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Indigenisation Crusade Targets White-Run Firms

Financial Gazette (Harare)

July 3, 2003
Posted to the web July 3, 2003

Hama Saburi

WHITE-OWNED companies and entities weakened by tough trading conditions are
becoming targets of unsolicited takeovers, expedited by the
government-backed black economic advancement crusade.

On one hand, cash-rich companies have turned into corporate predators,
pouncing on vulnerable concerns that are struggling to wade through the
worst economic crisis biting industry and commerce.

White-run businesses, on the other hand, have been cornered by the on-going,
but sometimes controversial indigenisation crusade aided by a growing band
of self-appointed activists.

Analysts said the business environment has been getting tough for foreigners
and purely white-owned companies doing business locally and the only way out
has been to dispose of part or their entire shareholding.

For example, indigenous companies are being favoured in the awarding of
government tenders through what has come to be known as "affirmative

The state machinery, out to stamp out dissent, has also become very critical
of activities of white-owned businesses, particularly during disturbances
such as stayaways and their conformity with regulations.

Analysts hinted last week that more acquisitions could be in the offing,
particularly in the agro-industrial sector where the economic landscape has
changed dramatically following the haphazard land reform programme.

The controversial land reform exercise, blamed for the decline in wheat and
tobacco output among other things, has transformed land ownership from an
estimated 3 500 whites to thousands of indigenous farmers.

Pressure is therefore mounting on industries supported by the agricultural
sector to reflect the new ownership of land.

A substantial stake in agro-industrial concern CFI Holdings Limited has
already fallen to a consortium linked to one of the leading proponents of
black economic empowerment, Mutumwa Mawere.

The Cotton Company of Zimbabwe, another top performing company on the
Zimbabwe Stock Exchange, has also flexed its financial muscle of late.

After failing to conclude the acquisition of TSL Limited, the Sylvester
Nguni-led cotton processing company redirected its efforts and snapped a 30
percent stake in Seedco.

Recently, experienced banker Washington Matsaira advised another consortium
of indigenous businesspeople in acquiring a significant shareholding in TSL

A number of agro-industrial concerns are also being courted by indigenous
investment vehicles.

"There has been an awakening in business circles where people are realising
that anyone can drive any business.

"What you need is to retain value for shareholders and retain value for your
clients as well," said Gibson Maunganidze, an investment analyst.

Maunganidze noted, however, that most of the acquisitions were by domestic
companies, indicating a serious lack of confidence on the part of the
international community.

International investors have maintained a wait-and-see attitude, taking a
cue from the International Monetary Fund, which turned its back on the
southern African country in 1998.

Maunganidze said: "What is disheartening is a scenario where you have
takeovers leading into the crumbling of companies because basic business
principles are not being adhered to you don't want takeovers for the sake of
takeover, but continuity, skills, product quality and effective
implementation of business ideas."

While acknowledging the current trend towards acquisitions, businessman and
economic commentator, Jonathan Kadzura questioned the manner in which
capital has changed hands.

Opportunities appear to be opening up to a few, wealthy individuals with
"inside information".

A level playing field, said Kadzura, would be more effective in equitably
sharing the economic cake.

A change in mindset, where investors start to move away from acquiring
existing business and breaking into new projects could also help create more

Kadzura said: "I don't believe in buying into companies because that does
not improve anything. That is lateral. Is that all Zimbabweans can do?
People should make use of their intellect. Am I going to create more jobs if
I am to acquire Unilever today than what Unilever can do? We are not talking
about taking over what is there but creating jobs and boosting output."

The National Economic Recovery Programme (NERP), launched in February this
year, could also be used to open up opportunities to more people.

Critics however said NERP can only change the economic landscape if it
transmits pointers on how people could access capital and the methodologies
they could use.

"Let us make information available to people, that is what globalisation is
all about," Kadzura said.

Analysts said the tough economic environment has been the major contributor
towards acquisitions or takeovers.

Most companies have been struggling to survive under the weight of rising
production costs and shortage of foreign currency, coal and electricity

To avoid closure, many companies have been opting to be swallowed by much
stronger entities.

Speculation is rife in the market that the poorly performing Century
Holdings Limited, which recently disposed of its discount house, has become
a ripe target of a takeover.

Lobels Bakeries, a former white-owned company hit by price controls, has
also fallen into the hands of a consortium of indigenous businessmen led by
Livingstone Gwata.

Self-appointed black economic empowerment activist Phillip Chiyangwa has
also bought the entire equity held by Old Mutual Investments in the
struggling cement producer, Circle Cement Limited.

Falcon Gold, which surprised the market with an impressive set of financial
results last month, almost became target of a takeover after technology
group Celsys Limited offered to acquire its entire share capital.

Celsys late abandoned the deal, citing unfavourable economic conditions.

"It can be proved that whenever conditions become tough for certain
institutions, it becomes easy for stable organisations to take them over,"
said a leading banker who declined to be named.

For instance, when the government raised the capital requirement for bureaux
de change, most operators who could not meet the new capital threshold
folded up.

This presented an opportunity for Metropolitan Bank to acquire FXM Money
Corp, while Century and Kingdom Financial Holdings Limited pounced on CFX
Bureau de Change and Otanya Foreign Exchange Bureau respectively.

CFX and Kingdom later cut ties, resulting in the integration of CFX into CFX
Merchant Bank Limited, which at that time had successfully acquired
Universal Merchant Bank.

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Zimbabwe Crisis Affects AU, Europa, US Relationship

Angola Press Agency (Luanda)

July 3, 2003
Posted to the web July 3, 2003


The prevailing political and social crisis in Zimbabwe is the major cause of
bad relationship between the African Union (AU), Europe and United States,
the Angolan Foreign Minister Joao Miranda said Wednesday, in Luanda.

The Minister said this after a working lunch with the European Union
Ambassadors accredited in Angola, held at the Italian Embassy, the country
which occupies, from Tuesday, the rotative presidency of that organisation
for the next six months.

He said they talked issues afflicting Africa, namely the situation in
Zimbabwe, which has been seriously reflected in the relations between the
European Union and Africa.

This constraint has rendered as non viable the holding of the second EU/USA
Summit, initially scheduled for last April.

Participants discussed ideas that could help put a satisfactory end to the
crisis unleashed in Zimbabwe, thus allowing an harmonious and normal
development of relations between both continental organisations.

Joo Miranda added that the situation in that country also affects the
relations between the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the
United States, stressing also the bad relationhip between the USA and the
African Union.

He underlined that the end of the conflict goes through the goodwill of all,
aiming to find a solution that meets the people's interest, the soonest.

The topic that most consumed the interveners time was the one related to
political ties between the EU and Angola, paticularly the probable supports
from that Europen organisation to the development of the country and the
southern Africa.

Were also analysed the behaviour of some European States which a had an
acceptable stance with the regard to Angola, whereas others exaggerated in
their critical arguments.

An EU representative noticed that the Angolan government has not been
concerned with publishing the results of its works, chiefly on those which
could help sensitize European citizens from whom the governments collect
contributions for donations to foreign countries.

The Angolan Minister explained that the Government has assumed part of this
weakness, having announced the creation of specific mechanisms for the
publishing of actions developed by official organisms.

The next elections, mainly the preliminary tasks leading the success of the
polls, were examined at the encounter, which underlined the need of help
from the European Union.

With regard to the donors conference, the Foreign Minister said it is being
prepared very carefully to make sure that the desired results are achieved.

Addressing press, the Italian Ambassador to Angola, Alfredo Bastianelli,
termed the meeting as "very useful" for having given the opportunity to
exchange ideas on the various regional and national matters.

Supports to the reconstruction of Angola and the search for solutions for
the conflicts in Zimbabwe and in the DRCongo, as well as the next EU/AU
Summit were, according to the Italian diplomat, the issues most discussed at
the working lunch.

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Zimbabwe's special song
Sunday Marimo - Zimbabwe coach
Sunday Marimo and his players have been promised huge bonuses
Zimbabwe has temporarily put aside domestic shortages of fuel, transport and cash to place football top of its priorities this week.

The Warriors play Eritrea on Saturday knowing that a maiden appearance at the African Nations Cup finals is within touching distance.

And President Robert Mugabe's embattled government has seized the opportunity and promised the players huge financial bonuses for the tie.

Politics has all but disappeared from the state media as the government has gone all out to promote football and urge the national team towards victory.

Special song

At least Z$100 million - just over US$1 million - has been promised to the 18-man squad if they beat Eritrea by five goals.

Controversial Information minister Jonathan Moyo has even composed a special song for the team.

Zimbabwe host the Eritreans knowing that they can qualify for their first ever Nations Cup finals as best runners-up even if they fail to win Group Six.

But if there are victories for group leaders Mali and for Sierra Leone, second in Group Seven, then Zimbabwe would need to win by a huge scoreline to qualify on goal difference.

We're aiming to create scoring chances.
Sunday Marimo
Zimbabwe coach
Although the Warriors do not quite hold their destiny in their own hands, they appear to have the advantage in the final round of qualifiers because they have a home while Mali travel to the Seychelles, who are notoriously hard to beat at home.

Coach Sunday Marimo must decide whether to focus on simply winning the match or to aim to virtually guarantee qualification by scoring five goals or more.

"It's a difficult one," said Marimo. "Our aim is to qualify and we're aiming to create scoring chances."

But his strike force is considerably weakened as French-based Benjani Mwaruwaru is unlikely to be fit and Zimbabwe's all-time top-scorer Adam Ndlovu is suspended.

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Now Harare runs short of water

July 03 2003 at 12:33PM

Harare - Zimbabwe's capital city will start rationing scarce water
supplies in a move likely to hit industries already grappling with a harsh
economic climate, the official Herald newspaper reported on Thursday.

At least 400 companies have ceased operations over the past two years
as the southern African country grapples with a severe economic crisis
blamed on President Robert Mugabe.

The Herald quoted Harare's acting chief engineer Lovemore Mulanda as
saying that the city council would limit consumers to 13 cubic metres of
water a month to sustain dam levels, which are currently at 60 percent of
their capacity.

"We are anticipating problems during the hot season when temperatures
and evaporation would be high," Mulanda told the paper. Council officials
were not immediately available for comment on Thursday.

'We are anticipating problems during the hot season'
Harare's water treatment pump, currently operating below capacity due
to lack of money for refurbishment, was only pumping about two-thirds the
total water needed to supply the capital and neighbouring towns.

Water rationing would heighten the woes of firms already struggling
with shortages of currency to import raw materials, as well as diesel and
electricity to operate machinery.

Nearly half of Zimbabwe's 14 million people face food shortages,
inflation has shot to nearly 300 percent, one of the highest rates in the
world, and unemployment is estimated at above 70 percent and rising as more
companies close.

Mugabe, 79 and in power since Zimbabwe's independence from Britain in
1980, denies responsibility for the country's economic problems, which he
blames on sabotage by local and international opponents angry over his
seizure of white-owned farms for redistribution to landless blacks.

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Zimbabwe opposition seeks date for poll challenge

By Stella Mapenzauswa

HARARE, July 3 Zimbabwe's main opposition party on Thursday demanded an
urgent hearing of its legal challenge to President Robert Mugabe's 2002
re-election, saying he was delaying the case out of fear his victory would
be overturned.
Lawyers for Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan
Tsvangirai asked the High Court to set a date for the case, noting that 15
months had elapsed since the opposition leader filed his initial challenge.
''None of the respondents want to meet the applicant in court. The
inference from this is obvious. They fear the result of that hearing,''
opposition lawyers said in their prepared written argument.
''It is respectfully submitted that the people of Zimbabwe are
entitled to know whether the first respondent (Mugabe) was fairly and
lawfully declared to be the winner of the 2002 presidential election.''
Tsvangirai wants a re-run of the polls, which the opposition and
several Western countries say Mugabe won through fraud.
Government lawyers argued that the election hearing could not
commence until the High Court dispensed with previous related applications
Tsvangirai has brought before it, and said the opposition leader was hungry
for power.
''He wants to be at State House. He wants to be driving around in a
Mercedes Benz. He wants to be called Mr President,'' Mugabe attorney
Terrence Hussein said.
High Court Judge Ben Hlatshwayo reserved judgement on the request for
a hearing.
Tsvangirai, who faces two separate charges of treason for alleged
activities against Mugabe, says he lost the 2002 presidential poll because
Mugabe's ZANU-PF party harassed MDC supporters, blocked out hundreds of
thousands of voters and used corrupt methods to steal the election.
Mugabe says he won the March vote fairly and accuses the West of
trying to impose Tsvangirai as leader of the southern African state, now
gripped by its worst political and economic crisis in more than two decades.

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Financial Times

Bush heads for tense talks over Zimbabwe crisis
By Tony Hawkins in Harare and John Reed in Johannesburg
Published: July 3 2003 18:28 | Last Updated: July 3 2003 18:28

Zimbabwe's political crisis will be a topic of "considerable
discussion" when US President George W. Bush tours Africa next week,
according to Colin Powell, his secretary of state.

South Africa and Nigeria, two of the three African states leading
diplomatic efforts to defuse the crisis, are on the US president's
five-country itinerary.

But the talks promise to be tense as the Africans' advocacy of "quiet
diplomacy" on Zimbabwe clashes with the Americans' more outspoken approach.
Both sides agree President Robert Mugabe should go, and Thabo Mbeki, South
African president, last month predicted the 79-year-old leader would leave
office within a year.

Yet while the US, along with the European Union, wants an early re-run
of the disputed 2002 presidential elections under international supervision,
South Africa - drawing from its own democratic transition in the early
1990s - favours a government of national unity led by the ruling Zanu-PF,
but minus Mr Mugabe.

Analysts say the conflicting approaches have helped prolong Mr
Mugabe's grip on power. Critics of the African diplomatic effort say it is
too timid to prod the Zimbabwean leader toward a negotiated political

But Mr Powell's blunt words last week about Mr Mugabe's "violent
misrule" stoked African fears of aggressive US-led regime change in
Zimbabwe. "If the Americans should come and, through megaphone diplomacy,
call for the removal of Mugabe, that ends up helping Mugabe more," says
Xolela Mangcu, director of the Johannesburg-based Steve Biko Foundation.

"It would be great if Bush and Mbeki could move toward a compromise
position," says Chris Landsberg, director of South Africa's Centre for
Policy Studies.

After three years of often-violent conflict, Mr Mugabe's Zanu-PF and
Morgan Tsvangirai's opposition Movement for Democratic Change have fought
each other to a draw. Zimbabwe's inflation is running at 300 per cent, and
the United Nations World Food Programme estimates that more than half its
population needs food handouts.

But the MDC has thus far failed through mass protest action to force
Mr Mugabe to resign or call new elections. South Africa has shepherded the
two parties into secret talks that have brought, diplomatic sources say, a
pledge from Mr Mugabe to resign within a year. Mr Mugabe denies this.

South Africa, whose leaders fought alongside Mr Mugabe in the struggle
against white rule, wants a long transitional period during which
multilateral aid would resume, potentially allowing Zanu-PF to regroup. Mr
Tsvangirai has rejected this approach: "We are not going to negotiate a
government of national unity with Zanu-PF."

MDC officials privately accuse South Africa, which chides the west for
meddling in Zimbabwe's domestic politics, of playing favourites. Pretoria
makes little secret of its dislike for Mr Tsvangirai, whom it sees as too
pro-western, pro-white and lacking in freedom-struggle credentials.

The MDC accuses the Mugabe government, abetted by South Africa, of
trying to split it. Mr Tsvangirai has denied reports of high-level "talks
about talks" between Zanu-PF and MDC secretary Welshman Ncube.

Mr Tsvangirai says the restoration of the rule of law, a repeal of
repressive security and media legislation, and an end to "state-sponsored
violence" would be a starting point for negotiations.

Meanwhile, the South African and Zimbabwean governments say they could
work with Mr Ncube, but not Mr Tsvangirai.

The MDC hopes to present a three-stage crisis-resolution plan to the
Bush team in Johannesburg and to an African Union summit in Maputo next
week. The plan foresees an exit package for Mr Mugabe, possibly including a
legal amnesty. A transitional authority with alternating Zanu-PF and MDC
leadership would take over for a maximum of six months, followed by
elections under international supervision.

The approach is anathema to the Harare government, whose spokesman,
Nathan Shamuyarira, says any sort of transitional authority is a
non-starter. Following an article by Mr Powell in the New York Times last
week, the information minister, Jonathan Moyo, called him "an ordinary liar"
and "an Uncle Tom despised by people of colour around the world".

The US professed its "profound disgust" at the remarks, in a further
cranking up of tension before the presidential tour.

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Business Day

Bush trip could end rift over Zimbabwe'


Chief Political Correspondent

US PRESIDENT George Bush's visit to SA could end the international stalemate
between the western "white" states and the "black" African countries over
Zimbabwe, experts say.

Centre for Policy Studies director Chris Landsberg told Business Day
yesterday that President Thabo Mbeki was under pressure to find an
alternative solution to his "quiet diplomacy" strategy on Zimbabwe.

Washington also would wish to improve its image from being that of an
arrogant superpower to one that cared about African political, economic and
rights issues. Landsberg said Bush would appreciate Pretoria's "regional
dynamics". This would help the international community to approach the
matter from a common position, he said.

"Common understanding is likely to punt the idea for the need for all
players to push for transition and this will force Zimbabwe to move on," he

Meanwhile, Pan Africanist Congress leader Motsoko Pheko has turned down an
invitation by Mbeki to an official luncheon on July 9 in honour of Bush.

In a letter to Mbeki, Pheko said after broad consultation he regretted that
he could not accept the invitation "for a number of reasons".

These included that Bush had undermined the authority of the United Nations
Security Council and waged an illegal war in Iraq and was threatening other
countries of the south.

Bush was also "meddling" in the internal affairs of other nations, violating
their sovereignty and territory , he said.

"What President Bush ought to be doing is to be joining forces which are
demanding the cancellation of the foreign debt, which is a big hindrance to
the development of Africa," Pheko said.

The Socialist Party of Azania (Sopa) said it "opposed unapologetically" the
tour of Africa by Bush.

"For the Socialist Party of Azania, the pending tour of Africa by the US
president marks in essence the beginning of a new scramble for Africa by the
capitalist economies of the west.

"Therefore, the real motive of the African tour by Bush must be seen in the
context of him seeking to advance US strategic interest in Africa and not
that he will play Father Christmas from Texas."

Sopa said Bush would bring to Africa an arsenal of grim economic and
military pressures that would worsen the mounting debt trap of many African
countries. With Sapa

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Zimbabwe opposition to lobby U.S., African leaders

By Cris Chinaka

HARARE, July 3 Zimbabwe's main opposition party will send a team to lobby
senior U.S. officials during President George W. Bush's visit to Africa next
week in a new push to isolate President Robert Mugabe, the party said on
But Mugabe told his ruling ZANU-PF party's decision-making central
committee that Bush's visit ''shouldn't send tremors to your spine.''
''You think he will dare do to us what he has done to Iraq?'' he said
in remarks shown on state television.
''Of course not, he knows that the situations are different. And
anyway, we don't have the oil that Iraq has, nor have we the weapons of mass
destruction. But we host here close on to 100,000 whites.''
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) spokesman Paul Themba-Nyathi
said a team of MDC officials would travel to a meeting of the African Union
in Mozambique next week to ask African leaders there to put more pressure on
''In both cases we have asked for meetings with officials at the
highest levels possible, and our aim is to present our case on the Zimbabwe
crisis so that the United States and Africa can apply more pressure on
Mugabe to end this crisis,'' he said.
''Under a combination of American, African, Western and general
international pressure and isolation, Mugabe will have no option but to
negotiate a political solution,'' he added.
MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai is facing two separate trials on treason
charges. He and his party dispute Mugabe's victory in the 2002 presidential
election, which several Western governments said were rigged. The MDC has
launched a court challenge over the results.
Themba-Nyathi declined to discuss details of which African leaders
the MDC hoped to meet in the Mozambique capital, Maputo.
But other MDC officials said the party had targeted South Africa,
Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Angola and
Zambia in their diplomatic offensive.
Themba-Nyathi said the MDC representative who will meet Bush
officials would include the party's foreign affairs secretary, Moses
Mzila-Ndlovu, Home Affairs Secretary Tendai Biti and himself. MDC Deputy
Secretary-General Gift Chimanikire would lead the delegation to Mozambique.
The U.S. president is due to visit Senegal, South Africa, Botswana,
Uganda and Nigeria from July 7-12. U.S. officials have said Zimbabwe will
feature in Bush's talks with African leaders.
Tsvangirai and MDC Secretary-General Welshman Ncube cannot travel
abroad because their passports were seized as part of their bail conditions
in the pending treason case.

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Business Report

Inaction on Zimbabwe threatens AU, says Idasa
July 3, 2003

By Lynda Loxton

Cape Town - Political and economic decay in Zimbabwe had become one of
the major problems confronting post-apartheid southern Africa and seriously
threatened Africa's resolve to address democratic issues and re-invent its
international image, a Cape-based think-tank has said.

In a report released ahead of the second African Union (AU) summit in
Mozambique next week, the Institute for a Democratic Alternative for
Southern Africa (Idasa), said many international observers now claimed that
"the lack of assertive action towards Zimbabwe" indicated that the AU and
its economic counterpart, the New Partnership for Africa's Development
(Nepad), "will be unable to amount to anything more than rhetoric.

"Despite humanitarian crises and overwhelming pressure in favour of
reforms, [President Robert] Mugabe remains in power and apparently continues
to enjoy the support of influential regional players.

"Increasing internal pressure and political dissent from pro-democracy
forces have not compelled Mugabe's regime to concede that a crisis exists."

On how the crisis had been allowed to develop, Idasa said that like
other countries that had emerged from colonialism, Zimbabwe had not given
enough attention to reforming inherited state institutions, which were weak
and undemocratic.

The state had become a platform for patronage and a distributor of
wealth to a new elite in power.

Growing opposition in recent years had prompted Mugabe to focus on the
need for redress for colonial injustices, particularly involving the
redistribution of land.

Idasa said that while the use of liberation rhetoric was popular among
many Zimbabweans during the labour strikes of the 1990s, this could not
conceal the failures of the government and it began using authoritarian
measures to secure power.

It was questionable whether the rural poor had benefited. Land
redistribution had disproportionately benefited high-ranking members of Zanu
PF instead of agricultural workers and small black farmers.

"Since issues of land, economy and social justice are intertwined in
Zimbabwe, the question is not whether redistribution should occur but what
steps should be taken by government to ensure resettlement processes are
effective, and respect the rule of law and human rights," Idasa said

The sharp economic decline had aggravated a changing political
environment in Zimbabwe. The economy was partly a victim of mismanaged land
redistribution, underpinned by attacks on property rights.

"However, prior to the land seizures in 2000, the economy was
faltering with low economic growth and investment," Idasa said.

"Today, the devastation of agriculture [which accounts for
approximately 20 percent of gross domestic product], high domestic debt, a
weak financial sector, decaying infrastructure, fuel shortages and a growing
Aids pandemic continue to frustrate the Zimbabwean economy.

"Economic mismanagement [government's insistence on a fixed exchange
rate of $1 to Z$55 for more than two years] and state looting have
contributed to hyperinflationary pressures.

"The scarcity of foreign exchange continues due to the discontinuance
of foreign investment and loan funding by private sector banking
institutions. Fuel shortages have forced business to curtail production and
deliveries, further damaging an already distressed economy."

On what could be done to turn the situation around, Idasa said a
transitional process would provide "the best chance for the country's move
towards democratisation and economic recovery. The concern is less with when
Mugabe's government exits but how it exits."

It was unlikely to let go of power easily. While the
opposition -consisting of an amalgamation of the Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC), civil society, trade unions, independent press and farmers'
unions - had certainly gained popularity, it was still not strong enough to
outmatch the government's hold over political power and claim the state by
force or collapse.

"As Zimbabwe's political and economic situation worsens, answers for
democratisation seem to lie in a transitional arrangement characterised by
negotiation and compromise, produced by the combined action of opposition
and government," Idasa said.

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Thousands Stranded As Operators Fail to Access Fuel Coupons

The Herald (Harare)

July 3, 2003
Posted to the web July 3, 2003


THOUSANDS of people were yesterday stranded and some shops and companies
opened late because workers reported for duty late owing to non-availability
of transport.

The few buses that were operating were charging fares ranging between $500
and $1 000.

The reduction in the number of commuter omnibuses on the roads comes in the
wake of the introduction of fuel coupons for the buses which are only issued
to those with certificates of fitness and road permits.

It is estimated that three quarters of commuter omnibuses plying Harare's
routes do not have certificates of fitness and road permits.

The Government introduced coupons as part of measures to plug the black
market for fuel.

Most commuter omnibus crews were getting fuel from designated service
stations for resale at exorbitant prices.

Before the introduction of coupons, some commuter omnibus operators had
deserted their routes, preferring to resell fuel at $2 000 a litre.

The gazetted price of a litre of petrol and diesel is $450 and $200

Yesterday, thousands of commuters waited hopelessly while some could be seen
footing into town from various high-density suburbs.

The situation was worse in the evening as thousands waited at termini at
Market Square, Fourth Street, Cameroon Street and outside the Harare Central
Police Station.

Most commuters from Glen View, Budiriro, Highfield, Glen Norah, Mufakose,
Warren Park, Tafara, Mabvuku and Chitungwiza got to work as late as 10 am.

At the Rezende Street rank, commuters, mostly schoolchildren in uniform,
could not get transport to Highlands, Hatcliffe, Mt Pleasant and Chisipite
in the morning.

Pupils from Oriel Girls' and Oriel Boys' schools could be seen queuing at
the rank at around 9:30 am when lessons start at 7:30 am.

At Makoni Shopping Centre and Seke Unit C bus terminus in Chitungwiza,
hundreds anxiously waited for the few commuter omnibuses operating.

The Ministry of Energy and Power Development this week started issuing out
fuel coupons to commuter operators at Makombe Building.

To get the coupons, operators are required to produce an operator's licence,
a certificate of fitness, route authority and a vehicle registration book.

Some commuters urged the Government to introduce Zupco buses in areas that
did not have commuter trains.

"We want more buses in our area as we cannot rely on some of these commuter
omnibuses that sometimes ply our route," said Mr David Tapfumaneyi of Glen

A few buses are operational in the suburb but Glen View residents have
complained of the buses' unreliable service.

Transport problems and overcharging by commuter operators has forced many
commuters living in places like Glen Norah, Glen View and Budiriro to walk
long distances to board the Mufakose commuter train.

On Tuesday evening some commuters got transport to ferry them home as late
as 11pm. Some people are however, querying how unroadworthy vehicles still
ply the country's roads against the background of numerous police blitz.

Police spokesperson Superintendent Oliver Mandipaka said police charged
commuter operators without licences.

"The traffic police have always fined commuter operators found on the wrong
side of the law and without the required documents," said Supt Mandipaka.

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US Newswire

Excerpt from:

Transcript of Remarks by the President in Roundtable Interview with African
Print Journalists

Q Thank you, sir. On Zimbabwe, Mr. President, in recent days there has been
several references from yourself and Secretary Powell to Zimbabwe once

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, there has been.

Q Now, beyond President Mbeki and President Obasanjo's efforts in the past
to get Mugabe and Tsvangirai to sit down together -- which has not been very
successful -- what more do you think they should do? Or what more --

THE PRESIDENT: Well, that's a good question; I appreciate that. Yes, we have
been outspoken on the subject because we believe that a democracy in
Zimbabwe will improve the lives of all the citizens of that important

Listen, one of the things that we must -- this country cares about is the
plight of each human. And when we see and hear about suffering, because of
lack of food in sub-Saharan Africa, part of our attention is focused on
places where there's political instability. And there's no reason why
Zimbabwe is not capable of feeding not only herself, but others in the

And the reason why now is because of political instability created by a lack
of adherence to the principles of democracy. So when you hear me speak out
or when you hear Colin speak out, we're speaking out for principles. And the
answer to what more can be done, the world needs to speak with common voice
in insisting that the principles of democracy are adhered to by the ruling
party in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe -- the economy of Zimbabwe at one time was a powerful economy for
the region. It was a successful economy. People grew food in plentiful
supply. Now the people of that country are starving. This country is putting
up a billion dollars of money to help people who are starving. Then we're
also -- I'm asking Congress to put up what they call a $200 million
fast-reaction -- or a fund for fast reaction to confront famine. We need
that so that the flexibility -- sometimes the appropriators like to put
strings on appropriations, so it makes it hard for the executive branch to
move with speed. I would like to have more capacity to move with speed when
it comes to dealing with emergencies.

The reason I bring that up is that it would be incredibly helpful for the
continent of Africa to have its countries that are able to feed people
prosperous and whole.

The other issue I want to bring up, now that I brought up the issue of food,
is genetically modified crops. I think it is essential that throughout the
continent of Africa nations be encouraged to develop -- use the technologies
that have been developed to deal with pestilence and drought. And I have
been very outspoken on that subject, as well -- not to be putting thoughts
in your mind that you didn't want to hear about, but I've got the mic.

But I do want to emphasize, and I will emphasize on the continent of Africa
the need for our agricultural economies on the continent of Africa to adjust
with modern technology so that in places where there is drought or
likelihood of drought, there can be drought-resistance crops being given a
chance to succeed. Where there's pests that some agriculture economy has not
been able to deal with, we use pest-resistant crop, and they're available.
The problem, of course, we have is that much of the enthusiasm for what we
believe is scientifically proven safe crops have been condemned by the
refusal of some countries and/or accumulation of countries to accept exports
into their markets from countries that use genetically modified crop.

That's a very long answer to a short question. Yes, sir.

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ad inserted 03 July 2003

Substitute daughter.
Are you leaving or have you left Zimbabwe? Do you/did you have to leave
behind a relative who will have no one to visit them? I am a registered
nurse and am running a service to visit those whose relatives have left the
country. I visit as often as you want me to, to ensure that they are being
properly taken care of and run errands and give you regular reports on the
physical, mental and emotional health of those left behind. I am a
substitute daughter.

Want to know more?
You can reach me (Margaret Low) on
e-mail: or
Ph. 091 603621 (anytime) or Harare 302518 in the evenings.
I can and will provide reachable references on request.
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Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to with "For Open Letter Forum" in the subject line.


Letter 1:

Thabo Mbeki's Dilemma

South Africa's President, Thabo Mbeki, is entering what will be a
desperately important period in his presidency. He quite simply cannot
please everyone all the time which is the tune he tries to dance to.
President George Bush has a tune that Thabo Mbeki will hear very soon, and
he will be faced with a huge dilemma. Does he pressure Zimbabwe into
beginning to wind down its fraudulent and corrupt regime, or does he earn
the displeasure of George Bush and Colin Powell.

It is important to put this into some perspective. Removing his support for
Mugabe will not go down well with much of Africa, but South Africa is the
economic powerhouse of Africa, and it is a point he can afford to concede.
He can, however, not afford to lose the support of the world's economic
powerhouse, the United States. His reasoning that Zimbabwe's problems
should be sorted out by Zimbabweans has been dismissed by most as past its
'sell by date'.

George Bush has Israel's Ariel Sharon, the Palestinians and their
extremists following the Middle-East roadmap. That in itself explains how
much influence he can exert.

Thabo Mbeki has been basking in the remnants of the immense light that
Nelson Mandela created. This light will disappear very quickly unless he
starts to act as a leader on the world stage.

Gary Claassen


Letter 2:

I believe that it is time attention was drawn to the totally erroneous
figure of 4500 white farmers. It is my belief that due to the Commercial
Farmer's Union practice to only count the license holders, the real figure
was many thousands more, since most farmers employed at least one manager,
one secretary, (albeit "only" a wife), sons and daughters, all of whom were
actively FARMING. Together with the other false figures which are
routinely quoted, and seldom corrected, an extremely unbalanced view was
given of Zimbabwean white farmers.

Ann Hein.
P.O. Box 231 Gweru. All messages express my personal opinions


Letter 3:

Dear Kerry

Reading your letter on 2 July 03 of your visit to the Ambuya.

I am an elderly British lady living in UK, far away from Zimbabwe, but at
the same time I feel very much closer and involved.

I get so much news from Zim via various channels, and a feeling of
frustration that I cannot come to help people like the Ambuya.

I know Marondera well having visited several times staying at a farm not
too far from yours. In fact I was taken to visit your farm in 1993 by my
hosts, we were many in the party and you gave us tea and a tour of your
farm, I particularly enjoyed being taken around your workers compound by
some of your workers, and have many photos I took of them.

I have a vision, and I believe it was from God, that one day I am going to
be doing what you did for Ambuya, there must be so many families in the
same position as her. I am not a preacher; I believe my ministry is in
Helps and Gods Love with lots of hugs.

I do hope that JAG prints my letter to you, or at least pass on my e-mail

God Bless and protect you all in what you are doing you all have great

God Bless


All letters published on the open Letter Forum are the views and opinions
of the submitters, and do not represent the official viewpoint of Justice
for Agriculture.

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Zimbabwe Nepad's acid test, says judge
July 03, 2003, 23:15

Zimbabwe would prove an acid test for the New Partnership for
African Development (Nepad) as well for South Africa's commitment to
enforcing the values enshrined in it, Dennis Davis, the Cape High Court
Judge said in Grahamstown today.

Speaking at the National Arts Festival Winter School on the
topic of a "human rights-orientated foreign policy", Davis warned that if
Zimbabwe failed, it would have a "very significant impact on our future
prosperity both material and moral".

He said a commitment to human rights would prove vital in
attempts to reconstruct the continent in general and South Africa in

The impetus towards reconstructing the continent should be on
the basis of human rights, proper governance, democratic accountability,
cultural and religious tolerance and the rule of law. He warned that where
this did not happen, countries were in danger of "falling" off the global

"We (South Africa) need to lead the rest of the continent if we
are to ensure that the way globalisation pans out is to our benefit rather
than to our disadvantage."

He said Africa faced a terrible legacy due to recent and ongoing
events in Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone and

South Africa itself had in the past caused immense damage and
destabilisation in Zimbabwe, Angola, Mozambique and Namibia. He said that,
ironically, there was now a burden on the new democratic government to take
responsibility for the entire subcontinent because of the harm caused by a
previous regime.

Foreign policy in general and South African foreign policy in
particular was predicated on acknowledging that unless good governance was
implemented, Nepad could not be successful.

Davis acknowledged that it was extremely difficult to deal with
a dictator who "obdurately" refused to change his ways. But he pointed out
that the World Health Organisation estimated that one quarter of the
Zimbabwean population was HIV-positive and the World Food Programme
estimated that six million Zimbabweans faced starvation.

"There is no hope for that country in the long run, unless there
is relatively immediate political redress along the lines sketched by
Nepad." - Sapa
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