Disclose fully on gifts to Mugabe, Lim tells
PETALING JAYA: Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang has called
for a full disclosure in Parliament of the gifts Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad
gave Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe during his time as Prime
The DAP chairman said the Government should explain the facts
and circumstances of the gifts to Mugabe.
"Malaysians should be told
not only the total cost of gifts or contributions which the Government had
made towards Mugabe's 25-bedroom mansion, but also gifts that had been given
to Mugabe and his government in the past two decades," he said in a statement
Dr Mahathir had said he offered Mugabe timber worth RM100,000
as a gift from one head of state to another when he was Prime
Aliran president P. Ramakrishnan said the whole situation was
extremely odd as the Cabinet knew nothing about it.
Controversy rages over land
nationalisation Phillip Chidavaenzi/Mabasa Sasa/Tawanda
CONTROVERSY has hit the government's plans to nationalise all
productive farmland acquired for resettlement, with analysts saying it has
many loose ends that need to be tied, while at the same time the programme
itself leaves a lot of questions unanswered.
The move, experts say,
could also fly in the face of the constitution since the supreme law does not
provide for nationalisation.
The Minister of Special Affairs in charge of
Lands, Land Reform and Resettlement, John Nkomo last week announced that the
State would move to nationalise land and replace title deeds with 99-year
leases while those in wildlife and conservancies would get 25-year
Under the nationalisation programme, the State acquires land
from individuals and it becomes State land, after which it can be offered to
a beneficiary who would use it observing certain conditions.
interview with the Sunday Mirror yesterday Nkomo said the nationalisation of
all acquired land was meant to place obligations and responsibilities over
land use to resettled farmers.
The move was necessitated by the need to
avoid land abuse by the new farmers and ensure maximum utilisation, failure
of which the land would be forfeited to the State. "A lease imposes land
obligations which have to be observed by the farmers. There are
responsibilities that must be adhered to in land use and conservation. We
have to avoid unwarranted cutting down of trees and the selling of land to
third parties, among other problems," he said.
The move, Nkomo said, was
meant to cater for issues of tenure, and those who used the land for
speculative purposes would risk having it confiscated. However, it is not
clear how nationalisation, whose modus operandi is yet to be explained, would
place obligations on land users. Nkomo did not address the problem of whether
what he seeks to achieve through nationalisation could not be done through
other means, such as straightforward legislation prohibiting, for instance,
selling land to third parties. The cutting down of trees which he refers to
is already catered for under such laws as the Miscellaneous Offences Act,
which prohibits the practice.
Constitutional law lecturer, Lovemore
Madhuku said the constitution as it stands now does not provide for
"It would be unconstitutional to nationalise land
because the constitution does not provide for that; the State can only
acquire land," he said. It is feared that some high ranking government
officials who acquired multiple farms for themselves in direct contravention
of the one man-one farm principle could take advantage of the nationalisation
programme to keep the farms that President Mugabe has said they should
surrender, because it would then be difficult to determine the status of
Nkomo recently made reference to the officials -
some of them cabinet ministers - saying they were bent on keeping the extra
farmland they criminally acquired.
The fate of land currently
privately held is not clear. If individual property owners remain with their
title deeds, there would be a glaring dichotomy in land tenure patterns in
the country, confused by the possibility that the land could also be acquired
Since Nkomo's nationalisation paradigm is silent on the
issue of compensation as directed by the constitution, it is not known how
the State would treat the cases of those from whom land would have been
The Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers' Union (ZCFU) president Davison
Mugabe said there was need to ensure that the farmers' plans were not
compromised by the question of tenure. "To start with, take a look at the
99-year lease and what it would mean to a farmer. As a farmer, one has a
number of issues and programmes he is aiming to achieve at a set time. What
is important to everyone in the farming sector is security of tenure. That is
one of the issues we seek to settle first," he told the Sunday
He said it was important to avoid the hasty implementation of the
programme without looking seriously at the impact it would have on the new
farmers and their families.
"It is of paramount importance that this
issue is looked at seriously and given consideration of how it would impact
on a farmer who is supposed to feed the nation," he said.
He cited the
issue of inheritance in the event of the farmer dying after having developed
a property that essentially belonged to the State, which could take it
He said: "In the event of a landowner dying, government should
state clearly how the lease shall be inherited. It must be clear who will be
entitled to inherit the land - whether the wife or children of the
leaseholder, or if it will go back to the State. It would not be ideal for
someone to remain ignorant of what the future holds for him." The issue of
uncertainty, it has been pointed out in the past, has a direct bearing on
productivity, since farmers might be distracted by the fact that the property
they would be using can be taken away any time, particularly in the short run
when the sense of apprehension is pronounced.
drive in a way contradicts recent sentiments by President Robert Mugabe, who
said finance houses were currently reluctant to lend money to new farmers
without title deeds. He urged government to come out with a clear policy on
borrowing to avoid a situation where farmers would find it difficult to
"At present so many new farmers are reeling under pressure
failing to secure funding for their farming programmes. Those are some of the
issues which must be discussed first before government makes final moves," he
During the colonial era, many smallholder farmers in small-scale
commercial areas had access to loans from finance houses using the title
deeds. The then Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC), which has been
replaced by the Land Bank, supported the smallholder farmers using title
deeds as collateral.
During the 1950s, plans had been put in place to
offer permanent land to blacks, the intentions then being to enable them to
have access to funding from finance houses. The set-up was phased out when
the Rhodesian hard-liners, led by Ian Smith, later introduced the Land Tenure
Act. Analysts have also expressed the reservation that with the
farms nationalised banks might be reluctant to offer financial assistance
to farmers because the land is not theirs, a development that could also deal
a blow to agricultural productivity.
Mangaliso Kubheka of the South
African-based Landless People's Movement, said the process of nationalisation
ran contrary to the ideals of land reform that entailed empowering ordinary
He said: "The people should get the title deeds. Nationalisation,
in my personal view, further oppresses the people but if it turns out to
be successful, then I think other countries will follow suit." Kubheka
said resettled families need the security provided by full tenure rights as
this would boost productivity. He added that going ahead with
nationalisation would mean that the land would have been transferred from
foreigners to the State with the intended beneficiaries being by-passed. A
number of countries have tried to carry out land nationalisation programmes
in the past and this was met with mixed fortunes although the overall picture
had not been inspiring.
Tanzania under Julius Nyerere also tinkered
with nationalisation models as espoused in his Arusha Declaration of
However, both experiments fell through but the reasons were largely
centred on the civil war in Mozambique, Tanzania's military dispute with Idi
Amin's Uganda, drought and the global effects of the economic recessions of
the 1970's and 1980's related to oil crises. Tanzania resorted to importing
an average of 250 000 metric tons of grain from 1974 to the early
Mozambique experimented with such land policies from 1975 and they
ended in relative ignominy in the late 1980's after the adoption of liberal
economic prescriptions designed by the IMF in the mould of Structural
Zimbabwe's fighter jets spark fears of
arms-race by STAFF EDITOR (6/12/2004)
ZIMBABWE'S order for
more than 240-million worth of jet fighters from China flies in the face of a
request by South African Foreign Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma that
the country stop selling arms in sub-Saharan Africa.
a semi-official US defence intelligence publication, Dlamini-Zuma made the
request, during a meeting of the China-South Africa bilateral forum, to head
off a possible arms race on the subcontinent.
Military sources in
Harare say that Zimbabwe will acquire 12 FC-1s as replacements for the
Chengdu F-7s, currently based in Gweru. The FC-1, a lightweight multipurpose
fighter based on Russia's MiG-33, will provide a credible answer to the
challenge posed by the 28 JAS-39 Gripen multi-role fighters that the SA
government has ordered from Saab, the Swedish
According to Armed Forces Journal
International, published in Virginia, US, Dlamini-Zuma's request was at least
partly aimed at protecting the interests of SA's state-owned arms industries.
But her request also "reveals that South Africa has observed a growing
pattern of Chinese arms sales" in its own backyard, and provided "evidence of
its serious concern about the matter".
Yesterday Foreign Affairs
spokes man Ronnie Mamoepa said he could not recall Dlamini-Zuma making such a
request. He referred further queries to his department's Asian Affairs desk,
which did not answer calls.
The Zimbabwean fighter jet order also
defies a 1998 appeal by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan that defence
expenditure in Southern Africa be frozen for 10 years at 1.5% of countries'
Figures compiled for the SA Institute of International Affairs
show that, if anything, Annan's plea has been answered with a full-scale arms
race between Zimbabwe, Namibia, South Africa and other countries in the
The South African government says it spends only 1.5% of GDP
on arms. According to the institute's figures, however, only Zambia and
Swaziland have adhered to the 1.5% limit. Zimbabwe (3.4% ), Namibia (3.6% )
and South Africa (1.7% ), it says, have committed themselves to expensive
Sent: Saturday, June 12, 2004 3:57 PM Subject: Highway
Dear Family and Friends,
As an ex farmer I find myself
spinning around in dizzy circles trying to keep up with all the
pronouncements and announcements by the Zimbabwean government on land. As a
farmer first I was told that the government didn't want our farm. Then I was
told by a bunch of loud and angry men armed with half bricks and sticks who
came to the gate that we had to share the farm with them. After seven months
of doing so the men decided that sharing wasn't good enough and that we
should get out of the house because they wanted that too. Their words were
not backed up with any government paperwork or orders but when the Police
said they wouldn't remove the trespassers because "it is political", there
was no option but to leave. Later the government said that any farmers still
brave enough to be on their farms should downsize and that all farms would
have a maximum hectarage. Then the government changed their mind again and
said that they were going to take even more farms. What started out as one
million hectares became 5 and then 11 million hectares. Now they've changed
their mind again.
Zimbabwe made international news this week with the
announcement by Minister John Nkomo that all land is to be nationalized.
Title Deeds are to be made null and void and the State will issue 99 year
leases for agricultural land and 25 year leases for conservancies. Minister
Nkomo said that the government did not intend to "waste time and money"
on disputes with people who had Title Deeds, Court Orders and other
legal documents which confirmed that they were in fact the legal owners of
What didn't make international news was the Acquisition of
Farm Equipment and Materials Bill. Despite the fact that the Parliamentary
Legal Committee unanimously declared 5 clauses of the Bill unconstitutional
and despite the fact that all opposition MP's walked out of the House
in protest when it came to the vote, the Bill was passed by
Zimbabwe's parliament this week. This Bill now allows the State to
compulsorily acquire farm equipment and materials and forbids farmers from
selling, dismantling, removing or destroying their own private property.
This includes tractors, ploughs, irrigation equipment, machinery, seed
When our farm was seized by arbitrary men at the gate,
the government said they were taking back land that had been stolen from them
100 years ago. When the arbitrary men moved into and took over our private
house, dairy, barns, workers homes and the farm shop, the government said
nothing, paid nothing and did nothing and the police said it was political.
It wasn't just bricks they seized, it was fully functional and completely
equipped buildings with windows, doors, roofing, water tanks and
geysers, electrical fittings, fencing and security systems. Now apparently
anything left on, or taken off that farm that the Zimbabwe government
classifies as agricultural equipment or material, also belongs to the State.
The mind just boggles at where this highway robbery and blatant disregard
of people's private property rights will end and who or what will be
next. Perhaps the shirt off my back, I did wear it when I was a farmer; or
what about my computer - I used that to do the farm accounts and work out
how much tax I had to pay the Zimbabwe government when I was a farmer.
The parallels with Jews in Nazi Germany 60 years ago are chillingly
familiar. Love cathy. Copyright cathy buckle 12th June 2004. http://africantears.netfirms.com My
books on the Zimbabwean crisis, "African Tears" and "Beyond Tears" are
available outside Africa from: email@example.com ; www.africabookcentre.com ; www.amazon.co.uk in Australia and New
; Africa: www.kalahari.netwww.exclusivebooks.com
Subject: Questions in Parliament re Forex for Votes and Harare North
Housing Cooperatives Union
Below and attached my two Questions this week. We had an
exciting week in Parliament - what a pity our Parliament website is so out of
date! We don't have the capacity to type the whole thing up, even for one
day, regrettably. (more Q's up my sleeve for next
week) ............................................................. Question
on Forex for Votes
Hansard – Parliamentary Debates : Wednesday 9 June
2004 …. ….. ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS … MISS STEVENSON : My
question is directed to the Leader of the House in the absence of the
Minister of Finance. In view of the current visit overseas by the Governor
of the Reserve Bank, Dr. Gono, to seek foreign currency to be sent by
Zimbabweans living abroad, there are roughly three million Zimbabweans living
overseas at this moment, what is Government’s policy regarding having a deal
whereby they send foreign exchange and they will then be allowed to vote in
the next elections?
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY
AFFAIRS (MR CHINAMASA): I am really disappointed that she could be so
provocative in the manner she has done.
The two issues are not
related. The Reserve Bank team is overseas to try and canvas Zimbabweans who
have been sending foreign currency to this country for their relatives. In
the past, that foreign currency was being intercepted by people who are bent
on undermining this economy and this country. It was being intercepted in
London and New York to ensure that the foreign currency did not reach
That policy now to woo the transmission of those funds here is a
good policy and should not be linked up to other political issues. It has
nothing to do with political issues.
Those people in the diaspora have
relatives here and they need to support them. We are now providing them a
route through which they can assist their realtives also with benefit to
their country. _______________________________ Question on Harare North
Housing Cooperatives Union ……………..
Hansard – Parliamentary Debates :
Wednesday 9 June 2004 …. ….. ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ….. Mrs
STEVENSON asked the Minister of Youth Development, Gender and
Employment Creation to state:-
a) the number of members of Harare
North Housing Co-operatives Union who have lost money invested in their
housing co-operatives; b) the amount of money that is unaccounted for so
far; c) the number of houses that have been sold or passed on to other
members other than the original members of the co-operatives; and d) the
measures the Ministry is putting in place to assist aggrieved members of
Harare North Housing Co-operatives Union.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL
AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS on behalf of THE MINISTER OF YOUTH DEVELOPMENT,
GENDER AND EMPLOYMENT CREATION:
a) Harare North Co-operatives Union was
officially registered in April 2002 with a membership of six (6)
co-operatives societies. These were Wiriranai, Tineshungu, Shanduko,
Kubatana Kwakanaka, Mwari Anesu and Simba cooperative societies limited.
These societies had a membership of 1 140 people at registration. To date
the Union has ten (10) co-operative society members with a membership of 2
It is alleged that their former management committee chaired
by the former Harare North Member of Parliament Ms N Chikwinya has swindled
these societies of large sums of money. It was established by the police
that a total sum of about $52,3 million was transferred from the
individual societies accounts into the common union account. This transfer
was done before the Union was registered. It also includes funds from
these pre-cooperatives (unregistered groups).
b) It is alleged that a
total sum of $70 million is unaccounted for by the old management committee.
This sum includes $15 million from the member contributions, a donation of $2
million and grant of $3 million from the Ministry of Education and Culture
for the construction of a school in the area, and $50 million from the
illegal sale of stands.
c) It is alleged that about 100 stands wee either
illegally sold to non-members or double allocated to co-operative members.
This has to be substantiated as the case is under police
d) In order to redress the issues above: 1) The alleged
fraud cases were referred to police for investigation. 2) In terms of the
Co-operatives Societies Act (chapter 24:05) the Ministry is instituting an
audit into the Union’s activities. The audit will seek to substantiate the
allegations and provide the basis for which the police can conclude its
investigation. 3) The Ministry is facilitating the election of a new
management committee as the terms of office of the old management committee
has lapsed. Every management committee member should serve for a maximum
term of three years, however he or she may be re-elected into office at the
end of his/her term. ........... ***
Harare - Zimbabwe's annual inflation rate slowed
slightly to 448,8 percent in May from 505 percent the previous month,
officials figures showed on Saturday.
Despite the drop in the rate
cited by the state news agency ZIANA, inflation in Zimbabwe remains among the
highest in the world.
Zimbabwe's inflation peaked in November last year
to hit 619,5 percent having leapt 94 percentage points from the previous
month making it the single largest jump since the economy began its slide
some three years ago.
The government in November last year predicted that
the southern African country's inflation rate would hit 700 percent in the
first three months of this year before climbing down.
But the central
bank, in a five-year monetary policy statement released six months ago and
aimed at pulling the economy back from the brink, vowed that the rate would
drop to below 200 percent by December.
Zimbabwe has in recent years been
in the throes of political, economic and social instability.
annual inflation has been on a upward trend since 2000 when it stood at 55,9
percent, rising to 71 percent a year later. Two years later it had surpassed
The country has also been plagued by severe food shortages,
caused partly by drought as well as the controversial land redistribution
programme dispossessing white farmers.
Government has this year said
it has enough food to feed its people, but early this month a state-owned
grain marketer was quoted in the media as saying that Zimbabwe was importing
The UN special envoy for humanitarian needs, James
Morris, will travel to Zimbabwe next week as part of a five-nation tour of
southern Africa to discuss food security and Aids.
government officials have yet to schedule a meeting with Morris, who will be
in Harare on Tuesday to meet with ambassadors and UN agencies.
are trying to work out something to meet him," said Michael
Huggins, spokesperson for the World Food Programme in
The WFP said that government officials were to be held up
in a cabinet meeting.
'Why foist this food upon us? We don't
want to be choked' Zimbabwe last month said it would not be asking for
international food aid because it predicts a bumper harvest of 2,4 million
tons of staple maize, a figure the opposition have dismissed as an
International agencies say about five million Zimbabweans,
half of them in urban areas, will be in need of emergency food aid this year
due to poor harvests, blamed partly on the controversial land reform
programme in which white-owned farms were seized and given to landless
President Robert Mugabe last month flatly rejected suggestion
that Zimbabweans were going hungry, in an interview with Britain's Sky
"We are not hungry. It should go to hungrier people, hungrier
countries than ourselves," Mugabe said.
"Why foist this food upon us?
We don't want to be choked," he said.
Morris is scheduled to spend just
one day in Zimbabwe before travelling on to Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland and
"He will also be focussing on the effect of HIV and Aids in
underming recovery throughout the region," said Huggins.
fourth mission to southern Africa since his appointment in July 2002 comes at
a time when a UN appeal for $615-million in aid falls way short of its
A little more than half of that amount, $327-million, have
been donated to date.
Non-food items such as medicines, health,
education, water and sanitation supplies are desperately needed, said the
Olonga was a good player but it was when sport and politics collided that he
really found his voice, finds Neil Drysdale
Until the winter of
2003, Henry Olonga seemed destined to be remembered as a bit-part player in
international cricket: a fiery paceman, whose rel igious faith was at odds
with his occasionally wicked spells. Statistics rarely lie and a haul of just
68 wickets in 30 Tests for Zimbabwe told its own story of inconsistency,
injury woes and controversy over his action. In his own estimate, Olonga was
a good player, but certainly not a great one. Yet, as the World Cup beckoned
and reports increased of the brutalities inflicted by Robert Mugabe's regime
on his country's citizenry, black and white, whilst the ICC and the English
authorities dithered horribly over the whole issue, Olonga emerged with the
kind of moral leadership sadly lacking elsewhere.
In January, his
national captain, Andy Flower, rang him and the pair met in Harare, where
they decided to launch their own protest against Mugabe's human rights
abuses. Whereupon, the duo famously marched out for their match with
neighbours, Namibia, wearing black armbands, which lamented the "death of
democracy in Zimbabwe" and, within days, had become exiles, forced to flee
their homeland, and retire from the Test scene.
Olonga, in particular,
was courageous to the point of foolhardiness, but when we met last week, as
he prepared to play for the Essex-based Lashings pub team (the Harlem
Globetrotters of their sport), he still spoke more in sorrow than anger about
the circumstances which have ultimately, belatedly, led to Zimbabwe being
suspended from Test cricket for the remainder of 2004, even though, with
characteristic muddle-headedness, the ICC have deemed they can continue their
"It's sad, but you can't pretend that life is carrying
on as normal when people are being tortured, when political opp onents are
being imprisoned, and there is no right to free speech, and I don't believe
matters are improving in Zimbabwe, far from it," said the 27-year-old, fresh
from studying details of the latest land seizure programme, as dictated
by Mugabe, which is gradually transforming the country into a
barren, drought-afflicted haven for thugs and renegades.
honest, up until 2000, 2001, I thought Mugabe was a fair and honest pres
ident, but then I started reading a dossier of abuses which had happened
under his leadership, dating back to the early 1980s Matabeleland massacres,
and I realised you can't stick your head in the sand and trot out the old
excuse that sport and politics don't mix.
"Frankly, it was crazy that so
many officials, up to the highest level within the ICC, sat on their haunches
and waited for their governments to bail them out. But when Andy met me, he
told me he needed a high-profile black person, with some influence, to raise
his head above the parapet, and we calmly discussed all the
"Personally, I will admit I am a little embarrassed at the
praise I have received merely for doing something which was the right thing
to do, and I feel guilty that I have earned so much attention whereas others,
whose efforts have been more practical and more far-reaching, have not
been granted due recognition. But, in the end, what I did was positive,
because I was able to make a stand with one of Zimbabwe's favourite
cricketers and condemn what we believed was wrong in our land. Of course,
there were negatives as well.."
Olonga doesn't linger on these, beyond
declaring quietly that he lost almost everything: his career, his home and
his family ties. His girlfriend broke off their relationship. Then he started
being hounded with threatening e-mails, one of which read: "You stupid
nigger, I hope Mugabe is going to find you out", as if to emphasise the
inter-racial madness prevalent in Zimbabwe.
there was no alternative but to issue his retirement statement - which the
ZCU tried to block - and he sought refuge in South Africa until Lashings
offered him a reprieve. But he has no illusions that his old life, spent
growing up in Bulawayo, whilst he climbed the cricket ladder as the prelude
to starting his Test career at just 17 against Pakistan in 1994, has vanished
"I don't really know where I would be if David Folb [the
Lashings chairman] hadn't come to the rescue and I am incredibly grateful to
him. I got a work permit for six months to come to England, which has now
been extended for the next five years, and I am enjoying myself again,
despite the fact my knees are worn, my back is packing up, and I know I won't
be playing cricket much longer," Olonga said.
"This Lashings set-up is
a terrific idea, and with a tour of Scotland coming up in the next fortnight
[including a Twenty20 meeting with Craig Wright's team in Edinburgh on June
25], there will be the opportunity for me to spread the gospel, in the
company of giants of the game like Mark Waugh, Curtly Ambrose, Allan Donald
and Richie Richardson.
"Mind you, something does worry me and that is how
cricket can best hold on to its existing audience and attract new fan bases.
The plain truth is that, compared to football, say, or golf or tennis, we
have less than a dozen nations competing at the highest level and, whatever
the ICC might say, this isn't a global game at the moment. Obviously, I would
hope the situation changes in the future, but clearly it isn't going to
happen overnight and I actually wonder whether there is any point in trying
to increase the numbers of sides involved in five-day cricket when all the
evidence suggests that crowds want a result and to be entertained in a short
"For instance, we have to break into the US market, but can
you envisage the Amer icans, weaned as they are on basketball, baseball and
gridiron, ever taking to a game which might last for five days without
anybody winning? Maybe Twenty20 can bridge the gap, but I look at any golf or
tennis tournament and see competitors from all over the globe taking part and
it isn't surprising that sponsors are flocking to these pursuits.
cricket we have this little group of nine or 10 countries on the
Test circuit, and one of these is in danger of going belly-up. That reminds
you that we can't afford to be complacent and that cricket will die on its
feet if we don't keep doing the missionary work and selling it to new markets
and the younger generation."
Olonga's opinions will probably provoke
apoplexy amongst the majority of the MCC patrons who awarded him and Flower
life membership. Yet ultimately, this engaging fellow, whose album of
classical arias (and R'n'B) will be released via the internet this year, has
a habit of hitting the right note, in contrast to those who have let
Zimbabwe's malady linger on.