Tue 25 July 2006
HARARE - Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe on Tuesday praised security
forces for keeping him in power and boasted his government had defeated
Western attempts at causing economic collapse and "regime change" in his
Officially opening the second session of Zimbabwe's sixth Parliament,
Mugabe lamented what he said were illegal Western sanctions against his
government. But the 82-year old President said a new government economic
blue-print launched about three months ago would tame the country's runaway
inflation - the highest in the world at 1 184.6 percent - and usher in
"I wish to pay tribute to our security forces for their continuing
role in securing our peace and stability," Mugabe said during the official
opening ceremony that was boycotted by the main faction of the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party that is led by Morgan Tsvangirai.
"We feel proud that we have defeated that strategy which was aimed at
the collapse of the Zimbabwe economy and an envisaged regime change.
Zimbabwe will never be a colony again," the ageing leader said, repeating a
mantra that his government has repeatedly used to try and whip up
nationalism in the face of acute economic problems in Zimbabwe.
The once prosperous southern African nation is battling an immense
economic crisis that is characterised by hyperinflation and shortages of
fuel, electricity, essential medicines, hard cash and just about every basic
Mugabe said a new National Economic Development Priority Programme
(NEDPP) launched by his government was already making significant progress
in taming inflation adding that his government remained "fully determined to
tame the monster (inflation), a task which no doubt requires our collective
will as stakeholders in the country's well-being."
Economic experts have dismissed NEDPP - which is one of no less than
four economic blue prints the government has produced since 1999 - saying it
will fail because Mugabe's government lacks the will to confront the root
causes of the country's isolation by the international community such as
Harare's failure to uphold democracy, the rule of law and human rights.
Any plan to resuscitate Zimbabwe's comatose economy can only succeed
on the back of substantial aid and co-operation from the international
community, according to the experts.
Mugabe also vowed to end continuing chaos on former white farms. But
similar vows by Mugabe have in the past failed to bring order on the farms
most of which now lie derelict.
The Zimbabwean leader issued warnings against Tsvangirai and his MDC
party who have threatened to call mass anti-government protests to force
Mugabe to accept sweeping political reforms they say are necessary to fix
the country's economic and political crisis.
Mugabe accused the opposition of wanting to resort to violence because
it had been rejected by the electorate.
He said: "Having failed to win the approval of the electorate, they
would now want to subvert the country's legal electoral processes. They have
become champions of violence within and without their own political organs.
They should be warned that the forces of law and order will not hesitate to
deal firmly with all those who have made violence their culture."
Tsvangirai and his MDC - who say they have lost faith in elections
because Mugabe and his ruling ZANU PF party always steals them - say they
will call Ukraine style protests this winter to force Mugabe to give up
power to a transitional government.
The transitional authority would be tasked to write a new democratic
constitution and to organise free and fair elections under international
The Tsvangirai faction of the MDC, which said it boycotted the opening
of Parliament because Mugabe uses the occasion to deliver empty promises to
the people - is considered the main challenger to Mugabe's government.
A smaller faction of the opposition party led by academic Arthur
Mutambara attended the opening of Parliament saying it could not boycott the
institution to which it was elected to serve the people. - ZimOnline
Tue 25 July 2006
HARARE - Zimbabwe powerful State Security Minister Didymus Mutasa has
ordered the police in Manicaland province to ignore directives by the
Attorney General's department to arrest an intelligence agent suspected of
murdering two opposition activists five years ago, sources told ZimOnline.
The sources, who are senior police officers in Manicaland, said Mutasa
had instructed police provincial crime unit commander Connell Dube to
disregard requests by the AG's department to hand over for prosecution
Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) agent Joseph Mwale whom the security
minister is said to have described as "untouchable".
Mutasa, one of the most powerful ministers in Mugabe's Cabinet, is in
charge of the CIO.
Mwale is accused of petrol-bombing a vehicle carrying two opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party activists, Talent Mabika and
Tichaona Chiminya, during the run-up to the 2000 general election,
controversially won by President Robert Mugabe's ruling ZANU PF party.
The MDC activists, who were helping party president Morgan Tsvangirai
campaign for a parliamentary seat in Buhera constituency in Manicaland, died
as a result of the bombing.
The sources, who did not want to be named for fear of reprisals, said:
"The AG's office wants to close all criminal files dating back to 2000 and
2001. The Mwale case happens to fall within this period but Mutasa told us
Mwale is untouchable .he said we (the police) should simply ignore the AG's
instructions to bring Mwale for prosecution."
Deputy Economic Development Minister Morris Sakubaya was also working
with Mutasa to block the police from arresting Mwale, according to our
Both AG Sobuza Gula-Ndebele and Sakubaya were not immediately
available for comment on the matter on Tuesday. But Mutasa, who oversees the
secret service, denied involvement in the Mwale case saying he did not
control the police.
"I am not in charge of the police, so don't trouble me," Mutasa said
before switching off his mobile phone.
But our sources said acting area prosecutor for Manicaland Levy
Chikafu - who they said was acting on direct instructions from
Gula-Ndebele - two weeks ago approached Dube and asked the policeman for
help to bring Mwale to book.
Aware of the sensitive nature of Mwale's case, Dube is said to have
consulted senior ZANU PF party and government officials in Manicaland, among
them Mutasa and Sakubaya who told him to ignore the request to arrest the
Dube last night referred all questions to police spokesman Wayne
Bvudzijena who was however not available to take questions.
But our sources said Dube later told Chikafu that police officers were
failing to locate Mwale, and this despite the fact that the CIO agent is a
well known figure in Manicaland province and is regularly seen in the
company of senior police officers as well government officials.
When Chikafu insisted that Mwale was actually being seen in the
company of police officers Dube is said to have told him that that was not
true and that it was probably a case of mistaken identity, with people
mistaking a member of the police force for Mwale.
"Mwale is always with Sakabuya. In fact, he co-ordinates the deputy
minister's meetings and programmes in his Chipinge North constituency but
Chikafu has been told that the man cannot be found," said a source.
Mwale, who is notorious for committing violence and torture against
MDC activists in Manicaland, is a prominent campaigner for ZANU PF in
Manicaland province during elections.
Former High Court Judge James Devittie recommended in 2001 that Mwale
be tried for the murder of Chiminya and Mabika, with the judge noting that
there was a strong possibility that the CIO agent could be convicted of the
crime. And in April this year, Tsvangirai wrote to the AG's department
requesting that Mwale be brought to court for trial but he remains free. -
Wed 26 July 2006
BULAWAYO - To most of their neighbours in Nketa suburb in Bulawayo,
26-year old Miriam Zulu and her husband Thulani, 28, appear to be the
proverbial perfect couple whose marriage was made in heaven.
But behind this façade of normality, are tempestuous winds that are
constantly battering their marital home threatening to sink their fragile
three-year old union.
Every week-end, Zulu's home is a theatre of war.
Miriam says for over two years now, she has known no peace as her
husband, an alcoholic, beats her up over issues ranging from alleged misuse
of money to sex.
But like most traditional women in Zimbabwe, Miriam has quietly taken
the blows in a bid to preserve her fragile marriage in a society that still
shuns divorce and single motherhood.
"When we got married, our neighbours used to admire the love we showed
for each other," says Miriam, still nursing some facial wounds after she was
severely battered by her husband last week. "But all good things do come to
an end," she says with a quavering voice.
Miriam says she cannot understand what led to Thulani's transformation
from being a loving husband to a brutal thug.
"My husband came home drunk and I asked him why he was behaving in
this way and he responded by assaulting me with anything that he could lay
his hands on.
"He also threw a brick on my face leaving me with multiple facial
injuries," says Miriam amid a flood of tears.
Miriam is among thousands of women who are battered by their husbands
Cases of domestic violence, mostly against women, are so prevalent in
Zimbabwe. Several women have been fatally assaulted by their partners over
Women's rights groups say at least one in every six women is subjected
to some form of domestic violence in Zimbabwe with most cases of domestic
violence going unreported because the women are afraid of breaching cultural
and religious sensitivities.
It is against this background that the Zimbabwe government has
proposed a new law, the Domestic Violence Bill, to stem the tide of domestic
violence around the country.
Ednah Bhala, the director of Musasa Project, a non-governmental
organisation that looks after victims of domestic violence, says the
proposed new law was long overdue.
"The Bill is comprehensive enough as it defines domestic violence in a
manner that caters for all forms of domestic violence.
"However, the effectiveness of the proposed law will depend on its
implementation," said Bhala.
Edinah Musiyiwa, the director of the Women's Action Group that fights
for the rights of women, also praised the new law saying it will give
victims of domestic violence an opportunity to seek recourse at the courts.
"We subscribe to the provisions of the Bill as it provides a framework
to deal with gender-based violence which is on the increase. Women were
finding it difficult to seek legal recourse as the courts used to view
domestic violence as a private matter," said Musiyiwa.
Speaking at a Gender Based Violence Workshop in Bulawayo earlier this
month, Women's Affairs, Gender and Community Development Minister Oppah
Muchinguri, conceded that violence against women and girls had become so
prevalent in the country.
"Gender based violence remains endemic in our society and it cuts
across all cultures, socio-economic groupings and social status. While it
affects both sexes, women and girls are disproportionately affected, as they
are the majority of the victims," said Muchinguri.
But Muchinguri also expressed concern over what she said appeared to
be society's conspiracy of silence in protecting perpetrators of heinous
crimes against women and children.
"The women and girls who are abused with disturbing regularity are our
friends, sisters, nieces, daughters, aunts, mothers and even grandmothers.
"However, it is of concern that many people choose to remain silent
and thus protecting the abuser. Society's silence therefore defeats our
commitment to eradicating the problem," she said.
But despite the government's earnest efforts to tame domestic
violence, for Miriam, reporting her husband to the police will be the last
thing on her mind.
"I cannot just go and report my husband to the police. What if he is
arrested and jailed? Who will look after the family?"she asks capturing the
dilemma most battered women will face in Zimbabwe when the new Bill becomes
law. - ZimOnline
Wed 26 July 2006
HARARE - Police on Tuesday arrested Zimbabwe's Deputy Information
Minister Bright Matonga for alleged corruption.
Police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena last night confirmed Matonga's
arrest saying the deputy minister was arrested for allegedly soliciting
bribes while still at the helm of a state-owned bus company.
Matonga was the chief executive officer of the Zimbabwe United
Passenger Company (ZUPCO) bus company before his appointment to government
The deputy minister and former ZUPCO board chairman, Charles Nherera,
are being accused of soliciting a US$85 000 bribe from a foreign bus
supplier, Gift Investments as an inducement for him to award a tender to
supply buses to the public transporter.
Nherera has already been dragged to court over the allegations. He is
denying the charge.
Several of Mugabe's ministers including his former finance minister,
have been dragged before the courts facing allegations of corruption. -
Wed 26 July 2006
HARARE - Zimbabwe Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa will on Thursday
present his mid-term fiscal policy review and supplementary budget to
Parliament in a clear sign that the government is failing to live within its
Justice Minister and leader of the House, Patrick Chinamasa yesterday
said Parliament will adjourn to Wednesday to allow Murerwa to present his
supplementary budget review statement.
"We were supposed to adjourn for three week as has been the norm in
the past but the Honorable Minister of Finance Murerwa intends to present
his mid-term fiscal review and also introduce a supplementary budget on
"So I am adjourning the house to tomorrow (Wednesday)," Chinamasa told
the House after President Robert Mugabe's address to the second session of
the Sixth Parliament of Zimbabwe.
Economic commentators say the introduction of the supplementary budget
indicates that the government, which is battling a severe six-year old
economic crisis, was again failing to control expenditure.
Murerwa wants Parliament to approve the government's extra spending.
The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change party and
economists have often accused the government of extravagance at a time the
country is facing economic collapse. - ZimOnline
Wed 26 July 2006
BULAWAYO - At least 4 000 National University of Science and
Technology (NUST) students have failed to access their examination results
after the institution's authorities withheld the results over unpaid tuition
There were running battles at NUST earlier this year after most
students failed to raise the Z$75 million in tuition fees which was required
NUST director of information and publicity, Felix Moyo, confirmed that
the university was withholding examination results.
"It is true that the NUST is withholding the results of the students
but most of them are making arrangements to pay what they owe. As we speak
right now, students are queuing to pay," Moyo said.
But NUST Student Representative Council (SRC) secretary general,
Mziwandile Ndlovu, condemned the decision by the university saying the
students' union will challenge the decision to withhold the results.
"Most students come from poor backgrounds and they are being
victimized for their poverty. The majority of students can hardly afford to
pay the fees," Ndlovu said.
State-owned universities earlier this year hiked fees from Z$3 million
to between Z$30 and $45 million per semester, a fee the students said was
beyond their reach.
The decision to increase fees sparked violent protests at universities
and colleges around the country. - ZimOnline
Wed 26 July 2006
HARARE - England-based batsman Charles Coventry has become the latest
player to turn his back on Zimbabwe after he reportedly fell out with
national coach Kevin Curran and team manager Andy Pycroft.
The big-hitting Coventry, tipped to become a key player for rebuilding
Zimbabwe, said he would not make himself available for the national team as
long as the duo was still in charge, according to the Cricinfo website.
The 22-year-old player did not elaborate on his fallout with Curran
and Pycroft, which happened during Zimbabwe's tour of the Caribbean in May.
Coventry was one of the UK-based players expected to turn out for
Zimbabwe in a one-day international series against Bangladesh starting this
The others, including captain Terry Duffin and wicketkeeper Brendan
Taylor, are however expected to join the team although there were doubts
over the availability of promising pace bowler Edward Rainsford.
Meanwhile, a Zimbabwe select side today hope for a morale-boosting end
to their warm-up tour of South Africa before heading back home tomorrow to
face Bangladesh in the opener of a five-match one-day international series
The one-dayer against Highveld Lions Academy in Pretoria today should
be a crucial test of stability for Zimbabwe, battling to rebuild after
several experienced players quit the national team.
Zimbabwe thrashed Highveld Lions by seven wickets on Sunday, as they
recovered from a nine-wicket drubbing at the hands of the South African
Academy in the first match of the tour two days earlier.
However, the Zimbabweans should take heart from their performance on
Monday when they turned the tables on the SA Academy to win a thrilling
match by a single run.
Hamilton Masakadza inspired Zimbabwe to the win with a virtuoso
Aggressive batsman Elton Chigumbura hopes he can maintain his form
today after he amassed 52 runs on Monday.
The Pretoria one-dayer also provides a platform for the likes of
Stuart Matsikenyeri, Piet Rinke, Chamu Chibhabha and Vusi Sibanda to stake
their claim in the final senior squad for the series against Bangladesh.
Zimbabwe are expected back home tomorrow and the final squad to face
Bangladesh will be announced on Friday.
Bangladesh are already in Harare and play a warm-up against the
Zimbabwe Board XI today. - ZimOnline
Tue Jul 25, 2006 1:17pm ET
By Cris Chinaka
HARARE (Reuters) - President Robert Mugabe said on Tuesday his government
had defeated what he called attempts by Britain to scupper Zimbabwe's ailing
economy and overthrow him.
Critics accuse Mugabe of plunging the southern African country into its
deepest crisis since independence from Britain in 1980 through controversial
policies that the World Bank says have made its economy the fastest
shrinking outside a war zone.
Opening a new session of parliament on Tuesday, Mugabe again blamed
Zimbabwe's economic crisis on his political opponents, accusing London of
mobilizing what he regards as "illegal sanctions" by the European Union and
the United States.
The 82-year-old Zimbabwean leader believes Britain wants to oust him over
his seizures of white-owned farms for redistribution to blacks and said on
Tuesday the drive to isolate his government had failed.
"It is refreshing that the world has now become fully aware of the dishonest
and hypocritical anti-Zimbabwe strategy of the current British government,"
"We feel proud that we have defeated that strategy which was aimed at the
collapse of the Zimbabwean economy and an envisaged regime change."
London denies trying to oust Mugabe and the West insists it has imposed only
targeted travel bans on the ruling elite.
Mugabe's address was boycotted by legislators from the main wing of the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change of Morgan Tsvangirai.
"He has often delivered empty promises when it is clear his government has
neither the concern nor the solutions to resolve the worsening multi-layered
crisis," Tsvangirai's deputy, Thokozani Khupe, said in a statement.
The MDC has boycotted most of Mugabe's official addresses to parliament
since 2000 over accusations that his ZANU-PF party has been rigging
elections to stay in power.
On Tuesday, Mugabe said Zimbabwe -- which is struggling with the world's
highest inflation rate of over 1,180 percent -- hoped to revive an economy
in its eighth year of recession by boosting the key agricultural sector.
Analysts say production in the farming sector has fallen by over 60 percent
in the past six years after the farm seizures. The government mainly blames
the decline on drought.
Mugabe said growing corruption was threatening Zimbabwe's economic revival
program and the government would amend its laws to deal with the problem.
"This scourge has the potential to undermine the very foundations of the
country's socio-economic development and, as such, constitutes a potent
threat to national well-being," Mugabe said.
On Tuesday police chief spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena said the force had
arrested deputy information minister Bright Matonga on corruption charges
arising from his previous stint at state bus company ZUPCO.
I HAVE no problem with what the author of the article in question
wrote in your issue of July 21, 2006, but for the last sentence.
The statement "Mr Nujoma and Katali should go and retire in Zimbabwe
if they so admire what has happened there", blames Zimbabweans for what is
happening in their country.
It is similar to saying Namibia should retire in Zimbabwe if the logic
of the statement is followed.
Mugabe and his cronies are not synonymous with Zimbabwe; neither are
Katali and Nujoma with Namibia.
Your statement implies that Zimbabwe is a dustbin for racists and
This is an insult to the democracy-loving Zimbabweans like myself who
are waging a war against repression and tyranny, because instead of blaming
the Mugabe administration you are demonising our loved Zimbabwe by
associating it with rot.
Mugabe does not own Zimbabwe, neither is Zimbabwe Mugabe's.
Please learn to differentiate between the administration and the
It pains me when people associate my beloved country's name with
negativity that should be appropriated to those at fault.
May I also tell ill-informed people that the land issue is neither at
the centre of the crisis in Zimbabwe, nor did ZANU (PF) initiate it.
It was a mass revolution against the failure of the willing-buyer,
willing-seller land policy insofar as addressing the equitable distribution
of this important resource was concerned.
Land "invasions" by the masses started as early as 1984 in the Eastern
Districts (four years after independence), but were suppressed by Mugabe
because this was not politically expedient then.
Chief Svosve in Mashonaland East Province did "invade" land with his
people in 1998 and was suppressed by Mugabe for the same reason as above.
Then in 2000, without a campaign manifesto and intimidated by the new
MDC party, Mugabe hijacked these people and initiated reform for political
mileage and destroyed the nobility of this concept by adding the
unsustainable fast-track nature to the reform process.
So, the crisis is not about land reform (most Zimbabweans would
agree), but about the stolen ballot since the 2000 parliamentary elections
and the subsequent elections were coupled with gross human rights
There is some truth in what Katali said.
At the moment, by and large, land is in the hands of most Zimbabweans
and in spite of the harsh economic crisis, they are producing and living a
life better than the landless people in this country.
Let us not tackle the land issue as the cause of the crisis in
Zimbabwe but the legitimacy of the current government.
Civil societies universally should hold hands together as they are
they only true democratic forces.
Politicians are never for the people, but for selfish
self-aggrandisement: like Bush and Blair in Iraq, Israel in Lebanon,
massacring innocent civilians not party to the conflict.
I am not racist but want answers from whites on why they would not
voluntarily give up part of their farms for resettlement as a gesture for
reconciliation and to address historical imbalances.
Namibia is one of the countries with the greatest disparity in income
At the moment, the land policy favours those who have land already and
the new black "elites".
Why can't these two be proactive in the redistribution of wealth
instead of waiting for the inevitable people's revolution that is imminent
if the great inequalities persist? The shebeen demonstrations are a
microcosm of the macrocosm.
Courage Mthombeni Zimbabwe
Tel 091 940 489 email :firstname.lastname@example.org
Robert Mugabe today left Zimbabweans in no doubt that he is overdue for
retirement when he lost a golden opportunity during his address to Zanu PF
members and their associates in Parliament. He dismally failed to articulate
how his party intends to resolve the national crisis, choosing instead to
engage in his usual diatribe against the people's party, the MDC.
While Mugabe was waffling in Parliament, armoured tanks obstructed traffic
in the streets of Harare while police officers were stationed at virtually
every street corner. Hordes of army personnel armed with machine guns were
stationed at Africa Unity Square.
The regime showed its affinity for opulence in a sea of national poverty
when Mugabe and his entourage arrived with new, state-of-the-art BMW
motorbikes. The regime's frenetic love for grandeur, which is typical of all
dictators, has become legendary and it is unthinkable how he could afford to
import over 15 lavish motorbikes when Zimbabweans have no food.
In Parliament, Mugabe again failed to characterize and locate the genesis of
the Zimbabwean crisis, which he perpetually alleges to be stemming from poor
bilateral relations with Britain and the MDC. Ours is purely a Zimbabwean
crisis, which needs a Zimbabwean solution. The regime is at war with the
people. Mugabe failed to tell Zimbabweans how his government intends to take
the nation out of this quagmire. He failed to take advantage of today's
platform to provide answers to this shameful crisis of governance,
characterized by a supersonic inflation rate, massive unemployment, power
blackouts, a collapsing health delivery system, high prices of basic
commodities and an acute shortage of foreign currency for critical imports
such as fuel, food and medicines. Instead, Mugabe went for the jugular;
blaming everyone else except himself and his government.
We believe MDC MPs took the most prudent decision to boycott Mugabe's
political grandstanding. MDC MPs refused to be part of this Zanu PF charade.
Mugabe continually abuses Parliament by attributing his government's glaring
failure to the MDC and sanctions, which the United States, and European
governments slapped on Zanu PF's senior officials on grounds of gross
violation of human rights.
The MDC believes that this regime has failed and Mugabe must accept the
people's proposal for a peaceful resolution of the national crisis. Mugabe
must be forced to accept the people's demand for a new, people-driven
Constitution, free and fair elections under international supervision and a
reconstruction and stabilization programme in a post-Mugabe era.
The MDC believes that the people have a choice to either allow Zanu PF to
destroy this nation or to take it upon themselves to save Zimbabwe. We
believe it is now clear to every one of us that in order to save Zimbabwe,
Mugabe must go. Mugabe has become the personification of the national
crisis. We all have to collectively save our country because Zimbabwe is the
only country we have. Mugabe and Zanu PF have become the impediments to a
new Zimbabwe of peace, justice, democracy, prosperity and freedom. The
people never fail.
Nelson Chamisa, MP
Secretary for Information and Publicity
24/07/2006 21:37 - (SA)
Harare - A ruling party parliamentarian in Zimbabwe has been hauled before a
disciplinary committee for having an affair with a member of the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), reported state radio on Monday.
Cecilia Gwachirwa, the Zanu-PF member of parliament for the rural Hurungwe
West constituency, has been accused of consorting with members of the
opposition MDC in her constituency and benefiting financially from the
opposition party, said the radio.
The report said she had had an affair with a married official from the MDC.
The official was not named.
Zimbabwe is deeply divided between supporters of President Robert Mugabe,
who has been in power since independence in 1980, and the seven-year-old
Mugabe and his government view the MDC, which recently split in two, as a
puppet of Western powers.
The 82-year-old president has said the MDC is a violent party that should
not be allowed to exist in Zimbabwe.
The disciplinary panel met in the northwestern town of Karoi last weekend.
The radio did not say whether a decision on Gwachirwa's fate had been made.
By Ian Nhuka in Bulawayo
BULAWAYO - MINE Entra, Zimbabwe's mining, engineering and transport
exhibition starts in Bulawayo today with only 40 exhibitors taking part,
down from 61 last year as international companies shun the fair.
A source said in an interview yesterday that only 40 exhibitors,
mainly parastatals and companies linked to the government have confirmed
participation at the annual exposition, organised by the Zimbabwe
International Trade Fair Company.
"It is drastically down this year compared to last year," said a
senior ZITF Company official on condition he is not named.
"Like other exhibitions since 1999, only organisations like Minerals
Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe, National Railways of Zimbabwe, Chamber of
Mines, Zimbabwe School of Mines and Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation
are the major exhibitors.
The rest are small locally owned small-scale mining firms. The turnout
this year is far lower than last year we are having to hold it in smaller
halls to avoid embarrassment. Even key local mining houses are not taking
The decline in the number of exhibitors at the three day fair, mirrors
the drastic fall in activity in the key mining sector, further rattled
recently by President Robert Mugabe's threat to grab majority stakes in gold
and platinum mines.
Since 2000, the mining industry, the main focus of Mine Entra, has
been struggling against a background of soaring production costs, high
inflation as well as an unattractive exchange rate.
ZITF general manager, Daniel Chigaru could yesterday not specify the
total number of companies that will participate saying "close to 70
exhibitors have confirmed, but figures are still being compiled."
The ZITF usually gives the total number of exhibitors at its fairs
about a week in advance, touting high turnouts as successes and downplaying
In the past, the Mine Entra exhibition used to attract hundreds of
local, regional and international players in the mining, engineering and
transport sectors, but in recent years it has essentially become a quite
national event, as foreigners shunned it.
But the government has remained adamant that Mine Entra, along with
other ZITF Company-organised national expos like ZITF, remained popular
despite declining foreign interest.
Under the mining reform proposals that Mugabe is advancing, the
government and black players want to take up 51 percent shareholding in
strategic mines as a way to economically empower locals.
However, foreign owned mining houses oppose the proposal, cautioning
that it would result in the collapse of the already wobbly sector and the
economy as a whole.
Instead, the miners have indicated their willingness to give up 30
percent over 10 years.
By Jennifer Jackson
Teachers from school aided music programs within African villages
NORMAN - Students at Monroe Elementary School will get to hear first-hand
stories about Zimbabwe and will be pen pals with students there when they
return to school in August.
Three teachers from the school recently returned from Zimbabwe where they
assisted the nonprofit organization Ancient Ways in developing a music
program for several villages.
Cindy Scarberry, Lani Garner and Stefani Stuemky spent two weeks learning
about the culture and music of Zimbabwe, which they will share with the
students in their world music ensemble class, called "Manyawi!"
Scarberry said they brought back musical instruments for their classrooms
including traditional leg rattles and thumb pianos called mbiras.
"My favorite thing was working with the kids and seeing their faces light up
when they heard the music they were making," she said. "And the hope they
had when they realized they would get to continue the music program and
continue going to school."
Scarberry said children in Zimbabwe have to pay to go to school so students
at Monroe Elementary School decided to sponsor a child's tuition.
Besides sharing the music and culture that they learned the teachers want
their students to realize how fortunate they are to receive a free
"I want to share the importance of education and how halfway around the
world they see the value and importance of education even though many of
them don't receive it," Scarberry said.
Stuemky said she was amazed at how far the Zimbabwe children would walk in
order to go to school.
"Some had to walk an hour to school," Stuemky said. "That shows how
determined they were to get an education."
Scarberry said the economy in Zimbabwe was "heartwrenching."
She said the day they arrived one U.S. dollar was worth $350,000 Zimbabwe
dollars. The day they left it had increased to $405,000.
"You watched the people watching their money decrease in value each day but
they're hopeful things will improve.
"They have all of these tragedies around them and yet the hope they have on
their faces and the determination they have to make it better is amazing to
witness," Scarberry said.
The teachers were able to travel to Zimbabwe because of a $7,500 grant they
received from the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence and Fund for Teachers
and because of donations from Monroe students and faculty.
By Nyasha Nyaira
LONDON - THE protest could have qualified for a women's rally in
Highfield, Glen Norah, Nyazura, Magwegwe or Beitbridge.
But it wasn't. It was a protest organised by the opposition Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC) women's wing in the United Kingdom against their
country's continued downward spiral and the untold suffering it is causing
the battered women of Zimbabwe.
Women from all walks of life heeded the MDC call and converged outside
Zimbabwe House last Saturday to protest against Zanu PF continued rule in
the country, 26 years after independence.
There was a lot of singing, anti-Zanu PF slogans, ululating and all
that goes with such gatherings but there was also this deep-seated anger
from the women who said they could not continue to sit, watch and read about
the effects the crisis in their country is having on their mothers, sisters,
friends and their children.
These are the hard-working Zimbabwean women - young and old - taking
care of extended families back home in a way they never thought they ever
Zimbabweans have always looked after their extended families but none
of these women ever thought helping out relatives meant buying from the most
basic of products for them. Things are so bad in Zimbabwe politically but
the Zanu PF government doesn't care at all.
It was humiliating and demeaning to stand there outside Zimbabwe
House, a grand building in Central London, and hear the women speak openly
about the suffering of women back home when they go for their monthly
periods all because of the ruling Zanu PF's politics. Such topics were taboo
in the public domain but since Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party decided
to embark on a violent land grab exercise after a drubbing in the
constitutional referendum, the women of Zimbabwe have been stripped of their
International companies like Johnson and Johnson that manufactured
sanitary products in the country moved at the beginning of the political
crisis and now a cotton wool packet costs an arm and a leg - quite frankly
beyond the reach of many. Foreign currency shortages in the country have
also resulted in major shortages of the products or they are beyond the
reach of the ordinary woman when they are available on the shelves.
To make matter worse, when good-natured people got together to donate
sanitary products, the ruling Zanu PF government picked the cotton wool,
sanitary towels and tampons as its latest weapon of choice to punish
Zimbabwe's long suffering people. Sadly, in this battle over feminine
hygiene, the bleeding, as another writer put it recently, is not on the
battleground, but in Zimbabwe's schools, rural areas, city streets and on
Increased teen prostitution is among the vices being bred by the
shortages resulting in the spreading of deadly sexually transmitted diseases
that include the HIV/Aids virus.
Suzzette Kwenda, the MDC UK women's chair, said it was disheartening
that the Zimbabwe government had run out of ideas to run the country but
continued to maintain a stranglehold on power regardless.
"When you see us coming together like this, we are showing the world
that we are suffering as the women of Zimbabwe," she said. "All the women
you see here have large extended families they are taking care of in
Zimbabwe. They are stretched, they do not know what to do as the political
and economic crisis continues to worsen. So we are taking a stand as the
women to avail ourselves to the people so we can fight this dictatorship and
stand for positions so we can improve our lot."
She said Zimbabwean women continued to bear the brunt of the political
crisis in a country that has seen the economy being battered and as a result
an increase in the number of people who cannot afford to look after
themselves and send their children to school.
"We want to see more women here and elsewhere going out in the streets
to protest against this regime so that it goes out of power," said Kwenda.
"We must apply all forms of pressure to push them out. We are going to be
here when Harare starts its street protests against Mugabe and if it takes
five days, we will be here to tell the world of the evils taking place in
Adella Chiminya, the wife of the MDC activist, Tichaona Chiminya,
burnt to death by Zanu PF activists in 2000, said it was time for the women
of Zimbabwe across the political divide to join hands and fight against
continued oppression by Zanu PF.
"We want our dignity back as the women of Zimbabwe. We come here today
on behalf of the brutalised people of Zimbabwe, the women who cannot afford
the basics they need to survive, the children who are dropping out of school
because they have no school fees, the people living with HIV/Aids but cannot
get access to drugs, the children being forced into training camps to fight
for the ruling party," said Chiminya.
"We are saying that as the women of Zimbabwe we are tired of all this
nonsense. We want change and let me warn those in Zanu PF who are not
feeling the pain of the crisis that it (change) is coming whether they like
it or not."
Chiminya said Zimbabwean women in the diaspora could pull their
resources together in a bid to help their colleagues back home. It was
announced on the day that one of the MDC branches, Greys, had launched a
fund that will seek to assist women back home and other party projects.
Yeukai Chikonyora said unity was the major thing needed amongst
Zimbabwean women living abroad so they could help fight for their cause back
home and here.
She said women and children suffered more because of the on-going
political crisis pitting the ruling Zanu PF against the opposition MDC that
almost dislodged Mugabe from power at the 2000 parliamentary elections.
"As women in the UK and those at home, we are all suffering because of
Zanu PF policies. We have allowed Zanu PF to do what it wants with us for a
very long time so we are saying, women of Zimbabwe, let us unite and fight
this scourge together. Most families have been torn apart by the political
crisis, some people ran away fearing for their lives and related things and
it is the women and children who suffer," said one Victoria Tarupihwa of
"The crisis in Zimbabwe must be dealt with once and for all. Our
children here are getting into problems, they have no jobs, they are being
tagged and getting into trouble because of frustrations and it is us the
mothers picking up those pieces and the same in Zimbabwe where Mugabe and
his Zanu PF have virtually killed the economy, the political and economic
crisis cannot be allowed to continue"
Tarupihwa said there should be more such protests against the Zimbabwe
government so the international community can see and understand that they
do not have high regard for the millions in Zimbabwe who continue to suffer
as a result of the political crisis created by Zanu PF.
By Lebo Nkatazo
Last updated: 07/26/2006 05:45:36
ZIMBABWEAN police arrested Deputy Information Minister Bright Matonga on
corruption charges Tuesday.
Top government sources said police were also looking for Local Government
Minister, Ignatius Chombo.
Police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena confirmed Matonga's arrest.
New Zimbabwe.com enquiries last night revealed the British-educated former
newspaper columnist was being held at Breyside Police Stationin Harare.
Matonga is accused of corruption in a deal for the acquisition of 48 Scania
buses from South Africa for the state-run Zimbabwe United Passenger Company
Matonga, a former CEO of Zupco, was first arrested for the same charges in
2004 but was acquitted after prosecutors failed to get incriminating
evidence, his lawyer James Muzangaza said at the time.
The 2004 charge sheet centred around ZUPCO's purchase of 48 Scania buses
worth US$4.8 million from Hinley Enterprises of South Africa.
The transaction was said to have been carried out without the authority of
the ZUPCO board.
Initially, the deal was meant to have covered the purchase of 70 buses, but
only 48 were bought.
It was alleged that Metropolitan Bank, which financed the deal, paid out
Zim$4.6 billion after Matonga sanctioned the transaction.
Matonga then reportedly instructed that Pioneer Motor Company be paid
Zim$100 million while Hinley Enterprises was paid $Zim1.5billion without the
knowledge of the ZUPCO board.
The purchase of the buses was done without inviting tenders, raising
suspicion on the legality of the deal.
Police would not say on Tuesday if the charges had been altered from those
that he faced in 2004.
Zupco chairman Charles Nherera is currently on trial for his alleged part in
the corrupt deal.
Local Government Minister Chombo was fingered by the state's key witness
Jayesh Shah as having instructed him to delay blowing his whistle on the
alleged corruption at Zupco.
By Dr Alex Magaisa
Last updated: 07/26/2006 05:12:43
ONE of the greatest handicaps to the growth of mature democracies in Africa
is the lack of financial strength and independence on the part of political
and civic organisations unless they are part of the ruling establishment.
Like any other activity, politics requires money to meet organisational,
operational and campaign costs. While the ruling party has access to state
resources, which are often diverted for its advantage the opposition and
civic organisations remain on the fringes, even where they qualify for state
funding. The result is that opposition and civic organisations depend
heavily on foreign donor funding.
Arguably in the case of the MDC the foreign donor community played a crucial
role in providing funding for the party during its formative stages. Without
financial support, even with the massive support, organising the party would
have been very difficult given the financial impediments that put paid to
the efforts of most opposition parties before it.
The same is true for key civic organisations such as the NCA, Crisis
Coalition, etc whose existence owes as much to the will and resilience of
the founders, as the financial support they received from the donor
community. There is nothing wrong in principle about getting financial and
other logistical support from foreign sources.
After all, without the support of the Chinese, Russians and African
countries like Zambia, Mozambique and Tanzania, the liberation movements
ZANU and ZAPU would have found it very hard to launch and sustain the
struggle against colonialism in 1970s. The problem arises when the local
parties and organisations lose their independence, so that their benefactors
begin to determine their agenda and policies.
Problems arise however, when the independence of civic and political
organisations becomes compromised by the dependence on foreign funding.
Further, weaknesses emanate when the lack of autonomy means that their
policy, agenda and strategies are determined not by the party or group and
its constituents but according to the interests and demands of the foreign
donor community. Additionally, problems arise when the donor community fails
to rein in errant elements in the organisations that they fund, thereby
becoming complicit in perpetuating the undemocratic culture that they
profess to be fighting.
Political party funding is a sensitive issue across the world, and has
recently been a major issue in the UK in the wake of allegations of unfair
favours being extended to those who fund the ruling party. The one key
principle behind rules prohibiting foreign funding in most countries is the
desire to curb foreign interference and control. But given the scarcity of
local funding in Africa, most opposition parties tend to beg the
predominantly Western donor community for financial support. Yet ultimately,
this dependence is not entirely preferable and is a weakness in our social
and political systems. In my opinion, as I will argue below the African
Diaspora could play a key role in resolving this fundamental weakness.
It would be ideal if all political and non-political activities in Africa
would be funded locally. The business community, in their role as corporate
citizens, would be a useful source of funding. However, the system of
patronage ensures that local businesses tend to fall over each other to fund
the ruling party, already a recipient of state resources. Even where the
opposition party qualifies for state funding, it is often insufficient to
cover their costs. ZANU PF realised from the very beginning the importance
of creating key sources of funding for itself. Unsurprisingly, through its
various corporate vehicles, ZANU PF is a major participant in most economic
sectors of Zimbabwe. This ensures a steady stream of revenues and as well as
key control of the economic sector at party level.
The problems of dependence on foreign funding arise when the donors put
unsuitable conditions upon which their financial support is based. In this
case, the political and civic organisations are obliged to pursue a specific
agenda directed from above. There is no guarantee that the agenda
necessarily meets with the interests of the citizens. On the part of the
recipient organisations, it is natural not to bite the hand that feeds you.
They therefore lack the courage to challenge the ideas coming from above.
Instead, they would go to great lengths to try and meet the interests of
their benefactors and in the process lose sight of the local citizens whose
interests should be paramount. To be fair in most cases on the part of
well-meaning donors, the idea of setting the agenda is to ensure that their
funds are put to good use.
After all on their part, the donors depend a great deal on the taxpayers in
their home countries through grants from their governments. They are created
with a set agenda and they have to ensure that they stick to its parameters.
But often this agenda would make sense to the community from which they
originate but might not necessarily fit within the circumstances of the
people they are trying to help. Sometimes the ideas are good, but the local
citizens may have other more crucial concerns that matter within their
specific circumstances. Also, the benefactors may not necessarily understand
and appreciate the local context, with the result that the policies and
ideas that they try to pursue and impose are incompatible with the interests
and experiences of the local citizens. Unfortunately, because they are
largely dependent on the foreign donors who set the agenda, the political
and civic leaders lack the courage and power to challenge these ideas and
policies and instead are only too keen to tow the line.
The agenda-setting dilemma is most prominent in the context of a subject
that I have touched on before - a key difficulty in the politics of
Zimbabwe, where a predominantly Western-oriented human rights approach to
the crisis in Zimbabwe has been the dominant paradigm to the extent that
some of the issues that the political parties and civic organisations
pursue, though right in their own ways, do not always resonate with the
immediate concerns of citizens in various sectors of society.
For example, press freedom is an important democratic right that has been
prominent in the Zimbabwe crisis. Yet this right is not anywhere near the
heart of the villager in Zaka or Tsholotsho whose key concern is whether he
can access clean water or whether he will get the necessary inputs in time
for the planting season. The free media talk makes a lot of sense in the
chunky quarterly and annual reports, it makes great sense in the human
rights bulletins and journals but it is not the prime issue for the 70 per
cent of the citizens of Zimbabwe whose key concerns centre on social and
economic survival. It is easy to state to the world that restoration of
civil and political rights, as argued in the dominant language of the
Zimbabwe crisis, will solve most of the villager's problems.
Yet the agenda must be restated and reworked, in the image of the citizens
whom the organisations purport to represent. More than newspapers and radio
stations, these citizens need tools and resources to work the land and
create value to ensure their social and economic security. There is too much
talk of aid by civic society organisations but surely the citizens need the
fishing nets and rods not simply the fish itself. It is common knowledge
that the agricultural sector has been messed up by the state but what do
right advocates have to say about empowering those that are struggling on
the land other than endless discussions on human rights? In the absence of
economic independence, civic and political organisations will continue to
parrot the dominant language of human rights, in a version that makes great
sense in London and Washington, but flies above the heads of most people on
the ground, who need to survive and have access to the means of production.
Far from repeating the same song of condemnation, focus should now be on how
to make things work given the present scenario.
When donors try to justify their existence to the taxpayers in their home
countries they lean towards making a positive audit of their work in the
different countries. That is when the risk of covering up weaknesses in the
political and civic organisations that they fund materialises. There is, one
could say a symbiotic relationship between the donors and the donees. The
donee organisations need the donors for funding and the donors need their
donee projects to look good in the eyes of their own benefactors - the
taxpayers. They have to demonstrate that they are doing well in Africa -
that they are making a difference for the poor communities.
When donors cover up the inadequacies of their donee projects, they do a
great disservice to the citizens in the countries in which the civic and
political organisations operate. They are invariably interested in the good
story - the "heroes" and "stars" that they laud with prizes and similar
awards but tend to turn a blind eye to the bad stories within these
organisations. Therefore, even where local political and civic organisations
exhibit undemocratic behaviour the donors tend to ignore or cover up such
activities. They are reluctant to condemn them as this would be tantamount
to admitting their own failures to their own governments, taxpayers and
other funding bodies. But then in refusing or failing to bring to book the
political and civic organisations, which they support financially, and
instead continue to give them more support in the face of clear failures,
they perpetuate the political culture and practices that they are seeking to
challenge. They participate in creating the same breed of public leaders -
corrupt, power-hungry with a tendency to use violence when it suits them.
Given the financial dependence, it is arguable that the political and civic
organisations feel more accountable to the donors. Donors could therefore
play a more positive role by being more vigilant and curb excesses that fuel
a culture of corruption and undemocratic behaviour.
These weaknesses attributed to the current system of foreign donor
dependence could in my view be addressed by having the African Diaspora
playing a more active and positive role in the political and economic
activities in their home countries. Despite years of absence for most of the
African Diaspora the place they still call home are their respective
countries of birth. Even for most second generation Africans in the Diaspora
there is still an attachment with their parents' countries of birth. Most
Zimbabweans still retain strong links with Zimbabwe and in the man
discussions I have with those in the Diaspora, there is still a strong
desire to contribute to its regeneration and development. It is therefore
encouraging that the political leadership across all parties, bar the
rhetoric, realise that there is potential in the Diaspora. It is clear that
the Diaspora is a critical constituency, which, if properly mobilised and
organised can be an influential force in social, economic and political
The interest in this article is that far beyond the question whether or not
they can vote and beyond the economic support that individuals in the
Diaspora give to their respective families, when properly focussed, they can
be an equally strong source of funding for political and civic organisations
in their home countries. There are many advantages in having Zimbabweans
abroad funding activities in their own countries. They are more likely to
understand the causes for which they fund as well as the context in which
activities take place in the country. They could therefore prioritise the
issues that matter and set the agenda in ways that resonate with the
interests and concerns of the people at home. They also have a direct
interest in ensuring that the projects that they fund succeed because the
better the situation in Zimbabwe, the less the burden they have to carry
collectively and individually, in the long run. They only have to account to
themselves as Zimbabweans, not to the taxpayers or governments of countries
in which they live.
Admittedly, most Zimbabweans in the Diaspora are already engaged in various
social and political activities at an individual level. I am not quite sure
that political party organisations in the Diaspora have had the necessary
effect. In most cases, unscrupulous individuals have jumped on board for
personal gain only to disappear into thin air once their interests had been
satisfied. In desperation some individuals have also taken advantage of the
situation, joining political organisations in the Diaspora, not to play any
significant role but to gain the necessary labels of political involvement
for purposes of seeking asylum in their host countries. Political divisions
at home are replicated in the Diaspora causing confusion and most
well-meaning individuals lose interest and retreat to the margins. But
others are genuine in their desire to fight for political change and are
often let down by those that take unfair advantage. They organise rallies
and meetings and show immense solidarity. Other Zimbabweans routinely put
together funds, resources such as books and other materials to send to their
former schools or institutions close to their home areas. Almost every
responsible Zimbabwean in the Diaspora has relatives who each month look to
them for financial and other assistance. It is fair to say that the Diaspora
is a key industry that has sustained Zimbabwe in many ways in these dire
times. All this is very good and commendable.
However, it is time that the Zimbabwean Diaspora realises that there are
greater advantages in focussing and coordinating their efforts. Economists
talk of synergies or economies of scale - the advantages and savings arising
from doing things on a large and unified scale. There is a love-hate
relationship between the Diaspora and local-based Zimbabweans. The locals
are happy to get support on an individual basis but also blame the Diaspora
for fuelling the parallel market and price increases especially in respect
real estate. The Diaspora on the other hand complains of the burden they
have to shoulder at home and the tough lives they lead in their host
In my opinion, the Diaspora must seize the chance to play a more significant
political role by pooling resources together to fund both political and
civic bodies including charity organisations that do work beyond politics
and the usual human rights. Imagine for example, adopting Harare or Mpilo
Hospitals - just meet the cost of drugs and provide food to patients in
these dire times. It is hard when you consider it from an individual
perspective but a much lighter burden when done together. It is very easy to
blame the government for its failures, but people must also begin to
question what they can do to reduce the suffering of the masses. Politics
alone will not save Zimbabwe - It has to come from within our hearts.
It will never be easy and will not happen overnight but as the Chinese say,
a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. It is not
impossible. Most times these same individuals pay small amounts to charity
in their host countries - could they really fail to pay a pound or a dollar
a week to create a fund that would enable Zimbabweans to take charge of
their own destiny? If on average a million people pay £1 a week to a fund,
that is £4 each month, they contribute £4 million each month and £48 million
per year - imagine the difference it could make to the many causes that
require support in Zimbabwe.
The Diaspora may not have the chance to vote due to a skewed political
environment but properly organised, they can be a powerful force that can
influence political and civic events and processes through their economic
power. It is certainly more preferable to have the African Diaspora play the
key funding role, than to rely solely on the foreign donor organisations. It
is a dream that may never yield any fruit in reality but it is worth a try.
There are a number of hurdles to be overcome, such as the atmosphere of
distrust among the Diasporas, caused among other things by jealousy and
cheating and many other trivial divisions. But the greatest challenge is
whether Zimbabweans in the Diaspora have the political will to take charge
of the destiny of their own country and their own future.
Dr Magaisa is a lawyer and can be contacted at email@example.com
By Lebo Nkatazo
Last updated: 07/26/2006 05:12:39
A ZIMBABWEAN court Tuesday charged businessman John Anorld Bredenkamp for
violating the Citizenship Act.
The case has been linked to Zanu PF's internecene succession war to succeed
Presidet Robert Mugabe.
Harare area public prosecutor Wisdom Gandanzara said Bredenkamp, who was
arrested at dawn last Friday, possessed a South African passport in
violation of the country's laws.
Bredenkamp was subsequently granted $5 million bail and ordered to surrender
his travel documents.
He was remanded to August 8, but his lawyer Advocate Eric Matinenga said
they would apply for refusal of remand Wednesday.
Although the businessman was not asked to plead, Matinenga said he would
deny the charge.
Outlining the state's case, the prosecutor said: "The accused person being a
citizen of Zimbabwe, without the written permission of the Minister of Home
Affairs (Kembo Mohadi) made use of a passport issued in his name by the
government of the Republic of South Africa, whilst being a citizen of
Zimbabwe in violation of section 9 of the citizenship Act."
Gandanzara added that Bredenkamp, one of the richest Zimbabweans, was born
in South Africa's Kimberly district and became a citizen of the then
Rhodesia Nyasaland in 1958 as a minor.
He added that, Bredenkamp, said to have bankrolled the Emmerson
Mnangagwa-camp in a failed political attempt to be vice president ahead of
Joice Mujuru, lost his Zimbabwean citizenship in 1983 by default.
He then re-applied for it in 1998 and it was granted.
For the defence, advocate Eric Matinenga said Bredenkamp who lives at his
farm in Mazowe was unlawfully denied his freedom since last Friday following
his arrest at 4am.
The prominent Harare lawyer added that his client was "facing a petty
offence" which can only attract a fine of $4 million.
It is, however, understood that the State had intended to come up with an
additional charge of violating the Exchange Control Act, but they failed to
gather evidence to prosecute.
"The nature of allegations in deprivation of liberty are irrational in a
normal society. The deprivation of liberty cannot be accepted in a normal
society," said Matinenga.
However, the Harare area Public Prosecutor denied that Bredenkamp had been
detained illegaly saying the law enforcement agents had obtained a warrant
for further detention.
The Herald (Harare)
July 25, 2006
Posted to the web July 25, 2006
Chaka Chidyamatiyo in Bindura
PROPERTY worth more than $100 billion was gutted by a fire which razed down
pastures and buildings at Manzou Game Park in Mazowe last Friday.
Police provincial spokesman for Mashonaland Central Inspector Michael
Munyikwa said by yesterday it was not clear whether game was also killed in
However, he said, the police suspected that poachers who have been a menace
in the area, could have started the fire.
"The fire caused extensive damage to pastures, guest lodges, chalets and
other property including a diesel generator. The state of wildlife has not
been ascertained," Insp Munyikwa said.
The fire started from the northern part of the park and spread through the
wildlife sanctuary pastures causing extensive damage.
This came barely a week after Environment and Tourism Minister Cde Francis
Nhema launched the National Fire Protection Strategy in the province.
During the launch, Cde Nhema said his ministry was concerned with the
negative economic impact of veld fires.
He said veld fires had affected increased foreign currency earnings.
The minister said the problem had increased rapidly in the past four years
but cited 2004/2005 as the worst years in the country's history.
Cde Nhema said in 2004 about 109 253,51 hectares of land were destroyed in
veld fires while 115 049,47 hectares of land suffered similar damages of
uncontrolled veld fires.
He said his ministry was concerned with such losses indicating about $1,5
trillion worth of timber was destroyed last year alone.
The minister also recalled the death of seven school pupils in Matabeleland
after they were caught in a veld fire.