HARARE - The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has
finally admitted that the launch of the Zimbabwe Allied Banking Group
(ZABG), will be delayed amid fears that owners of the failed banks which
will form the new entity, are resisting the move.
President Mugabe has assented to the Troubled Financial Institutions
(Resolution) Act, further delays are set to be experienced by restless
depositors, who can not continue waiting to access their funds.
RBZ governor, Gideon Gono, who, in his third quarter monetary policy review
statement last year, assured the nation that the new bank, would open its
doors to the public at the beginning of the year, has admitted that he has
failed to fulfill his promise.
In a statement released
yesterday, Gono said the establishment of the new bank was subject to
"strict observance of the necessary and enabling legal instruments and
legislation governing such establishment" which the central bank was
currently working towards fulfilling.
Gono, who has been touted
as the architect of Zimbabwe's economic revival, is, on the other hand,
facing a bruising fight with owners of the failed banks, who have already
indicated that they would seek legal recourse over government moves to take
over their banks.
Time Bank, one of the institutions to be
accommodated under the ZABG project, has already taken the RBZ to court over
its placement under curatorship. The bank is arguing that the central bank
did not act in good faith when it placed it under curatorship as it had a
number of pending court cases in the High Court against the
Trust Bank, which is listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange
has also indicated its intention to take the central bank to court, although
senior bank officials have remained mum on the issue.
Bank's Jeff Muzwimbi, recently complained that the ZABG concept was not
widely consulted and that a number of shareholders in the failed financial
institutions did not know how the new bank would operate.
said moves to group the failed financial institutions under ZABG, was
suspicious and that a number of senior bank executives and shareholders
would resist it.
The new bank, is also faced with various
challenges which the central bank had overlooked when it mooted the idea.
The issue of staff from the failed institutions, which is slowly becoming a
thorny issue, has not been fully addressed resulting in some of the staff
members from the closed banks expressing fears over their future in the new
IF the unseemly exchanges between Jonathan
Moyo, on the one hand, and John Nkomo and Dumiso Dabengwa, on the o?her,
continue, there is no telling how much damage could be inflicted on
Zimbabwe's international reputation.
Clearly, there are people
who have given up on this reputation already. Their attitude is probably
that the country can sink no lower than it already has.
Most of this can be attributed to how arrogantly Zanu PF has reacted to
every criticism from outside, and even from within its own
But there must be people who feel that the country does
not deserve all this notoriety. The exchanges may illustrate just how dirty
Zanu PF politics have become. Some commentators have opined that this is an
indication of a party on its last legs, a party bereft of all
Others believe President Robert Mugabe, as leader
of the party, has allowed this nonsense to go on for too long. Again, where
Jonathan Moyo is concerned, there seems to be an unhealthy tendency to let
him continue unchecked for far too long.
It is true that
this is, strictly speaking, a spat between Zanu PF politicians. But the
consequences could reverberate far and wide. If an end is not brought to
this absurd sniping among Zanu PF leaders soon, then the party could sink
even lower in the esteem of many people than it has
For many long-suffering Zimbabweans, people who
have watched helplessly as this party has squandered, with breath-taking
impunity, the international goodwill we enjoyed at independence, its
disintegration into so many little pieces would be a most welcome
Perhaps at the end of it all could emerge a style
of politics not steeped in the violence ethos of the liberation struggle.
This is what has ruined politics in Zimbabwe, the idea that to be on top of
the political heap, you need to kill, or you will be
Nobody wishes the party any ill will, but if its
leaders are willing to commit suicide by letting people like Jonathan Moyo
run rings around them, then all we can say is they richly deserve
The lessons for the future must include not taking
the people so much for granted that you believe you are invincible and can
mess up the country without paying a price at the polls.
Next March, the people may have an opportunity to end the humiliation
brought upon them and their country by Zanu PF.
HARARE - The
pro-government Commission running the affairs of the city of Harare has not
collected refuse in most residential areas for the past fortnight, raising
fears of a disease outbreak during this rainy season.
council workers have also failed to repair burst water pipes and sewerage
systems, creating pools of raw sewerage on the streets of most western
residential suburbs of Dziwarasekwa 2, Dzivarasekwa Extension, Warren Park,
Kuwadzana, Kambuzuma and Highfield.
In separate visits to these
residential suburbs, The Daily News Online witnessed raw sewerage flowing
freely on the tarmac and dusty streets where young children played their
Michael Nyamurata, 43, of Warren Park in Harare said the
government had fired the first democratically elected mayor of Harare
Engineer Elias Mudzuri for alleged corruption, chaotic service delivery and
maladministration, yet the commission was being left
He said: "The commission of Sekesai Makwavarara and
her other Zanu PF supporters has failed the residents. Refuse collection has
not taken place for the past two weeks. Residents have kept their bins, on
the streets, expecting the council vehicles to come and collect them but
they have not done that.
"Dogs rummage through the bins and
the streets, as you can see, have become so littered. Our women have had to
heap the rubbish on the gates. Is this not what the health officials say
causes malaria and other diseases?"
attributed the delay in refuse collection to the acute shortages of diesel
and the breakdown of council vehicles in the Department of Public
A Dzivarasekwa resident, Memory Makawa, 35, said the
Commission running the affairs of Harare City Council had to openly tell
residents that they had failed to deliver.
her other Commissioners are total failures," she said. "Everything has been
manipulated to suit Zanu PF agenda of controlling the capital city. When
government appointed the commission, it claimed that it was doing so to
replace an inefficient administration of Mudzuri. It is evident that the
commission has done worse than Mudzuri. We expected them to show us the
difference from what Mudzuri was doing. Roads have
Makwavarara and Leslie Gwindi, the public
relations manager for the Harare City Council were not available for
An official at Town House yesterday said: "Ms
Makwavarara has left for the day and will not be available tomorrow. Gwindi
has not come to the office today. Refuse collection is going on but maybe
there are fuel and vehicle problems."
Mike Davies, the
chairman of the Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) last week said
the commission running Harare was illegitimate and therefore owed its
allegiance to the government.
"What they are doing is
illegitimate," he said. "As CHRA, we insist that elections for the vacant
position of Executive Mayor should be held as a matter of urgency."
President Tsvangirai's Tuesday message to the
people of Zimbabwe
Slightly over two months before the supposed
Parliamentary election, the continued absence of a visible political
commitment to put together the requisite institutions to manage this process
is causing widespread anxiety among the people.
of the authorities in complying with newly adopted regional standard on the
conduct of democratic elections remains questionable.
One of the
critical institutions to handle such an important process is an Independent
Electoral Commission. This body is yet to be established.
shall be mandated to access adequate State funding for this purpose; to
recruit, train and deploy staff; to prepare voting materials; to supervise
the campaign process and to attend to all electoral needs before and after
the polling day. Given the time left, that assignment shall be an impossible
We recognise the difficulties of having an election in
March. All indications show that Zimbabwe is bound to fail a SADC electoral
public acceptance test. For this reason, our position remains
Given our experience over the past five years, we need
an opportunity to express our political feelings with a clear understanding
that elections occupy a central role in political transitions, particularly
where previous elections have been disputed and there is evidence that past
electoral processes were deeply flawed.
Under the new SADC
principles and guidelines, governments must establish impartial,
all-inclusive, competent and accountable national electoral bodies staffed
by qualified personnel to administer and run a competent election. It is the
responsibility of sitting governments to ensure the transparency and
integrity of the entire electoral process. Zanu PF's attempt to transfer the
burden of responsibility to the MDC has failed.
The regime must
create conditions that are attractive to all political players to take part
in a free national election.
But as the situation stands, our
capacity as a nation to run our own elections to the satisfaction of
ourselves, our neighbours and the international community could be
compromised by the delays in setting up credible
Zanu PF, as the party in power, has completely
ignored its responsibilities to the nation, sidelined critical governance
issues and concentrated on matters of its own survival.
people can see that Zanu PF's main preoccupation is on its own internal
struggles: fighting over who should assume what position at the expense of
broader national questions confronting Zimbabwe.
institutions in some areas still apply discredited methods in their dealings
with the opposition, behaviour which makes it difficult for us to regenerate
confidence in the electoral system.
The SADC guidelines require
sitting governments to safeguard human and civil liberties of all citizens,
including the freedom of movement, assembly, association, expression,
campaigning and access to the media on the part of all stakeholders, during
electoral processes. We are still denied access to the public
For the fourth time in a month, police disrupted my
meetings with our candidates and election officials in Masvingo on Sunday.
They insist on being part of our strategy sessions, a situation that makes
us uncomfortable and vulnerable.
Needless to say, the police
would have sanctioned these meetings in the first place. Compare that with
their approach towards Zanu PF meetings.
In the past few weeks,
we witnessed numerous demonstrations by their supporters in Harare and
The law requires political parties to notify the police
and get permission to engage in such activity. It seems this requirement
only applies to the MDC because none of the Zanu PF demonstrations or
meetings is ever interfered with. Zanu PF members simply get up and go and
nothing happens to them because of the selective application of the
The other glaring example came through the occasion of Zanu
PF primary elections. The event, initially billed for a day, went on for
three days. The police never raised a finger about the application of the
so-called law on public gatherings, POSA.
against too much reliance on a legislative agenda when dealing with critical
transitional issues. We preferred a comprehensive political reform programme
to spur national confidence in what we seek to do.
Today, we find
ourselves with a possibility of establishing two hopelessly weak
institutions to conduct our elections.
The Electoral Supervisory
Commission, previously led by the newly appointed attorney general Sobuza
Gula-Ndebele, has only three members left when the Constitution requires
that it shall have five.
The new commission, under the new law,
is yet to be appointed - a mere 70 days before the so-called national
Zimbabwe has caused considerable embarrassment to SADC.
We are a serious disappointment to the region.
We risk a
repeat of the same unless we unite and reign in the dictatorship and
pressure it to respect the people. Our neighbours have invested a lot in us,
in an attempt to rescue us from our sinking ship. Our neighbours want to
forge alliances with other influential trading blocks, without a pariah
state in their midst. We must respect them.
consultations with all the SADC leaders, it is clear that their main worry
is centred on the future. SADC realizes that the endurance of the people has
now been stretched to the extreme limit and there is no telling of how much
longer Zimbabweans can continue to tolerate the agony that is multiplying
itself almost on a daily basis.
I raise these issues because
while authorities haggle for power and positions within their own
organisation, the ordinary Zimbabwean is battling to come to terms with
hunger, disease, poverty, homelessness and destitution.
raise these concerns because prospects for recovery are dwindling every day,
more Zimbabweans are without work and millions of our young people have
nowhere to turn to for a better life and support.
worried about the collapse of our infrastructure, public services, commerce
and industry, food security and agriculture. We know the source of our
limitations and have the capacity, courage and leadership to confront
As we face the most trying moment in our history, let us seize
the opportunity to embrace the national call to political service; a call to
invest in the resolution of the crisis of governance. We can only start to
rehabilitate our nation if we accept that Zimbabwe needs a new
There is a growing consensus, at home and within SADC,
that Zimbabwe cannot survive any further battering. We must take corrective
measures before we collapse into a state of permanent
I am happy to note that the nation is ready to rise
and ensure that we end our political woes. We are all geared to make certain
that we succeed in this regard.
For the sake of the nation, I
am ready meet anyone anywhere, to clear any fears and uncertainties, to
address areas of mistrust, perceptions and misconceptions and to accord any
concerned party the necessary confidence, so that together we can nudge our
country towards a final resolution of the crisis.
needs an election that must be beyond question, whoever emerges as the
SIX MINISTERS, DEPUTIES SET TO LOSE THEIR JOBS Tues 18
January 2005 MATABELELAND SOUTH - Six ministers and deputy ministers are
set to lose their jobs in the government after either losing in an internal
ZANU PF election to choose the party's candidates for a general election in
March or being barred from the party poll altogether.
Robert Mugabe has said he will not appoint into his Cabinet anyone who is
not elected in a national general election in March.
Minister Patrick Chinamasa was already out after choosing not to contest the
party poll which if he had won would have afforded him a chance of being
elected in March.
Out of favour Information Minister Jonathan Moyo
is out after ZANU PF decided to reserve Tsholotsho constituency he had
wanted to represent for women as part of measures to increase female
representation in Parliament.
International Trade Minister Samuel
Mumbengegwi, his deputy Kenneth Manyonda, Labour Minister Paul Mangwana and
State Enterprises Minister Rugare Gumbo all lost in the party primary
election held last weekend and will not stand in the parliamentary election
And two more deputy ministers from Matabeleland South
province were rendered virtually jobless after ZANU PF's executive in the
province yesterday suspended and barred them from standing in the party
Transport and Communications deputy minister Andrew Langa and
his Foreign Affairs counterpart, Abednico Ncube, were suspended from the
party's provincial executive for taking part in a meeting convened by
disgraced Information Minister Jonathan Moyo late last year to block the
nomination of Joyce Mujuru as ZANU PF and Zimbabwe's
Mujuru has since been appointed the country's
"We have suspended them because they took
part in an unsanctioned gathering in Tshotsholo," said Naison Ndlovu, a ZANU
PF Matabeleland South politburo member.
The two wanted to
contest in Insiza and Gwanda constituencies respectively.
PF will hold its primary election in Bulawayo province, Gwanda and
Tsholotsho on Thursday after postponing the poll last weekend as the party
failed to agree on the candidates to stand in the election.
Meanwhile, Elliot Manyika on Tuesday dissolved the Bulawayo ZANU PF
provincial executive which defied the party in the nomination process ahead
of the party's congress last month. The new interim executive is led by
Believe Gaule, the chairman of the Tsholotsho
district co-ordinating committee, was also axed from the post for his
alleged links with Moyo. - ZimOnline
January 18, 2005 Posted to the web January 18,
THE closure of the sole commercial bank in Kariba -
CFX - has paralysed operations of business entities in the resort town and
is threatening the municipal service delivery system.
closure of CFX by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe last month owing to its
unsound financial position, only CFX and two building societies served the
resort town. Most of the business players who spoke to The Herald said they
were finding life difficult since most of their transactions were conducted
through cheques, which cannot be done through building societies.
the business community, the Kariba municipality's service delivery system is
in a crisis. The Kariba director of housing and community services, Mr
Erasmus Munemo, said they were operating eight bank accounts with CFX before
Mr Munemo said Kariba town was now struggling to deliver
services and carry out and complete development projects because its funds
exceeding $500 million were frozen in the bank after its closure.
received $100 million from Government for sewer line upgrading for Nyamhunga
Township, but the money is locked up following the bank's closure," he said.
Acting town clerk Mr Aaron Chakanetsa added that CFX's closure also hurt
individuals and private business.
Employees in the town have failed to
withdraw their salaries since December, resulting in them not paying rates
to the municipality.
"We failed to access our $21 million for the
munipical workers' salaries in December and another $31 million for the
purchase of medical drugs.
"I am sure the whole town will collapse if
nothing is done. However, as a contingent measure, we have opened another
bank account with a commercial bank in Chinhoyi," said Mr
He, however, said Chinhoyi, which is about 250km away from
Kariba, was too long a distance for the municipality to carry out its daily
"It's time-consuming to continue working with
building societies because most of our transactions are made through
cheques," he said.
A local businesswoman, who operates a hair salon and
boutique, Mrs Sandra Taderera, said the closure of CFX hurt her businesses
during last year's festive season. "I could not take advantage of the
lucrative festive season because all of my funds were frozen in the CFX and
I failed to purchase inputs. I appeal to other commercial banks to open
branches to Kariba because the closest is far away in
"Business in both the hair salon and boutique has dropped by 50
percent because I have no money to purchase inputs," said Mrs Taderera.
Iranian leader Mohammad Khatami said his country would stand by
Zimbabwe in its battle against international isolation over President Robert
Mugabe's government is cultivating relations with
Asian and Muslim countries under a 'look east' policy. The aim is to revive
an economy in recession for the last 5 years and to ease sanctions imposed
by Western powers over accusations of vote-rigging and human rights
Khatami arrived in Zimbabwe yesterday for a three-day visit, and
today held meetings with business executives and top government officials to
discuss trade ahead of talks with Mugabe tomorrow.
Mugabe at a state banquet last night that Iran, accused by the US of
sponsoring terrorism and being part of an "axis of evil," would stand by
Zimbabwe through its own problems with the West, Zimbabwe state media
"I share your historical suffering and grief ... on our
part we stay next to you and shall stay longer," Khatami
Zimbabwean officials said today Khatami had pledged at several
meetings to help Zimbabwe lift an economy which Mugabe charges has been
sabotaged by Western and domestic opponents seeking to overthrow
"President Khatami has pledged that the Republic of Iran is going to
help us in a number of areas, including in establishing farming machinery
plants," said one Zimbabwean official.
The official said Iran and
Zimbabwe would sign some trade and business co-operation agreements before
Khatami's departure tomorrow.
The state-controlled Herald newspaper said
Mugabe told Khatami that he regarded Iran as "a critical partner" in his
'look east' policy and had praised Tehran for assisting his government with
fertiliser, seed, tractors and irrigation equipment as it implemented its
controversial farm seizures.
"We cherish your unwavering support during
the land reform process and look forward to its continuation ...," he
Lovemore Madhuku, a political commentator, said Khatami's visit was
about building political ties between two states who both face troubled
relationships with the West.
"The Iranians see in Mugabe a person who
can be an ally in their fight against the Western world and in turn they
also have a lot of tips for Zimbabwe," Madhuku said.
"Of course the
Iranians see a lot of opportunities to exploit Africa on the economic
front," he added of Khatami's Africa visit, which has included stops in Mali
and Benin. - Reuters
HARARE - President Robert Mugabe has hailed
Iran as a 'critical partner' and vowed to take cooperation to 'new heights'
as he welcomed President Mohammad Khatami to Zimbabwe, the state-run
Khatami, who arrived here late on Monday on the
penultimate leg of a seven-nation African tour, visited the National Heroes
Acre in Harare where those who fought in Zimbabwe's liberation war against
British colonial rule are buried.
Although he was scheduled to hold
talks with Mugabe this morning, Khatami instead met the country's two vice
presidents, Joseph Msika and Joyce Mujuru.
No reason was given for
the cancellation of the meeting with Mugabe but the two vice presidents said
they discussed Zimbabwe's land reforms and bilateral trade
Khatami also met Islamic religious leaders based in
Zimbabwe and Muslim businessmen.
He was to fly out to Zimbabwe's
prime resort of Victoria Falls for the afternoon, where he will also visit a
crocodile breeding farm.
Upon his return to Harare this evening, Khatami
was to dine with Iranian diplomats and citizens based in the southern
Speaking at a banquet in Khatami's honour late on
Monday, Mugabe hailed oil-rich Iran as a key partner in Zimbabwe's drive to
shun the West.
"We attach great importance to this visit as it will
enable us to work towards strengthening and diversifying our relations,"
Mugabe was quoted in the state-run Herald newspaper as saying.
visit affords an opportunity to raise our bilateral co-operation to new
heights as my government has embarked on a deliberate 'Look East' policy in
which your country is a critical partner."
Iran is one of the countries
Mugabe has been warming up to following his new policy, partly forced by
Zimbabwe's isolation from the West over controversial land reforms and
allegedly fraud-marred elections in 2000 and 2002.
slammed Western powers opposed to his land reforms, saying they were the
same ones who had branded Iran as part of an "axis of evil", a reference to
the policy outlined by President George W. Bush in 2002 that put Iran, Iraq
and North Korea at the top of the US list of outlaw states.
demonised my leadership and government while feverishly working to effect a
regime change," Mugabe said.
"We cherish your unwavering support during
the land reform process and look forward to its continuation as we empower
our people," he added.
Iran - which has provided a E15 million-credit
line to Zimbabwe to purchase tractors, combine harvesters and medical
equipment - will extend a further 20 million euro credit line for
agriculture and communications, the newspaper reported.
due to depart Harare on Wednesday morning after signing some protocols
expected to boost trade between the two countries.
The Iranian leader
arrived in Zimbabwe from Benin where he signed two cooperation agreements on
agriculture and trade.
He also visited Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, and Sierra
Leone. From Zimbabwe, he is due to travel to Uganda.
[ This report does not
necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]
HARARE, 18 Jan
2005 (IRIN) - Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
says it is keeping its options open on its participation in the March
"Our position still remains that we have suspended
participating in any elections until the Zimbabwean government adheres to
the SADC [Southern African Development Community] protocol governing
democratic elections," the MDC secretary general, Welshman Ncube, told
Ncube alleged that a partisan police still banned political rallies
organised by the MDC, while the ruling ZANU-PF's meetings went on
unhindered. Under the tough Public Order and Security Act (POSA), political
parties have to get clearance from the police to hold a
Police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena told IRIN that the reason
the MDC's applications were rejected was because the party allegedly
"When they submit their applications to hold
rallies, police have to make an assessment of whether such a rally will not
disturb peace and security in the area," Bvudzijena explained.
said apart from being gagged by POSA, his party was also being denied access
to the public media, as required by the SADC protocol. However, the
government contends that because the opposition has not confirmed its
participation in the ballot, it does not qualify for airtime.
said a formal decision on participating in the March poll would be made by
the MDC's National Executive Council, the party's highest decision-making
body, and would depend on "events prevailing on the ground".
officially announcing a decision to take part in the poll, preparations
appear to be underway, suggesting that the MDC, the country's main
opposition party, will stand.
A list of candidates has almost been
finalised, and the party has embarked on a door-to-door campaign strategy in
a bid to circumvent POSA by avoiding public meetings.
officials believe the party can capitalise on the faction fighting that
emerged at ZANU-PF's December congress over the choice of its second
vice-president, a potential successor to President Robert
Mugabe's choice, loyalist Joyce Mujuru, saw off her rival,
parliamentary speaker Emmerson Mnangagwa, after the party ruled that the
post must be held by a woman. A secret meeting, held at the Tsholotsho home
of then information minister Jonathan Moyo, allegedly to block Mujuru and
back Mnangagwa, attracted six provincial chairmen and reform-minded
so-called 'Young Turks'.
"The ruling party has suspended six of its
10 provincial chairpersons, while some senior party heavyweights have been
sidelined from the party because of the Tsholotsho meeting. I think we
should take advantage of the disgruntlement in ZANU-PF and fight it out in
the upcoming elections," said Sylvia Mtingondo, an MDC district official in
the capital, Harare.
Ructions have also been caused by the ruling party's
imposition of candidates for the March election, which has excluded two
cabinet ministers - Moyo and Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa - as well as
10 MPs. ZANU-PF said change was needed and it had agreed to allocate a third
of all places to women.
The MDC, formed in 1999, has emerged as the
main political challenge to Mugabe and ZANU-PF's 25-year hold on power. In
its first ballot in 2000, despite noteable levels of violence and
intimidation, the party clinched 57 parliamentary seats against the ruling
party's 62 elected seats.
Condoleezza Rice Names World's 'Outposts of Tyranny'
2005 | 17:00 | FOCUS News Agency
Washington. US secretary of
state nominee Condoleezza Rice has branded Belarus, Cuba, Iran, Myanmar,
North Korea and Zimbabwe as 'outposts of tyranny.' 'In our world there
remain outposts of tyranny and America stands with oppressed people on every
continent... in Cuba, and Burma (Myanmar), and North Korea, and Iran, and
Belarus, and Zimbabwe,' she said, during her opening statement prepared for
her first confirmation hearing, AFP announced.
MDC hails ANC call for fair elections January
By Peta Thornycroft
Calls by the ANC for the
levelling of the political playing field in Zimbabwe were welcomed by the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change today.
But the MDC
said these needed to be supplemented by pressure on violent youth militias
and by the independence of poll officials.
The calls came as the
ruling Zanu-PF held primary elections that were marred by violence and
complaints of vote-rigging. President Robert Mugabe tightened his grip
by having loyalists re-elected and recent critics sidelined.
MDC justice spokesman David Coltart welcomed ANC secretary-general Kgalema
Motlanthe's statement on Monday - in which the ANC rebuked its sister party,
Zanu-PF, for the first time in public.
Coltart singled out
criticism of the requirement to obtain police permission for political
However, he said, "we would ask them to focus on the
key issue, the absence of an independent electoral commission. The elections
will, as in the past, effectively be run by the Registrar-General's office
and Zimbabwe will hold by far the most uneven elections in the
"We also need pressure for the dissolution of the Zanu-PF
youth militia and some policemen to be confined to barracks so that we can
hold meetings in peace."
President Robert Mugabe's inner circle
did not have to face primary elections at the weekend and were
rubber-stamped as Zanu-PF candidates for the general election, expected in
But Emmerson Mnangagwa, tipped to succeed Mugabe until last
December, and who comes from another clan, had to fight a primary election
and most of his MPs were outgunned.
January 17, 2005 Posted to the web January 18,
Wezi Tjaronda Windhoek
STAKEHOLDERS in the Kavango Zambezi
Project previously known as the Okavango Upper Zambezi Transfrontier
Conservation Area (Ouzit) are expected to meet in Windhoek next month to
provide a tentative guide for the envisioned project.
The project, a
new conservation and tourism development initiative based on the
world-renowned wetland systems of the Okavango and Zambezi, happens to be
one of the world's largest single transfrontier conservation areas to date
that could be developed into a world-class tourism destination as it
straddles five countries.
The countries involved in this visionary
project are, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Angola. The joint
venture was initiated seven years ago to get the best out the countries'
wildlife, natural resources and rich cultural heritage by promoting
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment and
Tourism, Dr Malan Lindeque, said last week the conference, scheduled for
February 16 and 17, will inform and involve the relevant institutions and
people concerned in Namibia in the KAZA Trans-Frontier Conservation Area
Lindeque said the workshop, which is a national consultative
multi-stakeholder meeting to establish a national consensus on the
establishment of the KAZA-TFCA, will also explore, discuss and prioritise
the visions, perceptions, opportunities and challenges for various
stakeholders who will be actively involved in the project.
Ministry of Environment and Tourism with the assistance of InWEnt, a German
based capacity building institution has organised the workshop.
meeting will also identify potential areas of structural and non-structural
interventions to provide a tentative guide for project appraisals to develop
infrastructure that will enhance regional economic development.
ministers tasked with the environment of the five countries have met on
different occasions to harmonise the laws of their countries and they have
agreed that roads, airports and other infrastructure need to be upgraded to
internationally accepted standards if the planned project is to
They have also discussed marketing, via regimes, access to areas
through neighbouring countries, prohibitive fees and licences.
year, at a meting held in Livingstone in Zambia, Zimbabwe was appointed the
secretariat of the transfrontier park (TFP). Namibia's cabinet last year
also approved a contribution of US$ 50 000 from it's contingency provision
in the event that external funding is not sufficient for the
South Africa has created three transfrontier parks with
Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
The Peace Parks
Foundation has identified 22 TFP that are not only seen as conservation
drives but also to serve economic development and regional integration
purposes. According to studies done by the TFP, the 22 international parks
could cover more than 100 million hectares and once completed, they could
attract eight million tourists and create a million jobs.
January 18, 2005 Posted to the web January 18,
Hopewell Radebe With Sapa Johannesburg
National Congress (ANC) stepped up the pressure on the Zimbabwean government
yesterday, warning that its treatment of the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) was not conducive to a free and fair election in
The comments by ANC secretary-general Kgalema Motlanthe were among
the strongest to date by a senior official from the ANC, which has been
reluctant to publicly criticise the government of President Robert
After the annual "lekgotla" of the ANC's national executive
committee, Motlanthe unusually delved into specific criticism of the
political climate in Zimbabwe ahead of the parliamentary elections,
including its concern that the MDC was still required to obtain permission
from police to hold public meetings.
"We have been concerned about
several things. The MDC is a party that participates in parliament and it
controls several municipalities. This position impairs its ability to
interact with its constituencies. It is an anomaly."
The ANC was
continuously engaging the ruling Zanu (PF) on the issue. "Over the years we
have been saying to them that you cannot have a properly registered party
restricted in this way. Indeed, the playing field should be levelled and the
police should act in an impartial manner."
The MDC should also be given
access to state-owned media institutions, Motlanthe said. He was pleased by
the commitment both parties had made to electoral guidelines laid out by the
Southern African Development Community (SADC), and the ANC was "nudging Zanu
(PF) that the outcome of the election must be beyond questioning by
This is first time the ANC has publicly declared that it has
been putting pressure on Zanu (PF) to strictly adhere to the SADC election
Political analyst Shadrack Gutto said this indicated some
confidence on the ANC's part that it would do so, but Zanu (PF)'s
undertaking would carry much more weight if it had been made to the
appropriate structures of SADC and the African Union, which were in a
position to give legitimacy to the election.
secretary-general, Welshman Ncube, said he was suspicious of the Zanu (PF)
undertaking as it had in the past made promises to appease its political
friends while continuing to intimidate opposition members.
The MDC would
particularly like to see changes in the behaviour of the Zimbabwean police,
which had refused him (Ncube) the right to address two public meeting at the
While Zimbabwe has not yet appointed an independent electoral
commission, it had nonetheless proceeded to publish the voters' roll and
called on citizens to inspect their names. This was a violation of the
functions of the commission, whose duty it would be to certify the voters
Gutto said if Mugabe implemented the SADC protocol in the March
poll, government's policy of "quiet diplomacy" would have finally prevailed.
President Thabo Mbeki has risked criticism by continuing to talk to the
Zimbabwean government amid international condemnation .
publicity secretary in Johannesburg, Gadzira Chirumhanzu, defended the
requirement that the MDC receive written permission for public meetings. He
said instead of criticising the police , the MDC should plan its meetings in
advance and submit their schedules.