterday.
The Zimbabwe National Water Authority had on Thursday sprayed chemicals in
the water to neutralise the acid and prevent harm to people, acquatic life and
Three holding dams had also been built along the stream in which the acid
spilt and these would detain the acid so that it would not flow into the
Mtshabezi River that feeds the dam supplying Gwanda town.
"The dams were built to check the movement of the acid," he said.
Zinwa Chief Executive Officer Mr Albert Muyambo confirmed the drinking water
was safe and said swift action had been taken to contain the problem.
"Tomorrow (today) we will have more people in Gwanda to assess the
situation," he said.
He said a team of South African experts had also arrived on the scene and
Mr Muyambo said his department would continue spraying chemicals as danger
may arise when the remaining wreckage is removed from the river.
"There is a chance that acid may be uplifted as the wreckage is being removed
so Zinwa will continue to monitor the situation, residents have therefore
nothing to fear," he said.
A water quality scientist at Zinwa said as long as the acid is neutralised,
there was no need for residents to panic, as the acid would have been weakened.
Forty thousand liters of highly toxic sulphuric acid spilt into a stream that
feeds into Mtshabezi River on Wednesday after a goods train belonging to the
Beitbridge Bulawayo Railway company derailed. The river is within the catchment
area for Mtshabezi Dam that supplies Gwanda town with potable water.
The goods train derailed just three kilometers outside Gwanda town. The train
headed for Bulawayo from Beitbridge derailed around 8am but no people were
injured. According to police 14 of the wagons went off the railway line as the
train neared a level crossing.
Officials from the BBR yesterday would not shed light as to what could have
caused the accident referring questions Mr Mpofu.
Zivhu Locked Up in Remand Prison
The Herald (Harare)
January 29, 2005
Posted to the web January 31, 2005
IT never rains but it pours for the chairman of the Cross-Border Traders
Association, Killer Zivhu, facing allegations of theft by conversion who was
yesterday locked up in remand prison after he failed to attend court on
Zivhu, who was clad in a dark executive suit, appeared before magistrate Mr
Cremmah Chipere who incarcerated him after a default inquiry.
He told the court that he had confused the dates, but Mr Chipere could not
buy his explanation as his court records are littered with warrants of arrest.
In December, Zivhu was also incarcerated after he defaulted court and this
time he will be behind bars until his cases are finalised.
Zivhu was last year set free on $1 million bail after the initial $500 000
was forfeited to the State.
He was also fined $100 000 as default fine.
Allegations against Zivhu arose after he was given $5 million by Pastor
Joseph Makore to buy him goods from Zambia.
It is alleged Zivhu agreed to buy the goods but later converted the money to
his own use.
Efforts by the clergyman to recover his money from Zivhu were fruitless
resulting in the pastor reporting the matter to the police, the State alleges.
In the second count, it is alleged Zivhu was given $ 6 million by a member of
his association who wanted him to source foreign currency.
Zivhu allegedly agreed to secure the foreign currency but later converted the
$6 million to his personal use.
He denied the charges at the commencement of his trial but the magistrate Mrs
Judith Tsamba ruled that he had a case to answer
JUSTICE FOR AGRICULTURE OPEN LETTER FORUM, 1st February 2005 OLF No.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to:
firstname.lastname@example.org with subject line "For: Open Letter
of the Day:
"There are two things that are infinite: the universe and
"Great spirits have often
encountered violent opposition from weak minds."
RE: Jean Simon's Letter - Bruce Gemmill
- The Zimbabwe Disaster - John
- RE: CFU Accountable or are Farmers? - Jean Simon
Firearms Renewal - Trish Henson
- Massey Ferguson Director's Statements -
- RE: Voting as Permanent Residents - Permanent
1: RE: Jean Simon's Letter (OLF 329), received 28 January 2005
What Jean Simon said in her letter was absolutely right, in both
and detail. Unfortunately her letter is 10 years too late. Like
institutions, the CFU establishment takes on an identity and style of
own, and perpetuates this style regardless of elections. Remember
Whitiker, his no nonsense forthright style didn't fit with
establishement and he was sidelined. The grassroots membership
protest because they were quiescent and docile.
Today there is
a huge division of interestes and identity in the commercial
community. On the one side are the farmers still on their farms
represented by the CFU. On the other side are the disposessed
unrepresented. The CFU represents its remaining membership in a way
would describe as pragmatic and realistic. The disposessed
simultanaeously describe the CFU's policy as being craven, duplicitous,
grovelling. JAG was set up to represent the disposessed and victimized,
due in part to the continuing docility and quiescence of the
and a lack of comittment to fight JAG is not where it should be
The time for the disposessed to speak with one voice is now.
ever be achieved without risk or sweat.
2: The Zimbabwe Disaster, received 30 January 2005
by John (Willy)
Ever so slowly, some more people in the world
are starting to understand
the Zimbabwe Disaster. I have feeling that it is
comparable to the Tsunami
Disaster. There are two major differences. Firstly,
the Zimbabwe Disaster
is man made by greed. Secondly, The Zimbabwe Disaster
has been insidiously
implemented over five years - there by not having the
same shock impact on
the world as the Tsunami Disaster or The Holocaust which
has just had the
60th Anniversary of its ending.
The farmers of
Zimbabwe can hardly seek solidarity from the rest of the
world if those
representing the victims in The Zimbabwe Disaster are still
in denial. With
all due respect to Mrs. Simon and her passion for the CFU -
surely the time
is long overdue for the organization to stand up and be
brutally honest about
what has actually happened to agriculture in Zimbabwe
and the resulting
complete social disaster. I have read figures of US$ 18
billion damage which
will probably get the The Zimbabwe Disaster Makers
into the Guinness book of
records. The social disaster and human rights
abuses are fairly well
publicised world wide:
- The continual rape, torture and murder of
"perceived non-ZANU people" by
the State just like the Gukuruhundi's 20 000
victims. - Amnesty
International have spoken up about the detention of Roy
Bennett (MP). -
Cosatu appear to have shamed the SA Nationalists to a point
might do more than "spy on human rights abuses." - The Press
5,8 million Zimbabweans face starvation due to The Zimbabwe
Disaster. - JAG
reports that 3 500 commercial farms have been closed down
resulting in 1,75
million people losing their livelihood. - The US Secretary
Affairs has referred to Zimbabwe as an Outpost of Tyranny. -
Between 3 and
4 million people having left the country because of political
The best that the CFU or ZTA could come up with was Andries
"the Government has come on sides" and Trevor Shaw not so
people to feed the crocodile in the hopes of postponing his
supper. To be fair in a worldly sense, how can the CFU or ZTA
calling for support from any quarter if this is their
Mrs. Simon's call for unity is noble to say the least, but it
there are still many people who live in their own little world in
Palace and fail to grasp the meaning of The Beatitudes which got
Benjamin into such big trouble - they still seem to think that
should have more respect or fear for them than for God. Five years
track - "Collaborators of The Zimbabwe Disaster", they have chosen
3: RE: CFU Accountable or are Farmers?, received 31 January 2005
It is with interest that I read John Robertson (Willy) and Ben
responses to my Open Letter Forum contribution last week. Once again
sank to a level of dealing with individual personalities and
It is precisely for this reason that it is
important for us all to view the
issues from a national point of view instead
of an individual point of
In a democracy the view of the
majority rules. It is important for the
leader of the majority view to take
account of the needs of the majority
but the opinions of the minority are
important too. The minority help to
police the behavior of the majority and
ensure that the majority
behave/manage in a balanced way.
In a society
where human rights are adhered to, the majority allow the
views of the
minority to be expressed. In a tolerant society, the view of
all citizens is
important and is taken into account in governing the
is a matter of policy where there are divergent views, the
majority view is
When we, as members of a given society, do not agree with the
views of the
leadership in that society, and we believe that our view is a
view, we have the right to ask for a change in the leadership. When
election is held and the various groups have put foward their views
have voted, we once again follow the decisions of the majority.
is important that we, as commercial farmers, or ex commercial farmers,
up our right to be part of our given society, the CFU in this
make sure that the UNION represents the interests and views
of the majority
of the membership.
If we just sit on the sidelines, making distructive
comments/ criticisms we
should be brave enough to ask ourselves if we are
voicing the opinions of
the majority or not.
We should also, from our
chairs on the sidelines, ask if we are as well
informed about the operations
of the CFU as we think. It is very often true
that we make judgement calls
about matters where we are not in full grip of
all the facts.
the two gentlemen could bring themselves to hop out from behind
frilly pink aprons and give their opinions a good hard look. They
may in fact
find that they have lost their trousers somewhere along the
path of self
4: Firearms Renewal, received 29 January 2005
by Trish Henson
Please would you consider sending out a general circular just as a
to farmers to check their firearms licences for dates of renewal.
due 1 March 2005 and I am sure that is a common date for many. With
election coming up no-one should be in a position of not having done it
they had forgotten!
For general information: fresh supporting
letters have to be submitted
together with two copies of
5: Massey Ferguson Director's Statements, received 29 January 2005
RE Statements made by Massey Ferguson's
regional director for Africa, Mr
I read the following in
the Zimbabwe Herald and the Zimbabwe Independent
newspapers on 25th January
and 28th January respectively:
" Farming equipment manufacturer Massey
Ferguson's regional director for
Africa, Nick Wright, says his company is
ready to supply up to 500 combine
harvesters if government can pay the
foreign currency required for such an
order. This was after his meeting with
Agriculture minister Joseph Made,
who said the country was in desperate need
of tractors and planters. Wright
told the Herald they had "fruitful"
discussions with Made. "We can safely
say that Zimbabwe's agriculture is in
safe hands," he said.
The full text from the Herald is quoted at the end
of this letter.
Does a Nick Wright exist in your organisation and did he
say what is quoted
above (or below) ?
Your urgent response would be
most appreciated as it is going to have a
direct influence on my future
business purchase decisions.
The full text is as
'Firm Ready to Meet Demand for Agric Equipment'
January 25, 2005
Posted to the web January 25,
UNITED Kingdom-based farming equipment manufacturing
Ferguson has indicated that it is ready to meet the country's
agricultural machinery and implements.
Speaking soon after
meeting Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Dr
Joseph Made, Massey
Ferguson's regional director for Africa, Mr Nick
Wright, said they envisaged
extending the long association that exists
between his company, the country
and the local farming community.
"We do have the capacity to meet the
country's demand and we will try our
best to help meet that
"Our discussions have been extremely fruitful and the minister
across a strong case. We can safely say that Zimbabwe's agriculture
safe hands," he said.
Dr Made said the discussions had dwelt at
length on matters relating to the
manufacturing capacity of Massey Ferguson
and the ability of the company's
local agent, Farmec, to deliver on
The minister said that they had emphasised the country's need for
such as tractors and planters.
He said this was in view of
the fact that some new farmers had started to
place orders for tractors
individually and that it was essential to ensure
that there was capacity to
meet that demand.
Dr Made said his ministry would try to ensure that the
allocated foreign currency to meet payment for their
He, however, urged Farmec to play its part in securing foreign
ensure that it imported tractors to meet orders from local
Apart from the demand for tractors and planters, the
minister said, also dwelt on the demand for other equipment
such as combine
harvesters, which are critical in the reaping
The minister said that it was indicated that Massey Ferguson was
supply 100 to 500 combine harvesters if the Government met the
currency requirements for such an order.
The meeting with Mr
Wright, who was accompanied by Farmec's general manager
Mr John Allen, comes
against a backdrop of concerted measures to ensure
Such efforts have, however, faced hitches like shortage of
implements and inputs.
The Government has, nevertheless, been
trying to get around the situation
by engaging friendly nations to help
contribute to the success of the land
reform programme by facilitating loans
to purchase equipment and outright
donations of such
6: RE: Voting as Permanent Residents, received 30 January 2005
I was heartened by Trudy
Stevenson's letter (OLF No 325 - 14 January 2005)
where she said "It is the
contitutional right of every Permanent Resident
of Zimbabwe to
Although not born here, I have been a resident, citizen and voter
Zimbawe for over forty years. But my name was removed from the voters
and placed on the "Hit List" at the time of the 2002 Presidential
After reading Trudy Stevenson's letter I attempted to register
nearest voters' roll inspection centre.
I was refused. I was
told by registration staff that I had lost my Zimbabwe
citizenship in 2002
and was therefore not eligible to register as a voter.
officer showed, as the grounds for his refusal to allow my
extract from a 2002 Supreme Court (appeal court) judgement
which overruled a
High Court judgement which ordered the Registrar General
to "restore to the
voters roll all voters who on or before January 18 2002
who may have lost or
renounced their citizenship of Zimbabwe but who since
1985 have been regarded
by a written law to be permanently resident in
appear that those who have been permanent residents since before
eligible to be registered BUT NOT if they have been Zimbabwe
have lost (as in my case, due to the 2002 change in the law)
(011) 205 374 If you are in trouble or need
(011) 863 354 please don't hesitate to contact us -
068 we're here to help!
263 (04) 799 410 Office Lines
Sent: Tuesday, February 01, 2005 6:09 AM
Subject: Job Possibilities for Immigrants in Kalgoorlie
Good morning everyone
At the moment in our town Kalgoorlie-Boulder there
are good job possibilities for tradesmen as immigrants. I was advised by our
local Goldfields Esperance Development Commission that one of the local
companies is seeking 60 tradesmen:
- 20 fitters
- 20 electricians
- 20 boiler makers
and this was only one of the many companies seeking
The Goldfields Esperance Development Commission
have an immigration scheme and have been asked to source these tradespeople
outside Australia as there is a skills shortage here at present.
So please send this email to anyone that you know
who is keen to immigrate to Australia and advise them to contact Goldfields
Esperance Development Commission on email: email@example.com - attention
Regards to you all - I do hope that this helps
someone who wants to immigrate
Sent: Monday, January 31, 2005 1:39 PM
You will be aware of the fact that we are only six
weeks away from an election in Zimbabwe that could change the course of history
in our country. Six weeks if we cannot persuade those with the power to delay
things. Even if we get a delay we only have 4 and a half months at most. While
we have held back from participating in elections in Zimbabwe, our friends have
withheld resources and we now face a task for which we will require substantial
funds. US$30 will fill the tank of a vehicle, a gift of R50 000 will fund the
campaign in a single constituency.
To support the democratic process, a group of us
who live in the region have set up an account in South Africa to receive funds
and these will be transmitted to the coal face in the usual way. What you can
expect is that these funds will attract maximum value in terms of Zimbabwe
dollars and go directly to support the democratic process and to try and ensure
that people in Zimbabwe can vote freely and not have their vote stolen as it was
in 2000 and in 2002. This is the only way many of you can help us in the
For people who live outside Zimbabwe the account to
send your donation to is as follows: -
Acc No 1589406079
Brown Street Branch
Branch Code 158952.
Republic of South Africa
For people who live in Zimbabwe you can send a
crossed cheque or money order to ZIMFUND. P O Box 9127, Hillside, Bulawayo,
Zimbabwe. The cheque or order should be made out to Zimfund.
It will not be possible to acknowledge external
donations which will need to be made in good faith, we will try to acknowledge
On another front we will need 2400 vehicles and
drivers for the election day itself. These will be organised to go to specific
points on the day before the election and drivers will need a full tank of fuel
and food for 48 hours. They will then deploy poll monitors to polling stations
on that same day. The monitors to sleep at the polling stations and then to
watch the poll the following day and keep detailed records of the days events.
In the evening these same people will observe the vote counting and will then
give a detailed report to the drivers who will in turn report to their control
centers. Thereafter the vehicles will pick up the poll watchers and return them
to their homes if required and then go back to their own bases.
We expect there to be up to 12000 polling stations
- many in remote areas and will require a number of 4x4 vehicles and drivers.
Otherwise pick up trucks are best although in the towns we can use any sort of
vehicle. Only by watching the poll at every polling station can we control
any underhand activity. We will have international observers but they cannot be
expected to be able to undertake an exercise of this magnitude. E mail your
offers to us and we will direct you to the local co-ordinators. We will have a
co-ordinator in every constituency.
On the ground and on the day we wil need upwards of
60 000 volunteers to man poling stations and to be polling agents. For this you
need to be a voter and to live as close to a polling station as possible. But we
will also deploy people out of town in some cases. Again - e mail your offers to
us and we will come back to you.
PS. If you think this a hoax or a scam e mail us
for confirmation of these arrangements.