Gono dashes to US on 'mission impossible' Dumisani
Muleya RESERVE Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Gideon Gono is in Washington
for meetings with International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank officials
to prevent Harare's expulsion from the Bretton Woods
Official sources said Gono left for the US capital on
Tuesday for critical meetings on Zimbabwe's arrears which will determine
whether or not this country can remain an IMF member.
external relations department officer confirmed yesterday that Gono was in
Washington and had met deputy managing director Takatoshi Kato on Wednesday.
He was due to continue with meetings yesterday and today.
hurried visit to the US may succeed in retaining links to the IMF, observers
say no money is likely to be forthcoming for
There has been confusion about Gono's
movements as his officials laid down a smokescreen. Some reports this week
claim he was headed for the United Kingdom to join the RBZ's Homelink money
transfer roadshow which started in the US two weeks ago. Others said he was
in South Africa for meetings with that country's monetary
One official said he had travelled to Kampala for the
Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa summit.
Gono's office and RBZ public relations personnel added to the confusion by
claiming they were not aware of his whereabouts.
The Homelink crew,
led by tourism executive Herbert Nkala, has been struggling to convince
Zimbabweans abroad to send their money home through official channels to
alleviate a biting foreign currency crunch.
While some people in the
diaspora gave the team a receptive hearing, others greeted it with angry
protests, accusing it of trying to raise funds to prop up President Robert
Mugabe's regime. A scheduled meeting with congregants at a London church on
Sunday has been cancelled after opposition to it mounted, reports say. There
have also been protests outside Zimbabwe House.
While Gono had been
reported as due to attend some of the British roadshow meetings in cities
such as Leeds and Birmingham, official sources said he would be in Washington
for anything up to two weeks.
The IMF's executive board will closely
examine the progress made on policies and payments when it considers the
Article IV consultation report and the issue of Zimbabwe's overdue payments
early next month.
An IMF delegation was in Zimbabwe between March
17-31 for its annual Article IV consultation. It produced a report, which
stated "Zimbabwe's economy has experienced a sharp deterioration in the last
five years, while real GDP has declined by about 30%, and is still
The sources said one of Gono's three deputies, Charity
Dhliwayo, who deals with bank licensing, supervision and surveillance,
exchange control and anti-money laundering, was in South Africa for talks
with monetary authorities there.
Former Finance ministry permanent
secretary Nick Ncube, one of the deputies responsible for national
development and economic research, is acting governor.
mission is largely to prevent the country's expulsion from the IMF which gave
Zimbabwe a chance to put its house in order last December after the new
governor came in.
The RBZ chief will try to restore suspended
balance-of-payments support. At the end of February Zimbabwe owed the IMF
Special Drawing Rights US$290 million.
The country, currently
reeling from a deep economic and foreign currency crisis, has committed
itself to make US$1,5 million quarterly payments to the
Zimbabwe was last December spared dismissal after the
appointment of Gono to spearhead economic recovery. But the country's voting
rights were suspended due to non-payment of loans.
virtually a "mission impossible" in the US because of Zimbabwe's poor
international image. Apart from the negative report by the IMF team that
recently visited Harare, Zimbabwe was last week rated as one of the worst
investment destinations in Africa by the World Economic Forum. An IMF report
on sub-Saharan Africa says Zimbabwe's economy was destroyed by "mismanagement
and poor governance".
Government this week announced the
nationalisation of all farmland, a move bound to make Gono's mission doubly
Lawyers challenge filthy holding cells Dumisani
Muleya ZIMBABWE Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), a civic grouping, and
two individuals have filed a test Supreme Court application challenging
"sordid and dirty" conditions in police holding cells around the
ZLHR, Zimbabwe Congress for Trade Unions secretary-general
Wellington Chibebe, and Nancy Kachingwe, filed the case in terms of Section
24 of the Constitution in April. Hearing of the matter will be on June
Chibebe and Kachingwe, once detained at Matapi in Mbare and
Highlands police stations respectively, say conditions in the cells are
"sordid and dirty as to amount to inhuman and degrading
They say the situation at Matapi and Highlands is a
microcosm of appalling conditions in police cells around the
However, police in their opposing papers says the conditions
at Matapi and Highlands are not representative of conditions throughout the
They also say the applicants have no locus standi to make
the case and that the court has no jurisdiction to direct government on such
But the applicants insist police should be forced to comply
with the African Charter on Human and People's Rights (ACHPR) and the
International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) to which
Zimbabwe is a signatory.
ACHPR says: "All forms of exploitation
and degradation of man, particularly slavery, slave trade, torture, cruel,
inhuman, or degrading punishment and treatment shall be
ICCPR states that: "No one shall be subjected to torture
or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. All persons
deprived of their liberty shall be treated with humanity and with
The situation in police cells not only violates the
country's laws and international conventions but also Police Standing Orders,
the applicants say.
They say the court should rule that "police
holding cells in Zimbabwe are degrading and inhuman and unfit for detaining
The court must also rule that the cells should be of a
reasonable size, have good ventilation, sufficient lighting, and places of
resting such as chairs or benches, they argue.
obliged to stay overnight in police custody should be provided with a clean
mattress and blankets," the applicants say.
"Police holding cells
should have clean and decent flushing toilets with toilet paper in a sanitary
annex in the police cell."
Local journalists forge alliance with lawyers Staff
Writer A GROUP OF local journalists and lawyers has formed an organisation
to defend press freedom and resist the current government onslaught against
Zimbabwe Journalists for Human Rights (ZJHR) was set up to
act as a watchdog on abuses against the media. ZJHR is legally registered and
has a board of trustees. The organisation includes journalists from the
banned Daily News and Daily News on Sunday, John Gambanga, Pedzisai Ruhanya,
Precious Shumba and Luke Tamborinyoka.
It also includes
journalists from other private newspapers such as Brian Mangwende of the
Financial Gazette, Dumisani Muleya of the Zimbabwe Independent and Angela
Makamure of the Standard.
University of Zimbabwe law lecturer and
National Constitutional Assembly chair Lovemore Madhuku and Harrison Nkomo of
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights are also members.
spokesman, Muleya, said the group would monitor abuses against journalists by
political and corporate aggressors. He said there was need to find new ways
to cope in the current hostile environment that journalists - both from
private and public media - are locked in.
"Events over the past few
years have shown that even if free-press journalists are the main target of
repression, state-media journalists are also vulnerable to political
pressure," Muleya said.
"The wholesale dismissal of journalists from
ZBC and in some cases Zimpapers is clear evidence of the collective threat
that we all face from political predators."
Muleya said ZJHR would
work with groups such as the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists and Independent
Journalists Association of Zimbabwe to consolidate journalistic structures in
civic society to resist media tyranny.
"The history of state
abuses against journalists and the media in Zimbabwe is long and
well-documented. It spans the colonial and post-Independence era with varying
degrees of intensity but basically the same effect,"
"In the present viperous environment, journalists,
like all other ordinary Zimbabweans, find themselves engaged in mortal combat
for their fundamental rights," he said.
Military hit by HIV scourge Godfrey Marawanyika THE
country's military has been hard hit by the deadly HIV/Aids epidemic, which
has become the biggest cause of death among servicemen, a report supported by
the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has revealed.
to the Zimbabwe Human Development Report for 2003, 75% of Zimbabwean soldiers
die of Aids within a year of being discharged.
"A study in seven
countries including Zimbabwe found that 75% of soldiers were dying of Aids
within one year of discharge," the report said.
The report said the
security sector was severely affected by HIV/Aids. The prevalence of HIV is
higher than in the general population, the report says.
of the staff recruitment and operations make the sector highly vulnerable to
HIV and Aids. The sector thrives on engaging the young and socially
inexperienced," the report says.
Zimbabwe has an estimated 1 820 000
people who are HIV-positive.
The HIV infection rate is 24,6% and it is
estimated that by the end of last year, 761 000 children would be orphaned by
Zimbabwe is losing at least 3 000 able-bodied individuals to
the disease weekly, which poses one of the major challenges for business
development in the country, according to Health ministry
The report said that the discipline in the military was a
positive aspect that could be harnessed for a revised response to the Aids
The Poverty Reduction Forum and the Institute of Development
Studies, supported by the UNDP, compiled the report.
said conditions in the prison system had deteriorated largely due to over
crowding and the economic crisis.
"Vulnerability has, in turn,
increased as non-consensual, and transactional sex become control mechanisms
and survival strategies of inmates and wardens," the report
"The amnesty system increases vulnerability of communities as
former inmates with higher HIV prevalence rejoin the communities. Reducing
vulnerability of prisons, therefore, requires that internal and external
factors be considered," it said.
As far back as 1996, 72% of
prison deaths were reported to be Aids-related.
"A study over a
period of three years (1999-2001) by the chief Zimbabwe Prison Service public
relations officer revealed that 1 051 Aids-related deaths had
Last month the South African-based Institute for
Correctional Studies suggested that as part of minimising the spread of
HIV/Aids inmates be given condoms.
The institute also recommended
that inmates be allowed conjugal visits.
The report said that the
Zimbabwe Republic Police's capacity to deliver the organisation's mandate was
now showing signs of erosion as members "succumb to HIV-related illness and
The report also criticised the country's private sector for
not taking a sufficiently active part in the fight against
Chombo intensifies anti-MDC crusade Augustine
Mukaro LOCAL Government minister Ignatius Chombo has completely paralysed
Harare City Council's operations by suspending 13 councillors for
allegedly interfering with the management of council affairs.
week Chombo suspended the 13 councillors after a full council meeting in
which acting mayor Sekesai Makwavarara was ousted from her position.
Dr Christopher Mushonga was elected deputy mayor in her
Chombo suspended Mushonga and 12 other councillors the
Chombo has been at loggerheads with the MDC-dominated
council since it assumed office in 2002 and last month fired the first
elected executive mayor of Harare Elias Mudzuri for alleged
President Robert Mugabe has appointed Witness
Mangwende, an unelected MP, as governor of the city.
move brings to 19 the number of suspended councillors, heavily weakening the
council and its six committees responsible for decision-making.
a result of the suspensions, council was forced to abort its full meeting on
Wednesday due to lack of a quorum. Sixteen councillors form a
The council has six committees each consisting of nine
councillors. The suspension of the 19 leaves 26 councillors, which
effectively means only four committees can meet.
which are still operational are finance, audit, procurement, and
Councillor Elizabeth Marunda of Ward 9 who
chairs the finance committee said the suspensions would seriously affect the
quality of decision-making.
"It's unfortunate that we have to reschedule
the meeting because we can't form a quorum," Marunda said.
mandate as elected councillors is to make decisions for the good of residents
but we are not in a position to do so under the prevailing conditions. We
hope to be able to fulfil our mandate in the next meeting."
suspended councillors have since filed an urgent application with the High
Court seeking to nullify the suspension and interdict Chombo from interfering
with and disrupting the affairs and business at the council.
Ex-AirZim boss ready to explain abrupt exit Itai
Dzamara FORMER Air Zimbabwe managing director Rambai Chingwena says he will
come back to the country soon and face those who want him to explain his
abrupt departure from the national airline.
He also says he is ready
to clear his name on allegations of misappropriation of pension funds at the
Chingwena, who tendered his resignation from
outside the country last month, telephoned the Zimbabwe Independent last week
but refused to reveal where he was.
Chingwena said he had left Air
Zimbabwe amicably and couldn't be blamed for the viability problems rocking
the airline. He dismissed fears that he was facing arrest over pension funds
as well as other financial aspects at the airline.
"I will be
coming back to Zimbabwe soon and will face anyone who believes I have a case
to answer," said Chingwena
"My reason for leaving Air Zimbabwe was
purely personal. That is all. I will not comment on those other issues about
failure to run the airline and so forth. I will explain the circumstances
pertaining to my faxing the resignation letter from outside the country when
I am back. How can I be blamed for the viability problems at Air Zimbabwe? I
will clear my name on that as well."
In response to allegations
raised by Air Zimbabwe workers that Chingwena, who was the chairman of the
board of trustees for the pension fund, had withdrawn $400 million from the
fund without the consent of the other trustee members, he passed the buck to
the current leadership at Air Zimbabwe.
"I had long ceased to be
involved in any decision making process in the board of trustees since I was
appointed substantive managing director," Chingwena said.
allegations that I abused pension funds are totally unfounded. I don't want
to preempt or prejudice whatever investigations are going on into these
matters by implicating anyone. But I should emphasise that the
current leadership at the airline should answer to these
Highly placed sources have said Chingwena is currently in
Kenya and has taken, or is about to take up, a job in the aviation industry
in that country.
A report compiled by Air Zimbabwe's three workers
unions and submitted to the police alleges that the board of trustees had not
remitted pension money since September 2003. The report, which this paper is
in possession of, says: "Also of concern is $400 million that Comarton
Consultants (Pvt) Ltd reveals was de-invested by the board".
workers say they understood the $400 million was used on fuel by
Zvinavashe keeps supporters guessing Augustine
Mukaro RETIRED army general Vitalis Zvinavashe could be eyeing the
vice-presidency, the Zimbabwe Independent has heard.
In an interview
last week Zvinavashe told the Independent he had turned down overtures by the
Gutu South leadership to field him as a candidate in the 2005 parliamentary
Zvinavashe had been approached to replace the incumbent MP,
Shuvai Mahofa, who fell out of favour with the Gutu South traditional leaders
after she was implicated in the death of war veterans leader Misheck
Zvinavashe confirmed having been approached by the constituency's
leadership to be the candidate in the March election.
from my rural home have approached me," Zvinavashe said.
need to understand is that I am a retired commander of the Defence Forces. I
have been serving the country at the national level so structurally I can't
go back to represent a district or province."
Zvinavashe said there
were young people from the constituency who should be given a chance to stand
as MP and he would play an advisory role.
"People are not wrong. I
know what they want. I am not refusing to help them. I will help them but not
as they expected. I will not take up that post but only advise those who will
be in the post," he said.
"Zvauri kundibvunza zvinofa-nana nokuti
baba voonekwa vachida kuperekedza muchato wemwana. (It's like a father trying
to be the best-man at his son's wedding.)"
Pressed this week on
what he was currently doing politically and whe-ther he had presidential
ambitions, Zvinavashe referred all questions to President Robert
"You should ask President Mugabe," Zvinavashe said before
switching off his mobile phone.
Prior to his retirement from the
army Zvinavashe had been linked to the late Vice-President Simon Muzenda's
former constituency, Gutu North, which retired Air Marshal Josiah Tungamirai
Since his retirement in December there has been
growing speculation that Zvinavashe would be appointed vice-president to
Zimbabwe says no to Mengistu extradition Gift
Phiri ZIMBABWE has rejected an extradition bid to bring deposed
Ethiopian dictator, Mengistu Haile Mariam, to justice for massive human
rights violations during his rule.
Mengistu, who was granted political
asylum in Zimbabwe in 1991 when he was toppled, is currently being tried in
absentia in Addis Ababa together with 37 former top soldiers accused of
genocide during his 17-year rule.
Ethiopian ambassador to Zimbabwe,
Duna Mufta, last week confirmed that he had passed an extradition request to
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
"It was not a new request really,"
said Mufta. "Mengistu committed crimes against humanity and he must be
brought to justice. He is a dictator who killed millions and we have made
several extradition requests to the Zimbabwean government before so that he
stands trial for his crimes."
Mufta said the Zimbabwean government
had not officially responded to the extradition request. He declined to draw
any meaning from the Foreign Affairs ministry's silence.
comment on behalf of the Zimbabwean government, talk to them," said
It was not possible to obtain comment from Foreign Affairs
minister Stan Mudenge. Foreign Affairs spokesperson Pavelyn Musaka had not
responded to questions sent to her last week.
said the government had declined to return Mengistu to Ethiopia citing
concerns about the fairness of the Ethiopian trials. The Zimbabwe Independent
understands that there is no extradition treaty between the two countries.
Ethiopia is however arguing that Mengistu's crimes are so grave that the
absence of a treaty with Zimbabwe should not be used as a reason to refuse
Ethiopia previously asked South Africa to extradite
Mengistu when it emerged that he had been receiving medical treatment there.
The South African government however received the extradition request when
the former military ruler had already left the country.
is believed to be a holder of a Zimbabwean diplomatic passport and lives in a
heavily-guarded mansion in the capital, Harare. The Zimbabwean government
argues that they gave refuge to Mengistu because he helped train and arm
liberation fighters during Zimbabwe's liberation struggle in
The Ethiopian envoy however said his country had sought
Mengistu's extradition to stand trial for organising the "Red Terror"
campaign in which tens of thousands of opponents of his regime were
slaughtered in the 1970s and 80s.
Mengistu is the key defendant in
the trials of 2 000 former officials that began nearly five years ago in the
Ethiopian capital. Two men were sentenced to death in absentia this month in
Diplomatic sources suggested that if Zimbabwe was
genuinely worried about the fairness of the trial, they should extradite the
former dictator to South Africa which could try him before its own courts.
The South African constitution incorporates customary international law,
which holds that all countries should exercise jurisdiction over crimes
against humanity and torture.
Alternatively, Zimbabwe could
extradite Mengistu to a country which is willing to prosecute the former
dictator and guarantee a fair trial, a diplomat said.
From 1974 to
1991, Mengistu's "Dergue" was responsible for human rights violations on a
massive scale. Tens of thousands of Ethiopians were tortured, murdered or
"disappeared." Tens of thousands of people were also killed as a result of
humanitarian law violations committed during Ethiopia's many internal armed
conflicts. Many others, perhaps more than 100 000, died as a result of forced
relocations ordered by the Mengistu regime.
Gono reimburses banks Dumisani Muleya RESERVE Bank
of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Gideon Gono has refunded banks convicted and fined
for violating exchange control regulations over $6 billion, it has been
Official sources said Gono recently repaid the banks that
breached the exchange control regulations in a bid to "rebuild the collapsing
trust between the central bank and all stakeholders".
Gono reimbursed the banks following a "conditional amnesty" extended last
December to the affected institutions. The banks include Time, NMB, Trust,
Zimbank, Metropolitan, Century, CFX, MBCA, Renaissance, Genesis, ABC,
Interfin, Barclays, Stanbic, First Bank, Royal, Kingdom, Agribank and Jewel
Time Bank was initially convicted for violating the exchange
rate order and the RBZ's 40% surrender require-ment. It was fined $202
million and ordered to suspend foreign currency trading for three months. The
bank was also directed to sell and remit US$39 561 due to the
NMB was convicted on similar charges. The bank was fined $1,9
billion and suspended for 12 months. It was also ordered to sell and remit
US$10,6 million due to the RBZ.
Trust Bank was similarly fined
$875 million and ordered to dispose of US$14 801. It was suspended from
dealing in foreign currency for a year.
Zimbank was convicted of
violating the exchange rate order only and fined $1,1 billion. It was ordered
to cease foreign currency trading for six months.
For violating the
40% surrender requirement, Metropolitan was fined $388 million and directed
to stop foreign currency deals for six months. The bank was asked to sell
US$450 976 due to the RBZ.
Century Bank was charged for breaching the
exchange rate order and the 40% remission regulation. It was fined $299
million and suspended for three months. CFX was convicted for both offences
and fined $156 million. It was also suspended for three
MBCA was fined $52 million and suspended for three months
over exchange rate violations. It was only charged for the contravention of
the exchange rate order. Renaissance was fined $43 million and suspended for
three months, while Genesis was fined $1 million and suspended for a similar
ABC was slapped with a $414 million fine and suspended for
six months. It was ordered to sell US$167 150 due to RBZ. Interfin was fined
$66 million and asked not to trade for three months. Barclays was fined $32
million and also suspended for three months.
For violating the
exchange rate regulations, First Bank was fined $104 million and suspended
for three months. Kingdom was fined $593 million and suspended for nine
It was ordered to sell US$851 000 due to RBZ. Agribank was
fined $351 million and suspended for three months. CBZ was fined $57
Kuruneri engages Andersen in quest for freedom Godfrey
Marawanyika FINANCE minister ChrisKuruneri has bolstered his defence team by
hiring Advocate Chris Andersen in his quest for bail on charges of
externalising foreign cu-rrency.
The defence team led by Advocate
Andersen is instructed by Bruce Mujeyi and David Drury of Gollop &
On Wednesday new evidence was presented to Supreme Court Judge
Elizabeth Gwaunza by state prosecutor Joseph Jagada at a hearing in chambers.
The evidence included pictures of a safe in which the externalised funds
were allegedly kept in Cape Town.
Another picture show-ed a
newly-acquired Mercedes Benz which was still to be delivered to the
Jagada told the judge that the man appearing in the pictures
was a Mr Heyman who had told investigators that "Kuruneri was bringing money
in suitcases which had to be kept in a safe".
investigations were still being carried out in South Africa.
the bail application was reserved.
Kuruneri is facing charges of
externalising foreign currency between 2002 and this year. He is accused of
channelling US$1 million, £37 000 and R30 000 to accounts
Andersen told the chambers hearing that the funds Kuruneri
used were earned as "free funds", meaning they did not originate locally,
adding that since his client was a member of parliament and was appointed by
the president as minister there was no way he would abscond.
appellant has been a member of parliament and His Excellency has not removed
him from his post although an acting minister has been appointed," Andersen
"Where else can he go? Certainly not to Europe or South
Africa," said Andersen. "He has a career and he risks losing lots of assets
and huge sums of investments.
"So we propose that he be placed
under house arrest since he is a minister and his house is always
Andersen said Kuruneri had revised his proposed cash for
bail from $7 million to $50 million.
Andersen told the court that
his client was "also willing to hand in the title deeds of his company called
Climatex, which is worth $6 billion".
Jagada said since the accused
had connections everywhere in the world he should not be granted
"The accused has connections in Venezuela, North America,
Europe and even Canada where he has relatives," he said.
now we have another case involving Gilbert Muponda who had stringent bail
conditions, but he has absconded and is now on the run."
former director of the defunct ENG Asset Management Investments, violated his
bail conditions and has disappeared.
Jagada said Kuruneri had R1,3
million cash in his account in South Africa,
which would enable him to
live comfortably once he was outside the country.
The state countered
Andersen's suggestion that the money Kuruneri is accused of externalising was
earned as "free funds". Jagada said the money was "earned between 1976-1981
and payments were only made in 2002 in cash and there was no explanation,
which creates reasonable suspicion," he said.
SPEAKER of Parliament Emmerson Mnangagwa's chances of taking over
President Robert Mugabe's job continue to fade amid indications that the
former strongman is being elbowed from the race for power.
weeks ago, Mnangagwa, once a key political figure in ruling party circles,
suffered an embarrassing setback when he was reportedly snubbed by Midlands
State University where he was due to be conferred with an honorary Doctor of
Laws degree. Mnangagwa's name was deleted from the list of graduands ahead of
the ceremony, reports said. President Mugabe presided at the graduation as
chancellor of the university.
The case is the latest in a series of
setbacks for Mnangagwa, regarded by many as Mugabe's anointed political heir.
Currently, a high-level investigation initiated by the politburo into the
commercial operations of Zanu PF is underway. Mnangagwa, as the ruling
party's finance chief for many years, is reported to have been interviewed
about the goings-on at a number of companies.
Under scrutiny are all
Zanu PF-associated companies and investments including Zidco Holdings,
M&S Syndicate, First Banking Corporation, Treger Holdings, Catercraft and
Zidlee Enterprises. Although the allegations being investigated centre on
graft, mismanagement and security breaches by those actually running the
companies, the probe is seen as clipping Mnangagwa's wings.
Standard reported in March that Kwekwe-based gold dealer Mark Burden
had claimed in a sworn affidavit that he had been tortured in police custody
to implicate Mnangagwa in illicit gold deals. Burden said he denied
any involvement by Mnangagwa. Police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena was quoted
at the time as saying if Burden had any complaints against the police he
should inform the courts.
Mnangagwa, together with other senior
Zimbabwean officials, has been mentioned in a UN report as linked to the
plunder of resources in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a charge he has
Sources in Zanu PF told the Zimbabwe Independent that there was
a full-blooded attempt by an opposing faction in the party to stifle
Mnangagwa 's presidential ambitions.
Political analyst and Southern
Africa Publishing House head Ibbo Mandaza however insists that despite all
the obstacles to Mnangagwa, he remains a front-runner in the succession
"Mnangagwa remains in strong contention for the presidency," said
Mandaza. "It is not correct to say that Mnangagwa is being targeted by
anyone. The probe into Zanu PF companies is not aimed at Mnangagwa but at the
companies. Why are you not saying it is aimed at Karimanzira?"
Karimanzira is the current Zanu PF finance secretary heading the party 's
Mandaza refused to draw any conclusions from the
Midlands State University "snub" saying: "It was a non-event."
party sources said the Speaker of Parliament fell out of favour with Mugabe
following the exposé of the retirement plan that he was reportedly hatching
with retired Army General Vitalis Gava Zvinavashe. Mnangagwa was named in
reports as the architect of the "soft-landing plan" that could have seen
Mugabe negotiate a retirement package. The plan also involved retired Colonel
Lionel Dyck and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
Ruling party sources
said Mugabe was angered because he was not informed about the advanced state
of the negotiations.
"Mugabe interpreted Mnangagwa's reported scheme in a
very serious light. This is why Mnangagwa is being punished now and openly
humiliated," said a politburo member who declined to be named.
after the exposé, Mugabe's information chief Jonathan Moyo told the Sunday
Mail that the plan amounted to a coup d'état. Mnangagwa and Zvinavashe are
both of the Karanga tribe, a strong power base in
"Mugabe regarded the soft-landing plan as a
Karanga plot to oust him," said the politburo member. "He does not trust
anyone now, that is why he has remained mum about his
Political commentator Gordon Chavunduka said Mnangagwa was
completely out of the succession race.
"I do not see any chance of him
taking over," said Chavunduka. "His policies are very much similar to those
of Mugabe and besides he is not very popular in the party."
said there should be a democratic way of dealing with the leadership and
succession issue in Zanu PF and that was to allow people to choose their
leaders at the annual congress.
The Independent was told that Mugabe is
expected to name a vice-president to replace the late Simon Muzenda during
the congress in December. Whoever takes the position will be critical to the
The main battle for the vice-presidency and for
the Mugabe succession is between the big battalions, the Zezuru group and the
Karanga group. At the helm of the Zezuru group is Defence minister Sydney
Sekeramayi who, it is believed, has the backing of retired General Solomon
Mujuru and Air Force commander Air Marshal Perence Shiri.
group, which is linked to ailing firebrand Eddison Zvobgo, has in its ranks
the likes of former Air Marshal Josiah Tungamirai. Sources said the
strongest contenders were Sekeramayi and Mnangagwa.
Sekeramayi owes his
ascendancy to his friends and backers, particularly Mujuru, as much as his
political skills. Mugabe at first appeared to favour Mnangagwa. But his
endorsement would now appear to have been withdrawn.
intensive lobbying and sponsorship of rising provincial politicians, is
feared rather than loved.
Party sources insist that Zanu PF chairman John
Nkomo and former finance minister Simba Makoni remain in strong contention
for the presidency. But Makoni is a relative lightweight.
secretary for information and publicity Nathan Shamuyarira is on record as
saying that a power struggle in Zanu PF was likely to erupt, depending on how
"John Nkomo is on par with Emmerson Mnangagwa. It
depends very much on how Mugabe quits," Shamuyarira said in an interview
earlier this year. "If Mugabe at the December congress says, 'I am quitting
now', Joseph Msika (the vice-president) will (automatically) take over. It
will be very difficult for anyone to oppose him.
"But if Mugabe says,
'I will be retiring in a year's time', then there will be in-fighting between
Mnangagwa and Nkomo."
Mugabe recently told British television channel Sky
News that he will be retiring after his current term of office. He told the
news channel that he did not have a successor in mind.
State should work to restore
credibility A court report in the Herald last Thursday provided instructive
The High Court denied bail to two suspects allegedly involved in
the murder of MDC activists Tichaona Chiminya and Talent Mabika during the
2000 election campaign in Buhera.
The Zimbabwe Independent has
repeatedly drawn attention to this case as symptomatic of the lawlessness
that has previously gone unaddressed across the land.
Hungwe dismissed an application for bail by Webster Gwama and Morris Kainos
Zimunya, alias Kitsiyatota. He said granting the two bail would jeopardise
the administration of justice.
He deplored the delay in bringing the
accused to justice when they were known as the prime suspects in the murder
of the two opposition activists.
"They were highly publicised both in and
out of Zimbabwe," Justice Hungwe was reported as saying in his ruling. "They
were the basis upon which international and Western opinion labelled the
election violence-ridden and therefore not free and fair. Despite the high
publicity of these murders no arrests were made although the culprits were
Justice Hungwe asked why the suspects had not been prosecuted
earlier despite being cited in the election petition for the Buhera
"The criminal justice system remains compromised
when police fail to bring known murderers to justice," he
Justice Hungwe said the police had a constitutional duty to act in
such cases. The case had cost the police its credibility and their inaction
was a matter of public concern, he said. The state's admission that there had
been political interference with their work was "a step in the right
Chief law officer Stephen Musona argued that the two were
likely to attempt to evade trial now they had lost the political protection
they used to enjoy.
"The wind of change is blowing and the
untouchables are now getting arrested in Zimbabwe," he was reported as
According to the report, the two were said to have connived with
two others, Joseph Mwale of the Central Intelligence Organisation and
America Mudzvinyiriri, to commit the crime.
Mudzvinyiriri had since
died while Mwale was "still at large".
This case raises more questions
than it answers. What was the nature of the protection given to the alleged
killers? Who shielded them from the law? At what level was that protection
These questions need to be answered. As Justice Hungwe pointed
out, the case has cost the police their credibility. The same could be said
of the Cain Nkala case where Justice Sandra Mungwira said state witnesses
"conducted themselves in a shameless fashion and displayed utter contempt for
the administration of justice".
The police investigations diary was
"a work of fiction", she said.
The Minister of Justice now needs to set
up an enquiry into how, in the case heard last week, the ends of justice were
defeated, or at least thwarted, for four years. Why has the state media been
so shrill in insisting that there is no lawlessness in Zimbabwe when a case
such as this takes four years to reach court because the accused had a form
And where is Joseph Mwale? How is he able to remain "on the
run" when he is employed by the country's intelligence service?
week, in a case involving the Standard which is being charged under Posa, the
state alleged that the paper, among other things, implied that the government
was "covering up evidence".
We do not know who was providing political
protection to the two accused in the Buhera case. But their alleged linkage
to a CIO officer who appeared to act with impunity would suggest there was an
organised attempt to prevent evidence of a particularly savage murder getting
Our criminal justice system, if it is to remain credible,
cannot entertain a rush to prosecute newspapers on charges of "provoking
public disorder" while other cases take four years to see the light of day
because the perpetrators enjoy political protection.
that "the wind of change is blowing and the untouchables are now getting
arrested" owes more to hope than facts. Only two "untouchables" have been
arrested so far. Another is "on the run".
Those who abducted and tortured
Standard journalists Mark Chavunduka and Ray Choto remain at large despite a
court-ordered police investigation into their treatment. Some of those
allegedly involved in the killing of commercial farmers have been arrested
and then released.
Restoration of the rule of law in Zimbabwe has been
only partial. Court orders protecting individuals from interference on their
properties have been routinely ignored. And now the nationalisation of all
farmland will circumvent the very court-based procedures that government has
itself put in place to provide a trace of fairness to what is essentially an
arbitrary process. It will also of course, by discouraging investment in
agriculture, prevent a modern farming system from evolving.
been much hype recently regarding the prospects of economic recovery. But
there can be no grounds for expectations of recovery so long as the criminal
and civil justice system only functions when the state allows it to. That is
the very opposite of the rule of law. But it is what we have at
THE government is so driven by its anxiety to win the next
parliamentary election and to eclipse its arch-enemy the Movement for
Democratic Change that it has such a fixation as to its perceived causes of
Zimbabwe's economic traumas - as distinct from the actual causes - that the
country's economic decline is a continuing one.
Tragically, there are
not only no signs that the government is willing to recognise that the
realities of Zimbabwe's economic morass are markedly at variance to its
perceptions, but there are also recurrent and clear indications that the
government is wholly unconcerned at any negative effects its policies and
actions have upon the economy.
So great is the governmental disregard for
the facts of Zimbabwe's deplorable economic circumstances, that it actually
progressively worsens those circumstances. Even the very admirable and
diligent efforts of Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono cannot
counter the deleterious repercussions of the government's economic acts of
omission and commission.
As sound as most, but not all, of Gono's
monetary policies are, they can only slow down the economic decline, instead
of reversing it, in the absence of compatible and complementary fiscal
policies and political actions. Regrettably, there is no evidence of any such
compatibility, while there is untold evidence of incompatibility.
is not a new condition, but has prevailed since 1997 when the government
embarked upon its foolhardy and catastrophically disastrous land reform
programme and upon its economically unsustainable compensation for war
veterans and ex-combatants (real and pseudo).
The government continued to
do so by its economically devastating military foray in the Democratic (sic)
Republic of the Congo (DRC), which allegedly brought peace to that troubled
country, but where there are frequently repeated conflicts between state and
rebels. The militaristic actions resulted in massive expropriation of the
DRC's mineral and other wealth.
The government's politically driven, and
ideologically misguided, policies which have contributed to the stressed
conditions of the Zimbabwean economy also included ruinous price controls and
spurious valuation of the Zimbabwe dollar.
This has also seen the
alienation of most of the international community, including donor states,
the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, potential foreign direct
investors and many others, and contemptuous dismissal of any statistics and
other facts which were at variance with its real, or politically required
In the past week there have been increasing indications that
the government is seriously considering reinstating price controls which will
either be all-embracing or, at the least, will be applied to all basic
consumer products, with especial emphasis upon foodstuffs. In doing so, it
will be yielding to the pressures and demands of consumers in general, and
the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe in particular.
It cannot be denied
that the immense inflation of recent years has had devastating effects upon
most of the populace. Most have been reduced to extreme poverty, unable to
afford many of the basic essentials of life, and are suffering
In such circumstances, it is natural that the distressed seek
someone to blame, and inevitably blame is placed almost exclusively at the
feet of the government - where, in fact, such blame should lie. The
government cannot but be conscious that it is, or will be, held culpable for
the destitution which confronts so many, and it fears that as a result it
will lose much electoral support.
The president and his minions are
determined not to lose the votes of the oppressed consumers but, instead of
addressing the root causes of hyperinflation, they repeatedly resort to
ineffectual palliatives and to attribution of blame to others. One of those
palliatives is the application of price controls.
The tragedy is that
the government is unable to learn from experience. Not only in Zimbabwe but
in many other countries, price controls have been near or total failures.
Even when they worked in part, the concomitant effects upon the economy have
been deplorable in the extreme.
The consequences of price controls are
invariably that producers discontinue production, or considerably reduce
production levels, occasioning vast shortages that create new stresses and
hardships for the consumer. Such limited quantities as are available are
invariably purchased by black marketers who then sell the commodities to the
desperate consumer at prices well above the controlled prices.
price controls very often are the cause of increased inflation, instead of
targeted reductions. In many other instances, in endeavours to
preserve operational viability, producers lower product quality so as to
minimise costs. Yet again, the consumer suffers.
Price controls have,
in many instances, forced business closures, with resultant increased
unemployment and loss of downstream economic spending and activity. They have
also been a major deterrent to investment, for few are desirous of investment
in an overly regulated economy.
Thus not only are the intended benefits
not forthcoming, but the associated economic prejudicial effects are
considerable. The only price controls that are effectual for any reasonable
period of time are those implemented on a reciprocal basis by the government,
labour and the private sector under a negotiated social contract.
consumer is helped by the government when the catalysts of inflation
are addressed, and not by price regulation. And the consumer is assisted
by governmentally stimulated competition for, when competition
exists, producers are forced to enhance production efficiencies and
expenditure controls in order to be price-competitive.
government has demonstrated over 24 years an infinitely great ability to
disregard these proven facts. Its interest is short term, being to garner
votes for the next election, and it resorts to whatsoever measures it
believes will realise that objective, irrespective of the medium
and long-term adverse consequences.
Its attitude is to gain votes, no
matter how adverse the effect of its actions may be, and that after winning
the election, it can then try to reverse the ill effects or, if they be
irreversible, can then blame others. Re-imposition of price controls will be
catastrophic, will have cataclonically harmful effects upon the population
and upon the economy, and therefore it can virtually be taken for granted
that the government will apply them.
The government is equally adept
at challenging any statistics as do not support its policies or its actions,
or at misconstruing and misinterpreting those statistics. When, very
recently, the Central Statistical Office issued statistics demonstrating a
significant fall in Zimbabwean exports, the government immediately claimed
that the statistics were incorrect.
But commerce and industry,
economists, the independent media and many of the population are aware that
exports have fallen substantially. This year's tobacco crop is much less than
produced at any time in the last 50 or more years, thanks to the government's
destruction of agriculture.
Mining output has fallen sharply, as costs
have risen but revenues have not increased in tandem to the cost escalations.
Manufactured exports have also been substantially reduced, for exporters have
been unable to meet continuously rising wages, electricity charges, finance
costs and other production and overhead expenses, while the rates of exchange
keep their revenues almost static.
They are forced to subsidise the
government by a mandatory sale of part of their export proceeds at a
ludicrous rate of exchange of $824 to US$1, whereas purchasing power parity
with Zimbabwe's principal trading partners requires an effective rate of
exchange of about $6 000 to US$1.
But the government deludes itself and
uses the full force of its propaganda resources to pretend that Zimbabwe has
an increasing export performance. Only the naïve believe that propaganda, but
the government realises that many voters are naïve. Unfortunately, by denying
the statistics, the government also does nothing to address the crisis that
those statistics reflect.
SINCE 2002 we have been endlessly fed the fiction that Zimbabwe's
Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act is either less stringent
than, or about the same as, Sweden's media legislation.
Nobody is sure
where this daft story originated, or why its protagonists picked on Sweden,
the most liberal democracy in Europe. But it was soon propagated by the
state's media machinery as if it were the gospel truth.
Last week the
state had an opportunity to put its theory to the test. The Swedish
government organised a trip to Sweden by journalists to see for themselves
the state of play in that country. In addition to scribes from the private
media, five were invited from the state media.
This would obviously
provide a perfect opportunity, one would have thought, for Aippa's adherents
to prove their case and show that Zimbabwe was no different from the rest of
the world in imposing curbs on its media practitioners.
But then we
heard that Information minister Jonathan Moyo had instructed the five state
journalists (one from ZBC, the rest from Zimpapers) not to undertake the
The obvious conclusion was that even the most indoctrinated
writers would have difficulty equating the situation in Sweden to Zimbabwe.
In fact there are no comparisons at all and the only surprise is that it has
taken the Swedish authorities this long to enable such a spurious claim to
Furthermore, Stockholm has provided a fig leaf of
respectability to the state-sponsored Zimbabwe Association of Editors (ZAE)
by allowing one of its members to participate after a last-minute
application. Admittedly, he sang for his supper by disowning Moyo ("What
politicians say does not affect our editorial decisions") but a bid to have
the Swedes fund a diversion to Windhoek, so he could attend an editors' forum
there, was less successful!
In fact the Namibia visit was generally a
disaster. The state editors had hoped that the Southern African Editors Forum
would recognise the ZAE as the authentic voice of Zimbabwean editors. But it
declined to do so asking the ZAE representative where his colleagues from the
independent media were.
This represents a setback for the bearded one in
Bulawayo who has been promising to adhere to the highest professional
standards while churning out the usual partisan bile. How long will it take
the state-sponsored grouping to understand that the country and its
neighbours are no longer in the mood for government public relations officers
masquerading as journalists?
Readers of the state media used to
have to read between the lines, as in the former Communist bloc, to
understand the Byzantine manoeuvring of their leaders. But that is no longer
necessary. There is now a host of dubious apologists who are all required to
trot out the same tired mantras and attack the same targets, using identical
language, which makes the real author of these uniform assaults only too
One of his pseudonyms was on Sunday taking Kindness Paradza to
task in much the same style as his owner.
Paradza is now "a troubled
and thoroughly confused" aspiring media mogul, we were told. And why is that?
Because he thinks he can "hoodwink the public into forgetting the damage he
actually meted out against Zanu PF during his days as deputy editor of the
then rabid Financial Gazette".
Was this charge actually made at the time
and did it prevent well-known academics from contributing to the paper? At
least it is a relief to hear the FinGaz is no longer "rabid".
Paradza's more recent crime would appear to be the publication in the Tribune
of claims by John Nkomo that fifth columnists were at work within the ruling
party. These infiltrators "might in point of fact be closer to the Tribune
than to any other quarter", came the sharp retort on Sunday.
who had "openly, publicly and defiantly attacked a law promoted by the ruling
party, passed by parliament and implemented by the Zanu
So now all is clear. Paradza committed the cardinal
sin of criticising Aippa. Or was it the Broadcasting Services Act? Paradza's
claim that Jonathan Moyo was equally critical of Zanu PF when he used to
write for weekly papers was "useless", His Master's Voice dutifully
"Where and when has Prof Moyo criticised the ruling party in
parliament today or elsewhere since becoming an active member of the party.?"
he wanted to know.
Paradza was "definitely intellectually challenged"
in failing to understand the "nuances and dynamics" of the nationalist
struggle, we were told.
Actually, everybody understands only too well
what this struggle is about. It is about an increasingly transparent power
bid that involves rubbishing rivals by going for their perceived
We didn't have to look too far for the give-away line: Paradza
had been "fronting for some politicians with succession ambitions" when at
the FinGaz and was still representing "the same old politician".
should be clear enough. And other possible contenders were not spared. John
Nkomo should have been more "cautious" in lashing out at the public media
over the issue of letters to new farmers, we were told. He unwisely attempted
to "deny what was undeniable".
'Denying what is undeniable"
sounds like a similar offence to quoting vice-presidents and party chairmen
when their remarks may prove embarrassing to ministers, which we were charged
We don't mind puerile claims that the Independent is a
"British-influenced" or "British-run" paper because intelligent readers just
laugh at such obvious smears by discredited political windbags. But should
publicly-owned papers become a vehicle for individual politicians to fight
private wars against those they perceive as threats to their grip on power?
Is that what was intended when the Zimbabwe Mass Media Trust was set
Perhaps Nathan Shamuyarira may care to comment.
Nathaniel Manheru has promised to "deal with Muckraker" tomorrow "in a manner
and tone" that makes up for last week's edition.
Threats of retribution
are the stock in trade of this deeply disturbed individual who appears to be
suffering from a growing sense of frustration and resentment.
his well-advertised control over the levers of state power we do not doubt
his capacity to punish those he attacks with such venom for having dared to
challenge his pretensions. But is this the language of a regime confident of
having seen off the threat from independent newspapers and won the battle for
hearts and minds?
Finally, we wish Gideon Gono a good trip to
wherever it is he is not going!
His plans seem a little up in the air at
present. He was in Pretoria this week for talks with Tito Mboweni. This was
after his staff had said he was going to Kampala.
He got a rather rude
reception in South Africa from the Sunday Times which doesn't appear to
appreciate the multi-faceted role of a bank CEO in dealing with demanding
A reported trip to the UK appears to be on hold while an RBZ
team accompanied by Supa Mandiwanzira battles with the locals - or rather
our locals - on the governor's behalf in places like Leeds.
is there to publicise the Homelink scheme. No doubt we will hear glowing
reports of their success. Supa seems to be liaising with staff at Zimbabwe
House. We would be keen to know exactly how he fits into the governor's
scheme of things including his role at Mighty Movies and
Gono is understandably concerned with accuracy and
transparency in our reporting of his activities, so we are confident he will
address these concerns when he returns from wherever it is he is not going
Government takes over Zupco Shakeman
Mugari GOVERNMENT has taken total control of the debt-ridden public transport
firm, the Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (Zupco).
reveal that government acquired the 49% stake which belonged to stock
market-listed insurance firm Zimre.
Under the billion-dollar deal
government is now the sole owner of Zupco with 100% shareholding in the
Government has also taken over the company's debt which is
currently running into billions.
Officials familiar with the issue
say Zimre's disinvestment came on the back of Zupco's perennial
The Zimre board was also under pressure to disinvest from the
social service sector because of lack of returns.
"It was felt
that Zimre, being a public listed company, could not continue its investment
in non- profit organisations like Zupco. There was need for investments that
bring value to the shareholder," said an official close to the
It was not immediately clear how much government would pay for
the 49% stake.
According to the deal government has agreed to pay
Zupco's $9,5 billion debt which the company has been battling to repay to its
local and foreign creditors.
Zupco chief executive officer Bright
Matonga confirmed this week that government now wholly owns the
"Zimre opted out and we are now working out the modalities,"
said Matonga. "Government will take over the $9,5 billion Zimbabwe dollar
debt plus amounts owed to the Metropolitan Bank."
Zupco has been
battling to service its mounting debt. The company has been on a slide since
government took over with its fleet dropping from more than 1 000 buses to
just over 100 at the moment.
Zimre's chief operating officer Solomon
Tembo confirmed the transaction but could not give details saying the matter
was due for discussion at board level.
"The board is just about to
meet now (Tuesday) to discuss the issue. We can only comment when we have
discussed the issue as a board," said Tembo.
understands that at the meeting Zimre board directors unanimously agreed to
approve the disposal.
Zimre bought into Zupco when it was still a
parastatal. Zupco is one of the parastatals that have been criticised by
parliament for failing to produce annual reports.
'Equipment grab unjustified' Ngoni Chanakira THE
parliamentary legal committee on the Acquisition of Farm Equipment
and Materials Bill says seven clauses in the Bill are unconstitutional
because, among other things, they constitute a serious curtailment of
property rights, bringing Zimbabwe's controversial land apportionment
programme into the spotlight once again.
The committee says it is very
clear that the compulsory acquisition of farm equipment and material is not
intended for a purpose beneficial to the public but as retribution against
farmers whose land has been acquired for resettlement as well as for the
benefit of individual persons who might already have seized farm equipment
Thousands of individuals including government
ministers, politicians and business executives, mainly linked to the ruling
Zanu PF party, have benefited from acquired farms countrywide.
legal committee comprises MDC Bulawayo Northeast MP Welshman Ncube,
MDC Mutare Central MP Innocent Gonese and Zanu PF Buhera South MP and
former Lands and Agriculture minister Kumbirai Kangai.
Gonese and Kangai met on May 27 and June 3 to discuss the issues raised and
then issued an adverse report.
The adverse report, which was
presented to the 150-member parliament, says some of the clauses are actually
in conflict with the constitution of Zimbabwe.
on Wednesday went ahead to pass the controversial Bill despite opposition MPs
storming out of the House when the issue went to the vote.
of the House and Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Patrick
Chinamasa said the committee, in its adverse report, had sought to make
political, and not legal, arguments.
"The Parliamentary Legal
Committee considered the Acquisition of Farm Equipment and Materials Bill
(HB6 2004) ("the Bill") within the framework of its mandate and regrets to
report unanimously that Clauses 6, 7, 8, 10 and 13 are in conflict with the
constitution of Zimbabwe and therefore unconstitutional," the report
"The Bill, among other things, proscribes the destruction or
disablement of farm equipment, and authorises the state to compulsorily
acquire farm equipment and material which was used or to be used on land
acquired for resettlement purposes."
It said the constitutionality
of the said provisions of the Bill must therefore be tested against various
"In other words, can the compulsory acquisition of farm
equipment or materials provided for in the Bill be said to be justified on
the grounds that it is reasonably necessary for the safeguarding of the
interests of defence, public safety, public order, public morality, public
health and town and country planning?" the committee asked.
plain, Mr. Speaker Sir, that the acquisition of tractors, seed, fertilisers,
pipes, etc cannot possibly be justified on the basis of public order, public
safety, public morality, public health or in the interest of defence or town
and country planning."
The committee said what remained was to
consider whether such acquisition could be justified on the basis that it was
necessary for the utilisation of the property for a purpose beneficial to the
Poor governance causing Zim's economic slowdown Ngoni
Chanakira THE International Monetary Fund (IMF) says among the most common
causes of economic slowdown in Zimbabwe are mismanagement and poor
The Washington-based organisation says economic performance
in many African countries however continues to improve but achievement of the
Millennium Development Goals is at risk.
In a brief on the outlook
for sub-Saharan Africa, IMF African Department director Abdoulaye Bio Tchane
said on the brighter side as many as 21 of sub-Saharan Africa's economies
were expected to grow at rates of 5% or more this year, which would be an
He said real gross domestic product (GDP) for the
region was expected to average a robust 4,2% - a rate not seen since the
"For much of the region however forecast growth will still
fall short of the 7% needed for Africa to achieve the Millennium Development
Goals," he said.
Tchane said among the most common causes of this
slowdown were drought, notably in Ethiopia, Guinea, Mali and Rwanda, conflict
in Burundi, Central African Republic, Republic of Congo, and Ivory
He said lower oil production in Angola and the Democratic
Republic of the Congo and "economic mismanagement or poor governance in
Seychelles and Zimbabwe" were also causes of the economic
"Indeed, conflict, civil strife, drought and poor domestic
policies continue to be clearly evident in those countries experiencing the
poorest growth," he said.
"As in the past, the regional average
masked diverse performance among individual countries and country groupings.
While real GDP growth in sub-Saharan Africa's oil-producing countries
increased to an average 8,7% in 2003, the average for non-oil economies
slowed from 2,9% to 2,1%."
He said among the non-oil economies,
slower growth last year primarily reflected the outturn for South Africa, the
region's largest economy.
South African GDP growth slowed to 1,9%, from
3,6% in 2002, largely because the effects of the rand's appreciation on net
exports, continued to be the main driving force behind growth in the non-oil
Last month the IMF anticipated that Zimbabwe's GDP, which
has been on the decline since 1999, would record a 5,2% positive growth, up
from a decline of -9,2% this year.
Since March the IMF has warned
that this year the GDP could shrink even further.
Over the past
five years, the country's GDP has contracted by about 30%.
there were a number of cases in which countries facing the same external
environment were having very different outcomes.
"Five of the
fastest-growing sub-Saharan African economies during the past five years -
Benin, Burkina Faso, Mozambique, Tanzania and Uganda - have all reached their
completion points under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries' Initiative and
are pursuing strong macro-economic and structural reform agendas," he
He said the main challenge facing most sub-Saharan countries
remains how to raise economic growth rates substantially and sustainably and
make progress towards the Millennium Development Goals.
require substantial increases in investment, including from external sources,
as well as a more dynamic private sector," Tchane said.
turn, points to the critical importance of improving the business climate,
which would entail steadfast commitment not only to
appropriate macro-economic frameworks but also to more rapid and
comprehensive structural and legislative reforms as well as improvements in
governance and participatory process."
Gold panners take over Ngoni Chanakira GOLD panners
have virtually taken over as the country's major suppliers of Zimbabwe's most
important mining product.
In an interview Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ)
governor Gideon Gono said 65% of what was achieved last year had already been
accounted for so far.
About US$120 million has already been earned
from gold sales.
"Every month gold deliveries are increasing," he
told businessdigest. "Ever since we tightened up on the deliveries and opened
up the sector we discovered that two thirds of minerals and monies were not
being accounted for. There was lack of accountability which is a very fertile
breeding ground for corruption."
Figures released by the RBZ for
the period ending May 19 show that in 2003 a total of 12 048,4 kilogrammes of
gold were produced in Zimbabwe.
Of this amount small-scale producers
contributed 1 253,1 kilogrammes of gold while large-scale sector produced 10
For the period ending May 19, 2004 however a total of 7
837,05 kg of gold was delivered.
Of this amount small-scale
producers delivered 4 304,94 kg of gold while their large-scale counterparts
have brought in 3 532,11 kg.
"Since we allowed 'Makorokoza' to become
a part of our gold delivering sector we have seen a huge increase in gold
deliveries to Fidelity Printers and Refineries (Pvt) Ltd," Gono
"The figures are beginning to change dramatically with the
small-scale sector now bringing in more gold than the major
Makorokoza is a term used for illegal gold
In his monetary policy statement review in April Gono said
gold panning and the growing activities of what had come to be known as
"Makorokozas", while having an adverse bearing on the environment, had become
a means of sustenance to the majority of young Zimbabweans.
said there was, therefore, need for a long-term strategy to be put in place
for these activities to be re-oriented into more formal and sustainable
He said as a short-term first step in this
direction, the RBZ and the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development would
provide special licences to designated agents who would buy gold in areas
where these operations were concerned.
"This arrangement should
reduce grey market activities in the precious metal," Gono
In 2004 small-scale gold production gradually
For example in January 2003 the small-producers delivered
75,6 kg of gold to the market as compared to 926,4 kg in January this
Large-scale producers on the other hand for the same period
delivered 1 069,5 kg as compared to 852,7 kg in January this
Small-scale producers delivered 855,6 kg, 903,0 kg and 932,6 kg
for February, March and April respectively, while last year they brought in
51,6 kg, 117,3 kg and 83,3 kg respectively.
on the other hand for the same period brought in 632,7 kg, 932,8 kg and 715,0
kg for February, March and April in 2004, down from 824,7 kg, 871,6 kg and
960,6 kg for the same period last year.
"This year the situation has
changed and small-scale producers have overtaken their large-scale
counterparts," Gono said.
To date small-scale producers have
delivered 4 304,94 kg of gold while the large-scale sector has brought in 3
may not be aware that Greendale North (and therefore Tafara, Mabvuku, Letombo
etc which are on the same line) were again without water last week.
April we had no water for a total of 18 days out of 30 and for June we were
without water for four days by last Friday.
Upon inquiring I was told
that the compressors they had hired had collapsed. No one could tell me what
they were doing about it or when the municipality or the government were
going to act on the situation.
The truth is obviously that the entire
water system has collapsed and no one is doing anything about
Government is obviously not supplying the necessary finance for a
complete overhaul of the water system. When is government going to be
When is the minister responsible going to do
something constructive instead of locking himself in continual spats with the
Please could you investigate this horrific scenario and
expose the incompetence and lack of forward planning until something is
HIP!HIP! hooray for Roy Bennett for revealing Zanu PF as
weaklings. The bullying tactics of Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa and
company have been matched by courageous Bennett who was only using his right
Ever since Zanu PF lost the last general election, it
has been bullying all and sundry in Zimbabwe with impunity. It is very
disheartening that everyone in Zanu PF including its MPs are such blubbering
cowards who will support anything - right or wrong - said by President
Chinamasa was going on and on about getting Bennett's piece
of land and naturally the latter blew his top. For this, cowardly Zanu PF
members staged orchestrated demonstrations in Harare.
It was a
great shame to stage such demonstrations when thousands of our fellow
countrymen have been assaulted and left homeless by Zanu PF in the past five
years or so without any action from Zanu PF supporters.
For more than
two weeks the Americans in Iraq have been pornographically shown on ZTV which
suspended its own censorship board to score points against the
This so-called scoop was watched by all ages in the country. Why
did the censorship board not protect children from this pornography? The
answer - Zanu PF thought that this would sway people's support to its
Zanu PF again deliberately highlighted events in Iraq papering
over atrocities carried out by our own forces in Zimbabwe. These are tactics
of bullies all over the world who like to see only their good side and not
the bad one.
I dare challenge Zanu PF supporters to demand the
same coverage of the Matabeleland massacres that were equally
People of Zimbabwe, let us all stand up against the bullying
Zanu PF and vote them out despite the odds against us. If we have to die for
our freedom then we must die. After all we only die
City of Munich has been watching and is greatly bewildered by your systematic
attack and arbitrary suspension and dismissal of elected members of the
Harare City Council - the latest being the suspension of the newly elected
deputy mayor and 13 councilors on June 1.
Your allegations to suspend
council members that public services in Harare are no longer functional are
cynical since you have deliberately stopped council from performing its
duties in an orderly manner by removing its elected mayor and not allowing
council to hold regular council meetings.
This new show of strength
by a state ministry addressed to the city council which was elected by the
people of Harare clearly shows once more that you are not concerned about
facts and the welfare of the people but only in seizure of
The suspension and dismissal of executive mayor Elias Mudzuri
and further six city councillors is exclusively to be seen in this light,
We deeply regret that our twin city is moving one step further
away from democratic conditions where the citizens are allowed to determine
who should be running their city.
We also regret that the City of
Munich can do nothing to support the Municipality of Harare in solving the
most pressing problems as our partner in Harare are the citizens and their
elected representatives, rather than a state minister and persons appointed
Editor, IN response to an article "Zanu PF youths aid nuns in farm seizure"
(Zimbabwe Independent, June 4), I wish to make some clarifications.
true that generally as a congregation we were visualising ourselves with a
plot on which we could till land and produce something with which to boost
The Sisters at Father O'Hea Memorial Hospital knew a
Mr Harvey, a retired farmer who owns Malabar farm. The farm is within walking
distance from the hospital.
The sisters, who belong to our order
(Little Children of the Blessed Lady) approached him with a request for a
small piece of land on which they could do small-scale farming. Mr Harvey who
had no problem with the request had a meeting with a Mr Swales who is leasing
Mr Swales offered us 30 hectares of land along Manyame
River. He and his wife expressed great joy at having the sisters as
neighbours. The relationship between the sisters and the Swales was actually
very good to the extent that we invited Mr Swales to join the board of our
plot. He declined due to pressure of work.
The agreement between
Mr Swales and us that farm issues should only be discussed with the regional
superior and myself was to prevent confusion
When we wanted to keep a few beasts an Arex
officer advised us the land was too small for the project. We approached Mr
Swales for advice, all in good faith and he offered more land. Never at any
time did we have the intention of taking over his farm.
agreed to add 10 more hectares and said he would draw us another map to this
effect. No map was drawn. We continued with our farming activities but
suddenly he engaged the Ministry of Lands and Agriculture in a meeting at the
farm. This meeting was about other issues and our presence at the
I was not aware of the meeting at the time. Some disagreements
must have occurred between the ministry and Mr Swales resulting in his being
offered eviction letters. When we discovered this, we wrote a letter to the
ministry informing them that we were pulling out of the farm.
did not want to be the reason of the Swales' eviction. Copies of the letters
and documentation of all agreements between Mr Swales and us are readily
We are actually in the process of removing our property
from the farm as we have pulled out. We never intended any harm to the Swales
and are shocked at the article which appeared in your paper - an article in
which I was quoted out of context.
The article has done a lot of
damage to the Order. It implies that we are political and suggests that we
engaged the youths to threaten Mr Swales.
This is far from the truth as
we never engaged the youths in any activity.
I have realised that the
regional superior and myself may not have done a lot in the way of
supervising the plot. Much could have happened without
I apologise for tarnishing the image of the
Throttled Iden Wetherell I
MUST apologise to devotees of our crossword puzzle for the recent confusion
surrounding publication of the puzzles. We previously had a contract with the
Telegraph which owing to forex constraints had to be terminated.
some of the more eagle-eyed among you may have spotted, we are now resorting
to running previous editions from a couple of years ago.
obviously not a satisfactory position and, coupled with the failure to
provide answers on the right date, has left some regular readers
Hell hath no fury like a crossword wiz crossed!
tried looking at some US Internet crossword sites but they proved unsuitable
for our more thoughtful players.
We will have to continue with the
current series for the time being until other arrangements can be made.
Please bear with us and let me know if the system breaks down again in terms
of sequence. Assistant sales manager Silent Kamambo is our point man in all
I also need to apologise to our Internet readers for problems
on the website last Friday. Our website managers, Cyberplex, had difficulties
with the mirror site in the US which explains the interruption of service for
two hours on Friday afternoon.
If you have problems with access,
please notify me or contact Cyberplex, so they can attend to it. Emmanuel
will get back to you with a response if you let him know your
individual situation. Please always try to "refresh" first.
editor Vincent Kahiya works very hard on a Thursday evening to get most of
our copy prepared for uploading. He is assisted by sub-editor Oliver Shambira
who takes over early on Friday morning.
Our other sub-editor, Teldah
Mawarire, is currently in Germany where she is looking at the operations of
newsrooms there and hopefully learning a thing or two which can be put to use
here. She tells me the Financial Times Deutschland operation is the most
impressive so far.
The FT's expansion underlines the trend towards
globalisation of information as London's leading business newspaper is now
read around the world with publishing facilities in the US and mainland