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

Back to Index

Back to the Top
Back to Index

JOB OPPORTUNITIES: Updated 10th June 2004

Please send any job opportunities for publication in this newsletter to:
JAG Job Opportunities <>

1. Advert Received 23rd June 2004


Due to expansion within the business we require an expert recruitment
consultant with skills in any of the following areas:-

* Proven success recruiting in the IT sector.
* Proven success in any recruitment field but knowledge of the IT
* HR / Personnel background with knowledge of the IT industry.
* IT Professional with years of experience in different aspects of IT and
the drive or ability to pursue a career in IT recruitment.

If you fall into any of the above categories and wish to be considered for
this challenging and rewarding position, please send your cv together with
brief explanation of how you would add value to our organization to:

Barbara Taylor

Oxford IT
22 Van Praagh Ave
Milton Park
Tel: 251448, 253127, 728106-8
or 011-611461


2. Advert Received 28th June 2004

I am looking for a bench press or mini exercise gym if anyone has one for
sale. Please could you contact me on the following: Debbie Leared Ph
442844 or 091 268 501

3. Advert Received 30th June 2004

I am looking for a Managers Position in the production of Tobacco, Maize,
Cattle, Wheat and Horticulture.

I have had experience in all of the above in Zimbabwe. Willing to go to
Zambia or Malawi.

My wife has the experience and is willing to do the farm books and wages.

I am looking for a job that does pay in forex and is in a relativly safe

Contact details:
cell 091 265 936
telephone 04 747 180
address 4 Alex Smith Drive, Eastlea, Harare


For the latest listings of accommodation available for farmers, contact

JAG Hotlines:
(011) 612 595 If you are in trouble or need advice,
(011) 205 374
(011) 863 354 please don't hesitate to contact us -
(011) 431 068
we're here to help!
263 4 799 410 Office Lines
Back to the Top
Back to Index

The Guardian

Lamb denies that fifth game is gift to Mugabe

Mike Averis
Friday July 2, 2004
The Guardian

The England and Wales Cricket Board last night distanced itself from
suggestions that it was giving succour to Robert Mugabe's government by
agreeing to England playing a fifth one-day international on their Zimbabwe
The agreement had earlier been presented by Ehsan Mani, president of the
International Cricket Council, as part of the process by which Zimbabwe
would return to Test match cricket after confirmation that the ICC had
cancelled the two series against England and Pakistan.

"The ECB announced yesterday at our board meeting that they will be going
and will be prepared to play more matches than originally agreed," said Mani
yesterday. "They were originally playing four and now say they may play
five. It's very encouraging."

But Tim Lamb, the ECB's chief executive, said: "It's not an extra match,
it's the reinstatement of the original fifth match."

England had been scheduled to play two Tests and five one-day internationals
but that was negotiated down because a tour of South Africa was to follow.
"In the time frame available [it] was too heavy a workload on the players,"
said Lamb. "Now that the reason for the reduction has gone away - no Test
matches - space has been freed up for us to reinstate the fifth match.

"If the reason for reducing from five to four was because of the political
process they might have a legitimate argument. But it wasn't. We shouldn't
see the reinstatement of an originally agreed match as in some way
endorsement of the Zimbabwean regime."

Mani said Zimbabwe would be fed a diet of A internationals before returning
to the Test arena in January. Its Test status would then depend on the
team's performance against Bangladesh plus the outcome of the dispute
between the Zimbabwe board and its players and an investigation into
allegations by the players of racism.

Mani said the warring factions would be given 14 days to find a mechanism to
sort out their dispute, otherwise the ICC would step in. And "an eminent
person or persons will investigate the allegations of racism".

The ICC, which yesterday agreed the membership of China, Mexico and the Isle
of Man, has delayed a decision on moving its administration - probably to
Dubai - after a British government intervention to keep the ICC at Lord's,
its home for 95 years. "It's very encouraging, but what is disappointing is
that it came at the 59th minute of the 11th hour," said Malcolm Speed, the
ICC's chief executive. "We now want to meet with the government . . . around
the world, governments are offering world sports governing bodies
tax-exemption status and that is a big issue for us."
Back to the Top
Back to Index

'Harare's Water Reservoirs Gaining in Volume'

The Herald (Harare)

July 1, 2004
Posted to the web July 1, 2004


Harare City Council yesterday reported that most of its water reservoirs
were gaining in volume although the total volume of water pumped into the
city's storage tanks by 0700hrs was 555 megalitres compared to 572
megalitres the previous day.

"Most of the city's reservoir levels are showing some gains. Water supplies
in the southern suburbs of Epworth and Ruwa will be restored this morning
(yesterday) while supplies to the northern suburbs will be cut off around
0900hrs (yesterday)," said the director of works Mr Psychology Chiwanga.

Water supplies were yesterday cut off in Meyrick Park, parts of Mabelreign
South, Belvedere, Emerald Hill, parts of Mt Pleasant, Strathaven, parts of
Mt Pleasant Heights, Gunhill, Borrowdale West, Milton Park, Kensington,
Avondale, Alexandra Park, Ashdown Park, Westgate and Marlborough.

"Water supplies will be cut off to the listed areas from 0800 hours to
0800hrs the following day and every other day," said Mr Chiwanga.

Borrowdale Brook reservoir was 12,3 percent full compared to 3,1 percent the
previous day, Ridge Road was 6,2 percent full while on Tuesday it was 3,1
percent full.

The Hogerty Hill reservoir was 6,2 percent full, up from zero, Hatcliffe
dropped from 30,7 to 24 percent full.

Emerald Hill was constant at 28 percent full while Lochnivar High gained
from 61,3 to 69,3 percent and Lochnivar Low gained from 84,7 to 94,1

Alexandra Park dropped from 55,4 to 41,5 percent while Letombo gained from
40 to 52 percent, Highlands gained from 49,2 to 55,4 percent with Greendale
dropping from 45,6 to 44,1 percent.

Donnybrook 84 percent full.

The secretary-general of Mabvuku Residents' Association, Mr Mike Banda, said
the suburb was having an uninterrupted supply of water.

"Since we complained to council a few weeks ago our supplies have been
satisfactory," he sad.

Council has embarked on a water management system under which water
reservoirs are left to rise to acceptable levels before the water can be
diverted to other needy suburbs.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

The Star

MDC faces 'treason' probe
July 2, 2004

By Basildon Peta

The Zimbabwe parliament has adopted a motion empowering President
Robert Mugabe's government to set up a public inquiry into alleged
"treasonous activities" of the main opposition Movement for Democratic

The motion is widely seen as a precursor to drastic measures which
could lead to the banning of the opposition party.

The motion was adopted after several reports in the state media
quoting British Prime Minister Tony Blair as having told the House of
Commons that his government was working with the MDC "to effect regime
change" in Zimbabwe.

The state media seized upon the statement as evidence of MDC collusion
with the British government.

Parliament debated Blair's comment on Wednesday night, after which it
endorsed the motion for the inquiry against the MDC.

If the inquiry is established and finds against the MDC, the entire
leadership of the opposition party could be jailed for life over the alleged
treason. The move would virtually kill the opposition party.
Back to the Top
Back to Index


We have enough food - Zim
01/07/2004 22:07 - (SA)

Kodzevu Sithole

Harare - The Zimbabwean government will not be renewing its memorandum of
understanding with the World Food Programme (WFP). The memorandum expired on

The announcement was made despite warnings from international groups that
Zimbabwe was facing a shortage of maize and that about 2.5 million people
might starve this year.

Paul Mangwana, minister of public service, labour and welfare, said in
parliament on Wednesday that Zimbabwe didn't need any further donations as
the country had a food surplus.

"The government knocked on the United Nations' door when we experienced a
food crisis. This year, we have surplus grain, which means we don't need

Harare 'too busy' to meet WFP chief

The decision follows a deteriorating relationship between Harare and the

The agency left the country earlier this year after the government insisted
on controlling food distribution.

A visit by Tim Morris, WFP executive chief, was cancelled last week after
the Zimbabwean government claimed a busy schedule would prevent it from
receiving Morris.

The government maintains it expects a harvest of 2.8 million tons, while
international aid organisations estimate the total to be just over 800 000

Mangwana also said a plan has been put in motion to distribute grain from
surplus areas to areas hit by drought, and the donors would not be able to
help in this regard, reported Blessings Mambara.

The state-controlled grain-marketing council (GMC) will contribute with
regard to food distribution and transport. He denied allegations that food
supply was being politicised.

"It's not the government's policy to use food as a political instrument."
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

Mugabe scuttles Mbeki deadline
Dumisani Muleya
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe's foot-dragging scuttled South African President
Thabo Mbeki's repeated promises of a negotiated settlement to Zimbabwe's
multi-layered crisis by the end of last month, it emerged this week.

Official sources said Mugabe reneged on his assurances to Mbeki to find a
solution to Zimbabwe's suppurating problems by June and effectively sunk his
counterpart's vouched-for deadline, repeated on a number of occasions. But
he did agree last week, just before the deadline passed, on electoral
reforms which are the product of wide-ranging but discreet talks both within
the country and the region.

Mbeki met a Movement for Democratic Change delegation in Pretoria on Sunday
to discuss the impasse.

Mugabe is said to have assured Mbeki last year that by June there would be a
political settlement between the ruling Zanu PF and opposition MDC on an
array of issues currently in dispute.

The sources said Mugabe's assurances informed Mbeki's promise. But Mbeki's
pledged deadline came and went this week without a solution in sight.

In reaction, Mbeki's office adopted a diplomatic stance - in line with its
widely-criticised "quiet diplomacy" on Zimbabwe - and merely said there was
need for patience.

However, Mbeki met MDC officials, led by the party's head of negotiations
with Zanu PF, Welshman Ncube, in Pretoria last Sunday in a bid - not to
salvage the irretrievable deadline - but to limit the damage caused by his
botched deal with Mugabe.

Sources said Mbeki and Ncube's team reviewed the Zimbabwe situation and
tried to chart the way forward following the failure of efforts to start
formal inter-party talks.

The meeting discussed the current political situation and proposed electoral
reforms presented to the politburo by Zanu PF secretary for legal affairs
Patrick Chinamasa last Friday.

But the meeting did not focus on the economic emergency as it was taken as
understood that no economic recovery could take place without a political

Mbeki last visited Harare in December in a bid to kick-start talks between
Zanu PF and the MDC. After that he met separately a Zanu PF delegation led
by Chinamasa and an MDC one led by Ncube in Pretoria on February 28.

Since then he had been pushing for a solution in Zimbabwe. Chinamasa's
electoral proposals, endorsed by the politburo last Friday, were said to
have been a result of sustained regional pressure on Mugabe. They also
reflect glacial progress in stop-go informal talks between Chinamasa and
Ncube although this was not disclosed to the Zanu PF politburo last Friday
for fear of irking ruling-party mandarins.

Regional leaders are said to have been concerned about Zimbabwe's archaic
electoral system and the collateral damage caused by disputed elections to
adjacent economies.

The international community also seems to have been involved. Outgoing
British ambassador Sir Brian Donnelly recently indicated in a speech at a
farewell party he knew about the coming electoral reforms. Referring to
elections, Donnelly on June 18 said: "I would not be surprised, over the
coming weeks, to see some gestures made to appease critics.but I am
unconvinced that this will be enough to ensure a level playing field."

It is thought Mbeki is keeping key players informed on the understanding
they leave matters to him.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

State bungles Mawere case
Vincent Kahiya
ZIMBABWEAN authorities bungled the collection of evidence to extradite
business magnate Mutumwa Mawere who was this week removed from remand by a
South African court.

The Zimbabwe Independent yest-erday heard that Zimbabwe requested the arrest
of Mawere on May 22 on charges of externalising foreign currency before
gathering sufficient evidence to secure a conviction. A magistrate said on
Wednesday he would not countenance procedural shortcuts.

It has been established that the Zimbabwean government was in May granted
authority by the South African Justice ministry to carry out investigations
in South Africa. The investigators were supposed to obtain warrants to
enable them to search for evidence in South Africa prior to arresting
Mawere. A judicial officer, probably a magistrate, should have been
appointed to facilitate the investigations. But this exercise was not
carried out prior to the arrest of Mawere on May 25.

The evidence is key to proving allegations that Mawere was indeed involved
in externalising foreign currency. Such information was crucial to convince
the South African court to agree to extradite Mawere.

The magistrate's court sitting in Randburg on Wednesday refused to grant
Zimbabwe more time to produce evidence in the case and subsequently removed
Mawere from bail. This was a major setback for the Zimbabwe team of police
officers and officials from the Reserve Bank who travelled to South Africa
to attend the court session.

In a hard-hitting ruling on Wed-nesday magistrate Tefo Myambo in dismissing
the request for a postponement said his court would not be party to an
action that militated against the South African constitution.

"South Africa has a constitution which dictates what has to happen in the
interest of justice," said Myambo in his ruling.

"By their own admission the state is not in a position to proceed and an
undertaking (by Zimbabwe) that relevant documents would be ready was not
complied with," he said.

"It is not in the interest of justice to grant the state another
postponement. The court is of the view that it will bring the administration
of justice into ill-repute if the court bends over backwards to grant
another postponement," Myambo said.

"The court will not be party to this.It will not pump life into the state
case when they haven't come to the party," he said.

Sources said the government could still get a second bite of the cherry if
it followed the correct procedures in gathering evidence against Mawere.

At Mawere's remand hearing on May 27, the Zimbabwe government made an
undertaking that it would be ready this week to furnish the court with
evidence to prove that Mawere had a case to answer.

At the magistrate's court in Randburg on Tuesday the state advocate
representing the Zimbabwe government, Paul Schutte, asked for a postponement
of the extradition hearing saying Zimbabwe needed to "authenticate" its
documentation and gather more evidence. Schutte requested an additional 30
days to produce the requisite information to court.

On Wednesday Mawere's lawyers immediately opposed the attempt to postpone
the matter saying it was not only unconstitutional but also prejudicial to
Mawere, as banks had started to call in facilities.

The lawyers said it was unconstitutional to arrest somebody for the sake of
gathering evidence.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

Harare forfeits billions in Munich aid
Augustine Mukaro recently in Germany
EQUIPMENT worth billions of dollars destined for Zimbabwe lies idle in
Munich after the German city suspended its cooperation with Harare last

The Zimbabwe Independent can reveal that Harare's former twin city, Munich,
had sourced hospital and other medical equipment, computers, water treatment
equipment and refuse removal vehicle spare parts but could not send the
much-needed consignment after Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo
suspended popularly-elected Harare mayor Elias Mudzuri and virtually took
over the running of the city.

Mudzuri was subsequently dismissed in April this year.

In an interview with the Independent last week, Munich mayor Hep
Monatzeder's personal assistant Renate Hechenberger said cooperation would
remain frozen until the political situation in Harare improves.

"Cooperation with Harare remains frozen until someone democratically-elected
by the people of Harare takes over the mayoral office," Hechenberger said.

She said Munich had resolved to suspend links for as long as there was no
popularly-elected contact person trusted by the people of Harare.

"We initially didn't want to stop our cooperation with Harare because of the
positive response we got from the citizens of Germany following an appeal by
Harare residents. But because of the government of Zimbabwe's continued
interference and subsequent dismissal of the mayor we had no option.

"We are however still receiving donations from well-wishers but these will
not be shipped to Harare until democracy prevails in the city."

Hechenberger said when Mudzuri was in office he launched an appeal to Munich
for donations to overhaul clinics, the refuse collection system and water
treatment of the city of Harare.

"A delegation from Munich visited Harare to assess the need. When the appeal
was beginning to pay dividends, the mayor was suspended," she said.

She said the city of Munich was holding back water treatment machine spare
parts, refuse removal vehicle spares, computers and medical equipment all
donated by private companies.

"We hope to resume our cooperation with Harare as soon the powers to run the
city affairs are returned to the electorate. In the meantime we are
strengthening our links with private and civic groups that are working for
the development of the local authority," Hechenberger said.

Prior to the freezing of cooperation projects between the two cities, Munich
was helping Harare with technical know-how and exchange programmes in the
fields of water supply, waste management, health care and data processing.
Mudzuri had signed an agreement on the cooperation.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

Govt makes u-turn on UN food aid
Munyaradzi Wasosa
GOVERNMENT has made a significant u-turn by returning to the World Food
Programme (WFP) to ask for assistance despite President Robert Mugabe's
recent declaration that the country would not require food from donors, the
Zimbabwe Independent heard last week.

WFP regional public affairs officer for southern Africa, Mike Huggins, told
the Independent that the Zimbabwean government had made a request for aid
but wanted it in the form of "targeted assistance".

"The government of Zimbabwe, in the weeks following WFP's routine scaling
down (of operations in the country) announced it had produced a bumper
harvest this year and will no longer require emergency food aid assistance,"
Huggins said.

"It has however asked WFP to continue with targeted assistance for the
foreseeable future, which we are happy to do."

President Mugabe recently told Sky News that Zimbabwe would not need food
assistance because it expected a bumper harvest this season.

Groups set to benefit from the targeted food aid include orphans, lactating
women, and people living with HIV/Aids.

Said Huggins: "WFP will therefore continue to operate in Zimbabwe, feeding
550 000 people through targeted assistance programmes to orphans, those
suffering the effects of HIV/Aids, the elderly and malnourished children."

In March alone, WFP fed 4,5 million people, while in April at least four
million benefited from its food assistance.

Huggins refuted international media reports that a WFP team led by its
executive director and UN special representative for humanitarian needs for
southern Africa, James Morris, was snubbed by the Zimbabwean government.

"To set the record straight, Mr Morris and the UN team (of which I was a
member) were not 'snubbed'," Huggins said.

"It was a clash of schedules, which meant that Zimbabwe had to be dropped
from the mission's itinerary."

The team visited Namibia, Lesotho, Swaziland and Zambia.

Huggins said Harare had already offered to reschedule a meeting with the WFP

The purpose of the visit was to discuss the three pillars of the UN's
Consolidated Appeal Process, notably social sectors, HIV/Aids and economic

At the height of the food crisis in Zimbabwe, WFP fed at least 6,5 million

Said Huggins: "This was no easy feat, with WFP relying on the implementation
expert capabilities of 14 NGOs who effectively provided a lifeline to
Zimbabweans in their hour of need."

Morris told journalists in South Africa on June 22 that HIV/Aids was
worsening the food crises in the sub-region.

"HIV/Aids is greatly exacerbating the effects of food shortages in southern
Africa, and the epidemic is killing those who normally produce the region's
food," Morris said.

Zimbabwe has at least 800 000 orphans because of the pandemic and is ranked
among the top five countries in the world that have the highest rate of HIV
infections and death rates due to the Aids scourge.

The WFP director also said due to HIV/Aids, the sub-region has become the
world's greatest humanitarian crisis.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

Electoral law reforms get lukewarm reception
Gift Phiri
CIVIC groups have said electoral reforms tabled by the Zanu PF government
are useful "in as far as they go", but would need to be accompanied by other
measures to restore democratic governance.

Government last week announced the establishment of an "independent"
electoral commission to handle the forthcoming parliamentary election. It
proposed voting in one day, doing away with mobile polling stations and
increasing the number of static ones. The proposals envisage verification
and counting of ballots at the polling station, the use of translucent boxes
and visible indelible ink during polling.

The reforms propose the establishment of an electoral court to immediately
deal with major electoral disputes. The Zimbabwe Election Support Network
(ZESN), a coalition of 36 non-governmental organisations that has been
actively advocating substantial electoral reforms in keeping with the Sadc
parliamentary norms and standards, welcomed the reforms but said there were
a number of inconsistencies in the announcement.

"For example, it reports that the Registrar-General's Office will have no
role in the organisation and running of elections yet it proceeds to say
that the Registrar General's Office will continue to register voters,"
observed ZESN chairman, Dr Reginald Matchaba-Hove. "The report also adds
that the Delimitation Commission will continue to function. It is our
understanding that a fully independent electoral commission would have to
have complete authority over voter registration and delimitation of

Matchaba-Hove said flawed electoral processes were known to cause political
instability. He urged all political parties and other stakeholders to fully
embrace the "comprehensive electoral reforms".

"We look forward to seeing the proposals on paper for full debate in
parliament and elsewhere," he said.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

Critical food shortages forecast in southern Africa
SOUTHERN Africa will face critical food shortages in a number of countries
this year despite improved crop forecasts, a US-based food security unit
said on Wednesday.

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (Fewsnet) said overall cereal
production in the region was expected to post a shortfall of 1,468 million
tonnes with Lesotho, Malawi and Swaziland among the worst hit.

Improved weather and distribution systems have helped to alleviate the
shortfall, however.

Fewsnet said Zimbabwe posed a "serious challenge" for food security analysts
as President Robert Mugabe's government has declined to permit United
Nations agencies to conduct a crop assessment this year amid unexpected
official projections of a bumper harvest.

It said total regional output of maize, southern Africa's staple crop, was
expected to hit 17,36 million tonnes, or six percent less than last year's
level, an improvement over a 12% drop forecast in February.

Combined cereals output for the region was forecast to be 22,75 million
tonnes, hardly changed from last year's 22,76 million tonnes and about the
same as the past five year average.

Fewsnet said South Africa, Botswana and Angola would all see lower levels of
total cereal production, with the sharpest drops expected in Lesotho - down
46% from last year - Malawi and Swaziland.

"Extended periods of food insecurity and the impact of HIV/Aids have
weakened the resiliency of households, as well as setting back agricultural
recovery," Fewsnet said in its report.

Maize supplies were looking better with South Africa, Zambia and Mozambique
among those countries expected to enjoy exportable surpluses.

Fewsnet said preliminary crop assessments indicated the small kingdoms of
Lesotho and Swaziland would experience "critical" shortages of food
affecting large proportions of their populations this year, while southern
Malawi would also see food shortages due to poor growing conditions.

Angola was also assessed with estimates indicating that maize production has
risen by about 15% over last year.

Zimbabwe, in the grip of a political and economic crisis which Mugabe's
critics blame in part on his controversial policy of seizing white-owned
farms to give to landless blacks, says it no longer needs international food

Aid officials and local farmers groups have expressed doubts over Zimbabwe's
crop expectations, and a recent vulnerability study indicated that as many
as 2,3 million Zimbabweans could still face food supply problems.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

Aippa amendments to further curtail press freedom
Staff Writer
PROPOSED amendments to the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy
Act (Aippa) pose a great danger to press freedom and democratic principles,
a coalition of civil society organisations said this week.

Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition said proposed amendments to Sections 40 and 83
of Aippa violate the Constitution of Zimbabwe, the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights.

In an Extraordinary Government Gazette published two weeks ago, the
government, through the Department of Information, announced its intention
to introduce the amendment Bill in parliament for debate.

The Bill seeks to amend Section 40 of the Act, which requires that some
members of the Media and Information Commission (MIC) be appointed from
nominees of an association of journalists and an association of media

The department, headed by Jonathan Moyo, said that since an association of
media houses does not exit, the Bill proposes that nominations be received
from either or both such associations.

"The proposal is absurd in that it seeks to deny the existence of the
Advertising Media Association (Adma), a body that represents media houses in
the country," said Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition in its comments on the Bill.
"What Moyo seeks to achieve is to exclude publishers from taking part in
matters that affect them. For instance, if the MIC is to make a decision to
penalise an errant newspaper, it should have representatives from publishers
and journalists for it to be binding."

Retired Administrative Court president Michael Majuru in October last year
ruled that when the MIC refused to register the Daily News and the Daily
News on Sunday, it violated Section 40 because the MIC was improperly
constituted. There was no representative of media houses.

The coalition noted that Moyo was seeking to sanitise Section 40 before the
Supreme Court ruling in the case involving the government and Associated
Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ) in which the MIC refused to register the
privately-owned company's two titles.

It was argued that the MIC did not follow provisions of Section 40 when it
denied ANZ registration and it did not have a representative of media houses
when it refused to register the Daily News and the Daily News On Sunday. The
coalition said the amendments were an admission that the MIC did not comply
with the provisions of Section 40.

Section 83 of the Act, which prohibits unaccredited or suspended journalists
from practising, will be amended to provide a penalty which is presently
absent. The Bill proposes that persons who contravene the section be guilty
of an offence and liable to a fine or imprisonment not exceeding two years
or both.

The coalition said the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides in Section 20 of
the Bill of Rights for freedom of expression including freedom to hold
opinions and to receive and impart ideas and information without
interference, and freedom from interference with correspondence.

"The minister has successfully made a consistent attack on such freedoms and
in the end criminalised the journalism profession. By banning three private
newspapers in the space of one year, Moyo has gone further than what the
colonial regime of Ian Smith did. He has destroyed our civil liberties with
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

Zim to export wildlife to China
Godfrey Marawanyika
ZIMBABWE plans to start exporting wildlife to China in the third quarter of
the year although it is not yet known what animal species will be involved,
the Zimbabwe Independent has established.

Senior officials of the National Parks and Wildlife Authority are expected
to leave for China this month to undertake an ecological assessment on where
the animals will be kept.

The assessment is a requirement of the Convention For the International
Trade in Endangered Spices (Cites) before animals can be moved from one
ecological region to another.

A Chinese delegation is also expected to visit Harare to finalise the deal
once National Parks officials have done their assessment.

Environment and Tourism minister Francis Nhema confirmed to the Independent
that Zimbabwe would be exporting wildlife to China but said this was part of
an exchange programme.

"Last year when we were in China we asked for four tigers on an experimental
basis. I know South Africa got six from China. This is just an exchange
programme, as they (the Chinese) want to restock their parks," he said.

"I am not sure when the National Parks officials will be leaving for China
and when the Chinese team will be coming over."

Nhema could not say where the tigers are currently being kept.

In 2000 Zimbabwe also exported animals that included lions, buffaloes,
giraffes and leopards to Nigeria.

Some of the animals are being housed at Nigeria's State House whilst others
are kept at a Children's Park.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

Wheat shortfall looms
Augustine Mukaro
ANOTHER serious wheat shortfall looms this year as the area put under the
winter crop continues to shrink.

In the current season an estimated 60% of between 65 000 and 85 000 hectares
that are normally put under irrigated winter wheat has been planted.

Information to hand shows that the few remaining white commercial farmers
across the country planted around 15 000 hectares and newly-resettled
farmers about 25 000 hectares.

Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union (ZCFU) past president Thomas Nherera said
an estimated 40 000 hectares had been put under winter crop with planting
coming to an end now.

"The area planted is expected to yield around 270 000 tonnes and government
will have to import to fill the shortfall. Above all, there will be a need
to also import 80 000 tonnes of hard wheat to mix with the local product,"
Nherera said.

Zimbabwe has an annual wheat consumption of 400 000 tonnes excluding the
hard wheat which has always been imported.

Agricultural experts said wheat production this year was projected to hit an
all-time low due to delays in the planting which might affect both output
and quality.

"Planting of the wheat only started two weeks after the official planting
date and is still continuing a month later," an expert said.

"The late planted crop is likely to encroach into the rainy season before it

matures and that will affect quality."

Winter wheat planting started late this year because of Grain Marketing

Board delays in releasing seeds and other inputs.

Experts said production would be adversely affected by lack of irrigation
equipment which was vandalised in the course of government's fast track land
reform programme.

"Winter wheat is an all-out irrigation crop, so under the prevailing
conditions it's not likely to yield much," another agricultural expect said.
Under optimum conditions with the use of modern irrigation facilities a
maximum six tonnes of wheat can be produced per hectare.

The experts said Zimbabwe was estimated to have irrigation equipment
covering only 18 000 hectares operational, down from the 85 000 hectares
that could be irrigated before the inception of the land reform programme.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

Hippo Pools resort under threat
Munyaradzi Wasosa
THE security of workers and wildlife at Hippo Pools Wilderness Camp is under
serious threat from poachers and suspected Zanu PF activists who are
wreaking havoc in the camp, allegedly working in cahoots with National Parks
employees, the Zimbabwe Independent heard last week.

Hippo Pools Wilderness Camp is in the Shamva/Mazowe area in Mashonaland

In an interview, Iain Jarvis, the executive director of Harare-based
Wilderness Africa Trust (WAT) and owner of the Hippo Pools project, said
unidentified people armed with rifles visited the camp a fortnight ago and
fired several shots.

"Workers at the camp told me that people engaged in hunting, together with
the usual National Parks personnel, had been to the camp, where they fired
several rifle shots on June 15," Jarvis said.

The National Parks and Wildlife Authority leases the no-hunting 10
000-hectare camp to Jarvis.

The camp is part of the 74 000- hectare Mufurudzi Safari Area under National
Parks management.

Jarvis alleges that Cloud Masaraure, a Mufurudzi game warden, is using Zanu
PF youths and local poachers to intimidate camp workers and tourists who
visit the camp.

"Masaraure is definitely behind all this, and has for some time been
disrupting tourism activities at the camp using Zanu PF youths," Jarvis

In October 2003, Zanu PF youths from Shamva invaded the camp, forcing
tourists to flee in the middle of the night.

A source privy to the goings-on in the area told this paper that in May, a
group of Zanu PF youths hired a truck from neighbouring Natural Stone mine
intending to launch a fresh raid on the camp.

"The truck was barred from proceeding to the camp in Shamva by locals who
sympathised with the Hippo Pools project," the source said.

Jarvis' lawyers, Honey & Blanckenberg, on June 2 wrote Masaraure a letter
warning him to desist from his activities.

"We have been instructed that at your insistence and request, you are
organising members of Zanu PF to carry out yet another invasion at the Hippo
Pools Wilderness Camp," the letter said.

"If such actions are carried out, we will hold you personally responsible
and institute proceedings for damages in your individual capacity."

Jarvis said Masaraure was using the youths to destroy no-hunting signs
erected around the camp.

Masaraure's activities began in 2003. On November 5 2003, Jarvis wrote a
letter to former National Parks director-general Vitalis Chadenga, alleging
Masaraure was using Zanu PF youths to occupy the resort.

"So far, we have had four incidents whereby Masaraure has brought in local
political people to help him solve his problems in Mufurudzi," Jarvis said.

"I confirmed that Masaraure transported Zanu PF youths in a National Parks
vehicle and used them to terrorise people who had to go into hiding."

This paper has in its possession a copy of a letter written to National
Parks and Wildlife Authority director-general, Dr Morris Mtsambiwa, by the
Zimbabwe Association of Tourist and Safari Operators (Zatso) dated June 10.

"As you may well know, there was recently an indication that the invaders
were trying to make another effort to claim the Hippo Pools area, but the
invasion did not take place," Zatso said.

Mtsambiwa could not be reached for comment. The Independent was told that he
was attending a series of meetings this week.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

Mugabe tries Makonde again
Ndamu Sandu
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe's nephew, Leo Mugabe, has set his sights on Makonde
again after the expulsion of Kindness Paradza from the seat over the

Paradza, who won primaries and the subsequent by-election earlier this year
on a Zanu PF ticket, was expelled on Saturday for, among other things,
insubordination and causing divisions in the party.

The Mashonaland West provincial coordinating committee accused Paradza of
undermining party and government policies.

Provincial chairman, Philip Chiyangwa, will formally write to the party's

politburo and central committee informing them of their decision to expel

Mugabe, who lost the primaries to Paradza earlier this year, told the
Zimbabwe Independent this week that he had declared his candidacy for the

"I am interested in Makonde and the people of Makonde want me. I want to
contest in the election," he said.

"I was preparing for next year's election but with the expulsion of Paradza
I have to declare my interest in the by-election. I have no doubt in my mind
that I have done my part."

It is not known whether or when there will be a by-election. A general
election has been slated for March next year.

According toZanu PF structu-res, the district coordinating committee (DCC)
nominates candidates to besubmitted to theprovincial executive.

Chiyangwa told the Independent this week the interested candidates were
submitting curriculum vitae to the DCC.

"The DCC will then forward names to the provincial executive which in turn
forwards them to the politburo and central committee," said Chiyangwa.

Paradza courted trouble when he was accused of seeking financial assistance
from British organisations to buy a controlling stake in Africa Tribune
Newspapers, publishers of the Tribune.

The paper has since been closed down and the title is challenging its
closure in the courts.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

Plot holders take Arda to court
Augustine Mukaro
The Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (Arda)'s bid to acquire
Kintyre Estates has suffered a major setback after the 60 plot holders on
the estate took the parastatal to court to reverse the takeover, the
Zimbabwe Independent heard this week.

The development comes barely a day after the quasi-government agricultural
arm lost its case to seize equipment at Kondozi Farm near Odzi. The High
Court on Wednesday granted Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe a final order to
repossess all movable farming equipment on the farm.

The seizure of Kondozi Farm by Zanu PF through Arda and the abrupt closure
of the horticultural concern adversely affected the company's financiers,
Barclays-Fincor, Zimbank-Syfrets and African Banking Corporation who had
collectively invested about $37 billion in the project.

Plot holders at Kintyre Estates, about 30km west of Harare on the Bulawayo
road, told the Independent that they had teamed up to file an interdict
against Arda and the case is due to be heard in the High Court shortly.

"There is no way Arda or even government can take our plots because we
purchased them," one plot holder said.

The plot holders bought the land three years ago from a business syndicate
that had purchased the land from a former white commercial farmer.

The syndicate subdivided the farm into 12-hectare plots meant for
residential, commercial farming, and export processing zone activities.

Arda has already moved in its tractors that are preparing the land to plant
wheat. Kintyre was at the centre of controversy three weeks ago after
Minister of State for Policy Implementation, Webster Shamu's visit to the

Shamu is understood to have castigated the farmers for not fully utilising
the land, accusing them of leaving the once highly productive land idle.

Arda has moved in on the pretext that it wants to restore the estate to its
former glory.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

Rebellious Zanu PF MPs whipped into line
Gift Phiri
The Criminal Procedure and Evidence Bill sailed through the House yesterday
after rebellious Zanu PF MPs were whipped into line.

Parliament passed the anti-graft laws with three major amendments. The new
regulations will allow Zimbabwean police to hold suspects accused of
economic crimes including corruption, money laundering and illegal dealing
in foreign exchange and gold, for up to 21 days without bail. No court has
the jurisdiction to grant such accused persons bail.

Presidential Powers were initially used to amend the Criminal Procedure and
Evidence Act, which enabled the police to hold suspects for a up to 28 days
without bail.

On Tuesday Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa told parliament after a
mini-revolt by MPs that concessions had been made.

"The consolidated text actually incorporates three suggestions from the
Parliamentary Legal Committee in order to improve the text and these were
the reduction of the period of detention from 28 days to 21 days and that we
insist that at the time the accused person is brought to court that there is
at that time a reasonable suspicion that the person has committed an
offence," Chinamasa told parliament on Tuesday.

"We also incorporated a further suggestion that after the expiry of the
period, the accused person be brought to the court for remand within 48
hours or 96 hours as the circumstances may warrant."

Ruling party sources told the Independent that the issue was supposed to be
discussed at a special Zanu PF caucus on Tuesday morning. But the meeting
did not take place as Zanu PF legislators boycotted the gathering.

The Independent was told that the issue took centre stage at the cabinet
meeting on Tuesday where President Mugabe issued a stern warning that anyone
who opposed the Bill risked facing disciplinary action.

"The president stated that he was not amused with the behaviour of some of
the MPs who were working against party policy," said a cabinet minister who
attended the Tuesday meeting. "He highlighted the importance of passing this
Bill into law before August."

The presidential decree which amended the Criminal Procedure and Evidence
Act expires in August. The presidential regulations came into force in

The Bill sailed through parliament during the third reading yesterday
without further hurdles.

The Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act largely reenacts, with
modifications, the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) (Amendment of
Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act) Regulations.

Opposition legislators had rejected the legislation on the basis that it
violated fundamental rights such as the presumption of innocence, which is
the supporting tenet of the justice delivery system.

MDC legal secretary David Coltart told parliament the new detention laws

for a wide range of political offences were reminiscent of those in force
during apartheid in South Africa.

"The laws are the most repressive of any nation in the Sadc (Southern
African Development Community) and would widely affect freedom of political
activity in the run up to parliamentary elections in eight months," said
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

Zanu PF 'childish'
Gift Phiri
THE motion moved and adopted by parliament this week calling on government
to institute an inquiry into the alleged treasonous activities of the
Movement for Democratic Change is an attempt to divert people's attention
from the regime's failure to provide basic necessities to the nation, the
opposition party said yesterday.

"The regime has for 24 years failed to come up with a coherent programme
aimed at bringing about a better life to the people," said MDC spokesperson
Paul Themba Nyathi. "Instead, it has continued to pursue politically
expedient flip-flop policies aimed at enriching its cronies. By contrast,
the MDC is ready and waiting with its comprehensive Restart programme to
give the people of Zimbabwe a fresh start after years of continuous failings
by a dishonest dictatorship."

Nyathi said Zanu PF felt cornered because it had failed to come up with a
programme to serve the people. Instead of coming up with prudent programmes
it continued to invest in a vindictive agenda of looking for enemies and
picking petty wars, he said.

Parliament this week adopted a motion calling on the government to
investigate, as a matter of urgency, the full import of a recent statement
by British prime minister Tony Blair that he was working closely with the
MDC for a change of government in Zimbabwe.

Nyathi said a country that quarrels with 90% of the world has a failed
foreign policy.

"In contrast, the people of Zimbabwe in general, and the MDC in particular,
will continue to work with anybody in any part of the world who is in
solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe and is desirous of promoting the
country's democratic principles," said Nyathi.

"The MDC shall continue to concentrate on programmes that seek to bring
about a better life for the people of Zimbabwe and strongly urges Zanu PF to
stop the childish behaviour and bitterness and put the people first."

Nyathi said the people would not be fooled and would continue to ask why
Zimbabwe has more enemies than friends and why the people are hungrier and
poorer today than at Independence.

"They know who is responsible," said Nyathi. "They are clear who the
deceitful cronies that have amassed all the land at the expense of the
people are. The people know that hundreds of thousands of jobs continue to
be lost due to the policies of a regime that feeds on corruption."
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

Barclays victim of data robbery
Godfrey Marawanyika /Anita Fleming
STOCK exchange-listed Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe has become the second
financial institution to fall victim to computer data robbery, the Zimbabwe
Independent has established.

Barclays lost computer hard drives which contained classified information on
the bank and its clientele. The hard drives were stolen over the weekend.

Barclays has since informed the central bank of the incident.

Barclays Bank spokesperson, Sibongile Mapungwana, yesterday confirmed the
theft of the computer equipment.

"The first evidence of theft was on Saturday, June 19," she said.

"We have reported the matter to the police and they are carrying out

Of all the banks that are operating locally, Barclays is the largest by

In February, NMB fell victim to hard-drive robbery and up to now the case is
still to be resolved.

Mapungwana said although Barclays had reported the matter to both the
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and the police, its internal team was also
investigating the theft.

She could not however clarify if the bank suspected any foul play, saying
the motive of the crime was still a mystery.

"The motive for the theft is not known. However, we are anxious to get to
the bottom of the matter and await the outcome of ongoing investigations."

Since February the government has been using the temporary Exchange Control
Regulations to deal with firms and individuals suspected of having
externalised foreign currency.

The state has also been using the a statutory instrument amending the
Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act to deny bail to arrested persons accused
of economic crimes.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

Mixed reaction to electoral law reform

Dumisani Muleya

THE sweeping electoral law reforms proposed by the ruling Zanu PF last
Friday have been met with a mixture of public approval and scepticism.

Political analysts said while the envisaged reforms - which were apparently
prompted by inter-party talks and regional pressure - were welcome, there
were still lingering questions over the autonomy of the proposed Zimbabwe
Electoral Commission (ZEC) and the state of the broad political climate.

Analysts said although they backed the changes in principle, they were at
the same time aware that the devil lay in the detail.

They said the ZEC would by no means be sufficiently independent if its
chairperson was appointed by an interested party, President Robert Mugabe.
The analysts also said it was clear the reforms would not address issues
such as the poisoned political environment and violence associated with

National Constitutional Assembly chairman and University of Zimbabwe law
lecturer Lovemore Madhuku said the planned reforms were superficial and
would not bring any sea change as expected by some.

"The proposed reforms are not fundamental and will therefore not bring any
meaningful change," Madhuku said. "They are actually old wine in a new
bottle. What is needed in Zimbabwe is fundamental constitutional reform
which will overhaul the system in its entirety and usher in a new democratic

Madhuku said tinkering with the electoral laws in isolation would not make
any real difference. "These are piecemeal reforms designed to ensure Mugabe'
s political survival. They are no different from the botched constitutional
reform process a few years ago," he said.

"As long there is no change in political culture and repressive laws like
Posa (Public Order & Security Act) and Aippa (Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy Act) remain, nothing will change at the end of the

UZ political scientist John Makumbe said although some aspects of the
reforms were positive, they would, however, not level the electoral playing

"There are some positive changes but certainly they will not level the
playing field," Makumbe said. "It is positive to have the elections in one
day, to use transparent ballot boxes and have counting done at polling
centres. But the results will still be taken to the National Command Centre
and that is where rigging takes place."

Makumbe said the National Command Centre was the hub of election rigging and
needed to be dismantled. "It happened in 2002 and we have the evidence to
prove it in a court of law," he said.

Brian Kagoro, chairman of Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, an alliance of civic
groups, described the electoral changes as "cosmetic". Rather than changing
the content of electoral law, he said, efforts should be made to change the
political culture and conditions for elections.

Kagoro said this could be achieved through the "opening up of democratic
space, which allows political parties and civil groups to operate freely".

According to Zanu PF secretary for legal affairs, Patrick Chinamasa's draft
proposal for electoral reforms presented to the ruling party's politburo
last Friday, the ZEC will be publicly-funded and accountable to parliament.

The ZEC will replace the current Electoral Supervisory Commission which is
administered by government through Chinamasa's Justice ministry. It will
have a total of five members appointed by the president from a list of nine
persons nominated by a parliamentary committee composed of members of all
political parties represented in parliament. The ZEC chairperson will be
appointed by Mugabe.

The commission will recruit its own secretariat, including the chief
electoral officer. Chinamasa proposed that the current staff at the
Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede's office be transferred out of the Public
Service Commission to ZEC which "can then set up its own recruitment
structures thereafter".

Makumbe said this was simply unacceptable because it would defeat the whole
idea of reform. He said a new electoral agency would need untainted hands to
guarantee its credibility.

"The president should not appoint the chairperson of the proposed commission
because he is an interested party. That person should be appointed by
parliament strictly on the basis of merit," Makumbe said.

Malawi's Election Commission members are appointed by the president for a
four-year term. The chairperson, a judge, is nominated by the Judicial
Service Commission.

South Africa's Independent Electoral Commission consists of five members,
one of whom is a judge, appointed by the president for a seven-year term
from a list of names submitted by an independent panel of parliament.

Analysts say while the appointment system of electoral commissions is almost
the same throughout the Southern African Development Community (Sadc), the
problem was that the Zimbabwean reforms were coming in the midst of a deep
political and economic crisis in which polarisation along party lines was
very deep.

They say Mugabe would make his appointments with the morbid fear of possible
defeat in elections gripping his mind. This would almost certainly eliminate
any chance of impartiality in his appointments.

The Sadc Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections, which
informed Chinamasa's proposals, require the establishment of impartial
electoral bodies.

Sadc member states are required to "establish impartial, all-inclusive,
competent, and accountable national electoral bodies staffed by qualified
personnel, as well as competent legal entities including effective
constitutional courts to arbitrate in the event of disputes arising from the
conduct of elections".

They also have an obligation to "safeguard human and civil liberties of all
citizens, including freedom of movement, assembly, association, expression
and campaigning".

Furthermore, Sadc member states should "take necessary measures and
precautions to prevent the perpetration of fraud, rigging, or any other
illegal practices throughout the whole electoral process".

Makumbe said Zimbabwe's elections would not be free and fair unless the
political environment was rid of "pervasive political repression, thuggish
Zanu PF militias, political violence, intimidation, illegal no-go areas
during campaigns, vote-buying, rigging and fraud".

He said state security forces - considered the decisive factor during the
hotly-disputed 2002 presidential election - should not be allowed to dabble
in elections, except guaranteeing voters' safety.

Madhuku said the media - both state-owned and independent - should be freed
from tyrannical shackles to give all political parties an opportunity to air
their views and market their policies without undue restrictions during

The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) welcomed the electoral reform
proposals but rejected the idea of Mugabe appointing the ZEC chairperson.

MDC secretary-general, Welshman Ncube, said while the ZEC was needed, his
party did not agree with the proposal for Mugabe to choose its head. "The
MDC believes that in order to have an independent electoral commission the
method of appointment must be a subject of negotiation by all stakeholders
including civil society, the MDC and Zanu PF," Ncube said. "Consequently the
MDC is opposed to the appointment system, which might lead to a commission
that is completely subservient to Zanu PF like the Media and Information
Commission led by Tafataona Mahoso."

Zanu PF spokesman Nathan Shamuyarira said the changes were good because "the
entire electoral process will be handled by the new commission - we will
have nothing to do with it".

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai said it was imperative to have credible and
sound electoral institutions because free and fair elections were the key to
democratic and national development.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent


Removing rubble from the electoral road

MOST Zimbabweans will welcome the electoral reforms approved by Zanu PF's
politburo last Friday. They will now go to cabinet before parliament debates

The proposals follow close-ly the Southern African De-velopment Community's
draft principles and guidelines on democratic elections which are due to be
endorsed at Sadc's Mauritius summit in August.

They are also in accord with the Sadc parliamentary forum's electoral norms
and standards which Zimbabwe has approved but not given practical effect to.

Most of the reforms approved last week can be found in the MDC's 15 demands
for electoral reform published earlier this year, recently condensed into

But it is pressure from Sadc that has almost certainly prodded the ruling
party to accept changes that it has hitherto refused to contemplate,
including the central proposal for an independent supervisory body.

Sadc leaders, and in particular South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki, would
have had difficulty endorsing Zanu PF's anticipated electoral victory in
March so long as Zimbabwe remained out of step with the rest of the region
on electoral management. When Sadc heads meet in Mauritius next month Mbeki
will be able to point to Zimbabwe's reforms and claim a victory for quiet

And he will have every reason to be satisfied. Zanu PF has come a long way
in accepting conditions - on paper at least - that would have stuck in its
partisan throat only six months ago. After all, only recently Patrick
Chinamasa was seeking to tighten Zanu PF's grip on the electoral process and
declaring his opposition to reform.

Hopefully, when the proposals come before parliament, MPs will question the
president's powers of appointment to the electoral commission and address
the other anomalies such as the role of the National Command Centre.

Zanu PF's inability to proceed by consensus is illustrated by the way these
measures went before its communist-era politburo before being agreed by
stakeholders. Bad old habits evidently die hard.

But the most salient criticism in all this must be Sadc's failure to address
the poisonous political climate in Zimbabwe which renders any electoral
reform pointless. Zanu PF's militias still roam the land, Posa prevents the
opposition from holding rallies, and there is no access for the opposition
to the public media.

The recent debate in parliament where Zanu PF MPs accused the opposition of
treachery because their supporters abroad exercised their right to protest
illustrates the depth of the democratic deficit in Zimbabwe.

These are issues for those drafting the Sadc guidelines which will not go
away. The danger here is that Mbeki and his colleagues may assume they have
no more work to do now the electoral reforms are headed for the statute

It is difficult to believe that Mbeki could forget about Posa and Aippa
having repeatedly assured the world of their imminent repeal last year.

But Sadc leaders may be preparing to nod through a flawed election on the
grounds that the electoral system has been cleaned up and political violence
has diminished.

It is clear from remarks made by the outgoing British ambassador recently
that the British and Americans are being briefed on progress on political
reform. Mbeki, we can safely suppose, is keeping them informed in order to
hold them at arm's length to propitiate President Mugabe's prickly
nationalist sensitivities.

But it will be difficult to keep "imperialist" observers out when a properly
independent electoral commission, responsible for accrediting observers, is
finally appointed.

Anti-imperialist hot air is the price we must pay in the meantime for
meaningful reform.

Whatever the obstacles on the road to free and fair elections, one big
boulder is being rolled out of the way. Now we have to remove the rest of
the rubble left in the road by years of manipulation, coercion and fraud.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

Eric Bloch Column

Steady decline of Zimbabwean manufacturing

RECENTLY released data from the Central Statistical Office (CSO) evidences
the magnitude of the continuing decline of Zimbabwean manufacture.

That decline is an economic tragedy, as Zimbabwe could so readily have
enjoyed massive growth. As the second most industrialised country in Comesa,
and with a geographic location facilitative of ready delivery of
manufactured goods to most of Comesa's member-states, Zimbabwe could have a
very considerable market of more than 320 million people, over and above
diverse other export markets and the servicing of domestic market needs.
Instead, Zimbabwe sacrificed its opportunities to political dictates and
governmental mismanagement, its neighbours capitalising on Zimbabwe's
foolhardy disregard for the prospects of economic growth.

Between 1990 and 1998, Zimbabwe's manufacturing sector grew, albeit by a not
impressive 6,6%. However, the relatively minimal extent of that growth
should not be cavalierly dismissed for, in practice, it was primarily
achieved during the comparatively brief period of 1994 to 1997 when -for a
regrettably all-too-short period of time - government positively pursued
economic recovery and growth. During those few years, government made some
genuine endeavours to bring about economic transformation and improve the
lot of most Zimbabweans, instead of focusing almost exclusively upon
entrenchment of its power and enhancement of the wealth of those in the
hierarchy of political control of Zimbabwe.

Unfortunately, the development of the manufacturing sector was short-lived,
for in late 1997 government once again allowed the objectives of power
retention to override the welfare of the population. All attempts of
constructive land reform were abandoned and the economy was cast into
spiralling decline by embarking upon a grossly profligate programme of
"compensation" to tens of thousands of war veterans (a few of whom were
possibly deserving of some compensation, but most of whom had little or no
justification for a governmental largesse which would inevitably cause
crippling fiscal deficits, immense borrowings by the State, and rapidly
progressing hyperinflation).

These, and other, acts by a government that was heedless to all advice set
the economy on a path of collapse.

Foremost in that collapse has been the very foundation of the economy, being
agriculture, but the collapse of the industrial sector has also been very
considerable. By the end of 2003, agricultural output was, at best, 40% of
that in 1998, and industrial output reduced to 64%. Every single element of
the manufacturing sector contracted over the six-year period of 1998 to
2003. The CSO data (which includes estimates of production in November and
December 2003) demonstrates that as against a 1990 index of 100, only two
sectors of industry had grown over a 14-year period, being the wood sector
at 162,9 and clothing at 104,4. All others had shrunk considerably, with
chemicals having an index ranking of 68,0. Metals at 65,4. Drink and tobacco
at 62,0. Paper 61,2 and non-metals 60,0. Even more horrific was the decline
of the food sector at 48,5, transport at 38,6 and textiles at 32,0 whilst
all other sectors were at 33,4. But of particular significance is that in
contrast to these dismal index levels at 2003, only four elements of the
manufacturing sector were below the 1990 index of 100 in 1998, being food at
83,7, textiles at 79,1, metals at 77,5 and other non-specified elements at
69,2. The other seven classifications had all enjoyed growth between 1990
and 1998, with the most significant being wood, which had soared to a
spectacular 342,8. Non-metals were at 126,7, chemicals at 120,3, clothing at
114,6, drink and tobacco at 111,1, paper at 102,7, and transport at 101,1.
But from 1998 to 2003 every single facet of the manufacturing sector shrunk
almost continuously, year on year, with the sole exceptions being that
clothing grew marginally by 7,3% in the 4 years to 2001, whilst metals grew
by 5,7% in the 3 years to 2000.

For most of the manufacturing sectors, the decline between 1998 and 2003 was
horrifyingly great. Transport shrunk by 61,8%, textiles by 59,54%,
non-metals by 52,64% and wood by 52,47%. The non-classified sectors declined
by 51,73%, drink and tobacco by 44,19%, chemicals by 43,47%, food by 42,05%,
paper by 40,41%, and clothing by 8,9%. In the main, the reduction in
manufacturing output occurred in the last two years for, prior thereto,
industrial contraction was relatively insignificant in extent.

This tragic development, markedly in contrast with the indisputably great
prospects of industrial growth so evidenced in the final years of the 20th
century, is attributable to a variety of factors. First and foremost was the
destruction which characterised the agricultural sector as government
intensified its calamitous programme of land acquisition, redistribution and
resettlement. That sector had accounted directly for over 18% of Gross
Domestic Product (GDP), whilst its indirect contribution downstream within
the economy as a by-product of the spending of agricultural profits, wages
and salaries accounted for an estimated further approximately 17%.
Agriculture was the incontrovertible foundation and mainstay of the economy.
(At that time, government could credibly have heralded that "The land is the
economy, The economy is the land", but that is distressingly no longer so!).
As the production in agriculture became ever less, that sector required
lesser production from the manufacturing sector.

Similarly, as agricultural incomes diminished, so too did consumer spending
on industrial outputs. And as the demand for those outputs became less and
less, the demand by some industrial enterprises upon other industrial
enterprises also lessened. The emaciation of manufacturing had commenced,
and all because government was dogmatically and obdurately determined to
pursue a transformation of agriculture founded upon political objectives,
extreme racism, and gross injustice. It did so notwithstanding that there
were widespread representations as to other ways of achieving agricultural
transformation - ways which would not only not bring agriculture to its
knees, but would have achieved equitable, merit-based redistribution and
resettlement, and would have enabled agriculture to contribute to economic
growth. Those representations did not synergise with government's
perspectives of how to maximise support at the polls. They did not reconcile
with government's deep-seated racial bias. So they were not even accorded
consideration. Instead, government persisted, and still persists, with its
ill-chosen path, no matter the negative consequences.

The manufacturing sector was also, and continues to be, a victim of
inflation. Inflation has been caused by many, diverse factors. Of particular
impact was the devastating depreciation of the Zimbabwean dollar in
November, 1997. That had been as a direct consequence of the war veteran
compensation programme, and the further depreciation as foreign currency
scarcity intensified as a result of declining agricultural production,
inflation-driven falls in export-market competitiveness, alienation of the
international community and, in particular, the donor states, and increasing
loss of foreign investor interest.

That loss of interest was partially reactive to the deteriorating economy,
and partially to an intensifying governmental contempt for the fundamental
principles of human rights, law and order, and democracy, concurrently with
the adoption of a profoundly confrontational stance against all countries
that did not align themselves with Zimbabwe's authoritarian, racial and
economic policies. The surge of inflation to hyperinflation levels rapidly
eroded consumer spending power and, therefore, consumer demand upon the
manufacturing sector. The pronounced inflation was also not accompanied,
since 2000, with commensurate exchange rate adjustments and, as a result, a
vast majority of manufacturing exporters were, at the least, forced to
reduce their export operations considerably, whilst many others had to
discontinue exports entirely.

The resultant drop in productivity was catalytic of yet further inflation,
creating an ongoing spiral of diminishing production, including closure of
many enterprises.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent


Conversion on the road to Zvimba

ANYBODY reading last Saturday's official press must have wondered if there
had been a change of government. "Sweeping changes to polls," we were told
by the Herald, "RG's office won't be involved", "Independent body to conduct
elections", "Voting to take place in one day".

Where was all this coming from? These obviously weren't Zanu PF's policies
that Patrick Chinamasa was asking the politburo to approve. Only a few weeks
ago he was proposing amendments to the Electoral Act that sought to restrict
civic contributions. But here he was last Friday, telling the politburo of a
raft of reforms that appeared to owe more to MDC demands than any we have
heard from the ruling party.

Since when has Zanu PF favoured an independent electoral commission? Isn't
that something they have fought tooth and nail against over the past four
years? And where did they tell the Americans to go when they last proposed
translucent ballot boxes?

Don't we recall one-day elections appearing in the MDC's latest list of
conditions? And hasn't removing Tobaiwa Mudede from managing polls been
fundamental to just about everybody's, except Zanu PF's, agenda?

Then there was that small matter of voters having to prove domicile with
scraps of paper from chiefs. Now just an ID card will do!

But obviously these electoral concessions owe more to regional pressure than
domestic persuasion. They reflect, after all, the Sadc parliamentary forum's
norms. And despite official attempts to pretend that Sadc parliaments are
not really part of Sadc - as if only governments matter! - the Sadc
parliamentary norms have been translated into the draft Sadc principles and
guidelines on electoral management to which all governments in the region
are expected to agree at their summit in Mauritius in August.

Zimbabwe's belated adherence will enable President Mbeki and his colleagues
to argue that quiet diplomacy and political dialogue work!

So far so good. But this leaves the obvious question: What is the point of a
reformed electoral supervisory process when political intolerance and
violence persist? Already we have suspicious "political analysts" telling us
that "elections in Zimbabwe have always been substantially free and fair and
Zimbabwe has one of the best electoral systems not just in the region but in
the world."

The "analysts" weren't asked why, if that was the case, Zimbabwe was now
having to change just about every aspect of its electoral management!

Not content with "analysts" of this sort, the Sunday Mail thought we might
like to know the views of a motor mechanic who quickly admitted he was not
"well versed" in electoral matters. But his skills as a panel beater may
come in useful when the measures go before parliament.

What has become of Philip Chiyangwa? The Chinhoyi MP, often described in
the media as "flamboyant", used to be a politician with definite views on a
wide range of subjects, somebody who was very obviously his own man. Like
him or hate him, you had to admire his chutzpah. Not afraid to court
controversy, he stood up for the indigenous business sector and was happy to
be described as one of the "Young Turks" who would introduce new blood to
Zimbabwe's sclerotic leadership.

Now he happily persecutes black businessmen like Kindness Paradza and leads
the campaign in parliament to punish MDC leaders for "disrupting" RBZ
governor Gideon Gono's recent visit to Britain and South Africa - as if
Zimbabweans abroad didn't have the right to express their views.

These are not positions he would have bothered with in the past. After all,
are his views on Aippa and the Broadcasting Services Act very different from

So how do we explain this conversion on the road to Zvimba? The answer is
not difficult to find. Philip has allowed himself to be embraced by the
patronage system of the Big- Headed one to whom all must bow in order to
survive in the ruthless contest now under way. Even though Chiyangwa is an
elected member with his own support base, the events of January illustrated
that swimming in Zimbabwe's shark-infested sea is dangerous without the
right sort of patrons. Supposedly powerful people were unable to help when
he needed them most.

So he has now fallen in with political charlatans who, because of their
proximity to the throne, can offer preferment to those that bend their knee.
That includes endorsing the likes of Leo, with a record of own goals, for
Paradza's seat.

We don't begrudge Philip his ambitions. But it is rather sad to see a
self-confident and talented scion of the party become in six short months so
very obviously somebody else's man!

Still with the Big-Headed one, you have to feel a certain pity for his
long-winded literary alter ego, Nutty Nathaniel. Every week he expresses his
frustration that the Zimbabwe Independent won't share his attempts to divert
public attention from human rights abuses in Zimbabwe by pointing to the
mistreatment of prisoners in Iraq. His own media have dutifully done that,
studiously ignoring torture cases at home.

Nutty Nat is free to pretend these have never taken place. But he should not
expect the rest of the nation to share in his deceit.

Meanwhile, Smutty Nat has been denounced as a hypocrite of note by a
vengeful e-mailer who has stories to tell and beans to spill. Hell hath no
fury like a fellow publicist betrayed, it would seem. His retributive tales
about goings on in Kenya and Joburg have been entertaining thousands, both
at home and in the diaspora, and help to explain why Nat is so keen to get
his hands on other people's communications.

This is bound to be an ongoing saga so stay tuned.

The Sunday Mail's "Social Scene" last weekend appeared to be rather limited
to the Zimbabwe/Algeria match and a graduation party held by Zimpapers CEO
Justin Mutasa for his son.

The party was held on a farm Mutasa has acquired in Raffingora. One picture
showed rather despondent Herald football club members being consoled with a
meal following their loss to the Mutasa football club, presumably some
affiliate of the boss. The other showed women dancing chihodho.

We didn't learn what Shingirai Mutasa had graduated from. But whatever it
was, the Sunday Mail was clearly happy to oblige with coverage!

'Prominent economist" Dr Samuel Undenge appears to think that if there were
no corrupt people in Zimbabwe, the country would not need external aid nor
would it have the problems that now affect everyone.

He made this observation at a seminar organised by the National Economic
Consultative Forum that appeared aimed at providing a number of apologists
with a platform for finding excuses for Zimbabwe's current predicament.

Is Undenge seriously suggesting that the commercial farming sector would not
have been sabotaged, that tobacco and horticultural exports would not have
collapsed, and tourism would not have suffered? What exactly is his PhD in?

Perhaps we should ask Ignatius Chombo the same thing. He has frozen rate
increases in Harare because of "much lower inflation and stable exchange

The proposed increases were unjustified because the Zimbabwe dollar had
stabilised against major currencies and prices of goods had gone down owing
to the strengthening of the local currency, he was reported as saying.

It would be useful to know from Chombo exactly which products have gone down
in price over the past six months. While ratepayers will appreciate being
spared massive rate hikes, the cost of populist interventions will sooner or
later catch up with them. Because we can be sure government won't be picking
up the tab for any shortfalls once the election is out of the way.

Did anybody take seriously the screamer on Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings'
Newsnet, "Blair admits working with the MDC to effect a regime change in
Zimbabwe"? The Information minister went to town to proclaim how it had
finally been confirmed that the MDC was a puppet of the British.

British prime minister Tony Blair told the House of Commons his government
was working "closely with the MDC on measures that we should take in respect
of Zimbabwe . It is important that we give every chance to, and make every
effort to try to help, those in South Africa - the southern part of Africa -
to put pressure for change on the Mugabe regime, because there is no
salvation for the people of Zimbabwe until that regime is changed."

Muckraker is still wondering what's so new in all this. How is it different
from Dzikamai Mavhaire's "Mugabe must go" motion not so many years ago? Wasn
't that a sign that Zimbabweans were tired and in need of a change of
regime? Of course the likes of Nathaniel Manheru will pretend they are not
aware that people overwhelmingly voted "No" in the constitutional referendum
because they were fed up with the Mugabe regime.

There are few left in Zanu PF who have the conviction of people like
Mavhaire to tell Mugabe to go. The rest choose to skulk in the dark corners
because they can't listen to their conscience, which might cost them a few
juicy privileges which go with being part of the Zanu PF gravy train. Which
in part explains why Mugabe himself thinks he doesn't have a fitting
successor. They are all cowards. Ask Margaret Dongo if in doubt.

But back to the Blair statement. All we understood it to mean is simply a
confirmation of the general mood in the country that Mugabe has become our
biggest liability. He is so stuck with the past he doesn't seem to believe
there is a Zimbabwe beyond him and the liberation war. But we know that Tony
Blair has been working with the MDC.

He has been working with Thabo Mbeki and other Sadc leaders. He has been
trying to work with Zanu PF to resume dialogue with the MDC. Nobody doesn't
know that. US president George Bush said as much when he said Mbeki was the
point man to deal with Zimbabwe's crisis. Mbeki's much maligned "quiet
diplomacy" has all been about finding a peaceful solution to the Zimbabwe
conundrum - to avoid dangerous implosion on the scale of Somalia.

In his excitement about this very old and tired story Manheru claimed Blair
made the revelation "just ten days ago, on 14th June, 2005". See you then

Zimbabwe's newly resettled farmers must have got a pretty healthy insight
into Zanu PF's food fixing techniques. An official appeared on Newsnet on
Tuesday to allay the fears of those aspiring farmers who had failed to meet
the May 1 deadline for the planting of the winter wheat.

Not to fear. When planted on time the wheat should be harvested before
November so that it is not spoiled by the rains. So for those who planted
later than May 1, the official said, all they need to do is to starve the
wheat crop of moisture so that it matures prematurely at the same time as
the early planted crop.

Some voodoo science that appears to work in Zanu PF politics - starve
opposition supporters a little and force them to vote for you - has now been
extended to crops so that they ripen according to Zanu PF's schedule. No
wonder the quality of the bread is insufferable.

Also caught in the same Tuesday bulletin was MDC MP for St Mary's, Job
Sikhala. He provoked the ire of Zanu PF moral charlatans in parliament by
alleging that former British minister for Overseas Development Linda Chalker
made frequent visits to Zimbabwe during her tenure of office because she had
a secret lover here.

Foreign Affairs minister Stan Mudenge immediately leapt to his feet in
protest. He dissociated the government of Zimbabwe and its people from such
an abominable allegation.

"The honourable member implies that Linda Chalker was a woman of loose
morals," fumed Mudenge. Among those who took offence at Sikhala's allegation
was Mt Darwin Zanu PF MP Saviour Kasukuwere.

Muckraker was immediately reminded of the same Kasukuwere giving "Toilet"
Tambaoga $200 000 for his near scatological Agrimende song denouncing
British prime minister Tony Blair. When Tambaoga sang "the only blair that I
know is a toilet" at the height of anti-British propaganda, Kasukuwere
rewarded him with the handsome donation.

Which is more offensive - the amorous allegation against Chalker or equating
the prime minister of her country to a toilet?

And both hypocrites had just ended their parliamentary contributions in
which they took turns to denounce Blair "for admitting" that he was working
with the opposition MDC to topple a popularly elected government. What can
one say of such fellows? Beyond shame.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

Zesa needs US$1 billion for station upgrades
Eric Chiriga
THE cash-strapped Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) needs US$1
billion to upgrade Hwange and Kariba power stations.

The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs, Industry and
International Trade made the revelations in its report on a rescue plan for
industry and commerce made available last month.

"The Zimbabwe Electricity Sup-ply Authority power supply's problems are
impacting negatively on the operations of industry," the report said.

It said to avert this problem Zesa requires about US$1 billion to expand

Hwange and Kariba stations. The committee said it was informed that apart
from constant power cuts and high tariffs, industry's viability were
threatened by an anticipated power shortage in three years' time.

"Investors from Malaysia, India, China and Iran are willing to come on board
once the question of security on their investments is guaranteed," the
report said.

Several investors are reluctant to invest in Zimbabwe mainly because of the
political instability and poor economic environment.

The report also revealed that 35% of Zimbabwe's electricity, which is
imported, was not being serviced timely.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

'Zim embassies useless'
Roadwin Chirara
ZIMBABWE National Chamber of Commerce president Luxon Zembe says most of the
country's embassies are not serving any useful economic purpose and should
be shaken up or closed down immediately.

In an interview Zembe said embassies were merely doing public relations and
political tasks instead of concentrating on trying to bring business to help
shore up the country's ailing economy.

Zimbabwe has close to 33 embassies scattered around the world.

"Our embassies seem to serve mainly public relations and political functions

which is not their core purpose," Zembe said. "Embassies justify their
presence and should bring economic benefits to the country. If they fail to
do so then they are a waste of time."

Zembe castigated the country's current marketing strategy, saying the state
had failed to devise anything comprehensive.

He said the current strategies employed had failed to bear fruit and at the
same time were done in a disorderly manner.

"As a country our current strategy to marketing the country is disorganised
to the extent that government has neglected engaging the business community
when designing a national strategy for marketing," Zembe said.

He said government's individualistic tendency saw it organising a delegation
to the past Comesa summit and the business community was left with the task
of organising its own.

He said such tendencies were not beneficial to the country's development and
called for a uniform approach to encourage investments.

He said his organisation was worried about the resources being used by the
various delegations that had gone out to market the country but failed to
bring back results.

"We need, as a country, to be accountable to the resources that have been
ploughed into the various missions and as a country take an audit of where
we have gone wrong," said Zembe.

He said some members who took part in some of the missions were becoming a
liability to the country because they use up funds but fail to justify their
involvement in the huge delegations.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

Air Zim looks East
Godfrey Marawanyika
AIR Zimbabwe is scouting for a possible strategic alliance with other
airlines to ply the Zimbabwe/Far East route.

The move comes as government has increased its search for business in the
Far East, especially China, after having been slapped with targeted
sanctions by countries in the West, including the European Union and the
United States.

Air Zimbabwe is considering such bargains as code sharing, ticket selling or
a strategic alliance similar to that Kenya Airways has with KLM or what
South African Airways concluded with Nigeria Airways.

According to the "Restructuring strategy for the period 2006", done by the
Privatisation Agency of Zimbabwe (Paz), the scouting for the alliance is
being carried out in line with government interests.

"The airline industry is a fundamental component for the economy as it is a
representation of Zimbabwe on the international stage," Paz said in its
policy document. "Any improvement in the national airline industry thus
directly influences perceptions on Zimbabwe and impacts upon its
development, as it will contribute to the tourism sector.

"Internationally, Air Zimbabwe is moving to the Far East for possible
strategic alliances because of government's business and tourism interests."

The Paz policy document has short-listed Air Zimbabwe alongside eight other
institutions for complete or partial privatisation.

Air Zimbabwe spokesperson Arthur Manase this week skirted written questions
raised by businessdigest on the issue.

"Your questions have been noted," he said. "They relate to far-reaching

policy decisions which the airline, through its shareholder, government, and
in particular the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Transport and
Communications, will unveil when the time is appropriate."
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent


Who's fanning hostility: Studio 7 or ZBC?

I HAVE listened to Studio 7 almost every day. I have read the Herald,
Chronicle, Sunday Mail and I have listened to ZBC Newsnet. Being too poor to
afford a dish, I have no choice. I am now wondering what to be hostile is.

Who defines the term hostile? Is telling the truth hostile? Is laying the
facts bare being hostile? Is a station hostile because Tafataona Mahoso,
Jonathan Moyo or Tazzen Mandizvidza say so?

Listen to Dumiyake, Brenda Moyo, Ray Choto and others at Studio 7 report -
so professional and balanced.

When MDC legislator Roy Bennett turned bull at provocative Patrick Chinamasa
and his body's swerve had Didymus Mutasa throwing himself under the bench in
the House, we heard hogwash from ZBC, the Herald, the unelected MPs and some
bunch of unschooled idiots masquerading as patriotic Zimbabweans. This was
being hostile. They turned on all whites and spread more terror and fear in
other people.

Listen to Zvikomborero Sibanda on ZBC Newsnet telling the whole nation that
MDC is a British-sponsored and directed party yet she does not even have a
shred of evidence to support this.

Listen to Patrice Makova telling us of a man shot accidentally as he tried
to shoot a Zanu PF supporter in Chimanimani yet the man was gunned down by
Zanu PF supporters who were invading Bennett's farm.

Listen to Cleo Tsimba reading lies about how a white man shot a new farmer
yet she does not tell us that he was defending himself after a lot of
assaults on him.

Now tune in to Studio 7 and listen to them getting the truth from all people
involved. They talk to Health minister David Parirenyatwa about the unfair
distribution of ARVs, they talk to Agriculture minister Joseph Made about
the maize yields and they seek the MDC's Renson Gasela's opinion. They talk
to Welshman Ncube about the lies being peddled by ZBC so as to hear both
sides of the story.

Did we not hear Mutasa saying if "the people" harm Bennett he asked for it
and the government will not protect him? So what is hostile about Studio 7?
So whenever the truth is said, Zanu PF, especially these newcomers in the
party, feel offended.

Look at Mahoso: instead of just reminding a publisher about re-registering,
he closes the paper for a year and who in his right mind can invest in such
an environment. As far as he is concerned, the number of the unemployed in
the country does not matter as long as the truth is suppressed. He is the
only person on earth who trains people so that they remain unemployed.

As for the Botswana Minister of Information, try to do something better for
your country than take orders from Jonathan Moyo. You are not, as that ANC
buffoon said, a province of another country. If you get your money's worth
for them to be in Botswana so be it. At least we thank you for hosting a
station that tells us the truth, not the bumper harvest we are told about.
Bread is now unaffordable yet the Herald screams "bread price goes down".

As to Moyo, can you allow these ZBC reporters to write their own stories? As
for ZBC reporters and news readers, ask yourselves where you will be when
the winds of change come along.

Will we let you off the hook with the amount of hatred you are spewing

everyday? Will we forgive you when thousands starve yet you had reported
bumper harvests? Will we salute you for creating so much enmity amongst
people by your being abused by ministers to report falsely on others?

Where is your conscience when you read a story of a teacher who has been
beaten by barbed wire yet you say parents peacefully demonstrated against a
teacher who was teaching students about the MDC?

We will, yes, respect Brenda Moyo, Blessing Zulu, Ray Choto, Plaxedes
Jeremiah, Carol Gombakomba and their colleagues for a job well done. Theirs
are reports not emotions, news gathering not parroting, true facts not
distortions. And for that, the station is called hostile!

God help us save Studio 7 from the sharks. To Jonathan Moyo, ban the
manufacture of radios with shortwave or AM functionality rather than try to
force other countries to shut down a station.

Trevor Ryan Mashayamombe,

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent


Explain this paradox

The double standards in our chaotic land reform programme leave a lot to be

I wonder whether anyone can explain to me what "Doctor" Richard Ngwenya is
still doing at Mount Hampden Dasura Farm on Old Mazowe Road when he was
allocated Colleen Wood Farm in Concession.

Is this not a mockery of government's policy of one-man-one-farm?

Ngwenya publicly brags of being well-connected to the extent of being immune
to the one-man-one-farm policy.

Would someone care to explain the Ngwenya paradox?

Irate New Farmer,

Mount Hampden.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

Editor's Memo

Moving up

THE Committee to Protect Journalists in New York recently reported that
Zimbabwe was one of the most dangerous countries in the world for

As you may have gathered from reading the official press, the Zimbabwe
Independent now stands in the government's line of fire as our increasingly
paranoid rulers attempt to silence all voices other than their own. This is
quite evidently part of a wider plan to close democratic space.

Firstly the Daily News and its stablemate the Daily News On Sunday were shut
down for providing an alternative view to the ruling party's stale and
deceitful mouthpieces. The Daily News was manifestly more popular than the
Herald and everybody - including the Department of Information - knew it.
Their mistake was to exercise their constitutional right to challenge Aippa
in the courts.

Then, last month, the Media and Information Commission, the government's
chosen instrument in suppressing the independent media, moved against the
Tribune on the spurious grounds that it had not been informed about changes
in ownership.

In fact we can be sure that its publisher's maiden speech to parliament in
which he committed the heresy of criticising Aippa and the Broadcasting
Services Act was the most likely reason for the paper's suspension. That and
a growing obsession generally about the free flow of information which
exposes official claims such as those of "bumper harvests" as nothing more
than shameless deception.

Now that three newspapers have been effectively silenced - at least for the
time being - the heat is being turned up on us. I am not referring here to
the puerile abuse heaped upon myself and my colleagues by what
Vice-President Msika aptly called "immoral little boys".

Their long-winded essays, replete with threats and clumsy innuendo, are
passed by us to visiting journalists who ask if they can have photocopies to
entertain their colleagues back home!

More sinister is the persistent harassment by the Media and Information
Commission which appears to be ignorant of elementary facts about newspapers
in the region. Its chairman, Tafataona Mahoso, for instance thinks the Mail
& Guardian has a "foreign desk".

The Sunday Times has a foreign desk. So does the (South African) Independent
Newspapers Group. But not a small paper like the M&G - at least not just

In addition to knowing very little about the operations of newspapers, one
of the MIC's main flaws is the way it is constituted. Representatives of
journalists' associations and publishers are supposed to be included on it.

I am not aware of any process by which journalists were consulted as to who
their representatives should be, other than a letter written by the
President's Office to Mathew Takaona. ADMA represents media houses but the
government claims there is no association of publishers as such.

This has occasioned an amendment to Aippa designed to fill these holes.
Whether this panel-beating will save Aippa from its pending constitutional
appeal remains to be seen.

What we do know is that laws of this sort have no place in a democracy.

When the government of Sweden recently invited a group of journalists to
Stockholm to see whether Mahoso's claim that Sweden's press laws were even
more stringent than our own, the Department of Information reportedly
stepped in to forbid state journalists from participating.

In other words they were prevented from seeing for themselves whether
official claims were true. Those who did make the trip quickly discovered
they weren't. Sweden has no curbs on press freedom. Nothing like Aippa

There is one silver lining in this cloud of political repression. It is a
tribute to the staff of the Independent that it is the main target of the
state's wrath. That means we are making a difference - apart of course from
making them as mad as hell!

Earlier this year I proposed to our publishers a reorganisation of staff
that would allow me more time to think "strategically". As we remain only
one of three independent newspapers still on the market - the others of
course being the Standard and the Financial Gazette - it is important that
we utilise our resources to maximum effect and give readers our best shot.
We are keenly aware for instance of the need to beef up weekend reading, to
provide more entertainment and travel news, and perhaps even restore our
eating out column.

We are also keen to give our reporters a chance to prove themselves as
managers. Vincent Kahiya, for instance, has proved a tireless news editor
who, while writing his own stories, has kept a watchful eye on those of
others. Reporters taking short cuts have difficulty getting past him. His
boundless energy and commitment to the paper deserve recognition. He moves
up to Editor as from yesterday.

Dumisani Muleya is without doubt the best political reporter on the market.
His stories - encompassing diplomacy, politics, and banking - have recently
received recognition at an awards ceremony in London. Constantly on top of
the political scene with a mastery of complex detail, his advice to me as
editor has been invaluable.

Dumisani becomes News Editor.

Ngoni Chanakira is a veteran of the business desk and has a prodigious
output of stories. He manages to attend meetings, do interviews and motivate
colleagues without any loss of stamina. He becomes Business Editor. He is
joined at the business desk by Conrad Dube who returns to us after an
absence of a year. He is a promising business reporter who has a nose for
news and good writing skills.

Finally, Darlington Majonga joins us as a sub-editor (features). He will
join Teldah Mawarire and Oliver Shambira in producing our supplements and
weekend features.

Joram Nyathi, who has been our literary anchor since the newspaper's
inception in 1996, remains in charge of the production process but moves up
to Deputy Editor. If you hear the crack of a whip, it is his.

Meanwhile, I have joined our very able management team headed by Raphael
Khumalo as Group Projects Editor. That will enable me to concentrate on
training and product quality. We are already sending senior staff to the M&G
for skills development and I hope those synergies will continue to be

And no, I won't be tempted to be editor of both the Independent and Standard
as some jokers have suggested. Doubling my workload is not my idea of job
satisfaction. Producing better reading is. You be the judge.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Politics and Persuasion:
Media Coverage of Zimbabwe's 2000 Election
By Ragnar Waldahl
ISBN 0 77922 027 8
Z$55,000 (excl. VAT)

'All experience shows that access to the media is a decisive political resource in modern society. By the end of the 1990s, ZANU (PF) had lost an important advantage over its political rivals in this respect.'

In March 1999, the establishment of The Daily News put an end to the media's one-sided presentation of Zimbabwe's political situation, and gave the opposition an important channel of communication.

Ragnar Waldahl demonstrates how this alternative to the state-run media gave voters access for the first time to competing accounts of the state of political affairs, and made the 2000 election the most exciting and open in Zimbabwe's short history. He sets his review of press and television coverage against the background of the country's political development and offers a detailed analysis of the origination, nature and impact of that coverage.

Ragnar Waldahl is a professor in the University of Oslo's Department of Media and Communication.

The book is available from Prestige Books, Fife Avenue Shopping Centre or directly from us.
Cost: Z$55,000 (before VAT)
In the UK it is available from the African Books Collective in Oxford.

Irene Staunton
Weaver Press,
Box 1922,
Phone 308330
Fax 339645

You might want to go to our Website for information on this month's new titles:
Back to the Top
Back to Index