CFU warns grain seizures may worsen stockfeed
1/24/02 1:26:18 AM (GMT +2)
Commercial Farmers’ Union (CFU) this week warned that the
unilateral seizures of grain from farmers would worsen
in Zimbabwe and could choke the country’s livestock, pig
CFU president Colin Cloete said the
stockfeed situation was already critical
due to the shortage of maize, which
is used in the production of stockfeed.
Zimbabwe needs about 68 000 tonnes of
maize annually to maintain adequate
supplies of stockfeed.
it (maize seizure) is going to put pressure on the remaining
stocks and this
will affect the livestock, pig and poultry industry," Cloete
He said farmers could no longer use stockfeed like
sunflower cake because it
was not available while cottonseed was available
only in some edible oil
He said most farmers were using
soya seed as stockfeed.
The CFU president said he had received reports
that the Grain Marketing
Board (GMB) was also impounding maize from stockfeed
quickly added that the reports had not yet been
"There are unsubstantiated reports that the GMB is
impounding maize from
stock feed producers, but we have not yet substantiated
the reports," said
There was no immediate comment from the
Stockfeed Producers’ Association on
said: "A lot of maize is being taken by the GMB despite the
declared the maize."
According to legislation, farmers have to declare
their maize stocks to the
GMB, which last year became the sole trader in
Zimbabwe’s staple food crop
because of severe shortages.
government, desperate to beef up the GMB’s maize stocks, has
commercial farmers of hoarding supplies to create artificial
discredit the government and has resorted to seizing maize from
According to Agriculture Minister Joseph Made, white
commercial farmers have
more than 50 000 tonnes of maize they have not
declared to the GMB, an
accusation denied by the CFU.
to immediately import 150 000 tonnes of maize to avert food
the imports will not alleviate stock-feed shortages because
they will be used
for human consumption only.
The government last year turned down a
proposal from the Zimbabwe Grain
Producers’ Association requesting that
non-food industry users of maize be
allowed to contract producers for the
supply of the crop to avert shortages
Made said at the
beginning of this year that the request by the commercial
maize producers was
ridiculous, adding that the government would not
entertain such proposals
from a "small group of people".
ZANU PF splashes $150m
1/24/02 1:40:24 AM
THE ruling ZANU PF, which is seeking the re-election of
Robert Mugabe, has rolled out $150 million in a
vote-buying spree in
Zimbabwe’s rural areas ahead of the March 9 and 10
presidential ballot, it
was established this week.
this week said the scheme, launched two months ago,
involves awarding elderly
rural folk a living allowance of $500 each a month
while orphans and the
disabled eligible to vote receive a monthly stipend of
sources said the money was being allocated from the coffers of the
of Youth Development, Gender and Employment Creation and those of
Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare as well as from ZANU PF’s
The funds are being disbursed by rural district
councils and ruling party
A senior ZANU PF official however
denied that the ruling party was buying
votes, saying: "We are undertaking
the exercise to show our genuineness in
trying to cater for the needs of
every Zimbabwean, be it young or old. It is
elderly couples who spoke to the Financial Gazette in Manicaland’s
Valley this week said they were surprised by the allowances they
suddenly receiving, adding that they were being told to vote for ZANU PF
they wanted them to continue.
Each had received $500 at the end of
December, they said, noting that some
villagers had already been given a
similar tranche this month.
At least 52 districts in Manicaland are in
the process of paying out the
monthly allowances to targeted individuals and
households for the month of
Beneficiaries said they were not
on any government pension fund and neither
had they benefited from any ruling
party allowances in the past. They said
they had not applied for or
registered on any government financial
said traditional chiefs were being tasked by ZANU PF leaders in
districts to take note of households where individuals had been paid
ensure that they voted for the party in the presidential
According to official sources, the exercise is being undertaken
by ZANU PF and government officials as one of the strategies to
for Mugabe in the rural areas, where the ruling party believes
Opinion polls and analysts indicate that
Mugabe, who faces opposition
Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan
Tsvangirai in the presidential
election, is likely to lose the vote if it is
remotely free and fair.
lZANU PF is setting up structures to
monitor rural peasants receiving
farming inputs and food aid through the
state-run Grain Marketing Board
(GMB) to ensure that only people sympathetic
to the beleaguered party
benefit, party insiders said this week.
said the party had recruited more than 360 people from among its
and national service youths and trained them at the Harare
Sheraton Hotel on
January 16-17 this year on how to monitor the movement and
the inputs and food.
"The monitors who were drawn from all districts in
the country were
specifically tasked with the duty of educating the peasants
importance of the Third Chimurenga," one insider told the Financial
"They will also have to mobilise support for President
Robert Mugabe by
telling the peasants benefiting under the GMB schemes that
those who support
the party will not pay the inputs or food back."
monitoring team will have all the GMB resources at its disposal for the
months it will be in the field and each monitor will be paid $11 000
The team is headed by a Mr Mutasa (operations); a Colonel
(logistics); and a Mr Mapuranga (information). Two other senior
be in charge of transport and security are yet to be
Most of the 300-plus monitors will be based in their
and be given motor cycles and bicycles for their
transport. They will report
on their operations through the party’s district
and provincial structures.
Muvuti this week declined to shed light on the
operations of the team,
referring all questions to Mutasa, a senior GMB
employee who was said to be
African church heads speak out against Mugabe's vicious regime
Examiner 24 Jan 2002
By Angus Shaw
SOUTHERN African church
leaders yesterday called on Zimbabwe's embattled
President Robert Mugabe to
While they respected Mugabe for his role in bringing the
independence, they said it was "tragic" to see Zimbabwe in its
"Therefore, we believe it would benefit Africa
if he stepped down," said a
joint statement by the Methodist Church in
Southern Africa, the Fellowship
of Christian Councils in Southern Africa and
the Botswana Christian Council.
Zimbabwe has been plunged into
economic turmoil by political violence. Once
called the "breadbasket of
Africa" the southern African country now has
extreme food shortages and
The first delivery of UN famine relief arrived
yesterday. South African
trucks dropped off the first of 5,200 tons of corn
meal at the World Food
Programme's depot in Bulawayo.
agency has appealed for £42 million to feed 558,000 desperate
In parliament, debate on a controversial
media bill was delayed for the
second day amid reports some ruling party
stalwarts think it too draconian.
Reports said parliament's legal
committee was still considering 39
amendments to the bill, aimed at gagging
the press ahead of bitter
presidential elections in March.
amendments did little to moderate the "highly repressive"
independent media groups said.
It will still be
illegal for any journalist to work in Zimbabwe without
state approval, and
violations would remain punishable by years in jail.
no substantial changes," said Reyhana Masters-Smith of the Media
Southern Africa. "It is still highly repressive and we oppose
it. There has
merely been an attempt to make some of the provisions
The country's journalists' union said its members
in the independent press
planned to risk arrest by ignoring the
One concession removed penalties for criticising
Mugabe, which opposition
Movement for Democratic Change said would make their
TREATMENT OF CATTLE ON BATH FARM
I refer to my letter to you, which was delivered on
Monday to your office.
It in absolute desperation that I seek your personal
intervention in resolving the ongoing inhumane treatment of Mr. Jannie
Erasmus’s cattle on Bath Farm, Chatsworth. Despite continuous appeals to
various Government agencies this horrifying cruelty continues.
His cattle have been denied access to grazing on his
farm for several weeks now and for the last two days the occupiers have
forcibly held his entire herd of 400 cows and calves in pens. As of last night
this barbaric action had not yet been resolved and so far two head of cattle have
succumbed to the forced starvation.
I say to you that if the political opponents want to
beat themselves and act in a barbaric and undemocratic manner, then so be it.
But with respect the cattle do not have any right or ability to vote in the
forthcoming election and should therefore be left to graze in peace.
I request that the occupiers of Bath farm be
prosecuted under the Cruelty to Animals Act and be charged for their inhumane
actions against each of the 400 head of cattle individually. I feel very
strongly about this and I also appeal to you to urge the District Administrator
to stop pressuring Mr. Erasmus and to allow the land acquisition process to
follow its course through the normal legal process. In terms of the Land
Acquisition Act he has every right to graze his cattle on his farm until the
process has been concluded."
Zimbabwe's lack of food
is bad news for Mugabe, but aid on the eve of elections could boost
International Affairs Editor
THE World Food Programme (WFP)
in Harare warned yesterday that the food
shortage in Zimbabwe was critical,
with many people selling their livestock
and belongings to buy food and
surviving on only one meal a day.
Anna Shotton, a programme officer with
the WFP in Zimbabwe, said the United
Nations agency had begun a widespread
project to supply food to needy areas
across the country.
meal, ordered by the WFP, began arriving in Zimbabwe yesterday.
once sufficient stocks had been built up and arrangements were
distribution would start.
Observers say the food shortage has come at a
critical time for President
Robert Mugabe, who is facing his toughest
challenge for power in a
presidential election in March. However, the arrival
of food aid on the eve
of the election could work in his favour.
government accused white farmers this week of withholding maize to
false shortage in retaliation for the seizure of white-owned
Zimbabwe's state grain board impounded more than 36000 tons of maize
The Commercial Farmers' Union said John
Cameron of Fairview Farm, east of
Harare, was arrested yesterday after he
reported what he thought was the
unofficial seizure of eight tons of maize on
his farm on Tuesday. He was
released on bail of Z1000 after appearing in
court on charges of hindering
the duties of an authorised
Shotton said the WFP intended to provide food aid on a
sustained basis as no
significant improvement in the situation was expected.
It was unlikely the
situation would improve when the harvesting of maize
started in April.
Precise figures on the scale of food shortages were not
available, but "the
situation is definitely critical".
spreading and grain silos were empty in a number of areas,
Shotton said. The
WFP recently bought 57000 tons of maize meal from SA,
which Shotton said was
enough to feed 330000 people for a month. Beans,
groundnuts and oil had also
been bought from SA to supply Zimbabwe.
Donor governments have also been
looking into supplying food aid, but are
reluctant to use government
distribution channels. Some donors fear that the
government could use food as
a political weapon.
The WFP is funded largely by donor governments and
arranges aid wherever
there is an identified need and where it is permitted
To fund its programme in Zimbabwe, the WFP has launched an
appeal for 60m.
It is currently funding the programme with its own
The WFP is hoping to supply food in 19 districts mainly in the
and extreme north of the country. Shotton said the WFP had not
any impediments from the government in the setting up of its aid
The Zimbabwean government officially asked for food assistance
last year and
the WFP first sent a mission to assess the scale of the
country's needs in
October last year.
The WFP is working under an a
legal agreement termed a letter of
understanding with the government, but
will distribute the food aid through
These include Care Canada and Worldvision from the US, as
well as Zimbabwean
nongovernmental bodies Christian Care and the Organisation
Associations for Progress.
It is standard WFP practice to
distribute food on its own or use
nongovernmental organisations rather than
Some donor governments have been trying to establish ways of
government for the distribution of food aid to
The food shortage in Zimbabwe is due to a combination of
factors, says the
WFP. Among these are last year's disruption to planting on
due to the invasions by so-called war veterans. Others
erratic rainfall and floods. The economic downturn has also
difficult for some subsistence farmers to buy seed and other
Revised bill not less repressive: Page 5Opinion & Analysis:
Jan 24 2002 12:00:00:000AM Jonathan Katzenellenbogen Business Day
US funds penetrate Zimbabwe airwaves
Chris McGreal in Harare
January 24, 2002
The United States is secretly funding a
radio station in London which has
infuriated Robert Mugabe with its nightly
broadcasts to Zimbabwe and led his
government in Harare to blame the
SW Radio Africa, which broadcasts three hours a night on short wave
clandestine studios in Borehamwood, receives millions of dollars from
department of the US international development agency, the office
transition initiatives (OTI).
The Zimbabwean exiles running the
station say the money comes from "human
rights and media freedom groups" but
decline to name them.
SWRA, which has been on the air for a month, has
angered the Zimbabwean
ruling party by giving the opposition a platform and
providing a credible
alternative to the endless diet of propaganda and
falsehoods on state radio.
It has embarrassed and irritated British
officials, who have publicly denied
that Britain plays any role in
The Zimbabwean information minister, Jonathan Moyo, has accused the
providing it with studios, transmitters and frequencies but the BBC
Service director, Mark Byford, says the BBC has no connection with
Diplomatic sources say OTI pays for the studios, equipment and
the transmitters of what SWRA calls a "global communications
declines to name.
The Voice of America, which is owned
by the US government, has transmitters
in a number of southern and central
· The US embassy in Harare said it could not confirm or
involvement. SWRA's spokeswoman, Georgina Godwin, said by
email that the
funding came from "human rights/media freedom groups", but
would answer no
SW Radio Africa is headed by Gerry
Jackson, who was sacked by the Zimbabwe
Broadcasting Corporation five years
ago for broadcasting telephone calls
describing police brutality.
then opened an independent station, which the police closed after
DA calls on Mbeki to do as he says on
CAPE TOWN The Democratic Alliance called on President Thabo
to send SA's parliamentary monitoring committee to Zimbabwe
to ensure the
presidential elections were free and fair.
DA chief whip
Douglas Gibson challenged Mbeki to fulfil practically his
"the critical challenge is to do whatever needs to be done
to make sure you
have free and fair elections (in Zimbabwe)".
Gibson said these words had
to be "elaborated on and backed up with concrete
measures if they are to have
He said: "One of these is the early and urgent deployment
of an observer
mission from Parliament. In addition, our members should play
a full and
active role in assisting missions from the Southern African
Community, the Commonwealth and the Parliamentary
Gibson said that SA's participation should be conditional on
negotiated with the Zimbabwean authorities which are acceptable
"The DA is prepared to join a working
group and we have urged the speaker
(of Parliament, Frene Ginwala) to convene
such a working group," Gibson said
Gibson has also called upon Mbeki and
Ginwala to provide a "widest possible
base of multiparty representation on
the delegation. If necessary, the DA
would reserve the right to publish a
Jan 23 2002 12:00:00:000AM Simphiwe Xako Business Day 1st
Stop the circus
1/24/02 1:26:16 AM (GMT +2)
YEAR after gently attempting to nudge Zimbabwe’s government into
minimum conditions that allow for a free and fair presidential
several local and international groups find themselves back to
unable to move the Harare authorities even an
Several diplomatic missions from organisations such as the European
(EU), the Commonwealth, the Southern Africa Development Community
Africa’s powerhouse Nigeria have come and gone from Harare
So have been attempts by Zimbabwe’s civic bodies such as
the Crisis Group,
the National Constitutional Assembly, well-meaning churches
such as the
Roman Catholics and even the so-called National Economic
In their own ways, these groups have sought dialogue
confrontation to prod President Robert Mugabe to see reason and
nation first and not to embark on the suicidal path that he has
Predictably, their advice has fallen on stones because, whatever
suggestions, Mugabe could not care less, interested only in retaining
at any cost.
With the presidential election only a month away,
all these organisations
appear not only to have grown too tired of insisting
on their initial
demands, but of actually scaling them back, frustrated that
no one is
For example, most of these groups have long urged
the formation of an
independent electoral commission to take charge of the
conduct of the ballot, but are now reluctantly willing to
’s partisan Electoral Supervisory Commission.
bodies have long called for the deployment of independent election
both Zimbabwean and international, and yet none are in place even
a few weeks
before the polls.
What is clear — if this was not so obvious all along to
some of these
organisations — is that nothing whatsoever will deter Mugabe
anything and everything to claim victory in the ballot, however
Therefore the time to stop this tragic circus — many would
say madness — is
either now or never.
For the EU and the Commonwealth,
which are due to meet shortly, they should
realise that they are running out
of meaningful options to influence the
course of events in
Even by the EU’s own submissions just two weeks ago, its
observers — and not pliant ones handpicked by the government to
sham — should have been on the ground by now, but the 15-nation
still talking to Harare!
What is the point of engaging in
dialogue with a government that is only
interested in buying time while it
fervently escalates a campaign of
bludgeoning its citizens in the hope of
frightening voters into supporting
What is South African
President Thabo Mbeki’s point when he says the SADC
must ensure that Zimbabwe
has a free election when, as he knows, nothing
practical is being done by the
regional body to ensure that Mugabe indeed
Either the EU and
the SADC — as indeed all others — take meaningful action
now that will move
the Harare authorities or they forever hold their peace.
For example, the
EU and the SADC — as all others — must refuse to send
observers if these are
not allowed to be on the ground by the end of this
week or early next week at
the very latest.
It follows therefore that all these groups must reject
in advance the fraud
that is being staged under the guise of an election,
unless Mugabe urgently
meets all the minimum conditions that allow for a
semblance of a free and
And as all must now know — Mbeki
included — Mugabe has no chance at all of
winning any ballot that is free
from intimidation and violence,
notwithstanding his desperate last-minute act
to try to buy votes using the
hurried land reforms.
WHERE could Zimbabwe be had it not adopted market
1/24/02 1:19:04 AM (GMT +2)
this is typically a empirical question, for one to get the most
answer, the thought provoking analysis that follows may serve as
incentive to whet the econometricians’ appetite into further
research and in
turn come up with well modelled policy recommendations.
Prior to 1990 the
economy had many flaws as a result of a corset of
controls. There was a high
level of market complacency and inactivity, low
levels of profits due to
limited competition as financial institutions
enjoyed cosy protection from
aggressive international market players.
The stock exchange had not been
used as an active vehicle for
redistribution, hence wealth remained in the
hands of the few while the
majority remained excluded.
often largely above interest rates especially deposit and
lending rates. In
1989 it was 11.6 percent whereas the deposit and lending
rates were 10.75
percent and 13 percent respectively.
With the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe
administering the foreign currency market,
it was thus stable against major
In 1980 US$1= Z$0.63; £1=Z$1.51 and R1=Z$.84.
it had changed and US$1=Z$2.27; £1 =$Z3.64 and R1=Z$0.90
economic reforms inflation shot up to 46.3 percent by 1992 with
lending rates at 42.5 and 47.5 percent respectively. This was as
a result of
high levels of built up inflationary pressures in the period of
this period also the exchange rate changed to US$1 to Z$38.14;
£1 to Z$61.76
and R1 to Z$6.20 by 1990.
Before reforms there used to be foreign
currency import cover of about two
years but by 1990 this had fallen to less
than two months and the latest
figure from the Reserve Bank for the week
ending January 12 2002 is that the
import cover is even less than four
Prior to reforms real gross domestic product (GDP) was on average
a rate of approximately four percent and it effectively started to
negatives by 1997, especially after the crash of the Zimbabwe dollar
Before reforms the government budget
deficit was very low and it started to
explode soon after the reforms,
reaching alarming levels of minus 12 percent
in 1995 and minus 7.5 percent in
In the period before economic reforms the rise in the budget
caused by the government’s socialist policy thrust which was
redressing the inherited socio-economic imbalances.
post-economic reform period the source of the ballooning domestic
the high interest rates.
Basing our assessment on some of the evidence
outlined above, one may infer
that the pattern or rate of GDP was growing at
a constantly monotonic rate
i.e. before the reforms. Thus in this respect our
fortunes were only
reversed with the introduction of
Examining our capital markets, it is also clear that there was
capital flight in ex-ante reform period than in the ex-post
However in the reform period the stock exchange had thus
served greatly to
reduce the high level of inequality in wealth
The evidence also suggests that levels of inflation were
often largely above
interest rates, implying a negative interest rate and
thus a disincentive to
save, which in turn fuelled a high level of capital
flight. However there
were also many occasions on which real interest rate
(r=i* -p)were positive
unlike in the period long after reforms, where we may
find that inflation is
always higher than interest rates.
level of foreign currency reserves was not very high in the
period they grew to much worse in the period after the reforms
as noted by
the decreases in levels of import foreign currency cover. The
budget deficit, (socialist policy fuelled) was much lower than
rate propelled deficits in the reform period.
On the basis of all this
evidence, would it therefore have implied that
Zimbabwe could be much better
had it not adopted the reform strategy that
early? Or does it also follow
that it could be worse off than the present
had it not reformed its
One wonders whether the best could have been to introduce the
reforms in the
early 1980s, in the 1990s or in the current period? Maybe a
assessment can be made by comparing Zimbabwe’s position with
economies which attained their independence around the same time
Zimbabwe, and above all those that chose to adopt the IMF reform
All this would probably help us judge where Zimbabwe could be had
adopted the reform strategy in the 1990s.
The question remains:
would Zimbabwe have been better or worse off with or
Nomore Mutsambiwa is studying for a masters degree in
economics at the
University of Zimbabwe.
Zanu PF invades churches in bid to woo Christian
1/24/02 9:33:23 AM (GMT +2)
THE ruling elite has belatedly found a new political
mission with zeal –
going to the mountain if the mountain cannot come to
While Zimbabwe is not an officially declared Christian
state, a very large
number of its citizens are practising
Christianity was brought here by missionaries around the 16th
became so influential that many indigenous names were discarded
in favour of
such Biblical names as Gabriel, Gabriella,
Josephine and Mary. So widespread and influential is
Christianity in the
country that during the drafting of a new constitution
in 2000 which was
eventually rejected, attempts were made to have Zimbabwe
declared a Christian
But, as Zimbabwe moves towards the presidential election in March,
politicians from Zanu PF appear to have realised that Christians
are a whole
constituency which could be exploited for elusive
Few old-time politicians in Zimbabwe are die-hard Christians as
historically violent nature of the politics in which they were
precludes them from the school of gentle persuasion.
level of desperation mounts, the politicians have boldly waded into
waters, stunning their audiences by spewing religious rhetoric,
some of it
Even Zanu PF rallies are now characterised by
opening and closing prayers!
Is this still a Marxist-Leninist, atheist party?
Since its inception, MDC
rallies have featured prayers conducted by genuine
The strong faith among some MDC MPs was confirmed
recently when they knelt
and prayed in Parliament, appealing to God to
intercede on their behalf to
help stop Zanu PF legislators from passing the
draconian Public Order and
Security Bill which will all but take us back to
the days of colonial
While the MPs were praying to God for
divine intervention, the Devil must
have chuckled with glee at the booing
Zanu PF MPs.
Of late, Zanu PF politicians have been “invading” churches in
pastors, reverends and other church leaders bidding to extract
support and votes from the Christian community.
the politicians who have been visiting churches to campaign for
candidate are trying to hoodwink the peace-loving people of God and
up marketing the gospel of violence to them.
One of the Ten Commandments
says: Thou shalt not kill. This has made it
difficult for people to
understand Zanu PF officials’ agenda when they
“invade” church meetings at a
time when the body count of people reportedly
killed by their members is
rising at an alarming rate.
An interdenominational meeting has actually
been held at the Zanu PF
headquarters in Harare. Among Zanu PF stalwarts who
have taken to preaching
the gospel are Elliot Manyika, the party’s secretary
for the commissariat,
who had been mimicking his Johane Marange sect member,
the late Border Gezi.
Manyika’s ministry is responsible for training the
“Green Shirts”, a party
militia trained at the Border Gezi camp in Mt Darwin
which has gone on an
orgy of violence that has led to the death and injury of
Addressing members of the Johane Masowe sect
recently, a confident-looking
Manyika started preaching, referring to chapter
34 in the book of Joshua.
Those familiar with their Bible know that there
is no such thing as Joshua
An angry contributor to The Daily News
letters column directed an angry
retort to the minister, part of which read:
“Minister, you talked about
Joshua 34. Where did you get this from?
wonder what all the extra 10 chapters contain. Names of the members of
opposition who are listed for slaughter like goats?”
publicity department has taken the campaign to be seen to be
aligned to God
by flighting an irreverent advertisement in the print media
headlined “A Call
The advert reads: “Now that you have the land, and the rains are
a special thought for your compatriots and pray for a good
harvest in 2002.”
It says nothing about the number of people who were
murdered, women and
children who were raped and thousands displaced by the
redistribution exercise. It is silent about the thousands of
farm workers of
foreign origin who were displaced.
Yet, the Devil’s
hand was evidently at play when people aligned to Zanu PF
sacrilegious acts in places of worship over the last two years.
In March last
year, war veterans, an influential arm of the party, invaded a
housing the Victory Fellowship Church in Nkayi and turned it into a
May, a VaPostori sect member and senior Zanu PF official, Joseph
converted a church building in Nyanga into a beerhall.
affected by the closure of the places of worship were Mugodhi
Anglican, Catholic, Apostolic Faith Mission, Zaoga, African
Methodist and the
Pentecostal Church of Zimbabwe denominations.
“I am a Christian and
please tell the worshippers they can always come and
see me if they want
lessons in worshipping God,” boasted Chinotimba, who
faces an attempted
In August, suspected war veterans and Zanu PF supporters
were at it again
when they chased away more than 3 000 women gathered in Mt
Darwin for their
annual Methodist Church in Zimbabwe women’s
A disturbed Bishop Cephas Mukandi said: “We have never
like this before and I really wonder where it will all
Later that month, during campaigns for the Makoni West seat left
the death of Moven Mahachi, Zanu PF supporters burnt down a church
hunted MDC supporters had sought sanctuary.
the Zanu PF candidate, denied his supporters could have
burnt God’s building.
“It was probably the MDC which burnt down the church
to discredit us,” he
Zanu PF appears to have deliberately targeted large denominations
Vapostori who have been showered with money for projects and are now
bussed to State occasions.
Christians who attended the recent
inter-denominational Prayer for Zimbabwe
in Harare were surprised to see the
proceedings being hijacked by Zanu PF
priests. A gathering to worship God
ended up looking like a “worship of the
President”, complained a man who
attended the service.
Ironically, as President Mugabe walked in for the
service, worshippers held
up his portrait, as if at a signal, and started
singing Oh Mwari Akanaka
(God is Great).
Mugabe has in the past told
church leaders to confine their activities to
spiritual matters. MDC
spokesman, Learnmore Jongwe, said the strategy by
Zanu PF to try and hoodwink
Christians was profane.
“Zanu PF is travelling on a blasphemous and
hypocritical path because on the
day President Mugabe was wining with
carefully selected church leaders, we
recorded 63 cases of pre-planned
“During the day, they want to portray themselves as saints
while at night,
they give ruthless instructions of torture and murder to
their militias.” If
God is watching all this, then His vengeance is
Would you buy a used car from this man?
AM (GMT +2)
PRESIDENT Mugabe seemed initially to have succeeded
in convincing most
African leaders that everything he was doing was in
conformity with the
greatest ideals of Pan-Africanism.
government newspapers even dared to suggest, with very little subtlety,
the Pan Africanists of yore, among them Kwame Nkrumah, would have
all his actions. But slowly, his credibility is being chipped away
real truth of what is happening in Zimbabwe unfolds for the rest of
For instance, it is doubtful that President Olusegun Obasanjo of
returned to his country this week still convinced that the Abuja
which he helped cobble together last year, was still being treated
Zimbabwean government with the same respect and dignity with which
signed it in September last year.
He must have been alarmed at
the violent events in Bulawayo’s White City
Stadium on the very day he
The identity of the instigators of the violence may be
murky, but the
presence of the party with the longest record of violence in
the land must
make this an easy task. Morgan Tsvangirai’s talks with Obasanjo
place, which the official media seemed to concede
They would not give their readers the details of what was
Tsvangirai himself gave an account of the talks in a long
interview with The
Daily News. Although it may be said to be one-sided, it
enough. Still, nobody should be surprised if the government
rebutting the MDC leader’s account.
What seems to be
emerging, even from the European Union and the
Commonwealth, is a uniform
lack of faith in Mugabe’s sincerity. In his
negotiations with people anxious
that the presidential election next March
be free and fair and that the
media, both local and international, will be
allowed free rein, is he being
Does his record so far inspire people to believe his word is his
people believe him when he says: “The election will be free and
In that case, why did Parliament, with such indecent haste,
obnoxious General Laws Amendment Bill, which seriously
interferes with the
Why does the government need the
Public Order and Security Act, under which
criticism of the President will
become a crime punishable by a jail
And finally, why does
the government need the Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy Bill
which effectively gags the independent Press? In
simple terms, can you buy a
used car from this man?
It may sound as if people are trying to
trivialise the President’s position,
but these are questions being asked: is
Mugabe definitely going to allow a
free and fair presidential
There has been so much violence already that there are people
going to the polls on 9 and 10 March will be a waste of time.
Zanu PF has
ensured it will win, never mind how.
But perhaps there is
a silver lining in all this gloom: what seems to be
Zanu PF’s tacit
acceptance of the probability of defeat. At the Victoria
last month, a document warning of defeat in the
presidential election was
It identified the probable cause of such a defeat as corruption.
says Obasanjo “wanted to know what would happen if Mugabe lost the
. It’s not clear if the Nigerian president asked this question on
behalf or on Mugabe’s behalf.
Either way, the question is most
intriguing. It suggests that Mugabe’s
defeat in the March election is not the
impossible fluke that some people
thought it would be. It would help the
country if Mugabe himself has begun
to accept he is not
ZIMBABWE: WFP aid arrives
JOHANNESBURG, 24 January (IRIN) - The first
consignment of food aid arrived in Zimbabwe on Wednesday, a spokeswoman for the
United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) told IRIN.
"The first three
trucks of food for WFP's Zimbabwe emergency arrived yesterday (Wednesday) by
road. A total of 102 mt," Brenda Barton from WFP's regional office in Nairobi
said on Thursday.
Barton noted that the food being brought into Zimbabwe
was maize meal, a staple food for many Zimbabweans.
"Overall 5,200 mt of
maize meal is to be moved over the coming weeks, followed by 600 mt of beans,
groundnuts and 110 mt of vegetable oil," she added.
Barton said that the
food was purchased in South Africa using US $1.8 million from WFP's emergency
credit reserve. "For the first 1-2 weeks, an average of 150 mt will be delivered
each day (five days a week) with a total of 750 mt a week. Transport deliveries
will gradually increase," Barton added.
"The trucks are being loaded in
Klerksdorp, South Africa. The first trucks will go to WFP's warehouse in
Bulawayo, where the priority needs are and after to Chiredzi and Bindura
warehouses," said Barton.
Barton added that distribution of the food
would start "as early as possible" in February in "priority areas" when WFP's
non-governmental organisation partners on the ground were ready and once the
registration of beneficiaries had been completed.
WFP has appealed for
US $60 million to feed some 558,000 Zimbabweans for a year.
Canada condemns Zimbabwe, says
Canada condemned Zimbabwean President Robert
Mugabe on Thursday for cracking down on the media and opposition forces and said
Ottawa would urge a crucial meeting of Commonwealth ministers next week to
consider imposing sanctions on Harare.
Joining a chorus of international complaints, Bill Graham, the new Canadian
foreign minister, told Reuters that effective international pressure had to be
brought to bear on Mugabe before presidential polls set for March 9-10.
''Canada totally disapproves of the anti-democratic and undemocratic acts of
the present government and we believe strongly the Commonwealth should be taking
action on it,'' he said in an interview in his office.
critics are particularly unhappy about a controversial media bill which would
impose severe curbs on journalists, especially those working for foreign
outlets. A public security bill passed earlier this month gives the government
sweeping powers to clamp down on its opponents.
''My reading is that
Mr Mugabe intends to do everything he possibly can to win these elections and
that afterward he's going to go round saying 'Oh well, now let's make nice
noises','' Graham said.
''I don't think that's acceptable because I
think what we have to do is ensure that the elections are as free and fair as
possible and that's what the Commonwealth has to do.''
attend a London meeting of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group -- the
54-nation body's democratic watchdog -- next Wednesday amid increasing pressure
for Zimbabwe to be suspended from the grouping.
Once the ministerial
action group has agreed what should be done about Zimbabwe it will pass on its
recommendations to a March summit of Commonwealth leaders in Brisbane that will
take a final decision.
''I will be advocating we should be exploring
the use of sanctions by the Commonwealth as a way of, if not effectively ending
what he (Mugabe) is doing, at least demonstrating we have a policy which is
totally disapproving of his present conduct,'' Graham said.
condemned Mugabe's crackdown as a disgrace on Wednesday and said it would press
for Zimbabwe's suspension from the Commonwealth, a course of action also
supported by Australia.
Other ways of punishing Mugabe might be to
recommend the imposition of so-called smart sanctions aimed at Zimbabwe's
leaders rather than the general population.
But Graham, who took up
his new job last Wednesday, said he did not specifically want to commit Canada
to pushing for Zimbabwe's suspension or smart sanctions before the ministerial
action group met.
''I'm going to London with a very pragmatic view.
But the pragmatic view is predetermined by a view that if Mr Mugabe continues
his present conduct it's not consistent with the Commonwealth principles,'' he
''So if the Commonwealth is going to be an effective
organization we've got to do something about it.''
Mugabe is also
under pressure over the violent take-over of white-owned farms but he says the
redistribution of farmland to landless blacks will help address colonial-era
Zimbabwe faces possible European Union sanctions while
the United States is trying to locate millions of dollars thought to have been
deposited abroad by Mugabe's inner circle.
Graham said the
Commonwealth had to judge whether a threat of sanctions would encourage Mugabe
''to be more violently suppressive'' or would persuade him to change his
''My view at the moment is that he's pretty impervious to
world opinion, judging from the way in which things have been developing in
Zimbabwe in the last while,'' he said.
Zimbabwe diary: Wednesday January 23
Cracks appear in support for
correspondent Andrew Meldrum - branded a terrorist by a state newspaper in
Zimbabwe - logs the continuing battle against Robert Mugabe's impending
legislation to curb press freedom
Andrew Meldrum in Harare
January 24, 2002
7am: Read the papers, the state-owned Herald and the independent
Daily News. The Herald says parliament will pass the repressive press bill
today. But the Daily News leads with a story that says Mugabe's ruling party,
Zanu-PF, is split over the bill. It says that many Zanu-PF MPs do not like
information minister Jonathan Moyo and they do not want to pass his bill. It
should make for an interesting day in parliament. The Herald also carries a
front-page story that all Zimbabwean citizens must now carry identification with
them at all times now that the Public Order and Security Act has become law. The
law gives police sweeping powers of arrest and authority to ban public
gatherings. Lawyers say it is widely viewed as more oppressive than the previous
Rhodesian security legislation.
10am: Consult with my lawyer over a case that I and four other
journalists, with financial support from our newspapers, are pressing against
the Herald for naming us as terrorists in November. In the past two weeks I have
been named three times in the paper as being a liar, a saboteur and a threat to
national security. In one article Jonathan Moyo was quoted as saying: "The
foreign correspondents, led by the confused Andrew Meldrum and his local running
dogs..." Fellow journalists found it very amusing, often making barking noises
when I come into a room, but it is nevertheless worrying. My lawyer says she can
present these equally defamatory statements to the Herald's lawyers to show that
the paper has persisted in its smear campaign.
1pm: Lunch with some journalists and diplomats. We discuss the press
bill and also the visit of Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo to meet with
President Robert Mugabe in Harare over the weekend. The diplomats say that in a
meeting that went into the wee hours of the morning, Obasanjo expressed his
unhappiness with Mugabe for not upholding the promises he made in the Abuja
agreement in September in which he said he would abide by rule of law and uphold
democratic principles. The Nigerian leader was said to have been unhappy with
the new repressive legislation, including the press bill, because it is contrary
to the accepted freedoms of the Commonwealth.
2:30pm: Go to parliament. They have the weekly question time for an
hour. Then at 3:30pm they start proceedings for passage of the non-controversial
rural electrification bill. Speaking to some parliamentarians it becomes clear
that the media bill is going to be postponed again. The parliamentary legal
committee says it needs more time to study the 36 amendments made to the bill
yesterday. But clearly Mugabe is facing unexpectedly strong resistance to the
bill from within his own party. Legal committee chairman Eddison Zvobgo is
leading the revolt and delaying things as much as possible. Jonathan Moyo looks
6pm: As no action is taken on the press bill, I am left without a
story for the Guardian so I check my emails. The Legal Resources Foundation, a
staid but well respected Zimbabwean organisation, has sent me the study it has
done on the amended press bill. It says the revised bill still has many clauses
that are unconstitutional. Mugabe must battle with his own party to get the bill
passed. But he cannot afford to lose. After making the bill front-page news for
weeks, to withdraw it or lose a vote on it would be a real loss of face to the
president, just weeks before the presidential election of March 9 and 10. It
will make parliamentary proceedings very interesting!
100 Tourism Firms Close
January 24, 2001
Posted to the web January 24, 2002
A HUNDRED companies in Zimbabwe's tourism sector closed down
last year in an industry expected to lose more firms in 2002 because of low
tourist arrivals and the country's economic meltdown, officials said this
"About a hundred companies closed down their operations last
year alone and we are talking about both registered and unregistered operators
here," a senior tourism official told the Financial Gazette.
Other industry officials said smaller firms that were not
registered with the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) were the most affected by
the country's economic crisis and were more likely to have gone under without
the ZTA being aware of it.
It was not possible this week to get statistics from the ZTA
on the number of company closures because the organisation had not responded to
written questions sent to it last week.
However, tourism industry officials said last year's
closures had brought to 156 the total number of companies that went bust in the
past two years. The industry also lost more than 20 000 of its 200 000 jobs in
the same period.
Among the companies affected by the decline in tourist
arrivals are major players such as the Rainbow Tourism Group (RTG) and Meikles
Africa. Both were last year forced to temporarily close down some of their
operations because of low tourist arrivals and declining hotel occupancies.
"The situation has not been good for the past two years and
certainly the industry faces tough times ahead," another tourism official
"The indicators are all too clear to ignore. If the RTG and
a hotel like Meikles, which has a huge financial base, can close some of their
operations then you know all is not well in the industry," the official
Zimbabwe's tourism industry peaks between August and
December and currently most hotel rooms are unoccupied.
Last October, the government said it would accord companies
in the sector export status and eliminate visa requirements from major tourist
These incentives, which have yet to be implemented, were
aimed at luring back foreign tourists who have given Zimbabwe a wide berth since
2000 because of political violence and the occupation of commercial farms,
including some safari operations, by ruling ZANU PF party supporters.
"We have the right infrastructure and the right attractions
but where we have a problem is how we are perceived in the rest of the world," a
Zimbabwe Council for Tourism official said.
"We must urgently address this issue if we are to see a
return to tourism growth as was the case in 1998 and 1999."
Foreign tourist arrivals, which grew by eight percent from
2.09 million in 1998 to 2.25 million in 1999, declined more than 50 percent last
Hotel occupancies, which slumped from 78 percent in 1998 to
66 percent in 1999, have fallen further to less than 20 percent in some
operations and are expected to continue on a downward trend and force more
companies to shut their doors.
Company closures are expected to squeeze tourism earnings,
which will put pressure on the country's Treasury to borrow to meet its
obligations. Tourism earnings dropped from $6 billion in 1999 to an estimated $1
billion last year.
Thursday, 24 January, 2002, 17:39 GMT
Zimbabwe political violence
President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party is
Two new reports from human rights groups say there has been
a sharp increase in political violence in Zimbabwe.
The reports, one by a coalition of non-governmental organisations called the
Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum and the other by a group of Danish doctors, say the
government is overwhelmingly responsible.
It comes as the government again fails to to push through a controversial
media bill, after ruling party MPs in parliament were critical of the bill's
Zanu-PF has a majority in
The bill, which critics say is part of President Mugabe's drive to silence
opposition to his bid for re-election in March, is now tabled to be discussed in
parliament next Tuesday.
Under the controversial proposals, foreign journalists would not be allowed
to be based in Zimbabwe.
All local media organisations would have to apply for annual government
licences or face two years in prison.
And reports deemed to cause alarm and despondency would be forbidden.
The bill is one of several pieces of legislation which analysts say are key
to Mr Mugabe's campaign to win the 9-10 March presidential elections, when he is
likely to face a strong challenge from the opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai
of the Movement for Democratic Change.
The forum says there was a sharp rise in violence in the first half of
Violence is affecting all levels of
It reports four deaths, 68 cases of torture and 22 kidnappings during that
It says much of the violence was carried out by youths from the ruling
Zanu-PF party, who have put up roadblocks across the country, demanding that
people buy party memberships cards.
The Danish Physicians for Human Rights says politically motivated violence in
Zimbabwe is widespread and increasing on a daily basis.
It says the government was responsible for all the cases it studied and the
violence was carried out in a way that clearly indicated planning and strategy.
Both reports link the violence to the March presidential elections.
Zimbabwe's state-controlled media acknowledges the increase in violence, but
says the opposition MDC is also responsible.
It says a Zanu-PF supporter was murdered on Sunday in Masvingo province,
south of Harare.
And it accuses the opposition of setting up a number of safe-houses in the
capital, from which it conducts raids on Zanu supporters.
State Firms Gobble $23b in Subsidies
January 24, 2001
Posted to the web January 24, 2002
Joseph Ngwawi, Business News Editor
THE government has spent about $23 billion on subsidies to
parastatals in 2001 and plans to fork out more than $43 billion this year - or
11 percent of this year's total budget - because of anticipated losses in the
public enterprises, it was learnt this week.
Authoritative government sources said the Treasury paid out
about $18.4 billion in subsidies to parastatals between January and September
2001 but the figure was expected to rise to $23.1 billion by the end of the
The sources said subsidies to parastatals - government-owned
companies - had grown by 185 percent in the past three years from $8.1 billion
in 1998 to $23.1 billion last year.
"Most of the money budgeted for this year is expected to go
to the Grain Marketing Board (GMB), the Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company (ZISCO),
the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) and the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply
Authority," one source said.
The GMB, which manages the country's strategic grain
reserve, is expected to incur heavy losses this year due to the anticipated
imports of food, as well as for handing out grain to farmers who are being
resettled under the government's chaotic land reforms.
ZISCO has been a perennial drain on the fiscus because of
viability problems while the ZBC is expected to suffer a heavy deficit due to
the loss of advertising revenue and the huge capital expenditure as a result of
an ambitious expansion programme.
No comment was available from Finance Minister Simba Makoni
or his permanent secretary this week.
But analysts said the increase in subsidies is expected to
feed into the government's budget deficit, forecast to be 12 percent of annual
gross domestic product this year.
"The signal they are sending is that the remaining
parastatals will consume more than what was paid out to all state companies last
year before some were privatised," economist Ternard Kwashirai told the
But consultant economist John Robertson said the increased
budget for the parastatals' subsidies could mean that the government might not
go ahead with the long-awaited accelerated sale of its assets.
"It suggests that they are not accelerating the
privatisation of parastatals as planned and that we should expect to use
taxpayers' funds to finance these companies for some time," Robertson said.
The government, which has been accused of delaying the sale
of its stake in public companies, has so far disposed of its shareholding in
less than 10 firms and continues to pay billions of dollars a year to the
The Treasury is still to sell its stakes in the Zimbabwe
Financial Holdings, Rainbow Tourism Group, Industrial Development Corporation
subsidiaries, the Cold Storage Company and the National Railways of
Makoni has set an ambitious target of raising $40.9 billion
this year from the disposal of the government's shareholding in public
enterprises although he failed to meet the target of $22 billion he wanted to
raise in 2001.
The government is also looking for strategic investors
interested in buying the cellular phone and fixed phone businesses of the former
Posts and Telecommunications Corporation.
WIRE: 01/23/2002 6:44 pm ET
U.N. agency begins sending food aid as famine looms in
HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) The United Nations' first famine
relief shipment arrived in Zimbabwe Wednesday as food shortages loomed in the
troubled southern African country, the World Food Program said.
Trucks from neighboring South Africa delivered the first of 5,200 tons of
corn meal the region's staple food to the U.N. agency's storage facilities in
Bulawayo, the second-largest city in Zimbabwe.
Further consignments of beans, ground nuts and vegetable oil were scheduled
for delivery soon, said Anna Shotton, a spokeswoman for the World Food Program
in Harare, the capital.
The agency has appealed for $60 million from international donors to feed
558,000 rural Zimbabweans in need of immediate aid.
The government, meanwhile, has ordered 150,000 tons of corn from South Africa
at a cost of about $25 million.
The food shortages have been caused in part by violence that has disrupted
farm production and triggered the country's worst economic crisis since
independence in 1980.
Political violence began in March 2000 when militants loyal to President
Robert Mugabe began invading hundreds of white-owned farms. The government
called their actions a justified response to inequitable land ownership left by
British colonial rule.
The corn crop has dropped by some 75 percent in the two years since the farm
seizures began. Traditionally Zimbabwe has been self-sufficient and a food
exporter. Food aid was last needed during a devastating drought in 1992.
Zimbabwe consumes about 160,000 tons of cereals a month, and imports could
cost more than $20 million a month once its own supplies are exhausted.
|Mugabe a 'disgrace' as he clamps down on
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has signed into law a draconian bill allowing him to
use extreme measures to silence opponents ahead of a crunch presidential ballot
on March 9 and 10.
The security clampdown came as the British government said Zimbabwe should be
suspended from the 54-nation Commonwealth and accused President Mugabe in the
strongest terms yet, of preparing to rig presidential polls on March 9-10 to
extend his 22-year rule.
"We totally deplore what is happening in Zimbabwe," Tony Blair, the British
Prime Minister, told the House of Commons. "The actions of Mugabe are a disgrace
- a disgrace to his own country (which) badly affect the reputation of the whole
of southern Africa."
Although Mr Mugabe's government postponed for the fourth time a controversial
media bill that will all but eliminate freedom of speech in Zimbabwe, the
passage into law of the public order bill yesterday leaves many Zimbabweans
facing death, life imprisonment and severe jail sentences for speaking out
against the president.
With effect from yesterday, the Public Order and Security Bill (POSB) made it
mandatory for all Zimbabweans above the age of 16 to carry identity cards.
This is despite that fact that the carrying of identity cards was ruled
unconstitutional by Zimbabwe's dismissed chief justice, Anthony Gubbay, in 2000.
Anyone who fails to produce an identity card at the request of a police officer
will spend six months in jail. Foreigners who fail to produce their passports
will also be liable. The POSB prescribes a death sentence or life imprisonment
for anyone accused of involvement in or assisting in acts of "insurgency,
banditry, sabotage or terrorism".
Section 16 of the law punishes publication of any information which ridicules
the Zimbabwean president with a one-year jail sentence and a hefty fine.
It also prescribes a one-year jail term for anyone who makes or publishes
"any abusive, indecent, obscene or false statement about or concerning the
President or an acting President, whether in respect of his person or his
Lawyers said yesterday that the provisions of the clauses protecting the
president were so vague and broad that even publication of cartoons of Mr Mugabe
could land a cartoonist in jail. (Independent News Service)
Basildon Peta in Harare
This is for all those who may think that they
a) Do not need to vote; or
b) Don't think their vote matters;
c) Plan to be away and out of the country for the elections
vote is very important and we need your vote - open the attached to
Remember an 80% poll is better
than a 20% poll because it is more difficult
to rig a higher turn out at the
Don’t think that your vote does not
By only one vote
1645 Oliver Cromwell gained control of England.
By only one vote
1649 Charles 1 of England was executed.
By only one vote
1776 America was given the English Language instead of German.
By only one vote
1839 Marcus Morbon was made Governor of Massachusetts.
By only one vote
1845 Texas was brought into the union
By only one vote
1868 President Andrew Johnson was saved from Impeachment
By only one vote
1875 France was changed into a republic from a monarchy.
By only one vote
1876 Rutherford Hayes given U.S. presidency.
By only one vote
1933 Adolf Hitler given control of Nazi party.