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

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E-mail controls loom in Zimbabwe

By Patrick Jackson
BBC News Online

The Zimbabwean government has proposed obliging its internet service
providers to divulge details of e-mails deemed offensive or dangerous.
Zispa, the local ISP association, has asked the government to clarify
its proposed addendum to providers' franchise contracts.

One ISP told BBC News Online it was not a provider's duty to police
the net.

President Robert Mugabe has suggested the internet, widely developed
in Zimbabwe, is a tool of colonialists.

The BBC's source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, pointed out
that the move would be impracticable, given the volume of traffic involved.

Part of the ISPs' concern is the apparent vagueness of the wording in
the addendum, a copy of which the BBC has obtained.

They would be required, in the event of an investigation, to pass to
government officials user details relating to material featuring anything
from obscenity to "anti-national activities".

It is already illegal in Zimbabwe to "undermine the authority of the
president" or to "engender hostility" towards him as well as to make
abusive, obscene or false statements against him.

Poorly conceived

The ISPs point out that, while they would always be happy to assist
any investigation into crimes such as terrorism, it is not their job to
monitor e-traffic.

"Our business is internet provision, not internet policing," said the
BBC's source, drawing an analogy with car manufacturers. It would, the
spokesperson said, be like making car firms responsible for the behaviour of

The proposed contract addendum, quietly distributed in mid-May, also
refers to the contravention of non-existent "international cyber laws".

ISPs do not keep records of the emails they handle and would require a
huge storage capacity to do so.

"I just don't think that this was carefully thought out before they
sent it out to the ISPs and I don't believe that it will be practically
possible," the ISP spokesperson told the BBC.

Precious forum

The internet is one of the few media left through which opposition
groups can spread their message as the government controls the radio and
television stations and newspapers are under pressure.

Only last November, 14 people were arrested for circulating an e-mail
calling for protests to oust Mr Mugabe.

Along with South Africa, Zimbabwe is one of the African continent's
most internet-friendly countries.

In 2002, it had 100,000 registered users.

President Mugabe last year described the internet as a tool used by "a
few countries... in quest of global dominance and hegemony".

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Commercial land lies fallow

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

Save the Children

Some resettled farmers have made progress

HARARE, 31 May 2004 (IRIN) - A number of small, medium and large commercial farms given to black farmers under Zimbabwe's fast-track land redistribution programme are lying fallow.

Visits by IRIN to several provinces - Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland West and Manicaland - revealed that a significant number of the new A2 (commercial) farmers have not been utilising the land allocated to them.

Entire farms appeared neglected, with grass growing in fields that were once filled with crops. Farming infrastructure was derelict, suggesting that it had been vandalised.

"The problem of absentee landlords is critical, and wherever you go you see vast tracts of land lying fallow," the acting director of the black-dominated Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers' Union (ZCFU), Cleopas Mandebvu, told IRIN.

"We are lobbying government and are in the process of compiling a report, based on our own findings, with a view to correct the situation. This comes out of the realisation that the objective to make Zimbabwe the breadbasket of Southern Africa once more might be compromised if thousands of hectares remain idle," he commented.

Mandebvu said the problem was caused by new farmers who applied to be given plots but were not genuinely interested in farming, and did so "just for the prestige that comes with being called a commercial farmer".

A land review committee set up by President Robert Mugabe submitted a report last August on the allocation of land during the fast-track reform process, which indicated, among other things, that 1,672 farms - about 2.1 million hectares - had been allocated to 7,620 applicants under the A2 scheme.

Under the A1 model (small-scale and communal farmers), intended to decongest communal areas, 4.2 million hectares of farmland had been allocated to 127,192 households, as of 31 July 2003.

The report said there was a land take-up rate of 66 percent, meaning that the remaining 34 percent of available farmland lay fallow, although a considerable number of people still wanted to be allocated plots.

The findings claimed that 1,323 white farmers remained on their properties, a figure rejected the white-dominated Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU). The CFU has said that out of the 4,500 members they had before the fast-track land reform programme began, less than 700 remain on their farms.

These figures are likely to have changed in the period after the report was submitted, since additional land was gazetted for compulsory acquisition to benefit military personnel, some of whom had been fighting in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

There have also been reports of some communal farmers being compulsorily removed after having been resettled, ostensibly to make way for top government officials, some of whom have been confirmed as owning more than one farm.


Sam Moyo, a land expert appointed as head of the technical unit in the presidential land review committee, said some new farmers were failing to utilise farms "due to a complexity of problems".

"When the fast-track programme commenced in 2000, policy priority was with the A1 scheme. Applications for the A2 model came late in 2001, with allocations starting seriously in 2002. Even then, only a small group was given land that year, with the majority receiving their plots in 2003," Moyo told IRIN.

There was also a substantial hectarage that had been designated for A2 farming but remained unallocated, owing to the confusion that accompanied the largely unplanned programme, he said.
The uptake of plots was also slow because there were contradictions and differences between the local authorities of the provincial and district land committees, and the central government.

"Anomalies that arose out of those contradictions caused a lot of problems, with, in some cases, several applicants being allocated the same property, while other farms were designated as A1 when they were supposed to be A2. This made it necessary to once again go back to the drawing board," said Moyo.

Some farmers were hesitant to start farming because of the uncertainty surrounding the land allocation programme, and said the new settlers had been given the go-ahead to farm in the absence of official letters.

The presidential land audit report charged that there were corrupt land committee officials who abused their positions by forcefully removing genuine applicants to make way for their relatives and friends.

The state-owned Sunday Mail recently reported that some senior government officials were attempting to evict new farmers without authority, citing a former cabinet minister, Edward Chindori-Chininga, as one such victim.

Moyo said the new farmers had not been given security of tenure, making them uncertain about their future in farming.

"But central to this whole problem of absenteeism and non-production on the farms is the economic context of farming. Many people who applied did not have the required resources and still do not, even though some of them lied [by saying] that they had.

"They lack the capacity to operate because they do not have basic requirements, such as tractors and harvesters. A lot of the farmers have failed to obtain money to capitalise their farming activities, while a substantial number only managed to get small amounts," Moyo explained.

"In addition, high inflation has [raised] the price of inputs beyond the reach of the new farmers, while interest rates have also made it prohibitive to borrow. Coupled with this, the new farmers lack requisite skills for specialised farming, and it might take a while for them to acquire the know-how," he noted.

Despite the problem of under-utilisation of land, there are success stories. Amos Chaitezvi, himself an affiliate member of the ZCFU, farms in the Beatrice area in Mashonaland East, about 90 kilometres southwest of the capital, Harare. He has been on the farm since mid 2002, and now boasts about the maize, soya beans, onions, paprika and sorghum he is producing on his 300 hectare plot.

"When I started, I had problems in sourcing meaningful funding for my farming activities, but I broke even when one bank gave me a big loan. Neighbouring farmers belonging to ZCFU chipped in with such things as tractors, and since then I have not looked back," said Chaitezvi.

He was also lucky, because when he moved in he found most of the previous white farmer's infrastructure, such as irrigation equipment and boreholes, still intact.

"I was also helped by the fact that there was ready labour to use at my arrival, and have since been trying to motivate my workforce by giving them salaries above the government-stipulated minimum wage of Zim $47,000."

Chaitezvi has bought a truck to transport his produce to the market and hopes to expand his variety of crops in the near future.

He expressed anger at beneficiaries who had been allocated land but were not using it. "There are no worse saboteurs than people who get land and fail to use it. The best thing is for the government to take that land and give it to deserving people who have not yet benefited, both under the A1 and A2 schemes. If the current scenario continues, we might see chaos as those who are land-hungry start another wave of farm occupations," he warned.

The Zimbabwean government insists that it has recorded a food surplus for the 2003/04 farming season, although independent surveys by international organisations indicate that the country would need food aid.

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From The Sunday Mirror, 30 May

Who is Mutumwa Mawere?

Masimba Rushwaya/Innocent Chofamba Sithole

With most attention now being focused on Mutumwa Mawere, amid official
allegations that the business mogul did more wrong than right for his
country of origin, not much has been revealed about the rise of the man.
While Mawere has denied this, sources say the former World Bank official
decided to leave his South African base and return to Zimbabwe in 1996,
through the insistence of the Speaker of Parliament Emmerson Mnangagwa. Upon
his return, he established African Resources Ltd (ARL), a holding company
registered in the British Virgin Islands, and used it to purchase Shabani
Mashava Mines (Private) Limited (SMM), the country's largest asbestos mine.
The owners, Turner and Newall, were looking for a buyer of their mines and
associate companies - Turnall Fibre Cement, Tube and Pipe Industries and Tap
Construction, a Zambian based building products supplier. Mnangagwa is said
to have taken an active interest in promoting Mawere, who aggressively
lobbied Turnall to sell him the mine under the guise of indigenisation. The
mine was being sold for US$60 million but he (Mawere) only doled out US$1
with the balance being paid over a year in monthly instalments, from company
sales. To protect its interests, Turnall held the company shares in trust
until they were paid in full. The deal was approved by both the government
and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), as part of its then much vaunted
indigenisation programme. This was to be the first negotiated buy-out of a
foreign held mine by a single black Zimbabwean. But Mawere last night
maintained that his take over of the asbestos mining giant had nothing to do
with either Mnangagwa's assistance or the government's. "If you want to know
how the mine was acquired, I can show you the documents," Mawere said,
adding that Mnangagwa does not even know anyone in Turner and Newall. "The
acquisition was in 1996 while the government guarantee was in 1998 and was
meant to support local banks (United Merchant Bank, Heritage plus one
other). The money did not go to the mine, it went to the banks," Mawere

In a short three-year period thereafter, Mawere was able, through ARL, to
build an empire that covered mining, information technology, manufacturing,
insurance, banking and transport. After the success of the transaction,
Mawere formed African Resources Investment Limited (ARIL), an investment
unit trust that was established by Zanu PF to warehouse shares in companies
procured with public funds, ostensibly held in trust for Zimbabwean
citizens, and headed by him. Presidents Nelson Mandela and Robert Mugabe
attended the unit trust's launch at a breakfast meeting in South Africa.
However, the success of the trust was limited and it failed to raise the
required funds. There was also a general discontent over the management of
the limited funds that had been raised. Mawere's acquisitive appetite
continued unabated as in 1997, ARL bought a 21.2 percent stake in the newly
formed First Bank Corporation. Zanu PF companies, Zidco Holdings and AM
Treger, were also part of the crowd. In addition, ARL had procured Ngezi
Mining Company, which owned five small gold mines producing 17 000 ounces
per annum.

ARL had also entered the insurance business with a 55 percent share in the
newly formed Diamond Insurance Company. Diamond is now part of the Zimbabwe
Reinsurance Company (Zimre) brief, which encompasses the now rebranded
NicozDiamond, Fidelity Life Assurance, Fidelity Life Asset Management
Company, Fidelity Securities, Fidelity Life Medical Aid Society and Zimbabwe
Insurance Brokers. ARL had also entered into two joint ventures - one with
US-based company, Moving Water Industries, a manufacturer and supplier of
solar powered irrigation and rural water supply technology, and one with
Batanai Construction, a Zimbabwean firm involved in civil works and mining
construction, blasting and drilling. ARL also decided to acquire a 75
percent stake in Acacia (formerly FSI Holdings) and its three subsidiaries -
BMA Fasteners, General Beltings and Pigott Maskew. Purchases were also to be
made with a 60 percent interest in Cellular Systems Technology (Private)
Ltd, a cellular service provider, with a 20 percent share of Net One's
mobile phone business. To manage its newly acquired business empire, Mawere
announced in November 1998 that ARL was to be re-organised. He split the
holding company into two operating divisions: SMM Holdings, which controlled
ARL's mining and associated building products interests, and African
Resources Limited (Private) Limited, which managed Mawere's banking,
insurance, diamond, transport, cellular phone and investment interests.

There have been sentiments that the ARL empire that Mawere has built is not
only the result of tactical entrepreneurial skill but that there is
something more behind his phenomenal rise to power. These sentiments were to
be fuelled further when Mawere, despite being asset rich was cash poor. He
then allegedly turned to the ruling party, in order to secure from
government a US$60 million loan in off-shore refinancing from the Minerals
Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ). Observers have said that Mawere
has personally benefited from his association with Zanu PF from the very
start. This fact is more pertinent when one considers Mnangagwa's
involvement in the Turnall transaction deal and the MMCZ loan. Latest
information points to the fact that not all is well in the empire that
Mawere built. SMM chief executive officer, Hilary Munyati made a surprise
announcement last week that he had resigned from his portfolio with
immediate effect. The resignation also coincided with Mawere's arrest by
Interpol in Johannesburg this week on charges that he says have not been
spelt out to him, although local police say he is wanted for violating the
Exchange Control Act. There are reports that the High Court of Witwatersrand
Division in Johannesburg (South Africa) had granted a company called Peter
Trading of South Africa access to US$18.5 million, Canadian $620 000 and
R4.5 million.

These amounts were supposed to be remitted to Zimbabwe by Southern Asbestos
Sales (SAS), the marketing arm of African Associated Mines (AAM). The gist
of the matter is that Peter Trading, SAS and AAM went to court after AAM
failed to pay a debt for equipment and spare parts supplied to AAM. Peter
Trading and AAM had an agreement that allowed the former to access funds
held by SAS as payment for services rendered. Sources have revealed that as
at March 31 2004, SAS owed AAM a total of R127.1 million. However, SAS
indicated to AAM that a balance of R52.2 million, which had arisen after
paying Peter Trading would be used to pay other AAM debts. Consequently no
funds were to be remitted to Zimbabwe. The sources have revealed that on
April 29 2004, William Mudekunye, chairman of SMM Holdings, wrote to SAS
indicating that Peter Trading's action was in accordance with an existing
agreement and offered no defence against Peter Trading's desire to access
SAS funds. The following day, SAS in turn wrote to Peter Trading indicating
that it would not oppose the court application. The crux of the matter is,
according to sources, that AAM should have followed Zimbabwe Exchange
Control regulations that stipulate that before any payment is made to a
foreign company for goods and services, the local partner should seek
central bank approval first.

But Mawere says there was no anomaly in these transactions: "For you to
generate inflows, you have to spend money. All producers and exporters face
the same problems, particularly when they have to deal with a non-viable
fixed exchange rate. "Suppliers want to be paid on time and they don't care
about your problems in your country," the businessman said. Mawere has
challenged his arrest saying the Exchange Control Act applied only to
residents of Zimbabwe. Further, he maintains he does not sit on the boards
of any of his companies and should therefore not be dragged to answer
charges arising from their operations. "Are they going to get Oppenheimer to
answer charges arising from Anglo American operations, or look for the major
shareholder in Barclays Bank or any multinational to probe them?" Mawere
quipped. "If Mawere is dead, who are they going to extradite to answer to
crimes they are saying were committed by Mawere's companies? Those companies
are not Mawere's companies; they are Zimbabwean companies, with legal rights
conferred to them like any natural person. Any moment you undermine the
sanctity of such institutions created by men to promote their own interests,
that nation diminishes its capacity to exist in the civilised world."

Mawere drew parallels between his case and that of mobile phone company,
Telecel. The company was charged with foreign currency externalisation and
it was charged in its capacity as a legal person. Its chief executive,
Anthony Carter, represented it in court while company chairman, James
Makamba was left out of the case as he is a non-executive chairman and is
thus not involved in the company's day to day operations. The businessman,
who holds an MBA from George Washington University (and not Harvard as
reported in last Thursday's Daily Mirror) and an Msc in Management from the
Arthur Management Education Institute, both of which are in the United
States, has been living outside the country for more than 15 years. He
applied for South African citizenship while still in the US and relocated
directly to Johannesburg. "I am a Zimbabwean citizen by birth, and a South
African citizen by choice," said Mawere adding that he was an African and
would not mind holding citizenship to all of the continent's 53 nations.
Mawere feels embittered by developments surrounding his current predicament
and his recasting in a new role as a saboteur of an economy he has helped to
develop. "If creating 19 000 jobs and paying taxes to government is
corruption, then Zimbabwe needs a new education . . . You can't accuse
someone of externalisation and then credit that person with building an
empire in Zimbabwe. The people who benefit are Zimbabweans; now, if Mawere's
corruption benefits 19 000 people who are not his relatives, then it's sweet
corruption," he said.
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Ethiopia urges Zimbabwe to hand over Mengistu

May 31, 2004, 17:57

Zimbabwe should hand over ousted Ethiopian dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam to
stand trial for genocide and human rights violations in the Horn of Africa
country, a top Ethiopian diplomat has told a newspaper.

Mengistu is being tried in absentia with 37 former top soldiers accused of
genocide during his 17-year rule, which ended in 1991 when he was toppled
and fled to Zimbabwe.

"It is in the interest of the Ethiopian people that this criminal be
returned to be tried in Ethiopia," Duna Mufti, Ethiopia's ambassador to
Zimbabwe, said in an interview with weekly newspaper Capital, which hit
newsstands this morning.

"For sure the government of Zimbabwe is aware of the fact that the Ethiopian
people are looking forward to the day Mengistu will be handed over to
Ethiopia," he added.

Suspects could face the death penalty if convicted in the trial which began
in December 1994. Since then more than 5 000 people have been tried or await
trial in Ethiopia on charges of murdering thousands of people during the
Marxist dictator's iron-fisted rule.

In a separate report, the newspaper accused Mengistu of unleashing a reign
of terror, mass murder, torture and killings.

It said between 100 and 150 people were being killed every night in the
capital Addis Ababa during the "Red Terror" purges of the late 1970s.

"Victims bodies were left lying on the streets and relatives were forced to
pay for the bullets that caused the death of their loved ones," the paper

"Mengistu's security forces tortured political prisoners, dipping bodies in
hot oil, raping and inserting bottles and heated metals in bodies of female
prisoners," the paper said.

The charges against former officials languishing in prison for the last 13
years include the killing of more than 1 000 people including Emperor Haile
Selassie, who was dethroned in 1974 by Mengistu's junta known as the Dergue.

Human rights groups have expressed alarm at the time the trial is taking.
The prosecution says the complex nature of the evidence has prolonged the
case. - Reuters
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Business Day

Zimbabweans' choice' illusory without free election


THE recent Malawi election, while unremarkable in its outcome, was important
in at least one respect it marked the passing of another aspirant third

Former president Bakili Muluzi tried everything to stay in power. In the
end, he was forced to abandon his ambition. His people did not want him

Despite Muluzi's claim that he needed more time for his policies to show
results, there were few reasons to believe another term would improve the
lacklustre performance of his government.

Malawi still lingers near the bottom of most development indicators. What
deal Malawians will get from their new president Muluzi's nominated
candidate and former economy minister Bingu Mutharika is uncertain.

But an important precedent has been set for democracy in Malawi. A similar
saga played out in Zambia with former president Frederick Chiluba where the
opposition of the people scuppered his plan for a third term, stopping a
subversion of democracy there.

If those countries were able to block their leaders' undemocratic behaviour,
why has this not been possible in Zimbabwe? African governments, notably in
SA, have been quick to say the people of Zimbabwe must decide whether their
leader, Robert Mugabe, stays or goes.

By all accounts, the people of Zimbabwe have signalled their intention to
get Mugabe and Zanu (PF) out. But they are still there, keeping everyone
guessing about whether Mugabe will seek a sixth term. There is no doubt the
people of Zimbabwe must be the ones to eject their government. And in light
of precedents cited, that should be possible.

So what sets the country apart from its neighbours?

A vital difference is not just the might of the state's security and
propaganda apparatus but also how far the government of the day will go to
keep itself in power. Ensuring the success of a strategy backed by violence,
suppression of debate, total control of the media and the maintenance of a
corrupt electoral process means there are no limits to the excesses that
must be employed.

The scale of this in Zimbabwe is well above what other countries in the
region have attempted.

Another difference is the term issue is not up for debate. Mugabe can serve
as many terms as he likes as long as his party nominates him and he gets
enough votes. So there is no term issue around which to campaign.

As next year's elections loom, all the machinery is in place for another
Zanu (PF) victory. Nothing has changed since the last controversial

The opposition still cannot campaign freely, electoral bodies are still run
by Mugabe's henchmen, the police and army still only act for the ruling
party, and constitutional amendments rushed through before the last election
to ensure a Zanu (PF) victory are still in place.

Despite widespread condemnation (notably, not from African countries) about
use of food as a political weapon in previous elections, the stage is being
set for this to be a key factor next year.

Already the government is forcing food aid agencies out of the country and
making patently absurd statements about bumper agricultural output for next

SA, meanwhile, insists that its Zimbabwe "paradigm" the ruling party and
opposition will come to realise neither will gain anything without
negotiating with each other is the right way to go. Surely even the South
African government is no longer in any doubt about the fact that the ruling
party has nothing to gain from negotiating away its power ahead of an
election it will win, no matter what it takes?

If SA wants to do the right thing, it needs to abandon this so-called
paradigm which is based on wishful thinking rather than fact. Instead, it
needs to insist now that it will not recognise the outcome of next year's
elections, no matter what the result, unless the election process is
significantly reformed.

If SA, supported by the region, cannot do at least that, these countries
will no longer get away with making themselves feel better by mouthing off
that Zimbabweans themselves must decide who they want in power.

Games is director of Africa@ Work, a research, publishing and conference
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Zimbabwe to accommodate Chinese tourists 2004-05-31 15:47:07

HARARE, May 31 (Xinhuanet) -- The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority has
begun courting registered tour operators to accommodate Chinese tourists as
part of its effort to promote tourism, the Herald newspaper reported on

The tourism authority has given the registered tour operators up
to Friday to apply for accreditation.

Eligible operators are required to pay 100,000 Zimbabwean dollars
(about 18 US dollars) in annual registration fees and alsodeposit a surety
bond of at least 50 million Zimbabwean dollars (about 9,400 US dollars) with
the Ministry of Environment and Tourism of the country.

The operators are also expected to engage Chinese-speaking staff
and to package their products in English and Chinese.

Zimbabwe was one of the several African countries, which were
granted the approved destination status (ADS) by China during the
China-Africa Cooperation Forum held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in December
last year.

The ADS status is expected to benefit Zimbabwe as increasing
number of Chinese tourists are traveling abroad. Enditem
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The Herald

Police crackdown leaves commuters stranded

Herald Reporter
THE impounding of commuter omnibuses by the police for overcharging is now
having a negative effect on the commuting public, with workers saying they
are now reporting for work late.

There are now fewer minibuses on the roads as a result of the clampdown
which has now brought the total number of operators arrested to 807.

"Today (yesterday) I arrived at my work place at around 10am as there was no
transport," said a Marimba resident who declined to be named.

Police spokesperson Superintendent Oliver Mandipaka said the crackdown would
continue until the operators comply with the Government approved fares.

"The question of transport shortages cannot be solved by the police but our
main concern as law enforcers is that the operators should stick to the
approved fares and not overcharge," he said.

However, an official with the Commuters Association of Zimbabwe said they
would approach the relevant authorities to review the fares again since they
were lower than the levels they expected.

Police said that they were also on the lookout for touts, who have a
tendency of harassing people and in some instances, arbitrarily raise fares.

In most suburbs in the city, commuters are being charged between $1 500 and
$2 000 for a distance of less than 20 km.

Most of the omnibus operators take advantage of desperate commuters battling
to get to their homes in the evenings or to their work places in the

Yesterday, police impounded some of the commuter omnibuses and officers from
the Vehicle Inspection Department checked their roadworthiness.

Of the 407 commuter omnibuses impounded, 319 were arrested in the city
centre while the other 88 were arrested in Mbare.

In Mbare, more than 20 omnibuses were found to be unroadworthy and impounded
by the police.

Some of the omnibuses did not have documents such route authority and
operators' licences.

The Officer-in-Charge Mbare traffic district Inspector Ntokozo Nyathi said
the process was ongoing.

He said some of the defective omnibuses did not even bear the original
engine and chassis numbers.

The impounded omnibuses were parked at police stations in the city.

Some of the drivers and conductors were paying fines. They were being fined
$25 000 for every passenger overcharged but omnibuses with defects would be
checked by officers from the VID.

The Government recently approved urban fares ranging from $800 to $2 000
depending on distance, more than double the fares gazetted in October last

All the omnibuses are supposed to charge $800 for a distance of up to 10 km,
$1 200 for distances of between 10,1 km and 20km and $2 000 for distance
between 20,1km and 30km.

Distances above 30km would be calculated at the rate of $80 per kilometre.
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The Herald

Pupils yet to register for Zimsec November exams

Herald Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Schools Examinations Council is still to announce registration
dates for the November Ordinary and Advanced level examinations.

In a development that is worrying many parents, schools are still in the
dark about the exact registration dates.

Traditionally, the deadline for registration for the November examinations
is the first week of April.

This has raised fears among parents and prospective candidates that the
November examinations might fail to take place.

However, Zimsec information and publications manager, Mrs Faith Chasokela,
said the examinations would take place and attributed the delay in
announcing the registration dates to technical problems.

She said Zimsec was waiting for some papers used in the registration

"These papers are not available locally and we are in the process of
acquiring them from outside the country," she said.

As soon as the registration dates are set, she said, members of the public
would be notified through the Press. Mrs Chasokela said examination fees
would remain the same as those of last year.

Zimsec earlier this year proposed to the Ministry of Education, Sport and
Culture to have O-level examination fees raised from $100 to $20 000 a
subject and those for A-level from $1 000 to $100 000.

But the Minister of Education, Sport and Culture, Cde Aeneas Chigwedere,
recently said the examination fees would not change because the Government
was waiting for people to harvest their crops so as to assess the capability
of parents to pay new fees.

He said the Government would subsidise the examinations so that Zimsec would
remain viable.

Cde Chigwedere said the Government was aware that the money to be paid for
examination fees would not be enough to enable Zimsec to run the
examinations, hence the need to subsidise them.
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The Herald

Bindura Town Council to crack down on gold panners

BINDURA mayor Advocate Martin Dinha has said the town has planned to launch
a crack down on gold panners in its surroundings, accusing them of polluting
Bindura's water sources.

He said the campaign would involve the police, the Zimbabwe National Water
Authority (Zinwa) and other stakeholders, and primarily target the Mazowe
water catchment area which was most infested by gold panners.

"We are going to call for a major campaign against gold panners and it would
take a week. We will move in the Mazowe River, rounding up all gold panners
and forwarding them to the police," said Adv Dinha.

"Our major campaign will include the police, Zinwa, residents and other
stakeholders so that we take control of the gold panners that are wrecking
havoc in Bindura," he said.

Bindura residents have repeatedly complained that the drinking water in the
town was unpurified and unsafe, a charge the authorities have often denied,
blaming instead gold panners for the problem.

Adv Dinha said it had become critical for the town's authorities to act
against the gold panners because their use of mercury in their activities
had increased the health risks to residents of Bindura.

"This is a critical problem because they are using mercury to purify gold.

"They pose a health hazard in that mercury is toxic and nowhere in the world
can we find a purification process that can remove mercury," he said.- New
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The Herald

2 350 pushcarts impounded

Herald Reporter
THE Harare municipal police has impounded 2 350 pushcarts that were
obstructing the flow of traffic in the city centre.

This also includes grocery trolleys that were being abused by vendors
outside shops.

"We are hoping to intensify the clean-up campaign of the city centre's
roads," said municipal police chief security officer Mr Tavanana Gomo.

Mr Gomo said the clean-up campaign was aimed at improving the flow of
traffic in Harare.

He said owners of the pushcarts would be fined $60 000 administration fee
and another $25 000 which will go to Zimbabwe Republic Police licence
inspectorate. The pushcart owners would also have to pay an additional $1
000 for storage
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The Herald

War veterans attack Nkomo

Herald Reporter
War veterans yesterday attacked the Minister of Special Affairs Responsible
for Lands, Land Reform and Resettle-ment, Cde John Nkomo, and his permanent
secretary, Mr Simon Pazvakavambwa, over letters that were allegedly being
issued by his ministry to new farmers purporting to withdraw the land
offered to them.

Cde Nkomo, however, dismissed the letters as fake during an interview with
Newsnet yesterday.

He said new farmers who had genuine offer letters should stay put on the

Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association vice-chairman Cde
Joseph Chinotimba said the actions by officials in the ministry only served
to confirm what they had always suspected.

"We have not forgotten that he (Cde Nkomo) is the one who ordered the arrest
of our members who were carrying out land occupations and also demolished
our houses when he was the Minister of Home Affairs.

"We respect him as our minister and (ruling Zanu-PF party) chairman, but if
he still wants us to maintain that respect he should come out in the open
and act like a minister, otherwise he will force us to wear our straw hats
once again," said Cde Chinotimba in reference to the trademark grass hat he
wore during the farm occupations of 2000.

"How can Pazvakavambwa, a permanent secretary, write withdrawal letters to
reverse offer letters that were signed by a Cabinet minister, Dr Joseph
Made? Who is Pazvakavambwa - and why is Cde Nkomo not signing the letters
himself as the minister?"

Mr Pazvakavambwa could not be reached for comment last night.

Cde Chinotimba said Cde Nkomo should call an urgent meeting to explain the
actions by his senior official or risk being hauled before a meeting that
would be convened by war veterans.

He said that some of the reasons given by Mr Pazvakavambwa in the withdrawal
letters in support of white farmers being given permission to return to the
farms were an insult to the new farmers.

"How can Pazvakavambwa call for the reinstatement of a white farmer, Mr
Bryne Buckler of Learig Farm, on the strength that he breeds horses? What do
horses bring us?

"What is more important - to grow food or crops that bring us foreign
currency or to breed horses that we cannot eat or use as draught power?

"How can he also sanction the return of a white farmer, a Mr Rich of
Aymersfield Farm, on the strength that he has been extremely helpful to two
Cabinet ministers? In what way has he been helpful to the ministers?

"Is this not the corruption that we want to weed out?

"Those ministers should be named and their role in all this issue
explained," he said.

Cde Chinotimba said war veterans and other beneficiaries of the land reform
programme who have received withdrawal letters should resist eviction by
staying put on the farms they were settled on.

"As war veterans, we are not going to stand by and watch these people
reverse what we have fought for. Those white farmers should not be allowed
back on those farms and we are urging all war veterans and other
beneficiaries to unite against this re-colonisation.

"We also want to warn people like Pazvakavambwa that they are responsible
for the death of our comrade who was shot dead in Odzi last week because we
understand the white farmer who shot him had just received a letter
reinstating him on his former farm.

"This is the kind of issue that is giving whites renewed vigour to do what
they are doing now, like beating up Members of Parliament and shooting
resettled farmers. We have been wondering where their strength was coming
from. Now we know because we have the evidence," he said.

The war veterans' stance and the continued surfacing of the letters
withdrawing land offered to the new farmers come just a few weeks after Cde
Nkomo told Parliament that no such letters have been issued.

While the minister himself has not signed the letters and said so in
Parliament, the letters surfacing show that officials in his ministry are
doing so.

A few weeks ago, The Herald revealed that major problems have emerged with
land reforms, with growing allegations and reports from all provinces
indicating that not all is well with the land reform programme since the
splitting up of the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement.

But Cde Nkomo dismissed The Herald's story as false.

Yet investigations by The Sunday Mail this week revealed that officials in
the Ministry of Lands, Land Reform and Resettlement continue to write to
white farmers either assuring them that they would not be removed or
authorising them to go back to the farms now occupied by new black farmers.

A typical case is Aylmersfield Farm in Goromonzi district, which was
allocated to three black farmers named as Mr Muzavazi, Mr Marozhe and Mrs
Tapfumaneyi. The three immediately moved in to start farming operations.

But the former owner of the farm, Mr R. Rich, sought to have the three new
farmers kicked out and on March 4 this year wrote to the Ministry of Lands,
Land Reform and Resettlement seeking the ministry's intervention.

In a letter dated March 8 2004, the principal director for special affairs
in the ministry, Mr J J Ndebele, wrote back to Mr Rich telling him to remain
on the farm.

"This letter serves to inform you that the Ministry of Special Affairs
Responsible for Lands, Land Reform and Resettlement has acceded to your
request to continue with your farming operations until harvesting period.

"Legally, we cannot grant you permission to your second request as it may
directly infringe on land reform processes such as the allocation of
acquired properties to suitable beneficiaries. The permission granted to you
will, however, see you through this cropping season by which time other
interventions might have taken place to conclude your appeal against
compulsory acquisition," wrote Mr Ndebele.

Mr Ndebele's letter was followed by another one from Mr Pazvakavambwa, the
Secretary for Lands, Land Reform and Resettlement, to the Governor of
Mashonaland East, Cde David Karimanzira, which, among other things, said Mr
Rich should continue to farm and the three new farmers should be allocated
land elsewhere.

Mr Pazvakavambwa wrote in his letter that the allocation of land to the
three new farmers was irregular "as it was never done in consultation with
the province".

In another case, Mr Pazvakavambwa also wrote to Mr W Gwena, who holds an
offer letter of subdivision C of Learig, dated October 7 2003, which was
signed by Cde Made, informing him that his offer letter was issued in error
and that he should vacate the farm while Mr Buckler should be reinstated on
the farm.

Another recent case was that of former Minister of Mines and Mining
Development, Cde Edward Chindori-Chininga, who under similar circumstances
is being asked to leave Bally Carne Farm in Mazowe district in favour of the
white former owner, Mr Simon Philp.

Interestingly in this case, officials in the ministry took contradicting
positions. Mr Ndebele wrote to Mr Philp authorising him to return to the
farm, saying Mr Philp was the second biggest producer of passion fruit in
the world and should be allowed to continue.

But Mr Pazvakavambwa filed an affidavit in court in favour of Cde
Chindori-Chininga dismissing Mr Ndebele's letter.

Mr Pazvakavambwa wrote that Mr Ndebele "has neither the authority nor
responsibility to make indications he did in his letter".

Investigations show that the current land problems started when the Ministry
of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement was split into two: the
Ministry of Special Affairs for Lands, Land Reform and Resettlement, and the
Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The new ministry was supposed to, among other things, correct anomalies in
the allocations of land, but at the same time it was stated that even if
there were anomalies new farmers with no land elsewhere should not be left
with nowhere to farm.
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