The ZIMBABWE Situation Our thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.

Back to Index

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Business Day
Merged Zimbabwe banks to start afresh
January 31, 2005

Harare - Three banks shut down last year in Zimbabwe will re-open today as part of a new umbrella grouping the government hopes will help revive the country's troubled financial sector.

Zimbabwe's banking sector experienced its worst year last year when seven banks were placed under curatorship while three other financial institutions were liquidated.

The Royal, Trust and Barbican banks are the initial members of the Zimbabwe Allied Banking Group (ZABG), which plans to take in more distressed banks in the future.

Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono says more banks are to be incorporated into the group depending on the curators' assessments but those which cannot meet the standards to join in the grouping will be liquidated.

"I believe ZABG has what it takes to succeed, and ZABG will confidently and boldly move forward to take its rightful place in the financial sector and indeed, in the economic turnaround process," said the group's chief executive, Stephen Gwasira.

The ZABG opens today with 22 branches, five in Harare and the rest in other towns and cities.

Account holders who had funds locked up in the collapsed banks will have their accounts automatically transferred to the ZABG, but they will be allowed to withdraw a maximum of only Z$5 million (R5 400) a day.

Economist Daniel Ndhlela said he was sceptical about success, saying a similar project had flopped in Kenya in 1988.

"The new bank will still have problems changing the perception of the people," Ndhlela said.

"The government might have to force parastatals and government departments to invest in ZABG. Otherwise, there is no way anybody can take their money out of an established and stable bank to invest in the new institution."


Ndhlela said investors and other parties who were against the amalgamation of their individual banks into the ZABG could take legal action against the central bank.

Leading analyst Eric Bloch, however, said the prospects for the ZABG were "very good."

"They are starting with a clean sweep of the problems banks have had in the past, and if the public is supportive the banking group will definitely do well," Bloch said.

Opposition Movement for Democratic Change lawmaker and secretary for economic affairs Tendai Biti was however critical.

"The failure of the banks is a result of a loss of confidence. You can't collect several rotten pieces to come up with one good piece," he said.

Zimbabwe is trying to revive its tattered economy, which is plagued by high unemployment levels, poverty and the highest inflation rate in the world.

The problems stem partly from the country's isolation from its former trade partners in the West after Zimbabwe embarked on its controversial land reform programme in early 2000.

Inflation officially dropped to 132.6 percent in December from a peak of 622.8 percent in January last year, and Zimbabwe has managed to arrest the free fall of the local currency.

Unemployment is startlingly high at 70 percent while the majority of the population is unable to afford three meals a day.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

SABC

State Summit kicks off in Nigeria

January 30, 2005, 08:00

The fourth African Union heads of state summit kicks off in Abudja, Nigerian this morning with discussions on the restructuring of the UN expected to top the agenda. Among the leaders attending are Kofi Annan, the UN secretary-general, President Thabo Mbeki and Robert Mugabe, the Zimbabwean leader.

Olusegun Obasanjo, the Nigerian president and African Union chair, will officially open the two-day summit. African leaders are expected to review the security situation in the continent.

The report of foreign ministers states that there is stability in Burundi, Somalia, Liberia, DRC and the Ivory Coast. It commended the peace process in the DRC but warned that the peace process could be compromised if there is lack of support from the international community and the AU. The threat of diseases such as Aids, malaria, polio will be discussed.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zimbabwe drops Tsvangirai appeal

January 30 2005 at 03:25PM

By Peta Thornycroft

The appeal against Zimbabwe's opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai's treason acquittal has been withdrawn in the Harare High Court.

Shortly after Tsvangirai was acquitted of plotting to assassinate President Robert Mugabe last year, justice minister Patrick Chinamasa said the state would appeal.

Tsvangirai's legal team were told by the High Court yesterday that the appeal had been abandoned.
Tsvangirai, president of the Movement for Democratic Change, was charged with treason weeks before 2002 presidential elections.

Tsvangirai remains on remand for a second set of treason charges. - Independent Foreign Service

    • This article was originally published on page 3 of Sunday Argus on January 30, 2005
Back to the Top
Back to Index

CBS

Uprooted by Mugabe, Zimbabwe's white farmers range far afield to build new lives

Sunday January 30, 2005
By DANIEL BALINT-KURTI
Associated Press Writer

SHONGA, Nigeria (AP) Riding through a Nigerian forest on motorbikes, four white Zimbabwean farmers are checking out the land they'll soon settle on, hoping to start a new life here after being chased off their farms by government-backed thugs back home.

Uprooted by Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's land redistribution program, scores of farmers have already been welcomed by the country's immediate neighbors for the jobs and economic growth they promise to create. But Nigeria, 2,500 miles northwest of Zimbabwe, represents a new phase of a budding exodus.

The four men visiting Shonga are an advance party for 15 farmers planning to move here next month along with families, 50 black Zimbabwean farmhands and 2,000 cattle.

``Everybody is enthusiastic for the project to get going,'' says Alan Jack, 46, whose farm was grabbed five years ago by about 50 youths armed with clubs and machetes.

Mugabe has encouraged the land seizures as a means of redressing wealth inequalities rooted in British colonial times. But the policy has been widely criticized for its brutality and has made Zimbabwe, once a food exporter, dependent on food aid to save nearly half its 12.5 million people from starvation.

Since 2000, some of the thousands of farmers forced off their land have moved to neighboring Mozambique, South Africa and Zambia. Few, if any, have moved to West Africa, but governments here Ghana and Senegal as well as Nigeria are lining up to host them, according to the farmers.

It's an endeavor that requires tact, if only because all these countries bear the legacy of white colonial rule. Zambia has publicly warned its newcomers not to form white ``cliques'' or set up ``elitist'' white country clubs, to stay out of politics and not get involved in supporting opposition groups as they did in Zimbabwe.

There are also fears in Nigeria that the farmers' arrival will raise unrealistic expectations among the low-income farmers already working in the Shonga area, 200 miles north of Nigeria's main city, Lagos.

But the Nigerian government, which initiated the white migration, remains gung-ho. Olayinka Aje, an aide to the governor of Kwara, Shonga's state, says the farmers could turn the area ``into the food basket of the West African sub-region.''

Jack said he was attracted to Shonga because of good rainfall and firm, deep soil in which ``just about any crop will grow.'' Nigeria, Africa's most populous country with 126 million inhabitants, also offers a huge domestic market.

If things go well, more white Zimbabweans could move in next year, he said.

Mugabe's government refuses to comment on the farmers' emigration, but continues to insist the land seizures are the way forward.

The farmers will hire hundreds of Nigerian workers who, along with the Zimbabwean farmhands, will clear an allotted 37,000 acres of trees and towering termite mounds to make way for maize, rice, soybeans, and dairy and poultry farms.

Nigerian farmers here tend small plots growing staples such as cassava and corn without machines or fertilizer. The Zimbabweans are offering technical know-how and advice on cost-free techniques for improving yields, such as better crop spacing. The government has promised to fund a 16th farm for training purposes, run by a Zimbabwean farmer.

But people here are wary. Huge state-run projects here usually are gutted by corrupt managers. Near Shonga, combine harvesters corrode in open fields, left over from a project that collapsed in the 1990s.

``We have a vision and I am trying to share that faith with the people,'' says Halina Yahaya, the emir of mainly Muslim Shonga, but ``people say we hope we are not being taken for a ride.''

As well as signing an agreement with the local government, legal owner of Kwara's land, the farmers also needed to negotiate with the emir, who also holds land rights under local custom.

The 7,000-plus villagers of the area, who have virtually no health care or primary education, harbor very high expectations. Jibril Muazu, the chief of Ogudu, a village bordering the Zimbabweans' future farmland, wants new roads, electricity, drinking water, hospitals and schools.

``If the commercial farmers are going to benefit from our land, these are the ways we should benefit from them,'' he says.

Aje, the governor's aide, insists all these demands will be met by a trust fund financed by a one percent levy on the newcomers' turnover.

The four Zimbabweans, constantly joking like old friends, seem undaunted by the challenge of rebuilding a social life far from home.

``In Zimbabwe, we did everything together as farmers. We'll just do the same here,'' Jack said. ``There's 15 of us. It's enough to get on in life.''

EDITOR'S NOTE: AP Correspondent Angus Shaw in Harare, Zimbabwe, contributed to this report.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Viva Vavi, for whom the struggle never ends
Maureen Isaacson
January 30 2005 at 10:31PM

Is Zwelinzima Vavi, Cosatu's secret-ary-general and man of the moment, a tough guy or a big talker?

"I am not a tough guy but I am not leading some paper organisation with paper membership," he answers. The Congress of South African Trade Unions, with 1,8 million members, is unlikely to be blown over by the next big wind that comes its way - neither from the Zimbabwean labour minister, Paul Mangwana, who refers to Cosatu as an animal, nor from its partners in the tripartite alliance - the ANC and the SACP.

And if push comes to shove in the bigger picture of the alliance relationship, Cosatu will swim: it wants to establish a platform on which "we as the tripartite alliance can operate", but it is not putting all its eggs in one basket.







Vavi said exactly this in an interview on Wednesday at Cosatu House, Johannesburg, although he did not say in which basket the trade union federation's eggs really lay, nor did we explore the matter.


Cosatu's unceremonious dismissal from Zimbabwe
Wednesday was the day before the tripartite alliance secretariat meeting at which one of the key issues was to be Cosatu's scheduled trip to Zimbabwe this week, ahead of the March elections.

Earlier, Vavi was widely quoted as saying he saw no reason to go to Zimbabwe because Cosatu knew exactly what the workers there were going through. When I asked him what the point of the trip was, he said solidarity.

Cosatu's unceremonious dismissal from Zimbabwe in October, and the drubbing Vavi then received from Smuts Ngonyama, the ANC's spokesperson, seemed not to be an issue for Vavi.

"We got people talking, didn't we? People now know what is happening in our neighbouring country."

Vavi denied that this week's meeting would be a patch-up. He prefers to think that Cosatu has succeeded in shifting government opinion on the Zimbabwe issue.
'Trouble, what trouble? I am not in trouble with the members of Cosatu'

From quiet diplomacy to what? At least there was an agreeement that Cosatu would go. By Friday the ANC had issued a statement saying the alliance was committed to the creation of conditions in which the people of Zimbabwe could collectively and democratically resolve the challenges facing their country.

Compliance with Southern African Development Community protocols and a climate of dialogue were essential. But of course Zimbabweans would be the principal actors in their own drama.

Vavi, who rode to fame as the country's chief fact-finder and flak-catcher, has experienced a rise in popularity from unexpected quarters. A profile in the current issue of Fair Lady of the fortysomething former mine worker who worked his way through the ranks of Cosatu reveals the federation's big man to be a teddy bear. In the interview, he expressed extreme frustration.

How much exclusion, how much sidelining, should a self-respecting trade union federation take?

"Ideally, we should know what the ANC thinks and what they are going to do. When they say quiet diplomacy is successful, we should know what they mean."

Vavi is determined to "push to the wall" the demand for consultation and inclusion in all major government policies. To think the federation was not even told about Gear before the event...

Vavi, not shy last week in calling for a succession debate - not only about Mbeki's successor but about what kind of government would assume the ANC's traditional working-class bias - said his relationship with the president was cordial. Find out about it, he added.

What's to learn? It is hardly news that he criticised the president vociferously last year about the privatisation of Telkom and the role of black economic empowerment in creating a capitalist class. Or that this month he confusingly put forward the idea that Mbeki would be an ideal Nobel Peace Prize candidate.

When I asked about his recommendations, most of which go against the presidential line in direct opposition to the president, he moved on quickly. Certainly he shows fearlessness in the face of threats.

"Trouble, what trouble? I am not in trouble with the members of Cosatu. That is all that matters. Our biggest statement is that the workers of Zimbabwe are not alone. Once we have had our own experience in Zimbabwe, we can make recommendations.

"We are not going there to be beaten up and locked up."

Bold words, but this talk is not what makes Vavi a strong man. I was less convinced by his boasting - "everything that is in progress in the country has Cosatu's stamp on it: we have influenced the direction of transformation, we are always intervening on behalf of workers" - than when he was expressing some sort of anxiety.

An editorial in a daily newspaper on Wednesday pronounced Cosatu weak. Some would argue that it is a strong leader who admits failure.

"We have not been driving issues about employment equity in the workplace far enough. We have not been radical enough - not enough organisation of farm workers and domestic workers, not enough organisation of the informal sector, of casual and temporary labour: small macro-enterprises have been usurped by Cosatu's attention to factories."

A document assessing the 14 months since the eighth national congress of September 2003 shows that his anxiety is not misplaced.

Cosatu is in a twist. It is part of the alliance with the ruling party but that alliance does not guide government policies. Cosatu was labelled ultra-leftist for launching protest strikes against the privatisation of public services.

The alliance's only job is to mobilise mass support for the government programme. The pattern is push-pull, come closer for elections and then return to business as usual. The federation feels used.

The document contains a list of dissatisfactions, and clearly Cosatu's 2015 plans and objectives are not written in the language of those in power. "Waging a concerted struggle against capital at shop floor"; "asserting the hegemony of the working class" are not examples of the lingo you will catch on the ANC's website these days.

If you overheard someone talking about the socialisation of the means of production and empowering ordinary people to make a difference, it must have been Vavi.


This article was originally published on page 4 of Sunday Independent on January 30, 2005
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Land invasions were staged, claims Mugabe
Beauregard Tromp
January 30 2005 at 04:01PM

Abuja, Nigeria - White Zimbabwean farmers, working in cahoots with the British government, stage managed the looting of their own properties to discredit the country's government.

This is what President Robert Mugabe's regime says in response to a damning report by the African Union (AU) on its human rights abuses.

The report by the AU's Africa Commission on Human and People's Rights is expected to be adopted formally at the AU summit beginning on Sunday.

The commission visited Zimbabwe in June 2002 and wrote a damning report which only emerged last year when it was leaked to the media. It has still not been adopted because Zimbabwe stalled its reply.


Now an Africa Commission on Human and People's Rights report, which will be tabled here, gives Zimbabwe's reply. In it the Harare government expressed its regret at the loss of lives, injuries and destruction of property during the crucial land reform period, from 1999 to 2002.

But it also claims that some activities were orchestrated to give weight to allegations of abuse. It pointed to an incident in Chinhoyi where farm workers were "manipulated by their employer to act as war veterans and made to loot their employers' property while aerial photographs were taken as they made away with the property". The story was reported by the BBC.

"The fact that when the alleged war veterans were 'looting' the farms, the BBC was on the scene, taking aerial photographs in a helicopter or small plane, should not be regarded as a mere coincidence."

The white farmer whose goods had been stolen also paid bail for the "war veterans" who stole his property, it is claimed.

In its original report, the commission found that the country was deeply polarised.

"It appears that at the heart is a society in search of the means for change and divided about how best to achieve change after two decades of dominance by a political party that carried the hopes and aspirations of the people of Zimbabwe through the liberation struggle into independence," the report read.

In response, the Zimbabwean government turned to President Thabo Mbeki to defend their country, quoting his "words of wisdom" in his ANC Today column of May 2003: "Contrary to what some in our country now claim, the economic crisis currently affecting Zimbabwe did not originate from the desperate actions of a reckless political leadership or from corruption.

"It arose from a genuine concern to meet the needs of the black poor without taking into account the harsh economic reality that in the end we must pay for what we consume... The more protracted this instability, the greater will be the degree of polarisation and generalised social and political conflict."

The Zimbabwean reply also referred to Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo's statements pointing to the question of land as "the core of the current crisis in Zimbabwe".

"The story of Zimbabwe cannot be told, or be complete, without the story of the land," the Zimbabwe government said.

It also gave the commission a brief history of the land issue since independence, which in 1999 saw half the 33,3 million hectares of agricultural land occupied by 6 000 white farmers and the other half by 840 000 black farmers. It attacked the Africa Commission on Human and People's Rights mission to Zimbabwe for failing to note "the cramped, pathetic and squalid conditions of the black farm workers".

The commission report had criticised numerous human rights violations, including arbitrary arrests and torture, saying much of this was orchestrated by Zanu-PF party activists. It chastised the government for not acting against those responsible for criminal actions and also accused Zimbabwe of reviving draconian Rhodesian laws to "control, manipulate public opinion and (limit) civil liberties".

It specifically referred to the Public Order and Security Act, which gives authorities wide powers to detain political opponents and the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, which gives the state control of media by forcing media outlets and journalists to register with the government.

The Zimbabwean police force was also in the firing line with accusations that they operated under political instruction.

The government of Zimbabwe took issue with the commission for conducting an extremely brief fact-finding mission of only four days, and for only confining its investigation to Harare.

"Given the nature, seriousness and adverse implications of the allegations, four days for the fact-finding mission were not adequate," it said.

The government also noted that the commission had received reports of human rights violations second-hand via civic organisations, which provided documentary evidence and video tapes. "It is an undisputed fact that videos can be stage managed," it said.

Zimbabwe conceded that its land reform programme aggravated the economic decline of the country, but also pointed to financial institutions engaging in money laundering, externalisation of foreign currency and efforts by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change to topple the government. It also blamed sanctions led by Britain and the US. - Independent Foreign Service


This article was originally published on page 4 of Tribune on January 30, 2005
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Cape Argus
Zimbabwe isolation takes toll on artists
January 28, 2005

Zimbabwe's traditional stone sculptors, who once earned huge sums from Western tourists, museums and galleries, are now struggling to survive due to their country's isolation.

The exquisite soapstone and granite works, crafted for centuries by the country's Shona people, came to the attention of the world in the 1960s when it metamorphosed into a more modern and Cubist art form.

The representations of humans, birds, beasts and spirits or purely abstract pieces started commanding hefty prices abroad and Shona works grace the collections of the New York Museum of Modern Art, Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and the Rockefeller family.

But Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe's stand-off with the United States, Europe and Australia since controversial presidential polls in 2002 has led to a slump in Western tourists, the main chunk of buyers.

Mugabe's policy of wooing Asia to offset this drop has not helped.

"We have suffered perhaps more than any other industry since the problems between our government and the Western countries started," leading Harare art dealer and Shona sculpture collector Newman Chiadzwa said.

"The European markets are virtually closed and since the start of this 'Look East' policy, we are getting lots of visitors from China and Korea coming to us saying they want to exchange sculptures with goods such as bicycles. But we need money, not bicycles."

Shona stone sculptures were picked up as souvenirs by European travellers as far back as the 13th century, according to historical records.

US magazine Newsweek once described it as probably the most important art form to have emerg-ed from Africa in the 20th century.

Many sculptors now moonlight to supplement their income or sell their works at a fraction of the price in a country labouring under a slew of economic woes including hyper-inflation and a high unemployment rate.


Renowned local sculptor Ken-nedy Musekiwa said business had slowed down so much in the last five years that he had resorted to running training workshops in the United States and Europe to supplement his income.

"It's difficult these days to earn a living on stone sculpture alone," said Musekiwa.

"There is little business as fewer tourists are coming from Europe and the United States while most locals have little or no disposable income and would never think of buying a stone sculpture."

Fellow sculptor Tendai Rukodzi used to run a bustling open-air gallery along the main road to Harare airport. Now he spends most of the time chatting or drinking beer with friends while killing time and waiting for the odd customer to turn up.

"Some of our old clients have said they would never come here until Mugabe goes and as a result, I go for months without selling even a single item," he said.

"I end up selling the sculptures at giveaway prices just to get money to buy food and pay rent. I don't even get paid enough to buy stone to make the next piece."

However, Elvas Mari, an official with the Zimbabwe National Arts Council, insisted there was a silver lining.

"This slump in business has also helped in a way to separate genuine artists from imitators. I believe it's the mediocre artists who are feeling the pinch.

"Talented artists have weathered the storm and developed ways to sell their products in difficult circumstances," he said. - Sapa-AFP
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Yahoo news
Monday January 31, 10:23 AM

Mugabe to launch election campaign

By Cris Chinaka

ROBERT MUGABE
Click to enlarge photo

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe will launch his party's election campaign this week, with the main opposition expected to lift a boycott threat hanging over the critical poll, party officials and analysts say.

The veteran president has yet to announce a date for an election expected to test how far his government has yielded to international pressure for a fair vote as well as the popularity of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

Mugabe, who turns 81 on February 21 just weeks short of 25 years in power, has attracted world attention in the last five years over his seizures of white-owned farms for blacks and charges he rigged Zimbabwe's last two major elections.

Government officials said on Monday Mugabe would officially launch his ZANU-PF party's election campaign this week.

"The official campaign will take place on Saturday, and the expectation is that the president will announce a date for the elections before he launches that campaign," one official said.

While Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF prepares its campaign, the MDC is due to meet on Wednesday and Thursday to decide whether to participate in the poll, which it had threatened to boycott.

"The announcement is just a formality, it was decided weeks ago that although the conditions are not conducive for a free and fair election, we have no choice but to participate," said one senior MDC official.

Analysts say that even if the MDC contests the election, it is unlikely to end Zimbabwe's long-running political crisis.

The MDC charges that ZANU-PF robbed it of victory in the last parliamentary contest in June 2000, and in the presidential poll in 2002 through rigging and a violent campaign that the MDC says killed left more than 200 opposition supporters dead.

"ANTI-BLAIR CAMPAIGN"

Mugabe, Zimbabwe's sole ruler since the southern African country's independence from Britain in 1980, denies the charges, and accuses his domestic and Western foes of sabotaging the economy and wanting to oust him over his land seizures.

The MDC says recent electoral reforms -- including the appointment of a nominally independent electoral commission to run the March polls -- do not meet guidelines set by the 14-nation Southern African Development Community.

Mugabe, who accuses Prime Minister Tony Blair's government of sponsoring the MDC, says the March polls would be an anti-Blair campaign for his ZANU-PF party to "bury" the MDC.

Western powers led by Britain and the United States have imposed some sanctions against Mugabe's government over the election disputes and controversial policies.

Political analysts say Zimbabwe's problems are likely to continue while ZANU-PF remains in power although the view of the government of some sections of the international community might improve if elections are not marred by violence.

"I don't think anyone is naive enough to think that the crisis is going to end with the elections ... because there some fundamental differences between the government and the international community," said Lovemore Madhuku of the National Constitutional Assembly, a political pressure group.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Financial Mail
28 January 2005


Gold mining

ZIMBABWE'S NEW GOLD RUSH, 19th-CENTURY STYLE



By Brendan Ryan

Displaced farm workers have found a new livelihood

In Brazil they would be known as garimpeiros but, in Zimbabwe, the hordes of gold miners wielding picks and shovels are called mkorakoza, a Shona word meaning "panner".

It's estimated there are more than 1m of them countrywide and they produce in total between 400 kg and 600 kg of gold a month.

That means the mkorakoza could account for between 25% and 37% of Zimbabwe's gold output, which was 19,5 t for 2003, according to Gold Fields Mineral Services.

Many have been driven into gold panning by Zimbabwe's land grabs, which have forced hundreds of thousands of farm workers off farms.

They can find no other way to make a living and, in inflation-racked Zimbabwe, gold mining pays a lot better than most unskilled occupations, even if there were jobs available.

A panner can recover around 2 g of gold a day, from which he will make about Z$140 000 (about R140). That's what a Zimbabwean farm labourer makes in a month.

The result is a 19th-century-style gold rush as the mkorakoza flood - legally and illegally - on to farms in Zimbabwe's various gold belts. Zimbabwe has extensive gold-bearing zones but the reefs are narrow, geologically complex and erratic in grade, making standard commercial mining operations generally unviable.

The mkorakoza live in tents and "bivvies" made of plastic sheeting or hessian sacks, right next to their mine workings. They get their supplies from - and let their hair down in - shanty towns in the bush near the workings.

Apart from the harsh working and living conditions, many risk long-term health problems because they use mercury to form the gold they recover into a crude amalgam for smelting.

They are also using technology that dates back to 1886, when gold mining first started on the Witwatersrand.

The mkorakoza get their ore crushed by stamp mills. There's still one stamp mill in Johannesburg. It's a national monument on a plinth outside the Chamber of Mines building in Hollard Street. Yet these mills are now being made to order by small engineering firms in Zimbabwe.

Stamp mills were replaced in the early 1900s by the vastly more efficient ball mills, which are, with significant enhancements, still standard technology in modern gold recovery plants.

According to the Zimbabwean operator who showed me around his property on condition of anonymity, stamp mills "are a son of a bitch to maintain because they vibrate like hell. One worker is dedicated full-time to constantly tightening every nut in sight and knocking bits of metal back into the frame that are being shaken out of it."

The mkorakoza refuse to use ball mills. They prefer stamp mills because they can watch their ore being treated. One miner says: "There's a muki wa [Shona for white man] in the ball mill stealing our gold." In a way he's right, because some gold is lost as fine particles get trapped in the cracks between the liners of a ball mill. The trapped gold is recovered through clean-up operations when the liners wear down and have to be replaced, which happens every few months.

The mkorakoza cannot afford to buy their own stamp mill. These are often owned by the holder of the mining permit for the area being exploited. Frequently, that's a white farmer who has been kicked off his land and has also turned to gold mining to survive.

The mkorakoza brings his ore, usually a ton at a time, to be crushed. He then takes the recovered gold-bearing fraction of the ore and concentrates it further through several stages of panning to isolate the heavier gold particles from the lighter waste material.

With high-grade ore it's at this stage that the gold becomes visible as a yellow "tail" in the bottom of the pan, standing out against the dark grey of the remaining dense material. The gold-bearing concentrate is then formed into an amalgam using mercury and crudely smelted to produce a form of "sponge gold", which the mkorakoza sells to Fidelity Printers & Refiners, which buys it on behalf of government.

The operator makes his money in two ways. He charges a fee for toll-milling the ore and providing basic services such as a tractor and trailer to haul ore from the workings to the stamp mill.

The stamp mill recovers only the coarse gold fraction in the ore. The fine gold fraction is carried through the process by the flow of water but is then trapped in a small slimes dam. That fraction belongs to the operator, who recovers it using the same cyanide process that most modern gold mines use.

Depending on grade and geological properties, the mkorakoza recovers 50%-80% of the gold that was contained in his ore. The cyanide tailings treatment process typically yields between 1 g/t and 2 g/t for the operator.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Cricinfo

Talks with Zimbabwe rebels make progress

Steven Price

January 31, 2005

The chances of Zimbabwe's rebel players returning to the fold are better than ever if the meeting between the players and a three-man ad hoc committee set up by Zimbabwe Cricket is anything to go by.

The meeting, the second of its kind, which lasted for about four hours, took place on Sunday in Harare and several players described it as positive - as long as Zimbabwe Cricket also remain keen. The players said they might return sooner than expected.

The players, however, refused to shed more light on what actually happened they did not want to say anything to the press as this might jeopardise the negotiations. "The meeting was really positive," one said. "It is not true that we will come back unconditionally. Our position is still the same from the beginning, there are few issues which have to be addressed before we come back and play. We are still united."

At the meeting were Heath Streak, Raymond Price, Craig Wishart, Andy Blignaut, Trevor Gripper, Grant Flower, Neil Ferreira and Stuart Carlisle, while Addington Chinake (chairman), George Makings, Jackie du Preez and ZC human resources general manager Wilfred Mukondiwa represented the board.

Realistically, it is unlikely that the discussions will be resolved in time for any of the rebels to be included on the tour of South Africa as there is no follow-up meeting planned for at least another fortnight.

Cricinfo

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Guardian
Bangladesh complete stunning fightback

Press Association
Monday January 31, 2005

Bangladesh became only the second team to win a five-match one-day series having been 2-0 down after an easy eight-wicket victory against Zimbabwe in the final game in Dhaka.
Aftab Ahmed led the way with 81 not out as the Tigers took 33 overs to reach 202 for two after the visitors had been bowled out for 198.
Zimbabwe made an early breakthrough when Tinashe Panyangara bowled Nafis Iqbal for nine in the third over, but Ahmed and Mohammad Rafique took a firm hold on the match.
The pair put on 150 for the second wicket, Ahmed reaching his 50 from only 33 balls, before Rafique top-edged a ball from Elton Chigumbura to Prosper Utseya, the fielder managing to hold on despite a fumble.
But the wicket was merely a blip for the home side as Ahmed and Habibul Bashar (34 not out) led Bangladesh to victory with 17 overs to spare.
Zimbabwe had earlier collapsed from a seemingly comfortable position of 139 for two, losing eight wickets for 59 runs.
The only bright spot was the innings of Barney Rogers, whose knock of 84 took him to 251 runs for the five matches earning him the man-of-the-series award.
Hamilton Masakadza (23), Brendan Taylor (36) and Tatenda Taibu (31) all contributed, but when Rogers was stumped by Khaled Mashud off the bowling of Enamul Haque Jnr with the score on 161, Zimbabwe fell apart.
The final six batsmen in the order managed only 13 runs between them with man-of-the-match Rafique recording the best bowling figures with two for 34.
South Africa are the only other side to have won a series from 2-0 down when they beat Pakistan in October 2003.
This was the final international match to be played at the Bangabandhu Stadium, which has hosted cricket since January 1955.
Back to the Top
Back to Index