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

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'Further Collapse Possible'

Business Day (Johannesburg)

June 3, 2004
Posted to the web June 3, 2004

Rob Rose , Chief Reporter

Zimbabwean businessman Nigel Chanakira warned yesterday of more "spectacular
collapses" of top corporate companies in SA's floundering neighbour.

Zimbabwe, showing signs of tackling a runaway inflation rate under new
reserve bank governor Gideon Gono, nearly suffered a banking system meltdown
late last year.

But in a session at the World Economic Forum, Chanakira said yesterday that
the country could face further crises in its corporate sector.

"We have seen collapses (and there are) more to come because it is not a
sustainable picture."

Chanakira, executive deputy chairman of Kingdom Financial Holdings , said
that despite current problems there were sizeable investment returns to be
made for corporate companies willing to invest in the country.

But speakers said it was difficult to get a cohesive sense of just how
fragile the economic environment was, given Zimbabwe's high inflation of
more than 500% and private sector credit growth of about 500%.

Makonsult MD Simba Makoni said while there were pockets of lawlessness,
mainly introduced through Zimbabwe's controversial land reform programme,
"it is not a wholesale lawless society". Otherwise, investors, such as
ZimPlats, would not be pumping money into the country.

Experts said the country should focus on keeping viable parts of the
financial sector running and put in place stronger supervision mechanisms.

There should also be a well-planned contingency system for when things went
wrong, as when the banks suffered a crisis towards the end of last year.
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UN sees huge Zim food shortage
03/06/2004 20:43  - (SA)

Harare - United Nations crop forecasts estimate Zimbabwe will produce only
half its food needs this year, despite the government's insistence that the
country won't need emergency aid.

The government's stance has raised fears that it intends to use food as a
political weapon in parliamentary elections early next year.

Zimbabwe's 12.5 million population consumes about two million tons of grain

But total food production this year is likely to be lower than last year's
980 000 tons, most of it the staple maize, the UN Food and Agriculture
Organisation said in a memorandum released on Thursday.

"The overall food deficit could be more than a million tons," the agency
said, adding that the deficit would have to be imported.

The UN forecasts are based on a survey of three of Zimbabwe's main

Mugabe says they won't import maize

Last month, the government ordered three crop assessment teams from the
United Nations' World Food Programme and FAO to stop their survey of rural
areas before it was complete, saying its own forecasters expected a 2.4
million ton maize harvest this season.

In a May 24 interview, President Robert Mugabe told Britain's Sky News TV
that Zimbabwe would "definitely not" be importing food this year.

However, humanitarian officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said
the government has been secretly importing food through South Africa and
neighbouring Zambia.

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change has accused Mugabe's
government of lying about food production and rejecting international aid so
it can control distributions to the needy in the run-up to next year's

Grain coming from Argentina, US

In the past, UN agencies and aid groups have reported attempts by district
government and ruling party officials to withhold food from suspected
opposition supporters.

Ship manifests monitored by the South African Grain Information Service
since the beginning of the year record cargoes of nearly 200 000 tons of
grain from Argentina and the United States destined for Zimbabwe.

The often-violent seizure of thousands of white-owned farms for
redistribution to black Zimbabweans, combined with erratic rains, have
crippled the nation's agriculture-based economy.

Critics say much of the choice farm land has been given to Mugabe supporters
and is underused or lying fallow.
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Diarrhoea Outbreak Closes Boarding School

The Herald (Harare)

June 3, 2004
Posted to the web June 3, 2004


A DIARRHOEA outbreak at St Davies Bonda Mission School in Juliasdale - about
50 kilometres from Mutare - has forced some pupils to leave the school,
nearly a month into the second term to recuperate at home.

The outbreak at the girls-only school was first detected about two weeks ago
when pupils developed malaria like symptoms which included diarrhoea,
vomiting and headaches.

Affected pupils were taken to Bonda Mission Hospital for treatment before
some concerned parents picked up their children to monitor them at home.

Some pupils who spoke to The Herald on their way home said the situation was
bad as some of those affected were admitted at the nearby hospital and
discharged after getting better but were readmitted after developing the
same symptoms.

"It is suspected that we were being fed with meat from cattle that had just
been dosed," said a little girl who was on her way home.

However, the secretary for education at the Anglican Church-run school, who
only identified himself as Mr Matambanadzo, dispelled fears that the
outbreak is serious saying some pupils were "exaggerating" the situation so
that they can get a chance to go home to be with their families.

Mr Matambanadzo said when he visited the school to assess the situation on
Friday last week, there were only five pupils who were affected and were not
in serious condition.

He said the pupil who was in a serious condition had reacted to drugs.

A test was made to establish the cause of the outbreak and results are
expected next Monday.
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House Adopts Motion to Ascertain Country's Grains

The Herald (Harare)

June 3, 2004
Posted to the web June 3, 2004


PARLIAMENT yesterday adopted a motion resolving that the portfolio committee
on Lands, Agriculture, Water Development, Rural Resources and Resettlement
should ascertain the amount of grain that the country will harvest this year
as the Government maintained its estimates are correct.

The motion was moved by Gweru Rural MP Mr Renson Gasela (MDC), who is also
the opposition party's shadow minister for agriculture.

In moving the motion, Mr Gasela said the Government's crop assessment that
the country would produce 2,4 million tonnes of grain were incorrect as
independent estimates had put the maize harvest forecast at about 850 000

He said it was impossible for Zimbabwe to harvest 2,4 million tonnes of
grain given the seed and fertiliser shortages that were experienced during
the season coupled with the problem of tillage services.

But contributing to the debate, Agriculture and Rural Development Minister
Cde Joseph Made maintained that the country would produce 2,4 million tonnes
of maize this season.

He dismissed claims by Mr Gasela that the crop forecasts were incorrect,
saying there had been no seed shortages as communal farmers had retained
their own maize seed.

The minister also dismissed claims by Mr Gasela that the Government was
secretly importing about 300 000 to 400 000 tonnes maize to cover up for the
shortfall that would arise in the near future.

"There is no secret that we entered into a contract to import grain in case
of drought and before the crop forecasts were made we had already entered
into this contract," he said.

Cde Made reiterated that the Government had not stopped the United Nations
Development Programme (UNDP) from assessing the food situation.

He said he wanted evidence that the State had stopped the UNDP from
conducting the exercise.

"I have said it before that it is the member state that conducts the crop
assessment exercise and announces the figures, and the UNDP and Food and
Agriculture Organisation are international public servants which must
respect our sovereignty," Cde Made said.

He denied allegations that the food from donors had in the past been
distributed through Zanu-PF structures, saying it was distributed through
Government structures.
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Masvingo Fails to Meet Wheat Hectarage Target

The Herald (Harare)

June 3, 2004
Posted to the web June 3, 2004


MASVINGO has failed to meet its target of having 5 000 hectares under winter
wheat this year owing to a number of problems, key among them being failure
to rehabilitate major irrigation schemes in the province.

To date, about 1 900 ha have been put under wheat, a far cry for the 5000
targeted as part of a national drive to increase wheat production.

No meaningful farming activities have taken place at some of the key
irrigation schemes in the province, among them the 300 ha large Mara
irrigation scheme which is awaiting rehabilitation together with Chilonga
and Dromore in Masvingo district.

Most of these irrigation schemes either have obsolete equipment while trhere
are also problems of damaged feeder dams destroyed by Cyclone Eline induced
rains two years ago.

The Masvingo provincial Agronomist Mrs Melody Kwanai confirmed that the
province had failed to meet its winter wheat targets though she said the
area planted so far is larger than that planted last season.

"We could not meet our target for winter wheat because some irrigation
schemes such as Mara Irrigation scheme are still to be rehabilitated.

"Farmers also received their inputs late from the Grain Marketing Board and
could not beat the planning window from late April to mid May and they
turned to other crops such as maize," said Mrs Kwanai.

She said although the province had received nearly 350 000 litres of diesel
for sale, most farmers were failing to buy the commodity due to lack of cash
resulting in large stocks of diesel for winter farming lying idle.

This year, Gutu district had the largest area of 326 ha under wheat followed
by Masvingo district, which has 639 ha.

Last year the province planted about 1 444 ha of wheat and had intended to
quadruple the figure to increase wheat production.

The government, through the Agricultural Rural Development Authority, has
already started rehabilitating irrigation schemes in the country and is also
recruiting experts in the field.

This year, the department of irrigation was allocated $20 billion by
Government in a move expected to benefit mostly resettled farmers.
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Government Still Compiling Statistics of DRC War Casualties

The Herald (Harare)

June 3, 2004
Posted to the web June 3, 2004


THE Government is compiling statistics of Zimbabweans who died during the
war in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Defence Minister Cde Sydney
Sekeramayi said yesterday.

"The process of compiling statistics is a long one which involves the
recovery and reburial of casualties whose bodies were buried in the
battlefield," he said.

Cde Sekeramayi was responding to a question by Mbare East MP Mr Tichaona
Munyanyi (MDC), who wanted to know the number of casualties in the DRC war
and the number of those injured.

Cde Sekeramayi said the compilation of statistics started only last year and
was far from completion.

"The process has to be conducted systematically, from one area to the other.
This helps to ensure that all the casualties are accounted for," he said.

Apart from the burials, Cde Sekeramayi said, there were also prisoners of
war who had to be accounted for and the ministry was still consulting with
the belligerent forces to find out the number of soldiers they were still
holding as POWs. He said the Government would be in a position to
conclusively declare those still listed as missing in action to be dead only
after the exercise has been completed.

Cde Sekeramayi said relatives of the deceased have always been informed
whenever the fate of their kin has been ascertained.

Zimbabwe and Namibia sent troops to the DRC in August 1998 to repel rebels
that were being supported by Uganda and Rwanda.
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The Guardian

'Get tough'

Critics are saying South Africa should increase the pressure on Robert
Mugabe, reports Andrew Meldrum

Thursday June 3, 2004

South African president Thabo Mbeki's "quiet diplomacy" towards Zimbabwe is
in shambles after Robert Mugabe's categorical rejection of negotiations with
the opposition in a rare interview last week.
As leader of Zimbabwe's giant neighbour, with its critical economic links,
essential supplies of electricity and a history of influence, Mr Mbeki ought
to have some leverage with Mr Mugabe's government and South Africa has led
the international community's efforts to find a resolution to Zimbabwe's
deepening political, economic and humanitarian crisis. But the failure of
the Mr Mbeki's strategy leaves fellow African states, the European Union,
Britain and the United States bereft of an effective policy to improve the

One year ago US president George Bush, while visiting South Africa, called
Mr Mbeki his "point man" on Zimbabwe. Mr Bush and Mr Mbeki stated
confidently that by June 2004 the Pretoria government would have brokered
negotiations between Mr Mugabe and the Zimbabwean opposition that would pave
the way for Zimbabwe to return to democracy and halt the country's
disastrous economic collapse. Mr Mugabe scuppered that plan, however, with
the deadline arriving this week.

"I don't see why we should talk about negotiations," Mr Mugabe told Sky
News. He asserted that Zimbabwe's current situation was "the normal way of
running a democratic system". Mr Mugabe repeated that he intended to serve
out his current term until 2008, when he will be 86.

In the wake of Mr Mugabe's statements, the South African government admitted
it was not planning to come up with a new alternative to its "softly,
softly" approach. "We have no other alternative to quiet diplomacy so we
will continue with quiet diplomacy. Whatever else diplomacy is there?" said
South Africa's deputy minister of foreign affairs Aziz Pahad.

Diplomats, analysts and Zimbabwe's opposition insist that South Africa has
many options to encourage an improvement in the Zimbabwean situation. In
1978, South Africa, under pressure from the United States, pushed the
Rhodesian leader Ian Smith to enter negotiations that eventually led to the
birth of majority-ruled Zimbabwe in 1980.

Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) criticises the
South African government¹s current policy. "We have said over and over again
that Mugabe is not interested in serious dialogue," said Welshman Ncube, the
secretary-general of the MDC. "Now that it has come from the horse's mouth
we hope the South Africans will stop shielding Mugabe from international
pressure on the pretext of non-existent dialogue."

He added: "The Mbeki government should be willing to put pressure on the
Zimbabwean government to return to democratic traditions. It is not doing
that. It should, for instance, stop protecting the Mugabe regime at
international meetings." He pointed out how, at the meeting last month of
the United Nations Commission for Human Rights, South Africa led the African
countries in voting against any measure being taken against Zimbabwe¹s
growing dossier of human rights abuses. South African officials said they
were protecting Zimbabwe from unfair criticism from the European Union. The
Mbeki government's resolute refusal to make any condemnation of documented
evidence of police torture and violence and rapes by Mugabe's youth militia
amounts to condoning it, say critics.

Similarly, Mr Mbeki acted as Mr Mugabe's protector in the Commonwealth,
repeatedly trying to shield Zimbabwe from suspension. Now that Mr Mugabe has
pulled out of the Commonwealth, Mr Mbeki has not taken action to help open
dialogue between Zimbabwe and the organisation.
Some critics say South Africa could use its supply of 20% of Zimbabwe's
electricity to put pressure on Mr Mugabe to adhere to the same standards of
democratic elections as South Africa and other neighbouring states.
Zimbabwe's opposition has been bludgeoned by blatant state violence and vote
rigging. Desperately needed food rations have been withheld from opposition

Many MDC leaders say they do not want to participate in any further
elections under the current system which is completely controlled and
manipulated by the Mugabe government. "More than 350 of our supporters have
been killed in election violence over the past few years," said one MDC
member of parliament. "Zimbabwe's electoral system is rigged. We have no
freedom of assembly or freedom of the press. Why should we participate in
such unfair elections? Our participation only gives legitimacy to the entire
repressive system."

Without more persuasive diplomacy from South Africa, Zimbabwean civic
leaders said they would be forced to resort to anti-government
demonstrations inside Zimbabwe, which they warned could be bloody. "We
cannot count on the South African government for support. We cannot count on
other African governments," said the leader of a Zimbabwean human rights
organisation. "We can only win back our rights by confrontation in Zimbabwe
and we will need to sacrifice. It is a frightening situation."
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Mugabe terror concern

CONCERNS about living conditions in part of Zimbabwe have been raised with
the Foreign Office by Nigel Beard MP.

The member for Bexleyheath acted after being contacted by Ralph Mguni, a
former citizen of Matabeleland in the west of Zimbabwe.

Mr Mguni now lives in Welling and is a teacher at St Catherine's RC Girls'
School, in Bexleyheath.

He joined a delegation led by Mr Beard to see Foreign Office Minister Chris
Mullin. They discussed how people living in Matabeleland were being
discriminated against by the Robert Mugabe government in the allocation of
United Nations' food aid and children's education, because the region had
always voted against the President.

Two members of the delegation had horror stories to tell. One, a former
magistrate, escaped with his life after his driver had been shot and killed.

The other watched a friend beaten to death by the Mugabe militia while
police officers did nothing.

Mr Mullin assured the delegation Britain was fully aware of the situation.

It has withdrawn all assistance from Mr Mugabe and was pressing for
discrimination to stop.

But he said the Government would not support any moves by Matabeleland to
separate from the rest of Zimbabwe.
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National Business Review

Will the sacrifices of 15 brave Zimbabweans go for nought?
Column: Corporate box by Paul Verdon
When Mohammad Rafique, a No 9 batsman from the world's lowliest
cricket-playing minnow, Bangladesh, can score his maiden century in a total
of 416 against a former global powerhouse, the West Indies ­ and in St
Lucia, not Dhaka ­ we know this grand old dame of sport has finally lost her

Another country keen to get above its station throughout most of cricketing
history, New Zealand, is playing at Headingley, Leeds, eager to make amends
for botching its chances in the opening test of the series against England,
home of the game but whose national team has also known some lean times in
recent decades.

But perhaps the most fascinating struggle taking place in today's cricketing
world is that being fought offstage in Zimbabwe.

The strokemaking push and pull of a battle between racially motivated
administrators of the Zimbabwe Cricket Union (controlled by their political
masters; the patron of the Zimbabwe union is, after all, one Robert Mugabe)
and 15 white "rebel" cricketers may result in the country being stripped of
its test status at this month's meeting of the International Cricket

It won't be before time. The ICC has fiddled while the game burned for far
too long.

That the ICC played part of last year's World Cup in Zimbabwe under
political conditions that could only be described as a police state, said a
lot about the calibre of its leadership ­ and none of it good.

It eventually took a brave act by two Zimbabwean World Cup team members,
Andy Flower, a white player, and Henry Olonga, a black one, to bring the
true situation to the world. They wore black wristbands to symbolise the
death of freedom in their country.

Their defiance of the brutal Mugabe henchmen who control Zimbabwe was
remarkable. The criminals had left no stone unturned in their efforts to
ensure the western press gained a rosy view of the country. State propaganda
ensured the naive Malcolm Speed and fellow ICC officials became unwitting
publicity tools of the regime and even accomplices.

Retribution was swift for Flower and Olonga. Both players are now exiled
overseas. For a time it seemed their sacrifices had been for nought. The ebb
and flow of cricket in their country seemed hardly to have been disturbed ­
and the ICC's precious test schedule neither.

But under the surface, a festering sore was about to break out. Zimbabwe has
a tiny pool of players and struggles to compete internationally. The ZCU
championed the policy of selecting up to five coloured players ­ to "help
promote the game." But the white players who made up most of the game's
elite finally decided enough was enough.

The outside world first learned of the rebellion two months ago when Heath
Streak, Zimbabwe's captain and one of its few genuine world-class players,
was sacked by the ZCU.

In typical Mugabe-speak, half-truth fashion, the ZCU announced that Streak
had resigned because he was unhappy with the composition of the selectors'
panel. But Streak's father said he hadn't resigned.

Streak later revealed that "the straw that broke the camel's back" for him
was during the earlier series against Bangladesh. He claimed a board
director reconvened the selection panel and ordered the selectors to
re-select the side.

Streak also claimed another director had offered to pay a double match fee
for a white player to sit out a match so that a black player could take the

Streak said he and Geoff "Swampy" Marsh, the former Australian batsman who
coaches Zimbabwe but who has also decided to quit, refused to be involved in
the deal.

Streak would later say that some of the young black players who replaced him
and the other "rebels," were against selection on non-merit basis, but were
threatened if they made a stand.

Fourteen other leading players had quickly backed Streak and announced a
boycott of the series against the touring Sri Lankans.

They said there had been racial and ethnic discrimination. That there had
been threats of pitch invasions and digging up the pitch by at least one
board member if more black players weren't chosen. They demanded that Streak
be reinstated, one selector be sacked and the board apologise for a series
of "transgressions."

But the ZCU was having none of it. It declined the players' proposal for
arbitration. Then the legal writs flew from both camps.

Left out of the Zimbabwe squad were players such as Grant Flower, brother of
Andy, who hadn't missed a test for 11 years except through injury; Craig
Wishart, the country's most reliable batsman; Andy Blignaut, who had become
the first Zimbabwean to record a hat-trick in a test and Stuart Carlisle,
who had hit two test centuries in the past five months.

In their places were two remaining whites, 10 blacks and one Asian player.

As a result, Zimbabwe was crushed 2-0 in the test series and 5-0 in the
one-dayers. This led to the cancellation of the test series against the
touring Australians ­ after the Aussies had arrived there.

England, the only country to refuse to play matches in Zimbabwe during the
World Cup and heavily fined for its action, is due to tour there later this

The International Players' Association has also got into the act. It says
any ICC investigation must consider that the ZCU had ignored cricket's "core
values." Its CEO, Tim May, pointed out that these values, including equality
and integrity, were stated in the ICC's 2001-2005 strategic plan and
endorsed by the sport's 10 test-playing nations.

May, probably referring to the betting scandals that have rocked the game,
said the behaviour of players had been heavily scrutinised over recent

"If the ICC fails to investigate these allegations, then apathy will
permeate the player ranks," May said.

"But more importantly, 15 brave and talented men who had the guts to stand
up for their principles, may be lost to the game of international cricket."
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1.  US Companies help President Mugabe to finance secret food imports -
Africa Confidential

President Robert Mugabe is staking his people's future on the false claims
of a bumper harvest.  His Information Minister, Jonathan Moyo, parrots the
line but fails to convince Zimbabweans.  The state-owned and militarised
Grain Marketing Board keeps international observers and journalists away
from the almost empty grain silos.  The opposition Movement for Democratic
Change protests, but is ineffective.  Bizarrely, two of the Mugabe
government's key supporters come from the United States.

Africa Confidential can reveal that Mugabe's government has secured
financial backing from at least two American corporations, Sentry Financial
International and Dimon Incorporated.  Dimon, the world's second largest
tobacco-leaf trader, is a public corporation quoted on the New York Stock
Exchange. Its backing Mugabe goes well beyond the secret tobacco-for maize
swap first reported in here (AC Vol 45 No 9).

We have obtained a letter confirming the Sentry International's offer of
credit worth US$700million, to fund Zimbabwe's imports of food and other
goods.  This letter, dated 15 November 2003, is from Jewel Bank, addressed
to the GMB's Acting Director, Colonel Samuel Muhvuti.  It begins: `The
Jewel Bank is pleased to extend to you an offer of US$80 million for the
importation of grains'.  It goes on to explain the Sentry International is
arranging finance with `security being provided by tobacco merchants' as
part of the $700 mn. credit line.  The secret deal will interest regulators
south of the Limpopo: South Africa's ABSA group has a big equity stake in
Jewel Bank.

The collateral for the loan consists of foreign exchange earnings from
Zimbabwe's tobacco crop.  A separate document, under the letterhead of the
Mashonaland Tobacco Company (formerly Dimon Zimbabwe), spells out the terms
whereby the trader `has been granted permission by the relevant authorities
to purchase tobacco directly from farmers without using the auction floor.
This permission was granted to enable MTC to issue US dollar guarantees
against which importation of maize and wheat by the GMB could commence.'

Industry sources say Dimon has been granted a preferential exchange rate,
helping it to outbid rivals in local currency terms.  Buying direct from
growers enables Dimon to purchase the highest quality tobacco without
competition.  Financial and industry sources say Dimon channels its foreign
currency earnings from tobacco sales into an offshore draw down facility
that is available to Sentry, and used to finance grain imports to Zimbabwe.

The US$80 mn. From Sentry will buy US$55 mn. worth of maize at $270 a
tonne, and $25mn. of wheat at $340 a tonne.  The prices were fixed last
November, when the price quoted for maize from South Africa was $135 a
tonne.  Because the deal is secret and the GMB is under military control,
the arrangement is not publicly accountable, and there is no control over
any `middle-men' fees.

Gideon's goodwill

Gideon Gono, Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, knows all about it,
as he was Chief Executive of Jewel Bank when the offer letter was sent.
He declined to comment on the telephone about sensitive financial
agreements. Perhaps he will have no more to say soon, during his goodwill
tour to Britain and the USA - a trip designed, in part, to convince
Zimbabweans overseas to channel their remittance through the Reserve Bank.

Half a dozen requests to interview Dimon's spokesman went unanswered.
Sentry repeatedly responded `no comment' when asked about its dealings with
Zimbabwe.  When we asked Sentry's Vice President R. Kirk Heaton why
Zimbabwe would be importing maize during a bumper harvest, he laughed and
asked: `Do you believe that?'

The tobacco-for-maize deal is a small part of Sentry International's US$700
mn. loan facility, but may explain why Mugabe is confident that he can buy
a `bumper harvest'.  The tobacco-for-maize swap may possibly violate a US
Executive Order (AC Vol 45 No 10) imposing sanctions on Zimbabwe's
political and business elite.  The much larger US$700 mn. loan is legal,
although we hear it worries some US Congressmen, who may call for greater
Treasury scrutiny of the companies involved.

The Zimbabwe government has reacted to reports of the swap by denying its
existence and repeating its line about the bumper harvest.  Agriculture
Minister Joseph Made said the report was `false and mischievous'.  Yet it
is a fact that some 40,000 tonnes of maize were transported to Zimbabwe
during April and May.  Details of exports from and through South Africa to
Zimbabwe are publicly available online from the SA Grain Information

Most of the imported grain was purchased through the tobacco-for-maize
swap, and goes into silos operated by the GMB, the sole authorised importer
of maize and wheat.  The rest of the imports were food aid.  For the past
two years, food aid has kept millions of Zimbabweans from going hungry, and
the government has resented this large relief operations.  During those two
years, Mugabe did not once publicly mention the United Nations World Food
Programme, which was feeding up to forty percent of the population.  This
week, when asked about it by Sky News, he gave a grudging response.

The WFP's memorandum of understanding with the government expires in June.
Despite the President's comments it may linger on after that, but only to
feed AIDS orphans and other particularly vulnerable groups.  Recently, for
the first time, the state-controlled media have directly attacked the UN's
top official in Zimbabwe, J. Victor Angelo.  His inquiry about the welfare
of workers displaced from commercial farms was described as an infringement
of Zimbabwean sovereignty, a violation of the UN Charter and `racist'. Some
diplomats in Harare say Angelo has been unnecessarily mild in dealing with
the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front regime, but he has been
- until now - the only interlocutor between donors and the government.

The decision to end all pretence of dialogue is based on Mugabe's recent
political success.  His ZANU-PF candidates have won by-elections even in
former opposition strongholds such as Lupane.  This has emboldened the
President to risk promoting the fiction of a bumper harvest - with help
from his American business friends.

Africa Confidential Copyright


Chinamasa's reprehensible behaviour - and Bennett's impulsive reaction

THOSE old enough will recall many years ago when Ian Smith, the then rebel
leader and former Rhodesian Prime Minister, sang a song which blatantly
implied that the African people were baboons and which rightly caused great
consternation among Zimbabweans of all races, colours and creeds.

Today, we witness a government minister, Patrick Chinamasa telling a fellow
member of Parliament, Roy Bennett that his forefathers were "thieves and
murderers".  What is the difference, we ask, other than that the tables are
now turned.

Like Smith's derogatory statement against blacks, Chinamasa's diatribe was
no less provocative and irresponsible.  Indeed, at the present level of
global civilization such statements from supposedly learned people like
Chinamasa raise serious questions about their general deportment as

Chinamasa caused great offence not only to Bennett personally but to many
of his supporters and sympathisers across the colour line.  Needless to
say, such intemperate, uncouth and vituperative language is not expected of
a minister who is supposed to lead by example.

It is important to put it on record that Chinamasa abused the absolute
privilege conferred on MPs over what they say in the course of
Parliamentary debates and proceedings.  We fear for his wellbeing were he
to repeat his crude insults outside Parliament.  By no means are we
suggesting that the absolute privilege should be taken away.  Far from it.
What we are saying, and with much emphasis, is that MPs are expected to use
this privilege responsibly, and not recklessly as demonstrated by

We certainly do not condone violence wherever it rears its ugly head and
condemn reservedly Bennetts impulsive reaction to Chinamasa's extreme
provocation.  But, as the MDC legislator asked: "what was he expected to do
under the circumstances?  The government has taken all that he has worked
for in his entire life by dispossessing him of Charleswood Estate, and to
add insult to injury, heaps demeaning invective on top of it all.  We dare
say even a saint of Mother Theresa would have found such insults difficult
to swallow.

Anger is an explosive emotion which, if not properly managed, can culminate
in mayhem and destruction.  Many of us never know what we are capable of
until sufficiently goaded to act against the source of our annoyance. After
all Bennett is a human being with feelings and emotions like the rest of

Not only that, Bennett is a Zimbabwean just like Chinamasa and the rest of
us.  Attempts in Zanu PFs tired propaganda refrain to associate Bennett, on
account of his white colour; with British imperialism and neo-colonialism
stink to high heaven.

Ask any black Zimbabwean in Zimbabwe in general and Chinamasa in particular
and they will tell you how Bennett is such a lovable, likable and
compassionate human being.  The same cannot be said about the Chinamasas of
this world.

For starters, Bennett was elected by a predominantly black constituency.
Chinamasa was not.  The majority of Bennett's supporters are black
Zimbabweans and not white Europeans or the British.  Indeed, there is a
disturbing ring of immorality in what Zanu PF is doing to this man and many
other Zimbabweans.

During Cyclone Eline in and around Chimanimani, people will testify how
Bennett rose to the occasion and assisted the victims of the cyclone free
of charge.  Many will further testify how in good times and bad, Bennett
will be there for them.  He does all these things because he is first and
foremost a Zimbabwean, he loves this country and its people.  Above all, he
is an affable man with a highly developed down-to-earth sense of humour
which cannot be said of sullen-faced Partick Chinamasa.

We say all these things in the hope and belief that the Parliamentary
Privileges Committee that has been set up to institute investigations on
whether or not the behaviour of Bennett constituted contempt of Parliament
will be an honest broker in the whole controversy.  What the ruling party
has done to Bennett by evicting him from his Charleswood Estate in
Chimanimani in defiance of numerous court orders and Chinamasa's outburst
in Parliament would have driven any man to boiling point.  This is an
important factor that the privileges committee will need to consider in
their deliberations.

Parliament is intended to be a forum for open, free and democratic debate
on all questions and answers affecting the nation but not to the reckless
extent exhibited by Chinamasa.  There is no doubt, Chinamasa went overboard
and his utterances were unbecoming of a government minister and one
supposed to preside over the country's justice system.

There is no one that has been spared by the ruling party's misgovernance.
Even the rented crowds which demonstrated against Roy Bennett last Thursday
are on the receiving end of Zanu PFs misrule.  These innocent souls, many
of them unemployed youths and idle women who cannot find work because of
Zanu PFs economic failure, are being used as canon fodder by some
unprincipled and sycophantic ZanuPF leaders.

The whole Bennett saga was not helped by the blatantly biased coverage of
the issue by ZBC and the government newsletter which moonlights as The
Herald.  They totally ignored the context within which Chinamasa and Mutasa
were floored by Bennett.  But then we have become accustomed to the
government media's ceaseless work to lie, distort and suppress other
viewpoints except those of government.

Where do we go from here?  The privileges committee must approach its work
impartially, objectively, dispassionately and in a reasoned, non-partisan
and deliberate way.  Chinamasa's excesses must be challenged.  The point
must be made there are many white Zimbabweans who stand alongside their
black counterparts, working to save this nation from total collapse.

They just want to get on with their lives doing what they know best.



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      Zimbabweans Overseas Use New System to Remit Money Home
      Tendai Maphosa
      03 Jun 2004, 16:02 UTC

      Zimbabweans overseas are using a new system to send money through
official channels to their families back home. The system is resulting in an
increase in foreign currency reserves available for imports of food, fuel,
and other necessities. This has not entirely killed the illegal parallel
market in foreign currency.
      Under a new arrangement known as Homelink, Zimbabweans living overseas
can go to a specified agent and have funds transferred to their relatives in
Zimbabwe. The recipients can collect the money in U.S. or Zimbabwean dollars
at the official auction rate, now running at more than 5000 Zimbabwean
dollars to one U.S. dollar.

      That is close to the parallel-market rate. In the past, all official
transactions had to be done at the rate of 824 Zimbabwe dollars, only about
one-sixth of the market rate.

      The initiative is the brainchild of Central Bank manager Gideon Gono,
who was appointed last December. It involves the setting up of money
transfer facilities in countries with a concentration of Zimbabweans who
went abroad because of the economic problems back home.

      In a report in the state-controlled daily newspaper The Herald, Mr.
Gono is quoted as saying $16 million have come into the country under this
initiative during the past two-and-a-half weeks.

      The central bank has teams set up to meet with Zimbabweans abroad to
try to convince them to use the new system. The teams are expected to visit
Britain, South Africa, and Botswana, where millions of Zimbabweans live.

      But the currency black market remains in business, in large part
because it still offers exchange rates higher than the official one.

      One dealer in foreign currency, speaking on condition of anonymity,
says the fact that Zimbabweans may choose to receive their money in U.S.
dollars benefits them because they can bring their money to the unofficial
market with its more attractive rates.

      Economist John Robertson says although the Central Bank initiative
will increase the amount of money coming into the official system, it still
is not a long-term solution.

      Mr. Robertson says the continued existence of the parallel market is a
clear indication that supply and demand will remain the determining factors.
He says the real solution to Zimbabwe's foreign currency shortage lies in
the recovery of the local economy.

      Zimbabwe has been experiencing serious foreign currency shortages as a
result of its worst economic crisis since independence. The unemployment
rate is running at more than 70 percent, and inflation is more than 500

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Business Report

      Ban corrupt firms, urges Manuel
      June 4, 2004

      By Quentin Wray

      Maputo - Companies that pay bribes to African officials should be
"named and shamed", and banned from participating in further contracts on
the continent, finance minister Trevor Manuel has urged.

      Speaking on the second day of the Africa summit of the World Economic
Forum (WEF), Manuel told delegates yesterday that "the corrupters" needed to
be hit as hard as those who accepted the bribes.

      He said it was imperative that the public and private sectors
"campaign on this together" and ensure that corrupt firms were forced to
move aside for companies that "have conducted themselves impeccably and have
done no wrong".

      Manuel said South Africa and Lesotho were working together to get
companies that paid bribes in the multibillion-rand Lesotho Highlands Dam
project blacklisted by organisations like the World Bank, but this was
taking a very long time.

      Closer to home, he said the SA Revenue Service had done more to combat
corruption within its ranks than "any other agency in the world", convicting
27 people in 2002 alone.

      Manuel's comments followed a confession by civil engineering firm
Aveng's chief executive, Carl Grim, that his company had had to make
payments to officials to get essential spares into countries where plants
had broken down.

      Grim said he could tell "horror stories" about the difficulties faced
in getting spares through borders, and payments created leakage that both
raised the costs of doing business and discouraged foreign direct

      Grim told the gathering that while senior politicians and officials
had committed themselves to transparency and fighting corruption, something
needed to be done to fight it at "lower levels".

      Manuel said the low salaries paid to officials in many countries were
not enough for them to live on, meaning that they were forced to rely on
"baksheesh" to survive.

      Neil Cumming, the managing director of packaging company Nampak, which
operates in 10 African countries, said there were three things about
investing in Africa: it was "not for sissies", companies needed to respect
the countries that they operated in and they had to take a hard line against

      "If you invest in Africa you must run your company the same way you
would run it at home," he said, adding that this would give a marketing
advantage down the road. "You will become known as a company that does
things correctly," he said.

      Corruption did not only involve companies making payments to
government officials but also included clinging to power or appointing
relatives to high positions.

      In an oblique reference to Zimbabwe - "an eyesore not too far from
where we are now" - Linah Mohohlo, the governor of the Bank of Botswana,
said "we need to apply pressure so that the leadership begins to lead by
example", allowing Africa to take her "rightful place in the globe".

      Corruption was highlighted as a key issue in the Africa
Competitiveness Report, released this week by the WEF, and Xavier
Sala-i-Martin, a professor of economics at Columbia University in the US and
one of the report's co-authors, said that ensuring property rights and the
rule of law were important to boost the continent's competitiveness.

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New Zimbabwe

Supreme Court snubs Kuruneri bail appeal after lawyers' error

By Zvamaida Murwira
Last updated: 06/04/2004 10:08:24
JAILED Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Chris Kuruneri will
have to stay a little longer in remand prison after the Supreme Court
yesterday declined to hear an appeal against a High Court ruling denying him

Supreme Court judge, Justice Elizabeth Gwaunza, declined to hear the appeal
saying the minister's defence counsel was not properly constituted before
the court because they had not sought leave at the High Court to appeal
against the lower court's decision.

This means Kuruneri's lawyers will have to go back to the High Court and
make another application to seek leave to appeal and should the application
fail, they would have to appeal to the Supreme Court against the lower court
's decision to deny them leave to appeal before they make the actual appeal
for bail.

The State, led by Joseph Jagada of the Attorney General's Office, indicated
that the State would oppose the application.

High Court judge, Justice Ben Hlatshwayo dismissed the bail application last
month saying if Kuruneri is released on bail he could evade trial.

The judge said the prosecution had a solid case against Kuruneri on the
three of the five charges the minister is facing which could tempt him to
flee the country.

On the charge of contravening a section of the Citizenship of Zimbabwe Act,
arising from his alleged possession of two passports, Hlatshwayo said
Kuruneri was likely to stand trial because the possible penalty might not be
that severe and that the evidence against him was not so much stronger than
his defence. Allegations against Kuruneri, who was arrested in April, arose
between 2002 and 2004 after he allegedly externalised US$1 million, 37 000
British pounds and
30 000 euros.

The State alleges that he illegally externalised the funds to South Africa
where he is constructing a property in Cape Town, which he said was worth
"only 7 million Rands and not 30 million Rands."

He is being represented by David Drury of Gollop and Blank legal
From the Daily Mirror
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The Telegraph

Zimbabwe's white rebels head for greener pastures
By Peta Thornycroft in Harare
(Filed: 04/06/2004)

In what looks like a valedictory statement, Zimbabwe's rebel cricketers have
wished the new young national side luck for the future, saying they will
help them at every opportunity.

A statement signed by 13 white cricketers was due to be published in
Zimbabwe today. It comes as most of them head off for jobs overseas, knowing
that they will probably never return home.
The statement says: "Two months ago we decided to withdraw our services from
the Zimbabwe Cricket Union. Our action was in solidarity with our national
captain, Heath Streak, who was unlawfully dismissed, as well as in protest
at the unfair and discriminatory employment practices perpetrated against us
by individuals of the Zimbabwe Cricket Union.

"It was our hope that meaningful dialogue and negotiation would address our
problems with the Zimbabwe Cricket Union . . . to achieve our goal to
safeguard the future of Zimbabwe cricket.

"Our actions have never been racially or politically motivated. In fact,
through our years of service and dedication we feel we have been an example
of a successful and multi-racial team. Despite some perceptions, we have
proven time and time again that Zimbabweans of all colours can work together
and achieve excellence as shown in our last two World Cups.

"As patriotic citizens of the country we love, we still hope a solution will
be achieved and that we can soon return to playing for Zimbabwe."

The statement ended by thanking loyal supporters "who have assisted us in
becoming a highly competitive force in international cricket. We would also
like to wish the current Zimbabwe cricket team the best of luck for the
future. We will continue to support the players in every possible way."

The statement was signed by Heath Streak, Grant Flower, Stuart Carlisle,
Craig Wishart, Trevor Gripper, Andy Blignaught, Gary Brent, Travis Friend,
Sean Ervine, Ray Price, Barney Rodgers, Neil Ferreria, Richard Simms.

Streak leaves today to join Warwickshire, where he will be under contract
for two months. The county are seeking clearance from the England and Wales
Cricket Board to play him in next Wednesday's championship match against
Northamptonshire at Edgbaston following the unexpected early arrival of the
deposed Zimbabwe captain.

Last week veteran batsman Flower left for Britain along with Gripper.
Blignaught and Ervine have been signed by Australian sides. The others say
they are reasonably confident of finding jobs, mostly overseas.

Some parents and friends of the departing players say the ZCU are confident
of retaining Test status at the International Cricket Council meeting later
this month, because white member states are outnumbered by black cricket

"The ZCU seem sure that Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and the West
Indies will support them in racial solidarity," said one cricketing parent
who asked not to be named as he continues to live in Zimbabwe.

The players privately say that they do not believe that the ZCU, as it is
presently constituted, will ever address their fundamental grievances and
therefore none of them will turn out for Zimbabwe again.

"We wish that was not so," Streak said.

Local sponsors say they are evaluating whether it is in their best business
interests to continue to support Zimbabwe cricket.
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