By Lebo Nkatazo
Last updated: 03/06/2006 11:21:21
ZIMBABWE'S Finance Minister and the governor of the country's central bank
are reportedly in the United States of America, despite a travel ban imposed
by President George Bush last November, and renewed recently.
Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa and Reserve Bank boss Gideon Gono left
Zimbabwe Sunday for a meeting with IMF officials, AFP reported.
President Bush signed an executive order last November freezing the U.S.
assets of 128 people and 33 institutions in Zimbabwe. This expanded an
original list of 77 people, including President Mugabe, whose assets were
frozen in 2003.
Those on the list -- which includes Gono and Murerwa -- are also barred from
travel in the United States except to United Nations functions.
In a speech delivered just last week, Bush said those on the US list were
persons: "contributing to the deliberate breakdown in the rule of law in
No comment was immediately available from the US embassy in Zimbabwe Sunday
night, but the trip will likely weaken the impact of US sanctions against
President Mugabe's government.
The IMF executive board meets on Wednesday to review Zimbabwe's arrears to
Zimbabwe is likely to ask the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for
financial assistance, Murerwa told AFP on Sunday.
Murerwa said: "Although our voting rights have now been restored we need
technical assistance and financial assistance.
"We know this will not be automatically restored but this is something we
hope to negotiate... We will be meeting the board on Wednesday."
Zimbabwe survived the IMF axe last month after it settled its General
Resources Account (GRA) when it made a $9m (?7.4m) payment which helped the
southern African nation retain its membership of the IMF.
The body had threatened to expel Zimbabwe from its ranks for failing to pay
back loans since 2001 but the southern African country managed to bounce
back after making a series of surprise payments since last September.
Zimbabwe is in the throes of economic crisis characterised by runaway
inflation, soaring poverty levels, an unemployment rate hovering at over 70%
and chronic shortages of fuel and basic goods like cornmeal.
However, despite the settling of the GRA, Harare still owes the IMF's
Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PGRF) account another $119m (?99m).
Murerwa said: "We still have to settle the PGRF bill to enable us to get
funding from the IMF.
"We will pay it in due course and all other debts we owe," he added but
declined to say when.
March 6, 2006
Zimbabwe would ask the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for financial
assistance at a meeting in Washington this week, finance minister Herbert
Murerwa said yesterday.
"Although our voting rights have now been restored, we need technical
assistance and financial assistance," the minister said.
Zimbabwe survived the IMF axe after it settled its general resources account
when it made a US$9 million (R55 million) payment. - Sapa-AFP, Harare
HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) - Foreign hunters bid a total of $1.5 million to shoot
leopards, lions, elephants and buffaloes in Zimbabwe this year, state media
In an annual state trophy hunting permit sale Friday, 64 local agents and
foreign hunters, including bidders from Austria, Germany, Russia, Spain and
the United States, paid $40 each to kill a lion, the state Sunday Mail
Bidding for permission to hunt an elephant exceeded $20,000 per animal.
The season for hunting in selected areas runs from May to October.
The state Parks and Wildlife Management Authority said the hunting revenues
were to be used in conservation programs across the country, the government
Illegal hunting by corrupt officials, military officers and their foreign
guests increased in many rural areas after the chaotic, often-violent
seizures of thousands of white-owned commercial farms began in 2000.
In the worst economic crisis since independence in 1980, Zimbabwe is
suffering acute food shortages, and poaching of animals for meat has also
risen, conservationists say.
Zimbabwe says that rural areas are overpopulated by elephants that cause
environmental damage and destroy crops.
Elephants killed at 12 least people in Zimbabwe last year, mostly by
charging and trampling villagers trying to protect their crops.
Lions were reported to have killed 17 cattle belonging to a traditional
leader in western Zimbabwe in November, but there were no fatal attacks on
Crocodiles, the most dangerous species to man in Zimbabwe, dragged away and
ate 13 people - including children fishing and playing at river banks -
according to the Communal Areas Management Program, a conservation group.
March 6, 2006
As a black Zimbabwean, I find the comments of your American
correspondent, Ceddie Goliati, patronising if not offensive.
He makes the ridiculous allegation that the Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) believed that black Zimbabweans preferred to be farmworkers
rather than farmowners!
What nonsense! Today there is no food in Zimbabwe because the
so-called black farmowners don't know what to do with their newly acquired
real estate. Most of it is actually reverting back to wild bush.
"The MDC were said to believe that Zimbabwe is now worse off than it
was under Ian Smith." That is a fact. Consider the following:
A dollar buys Zim$100 000. Can that be a success story?
The unemployment rate is 80%. If that were to happen in the US, I am
sure the president would be executed for dereliction of duty. Yet in Africa,
we are expected to applaud the catastrophic failure.
Inflation in Zimbabwe is about 1 000%. A new world record I presume?
According to the UN, almost 6-million people (about half the
population) will need food aid this year.
And by the way, about 3-million Zimbabweans have fled the country
because of the bleak economic outlook.
The biggest problem with Mr Goliati's so-called "intelligent
independent African analysts" (whatever that means) is that they blame
everybody but themselves.
Zimbabwe became independent 25 years ago and Mugabe has been leader
all this time, while the country was rotting away. What did he do to stop
the rot? Nothing but to blame everyone (Bush, Blair, white farmers, etc .)
Never for one day did he accept that he probably made some mistakes. Is this
Now here comes Professor Arthur Mutambara: "While we put the failure
of the land reform programme, squarely on the Zanu-PF government, we also
acknowledge the complicity of some western governments that reneged
agreements and the inertia of white farmers in seeking pre-emptive
What is going on here? Why are we blaming everyone else? Is 25 years
not enough to put our house in order? Why did we fight for independence if
we can't hold ourselves accountable?
It took a rocket scientist to get Zim problem right? The rocket
scientist got it completely wrong this time. The problem of Zim is within
Zim itself not outside, Mr Goliati.
Monday, March 06 2006 @ 12:05 AM GMT
Contributed by: correspondent
The country's investment authority, Zimbabwe Investment Centre
(ZIC), has put the issuance of special uranium licenses, which fervently
bullish foreign mining companies have applied for, on ice following
instructions from government. ZIC officials yesterday were evasive about
progress made so far by the parastatal in issuing the licenses, which
attracted investors from Australia, Canada, South Africa and Angola. "At the
moment the issue is still sensitive to discuss, what I can tell you is that
government is working on it," said an executive who declined to be named.
"As such Zimbabwe Investment Center as an arm of the
International trade ministry has been instructed to withhold any license
issuing because there are a lot of policy and logistical complications that
need to be addressed." Economic analysts yesterday said the delay in
licensing uranium miners especially from the west was detrimental to efforts
to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country. Uranium mining
is associated with a plethora of positive consequences ranging from
generating massive forex and employment creation. President Robert Mugabe
last year announced that the country had discovered rich uranium deposits
and would process it to beef up its chronic power supply. Mugabe also said
the country would court foreign investors to tap into the mineral.
Zimbabwe stands to reap heavy dividends from the hefty
application and license fees associated with uranium whose price continues
to firm on the global market due to competing use and its versatile
properties, which among other things include being used as an essential
ingredient in the manufacturing of nuclear bombs.
In an unrelated development, the ruling Zanu PF party wants to
use its Parliamentary majority to bulldoze through the House despotic
legislation that will give President Robert Mugabe powers to eavesdrop,
intercept mail, telephone conversations and any other electronic
telecommunications devices ostensibly because of the "clear and present
danger" from "imperialists."
The Supreme Court last year, sitting as a full bench, declared
that the legal provision under the Posts and Telecommunications Act (PTC)
giving Mugabe powers to snoop on e-mails was unconstitutional. Zimdaily
heard that the ruling party resolved in its recent cabinet meeting that it
would take advantage of its majority to bring constitutional amendments that
will give it the powers to bug any form of communication. Justice minister
Patrick Chinamasa and Security minister Didymus Mutasa were said to have
lobbied strongly for the amendments that will empower Mugabe to bug secret
communication even between citizens.
The Supreme Court last year upheld contentions by the Law
Society of Zimbabwe (LCZ), a grouping of lawyers who had filed the
constitutional application arguing that the presidential powers provided for
by the Posts and Telecommunication (PTC) Act violated section 20 of the
Constitution. The lawyers challenged section 98 and 103 of the PTC Act,
which gave the president powers to intercept mail, telephones, e-mail and
any other form of communication. The Act also gave powers to the president
to give any directions to a licensee requiring him or her to do or not to do
a particular specified action.
But Section 20 of the Constitution provides for freedom of
expression, freedom to receive and impart ideas and freedom from
interference from one's correspondences. Chinamasa and Mutasa were said to
have convinced Mugabe that the legislation would be in the interest of
"national security" and "in the maintenance of law and order." Lawyers who
spoke to Zimdaily blasted the despotic propositions saying Zimbabwe was
inexorably moving towards a Fascist State. "In effect, the amendment they
want will give Mugabe an unfettered ability to intercept mail and
communications with absolutely no safeguard whatsoever to protect the
innocent," prominent Harare lawyer Adrian De Bourbon told Zimdaily.
"You see the problem is that there is no arbiter as to whether a
matter is subject to national security other than the subjective view of the
president. It is wrong." He further said the constitutional amendments will
be vehemently opposed as they interfered with citizens' enjoyment of the
freedom of expression. Zimdaily heard that Zanu PF wants the "Constitution
to authorise derogation of freedom of expression in the interest of defence,
public safety, public health, economic interest, public morality and public
health." "Maintenance or preservation of national security is sufficiently
important to justify limiting a fundamental right," Chinamasa was quoted as
having told Mugabe.
Monday, March 06 2006 @ 12:05 AM GMT
Contributed by: Ravhumore
Newly elected president of the pro-senate MDC faction has vowed
to bring down President Robert Mugabe and end the misrule that has left
millions on the edge of starvation. "We can't expect the outside world to
bring about change," said Arthur Mutambara, 39, in his first newspaper
interview since being named leader of a breakaway faction of the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
"As a Zimbabwean, I've had enough of seeing my fellow citizens
suffering. The game's up. I'm going to remove Robert Mugabe, I promise you,
with every tool at my disposal." Zimbabweans have been astonished by the
sudden arrival on the political scene of one of the country's most eminent
His last involvement in politics was in leading the first
student protests against Mugabe in 1989. Since then he has completed a
doctorate in robotics and mechatronics at Merton College, Oxford, and worked
on the American space programme. He has been a professor of robotics at the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology and other American universities and a
management consultant for McKinsey & Company.
He recently moved to South Africa, from where he has been
travelling to Zimbabwe as a consultant, and says he has been horrified by
its deterioration. Violent "redistribution" of farms to Mugabe's cronies has
caused food production to plummet so low that people have been fighting with
dogs over scraps in rubbish dumps.
Inflation is more than 600%. Teachers send pupils out to sell
sweets to supplement their salaries and students are on strike after a 700%
increase in fees. "I felt ashamed that my country, which has so much
potential, has become the basket case of Africa," said Mutambara.
His decision to intervene was prompted by a crisis in the
opposition. After contesting three rigged elections the MDC split in
November when its leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, decided not to fight for seats
in a new senate, even though the party's national executive had voted to
participate in the poll. "I felt we were going backwards," Mutambara said.
"It's all very well to keep analysing the situation but I decided to walk
the talk and actually get involved."
Last week the so-called "pro-senate MDC" held a congress in
Bulawayo at which the split was formalised and Mutambara emerged as leader.
His backers include the MDC's secretary-general, Welshman Ncube. He claims
the support of 24 of the party's 40 MPs. The so-called "anti-senate" faction
led by Tsvangirai will hold its own congress next week and a legal battle is
underway over the use of the party's name and funds.
The division seems to be playing into the hands of Mugabe, who
celebrated his 82nd birthday last weekend with a lavish party while many of
his countrymen went hungry. But Mutambara insists that the MDC needed to be
overhauled. "How do you talk about a regime which is criminal and violent
when you yourselves are carrying out violent acts and violating your own
party rules?" he asked. "We won't be qualified to fight Mugabe if we are
little Mugabes." Mutambara, the father of two boys under the age of two,
says he is well aware of the risks of taking on the president. As a student
activist he jumped out of a window in a vain attempt to escape from the
police during the unrest that brought Tsvangirai to prominence as a union
Monday, March 06 2006 @ 12:04 AM GMT
Contributed by: correspondent
THE Registrar General's Office has increased passport fees and
penalties by between 500 and 6 000 percent respectively with effect from 27
February 2006. Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, Cde Reuben Marumahoko, said
the increase were necessitated by the high costs of processing the document.
"The country's inflation is skyrocketing and therefore for the passport
office to be able to produce passports, the prices have to be increased," he
Cde Marumahoko said that last year the Registrar General's
Office suspended the issuing out of emergency passports because the country
did not have enough material to print the documents. The Registrar General's
Office came under criticism for causing congestion at its premises and
failing to clear the backlog of people who applied for the documents. The
new passport fees and penalties are as follows:
Ordinary passport (adults) 500 000 (new fees) 100 000 (old fees)
Ordinary passport (U-12) 250 000(new fees) 50 000 (old fees)
Executive passport 24 hours (adults) 5 000 000(new fees) 1 500
000 (old fees)
Executive passport 24 hours (U- 12) 2 500 000(new fees) 750 000
Urgent 3 working days (adults) 3 000 000(new fees) 1 000 000
Urgent 3 working days (U-12) 1 500 000(new fees) 500 000 (old
Urgent 7 working days (adults) 2 500 000(new fees) 750 000 (old
Urgent 7 working days (U-12) 1 250 000(new fees) 375 000 (old
Urgent 14 working days (adults) 2 000 000(new fees) 500 000 (old
Urgent 14 working days (U-12) 1 000 000(new fees) 250 000 (old
Emergency travel document 500 000(new fees) 300 000 (old fees)
Lost passport (penalty) 12 000 000(new fees) 1 500 000 (old
Defaced passport (penalty) 12 000 000(new fees) 200 000 (old
Child addition (old passport) 250 000(new fees) 20 000 (old
Extension of validity (old passport) 250 000(new fees) 20 000
Endorsement (old passport) 250 000(new fees) 20 000 (old fees)
Failure to declare a lost or
Previous passport (penalty fee) 3 000 000(new fees) 500 000 (old
Passport application forms (P1 form) 50 000(new fees) 20 000
Monday, March 06 2006 @ 12:02 AM GMT
Contributed by: correspondent
Christopher Caridade, the managing director of Portugal
Restaurant in Harare yesterday threatened to close down his outlet after
soldiers severely beat up patrons. He claimed he lost about $30 million cash
during the attack. "Soldiers came in an army tank at around 2am on Saturday
last week and beat up vendors before they came into the club," a visibly
shaken Caridade said. "The reasons for the assaults were unclear."
Soldiers countrywide have reportedly run amok beating up people
they believe participated in the recent mass action called for by the
National Constitutional Assembly to protest against the throwing of a lavish
birthday party for President Mugabe amid mass starvation. An army spokesman,
said: "I prefer questions in writing. But are we in a war where soldiers
would do what you are saying? We have not received such reports." Meanwhile,
Caridade said: "I am now seriously considering closing this restaurant
because I do not understand how revellers can be assaulted at a legal
An unidentified woman, suspected to have broken her arm during
the pandemonium, was rushed to Parirenyatwa Hospital. Anderson Robson, a
patron, said: "There were about 15 uniformed soldiers who beat up people.
One of them beat me up with a metal wire." About 18 employees sustained
serious injuries, Caridade said. The soldiers allegedly looted beer after
March 6, 2006
By Andnetwork .com
Government is seeking ways to make the land-based wildlife policy
effectively operational by banning extensive cropping that stalls proper
wildlife management in various conservancies countrywide.
In an interview, the Minister of Environment and Tourism, Cde Francis
Nhema, said the conservation of wildlife was being threatened by lack of
knowledge by some people resettled in the wildlife sanctuaries.
He said to demonstrate their lack of knowledge, some people were
venturing into cropping near game reserves where climatic conditions do not
sustain any crop farming activities.
"We are targeting certain areas that we think should strictly be a
preserve of wildlife farming. What we want is to make wildlife land use
policy operational and make sure that all those settling in those areas
abide by what is stipulated in our policy," Cde Nhema said. He said the
policy looks at how the newly resettled farmers could play a part and
participate in the development of wildlife by making them aware of the value
of the country's natural resources.
"Cropping is not a good option in areas such as the Gonarezhou area in
Chiredzi. We have discovered that after the failure of cropping, some people
were venturing into illegal harvesting of wildlife, a menace that we would
like to curb by finding ways of incorporating the farmers into the game park
activities so that they also benefit from what is realised from wildlife."
Cde Nhema said when farmers see an animal like a kudu, they should see
beyond meat as it can generate US$500 if sold.
"The bulk of farmers are into cropping and because of that when they
see a baboon, which is going for more than US$700, they see animals causing
a menace in their fields and are not aware that that species can immensely
turn around their livelihoods," Cde Nhema said.
He said his ministry has deployed ecologists and game wardens in
targeted areas where extensive cropping is being conducted, in order to
educate the farmers on wildlife breeding.
Source: The herald
Zimbabwean platinum miner Zimplats has issued a cautionary
announcement after an announcement by the Zimbabwe Minister of Mines on
Friday that the government has approved proposed amendments to the Mines and
A key amendment involves participation by the government in all mining
With respect to the platinum metals sector, the proposed amendment
provides for 51% of all platinum operations to be owned by the State, of
which 25% is by way of a non-contributory stake, and the balance by way of
contribution over a period of time.
Zimplats is in discussion with government regarding its existing
This agreement was signed by Zimplats and Government before the start
of operations and has been fully honoured by both parties since date of
Shareholders will be advised of developments, and should exercise
caution in dealing in Zimplats shares until further informed.
By Marian L. Tupy
March 6, 2006
The debate about landownership in South Africa is heating up again. With the
local elections around the corner, President Thabo Mbeki used his recent
State of the Nation address to revisit the "willing-buyer willing-seller"
principle for land redistribution. As early as next month, the government is
expected to start expropriating farm land at government-determined, not
Such a weakening of private property rights could have a regrettable
effect on the South African economy. The government should consider other
means, including the transfer of state assets, to compensate victims of
The land problem in South Africa goes back to the earliest colonial
times, when native lands were expropriated from their rightful owners --
often without compensation. The 1913 Natives' Land Act codified those
injustices by preserving some 87 percent of the country's land for the
exclusive use of the white minority. However, only 13 percent of South
Africa's land, much of it in the hands of white farmers, is deemed suitable
for crop production.
Following liberalization in the mid-1990s, productivity in the
agricultural sector rose substantially. Though primary agriculture
contributed only 2.6 percent to South Africa's gross domestic product in
2005, it accounted for 8 percent of South Africa's exports and employed 9
percent of the country's formal employees. The government's apparent
willingness to sacrifice property rights in land on the altar of populism,
however, could seriously undermine confidence in its commitment to
predictable and sound public policies, especially to property rights
In Zimbabwe, for example, forced expropriation of the white farmers led
to the collapse of the country's banking sector, which used farmland as
collateral. Similarly, the manufacturing sector, which relied on processing
agricultural goods, went into a tailspin. It is true agriculture was a far
more important part of the Zimbabwean economy than is the case in South
Africa, but as Professor Craig Richardson of Salem College argued in his
book "The Collapse of Zimbabwe in the Wake of the 2000-2003 Land Reforms,"
the violation of private property rights in one sector of the economy
produced ripple effects throughout the economy. That could also happen in
Yet the South African government is in a privileged position to address
past injustices without compromising the country's economic future. Upon
coming to power, the African National Congress (ANC) government inherited
immense wealth locked in the form of parastatals. Those state-owned
companies were built, at great expense, by the apartheid government in its
drive for economic self-sufficiency. Many of those industrial dinosaurs are
badly managed and operate at a loss. Like in the days of apartheid, they
continue to be used to provide sinecures to government supporters.
Privatization of state-owned companies, as first proposed by the
Southern African Free Market Foundation in Johannesburg, would make the
South African manufacturing sector more efficient and raise substantial
revenue the government could use to compensate the victims of apartheid.
For example, the assets of the Electricity Supply Commission (ESKOM) and
Transport Network (TRANSNET) were valued at $18 billion and $11.5 billion
respectively in 2005 and their sale could net $842 per every black man,
woman and child -- including those born long after apartheid ended.
That would not be enough to fully compensate those harmed by apartheid.
But the sale of other parastatals, such as the Southern Oil Exploration
Corp. (SOEKOR), Phosphate Development Corp. (FOSKOR), South African Postal
Service, telephone services provider (TELKOM), South African Broadcasting
Corp. (SABC) and the armaments manufacturer (Denel) would enable the
government to raise much more.
The South African government continues to insist land distribution is of
crucial importance to black South Africans, but the evidence is lacking.
Black South Africans, like their Zimbabwean cousins, rightly perceive life
in the countryside as immensely difficult. Most do not aspire to be farmers.
According to the Center for Development and Enterprise in Johannesburg,
60 percent of all black South Africans wish to live in the towns and cities
and work in the manufacturing and service sectors. That is partly why South
Africa's urban centers, home to 65 percent of the population in 2005, are
expected to hold 73 percent of the country's citizens by 2010. Moreover,
those few South Africans who wish to continue living in the countryside
could be given some of the land currently owned by the government. Surely at
least some of those 60 million acres -- a territory 8 times the size of
Belgium -- could be used for resettlement.
The South African government has the land and money it needs to at least
partially address the injustices of the past. Then again, having a
perpetually aggrieved population may be in the African National Congress'
interest. That way, the ANC can use the landownership issue in the elections
and divert public attention from the government's failure to fulfill many
promises made during the last go-round.
Marian L. Tupy is assistant director of the Project on Global Economic
Liberty specializing in the study of Europe and sub-Saharan Africa.