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US Official Says Situation In Zimbabwe Deteriorating


SAVANNAH, Ga. -(Dow Jones)- A senior U.S. administration official attending
the Group of Eight industrialized nations summit said the situation in
Zimbabwe is deteriorating and said African leaders need to do more in

Earlier this week, the government of Robert Mugabe, the leader of Zimbabwe,
announced that all arable land in the country will be nationalized and will
be distributed to farmers on 99-year leases. A government spokesman said the
Zimbabwe's government couldn't be expected to waste time on issues such as
paying for the land.

The action is just the latest move by Mugabe on the land issue. Beginning
four years ago, Mugabe's government started confiscating white-owned
commercial farmlands, a move that threw the country's economy into a

"Clearly, the situation in Zimbabwe continues to decline. There needs to be
a return to democracy there," the administration official said.

The official said African leaders who are participating in the New
Partnership for Africa's Development, or Nepad, with the U.S. need to take a
stand on Zimbabwe's actions.

"The leadership of Nepad clearly has a responsibility to help push for and
advocate for the people of Zimbabwe. This announcement on continuing to
seize land is obviously going to further harm the economy, which will have
an impact on South Africa," the official said.

"I do think that the leadership in Africa needs to do more to address the
situation in Zimbabwe," the official said.

South African Thabo Mbeki is attending the G8 smmit and will likely hear
this message directly.

Over the past few years, Mbeki has declined to criticize Mugabe's efforts to
seize land on the grounds that it would alienate Mugabe. However, this
stance has frustrated U.S. officials who believe Mugabe stole recent
elections and is in the process of wrecking his country's economy.

At one point, Zimbabwe was a net exporter of food but now needs
international aid to avoid famine.

-By Alex Keto, Dow Jones Newswires; 202-862-9256;

  Dow Jones Newswires
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DALE McFEATTERS: Starvation down on the farm

Scripps Howard News Service

(June 9, 12:57 pm PDT) - Robert Mugabe seems determined that the nation he
leads, Zimbabwe, will die a slow-motion death.

After running the once-prosperous African nation's economy into the ground,
Mugabe has decided to put the finishing touches on its ruin with a loopy
scheme to nationalize all farmland. Private ownership of land will be

A scheme to confiscate land from white commercial farmers, who accounted for
most of Zimbabwe's agricultural exports, has now expanded to confiscate land
from everybody. That should make a bad situation worse, much worse. Once a
food exporter, Zimbabwe now grows only half the food it needs. Now it is
unlikely to grow even that.

Thanks to Mugabe's dictatorial mismanagement and goofy socialist schemes,
Zimbabwe's once-vital mining and manufacturing sectors are moribund,
unemployment is rampant, foreign investment and aid nil and its currency
virtually worthless.

In confiscating white-owned land, Mugabe turned over the best of it to his
cronies, who have proved incapable of farming it, and the rest to small
farmers who are unable to farm it because they cannot afford to buy seed,
fertilizer, fuel and farm machinery. And without clear title to their land,
they are unable to borrow.

The latest scheme, which envisions no compensation for land nationalized,
calls for the farmers to be issued 99-year leases, which the government
feels will be collateral enough for lenders. This dismissal of the rights of
private property ensures that Zimbabwe's entrepreneurs will be unable to
raise capital.

But even if lenders trusted the Mugabe government, which they don't, "The
banks aren't going to lend to an individual against a lease that belongs to
the state," a local economist told the Associated Press. "It doesn't work
that way. You can't borrow on the strength of something you don't own."

The Mugabe government's explanation for the economic disaster is a plot by
the white nations to restore colonialism. That argument was bogus when it
was first made and is laughable now. If anything, Mugabe has probably made
colonialism seem a desirable alternative to his people.

There are precedents for land-nationalization schemes like Mugabe's. In
1932-33, the Soviet Union forcibly collectivized its agricultural sector; 7
million died from starvation in Ukraine alone. From 1958-62, China's farmers
were forced into the Great Leap Forward that left an estimated 30 million
dead from starvation.

Sadly, something like that may be the fate of Zimbabwe if lunacy persists.

Contact Dale McFeatters at
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The Mercury

      Pol Pot Economics
      June 10, 2004

      By the Editor

      The Zimbabwe government's apparent decision to nationalise all
farmland, plus private game parks, will take that unfortunate country's
economy from a steep decline to a perpendicular nosedive. It is as if the
economy, already wrecked, is to be deliberately atomised. It is the folly of
an economic Pol Pot.

      While it is not entirely clear whether the nationalisation will apply
eventually to business and private residential property as well, Zimbabwe's
economy - what remains of it - is essentially agriculture-based.
Nationalisation would be enough to kill it stone dead.

      It is impossible for an economy to thrive without private ownership,
which stimulates initiative and provides collateral for the raising of
development capital. At the same time it provides the owner of agricultural
land with every incentive to conserve it. Without collateral, commercial
farming operations are impossible, no matter who is in occupation.

      Experiments worldwide with the nationalisation of agricultural land
have been dismal failures, notably in the former Soviet Union. The failure
was inevitable simply because nationalisation negated the fundamental laws
of economics.

      In Zimbabwe, agriculture had been significantly complemented by
tourism. Nationalisation of the private game parks would destroy that
industry also, at the same time reneging on investment guarantee agreements
with several foreign governments.

      Mugabe appears set on installing some sort of primitive socialism, a
defiant North Korea of Africa. He is a growing threat to the stability of
the region and to the credibility of Nepad.

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The Herald

Current levels of productivity not sustainable to business - official

Business Reporter
INDUSTRIALISTS have called for action to be taken in order to arrest
declining levels of labour productivity caused by different social and
economic factors.

"The current levels of productivity are too low and cannot sustain
business," PG group marketing director Mr Manase Bara said when he addressed
a business gathering in Harare last week.

"People argue that a family of six needs at least $1 million to survive in a

"What they do not take into account is how much that same family produces
for the country's economy in the same month," he added.

Factors that have been blamed for the low productivity include the HIV/Aids
crisis, which has hit the Sub-Saharan African region very hard, and the
brain drain affecting Zimbabwe.

A recent report by ActionAid International showed that the Gross Domestic
Product (GDP) of southern African countries has dropped by 2,6 percent
because of HIV/Aids.

"There is a direct link between HIV/Aids prevalence and the drop in food
production in the region," the head of ActionAid's Southern Africa's
partnership programme, Caroline Sand-Mukulira, said.

In another survey by ActionAid, it was discovered that between 1995 and
2001, most Southern African Development Community (Sadc) countries recorded
a decline in their Human Development Index (HDI).

HDI is a standard means of measuring human well-being especially child
welfare which includes poverty levels, life expectancy, literacy and
dependency ratios

Life expectancy in almost the entire region, except Mauritius and the
Seychelles, is now below 51 years while in Zambia it is as low as 33,4

The issue of brain drain is also very critical with an estimated three
million Zimbabweans now said to be in the diaspora.

"We have lost critical skills to the very same countries we have lost market
share to.

"The country has lost valuable skills which need to be replaced," Mr Bara

His comments on productivity come at a time when the annual collective
bargaining process for salary adjustments is beginning.

Less than half of the National Employment Council (NEC) are reported to have
reached agreements with their employees so far.

Thirteen out of 45 NECs have so far reached common ground with their

The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions has set $864 000 as the minimum wage

Inflationary pressure is also contributing to the slow progress in wage
negotiation, as huge hikes are likely to worsen the pressure being felt by
the economy.

The Minister of Public Service Labour and Social Welfare, Mr Paul Mangwana,
has, in the past, pointed out that it is the huge perks and salaries that
management and executives award themselves that lead to workers making huge
salary demands.
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Khaleej Times

S. African President presses need to resolve crises in Zimbabwe, Sudan

10 June 2004

WASHINGTON - Ahead of talks with G8 leaders, South African President Thabo
Mbeki called Wednesday for greater urgency in resolving two of the most
pressing crises in the African continent-in Zimbabwe and Sudan.

He lamented that formal talks between Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe and
opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai had not started despite prolonged
informal negotiations to resolve the nation's political and economic crisis.

Mbeki said time was also running out in Sudan's crisis-stricken western
Darfur region, where there was an urgent need to rush in humanitarian aid to
about one million displaced people before the rainy season sets in.

The two issues were expected to be among a host of subjects to be discussed
by leaders of the the Group of Eight industrialized nations of Britain,
Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States and six
African leaders on Thursday.

The meeting with the leaders Algeria, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa
and Uganda will be at the Sea Island resort off the southern US state of

This is the third time the G8 leaders are meeting their African counterparts
to help them overcome their problems.

Asked at a political forum in Washington to comment on the crisis in
neighbouring Zimbabwe, Mbeki said he felt that Mugabe and Tsvangirai had not
been moving quickly enough to set aside their differences and tackle the
massive crisis gripping their country.

"In my view, they are moving too slowly," said Mbeki, among those involved
in mediating Zimbabwe's crisis. "That's my view."

Amid the prolonged political crisis, Zimbabweans, 70 percent of whom are
said to live in poverty, are reeling under severe hardships with runaway
inflation, high unemployment and critical shortages of food, medicine and

Mugabe has come under increased isolation including sanctions from the
United States, Britain and the EU for alleged human rights abuses and
undemocratic practices.

His government unveiled plans this week to cancel titles to all productive
land and replace them with 99-year leases under a massive nationalization
scheme-an extension of Zimbabwe's highly controversial land reform program
that has seen the seizure of white-owned farms and their handover to blacks.

Mbeki said the deteriorating situation in Sudan needed the urgent attention
of G8 leaders, particularly in providing humanitarian aid to some one
million people displaced by the 15-month conflict in Darfur.

Mbeki said that South Africa had sent military observers to help in
resolving the conflict there so that the displaced could receive food

"It is important to respond very quickly ... Once rain comes in the
underdeveloped area, the people will become inaccessible," he warned.

Aid workers charge that Khartoum has hampered access to displaced people in
Darfur, slowed the delivery of relief supplies and militarily backed
Janjawid Arab militiamen who have staged murderous raids on villagers and
are widely accused of atrocities.

At least 10,000 people have died and 130,000 others fled across the border
into Chad since rebels launched an uprising in Darfur in February 2003 and
were met with fierce retaliation by government and Janjawid forces.
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Ban Mugabe's man

Thursday June 10, 2004
The Guardian

The governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Gideon Gono is due in Britain
this week on a fundraising tour for Robert Mugabe's Zanu PF regime (Report,
June 7). Nearly 100 individuals closely associated with the Zimbabwean
regime are already prevented from travelling within the EU and their
personal assets are frozen. Gideon Gono's visit underlines the need to keep
the list of names on the travel ban under constant review. He is a powerful
lieutenant of Mugabe, charged with raising the hard currency needed by the
regime to sustain its system of patronage and corruption.
We have both made undercover visits to Zimbabwe in the past 12 months and
observed the all-pervading fear that stalks the country and witnessed the
wanton destruction of its human and natural resources. The UK aid budget is
stretched providing food to a nation whose agricultural production has been
cynically destroyed under the economic and agricultural policies adopted to
keep a brutal tyranny in power. We are outraged Gono has been granted a visa
and call upon the government to withdraw permission for his visit.
Kate Hoey MP
John Bercow MP

By renationalising land (Mugabe to seize all farm land, June 9), Mugabe has
only returned to the colonial system. Before independence in 1980, all land
was leasehold, so the colonial authorities could take it back from white
settlers who did not use it well.
Joseph Hanlon
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Govt taps into remittances to ease forex shortages

[ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

BULAWAYO, 9 Jun 2004 (IRIN) - Recent measures by Zimbabwe to attract
much-needed foreign currency has paid off, as the central bank announced
earnings this week of Zim $520 billion (about US $100 million), mainly from
remittances sent by Zimbabweans living abroad.

Since the registration of 11 money transfer agencies (MTAs) five weeks ago,
thousands of Zimbabweans, both locals and those in the diaspora, have
flocked to convert their foreign currency.

"There is an improvement in foreign currency inflows into the country since
the implementation of the new policy allowing citizens to use Reserve Bank
of Zimbabwe [RBZ] accredited money transfer agencies and the adoption of
currency auction floor exchange rates," the RBZ said in a statement.

Zimbabwe has faced foreign currency shortages as a result of its poor export
performance and withdrawal of financial support by Western donors and some
international financial institutions.

The move to harness foreign currency from Zimbabweans living overseas,
dubbed "Homelink", was a direct response from the government to undercut the
parallel market which until now had reaped the bulk of inflows.

The RBZ realised that the 3.4 million Zimbabweans living overseas were
sending home significant amounts of hard currency. But, given the
unfavourable rates at which foreign exchange was traded officially, hardly
any of this money arrived through conventional banking channels.

Under the Homelink scheme, Zimbabweans in the diaspora are offered a special
exchange rate to entice them away from the parallel market.

"As an incentive for Zimbabweans in the diaspora to send money home, the
central bank has waived the charging of commissions by money transfer
agencies," RBZ governor Gideon Gono said in a recent monetary policy review.
"This means that for all foreign currency remittances made through this
facility, beneficiaries in Zimbabwe will be paid the full amounts converted
at the ruling auction rate or at the diaspora floor price of Zim $5,200/US
dollar, which ever is higher," he explained.

Recipients can also decide between getting the money in foreign or its local
currency equivalent.

Prior to the liberalisation, and faced with extreme foreign currency
shortages, the authorities had imposed strict controls to govern the
importation and use of foreign currency, and instructed all banks to demand
proof of its origin.

But earlier this year, the RBZ set up a team of financial experts to explore
more creative ways of tapping into the foreign currency earnings of
Zimbabweans abroad.

It relaxed its stringent rules and directed all banks to stop asking
questions about the origin of the foreign currency.

In a controversial move last week, Gono even encouraged Zimbabweans to seek
employment abroad.

"The country's foreign currency reserves will improve significantly if more
people went to work abroad. The exportation of labour has helped many
countries in earning foreign currency as citizens use official channels to
send money back to their families at home. I encourage Zimbabweans to seek
jobs outside the country," he said.

But Gono's suggestion has come under fire. The independent press was filled
with letters questioning why the government wanted to enlist the help of
expatriates to resolve an economic crisis critics accused the government of

Demonstrations against Homelink were held in the United Kingdom and the
United States where RBZ marketing teams were heckled and labelled as
fundraisers for the government.

Zimbabwe's economic, and for some, political crisis, has fuelled the exodus
of young men and women looking for better opportunities abroad.

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The Herald

ZTA to train people in Chinese language

THE Zimbabwe Tourism Authority said on Monday it was working with relevant
ministries and training institutions around the country to start training
people in Chinese language.

ZTA marketing and communications director Givemore Chidzidzi said that the
move was intended to ensure the country had as many local mandarin speakers
as possible, in expectation of an increased inflow of Chinese tourists after
the Asian country granted Zimbabwe the Approved Destination Status (ADS)
last year.

Already, the number of Chinese tourists to Zimbabwe has increased since the
ADS deal was sealed, recording the highest growth in the first quarter of
the year.

"We are working with the Ministries of Higher and Tertiary Education,
Environment and Tourism and various training institutions to make sure that
we have local people trained to speak Chinese," he said.

He said the governments of China and Zimbabwe had also reached an agreement
for the training of people not only in the mandarin language, but also in
other special areas related to Chinese tourism. He said ZTA was inviting
mandarin speakers to register with it so that they could provide their
services as and when required.

"We are trying to create a database of people in the country who can speak
Chinese, who will possibly be required by players in the tourism industry as
and when they need them. We want this to be a quick win for our industry as
we prepare for the ADS with China," he said.

Chidzidzi said ZTA had already secured people for Chinese translation,
contrary to media reports that it had failed in its earlier attempt to
attract mandarin speakers.

Zimbabwe's tourism industry has suffered badly in recent years from a
relentless negative media campaign in Europe, the country's former key
source market for tourists in opposition to the Government.

But it has began to pick up again, after the failure of the campaign to
dislodge the Government, and ZTA's moves to reach out to Asia and other
non-traditional tourist source markets for Zimbabwe.

China presents a huge alternative tourism market to Europe and North America
for the country, hence, stepped up efforts by ZTA and other local Government
and private agencies to tap into it.

This include plans by national carrier, Air Zimbabwe, to open a direct
flight to China and other Asian markets, such as Bangkok. - New Ziana.
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The Herald

Police launch anti-crime air surveillance

Herald Reporter
POLICE have launched a major operation against violent criminal syndicates,
committing substantial manpower from several branches, providing
high-powered police cars and using a helicopter of the Air Force of Zimbabwe
for aerial surveillance.

Police spokesperson Superin-tendent Oliver Mandipaka said adequate human and
material resources had been provided for "Operation Hokoyo (Beware)".

"We are fully committed to bringing to book perpetrators of these heinous
crimes and break through these criminal syndicates," he said.

Supt Mandipaka said the main operation would be in Harare, Bulawayo, Mutare,
Gweru and other cities and small towns.

"We have made provision of adequate human and material resources for the
operation to the extent that our sister department, the Air Force of
Zimbabwe, has assisted us with a helicopter for aerial surveillance. There
is also inter-agency liaison with other stakeholders."

Supt Mandipaka said high-powered police patrol vehicles would track down
notorious criminals who might want to escape using getaway vehicles.

"All our police units have been co-opted into this operation - that is
police detectives, Support Unit, Special Tactics Unit and officers from the
Police Internal Security Intelligence," said Supt Mandipaka.

He urged members of the public to supply the police with information leading
to the arrest of criminal syndicates.

"Carjackers, murderers and robbers are not suitable neighbours in our
communities and so we call upon all law-abiding citizens to expose them
either openly or anonymously," he said.

At least 171 vehicles worth $16 554 200 000 were stolen countrywide between
January and June 8 this year, with Harare and Bulawayo having the highest
numbers of vehicles stolen.

Most of the vehicles, which include latest four-wheel drives and luxury cars
among others, were stolen at gunpoint.

Some of the vehicles are believed to have been smuggled outside the country
through Mozambique to Malawi, where there are ready markets.

Apart from Operation Hokoyo, police have launched other operations and
increased their patrols to curb criminal activities in the city centre.

Detectives from the Criminal Investigation Department, the police cycle
patrol unit and Crime Prevention Unit officers have so far managed to reduce
crime by carrying out patrols in and around the city.

Supt Mandipaka said the police would also target motorists who violate
traffic regulations, such as driving while drunk, speeding, using
unroadworthy vehicles and driving through a red robot.

He warned those still using Peugeot 404s as taxis that they risk impoundment
of their vehicles.

"In terms of our laws, these types of vehicles have since been phased out
but we still find some operators carrying commuters in these vehicles, the
majority of which are defective," said Supt Mandipaka.

He said the vehicles were still being used in places like Machipisa, Glen
Norah, Makoni, Westgate and Chitungwiza.

Operation Hokoyo comes after several people --- including prominent
businesspeople and policemen --- have been shot and killed by armed robbers.

Last month, the chief executive officer of Trojan Nickel Mine, Mr Leonard
Chimimba, was shot and killed by armed robbers in a failed attempt to steal
his vehicle, a Toyota Land Cruiser.

Mr Chimimba was found lying in a pool of blood next to his vehicle after he
was shot in the head outside the gate of his Borrowdale house.

Liberation war hero Cde Gerald Chitsongo was shot and killed by armed
robbers in another abortive attempt to steal his vehicle, a Toyota Land
Cruiser, in Eastlea last year.

Cde Chitsongo was shot through the cheek after the suspects, who had a
getaway vehicle, ordered him to get out of the vehicle when he was parking
at Northampton Court in the suburb last September.

Last month, two policemen were shot and killed by armed robbers in

The two were shot at a roadblock near Mukumbura Border Post as they tried to
arrest two suspected carjackers who had abandoned a vehicle believed to have
been stolen.
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