Police probe M&G bank account Gift
Phiri GOVERNMENT'S crackdown on the Mail & Guardian (M&G) intensified
this week with police obtaining a subpoena to access the paper's account at
The subpoena required the security manager at Century
Bank to supply information about the M&G account from January 1 to this
week. The document also demanded records of all cheque transactions done
during that period. The police were investigating possible contravention of
the Reserve Bank Act.
However, the Reserve Bank in a statement on
Wednesday said it was not aware of any investigation and had no reason to
suspect the M&G was in breach of the RBZ Act.
records and pending cases, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has not had any
reason or cause to investigate the M&G for the alleged misdemeanours,"
said Mirirai Chiremba, the division chief for Bank Use Promotion and
Suppression of Money Laundering.
"We do not have reason or
information to suggest that M&G has a case to answer to us. Accordingly,
we are unable to intervene to stop the courts who appear to be acting on a
complaint or information filed by the member-in-charge, ZRP - CIU (Commercial
Intelligence Unit) Harare Central as stated in the documents faxed to us.
Maybe the police can shed more light on this issue which has certainly not
stemmed from us."
Officials at Century Bank declined to disclose
details about the police visit.
Sources in the bank however told the
Independent two officers from the CIU, Detective Sergeant Mwadewenyu and
Constable Katsenga, visited the bank on Wednesday morning armed with the
subpoena and asked to see all the M&G account information held by the
"They took bank statements dating back to January and also a
document advising the addition of Mr Raphael Khumalo (Independent group
general manager) as a signatory to the account," said the
M&G publisher Trevor Ncube said yesterday it was the
policy of his companies to ensure that the laws of all the countries they
operated in were respected.
"Business all over the world thrives
where there is law and order and where the rule of law is upheld," he
"We are however alarmed by recent developments in Zimbabwe
where the law is selectively applied and where government institutions are
personalised and abused.
"We are shocked by this invasion of
privacy under the pretext of investigating externalisation of foreign
currency. This latest move is clearly a fishing expedition.
intention, we suspect, is to create a pretext for the authorities to take
action against the M&G in Zimbabwe," Ncube said.
"While we are
confident the move will fail to uncover any evidence of impropriety on our
part, we have no doubt this episode represents yet another attempt by the
Zimbabwean authorities to curtail press freedom."
Ncube said in view of
the Reserve Bank's statement that the M&G was not under investigation, it
was clear that "somebody somewhere is abusing the police for their own
The police last week visited the newspaper's distributors
after allegations in the state media that the M&G's owners had plans to
print the paper in Zimbabwe.
Zanu PF to rope in regional parties for
victory Dumisani Muleya THE ruling Zanu PF is trying to rope in governing
parties in the region to help it win next year's crucial parliamentary
Zanu PF, which is under serious threat from the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), reportedly wants an absolute majority
to enable it to change the constitution to consolidate its grip on
Zanu PF spokesman Nathan Shamuyarira said on Wednesday that
his party was determined to remain in power "because there is nothing wrong
"Is there anything wrong in us trying to keep power?
Would you give away power if you had it? No one would want to lose power when
they have it," Shamuyarira said.
"If you want to keep power and
you can do it by seeking the support of friends, there is nothing wrong. We
have a close relationship with the ANC (African National Congress) and other
parties in the region."
Zanu PF recently hosted a congress of former
liberation movements in the region in a bid to forge closer ties and ensure
their support for President Robert Mugabe's beleaguered
Shamuyarira said Zanu PF would hold a number of meetings with
ruling parties in the region to "keep power". Mugabe is on record as saying
"as clear as day follows night.Zanu PF will rule forever". ANC deputy
president Jacob Zuma said in April that his party would remain in power
"until Jesus comes back".
Top ANC officials led by President Thabo
Mbeki held a meeting with a Zanu PF delegation led by the party's chairman
John Nkomo last month to strengthen ties.
Besides Mbeki, other ANC
heavyweights who attended the meeting include Zuma, secretary-general Kgalema
Motlanthe, treasurer-general Mendi Msimang and chairman Mosiuoa
Zanu PF reportedly wanted the ANC to help it secure a
sweeping majority in the poll due in March next year. The ANC, which clinched
an overwhelming majority in the April election, is said to have agreed. The
party however denied it.
Zanu PF only secured 51% of the vote in
Zimbabwe's controversial parliamentary election in 2000. The MDC, only formed
a few months before the election, won 57 seats, while Zanu got 62. The MDC
mopped up all seats in towns, banishing Zanu PF to rural
However, Zanu PF maintained its parliamentary majority through
20 MPs directly appointed by Mugabe and 10 legislators appointed by the
Zimbabwe Chiefs' Council which is obliged to support Zanu PF.
MDC contested 38 of Zanu PF's victories in the courts and has so far
won several cases. But they are on appeal.
Mugabe won the
hotly-disputed 2002 presidential election amid accusations of vote-rigging,
violence and intimidation.
Mugabe's victory is also under legal
challenge by MDC leader Morgan
The ANC endorsed
both elections as "legitimate" despite admitting that they were profoundly
flawed and thus not free and fair.
Parly skirmish: Chinamasa to appear before
committee Itai Dzamara LEADER of the House of Assembly Patrick Chinamasa
is expected to appear before the special committee probing the incident
involving himself and MDC MP Roy Bennett nearly two months
Chinamasa will appear before the committee, chaired by Zanu PF MP
Paul Mangwana, on Monday. Bennett and Zanu PF MP Didymus Mutasa, who was
also involved in the incident which saw Chinamasa floored, appeared before
the committee last week.
"I appeared before the committee twice
last week and will appear again this Saturday," Bennett said on
"They asked me to explain the incident that occurred in
parliament from my point of view and I said that my reaction was caused by
Mutasa also said he had appeared before the committee but
refused to discuss the issue.
Mutasa, who is the Minister of
Special Affairs in the President's Office Responsible for Anti-Corruption and
Anti-Monopolies Programme, was subsequently quoted by the Voice of America as
bragging that he "kicked him (Bennett) very hard" during the May 18 scuffle
The incident occurred during a debate on an adverse
report on the Stock Theft Bill.
Bennett, who is the MP for
Chimanimani, floored Chinamasa after the Justice minister alleged that
Bennett's forefathers were thieves and murderers.
infuriated Bennett by telling him to forget about his Charleswood farm in
Chimanimani, which was occupied by the army in April.
Mutasa joined in
the scuffle and kicked Bennett from behind in defence
Violent demonstrations were subsequently organised
by Zanu PF against Bennett. Zanu PF supporters declared Bennett banned from
Harare and Manicaland province under which his constituency falls. They also
declared him banned from parliament.
ANZ distances self from Zimonline Arther
Chatora THE Chief Executive Officer of Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe
(ANZ) Sam Sipepa Nkomo has dissociated his company from the new on-line
There has been speculation that Zimonline is a
re-incarnation of the closed Daily News and the Daily News On
"I, as the Chief Executive Officer of ANZ, wish to distance
the ANZ or any of its staffers from that edition," he
Meanwhile, tension rose dramatically at Zimpapers yesterday as
claimed that their management was squandering money on its
personal upkeep rather than on their welfare. Some workers said they would go
on strike if their chief executive Justin Mutasa remained
Mutasa is said to have threatened workers with
dismissal and to sue them for their allegations against his
Workers are alleging that Mutasa bought $2,7 billion
worth of luxury vehicles, creating an overdraft of $400 million at 200%
interest per annum, while they were told there was no money to meet their
salary demands. They said the company bought Mercedes Benz MLs, Kompressors,
and E and C classes and Nissan Wolfs, while journalists use dilapidated pool
cars. Senior company employees were said to be buying their current cars,
some of which are two years old, for as little as $800 000.
workers claim there was corruption at Zimpapers with fuel being stolen by
senior managers for use at farms, while Natprint, the company's
printing division, was riddled with mismanagement. The workers alleged
nepotism at Natprint and other levels of Zimpapers.
Govt moves on FSI Staff Writer THE government has
started to expropriate farms owned by FSI Agricom which is linked to the
business empire of South Africa-based tycoon Mutumwa Mawere. This is being
done under the Land Acquisition Act.
Four FSI Agricom farms have already
been served with Section 8 notices, the Independent heard this
The move has been viewed as government's first step to
dispossess Mawere who has been specified.
FSI Agricom confirmed
that four of its highly mechanised farms measuring 4 305 hectares were served
with Section 8 notices last week.
The service of a Section 8 notice
implies that the property owner is allowed 90 days to wind up operations and
vacate the farm.
"FSI farms, namely Risboro, Rogate, Bosbury and
Essex, were listed for acquisition by the state on June 4, and served with
Section 8 on July 9," FSI said in a statement.
"We have initiated
the normal process of delisting with the Ministry of Lands, and discussions
are at an advanced stage."
Ex-army officer to run polls Dumisani
Muleya GOVERNMENT has appointed retired Lieutenant Colonel Kennedy Zimondi as
the new chief elections officer on the Electoral Supervisory Commission
Official sources said Zimondi was appointed in April to replace
Brigadier Douglas Nyikayaramba who was brought in to run the hotly disputed
2002 presidential poll.
ESC spokesman Thomas Bvuma confirmed
Zimondi's appointment but said the electoral body's commissioners appointed
him. However, sources said government instructed the ESC to appoint
Although Zanu PF recently indicated it would want to adopt
electoral law reforms, Zimondi could still be involved, together with others
on the current election bodies, in running next year's general
Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa earlier this month told
a Zanu PF politburo meeting that he proposed the transfer of current
electoral officers, in particular those in the Registrar-General's office, to
the envisaged Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.
This could result in
the new agencies staffed with the same people, including Registrar-General
Tobaiwa Mudede who has been widely accused of bias.
The ESC, based
on the fifth floor of Hardwicke House where intelligence agents also operate
from, was laden with army officers before the 2002 election. Reports have
indicated that the army played a decisive role in determining the outcome of
the controversial election.
The ESC is chaired by Sobusa
Gula-Ndebele, a former military intelligence officer.
proposed electoral changes, voter registration for next year's general
election is still being conducted by the current
As a result, the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) has complained that the exercise is "seriously flawed
and may well impede the rights of the people to vote".
secretary-general Welshman Ncube last month wrote a letter to Gula-Ndebele
citing irregularities in the mobile voter registration exercise. The ESC
supervises voter registration and elections.
Ncube said people were
being "deliberately and systematically disenfranchised and as a result denied
the right to participate in the governance of their country".
great concern is the lack of publicity and the confusion surrounding
the mobile voter registration programme," Ncube said. "A lot of potential
voters are not being given adequate opportunity to register for lack of
knowledge and information."
The ESC replied to Ncube's letter,
admitting there had been "a number of administrative and logistical problems"
in the exercise. It then asked the Registrar-General's office to extend the
exercise to July 30. However, it is understood this has not been done
notwithstanding the ESC's advice and admission that potential voters could be
US envoy to pursue democracy Gift Phiri UNITED
States ambassador-designate to Zimbabwe Christopher Dell has said he will use
constructive engagement to ensure that Zimbabwe does not become a failed
Contrary to a Herald story published on Tuesday claiming that Dell
recently told the US Senate that he would want to effect a "regime change"
in Zimbabwe, Dell told the committee on Foreign Relations that he would want
to restore Zimbabwe to the democratic community of nations.
confirmed," he said, "I would work to protect Americans and
American interests, to help bring Zimbabwe back from the brink of
political, economic, social, and humanitarian disaster, to foster
conservation of its world heritage wildlife resources, and to restore
Zimbabwe as a suitable partner for the United States and a friend in the
pursuit of democracy, stability, and prosperity."
Dell, who is
coming to Zimbabwe from Angola, said Washington had a clear interest in
seeing Zimbabwe emerge from the current crisis as a "pluralistic society, a
contributor to regional stability, and an engine for
The envoy said there was need for dialogue
between Zimbabwe's political parties to resolve the country's deepening
economic and political crisis.
He never used the term "regime change" as
the Herald claimed in its story.
The state-controlled newspaper also
recently claimed British prime minister Tony Blair told parliament he was
working with the opposition MDC to stage a "regime change" in Zimbabwe when
he never used those words.
"Ideally, dialogue between the government
and opposition would level the political playing field and lead to new, free
and fair, internationally monitored elections," Dell said.
result would reward and reaffirm the Zimbabwean people's faith in democracy
and set the country back on the path to stability and prosperity." Dell has
been in the diplomatic service for 23 years, including his current assignment
as ambassador to Angola. He previously served as the designated chief of
mission in Kosovo and twice as deputy chief of mission in Bulgaria and
Dell will replace Joseph Sullivan who is expected to
leave Zimbabwe soon.
IMF raises concern on governance Godfrey
Marawanyika ALTHOUGH the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has deferred
Zimbabwe's suspension by six months, the institution has raised concerns over
issues pertaining to governance and human rights which it says kill
In its executive board report, the Bretton Woods
institution said the disorderly implementation of the land reform had
contributed to a sharp drop in agricultural output.
about governance and human rights, and the continued lack of clarity about
property rights have severely damaged confidence, discouraged investment and
promoted capital flight and emigration," the report said.
to respect property rights in 2000 led to the resignation of former Industry
and International Trade minister Nkosana Moyo over factory invasions
spearheaded by war veterans.
The IMF's decision not to suspend
Zimbabwe gives the country an opportunity to strengthen its cooperation with
the Washington funder, the report said.
In the report the IMF noted
unemployment was still very high and was increasing. The report said social
conditions which were once among the best in Africa had worsened, with the
widespread HIV/Aids pandemic remaining largely unchecked.
food shortages have necessitated massive food imports and donor assistance,"
the report said.
The IMF directors attributed these developments to
inappropriate macro-economic policies and structural changes that weakened
the economic base.
The country has been in continuous arrears to
the IMF since February 2001. As of last month Zimbabwe's arrears to the fund
amounted to US$295 million.
Although the country has so far made
payments totalling US$9 million, the IMF directors said that was insufficient
to stabilise the arrears.
Farmers told to pack up Augustine Mukaro GOVERNMENT
is evicting Mashonaland West's remaining prominent white commercial farmers,
the Zimbabwe Independent heard this week.
The Commercial Farmers Union
(CFU) yesterday said at least six wheat farmers in the Karoi area were under
pressure to leave immediately.
"The farmers are being told to pack up
and leave their homes," the CFU said in a statement. "They have been informed
that police will not assist if the new 'owner' comes and throws their
belongings out of their houses."
The CFU said all the farmers were
challenging the Section 8 notices in court, and had applied for a stay of
execution to harvest their wheat crop.
"These applications appear to
have been ignored by the individuals involved in the evictions and the
current wave means that only six farmers remain operational in Karoi, down
from more than 200 in the year 2000," said the CFU.
said the farmers who were still on their properties were those who had been
encouraged by government to stay on the land and grow crops like wheat and
"Government is now issuing compulsory acquisition orders to
everybody," one farmer said.
"Farmers are being told to get out of
their only homes by government officials. Mashonaland West governor Nelson
Samkange allegedly gave the farmers 48 hours to leave with their personal
belongings only." Sources said they were ordered to leave their vehicles,
tractors and equipment, and to forfeit crops on the ground.
Bulawayo mayor's powers 'usurped' Staff
Writer BULAWAYO governor Cain Mathema has been accused of usurping the powers
of the city's mayor Japhet Ndabeni Ncube by taking over the running of
several key areas of the city.
Information gathered by the Zimbabwe
Independent this week show that Mathema has taken control of the committee
responsible for organising state functions that include the Independence Day
celebrations and Heroes Day commemorations.
Mathema has also taken
charge of the Aids Action Committee, the Provincial Development Committee,
the committee responsible for co-ordinating drought relief programmes in the
city and the Civil Protection Committee.
appointment, the Bulawayo City Council ran all these committees. Councillors
have complained about Mathema's moves.
But Ncube denied that Mathema had
usurped his powers.
"We were in charge of those functions before
because we were the rightful authority to deal with those issues at the time.
But now that Mathema has taken over these committees it is fine since they
involve state intervention," Ncube said.
Arda grabs Bennett's cattle Munyaradzi Wasosa THE
Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (Arda) has seized 152 cattle
worth more than $304 million from opposition MP Roy Bennett's Charleswood
In an interview this week, Bennett said Arda had over the past
two weeks seized 152 Beef Master beasts valued at $2 million each, and
relocated them to one of its farms in Chikomba district.
past fortnight, Arda stole 152 cattle from Charleswood and relocated them to
Charter Estates in Chikomba where I also have reliable information that they
branded the cattle with an Arda brand superimposed over my brand," Bennett
Bennett's lawyer, Arnold Tsunga, said Arda's action amounted to
outright stock theft.
"What Arda has done constitutes stock theft
under common law," Tsunga said. "The taking of movable property, including
cattle, with the intention of permanently depriving the owner, in this case
by a parastatal, with the acquiescence of the state, is definitely
Arda invaded Charleswood on April 9 in collaboration with the
Zimbabwe Defence Forces and Zimbabwe Defence Industries in defiance of seven
High Court orders barring the state or anyone else from interfering in the
Bennett's lawyers have since made yet another
urgent application to the High Court, which cites Arda chief executive
officer Dr Joseph Matowanyika as respondent, for an order to remove all Arda
equipment from Charleswood.
Bennett has filed almost a dozen
applications in the courts to block the illegal takeover of his farm. The
government has ignored the orders.
A letter dated July 8 written by
Trust Maanda, a Mutare lawyer of Henning Lock Donagher & Winter legal
practitioners, acting for Bennett Brothers Farming Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd, to
Jakachira & Company, which represents Arda, said Arda was in contempt of
"We write to inform you that your client Arda is in contempt
of the High Court order in that it continues to be in occupation of our
client's farm in spite of the order that ordered it (Arda) to vacate the farm
and not to interfere with our client's operations," the letter
"Dr Joseph Ma-towanyika, Mr Tsododo, Mr Simoyi, Dr Sithole
(livestock manager) and Dr JG Manya (executive livestock manager) are in
charge of the occupation of our client's farm."
Ranger implicated in $55m bribery Godfrey
Marawanyika/Ndamu Sandu A SENIOR National Parks game ranger has been
implicated in a bribery case involving $55 million to allow a South African
firm to conduct illegal hunting.
Documents in the possession of the
Zimbabwe Independent show that Thomas Chimedza was paid $55 million by Out of
Africa, a South African-registered firm, which wanted to conduct hunts in
Matetsi Unit 1, Gwayi and Hwange area.
National Parks authorities
have investigated the case and concluded that Chimedza was bribed to allow
the illegal hunting. Chimedza, however, denies the charge.
documents reveal that on May 13, principal warden for investigations
and security, Leonard Nhidza, wrote a report to the acting
director-general informing him of the findings of
"In view of the investigations currently under way in
relation to the bribery allegations against senior ranger Chimedza, in
Matetsi, it has been established that the officer seriously compromised
himself by accepting money from Out of Africa," Nhidza wrote.
investigations have secured documentary evidence to the effect that Chimedza
received money in cheque form and cash from Out of Africa."
report said that as a result of the bribes, Chimedza allegedly allowed the
South African firm to use electronic lion calls at night, spotlights
and trophy laundering.
"Through trophy laundering, the South
Africans were allowed to hunt on Matetsi Unit 1 but the hunting returns would
reflect as if the animals were hunted on some other private properties,"
Nhidza said. "This would prejudice the Parks Authority of trophy fees and
other related charges."
But Chimedza has denied any wrongdoing, saying
the payments were made for hunting activities he conducted for the Safari
Meanwhile, the chief warden of the National Parks and
Management Authority, Lovemore Mungwashu, has stepped down after
23 years of service due to alleged interference in day-to-day running of his
department by the chairman, Buzwani Mothobi.
"Things came to a
head a fortnight ago when the chairman dressed him down in front of juniors
during a meeting," officials said.
But Mothobi said that the
allegations against him were unfounded.
"The only thing I can say on
those allegations is that they are a load of rubbish, that is the best I can
say about them," he said.
Hunger claims 12 more in Bulawayo Loughty
Dube DESPITE claims by the government that the country has adequate food to
last up to the next harvest, 12 more people died of malnutrition in
Bulawayo alone in the last month.
The latest deaths come at a time
when the government and international donor agencies are embroiled in a row
over the food situation in the country.
Figures from the Bulawayo
City Council Health department show that 10 children, four boys and six
girls, under the age of 14 died last month of hunger. Two male adults aged 29
and 30 years also succumbed to malnutrition.
The deaths came barely
two months after 38 people died of starvation
Government has said it expects a bumper harvest
despite estimates to the contrary by independent crop
Zimbabwe Liberation Peace Initiative president, Max
Mnkandla, whose organisation has been vocal against political discrimination
in the distribution of food in rural areas, said government was misleading
the nation and the international community on the food situation in the
Mnkandla said it was hypocritical for government to claim there
was enough food when people were dying of malnutrition.
Made and President Mugabe must stop misleading the nation and
the international community because there is hunger all over," Mnkandla
said. "Right now they are saying the country has enough food but they are
failing to tell the nation and the international community the exact tonnage
the country has in its granaries."
Power struggles erupt as primaries loom Augustine
Mukaro/Gift Phiri FIERCE power struggles have erupted in the ruling Zanu PF
between sitting MPs and aspiring candidates for the 2005 parliamentary
election, the Zimbabwe Independent heard this week.
The battles were
reignited by President Robert Mugabe's recent announcement that Zanu PF would
field only candidates chosen through primary elections and not "consensus"
Highly-placed sources said primary elections were
scheduled for October.
The sources said Zanu PF would be holding primary
elections in more than 20 constituencies after allegations of poor
performance against many sitting MPs.
"The electorate lost faith
in a number of sitting MPs when they were either implicated or taken to the
courts on allegations of corruption," a source said.
say there are a number of potential clashes looming over the primary
Zanu PF chairman John Nkomo is expected to take on
Information minister Jonathan Moyo in Tsholotsho.
Mudenge and Paul Mangwana have accused aspiring candidates in their
constituencies, Masvingo North and Kadoma East respectively, of using dirty
tricks in their campaigns.
Retired Major Kudzai Mbudzi, who initially
wanted Masvingo Central, is now gunning for Mudenge's seat, while Zupco chief
Bright Matonga is interested in Mangwana's constituency.
ZBC's Bulawayo bureau chief Makhosini Hlongwane wants to wrestle Mberengwa
East from Minister of State Enterprises and Parastatals,
Zanu PF chief whip and Mberengwa West MP Jorum Gumbo
confirmed the candidacy of Hlongwane in the Midlands constituency but could
not give details, referring all questions to the incumbent Mberengwa East
Chinhoyi MP Philip Chiyangwa is also under threat from businessman
MacDonald Chapfika, younger brother of Mutoko North MP David
Chiyangwa's recent clash with Makonde MP Kindness Paradza
has increased the threat to his grip on Chinhoyi.
Paradza could also face stiff competition in Makonde from Leo Mugabe whom he
defeated last year.
Mugabe has already declared his intention to try
his luck again. But Paradza has been mobilising resistance.
are constituencies where sitting MPs have either been ousted or indicated
that they would not be standing for reelection.
Mazowe West MP Chris
Kuruneri could be replaced as he is currently in remand prison on allegations
of externalising foreign currency.
In Gutu South, incumbent MP Shuvai
Mahofa is understood to be eyeing Chivi South where she is likely to face
Charles Majange. Mahofa however dismissed links to Chivi South, insisting
that she will be standing in Gutu South.
"I am contesting in Gutu
South," Mahofa said. "I won't stand anywhere else as a candidate except my
current constituency because that is my home area."
Arda pleads for Kondozi equipment Augustine
Mukaro THE Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (Arda) wants Barclays
Bank to leave some of the former owner's equipment on Kondozi Farm in Odzi
for use by the parastatal, the Zimbabwe Independent heard this
Highly-placed sources at Barclays said Arda chief Joseph
Matowanyika this week pleaded with the bank not to execute in its totality a
High Court order to withdraw agricultural equipment, previously owned by
Kondozi Fresh Produce, from Kondozi Farm which was taken over by Arda earlier
The High Court two weeks ago ruled that the equipment at
Kondozi should be returned to Barclays Bank which had invested heavily in the
horticultural project. This followed the invasion of Kondozi by Arda in
"Arda indicated that they were interested in mostly tractors,
irrigation equipment and crop packing machines," sources
"Independent evaluators have been dispatched to Kondozi to put
a price tag on the equipment which Arda wants. Negotiations are under way and
Barclays has set conditions that Arda has to abide by before using the
Matowanyika was not available for comment. Sources said
Barclays was amenable to the deal although it was demanding a deposit upfront
before releasing the equipment to Arda.
A fortnight ago the High
Court confirmed Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe's order to repossess all movable
farming equipment on Kondozi Farm.
Movable assets listed in the order
include an ERF 30-tonne truck, two-tonne forklifts, 30 motorised knapsacks,
10 Jialing motorbikes, 15 Same tractors, six Nissan diesel UD90 trucks, three
Nissan Cabstar four-tonne trucks, two Nissan 2,7 single cab trucks and two
Nissan 2,7 Hardbody double cab trucks. The assets are valued at about $5
The violent seizure of Kondozi Farm by Zanu PF through Arda and
the abrupt closure of the horticultural concern adversely affected the
company's financiers, Barclays-Fincor, Zimbank-Syfrets and the African
Banking Corporation who had collectively invested about $37 billion in the
A provisional order granted by Justice Charles Hungwe in May
placed all movable assets at Kondozi under judicial attachment and barred
Arda from using or tampering with the equipment.
Zanu PF fanning violence - Chamisa Munyaradzi
Wasosa MOVEMENT for Democratic Change (MDC) national youth chairman Nelson
Chamisa has blasted President Robert Mugabe for what he termed "exploitation
of the youth for political expediency" by encouraging them to use violence in
Zanu PF's election campaign.
Chamisa said Mugabe's statements at a
Zanu PF youth congress held at the University of Zimbabwe on Saturday
appeared to advocate violence.
"The exploitation of Zimbabwe's youths
for the purposes of political expediency by Mugabe and Zanu PF is destroying
our national fabric and sowing seeds of long-term instability," Chamisa said
in a statement this week.
"In Harare last Saturday Mugabe
illustrated once again his willingness to exploit the desperation and
vulnerability of the nation's youths."
Addressing a crowd of about 2
000 youths, Mugabe urged them to wage a "vigorous campaign" to win next
year's parliamentary election and warned that he would hold them "answerable
for any defeat".
Chamisa said: "In Zanu PF parlance, the term
'vigorous campaign' means a campaign of violence. Encouraging youths to
engage in acts of violence has in recent years become a central tenet of Zanu
PF election strategies."
Chamisa also berated government's creation
of a militant youth wing under the guise of a National Youth
"Through its violent rhetoric, intense propaganda and
National Youth Training Service, Zanu PF is systematically brutalising the
minds of the nation's youths," he said.
"They are deliberately
subverting the youths' understanding of society and the values on which it is
based and creating a generation for whom violence is increasingly the
Chamisa said since the setting up of training camps in 2002,
the youths had gained nothing.
"Due to the criminal failings of
the current regime (the youths) are condemned to an existence characterised
by grinding poverty, despondency, fear and intimidation," he said.
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe's comfort zone at African summits seems to
be rapidly shrinking as the continent's leaders begin to speak out
against prolonged dictatorships and human rights abuses.
at last week's crucial African Union (AU) summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia,
was made difficult by the AU Commission on Human and People 's Rights report
which condemned repression and human rights in Zimbabwe. The Zimbabwean
delegation to the summit seized the limelight - for all the wrong reasons -
after the continental body's executive council broke with tradition and
"noted" the stinging report, leaving Harare authorities exposed to a barrage
of criticism at home and abroad.
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights said
the report was a clear "demonstration of the independence and fearlessness on
the part of the commission".
"There is absolutely no doubt that the
commission came to a correct conclusion on the merits of the case when it
made the finding that Zimbabwe had violated human rights," the group said.
"It is difficult for any informed and genuine person to find fault with the
The newly formed Zimbabwe Journalists for Human
Rights said the report showed African leaders were no longer locked in a
revolutionary solidarity mindset and handcuffed to the past.
like its predecessor, the OAU, which freed Africa from the bondage
of colonialism, the AU also faces a more or less similar challenge of
freeing its people from current tyrannical regimes holding sway across a vast
swathe of the continent," the journalists' group said.
have shown that they are no longer programmed by history and are willing to
tackle despots in their midst. This will certainly enhance their collective
credibility and allay fears that the AU would eventually be turned into a
club of dictators."
The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
initially welcomed the report but later expressed disappointment when AU
leaders apparently let Zimbabwe off the hook.
Analysts say it is
increasingly becoming clear Mugabe is now being haunted by the excesses of
his repressive rule wherever he goes. Foreign minister Stan Mudenge had a
nightmare as he struggled to defend the indefensible and ended up imposing a
seven-day deadline on himself to formally respond to the report which he
claimed - against clear evidence to the contrary - that Zimbabwe had not
Delegates to the summit reportedly remarked that if it was true
Mugabe and his delegation had not seen the report, they were the only
This made Harare authorities appear as if they were ill-informed
about issues relating to their own country. In a bid to ward off pressure,
Mudenge agreed to respond to the report in seven days.
was last Friday reported to be racing against time to beat the deadline which
was due the following day. Foreign Affairs spokesperson Pavelyn Musaka
confirmed government was working on a response to the report in line with its
commitment to the AU executive council on July 3.
With his "African
brothers" no longer willing to whitewash his appalling governance record,
analysts say Mugabe could soon be "smoked out" from his solidarity
Mugabe often seems to enjoy summits where populist grandstanding
takes precedence over issues of substance. But diplomatic observers say this
could be coming to an end. Mugabe is likely be made to feel uncomfortable at
next month's Southern African Development Community (Sadc) summit in
Mauritius which will discuss the conduct of elections in the
Sadc leaders have of late been circulating the regional body's
proposed Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections which will
be endorsed in Port Louis in August.
Sources have said Zanu PF was
forced into adopting the recent electoral reforms by sustained regional and
domestic pressure. The next Sadc summit is widely expected to tackle the
conduct of elections in the region, something that could bring Zimbabwe into
sharp focus again.
Zimbabwe has in recent years become a global
flashpoint due to disputed elections and concomitant political instability,
which has been worsened by the current economic crisis.
In what was
widely seen as an attempt to ratchet up pressure on entrenched authoritarian
leaders, United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan during the opening of
the summit last week slammed dictators clinging onto power.
pledge that the days of indefinite one-man or one-party governments are
behind us," Annan said to applause. "There is no greater wisdom and
no clearer mark of statesmanship than knowing when to pass the torch to a
Annan's audience included Mugabe - Africa's oldest
president - and other continental strongmen such as President Gnassingbe
Eyadema of Togo and Gabon 's Omar Bongo.
He said African leaders must
stop resisting democracy and embrace regular free and fair elections, a
credible opposition whose role was respected, an independent judiciary that
upholds the rule of law, a free and independent press, effective civilian
control over the military and a vibrant civil society. Mugabe has in the past
claimed such issues are "peripheral and extraneous".
The report, which
sent ministers and the state media scrambling to find excuses, condemned
"blatant human rights abuses, a flurry of repressive legislation, political
violence. . . torture . . . and arbitrary arrests of journalists . . .
opposition MPs and human rights lawyers".
Information minister Jonathan
Moyo claimed the MDC, which described the report as a "breath of fresh air",
had "smuggled" the issue onto the agenda at the behest of British Prime
Minister Tony Blair.
He also attacked former Law Society of Zimbabwe
president Sternford Moyo whom he accused of "unashamedly" using his position
to distort information on Zimbabwe. Although the veteran lawyer declined to
become embroiled in a public brawl with Moyo, he said the minister's claims
"The false and defamatory attack on me by the Minister
of State for Information and Publicity is so outrageous as to be unworthy of
any substantive response," he said.
Current Law Society of Zimbabwe
president Joseph James also dismissed the minister's attacks against his
predecessor. He suggested the indignant official reaction was a calculated
distraction designed to submerge issues under a sludge of
"Since 2002, the situation has not improved, and in fact, has
deteriorated. Court orders continue to be defied by the executive; arbitrary
arrests of the opposition continue; police appear partisan; and it is
virtually impossible for persons who express views not in line with those
of government to hold demonstrations although government supporters have
no problems in doing so," James said.
"This lack of respect of the law
has now permeated all levels of society . . . lawyers are denied access to
their clients routinely by police; lawyers are threatened with arrest during
the course of their duties; and there have been cases of magistrates being
threatened with assault."
Unicef last week donated an ox-drawn ambulance to the Ministry of Health, it
did not know that the good gesture to help rural communities would become a
hot political subject drawing into its vortex the so-called apartheid press
and Information permanent secretary George Charamba.
innocuous donation to transport maternity patients to rural health centres
was seized on by the international media which pointed out that Zimbabwe was
sliding backwards. One paper, in an overzealous metaphor, said the country
had regressed to the Stone Age.
The response from the hypersensitive
government information minders was predictable.
Charamba told us that
there was nothing amiss about an emergency case being transported to a
hospital in a four-wheeler drawn by two oxen. The same concept was being
employed with mobile libraries. We were reminded that Zimbabwe remained a
leader on the continent and a noted contributor to global health
"No amount of calumnies will take that spectacular record away
from her," Charamba bragged.
Indeed, no amount of subterfuge can
disguise the fact that Zimbabwe is sliding backwards - not to the Stone Age
but into poverty, deprivation and sickness. That is the spectacular
In a release announcing the donation of nine 10km/h emergency
vehicles, Unicef chief of Health, Nutrition and Environment Dr Juan Ortiz,
made this observation: "The gains made over the last 20 years to address
maternal mortality, especially to provide emergency obstetric care services,
are at risk of being lost.
"We know that most of the complications
related to childbirth are preventable if obstetric services are available,
especially in remote areas. Collectively, we must work together to ensure
that all women have their right to a safe pregnancy and delivery guaranteed,"
"In many rural communities, the average 10-kilometre walk to the
nearest health facility is too far for a pregnant woman, or a woman already
The nine ox-drawn ambulances stem from an idea initiated
by the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare and based on the commonly used
scotch-carts for rural transport.
The gains which Zimbabwe has made
over the past 20 years are definitely being lost. A colleague confided to me
this week that at Masase Hospital in his rural Mberengwa home just before
Independence in 1980 a small plane used to fly emergency cases twice weekly
to Mnene Mission about 60km away, which was the referral centre in the area.
That plane service ceased years ago. Ambulances have become a luxury at most
rural health centres. Mberengwa is one of the districts that have moved from
a plane to an ox-drawn ambulance.
That would be a more accurate metaphor
for Zimbabwe's decline! There are other more poignant signals to demonstrate
that there is no more lustre in the once impressive record of government
The Human Development Report for 2003 notes that in
1995, 57% of Zimbabweans could be classified as poor. That figure rose to 69%
Life expectancy has declined from 51,8 years in 1995 to the
current conservative estimate of 33 years. Between 1995 and 2001 the
country experienced a 43% decline in access to healthcare. Infant
mortality increased from 40 to 65 per 1 000 live births in the period 1995 to
2000, while maternal deaths have risen from 283 per 100 000 live births
between 1984 and 1994 to 695 in 2000. Human development experts say there was
no improvement in all these indicators in 2003.
There are other
indicators which do not need scientific research but which help to
demonstrate that there is nothing calumnious about stating that Zimbabweans
are not getting healthier. Doctors, nurses and other health technicians have
fled state-induced poverty or political meddling in droves. Specialist
physicians are fast becoming a rare species. The government does not have
enough funds to procure medicines, equipment and vehicles to support the
health sector. But it continues to spend on luxury vehicles.
capital Harare, residents in Tafara and Mabvuku have resorted to digging
shallow wells, which they share with their pets for drinking water.
city's authorities cannot supply clean potable water, something residents
never experienced even during the 1992 drought.
It's dinner by candle
light for half the capital's residents. Nothing romantic here. The
electricity company Zesa cannot generate enough power and imports are also in
short supply. The deforestation around Warren Hills as residents look for a
substitute to Zesa power is loud testimony to the government's spectacular
record of failure.
While that may not justify assertions that we are
sliding into the Stone Age, we are certainly not progressing, especially in
the agricultural sector. At one once highly mechanised farm now run by a High
Court judge, tractors have been replaced by ox-drawn ploughs. Wheat is
hand-planted and the ripened crop is harvested with sickles instead of
But that is not surprising. Remember the jingle:
Mombe mbiri nemadhongi mashanu sevenza nhamo ichauya.
LAST week the International Monetary Fund (IMF) board of
directors considered, once again, whether Zimbabwe's membership should be
In terms of the IMF constitution, termination of membership
would be justified in view of the magnitude of Zimbabwe's default in
repaying borrowings from the IMF and, moreover, that Zimbabwe has not even
been paying the interest accruing on those borrowings. By now, Zimbabwe owes
the IMF more than US$309 million, which equates to approximately
But Zimbabwe's membership of the IMF has not been
terminated. Instead, Zimbabwe was once again given a stay of execution. The
IMF resolved to review the issue of Zimbabwe's membership in six months'
Without making any threats, the IMF has made it clear that the
outcome of that review will be determined by the extent that Zimbabwe, during
the next six months, takes appropriate steps to reverse its economic decline
and place the economy on a path to recovery.
That recovery must be
such as would, amongst many other consequences, enable Zimbabwe progressively
to service and repay its debt to the IMF. The IMF has made it clear that it
does not expect Zimbabwe to repay the entire US$309 million, and interest
thereon, instantly, and that it recognises that no economic upturn can be so
great as to enable instant settlement of the entirety of Zimbabwe's debt
obligations with the IMF. But it does expect Zimbabwe to acknowledge that it
has to take some constructive and substantive measures to enable it to begin
to repay that which it owes.
The IMF decision is a welcome one, for it
was very widely anticipated that the IMF would decide that Zimbabwe had been
given more than enough chancesto regularise its debt relationship with the
IMF, none of which were availed of. Instead, Zimbabwe arrogantly rejected all
advice given by the IMF, notwithstanding that the advice was well-intentioned
and motivatedsolely to assist Zimbabwe.
Whilst it is possible that not
all the advice would have in reality been good and sound for the Zimbabwean
environment, and not all of it would have assured restoration of Zimbabwean
economic wellbeing, nevertheless it was founded wholly upon a genuine concern
for Zimbabwe and an intent to assist Zimbabwe.
But over many years,
not only has Zimbabwe studiously ignored almost all of the advice
gratuitously given by one of its largest creditors, but Zimbabwe has
constantly viewed each and every advice with the deepest suspicion unless the
advice happened to coincide with the policies of the
Moreover, Zimbabwe's most frequent reactions to
any advice forthcoming from the IMF have been to not only reject the advice,
but to belittle both the advice and their source. Zimbabwe has unhesitatingly
denigrated the IMF, has repeatedly suggested that the IMF policies have
failed almost wheresoever they were pursued, and that the IMF is nothing
other than a tool of imperialists, colonialists, and profiteering purveyors
of globalisation. And Zimbabwe has steadily claimed that it does not need the
IMF, and that it can successfully "go it alone".
Nothing could be
further from the truth. Admittedly, IMF policies have not always achieved
economic transformation for economically distressed countries. In some
instances the policies were ill-conceived and oblivious to some fundamental
conditions or circumstances in the affected countries.
instances, the policies would have succeeded, had the countries concerned
implemented those policies with conviction and commitment, instead of - at
best - paying lip-service only to the policies. Critics of
the IMFunhesitatingly focus upon the examples of failures to achieve
economic recovery in countries that have pursued IMF revival strategies,
without analysing the causes of the failures. All too often those causes were
the countries' own fault, usually founded upon only selective implementation
of the policies, or that the implementation was pursued only
superficially, concurrently with pursuit of other, counter-productive
policies. And the critics will never admit to proven successes of IMF
policies andinterventions in many countries.
They will not recognise
the dramatic upturn of many of the countries of Eastern Europe after the
dissolution of the Soviet Union, the dramatic economic recovery of Mexico,
the economictransformation of India, and the noticeable progress towards
strengthened economies in Mozambique, Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana and many
others. Instead,the critics cite only failures, and most of those failures
were not because of defects in the policies, but were defects in the policy
There is equal misconception in the beliefs of some,
including President Robert Mugabe, and the Minister of Industry and
International Trade Samuel Mumbengegwi, and the Minister of Fiction, Fable
and Myth, and many others of the governmental hierarchy, that Zimbabwe does
not need the IMF and can achieve its much needed, long overdue, economic
metamorphosis without the IMF, without the World Bank, and without those
donor states as were, in the past, staunch supporters of Zimbabwe. To support
their erroneous contentions, they repeatedly use Malaysia as an example of
successful economic transformation without IMF assistance. Malaysia did
achieve its economic change without the IMF, but its circumstances were
wholly different to Zimbabwe.
It had an essentially sound financial
sector. It was highly industrialised. It had not brought to the edge of
destruction its principal productive sectors. And although its economy had
been in regression, it had not sunk to the depths of collapse that
characterise Zimbabwe's economy. It had all the necessary ingredients, and
the will to reverse its economic decline, and it had no fear of discarding,
adapting and modifying its policies in order to achieve real economic
transformation. Also of major importance, it did not perceive as its enemies
the very countries with whom it had to interact to bring about its economic
change. It collaborated with those who were theundoubted major potential
trading partners, it fostered friendships instead of stimulating
confrontations, and it interacted far and wide to ensure that it was a
recognised player in fields of international trade.
circumstances are very different. Zimbabwe is insolvent. Zimbabwe has reduced
its main economic sectors, including agriculture, to the verges of
extinction. Zimbabwe does naught but speak ill of those whowere, and should
be, most of the country's major trading partners, including the United
Kingdom, the other countries of the European Union, the USA and manyof the
countries in the Commonwealth. And Zimbabwe has tried hard to alienate bodies
such as the IMF. It is surprising, therefore, that once again the IMF has
given Zimbabwe a reprieve.
That it has done so is undoubtedly due to a
very great extent to the vigorous endeavours of the governor of the Reserve
Bank, Gideon Gono. The IMF is fully aware of the very considerable efforts he
has made to apply monetary policies as would be a platform for economic
recovery or, at the least, as would retard further economic
In addition, although only able to do it to a very token extent,
but nevertheless as a gesture of good faith, he procured that Zimbabwe
commenced making some nominal payments to the IMF.
reasons for the IMF reprieve, Zimbabwe must not be so stiff-necked as to
spurn the opportunity given to it. If for no reason other than to save even
more of Zimbabwe's 12 million people from ever intensifying poverty, Zimbabwe
must grasp the lifeline thrown to it. Itmust use the next six months to
reinforce Gono's monetary policies by aligning its fiscal policies with them.
And, of extreme importance, it must not allow the forthcoming parliamentary
election considerations to divert it from reversing prevailing destructive
government policies, restructuring the land reform programme constructively,
and in order to restore business confidence and regain foreign direct
investment interest, must re-establish democracy, law and order and national
Perhaps government needs to acknowledge Winston
Churchill's statement that: "Democracy is the worst form of government,
except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time,"
(undoubtedly including the Zimbabwean form of government!). If government
would do so, Zimbabwe would cease to be an international pariah, and its
economy would interact positively with the world.
Robert Mugabe launched his election campaign last weekend with a blistering
attack on the opposition which he accused of colluding with the British to
unseat him and recolonise Zimbabwe.
This was in sharp contrast to a
diplomatic offensive to mollify increasingly impatient regional leaders
through a raft of electoral reforms announced a week earlier. The objective
was obvious - to win the forthcoming parliamentary election by any means
possible and still secure a patina of international legitimacy.
did not mince his words: the election will be dirty and must be won. He told
Zanu PF youths attending the party's fourth National Youth Congress in
Harare: "We must teach them (the MDC) a lesson across the whole country that
Zimbabwe will never be a colony again. Go and work . If we lose
the elections, I will expect you in the youth league to be
This is a presidential carte blanche writ large, and the
culture of impunity for those who commit violence and other
politically-motivated crimes in the name of Zanu PF is well-established as
the African Union's Commission on Human and People's Rights recently
To remove any trace of equivocation about the nature of their
"national duty", President Mugabe dubbed the poll the "anti-Blair elections"
to "seal the ruling Zanu PF party's victory over the British prime minister
and his local puppets, the MDC".
In the past parliamentary and
presidential elections, Zanu PF hooligans and so-called war veterans were
given instructions to detain and torture MDC supporters and former farm
workers in so-called "orientation camps". This time around they are being
told to teach those still not converted "a lesson".
The intention is
to taint the opposition MDC by association with Mugabe's arch-enemy, Tony
Blair. Now that there is little to show for land reform, the bogey of a
British military invasion has had to be invented.
A columnist writing in
the state media recently exhorted people to "kill the quislings at the polls
The election strategists in Zanu PF cannot be accused of
lacking ingenuity. Running parallel to the physical harassment, torture and
beatings of opposition supporters on the home front is a well-calculated
publicity blitz about electoral reforms for the consumption of regional
leaders and the international community. These take the form of an
independent electoral supervisory commission, one-day polling, counting of
ballots at polling stations and the use of translucent ballot boxes - all
standard procedures in the region.
Despite the bluster and
grandstanding about Zimbabwe's sovereignty, this period of his presidency is
something Mugabe would probably like to forget as soon as possible. Charges
of poll rigging and questionable legitimacy have dogged all his days since he
was sworn into office in March 2002.
Any tinkering with the legislation
that would whitewash his regime as reformist is therefore a logical step. He
can tell observers that the laws were reformed to allow everybody the right
to vote and reduce the chances of election-rigging. Whether theelection is
won by hook or by crook, it can be argued that Western imperialists don't
want to recognise as fair an election won by a nationalist like Robert
But if the mumblings at last week's African Union summit in
Ethiopia are any cue, the days of debilitating third-worldly solidarity could
be over for those who thrive on coercion to stay in power. It was perhaps
good domestic politics to pull out of the "white Commonwealth" in a huff, but
Mugabe can hardly repeat the performance at the AU.
And it looks like
peer leaders won't tolerate his blandishments for much longer. The "noting"
of the African Commission's searing report against Foreign Affairs minister
Stan Mudenge's strident protestations shows that the AU wants to shed the
legacy of the Organisation of African Union and hold its members accountable.
After all, that is the only way it can be seen as more than another toothless
President Thabo Mbeki's remarks, carried on Page 15 of our
paper today, show that, despite scepticism in some quarters, he is serious
about good governance on the continent and making the African Peer Review
Mechanism a success.
It is the same seriousness that is called for in
the Zimbabwean election. Electoral reforms must go beyond media publicity and
address such issues as the role of youth militia, war veterans and members of
the uniformed forces. Then there is the role of the public media which
remains unashamedly partisan.
Sadc's electoral guidelines, scheduled
for approval in Mauritius next month, are very clear on the sort of
environment member-states need to have in place ahead of polling. Zimbabwe
does not come near to satisfying those requirements.
In case Mugabe's
injunction to the youths left them in any doubt about their task, that was
clarified by Zanu PF's national youth secretary Absolom Sikhosana. In an
interview he told the state broadcaster the youths came out of the congress
fully "charged to deal a fatal blow to Tony Blair and his lackeys in
We are wondering where President Mugabe gets his intelligence
from. He told Zanu PF youths at the weekend that British prime minister Tony
Blair was planning to invade Zimbabwe Iraq-style.
"The British have
been making threats," he said. "Let them come. They will not conquer us. We
know our bushes, caves and hideouts," he told his bemused audience, who were
warned they should be prepared to die.
"Just imagine how he will do it,
remove me and put (Morgan) Tsvangirai there and you think the people will
accept it .Let him do it and he will regret."
So part of the threats are
all "imagined" because of the challenge posed by Tsvangirai? Proceeding from
this imagined scenario, Mugabe went on to tell the youths that Zanu PF could
not afford to lose next year's parliamentary election because that would be a
victory for Tony Blair. He didn't say in which constituency Blair would be
contesting. "It's an anti-Blair election. We must win it and demonstrate that
Zimbabwe shall never be a colony again," he said.
This is nothing
short of hallucination by a leader who has run out of campaign material.
Nobody in their right mind would want to recolonise a country that Zanu PF
depredations have reduced to a shell.
We all know that Mugabe is haunted
by his past and fears an MDC government might want to hold him to account. If
there is anything British about the election, it is Tony Blair's ghost that
has dogged Mugabe over the past four years because of human rights
Talking of which, the dinosaur heading the Media and
Information Commission, posing as a political scientist, complained in ZBC's
Newshour on Monday that the African Commission on Human and People's Rights
came to Zimbabwe with "premeditated" notions about the human rights situation
"because of negative reports from Western media".
We have not bothered
what his doctoral thesis was based on. But we would really be baffled to
learn that he embarked on it without preconceived notions. The point is that
only the proven stands at the end of the day. Those who discovered that the
Earth is round at first thought it was flat! Why would the AU send a
fact-finding commission if there was no problem of human rights in Zimbabwe?
Why was it not sent to Botswana, for instance?
understands the good doctor also gave testimony before the commission.
Obviously on closer scrutiny it was found to be porous, and perhaps
completely unbelievable on a balance of probabilities, and deservedly thrown
out. That must in part explain why the man is full
Pursuant to his revisionist theories, Dr Tafataona Mahoso
said it was time Africans came up with their "own set of values and ideals"
of measuring human rights. The idea is that they should not be influenced by
one Tony Blair who allegedly foisted his imperialist values and ideals on the
Muckraker reckons the cornerstone of such
values and ideals would be that it 's not a crime to kill your own people or
that killing opposition supporters such as Tichaona Chiminya and Talent
Mabika in an election campaign are not human rights violations. Generally,
the thrust would be that Africans are less worthy and therefore liberal
Western human rights ideals are not suitable for Africa.
looks like the fight against non-governmental organisations is not over yet.
It is not Amani Trust alone that is under attack by rabid
government apologists. The latest victim is the philanthropic donor
organisation that fed thousands of families during long years of drought and
food shortages in Mberengwa, Chivi, Mwenezi, Zaka, Beitbridge and much of
Matabeleland South, Care International.
In the past two weeks the NGO
has been pilloried for causing food shortages in Masvingo, with the governor
for the province, that caricature whose bulk has no proportion to his brain,
Josaya Hungwe, inciting people to claim compensation from the
Roped into the anti-Care International campaign this week
was Zanu PF's losing candidate in the Harare Central constituency, William
Nhara. It was claimed Care supplied the wrong sorghum seed variety to the
people of Masvingo as part of efforts to sabotage the land reform exercise.
People were warned to be wary of donor agencies sponsored by "unfriendly"
countries like Britain and the United States.
But it emerged at the
end of the news clip that all this was calculated baloney. The seed variety
complained of was sourced locally after Care International awarded a contract
to seed producers. It is only at the end that we realise we are being led
down a garden path by deceptive propagandists whose only contact with real
people is limited to what they read in their own media, suitably couched in
the language they want to hear - a huge illusion.
Whatever the source
of the problem seed, we were not told why Care International had to intervene
when we have a government that pretends to know it all.
would like to quote at length Mugabe's rantings against the people
he purports to be fighting for. Ostensibly referring to Tony Blair's MDC,
the Sunday Mail quotes him as urging his violent youths to launch a
"vigorous campaign" to push Tony Blair's midgets out.
"We want to
teach them a lesson across the whole country that Zimbabwe will never be a
colony again. Elections must be won not tomorrow, but today. Go and work," he
told the youths. Some may call this tough-talking,
But soon it was clear what the source of the
bitterness was and Mugabe seeks to settle a personal score against the whole
"The humiliation we suffered in the 2000 elections should humble
us and spur us to victory this time around. Can we rule from a city that is
in the hands of the enemy? Who then are the kings in Bulawayo? This is an
embarrassment not only to the Harare province youth league but to the whole
So the hate speech he has been preaching in the past four years
is part of efforts to assuage his humiliation at the hands of the MDC? And
why should a leader who purports to enjoy massive support stoop so low as to
divide the country between "followers and enemies?" Does Zimbabwe deserve
such low-calibre leadership? Muckraker reckons the man deserves the
final humiliation next year.
Then there was that childish
assertion that Zimbabwe is holy land.
"This is holy land, it is not only
Palestine that is holy land," Mugabe told his election foot soldiers at the
University of Zimbabwe. What he didn't say is that the Palestinian Authority
doesn't bludgeon its own people to stay in power. Nor is its intifada
against Israel an imaginary political rhetoric.
unhinged Nathaniel Manheru appears to think journalists on his hit list may
want to hide from him. That is wishful thinking. Journalists should actually
welcome his threats. His column is the best possible advertisement for the
true colours of the delinquent regime he claims to speak for. Without it we
may have thought the ruling party had some redeeming features!
vicious intolerance of criticism, its hate-speech, its targeting of ethnic
minorities, its bigotry and deceit all offer unprecedented insight into the
deeply troubled psyche of President Mugabe's court in the dying days of its
putrid rule and give Zanu PF the reputation it deserves.
Manheru is the
face of the beast - the "runaway monster" of his heading last week who
"darts" and "hounds" those who cross him. And it's important his malevolent
agenda should be given the widest possible publicity even though readers are
understandably reluctant to plough through his turgid text.
all, is the same individual who asserts his authority over the most senior
members of his own party, who claims the right to nominate the next
attorney-general, and who edits reports of the president's speeches to ensure
multiple-farm owners are spared too much unwelcome attention.
This is an
abuse of power writ large. But it doesn't end with settling scores and
advancing his sinister career on the domestic scene. He also displays barely
concealed contempt for African leaders such as Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo
and Abdoulaye Wade who get in the way of his spurious nationalist
The two leaders were accused last week of doing the West's
bidding. Then there are the "traitors" on the African Commission for Human
and People's Rights who, unlike Mahoso, don't understand the importance of
concealing Zimbabwe's persistent human rights violations in the name of
The number of conspirators are multiplying by the
day, it would seem. And without Mad-Dog Manheru's hounding help we wouldn't
know who to thank!
We liked the observation in Hogarth's column in the
Sun-day Times last weekend that when Kofi Annan said "There is no truer
wisdom and no clearer mark of sta-tesmanship than knowing when to pass the
torch to a new generation", Robert Mugabe and Sam Nujoma forgot to join in
Zim fails to stabilise IMF debt Ngoni
Chanakira ZIMBABWE needs to settle its SDR 200 million (US$295 million)
arrears to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) before it can begin to repay
its US$350 million debt, it emerged this week.
In its report on
Zimbabwe released last week, the IMF revealed that Zimbabwe had to date paid
only US$9 million in the period December to June.
As of December
2003, total external arrears were estimated at US$2 billion, up from US$1,3
billion at the end of December 2002.
Analysts said the arrears could
result in the IMF suspending Zimbabwe.
The IMF hinted at this in its
report when it "regretted that these payments (US$9 million) were
insufficient to stabilise the country's arrears".
The executive board
decided to postpone a recommendation for Zimbabwe's compulsory withdrawal
from the fund, providing the country with another chance to strengthen its
cooperation in terms of economic policies and payments.
said it would consider again the (IMF) managing director's complaint
regarding Zimbabwe's withdrawal from the fund within six months and decide
whether to recommend to the IMF board of governors that Zimbabwe be asked to
"The board's decision does not impose further sanctions on
Zimbabwe, but rather provides the country with an opportunity to
significantly strengthen its cooperation with the IMF, with the aim of
addressing its economic decline and resolving its overdue financial
obligations, prior to the executive board's next consideration of the
managing director's complaint," the IMF said.
When he took over in
December, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono promised that he
would make regular payments to the IMF in an effort to wipe out the country's
In an interview last week, Gono said the RBZ was
trying to settle the debt owed to the IMF and other international and local
He said this would, however, take some time because
foreign currency was not easily available - especially at a time when exports
were dwindling and business was experiencing a severe
"We continue with our scheduled payments that we promised
all international and local creditors when I took over," Gono said. "The IMF
issue is rather sensitive and we need to treat them very carefully because we
owe them quite a lot. We are making regular payments as promised and we will
continue to do so."
However, in its report last week the IMF
pointed out that Zimbabwe's payments of US$9 million to date were
"Zimbabwe has been in continuous arrears to the IMF
since February 2001," the IMF said. "As of end of June 2004 Zimbabwe's
arrears to the fund amounted to almost SDR (special drawing rights) 200
million (US$295 million), or about 56% of its quota in the
Last month Gono went on a three-nation economic crusade to the
United States (Dallas, Atlanta, Philadelphia, New York and Washington), the
United Kingdom (London, Birmingham and Oxford) and Johannesburg, South Africa
in a bid to sell his "Homelink" programme to Zimbabweans living
He urged locals in the diaspora to send money home using
official channels instead of the parallel market to which they had become
Gono's trip to Washington focused on week-long
discussions with various executive directors, management and staff of the two
Bretton Woods institutions, the IMF and the World Bank, while at all other
stations, the team focused on the promotion of "Homelink", an RBZ initiative
tailored to suit the needs of Zimbabweans living outside the country who may
wish to send money home.
The IMF, in its report, expressed grave
concern over the sharp decline in economic and social
On June 6 2003 the IMF's executive board concluded the
Article IV Consultation with Zimbabwe.
Under Article IV of the
IMF's Articles of Agreement, it holds bilateral discussions with members,
usually every year.
A staff team visits the country, collects
economic and financial information and discusses with officials the country's
economic developments and policies.
On return to headquarters, the
staff prepares a report, which forms the basis for discussion by the
At the conclusion of the discussion, the managing
director, as chairman of the board, summarises the views of executive
directors and this summary is transmitted to the country's
In its June report, the IMF highlighted that Zimbabwe's
economy had deteriorated progressively over the past four
It said real output had dropped by one third, inflation had
galloped and social conditions were deteriorating.
Manufacturing sector in sharp decline Godfrey
Marawanyika THE Central Statistical Office (CSO) has painted a gloomy picture
of the state of the country's manufacturing sector.
that between 1990 and 1998, the country's manufacturing sector grew by 6,6%,
while between 1998 and last year the trend was reversed.
end of last yearthe agricultural sector had declined by 40%.
an independent economist, said much of the growth seen in the 1990s was
primarily achieved in a comparatively short period between 1994 and 1997 when
government positively pursued economic recovery and
CSO figures indicate that on a comparative basis,
between 1990 and last year only two sectors of the manufacturing industry
These were the wood and clothing industries whose production
figures rose by 162,9% and 104,4% respectively.
Between 2000 and
2003 the country experienced a massive closure of 750 firms, which led to
retrenchments of workers.
This week the country's industry
representative body, the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries, said it would
soon release its annual report on the extent of the decline of the
The study is meant to show the real state of
the manufacturing sector, which has declined over the years in sympathy with
the entire economy because of a trading environment.
been battling foreign currency shortages, power cuts, loss of credit lines
and escalating costs of raw materials over the past four to five
The transport sector, which was badly affected by fuel
shortages, declined by 61,8%, whilst the textile industry shrunk by 59,54%,
non-metals by 52,64% and wood industry by 52,47%.
Bloch said since
1998, every facet of the manufacturing sector had shrunk almost continuously,
The tobacco and drink sectors declined by 44,19% and
43,47% respectively, food by 42,05 %, paper 40,41% and clothing by
"The reduction in manufacturing output occurred in the last two
years, for prior to that, industrial contraction was relatively insignificant
in extent," Bloch said.
"This tragic development, markedly in
contrast with the indisputably great prospects of industrial growth so
evidenced in the 20th century, is attributable to a variety of factors. First
and foremost was the destruction which characterised the manufacturing sector
as government intensified its calamitous programme of land acquisition,
redistribution and resettlement."
In the past, Bloch said,
agriculture accounted for 18% of the country's gross domestic
"As production in agriculture became ever less, that sector
required lesser production from the manufacturing sector," he
"Similarly, as agricultural incomes diminished, so too did
consumer spending on industrial output."
Accuracy of CSO statistics questioned Arther
Chatora THE Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) has questioned the accuracy
of reports from the Central Statistical Office after its claims that the
rate of inflation had declined and foreign currency inflows had
CCZ spokesperson Tonderayi Mukeredzi questioned the accuracy of
the price index, citing the recent increase in the prices of most basic
The Central Statistical Office this week said the annual
inflation rate had declined by 54,2% in June to 394,6% from 448,8% for the
month of May.
Mukeredzi said the figures released failed to reflect the
true picture of the consumers' position in relation to his spending power and
affordability of basic commodities.
He said a low-income earner
now requires $1 143 510 a month, up from the previous figure of $1 069 000,
reflecting that the prices of goods in a notional basket have
"Since early this year we have noticed a steady increase
in the prices of basic commodities, which indicates to us that the mechanism
used for checking of unfair increases of basic commodities are not working,"
He said there was a continued trend in price
increases which has pushed some commodities beyond the reach of
"From our weekly price monitors, we note with concern that the
prices of most basic goods are rising beyond the reach of many. This is
puzzling to the consumer especially in the wake of official claims that the
rate of inflation is declining," said Mukeredzi.
He called for the
extension of the list of commodities that the government recently gazetted.
However, previous inflation figures from the CSO have also been questioned
with calls from analysts for the review of the consumer basket
According to analysts, figures have become unreliable leading
to individuals and business ignoring them.
"We have to stop
considering them as a true reflection of the rate of inflation. Businesses
should come together to produce accurate figures because we cannot depend on
those from the CSO," said one analyst.
'Lack of ethical values fuels graft' Conrad
Dube LEADERSHIP and personal development consultant George Nyabadza
says corruption among Zimbabwean businesses has been given impetus by
managers who pay lip service to the development of ethical values but do
nothing to underpin them.
"Corruption has set in largely due to
management's lack of conscientising workers on upholding personal and
organisational values which are key to growth in organisations," said
Nyabadza who is head of Achievement Success Dynamics.
told about a hundred delegates to a free life transformational seminar last
Saturday that government's crackdown on corruption, though positive, would
not achieve much if business leaders failed to align the corporate mindset to
the organisation's strategic intent.
"One of the troubled financial
institutions' former boss once told me that his organisation was money-driven
and had no time for values," Nyabadza told the participants.
said business executives cared less about the spiritual and social side of
workers without which corruption and inefficiency creep in.
said he drew inspiration from nine years of exposure to "cutting edge
processes for personal and leadership development through numerous seminars I
have attended and through literally hundreds of books that I have read both
casually and also with a serious academic research
"Achievement Success Dynamics is a vehicle to express my
purpose which I describe as 'transforming lives, transforming organisations,
transforming nations'," said Nyabadza. He said several globally recognised
cutting edge personal transformation programmes, namely Mind Power, Alpha
Mind Power and, more recently, Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), have also
helped in moulding his desire to become a leadership
Nyabadza, a chartered accountant by profession who is
currently studying for a doctorate in business leadership with the University
of South Africa, said he had used his knowledge and experience to develop two
"cutting edge" programmes, the Personal Revolution System T and Born To Lead
The Personal Revolution SystemT and the Born To Lead T programmes are
both 24-hour courses delivered separately over two days each to equip
delegates with tools and processes to transform the essence of both their
businesses and personal lives.
"The programmes are comparable to
the best programmes available globally," Nyabadza said.
Personal Revolution Systems T seminar at the Crowne Plaza Hotel
held on September 4 and 5.
In two transformational days, Nyabadza
said participants will be equipped with skills to develop leadership
Nyabadza said the purpose of these programmes is to
motivate individuals, organisations and nations to utilise their entire God
given potential. "These programmes are designed to equip participants with
skills that enable them to access the abundant resources for achievement and
success that are resident within them," he said.
currently trains and consults across Africa, in the United Kingdom and the
In 1999 Nyabadza won the Zimbabwe Success Motivation
Institute (USA) Client of the Year Award and went on to become not only the
first Zimbabwean, but also the first person from Africa to win the
prestigious Success Motivation International World client of the Year Award
in the same year. Nyabadza attended Stanford University's Advanced Management
College Programme and has also attended the Haggai Instititue of Advanced
Leadership training programme. He is a columnist in the Zimbabwe
SA Spoornet/NRZ to meet over debt Roadwin
Chirara SOUTH African rail operator Spoornet is scheduled to meet with the
National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) to thrash out outstanding debt payment
Spoornet and the NRZ are also expected to discuss viability
problems facing the Zimbabwean concern.
The NRZ is paying Spoornet
R6 million monthly after failing to return wagons borrowed. Spoornet chief
executive officer, Dolly Mokgatle, said the company was aware of the NRZ's
problems and was looking at ways of improving the situation.
said it was in her company's interests to help the NRZ out of
"We would like to work with the NRZ to improve its
operations because it is in our interest to do so as a company. However, this
will not be done through the press," said Mokgatle in an
"We should sit down and sort out our relations as
companies. We also have a contractual agreement and the financial terms of
that cannot be disclosed."
Operations at the cash-strapped NRZ have
been severely compromised by the unavailability of sufficient
The parastatal only has 60 usable locomotives when it
needs at least 108 to operate viably.
Mokgatle said Spoornet was
willing to have open discussions with the NRZ.
"We do not believe in
a reaction approach," she said. "We should have an environment to discuss
Mokgatle, who is chairperson of the regional Southern
Africa Railways Association, castigated regional governments for failing to
run their railways and turning to privatisation as a last
"I find that governments are quick to turn to privatisation
as a solution for their inefficiencies in running their railways," said
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor, Gideon Gono, has called
for turn-around strategies for the country's many parastatals and local
authorities before they can access cheap development funds from the central
Gono said the unavailability of locomotives had impacted
negatively on the NRZ's ability to return wagons to
"This limitation is resulting in the NRZ paying monthly
interchange cost of around R6 million to Spoornet, effectively eating into
the country's limited foreign exchange resources," Gono said.