The ZIMBABWE Situation
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Zimbabwe given back IMF voting rights after seven years
Friday, 19 February 2010
Morgan Tsvangirai (left) and Robert Mugabe (rigth)
The economy has improved under the coalition government, says the IMF

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has agreed to restore Zimbabwe's voting rights after a seven-year suspension for unpaid debts.

But the fund said the country was still ineligible for loans until it had paid off more of the $1.3bn (£841m) it owes to creditors.

In the meantime, Zimbabwe can take part in IMF decision-making.

The move recognises the country's efforts to repair its economy and improve relations with donors.

There are signs that the country's economy is improving a year after former foes President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai united in a coalition government.

The IMF said it had taken the decision to restore Zimabawe's voting rights after a request from the county's Finance Minister Tendai Biti.

The fund suspended Zimbabwe's voting rights in 2003 over disagreements with the previous government of Mr Mugabe.

The move comes just days after the European Union renewed sanctions against the country for another 12 months, citing lack of progress by the new unity government.

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Zimbabwe power cuts worsen after plant shutdown

Sat Feb 20, 2010 11:05am GMT

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's state power utility ZESA Holdings has extended
electricity cuts after a complete loss of generation at the Hwange thermal
plant, the company said in a statement on Saturday.

Most urban areas have for the past week experienced prolonged electricity
cuts, sometimes lasting more than 24 hours.

ZESA said Hwange, with a design capacity to produce 750 MW of electricity,
had been hit by a series of faults on the regional power grid, leaving the
plant unable to produce any power.

"These forced outages caused complete loss of generation at Hwange and in
the process resulting in major equipment damage," the statement said.

"Hwange power station is making efforts to bring back those generation units
they have repaired, one at a time, and hopes to achieve 350 MW production
within a week."

The country is relying on the 750 MW Kariba hydro plant, which is producing
at full capacity, while imports, mainly from Mozambique are dwindling as
regional demand for electricity rises.

Zambia and Democratic Republic of Congo also export to Zimbabwe, when they
have low demand at home.

The southern African country has a peak demand of 2,000 MW and needs up to
$4 billion to build planned new power stations to supply adequate

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5 000 families evicted from farms

Friday, 19 February 2010 14:37
HARARE -- At least 5 000 families were displaced from commercial farms in
Zimbabwe in 2009 as President Robert Mugabe's supporters intensified a
campaign to evict the few remaining white commercial farmers from their
properties, according to the International Organisation for Migration IOM).
The organisation that among other things works to provide humanitarian
assistance to migrants in need, including refugees and internally displaced
people said: "New displacements and related vulnerabilities have continued
to arise as farms are taken over by new owners and farm workers are evicted
from their homes.
"IOM has recorded over 5,000 households that resided in farms that were
taken over in 2009, many of whom have been evicted by the new owners."
Mugabe's supporters from his Zanu (PF) party and in the military have
continued seizing white-owned farms despite formation of a unity government
between the veteran leader and former opposition chief Morgan Tsvangirai.
The one-year old power-sharing government had promised to end farm seizures
and audit Mugabe's chaotic and violent land reforms of the past decade to
pave way for an orderly land redistribution programme.
But the administration has failed to conduct the land audit in part because
of lack of funding and also because of stiff resistance from Mugabe's
supporters who have also defied last year's ruling by the Southern African
Development Community to stop farm seizures.
The IOM said it was working to assist people displaced from farms but said
it had faced difficulties delivering aid in some case because internal
displacement was a considered a politically sensitive matter in Zimbabwe.
Compounding problems in Zimbabwe, according to the IOM, was the fact that
the country has experienced massive and unacknowledged (officially) internal
displacement of people due to the land reforms implemented since 2000 while
some government programmes such as the controversial 2005 urban clean up
campaign known as Operation Murambatsvina have seen whole communities left
without shelter.
Hundreds of thousands of people were left without homes or means of
livelihood after the government bulldozed hundreds of shantytowns and
informal settlements during the clean up campaign it said was necessary to
keep cities clean and fight crime.
The IOM said: "Although there are no official statistics accurately
quantifying the magnitude of displacement in Zimbabwe, a significant number
of people have been uprooted or placed at high risk of displacement in the
last decade throughout the country."
The group said it has assisted more than 500 000 internally displaced people
in Zimbabwe between 2006 and 2009.

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Zimplats project uncertain over indigenisation

20/02/2010 00:00:00

IN a major fall-out from the controversy surrounding government's
indigenisation policy, Impala Platinum has threatened to call-off any
further "expansionary investment" at its Zimbabwe operations pending
clarification over the issue and resolution of other "outstanding" matters.

The South Africa-based platinum an 87 percent majority shareholder in
Zimbabwe platinum mines (Zimplats) which owns three underground mines at
Ngezi as well as the Selous Metallurgical Complex, located some 77
kilometres north of the mines.

In addition Implats also holds a 50 percent interest in the smaller Mimosa
platinum mine located in the Midlands town of Zvishavane.

The company announced in its financial results released on Thursday that the
Zimplats Phase 1 expansion programme implemented at a cost of more about
US$340 million has now reached full production.

However chief executive, David Brown told a South African mining publication
that while feasibility studies for the second phase expansion programme -
expected to cost up to US$500 million - was being completed, implementation
depended on resolution of "outstanding issues . including the (recent)
indigenisation statements".

"As far as the indigenisation legislation is concerned, this is not new.
It's been around for some years and we did a release-of-ground agreement in
2006 with this legislation in mind, because we knew that it was pending.

"Certainly our understanding is that we would probably look at an equity
participation of between 15% and 26%, which is more-or-less in line with
what we anticipated and we're quite comfortable with that level of equity.

"The balance to get to 51% will be made up through other means; one of these
means being the release of ground, which we believe could have a fairly
significant contribution to the credit to make up that differential.

"The other would be credits for social expenditure and infrastructural
expenditure, and we believe we have a percentage covered by those items as
well," Brown said.

Implats entered into an agreement with the government in May 2006 under
which the company released 36 percent of its resource base in return for
19.5 percent empowerment credits as well as a cash credit of US$51 million.

Under the agreement, should the government fail to pay the cash sum the
company would then get a further 10 percent in empowerment credits.

Brown said the Implats now required further clarification over the deal
following the recent publication of regulations regarding implementation of
the country's indigenisation legislation by empowerment minister, Saviour

The regulations, among other things, set out the time frames within which
companies will be required to cede 51 percent of their equity to indigenous

"What we require is some clarity on the issue, and we need to make sure one
more time that the release-of-ground agreement that we have with the
Zimbabwe government is as envisaged and is included in the legislation.

"It doesn't say that it's not included, but on the other hand it also
doesn't specifically make allowance for it. I hasten to add that we are not
anti indigenisation and we do have plans in place to address the proposed
legislation, however we do seek additional clarity around this matter,"
Brown said.

Implats also wants the government of Zimbabwe to clarify the matter of sums
owed to Zimplats by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ).

"There are also a number of other issues we would like to get some clarity
on; one is obviously on the debt with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe. Zimplats
is owed about US$34-million and we want to get some kind of view in terms of
acknowledgement of debt and some kind of repayment schedule over a period of

"But, I hasten to add that that money won't be paid in a short period of
time. You've got an economy of Zimbabwe that's battling and you've got a
government that is struggling to raise additional funds. But this is
something we want to work at, and also obtain clarity on the indigenisation
process," Brown said.

The company is looking to the low-cost Zimbabwe operations to achieve its
goal of ramping up production to more than one million ounces of platinum
per year.

However management warns that if clarification over the "outstanding issues"
with the Zimbabwe authorities is not forthcoming the board would consider
diverting the planned investment elsewhere.

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Zim, Botswana to meet over diplomatic spat

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Chronicle Reporter

THE Zimbabwe/Botswana Joint Permanent Commission will meet in Victoria Falls
next week to, among other issues, discuss the stand-off that emerged between
the two countries over the arrest of three Tswana rangers who illegally
entered the country, a Cabinet Minister confirmed yesterday.

The commission will sit from Monday to Friday.
In an interview, the Minister of State for National Security in the
President's Office, Dr Sydney Sekeramayi, said the meeting would be attended
by Ministers of State Security, Home Affairs and Defence from the two
Service chiefs, parks officials and immigration officers will also attend
the meeting.
Botswana recently recalled its defence and intelligence attaches from Harare
following the arrest of three armed wildlife officials who entered the
country without clearance from authorities.
The country's Foreign Minister, Mr Phandu Skelemani issued a statement
urging Harare to also recall its officials.
The Botswana Government had expressed frustration after Zimbabwe refused to
release the rangers before the matter was heard in court. The rangers were
later convicted by a Hwange magistrate and fined US$100 (or 20 days in
Sources said the arrest of the rangers and the diplomatic row that followed
the arrest would be one of the biggest issues on the agenda.
Dr Sekeramayi confirmed that the matter would be discussed with the aim of
resolving the problem.
"We discuss every matter of concern to either party, in a spirit that allows
us to solve any problems that would have arisen. We also respect that each
country has its legal process which should be respected by the other," he
He said the JPC would also address matters of common interest in the defence
and security sectors while home affairs, immigration and parks and wildlife
issues will also come under discussion.
The two countries will give each other briefs on what is happening
internally and discuss regional issues of common interest between them.
Efforts to get a comment from the Botswana Government spokesman, Dr Jeffress
Ramsay, were fruitless.

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ZESN seeks vote for prisoners

Written by The Zimbabwean
Friday, 19 February 2010 14:32
HARARE - The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) said last week it was
seeking further reforms to the country's electoral law to give voting rights
to prisoners and ill persons.
Encouraged by the January 28 Supreme Court judgement on voting procedures
for visually impaired persons, ZESN said it would push for other changes to
the Electoral Act to ensure all Zimbabweans have a say in the country's
political future.

The Supreme Court struck down section 60 of the Electoral Act which required
polling station officials to assist visually impaired voters to mark their
ballot papers.

The court said this was inconsistent with the constitutional right of
citizens to vote in secret.

This means the Electoral Act will have to be amended to allow visually
impaired voters to vote in secret.

Suggested methods include being assisted by a trusted person of the voter's
own choice, Braille ballot papers or other measures that have been adopted
in other countries.

"The organisation continues to advocate further reforms on a number of
issues, including the extension of the vote to the Zimbabwean Diaspora the
infirm and prisoners," ZESN said in a report released last week.

The move would see the more than three million disenfranchised Zimbabweans
living in the Diaspora having their voting rights restored to enable them to
participate in the country's socio-political development.

About a quarter of Zimbabwe's 12 million people have left the country since
2000 to escape economic hardships and political repression.

President Robert Mugabe's government has in previous elections denied the
exiles - most of who are believed to support the former opposition Movement
for Democratic Change - the opportunity to vote saying it did not have the
resources to enable all Zimbabweans spread across the globe to vote.

Only Zimbabweans posted abroad on government duty have been able to vote by
post in previous elections.

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Zimbabwe's Police Forced To Join Civil Servants Strike

20/02/2010 10:16:00

Harare, February 20, 2010 - Zimbabwe's police force members have been
ordered to join the on-going civil servants strike, Radio VOP has

The police like other members of the unformed forces are legally not
supposed to take industrial action.

"An order has been circulated ordering the police not to disturb the strike
as it was legalized by the government. This is surprising because as the
police we have never been allowed to participate in any strike because it
contradicts with our code of employment. The radio says we must not go to
the strike in uniform," sources at Police General Headquarters (PGHQ) told
Radio VOP.

"We were told at a parade after the radio signal was read to us that we
should join the strike because we are civil servants. They said if we join
the job action this was going to push Minister of Finance Tendai Biti who is
a senior member of the MDC to give us money. They said MDC was on record for
saying it was going to give civil servants a hefty salary if they got in
power, "said police officers who requested anonymity.

The Morgan Tsvangirai led Movement for Democratic Change has already said it
suspects a third hand in the civil servants strike by Zanu PF detractors who
do not want the new unity government, which is a year old, to succeed. The
fragile coalition government is threatened with collapse following a
deadlock in talks to negotiate the full implementation of the Global
Political Agreement (GPA) that brought about the unity government. The GPA
talks have stalled due to disagreements about the appointments of governors,
the Reserve Bank Governor and Attorney General. The MDC is also demanding
the swearing in of its deputy Agriculture Minister Designate, Roy Bennett,
currently facing terrorism charges. MDC says the charges against Bennett are
trumped up. Zanu PF has demanded that MDC push for the removal of the
Western sanctions and the banning of exiled radio stations.

Civil servants, led by APEX President and Zimbabwe Teachers' Association
Boss,Tendai Chikowore called on their members to go on strike following a
deadlock with government on salary increase negotiations. The civil servants
are demanding USD 600 from current USD 150.

Friday's demonstration was the second one in two weeks, where the civil
servants marched and gathered in Harare gardens and Africa unity Square
where they were addressed  by the APEX leadership and resolved to continue
with the strike until their demands were heard.

In other parts of the country, teachers have been forced to join the strike.
This week Masvingo teachers were forced to join the strike at gun point.

The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) President Lovemore Matombo
condemned the politicisation of the civil servant's strike.

"From the on-set of this job action we have been suspicious and we are
watching it very closely. It's surprising to see some of the strike drivers
who for the past decade, during the economic crisis, refused to join us in
such demonstrations but now are mobilising civil servants to strike. We know
these people and some of them have openly declared their patronage to Zanu

"We are  also  worried that  the strike  has been hijacked  by these  people
to be a Zanu PF project aimed at denigrating Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai, a situation which is totally political not  trade unionism. As
ZCTU we are condemning the leaders of this strike who are short-changing
genuine workers with genuine concerns," said Matombo.

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I Will Not Give Up - Mugabe

20/02/2010 16:49:00

Harare, February 20, 2010 - Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe says he will
not breach the power sharing agreement with once long-time rival Prime
minister Morgan Tsvangirai by pulling out, state media reported on Saturday.

The veteran leader said that walking out of the agreement as a result of the
Western sanctions imposed on himself and members of his Zanu-PF party would
be "stupid".

"We won't breach the agreement because of that," Mugabe told the Herald
newspaper. "I mean, from our point of view, it would be stupid for us to do
so," he said.

On Tuesday, the EU extended the targeted sanctions on Mugabe and his inner
circle for another year, citing lack of progress in the power sharing

Formed a year ago, the work of the new government has been hindered by
disagreements over the appointment of key officials.

The country is in the process of rebuilding itself, ifollowing a decade of
political turmoil which crippled the economy and infrastructure.  AFP

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Zimbabwe Constitutional Process Stalls Again, This Time Over Role of Donors

Zimbabwean officials and donors supporting the constitutional revision
process want increased accountability, but President Robert Mugabe and his
ZANU-PF party have accused them of trying to hijack the process

Blessing Zulu 19 February 2010

Zimbabwe's constitutional revision process has ground to a halt again and
sources say the problem this time is a disagreement between the government
and donors bankrolling the project through the United Nations Development

Donors are said to be demanding input into the process and for Harare to
help meet soaring costs.

UNDP officials declined to comment, saying it would be premature to make a
statement in the matter.

But President Robert Mugabe and his ZANU-PF party have blasted donors,
accusing them of trying to hijack the process of redrafting the basic

Co-Chairman Paul Mangwana of the Parliamentary Select Committee for
Constitutional Revision told VOA Studio 7 reporter Blessing Zulu that the
process is in limbo - but Harare remains optimistic.

Attorney Tapuwa Mudambanuki, executive director of the African Center for
Law and Justice in Harare, says that despite frustration Zimbabweans must
support the process as critical to the democratic process.

Writing a new constitution is a central task for the unity government
installed in Harare in February 2009. The redrafted constitution is supposed
to be ready later this year for the country approve or disapprove in a
referendum. A new round of national elections looms beyond that process as
an even higher hurdle for the country, whose 2008 presidential, general and
local elections were marred by deadly violence.

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Zim tops African media exiles list

by Own Correspondent Saturday 20 February 2010

HARARE - Zimbabwe has the highest number of journalists in Africa who have
been hounded into exile during the past decade and many of them have
abandoned journalism as a profession, according to the latest report by a
US-based media protection group.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said the threat of jail has
forced at least 48 Zimbabwean journalists into exile since the country's
political crisis began in 2000 compared to just 30 for civil war-torn

"At least 48 Zimbabwean journalists have been forced into exile since 2000,
most of them in the early half of the decade during sustained harassment by
President Robert Mugabe's government," said Tom Rhodes, Africa programme
coordinator at CPJ.

The figure is higher than second-placed Ethiopia where 41 scribes have fled
to other countries to escape government persecution in the past 10 years.

In interviews with CPJ, many of the exiled Zimbabwean journalists have said
that it took years for them to re-establish themselves professionally and
secure sound economic footings for their families.

"Many had to abandon journalism as a career," he said in the report titled
"Attacks on the Press 2009", published last Tuesday.

But the report commended efforts by some exiled Zimbabwean journalists,
including The Zimbabwean editor and publisher Wilf Mbanga and SW Radio
Africa founder Gerry Jackson, for keeping the momentum going after leaving

Zimbabwe remains one of the most difficult countries for journalists to
practise their profession despite formation of a coalition government by
Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai 12 months ago.

Mugabe and Tsvangirai undertook in the power-sharing agreement that gave
birth to their coalition government to restore democracy in Zimbabwe and to
ensure respect for human rights including press freedom.

The former foes also undertook to reform the police and other security arms
of government to ensure they respect and uphold human rights.

But the troubled unity government is yet to move on security sector reforms
while the army and police continue to exhibit repressive tendencies
jeopardising the southern African country's efforts to recover from a spate
of bad publicity over the past decade which affected tourist arrivals. -

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Ghana’s Black Stars to camp in Zim

by Brian Chiwara Saturday 20 February 2010

HARARE – West African soccer kingpins and 2010 African Cup of Nations
finalists, Ghana, could relieve Zimbabwe’s desperate attempts to lure a
World Cup qualifying team to camp in the troubled southern African country
before the tournament swings into life in South Africa in June, a Ghanaian
government official told ZimOnline this week.

Zimbabwe has made several failed attempts to lure some of the world’s top
soccer national teams, including world champions, Brazil, England, Nigeria
and Spain, to camp for the pre-tournament warm up matches in Harare.

But the pleas have been ignored because most countries are still sceptical
about safety issues in Zimbabwe despite assurances by President Robert
Mugabe’s new administration to end violence.

But Ghana’s tourism minister, Juliana Azumah-Mensah said in Harare on
Tuesday she was close to sealing a deal with her Zimbabwean counterpart
Walter Mzembi that could see the Black Stars invading Harare and parading
some of Africa’s best players at the newly refurbished Rufaro Stadium.

“I am talking with my brother, if possible for our team to be here before
the World Cup,” Mensah told ZimOnline on the sidelines of tourism investment
summit in Harare.

She was not at liberty to say when Michael Essien and his troops could jet
into Harare, but in the past few weeks, Zimbabwe has also hinted that it was
close to a deal with a World Cup bound team although Muzembi has refused to
disclose it citing security issues.

Zimbabwe has said after failing to qualify for the tournament, its focus had
shifted from the football itself to trying to ramp up its image by
attracting at least 130 000 of the 450 000 soccer tourists expected in
southern Africa during the tournament.

The southern African nation has been busy trying to spruce up tourist
destinations, hotels and stadiums to lure World Cup teams and visitors.

The country has prepared 14 000 rooms for soccer tourists and has submitted
a US$28 million budget to treasury.

This week Zimbabwe hosted a Tourism Investment Conference – that attracted 1
000 delegates from across the world, including the World Tourism
Organisation, the Regional Tourist Organisation of Southern Africa, and
tourism ministers from African countries including Ghana, Zambia, Sierra
Leone and Cameroon – to drum up foreign investment inflows for the tourism
industry. – ZimOnline

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Alan Butcher to coach Zimbabwe national cricket team
 Saturday, 20 February 2010

Alan Butcher
Alan Butcher had three seasons in charge of the Surrey team

Zimbabwe have named former Surrey, Glamorgan and England batsman Alan Butcher as their new head coach.

Butcher has been given the task of getting Zimbabwe ready to return to Test cricket next year.

The 56-year-old, who won one Test cap, was previously head coach of county side Surrey.

He lost the job at the end of the 2008 English season following Surrey's relegation from Division One of the County Championship.

Former Zimbabwe Test players Heath Streak and Grant Flower will work alongside Butcher as specialist bowling and batting coaches, and he will be assisted by Stephen Mangongo.

Zimbabwe withdrew from Test cricket in January 2006 after a series of poor results resulting from a policy of selecting mainly inexperienced black players.

The International Cricket Council ruled in 2007 that allowing them to make an early return could risk "undermining the integrity of Test cricket".

But last October, former captain Alastair Campbell, now chairman of selectors for Zimbabwe Cricket, confirmed that policy had been abandoned and predicted that they would be ready to play Test cricket again "in two or three years".

Butcher's appointment appears to be part of that process and he will bring many years of coaching experience to his new role.

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Ten Years And Counting In Zimbabwe

    *  Saturday, 20 February 2010


Ten years ago, the people of Zimbabwe rejected a government-drafted
constitution, but Mugabe went ahead with plans any way.

Ten years ago this month, the people of Zimbabwe rejected a
government-drafted constitution that among other undemocratic provisions
would have consolidated President Robert Mugabe's power, granted government
officials prosecutorial immunity and authorized forced land redistribution
by seizing farms from the nation's white minority. The victory was
short-lived, however, because Mugabe and his supporters soon went ahead with
many of their plans any way.

Through a loosely organized group of war veterans, the government sanctioned
an aggressive land redistribution program that continues to this day, one
characterized by farm owners being forced from their land and both farmers
and their workers being intimidated and beaten. The government said the
so-called land reforms are needed to correct a colonial system that reserved
the best, most productive plots for whites and consigned blacks to poor

That may be, but it never followed through with sufficient reimbursement for
the former farm owners or the seed, equipment and support needed by the new
farmers. Mugabe's close associates have benefitted greatly from the
seizures, obtaining several farms each despite a stated policy of

The results of these policies are as self-defeating as they are predictable.
Zimbabwe, once the breadbasket of Africa, has suffered persistent food
shortages ever since. Though the nation's economy has stabilized and the
farm sector has bounced back somewhat since the establishment of a
transitional government last year, it still doesn't produce enough to feed

The Agriculture Ministry recently called for importing 500,000 tons of maize
as a needed grain reserve. Meanwhile, state security agents and ZANU-PF
party activists continue their campaign of farm seizures, chilling interest
in the sort of outside investment the nation badly needs to rebuild.

Even Zimbabwe's neighbors have criticized the so-called land reforms. A
Southern Africa Development Community Tribunal even ruled they violate SADC
treaties, but the Mugabe government ignores the decision.

An orderly land reform program can be implemented in Zimbabwe and many of
the displaced have offered to help the nation revive its once-proud
agricultural sector. That doesn't interest Mugabe, however, who in the land
seizures -- as with human rights, political freedoms and constitutional
reform -- shows he still won't yield to the forces for change building
around him.

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Mugabe legacy: Rot, ruin

Written by Editor
Thursday, 18 February 2010 15:56
For one who did so much to deliver universal education to his countrymen as
President Robert Mugabe  did in the early years of his rule it seems a
grievous injustice that an enduring mark of his legacy could be a collapsed
University of Zimbabwe (UZ) and a dysfunctional public education system.
Upon taking power at independence in 1980 Mugabe moved with a commitment
never before witnessed in any leader to bring education to thousands of
black children denied this opportunity by the country's former white rulers.
By 1981 Zimbabwe boasted free primary education for all children and a few
years later, all who qualified were guaranteed admission to secondary
school. In no time, Zimbabwe boasted one of the highest literacy rates in
Africa at around 90 percent of the population.
Regrettably, Mugabe has - and it appears with the same passion as at first
when he built education - caused the collapse of an impressive public school
system in pursuit of some racist agrarian reform programme whose negative
impact goes beyond education and far outweighs whatever were the supposed
The UZ reported last week that out of 1 200 lecturers it requires for
effective teaching only less than 500 are available. Some degree programmes
have been suspended while some courses are still running only because some
foreign do-gooders have agreed to teach students.
Aside the stated (and never achieved) objectives of Mugabe's land reforms,
aside his claims that Britain reneged on funding land reform - an undeniable
truth is that the collapse of the UZ and public education, indeed the
collapse of Zimbabwe's once brilliant economy, is a direct result of the
Zanu (PF) leader's chaotic agrarian reforms.
The lecturers who left the UZ, the accountants, scientists, lawyers,
doctors, nurses, teachers and many other skilled professionals who have left
the country over the past decade did so in order to seek better-paying jobs
in foreign lands. A rotten economy cannot hold on to its best brains in this
global village.
To uproot organised commercial agriculture that was the mainstay of the
economy and replacing it with a strange mixture of chaos and peasant farming
was in simple language to sabotage the economy. And for this Mugabe alone is
Zimbabwe could have weathered the storm had Mugabe replaced white-led
commercial agriculture with an equally viable and profitable system that
allowed every capable Zimbabwean - black, white, yellow or of whatever hue -
to engage in farming.
One of the major reasons why Rhodesia was able to defy real sanctions and a
damaging guerrilla uprising for so long was because they kept commercial
agriculture running - Mugabe does not need to be told this!
Mugabe and his supporters know this: land reform could have been done
differently and in a less damaging manner even in the absence of foreign
They chose violence and murder as the means to effect agrarian reform
because the true objective was never to resolve the historical land
question. We have said it before: the fast-track land reform programme was
and is about Mugabe and his party keeping power.
Commercial farms, like all areas where there was a considerable
concentration of the working class, had become a dangerous reservoir of
support for the labour-backed MDC and therefore a threat to Mugabe's hold on
power. They had to be destroyed.
For the sake of power they decided to sabotage the economy and livelihoods
of citizens. Mugabe and Zanu (PF) might have won the power game - they
remain in office. But this rot and ruin everywhere shall stand as their true
legacy to Zimbabwe.

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