Zimbabwe calls for sharing of energy technology with
FARDIS, Tehran Prov. (IRNA) -- Zimbabwean Minister of Energy and
Power Development July Moyo here on Sunday called for an exchange of
technology between his country and Iran in the fields of production and
transmission of energy.
"Iran has achieved a high-level of capability
in the power plant manufacturing sector," Moyo told IRNA on the sidelines of
an inspection tour of the Iran Powerplant Maintenance Company in Fardis,
The minister urged his Iranian counterpart to work alongside
African states to develop the latter's power industries.
Moyo and his
official entourage are visiting the country at the invitation of Iranian
Energy Minister Habibollah Bitaraf
Police accused of gunning down suspected Zambian cattle
rustlers Mon 10 January 2005 † BULAWAYO - Zambian police have accused
their Zimbabwean counterparts of shooting Zambian nationals suspected of
cattle rustling and dumping their bodies in the Zambezi river, ZimOnline has
††††† Sources said Lusaka had withdrawn from joint border patrols
with Harare in protest against what it says is the ill-treatment of Zambians
suspected of committing crime in Zimbabwe and the alleged trigger-happy
behaviour of local police.
††††† A police chief inspector at Zambia's
Livingstone town along the border with Zimbabwe confirmed that bilateral
crime prevention operations had been suspended over the alleged
††††† "We gathered that they are killing suspected criminals
and throwing them into the river and until we get a full explanation from
the Zimbabwean authorities, we are not going to have any joint operations
with them," said the officer, who did not want to be named.
did not say how many Zambians are believed to have been shot by Zimbabwean
††††† Zimbabwe police officer-in-charge of anti-stock theft
operations, Bernard Gumbura, confirmed joint operations with Zambian police
were on hold.
††††† But he said the operations will be resumed in the
near future after being suspended because of a "minor" misunderstanding over
the death of a Zambian national who dived into the Zambezi and drowned while
trying to flee from the police.
††††† Zimbabwe Home Affairs Minister
Kembo Mohadi also downplayed the wrangle with the Zambian authorities saying
the issue was being amicably dealt with at higher levels.
matter will be resolved at the highest level. All this will come to pass and
we will be in good books again," Mohadi said. - ZimOnline.
Brian Mangwende and
Constantine Chimakure issue date :2005-Jan-10
.Chinos linked to
SELF-PROCLAIMED commander-in-chief of farm occupations Joseph
Chinotimba, whose political flirtation with Zanu PF could come to a
screeching halt if found guilty of actively participating in the private
Tsholotsho meeting, yesterday said Harare province was manufacturing
documents linking him to the MDC. Chinotimba's utterances come against
the backcloth of documents leaked to The Daily Mirror which purported that
he had sought assistance from the opposition to demonstrate against the
provincial† leadership. This follows its decision to suspend him for
allegedly attending the unauthorised Tsholotsho meeting. According to the
document, allegedly written by MDC deputy secretary general Gift Chimanikire
to the opposition party's director of security, dated January 3 2005,
Chinotimba phoned Chimanikire requesting for between 500 and 700 youths to
participate in an anti-Zanu PF Harare province demonstration. Part of the
document bearing the official MDC letterhead read: "I received several calls
from Mr Joseph Chinotimba in which he was requesting for assistance from
us. "He wanted us to give him about 500-700 youths to participate in a
demonstration against the Harare Province's decision to eliminate him and
others from contesting in the primaries. "I believe that at one time you
once had a successful operation with him. In my conversation with him I was
a bit hesitant to commit myself since he earlier on dealt with yourselves
(security dept). "It is because of the mentioned reason that I have decided
to hand over the matter to yourselves. Can you please investigate how
sincere his request is. "Your cooperation in this matter will be most
appreciated, and please advise us accordingly." Contacted for comment on
the authenticity of the letter, both Chinotimba and Chimanikire dismissed
the document as fabrication by some unruly elements in the ruling
party. Said Chinotimba: "I don't think the document came from the MDC. They
are (Harare province) cooking up documents. I don't 'eat' with people in the
MDC, nor chat with them. Nevertheless, if I make contact with them I will be
trying to convert them to Zanu PF." Chinotimba claimed that his
detractors in Zanu PF wanted him out of the party in order to scuttle his
ambition to become legislator for Glen Norah. "This is being done by my
detractors. This is to derail my campaign. They are cooking up documents.
They know that maybe the politburo would allow me to contest in the party
primaries," charged Chinotimba, whose curriculum vitae was rejected by the
party's provincial co-ordinating committee last week because of the pending
disciplinary case. The municipal employee added: "I am very popular in Glen
Norah and they know that. I am a true party cadre. These are dirty tactics.
I believe in people who tell the truth. They must investigate all phone
lines and see whether I have ever spoken to Chimanikire." Chinotimba
vowed that he would never defect to the MDC. Chimanikire denied writing the
document and laughed off its assertions, saying he does not wine and dine
with Chinotimba. He said the signature GC on the document was not his. "My
signature is GSC not GC," Chimanikire said. "It's a malicious document.
How can I dine with Chinotimba?† I don't see eye to eye with him. Somebody
in Zanu PF authored that document for reasons better known to the
writer." Highly placed sources within the MDC argued that it was impossible
for Chimanikire to write the letter as he was currently the caretaker
director of security because the incumbent, Peter Guhu, had not been
reporting for work after he was severely beaten up by marauding MDC youths
at the party's headquarters, Harvest House, Harare, last year. Zanu PF
Harare province secretary for information and publicity Winston Dzawo said
he had not seen or heard about the document, but would ascertain its
veracity. "I have not seen that document or heard about it. However, that
seems a very serious matter which calls for very careful investigations in
order to establish the truth," Dzawo said.
inter-party violence erupts in Chikomba
Mirror Reporter issue date :2005-Jan-10
Zanu PF supporters allegedly abducted an MDC youth over the weekend at
Chambara Business Centre in Chikomba constituency, Mashonaland East
province.. The youth, Godfrey Cotton was in the company of Tapfumaneyi
Muzoda, another MDC activist when the incident allegedly took place on
Saturday. The MDC candidate for the constituency, Pinnel Denga, who is
challenging incumbent Zanu PF legislator, Bernard Makokove yesterday said
they were still in the dark over Cotton's whereabouts. "The two were at
the business centre when a B1600 truck with 15 youths came and dropped the
youths who immediately surrounded Cotton and Muzoda before bundling Cotton
into the truck," Denga said adding that Muzoda managed to
escape. Makokove allegedly owns the truck and was unavailable for comment
yesterday. Denga alleged that Cotton was then detained at a butchery owned by
the headmaster of Zimondi Secondary only identified as Huruva. †"When the
incident happened I was in Kwekwe and when I tried to make a report to the
police in Featherstone, I was told to report to Chivhu and they in turn
referred me to Marondera, the provincial capital," Denga added. Police in
Chivhu and Featherstone were not reachable yesterday while a policeman who
answered the phone in Marondera referred all questions to the police general
headquarters in Harare. Chief police spokesperson, Wayne Bvudzijena said he
was unaware of the matter, but added that all police stations had been
empowered to handle any crime. He said: "I haven't been briefed on that
matter at the moment, but a crime is a crime irrespective of the motive and
all police stations are empowered to handle any reports." President
Robert Mugabe and Police Commissioner, Augustine Chihuri have spoken
publicly against political violence saying the law enforcement agents would
be on high alert for would-be offenders regardless of the perpetrator's
political affiliation. Recently, Makonde legislator, Kindness Paradza and
Phone Madiro both from Zanu PF were arrested and appeared in court after
inter-party violence erupted in their respective constituencies
Our Correspondent in Mutare issue date :2005-Jan-10
FORMER Zanu PF
secretary-general and veteran nationalist, Edgar Tekere has described as
undemocratic and extremely repressive, the new Zanu PF primary poll
guidelines put in place recently.
Tekere said the new guidelines were
only meant to protect the old guard from embarrassingly losing their
parliamentary seats to the more energetic "young turks". He said adhering
to the stringent guidelines was tantamount to openly declaring that only the
chefs were eligible to contest in party polls, a scenario that could bring
unprecedented disgruntlement amongst party members. The controversial
guidelines that have sent tongues wagging within the party ranks and file
stated that only members of the provincial executives, national consultative
assembly and the central committee were eligible to participate in the
primary polls. Incumbent legislators who did not meet the criteria but had no
disciplinary cases against them were also eligible to stand. Also, a
card-carrying member, known as a fervent, consistent and active supporter of
the party and party's aims and objectives, but had earlier been prevented
from holding any of the structures of the party by virtue of their
employment in the service of the state, was also eligible after a waiver by
the Zanu PF elections directorate. "The fact that they had put in place
such repressive guidelines to bar the Young Turks from contesting clearly
shows that they are aware of their overdue shortcomings and diminishing
support from the masses. "Saka hakuna vamwe vachapindawo muhutongi? Vanoda
kugarapo kusvika madhongi avanenyanga?† (Shouldn't there be new blood in
leadership structures? Up to when do they want to remain in
power?) "There are, of course exceptional cases of overzealousness by some
Young Turks like Jonathan Moyo, who treaded on the feet of Zanu PF founder
members. Still these can be disciplined discriminatingly than dumping
all of them," he explained. Tekere who fell out of favour with Zanu PF in
1989 and formed the now defunct† Zimbabwe Unity Movement (ZUM) also took a
swipe at the ruling party for taking the ill conduct of a few "Young Turks
as a scapegoat to bar all from participating in party polls. "Zanu PF's
major problem is over reacting each time there is a trivial mishap.† Some
officials are quick to blow issues out of proportion for personal
advantages. "Leadership goes by turns.† To whom then would the relay baton be
passed if there is no young blood?† Do they intend to divert from the track
and selfishly run up the mountain to bury it," quipped the firebrand
nationalist. The stringent guidelines had† been widely condemned by some
long time parliamentary aspirants automatically rendered ineligible for not
meeting them. They had even provoked demonstrations that saw the party's
political commissar, Elliot Manyika held hostage at Rotten Row offices in
Harare by party supporters expressing anger over the disqualification of
certain aspirants on the pretext that they did not meet the
THE new-look National Social
Security Authority (NSSA) board that took over last week was improperly
appointed and therefore illegal as government contravened sections of the
NSSA Act, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) claimed on
Friday. ZCTU president, Lovemore Matombo, fired a broadside at government for
reneging on earlier promises to consistently interact with key stakeholders
of the Tripartite Negotiation Forum (TNF) on critical issues. The TNF is
a discussion platform where government, labour and business meet and strive
to explore possible solutions to socio-economic challenges. "It is a
distorted board. The procedure is that the minister should consult with
stakeholders, but he did not come to us; therefore the board is
illegal. "We are still consulting to see what course of action to take
because the actual beneficiaries of NSSA should be the workers. Any
decisions taken without workers' input are illegal," Matombo told The
Business Mirror. Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister, Paul
Mangwana, announced the new board, led by chairman Edwin Manikai, while
acting general manager, Amod Takawira, would continue as an ex-officio
member of the board. The new line up excluded labour
representatives. Employers Confederation of Zimbabwe (EMCOZ) president, Mike
Bimha, Nimrod Chiminya, Runyararo Kaseke, Kenias Shamhuyarira, and
industrialist David Govere, are also part of the board. Manikai said the
board constitutes a quorum and would immediately get down to
business. Matombo said he was disillusioned because government had recently
acceded at the TNF that it would enhance communication with
stakeholders. Sources said government was mulling elbowing the rebellious
labour board out of NSSA and replace it with the Zimbabwe Federation of
Trade Unions (ZFTU). However, the plan may hit a brick wall as the ZCTU
commands more than 30 affiliates under its ambit, compared to the ZFTU's
six, meaning the ZCTU has wider representation. It could not be
ascertained whether the remaining three appointments that Paul Mangwana said
would soon be appointed would incorporate labour. When contacted last week,
Mangwana said he could not comment as he was out of town on other
business. Manikai was not reachable on his mobile phone. Established in
1994, NSSA has faced several administrative hiccups such as operating
without a general manager since 1996 when Claudius Chonzi quit the
authority. Takawira is currently running the social security board in an
acting capacity. It has perennially been accused of not living up to its
mandate as it has paid meagre benefits to retiring and injured
workers. However, last month Mangwana said the parastatal had been unfairly
treated: "Despite the absence of a general manager, NSSA remains one of the
best run public institutions in Zimbabwe. There have never been
scandals. "You might not agree with their investment policies, but they are
doing well," Mangwana said.
FORMER local government
deputy minister Tony Gara has blasted Zanu PF national political commissair
Elliot Manyika for endorsing his suspension from the ruling party for
allegedly participating in the unendorsed Tsholotsho meeting. In an
interview with The Daily Mirror last night, Gara said Manyika had erred in
writing a letter dated December 20 2004 to Zanu PF Harare Province
chairperson Amos Midzi endorsing his suspension and that of war veterans'
leader Joseph Chinotimba, arguing that such a decision could only be† taken
by the national disciplinary committee after a hearing. "One would want
to assume that the commissar should understand the provisions of the
constitution well as he administers it.† I would request Manyika or any
other member of the party to follow the provisions of the constitution,
which is the principle act of our party," Gara said. "Principal officers of
the party should not therefore be seen to be violating provisions of the
constitution. Instead they should safeguard them, in order to give lessons
to their subordinates." He refused to say what action he would take over the
development. Manyika's letter, copied to Zanu PF national chairman John Nkomo
and secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa, read: "Please be advised
that your minute has been referred to the national disciplinary committee
for its consideration.† In the meantime, the two comrades remain
suspended." Yesterday, Mutasa confirmed receipt of the letter, but declined
to comment on the matter. Gara and Chinotimba have since been barred from
holding public meetings in the name of the ruling party, following a vote of
no-confidence passed on the two recently, on allegations that they
participated in the Tsholotsho meeting. Other party members have also
been warned against working with the two on any party business. Winston
Dzawo, the ruling party's Harare Province secretary for information and
publicity, yesterday said: "The two comrades are barred from holding
any public meeting in the name of the party. "All our districts in Harare
province are advised to stop any dealings on party issues with the two
comrades." Meanwhile President Robert Mugabe and his family returned home
yesterday from a two-week holiday in Singapore and Malaysia. The
President is expected to resume work today.
††††† ZIMBABWE'S domestic debt,
which stood at $590.5 billion in December 2003, had ballooned to nearly $3
trillion by November 5 last year.
††††† Figures from the Reserve Bank
of Zimbabwe (RBZ)'s weekly economic highlights show that the country's
domestic debt was $1.4 trillion at June 25 2004, $2.5 trillion at August 27
and $2,8 trillion at September 24.
††††† The debt stood at $346
billion in December 2002. Analysts say the domestic debt will continue to
soar because of the need to fund various imports such as electricity, grain
and providing financial support for newly-resettled
††††† They said the high interest rates coupled with
increased borrowing that tied up a high percentage of the nation's resources
would continue to be a burden on the fiscus.
††††† "This is an
interesting figure considering that the government also wants to give $3
trillion to agriculture," an independent economist, said.
economist said this would double the debt because government will have to
borrow the $3 trillion.
††††† "Besides the increase in the domestic
debt, borrowing by government results in crowding out of the business
sector," he said.
††††† "Government borrows money to pay wages and
recurrent expenditure and this increases inflation unlike the business
sector which borrows money for productive purposes."
he took over as RBZ governor in December 2003, Gideon Gono said the current
debt overhang had an adverse impact on money supply and efforts to fight
††††† He said treasury and monetary authorities and the
private sector were engaged in active discussions over the idea to
ring-fence this debt and come up with innovative instruments to deal with
the entire outstanding domestic debt.
††††† Gono then proposed a
special facility bond where government issues a zero-coupon bond which
investors purchase at a discount. He also proposed a weighting system to
determine the discount factor for the said bond.
††††† The governor
said government, together with the private sector, would request friendly
countries to issue foreign currency-denominated bonds in international
††††† The foreign currency raised would then be sold
to the RBZ and the local currency used to extinguish domestic debt while the
foreign currency with the RBZ could then be used to repay part of the
foreign debt or meet the country's import requirements.
Zimbabwe's balance of payments position has remained weak largely as a
result of poor export performance and continuing importer demand
††††† Government to pour in Z$1.4 billion into
††††† Date: 11-Jan, 2005
††††† THE government,
through the Ministry of Education, Sport and Culture is expected to pour in
over Z$1 billion into the bankrupt Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) to
save it from collapse, the Daily News Online has gathered.
Zifa has in the past year been battling to raise money to run the country's
most popular sport and to date, office furniture and cars belonging to the
national association have been auctioned for failing to service
††††† The headquarters of Zifa, in Harare is in a sorry state
due to the deep-rooted financial problems. Office property like chairs,
desks, filing cabinets, television sets, boardroom chairs, match balls and
printers have all be auctioned.
††††† Even the country's national
teams are being affected by the financial problems that each time a team
wants to travel outside the country on assignments, government has had to
††††† Sources told The Daily News Online that after a
marathon meeting between Zifa officials led by chairman Rafiq Khan and the
education minister, Aeneas Chigwedere last week, government agreed to assume
††††† The debt is believed to be hovering around a
staggering $1.4 billion. The Zifa board is said to have inherited the debt
from previous executives.
††††† A senior official from Chigwedere's
ministry confirmed the latest development.
††††† "The minister
(Chigwedere) is expected to hold a Press conference anytime soon to reveal
the package which will save the national association from total collapse.
Government realises that it will be a tragedy if they fail to save Zifa from
their serious financial problems.
††††† "But the Zifa officials need
to put their house in order in future because the government cannot keep on
assisting them on a daily basis. Football is big in Zimbabwe and it needs to
be run professionally," said the official.
DISGRUNTLED ZANU PF SUPPORTERS DEMAND OVERHAUL OF ELECTION
CRITERIA Monday 10 January 2005 † HARARE - About 500 supporters of
President Robert Mugabe's ZANU PF party on Monday resumed protests against
the party's old guard for blocking party Young Turks from rising to
leadership positions within the party.
††††† In a sign of a deepening
power struggle within the party ahead of a crucial general election in two
months' time, the disenchanted supporters, who converged at ZANU PF's Harare
headquarters, demanded that an internal party election to choose candidates
for the March poll be deferred until the criteria to select prospective
candidates was overhauled.
††††† The demonstrators, who last week blocked
ZANU PF political commissar Eliot Manyika from leaving the party's
headquarters until he addressed their grievances, castigated Manyika and
party chairman, John Nkomo for being dictatorial.
††††† They also
claimed the two senior officials were manipulating the candidate selection
system to prevent more popular junior leaders from contesting the
††††† A woman demonstrator, who said she had travelled from her
rural home to Harare for the protests, told ZimOnline: "The primary
elections cannot go ahead under the current scenario. The primaries must be
deferred so that the selection criteria can be changed."
Another protestor quietly held a placard written: "So, where is the
††††† Manyika, who chairs ZANU PF's elections directorate
that approves candidates, was said to be held up in a meeting reviewing
complaints by party supporters over the selection of candidates and could
not take questions.
††††† Under the new selection criteria, only
members of ZANU PF's central committee, provincial and district executives
or its national consultative assembly are eligible to run on the party
ticket. Many Young Turks are excluded under this requirement
Most notable among those barred from standing for ZANU PF in the March
election are government information minister and propaganda chief, Jonathan
Moyo and Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa. - ZimOnline
Malnutrition and related diseases expected to rise
[ This report does not
necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]
Jan 2005 (IRIN) - Malnutrition and related diseases are expected to rise in
Zimbabwe, peaking in the January to March 2005 period, warned a new report
by the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET).
cereals are increasingly unavailable in rural areas, maize prices on the
parallel market continue to climb, limiting the ability of households to buy
enough food to satisfy their needs, said both FEWS NET and the World Food
Programme (WFP) in separate reports.
Food security is declining in most
districts, particularly those in the traditionally dry Masvingo and
Matebeleland provinces in the south of the country, according to
The cost of living in urban areas has increased steadily over 2004,
and the majority of urban households struggle to meet their basic
expenditure requirements, FEWS NET said. The "alert status" of the report
was given the highest priority of "emergency".
For those that can
afford it, a maize meal shortage is also being felt, according to news
reports. The Consumer Council of Zimbabwe told IRIN that a cheaper
alternative, an unrefined version of maize meal popular among Zimbabweans
battling high prices, was not available in markets last month.
inflation and the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) monopoly over marketing maize
are exacerbating the situation," said FEWS NET, adding that the erosion of
real incomes in both rural and urban areas meant people had been forced to
cut back on consumption.
The cost of food as well as non-food items
increased by 92 percent from January to November 2004, but wages failed to
keep up. According to the Consumer Council, the minimum industrial wage of
Zim $500,000 (about US $86.96) could cover only 31 percent of the November
Neither the social protection nor targeted feeding
programmes established to address the food needs of the aged, orphans,
chronically ill and other welfare cases could adequately address the food
insecurity problem facing both urban and rural communities in Zimbabwe, said
the early warning network.
The Zimbabwean government has insisted
that its farmers produced a bumper maize harvest of 2.4 million mt and would
not require WFP aid. But a report released by the parliamentary portfolio
committee on lands and agriculture said that by October last year the GMB
had received only 388,558 mt.
A Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment
Committee (ZimVAC) report in April 2004 projected that around 41 percent of
the rural population (3.3 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 released in
"At current prices, therefore, the projected food insecure
rural population is arguably higher than 3.3 million people," the US-funded
early warning unit noted.
The humanitarian community faces a
difficult working environment in Zimbabwe, and relations between the donors
and the government are strained.
But, FEWS NET urged, "The humanitarian
community in Zimbabwe needs to find fresh ideas, palatable to both the
government of Zimbabwe and the donor community, to expand the limited
working space in which they are currently forced to operate."
Lack of pathologist leaves murder cases stalled Zimbabwe's
economic crisis has hurt state health services Monday, January 10, 2005
Posted: 10:31 AM EST (1531 GMT)
HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) -- The bodies
of at least 30 suspected murder victims have been lying in morgues across
Zimbabwe for up to eight months since the government's only forensic
pathologist quit his post, police and health officials said
Without forensic evidence, murder investigations could not
proceed, police spokesman Oliver Mandipaka said. And families of the victims
could not collect the bodies for burial until forensic autopsies were done,
Forensic pathologist Dr. Alex Mapunda left government service in
While other doctors can do autopsies after car crashes and other
mostly accidental deaths, none is qualified to gather or present criminal
evidence to the police and courts, officials at the main Parirenyatwa
Services in understaffed state health facilities have
crumbled during Zimbabwe's worst economic crisis since independence from
Britain in 1980.
Authorities did not give the reason for Mapunda's
departure. But acute shortages of medicines and equipment, poor salaries and
the spiraling cost of living have sent many doctors, nurses and other
professionals looking for work abroad.
At least 3.2 million
Zimbabweans are living or working outside the country, according to the
central bank. It has been trying to persuade them to send money home to ease
shortages of hard currency needed to important medicines, gasoline and other
2005 Posted to the web January 10, 2005
Tandayi Motsi And Alfred
HARARE'S basic infrastructure, much of it dating back
to the 1950s, is in bad shape and residents hope the new commission will
prioritise its upgrading.
Water supplies fall far short of demand,
much of the water distribution infrastructure in the inner suburbs is long
overdue for replacement, street lighting needs urgent attention, roads need
to be repaired and in many cases rebuilt, refuse removal needs to be
upgraded, and a whole culture of cleanliness needs to be put in
Many believe the city can be turned around, but it will require
the commission to concentrate on the basics to the exclusion of almost
"This used to be one of the best cities in Africa,
but today one wonders what has really gone wrong with the city fathers,"
remarked a middle-aged woman recently as she strolled in the city
She was passing through the Centenary Footbridge opposite Town
House in Harare that is littered with human waste.
The curtain has
finally come down on 2004 but in rerospect, will the residents of Harare
have something to smile about in relation to the services offered by the
The story of Harare city is a sad one as nearly all the
critical services offered by the city are rapidly
Residents in the eastern suburbs of Mabvuku, Tafara,
Epworth, Zimre Park and Msasa Park had a bleak Christmas holiday after their
taps ran dry.
They resorted to fetching water from unprotected streams
and wells exposing themselves to water-borne diseases, while others had to
turn to friends and relatives in nearby suburbs.
"The situation is
really appalling. I don't know how they (council officials) could have felt
or handled the situation had it affected them directly. We have had enough
of this and I think it's time council found a lasting solution," said Mr
Tofirei Pedzisai of Tafara.
His sentiments were echoed by Mr Phillip
Chigwende of Hatfield who did not hide his disappointment: "This was the
worst Christmas holiday (without water) and those responsible at Town House
should simply resign."
Harare public relations manager Mr Lesile Gwindi
said the disruptions were a result of faulty pumps at Morton Jaffray Water
However, the eastern suburbs have endured long periods without
water because they lie at a gradient, making pumping difficult.
slight hitch in pumping immediately affects the eastern suburbs and since
this is a perennial problem, the city fathers must address it once and for
Residents argue that they are paying rates hence they have a
right to demand commensurate services from the council.
As if the
water crisis was not bad enough, most Harare residents also have to grapple
with the failure by the local authority to collect refuse on
The situation at Mbare Musika, most shopping centres in the
suburbs and even in the streets of Harare in terms of uncollected refuse
leaves a lot to be desired.
Refuse collection has been erratic in the
capital, resulting in rubbish bins going for months without being collected
in some areas.
This has prompted residents to dump refuse
indiscriminately, thereby further reducing the glow of the city and exposing
entire families to diseases.
Besides posing a health hazard to residents,
uncollected refuse is an eyesore.
Local Government, Public Works and
National Housing Minister Dr Ignatius Chombo recently told Glen View
residents that the Government was not happy with the refuse collection in
the city and had set a deadline for a review of the contracts awarded to
However, the council failed to meet the October 15
2004 deadline set by Government for the review of refuse collection
Mr Gwindi acknowledged the deadline set by Government had
lapsed but said the local authority had made great strides in addressing the
problem of refuse collection.
Furthermore, motorists in Harare, once
dubbed "Sunshine City", have also had to grapple with potholes dotted on the
capital city's roads.
Some residents mockingly say the city should make
the potholes into "tourist attractions", as some of them now resemble small
Other residents have taken the initiative to fill up potholes in
their suburbs with rubble rather than wait for the city council to come to
In a recent letter in the Herald's Letters to the
Editor column, a Tynwald resident said as a new residential area the suburb
was yearning for attention from the Harare City Council, which has done
nothing to improve things since it started taking shape in 1998.
suburb needs streetlights and regular garbage collection, but it would seem
this is a completely forgotten area and I doubt if it exists on the Harare
maps," said the resident.
The resident said the Harare City Council had
lost sight of why it was put in office and residents should take it upon
themselves to keep their suburbs clean.
The other area that the city
authorities seems to have forgotten to attend to during the year is street
lightning and faulty traffic lights.
It has become common to see signs at
road intersections in different parts of the city warning motorists that
robots are "out of order".
As a result of this, several accidents, some
of them fatal, have occurred at such road intersections.
Greater Harare Residents' Association vice-chairperson Mr Israel Mabhoo says
the problems facing the capital needed collective action.
facing the city can only be solved through collective action by all
stakeholders but it appears the city fathers have adopted a go-it-alone
attitude," he says.
"The world over the concept of local authority
development involves the participation of all stakeholders and we hope the
commission now running the city will engage the residents on the way
The association, he says, has tried to engage the local
authority with the view to address the mounting problems but such efforts
appear to have hit a brick wall.
"Perhaps time has now come for
residents to demand justification by the council why they should continue
paying rates when services are deteriorating," he says.
Mr Gwindi is
on record as saying the city is striving to improve service delivery at all
Recently, the local authority embarked on a programme of towing
away vehicles found parked at undesignated places, a move that has stirred a
hornet's nest with some "victims" claiming it was too
The city has also embarked on a massive campaign to spruce
up its image in order to reclaim its status as one of the cleanest cities in
The clean-up campaign involves cracking down on illegal street
vendors and food outlets, garbage disposal and removal of street people from
the Central Business District.
The issue of the street people has
been a thorn in the flesh of the Harare authorities for many
They have been removed in the past, only to resurface again after
a few weeks.
Perhaps the proposal by the Government to establish a
fund in support of the removal and rehabilitation of people living in the
streets would be the lasting solution to the problem.
In his 2005
Budget statement, Acting Minister of Finance and Economic Development Dr
Herbert Murerwa said the fund would receive contributions from the Reserve
Bank of Zimbabwe and other stakeholders.
The City of Harare seems to be
fighting an uphill battle in its quest to deliver services hence there is
need to redouble its efforts in order to restore the capital to its original
Yes, 2004 has gone by and one only hopes that this year there
will see a paradigm shift by the city fathers in the delivery of essential
January 8, 2005 Posted to the web January 10,
THE Commission running the affairs of Harare City
Council yesterday postponed its first meeting for the year to deliberate on
the 2005 budget after one of the commissioners noticed glaring
inconsistencies with the budget figures.
The meeting was closed to
the public and media.
Commission chairperson Ms Sekesayi Makwavarara
confirmed that there was a problem with figures but could not explain
"We want to come up with a budget that addresses the needs of
the ratepayers", she said.
She said the officials were asked to look
into the problem areas and correct the anomalies.
then went into a closed meeting in Ms Makwavarara's office while the
officials were left to correct the wrong figures.
manager Mr Lesley Gwindi said another meeting would be convened early next
He said council was worried because the budget formulation process
was running late.
Harare is proposing a $1,1 trillion budget and
intends to raise $398 billion through revenue collection and will incur a
budget deficit of $783 billion.
Infighting among Mugabe's party
members could benefit MDC at polls
Harare: Zimbabwe's President
Robert Mugabe has returned home from holiday to find his ruling Zanu PF
party divided by damaging squabbles over candidate selection for a general
parliamentary election due in March. Political analysts say the
unprecedented infighting among Zanu PF members and simmering anger over the
recent promotion of a high-flying politician may work in favour of the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) at the polls. "The fears are
real. A divided Zanu PF will struggle to put up a strong campaign against
the MDC... and for the MDC the longer these quarrels run the better," said
political analyst Professor Heneri Dzinotyiwei of the University of
Zimbabwe. The government-controlled Sunday Mail reported complaints came
from all 10 provinces. Only three provinces had registered complaints just
five days ago when a group of Zanu PF supporters demonstrated against the
exclusion of some candidates and detained a senior party official in charge
of selection. The private Sunday Mirror newspaper reported that Mugabe's key
war veteran supporters have warned the party to handle the selection of the
candidates carefully, saying the drive against so-called rebels could help
More than a dozen top officials, including
controversial Information Minister Jonathan Moyo, have been purged from Zanu
PF's top bodies and from the election race after an earlier row over
Mugabe's likely successor. Moyo has appealed to Zanu PF to reverse a
decision which stops him from contesting the parliamentary elections. He was
dropped last month from the party's top bodies over charges that he and
other senior officials tried to block the rise of Joyce Mujuru as one of
Zimbabwe's two vice presidents, putting her in line to succeed Mugabe. Moyo
and six other senior officials, who were suspended from the party for five
years, are being punished for seeking to promote Speaker of parliament
Emmerson Mnangagwa as a candidate for co-vice president against Mujuru.
Mugabe has not made a public comment on the squabbles since he came back
from vacation. The MDC, which says Zanu PF rigged the last two polls in 2000
and 2002, has threatened to boycott the election unless reforms are put in
place to ensure what it calls a level playing field. Mugabe denies
manipulating previous elections. His Zanu PF party dismisses the MDC as a
puppet of Western powers it says have sabotaged the economy in retaliation
for Mugabe's seizure of white-owned farms for redistribution to landless
Waiting at the airport for
England to arrive from Johannesburg, David Morgan called me over to his
table. He and Mike Soper were eating cheese toasties. 'Tell me, Tom, do you
think things are getting better or worse in Zimbabwe?' I told him that
things were much worse. 'But,' he protested, 'the last time I was here
people were queuing for many hours to buy petrol and bread. Today, there are
no queues.' Later, when I mentioned Morgan's comments to David Coltart, the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change's shadow justice minister, he was
contemptuous. 'Morgan has no idea what is going on. There used to be price
controls so everyone could afford fuel and bread, but there was not enough
to go around. So there were queues. Now there are no price controls and no
queues. And people can't afford what's on the shelves.' The England players
eventually arrived looking as if they were about to do a tour of duty in
Falluja. They stared solemnly ahead as police outriders led them to their
five-star hotel, Meikles, in central Harare. The next day, both the Times
and Guardian made much of some graffiti on Robert Mugabe Way saying 'England
Go Home, Shame on England'. But most Zimbabweans remained either unaware of
or unbothered by the tour. The political nuances did not worry them. If
sport is escapism, they are more interested in football, at home and
On the morning of the first game I heard a familiar voice in
the breakfast room. 'I'd like a cheese omelette and a rooibos tea.' It was
the BBC's Jonathan Agnew. He was tired - and late. He was angry that England
were in Zimbabwe but also frustrated at how hard it was to explain to people
back home the complicated situation. 'The fact that Gary in Sheffield says
"pull the boys out" without knowing anything about it doesn't really help,'
he said. We talked about the cricket for a bit before he said: 'But the
cricket doesn't matter, does it? It's all downhill from now on.' There was a
meagre crowd of about 100 at the Harare Sports Club. But it was a sunny day,
the pitch looked pristine and, after all the delays, it was a relief to be
watching cricket. The England fielders huddled together as the Zimbabwe
openers walked out to polite applause. The series that few people, and
certainly not the England players, wanted to take place had begun. Zimbabwe
made a slow start and were 45 for one after 10 overs. The crowd grew and by
the time Tatenda Taibu came in at 80 for four there must have been more than
3,000 in the ground, making a lot of noise. About 70 per cent were black -
so that was one 'quota' fulfilled. But some of the white Zimbabweans were
supporting England in protest at what they see as the politicisation of
their team. The evidence of emerging black talent was there right in front
of us as 19-year-old Elton Chigumbura hit a powerful half-century. In the
end, Zimbabwe were all out for 194. England won comfortably, establishing a
pattern for the series.
A few days later, justice Ebrahim greeted
me warmly at the Harare club. Black and-white photographs stared down from
the walls, showing faces of young white men. He led me to a secluded table
and looked at me expectantly. 'There are two sides to every story,' he said.
Ahmed Ebrahim, an ethnic Indian, is short, wiry and scrupulously polite. He
was until recently a High Court judge. Dressed in a blazer and club tie, he
recalled the nine years he spent in London as a young man. After the
Lancaster House Agreement of 1980 that opened the way for black majority
rule in Zimbabwe, the British invited talented young civil servants to
London for special training. Ebrahim was one of them. 'There was nothing I
liked more in those days than sitting down with a cup of coffee and reading
the English papers,' he said. 'But now the English press is not what it was.
When it comes to cricket they print lies.' In a high-pitched but
authoritative voice, he said that, in 2000, 20 years after independence,
only five of the 29 senior administrators at the ZCU were black. At
independence there were as many as 200,000 whites in the country; in 2000,
when the farm invasions began, there were 70,000; today, there are as few as
25,000, many of them elderly. 'I and a minority of other administrators
recognised that if left unchecked it would only be a matter of time before
cricket died in this country. But when a choice had to be made between a
black and a white player, the white player always got the
The white players held the board to ransom, he continued.
In 2000, for instance, when Zimbabwe toured the West Indies, he claims that
'the players decided they didn't want the coach Dave Houghton any longer so
they forced him out'. The allegation was later backed up by Ali Shah, who
was tour manager at the time. 'It was the tail wagging the dog,' he said.
'The players always had to have their way. Davie wanted to drop Alistair
Campbell and pick Craig Wishart, but the royal family of Andy Flower, Grant
Flower, Campbell and [Guy] Whittall wouldn't stand for that.' Houghton now
coaches Derbyshire. Ebrahim is considered something of an enigma by the MDC.
As a judge he was resolutely independent. He ruled against the government's
land-reform programme. But, as one insider told me, as a cricket
administrator he 'provides a perfect foil for the more radical elements of
ZC. And when he complains that Zimbabwe had crushing defeats before - losing
to England by an innings and 209 runs at Lords in 2000 and by an innings and
175 to Australia last year - he ignores the reality that all teams have bad
days. Zimbabwe might not have been a strong team, even with Streak, the
Flower brothers and Murray Goodwin (who quit the team in 2000, to
concentrate on playing for Western Australia and Sussex). But they were
tough and competitive. You could not say the same of Taibu's young
The England players began to relax after a few days in Harare,
but the tour management never did the same. Andy Walpole, the squad's
harassed media manager, protected captain Michael Vaughan from difficult
questions and my request to talk to coach Duncan Fletcher, who was born in
the old Rhodesia, was rejected 'due to the sensitive nature of the tour'.
Fletcher is a Zimbabwean who once captained his country. What does he think
about cricket in the country of his birth? What does he think about
England's tour? No one knows. The day after England won the second one-day
international by 161 runs, the tour moved on to Bulawayo. I arranged to meet
Heath Streak on his ranch, an hour to the north. When we last met, at his
flat in Birmingham (he was playing for Warwickshire), he said he missed the
space of his home in Zimbabwe. Now, it was not hard to see why. On every
side stretched mile upon mile of acacia trees, red earth, scrubland and
endless sky. As I approached the homestead, an impala leapt gracefully in
front of the car and round a bend I came upon a herd of zebra. Later, when
Streak gave me a tour of the farm - which has been reduced by two thirds
under the land-reform programme to 4,000 hectares - we came across
wildebeest, kudu and eland. Out here cricket seems a distant game. 'People
like Bvute say the door is open to come back but there's still a lot of
turmoil at Zimbabwe Cricket,' Streak said. 'The behaviour of Bvute, and Max
Ebrahim, goes unchecked and they haven't been made accountable for what
Perhaps if Peter Chingoka had agreed to meet him,
things would have been different. Streak said his letter to Hogg in which he
first threatened to resign was born of frustration 'that I couldn't have an
audience with Chingoka. I felt he should have made the time to see me. But
Vince Hogg told me several times that Peter thought it wasn't necessary.'
Streak, like most of the rebels, believes money is at the root of ZC's
mismanagement. He points to the £50,000 honorarium paid to Chingoka in 2003
- a huge sum in Zimbabwe terms. And the ZCU's decision to send the entire
board to Australia for the tour last year was a sign of how wasteful the
organisation could be. 'They spend nearly $150,000 on a jolly to Australia
when back here you've got clubs collapsing. Queens [in Bulawayo] couldn't
play a fixture the other day because they had only one bat.' But what of
Streak's own interest in money? I was shown emails between his agent, Ray
Warner, and the ZCU human resources manager, Wilfred Mukondiwa, that reveal
Streak was seeking a substantial pay increase to return to play for
Zimbabwe. In one email, sent on 6 October 2004, Warner reminded Mukondiwa of
Streak's contract at Warwickshire. 'The package is worth comfortably in
excess of six figures, for what is effectively six months' work. If the ZCU
are serious about Heath returning to play international cricket in the
future any offer must be equal to or preferably above what Heath will be
earning in England.'
Streak denied that he would have come back
without the issues of accountability being sorted out. But the size of his
demands and the timing - in the middle of the ICC inquiry - were
ill-advised. I asked Streak why the black and white players used different
buses while on tour in Australia. He said it was simply a 'cultural thing'.
'The white players would come to breakfast early, the black players would
walk in three or four minutes before we were due to leave. The first bus
would fill up, then the black guys would come out with their toast in their
mouths and get in the other bus.' But, according to Ali Shah, there was a
racial problem. 'I got on the white bus and asked one of the players why
there were no blacks on board. He replied, "Because they stink". Even in the
dressing room you'd have whites on one side and blacks on the other.' Heath
Streak is certainly not a racist. But the question that has to be asked is
whether as captain he should have done more to unify the team and remove the
segregation. In Bulawayo, England's superiority made for tedious cricket.
When they easily won the fourth and final match, everyone, it seems, was
relieved the tour was over. I then called Geoff Marsh at home in Perth.
Neither the ICC nor any journalists had attempted to speak to him since he
left Zimbabwe for good in September. 'I was coach of Zimbabwe for three
years,' he said. 'I never get asked by the ICC for my version of events. Why
not?' He is 'depressed' by what has happened to the game in Zimbabwe. After
the white players left he fought on with the youngsters until the end of his
contract, but, he said, it was an impossible task. 'You just couldn't do it.
It's the same thing for Phil Simmons now. He hasn't got a chance. You know,
we won two games against West Indies little more than a year ago. The
grounds at Bulawayo and Harare were full, we had black and whites off their
seats. And then we had a very good tour of Australia in
Yet by the time the squad returned from Australia,
everything had changed. 'One meeting and that was it. All the good work was
thrown away.' Marsh believes that it will take at least 10 years to create a
decent Zimbabwe side. "The shame is that Tinashe Panyangara and Elton
Chigumbura were both in the frame to play the next Test series. With
Blignaut, [Doug] Hondo, Streak and [Travis] Friend that would have been a
powerful attack.' Throughout this tortured affair there was always
ammunition for the different camps - arrogant white players, a corrupt
cricket board and a morally bankrupt world governing body. Now the clubs in
Zimbabwe have started to revolt against the power of the ZCU and their
costly rebranding. Teams from Mashonaland are threatening to pull out of all
ZC competitions. This month, weakened Zimbabwe once more begin Test cricket,
against Bangladesh and then South Africa. Can cricket ever thrive again in
this blighted country? 'The whole thing boils down to this,' said Marsh.
'Does world cricket want the Zimbabwe issue sorted? If it does, it can be
easily sorted out. You've got to get the best players on the field. If you
can do it, you can be competitive. Without your best players, especially in
a country as impoverished and weak as Zimbabwe, you are doomed.' In reality,
sporting normality is not possible while Robert Mugabe remains in power. In
the meantime, the infrastructure of his country collapses, his opponents are
imprisoned without trial and millions of people cannot even afford a loaf of
bread. What place has cricket in such a land?
[ This report does not necessarily
reflect the views of the United Nations]
HARARE, 10 Jan 2005 (IRIN) -
Most of Zimbabwe's newly resettled farmers have had a slow start to the main
planting season, and experts warn that this might jeopardise the country's
food supply this year.
New farmers, particularly those who were given the
A1 communal model farms during the fast-track land redistribution programme
that commenced in 2000, cited a lack of draught power as the main obstacle
At an A1 farm about 40 kilometres north of the small town of
Mvuma in Midlands province, more than half the settlers said they had been
forced to adopt zero tillage, known locally as "chibhakera", a simple
technique of planting seed into the soil with little or no prior land
Tavaka Bhasera, 54, told IRIN that since the first rains
fell in the second week of December last year he had managed to cultivate
less than half an acre of land. Bhasera moved to the farm in January 2003,
while his family remained at his rural home in Chivi, over 180 km
He had decided to leave most of his family members behind because
the government had instructed them not to build permanent structures on the
new plots, a situation he said made him uncertain about his future as a new
"The situation here is disturbing. I, like most of my
neighbours, do not have cattle to use as draught power. As you can see, I
don't have a cattle pen and a goat is the only form of livestock I can boast
of. As a result, I have been forced to use my own hands to till this land,
which is almost virgin," said Bhasera, who is also the headman of the
He said he had also left his cattle in Chivi, partly because of the
uncertainty and also due to the lack of means to transport
Resettled farmers have been promised tractors to help them with
tillage through the government's District Development Fund
"All the time we travel to Chivhu, [where] DDF officials say they
are coming soon, claiming that they are ploughing in other areas. However,
we wonder at which places they are using the tractors because we have not
heard of anyone in this area who has received their services," Bhasera
The official Herald newspaper recently quoted DDF
director-general James Jonga as saying that less than half of the fund's 733
tractors were still operational due to the lack of foreign exchange to keep
the ageing fleet running.
Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo,
who is also chairman of the cabinet task force on inputs supply and
distribution, said farmers were encouraged "to use all forms of tillage,
namely mechanical, manual labour, animal draught power and tillage
co-operatives, in order to bring more land under production in this
Director of the department of Agricultural Research
and Extension Services (AREX), Shadreck Mlambo, warned that this year's
harvests were under threat. "Right now, we are still far away from
completing land preparation, and time is fast running out," he
In the Guinea Fowl area, a former dairy farm hub about 50 km south
of the Midlands city of Gweru, farmers are pooling resources to till as much
land as possible.
"The DDF has helped some of us, but the number is
very small. Considering also that we do not have cattle and donkeys to use
as draught power, we sat down and decided to come together as families to
[plant] ... using chibhakera [zero tillage]. The programme is done on a
rotational basis to ensure that every household gets its chance. Also, those
who have cattle have come to our rescue, but they do so for a fee and are
overwhelmed," said Guinea Fowl resident Margaret Chimbwa.
this communal programme, known as "nhimbe", Chimbwa's family had managed to
plant two acres of crops, but this represented a small fraction of her
15-acre plot, which had largely lain fallow since she moved to the farm
three years ago.
Even though the government had provided each household
with 30 km of maize seed and two bags of Compound D fertiliser, for use when
the crop begins germinating, the effort would be wasted if farmers were
unable to till enough land, she added.
Davison Mugabe, president of
the Zimbabwe Farmers' Trade Union (ZFTU), an organisation representing about
12,000 black farmers, urged the government to invest "massively" in
agriculture if the land reform exercise was to succeed.
will become a success story with massive injection of investment by the
government. There is need for bigger credit facilities for the farmers and
much more mechanisation, as well as the rebuilding of the national herd of
cattle, while inputs [should be] provided at affordable prices. Without
this, we will continue to underperform," Mugabe said.
Last year the
government predicted a bumper maize harvest of 2.4 million mt. However, a
report released by the parliamentary portfolio committee on lands and
agriculture said as of October 2004, the state-owned commodity buyer, the
Grain Marketing Board, had received only 388,558 mt.
Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZimVAC) report in April 2004 projected
that around 41 percent of the rural population (3.3 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 released in November.
"At current prices, therefore, the projected
food insecure rural population is arguably higher than 3.3 million people,"
the US-funded early warning unit noted.
January 10, 2005 Posted to the web January 10,
ZIMBABWE earned US$226 million from the exportation of
both flue-cured and burley tobacco to various markets around the globe in
This figure shows a marked decrease from the US$318 million
realised from the sale of the two types of tobacco in 2003.
in exports is a reflection of the decline in the volume of the crop produced
in the country since the turn of the century.
Flue-cured tobacco, which
is the most attractive variety in the country, accounted for the bulk of the
earnings - US$224,19 million from the sale of 68,9 million
Burley, which is less popular, accounted for just US$2,44
million from slightly more than 1 million kg of the crop sold last
Tobacco remains one of the single largest foreign currency earners
in Zimbabwe, accounting for as much as 20 percent of the country*s total
forex receipts. Figures released by the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board
show that a total 5,48 million kg of tobacco were exported last December to
fetch a total US$18,7 million.
This was a significant decrease from
the 9,58 million kg valued at US$34,3 million exported in November last
It is projected that tobacco exports from Zimbabwe would remain
depressed during the next six to eight months before they begin to firm
depending on the success of the current season.
exports are a reflection of the total yield realised by the country in the
last two seasons and a further decline in production from last year*s 68
million kg would see receipts plummeting.
Stakeholders in the tobacco
industry have declared the 2004-05 season as the turning point for the
industry as production is expected to rebound to at least 160 million kg
under Vision 160.
Under Vision 160, various stakeholders including
farmers organisations, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Agribank and other
financial institutions would pour resources, in cash and inputs, to boost
According to monthly figures supplied by the TIMB, February 2004
was the best month for tobacco exports. A total of 10,7 million kg were
exported against an average of 6,89 million kg for the other months. But
actual figures show that there were instances, for example in May, when only
2,9 million kg were exported.
Tobacco from the 2004 selling season
only started finding its way to the export market in September, suggesting
that the country still has some tobacco in stock.
remains popular with merchants on account of its superior blending quality
and is always in demand.
The golden leaf finds a ready market in the
European Union, Asia and the Middle East.
EDITORIAL January 10, 2005 Posted to the web January 10,
HARARE has definitely lost its glow and does not meet
the standards expected of a major African capital city.
And yet so
many of the problems are still easy to fix and the expertise to fix them
does exist, mainly in the technical branches of the municipality but also in
the very large private sector the city hosts.
The more serious problems
form a very short list: inadequate water supplies most days, potholes in the
roads, badly maintained street lighting, serious delays in rubbish removal,
litter or filth in the streets and along highways, and beggars and vendors
making life a misery for those working in the city centre. Street crime in
the main business areas is a very small problem, thanks to some innovative
and adequate policing. In suburbs there is a need to rebuild several of the
old neighbourhood watches and bring them up to strength, but generally, with
some glaring exceptions, the police are doing adequately to
Harare is now back in the hands of a commission following an
overlong period of political infighting and most elected councillors giving
up the struggle.
In theory, a commission should be non-political in its
outlook, although anyone with political ambitions to be a long-serving mayor
of the capital could probably gain massive majorities in elections simply by
restoring the city's lost glow.
The first three priorities of the
city council must be the water, roads and the rubbish issues. Water
shortages date from the rejection in the early 1990s of expert engineering
advice. It is time to take it. Work must be accelerated on renovating the
older half of the Morton Jaffray Waterworks, building up pumping and
reservoir capacity, expanding the two main sewage treatment plants and
building the two new planned plants for the south-east and north-west
A programme for the planned replacement of old water
mains has to be renewed.
We agree the water programme cannot be
finished overnight, but it can be started and hard deadlines for each stage
The road network is getting worse and potholes are now a serious
problem. Surely teams could be sent out to patch these properly, and this
might mean remaking short stretches of road in some areas while longer-term
renovation is planned and implemented. Harare suffers from the fact that a
significant fraction of vehicles using the city roads, including many kept
overnight in the city, are registered outside the city, largely because
neighbouring municipalities and rural district councils charge
This starves the road account of much-needed cash.
gates have been suggested, but a simpler solution would be to lobby the
minister for local government to introduce a flat licence rate right across
Zimbabwe, preferably at Harare rates. Neighbouring councils should not
object since they will need much higher licence fees once they lose the
diverted Harare money.
Rubbish removal is a sore point. The
contracting out has not worked in all areas and far too many of the small
companies supposed to collect rubbish have just one or two trucks. A truck
breaks down and the rubbish piles up for weeks. The municipality might have
to take this back. Litter on the streets is more of a residents' problem. A
council needs to create the culture that people do not throw litter around.
Enforcing existing by-laws would help, as would a publicity campaign and the
provision of more public bins. Something has to be done to curb uncontrolled
vending, begging and the activities of the self-appointed car marshals. More
well-designed people's markets are needed, although the private sector
flea-markets have filled a large gap.
Parking problems would ease
considerably if the city could implement the theory that parking revenue
goes towards provision of new parking. Unfortunately, the "marshals" divert
the money that should go to the city, and the city needs to take this
operation back so it can reduce parking fees and build more parkades. There
is nothing impossible about putting Harare back on the map as one of
Africa's city jewels. It just needs a strong focus and a council or
commission ready to fix the basics and enforce contracts or
We hope the new commission will take up the challenge and
just do something, instead of talking about doing something.
January 9, 2005 Posted to the web January 10,
Ken Ramani Nairobi
Because African governments have failed
to explain initiative's ideals to the people, and donor countries have given
it a wide berth, its future seems grim.
Three years after its
formation, the New Partnership for Africa's Development (Nepad) is still
struggling with an identity crisis.
Nepad's proponents are still
grappling with preliminary details, while Western donors have ignored groups
that could help the initiative achieve its objectives.
Nkuhlu, who chairs the Nepad Steering Committee, argues that the initiative
should be evaluated not in terms of the funds it has mobilised, but rather
on its ability to galvanise political will and encourage African countries
to develop their own programmes and implement them.
that broadening ownership in Africa remains a big challenge, Nkuhlu said:
"The majority of African people do not have access to information about
Nepad, and this must be given urgent attention with the support of all
Apart from Canada, which has already pumped into Africa
over Sh11.4 billion, no other member of the G8 most developed countries
seems ready to support Nepad initiatives.
Formed in October 2001,
Nepad is an amalgam of South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki's Millennium
Partnership for African Recovery Programme and Senegalese President
Abdoulaye Wade's Omega Plan. Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo and his
Algerian counterpart Abdelaziz Bouteflika bought the idea, joined the
bandwagon, and the quartet became Nepad's high priests.
was later 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.
But 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.
Prof Jasper Okello, also
an economics lecturer at the same university, says Nepad's direction is
"We were told it was to make the investment environment in
the continent better, but nothing to that effect has happened," he
Mr Peter Ondeng, the immediate former head of the Nepad secretariat
in Kenya said: "It is 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."
To make the
continent attractive for foreign direct investments (FDIs), Nepad came up
with the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) to which all OAU (now African
Union) member states were expected to submit.
Under the APRM, countries
voluntarily engage in self-monitoring in relation to democracy, governance
and socio-economic development.
Each country's rating is expected to
guide potential investors in deciding where to invest.
environment, risks involved in terms of security, corruption,
infrastructure, among others, are also expected to appear on the APRM
Nepad has now developed comprehensive policy frameworks
and indicative priority plans for each sector and African countries have
demonstrated commitment to implement sectoral plans.
However, lack of
political will to act on commitments remains a major concern not only in the
continent but also among the G8 members.
Since its inception, only Kenya,
Rwanda, Mauritius and Ghana have shown enthusiasm for APRM.
bickering over the constitution reform, Kenya missed the maiden review by
APRM and the exercise was pushed to a yet-to-be-decided date this
But considering that no consensus is in sight with regards to a
new constitution, APRM could remain a pipedream and as such affect FDI
The country has, however, laid a foundation for the peer review
exercise. For instance, the University of Nairobi's Institute of Development
Studies, Kenya Institute of Public Policy and Research Analysis, African
Centre for Economic Growth and the Centre for Corporate Governance have been
incorporated to lay the strategy on reviewing political, economic and social
governance, which are thought to be crucial ingredients in ensuring a
conducive environment to do business.
And taking into account the
number of Nepad member countries, it could take long for the review to cover
the entire continent, assuming all AU member states are willing to take part
in the exercise.
Neither Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe nor Muammar Gadaffi of
Libya has shown zeal in pursuing APRM ideals.
This also applies to
many North African countries where the western kind of democracy practised
in most sub-Sahara Africa is alien.
Somalia, which has still not been
able to get its government functioning since 1991, has enough problems of
its own and technically cannot participate in APRM, as do the Democratic
Republic of Congo, Burundi and Sudan which are all faced with civil
The continent is not short of international, regional and
sub-regional institutions with mandates ranging from promoting economic
integration, human rights and conflict to peacekeeping matters. These
institutions include the East African Community, African Development Bank
(ADB), Economic States of West Africa (Ecowas), Southern African Development
Cooperation and Comesa
Nepad was not formed to compete with, but
rather to complement, their efforts by engaging in trade negotiations and
encouraging change of policies on the continent to attract
South African church leaders argue that Nepad is little more
than re-colonisation of the continent with the consent of African
They say the initiative could leave African economies at the
mercy of Western powers.
And some critics argue that the charter
establishing Nepad was drafted and debated at high levels without the input
of ordinary Africans, who are expected to own it. It is seen as an
initiative that could lead to privatisation of basic services such as water,
health and education, which would then be sold back to Africa at a
Richard Pithouse, of the University of Natal, Durban, criticised
Nepad's aim of opening African markets to the West. "Nepad is not an African
concept and will not benefit Africa," he said, adding it would leave
Africans and their resources open to exploitation.
argue that Nepad could put Africa's development firmly on the global agenda
and generate a new confidence in the continent, correcting perceptions that
it was a doomed continent.
Experts argue that it is important to
prioritise meaningful debt cancellation for Africa if sustainable
development is to be achieved. Debt relief could provide budget support for
public investment in social services, such as health-care and education as
well as the provision of water and electricity.
Nepad was also to
propose decisive structural changes to the existing international financial
and trade systems, including proposals such as an international currency
transaction, tax and special protection for vulnerable African
But three years later, Nepad has not done enough on that
front. The world trading and financial regime still remains largely skewed
Observers say most initiatives from the West, such as
African Growth and Opportunity Act of the US and Commission for Africa, are
distractions that could vanish as soon as there's a change of leadership in
America and Britain.
For instance, in the event that Tony Blair is
not relected this year, it is doubtful that the Commission for Africa, his
brainchild, would survive under a government formed by his greatest
The Agoa initiative, introduced by then US Bill Clinton, the
World Trade Organisation's new rules in apparel products that took effect on
January 1, 2005, have made it irrelevant.
Quotas to the US market for
African cotton products have ended.
Okello argues that for Africa to
develop, Nepad should encourage countries to ensure affordable cost of doing
business so as to attract direct foreign investment.
"As long as 40
per cent of the cost of production is consumed by things such as poor
infrastructure, high electricity and telephone tariffs, the cost of services
and goods will be expensive, making the continent a no-go-zone for potential
investors," argues Okello.
Rumblings within Mugabe's ZANU-PF Josh Maiyo and
Theo Tamis, 10 January 2005 Zimbabwe's president Robert Mugabe is facing
stiff opposition from within his ZANU-PF party ahead of parliamentary
elections in March. The row was sparked off by Mr Mugabe's choice of
candidate for vice-president.
Mr Mugabe has purged over a dozen
officials, including information minister Jonathan Moyo, from the party's
top organs. The officials have also been barred from running in the
elections in March.
Mr Moyo and several others were ditched amid
allegations that they tried to block the rise of Joyce Mujuru as one of
Zimbabwe's two vice-presidents, putting her in line to succeed Mr Mugabe
upon his expected retirement in 2008.
Political analysts say the
current squabbling may work in favour of the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) at the March polls.
"The fears are real. A
divided ZANU-PF will struggle to put up a strong campaign against the MDC...
and for the MDC the longer these quarrels run the better," commented
political analyst Heneri Dzinotyiwei of the University of
Consolidation But Lerato Mbele of the South African
Institute of International Affairs disagrees. She rejects the view that Mr
Mugabe is losing his iron grip on the party:
"We should see it as
him consolidating his authority, if not power, over the party. And by that I
mean he's just regaining a level of control and trying to establish a level
of cohesion within the party ahead of the March election." Disastrous
period Ms Mbele stresses that the last year and a half have been disastrous
for Zimbabwe: the economy has collapsed, the currency has dropped to record
levels, and after its suspension from the Commonwealth, the country has
increasing been treated as an international pariah.
"The fact that
some of those ruling party members who had been involved in the process of
black economic empowerment in Zimbabwe are now being sidelined due to
corruption allegations means that ZANU-PF is trying to clean up its image
ahead of the elections, and possibly means that the party is trying to get
in a new breed of leaders who are now going to formulate policy for ZANU-PF
and Zimbabwe in the new millennium." "That looked as though ZANU-PF was in
disarray and Zimbabwean leadership as a whole was in disarray. And what
you're seeing now, I think, is a spring-cleaning action from the executive
of ZANU-PF, especially at the Politburo level. They're wanting to have an
engineering of new ideas and thoughts - and this is why we are seeing the
emergence of people like Joyce Mujuru."
Substantial support In Ms
Mbele's assessment, President Mugabe still commands substantial grassroots
support - "his liberation credentials are still very much intact," and so is
the reputation of ZANU-PF as an anti-colonial, land-oriented,
peasant-oriented political movement that dominated politics since
independence from Britain in 1980.
But given that Mr Mugabe is 80 years
of age and reportedly suffering from prostate cancer, it's imperative for
his party at this point to start contemplating who is going to rule ZANU-PF
in the post-Mugabe era.
"I think President Mugabe wants to go out in a
dignified way and wants to restore some of his former glory, and he realises
that, in order to do that, he has to have somebody who is going to carry the
legacy of Robert Mugabe and ZANU as the party of liberation with the kind of
political identity and authority that they had during the first decade of