From The Mirror (Masvingo), 14 May
Minister implicated in land
Masvingo - The Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans in
Province has unearthed a massive land scandal involving Governor
Resident Minister Josaya Hungwe, Chief Fortune Charumbira, the
Minister of Local Government and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr
Mudenge who own more than two farms, defying government policy
one-man-one-farm. The ZNLWVA provincial chairman, Isaiah Muzenda,
that some of the top leadership are not taking the issue of
of property seriously and the war veterans are taking steps
corruption. Topping the list is Governor Hungwe who owns three farms,
which is in Mashonaland East, a Lowveld sugarcane farm and another In
Sikato area in Masvingo. Mudenge has four farms namely Makanga Farm
Mvuma, Landeni in Gutu, Richmond and Chikore, which he recently acquired
Masvingo while Chief Charumbira, has Acton, Sikato and Cotapax farms
Masvingo. The Chief Lands Officer, Aude Musanhu, who is being accused
facilitating the acquisition of farms to the top officials is also listed
having acquired five farms. Shuvai Mahofa, MP for Gutu South and
Minister for Youth Development, Gender and Employment Creation is
accused of owning two farms. The top leadership has defied President
Mugabe's and Minister of Special Affairs for Land Reform, John
calls for those who have acquired more than one farm to surrender
Nkomo has threatened to prosecute those who benefited from the fast
land reform through corrupt means.
The war vets are incensed
that three government ministers are trying to
remove war vets from farms near
town relocating them to distant farms. They
said this will benefit the
opposition in Masvingo Central because the war
vets will find it difficult to
come from these areas to campaign in the
constituency. "The war veterans'
attention is being diverted to land battles
and the opposition is freely
campaigning and this is proved by the
absenteeism of those members at most of
the important functions organised by
the party and government," said Muzenda.
"It is alleged that the top
officials usually use the names of their
relatives or children who may be as
young as two months old to acquire land.
It is disgusting to note that the
top leadership, which is supposed to give
land to the people, are grabbing
the same land. We are definitely going to
petition the President to act on
the matter or else we are going to occupy
the farms and leave the leaders
with one farm each or none because of their
greediness," threatened the
firebrand Muzenda who more than twice led a group
to close the Governor's
and Lands Offices alleging corruption. War veterans
and war collaborators
have joined hands in fighting the land grab by cabinet
ministers and have
vowed to invade the land. The war veterans are also
accusing the leadership
of under developing the province through their
From The Sunday Times (SA), 16 May
Zimbabwe forex scam raises
Kuruneri withdrew millions from bank during central
bank governor Gono's
Evidence before the Zimbabwe High Court this week has
raised questions about
the role of that country's central bank governor in
the forex scandal that
led to the arrest of former Finance Minister Chris
Kuruneri. According to
Judge Ben Hlatshwayo, Kuruneri unlawfully withdrew
forex from Jewel Bank
(previously the Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe) in March
2002 - when Gideon
Gono, now governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, was
its chief executive.
The judge also noted that the money was received by a
Cape Town firm of
attorneys which handled Kuruneri's investment in the city'
market. C B Niland & Partners accepted a withdrawal of
Jewel Bank "as payment for the purchase" of a property in
Llandudno. Gono, who left Jewel Bank for the Reserve Bank in
year, has been credited with saving Jewel Bank from "the jaws
Kuruneri was promoted to finance minister in February, after
deputy to Herbert Murerwa, who has been reinstated since
The house in Apostle Road is one of
three Cape Town properties owned by
Kuruneri, who this week lost his appeal
to the High Court for bail. He is
facing five charges ranging from fraud to
violating immigration laws.
Hlatshwayo listed the ex-minister 's mansion in
Sunset Avenue, Llandudno,
among assets unlawfully acquired. The property's
true ownership was exposed
by this newspaper last month. Since then, the only
work on the site has been
to paint over graffiti daubed on its walls.
Neighbours say the words, which
were mostly in Shona, included the phrase
"blood money". Hlatshwayo also
listed "a Mercedes-Benz worth R547 734" and an
apartment elsewhere on the
Peninsula. Altogether, Kuruneri's Cape portfolio
is alleged to be worth just
over R8.24-million, partly funded by the illegal
withdrawals made from Jewel
Bank from March 2002 to date. Developers of the
Llandudno property, however,
claim that Kuruneri was planning to spend
R30-million on the property. The
judge's summary does not explain how the
rest of Kuruneri' s property was
funded. Hlatshwayo does take note of a
submission filed by a Canadian
consultancy firm called "Filipe Solano SL",
for whom Kuruneri worked between
1976 and 1981. A letter from the firm's
president Felipe Solano to the
company building Kuruneri's mansion, states
that Kuruneri had worked for the
company and acquired the funds legally. But
the judge accepted the state's
argument that that explanation was
Kuruneri's lawyer offered an explanation for the
transfer of funds from
Jewel Bank to South Africa, but this had only "equal
weight" to the state's
allegations that the withdrawals were unlawful. The
attorney, Lorenzo Bruttomesso, this week declined to comment
allegations and referred to a statement issued earlier this month on
of his firm which said that: "In all matters dealt with on behalf of
our firm has complied with relevant laws and regulations. "
the Jewel Bank withdrawals have raised serious questions,
about the role of Gono. According to a member of Zimbabwe's
industry, Gono's role needs to be examined "as it is most unusual
approval would be granted as this would be considered an externalisation
capital... ie, the remittance was not for the purposes of trade or
production of income. Quite apart from the exchange control questions
need to be answered, the question is, where did Kuruneri get the
dollars for the rand transfers and purchases that he made? He
afford that sort of money on a deputy minister's salary. If
investigation is conducted thoroughly, it will show that Gono has
questions to answer."
Terror in Shamva as 'mabomber' flex muscles
'ZIMBABWE ndeye ropa baba, Zimbabwe ndeye ropa remadzibaba ..."
team of youths shattering the early morning calm as the dawn
For the many people in the sleepy town of Shamva, Chimurenga songs
this one and the spectacle of youths toyi toying in the streets have
the wake up call every single morning.
However, a visit by
The Standard last week to the mining town brought forth
Tucked away in one of Zanu PF's strongholds of Mashonaland
Shamva is a mining and farming community represented in
Parliament by the
Minister for State Security, Nicholas Goche.
evidently, is the state of affairs that the Zanu PF loyalists in the
town are determined to maintain and the campaign terror ahead of next
parliamentary elections has already begun.
As early as 4.00AM, young Zanu
PF loyalists - notoriously known here as "Ma
Bomber", go round the town's
Wadzanayi high-density suburb forcing
able-bodied boys and girls to follow
them for "training".
They must be fit, they are told, for the coming
elections would be tough and
to defend their constituency from "enemies" who
want to bring back white
After the round up, the youths are
force-marched around the township and at
other times into nearby farming
areas, chanting liberation war songs.
Every night "the bombers" round up
every one else they can find in the
township for a "pungwe" (all night
indoctrination meetings popular with
President Robert Mugabe's Zanla forces
during the 1970s liberation war).
At the "pungwe", people dance while
Chimurenga songs are sung over and over
These are interspersed
with slogans in praise of Zanu PF and denigrating the
opposition Movement for
Democratic Change. The meetings go on into the early
hours of the
Some residents who spoke to The Standard said many young people
had begun to
flee the mining town to escape the indoctrination and the forced
"Some well-to-do parents have relocated their children to safer
However those who cannot afford to do this are forced to comply and
their children be 'trained'," said a mineworker who was too scared to
"Many people have suffered at the hands of these 'mabombers'
and one opposes
them at one's own peril. They will kill you or beat you up
and you can't go
and report to any one," said one resident in hushed
Another mineworker accused "the bombers" of disrupting production
mine by forcibly recruiting youths for their errands.
bombers are not concerned about production at the mine. They come and
students on attachment and rob us of labour. They have no idea how
impact negatively on production at the mine and the economy
said the mineworker.
"As I speak right now a letter has been sent to the
MP of this area about
this issue because this matter is serious. They should
recruit their youths
elsewhere and not at the mine."
could not establish whether Goche had received the letter from
One woman spoke strongly of how the mabombers had created
divisions in the
town, instead of unity.
"These people are really
dividing people. They are using this tension to
settle old scores with each
other. I can wake up one morning and claim my
neighbour is of the opposition
and have them beaten up or killed" she said.
"They are really creating
tension here and like the previous election, many
innocent people are going
to die if no one intervenes to save the
situation,"the woman said scarcely
concealing her fear.
Zimbabwean economy on a turn?
By Rongai Chizema,Chief
Economist Intermarket Research
Introduction The Zimbabwean economy has
gone through a major shake up
ignited by the launch of a monetary policy by
the new Governor of Reserve
Bank Dr Gideon Gono on 18 December 2003. Since
then the economic landscape
has not been the same.
The new Governor
has embraced a new vision for the central bank, hinged on
economics, with the institution taking a more pivotal role in
national economic development, and applying targeted
incentives to reactivate
the economy. Quite a bold approach, indeed! Most of
the measures implemented
to date, and a rough audit of the same to be
accounted for later will
possibly answer whether we are in fact on a turn
yet, or somewhere
Interesting to note that, the new RBZ
regime, has rubbed off the void that
had haunted the economy, since 2000,
which had relegated the timely
presentation of the monetary policy.
Significance of the monetary policy had
virtually wilted over the years,
given the apparent dominance of a lax
fiscal framework, which at most
squeezed the monetary policy to more of an
accommodative and reactive
instrument, instead of fighting price stability.
Now that the party is over,
it is only fair to glean into the tail of 2003,
and four months into
The most significant impact of the monetary policy since its launch
a major swing inflicted on the growth trajectory of the financial
which had remained unchecked despite the perpetual slide in the
Surprisingly even at the peak of macroeconomic instability,
hyperinflation, the financial sector had continued to ride
on the rare but
unsustainable opportunities presented by economic policy
gaffs since 1997,
when Zimbabwe evaded global attention, and had to pursue
growth from within,
without IMF support for example.
survival mode created severe strains on market economics,
which resulted in
the pursuit of short-term policies to keep the economic
ship on high waters.
Apparently all these policy inconsistencies created
uncertainty and hence the
need for business to hold in there. It will be
interesting to note how such
an economic landscape shaped events across
industry and commerce, and how the
monetary policy has dealt with these.
Financial Sector Crisis
economic instability mounted, it became increasingly unsustainable to
growth more so given the depressed real sector. Surely with
600%, one wonders whether in our small-regulated economy, there
been any tangible opportunities to match such cost structures. In
probably takes a few analysts to say that, the asset bubbles up and
late last year would have rationally been inevitable if investors had
shield their hard earned income, under siege from
Apparently, the continued pursuit of
survival by the only surviving sector
was to absorb more risk (not
necessarily diversify it) by bloating off
balance items. Policy gaffs, and
inconsistencies also presented very rare
arbitrage opportunities across the
entire economy. It would probably have
been difficult, to continue relying on
that under changed economic tables,
as confirmed by the new era ushered in by
the monetary policy. It was pretty
obvious that with such a growth strategy,
a liquidity squeeze due to
interest rate movements, and of course limited
access to RBZ lifeline, would
ignite a major crisis in the sector.
sector had thus over the years resorted to less prudential banking
relaxing on risk management, and credit control, heightened by
interest rate regime, which for 3 years had little bearing on
fundamentals. In essence money and capital markets got into a
economic mode, given the misleading economic policy trajectory
authorities had ushered in since early 2001, characterised by a loose
course unsustainable monetary and fiscal policy regime, which shaped
decisions during that period. With every player, squeezed into a
mode, as economic instability ignited more uncertainty it became
apparent that some thing had to give.
Now that the sector is on a mend,
perhaps it's good to reflect on prospects.
Mergers have become a survival
line, than a growth strategy. The sector is
thus on a consolidation phase,
and bracing up for more supervision/policing
and prudential management. The
hardening on the sector is bound to thaw as
the year progresses, as the RBZ
assesses compliance rates, and corporate
governance issues are addressed.
Though standards have been pitched highly
and globally by the RBZ, perhaps it
was quite inevitable, though painful the
sector will eventually settle and
reap the fruits of the sudden jerk.
the economy has been fast slipping into an informal mode, with
inconsistencies and the resultant economic decline magnifying the
of the parallel economy. Parallel markets for goods and services,
currency, even local currency, became increasingly a viable platform
sustain welfare both from the dimension of market allocative efficiency,
sustaining consumer welfare at least for urbanites. The formal economy
have been dwarfed to less than 10%, given the vibrancy of the parallel
in recent times.
The monetary policy managed to address the foreign
exchange parallel market,
initially by pricking the borrowing capacity of
business and commerce by
igniting a liquidity crunch late 2003, which
virtually burnt badly leveraged
players, and at the same time introducing the
auction system. The momentum
on the market thus became restrained, as
speculators counted their costs all
the way into Xmas, and into Q1 2004. The
auction system still has to come of
age, it has somehow put a check on the
size and quality of business in the
once vibrant yet risky market. On the
goods market, the removal of price
controls during Q1 2003 has also yielded
positive results since then with
most goods back on the shelves.
major concern though is that, the economy still has a significant
business locked up in the informal drawer, and hence the need to
the sector in drawing up economic policies.
economy on a turn? Perhaps not yet, though quite tangible signs are
on the horizon. The most notable being the reduction in inflation on
on month basis from 33.6% in Q4 2003, to 5.9% in Q1 2004, confirming
thawing of inflationary expectations that were largely exchange rate
The foreign currency market has not settled, with the multi tier
rate regime still costly economically, and hence the need for
fact there is probably no need for an exchange rate of
Z$824, when other
rates are above Z$5 200, as this creates an opportunity
for rent seeking,
arbitrage and potential speculative attacks on the local
supply response of the economy will probably take another year to
through, given that the real sector has been in limbo for the past
years. The public sector debt profile is still far from pleasing, given
failure over the years to convince investors that there is value
government paper, and hence the bloating of the short term treasury
There is need for commitment towards cash budgeting to
complement the RBZ
monetary policy initiatives. The other challenge is that
costs of the radical monetary policy measures which were
already depressed economy, will compromise the speed of recovery
short to medium term, and hence delay the economy wide gains of
A more realistic and perhaps strictly policed financial
reconfiguration could have had far reaching and less disjointed
business confidence in the sector, put a check on bank runs, which
largely confined to indigenous banks, and hence put check on the
prospects of the sector in the medium to long term.
of financial liberalisation may have been tempered with, under
approach. Lastly the economy is still to recover from the
drought years, and also still to dissipate the transitional
costs of land
reform which require both material and financial input to
sector's full potential.
Let them eat grass and more grass
overthetop By Brian
AUTHORITIES in the troubled central African basket case have said
plenty of food for everyone.
The statement caused
considerable alarm locally and internationally because
half the remaining
population is on food aid.
Still, the Zany Party statement about food
was not entirely untrue. It was,
minister for social injustice meant to say, of course, was that
plenty of food for Zany Party supporters.
Supporters of the larger but
not yet governing More Drink Coming Party will
not be fed. This is because
the ruling Zany Party believes the More Drink
Coming Party is unpatriotic and
should be starved into submission.
SoS while the Zany Party's three dozen
supporters will be well supplied with
mealie meal, the More Drink Coming
Party's several million supporters will
have to look outside the troubled
central African kleptocracy for food.
This suits the Zany Party down to
the ground. With all More Drink Coming
Party supporters heading for the
border in search of food and work, Zany
Party officials will not have to rig
the next election.
Instead they will be able to say, quite legitimately,
that the country's
remaining three dozen adults all voted Zany - after
waddling down to the
polling booth, of course.
Meanwhile, donors who
have kept troubled central Africans alive for the last
three years of
enforced famine expressed dismay at the move.
"There are empty granaries,
silos and warehouses from one end of the country
to the other," said an
unnamed official from the United Nations. "There is
quite obviously no food
to be had."
That statement was dismissed by a Zany Party official who
said, "Those are
imperialist lies made up by the running dogs of capitalism.
The truth is
that our chefs have planned everything very carefully and have
wealth, sorry, food stocks, which will be sold, sorry,
distributed, in the
not too distant future."
The Zany official said
everyone would be happy, especially the Zany chefs
and their Zany
Still, a hungry man in a More Drink Coming Party dominated
province of the
troubled central African banana republic said he was not
sure. "Yes, we have
nothing to eat except bananas," he told Over The Top,
adding, "and they are
His wife then reminded him that all the
banana trees had been felled the
previous week by green clad Dzaku-dzaku
youths. "Sorry," she said to OTT,
"But he gets his green bananas mixed up
with his green bombers."
"That's true. They are both very dry," said the
hungry old man.
Meanwhile, a dissatisfied Zany official, speaking on
condition of strict
anonymity and in fear of his life said things might
change. "When starving
peasants start banging on officials' doors, they will
again ask the
imperialists to feed the people," said Comrade
For their part, the generous imperialists, who have kept most
central Africans alive since 2000, said it was unlikely they could
bothered to help any longer. "In one sense the Zany Party is
right," said a western diplomat.
"There has been no
drought, there is plenty of land and if it wasn't for one
everything would be fine. Sadly the missing factor is the
farmers. There are
none, and with no farmers there can be no food."
The Zany misinformation
minister dismissed the statement as "typical western
"There are 380,000 farmers," he fumed.
OTT can confirm that
there are indeed about 380,00 farmers. And that none of
them seem to be
No basis for Zanu PF to win
IT is a load of rubbish for anyone to suggest that there was
ever a time in
recent months when prices had stabilised to enable most
afford most of the basic commodities on supermarket shelves.
We must wonder
from what planet anyone saying this is living on.
plain truth is that nothing has changed. Most of the commodities
beyond the reach of the majority of the people. True, most goods
services are now available - a far cry from the situation that
yesteryear - but and this is a huge but - are they affordable? The
a big NO.
A cursory glance at basic commodities in
supermarkets will confirm how
prices have increased exponentially since the
Zimbabwean crisis began. If
ever there was some stability or decrease in
prices, this was evidently only
in the pages of the state-owned media not in
the real world where the rest
of Zimbabweans grapple with ever shrinking
But of course, there is a limit beyond which the
government-owned Press can
continue telling lies. There is evidence of
people's own eyes. Even the
captive government media are now forced to admit
that all has not been well
on the prices front.
"Government Gazette" which masquerades as The Herald catalogued
how the cost
of a myriad of basic commodities have significantly increased
over the past
few months. Bread, meat, eggs, chicken, toothpaste, soap,
transport, baby products, clothes and accommodation are some of
commodities, goods and services whose costs have gone through the roof.
The answer is very simple.
Gono or no Gono, we continue to live in a
hyper-inflationary environment. It
is a delusional fantasy to talk about a
decline in inflation which is making
a difference in our lives. Not to locate
the root cause where it rightly
belongs is to do a grave disservice not only
to government but to the people
of Zimbabwe as a whole.
manufacturers are not to blame. It is the self-inflicted failure of
economy, thanks to government's bungling, that is wholly to blame. There
no point running away from this obvious fact.
We have said it
before and we will say it again: Gono is merely tinkering
with the edges.
What we need is a cure for the disease and not one that
deals only with the
symptoms. The key point that needs to be made is that
unless the politics of
the country are put right, there will be no end to
the 'politics' of Santa
Claus that we have been witnessing for more than
four years now.
is the bottom line and any finger pointing to manufacturers or Britain
the US merely takes us to the land of fantasy and fiction.
manufacturer worth his salt would deliberately set out to 'fix'
knowing fully well it is they that hold the key to his survival as
business. The opposite is in fact the case.
There is invariably a
symbiotic relationship that exists between a
manufacturer and consumer. One
feeds on the other. To see it any differently
is really to turn things upside
It is always easy to blame somebody else for one's failures. The
is what this government has perfected. How we wish once, only
government would take responsibility for its actions.
ask who has, to all intents and purposes, destroyed what was once a
and livable country? Who has practically destroyed industry and
created record unemployment of more than 80%? Who has killed
which once fed, not just this country, but the region as well?
rendered Zimbabwe such a pariah State in the eyes of the
community that we can no longer access foreign currency?
responsible for more than three million Zimbabweans running away from
land of their birth and becoming economic refugees in far away lands?
destroyed the health delivery system and an education system once
the envy of
the whole world?
Imagine a country where a government interferes with
your freedom of choice
as has been demonstrated in the recent private schools
saga. Imagine a
country where it is illegal to gather to discuss politics
permission like some school child wanting to be
For this and many other reasons, it is important that the people
send a clear message this weekend to the ruling Zanu PF party:
Shape up or
ship out! The truth of the matter is that the ruling party has
lives. It is inconceivable that such a party would win an
election in a free
and fair poll. There would be no plausible basis for that
Why, some would ask, should a savvy electorate as most Zimbabweans
for a party which, whatever it touches it turns into dust? Indeed,
should Zimbabweans vote for Zanu PF when that party routinely tries
deceive them by claiming that prices of goods and services are going
when evidence on the ground clearly shows that the opposite is
When a government fails on as many fronts, as the Zanu PF
government has, it
loses any legitimate basis to be voted back into power. It
is that simple!
Standard newsman brutally attacked
By our own
BULAWAYO - Standard senior reporter, Savious Kwinika, was brutally
by four men suspected to be State security agents after he returned
covering an MDC rally in Lupane that was addressed by party president
Tsvangirai on Wednesday.
Kwinika, who sustained serious facial
injuries, reported the matter to the
police after the incident on Wednesday
"Before these people attacked me one of them charged that they
were glad to
meet me after having seen me in Lupane," said the bed-ridden
"Before I could get a chance to reply all four pounced on me and
me using clenched fists, boots and some blunt objects," he
The incident was a second complication for Kwinika on the same day.
in the day he was stopped and harassed by police on his way from
along the Bulawayo road.
Kwinika, who was travelling in a
vehicle behind the MDC leadership, was
stopped by armed police who seized his
camera as well as those belonging to
other MDC officials in the car. The
camera was only returned to him after a
heated argument with the
"I feel some of the people who attacked me could have been in
this group of
State security agents," said Kwinika who was beaten until he
consciousness. He lost his cell phone, cash, a wristwatch and
valuables during the attack.
The Zimbabwe Union of Journalists'
Vice President Njabulo Ncube said the
union wanted the attack on Kwinika to
be investigated and the perpetrators
brought to book.
The MDC also
condemned the physical attack on Kwinika saying it was
CHRA to sue Mangwende over forced labour
By our own
THE Combined Harare Ratepayers' Association (CHRA) is compiling a
names of people who were, in the past few weeks, forced to work by
forces and youth militia under the "clean up campaign" programme to
Harare Governor Witness Mangwende.
The chairman of the
association, Mike Davies said CHRA was in the process of
compiling the list
with a view of taking legal action against Mangwende, the
architect of the
clean up programme.
"Mangwende is now the de-facto mayor of Harare.
Two days before people were
forced to clean up, he had been to Siya-So in
Mbare announcing the programme
so we regard him as the pioneer of the
campaign," said Davies.
He said Mangwende, who was appointed Harare
Governor by President Robert
Mugabe early this year, has usurped the powers
of the council, undermining
the structures of local government.
clean up campaign initiated by Mangwende came barely a week after
dismissal of Harare's first democratically elected mayor, Engineer
Mudzuri by the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and
Housing, Ignatius Chombo, in cahoots with Mugabe.
past few weeks, residents of different suburbs in Harare have been
participate in the clean up campaign by the army, police and
members of the
notorious Border Gezi trained youth militia.
Most of the people targeted
live in high-density suburbs such as Mbare,
Mabvuku, Kambuzuma, Kuwadzana,
Highfield and Hatcliffe.
The youths targeted people in flea markets,
pedestrians, housewives as well
as cyclists. Some workers were caught in the
crossfire and were forced to
join the clean up programme before going to
"What is happening is unacceptable. The Constitution of Zimbabwe
citizens from arbitrary arrest, torture and any form of forced
forced labour by the army and police is indicative of the death
of the rule
of law and democracy," said Davies.
Harare, once dubbed
the "Sunshine City", has lost its glitter and garbage is
pilling up in every
street the central business district. Refuse collection
has become very
Meanwhile, CHRA has written to Chombo demanding to know
Mangwende's terms of
But Chombo, who has been accused of
frustrating Mudzuri before dismissing
him, has ignored the association's
"If he (Chombo) refuses to give us the information we will seek
legal action," said Davies.
Both Chombo and Mangwende
could not be reached for a comment last week.
Mutare Zanu PF wants contributions by civil servants
By Our Own Staff
MUTARE - Ruling Zanu PF activists
here have called on the government to make
it compulsory for civil servants
to make financial contributions to the
party every month.
vice chairman for youth affairs in Manicaland, Fred Kanzama, told
held at the Provincial Administrator's office last week that civil
should pay towards the party's programmes.
"They are benefitting from
what the ruling party fought for and therefore
they have to pay," said
"We are the ruling government and Zanu PF brought the fruits
enjoying," he added.
Kanzama was speaking at the Zanu PF
provincial fundraising committee meeting
where Mike Madiro, the provincial
chairman, urged businesspeople to fund the
proposal to deduct money from civil servants would be presented to the
PF national fundraising committee this week.
Zanu PF intends to hold a
youth league conference between July 8-11 at a
venue to be announced. A
women's league conference is also on the cards in
August, while its national
congress has been, as usual, slated for December.
Police beat up, arrest NCA, CASEP officials
GWERU - Armed riot police officers yesterday stormed into
which was the venue of a workshop by the Civic Alliance for
Progress (CASEP) and the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA),
and beat up
Lovemore Madhuku, the chairman of NCA
together with other eight
participants - among them officials CASEP, who
included Lyson Mlambo the
organisation's national coordinator - were
Madhuku, who has had previous brushes with the police, was
assaulted before being taken away in a police truck.
Chikuvanyanga, CASEP National Programme Coordinator and another
Thabitha Khumalo, were also beaten up as police sealed the hotel
Gweru businessman Patrick Kombayi.
Eyewitnesses said police officers
stormed into the conference room and
started beating up participants before
firing teargas towards the crowd of
about 100 people.
"We were over
100 people in the conference room and there was a stampede as
ran for dear life. Some of the people rushed towards the
toilets and tried to
hide but the room was not enough, others broke into
hotel rooms for safety,"
said an eyewitness.
Midlands journalists who were covering the event were
also caught up in the
Standard correspondent, Richard
Musazulwa, had to escape and hide in one of
the hotel's bars but luck quickly
ran out for him as he was flushed out and
also assaulted. He suffered a hand
The workshop was meant to discuss how constitutional reform could
Zimbabwe solve its economic, social and political problems.
is advocating for a new constitution before the next year's
elections can be held.
30 torture victims sue State
By our own
THIRTY torture victims are suing the Ministry of Home Affairs and
Zanu PF party, claiming close to a billion dollars, The Standard
The victims - who have sought the assistance of the Centre
Rehabilitation of Torture Victims (Ceretov) - are taking legal
against their attackers as part of their healing and rehabilitation
They include MDC Member of Parliament for St Mary's
Sikhala and Charles Mutama, the executive director of
Mutama was tortured last year together with Sikhala and three
activists, Gabriel Shumba, Taurai Magaya and Bishop Shumba after
accused of plotting to overthrow the government.
"They applied electrical shocks to my genitals, mouth, fingers,
stripped me naked, urinated on me, assaulted me with clenched fists
than eight hours.
"The next day we appeared in court and the case was
thrown out of court
because of no evidence."
Mutama said following the
torture he suffered serious physical and emotional
after the torture I felt hopeless, confused, had bouts of anxiety
had hallucinations and practically relived the torture everyday
of my life.
Then I got strength to fight this prevalence of violence
Another torture victim Moses Marukutira is claiming
$25 million from Zanu PF
activists who assaulted him.
In papers filed
with the court, lawyer Lawrence Chibwe described the ordeal
Karimakwenda, another victim who was beaten by Zanu PF
"Karimakwenda was collected at his home sometime in 2003 by
wearing military uniforms and carried to some farm far from his
the night. Upon arrival at the farm he was beaten and left for
Ceretov is a human rights organisation formed in
December last year to
provide rehabilitation to victims of politically
motivated violence through
Byo Zanu PF leaders squabble over missing food
BULAWAYO - A storm is brewing in Zanu PF here after the
Independence Day celebrations' organising committee failed to
seven head of cattle worth about $10 million and 700 kgs of
was destined for White City stadium to feed people gathered
Independence Day on April 18.
The disappearance of the
beasts and the mealie-meal has led to the emergence
of two distinct camps
within the provincial executive.
Meetings called so far to
investigate the matter have all ended up in chaos
with one group accusing the
other of having diverted the meat and the mealie
sources in the organising committee say because of the probe, two
emerged and were at each other's throats over the missing food.
missing cattle and mealie-meal were purchased by the Bulawayo
Day Fund-raising Committee, whose chairman, Edson Mbedzi, is
North provincial administrator.
The committee used funds that were raised
from well-wishers and from
proceeds of a charity dinner
Bulawayo Governor and organiser of the Independence Day dinner
Mathema, however professed ignorance about the matter. "I know
that issue S absolutely nothing," was all Mathema
Efforts to contact Mbedzi, who reportedly chaired Tuesday's chaotic
on the disappearance of the food, last week proved
Sources in Zanu PF said issue of the missing beasts was first
raised at an
audit meeting called a few days after the Independence Day
During the meeting, it was revealed that seven cows out of
17 meant to feed
the crowd at White City did not reach the
The meeting also learnt that 700 kgs of maize that was part of a
donated by a local businessman for the occasion had also disappeared
"It is still a mystery how such a large amount of
mealie-meal and a large
number of cattle could just disappear without trace
and yet everyone claims
to know nothing about the goods," said a
Tempers flared at the Tuesday meeting held at the Bulawayo
building leading to many of the people storming out.
is a lot of thieving in the party. What has worsened matters is that
the stolen meat was discovered at a butchery along Fort Street but
nothing has been done," said the source.
This is not the first time that
cases of looting have been reported in
involving national functions in
Food was looted after the funeral of the late Vice President,
while officials allegedly also stole a sizeable amount of food
from the Youth Games in Bulawayo in 2002.
Family of slain mine boss blames government
By Valentine Maponga
THE family of Dr Leonard Chimimba, the
late Bindura Nickel Corporation (BNC)
chief executive officer, shot dead at
the gate of his Borrowdale house last
week, is blaming senior government
officials whom they believe were involved
in plotting his alleged
Chimimba's family said the geologist was murdered in a
and some senior government officials were
BNC, the corporation Chimimba headed, is being
investigated following the
disappearance of truckloads of nickel worth
millions of dollars in South
Africa during the past few months
Chimimba was helping police and State security agents in the
and a close family member disclosed that he had met a team of
from the Ministry of Anti-corruption and Anti-monopolies in
Simon Chimimba, his younger brother, said the family was convinced
senior government officials were behind his murder.
was killed by the so-called big guns and as a family, we are
fully aware of
who is responsible but we know God will provide the answer,"
A relative who was in the house at the time Chimimba was shot said
confusion when they heard the gunshot. "We were all not sure of
what to do
next S we later rushed towards the gate and found Dr Chimimba's
right outside the gate but with no one inside.
keys were not there and the car had swerved plunging into a trench
meaning he must have tried to drive away from trouble," said
The Standard saw tyre marks that showed that Chimimba,
who was coming from
Kamfinsa, had tried to evade two vehicles that had
sandwiched his Toyota
Landcruiser at the gate before he was shot. Fresh tyre
marks seemed to
indicate how one of the vehicles overtook and blocked his way
other vehicle following behind made it impossible for him to
One of the workers who went out to investigate after hearing the
said he found the car parked just outside the gate with its rear
It is also understood that he was due to meet the
Reserve Bank Governor Dr
Gideon Gono on Tuesday, the afternoon he was
Zimbabwe cricket comes full circle
TEN or so years ago, Zimbabwe captured the imagination of the
cricket community after batsman Andy Flower blasted his way
into the history
books by being named among the world's top-10
It was no mean achievement for a player coming from such a small
but the dashing left-handed batsman, an elegant figure showing no
whatsoever in spite of the decorations on the rest of the class -
Ricky Ponting of Australia - was to hold his own for as long as it
to tolerate the cold war that was raging between him, the Zimbabwe
Union and at the very end of his glorious international career in
year, the Zimbabwean government.
During Andy's years,
and arguably Zimbabwe's best spell in the international
fold, the country
earned its place as an important member of the
A Super Six Stage qualification at the World Cup in 1999 in
emergence of black talent in the form of Henry Olonga, the
eloquence of its
president Peter Chingoka as he expounded on the integration
the excellent development academies, earned the respect of the
fraternity throughout the world. It was always a joy to watch the
to the field in their reflective shades in far-flung places such as
Without warning that glasshouse shattered when
Flower and Olonga staged
their black-band act, the first step the game took
to its death which was
completed on Tuesday when Chingoka announced the union
was parting ways with
Flower's former team-mates who had stayed on after the
wicket keeper's inglorious departure, after last year's World
Again, Zimbabwe has become the focus of the cricket
In the week preceding the sacking of Flower's successor Heath
Streak and his
"rebels", Zimbabwe had plunged into the cricket annals when
Muttiah Muralitharan, claimed a world record 521 wickets in Sri
to break Windies legend Courtney Walsh's previous all-time high
Before that bubbly Tatenda Taibu had become the youngest-ever
after being fast-tracked into the captaincy following Streak's
world still focuses on this particular tour of Sri Lanka as more
set to tumble in view of an inexperienced side wearing Zimbabwe's
colours, but the spotlight will be blinding when world champions
play their first Test against Taibu's boys on May 22.
international media has now preoccupied itself with Murali and Shane
speculating on who will reach the milestone 1000 wickets and Zimbabwe
strongly in the discussion. And at the core of all this is the ZCU -
ICC - whose roles have been seen as abetting the "politicisation" of
in the country which has turned international cricket on its head.
ZCU has refused to be drawn into any kind of debate over the alleged
in the local game with Chingoka dismissing accusations of a plot to
whites out of local cricket. The ICC has also said they will not
the Zimbabwe dispute, and at the last minute breaking the
hearts of the 15
rebel players by calling their job action "ill-advised".
StandardSport interviewed an insider - who is white - in the
which has now spilled into the courts, who said the
termination of the
contracts of the white players was something government,
not the ZCU, had
"always sought to do in its determination to break any hold
whites still had
in the country".
The insider said by virtue of their numbers in the
national team and their
link with the outside world, whites could still claim
control of some fabric
of the Zimbabwean society - small but important and
influential - and by
starting a fight with the ZCU, Streak and his "rebels"
had pressed the
self-destruct button which had blown whites' interests into
"As white people, we have been under siege for some time
now. Cricket was
our last stand but that too has been frustrated in the past
four years or so
where around 20 cricketers, among them Neil Johnson and
Murray Goodwin, have
been forced to quit the country.
"I cannot talk
about the general future of white people in this country, but
what I can tell
is that the future of white cricketers in this country is
one is really prepared to put up with the poor management
at the ZCU," said
White players, who have led quite comfortable lives with
contracts with the ZCU will, most of them, "struggle" to get
professional cricket abroad, the insider admitted.
"Only a few
will play first class cricket again, the majority will have to
small-time club cricket or end their careers altogether," he
insider went on to explain why the ICC had declined to be involved in
"If it came to a vote, the Asian countries would
always support Zimbabwe."
And there was no question of Zimbabwe being
stripped of its Test status
because of low-playing standards, said the
insider, indicating countries
like Bangladesh, at the moment the lowest Test
nation at number 10 to
Zimbabwe's nine, having struggled in their early life
in the elite group.
For the record, the only country to lose its Test
status was South Africa
who were kicked out for refusing to integrate blacks
during the apartheid
ICC intervene to end Zimbabwe crisis
By Will Rouse
Growing pressure from the
International Cricket Council and another day of
humiliation at the hands of
Sri Lanka is forcing the Zimbabwe Cricket Union
to consider reinstating at
least some of the country's rebel cricketers for
the Test series against
Australia, which starts on Saturday.
Sri Lankan captain Marvan Atapattu
(202 not out) scored his sixth double
century and third against Zimbabwe
while the delightful Kumar Sangakkara
(186 not out) is approaching his
This hopelessly weak Zimbabwe side conceded 425 runs in the day
four straightforward chances, including Sangakkara before he had
Sri Lanka went to stumps at 443 for one in reply to Zimbabwe's
228. It is
against this depressing backdrop that some in the Zimbabwe cricket
are hopeful the ICC can broker a resolution to prevent an even
humiliation against the world champions.
Concerned at the
damage the festering dispute is causing cricket's
credibility, the ICC has
become involved behind the scenes despite publicly
claiming it is purely an
internal matter for Zimbabwe cricket. "This seems
to be the best chance of
fixing the problem," a well-placed Zimbabwe cricket
meeting of the rebels is being planned for Monday in Harare, where they
likely to be addressed by their lawyer Chris Venturas and mediator
The ZCU began to soften their position on Friday, giving
the 15 rebel
players a further 21 days to return to practice and make
available for selection before their contracts would be withdrawn.
a prominent businessman, described the ZCU's latest concession
"It has been my hope that this would happen. We have
to resolve it," Masunda
said. "To have this sort of stand-off when touring
sides are in the country
is just not on."
Rebel spokesman Grant Flower
said he had heard some "positive vibes" about
the ICC becoming more active in
the dispute but remained sceptical.
Zimbabwe's most experienced current
player believes the ZCU's latest offer
may be no more than legal
manoeuvering. "It seems that they may have made a
mistake by firing us in the
first place," he said.
He believes all that has changed at the moment is
the players are allowed to
keep their ZCU-supplied cars without being
arrested. "Obviously they want us
to play against Australia to prop up the
system," Flower said. "We want to
get back and play but if this dispute is
not resolved properly our stand
will be a waste of time."
captain Heath Streak had also heard of "encouraging dialogue"
ICC but had no idea if he would be playing against Australia.
21-year-old all-rounder Sean Ervine, whose girlfriend is the
daughter of the
Zimbabwe coach Geoff Marsh, has quit the country. He hopes
Australia after the mandatory four-year qualifying period.
former British Prime Minister, John Major, told the annual
meeting of MCC
that England should not tour Zimbabwe later this year because
the security of
the players could not be guaranteed.
Major, a member of the MCC
committee, also said that Robert Mugabe would use
England's presence as a
platform to make derogatory attacks on the British
government. An estimated
90 per centof the membership present at the AGM
Retail giant says price controls may be introduced
By Rangarirai Mberi
GOVERNMENT could return to price controls
ahead of next year's general
election, the head of the country's largest
retail chain predicted last
Willard Zireva, CEO of OK Zimbabwe,
said on Wednesday a few basic products
could be put back under price
controls, which the government largely
abandoned last year under pressure
from distressed industrialists.
"With elections coming, we see some
items being added to the price control
list as an election gimmick", said
Zireva, who is also the head of the
Retailers' Association of Zimbabwe, which
groups the country's retail
Zireva was however bullish
about the general outlook for the economy.
The government has followed an
on-off policy on price controls over the past
three years, returning to the
controversial policy frequently, ostensibly to
protect customers from
The removal of controls on a variety of
basic goods last year saw sharp
spikes in prices, OK Chief Operating Officer
Albert Katsande conceded,
resulting in consumer resistance in the last
quarter of 2003.
OK last week reported sales had been weak in the
traditionally strong last
quarter, but said April sales had run ahead of
forecasts. The retailer
however achieved sales growth above average national
inflation for the
"We didn't achieve our November
(sales) figure by a small margin. We also
missed our December targets, and we
were also 5% down on our expectations in
January, and we only began to pick
up in February," Zireva said.
Attributable profit of $34.3 billion, up
664% on the prior year, was
achieved on turnover of $320,9 billion, which was
574% ahead of 2003.
Headline earnings per share of 824 cents was largely in
line with most
In November, OK sold its furniture
division for $10 billion to Furniture
Paradise, which is paying turnover
based rentals to OK.
The retailer's convenient store brand OK Express
helped improve stock-turn
for the group, which improved to 5%.
said calculations based on a basket of goods showed that central
inflation target of 200% by year-end was achievable. He however
"I don't believe we are anywhere near to seeing the economy
significantly. I don't think even the RBZ believes we are seeing a
We are still correcting," Zireva said.
Sewage oozing from water taps, cry Marondera
By our own Staff
MARONDERA residents say they were shocked
last week to find raw sewage
oozing out of their domestic water taps, The
Standard has been told.
The "water" was slimy and green in colour and
emitted a very bad smell.
"All the suburbs were affected by this
problem. The water started coming out
of the tapes brownish in colour and
later turned green. It went on like that
for two days," said a woman from
Paradise Park, a suburb in Marondera.
"We reported the problem to the
council officials but they did not give us
any explanation on how that could
have happened," said the woman.
The problem of dirty water has hounded
residential suburbs such as
Dombotombo and Nyameni for a long time but the
city authorities have not
done anything to solve it, said
"We have been experiencing water cuts since last year and we
have lodged our
complaints with the responsible authorities but nothing has
been done," said
Tafirenyika Matsave of Nyameni.
Marondera Town Clerk
Rinashe Nyamutsiwa expressed ignorance of raw sewage
oozing from water
"I have not heard anything of that nature but I cannot give a
comment because I am not obliged to speak to the Press. You can
only get a
comment from the Mayor himself," said Nyamutsiwa.
Chimanikire, the Marondera Executive Mayor, could not be reached
Government tables draconian amendments to Electoral
By our own Staff
THE government wants to amend the Electoral Act
in a move that will further
close any democratic space remaining in the
country's political system.
Under the proposals contained in the
Electoral Amendment Bill 2003 which
analysts say are clearly targeted at the
opposition MDC, it will
increasingly become difficult for poor urban dwellers
- who are the
opposition party's main supporters - to vote because they
would, among other
stringent requirements, have to produce proof of
Without such proof, expected to come in the form a receipt
or demand for
payment rates in terms of the Urban Council Act, they would
have to produce
a sworn statement from their employer confirming their place
of residence or
bring documents like bank statements or hospital
In rural areas, the situation could be worse for people who are
supporters as they would be required to bring "sworn oral or
statements" from their chiefs who are now an integral part of the
Apart from this, section 116A also makes
it criminal for anyone to place any
poster anywhere without the consent of
the property owner.
Much of the MDC campaigning has been through posters
all over buildings in
the Zimbabwe's major towns.
Under the new
proposals, MDC activists could get into trouble for placing
circulars or any other document and writing or painting
"with the object of
supporting or opposing any political party, political
Anyone found guilty of this crime would face a maximum
sentence of six
MDC shadow minister for home affairs Tendai
Biti said the proposed amendment
reflected the "madness of the
"The fact of the matter is that Zanu PF is offering nothing to
the people of
Zimbabwe because it's the same party and leadership that has
been the cause
of all the problems in the country," said
Political analysts pointed out that demanding letters of employment
prospective voters was the same tactic which Ian Smith's
government used to disenfranchise blacks in the 1970s.
Mugabe to choose heir
By our own
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe says he is now busy working to handpick
successor before he bids farewell to public office in 2008.
interview with the Kenyan newspaper - the East African Standard -
he would not seek re-election in 2008 when his current term
ends. He wants to
concentrate on writing books.
The East African Standard's Caroline
Mango was among a delegation of Kenyan
journalists invited to interview
Mugabe by Junior Information Minister
journalists were accorded the rare opportunity to interview
Mugabe at his
offices at Zanu PF headquarters and were "special guests" of
the President at
the chiefs' annual meeting in Masvingo last week.
"The man who has become
the Western world's figure of hate and a pariah in
the Commonwealth following
his government's decision to evict white farmers
and distribute their land to
black Zimbabweans said that he won't seek
re-election in 2008. He wants to
retire and write books," Mango wrote in an
article published in Kenya
She quoted Mugabe saying he was serving his last term and had
of "clinging on".
However, said the East African Standard
"in the age-old style of African
dictators, Mugabe lamented that he is having
trouble finding a successor".
"He is now busy shopping for the right
person to take over from him when he
retires," the newspaper
"Mugabe's search for a successor falls neatly into the pattern
some retiring African presidents who hand-pick politicians to
says the Kenyan newspaper.
The revelation though that
Mugabe wants to handpick his successor would come
as a surprise in the
governing Zanu PF party.
The Zanu PF strongman - who has ruled Zimbabwe
with an iron fist since
independence from Britain in 1980 - has in the past
said the party would
anoint his successor, not himself.
"I want to
retire from politics. I have had enough. I am also a writer and
would like to
concentrate on writing after this term in office is over,"
Mugabe - who hates
interviews with independent local journalists - told the
He said the problems he is having finding a successor are
struggles in the top leadership of the Zanu-PF
"They are fighting and some are even going to consult with
is very interesting to note that even educated people are
consultation of Ngangas expecting to be possible candidates," he
Local analysts however said it was better for Zimbabwe if Mugabe
down before 2008.
"It is better for President Mugabe to step
down forthwith rather than wait
until the lapse of four years. People have
suffered enough and are tired,"
said former University of Zimbabwe vice
chancellor, Gordon Chavhunduka.
Chavhunduka said Mugabe's intention to
backtrack on his earlier pledge by
choosing his own successor was
BISHOP EXPOSES ZIMBABWE EVIL PLOT TO KILL OFF 'THE
By J. Grant Swank, Jr.
May 16, 2004
and uncivilized. Therefore the bishop calls for
international help, warning
the world that the corrupt government is using
food scarcity as a weapon to
starve off "the opposition."
Let them starve to death. Don't feed them. Don't
permit them to cultivate
their fields. Don't open the doors to international
assistance. Just watch
them die one by one. In that, the government puts away
Imagine lack of food as a weapon of warfare. It is in
Zimbabwe. Evil stalks
in different clothing in difference locales. In Africa
it can dress up in
Therefore Catholic archbishop
of Bulawayo, Pius Ncube, informed BBC Network
Africa that "There's so much
land lying fallow, some of the best farms are
not even cultivated."
could be. They could blossom in God's sun. They could bring a harvest.
the demented, demonic government leaders who are into their own power
simply won't permit plants to grow and people to feed off their
"Bishop slams Zimbabwe food claims" is the BBC headline.
of Zimbabwe's top churchmen has criticized the government for
international food aid, saying the country will be left
"Zimbabwe ordered UN crop assessors to stop their work last week,
forecast a bumper harvest."
But according to the bishop, government
officials lie. In forecasting a
"bumper harvest," they themselves know that's
a lie. Labour Minister Paul
Mangwana said to the official news office: "We
have enough for local
Mangwana lies. Others lie. It is a
government agency of liars. They serve in
an office in order to murder their
own people, the latter referred to as
"the opposition." The bishop knows
this. Other Christians know this. But
they have their hands tied unless they
can get outside ears to hear the
truth about the lies that are perpetrating
The bishop points out that much land lays unfarmed. It could be
but the ones holding the power stand in the way.
to use food as a political weapon as they have done in the past,
Archbishop Pius Ncube.
"He said the government had failed to distribute seed
and fertilizer, and
that the rains had come two months late in some
"'So I fear - for instance in western Zimbabwe - many people will
enough food for three or four months, after which they will need food
"Aid agencies estimate that 5.5m Zimbabweans - almost half in urban
will require emergency food aid this year.
"On Thursday the AFP
news agency said it had seen a report by one of the
UN's top officials in
Zimbabwe, which said that if Zimbabwe was to appeal
for food aid later in the
year, the international community would not be
able to respond quickly
"The agriculture spokesman for the opposition Movement for
Change, Renson Gasela, has appealed to foreign donors to continue
in food - even without a government request. The opposition has
government of only giving food aid to its supporters.
parliamentary elections due next year, it says the government is
do the same again. Archbishop Ncube said: 'They want to use
food as a
political weapon as they have done in the past. Once they put out
non-governmental organizations that have been feeding the people,
they'll have the whole field to themselves. Then they can punish
people who are supporting the opposition.'"
Democracy? It was better under apartheid, says Helen
By Jane Flanagan
Helen Suzman, for years
the lone anti-apartheid voice in the South African
parliament, has turned her
fire on the country's ANC government for being
"anti-white" and for
abandoning the country's poorest blacks.
As South Africa celebrates the
passing of a decade since its first free
elections, Mrs Suzman has cast an
unexpected shadow over the party -
declaring that parliamentary democracy was
healthier under the apartheid
As she sat in the study of her
home in one of Johannesburg's smartest white
suburbs last week, the veteran
human rights campaigner confessed that she
was disappointed by the African
National Congress government which she had
worked so tirelessly to get into
"I had hoped for something much better," said Mrs Suzman, 86. "The
this country have not benefited at all from the ANC. This government
'like a drunken sailor'. Instead of investing in projects to give
jobs, they spend millions buying weapons and private jets, and sending
Dressed in a blue blouse, trousers and matching
jewellery, Mrs Suzman's tiny
frame became powerfully animated as she
discussed the subject of Zimbabwe
and President Thabo Mbeki's failure to curb
the excesses of his neighbour,
President Robert Mugabe.
destroyed that country while South Africa has stood by and done
way Mugabe was feted at the inauguration last month was an
disgrace. But it served well to illustrate very clearly Mbeki's
She gestured fiercely with the manicured middle finger of her right
added: "Mugabe has done that to the whites, and I think that is
Mbeki admires about him. Don't think for a moment that Mbeki is
anti-white - he is, most definitely. His speeches all have anti-white
and he continues to convince everyone that there are two types of
African - the poor black and the rich white.
"Meanwhile, he doesn't
do what he should be doing, which is improving the
lives of the people who
voted for him. Mbeki's attitudes to Mugabe and to
HIV/Aids are the reason we
are not getting the levels of foreign investment
that we should."
Suzman was a lecturer in economic history before beginning her
career in 1953 as an MP for the United Party. Six years later she
the Progressive Party, and for 13 years was its sole MP. She was a
visitor to Nelson Mandela and other ANC leaders during their
incarceration on Robben Island.
Between 1961 and 1974 she bombarded
the ruling National Party government
with parliamentary questions about the
detailed workings of apartheid:
forced removals, racial classification,
convictions for pass offences,
immorality laws and Bantu education. All were
recorded in South Africa's
Hansard - two rows of which now line her study
walls. "That's my life in
there," she said, her tiny arm sweeping along the
shelves. "Of course, it
would never be possible today to ask as many
questions as I did."
One reason is the abandonment of the first-past-the-post
system under South
Africa's post-apartheid constitution, she said. "I used to
be a fan of
proportional representation, but I am not at all now I have seen
action. Debate is almost non-existent and no one is apparently
to anybody apart from their political party bosses. It is bad
democracy in this country. Even though we didn't have a free press
apartheid, the government of that day seemed to be very much
accountable in parliament."
Her energy and relentless criticism of
the apartheid regime was formidable,
and earned her anti-Semitic and sexist
attacks in parliament, where for six
years she was the only woman politician
- referred to as "the lady from
Lithuania". She retired from politics in 1989
with 28 honorary doctorates
and two nominations for the Nobel Peace
Her probing continues unabated through the work of The Helen
Foundation, which scrutinises elections, voter choice and the conduct
political parties in South Africa, Zimbabwe and other African countries.
am supposed to be retired, but my diary is as full as ever," she said with
Around the study, photographs of her with Mr Mandela, Hillary
parliamentary colleagues jostle with family snapshots. Like many
South Africans, Mrs Suzman has seen her two children move
overseas. A system
of positive discrimination and labour laws that impose
strict quota systems
on employers have led thousands of skilled whites to
pursue their careers
"The employment laws are completely
unrealistic," she said. The previous
education system, she said, left a
generation of black children without the
skills for the jobs into which they
are now being pushed.
"You cannot overcome that in only 10 years. It will
take at least another
generation before young people are properly qualified.
It is increasingly
hard for young white people to find jobs, and I can
understand why white
parents are worried about the future," she
Perhaps conscious that she might be misconstrued, she added firmly:
my criticisms of the current system, it doesn't mean that I would
return to the old one. I don't think we will ever go the way of
but people are entitled to be concerned. I am hopeful about any
whites in this country - but not entirely optimistic."
British businessman accused of leading role in
Exclusive Investigation: Mercenaries held over Equatorial Guinea
identify west London consultant as mastermind
By Paul Lashmar and
16 May 2004
A management consultant from west London
has been accused of being one of
the masterminds behind a plot to overthrow
the government of the oil-rich
African state of Equatorial Guinea.
failed coup - strikingly reminiscent of Frederick Forsyth's mercenary
The Dogs of War - came to light in March with the dramatic arrests of
soldiers of fortune at Harare airport in Zimbabwe. Now a witness
seen by The Independent on Sunday names Greg Wales, 53, an
management consultant, as a key organiser behind the plot.
denies any involvement. But the government of Equatorial
Guinea has confirmed
to the IoS that it now wishes to interview Mr Wales,
who has homes in
Chiswick and Wiltshire and a history of business in Africa.
on behalf of the state and President of Equatorial Guinea said
"The appropriate authorities are anxious to interview Mr Wales in
view of his
apparent involvement in the attempted coup d'état." British
for the government have asked Scotland Yard's Anti-Terrorist
investigate Mr Wales's role. "We believe attempting a coup against
government by the use of force is an act of international
should be investigated as such," one lawyer said.
Equatorial Guinea is a
recently oil-rich but still impoverished country in
west Africa whose
President, Teodore Obiang, has ruled for 30 years. At
Harare Airport on 7
March, Zimbabwean police arrested a former SAS officer,
Simon Mann, and 66
South African former special forces personnel on a
chartered Boeing 727. They
have been charged with plotting a coup in
Equatorial Guinea. In a series of
morning swoops on 8 March, a South African
former special forces officer,
Nick du Toit, and 14 other men in Malabo, the
capital of Equatorial Guinea,
were arrested by local police.
Mr Wales denies involvement in the coup.
While he says he knows most of the
key figures said to be involved in the
failed plot, he stressed: "I was not
involved in a coup. I do not even
believe that there was a coup plot. This
is all a deal between [Robert]
Mugabe [President of Zimbabwe] and Obiang. If
the government of Equatorial
Guinea is saying I was involved then it is a
But Mr du Toit
identifies Mr Wales as a key organiser, in a statement seen
by the IoS. It
was signed in the presence of a British lawyer working for
the government. In
the statement he says: "The first person who I spoke to
about the coup was
Greg. I had not met him before. I do not know how he got
my telephone number
but this was probably through Simon Mann. I do not know
The IoS has confirmed that Mr du Toit had Greg Wales's personal
number in his notebook. Mr Wales is an old Africa hand and has been
with Mr Mann over many years; Mr du Toit claims that Mr Wales
of the finance for the coup.
At the time, Mr du Toit was
based in Equatorial Guinea starting up
businesses, including a deep-sea
fishing project and an airfreight operation
in partnership with ministers. In
his statement he says: "He called me and
asked me to meet him on 4 January
2004 in Sandton, South Africa. He said he
had a business proposition for me
... I decided to see what he proposed."
Of the meeting with Mr Wales, Mr
du Toit says: "He explained that he had in
mind a coup d'état ... and asked
if I would help. I said that I had business
that I was developing in EG and
refused to assist."
However it did not stop Mr du Toit attending another
meeting: "On 7 January
I saw Greg again. This time he was with Simon Mann who
I know since 1998."
During the meeting Mr du Toit apparently changed his
mind. "I agreed to help
with the provision of vehicles and guides. Simon
asked me to provide
assistance to obtain arms. I said I knew people of
Industries in Harare."
Mr Wales says he met Mr du
Toit around Christmas. But he says they discussed
rugby and not a coup: "I do
not know why Nick du Toit has named me as being
involved in the coup. He
obviously has an agenda. He is an Afrikaner and he
will be trying not to name
friends and associates."
Simon Mann's statement to the Zimbabwe police,
also seen by the IoS, says
that after a trip to Gabon with Mr Wales in
January 2003, he met the exiled
opposition leader, Severo Moto, and several
supporters: "At this stage, they
asked me if I could help support Severo Moto
home at a given moment when
simultaneously there would be an uprising of both
military and civilians
According to Mr du Toit, by
the time he was recruited it had developed into
a full-scale mercenary
operation. "I was informed by Simon Mann that when
the existing President was
deposed, Mr Severo Moto would be in the new
government. Simon Mann and Greg
said that he was coming from Spain and knew
all about the intended coup." Had
the coup been successful, he says, the
rewards would have been great. "I was
promised $1m to be deposited in my
Malabo account at CCEI Bank and a
guarantee that my business would continue
Over the next few
weeks, Mr du Toit claims, he helped to recruit mercenaries
from South Africa,
Angola and Mozambique. He also flew with Mr Mann to
Harare to arrange the
purchase of weapons. It was then his job to seize the
control tower of Malabo
airport and provide guides for the mercenaries as
Wales said yesterday that he first met Severo Moto 18 months ago and
recently a month ago. "I think he would be a far better president
Obiang. He's quite an interesting man ... he and Obiang don't get on
Denying any personal knowledge of the coup, he said Mr Mann
had got himself
in a terrible situation: "I think he was nuts to be in
because it's a dreadful place. I can't imagine that you
could persuade me to
go there myself, not as things are now."
said he had an interest in Equatorial Guinea because he was going
for a US State Department contract to conduct anti-poaching and
fishing surveillance for the country.
US firm strikes secret tobacco-for-maize deal
Antony Barnett and
Sunday May 16, 2004
A US financial firm
has emerged as central to a secret multi-million dollar
plan by Zimbabwe's
President Robert Mugabe to bail the country out of a food
prepare the way for his election victory later this year.
Last week Mugabe
forced the UN's World Food Programme crop assessment team
to leave the
country fearing that it would expose the dire harvest. Such a
fly in the face of Mugabe's claims of a bumper harvest and
prove that his
controversial land reforms have failed. There has been a huge
production caused by land seizures from white farmers with much of
Sources claim that Mugabe has struck the secret deal with a
group of US
firms to provide thousands of tonnes of grain in exchange for
Insiders allege one of the US companies involved
is Sentry Financial
International in Salt Lake City, Utah. Details of hugely
tobacco-for-maize swaps, leaked to The Observer, involve Sentry
state-controlled Grain Marketing Board.
Last year Sentry was
involved in a deal to exchange 300,000 tonnes of maize
and wheat for tobacco
and minerals. Sources claim some 70,000 tonnes of
grain will arrive in
Zimbabwe this month under an agreement shrouded in
secrecy because of its
political sensitivity. Sentry's vice-president Kirk
Heaton said his company
was doing business in Zimbabwe but 'the details
Zimbabwe needs an estimated 900,000 tonnes of food
this year. Opposition
politicians claim Mugabe's Zanu-PF party will use food
to buy votes in
forthcoming elections and starve opposition areas.
Patrick Smith is editor of Africa Confidential
Mercenaries in Harare and Equatorial Guinea
Robert Mugabe is intending to extradite the alleged
mercenaries to Equatorial Guinea in exchange for petrol and diesel.
Equatorial Guinea is descibed by UN and Amnesty
International as the worst torture state in Africa.
A German citizen, who was alleged to have been
involved in the coup, died on 17th March, most likely as a result of
Please find attached translation of the
notification, I sent to the Attorney General in Berlin/Germany.
Attorney General Dr.H.J. Karge has acknowledged
receipt of the notice, opened a docket and started investigations.
Dr. Alexander von Paleske
Head, Department of Oncology
Princess Marina Hospital
Tel +267 3953221
Cell +267 718 480 74
Ex Barrister-at-Law, High Court Frankfurt (M)
Attorney General 30th
at the High Court Moabit
RE: Notice is hereby given of the suspected crime
murder of the
german citizen Gerhard Eugen MERZ
(NERSHZ) committed by servants of the Government of
Equatorial Guinea on March 17th 2004.
The notice is based on the following
On 4th March 2004 a a group of foreigners was
arrested in the capital city of Equatorial Guinea.
They are accused of having planned a coup to oust
President Obiang Mbasogo Nguema.
Amongst the arrested was a german citizen be the
Gerhard Eugen NERSHZ (MERZ)
Torture in the prisons is a day-to-day business in
Equatorial Guinea according to Amnesty International..
Mr. Nershz (Merz) died on 17th March most likely as
a result of torture.
He had visible signs of torture, according to
witnesses who saw him, when he was transported from the prison to a hospital in
Malobo hours before his death.
The official cause of death was "cerebral
malaria".This was, most likely not the cause of death.
There has been no statement of the German Foreign
Office as yet or from the German embassy in Jaounde. (there is no German embassy
in Equ. Guinea)
For establishing the real cause of death it is
absolutely necessary, to have a postmortem done and for this purpose the corpse
has to be transferred to Germany as a matter of urgency.
It is the legel task for the German prosecutors to
investigate, as a German citizen has most likely fallen victim to a crime and
the local authorities, as being involved, cannot be expected to
Dr. Alexander von Paleske
Head, Department of Oncology
Princess Marina Hospital
Ex Barrister-at-Law, High Court Frankfurt (M)