10 Jul 2003 18:56 BST
says Blair after Mugabe's head
By Cris Chinaka
(Reuters) - Zimbabwe's foreign minister says Prime Minister
Tony Blair has
asked U.S. President George W. Bush for Zimbabwean President
"head" in exchange for British support in the Iraq war.
Blair danced in Iraq and the king (Bush) asked him what he
Salome Blair asked for Robert Gabriel Mugabe's head," Foreign
Mudenge told journalists on Thursday at the African Union
to the biblical story of Salome and John the Baptist.
Union understands that Zimbabwe is the victim of a racist
campaign, and that
the problems we are facing are driven by outsiders."
suffers chronic food shortages and 70 percent unemployment.
Critics blame the
crisis on Mugabe.
Over the past three years, Zimbabwe has accused
former colonial master
Britain of being on a "racist" mission to destroy
Mugabe over his
controversial seizures of white-owned farms.
Zimbabwe's deepening political and economic crisis is not on the
the annual African summit which opened on Thursday with Mugabe
"That is in some senses a fatal mistake...for the
analyst Ross Herbert said in Maputo.
is something that Africa is going to have to deal with,"
Herbert, of the
South African Institute for International Affairs, told
The country was on the agenda, however, when Bush visited South
President Thabo Mbeki and Botswana's President Festus Mogae
In South Africa, Bush disappointed Zimbabwe's
opposition by failing to
take a tough anti-Mugabe stance. Instead, Bush
warmly endorsed the mediation
of Mbeki who has adopted "quiet diplomacy" on
Zimbabwe, at least in public.
In Botswana, Bush had stronger words
when asked about Zimbabwe.
"We expect there to be democracy in
Zimbabwe in order for the people
of that country to advance...The weakness in
the economy is directly
attributable to bad governance and therefore we will
continue to speak out
for democracy in Zimbabwe," he said.
European Union imposed travel and investment sanctions on Zimbabwe
after Mugabe won an election condemned by the opposition and many
powers as fraudulent.
Mudenge said the AU had maintained its stance
closed-door session that the continental body would hold no
the EU on development issues if it insisted on excluding
Mugabe, 79, has been in power since independence in 1980.
he was re-elected fairly and has refused calls for a poll
Powell adamant Mugabe must step down
July 10, 2003, 10:45
Colin Powell, the American secretary
of state, says the United
States is still calling on President Robert Mugabe
of Zimbabwe to step down.
This comes after President Thabo
Mbeki and US President George
W. Bush met in Pretoria yesterday. They
discussed the Zimbabwe situation,
saying they both agreed that change was
Bush described his South African counterpart as the
in helping to resolve the political and economic crises in
was speaking before the Bush entourage left South Africa for
Bush expressed confidence in South Africa's efforts
the crisis in Zimbabwe. Speaking after talks with Mbeki in
said he and his counterpart had agreed on the urgent need to
Zimbabwe's political and economic challenges. Bush hailed Mbeki for
efforts to end conflicts in Africa.
the Zimbabwe opposition leader, has meanwhile
accused Mbeki of
misrepresenting Zimbabwe to US President George W Bush.
Mbeki of making "false and mischievous" statements to
Bush saying that no
talks were taking place in Zimbabwe between the ruling
party and the Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC).
Mbeki, said he informed Bush
that Zimbabwe's ruling party and
the MDC have begun talks on their nation's
deepening political and economic
crisis. Tsvangirai said claims on talks
between Zimbabwe President Robert
Mugabe's party and the opposition were
aimed at "buying time" for Mugabe and
at delaying efforts by "potential
genuine brokers," such as the United
States, to help end the political and
Zimbabwe leaders are talking: NNP
10, 2003, 15:30
The New National Party (NNP) says it
believes negotiations for
change in Zimbabwe are taking place, despite
denials from the official
opposition there. President Thabo Mbeki would not
publicly lie about the
situation in that country, Boy Geldenhuys, NNP's
spokesperson, said. Yesterday, Mbeki said talks were taking
the ruling Zanu-PF and the opposition Movement for Democratic
Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC leader, later accused Mbeki of
making "false and
mischievous" statements to George W. Bush, the US
President, and said the
two parties were not holding
Geldenhuys said pre-democracy negotiations in South
between the ANC and the then National Party (NP) were at an advanced
before any official acknowledgement. "If you asked anyone before 1990
NP was talking to the ANC, it would have been denied, even though the
were very much on track." He said it was a logical conclusion talks
currently taking place between moderate factions of the MDC and Zanu-PF.
cannot believe that the president of South Africa would lie on this
He said both Robert Mugabe, the Zimbabwean President, and Tsvangirai
risk of isolating themselves. "The negotiating process in Zimbabwe
easily move beyond Morgan Tsvangirai and President Robert Mugabe, and
them isolated," he said.
Geldenhuys praised Mbeki
and Bush for their "statesmanship" in
handling the meeting on Zimbabwe
yesterday. "Zimbabwe had the potential to
derail the important meeting
between President Thabo Mbeki and President
George Bush. Statesmanship on
both sides prevented this from happening."
However, he said it was now up to
Mbeki to make a success of his approach to
the crisis in
DA says Mbeki must clarify statement
Meanwhile, Joe Seremane, the Democratic Alliance (DA) acting
Mbeki needs to clarify his statements to Bush about Zimbabwe.
dialogue is President Mbeki referring, if the leader of one of the
parties is not aware of it?" he asked in a statement today.
Tsvangirai was arrested a second time last month and held in
prison for two
"Is this the behaviour of a ruling party that seeks
open dialogue, and a united solution to the crisis in Zimbabwe?"
breakdown in talks in Zimbabwe was no fault of the MDC, as the South
government seemed to think. "The ANC's preference has always been
continued Zanu-PF rule in Zimbabwe," he said. The solution to the crisis
Zimbabwe had to start with fresh elections. "This should be the
objective of President Mbeki's mediation and diplomacy. Once
restored to the political process in Zimbabwe, the
reconstruction of that
country can start in earnest," Seremane said. -
Mail and Guardian
Mugabe makes overtures to the
10 July 2003
Emissaries from Zimbabwe's ruling party, and South Africa, have
the opposition in recent days about restarting talks to end the
political and economic crisis, the opposition said on
In the latest overture, a Roman Catholic priest linked to the
visited Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai
Wednesday, just hours before US President George Bush and South
President Thabo Mbeki discussed the crisis, opposition officials
Father Fidelis Mukonori, used as a Mugabe emissary in the past,
know the opposition's terms for restarting talks and whether any
could be made to bring the two sides to the negotiating
He met with Tsvangirai just two hours before Mbeki told Bush the
Zimbabwe parties had begun talks to end the nation's
Tsvangirai said that claim was "patently false and
Responding to Mbeki's claim, Tsvangirai said emissaries
from churches, civic
groups and the South African government were shuttling
between the parties,
but no talks were under way.
"So far, none of
these efforts has succeeded," Tsvangirai said.
Previous talks broke down
because of the dispute over Mugabe's narrow
victory in last year's disputed
elections and demands that the opposition
drop a court challenge to the
Addressing supporters in recent weeks, Mugabe has again insisted
opposition recognise his election and drop the case before he would
The opposition has refused and demanded unconditional
talks. Tsvangirai said
he was encouraged Bush and Mbeki mentioned the urgent
need to address the
political crisis in Zimbabwe.
note that President Bush said that they share the same
objective to restore
democracy, peace, and peoples' freedoms to Zimbabwe,"
state-controlled Herald newspaper, a government mouthpiece, said on
Bush "snubbed" the Zimbabwe opposition by saying he was "of one
Mbeki on Zimbabwe.
The opposition has described Mbeki as a "dishonest
broker" who failed to use
the leverage of Zimbabwe's most powerful neighbour
to pressure Mugabe to
negotiate democratic reform.
Information Ministry described Bush's statement on Zimbabwe
after his meeting
with Mbeki as "a loud climb down" after both Bush and US
Secretary of State
Colin Powell had called for regime change here.
In a statement, the
ministry said Bush had been misled on conditions in
Zimbabwe and "now leaves
the region better enlightened on the issues at
later on Thursday, slamming Zimbabwe's "bad governance”.
Bush said, after
meeting Botswana's President Festus Mogae, that he would
continue to speak
out for democracy in Zimbabwe
"We expect there to be democracy in
Zimbabwe, in order for the people of
that country to advance," Bush said in
the capital of Botswana, a country
viewed by Washington as a rare African
example of good governance.
"It's a shame that the (Zimbabwean) economy
has gotten so weak and soft. It
is a shame for Botswana, it's a shame for
southern Africa, and that the
weakness in the economy is directly
attributable to bad governance.
"Therefore we will continue to speak out
for democracy in Zimbabwe," Bush
added, on the third leg of a five-nation
The opposition blames Mugabe for plunging the economy into
its worst crisis,
with 70% unemployment and acute shortages of food, gasoline
Official inflation has soared to more than 300%, but a thriving
in food and fuel has led to inflation estimates of about
The official currency exchange rate is Z$824 to the $1, but the
exchange is as much as Z$2 700-$1.
A state programme to
seize thousands of white-owned farms for
redistribution to black farmers has
crippled the agriculture-based economy
in the past three years. Investment
and foreign aid has dried up in protest
of human rights abuses and last
year's tainted presidential elections. -
Zimbabwe treason case postponed
(Reuters) - A Zimbabwe court has postponed the trial of
Morgan Tsvangirai until October as government lawyers work
to prove that he
sought to overthrow President Robert Mugabe, his lawyer
Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC),
a routine hearing a day after U.S. President George W. Bush
said he had
reached agreement with South Africa's Thabo Mbeki on how to
crisis, in an apparent diplomatic defeat for the
"It was just a remand hearing. He was remanded to 6 October,"
lawyer Innocent Chagonda told Reuters after Thursday's court
decision means Tsvangirai stays out of prison on his
Zimbabwe's High Court freed Tsvangirai on 10
million Zimbabwe dollars
(7,500 pounds) bail last month after he was held for
two weeks following a
week of mass street protests led by the MDC that the
government described as
an attempted coup d'etat.
also ordered Tsvangirai not to make any statements which
could be construed
as advocating the violent or unconstitutional removal of
Mugabe or his
Tsvangirai's lawyers have asked for the discharge
of an earlier
treason charge against Tsvangirai and two senior MDC
colleagues, accused of
plotting to assassinate Mugabe ahead of March 2002
elections which the
veteran leader went on to win.
has criticised South Africa's Mbeki over his policy of "quiet
toward Mugabe which it says is both insincere and ineffectual.
But Bush, who
the MDC had hoped would publicly press South Africa to take a
said on Wednesday he would not "second guess"
On Thursday Zimbabwe's official Herald
newspaper crowed at what it
called the diplomatic snub of the
"Tsvangirai has sought to...demean African heads of state
turn while pandering to European and American leaders like a
paper said in an editorial.
the MDC as a stooge of Western governments opposed to
his land reform
programme, and says Zimbabwe is being undermined by both
domestic and foreign
The MDC and several Western countries argue that
Mugabe rigged the
2002 polls and the opposition charges he has misruled the
independence from Britain in 1980, leading to chronic food and
shortages and one of the highest rates of inflation in the world at
Interest Rates On the Surge - Again
July 10, 2003
Posted to the web July 10, 2003
INTEREST rates have once again begun to surge on the back
of shortages in
the money market largely attributed to withdrawals in the
form of corporate
The rates have been on the decline in
the past weeks with the Negotiable
Certificates of Deposits (NCD) rates
tumbling to around 62 percent level
causing a massive investor exodus from
the money market as the inflation
rate continues to
Corporates have begun paying taxes to the Government and this
has seen the
market moving into the negative ranges as companies' demand more
finance their operations.
Reflecting the market shortages,
overnight rates have firmed to levels
around 85 percent from 70 percent in
the previous week, while 90- day
deposit rates were indicated in the 70
percent to 80 percent range
representing a 30 percent increase from the 50
percent to 60 percent range.
The 91- day effective yield also firmed to
58,30 percent as of the week
ending July 4 from 54,53 percent recorded on 26
Petrolfin bill tenders also fuelled the interest rates upwards and
tender saw total bids surpassing the allotment figure by over 600
an effective yield of 84,59 percent.
Syfrets Corporate and
Merchant bank tasked to raise a total of $60 billion
for the National Oil
Company of Zimbabwe for fuel procurement went on to the
market and raised $5
billion in the fist tender and held a second tender to
The Repo rate also firmed to 64,58 percent on Monday 7 July from
percent recorded on Friday July 4 as the Reserve Bank invited tenders
overnight accommodation on the Repo system.
Borrowing by the
private sector will thus be tightened as the banks
consequently uphold their
high lending rates there by transferring the
burden to the
Economic pundits welcomed the increases in the lending rates
this would reduce credit creation by banks and thus
"Zimbabwe is facing a very high inflation rate emanating from
supply in the economy, high interest rates would directly crowd
prospects of demand pull inflation arising from increasing borrowing
individuals and private sector," said an economist with a leading
He emphasised that it is not always the case
that higher interest rates are
detrimental to the level of economic activity,
but they could also help to
squash the dreadful inflation.
the higher interest rates have not been an incentive for those
investment options judging by the continuous bull pattern on the
and the high activity on properties market.
The high inflation rate
coupled with a looming interest rate cut by the
central bank has fuelled the
equities to extremely high levels of activity
that has seen only a few risk
averse and liquidity seeking investors left on
the money market.
Ruling MPLA And Zimbabwean Zanu-PF Assess Cooperation
Press Agency (Luanda)
July 10, 2003
Posted to the web July 10,
The delegations of Angola's ruling MPLA and Zimbabwe's
Thursday, in Luanda to assess the existing cooperation between
Prior to the talks, there will be a meeting between
Secretary-general, João Lourenço, and his ZANU-PF's counterpart,
Mnangangwa, who arrived in Angola on Wednesday for a two-day
According to the programme, the Zimbabwean delegation will
be audienced by
the Speaker of the National Assembly (Parliament), Mr Roberto
and will hold a meeting with Angola's Industry minister, Joaquim
The strengthening of friendship and cooperation between the two
the mean reason that brought ZANU-PF's secretary-general to
giving in return the visit his counterpart, João Lourenço
From: CFU - Matabeleland Branch
PRESS RELEASE - SA HUNTERS ARRESTED IN
A party of twelve South African hunters
belonging to a Christian organisation were arrested in Zimbabwe on Friday last
week for illegal hunting on listed properties in West Nicholson, Matabeleland
South. The eight adult men and four teenagers were stopped at a police
roadblock outside Beit Bridge town on their way to the close by South African
border. They had in their possession a quantity of meat allegedly meant for
exportation from Zimbabwe, a country that is currently riddled with one of the
worst foot and mouth disease outbreaks in its history.
The teenagers were released, but seven of
the eight men spent a night in police holding cells in West Nicholson, and the
eighth was kept for two nights while police investigated his connection to the
slaughter of a black rhino and two elephants four weeks earlier in the same
area. He was released on Sunday after a lawyer was brought in from South
Africa. Pressure to release the men and drop charges was laid on the
investigating police officers by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr
Abednigo Ncube, a politician from Gwanda, and himself a beneficiary of a farm in
the district. The South African High Commissioner in Harare was informed of the
Police were alerted to the activities of
the hunters on Chipizi Farm by a neighbouring farmer who, after hearing shots
from a heavy-calibre weapon in the area, found the carcass of a freshly killed
eland with only its hind legs removed. Subsequent police investigations
revealed that the South Africans had been hunting on Chipizi Farm, whose owner
has been evicted. The hunt took place with authority from the local Rural
District Council, under the auspices of the resident settlers and so-called
professional hunter, Ronnie Sparrow.
Officials from the Hunting Licence Section
of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management in Harare confirmed
that Mr Sparrow is not licensed with them as a professional hunter in this
country. Nor is he a member of the Zimbabwe Association of Tour and Safari
Operators (ZATSO), an organisation to which most Zimbabwean professional hunters
Investigating officers in West Nicholson
said that South African professional hunter Dwayne van Zyl was authorised by Mr
Sparrow (as the “licensed hunter” in charge) to conduct the hunt on his behalf,
against National Parks regulations. Mr van Zyl is wanted for questioning by the
Zimbabwean police regarding the slaughter of a black rhino and two elephants in
the Bubiyana Conservancy last month, as he is thought to have been in the area
at the time of the killings.
Chipizi Farm, like its neighbour, is listed
for compulsory acquisition as part of Zimbabwe’s controversial and notorious
Land Acquisition exercise. The Zimbabwean government has taken over hundreds of
farms illegally by fast-tracking the process, evicting bona fide owners and
ordering thousands of communal people to settle on properties listed for
acquisition without due regard to the law.
The Land Acquisition Act provides that
owners may object to the acquisition of their properties in the Administrative
Court, and the court must confirm the acquisition of the property before it is
handed over for resettlement. Until such confirmation is made, the appropriate
authority over the wildlife rests with the title deed holder of the land on
which the animals reside.
However, throughout the country settlers
and local District Councils have claimed the wildlife resources on listed
properties for themselves, and are selling it off to the first unscrupulous
buyer that comes along. Numerous South African hunters have been fingered in
the past few months for taking advantage of the confusion over land and wildlife
ownership and contributing to the uncontrolled depletion of the wildlife
resources on listed properties in Zimbabwe.
Some of the carcasses of the animals shot
on Chipizi Farm - an eland, two kudu, a wildebeest and fourteen impala - were
taken to a butchery in the nearby town of West Nicholson for processing. The
butcher, who wishes to remain anonymous, says the hunters provided their own
biltong spices, and took away over 400kg of wet biltong and raw meat in two
plastic crates and ten large waste-disposal bags.
Police in Beit Bridge recovered two crates
of meat, but the bags were missing when the men were arrested. It is not known
what actually happened to the remainder of the meat that was taken from the
butchery, but it is suspected that it was taken to South Africa by Mr van Zyl
who left before the weekend. South African authorities are
In a radio interview about the incident,
one of the South African hunters, Mr Brummer, claimed that most of the meat from
the trophy hunt was given to farm workers “and the farm owner”, while the
balance was to be used in exchange for curios before leaving for the border.
Asked why it was processed into biltong first, he replied that they had not
realised that the meat had to be brittle-dry before it could be imported into
South Africa. Signs on both sides of the South African border clearly indicate
that the South African Veterinary Services have put a moratorium on the
importation of animal products from Zimbabwe because of the severity and extent
of the FMD outbreak in that country.
Besides antelope, the South Africans also
killed a hippo and a crocodile in the Chipizi dam but did not “have time” to
retrieve them. War Veterans on the farm, who are believed to have been paid R7
500 for the hunt (well below National Park values), have offered Z$1 million to
anyone who will retrieve the carcass of the hippo from the dam for them.
Zimbabwe is recognised worldwide as having
one of the most professional and highly-regulated hunting industries in the
world, and property owners and safari operators must complete a battery of
National Parks approved hunting quotas, pre-hunt and post-hunt forms before
hunts can be conducted for gain and trophies exported from the country. A CITES
permit is required to hunt crocodile in Zimbabwe.
Proof of payment in foreign exchange is
also required, and moneys paid to operators must be deposited in a Zimbabwean
bank, in forex, within 14 days of the cessation of the hunt. Foreign client
hunts may only be conducted in the presence of a Zimbabwean-licensed
professional hunter who is responsible for ensuring that all regulations are
complied with and that animals are killed in an ethical and humane manner.
Furthermore, 2% levies on daily rates are payable to the Zimbabwe Tourism
Authority in forex.
It has been ascertained that the South
African group complied with none of the relevant statutory instruments though
they claim that their permits were in order. Police are still