|The ZIMBABWE Situation||Our
thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe |
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.
Bush visit has SA on the hop
Karoo lamb, raspberry cheesecake and pretty flowers. Whatever it
takes, President Thabo Mbeki has ordered it done to impress his guests, the
world's most powerful man and his circus.
No other tour by a foreign dignitary has attracted such precise
planning as has US President George W Bush's whistlestop visit this week,
with senior government officials saying even Mbeki has been swept up by the
ahead of his African tour, which starts in South Africa
on Wednesday, Bush on Friday derided Zimbabwe as "not a good case study for
democracy in a very important part of the world". Mbeki, he said, should
insist on new elections and democratic rule but, he added, he didn't "want
to put pressure on my friend".
Other items on the agenda include conflict
situations in Africa,
the stalled World Trade Organisation talks, and post-Saddam Iraq.
The US's announcement this week that it
is cutting military aid
to SA because to its refusal to give immunity to Americans before the
International Criminal Court has puzzled Pretoria. Botswana and Nigeria -
which are also part of Bush's five African nation tour - have also not
signed the amnesty agreement and are not among the 35 nations earmarked for
sanction by the US.
A high-level South
African team of officials drawn from the
presidency, foreign affairs and security departments are trying hard to
emulate the White House style - down to the press briefing on manicured
opportunity to beat all others will be in front of the
Union Buildings on Wednesday morning.
The presidents will take a salute and
the Star Spangled Banner
and Nkosi Sikelel iAfrika will be bellowed out by the South African national
guard. The two leaders will then be led by a battalion of security and
protocol officials into South Africa's own West Wing, where Bush and Mbeki
will have a private discussion.
This one-on-one engagement - which not even
will be privy to - will take place in one of the main lounges in the
presidency. and last about 30 minutes, before a high-powered bilateral
The US delegation at this hour-long
meeting will be Secretary of
State Colin Powell, national security advise r Condoleezza Rice, White House
Chief of Staff Andrew Card and Assistant Secretary of State for Africa
will be accompanied by Foreign Affairs Minister Nkosazana
Dlamini-Zuma, Director-General in the Presidency the Rev Frank Chikane,
Foreign Affairs Director-General Abdul Minty and legal adviser Mojanku
A convoy carrying both sides'
dignitaries will then travel to
the neighbouring presidential guest house, where the presidents will address
the international press .
Bush and Mbeki will move on to the eastern lawn, where
carefully vetted (and searched) journalists will be seated. Presidential
spokesman Bheki Khumalo will announce the presidents' arrival before quickly
scuttling off the specially constructed podium.
Along with sound, light and technical equipment,
will bring with them a lectern with the US presidential coat of arms. This
week a similar lectern, with the South African coat of arms, was being built
Television viewers around the
world, who will watch the press
conference live, will see "a kaleidoscope of colour" behind the presidents,
according to Khumalo, with a bed of flowers in full bloom forming the
backdrop to the podium.
the briefing, the presidents will move into the main hall
of the guest house, where they will dine with 250 guests: ministers, deputy
ministers, business leaders , heads of parastatals and members of opposition
Mbeki's own chef is overseeing the catering for
the lunch . The
main course will be Karoo lamb, preceded by a starter of duck and ostrich
consommé . For dessert there will be raspberry cheese cake.
Four students from Soweto, accompanied by a pianist
military, will provide the music.
"We are all
very excited," said Khumalo. "This will be one
occasion to remember. But the pomp and ceremony is modest.
"It's not like we want to go
Sunday Herald (UK)
African chaos risks aid
Bush puts Marshall Plan in doubt if continent's leaders fail to take action
over rogue states
From Fred Bridgland in Johannesburg
The US dollar bears the words 'In God we trust' and President George Bush
likes to end his speeches with 'God bless America.'
When Bush treads South African soil this week he will be greeted by
President Thabo Mbeki and the South African national anthem beginning: Nkosi
Silkelel'i Afrika [God Bless Africa].
With God all around them, in song, on banknotes and in perorations, Bush and
Mbeki will then get down to the most important talks of the week-long Bush
safari to Africa -- the first by a Republican US President.
There will be two items on the agenda -- regime change in neighbouring
Zimbabwe and God-blessed American dollars to fund Mbeki's dream of an
African renaissance that will put to rest the image of the world's poorest
continent as a doomed basket case.
It will be an interesting coming together of two strange and puzzling men.
They will have little difficulty in agreeing on the need for renaissance via
Nepad, Mbeki's 'big idea' Marshall Plan for Africa. Bush wants Nepad [the
New Partnership for Africa's Development] because he now knows, after
September 11 2001, that fragile, poverty-stricken states, with weak
institutions and pitiless, corrupt rulers, pose as great a danger to America
and its national interests as strong states.
He needs Mbeki because South Africa is the dominant economic and political
power in Africa. It is a vigorous functioning all-race democracy with a
post-apartheid constitution guaranteeing more freedoms than America's. There
is no Nepad, no new vision for Africa, without South Africa.
Africa's teeming poor are a perfect breeding ground for al-Qaeda and other
liberation-cum-terrorist movements. Bush, to his surprise and against his
instincts when he came to power, finds that Washington needs to wield its
influence in Africa or possibly face terrible consequences as the problems
of a crippled continent spill over into the rest of the world.
Mbeki also desperately wants Nepad because, as he once said: 'I don't think
you can have sustainable, successful development in this country if the rest
of the continent is in flames.' The core of Mbeki's big idea is that Africa
should cease looking outside for help and begin to uplift itself. As a quid
pro quo, the West, and America in particular, should reward effort,
democratic transparency, control of corruption and commitment to free-market
economies with billions of dollars of investment to ratchet up African
living standards and remove from international tele vision screens images of
emaciated African children with begging bowls.
Mbeki, Senegal's President Abdoulaye Wade, President Olusegun Obasanjo of
Nigeria and Algeria's President Abdelaziz Bouteflika were able to get the G8
nations to sign on to Nepad at their summit in Kananaskis, Canada, a year
ago. However, the G8 leaders were plainly sceptical of Africa's ability to
deliver its side of the bargain and they warned Mbeki that Zimbabwe, where
Robert Mugabe's egomania and obsession with power has sent his country and
people into a catastrophic nose-dive, would be Nepad's litmus test of
Mbeki has failed to deliver, and Bush in a special interview on South
African state television on Friday night gave the South African president a
stark warning to act against Mugabe. Asked what he would be telling Mbeki in
Pretoria on Wednesday to do about Zimbabwe, Bush said: 'Insist that there be
elections. Insist that democracy rule.'
Bush will also repeat the warning contained in the G8's final Kananaskis
communiquŽ: 'They (the African leaders) have emphasised good governance and
human rights as necessary preconditions for Africa's recovery. We (the rich
nations) each undertake to establish enhanced partnerships with African
countries whose performance reflects Nepad commitments.
'Our partners will be selected on the basis of measured results.' And then
comes the crunch line: 'We will not work with governments which disregard
the interests and dignity of their people.'
Last week the executive director of Human Rights Watch Africa, Peter
Takurambudde, observed that in Zimbabwe 'not only have the army and police
personnel failed to protect people from human rights abuses, but they are
now carrying out the abuses themselves.'
And still Thabo Mbeki remains mute, endorsing by his silence the legitimacy
of Mugabe and his stolen presidential re-election last year. Yet Mbeki also
continues to expect support for Nepad from the US and the G8, as though they
are bound by some unquestionable moral imperative.
Bush, in the roughest and most strained of his series of African summits,
will tell Mbeki that Pretoria has become part of the Zimbabwe problem and
that Nepad is dead in the water until South Africa stops shielding Mugabe
and begins to withdraw its economic support -- for example, in the supply of
electricity -- so that he can be toppled sooner rather than later.
US Secretary of State Colin Powell, who is accompanying Bush on the Africa
trip, last week also piled the pressure on both Mugabe and Mbeki by
demanding that Mugabe step down from power. America, in return, would give
generous assistance to restore Zimbabwe's political and economic
institutions in advance of new presidential and parliamentary elections.
'Robert Mugabe and his cohorts may cry 'blackmail', but we should ignore
them. Their time has come and gone,' said Powell. 'If leaders on the
continent do not do more to convince President Mugabe to respect the rule of
law and enter into a dialogue with the political opposition, he and his
cronies will drag Zimbabwe down until there is nothing left to ruin and
Zimbabwe's implosion will continue to threaten the stability and prosperity
of the region.'
Mbeki and his top African National Congress lieutenants have been deeply
shocked by the tough talk of Bush and Powell on Zimbabwe, which they regard
as their own domain. They now fear their refusal to take action against
Mugabe is creating a vacuum which the US is moving to fill.
There is anger within South Africa itself over Mbeki's refusal to act
against Mugabe and dozens of theories of why he is allowing the dictator to
destroy Zimbabwe and erode Mbeki's own reputation. The strongest theory is
that Mbeki is simply paranoid, as illustrated by his belief that Aids is not
caused by the HIV virus while 200 of his country-men die from Aids-related
infections each day.
Veteran South African journalist Allister Sparks, in his new book Beyond the
Miracle: Inside the New South Africa, says Mbeki's reluctance to act against
Mugabe comes from a racist perspective that the rich, white world is
concerned only with the suffering of whites in Zimbabwe and is indifferent
to the suffering and death of millions of black people all over Africa.
There is truth in this perspective, but it does also miss the point by a
wide margin that the overwhelming majority of people suffering in Zimbabwe
under Mugabe's tyranny are black. 'Zimbabwe has fallen into a political,
humanitarian and human rights crisis that shows little promise of
improvement,' says Human Rights Watch Africa in a report timed to coincide
with Bush's Africa visit.
'Since his controversial re-election in 2002, President Robert Mugabe has
clamped down on freedom of the press and on civil rights, resulting in
violent beatings by police officers, arbitrary arrests, and harassment of
the political opposition, human rights activists and the media, among other
abuses. Politicisation of both government and international humanitarian
food aid programmes has left millions of Zimbabweans malnourished and
What is certain is that if by the time Bush leaves South Africa on Thursday
there is no agreement with Mbeki on removing Mugabe there will be no Western
money for Nepad and Mbeki's own long-term survival may be in question.
06 July 2003
From The Sunday Times (SA), 6 July
Zimbabwe desperate to solve oil crisis
Sunday Times Foreign Desk
Despite the reported
success of President Robert Mugabe's recent
"fuel-foraging" trip to Libya, Zimbabwe remains dry and lurching towards its
most serious shortage yet. There were claims from both Mugabe's delegation
and the Libyans after last week's visit to Tripoli that fuel would start
trickling in "as soon as possible". As Foreign Minister Stan Mudenge
confidently put it: "Certainly, there will be fuel coming from Libya very
soon." And his Libyan counterpart, Abdul Mohammed, claimed: "The first
shipment of oil to Zimbabwe will be dispatched as soon as possible." But
Zimbabwe's fuel service stations remain dry, indicating that Libya's Tamoil
company has not resumed supplies. It is understood that Libyan and
Zimbabwean officials agreed that Harare has first to reduce its $67-million
debt to Tamoil and fulfil its obligations in terms of an earlier 360-million
deal by resuming supplies of agricultural commodities before oil is
supplied. Delivery would also depend on Zimbabwe's ability to resuscitate
its financing agreement with the Libyan Arab Bank in terms of the original
deal. Harare - which had a 90-million financing facility with this bank -
owes it 43-million. Altogether, Zimbabwe owes fuel suppliers more than
$100-million. Zimbabwe procures fuel through short- and long-term credit
financing and with cash.
maintain that they still need to acquire Zimbabwean fuel
sector-related assets before they can enter into a serious agreement with
Mugabe. As a result, a Libyan delegation has been dispatched to Harare to
tie up this deal. Before Mugabe visited Libya, there was a meeting between
fuel stakeholders, bankers, fuel industry representatives and government
officials to discuss the issue of assets. Mugabe was in a dilemma about how
to get Tripoli to resume supplies - and thus reverse a fuel crisis that has
steadily worsened since 1999 - without auctioning off Zimbabwean assets to
Libya. In other desperate "emergency" measures, Zimbabwe has banned the
carrying of fuel in containers, like jerry cans, as a way to avoid "fuel
wastage". In terms of the ban, a state permit is needed to carry fuel in a
container. The ban has been extended to public transport operators. The
country's struggle to import fuel has given rise to a thriving black market,
which has seen fuel sold locally at up to Z$2 000 a litre - around R10. Some
service stations are quoting fuel prices in US currency - usually at 55 US
cents a litre. The official price of petrol is Z$450 a litre. Zimbabwe needs
40-million a month to import about 87 000 metric tons of petroleum products.
Annually, the country needs $360-million to import enough fuel. In terms of
the original agreement with Tamoil, the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe was
to pay for the fuel in local currency, deposited into a local clearing
account. This money would then be invested locally by the Libyans, and it
was anticipated that these investments would offset any debt due to Libya.
But the investments made so far cannot pay for fuel supplied.
assets that Libya has targeted include the oil pipeline
between Harare and the border city of Mutare, which receives oil from Beira
in Mozambique. This is the country's chief oil supply line, providing nearly
all Zimbabwe's fuel. Tamoil, which used to supply 70% of the country's fuel,
wants key assets like these before it will resume fuel supplies. The Libyan
firm - 55% owned by a private Dutch consortium and 45% by the Libyan
government - is offering $48-million for the pipeline. Zimbabwe wants
100-million for it. Tamoil also wants the huge fuel depots at Msasa in
Harare, as well as a 50% stake in Petrozim, which is jointly owned by Noczim
and Lonrho. Once it has taken over Noczim's share, the Libyans intend
entering into negotiations with Lonrho for complete control of Petrozim.
Tamoil also wants to acquire the Zimbabwean government's 51% equity in the
major lubricants supplier, Oil Blending Enterprises. TotalFinaElf, from
which Zimbabwe is reportedly trying to source fuel, has a 49% stake in the
company. Sources said the Libyans are also interested in reviving the
derelict Feruka Oil Refinery in Mutare and hope to buy storage tanks there
and thus control the most critical oil infrastructure in Zimbabwe. This
would leave Mugabe's government powerless in the fuel sector. Harare has
already sold off the country's biggest storage tanks, in Beitbridge, to
TotalFinaElf, and is wary of any further sales of state assets. Tamoil,
meanwhile, wants to establish Tamoil-Zimbabwe Ltd, a 50-50 joint venture
with Noczim. It is speculated that the Libyans will buy up Zimbabwean assets
through this company.
Zimbabwe chances hang by a thread
By Michael Kariati
Zimbabwe just but blew their chances for a maiden appearance at the
African Cup of Nations when they failed to score the avalanche of goals
needed in Harare to stop Mali pipping them to the top spot of their soccer
The Warriors' narrow 2-0 victory over Eritrea, which was superseded by
Mali's 2-0 defeat of Seychelles, means that the southern African nation will
have to wait with bated breath for the results of today's match between
Sierra Leone and Gabon to find out whether there still remains a
mathematical chance to make it to the continental showcase.
It was tears once more for thousands of Zimbabwean fans who packed the
giant National Sports Stadium to witness The Warriors blow it by failing to
beat minnows Eritrea by a wide margin and therefore secure automatic top
spot in Group Six.
Zimbabwe, which had planned a massive party had the Warriors
triumphed, turned into a nation of mourning after they crashed out of an
automatic place for the 2004 African Cup of Nations despite overcoming
Eritrea 2-0 before a crowd of about 50 000.
As the fans trickled out of the stadium, having heard that Mali had
won in Victoria and with one of their goals coming in on the 85th minute,
many wore the dejected look of mourners from a body viewing session.
"I am very disappointed. I did not expect such performance from The
Warriors. I won't attend their matches again. I might get a heart attack,"
said a disappointed Rob Tambuli, drowning his sorrows at the VIP Sports Bar
at the stadium just after the game.
Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe have the same goal difference, and Zimbabwe
can only hope to qualify if Gabon win or forces a draw. A win by any
scoreline by Sierra Leone would mean the Warriors are out of the 2004
Yet The Warriors have only themselves to blame for this tricky
situation. They only needed to have drawn in Victoria last month but lost
the match to Seychelles which everybody expected them to win.
While hope was restored with their goalless draw in Bamako, to many
fans, it seemed as if The Warriors' glory would be crowned with yesterday's
match at the National Sports Stadium.
The run up to the match showed the renewed sense of faith in the
players. From every street corner, expectations were high that the team
would crush little Eritrea and catapult into the finals.
Cars hooted before the match and bars filled up as the televised match
began. Zimbabwean flags were everywhere and the fans danced with joy in
anticipation as they looked forward to a clear Warriors victory.
The team gave a sound performance in the first half but lady luck was
not on their side. With Johannes Ngodzo pulling the strings in the midfield,
Zimbabwe were in total control of the game, and appeared on course for a
wide margin victory when within 16 minutes captain Peter Ndlovu gave them a
In fact, Ndlovu could have given Zimbabwe the lead as early as the
seventh minute but after dribbling past two defenders, he was crudely
brought down in the penalty box.
Surprisingly, the Malawian referee Youngson Chilinda gave Zimbabwe an
indirect free kick. That was the beginning of the end of Zimbabwe's run for
Or was it?
MDC to meet Bush over Mugabe
By our own Staff, Reuters
THE opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) is piling up
pressure on President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party by lobbying US
President, George W Bush, who visits South Africa on Tuesday, for a meeting
where Mugabe's departure would be top of the agenda.
Bush has said Mugabe is at the centre of Zimbabwe's current problems
and that his departure from office would help resolve the crisis.
MDC spokesman Paul Themba Nyathi said yesterday the opposition party
planned to meet Bush and his senior advisers when the American President
visits South Africa this week.
Speaking from South Africa, where the MDC has set-up a temporary
information base until Saturday, Nyathi said the MDC would "take advantage
of the huge media presence" during Bush's visit "to publicise our agenda to
the entire international community".
Bush, who has been very critical of Mugabe and has urged the
Zimbabwean leader to resign from office, yesterday defended his use of the
American military, but said the US mission abroad was also to spread
freedom, relieve suffering and lead the fight against AIDS in Africa.
On the eve of a trip to Senegal, Botswana, Uganda, Nigeria and South
Africa, Bush is considering whether to send peacekeeping troops to Liberia
to try to end almost 14 years of violence, and how to resolve the Zimbabwean
On Zimbabwe, Bush and his aides are expected to clash with South
African President Thabo Mbeki who favours a "softly" approach to get Mugabe
and MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai to the negotiation table.
Bush's visit to South Africa has already raised the political
temperature in Zimbabwe with Mugabe urging his supporters "not to be
Mugabe, who has also come under fire from US Secretary of State Colin
Powell, told members of Zanu PF's Central Committee, that Bush was unlikely
to overthrow his administration because Zimbabwe "has no oil".
The Zimbabwe government has also stepped up its criticism of the US
government ahead of the visit, accusing Bush of working with the MDC to
organise a "regime change" in the southern African country.
* See Comment
Harare water works, sewage system obsolete
By Langton Nyakwenda
HARARE'S water supply and sewerage systems are obsolete, dilapidated
and decaying and must be replaced urgently if the city is to overcome the
current water shortages and avoid frequent complaints of burst water and
sewage pipes, The Standard has established.
A Standard news crew was invited on a tour of Morton Jaffrey Water
Works, the main source of Harare's treated water, and Firle Sewerage Works,
and was shocked to see that both facilities looked derelict with old
buildings and run-down equipment.
Successive Zanu PF administrations that have run the council since
independence in 1980 have, for instance, failed to refurbish the Morton
Jaffrey Water Works, whose infrastructure was inherited from the 1950s
The pump at Morton Jaffrey Water Works, which is now falling apart and
has to be improvised by workers, was installed in 1953 during the colonial
era and has never been replaced or upgraded.
Edmore Chawasemera, the senior mechanical engineer at Morton Jaffrey
said under normal circumstances, the plant should be refurbished after every
20 years but the city had failed to adhere to this schedule due to lack of
funds. Half a century down the line, there are still no signs of any
renovations at the plant.
According to council, more than $500 million dollars is required to
refurbish the pumps, filters, valves and clarifiers and the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)-dominated city council says it does not
have the borrowing powers from government to source adequate funds from the
market and undertake the renovations.
The situation is so critical that hessian sacks are being substituted
for valves at water works while the pumps have become rusty and the motors,
which were previously mechanically operated, have now been converted to be
As a result, water supplies to the city have been reduced by more than
100 mega litres resulting in persistent water shortages in most parts of the
capital. Under normal circumstances, Morton Jaffrey pumps 600 megalitres of
water per day but now it can only pump 480 megalitres.
The political impasse between Zanu PF and the MDC has also not helped
matters. The government has been reluctant to release enough foreign
currency at one go to rehabilitate the water works and to import water
purification chemicals because a good water system for Harare would be
viewed as the result of an efficient MDC management of council affairs,
political analysts said.
Harare City Council imports small quantities of carbon, lime and
chlorine - among other chemicals - from South Africa, Zambia and Angola. The
city has persistently run out of the chemicals because of its failure to
secure enough hard currency from government.
City spokesperson, Cuthbert Rwazemba, last week said the city council
would continue with the fight for more borrowing powers from government.
"If we are granted borrowing powers then we can go into the market and
borrow money to upgrade all the infrastructure that is now in tatters," he
Firle Sewerage Works is also suffering from lack of spares resulting
in frequent breakdowns caused by maintenance problems. Out of the four
plants at Firle, three are functioning and their capacity has been greatly
reduced, The Standard established during the tour.
The whole plant treats 144 mega litres per day but its capacity has
been greatly reduced following the frequent breakdowns.
Harare, once a clean city and the envy of the world, is now an eye
sore with burst sewerage pipes a common sight. The city's population has
been exploding and the dilapidated infrastructure is under severe stress,
Water rationing has also become the order of the day and in places
like Mufakose and Warren Park, taps run dry for most the day.
State warned over fueling inflation
By Loughty Dube
BULAWAYO - Government's move to introduce $28 billion into the money
market in the coming three months in new notes came rather too late and will
cause the rate of inflation in the country to shoot up to unprecedented
levels, leading economists have said.
In an interview with The Standard, Bulawayo-based economist, Eric
Bloch and John Robertson, both said the move to put into circulation $28
billion in new $500 notes was welcome but would not ease the cash shortages
currently plaguing the country as it came rather too late.
Zimbabwe has been facing a critical shortage of bank notes that has
been characterised by long queues at the banks and empty ATMs (automatic
teller machines). Experts say the shortage has been fuelled by the
hyperinflation, currently pegged at 300,1 percent, and the bouyant foreign
exchange black market.
"The move to inject more bank notes into the money market is both
positive and negative in that it would eliminate the scarce bank note
shortages but at the same time it would exacerbate the rate of inflation,"
He said the cash shortage currently plaguing the country was hindering
businesses from conducting their normal transactions and affected employees
when it came to paying workers their salaries.
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe announced in a statement this week that
it would inject $28 billion into the money market in two tranches.
The bank, in a statement on Monday, said that it has already sent out
for circulation $8 billion dollars into the money market and will follow
that up with a further $24 million by August this year.
However, Harare-based John Robertson said the amount government was
injecting into the money market was not enough, as the price of everything
in the country had almost doubled.
"Currently there is a scarcity of hard cash in Zimbabwe and the
country needs at least $17 billion to be circulating around the country,"
According to RBZ figures, the totals plus the new cash injections
would bring into circulation cash amounting to about $125 billion and that
would give a shortfall of over $45 billion needed to normalise cash
Robertson said the government was printing more money to finance its
deficit instead of raising taxes and reducing its own expenditure.
"Government's intention to just print money using the printing press
by printing more money without without balancing the equation by cutting
down on its expenditure or by raising taxes will further exacerbate
inflation," he said.
Gogo Masotsha Ndlovu: a forgotten heroine
By Cynthia Mahwite
THEY spend their day sitting in their room in groups of three. The few
who can read have Bibles and books, but the majority just sit idle all day
long and wait for sleep to take them out of their misery when night falls.
Welcome to the old people home's in Bulawayo, a place which has become
the permanent home for Gogo Margaret Masotsha Ndlovu, the long forgotten
widow of veteran nationalist and Zimbabwean national hero Masotsha Ndlovu.
At the age of 91, Gogo Margaret is indistinguishable from the inmates
of Ekuphumuleni who spend the whole day huddled, listless and in silence for
most of the day because even a mere conversation can be too much: it usurps
the little energy left in their ageing limbs.
One of Gogo Margaret's friends here is Helen Makobere, a cousin of
Zanu PF politician Cephas Msipa, the governor for the Midlands province.
The Standard news crew came across Gogo Margaret when it visited the
home, which is facing serious cash flow problems, to witness a donation to
Ekuphumuleni made by a local bank.
Although Gogo Margaret says she finds the place ideal for her - since
she does not wish to be a burden to any of her relatives or friends any
longer - her plight is testimony of how the Zanu PF regime totally forgets
the widows of national heroes once the official burial and ceremony at the
National Heroes' Acre is over.
Gogo Margaret's aged voice betrays a sense of bitterness at how she
has been abandoned by the ruling party which, ironically, claims to
recognise the immense contribution made to Zimbabwe's independence by her
late husband, Burombo, a towering trade union leader.
"Usasekhona yini uHulumende? Angimazi njalo laye kangazi ngoba
sahlukana ngesikhathi umkami esifa, abazange bangicinge," (Is there still a
government? I don't know of their existence and they don't know me because
our relationship ended the time my husband died)," said the nonagenarian.
"UMasotsha waye-thanda umsebenzi wakhe njalo ethanda ukusebenzela
abantu. Angizange ngelinye ilanga ngicabange ukuthi uhulumende
wayezangilahla ngomsebenzi owenziwa ngumkami," (Masotsha was dedicated to
his work and loved working for the people. I never at one point thought that
the government would neglect me with the amount of work my husband invested
in the liberation struggle).
The late hero's widow, who has been staying at Ekuphumuleni for the
past year, could not hold back the tears as she narrated her work and that
of her husband during the struggle for liberation to The Standard.
Motionless in her chair, her voice quivers as she relates her story
while tears trickle down her winkled cheeks.
Due to advancing age, it is clear that she can no longer remember
everything that happened years ago when Zimbabwe was still waging the
struggle for independence.
She recalls an unusual man appearing at her house three months after
Masotsha had been summoned by the Smith regime to Harare and asking her to
go and assist her husband who was lying by the side of the river close to
The man pleaded with her to go and assist her husband since everyone
in the community was afraid to be involved.
"I was shocked to hear of Masotsha being in the area when he was
supposed to be in Harare. However, I went to the river where I found my
husband lying dead by the river. Masotsha had sand in his mouth and from the
look of things he had been killed and placed there," she says as tears
trickle down her face.
She however cannot recall the events that followed but strongly feels
hurt by the fact that government has up to now never made an attempt to
honor the contribution of her husband by thanking her.
"Inhliziyo yami idabukile nxa ngikhumbula ukuthi uMasotsha wafela
uzibuse we Zimbabwe, ngidabukile nxa ngibona kungela ngitsho lesisodwa
isimeli sika Hulumende esingicingayo yena umkami eliqhawe." (My heart bleeds
when I recall the pain that my husband went through to liberate this
country. Yes, he is a hero but it looks like the government has neglected
me, no one has ever visited me from that office).
She added: "They do not even know that I am here, but they are making
historical references to my husband's heroism."
Gogo Margaret is not alone in this predicament as several widows of
the struggle say they have generally been totally forgotten and abandoned by
the Zanu PF government.
Beef exports to Malaysia under threat
By Loughty Dube
BULAWAYO - A deal between the Cold Storage Commission (CSC) and
Malaysia for the export of 5 000 tonnes of Zimbabwean beef worth US$15
million annually is under threat following the outbreak of the contagious
foot and mouth disease in three provinces during the last three weeks, it
has been established.
The CSC appeared to be on the verge of sealing the export deal
following a visit into the country by the Malaysians in June last year to
assess the country's beef processing methods. The CSC has turned to the East
after the company's failure to export beef to the lucrative European Union
The Malaysians tou-red CSC facilities in Masvingo and Bulawayo to
assess whether the local abattoirs conformed to international standards.
However, the deal could fall through following the outbreak of foot
and mouth disease in Masvingo, the Midlands and Matabeleland amidst reports
that the Department of Veterinary Services has no funds to purchase vaccines
from neighbouring Botswana to control the disease.
The Department of Veterinary Services last week suspended all cattle
movements and sales in the Midlands province following an outbreak of foot
and mouth in Somabhula.
Zimbabwe is experiencing an acute shortage of vaccines to contain the
disease and needs about US$10 million to purchase them from the Botswana
"What is hampering our efforts to control the foot and mouth outbreak
is the shortage of foreign currency in the country which is preventing us
from acquiring doses of the vaccine," Stuart Hargreaves, the director of
Veterinary Services said.
CSC acting chief executive officer, Ngoni Chinogaramombe, said his
organisation was drawing cattle from the Mashonaland provinces which were
not infected by foot and mouth.
"The CSC has done everything that is required by the Malaysians to
comply with their requirements and given this background we do not foresee
the outbreak in Midlands affecting the intended exports to Malaysia," said
He said the CSC was currently awaiting another visit from the
Malaysians who are going to carry out a re-inspection of factories after the
latest modification of CSC plants and processors.
Chinogaramombe however said the EU market remained closed as a result
of sporadic foot and mouth outbreaks in the country.
Zimbabwe's beef exports to the EU were suspended in August 2001 after
a major outbreak of the disease was reported at a CSC feedlot in Willsgrove,
The CSC, the country's biggest meat processor, was exporting 9 200
tonnes of quality beef to the EU before the suspension of beef exports to
Beleagured New Ziana hits fresh snags
By Henry Makiwa
THE state-controlled New Ziana's ambitious project to launch an
electronic media division to help the government's faltering propaganda
machine has hit a snag after revelations that the beleaguered media group
mismanaged State funds made available to it early this year.
New Ziana, born out of the ashes of the former Zimbabwe Inter-Africa
News Agency (Ziana), was restructured to cater for an electronic division in
2001 under much vaunted media diversification attempts by the junior
minister of information and publicity in the President's Office, Jonathan
But this week it emerged that the restructuring process had derailed
after the New Ziana management allegedly misappropriated funds provided for
in the government budget for 2003.
The situation reached breaking point this week when workers,
disgruntled over poor pay, confronted management to explain how it had used
the money made available to it by government.
According to sources, much of the $500m that New Ziana had received to
acquire cars and some electronic equipment such as cameras and computers for
its proposed studios, had disappeared.
It is alleged that some senior officials within the organisation had
subverted funds to throw unbudgeted for parties and fund the ruling Zanu PF
party's propaganda programmes and activities.
"They (management) bought a vehicle for the print section but up to
now they have not acquired any cameras or computers to set up even the most
basic studio. Yet they expect to set up an electronic division," said an
"For much of this week (last week), management has been locked in
marathon meetings with the workers over poor pay at which management was
tasked to explain what they have done with the money they received from the
government budget, given that workers are still lowly paid."
However Munacho Mutezo, the New Ziana chairman, on Friday insisted
that all was well within the newly-established organisation.
Mutezo said: "As far as we are concerned everything is well at New
Ziana. We have never had any intention to set up studios, so I cannot
comment on everything else."
The setting up of the electronic division, sources say, was Moyo's
brainchild which was meant to widen the scope of State propaganda that is
currently largely disseminated from one broadcaster, the Zimbabwe
Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC).
The sources said there were plans to rescue the situation as soon as
the government's new supplementary budget is made available.
Moyo's Department of Information and Publicity stands to receive an
estimated extra $7,3bn, according to figures of government's proposed
supplementary budget seen by The Standard.
Beta defies Mugabe over Mutare mayoral candidature
By Henry Makiwa
OUTSPOKEN Mutare businessman and a leading member of Zanu PF, Shadreck
Beta, has vowed to defy President Robert Mugabe and oppose the party's
official mayoral candidate, Elena Gwaradzimba, throwing into disarray the
ruling party's campaign for Mutare.
Zanu PF, which currently controls Mutare, faces a stern challenge from
the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) which has claimed four
urban mayoral seats since its formation in 1999.
Beta was disqualified in May from the mayoral race in unclear
circumstances, losing out to Zanu PF's favoured choice, Gwaradzimba.
The former Zanu PF Manicaland chairman who last week petitioned the
High Court to stop Gwaradzimba's campaign, told The Standard yesterday that
he was prepared to oppose her candidature "all the way".
"I am not going back on the challenge because I know that I have more
support than Gwaradzimba. My political CV (curriculum vitae) speaks for
itself ... the people are clearly confident of my leadership and they should
not be denied their choice," he told The Standard.
"All the talk that the President supports Gwaradzimba is nonsensical.
He (Mugabe) was here for just a day and we cannot judge his inclinations
from that one visit alone."
Beta was dismissed from the Zanu PF Manicaland provincial chairmanship
post and barred from seeking re-election in 2001 after Muchinguri and the
late ruling party political commissar, Border Gezi, alleged he was
destroying the party.
The Mutare mayoral and council elections are set for the end of
August. The incumbent Mutare mayor, Zanu PF's Lawrence Mudehwe, will not be
standing for re-election.
A source within the ruling party said Manicaland Governor Oppah
Muchinguri, its secretary for external affairs Didymus Mutasa, and Justice
Minister Patrick Chinamasa, were openly supporting Gwaradzimba.
"Beta's fate was sealed during President Mugabe's last visit to
Manicaland when he also pledged his support for Gwaradzimba," said the
* Meanwhile, the MDC has picked Mutare businessman, Misheck
Kagurabadza, to represent the party in the mayoral election next month
New farmers' dream turns into nightmare
By Caiphas Chimhete
LAMECK Murengwa is one of the thousands of people in Manicaland
province who have benefited from President Robert Mugabe's controversial and
chaotic land reform programme.
However since last year, the 36-year-old new farmer has not planted
any crops on his land because he cannot afford to buy seeds and the
essential chemicals including fertiliser.
He has also failed to hire a tractor from the District Development
Fund (DDF) scheme, so he uses an ox-drawn plough, planting a small portion
of the huge tract of land that he was awarded as part of the fast tack land
"I was planning to start serious farming this season but the
government has not given us the seeds. Given the inputs, I will start this
winter season," said Murengwa.
Such is the predicament of thousands of people who benefited from
Mugabe's land reform programme, blamed internally and in the West of having
condemned Zimbabwe to being yet another African basket case.
Investigations by the The Standard have shown that the majority of the
new farmers do not have the capacity to produce substantially, seriously
compromising the food situation in a country where more than six million
people are now surviving on food handouts.
Farming experts said the shortage of seeds, fertiliser, diesel and
farming machinery has put the country's cereal deficit at critical levels.
The continued deterioration of Zimbabwe's economy, the continuing drought
and the disruption of agricultural production due to the land reforms
compound the problems.
A report by a combined mission of the Food and Agriculture
Organisation (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) to Zimbabwe recently
estimated a total harvest of 887 061 tonnes for maize and other small grains
for the 2002/04 season, barely enough to feed the country for a few months.
Maize output this season alone stood at 802 664 tonnes, 64% lower than
last year. The winter wheat forecast stands at 90 000 tonnes, down from last
year's 160 000 tonnes.
"The reasons for the decline include reduction in both area planted
and yield, given that fertiliser availability is seriously constrained.
Winter maize is not expected to be of any significance," noted the report.
Based on the estimated main season cereal output, projected wheat
production and an opening stock of 115 000 tonnes of all cereals, the cereal
import requirement for the 2003/04 is estimated at 1,287 million tonnes, of
which maize constitutes 980 000 tonnes.
"Following on the heels of a collapse of cereal production last year,
the cereal output this year is also very low relative to the cereal
requirements," said FAO/WFP in the report.
The director of the Indigenous Commercial Farmers' Union (ICFU), John
Mautsa, conceded that the shortages of seed and fertiliser will greatly
affect the country's cereal output this season.
He said the shortages had mainly affected those resettled under the A1
model scheme, the programme that is mostly aimed at villagers and peasants,
because they lack financial resources.
"Seeds are in short supply because it was a domain of white commercial
farmers, and because some of them lost their land in the land reform
programme, they stopped producing seed," said the ICFU director.
An official with the Commercial Farmers' Union said the lack of the
right seed variety for a particular area, poor land preparation and high
infestation of weeds have seriously compromised the total cereal output.
The government's DDF tractor hire scheme was hijacked, mostly by
senior Zanu PF members, leaving many resettled farmers unable to carry out
normal land preparations.
Despite the problems, the Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural
Resettlement, Joseph Made, has said the country would produce more wheat and
maize because people who benefited from the land reform have planted crops.
The government claims to have resettled about 54 000 new farmers under
the A2 commercial agriculture model while slightly over 200 000 have also
been allocated pieces of land under the A1 scheme.
As a result of the disruption caused by the land reform programme,
which left nearly 400 000 farm workers jobless, Zimbabwe's food production
went down by 50% last year.
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)'s shadow minister of lands and
agriculture, Renson Gasela, said the scarcity of food is set to worsen this
year contrary to Made's assertions that yields will be higher.
"Last year, the country managed to produce what it did because most
commercial farmers were duped into planting maize and wheat before their
farms were grabbed by the government," said Gasela, the former Grain
Marketing Board general manager.
He also said the cost of inputs might have forced most of the new
farmers, particularly those under the A1 model, not to plant any substantial
portions of their allocated land.
"The cost of fertiliser is out of reach for most new farmers. Imagine
one would need about $300 000 for one tonne of fertiliser and here were have
not talked about the cost of seed, ploughing and chemicals. Where would a
communal farmer get that kind of money?" asked Gasela.
The fertiliser industry has a capacity to produce 200 000 tonnes, but
is operating at 65% capacity due to the shortage of foreign currency, fuel,
coal and erratic electricity supplies. Only about 420 000 tonnes of the
product were produced out of the required one million last year.
The current shortage of food has affected a large part of the
country's population, in particular the vulnerable rural population, the
urban poor and the former commercial farmers, their workers and the workers'
Syfrets issues bills for fuel procurement
By our own Staff
SYFRETS Corporate and Merchant Bank, the leading financial adviser in
the cash-strapped National Oil Company of Zimbabwe (Noczim)'s desperate
attempts to raise money to buy fuel, will return to the market tomorrow to
try to raise an extra $10bn through the issue of Petrofin bills.
This would be the fourth issue of Petrofin bills which initially were
introduced on the market in May. Noczim ventured again into the market in
June and on Wednesday last week, seeking $5bn that the lead adviser now
claims was oversubscribed by 700%.
Syfrets on Friday invited potential investors ranging from individuals
to institutions to subscribe for the bills whose offer opens tomorrow at
8.00am and closes at 12.30pm.
Interest for the bills is market-related and would be determined by
tenders submitted while its tenor would be 90 days, says Syfrets.
Altogether $30bn has been raised from the three issues of Petrobills
so far which are intended to raise $60bn for the importation of fuel.
The bills enjoy liquid asset status and are guaranteed by the
government, through the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, and
the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.
The central bank has made an undertaking to pay investors on maturity.
The bills are also accepted as collateral for overnight accommodation by the
Analysts said the oil procurement company could have been buoyed by
the demand shown to last week's bills, which attracted 39 bids that amounted
"Big corporations now prefer the security of Petrofin bills than a
91-day Treasury Bill which attracts a 54% rate because the gap is huge,"
said Witness Chinyama, an analyst with Kingdom Financial Holdings.
However, another analyst expressed reservations about the claims of
over-subscription of the Petrobills issued so far, saying, "It seems highly
"These claims should be looked at very carefully. These investors are
not doing themselves any favour by accepting such rates because within three
months the rate of inflation won't be down," said the analyst.
Zimbabwe has been experiencing a fuel crisis since 1999 because of its
failure to pay for supplies.
Critics accuse the government of President Robert Mugabe of having
worsened the crisis by advocating populist policies that included
subsidising the pump price of petrol and diesel.
Mugabe has tried to address the crippling fuel shortages by appealing
to friendly nations that produce oil.
Last week he went cap in hand to his Libyan friend, Muammar Gaddafi.
Gaddafi suspended supplies to Harare after failing to secure concrete
assurances from Mugabe that he would be paid through a barter deal involving
Zimbabwean products such as beef, tea, fruits and commercial farmland.
According to reports, Mugabe failed to convince Gaddafi that Zimbabwe
was now capable of fulfilling its part of the deal and returned home empty
Black empowerment bodies are full of crooks
I was not surprised to read in a local newspaper about
the break-up of
the National Miners' Association. The Miners' Association is similar to
organisations such as ZEXCOM, IBDC, IBWO, AAG and Women in Business, which
only benefit their leadership.
Some of these leaders have shamelessly looted funds entrusted to them
by their members. Unscrupulously exploiting opportunities created by
government, they have transformed themselves into tycoons bound by no ethics
or morals overnight.
They have embarked on a crusade of self-enrichment in which the
ostentatious display of wealth features prominently. Top of the range
vehicles such as BMWs, Mercedes Benz, Volvo and 4X4s are unashamedly parked
in their front yards.
Business promotion trips to Malaysia, Taiwan, Singapore, South
America, Europe and South Africa are nothing but opportunities to
externalise foreign currency obtained under the guise of black empowerment.
Goods bought during these so-called business trips are brought into the
country duty free to adorn their homes in the northern suburbs. The latest
fad is to bring in farming equipment for farms, which in most cases, were
Bureau de changes may have been officially closed, but these leaders
continue to buy and sell foreign currency on the black market. They are a
parasitic class, which consumes everything but produces nothing.
They do not have the entrepreneurial skills to start and grow their
own businesses. All they do is ruthlessly exploit their gullible members and
feed on government largesse. Sadly, members of these organisations do not
question what happens to their money.
Fortunately, the majority of the National Miners' Association members
have seen the light and done the right thing.
They have discarded the lacklustre and directionless leadership of
Giles Munyoro. Government has a duty to help them set up a viable
organisation, which will benefit from its policy of black empowerment.
But the breakaway members must demand an audit to establish the fate
of their contributions and investments. A similar exercise must be carried
out in other empowerment organisations. The same leaders who were elected at
inception are still at the helm. They desperately cling to power to cover up
their financial mismanagement and abuse of office.
It must be in this country alone that characters like these are not
only tolerated, but also feted by government. The day shall come when these
leaders are held accountable. Their fancy cars will not be fast enough to
provide a quick escape from justice.
As Jamaican reggae star, Peter Tosh, sings "Downpressorman where will
you run to on that day?"
Comment - Bush visit: What's in it for Zimbabwe?
THE United States President George W Bush will this
week set off on a
tour of South Africa, Botswana, Uganda, Nigeria and Senegal - the second to
sub-Saharan Africa by a US president, the first being that of former
president Bill Clinton.
His aim - among other things - is to cast a high voltage spotlight on
the continent's emerging democracies, economic growth and social progress,
the fight against the deadly disease HIV/Aids and to promote and strengthen
relationships with the United States.
Whether President Mugabe and Zanu PF choose to dismiss the visit as a
non-event or not, the point must be forcefully made that each of the
countries to be visited is moving ahead while Zimbabwe is definitely
retreating back to the Stone Age.
This is the reality which is staring us in the face. South Africa and
Botswana are benefiting from tourism at our expense. A lot of companies are
closing shop in this country and relocating to South Africa and Botswana in
droves - again, to our detriment!
It does not matter if the Zimbabwean President calls on Africa and his
gormless battalion of faithfuls in his party not to be intimidated by Bush's
African visit - the fact that Mugabe felt this is a point he should stress,
is in itself an indication of his appreciation of the possible impact of the
Describing Colin Powell as a "disgraceful Uncle Tom" and other such
vitriol might be what Jonathan Moyo believes he is paid for, but it
certainly will not bring food on to the tables of long suffering
Zimbabweans. It was, in terms of foreign relations, an extraordinarily inept
thing to say even for a government not known for its delicacy of diplomacy.
If these crude and undignified attacks on President Bush and US
Secretary of State Colin Powell were being made from a position of strength,
perhaps we would be more guarded in our criticism.
But these, we dare say, are obsessional and uncouth; this is gutter
language that is not expected of self-respecting leaders , even if they are
of the thoroughly discredited Zanu PF variety. We strongly feel that there
is something to be said for politicians putting their criticisms of each
other into some kind of perspective.
Crude insults and name calling cannot, by any stretch of imagination,
be a viable substitute to workable solutions to our problems. Granted, Colin
Powell may have overplayed his hand in calling on President Mugabe to step
down but there is no faulting his analysis of the problems presently
African leaders such as Presidents Mbeki of South Africa and Olusegun
Obasanjo of Nigeria have stood firmly by President Mugabe convinced that the
Zimbabwean leader's ruinous land reform programme is a sincere effort to
correct a historical injustice. Never mind the fact that for more than 20
years Mugabe did nothing to address this thorny problem. It was only when
Mugabe realised power was slipping out of his hands that he brought the land
issue to the fore. In other words, Mugabe used the land issue to guarantee
his own political survival - period!
But trying to explain this to a continent that is searching for
dignity after centuries of colonial domination and slavery is not easy. Far
easier to swallow is President Mugabe's message that his is a crusade to
remove all vestiges of colonialism by ensuring that land "is returned to its
rightful owners", a populist refrain among the remnant of Africa's
nationalist political parties. More so when one considers that in some of
the newly independent countries, land ownership still remains an unresolved
and emotive issue.
These are some of the challenges those rooted in the soil of African
culture face today. What must be appreciated is that when Zimbabweans say
that Mugabe must go for the sake of the country, they are saying it from the
heart and as products of the Zimbabwean culture and environment. Invariably,
if the same calls are echoed by representatives of US, British or any other
foreign governments, rightly or wrongly, African leaders become defensive
and raise a hue and cry accusing the former colonial masters of hypocrisy
and seeking to impose their will on the continent.
Clearly, it is here we must find the reason why Presidents Mbeki and
Obasanjo choose to stand by President Mugabe against the feelings of the
majority of Zimbabweans, and against the advice of well-wishers here and
However, in the light of the forthcoming trip to Africa by President
Bush and the African Union (AU) summit in Maputo, questions must be asked:
What would it take to tip the balance in favour of a lasting solution to the
Zimbabwe crisis? What can be done to bridge this yawning gap between the
ruling Zanu PF and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change so that
there is dialogue and a common purpose?
This paper emphatically agrees with Colin Powell when he says that
with "the peserverence of brave Zimbabweans, strengthened commitment from
their neighbours and the strong support of the international community", the
people of Zimbabwe can be rescued. For we are indeed stuck with a
totalitarian regime which has become selfish, insensitive and indifferent to
the suffering of its own people.
However, by the same token, we share the view that the US should not
adopt the role of a world policeman advocating a regime change. Rather it
should concentrate its energies on helping the people of Zimbabwe and
African leaders resolve a specific political problem such as the one in this
Yes, the United States might be the leader of the free world, is a
great democracy, a military super power and a nation unequalled in material
wealth. But all that does not give it the right to act as a world policeman
and calling for regime changes wherever there is a problem.
Our advice to the US is that acting in this high handed manner can
only alienate people and needlessly lose the goodwill of its friends in
Africa. Powell's dramatic language ran the risk of being interpreted as
war-mongering and parallels being drawn with the Iraq war.
Africa has been a victim of historical circumstance for a long time
and the key point that needs to be driven home is that persuasion and
diplomacy resonates much more effectively with African leaders than the
Super Power tactics that the US is inclined to resort to.
The US administration's criticism of the Mugabe regime is very valid.
The Zimbabwean leader has lost any claim to democratic credentials. But in
his meetings with Presidents Mbeki and Obasanjo, President Bush is advised
not to display a one-eyed view of the continent.
While making his analysis of the Zimbabwe crisis clear, he must also
be prepared to listen carefully to what the African leaders will have to say
and move in tandem with them for the resolution of the Zimbabwe crisis.
This indeed is our advice to President Bush - an advice which is
interest-free and has no repayment schedule!
US has no right to dictate
ARCHBISHOP Pius Ncube of Bulawayo, is a well-known
critic of the
Zimbabwean government. His right to oppose the government will continue to
be respected. The government has expressed its willingness to enter into
discussions with all political groups at the appropriate time.
The leaders of the government fought for democracy and human rights
against British colonial oppression. It is an insult to accuse President
Robert Mugabe or his government of human rights violations.
Mr. Powell has no right to dictate to the people of Zimbabwe who their
president should be. The leaders of Zimbabwe should be chosen only by
Zimbabweans, through the ballot box.
Above all, Mr. Powell should respect the rights of African people to
repossess their land. To us, that is the No. 1 human right.
Zimbabwe welcomes any offer of economic assistance but will not agree
to mortgage its sovereignty in the process.
S. V. Mubako
Ambassador of Zimbabwe
(This letter was originally written to the New York Times)
Tanganda loses 200 tonnes as war veterans evict farmers
By our own Staff
TANGANDA Tea Company, the country's largest producer of tea lost up to
200 tonnes of the leaf as a result of the government-sanctioned land
seizures which have dispossessed white commercial farmers who contributed
significantly to the company's outgrowers' scheme.
Since 2000, rampaging war veterans and supporters of President Robert
Mugabe have chased away white commercial farmers off their farmland, an
operation the president's opponents blame for Zimbabwe's economic problems
and food shortages.
In a commentary accompanying its half-year results, Tanganda said the
displacement of farmers who supported the scheme had culminated in the
reduction in their number.
"Total tea production remained relatively static for the six month
period at 7 494 tonnes (2002;7 460 tonnes) with own production up by 3%.
Outgrower deliveries declined by 34% reflecting the problems connected with
land disruptions," the company said.
Martin Cameron, Tanganda's managing director lamented the displacement
of commercial farmers, saying: "Commercial farmers were quite a big scale to
Cameron also revealed that the beverages concern had lost about
1 500 workers at its estates mainly scattered in the Chipinge area
Mozambican nationals, who largely make up Tanganda's labour-force, had
taken farming in their home country reportedly to earn salaries in
"Meticais", the Mozambican currency which has gained against the Zimbabwean
"We are short of labour. Our guys have gone into the informal market,
buying and selling second hand clothes whilst the Mozambicans are saying
what can I buy with the Zimdollar. The incentive has changed. hence we are
upping the number of senior secondary schools," Cameron said.
Tea exports increased by 421% to $6 282 million and had it not been of
a two year-old trade wrangle between Zimbabwe and Zambia which resulted in
the ban of tea and other commodities on the Zambian market, Tanganda could
have recorded a much better export performance, said Cameron.
State blames exporters for defaulting on IMF debt
By Kumbirai Mafunda
THE government has blamed local exporters for its failure to meet debt
obligations to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
In an interview with Standard Business, deputy finance minister Chris
Kuruneri said Harare had made promises to the IMF to make quarterly payments
of $1,5 million on the assumption that local exporters would bring in the
Kuruneri's miscalculation resulted in the IMF suspending Zimbabwe's
voting and related rights last month. The deputy minister, in March, assured
a visiting IMF delegation on Article IV consultation talks with Zimbabwe
that government had restructured its debt and would be able to make
quarterly payments of $1,5 million to the fund.
The Zimbabwean government, suffering a severe foreign currency squeeze
because of its bad debtor status, has failed since March to honour its
pledge to the IMF and only made one token payment.
Kuruneri, however apportioned part of the blame on the perceived
readiness in March of local exporters to earn substantial hard currency
following the government's announcement of a new economic recovery package,
He said at the time he made the undertaking to the IMF, his assumption
was that the new export support rates, which were jointly announced at the
release NERP, would improve Zimbabwe's hard currency inflows.
In February, government devalued the local currency to $824 to a US
unit from the pegged $55 to the American greenback, following pressure from
industry and commerce.
"We have not been able to generate the export proceeds and hence our
inability to perform. We had made that undertaking with much hope on NERP
but the supply response has been dismal," Kuruneri told Standard Business.
However, Luckymore Zinyama, the national co-ordinator of the Zimbabwe
National Chamber of Commerce said benefits from the February devaluation
were quickly eroded by the participation of some government institutions on
the parallel market, which led to the strengthening of the US dollar.
"We blame the exchange rate because no sooner had the $824 been
agreed, the goal-posts had shifted with NOCZIM and ZESA coming into the
parallel market in which most businesses operate, and there was a surge in
demand," said Zinyama.
The two state enterprises, which have failed to secure enough
electricity and fuel from suppliers because they cannot get the hard
currency to pay for imports, have scoured the black market for foreign
exchange, pushing prices of the US dollar and other major currencies to
unprecedented high levels.
The American unit was this week trading for as much as $2 500 per US
dollar on the parallel market as demand for foreign currency outpaced
officially recorded inflows.
The foreign currency shortages have also led to a spat between central
bank and exporters of tobacco and minerals such as gold. The exporters say
the RBZ is failing to remit part of the export proceeds to them on time as
had been agreed to with the government.
The IMF's executive board holds a meeting in December during which it
is expected to eject Zimbabwe from the fund unless the southern African
country begins to pay off its debts and cleans up its tattered international
Zanu PF and MDC talks won't solve Zimbabwe's problems
Sundaytalk with Pius Wakatama
Some Zimbabweans are incorrigible optimists. They believe that if the
ruling Zanu PF party and the opposition MDC would only sit around a table in
dialogue, the crisis in Zimbabwe would be solved.
This view is typified by my Christian brother, Rev. Henry Chiromo of
the Baptist Church. In an interview in The Daily News on June 29, on the
role of the church in crisis ridden Zimbabwe, Rev Chiromo gave a biblical
response which no one familiar with the scriptures can argue with. However,
I disagree with him where he lumps President Robert Mugabe and Morgan
Tsvangirai of MDC together.
Rev Chiromo said:"There is an impasse where people talk about each
other and not to each other. In this respect President Mugabe and Tsvangirai
represent a following as each has his own supporters.
"Ideally, we would see the two coming together to put the interest of
majority first instead of the sacrificing the masses for what may appear to
be personal agendas. We need to bury our pride, and the church can assist
here mediating and finding an amicable solution."
To accuse Tsvangirai of pride and of having a personal agenda is
unfair and uncalled for.
All Zimbabweans who are wide awake, support the MDC stance that they
are ready to enter into dialogue and negotiations immediately without any
preconditions. However, they are not willing to form a government of
national unity with Zanu PF. The negotiations would be to work out
mechanisms to install an independent authority to run the country in the
transitional period before both general and presidential elections.
When President Thabo Mbeki successfully brokered negotiations between
Zanu PF and the MDC we all sighed a sigh of hopeful relief. However, before
the negotiators settled in their seats, the Zanu PF delegation walked out
insisting that the MDC must first recognise Mugabe as being the legitimately
elected president and withdrawing their petition from the courts.
Is it wrong or proud for Tsvangirai to refuse to recognise theft and
call it theft?
I say he was magnanimous indeed for having agreed to negotiate with
those who had openly stolen the presidency from him. I was there and saw
what monkey business went on. It would be hypocritical and a betrayal of the
people for Tsvangirai and the MDC to recognise and legitimise theft.
Like a law-abiding citizen, Tsvangirai did not urge violence, as
suggested by our State propaganda. He resorted to the law and the law should
take its course, talks or no talks.
No, Reverend Chiromo the issue is not about two political parties
vying for power as happens in democratic countries.
In our case it is about an evil, greedy, violent and murderous, Mafia
type clique which has looted the country dry and is desperately clinging on
to power. Zanu PF is not interested in a solution for the impasse that does
not leave them in control. They cannot willingly give up power because they
are afraid that they will be called upon to account for their many sins. In
this bid they seem to have successfully enlisted the services of some either
naive or collaborating clerics.
It is reported that while Tsvangirai was languishing in jail over some
obviously trumped-up charges, some church leaders intensified ways to
initiate dialogue between Zanu PF and the MDC.
Instead of protesting Tsvangirai's arrest and his being paraded in
prison clothes, leg irons and chains, these men - purporting to be
representing God - were trying to line his followers behind his back. How,
Isaac Matongo, the opposition party's national chairman, rightly told
them that they would not negotiate while their president was behind bars.
I could not believe it when I heard that the Zanu PF spokesman Dr
Nathan Shamuyarira, had said his party was willing to form a transitional
government with MDC. Zanu PF has instigated the brutalisation of MDC members
calling them British puppets.
Why is it now suddenly OK to form a government of national unity with
the traitors? Isn't this an admission that things are not as well as
government propaganda tries so much to portray?
Zimbabwe is crumbling fast and Zanu PF knows it.
I will not enumerate the many ills facing Zimbabwe today for we are
all suffering under them. Life in Zimbabwe is now unbearable. And, Zanu PF
knows it including the propaganda pushers in the State media. I tried to
engage a state media worker recently about his his work. His curt answer
was, "Mudhara, usandinetse. Ukandiwanira rimwe basa, ndinoenda mangwana
chaiwo, ndaneta nekunyepera vanhu". (Old man, don't bother me. If you find
me another job, I will go tomorrow. I am tired of lying to people).
Zimbabwe is now a land of embarrassing shortages and queues. The most
pressing shortage is fuel.
Our pitiful President is trying his best. He is now frantically
running all over the place, like a mouse without a hole, (seshana isina
mwena) trying to source fuel for us. Someone should tell the tired old man
that the problem is not the lack of fuel but his own disastrous governance,
fueled by his arrogance and pride. He is a loner who refused all reasonable
The answer to Zimbabwe's problem is not going to be found in Libya
itself. In fact we are afraid that, in his desperation, he may sell our
birthrights for short term interests.
Libya, Egypt, Malaysia, or wherever must be warned, in no uncertain
terms, that a post Zanu PF government will not honour any of those
multidinous bilateral agreements which they are always signing. The people
of Zimbabwe will not be held to agreements made with a President whom they
don't recognise as having been legitimately elected.
As for the church, its biblical role is clear. It must not get
involved in the arrangement of meetings between politicians. Its role is not
that of political diplomacy but Godly prophecy.
Our church leaders must wake up to see the burden which the prophet
Habakkuk saw. What he saw was not at all different from what is going in
Zimbabwe today. When Habakkuk looked around him, he could not help but cry
out for God, "How long, oh Lord,will I call for help, and thou will not
"I cried out to thee, 'violence'!" yet don't thou make me see
iniquity. And cause me to look on wickedness? Yes, destruction and violence
are before me; Strife exists and contention arises. Therefore the law is
ignored and justice is never upheld. For the wicked surround the righteous,
therefore justice comes out perverted".
After this observation Habakkuk did not try to lump together the evil
and the righteous and call upon them to negotiate. He went on to pronounce
"woe" against the wrong doers, who are in our case Zanu PF.
It is Robert Mugabe, with his degrees in violence, who has destroyed
our heritage, thrown the country into turmoil and made us the laughing stock
of the world. In this he is aided and abetted by greedy and cowardly lackeys
who dare not criticise him.
Rev Chiromo said:"We need to bury our pride and the church can assist
by mediating and finding an amicable solution."
Rev Chiromo and others should loudly say to Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF,
"Thus saith the Lord....!".
In reference to a possible government of national unity Shamuyarira
said to The Daily News on June 26: "We have had such governments in the 70's
and in 1987 with ZAPU. It is a tradition we always had and we are ready for
that with the MDC."
Zanu PF may be ready to swallow the MDC the way Zapu was swallowed but
the MDC and the majority of Zimbabweans are not ready to be swallowed.
We must have an end to the Zanu PF shenanigans so that the MDC can
start to govern on a clean slate. Nothing less will suffice.
He who has ears, let him hear.
New York Times
In Africa, Bush to Focus on Threats and Opportunities
By RICHARD W. STEVENSON
WASHINGTON, July 6 —
President Bush will leave Monday night for a
five-nation tour of Africa, turning to a continent that his administration
increasingly sees as a source of both threats and opportunities and no
longer one that can be left at the bottom of the foreign policy to-do list.
The official focus of the five-day trip — which was originally scheduled for
January but was postponed as the president prepared for war with Iraq — is
on fighting poverty and disease and promoting democracy. But it has taken on
a new cast in recent weeks as Mr. Bush has assertively called for changes of
government in Zimbabwe and Liberia and moved to the brink of sending
American troops to Liberia as peacekeepers.
In his first trip to sub-Saharan Africa as president, Mr. Bush will visit
Senegal, South Africa, Botswana, Uganda and Nigeria before returning home on
Saturday. Each of the countries he will stop in is an economic or political
success by African standards, and Mr. Bush's presence is intended both to
celebrate their progress and to encourage other African nations to continue
to struggle toward free elections and free markets.
His trip comes at a time when Africa is looming larger in calculations of
American interests. In the wake of the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, the United
States is eager to keep poor nations with shaky governments from becoming
breeding grounds and safe harbors for terrorists. It sees Africa as the
world's last largely untapped market. It holds out hope that Africa's
substantial oil reserves could play a larger role in fueling the American
economy and perhaps serving as a counterweight to the influence of OPEC.
At a time when Mr. Bush is widely viewed, at home and abroad, as focused
primarily on projecting American power and defending its interests through
military means, administration officials said the president is determined to
show another face of his foreign policy. They said the United States should
be known as much for battling AIDS, helping villages get clean drinking
water, supporting education initiatives and encouraging the resolution of
armed conflicts as for attacking its enemies unilaterally.
The president "understands that America is a country that really does have
to be committed to values and to making life better for people around the
world, that that's what the world looks to America to do," said Condoleezza
Rice, the national security adviser. "It's not just the sword, it's also the
olive branch that speaks to those intentions."
It is striking to African leaders and to many analysts in the United States
that Mr. Bush, a conservative Republican who won less than 10 percent of the
black vote in 2000 and has fought to hold down social welfare spending at
home, has pushed this year for large spending increases to fight AIDS in
Africa and to help poor nations nurture their economies.
They said they see in Mr. Bush's engagement with Africa the hand of his two
senior foreign policy advisers, Dr. Rice and Secretary of State Colin L.
Powell, the two highest profile African-Americans in government. Neither Dr.
Rice nor Mr. Powell has made a secret of their desire to have Washington
play a more active role in a part of the world that American foreign policy
long addressed only fitfully or as a pawn in the cold war and to acknowledge
more fully the ties between Africa and the United States.
"Africa is part of America's history," Dr. Rice said. "Europeans and
Africans came to this country together, Africans in chains. And slavery was,
of course, America's birth defect. And we've been trying to deal with the
consequences of it ever since."
There is still considerable skepticism, in Washington and in Africa, about
the depths of Mr. Bush's commitment, diplomats and analysts said. There is
concern among some Africa hands that Mr. Bush's interest will wane after he
makes the point to the world that he is more than the unilateralist
gunslinger he is often made out to be. With presidential politics
increasingly coming to the fore at the White House, there is also grumbling
among advocacy groups that the trip is little more than a way for Mr. Bush
to flesh out his "compassionate conservative" platform for his re-election
Getting down to business with Bush
July 06 2003 at 12:39PM
By John Battersby
The visit of
United States President George Bush presents a curious paradox
for many South Africans.
The cynics would say its about oil and terrorism.
The optimists would say it presents a real opportunity for advancing
Africa's economic revival.
On the one hand, Bush represents the unacceptable face of unilateralism
after declaring war against another country without an agreed mandate from
the United Nations.
Postwar developments in both Iraq and Afghanistan raise serious questions
about global security and whether the world is a safer place after the
routing of the Taliban and overthrow of Saddam Hussein.
But, at the same time, the power and potential of the US economy - even when
it is ailing - to assist the development of Africa and the developing world
through partnerships and the dropping of trade barriers is so immense that a
visit by an American president must be a major opportunity.
Bush will be looking for firm South African commitments to deal effectively
with terrorism and remove the logistical and financial support for terrorist
networks such as al-Qaeda. Mbeki will reaffirm South Africa's commitment to
fighting terrorism but the US will want to see rapid action on the
controversial Anti-Terrorism Bill and the early signing of the 12
international protocols on terrorism, of which South Africa has signed only
While former president Nelson Mandela's continued stand-off with Bush over
the Iraq war is closer to the feelings of many South Africans and could fuel
anti-Bush protests, President Thabo Mbeki faces the responsibilities of
office in ensuring that the Bush visit opens doors to US aid, trade and
investment for South Africa in a way that boosts the New Economic Programme
for Africa's Development and the prospects of an economic revival on the
Mbeki has had high hopes for doing business with Bush ever since he went to
see him at the governor's home in Austin, Texas, in 2000 before he became
Mbeki's 2000 visit to Bush was a gesture that gained significance after
Bush's nail-biting victory in the presidential election and his inauguration
in January 2001.
Mbeki saw Bush again in Washington a year later in mid-2001 and reported to
journalists at the Sun City indaba with editors that the new US president
was a man he could do business with. Bush reportedly reaffirmed his
commitment to Africa.
Most recently, Mbeki had a relaxed encounter with Bush at the G8 summit in
Evian, France. Washington announced that Bush was to make his Africa visit
that was due to have taken place in January but was postponed due to the
Iraq war build-up. The importance of the visit lies in the dominance of th
US in the globalised economy and its pivotal role in securing better access
to industrialised markets through the dropping of agricultural subsidies and
other trade barriers.
Expectations are high that the US will play a key role at the next meeting
of the World Trade Organisation in Cancun, Mexico, to ensure that faster
progress is made with phasing out subsidies that deny African economies
access to trade markets.
South Africa will also be looking for more action on affordable medicines
for HIV/Aids, tuberculosis and malaria, while Bush will be looking for an
unequivocal commitment by Mbeki to roll out a national treatment programme
based on universal access to anti-retrovirals.
For its part, South Africa will be wanting to know how much and on what
terms southern African countries can access the $15 billion HIV/Aids grant
that Bush announced recently and what share they can expect. There could be
tension resulting from US frustration at the slow progress of a joint task
team that is assessing the costs of anti-retrovirals.
Mbeki is adamant that the committee must include the cost of follow-up
treatment, infrastructure and training before an assessment can be made of
the affordability of a treatment programme.
Regarding African development, Mbeki will be looking for renewed commitments
from Bush in regard to implementing the G8 decisions on funding new projects
and assistance for plans to set up an all-Africa peacekeeping force.
But the discussion on conflict resolution in Africa and the setting up of
the African Union's key peace and security council and early warning system,
could founder following this week's warning from Washington concerning
military assistance to countries that have not guaranteed American soldiers
immunity from prosecution at the International Criminal Court.
The threat from Washington could cut across the G8 commitments to prioritise
African conflict resolution and assistance with an African peacekeeping
On the regional front, Mbeki will want to know what the US has in mind in
terms of US economic assistance for the reconstruction of Zimbabwe after
President Robert Mugabe goes. The US, in turn, will be looking for South
Africa to play a more upfront role in resolving Zimbabwe's debilitating
economic and political crisis.
Mbeki and Bush are likely to have their most substantial political
discussion around the postwar situation in Iraq, in which Mbeki will try to
ascertain what Washington's future intentions are now that it has changed
the rules for the ordering of international relations.
There were signs at the G8 summit in Evian that the industrialised countries
have renewed political will to tackle the problems of African development in
return for reform in governance and economic transparency.
Tuesday's four-hour summit will determine whether the United States shares
that commitment or whether it will continue to act unilaterally and in
isolation, as the experience of the Iraq war suggests.
There will also be discussion around the Middle East road map, where there
have been signs in recent weeks of a new commitment by the US to be more
even-handed in its dealings with the Israelis and the Palestinians. If the
breaking of ranks over the Iraq war has made America more sensitive to the
underlying causes of terror - poverty and underdevelopment - and more aware
of the role of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict being used as a major
justification of terror, then Mbeki and Bush might just have a meaningful
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