The ZIMBABWE Situation Our thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.

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In pictures: Zimbabwe farmers in Nigeria
First crop

More than 3,000 white Zimbabwean farmers have been forced off their land in recent years, as President Robert Mugabe tries to "Africanise" agriculture.

Some other African countries, however, see things differently and have asked the experienced farmers to help them increase food production.

Two years after the governor of Kwara state in central Nigeria invited a group to have a look, they have now planted their first crops.

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Yahoo News

Zimbabwe Police Continue Eviction Campaign
By MICHAEL HARTNACK, Associated Press Writer Wed Jul 27,10:48 PM ET

HARARE, Zimbabwe - Riot police turned an urban township into a ghost town
Wednesday, rounding up the last residents in defiance of a U.N. call to halt
a demolition campaign that has left 700,000 without homes or jobs.

After emptying the Porta Farm township - where some 30,000 people lived just
days ago - earth-movers were seen lumbering into the area to finish clearing
debris from destroyed homes, cabins and shacks as part of what the
government calls Operation Drive Out Trash. Police armed with batons and
riot shields barred aid workers and residents from entering.
The latest demolitions came as President Robert Mugabe paid a state visit to
China, which is building a track record of willingness to do business with
African leaders others shun.

Mugabe is confident China will use its veto power in the

U.N. Security Council to protect Zimbabwe from any U.N. censure following
the U.N. report denouncing the campaign as a violation of international law,
a state-owned Harare newspaper, the Herald, reported Wednesday.

U.N. envoy Anna Tibaijuka, meanwhile, presented her report on the slum
clearance to the Security Council Wednesday, despite opposition from China,
Russia and African countries.

China's deputy U.N. ambassador Zhang Yishan walked out and left a
low-ranking diplomat in China's seat. So did Algeria's U.N. Ambassador
Abdallah Baali. The United States and Britain had demanded a council
briefing on the U.N. report.

Tibaijuka called for urgent assistance to help those who lost their homes
and jobs and said, "The demolitions should stop immediately."

Zimbabwe's U.N. Ambassador Boniface Chidyausiku said: "We have stopped
demolition. We are in the reconstruction."

China, which has expanded business and diplomatic contacts in African
trouble spots like Congo and Sudan, has not joined Western condemnation of
Zimbabwe's human rights record.

In fact, China has become a key source of loans and supplies for Zimbabwe.
Most recently, Beijing agreed to a loan to expand a power station and to
supply a third Chinese-made MA60 commercial aircraft to Zimbabwe, state
media in Beijing announced Wednesday. No details of the terms were reported.

Opposition leaders claim Operation Drive Out Trash is intended to break up
their strongholds among the urban poor and drive their supporters into rural
areas, where they can be more easily controlled by government-allied chiefs.

Zimbabwe's government argues the campaign is aimed at reducing crime and
restoring order in overcrowded slums and illegal markets, and has pledged to
build new homes for those uprooted. But independent economists argue the
government cannot afford the $325 million it has promised for

The U.N. report, issued last week, says the demolitions "unleashed chaos and
untold human suffering" in a country already gripped by economic crisis. In
addition to those who lost homes and jobs, a further 2.4 million people have
been affected by the countrywide campaign that began May 19 with little
warning, the report said.

China, which has close ties to President Robert Mugabe's government, and
Zimbabwe's African neighbors had managed to keep the crisis in the African
nation off the council's agenda, arguing that it was not an issue of
international peace and security.

But with the minimum nine "yes" votes, the 15-member U.N. Security Council
decided in a rare procedural vote Wednesday to allow Tibaijuka to brief a
closed-door session on her highly criticial report.

Zimbabwe's government opened the Porta Farm township in 1991, moving in
thousands of people from squatter camps in Harare so Britain's Queen
Elizabeth would not see them during her visit. Now, Mugabe wants to build a
sewage plant there, officials say.

Huts built by farmworkers also were being demolished on the outskirts of
Chipinge, about 375 miles southeast of the capital, witnesses said. The
workers were among 500,000 employees of whites whose farms were seized by
the government.

Covering the seizures and demolitions has been difficult because of
desperate gasoline shortages and tough Zimbabwean media laws which prohibit
reporting on stories the government believes would bring it into disrepute.

Mugabe, meeting with China's s No. 2 leader, Wu Bangguo, paid tribute to
China as a "great friend, historical friend, brotherly friend."

South Africa also has stood by Zimbabwe, insisting quiet diplomacy is the
best way to help the Zimbabwean people.

South Africa has indicated it may take over some of the country's huge
foreign debt. The ruling

African National Congress urged other countries Wednesday to act on U.N.
recommendations to increase international assistance to the most vulnerable
in Zimbabwe.

The ANC also appealed to people to support the efforts of the South African
Council of Churches, which plans to send a container of blankets, food,
water and medicine to Zimbabwe next week as part of its "Operation Hope for
Zimbabwe." The church group said the relief effort was being coordinated
with church groups and charities in Zimbabwe rather than the government.

After seven years of unprecedented economic decline, 80 percent of the work
force is unemployed and 4 million of Zimbabwe's 16 million people have
emigrated. Agriculture, once the mainstay, has been hit hard by Mugabe's
seizure of 5,000 white-owned farms.

Mugabe alleges the country's current economic and food crisis, with up to 4
million people needing urgent famine relief, is a result of Western boycotts
and sanctions imposed in revenge for redistribution of whites' land to black
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††††† Bread shortage to get worse

††††† Staff Reporter
††††† 7/28/2005 8:00:41 AM (GMT +2)

††††† AN EXTENDED wheat shortage and protracted negotiations between the
government and the baking industry will see the current bread shortage
reaching alarming levels, the National Bakers Association has warned.

††††† At current consumption levels, wheat stocks at the Grain Marketing
Board will only last up to the first week of September, while the new
harvest is expected at the end of October, giving rise to prospects of two
months of extreme bread shortages, David Govere, an executive member of the
National Bakers Association, revealed yesterday.
††††† Govere added that following "continuous negotiations", the industry
and the government had agreed that bread should retail at $8 500, up from
the current $4 500, but the government appeared to be developing cold feet.
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††††† Zim extends begging bowl to Namibia

††††† Rangarirai Mberi
††††† 7/28/2005 8:00:09 AM (GMT +2)

††††† ZIMBABWE has taken its begging bowl to Namibia, continuing its
increasingly desperate bid to rustle up urgent financial aid from its
dwindling band of allies, The Financial Gazette can reveal.

††††† Stanislaus Chigwedere, Zimbabwe's ambassador to Namibia, said on
Tuesday the country had approached Namibia as part of its current drive to
secure financial aid from what he called "good friends".
††††† "Discussions are in progress with our good friends for financial
assistance," Chigwedere said this week. He, however, gave no further details
on the talks.
††††† Namibia becomes the second African country that Zimbabwe has
approached for aid. However, Zimbabwe is unlikely to find significant
financial aid there. Namibia is forecast to see sluggish economic growth
this year on a sharp decline in its fish industry, the mainstay of its
††††† Zimbabwe has in recent weeks stepped up efforts to raise the vital
financial support it needs for essential imports, approaching China, Iran,
India and Malaysia for aid.
††††† South African President Thabo Mbeki told reporters on Sunday after a
three-day meeting of his cabinet that it was in the best interests of South
Africa to stave off economic and political collapse in its northern
††††† "We engage them because we don't want Zimbabwe collapsing next door.
South Africa would inherit all the consequences of Zimbabwe collapsing.
Something has to happen," said Mbeki.
††††† Mbeki added it would be "incorrect and counterproductive" for Zimbabwe
to be expelled from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). South Africa
might have to take over part of Zimbabwe's foreign debt, Mbeki said, but
denied earlier media reports claiming South Africa had already signed an
agreement to release US$1 billion to Zimbabwe.
††††† "It is important to address those arrears so that Zimbabwe can
continue to have access to the IMF," he said. "It could very well come to
South Africa taking on part of Zimbabwe's debt."
††††† Zimbabwe needs to urgently repay US$306 million to the IMF or else
become the first country since the former Czechoslovakia in the 1950s to be
kicked out of the institution.
††††† Although the Zimbabwe opposition is backing South Africa's decision to
extend financial assistance to the country, Mbeki is facing domestic
pressure from the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) not to bail out
††††† Sapa news agency quotes DA leader Tony Leon, who has launched what he
calls the "Stop Mugabe Loan" campaign, as describing Zimbabwe's request for
financial assistance as "outrageous and unprecedented".

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††††† Bon Voyage to Africa's great friend

††††† 7/28/2005 8:28:53 AM (GMT +2)

††††† A surprise package. That may not be a diplomatic way to describe an
envoy but that is exactly what I found John Schram, outgoing Canadian
Ambassador to Zimbabwe,to be.

††††† My initial appointment to meet him had been cancelled after I was
robbed. To my surprise, I got a call from an aide conveying the ambassador's
sympathy. I was touched..
††††† When we finally met, I found the envoy charming, affable and easy to
talk to. I discovered that Schram, who joined his country's diplomatic
service in 1969, has spent 36 years in Africa.
††††† He was the first Commonwealth scholar from the western world to study
at a university in Africa.
††††† After obtaining his B.A. and LLB degrees from universities in Canada,
he read for his masters degree at the University of Ghana in 1967. The topic
for his thesis was : "Chiefs and Politics in Independent Ghana"
††††† He has served as ambassador in Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Ethiopia
and Zimbabwe. In 1994, Schram was appointed Canadian High Commissioner to
Ghana with accreditation to cover Togo, Sierra Leone and Liberia. He was
awarded the Grand Medal of Ghana by former president Jerry Rawlings in 1998
for his conflict resolution and community work in that country.
††††† The following year, he was awarded an honorary LLD by the University
of Ghana. The Ghanaian community in Canada recognised his contribution to
development and peacemaking by honouring him with a special award in 2004.
††††† While serving as Ambassador to Ethiopia with responsibility for
Djibouti, Eritrea and Sudan ,from 1998-2000, he received the Sun Newspaper
medal of honour for his support for the private media and community
development initiatives.
††††† During a stint as Minister Counsellor in South Africa from 1988 to
1992, he and his wife Alena received a special commendation from Nelson
Mandela for their support in the struggle against apartheid.
††††† Schram maintained his strong links with the media and journalists in
Zimbabwe. The Canadian Embassy was instrumental in enabling the Zimbabwe
Union of Journalists(ZUJ) to operate from a more businesslike environment.
It provided funding for ZUJ to set up a secretariat in Harare.
††††† A devoted family man, Schram talks animatedly about his wife and three
adult children. The children all attended local schools in the countries to
which he was posted and although now settled in Canada with their families,
they still travel to Africa for re-unions at their alma maters. "My son
Peter was a member of the ANC Youth League in South Africa", the ambassador
told me.
††††† His wife, to whom Schram paid tribute for making his diplomatic career
possible, has worked in various capacities in every country he has been
posted to. This has included teaching in Ghana and editing documents for the
Economic Commission for Africa and some non-governmental organisations
during a stint in Ethiopia.
††††† During the couple's stay in Zimbabwe, she wrote for Canadian journals.
In addition, she was very supportive in terms of hosting the "dialogue
dinners" the ambassador loved to hold during his tour of duty in Zimbabwe.
"It is really team work, neither of us could do it without the other,"
Schram said.
††††† The envoy, who leaves for Canada this week after serving first as High
Commissioner and then as ambassador to Zimbabwe since 2002, said he would
continue to promote dialogue between Canada and this country. "I have learnt
a lot, now it is time to teach someone else," said Schram, who will be
teaching at a university in Canada. Before his departure, he had assembled a
group of academics who will be invited to Canada to teach his students as
visiting lecturers.
††††† During his tour of duty in Zimbabwe, he focused on three main areas.
These were demonstrating Canada's concern about "real people" and promoting
dialogue between the two countries. He also invested considerable energy
towards building bridges to ensure dialogue with various stakeholders.
††††† "We are better at dialogue than confrontation", says the ambassador
.By maintaining this Canadian tradition, he was able to talk frankly to both
the government and the opposition about human rights, governance, economic
policy and the New Economic Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD).
††††† Under Schram's leadership, the Canadian embassy has concentrated on
supporting projects initiated by the people themselves. "Local groups get
these really good ideas of what they can do to develop and we support them.
We want to get across the idea that if people are willing to do something
for themselves they will get support". The embassy was keen for it to be
known that 'ordinary Canadians are concerned about ordinary Zimbabweans'.
††††† One of the projects he found most exciting was a women's farming
scheme. He was an enthusiastic supporter of women's causes and initiatives
in Zimbabwe. He believes that unless women are at the forefront of a
project, there will not be enough follow-up and commitment. "Somehow it
seems to be the women who appreciate the benefits of these projects and are
willing to invest their time and commitment."
††††† The embassy also donated science equipment to schools, particularly
for Advanced Level students. Another initiative involved fixing laboratories
and buying computer equipment for rural schools.
††††† Schram found working with people exciting and right up to the time of
his departure for his homeland, he was still making forays into the rural
areas to commission projects or follow up on others. During a holiday in
Manicaland he paid a surprise visit to a project run by women at Elim
Mission and was thrilled to find it still thriving. He believes supporting
community projects is the best way to initiate development. "It is better
than 100 development institutions because people can see success which they
have created themselves".
††††† No doubt all Zimbabweans who came into contact with this great friend
of this country and Africa will wish to give him a rousing send off and wish
him and his wife the best in the future.
††††† As I regard the Schrams as honorary Africans , I say to them, Fambai
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††††† RBZ revises forex inflows figures

††††† Chris Muronzi
††††† 7/28/2005 8:06:45 AM (GMT +2)

††††† WORRIES over declining exports in gold and other key export sectors
have seen the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) revising downwards its foreign
currency inflow target to US$1.9 billion by year-end from an earlier
forecast of US$3.05 billion.

††††† This development comes despite rising exports in the key mining and
manufacturing sectors in the second quarter to June.
††††† Exports amounted to US$877 million, a seven percent growth from
January to July this year from US$822 million within the comparative period
last year while the amount realised from actual export proceeds stood at
US$743 million from US$578 million last year, a 28 percent growth.
††††† Central bank governor Gideon Gono revealed last week in his mid-term
monetary policy statement that the earlier predictions would not be
††††† Zimbabwe's negative balance of payments position and sour relations
with the donor community have seen the country facing a severe shortage of
foreign currency, which has resulted in persistent shortages of fuel and
other basic, imported commodities.
††††† "Against the background of the significant progress that had been
achieved in slowing down inflation over the past 18 months, as well as
increased capacity utilisation, total export shipments, as reflected through
CD1 (Customs Declaration) forms raised, amounted to US$877 million, a seven
percent growth in approved exports for the period to July 15 2005.
††††† "Acquitted forms CD1 between January 2005 and July 15 2005, realised a
total of US$743.9 million, as compared to US$578 million received over the
same period in the year 2004. This represents a 28.07 percent growth in
terms of export receipts," said Gono.
††††† As little as US$301 million in 2003 was recorded annually while last
year's figures were at US$1.7 billion, a 468 percent increase.
††††† The country requires US$250 million a month but inflows below US$100
million monthly have been recorded consecutively, a development which has
seen demand for funds on the foreign currency auction market outstripping
††††† The RBZ has been prioritising funds from the foreign currency auction
towards fuel and energy imports.
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Business Day

Posted to the web on: 28 July 2005
Mugabe removals 'internal issue'
Jonathan Katzenellenbogen


FOREIGN Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said last night that southern
African countries viewed Zimbabwe's mass demolition campaign as "an internal

This could indicate SA backed Zimbabwe's efforts not to have its forced
removals policy debated by the United Nations (UN) Security Council, which
met on the issue last night.

"Rightly so they are treating this as their internal thing that is managed
by every city," Dlamini-Zuma said after chairing a meeting of a key Southern
African Development Community (SADC) ministerial committee in Sandton

There were signs that Zimbabwe was trying to mobilise support from the
region yesterday as it faces a possible visit from UN Secretary-General Kofi
Annan to discuss the highly critical report released last week on Operation
Murabatvina (Restore Order), written by special UN envoy Anna Tibaijuka.

Indications are that SADC may be biding its time and will leave a statement
on the UN report on Zimbabwe until its summit in Gaborone early next month.

While Zimbabwe was not on the agenda of yesterday's meeting of SADC's organ
on politics, defence, and security co-operation, Zimbabwe's delegation
briefed the gathering on its clean-up, which according to the UN report has
left 700000 people homeless.

Dlamini-Zuma said the UN report was not discussed as it had not been
presented to the ministers.

However, she said: "We are going to look at the report. We are part of the
UN ourselves."

In other developments at yesterday's ministerial meeting in Sandton, Defence
Minister Mosiuoa Lekota said yesterday that the southern African part of the
African Standby Force would be operating soon.

In an opening address, Lekota said that preparations for the SADC brigade
had "progressed to the point where we can talk with confidence about its
imminent operationalisation".

The defence minister said military and civil police elements would be "up
and running in the very near future".
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Zimbabwe says shantytown demolitions have ended

July 28, 2005, 09:45

Zimbabwe said today its controversial demolitions of shantytowns had ended,
a week after a UN report demanded Harare halt the operation, Joyce Mujuru,
the Zimbabwean vice-president, was quoted by state media as saying.

This is not the first time a senior government official has declared the
destruction over. Robert Mugabe, the Zimbabwean president, and some of his
ministers have said the crackdown had ended while police continued

Anna Tibaijuka, the UN-Habitat director sent by Kofi Annan, the UN
secretary-general to assess the crackdown, said in a report made public last
Friday the campaign destroyed the homes or jobs of at least 700 000 people
and affected the lives of another 2.4 million.

Mujuru, acting president while Mugabe is visiting China, told state media
the campaign was finished and asked the international community, including
the UN, to help Harare build new housing for thousands of homeless. "The
national operation is now complete. We have achieved what we intended,"
Mujuru was quoted as saying.

Noble effort
Harare says the campaign was to provide decent accommodation for the
slum-dwellers, but the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
accuses the government of targeting the party's urban strongholds.

"I appeal to the international community to stop stone-throwing, but to join
us in this noble effort to promote the good of our people ... The government
of Zimbabwe is committed to succeed in this enterprise," Mujuru said.

Yesterday, Tibaijuka briefed a divided Security Council on her report after
Britain, with the backing of US and others, forced the 15-member body to
pose questions on her report behind closed doors in an effort to get
Zimbabwe on the council's agenda.

Zimbabwe, estranged from Western countries mainly over its controversial
land reform programme and accusations it has rigged elections since 2000,
has dismissed Tibaijuka's report as biased and unfair. - Reuters
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††††† Patriots eat humble pie as problems worsen

††††† Rangarirai Mberi
††††† 7/28/2005 8:03:24 AM (GMT +2)

††††† THESE must be hard times for Zimbabwe's swollen ranks of snake oil

††††† For the past five years, this lot has fed Zimbabweans on an excessive
diet of fake patriotic zeal, supporting even the most unhelpful policies in
the name of "defending the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity".
††††† But with confirmation that South Africa may have to pay off part of
Zimbabwe's US$4.5 billion foreign debt, pay off Zimbabwe's US$306 million
arrears to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), pay for Zimbabwe's urgent
grain imports, pay suppliers to deliver fuel to Zimbabwe and settle
Zimbabwe's power bill-that illusion of absolute sovereignty is fast
disappearing under a rising pile of state pleas for foreign help.
††††† SA president Thabo Mbeki told reporters Sunday: "It could very well
come to South Africa taking on part of Zimbabwe's debt."
††††† It gets worse. A planeload of Zimbabwean senior government officials
has been in China since Saturday, not seeking partnership but begging
Beijing for cash to pull the country back from the threshold of collapse.
††††† The Chinese have always stood by Zimbabwe, defying Western pressure to
isolate Zimbabwe, but many fear the Chinese will take full advantage of
Zimbabwe's desperation to seize firmer control of Zimbabwean assets.
††††† Reports say Iran has already authorised a US$25 million loan to
Zimbabwe. There has been no official comment on the terms of this
arrangement, but it is likely the Iranians will have demanded more
commercial concessions as they have done in previous deals. Government
spokesman Gorge Charamba has also confirmed loan bids to India and Malaysia.
††††† But among all the countries Zimbabwe has targeted for loans, China is
in the best possible position to muscle in on control of the economy. China
is the only permanent member on the United Nations Security Council
protecting Zimbabwe from damaging rebuke by the world body.
††††† President Robert Mugabe this week met China's three most powerful men,
President Hu Jintao, number two in the Communist hierarchy Wu Bangguo and
Premier Wen Jiabao. It is likely there was less light-hearted banter than
serious horse-trading in those meetings.
††††† China was the biggest foreign investor in Zimbabwe in 2004, putting
$123 billion into the manufacturing industry and $3 billion into tourism,
according to data from the Zimbabwe Investment Centre (ZIC). India was
second at $92.8 billion, the ZIC says.
††††† China is looking for natural resources to fuel its roaring economy,
the fastest expanding in the world, and has already shown interest in
Zimbabwean platinum, only second in abundance to South Africa's. Zimbabwe's
plummeting fortunes have presented China with a chance to get cheap access
to Zimbabwe's mining.
††††† Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC), accused of trying to dismantle Zimbabwean sovereignty for new
British rule, says loans would be positive for the economy, but the pleas
were also a slight on national sovereignty.
††††† "The question of Zimbabwe seeking aid from South Africa demonstrates
the extent of government's bankruptcy of ideas. It puts a critical question
on our sovereignty as a people. (President) Mugabe is making us South
Africa's tenth province," Tsvangirai told The Financial Gazette.
††††† But according to William Nhara, principal director in the Public and
Interactive Affairs Department, the current drive for financial support will
not undermine Zimbabwean sovereignty, as the country is seeking loans, not
††††† "If we were asking for grants, that would be an issue, as there are no
free lunches. But we are negotiating loans, which will have to be repaid
once our situation improves," Nhara said.
††††† But critics insist that because Zimbabwe is unable to repay the loans
in hard currency, the country may be forced to concede to a range of barter
agreements that involve handing its family jewels to anybody that promises
ready aid.
††††† Other critics in fact see a war between South Africa and China over
control of Zimbabwe. The South Africans may hurry to extend a loan to
Zimbabwe not out of goodwill, but as an incentive that secures South African
influence here.
††††† If true, this tussle leaves Zimbabwe looking less and less like a
strong, sovereign state, and more like just another pawn on a big boys'

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††††† Crucial moment in inflation war

††††† Nelson Banya
††††† 7/28/2005 8:02:54 AM (GMT +2)

††††† THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ)'s stated mission to roll back
resurgent money supply growth and, ultimately, tame rampant inflation -
reaffirmed with last week's tightening of monetary policy - comes under
stern test from a central government in a spending mood when Finance
Minister Herbert Murerwa unveils his fiscal policy review next Thursday.

††††† While central bank governor Gideon Gono last week warned that money
supply growth was threatening the disinflation programme - M3 rose from 177
percent in January to 235 percent in May - the government, which is set to
approach Parliament with a supplementary budget, does not appear to be in a
mood to stem the excesses.
††††† Government domestic debt, which rose to an all-time high of almost $12
trillion at the beginning of July, has decreased to just over $10 trillion.
††††† Of the reported 235 percent growth in broad money in May, credit to
the government grew by 343 percent, to the private sector by 65 percent and
public enterprises 40 percent.
††††† While the central bank's policy response to the expansion in credit
was to raise the policy interest rate by 20 percentage points from 160
percent to 180 percent for secured lending and 170 percent to 190 percent
for unsecured lending, analysts this week questioned the efficacy of the
intervention in an environment where a total of $5 trillion remained
available to the agriculture sector at a concessionary 20 percent interest
rate and where the government sought a previously unbudgeted $3 trillion to
rationalise its controversial crackdown on shantytowns and informal vending
††††† This, coupled with higher food imports, interest payments and pension
costs, is expected to increase the 2005 budget deficit outturn
significantly, Witness Chinyama, chief economist at Kingdom Financial
Holdings, said.
††††† Chinyama added that the central bank's year-end inflation target of 80
percent could be rendered unachievable if money supply is not reigned in.
††††† "The success of these measures depends on the maintenance of positive
real interest rates, which in turn is a function of sound liquidity
management on the money market.
††††† "If the money market is short, rates will rise and aid the policy
objective and vice-versa if it is in surplus.
††††† "Although the scrapping of the productive sector facility on June 30
together with the five percent finance facilities on July 21 are welcome
developments as this will aid the governor's efforts to fight inflation, the
central bank producer and credit subsidies to the agriculture sector through
the 20 percent concessionary finance, in addition to an increase in the
budget deficit, would cause an increase in money supply, which is
††††† "Furthermore, the differential between these policy rates and the 20
percent agriculture facility is prone to abuse, as it is now clear that the
RBZ has no mechanism in place to prevent the exploitation of the arbitrage
opportunities created by such a massive interest rate differential besides
issuing threats," Chinyama said.
††††† Best Doroh of the Zimbabwe Financial Holdings (Finhold) concurs.
††††† "We are of the opinion that inflationary pressures will still remain
very high in the economy up to the end of the first quarter of 2006, when
the harvest from the 2005/2006 agricultural season starts to filter into the
††††† "In addition, the full impact of the recent fuel price increases on
transport costs, the expected upward adjustment in electricity tariffs,
cost-push effects of wage and salary adjustments, which are usually done in
July, will add to the upward pressure on inflation.
††††† "Moreover, the devaluation of the Zimbabwe dollar will certainly push
up import costs, hence prices of imported goods and raw materials, which
will feed into inflation.
††††† "The continued existence of the concessionary 20 percent agriculture
facility and high growth in credit to government will also lead to high
levels of monetary expansion. The RBZ's inflation target of 80 percent by
December certainly looks ambitious and will be difficult to achieve," Doroh
††††† Tapiwa Mashakada, the opposition Movement for Democratic Change
spokesperson on finance and economic affairs, projects a year-end inflation
rate of 215 percent.
††††† "Inflation is rearing its ugly head again. The major causes are
inflationary pressures that are footloose and at large in the general
††††† "These emanate from parallel market activities, supply bottlenecks,
price controls, fuel shortages, food prices, utilities pricing systems and
government's appetite to borrow for consumption.
††††† "In this regard, we forecast in our models that inflation will reach
215 percent by December 2005. We propose inflation targeting to be adopted
as a principal policy to anchor inflationary expectations and government
borrowing for consumptive purposes must be stopped," Mashakada said.
††††† While worries linger on the inflation front, with annualised inflation
coming in at 164.4 percent in June, up from a 32-month low of 124 percent
March, analysts said the bold move on the exchange rate should bring relief
to exporters, but urged regular reviews to track inflation.
††††† "This measure (devaluation) is likely to benefit exporters as it gives
them as much better return on their exports, in Zimbabwe dollar terms.
††††† "It is, however, important that the monetary authorities consistently
adjust the exchange rate in line with domestic inflation developments
relative to the trade-weighted inflation rates of Zimbabwe's major trading
partners if exporters are to remain competitive in the international
markets," Doroh said, adding that this had become even more imperative
following the removal of the five percent financing facility for exporters.
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††††† ZANU PF elite showing signs of disintegration

††††† Isaya Muriwo Sithole
††††† 7/28/2005 8:27:56 AM (GMT +2)

††††† The sustenance of an authoritarian regime is always fraught with
complexities, absurdities, paradoxes, ironies and immoralities which have a
tendency to come crushing on the authoritarian edifice itself. Zimbabwe is
now like a theatre of the absurd where what goes around comes around.

††††† Authoritarian regimes are more likely to collapse under the strain of
conflicts and contradictions that are purely internal to the regime itself,
though exacerbated by an opposition that offers itself as a democratic
successor regime.
††††† From my previous contributions, it is clear that after serving its
purpose, ZANU PF authoritarianism is eroding. It has run its course. That is
as it should be.
††††† The re-democratisation of an authoritarian regime must combine erosion
and construction. Alfred Stepan, a distinguished scholar of democratic
transitions, advises that we should focus less on the final collapse of
authoritarian regimes than on the "incremental process of 'authoritarian
erosion' and the opposition's contribution to it".
††††† More often than not, the active supporters of the authoritarian regime
and the members of the coercive elite themselves are often the major agents
of change. Crucial decisions favoring democratisation are usually made by
those who had previously been counted among the pillars of the regime, as in
the case of the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, South Africa and countless
other examples. Can we read something in the Jonathan Moyo phenomenon?
††††† The Jonathan Moyo phenomenon is a personification of the
disintegration of intra-elite cohesion in ZANU PF.
††††† From the time the ZANU PF Women's League adopted a resolution to lobby
for a female second Vice-President following the death of Vice-President
Muzenda, Zimbabweans have been treated to a kaleidoscopic twisted maze of
tragic-comic political drama within the ruling party. The climax of the plot
was the fateful Tsholotsho meeting which catalysed the disintegration of
intra-elite cohesion in ZANU PF in addition to leaving a trail of
influential political casualties in the post-Tsholotsho witch-hunt.
††††† What ZANU PF as a party seems oblivious of is the fact that its
opaque, voodoo, commandist, ad-hoc and unaccountable policies, especially in
the past five years, have produced a new breed of economic and political
entrepreneurs with their own independent allegiances and loyalties
predicated on and nurtured by a deeply embedded political patronage system
that characterises ZANU PF's crony capitalism.
††††† These politico-economic entrepreneurs, ambitious as they have always
been, have constructed a well-knit political spider's web across the party
and, to attack any part of this anomalous and fossilised structure would
mean, by implication, to attack every other part constitutive of the web.
This is going to be more apparent as we approach 2008 when the President is
set to retire.
††††† The point is that Jonathan Moyo is only a part of a complex and
bestriding web and he represents an idea that is shared by many in the
ruling party but which is being suffocated.
††††† All those six Provincial chairpersons and war veterans who became the
casualties of Tsholotsho and others who were in some way victimized,
prejudiced or inconvenienced following Tsholotsho are less likely to give
another cheek. Time will tell.
††††† I don't normally discuss individuals but, with all due respect, I find
the debate as to whether Jonathan Moyo should be given media coverage as
reflective of political under-development and immaturity. I have always
stressed that there should be a place for everyone in the "new Zimbabwe"
that we envisage.
††††† To start with, this kind of discourse discourages and is a
disincentive to some within ZANU PF who want to come and "be with the
people". In addition, Jonathan Moyo, having been the government spin-doctor
for five years and having attended all crucial Politburo and Cabinet
meetings for the period in question, coupled with his influence and host of
connections within the system, has all the material that is necessary to
destroy the regime.
††††† He is a political "weapon of mass destruction" at the disposal of the
democratic movement against the establishment and he should not be
continuously shoved off the democratic train, as the more sanguinary among
us seem determined to do, despite the fact that he has a mandate to
represent Tsholotsho constituency in Parliament.
††††† I would have thought that investigative journalists and researchers
would actually probe and encourage the man to open up and speak out and,
better still, to document an account of his brief stint with the ruling
party and government as his contribution to the democratic struggle. In
politics there are only permanent interests and no permanent definitions of
friends and enemies. An enemies list changes with circumstances and all
those who are defecting from the ranks of authoritarianism must be welcomed
with open arms, and of course open eyes, as more are on their way.
††††† The debacle over multiple-farm ownership, the mass eviction of
settlers by the political elite, the tractor scandal, the selective and even
vindictive anti-graft crusade, the political turf between the ambitious, if
not over-zealous, young turks and the conservative old guard, the
short-lived "media war" in the party, the manner in which Mai Mujuru was
elevated to the Presidium resulting in the fateful Tsholotsho meeting, the
acrimonious scandals that characterised the ZANU PF† primary elections in
February, tribal balance and/or lack thereof in the composition of the
Cabinet, differences as to policy regarding crucial issues like Operation
Restore Order, the procurement of fuel, the exchange rate and other
fundamental issues in Cabinet, the machinations and maneuvers being made by
rival factions within the ruling party for succession; all these issues have
now conspired to concoct a juicy recipe for an internal combustion of the
kind that has fuelled the fragmentation of elite cohesion in ZANU PF.
††††† However much as pro-establishment forces might try to downplay Moyo's
severance of ties with the regime, the truth of the matter is that the
"Tsholotsho political virus", still defiant from within and from without,
has already infected the succession struggle in ZANU PF and will be there to
stay even beyond 2008, that is, if it has not yet crystallized into the
formation of a splinter party by then.
††††† It would be naÔve for Moyo's detractors in ZANU PF to celebrate his
expulsion because he is just an individual and the idea he represents has
not been similarly expelled. If anything, there are now growing defections
from the structures of the authoritarian regime, as the case of Pearson
Mbalekwa and others demonstrate.
††††† It is encouraging to note that the need for imminent change in our
country is now being appreciated by some of those who have previously been
counted among the pillars of the authoritarian regime. The friction in ZANU
PF gives all the hope that sooner or later, we will have democratic
proposals coming from enlightened members of the regime. Thus, to the extent
that the regime's initial core supporters come to see democratic
contestation as a viable alternative, their fears concerning the cost of
democratic reform will diminish.
††††† By the same token, with their ranks bolstered by increasing defections
from authoritarianism, the growing power, cohesiveness, and aggressiveness
of the forces of democratic opposition will boost the expected cost of
continued repression, including the prospect that it might ignite a
revolutionary upheaval.
††††† There will always be some within the structures of the authoritarian
regime who will dig in their heels and call for resistance to reform but,
historically, those who have opted for continued repression have been swept
away by the democratic storm. I see no valid reason why repression in
Zimbabwe should escape a similar fate.
††††† Digging in is often a blind and futile exercise, ala Ceausescu, Haile
Miriam Mengistu, Doe, Mobutu Seseseko, Slobodan† Milosevich, Charles Taylor
etcetera. Total elimination of all opposition requires full integration of
all institutions and social groups in the structures of a regime. This is a
project of surpassing difficulty at which no modern authoritarian government
has ever succeeded, from Adolf Hitler to Joseph Stalin or from Ceausescu to
Charles Taylor, let alone countries with even less capacity.
††††† Even if total integration and co-option were to be achieved, it can
only be temporary because authoritarianism is a pathology against which
humankind has a tendency to always rebel.
††††† If they are skillful and their timing is right, democratic forces
within the ZANU PF regime itself might capture the support of the emerging
anti-authoritarian majority, retire the old guard, and introduce a new
glasnost and perestroika. A deficit in such skills and foresight in forces
from within could well result in a democratization led by a "counter-elite"
originating from outside ZANU PF.
††††† What is noteworthy in this process, however, is that democracy is
being appreciated on both sides, thus increasing the possibility that we
might end up with viable political parties that are democratic, including
ZANU PF itself. Moreover, objectively speaking, a combination of democrats
from both inside and outside ZANU PF might well be the source of a more
enduring redemocratisation process.††† Isaya Muriwo Sithole is a lawyer,
political consultant as well as a human, civil and political rights
activist. He can be contacted on
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††††† ...and now to the Notebook

††††† 7/28/2005 8:18:41 AM (GMT +2)

††††† Royal wisdom
††††† ONCE upon a time, in a far away kingdom, there was this chief who was
feared to be ageing into senility. Life in this kingdom was really tough - a
purgatory - if not worse than no life at all.

††††† All citizens of this kingdom wondered how much they had offended God
and the gods to deserve this form of punishment. These people, his subjects,
toiled from sunrise to sunset in exchange for more royal-induced poverty.
Looking like scarecrows in their thoroughly torn clothes, they toiled day
and night to make the chief and a coterie of his hangers-on more and more
††††† One morning - out of the blue - the thoroughly feared chief decided,
after consulting himself and himself alone, that he was tired and bored to
hell and back with the noisome-eyesore that was his subjects. And he thought
he had had enough of this eyesore.
††††† In his usual royal wisdom, he issued a decree. A decree that with
immediate effect it was a crime to be seen wearing tattered clothes. So his
impis of law enforcement agents descended on villages, stripping whole
families naked. You know these law enforcement agents who are trained more
to enforce injustice and madness than law and order . . . they really went
the extra mile!
††††† When neighbouring chiefs heard about this mind-boggling operation,
they couldn't believe their ears. They were sure that no leader in his right
senses would ever do such a thing. So they sent a representative to go and
search for the truth. But they were still not convinced.
††††† Upon hearing that concerned fellow chiefs in the neighbouring lands
were sending a representative to check on the worrisome reports, the chief
started running around looking for something with which to improvise
clothing for the thousands of his subjects who were toiling in their
birthday suits. He introduced another operation. This time an operation to
dress his subjects. The operation had to appear like it was initiated out of
the chief's visceral concern about the welfare of his people . . . never
mind that he was the same person who had ordered them stripped naked at
††††† He had to cover up, but the numbers in question were just too large,
so the special representative arrived before hardly anyone had been dressed.
††††† The chief was angry. He was really mad. How could his subjects
embarrass him so thoroughly by choosing to be naked in the presence of
visitors? He was really livid . . . and as punishment for embarrassing him
that much, he said he was no longer going to buy them any new clothes! His
argument was very simple: while he was busy trying to do them a favour by
buying them new clothes, they decided to embarrass him by strutting around
nude, so they would remain nude because people in lands far and wide now
knew them as nudists.
††††† This is a long story. CZ will continue with the story next week
provided Saint Donan stands between him and harm! But is the story familiar?
††††† Reported!
††††† CZ has just finished reading the 100-page report by the UN Special
Envoy on the Tsunami in Zimbabwe, Madam Anna Kajumulo Tibaijuka. CZ had all
along been wondering what the report really said that touched raw nerves and
raised the ire and opprobrium of mandarins in government circles.
††††† And he found nothing - nothing at all - that is offensive in the
entire report. Nothing offensive to a normal person since the envoy only
dealt with realities obtaining on the ground at the time of her visit.
††††† After reports "personally" linking Tibaijuka to some sick goons in the
government, CZ began doubting her ability to objectively do the job at hand
. . . more so after all those official niceties.
††††† But CZ was totally wrong!
††††† Because Zimbabwe is supposed to be a free country - ideally - everyone
is entitled to their own opinion, so it is not surprising that a hell lot of
people queued up throughout the weekend to vent their spleen on the report -
which has been curiously linked to the British. Some have chosen to call it
"absolute nonsense", "trash", "canard", "chicken s****" whatever, but CZ
thinks the report is a wonderful piece of work. And CZ doesn't have any
apologies to make on this one and this does not make him any less of a
patriot. Does it? Obviously, there was no way she should have been expected
to sugarcoat reality just for the fun of it.
††††† Did the brains behind this operation expect this UN envoy to produce a
eulogy on the operation? . . . that she was satisfied, pleased and impressed
to see hundreds of thousands of poor and sick citizens sleeping out in the
cold, or held in a some insalubrious holding camp as it they were prisoners?
That thousands of families had lost their sources of livelihood? Did they
expect her to say this?
††††† CZ would think that if the UN secretary-general is serious about
coming down here to double-check her work, then good Madam Tibaijuka should
just offer to resign, because by following up to scrutinise her work, it
means he doubts her credibility and competence . . . so what was the purpose
of sending her here in the first place? Unless he wants to visit the
Victoria Falls or to partake of the sumptuous land cake!
††††† Third Way
††††† SOME people out there have started linking CZ to the so-called United
People's Movement being sold by the one and only Professor who has a record
that speaks volumes. The truth is that so far, CZ still has a conscience
andhas not yet started doing anything at all that has anything to do with
this man.
††††† CZ doesn't have any problems whatsoever with anything that will give
this country a shiny future - a future as shiny as a new penny - but will
not have anything to do with this Professor. If this country is to be so
cursed as to have the Professor emerging anywhere near the highest office in
the land, CZ would walk all the way to be a refuge in Sudan, Chad, Rwanda or
Liberia . . . the Professor would rather have all the country to himself!
††††† If we are going to replace the Great Uncle with the Professor, then
there is no need for any change at all. Wouldn't it be a question of being
asked to make the best pick between Sodom and Gomorrah?
††††† Right now he can join the campaign for change, for the re-opening of
The Daily News and anything else that other progressive Zimbabweans have
always been fighting for, but CZ won't thank him for being the nuisance he
††††† And news reaching CZ is that this so-called Third Way movement is
dying to be quite powerful, especially in newsrooms and such other places.
Some people can no longer be covered in bad light because this can send a
journalist to an early shower . . . please don't quote CZ on this one
because he is not yet a tribalist!
††††† More, please!
††††† CZ would like to congratulate deputy Minister of Mines and Mineral
Development Tinos Rusere for succeeding in sweet-taking his boss, Amos Midzi
to come to his church last weekend. It is important. Hopefully the
experience will go a long way in making the ZANU PF Harare provincial
chairman a better person. May Cde Rusere not tire because he needs to take
the whole lot to church . . . especially arrogant characters like Cdes
Chiminya, Chombo, Manyika, . . . they need someone to help them realise that
everyone is a sinner!
††††† Correct?
††††† CZ did not get this one clear on the news bulletin last week on our
one and only TV station. Did the reporter who covered the funeral of Elliot
Manyika's father say the 79-year old was as recently as 1999 fired from Roy
Bennett's farm where he was a farm hand because of his son's dalliance with
ZANU PF? Did CZ get this one correct? Hopefully CZ did not get this one
correct. Because it cannot be true!
††††† This is CZ's Notebook. More time!

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††††† Victory for pragmatism

††††† 7/28/2005 8:24:43 AM (GMT +2)

††††† TO devalue or not to devalue. That has always been the question for
the Zimbabwean government.

††††† And by adjusting the exchange rate by a reasonably wide margin last
week, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) took the market by surprise. This
is especially so considering that the Zimbabwe dollar, whose problem in
recent years has been one of weakness rather than strength, had not for a
long time been allowed to find its own level.
††††† Although coming at a time when it was widely felt that the local unit
was over-valued, the bold move by the central bank surprised the market
mainly because of government's known rigid position on matters concerning
devaluation. The idea of devaluation had become sacrilegious. It had assumed
weighty political and nationalistic connotations.
††††† And need we say more? Government's opposition to devaluation is well
documented, despite the severe problems Zimbabwe's skewed exchange rate has
spawned for the country's exporters and manufacturers. This is why in our
own estimation the central bank, which controls the country's financial
levers, did what we call biting the bullet - starting to deal with a
situation which cannot be avoided. This is what we have always referred to
as a victory for pragmatism - listening to voices of reason and reckoning
the influence of realities.
††††† We are not for piecemeal policy implementation, which is why we are
known critics of government's sometimes stop-go and Band Aid approach to
serious economic issues. And indeed, the degree of the latest exchange rate
adjustment could in certain quarters have been viewed with a deep sense of
disappointment as it might have been below market expectations. But we feel
that the devaluation is not only a welcome relief to the country's exporters
but also marks the RBZ's first step towards a realistic and stable exchange
rate regime. It should be remembered that issues concerning exchange rate
policy entail delicate balancing because exchange rates can influence or be
influenced by other macroeconomic variables.
††††† We take cognisance of the fact that it must have taken considerable
and tactful persuasive skills to convince the politicians that this was the
best route to go given the strong reaction previously engendered by pressure
for devaluation. It was never going to be easy. But with the economy bumping
along the bottom, this is the only way to go. This is even moreso given that
the choice of an exchange rate regime has implications for economic growth.
††††† One of the more puzzling and confusing issues in terms of formulating
economic policy relates to the choice of the exchange rate regime. As
already noted, this is one of the most sensitive issues that have caused
deep disagreements and strong feelings, which is why in Zimbabwe it has
become a hot-button political issue with senior politicians getting bent out
of shape over any slightest hint of devaluation. There is hardly any
consensus as to which policy countries should adopt. Over the years, the
traditional dichotomy between fixed and floating exchange rates has always
sparked heated but sterile debate which zeroed in on whether there is a link
between the choice of exchange rate and macroeconomic performance.
††††† This explains why the choice for an exchange rate regime has always
been a difficult one for monetary authorities all over the world.
Traditionally, the Zimbabwean government has always favoured a fixed
exchange rate regime which International Monetary Fund econometric studies
have since concluded is usually associated with better inflation
performance, reduced policy uncertainties and lower interest rates.
††††† The flip side of the coin, however, is that this regime also increases
protectionist pressure, distorts price signals in the economy and prevents
efficient allocation of resources. The international monetarists also say
that it is possible for inflationary pressures to build up - but be held in
check - during a period of pegged exchange rates and then explode into open
inflation when a float is adopted. This means that in such a situation, the
high inflation would be blamed on the floating regime though it should more
properly be attributed to the fixed exchange rate. They, however, conclude
that countries facing disinflation might find pegging the exchange rate an
important tool while in cases where there has been sluggish growth and
exchange rate misalignments, a more flexible policy might be called for.
††††† Clearly, from the foregoing, it can be concluded that no regime is
likely to serve all countries at all times. The choice is the country's own.
It boils down to best-fit and not one-size-fits-all. It is against this
background that we hope that the Zimbabwean central bank's adopted
intermediate exchange rate policy - where rates are allowed to float within
a predetermined range through the managed foreign currency auction system -
will bring about a more stable and sustainable parity.
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††††† MDC, ZANU PF like oil and water

††††† 7/28/2005 8:14:17 AM (GMT +2)

††††† THE world appears to believe that all Zimbabwe needs is love.
††††† Presidents Thabo Mbeki of South Africa and Olusegun Obasanjo of
Nigeria have come back on to the scene with proposals for the ruling ZANU PF
party and the opposition Movemnet for Democratic Change (MDC) to conduct a
love-in at some conference centre somewhere in Zimbabwe.

††††† Previous efforts to get these two to love each other stalled, with
President Robert Mugabe saying he had nothing to talk to the MDC about. The
MDC, on the other hand, was quite willing to talk but what it wanted to talk
about was not in line with what ZANU PF thought the two parties should be
talking about.
††††† We all remember the ridiculous situation we had back then when the two
parties met just to discuss the agenda - and that was where the effort
††††† This all begs the question just why presidents Mbeki and Obasanjo and
fromer Mozambican leader Joaquim Chissano think they can achieve a result
this time round. They obviously can't answer that question because they
always say that it is Zimbabweans themselves who should set the agenda.
††††† Which is all very well. Except there is no agreement on the agenda.
††††† The talks themselves are unlikely to materialise unless certain issues
are resolved.
††††† Both the MDC and ZANU PF have positions from which they cannot move
without negating their essential existence.
††††† On the one hand there is the hamstrung, limping MDC. The opposition
party leaders had apparently got to a point where they believed that power
in Zimbabwe was theirs for the asking. As a result, they announced that the
talks were being held to discuss President Mugabe's exit and the holding of
new elections.
††††† This was a problem with President Mugabe because he did not think
there was anything wrong with the previous elections. There was, therefore,
no need to discuss a new election at all.
††††† The MDC also made it clear at that stage that it did not want to take
part in a government of national unity. Its position is that it has the
support of the majority in Zimbabwe, despite losing every general election
that it has ever contested.
††††† Thus, the MDC leaders feel that they are the real leaders and the true
††††† It was unhelpful that MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai and his colleagues
ignored all known rules of diplomatic strategy by immediately and very
loudly calling President Mugabe illegitimate. Use of such heated phrases as
"regime change" also found their way into the MDC lexicon.
††††† This was unfortunate because these were the very same words being used
by British premier Tony Blair and United States President George W Bush. It
only served to reinforce ZANU PF's claim that the MDC agenda was being set
in London and Washington.
††††† Further, the MDC also chose to contest the elections at the courts in
order to keep the legitimacy question alive. In essence, the MDC position
still is that it does not recognise the ZANU PF government as the true
government of Zimbabwe. The party disputes the foundation of ZANU PF's
mandate as the foundation of President Mugabe's right to rule.
††††† The reaction from ZANU PF was only predictable.
††††† First, President Mugabe and his party were of the opinion that there
should be no preconditions going into the talks. The MDC was against this
because it did not want to waste time discussing issues not related to the
exit of ZANU PF from the corridors of power.
††††† But very few political parties, if any, are willing to negotiate their
own deaths. This is how we ended up having a meeting to discuss the agenda
of a meeting no one was sure would ever take place. No wonder that flopped.
††††† Second, President Mugabe demanded that the MDC drop its challenge to
his election in order for the talks to be considered. The MDC refused to do
this because it would mean "giving legitimacy to the regime". Stalemate
††††† Linked to this demand for the MDC to drop its court challenges to his
election, the President also asked in what capacity the MDC wanted him and
his party to come to the table. He was essentially asking what he was to the
MDC. In what capacity would he be meeting the party? Again, this was another
way to ask the legitimacy question.
††††† Would the MDC be meeting with a ruling party that had, at that time, a
slim majority in Parliament in order to find ways to work together? Or, as
was the case, would the MDC be seeing itself as meeting an illegal regime
that was on its last legs and simply wanted to negotiate its own surrender?
††††† The MDC insisted that it would only meet ZANU PF if the ruling party
was coming to throw in the towel and allow for new elections. ZANU PF would
do no such thing.
††††† So that was how the last attempt at a love-in came unstuck. This time
round, what has changed?
††††† The MDC still has its cases in the courts. It still speaks of regime
change and new elections.
††††† ZANU PF wants to hear none of this. The party feels emboldened by its
performance in the March 2005 election. Now it considers its electoral
position even more secure. To ZANU PF, there is no need to talk at all now.
Much more so, in fact, if the MDC insists that all it wants to hear is when
the ruling party will resign en masse and call a new election.
††††† So what do to then? The people of Zimbabwe deserve an explanation.
Most are mystified about what the talks could be about.
††††† We know that the only talks ZANU PF wants now with the MDC are aimed
at getting rid of sanctions imposed on President Mugabe and some members of
his party by the United States and the European Union over human rights
††††† In ZANU PF's thinking, Tsvangirai must, in effect, conduct a public
relations exercise to cleanse the image of ZANU PF in Western capitals so
that aid and balance of payments support can come into Zimbabwe again.
Naturally, it will be a very cold day in hell before Tsvangirai agrees to do
††††† It follows, therefore, that with these two diametrically opposed views
on the talks themselves, there appears to be nothing for the two parties to
talk about.
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††††† Time for govt to swallow false pride

††††† Hama Saburi
††††† 7/28/2005 8:04:04 AM (GMT +2)

††††† A DAMNING United Nations (UN) report on the infamous Operation Restore
Order has, as had been widely anticipated, met with an all-too-familiar
blistering response from government propagandists and their tired bands of
patronising political scientists whose dislike for anything uncomplimentary
of their dubious projects smacks of downright insolence and arrogance.

††††† The 98-page report unveiled by the world body last week has shocked
some of the most ardent backers of Harare's controversial policies and
vindicated the dominant view the cash-strapped sponsors of the clean-up
exercise had and still flatly refuse to accept-that the nationwide
blitzkrieg on poor urbanites and informal traders was ill-conceived,
illegal, cruel and self-defeating of the very objectives it had hoped to
††††† It had been hoped that the government - hailed for fully cooperating
with the UN special envoy dispatched last month to assess the impact of the
campaign - would graciously endorse the world body's diagnosis of the
exercise and immediately pledge to take corrective action.
††††† It had also been hoped that Harare would promptly go into
self-introspection after looking in the mirror and, for once, start doing
the right things to deflect calls for its total isolation in the wake of the
man-made human catastrophe. We were all lost.
††††† Government spin-doctors, known for galvanising themselves with full
metal jackets in the face of criticism, were trampling all over each other
at the weekend in a no-medal contest to trash the comprehensive UN report by
any means necessary instead of soothing running sores inflicted on the
restive urbanites and the sympathetic international community.
††††† In light of the new twist to the unfolding clean-up theatrics, could
it be that Harare had something to hide when it snubbed an envoy seconded by
the African Union to assess the crackdown on shantytowns? Can anybody
believe the government anymore for pouring vitriol on South African
clergymen who had no kind remarks about the month-long blitz?
††††† The outright rejection of the UN findings is almost a carbon copy of
the trashing handed to the United Nations African Charter for Human Rights
Commission report issued after the continental body's fact-finding mission
on the human rights situation in Zimbabwe. Panic has always run deep each
time those in the echelons of power are put to their defence and in this
case it appears the recommendation that people of Zimbabwe hold to account
those responsible for the injury caused by the operation might have inspired
the rejection of the UN report.
††††† The ensuing madness has seen what many people deemed a balanced and
honest report, whose main focus was on arresting the humanitarian
consequences of the militarised operation, being laced with unfounded
conspiracy theories that can only be figments of some people's fertile
imaginations. It is crystal clear the report will be ignored just like the
one by the United Nations African Charter for Human Rights Commission.
††††† "The report demonstrates hostility to the operation, it deliberately
forgets to mention that these structures, under Zimbabwean laws, were
illegal, before the evictions were carried out occupants were given time to
voluntarily take down their illegal structures," said Foreign Affairs
Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, who unashamedly had accompanied Tibaijuka
on some of her missions during her two-week stay.
††††† Throwing tantrums does not bode well for a country in dire need of
help from neighbouring states and beyond. With an estimated 2.4 million
people affected by the clean-up campaign in varying degrees, there is no
denying the resultant state of emergency Zimbabwe finds itself in. It has
been made more complex by the unavailability of resources to deal with the
human catastrophe at a time when the country is saddled with unemployment,
drought-induced famine, a crippling five-year economic recession and the
HIV/AIDS pandemic affecting 25 percent of the population.
††††† It is not enough to call off the clean-up campaign and pretend our
sovereignty is under threat from imagined enemies when we are our own
enemies. The government should bite the bullet and start by admitting its
inherent weaknesses and failures.
††††† It should set the stage for meaningful reconstruction and the
restoration of livelihoods with the help of the UN and other partners.
††††† The blame game, particularly when played at a time the country is
sitting on a ticking time bomb will not produce heroes.
††††† It is not too late to avert the disaster lurking in the shadows.
Zimbabwe urgently requires interventions to the crisis in the form of
shelter, water, sanitation, food and healthcare.
††††† It is only when Zimbabwe is back on a firm economic footing that its
citizens can say goodbye to slums, filth and crime.

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††††† Moyo blows Charamba's cover

††††† Nelson Banya
††††† 7/28/2005 8:02:09 AM (GMT +2)

††††† Guess who's the Herald's Nathaniel Manheru . . .

††††† THE war of words between former government spin doctor-in-chief
Jonathan Moyo and his erstwhile colleague, George Charamba, escalated this
week, with Moyo blowing Charamba's cover as the caustic columnist Nathaniel
Manheru who writes for the state-controlled Herald.

††††† Interestingly, Moyo himself is widely credited with starting the
column and was at one time the subject of a defamation suit filed by the
Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ), publisher of the banned Daily News
and Daily News on Sunday.
††††† "George Charamba, Robert Mugabe's irresponsible and reckless
wordsmith, who regularly violates his civil service oath and obligations by
writing the Nathaniel Manheru column in the Herald, can go to hell if he
thinks I am concerned about his threat that the book I am writing will send
me to Chikurubi. Nothing will stop me from telling the truth as I know and
experienced it," Moyo charged.
††††† Responding to newspaper reports that Moyo had set his sights on
writing a book on his five-year stint in ZANU PF and the government, Manheru
issued a scarcely veiled warning: "As for the book he promises the world,
not a few will be keen to remind him that the late Zvobgo had long confided
in the system that he was working on a book entitled 'The Fall of a
Dictator'. That makes 2000 to 2005 research years, does it not, professor?
Hark, who murmurs about the Official Secrets Act and gaping Chikurubi?"
††††† That Moyo's fallout with Charamba is now being played out in their
creation - the Manheru column - is a fascinating turn of events as the two
have, in the past, used the column to chide, disparage and ridicule
opponents and perceived enemies. Frequent targets have been journalists in
the private media, opposition politicians and critics of Zimbabwe's
††††† Moyo's revelation, made in a lengthy article on a possible "Third Way"
carried by the NewZimbabwe online news service, also raises questions as to
whether Herald editor Pikirayi Deketeke perjured himself when he claimed to
be the author of the Manheru column during a High Court hearing last year.
††††† Deketeke's claim, made under oath, sought to deflect legal action
against Moyo, who was being sued for defamation by the ANZ.
††††† Last July, High Court judge Yunus Omerjee ordered Moyo to pay $2.5
million and Zimbabwe Newspapers - publisher of the Herald - to pay $5
million in defamation charges.
††††† The mysterious Manheru was ordered to pay $250 000.
††††† The lawsuit arose from defamatory statements Moyo and Manheru made
against the ANZ's flagship Daily News and its staffers in the Herald on May
17, June 3, June 10, June 14, June 15 and June 18 2003.

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††††† RBZ settles ZESA's debt

††††† Chris Muronzi
††††† 7/28/2005 8:08:30 AM (GMT +2)

††††† The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has once again intervened to rid
power utility ZESA Holdings of a nagging $31 billion debt owed to the
National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) as part of ongoing efforts to save the
ailing parastatals.

††††† The central bank recently settled ZESA's debt to coal producer Hwange
Colliery Company (HCC) to end a feud that had seen relations between the two
energy firms deteriorating.
††††† Although efforts to get comment from ZESA corporate affairs director
Obert Nyatanga and NRZ officials proved fruitless at the time of going to
press, RBZ hopes the $31 billion debt settlement will save the power utility
from diabolical interest charges, while improving fleet utilisation and
revenue generation for NRZ.
††††† NRZ, whose operations have been hit hard over the years, has been
struggling to operate viably owing to its depleted fleet.
††††† Apart from settling the ZESA debt, the central bank has also advanced
about $24 billion to the NRZ under the Parastatals Reorientation Prog-ramme
(PARP) launched in January.
††††† The funds have been used to, among other uses, recapitalise the NRZ's
road transport subsidiary - Road Motor Services, as well as boost the
traction and rolling stock.
††††† The availability of fully-powered locomotives, which had sagged to
just 30 percent and hamstrung industry in the process, has moved up to
around 50 percent.

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††††† Tibaijuka exposes ZANU PF weaknesses

††††† 7/28/2005 7:59:31 AM (GMT +2)

††††† A STINGING United Nations (UN) report on the clean-up exercise
launched by the government last month has exposed internecine conflict in
ZANU PF and escalated concern about the collapse of collective
responsibility within the party.

††††† The report, which was immediately trashed by Harare, noted there was
no collective decision-making with respect to the conception and
implementation of the nationwide demolitions of slums that affected an
estimated 700 000 people.
††††† "Evidence suggests it was based on improper advice by a few architects
of the operation," the report noted, adding: "Oral evidence heard from
senior government officials, including ministers, as well as subsequent
reports in the local press and discussions in the Parliament of Zimbabwe,
suggest that Operation Restore Order was neither conceived collectively in
the Cabinet, nor in the ruling party's (ZANU PF) Politburo and Central
††††† Analysts this week said the exposť once again highlighted divisions
within the ruling party and undercurrents linked to the fight to succeed
President Robert Mugabe who has hinted at retiring in 2008.
††††† Contrary to claims that the UN special envoy Anna Tibaijuka had
admitted she was under pressure to produce a negative report, highly placed
sources said she had actually confided in President Robert Mugabe on the
confusion in his party and government.
††††† They said some senior ZANU PF and government officials had
nicodemously fed the UN team with information, recanting what they would
have said in broad daylight.
††††† "She was honest enough enough to inform President Mugabe that he had
to expect nothing short of a bad report given the situation on the ground.
Its unfortunate that her remarks are now being quoted out of context," said
††††† PF insiders.
††††† Conflict within the party came to a head in
††††† the run up to the ZANU PF congress in December when the camp led by
retired army general Solomon Mujuru and another one headed by former ruling
party secretary for administration Emmerson Mnangagwa fought to the bitter
end for the vice presidency vacated by the late Simon Muzenda.
††††† In the end, six provincial chairmen aligned to Mnangagwa were
suspended from the party for five years for attending an unsanctioned
meeting in Tsholotsho that was allegedly meant to block Vice-President Joyce
Mujuru's ascendancy to the post, in defiance of a Politburo resolution that
had endorsed a female candidate for the position.
††††† While the infighting appeared to have eased, analysts said conflict
within ZANU PF had moved further underground. Only last month, former ZANU
PF central committee member Pearson Mbalekwa announced his resignation from
the party in protest against the "inhumane and callous manner" in which the
government conducted the blitzkrieg on shantytowns and informal vending
††††† Mbalekwa's resignation, at a time when there are signs of discord
within the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), has given rise
to speculation of a third force that might incorporate disgruntled leaders
and supporters from both sides of the political divide.

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††††† Annan demands talks

††††† Njabulo Ncube
††††† 7/28/2005 7:58:29 AM (GMT +2)

††††† Stage set for clash with Zim govt

††††† UNITED Nations Secretary- General Kofi Annan, who has agreed in
principle to tour Zimbabwe, has set tough conditions for President Robert
Mugabe's government, which could set the stage for a showdown with the
global body and scupper the proposed visit.

††††† UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric this week said the UN secretary-general
would not substitute himself for his special envoy Anna Tibaijuka, who
drafted a damning report on the government's Operation Murambatsvina and
indicated that Annan's visit was subject to certain conditions.
††††† "Regardless of the date of an eventual visit by the secretary-general,
it's clear that a number of things need to happen. One of them is that the
evictions must cease and that humanitarian aid must be provided to the
people in need," said Dujarric.
††††† "So yes, he's accepted in principle but no date has been set and it's
obviously something that would happen down the road, and would have to see a
number of improvements on the situation on the ground before we would go.
††††† "As Mrs Tibaijuka pointed out in her report, there would be need for a
start of a political process, such as political dialogue between the
government and other stakeholders in Zimbabwe. All these things would need
to happen in a meaningful way before the secretary-general can travel,"
added the spokesperson.
††††† The UN resident coordinator Agostinho Zacarias has reported that
despite official proclamations that Operation Murambatsvina had ended, farm
workers' settlements in Chipinge were razed down this week. Government also
descended on Porta farm just outside Harare over the weekend.
††††† President Robert Mugabe, whose government dismissed the UN report as
biased, has invited Annan to visit the country "to see for himself the
positive aspects emanating from Operation Murambatsvina", described by
Tibaijuka as a disastrous venture carried out with indifference to human
††††† The UN report also urged the government and people of Zimbabwe to
bring all those responsible for Operation Murambatsvina to account for their
††††† The UN report estimates that 700 000 people were directly affected by
the government's precipitous action, while some 2.4 million felt the ripple
††††† The UN's insistence on internal political dialogue is not likely to
find many takers in the ZANU PF government, with President Mugabe and his
close lieutenants repeatedly ruling out any engagement with the opposition
outside parliament. The
††††† To Page 23
††††† government has also accused Tibaijuka of straying from her terms of
reference in calling for political dialogue.
††††† In an attempt to counter the effects of the damning UN report, which
could possibly set Zimbabwe up for discussion at the security council, the
government this week took African and Non-Aligned Movement diplomats on a
tour of projects it says have been initiated for those left homeless and
jobless by the exercise.
††††† Meanwhile, Zacarias, the UN coordinator in Zimbabwe, said the UN
country team stood by the contents of the Tibaijuka report.
††††† He said the country team members that assisted Tibaijuka during her
tour of duty tried to be as objective as possible in helping her compile the
††††† "Although it's a tough report, we stand by it," Zacarias said,
dismissing the government's aspersions that Tibajuka's hand had been forced
by forces hostile to ZImbabwe.
††††† "Kofi Annan pays Tibaijuka's salaries and other UN staff that
accompanied her. We are not on the payroll of the British government.
Tibajuka and the UN country team were behind the report and no-one else."
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Mail and Guardian

††††† Fur flies in UN briefing on Zimbabwe

††††† Gerard Aziakou | United Nations

††††† 28 July 2005 10:43

††††††††††† United Nations envoy Anna Tibaijuka on Wednesday briefed the UN
Security Council on her harsh report on Zimbabwe's slum demolition drive as
Britain urged the world to extend urgently needed humanitarian aid to its
former colony.

††††††††††† The closed-door briefing went ahead after a procedural ballot
requested by Russia, in which the 15-member council voted nine in favour and
five against, with one abstention, to approve the British request for the
briefing. No veto is allowed on procedural matters.

††††††††††† China and Russia joined three African countries -- Algeria,
Benin and Tanzania -- in voting against. Brazil abstained.

††††††††††† Explaining why his country opposed any discussion of the
Zimbabwean demolition drive, China's UN delegate Zhang Yishan said: "The
Security Council only deals with situations that threaten world peace and

††††††††††† Zimbabwe's UN envoy Boniface Chidyausiku, who took part in the
closed meeting, made the same point, saying Harare opposed council
consideration of the issue "on principle".

††††††††††† "We did not feel that our situation warranted the attention it
was receiving," he added.

††††††††††† After a two-week fact-finding visit by Tibaijuka, who heads UN
Habitat, the UN on Friday released a scathing report on Harare's campaign of
demolitions, stating that it has left 700 000 Zimbabweans homeless and
destitute, and affected a further 2,4-million.

††††††††††† Britain's UN envoy Emyr Jones Parry said after the briefing that
Zimbabwe should heed the recommendations in the Tibaijuka report as well as
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's call for an end to the demolition drive.

††††††††††† He also called on the international community to "rally around
and provide the humanitarian relief which is going to be urgently needed".

††††††††††† "In the longer term, we look to the government of Zimbabwe to
take heed of the report itself, its recommendations and indeed of the views
expressed today [by council members]," he added.

††††††††††† Parry told reporters that he was pleased Zimbabwe's UN envoy
took part in the discussions and expressed hope his colleague would report
back to Harare the views expressed by the council.

††††††††††† But Chidyausiku defended what he presented as his government's
slum-clearance programme, saying countries opposed to Harare's land-reform
programme are behind the current campaign against Zimbabwe.

††††††††††† Zimbabwe embarked on its land-redistribution programme in
February 2000, seizing prime farmland owned by about 4 500 white farmers and
handing it over to the landless black majority.

††††††††††† The government's land reforms have been partly blamed for
compromising food production in what was once the Southern African region's

††††††††††† On Tibaijuka's report, Zimbabwe's envoy said: "We agreed with
some of things she saw. What we have found fault with that report is the
loose language which has been open to various interpretations by various
interest groups."

††††††††††† He added: "These are people who are not interested in assisting
Zimbabwe. They have a political agenda and pounced on that report and
interpreted [it] to suit their own agenda."

††††††††††† Tibaijuka, meanwhile, said the briefing showed that there is "a
lot of concern" about the Zimbabwe demolition drive, and appealed for
international aid.

††††††††††† Asked about allegations by Zimbabwe that she had been pressured
into producing a damning report, she said: "My report is very clear. It's an
objective report. There's nothing more that I can say."

††††††††††† "A well-briefed woman of [UN] Habitat was sent to investigate
and produce a predetermined report, which we knew would be negative,"
Zimbabwe's state-run Herald newspaper quoted Zimbabwean President Robert
Mugabe as saying while on a trip to China.

††††††††††† "Firstly, there's been no pressure; secondly, events speak for
themselves, the facts actually substantiate her report and she has produced
a report on her own authority for the secretary general and no British
fingerprint near it," Parry retorted. "The conspiracy theory does not

††††††††††† Mugabe is on a six-day visit to China and has been warmly
greeted as "an old friend" by President Hu Jintao, head of one of the few
countries to embrace the 81-year-old leader who is banned from travelling in
the European Union and United States.

††††††††††† Annan has meanwhile made it clear that he will not visit
Zimbabwe unless Harare stops the evictions of slum dwellers and allows
humanitarian aid to reach those in need. -- Sapa-AFP

Britain drags Zimbabwe to UN Security Council

By Staff Reporter
Last updated: 07/28/2005 02:21:43

THE U.N. Security Council Wednesday barely overcame objections of African members and Brazil, China and Russia to hear a briefing on evictions in Zimbabwe.

Last week Anna Tibaijuka, head of UN-HABITAT and U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan's special envoy, to report on the evictions, said 700,000 people were left homeless in the southern Africa nation because of the government's evictions and demolitions of illegal housing and businesses.

Britain's Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry called for Tibaijuka to brief the council and answer questions. But, Algeria, Benin and Tanzania objected, saying it was not a matter of international peace and security and should be left to the African Union to handle. China, where Zimbabwe's President Mugabe was on an extended official visit, and Russia agreed.

Brazil abstained. Diplomats said Brasilia is courting support from African nations for its quest to get a permanent seat as part of Security Council reform.

But the necessary minimum of nine members agreed and the briefing was held.

Zimbabwe's Ambassador Boniface Chidyausiku said Harare didn't feel the situation "warranted the attention it was receiving."

Mugabe is in China this week where he obtained the full support of Chinese leader Hu Jintao who has vowed to veto any UN resolution o the southern African state.

China is said to be keen to extend its tentacles across the African continent to achieve its projected domestic economic growth.

The Chinese government has agreed to prop up Mugabe's regime through a combination of financial and developmental packages in return for mining rights, according to economic commentators.

Observers say the UN report into the Zimbabwean slum blitz will not be wished away, and is likely to be revisited by the United States and Britain in a shortwhile as they seek to find a permanent solution to the Zimbabwean crisis.

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