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Zimbabwe to freeze prices indefinitely - report


Sun 15 Jul 2007, 8:58 GMT

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's government will this week enforce an
indefinite price freeze in a bid to rein in runaway inflation that has
ravaged consumers and increased political tensions, official media reported
on Sunday.

President Robert Mugabe's government has ordered a roll back of all prices
to June 18 levels after accusing businesses of unjustified increases and has
formed a crack team that includes the police and military, to enforce the

Desperate consumers, used to daily price increases, have cheered the price
cuts and embarked on buying sprees that have left most shop shelves empty.

 The initial freeze was meant to last until August 1 but the
government-owned Sunday Mail reported that the government had finalised a
statute to be published this week to extend the price cuts indefinitely.
Zimbabwe is grappling with a severe economic crisis marked by inflation
above 4,500 percent, rising unemployment and shortages of foreign currency,
fuel and food.

Last week the Central Statistical Office said it may stop publishing
inflation data., a move viewed by analysts as aimed at shielding the
government from criticism of its failure to control soaring prices.

The government has set profit margins from producers to wholesalers at 5
percent and at 10 percent for wholesalers to retailers. But basic goods like
maize-meal, sugar and cooking oil have disappeared from shelves as suppliers
cut production.

Economists said this would accelerate Zimbabwe's economic decline as
businesses would not be able to sustain production at a loss.

Mugabe has threatened to seize and nationalise companies he accuses of
hiking prices without justification as part of a Western plot to topple his

More than 2,000 business people and companies have been arrested and fined
while over 100 public commuter vehicles have been impounded for overpricing.

Mugabe, in power since independence from Britain in 1980, denies charges he
has run down a once prosperous economy and instead accuses the West of
sabotage as punishment for handing white-owned commercial farms to landless

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Outgoing U.S. ambassador leaves with parting shot to Zimbabweans to "keep the faith"

International Herald Tribune

The Associated PressPublished: July 15, 2007

HARARE, Zimbabwe: Outgoing U.S. Ambassador Christopher Dell ended his
three-year term in Zimbabwe at the weekend, leaving the citizens of the
troubled southern African country with a parting shot that "things will
change soon."

Dell, an outspoken critic of President Robert Mugabe's human and democratic
rights record, left on Saturday and headed to his next post in Afghanistan.

State television showed its news crew pursuing Dell through the Harare
airport complex on Saturday.

Dell told the sole broadcaster's diplomatic correspondent Judith Makwanya
that he urged Zimbabweans to "keep the faith. Things will change soon."

Dell has predicted total economic collapse in Zimbabwe by the end of the
year and said in one farewell interview with an independent newspaper last
month that the government was "doing regime change to itself" through
economic mismanagement and a crackdown on prices.

The government has accused Western nations of backing a political and
economic campaign for "regime change" to try to oust longtime ruler Mugabe,
State television said Dell's mission to bring down Mugabe was left
unaccomplished and he left the country a humiliated man.

Zimbabweans are bracing themselves for another week of economic strife as
Western governments warned their nationals against traveling to the southern
African nation and urged those already here to avoid visiting the
countryside and tourist attractions.

Price cuts of at least 50 percent ordered by the government on June 26 in an
attempt to curb rampant inflation have led to acute food shortages and near
riots as cheaper goods went on sale.

Orders to slash the price of gasoline to less than half the import cost saw
buses taken out of service and chaos on commuter routes is expected to
worsen at the start of the working week Monday.

The United States warned of state-sponsored violence and said the price
crackdown raised security concerns.

In a July 12 advisory, the U.S. State Department asked Americans in Zimbabwe
to minimize travel and, where practical, avoid public places and gatherings.

"In light of current circumstances, U.S. citizens are advised to consider
the risk before traveling to Zimbabwe at this time," the advisory said.

An Australian government advisory issued Wednesday said rapidly worsening
economic conditions could lead to civil unrest "at any time," affecting
visitors to the famed northwestern Victoria Falls resort and nature

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs warned some 700 of its
nationals living and working in Zimbabwe that the security situation could
"deteriorate quickly and without warning."

It said in the absence of the rule of law there was a high level of criminal
activity and economic conditions could lead to civil unrest.

Meanwhile, the South African government Sunday dismissed as untrue weekend
media reports on the collapse of talks with Zimbabwe in a rare comment on
the process to mediate an end to the crisis.

"Nothing is further from the truth," Foreign Affairs spokesman Ronnie
Mamoepa said in a statement issued from India.

President Thabo Mbeki has been mandated by the Southern African Development
Community to head talks between the Zimbabwean government and the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change. The South African government has requested a
media blackout on the process.

The Sunday Times reported that Mugabe had dumped Mbeki as a mediator and
ordered his two key negotiators, Patrick Chinamasa and Nicholas Goche, to
boycott negotiations that were supposed to resume in Pretoria this week.

Mamoepa, in the statement, rejected this as a "falsehood" and said the
facilitation process "remains on course".

"There is no shred of truth in the suggestion that Mugabe has spurned the
SADC-led facilitation process," he said.

However, Mamoepa confirmed that the ZANU-PF delegation "could not attend the
scheduled discussions in Pretoria this week due to prior engagements" and
that they had tendered an apology to the South African government.

"In this regard, efforts are under way to set a new date for the
facilitation talks in which the ZANU-PF delegation will attend," he said in
the statement.

The MDC was not immediately available for comment.

In Harare, Sunday churchgoers lined up for hours at bus stops. Many
scrambled aboard open trucks and private cars. Bus operators said subsidized
gas offered by the government either ran out or attracted chaotic jams of
honking minibus taxis, also waiting for hours at designated gas stations.

Shelves in stores remained bare of cornmeal, bread, meat and other staples.
Shoppers swarmed into a suburban supermarket after word spread by mobile
phone that it received a delivery of a few dozen loaves of bread Sunday.

Caller congestion has almost collapsed already overburdened cell phone
services after the government ordered the country's three networks to reduce
their charges.

Another supermarket filled out empty shelves Sunday with bundles of firewood
normally sold by vendors on the street during daily power outages in the
worst economic crisis since independence in 1980.

The state Sunday Mail newspaper, a government mouthpiece, described the
shopping spree for cheaper goods as "Christmas in July" for impoverished
victims of overcharging and profiteering by businesses.

But it acknowledged many shoppers were panic buying in bulk in uncertainty
over the resupply of goods to shops.

Nearly 2,000 business executives, managers, traders bus operators have been
arrested and fined for defying the June 26 edict on prices.

Shoppers have stampeded through clothing and shoe stores as well as food
shops. Harare's South African controlled Makro Mega Store was overwhelmed
Thursday by shoppers who carried away television sets and other electrical
appliances for a third of the listed price.

Witnesses said state-of-the-art plasma TVs went for as little as 10 million
Zimbabwe dollars (US$660; ?490 at the near defunct official exchange rate,
or US$75; ?55 at the dominant black market exchange rate.)

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Mugabe boots Mbeki from talks...

From The Weekender (SA), 14 July

Harare correspondent

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has reportedly dumped President Thabo
Mbeki as mediator in the inter-party talks between his ruling Zanu PF and
the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), in an
unprecedented attack on South African diplomacy. The move puts Mugabe on a
collision course with Southern African Development Community (SADC) leaders
ahead of their summit in Zambia next month. SADC leaders tasked Mbeki in
March to mediate the Zimbabwe situation. Prior to that, he had been a
self-appointed mediator since 2000 without much success. Sources in Harare
said on Friday that Mugabe had now ordered his party to disengage from the
talks, aimed at resolving Zimbabwe's political and economic problems under
Mbeki's facilitation, and negotiate directly with the MDC. After agreeing to
a final agenda last month, Zanu PF and MDC negotiating teams were expected
to discuss the constitution, sources said. The decision to withdraw from the
talks was taken last Friday after a meeting of Zimbabwe's Joint Operations
Command (JOC), which includes the army, intelligence and police, and led to
Zanu PF negotiators Patrick Chinamasa's and Nicholas Goche's failure to
pitch up at a meeting with the MDC last Saturday. Sources in Harare said
that after missing the talks , Chinamasa and Goche had met MDC negotiators,
Welshman Ncube and Tendai Biti, in Harare on Tuesday. This seriously
undermines Mbeki's role as mediator and leaves SADC in a quandary about what
do with Mugabe. MDC Treasurer Roy Bennett denied knowledge of the direct
talks , saying that he knew Biti had not attended such a meeting.

Sources said that the JOC had met Mugabe last week and it was resolved that
Zanu PF would disengage from the talks under Mbeki's mediation as it was
felt the talks would lead to the weakening of the government and a possible
Zanu PF defeat in next year's parliamentary and presidential elections. The
sources said that the JOC decision was taken hours before the Zanu PF's
politburo, central committee and national consultative assembly meeting last
Friday, during which Mugabe emphasised there was no need for a new
constitution, effectively repudiating the agenda for talks with the MDC. The
constitution is the first and most important item on the mediation talks'
agenda which was finalised last month. The agenda also includes electoral,
security and communication laws, and the political climate. Since Mbeki was
appointed mediator, Mugabe has consistently rejected calls for a new
constitution and the decision to withdraw from the mediation talks is the
clearest indication yet that the Zimbabwean leader does not want to
co-operate with the South African president. SA's mediation team, which
includes Local Government Minister Sydney Mufamadi who chairs the talks,
director-general in the Presidency Rev Frank Chikane and Mbeki's legal
advisor, Mojanku Gumbi, was kept waiting when Mugabe's negotiators failed to
arrive. It was later agreed that the negotiators would travel to Pretoria on
Saturday evening for rescheduled talks on Sunday, which they also failed to
attend. Zanu PF did not give any reasons for not attending .

This has put Mbeki in a tight spot on how to proceed as constitutional
reform is widely seen as central in resolving the Zimbabwean crisis. He is
determined to ensure the talks succeed for his legacy's sake and to get rid
of a festering trouble spot on his doorstep. Mbeki is also under pressure at
home and from abroad to effect change in the beleaguered neighbouring
country. The forthcoming SADC summit in Lusaka is expected to tackle
Zimbabwe's problems, and is likely to be a heated affair after Mugabe's
decision to dump Mbeki as mediator. MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai said on
Friday he was surprised at the news. South African foreign affairs spokesman
Ronnie Mamoepa said he was unaware of any such developments regarding SA's
mediation role.

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...Pretoria denies Mugabe boycott of efforts at ending Zimbabwe crisis

Monsters and Critics

Jul 15, 2007, 11:59 GMT

Johannesburg/Harare - The South African government on Sunday dismissed
reports that Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe was boycotting mediation
efforts aimed at resolving the dire crisis in his country.

The Johannesburg-based Sunday Times newspaper had reported that talks due to
take place between Zimbabwe's ruling and opposition parties in Pretoria last
week, had collapsed in the absence of members of Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF

The newspaper, quoted senior South African officials, saying Mugabe had
taken the decision to boycott the talks on July 7 and had ordered ZANU-PF
negotiators to boycott the meeting.

But the South African government on Sunday, dismissed the report as untrue.

'The ZANU-PF delegation could not attend the scheduled discussions in
Pretoria this week due to prior engagements and for this they tendered an
apology to the South African government,' Foreign Affairs spokesman Ronnie
Mamoepa said.

The Sunday Times had said South African officials were trying to rescue the
situation following the ZANU-PF pull out from talks. South Africa has for
years weathered strong criticism for its quiet diplomacy approach toward its
northern neighbour.

In March South African President Thabo Mbeki was asked by the Southern
African Development Community (SADC) to seek a political solution for the
ongoing crisis in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe, a former model African state has in the last seven years slipped
deeper into political and economic turmoil that has already driven about a
third of the population into exile.

With inflation at more than 4,500 percent and unemployment of around 80 per
cent, experts say, the country under Mugabe's leadership for the last 27
years, is on the brink of collapse.

© 2007 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur

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Zimbabwe's Tsvangirai warns Mugabe against vote rigging


Sun 15 Jul 2007, 15:37 GMT

By MacDonald Dzirutwe

HARARE, July 15 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's main opposition leader on Sunday
warned of further turmoil if President Robert Mugabe rigs presidential and
parliamentary elections next March, but pledged to continue pursuing talks
with ruling ZANU-PF party.

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) asserts Mugabe and
ZANU-PF have stolen past elections since 2000 and that this is the root of
Zimbabwe's long-running political and economic crisis.

The MDC has in the past suggested it may boycott next year's elections if
there is no new constitution to guarantee a fair vote and has put the issue
on the agenda of regional talks led by South African President Thabo Mbeki.

"If Mugabe steals again the next elections it will be a death sentence for
this country," Morgan Tsvangirai, the main MDC leader told thousands of
supporters at a rally in the town of Chitungwiza, 30 km south of Harare.

Mugabe dismisses the opposition's charges of vote rigging and says the
economy has been sabotaged by his Western foes, led by Britain. Inflation,
the highest in the world, has rocketed above 4,500 percent and four in five
adults are jobless.

In 2000 the MDC came closest to unseating Mugabe when it won 57 of the 120
contested seats but has seen its fortunes wane due to infighting and what
political analysts say is a sustained crackdown on its structures by the

Tsvangirai again criticised Mugabe's government proposed constitutional
which will expand the two Houses of Parliament and give parliament,
dominated by ZANU-PF, the right to nominate a president if Mugabe retires or
is incapacitated.

Current provisions require that presidential elections be held after three

The MDC says a new constitution tops the agenda of the Southern African
Development Community initiated talks and that the amendments were in bad

"We are not sure if Mugabe is serious about the talks. Mugabe is part of the
problem but he is also part of the solution," said Tsvangirai, adding that
the MDC would not only rely on the talks to resolve the country's crisis. He
did not elaborate.

Tsvangirai said a blanket price freeze imposed by the government, which has
sparked shortages of basic foodstuffs like maize-meal, cooking oil and
sugar, was meant to divert attention from the eight-year economic crisis.

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Kirsty Coventry wins two swimming golds for Zimbabwe at All Africa Games


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© AP

2007-07-15 01:48:23 -

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) - Olympic champion Kirsty Coventry of Zimbabwe won two
swimming gold medals Friday at the All Africa Games and was denied a silver
when her team was disqualified from the 4x100-meter relay.
Coventry won the 100-meter backstroke by setting a new All Africa Games
record of 1 minute, 1.28 seconds. She then won the 800-meter freestyle in
8:43.89, another games record.
Coventry went straight back in the pool to swim the last leg of the
freestyle relay for Zimbabwe in the final race of the day. She advanced from
fifth place to second, only to see her team disqualified for a false start
on the third leg.
South Africa won the relay in 3:56.05, with Egypt in second and Tunisia
«It's been a great competition so far. The pool's great, the crowd is very
loud, I have the whole Zimbabwean team upstairs screaming and yelling for me
so that always helps,» said Coventry, who also won the 400-meter medley
In men's swimming, South Africa claimed two more gold medals, bringing the
team's total haul of swimming golds to 12 over the first three days of the
games. Cameron Van der Burgh won the 50-meter breaststroke while George Du
Rand claimed a comfortable victory in the 200-meter backstroke.
«I knew I was going to swim pretty fast, I've just come back from Europe and
I've been swimming a solid time,» said Van der Burgh, who also won the
100-meter breaststroke Wednesday. «Knowing that you're swimming for your
country, you always give it your all and to do as well as I've done so far,
I'm extremely happy.

Algeria won gold and silver in the men's 100-meter freestyle, with Salim
Iles setting a new games record with 49.38. Nabil Kebbab was second and
Kenyan Jason Dunford third.
In other events, South Africa's Daryl Impey won the 150-kilometer (93-mile)
cycling road race in 3 hours, 48.51 minutes, ahead of Ertitrea's Fricalsi
Oebasay and Rafaa Chetoui of Tunisia.
In judo, Algeria won three gold medals and one bronze, bringing the host
nation's total medal count in the sport to 16.
The All Africa Games run until July 23. Some 8,000 athletes are competing in
27 sports.

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Zimbabwe the loser in global gold rush

Mail and Guardian

Godfrey Marawanyika | Harare, Zimbabwe

15 July 2007 09:34

      Skyrocketing inflation, erratic power supplies, a skills
shortage and a dearth of foreign exchange have combined to ensure Zimbabwe
is missing out on a global boom in gold prices.

      While global prices for gold hit a new record high in May, the
potential benefits for manufacturers and miners are being rapidly eroded by
the collapse of the Zimbabwean dollar.

      Instead, the mining firms are nervously waiting to see if
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe carries out his threats to nationalise
companies that he says are allowing precious metals to be smuggled out of
the country as part of a Western-inspired plot to topple his beleaguered

       "It's like a vicious circle as we are not benefiting from these
high international prices," said Mark Verden, CEO of the Zimbabwe Chamber of
Mines. "The problems we have are so many. Some of our gold miners have not
been paid since November last year and yet they need to import most of their
raw materials."

      The world price for gold now stands at about $655 an ounce, only
slightly down on the record of $688 an ounce that was recorded in May.

      But while the increase has led to a rise in profits elsewhere,
Zimbabwean firms have found themselves out of pocket as they can only sell
their product at a fraction of the market price to the government. Only 60%
of the money they receive in return is paid in hard currency, while the
balance comes in the increasingly worthless local Zimbabwean dollar.

      For example, when the central bank sells gold to the
international market, it is paid $650 per ounce, yet local producers receive
just $62,34 an ounce from the authorities.

      Overall gold production in Zimbabwe is this year expected to
drop to about 8 700kg from 11 354kg last year, a far cry from 27 000kg
produced in the industry heyday in 1989.

      Eric Kahari, chairperson of the mining house Rio Zim, said that
while 2007 has been good in dollar terms, he is concerned that the company
has not been paid for its gold since November last year by the central bank.

      "This has created considerable cash-flow constraints for your
companies with a number of projects having to be deferred and creditor
obligations being breached," Kahari said in a statement to shareholders.

      Low exploration
      Although the Southern African country is endowed with vast
reserves of minerals such as palladium, chrome, platinum, gold, diamonds,
copper, coal and nickel, exploration activity has declined in recent years.

      On top of the economic downturn, the industry has also had to
grapple with a fall in capacity that is being caused by a lack of parts and
power and then exacerbated by a skills shortage.

      A report by the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries last month
showed companies were operating at a third of their capacity, with
confederation president Callisto Jokonya lamenting that Zimbabwe had
"de-industrialised ourselves".

      Power cuts lasting several hours are now commonplace and
companies find it almost impossible these days to either afford or find
spare parts for their ageing machinery.

       The Chamber of Mines said the fall in activity is particularly
damaging when rival countries are reaping the rewards of the high metal

      "This low level of exploration was of great concern to the
mining sector especially at a time when other countries were experiencing
high-level exploration and development activity resulting from high metal
prices," the chamber said in its annual report.

      "No exclusive prospecting orders were approved during the last
three years, the reason being that government was insisting on inclusion of
black empowerment in exploration activities," it added in reference to a
government Bill that will give the indigenous blacks a 51% majority stake in
all public-owned companies.

      Under current laws, locals are entitled to a 15% stake in
foreign-owned mining ventures, but there have been few takers. The proposed
new Bill is set to affect multi-nationals including Bindura Nickel
Corporation and Rio Zim.

      Collen Gura, CEO of Metallon Gold, whose firm contributes 52% of
the country's output, said that while the business is no longer turning in a
profit, producers can also not afford simply to shut up shop until the
economic situation improves.

      "The cost of restructuring once you close is great, as you risk
having your equipment cracking or completely breaking down," he said. "Right
now it is more profitable to be a supplier of goods than to be a miner." -- 

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Zimbabwean price blitz disgusting, rights group says

Monsters and Critics

Jul 15, 2007, 14:43 GMT

Harare/Johannesburg - A prominent Zimbabwean rights group on Sunday
expressed its utter disgust with President Robert Mugabe's ongoing blitz on
prices, which has emptied shops and led to dire warnings of massive

In a statement, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) said the
blitz was irrational and defied all logic.

The group said the campaign, which has seen teams of police and price
inspectors raiding stores throughout Zimbabwe as they enforce a blanket
half-price slash on goods, would only make the crisis in the
hyperinflation-hit country even worse.

The goods on which prices have been slashed have found their way onto the
black market as only those with ready cash have grabbed them from shops,
ZimRights said.

The group pointed out that commuters were now stranded as transport
operators, forced to charge unviable fares, were simply withdrawing their

ZimRights said the price blitz was similar to the invasions of thousands of
white-owned farms in 2000 and beyond, and the slum clearances of 2005, which
together left hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans homeless and jobless.

The price blitz, which began late last month, has sparked a huge

Government supporters, including state-owned media, have insisted the
authorities were trying to protect innocent consumers from unscrupulous
businessmen, who hiked prices.

The official Sunday Mail headlined one of its articles, Christmas in July
for Harare, and interviewed shoppers excited that they had managed to
procure previously unaffordable breakfast cereal at knockdown prices.

But stories abound of businesses forced to sell clothes, fuel and electrical
goods at far less than half price to well-dressed and moneyed customers who
had apparently got wind of the shop raids before they happened.

At least 11 people, some of them policemen, have been arrested so far for
masquerading as price inspectors and forcing shops to sell goods at
knock-down prices.

© 2007 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur

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Seven more arrested for looting shops in Zimbabwe

Monsters and Critics

Jul 15, 2007, 10:55 GMT

Harare/Johannesburg - Seven more people, including a government official,
have been arrested in Zimbabwe for allegedly looting goods from shops and
outlets amid a countrywide blitz on prices, reports said Sunday.

Colin Mungate, an information ministry official, was arrested in the capital
on Thursday for allegedly forcing a branch of Agrifoods - a stock feed
company - to stay open so his relatives could buy products at knock-down
prices, said the official Sunday Mail.

Seven other people were arrested in the second city of Bulawayo on Saturday
for masquerading as government price inspectors and forcing an electronics
company, TV Sales and Hire, to slash prices.

The seven are all expected to appear in court on Monday facing charges of
impersonation and corruption, a police spokesman said. It is a serious
offence that attracts a jail sentence of up to two years, he said.

Last week, four policemen were arrested in Harare and Bulawayo also for
posing as officials enforcing a two-week old government campaign to force
shops and businesses to slash prices by as much as half.

The price blitz has seen shops and supermarkets quickly emptied of goods,
leaving shelves bare of basics like sugar, cooking oil, bread and meat. Fuel
stations have also run dry.

Retailers - battling inflation of more than 4,500 percent - warn they will
not be able to restock. More than 2,000 shop owners and company officials
have been arrested and many of them fined for defying the governments
directive to reduce prices.

© 2007 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur

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Zim pensioners paying a heavy price


    July 15 2007 at 11:57AM

By Eleanor Momberg

Zimbabwean pensioners living in South Africa are surviving on

Foreign pension payments, policy payouts and inter-country money
transfers were stopped by the Zimbabwean government in March 2003.

Pensioners living outside Zimbabwe have not received a cent of their
hard-earned pension money for four years.

This week, the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Commission informed its
pensioners that the fund had been wrapped up, because it could not afford to
pay pensioners, largely because of hyper-inflation.

The pensioners were asked to choose between having the money paid out,
or to "nominate a family member or a friend" in Zimbabwe to whom their money
could be donated. Alternatively, they were advised to spend the money on a
plane ticket and to "come and visit" Zimbabwe.

Betty - a pensioner, 74, living in Britain who did not want to give
her surname - said her pension payout from the electricity supplier would be
Z$99,1-million - the equivalent of just more than R2 700. Quentin Gibson,
chairperson of the Flame Lily Foundation of the Rhodesia Association of SA,
said many former Zimbabweans were living from hand to mouth.

"Some are saved from total starvation by drawing a South African
old-age pension."

The foundation's website reported that a number of pensioners had
managed to get some money out of Zimbabwe, and continued to receive pensions
without any problems under a deal with the pensions office, until
cross-border payments were banned by the Zimbabwe government.

How many were destitute was unclear, because they did not advertise
their situation, said Gibson and Leon Jacobs, chairperson of the M'dala
Trust based in the Western Cape.

Jacobs said thousands of former Rhodesians/ Zimbabweans in South
Africa had not received their pensions since 2003.

Many were being cared for by friends and family, but a number were
almost totally destitute. The M'dala Trust was formed after Jacobs, who also
lost his pension, heard of the plight of pensioners worse off than he.

This article was originally published on page 6 of Tribune on July 15,

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Workers now walk for work as transporters pull out

The Zimbabwean

THOUSANDS of Zimbabwean workers on Friday walked to and from work as the
reality of the chaotic blitz by government struck hard following the pulling
out of service by the majority of commuter transport providers.

Government caused mayhem in the transport sector on Thursday by arresting
many operators and impounding their vehicles allegedly for failing to heed
its calls to reduce fares.

The Zanu (PF) regime has ordered fares to be slashed by between 100% and
200% and claimed that it is proving subsidized fuel to commuter operators.

However, the fuel is nowhere to be found leaving the commuter operators to
continue sourcing the commodity from the thriving black market.

Government last week ruled that fuel prices must be pegged at $55 000 per
litre and $60 000 per litre for diesel and petrol respectively whilst on the
black market both are selling for about $300 000 per litre and above.

"We walked in the morning because there was not transport and we are having
to walk again because of the same situation," Crispen Chiutsi told CAJ News
on Friday evening whilst taking off from the city centre on foot after work.

Chiutsi stays in Glen View high density suburb, about 18 kilometres from the
city centre where he works in a bank.

Transport and Communications minister Chris Mushowe said the subsidized fuel
is being made available.

"We hope to see the situation improving because the fuel from government is
expected to flood the market soon," he said.

Commuter operators have remained defiant and showed determination to stand
their ground in the face of heavy handedness and intimidation by government.

"They can arrest, we will simply stop operating because we are saying the
only way we can reduce prices to levels stipulated by government is when we
get the promised fuel," an operator said.

"There is no way we are going to charge the reduced fares when we are buying
fuel from the black market."

The same situation has affected long distance travelers as bus operators are
either parking their vehicles or continuously charging fares higher than
government dictated ones because of the same reason of getting fuel from the
black market- CAJ News.

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SA benefiting from Zim's skill drain: Tsedu


July 15, 2007, 11:45

Mathatha Tsedu, the City Press editor-in-chief, says says South Africa is
benefiting from Zimbabwe's skills drain. Many Zimbabwean have migrated, most
of them to neighbouring South Africa, as their country's economy

Last week Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the foreign affairs minister, said the
worsening economic situation in Zimbabwe would have dire consequences for
South Africa.

President Thabo Mbeki has maintained that the influx of Zimbabweans to South
Africa is inevitable.

Tsedu says this is a huge benefit for South Africa, which is struggling with
a shortage of skills.

"When the minister of education was saying she needed maths (teachers) and
scientists, there was an organisation here in South Africa of Zimbabwean
teachers who are in exile. Who said they can meet that quota that the
minister wants. If you go into the banking sector into all sorts of areas,
whether it is in the catering industry and hospitality industry. There are
Zimbabwean's who are very skilled, who are helping this country meets it's
skill shortages."

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No quick fix for Zim


15/07/2007 13:56  - (SA)

Siyabulela Qoza

Johannesburg - Zimbabwe would need a "simultaneous package of political
reform, currency revaluation, foreign investment and restoration of goods
and services - primarily, food importation" to pull herself out of the
economic crisis she is in, says Pan African Advisory Services chief
executive Iraj Abedian.

He said such a package couldn?t be implemented piecemeal but given what is
happening in Zimbabwe, this is unlikely to happen in the short term, as the
government is unlikely to agree to political reform.

"What is happening in Zimbabwe does not make political or economic sense. It
is financial suicide that is worse than what we have seen in times of war,"
he said.

Zimbabwean police were this week arresting business people who were not
following government orders to cut the prices of basic commodities and fuel
by half.

The price freeze led to panic buying, which left shelves across the country
empty. Analysts say the price controls left businesses unprofitable because
they were forced to sell their stock at lower than what they paid for it.

As a result, they do not expect the shelves to be stocked any time soon.

Bail-out talks

Abedian said the price controls, supply shortages and inflation did not
leave much room for further constructive engagement and it is impossible for
the region, which will have to accommodate Zimbabwean refugees, to help.

"When someone is sleep-walking towards a wall, you can help them. But if
someone jumps off a cliff, then the gravitational force of price controls,
supply shortages and inflation takes over and there is little you can do,"
he said.

As the crisis deepens, Zimbabwe is believed to be talking to countries and
institutions to raise $2.5bn (R17.4bn) to help stabilise the economy.

It is believed that the Zimbabwe government is talking to South Africa about
the bail-out.

Last month during a state visit to Tripoli, President Robert Mugabe was
reported to have held meetings with Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi about a
$2bn loan.

"The bigger question is: What are the Zimbabwean government offering
potential lenders in return for their assistance?" asked Yvonne Mhango,
economist at Standard Bank.

"They may be mortgaging the country's natural resources. One of the most
important conditions for advancing loans is a guarantee that the money will
be returned."

'Enough is enough'

She said the Zimbabwean government is forced to look for loans because
foreign reserves have been severely constrained by the economic slowdown,
closure of credit lines and declining tax revenues.

Abedian said he would be surprised if there was any lender advancing credit
to Zimbabwe.

He said Israel, which underwent a war, had to change governments and revalue
its currency before being able to manage inflation.

Mhango said any recovery plan would be painful for Zimbabwe and the region.

She said it was unlikely that the Zimbabwean government would accept a
proposal to peg the Zim dollar to the rand.

"Pegging the Zim dollar to the rand implies giving control of the central
bank to South Africa. Mugabe is unlikely to give up the sovereignty of the
central bank," said Mhango.

She said it was unlikely that South African authorities would consider
allowing the pegging of the two currencies without the financial indicators

Abedian added that Zimbabwean Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono's attack on
the government policy this week represented the first sign that some people
within the top echelons are finally saying "enough is enough".

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Still alive in Zim!!!!

Dear All

Thought I would drop you all a quick line to let you know despite what you
are hearing at this point - we are still alive!!  I did start writing to you
all on the 25 June - being six months since xmas, but time got away from me
and of course so much has happened since then.

As it is your home too, I am sure you are all watching the news and
following the story - IT'S WILD!!  Price's are slashed, does not matter what
you paid for the goods, you are forced to sell for the price the police are
telling you.  Hope you dont need school shoes cos Bata was told that shoes
for $3-$4million will be sold for $300,000 - and you cannot get near a shop
entrance - guess bata wont be around much longer!  I stopped smoking Madison
when they went to $800,00 a carton (NO- not stopped smoking, just smoked
something much cheaper!)  This week Peter bought me 2 cartons of Madison at
$300,000ea!  This was not from BAT cos they were not trading!  Yesterday
Jaggers were told to mark their computers and T.V.'s down to $10mill (R570)
and $20mill (R1140) respectively - I have just been told their is a queue of
about 200 people outside the shop - guess they are not all there for the

Of course with this comes the arrests.  Last night was Peter Chase, Marti
Coghlan, Hilton Solomon, an old coloured lady from Chitrens - to name just a
few that I heard of.  I believe Hilton's was over the price of spaghetti -
which I believe he has marked at the correct price, but as you are picked up
a 5pm there is nothing a lawyer or anybody else can do till today - and
believe me, it is freezing cold here at night so can only imagine what the
hell they went through last night.

We have two "task force" groups doing the rounds.  One is the police the
other "war vets"and "green bombers" - you do not want the later!  They
travel around with their "following", inspect your shop and store room, tell
you what price your goods will sell for, then bring in their "buyers".  They
are having a field day - will they think it is so cool next week when there
is nothing to buy or they cant afford the black market price??  The horror
stories are endless.  I recon I could write a book in a week about this - of
course there will be no way of printing it!

The powers that be have not really thought this through I dont think.  What
will happen at the end of next month when it comes time to pay VAT?
Consider this:  You bought stock high - paid high VAT, sold at half the
price you bought for - now half the VAT, on top of this you have a hugh loss
on your books and now they OWE YOU money!!  And they are not getting money
in???  To add insult to injury, they moved the tax bands so you dont pay so
much PAYE either!!!

There are some I dont feel sorry for - I'm relieved my cell phone had to
take back their 1000% increase - it was hurting!!  And medical aid, cos we
were paying more and getting less, and when they did pay the "less" it was
worthless anyway - so why bother??

Along with this there is NO fuel.  I had a few coupons for sale, but its
hard to collect cos the garage hardly ever has power and when they do
everyone with coupons rushes there, which forms a queue, which attracts
attention, which brings the task force back, which shuts them down - and so
it goes, round and round and round!!!

Anyway, its exciting times.  I think this is great - now is the time.  If I
get in to trouble I'll send out an S.O.S. - PLEASE SEND FOOD!  Pray for us,
and when it is all over - which is looking very soon now, I'll see you all
at for a drink under our beautiful African sky BACK AT HOME!!!

Until them, take care and god bless,


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Atrophic Africa, in particular Zimbabwe

What should we do about Zimbabwe? The beloved country is rapidly sliding
into oblivion. There is a crisis unfolding. I feel like weeping as I shake
my head in utter disbelief at the way things are unfolding. Like a migraine
headache, a word keeps on throbbing in my head day and night. The word is
atrophy. Atrophy, atrophy, atrophy, it goes on and on. Why? Zimbabwe is in
an advanced state of atrophying (wasting away).

Government in Africa.
What government in Africa?
Government is a group of decadent gangsters, opportunists, cronies, crooks
and scoundrels. The instruments of the state are used to advance their own
economic interests. Politics does not include the poor suppressed masses -
the politics of exclusion. The people are there to be fleeced and used as a
vehicle to self enrichment and aggrandizement.
Unfortunately, most African states are turned into personal properties of
the ruling elites. To quote one of my learned friends “The country and the
party is the president’s project.”

Infrastructure has been decaying and crumbling in our eyes. Roads, schools,
and telecommunications systems are in shambles. Schools are without
teachers. Hospitals do not have doctors and nurses. Farms do not have
farmers. Censorship is rife. Citizens are scared of persecution and
detention. Arbitrary seizures of property are the norm. Corruption is the
day to day mode of business conduct. Tyranny continuously plagues the
African states.

Zimbabwe is in decay like a grain of wheat, sorghum, rappoko or maize seed.
When we bury seed in the ground (as a process of planting), the seed decays.
Out of the decay, a new plant, a new life will sprout. At this juncture,
Zimbabwe is in that state of decay. For things to get better in Zimbabwe, it
shall get worse, unbearable. Tears shall flow. Blood shall flow. People will
starve to death. The homeless will increase in numbers. Hunger shall prevail
to a scale never seen in Zimbabwe before.

That’s the process of the decay – atrophy. Unfortunately political atrophy
is a process which can take a long time. The only good thing out of this
political atrophy is the birth of a new life, a new nation. We, the huddled
masses are the catalyst that can quicken it. However, have we already sown
the seed in Zimbabwe? Are we still contemplating which seed to plant? Do we
have quality seed to plant? Do we have the courage to plant a new seed? Is
the (political) ground ready for planting? Is the season ready? All these
questions need answers. Getting the answers is a painful process. It is
painful because we are the agents of change. It is even more painful because
we are already in pain. CRY MY BELOVED COUNTRY.

Tendai Hamadziripi Kwari

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Soon very 'few people left in Zimbabwe'


    July 15 2007 at 04:20PM

By Basildon Peta and Eleanor Momberg

"At the rate at which they are flocking in, I think there will soon be
very few people left in Zimbabwe and nothing left of us," says one Limpopo

He sums up the fears of South African businessmen, especially game
farmers living along the border between the two countries, who say they are
bearing the brunt of the increasing influx of illegal Zimbabwean immigrants
fleeing President Robert Mugabe's misrule.

While the South African government is underplaying the influx in the
wake of Zimbabwe's economic collapse, the farmers have no doubt that the
numbers are increasing.

"They [the government] probably fear to offend Mugabe by admitting
that his people are fleeing him," says one.

He says irate farmers have been in contact with the top brass of the
military and police in Musina to voice concerns about increased crime,
allegedly linked to the increasing numbers of Zimbabweans jumping the
border, but to no avail.

Farmers interviewed declined to be identified in print, saying they
still have to work with the authorities. They claim that the local police
and military privately acknowledge that between 3 000 and 4 000 Zimbabweans
are jumping the border every day.

That would represent illegal inflows of at least 100 000 people
monthly, far higher than the official estimates of between 20 000 to 40 000
a month.

Verifying the figures is difficult because the "human tsunami", as one
farmer puts it, is hitting South Africa at night.

Night border crossings are being organised by criminal bands,
popularly known as Magumaguma (Scavengers), for high fees. They have been
known to shoot at police and soldiers.

Maggie Sotyu, the chairperson of the parliamentary cluster on peace
and stability, visited the Beitbridge border post this week with members of
her committee. She described illegal immigration as "unbelievable".

"Fences are being torn apart and there is a serious lack of staff to
ward off illegal migration, particularly in the army and police," she said.

Most of the violent crime here is allegedly linked to the Magumaguma,
who are said to turn on the illegals they are supposed to be helping -
raping women, robbing them and sometimes killing them.

The farmers allege that deserting soldiers from the Zimbabwe National
Army have joined the ranks of the Magumaguma, smuggling weapons such as
AK-47s into the country.

They say some game farms and lodges have been attacked and robbed of
guns, vehicles and even heavy equipment, such as pumps and motors.

The farmers say a solution would be to switch on the electric fence
that runs between the two other fences along the border. But they say local
politicians have told them that such a move would be inhuman.

"They (politicians) say they can't erect a Great Wall of China nor
switch on the electric fence. We have been abandoned to our own devices,"
says one farmer.

South African government officials declined to comment on the
situation. A group of senior police officers was in Musina this week,
however, to review the border control situation.

The South African government will not be opening refugee camps to deal
with an influx of Zimbabweans, says Jackie Mashapu of the department of home

This despite the fact that the department has deported 1 000 illegal
Zimbabwean nationals from the Lindela repatriation facility and 5 000 from
the direct deportation operation in Musina in the past 10 days.

Mashapu says that South Africa's booming economy and laws regarding
asylum make it an attractive option for many people from the rest of the
continent and beyond. Most of these people are economic migrants and not
fleeing persecution.

The exact number of illegal Zimbabweans in South Africa is not known
because no formal research has been done on the matter. But researchers said
this week that there were as many as six million illegal immigrants from all
over Africa living in South Africa.

Loren Landau, a research director at the forced migration studies
programme at Wits University, says there is no definitive source for the
number of Zimbabweans entering South Africa. But he says estimates of 3
million Zimbabweans in South Africa are "radically inflated".

South Africa, he says, is not prepared for any kind of humanitarian

"If 100 000 Zimbabweans come here next month, the government will not
be able to handle it. There are no co-ordinating agencies to ensure that
people have access to healthcare, food and other services."

This article was originally published on page 1 of Sunday Independent
on July 15, 2007

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Want to rent my room? It will cost you a litre of oil!

From The Sunday Times (SA), 15 July

Harare correspondent

An advertisement in the classified section of Friday's government daily
mouthpiece reads: "Twenty kilogram of prime beef in exchange for your 20
litres of fuel." Down the column another reads: "One drum of fuel for your
cow." With the critical shortage of all commodities sparked by President
Robert Mugabe's directive to the business sector to reduce their prices, the
majority of Zimbabweans have resorted to bartering in desperate attempts to
beat the shortage blues. Adverts to exchange elusive commodities such as
fuel, cooking oil, meat, sugar and salt are now a common feature in the
government and the small but vibrant private media. Not to be outdone,
landlords in some townships of Harare are now demanding groceries instead of
cash, because the Zimbabwe dollar is worthless. For a one-room home in
Highfields, one of Zimbabwe's oldest and most politically volatile
townships, landlords are demanding one litre of cooking oil, which in the
flourishing parallel market costs about 600000, while others are demanding
meat, salt and sugar.

For Farai Madzikatire, a primary school teacher, dried fish has become the
daily relish for his family of five as he battles everyday to find meat. "We
last ate meat two weeks ago," said Madzikatire, as he stood on Friday in a
long and winding queue of weary Hararians waiting outside a Chinese- run
grocer to buy pieces of chicken. "I don't think even during [Ian] Smith
[former Rhodesian prime minister] things were this bad," said Madzikatire.
On Wednesday, Mugabe cancelled the licences of all private abattoirs after
they failed to supply butcheries and supermarkets with meat and other meat
products after orders to sell their products at half their normal prices. In
the high-density suburbs, according to Madzikatire, enterprising butchers
were selling rabbits and other wildlife as alternatives for meat-loving
Zimbabweans, but at very prohibitive black market rates. Jacob Zuze, a bank
executive , said he has left his car at his suburban home after struggling
for days to acquire fuel. "At first it was embarrassing typing [walking] to
work with the povo, b ut I am now one of them. We share jokes about the
country as we trudge to work."

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Zimbabwe connected to Heinz

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

By Jack Markowitz
Sunday, July 15, 2007

Too bad Tony O'Reilly's economics lesson didn't take.
O'Reilly is a former chairman of H.J. Heinz Co. who retired in 1997.
Nearly 20 years ago he held a "tutorial," as he called it, with Robert
Mugabe, president of Zimbabwe.

In those days, Mugabe seemed teachable. And more presidential. But he
has held office for 27 years now, and while foreigners deferentially call
him "Mr. President," Mr. Dictator is what they have to be thinking.

O'Reilly tried to sell him on the virtues of free enterprise at a time
when Heinz was setting up a plant in the African heartland. Zimbabwe had
promise then, with roots in private property on a continent where new black
leaders were hooked on socialism. Too bad. The profit engine works so much
better to improve people's incomes, jobs, and living standards.

As the former British colony of Rhodesia, Zimbabwe was able to feed
its own population and even to export. It could earn foreign exchange. But
that was under white rule. Colonialism had to go.
The question was, would prosperity go with it? Or would Zimbabwe's new
leaders be able to bring a revolutionized nation into the world without
messing up?

Heinz did its part. It took a 51 percent interest in a food processing
plant with the government as 49 percent partner. The "Michigan bean" was
introduced, the bean that makes baked beans. It's a grocery shelf staple
almost everywhere, so why not in Africa, where no year goes by without a
starvation scandal?

Heinz would buy from local farmers, who'd have a nearby regular
customer, good for both sides.

Such was the message O'Reilly told reporters in Pittsburgh that he
tried to convey to Mugabe. Maybe it made an impression. Briefly. But the
Marxist pattern of top-down government control never really let up. White
farming families were terrorized or dispossessed, private property trampled.
The results were predictably chaotic.

The Heinz operation did grow to 500 or 600 workers -- where it
amazingly holds to this day, producing not beans but sauces and other
products under the Olivine label.

But the national currency has plunged and inflation is horrendous, in
part to pay for food that Zimbabweans now have to import. Last year, Heinz
joined a growing list of multinationals taking write-downs on its Zimbabwe
assets. The company continues to "monitor" its investment, it says, and
"review strategic alternatives."

Add new negatives to monitor. Mugabe recently laid down a law that all
businesses have to cut prices by as much as 50 percent. They face seizure if
they don't. "Price inspectors" raid stores, warehouses, service stations.
Some businesses have just closed. And poor people have stampeded stores to
buy up what they can.

This hopeless way to fight inflation won cheers, however, from a
public plaza crowd, maybe the only crowd, that Mr. Mugabe can still count
on: war veterans and his ruling party's militiamen. Pity the policy that
requires such approval.

Retired business editor Jack Markowitz writes Sundays and Thursdays.
E-mail him at

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SA farmer sues Mbeki over Zim


15/07/2007 13:38  - (SA)

ZB du Toit

Pretoria - A well-known Free State farmer is suing the South African
government for about R80m in damages he suffered from the collapse of his
farming interests in Zimbabwe.

Crawford von Abo of Bothaville wants the Pretoria High Court to force the
government to institute international arbitration to win back his interests
in Zimbabwe. If not, the government must pay for his losses.

Von Abo argues that the government failed to provide him with diplomatic
protection, his constitutional right.

The government, President Thabo Mbeki and the ministers of foreign affairs
and trade and industry are the first, second, third and fourth respondents
in the suit.

In court papers, Von Abo labels the reaction of Mbeki and other government
officials on his repeated calls for help as "unreasonable, "evasive",
"passive", improper", "sluggish" and "in bad faith".

Von Abo alleges that his losses amount to R80m since the government of
President Robert Mugabe five years ago started to repossess his farms.

The Free State farmer argues that he bought his first farm in Zimbabwe in
the early 1950s and since then continuously reinvested his profits in that

He is asking the court now to order the government to ratify a treaty
whereby disputes could be referred to a body of the World Bank, the
International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).

Although the South African Law Commission already six years ago strongly
recommended the government gave the ICSID legal status, it is yet to be

Von Abo relies among other things on a ruling of the Constitutional Court in
2004 over a number of South Africans then being held in a prison in Harare.
In the ruling by then Chief Justice Arthur Chaskalson, the court found that
the government had a constitutional obligation to protect the rights of its
citizens abroad.

Meanwhile, South Africans increasingly had to feel the brunt of the
worsening political and economic crisis in Zimbabwe.

In the last two weeks, the stream of desperate Zimbabwean refugees into
South Africa had increased dramatically. This after the number of refugees
from Zimbabwe in the last financial year increased by more than half a
million compared with the previous year.

In the past week, border towns like Musina had seen a massive flood of
Zimbabweans who crossed the border for basic goods.

In the latest onslaught, Mugabe's government on Friday placed a ban on the
import of groceries for resale from neighbouring countries.

"It looks like he wants to make sure we die," a shop owner told journalists.

Many shops ran out of goods after Mugabe earlier ordered all prices be
slashed by half. In a blitz to enforce the decree, more than a thousand
business people and shop managers, including that of South African-owned
shops, had been arrested.

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AU chasing a mirage...

Accra Daily Mail

A United States of Africa

By Franklin Cudjoe | Posted: Monday, July 16, 2007

The African Union summit here has issued a road-map to a federation of
African States (Accra Declaration) without mentioning a single idea on
political or economic freedom for African citizens.
Continental union was the founding principle of the original Organisation of
African Unity but it never stood a chance. African leaders refuse to face up
to their own or their neighbours' failures, whilst preventing ordinary
Africans from using their ingenuity to build their own future.

We heard much at the AU last week of lofty ideals of unity, not least from
Libyan dictator Muammar Ghaddafi, yet nothing of any use on the real
disasters of Zimbabwe, Darfur, Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea. Other
continental failures such as corruption and election-rigging did not even
feature on the agenda--although these remain the real unifying features of

Above all, there was not a whisper about property rights, the rule of law
and economic freedoms that would allow Africans to emulate the growth of
Asian countries such as Thailand, Malaysia and South Korea that were as poor
as we were at independence in the 1960s. Even the growth records of South
Africa, Mauritius and Botswana are ignored as being somehow exceptional
instead of being acknowledged as the result of sound economic policies.

Positions at the AU are divided between the so-called "gradualists," who
believe that individual countries should first strive to build working
economies and integrate them through regional blocs, and the "radicals," who
believe a supra-national authority would lead to unity.

Neither side, however, is talking about the real issue of economics--and
freedom for Africans to raise themselves out of poverty, unshackled from
State serfdom.

The life-changing power of trade has been demonstrated historically and not
just in the West. At the height of their glory, many pre-colonial African
states and empires found trade to be a better way to prosperity than through

Gold was shipped from Wangara in the Upper Niger across the Sahara desert to
Taghaza, in Western Sahara, in exchange for salt, and to Egypt for ceramics,
silks and other Asian and European goods. The old Ghana Empire controlled
much of the trans-Sahara trade in copper and ivory. At Great Zimbabwe, gold
was traded for Chinese pottery and glass. From Nigeria, leather and iron
goods were traded throughout West Africa.

Today, Africa has lost that ability to trade and as a result, many
conspiracy theories abound for its backwardness. Regardless, the blame game
ignores the devil within: the internal and regional barriers that hobble
trade, making tariffs within Africa far higher than any tariff barriers by
outside blocs. There are even politicians, bureaucrats and many aid
activists who argue that these tariffs make essential contributions to
government revenue--meaning that government offices are more important than
citizens or the economy.

Opponents of US Free Trade Agreements (FTA) or European Union Economic
Partnership Agreements (EPA) say these would allow cheap imports and send
the already tottering African economies into collapse. They have no thought
for the consumers who would benefit from cheap imports or the producers who
could export regionally and internationally. They think only of maintaining
government power and protecting industries (usually run by government

The real consequence of these anti-development policies would keep the
African farmer at subsistence level and keep our economies agrarian.
Tragically, these barriers and that backwardness excuse African leaders from
building the necessary infrastructure needed to open up the continent to
free trade.

Tariffs in rich countries have fallen by 84% in the last two decades to
about 3.9%--yet tariff barriers in Africa have only declined by 20% to a
still massive average of 17.7%. Of course, other, non-tariff, protectionism
in the poorest African countries is four times greater than in rich

So the issue here is not remote ideals of regional or continental unity that
might, by some undefined and unprecedented magic, lift Africans out of
poverty. The real issue is the lack of practical and everyday economic
freedom that would allow Africans to lift themselves out of poverty, with
well-defined and historically-proven policies.

The beauty of sound economic policies is that they take effect within very
few years, as in South Africa and Botswana, unlike fancy political notions,
such as Ghaddafi's oft-delayed union with Egypt. But leaders who can talk of
unity while ignoring the carnage in Darfur and the tyranny in Zimbabwe can
very easily ignore regional economic barriers.

Our future will not be built by ideology and fine concepts: these are what
have kept Africans back when hundreds of millions in Asia were building a
better life. Our growth and prosperity depends on proven common sense and
freeing the economic shackles that still enslave us.

Franklin Cudjoe is Executive Director of IMANI: Center for Policy and
Education, a Ghanaian think-tank dedicated to researching economic trends
for the benefit of business, government and civil society. Send him an email
at franklin(at) and join IMANI's summer University seminar at

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Taibu named in Zimbabwe Select side

Cricinfo staff

July 12, 2007

Tatenda Taibu's return to the Zimbabwe cricket team is almost complete after
he was included in a select side for two four-day matches against India A at

Cricinfo revealed last month that Taibu's comeback was imminent, although he
was recently quoted saying his lawyers were still in negotiation with
Zimbabwe Cricket, possibly over outstanding payments still owed to him by
the board.

The former captain however will now play under the current leader, Prosper

Wicketkeeper Brendan Taylor was also named in the side although he is yet to
return from England, and may miss the first four-dayer at Harare Sports
Club. Sean Williams, who is recovering from an injury which kept him out of
training for six weeks, was also included.

Allrounder Keith Dabengwa meanwhile misses out on selection, but will
captain the A side on a tour of South Africa at the same time the Select
will be facing India A. The batsmen Chamu Chibhabha has also been relegated
to the A side, where the only other senior players are the pace bowler,
Blessing Mahwire, and the former Zimbabwe A captain, Alester Maregwede.

Zimbabwe Select Prosper Utseya (capt) Terry Duffin, Tatenda Taibu, Vusi
Sibanda, Brendan Taylor (wk), Hamilton Masakadza, Sean Williams, Stuart
Matsikenyeri, Tino Mawoyo, Elton Chigumbura, Graeme Cremer, Ed Rainsford,
Chris Mpofu, Gary Brent, Trevor Garwe, Tawanda Mupariwa.

Zimbabwe A Keith Dabengwa (cpat) Chamu Chibhabha, Eric Chauluka, Tafadzwa
Kamungozi, Bornaparte Mujuru, Forster Mutizwa, Alester Maregwede, Regis
Chakabva, Alois Tichana, Taurai Muzarabani, Prosper Tsvanhu, Timycen Maruma,
Admire Manyumwa, Tendai Chisoro, Blessing Mahwire, Patient Charumbira.

© Cricinfo

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