Nuns in front line of Mugabe campaign to drive the last
whites from Zimbabwe By Anne Wayne 06 June 2004
Catholic Archbishop of Bulawayo has condemned an invasion of a white-owned
farm led by two nuns, amid a fresh upsurge of violence against Zimbabwe's
white farmers. At least 13 properties have been invaded in the past fortnight
and several farmers have suffered beatings.
Arthur and Ansy Swales, who
grow maize in the Banket district, 60 miles north of Harare, said they had
first been approached in 2002 by nuns from the Little Children of the Blessed
Lady order, led by Sister Helen Maminimini and Sister Notvurgo, about using
some land to grow vegetables. The couple donated around 90 acres and helped
the sisters prepare it, but said the nuns grew increasingly aggressive,
demanding expensive equipment and more and more land.
Then last month
the nuns gave the Swales 24 hours to leave the farm. The couple refused.
Eleven days later a group of youths from President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF
party arrived at midnight. "They went and woke up all the workers, and made
them run and sing government songs," said Mrs Swales. "They forced the guards
to open the barn gates so they could get to the equipment. We called the
police, but they didn't arrive for 14 hours."
When they finally did, they
said that the occupation was illegal and that the youths must go. Most have
now left, but a group of about six to eight remain, squatting in some empty
workers' houses, said Mrs Swales. "They tell us we can't move anything
without their permission. We put all our capital into buying this
Archbishop Pius Ncube of Bulawayo condemned the nuns'
actions, saying: "It definitely was not with the blessing of the Church ...
If a nun, a priest or even a bishop steals, it's definitely wrong, because
it's against God's law."
But the ruling Zanu-PF is being accused of
launching a campaign in the rural areas to drive all whites out of Zimbabwe
by the end of the year.
More than 3,000 white farmers have been driven
off the land since Mr Mugabe's policy of redistribution by force began four
years ago, and the Commercial Farmers' Union estimates only 300 of the
remaining 600 farmers are active.
Two weeks ago Anthony Bodington, a
farm manager, and three black game wardens were abducted during an
anti-poaching patrol in the Save Valley Conservancy, a wildlife sanctuary 300
miles south of Harare. They told police a group of 50 "war veterans"
systematically tortured them for 13 hours. "As the attackers tired, others
would come to take their place," Mr Bodington said.
Two of the wardens
suffered fractured arms and a third had a broken collarbone. As the only
white, Mr Bodington was singled out for vicious treatment. His elbows were
fractured and punctured to prevent him raising his hands to protect his face,
and doctors fear he may be permanently disabled.
The latest victim of
the renewed violence is a British grandmother, Pat Campbell, 62, who was
beaten by a "security guard" wielding a stick and an AK47 rifle last week
when she attempted to feed her cattle on her farm, 90 miles north of Harare.
The farm has been allocated by the government to Lieutenant General Phillip
Sibanda, commander of the Zimbabwe National Army and a former UN
"We heard [the guard] attacking our employees in the barn,
and my son ran to stop him, shouting 'Run, run,' to his workers," Mrs
Campbell said. "I ran to open the gate so our truck could drive through, and
he began to beat me with the stick, threatening to kill me." She believes
only the action of her son, who drove over to her and then rammed the gates
until they burst, saved her from serious injury or death. Mrs Campbell said
the "security guard" had three times threatened to shoot her, but his
employer refused to take any action.
"Where can I go?" she asked. "I
was born in Scotland, but this is my home. My husband, a son and my grandson
are buried here; I have 200 cattle on the farm, and workers who depend on
Michael Clark, regional head of the CFU, believes the increase in
violence against his members, after a period of relative calm, could be
linked to forthcoming elections. "This was very methodical, calculated
cruelty," he said. "We know there are camps where the Green Bombers [soldiers
notorious for their brutality] and the youth brigades are trained in torture,
but these assailants were not part of any formal organisation."
farm seizures have crippled food production in Zimbabwe, leaving 5.5 million
people dependent on food aid last year. Last week the Famine Early Warning
System Network, a US-funded agency, predicted conditions would be even worse
this year, calling the situation an "emergency". But Mr Mugabe recently told
a television interviewer that there were other countries that needed food aid
more than Zimbabwe.
"We are not hungry. It should go to hungrier people,
hungrier countries than ourselves," he said. "Why foist this food upon us? We
don't want to be choked."
ZIMBABWEAN President Robert Mugabe's propaganda chief
Jonathan Moyo has run into trouble with Zanu-PF's top leaders for attacking
the old guard in an escalating power struggle.
Moyo and the issue of in-fighting dominated a heated debate at the Zanu-PF's
lengthy politburo meeting on Wednesday.
to stop Moyo and his consorts
- like war veteran leader Joseph Chinotimba - in their tracks.
battle for power is mounting ahead of Zanu's crucial December congress after
Mugabe announced he will not seek re-election in 2008.
infuriated Zanu-PF heavyweights by attacking ruling party spokesman
and Mugabe confidante Nathan Shamuyarira for arranging Mugabe's recent
interview with Sky News television.
Moyo - who wants to be the
only presidential gatekeeper - claimed it was better to use the "national
media" than the "colonial and imperialist" press to promote Zimbabwe's
His allegation that the Sky News crew comprised "British
intelligence officers masquerading as journalists" and that their questions
were either "very crude or very stupid" was seen as an unwitting attack on
This angered senior Zanu-PF members who now see Moyo as
One senior member who attended the meeting
said party bigwigs "strongly protested" against Moyo and Chinotimba's
"[Retired] General [Solomon] Mujuru was the most vocal in
condemning the attacks against senior members. He said that trigger-happy
newcomers should be reined in to prevent chaos in the party," the Zanu-PF
"There is pending but unspecified action that will be
taken against them."
Mujuru is said to have warned Mugabe that, after
finishing with all other senior party members, ambitious rookies would target
the president himself.
Clarion call for Africa to right itself using
native skills sounds hollow if no action is taken
Khoza, the chairman of power utility Eskom and President Thabo Mbeki's point
man in the business world, dreams of an Africa that can translate "concepts
of humanity and communal relations into vibrant forms of co-operative
government" and can feed its children from its native produce.
that sounds ambitious, then wait, there's more. He also wants a continent
replete with intellectuals nurtured by native founding principles, industry
fuelled by native technology and skills, and airwaves dominated by native
concerns, images and aspirations.
Khoza wants the term "emergent"
to be seen as embodying vibrancy and technological prowess, and used with awe
and envy rather than condescension and derision.
He wants a
continent more excited about its future than its past, with a scope for
growth that is limited only by its imagination.
"Africa has a date
with destiny," was his clarion call to the 550 delegates at this year's
Africa summit of the World Economic Forum held over three days in Maputo last
Finance minister Trevor Manuel may have had a shorter wish
list, but it was no less ambitious.
He wants to live in a
continent where the corruptors are punished as hard as those they corrupt,
where dodgy businessmen are banned from getting contracts and where
impeccable behaviour, by both business and governments, is
There has been some progress towards these noble
aspirations. Countries like Mozambique can now attract major fixed investment
projects; Zambia, Malawi and Nigeria seem to be moving towards some semblance
You can now drive safely from Johannesburg to
Maputo and once there you can find comfortable accommodation, good
restaurants and well-stocked shops. This is a far cry from the city I first
visited in 1987.
Listening to the business delegates, who
traditionally become evangelical about the continent's potential for these
three days a year, one would get the idea that progress was an inexorable
process that would inevitably erode the grinding poverty afflicting so many
The reality is that too many leaders still consider
themselves to have been anointed from on high . Investments are
still too extractive and their goals remain too short term.
millennium development goals, which are supposed to be achieved by 2015,
remain out of reach. The target of halving infant mortality will, all things
being equal, take another eight generations - till 2169 - to realise. Halving
the number of people who live in abject poverty will also take substantially
more than another 11 years.
And as long as people like Zimbabwe's
President Robert Mugabe are allowed to set the cause back with at least the
tacit consent of his neighbours, valid doubts over the continent's
seriousness about cleaning up its act will persist.
doubts remain, international donors, multinational businesses and
multilateral institutions will refrain from rolling up their sleeves and
doing the hard work needed to change the status quo.
roads, railway lines and power stations the continent so desperately needs
will remain unbuilt. The quality investments that add value to their host
countries will continue bypassing Africa.
Aid flows won't reach the
0.7 percent of gross domestic product that the developed world has committed
itself to and debt write-offs will fall far short of what is
This will mean that the continent will remain a logistical
nightmare, infrastructure will stay woefully inadequate and businesses will
have to pay bribes to get the job done.
This year, like last
year in Durban, delegates to the summit were told of the importance of moving
beyond the rhetoric and into the realm of setting deliverable targets and
tangible action plans.
Perhaps if I hadn't heard it all before it
would have been more inspirational. And maybe I would have believed that
things were really going to change this time round.
Unfortunately, I have a nasty feeling that next year we will be dished up a
reheated offering of these same great ideas and that far too little real
progress would have been made on getting the things that matter right. And
this is a song I've heard too often already.
Nature enthusiasts attend ball to benefit rhinos By SHELBY HODGE Copyright
2004 Houston Chronicle
While fund-raising events are few and far between
in the coming months, behind-the-scenes activities for fall benefits are
moving at a rapid pace.
Consider last week's kickoff for the unusual
Rhino Ball. Close to 100 nature enthusiasts and animal lovers filled the home
of Frances and Dr. Don Baxter in support of the Oct. 10 Willie Nelson concert
at the Houston Polo Club. Beneficiaries are the International Rhino
Foundation (IRF) and Polo Players Support Group.
The benefit is being
held in conjunction with the Houston Polo Club's Absolute Adventure Travel
Rhinos? It's a cause near and dear to the heart of
Marian Baxter Farebrother, benefit chair and daughter of the kickoff party
hosts. She was introduced to the allure of Africa when she made her first
climb of Mount Kilimanjaro with her mother - a travel guide, climber and
conservationist - in 1997. Something of a love affair with the continent was
It didn't hurt that she met the charming Graham Farebrother, also a
climber and guide, whom she later married.
Marian's first encounter
with the rhino conservation effort took place in South Africa, where she
worked with a preservation group focusing on the white rhino. The following
year, she went to Botswana, where the IRF is working to reintroduce the black
rhino, more endangered than the white.
"I see how the extinction of these
animals affects the people who benefit through tourism and safaris," the
35-year-old said. "Losing the rhinos would be devastating to their
economies." Not to mention the tragedy of the loss of a species. Only 3,100
remain, according to the IRF Web site.
Key spokesman at the kick-off
party was Houston Zoo director Rick Barongi, who sits on the IRF board. He
announced that the zoo would pledge $60,000 for the IRF's Adopt-A-Rhino
Marian's goal for the benefit is to raise enough money to move
seven female rhinos from Zimbabwe to Botswana, where they have a better
chance of survival and a date with a male rhino already relocated there. The
cost is $70,000 per animal. She said the funds donated to the Adopt-A-Rhino
program go directly to the IRF. Money raised from the ball table sales and
auctions will be split evenly between the IRF and the Polo Player Support
In the meantime, Marian is running the fund-raising traps. Among
those turning out for the kick-off party were Mary and Roy Cullen, Jeannie
and Michael Klein and Elizabeth Winston Jones.
Schoonakker Last updated: 06/06/2004 10:19:29 GIDEON Gono, now the
governor of Zimbabwe's reserve bank, personally raised thousands of US
dollars to fund first lady Grace Mugabe's foreign shopping sprees when he was
chief executive of one of the country's largest commercial
Gono's role as financier of the extravagant spending trips is
exposed in a list of so-called "parallel market" deals carried out by the
Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe (now known as Jewel Bank) in defiance of laws
that Gono is now sworn to uphold.
The Sunday Times, which has the
list, has established that scores of politicians, including Zanu-PF bigwigs,
and business people benefited from the deals, at a time when Zimbabwe's
currency was in free fall. The black market was used to obtain cheap dollars
which were then sold at much higher official market prices or used to fund
overseas shopping sprees.
Among the more notable transactions in a list
of 1 250 deals over a five-month period is one on January 11 2002 in favour
of "Mrs G M (Cash FX)". According to a former CBZ official, this was one of
six parallel market deals conducted on behalf of the Mugabes during the
The list also records R5.2-million raised on behalf of
jailed former Finance Minister Chris Kuruneri, in a February 2002 deal that
is the subject of fraud and corruption charges which he now faces.
names of businesswoman Jane Mutasa, recently charged for corruption and forex
fraud, and Chinhoyi MP Philip Chiyangwa, out on Z5-million bail and facing
similar charges, also occur frequently.
According to the CBZ employee,
Gono personally issued and authorised the order to raise US100 000 on behalf
of Grace Mugabe on January 11 2002. The cash "was invariably collected by one
of Mugabe's aides in a leather briefcase", he said.
"The cash was
delivered to Gideon Gono's office and booked to Gono's special account, which
was basically his slush fund. These illegal transactions required by the
Mugabes, his family and his officials were booked to this account." The
official said the money was used to finance a trip to London, including a
visit to Harrods, in the four weeks following the transaction.
explosion of the "parallel market" is cited as one the key reasons behind the
collapse of the Zimbabwean currency, to Z6 000 to the US dollar from Z10 to
the US dollar within a few years.
Although the CBZ obtained most of the
money on the black market, criminal prosecution is unlikely because Gono
declared an amnesty for such deals less than three weeks after his
appointment as governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.
biggest single shareholder is the SA financial services group Absa, which
owns 26%. The Zimbabwean government owns 20% and the Libyan government, whose
sales of oil to Zimbabwe are financed by the bank, also owns a significant
CBZ was also the bank officially responsible for raising money for
the president's foreign travels and for financing grain and fuel
This week a senior member at Absa said he was unaware of any
illegal activity at CBZ during Gono's tenure.
However, the senior CBZ
official said that parallel market deals, and the profits made on them, were
hidden from the bank's auditors, KPMG, which were given only "limited
exposure to the bank's accounts".
"The Mugabes would receive the cash or
have the funds transferred with Gono's full knowledge and authority and never
with the 'direct' approval of the reserve bank," he said.
for comment, Gono did not deny raising money for the Mugabes during his
tenure at CBZ, but said, through a spokesman, that "issues relating to banks
and their clients were confidential".
In any case, the issue should not
arise because all banks had received amnesty from Gono for illegal forex
deals done before December 1 last year, when he became reserve bank
Louis von Zeuner, Absa group executive director responsible for
Jewel Bank, said Absa was "quite satisfied with its current position.
Although we are extremely fortunate to have an MD of the calibre of Nyasha
Makuvise, the bank's current CE, we have no doubt that the good work was
started under the leadership of Dr Gono. External audit reports, financial
performance as well as reports from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe confirm
this." From the Sunday Times (SA)
Takunda Maodza Last updated: 06/06/2004 09:48:28 GILBERT Muponda, one of
the first victims of government's anti-corruption crusade feared to have
skipped the border after skipping bail since Tuesday last week is in
Police spokesperson, Andrew Phiri said the fugitive Muponda was
spotted twice on Friday morning in Harare.
He said the former ENG boss
was seen cruising around in different luxurious vehicles in the city, in what
has become his tag-taste for a fast and high life.
spotted today (Friday) in a BMW whose last digit numbers are 054R, and later
in a Toyota Corolla with last numbers 013N," Phiri said.
reportedly moving around with a man known as Julius Hwanhenga of Msasa
Hwanhenga was arrested by the police on Friday but he said he did
not know where Muponda was. Meanwhile the police have called for a citizen's
arrest, saying anyone who might happen to see Muponda should apprehend him if
its within his or her capacity to do so.
The hunt for Muponda who was
on a $150 million bail began on Tuesday when he suddenly stopped reporting to
the police in accordance with his bail stipulations.
for bail prescribed that he reports twice everyday to the Criminal
Investigation Department (CID) Fraud Special Unit in Harare.
only reported once on Monday, igniting police manhunt.
Fears were that
Muponda might have jumped the border in a bid to escape from the blows of
His co-accused Nyasha Watyoka has not violated his bail
Muponda and the other ENG director, Nyasha Watyoka, were
arrested on December 31 last year facing allegations of defrauding investors
of $61 billion. They were granted bail by magistrate Mishrod Guvamombe on
February 19 this year.
Stringent conditions that included reporting
twice to the police every day, travelling within a radius of 20 km from
Harare Main Post Office and surrendering travel documents were
The state had strongly opposed the granting of bail and the case
reached the High Court.
The pair was recently declared specified
persons among other businessmen and their properties have since been
Their foreign accounts in South Africa and US were ordered to be
frozen on the day they were granted bail.
Muponda also faces a
separate charge of illegally dealing in foreign currency for which he has
surrendered a surety amounting to $200 million. He spent almost four months
in remand prison before his relatives finally managed to raise the $150
million bail coupled with a surety of $500 million and he was only released
from Harare Remand prison on April 23 this year.
Relatives of the pair
had provided surety worth about $1,4 billion, which they stand to lose in the
event that the two are found to have violated bail conditions.
against the pair arose between April and December last year after they bought
Century Discount House (CDH) from Century Holdings Limited.
The State is
alleging that when they bought CDH they failed to fulfil all the regulatory
requirements. From Sunday Mirror
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has embarked on a process of strategic
repackaging to boost its flagging electoral fortunes.
acceptance of former National Alliance for Good Governance (NAGG) president,
Shakespeare Maya this week is the first in a series of co-optations of
political figures whose clout the party seeks to exploit to improve its
political profile. Sources say the MDC has decidedly shifted its thinking and
seeks to shed its perceived pro-western policy and reflect a more
nationalistic approach to both national and international issues.
ruling Zanu PF has since the formation of the MDC in late 1999
been rubbishing it as the extension of western interests bent on
undermining Zimbabwean sovereignty, an accusation the opposition has also
been dismissing. Maya was accepted into the MDC fold following months
of behind-the-scenes talks.
Most supporters of the now defunct NAGG
have reportedly jumped onto the MDC bandwagon and have already bought party
cards, with some of them being drafted into the grassroots party
A source within the MDC said elementary talks were held
between Maya and the MDC provincial chairman for Harare province, Morgan
Femai. Femai attended a press conference held on Friday where Maya and the
main opposition's spokesman, Paul Themba Nyathi officially announced the
"Dr Maya is a man of integrity and his wealth of experience
will add value to the party," said Nyathi at the press conference. A meeting
with the party president, Morgan Tsvangirai was then arranged where Maya is
said to have expressed his displeasure with the way the Zanu PF government
A formal meeting was then held on Wednesday with the MDC
"top seven", a source said, where Maya was formally accepted into the
The top seven included Tsvangirai, vice president Gibson Sibanda,
national chairman Isaac Matongo, secretary general Welshman Ncube, his deputy
Gift Chimanikire and economist Ian Makoni who was recently drafted into the
Maya helped form NAGG when he broke away from the
ruling party in 2000, after his political ambitions were frustrated by
infighting in his home province of Mashonaland West. Although the party has
not yet formally met to discuss which post Maya could take, he is most likely
going to be appointed to head the commissariat department, a post presently
held by Esaph Mdlongwa.
"Maya has been viewed as a hard worker and
many people feel that he would easily fit in the commissariat or the
organising secretariat," said the source.
Maya, who said he enjoyed
good reception from the MDC, is expected to make a joint speech today with
other members of the party's top leadership, among them Tsvangirai, at a
rally to be held at Mukandabhutsu near Msasa in Harare East
In an interview with the Sunday Mirror, Maya said he viewed
the willingness by the MDC to bring him into the party as an "ideological
statement" that went beyond the acceptance of an individual and reflected MDC
flexibility. He, however, said there was need for the MDC to be "contemporary
and change with the dictates of moving times".
"Zanu PF no longer has
the basis to thrash the MDC as a heap of western interests. While I will be
quick to point out that I am just one person joining a party with much
potential to change the waning political fortunes of the country, I am
heartened by the fact that that happened despite my own entrenched principles
that were somehow similar to, yet different from those of Zanu PF," he
"Questions might be asked why I decided to join the MDC, and the
simple answer is that I wish to be an active participant in building an
institution that forms a sustainable alternative to Zanu PF that is informed
by the welfare of the individual and a desire to develop our country," he
Maya largely shared Zanu PF's nationalist outlook on such
fundamental issues as land reform, national sovereignty and a strong aversion
to the imperialistic stance of the west with respect to Zimbabwe's
internal affairs. This led to accusations by some opposition critics that he
was not a genuine opposition leader but, rather, a front for Zanu PF. Maya
further explains his dramatic political about-turn by saying; "I had
differences in policy with the MDC but these differences did not outweigh the
need to work together and join hands with the party and remove Zanu PF." He
said he wished to have a Zimbabwean democracy modelled in such a way that
there would be two political establishments competing for the electorate's
faith. This is the case in the USA and Britain, where the two established
parties are the Republicans and the Democrats for the former, and the
Conservatives and New Labour Party for the latter. President Robert Mugabe
has invariably accused the MDC of being guided by external interests, urging
the party to be nationalist as a precondition for engaging them as bona fide
He set that as one condition for engaging in
meaningful interparty dialogue with the MDC.
Tsvangirayi, who was
strongly opposed to the modus operandi used in acquiring land from white
farmers to distribute to thousands of land-hungry Zimbabweans, early this
year announced that what happened was a fait accompli, saying he would not
give land back to whites if he came to power. Whites in the MDC were
evidently peeved, but the party did not retract the statement, even as white
MDC executives sought to reassure former white commercial farmers that the
MDC's land policy "had not changed". Reports also emerged in recent months to
the effect that the MDC was moving to curtail the visibility of its white
factor. The high visibility of whites in the MDC top echelons has been the
basis for much pummeling of the party by Zanu PF, which effectively used this
fact to discredit the opposition's genuineness as a Zimbabwean political
It is not clear, though, if the apparent MDC restrategising
drive is some form of response to President Mugabe's statements.
aware that the MDC has repeatedly been accused of being a conduit of white
interests, but I am joining on the background of the persuasion that the
party is a conduit of Zimbabwean interests, and we can work to consolidate
that," said Maya.
Maya dismissed speculation that his ambition was to
belong to the top hierarchy of the MDC, saying there was no vacancy for him.
It is also emerging that the MDC's "recruitment drive" has gone beyond Maya
and his supporters.
The same MDC source said plans to bring into the
fold former Zanu PF Masvingo provincial chairman, Dzikamai Mavhaire were at
an advanced stage. The controversial Mavhaire is the former Zanu PF
provincial chairman for Masvingo and was reportedly removed from his position
for his constant refusal to toe the party line.
The Sunday Mirror was
told that Mavhaire would join the MDC with a significant portion of his
followers from the province where he commands popular support. Former
independent MP and Zimbabwe Union of Democrats (ZUJ) leader Margaret Dongo
and United States-based scientist and former student leader, Arthur Mutambara
are some of the political figures mentioned as part of the MDC's shopping
Efforts to obtain comments from the two were fruitless.