Zimbabwe police detain outspoken Archbishop before peace
Archbishop Pius Ncube was detained briefly on Friday in his
Bulawayo chapel, by state security agents, who warned him to desist from
discussing political issues before the start of interdenominational prayers
for justice and peace in Zimbabwe.
"They warned that no political
party regalia should be worn during the prayers, they also said inflammatory
statements were not to be allowed during the church service," Pius Ncube told
a packed city cathedral before the beginning of the prayers.
them that this is purely a church event with no party politics to be
addressed, but we can not avoid addressing political issues affecting
the people of Zimbabwe, politics is about food, shelter, school fees for
your children, jobs and everything to do with our normal day to day
activities," he said.
The church service, held amidst hovering sounds
of military helicopters, was attended by human rights activists, Christians
from all denominations and opposition MDC Members of Parliament, who included
Paul Themba Nyathi, David Coltart and party Vice President, Gibson
Ncube is a strong and outspoken critic of President Mugabe's
scorched earth policies and has shown concern for flouting of human rights by
As Ncube led prayers, police were arresting the
opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai for leading five day marches to protest
The Archbishop returned last week from a visit to the
USA where he was praised by the US Secretary of State, Collin Powell, for the
role he is playing in speaking out against Mugabe's misrule and his blatant
flouting of human rights.
Commonwealth denies paying for Zimbabwean
delegation June 09, 2003, 23:30
Robertson, the Commonwealth Secretariate spokesperson, has refuted reports
that the Secreatariate has paid for a Zimbabwean delegation to attend a
two-day Commonwealth Science Council meeting in Johannesburg, starting
Olivia Muchena, Zimbabwe's Science and Technology
Minister, who is already in South Africa, says she is attending the meeting
at the invitation of the South African government.
reports said that Paul Themba-Nyati, Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for
Democratic Change spokesperson, accused the Commonwealth of having paid for
Muchena's trip to South Africa.
Robertson says the
Secreatriat could not possibly do that as Zimbabwe is one of the country's
suspended from the Council of the Commonwealth, and as such they are not
eligible to attend a Commonwealth meeting of this kind
Zimbabwe Seed Trade Association is appealing to the authorities to ensure
availability of diesel and that power load shedding is minimised or avoided
completely in wheat-growing areas up to September 2003.
spokesperson at the weekend said they were concerned about the possible
implications of the current diesel and power shortages on this year’s winter
wheat, barley seed production and the 2004-growing season.
He said diesel
shortages were affecting farmers’ ability to plant while electricity load
shedding was making it impossible for farmers to irrigate their
The situation was further compounded by the fact that winter
production coincided with the reaping of summer crops, he said.
the circumstances, farmers may be forced to choose between harvesting their
summer crops or planting their winter crops," he said.
obviously unable to do both."
About 300 000 litres of diesel was required
for ploughing, planting, irrigating and combine harvesting of the winter
wheat and barley seed production, he said.
Winter seed production was
currently being planted and should have been completed by the end of May at
the latest, he said.
The seed could not be substituted by imports as
varieties grown in Zimbabwe were specifically bred for local
South African varieties for example, did not adapt to the
Zimbabwean environment, he said.
"The implications of losing the
majority or all of the winter seed crops will very seriously affect ability
to feed Zimbabwe and are too ghastly to contemplate," he said.
other crops, wheat and barley are crops that can only be grown during the
winter window period. Any lost chance cannot be recovered and this has ripple
effects for the growing seasons ahead, where it would take another whole
season to grow seed crops before commercial grain could be grown the
Foreign currency shortages have resulted in the Zimbabwe
Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) and the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe
(Noczim) failing to import adequate power and fuel for the
Load shedding, introduced in March this year, has largely
affected production in industrial areas and the farming
Zimbabwe augments power supplies with imports from South
Africa’s power utility Eskom, Mozambique’s Cahora Bassa and Snel in the
Democratic Republic of Congo.
At peak demand, Zimbabwe needs about 2
000 megawatts while Hwange and Kariba South power stations at full capacity
can only generate 920 megawatts and 666 megawatts respectively.
said last week it has taken major steps to end load shedding
following successful negotiations to settle its debts with regional power
suppliers in stages.
It said load shedding was to end soon but did not
give a specific date when this would happen. — Ziana.
Reporter POLICE yesterday said they had intercepted over $100 million in
four separate incidences during last week’s crackdown on people and
companies hoarding and illegally holding on to large sums of money.
a result, an intelligence police task force has been set up to investigate
the sudden increase of people found in possession of large sums.
force yesterday disclosed that there were some unlicensed companies now
operating as illegal banks while illegal activities of money trading
had become business for other people.
It also revealed that certain
companies were opting to deposit their money with these unlicensed banks
where they easily accessed it for illegal activities such as foreign currency
Police had information from some business people that some
illegal traders were holding on to $500 notes for sale locally.
travelling business people were now finding it difficult to carry large sums
of money in smaller denominations given to them by banks.
shortage of local currency hit the market, banks were issued $100 and $50
notes that proved difficult for most people to carry around.
at the weekend, police intercepted more than $48 million cash, stashed in the
boot of a vehicle.
The two occupants of the vehicle, said police, alleged
that they were on their way to South Africa to bring home two vehicles bought
by a Harare businessman.
Masvingo police spokesman, Inspector Partson
Nyabadza, yesterday said the money was still in police custody while
investigations were now in progress.
"We have the cash with us but we
have decided to bank the money in the men’s bank accounts because we cannot
continue holding on to such huge sums of cash.
"We are worried about
the explanation that they wanted to go and fetch two vehicles in South Africa
with cash and not certified bank cheques.
"Normally, such huge amounts of
money are carried in certified bank cheques and not cash like that to avoid
robberies and losses," said Inspector Nyabadza.
The Herald understands
that the businessman drove to Masvingo on Sunday to confirm the two men’s
story but was denied his cash by police after failing to justify the need to
travel with such huge cash amounts.
Zimbabwe’s banks have been hit by a
critical shortage of cash, resulting in some of the banks limiting cash
withdrawals to between $10 000 and $50 000.
Some banks have even
suspended ATM services in the face of bank notes shortages.
force said such companies risk being fined up to $1 million if found guilty
under the Reserve Bank Act.
Police chief spokesperson Assistant
Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena said the task force was set up after police
discovered large sums of money held by people at road blocks.
incidences coincided with the critical shortage of money in banks compelling
us to investigate anyone found carrying large sums of money," Asst Comm
He said those who fail to explain why they are keeping
millions of dollars and not depositing it in banks as required by the law,
risk losing their money to the State.
Asst Comm Bvudzijena said
carrying millions of dollars to have vehicles and other gadgets cleared at
Customs offices is not a good enough excuse for people to carry large sums of
money as the Government encourages people to carry bank cheques for such
"Bank cheques are accepted at all Customs offices and it is in
fact another way of evading corrupt dealings."
Asst Comm Bvudzijena
said people keeping money in their houses and in their vehicles risk being
"We received many car jacking reports last week and people should
be aware that robbers are aware that they are keeping large sums of money in
their houses and vehicles."
He said people with information about any
illegal money dealings should contact the police at 722770 or 703631.
The training and
lecture course for the Loss document co-ordinators' will be held at St Lucia
Park from the 11th to 13th June, 2003.
Registration will take place from
9:00 am on the 11th and all individuals are urged to be on
Wednesday and Thursday will end at 5pm with Friday ending at
lunchtime. Each participant will be handed a detailed program on arrival at
REGISTRATION Wednesday - 9:0010:00
11/6/2003 INTRODUCTION 10:0011:00 ALAN BURL
All participants are urged
to bring their own pen and paper for notes. You will not need to bring your
computer to the course. You are invited to contact us if you have any
problems with accommodation and we will make arrangements for you.
farmers and farmers associations must ensure that they have at least one
person from their area on this course.
DIRECTIONS: Take the Golden Stairs
Road; turn left into Harare Drive and then right into Crichton Avenue - OTT,
St. Lucia Park is at the end of Crichton Avenue.
More so than any other year in our history as
farmers, this is the year to have a Farming Oscar! So many people have done
so much to try and help us survive. At least allow the people who would like
to show their appreciation for these people, the opportunity to express that
gratitude through the Oscar.
Our greatest enemy is bitterness. Our
greatest ally is to look forward with anticipation.
I will be in
Harare from Sunday 15 June until Thursday 19 June.
be in Bulawayo from Friday 20 June until Sunday 22 June.
Please email me
on firstname.lastname@example.org if you, or anyone
you know, would like an appointment to discuss Australian
Very important: I will not be able to take telephone calls
while I am in Zimbabwe. You must email me or leave a message with my office
in Australia. As I will not have much time on this trip to Zimbabwe, the
sooner you contact me, the easier it will be for me to accommodate
I will also have a question/answer session in the evening of Monday
16 June in Harare and in the evening of Friday 20 June in Bulawayo. I will
discuss the different visa categories and open the floor to whatever
questions anyone might have about Australian immigration, as well as what to
expect when you first move to Australia and what life in general is like for
an ex-Zimbo in Australia. The venue for both Harare and
Bulawayo question/answer sessions still to be advised.
that there are no charges to attend an interview or a question/answer session
Services Unit 8, 115 Grand Boulevard Joondalup, WA 6027,
"Faced with glaring evidence of the people of
Zimbabwe's dissatisfaction with his government, President Robert Mugabe is
maintaining a belligerent attitude, threatening the opposition and
participants in last week's mass action with retribution. There are already
reports of state security agents and Zanu-PF supporters allegedly assaulting
people and destroying their property as payback for participating in last
week's anti-government protests.
"The world is watching Zimbabwe very
closely and such a response from the government speaks volumes about the rule
of law and human rights abuses in the country. It also amply demonstrates, as
did the government's harsh reaction to last week's mass action, Zanu-PF's
loss of the people's support and its inability to come to terms with this
loss. The government's iron-fisted response to the mass action and a violent
campaign of retribution in the next few weeks will only harden the people's
hearts against the ruling party, which is clearly playing into the
opposition's hands. If Zanu-PF continues to display its lack of maturity, it
will ultimately dig its own grave."
Independent Editorial, Zimbabwe,
"At the end of the week the impression that remained was one
of a desperately insecure regime using every means at its disposal to get
the country back to work.
"By treating the public as 'the enemy' and
arbitrarily abridging their freedoms to assemble and express themselves, the
authorities have alienated many otherwise uncommitted citizens. We are all
agreed that by its campaign this week the Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) has drawn the attention of the country and the world to the connection
between brutal misrule and economic collapse. That is the issue successfully
dramatised by its followers in the teeth of repression and which can no
longer be ignored, not even by the delusionist in State House."
Editorial, Zimbabwe, June 9
"The attorney-general's office, police
and the armed forces last week rose to the occasion by ensuring that the
country remained stable and peaceful in spite of the MDC's planned illegal
marches to overthrow the government. The arrest of MDC leader Morgan
Tsvangirai for making treasonous statements is a sobering development and a
stark reminder that the law in Zimbabwe is not like a cobweb, which may catch
small flies but will let wasps and hornets break through. No one is above the
Munyaradzi Huni Sunday Mail, Zimbabwe, June 8
high court order declaring last week's mass action illegal, the MDC went
ahead with its mass action. Mr Tsvangirai told journalists that the court
order was defective and could not force him to stop people
from demonstrating. And true to his words, Mr Tsvangirai, who was the
first respondent in the matter brought by the police, never called off the
mass action as was ordered by the high court.
"Yes, those whose
property was destroyed during the several illegal mass actions are beginning
to take Mr Tsvangirai, the MDC and those who supported the mass actions to
court, but the British will just pour money into the opposition party's
coffers to pay for the damages, if ever they are found guilty. Just look at
what the British did when they realised that Mr Tsvangirai had blundered.
They hired the most expensive legal advice from South Africa. With money the
law is nothing. Zimbabwe has two choices here - it's either the law takes its
course and the international community rants and raves or the loose cannon is
left to explode and destroy all that we have built since 1980."
The Zimbabwean government stepped up its
crackdown on the political opposition yesterday by denying bail to the
opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, and arresting his deputy. Mr
Tsvangirai, the leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), is facing
a second charge of treason and remained in jail yesterday after his lawyers
failed to win his release. The MDC claimed that 800 of its supporters had
been arrested in the five-day national strike last week.
already faces charges of treason that he plot ted to have President Robert
The fresh charge is that he plotted a violent
overthrow of the Mugabe government by calling for mass anti-government
demonstrations. Mr Tsvangirai denies both charges, saying he has always
advocated a peaceful change of government in Zimbabwe.
party's secretary general, Welshman Ncube, a co-accused in the first treason
trial, was arrested yesterday and may also face new treason charges. He was
questioned yesterday by police, who were expected to detain him after his
appearance in the high court.
Mr Mugabe warned that he would continue his
campaign against the opposition in a rare interview broadcast by the South
African Broadcasting Corporation: "As long as there is that fight, I am for a
fight ... And I can still punch."
The 79-year-old president dismissed
suggestions that he is ready to retire after 23 years in power.
Africa has encouraged him to stand down and hand over to a government of
national unity as part of a deal. But Mr Mugabe rejected the suggestion. "I
don't want to retire in a situation where people are disunited and
where certain of our objectives have not been achieved," he said. "It would
be nonsensical for me, a year after my election, to resign."
Rights Watch, a New York-based organisation, warned that the
Mugabe government had increased its abuses of civil rights in recent
"Not only have the army and police personnel failed to protect
people from human rights abuses, but they are now carrying out abuses
themselves," said Peter Takirambudde, executive director of the
organisation's Africa division. "Recent legislation has drastically curtailed
citizens' rights to freedom of expression, assembly and association." The
report says political violence, prevalent in rural areas since 2000, has
become common in urban centres, and non-political organisations are being
Police raided the offices and home of filmmaker Edwina Spicer
in the last few days. "They swooped on our house Friday and again on Monday,"
said Ms Spicer, who is currently in London. "They accused me of beaming bad
reports about Zimbabwe from our premises. When staff members said we had not
been here for a week, they were beaten and required
Ms Spicer said that equipment worth an estimated
£20,000 was seized.
Human Rights Watch joined numerous Zimbawean civic
organisations in calling for the Mugabe government to re-establish the rule
of law, disband youth militia, withdraw military personnel from residential
areas, and revise legislation contrary to international human rights
The government is confronted with growing opposition. The five-day
strike shut virtually all industrial and commercial activity and prompted a
massive show of intimidatory strength by security forces.
Harare's townships reported beatings by Mugabe's youth militia in
retribution. Some claimed that the cabinet minister Elliot Manyika directed
the beatings, according to Zimbabwe's Standard newspaper. Mr Manyika carried
a list of hundreds of names of people who were marked for retaliatory
violence, according to the report.
The new treason charges against Mr
Tsvangirai centre on two political rallies last month where the state claims
he urged supporters to take to the streets to oust Mr Mugabe and the
Mr Ncube is accused of calling on supporters, in
statements the government says were made last week, to take part in
demonstrations and march to State House, Mr Mugabe's official residence.
Under draconian new security laws the protests were declared
Mr Tsvangirai's lawyer, George Bizos, said the latest
allegations were "spurious" and intended to keep his client in custody in the
wake of last week's protests.
"The charges are to prevent him from
exercising his rights as a politician and leader of the opposition," he
Over 30 years ago a young man
from Pretoria exiled in Britain led a campaign against the denial of civil
rights in South Africa that resulted in the cancellation of a cricket tour.
In retrospect this turned out to be a defining moment in the history of
grassroots British politics, a decisive event in the international sports
boycott of South Africa, and a nail (small perhaps) in the coffin of
apartheid. His name, of course, was Peter Hain.
The times are very
different now and one must be wary of taking historical parallels too
seriously, but the crisis in Zimbabwe has thrown up Hain's equivalent in the
shape of Henry Olonga.
With Andrew Flower, he wore first a black armband
then a wristband in Cricket World Cup matches to mourn the deliberate
destruction (the cricketers rather charitably called it the death) of
democracy by the tyrant Robert Mugabe. Olonga was expelled by his Harare
club, Takashinga, for "bringing the game into disrepute" and received
threatening e-mails, presumably the modern equivalent of the phone call from
the police station at two in the morning. It was made clear that he faced the
possibility of treason charges if he returned home.
Olonga is now in
exile in Britain (like Hain before him) having said farewell to the Zimbabwe
cricket team by way of a moving and important message to the effect that, in
life it is necessary to have the courage of one's convictions, and listen to
the voice of one's conscience.
Olonga's conscience told him that by
continuing to play for the national team he would be condoning human rights
abuses in his homeland. In the last few weeks he has participated in a number
of interviews in which he has made an impression as a thoughtful and
courageous individual prepared to confront personal responsibility in a
situation of political, economic and social implosion. The importance of his
stand was illustrated by the recent kidnapping and forcible deportation of
Andrew Meldrum of The Guardian, the last remaining non-Zimbabwean
correspondent in the country, in defiance of a court order.
Africa and Zimbabwe have, at different times, gone down the same road of
internal destabilisation by their governments in order to preserve the
interests of a particular elite. This entails subversion of the rule of law,
a process in which civil society and fundamental human rights are challenged
by the unrestrained exercise of state power. Under these circumstances the
independence of the judiciary is destroyed, news-papers are firebombed,
journalists, trade unionists and any other significant representatives of
civil society are detained and tortured in police cells, and state-employed
thugs are let loose on the populace in general to maim and assassinate
opponents. The prevailing atmosphere in such societies is that of
During the apartheid years conservative Western governments took
the line that "building bridges" was the correct way to approach Pretoria and
that diplomacy and encouragement of gradual change would achieve the
Thabo Mbeki's government is today taking a similar
line with regard to the Zimbabwe crisis, a strategy so quiet and diplomatic
that it could be interpreted as condoning the current state of affairs
engineered by Mugabe. This apparent indifference is hard to explain when
there are strong signals from governments like that of Sweden, a traditional
ally of southern Africa, to the effect that Nepad stands or falls on events
The destruction of the rule of law and the imposition of
state-sponsored terror raise important questions. Such circumstances throw up
unexpectedly heroic figures, people confronted by events that they had never
imagined likely but which bring out the best in them, often to their great
Both Hain and Olonga, in different eras, have used the
international media that tyrants so fear to highlight in the public mind the
details of the tragic events affecting their countries. Their profiles, for
various reasons, have been high but they challenge the behaviour of all
citizens under such circumstances.
One of the initial deficiencies of
post-liberation societies has been a widespread failure to understand and put
into practice the fact that with civil rights go civic obligations. The
defence of democracy is every citizen's business. Not everyone has the
talents and access to the media of a Henry Olonga, but even the smallest
effort can be a contribution.
In Czechoslovakia, for instance, Communist
rule was subject to mocking and ribald humour sapping the confidence of those
in power, their bureaucratic henchmen and the thugs of the security police.
For many years dedicated groups of democrats, in and out of prison, built and
sustained a vision of a free society around the oppression of ordinary
citizens. When the time came for the people to take to the streets, the
structures of the totalitarian state collapsed like a pack of cards; what had
appeared to be made of granite was nothing more than cardboard.
Olonga's courageous stand will be rewarded, although no-one as yet knows when
or how. Regimes like that of Mugabe, ruling through fear, manipulation and
brute force, have neither legitimacy, nor real mass support. Ultimately he
will be brought down, and if there is justice in this world brought to trial,
by hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans all with the courage of their
convictions. But it takes a person like Henry Olonga to articulate and
symbolise them. a.. Christopher Merrett is Director of Administration,
University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg.
Zimbabwe's education system used to be the envy of all
Africa. Now its biggest university is at the point of collapse under the
pressures of intimidation and financial crisis. But its teachers haven't
given up yet, says Andrew Meldrum
Tuesday June 10, 2003 The
Once hailed as the pride of Africa, Zimbabwe's education system
has been engulfed from top to bottom by the country's deepening political
and economic crisis. The University of Zimbabwe, once the prestigious
pinnacle of the system bequeathed by colonial rule, is now finding it almost
impossible to keep functioning. Meanwhile, in schools across the country
teachers are operating hand to mouth, worrying less about lesson plans than
what their pupils have to eat.
At the university, in Harare's Mount
Pleasant suburb, clouds of tear gas frequently smother the campus, classrooms
and dormitories. In the past few years, police have sealed off the campus so
many times that it is almost routine. Once last year riot police stormed into
dormitories, dragged students from their rooms and beat them. One student
died from his injuries and has become a cause célèbre .
The pay of
lecturers and professors is so low that almost all have had to find other
jobs and consultancies to get by. So many university posts remain vacant
after resignations that departments are decimated and knowledgeable academics
say the university is at the point of collapse.
Classes have been
suspended and students sent home several times in the past three years,
making it difficult for students to finish their degrees in a reasonable
period of time.
"I used to enjoy teaching at the university, but now the
conditions have become untenable," said a retiring professor. "Now it is a
constant headache. There is political interference from political
appointees, corruption, the continual battles of police on campus. Far from
being an ivory tower removed from everything, the university has become
an encapsulation of Zimbabwe's problems."
Other tertiary institutions
across the country have faced similar troubles, while in schools teachers
have been beaten, forced to attend "re-education camps" and killed, according
to union officials. Students of all ages are sent home if they cannot pay
fees or don't have proper uniforms. Education budgets have been dropping for
more than 10 years. Teachers' meagre salaries have lagged far behind the
country's 269% inflation.
This is a far cry from the days in the 1980s
when President Robert Mugabe's government made education its first priority.
Zimbabwe's teachers were respected and relatively well remunerated. Primary
education was nearly free and secondary education was within the reach of
almost everyone, in both urban and rural areas. The country achieved
impressive literacy rates, first of 80% and then above 90%, making Zimbabwe's
education system one of the most effective in Africa and one of the best in
the developing world.
But the education system, from primary school up
through university, has suffered 10 years of decline and since 2000 has been
one of the main victims of the country's economic chaos and political
"I worked hard to qualify as a teacher and I was honoured in
my community," said Tendai M, a veteran of Mugabe's liberation forces, who
studied to become a teacher after independence in 1980. "I got a good
education but I am not satisfied with the schooling my children are
The hard-working mathematics teacher, who does not want to be
named for fear of retribution, was appointed headteacher of his government
boarding school two years ago. "I thought things would get better, but being
a headmaster has been a nightmare," he said. "With food shortages and
inflation we do not have enough money to get our children and teachers enough
to eat. Everyone here is hungry. I am constantly searching for food and
begging for charity. We try to keep our classes going, but it is very, very
Zimbabwe's education system has been one of the many
casualties of the country's multiplying troubles, according to Brian
Raftopoulos, chairman of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, who spoke at the
Canon Collins Memorial Lecture at London's School of Oriental and African
Studies on May 28. "After 2000, in the context of the more general political
crisis, a whole series of highly politicised problems emerged in the
educational sphere," said Raftopoulos. "These problems have centred around:
the 'disciplining' of teachers for their support for the opposition Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC); the militarisation of youth centres; the
struggle by teachers for better conditions of service in a rapidly declining
economy; and struggles over the curriculum, in particular the teaching of
In his lecture, Raftopoulos, who is an associate professor at
the Institute for Development Studies at the University of Zimbabwe,
chronicled the stunning successes of education in the early days of
Primary enrolment increased from 820,000 in
1979 to 1.2 million in 1980, rising to 2.2 million by 1989, according to
government statistics. In the 1990s enrolment reached a peak of nearly 2.5
million in 1996 before falling to 2.4 million in 2000.
secondary level the expansion was even more impressive. Enrolment increased
from 66,000 in 1979 to 150,000 in 1981, reaching 670,000 in 1989. Secondary
enrolment rose to a peak of 844,000 by 2000.
"While this quantitative
growth of education has been impressive," said Raftopoulos "there are several
problems which confront the future of educational development in Zimbabwe.
These include: the absence of a comprehensive policy framework; access and
gender equity; relevance of the curriculum; school dropouts and finance." He
said the education system was struggling with tensions because of the
government's desire to use schooling "as an ideological arm of the
Raftopoulos said that about 15% of Zimbabwean children remained
out of school in 2000 and a disproportionately high number of those were
The country's spiralling economic crisis in the past three years
has caused many more children to stop going to school because their parents
cannot afford the steeply rising fees and the cost of uniforms and
books. Previously schools noted a decline in attendance when the country
suffered serious drought, such as in 1992.
"This problem of dropouts
is directly related to the general problem of poverty," said Raftopoulos. "In
a poverty assessment study survey carried out by the United Nations
Development Programme, it was found that 61% of Zimbabweans were classified
as poor in 1997, rising to 73% in 2003. With more specific references to
dropouts, a study of social policy under structural adjustment conditions in
Zimbabwe carried out in 1997/98 found that the major reason for children
dropping out of school was unaffordability."
The cost of maintaining
Zimbabwe's education system is high. Relative to comparable countries in the
southern African region, Zimbabwe spends an unusually high share of national
income on education. "For example, in the mid-1980s Zimbabwe's budget
allocation to the sector was more than twice the median of that spent by
other low-income Anglophone countries and exceeded the median for medium
income countries by about 22%," said Raftopoulos.
Nevertheless in the
1990s real per capita expenditure on education fell significantly, with the
total education budget allocation declining from 6% of GDP in 1986-87 to 4%
in 1993-94. By 2000 real expenditure on primary education had declined to 2%
"It is apparent that, while there has been a remarkable expansion
of educational enrolment over the last 20 years, this expansion has
intensified inequalities in Zimbabwe because of the different forms of
educational provision and the problems of reduced financial expenditure that
have placed an increasing burden on poorer families," said
Ironically, Mugabe's success in educating large numbers of
Zimbabweans has added to his troubles in recent years. The vast majority of
young Zimbabweans are educated, but they cannot find jobs. This has created a
huge well of discontent among the articulate youth.
economic decline in the past three years has caused the GDP to lose more than
30% of its value. Inflation is expected to be well over 300% for 2003. The
government responded by carrying out "an authoritarian restructuring of the
state, in order to consolidate its beleaguered position," said Raftopoulos,
who said this affected the education system in several ways. "Teachers have
been targeted on a regular basis for their alleged support for the opposition
party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and because they were
considered key informants and community leaders in the rural
The Progressive Teachers' Union of Zimbabwe has documented the
intimidation, harassment, detention, arrests, torture and the unprecedented
unleashing of state security agents on the schools. As a result of the
assaults by state agencies, the union reported that between the period
2000-2002 five teachers were killed, 119 raped and "many more were maimed,
kidnapped, tortured and displaced". In addition, many teachers and students
have been forced to attend "re-education camps" where lessons centre on a
narrow party-oriented history of Zimbabwe, including the formation of the
ruling party, Zanu-PF, its military struggle against white- minority Rhodesia
and why the party deserves to remain in power.
violence against teachers and the narrow nationalist approach to the teaching
of 'patriotic history' are a long way from the tone of tolerance urged by the
Education Commission before the political crisis began in 2000," said
The violence and economic difficulties that have confronted
Zimbabwe's education system in recent years illustrate how deeply the ongoing
political and economic crisis has reached into all sectors of the country.
Yet Raftopoulos and other education specialists believe that the
country's schools can rebound and return to a positive position if Zimbabwe
can pull out of the crisis through a peaceful, negotiated process of
transition that will lead the country to a fresh round of thoroughly free and
"The damage to education is severe, but it does not
have to be permanent," concluded Raftopoulos. "The restoration of democracy
will see Zimbabwe enter a period of reconciliation in which education can
once again return to a place of priority. Teachers can once again have the
respect of the government and the community. Students will once again have
the opportunity to learn."
Chinaka HARARE (Reuters) - President Robert Mugabe's two most outspoken
critics in Zimbabwe face another day in court as treason charges against them
multiply following a week of protests that failed to shake the
Police said Morgan Tsvangirai, head of the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change, and the MDC's secretary-general Welshman
Ncube were both expected in court on Tuesday.
Both were already on
trial for treason for an earlier alleged plot to kill Mugabe, who was
reelected last year in polls the MDC and some Western governments branded
But after last week's protests, which eventually fizzled out
in the face of an official crackdown, police rearrested Tsvangirai and said
they were hunting for Ncube -- who turned himself in on Monday and was
Police said Ncube was charged with treason for allegedly
inciting five days of anti-government protests last week, as Tsvangirai was
hauled into court after a weekend in jail -- also to face fresh charges of
plotting to overthrow Mugabe.
The government describes the protests as
a bid to foment a coup d'etat.
Ncube spent the weekend in hiding after
Tsvangirai was arrested on Friday.
"I denied the charges," he said
outside the court on Monday where he was charged before leaving for more
Tsvangirai, a former trade union leader who has
mounted the strongest challenge Mugabe has seen in his 23 years in power,
appeared at the same court in the capital Harare.
He looked exhausted
after the weekend in jail but managed a wan smile for supporters packing the
The MDC called for last week's demonstrations as a "final
push" against Mugabe, who they say is repressive and has ruined Zimbabwe's
economy. But the drive was crushed by riot police, tear gas and water cannon
in a brutal drive that the opposition said resulted in hundreds of
Tsvangirai's lawyers said they would not immediately challenge
the government's effort to bring a second treason case against their client
but were trying to get him freed on bail.
Tsvangirai, back in police
custody after Monday's hearing, was expected to return to the High Court on
Tuesday for a hearing on his bail application. His trial on the existing
treason charge was postponed until Wednesday.
Police said Ncube was also
due back in court on Tuesday.
Mugabe has said he will not buckle in the
face of the opposition challenge, which he said was being organised by his
enemies in London and Washington.
Britain and the United States have led
condemnation of Mugabe's government, and particularly its policy of seizing
white-owned farms for distribution to landless blacks.
crisis, which has seen some of the country's most fertile land left fallow,
has helped push Zimbabwe's economy to the brink of collapse with food and
fuel shortages, soaring inflation and desperately high unemployment.
Ignatius Tuesday, June 10, 2003; Page A21
PARIS -- For an early
look at what the writer Robert Kaplan has described as "the coming anarchy,"
you need only read the daily news reports out of Africa. They refute the
quaint Hegelian notion that history always moves forward; in Africa, it has
been running in reverse for the past two decades.
Things are so bad in
Africa that Americans are even willing to allow themselves to be rescued by
the French military. That edifying spectacle took place Monday, as French
helicopters began airlifting stranded Americans from the besieged Liberian
capital of Monrovia to a French ship offshore. A chorus of the Marseillaise,
Meanwhile, French troops are struggling to contain civil wars in
Congo and Ivory Coast, rioters are protesting the despotic rule of Robert
Mugabe in Zimbabwe, and the president of Liberia has just been indicted for
war crimes committed in neighboring Sierra Leone. And we still haven't
mentioned the impact of HIV-AIDS, which has become the continent's silent
For believers in a global market economy, Africa is the
confounding exception. In a world of rising trade flows and economic growth,
Africa is going backward. According to World Bank statistics, gross national
income per-capita in sub-Saharan Africa actually declined by 0.2 percent from
1990 to 2001. Life expectancy has decreased over the past two decades, and
the number of people living in poverty has increased steadily.
easy to blame globalization for Africa's nightmare, and that's precisely the
line of many of the protesters who gathered at last week's G-8 summit in
Evian, France. But to me, it seems as if the protesters have it backward:
Africa's problem is not that it has too much connection to the global economy
but too little. It needs more globalization, not less.
financial terms, Africa doesn't attract enough foreign capital to finance its
development needs. Africa has about 10 percent of the world's population, but
in 2001, it received only about 1 percent of the world's foreign direct
investment. For sub-Saharan Africa, the investment share was only 0.7
percent, and most of that was invested in petroleum and mining.
aid agencies such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund have been
trying emergency therapy for a generation, but none of it will work until
Africa has the capital to generate growth and development on its own. Then,
at last, the virtuous cycle of development can begin.
But how to get
Africa moving in the right direction? The most sensible suggestions I've seen
recently are about to be released by a blue-ribbon group called the
Commission on Capital Flows to Africa. The chairman is James Harmon, an
investment banker who headed the U.S. Export-Import Bank during the Clinton
The commission's basic premise is that until private
capital begins to flow into Africa, none of the hand-wringing and aid pledges
that are an annual feature of G-8 summits (including Evian) will make any
lasting difference. The commission argues instead for changes that will
increase the return on capital invested in Africa -- and thereby begin to
make such investment more attractive.
A draft of the commission's
final report that was leaked to me outlines a 10-year program for putting the
African economies into forward gear, rather than reverse. The group stresses
putting "globalization" to work as a reality, rather than a
The recommendations include a proposal for all products from
Africa to enter the United States duty-free and quota-free. That's
discriminatory and unfair to other nations, but so what? Africa needs some
positive discrimination. The commission will also recommend that the United
States negotiate free-trade agreements with individual African countries and
a free-trade zone within southern Africa.
Perhaps most important, the
commission will urge that over the next 10 years, U.S. taxes would be zero
for repatriated profits on new investments i n Africa by U.S. companies. That
would instantly make investing in Africa more attractive.
commission estimates that if coupled with local African tax reforms,
an overall reduction in business taxes of 10 percentage points could lead to
a 20 percent to 40 percent increase in non-energy investment in Africa --
or an extra $800 million to $1.6 billion annually.
For every dollar
lost to the U.S. Treasury, the commission calculates, there would be a
benefit to Africans of five dollars. That's the kind of tax cut I can get
excited about -- one that benefits poor children in Africa.