|The ZIMBABWE Situation||Our
thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe |
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.
Cracks are appearing
Something we have been expecting for many years happened last week - and it
was not the authorities' parading opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai before
a sniggering mob of paramilitary guards in prison clothes, manacled and
Last Wednesday was chilly and overcast, and Tsvangirai looked grey with cold
as he hobbled out of the prison van, clad in a worn-out short-sleeved shirt,
baggy shorts and sandals.
This calculated attempt to dehumanise and degrade the veteran trade unionist
backfired on the authorities when he was brought up the narrow stairs into
the high court dock, and the public and press galleries stood up in an
unprecedented show of respect.
Such a gesture towards an accused person has never occurred before in the
entire history of this country's courts - not for Ndabaningi Sithole
(founder of President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party), "General" Lookout
Masuku, Dumiso Dabengwa (later, Mugabe's Minister of Home Affairs) or a
young Zapu guerrilla, Emmerson Mnangagwa (now parliamentary speaker and
administrative head of the ruling party).
Ignoring the warders, Tsvangirai turned to the silent, grim-faced spectators
and quipped: "This isn't a funeral."
There was an explosion of laughter.
After a withering protest to Judge Susan Mavangira from defence councel
George Bizos, who 40 years ago represented Nelson Mandela on similar treason
charges, Tsvangirai was allowed to don a grey suit and blue shirt. When he
re-emerged, the public stood and clapped.
His spirit obviously unbroken, he remonstrated with a smile: "You will get
me sent back to jail."
The predicted event, however, was not Tsvangirai's trial on fresh charges of
treason: it was
the front page of Saturday's government-owned Herald.
We knew it was going to happen, we just didn't know when or to whom.
When it became clear Mugabe would spare no effort to prevent a new national
leadership being selected through free elections, we knew sooner or later we
would get omens of change in the form of attempts in the state media to
create a new national messiah.
The Herald's giant photograph of Mnangagwa does not signify that Mugabe is
about to hand over to him, or has approved Mnangagwa as his heir, but that
the "Mnangagwa faction" feel bold enough to stage this advertising promotion
for their presidential candidate.
Other factions, perhaps even Mugabe himself, will have been gravely
discomfited by the Herald edition. Information Minister Jonathan Moyo must
have had his devious hand in it. If anything were to "happen" to Moyo, it
would show the Mnangagwa faction has overplayed its hand, or got Moyo into a
The courageous Dr John Makumbe of the University of Zimbabwe long ago
discerned the ground rules Mugabe set up for the pattern of fiefdoms by
which he first subdued and then went on to bankrupt Zimbabwe. Mugabe's
lieutenants were encouraged (in the name of encouraging indigenous
entrepreneurship) to develop business empires, staffed by their relatives
and henchmen in what were designated to be "their" areas.
While they kept these areas loyal to Mugabe, they were spared all manner of
irritations such as loan repayments, income tax, licence and planning
inspectors (As their business empires grew, they and their extended families
thus became hostages to Mugabe through their ever-lengthening records of
If they stepped outside their designated fiefdoms by, say, convening rallies
in other parts of the country, the party machine would ensure no one turned
The significant point is that the Mnangagwa faction now feel they can aim
for a national constituency, although in the June 2000 parliamentary
elections Mnangagwa was ignominiously stripped of his Kwekwe seat by a
candidate for Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change.
The personality cult of Mnangagwa is focused, as expected, on an imaginative
attempt to present him as a hero, second only to Mugabe, in the fight to
overthrow white rule in former Rhodesia. It also aims to rid him of the
image he acquired as head of the Central Intelligence Organisation during
the 1982-1987 Matabeleland atrocities when up to 20 000 people died,
according to human rights lawyers and Roman Catholic churchmen.
If we had an equivalent to Private Eye here it would surely produce a spoof
version of the Herald report, headed: "Meet your friendly neighbourhood
human rights violator."
We are told that Mnangagwa "strongly opposed the death penalty", yet as
he rushed through a constitutional amendment
to forestall attempts to outlaw executions. The Herald tells us nothing of
the dozens of hangings that took place when he was minister, 13 of them in
secret because the Pope was about to make an ill-advised visit here.
"I've seen a lot of death in my life. I don't want to kill. War is not
nice," said Mnangagwa.
The Herald article will be kept on file by those who, like George Orwell's
hero Winston Smith in 1984, want to see how a propaganda machine re-writes
history and constantly reinvents the "Big Brother" figure.
Mnangagwa is (surprise, surprise) of the "royal family of Mapanzure chiefs".
His youthful flirtation with Joshua Nkomo's Zapu is glossed over, perhaps
because it reveals irrefutable evidence Zapu launched its war at least three
years before Zanu's much-f?ted April 1966 "Battle of Chinhoyi".
The Herald also skates around Mnangagwa's Zambian roots, which led the
Rhodesian authorities to deport him after serving his sentence for
sabotaging a rail line in 1964.
Mnangagwa's protests - "I have no aspirations to (the) presidency at all"
will be viewed with scepticism by those who last year saw him, as
parliamentary speaker, flout Standing Orders to declare the General Laws
Amendment Bill duly passed into law, when it had been quashed.
"My only wish is to continue serving the country," Mnangagwa "confided" to
the Herald. "I'm of above average intelligence [but] how do you aspire for a
position where there is no vacancy?"
Mugabe may find this dangerously ambiguous statement reassuring.
Others, however, will remember how the late Malawian dictator Hastings Banda
crushed his finance minister, Aleke Banda, once speculation started that
Aleke might be the next "life president".
"You appoint someone as your heir and the next thing he overthrows you,"
said the canny old tyrant.
Business elements previously linked to the reformist element in Zanu-PF are
in the meanwhile raising voices, in private, against Tsvangirai.
Desperate for relief from current financial strains, they are urging
Tsvangirai to offer concessions and find someone he can work with - if not
Mnangagwa, then someone else acceptable to Mugabe. They have leaked reports
of secret talks between Zanu (PF) and Tsvangirai's MDC involving the
churches - when all the churches have done is solicit uncompromising views
from both sides.
What South Africans need to note is that just when Tsvangirai looks at his
most vulnerable, in a prison cell, with a second hanging offence against
him, the Zanu (PF) monolith is trembling and cracking. There may be a long
process of subterranean strain as invisible pressures build up. Or there may
be a sudden landslide.
But, as they say in earthquake zones, "The Big One" is coming.
.. Michael Hartnack is a Zimbabwean columnist and journalist.
Justice Hlatshwayo in new farm wrangle
HIGH Court judge Justice Ben Hlatshwayo broke into the farm- house of
prominent commercial farmer Vernon Nicolle with the assistance of the police
last Friday to take over the property, its former owners allege. But the
judge denies the claim.
The Zimbabwe Independent re-vealed earlier this year that Hlatshwayo had
moved onto Nicolle's farm ignoring a provisional High Court order barring
him from occupying the farm.
The farm at the centre of the dispute is the 375-hectare Lot 1
of Gwina Farm
in Mashonaland West. Hlatshwayo moved onto the farm with his caravan last
December and began agricultural activities.
Hlatshwayo yesterday denied using strong-arm tactics to
gain entry to the
"Mr Nicolle was evicted by people who
have the authority to do so, that is
the police and Ministry of Lands officials," he said. "His Section 8 order
had long since expired."
Vernon Nicolle's son Christo-pher told the Independent the
house was broken
into last Friday. This followed a telephone conversation he had with
"Hlatshwayo phoned me and told me that he
would break into the house if I
failed to come to the farm," said Nicolle.
"The next thing I heard from the workers was that the house
had been broken
into. Some property belonging to my father was thrown out," he said.
"Some keys were taken and the rooms that had no keys were
broken into. At
the moment we are not allowed to go back to the farm and take our equipment.
We only got some of the equipment out but anything related to irrigation is
not being allowed to move out," he said.
Hlatshwayo refuted claims that he had moved into the farmhouse.
"I have no
desire to move into the farmhouse. I have been carrying out my
farming operations from my caravan for the past six months. I have waited
for more than a year for him to move and this is too long for one to wind up
and move. In fact he has been sabotaging me," said Hlatshwayo.
He said the
police gave him the keys to the house for "caretakership" of
Hlatshwayo said Justice Paddington Garwe made a
final order in his favour in
March. In his judgement, Garwe said Nicolle had not followed the proper
procedures in suing Hlatshwayo.
of Rule 18 of the rules of the High Court of Zimbabwe no civil
process of the court may be sued out against the president or against any of
the judges of the High Court without the leave of the court granted on court
application being made for that purpose," said Garwe in his judgement.
judgement said the purpose of the rule was "clearly to protect or
judges from vexatious litigation instituted against them in the very same
court where they preside".
Garwe also ruled that the dispute
in the matter was between Nicolle and the
Minister of Agriculture whose procedures for acquisition of the farm were
dispute, it appears, is between the applicant and the acquiring
authority (Ministry of Agriculture)," Garwe said. He said Hlatshwayo had
only acquired the property through the ministry.
He said the matter should be
determined separately since it did not involve
Succession debate widens
AS President Mugabe's handlers fight to stifle debate on the succession
issue, speculation remains rife that his departure from office may be sooner
than his is prepared to admit.
Newspaper reports in Britain yesterday, citing South African government
sources, said Mugabe would be prepared to go within a year if the conditions
These include recognition of his
legitimacy - at home and abroad, an
"honourable" retirement with freedom from prosecution by international
courts, and a seamless transition to a candidate of his choice.
Speculation has been fuelled rather than quenched by
Speaker of parliament
Emmerson Mnangagwa's denial last weekend of any presidential ambitions.
Mugabe is understood to be keen to regulate the succession debate, which
means prospective candidates will need to keep their heads down until an
internal decision-making process is complete.
Mugabe's recent forays across the country to speak at what
election rallies could offer a clue to his wish to take charge of a process
that earlier showed signs of getting out of hand.
contacts with President Thabo Mbeki over Morgan Tsvangirai's
incarceration and Mbeki's statement at the conclusion of last week's World
Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in Durban that the coming year would see a
resolution of the Zimbabwe crisis through inter-party dialogue suggest South
African interest in a solution to the political impasse in Harare is still
very much alive.
"We will have an agreement in Zimbabwe between government and
about all the challenges that face Zimbabwe," Mbeki confidently predicted
Mozambique's President Joachim Chissano said at
the WEF meeting that as a
result of peer pressure Mugabe would be revoking oppressive laws against the
media and opposition.
remains the most visible contender although with the economic
crisis impacting on Zanu PF's leadership, former Finance minister Simba
Makoni's prospects are improving despite the absence of a local support
Undeterred by orders to keep quiet, Zanu PF's
Bulawayo province has moved
ahead, throwing its weight behind party chairman and Special Affairs
minister John Nkomo.
The province this week
announced that succession issues should be dealt with
using the set party protocol of seniority, a process that would favour
Information and Publicity minister Jonathan Moyo this week
suggestions that Mugabe was preparing to go.
mouthpiece the Herald this week quoted Moyo dismissing any
suggestion of dialogue aimed at ensuring Mugabe's early retirement.
"Zanu PF will
not negotiate with anyone, let alone (the) sell-out MDC, on
the legitimacy of President Mugabe," he said. "The issue of legitimacy is
not negotiable and will thus not be negotiated because it was decided by the
Despite Moyo's hostility to any talk of Mugabe's
early exit, the party's
Bulawayo provincial leaders said the people currently being touted did not
qualify to succeed Mugabe.
Information secretary Nathan Shamuyarira yesterday said the party
president was elected at a congress.
"He can come from any organ of the party.
Any member can be elected," said
But Zanu PF Bulawayo
provincial secretary for information and publicity,
Sikhumbuzo Ndiweni, this week said party rules had to be followed in
choosing Mugabe's successor.
"The party presidium," said Ndiweni, "is made up of four
people who are
President Mugabe, his two vice-presidents (Simon) Muzenda and (Joseph)
Msika, and the party national chairman John Nkomo.
"Those are the people who should fit into the succession equation."
when Mugabe finally retires he would do so with his two
vice-presidents, which would leave Nkomo as the only senior replacement from
"Nkomo, by virtue of being in the current presidium, would
national issues better than anyone outside the presidium," said Ndiweni.
He said the current succession debate ignores set structures of the party.
"There is a set structure when it comes to succession and
the party is
structured in a manner that makes succession automatic and this is not open
to debate," said Ndiweni.
He said in the event of the
president retiring, the three other leaders in
the party would be elevated in terms of seniority.
"The party is clear on what happens when it comes
to replacing leaders and
after the presidium has retired the party says the next top person should be
a woman. Here we are talking about people like Joyce Mujuru, Oppah
Muchinguri, Thenjiwe Lesabe and others," said Ndiweni.
He said Nkomo was acceptable to all provinces and his
election by those
provinces to the national chairmanship was ample evidence of his national
"Nkomo was elected by Masvingo,
Matabeleland and Mashonaland
provinces when he trounced Mnangagwa in the national chairmanship
elections," he said.
But Ndiweni's views are
unlikely to find favour among Mugabe's inner circle
where individuals with vested interests are likely to block the ambitions of
Govt targets FCA holders in hunt for elusive forex
Blessing Zulu/Conrad Dube
GOVERNMENT has extended its foreign exchange trawl to include foreign
currency accounts (FCAs) as it attempts to raise forex from Zimbabweans both
at home and in the diaspora.
Finance minister Herbert Murerwa told a National Economic Consultative Forum
discussion forum on June 5 that the government was "holding discussions with
interested parties for purposes of mobilising foreign currency from
Zimbabweans in the diaspora".
Murerwa forecast the government
could rake in close to US$1 million a week.
Economic analysts said the figure was way below the country's foreign
exchange requirements which has led the government to seize on individual
The analysts said
with the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe (Noczim) and
Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) requiring US$24 million and
US$70 million a month for fuel and electricity imports respectively,
government was scrambling to make up the shortfall.
Banks have confirmed receiving instructions from
the RBZ to the effect that
50% of all individual foreign currency withdrawals from personal accounts
should be changed at the official US$1:$800 rate for individuals while the
other 50% would be provided in hard currency. The banks will then remit the
50% changed at the official rate to the RBZ.
The government last Friday summoned bank chiefs to a meeting
where the new
exchange rules were announced.
But analysts said the
government's policy was ill-advised and would worsen
They said instead the central bank should consider
offering higher interest
rates to the US dollar account holders and set a mechanism on the forex
account which would guarantee the account holder access to the greenback.
The analysts said the government needed to
address the issue of confidence
in the economy before coming up with further reactive policy distortions
which hurt the economy.
government was "committed" to removing policy-induced
distortions such as price controls which had proved to be ineffective.
Stumbles blasts Kunonga
DIVISIONS have deepened in the Anglican Church with fired Chancellor of the
Diocese of Harare Robert Stumbles accusing Bishop Nolbert Kunonga of
deliberately violating the laws of the church when it suited him.
In a lengthy letter to the Bishop for Central Africa, Bernard Malango, this
month Stumbles accused Kunonga of indulging in activities at variance with
his promise at his enthronement to uphold the rules of the diocese.
"The reality in
the diocese is that there is now a wide divergence between
the promise and declaration and the actual activities being witnessed," said
"The bishop's behaviour, prima facie, radiates a
growing intensity of
indifference, interference or defiance, which does no good and indeed, if
allowed to continue, could destroy the very fabric of the church," he said.
Stumbles accused Kunonga of ignoring previous calls
on him not to amend the
Diocesan Act to accumulate "more power and control and new un-challengeable
authority into the hands of the bishop of the diocese" without the
"This may include the
right for him to appoint and control persons in key
positions in the diocese. At the same time the amendments may deprive others
of rights to which they are presently entitled."
Kunonga fired Stumbles for insisting on the
observance of church laws but
the former lawyer refused to accept the decision saying it "reflects a
disdain for or ignorance of the laws he swore to uphold".
The letter abhors the "unrepentant symptom of
highhandedness or misrule,
lack of accountability and transparency or taking the law into one's own
hands" and calls for the cessation of " the march of lawlessness anywhere…"
Kunonga, who is an admirer of President Robert
Mugabe, suffered an
embarrassment when about 40 parishioners demonstrated against his behaviour
at the commemoration of the pioneer Anglican evangelist Bernard Mzeki on
Saturday before Malango and several other church leaders from across the
Demonstrators accused the troubled
Anglican primate of preaching "sermons of
hate", attending Zanu PF functions and "abandoning his spiritual role".
Zim's bread shortages to worsen next year
Blessing Zulu/Augustine Mukaro
BREAD shortages are set to worsen next year as the country's winter wheat
production falters while the hectarage under crop has been drastically
The Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) has forecast this year's winter crop
production at around 25% of average annual planting because of continued
vandalism and looting of equipment on farms.
Commercial farmers used to put between 65 000 and 80 000
hectares of land
under winter crop, producing up to 280 000 tonnes of wheat.
"Existing irrigation schemes for winter cereals were 65 000
these have been looted and damaged and we estimate that only 15 000 hectares
are still operational," the CFU said.
"As poverty and
unemployment increase, theft of assets increases, making it
difficult for farmers to continue their operations," the CFU said.
Local demand of
about 400 000-500 000 tonnes used to be met through imports
of gristing wheat used to blend the local product to get high quality flour.
farmers are not achieving desired production levels due to lack of
knowledge, skills and finance. They do not have the capacity to match
production levels of displaced commercial farmers," said the CFU.
Winter crops are
normally planted from the beginning of May through to
mid-June every year.
"The planting period has lapsed and any planting now will be a
whose yield would be highly compromised," the CFU said.
The Zimbabwe Farmers Union (ZFU) said the number of their
winter crop production had increased since the beginning of the land reform
"Though we are in the process of
compiling data on the number of farmers
planting wheat this year, there is clear evidence that the hectarage has
increased," said an official at the ZFU.
Agricultural analysts said the increase in hectarage planted by
would not make much difference to the food security requirement because of
the small portions they plant.
"ZFU members, though
many, grow very little wheat, mostly for household
consumption," an analyst said.
"The main drawback faced by subsistence farmers is lack of
finance and skills to produce for commercial purposes."
The majority of the crop is irrigated using overhead
though a small amount is irrigated using flood, and centre-pivots. Major
production areas are along the major water courses in the Mashonaland,
Makonde and mid-Save areas.
Mugabe misinformed on agribonds - Mawere
Augustine Mukaro/ Loughty Dube
FSI Agricom chief shareholder Mutumwa Mawere has said President Mugabe was
misinformed in accusing his company of accessing a large chunk of funds
raised through agribonds last year at the expense of resettled farmers.
Mugabe made the allegations during a rally at Esidakeni Farm
in Umguza last
Friday after traditional leaders and farmers told him they were not happy
with the manner the funds had been disbursed.
Contacted for comment, Mawere said he was only a
shareholder in FSI Agricom.
He said there was nothing wrong in the manner in which the company applied
for the funds.
"There was nothing bad
about the way FSI Agricom carried out its
transactions," Mawere said.
"Banks should be asked the criteria they used in disbursing the
someone could have misinformed the president on the matter because the fund
is meant to benefit agro-processors and not individual resettled farmers as
said by President Mugabe."
Mugabe said FSI Agricom had
accessed $4 billion out of $7,2 billion meant
for resettled farmers who benefited under the government's fast track land
Government raised about $7,2 billion through
agro-bills to finance newly
resettled farmers at the height of the government-driven exercise that was
completed late last year. The agro-bills were expected to raise $60 billion
but failed to do so due to uncertainty in the agricultural sector and lack
of government guarantees. Syfrets Bank and 15 other financial institutions
were managing the agribonds.
government made a mistake by allowing the bonds to be administered
commercial banks without giving the financial institutions guidelines,"
President Mugabe told the rally.
"A private company,
FSI Agricom gobbled up about $4 billion from the fund,
leaving most of the beneficiaries stranded," Mugabe said. "This was given to
a company yet the money was intended for resettled farmers."
Most resettled farmers
have not benefited from the remaining $3 billion
because banks are demanding collateral which the new farmers do not have.
The new farmers do not have title to the land they occupy.
Meanwhile, the government has entered
into a deal with FSI Agricom to
produce and market five varieties of seeds. The company is expected to
market maize seed, soya beans, groundnuts, cow peas and sugar beans.
The seeds should be available on the market for
the 2003/4 planting season.
Zim's railway system crumbling
ZIMBABWE'S railway system has been hit by a critical shortage of locomotives
which threatens to bring transportation of bulk goods to a halt if a
solution is not found soon.
The shortage comes amid reports that neighbouring countries' railway
companies are pulling out their services from Zimbabwe citing dangers posed
by the country's crumbling signalling and communications equipment.
Highly placed sources said National
Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) was operating
with only 20% of the recommended rolling stock on its main lines.
"Only six electric locomotives out of a possible 30 are in a working
condition," a source said. "Only 10 out of the normally used 60 diesel
locomotives for the main line are operating."
In response to questions from the Zimbabwe Independent,
affairs manager Misheck Matanhire said his organisation requires a fleet of
150 different classes of locomotives for use in both its shunting and
"NRZ has made arrangements to
hire Bulawayo-Beitbridge Railway locomotives
and to utilise Spoornet locomotives to haul traffic from Bulawayo to
Thompson Junction," Matanhire said.
"The same arrangement was made with the Zambian Railways whose
are ferrying traffic to Bulawayo, while Botswana Railways locomotives are
working between Plumtree and Bulawayo. This arrangement has improved the
NRZ's current locomotives problems," he said.
Matanhire conceded that his organisation was in dire need of
"It is also worth noting that 95% of NRZ spares require hard currency as
they are imported," he said.
Matanhire said that NRZ
was trying to source funds to acquire spare parts to
repair its wagons, locomotives and coaches, as well as items for its
signalling and telecommunications system.
Sources said Spoornet had reduced its
traffic to Zimbabwe following a series
of head-on collisions including the Dete train disaster in February that
resulted in the deaths of more than 50 people. The accidents have been
attributed to obsolete signalling equipment.
Millers allege corruption in maize allocation
MILLERS in Bulawayo have accused the government-controlled Grain Marketing
Board (GMB) and the Matabeleland North food taskforce of engaging in shady
deals in the allocation of grain.
In a letter written to the Matabeleland North provincial administrator,
Livingstone Mashengele, recently the disgruntled millers urged him to take
stern measures to normalise the distribution process.
"The criteria of maize allocation used
nationally by the GMB is mainly based
on milling capacities, we have observed with disaffection that in Bulawayo
there are no clear cut criteria with figures being adjusted willy nilly,"
the letter says.
is not clear and is open to abuse and favouritism and underhand
dealings and we urge your urgent intervention to normalise the
non-transparent manner of maize distribution."
Millers who spoke to the Zimbabwe Independent
said there was rampant
corruption in the allocation of maize with established companies being
sidelined for smaller ones with links to the ruling party.
"In the last two months we have had a situation where
have only been allocated meagre resources of up to 20 tonnes each while
small milling companies without the capacity have been allocated over 70
tonnes of maize," said one miller speaking to on condition he was not named.
According to sources at the GMB, the disgruntled
millers, most of them
established companies, have already met with Matabeleland North governor,
Obert Mpofu, to register their discontent over the allocation process.
Millers say there was little chance of
solving the problem as the favoured
companies have links to senior provincial politicians.
Persistent efforts to contact Mpofu on the matter proved
fruitless by the
time of going to press.
This is not the first
time that corruption has been alleged in the
allocation of maize. In January the former Zanu PF chairman for Bulawayo
province, Jabulani Sibanda, is alleged to have led former freedom fighters
to the local GMB depot to protest against politicians accused of tampering
with the maize distribution process.
The move however backfired when some of the accused
politicians led a
campaign that finally led to the ouster of Sibanda.
Mugabe US ally Fauntroy a felon
THE president of the United States-based National Black Leadership
Roundtable, Walter Fauntroy, who last week pledged to mobilise support for
the lifting of sanctions against Zimbabwe, is a convicted felon, the
Zimbabwe Independent has learnt.
Fauntroy was in the country last week and met President Mugabe at State
House amidst great publicity in the state media.
But it emerged this week he was convicted when a US
Congressman of violating
the False Statements Statute based on a false statement he made regarding a
to documents dated March 22, 1995, Fauntroy was charged with one
federal felony in the US District Court for the District of Columbia and
agreed to plead guilty to the charges.
Fauntroy (64), who served in Congress
from 1971 to 1991, was charged with
"violating the False Statements Statute … based on a false statement
regarding a charitable contribution and omission of a material liability on
his US House of Representatives Financial Disclosure Statement for the
calendar year, 1988," the documents say.
It was alleged that the former Congressman filed a false
disclosure statement required by the Ethics in Government Act with the clerk
of the US House of Representatives in May 1989.
the provisions of that Act and under the rules of the House
Representatives, each member of the House is required to file a financial
disclosure statement annually.
Fauntroy was charged with
having falsely claimed on the financial disclosure
statement for 1988 that he had made an end-of-year charitable donation in
the amount of US$23 887 to the New Bethel Baptist Church where he served as
pastor, to make it appear as if he had complied with the rules of the House
imposing a cap on outside earned income.
Under the rules of the House for 1988, no member was
permitted to earn more
than 30% of the member's salary.
was also charged with failure to disclose on the financial
disclosure statement a loan of $24 200 he had obtained in June 1988. The
provisions of the Ethics in Government Act required that Fauntroy disclose
Fauntroy pleaded guilty in 1995 to the felony and was sentenced
Zim's marketing strategy 'too shallow'
AN influential American travel agency has dismissed the Zimbabwe Tourism
Authority (ZTA)' s marketing strategy as too shallow to attract
The shortcomings came to light following a visit by a delegation from the
American Travel Bureau (ATB) which called for an overhaul of Zimbabwe's
helps to foster ties between the business community and
During its tour, the American delegation observed
that Zimbabwe had a lot to
offer but this had not been fully sold to potential tourists abroad. The
delegation visited six tourist attraction centres dotted across the country.
"We have had an exceptional
experience at fabulous locations," Ray Gary,
ATB's sales and marketing vice-president, told reporters after the tour.
"But the biggest
impact above everything else was the people. Those who have
never been here before do not understand what Zimbabwe is."
Other members said the
ZTA was failing to market and enlighten people abroad
about Zimbabwe's tourism.
Other delegates said the unavailability of local currency
countrywide tour, which was not conducive for tourism.
The ZTA's North American representative Dr James Kamusikiri
said the tourism
sector blamed negative media publicity instead of promoting tourism in the
country. He said the ZTA could adopt more imaginative promotion strategies.
"There is a lack of a common Zimbabwe imaging.
The tourism industry should
have a national theme and develop a package that defines Zimbabwe," said
Speaking during a de-briefing
meeting in Harare last week, Gary said bad
publicity was a minor issue.
"People are not afraid of minor political issues, they are
still going to
countries like Israel."
The Americans' visit came
at a time when the tourism industry has virtually
collapsed with international tourists turning their backs on the once
Tourism has been on the slide over the past three years
with the number of
tourists visiting the country falling by over 70% during the period.
The slump has been attributed to the government's
anarchic land reform
programme that saw the invasion and vandalising of tourist facilities.
Analysts have said the absence of the rule of law and the volatile political
atmosphere has contributed to tourism's slide.
Responding to the issues raised by the delegation, the ZTA's
communications manager, Jeffreys Manjengwa, said the organisation was doing
everything it could to promote tourism in the country.
"We attend major shows overseas to exhibit what Zimbabwe has
to offer. We
also organise tours, especially on agro- and eco-tourism," he said.
He however admitted that there was a new market segment that
did not want to
tour the traditional tourism sites like the Victoria Falls, Kariba and Great
Zimbabwe. Manjengwa called for a partnership between the public and private
sector to promote other sites in the country.
Half region's food deficit in Zim
THE Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the World Food Programme
(WPF) say Zimbabwe faces acute food shortages with an alarming projection of
nearly six million people in need of food aid in the coming months, the
Zimbabwe Independent has learnt.
A report released last Thursday in Johannesburg says almost six million
people, about half the population in Zimbabwe, are in severe need of food
aid as food production in the country has fallen by more than 50% measured
against a five-year average.
"Zimbabwe faces acute food shortages with some 5,5 million
people in need of
food aid," the report says.
"Food production in
Zimbabwe has fallen by more than 50%, measured against a
five-year average, due mostly to the current social, economic and political
situation and the effects of drought."
According to the report, southern Africa still
requires substantial food aid
despite the fact that more food was produced in the region than during last
year's severe food crisis.
the report says Zimbabwe's production has been uneven with the
country producing barely enough to meet more than 40% of its needs.
situation was compounded by the marked reduction of the large-scale
farm sector, which produced only about one tenth of their 1990s output and
as a result about half of the regional food deficit of some 2,65 million
tonnes is in Zimbabwe."
The report states that the shortfall means that
Zimbabwe will need to import
almost 1,3 million tonnes of food either commercially or through food aid to
meet the minimum food needs of its people. According to the FAO/WFP report
the effects of the HIV/Aids pandemic were worsening the food crisis in the
"Other reasons for
continued food aid assistance despite increased overall
food availability are households vulnerability caused by the on-going
HIV/Aids pandemic,"reads the report.
"HIV/Aids infections in southern Africa are the highest in
the world making
those infected all the more vulnerable to health complications and death
when food shortages occur and affect communities as a whole."
The report further states that an alarming increase has been
households headed by children and grandparents. A United Nations Aids survey
on Zimbabwe recently stated that at least 3 800 people die every week in
Zimbabwe of Aids-related diseases, an astronomic rise from the conservative
figure of 500 people currently being touted by the government.
Meanwhile, children are reported to be dying of hunger in
Zimbabwe and many
others will die if emergency action is not taken soon, UN officials said
A survey of children under six years
old by the United Nations Children's
Education Fund (Unicef) found high levels of severe malnutrition in many
areas, especially in larger cities.
"Children are dying and if we don't ratchet up our response
children will become malnourished, and many of those who are already
malnourished will die," said Gerry Dyer, head of Unicef's regional office in
Cabinet reshuffle expected soon
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe is this month expected to announce changes to his
"war cabinet" which will see vacant posts filled and some ministers moved
Since the announcement of the cabinet a year ago,
three posts have fallen
vacant: those of Higher Education minister Swithun Mombeshora, Matabeleland
South governor Stephen Nkomo, and Attorney-General Andrew Chigovera.
Mombeshora and Nkomo died in office while Chigovera
Sources said Mugabe was keen to move ministers in line with current
political and economic needs.
Tipped to move in is
Zimbabwe Tourism Authority chief executive officer
Tichaona Jokonya to replace Minister of Energy and Power Development, Amos
former Zimbabwean envoy to the United Nations, Jokonya is expected to use
his diplomatic skills and connections to steer the nation out of its worst
energy crisis since 1980.
Since his appointment Midzi has repeatedly issued
as the fuel crisis worsened. Midzi, a former envoy to Namibia, is expected
to replace junior minister in charge of state enterprises in the President's
Office, Paul Mangwana.
been linked to the Attorney-General's post. Sources said
Ignatius Chombo could be moved from Local Government to his former portfolio
of Higher Education. He is currently the acting Minister of Higher
Chombo, who recently suspended the MDC mayor of
Harare Elias Mudzuri for
alleged insubordination, has been widely criticised for heavy-handedness and
meddling in council business. But his hardline approach has pleased Mugabe.
He could now employ the same tactics against students.
It was not clear who would replace Chombo.
Speculation is rife that former Home Affairs minister and
political heavyweight Dumiso Dabengwa could be appointed governor of
Matabeleland South to replace Nkomo who died in April.
His rivals are former Zimbabwe envoy to Botswana Zenzo Nsimbi
and former MP
for Umzingwane Thenjiwe Lesabe. Matabeleland sources confided to the
Independent that Vice-President Joseph Msika was pushing for Dabengwa's
appointment. The sources said there were behind-the-scenes manoeuvres for
the post. Former Bulawayo City Council engineer and losing Zanu PF mayoral
candidate, George Mlilo is also a possible candidate.
Contacted for comment yesterday, Dabengwa said he had not
Asked if he would take up the post, he said: "What makes you think I will be
approached? I haven't thought about that at all."
Secretary to the cabinet Misheck Sibanda was not available for
No plans to amend Posa - Chinamasa
CONFUSION over whether government plans to amend the Public Order and
Security Act (Posa) continues to swirl with Mozambican President Joachim
Chissano last week suggesting such a move was imminent.
But Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa yesterday shot down the suggestion
saying the legislation would remain intact as it provided "a useful weapon
to fight opposition-sponsored lawlessness".
Chissano told the World Economic
Forum meeting in Durban last week that
African leaders' engagement with Zimbabwe had resulted in President Mugabe
agreeing to repeal oppressive laws against the media and the opposition.
Chinamasa in an interview
yesterday said Posa would not be amended.
"There is no such proposal and there will not be any proposal to amend
Posa," said Chinamasa.
the Minister of Justice, let me say that there is no problem with
because it is the only tool that we have to fight lawlessness by those who
want to remove a legitimately elected government.
has now almost returned to normal (after the mass action) and
we were not going to succeed without Posa," said Chinamasa.
President Thabo Mbeki at the beginning of the year told the
press after meeting British Prime Minister Tony Blair that Zimbabwe would
amend its security laws. Chinamasa immediately dismissed the assertion.
Chinamasa has remained firm that Posa will not be amended, it is
becoming clear that leaders in the region have been given assurances at some
level that Mugabe has agreed to such a move.
On suggestions in the state
media that Zanu PF Minister of State for
Parastatals Paul Mangwana would be taking up the post of Attorney-General,
Chinamasa said newspapers were "free to speculate". -
Zesa arrears climb to US$110m
ZESA needs US$10,9 million a month to operate and has arrears amounting to
US$109,7 million owed to regional power utilities supplying energy to
Zesa executive chairman Sydney Gata yesterday told business leaders at a
breakfast meeting that government was offloading its stake in the company to
lure the private sector - both local and international - in a bid to raise
the outstanding amount.
presentation made on his behalf by Zesa grid asset manager, Cletus
Nyachowe, Gata said the power utility had foreign loans amounting to
Top of the list is Hydro Cahora Bassa of Mozambique, which
is owed US$22
million, South Africa's Eskom (US$11 million), Snel of the Democratic
Republic of Congo (US$5 million), EDM of Mozambique (US$5 million), and
Zesco of Zambia (US$5 million).
Zesa's generation amounts to 1 770 megawatts and it imports 650 megawatts.
HCB supplies 400 megawatts, Snel (100 megawatts), and Eskom (150 megawatts).
said Zesa desperately needed spares worth US$7,5 million to upgrade
dilapidated facilities countrywide.
The executive chairman
said US$5 million was needed monthly for power
imports, US$5 million for debt service, US$500 000 for wheeling charges, and
US$350 000 for spares.
Gata said: "Our major constraints and challenges are the
imports due to non-payment, increase in arrears due to non-payment,
inability to service existing debt, and shortage of spares for generation
He said the company was also facing a shortage
of coal caused by the
transport problems at Wankie Colliery Company Ltd.
The Minister of Energy and Power Development, Amos Midzi, who
breakfast meeting said the major headache at Zesa was that investors were
not interested in the power utility because of government's majority stake
in the firm.
He said there was reluctance among
investors to inject money in entities in
which government had a majority shareholding.
Midzi said: "The economy is severely affected at the
moment. Zesa is
supplying 65% of our power. The rest is imported. There has been no
investment in the power industry for the past 16 years. There has been no
injection of money because we are facing a serious foreign currency
He said government was now rethinking on
subsidies and could increase
tariffs soon because they were sub-economic.
"We need to invest in Zesa right now because in 2007
there won't be adequate
electricity in the region," Midzi said.
The minister said Hwange and Kariba also needed private
investors to inject
money to upgrade their facilities.
Lawyers deplore court delays
ZIMBABWE Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) has deplored delays in the handing
down of judgements in the courts and urged the judiciary to rectify the
problem in line with international law.
The statement came after the High Court yesterday failed again to rule on a
bail application by opposition MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai. He is due to
appear in court today when a ruling is expected.
The ZLHR said the delays had been
prevalent in "cases that are considered to
be sensitive or of public interest or politically-related or of a
said the highest profile case was the delay by High Court judge,
Justice Susan Mavangira in making a ruling in Tsvangirai's bail application.
"Argument on the application only commenced on 11 June after Tsvangirai had
already been detained in custody for five nights," the lawyers said.
"Argument concluded on 13 June when the judge reserved judgement. Her
judgement has not yet been handed down six days later, while Tsvangirai
remains in custody. This delay is effectively a remand in custody," the
lawyers group said yesterday.
The United States
government has already classified Tsvangirai as a victim
of political intolerance and urged the government to release him. It
dismissed charges against him as trumped up.
The ZLHR also blamed the delays on understaffing and low-morale among staff.
"Whilst ZLHR appreciates
the constraints under which members of the
judiciary and magistrates are operating, it agrees with the concerns of
lawyers and the public as the consumers of justice that a deliberate effort
has to be made by the judiciary to hand down judgements efficiently, fairly
and with reasonable promptness," the group said.
The ZLHR also called on law enforcement agents and
the judiciary to carry
out their duties mindful of the dictates of international covenants and the
constitution of Zimbabwe which outlaws human rights violations.
Particularly, it drew the attention of the
judiciary to the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights, which guarantee the rights of detainees.
Misa ordered to register under Aippa
THE Media and Information Commission has ordered the Media Institute for
Southern Africa (Misa) to register under the Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy Act (Aippa), the Zimbabwe Independent has learnt.
In a letter to Misa dated June 4, the commission's training, advocacy and
standards development officer, Munyaradzi Nyamagodo, said Misa should
urgently comply with the regulation.
"Please be advised
that according to the Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy Act, Section 66, Misa is legally required to register
with the commission since it is involved in public information and
communication with mass audiences through its publications."
It is not however clear what publications
the media commission was referring
to. The commission's chairman, Tafataona Mahoso, refused to comment.
"Are you a Misa representative? I can
only answer to those who we requested
to register," said Mahoso.
Asked whether he was himself an accredited journalist, Mahoso said he was.
Misa chairperson, Reyhana Masters-Smith, said she could
"We are not prepared to comment until sometime next week when the board
meets," said Masters-Smith.
Dialogue will meet many hurdles
THE road to a negotiated settlement is long and littered with many dangers.
Envisaged negotiations between Zanu PF and the Movement for Democratic
change (MDC) have brought to the fore major handicaps in the quest for
Pundits of negotiated settlements believe the major players in the
Zimbabwean crisis can tap into the experience of South Africa in its road
map to freedom to get over the major hurdles.
Immediately after Robert Mugabe was sworn in as president after his
re-election in March last year, there have been attempts by the church and
African leaders to bring the two parties to the negotiating table.
Presidents Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, Bakili Muluzi of Malawi and Nigeria’
s Olusegun Obasanjo came to Zimbabwe in May to initiate dialogue between
Zanu PF and the MDC.
Ahead of that initiative, Njongonkulu Ndungane, the Anglican Archbishop of
Cape Town, came to Zimbabwe leading a clerical/civic delegation to try to
tackle the political stalemate.
But the political logjam is far from being cleared. Perhaps Zimbabweans have
underestimated the magnitude of the problem and expected a quick-fix
solution to the impasse. The reality is there are still big steps to take
before any tangible results can be achieved.
The first step for South Africa in its march to democracy was the
establishment of dialogue. Talks were held between Afrikaner academics and
the ANC in Dakar and subsequently between the imprisoned Nelson Mandela and
South African president FW de Klerk’s emissaries. The talks were held in
private and set the foundation for future negotiations. Mandela’s conditions
of incarceration were made more comfortable as he was removed from Robben
Island. His status was thereby recognised.
After the release of Mandela formal talks with the government began. The
miracle did not happen overnight. There was a series of protracted talks
under the Convention for a Democratic South Africa (Codesa) formed in
The starting point for Codesa was the need to establish a common, albeit
broad, vision of what needed to be achieved. The Declaration of Intent,
which was adopted by all parties at Codesa (except Inkatha Freedom Party and
the Bophuthatswana homeland government) laid the basis for an inclusive and
binding negotiations process.
First there were talks about talks codenamed Codesa 1 and Codesa 2. The
purpose of the talks was to level the playing field by securing agreement on
transitional arrangements, establishing agencies of independent electoral
regulation, and providing elements of international supervision.
The lessons that players in Zimbabwe politics can derive from this are that
thorough preparation and consensus on the procedures and issues to be
discussed are essential ingredients in any dialogue, especially if the
parties involved differ on what dialogue should achieve.
Failure to agree on these fundamentals will result in costly delays, parties
walking out of talks, shifting goal posts and ultimately failure to reach a
consensus. In the meantime problems which necessitated calls for dialogue
will continue to fester and push the feuding parties further apart.
Central to the success of negotiations is trust and this takes time to build
between arch-enemies who find it difficult to compromise on their entrenched
positions, which in most instances form the hallmark of their identity.
In the Zimbabwean situation this appears to be a major impediment.
The opposition maintains it does not recognise Mugabe as the duly elected
president of Zimbabwe. On the other hand Zanu PF is reluctant to hold
meaningful dialogue with the MDC — a party which it has branded an extension
of British imperialism — the source of Zimbabwe’s long inventory of
While in South Africa negotiators to the settlement were clear that the
ultimate goal was to do away with apartheid and have majority rule, the
Zimbabwean situation poses a different problem. The MDC would like Mugabe to
go at all costs while Zanu PF has not clearly spelt out a plan for the
Mugabe in April invited open discourse on his succession but during his
current whirlwind tours of the country, he has reaffirmed the position that
he would like to stay on — another hurdle.
Even in the face of such sharp differences, especially if the parties
involved do not want to give in easily, they have to initiate contact. There
is the general misconception that the party who initiates the contact is the
weaker. In this light Zanu PF and the MDC would be required to make
compromises. There will still be problems and obstacles. But compromise to
achieve a negotiated settlement is the best option available at the moment.
Rajah Naidoo, a regional director with International Mediation Services in
South Africa and a former minister in the Government of National Unity under
Nelson Mandela, in 1996 said negotiated settlement was always the best
“The advantage of this option is that there is control over the process and
if correctly approached, it can achieve a win-win situation,” he said.
The alternative to a negotiated settlement has been the testosterone-induced
hardline positions like the MDC’s final push earlier this month and the
government’s military crackdown on civil disobedience.
This, together with the arrest of Morgan Tsvangirai, should create new
challenges for the parties to negotiations. Can negotiations occur when
there is physical conflict on the streets?
Tsvangirai, prior to his arrest on June 6, said mass action would continue.
“From now onwards we will embark on rolling mass action at strategic times
of our choice and without any warning to the dictatorship,” said Tsvangirai.
MDC spokesman Paul Themba Nyathi however said his party would still pursue
dialogue with the ruling Zanu PF.
“We are still committed to talks because this is the only way to resolve
this matter,” he said last week.
The ANC in South Africa refused to cease mass action prior to engaging in
talks. Palestinian suicide bombings have continued against the Israelis who
have retaliated by firing on Palestinian targets. But parallel to this,
talks have continued — albeit with difficulty. Ireland’s Sinn Fein leaders
have been to South Africa to learn from its experience as they try to
restart their Good Friday dialogue.
On numerous occasions the South African talks appeared to be in trouble as
parties would walk out and openly attack each other. This was the case, for
instance, after the Boipatong massacre.
Fortunately, the chief negotia-tors of the ANC and the government had
developed a deep bond and commitment to the success of the talks. Cyril
Ramaphosa for the ANC and Roelf Meyer of the National Party continued to
negotiate behind the scenes one-on-one and eventually persuaded their
parties to return to the talks. These behind-the-scenes talks moderated the
aggression displayed by the parties in public.
Such behind-the-scenes talks are part of a confidence-building process which
could help solve the impasse between the MDC and Zanu PF. The talks can take
various forms and bring into play key figures in Zimbabwe such as churchmen
Last week the Zimbabwe Independent reported the initiative by local church
leaders to muster dialogue between the two parties. Nobody doubts that
Zimbabwe’s road to democracy will be long and hard. But the first steps need
to be taken now if there is to be any recovery in the nation’s fortunes.
‘Judge not, that ye be not judged’
THE Biblical warning is especially ominous for those who have accepted
Robert Mugabe’s invitations to assume judicial office. Those whose decisions
displease him quickly feel the heat, but they will be judged also by
history, by our children and theirs. They are being judged already by
ordinary people seeking fundamental liberties and justice, by well-informed
peers and at the highest levels of their profession in world society.
By promising to deal with the Zimbabwe crisis themselves, our neighbours
have successfully prevented UN investigations into much of the “domestic
abuse” we suffer here. But its Special Rapporteur on the Independence of the
Judiciary has been continuously observing and reporting on the situation
from the start of our human rights crisis, shortly after we rejected the
flawed constitution crafted by Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku’s commission (as
corrected of course by Mugabe).
Judges cannot inexplicably refuse people their right to prompt and impartial
justice or protection for their other human rights, nor operate secretly
under cover of darkness as other appointees can. They must work in open
court, always under the eyes of their legal colleagues. They work in an age
when the world has come to cherish universal human rights, requires these be
upheld to avert rebellion against tyranny, and will treat as international
criminals not only those committing serious human rights abuses but also all
those who condone or try to conceal these.
And they work in an information age. Even when court records “disappear”,
other valid records remain of what happened, spread around in safer places
than Zimbabwe’s CIO-guarded courthouses. A judicial record cannot easily be
The government’s selective arrest of judges may ultimately do it a
disservice, bringing home an unintended message — judges are not above any
law, local or international.
Much of what has occurred in Zimbabwe’s crisis has been very public. The
facts and the law at the relevant times cannot be changed.
Ben Hlatshwayo cannot undo his admission that the Constitutional Commission
found that eight of Zimbabwe’s 10 electoral provinces believed a president
was “best before 65” and had asked for that age limit in the draft —
implicitly excluding Mugabe (then 75). Nor his confession that Zimbabweans
also wanted the draft to bring an end to “one man rule” in Zimbabwe. There
is no possible hand of evil foreign powers in those findings.
He and now-Chief Justice Chidyausiku cannot undo the fact that their draft
did not offer what the people wanted in those respects. Nor the record of
Mugabe “correcting” their draft to offer land instead, only to have the
people reject this. Clearly, they wanted to end his concentration of power
ahead of redistributing land.
Who can doubt the people’s wisdom? How many needy claimants to land, well
able to use it, have been sidelined by his distribution of prime lands to
weekend farmers and key functionaries — including judges and policemen —
instead? How many have died or will die because of the recklessness of his
unplanned action after a decade of wasted opportunities and recorded
neglect, done in the middle of a food shortage and a raging HIV pandemic?
Zimbabweans have never applauded Mugabe’s claims to “my Zimbabwe”, a land to
be governed and parcelled out as he pleased, nor can they accept claims to a
sovereignty that permits human rights abuses to be committed with impunity.
The belief that by just not signing it, he could stop the UN’s Convention
against Torture and Extra-Judicial killings applying here, is naïve.
International law prohibiting state-sanctioned abuses and ensuring a
lifetime’s criminal and civil liability “anywhere, anytime” does not depend
for its validity on his approval.
Like a present-day King Canute, he is trying to stop a tide of change; to
order back a population that appreciates its Independence but is demanding
freedom and accountability too. He may be able to sandbag himself for a
while, but only by more violations of international law.
Mugabe’s footprints are everywhere around the scenes of the crimes. In April
2000 he proclaimed himself a lone voice, openly stating that the majority of
Zimbabweans including his colleagues did not support him on the land issue.
His boast that he was now using “power and fists” to do what he wanted
anyway was captured on camera by reporters from around the world.
When will his neighbours question why this was needed? For how long will
they accept that a leader can beat when he cannot persuade?
“Please me or perish” is the presidential password.
Clearly change is needed, and must come. It remains to be seen what role the
judges will play.
We are aware of the difficulties and fears they face. They still operate
inside the same system the current Chief Justice was asked to end —
appointed solely at the president’s discretion, all strings for suspending,
arresting or prosecuting them in his hands. All protection of their persons,
families and their records controlled from his office — a constitutional
structure which has allowed a lone voice to dominate and openly terrorise
all and sundry. While he is required to consult the Judicial Service
Commission, his decision is absolute.
However, judges operate also with a written declaration of our people’s
fundamental rights and liberties which every judicial officer at every level
is obliged by oath and conscience to uphold. They have to heed the warning
in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights — if rebellion is to be
averted, rights must be protected by law. They must understand the
importance of human rights not just to our dignity and economy but to life.
Guardians of all our civil liberties and liberty itself, they will be
watched, and judged
Corruption consuming fabric of economy
THE Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Herbert Murerwa, is
reported to have told the National Economic Consultative Forum (NECF) that
“corruption has become like a cancer striking on the fibre of our economy”.
In view of this unacceptable circumstance, he informed the NECF that
government is “finalising legislation on an anti-corruption commission in
compliance with” the Zimbabwean constitution. Progress to that end was, he
stated, that the Attorney General’s office has prepared a draft Bill which
is to be forwarded to cabinet for consideration and approval. Thereafter,
the Bill will be placed before parliament with a view to promulgation before
the end of 2003.
Not only is such action necessary — it is very long overdue. The tolerance
of corruption ever since Independence in 1980 has pervaded every sector of
society. It is equally pronounced within the public and the private sectors.
It has long been known that there are many in high office, or closely
related to those in high office, who have unstintingly availed themselves of
the numerous corrupt opportunities that confront them everyday. Some of
those are politicians, others are public servants, and their corrupt
practices are wide-ranging and diverse. They have ranged from accepting
“commissions” into foreign banking accounts, to receiving gratuitous
allocations of shares in companies and participation in “joint ventures”,
demanding and being given “gifts” of overseas trips, motor vehicles, and the
like, and to their children being awarded “scholarships” for study at
leading schools or universities in Europe or the United States.
They include circumventing prescribed, long-established tender procedures
for the award of government contracts, and diverting business opportunities
from promoters seeking requisite authorisation to themselves and their
relatives. And they include the unauthorised usage, misuse, and abuse of
The private sector is no less guilty of corruption. Instances of purchasing
officers receiving handouts in exchange for ensuring that orders are
directed to particular suppliers, the falsification of claims for travel
expense reimbursement, and unauthorised use of motor vehicles are but a very
few examples of the myriad corrupt practices that have become the norm in
commerce and industry. So frequent and extensive are instances of corruption
that many have come to accept them as inevitable facets of operation.
In describing corruption as a cancer, Murerwa is absolutely correct. It
spreads insidiously throughout the body of the economy, debilitating it more
and more until it suffers an agonising, hideous death. To counter it and
halt its spread, the first action necessary is to diagnose it. That the
minister has clearly done, notwithstanding that for almost 23 years
government has sought to deny the existence of the ailment or, at the most,
to downplay and disregard it.
The second stage is to appreciate the disastrous consequences of allowing
the cancer to continue unhindered. Over and above the moral consequences of
corruption upon society, it has disastrous repercussions upon the economy
and therefore upon the wellbeing of the population (other than the
beneficiaries enriching themselves at the expense of the nation).
Corruption is a very major contributor to inflation in several ways. When
bribes are paid, whether in cash or in kind, it is in order to gain an
advantage. He who pays the bribe treats it as a business expense which he
costs into the selling prices of his goods or services, thereby increasing
those prices to levels higher than would otherwise apply. If those prices
are for supplies to the state, they increase the total of the state’s
expenditure and thereby the extent of its deficit, and consequently also the
extent of its borrowings. And when state borrowings are excessive, they fuel
inflation. The same consequences result from corrupt abuse of state assets.
Similarly, corruption in the private sector increases the costs of
production or of business operations, forcing the businesses to pass those
costs on to their customers, and hence inflation continues to rise.
Corruption also erodes the moral fibre of society. The acceptance of
corruption and the failure to contain it or bring its perpetrators to
justice motivates many to consider all crime, and especially commercial
crime, to be acceptable. Not only is there a direct negative impact upon the
economy, but there is an equally great, albeit indirect, repercussion upon
investment and international funding support.
Whilst, to varying degrees, corruption exists worldwide, most investors are
ill-disposed to invest in environments where corruption is particularly
pronounced. Not only do they not wish to be tainted by association with the
image of gross corruption, but they are aware of the corrosive effects of
corruption upon an economy and that, therefore, investment into an extremely
corrupt environment must be subject to excessive risk because of the adverse
However, government’s intent now to progress the promulgation of an
Anti-Corruption Bill and to establish an Anti-Corruption Commission, is
meaningless unless there is a concurrent change of government attitude to
corruption. Existing legislation has given the state the tools with which to
prosecute the corrupt and yet the prosecutions have not occurred. Years ago,
the Chidyausiku Commission identified numerous abuses of the payment of
compensation for physical and other losses sustained by Zimbabweans during
the pre-Independence struggle. However, very few prosecutions resulted, and
there must be many hundreds of files gathering dust in the offices of the
The same can be said of allegations by a former government minister that
corruption was then widespread within the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe.
Despite those allegations, no prosecutions have materialised. And these are
but two of many examples.
It is inevitable to draw certain conclusions from the fact that in its
youth, Zanu PF introduced a leadership code which required regular and total
disclosure of assets and of networth. But, when has the party ever applied
that code? If it has (which is beyond contemplation), how can it be
explained that so many have accumulated vast wealth way beyond their known
sources of income, no mater how astutely that income may have been invested?
Based upon track record, the now contemplated legislation must be viewed
sceptically, until government demonstrates that it will not merely be an
addition to the statute book, but will be unreservedly applied. In
particular, the intended Anti-Corruption Commission will be meaningless
unless it is composed of persons of undoubted repute and integrity, willing
to fulfil their duties without fear or favour. The commission will have to
be equipped with the implements which will make it possible to fulfil its
functions absolutely. Those implements must include the power of subpoena of
persons, records and documents. They must also include the power of
plea-bargaining and of amnesty, so that the commission has the opportunity
of maximised access to required information. And, independently of the
Attorney-General’s office, the commission must have the power of
prosecution. That power must be unrestricted, no constraints of
non-prosecution because of the status or influence of any who should be
prosecuted existing. The commission must, when possessed of good and sound
grounds, be empowered to initiate proceedings against any, irrespective of
their position in society.
To reinforce those powers, the commission must also be given the requisite
investigative resources, including forensic accountants, skilled lawyers and
other appropriate skills. It must be given unequivocal support of all arms
of government, and especially of those as are the economic ministries, the
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, and the Zimbabwe Republic Police and the Central
Intelligence Organisation. Unfortunately, but unavoidably, the involvement
of some of those arms of government will be synonymous with the maxim “it
takes a thief to catch a thief”.
There can be little doubt as to the good and genuine intentions of Murerwa,
but can the same be said of government as a whole, or will the promulgation
of the proposed anti-corruption legislation be just another of the facile
government facades that have characterised much of its policies hitherto?
Predators jump onto Chinamasa’s turf
SO, the cat is well and truly out of the bag: Paul Mangwana is to be the
next Attorney-General. And he owes his appointment to the Herald’s unelected
columnist, Nathaniel Manheru. Or at least it would seem so.
Manheru was so incensed by our story last week that other big fish in Zanu
PF, indeed individuals named as likely successors to President Mugabe, may
be opposed to Mangwana’s candidacy that he rushed into print the following
day to announce Mangwana’s appointment.
“…all informed people know that Paul Mangwana is certain to land the
position unless something goes horribly wrong,” he declared, thus usurping
the role of the Minister of Justice.
Patrick Chinamasa has proved in the past to be a willing instrument of his
injudicious colleague. Which is why Aippa ran into such difficulties in the
courts. But allowing Manheru to abuse his role as a columnist to make
announcements of this importance just to slap down the ambitions of senior
party presidential contenders reveals an indulgence hitherto only guessed
Patrick: Reclaim your domain or predators will devour it!
And while it was gallant of Manheru to rush to the defence of Johannes
Tomana who had also been named as a possible candidate for the AG’s office
in the Zimbabwe Independent, the gesture was entirely gratuitous. Tomana had
been invited to comment on his prospects by the paper and had very ably done
so. He didn’t need a garrulous columnist with suspect credentials to speak
In the same context Manheru appears to think that our editors have been
“weeping” over the fact that Tomana is representing individuals and
companies claiming damages for the alleged loss of property or income as a
result of stayaways. In fact the only tears being shed here are for those
the Office of the President has deluded with its dubious agenda.
Exactly how successful have Manheru and his legal friends been in civil
actions brought so far against their critics? Now Manheru is threatening
that “the going” will get “really tough” for us at the Independent. Really?
If we are not intimidated by Manheru’s delinquent boss, why does he think
for one minute we are likely to be intimidated by his loose-tongued handy
man with a record of failure?
Manheru and other Mugabe courtiers need have no fear of one candidate they
all seem so scared of. Emmerson Mnangagwa announced on Saturday in a
hagiographical piece in the Herald that he had no ambitions for the top job.
“I have no aspirations for presidency at all,” he announced. “I’m above
average intelligence. How do you aspire for a position where there is no
How indeed! And it is up to the public to decide how intelligent he is.
Wouldn’t it be nice if those aspiring for the presidency had the courage of
their convictions? But they all seem to live in terror of the incumbent.
Which is hardly surprising. Having opened up the succession debate, Mugabe
is now travelling around the country breathing fire against anybody aspiring
to occupy State House. Indeed, he has cleverly linked such ambitions to a
spell at the Harare Remand Prison.
And he has made it clear what he thinks of democracy. Those opposing Zanu PF
will have their properties seized. Roy Bennett, elected by the people of
Chimanimani, has no right to own a farm, we were told.
As Mugabe made clear to SABC recently, the land reform programme was about
retribution, not social justice.
“They were not for us,” he explained when justifying the farm invasions that
followed the 2000 referendum verdict.
These remarks need to be advertised as widely as possible. Roy Bennett is
arguably more legitimately elected than Mugabe. His electorate is 100%
indigenous Zimbabwean and he didn’t need to abduct or assault anybody to win
his seat. Yet he will be deprived of his livelihood for belonging to the
MDC. Because the president says so!
Meanwhile, we were intrigued by the Mnangagwa interview. He was jailed, we
were told, for “blowing a locomotive”. This was some feat of strength we
take it? And he just avoided the death penalty. Which is why he is a
principled opponent of it now.
The interview appeared one day after four prisoners were hanged at Harare
Central prison complex!
Mnangagwa distanced himself from Mutumwa Mawere to whom he has been linked
in the past. The Herald said Mawere was a part-owner of the Tribune
“I have nothing to do with that newspaper neither have I done business with
Mawere,” Mnangagwa categorically asserted. He acknowledged his role in
promoting trade with the DRC, including the formation of “economic arms” of
the ZNA and Congo armed forces. He was cited in a UN report as having been
involved in the plundering of resources in the DRC, the Herald said. But it
assured readers that the Security Council had cleared Zimbabwe “and the said
This will be news to the UN!
We were disappointed with the coverage of Mnangagwa’s role in the 1980s. He
was “in charge of security as a special assistant to President Mugabe from
1977-90” is all that we were told.
Is that it? Is that all the public will be permitted to know about this
If at any point in the future he is again acknowledged as Mugabe’s anointed
heir, we want this Herald puff piece waved in front of him so he can comment
on the importance of honest disclosure — not to mention courage — as a
qualification for those seeking high office!
‘The image of a jackboot crushing a head should do for Zimbabwe what the
picture of a naked girl running and screaming in terror did for Vietnam,”
wrote RES Cook to the Mail & Guardian recently.
“Two other images in the June 6 M&G give an accurate picture of Zim today:
that of a frightened-looking Robert Mugabe surrounded by uniformed men, and
of a confident Morgan Tsvangirai addressing thousands of civilians with not
a uniform in sight.”
The Independent used the picture of the baton-wielding policeman on its
front page. And the M&G used a close-up of the boot on the head. That
picture, more than anything else, as Cook suggested, will tell the
proverbial thousand words about the struggle of the pro-democracy movement
in Zimbabwe, just as the little girl fleeing the napalm attack did in
What is not generally known is that the AP photographer who captured that
moment for posterity had to flee immediately after taking the shot. A riot
policeman alerted officers in a Mercedes hovering nearby that the incident
had been filmed. They pursued the AP cameraman and his Mazda 323 driver in a
high-speed chase all the way to Westgate where they were finally shaken off.
As a result the picture that became emblematic of the mass action found its
way around the world and exposed the brutal face of Zimbabwe’s police state.
Another face exposed was shown on the front page of the Independent last
week. He is the person the state media — supported by the Financial Gazette
and the Sunday Mirror — claimed was part of a stage-managed stunt designed
to embarrass the government at the G8 summit in France.
At one point it was even suggested he was a journalist masquerading as a
Zanu PF supporter. The picture formed part of video footage taken by Topper
Whitehead and his wife Laurinda at the start of the stayaway.
Some sceptics have asked how they managed to get so far with him clinging to
the back of their car when there were police roadblocks everywhere. That’s
simple, the Whiteheads say. They went through the roadblocks without the
police lifting a finger to help. They can be heard on the tape pleading for
After making enquiries, Topper Whitehead believes he knows the identity of
his attacker, a well-known war veteran and brother to a former MP. As state
spokesmen have speculated about the identity of the assailant and suggested
it was all a stunt by the Whiteheads, we would welcome clarification. This
is a matter of public interest.
Given the number of fatuous statements emanating from official sources
during the recent stayaway, it is difficult to decide which takes the prize
as the daftest. But, as always, Didymus Mutasa has come to the rescue.
He claimed people were going about their business normally, “except for a
few things in Highfield…and a few banks which are in fact part and parcel of
The rest of Harare was doing business normally, he claimed.
“I am going about my business normally, they have not managed to stop me…”
ZTV, which quoted this delusional nonsense, failed to tell us what
“business” it was that he did. Cold Comfort Farm, with which he was
associated in the past, was doing a brisk business in retailing fuel during
the stayaway, we are told.
Olivia Muchena appears to have got herself into a spot of bother last week
after claiming to be representing Sadc at a Commonwealth science conference
in South Africa. She returned to Zimbabwe last Tuesday when South Africa did
an about turn on her invitation which was in contravention of the
Commonwealth’s suspension of Zimbabwe.
At a press conference she repeated the official line that Zimbabwe wasn’t
really suspended from the Commonwealth because two out of the troika —
Nigeria and South Africa — voted against suspension in March.
But the South Africans were unimpressed. The Department of Foreign Affairs
overruled the Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology and had
her invitation withdrawn, calling it “erroneous”. Now the Commonwealth
Science Council has decided that for as long as Zimbabwe is suspended,
Malawi will have to represent the southern African region, the Sunday
Independent reported last weekend.
Before returning to Zimbabwe under a cloud, Muchena told the South African
press she was entitled to a farm under the fast track scheme.
Asked about a report that she had jumped the queue to get the farm, Muchena
said: “All of those words were put into the mouths of war veterans.”
Why, then, did war veterans’ leader Joseph Chinotimba stand up at a Zanu PF
rally last year and accuse her of stealing the farm?
“In a revolution like we had, there are bound to be some wayward things
happening but they are the exception rather than the rule,” she suggested.
Muchena also took issue with the Sunday Independent’s coverage of the
Zimbabwe High Court order to vacate her legislature seat two years ago in
favour of the opposition MDC due to widespread electoral fraud.
“What the paper did not tell you was that the results in my constituency
were 19 220 in favour of me and Zanu PF and only 1 777 in favour of MDC,”
said Muchena. “And four days after the judge made that judgment, he resigned
because of the public outcry,” she claimed, confirming that she has taken
the case on appeal to the Supreme Court.
Two years later, the court has yet to set a date for her hearing, the Sunday
Independent pointed out. Muchena denied allegations that she had had MDC
members abducted and brought to her Zanu PF campaign rallies in handcuffs,
stating “that is utterly false. It did not happen”.
So there you have it!
Does the president know where he is going? Not according to reports
received from Nyamandlovu last week. Villagers, bussed in from Hwange and
other places, had to wait all day to hear his threats against the
opposition, according to the Daily News. And all because the president had
lost his way.
Matabeleland North governor Obert Mpofu told the crowd eager to witness
Mugabe’s latest fist-waving skills that the helicopter ferrying the
president from Harare had lost direction and gone to Tsholotsho instead. We
are relieved to hear he eventually found Nyamandlovu. Let’s hope he now
finds the political exit without too many diversions.
Murerwa 'not concerned' by mounting losses
Minister of Finance and Economic Development Herbert Murerwa has admitted
that government does not have the capacity to properly manage the domestic
and foreign debt that is threatening to bury national income.
And he says he is not concerned about parastatal losses.
Speaking at a meeting of the Parliamentary Public Accounts
admitted to members that the increasing debt should be blamed
on government's inability to monitor the soaring numbers.
"One of the major causes of debt is the lack of capacity in
the form of
trained personnel and lack of computerisation," Murerwa said.
He said Zimbabwe lacked a proper and up-to-date register of
loans that had
been guaranteed by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.
These views were expressed after a report from the
Comptroller and Auditor
General revealed that Zimbabwe's debt controlling mechanism was in a
shambles, a scenario which the committee said would further worsen the debt
The Parliamentary Public Accounts
Committee, chaired by Priscilla
Misihairabwi-Mushonga, had raised concerns that government was not doing
enough to abate both domestic and foreign debts currently running into
The minister said government
would continue to guarantee loans for
loss-making parastatals despite their increased contribution to the debt.
Murerwa said: "We are not concerned about the losses parastatals are making.
At the crux of the matter is government's concern about national interests."
Government has continued to guarantee loans given to parastatals despite
their failure to turnaround their fortunes.
Misihairabwi-Mushonga queried why government
continued to guarantee
parastatals that were capable of making profits.
The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC), Zimbabwe Iron
and Steel Company
(Zisco) and the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) have over the
years received state guaranteed loans but have gone on to incur major
The committee recommended that the minister
should not have rescue packages
for companies such as the ZBC, which was capable of generating its own
revenue if prudently managed.
Murerwa said most companies were in dire straits due to the
under pricing of
services and products, which he said was for the good of the nation.
No beef exports to Europe says EU chief
THE European Union (EU) says the ban on Zimbabwean beef to the region has
not been lifted, quashing last month's public relations puff that "millions
in foreign currency" will be chalked up soon by the cash-strapped
In an exclusive interview the Head of the European Commission to Zimbabwe
Francesca Mosca said: "Zimbabwe imposed a self-ban on beef exports to the
European Union since 2001 and this has not been lifted.
The ban was related to the outbreak of foot-and-mouth
disease. Before the
ban was imposed, Zimbabwe had a beef export quota to the EU of 9 100 tonnes
per year under the 'Beef and Veal Protocol' under the Lomé IV Convention."
Mosca said this quota was worth more than $2 billion.
"In 2001, before the ban, Zimbabwe had exported around 4 500
about $1,5 billion," Mosca said. "In 2002 the European Commission spent 17,2
million euro on projects in Zimbabwe and 28,6 million euro have so far been
approved for projects in 2003. Apart from this, the amount spent on/approved
for food aid during 2002 and 2003 is 79,5 million euro."
The Cold Storage Company (CSC) - reeling under a $7 billion
debt - handles
all beef exports to the EU.
The parastatal, chaired
by industrialist and Confederation of Zimbabwe
Industries president Anthony Mandiwanza, is engaged in a wrangle with five
commercial banks that are struggling to receive payment for outstanding
Council renewed sanctions against Zimbabwe in February
It is reliably understood that the CSC has failed to
fulfill its 9 100
export quota to the EU because the Department of Veterinary Services - also
in the red - cannot source about US$500 000 for foot-and-mouth disease
An export deal with the
Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) hangs in the
balance because the Congolese are allegedly not paying government the agreed
United States dollars, preferring barter deals instead.
In a major U-turn about two
years ago, seen by business executives as a
political appeasement arrangement for disgruntled indigenous businessmen,
government gave Farirayi Quality Foods (Pvt) Ltd the go-ahead to also export
whose boss is John Mapondera, was allowed to export beef to
Libya following President Robert Mugabe's visit to that country in search of
fuel and alternative markets other than the EU and US.
Beef exports to Libya
have, however, failed to pick up mainly because of
religious differences with Zimbabwe arising from the treatment of the meat.
To worsen the beef exports saga, Zimbabwe's commercial beef herd has
nose-dived during the past three years from 1,4 million head to the current
estimated 250 000.
The herd dropped following government's controversial fast track
resettlement programme two years ago that resulted in commercial farmers not
restocking since they were unsure of their fate.
chief executive officer Ngoni Chinogaramombe last week said while
the commercial herd had been "significantly reduced", the non-commercial
herd had remained stable at an estimated five million.
He said the CSC would
soon begin "reaping the benefits" of the
"resuscitated" Cattle Finance Scheme during the third quarter of this year.
This scheme had been abandoned
in the 1990s when the then Cold Storage
Commission felt it was not part of its mandate.
Chinogaramombe said the Cattle Finance Scheme was
targeted at the commercial
farming sector and the recently resettled Model A2 farmers.
Banks increase rates again
COMMERCIAL banks have once again begun hiking their Minimum Lending Rates
(MLRs) surpassing the 80% mark, further dampening economic prosperity
prospects of already cash-strapped customers.
The move comes barely two weeks after the 150-member government-appointed
National Economic Consultative Forum (NECF) said it was making "frantic
efforts" to curb and arrest "rapid expansion in money supply to about 150%
by December 2002 and unsustainable rates of inflation that accelerated to
228% by March 2003".
Last month commercial banks increased their MLRs, claiming
that this was in
tandem with the high inflation figure, which stood at 228% in March.
However, the figure rose to 269,2% and 300,1% in April and
Predictions - especially from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) - are
that inflation will surpass the 450% mark by year-end.
Analysts say this could result in commercial banks further
MLRs to reach 100%, making Zimbabwe a "no-go area" for investors.
Zimbabwe's year-on-year inflation has been rising sharply
from 116,7% in
January 2002 to 198,9% in December 2002.
Holdings Ltd chairman Paddy Zhanda said: "The hyperinflationary trend
driven mainly by the high money supply growth and the cost-push effects of
the depreciating parallel market exchange rate. The purchasing power of the
Zimbabwe dollar fell by nearly two-thirds during 2002, with a dollar in 2003
now worth less than one cent of its value in 1990."
said the commercial banking sector was simply taking advantage of
inflation as well as the skewed economic climate.They said the Ministry of
Industry and International Trade's failure to monitor price controls
currently being ignored by unscrupulous businessmen worsened this.
director of the Industrial Development Corporation of Zimbabwe
Ltd (IDC) Mike Ndudzo, one of the few money-spinning government-controlled
parastatals, blasted the increase in MLRs, saying they would result in his
company failing to service its loans and also reduce the "stipend" dished
out to government annually by way of a dividend.
The IDC's subsidiaries include
Zimbabwe Phosphates (Zimphos), Motec Holdings
Ltd, and Zimbabwe Glass Industries who borrow extensively in order to source
essential inputs - sometimes from external sources.
In an interview Ndudzo said: "The
issue is much more serious than the
increase in MLRs. Actually we are facing problems securing loans from banks
who regard us as risky customers. Even the Reserve Bank does not give us
preference when we apply for allocations. We (IDC) should actually be
considered to qualify for the high risk facility."
He said it was also very disheartening to note that some
continued to receive money from commercial banks at the expense of others.
"People are using their status as so-called 'blue-chip' to be
funds. Instead of using the money to source essential equipment or inputs
they buy shares on the money market," Ndudzo alleged. "The RBZ should make
it a regulation that each client does not utilise more than 50% of a
facility so that it is also accessed by others."
Financial analyst and consultant Andy Hodges said: "The
seems to be a normal thing now. The government says it is taking a close
look at the market and yet does nothing about it. Obviously when a
commercial bank is caught using parallel market rates it should know that it
should immediately lose its foreign currency trading licence."
Century Holdings Ltd (Century) general manager (treasury)
said: "We have observed an upward movement in interest rates over the last
few months and one is inclined to conclude that interest rates are tracking
inflation currently at 300,1%. We have also seen the effective yield on two
years Treasury Bills just a touch under 100% and the rest of the market read
that as to mean that the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe expect rates to continue
on an upward trend for some time."
Nyoka said the RBZ's
accommodation rate for unsecured funds could sometimes
go as high as 96,15% which had the effect of increasing the average cost of
funds for banks hence the increase in MLRs.
Top of the list in MLRs is Century Holdings
Ltd, which is charging 88,5%.
Bottom of the pack at the moment is Zimbabwe Banking Corporation Ltd
(Zimbank) which is charging 68%.
Ndudzo said: "Without borrowing powers some of us who have huge
inputs requirements will continue to suffer, defeating the purpose why
government set us up in the first place."
The Minimum Lending Rates currently being charged are as follows:
Jewel Bank 81,5%
NMB Bank 75%
Royal Bank 69%
What they said about Zim ...
THE chairman of Eskom in South Africa, Reuel Khoza, said Zimbabwe should be
shown the "red card" if it continued to default on payments to his company.
Khoza said from a purely business point of view Zimbabwe would at "some
stage" need the support of the international community.
He said a working group in big business in South Africa
had suggested to the
South African government the need for disciplinary steps against countries
such as those used in soccer - a yellow card (written caution) and a red
He said: "It is a
misconception that Eskom is a major supplier of
electricity to Zimbabwe. It was the most reliable supplier, but it has
reduced from 500 megawatts to 115 megawatts the amount it would provide to
be paid in arrears, and everything above 115 megawatts has to be paid for in
cleared foreign exchange".
Khoza said while Anglo American Corporation Ltd had
expressed, directly and
indirectly, its "strong disappointment at developments in Zimbabwe", it had
a responsibility to protect employees and facilities against the time when
the country "returns to normal and needed investment".
Sipho Pityana, managing director (strategic business
Corporate, South Africa said: "Taking Zimbabwe as an example, the question
was raised: What would it take for action to be taken in regard to the
situation in this country? No one believes that nothing should be done in
Zimbabwe. It is however a matter of approach as to what should be done. The
leadership in Zimbabwe has been subjected to pressure, and to second-guess
the approach that has been taken is merely to quibble with it.
Nevertheless, the country remains a problem for Africa because the pressure
that has been applied appears not to have worked."
Shingi Munyeza, chief executive officer of Zimsun Leisure
group, said there
is "pain" in visiting Africa due to high costs - not only financial. Fewer
people visited Africa than a tiny country such as Singapore, and Munyeza
suggested among the reasons for this was poor air transfers and lack of
progress on an "open skies" agreement.
highlighted lack of progress on cross-border tourist flows,
mentioning in particular the much-heralded "Univisa" which the Southern
African Development Community has so far failed to implement.
Zimbabwe's Minister of Industry and International Trade,
laid blame for Zimbabwe's problems at the door of the "descendants of
He said he believed that Zanu PF was applying
"sound governance" for the
people of Zimbabwe who had returned it to power last year.
Anil Kumarshing Gayan, Mauritius' Minister of Foreign
Affairs and Regional
Cooperation said the Iraq war had deflected the developed world's attention
away from Africa. He cited the small amount of time allocated to Africa at
the recent G8 meeting in Evian, France, and a significant decline in
coverage of the continent by the world's media.
He pointed to a more direct adverse development - French
Chirac's invitation to President Robert Mugabe to February's France/Africa
Summit in Paris. Gayan said after that meeting, Chirac felt he had the
support of Africa in his stance over Iraq. Subsequently, when France voted
against the United States in the United Nations, Africa suffered from the
negative fallout in the US.
IMF finally grants Mugabe's wish
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has hardly missed an opportunity to condemn the
International Monetary Fund. Of course many other bogus targets have been
identified to divert attention from the real cause of the demise of
He has often gone further and suggested that the IMF
should "get lost
permanently". Now his wishes have been granted at last. He has well earned
his predicted expulsion.
Zimbabwe has now been
suspended from participating within that institution.
This overdue result removes any illusion that the Zanu PF government is
creditable for further aid or donor assistance from the international
community that it loves to hate, but has hypocritically "milked" for so
Zanu PF should
understand that its access to these looting opportunities is
now formally closed. Only Zanu PF hoodlums believe that they can live in
global isolation for much longer.
If Zanu PF heroes believe that their residual debts
will be forgiven and
written off by the IMF or others, they must be living closer to their own
mampara-land than is believable.
of this IMF decision is that Zanu PF's empty begging baskets
are becoming more visibly displayed in the territories of their solidarity
comrades such as Malaysia, China, Angola, Cuba, Nigeria, Libya and South
Zanu PF cadres are so far well pleased that Mbeki's
solidarity has cost or
diverted at least US$180 million of other people's assets and wealth towards
sustaining his solidarity comrade in power. They naturally hope more will
come from these unwilling "suckers" before he too is found out.
Zanu PF leaders such as the party's spokesperson Nathan
Shamuyarira may have
suggested that they were "conned" into signing up to Esap. They conveniently
forget that at the time they committed to Esap, and all that went with it,
their Marxist economic policies were floundering.
Zanu PF also welcomed Esap since well-minded persons
gave them a tempting
booty door to what they thought were unaccountable looting opportunities.
Esap failed because Zanu PF did not meet the
promised performance criteria.
Of course Zanu PF will readily fabricate a lying response to this truism.
Zanu PF still desperately tries to
propagate lies to justify and extend
itself. Typically, it abuses the truth about Esap, the World Bank, the IMF
and the Lancaster House Agreement. Persons with memory will remember that
Shamuyarira once declared that he was retiring from active politics to write
a biography about his main hero.
In consideration of his exposed incapacity, with an apparent
flow, compounded by the wholesome dimension of his subject hero, we probably
will never see his view of the "real truth".
is any of this real news to anyone about the fundamental disposition
A hanging matter
I WAS interested to read Emmerson Mnangagwa's remarks on capital punishment
in last Saturday's Herald. He recounted how he had himself escaped the death
penalty "by a whisker" as a young man, an experience which had driven his
opposition to it ever since.
He said he had gone through "a lot of pain, suffering and torture" in his
life which he wouldn't wish on anybody else. Publication of the interview
came a day after four men were executed at Harare Central Prison complex.
I have also been a
life-long opponent of capital punishment. I do not
believe the state has the right to take lives - especially where, after
conviction for murder, it is seeking to instruct society that taking lives
been cases in the United States and Britain (before it abolished
the death penalty) of individuals with diminished mental capacity being
executed or whose convictions would not today be regarded as "safe" by the
courts. The European Court of Human Rights has ensured that no state in
Europe should engage in the barbarity of killing its own citizens as
In other states the death penalty survives only in
circumstances. But along with the United States - the chief offender - many
governments persist in enforcing the death penalty because their publics
want it despite the absence of any data to suggest it deters crime. The US
has the highest murder rate in the world.
Africa's constitution outlaws capital punishment. Significantly, a
majority of South Africans would be likely to support it if asked in a
referendum. The ANC has repeatedly said this is the sort of issue where
government needs to provide an enlightened lead rather than bow to populist
am inclined to agree, even if there is a democratic contradiction here.
But the South African law enforcement authorities need to understand that
detection and apprehension are the best guarantees against public disquiet
I have no doubt that the death penalty
constitutes an "unusual and cruel"
punishment and that the US keeps it for the same reason it legalises the
carrying of weapons - a legacy of frontier justice and militia traditions.
It is exactly 50 years this week since Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were sent
to the electric chair amidst officially-inspired anti-Communist hysteria for
giving the Soviets the secrets of the atomic bomb.
Our courts under the enlightened
leadership of Chief Justices Enoch
Dumbutshena and Anthony Gubbay developed an impressive record of upholding
human rights in line with constitutional provisions. Flogging of youths was
for instance forbidden. The present Supreme Court bench hasn't proved so
vigilant. Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku increased sentences against
three Americans convicted of arms-of-war breaches a few years ago even
though evidence was led that they had been tortured in custody.
Two of those executed last Friday,
Stephen Chidhumo and Elias Chauke, were
among a group of four who escaped from Chikurubi maximum security prison six
years ago while serving sentences for robbery. One of them, shot dead before
recapture, killed a warder. The fourth escapee broke his leg and died of
injuries in his prison cell. Justice Chidyausiku sentenced Chidhumo and
Chauke to death saying "it did not matter who fired the fatal shot".
In a society where the police have been
accused of selective application of
the law, torture and other abuses, we cannot trust the state to manage such
a sensitive issue with impartiality. Treason is a capital offence and we
have seen how it has been manipulated for political purposes in recent
Another concern is the low
standard of legal representation given to many
facing the death penalty. Before his recent retirement from the bench,
Justice Nick McNally rebuked a lawyer for coming to plead for a condemned
man's life without even reading the record. Very simply this government
cannot be trusted with the death penalty in the same way it cannot be
trusted with upholding the law and civil rights. A rogue regime will abuse
the death penalty in the same way it is abusing the court process.
Emmerson Mnangagwa has been mentioned in
connection with the succession to
President Mugabe. In last Saturday's interview he denied that he had any
such ambitions. While it was refreshing to hear his views on such important
issues as the death penalty, he should have been asked about human rights
abuses and the subversion of the rule of law. If he reacts with horror to
capital punishment because of his own experience, why does he not react the
same way to reports of torture? He was a strong exponent of law reform in
the mid-1990s. What are his views today?
These are the sort of things contenders for high office - even
should be asked so Zimbabweans can assess their leadership qualities. We
cannot have people emerging on the basis of their proximity to a tarnished
Let's use freedom of worship while it lasts
LIKE millions of my fellow Zimbabweans I feel a sense of outrage at the
increasingly violent and lawless tactics adopted by this regime. Among other
gross human rights abuses committed during the past fortnight we have
witnessed the following:
The deployment of the army, the police and Zanu PF militias and the use of
extreme force in order to ruthlessly suppress a legitimate and peaceful
expression of protest;
The invasion by armed thugs of a private hospital in Harare in order to
subject the victims of state-sponsored violence to further violence and
A spate of arrests on spurious charges of leaders of the opposition,
culminating in the arrest and detention of Morgan Tsvangirai on a second
The attempt to humiliate this man who, but for a massive fraud perpetrated
on the electorate, would now be in State House, by producing him in court
wearing short trousers, handcuffs and leg irons;
The delay of more than a week in getting a decision from a High Court Judge
on an urgent bail application brought by Tsvangirai's lawyers.
Apart from these flagrant breaches of our constitutional
suffering of the people increases on a daily basis. Widespread famine is now
compacting with the Aids pandemic to produce a deadly cocktail.
At the same time the collapse of the economy ensures that
some of the misery
is shared by all - all that is save those few who are protected by their
connection with the dictator. Yet all this suffering is ignored by the
ruling elite who are now totally preoccupied with their own survival
Even as we watch our beloved country is being
looted and raped by a relatively small number of rapacious individuals. Our
rulers have long since forfeited the right to be called national leaders.
Their legal authority to rule is being challenged in the courts. Their moral
and spiritual authority is, by common consent, nil.
The nation therefore feels a profound sense of shock and
outrage. But who is
left to express this outrage? The combined effect of Posa, Aippa and other
repressive pieces of legislation, together with the extra zealous attention
given by a politicised police force to the opposition, ensure that such
protest as there is will remain muted.
Civic groups, trade union members, MDC supporters and
countless others who
joined the national five-day stayaway (and who would have joined the planned
democracy marches had they not been met with brutal force), were saying to
this regime: "Enough is enough!" "Sokwanele!" "Zvakwana!"
Their protest was no doubt effective but the regime that
now relies on
violence alone for its survival, refuses to listen. It only intensifies the
violent assault on anyone who dares to challenge its threadbare authority.
Who then is left to express the outrage felt by
so many? And where and how
can the righteous anger of the nation be expressed that will not immediately
lead to further violence ?
It is here, I
believe, that we must turn to the Church for the Church
occupies the only remaining democratic space in Zimbabwe, the only space in
which the cries of the victims may still be heard, and the longings of those
who dream of freedom given free expression.
History - and I believe, the God of
history - have given to the Church in
Zimbabwe a unique opportunity to play a vital role in the struggle for
freedom and democracy.
We alone of
all the institutions of state find ourselves with a little space
(and perhaps only a little time now) in which to express the pain of a
suffering people and to challenge this arrogant and insolent abuse of power.
How important it is then that we seize the opportunity. Already the space is
Christians praying in the street for justice and peace
are subjected to a
baton charge. A Church leader renowned for his courage in exposing evil and
who is about to lead a prayer vigil for the nation, is forced to endure a
45-minute harangue from members of the CIO on what he should and should not
say from the pulpit.
Already one of the last
remaining freedoms, the freedom of worship, is under
siege, but while some space remains it must be used, and used wisely and
courageously by the Church.
Should we not be hearing from every pulpit in the land the
protest - a protest against tyranny and oppression, on behalf of the
voiceless, the victims, and those simply starving as a result of this
ungodly rule? The prophetic voice that says to Pharoah with all the
authority of God: "Let my people go!"
But is the Church up to
this challenge? If we consider the Church as a
whole, sadly the answer must be, no. For many in the Church look to the
space that has been left to them as a place of retreat from the encircling
evil. A place of refuge to protect them from the storm, and from which they
hope to emerge safely once the storm has passed and freedom has been won by
the sacrifice of others.
And sadly many Church leaders have colluded with their
members in seeking
this caricature of the Christian gospel. But this is not the whole story.
By the grace of God there are other Church leaders
and congregations who, at
some risk to themselves, are giving their space to some of the victims in
order that they might tell their stories of torture, rape and all manner of
violent abuse - a space for the truth to be told, and for the pain and hurt
to be given a voice; a space for protest and for righteous (Christian) anger
at the suffering willfully inflicted on God's children; and a space for
I thank God for those few
churches and Church leaders who are today
expressing his (God's) outrage at the appalling injustices and gross human
rights abuses perpetrated by this desperate and dying regime.
I thank God that the number of Christians
coming together and joining hands
across this land in support of justice, truth and peace, is increasing
For they alone who have
shared the pain of the struggle will have any moral
or spiritual right to share in the reconstruction of the new Zimbabwe
Mbeki slams Leon for racism charge
June 20, 2003
By Jeremy Michaels
President Mbeki launched a scathing attack on DA leader Tony Leon in
parliament yesterday, charging that the official opposition wanted the
ANC-led government to stop fighting racism, something it simply would not
Mbeki was answering criticism from Leon on Wednesday that he played
the 'race card' to disarm opponents who criticised his leadership.
Yesterday Mbeki replied: "The repeated charge that we play a so-called
race card is not going to deter us from continuing the struggle to defeat
Responding to Wednesday's debate in the national assembly during which
Leon accused the president of "using racism in order to silence his
political opponents", Mbeki said: "The struggle against racism will be with
us for a long time . . . because the racist legacy of colonialism and
apartheid will be with us for a long time."
"It is time for the president to abandon the politics of race and
undertake a serious dialogue about the fundamental changes that South Africa
needs as it begins its second decade of democracy," Leon told the house on
Wednesday as Mbeki sat listening attentively.
Leon also said it was "on President Mbeki's watch that SA has moved
from the politics of the rainbow nation and reconciliation to the politics
of race-labelling and race-baiting".
But yesterday Mbeki countered with a scornful rebuke: "When we speak
of the hurt that affects millions, a few tell us that we are neither
entitled to feel such hurt, nor allowed to state what we feel. My advice to
these is that they should desist from telling us what to feel, think and
Continuing with his dressing down, Mbeki chided Leon for wanting to
forget South Africa's deeply divided past.
"We did not achieve liberation in order to perpetuate a master/servant
relationship in our country," Mbeki said, provoking "absolute rubbish"
interjections from the DA benches.
Setting out to "make this matter clear once and for all", Mbeki said
there was "nobody in our country or anywhere in the world who is going to
stop us from confronting the cancer of racism and continuing the struggle to
build a non-racial South Africa".
Quoting extensively from a letter in the Sunday Independent by
Stellenbosch University's head of political studies Prof Amanda Gouws - who
wrote about how convenient it was for white students to "remain passive",
while the black minority on the campus had to be "politically engaged" to
change the status quo - Mbeki said the struggle against racism would
continue in the interests of national reconciliation.
In response to criticism - by IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi, among
others - that he spent "a substantial amount of time abroad" instead of
paying more attention to "pressing crises at home", Mbeki said he would
"continue to be preoccupied with issues that are hundreds of miles away from
"I am certain that we have no choice in this matter, unless we decide
to extricate ourselves from the process of globalisation, to lose interest
in the development of the rest of our continent . . ." he said.
Mbeki said that South Africa was linked to the rest of Africa and the
world in many ways. It was not a small village tucked away in the middle of
nowhere which the world passed by and which did not know that the rest of
the world existed.
In a veiled reference to the ongoing political and economic turmoil in
Zimbabwe, he agreed with calls for speedier land restitution, but said that
South Africa had made a "good beginning" and would continue to focus on
"this contentious matter".
"Of great importance is the fact that our country has not been torn
apart in a violent conflict to address the land question, even though the
process of land dispossession through the centuries was accompanied by
He paid tribute "to all our people, including the white farmers" who
had helped to tackle the land issue peacefully.
Mbeki also accused African Christian Democratic Party leader Kenneth
Meshoe of "spreading falsehoods" when he suggested on Wednesday that the
government wanted to "remove Christmas and Good Friday from our calender".
However, Meshoe denied Mbeki's charges.