DUST-laced, heat-smudged, sun-fired; that is the Zimbab-wean horizon.
Dawn-embraced, addle-sore, lion-loved; that is the African Encounter survivor.
Yes, lion-loved. Perhaps alternatively interpreted as, lion-mauled,
scratched, or pounced. But for those in the know, it is the leading love-bite,
the ultimate acceptance, the greatest and hopefully painlessly-scarring
compliment. It is the jewel of a much-maligned Zimbabwe . It is Antelope Park ,
Gweru. It is Walking with Lions.
"Where else in the world..." asks the ranch
welcome mat proudly. Where else indeed, gasp the glowing visitors wonderingly.
All this is a far cry from the glass and steel horizon of Shanghai , and not
everyone's idea of a treat. But from the moment I stumbled across the bewitching
website (travellersworldwide.co.uk) "Walking with Lions" was the ever-returning
specter haunting my thoughts.
Antelope >Park , a 3,000-acre Zimbabwean
Game Reserve, offers a superlative-defying tourist opportunity serving a serious
conservational purpose. Uncontrolled hunting, diminishing natural habitats and
diseases like feline immunodeficiency virus mean that the wild lion may be
entirely lost from the continent in the next decade. Striving to avert such an
event, Andrew and Wendy Connelly have worked determinedly since 1987 to
establish Antelope Park as a pioneering lion-breeding facility. Their efforts
are invaluable to the World Wildlife Fund's urgent drive to re-introduce a
quality gene pool of lions to the wild. It is a project funded entirely by the
Park's tourist attractions, with the "cub loving" headlining the activity
I arrived at this remarkable camp,
not a little tired, not a little overwhelmed by the African beauty around me, as
inadequate an expression as any cliche. The camp itself is comprised of thatched
African lodges, set upon the shores of "the world's only circular river",
(wink-wink) with every modern convenience tactfully woven into the sweeping
landscape. The camp oozes Africa, it radiates cultural authenticity. It employs
hundreds of members of the local community, weaving their own mohair products
from the park goat herds, crafting all furniture and accommodation at the
workshop, cultivating crops, and affording the camp a virtual self-sufficiency,
of which the ever-welcoming staff are fiercely proud.
The centre piece - an
open-sided, thatch-roofed dining area - fits comfortably into the tranquility of
the bush backdrop. Rolling away from your early morning coffee is an Eden of
giraffe, zebra and wildebeest. Underscoring your parched-afternoon Cola - Obey
Your Thirst - throbs the call of the African fish eagle; "the sound of Africa."
Low-lighting your evening meal, the flickering campfire and soft-glowing night
sky. Here, the stars really twinkle, the moon really smiles. And people really
are beautiful. Over 250 international travellers come to Antelope Park every
month, mixing indiscriminately with one-day-ago-strangers, forming warm
one-evening-friendships, offering guitar led sing-alongs to the night cacophony
of frogs, bats and bugs. Together they recount stories of the day's equine
adventures, canoeing incidents, elephant-back swims, game-drives, and, most
importantly, "cub loving."
Perhaps "cub" is an initially misleading term.
Banish all kitten-sized images immediately; on my first day at Antelope Park,
three "cub" went AWOL from their tourist-accompanied walk, and took down a large
donkey. Bad news for the donkey, but enormously rewarding for the project
directors. For the rehabilitation process aims to introduce these semi-tame
walking lions to a large reserve in Zambia by the middle of 2005, where, it is
hoped, they will be able to fend for themselves and have cubs of their own,
genetically strong and confident in all the skills of the bush. Their cubs will
be chipped and released into the wild-proper, where they will be monitored but
left free from human contact to reclaim the birthrights of their ancestors. A
successful donkey hunt takes the park's current walking cubs one step closer to
that Zambian reserve.
Tourists crash helpfully into the picture for cub
walking, an exercise that encourages the cubs to develop survival instincts in
the bush. At 15 months, the cubs are retired from tourist walks as Jo P's safety
becomes increasingly dubious. And believe me, lion cubs are immensely
affectionate creatures, to whom social bonding is of elementary importance. Once
their trust is gained, you are warmly welcomed as a member of their pride, but
they can also be staggeringly "naughty." Social acceptance is all about
interaction; namely grooming, stalking, pouncing and play fighting, with much
pawing, clawing and chewing along the way. For better or worse, their faces are
hopelessly expressive, and one quickly becomes acquainted with "the naughty
look" that dances into their exquisite, hypnotic eyes.
If those exquisite,
hypnotic eyes are trained on yours, with four, or eight, or even 12, giant paws
soft-pad-padding towards you, you know you're about to receive tooth-articulated
feline adoration. Love really does hurt. Yet, with gleaming eye and
terror-perfumed enthusiasm, (most) lion walking novices will breathlessly insist
"Cub love!? Cub love!" even as a 350 lb "cub" bounds toward them, ("that naughty
look" leading) tumbling the blissfully-fear-frozen individual in the name of
A guide like Bobby, Antelope Park's cheeky and
frequent swoon-inducing - so I've been told - head guide, has known the cubs
from three weeks old. He can do anything with them - lift them, cuddle them,
trip them - and they, being dragged, rolled and pounced by the undisputed
man-king of the beasts, simply gaze back.
At times his guidance is
invaluable; "You shouldn't try and copy everything you see the guides do," he
suggests, pushing his whole hand into Luke's 11-month-old,
needle-sharp-tooth-peppered mouth and drawing forth the great adoring,
feline-pink tongue. "Don't get eaten," he advises, eyes shining with as much of
"that naughty look" as any of his cubs might radiate in an entire walk of
love-loaded incidents. Yet watching the lions respond to the guides is a
Of course, it isn't all glamour. Poachers have to be
fought; two-hour snare-sweeps are exhausting in the angry kisses of
mid-afternoon sunshine. Cubs must be fed; usually with grisly, less-than-fresh
hunks of meat and bone. Enclosures need to be cleaned; all that green, antelope
meat has to go somewhere, in all its pungent glory. Cubs get sick; as I write,
my favourite cubs, Bill and Ben, fast going blind, barely able to walk due to a
rare disorder, are waiting to be put down at just 10 months old. Cute cubs are
also dangerous killers; the park owner, Andrew Connelly, breezes around camp
with one arm and an empty sleeve.
But then, who can remain unmoved by those
crimson tear-streaked sunset, or untouched by the enthusiasm of the Eds and the
Andys, that guide in the park? Is it possible to forget the swift bubbling joy
of galloping through the bush, bare-back and out of control around thorn trees
like bending poles, or giggling lazily around a midnight-blue campfire? It is
impossible not to eulogize that first cub-love moment. Every cub-love moment.
And no-one who has experienced Antelope Park can argue with the guest-book
tributes; "The walk with the lions was the highlight of my entire life!"
By Natalie Hunt
Zimbabwe's media 'hangman' threatens new weekly
HARARE - The government's Media and Information Commission has
to close down Zimbabwe's latest newspaper, the Weekly Times,
In a letter to Mthwakazi Publishing House,
publishers of the
community-based paper, commission chairman Tafataona
Mahoso, accused the
publishers of lying that their paper would be a general
news product when
according to him it was "running political commentary
through and through."
Mahoso also accuses the Weekly Times of
impartiality and takes offence
that the paper, which published its first
issue last week, had given space
to Catholic archbishop Pius Ncube, who is a
known government critic.
The commission chairman is also unhappy
the paper's publishers began
selling copies of the first issue on January 2
before first sending some
copies to its offices.
letter dated January 5, 2005 reads in part: "We understand
that the paper
came out on Sunday, 2 January 2005 and was being sold on the
long before copies were delivered at the Commission. As a
Commission had to purchase a copy on the streets on 4 January,
receiving several calls from surprised readers."
media watchman said because of the alleged offences,
he was going to suspend
or cancel the paper's registration certificate and
gave the publishers,
"seven days, to show cause why your publishing licence
should not be
suspended or cancelled."
The publishers and the editor of the paper
were not readily available
for comment yesterday. Three newspapers including
the country's only
independent and biggest circulating daily paper, the
Daily News, were shut
in the last two years under tough state media laws. -
MUGABE THROWS WEIGHT BEHIND FARM INVASIONS LEADER
11 January 2005
HARARE - President Robert Mugabe yesterday overruled his
ruling ZANU PF
party's elections directorate ordering it to permit party
functionary and a
leader of the violent invasion of white-owned farms,
Joseph Chinotimba, to
contest a party internal election to choose candidates
for March's election.
Mugabe had to drive to the party's
headquarters, where the directorate
was reviewing appeals by mostly the
party's Young Turks barred from
contesting, to tell party political
commissar to let Chinotimba contest an
internal poll to select ZANU PF's
candidate for Harare's Glen Norah
to the directorate, Mugabe addressed about 500 of
protesting outside the party headquarters against
the decision to bar him
from contesting the election.
Mugabe told the demonstrators, most
of them workers at Chinotimba's
Edlan Security firm, that he was going to be
allowed to contest the party
(Mugabe) had to drive here to quell the noise. He then
went into a meeting
with the national elections directorate and told them to
(Chinotimba) to stand," said a source, who did not want to be
According to the source, Mugabe only dealt with
Chinotimba's case and
did not inquire about other prominent officials who
have appealed to the
directorate after being barred from contesting the
party primary election.
Government information minister and
propaganda chief Jonathan Moyo and
Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa are
among ZANU PF's leaders barred from
representing the party in the crucial
Manyika could not be reached for comment on the matter while
Chinotimba deferred all questions to Manyika.
He said: "Comrade
Elliot Manyika is the only one in ZANU PF who should
comment. People without
authority in ZANU PF are the ones who want to
prevent me from standing. They
will be embarrassed." - ZimOnline
Moyo wants Charamba fired from government
Last updated: 01/11/2005 05:18:01
Information Minister Jonathan Moyo has fired an angry
letter to the Chief
Permanent Secretary in the President's Office demanding
action should be taken against George Charamba, New
Moyo is furious after Charamba, his subordinate and Permanent
the Ministry of Information and Publicity rebuked the State-run
and Herald newspapers for their "zealous advocacy" for Moyo and
aggrieved on behalf of a private party member".
Professor Moyo, strictly as a member of his party, expressed public
dissatisfaction with decisions of his party (to expel him from the politburo
and central committee)," Charamba said in a press statement, "newspapers had
no right or reason to invent a grievance for him."
Moyo who is
currently on holiday in Mombasa, Kenya, was so angry with
comments that he asked President Robert Mugabe's chief of staff
Sibanda to take action.
Moyo's letter was also sent to the editors of the
Chronicle and Sunday News
who, however, buckled and chickened-out of
publishing it, New Zimbabwe.com
A source who saw the letter
said last night: "Moyo said Charamba had no
right to criticise him so
publicly for allegedly impairing the line between
civil servants and
The latest spat between Moyo and a top figure in the
could mean that Moyo will never be able to work with some
of his Cabinet
colleagues and senior civil servants should he return from
his long holiday.
A source said: "Moyo has effectively thrown two
challenges to the
government. He wants to be allowed to stand in Zanu PF
primary elections for
Tsholotsho constituency and he wants Charamba
disciplined, and possibly
removed from his position. If both requests are
rejected, then I think he
will make a major political decision, and that may
mean he will resign."
Moyo's latest troubles came as Zanu PF debated his
petition to the party's
national election directorate challenging his
disqualification from running
in primary elections which get underway next
New Zimbabwe.com was also told last night that Zanu PF national
John Nkomo was going to Tsholotsho on Wednesday to dissolve the
district cordinating committe which is thought to be aligned to
Tsholotsho has been declared as one of the constituencies reserved
women. It is believed that of the five women who have submitted their
Zanu PF wants Bulawayo governor Cain Matema's wife to be the candidate
represent the party in the parliamentary elections in March. However,
chiefs believe the Tsholotsho DCC is sympathetic to Moyo and might
disrupt the primaries.
Meanwhile the government was last
night said to be investigating a case in
which it is alleged that Moyo's
mother who was corruptly allocated a farm,
abused ARDA equipment and
Government sources say Moyo's mother who is married to a Zambian
occasionally makes forrays into the country used over 150 000 litres of
government diesel ploughing her farm.
Sources say she would go to
ARDA and shout instructions to terrified staff.
The government has already
repossessed a farm which was registered in the
name of Moyo's cousin under
its one man one farm policy.
Zimbabwe opposition says can win election if fair
January 10, 2005, 20:45
party leader Morgan Tsvangirai said today his
Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) could win parliamentary elections in
March, but only if the election
process was transparent.
Tsvangirai, on a visit to Zambia, said the
election system in Zimbabwe
was flawed and the MDC needed assurances that
President Robert Mugabe's
government would observe rules on free and fair
elections as practised in
the 14-nation Southern African Development
"We expect to run a free and fair election, but a
free and fair
election will only be held once the electoral management
transparent as it has always been an inhibiting factor,"
journalists in Lusaka.
The MDC has accused the
ruling Zanu-PF party of rigging the last two
major polls in 2000 and 2002,
and has threatened to boycott the March 2005
election unless reforms are put
in place to ensure what it calls a level
(80) and in power since independence from Britain in 1980,
manipulating previous elections. No date has been set for the polls,
Mugabe has said they will be held in March.
Tsvangirai said he was
visiting Zambia to brief its president, Levy
Mwanawasa, on what he said was
"the economic malaise" in Zimbabwe.
"The situation in Zimbabwe has
become worse. We are here as part of
our diplomatic initiative to appraise
regional leaders on the crisis in
Zimbabwe, which has degenerated in the
last five years," he said.
Tsvangirai said claims by Mugabe that
the MDC was a puppet of western
powers was a smear campaign to discredit his
party, adding the MDC could
offer Zimbabweans better
Mugabe's party has dismissed 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 among land less
blacks since 2000. But
Tsvangirai said his party would not change the land
policy if voted into
power because it agitated for the policy.
Tsvangirai said the poor handling of the land redistribution exercise
Mugabe's government had led to the departure from Zimbabwe of the
of its 4,500 white commercial farmers.
"The land policy is a
national consensus, but we differ with Zanu-PF
in the way it has been done,"
he said. - Reuters
Will Tsvangirai, the Trade Unionist-Turned Politician Be Zimbabwe's Next President?
The Times of Zambia
January 10, 2005
Posted to the web January 10,
TRADE unionism has been a spring board to
jump into the world of politics.
Examples include names like Lech Walesa of
Poland, the former head of state
Frederick Chiluba and many early Zambian
politicians who started their
political careers in welfare
Despite this legacy, Morgan Tsvangirai , the leader of the
Democratic Change MDC who is in the country despite enjoying
in his country seems to be facing several hurdles in his
long walk to plot
one because of President Robert Mugabe's maverick yet
Mugabe has shown the world that he is among the
remnants of African leaders
who can tell off Western leaders who were trying
to meddle in African
affairs with their arrogance and know-it-all
Tsvangirai who has been labelled a puppet and an Uncle Tom seems
finding problems to match Uncle Bob who does not mince his words
of who crosses his path, be it American President George Bush,
whom he has
accused of playing God or British Prime Minister Tony Blair who
a crony labelled him Bush's prophet.
However, the wind
of change seems to be blowing in the land of the great
Zimbabwe ruins with
some people calling for change in a country that is now
economic woes largely brought about by economic sanctions and
dismissal of white farmers in the infamous land reforms.
farmers whose land has been grabbed owned the country's best land
the case in Uganda where many Asians controlled Uganda's economy
Amin's dictactorial rule.
According to the MMD national secretary Vernon
Mwaanga, Tsvangirai is
visiting the country with a four-man MDC delegation
after the Zambian
Government accepted his party's request to come to Zambia
"The MMD looks forward to having
fruitful discussion particularly that it's
them that have requested to meet
the ruling party here. Zimbabwe is an
important neighbour in many aspects so
it would be imperative and
interesting to know what was happening in that
country," he said.
Tsvangirai would meet President Levy Mwanawasa at
State House tomorrow.
Because of the sour relationship between Zimbabwe and
Zambia in the Second
Republic and the Chiluba-run MMD, the New Deal
Government has informed the
Zimbabwean authorities and its ambassador in
Zambia about Tsvangirai's
The MDC would be visiting several
other SADC countries on various issues in
preparation for the parliamentary
elections in March that would see two
rivals Mugabe and Tsvangirai battle it
at the polls to determine who would
rule the country.
Last year, the
MMD and UNIP sent a team each to attend ZANU-PF congress
attended by 11, 000
"We'll do the listening and less talking but we will issue a
possibly after our meetings with the MDC," Mwaanga
Tsvangirai is the top contender to the Zimbabwean presidency and
arc-rival of Mugabe who has been at the helm of the country's politics
He is a tough-tested leader who is focused and
unshaken by harassment from
Who is Morgan
Tsvangirai? Because of his strident condemnation of Mugabe's
policy, the Western Press especially the British media has
Tsvangirai hailing him as a self-made person, a solid
competent thinker, charismatic leader, democratic team player
and above all,
a compassionate family man.
"He has an unshakable appreciation of the key
challenges facing Zimbabwe as
a country and Zimbabweans as a
Tsvangirai is a product of important social movements in this
include the labour and constitutional reform movements," said
the BBC in
article on Tsvangirai.
Whether the Movement for Democratic
Change MDC leader is all these is
debatable. But what is true is that
Tsvangirai has been a leader to reckon
with for sometime.
He is the
former secretary general of the powerful Zimbabwe Congress of
(ZCTU) and is the founding chairperson of the National
Assembly, a group that advocates a new constitution for
Like Chiluba who ran the Zambia Congress of Trade Union for
17 years while
Kaunda remained at the helm of UNIP and the Government
condemning the one
party system for the suffering of workers, Tsvangirai has
been a thorn in
the flesh of Mugabe's ZANU-PF.
Tsvangirai is a
graduate of Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of
he attained a diploma from the school's Executive Leaders
Programme, in June 2001.
Apart from this academic attainment, Tsvangirai
like Chiluba can be
described as a leader with humble education but very
vast knowledge of what
affects his society and a born leader who is keen to
learn new things.
Tsvangirai who is the first born son in a family of
nine was born in 1952 in
Buhera in Gutu Masvingo and attended Munyira
primary school and then
Silveira and Gokomere high schools.
father was a bricklayer who had to struggle to put food on the table for
large family. This forced young Morgan to leave school after GCE
help support his family being the first born.
At 20, he was working at
Mutare Clothing as a textile weaver where he had
his first taste of trade
unionism as a member of the local textile union.
Two years later he
joined the Trojan Nickel Mine in Bindura. He spent 10
years at the mine,
rising from plant operator to general foreman.
His working in the
clothing factory can somehow be compared to Chiluba's
stint in Tanzania
where he worked in a sisal firm before trekking back home
to Zambia to start
unionism - offering the Kaunda regime challenge that has
not been matched up
Tsvangirai became branch chairman of the Associated Mine Workers
was later elected into the executive of the National Mine Workers
before becoming secretary general of the ZCTU in
Tsvangirai has also held several high-ranking positions in many
labour movements. He has been a guest speaker at various faculties
various universities on the continent and beyond.
He has also been
a guest speaker and presenter at various conferences
including at the World
Trade Forum, trade union related forums, and both
government organised seminars.
Like Chiluba, he is an eloquent speaker
who can sway a crowd with his
oratory skills. He is also a multi-talented
person and displays an amazing
amount of energy, which drives his hard
From the time Tsvangirai who led the ZCTU away from its alliance
ruling ZANU-PF souring the union's relationship with the Government
1989 when he was imprisoned for six weeks on charges of being a South
African spy, his experience can still be compared to Chiluba's who was also
imprisoned by the Kaunda government.
In the late 1980s, Tsvangirai
used the ZCTU which had been set at Zimbabwe's
independence as a springboard
for his political career a decade later.
In December 1997 and early 1998,
Tsvangirai led a series of strikes -
so-called "stay-aways" - against tax
increases which brought the country to
These forced the
government of President Mugabe to cancel two tax increases
and, as it turned
out, also to abandon a promised tax to help fund war
This was an ironic foreshadowing of the political confrontation
veterans and Tsvangirai's supporters over the issue of farm
He has also been a victim of premeditated and government
There have been three assassination
attempts on his life, which include the
1997 attempt, where unknown
assailants burst into his office and tried to
throw him out of a tenth story
Tsvangirai, has been married to his wife Susan since 1978. They
children. Their eldest son is 22-years-old and the youngest are
are eight-years of age.
When not in the office or out
meeting people, Tsvangirai likes to read and
spend time with his
His political career is enviable despite hurdles from Mugabe's
machination. In the June 2000 general election his young party, the
for Democratic Change (MDC), despite being a new party gave leaders
ruling ZANU-PF a run for their money.
The MDC gained 57 of the
constituency-based seats, against 62 held by
ZANU-PF - a result without
precedent in Zimbabwe, where opposition parties
had never held more than a
handful of seats.
Tsvangirai himself was not elected. Turning down the
opportunity of a seat
in one of the cities, where the MDC's support is
strongest, the MDC leader
chose instead to stand in his home district -
which, like most rural
constituencies, was won by ZANU-PF.
to inflict a dramatic defeat on the government over its
reform bill the previous February, Tsvangirai won an aura of
which was enhanced by the general election result.
Since the formation of
the MDC in 1999, the new party had made great
headways politically. It
defeated the government over its referendum on
constitutional reform, which
included clauses allowing the seizure of
white-owned farms without
It was the most dramatic political setback for President
But even this was eclipsed by the MDC's
Tsvangirai is seen as representing a younger generation
particularly urban workers, who are less interested in
role as Zimbabwe's founding father than what they see as
his recent record
of economic mismanagement.
Zimbabwe's economy has
continued performing poorly, a situation Tsvangirai's
MDC is harping on by
promising citizens that things would improve when the
party takes over the
However, some Zimbabweans still consider Mugabe to be a
hero by removing the
government of Ian Douglas Smith and by grabbing land
from whites in what
could have been another
Only time will tell if Morgan Tsvangirai will be
Zimbabwe's next president.
Mugabe returns to divided party
Zanu-PF squabbles may aid MDC in elections
Harare: Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe returned home
from holiday to find his ruling Zanu-PF party divided by damaging
over candidate selection for a general parliamentary election
Political analysts say the unprecedented
fighting among Zanu-PF
members and simmering anger over the promotion of a
may work in favour of the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change at the
"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 Heneri Dzinotyiwei of the University
government-controlled Sunday Mail reported complaints came from
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
Zimbabwe's private Sunday Mirror newspaper reported
that Mugabe's key
war veteran supporters warned the party to handle the
selection of the
candidates carefully, saying the drive against so-called
rebels could help
More than a dozen 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 the party
to reverse a decision which stops him
from contesting the parliamentary
He was dropped last month from the party's top bodies
over charges he
and other officials tried to block the rise of Joyce Mujuru
as one of
Zimbabwe's two vice-presidents, putting her in line to succeed
his expected retirement in 2008.
Moyo and six other
senior officials, who were suspended from the party
for five years, are
being punished for seeking to promote Speaker of
Mnangagwa as a candidate against Mujuru.
Mugabe has not made a
public comment on the squabbles since he arrived
back in Zimbabwe after his
holiday, but local media reported that a number
of Zanu-PF provincial
councils were going to meet yesterday or in the next
The MDC - which says Zanu-PF rigged the last two major polls in 2000
2002 - has threatened to boycott the March election unless reforms are
in place to ensure what it calls a level playing field. The actual date
the elections has not yet been set, but Mugabe has said they would be in
Mugabe, 80, and in power since independence from Britain
denies manipulating previous elections. His Zanu-PF party dismisses
as a puppet of Western powers it says have sabotaged the economy in
retaliation for Mugabe's seizure of white-owned farms for redistribution
among landless blacks. - Reuters
Why Brown's plan to cure ills of Africa is doomed
By Bronwen Maddox
IT IS a pity
that Gordon Brown likened his wish-list for Africa
to the Marshall
The comparison with one of the few great successes in half
century of development aid only emphasises the weaknesses of the
scheme.Beginning tonight, as he embarks on a trip to Africa, he
will lay out
again the case for a new international drive to help the
cause is undoubtedly a personal passion, but it is also an
astute piece of
politics. What his plan is not, however, is a solution to
There is a kind of
dark comedy in the way that Tony Blair and
Gordon Brown have been jousting
to promote their own visions of Africa's
salvation, given all the other
fronts available on which they can feud. Why
now? Britain's presidency this
year of the G8 group of leading countries is
one lure: a chance to insert
personal favourites on to the world agenda.
Africa was a good
candidate, as support for doing something
about debt write-offs grew
strongly at the autumn meetings of the World Bank
and International Monetary
The tsunami is another catalyst: a demonstration of the
among British people for humanitarian causes. No politician could
chance to attract that force on to a parallel issue close to his
Both men's interest in Africa stretches back years. As
personal conviction, that displays excellent political instincts.
long been convinced that development issues are a means to reach
left-of-centre voters who have not been much inspired by party
are easily stirred by environmental and humanitarian
The "visions" of the Prime Minister and the
Chancellor are not
very different, although Brown's is cast in more
financial terms. In a rush
of speeches, he has called for three
First, the World Bank and the International Monetary
write off the poorest countries' debt. Secondly, he wants to
barriers, particularly on agriculture. Thirdly, he wants a
fund of $50 billion (£26.7 billion) a
The attack on tariffs is the best. Brown has performed
service of attacking the "scandal and waste" of Europe's Common
Policy. His other points present more problems. There is,
indeed, a fair
amount of developed-world support for writing off debt that
pay and for not burdening their populations with the
mismanagement of past
rulers. It makes no sense for aid promptly to be
returned as interest
payments, many donors feel.
past eight years, the HIPC initiative (Highly Indebted
Poor Countries) has
wrestled with trying to write off $70 billion of debt
for 27 countries.
There are proven successes, such as Uganda, where money
that would have been
spent on interest payments has been spent on schools.
which countries should be let off? Only the most indebted?
poor countries that have managed their finances comparatively
well, such as
Bangladesh, while others are "rewarded" for their incompetence
Corruption is perhaps the most important point.
officials acknowledge that they are chastened by the bank's
Africa on so many fronts over four decades. Of all the reasons
disappointment, said Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel prizewinner and the
one-time chief economist, the greatest was the failure to recognise
a country lacked stable, honest government, all aid could be
Writing off the debt of past governments may do
improve the behaviour of present ones; indeed, it removes a lever
Brown's comparison with the Marshall Plan
to rebuild Europe
after the Second World War is disingenuous: it ignores the
length of the
tradition of government that those countries had enjoyed
before the war.
Finally, on his new investment fund, the Bank and the IMF
point out gently
that his scheme could deprive them of interest repayments,
which they could
use to help other countries.
excellent politics, perfect timing and perhaps enough of
each to get the G8
to agree. But that does not mean that Brown has found the
billions of dollars and half a century of the world's best
Harare may exploit tsunami to increase repression:
Tue 11 January 2005
JOHANNESBURG - Amnesty International has
warned that President Robert
Mugabe and his government could take advantage
of international spotlight
shifting to tsunami-hit south-east Asia to
intensify repression against the
opposition ahead of a critical general
election in March.
The world human rights watchdog's South Africa
office said the tsunami
which killed more than 150 000 people in Asia was a
convenient cover for
governments such as the Zimbabwe's and Sudan's to crack
down on opponents.
"We are reminding the media and human rights
organisations that we
must continue to monitor, capture and highlight abuses
in countries like
Zimbabwe and Sudan," Amnesty's chairperson in South Africa
told ZimOnline in an
Political violence and human rights abuses, mostly blamed on militant
supporters of the government, traditionally intensify in Zimbabwe towards
elections. - ZimOnline.
Lawyers challenge new anti-money laundering law
HARARE - The Law Society of Zimbabwe yesterday applied to the
Court requesting the court to declare unconstitutional sections of a
anti-money laundering law requiring lawyers to report suspicious
transactions and to disclose client information to authorities.
In an affidavit filed with the country's highest court, society
Joseph James has requested the court to strike down Sections 24,
25, 26, 27,
28 and 29 of the Bank Use Promotion and Suppression of Money
which requires legal practitioners to report and disclose
James argues that the six sections are inconsistent
Bill of Rights and that by imposing disclosure and reporting
lawyers, the Act, passed three months ago, violated
confidentiality, a core value of the legal
Zimbabwe's Finance Minister, Attorney General and the
Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe are cited as first, second and third respondents
The new law will inhibit clients' ability to fully
information to their lawyers for fear it could be passed on to the
authorities, a situation that could eventually compromise the accused's
right to a fair trial, James argues in his court papers.
society's lawyer, Stanford Moyo, told ZimOnline: "Clients become
apprehensive about disclosing information to lawyers and the effect of that
is to negatively affect prospects of a fair trial.
"We are also
arguing against the compulsory recruitment of lawyers
into law enforcement
agents as opposed to being part of the defence. Such
unconstitutional, null and void insofar as they relate to
practitioners." - ZimOnline
Zimbabwe crumble in Bangladesh
Tue 11 January 2005
CHITTAGONG - Zimbabwe's greenhorns crumbled on their return to Test
to give Bangladesh a historic maiden Test victory in Chittagong
The humiliating 226-run rout of the inexperienced
compelled the country's cricket union to plead with rebel white
walked out on national duty to return to the fold
Zimbabwe were playing first Test since May, when their
was suspended because the country could not field a
following the row between Zimbabwe Cricket and 15 regular
The fall of debutant seamer Christopher Mpofu,
caught on five by
Mohammad Ashraful at silly-point off unheralded six-wicket
hero Enamul Haque
in the second session, sparked off wild celebrations on
and off the field as
Bangladesh tasted their first ever Test victory in 35
Zimbabwe took to the field on the fifth and final day of
Test on 46 for 3 chasing an improbable 381-run victory target, but
visitors had no answer to the left-arm spin magic of 18-year-old Haque,
finished on 6-45, the best Test figures by a Bangladeshi since their
initiation in 2000.
Only Hamilton Masakadza, who made
history by becoming the youngest
centurion on Test debut in 2001, offered
some resistance to the wizardry of
Haque but eventually went out after a
spirited 56, which included eight
Zimbabwe had then
hoped Tatenda Taibu would once again come to the
rescue after saving a
follow-on with a gutsy 92 in the first innings, but
the 21-year-old skipper
went out for a duck after being caught by Aftab
Brendan Taylor was the only other batsman besides
Masakadza to score a
notable 44 runs before his dismissal signalled the
demise of the youthful
Bangladesh went into their
second innings in the driving seat after
scoring an unbelievable 488 in the
first innings, but Zimbabwe only managed
to avoid a follow-on after going
all out at 312.
But when the visitors were all skittled out for 154
greatest moment in the history of Bangladesh's
Back home Zimbabwe Cricket is making
frantic efforts to lure back
former captain Heath Streak and other senior
players who revolted against
the union protesting Streak's
"Zimbabwe Cricket has always maintained that its doors
are open to the
dissenting players," the union said in a statement at the
"Against this background and in line with a Sports and
Commission recommendation, the Zimbabwe Cricket board has set up
independent and impartial ad hoc committee, which starts work with
effect, to engage former national players, noting that Gavin Ewing
Barney Rogers have already returned to the fold."
committee will review and recommend the inclusion of the
back into the national fold. It was not clear however
whether the union
would consider any of the rebels for the second Test
against Bangladesh due
to start in Dhaka on Friday.
Zimbabwe second innings (overnight
S. Matsikenyeri B Haque 20
B. Rogers C sub (Rana) b
V. Sibanda Lbw b Baisya 0
H. Masakadza C and b Haque
B. Taylor Lbw b Haque 44
T. Taibu C Ahmed b Haque
E. Chigumbura C Mashud b Mortaza 10
M. Nkala B Mortaza
G. Cremer C Saleh b Haque 2
D. Hondo not out 6
Mpofu c Ashraful b Haque 5
Extras (lb1, nb4, w1) 6
Fall of wickets: 1-2, 2-2, 3-42, 4-112, 5-115, 6-126,
7-138, 8-143, 9-145.
Bowling: Mortaza 17-4-45-2
Result: Bangladesh wins by 226 runs
Domestic Debt Hits Z$3 Trillion Mark
The Daily News
January 10, 2005
Posted to the web January 10, 2005
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 farmers.
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
"This is an interesting figure considering that the government also wants to
give $3 trillion to agriculture," an independent economist, said.
The 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
When 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
Zimbabwe's balance of payments position has remained weak largely as a result
of poor export performance and continuing importer demand.
Copyright © 2005 The Daily
News. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media
Malnutrition Seen Rising in Zimbabwe – Report
|HARARE - Zimbabweans in rural areas are finding it harder to afford staple
cereals and levels of malnutrition could rise by March, a US based food
monitoring agency said.
Prices of staple foods were too high for the poor majority and the southern
African country's social protection programmes were inadequate, the Famine Early
Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET) said in its latest monthly report.
The programmes are meant to cater for the aged, orphans and the chronically
Zimbabwe has suffered intermittent food shortages over the past four years
due to drought and disruptions to agriculture linked to controversial land
Last month President Robert Mugabe's government said planting in the current
season ending March was sharply lower than forecast.
In the report dated January, FEWSNET said cereals like the staple maize were
becoming less available in most rural areas with rising prices limiting the
ability of poor households to buy sufficient food.
"Food insecure households in both urban and rural areas are responding
through reducing their consumption. Over time, levels of malnutrition and
related diseases are expected to rise, peaking in the January to March 2005
period," the unit said.
"The targeted feeding programs currently allowed by the government cannot
adequately address the food insecurity problem facing both urban and rural
communities in Zimbabwe," it added.
Mugabe's government accuses some agencies of working with the opposition to
destabilise the country under the guise of humanitarian aid.
It has largely stopped food aid distribution which the United Nations Food
and Agriculture Organisation says 40 percent of the population needs.
The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change has predicted major food
shortages this year, citing inadequate financial support for cash-strapped
farmers from the government.
In December the government, which has redistributed thousands of white-owned
farms among landless blacks since 2000, admitted that only a tenth of targeted
land had been prepared for the 2005 crop due to input constraints.
Mugabe denies mismanaging the country since assuming power at independence
from Britain 25 years ago, leading to chronic shortages of food, foreign
currency, fuel and record inflation and unemployment.
The veteran leader charges in turn that his government's domestic and foreign
opponents have deliberately undermined Zimbabwe's economy as pay-back for its
white farm seizures.
Story Date: 11/1/2005
Mortuaries fill up as doctors leave Zimbabwe
JANE FIELDS IN
THE bodies of
dozens of suspected murder victims in Zimbabwe have been piling up in hospital
mortuaries since the middle of last year because there are no forensic
pathologists to carry out post-mortem examinations, medical officials said
Some have been there since last May, when the government’s
only forensic pathologist, Dr Alex Mapunda, resigned.
"Yes, the bodies
that require that service have been piling up since Dr Mapunda resigned. This is
not our fault," the chief surgical and clinical pathologist Dr Max Hove told the
state-owned Herald newspaper.
He said that there were 14 such bodies
lying in the mortuary of Parirenyatwa Hospital, Harare’s biggest hospital.
Without forensic evidence, murder investigations cannot proceed, said a
police spokesman. Distressed families have to wait for months before they can
bury their relatives.
General pathologists are allowed to perform
post-mortem examinations after car crashes and mainly accidental deaths. But
only specialised forensic pathologists are qualified to gather criminal evidence
to be presented in court, Dr Hove said.
"For people who succumbed to
violent death, those regarded by the police to have been murdered, there is
nothing we can about it," he said. No official reason was given for Dr Mapunda’s
But medical professionals have left Zimbabwe in droves over
the past four years in search of better salaries and a safe political climate,
leaving local health institutions with a critical shortage of staff.
government of Robert Mugabe, the president, accuses Britain, a former colonial
power, and other Western countries of unfairly "luring" its health personnel
Zanu-PF row cuts Mugabe's holiday short Basildon Peta
January 11 2005
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has cut short his
scheduled month-long holiday in Asia to return to Harare to try to sort out the
chaos in his ruling party.
Hundreds of disgruntled party officials
invaded the ruling Zanu-PF's headquarters on Monday to voice their discontent
over what they perceive as the imposition of the party's candidates for the
March election and the sidelining of those who are not in harmony with party
Mugabe has cracked the whip against party officials who convened
a secret meeting at the home of his spin doctor, Jonathan Moyo, to try to plot a
strategy to block his anointed successor, Joyce Mujuru, from being elevated to
Many of those who were struck off the Zanu-PF
candidates list have been linked to the Moyo plot. Moyo himself has been
expelled from the party's top structures.
He and other party members have
been barred from standing in the March election. Some have been suspended for
Monday's well-organised protest, to coincide with Mugabe's
return from Asia, has prompted speculation that it was sponsored by Moyo and
other sidelined party faithful.
Moyo has appealed against the bar on
standing in the March poll. Zanu-PF's elections directorate started hearing
appeals from prospective candidates who had been similarly sidelined.
yesterday heard complaints from candidates from Harare province. The
semi-literate war veterans leader and self-styled commander of farm invasions,
Joseph Chinotimba, who has also been linked to Moyo's meeting, was successful in
his appeal and will now stand in Harare's Glen Norah constituency
Sources said Moyo was unlikely to be successful because he was out of
favour with members of the elections directorate.
Mugabe has not
commented on the deep divisions within his party since returning from
This article was originally published on page 6 of The Star on
January 11, 2005
Building societies urged to review mortgage rates BUILDING societies should adjust mortgage rates in line with
falling lending rates, says the Zimbabwe Institute for Regional and Urban
In an interview, Zirup president Mr Percy Toriro said
for urban infrastructure in the country to develop, it was necessary to put in
place an environment where mortgage loans were not only accessible, but
affordable to prospective home-owners.
"Interest and lending rates are
falling. Under normal conditions, building societies should review their
mortgage rates as well. They should be in line with reviews that are happening
in the financial sector as well as following the inflation direction. Very few
people can afford mortgages in Zimbabwe at the current rates.
so many incomplete houses and projects because many people cannot afford or do
not qualify for the mortgages on offer. It is difficult or next to impossible to
buy or complete a house these days," Mr Toriro said.
earning between $8 million and $10 million only qualifies for a mortgage loan of
between $60 million and $80 million. Such an amount is not enough to build a
house or buy a stand. If there are to be any development on the 250 000 stands
that the Government will be allocating every year mortgage rates should be
reviewed. "The world over, mortgage finance is the main source of funds for
building houses, but it has not been the case in Zimbabwe. Ten years ago it was
possible, but today about five percent of the top market, who already have more
than one house, are the only ones that can afford such mortgages," he pointed
Government last year embarked on a housing scheme under which it
will allocate 250 000 stands countrywide during the next five years. The scheme
is aimed at reducing the housing backlog in Zimbabwe.
He said it was
disturbing to find that there had been very little headway in terms of building
houses or improving existing buildings. This had serious implications for young
professionals, who were forced to live in rented accommodation or sub-standard
Central Africa Building Society (CABS), the country*s largest
building society, has been funnelling part of its cash resources into mortgage
loans in a bid to reduce the amount of money locked up in statutory reserves.
By contrast, Beverley Building Society has cut its monthly mortgage
advances from between $4 million and $10 billion in the past to $2 billion. This
was induced by a combination of conservative lending on the part of the building
society and a fall in the demand for mortgage loans.
In its year-end
results published recently, the building society group hinted it would be
turning to the Productive Sector Fund for additional funds.
As a general
rule, the country*s building societies appear to have tightened the screws on
mortgage finance in light of the growing number of defaulters.
Investment levels surge ZIMBABWE
continues to register remarkable growth in investment levels as 87 projects
valued at about $353 billion were approved by the Zimbabwe Investment Centre in
According to statistics released by the ZIC, total investment went
up from 76 projects valued at $25,6 billion approved in 2003, against the
backdrop of economic sanctions imposed by the West and negative media coverage
by the international Press.
The figures show that China contributed the
highest level of investments at $126 billion followed by India with $92,8
billion, confirming that the Government*s "Look East" policy is beginning to
Australia had investments totalling $23,2 billion and the
United Kingdom $10,1 billion while South Africa and Democratic Republic of Congo
(DRC) weighed in with $29 billion and $1,14 billion respectively.
are very happy that investments are going up and there is need for the country
to participate in world promotion summits.
"There is also need to
rebuild the country*s image and thwart the bad publicity that it has been
receiving for the past five years from international and local private media
institutions," said ZIC.
Investment proposals were received for various
sectors of the economy, including manufacturing, which had 45 projects (about
half of the total projects approved).
The rest of the proposals were
split up as follows: mining (11), tourism (10), transport (10) and services
When fully implemented, the investments are expected to generate
exports amounting to $38 trillion.
Foreign investors accounted for 29 of
the projects — with a projected contribution of about $311 billion — approved by
ZIC. On the other hand, local investors are expected to contribute about $46
billion from 50 projects.
"The figures are based on the initial
projection that we made last year, but these projections could be decreased
after a follow-up which we are going to conduct early this year," said ZIC.
Under its operational modalities, the parastatal is expected to make
follow-ups after a gestation period of between six and 18 months.
Projects approved last year are expected to be implemented during the
first half of this year.
Zimbabwe has witnessed phenomenal growth in the
number of foreign investments during the period under review, a clear indication
that investors are regaining their confidence in the country as a sound
destination for their investments.
The increase in investment levels is
likely to create about 6 000 jobs across all sectors.
Over the past five
years, Zimbabwe has suffered a decline in direct foreign investment (FDI) owing
to Western-inspired sanctions and criticism of its land reform programme.
That notwithstanding, the country*s economy has been on a makeover since
the beginning of 2004, as the new monetary policy unveiled by the Reserve Bank
of Zimbabwe (RBZ) in December 2003 continues to pay dividends.
have, however, emphasised the need for greater input by local investors to
target all sectors of the economy, especially agriculture, to boost the
country*s turnaround efforts.
"Participation of the locals during the
period under review is satisfactory, but there is need to mobilise resources for
them to venture into businesses under various sectors of the economy," said a
Harare-based economic analyst.
Delivering the 17th State of Nation
Address in December, President Mugabe said "2005 should be the year of
investment during which the country must consolidate the gains made in the
revival of the economy".
"Foreigners can only come to an economy which
is driven by the confidence of its real owners. As true owners of Zimbabwe
economy, we have to work singularly hard for its growth," he reminded the
ZIC is a parastatal established by an Act of Parliament in 1992.
As a one-stop shop whose mandate is to facilitate and co-ordinate investments by
promoting local and foreign investors, it has been in the business since 1993.
Rhodes to coach the World, Warne to captain
Shane Warne will captain a reasonably strong but certainly exciting
World XI that will take on New Zealand in three ODI’s in aid of the Tsunami
The team is player managed by former South African jack-in-the-box Jonty
Rhodes and includes, arguably, Zimbabwe’s two greatest cricketers of recent
times, Andy Flower and Heath Streak. Streak has, of course, in recent times been
more of a spectator at the Queens Club and in Harare than donning whites, pardon
New Zealand Cricket chief executive Martin Snedden confirmed a three-match
limited-overs series in January between New Zealand and a World XI. The matches
will be played at Christchurch on Jan. 22, Wellington on Jan. 24 and Hamilton on
Jan. 26 and replace the abandoned one-day series against Sri Lanka which has yet
to be rescheduled.
Sri Lankan offspinner Muttiah Muralitharan, so effective for Asia in Monday’s
fund raiser, will play for the World XI, joining Warne in a pairing of the
world's two top wicket-takers, and will also play in the later test series,
They will be joined by the likes of Englishman Graeme Hick, Australian Justin
Langer, Sanath Jayasuriya and Lance Klusener which should ensure a slug fest of
a form. The team is slanted to Australian and Sri Lankan players who would have
been in New Zealand in the ordinary course of business save the Boxing day
"It will be expensive to hold but the benefits for the home cricket season
and the Black Caps, as well as those who benefit from our fund-raising
activities, will make the series more than worthwhile," Snedden said.
World XI itinerary:
Jan. 22, vs. New Zealand, Christchurch; Jan. 24, vs.
New Zealand, Wellington; Jan. 26, vs. New Zealand, Hamilton.
World XI squads:
Game one: Shane Warne (Australia, captain), Andy Flower
(Zimbabwe), Ian Harvey (Australia), Graeme Hick (England), Sanath Jayasuriya
(Sri Lanka), Lance Klusener (South Africa), Nick Knight (England), Muttiah
Muralitharan (Sri Lanka), Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka), Heath Streak (Zimbabwe),
Chaminda Vaas (Sri Lanka), Jonty Rhodes (South Africa, player/coach)
Game two: Shane Warne (Australia, captain), Andy Bichel (Australia), Matthew
Elliott (Australia), Andy Flower (Australia), Ian Harvey (Australia), Graeme
Hick (England), Sanath Jayasuriya(Sri Lanka), Lance Klusener (South Africa),
Nick Knight (England), Muttiah Muralitharan (Sri Lanka), Kumar Sangakkara (Sri
Heath Streak (Zimbabwe), Chaminda Vaas (Sri Lanka), Jonty Rhodes
(South Africa, player/coach)
Game three: Shane Warne (Australia, captain), Michael Bevan (Australia), Andy
Bichel (Australia), Matthew Elliott (Australia), Andy Flower (Australia), Ian
Harvey (Australia), Graeme Hick (England), Sanath Jayasuriya (Sri Lanka), Justin
Langer (Australia), Muttiah Muralitharan (Sri Lanka), Kumar Sangakkara
Lanka), Heath Streak (Zimbabwe), Chaminda Vaas (Sri Lanka),Jonty Rhodes (South
© 2004 - Rivals Digital Media
Tue, January 11, 2005
Bail hearing in fake charity charge
THE FIRST person accused in Toronto of running a fundraising scam for tsunami
relief in South Asia will have a bail hearing today. As his pregnant wife and an
unidentified man looked on in a crowded North York court yesterday, Elmon
Muringwa, 44, a native of Zimbabwe, made a brief appearance before being
remanded back into custody. The refugee claimant is charged with fraud and theft
He was arrested Friday after a police officer pulled over a car for unpaid
parking tickets and became suspicious of receipts and a Red Cross ID and
Police claim the driver collected money after going door to door telling
residents he was raising funds for tsunami relief.
A pledge sheet listed 21 donors, Det. Colin Greenaway said yesterday. Some of
the donations were made in west Toronto, others along Danforth Ave. in the east
part of the city.
"Most were for $5, $10, and $20 ... the most I saw was for $50," Greenaway
Since the arrest, a 22nd person contacted police to complain about the
questionable fundraiser, Greenaway said.
'The party will not impose candidates'
11 January 2005
President Robert Mugabe on Monday backtracked over the controversial banning of
some ruling-party candidates in primary elections set for January
Demonstrators from the ruling Zanu-PF party held an unprecedented
second demonstration outside their party headquarters, protesting against the
imposition of candidates.
Primary elections are being held within
Zimbabwe's political parties ahead of parliamentary polls set for some time in
March this year.
The Zanu-PF political commissar announced last week that
several seats have been reserved for women and aspiring male candidates will not
be allowed to stand. Among those affected is Information Minister Jonathan Moyo,
who is appealing against his banning.
"We are here to address your
concerns," Mugabe told Zanu-PF protesters on Monday.
"Zanu-PF is a
democratic party where everyone's wishes are respected. It is now up to you to
go and select candidates of your choice who are capable of leading you because
the party is no longer going to impose candidates on you."
move by Zimbabwe's 81-year-old leader may not help a number of would-be
"Those members of the party who have disciplinary cases
against them are not eligible for elections.
"We are not going to change
the date for the elections. All primaries will take place on January 15," Mugabe
While details of Zanu-PF's disciplinary procedures remain secret,
it is known that several hopefuls have fallen from Mugabe's favour in recent
months. Among them is Moyo, who organised an unauthorised meeting in the western
province of Matabeleland.
Also out of the running is reputed Mugabe
relative and MP for the northern town of Chinhoyi, Phillip Chiyangwa, currently
in prison awaiting trial for espionage.
The self-appointed leader of
Zimbabwe's notoriously violent farm invasions, Joseph Chinotimba -- linked to
Moyo's Tsholotsho meeting in Matabeleland -- could also see himself out of the
Chinotimba has repeatedly sought a parliamentary seat in
Harare, an opposition Movement for Democratic Change stronghold. --
Robert Mugabe, the Zimbabwean president, has addressed protesting members of
his Zanu(PF) party, apparently making concessions on the party's choice of
candidates. The party members were demonstrating outside Zanu-PF's headquarters
Zanu(PF)'s political commissar announced last week that
several seats had been reserved for women, and that certain male candidates,
including cabinet ministers, would not be allowed to stand in national elections
expected in March. Mugabe has told the protesters they must now select their own
candidates, as the party will no longer impose candidates on them. Zanu(PF)
holds primary elections on Saturday to choose candidates for the March polls.
It is not clear if Mugabe's statement applies to the restrictions
already announced. - Sapa
Two Oceans champs return
Tue, 11 Jan 2005
The winners of the 2004 Old Mutual Two Oceans Ultra Marathon have indicated
that they will be returning to defend their titles.
Marco Mambo from Zimbabwe, who won the ultra event last year as a novice,
is very keen to repeat his win, which was not expected at the time.
Marco's winning time was 3:07:41. Since 1997 when Zithulele Sinqe
repeated his 1996 win, no runner has been able to successfully defend his title.
In the women's race, the Russian twins Yelena and Olesya Nurgalieva will
also be back to attempt to repeat their 2004 domination of the event.
Yelena beat her sister in a time of 3:37:51. The last repeat women's
winner was Angelina Sephooa who won in 1997, 1998 and 1999.
Online entries for the 2005 event, which takes place on Easter Saturday,
March 26, are open and runners can enter at www.TwoOceansMarathon.org.za
Entries for the 56km event have been capped at 10 000 and for the 21km at
8 500. Entries close on February 28, or earlier if the maximum numbers are
Hungry Zimbabweans scrape the barrel
January 11 2005 at 10:03AM
Harare - Zimbabweans in rural areas are finding it harder to afford staple
cereals and levels of malnutrition could rise by March, a United States food
monitoring agency said.
Prices of staple foods were too high for the poor
majority and the southern African country's social protection programmes were
inadequate, the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET) said in its
latest monthly report.
The programmes are meant to cater for the aged,
orphans and the chronically ill.
Zimbabwe has suffered intermittent food
shortages over the past four years due to drought and disruptions to agriculture
linked to controversial land reforms.
Zimbabwe has suffered intermittent food shortages over
the past four yearsIn December President Robert Mugabe's government
said planting in the current season ending March was sharply lower than
In the report dated January, FEWSNET said cereals like the
staple maize were becoming less available in most rural areas with rising prices
limiting the ability of poor households to buy sufficient food.
"Food insecure households in both urban and rural areas are
responding through reducing their consumption. Over time, levels of malnutrition
and related diseases are expected to rise, peaking in the January to March 2005
period," the unit said.
"The targeted feeding programmes currently
allowed by the government cannot adequately address the food insecurity problem
facing both urban and rural communities in Zimbabwe," it added.
government accuses some agencies of working with the opposition to destabilise
the country under the guise of humanitarian aid.
It has largely stopped
food aid distribution which the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation
says 40 percent of the population needs.
The main opposition Movement for
Democratic Change has predicted major food shortages this year, citing
inadequate financial support for cash-strapped farmers from the
In December the government, which has redistributed thousands
of white-owned farms among landless blacks since 2000, admitted that only a
tenth of targeted land had been prepared for the 2005 crop due to input
Mugabe denies mismanaging the country since assuming power
at independence from Britain 25 years ago, leading to chronic shortages of food,
foreign currency, fuel and record inflation and unemployment.
leader charges in turn that his government's domestic and foreign opponents have
deliberately undermined Zimbabwe's economy as pay-back for its white farm