The ZIMBABWE Situation Our thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.

Back to Index

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard

I was tortured, says Mugabe's consultant
By Henry Makiwa in Surrey, UK

LONDON - President Mugabe's British-based public relations consultant, David
Nyekorach-Matsanga, says he was tortured by security personnel in Harare
last month and is contemplating cutting ties with the regime.

The Ugandan-born Matsanga - who has propped up Mugabe's image
internationally since his controversial "re-election" in 2002 - told The
Standard members of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) assaulted
and tortured him at Harare International Airport before bundling him out of
the country for bringing Britain's Sky News to shoot documentaries.

Matsanga fell out with some elements in Mugabe's government when he flew
into Harare with a Sky News TV crew to shoot an interview with the President
and make documentaries on the country's land reforms.

The productions, according to Matsanga, were meant to dispel the negative
international news coverage of events in Zimbabwe since Mugabe began the
chaotic and bloody seizures of white-owned commercial farms in February
2000.

Though Mugabe had agreed to the interviews, Matsanga said his "starry-eyed
Information Minister" Jonathan Moyo was against the idea insisting that
nothing good could ever come out from "the colonial media".

"Mugabe knows that I was unjustly tortured by his secret police who not only
assaulted me but stole my £645 gold wrist watch, my flight tickets as well
as the cash that was on me - US$173 and £1700," Matsanga said in an
interview in Surrey on Friday.

"I have done so much work for Mugabe and his government and for free. The
least Mugabe can do for me is to publicly apologise for the treatment I got
and reprimand his Information Minister, Jonathan Moyo who instigated my
assault and gleefully celebrated my humiliation in the Zimbabwean
State-controlled Press."

Last year, Matsanga - an academic on conflict resolution who insisted on
being addressed as "Dr." throughout the interview - wrote and published a
book entitled Why I Support Mugabe widely seen as a PR stunt for the
President which was distributed for free in Britain.

In addition to this, Matsanga has through his African Strategies PR company,
been at the helm of an intensive drive to restore international recognition
of Mugabe following Zimbabwe's flawed 2002 polls.

He has also written numerous articles commending Mugabe as a "great leader"
and was at the fore of lobbying for the support of African leaders within
the African Union and the British Labour Party to legitimise Mugabe's
regime.

"Unlike Ari Ben-Menashe (Mugabe's Israeli-born Canadian-based PR consultant)
I was never paid a cent by Mugabe. I was doing all my work voluntarily for
the good of Zimbabwe and its people," said Matsanga.

"But now I see why everyone calls Zimbabwe a pariah State because Mugabe
allows all this repression to happen under his nose and never says a thing,
let alone move a finger," he added.

So bitter is Matsanga that he is contemplating cutting ties with the Mugabe'
s government.

Matsanga alleges that Moyo harbours immense political ambitions of
succeeding Mugabe as President.

"I am convinced, from what I have gathered within Zanu PF (Mugabe's ruling
party), that Moyo is heading a traitor clique of ambitious and overzealous
individuals who want to put a total blackout on Zimbabwe from the
international world in order to acquire power," Matsanga said.

"With such elements, Zimbabwe is fast hurtling towards a point of no return
and I no longer want to be part of that," he said.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard

Secret document outlines plot against Ndebeles
By Loughty Dube

BULAWAYO - A secret and controversial document that calls for the
marginalisation of Ndebeles will soon come under the spotlight during the
trial of Zapu FP president, Paul Siwela, and another politician, George
Mkhwananzi.

The two were arrested in December 2002 after addressing a public meeting in
Bulawayo and are facing charges of uttering inflammatory statements likely
to breach peace.

The 14-page document titled: "For the eyes of the Shona Elite Only" which is
reportedly a continuation of the "1979 Grand Plan" outlining why Ndebeles
should not rule Zimbabwe, forms part of the two politicians' evidence to be
presented in court.

However the State was opposed to a public trial, preferring the case - which
is likely to attract public interest - to be held in camera.

In an unsuccessful court application on Wednesday last week, State
Prosecutor, Jeremiah Mutsindikwa, said the State felt that the documents
contained sensitive information and therefore the case had to be restricted
to the public.

He said the contents of the document were likely to cause disorder or
intolerance in the country.

Presiding Magistrate Themba Kuwanda, however, ruled that there was nothing
wrong with a public trial since one of the documents, the "14 page-report"
was no longer secret.

The controversial document, which was allegedly crafted by senior Zanu PF
politicians, calls for the marginalisation of the Ndebele people and
outlines how the party intended to proceed against the minority tribe.

Allegations against the two Zapu FP leaders are that they used inflammatory
language when they were guest speakers at a public meeting on the lack of
development in Matabeleland.

Siwela is alleged to have said the people of Matabeleland should arm
themselves with spears and "drive away the Shona people from the region".

Mkhwanazi is alleged to have said Mugabe trained the notorious Fifth Brigade
long before the existence of the 1980s "dissidents" who caused havoc in the
Matabeleland and Midlands provinces.

He is alleged to have said Mugabe created the dissidents as an excuse "for
dealing with the Ndebele people".

According to court documents, Siwela alleged that Mugabe's security forces
murdered six tourists killed in Victoria Falls in 1982 and then blamed
"dissidents" in order to use that as an excuse to kill Ndebeles.

Representing the two is Nicholas Mathonsi of Coghlan and Welsh.

Hearing on the case is set for June 22.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard

Students scrounge as the UZ crumbles
By Valentine Maponga

IT'S around 6 PM on a Monday at the University of Zimbabwe's Harare campus
where several women selling tomatoes, onions and other vegetables stand in a
row close to the entrance waiting for their customers.

Shortly, a young man who could be in his early twenties, arrives at the
“market" and buys a bundle of vegetables and a single tomato and then
strolls across the yard to the hostels. He opens his door with the ease of
one getting into his own house. In less than a minute he emerges with an
empty 5-litre container, walks straight to the tap and fetches water.

He is ready to prepare his meal for the day and says that is much cheaper
than buying from the canteens scattered around the institution.

This is what has become of the University of Zimbabwe, an establishment that
was once touted as the centre of academic excellence, but which is
increasingly beginning to look like a home for the destitute.

At the Manfred Hodson Hall for male students, the smell of boiled vegetables
fills the corridors.

Female students at the Swinton Hall also do their own cooking, but the aroma
here is somewhat different as the girls — far more enterprising than their
male counterparts — can afford “luxuries" like cooking oil.

Dirty water spilling from blocked drains and bathroom sinks flows along the
corridors into the passages, causing a serious health hazard for the
students. Most of them, embarrassed to be seen carrying or washing cooking
pots, just fling leftovers out through the windows.

There are signs everywhere that the University of Zimbabwe, once revered as
one of the best universities in Africa, is at an advanced stage of decay
with most of its infrastructure in a run down state. The majority of the
students at the institution now have to cook and prepare their own meals on
single plate electric or primus stoves in their tiny rooms posing not only a
health hazard but also a fire risk.

Only the few “rich" students from well-to-do families can afford to go out
and eat at restaurants or buy food from “takeaway" stores in the city
centre.

The Standard visited one of the university canteens at around 6PM last week
and and found only four students having the their meals in the vast hall.

Most of the students no longer patronise the canteen facilities which they
say offer poor food at exorbitant prices.

Sadza served with beans costs as much $3 000, which seems cheap but is a
princely sum for a university student struggling to survive on a stipend.

When served with beef or chicken, a plate of sadza costs $4 000. “The food
in the canteens is sub-standard and too expensive. With the little money we
last received in February, we cannot afford to get into the canteens
everyday," said a second year student in the Faculty of Arts.

Charles Mahuda, a bachelor of arts part two student, said this semester was
“one of the longest ever", and the students were struggling to survive on
their meagre payouts.

“Food from the canteens is not just expensive but badly prepared and the
time we waste cooking for ourselves could be better utilised for studies or
something productive," said Mahuda, who says he survives on a single meal a
day that he prepares in his room.

Some of the students who spoke to The Standard said the government should
increase the amounts of their payouts.

“At the beginning of this semester we were promised $1,5 million each but we
have only got $500 000.

“We cannot afford to buy food from the canteens throughout the semester with
that money, which we also need for other projects and assignments," said
Gerald Ndlovu, a final year student of sociology.

He urged university authorities to subsidise food at the canteens as
happened in the past. The government used to subsidise food at the college
and the students were issued with meal cards.

University of Zimbabwe Vice Chancellor, Levy Nyagura, said they were working
towards re-introducing catering services so that students can once again be
well fed so that they can concentrate on their studies.

“I cannot say I am not aware of the cooking that is going on in the hostels
but as you know the price of a single plate of sadza has gone up and there
will be some students looking for alternatives," said Nyagura.

“By the beginning of August we are going to be changing the whole system and
we will be re-introducing the subsidised catering services so that the
students can concentrate on their studies rather than cooking," Nyagura told
The Standard.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard

Nationalisation spells doom for agriculture
By Caiphas Chimhete

AS the dust raised by the violent land invasions spearheaded by war veterans
is still to settle, government last week stirred more controversy when it
announced plans to nationalise all productive farmland in the country.

Land experts and political commentators said the latest move by government
could signal the end of the agro-industrial sector, once Zimbabwe's economic
mainstay.

They said that no farmer would want to commit huge financial and material
resources on land that belongs to the State, especially in a country where
the government has shown complete disregard of property rights over the past
four years.

John Nkomo, the Minister of Special Affairs in the Office of the President
and Cabinet in charge of Lands, Land Reform and Resettlement announced that
government was working on modalities to nationalise all productive farmland,
from crop fields to conservancies in Zimbabwe.

He said this would abolish title deed holdings and replace them with
99-year-leases for land set aside for crop production. Wildlife and
conservancies will have 25-year-leases, Nkomo said.

“Ultimately, all land shall be resettled as State property. It will now be
the State which will enable utilisation of the land for land prosperity,"
said Nkomo in an interview with The Herald.

Justice of Agriculture (JAG) — an organisation that stands for the rights of
commercial farmers — said the government move was a continuation of a
sustained attack on property rights that the country has been subjected to
in the past four years.

“All the free market societies are built on individual title to land. That
is how all the strongest economies in the world were built.

“Nationalisation is a recipe for disaster because it takes away the freedom
of an individual and puts into disarray the whole agriculture system," said
JAG spokesman Ben Freeth, whose organisation represents former members of
the white-dominated Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU).

Constitutional law expert, Lovemore Madhuku, said nationalisation of land
was unconstitutional because it contravenes Sections 16 of the Zimbabwe
Constitution, which provides for private ownership of property.

Madhuku said the government could only nationalise land it compulsorily
acquired under the land resettlement programme.

“Once we allow that we are all doomed because they (government) can even
take our houses. Under the current constitution, there is nothing like a
house but a person owns a piece of land so they can just take it," said
Madhuku, who has, on numerous occasions, clashed with Mugabe's government
over his demand for a new democratic national constitution.

University of Zimbabwe political science lecturer, John Makumbe also
lambasted the idea of nationalisation of land. He said it deprives the
agricultural sector of the much-needed investment.

“It is the final nail in the coffin of agro-industrial development in the
country as no one will commit money on land he or she does not own," said
Makumbe, a vociferous critic of President Robert Mugabe's policies.

Opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader, Morgan Tsvangirai,
described land nationalisation as “old-fashioned and counter-productive".

“It is an outdated concept which is unproductive. No amount of tampering on
the land will solve the current land chaos unless accompanied by the
restoration of the rule of law and respect for property rights," said
Tsvangirai.

He said: “What will happen to all the people who bought their land before
this chaos?"

But land expert Sam Moyo believes the change from free hold to lease hold
system (nationalisation) — as advocated by government — would not affect
agricultural production or “kill" investor confidence because the leases
were long.

Moyo argued that both land tenure systems were equally good if sound
agricultural policies and other support mechanisms are in place.

“One is not superior to the other as long as there are good support
extension services. Any of those will work. Development of individual
farmers is necessary," said Moyo, a renowned researcher on land issues in
southern Africa.

He said Zimbabwe farmers who were migrating to Mozambique and Zambia were
being given long leases, which they refused to accept in Zimbabwe.

Tanzania and the United Kingdom also practiced leasehold land tenure
systems, said Moyo.

Over the past four years, there have hardly been any encouraging conditions
for long-term investment in agriculture in Zimbabwe.

This has forced several white commercial farmers to reloca

te to countries such as Mozambique, Zambia and Nigeria where they were given
long farm leases.

The president of Zimbabwe Indigenous Commercial Farmers' Union (ZCFU),
Davison Mugabe, said although nationalisation of land was a noble idea,
there were contentious issues to be resolved.

“Definitely, it will work for us because it will no longer be difficult for
our members to enter into agriculture since they would not buy land.
However, we want to know whether the leases are tradable or inheritable,"
said Mugabe.

“Are they renewable or can a farmer recoup the cost of development made on
the land? asked Mugabe, who conceded that ZCFU members — mainly black
farmers — have been facing problems buying farms for agricultural purposes.

But Freeth remained adamant that it was better to “free up the economy and
allow individuals to buy and sell the land as well as use the land as
collateral to develop the economy.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard

Zim total foreign debt balloons
By Kumbirai Mafunda

ZIMBABWE'S total external debt has soared to an unprecedented US$4 billion
as the crisis-torn southern African nation slips into economic catastrophe
by the day.

Central bank sources said the total debt - which stood at US$3,3 billion in
2002 - accumulated US$700 million more in interest charges to reach the
unprecedented US$4 billion.

As a result of Harare's failure to service its principal debt, total
external arrears ballooned to US$1,8 billion in December 2003, up from
US$1,3 billion in 2002.

The massive shortages of foreign currency have resulted in failure to pay
interest on foreign debt in time. In 2002 alone, the government only managed
to pay $173 million, about 1% against a target of $46 billion it had set or
itself.

Zimbabwe, which is in the midst of its worst economic crisis since
independence from Britain in 1980, has experienced dwindling supplies of
foreign currency because of strained relations with multilateral lenders and
the collapse of its agricultural base, the country's major hard currency
earner.

Next month Harare faces possible expulsion from the IMF for failing to
co-operate with the fund, which it now owes about US$290 million in arrears
as of February.

"Nobody is lending to us because nobody will trust us," says John Robertson,
an independent economic consultant.

At home, President Robert Mugabe's administration is handicapped by a huge
domestic debt, which is forecast to surpass $2 trillion by December.

Analysts last week told StandardBusiness that it would take more than 22
years for Zimbabwe to clear its arrears.

Besides the Bretton Woods institutions, Harare is also indebted to other
multilateral creditors such as the African Developmnet Bank, the
International Finance Corporation and the African Development Fund.

"We are locked up in a debt trap," says Tapiwa Mashakada, the opposition MDC
's shadow finance minister who says the central bank's figures of what
Zimbabwe owes are modest. Mashakada puts the external debt at US$5 billion.

"Our creditworthiness in the eyes of lenders is at stake," said Mashakada.

Analysts pointed out that the surge in Harare's total debt would put to
naught frantic efforts by central bank chief Gideon Gono to restore normal
relations with multilateral lenders.

Gono is this month expected to take his lobbying efforts to Washington where
he will attend a series of meetings with the Bretton Woods institutions.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard

Zim secretly imports maize
By Kumbirai Mafunda

HARDLY a month after President Robert Mugabe declared that the country had
recorded a bumper harvest and needed no food aid, his government is secretly
buying maize from South Africa, The Standard has established.

The move - which could cost the country millions of dollars in scarce
foreign currency - comes barely weeks after donors were told by Mugabe to
take their food to "hungrier people than ourselves".

"Our estimates are there and they are showing us we will have enough food
for the country and with a surplus," Mugabe said in an interview with Sky
News.

The Standard however has learnt that the government is buying maize from
South Africa through a US$700 million credit line extended by US firm Sentry
Financial International and the giant tobacco dealer, Dimon Incorporated.

The first order of the white maize sourced under the deal landed in Bulawayo
last week from South Africa. The quantities involved could, however, not be
verified at the time of going to print.

Sources in Bulawayo said several rail wagons belonging to Spoornet, South
Africa's State-owned rail service, were moving the white maize to the empty
Grain Marketing Board silos.

The landed cost of maize from South Africa is estimated to be currently
about US$185 per metric tonne.

It is believed that a United States firm will source about 200 000 tonnes of
white maize from South Africa's Transvaal and Free State provinces.

Last month Sentry Financial International and Dimon Incorporated - the world
's second largest tobacco-leaf trader - extended credit worth US$700 million
to Harare with security being provided by tobacco merchants as part of the
credit line to import grain for Zimbabwe.

The secretive deal, first reported in a London newsletter Africa
Confidential, raised questions about the motives of President Mugabe's
government which recently forbade a United Nations crop assessment team from
independently verifying the country's food levels.

MDC shadow agriculture minister Renson Gasela, who maintains this year's
harvest will be between 600 000 to 800 000 tonnes, questioned government's
rationale in importing grain when the donor community was being prevented
from doing so.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard

Trouble brews in Masvingo over Mzembi ouster
By our own Staff

MASVINGO - AS the 2005 parliamentary elections beckon, trouble is brewing in
Masvingo province where a new Zanu PF district co-ordinating Committee (DCC)
chairman has been elected to replace the beleaguered Walter Mzembi, long
before the completion of a disciplinary case against him.

The election of Masvingo rural district council Chief Executive Officer,
Steven Makwarimba, to the position of DCC chairman, comes amidst allegations
that a certain section of war veterans sympathetic to the deposed Mzembi are
planning demonstrations in the province to force his reinstatement.

However, the Zimbabwe National War Veterans' Association national chairman,
Jabulani Sibanda, has warned that his organisation would not stand by while
"discredited politicians" abused its members.

"We have to make it clear that war veterans were born out of Zanu PF and PF
Zapu. We are a disciplined association and we cannot demonstrate against our
leaders and any war veterans caught doing that would be punished heavily,"
said Sibanda, in an interview in Bulawayo.

The election of a new DCC chairman in Masvingo came after the inter-district
committee passed a vote of no confidence on Mzembi last month.

Mzembi had been hauled before the Zanu PF disciplinary committee on
accusations of double standards, gross insubordination as well as causing
factionalism in the province. He denied the allegations.

Last week Makwarimba - the new Masvingo DCC chairman - told The Standard
that his election was above board even though a disciplinary action against
Mzembi had not been concluded.

"After a vote of no confidence was passed on Muzembi by the inter-district
committee, elections were conducted and I emerged victorious. If anyone is
doubting that they should challenge me. I have no doubt I would emerge
victorious again," said Makwarimba.

Masvingo Zanu PF provincial chairman, Daniel Shumba, said the planned
demonstrations "would not affect the running of the party".

Contacted, Mzembi said: "I don't comment on whatever discredited people like
Makwarimba are saying."
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard

Deeds office in shambles
By our own Staff

THERE is an increase in fraudulent activities at the Deeds Office and some
documents are falling into the hands of conmen while other important records
have gone missing, says a Parliamentary report on the Operations of the
Deeds Office.

The third report of the Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and
Parliamentary Affairs on the Operations of the Deeds Office expressed grave
concern over the handling of documents by staff at the office.

“There is also an increase in the prevalence of conmen selling immovable
property on the basis of fake or forged documents. Admittedly some of these
misdeeds are beyond the scope and control of the Deeds Office.

“There is, however, a need to enhance security of documents and the office
in general," said the report, adding that the documents reach the fraudsters
“presumably" with the assistance of staff at the Deeds Office.

Presently, there are only two Deeds offices in the country — in Harare and
Bulawayo — and both are facing similar operational problems.

While investigating a story early this year, Standard reporters went to the
Deeds Office in Harare and copied notes about a certain case but on a second
visit after the story had been published, that particular file could not be
located.

There are several other people who have complained about similar incidents.

According to the parliamentary report, some conveyancers have complained
that some important, irreplaceable documents were returned to the Deeds
Office with “smudges and food stains". “This does not give a good impression
of this office," said the report.

The Portfolio Committee, chaired by Member of Parliament for Silobela,
Abedinigo Mate Malinga, also expressed concern over the high staff turnover
at the Deeds Registry due to unattractive remuneration.

Opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) shadow minister for legal
and constitutional affairs, David Coltart, who was part of the parliamentary
committee, said the team's investigations unearthed worrying inadequacies in
the operations of the Deeds Office.

“We discovered that the Deeds Office was seriously understaffed … there was
no space for the records and staff. The two offices need to be fully
computerised," said Coltart.

Due to inadequate manpower, the office is operating with an organisational
structure that worked “well in the 1960s" and which has not been improved to
meet the demands of the department.

“There is need for the Deeds Office to move to a more spacious modern
building and not the old dilapidated building they are currently housed in.
The space is now too small and the documents are not safely filed," noted
the committee.

The report said despite the partial computerisation of the department, the
problem of manpower shortage continues due to the growth in the workload. It
said this causes delays in the processing of documents particularly when
inexperienced staff raised queries which were “unsupportable at law and in
practice".

“It is important that the staff structure be improved. Staff should be
motivated and well trained to undertake their functions," urged the report.

Although the Harare office has been partially computerised, the Bulawayo
office is yet to be computerised and records are still kept manually. When
documents are kept manually, there are dangers of misfiling and some get
lost when they are pulled out and filed back, said the report.

In 1997, Parliament approved a Revenue Retention Fund under the Audit and
Exchanger Act, which stipulates that the department retains 5 percent of the
money it collects for administrative purposes.

However, the committee urged the revision of the 5 percent retention fund
up-wards to above 20 percent, saying the 5 percent was inadequate.

The Deeds Department is a major contributor to the national fiscus through
the collection of stamp duty on registrations of transfers and bonds.

For example, the Bulawayo office collected $1 billion for both deeds and
companies' sections in 2003 while the Harare office netted $8 billion from
January to July of the same year.

The committee recommended that the Deeds Office and the Surveyor General's
Office should come under one ministry to ensure that they are closely
integrated.

Presently, the Deeds falls under the Ministry of Justice, Legal and
Parliamentary Affairs while the Surveyor-General's Office is under the
Ministry of Lands Agriculture and Rural Resettlement.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard

Mugabe wanted me, says MDC's Mudzuri
By Henry Makiwa in London

ELIAS Mudzuri, the dismissed executive mayor of Harare, says President
Robert Mugabe tried to lure him from the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change to join his governing Zanu PF party after the March 2002 mayoral
election.

In an interview with The Standard in London where he is on a visit, Mudzuri
said the President — through Local Government Minister Ignatious Chombo —
send emissaries of secret police operatives and members of the Vapositori
sect to try to lure him to the governing party.

Mudzuri, dismissed by Mugabe in April on allegations of incompetence and
corruption, said he had received numerous visits from the dreaded Central
Intelligent Organisation (CIO) operatives and Vapositori — a pro-Zanu PF
religious sect — who promised him “political security" if he toned down his
stance against the government.

“Soon after taking office, Mugabe send — through his cousin and Minister of
Local Government Ignatious Chombo — teams of first Vapositori and later CIOs
on missions of convincing me that if I toed the Zanu PF line or better still
relinquished my post, I would be given boundless riches," Mudzuri told to
The Standard in London.

“I could not betray my principles for cars and houses so my conscience told
me to stand firm. Yet Mugabe kept pestering me until he decided to fire me
in April."

The embattled former mayor said only a “regime change" would save Zimbabwe
from total collapse. He called for the union of all pro-democracy elements
to organise the people to demonstrate against Mugabe's rule.

“I have probably suffered more than anyone else in my party at the hands of
Mugabe. The only solution to the Zimbabwean crisis is to get rid of Mugabe
and his ruling Zanu PF," he said.

Mudzuri, a civil engineer and Harare's first elected executive mayor, was in
London to attend a business conference in his capacity as Harare mayor.

The conference dubbed: Assessing South Africa's Role In Africa, was expected
to be chaired by Aziz Pahad — South Africa's deputy minister of Foreign
Affairs — and business magnate Jonathan Oppenheimer of Anglo American.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard

Zimra linked to NRZ failure to pay workers
By our own Staff

BULAWAYO — THE National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) is yet to pay most of its
workers their May salaries amidst revelations that the parastatal was
failing to do so because of a garnish order effected by the Zimbabwe Revenue
Authority (Zimra) for unpaid tax, The Standard has established.

The NRZ reportedly owes Zimra billions of dollars in unpaid tax, a situation
that prompted the revenue authority to enforce a garnish order with NRZ's
bank, Zimbank, to recover the money.

The NRZ has not been remitting tax returns to Zimra for months, say company
sources.

NRZ employees were supposed to be paid their May salaries three weeks ago
but the parastatal wrote to the workers explaining that the salaries would
be paid on June 4.

The workers, however, told The Standard that they did not receive their
salaries on the promised day and management, instead wrote to them
apologising for the failure to pay the salaries.

Meetings were held on Monday and Tuesday between NRZ management, Ministry of
Transport officials and Zimra where it is believed the revenue authority
agreed to lift the garnish order on the understanding that the government
would help NRZ pay its tax bill.

NRZ Corporate Affairs Manager Misheck Matanhire, confirmed that the
company's Zimbank account had a garnish order from Zimra but denied that
this was the reason for the parastatal's failure to pay its workers in time.

“Although it is true that the NRZ Zimbank account has been garnished by
Zimra, such a garnish has been uplifted following arrangements with Zimra on
how the NRZ will liquidate its overdue tax obligations," Matanhire said.

Matanhire said the rail company had failed to pay May salaries on time
because of “cash flow problems". He said workers would now be paid starting
this week.

This is the second month running that the NRZ has failed to pay salaries to
its 9 000 workers on time because of a cash crisis exacerbated by the
shortage of locomotives and wagons to ferry goods. The NRZ wage bill is
understood to be about $33 billion a month.

The NRZ and the workers are currently locked in a bruising legal battle
after management unilaterally withdrew a 25 percent cost of living
adjustment that was awarded employees at the beginning of the year.

Sources at the parastatal also told The Standard that the new salaries were
unsustainable because the NRZ was not getting adequate revenue from its
train services.

The NRZ has since banned overtime payments to staff and introduced a
stringent clocking in system at all levels to cut down on costs.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard

Zvinavashe ordered off Turnpike
By Nyasha Bhosha

THE High Court has ordered William Zvinavashe, nephew to retired Zimbabwe
Defence Forces' chief, General Vitalis Zvinavashe, who fraudulently acquired
Turnpike Service Station to hand it back to its owner, Kenneth Greebe, who
says he is now almost a destitute.

Zvinavashe took over the property now valued at $3 billion from Greebe after
duping him into believing that he was a genuine buyer in December 2002.

Zvinavashe promised Greebe that he would pay him R4, 164 million for the
“business concern including the fixed assets, fixtures, fittings, stock in
trade, debtors and creditors" using funds raised from his trading operations
in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Mozambique.

With such an undertaking, Greebe who wanted to go into retirement, also
surrendered his house and two vehicles to Zvinavashe who gave him a fake UK
Lloyds Bank cheque.

By the time the cheque was dishonoured by the bank, Zvinavashe had assumed
control of all his property, leaving Greebe facing destitution.

A helpless Greebe, who could not dislodge Zvinavashe from the property, 25
kilometres from Harare along the Bulawayo road, took the matter to the
courts last year after several promises of payment failed to materialise.

Surviving on the benevolence of friends, Greebe also sought the assistance
of Vice President Joseph Msika, the Commissioner of Police Augustine Chihuri
and the Minister of Anti-Corruption and Anti-Monopolies Didymus Mutasa to
recover his property, but to no avail.

In her ruling on the matter made available to The Standard yesterday,
Justice Susan Mavangira declared the “sale" which enabled Zvinavashe to take
over the property to be of no force or effect.

“The respondents are ordered to return to applicants within seven days
herefore upon 24 hours notice possession of Turnpike Service Station and its
contents, stand 42 and its contents…," said Mavangira. She also ordered that
Zvinavashe hand over the two vehicles belonging to Greebe.

“The respondents are ordered to return ... the Honda motor vehicle
registration number 721-856G and Isuzu 280 D Twincab 785-755F failing which
the Deputy Sheriff is hereby authorised to evict them from both properties
and to recover the contents and motor vehicles and return them to the
applicants," added Mavangira.

Greebe's lawyer, Jonathan Samukange, told The Standard that they had already
issued Zvinavashe with papers to vacate the premises.

“We have already issued him with the necessary papers and we hope by now he
is off my clients' property," said Samukange.

He added that what Zvinavashe had done was clear theft and police had been
reluctant to prosecute him.

A relieved Greebe said: “I have had so much trouble in trying to get my
property back. I just hope that William (Zvinavashe) vacates the place and
does not vandalise anything.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard

Stephen Ndlovu fabricated report on editors Windhoek meeting Moyo
By our own staff

STEPHEN Ndlovu, the editor of the Bulawayo-based Chronicle newspaper,
extensively fabricated a story alleging that former Associated Newspapers of
Zimbabwe (ANZ) lawyer, Gugulethu Moyo, had urged the international community
“to put pressure" on Zimbabwe “even if it means taking the Saddam route," to
restore normalcy in the country.

Ndlovu, a known praise-singer of Minister of Information and Publicity
Jonathan Moyo, claimed the former ANZ lawyer said that while addressing the
Southern Africa Editors' Forum (SAEF) in Namibia recently. ANZ is the
publisher of the banned Daily News and The Daily News on Sunday.

In an interview with The Standard last week, Moyo said all the comments
attributed to her by Ndlovu were either fictitious or inaccurate.

“All the comments attributed to me are either fictitious or inaccurate.
There were many participants at this meeting who can confirm that the
publication is fictitious," said Moyo.

She said that at no time did she suggest there should be military
intervention in Zimbabwe and she never mentioned the name Saddam Hussein,
the ousted Iraqi dictator.

“For Stephen Ndlovu to attribute a statement that suggests that if there was
war in Zimbabwe I would be concerned about buildings being destroyed and not
the loss of life is the height of slander," Moyo said.

In the disputed story, Ndlovu claimed that Moyo had said there was “an
urgent need" for “practical" action against Zimbabwe for “increased
repression and unmitigated attacks" on the private media.

He also wrote that Moyo had described the Zanu PF government as being “worse
than the colonial (Ian Smith)" regime.

Ndlovu could not be reached for comment.

At the Windheok Forum, SAEF declined to recognise the State- sponsored
Zimbabwe Editors' Association (ZEA) represented by Ndlovu because it did not
conform to its values and principles.

“Council resolved that it would not recognise the Zimbabwe Editors'
Association because it did not truly represent the pluralistic nature of the
media in Zimbabwe, in that it is predominantly made up of representatives
from the State media," said the SAEF. It also called for the restoration of
the rule of law and freedom of expression in the country.

The forum also called upon South African Development Community (SADC)
countries to pressurise the Zimbabwean government to re-open newspapers that
that it closed down.

SAEF also said the government must cease threats against the media to allow
journalists to practise “their craft without fear and to allow the State
owned media to serve the Zimbabwean people as a whole and not favoured
parties".
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard

UK envoy sees no end to Zim crisis
By our own Staff

BULAWAYO — OUTGOING British ambassador to Zimbabwe, Sir Brian Donnelly, says
gross violation of human rights and the undermining of the authority of the
judiciary would continue to haunt Zimbabwe for years to come.

Addressing guests at a function to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II's birthday
combined with his farewell party in Bulawayo on Thursday, Sir Brian said he
did not see Zimbabwean authorities respecting the rule of law, democracy and
human rights.

“I have successfully completed my tour of duty but my main worry is that I
can't see those in power allowing people to have freedom of expression and
democracy.

“During my stay here I have seen people being deprived of their land, seen
the impact of HIV and Aids and the ever increasing rate of unemployment,"
said Donnelly.

He however said that the British government managed to make a “small
difference" in feeding thousands of orphans whose parents died of HIV/Aids
and implemented several developmental projects in Zimbabwe.

“I am not leaving Zimbabwe with any illusions but I have successfully
accomplished my mission," said Donnelly.

He dismissed propaganda peddled by the Zanu PF government that his mission
in Zimbabwe was to advocate for a regime change.

Meanwhile, the United States has denounced the government's move to
nationalise commercial land saying it was not only destructive to
agriculture but to all sectors of the economy.

A US Embassy official said if implemented, the abolishment of private
ownership would threaten further economic harm, “not only in agriculture but
to the financial, tourism, investment and other sectors as well".

“We understand that the details of the land nationalisation policy must be
resolved prior to implementation. We hope that Zimbabwean authorities use
this time to rethink this decision and steer their economic policy in a
different direction," said the official.

The official said the current economic crisis could not be solved without
the resolution of the political crisis. He expressed concern about
intimidation, violence and electoral misconduct in the recent parliamentary
by-elections.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard

Comment

For whom the bell tolls

THURSDAY'S closure of the privately owned Tribune newspaper is an ominous
sign that the journalism profession, as practised by dedicated, fair minded
and impartial professionals, is under threat in Zimbabwe.

When the Daily News and the Daily News on Sunday were closed down by the
government appointed Media and Information Commission, it was generally
agreed that while the action was harsh, cruel and unnecessary, the
newspapers' owners - Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ) - had erred by
deliberately choosing not to register with the commission, more so after the
MIC had appealed to them to do so.

While no-one - except those in government - could condone the Tafataona
Mahoso-led commission's action to close down the two newspapers and force
thousands of people onto the streets, there was a general belief that the
commission's failing was not to show compassion on the plight of the
journalists, and other media workers affected, who were bound to lose their
jobs and their livelihoods.

It was then felt, in some quarters, that were the MIC's intentions noble,
then surely it could have made ANZ pay a hefty fine for its failure to
register with the commission.

But of course it was clear from the word go that the MIC would never be
magnanimous even in victory because its actions were driven by political
agendas rather than legal or media concerns.

It became clear that the comission would use whatever powers at its disposal
to make sure that the two titles, which the governing Zanu PF party accused
of favouring the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, would never see
daylight again as long as the MIC - as it is presently constituted - remains
in office.

The action on the Daily News and the Daily News on Sunday, though how much
unpalatable, could be explained as part of the on-going battle between
democratic forces and the powers that be.

The closure of the two newspapers in September last year, to those who are
fighting for change in this country, could be easily explained in the same
vein as the horrific deaths of the likes of Talent Mabika and others - the
martyrs for freedom who have shed their lifeblood for a democratic modern
day Zimbabwe.

It is the closure of The Tribune, a paper owned by a Zanu PF legislator who
obviously sympathises with the ruling elite, that to ordinary Zimbabweans -
and that includes Zanu PF supporters - would not make much sense.

That is if one fails to acknowledge the immense power that was invested in
junior Information Minister Jonathan Moyo in the two pieces of legislation
that he is said to have had a personal input - the Access to Information and
the Protection of Privacy Act (Aippa) and the Public Order and Security Act
(Posa).

The Tribune closed down last month when its publisher, Kindness Paradza,
dared to challenge aspects of Aippa in Parliament. When Paradza made that
statement, and it was widely reported in both the private and State media,
the die was cast.

By challenging Aippa, Moyo - a man who is well-known for his aversion to
criticism - took it as a personal challenge to his office and his standing
in the ruling party.

By making that statement in the divided house, which must have been sweet
music to MDC legislators in the House that day, Paradza - to Moyo and his
supporters - had declared war and everyone knows that the junior Minister of
Information does not take any prisoners.

So the livelihood of yet another batch of journalists has been threatened
because of political expedience, not because the owners of The Tribune
committed the cardinal sin that caused the closure of the Daily News and the
Daily News on Sunday: the failure to register with the all-powerful Media
and Information Commission.

What this all means is that there is no media house, or practising
professional journalist, who is not under threat from being closed down or
from having their licence withdrawn as long as Zimbabwe remains as polarised
as it is today.

But then, things shouldn't have gone the way they have. The idea of a Media
and Information Commission was actually mooted by journalists in the
Zimbabwe Union of Journalists in the early 1990s as one way of regulating
the industry and chucking out the chuff.

ZUJ at the time envisaged an independent commission - funded by media
institutions - that would play watchdog to the newspapers, the radios and
the television stations so that fair play was maintained.

It was felt that such a commission would improve standards and the quality
of journalism in this country - and not destroy the profession as is
happening today.

Petty jealousies, lack of resources and poor leadership at ZUJ caused the
establishment of an independent media commission to remain a pipe dream over
the years until Moyo and his boys "discovered" it. The rest, as they say, is
history.

But until the journalists in this country stop petty quibbling and work
together to form a united front, their professions and livelihoods - whether
in the State media or in the so-called independent private organisations -
are under threat. What has happened at The Tribune and the Daily News and
Daily News on Sunday should remind us that for whom the bell tolls, it tolls
for thee.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard

††††† In the grip of conspiracy
††††† overthetop By Brian Latham

††††† A troubled central African rumour factory has been plunged into a
cesspit of conspiracy.

††††† According to right wing sources in a clearly disturbed southern
African country, the Zany party has for some years been in bed with the
notorious Taliban officials who did such spectacular damage to New York City
a few years ago.

††††† Meanwhile increasingly troubled Zany officials are looking nervously
skyward, wondering when the amazing B52s are going to zoom over and drop
large bombs on their heads.

††††† The Zany officials say there is no truth to the conspiracy theory.
Instead, they claim, the story is the invention of deranged spin doctors who
want the US of A to invade the troubled central African banana republic.

††††† Meanwhile in the USA an official said the troubled central African
basket case might be invaded "one day."

††††† He said their hands were rather full at the moment trying to pacify
troublesome Iraqis and, anyway, "where the hell is this troubled central
African nation?" He was unable to find it on a map.

††††† Still, while the conspiracy theorists swore blind that the Zanies had
been colluding with the Taliban, the Zanies themselves said, "Not bloody
likely."

††††† One Zany insider who refused to be named told Over The Top that on the
contrary, the troubled central African power had been financing anti-Muslim
rebels in the horn of Africa for the last two decades.

††††† He said it was more than improbable that they'd be doing that on the
one hand and cosying up to them on the other.

††††† But a nervous political analyst, looking at the heavens, said anything
was possible given the most equal of all comrades' curious relationship with
the king of the sand people in Libya.

††††† For his part, the king of the sand people says he has given up
terrorism "for now" and is making friends with notorious western
imperialists like George and Tony B.

††††† Not so, say the conspiracy theorists. The king of the sand people is
just pretending and the chances of him giving up terrorism are about as
remote as democracy taking hold in his country. Besides, the Imperialist
Yankee devils killed his niece, didn't they? And they blew up his tent with
one of their clever bombs.

††††† Still, OTT believes the whole thing is far too vague to take seriously
at this stage.

††††† Clever ploys and clever stories filled with murder and intrigue may
influence the general population, but the US has this thing called the CIA
which probably knows better.

††††† Had there been a link between the notorious Taliban and the notorious
Zany Party, something surely would have been done about it by now. And they'
d certainly have known about it long before some obscure story written from
the depths of a disturbed southern African nation emerged in the fringe
press.

††††† Still, it's an intriguing story and one worth discussion and debate,
if for no other reason than the idea of the most equal of all comrades and
Mr Osama Bin Liner breaking bread over the breakfast table would be amusing.

††††† Quite what they'd discuss is impossible to foretell, but perhaps
discreetly sited, anonymous retirement homes would be high on the agenda -
except that Mr Bin Liner's needs are few, while the most equal of all
comrades has a wife whose needs are great and well documented. Adjoining
duplexes therefore seem a remote possibility.

††††† Meanwhile residents of the troubled central African nation are urged
to keep their ears open for the amazing B52s or those other clever stealth
bombers. You never know, someone might think it's a good idea.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard

Falls curio sellers clash with police over stalls
By our own Staff

VIC FALLS - The Tourism Police Unit (TPU) deployed in the resort town of
Victoria Falls continues to fight running battles with curio sellers who are
refusing to market their wares at a designated stall built by the local
authority.

The Zimbabwe Council of Tourism (ZCT) in collaboration with the Zimbabwe
Republic Police (ZRP) in December last year set up the TPU to deal with
crime and the harassment of tourists.

There had been reports that some sophisticated thieves, masquerading as
curio sellers, used to crowd tourists and pretended to be marketing their
wares while their colleagues rummaged through tourists' pockets.

Months after the construction of the multi-million dollar facility to house
the curio sellers and harmonise operations, the move has been met by stiff
resistance from the sculptors.

The sculptors complain that the new site is not economically viable for them
to market their wares.

"I should not be restricted to a certain place and wait for potential
customers visiting the Falls to pass by and visit my stall. I have to be
free to visit places where I know tourists visit and take a chance to make
money. I cannot be confined to one place," said one curio seller.

"The so-called tourism police should know this is not a strategic location
and therefore not viable. The city council should have at least sought our
opinion before the construction of the market about where to locate the
market."

Another sculptor, Luke Dhewa, blamed the tourism police for painting
everyone with one brush.

The new stall should house about a hundred curio sellers but at present only
a few are utilising it.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard

IMF ponders closure of its Harare office
By Kumbirai Mafunda

ZIMBABWE'S strained relations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
could culminate in the latter closing down its offices in September,
Standard Business has learnt.

Doris Ross, the fund's division chief for the Southern 1 Division that
oversees Zimbabwe, told Standard Business from Washington last week that
there were no specific plans to appoint a new resident representative in
Harare.

IMF's former Harare representative Jerry Johnson's term of office expired at
the end of September 2003. Since then the fund's office in Harare is manned
and run by local staff. Rodney Matemachani - a Zimbabwean - is the officer
in charge and oversees the local team's affairs.

The IMF seconds resident representatives to countries that are utilising its
loans or countries that have a very active policy dialogue with the fund.

"This situation is expected to continue through September 2004, at which
time the office may be closed, unless there is a significant improvement in
Zimbabwe's co-operation with the fund," said Ross.

If the IMF closes its office, Zimbabwe might make history within the
organisation because there is only one case of compulsory withdrawal -
Czechoslovakia in 1954 - in the IMF's books.

More recently, the fund issued a complaint regarding Sudan's overdue
obligations in April 1994, but this complaint is no longer outstanding.

The closure of the IMF offices at Number 100 Nelson Mandela Avenue would be
the sternest action the global lender has meted on Harare since the
defaulting southern African country joined the fund at independence in 1980.

Zimbabwe and the IMF have had a love-hate relationship that spans two
decades.

The government of President Robert Mugabe has since the early 1990s
complained that IMF prescriptions were too strict and seriously affected
State spending in key social sectors such as health and education.

"It is surprising that the offices have not been closed because the country
has been in arrears to IMF for a prolonged period. This doesn't make any
differences for we are not eligible for any IMF programme," said a
Harare-based economist who requested anonymity.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard

Zim can't phase out leaded fuel by UN's 2005
By our own Staff

ZIMBABWE, which has experienced a fuel crisis during the last four years,
will not be able comply with international resolutions to phase out leaded
petrol by 2005, say experts.

Three years ago, African governments resolved to join the rest of the world
to phase out the use of leaded petrol which environmentalists say posed a
health threat.

In 2001 sub-Saharan African governments committed themselves to end sales of
leaded fuel by 2005. In 2002, Zimbabwe followed this up by signing the
United Nations' Convention on Climatic Change at the World Summit on
Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg.

South Africa and Mauritius have already taken the lead in stopping the sale
of leaded petrol by achieving 35% and 100% compliance levels respectively.
Both South Africa and Mauritius began phasing out leaded petrol in 2002.

The United Nations' Environment Programme (Unep) says the end of leaded fuel
in Africa is "in sight" as most African countries are switching to unleaded
petrol.

It also reports that about 90% of global petrol supplies are now unleaded
with most of the remaining 10% burnt in developing countries.

Zimbabwe's problems to comply with the UN resolution on leaded petrol are
compounded by its difficulties to sourcing hard currency to buy fuel.

Because the southern African country continues to suffer hard currency
shortages, it does not have a single supplier of fuel and is forced to
settle for anything that comes its way, said experts.

Apart from the source problem, there is also lack of awareness among
Zimbabweans of the health risks involved with the use of leaded fuels.

Experts said there were misconceptions about the impact of unleaded fuels on
old engines.

Some people who drive older cars are still convinced they would suffer
engine damage if they filled up with unleaded fuel that they are not very
familiar with.

The other problem is that the majority of vehicles that roam the streets of
Zimbabwe are from the early 1990s and were designed to run on leaded petrol.
Traders say even local vehicle assembly plants have not yet shifted to
manufacturing vehicles that use unleaded fuel.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard

A tribute to Chief Gahadza wa Svosve
Sundaytalk with Pius Wakatama

THE mountain has tumbled down - "Gomo rakoromoka." Chief Gahadza waSvosve,
Enock Muvirimi "Chikondoma" Zenda is no more. May his soul rest in eternal
peace. He was a good leader - an enlightened chief who tried his best to
care for his people under very difficult circumstances.

Enock Zenda was born in Marondera in 1928. He was educated at Chinhoyi
Primary School and Moleli and Howard secondary schools. In 1950 he trained
as a teacher at Waddilove Institute. He also did diploma courses in business
management at the Harare Polytechnic College and the Institute of Personnel
Management.

Enock taught at various schools and was appointed a permanent headmaster.
After 20 years of teaching he retired and trained as a master farmer through
an Agritex programme. While farming in Wedza in the 60's, he became chairman
of the Wedza Agricultural Show Society and was elected a councillor of the
Wedza Council.

In 1970 he joined the Harare City Council as Chief Training Officer in the
then City Marketing Department. He retired in 1989 and was appointed
assessor at the Harare Magistrate's Court. In 1993 he succeeded to the
Svosve Cheiftainship as Chief Gahadza waSvosve. He died of hypertension on
Tuesday, June 8, at Marondera General Hospital

As a young man I boasted that I had two chiefs one white and one black. The
white one was "Katsekera;" the superintendent of Harare African Township,
Mbare. He was a Mr Briggs whom nobody seemed to like. My other chief was
Chief Svosve of my ancestral home "kumusha" in Marondera. At that time the
reigning chief was Chapendama. After his death he was succeeded by Enock
Zenda.

I feel very privileged to have known Chief Svosve and to have been his
subject. He had the dignity and demeanor of a real Shona chief in the Mbire
tradition. He treated his subjects the same, without any favouritism. He was
effable and approachable. He was quite a diplomat and would manage to
reconcile the bitterest of enemies. He hated strife and disorder. His
training and work experience had prepared him well for his role as chief.

Chief Svosve had one major goal. It was the development of his area and the
economic empowerment of his people. He organised the Svosve Development
Association which he chaired. He invited me, and my brother Cosmas, to a
meeting and charged us with the responsibility of fund-raising for various
projects.

Chief Svosve's main head ache came from ruling party politicians who wanted
him to show open support for Zanu PF. Some complained that no Zanu PF
slogans were chanted at the development association meetings. This is
because Chief Svosve had very decided and clear views on his role as chief.
One day I interviewed him for the Institute of Directors magazine, Direct
Report of March 1999. I asked him whether he thought chiefs had any role to
play in politics.

"No," he said, "Chiefs should have no political role to play. They are the
custodians of the values and cultural traditions of their people. They
should concentrate on the well-being of the people and the development of
their areas. All people owe allegiance to their chief regardless of their
political affiliation. Political leaders are elected and their terms of
office expire. Chiefs are hereditary and their terms of office are for life.
They owe allegiance to whichever government is elected by the people."

Yes, Chief Svosve had a clear understanding of what democracy is all about.
This is unlike some of his fellow chiefs in Zimbabwe who are being used,
like serfs, by politicians to campaign for them. They are fooled into
thinking that they are being patriotic to their country when in actual fact
they are prostituting and demeaning their royal positions.

Can you imagine the Queen of England going out to campaign for Tony Blair or
whoever? That is definitely below her dignity as the traditional leader of
her people. How can royalty be ordered to work for commoners who are looking
for political positions? How can chiefs, who are members of Zimbabwes' royal
families allow themselves to be used like that? Are they, therefore, not
selling their royal birthright for a pot of porridge? Politicians pay their
hirelings well, especially if they are royalty.

I said Chief Svosve was a diplomat. He tactfully refused to be drawn into
the political arena without alienating the powers that be. He was so
dignified in his demeanor that both maverick politicians, war-vets and the
government respected him highly.

In reporting about his death, Newsnet said that Chief Svosve was one of the
leading supporters of the land reform programme. He was no such thing. It is
true that his people are well-known for being the first to invade
white-owned commercial farms for settlement. He supported his people and and
not the programme because government had no reform programme to talk about.
They only used the Svosve incident as an excuse to launch their own
hate-filled, unplanned and chaotic land reform programme.

Speaking about the farm invasions, Chief Svosve said, "My people are
peace-loving and generally are not law breakers. They were forced into it by
circumstances. When white colonialists first came they took most of our land
by force and put us into so-called Native Reserves. In 1932 we were again
moved from most of the rich areas and were herded into a smaller area. In
1947 the last good land we had left was taken and given to white farmers.
About 15 village heads and thousands of their people were forcibly moved to
other provinces and districts like Wedza and Murehwa. The rest were herded
into the mountains to live together with baboons. No compensation whatsoever
was given to the Svosve people for their land.

"When our people protested because they had no grazing land left for their
cattle, a compromise was reached. A two-mile wide buffer zone was
established for the grazing of our cattle. After a few years the white
farmers annexed that land as well and no action was taken by their
government.

"At independence we expected our lands to be given back to us immediately
because we had sent our children to war to fight for the land. Nothing was
done. When I became chief, I approached the appropriate authorities about my
people's desperate need for land; I was met with total silence. When my
people took the law into their own hands and moved back to their traditional
lands there was nothing I could do. As their chief I knew their suffering
and shared their feelings."

About his relationship with the white commercial farmers around his area
Chief Svosve said, "We have a good relationship. We visit each other often
and talk to each other. We have our differences over the land questions but
we discuss as friends who respect each other. There is no question of saying
we hate them and they should go away. We want to live side by side with them
as equal neighbours. There is enough land for us all."

These are the words of a true statesman. Zimbabwe has indeed lost an
illustrous son in Chief Svosve. If his style of leadership and his humanity
would be emulated by our leaders, Zimbabwe could again be a leading light in
the region and all of Africa.

Fambai zvakanaka Soko, Jena mwana waGahadza waSvosve.

He who has ears to hear, let him hear.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

SABC

SA to continue to help Zimbabwe find solutions

June 13, 2004, 11:45

South Africa will continue to help Zimbabwe and Swaziland find solutions to
their problems, said Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the foreign affairs minister,
while addressing Oxford University's executive body in England yesterday.

Detailing how the ANC-led struggle and the world solidarity movement had
helped form South Africa's current foreign affairs policy, Zuma said:
"Through our own experience of overcoming overwhelming odds and through
world solidarity, South Africa remains hopeful and determined to be a
positive agent for change at this critical juncture in history."

She said that while many called South Africa's transition to democracy a
"miracle", she saw it as the result of the hard struggle and the
contributions made by the solidarity movement internationally.

"It (the miracle) presupposes that there were some extraterrestrial powers
at play and that it may be impossible to sustain and repeat elsewhere.
However improbable it may sound to the sceptics, Africa will prosper," she
said.

South Africa's achievements
In her speech, Zuma outlined South Africa's achievements locally and the
role it sought to play on the continent and further afield. She said the
country had become a peacemaker on the African continent.

"Our National Defence Force is now the tenth largest contributor of forces
to UN Peacekeeping missions and we shall continue to play that role," she
said, adding that the country would continue to do so as a member of the
African Union Peace and Security Council.

South Africa has lent its support to peace initiatives in Angola, Comoros,
Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Rwanda, Burundi, Madagascar, Liberia,
Sao Tome and Principe, Ethiopia/Eritrea, Sudan, East Timor, Israel/Palestine
and Iraq, she said, adding that it would also continue to help Zimbabwe and
Swaziland to find solutions to their problems.

Talks between Zanu (PF) and MDC
President Thabo Mbeki, recently addressing the G8 summit, however, admitted
that talks between Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu (PF) party and the opposition,
Movement for Democratic Change, had been slow.

And despite Zimbabwe's acquisition of 12 new FC-1 multipurpose fighter
planes, sparking fears of a Southern African arms race, Zuma told the
executive council that South Africa would continue to work towards
disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction through the
Non-Proliferation Treaty and other similar instruments.

Addressing the gathering of intellectuals, Zuma backed the UN anti-terrorism
initiatives when she declared that South Africa firmly believed that the
fight against terrorism could only be done effectively and collectively if
led by the UN. "Consequently, it is crucial that the centre - which is the
Security Council - must hold so that things do not fall apart," she urged. -
Sapa
Back to the Top
Back to Index

News24

China, Zim 'in weapons deal'
13/06/2004 15:37† - (SA)

Harare - Cash-strapped Zimbabwe has bought 12 fighter jets and 100 military
vehicles from China, the opposition shadow defence minister Giles Mutsekwa
said on Sunday.

"It is true that new military equipment has been purchased. It was confirmed
by the permanent secretary for defence and the minister at various fora,"
said the lawmaker for the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

The cost of the equipment has not been disclosed, but Mutsekwa estimated the
deal at around US$200m.

Mutsekwa said the parliamentary committee on defence was kept in the dark
about the deal, only discovering it during a recent review of the defence
ministry's quarterly budget.

"It was during a quarterly review of the defence ministry budget when it was
revealed that the ministry has purchased these things," Mutsekwa told AFP.

Defence ministry secretary Trust Maphosa was reportedly quizzed on why the
equipment was bought without going to tender in line with regulations.

Maphosa reportedly cited security reasons for the breach in procedure.

He also reportedly argued that the military purchases from China were
necessary due to the arms embargo slapped by the European Union and the
United States on Zimbabwe.

Maphosa said it was now impossible to find spare parts for the fleet
currently in use.

Crucial elections

Zimbabwe's arsenal was put to heavy use in the Democratic Republic of Congo
where President Mugabe deployed more than 10 000 troops to shore up
government forces of Laurent Kabila and later his son Joseph, from 1998 to
2002.

Zimbabwe is reeling from an economic crisis, with runaway inflation of over
400%, unemployment hovering at about 70% and capital flight since the
controversial 2000 elections and land reform that saw thousands of
white-owned farms seized and redistributed to landless black people.

Defence ministry officials could not be reached for comment on the arms
deal.

The opposition shadow defence minister said the decision to buy the military
equipment without parliamentary approval was worrisome, and suggested it was
linked to next year's elections.

"It suprises all of us, we are quite disturbed that this kind of purchase
went ahead without parliament clearance," said Mutsekwa.

"We believe this is a kind of intimidatory tactic because we are going
towards very crucial elections next year," he said.

"The idea is that whatever the public does, there is a possibility of it
being subverted by the military".
Back to the Top
Back to Index