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

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From FAO (UN), 19 May


Harvesting of the main season crops planted in November-December 2003 is
underway. A joint FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission was in the
country for part of the planned period. Based on the mission's visits to
three main provinces, observations along the travel routes and interviews
with informants at local level, the mission estimated that total food
production this year would be even lower than last year's 980 000 tonnes.
The overall food deficit (import requirement) could be over 1 million
tonnes. Final estimates would be provided by FAO and WFP in the first half
of June. The decline in production is attributed to delayed and erratic
rainfall, shortages of quality seeds, the high local cost of fertilizer,
shortages of draught animal power and tractors, a further decline in the
utilization of large-scale commercial farms, and the impact of HIV/AIDS
pandemic. At the beginning of the agricultural season in October very few
farmers were able to plant maize due to insufficient and scattered showers.
The ensuing dry spell destroyed many first plantings. Effectively, rains
started throughout much of the country in late December-early January,
pushing back maize and sorghum start-of-season in many areas. In recent
years, domestic cereal production has covered less than half of the country'
s domestic requirements. Escalating inflation, currently on the order of 600
percent per annum, is further eroding purchasing power, thus greatly
limiting access to food for the most vulnerable groups. WFP's monthly food
distribution data under the current Emergency Operation (EMOP) shows that a
total of 314 357 tonnes of food was distributed from July 2003 to April
2004, with a planned distribution of 10 000 tonnes for May-June. The number
of beneficiaries peaked in March 2004 at 4.4 million.

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      Land reform gives away markets

      Felix Njini
      6/3/2004 7:39:24 AM (GMT +2)

      THERE is little hope on the horizon for the revival of the critical
tobacco, horticulture and tourism industries as the country continues to
reel from negative perceptions caused by the government's disruptive land
reform, analysts say.

      The economic analysts cast doubt this week over Zimbabwe's ability to
realise any meaningful foreign currency earnings from the three sectors,
which have contributed immensely to the country's reserves.

      There are fears that Zimbabwe might fail to recover some of the
lucrative export markets it has lost in the tobacco and horticulture

      For instance, the tobacco industry, which used to produce more than
200 million kilogrammes of the golden leaf, is now producing an estimated 60
million kgs.

      As a result, Zimbabwe has lost the confidence of major markets in
Europe as a reliable supplier of quality flue-cured tobacco, which is in
high demand because of its blending quality, while competitors have
capitalised on the local industry's problems to eat into its market share.

      Century Holdings Limited group economist Moses Chundu said the future
of the horticulture, tobacco and tourism industries was still dim.

      Chundu said in addition to the traditional buyers, the country now
needed to aggresively market its products in new markets.

      "This is a period when we cannot realise our own potential. The land
reform is still in gestation, but the markets have been lost for ever,"
Chundu said.

      The horticulture sector, like all other industries in Zimbabwe, has
been operating under difficult economic conditions which the analysts said
might derail growth in the future.

      But the biggest threat for the sector, they said, remained the land
redistribution exercise.

      The agrarian reform has affected a number of companies, including
leading horticultural concern Interfresh Limited, which had almost half of
its citrus estate in Mazowe invaded by pro-government supporters.

      Recently, the government, in controversial circumstances, took over
Kondozi Farm, one of the largest horticultural exporters in the country
located in Odzi.

      "The dilemma is in the marketing of the products. Some markets have
already turned their backs on Zimbabwe and this is being worsened by
continuous seizures of privately owned properties," Chundu said.

      Statistics from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe indicate that
horticulture contributes about 5.8 percent of total agricultural output and
about eight percent to the farming sector's foreign currency earnings.

      Export earnings from horticulture rose from US$19.5 million in 1992 to
an estimated US$67.7 million in 2001, with more than 80 percent of flower
exports destined for the European market.

      Players in the sector have indicated that world flower markets for
Zimbabwean breeder-protected varieties have been firm.

      According to Ariston Holdings, another major horticultural exporter,
prices have risen in line with strong demand.

      But Zimbabwe has not been able to take advantage of this surge in
world prices, a fact the analysts blamed on the government's often
disruptive land affirmative action.

      Apart from the agrarian exercise, input costs have also hamstrung
production in the horticulture sector.

      Economic commentator Jonathan Kadzura said the cost of specialist
fertilisers, as well as poor-quality products, most of which were being
rejected on world markets, might have discouraged new farmers who had
ventured into horticulture.

      Farming industry players also note that there has been a consistent
deterioration in the tobacco output, which has seen the country losing
market share to regional competitors.

      Zimbabwe Tobacco Association president Duncan Millar said the industry
needed to stablilise first before regaining the confidence of the world

      "Firstly, we have to prove to the market that we are now stable and
then they will start treating us as reliable suppliers . . . then the
industry can move forward," Millar said.

      It is estimated that about 75 percent of the market which used to be
serviced by Zimbabwean tobacco exports is not being served.

      Chundu said high capital requirements and lack of funding from the
government and commercial banks could hinder a rapid recovery of the tobacco

      To produce a hectare of tobacco, a farmer needs about $30 million from
the growing stage to marketing.

      "It depends on the ability of the state to supply resources but there
has been a problem of resources not being adequate or not being allocated in
time, resulting in little corresponding returns on the investment," Chundu

      Annual tobacco output has fallen from a record 237 million kilogrammes
in 2000 to 83 million kilogrammes in 2003 and 60 million kilogrammes in the
current season.

      An estimated US$200 million a year has been lost since 2000 because of
the declining output, which has been attributed to the government's chaotic
land reform programme.

      This has meant that the country has lost out on a 33 percent jump in
world prices of tobacco since 2000, the year the land invasions began.

      According to Kadzura, the Zimbabwean tobacco industry has not been
short of markets.

      "The problem remains that we have not produced enough crop to earn
substantial amounts of foreign currency as we used to do. The utilisation of
tobacco farmland fell far short of expections," Kadzura said.

      "One other problem is that for the past two years the Ministry of
Lands has been talking too much about the marketing of tobacco and this led
to a wait-and-see situation, which resulted in reduction in output of the
crop," he said.

      Kadzura said he hoped new incentives being put in place by the central
bank would speed up the recovery of the tobacco industry.

      Chundu said to attract tourists, Zimbabwe had to convince the world
that the situation was now back to normal in the country.

      The sector has been hit hard by the bad press the country suffered as
a result of the land reform and because of the political violence that
accompanied the watershed 2000 and 2002 parliamentary and presidential

      Tourism, which earned the country more than US$770 million in 1999, is
seen as a long way off from recovery.

      A senior official in the Ministry of Tourism and Environment said the
forthcoming 2005 general election was already causing worries among tour

      Since February 2000 when the ruling ZANU PF party lost a referendum on
a new constitution, elections in Zimbabwe have been characterised by

      The violence was particulary extreme in run-up to the June 2000
general poll, when ZANU PF faced its stiffest challenge in the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change, and towards the 2002 presidential poll.

      "On our part as the ministry, there is nothing we can do. We can't act
as if we are anticipating violence because then we will be admitting that
there is violence in Zimbabwe," the Tourism Ministry official said.

      "But for all we know, tourism will be damaged because there is going
to be violence," she added.
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      Politics of food in Zimbabwe

      Charles Rukuni
      6/3/2004 7:35:07 AM (GMT +2)

      BULAWAYO - It's a battle of wits. Zimbabwe says it now has enough food
and does not need assistance any longer. Donors say this is a lie: the
country does not have enough food.

      President Robert Mugabe, they say, just wants to get rid of donors so
that he can use food as a political tool to win next year's general

      Some media reports have even suggested that the elections, initially
slated for March 2005, had been pushed forward to October so that they could
be held before the country ran out of food. The government denies this.

      What is apparently clear, although neither side wants to admit, is
that the debate is not really about food. It is about land.

      If Zimbabwe has enough food, this means that its controversial land
reform programme has succeeded. This would be a plus for President Mugabe.

      The West, which has opposed the land reform programme, as well as
donors who refused to fund it, would find it difficult to swallow this. They
claim it is a "fantasy".

      Agriculture Minister Joseph Made said in a statement on May 11 2004
that the country had produced 2 431 182 tonnes of maize in the season just
ended. Together with sorghum and millet, the figure should come to 2 805 995
tonnes, he said. This is more than the country consumes.

      According to the United States Agency for International
Development-funded Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS), Zimbabwe
requires 1 674 265 tonnes of maize for both human and livestock consumption.
It also requires 176 562 tonnes of millet, 341 353 tonnes of wheat and 11
653 tonnes of rice, making a total of 2 203 833 tonnes of grain.

      Made said new farmers had produced 15 times the quantity they produced
last season, and Social Welfare Minister Paul Mangwana said since the
country had produced enough food, it no longer required food aid. This was
reiterated by President Mugabe during an interview with Skynews TV.

      But Mangwana said the government still required assistance for
agricultural recovery and social programmes such as the rehabilitation of
boreholes and other farming infrastructure.

      He said aid agencies like the World Food Programme, which spearheaded
the food relief programme, could continue to provide assistance to
vulnerable groups such as AIDS orphans and the elderly.

      "They will continue offering assistance, but this will be to targeted
groups only, not to communities on a larger scale as before," he said.

      Donors and the West, it appears, will not hear this. They have opposed
the land reform programme since 1997, claiming it was a recipe for disaster.
And when the country ran out of food following the 2002 drought, they seemed
to have been proved right. The country had been reduced from a breadbasket
to a basket case.

      As far as they are concerned, therefore, there is no way Zimbabwe can
turn around on its own without external help.

      In a press release on May 14 2004, human rights watchdog Amnesty
International said assessment by independent organisations had revealed that
Zimbabwe was likely to have a cereal deficit of between 500 000 and 800 000

      "If independent assessments are correct," Amnesty argued, "the risk is
that food will be used for political ends and food supplies will go first
and only to supporters of the ruling party."

      Amnesty International said it was gravely concerned that the present
actions of the government of Zimbabwe, to bar donor agencies from continuing
to provide food aid to an estimated "five million people", may be an attempt
to control food supplies ahead of the March parliamentary elections.

      "Political manipulation of food, particularly state-controlled GMB
grain, by officials and supporters of the ruling Zimbabwe African National
Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU PF) has been widely reported over the past two
years. ZANU PF has repeatedly used food as an electioneering tool.

      "Viewed against a history of political manipulation of food, the
government's current actions are a cause for grave concern," it said.

      But the latest available report from FEWS says Zimbabwe is capable of
meeting its own food requirements without any outside assistance even if
there were a deficit.

      "Two grain availability scenarios can be developed for the 2004/05
marketing year, depending on the yield assumptions made," it says.

      "In both cases, a deficit is projected. The worst case scenario, given
total grain production of 1 491 000 tonnes, results in a deficit of around
509 000 tonnes; in the best case scenario, with 1 930 000 tonnes of cereal
production, a 70 000 tonnes deficit is projected."

      More critical is FEWS' conclusion.

      "Based on the government's record over the past three years, and
provided the foreign currency earnings situation remains at least the same
as it was in 2001/02, it appears likely that the government will manage to
import adequate amounts to close even the worst case scenario grain gap," it

      Zimbabwe's foreign currency scenario is better than it was in 2001 and
2002. Central bank governor Gideon Gono said foreign currency inflows in the
first three months of this year alone were greater than those for the whole
of last year.

      The argument by the West and donors that Zimbabwe cannot be food
self-sufficient is probably based on a wrong forecast by Made in 2001 when
he insisted that the country had enough food, only to see it go begging. The
argument seems to be that if he got his figures wrong then, why believe him

      Made, co-opted into President Mugabe's government in 2000 as one of
the young technocrats, survived that blunder because he had stood his ground
that he would go ahead with the land reform programme because he genuinely
believed it would benefit the nation in the end.

      What most people were probably not aware of, and may still not be
aware of, is that Made has always been a strong advocate of small-scale
producers. He believes that they are the answer to Africa's, and not just
Zimbabwe's, agrarian success.

      In a paper he prepared while still with the Agricultural and Rural
Development Authority, Made argued that smallholder agriculture played an
essential role in ensuring food security, economic growth and employment

      Financing these smallholder farmers was, therefore, crucial in poverty
reduction in developing countries, especially those in sub-Saharan Africa.

      "There is ample evidence to show that smallholder farmers use land and
other inputs just as efficiently as large-scale farmers," he argued. "This
justifies the need to finance and invest in the smallholder sector"

      The West and donors have argued that Zimbabwe is in a mess because it
grabbed land from mainly white large-scale farmers, but statistical evidence
shows that peasant farmers produced 70 percent of the maize crop before the
land reform programme.

      Made argued that most of the aid to smallholder farmers had been
through multilateral and bilateral agreements signed by recipient
governments and donor agencies.

      Through this aid, farmers had benefited from large investments in dam
construction, irrigation facilities, machinery and other equipment. They had
also benefited from the transfer of technology, management and
organisational skills.

      But he pointed out that the problem with donor aid was that the
granting of loans depended on macroeconomic policies of the recipient
country, such as a stable political and social environment.

      "The moment these conditions are perceived by the aid agencies to be
lacking, the aid is either suspended or withdrawn, regardless of whether the
programmes have been completed or not."

      This is exactly what has happened in Zimbabwe. Donors have abandoned
the country because of perceived "breakdown of the rule of law".

      But because of his conviction that smallholder farmers can make it,
Made is focusing on local investment into farming. The government is
encouraging contract farming, which enables farmers to get inputs from
companies that will buy their produce.

      While Zimbabwe says it needs infrastructural assistance, none of the
donors is talking about this because this will enable resettled farmers to
become self-sufficient. They will then not need food aid.

      This is bad business for the donors because while providing food
relief to "starving" Zimbabweans, they are also supporting agriculture in
their home countries.

      The politics of food aside, and even if Made's forecast is wrong
again, Zimbabwe has another reason to be cautious. Every major drought,
after independence, has been accompanied by a major scandal.

      Sampson Paweni milked the government of $5 million during a massively
funded relief programme following the 1982 drought. This remains one of the
biggest scandals in Zimbabwe's history because the Zimbabwe dollar was
stronger than the United States dollar at the time. The amount translates to
about $60 billion today.

      In 1992, when the country faced one of the worst droughts in history,
Zimbabwe was forced to import 350 000 tonnes of yellow maize worth a
staggering US$250 million which it did not need.

      Though commercial farmers and the Grain Marketing Board had said there
was no longer any need for food aid because the country was going to have a
good harvest - just like the present case - Zimbabwe was forced by the World
Bank to import the maize because "the deal was too advanced" to be stopped.

      The country ended up with 469 000 tonnes of yellow maize which it did
not know what to do with. It had to sell 317 000 tonnes as stockfeed to
local farmers and milling companies and re-exported 102 000 tonnes to the
Middle East at a loss. It also had to burn another 50 000 tonnes because it
was not suitable even for animal consumption.

      An audit of the current drought relief programme has not been carried
out since the programme has not yet been completed. But, already, Chinhoyi
businessman Cecil Muderede has been arrested for externalising more than
US$1.3 million and R700 000 as well as defrauding the Grain Marketing Board
of $63.7 million.

      According to a report in the British newspaper, The Guardian in
January, some of Britain's leading international charities which tried to
help southern Africa avoid a food crisis in 2002-03 "overstated the
seriousness of the situation to the public, failed to consult the people
they were trying to help and did not listen to people's needs".

      The report said "two British Red Cross appeals for money for Zimbabwe
used the word famine and were particularly misleading. "(The British Red
Cross) knew there were no starving millions in Zimbabwe.

      "One of the reasons given for so much aid going to Zimbabwe was that
the British government was 'very willing' to fund charities there," the
report said.

      Ironically, the same paper seemed to contradict this report in a story
by its southern African correspondent, Andrew Meldrum, two weeks ago.

      "In the year since I was forced to leave the country, the situation in
Zimbabwe has worsened in every respect," Meldrum wrote. "More people are
going hungry, with nearly two-thirds of the population reliant upon
international food aid in recent months."

      While the West and donors continue to be blinded by the previous
positions, one cannot completely rule out that the ruling ZANU PF might use
food as a political weapon. The forthcoming general elections are critical
for the party as it aims to secure a two-thirds majority and thus pave the
way for a noble exit for President Mugabe.

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      Ostrich production declines

      Allen Chifokoyo
      6/3/2004 8:05:15 AM (GMT +2)

      OSTRICH production, which is a significant contributor to the country'
s foreign exchange earnings, has suffered a major decline since the year
2000 owing to high input costs, The Financial Gazette can reveal.

      Conservative estimates indicate that the sub-sector, which at its peak
raked in upwards of US$3 million annually, has suffered a 75 percent slump
since 2000, when the chaotic land reform started.

      Cedric Wilde, the chairman of the Ostrich Producers' Association of
Zimbabwe (OPAZ), also attributed the drastic decline to a corresponding fall
in the number of players in the industry from 60 to about 15.

      "Traditionally, returns from meat sales covered the costs of feeding
the birds, leaving revenue from the sale of skins as profit, but due to the
enormous costs of raw materials, the end result is that not only are the
sales of meat exhausted, but approximately 10 percent of the revenue from
the skin sales goes into input costs as well," Wilde said.

      The OPAZ boss said ostrich farmers were desperate to salvage what is
now left of this once booming industry.

      He added that stockfeeds, which accounted for about 80 percent of the
inputs in the production cycle, had shot up beyond the reach of many
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      Defiant Madekunye eyes Kangai's seat

      6/3/2004 7:33:58 AM (GMT +2)

      MUTARE - Aaron Madekunye, a Zanu PF central committee member, has set
his sight on the Buhera South parliamentary seat, currently held by Kumbirai
Kangai, a ruling party heavy-weight, in a tussle that has generated a lot of
interest in the province.

      Madekunye, a businessman in Buhera, has resisted attempts by top Zanu
PF provincial members to bar him from contesting against Kangai, a veteran
politician and the only surviving member of the Dare reChimurenga (the War
Council), which spearheaded the war of liberation during the turbulent

      The Zanu PF provincial executive in Manicaland, led by Mike Madiro,
had declared that all seats held by senior members of the party such as
Didymus Mutasa and Kangai should not be contested.

      But Madekunye reportedly told Zanu PF members and traditional leaders
in Buhera that he would disregard such a directive and continue mounting his
campaign for the seat.

      Although both men were not immediately available for comment, Stanley
Samido, the Zanu PF provincial spokesman, was quoted in a
government-controlled weekly as saying: "The general feeling was that people
wanted Kangai, a former cabinet minister, for the seat."

      In 2000, Madekunye lost to Kangai in the primaries for the

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      Reconsider military adventurism

      6/3/2004 8:01:24 AM (GMT +2)

      OUR lead story last week warned that Zimbabwe, which played such a key
role in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) war, risked being written
out of the script, ahead of the imminent reconstruction of Africa's
potentially biggest economy.

      Our conclusion was informed by the fact that the United Nations,
undertaking a regional tour to consult with those considered key to the
Congo crisis, seemed, to all intents and purposes, to belittle the role
played by Zimbabwe in that country. All the countries the world body
considered key to the crisis were part of its peacekeeping chief Jean-Marie
Guehenno's itinerary.

      These included those countries that were backing the groups fighting
against the Kinshasa government - Uganda and Burundi. Surprisingly, South
Africa, revered more for its perceived economic clout than for its political
and military influence, was also part of the itinerary. And yet it had
refused to commit its troops at the height of insurgency in the DRC.

      Even more surprising was that Zimbabwe was conspicuous by its absence
from the itinerary. The country sent its troops, according to the
authorities, to the DRC at the request of that country's government. Opinion
is still split over whether Zimbabwe should have sent its troops to the DRC
where, except for a few influential politicians, it is not even enjoying the
crumbs falling from the Congo cake. Was it justifiable? Was it necessary?
These are the questions uppermost in people's minds.

      Be that as it may, the threadbare reasons advanced by the UN for
leaving Zimbabwe out of the itinerary for the regional tour were, as would
be expected, far from convincing. Nothing more than this underlines the fact
that Zimbabwe, which the West claims has one of the most despotic
governments in the world, is increasingly being ostracised.

      And it is those countries that accuse President Robert Mugabe's
government of a huge democratic deficit and that also opposed Zimbabwe's
intervention in the Congo that must have influenced the UN decision. This
should serve as a wake-up call to those of Zimbabwean politicians with
blinkered self-interest who had not yet smelt the coffee - the international
isolation is not imaginary but real!

      It is important to note that outside the framework of the UN
peacekeeping initiatives, Zimbabwe has since independence participated in
two major regional conflicts - in Mozambique in the 1980s and then the DRC
in 1998. The economy emerged bruised from these conflicts.

      Both wars played their part in weighing down the fragile economy. The
real cost in terms of the human lives lost and the finance burden will
forever remain a subject of conjecture because it is part of many areas of
Zimbabwean public life that the government would rather remained opaque and
hostile to scrutiny. The argument here, though, is about the merits, or lack
thereof, of the country's participation in these internal conflicts. In
other words, does military adventurism pay, especially for a small enfeebled

      Participation in such wars has always provoked heated but sterile
debate because of growing concern over whether the country has economically
benefited from this military adventurism. Unfortunately, the answer is an
emphatic no.

      Sadly, Zimbabwe always misses out on the financial gold rush sweeping
through these countries in the aftermath of the bruising wars. It happened
in Mozambique, when the more aggressive South African companies rushed into
that country whose relative stability is in no small measure attributable to
Zimbabwe's intervention. And we are about to have a replay in the DRC.

      From an economic point of view, there has been precious little in the
way of good news coming from the country's participation in these wars. At
best there has been razor-thin trade volumes between Zimbabwe and these

      The Congolese or Mozambicans can never really repay us for the role we
played in their country, just like we will not be able to make up for the
priceless sacrifice Mozambicans made for us during the war of liberation.
But we should take advantage of our role in ending hostilities in these
countries for the benefit of our economy.

      Pragmatism dictates that there should be no free lunch in the world,
which explains why the Americans who went to Iraqi on the pretext of
restoring democratic values, despite the abhorrent behaviour of some of
their disgraced soldiers, are demanding that a big chunk of the
reconstruction of Iraq should be accounted for by the Americans.

      Even though the self-appointed international policeman does not seem
to have a definite plan for the reconstruction of the rubble that is now
Iraq, from which a lair of Islamic militants have emerged, the Americans are
making guaranteed business for their corporate citizens conditional for
funding the reconstruction of a country they have destroyed. Without
extolling violations of territorial integrity and the sheer horror the
citizens have had to go through in the face of the destruction of whole
countries like Iraq, couldn't we take a leaf from the American book?

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      Soldiers of misfortune

      Brian Mangwende
      6/3/2004 7:34:28 AM (GMT +2)

      ZIMBABWEANS have generally been expecting the country to benefit from
the reconstruction of the war-ravaged Democratic Republic of the Congo
(DRC), but those frank enough will admit that given the Mozambican
experience, they did not have very high hopes for it.

      They contend that, as international politics took centre stage, it was
inevitable that the United Nations (UN) would exclude Zimbabwe from the
spoils of the protracted war in the diamond-rich country.

      Last week this paper revealed that the UN peacekeeping chief,
Jean-Marie Guehenno, had left Zimbabwe out of his regional tour to consult
with those countries the world body considered key to the cessation of
hostilities in the vast African country.

      Political observers said the move by the UN, which they said amounted
to snubbing Zimbabwe's role in the DRC war, was hardly surprising.

      "We are witnessing the inevitable," said one commentator, adding that
the world body, which has been critical of the role allegedly played by some
influential Zimbabweans in plundering minerals in the DRC, was sending a
signal to the Zimbabwean authorities that the international community would
not condone the looting of member states.

      The UN released a damning report in 2002 which implicated the Zimbabwe
Defence Forces (ZDF) and senior ZANU PF politicians in the plunder of
minerals in the DRC. The UN report said an elite network of Zimbabwean and
Congolese politicians with an interest in mineral resources had been set up
and new trade and services agreements signed between the two countries just
before the withdrawal of ZDF troops from Mbuji Mayi, a diamond centre.

      Defence Minister Sydney Sekeramayi was implicated in the report as
having proposed the establishment of a company to deal with their business
transactions in Mauritius, a country with strong ties to the Zimbabwean

      "This network benefits from instability in the DRC," the report said.
"Its representatives in the Kinshasa government and the Zimbabwe Defence
Forces have fuelled instability by supporting armed groups opposing Rwanda
and Burundi.

      "Even if present moves towards peace lead to a complete withdrawal of
Zimbabwean forces, the network's grip on the richest mineral assets of the
DRC and related businesses will remain," the UN report said.

      The observers said the decision by the UN to sideline Harare comes at
a particularly irksome moment for the increasingly ostracised Zimbabwe as it
raises questions about the country's eligibility to participate in future
UN-sanctioned peacekeeping initiatives or the recently formed African Union
Peace and Security Council - a body expected to fight conflicts in Africa
and ensure peace and stability on the continent.

      Zimbabwe sent about a third of its then 11 000 soldiers for about four
years to the DRC to assist President Laurent Kabila, who was under attack
from neighbouring Rwanda and Uganda, without the ratification of Parliament.

      The approval followed nine months later as a by-the-way matter.

      Unknown assassins later murdered Kabila and his son, Joseph Kabila,
took over as leader of the DRC.

      The political analysts said the exclusion of Zimbabwe from the UN
visit was not only a slap in the face for a country considered key in the
resolution of the DRC crisis, but a way to prove to ZANU PF who controls the
political levers in the world body.

      "The critical element is who controls or dictates policies in the UN
and that is Europe and the Western powers," Joseph Kurebwa, a political
analyst, said.

      "We are caught up in a conflict situation with powers that control
policy in the UN and also have a stake in the DRC - for instance, America,
Britain, Belgium and so on. These are the same countries that were opposed
to Zimbabwe's intervention in the DRC to secure the country from falling
into rebel hands. Now that their interests have been secured, they want to
sideline Zimbabwe. It's a whole political game being played here," he said.

      The Zimbabwean government's long-drawn diplomatic stand-off with the
American and British governments, which both have considerable influence in
the UN, might have partly cost Zimbabwe commercial, political and military
interests in the DRC.

      The British and the Americans, whom President Robert Mugabe accuses of
trying to force a regime change in Zimbabwe, have considered the country a
pariah state since the bloody 2000 parliamentary election and the
controversial 2002 presidential ballot.

      Eliphas Mukono-weshuro, a confidante to opposition Movement for
Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai, said: "Zimbabwe's exclusion from
that visit is a matter of international credibility. Zimbabwe at the moment
doesn't have what it takes to play the role of an honest broker in any
conflict resolution programmes because it has failed to resolve its own
domestic problems.

      "The government is taking too long to accept what international power
politics is all about. They (the government) play second fiddle to South
Africa and, as one can see, the international community is gravitating
towards South Africa to play a key role in conflict resolution and not
Zimbabwe. There is no doubt about that. It's now a game of international

      South Africa, seen as a country with immense influence on the
continent, Rwanda, Uganda and the DRC were the countries visited the UN

      Another political analysts, Heneri Dzinotyiwei, said: "In many
developing countries, those who sponsor activities tend to end up wanting to
be the main beneficiaries. Those with greater influence end up sidelining
those they believe played a minor role.

      "Zimbabwe may have played a significant role in the DRC, but when it
comes to world decisions concerning the UN, then, as the saying goes, he who
pays the piper calls the tune. It's unfortunate, but that's reality.

      "It goes without saying that the Americans have had a significant
foothold in the DRC, although unjustifiable. Europe in many ways as well.
The United Nations doesn't want to be seen to be liaising with countries
with a tattered and torn political and social record, hence the move not to
include Zimbabwe on their itinerary despite the crucial role the country
played in the DRC.

      "Until we are able, as a country, to go it alone we'll always find out
that the relationship we have with the international community is from a
point of weakness rather than a point of strength. I hope Zimbabwe won't
antagonise those countries included on the mission," Dzinotyiwei said.

      Asked why Zimbabwe wasn't entitled to establish businesses in the
Congo or in Mozambique where it helped restore peace, Dzinotyiwei said:
"Zimbabwe has always not gone beyond peacekeeping missions. We strictly
discuss the enemy and it ends there. Nobody really discusses the broader
impact of the mission, including prospects of business ventures after the
war. The agenda of peacekeeping missions needs to be broadened."
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      Tourism sector fails to access $1.5 trillion facility

      Staff Reporter
      6/3/2004 7:38:34 AM (GMT +2)

      NYANGA - Tourism industry players have failed to access the productive
sector finance (PSF), taking up only $25 billion of the $1.5 trillion which
has been released so far.

      Players in the sector said their applications for funds under the PSF
facility were being turned down with banks citing lack of viability,
uncertainty in the sector and the long business cycle.

      It has, however, emerged that since the announcement of a new monetary
policy in December last year, only $25 billion has been taken up by the
tourism industry.

      Tourism players complained that most of their applications were being
turned down with no plausible reasons being given by the banks.

      However, some said they were deliberately shunning the facility, which
attracts a 30 percent interest rate mainly because of uncertainties gripping
the tourism industry.

      Industry players appealed to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) deputy
governor, Nicholas Ncube, at a tourism indaba held here last week to review
some of the requirements under the PSF.

      They noted that the six-month cycle, which has been extended to a
year, was out of range for the tourism industry, which has a long business

      "The facility was initially meant for the manufacturing sector and
that is the reason for the six-month working capital condition. This,
however, is no longer the case as the period has been extended to a year,
but we will certainly look into flexible ways of accommodating the tourism
industry," Ncube said.

      "With this type of business, there is very little I can buy and get
returns in six months or even a year. The business cycle is very long and it
is very difficult to get the money," said a local industry player.

      Francis Ngwenya, the Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe (HAZ)
president, said they were going to ask for flexibility in the way the money
is disbursed.

      Ngwenya said a lot depends on how companies present their financials.

      "Banks take a 100 percent risk so they would need a guarantee plan
that the money would be recovered on time," Ngwenya said.

      "But considering that projects in the tourism industry are long term,
it is very difficult to access the facility. There are no immediate returns
in the sector unlike other sectors," he added.

      Ncube said the central bank was stepping up efforts to stringently
monitor funds disbursed under the PSF.

      "We will take seriously whoever is abusing money borrowed under the
PSF scheme because that it tantamount to abusing depositors' money," Ncube

      The productive sector finance facility, first introduced by government
when it introduced a dual interest rate policy in 2002, is meant to cushion
producers from sharp interest rate hikes, which tend to scupper efforts
aimed at resuscitating the economy.

      The dual interest rate policy has since been collapsed into one, with
a uniform 30 percent interest rate.

      The maximum maturity period for the loans is 180 days for working
capital and 360 days for capital expenditure and the sectors considered
under the facility are agriculture, mining, manufacturing, construction and
transport, among others.

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      Mujuru quizzed over Bubye role

      Staff Reporter
      6/3/2004 7:33:37 AM (GMT +2)

      RETIRED army-general Solomon Mujuru appeared before the
Anti-Corruption Ministry last week to explain his role in River Ranch
Limited (RRL), whose recent possession by a group of local and international
businessmen has courted the ire of its former directors.

      Didymus Mutasa, the Anti-Corruption and Anti-Monopolies Minister,
confirmed that Mujuru had appeared before him and presented his side of the

      "The directors of Bubye and Mujuru have given me their side of the
story and we are studying their presentations. We will make a determination
as soon as we have finished studying their submissions," said Mutasa.

      Mujuru and former ZANU PF legislator Tirivanhu Mudariki were appointed
directors of RRL on April 27 following an annual general meeting held by the
owners of the company, Rani International Limited (RIL).

      RRL's former management team was replaced last month after they
allegedly failed to repay their debt to RIL.

      But the ousted directors felt short-changed and accused the new board
of using political clout to claim management functions at RRL, an accusation
vehemently denied by the new board.

      Mutasa said the matter had been brought to his attention to
investigate whether there was an element of corruption in the change of
RRL's management structure.

      "I have advised the other parties in the matter to seek recourse from
the courts," Mutasa said.
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      Plot to oust Daniel Shumba

      Felix Njini
      6/3/2004 7:31:57 AM (GMT +2)

      A POLITICAL rift in the fractious Masvingo province has deepened with
a shadowy group allegedly plotting to oust Daniel Shumba, ZANU PF provincial
chairman believed to be behind the decision to suspend Walter Mzembi, a
senior ruling party official.

      Well-placed sources said a group of war veterans have been hired to
demonstrate against Shumba ahead of June 6, the day Mzembi is expected to
appear before a provincial disciplinary committee to answer charges of

      Mzembi, ZANU PF's district co-ordinating committee (DCC) chairman was
last month suspended for openly attacking the party's provincial leadership.

      Sources said there were attempts to investigate the TeleAccess boss'
business interests with a view to persecute him and jeopardise his chances
of standing on a ZANU PF ticket in the 2005 parliamentary elections. Shumba
said he was aware of the people scheming to oust him for the purpose of
creating a political storm and mislead the party's leadership, ahead of next
year's parliamentary polls. "That will not intimidate us from cleaning up
our province, following party procedures and playing by the constitution,"
he said when contacted for comment this week. "Any accusation they may trump
up against me will fail regardless of how imaginative and creative they are
because my hands are clean."

      There are accusations that Shumba, an ex-soldier cum-businessman, is
the brains behind the suspension of Mzembi following the DCC chairman's
refusal to endorse him as the ruling party's official candidate for Masvingo

      During ZANU PF's annual conference in December last year, Shumba
declared himself the ruling party's official candidate for the constituency.
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      Sekesai Makwavarara's ouster

      Brian Mangwende
      6/3/2004 7:35:46 AM (GMT +2)

      MOVEMENT for Democratic Change (MDC) councillors at the Harare City
Council might not have known what they were getting themselves into when
they ran for the local elections on an opposition ticket in 2002. Though not
necessarily impossible, theirs was always going to be a difficult job.

      It was always going to be a pressure business, given the political
high stakes in the country's capital city where the voters rejected the
ruling ZANU PF which they blame for Zimbabwe's economic slowdown.

      And this week, the simmering fissures inevitably erupted when the city
councillors ousted embattled acting Harare mayor Sekesai Makwa-varara from
the position of deputy mayor.

      Makwavarara's ouster came during a full council meeting held at Town

      Observers said the belated move by the MDC councillors was a counter
measure to thwart ZANU PF's grand plan to silence the opposition party in
Harare ahead of the 2005 parliamentary elections.

      They were however unanimous on Monday that the move would most likely
be reversed by Chombo, creating yet another legal minefield. And indeed the
minister moved quickly the following day to suspend 13 councillors for
defying the government directive that there should be no election at Town

      Councillors from the MDC dominate the Harare City Council.

      Harare-based lawyers said it was just a matter of time before "things
came to a head at Town House".

      The city fathers have been at loggerheads with the Minister of Local
Government, National Housing and Public Works, Ignatius Chombo, since 2002.

      Prior to this week's palace coup, it had previously been suggested but
not denied that the councillors were working towards regaining control of
council affairs after meddling by Chombo saw the unceremonious departure of
former executive mayor Elias Mudzuri.

      But questions have been raised as to whether Makwavarara was ejected
legally after Chombo had ruled that there would be no council elections
until 2006. Did the councillors act in accordance with the provisions of the
Urban Councils Act or did they undermine the minister's authority?

      Harare lawyer Kay Ncube said: "A deputy mayor ceases to hold office if
councillors elect a successor. Regard, however, would be had to the timing
of the election of the successor. A deputy mayor is elected after the
general election of councillors or in August in any year in which the
general election of councillors is not held. Procedurally, councillors can
elect one of them to preside over a meeting to elect a deputy mayor if there
is no mayor or if the mayor is absent or incapacitated."

      He added: "If the elections for deputy mayor were meant to be held
last year in September, then the councillors acted legally. Procedurally, it
would be correct to have her (Makwavarara) out."

      Constitutional law expert Lovemore Madhuku said if the meeting was
duly constituted, then the councillors had acted legally. It had been clear
from the onset, he said, that Chombo had no basis to interfere in council

      "He had been dictating the agenda of council meetings. They can elect
deputy mayors everyday if they so wish on the basis of a vote of no
confidence. Council can vote at any time because the councillors are the
ones that voted a person into that position and can vote that person out.

      "Chombo has been bulldozing council for a long time now and someday it
had to come to an end. He was running the council on the basis of threats,
forcing councillors to comply. But the sooner he realises that the agenda of
council meetings is not determined by him, the better," said Madhuku.

      He said it would be ridiculous for Makwavarara to claim that she was
still the deputy mayor. The constitutional law expert claimed that ZANU PF
was merely using her and as long as the ruling party felt that she was
serving its interests, it would want her to stay on. "She is being abused,"
he added.

      Harare lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa said: "What they did is very legal.
Chombo has been abusing the Urban Councils Act to his advantage. The
minister does as he pleases with council. He has been obstructing council
meetings and making unilateral decisions.

      "Makwavarara was voted to that position (deputy mayor) by councillors
and she can be voted out through a vote of no confidence."

      Chombo thrust Makwavarara, who was forced out of the MDC on
allegations of insubordination, into the capital city's hot seat after
suspending Mudzuri last year.

      Critics immediately queried Makwavarara's decision to continue holding
onto a seat she won on an MDC ticket.

      President Robert Mugabe subsequently fired Mudzuri for alleged
corruption and mismanagement, accusations the former mayor vehemently

      In another twist of events in the capital city and Bulawayo, President
Mugabe appointed two new governors to preside over the municipalities -a
move widely seen as a desperate attempt by the ruling party to penetrate the
MDC's urban stronghold before next year's plebiscite.

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      Chaibva youth camps claims under probe

      Staff Reporter
      6/3/2004 7:33:00 AM (GMT +2)

      A PARLIAMENTARY committee has been set up to investigate claims by the
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) legislator, Gabriel Chaibva, that
senior officials from the ruling ZANU PF trained youths to kill opponents in
the early 1980s.

      The Speaker of Parliament, Emmerson Mnanga-gwa, constituted the
committee following a motion moved by ZANU PF chief whip, Joram Gumbo, to
compel Chaibva to furnish Parliament with a detailed report on what exactly
transpired in the youth camps.

      Claims by the MDC Member of Parliament raised the hackles of ZANU PF
legislators, who are solidly behind the controversial youth training
programme revived by the government three years ago.

      The camps have been seen as a plot by ZANU PF to train youths and
later unleash them to intimidate and harass the electorate.

      "The Speaker has constituted a committee to investigate me and what I
said in Parliament pertaining to training camps where we were being taught
to deal with ZAPU and kill those opposed to ZANU PF's rule," said Chaibva.

      During a session in Parliament, Chaibva said the late former Political
Affairs Minister, Enerst Kadungure, trained the youths to murder opponents

      He said he underwent such training in one of the camps created soon
after independence from Britain in 1980 at the behest of the Anti-Corruption
and Anti-Monopolies Minister, Didymus Mutasa.

      "There was this training camp called Robert Gabriel Mugabe in

      "When we went there, we spent two weeks. We were taught by the late
Enerst Kadungure . . . on how to deal with ZAPU and to kill opponents to
ZANU PF's rule during those days in the 1980s," Chaibva is on record as
saying in Parliament early this year.
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      Chinotimba in trouble over Nkomo jibe

      Brian Mangwende
      6/3/2004 7:32:31 AM (GMT +2)

      THE mercurial self-proclaimed commander of farm invasions, Joseph
Chinotimba will soon face an unspecified disciplinary action for publicly
undressing the Minister of Special Affairs responsible for Land Reform and
Resettlement, John Nkomo over alleged corruption in his minsitry.

      Members of ZANU PF politburo confirmed that recommendations would be
been made against Chinotimba to be reprimanded by the ruling party.

      They said Chinotimba, a former security guard at the troubled Harare
City Council had gone too far with his vitriolic attack on Nkomo over
letters allegedly issued by his ministry to new farmers withdrawing vast
tracks of land they had been allocated under the land reform programme.

      Nkomo, who has refused to publicly speak about his presidential
ambitions adding a veil of secrecy to the contentious succession debate, is
the ruling party's national chairman and ranks third from President Robert
Mugabe in the party's hierarchy.

      Chinotimba, the national vice chairman of the Zimbabwe National
Liberations War Veterans Association, said the letter in question should be
resisted and urged all war veterans to turn against "Nkomo's decision".

      He blamed Nkomo's ministry for the recent death of a newly resettled
farmer in Odzi last week saying the commercial farmer had received a letter
reinstating him "giving whites renewed vigour to do what they are doing now
like beating up Members of Parliament and shooting dead resettled farmers."

      This did not go down well with some members of the Politburo who
immediately called for disciplinary action to be taken against the
controversial 'war veteran' who lost the Highfield parliamentary by-election
in March 2003 to the Movement for Democratic Change.

      "Chinotimba will be reprimanded soon for his cheap talk against the
national chairman without an iota of evidence that the minister was behind
the letters," said a Politburo member.

      "He was totally out of bounds when he attacked Nkomo through the state
media. We will also catch up with those who were behind him in promoting an
unjustified attack on Nkomo."

      Another Politburo member said: "That kind of behaviour cannot be
tolerated from a junior member of the party.

      "It goes without saying that he will have to answer for the
allegations he publicly levelled against the Minister. He has to explain
where he is coming from and the motive behind attacking a senior member of
the party."

      Yesterday, Chinotimba said he would apologise to Nkomo for attacking
him in his personal capacity, but maintained the ministry had caused the

      Chinotimba asked : "You have already heard about the move? If it (the
said withdrawal letters) was a mistake, then the ministry must apologise.

      "But I will also apologise to Minister Nkomo because we got to know
later that he was unaware of the letters. I thought he was behind the whole
thing, but I was mistaken. He (Nkomo) didn't know."

      "I have been hauled before the Politburo on various issues. It won't
be the first time but I doubt they will do so because we were not aware that
the Minister was not involved," said Chinotimba who is vying for the Glen
Norah parliamentary seat in next year's elections.

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      Adios Zim, says Mawere

      Hama Saburi
      6/3/2004 7:28:53 AM (GMT +2)

      MUTUMWA Mawere, the businessman whose relationship with key ZANU PF
politicians is probably the worst kept secret in local business, is playing
hard ball with the country's authorities who he has dared to revoke his
Zimbabwean citizenship if convinced that he broke the law.

      "Regarding my dual citizenship, I have stated before that I am a true
African, blind to any borders and I will take any of the 53 citizenships in
Africa without blinking," said Mawere, who has already admitted to holding a
South African and a Zimbabwean passport. Zimbabwe's laws do not have
provision for dual citizenship.

      "I can hold citizenship in sister countries in the African Union and
if this is not acceptable to Zimbabwe, then I cannot see myself renouncing
my birthright, but the authorities are free to withdraw it," a defiant
Mawere, who feels that the government does not have a compelling case
against him, said yesterday.

      Top of the Zimbabwean police's wanted list on allegations of milking
the country of a record $300 billion, Mawere, a pillar of the Zimbabwean
business establishment, just came short of saying he will not be coming back
to Zimbabwe any time soon. Police in Harare say they wish to question Mawere
on allegations of prejudicing the state of more than $300 billion through
failure to submit foreign currency declaration forms and externalisation of
foreign currency.

      His stance however means that Mawere would have to have the stomach
for protracted and costly battles in the courts where he would have to fight
against extradition to Zimbabwe. He has already appeared before a South
African court for an initial hearing and was granted bail of 50 000 rands
after Zimbabwean authorities requested his extradition. The businessman is
set to appear before the Randburg magistrate's court on June 29 when his
extradition case will be heard.

      The net closed in on Mawere under the government's ongoing anti-graft
drive which the authorities have said they will take to its full expression.

      Critics however remain sceptical, insisting that it would require a
leap of faith to believe that the government is now committed to rooting out
corruption. Instead, they have put it down to the bizarre, subtle but bitter
infighting in the ruling ZANU PF over President Robert Mugabe's successor.

      "When you are targeting a shareholder, then it would be the first time
in the history of corporate civilisation that accountability is misplaced.
If you are being targeted and naturally you are not privy to the agenda that
informs the targeting, then it will be unwise to go into the lion's den,"
said the panicky and shaken acquisitive entrepreneur whose business
interests straddle across the economy.

      "I am not resident in Zimbabwe. I have no standing to be accountable
under the laws that apply to Zimbabwean residence. I have never run away and
I have no intention of running away from anything. I am in South Africa, not
because I am avoiding Zimbabwe, but because this is where I live," he said.

      Mawere's stance comes as it emerged that the businessman, who was
arrested in South Africa on Tuesday last week at the request of the
Zimbabwean authorities, is still to pay off T & N, which sold him Shabanie &
Mashaba Mines (SMM) on the strength of a government guarantee. T & N still
holds the share certificates until such a time Mawere has fully paid for the
company. The beleaguered businessman confirmed this yesterday.

      "It has never been fully paid for. At a time when Zimbabwe does not
have foreign currency, I took the decision to grow the business rather than
externalise payments.

      "But we have agreed with T & N that it will be unwise to make any
payments at this juncture in Zimbabwe's challenging development process. T &
N is not complaining, but what is important is that the assets have been
domesticated without any dividend outflows," he said.

      Mawere, who had of late assumed an unrivalled profile, first came to
prominence in 1996 when he acquired SMM in a headline-grabbing deal. His
hitherto unknown deal-making prowess and negotiating dexterity saw him take
over the country' sole asbestos producer without paying a dime in what was
then described as a victory for financial engineering.

      Sceptics did not however give him credit for the acquisition of the
mines as it came at a time when some eccentric businessmen were known to do
the equivalent of holding guns to company owners' heads to force them to
sell their businesses under the guise of black economic empowerment.

      Instead, the sceptics attributed Mawere's perceived success in
business to sufficient backing from an influential politician who is now
clutching at straws to serve his faltering political career. The
politician's personal banker has since been specified and is said to be in
the United Kingdom "seeking medical attention".

      Observers said with the latest twist to the controversy surrounding
the ownership of SMM and with Mawere determined to cling on to his South
African citizenship to escape the corruption dragnet, the businessman faced
the spectre of losing his grip over an empire comprising of companies well
in excess of 20.

      They said his octopus-like interests could end up being confiscated by
the state should Mawere continue ducking and diving requests to extradite
him to Zimbabwe, where he is likely to be arrested under the controversial
Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) Amendment to the Criminal
Procedures and Evidence Act.

      Mawere's business empire, which is spread over almost all the
important sectors of the economy, includes SMM, Africa Associated Mines,
General Beltings, Steelnet, Turnall, Fidelity Life, ZimRe Holdings, Nicoz
Diamond, CFI Holdings, First Banking Corporation, Ukubambana Kubatana
Investments, FSI Holdings, Textbook Sales, Tube & Pipe, Firstel and Hastt

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      Africa's unity has to come from below

      6/3/2004 7:55:03 AM (GMT +2)

      THE Africa Day holiday presented us with an opportunity to reflect on
and digest a diversity of challenges and opportunities facing Africa in its
present and future struggles.

      To a writer or an artiste in general, or indeed to any perceptive
mind, there are so many things that cross the mind when one thinks about
Africa's history, present and future, but I will just restrict myself to
issues pertaining to African unity, economic development and democracy.
Please don't ask me why!

      With the establishment of the African Union and the Pan-African
Parliament, the move towards African unity appears to be gathering momentum,
albeit sluggishly. African leaders now seem determined to make the dream of
African unity a reality.

      But there is something fundamentally wrong with these leaders'
conception of unity, as evidenced by the marginal and peripheral position to
which they continue to relegate the masses despite the rhethoric of popular
participation and involvement.

      These leaders' "we know what is good for the people" attitude and
their conception of unity are mainly inspired by Kwame Nkrumah's philosophy
and conception of unity, which dominated the drive for the formation of the
Organisation of African Unity, now the African Union.

      The contemporary call for unity which is forcing the hand of our
political leaders in a radical direction has a different methodological
thrust and is coming from the new youth of Africa.

      They are restless and are questioning the vacuous values and
principles on which our leaders base their actions. Their rebellion has
found an effective weapon in their persistent and resounding calls for

      Different people have different reasons for responding to this call.
Some think in terms of political ends; some have economic reasons in mind
(for example the development of regional economic communities); some,
especially the unemployed, see in African unity an opportunity for free
movement in search of jobs; petty traders see in it a potential for an
expansion of their area of operation; and so on.

      This, however, is not the kind of unity which Nkrumah had in mind. His
was the unity of convinced leaders who would see it as a rational choice, as
an alternative to a weak and Balkanised Africa. Nkrumah's unity was unity
from above; unity through the strength of the argument.

      The new demand for unity is a call from below, a unity of the
oppressed working people and their revolutionary intellectual allies who are
gradually beginning to develop independent class interests either as
proletariats or as peasants.

      Whereas some leaders could openly oppose Nkrumah's call for unity
without risking their political prospects at home, practically no African
political ruler now hopes to oppose this call for unity and be able to
command any African respect. Subjectively, Africa is irreversibly committed
to unity.

      A consistent, coherent and correct theoretical formulation broadly
applicable to all parts of Africa irrespective of our uneven development is
the most urgent task facing African statesmen and thinkers in order to give
a correct, courageous and principled leadership to the African people in
their struggle at this new stage in our political evolution.

      The New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) is a giant stride
to promote African unity with economic development, inextricably linked as
it is to both the African Union and the Pan-African Parliament. NEPAD,
however, has certain shortcomings which I have already discussed in one of
my contributions in The Financial Gazette.

      Be that as it may, the trend towards unity is still frustratingly
slow. This is mainly because while the people's political will is
subjectively for unity, the economic forms prevalent in Africa and the
objective conditions inherited from colonialism still lead to disunity.

      By and large, our economies do not reflect the universal interests of
the masses of African people. They reflect only the partial interests of the
privileged minority at the top and their foreign backers.

      Consequently, the pursuit of such partial interests inevitably leads
to contradictions that are the causes of disunity. Thus, unless we, through
the adoption of macro-economic and macro-social policies, transform these
partial interests into the universal interests of the people, the move
towards unity will be objectively obstructed even though subjectively we may
be crying out for it.

      However, as new leaders step onto the African political scene, and as
more and more of these leaders emerge from the ranks of the people and are
not imposed on them by accidents of history - as was the case during the
struggle for independence - nor by the unhistorical intervention of the
superpowers, the move towards unity will be stepped up, especially if it is
accompanied by economic measures which reflect the people's material
interests. Sound economic measures in turn reinforce the trend towards

      It is important to realise that African unity and economic development
and prosperity are inextricably tied to democracy and good governance. All
these operate in a complementary manner and thus require a holistic and
integrated approach.

      The strength and scope of the democratic upsurge in Africa has led to
some forces with vested interests attributing this development almost solely
to external influences, especially pressure from multilateral financial
institutions and donor governments. And some, especially within Africa, even
claim that the upsurge is a matter of the West seeking to impose its
governance systems on African countries.

      There is nothing that can be further from the truth. Africa is not an
island unto itself and therefore cannot be insulated from the master trends
shaping the world. Besides, to go from this position and to explain the
democratic movement in Africa as an importation from outside is to deny the
native roots of African history.

      It is to give a new lease of life to the old myth that African
nationalism, in so far as it was a search for freedom and democracy, was of
European introduction. Above all, it is to belittle or ignore the strong
yearning for change which has been evident in Africa in the wake of the
failure by one-party states and/or military dictatorships to deliver on
national unity, social and economic development, human rights, democracy and
good governance.

      Old Africa knew nothing of the exciting debates in which the founding
fathers of the American Republic were engaged in the 1770s and which were
subsequently to be published as the Federalist Papers, but traditional
Africa would have appreciated the wisdom of those debates.

      It would have appreciated the advisability of ambition counteracting
ambition; and it would have certainly appreciated the fact that if men and
women were angels, no government would be necessary.

      A study of traditional African government in any part of Africa would
disclose one fact: a healthy hostility against the concentration of power
without accompanying checks and balances to control it, beginning with the
position of chief .

      In most cases, the council of elders was the chief's advisory body;
but it was more than that. As representatives of the constituent lineages or
clans, the council also doubled up as a parliament. And no chief would
continue to disregard the views of the council without running the risk of

      In many cases deposition entailed either suicide or exile, depending
upon the nature of the misdemeanour. This was one way in which traditional
Africa founded sovereignty in the people.

      Democracy in Africa will differ in its detailed arrangements from
country to country. But if it is a true democracy, it will have to
incorporate certain essential universal ingredients, including the right of
a people to choose freely their governers them and cashiers; the primacy of
the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary; freedom of expression
and association; and the continuing transparency and accountability of

      However, no institution or set of institutions or arrangements can be
said to secure freedom and make democracy possible without reference to
local conditions. Every functional and vibrant democracy is in a sense a
holy matrimony between the universal ingredients of democracy, on the one
hand, and local conditions, culture and history, on the other. This is what
gives every national democracy its peculiarities and imbues it with

      The challenge for African countries is to bring their various
traditional cultures into a meaningful working relationship with democracy.

      British democracy has become the venerable system it is reputed to be
because over the centuries it has evolved and been adapted to the genius of
the British people.

      The strength of American democracy derives from the fact that the
European transplant has been successfully adapted to the cosmopolitan
conditions of the new world.

      And Japanese democracy is stable because it has come to terms with
Japanese culture and history.

      Democracy in African countries will be neither durable nor vibrant
unless it is made to come to terms with the diverse cultures of its various
communities. Only then will the genius of Africa be in a position to make
its original contribution to the practice of democracy.

      The people are the makers of history and their struggle against
tyranny and oppression is the expression of that history. The history of man
anywhere, in Africa no less than in Europe, Asia and elsewhere, is the
history of struggle against obstacles to human freedom, whether these
obstacles are natural or instituted by man, whether by local or foreign

      A people's culture must teach how and why our ancestors struggled in
production, and we must learn to be proud of it. But if, for example, it
teaches us how they oppressed their womenfolk, we must learn to scorn and
reject that aspect of the past. We must not uncritically justify every
element of the people's culture. For such an acceptance will poison our
outlook and interfere with our current and future struggles.

      We must learn to expose the culture of tyrants, whether past or
present, local or foreign; we must not defend our tyrants and despots simply
because they are "ours" and condemn foreign ones simply because they are
"theirs". This, too, will poison our outlook and divert us from the real
struggle. It is chauvinism, not patriotism.

      Our heroes must be the people who led the struggle against tyranny and
despotism, and not those who perpetuate it, even if they were once our
chiefs, sheikhs or headmen.

      If our culture reflects all these struggles in full, not in part, then
it will truly be a people's culture and will help us in the ongoing struggle
for democracy, good governance and economic development.

      The revolutionary Chinese Chairman Mao Zedong once correctly remarked:
"Study the old culture, reject its feudal dross, and assimilate its
democratic essence, which is necessary for increasing national

      "We must respect our own history and we must not lop it off; but
respect for history means giving it its proper place as a science,
respecting its dialectical development, and not eulogising the past at the
expense of the present or praising every drop of feudal dross."

      African leaders really need to re-prioritise in line with the basic
demands of the African masses, otherwise they will ignite a fire that they
will not be able to put off.

      The momentous question of the people's livelihood is becoming
increasingly urgent; the crisis of underdevelopment is beginning to manifest
itself in social tensions and strife all over Africa; and the confrontation
between the leaders and the people is steadily assuming a hostile character.

      In these circumstances, a scientific conception of imperialism is
reduced to the level of empty sloganeering about "liberation", whose purpose
at present is no loftier than that of maintaining in power a bankrupt
leadership long after its effectiveness has been exhausted. That is what is
called sitting on a time bomb. Time will tell!

      Isaya Muriwo Sithole is a Harare-based legal practitioner.

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      Farmers accuse Cottco of ripping them off

      Staff Reporter
      6/3/2004 8:06:01 AM (GMT +2)

      some indigenous cotton growers have accused the country's biggest
cotton player, the Cotton Company of Zimbabwe (Cottco) of ripping them off
during the last planting season by inflating prices of inputs, it has been

      The growers alleged that inputs distributed by Cottco to farmers
carried no price tag but were later quoted at inflated prices when compared
with average prices on the market.

      Between September and October 2003, Compound L fertiliser was being
sold on the market for $843 920 a tonne but Cottco pegged the prices at $1.6
million - an increase of about 50 percent.

      Last year, a tonne of Ammonium Nitrate (AN) cost about $315 000, but
Cottco quoted it at $1.192 million. This year, the farmers said, the market
price for a tonne of AN was going for $902 300 but Cottco was selling it at
$1.19 million.

      Nyamutsahuni Cotton Producers' Association chairman, Sam Chaikosa,
said Cottco was ripping them off by supplying inputs at inflated prices.

      "They are doing business in bad faith as they supply inputs without
telling us the price and they go on to determine the price of the crop."

      Chaikosa added that the company was playing two roles where it
determined the value of the inputs and continued to peg the price for the

      Cottco spokesperson Maria Pangidzwa said the company had deliberately
omitted placing price tags on the inputs to stop side marketing of the crop
which had become rampant.

      She added that there was no regulatory framework in the industry to
protect cotton companies.

      Last year, cotton companies requested the government to set up a
regulatory framework because of an increase in side marketing to no avail.

      Pangidzwa said Cottco had also resolved to exchange inputs for a
certain quantity of seed cotton from farmers to protect the company from

      "Cottco, therefore, decided to give inputs in exchange for the
quantity of seed cotton to be received, as opposed to the actual value of
inputs," she said.

      But farmers are dismayed by the price at which Cottco was buying their

      Cottco is offering $1 800 a kg of Grade A seed cotton while the
farmers had been expecting at least $5 000 a kg.

      The farmers have since written to Agriculture and Rural Resettlement
Minister Joseph Made to intervene

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      ...and now to the Notebook

      6/3/2004 7:59:18 AM (GMT +2)

      And now the chickens are surely coming home to roost.

      When CZ and all other level-headed Zimbos were saying that our
much-vaunted land reform exercise was being done in a chaotic manner, we
were insulted into silence. We were told that we were agents of imperialist
forces who were bent on retarding the country's progress.

      In fact, much more vulgar things were said about anyone who dared
point out that something was not being done right in this so-called agrarian
reform programme.

      But we cannot help but wonder what is now taking place as we begin to
hear strident allegations and even more trenchant counter-allegations of rot
in the way the land was not only expropriated, but also parcelled out to the
so-called land-hungry, the majority of whom surprisingly never took up the

      We are now getting to know that in the haste and confusion that
ensued, some pieces of land were allocated to more than one "new farmer" and
now these people are fighting each other over ownership of these pieces of

      We are told of stories where some governors, ministers and other
government officials got shamefully rich by extorting money from besieged
white commercial farmers in exchange for fake letters showing that the farms
had been de-listed.

      And we were told of some war veterans who, like one Cde Nhamo in the
Marondera area, were going around demanding money from people in return for
land allocations that were never made official.

      And also of chefs who would occupy more than one farm and superimpose
their relatives on already allocated farms . . . and so on and so own.

      And now the truth is beginning to come out . . . that the land reform
was done in a haphazard manner and this explains the current land fights,
big and small, all over the country.

      It was good that members of Transparency International Zimbabwe - for
the sake of transparency - decided to show John Makumbe, their founder
chairman, the door. This was long overdue because at TI-Z, Makumbe was
beginning to be something of what the Great Uncle is to Zimbabwe.

      People just get tired and fed up having one and the same tired person
leading a public organisation as if it is out of a private arrangement with
God. Moreso if the person in question begins to forget that he or she is in
public office and starts running the organisation like their grandmother's

      There are so many organisations in this country that are being run
like they are owned by the respective individuals who founded them . . . so
secretively and possessively, the way some men run their small houses! Yet
they accuse the Great Uncle of being the only dictator in this country!

      What makes this even more pervasive is that these organisations are
run in a cartel-like manner. Of the more than 40 civic groups in Zimbabwe,
the leadership is almost one and the same. The same people sit on this and
that board and they are the same people who approach the same donors on
behalf of "different" organisations - hence they have some form of monopoly
over donors!

      More often than not, the membership is one and the same. You attend an
NCA meeting, you meet the same people, you attend a Crisis in Zimbabwe
meeting, you meeting the same faces, you attend a ZESN meeting, the same
faces greet you, same as when you attend a ZIMCET, PEC, HOZA or even a
Zvakwana meeting!

      So if the membership is the same, is there really any need to have so
many of these civics? It would be wiser to have more topics and fewer
organisations if the leadership and the membership were one and the same!

      And curiously, donors are keen to bankroll these dubious or
not-so-transparent organisations!

      It looks like our Namibian student, Sam Nujoma, has learnt a lot from
Harare. See how he is handling his own country's succession issue?

      Although he appears to have bowed to pressure to step down, it looks
like he has made sure that he remains the de-facto life president of that
country. He had to do everything in his power to ensure that he doesn't hand
the reins to any person powerful or treacherous enough to behave like Zambia
's Levy Mwanawasa.

      Just on the eve of SWAPO's elections to choose his successor, he
sacked Hidipo Hamutenya, his foreign minister, and started campaigning for
his poodle, Lands Minister Hifikepunye Pohamba, whom he is sure he can
casually twist and turn this and that way, the way one does to a sausage on
a log fire!

      This is surely not Nujoma's idea, for it smells like a loan from the
Great Uncle. We hope this will work because if the trick boomerangs, our
circle of good friends will grow smaller! Good luck.

      It was quite good to hear our one and only electronic medium last
weekend quoting the leader of the National Association of Freelance
Journalists (NAFJ), Cde Joe Kwaramba. It was good to know that he and his
nebulous outfit still exist.

      But it was rather shocking to discover that the NAFJ owner was being
quoted praising the police for arresting wayward commuter omnibus operators
who were overcharging and shortchanging the public.

      But surprisingly, we don't get any statements from the fellow when
journalists are needlessly arrested by the regime, when Andy Moyse and
Chengetai Zvauya are set free by the Supreme Court, when a newspaper is
threatened with closure under the notorious AIPPA!

      We don't hear him on our radio commenting on the plight of ZBC
workers, some of whom go for months without being paid, or when the
cash-strapped broadcaster sacks some staff for demanding salary arrears
outstanding for months!

      We begin to wonder whether Cde Kwaramba is still heading a journalists
' association or he is now a spokesman of a residents' association. Surely,
it would be taking the love for publicity too far for one to go to the point
of praising the police for doing what they are paid to do. Besides, we don't
really see any reason why one has to praise the police for taking time off
from their laziness and corruption to do their work!
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      Natfood sidesteps mayhem in farming sector

      6/3/2004 8:00:41 AM (GMT +2)

      THE food processing company has come back raging owing to what
investors have seen as an excellent entry point into the counter.

      Natfoods stock had earlier dipped to $900 on profit-taking. Since the
company is mainly a merchant of agricultural produce, it has not been
heavily affected by the mayhem in the agricultural sector as primary
commodity growers.

      Instead, the company has incorporated the new farmers to ensure the
supply side of their business remains intact. In areas such as wheat
production, this has meant that despite the country's output having fallen
to 60 000 tonnes annually from around 350 000 tonnes four years ago, the
company still processes a lion's share of this output.

      Management has also made use of excess capacity of mills by
successfully bidding for toll processing for international food aid
organisations. Toll processing is good for the company in that they do not
need to go out and source the toll, thereby saving substantial costs
associated with the sourcing of grain.

      The packaging division received a significant boost after the lifting
of price controls on basics like salt and cooking oil.

      Although the company, like any other industrialist, has been affected
by the deteriorating economic situation, it is still running profitably and
has capable management to take it forward into the future.

      The major shareholder, Tiger Brands of South Africa, would also come
in handy in developing the efficiencies and the technology to carry the
group forward.

      ONLY a few months ago it had become mandatory for any growth oriented
fund manager to have PGI in one's core portfolio. Though the stock was not
yet blue chip, due to the few years that it had shown significant growth,
one would not have disagreed with the view that the company had managed to
turn a few heads in the market.

      Alas! This reverence has been short-lived by optimism on the part of
the management that the economic policies that prevailed a few years ago
would be perpetuated. An about-turn of this view, resulting from the new
monetary policy towards the end of last year, proved to be a booby trap that
held this raging stallion.

      Inevitably the building and construction supplier fell on its knees.
With a net finance charge of $22 billion, most of which came from the last
two quarters, the company incurred a loss in a number of subsidiaries in the
second half of their financial year.

      Inventory levels had peaked on the eve of the festive season in line
with sensible planning in the hyperinflationary environment that prevailed
in the period. But then demand suddenly dampened in the wake of the new
monetary policy. To add injury to insult, the company suffered from the high
interest rates that ensued in December and January, since it had utilised
short term money to finance stocks in the hope that soaring demand would
wipe them away in order to balance funding.

      The outlook is not that rosy yet as the company still has up to 30
percent of its borrowings under market rate with the rest under the
productive sector funding.

      This is mainly due to the fact that the company has not yet cleared
inventories stocked up before the slump in demand.

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      Interesting aspects of the citizenship law

      6/3/2004 8:04:04 AM (GMT +2)

      THE area of the citizenship is covered under part two of our
constitution as read with the Citizenship Act (Chapter 4:07) (The Act).

      The constitution outlines methods by which an individual may acquire
citizenship while the Act provides for ancillary matters concerning this
significant part of our law.

      Our law in its current form outlaws dual or multiple citizenship, and
such prohibition is found in section 9 of the Act which reads:

      "No citizen of Zimbabwe who is of full age and sound mind shall be
entitled to be a citizen of a foreign country."

      The section goes on to outline a few instances when one can be
permitted to enjoy foreign citizenship. These exceptions are, however, not
relevant to the discussion at hand.

      A close perusal of this important section will reveal that lunatics or
imbeciles together with minors are not covered by this general prohibition.
Accordingly, a mad man and a child under the age of 18 years can effectively
possess foreign citizenship.

      Once a local blunders and acquires citizenship of a foreign country,
the same action succinctly provides that he shall cease to be Zimbabwean.
Therefore, even though one might still be in Zimbabwe, but at the same time
being a citizen of a foreign country, the law dictates that one will have
become a foreigner.

      It can be perceived that rather than complete forms to renounce
citizenship, an act of acquiring foreign citizenship is an indirect
renunciation of local citizenship. The implications are that effective from
the time one acquires the foreign identity, one forfeits all the benefits
and rights that would otherwise accrue to him had he remained with local
citizenship. An illustration is the right to vote.

      In terms of our constitution and the Electoral Act (Chapter 2:01),
only a citizen of Zimbabwe can exercise the right to vote. Further, only a
citizen who is a registered voter can be elected or appointed into
Parliament. Even further, only an elected or appointed parliamentarian can
be appointed a Cabinet minister.

      The exception here is that no non-parliamentarian can hold a Cabinet
post for more than three months, unless at the time he is so acting,
Parliament has been dissolved to which the three months shall not apply.

      If any appointment is at variance with the above analysis, it may
suffer the peril of being declared illegal and consequently null and void.
In retrospect, all the tasks undertaken by the "appointed", including the
by-laws he passed, documents he signed, directives he made, appointments he
made, meetings he chaired, votes he cast while sitting in Parliament, the
laws passed by his vote, the committee meetings he chaired and participated
in might all be declared a nullity.

      This is because in the first instance, due to absence of citizenship
he would have lacked capacity to vote and to enjoy all the other rights and
privileges that flow from citizenship.

      To advance the point further, one who is appointed a Cabinet minister
or parliamentarian takes an oath of office. Part of this oath makes one
confirm unreservedly his promise to "bear true allegiance to Zimbabwe", to
"observe the laws of Zimbabwe", and that one will "well and truly" serve in
whatever capacity he will have been chosen.

      In view of the above, and in the event of a mistaken, but unlawful
appointment on the basis of lack of citizenship, the "appointed" will
effectively have misled both his appointer and the nation at large.

      However, while one is a citizen, he can be allowed to possess a
foreign passport as long as he gets written permission from the Minister of
Home Affairs. Such permission must be sought prior to the acquisition of the
foreign passport, and not post the acquisition. Without such express written
permission, any possession of a foreign passport by a local will fall foul
to section 21 of the Act. It is a criminal offence and upon conviction, one
can be sentenced up to two years' imprisonment.

      The reason why the law outlaws dual and multiple citizenship is to
avoid a conflict of interest in citizens. There is a clear likelihood that
dual citizens may lack commitment, and indulge in illicit, unpatriotic
actions well aware that they can take flight to their second or other homes.

      Since the advent of the government's crusade against corrupt
individuals, several individuals have fled to other countries where they
held citizenship. Obviously they pilfered and indulged in malicious conduct
aware that they had safe havens in other parts of the globe.

      There are other ulterior reasons why government has continuously
fiddled with the Act. Immediately prior to the Presidential elections in
2002, thousands of aspiring voters were disenfranchised because a law
ostensibly declaring them to be foreigners had been promulgated. This was
the amendment to the Citizenship Act number 12 of 2001.

      Zimbabweans of European extraction and those who had migrated from
neighbouring countries as migrant workers together with their offspring
found themselves being tactfully elbowed from the electoral process.

      Late in 2003, Parliament also enacted another amendment to the Act.
The intention of this law was to coerce migrant workers from the SADC region
and their descendants elect for local citizenship or that of the country
they emanated from. They were given the option to either be Zimbabwean by
renunciating citizenship of the respective SADC country or opt for the

      Government engineered this strategy to offload perceived excess
foreigners because they were deemed unpatriotic and sympathetic to the main
opposition party.

      By indulging in this purging of citizens, government obviously sought
to curtail the influence of the main opposition party. This is because these
amendments were only introduced late into independence after government, in
a fit of paranoia adopted rushed, uncouth strategies to weather the
opposition storm that threatened to blow it away.

      Lately, government has continued to abuse Parliament by tampering with
every statute available and introducing new patently unlawful laws to fight
its political battle with the main opposition party.

      The victims have been the majority of Zimbabweans across the colour
and tribal lines who have had their various constitutional rights openly
violated without any or with little remedy.

      lVote Muza is a legal practitioner with Gutu & Chikowero law firm. He
can be contacted on e-mail and the webiste is

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--> FinGaz

      Is a recession escapable?

      6/3/2004 8:02:05 AM (GMT +2)

      Listening to the various discussions that go on in the boardrooms,
pubs and other social gatherings, it is amazing how citizens seem to have a
grasp of the economic dynamics of a nation like ours.

      On the one hand we have the ordinary Zimbabwean who is primarily
concerned about the issues of bread and butter singing praises for Reserve
Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governorGideon Gono as "the" saviour.

      The moment Gono came into office, the economic and social landscape
dramatically changed in Zimbabwe, though he is on record refusing to take
credit all on his own. But in the minds of the majority of Zimbabweans, the
timing of the changes can only be attributed to his appointment.

      On the other hand, we have businesspersons who are always murmuring
that "while this man is doing a good job, the bottom line is he has killed
our businesses". By this they mean the level of economic activity on the
ground has gone down significantly compared to the period before December
18, when Gono made his maiden monetary policy statement.

      Is Gono to blame or is it just a natural economic phenomenon.

      The literature around the Philips curve suggests that there always
exists a short-run trade-off between inflation and unemployment (growth). If
policymakers contract aggregate demand, they can lower inflation, but at the
cost of temporary higher unemployment (lower output).

      The opposite is also true - that is, if policymakers expand aggregate
demand, they can lower unemployment (increase economic output) but at the
cost of higher inflation. This is so because the greater the aggregate
demand for goods and services, the greater is the economy's output and the
higher is the overall price level (inflation).

      A recession is thus inevitable in cases where the policymakers are
pursuing stabilisation measures in the form of contractionary monetary

      However, this is only a short run phenomenon. In the long run,
expected inflation adjusts to changes in actual inflation. Thus, the central
bank's ability to create unexpected inflation exists only in the short run.
History, however, reveals mixed conclusion regarding this theory.

      When the RBZ announced that it was going to pursue a tight monetary
policy, it meant the rate of money supply was going to be slowed. This has
an effect of contracting aggregate demand, which means a reduction in the
quantity of goods and services that firms produce.

      Thus, to reduce inflation in our scenario means the economy has to
endure a period of high unemployment and low output.

      Economists use what is called the sacrifice ratio to measure the
number of percentage points of annual output that is lost in the process of
reducing inflation by one-percentage point. An estimate of this ratio is
five percent.

      In America, to reduce inflation from about 10 percent in 1979-81 to
four percent would have required an estimated sacrifice of 30 percent of
annual output. Fed chairman Paul Volker, however, succeeded in reducing
inflation from 10 to four percent, but at the cost of high unemployment
(about 10 percent in 1983).

      In 1986 Greenspan was lucky as he managed to reduce both inflation and
unemployment because of a positive oil supply shock. Thus, the Philips curve
does not always hold.

      Lessons for Zimbabwe

      A close look at the conduct of monetary policy in Zimbabwe would
suggest that the RBZ governor and his team are aware of the inflation-output
dilemma, hence a number of mitigatory measures to minimise the cost of

      Right from the onset, the RBZ sought to rein in money supply growth,
which was believed to be fuelling inflation. To this end, a number of
measures were put in place to mop up the liquidity that was in the market.

      Seeing the down side of this move and the catastrophic impact it was
going to have on our manufacturing sector that was already bleeding, the
governor introduced what he called the productive sector funding (PSF)
facility. The PSF funds were available at only 30 percent in a market where
interest rates hovered around 300 percent.

      This was intended to quick-start the economy, as it had a mitigatory
effect on the impact of the contractionary monetary policy on production.

      To date, just over $1.5 trillion has been disbursed, with the first
repayments coming at the end of June to fund a revolving fund, but this time
at a slightly higher rate of 50 percent.

      A preliminary survey made by the central bank reveals that the fund
had significant positive effect on capacity utilisation, output and
employment for the firms that accessed the facility.

      While this is good news for the lucky ones, it is not true of every
other businessperson. Those who could not access the facility remained
victims of the stabilisation crusade, and this is the group that is bitter
about the whole idea of fighting inflation.

      Its plight was made even worse by the liquidity crunch that affected
banks in December/January, which saw lending rates going up to as high as
1000 percent.

      Outside the beneficiaries of the facility, one can easily see the
visible decline in economic activity compared to, say, November last year.
There is enough evidence of a depressed economy, suggesting that we could be
in a mini-recession.

      Zimbabweans should expect this to persist for some time as it
constitutes what the RBZ governor termed "adjustment pains". The good news
is that this is usually a short-run phenomenon if the economy is allowed to
function properly.

      To the ordinary consumer who is usually the victim in a
hyperinflationary environment, the same period is a good period as prices
are fairly stabilising. Prior to the current interventions, every other
player in the market would pass on the cost up to the final consumer, who
cannot easily pass it further down.

      It is only the employed consuming public that can try to pass it on to
the employer in the form of demand for higher wages. Last year's experience,
and experience in most economies, suggests that wages are not as responsive
in such environments, worse still in the face of weak labour movements as is
the case in Zimbabwe currently.

      The challenge for the central bank is to manage open market operations
as instruments to control the supply of money.

      The lessons learnt so far suggest that most of the instruments used
had their rate pegged far too high to achieve our objectives. A typical
example is the RBZ bills that have since been suspended. The challenge upon
maturity is quite heavy as the interest bill that the bank has to meet is
equally inflationary, unless other creative means are found to manage it.

      This is the other side of the effort to mitigate the effects of the
stabilisation policies on employment. It turns out to be a vicious cycle in
that you try to reduce inflation and output suffers, and in a bid to protect
output you also create more inflationary pressure.

      Thus, a high degree of creativity is now called for on the part of RBZ
officials to be able to balance the act and hopefully meet the inflation
targets for this year, but at a manageable cost.

      To the rest of the players in the market, the challenge is to
understand the dynamics of stabilisation policies and configure minds and
attitudes to be able to endure the temporary adjustment pains.

      lMoses Chundu is group economist at Century Holdings Limited and a
member of the Zimbabwe Economics Society.

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Garage doors
Electrical Contracting
General Engineering
Lightening protection systems
Phone 300893 / 309427
1381/AP5 [2/3 - 27/7]
For eradication of household and garden pests;
Ants, bedbugs, cockroaches, crickets, flies,
Fleas and termites.
Contact G Hook on 091 347 759
1186/AN54 [20/1 - 9/3] then 1458/AP28 [16/3 - 13/7]
EXECUTIVE IT / New Test and Training centre situated in Avondale
The International Computer Driving Licence
Other software courses
Farming and Management Courses
These can also be done in your home environment should you be unable to make
a trip to the Centre!
Any Email connections done at your home as well !
Please call me Annette Yeatman - 302890 or 302893  or 011 211 338
or email
1228/AN74 [27/1, -17/2] NP [24/2 -13/4] extended [20/4 - 8/7]
Ex-Zim Australian Migration Agent
Based in Toowoomba, Queensland.
Geoff Higgs
Registration No: 0319 488
Telephone: (617) 4698 7422/ 4696 8810
Fax: (617) 4698 7433
1174/AO18 [13/1-3/3]  1303/AN87 [9/3 - 21/12]
"NO-JOINT" GUTTERS from our American Extrusion Machine.
Lengths made to suit ON YOUR PROPERTY.
No joints on straight lengths.
Sealed with Silicon - No Soldered joints to leak.
496961 - 091400328 - 011405214 - 496664
1504/NP [30/3-1/6]

Kelly  Kare 

Personnel  Services

Catering for all disciplines

Focused and results-oriented, it’s no less the friendly and personal approach that characterizes Kelly Kare’s reputation for assuming personal care of the individual candidate needs and the client requirements.  It’s that quality of service and experience that see new assignments emerge on a regular basis.  Kelly Kare provide you with efficient service and professional advice that ensures you find the right caliber candidate.


56 Lomagundi Road Avondale, Kelly Kare sources and places persons from all trades and professions.


Telephone number - (263-4) 303377/335705

Mobile number       -  011 602 144

E-mail address        -

1633/NP [4/5….]


N. Tselentis (Pvt) Ltd

We are still in business and still at 46 Kaguvi Street.


*  We carry a full selection of goods for your rural trading stores

*  Phone us and our reps will call on you

*  Credit facilities available to approved customers


*  Full range of David Whitehead Textiles Ltd farbrics

*  Selected imported fabrics especially Nylon Taffatta for Tracksuits, etc

*  Wholesale to:  Traders, schools, factories, sewing co-operatives and all bulk      



Overalls, worksuits, dustcoats, ladies house coats, maids uniforms, kitchen suits, aprons, guard suits, trousers, jackets and shirts.

Gumboots, industrial shoes and canvas shoes

Handcuffs, whistles, battons, belts, boots, hard hats and caps

Messenger’s uniforms, trousers, shirts, socks and shoes


Don’t forget to buy your employees BLANKETS.  We are in for a cold winter!

Come in and visit us, secure parking  on site off Kaguvi Street

Our prices are very competitive.

Phone:  790210, 796822/23, 750753, 755508

Fax: 756273

Email: or

Warehouse at 46 Kaguvi Street.

1647/AP85 [11/5 – 27/7]


Kwikpay is now able to offer payment of DSTV in Zimbabwe dollars. The
amounts for this week are as follows:-
3 months $  950 000
6 months $1 900 000
12 months $3 500 000
Please contact us on the following if you are interested in using our
Patrick Cochrane 091-274327
Kathi Jordan      091-606394
Tel: (4)495433

1702/AR03 [25/5, 1/6]



Confused?  Don’t know whether to stay or leave?  Join Stan Parsons and Lorna Peason of the Business Link for a free workshop that will help you make those tough decisions.  For more information contact or

1714/AR 05 [1/6, 15,6]


Paintings of Zimbabwean Landscapes in oils to order. Photographs of Old
Rhodesia. Jewellery made to order. email
1522/ [4/5, 1/6, 6/7, 3/8, 7/9, 5/10, 2/11]



For Your Information....

Up to 30 words             $9000/wk
31 - 50 words                $15000/wk
51 - 75 words                $22500/wk
76 - 100 words              $30000/wk
101 - 150 words            $45000/wk
151 - 200 words            $60000/wk
201 - 250 words            $75000/wk
251 - 300 words MAX   $90000/wk

Please send advert to by MONDAY 1.00 pm and send PROMPT
payment with a copy of your advert to CFU, Agricultural Information Services
Department, Box WGT 390, Westgate, Harare.


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