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A bullet to the head for human rights

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By Blessing-Miles Tendi

NOT too long ago, I sat through a largely uninspiring "special lecture" organised by Oxford University's Centre for Social-Legal Studies.

The subject of the special lecture was "Human Rights: A Perspective on Present Day Uganda", with Ugandan president, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, as the keynote speaker.

Museveni evaded the pertinent human rights issues in Uganda and Africa today, preferring to lay much of the blame for Africa's human rights problems on the continent's former colonial rulers and the myriad colonial legacies they left behind.

Museveni did have a point.

For instance, the 1994 Rwandan genocide would probably not have occurred had Belgian colonial officers not devised social constructs that sought to differentiate Tutsis from Hutus, and accorded the Tutsis a false ethnic superiority over the Hutus.

Museveni made much of this line of thought, to the extent of declaring that Africa's worst human rights violations have occurred because of the remnants of colonial armies.

While there is some truth to this, the fact is since the end of the Cold War in 1989, the worst human rights violations in Africa have taken place in conditions of state failure.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is a classic example of state failure. Over four million people have died in the DRC since the instability and civil war began there. Museveni skirted this point very conveniently.

Why? Because in the mid-1990s Uganda, alongside the Rwandan military, invaded the DRC.

The DRC was an already weak state when Uganda invaded it. The breaching of its sovereignty by Uganda and Rwanda precipitated the DRC's further descent into the abyss of failed statehood. The Museveni government has blood on its hands.

It is partly responsible for the death of four million people, not to mention Ugandan troops' well-documented systematic use of rape against eastern Congolese women and looting of the DRC's mineral resources.

I was burning to ask President Museveni to explain Uganda's human rights violations in the DRC and duly raised my arm so the moderator would grant me an opportunity to speak.

My arm flailed and flailed in the air until it could flail no more. The opportunity to air my views never arrived. To make matters worse, some members of the Oxford University community who were granted a chance to probe President Museveni asked rather timid and at times flippant questions.

There is an ongoing rebellion against President Museveni's government in northern Uganda in which the use of child soldiers is legendary but no one asked him about that. For years, President Museveni upheld a "no party" electoral system and got away with it while the rest of Africa had no option but to adopt multi-party systems. No one interrogated him on this. The Ugandan constitution was amended recently, enabling Museveni to contest a third term.

No one breathed a word about this.

I was dismayed but should have known it from the start. Western donors finance half of Uganda's national budget. Museveni is America's "blue-eyed boy" in Africa.

Uganda is "an African success story".

Had it been Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe in Oxford, upon that podium as a keynote speaker, the audience would have been baying for his blood from the word go. Little surprise that one of the addressees asked Museveni how the Zimbabwe crisis could be resolved.

Mugabe is no better than Museveni but how about asking Museveni why he has failed to resolve northern Uganda's 20-year long rebellion, which has claimed the lives of 30 000 children and displaced 1,6 million people? Disgraceful selectivity on human rights issues was playing itself out right before me.

There is growing resentment of Western-based human rights campaigners by people located in the non-Western world. However, this resentment is not entirely indicative of dislike for the human rights doctrine in the non-Western world.

The universality of the human rights doctrine may still be a highly-contentious and unresolved conflict in some parts of the world, but sometimes it is the skewed manner in which human rights are promoted, and not so much the concept of human rights itself which is at fault.

The more human rights are overtly, zealously and unevenly advanced around the world, the more they are undermined.

Human rights campaigners risk playing into the hands of illiberal governments that always stand ready to appeal to concepts such as state sovereignty as a cover for their human rights abuses - Zimbabwe is Africa's chief culprit of this practice.

When promoting human rights, Western states seem to have as a starting premise, the logic that their modern day standing as developed democracies automatically confers a moral authority to censure less democratic states.

But that moral authority is undermined when the US Congress votes down a bill to renew US$50 million in aid to an AU peacekeeping mission in Darfur after the United Nations secretary-general announced that civilian deaths in Darfur have doubled and human security is uncertain in the absence of sustained peacekeeping.

Moral authority is diluted when the US ignores Uzbekistan's poor human rights record and Russia's crimes against humanity in Chechnya because they are allies in the "war on terror" but imposes targeted sanctions on Zimbabwe.

Nor is moral authority enhanced when Britain calls for its national team to boycott cricket tours of Zimbabwe because of its bad human rights record, but remains silent when its cricket team tours Pervez Musharraf's Pakistan - also a grave human rights violator.

The West's condemnations and targeted sanctions against the Mugabe administration would be strengthened if the same human rights standards were applied everywhere evenly. Western moral authority is arguably at its lowest ebb, American and British especially, post-September 11 and the illegitimate 2003 Iraq invasion.

But double standards and diminished moral authority are not a sole preserve of the West. Africa is, and has been, equally duplicitous.

In the 1994 Rwandan genocide, a group of Rwandese was evacuated by aeroplane to Kenya in a rescue operation. Despite authorising the plane to land, Kenyan authorities ordered its pilots to make a return flight to Rwanda with all the Rwandan refugees on board.

The similarity of Kenya's actions during the Rwandan genocide to America's denial of refuge to some members of the Jewish community fleeing the Holocaust of World War 2 is self-evident.

In 2005, Africa elected Zimbabwe to a three-year term as chair for the general assembly of the Association of African Election Authorities (AAEA).

The AAEA was formed in 1994 to promote and institutionalise the professionalism of African election authorities.

How Zimbabwe, which since 2000 has held elections highly-disputed for voting irregularities, was chosen as the best candidate to promote fair elections in Africa is difficult to understand. Western duplicity is furthered by Africa's inability and unwillingness to institute genuine, indigenous, workable and sovereign institutions for human rights promotion.

No country or continent is beyond reproach when it comes to double standards and human rights violations. We must embrace this point earnestly before a fatal bullet to the head of human rights is delivered.

* Blessing-Miles Tendi is a freelance writer on human rights based at Oxford University.

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Family affair in pro-senate executive

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Ray Matikinye

AN advert placed by the pro-senate faction of the MDC led by Gibson Sibanda last week has revealed the familial composition of the group's provincial structures in Masvingo.

When the electorate thought they had seen the last of a familial dimension in the legislature following the senatorial election in November last year, the pro-senate faction has taken family relations in politics a step further.

As claims to legitimacy between the two MDC factions intensify with the holding of parallel restructuring of party organs ahead of the party congress next month, the pro-senate faction published lists of executives in its provincial structures last week.

For a fractured opposition party that has often bemoaned constant harassment of its executive members by state security agents over the past five years, the rare act of publishing names puts its members at the mercy of Zanu PF's coercing agents.

In Masvingo, the pro-senate faction's provincial executive comprises spouses in the main wing and women's wings.

Former Masvingo MDC legislator Silas Mangono is the provincial secretary in the main wing alongside his wife Tefinas who takes up a similar post in the women's wing.

Vice chairman of the main wing, Shongera Dhoba's spouse is the women's wing vice secretary.

Mangono's election agent in last year's March general election, Hilda Sibanda, who chairs the women's wing, adds another familial dimension to the provincial structure as her daughter Hlengiwe was elected vice-organising secretary in the same wing.

More interestingly, the pro-senate faction appears to have reserved the information and publicity secretary's post in the main wings for women in Matabeleland South, Chitungwiza and Harare provinces.

Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, who became an MDC legislator for Glen Norah in 2000 despite holding no known post in the lower party structures, is now the information and publicity secretary for Harare province.

She is the only woman in the main wing who joins Edwin Mushoriwa, Gabriel Chaibva and former deputy elections director Willard Zimuto in the provincial structures.

According to the list, Bikita has to provide an information and publicity secretary for the youth wing in Masvingo province, as should Goromonzi in Chitungwiza province in an apparent effort to balance representation.

The list indicates that Mashonaland East, where losing senatorial candidates Alois Mudzingwa and Frank Chamunorwa were elected to the provincial executive, still has to elect a chairperson.

The list does not reflect the multi-racial component of the former party structures as it omits prominent names like David Coltart, the legislator for Bulawayo South, and Trudy Stevenson, MP for Harare North.

The anti-senate group countermanded the advert soon after it was publicised, claiming the list was a bogus exercise designed to "slow down the MDC's renewal and leadership regeneration exercise and to sabotage our democratic struggle for change".

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Farming for the military

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Augustine Mukaro

GOVERNMENT has deployed uniformed forces into Mashonaland West province to till the rich agricultural land in a desperate effort to boost production and avert massive food shortages as part of its "Operation Maguta".

Sources privy to the food-security initiative said military lorries off-loaded farming implements which included disc harrows and planters at Hunyani Farm near Chinhoyi.

Some of the equipment was taken to farms in the Banket and Mazvikadei areas where the Chinese have been clearing vast stretches of virgin land.

"There is a lot of maize planting by the military in Mashonaland West province including at Hunyani Farm," a source said.

"But prospects of a bumper yield are very low because of the late planting."

The operation, conceived and spearheaded by the Joint Operations Command (JOC) comprising the army, police, prisons and the intelligence service, started in November last year with the seizure of equipment from individual farms across the country.

Government wrote letters to farmers' lawyers informing them of its intention to acquire the equipment in accordance with Section 7 of the Acquisition of Farm Equipment and Material Act promulgated in 2004.

The seizures were rampant in Masvingo where a team of about 22 led by Assistant Commissioner Loveness Ndanga, including armed police, army personnel, prisons officials and war veterans uplifted billions of dollars worth of farm equipment from Masvingo, Chiredzi and Mwenezi.

Some of the farming equipment compulsorily acquired was stored at warehouses after the owners were forcibly evicted from their properties, while some was being hired out to new farmers. Part of the seized equipment was confiscated from farmers still using it.

Those dispossessed are unhappy over the way the equipment was taken as no inventory was made prior to the seizures in line with the enabling legislation.

The Act says "the acquiring authority may, if there is no agreement for the purchase of the farm equipment or material concerned, acquire the farm equipment by making an order compulsorily acquiring the equipment for compensation equivalent to the value placed on the material by the designated valuation officer".

A lawyer representing some of the farmers, David Drury, confirmed that there were attempts to seize farming equipment but government was not following provisions of the Act.

"In the numerous cases I have dealt with government is found in violation of its own law," Drury said.

"The Act requires the acquiring authority to prove that the equipment is lying idle before preparing an inventory of the equipment which the owner could agree or refuse to sell. In case of disagreement, a preliminary notice to acquire is issued and can be challenged."

Agriculture minister Joseph Made, widely blamed for misleading the country on food stocks in the past, heads the initiative while Defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi is his deputy.

Made refused to comment on the matter. In a clear admission of failure of his chaotic land reform programme, President Robert Mugabe admitted the military initiative was an attempt to meet the nation's food requirements.

"To enhance agricultural production and meet national requirements of 1,8 million tonnes of cereals, targeted production has been introduced through "Operation Security/Maguta/Inala by government," Mugabe told parliament.

"The major objectives of the programme are to boost the country's food security and consolidate national strategic reserves."

He said government's target was to ensure food security and surplus for export by putting at least 300 000 hectares of maize under irrigation.

President Mugabe has confessed that his government's seizure of white-owned farms has benefited fewer than 10% of the black

Zimbabweans who were promised a prosperous future as commercial landowners.

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4 years on, still no Joy

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Itai Mushekwe

IN a display of deviance, government has kept the country's second available television channel shut for the past four years after cancelling private broadcaster, Joy TV's licence in 2002 thereby depriving viewers of variety.

Prospects of having private players in the sector have further been left in limbo after the state last year denied Munhumutape African Broadcasting Corporation (MABC) an operating licence.

Despite state media reports on government's intentions to liberalise the airwaves, media analysts and watchdogs have dismissed the claims, saying the opening of the airwaves would pose a threat to the existing social, political and economic order.

On February 20 1997, Vice-President Joice Mujuru, then a cabinet minister, told parliament: "The cabinet has made a policy stance on freeing the airwaves," adding that: "My ministry is now working to resolve issues related to the coming of other players into broadcasting. It is our wish that the exercise is undertaken during the first half of 1997."

Almost a decade after her assertions government has not licensed any private broadcasters, thereby exposing its lack of "seriousness and empty political rhetoric", media analysts charge.

The bone of contention is rooted in the Broadcasting Services Act (BSA), widely seen as punitive and restrictive. BSA provides for a regulatory body, the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) to monitor the broadcasting sector and has its members cherry-picked by the Information Minister thus compromising its autonomy. Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa) research and information officer, Nyasha Nyakunu, criticised BSA which he said makes it impossible for indigenous broadcasters to set up shop due to some of its unfair clauses.

"The present Act is restrictive," he said. "It bars foreign funding and investment. It thus becomes difficult for locals to raise the money required by this capital intensive concern." He however welcomed deputy Information minister, Bright Matonga's recent calls to revisit BSA. He said: "We hope his statements and concerns will transform into meaningful action which will see the amendment of BSA."

MABC chief executive officer, Oscar Kubara, told Independent Xtra that government is hampering economic turnaround by continuing to deny his company a licence, which he argues satisfied BAZ application requirements.

"We continue to deny ourselves an opportunity to turn around the economy," he said. "Broadcasting has the power to change the country's global image and create employment."

He added that the Zimbabwe television monopoly has stifled development in the sector and denied people their right to variety and programming diversity.

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Judge’s utterances erode public trust

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EVERY January the Zimbabwe judiciary offers us insights into its political and social perspectives. It is common practice at the traditional opening of the judicial year that senior jurists lay out their viewpoints on issues affecting their work. This is an opportunity not only to address administrative issues but to also pronounce standpoints of judicial activities to safeguard judicial integrity.

Last year Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku sought to preserve judicial integrity and independence when he pointed out that the courts should deal decisively with corruption in the private, public and judicial circles.

We concurred at the time with Chidyausiku that corruption was a threat to judicial integrity but also warned that the politicisation of the bench was an equally disfiguring blemish.

This week Judge Maphios Cheda, opening the judicial year in Bulawayo, presented us with the judiciary’s views on the subjects of human rights and freedom of expression, especially where it involves speaking out against the government.

In an address to a gathering of fellow judicial officers, Cheda expressed his irritation at law firms which he said did not fight for the liberation of this country but were now at the forefront in criticising government for human rights violations.

“It is some of these firms which are now in the forefront in singing very loudly about human rights violations which they ignored during the war,” said Cheda.

“Instead, some of their partners and professional assistants chose to fight against blacks while they were aware that they could have refused to fight in this unjust war on the basis of being conscientious objectors.”

We have heard similar remarks before being uttered by political animals, which makes Cheda’s standpoint worrying. We have questioned the ruling Zanu PF government’s understanding of freedoms and rights: that because the party liberated this country, it is the custodian of all liberties and choices and that it has the sole right to dispense these rights to us. Those who defended the colonial system are perceived as enemies of the state who have no right to raise human rights issues.

Cheda’s statement appears to have been mined from this same vein of political patronage which in 1983 Chidyausiku, then attorney-general, spoke strongly against when he said: “I don’t think it is desirable that we should have a puppet judiciary. We should have an independent judiciary rather than one that panders to the wishes of government.”

Nearly 20 years later, at a judicial conference in April 2002, Chidyausiku, now Chief Justice, quoted from an address given by Mrs Justice Denham of the Supreme Court of Ireland: “Judicial independence is a precious jewel of democracy, to be guarded and cherished for the benefit of the people it serves. It is a jewel of the state. It is fundamental to democracy and the rule of law that the judiciary be strong, to withstand pressure from any quarter.”

He added: “Yet the judiciary should be of their times and take account of the changing society within which judges hold office, while retaining the core principle of their independence. … The judiciary should absorb the light from the society it serves.”

We believe that the judiciary should not absorb any “light” from politicians because it becomes a willing tool of the executive in its quest for totalitarian rule via populist posturing.

When the independence of the judiciary in Zimbabwe has been subverted by the executive, it can no longer be trusted to be the guardian of people’s liberties.

But government does not mind having the judiciary fighting in its corner. We recoiled with horror three years ago when Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa in 2001 warned that judges should not behave like “unguided missiles”.

“I wish to emphatically state that we will push them out…The present composition of the judiciary reflects that the country is in a semi-colonial state, half free, half enslaved,” he said.

Chinamasa will be encouraged by Cheda’s statement. A judicial system that gets praise from government and is pampered with gifts such as land — that can just as easily be revoked — is in danger of losing public trust. It ceases to be a bastion of people’s rights and liberties against the excesses of the executive.

The hallmark of any respected judiciary is its ability to be firm in the face of political pressure. But that can only be achieved if there is an open system of nominating jurists. This eschews a process where candidates are most likely to come from the circles of influence that already dominate political and institutional life.

Cheda’s comments put the judiciary under suspicion and the rulings of judges will now be analysed in the context of his utterances. As if the country had not seen and heard enough from a pliant judiciary, its judges have once again invited public scorn and clearly deserve a robust response from the legal community.

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To avert a crisis, just rename it!

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THE government’s public relations machinery is in a tangle over the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) resolution of December 5. Foreign Affairs spokesman John Mayowe was on Friday quoted by the Herald denying the existence of the report.

“Government would also want to refute erroneous reports in some sections of the media claiming an adverse report on the human rights situation in Zimbabwe. Government is not aware of such a resolution…” he told the Herald.

The Sunday Mirror quoted Information permanent secretary George Charamba as saying the government had received “no communication indicating any resolution, let alone an adverse one…”

William Nhara, principal director in the Ministry of Public and Interactive Affairs, had earlier told Voice of America radio that the report was influenced by the British and would not be adopted by the African Union heads of state in February. The commissioners had been bought, he claimed.

But a more senior official, Information minister Ambassador Tichaona Jokonya, indicated that government, or at least himself, had seen the report.

“What do you expect from them (ACHPR)? They are looking for money and what better way to make money than to vilify Zimbabwe?” he told ZimOnline on Thursday.

He said the report had not been made public but had been leaked to the media. In fact it has been on the ACHPR website since Christmas.

While in government’s scheme of things such reports only become authentic after they land on the president’s desk, their content doesn’t change just because Charamba and Mayowe pretend they don’t exist!

Meanwhile, has the Herald apologised to Mayowe for making it look as if he thinks Banjul is in the Central African Republic?

Throughout his Herald column on Saturday Nathaniel Manheru was under the impression that the abbreviated version of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights was ACPHR. This sort of carelessness suggests that this columnist is not subject to the authority of an editor, something his regular foul language confirms.

Manheru thinks our criticism of the Herald indicates it is the market leader in news. Why else would we make constant reference to stories in the state-owned paper, he asks?

The answer is obvious to everybody except him: because all the other papers have been banned! As its circulation figures for 1998-2003 show, the Herald could never survive in an open market.

As for Nhara, what is this electoral reject doing suggesting other people have been bought when he was propelled to the top of a wasteful and pointless ministry as a consolation prize for failing to sell his asinine views to the voters?

Does anyone recall unsubstantiated allegations by the Herald last June that the United States and Britain were behind the drought in Zimbabwe?

The Herald said climate change had been artificially induced to effect regime change.

“The overt and covert machinations by Zimbabwe’s former colonial ruler, Britain, which has declared its intentions to effect illegal regime change in Harare, have given credence to the conspiracy theory,” the Herald said.

It said the US Famine Early Warning System had predicted famine in Zimbabwe six months before it occurred.

“The prediction, which was the exact opposite of other forecasts, seems to confirm that the conspiracy to remove the Zimbabwean government has gone chemical.”

In other words the Herald wanted us to believe its patriotic weather forecasts and not the more accurate information from scientists!

The country was this week preparing for floods in southern districts. Meanwhile the whole country has received more than normal rainfall to date.

We now await a story by the Herald claiming that the Americans and the Brits have withdrawn their unconventional weather-weapon following President Mugabe’s forays in the Far East where he secured interceptor weather-missiles from China.

By the way, have you noted how state journalists are required to insert the word “illegal” whenever they speak about US/UK attempts at regime change? Has anybody ever asked their handlers what illegality they are referring to? It is as bad as the foolish claim that MDC leaders went to Washington and instructed the US administration on how to draft a sanctions law. You have to be really ignorant of how the US Congress works to get away with that one!

The ghost of Jonathan Moyo still looms large at ZBH’s Newsnet. Staffers there have not forgotten the unceremonious dismissal of soccer commentator Charles Mabika after he waxed lyrical about Nigerian soccer star Jay Jay Okocha in a game where Zimbabwe was thrashed 3-0 at home.

Robson Mhandu, introduced as a veteran soccer analyst on the main news last Friday, tried to convince the nation that there was nothing wrong with Zimbabwe losing 2-0 to Egypt in a preparatory match to the Africa Cup of Nations.

“It was actually a blessing in disguise…” because the coach did not want to give away his strategy. He also told us the 1-1- draw against Zambia last month was a positive development because “we held Zambia who are an African powerhouse here in Africa and beyond…”

Dear Robson, the national team simply failed to score in those matches. Does he want us to believe that coach Charles Mhlauri’s brief to his strikers was “do not score lest we give away our strategy”? This is patriotism gone mad!

This is what happens when “veteran broadcasters” are so afraid of the truth that they would rather portray themselves as ignorant pundits of the sport.

Itar-Tass news agency reported on Sunday that Malta was the happiest place on earth while Zimbabwe and Ukraine seem to be the most unhappy, according to an annual World Database of Happiness, compiled by Rotterdam’s Erasmus University’s Prof Ruut Veenhoven.

Seventy-four percent of Maltese people said they are happy, and the rate was 73% in Denmark, Switzerland and Colombia.

Iceland , Ireland and the Netherlands are quite happy places as well, and Canada, Finland and Ghana end the world’s top 10 with 63% of happy people.

The report said money was not the main factor in happiness. For instance, the United States was ranked 16th on the world happiness list after Guatemala and Uruguay. The leading European nations, the United Kingdom and Germany, were ranked 21st and 22nd.

The survey says in Zimbabwe, no more than 20% of the citizens are happy. Remember President Mugabe’s statement in an interview with AP last September: “My people are very, very happy … We feel that we have actually been advancing rather than going backwards.”

In fact less than 20% are happy in Zimbabwe. As Prof Veenhoven said, “it’s not all about money”. People are unhappy with misrule which crushes the spirit, discourages enterprise and spreads misery.

The Herald this week inserted the following into a report on preparations for President Mugabe’s 82nd birthday: “President Mugabe is revered as a shining example of an African statesman who has stood firm in the defence of the poor…”

Indeed he has: As Ambassador Dell inconveniently pointed out, Zimbabweans are poorer today than they were in 1953. Mugabe has been absolutely consistent in his promotion of poverty!

As he snoozes in his deck chair on an exotic beach somewhere in South-East Asia this week, we wonder whether the president will reflect upon the fate of the victims of Operation Murambatsvina who have still not recovered from the state’s assault upon their homes and livelihoods.

One way of averting a crisis is to rename it. The government media has decided to refer to “challenges” rather than crises. So the country faced a number of “challenges” last year, none of which were solved.

The Herald’s business desk helpfully itemised them as “inflation, foreign currency shortages, dwindling exports, unemployment, falling production levels, incessant price hikes, and a generally poor performance in most sectors of the economy…”

So this year there are even more “challenges” which won’t be solved because of the complete absence of honesty in facing them. Far from tackling them “head on”, as the official press naively hopes ministers will do, they are likely to remain unresolved.

Inflation, for instance, the product of tax-and-spend policies, will keep going up so long as the state fails to curb its expenditure. Creating new ministries and chambers of parliament that nobody wants only compounds the “challenges” which prevent the “turnaround” that some people keep forecasting.

And then they talk about the “circus” in the MDC. The circus, it would appear, is closer to Herald House than Harvest House!

Anyway, life’s a beach.

Have you noticed how seamlessly MDC leaders have put aside the national interest to engage in a battle which the rest of the country has no interest in?

Tsvangirai, Sibanda, Ncube, Chimanikire, Chamisa and Sikhala are so engrossed in their petty quarrel that they cannot detect the nation’s disgust. They have completely failed the public they were elected to serve while they entertain the state press with interviews about how awful the other side is.

A statesman would long ago have bridged these differences and knocked heads together. All successful political parties are broad churches comprising divergent interests. Intelligent and inclusive leaders hold these centrifugal forces together. Watch Tony Blair or Thabo Mbeki.

But Tsvangirai has decided Mugabe-style to fashion the party in his own image by crushing opposition to his leadership and engineering a supine congress. As South African political commentator Steve Friedman noted last weekend with regard to another leadership spat: “Good leaders are people who are able to work with people who are very different. Bad leaders get threatened by that and try to drive away talents which they need.”

It is a disgraceful episode and Zanu PF must be watching in admiration how their lessons have been learnt. But the country is not amused and the MDC’s friends need to say so. Morgan; Welshman; get off the ground. You should know better.

Finally, with the opening of previously sealed documents at the Public Record Office in London, the nationalist credentials of President Mugabe have been exposed to examination. Writing from detention in 1970 to Harold Wilson, Mugabe pleads with the British PM to give his wife Sally a British passport.

“Although my wife has had to use a Ghanaian passport, she is first and foremost a Rhodesian and therefore a British subject,” Mugabe claimed. “My wife belongs to Rhodesia, where I am, and not to Ghana where your government wants her to go.”

The letter was published in the Sunday Times’ Hogarth column. The supplicant is now proposing to withdraw the passports of those he disagrees with!

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Govt deals major blow to recovery efforts

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Dumisani Ndlela

THE battle to contain the budget deficit suffered its first major blow when the government this month awarded a 231% salary hike to civil servants, a move likely to see the wage bill shoot through the envisaged $30 trillion ceiling.

But far from placating the restive civil servants, the hikes are likely to infuriate the increasingly agitated public service employees, whose salaries have for far too long fallen short of the poverty datum line and have been eroded by the country’s ruthless plague — inflation.

The year-on-year rate of inflation in December soared to 585,8%, gaining 83,4 percentage points on the November rate of 502,4%.

Projections for a 2006 year-end inflation target of between 50% and 80% by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe now look more like an exercise of faith, with independent analysts forecasting inflation to end the year at 800%.

A hike in the government wage bill of 231% is therefore out of line with independent inflation forecasts, and might be disheartening to government employees whose living standards have plumbed unprecedented depths annually.

Reports this week show that the civil servants are unhappy with the latest award and that many are already taking the exit door. Indications are that the government might be forced to review its wage bill upwards under pressure from the disgruntled employees.

But the wage encounter between employees and the government is likely to be a gruelling one. With Finance minister Herbert Murerwa taking a combative approach on the issue, and declaring that increments that match the inflation spiral are not in the best interests of the country’s faltering economy, there is potential for nationwide civil servants’ strikes during the year.

“As far as we’re concerned, this increment is unacceptable,” said Raymond Majongwe, secretary-general of the militant Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe. “The teachers are already demanding a strike and we’ll declare a strike very soon. It’s now almost impossible to survive as a teacher or civil servant,” Majongwe maintained.

Majongwe’s call has an audience across the entire civil service, and sources indicated his union has already received overtures from non-teacher civil servants to mobilise a nationwide strike for significant increments in civil servants’ salaries.

Wellington Chibebe, secretary-general of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) concurred with Majongwe.

“The civil servants are now working to rule,” said Chibebe, referring to an undeclared go-slow in the civil service. “The government must be serious on this issue to avoid a catastrophe. It was senseless for them to introduce a senate — which is an extra fiscal burden — when civil servants are severely underpaid.”

Chibebe said that the 231% increments in civil servants wages are laughable.

Given that the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe, a statutory body, had put the poverty datum line at over $17 million (which is not weighted), the government should have considered that figure as the starting salary for a civil servant, Chibebe said.

What made this latest award a mockery to the civil servants was that there were unlikely to be salary reviews until next year.

The problem, Chibebe noted, was that those mandated to negotiate on behalf of civil servants were not doing so; they were simply being consulted by government to endorse figures presented by Finance minister Murerwa in his budget.

“I’m yet to see when they’ll agree on figures outside the national budget,” Chibebe said.

Majongwe agreed.

“Our colleagues who represent us at the collective bargaining table with government say they are still negotiating, but the Salary Services Bureau is already punching in the new salaries for civil servants. We’re being let down by our colleagues,” said Majongwe.

Majongwe’s Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe is not recognised by the government because of its militancy. Instead, the Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association, accused of being a loyal devotee of government, represents teachers.

Other government employee representative groups that sit at the negotiating table are the Public Service Association and the Public Service Union of Zimbabwe.

Representatives from the two organisations were not contactable during this week.

Majongwe said any negotiations taking place long after a decision on the increases had been made by Murerwa during his budget proposals are in bad faith and should be dismissed.

Murerwa, Majongwe said, had already made provisions for the increases, and employee representatives to the negotiating table had only endorsed his offer.

Presenting his budget for 2006, Murerwa noted that the civil service wage bill for 2005 as a percentage of total expenditures of over 40%, was not sustainable and very high in comparison to regional and international best practices.

“Although the wage bill is high, the nominal levels of salaries and wages in the civil service remained very low in comparison to the private sector and the poverty datum line. This has resulted in the loss of skilled manpower and a demotivated civil service. This has seriously compromised the delivery of services,” Murerwa said.

Murerwa proposed for this year that the review of remuneration of civil servants be within “a sustainable 2006 wage bill envelope of $30 trillion”.

“While this resource envelope will not fully reverse the erosion of civil service incomes, the determining factor is ultimately the capacity of the economy to sustain the current service structure. The benefits of high wage reviews financed through money printing are always short-lived, as price escalations recur, thereby defeating the intended objective,” Murerwa said.

Murerwa said the government required “a leaner and well-remunerated civil service”, but this would need a “rationalisation and restructuring of the public service”.

The increments this month are likely to do little to stem the tide of resignations in the public service.

Indications from investigations by the Zimbabwe Independent are that a number of uniformed officers in both the police and military are not signing up for new contracts when old ones expire this year due to disgruntlement over incomes.

But is the flight of disgruntled employees from the civil service likely to result in a leaner workforce? Could this escape by civil servants from the grip of a poorly remunerating employer possibly be a restructuring of the public service that Murerwa seeks to achieve?

Chibebe said this would be “the worst way of streamlining the civil service”.

The problem with this approach, he said, was that it lacked foresight and had the potential to disrupt normal government functions.

“Where you want a clerk to leave, an engineer will leave and where you want an engineer to leave a receptionist might leave,” said Chibebe. By Murerwa’s own admission, the loss of skilled manpower seriously compromises the efficient delivery of services by government, a key player in Zimbabwe’s social and economic life.

To highlight the government’s desperation in this area, Murerwa proposed the establishment of a skills retention fund in conjunction with the central bank.

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Air Zimbabwe economic saboteur

zim indep

by Eric Bloch

BULAWAYO , also known as The City of Kings, has been renowned for many positive things over the years, but amongst its most pronounced claims to prominence were, for many decades, that it was the country’s industrial capital and its tourism gateway.

During the first half of the 20th century, Bulawayo witnessed an almost continuous development of factories. Initially the predominant field was engineering, to support the railway workshops, but progressively numerous other industries were established, including manufacturers of textiles, clothing and footwear, pharmaceuticals, furniture, travel goods, agricultural equipment, and much else.

The growth of Bulawayo’s industrial sector was, however, at a lesser pace when the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland came into being in 1953, for many industrial entrepreneurs decided to locate their new enterprises in the federal capital, Salisbury (now Harare). Nevertheless, some new industry did come into being in Bulawayo during the 10-year life of the Federation.

Then, on November 11, 1965 the Rhodesian Front government resorted to a unilateral declaration of independence (UDI) from the colonial power, Britain, and immediately thereafter the United Nations imposed international trade sanctions upon Rhodesia.

Initially this stimulated a spate of new industries being established to embark upon import substitution operations, and many of them were sited in Bulawayo.

But that growth of Bulawayo’s industrial sector was short-lived, as the international sanctions intensified. However, the existing industries continued in operation, and therefore Bulawayo remained a major industrialised city, albeit that the extent that industry had developed in Harare precluded a continuing claim to being the country’s industrial capital.

The advent of Independence in 1980 brought about another blow for Bulawayo’s industrial growth, for government did almost nothing towards the development of the Matabeleland provinces in general, and Bulawayo in particular. In addition, when government sent the notorious Fifth Brigade into Matabeleland, and news began to spread of its genocidal actions, investment into Bulawayo was deterred, only to resume after the 1987 Unity Accord, but then only to a limited degree.

The Zimbabwean economy was moving into decline and, therefore, there was a general slow-down in investment. Then, during the short-lived Economic Structural Adjustment Programme (Esap), investment resumed, and once again Bulawayo enjoyed industrial growth. However, in late 1997, government embarked upon numerous economically disastrous actions, and pursuit of a severely authoritarian economic regime, and since then Bulawayo’s industrial base was static until 2005, by which time the continuing economic mismanagement by the state forced many industries to contract, and some to cease operations.

Bulawayo was also the country’s principal tourism gateway. Annually tens of thousands of tourists would fly into Bulawayo, spending one or two days in the city and its surrounds, including the awe-inspiring Matopos Hills, Khami Ruins, Chipangali Wild Life Orphanage and, within the city, the world-renowned Natural History Museum, the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, the Railway Museum, Mzilikazi Arts and Crafts Centre, Jairos Jiri Centre, Amakhosi Theatre, and much else.

Thereafter, the tourist would proceed by air to Victoria Falls, and then to Hwange National Park. Similarly, tens of thousands of tourists entered Bulawayo by road from South Africa, to pursue like programmes. However, Zimbabwean tourist arrivals have fallen drastically over the last five years because of government’s failure to enforce law and order and because of scarcities of such commodities as fuel.

As if government’s acts of commission and omission were not sufficient an affliction upon the economy of Bulawayo, Air Zimbabwe has progressively compounded the hindrances impacting negatively upon the city’s economy.

Years ago, it discontinued routing its Johannesburg to Victoria Falls flights via Bulawayo, concentrating instead upon direct, non-stop flights from South Africa to Victoria Falls, and having only two flights weekly from Bulawayo to Zimbabwe’s premier tourist destination. As a result, the country’s tourism sector in Bulawayo suffered not only from a general fall in the country’s tourism, but for that sector the negative situation was exacerbated by Air Zimbabwe’s route changes. Nevertheless, with the resilience that is a characteristic of most businessmen in and around Bulawayo, they battled on, striving to attract whatever patronage they could.

Now Air Zimbabwe has struck yet another disastrous blow upon commerce and industry, and the tourism sector, in Bulawayo. When, in early December, the airline had to cancel numerous flights on the alleged grounds of fuel scarcities, the air travelling populace, and the economic sectors reliant upon air services, reconciled themselves to withstand the adverse consequences. They were fairly readily able to do so because of the emphatic reassurances emanating from the airline that the problems were being addressed, and would soon be resolved.

The same assurances came from the Ministry of Transport and Energy.

The veracity of the reassurances was initially readily accepted by the business sector, tourists and other travellers for, within a relatively short period, the airline resumed some of its flights, including those from Harare to required destinations and return, and a flight each morning to Bulawayo, and from Bulawayo to Harare (although twice a week that was an extremely extended flight, via Victoria Falls, depriving the business traveller any opportunity to transact any business that morning). At the same time, the airline’s spokesmen repeatedly claimed that all other scheduled flights would soon resume. Throughout, the airline attributed the problems wholly to inadequate fuel availability.

Concurrently the Ministries of Transport and Energy, and of Environment and Tourism, made statements that the non-availability of aviation fuel was being vigorously attended to and would be redressed imminently.

However, all those assurances have been proven to be devoid of any substance.

More than a month later, there are still no evening flights from Harare to Bulawayo, and no flights from Bulawayo to Johannesburg. A businessman having to travel to Harare is now obliged, if he flies, to overnight in Harare, and similarly a Harare businessman travelling to Bulawayo must overnight there. This markedly increases their costs, which are already excessive because of the extortionate fares charged by Air Zimbabwe, and the massive departure taxes payable to the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ), for they must now incur accommodation costs, and out-of-pocket expenditure.

In addition, there is a significant loss of potentially, commercially productive time. Of course, one can travel by road, if one has assured access to fuel!

Last week Air Zimbabwe advised that “the earliest” that the Bulawayo to Johannesburg flights, and the evening flights from Harare to Bulawayo, will resume is in May. In other words, the airline has determined to resort to a major exercise of isolating Bulawayo, and thereby to reduce its potency in the Zimbabwe economic environment. It has virtually decided to cease being a “national” airline and, instead, to be — to all intents and purposes — a Harare airline, and “to hell” with the negative economic consequences.

Moreover, one must inevitably doubt the credibility of the airline’s contention that its overriding constraint is non-availability of fuel, for it’s inconceivable that it should know in early January that it will still be suffering fuel shortages three months hence, unless they are self-created shortages due to financial constraints, or due to maladministration, or both.

It is not irrelevant to note also the very great extent that Air Zimbabwe has been the recipient of pronounced criticisms in letters to the media. The only thing that it does with absolute regularity is to hike its fares upwards, with a commensurate lowering of concern for its customers. Now it has extended that lack of concern to Bulawayo as a whole, but any negative impacts upon Bulawayo’s economy have unavoidable knock-on effects upon the Zimbabwean economy as a whole. So not only is Air Zimbabwe markedly isolating Bulawayo, but it is also severely hindering all efforts to achieve a Zimbabwean economic turnaround. In a nutshell, Air Zimbabwe has become an economic saboteur.

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Zanu PF heavyweights shield youths from law

zim indep

Clemence Manyukwe

ZANU PF officials in Mashonaland West have allegedly ordered Norton police not to arrest 21 ruling party youths wanted by the courts to answer charges related to the storming of a police base in the run-up to the March 2005 poll.

The youths are alleged to have assaulted police officers in an attempt to free a colleague.

A Harare magistrate issued warrants for their arrest last November.

The 21, together with 10 others who are in remand prison, are part of 31 Zanu PF youths who were led by Shepherd Tsomondo in staging a rescue mission to free their colleague arrested following an orgy of violence in Katanga township.

The gang assaulted and vandalised property belonging to people they perceived to be members of the opposition MDC.

On Tuesday, sources said police in Norton had been pressured not to take action against the youths, said to be roaming the streets of Katanga and Maridale.

"Some Zanu PF officials said the youths must not be arrested pending further instructions," said a source.

"Most of them are known to the police and they are seen every day, such that if an instruction to arrest them is issued, they could be netted in a matter of hours."

Contacted for comment this week, police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena said he was still checking for details on the matter.

Director of public prosecutions, Loice Matanda-Moyo, on Tuesday said the youths were still being pursued and once they were arrested, a date would be set for their court prosecution.

"They are being pursued. Maybe there has been a problem in having them arrested because of the holidays," Matanda-Moyo said.

"The other 10 who are in remand prison will appear in court on March 6. There is no date for the 21 others as they must be accounted for first," she said.

Zanu PF Mashonaland West provincial chairman, John Mafa, said there was a possibility that the youths might have absconded due to ignorance on the date for their appearance.

"It is always said that the police are threatened not to make arrests but that is not true. Zanu PF is known for observing the rule of law. Central committee members and ministers have been arrested, so what is so special about youths?" said Mafa.

In the disputed election that was held more than a month after their arrest and release on free bail, President Robert Mugabe's nephew, Patrick Zhuwao, won by 15 448 votes against the MDC's Hilda Mafudze who polled 8 312.

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Strike looms over teachers’ salary increases


Njabulo Ncube Chief Political Reporter

TEACHERS are seething with anger over “the paltry” salary increases to be effected this month amid indications that a crippling job action could hit the country’s faltering education sector if their concerns are not addressed.

The combative Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) has written to the government demanding an 836 percent salary increase to cushion the teachers from the escalating cost of living.

Before the 231 percent salary award proposed by the government, an average teacher took home $2.5 million, a far cry from the $4 million net earned by a security guard.

Even after the salary adjustments, most teachers will still be living below the poverty datum line, which has risen above $17 million.
Raymond Majongwe, the secretary-general of PTUZ, described the 231 percent raise as “inconsiderate” given the relentless price increases that have pushed inflation past 585 percent.
He said: “The PTUZ unequivocally rejects the salary award of 231 percent and condemns staff associations which signed an agreement with the government. The PTUZ will take guidance from its membership in determining the course of action to convince the government to rethink their position.”
Denis Sinyolo, the secretary general of the Zimbabwe Teachers Association (ZIMTA), the country’s largest teachers’ pressure group, said it would be premature to discuss the government award, claiming salary negotiations were still underway.

“At this stage, it will be premature to comment on the award because the process (negotiations) is still going on. Again, it would be negotiating in bad faith to disclose what demands we put on the table,” said Sinyolo in a telephone interview.

ZIMTA last November said it was perturbed by the marginalisation of the education sector, citing delays in the payment of bonuses.
Majongwe said his association was lobbying the government to waive fees for all teachers’ children in government schools.
“The campaign against high fees will be extended to include the general public, with the union urging government to regulate the fees charged by government schools,” he said.
At its congress last December, the ruling ZANU PF party resolved that salaries for teachers should be increased with a view to matching them with those of other professionals.

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‘State departments squandering yearly budgets in three months’


Charles Rukuni Bureau Chief

BULAWAYO — Government departments in Bulawayo usually exhaust their budgets within the first quarter of the year and that is why they are failing to pay their bills to the Bulawayo City Council, according to executive mayor Japhet Ndabeni-Ncube.

e was commenting last week on complaints by several councillors who expressed dismay at the mounting government debt to the council.
Government departments owed the council nearly $86 billion at the end of September last year.
Alderman Matson Hlalo said the government should take the lead in paying its debts so that the council could then put pressure on residents.
Residents owed the council $270.3 billion, with the total debt to the municipality standing at a staggering $396.5 billion.
The council earned revenue of $494.7 billion up to September and spent $363.9 billion during the same period.
Hlalo said according to the figures provided by the city treasurer, there was no attempt whatsoever by the government to reduce its debt.
The figures showed that government debt had been increasing steadily from just over $30 billion in May to nearly $45 billion in June, $50 billion in July and $75 billion in August.
Alderman Charles Mpofu suggested that the municipality should use the urban councils association to exert pressure on the government because it was not taking them seriously.
“We take ourselves to be part of government but the government has no respect for us at all. Instead, they lambast us for not providing services, when they are not paying for the same services,” he said.
The government has so far dismissed three executive mayors countrywide for alleged mismanagement.
First to go was the mayor of Harare, Elias Mudzuri. He was followed by the mayor of Mutare, Misheck Kagurabadza, and only last month the mayor of Chitungwiza, Misheck Shoko was relieved of his duties.
All three are members of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party and they have been replaced by commissions that are believed to be pro-ZANU PF.
The mayor of Bulawayo is a member of the MDC.
Ndabeni-Ncube said the government was aware of its mounting debt because the Minister of Local Government, Ignatius Chombo, was briefed about the situation every month.
He said at one stage the central bank had suggested that it pay the debt and then recover its money from the government ministries concerned.
“They are aware of the debt and they are extremely embarrassed about it. I am made to understand, however, that the departments run out of funds in the first three months of the financial year and they cannot pay us for the rest of the year. But the government seems to be listening because the issue is very embarrassing to them,” the mayor said.
In an earlier debate, councillor Phil Lamola had suggested that the Bulawayo municipality should pursue promises made by Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa in his 2006 budget.
Murerwa said the government would pay its debts directly to service providers and local authorities.
The minister complained that though budgetary provisions had been made under various ministries’ votes, service providers including parastatals and local authorities were owed huge sums of money.
“This is not only poor financial management on the part of accounting officers but this also compromises the viability of suppliers,” Murerwa said.
“In line with government’s commitment to pay what it owes,” he added, “ I am proposing to set aside resources to settle these debts. Payments will be made directly to suppliers once the amount of debt has been reconciled and confirmed by the debtor ministry.”
Murerwa’s budget has just been approved but it is not clear when his plan will be put into action. Meanwhile the government’s debt continues to mount.
A local daily this week reported that the provincial governor for Bulawayo Metropolitan Province, Cain Mathema, had stepped in to ensure that the council recovered its revenue.
Council spokesman Pathisa Nyathi, however, said there was nothing new in the story.
Although the paper made it look as though Mathema’s statement was a recent one made after the full council meeting of Wednesday last week when the councillors complained about the mounting debt, the paper had actually picked it up from council minutes which referred to correspondence in November.
The council’s finance and development committee had voiced, at its meeting on October 3, concern about the mounting government debt, which stood at $88.2 billion.
In his response, the acting provincial administrator for Bulawayo wrote to the council on November 11, merely stating that he had written to the affected government departments “reminding them about the need to clear their arrears”.

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Counting the cost


THESE are indeed desperate times for Zimbabwe. In the throes of deep-seated payments difficulties, the country has been left out of the first phase of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s debt forgiveness programme.

Among the countries benefiting from the exercise are Benin, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guyana, Honduras, Madagascar, Mali, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
Yet, it goes without saying that debt relief for Zimbabwe, which has such a high debt service ratio, could have gone a long way in easing the pressure on the country as well as stabilising its finances.

The unfortunate development, which has predictably only elicited a muted response from the powers-that-be, is the price Zimbabwe, facing swingeing balance of payments problems, is paying for intransigence and the subsequent fall-out with the IMF as well as the country’s increasing isolation. It is now counting the cost. Coming after those threats of the dreaded expulsion from the fund, this can only be a red flag the country cannot ignore.

While fences have not yet irretrievably broken down, the IMF, seen by the country’s political leadership as the evil face of imperialism, is sending a clear message — Zimbabwe is, for now, not part of its global plans because of its pariah state tag, one of the major reasons balance of payments support from the Bretton Woods institution remains on ice. A lot is said by the unsaid! Unpalatable as it might sound, this is the harsh truth.

It is no secret that for a long time now, the Zimbabwean government and the international monetarists have been haggling over critical policy issues. The IMF feels that Zimbabwe has not been implementing broad and sound structural reforms around the management of the budget deficit, interest and exchange rates, all of which impact on inflation and the stability of the economy in general.

True the country has, through the more pragmatic Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, which advocates a deeper rapprochement with the broader international community, initiated a series of reforms to eradicate the source of its payments difficulties. But the IMF is not overly impressed as it has categorically stated that these are not good enough, meaning Zimbabwe still has to do much more.

It is also pertinent to point out that despite claims by some self-serving government apologists who pass for graphic examples of articulate ignorance, the IMF does not have effective authority over the domestic policies of its members. It is in no position to force a member country to spend more on schools or hospitals and less on buying military aircraft or constructing grandiose presidential palaces. Which is why it sometimes has to employ tough love on certain countries by excluding them from some of its programmes, such as debt relief, as a way of forcing the countries to play ball.
Indeed, the fund’s managing director Rodrigo de Rato said almost as much last week when he said that there were other countries that were also eligible and were at various stages on the road to qualification for the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative. Given what is happening on the ground, we do not have any reason to believe that Zimbabwe is not one of those countries.

Of course we are only too aware that there can be no greater error than to expect or calculate upon real favours from nation to nation or international organisations to nations because we know that there is no free lunch in the world. In any case, as we have repeatedly stated, we do not accept the mystique of the IMF nor do we hold any brief for some of its outworn shibboleths.

But the fact still remains that whether or not it is influenced by those countries Zimbabwe accuses of seeking regime change, the IMF is a key international institution whose significance and influence can never be overemphasised for very obvious reasons — the most important one being the change in any negative perceptions and seal of approval that comes with IMF support, which can unlock the much-needed support of other international financiers that are currently in wait-and-see mode. These financiers take their cue from the IMF and without its stamp of approval, no matter how many times the country passes the begging bowl around, no international financier will twitch. At best, all the country will get are good words minus real support.

If nothing else, this is the reason why Zimbabwe, which has embarked on the incipient process to re-engage the fund from which it faces the spectre of an inglorious exit, should knuckle down to the international monetarists’ demands. It has nothing to lose but a lot to gain by taking this route. That the country has not fared any better in the absence of support from the IMF, which lends to countries with balance of payments problems, adds weight to this argument.

Only this way will Zimbabwe be able to show that it cherishes its membership of the IMF. Otherwise all those commendable efforts to clear the country’s arrears accumulated over the years to prevent the fund from slamming the door on Zimbabwe, will come to naught. Now, that would be a tragedy.

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Why Zimbabwe shamed us all


Letter from America by Ken Mufuka

AS I have tried to show, the Zimbabwean land issue had nothing to do with production or farming. The involvement of war veterans in 1999 in the Sosve area started when a white farmer refused to allow tribespeople to bury their loved ones in a sacred burial ground on his farm.

In this particular case, the government supported the white farmer, but soon realised that the issue was explosive and that the war veterans could be harnessed against it in the upcoming election. In my belief, it was the treacherous Jonathan Moyo who tied land to the economy as a political paradigm.

President Robert Mugabe's rule exemplifies the political paradigm that imperialists have no friends, only permanent interests, and that African leaders fail to grasp this truth at their own expense. In my opinion, the old man is already history, and for the reason that while dealing with the treachery of the imperialists on one side, he failed to mind his economy.

I will give only one example here. Patrick Bond and Masimba Manyanya have provided almost an exact date for the plunge in their masterpiece entitled Zimbabwe Plunge.

“Mugabe was a darling of the West, not for his erudite English, or his impeccable suits and a rose on his lapel. The secret is that the Lancaster agreement carried over two conditions: one, carrying over white property rights as is and, the other, carrying over international debts from the Smith regime.”

Sooner or later, combined with his own new debts, in 1998 the World Bank came to collect its pound of flesh, a cool U$870 million or the equivalent of 38 percent of export revenue.

His own profligate style of government, called Huya Tidye in Karanga, was partly to blame. His cronies looted, starting with the Willowgate scandals, the Housing Fund for Veterans, the War Veterans Fund, and a host of other worthwhile schemes. Unless one understands this theory, kudya (in black English called big eating), one will miss the bitterness of the war veterans and people like President Canaan Banana. President Mugabe's opponents say that the inner circle were allowed to eat till they vomited.

That is why 50 000 veterans threatened civil war and were granted, against all advice by international bankers, the Z$50 000 gratuity and subsequent salaries of Z$2 000 per month each. On of November 14 1997, the Zimbabwe dollar lost 75 percent of its value. The rest is history.
President Mugabe also made another fatal mistake. It was not the war in the Congo: it was the fact that his intention there was to forestall US influence.

The European imperialists and the US had decided to redraw the Congo map, allowing for a pro-Western zone in the platinum-rich east central region. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni sent troops to the Congo, but on the right side, and remains largely a darling of the West. The World Bank suspended its balance of payments support.
Here is the juicy part. The World Bank is not interested in paying war veterans, though there are technical problems as well. Chenjerai Hunzvi, the late leader of the veterans, was himself cooling out in Poland during the war.

In 1980, there were 40 000 veterans. In 1997, there were 50 000 qualifying for remuneration, after some had died in the intervening years.
President Mugabe is correct in saying that the imperialists supported his enemies. By the end of the century, the imperialists had identified young blood inside Zimbabwe’s ruling ZANU PF party itself, and when these were afraid to break off, young blood was identified outside the party.
With all the foreign exchange generating industries destroyed, the tourist industry, the tobacco industry, the manufacturing industry, the transport industry and the mining industries placed in a cooling-off period, the old man literally ran out of money. There was nothing left for kudya.

With four million refugees abroad, there are more exiles now than during the Smith regime. The imperialists are now in a waiting game. Zimbabwe money is virtually valueless. My estimate is that at least one million insurance policies and pensioners have been driven to penury.

The old man has acknowledged his sense of encirclement by cursing them out in every speech he gives. The imperialists have lots of experience and patience. They, like jackals, wait it out until the encircled quarry falls down on its own.
(This is part of a book research project. The author welcomes suggestions from readers. He can be contacted on the e-mail address

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Refugees may galvanise Mbeki to act


Mavis Makuni Own Correspondent

VIOLENT clashes between foreigners and South Africans who resent the presence of immigrants from the rest of the continent have so far been attributed to xenophobia on the part of the locals but it may be time for African leaders to take responsibility by acknowledging that these hostilities are symptomatic of something more serious.

The latest confrontations, which occurred at a squatter camp near Pretoria last week, resulted in the death of five Zimbabweans. The violence erupted as the foreigners, who included Mozambicans, returned to the area after having fled an earlier outbreak of hostilities. The South Africans loathe the foreigners for crowding them out of the job market and generally minimising their share of the economic pie. The crux of the matter is that the locals cannot be faulted for failing to understand why the millions who descend on South Africa cannot stay in their own independent countries.

South Africa has been inundated with an unabating flood of immigrants from the rest of Africa since the advent of a new democratic dispensation following the abolition of apartheid about 10 years ago.
The new arrivals make a beeline for the continent's economic powerhouse to escape grinding poverty, unemployment, persecution and untenable political situations in some of their own countries. They see South Africa as the “greener pastures” where they can restore the personal dignity that has eluded them in their own nations and improve the quality of their lives and those of their families back home.
The irony is that things should be the other way round. Most of the countries from which these political and economic refugees are fleeing had a head start of up to 40 years over South Africa in the independence and sovereignty stakes. Logic would imply that they have had more time to develop their economies, fulfill national aspirations and improve the quality of life of their populations. But alas, nothing is logical in Africa. The reality is that the longer a country has been self-governing, the further it is from meeting the aspirations of its people: the economy is ruined, infrastructure is dilapidated, the population has been pauperised and the governance is repressive.

An unacceptable dichotomy in the face of this pervasive rot is that the more dire the economic and political situation becomes in such countries, the more affluent and arrogant the ruling elites become.

The question is, how much of the rest of Africa's dereliction of economic and political responsibility can South Africa compensate for without eventually descending into the same dire straits itself? It is perhaps fitting that the man who must lose the most sleep over these questions, South African President Thabo Mbeki, is also the architect of the New Economic Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), which seeks to promote good governance and financial transparency on the continent.
Mbeki is widely perceived to have so far made only half-hearted efforts to champion the ideals of his brainchild in practical terms because of the questionable policy of "quiet diplomacy" which he has adopted with respect to the situation in South Africa's northern neighbour, Zimbabwe, which has rendered him politically blind, deaf and dumb.
Significantly, however, there is nothing remotely “quietly diplomatic” about the increasingly tough stance his country is taking against desperate Zimbabweans forced to seek economic sustenance in his country. These are regularly deported and allegedly routinely harassed by South African law enforcers. Last month, a planeload of these hapless Zimbabweans were forcibly flown to Harare.

This would seem to imply that Mbeki's government is prepared to get tough with the victims of the economic and political crisis in this country while continuing to appease the political leadership responsible for the situation.

Ordinary South Africans who have been accused of being xenophobic towards foreigners are basically saying to the visitors: go back and enjoy the milk and honey in your countries and leave us to enjoy ours. To a lesser extent, the people of Botswana, where Zimbabweans are also being given the cold shoulder, are sending out the same message.

Black South Africans have a history of tolerance and respect for people from other parts of the continent who sought employment and undertook academic studies there even during the apartheid era. But what is happening now is not normal immigration but a stampede from countries that have failed their own people. Searching questions must now be asked about what needs to change in those countries to make it worthwhile for their nationals to remain at home.

This is not a problem that can be solved in the long run by raids and deportations. The root causes must be confronted. Mbeki has in the past flinched from the responsibility to provide the leadership necessary in this respect.

Ironically, it is the sheer scale of the pressures exerted on his country's resources and infrastructure by the millions descending on South Africa from different unstable and misgoverned parts of Africa that may be the catalyst that finally galvanises Mbeki to abandon his softly-softly disposition towards some of his errant African peers. The only hope for reversing the advanced rot in most misgoverned and impoverished African countries is to insist on the observance of the NEPAD principles.

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Chombo’s urban ‘purge’ goes unchecked


Kumbirai Mafunda Senior Business Reporter

TO some Zimbabweans Local Government, Public Works and Urban Development Minister Ignatius Chombo never ceases to amaze but to others he has long become an agent of a serious war of attrition through his brazen crusade against opposition-run municipalities.

If stricken Israeli leader Ariel Sharon could be described as “the bulldozer” for razing Palestinian homes, then Chombo may not be far from qualifying for the same label, not only for commanding the demolition of people’s dwellings after the March elections, but for a great deal more.

Last year’s razing of urban dwellings and informal traders’ stalls — which left close to 700 000 people without a roof over their heads and has unnecessarily attracted international concern — provoked the inference. Chombo’s ministry headed the clean-up campaign, dubbed Operation Murambatsvina, which the government tried to sell as a beautification campaign.

But the chaotic exercise has cost many Zimbabweans a decent living. And just before Zimbabweans could come out of the shock of the demolitions and before they could finish picking up the pieces, the local government minister is once again jarring nerves in major cities dominated by the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in Harare, Bulawayo, Mutare and Chitungwiza.
“It is a very clear sign that Chombo is out to drive the MDC out of local governance be it in urban or rural areas,” says John Makumbe, a political science lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe.
“His objective is to have nothing under MDC governance and therefore, reduce the space under the jurisdiction of the MDC,” he adds.

Just four days after Christmas, Chombo dismantled the MDC-dominated Mutare City Council by suspending executive mayor Misheck Kagurabadza and all the councillors. Almost at the same time, he suspended Chitungwiza executive mayor Misheck Shoko.

Their offence was “non-compliance with orders and ill discipline.”

This effectively means that all the time and resources committed by the residents of Chitungwiza and Mutare towards choosing their own representatives have gone to waste.
Chombo considers the voters to have made an erroneous selection.

Observers say whoever coined the adage “make hay while the sun shines” could have had the minister in mind, as he appears to be exploiting the current infighting that is rocking the country’s main opposition party.

The MDC leadership is currently preoccupied with retaining control of the once formidable party after a camp led by secretary-general Welshman Ncube broke ranks with the party’s popular leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, over last year’s senate elections.
This, critics say, has emboldened Chombo to wield his axe on the remaining vestiges of MDC local authorities while the bickering, which has significantly weakened the party, rages on.
“Chombo knows that neither of the two factions has either the will or the time and resources to challenge him,” observes Makumbe.
“They (the MDC) are busy with frivolous issues and they are actually seeing each other as enemies rather than seeing Chombo as a destroyer of civil administration. They are waking up everyday to find out what Tsvangirai or Ncube has said,” he says.
Although Chombo, who argues that he is trying to regularise service delivery in municipalities, has replaced the MDC-controlled councils with handpicked commissions, critics point out that the government is attempting to bring on board “obedient” people who are easy to manipulate as the commissioners are mainly ruling party activists.
“The existence of mayors in urban areas is a plus for MDC in terms of it being able to engage with the masses and prove its ability to govern,” says Ernest Mudzengi.
“So the appointment of pliable officers could be a process through which ZANU PF wants to neutralise what could be an MDC power-base.”

In Mutare the commission now running the affairs of the city is chaired by Kenneth Saruchera, the ruling party’s spokesperson for Manicaland Province and other failed politicians like Ellen Gwaradzimba. A senior member of the party’s women’s league in the province, she was trounced by Kagurabadza in the 2003 mayoral elections.

Irene Zindi, a former ZANU PF MP for Hatfield trounced by MDC spokesperson for finance and economics Tapiwa Mashakada, who has fruitlessly sought to stand for parliamentary elections in the province is another appointee. The other commissioners include Ronald Chayambuka, Abbiot Maronge, Didymus Matongo and ZANU PF central committee member Esau Mupfumi who served in a team that probed Kagurabadza.
“These are coups on democratically elected institutions,” said Nelson Chamisa, the opposition MDC’s spokesperson who blames the government-induced shortages of fuel and foreign currency for the sub-standard service delivery in local government.
“They have realised that their people are not electable and they now want to get into office through the back door,” he added.
After subverting the people’s will by hounding Harare’s first opposition mayor, Elias Mudzuri, out of office in 2003 and replacing him with a commission chaired by Sekesai Makwavarara, a former MDC councillor, Chombo craftily targeted Mutare Mayor Kagurabadza and Chitungwiza’s Shoko.

But critics say Kagura-badza’s suspension was a retributive act for his unmasking of the government in the eyes of United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan’s special envoy Anna Kajumulo Tibaijuka who visited Zimbabwe last year to assess the effects of the demolition blitz.

“They are rejected and recycled politicians,” says Kagurabadza. “These are people who have totally failed in their political careers. They are not using the back door to come back into politics but they are finding their way under the door,” he adds.
While Zimbabweans could be pondering on Chombo’s next target now that he has “successfully” wrested control of three MDC-led municipalities, the minister is making the few remaining MDC councils quake with fear. Chombo has also tormented and frustrated opposition-led councils in Chegutu, Kariba and Bulawayo, which analysts predict is his next target because Executive Mayor Japhet Ndabeni-Ncube has previously clashed with the government over malnutrition deaths in the city.
When will it all end?
“Not until he has driven every MDC council out of office,” Makumbe says. He states that Chombo would want to wipe out all urban councils under MDC rule before 2008 when presidential elections are scheduled to take place.
“He now wants a clean plate to serve either Mugabe or his successor to whom he will say ‘there are no flies or maggots in the ointment’,” said Makumbe.
Nonetheless, the opposition party, long accused of being ineffective, warns it will not fold its hands in the face of Chombo’s crusade.
“We are going to confront the government,” declares Chamisa.

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Spare the nation the crocodile tears, Prof


Personal Glimpses with Mavis Makuni

ZIMBABWE’S former universally feared and detested propaganda chief, Jonathan Moyo, has been doing his best to distance himself from his belligerent and volatile persona at the height of his powers in a bid to project a new image as a champion of democracy and human rights.

Just before Christmas, he bared his soul in a newspaper article in which he claimed, among other things, that during his tenure as the most unpopular minister in President Robert Mugabe's government he had often been “abused” by state agencies such as the Central Intelligence Organisation which allegedly made him carry the cane for their misdeeds and machinations.

"When I was in government it was routine for these CIO agents and their factional counterparts in government and ZANU PF politicians to abuse me as a scapegoat for anything they were unable to explain or defend," Moyo wrote.

The former (mis-)information and publicity czar, who believes a smear campaign against him orchestrated by the ruling party is underway, also complained that he was unfairly sacrificed with regard to the Tsholotsho debacle, in which he was accused of being the ringleader in an alleged plot to stage a palace coup against the ZANU PF presidium. Moyo's article was a weepy screed consisting of a mile-long list of grievances against the establishment for unfairly casting him as the villain responsible for crafting repressive legislation such as the draconian Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA), the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) and the NGO Bill.

My reaction after reading through the learned professor's attempt to launder and alter recent history was that someone should offer him this advice which I have found invaluable in my life: don't explain, your friends don't need it and your enemies won't believe it anyway. Moyo does not do himself any favours by giving the impression that he was willing to endure the humiliation of being manipulated like a puppet on a string for five long years.
What hope is there for this country if a highly educated and trained political scientist can allow himself to be so totally compromised?
It is depressing to think that there could be more officials currently holding high positions who are similarly going along with what they know to be wrong out of self-interest and preservation.
If the Member of Parliament for Tsholotsho was as principled as he would have us believe now, he should have spoken out and if need be, resigned then. Standing up to be counted only has moral significance when the person who does it has everything to lose at the time he shows himself to have the courage of his convictions. When there is no longer anything to lose, as is the case in Moyo's situation, any Tom, Dick and Harry can feign the bravery and moral indignation the fired former minister is trying to exhibit. Unfortunately, it only comes across as a pathetic case of sour grapes from someone ejected from a cherished position.
No intelligent Zimbabwean who remembers the menacing zeal with which Moyo conducted himself as the most vociferous promoter and defender of the very legislation, policies and actions he is now trying to distance himself from can believe a word he says. His belated attempt to exonerate himself of his past ruthless misdeeds by screaming, "somebody made me do it" only serves to compound his culpability and blameworthiness. Did he not have a conscience and principles then?
It is said that all it takes for evil to prevail is for good men (and women) to remain silent. Moyo not only went along with the official abuses and irregularities he is now seeking to expose, he emulated them by in turn subjecting fellow Zimbabweans to the same cruel treatment. Moyo constantly picked irrational and unnecessary fights with civil society, the media and other stakeholders in a manner that went far beyond the call of duty.

Rather than portray a reluctant participant, his demeanour and actions were those of an enthusiastic prime mover who was determined to leave no stone unturned in promoting his master’s agenda.

Moyo was so anxious to be seen as the only competent minister in the whole of government that his cabinet colleagues once complained that he was encroaching on their portfolios. Who can forget his withering language when he responded swaggeringly insisting that he was an “active” minister of information who had a mandate to speak for the government on all issues. This was an unmistakable dig at his cabinet colleagues and predecessors in the information ministry.

The former spin-doctor may conveniently have forgotten but Zimbabweans still remember his bombastic outbursts when the South African weekly, the Sunday Times published an expose on his stealthy forays into South Africa for shopping sprees. At that time Moyo was up to his ears in spearheading the "Hondo ye Minda" propaganda blitz whose main thrust was that land reform had been a huge success and those who implied that there were food shortages in Zimbabwe were saboteurs or enemies of the state. Surely, he cannot claim that anybody put into his mouth the noxious words that rolled off his acerbic tongue when pictures of his heavily laden mini-convoy were splashed in the respected newspaper?

Moyo will go down in history as the worst and most unpopular minister Zimbabwe has ever had. He single-handedly dismantled the media as it was known in this country and rendered thousands of journalists who opposed his authoritarian ideas jobless. These blameless men and women have dealt with the injustice of their victimisation and sacrifice at the altar of Moyo's political expediency with dignity and fortitude and are forging ahead with rebuilding their lives. He should do the same quietly.

Moyo had a choice to resign or go along with the policies he is now denouncing and he chose the latter to guarantee himself a seat on the gravy train. He cannot now expect anyone to take his "cry baby" outpourings seriously after previously exhibiting an image of invincible and unassailable impunity against those he ruthlessly treated shabbily and unjustly. Spare the nation the crocodile tears, professor!

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Defection fears hit ZANU PF


Felix Njini Chief Reporter
Fresh ruling party purge looms
A FRESH purge is looming in ZANU PF as the ruling party moves to sweep away the last vestiges of the infamous Tsholotsho Indaba that threatened to split it in 2004, amid niggling fears of possible defections by senior party officials.

The purge, which is set to start in the politically volatile Masvingo province, is expected to extend to other provinces as the party moves to rid itself of “rebel” elements before grappling with the vexatious succession issue that threatens to tear it apart.

Sources within ZANU PF said provincial probe teams appointed by the party’s secretary for administration, Didymus Mutasa, have produced damning reports linking some party officials to the formation of the United People’s Movement (UPM), whose chief architect is former information minister Jonathan Moyo.

Party insiders said bold moves to expel suspended ZANU PF provincial chairman for Masvingo, Daniel Shumba, former provincial governor for the province, Josiah Hungwe, president of the chief’s council Fortune Charumbira, Gutu South Member of Parliament Shuvai Mahofa and Zaka East Member of Parliament Tinos Rusere, were underway.

While it was not possible to get a comment from Hungwe, Charumbira, Shumba, Mahofa and Rusere, sources alleged they have long been suspected of fanning instability in the fractious province but added the onus now lay with the Masvingo provincial executive to prove the allegations.
Shumba, who has denied any UPM links, told The Financial Gazette in December that he would make known his future plans soon, declaring, “I fear God and respect men.”

Mutasa, who is also the State Security Minister, told The Financial Gazette he would not hesitate to “ruthlessly crush dissent.”

“If the party says look at that I will ruthlessly deal with them. They can only play hide-and-seek up to a point. They cannot hide throughout, we will eventually flash them out,’ Mutasa said.
In Matabeleland, the same sources said, the axe is likely to fall on outspoken and firebrand war veterans chairman, Jabulani Sibanda and former Matabeleland North chairman Jacob Mudenda, both of who were suspended from the party.

Before his suspension, the outspoken Sibanda had clashed with the province’s top leadership including former ZIPRA intelligence supremo, Dumiso Dabengwa and ZANU PF national chairman John Nkomo.
“We have evidence that some our members are trying to form their own party. It is an established thing but sometimes they turn around and pretend they are part of ZANU PF,” said a well-placed ZANU PF official.

“It’s them who are playing a game of deception but it’s the norm that those who do not want to abide by the rules are rebels and they must be fired.”
ZANU PF went into the March 2005 polls weakened by infighting, which reared its ugly head after the Tsholotsho indaba.
Six party provincial chairmen were suspended from the party for five years for attended an unsanctioned meeting at Dingane Primary School in Tsholotsho that was to influence the outcome of the party nominations.

In Masvingo, the Hungwe faction also ran into trouble with senior ruling party officials when it allegedly sponsored and campaigned for independent candidates in last November’s senate polls.
Sources said the independent candidates, Last Chiondengwa and Anthony Kundishora, who lost the elections, were put forward to test the waters ahead of the launch of the UPM.

The Hungwe faction is also said to have been actively pushing for Charumbira to campaign for the presidency of the senate as part of the broader strategy to gain a stranglehold on strategic positions.

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Joy at Cabs, anguish at Intermarket

zim indep

ON January 6, at around 13:20 hours, I went to Intermarket Building Society, First Street branch, intending to make a deposit.

I found a long queue comprising mainly of relatively-old Zimbabweans.

There are 10 teller cubicles in the branch but only one teller was serving customers.

I briefly stood in the queue then approached the branch customer services supervisor after losing my patience.

I made reference to the long queue and the gentleman told me that two of his tellers were sick and there was nothing he could do.

He spoke in such a hostile manner that to me the message was: "We are doing you a favour by providing you with banking services. Go back to the queue!"

I had another deposit to make at the First Street branch of Cabs. So I left Intermarket for Cabs where I found a relatively short queue, mainly because every teller cubicle was manned.

Within five minutes I was done with my deposit and gone. The difference in service delivery was striking. I left Cabs for Intermarket, Sam Nujoma branch.

I was happy to find there was a short queue and manned teller cubicles. I was however later disappointed when a certain gentleman came in and jumped the queue.

I enquired from the teller why she was allowing people to jump the queue, but I was vehemently told that the gentleman was a manager in the bank!

To senior and head office management at Intermarket, please be advised that customers are not concerned about the spaciousness of your branches, but the quality and timely service delivery.

It's not only spacious premises but the good quality of employees that do the trick. If you employ people with the wrong attitude, then your service delivery will be compromised.

Turned Off,


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We saw it coming long back

zim indep

THE first hint that Zimbabwe was one of the many African countries not headed for a golden age of reconciliation and unity might have been the late Eddison Zvobgo's promulgation of the constitution for an executive president.

The late Joshua Nkomo had good faith in the unity but President Robert Mugabe blessed himself with all the power to enforce his dictatorial rule.

The taking over of the first executive presidency by President Mugabe in 1987 was a clear sign indeed that Zimbabwe had changed for the worse. A few visionary people started to make noise but some were never seen again while others were offered huge amounts of money to lure them to join the corrupt train from Harare to Zvimba.

If Nkomo was a colleague of President Mugabe during the struggle and Nkomo was for the people and Mugabe was individualistic, is that a vindication for Nkomo and his fighting for individualistic type of rule or vise versa?

I am highlighting here the pure cynicism in the pursuit of power of the regime of President Mugabe.

I remember very well during the burial of Nkomo when people climbed up trees around the Heroes' Acre for a better view of the proceedings. Also at hand were almost all the Mugabe cronies to pay their last respects.

Leaders like Mugabe himself, the late Simon Muzenda, John Nkomo, Dumiso Dabengwa and Ignatious Chombo were all present. My question on that day was: "Didn't all these leaders respect and appreciate Nkomo's true leadership?"

Of course they did and felt him to be very powerful. I even think they also wished they could muster such huge gatherings like we saw in July 1999.

If for some reason I was asked to give a speech, I would ask President Mugabe and his cronies if they did not hear Nkomo calling on them one last time to keep his legacy alive, rebuild a sound economy and stop corruption.

Though this question would be provocative, I wonder if anyone would care.

The point is, July 1999 was the time we lost a man who fought not only for Matabeleland or Mashonaland, but the entire nation unlike Mugabe, known to promote Zezuruland.

Nicholas Nickson Mada,


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Time Bank article not factual

zim indep
Letters  Friday, 13 January 2006

WE write in response to an article "Time Bank to open in March", (Zimbabwe
Independent, January 6), written by Shakeman Mugari.
We would like to put it on record that this article is not factual at all.
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has not at any time agreed with Time Bank
Zimbabwe Ltd that the institution will open in March.
At no point has the central bank received a rescue package in respect of
Time Bank Zimbabwe.
In relation to the RBZ and Time Bank Zimbabwe case over the PTA Bank
facility, this matter is before the courts of law.
The central bank has not agreed to pay Time Bank $200 billion as part of
The three options referred to in the article have not been tabled before the
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and we reiterate that the central bank has not
agreed to pay Time Bank Zimbabwe Ltd any amount of money as settlement in
the case involving the PTA Bank facility.
In relation to the case in which Time Bank is challenging its placement
under curatorship, this matter is, again, before the courts and is yet to be
We however would like to state that the decision to place Time Bank Zimbabwe
Ltd was not unlawful and rushed, neither was it driven by predetermined
The decision to place Time Bank under curatorship was made after considering
that the institution was not in a sound financial condition.
N Mataruka,
Senior division chief
Bank licensing, supervision
& surveillance, RBZ.

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