|The ZIMBABWE Situation||Our
thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe |
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.
Harare - President Robert Mugabe on Sunday postponed his usual
before the opening of parliament this week, an event that some diplomats,
civic leaders and opposition politicians had said they would boycott.
The government said Mugabe's usual lavish reception that was to take place
on Monday was "postponed to a date to be advised."
However, military aircraft, mounted police and troops rehearsed for
Tuesday's ceremonial opening of the parliament by Mugabe, which hadn't been
All invitations to Monday's event, including those to foreign diplomats,
civic and business leaders and ruling party officials, were cancelled, it
No reasons were given but opposition lawmakers, some diplomats and civic
leaders said they would boycott it.
Mugabe's support has plunged to its lowest as Zimbabwe faces its worst
economic crisis since he led the nation to independence in 1980. Dwindling
crowds have attended his recent ruling Zanu-PF party rallies.
Lawmakers of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change have in the past
boycotted Mugabe's opening of parliament party and have walked out of the
house when Mugabe began his opening speech.
At the annual state opening of the parliament two years ago Mugabe, riding
in an open, vintage Rolls Royce used by colonial era British governors, was
jeered by protesters.
Last year, police prevented demonstrations by sealing off the main square
opposite the parliament building.
Anglo American 'unaware of legal action'
By Charlotte Mathews
Inflation and foreign exchange problems for SAowned firms operating in
Zimbabwe are being compounded by renewed pressure from legal and political
Anglo American spokeswoman Anne
Dunn said yesterday that Anglo American was
not aware of the legal action being brought by Zimbabwean farmers.
Hippo Valley said earlier that it had been taking cane from commercial
farmers and newly resettled farmers in terms of existing contracts.
The Sugar Production Control Act states millers are legally obliged to
receive cane grown in Zimbabwe.
Hippo has not paid any party for cane deliveries and has instituted
interpleader proceedings in the High Court for a ruling on the competing
Chissano Takes the Baton
Sunday Times (Johannesburg)
July 20, 2003
Posted to the web July 21, 2003
The new AU chairman is a man of God on a continent where politicians think
of themselves as gods, writes Ranjeni Munusamy
'The best thing is for me to be as I am, not to be someone else. I admire
the qualities of President Mbeki . . . I may be tough in my own way. He is
tough in his own way'
JOAQUIM Chissano sits with his head bowed at the front of
Cathedral. The early-morning sunlight diffused through the stained-glass
windows spills over him, making him look like an apparition in the dimly lit
It's as if the heavens are participating in an elaborate scheme to project
the man as a saint.
Small birds flutter about the high ceilings, making a din with their
The Mozambican president is oblivious to the sound as he pages through his
Sunday Missal, searching for the day's readings.
The choir starts singing and the orthodox character of the church is
transformed by the rhythm of bongo drums and upbeat hymns. Chissano sings
all the hymns - in Shangaan and Portuguese - without a hymn book.
The congregation is unruffled by his presence. Nobody stares at him or tries
to push forward to greet their president. Obviously he is a regular.
It's the morning after a week of frenzy in Maputo. African heads of state,
ministers, ambassadors, officials, security personnel and hordes of
journalists flooded the Mozambican capital for the summit of the African
For a week, life in Maputo was dramatically altered, with traffic flows
sporadically interrupted by flying convoys, streets cordoned off, blaring
sirens and foreigners - particularly South African officials and security
personnel - taking over the city.
Chissano, 64, took over chairmanship of the AU from President Thabo Mbeki
and played host to about 40 African leaders attending the gathering.
It required chairing lengthy debates- some acrimonious - about pressing
issues and problems, including 11 conflict situations, the setting up of AU
institutions such as the Peace and Security Council, and the New Partnership
for Africa's Development .
The night before, he had presided over the closing ceremony at which members
of the new AU commission were sworn in, and sat patiently while Africa's
most flamboyant leader, Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi, rabbited on for
about 40 minutes in what was meant to be a brief vote of thanks.
Chissano then addressed a media conference and later indulged journalists
with individual interviews. Late into the night, he fielded courtesy calls.
So it's somewhat surprising that he is up at the crack of dawn on this crisp
Sunday morning to pray. Considering the company he's kept over the preceding
days, men who think of themselves as gods, the image of him kneeling in the
pew is humbling.
But then Chissano doesn't quite fit the mould of a stereotype African
He arrived at the church in an Audi, escorted by one unmarked car of
When the collection plate is passed around, he reaches into his pocket for a
And when the priest announces at the end of Mass that Chissano is the new
head of the continental body and the congregation erupts in loud applause,
he looks embarrassed.
This from a man with a lifetime in politics, beginning in 1952 as a student
activist. Ten years later, he joined the Front for the Liberation of
Mozambique ( Frelimo) and climbed steadily up its ranks as Mozambique fought
for national liberation. In 1983 he was elected to the Political Bureau and
has been president of the Frelimo party since 1986.
In the same year, he became president of Mozambique. He managed the
introduction of a multiparty constitution and a peace agreement with the
rebel group Renamo.
Under his leadership, Mozambique, among the world's poorest countries,
having been devastated by a protracted civil war and socialist
mismanagement, is now renowned for having achieved one of the highest growth
rates in the world.
He confides that during the summit, someone asked him what his magic formula
was for the high-speed reconstruction of his country - an open invitation
for a politician to wax lyrical about his virtues. Chissano doesn't.
"It's not the state but ordinary people who are doing it," he says.
At the presidential palace, he agrees to be interviewed in the sprawling
garden, reassuring the photographer and cameraman that he doesn't mind
having to sit facing the blazing winter sun for an hour.
Liberties such as invading the president's privacy in church and at home are
rare for South African journalists. So when it is announced that Chissano
would like to have breakfast with us and aides march out into the garden
with crockery, food and drinks, we have to make an effort not to look
When he speaks, it is difficult to resist the temptation to compare him with
Mbeki, his AU predecessor.
Asked what the major achievements of the AU summit were, the first thing
Chissano lists is a discussion on HIV/Aids.
He says a video conference during which six cities around the world were
linked to Maputo was a milestone in advancing the Aids cause. Never before
has Africa's political leadership been engaged in such a dialogue.
Mbeki's pet project, Nepad, is second on Chissano's list, followed by the
progress reports on Africa's conflicts.
Disappointments? The fact that the delegates were so immersed in serious
discussions that they did not have time to see all the cultural shows, art
exhibitions and theatre productions that ordinary Mozambicans had put on.
It's hard to imagine Mbeki even thinking about art while attending a
Under Mbeki, the AU took on a very distinct character as he attempted to
drive it with military precision, focusing on programmes he regarded as
being of primary importance - conflict resolution and advancing the Nepad
mission to bring democracy, good governance and development to Africa.
Chissano identifies the same targets, but makes it clear he will go about
"The best thing is for me to be as I am, not to be someone else. I admire
the qualities of President Mbeki, [he] has had a good impact on the AU.
"I have my way of doing things and it will have the same impact, the same
"I may be tough in my own way. He is tough in his own way . . . I don't
think we can compare."
Mbeki's biggest challenge was to propel his 52 counterparts on his desired
trajectory. Chissano recognises why this is difficult.
"We are united in a common cause [ Africa's development], it is a matter of
approaches. Because of the differences in countries, we are not at the same
level in our economies, education and development.
"Our countries were not born at the same time or in the same way. There is a
diversity in the perception of issues."
He says it is therefore necessary to develop common agendas among countries
in the five regions of Africa .
Another mission he has identified is to engage the media in Africa.
"There is a disparity of opinion-makers. It is necessary to engage in
dialogue with the media to build a common perception between policy- and
opinion-makers so that we deliver the same message to our people.
"The message should be the same from Mozambique to Algiers and Ethiopia."
Mbeki muddied himself by brawling with Gaddafi. The Brother Leader is
eccentric and does not argue logically, so Mbeki ended up looking indignant
Chissano will be more tolerant, but persuasive. "Everyone has their own
temperaments. The thing to do is adapt yours to theirs," he says.
"We are all critical of Zimbabwe but we did not live their history, their
struggle," he says.
Mbeki is facing the heat over his approach to Zimbabwe, but this should not
deter the mission to rescue Zimbabwe from its malaise, Chissano says.
"If we believe in what we are doing, we must go ahead. President Mbeki
belongs to a team, our team . . . People will be doubtful until there are
more convincing signs of progress."
Next year, Mozambique will elect a new president, as Chissano has indicated
he will not be available for re-election. His last year in office is set to
be feverishly busy.
In addition to the AU demands, he is determined to meet the
poverty-alleviation targets of Mozambique's five-year development programme.
He has publicly endorsed Armando Guebuza, Frelimo's presidential candidate,
as his successor. But what will he do afterwards, having reached the
pinnacle of a political career as a president of a country and leader of a
"I still have one year to think. I will concentrate on the programme we
have. I'll care about myself later."
'Emerging Market' -- an Outdated Concept?
Sun July 20, 2003 07:41 PM ET
By Ed Stoddard
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - What do South Africa, Lithuania, Mexico and China
have in common?
Not much, really. Yet all four are lumped into an economic category known as
emerging markets -- one that casts its net so wide that its relevance is
"This concept of an emerging or a developing market is mainly a political
tag or just a name for non-rich economies," said Dawie Roodt, an economist
with PLJ Financial Services in South Africa.
"It's really everybody except the rich economies so it's really not saying
anything, it's far too big," he said.
The term's worth as a concept is not simply academic.
It is used as a guide by fund managers and others who channel tens of
billions of dollars into economies -- and out of them again, sometimes at
the press of a button.
Nor has much thought been given to the criteria that would signal an economy
had emerged from its stifling cocoon and sprouted the wings of a developed
Making it out of this grouping would signal that a country was a less risky
place for investment. This in turn could translate into increased capital
inflows and reduced borrowing costs.
To date, no economy seems to have made the grade, suggesting that perhaps it
is time to establish some goal posts -- though the pick of the crop are
often singled out.
"A lot of people will look at very mature emerging markets like South Korea
or Hong Kong and not include them in this group, they are almost in a
category of their own," said Razia Khan, an economist with Standard
Chartered in London.
WHAT IS AN EMERGING MARKET?
So, what is an emerging market? At its broadest, it refers to basically
every country outside of the developed world encompassing Western Europe,
the United States and Canada, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.
The Reuters glossary says it is: "A term used to describe the financial
markets of developing countries. Definitions vary of which countries are
emerging and which are not."
There are some common countries on the major emerging markets indices,
including Brazil, Hungary and Thailand.
The Economist newspaper has regular updates on indicators from around two
dozen emerging market economies.
Countries with unsophisticated, illiquid or virtually no financial markets
such as Cambodia and Burundi are not found on these indices, but are still
considered by some to be in the "emerging" group for want of an alternative
"There are a lot of developing countries that are strictly pre-emerging
markets rather than emerging markets," said Khan.
One rough rule of thumb could be to look at countries whose government debt
has been given a credit rating by the big rating agencies.
But in Africa, that group includes Gambia, Lesotho, Egypt, South Africa and
Botswana, countries with hugely different levels of development.
The "market" in the term also seems, in many cases, to state the obvious.
Fifteen years ago the very visible hand of the state was firmly on the
tiller of eastern Europe's economies, but most today are clearly
market-oriented, selling off state assets while maintaining low budget
Their size may mean they are still "emerging," but few would doubt that they
were now "markets." Billions and billions of dollars of foreign direct
investment have poured into the region.
SOUTH AFRICAN EXCEPTION
Then there is the case of South Africa.
South Africa's economy is in many ways a dual one, a legacy of its recent
past under apartheid and white rule.
On the one hand, its financial markets are as liquid and sophisticated as
many found in the developed world.
Its top companies -- some of which have moved their main listings to
London -- are global giants and include the likes of mining major Anglo
American and SABMiller, the world's second largest brewer.
On the other hand, many of its roughly 45 million people live in abject
poverty, and income disparities are among the sharpest on the planet.
Unemployment is close to 40 percent.
While there has been progress on many fronts, millions still lack proper
sanitation and electricity.
In short, the majority live a "Third World" existence, while a minority is
part of the "First World" -- hence South Africa's emerging market tag.
But this means it gets punished when there are scares or sell-offs in other
big emerging markets, such as Russia or Brazil -- even if its own economic
policies are sound and its financial markets are far more sophisticated.
Some far-off investors have also lumped South Africa -- unfairly, most
analysts would say -- with neighboring Zimbabwe, whose economy is suffering
its worst crisis since independence from Britain in 1980.
"I think what we need to do is get a bit more clinical on how we classify
certain economies," said Roodt.
"One could be developing and that would be one that is actually growing at a
certain rate. Another would be stagnant, an economy where not much is
happening. Another could be regressive or 'undeveloping' like Zimbabwe,"
Farmers ripped off
FARMERS wishing to cash cheques are being shortchanged by unscrupulous rural
traders who demand that they buy goods worth at least half the value of the
cheque in order to get the cash.
A farmer with a cheque for $800 000 is forced to buy goods worth $400 000 to
have the cheque cashed at most shops in the rural areas.
With banks refusing to cash cheques exceeding $60 000, frustrated farmers in
Masvingo, Mashonaland East, Mashonaland West and Mashonaland Central
provinces have fallen prey to shop owners.
Desperate farmers have to buy goods not initially planned for and have no
wide choice of goods since they have to make do with what is available in
that particular shop.
In worse situations, some shop owners have hiked the prices of goods knowing
that the farmers have no option but to buy from them with the cheques.
The Zimbabwe Farmers’ Union said it was worried that farmers had become
gullible because they needed the money.
ZFU vice president Mr Wilfanos Mashingaidze said the situation was tense.
"The banks have no cash and our farmers are desperate for money so the shop
owners are taking advantage of the set up.
"We now need to mobilise the farmers to hold on to their cheques for a while
as we work out some mechanisms but again the farmers need the money for
other purposes," he said.
In Guruve, farmers interviewed said cashing cheques in shops was the only
option at the moment and they have to comply with the requirements of the
"I sold my cotton and got a cheque of $1,3 million but when I went to cash
it at the bank, they said they had no cash.
"I then went to a supermarket at Guruve centre and I was told to buy goods
worth at least $700 000, and since I had no option, I complied,’’ said Mr
Tinotenda Chimombe of Gota in Guruve.
"I had to buy some things I had not prioritised so that I reach the required
In Masvingo 16 cotton farmers from Pfuve Panganai found themselves stranded
in the town after banks failed to cash their cheques on Tuesday.
"We cannot cash the cheques because the supermarkets do not have the
fertiliser which we want to buy.
"If we use half the amount to buy mere groceries when we need fertilisers
and seed then what do we do next?’’ asked Mr Richmond Rushoka.
A survey by The Herald has shown that the conditional cashing of cheques by
shop owners is widespread in the country and unless the Government
intervenes farmers will not realise the gains of their sweat.
Tourism attaches to take up posts in SA, France
By Ruth Butaumocho
Three tourism attaches will leave Harare to take up their posts in South
Africa, France and China this week as the Government steps up efforts to woo
tourists to Zimbabwe.
Ms Ndaipanei Mukwena, a former Midlands State University tourism lecturer,
will be stationed in South Africa, while Mr Taka Munyanyiwa, a former Zimsun
marketing manager, and Mr Godfrey Pasipanodya, a former Rainbow Tourism
Group marketing manager, will be based in China and France respectively.
Ms Mukwena is expected to depart for Johannesburg tomorrow morning while the
other two will leave at the end of the week.
The deployment of the attaches is expected to revive the lucrative tourism
sector, which has not been performing well as a result of the negative
publicity the country has been receiving from its detractors.
Plans are afoot to open similar offices in Thailand, Japan and India because
of interest shown in Zimbabwe by people in those countries.
At the moment, Zimbabwe has one attache in Malaysia and some offices run by
non-attaches in London, Frankfurt and New York. An overwhelming response has
been received from the Malaysians.
Zimbabwe Tourism Authority marketing director Mr Givemore Chidzidzi said the
deployment of tourist attaches is a continuous process to complement efforts
being made in the tourism industry to market the country to new markets that
include Russia, China and Japan.
One of the major roles of the attaches would be to counteract the negative
publicity the country has been get- ting.