By a Correspondent
KOFI Annan, the United Nations secretary general, met with President
Robert Mugabe yesterday on the sidelines of the African Union's 7th Ordinary
Summit but details from the meeting are still sketchy.
Mugabe and Annan met for about 40 minutes, according to the
state-controlled Sunday Mail. Also in the meeting held at the Sheraton Hotel
were foreign affairs minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, Patrick Chinamasa, the
justice minister, foreign affairs secretary Joey Bimha and the UN
Under-Secretary General for African Affairs, Ibrahim Gambari.
A statement on the meeting is yet to be issued.
Annan has been trying to meet with Mugabe in an effort to engage
Harare in international talks about the crisis engulfing the country, its
future, and possibly set a date for a visit to the country.
The politburo, Zanu PF's supreme decision making body, gave Mugabe the
green light meet with Annan but not to agree to any conditions he may set
for him to leave office and pave way for fresh elections. It is not yet
clear whether this subject came up or not in the meeting.
Following widespread media reports that Annan was coming with a deal
in his pocket to help ease Mugabe out of power so a transitional government
could be put in place ahead of free and fair elections, the politburo said
their government would "not accept any suggestions for a transitional
government or economic rescue packages tied to veiled attempts of regime
Before leaving New York Annan told journalists the international
community, should find a way of assisting Zimbabwe to come back to the fold
and to turn around its economy and its social systems.
However emphasising his government's refusal to even discuss
constitutional change and an interim administration with Annan ahead of the
meeting, Mugabe insisted Zimbabwe did not need any international rescue
"There are so many so-called 'initiatives' to rescue Zimbabwe. We are
not dying. We don't need any rescue. We will not collapse. Maybe we are
suffering, yes. But we will never die," Mugabe said last week.
IAN MATHER DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT
WHATEVER happened to the Commission for Africa? Created by Tony Blair ahead
of the Gleneagles Summit a year ago, "to make a real difference to Africa",
this high-powered body of international dignitaries was presented to the
world as the centrepiece of a global drive against African poverty.
But last week when Blair announced plans to chase up the Group of Eight (G8)
countries on the pledges they made last year the job went not to the
Commission for Africa but to a new United Nations panel to be led by the
Secretary-General Kofi Annan and including Bob Geldof and Nigeria's
President Obasanjo. The panel will be funded by Bill Gates, founder of
The Commission for Africa ceased to function after the Gleneagles summit in
Scotland, and has not met for nearly a year. Its press office has closed.
Yet the record of the past year shows that many governments have failed to
live up to their promises, and that there would have been plenty of work for
the Commission to do.
The three main pledges made at Gleneagles related to debt relief, aid and
trade. Geldof, organiser of the Make Poverty History campaign that forced
the G8 leaders to make Africa a priority, last week summed up the results so
far as "the good, the OK and the ugly", with performance on debt relief
being good, on aid as "OK" and on trade as ugly.
The Gleneagles summit did produce some genuine help for Africa. By next
month, the debts of the 18 poorest countries, most of them in Africa,
totalling $50bn, will have been cancelled according to plan.
The world's poorest countries can now choose how to spend the money they
were using to repay debts. Some are using it to tackle their own country's
poverty. In Zambia, the government has recruited 4,500 new teachers and made
healthcare free. In Tanzania, it has bought food for areas hit by drought.
In Ghana, the money saved has been spent on infrastructure such as road
The G8's promise to double aid by $50bn a year by 2010 - half to Africa - is
impossible to assess at this stage. Aid did rise by a third in 2005, but
most of that was to write off the debts of Iraq and Nigeria rather than to
help the poorest.
The US-based DATA (Debt Aids Trade Africa) non-governmental organisation
said last week that France was the only country on track to meet the target.
The US, Britain and Italy were "off track". Canada and Germany's aid had
fallen and Japan's figures were not made available.
But the biggest failure is on trade. Many analysts regard the removal of
trade barriers by the advanced countries as the key to lifting Africa out of
poverty. There is no sign of agreement on how to rectify the imbalance of
trade between Africa and western nations. At a recent World Trade
Organisation meeting in Hong Kong, "staunch opposition" from the US and
Japan scuppered G8 plans to open up their markets to all goods from the
poorest countries, according to Actionaid.
"Not a banana has been delivered," says Richard Dowden, director of the
Royal African society. "Nothing has been achieved, and Europe and America
keep the agricultural subsidies that do so much damage to Africa's ability
to earn its own living in the world."
There was another side of the Gleneagles bargain. African leaders promised
to promote democracy and economic growth, while showing "zero tolerance" of
Some, including Rwanda, Mozambique and Liberia are trying to deliver health
and education to their people. Others, such as Sudan, Zimbabwe and Kenya are
still run by corrupt élites.
Embarrassingly for Blair, two of his former close allies in Africa,
President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of
Ethiopia, have already ditched the principles of good governance for which
the latter gained a seat on Blair's Commission for Africa.
The Department for International Development (DFID) says that it was always
intended that the Commission for Africa would stop its work once it had
produced a report. But it now looks as though it was a temporary public
relations exercise to appease the Make Poverty History movement. The whole
subject of aid for Africa has been dropped from the forthcoming G8 summit in
This article: http://news.scotsman.com/international.cfm?id=964642006
Last updated: 02-Jul-06 01:32 BST
By Heidi Vogt
July 2, 2006
BANJUL, Gambia -- A summit of African leaders opened yesterday with a
special welcome for the firebrand presidents of Iran and Venezuela, each
visiting the world's poorest continent to win support for his anti-American
Gambian President Yahya Jammeh hailed the presence of Venezuela's
President Hugo Chavez and Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the summit
of the 53-nation African Union as "a morale booster as well as an assurance
that Africa can make it."
Mr. Ahmadinejad's visit was seen as an attempt to bolster Iran in its
standoff with the United States and Europe over its nuclear program. The
Iranian president has made several high-profile trips to Asia, where he drew
crowds of Muslims cheering Tehran for defying the West.
He prayed with African Muslims at Banjul's main mosque Friday,
encouraging Gambian Muslims to "come together on the path of Islam to God."
Ninety percent of Gambia's 1.6 million people are Muslim, and Islam is a
powerful force throughout much of Africa.
Mr. Chavez repeated his attacks on the United States and President Bush
in his speeches, and worked to form Latin American trading blocs to
counterbalance U.S. economic power.
His country, the world's ninth-largest oil producer, has talked to
African oil producers about potential collaborations, though no agreements
have been signed, said Richard Mendez, deputy head of mission at the
Venezuelan Embassy in Ethiopia.
Iran is the world's fourth-largest oil producer.
Mr. Mendez added that Venezuela is hoping for African support in its bid
for one of the rotating seats on the U.N. Security Council, a proposal
opposed by the United States.
But Mr. Chavez's appearance was more reflective of a broad desire to
show solidarity with Africa, Mr. Mendez said.
The Venezuelan leader also is planning to visit Iran next month to
discuss energy issues.
Leaders at the weekend summit were expected to address issues including
the conflict in Sudan's Darfur region, the rise of a hard-line Islamic
regime in Somalia and often-deadly illegal migration by Africans to Europe.
Even if resolutions are passed, African Union members aren't bound by
them and the body has little funding to pursue independent action.
Among African leaders confirmed to attend were South Africa's Thabo
Mbeki, Libya's Moammar Gadhafi, Liberia's Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Nigeria's
Olusegun Obasanjo, Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe and Kenya's Mwai Kibaki.
BY FOSTER DONGOZI
THE Zanu PF Politburo has revived investigations into the
operations of the ruling party's business empire - formerly presided over by
Emmerson Mnangagwa - in what insiders said were renewed attempts to
frustrate Mnangagwa ahead of President Robert Mugabe's retirement.
President Mugabe has kept people guessing about his retirement
plans, amid suggestions that he wants to cling to power until 2010.
Despite getting the backing of six out of the party's 10
provincial structures in 2004, Mnangagwa was elbowed out of the race by
Mugabe, who elevated Joice Mujuru to the position of vice president.
However, Zanu PF information chief, Nathan Shamuyarira,
dismissed the claims.
"That is not true; there is no re-opening of investigations. The
companies you mention were touched upon in a report to the Politburo. In
fact, no serious debate took place on that. So there is no return to the
Politburo members told The Standard that a meeting, which they
held at the end of May, had resulted in questions being raised on the
operations of the ruling party's business empire.
"Some of the questions on the operations of Catercraft, First
Banking Corporation, Zidlee Enterprises, Zidco Holdings and other companies
were asked by President Robert Mugabe himself. In fact, other members of the
Politburo were afraid to ask questions on how the business empire was run
because they feared Mnangagwa," said another Politburo member.
The Standard's sources claimed a defiant Mnangagwa shot back
saying there was nothing he did without Mugabes knowledge. He reportedly
said he was not seeking anybody's protection.
Mnangagwa was not immediately available for comment.
At the burial of former Information Minister, Tichaona Jokonya,
on Thursday, Mugabe recognised the presence of Retired General Solomon
Mujuru ahead of serving ministers. The retired soldier is the husband of
Vice President Mujuru, who did not attend the burial.
Zanu PF chairman and Speaker of the House of Assembly, John
Nkomo, was further down the list of dignitaries acknowledged by Mugabe.
Probes into Mnangagwa's financial past were reportedly
resuscitated by the Mujuru camp, allegedly to "finish him off".
Mnangagwa, who is the Minister for Rural Housing, has apparently
been consolidating his position in rural areas, Zanu PF's stronghold.
Upon discovering this, the Mujuru camp panicked and drew up a
programme for the Vice President to visit all rural centres.
By Terry Mutsvanga
A REVOLT by Warren Park residents and calls for resistance by
the Combined Harare Residents' Association (CHRA) last week, forced the
bungling Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) to reverse massive water
increases it had effected The Standard can reveal.
On Friday, the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and
Urban Development Ignatious Chombo convened an urgent meeting with Zinwa and
Harare City Council officials fearing the demonstrations could spread to
others suburbs and explode into uncontrollable national protests.
The government is edgy about any forms of protests after the
opposition MDC, the labour movement and students threatened imminent
demonstrations to protest against government's misrule.
Zinwa had put up bulk water rates from $8 000 to $80 000 a cubic
metre while the council added a surcharge of 50%.
Warren Park angry residents last Wednesday staged a
demonstration at the District Council Offices forcing council workers to
lock themselves up in the offices.
The workers - including the District Officer a Mr Mupindu - were
rescued by the armed police from irate ratepayers brandishing water bills
and baying for their blood.
The situation only calmed down after the police drove the
protestors away from the district offices. The residents threatened to take
to the streets on Thursday again, forcing the government to suspend the
The residents had received high water bills ranging between $9
and $24 million for the month of June. The amounts are beyond the reach of
most urban Zimbabweans, who are already struggling to make ends meet.
One of the residents, Future Munagwa, said he received a bill of
"I was shocked to see such a high figure on my account as I just
use water for cooking and washing. This is totally unacceptable," he said.
One of the Warren Park residents, who identified himself only as
Mavuto queried what exactly had caused such huge increases in their bills.
Others were more forthright telling off council officials that
the infrastructure they were using was installed during Ian Smith's time and
wanted to know the justification for the shock increases.
The huge water bills were received in other suburbs of Harare.
Fay Vermaark of Greystone Park, for example, was shocked to
receive a bill amounting to $71 101 857,00 for June.
"Last month (May) I paid $18 million and this new bill comes as
a shock because as a family, our water is for domestic purposes only," she
CHRA last week encouraged Harare residents to boycott payment of
rates until new elections for the city are held.
It is not the first time that Zinwa has bungled. Early this
year, the water authority reversed high water tariffs it had charged
commercial farmers after a national outcry, which forced government to
Meanwhile, Zanu PF Harare province has called for the ouster of
the chairperson of the Commission running the affairs of Harare, Sekesai
Makwavarara, saying she was liability.
Zimbabwe's extravagant but totally inept political turncoat last
week suspended Town Clerk, Nomutsa Chideya, allegedly for incompetence.
Other than high water bills, Harare residents are up in arms
against frequent power cuts. Several people have lost electrical gadgets
such as DVD players, TVs, Radio and fridges as a result of power surges by
the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa).
Zesa spokesperson, James Maridadi, said most people in
high-density areas were actually paying less money than the power utility
uses to send statements to residents.
By our staff
FEMALE Zimbabwean students at Fort Hare University in South
Africa have resorted to prostitution in order to raise money for survival
while their male counterparts have opted to sell cigarettes to make ends
This comes at a time when the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee
on Education made startling revelations that female students in the country's
higher learning institutions had resorted to living with men and
prostitution to raise money for tuition and examination fees.
Speaking to The Standard last week a guardian who said he had a
nephew at Fort Hare said the Zimbabweans had turned Fort Hare University
into a "Sodom and Gomorrah" after the government dumped them in South Africa
with promises that money would be deposited into their accounts as soon as
they arrived in South Africa.
The guardian, who requested anonymity for fear of having his
relative victimised, said: "Zimbabwean students are living a pathetic life
at the university. My nephew narrated to me how they had been reduced to
The Fort Hare Presidential scholarship scheme was a brain child
of President Robert Mugabe and was supposed to benefit underprivileged but
Of late, relatives of politicians have been among the
According to the guardian, a few well-connected students on the
scholarship programme have not been affected by the hardships.
"The students went in January and only returned last week. How
else could they have survived other than to sell their bodies and
cigarettes," he asked.
The students only escaped the harsh realities after buses were
organised to bring them back home several days ago following the closure of
the university for holidays.
The normal arrangement, according to the students, has been that
they get money before the end of the semester. "This time we have been given
nothing. They have given us money only for transport to go to Zimbabwe and
have tightened up the conditions of the scholarship because they were not
happy to see articles in the newspapers," one of the students told The
"We have been desperately surviving up to Wednesday, two weeks
after closing," the student said. "Strictly speaking, things have changed
for the worst."
As a result of the hardships, some students have remained in
South Africa because of inadequate resources. Through assistance from
relatives, some of the students have managed to travel home during the
Students had also appealed to President Mugabe in the hope their
case would be speedily resolved.
However, in a letter purportedly written by some Fort Hare
students, some claimed all was well at the institution.
"The publication of the letter alleging starvation has shocked
all Zimbabwean students under the Presidential Scholarship. We wish to
enlighten the country and all its detractors that we are very well catered
for by the government and excelling in our studies as testified by the
recent graduation which produced distinctions among Zimbabweans," reads part
of the letter.
Efforts to get a comment from the university were fruitless as
the institution has closed for holidays.
By Godfrey Mutimba
MASVINGO - Lands, Land Reform and Resettlement Minister, Didymus
Mutasa, has ordered seven war veterans to move out of Chikore Farm in
Masvingo to pave way for Higher and Tertiary Education Minister, Stan
Mudenge, who had been embroiled in a bitter wrangle over ownership of the
land with the former freedom fighters since May this year.
As a result of the evictions, the war veterans who invaded the
farm in 2000 were forced to abandon their 24-hectare-tomato project, where
they expected to earn about $90 billion.
Mudenge has allegedly started harvesting the tomatoes.
Mutasa, who visited the farm a fortnight ago, told the war
veterans that they risked being arrested if they fail to move out of the
farm, which he said, was officially allocated to Mudenge's late wife,
"Makarima mumunda usiri wenyu saka munofanira kusiyira vaMudenge
ndivovakapiwa farm iri vanotori ne offer letter saka zvamakaita izvi hazvisi
pamutemo (You planted your crops in Mudenge's farm so you must leave. He has
an offer letter. What you did was unlawful)," Mutasa said.
Mutasa, who was addressing representatives of war veterans -
Mike Murindiri and Fabian Muwandi - said the former freedom fighters would
be arrested if they tried to disrupt operations at the farm.
The police have already set a "base" at the farm.
Mutasa said the farm was allocated to Mudenge's late wife, who
died in 2004 and so the Higher Education Minister "had the right to inherit
Mutasa, also in charge of national security, promised to find
alternative land for the farmers.
But the war veterans, however, claimed that they have been
undertaking horticultural activities on the farm since 2000. They said
Mudenge only came to the disputed farm in May and ordered them to move out.
"He (Mudenge) has started harvesting our produce, which he didn't
plant or maintain. We lost millions of dollars buying seeds, fertilizers and
looked after the crop but someone comes to harvest and sell the crop to
enrich himself," fumed Murindiri, one of the families' representatives.
At the meeting, the war veterans pleaded with Mutasa to allow
them to finish harvesting their crops but the Lands Minister maintained that
they should move out immediately.
They said they had invested about $500 million on the farming
projects and anticipated earnings of about $90 billion after harvesting.
Muwandi said the move was a blow to their livelihoods, as they
had no other means of generating income.
"This was our only means of survival and our families will be
affected extremely," he said. "Our children will drop out of school because
we will no longer afford to pay fees for them."
Muwandi, who says his Chimurenga name was Comrade Jongwe, said
the ministers were using "their political muscle" to drive them out.
Mudenge could not be reached for comment.
By John Mokwetsi
RONNIE Mutumba, a civil servant, is one of thousands whose homes
were destroyed during the clean up blitz last year.
He wracks his brains over how his meagre salary will stretch to
cover rentals, transport, and school fees on his new salary.
He used to live in a backyard cottage behind the main house
before the government, in what many believe was a moment of madness, decided
to demolish houses and flea markets in May 2005. Now he sits dejected among
rubble in the high-density suburb of Glen View.
Ironically, the government and local authorities had sanctioned
the housing schemes and flea markets destroyed during "Operation
While civil servants celebrated the "windfall" that came their
way through recent hefty salary increments, they knew they would have to
share with others.
His landlord, he knew, would immediately demand a sizeable
portion of the "cake".
"My landlord raised my rentals from $1.5 million to a staggering
$6 million a room for the three rooms I am renting."
Every time he receives phone calls from the landline in the main
house he is required to pay a fee.
Mutumba said: "Sometimes I wish the newsmen and government could
just not publicise our salaries. You have these landlords budgeting on how
you will use your money the day it is announced."
Mutumba's case is not isolated. In most high-density areas the
rentals are now equivalent to those in upmarket places like Avondale and
Belvedere as demand for shelter outstrips supply.
The abuse of rentals is an issue that has been talked about many
times with the government making empty promises of dealing with errant
Chengetai Kureva from Highfield said the government should not
make a lot of noise about landlords overcharging tenants. "They destroyed
houses and gave landlords the power to do whatever they want with us."
"Operation Murambatsvina", believed to have displaced or
destroyed the livelihoods of over 700 000 persons further strained the
country's poor and depressed economic activity.
Government officials have portrayed "Operation Garikai" as a
success, but Zimbabweans say very little has been achieved.
Last year in an interview, Roman Catholic Archbishop Pius Ncube
described "Operation Garikai" as a monumental joke.
He said: "The few houses built so far are tiny structures meant
for government forces and not families. Pastors, who looked after families,
a month ago, had found them dumped by the government 130 kilometres away
outside Bulawayo. They had been left in the middle of nowhere with no
shelter and no water.
"Putting them out of sight has been government's solution to the
housing crisis it created, and an admission that Garikai has failed to
provide accommodation for the displaced."
The rights of internally displaced persons characterised the
situation as a massive internal displacement.
In Anna Tibaijuka's report on her fact-finding mission to
Zimbabwe, the UN Special Envoy emphasised "an immediate need for the
Government of Zimbabwe to recognize the virtual state of emergency that has
resulted and to allow unhindered access by the international and
humanitarian community to assist those that have been affected."
Sasha Jogi, the president of Zimbabwe Institute of Regional and
Urban Planning, said it was not possible to normalise the housing situation
under the current set up. He said: "It will take a minimum of 10 years under
the current situation for housing to normalise in the country."
He said although land was available in the metropolitan region,
which includes Chitungwiza, Harare, Ruwa and Norton, the limitations are
that less of it is serviced.
Jogi said: "Yes, we have plenty of land, but not enough serviced
land for people to stay on. The vast land means nothing without water and
electricity because you need those to service the land that you eventually
give to people to start building houses on."
He however justified rental increases saying they are in line
Freda Garapu of Warren Park urged the government to look at the
issue of rents in high-density areas and live up to the promise of providing
"Rent is eroding the whole salary. Sometimes you wonder what has
gotten into people. One thing you are certain of is that rent is increased
after every two months. We all know the same cannot be said about salaries,"
By Nqobani Ndlovu
BULAWAYO - The government has allegedly told villagers in Dete,
Matabeleland North, to make way for an irrigation scheme commissioned early
this year by Vice President, Joice Mujuru.
The Standard learnt that the affected villagers in Makwandara
area of Dete are close to the proposed 100-hectare Magoli Irrigation Scheme.
They have, however, not been compensated for their relocation or allocated
an alternative resettlement area.
Mujuru commissioned the irrigation scheme in March. Nearly 50
hectares of land have been cleared.
A source said: "Villagers in Makwandara area have been told
their area falls under the irrigation scheme and have been informed that
they have to leave and make way for the irrigation scheme.
"What irks them is that the irrigation scheme was initiated
recently yet they have been staying there for years. The government should
have foreseen such a situation."
Another source said: "The government has not told them where
they will be resettled or whether they will be compensated for their
Contacted for comment, acting Hwange District Administrator
(DA), Siyatimbula Mupande, confirmed that the irrigation scheme had affected
However, he could not say where the affected villagers will be
resettled or how many were expected to abandon their homesteads.
Mupande said: "We can't talk of where they will be taken to and
how many have been affected before our assessments are over. There is an
on-going assessment to find out how many people will be affected because the
irrigation scheme is expected to expand into their areas and it is likely
that some will be affected."
Asked to comment on the issue, Simon Madyiwa, director for
irrigation in the Ministry of Water, which is carrying out the assessments,
said: "That kind of information can only be complete next week after I get
all details from our provincial staff."
"It's an issue of concern to everybody. It's a process (to find
out how many villagers would be affected) as we have to meet all
stakeholders, chiefs, farmers, villagers to find out how many will be
Jealous Sansole, MP for Hwange West, said it was unfortunate
that villagers would have to vacate as the government failed to initially
come up with proper measures of ensuring that all the people affected would
be well-catered for.
By our correspondent
THE Sunday Mail Chief reporter, Emilia Zindi, is facing charges
of stealing oranges worth over $80m from a farm in Chegutu.
Zindi recently appeared before a Chegutu magistrate facing
charges of theft after she allegedly stole 2 660 kg of oranges belonging to
Wilhelmina Hancing Swart at his Hippovale farm in Chegutu.
"The accused (Zindi) stole 2 660 kgs of oranges valued at $82, 4
million and nothing was recovered. The accused had no right to steal the
oranges," reads part of the charge against Zindi.
She was remanded out custody to 28 July 2006.
It is the State case that on 25 April, Zindi stopped the driver
of the complainant, Wright Milanzi, who was on his way to Chegutu with a
tractor loaded with 16 bins of oranges.
The oranges, according to the court papers, were being taken to
Dodhill Packing shed.
But Zindi, it is alleged, ordered the driver to park the tractor
and was told to go away leaving behind the tractor and two trailers loaded
The following morning, the bins were then checked by the
complainant, who discovered that seven bins had been emptied. A report was
made to the police and nothing was recovered.
Zindi who is popularly known as "the daughter of Zanu PF" in
Chegutu is a beneficiary of the government's land redistribution exercise
and owns part of Hippovale.
BY VALENTINE MAPONGA
DESPERATE for hard currency, the government is planning to raise
foreign exchange through goat exports to the Middle East.
The Minister of Women's Affairs, Gender and Community
Development, Oppah Muchinguri, told villagers at Nyamahumba Primary School
in Nyanga last week that there is a "ready international market" for their
goats to help raise foreign currency.
Muchinguri said: "We have plans to build abattoirs across the
country for this project because we have got a ready market for the goats in
the Middle East. The government does not have enough foreign currency to buy
food in cases of drought so we urge you to engage in projects that will keep
your communities self-sustainable."
Muchinguri was speaking at a function organised by the Canadian
Embassy for the commissioning of poultry and piggery projects aimed at
reducing poverty in the Ruwangwe and Nyamahumba communities.
She took the opportunity to discuss other projects, which her
ministry intends to roll out.
The minister also urged the villagers to change eating habits
and start growing cassava as the tuberous plant fares well in dry regions
compared to the staple maize.
On the shortages of drugs in the country's hospitals and
clinics, Muchinguri urged people to use herbs.
Canada, through the Canadian International Development Agency,
contributed $8,8 billion towards projects in the district.
By Nqobani Ndlovu
BULAWAYO - A man from Gwanda in Matabeleland South will appear
at the Gwanda Provincial Magistrates Court tomorrow facing charges of
allegedly insulting President Robert Mugabe.
Bassanio Chikwiriri will appear before Gwanda Magistrate,
Douglas Zvenyika, facing allegations of making derogatory statements about
Mugabe as well as accusing him of being the architect of the country's
Chikwiriri was arrested in October last year and taken to court
on 29 May this year. He is out on free bail.
The State case is that on 24 September last year at the Talk of
Gwanda Restaurant and Nightclub, Chikwiriri made the derogatory remarks in
reference to Mugabe in Shona. But Chikwiriri is denying the charges.
Through his lawyer, Chikwiriri argues that the allegations
emanate from frosty relations he had with a Zanu PF official over the
government's reconstruction programme, "Operation Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle".
Chikwiriri, who is a builder by profession, argues that Timothy
Sibanda, a Zanu PF secretary in the province, caused his arrest after he
refused to be part of builders in "Operation Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle".
It is a crime punishable by either imprisonment or heavy fine to
insult the President, his office or to make gestures about him under
provisions of the draconian Public Order and Security Act (Posa).
Meanwhile, Gwanda North MP and deputy Minister of Public
Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Abedinico Ncube, threatened to
deregister non-governmental organisations (NGOs) accused of expressing
political views about Zimbabwe.
Ncube said this when he handed over medical drugs and hospital
supplies worth $5 billion donated by World Vision Zimbabwe to Gwanda
BY OUR STAFF
THE International Monetary Fund (IMF) has painted a gloomy
picture for embattled Zimbabwe's economic situation forecasting that real
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will be in negative territory in 2006 and 2007.
Real GDP is the number reached by valuing all the productive
activity within the country at a specific year's prices.
In its World Economic Outlook report for April 2006, the global
lender said Zimbabwe's economy would shrink by -4.7% this year but the rate
of decline would improve to - 4.1% in 2007.
However, this year the government anticipates that that Gross
Domestic Product would decline by 3.5%.
Zimbabwe is going through a bad patch over the past seven years
attributed to inept policies enacted that are inimical to economic growth.
With annualised inflation of 1 193.5% as of May, Zimbabwe the highest
inflation rate in the world.
Although central bank governor Gideon Gono said the inflation
rate would taper off at the end of the year, analysts believe the rate would
continue on its upward trend.
Analysts say Zimbabwe's new economic recovery programme New
Economic Development Priority Programme (NEDPP) would be another pie in the
sky as conditions prevailing on the ground point to a deteriorating
situation. NEDPP was launched early this year as a panacea to the country's
BY OUR STAFF
QUOTED telecommunications concern Econet Wireless says it will
expand its network capacity before the end of the year in line with rising
demand for its products and services.
Company chairman Tawanda Nyambirai said in Econet 2006 annual
report released last week that the expansion will include installing
additional network equipment such as base stations across Zimbabwe to boost
and create additional capacity for the network. Econet is the largest mobile
provider with more than 457 000 subscribers as at the end of February.
Econet spent more than Z$920 billion on capital expenditure
during the year to the end of February during which its carrying capacity
was upgraded to
500 000 customers, and plans are afoot to further increase the
capacity, Nyambirai said without giving figures and time-lines.
"Acquisition and development work continues on a number of sites
in anticipation of the next phase of the network upgrade. The business has
adopted an infrastructure development strategy to secure all local currency
based materials and civil works so as to minimize project cost escalations
and delays associated with the erratic foreign currency market," Nyambirai
Nyambirai said Econet had in the year under review commissioned
42 new base stations and upgraded a number of existing sites across Zimbabwe
to further improve service, while new radio transmission links had also been
commissioned to enhance network reliability. Other significant projects
undertaken included upgrading the capacity of the pre-paid platform and the
short text messaging system.
"Acquisition and development work continues on a number of sites
in anticipation of the next phase of the network upgrade. The business has
adopted an infrastructure development strategy to secure all local currency
based materials and civil works so as to minimize project cost escalations
and delays associated with the erratic foreign currency market," Nyambirai
Econet had also invested in additional generators and other
power back-up devices to reduce the impact of scheduled and unscheduled
SOMEONE is trying hard to stoke the fires of revolt.
Firstly, more than a year ago the State in its combined wisdom
decided to unleash an anti-people campaign and then proceeded to mock them
by christening the Red Terror tactic, "Operation Murambatsvina" as if to
suggest that the people - the victims of the exercise - were themselves
filth of which the cities in Zimbabwe had to be cleansed.
Then the government rejected United Nations assistance -
implying the shelterless preferred that status to being given model homes
designed jointly by experts from the world body and government specialists.
Since May last year, the cost of living, as if part of a darker
plot, has been galloping and in the process, impoverished the majority of
people. Companies have continued to cut back on workers and, in worst case
scenarios, closed down.
Desperation among the lesser but majority Zimbabweans was
worsened by fare increases that are so unpredictable. It has become even
more expensive for the few who still have jobs to ensure they can afford to
continue working. It is as if someone is determined to dare the majority in
order to see whether they can put up with the wave of hardships being
visited upon them.
Bread, a common substitute for morning and afternoon meals, has
shot up, putting the government in a quandary. Because the government only
listens to itself and no one else, it decided to arrest bakers, ignoring the
self-evident realities and economics of producing bread in a country that
lacks the capacity to produce sufficient wheat for domestic consumption.
So the majority of God-forsaken Zimbabweans have no proper
shelter, have lost their jobs, and cannot afford to look for new ones
because jobs are dwindling faster than the rate at which new employment
opportunities are being created.
Whenever fare or bread price increases have been effected, the
government has sought to intervene. The rationale proffered has always been
that this is being done in the interests of safeguarding vulnerable groups
But events over the past fortnight defy logic. Water and
power-cuts have become a daily occurrence. One would expect that because for
the greater part of every month households are without electricity and
water, their bills would be significantly lower. Official Zimbabwean logic
is that the less you get the more it should cost!
Poor households in the high-density areas have been slapped with
water and electricity bills that jumped from less than one million dollars
to between $10 and $20 million. These are households whose combined incomes
are nowhere near what they are being asked to pay. Someone in government
wants to empty the cities of people by forcing their return to the rural
areas. Alternatively both Zesa and the Zimbabwe National Water Authority
want to ensure that a greater proportion of the majority of Zimbabweans can
no longer afford water and electricity. Is the strategy to create conditions
that would result in disease outbreaks with more people succumbing?
The government will react angrily to such suggestions, but if it
is genuinely concerned, why has it not acted to put an end to the wave of
unjustifiable electricity and water tariff increases? This sort of cost
recovery would embarrass even the IMF!
The government should intervene to put an end to this descent
into the dark ages. Someone is stoking the fires of an uprising.
Sunday Opinion By Marian Tupy
ON 26 May, South African government denied political asylum to
Roy Bennett, the outspoken critic of President Robert Mugabe and former MP.
Bennett fled to South Africa in April 2006 to escape
incarceration on trumped-up charges of attempting to assassinate Mugabe. If
returned to Zimbabwe, he will likely end up in jail. Bennett's treatment
stands in stark contrast with Pretoria's treatment of Jean-Bertrand
Aristide, whose corrupt and authoritarian rule over Haiti did not prevent
him from getting an asylum in South Africa. Clearly, as far as Pretoria is
concerned, not all political refugees are equal.
Bennett made the news in May 2004, when he scuffled with Justice
Minister Patrick Chinamasa on the floor of Zimbabwe's Parliament. Bennett,
who lost his farm during Mugabe's disastrous land expropriation policy, lost
his cool when Chinamasa said that Bennett "has not forgiven the government
for acquiring his farm, but he forgets that his forefathers were thieves and
murderers". Though he later apologised for the incident, Bennett was
sentenced to one year in prison by the Parliament dominated by Mugabe's
Bennett was "made to stand naked in front of prison guards and
... given a prison uniform covered with human excrement." While in jail, the
once stocky farmer ruined his health and lost about 30kg.
Earlier this year, Bennett went into hiding and later fled to
South Africa. His flight followed the alleged discovery of an arms cache on
a farm in eastern Zimbabwe. The government immediately started rounding up
opposition figures and put out a warrant for Bennett's arrest.
Once he arrived in South Africa, Bennett petitioned for
political asylum under that country's 1998 Refugees Act. According to the
act, "no person may be refused entry into (South Africa), expelled,
extradited or returned to any other country ... if as a result of such
refusal, expulsion, extradition, return or other measure, such person is
compelled to return to or remain in a country where he or she may be
subjected to persecution on account of his or her race, religion,
nationality, political opinion or membership of a particular social group;
or his or her life, physical safety or freedom would be threatened on
account of external aggression, occupation, foreign domination or other
events seriously disturbing or disrupting public order in either part or the
whole of that country."
Under normal circumstances, Bennett would have a strong case for
remaining in South Africa. He is a political refugee from a country where
public order and the rule of law have totally broken down. The government
routinely ignores court orders it disagrees with and murders its political
The country's economy is being run by and for the benefit of
Mugabe and his cronies. And there is little doubt that Bennett's personal
safety would be imperilled, considering that Zimbabwe's Security Minister
Didymus Mutasa already threatened the regime's opponents with physical
elimination. Absurdly, Mutasa's fellow cabinet minister in charge of Home
Affairs, Kembo Mohadi, recently stated that the government has "never
persecuted anybody in Zimbabwe".
However, South Africa's ruling elite is strangely enamoured with
Mugabe, the former Marxist revolutionary turned despot. South Africans have
pursued a policy of appeasement toward Mugabe, which they euphemistically
call "quiet diplomacy". The policy has been a massive failure. In the last
few years, Zimbabwe has deteriorated into a primeval State marked by
violence, famine and disease, 80% unemployment, and 1 000 percent inflation.
And so Bennett's request for political asylum was denied.
Contrast that with Pretoria's treatment of the deposed ex-president of Haiti
Jean-Bertrand Aristide. According to a report by the US State Department,
Aristide ran a "corrupt" government "shot through with drug money".
Another recent report by the US Bureau for International
Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs claimed that "8 percent of illegal
drugs entering the United States had passed through Haiti". Moreover, during
his 2004 trial in Florida, Beaudoin Ketant, a former confidant of Aristide's
and his daughter's godfather, testified that Aristide "controlled the drug
trade in Haiti. He turned the country into a narco-country. It's a one-man
show. You either pay (Aristide) or you die".
South African government's response to the mounting evidence of
Aristide's misrule was to send him a shipment of armaments to keep him in
power. When that failed, he was welcomed to South Africa, where he enjoys
luxurious exile paid for by the South African taxpayer.
Pretoria's treatment of Bennett drips with hypocrisy. Isn't it
about time that South African government started living by the high
principles it preaches around the world?
Marian L. Tupy: is Assistant Director of the Project on Global
Economic Liberty at the Cato Institute.
Sunday view By Pedzisai Ruhanya
OTTO von Bismarck belonged to a generation of European
politicians, like Benjamin Disraeli in Great Britain, Napoleon III in France
or Camillo Cavour in Italy, who were prepared to use radical, even
revolutionary means to achieve fundamentally conservative ends.
But Bismarck saw that after the frustrations of 1848 Revolution,
many liberals would be prepared to sacrifice at least some of their liberal
principles on the altar of national unity to get what they wanted. This
brought both the liberals and the conservatives together to fight for German
unification and the creation of a stable state.
In 1848 then Bismarck postulated that the issues of those days
were not going to be solved by speeches and other diplomatic overtures but
by blood and iron. It was a clear call for a violent revolution in order to
achieve the quest for a united state. It was after negotiations and
diplomatic overtures had failed.
Zimbabwe is in a similar situation but the strategies to be used
by Zimbabweans in order to achieve a democratic regime change should be
different from those used by Bismarck in that there is no need to be
involved in violent political upheavals that have a potential to slide the
country into anarchy.
It is however, important to note that during the upheavals at
the time Bismarck was in charge, he sought to unite both the liberals and
his conservatives to take a united front to confront the problems they faced
despite their different ideological backgrounds. They realised that the
problems they faced were beyond ideological posturing but were critical for
In the case of Zimbabwe there is need to sacrifice these and
come up with a united approach to deal with bad policies being pursued by
President Robert Mugabe irrespective of what Jonathan Moyo, the two Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC) groups, civil society and other players'
ideological underpinnings could be.
If oppositional and pro-democracy forces agree that the ruling
Zanu PF party led by Mugabe and its repressive state apparatus are
responsible for the political and economic crisis that the country has been
grappling with since 1997, then there is no reason why the MDC, Moyo, the
churches and other civil society bodies such as the National Constitutional
Assembly should not unite to confront the source of the country's
misfortunes before anarchy prevails which is the worst thing that
Zimbabweans should not allow to happen.
I make these views guided not only learning from the history of
Bismarck and the creation of Germany but critically looking at the
foundation of our country and how we become an independent State and even
other regional initiatives especially the South African experience.
Most fundamentally was the Second Chimurenga where the country
had two critical liberation movements the one led by the late Joshua Nkomo
and the late Ndabaningi Sithole. They both defined the problems and the
source of the problems and decided to take up arms against the colonial
administration led by Ian Smith and his predecessors.
They differed on methodology, approach and other petty issues to
the struggle to liberate this country but they were united that the country
needed to be independent and to get rid of the oppressive infrastructure
enacted by the colonial administrators although Mugabe and his colleagues
failed to implement these ideals but even went further to out do their
colonial predecessors by coming up with even more oppressive laws and grave
violations of human rights.
More critically even during their differences, both Zanu and
Zapu not Zanu PF refused to be put into Smith's pocket. They never
celebrated the trials and tribulations they faced against the Rhodesian
regime and refused to be given unlimited media coverage in the Rhodesian
media of the then Rhodesian Broadcasting Corporation.
The South African case before the African National Congress
(ANC) came into power in 1994 should also be instructive to Zimbabweans
fighting for democracy and good governance in the country. Under the United
Democratic Front (UDF), the South African oppositional and pro-democracy
forces waged a credible and united onslaught against the Apartheid regime
until it was forced to come to the negotiating table leading to the first
democratic elections in that country.
The UDF was composed of different and diverse political and
civic players with different ideological underpinnings. Others were
liberals, workers, students, conservatives, communists, socialists and
radical liberation movements but were all clear that the Apartheid regime
was the greatest threat to the development of a non-racial South Africa that
respects human rights and other democratic values as enshrined in the United
Nations Charter and particularly the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
It is my view that the church leaders by inviting known and
unrepentant violators of human rights to National Day of Prayer are working
to redeem the fortunes of a decadent regime. I am not aware of the value of
inviting Mugabe to a church gathering when what he does is contrary to the
teachings of the Bible.
Outside of a national confession by Mugabe and his
administration, it is disastrous for that sect of the church to do what it
is doing. It is equally wrong for that group of church leaders to call
opposition leaders to accept Mugabe's legitimacy when Mugabe has not
accepted that he rigged elections, that his government and security forces
did nothing to the victims of the Gukurahundi Massacres, the violent farm
invasions, past electoral murders and "Operation Murambatsvina".
These church leaders must know that history will record that
they were used as public relations officers of a human rights violating
regime. The MDC did not put sanctions against Zanu PF officials and there
are no sanctions against Zimbabwe.
If the church leaders want to have sanctions against Mugabe and
his cronies removed the dubious church leaders should engage Brussels the
headquarters of the European Union or the White House.
By attempting to involve the opposition in the issues of
sanctions, the church leaders are telling Zimbabweans that the MDC was
involved in the issue of sanctions against Zanu PF cronies. They should be
dismissed because they are behaving like Zanu PF political commissars.
If the church leaders voted for Zanu PF and don't believe
elections were violent and rigged, let them recognise him and his government
but it's wrong for them to force others to do so outside of a properly and
democratically held election.
Like Bismarck and other political forces did after the failures
of the 1848 Revolution, Zimbabweans should unite and compromise some of
their views and make a concerted democratic civil disobedience programme
against the Harare dictatorship before it is too late.
BY OUR STAFF
VIOLENCE and torture are forcing economically active Zimbabweans
to seek asylum in South Africa, a report by the Zimbabwe Torture Victims
Project (ZTVP) has revealed.
At least 7 211 Zimbabweans sought refugee status in South Africa
in the first quarter of 2006.
According to interviews conducted with asylum seekers the forms
of physical torture included beatings, electric shocks, falanga (beatings on
soles), burnings, rape and indecent assault, ZTVP said.
"In terms of psychological torture, clients were asked whether
they experienced threats, harassment, witnessing of torture on others, as
well as 'psychological torture' as an encompassing category inclusive of
verbal abuse, false accusations, abuse with excrement and sexual abuse
ZTVP said Zanu PF members were implicated in 45% of the reported
cases, followed by members of the police (27% of cases), and Zanu PF youth
(22% of cases).
ZTVP said: "In a number of cases, activists, 'war veterans',
Central Intelligence Organisation members and members of the militia were
also responsible for inflicting torture."
Members of the opposition MDC represented only 1% of all
perpetrators thus further corroborating previous findings which are
sceptical of the contention that the violence in Zimbabwe is primarily a
result of inter-party conflicts, ZTVP said.
ZTVP said its clients were economically active.
The report continued: "Regardless of sex, the average age of
clients was 30 years; however, female clients assisted by ZTVP tended to be
slightly younger than male clients. Most clients fell within the
economically active population age group."
Church mission stations must never collapse
CHURCHES are our inheritance just as churches are the
inheritance of the people all over the world and must never be allowed to
Colonial church mission stations in Zimbabwe have been centres
of great developments and places of refuge for the persecuted. The majority
of our current and departed government leaders received their education from
Besides receiving education, these leaders were given protection
from persecution from the likes of Ian Douglas Smith and his government who
had no qualms at all when dealing with black politicians.
However, at independence most Zimbabwean churches opted to break
away from their mother churches because of the political zeal sweeping the
country at the time. In my humble opinion, the result of this political move
was the beginning of the decay of these churches. A few examples of these
churches include the Dutch Reformed Church (The Reformed Church of
Zimbabwe), the Anglican or Church of England (The Anglican Church of
Zimbabwe), the American Methodist Church (The United Methodist Church - this
new name is world wide, I believe) and the British Methodist.
I do not believe that changing the names of churches to more
authentic names was wrong but these changes alienated them from their mother
churches. The financial support the churches received from their countries
of origin dried up and missionaries from the home countries also cut ties
Congregations which maintained ties with their mother churches
such as the Roman Catholic, the Jehovah's Witness and the Lutheran Church
are still receiving financial and material help from the countries of their
The case of the Reformed Church in Zimbabwe is very pathetic.
What was once a shining example of missionary work is slowly collapsing. The
Dutch left a very vibrant church organisation. The mission station at
Morgenster was completely self-reliant - the missionaries had a saw mill
which processed abundant trees from gum plantations into timber for building
purposes. The saw mill collapsed when the Reformed Church in Zimbabwe was
divorced from the Dutch Reformed Church.
The Dutch Reformed Church missionaries had a large herd of
cattle from where they produced their own beef, milk, cheese, cream and
butter. Today the place is strewn with abandoned dip tanks, dairy facilities
and a faltering butchery.
Morgenster mission was a well-known printer of Shona textbooks
and bibles. The mission's schools were supplied with exercise books produced
at Morgenster. The mission's press is currently struggling to remain viable
because of failure by the church to replace old equipment at the printing
press. The current machinery is fit for the museum because of age and
A petrol pump station still stands next to the printing press
but a number of items have been plundered, presumably by officials while the
mission hospital is now a ghost of its earlier fame. The place needs a lot
of renovations to attract doctors and nurses who have abandoned the
A new mortuary is urgently needed to replace the old one which
can no longer cope with demand. The entire mission station is threatened by
encroaching vegetation, particularly of the lantana weed.
Waddilove institution is in the same predicament as Morgenster.
The facilities left by the British missionaries have been allowed to
collapse. What I saw of the place saddened me because I knew the station as
a blooming flower during colonial days before the likes of the Aeneas
Chigwederes of Zimbabwe were allowed to ruin it.
My next visit was to St Augustine's Mission. As secondary school
pupils, we used to compete with the mission station secondary school. It too
was once upon a time a self-contained station with many facilities similar
to Morgenster mission's but my recent visit to the station left me
The place is also being taken over by encroaching vegetation. A
couple of weeks ago I visited St Paul's Mission Kutama. Does the name ring a
bell Cde President? Do you recall the farming activities which took place at
Kutama? If you do, how could you have allowed farming activities in the
whole country to be so disrupted?
St Paul's Kutama, like many other mission stations in the
country was well-known for its self-reliance. Missionaries running the
mission and indeed other missions were jacks of all trades. Besides being
priests, they were doctors, veterinary surgeons, builders, artists, farmers
and much more. A far cry from what our current mission workers can claim.
Why are these mission stations being allowed to collapse?
St Paul's Kutama at least has a semblance of some developments
taking place. The hospital is well maintained, other new buildings have been
put up since the country attained independence, old buildings are
occasionally given a fresh coat of paint and regular visits to the mission
are made by officials from the mother country.
Zimra charges stifle sports development
MANY of us cried when Zimbabwe failed to be nominated as
the hosts for the 2010, Africa Cup of Nations (ACON). But what were we going
Our soccer is not developing and by castigating the
Confederation of African Football (CAF)'s organising committee, before
correcting our own problems is not the solution. We have been watching the
FIFA World Cup tournament going into the knock-out stages. Almost all
countries participating have quality regalia. At full-time players exchange
jerseys, the same can not be said of our national team.
At ACON 2006 in Egypt, it was the worst dressed team in
terms of quality. I have not met a single Zimbabwean player from that
tournament who said he exchanged his jersey with anyone. The same goes for
the previous tournament at ACON 2004, we had poor quality material.
There are many individuals, companies and other donors
abroad and local, who are willing to donate sport equipment and kit to the
Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) and any other sporting organisations
but the prohibitive duties and taxes that are charged by the Zimbabwe
Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) have chased them elsewhere.
When the Warriors were about to go to Egypt, their sport
equipment was held by ZIMRA even though they knew very well that these were
for use at the bi-annual tournament. The Ministry of Education, Sport and
Culture intervened for the uniforms to be released.
Right now donations to the SOS Children's homes are being
held, though according to the United Nations Charter of which Zimbabwe is a
signatory, "humanitarian gifts and donations should not be held for duties
and taxes and should be delivered to recipient group or individual as soon
For a team like CAPS United, who had their replica jerseys
held, it was fair because theirs were imported with the intention of
As a country, we need to develop our sporting disciplines
but we do not have adequate sporting equipment or facilities. When donors
come forward to help it is hard to pay an amount more than the assessed
values of the donated equipments or kit. It has also been observed that when
we prepare for any international assignment, the same tone is sung: "We
played a country whose players are coming from countries where facilities
How then do we acquire such equipment when ZIMRA policies
are not changing for the development of sports? Their charges on duties and
taxes on gifts and donations are discouraging.
Churches' charade: how does light and darkness mix?
I am distressed to see the apparent lack of
moral voice and action that some in the traditional organisations of the
clergy, have exhibited in the face of the corrupt and oppressive misrule we
are experiencing in Zimbabwe.
In your front page headline story entitled
"churches, clergy in Mugabes pocket" the EFZ secretary general, Andrew
Muchetetere, apparently believed that "one government representative, who
could be the State President, will declare the nation back to God" on 25
June. He may well declare this; but declarations can be cheap and very
If there is no fruit from the heart of the
individual making the declaration, aren't such words the kind of
hypocritical lie that God hates most of all?
Muchetetere is quoted in the pro-government
Sunday Mail, also in the front page headline story as saying: "The church
believes it can persuade its brothers [in the MDC] to recognise the
government. We are concerned with the effects that sanctions are having on
the common man in Zimbabwe".
What is the agenda here? The Zimbabwe
sanctions do not affect the common man! They are merely specific sanctions
clamped on a small contingent of specified people involved with misrule. It
is misrule that affects the common man! The sanctions are designed to
specifically target those involved with the misrule that affects us all so
Bishop Trevor Manhanga, the EFZ president is
quoted as having said that "Government and the church could be effective
partners". How does light and darkness mix? Does the Bible not say that we
must not be unevenly yoked? Is the Bishop suggesting that he will be a
partner in injustice and misrule? Does the Bible not tell us to "break every
I have been told by the EFZ leadership to
merely "trust us".
In the true totalitarian pattern that we have
seen through Stalin's Russia, Hitler's Germany and Mao's China (amongst many
others) there have always been some church organisations that have been
infiltrated by "wolves in sheep's clothing". These men have set out to
legitimise and sanitise their governments using lies and deception.
By so doing they may have "saved" themselves;
but the oppressed remained in prolonged oppression due to their complicity;
and the name of Christ was dirtied and trampled on by their infamy.
I for one will not be unevenly yoked with the
oppressor. I thank God that the "Christian Alliance" is in place, partnered
not with the oppressor, but with other Christians of like mind, to cry out
about the wound in Zimbabwe, and call for repentance and an end to
unrighteousness, injustice and oppression uncompromisingly.
Government should stop demonising Zimbabweans
I read with fascination the address by
Ambassador Amos Midzi, the Minister of Mines and Mining Development that
people in the diaspora should contribute to the "resurrection" of the
What he forgets to tell people is that the
government through the State media has been demonising these same people
calling them all sorts of names, denigrating them, and when they come to
Zimbabwe they are harassed at points of entry, as if they are criminals and
less Zimbabweans because they are coming from the Diaspora.
We love our country but the treatment is so
horrifying that one is left with a sense of not belonging to Zimbabwe any
The government and the mainstream media
should stop this campaign of insinuations and denigrating Zimbabweans
working outside. It's ironic that children of politicians attend schools in
the Diaspora, but the generality of people with no means attend educational
institutions in Zimbabwe.
Midzi would do us a big favour by telling
his colleagues in government and their State media to stop insulting us. We
are very willing to work with the government and that's our country no
matter that we are here by situations not of choice but necessity.
He should tell the officers manning the
points of entry that Zimbabweans coming are no less Zimbabweans than them
and that therefore they deserve to be treated with dignity.
We cannot be harassed for being out of the
country. We are Zimbabwean citizens and the remains of our ancestors are
interred in Zimbabwe.
Mutambara, a sensitive man
THE president of the pro-Senate MDC faction,
Professor Arthur Mutambara, is a very sensitive man. At least from the tone
of his message of condolences to the Tsvangirai family on the death of
sekuru Dzingirai Chibwe Tsvangirai, the father of Morgan, the leader of the
other MDC faction, he sounded very touched by the death of the elder
He praised Tsvangirai senior, for having
nurtured Morgan to become the national symbol of hope in our struggle for
democracy and freedom against Robert Mugabe. This was a very mature
statement, to say the least.
I also noticed that Mutambara and his faction
are the only group that issued a statement on the death of Tsvangirai
senior. Even MorganTsvangirai's faction did not issue a statement and we do
not know why.
Tsvangirai must appreciate that he is now a
national asset. What ever happens even in his personal life or in his family
is of national significance.
May the soul of sekuru Chibwe rest in eternal
An SOS plea to Chombo
WORKERS at the Hwange Local board are
appealing to the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and Urban
Development, Dr Ignatious Chombo, to send a delegation here so that it can
meet both residents and workers to establish their views on how the affairs
of the local board are being conducted.
The Provincial Administrator has failed to
solve these problems because this is a small community and people know each
other, so it is difficult to rule against those one interacts with on a
daily basis, who expect one to support them.
A lot of workers are being fired for trying to
bring justice to the Council and this cannot be an example of proper
The lowest paid worker gets $6 million a month
whereas the Poverty Datum Line is put at $53 million. How are employees
expected to survive?
The sad realities of our collapsed nation
I have struggled with the reality of how
this beloved country of ours has sunk so low in solidarity with some of our
When we talk about this country being on its
knees, some people would need to encounter real difficulties where you would
normally have none in executing a simple task.
Below are some situations that I came
I went to Mbare on the 6 May in the late
afternoon and lying by the toilets there was a corpse which had been
discovered in the early hours but until then it was only half covered by a
On inquiring, it was confirmed that the
police had been told and obviously there would be others on foot patrol in
such places. A stone's throw away there was a fist-fight and hardly moments
later the police were there.
There was more commotion with the vendors
running in all directions - fleeing from the police obviously.
The second example was that of a kombi,
which had a burst front tyre before Headlands and the passengers were
seriously injured at around 3PM but were only taken to Rusape Hospital at
about 7PM by a Good Samaritan.
Once there, the injured were told they did
not have any medication therefore they had to go to Mutare. When Mutare was
contacted, the ambulance there had no fuel to travel to Rusape. The owner of
the kombi was contacted and he eventually got to Rusape at about three in
the morning. He then took the injured all the way to Parirenyatwa Hospital
and got there at 8AM. They were eventually attended to at around 5PM.
Despite the evidence of all this that the
country needs fresh ideas we continue hoping that the current leaders will
realise which path they have led us to.
We are our worst enemies as we watch people
on a destructive mission. Our unhealthy fear of confronting our oppressors
and telling them to quit and save the nation is our undoing. Those who are
obviously taking advantage of the situation do not realise that we are not
moving forward as a nation.
Shumba hogs the limelight while his workers
I am shocked at the level of positive
publicity the private media has given to the TeleAccess boss, Daniel Shumba.
The private media seems to look up to him as
the saviour of this nation. This is totally wrong. If you have not found a
suitable candidate please we would be better off with our old Robert Gabriel
Your article on his party's launch is a
mockery as Shumba wines and dines with diplomats while his workers starve.
He is not only under-paying them but not paying them at all.
He has not been able to manage a company and
you want to present him with troubled Zimbabwe. You guys are either paid to
advertise him or you have become desk journalists. Your offices are less
than 100 metres from Kopje Plaza where Shumba's employees are starving and
yet you see his success in Masvingo.
The case between him and his workers is
before the Ministry of Labour and it seems no reporter has heard anything.
How much longer can we trust your independence when you do not stand for the
Once upon a time you said he has a 112 000
line exchange and CDMA base station(s). Please show us pictures of these as
has been the case with Strive Masiyiwa's Econet and the other operator,
Telecel. As I write electricity has been cut off on his floor and
information is that he has not been to the office for ages fearing a
thorough beating from his workers.
Guys, give us facts and not hogwash. We are
sick and tired of Shumba's lies.
New insurance body, a hoax
THERE used to be a Commissioner of Insurance
within the Ministry of Finance, which regulated the operations of the
However, after prolonged half-hearted
consultations with the industry and in order to be seen to be doing
something in the context of "turning around the economy", the government
fast-tracked the establishment of a so-called independent commission to
oversee the industry, the reason being that it is the norm in other
What, however, they forget is that other
countries have normal operating economies, that commissions in other
countries genuinely add value to the industry, and that issues of commission
composition, terms of reference budgets and funding are discussed and agreed
upon before and not after the commission is operational.
In our case, the commission is appointed and
then we are told that we will be levied in order to foot the commission's
operations and that these levies should be paid by 1 July 2006 as there are
capital and running expenses to be attended to.
Struggling as we are due to the harsh
economic environment created by the same government, the industry finds
itself asking if this is the right time to undertake these change overs.
Robbed even of the crumbs