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Mugabe tries to get off hook

Zim Independent

Dumisani Muleya

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe yesterday tried to wriggle off the hook
of international diplomacy on the eve of a critical meeting tomorrow with
United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan and South African President
Thabo Mbeki in Banjul, the Gambia, claiming Zimbabwe did not need to be
rescued from the current crisis.

Mugabe's meeting with Annan, which Harare has been trying to
evade, is widely seen as an escalation of UN involvement in Zimbabwe which
could end up with the country being placed on the agenda of the Security
Council of the world body. Government is now anxious to avoid Security
Council measures.

Annan, who has confirmed he would like to meet Mugabe on the
sidelines of the African Union summit tomorrow, and Mbeki are pushing for a
resolution of Zimbabwe's protracted political and economic crisis.

South African deputy foreign minister Aziz Pahad this week said
Mbeki wanted to be part of the meeting. Annan has said it was necessary to
take action to save Zimbabwe from "total collapse". Mbeki has said he was
awaiting the outcome of the Annan initiative on Zimbabwe.

The Annan plan is part of wider diplomatic efforts - which
include initiatives by Mbeki, Benjamin Mkapa, churches, and opposition MDC
leader Morgan Tsvangirai - designed to rescue Zimbabwe.

However, Mugabe tried yesterday to get out of the tight
diplomatic spot by firing warning shots at Annan, saying such efforts were

"Lately, we have heard about so many so-called 'initiatives' to
rescue Zimbabwe. You would think we are about to perish. We tell the world
from this sacred (Heroes) Acre that Zimbabwe is not about to die, in fact
will not die ever," Mugabe told mourners in Harare gathered at the burial of
former Information minister Tichoana Jokonya who died on Saturday.

Mugabe claimed that countries which depended on Zimbabwe were
now trying to rescue it.

"Zimbabwe has no saviours outside of its own people. Is it not
ironic that nations that are sustained by and depend on resources from our
country dare talk about 'saving us'? Who is saving who, we ask?"

He said Zimbabwe had helped Mozambique and South Africa in times
of difficulty.

Mugabe said while Zimbabwe did not need foreign nations'
intervention to sort out the current political impasse and economic
problems, it needed their money. Sources said Mugabe would try to hide the
issue of sanctions - which even if he said before were not working -
yesterday admitted they were biting.

His remarks were widely seen as an attempt to duck pressure
exerted on him to resolve the current situation. Annan has said he would
want to engage Mugabe on the situation in Zimbabwe. Harare has been trying
to invite the UN boss on an Operation Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle whitewash
mission. Annan has refused, however, insisting UN agencies must address the
consequences of Operation Murambatsvina.

Efforts by Mugabe's isolationist spokesmen to say Annan's
invitation to Harare had expired and was therefore now stale had not been
taken seriously in New York.

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Chinamasa trial in doubt

Zim Independent

Clemence Manyukwe

JUSTICE minister Patrick Chinamasa will still be abroad on the
day he is due to stand trial next week on charges of trying to defeat the
course of justice, throwing doubts over the prosecution of the case in

As reported in this paper on May 26, the Attorney-General's
Office set July 3 as Chinamasa's trial date. The case is widely seen as part
of the Zanu PF power struggle to succeed President Robert Mugabe. Ruling
party insiders have claimed that Chinamasa was being punished by rivals from
the faction led by former army commander retired General Solomon Mujuru for
perceived loyalty to the camp headed by party heavyweight Emmerson

Chinamasa is also reportedly battling with Attorney-General
Sobusa Gula-Ndebele over control of the AG's office. The two apparently
clashed after a Bill was proposed last year to make Gula-Ndebele's office
independent of the ministry.

Chinamasa will be away on Monday when he is expected to appear
in court. He left the country a fortnight ago for the inaugural session of
the United Nations Human Rights Council held from June 19-22 in Geneva,
Switzerland, and will not be back on Monday although his mission is over.

Chinamasa's secretary said this week the minister would not be
back in the country until Friday next week. On Wednesday, Paul Mangwana, the
Anti- Corruption and Anti-Monopolies minister, who is also currently acting
as both Information and Justice minister, said he would be in charge of the
Justice ministry until July 4, a day after Chinamasa was supposed to appear
in court.

He said Chinamasa was attending the UN meeting, but when told it
was now over, he said: "He is just on government business."

Mangwana then referred further questions to the Attorney-General
Sobusa Gula-Ndebele, who in turn directed the Independent to the chief law
officer, Florence Ziyambi.

Ziyambi refused to comment but Gula-Ndebele later said: "l have
not been briefed on that case. If there is anything you go to court and you
will find it. It will be there on the court roll."

If he is not present, this would be the second time that
Chinamasa would have failed to appear in court after an incident in July
2002 when he was outside Zimbabwe on the day he was supposed to answer
contempt of court charges that had arisen from his excessive criticism of a
six month jail-term imposed on three Americans accused of illegal possession
of arms.

At the time former High Court judge Fergus Blackie imposed a
three month jail term and a $50 000 fine. Blackie said: "It is clear that
Chinamasa has no intention of appearing before this court."

Blackie rejected the government's assertion that the sentence
was his "hostile parting shot against the executive".

In the current case, Chinamasa and five others including the
head of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) in Manicaland, Innocent
Chibaya, face allegations of attempting to influence state witnesses to drop
charges against State Security minister Didymus Mutasa's supporters who were
charged with political violence.

The supporters, who included Albert Nyakuedzwa, have since been
jailed for up to three years for assaulting war veteran James Kaunye who
wanted to challenge Mutasa in Zanu PF's Makoni North primary elections ahead
of the 2005 parliamentary poll.

Previously Chinamasa said he would comment at the appropriate
time while Mutasa has said the case "would not go anywhere". A docket for
Mutasa has since been prepared on allegations he was an accomplice in the

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Interest rates bloat public debt

Zim Independent

Dumisani Ndlela

ZIMBABWE'S domestic public debt appeared set for a major
explosion due to exorbitant financing costs, central bank statistics
revealed this week.

Government debt doubled in a space of 15 days to $43 trillion by
mid-June after reaching $21 trillion on June 2.

Bank sources indicated that unpublished estimates place the debt
level at $48,2 trillion.

The sharp hike in debt had been spurred largely by high interest
rates on government debt, most of which is held through short tenor treasury
bill (TB) instruments.

Government debt held through TB stock amounted to $17 trillion
by June 16, with interest on the TB stock amounting to $22 trillion, more
than double the principal TB debt on June 2 of $8 trillion.

"We're in a bind," said analyst Washington Mehlomakhulu of
Highveld Financial Services. "The method of funding debt is a major

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Gideon Gono last year
adopted measures making government securities, especially TBs, more
attractive to private sector investors in order to attract funds to finance
the large government deficits.

Investors had been directing their funds mainly to the equities
market, shunning the money market because of weak returns. Gono had
shortened the tenor of the TBs and increased returns on the money market

This had the effect of attracting funds back to the money
market. However, this came at a huge cost to government as the cost of
financing the short term paper had the effect of blowing up the domestic

The yield on 91-day TBs is currently at 510%. Assuming the
government continues to issue 91-day paper at this rate, the effective rate
compounded quarterly is 2 569% annualised. "The cost of running that debt is
worrying," said Mehlomakhulu.

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Chombo endorses Chideya's suspension

Zim Independent

Reagan Mashavave

GOVERNMENT has endorsed the suspension of Harare Town Clerk
Nomutsa Chideya, raising fears that city commission chairperson Sekesai
Makwavarara's obdurate behaviour at Town House could have been sanctioned by
the central government.

Making an official announcement of the suspension yesterday
Local government minister Ignatious Chombo said Chideya had been suspended
due to poor management of the city.

Chideya would soon be placed under an enquiry chaired by Harare
provincial magistrate Mishrod Guvamombe.

"In consonance with the practice of natural justice and in
compliance with the provisions of the law, the commission shall proceed with
reasonable urgency to cause an enquiry to be conducted into the suspension,"
Chombo said.

"The enquiry shall be chaired by magistrate Guvamombe and shall
include legal advisor to the ministry Ms T Nyakujara and two others.

City director of Health Services Dr Stanley Mungofa was
appointed acting Town Clerk.

Chombo revealed that Chideya had been offered a job at the Urban
Development Corporation (Udcorp) with benefits similar to what he is
enjoying as Town Clerk, but Chideya turned down the offer.

Chombo however failed to explain why government would offer
Chideya a job at Udcorp when he was facing suspension for mismanagement. Nor
could he explain what powers Makwavarara had in offering Chideya a job at

"I would also want to let you know that Cde Chideya was offered
a job to be the head of capacity building at Udcorp which he refused to
take," Chombo told journalists yesterday. "The job had same benefits that he
was enjoying as Town Clerk."

Earlier in the week Chideya had defied Makwavarara's orders that
he must not conduct any council meetings without her approval. He had
questioned Makwavarara's powers and threatened to take legal action if she
continued interfering with his work.

Makwavarara becomes the fourth Harare council leader to suspend
Chideya on alleged incompetence and mismanagement.

It is understood that Chideya is considering challenging his
suspension in the courts. It was not possible to contact him for comment
after his mobile phone was surrendered to council.

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Zim foreign investment to remain subdued: report

Zim Independent

Itai Mushekwe

FOREIGN investment in Zimbabwe for the year will remain subdued
owing to President Robert Mugabe's threats of forced indigenisation of the
economy and government's record, a recent US Department of State report on
Zimbabwe's investment climate notes.

The report titled Zimbabwe 2006 Investment Climate Statement
says that government's mismanagement has crippled the economy, while the
prevailing economic and political terrain spells dismal prospects for sound
foreign investment.

"The government of Zimbabwe's misgovernance has severely
crippled the local economy, making it unlikely to attract or absorb
significant foreign direct investment in 2006," the report says.

"Investment prospects in Zimbabwe are bound to remain dismal due
to the country's unstable economic and political environment. Government
policies and recent constitutional amendments have eroded the rule of law
and put private property rights at grave risk."

The report also cites government's increased intervention in
many economic sectors as "generally unwelcoming to foreign investment",
particularly from Western countries which have since slapped Mugabe and his
lieutenants with travel sanctions.

The Zimbabwe 2006 Investment Climate Statement, which can be
used as a barometer by potential US investors, dismisses government's "Look
East" policy described as "commensurate with its anti-West stance", as
reaping limited investment from Asia.

It adds that government's continued disregard of the
constitution by expropriating private property without compensation and
barring recourse to the courts in the case of those aggrieved "has raised
serious questions about respect for property rights and rule of law. Any
potential foreign investors should take into account the risk of
uncompensated expropriation," the report notes.

The damning report also raps the state's politicisation of the
judiciary as another contributing factor to foreign investor apathy.

"Government efforts to influence and intimidate the judiciary
since the late 1990s have raised serious concerns in that area. The
government and ruling elite have ignored numerous adverse judgments, and
senior officials have reiterated publicly that court orders that are not
politically acceptable to the ruling party will not be honoured," the report
says." However, it says "administration of justice in commercial cases that
lack political overtones are generally impartial".

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Govt retreats from Gletwyn

Zim Independent

Augustine Mukaro

GOVERNMENT has withdrawn its intention to acquire Gletwyn
Estate, a move that exposes the state's policy inconsistencies and
shortcomings of laws hastily promulgated to facilitate land seizures.

Administrative Court documents in the hands of the Independent
show that government was forced to withdraw its intention to acquire Gletwyn
farm after the dispossessed landowner, Alexander Stuart Ross, went to court
seeking an order to compel President Mugabe to reverse the acquisition of
his property, arguing that the farm falls under Harare urban.

The government's Land Acquisition Act and Constitutional
Amendment Act No 17 passed last year exempt municipal land from seizure by
the state under the land reform programme.

In its notice of withdrawal, dated May 24, the attorney general's
Civil Division said: "Take notice that the Applicant (Minister of Lands,
Land Reform and Resettlement) withdraws the above matter and tenders
reasonable costs."

In the papers filed on May 18, seeking the reversal of the
acquisition, Ross said Gletwyn, which is registered in his name, was
incorporated into the Harare municipal area by Statutory Instrument 41 of
1996 exempting it from acquisition for resettlement purposes. The land was
"urban land within Harare's municipal area, not rural land, nor agricultural
land required for resettlement purposes in accordance with the land reform
programme," the court documents say.

Mugabe was cited as the first respondent and Didymus Mutasa,
Lands, Land Reform and Resettlement minister, the second respondent.

Ross said acquisition of his property was reviewed on the basis
of "gross irregularities in the proceedings and decisions by generally
failing to comply with the requirements of the legislature regarding urban

Gletwyn has been targeted for acquisition since 2002 with a
flurry of Zanu PF-inspired invading groups moving in to grab the prime

First it was the Sally Mugabe Housing Cooperative, before
government seized the property in November 2004 and gave it to Divine Homes
to subdivide into low-density residential stands.

Police Heights Housing Cooperative earlier this year occupied
the farm, forcibly evicting more than 200 people on the pretext of
developing residential stands for senior law enforcement officers.

Divine Homes, a private land developer chaired by Deputy Finance
minister David Chapfika, has already started work, subdividing Gletwyn into
600 residential stands.

Ross argues in the court papers that it was illegal for the
government to acquire Gletwyn because the Land Acquisition Act upon which it
based its actions does not permit the state to acquire municipal land for
purposes of redistribution.

"A piece of land under municipal area cannot be acquired under
the provisions of the Land Acquisition Act applicable to agricultural land,
as all land within any municipal area is expressly excluded from such
provisions," Ross states in his papers.

Section 2, Chapter 20:10 of the Act stipulates that
"agricultural land required for resettlement purposes" means any rural land
the acquisition of which is
reasonably required for resettlement purposes and which is
identified in a preliminary notice as being required for those purposes.
Rural land means any land other than land which is in a municipal area or
local government area.

Last August's constitutional amendment bans citizens from
contesting in court seizure of their land by the state but it also makes it
clear that government can only take farmland for purposes of resettlement.

"If the state were to start seizing urban land by 'selective
nationalisation', it is possible the property market, upon which the state
depends for many revenues and many people depend for their livelihoods,
would collapse," Ross said in his court application.

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ZCTU plans wage protests

Zim Independent

Tendai Mukandi

THE Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), a labour umbrella
body, has reiterated calls for mass protests to press for realistic wages
aligned with the current inflation figures.

Wellington Chibebe, the secretary-general of ZCTU, in an
interview this week said workers had opted to protest after negotiations
involving the government and business for new wages linked to Zimbabwe's
galloping inflation failed.

"This decision is a follow-up to a congress resolution and will
only come to pass if the employers do not budge. The poverty datum line is
increasing by the day," Chibhebhe said.

"We are busy making consultations and no date or model of the
strike has been made but the workforce is raring to go if their plight is
not addressed."

The work boycott threat comes as the Zimbabwean economy continue
its downslide with inflation now at 1193,5% and the breadbasket for an
average family standing at $55 million dollars a month.

The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has
already threatened mass protests to force President Robert Mugabe to accept
dialogue for a new constitution.

Asked whether the ZCTU was going to join forces with the
opposition, Chibhebhe said the labour body was only trying to implement the
goals reached at the congress.

"The MDC called for protests in their own capacity as a party
and we are organising protests as workers," he said.

Eric Bloch, an economist, said that protests can have
significant impact on the economy but was doubtful if the protests would
take place.

"Although their plight can be understood, the demands of labour
cannot be met by placing businesses into liquidation," Bloch said.

ZCTU has not given a date for the planned protest.

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Shumba slams govt

Zim Independent

FORMER Zanu PF provincial chairman Daniel Shumba, who launched
his own opposition political party, the United People's Party (UPP), in
Harare on Saturday, will announce the party executive on July 31.

Shumba, the interim president of the UPP, said the party
executive would be announced after consultations with provinces had been

He also said the UPP would soon after that embark on national
road-shows to drum up support. The UPP programme shows there are a lot of
activities lined up in the next few months, including preparations for the
party's first congress.

While Shumba has said he expected 100 000 people at the launch
of his party at Zimbabwe Grounds, there were only a couple of thousand
people present.

The party has however printed at least two million membership
cards and has claimed it was getting "an overwhelming response from the
people on the ground".

Although the UPP did not announce members of its interim
executive at the launch, Shumba said they included prominent opposition and
civil society activists.

He said his party was pulling out all the stops to recruit
people with solid political credentials to take leadership positions and
build strong party structures.

Shumba, also a former senior Zanu PF central committee member
and businessman, formally resigned from the ruling party in January after he
was suspended for five years over a power struggle that rocked Zanu PF in
November 2004 in the run-up to the party's congress that year.

He was suspended together with five other provincial chairmen
following the episode which claimed a number of high-profile political
casualties, including former Information minister Jonathan Moyo, who were
accused of backing Zanu PF luminary Emmerson Mnangagwa's bid for power.

Mnangagwa and his faction - sometimes referred to as the
Tsholotsho camp - have been linked to the United People's Movement (UPM)
whose primary mover has been Moyo and ex-Zanu PF central committee member
and MP Pearson Mbalekwa who resigned from the ruling party last year over
Operation Murambatsvina.

Shumba was expected to be a member of the UPM but decided to
form his own party.

The UPP said it has already drafted a party constitution,
printed membership cards and set up nationwide structures. The party's
position paper, which outlines its policies, deals with constitutional
issues, electoral law, legislative affairs and a wide range of democratic
reforms that the party says are needed.

It also addresses human rights issues such as the Gukurahundi
massacres and Operation Murambatsvina, land redistribution, macro-economics,
food security, health, education and foreign policy. It says the UPP
believes in a free market economy.

"UPP pronounces the people's will and a mandate for saving the
nation from further demise. Recent episodes have turned and subjected the
generality of Zimbabweans to poverty, hopelessness and victims of misrule,
greed, brutality, terror, corruption and dictatorship," the document says.

"Zanu PF is using fear and terror to subdue and disenfranchise
the whole country, thus guaranteeing its grip on power. It is now an offence
to speak the truth, criticise and have a different opinion." - Staff Writer.

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Mutasa men's murder trial slated for July

Zim Independent

Clemence Manyukwe

ZANU PF Makoni North chairman Albert Nyakuedzwa and eight other
Zanu PF supporters from Rusape are expected to stand trial next month for
the August 2005 murder of war veteran Tina Wilson Mukono.

The trial is expected to kick off on July 17 at the High Court.

Nyakuedzwa, largely viewed as administration secretary Didymus
Mutasa's right hand man in his Makoni North constituency, is currently
serving a three-jail year term for assaults on another war veteran, James

Fifteen other ruling party supporters from the same area are
serving similar sentences.

Kaunye was assaulted for intending to challenge Mutasa, who is
National Security, Lands, Land Reform and Resettlement minister during Zanu
PF primary elections for Makoni North constituency in 2004.

The minister, who was not charged, was said to have led the
attacks together with Nyakuedzwa.

Nyakuedzwa was a Grain Marketing Board regional manager and part
of Agriculture minister Joseph Made's campaign team in the 2005 general
election. Made won the polls amid allegations of violence and vote-buying
using grain.

According to the state case the deceased was assaulted after
buying electric cables stolen from one of the accused persons' farms.

In his testimony, George Mukono who actually stole and sold the
electric cables but turned a state witness said: "The accused were driving a
white vehicle belonging to Zanu PF Makoni province when they found the
deceased. The accused started assaulting Mukono all over the body using hose
pipes and a tyre strip".

They later handed him over to the police and Mukono died while
being taken to the hospital.

The cause of Mukono's death, who was declared a provincial hero,
was established as a ruptured spleen and multiple inquiries.

The other accused Zanu PF members include Tonderai Makoni, Delta
Mandibaya and Maruva Kurima.

Nyakuedzwa and the ruling party's supporters face the death
penalty if convicted of the murder that the state says was carried out with

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State agents fingered in human rights abuse

Zim Independent

Augustine Mukaro

ZIMBABWE Human Rights NGO Forum, a coalition of human rights
groups and legal organisations, has identified state agencies, the Central
Intelligence Organisation (CIO), police and the army as the main
perpetrators of violence and torture over the past eight years.

In its latest report titled "An Analysis of the Zimbabwe Human
Rights NGO Forum Legal Cases, 1998-2006", the NGO Forum says there is
"abundant evidence that state agents have carried out torture "on a massive
scale" particularly during elections.

The NGO Forum reported over 15 500 violations of human rights
cases in the past eight years, but said only 300 cases have entered the
initial phases of litigation.

"The Human Rights Forum has published 60 monthly political
violence reports since July 2001 in which there are monthly statistics for
the organised violence and torture that has taken place," the report says.
"A total of 15 523 violations cases have been reported."

Only 51 of these cases went to their conclusion, with the state
being held accountable in 89% of cases, it said.

"The Zimbabwe government itself is conceding liability for the
perpetration of gross human rights violations," the report says. The Forum
said it would send its report to the United Nations to press for further
action against government.

Police were cited as the most common perpetrators.

"People in detention are generally at a much greater risk of
abuse unless there are extremely strong safeguards in place governing the
process of detaining people," reads the report. "People in custody are
likely to be beaten irrespective of their alleged crime, political or
criminal, and are commonly subjected to falanga - the excruciatingly painful
practice of beating the soles of the feet, which leaves little obvious

Police had "adopted torture as a means to eliciting confessions
on a widespread basis", the report says.

Harare Central police station has been cited as the worst
station where people have suffered severe torture.

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Land reform spawns free fall of rural infrastructure

Zim Independent

Augustine Mukaro

AS the tragicomedy of unforeseen consequences of the land reform
programme continue to unfold in rural Zimbabwe, viewed as the bastion of
Zanu PF's political support, infrastructure has begun coming apart at the

A drive to Mutoko, one of Zimbabwe's expansive rural areas,
reveals that virtually all infrastructure is falling apart, characterised by
almost inaccessible roads because of eroded verges and potholes, and
derelict clinics and schools resembling abandoned buildings due to neglect
and lack of funds.

No form of transport is available along the 60-kilometre
stretch, from the Harare-Nyamapanda highway to Musiiwa Township and even

Bus operators, including the Mashonaland East governor Ray
Kaukonde who owns RPK buses, have long ago withdrawn their fleet to save the
buses from wear and tear.

Ramshackle, old and battered pick-up trucks often ply such
routes, otherwise people have to endure the long journey on foot after
disembarking from buses along the highway.

As if the bad roads were not bad enough for the poverty-stricken
people, clinics have absolutely no drugs for the sick except in some cases,

Schools looked deserted, with almost all classroom blocks
showing broken windows. Even administration blocks were not spared. A
glimpse into classrooms showed broken furniture.

The state of dereliction resembled a war zone.

People blamed government and their MPs for failure to provide
grants or even visit the constituency to see the plight of the electorate.

"Government has forgotten us," one villager identified as
Chisese said. "There is no one to take our problems to higher offices. MPs
only come down here when they want to be voted for again. We last saw our
MP, Olivia Muchena, during the campaign period in 2005. She is not aware of
what is happening in this community."

Samson Sete, another villager had no kind words for the
government either, saying it had worsened their situation when it banned
non-governmental organisations from distributing food and initiating food
for work programmes which usually helped in the repairing of roads and
moulding of bricks for other developmental projects.

"Most schools and clinics around this area were built by donors
with villagers providing labour through food-for-work programmes but that
has since stopped," Sete said.

"Government has failed to come up with alternative programmes to
maintain these structures, resulting in the dilapidation you are seeing."

Rural District Councils (RDCs) attributed the dereliction to the
land reform programme saying it starved them of a constant income as new
farmers were not paying levies.

When Zanu PF encouraged people to invade farms in the year 2000,
it was expediently silent about payment of levies, which most people resent

Funds generated from levies were used for the repair and
upgrading of district infrastructure such as roads, clinics and schools.
Apparently, the drying up of financial largesse for the District Development
Fund has accentuated the problems.

An Association of Rural District Councils (ARDC) official told
the Independent that reluctance by farmers to pay levies has crippled local
councils' operations and their capacity to provide basic services.

He said some RDCs have engaged debt collectors and are
contemplating taking legal action to force new landowners to pay the levies.

"Most RDCs have already engaged debt collectors," the official
said. "It is within the RDCs' powers to engage debt collectors or even
lawyers to ensure that farmers pay the levies."

The official said summons have been dispatched to more than 2
000 A2 farmers, the majority of them political bigwigs and war veterans who
have evaded levy payments over the past five years when they forcibly
occupied commercial farmlands.

Sources said RDCs which have already forwarded names to debt
collectors include Mazowe, Shamva and Mvurwi in Mashonaland Central

"Topping the list of non-paying people are A2 farmers," the
sources said. "The majority have not paid anything from the time when they
moved on to the properties." War veterans, Zanu PF members and their
hangers-on form the bulk of the new commercial farmers.

Government however should ensure that the new farmers pay the
levies when they sign leases. Currently, A2 farmers have resisted paying
rentals to councils, which have no mechanisms of enforcement.

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Shareholders to reclaim Time Bank

Zim Independent

Shakeman Mugari

THE two-year-old Time Bank saga has taken a new twist amid
revelations that the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) will next week hand over
the bank to its founding shareholders.

The handover comes despite the decision by the RBZ to cancel
Time's operating licence last month. The RBZ claimed the bank could no
longer maintain enough assets to safeguard its creditors and maintain
prescribed minimum capital requirements.

Time has however appealed to the High Court against the

Sources told businessdigest that the bank would be handed back
to shareholders early in July.

The handover follows the expiry of Time's curatorship today.
Time has been under curatorship since its disputed closure by the RBZ in
October 2004.

Sources said communication regarding the expected handover has
been going on for the past three weeks between the curator, Tinashe Rwodzi
of PricewaterhouseCoopers, Time shareholders and central bank officials.

Despite claims by the curator that the bank is insolvent, Time's
directors and major shareholders said in a statement this week that the bank
was prepared to open its doors to the public.

In a statement, Time Bank Investment Company (Pvt), the major
shareholders in Time, said they would be able to repay their creditors once
the bank was handed back to shareholders. The statement said the bank was
still solvent, contrary to findings by the curator that it was unable to pay
its creditors.

"Time Bank will be in a position to pay all the depositors and
creditors who wish to withdraw or to be paid their money, after the
institution has been formerly handed back to its shareholders and
directors," said the statement seen by businessdigest.

The shareholders said the payments would be made after the
verification of the accounts that would have been submitted by the curator.

"To avoid certain risks, the payments will be subject to the
account balances being genuine and verifiable."

The return of Time to shareholders is understood to have little
potential of holding back an ongoing legal battle between the major
shareholders of the bank and the central bank which shareholders have taken
to court over the initial decision to close the bank in October 2004.

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Black market booms

Zim Independent

Eric Chiriga

BUSINESS is booming on the parallel market despite numerous
government efforts to kill the market through a spirited crackdown by the
law enforcement agencies.

The parallel market now actually has well-established trading
points, which include Roadport in the capital, Lobengula Street in Bulawayo,
popularly known as "World Bank", and the country's border points.

The existence of uniformed police officers at these places poses
no threat to the illegal foreign currency dealers.

The dealers now openly advertise their highly prized and sought
after commodities.

"There is no need for us to hide. Even the law enforcers trade
their foreign currency here," said one of the traders at Roadport.

While the official interbank market has struggled to raise
volumes of US$5 million per trading day since January this year, hefty
amounts of major currencies like the US dollar, the British pound and the
South African rand change hands on a daily basis on the parallel market.

Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) spokesperson Assistant
Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena said the police had not lost the battle
against informal foreign currency dealers. Instead, he blamed the law for
having too many loopholes to let culprits off the hook.

"The laws have loopholes and have to be tightened," said

He said it is difficult to arrest a person who is illegally
trading in foreign currency unless they were caught executing the

"We can only arrest (dealers) if we catch them actually
trading," he said.

When questioned on why there had been arrests of illegal foreign
currency dealers before and none now, Bvudzijena said the arrests were on
the basis of well-documented illegal trading or tip offs from duped

Last year, a number of company executives from Econet and
Telecel among other top companies were arrested for violation of the
exchange control regulations. Econet executives were exonerated of any
violation of exchange controls by the courts.

Bvudzijena refused to give recommendations on how the law could
be improved and tightened.

"The law should be tightened but we cannot give suggestions," he

Local analysts said the parallel foreign currency market was
being fuelled by demand and supply.

They said officials could only destroy the parallel market by
liberalising the official exchange rate.

In other words the exchange rate should be determined by market

The parallel market is thriving because it trades at rates that
are way above those on the interbank market.

Whilst the US dollar and British pound are trading at around
US$1:$450 000 and GBP1:$750 000 respectively on the parallel market, on the
interbank system the same currencies are trading at US$1:$101 195,41 and
GBP1:$184 307,44.

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Low interest rates hold back savings

Zim Independent

Eric Chiriga

INTEREST rates on savings remain subdued, militating against
government efforts to boost savings and turn around Zimbabwe's ailing

The government launched an economic blueprint, the National
Economic Development Priority Programme, nearly three months ago. The
blueprint, aimed at tackling a six-year economic crisis, is expected to
enhance savings and trigger investments inflows in the country.

Savings are estimated to be at around 10% of gross domestic
product (GDP). Ideally, savings should be at 60% of GDP.

Low savings have resulted in increased money printing by the
government, which cannot raise enough money from domestic borrowings.

Interest rates on savings are pegged at between 3% and 10% per
annum, while rates on borrowings are as high as 800% per annum.

Some commercial banks are paying interest on savings of as much
as 9% only on amounts exceeding $500 million.

However, fixed deposits are attracting better interests of
between 100% and 500% depending on the tenor of investments.

The low interest rates have resulted in people moving their
money quickly from cash into assets due to the high inflation rate.

Moreover, a cash crunch evidently troubling the financial sector
has also worked as a disincentive to saving.

Sources said while deposits in current and savings accounts
constituted the largest chunk of deposits made with local banks, banks were
finding it unprofitable to pay high interests on these forms of deposits
because of the high statutory reserve requirements on them.

"Interest on savings is not significant," a bank official told

"Savings accounts are now used to keep money that is used like
current accounts and not as a way of saving (investing)," the official said.

Some banks have announced that they shift focus from retail
banking, which includes savings and current accounts, to wholesale banking
due to poor business in the area.

Because of the country's galloping inflation, most individuals
have developed a tendency of maintaining minimum balances in their savings

According to statistics from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, the
difference between maximum interest rates offered on savings and three-month
deposits have continued to grow, especially in the second half of 2005.

In January 2005, maximum interest on savings was 25% per annum
compared to 105% on 90-day deposits.

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Lobels increases bread production

Zim Independent

Pindai Dube

LOBELS Holdings has acquired a state-of-the-art automatic
bread-making machine in a bid to expand the Bulawayo plant.

The equipment, which was imported from South Africa at a cost of
R5 million ($75 billion), is meant to produce close to 120 000 loaves per

At present, only 60 000 loaves are being produced per day.

During a tour of the plant on Monday, Ngoni Mazango the managing
director of Lobels Bulawayo branch told businessdigest that the new
bread-making machine is expected to be operational by December.

Mazango said presently the bread-making machine is producing 4
000 loaves per hour and 60 000 loaves per day.

"Our aim is to produce a capacity of almost 200 000 loaves per
after the completion of this second plant which we brought from
South Africa at a cost of R5 million," said Mazango.

"At present, only the oven machine that started operating some
weeks ago is operational. The mixers, prover and the dividers for the whole
second plant would be in full operation by December."

The investment, according to Mazango, is expected to create 300
new jobs, bringing to 600 the staff complement at the plant.

The first plant, which was officially opened by the Reserve Bank
governor Gideon Gono last year, created 300 jobs for Bulawayo residents.

Lobels Holdings operations manager, John Chikomo said his
company is currently facing many viability problems spawned by the economic
challenges the country is facing.

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Seven-stage road map leading to a cul-de-sac

Zim Independent

Ray Matikinye

THE Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) is retracing a familiar
path that has led into a cul-de-sac in the past and is most likely to meet
the same fate with its new "road map", analysts say.

Proponents of the seven-stage plan crafted by the Morgan
Tsvangirai-led MDC that would culminate in a transitional government
recognise the heavy odds militating against wholesale acceptance by

For all its enthusiasm and hope to garner support and
acceptance, the road map recognises President Mugabe as a major factor and
likely impediment in efforts "to persuade Zanu PF to agree".

The document benchmarks its pessimism on the fact that
"government and its machinery are major shareholders and major beneficiary
to the current status quo".

Analysts say the road map to unlock the political impasse could
be yet another hard-sell given the dramatic failures earlier local and
regional initiatives encountered owing to the refusal by leading politicians
to engage in constructive resolution to the internal conflict, they say.

Political analyst and chairman of the department of politics and
administration at the University of Zimbabwe (UZ), Dr Eldred Masunungure,
says the MDC is just testing the waters and casting a symbolic gesture that
it is serious in solving the present crisis.

He says by proposing a road map the MDC is also putting Zanu PF
in a corner and wanting to see politicians in that party viewed by the
electorate as devoid of policy options.

Masunungure says he did not see Zanu PF taking the road map

"They are involved in a nebulous road map between themselves and
the churches. Zanu PF is vigorously pursuing its own initiative to steal the
thunder from the opposition," Masunungure says.

Roping in the church to a parallel initiative, he adds,
represents open rebuff of the MDC proposal.

"They have completely abandoned inter-party talks," Masunungure

"The MDC are engaged in an illusion if they think Zanu PF will
accept it. You can judge by the manoeuvring that Zanu PF is trying to
counter the road map initiative by the opposition."

Masunungure says resolving the current political stalemate needs
a comprehensive stakeholders' conference but Zanu PF prefers engaging in
politics of inclusion by exclusion.

"Government is excluding key stakeholders such as civic society
by extending its hand to selected clergymen. But this will lead it nowhere,"
Masunungure said.

Spokesperson of Crisis Coalition Primrose Matambanadzo agrees.

She says dialogue was essential to get the country out of the
morass but points out that it cannot exclude faith-based institutions.

"A stand-off is not the solution and the talks should not only
involve the two parties but all stakeholders to craft a new constitution
which is essential to restore legitimacy," Matambanadzo said.

She said although it will be difficult to convince Zanu PF that
talks are essential, the question of legitimacy could not be resolved
without a new people-driven constitution.

"When you exclude other parties, you cannot come up with a
broad-based constitution acceptable to all.

Another political commentator, Professor Heneri Dzinotyiwei,
also of the UZ, said Zanu PF itself feared the prospects of successful
constitutional talks that they view as meant to ladle out political
advantages to the opposition.

"The ruling party is part of the problem. There is a
misconception that a new constitution will give the opposition enormous
political advantage," Dzinotyiwei says.

And there are clear signs too that Zanu PF might be playing
politics to divert public attention from the current political impasse.

The party's body language seems to have adopted a more
favourable posture towards the church after an avowed "going it alone"
policy lost all its steam, forcing the party to compromise its stance and
attempt to "build bridges" with the international community.

Dzinotyiwei says Mugabe knows the problems bedevilling Zimbabwe,
but instead of facing the problem head on, he would rather digress.

"Zanu PF knows the problem but one wonders why they have to
bring in the church," he says.

"The party itself faces difficulties in coming up with solutions
to the current political impasse and the economic crisis but it continues to
go astray," Dzinotyiwei says.

"The biggest problem with Zanu PF is that it is a one-man band.
Deep inside his heart he (Mugabe) knows the country has been run down but
perhaps fear of retribution has clouded his judgements."

He says proposals by the MDC recognise the dilemma government is
in and try to assist it out of it.

Admissions by President Mugabe while addressing church leaders
might also mean a fresh look at the current impasse.

"We must accept our failures. We should have to acknowledge that
as trustees in our part of the world we have not succeeded as we had
wished," Mugabe said.

Masunungure says Zanu PF is looking for legitimacy because the
local, regional and international community is contesting the space it is

"It will not get that by engaging church leaders. Zanu PF is
engrossed in politics of self-deception, not wanting to accept the brutal
realities that you need to engage your enemies," he says.

While the road map recognises Mugabe as a major impediment to
acceptance, Masunungure says the divisions in Zanu PF over the succession
issue could pose serious hindrance to engagement between Mugabe, the
opposition and civic society.

He says the ruling party has lost the initiative to come up with
solutions to the national crisis due to these divisions.

"It is difficult to come up with an agreement acceptable to both
the 'hawks' and the 'doves' in the party depending on who has the upper hand
between them," he says

"The hardliners will shoot down any proposals that threaten
their interest while the doves could accept anything."

The MDC says its modest proposals are a demonstration of its
sincerity, good intentions and commitment to a peaceful resolution of the
crisis through dialogue and negotiations.

It says the proposals represent the MDC's determination to chart
a course and a soft landing out of the crisis with minimum costs in terms of
human suffering.

What remains to be seen is whether the MDC road map has much
road to run and the directions it will have to take.

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Civil society's double standards inimical to change in Zimbabwe

Zim Independent

By Brilliant Mhlanga

THE recent National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) saga got a lot
of independent thinkers talking about the future of civil society in

Interestingly, they were all singing the chorus that Lovemore
Madhuku had erred, therefore he should resign. At least this was the final
call by some notable colleagues in the opposition.

However, the discord is on the genesis of the disease in the
civil society movement as a whole in Zimbabwe. In my view, the problem stems
from the founder syndrome in civil society. This also explains why there was
a deafening silence from other civil society leaders about the NCA

A closer analysis would further show that the deafening silence
about the Madhuku issue by the mainstream civil society in Zimbabwe was a
result of their celebrated double standards when issues of relinquishing
positions are concerned.

It would appear that someone somewhere in Zimbabwe ejected
political principles and morals through the window and locked the door never
to have them back. I am not sure whether we really need to blame Mugabe for
everything, even loose political morals displayed by the civil society

This article is a direct challenge to civil society, especially
those organisations that used to meet at Meikles Hotel in 2003/4 to discuss
the creation of a long-lasting strategic alliance. These included a lot of
people from various organisations and regions of the country.

The major thrust at these meetings was to forge alliances rooted
in democratic principles and to challenge Zanu PF from a democratic
grounding. It never was on the cards to challenge Zanu PF as its offshoots
seeking to polish its undemocratic ideals or to parallel its violent

The focus was to shun by any means necessary all undemocratic
tendencies. Everyone in civil society agreed and undertook to abide by those
principles. Now, where are the voices?

Everyone has chosen to be quiet, even when Madhuku openly agrees
in his interview with SW Radio Africa that there was violence at the NCA's
delayed annual general meeting. No one from civil society had the temerity
to stand up and remind Madhuku that violence is violence, whether meted out
to one individual or even the threat of it is considered undemocratic in
this era.

No one could remind Madhuku about the spirit of "love" and
"principles" for a revolutionary, and also that a civil society is
considered "civil" due to the fact that members are drawn from various
private groupings and the generality of the citizenship.

This advice was supposed to be followed by the view that any
attempts to arm or militarily radicalise a section of the civil society
movement, be they male or female, young or old, is considered uncivil and
will never be within the ambit of being civil, law-abiding and upright.

I have witnessed the radical militarisation of the youths in
civil society under the guise of mass demonstrations meant to push the
democratic envelope. I have experienced the pain of being lowered to a
potential stone thrower when the leaders embark on what they call "capacity
building drives".

This move is not going to help Zimbabwe progress into the
future. It is also inimical to the creation of a positive society founded on
values of tolerance and acceptance of divergent views. If anything, civil
society is showing double standards.

The concept of "civil society" in Zimbabwe has been diluted by
capitalist ends with most leaders seeking to view the whole democracy and
human rights idea as an industry for making money and improving their CVs.
This unfortunate development has been aggravated by the founder syndrome
together with the "executive directorship" crusade which was spruced up by
the Non-Governmental Organisations Bill (NGO Bill 2004) - a Zanu PF move
aimed at crushing the civil society movement.

With the advent of this Bill, which is still pending, a lot of
clumsy individuals turned people-driven organisations that were established
through trusts into individual organisations run by an executive director.
These overnight developments that were a subversion of respective
organisational constitutions, with the NGO Bill as the excuse, meant that
terms of office were extended for as long as the executive director's
contract with God runs on earth.

Interestingly, today it is Madhuku who has caused a serious
chorus by twisting the NCA constitution inside out - a thing he has always
done together with other leaders in various organisations, which is why they
cannot criticise him. Strange bedfellows!

I will not elaborate on this issue, as this topic requires a
separate focus someday. I have knowledge about the goings-on in a lot of
organisations that were said to be people-driven during their inception
stages, but later personalised. I also have names of these organisations.

In short, I would describe these characters as downright wicked
because they must know in their hearts that their cause is wrong, and yet
refuse to acknowledge it. They suffer from the lie in the soul.

They are engaged in pursuing their own interests or interests of
their class, in gratifying a lust for power through discreditable forms of
conduct. They form a class which in Freiran description would be seen as
wallowing in the shadow of the oppressor which lingers in their minds and
hearts, yet at the same time struggling to point fingers at the evils of the
Mugabe regime.

In reality they are worse off than the ruling party, as they are
beneficiaries of a system that swindles the ordinary people of their lives,
rights and property by claiming victimhood at the expense of the masses.
They have resigned to the role of being official and perennial civil society
leaders, a role they have embraced for as long as it helps them to cause
serious retardation to any meaningful democratisation process in Zimbabwe.

The civil society in Zimbabwe has internalised the image of the
ruling party, its tactics and general guidelines, and is therefore fearful
of freedom and any meaningful change. This explains the reasons for their
quick move to scoff at any suggestion aimed at influencing change in
Zimbabwe. Their fear of change is based on the fact that freedom would
require them to discard the Zanu PF culture and replace it with autonomy and

Most of them have even
forgotten that freedom is acquired by conquest and not by gift
because they are like a short man who gets himself elevated to a higher
position to aid his retarded view but have now decided to block the rise of
the same people who elevated them lest they take away their limelight.

This forms the crisis faced by the civil society movement in
Zimbabwe. It becomes imperative therefore for all civil society leaders,
including Madhuku, to understand that the nefarious claims that power
resides only in those who are in the ruling elite (Zanu PF) is a monumental

Zimbabwe's crisis has its genesis from such warped lines of
thinking perpetrated by an irresponsible leadership who fail to realise that
power resides in the people who thrust them up in those offices.

Otherwise they seem to be confirming the view that elites give
way to elites and that history is a graveyard of aristocracies. Following
this view we may see them as emulating the activities of a ruler who sees
himself as a shepherd who fattens the sheep for the good of the shepherd.

What a shame to democracy!

* Brilliant Mhlanga is a human rights activist.

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How not to do it

Zim Independent

By Magari Mandebvu

AT our local post office one Saturday morning you would not have
believed that we were in the country with the highest average IQ in the
world - IQ for sugar, IQ for soap, IQ for matches, IQ for upfu, IQ for
bread, IQ for milk, IQ for cash and IQ because this queue is probably for
something I will need.

There was no queue. In fact, there were so few customers that I
was able to discuss this phenomenon with the cashier for some time before
another customer came along. My main point in the discussion was that we
were seeing a demonstration that whoever planned this did not have a very
high IQ in the sense that we used to use that term.

It is not very intelligent to raise your prices when they are
already so high that you are losing customers. The average post office
salesperson could have told the bosses when we reached that level, and
remind them that you will not get more customers by a move like that.

On a newsstand, I saw a headline saying that "tough new traffic
laws" were being introduced. Apparently, the motive for this is to reduce
the number of road accidents.

Now, I am as appalled as anyone by the extraordinarily large
number of road accidents we see in this country, and by the large number of
deaths from these accidents. But is it intelligent to counter lawless
attitudes by making more laws?

I don't see how you will persuade people who do not keep the
rules of the road that we have already to drive more carefully by making
more and tougher rules for road users.

So may we remind ourselves of a few simple truths?

* You don't increase sales by raising prices when customers are
already drifting away because your prices are high.

* You don't persuade people to obey the law by making more laws.

* You don't move forward by looking backward.

If you want to move forward, you need to look forward, not
sideways or to the back. Ask any child learning to ride a bicycle. If you
look where you don't want to fall, you most certainly will fall there. If
you concentrate on where you want to go, you will get there.

If you want to create an independent nation, you need to keep
your gaze fixed on the ideals of independence and on what will give real
power to the people. If you prefer to keep looking back at the evils of
racism and colonialism you will re-create the evils of racism and

However, we should not forget entirely where we came from. "Just
look forward" can sound like the false "reconciliation" we had in the 1980s.
The government announced a policy of reconciliation and the white farmers
embraced it enthusiastically. Both were enthusiastic about it because they
did not understand that real reconciliation makes heavy demands on both

Our trouble in 1980 was that the white farmers were allowed to
carry on their business and their social life as they always had, while the
government were content to allow this and even to help them keep their
workers in line, as long as they made sufficient donations to "Zany PF" and
didn't support any other party.

Neither seemed to realise that such an approach just sweeps the
real problems under the carpet, where they will fester and eventually break
out as they did in 2000. Such outbreaks are often as disastrous as we saw

Real reconciliation requires each side to examine and admit
their own crimes and to make what reparations they can. You can't bring the
dead back to life. You can't undo torture. You can't give victims back lost
limbs or destroyed manhood.

But there are things you can restore, and, when you can't, there
are ways of finding an agreement with the victim and making amends that can
be accepted.

If you ignore these requirements, some will continue giving the
old offence, as they did, and others will nurse their memory of grievances,
increasing their hatred of the old system until, as so often happens, they
hate it so intensely that they become like it.

So now we have our ruling party telling us daily of the evils we
suffered in 1965, until it really looks as if we are still living in 1965,
with state control and censorship of the media, arbitrary arrest and torture
of political opponents, eviction of the poor from their pathetic shelters,
destruction of their livelihood and legislation such as the Law and Order
(Maintenance) Act, alias Posa.

We can see that is not the way to freedom, democracy and
dignity, but somehow up there none of the chefs see it.

And more simple truth:

* You don't house people by destroying their shelter.

Giving them better housing would be a noble aim, but the better
houses should be built before destroying the old. People should be moved
respectfully to something better than they had. Otherwise you seem to be
condemning them because they can't build mansions for themselves.

We all know they were just thrown out in the cold and rain. As
for the houses built, apparently as an afterthought to the so-called
"clean-up" - have you seen any of these Garikai dwellings?

What I have seen are not as good as the lean-tos and extensions
that many people I know were living in before May last year. In some cases,
they may be more solid, but in their old places the evicted people usually
had better access to water and sanitation. These seem to have been
completely ignored by the builders of the Garikai houses I have seen.

No wonder those houses are ignored by the people who squat
around them. Often their shelters are less solid, but more spacious, which
means they have room to dig themselves latrines and they don't have to light
a cooking fire in their bedroom.

* You don't liberate people by undermining their dignity.

Why call poor oppressed people "people without totems" or
rubbish (tsvina)?

Have you seen the film Hotel Rwanda? There, people were called
"cockroaches" on state radio and by the police and soldiers so that they
could be more easily killed. They were not considered human.

Here, there is less violence, but people are dying of hunger,
cold and disease and they don't count because they "don't have totems" or
are "rubbish".

I could add to the list of attacks on the dignity of the povo.
The police use forms of torture that do more to debase people than to hurt
them physically.

Poor people are denied the most basic sanitary needs. I really
can't see how national security is threatened if poor women are allowed to
feel clean.

That leaves me with a big question: if they go the wrong way
about freeing people, creating democracy and even housing people, do they
really want to free the people, to create democracy or to house the people?

* Magari Mandebvu is a Harare-based writer.

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Riled by Zesa's lack of consistency, planning

Zim Independent

By BDA Moultrie

I WOULD like to congratulate our esteemed power provider on the
unique achievement of effecting the 100th power cut in my part of Greendale
since January 24, when I returned from a break in the UK.

These cuts have totalled just under 300 hours which admittedly
includes a major 40-hour fault in April, which was immediately followed by a
further three load shedding cuts totalling another 10 hours within the
ensuing 24 hours!

Just to make this deplorable state of affairs even worse, my
monthly electricity account has increased four-fold.

And, as if this was not enough, the constant and unscheduled
outages have cost me two compressors on fridges and a new deep freeze.

This ignores the uncountable number of blown globes which, at
the current $150 000 each, adds up to even more expenses with absolutely no
possibility of compensation.

While I appreciate the excuses (these are even more frequent
than the power cuts, and certainly more predictable!), what I do find
completely untenable is the total lack of consistency/planning in load
shedding. This, despite numerous phone calls requesting some form of
schedule around which we could plan our lives.

They are quick enough to forward their bills. Would it not be
just as simple to include regular load shedding schedules and keep to them,
or is this far too complicated a proposal for them to action?

Although it is extremely unlikely that any answers will be
forthcoming from Zesa I will, nonetheless, pose the following questions,
answers to which will make for absorbing reading:

* Why are several areas virtually immune from shedding? (I know
of two addresses in the Greendale area that endured only one or two cuts in
the five months to which I refer);

* Although Zesa asserts that they do publish shedding schedules
in the press, why do they not adhere to them?

* The only consistent element of the shedding "programme" is its
total inconsistency. Why?

* Why does "Faults" invariably place one on hold, sometimes for
up to 10 minutes, that is when one is fortunate enough to get through to

* BDA Moultrie is a resident of Greendale.

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Of Chideya and the Haul of Fame

Zim Independent

Editor's Memo

By Vincent Kahiya

IN the book Profiles in Courage, the late US President JF
Kennedy spoke about political leaders who sacrificed their own continuation
in office in pursuit of a noble cause. These were individuals who produced
public goods even when doing so meant losing their job. Few leaders have
this profile in courage.

If citizens were to choose leaders to belong to a leadership
Hall of Fame they might select individuals who consistently, over a long
career in office, produce peace and prosperity for their country.

Peace and prosperity, after all, are the cornerstones of a
flourishing, successful government that does its utmost to promote the
well-being of its citizens.

Kennedy said if national leaders themselves were to select
candidates for a leadership Hall of Fame, their criteria might be different.
They might forego measures of peace and prosperity and just emphasise
longevity in office. Long tenure is not necessarily the hallmark of a
government that promotes social welfare, but it is the hallmark of a
politically successful leader, he argued.

For more cynical analysts, leaders stay in office for personal
aggrandisement and to create opportunities to steal from the state. These
leaders would fit in the "Haul of Fame". Closer to home, poor Harare Town
Clerk Nomutsa Chideya who is fighting for political survival again at Town
House in Harare is not a candidate for the Hall of Fame despite his 10 years
service as Town Clerk.

The current attempt to elbow him out from his post as the most
senior bureaucrat in Harare has evoked some sympathy because the aggressor
is the super-inefficient Sekesai Makwavarara who is surprisingly conscious
that useless officials should be fired.

Her record of delivery in Harare is as dubious as the acclaim
bestowed on her by Local Government minister Ignatious Chombo who recently
told us of the good work the political turncoat was doing in Harare.

There is no better way of being inducted into the "Haul of Fame"
than being foisted on a city that regards you as a nuisance. To government,
she is a convenient mess as long as her presence ensures that the opposition
MDC is kept out of Town House. This should give Chideya hope and a sense of
security but this should not be his lifebuoy. He should demonstrate to city
dwellers that he deserves the position of Town Clerk because of his record
of delivery which I do not see.

Chideya could enter record books for long service in fighting
for survival to keep his job.

When he came to Town House for the first time in 1998, the late
Harare Executive Mayor Solomon Tawengwa immediately launched an onslaught to
drive him out on the premise that he could not perform.

He survived this wave of attack and should have rejoiced the
firing of Tawengwa and the subsequent appointment of a commission chaired by
Elijah Chanakira to run the affairs of the city.

But Chideya was soon out of favour with the Chanakira Commission
which also sought to have him removed from the position on the pretext that
he was failing to deliver.

He again survived this turbulent era in which the commissioners
presided over a period of a steep decline in service delivery in the city.

Municipal elections in Harare in 2002 brought in Elias Mudzuri
as executive mayor. City centre roads were resurfaced and the Africa Unity
Square fountains started to work after a long period of inactivity.

Chideya was quick to associate himself with this success until
October 2002 when Mudzuri suspended him on allegations of inefficiency.
Chideya was subsequently restored to his position by government and
immediately assumed executive powers at Town House.

He warned officials against drawing undue interference from
politicians in council affairs.

His opportunism was manifest when Chombo appointed the Kurasha
Commission to investigate the conduct of the suspended Mudzuri. Like his
current nemesis Makwavarara, he told the commission that Mudzuri should not
come back to Town House.

"I actually wanted him (Mudzuri) trapped and unfortunately the
wheel of justice takes its time," Chideya said. "I mean I am aware that the
mayor was not comfortable in our own family situation. I am actually married
to a CIO operative, my wife works for the President's Office."

His wish was granted and Mudzuri was fired.

This is the same Chideya whom Makwavarara has said should be
removed from Town House on medical grounds. Apparently a job has been
organised for Chideya at the Urban Development Corporation which I believe
is not an infirmary.

I feel pity for Chideya; especially his quest to stay at Town
House at all costs. My advice to him is to leave the "Haul of Fame" to those
who are schooled in the art of "hauling".

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When men of the cloth are bought for a hymn

Zim Independent


WE were interested to note the lavish praise bestowed upon
Bishop Trevor Manhanga by Nathaniel Manheru in his column last weekend.
Manhanga's warning about "fly by night messiahs" who "line their pockets
with donor money" was taken by Manheru to be a reference to Archbishop Pius
Ncube. Manhanga has not denied the suggestion.

Indeed, Manhanga's role in defending the current dialogue
between church and state is fascinating. Here was a once robust critic of
government who clearly understood the issues which divided a conscientious
church from an abusive regime. But Manhanga appears to have changed his tune
and is now not only in the forefront of promoting support for the
government, but also leading attacks on churchmen who cannot in all
conscience defend supping with politicians who have presided over the most
appalling human rights abuses, not least the Murambatsvina urban holocaust.

Even today the impact on informal business activity in the
townships of that "clean-up" is everywhere visible as is the social cost.
Yet Manhanga and his fellow-church collaborators think they can deliver
dialogue with a government that has never listened to anybody and shows no
prospect of doing so.

How then do we explain turnabouts by people such as Manhanga who
appear happy to be used by state propagandists? And how can churchmen with a
mission to build a better nation consort with those who are determined to
continue with the policies of hate and repression that have got us where we
are today?

The most we got from President Mugabe was an intriguing prayer
for God to pardon Zimbabwe for "sins committed that had brought reproach to
the nation".

We weren't told who committed those sins!

Manhanga spoilt his credibility by repeating the Zanu PF mantra.
"We refuse to join our detractors and short-sighted fellow citizens who
cannot see any good in our nation," he told fellow suborned clergymen.

Such cognitive dissonance is dangerous for a man of the cloth.

By the way, we see that the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference
was listed as among those sponsoring this questionable day of prayer. Is
that true? While we know the Zimbabwe Council of Churches lost its way years
ago, we don't expect the Catholic Bishops, with their fine reputation for
resistance to oppression under two regimes, to collaborate with the
incorrigible author of the nation's pain.

Neither of their two archbishops were present so perhaps the
Herald misled us. And the 5 000 people who attended the event can hardly be
counted as a sizable crowd. More people attended a soccer match on the same

But all the same, we welcome President Mugabe's virgin admission
of his government's plethora of failures at the event. And, it must be said,
he pulled off a clever religious coup by persuading the men of the cloth
present to organise the proceedings.

The clergy surrendered their initiative and allowed Mugabe to
dictate the pace of events.

We suspect he learned the trick of pacifying critics from Bingu
waMutharika on his recent visit to Malawi where a road was named after him.
Bingu made sure critics singing the wrong hymn by opposing Mugabe's visit
turned over a new leaf by inviting them to State House for lunch.

Mugabe used the same therapy effectively on the clergy. Having a
chit-chat at State House works wonders in massaging egos!

Unless the Herald misquoted him, Mugabe said: "We must accept
our failures. We should have to acknowledge that as trustees in our part of
the world (read Zimbabwe), we have not succeeded as we had wished."

Well said Mr President. Now we know that all along we have been
wishing we could succeed but have failed dismally in spite of all advice.
But please Mr President, don't use the inclusive "we" as the povo were not
part of your skewed schemes that brought about such ubiquitous failure.

"We" (the ruling elite) are so mentally challenged that "we"
(the Zanu PF chefs) could not distinguish that wishing and succeeding are
completely different things.

So for the past 26 years leaders have been wishing "we" would
succeed, but "failed" and still continue to wish "we" could succeed. Now
that "we" know, what are "we" going to do about it? For how long can "we"
remain in wishful mode without succeeding and still wish something different
will happen?

Those worrying about growing corruption in Zimbabwe need fret no
longer. Everything is under control, Anti-Corruption minister Paul Mangwana
assures us. The Anti-Corruption Commission is at work, he says, but
operating "outside the public glare".

Responding in parliament to concerns about its performance,
Mangwana said its members were only sworn in last October. It had been
putting in operating "structures" since then. It would soon be launching a
website, he said.

Let's hope it takes less than eight months to get that up and

Every Zimbabwean has a responsibility to build a positive image
about this country and to communicate the message to the outside world to
change the misconceptions held by many out there," government spokesman
George Charamba has said.

"The burden of building a positive image about Zimbabwe should
be carried by every member of society," he said. And in a revealing
admission he added: "Zimbabwe has a bad image out there because it has a bad
image here at home."

Indeed it has. And which Zimbabweans are responsible for that:
those that campaign for good governance, freedom of expression, the rule of
law and human rights, or those that use hate speech against their critics,
devise oppressive laws, use the police as a tool of repression, and loot
farms for their own benefit?

Building a positive image for Zimbabwe should start at the top.
Tourists will not visit a country where there is no rule of law, where human
rights are subverted, and where political leaders use racist language to
justify their brutal grip on power.

Zimbabwe Tourism Authority chief executive Karikoga Kaseke said
his organisation was working on a "perception management programme".

He really doesn't get it, does he? You can't improve Zimbabwe's
international image so long as its leaders are delinquent in what they say
and do. While some visitors paid for by government may be impressed by our
facilities, it is only a matter of time before the country's leaders say
something outrageous which directly impacts on source markets.

Charamba described Zimbabwe as "a country subjected to illegal
sanctions by countries of ill-will", but, he said, "we have managed to
implement empowerment programmes to eradicate poverty".

Has anybody heard of any of these programmes? And are those
"countries of ill-will" the same ones that are keeping Zimbabweans fed?

Then there is the issue of the rule of law. Where is Joseph
Mwale? Where are the bombers of the Daily News and Voice of the People? What
sort of society is it that shelters such miscreants? Tuesday's edition of
the London Times provided instructive reading on the extent of torture in
Zimbabwe, quoting a report by the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum.

Zimbabwe's international reputation can be directly ascribed to
the behaviour of its rulers. So long as the ZTA fails to understand that it
will fail in its mission.

Still with building a "positive image" for the country, the
Times cited a recent episode at Reps bar where patrons were watching the
World Cup. Deputy Finance minister David Chapfika who was also present, the
newspaper reported, switched the channel to the local station so he could
watch the government news bulletin.

One of the drinkers switched it back to football. "We don't
watch that garbage here," he said. Twenty minutes later two policemen
entered the bar and took the man away, the Times said. They accused him of
saying: "We don't watch that Mugabe here," confusing the word "garbage" with
"Mugabe". He was kept in the ordurous cells of Avondale police station for
two freezing nights before being let go without charge.

On the subject of getting things mixed up, we were amused to
hear Simba Mumbengegwi's reference, during his harangue to diplomats last
week, about aborigines being held in a Tasmanian zoo where the last of the
species died out in the 1930s.

Could he have been thinking of the Tasmanian Tiger, the last of
which died out in a Tasmanian zoo in the 1930s? Whatever the case,
Mumbengegwi's outburst against Australia convinced many diplomats present
that Zimbabwe's rulers have lost the plot. Didymus Mutasa contributed to the
debacle with his customary words of wisdom.

Bridge-builders will have difficulty proceeding, several of
those present say, after that episode where Zimbabwe put its worst foot
forward. But can you imagine the government thinking it could make a good
impression on experienced diplomats by putting up the trio of Mumbengegwi
(thinking he could do another Hardtalk), Mutasa and Joseph Made!

Bulawayo commemorates the death of veteran nationalist and
founder politician, Joshua Nkomo, who died seven years ago. The gala
celebrated with an orgy of saturnalia, accompanied by song and dance serves
to remind Zimbabweans of the political icon. As usual the state television
station has been running cherry-picked rave reviews of Joshua Nkomo and his
works and speeches.

In order to give the younger generation an accurate history,
would it be asking too much for ZTV to get someone to recite excerpts of the
great man's letters written during his short exile in Britain, written to
the then Prime Minister, Robert Gabriel Mugabe?

Karigamombe Building, built from Railway Pension funds, was so
named in fawning praise of Mugabe to mark how his Zanu PF had slaughtered
the Zapu bull.

The then Transport minister, the late Herbert Ushewokunze, came
up with the name to spite Nkomo and his party symbol.

Is it impossible to rename Karigamombe Building more
appropriately to reflect the unity we are so keen to crow about? What about
cloning a bull and a rooster, then pitch the result on the party
headquarters where the cockerel still reminds us who rules the roost?

Muckraker notices some parts of the neon sign on the building
have gone on the blink at night. Instead of ZANU PF the neon sign reads ZA U
F, probably signifying that there is no longer "nationalism" and
"patriotism" in whatever we do.

It is amazing how revealing reports by the parliamentary
committees on various portfolios can be . The reports are second only to the
indicting details contained in maiden speeches by newly elected MPs. These
can easily pass for a barometer to measure how government has fared or
failed depending on the sycophancy of the orator.

The maiden speeches invariably make short shrift of the mythical
claims that Zanu PF has been developing the rural areas since ZIMCORD all
these years it has been in power.

Unwittingly new legislators' speeches contradict the
pre-election party manifesto that always paints a glowing picture of Zanu PF's

Almost all MPs gripe and groan about lack of infrastructure such
as roads, bridges, clinics and all that stuff in their constituencies. The
huff and puff contradict rather bashfully government's self-glorification.

Maiden speeches are instructive too on the probabilities that
the legislator would have employed the lack of infrastructure as a campaign
strategy in convincing biddable peasants to vote for him or her.

Muckraker cannot remember which legislator debunked the
misplaced notions that an MP can bring about development. For one thing the
MP has little resources to do so. For another the legislator will have to
convince everyone else in parliament that his constituency is worse off than
the rest and merits first preference.

What might be a priority in his constituency might not
necessarily be so in the eyes of the cabinet.

But going back to committee reports, Muckraker was deeply
unsettled by a report that government's failure to provide basic sanitary
items in prisons has forced inmates into committing sacrilege.

Inmates obviously don't expect God to forgive these ungodly acts
even when they have atoned themselves of their crimes by serving their

Prisoners are tearing the prison-issue Bibles apart and using
the pages as toilet paper out of necessity and desperation.

Why not collect pages of "The Other Side" or "African Focus" as
well as heaps of returns from a certain publication and deliver it to

Remember the Tswanas buying copies of the Chronicle saying it
was cheaper than a toilet roll?

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Price controls don't work

Zim Independent

By Eric Bloch

AS Zimbabwean inflation surges upwards, creating new record
highs each month, the hardships upon the
overwhelming majority of the population, the calls upon
government to impose price controls where they do not exist, and to enforce
those that do, become increasingly strident.

The letter pages of the national press are flooded with letters
scathingly attacking commerce and industry for alleged " profiteering" and
exploitation of the poor. The Consumer Council of Zimbabwe vigorously urges
governmental price control actions. MPs and Senators (having arrived at the
legislature in their luxurious, state-funded motor vehicles, and wearing
top-of-the-range outfits), weep crocodile tears of sympathy for the
beleaguered consumers, and demand that the Minister of Industry and
International Trade should curb the perceived avarice of private sector

That these reactions are so prevalent, and intensifying, is not
surprising. Ever greater numbers are reduced to the lowest levels of
poverty. They cannot adequately feed themselves and their families. When
ill, they cannot afford to seek medical attention or purchase medications.
Many cannot pay their children's school fees. Those fortunate to have
employment can still not make ends meet, to such extent that tens of
thousands cannot afford public transport to and from their places of
employment. Instead, they leave their homes before the break of dawn,
walking many kilometres to work, and then walk like great distances homeward
at the end of day, at best having one meal in the entire day, and knowing
that upon arrival home they will be confronted by crying, unhappy,
under-nourished children, and embittered, poverty-traumatised spouses.

Those same distressed masses see owners of businesses still
driving executive style motor vehicles, usually coming to their places of
business from upmarket residences, and therefore assume that they are
earning vast profits, and are the cause of the misery of the majority. They
are oblivious to the magnitude of debt accumulated by most businesses in
their struggles to survive within the collapsing Zimbabwean economy; debt
attracting interest rates of up to 700%.

They are blind to the progressive erosion of the capital of the
enterprises, caused by ever-rising costs, concurrently with declining sales
revenues. They disregard the fact that manufacturers, importers,
wholesalers, retailers and all other suppliers are as subject to inflation
as are the populace at large and that, therefore, the survival of their
businesses is dependent upon increasing prices. The reality is that very few
Zimbabwean businesses engaged in meeting consumer needs are achieving
increases in profits, in real terms.

With official inflation having reached almost 1 200% in the year
to May, profits will have had to increase 12-fold just to have retained
constancy of value. Not many enterprises have attained such profits. In
fact, a great many have incurred losses, forcing numerous to cease

Moreover, to make a profit is not a crime. Why should any place
their capital at risk, devote their time, energy and expertise to business
operations, and be confronted by the array of economic hazards that exist in
any economy, but especially in a distressed one, if not in order to make a
profit, and that profit should be commensurate to the risks that are faced,
and to the capital and other resources employed. If there is not a prospect
of such a profit, whether due to economic environmental circumstances or to
governmental actions and constraints, then the businesses will not be
established or, if existent, will not continue. In that event, price becomes
irrelevant, for the goods and services are simply not available to the
consumer, irrespective of affordability or otherwise.

But, most of all, those who demand enforcement of price controls
fail to recognise that price controls do not work. All that results from
controls are scarcities in official markets and, in consequence, growth in
black market activity, invariably at prices markedly greater than would have
pertained in normal markets, had there been no controls. Thus, price
controls are actually inflationary, and worsen the lot of the consumers. A
marked example of this was when the Zimbabwe Republic Police recently tried
to enforce the prescribed fare of $50 000 for commuter omnibus services in
urban areas, as against the fares being imposed by operators of $80 000
(which they required in consequence of massive escalations in costs of motor
spares, tyres, petrol and diesel). The police set-up road blocks to catch
the "errant" operators. To counter this, the operators would end their
journey before reaching the road blocks, charging $80 000 for the trip to
that point, whereafter the passengers would walk to the other side of the
road blocks, and board other commuter omnibuses, paying yet a further $80
000 to complete their journey. Thus, in seeking to limit costs to $50 000,
instead of $80 000, the commuter was actually faced with a cost of $160 000!

In like manner, the authorities descended heavily upon bakeries
and other purveyors of bread, arresting nearly 300 for selling standard
loaves at prices ranging from $120 000 to $135 000, when the "controlled"
price was $85 000. In consequence, standard loaves of bread are no longer
available and, if the consumer is to have bread, he must buy non-standard
loaves (such as super loaf), at prices ranging as high as $200 000. Once
again, the consumer was not protected by the controls, but afflicted by
them, with yet further intensification of hardships.

Petroleum prices have rocketed upwards in the last few weeks,
partially driven by growing scarcity, which does motivate some to make
excessive profits by exploiting the desperate need of the customers, but
mainly driven by massive increases in procurement costs. Those increases are
partially attributable to surging world crude oil prices, but more so to the
vast movement in exchange rates within the parallel market. On radio, last
Thursday, the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe vehemently demanded governmental
action to reinstate controls upon petroleum prices. That it did so was
undoubtedly driven by very real, genuine concern for consumers. That concern
is fully justified, but the proposed remedy of intensified controls is not,
for such controls will be counterproductive in the extreme.

Instead of regimented prices, which will destroy supply-lines,
and therefore further decimate the economy, and intensify the affliction of
consumers, government, and the rest of society, needs to bring inflation
under control. A social contract must halt inflation driving inflation,
exchange rates must move to restore export viability and, thereby, increase
productivity, government must cut its spending, money supply growth must be
curbed, and parastatals must be made effective (why is no-one demanding a
control upon Zimpost's recurrent increases in charges, or querying why Zupco
is realising a profit of more than $180 billion in three months, whilst
increasing fares?).

If inflation would be driven down by effective measures, instead
of fruitless attempts to do so with price controls, and if at the same time
competition would be encouraged and productivity assured, then prices would
be very much more constant, and the pressure upon consumers would
progressively decline. The hard fact is that price controls have never been
an effective economic measure - they don't work, and Zimbabwe must resort to
measures that do work!

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Parallel rates punish economy

Zim Independent


ZIMBABWE'S parallel foreign currency market, which the
government has unsuccessfully battled to terminate despite its  inflationary
effects, is once more a dominant feature of an economic crisis that has
ravaged the country for the last six years.

There has always been significant official attention on parallel
foreign currency activities by the government and its monetary agency in the
last six years, but events over the last few days should draw not only
attention but shame on a government that has failed to deal decisively with
the country's economic problems despite its claims to the contrary.

Our defenceless currency has lost ground significantly over the
past month on the parallel market, while the exchange rate on the official
interbank market has remained stagnant, despite increased inflationary
pressures in the economy.

Prices of basic and non-basic commodities have soared
considerably during the same period, reflecting the fact that industry and
commerce are factoring the parallel market rates in their pricing systems.

Indeed parallel exchange rates have had an enormous impact on
the economy.

Continued increases in the premium on the parallel exchange
market have encouraged the diversion of exports from official to unofficial

Importers have been forced to source foreign currency from the
parallel market because the official market is literally dry.

This has pushed up the domestic prices of imported goods as
prices are determined by the parallel rate.

But clearly the emergence and persistence of the parallel market
can only be attributed to skewed economic policies by government.

The traditional government approach to the crisis has always
been to blame economic saboteurs for spawning the parallel market and
fuelling the economic crisis.

This narrow-minded attitude has evidently ignored the heart and
soul of parallel foreign currency market activities, resulting in futile
efforts by the government to destroy the market through police raids on
individuals and companies suspected of dealing in foreign currency and
prosecution of firms failing to remit foreign currency on time.

Zimbabwe, which adopted an open market economy when it undertook
International Monetary Fund (IMF)-backed economic reforms in 1991, still
possesses  rigid exchange restrictions prompted principally by its external
indebtedness and increasing non-creditworthiness made worse by the depletion
of international reserves.

The country's reserves have suffered significantly due to
dwindling export receipts. Once the country embarked on controversial land
reforms in 2000, agriculture, the bedrock of the country's export sector and
the economy, suffered historic losses.

The country's agriculture-dependent manufacturing sector was
affected, again resulting in a reduction of exports.
The fixing of the exchange rate, despite high inflation levels
evidently eroding the value of the domestic currency, has had the effect of
making Zimbabwe's exports uncompetitive in foreign markets.

Moreover, the high costs associated with production in a
hyperinflationary environment mean that exporters have to cash their foreign
currency on the official market at rates that do not make exports

This has restricted access to official markets by exporters
leading to the emergence of an illegal parallel market.

The parallel market has consequently grown in significance as
the authorities respond to a deteriorating balance-of-payments situation by
tightening and extending controls rather than devaluing the official
exchange rate.

As a result, Zimbabwe's currency has become persistently
overvalued on the official market and this has discouraged exports.

The parallel market, which has responded rapidly to
macroeconomic developments, has therefore become the preferred channel for
disposing of foreign currency by both exporters and individuals.

It is important to note that officials from both the government
and the central bank, who have vigorously defended the skewed exchange
policy and condemned the parallel market, have themselves been key traders
of hard currency on the parallel market.

This is an acknowledgement that the official market rate is
unrealistic and that a decisive resolution to deal with the current crisis
should be undertaken.

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Each one of us owes $3,2 million

Zim Independent

Candid Comment

By Dumisani Muleya

THE recent dramatic increase in Zimbabwe's domestic debt from
$15 trillion to about $48 trillion has painted a grim picture of the
economic situation and cast a pall over prospects of recovery of the

Latest central bank statistics show the public debt was $42,9
trillion as at June 16. The debt was $21 trillion on June 2 and $27 trillion
on June 9.  It is now $48,2 trillion. The debt shot up from $1,7 trillion in
December 2004 to $15,9 trillion in December last year.

This means on average every Zimbabwean - including all those who
are outside the country and newly-born babies - have a debt of $3,2 million
if we assume the population is 15 million.

Officially the population is around 12 million people but
estimates suggest if locals in foreign countries are to be included, the
figure is actually much higher.

Zimbabwe's running national budget is $124 trillion. The budget
deficit is expected to be 4,6% because government anticipates collecting
$110 trillion in revenue and spending $123,9 trillion.

The debt has been skyrocketing against a background of
deteriorating macro-economic fundamentals and the socio-economic situation.

The central bank's overnight accommodation rate yesterday stood
at 850%, the inter-bank rate at 722,86% while treasury bills yielded 510%.
Inflation is 1 193%, while the exchange rate has crashed to land at
US$1:$400 000.

Internal debt is the part of government debt owed to creditors
who are citizens of that country. It is a form of fiat creation of money in
which the government obtains cash not by printing it, but by borrowing it.

The money created is in the form of treasury securities or
securities borrowed from the central bank. The domestic debt forms a part of
the national debt which includes the external debt.

Zimbabwe's foreign debt is US$3,9 billion. Zimbabwe recently
printed $21 trillion to pay the International Monetary Fund (IMF) arrears
although the global fund refused to lift the sanctions it imposed on the
country for non-payment.

Zimbabwe's external arrears are not limited to the IMF, World
Bank and African Development Bank. It owes a number of suppliers money for
fuel and electricity, among other critical imports. Printing money can't be
the solution but improved economic and export performance is.

Currently the balance of payments position is extremely bad
because the country had a negative trade balance of US$363 million last year
after it registered total exports worth US$1,6 billion - a 6,4% decline -
vis-à-vis imports of US$1,9 billion although the imports had fallen by 2,6%.

This means the country is now caught up in a debt trap which is
detrimental to the already battered economy. The situation is worsened by
the fact that Zimbabwe is isolated internationally and cannot get foreign
direct investment, donor funds, or debt cancellation, which are all critical
to economic growth.

The domestic debt has become a problem not only because of its
massive size but also the rate at which it is mounting.

The other problem is that a large portion of the debt is held in
short-term bonds that attract high real interest rates and this inevitably
creates a debt vicious circle.

The strucure of the domestic debt reflects the dominance of
short-term paper - more than 90% - with medium to long term debt taking up
less than 10%. The structure of the debt is very expensive and certainly not

The government amassed the debt mostly through its uncontrolled
expenditure patterns. President Mugabe's regime is notorious for dishing out
money like confetti every time there is an election coming in a bid to
purchase votes.

It also spends recklessly for other political reasons, for
instance paying the ex-combatants to placate them when they show signs of

The government recently printed large amounts of money to pay an
army of restless soldiers and civil servants, as well as pay its own debts.
This came against a background of a public service wage bill which is above
40% of the budget, something clearly unsustainable.

The fiscal and monetary consequences of the debt are enormous.
The debt situation leaves the government facing bankruptcy, even though this
regime thinks a government can never get broke because it can always print
While this is true in simplistic terms, it betrays economic
ignorance writ large. A government can get broke in real financial terms.
Printing large sums of paper money - not backed by wealth - is a sign of
bankruptcy,  a hallmark of economic failure.

Given the current situation, it would be difficult, if not
impossible, in the short to medium-term to improve the fiscal position from
a chronic deficit situation to a surplus to reduce the growing debt threat
to the economy.

While there are a number of options which can be exercised to
deal with the debt situation, there are no easy answers.

The government can divest from some non-performing national
assets and use the proceeds to reduce the debt.

Privatisation and commercialisation are the main options
although they always carry a political cost.

The domestic debt has grown rapidly over the past six years with
the increasing deficit that has become structural.

Since Independence in 1980, Zimbabwe has always had a debt
problem but the situation was worsened by government's unsustainable
populist spending policies.

Government has never been able to marshal enough revenue to
finance its expenditures. This has resultantly created deficits that have to
be financed either by borrowing from the domestic market or externally.

Since government has been over-borrowing locally and cannot
borrow from outside, it has now resorted to printing money to finance its
expenditure and pay interest on the debt.

This has become hyper-inflationary. Unless the government deals
with the debt problem, it may soon find itself locked in a terminal fiscal
crisis which can easily aggravate mounting political problems.

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Zim Independent Letters

Shumba doesn't deserve coverage

I HAVE seen that many times Zanu PF "rejects" seek independent
media attention after they are ditched by the party.

Daniel Shumba, the UPP president, should not be allowed any
media coverage by independent papers.

Why can't he approach the Herald to make known his stupid move.
I'm sure only foolish people will vote for this creature which sadly has the
guts to say: "I was once a part of Zanu PF and tried to sort out things from
within. I know how they rig elections and I know how we can achieve our

Maybe he should be tortured by CIOs himself for speaking bad
about the president's party. He's a confused sell-out who helped Zanu PF rig
elections but now wants to give the world the impression that he's clean.

Why didn't he tell us about how Zanu PF rigs elections before he
was fired?

What things was he trying to sort out apart from masterminding
the rigging of elections and other ills that have destroyed Zimbabwe?

He will not fool me by pretending to be perfect himself. He was
part of this crooked and evil regime and rigging scheme.

I would rather vote for a cockroach than vote for a conman like

He just didn't want Joice Mujuru to become vice-president, hence
his attendance at the Tsholotsho meeting.

If Shumba had attended that meeting to scheme ways of getting
Mugabe out of power then I would have respect for him and take him

What goal does Shumba want to achieve? What madness does he want
to stop? He had better fool someone else. Anything with traces of Zanu PF is
dirty and evil to me.

It's high time independent papers refused to be abused by such
kind of selfish ex-Zanu PF members who treated us like door mats at the time
they licked Mugabe's boots. Let them have their stories published by
Nathaniel Manheru.

As an independent paper, the Zimbabwe Independent should not
allow these Zanu PF "convicts" to grace its pages unless they are convicted
of rape, theft and other kind of

Black out Shumba and all the creatures of the same calibre. That
will make you a truly independent paper. Allowing them coverage is as good
as allowing evil to prevail.

They have nothing constructive to offer to Zimbabwean society.
They destroyed our country, stole our riches and raped us. They should be
forgotten once and for all.

No Zanu PF convict for president.

Viomak Mugabechienda,



            Where's the povo's ire?

            POOR Zimbabwe, once a sovereign state (as we were
constantly told) but now with all our efforts to give away failing
parastatals and unmined minerals to the East, is fast becoming a zhing zhong
Chinese colony.

            Even Vice-President Joice Majuru recently "returned
empty-handed from China".

            Inscrutable Chinese learn very quickly.

            And now the United Nations are asking us to accept
that Zimbabwe is a failed state - the lowest of the low. Poor Zimbabwe, once
the breadbasket of southern Africa.

            Last Friday's issue also told us that Simbarashe
Mumbengegwi, our Foreign Affairs minister, had blown away President Robert
Mugabe's bridge-building efforts sky-high by a stinging 20-minute "rant and
rave outburst" at a meeting with diplomats also attended, I gather, by
Didymus Mutasa.

            And so our worthy president goes to Banjul to attend
the African Union meeting and meet SA president Thabo Mbeki and UN
secretary-general Kofi Annan, unsupported by any possible areas of agreement
in seeking peace and understanding from the West and the United Nations.

            It looks as though we're going to have to continue
to battle on against the odds set by our own government.

            How long will it be before the povo finally gets so
desperate and angry that they rise up, as the late ex-Chief Justice Enoch
Dumbutshena, I seem to recall, foresaw would be the case some few years ago
and throw the government out on its neck?



                  Mutambara's political maturity, sensitivity

                  PRESIDENT of the pro-senate MDC faction,
Professor Arthur Mutambara is a very sensitive man. From the tone of his
message of condolence to the Tsvangirai family on the death of Sekuru
Dzingirai Chibwe Tsvangirai, father of Morgan, leader of the anti-senate MDC
faction, he sounded very touched by the death of Mr Tsvangirai senior.

                  He praised the deceased for having nurtured
Morgan to become the national symbol of hope in our struggle for democracy
and freedom against Robert Mugabe.

                  This was a very mature statement to say the
least. I also noticed that Mutambara and his faction are the only group that
issued a positive press statement on the death of Mr Tsvangirai senior. Even
Tsvangirai's faction did not issue a statement and we do not know why?

                  Tsvangirai must appreciate that he is now a
national figure and a national asset.

                  Whatever happens in his personal life or in
his family is of national significance and the nation has the right to be
informed about it.

                   Mutambara must be congratulated for displaying
a mature approach to national issues.

                  May the soul of Sekuru Chibwe rest in eternal

                  Zivai Vusimbe,


                  From which planet are they?

                  YOUR article from AFP, "Zim cannot happen in
SA", (Zimbabwe Independent, June 16), sounded rather comical .

                  From which planet or solar system are these
people? Are they for real, or on the latest illegal substance call "Tik".

                  Lourie Bosman and his fellow Afrikaners must
remove the blinkers from their eyes. What happened on Zimbabwe's farms will
be described by future historians as an English tea party.

                  Bosman must be an ostrich farmer and, like his
birds, has his head deeply buried in the sand.

                  He must only look at the South African navy to
realise that the only white thing left is the sailors' uniform.

                  Leslie Vollenhoven,


                   Chikomba's curse

                  WHILE in Zanu PF circles Chikomba constituency
is touted as the hub of the party's politics, there is one thing that
remains a mystery to many, especially in the wake of incumbent MP Tichaona
Jokonya's death.

                   l From 1980 Chikomba has had six other Zanu PF
MPs - Ernest Kadungure, Tedius Kudzedzereka, Solomon Mujuru, Chenjerai
Hunzvi and Bernard Makokove;

                  l Out of the six, only Kudzedzereka was
resident in Chikomba while the rest were "visiting MPs" only seen at
election times;

                  l Three of them - Kadungure, Hunzvi and
Jokonya died in office; and

                  l Mujuru and Makokove were rejected by the

                  Today, the district still resembles the tribal
trust lands established by Ian Smith; backward, neglected and

                  Frank Matandirotya,


                  God won't intervene at the behest of Zanu PF

                  I AM a firm believer in the power of prayer,
but when this is convened at the behest of Zanu PF and its renegades within
the Christian church, I don't believe God will intervene to pacify their
evil agenda.

                  I am also certain that such endeavours now or
in the future will have no positive consequence for our long-suffering

                  Based on recent press reports, it seems
Zimbabweans forced to attend this fiasco have no clue on the sort of favours
Zanu PF is seeking from God.

                   In their plethora of lies and deception, Zanu
PF is resorting to the religious card to dupe our people.

                  It is sad that certain elements in the
Christian church are complicitly upholding the current status quo created by
Zanu PF's bad human rights record.

                  Perhaps Zanu PF is attempting to emulate our
previous colonial masters. When they descended on us a century ago, they
brought with them their bibles, told our people to turn their cheek and in
the process forcefully took our land and raped us of our culture.

                  Isn't this history repeating itself 100 years
later, but this time being waged by our so-called liberators - Zanu PF.

                  God bless our people who deserve better
leaders than those found in Zanu PF.

                  Nazir Lunat,

                  California, USA.

                  Andy Pycroft lost it

                  I WOULD like to express my concern over the
story "Zim A coach not worried about results", (Zimbabwe Independent, June

                  The remarks, attributed to Andy Pycroft, coach
of the "second" string Zimbabwe cricket side, are not only alarming but also
shocking, considering his background in the sport.

                  I'm of the view that they were meant to
embarass and humiliate the Bangladesh Cricket Board that has been pestering
Zimbabwe for matches yet the country is at its weakest ever.

                  Such an attitude only confirms that Zimbabwe's
continued participation in international cricket, especially at Test level,
is a farce as it is pointless to take on an opposition that doesn't mind
losing the contest.

                  Unless Zimbabwe cricket rids itself of the
current administrators led by Peter Chingoka, who are ironically virtually
clueless about the sport, but were only lured to it by its deep pockets, it
is most certainly headed for oblivion!

                  Kakembo Philip,

                  Kampala, Uganda.

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JAG Job Opportunities dated 29 June 2006

Please send any job opportunities for publication in this newsletter to: JAG
Job Opportunities; or

Ad inserted 1 June 2006

Data capturer/Administrator

If you are seeking a job in the above field, please contact Sarah at OXFORD
I.T. on 309274/309371-2 or alternatively email Sarah on

The above position is working for Oxford I.T. and involves about 75% data
basing, 15% filing, 10% assistant duties to Sarah.

The position is available immediately and interviews are being conducted
with Sarah at the Oxford I.T. offices.

Ideal candidates would be school leavers due to the nature of the position,
but other candidates will be considered.

Don't hesITiate - IniTiate!
Call Oxford I.T. today.


Ad inserted 8 June 2006

Concession Manager. Mozambique - based

TCT successfully recruited a manager from Zimbabwe in February 2006 and are
now looking for an additional manager to join the team.

Forestry and sawmill operation in northern Sofala Province seeks bush
manager as part of a team managing 2 forest concessions, 2 sawmills and a

Should be self-motivated, industrious, able to work alone and live in remote
areas. Owing to nature of work the candidate should have good technical
sense. Suit an ex-Farmer experienced in running low-skilled teams,
overseeing maintenance of machinery and equipment and "doing whatever is
necessary to get the job done"!

The candidate should be prepared to reside in Mozambique full time, with the
majority of time spent in bush. Fully legal residence and work permits will
be provided.

Package in US$ with vehicle & accommodation in bush.

Portuguese not essential at the start but the successful candidate would
have to learn to communicate in the language.

Basic computer literacy an advantage.

CV's will be accepted until the 26th of June 2006, short listed candidates
will be advised by the 5 July and a candidate will be selected by the 20th
of July, candidate expected to start as soon as possible, preferably August

Package to be negotiated

Please send your CV to email or fax +258 23 30 21 61.
Included in your CV or on the covering letter please advise what package you
will be expecting.

Those candidates who submitted their CV's for the first position that has
been filled and would like to apply for the second position, please resubmit
your CV's.

For additional company information see


Ad inserted 8 June 2006

Tobacco Farm Manager Required

Irrigated and Dry land Crop.  Good Package for Experienced Person.



Ad inserted 15 June 2006

Secretary Wanted
A keen and enthusiastic person wanted to fill a secretarial position at
Garden Genius Pvt ltd.  Hours would be 8 - 5 from Monday to Friday.
Please phone 746538 if you are interested.


Ad inserted 15 June 2006

Manager Wanted - Namibia

Zimbabwean farmers, who may be interested in exploring the possibility of
moving to other African countries to start projects or equity in business.

Farm of 4433 hectares situated 7 km from the mining town of Tsumeb, Namibia.
The farm has 7 boreholes but only two of them are currently used. It has a
transformer with continuous electricity power supplied by NAMPOWER. In the
past, 30 hectares have already been cleared for crop production and
currently we have 21 cattle, which we would like to increase to make it
economically viable. Also, wild animals such as kudu, eland, wild boar and
many small buck animals roam freely through the farm. The farm also has
ample supply of trees for firewood.

We require somebody to manage, develop and run the farm profitably because
at the moment we have our jobs in the city, Windhoek, which is 440 km from
the farm. We will be interested in entertaining business proposals for
profit sharing ventures or applications from individuals who will be
interested in developing, managing and running the farm as a business

For further information they might like to contact us at our email address, or contact Estefania at +26461223088 (After 18h00
Namibian time) or Stephen at mobile phone +264812988991.


Ad inserted 15 June 2006

General Manager Wanted

General Manager required for locally based international seed company.
Applicants should have a good background in administration with particular
emphasis on the ability to operate in an economy affected by hyperinflation.
Experience in horticulture is essential.

Position would suit a mature ex-farmer who is computer literate.
Motor vehicle and other benefits included in package.
Please apply to


Ad inserted 15 June 2006


We need a Transport Manager as soon as possible that can handle the basic
transport management side as well as fuel procurement.

Competitive salary offered to the right person.

Please apply to with CV and references.
Phone no. (067) 28603/4  (067) 29299   011609841


Ad inserted 15 June 2006


1) Small scale tobacco project in D.R.C.
2) Tough conditions (but safe!)
3) Project in developing stages.
4) This post is for a "Jack of all trades" person with sound knowledge of
tobacco and admin skills.
5) Applicants to reply to advertiser, at Box 4601, Harare. Please advise
contact phone number.
6) Salary to be negotiated.


Ad inserted 22 June 2006




Ad inserted 22 June 2006

Manager Wanted

Position Offered:  Manager required to oversee factory in Harare and to
travel to Chalala, Kariba for one week per month for stock takes etc.  In
Harare the job will entail the overseeing of factory, machinery and vehicles
maintenance and managing labour, stocks and security.  Position available
immediately.  Interested applicants please email


Ad inserted 29 June 2006


C.E.O required to Head the Kapenta Industry in Kariba. Good package
depending on applicants qualifications. To start, 1st August 2006. Applicant
required to be good & meticulous administrator & very active (35 years &
above). Please apply to email address:


Ad inserted 29 June 2006




Employment Sought


Ad inserted 1 June 2006

Employment Sought

Situations wanted Tourism/Hospitality for a management couple or assistant
Management couple with experience for a Lodge, bush camp or fishing camp in
Zambia, Botswana, South Africa or Kenya.

Situations wanted Motor industry. Workshop Manager, warranty officer/Parts
manager. With extensive experience in the motor trade totalling 30 years on
Mazda, Nissan and Peugeot vehicles. We would prefer expatriate conditions of
employment if possible. Prepared to relocate to Zambia, Botswana or Southern

Please contact N A Spreeth on 091369872, 091951340 or email


Ad inserted 22 June 2006

Position Required in Safari/Outdoor Organization;

Single male with previous experience in Zimbabwe and Mozambique seeks
position. Has experience in camp management, catering, lodge/camp
construction, and administration. Please contact Ned via Duncan on 011 405
387, 309971 (work hours) or email at


Ad inserted 22 June 2006


We are shortly leaving Zimbabwe and wish to find employment for our driver
Munyaradzi Maliki.  He is a non-drinker, very reliable, hard working and
honest.  Munyaradzi has driven our T35 extensively on long distances over
extremely poor dirt roads to our Kapenta Fishing Camp (Harare to Kariba -
via Gokwe).  He is meticulous in conducting regular full vehicle checks and
has proved to be a valued employee and a good team player, who willingly
undertakes other duties if he is not driving.  His availability would be on
an immediate basis.  Please contact Shaw: 091 945686 or 091 270 245
(landline not working)."


Ad inserted 22 June 2006

Farm Manager

Looking for a farm job as a manager, Qualified at Blackfordby Agricultural,
Three years farming experience in tobacco, maize and wheat.
Please contact George Heyns home: 064 8388    Cell:091272216


Ad inserted 22 June 2006

Ex Farmer

Ex Farmer/Consultant and Agronomist for Alliance One Tobacco aged 50 years
living in Zimbabwe with 23 years experience in growing tobacco, maize, seed
maize, horticulture, beef cattle, pigs, chickens.  Excellent management,
administration and communication skills, computer literate, full clean
drivers licence.  Was runner up'Tobacco Grower of the Year' in 1985.  Spent
last 2 years consulting for Imperial Tobacco Group in Madagascar on the
production of flue-cured tobacco.
AVAILABLE IMMEDIATELY.  CONTACT: 091 439 911/011  602 583 or

Can send CV if necessary.


For the latest listings of accommodation available for farmers, contact (updated 29 June 2006)

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