International Crisis Group
Africa Report N°122
5 March 2007
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS
After years of political deadlock and continued economic and humanitarian
decline, a realistic chance has at last begun to appear in the past few
months to resolve the Zimbabwe crisis, by retirement of President Robert
Mugabe, a power-sharing transitional government, a new constitution and
elections. Both factions of the divided Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
opposition and powerful elements of the Zimbabwe African National
Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) party support the concept in outline.
Although many of his party's leaders are pressing him to retire in twelve
months, when his term expires, Mugabe seeks to extend his tenure to 2010 by
a constitutional amendment to harmonise presidential and legislative
elections in that year. Increased pressure and intervention including from
the regional organisation, the Southern African Development Community
(SADC), and the West, in the run-up to the mid-year parliamentary session,
could lead to a new political order, but concessions to ZANU-PF should only
be made in exchange for true restoration of democracy.
The economic meltdown, as well as the bite of European Union (EU) and U.S.
targeted sanctions, is pushing ZANU-PF towards change, since business
interests of key officials are suffering. The party is split over the
succession issue but Mugabe's long successful divide-and-rule tactics have
started to backfire as the two main factions are coming together to try to
prevent him from staying beyond the expiration of his present term in March
2008. They showed their strength by blocking his proposed constitutional
amendment at the party's annual conference in December 2006 and will seek to
do so again at the central committee in March so they can explore a deal
resulting in his retirement to make way for moderate leaders who could
negotiate with the MDC and civil society on transitional mechanisms, seek
SADC endorsement and reengage with the West and foreign investors.
A deal that merely removed Mugabe while in effect maintaining the political
status quo by keeping ZANU-PF in power would be no change at all. The
situation is reminiscent of the last stages of Mobutu's reign in the Congo.
The IMF predicts that inflation - already the world's highest - could pass
4,000 per cent by year's end, while foreign exchange is being wasted or
stolen and smuggled abroad. Peaceful protests are repressed, and a new round
of home and business demolitions similar to Operation Murambatsvina that
displaced 700,000 in 2005 is being planned. Salaries of the security
services and civil servants alike are mostly below the poverty line.
Economic issues, discontent among underpaid police and troops and the
increasing willingness of opposition parties and civil society to protest in
the streets all increase the risk of sudden major violence.
The desire to remove Mugabe within the year provides a rare rallying point
that cuts across partisan affiliations, and ethnic and regional identities.
Opposition party leaders are keeping lines of communication open with the
ZANU-PF dissidents while preparing for a non-violent campaign to demand
immediate constitutional reform. The MDC's credibility and effectiveness,
however, will be severely compromised unless efforts underway to reconcile
its competing factions led by Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara
SADC (including South Africa) and the wider international community can make
a vital contribution to resolving the crisis. SADC governments, who for long
have been extremely reluctant to press Mugabe, now privately acknowledge
they want him out to pave the way for a moderate ZANU-PF government. Without
applying public pressure, the SADC troika is quietly beginning to explore
ways to negotiate a retirement package for the president while persuading
the West to relax its pressures. Mugabe's exit, however, should be only the
starting point. Zimbabwe needs a more radical change to get back on its
The West should both maintain pressure at this crucial point and increase
support for democratic forces but also be more precise about the conditions
for lifting sanctions and ending isolation. SADC, the EU and the U.S. should
adopt a joint strategy with a clear sequence of benchmarks leading to a
genuinely democratic process for which removal of sanctions and resumption
of international aid to government institutions could be used at the
appropriate time as incentives. Consultations are needed now to get such a
strategy in place by July when the parliament will be expected to take
crucial decisions either on Mugabe's harmonisation scheme or on plans for
To the Government of Zimbabwe and ZANU-PF:
1. Abandon plans to extend President Mugabe's term beyond its expiration in
March 2008 and support SADC-led negotiations to implement an exit strategy
for him no later than that date.
2. Negotiate with the MDC on a constitutional framework, power-sharing
agreement, detailed agenda and benchmarks for a two-year political
transition, beginning in March 2008, including:
(a) adoption of a constitutional amendment in the July 2007 parliamentary
session providing for nomination in March 2008, by two-thirds majority, of a
non-executive president, an executive prime minister and de-linking of
government and ZANU-PF party positions;
(b) a power-sharing agreement leading in early 2008 to a transitional
government, including ZANU-PF and the MDC, tasked with producing a new draft
constitution, repealing repressive laws, drawing up a new voters roll and
demilitarising and depoliticising state institutions in accordance with
agreed timelines and benchmarks, and leading to internationally supervised
elections in 2010; and
(c) implementation of an emergency economic recovery plan to curb
inflation, restore donor and foreign investor confidence and boost mining
and agricultural production, including establishment of a Land Commission
with a strong technocratic base and wide representation of Zimbabwean
stakeholders to recommend policies aimed at ending the land crisis.
3. Abandon plans for a new urban displacement program and act to redress
the damage done by Operation Murambatsvina by:
(a) providing shelter to its homeless victims; and
(b) implementing the recommendations of the Tibaijuka Report, including
compensation for those whose property was destroyed, unhindered access for
humanitarian workers and aid and creation of an environment for effective
reconstruction and resettlement.
To the Movement for Democratic Change:
4. Proceed with internal efforts to establish minimum unity within the
party and a common front for dealing with the government and ZANU-PF and
contesting presidential and parliamentary elections, while retaining
reunification as the ultimate goal.
5. Hold internal consultations between faction leaders to adopt a joint
strategy aiming at:
(a) finalising negotiations with ZANU-PF over constitutional reforms, a
power-sharing agreement and formation of a transitional government in March
(b) preparing for a March 2008 presidential election if negotiations with
ZANU-PF fail, and President Mugabe retains power.
To Zimbabwean and South African Civil Society Organisations:
6. Initiate legal proceedings in South African courts to attach any assets
stolen from the Zimbabwean government and transferred to or invested in
South Africa and to obtain the arrest and prosecution of egregious
Zimbabwean human rights abusers visiting South Africa.
To SADC and South Africa:
7. Engage with the U.S. and the EU to adopt a joint strategy for resolving
the crisis that includes:
(a) mediation by SADC of negotiations for an exit deal on expiration of
President Mugabe's term in 2008 and of an agreement between ZANU-PF and the
MDC on a power-sharing transitional government to oversee development of a
new constitution, repeal repressive laws and hold internationally supervised
presidential and parliamentary elections in 2010; and
(b) understandings on the use by the U.S. and EU of incentives and
disincentives to support the strategy in regard to targeted sanctions,
political relations with the transitional government and resumption of
8. Engage with the Zimbabwe government to facilitate talks between ZANU-PF
and the MDC leading to the above steps.
9. Convene an urgent meeting of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and
Security Co-operation to consider the regional consequences of the economic
meltdown in Zimbabwe and recommend action by the Heads of State summit to
deal with the situation.
To the United States and the European Union:
10. Engage with SADC countries to adopt the above-mentioned joint strategy,
including understandings on timelines and benchmarks to be met by the
Zimbabwean authorities in restoring and implementing a democratic process.
11. Increase pressure on President Mugabe and other ZANU-PF leaders if they
do not cooperate with efforts to begin a transition and restore democracy,
including by taking the following measures to close loopholes in targeted
(a) apply the sanctions also to family members and business associates of
those on the lists;
(b) cancel visas and residence permits of those on the lists and their
family members; and
(c) add Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono to the EU list.
12. Portugal, holding the EU Presidency in the second half of 2007, should
not invite President Mugabe and other members of the Zimbabwe government or
ZANU-PF on the EU targeted sanctions list to the EU-AU summit unless
significant reforms have already been undertaken.
13. Increase funding for training and other capacity-building assistance to
democratic forces in Zimbabwe.
To the United Nations Secretary-General:
14. Assign a senior official - a new Special Envoy to Zimbabwe, the Special
Adviser to the Secretary General on Africa or a high-level member of the
Department of Political Affairs - responsibility for the Zimbabwe portfolio
including to support the SADC-led initiative, and monitor the situation for
the Secretary General.
To the United Nations Security Council:
15. Begin discussions aimed at placing the situation in Zimbabwe on the
agenda as a threat to international peace and security.
To the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights or in the
alternative the Human Rights Council:
16. Initiate a follow-up investigation on the Tibaijuka Report, including
plans for a new urban displacement campaign, arrests of informal miners and
political repression, and recommend actions to the member states, the
Security Council and the Secretariat.
To the Commonwealth Secretariat:
17. Encourage Commonwealth member countries in Southern Africa to help
mediate a political settlement for a post-Mugabe Zimbabwe, setting
benchmarks for a return of the country to the organisation.
18. Establish a group of Eminent Persons to engage with Zimbabwe, using the
good offices of its regional members to facilitate access.
19. Work through Commonwealth civil society organisations to build up civil
society capacity in Zimbabwe.
Pretoria/Brussels, 5 March 2007
Tuesday 06 March 2007
By Regerai Marwezu
MASVINGO - The Zimbabwean government has extended a ban on political rallies
and demonstrations in all cities and major towns in a clear sign of rising
political tensions in the troubled southern African country.
In a circular dispatched to police commanders at the weekend, a copy of
which was seen by ZimOnline, Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi ordered all
senior police officers to implement the ban in all major cities and towns.
Zimbabwean police banned rallies and demonstrations in the capital Harare
and the second city of Bulawayo two weeks ago following some violent clashes
between the police and Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) supporters in
the working class suburb of Highfield.
The MDC and civic groups have already condemned the ban on rallies in Harare
and Bulawayo saying the move amounted to a declaration of a state of
emergency by President Robert Mugabe's government.
The extension of the ban to all towns and cities will likely stoke up
tensions in the southern African country that is already grappling with
record inflation of 1 600 percent, surging unemployment and poverty.
"You are advised that all public, political gatherings and demonstrations in
major urban centres under your jurisdiction have been banned.
"The ban should remain in force until further notice since the measure is
meant to protect ordinary citizens and their properties in view of threats
by some elements within the opposition to embark on street protests," read
The ban will effectively shut down political space in Zimbabwe with the
opposition not being able to campaign or hold rallies in such small towns
such as Chiredzi, Karoi, Zvishavane and other rural service centres.
Contacted for comment yesterday on the circular, Masvingo district's chief
superintendent Lancelot Matange confirmed the directive from Mohadi adding
that the police were ready to crush all illegal protests in the city.
"We will fully comply with the directive from the Minister and we have since
banned all political gatherings and demonstrations in Masvingo urban," said
Public notices have already been displayed in several parts of the town
advising residents of the ban.
Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara, who head rival factions of the
splintered MDC, have both vowed to mobilise Zimbabweans to force Mugabe to
embrace sweeping political reforms and abandon plans to extend his 27-year
The main workers' federation, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU)
has it will also call a two-day work boycott on 3 and 4 April to force the
government to arrest Zimbabwe's eight-year old economic recession. -
Mon Mar 5, 2007 11:54 AM GMT
HARARE (Reuters) - President Robert Mugabe's government will soon withdraw
financial support for black-owned commercial farms resettled under
Zimbabwe's controversial land reform policy, state media reported on Monday.
The move follows charges by central bank governor Gideon Gono during a
parliamentary meeting last week that the reforms had caused chronic food
shortages in the one-time food exporter.
Under the land programme begun in 2000, farmland was seized from whites and
redistributed to landless blacks. Critics say some of the black farmers
lacked the equipment and expertise to run the large farms.
The state-run Herald reported that Gono, whose central bank has funded most
of the farms, told farmers over the weekend the government would be "weaning
off" those who were given large-scale commercial farmland.
"It is now seven years since we reclaimed our land but we continue looking
at government for support," Gono said. "Next season we will wean off all A2
(black) farmers as they are now grown-ups."
Gono accused large-scale farmers of selling subsidies received from the
government and failing to repay loans.
He, however, said the government would continue supporting small-scale,
During his testimony before a parliamentary committee last week, Gono said
it was "a shame" Zimbabwe continued to import food despite carrying out land
Minister of State for National Security Didymus Mutasa, who is in charge of
land reform, reiterated a government warning that resettled farmers risked
losing land if they did not utilise it properly.
Food shortages continue to drive the country's inflation -- at almost 1,600
percent the highest in the world -- while grain imports have stretched thin
foreign currency reserves.
Mugabe's government announced last year that it had contracted suppliers to
import 565,000 tonnes of maize from South Africa and Zambia.
The U.N. World Food Programme has said 1.4 million Zimbabweans, or 15
percent of the population, will require food aid until the next harvest in
Aid agencies say production from the current growing season could be hit by
below average rains and the shortage of inputs.
Monsters and Critics
Mar 5, 2007, 14:55 GMT
Harare - Police in Harare Monday threatened opposition party supporters, who
had defied a ban on rallies amid reports of renewed street clashes and the
arrest of more than a dozen trade unionists at the weekend.
Police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena has warned defiant opposition supporters
that the wrath of the law will catch up with them, ZBC radio said.
Police fought running battles Sunday with youths loyal to Morgan
Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party in Harare's Budiriro
township, state media reported.
The Herald newspaper said youths had barricaded roads into the suburb using
bonfires and burning tyres after police moved in to stop the rally going
Police have banned all rallies and demonstrations in Harare and its
dormitory town of Chitungwiza following street battles in the suburb of
Highfield two weeks ago. The opposition has vowed not to be intimidated by
Police will use the necessary measures to ensure the ban effected under
Section 27 of the Public Order and Security Act is enforced, state radio
On Sunday, shops in Budiriro closed down and street vendors deserted their
stalls as battles raged, the Herald said.
The opposition has not confirmed the skirmishes yet. The Herald quoted the
MDC's organizing secretary, former Harare mayor Elias Mudzuri, who said he
had not travelled to Budiriro because the rally had been cancelled.
As tensions rise, the main Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) said in
a statement that the editor of a newspaper for workers and 13 union
activists had been arrested at the weekend.
Bright Chibvuri, the editor of The Worker, the union's official newspaper,
was arrested on Saturday while attending a ZCTU workshop in the southern
town of Plumtree, said information officer Khumbulani Ndlovu.
Chibvuri has been charged under Zimbabwe's notorious Access to Information
and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA), which says only journalists licensed
by a state media commission can ply their trade, Ndlovu said.
Meanwhile, in Chegutu, central Zimbabwe, 13 activists were arrested while
attending what the ZCTU called an orientation workshop.
The ZCTU is planning a nationwide absenteeism from April 3-4, in a move
likely to be met with fierce resistance by President Robert Mugabe's
© 2007 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur
Like a relentless Zulu impi, a swelling wave of MDC supporters swept down
the Strand from Trafalgar Square to join the Vigil. MDC UK had called on
supporters all over the country to converge on the Vigil to express disgust
at Mugabe's attempt to postpone the presidential election till 2010 and in
solidarity with MDC activists back home who are being treated with
psychopathic brutally for peaceful protest. It turned out to be probably
the biggest Zimbabwean gathering ever held in the UK. Thanks particularly
to Jason Mtewu, Organising Secretary of MDC UK, and Mathew Nyashanu, MDC UK
Information and Publicity Secretary for their efforts in organising this
event. We reckon more than 350 people came frpm all over the UK. At one
comparatively quiet stage we asked the police how many people were there and
they thought about 250. We have never had this many people in four and a
half years of the Zimbabwe Vigil. The feeling was electric. Something is
happening. Everyone seemed to sense that an end to our agony is at hand.
Perhaps a trampled poster left at the end of the meeting said it all "Send
Mugabe to the Hague".
At the end of the demonstration the police asked us to pass on a message to
say how impressed they were at the co-operation and good behaviour of our
We were happy to have with us Sally Keeble, the MP for Northampton North.
She has visited Zimbabwe and knows of the suffering of our people. She spoke
about her support for our struggle and said this is shared by other
Parliamentarians. The Chair of the MDC UK, Ephraim Tapa, said "We are now
on our way back to Zimbabwe. What is the way? This is the way. We are
saying Mugabe must go. You are the problem. Your time is up. Enough is
enough. We want to go back home." One of the Vigil Co-ordinators, Rose,
welcomed activists to the Vigil space and urged them to come back next week
when hopefully there will be an even bigger demonstration in support of
Freedom and Dignity in Zimbabwe. The demonstration will be held in
Trafalgar Square from 1 - 4 pm on Saturday, 10th March. It is organised by
ACTSA (Action for Southern Africa, the successor to the Anti-Apartheid
Movement) and is supported by British trade unions. We need to make it
truly Zimbabwean. It is an opportunity to thrust the Zimbabwean tragedy
before the eyes of the world. We don't want Mugabe to portray this as a
British protest - he needs to feel the anger of all the displaced
Zimbabweans in the diaspora. The rally which marks intermational women's
day has a particular focus is on women in Zimbabwe - wives, mothers, sisters
and daughters to us all. Their plight symbolises the plight of all in
Zimbabwe. The Vigil will still be manned during the two hours the rally
overlaps with the Vigil and a mass toyi-toyi from Trafalgar Square to the
Vigil is planned for the end of the rally. For more information, check:
It is very encouraging that organisations such as ACTSA and British trade
unions have embraced our cause.
We don't know how we would have managed without the help of Chipo, Fortunate
and Irene selling t-shirts and stuff, James and Maria in managing the long
queues for signing the Vigil register, Sue for fronting the Vigil table all
afternoon and Doubt and Vigil Co-ordinator Dumi for leading the singing and
We are pleased to hear that another Zimbabwe Vigil is starting in the UK.
The new Vigil will be in Belfast outside the gates of City Hall. It will be
inaugurated on Saturday, 24th March, and will run from 14.00 - 17.00. Their
second Vigil will be on Wednesday, 18th April, to mark Zimbabwean
Independence Day. The organisers, Marcella and Mark Marais, see it as a
stepping stone to getting more Vigils in other cities in Ireland such as
Dublin. We welcome them to the Vigil family. A REMINDER: the next Bristol
Vigil will be held on Saturday, 31st March.
Like so much about Zimbabwe, we end on a sad note. Most Vigil supporters
know of the still-birth of Addley and Julius's baby. We wish to express our
great sadness and support for them in their grief. This was a much-wanted
baby and we are desolate.
For this week's Vigil pictures: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/
FOR THE RECORD: a quick tot-up of the register points to an attendance of
around 350. When we have finished entering all the information on our
database we will have a more accurate figure.
FOR YOUR DIARY:
- Monday, 5th March 7.30 pm. Central London Zimbabwe Forum. Kathryn
Llewellly, Head of Campaigns for ACTSA will speak about the forthcoming
rally in Trafalgar Square on Saturday. Kathryn will also brief us on
ACTSA's campaigns and actions in support of Zimbabwe's pro-democracy
struggle. Our usual venue is not available to us. We will meet on the
first floor - main bar, Strand Continental Hotel, 143 The Strand, WC2R 15A.
From the Vigil it's about a 10 minute walk away from Trafalgar Square. It is
after Waterloo Bridge but before Somerset House. Nearest underground:
Temple (district and Circle lines) and Holborn.
- Saturday, 10th March, 1-4 pm - ACTSA rally for Zimbabwe in
Trafalgar Square. The Vigil will still be manned during the two hours the
rally overlaps with the Vigil. Mass toyi-toyi to the Vigil planned at the
end of the rally.
The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place
every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of
human rights by the current regime in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in
October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair
elections are held in Zimbabwe. http://www.zimvigil.co.uk
By Violet Gonda
5 March 2007
Class boycotts organised by the Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU)
kicked off countrywide on Monday. ZINASU president Promise Mkwananzi said
the strike, which brought the tertiary institutions to a standstill was 100%
successful. Both the students and lecturers in state universities are
boycotting classes over un-affordable tuition fees and salaries.
There was a heavy presence of police and youth militia who were intimidating
students milling around campus at institutions like the University of
Zimbabwe. Mkwananzi said there were running battles between students and
police in Bulawayo forcing the student leadership to go into hiding.
Students from Bulawayo's National University of Science and Technology,
Bulawayo Polytechnic, Harare Polytechnic, including state colleges and
universities in Masvingo, Gweru, Kwekwe and Mutare are said to be on strike.
State security forces have been embarking on a victimisation campaign which
has resulted in some of the activists being suspended or arrested.
In a related issue three student leaders from the University of Zimbabwe who
were arrested on campus last Wednesday, were released on bail on Monday
after appearing in court. Tineyi Mukwewa the UZ student president, Trevor
Murai the treasurer-general and Lovemore Chinapitsa another student activist
were released five days later after paying Z$50 000 bail each.
The student movement said they will continue with class boycotts and
demonstrations until their demands are met. The ZINASU president said: "The
idea is to have a sustainable campaign in terms of the stay-aways from
colleges which the police cannot immediately bring to a halt. And at the
same time while the strike is going on the students will hold sporadic
street protests as a way to pile pressure on the government."
Meanwhile over 100 WOZA members marched in Gweru on Monday to launch their
People's Charter and to encourage people to join in the struggle for social
justice. The pressure group said at least 20 people were arrested after
police used brutal force to disperse the peaceful marchers. The group said
in a statement: "Several of those in custody were beaten, but the extent of
their injuries is not yet known. Lawyers are in attendance at the police
station. It appears that some of those arrested were not WOZA members but
by-standers, but the details are not yet available."
In other news, eight Zimbabwe Christian Alliance church leaders who were
arrested in Kadoma last month appeared in court on Monday. They were
arrested during a church meeting under the Public Order and Security Act -
on allegations of wanting to incite violence. Three Pastors; Watson Mugabe,
Pius Wakatama and Ray Motsi were remanded on bail until 23rd April while the
other five, Ancelom Magaya (visually impaired), Gerald Mubaira, Zvizai
Chiponda, Lawrence Berejena and Mr Jonah Gokova, had their charges dropped.
The Alliance had gone to Kadoma to launch a chapter of the organisation as
part of a countrywide drive to establish Christian leaders' networks.
The Zimbabwe Christian Alliance is the group that is bringing the
pro-democracy groups together under the Save Zimbabwe Campaign.
SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
By Tichaona Sibanda
5 March 2007
THE Combined Harare Residents' Association (CHRA) is demanding that
elections be held soon in the capital, to choose a new mayor and
councillors. This follows a High court ruling last week Friday declaring the
commission running Harare as illegal.
The ruling came after an application by dismissed former town clerk Nomutsa
Chideya challenging the legality of the Sekesai Makwavarara led commission.
Chideya said because Makwavarara was unelected, she did not have the power
to fire him. He had asked the court to invalidate the commissions
reappointment by the local government minister in December 2006.
When he reported for duty Monday, Chideya was barred from resuming his work
at the Town House. Despite his court victory last week the dismissed Town
Clerk was met by nearly 20 municipal policemen with the intention of
stopping him from entering.
Our sources in Harare said the policemen failed however to stop Chideya and
instead escorted him to the office of the Chamber Secretary where he stayed
for over an hour before promising to report back at the Town House on
The deputy secretary for local government in the MDC Last Maengahama, a
former councillor together with Makwavarara during the Mudzuri era, said if
the commission fails to step down people in Harare are certainly going to
'The people of Harare are fed up with this commission and are saying enough
is enough. I can't say much now but protests are being planned should the
commission decide not to abide with the High court ruling,' Maengahama said.
Harare has not had an elected mayor since 2003 when local government
minister Ignatius Chombo dismissed the popular opposition MDC Mayor Elias
Mudzuri. Chombo went on to appoint a commission to run the affairs of the
city, which has proved enormously unpopular with many residents of the
capital, including politicians from all political parties.
But the political turncoat and luxury-loving Makwavarara is refusing to step
down and could find herself in contempt of the law. Conditions in capital
meanwhile continue to deteriorate. Once known as the Sunshine city Harare is
now almost unrecognisable from its heyday. Residents endure frequent water
cuts, infrequent rubbish collection and have to live in close proximity to
raw sewage because of broken pipes.
This is why CHRA has welcomed High Court Judge Lawrence Kamocha's ruling
declaring the commission illegal. In a statement the association said the
re-appointing of commissions is illegal as it infringes on peoples' freedoms
to elect their representatives.
Chombo has embarked on a purge of opposition dominated councils, first
removing Mudzuri and replacing him with the Makwarara commission, and
following that with the suspension of Mutare and Chitungwiza executive
mayors Misheck Kagurabadza and Misheck Shoko, only to replace them with Zanu
'The decision of the court shows the illegality of the commission which has
mismanaged the city causing immense suffering to residents. Residents of
Harare have repeatedly protested the continued re-appointment of the illegal
commission running the affairs of Harare. The commission has acted outside
the law and its decisions are invalid,' said the statement from CHRA.
SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
Cape Argus (Cape Town)
March 4, 2007
Posted to the web March 5, 2007
The rapid unravelling of Zimbabwe's economy must surely convince even the
most adoring President Mugabe apologist among African leaders that he must
go - and pretty soon. It's time they told their friend his time is up, or
history will find them complicit in the destruction of Zimbabwe.
The 83-year-old held a lavish birthday party last weekend while millions of
his compatriots had nothing to celebrate. They have been reduced to penury
by his disastrous rule, which has forced three million of them - a quarter
of the population - into exile to seek a better life.
It is a tragedy for a country which, when Mugabe took over in 1980, had more
than enough food to feed itself and its neighbours.
Now thousands depend on food aid, and inflation of 1 600% is forecast to
reach 4 000% by year-end. This week the central bank, for the umpteenth
time, introduced new bank notes as it battles inflation that is daily
eroding the value of the currency.
The government has proscribed political meetings to quash dissent and
recently announced intentions to "ban inflation" to keep prices down.
Despite this chaos, Mugabe is deaf to calls to step down. Instead, he has
hinted at extending his rule until 2010. He must be stopped.
It is time African leaders spoke forcefully to the man and ditched him.
South Africa has a particularly important role to play here.
The truth is that careful sanctions will do no worse harm to the people of
Zimbabwe than Mugabe's misrule.
By KIM HELFRICH
JOHANNESBURG - Economic conditions in Zimbabwe have deteriorated to
the extent that certain safari and hunting camp concessionaires ignore the
law to put money into their bank accounts.
The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force revealed details this weekend
about an illegal hunt last November that left at least two elephant calves
The information comes from an English visitor who timed his visit for
after the hunting season, which officially closes at the end of October.
Task force chairman Johnny Rodriques said the visitor came across a
number of hunters who "did not want him anywhere near their concessions".
In one instance he was apparently even threatened with "a shooting
On the eastern shoreline of Sengwa Basin, the visitor came across a
pair of baby elephants, one "very thin but alive" while the other had been
speared and butchered.
"Worried about how these two youngsters came to be alone, he is sure
he found the answer at nearby Makuyu Fishing Camp.
"There he was told about a safari operator who had earlier in the week
taken a client to shoot two elephant cows.
"The visitor has no proof but he is sure the abandoned youngsters
belonged to the cows which had been shot illegally out of season.
"When he raised the legality question, he was told that 'if clients
are willing to pay, they will be taken out at any time'," Rodriques said.
Last updated 05/03/2007 15:11:03
Tuesday 06 March 2007
By Patricia Mpofu
HARARE - There was drama at Town House in Harare on Monday after dismissed
town clerk Nomutsa Chideya reported for duty following a High Court ruling
last Friday that declared a commission running the city illegal.
Chideya drove into Town House at 8am yesterday but was barred by the
municipal police from entering his office, now occupied by the substantive
town clerk Tendai Mahachi.
In a clear defiance of a High Court judgment delivered by Justice Lawrence
Kamocha, the chairperson of a government-appointed commission running
Harare, Sekesai Makwavarara, attended a series of meetings behind closed
Kamocha last week ruled that the decision last year by Local Government
Minister Ignatius Chombo to reappoint the commission running Harare was
unlawful, null and void.
Chideya, who was fired from his job by Makwavarara, had challenged his
dismissal in court arguing that the commission could not fire him because it
was not an elected council and that its chairperson was not an elected
Sources at Town House told ZimOnline yesterday that Chideya was later
allowed into the offices of the chamber secretary Josephine Ncube who showed
him papers indicating that the council had lodged an appeal at the Supreme
Court against the judgment.
"I went to work briefly but I will start work proper tomorrow (Tuesday),"
said Chideya, who is not new to controversy.
"There was a heavy municipal police presence but they could not do anything
to me since they knew that they had to take instructions from me," he said.
Chideya's lawyers yesterday said Makwavarara risked being in contempt of
court if she and other commissioners prevented their client from assuming
duty as Harare's town clerk.
Percy Toriro, the spokesperson of the Harare municipality refused to take
questions on the matter yesterday while the Combined Harare Residents
Association demanded elections in Harare to elect a new mayor.
"We demand that mayoral elections be held now," said Precious Shumba, the
CHRA spokesperson. "The Makwavarara-led commission must stop with immediate
effect from carrying out any duties and responsibilities of the city of
Harare," he added. - ZimOnline
By Ndimyake Mwakalyelye
05 March 2007
The government of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has navigated some
rough waters in the first few months of 2007, facing severe labor unrest
before managing to obtain agreements with striking doctors, teachers and
disgruntled civil servants. But observers say Mr. Mugabe and his government
have won but a temporary respite.
Just as doctors returned to work last week, lecturers at the University of
Zimbabwe walked out. And with inflation running at a shocking 1,600% a year
is eating up the gains workers have secured, so unrest could be on the boil
Despite pay increases amounting in some cases to 300%, economic hardship if
not a struggle for physical survival remains the grim daily reality for most
Zimbabweans, and continued economic decline threatens the government's
The government has moved to put a lid on dissent by banning political
rallies for three months. But the opposition senses - and many observers
domestic and foreign agree - that a political transition may be closer than
any time since independence.
To assess where the events of the past two months have left the government
and the country, and to look ahead at what the near future might bring,
reporter Ndimyake Mwakalyele of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe turned to
political analyst and lecturer John Makumbe of the University of Zimbabwe,
and journalist Andrew Meldrum, who covers Southern Africa for the Guardian
and Observer papers in London.
Makumbe said that while the wave of strikes has subsided, the president's
proposal to postpone the 2008 presidential election until 2010 in a
so-called "harmonization" of election schedules, combined with economic
woes, leaves Harare vulnerable.
By Jonga Kandemiiri
05 March 2007
Officials of the General Agriculture and Plantation Workers Union of
Zimbabwe said Monday that they have agreed with farmers to raise the wages
of farm workers.
The agreement raises the minimum wage for general farm workers to Z$32,000 a
month (about US$4) from Z$8,000.The minimum for workers in the more
lucrative horticultural sector is Z$70,000 (about US$9).
The union said it has not yet reached agreements on wage increases for
workers in fisheries and in the timber industry, but hopes to finalize those
But despite the negotiated increases in farm wages, agricultural workers
continue to live far beneath the country's official poverty line, which now
stands at Z$566,000 (US$70) a month to buy the essentials of life for a
family of six.
Union spokesman Jotham Mutemeri told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's
Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that his organization is already preparing for
negotiations on wages for the second quarter of 2007, and has warned members
to be ready to strike.
05/03/2007 21:35 - (SA)
Johannesburg - The president of the African Union (AU) took aim at the
continent's long-time rulers on Monday saying that the time had passed when
leaders could expect to cling on to power for decades.
"Everybody knows that the era of 'presidents for life' is over and everyone
nowadays acknowledges that you have got to pass on the baton even if this
has been difficult for certain people," Alpha Oumar Konare told reporters on
the sidelines of a conference on democracy in Africa.
"I think that today, all of our leaders know that it serves no one if they
stay in power for 30 years and end up like (Sese Seko) Mobutu," he added in
reference to the former leader of Zaire who was unceremoniously booted out
of office in 1997 after 22 years in power and died in exile soon afterwards.
"Mobutu was there for a long time. He had a lot of power, he had a lot of
money but you all saw how it ended."
Konare stopped short of naming names but a number of African leaders have
been in power for the last three decades.
Steps to delay elections
The longest-serving leader on the continent is Gabon's President Omar Bongo
Ondimba who has been in power since 1967, while Moamer Kadhafi has been in
charge of Libya since 1969.
Other long-time rulers in sub-Saharan Africa include Angola's Jose Eduardo
dos Santos, who took power in 1979, and the 83-year-old Robert Mugabe who
has been Zimbabwean president since independence in 1980.
Both men have recently taken steps to delay elections and extend their rules
to the 30-year mark.
Questioned specifically about Mugabe, Konare said the Zimbabwe leader had
raised "a very fair point" about land ownership when he embarked on his
policy of expropriating farms from whites at the turn of the century, but
added that the reactions "had posed a problem".
Mugabe has trumpeted the so-called land reform programme as a move to
address colonial-era imbalances, but critics say that much of the land only
ended up the hands of his cronies and blame the policy for the collapse of
the agriculture sector in Africa's one-time breadbasket.
Tuesday 06 March 2007
By Nqobizitha Khumalo
BULAWAYO - Zimbabwe has been ranked as the worst country to do business in
the mining sector, according to a survey of mining companies that was
conducted by an independent Canadian research institute.
The survey was done by the Fraser Institute, an international research body
that seeks to measure, study and communicate the impact of competitive
markets and government intervention on the welfare of individuals.
Out of the 65 countries that were surveyed, Zimbabwe came out last as the
most unsafe country in the world to do business with the second-lowest score
ever recorded in the Policy Potential Index.
Other low-ranking countries in the survey were Venezuela, Mongolia,
Kazakhstan, Russia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The rankings are based on the Policy Potential Index, a composite index that
measures the effects of government policies, including uncertainties that
concern the administration, interpretation and enforcement of existing
regulations, regulatory duplications and inconsistencies.
The index also looks at taxation laws, native land claims and protected
areas, infrastructure, socioeconomic agreements, political stability, labour
and security among others.
Fraser Institute director of trade and globalisation studies, Fred McMahon
said most investors value consistent government policies before investing in
"Our experience with the survey has shown that above all, mineral
exploration companies value stability and certainty when it comes to
government policy," said McMahon.
President Robert Mugabe's embattled government last year threatened to seize
51 percent stake in foreign-owned mines in a move that rattled foreign
Economic analysts said the move to seize the 51 percent stake undermined
investor confidence in a country that has already been declared a pariah by
some Western governments following the violent seizure of white farms by the
Harare authorities seven years ago. - ZimOnline
The Herald (Harare)
March 5, 2007
Posted to the web March 5, 2007
HWANGE Colliery Company has been hit by yet another major breakdown, which
has resulted in low coal and coke production.
The colliery's continuous miner at the No. 3 Main Underground Mine broke
down last week, severely curtailing output. Hwange marketing and public
relations manger Mr Clifford Nkomo made the announcement yesterday.
"Hwange Colliery Company Limited wishes to advise its valued customers that
there has been a major breakdown of the continuous miner at the No. 3 Main
"The breakdown will affect deliveries of coking coal and coke products," Mr
He said stakeholders should bear with the company as repairs would be made
as soon as the company received spares.
"The company is awaiting delivery of spare parts and production is expected
to resume early next week," he said.
The shortage of coal arising from frequent breakdowns at the mine has been a
major drawback to operations in the tobacco industry. Most farmers and
tobacco processing companies have been failing to access the commodity which
is essential for curing.
Monsters and Critics
Mar 5, 2007, 7:31 GMT
Harare - Trade between Zimbabwe and China is expected to surge to half a
billion US dollars by next year, Beijing's ambassador to Harare was reported
as saying Monday.
Yuan Nansheng told a reception in the capital last week that trade between
China and Zimbabwe was expected to hit 500 million US dollars in 2008 on the
back of sound political ties that continue to exist between the two
countries, Zimbabwe's state news agency said.
'China has provided Zimbabwe with aid within her capacity for a long time,'
New Ziana quoted Nansheng as saying. 'The steady growth in the economic
field between our two countries aims for a win-win result to everyone's
China has become one of Zimbabwe's closest allies and business partners in
the last six years, since Western countries started to shun the southern
African nation over alleged human rights abuses.
Under President Robert Mugabe's ambitious Look East policy, Zimbabwe is
working on plans to export beef to Hong Kong and minerals such as platinum,
nickel and copper to the growing Chinese market.
The Asian giant has already emerged as the largest single importer of
Zimbabwe's key export crop, tobacco, New Ziana said. Last year China
imported 12.4 million kilos of tobacco from Zimbabwe.
Chinese companies are also plying their trade in Zimbabwe to the concern of
some locals, who talk derisively of poor quality zhing- zhong products.
There are around 35 Chinese companies operating in Zimbabwe at the moment,
including brick-makers, and glass and cement manufacturers.
Figures for total bilateral trade between Beijing and Harare for 2006 have
not yet been made available, but it is expected to exceed 2005's figure of
280 million US dollars. Trade for the first eight months of the year reached
210 million US dollars, reports said.
© 2007 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur
Sunday Times, SA
04 March 2007
To many of us in this southernmost republic, Zimbabwe has become a standard
joke. How many Zim dollars did you buy that watch for? Hah hah hah! You're
eating like you're about to go on holiday in Zimbabwe. Hee-hee!
And so we laugh until our jaws can take no more. Even if the jokes aren't at
all funny, adding Zimbabwe spice lifts a puerile comment up a notch or two.
The story of Zimbabwe is one of a tragedy that became a comedy.
Missing from most discourse on Zimbabwe nowadays is empathy. Everyone has
basically given up on Zimbabwe and we have decided that shaking our heads in
despair and making corny jokes is our best response.
Even we in newspapers hardly bother with those screaming headlines on our
front pages. There are only so many ways you can tell the story of fuel
shortages and only so many angles from which you can photograph petrol-pump
In short, there is significant fatigue from the media, foreign governments,
multilateral organisations and international agencies.
We in the media have a legitimate excuse for the fatigue: Mugabe has barred
most foreign media (including the Sunday Times) from entering the country,
where we would be able to tell the story properly and interestingly.
Increasingly, there is this expectation that the only solution is that the
place will one day just self-destruct, implode or whichever dramatic action
suits one's fancy. There is also the acceptance that Robert Mugabe will rule
until age takes care of him.
In the meantime we let the tragedy run.
The complacency of Zimbabweans is also responsible for the fatigue. A more
docile oppressed people you would be hard put to find.
The only form of protest that they know is to wallow in self-pity and whine
about how the Thabo Mbeki government has done nothing to help them.
And the only risk they are prepared to take is to run the gauntlet of
Limpopo border guards and the ID-searchers on Gauteng streets.
One would be forgiven for thinking that maybe they don't really mind being
But that is obviously not the case. Zimbabweans want human rights, democracy
and economic prosperity as everyone else. It's just that they don't want to
have to fight for these things themselves. They will find every reason why
they cannot take on Mugabe.
So those in South Africa and the rest of the international community who
care about basic human values unfortunately have no choice but to help this
submissive people along.
There happen to be some very good moral and selfish reasons to do so.
The first one is the premise of human solidarity. We simply cannot fold our
arms and say nothing while another people suffers at the hands of gluttonous
goons who stuff their faces silly and then beat up the poor when the nation's
grumbling stomachs disturbs their great feast.
It is a matter of basic human decency and duty that we speak against the
cruelty visited on ordinary Zimbabweans. That is what the world did for us
when the apartheid jackboot was on our necks.
Alas, for seven years our ruling party and our government decided to be
Zanu-PF's greatest defenders.
Through a combination of policy ineptitude, presidential arrogance and
misplaced liberation-movement camaraderie, South Africa contrived to
legitimise the oppression of Zimbabweans. We fêted Mugabe and his inner
circle; told the world to bugger off when it wanted to intervene;
pooh-poohed credible international organisations when they pressed for
global action against Zanu-PF, and flatly denied that Mugabe's security
forces and militias were stealing elections, torturing political foes and
conducting all-night rape fests.
When the so-called " quiet diplomacy" strategy failed, we sommer walked away
without admitting failure. Our President, who for years promised an imminent
breakthrough in Zimbabwe, now hardly ever features the country in his public
Our complicity in sustaining and deepening the crisis should prevent us from
On the selfish front, we should care about Zimbabwe because it is hurting
us, as the collapse of a major regional economic power would.
Thousands of businesses in South Africa and the rest of the region have lost
a major export destination and product source, and have lost business
partners. The Southern African region needs a strong Zimbabwe if we are to
achieve rapid economic growth.
The other selfish reason is social stability. During its seven years of
collapse, Zimbabwe has spewed out more than a quarter of its 12 million
citizens. Some are in earth's-armpit places like Perth and Birmingham. The
overwhelming majority are in South African cities and dorpies.
This has put enormous strain on social services. While most are gainfully
employed as professionals and labourers, the desperation of many has also
contributed immensely to the crime wave sweeping South Africa. Bands of
jobless men have discovered how risk-free and profitable a crime career is
in South Africa and have fallen in with local gang lords and international
The Zimbabwean collapse has now become a threat to our own stability.
The sooner we wake up to the fact that what is happening next door is
actually not funny, the better for us.
By Dennis Rekayi
MUTARE - Concern is rising in Zimbabwe over the unexplained delay in the
release of "O" Level results which are normally announced early February,
allowing students to proceed to lower sixth classes mid-March.
The government has not explained to the students, the parents and the
schools but sources quoted in the Sunday Mail said a shortage of markers
arising from a payment dispute with the Zimbabwe School Examinations Council
(Zimsec) had resulted in the delay.
Zimjournalists.com caught up with one of the markers from Mutare, who
preferred to be identified only by his first name, Bright. He says the
markers are battling with huge stacks of examination papers as they are
having to deal with more work than usual due to the shortage of markers.
He said it was disheartening for parents who could not afford to pay for
their children to sit for Cambridge examinations that are not marked
locally. Students who sat for GCE "O" Levels have already had their results
while those who sat for the local examinations are still anxiously waiting
for the results to be released.
"Most of my colleagues have decided it is not worth it as we continue to get
peanuts for our trouble of marking examination papers," said Bright. "My
situation is such that I cannot go and do other things to make money. I have
to be here so I have taken the trouble to continue marking while my
colleagues are preferring to do cross-border trading, sourcing for diamonds
and other things so they can say to hell with the pittance. It is a lot of
work to mark these papers and all we are saying is that Zimsec should at
least meet us halfway rather than just dismiss our concerns and needs."
A Sakubva teacher said the delay in announcing the results showed how bad
the situation was getting in the country's education sector.
"By now we would have started recruiting for lower sixth classes but hell
No, we haven't because Zimsec does not want to pay more money to the
long-suffering and struggling teacher who is proud of all the achievements
that have been made in the country since independence. It is a shame
really," Tatenda Dzova, the Sakubva teacher, said.
"You must have seen doing the rounds when President Mugabe is said to have
told striking teachers that he knows how bad the situation is in terms of
teachers' salaries, adding that was why he left the profession. We may laugh
at the joke but it is so true, things are so far from being rosy for us,
whether we are marking examination papers or crying for better pay," he said
Tichafa Mutero, who is anxiously waiting for her results told
zimbabwejournalists.com he was beginning to lose interest in the what he
wanted to do when the results eventually came out.
"After the announcement of the A Level results, all I ever did was sit by
the radio and read the newspaper everyday to check if the results were out
but now, I have lost interest. It is going to affect many of us, our
teachers, parents and even the curriculum because it means those who go to
lower six classes will not have the time others have had in the past," said
A parent from Dangamvura said it was sad that Zimsec had failed to agree
with the markers on their pay, allowances and meals.
"We all said it when the government decided to dump Cambridge that this was
the beginning of the end of a good Zimbabwean education base," said Taona
Chiutsi. "I guess when you are an African and living in Africa you have to
expect a major fall in standards one day. Why should we accept it as
parents, students and all. We should fight for us to return to Cambridge. It
is clear that Chigwedere and his team have failed us dismally."
The Zimbabwe government announced at the height of country's land grab
policy that students in government schools were now to sit for local
examinations but some schools have continued to offer their students an
opportunity to pay in foreign currency and sit for GCE O Level examinations.
Meanwhile the Zimbabwe National Students Union (Zinasu) has said it is
deeply concerned by the late announcement of the O Level results.
"We are told that the examination scripts are not yet marked while students
who chose to be examined by Cambridge are already doing their advanced level
studies. How then are the rest going to cope up if their results are
eventually released," the students' body said today.
Zinasu called upon the Zimbabwe Human Rights Lawyers (ZLHR) "to immediately
intervene and compel the rogue regime to release the results".
CAPE TOWN - The Congress of SA Trade Unions has condemned the arrest of the
editor of a Zimbabwean trade union publication, saying he was a victim of
that government's harassment campaign against workers.
"Cosatu demands the immediate unconditional release of all those arrested
and an end to the government's systematic harassment of trade unionists who
are working on behalf of their members," the union federation said in a
statement on Monday.
Bright Chibvubu, an editor of a Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions
publication, was arrested on Saturday for contravening the government's
controversial Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
Cosatu said it was also concerned about reports that another 13 activists
had been arrested under unclear circumstances. - Sapa
By Lance Guma
05 March 2007
Failed Zimbabwean asylum seekers will know their fate on Tuesday when the UK
Court of Appeal delivers judgement in the 'AA' test case. The case is named
after the pseudonym of a Zimbabwean asylum seeker who is challenging
attempts to deport him and is arguing that not only is Zimbabwe an unsafe
destination but there is automatic risk for all asylum seekers, by virtue of
having sought asylum. The court has to determine whether it's safe for the
UK Home Office to deport him and legal experts say the case has a bearing on
all failed asylum seekers from Zimbabwe.
Last year in August, the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (AIT) ruled that
Zimbabwean deportees did not face 'automatic risk' once back home. 'AA'
appealed that decision and this is the reason why the matter is back before
the Court of Appeal. The UK government has said it will grant protection to
those who deserve it but opposes granting blanket immunity to all failed
asylum seekers irrespective of circumstances.
Harris Nyatsanza, a spokesman for the United Network of Detained
Zimbabweans, told Newsreel the matter has been to tribunal twice and it was
in the interest of both parties to have it resolved once and for all. Asked
if this would be the final decision in the matter Nyatsanza says the matter
could be sent back to tribunal for a third time if the need arose. This he
said would depend on the evidence presented and whether it could sway a
decision in favour of 'AA.' Other experts interviewed by Newsreel say an
appeal could be lodged with the House of Lords for a final decision.
Nyatsanza says it will be hopeful thinking for Zimbabweans to expect a
general amnesty or temporary work permits, because the UK government is
under pressure to deal decisively with issues of immigration and asylum. He
cited comments by Home Office Minister Liam Byrne who ruled out any form of
amnesty. If the Court of Appeal rules in favour of the UK Home Office,
deportations of failed Zimbabwean asylum seekers will begin. Critics of the
Home Office say its screening process is flawed and has resulted in many
genuine asylum seekers being denied protection while some fraudulent claims
SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
World Vision has recently set up a multimillion dollar 50-hectare irrigation
scheme at Wanezi Malole in Insiza District of Zimbabwe, to boost food
security in the drought-prone area where crops cannot grow under the normal
by Gretta Curtis
Posted: Monday, March 5, 2007, 14:21 (GMT)
World Vision has recently set up a multimillion dollar 50-hectare irrigation
scheme at Wanezi Malole in Insiza District of Zimbabwe, to boost food
security in the drought-prone area where crops cannot grow under the normal
Filabusi-Insiza Member of the House of Assembly Cde Andrew Langa said a dam,
which would supply water to the area, had since been completed.
"Equipment for the project has since been acquired and, currently, we are
working on the aspect of irrigation," said Cde Langa.
He said clearing and preparation of the land was underway and was being
implemented through the food for work programme.
Cde Langa said the irrigation scheme was going to benefit over 100 families
in the district.
"We appreciate the work done by World Vision as it will go a long way in
improving food in the district," he said.
The scheme is expected to be fully functional by mid-year, Cde Langa said.
He added that crops like soya bean, maize and wheat would be grown as soon
as the land was ready for tilling.
Dear ZimConservation readers,
Diamond fever is gripping Zimbabwe right now, as you may gather from the
headlines in this issue. In a recent trip to Chimanimani I was able to
confirm that everyone is simply mad about minerals, ranging from ZRP
roadblocks, to the roadside vendors but few people actually know how to
separate gems from the rubble. From a conservation perspective, the
environmental effects of some kinds of mining can be mitigated, but I am
sure that the widespread alluvial nature of the Marange diamonds that
environmental effects will only be documented long after the dust has
settled. As always please send any reports or opinions to
firstname.lastname@example.org for publication, and see www.zimconservation.com
for archives and full stories.
27 FEBRUARY - SCIENTISTS SCRAMBLE TO SAVE ELEPHANTS AS BLACK MARKET IVORY
TRADE SOARS... The illegal trade in elephant ivory is growing again at an
alarming pace due to organized crime, but new research estimating the
geographic origin of "the Singapore seizure," 6.5 tons of contraband tusks,
points to a plan to prevent African pachyderm extinction.
24 FEBRUARY - PRESIDENT RECIEVES BIRTHDAY GIFTS... President Mugabe
yesterday received a mounted stuffed crocodile and a heifer as birthday
presents from Ministers of State and officials in the Office of the
President and Cabinet. Cde Mugabe celebrated his 83rd birthday on Wednesday.
[Ed: Isn't it bad luck to kill your totem?]
22 FEBRUARY - DIAMONDS, SUCCESSION: MUGABE'S LAMENT... In his first public
comment on the diamond fever gripping Zimbabwe, President Robert Mugabe has
charged that the key players in the controversial precious stones saga are
the same figures behind machinations to nudge him from office.
21 FEBRUARY - ZIMBABWE'S MUGABE TO CONFINE DIAMOND MINING TO STATE...
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe said diamond mining in the country will
be confined to the state after allegations of smuggling from the country's
mines and a diamond rush in the district of Marange. Zimbabwe's government
on Dec. 7 evicted African Consolidated Plc from Marange, a deposit to which
the Nettlestead, UK-based company had the rights, after a diamond find there
prompted thousands of informal miners to converge on the area. The area has
now been cordoned off and handed to the state's Zimbabwe Mining Development
19 FEBRUARY - WETLANDS CRITICAL PRODUCTIVE AREAS... Taking advantage of a
number of wetland areas such as streams, rivers, natural pools and vleis
surrounding Jomaya Village, about 30 kilometres south-west of Wedza Growth
Point, Edson Jomaya and a group of other villagers, apart from being
productive farmers, have also become innovative weavers.
16 FEBRUARY - FORESTRY COMMISSION ENGAGES POLICE, ZIMRA... The Forestry
Commission has engaged the police and the revenue authority to curb the
rampant export of raw or unprocessed timber, businessdigest established this
week. The export of raw timber is outlawed through Statutory Instrument 112
of 2001 which amended the Forestry Act of 1996.
16 FEBRUARY - POLICE, POLITICIANS IN ILLEGAL GOLD MINING... Senior police
officers and politicians are alleged to have ganged up to mine gold
illegally in the gold-rich Patchway and Chakari gold reef near Kadoma,
prompting a probe by the police internal investigations unit into activities
of a gold smuggling syndicate involved.
11 FEBRUARY - DIAMOND SMUGGLERS EVADE POLICE DRAGNET... Even the
seven-year-old grade two pupil, garbed in a khaki school uniform, did not
know that he carried the precious stones on his body. Tinashe Munazvo got to
know he was carrying five pieces of diamond tucked tightly along the rim of
his oversized shirt when he arrived in Harare - nearly 350km from Hotsprings
in Chimanimani district.
11 FEBRUARY - GIRL BATTLES FOR LIFE AFTER LEOPARD ATTACK... A 7-year-old
girl from Chirundu is battling for her life at Karoi District Hospital after
being severely mauled by a leopard which pounced on her from a tree.
Caroline Mufanebadza, of Riverside residential camp in Chirundu, was walking
home with her father Mr Michael Mufanebadza when the attack occurred.
9 FEBRUARY - UNEP TO DE-MINE AREAS OF ANGOLA... The United Nations
Environment Programme (UNEP) in partnership with Roots for Peace and
Conservation International has offered to undertake a massive de-mining
exercise along the southern strip of Angola. The strip, which was seeded
with landmines during the two-decade civil war, forms part of the planned
Kavango-Zambezi Transfrantier Conservation Area (KAZA -TFCA),a plannedpark
of 28,000 square kilometres to be owned by five Southern Africa Development
Community (SADC) countries including Zambia.
6 FEBRUARY - CITY FAMILY STAYS WITH CROCODILE FOR 2 YEARS... A Chisipite
family stayed with a crocodile for more than two years and built a grand
pond attached to their house where the reptile lived like a king and
sometimes roamed freely around the yard. The McFarland family yesterday said
they had become obsessed with the male crocodile -- which they had given the
name "Kwenya" -- and would miss it greatly after it was removed by Parks and
Wildlife Management Authority officials.
6 FEBRUARY - FISHING INDUSTRY ECONOMICALLY EMPOWERS COMMUNITIES - NHEMA...
The commercial fishing industry has over the past few years shown remarkable
improvements with more communities getting economically empowered out of it,
Minister of Environment and Tourism Mr Francis Nhema has said.
3 FEBRUARY - TASKFORCE CHALLENGES PARKS... The Zimbabwe Conservation Task
Force (ZCTF) has challenged the department of National Parks and Wildlife
Management Authority to substantiate allegations that the task force has
become a "liability to the nation," as contained in a report circulated to
many wildlife stakeholders.
3 FEBRUARY - TOP POLITICIANS IMPLICATED IN ILLEGAL GOLD DEALS... Some
politicians have been implicated in illegal gold mining activities while
others have tried to interfere with police operations but the force has
stood firm resulting in 113 people being prosecuted and jailed. Police
Deputy Commissioner Godwin Matanga yesterday said some MPs were involved in
illegal mining activities while some ministers had tried to interfere with
their clampdown on illegal mining.
2 FEBRUARY - ZIM'S LAST VESTIGES OF NATURAL HABITAT... Each time they went
hunting in the vast rugged wilderness south of what is today Lake Kariba,
Tonga tribesmen were shocked by large concentrations of animal dung.
[Ed: A promotional piece for Matusadonna]
1 FEBRUARY - SOLDIERS BEAT UP AUSTRIAN TOURIST... An Austrian tourist had a
holiday to forget last week after he was brutally assaulted by soldiers for
allegedly taking photographs without approval at Chivhu rural business
centre. The tourist, identified as Ibrahim Evans, was on his way to the
Great Zimbabwe national monument in Masvingo, about 280 kilometres south of
1 FEBRUARY - BUBYE ACCUSES WDC CHIEF OF BIAS... Bubye Minerals has accused
World Diamonds Council (WDC) chairman Eli Izakhoff, of taking a stance on
the dispute between it and River Ranch Limited which undermines the
country's judiciary system. In a letter dated January 26, Bubye Minerals
legal counsel, Terence Hussein, said Bubye was concerned over Izakhoff's
pronouncements in correspondence to River Ranch Limited legal advisor,
retired judge George Smith, to the effect that the world body was prepared
to provide "guidance, advice and expertise that may help River Ranch to
protect its production and its reputation."
1 FEBRUARY - ZIMBABWEAN DIAMONDS SMUGGLED INTO COUNTRY... The Mozambican
authorities have concluded that diamonds on sale in the central province of
Manica were not dug out of the Mozambican subsoil, but were smuggled
illegally into the country from Zimbabwe, according to a report in the Beira
daily paper "Diario de Mocambique". Zimbabweans have been selling the
diamonds, and the Manica provincial directorate of mineral resources managed
to obtain some.
1 FEBRUARY - ZIM TO CELEBRATE WETLANDS DAY... Zimbabwe will join the rest of
the world in commemorating World Wetlands Day tomorrow. At a Press briefing
yesterday, Environment and Tourism Minister Cde Francis Nhema said although
many people did not appreciate the role wetlands played in conservation,
they were an important facet in the management of fisheries as they provided
habitat to all water species populations.
31 JANUARY - SAFARI FIRM FAILS TO FULFIL TENDEr... Riverside Private Limited
Company, which won the tender to run the Chewore North Safari Area last
month for $14 billion, has so far only deposited $2 billion for the
concession. The company, which shocked the hunting industry as it had no
known background in the safari business, has put up a payment plan with the
Parks and Wildlife Management Authority that would see it paying the total
amount before the start of the hunting season in April.
30 JANUARY - HARARE AGENCY NOW CONTROLS DIAMOND MINE - CHINESE SEEN IN
WINGS... The Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation has received a license
to exploit the Marange diamond concession following revocation of a license
held by British-based African Consolidated Resources by Minister of Mines
Amos Midzi. But Mines Ministry sources said the ZMDC does not have the
capacity to operate the mine, and that the takeover by the government could
be a step towards awarding the alluvial diamond claim to Chinese investors.
30 JANUARY - DONATED PARKS' EQUIPMENT LYING IDLE IN ZIMBABWE... Bulawayo -
Equipment worth about US$500 000 is lying idle in Zimbabwe after the
Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZPWMA) banned a local
conservation group from making any donations to the authority. The ZPWMA
accuses the white-dominated Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force (ZCTF) of
falsifying the wildlife situation in the country and has since stopped the
group from donating anything to the authority.
23 JANUARY - FROM TURNING PAGES TO DOWNLOADING THEM... (an exploration of
the phenomenon of the growth of Zimbabwean online and email-based news
22 JANUARY - ZIM DIAMONDS LOSE THEIR SPARKLE...Senior Zimbabwe government
officials, including the police, have been sucked into a diamond smuggling
scandal, which is believed to have cost the country about US$30-million in
lost revenue in the past eight months.
21 JANUARY - MUGABE OFFICIALS BLACKLIST GROUP FOUNDED TO SAVE RESERVE
ANIMALS... President Robert Mugabe's officials have blacklisted and refused
to accept further donations from a conservation group that raised hundreds
of thousands of pounds to save animals in one of Africa's great game
15 JANUARY - RAW SEWAGE DISCHARGED INTO HARARE RIVER.... Harare - Residents
of the once spick-and-span Zimbabwean capital are facing a new and deadly
health hazard with tons of raw sewage being dumped into a river because a
treatment plant is no longer working, reports said Monday. The state-run
water authority ZINWA is dumping 72 megalitres of raw sewage - half of
Harare's output - directly into the Mukuvisi River every day because the
city's main sewage plant has broken down, said the official Herald
15 JANUARY - THE EXTENSIVE VOCABLUARY OF AFRICAN ELEPHANTS... In 1999, Katy
Payne founded the Elephant Listening Project, a program which monitors
African elephant communication in the rainforest, "in the service of their
conservation," said Payne. Payne is perhaps most famous for her discovery of
elephants' infrasonic calls (sounds below the level of human hearing.)
12 JANUARY - WAS THE RIVER GOD NYAMINYAMI ANGRY? AS the mid-morning sun
moved imperceptibly on December 30 2006, Nyaminyami, the sacred river god
that oversees Lake Kariba, coughed and spate a spiraling intense columnar
vortex that formed a funnel-shaped cloud over the lake.
[Ed: an account of a water spout formed on Lake Kariba]
12 JANUARY - 'ZRP'S BIODIESEL PROJECT ON COURSE'... The Zimbabwe Republic
Police national biodiesel project is on course with the force beginning to
transplant Jatropha seedlings in its pilot project which is expected to
cover 100 hectares this year. ZRP chose Mashonaland Central as the hub of
its project and last year saw the force planting one hectare of seedlings at
Shamva ZRP Farm, which are now being distributed to various centres
[Ed: The mind boggles - next we'll have the Cold Storage Comission running
the Ministry of Mines....]
11 JANUARY - HUNTING CONCESSIONS ON STATE LAND TO BE RENEWED... Hunting
concessions on State land, including traditional safari areas and the
experimental leases will be renewed from an initial period of five years in
line with the Parks and Wildlife Act, Minister of Environment and Tourism
Cde Francis Nhema has said. Cde Nhema said in a statement yesterday that the
renewal depended on satisfactory performance during the first five years.
10 JANUARY - ZIMBABWE CRACKING DOWN ON RHINO AND ELEPHANT POACHERS...
Harare - Zimbabwe has launched a massive security operation in its key
nature reserves after poachers killed 17 elephants and two rare black rhinos
over the holiday season.
10 JANUARY - THOUSANDS OF FISH DIE IN LAKE CHIVERO... Thousands of fish have
died since last week owing to depressed oxygen levels at Lake Chivero,
Harare's lar-gest water source, the Parks and Wildlife Management Authority
has said. Parks spokesperson Retired Major Edward Mbewe yesterday said the
most affected fish were the Nile Bream.
8 JANUARY - MINERS HALT OPS PENDING COMPILATION OF REPORTS... Small scale
miners have, with immediate effect, temporarily suspended operations to give
themselves time to compile environmental impact assessment reports as
required by Government.
8 JANUARY - FORESTRY COMMISSION IN AWARENESS DRIVE... The Forestry
Commission in Mashonaland East Province has intensified efforts to make
tobacco farmers aware of Environment Management Act, which seeks to promote
the sustainable utilisation of the country's natural resources. The Act also
makes it mandatory for farmers to have a gum tree plantation to be used in
curing the crop.
[Ed: Planting gum trees drains watersheds and harms native species, there is
a wealth of literature on the harmful effects of gum trees in Africa, please
find some alternative native species to use]
8 JANUARY - PARKS AUTHORITY RELAUNCHES OPERATION... The National Parks and
Wildlife Management Authority will spend the bulk of its 2007 budget on
protecting wildlife, the director-general, Dr Morris Mtsambiwa, said
yesterday. Speaking at Sinamatela Camp at the relaunch of "Operation
Stronghold" to fight rampant poaching in the Hwange National Park that has
claimed 19 elephants and two rhinos, he said poachers were threatening the
country's safari hunting industry.
7 JANUARY - ZCTF NEW YEAR REPORT ... We would like to take this opportunity
to wish all our fellow conservationists a happy and prosperous New Year and
to thank everyone who supported and assisted us during 2006. Thanks to the
generous people who donated funds and/or material goods for Hwange National
Park, we were able to avoid a repetition of the water crisis of 2005.
7 JANUARY - ELEPHANT CRUELTY CLAIM DISPUTED... Shearwater Adventures, which
operates several adventure activities in Zimbabwe's Victoria Falls area, has
reacted strongly to allegations by the Zimbabwe SPCA (ZNSPCA) that it is
abusing young elephants being trained to carry tourists on elephant-back
safaris. The claims include that the elephants are standing knee-deep in
their own dung in tiny enclosures, and that they are mistreated and
suffering from dermatitis.
6 JANUARY - ZIMBABWE PROBED ON "BLOOD DIAMOND" RULES... Johannesburg -
Industry body The World Diamond Council is worried that gems from Zimbabwe
may be finding their way onto the black market, a violation of rules
established to curb so-called conflict diamonds that fuel civil wars. The
diamond sector is making extra efforts to police itself amid fears jewelry
sales will be hit by the release of the Hollywood film "Blood Diamond,"
which shows atrocities in African civil wars financed by illicit gems during
the 1990s. The New York-based council received reports that diamonds in
Zimbabwe were being smuggled into neighboring South Africa, where they were
being certified as legitimate and exported, WDC Chairman Eli Izhakoff told
Reuters late on Friday via e-mail.
6 JANUARY - THOUSANDS JOIN NEW ZIM 'EMERALD' RUSH... At least 3 000 people
have joined a new rush for emeralds in eastern Zimbabwe, a few months after
diamonds were discovered in the area, it was reported on Friday. In July,
villagers in impoverished Marange district discovered diamonds and sparked a
massive diamond rush, which brought untold wealth to dozens of previously
5 JANUARY - NECESSITY SPURS URBAN FARMING... Harare - Urban farming, widely
practiced by the poor and lower-income groups in the Zimbabwean capital,
Harare, is fast becoming de rigeur among the city's wealthy set. In affluent
suburbs like Avondale and Mabelreign, maize and vegetable plots are
sprouting up to counter expected food shortages brought on by an economic
meltdown that has seen the inflation rate remaining well above 1,000
percent, the highest in the world.
From The Sunday Mirror, 4 March
The Mines and Minerals Marketing Company of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) and the Ministry
of Mines and Minerals face police investigations after they held three
secret diamond auctions last month, where only international players and
members of the diplomatic community were invited. Impeccable sources that
attended the auctions told this paper that the country could have been
prejudiced of millions of United States dollars after the MMCZ conducted the
auctions in what appear to be shady circumstances. MCZ sold 50 kg of the
contentious Marange diamonds in two separate batches to two buyers from
Antwerp (Belgium) and Durban (South Africa) respectively; whilst a third
batch consisting of over 7 149 carats was sold to an Indian buyer. The total
value of the three transactions is estimated to be around US$4 million.
Roughly 70-percent of the world's refined diamonds originate from Antwerp,
which has established itself as the world centre for the trade of
beneficiation of the precious stones. However, our sources indicate gross
anomalies with the sale, anomalies that point to what they believe could be
fraud committed by MMCZ. Firstly, the first two batches were sold in
kilogrammes instead of being valued and sold according to international
specifications - in carats - and this has heightened speculation that
Zimbabwe was cheated of huge amounts of foreign exchange revenue with the
aid of key government players. Secondly, MMCZ wrote to the Reserve Bank
requesting the presence of central bank officials at the sale.
Investigations by this paper reveal that the Reserve Bank recused itself
from the auctions, arguing that the sale of precious minerals such as
diamonds needed more specialised and technical personnel to ensure fair
value sales. Nevertheless, MMCZ went ahead and conducted the auctions on
February 10, just three days after writing to the RBZ. The sources said the
conspicuous absence of the RBZ, as foreign currency custodians and
regulators, raised alarm bells. Furthermore, the auctions had to be
regulated under the elaborate Kimberly Process Certification System, which
details the origins of diamonds and is meant to stop trade in illegal
diamonds. It is understood that there was no such regulation. Questions have
been asked as to the valuation processes used in the sale of diamonds per
kilogrammes; whether the country could have benefited from the beneficiation
of the precious stones and earned more in foreign exchange. "You don't sell
diamonds by the kgs as we do with cattle or grain. This is a precious
mineral, whose value is determined by elaborate processes and numerous
certification schemes," said our source.
However, more significantly, it is believed that the fraud could suck in a
number of party and government bigwigs who have benefited from the Marange
diamond rush and the ensuing confusion lasting over eight months, with no
tangible government solution in sight. Furthermore, it comes at a time
President Robert Mugabe lashed out at senior party and government officials
for their dubious involvement in the illicit trade of diamonds, and hinted
that some of them were the key players plotting to oust him from office.
Investigators, who refused to be named citing police protocol, said they
were investigating the roles played by Mines minister, Amos Midzi, and MMCZ
CEO Onesimo Moyo, who sanctioned the sale as MMCZ head. All efforts to get
official police comment from Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) spokesperson,
Wayne Bvudzijena yielded nothing, as his phone was unreachable. Midzi would
not comment saying: "According to the Mines and Minerals Act, the MMCZ is
the only authorized and authoritative seller of minerals in Zimbabwe. That
is my only comment." Moyo had promised to respond by Saturday afternoon, but
efforts to contact him were fruitless. While the RBZ refused to comment on
the mysterious auctions, they managed to confirm that they had not
participated and referred questions to the MMCZ.
Already, the involvement of top officials in the illicit trade of diamonds
culminated in the arrest of Principal Director in the Ministry without
Portfolio, William Nhara, last Thursday. Nhara becomes the first big
casualty of government's crackdown on diamonds. Nhara allegedly tried to
bribe a police officer with US$700 following the arrest of a Lebanese woman
trying to smuggle diamonds outside the country. The value of the diamonds is
yet to be ascertained but it is widely believed they could have originated
from the controversial diamond auctions. Meanwhile, Nhara and the Lebanese
woman are still languishing in prison. The contentious Marange diamonds
originate from claims under dispute between the MMCZ and Africa Consolidated
Resources (ACR). Before ACR, Kimberlitic Searches, a subsidiary of global
diamonds giant, the De Beers Group, owned the claims.As a result, more than
5 000 villagers from different parts of the country, descended on Marange,
Manicaland, in a vicious diamond rush that saw many tales of rags-to-riches,
but also resulted in widescale plundering of national resources that
eventually prompted government to call in the army.
By Blessing Zulu
05 March 2007
Senior Zimbabwe official William Nhara, arrested Thursday at the Harare
International Airport for allegedly attempting to smuggle diamonds out of
the country, was to appear in court in Harare on Tuesday for arraignment,
government sources said.
Assistant Police Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena, a spokesman for the national
force, said Nhara faced charges of attempted bribery and illegal possession
of diamonds. He said Nhara tried to bribe an airport police officer with
US$700 upon his arrest.
Until recently, Nhara served as principal director of public and interactive
affairs in the ministry of state of the same name. At the time of his
arrest, Nhara was serving as a principal director under Minister Without
Portfolio Chen Chimutengwende.
Attorney Jonathan Samkange, representing Nhara, told reporter Blessing Zulu
of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that his client would assert his innocence.
In court on Monday was Deputy Information Minister Bright Matonga, who is on
trial for allegedly soliciting bribes during his tenure as the chief
executive of the Zimbabwe United Passenger Company, or ZUPCO, the state bus
Though President Robert Mugabe has vowed to root out corruption, political
analyst John Makumbe of the University of Zimbabwe said Harare is
sacrificing "small fish" in order to divert attention from government
ministers and top party officials.
Diamond fever has swept Zimbabwe since the discovery of alluvial gems in
eastern Manicaland Province. Police and troops have cordoned off the area
but smuggling is rampant and is said to involve senior government officials.
Police last week arrested Muthulusi Dube, son of Zimbabwe Defense Industries
executive Tshinga Dube, for possessing diamonds and gold over which a state
agency holds a monopoly.
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Letter 1 - Cathy Buckle
Dear Family and Friends,
On the roadsides between towns and cities the grass is nearly two metres
tall and it is ripe: green at the base, yellow and golden above. As you
travel along the roads the swaying and flowing of the grass is a calming,
peaceful, almost mesmerising sight. The kilometres pass and the view doesn't
change and it suddenly strikes you that something is wrong. This shouldn't
be the view of Zimbabwe's farms in March and you wonder where everyone and
everything is. For scores of kilometres passing prime roadside farms there
are no workers in the fields, no great stands of ripening maize, no smoke
coming from the flues of tobacco barns, no sign of life or production at
all. There are no cattle or sheep getting fat on the grass - tons of free
food for animals is standing on the roadsides and in the once fenced fields
and paddocks just going to waste. When you ask Zimbabweans how often they
eat meat, many will say once a fortnight, or once a week if they can afford
it. Meat has become a luxury and yet there are no animals to eat the grass -
how utterly absurd.
This week no sooner had President Mugabe left the country on an official
visit to Namibia then the gloves came off back at home. The Governor of the
Reserve bank went walkabout - not to banks and financial institutions, as is
surely his mandate, but to farms - and with the ZBC TV cameras in tow. This
was not the usual government type tour where the armchairs have been dragged
out under the tent and there is microphone, flowers and a vast number of men
in suits and women in fancy dresses and larney headgear. The Governor didn't
have a flower in his buttonhole the way the politicians usually do but he
was wearing a track suit and strode out to see the crops on a couple of
farms. The entourage seemed to be mostly soldiers and cameramen and they
often had to run to keep up.
After six years of ludicrous statements by the previous Minister of
Agriculture when promises of a bountiful harvest were the annual litany, the
Reserve Bank Governor broke ranks dramatically. "There are some people who
have become professional land occupiers," he said, "vandalizing equipment
and moving from one farm to another." Dr Gono said that the crop of maize
presently in the ground would be likely to only produce 600 000 tonnes of
maize. This is a dire and diabolical admission that should cause widespread
alarm and consternation. Assuming a population of 12 million people in
Zimbabwe, allowing half a kg of maize per person per day, there is only
enough maize in the ground for 100 days. Dr Gono admitted that Zimbabwe was
already importing maize and said: "For us to import food in a country that
has had a land reform programme is a shame." Precious foreign currency
needed to buy medicines and chemicals, spare parts and fuel was going to
have to be diverted to buy food in a land blessed with sun, fertile soil and
While Dr Gono was trekking around farmland, President Mugabe was speaking in
Namibia. He was presenting a different face of Zimbabwe and at a big public
function he said: "I can safely declare that the land and resettlement plan
of our government was completed successfully."
Confusion reigns because as one leader talks of a success, another talks of
shame, food imports and land vandals. A hundred days, the Reserve Bank
Governor said, food for twelve million people for just three and a half
months. Until next week, thanks for reading, love cathy Copyright Cathy
buckle 3rd March 2007.
Letter 2 - Geoff Blyth
Hello All out there who have an interest in conservation.....!!
In haste and for your info........!
Something that horrifies me, and am sure will do the same with you.
National Parks are going to cull Elephants to feed crocodiles. Apparently
they are going ahead with a plan to build their own Croc Farm here in
Kariba. Nothing wrong with the Farm proposal, but what worries me sick
is......... the fact that they propose to feed the crocs with OUR ELEPHANT!!
They intend to cull between 50 and 100 Ele's per year to feed the bloody
croc's. We DO NOT have that sort of population here. Most of our Ele's are
'tame'...human orientated and gentle old creatures! If they even shoot
50.....that will be the end of our Kariba Ele population? And they DO NOT
have the right to shoot them in the first place?? They do NOT own the
animals......although they like to think so!!!
They propose to put this farm right in the middle of the Kaburi wilderness
game area, on the shoreline opposite Zebra and Antelope Islands. Obviously
so that they have direct access to any Ele wondering past, and the remaining
Buffalo and whatever is left there, for food to feed their croc's.
We cannot allow this to happen......and we MUST try by all means to block
this proposed program!.
Even more distressing is that they have the backing of Wayne Horsley. He is
apparently a Pro Guide, and is going to be involved with the setting up of
the farm, and then managing the same......and with the shooting of the
Elephant. ( What a disgrace as far as I'm concerned!! ) He has already shot
one ( injured by a snare ) Ele out by the Banana farm in an attempt to work
out what the meat will weigh, and subsequently how many Ele's will need to
be shot to feed the crocs for a year??
Kariba thrives on it's Ele population. Most of them are well acquainted with
humans and traffic, and are a pleasure to have around....especially as a
draw for the few toursits we get here!
PLEASE help us protect them by spreading the word about this disasterous
idea.....and in the case of some of you, get it to the knowledge of
C.I.T.E.S. and any other international organisation interested in
conservation who may be able to block these bloody fools in Nat Parks.
I have passed this info on to Johnny Rodriguez of ZCTF and to a journalist
mate of mine in the UK in the hope that it will become international news.
We need to involve WWF and others like them to help us save the Elephant
here in Kariba.
So please spread the word.........
Cheers for now, and look forward to your assistance.
P O Box 196, Kariba
Letter 3 - Christophe Giudicelli
Following the accident involving the Consul of France, Mr Jean Franois
ROBERT, on Thursday 22nd February 2007 around 14h00 at the corner between
Borrowdale and Chancellor Avenue, we are appealing to anyone who witnessed
the accident to come forward in order to help us with the necessary
procedure and to fill the accident report drawn up by the parties involved.
Would you please contact the following numbers?
Deputy French Defence Attach.
Embassy of France
Tel : +263.4.703.216 - ext 132
Thank you in advance
All letters published on the open Letter Forum are the views and opinions of
the submitters, and do not represent the official viewpoint of Justice for