∑ Southern Africa agent denies role in Hawk sale
∑ Move marks switch of focus in BAE inquiry
David Leigh and Rob Evans
Thursday October 19, 2006
The British home and headquarters of a millionaire arms broker have been
raided by the Serious Fraud Office, which is investigating corruption
allegations against Britain's biggest military exporter BAE.
John Bredenkamp is BAE's agent in southern Africa, and is understood to have
received large sums in confidential commission payments. One of the African
deals the SFO is investigating is the government-backed £1.6bn sale of Hawk
aircraft to South Africa in 2001.
Sources close to Mr Bredenkamp denied last night that he played any role in
the South African sale. They said the SFO search warrant related to a
Bredenkamp-controlled company with which BAE has had dealings, and a number
of other companies. The sources said Mr Bredenkamp's Knightsbridge town
house in London and his Berkshire offices were raided by a joint
SFO-Ministry of Defence police force, and computers and files were taken
Mr Bredenkamp was said to be abroad at the time. The 66-year-old South
African born tobacco farmer and rugby player, who has a fortune estimated at
more than £700m, has been a close associate of the Mugabe regime in
Zimbabwe. He is variously claimed to hold British, Zimbabwean, South African
and Dutch passports.
The raid marks a switch of focus by the long-running SFO inquiry into secret
payments by BAE. The investigation began with inquiries into claims of a
£60m "slush fund" used by BAE to pay off Saudi Arabian dignitaries. The SFO
moved on to investigate evidence alleging BAE paid more than £1m to Chile's
ex-president General PInochet and then, earlier this year, to investigate
claims that more than £7m of secret commission had been paid via an agent to
cement the sale of two second-hand Royal Navy frigates to Romania.
The disclosure that the SFO is now investigating arms deals in southern
Africa will be sensitive for the government. Tony Blair personally threw his
weight behind the Hawk deal, and ministers insisted no corruption was
involved. The Guardian disclosed more than three years ago that millions of
pounds in secret commission had been paid by BAE.
Yesterday, Whitehall sources disclosed that BAE, which received
government-backed loan guarantees for the sale to President Mbeki's ANC
administration, admitted at the time that it intended to pay commissions
totalling 12%, almost £200m. After the trade department's export credit
agency refused to cover such large payments, BAE reduced the level of
commissions to 7%.
The Serious Fraud Office said yesterday: "As part of an ongoing
investigation into suspected corruption relating to defence contracts where
BAE Systems is the prime contractor, four premises were searched on October
17 2006. They were two business addresses in Berkshire, a business address
and a residential address in London. No one was arrested." Last night BAE
said: "As this matter is an ongoing investigation we can make no further
comment at this stage."
††††† By Grey Samakande
††††† THE government of Zimbabwe will never seize to amaze us. Last Friday,
the Mashonaland East education director Mr Sylvester Matshaka urged boarding
schools to take advantage of the land reform programme and produce enough
food to beat the high costs of feeding pupils.
††††† I failed to understand what Mr Matshaka meant by saying boarding
schools were reluctant to take advantage of the land reform programme. He
did not explain the relationship between boarding schools and the land
reform programme. These schools in question have always had land within the
school yards and have always been producing food products through
††††† It will be very unreasonable of the government to expect these schools
to produce enough food to feed students or for resale since the students
will be practising farming for educational purposes only. Let us not forget
that students go to school for one reason which is education. We must not
relate schools with prisons since they are two completely different
institutions. Prisoners have all the time to spend on the fields and can
easily produce more food than is produced in schools.
††††† While it is very important for students to learn about farming, the
government must not divert schools' focus in the name of saving money. We
must not encourage schools to become self sufficient while doing down
educational standards. Schools are struggling to cope with the high cost of
commodities and the day to day running expenses. The fees paid by students
are all consumed by expenses and no money is left in their coffers.
††††† Mr Matshaka said poor children whose parents could not afford paying
fees could work at the school farms during the holidays as used to be the
case at mission boarding schools decades ago. Schools need money to pay for
running costs and if tuition fees are now paid in kind, how are the schools
going to survive? Running costs decades ago cannot compare with the costs of
today as the educational requirements have changed and above all, today our
economy is battered.
††††† Mr Matshaka also said that the land reform programme is one of the
most innovative ways of raising income and providing food for boarders with
the assurance of Government support. Like schools, our government has no
money and is also struggling with the day to day running expenses. What
assurance of government support are they talking about? Lip service will
never solve problems.
††††† Does the government want schools to join the land grab as what the war
veterans and Zanu PF cronies did?† What use is land to students who have
limited time to spend on the fields? Not all schools are surrounded by
††††† So this means that if students are to take advantage of the land grab
in order to produce their own food, then they will have to travel long
distances to the farms. More expenses are created and time wasted. Students
will not be able to concentrate on their studies because they will be tired.
††††† Mr Matshaka and the government must change their approach to the
situation and try to find more realistic solutions. Please do not compromise
Social justice consultations findings show rural people fed up with Zanu
'Corruption topped the list, followed by escalating school fees and
'Our Chiefs are being used as pawns in a game of politics'
BULAWAYO - Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA), last week visited Manicaland with
the aim of consulting on Social Justice. The consultations are our way of
finding out people's vision of a socially just Zimbabwe. The information
gathered will be compiled into a comprehensive document, the Dream Charter,
and presented to the Legislature in November to serve as a guideline on how
the electorate wants to be governed.
The Social Justice consultations and Dream Charter are modelled along the
lines of South Africa's Freedom Charter. This follows the realisation that
unlike our SA counterparts who took the time to consult and to write down
how they wanted to be governed after the attainment of independence,
Zimbabweans simply waited for the freedom fighters to bring back
independence but did not consult and indicate how they wanted to be
governed, which has resulted in gross injustices.
Participants at our first port of call, Chimanimani Urban, said they longed
for the lifestyle they used to lead in 1980 and beyond. Since then, their
lives had lost all meaning due to the uncertain economic environment.
"We are failing to do the basic things that we could do in 1980 and even
before independence, such as putting food on the table. Our lives now
revolve around scrounging for crumbs to give to our children," said one
They said the Legal Age of Majority Act had lost all meaning, as they had to
fend for their children even up to the age of 28 because of unemployment.
The old and disadvantaged, including orphans and widows, continued to
receive 'useless allowances' or nothing from the Social Welfare Department.
Some of the concerns raised included escalating school fees and healthcare
costs, but corruption topped the list.
"Corruption can only be dealt with at the core - which is at Government
level.† Leaders need to listen to the electorate's grievances, we only see
our leaders at election time. As for the chiefs, they have now been
assimilated into the 'corrupt breed'.† They are now aligning themselves with
the elite because they are now salaried and drive nice cars.
"The corruption has become so ingrained that you have to pay people to do
their jobs, if you need help from the police you have to give them a
'commission'," said another Chimanimani resident.
The residents bemoaned the Government's lack of transparency in allocating
houses to victims of Murambatsvina.
"It's been over a year since we lost our livelihoods to Operation
Murambatsvina.† We are still waiting for the government to construct the
market shells they promised for informal workers. The houses we were
promised under Operation Garikai have been doled out to the rich or the
'more befitting' such as the war veterans or the elite, and still we wait.
"The Council is now concentrating on shady deals and ostracizes the poor in
the allocation of stands and land for agricultural purposes," said another
frustrated Chimanimani resident.
In Chimanimani Rural, Shinja area, participants were quite vocal, allaying a
widely-held misconception that rural folk have remained staunch ruling party
supporters, and are not very analytical.
The villagers demanded the right to be educated about their rights as their
lives were now ruled by fear.
"We demand that we be educated about our rights.† We do not know what is
right or wrong in Zimbabwe any more as we are constantly being harassed. We
are tired of the present leaders and need new blood, leaders who will listen
to our problems and address them.
"The situation we are in right now is the same as a person who goes to bed
but cannot change sides, you need to change sides and turn now and again,
otherwise you wake up all sore and stiff," said one old woman.
They complained that their chiefs were now being used as pawns in a game of
political intrigue. Shinja villagers said they had become hopeless, and
could longer afford to feed their families, pay school fees for their
children or find any form of employment.
"Government should bring back commercial farmers so we can at least get jobs
and have somewhere to buy food and send our children to school," said
another Shinja villager.
The villagers also demanded that the ruling party stop politicising food aid
distribution. "If one does not hold a ZANU PF political card then they are
not assured of receiving food aid, distribution should be left to the
non-governmental organisations that bring aid. We also want the government
to form relationships with other countries which can help us in trying times
such as now,' said another old woman.
The villagers demanded that the monetary authorities introduce† 'meaningful'
currency. Further consultations in Mutare in the Mahobo House area revealed
the residents frustration with police's heavy handedness in dealing with
cross border trading. The residents agreed that in as much as cross border
traders should follow certain procedures, police should be sensitive and
also account for the seized goods as police end up benefiting from their
"We demand our freedoms back, especially the freedom of expression. The
police have now become more of ruling party spies, waiting to pounce on you
if you say anything bad about the ruling party," said a disgruntled youth.
Mutare residents also voiced their concerns about government's neglect of
health and education and the ruling party's 'omnipotent' attitude.
In Nyazura, the villagers demanded that government start consulting and
listening to their concerns and be tolerant of other parties and races.
"The land invasions scuttled our dreams because we were guaranteed jobs, but
now we are not able to produce any food on the rocky patches that we live
in. We cannot find employment elsewhere as commercial farmers were our only
hope,' said an unemployed Nyazura youth.
The villagers said they were tired of the current leadership, as it had
failed to heed their problems.
"We have become ghosts in our motherland because the people that we elected
to lead us have forgotten us. We should start incorporating whites in the
leadership because we were better off in the colonial era, we need people
with a conscience to lead us," said one old woman.
The villagers said the government should help them start income generating
projects to ease their hardships. They also denounced the use of bearer
cheques and demanded proper currency.
"We are tired of using money with expiration dates, and when the currency
changes we have no one to enlighten us and end up losing our money because
these measures are effected without our knowledge, neither are we consulted.
We want our coins back at least we could keep them safely and the money
would still buy you something even after a year,' said one elderly woman.
"We demand that some of the taxes that we are currently heaving under be
removed or at least be reduced. How can we continue paying livestock tax
when we are not benefiting from dipping facilities? What is that money being
used for when we are being told that there is a shortage of chemicals?"
Queried another villager.
They also agreed that leaders should stick to a five-year term and only be
re-elected on merit to curb dictatorship tendencies.
In Kute village, in Nyamhanda Nyanga, villagers noted that the elected
leadership was not serving people's interests and demanded that more
accountable leaders be allowed to take over leadership positions.
MUTARE - Scores of Zimbabweans facing serious commodity shortages at home
have been streaming into neighbouring Mozambique to buy fuel and other
provisions, according to press reports from Maputo.
Zimbabwe has been experiencing severe economic hardships and political
tensions. There are shortages of fuel and basic commodities, as well as
"We have seen many Zimbabweans coming to buy fuel and other supplies in our
province in recent weeks given the deteriorating situation in that
neighbouring state," the governor of Mozambique's Manica province, Soares
Nhaca was quoted.
He said the extra demand for fuel by Zimbabweans had caused a shortage in
Manica province, but the problem would be resolved.
Mozambique, which is a coastal country, imports its fuel supplies from the
Middle East. Unlike Zimbabwe it has the hard cash to pay its bills.
Mozambique's state daily Noticias last week quoted a local government
official as saying Zimbabweans were looting fuel in Manica province, but
this was dismissed by Nhaca.
"The Zimbabweans have made normal purchases that any driver would make and
there has not been anything extraordinary," he said.
BY GIFT PHIRI
HARARE - Zimbabwe's cabinet ministers could be fleecing the treasury of
millions of dollars in scarce foreign currency to educate their children at
expensive colleges abroad while government is at loggerheads with local
private schools over fee-capping legislation.
Amid this "grotesque extravagance," hundreds of children from poor families
on the other hand have dropped out of school for failing to raise the fees.
Several ministers are spending more than 100 times their annual salaries on
tuition and residence fees for children enrolled at prestigious universities
in Western capitals such as Harvard, Washington DC University, George
Washington, Wolverhampton and Birmingham University, among others.
The Zimbabwean can reveal that Rural Housing and Social Amenities minister
Emmerson Mnangagwa has a child, Chido, at Midlands College in Texas in the
US where fees start at about US$24,000 a year (Z$38 million revalued). His
daughter Chipo studied at Varsity College in Cape Town, South Africa and his
son studied and is now living in UK.
Education minister Aeneas Chigwedere, is frantically trying to control fees
at private schools in Zimbabwe supposedly because they are "charging
And yet, at Harvard, where his child Pride studied the minister was forking
out about US$42,000 (Z$67 million revalued) a year. Zimbabwean ministers
earn an estimated Z$350,000 a year and under the country's anti-money
laundering laws individuals are barred from stocking foreign currency.
Mines minister Amos Midzi, who is spearheading the illegal takeover of
foreign-owned mines, has a child, Tendai at George Washington University in
Minister of Science and Technology in President Mugabe's Office, Olivia
Muchena, has a son, Kudzai, at Sunway College in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Higher Education minister Stan Mudenge has a son, Stan (Jnr) studying at the
University of Washington DC.
Defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi's son studied medicine in Canada and now
practises there. His daughter, Maggie Ambayi, is currently studying there.
Health and Child Welfare minister David Parirenyatwa's son, Jeff, is
studying in Australia. Parirenyatwa had another son at Durham University in
Simbarashe Mumbengegwi (Foreign Affairs), Herbert Murerwa (Finance), Elliot
Manyika (Minister Without Portfolio), John Nkomo (Speaker), Patrick
Chinamasa (Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs) and Oppah Muchinguri
(Gender) all have or had children at finishing schools or universities in
Britain and America.
Political analysts said ministers were "trying to pull wool over our eyes"
that they cared about the affordability of education to citizens when they
were fleecing the treasury to finance their children's tuition in forex.
The minimum wage for domestic workers in Zimbabwe is Z$8,000 a month and
factory workers earn between Z$15,000 and Z$60,000 a month. Primary school
fees start at Z$2,500 per term. Secondary education costs more than double.
BY TERERAI KARIMAKWENDA
BLANTYRE - Thousands of Zimbabweans are reported to be living in squalor
near Chileka airport after they were deported from the UK. Activist Patson
Muzuwa from the Zimbabwe Association, a group that assists asylum seekers,
confirmed the removals and said the group included women and children who
had used Malawian passports to get into the UK.
Muzuwa said the deportees had documents proving they were actually
Zimbabweans travelling on Malawi papers, because they require no visas. But
the British government did not verify their authenticity with the Zimbabwean
government. And authorities in Malawi confiscated all passports that had
been acquired fraudulently, leading to some 3,000 stuck near the airport
with no means of supporting themselves.
Malawian passports became extremely popular with Zimbabweans because they
were easy to get through bribery and fraud. But as problems arose in the
destination countries involving these fake documents, Malawi began
tightening requirements for passports. Malawian citizens who used to get
identity and travel documents for free are now being charged fees. Several
corruption cases involving Malawian immigration officials were also exposed.
Muzuwa said the Zimbabwe Association has been working with human rights
groups in Malawi and communicating with the Ministry of Home Affairs in
order to help these desperate Zimbabweans. Malawi does not allow homeless
drifters to sleep on the streets due to the country's vagabond laws. So any
illegal Zimbabweans caught near the airport or anywhere in Malawi can be
jailed or sent back to the one place they escaped to begin with, Zimbabwe. -
SW Radio Africa
HARARE - Zimbabwe's main opposition, the MDC, has scoffed at government's
"double standards" in renaming hundreds of schools, formerly with British
names, after the country's national heroes when ministers were
surreptitiously sending their children to foreign schools.
Many private schools have over the past few months been renamed to honour
liberation "heroes" and government figures from Zimbabwe in what has been
described by critics as "an apparent bid by President Mugabe to pander to
Among some of the prominent schools whose names have been changed is
Harare-based Prince Edward High School, which has been re-christened Murenga
Boys High, after a leader of an uprising against colonial settlers a century
A girls' school named after Queen Elizabeth has also been changed to the
Sally Mugabe Girls High after President Mugabe's first wife who died of
kidney failure in 1992.
Other figures from British royalty and the colonial era, including British
wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Cecil Rhodes, the founder of
Rhodesia, as Zimbabwe was known before independence, have also been
replaced. - Own correspondent
HARARE - The Zimbabwe National Water Authority urgently requires about Z$60
billion to meet cash shortfalls caused by escalating prices of commodities
and materials required by the water utility, and the high cost of foreign
currency required to pay foreign suppliers of water reticulation chemicals.
Zinwa board chairman Willie Muringani said ZINWA had set aside $33 billion
for expenditure this year but escalating costs had left it needing an extra
$59,5 billion which residents must provide.
Inflation which which is hovering around 1,000 percent had eaten into ZINWA
coffers while the Zimbabwe dollar's dramatic fall against major currencies
such as the United States of America dollar had not helped matters for the
Muringani said ZINWA had not yet made a final decision on how to raise the
additional money because it was still to consult residents and other
He said ZINWA had for the time being resolved to implement a number of
cost-cutting measures including tightening allocations of fuel to staff,
recycling of paper and forging of partnerships as well as out-sourcing
non-core business and activities.
ZINWA will also step up efforts to collect all outstanding rates, rent and
other charges from residents with plans to enforce payment through
Combined Harare Residents Association spokesman Precious Shumba said ZINWA
had failed to provide water to the city and should simply cede the
responsibility to people with the capacity to do so.
HARARE - Henry Muradzikwa has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of the
Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings. He takes over from Rino Zhuwarara, a
University of Zimbabwe media lecturer.
Muradzikwa is the former Editor-in-Chief of the New Zimbabwe InterAfrica
News Agency (ZIANA).
The ZBH has been hunting for a new CEO for the past three months after the
Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport and Communications came up
with a report critical of the state broadcaster on 1 June 2006.
MISA-Zimbabwe expressed concern that while the ZBH has been turned into a
company through the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Commercialisation Act of 2001, the
same station is expected to play a public mandate role at the same time
operate for profit.
"There is need for an act that governs the public broadcaster and guarantees
its independence from political and economic influence. These glaring policy
contradictions indicate a lack of commitment to turning the ZBH into a
public broadcaster and lends credence to a 1999 parliamentary report that
the ZBH is, in fact, a personal theatre of every minister of information who
comes into office.† The new appointments at ZBH are, therefore, unlikely to
change anything as the station will remain under the tight grip of the
executive and closed to any alternative voices," says MISA.
BY EDDIE CROSS
I went into a tyre dealer this week to have the front wheel alignment on a
truck checked. The staff were all sitting in the reception, the manager on
the forecourt and not a customer in sight. I was attended to and in 30
minutes was able to drive out with a much-improved steering performance on
the 8 tonne truck.
The Manager said to me:† "We are so quiet that we wonder how much longer we
can carry on like this." The city certainly was quiet - very little traffic
and I did not have to wait or queue anywhere. Great for me - not so great
for the business managers I was dealing with.
Yesterday, after leaving Hwange once the game count was over, we travelled
north to meet MDC leaders in the town of Hwange. This town is a large
rambling place, typical of company towns all over the world. Two geologists
working for Cecil Rhodes first pegged coal here in the late 1800's. It has
three main reasons for being - the coal mines themselves, a large 840
megawatt coal fired power station built before Independence in 1980 and some
ovens used to produce coke and asphalt for the roads.
As we arrived and climbed the hill overlooking the mines and the power
station I immediately noticed that the power station was not working. No
smoke or steam from the stacks and the cooling towers. At the meeting I
asked a senior official what was happening? He told me the conveyor for coal
to the power plant is broken down and they did not have sufficient equipment
to keep the plant supplied by other means.
Now that is a disaster - to stop a coal-fired power station is an expensive
and wasteful exercise. They are designed to run continuously for long
periods, shut down only for major servicing and repairs. We also only have
the two main stations - Hwange and Kariba and these together are required to
supply the major part of our national requirements of about 2000 megawatts.
Take out the Hwange station and we are left with less than half our needs
even if Kariba is running at full capacity.
It goes beyond this of course. The mine has been unable to supply more than
a fraction of national demand for some time and a common sight is the large
numbers of 30 tonne carriers standing waiting - sometimes for weeks - to be
loaded. The coal crisis is so bad in fact that some large consumers are
importing coal from South Africa. The coke ovens - a wonderful, simple and
profitable business are also not functioning. They need major refurbishment
Then there is the Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company. A plant built in the
midlands to process local iron ore into steel at the rate of about 100 000
tonnes of finished product a month. The equipment is state-of-the-art and
comparatively new. The South African Iron and Steel Corporation has been
eyeing this huge investment for years - they say it would fit in with their
own plants well and could be highly profitable. Indian steel magnates agree
and some months ago a major Indian steel company was persuaded to take up a
management contract at the plant.
They were promised the full cooperation of the State, although the people
negotiating the deal never discussed it with the Board or management. The
Indian team arrived with facilities for up to US$400 million in new
financing. They took up residence but within weeks they knew it could never
work. How do you run a plant like this in the middle of Africa with a
defunct railway system and no coal? After a futile visit to Hwange, the CEO
of the plant left the country with his money and has not come back. I can
understand why. What astonishes me even more is that those responsible for
this state of affairs seem to be incapable of dealing with these situations
in any sort of
coherent way. It does not take a rocket scientist to run these businesses.
They are relatively straightforward large-scale operations that require
sound management and maintenance. The skills are there - the money has been
invested and is available to turn these operations around. Those responsible
are just incapable of doing what needs to be done.
This year will be the last year of operation for the massive tobacco
processing plants in Harare - next year's crop at about 20 000 tonnes or 10
per cent of the recent past, is just too small to warrant keeping the plants
in being. There may be some rationale for bringing in tobacco from the
region to process in Harare but the pressure is going to be there to move
the capacity to other countries - countries where a more rational business
Unilever is downsizing in Zimbabwe, Heinz is struggling to maintain their
investment. National Foods is down sizing after trying to hold their
operations together for some years. Most other firms are running on 30 per
cent of capacity - hoping for better days.
My own bakery is a small operation but it is closed at present - not for
price control reasons but because I do not have any flour. Today in Bulawayo
bread was very scarce and the larger supermarkets were selling "fancy"
loaves for Z$350 - substantially above the controlled price for the larger
conventional 700 gram loaf of Z$295. In my view this price is extortionate -
but that is what you get when you cannot keep the shelves full.
Fuel is selling at Z$1300 to Z$1400 a litre in Bulawayo and Harare and is in
short supply. People are bewildered by the prices and the shrinking value of
the money in their pockets. Customers in my own supermarket throw away the
smaller denomination notes as not worth carrying. The Z$1000 note has become
the most common note traded. Remember, that is a million in the old
Silent factories, empty streets, frustrated and scared shoppers. Where will
this all end? We now know that it will not end until Mugabe can be persuaded
that he has failed and must step aside for new leadership. Only when that
happens can we expect things to begin to improve. What a sad situation where
the man who once was the hope of a brighter future for all Zimbabweans, is
now a failed leader who is the main impediment to change and
HARARE - Zimbabwe's acting information minister Paul Mangwana has complained
that government is getting too much bad press both locally and abroad
because journalists were unpatriotic and were selling out the country for
Mangwana loudly protested in the Quill Club last week that the media was
obsessed with reporting negatively about Zimbabwe.
He warned the small group of journalists drawn mainly from the private press
that turned up for the meeting against "endangering national interests".
†"Journalists should not be misled by rich media houses that are financed
from abroad within the context of neo-colonialism and contribute to the
destruction of the economy for the sake of money," he said.
Journalists told Mangwana that no news organisation or reporter would
manufacture false reports about anyone and get away with it. They reminded
the minister that penalties under the laws of libel and defamation have
always seen to it that perpetrators of such injudicious acts are punished.
The truth, said one journalist, was that the Mugabe regime invited bad
publicity upon itself through flagrant abuse of human and property rights.
"In fact, it could be strongly argued that the Zanu (PF) government often
goes out of its way to ensure it acts in ways which guarantee something
negative is said or reported about it on almost a daily basis," he said.
Mangwana defended State-regulation of the press saying, "We had to come up
with the Media and Information Commission because journalism, as powerful as
it is as the Fourth Estate, cannot operate in a vacuum."
MIC chairman Tafataona Mahoso, who also attended the meeting, was challenged
to explain why he shut down four newspapers. He stormed out of the meeting.
GOKWE - Precious Nyoni, 35, surveys his garden. The vegetable and sugarcane
stalks are flattened, and half-eaten crops lie all around. This was his only
livelihood, and in one night, it is all gone.
"(Zimbabwe's) liberation struggle ended in 1980. But now we have another
war, with the elephants. We are not allowed to kill them, hence we just
frighten them, but look, where am I going to get the food to survive when
everything has been trampled by these creatures?
"They are too many and I believe they should be reduced through a culling
exercise. Just recently, elephants destroyed 50 hectares of maize crop
belonging to some villagers. It means that all of us need food assistance
even before we have harvested," Nyoni said, looking as devastated as his
More than 600km north of Gokwe, in the Omay communal lands of the Nyaminyami
district, farmers come down from a rickety treetop watchtower. They have
worked in shifts through the night, guarding their lands from being raided
by an elephant herd.
Southern African countries have been plunged into an elephant management and
ecological degradation crisis that demands urgent action.
In the 1970s and 1980s, the ivory trade decimated elephant populations in
Africa as the giant mammals were killed for their tusks. After the
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna
(CITES) banned trade in ivory in 1989, depleted populations began to recover
and now they are competing in some areas with humans for food and land.
An estimated 600,000 elephants roam the African continent. Fragmented
populations are to be found in 37 range states. Zimbabwe alone has a sixth
of the total population; nearly half of these crowded into the country's
most famous sanctuary, Hwange National Park.
Regional governments believe a legal and controlled ivory trade could bring
substantial economic benefits without jeopardising the conservation of the
species, or a further loss of biodiversity.
That could include halving the jumbo population to bring them to manageable
levels through translocation or exporting live animals to countries that
need them, which is approved by CITES. Also on the table is the
controversial culling method, which Zimbabwe would like to see resume after
a hiatus of 17 years. The practice was banned under CITES.
African countries have been divided over elephant culling. Kenya and some
West African states are strongly opposed to any resumption of the ivory
business, which they believe will provide cover for an illegal trade derived
Namibia, Botswana and South Africa are part of the pro-culling lobby. They
want to be able to trade their significant stockpiles of ivory to fund
CITES denied permission on Oct. 5 to the three countries to hold a special
sale of 60 tonnes of unprocessed elephant tusks they have stockpiled since
2002, a decision that will be reviewed at the 14th Conference of Parties
(COP 14) to the Convention, to be held in The Hague, Jun. 3-15, 2007.
At the last CITES conference, held in Thailand in 2004, Kenya's proposal for
a six-year moratorium on ivory trade was withdrawn, and Namibia's proposal
for an annual export quota of two tonnes of raw ivory was rejected.
However, permission was granted for trade in elephant hides and hair goods,
as well as non-commercial trade in worked ivory, provided it was accompanied
by a valid export certificate. South Africa also gained permission for trade
in elephant hides.
Tapera Chimuti, operations director of the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife
Management Authority, said the country was unlikely to ask for approval at
COP 14 to sell ivory.
"If we were to ask for approval to sell ivory today, the whole world will be
against us for political reasons, although we have the best wildlife
management practice in place in almost the whole continent," said Chimuti.
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwean authorities are encouraging the participation of
local communities in elephant conservation efforts, through the Community
Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources (CAMPFIRE), in which
villages are part of the decision-making process, and the main beneficiaries
of revenue earned from wildlife.
Based in Harare, CAMPFIRE was initiated in 1982, after an amendment of the
Parks and Wildlife Act (1975) that granted "appropriate authority" status to
popularly elected rural district councils so that they could manage and
benefit from the sustainable utilisation of wildlife.
According to the programme's director, Charles Jonga, CAMPFIRE has succeeded
in reducing conflict between people and wildlife, and has created
opportunities for sustainable economic development in Zimbabwe's rural areas
through natural resources management. Fifty-seven of the country's 59 rural
districts participate in the programme.
"CAMPFIRE's impact on national income is at least 10 million dollars
annually. If the multiplier on tourism activities is included, CAMPFIRE is
worth 20 to 25 million dollars to Zimbabwe's economy each year," Jonga
calculated in a Sep. 26 report. - IPS
Smith, Mugabe, never good neighbours - MasireFormer president of Botswana,
Sir Ketumile Masire says Zimbabwe has never displayed any signs of good
BY JERRY BUNGU
GABORONE - Former president of Botswana, Sir Ketumile Masire says Zimbabwe
has never displayed any signs of good neighbourliness.
Masire's memoirs "Very Brave or Very Foolish: Memoirs of an African
Diplomat," were published to coincide with Botswana's recent 40th
In a chapter on relations with neighbours, Masire devoted four pages to
Zimbabwe, revealing that there were over 20 000 Zimbabweans in Botswana
during the Chimurenga war.
"I first encountered President Mugabe when he was a freedom fighter and I
thought he was a hard working man. He was imprisoned for a long time and
after he was released, ZANU gained ground. We in the Front Line States tried
to get ZANU and ZAPU to join together to form one liberation movement to
oppose the Smith regime, but this proved very difficult. In part it was who
would hold leadership positions as chairman and secretary-general. President
Mugabe gave the impression that he was not keen to be chairman or
secretary-general of the combined movements. Mr Nkomo was indecisive and saw
virtue in both positions. Interestingly at the time, Mr Nkomo was clearly
the king of his group, but it was not as clear to us that Mugabe was the
king of his," the memoir says.
Masire says the Lancaster Talks, which resulted in a negotiated settlement,
did not go well with Mugabe who thought he could have been victorious over
both the Smith regime and ZAPU.
Masire says of Mugabe: "While he never said anything directly, his attitude
was that we in Botswana were Nkomo's men. On the same principles as the
South African government used, i.e. the friend of my enemy is my enemy, and
he who is not for us is against us, he appeared to distrust us."
He says there were questions over trade and transportation but security was
the important issue. "Defence minister Nkala was particularly difficult and
he was reported to have wanted to shoot up Dukwe refugee camp where many
ZAPU refugees were living but Mugabe prevented that.
"In 1980, we had hoped that an independent Zimbabwe would help us reduce our
dependence on South Africa and decrease vulnerability, but that was not to
be the case. To start with, Zimbabwe imposed duties on imports from Botswana
in clear violation of our free trade agreement.
He concludes: "Interestingly, with the difficult situation in Zimbabwe -
partly the takeover of white farms, but mainly the persecution of many
Africans and destruction of the capacity of the economy to function - we
have not had a spill over in racial attitudes in Botswana. Batswana have
truly been saddened by the political and economic destruction of Zimbabwe."
HARARE - Moeletsi Mbeki, younger brother of President Thabo Mbeki, and
Witwatersrand University (Wits) have separately applied for an order to have
Zimbabwe's former Information minister Jonathan Moyo jailed the next time he
visits South Africa on allegations of absconding with millions of rands that
he allegedly owes.
Mbeki told The Zimbabwean that they were shocked Moyo managed to sneak into
South Africa and hold an interview with the BBC news channel for the
programme HardTalk a fortnight ago. He said if they had been aware of this
interview prior to the visit, they could have got Moyo arrested on fraud
Moyo allegedly owes Endemol, a television production company in South Africa
headed by Mbeki, R100,000.
Moyo received this amount from the TV company after he invoiced it for the
production costs of a television documentary. He allegedly did not deliver
the documentary. Mbeki said his company was now trying to recover the money,
since Moyo was no longer a minister in the Zimbabwe government. He said
previous efforts to attach Moyo's luxurious home in Johannesburg, had been
Moyo is also facing legal action from Wits for allegedly absconding with
part of a R100 million-research grant. The university has consulted lawyers
about the claim against Moyo, who received money for a research project, The
Future of the African Elite, as a visiting lecturer at the university in
1998. It was allegedly never completed.
Wits registrar Derek Swenner said the money related to unaccounted-for
expenditure incurred by Moyo while he was supposed to be conducting research
for the university in East Africa.
"He told the university that he was conducting research, but instead, we
found out that he was in Zimbabwe working for President Bob's government.
When we asked Moyo to explain how the money was spent, he chose to resign.
The case is unresolved and currently with the lawyers."
Moyo is also being sued by the US aid agency the Ford Foundation over an
alleged illegal transfer of R1 million from its Kenyan office to a trust in
South Africa. Money from the trust, Talunoza, was allegedly used to buy
Moyo's Saxonwold house, on Englewold Drive. Unconfirmed reports suggest this
house has been sold.
Efforts to obtain comment from Moyo were fruitless. - Own correspondent
I recently saw a film about the last days of Hitler. The dictator is in his
bunker below Berlin moving imaginary armies around a map in a final effort
to save Germany from defeat. The camera moves to the faces of the generals
who surround the table and shows their total disbelief. When one of them
tries to tell the leader 'there are no armies left,' Hitler shouts and rants
at them. Gideon Gono is no Hitler but he is good at ceaseless activity,
which does everything except actually face the reality. On the same day as
The Herald covered its front page with his latest moves there was a report
in another paper reminding us that the World Bank considers our economic
crisis ' the worst in the world outside a war zone.'
A small group of people last week invited Archbishop Pius Ncube to talk to
them about what the Church could do in Zimbabwe to help resolve the crisis.
What was striking was his total honesty in the face of the situation. He
simply said, 'we don't know what to do.' In different ways he repeated the
same message: there is no leadership, the 'opposition' is infiltrated and
divided. We don't know what to do. You come to a meeting hoping for some
inspiration and you go away empty and desolate. But at least it is the
Filling our news pages and screens with activity to create a sense of
measures taken to solve our problems is like treating people suffering from
HIV and AIDS with Panodol. We are seen to be doing something but we are
avoiding the real issue. There is a story at the end of the tenth chapter of
Luke's gospel in which Jesus calls on some friends. They are two sisters and
one of them gets busy preparing a meal, as any mother would do when a guest
arrives. But she has a sister who is content to just sit by Jesus and listen
to him. The busy sister complains but Jesus chides her gently and says, 'no,
your sister here has chosen the right thing to do.'
We have pondered the story of Martha and Mary for two thousand years and
still can't quite get inside it. We know Jesus is not condemning the work of
Martha but he is saying that beyond work, beyond ceaseless activity, there
is something more essential. And what is that? I cannot give a complete
answer but it has to do with being quiet sometimes. It has to do with
allowing reality to penetrate within me, listening to the cries of those who
are suffering, attending to the heart of God who longs to heal his world but
cannot do so unless invited.
BY GIFT PHIRI
HARARE - Government has raised salaries of military personnel - the
front-line enforcers of President Robert Mugabe's brutal regime - by up to
150 per cent.
The increase, coming amid opposition threats to roll out mass protests, has
drawn accusations that Mugabe was paying off key groups with a critical role
in the wider effort to keep Zanu (PF) in power.
Zimbabwe's security chiefs have over the past few months been agitating for
a 10-fold increase in the salaries of the armed forces to ensure their
loyalty against public protests.
The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) on Sunday vowed to press ahead with
the demonstrations, which Mugabe has said would be ruthlessly crushed
Sources in the Army Data Capture Unit at the KG6 Barracks told The
Zimbabwean that they had already completed working on the soldiers'
"They are getting a 130 percent increase across the board," the source said.
"I understand there is likely to be another increase soon."
A private in the 40,000 strong army earns $27,000 a month, a captain $42,000
and a major $58,000. After this increase a private will see his salary shoot
up to $57,000. These figures exclude other allowances such as transport and
The increase follows seething discontent among soldiers over poor salaries
and working conditions. Military sources said before the raise, soldiers
were increasingly unsettled by government's refusal to increase their
salaries and provide adequate food supplies to the army.
Disgruntled armed forces pose a serious threat to Mugabe's regime, which
depends on the state security apparatus for its survival.
Mugabe recently urged the armed forces to remain vigilant to deal with what
he termed a "vicious imperialist onslaught" adding soldiers will obey
instructions to turn their guns on protestors.
Soldiers who spoke to The Zimbabwean privately said the increase was still
negligible as they had been expecting a 10-fold increase to cushion them
against hyperinflation, currently running above 1,000 percent.
Some troops have reportedly been detained at 2 Brigade barracks in Harare in
connection with "indiscipline" related to agitation for salary increases.
Sources said the soldiers were expected to be court-marshalled.
Army spokesman Simon Tsatsa declined to comment on the salary adjustment and
denied there was unrest within the† ranks.
Army commanders are traditionally loyal to Mugabe and generals occupy the
upper echelons of parastatals and government posts. Mugabe has militarised
government bureaucracy by deploying former soldiers to perform civilian
Tackling the dictator
'Presidents of classic banana republics are laughing at our senile dictator'
'You cannot rig the economy - it operates strictly on the basis of the
HARARE - Full points to the ZCTU for, once again confronting the evil regime
of Robert Mugabe through the street demonstration a few weeks ago. That was
a clear demonstration of courage and commitment to the freedom of all of us.
It was a selfless act. There are those who think that the demonstration was
not successful. I am of the view that the demonstration was highly
successful because it forced the dictator to show his true colours for all
I suspect that just before the demonstration there were a few local and
international elements that were beginning to believe that Mugabe is not as
evil as civil society and the MDC seem to portray after all. Thank God for
the ZCTU demo, this fallacy was projected in graphic style. The dictator's
praise for the Zanu (PF) Repressive Police (ZRP) when he arrived back from
abusing the West was so unstatesmanlike that even presidents of classic
banana republics are still laughing at our senile dictator.
Having said all this, it must be admitted that there is now an urgent need
for civil society to re-group and re-strategise for the purpose of
effectively tackling the dictator head on. In my opinion, the ZCTU approach,
which is also commonly used by the NCA, can only make but small dents to the
armoury of the dictator. There has to be a revisit to that strategy in order
to re-order it in relation with the current circumstances that the nation is
We must not forget, for example, that the evil regime is far more desperate
now than it was only three or so years ago. Now why is that? First, the
Zimbabwe economy has declined so badly that even the very rich are watching
their ill-gotten wealth virtually spirited away each time Gono gets close to
a microphone. I have always held the view that the economy is the fear
factor that is going to knock the dictator down for six.
So how do you hit at the economy in order to hurt the dictator? Some people
have argued against stay aways as ineffective. I personally think otherwise;
I think in the face of a vicious dictator who has perfected the art of
inflicting pain on the ruled, it is necessary to involve the people in
carefully orchestrated job boycotts. This can start with one day per week
for three weeks, and then escalate to two days per week for another three
The best will be a full five days of no work, no school and no public
transport on the roads. This is bound to result in two major developments.
First, it will get the people confident that they can defy the regime and
live to tell the story. The people will begin to believe in their power once
again. Second, this will send the economy into spasms of failure that the
regime will hate to experience. It is essential for progressive forces to
make governance of this nation a very costly affair.
The ZCTU alone, or the NCA alone cannot accomplish this difficult task. It
is therefore necessary to combine forces to include all civic bodies and
their memberships, all the churches, student bodies, as well as professional
bodies in the stay aways. Public transport operators will have to be
persuaded to keep their buses of the road on the designated days. Civil
servants will have to be advised to fail to get transport to get to work.
If necessary they may have to be threatened to stay away from work. It is
only after such a series of civic disobedience activities that a nationwide
demonstration can be called and it will be successful. The Christian
Alliance, in my view, is best placed to coordinate such a thorough national
effort. Freedom is not free; there is a price to be paid. Are we willing to
Govt using women's groups
EDITOR - The current onslaught by the public media and women's organisations
on MDC Mabuku legislator Timothy Mubhawu cannot go unchallenged. The attacks
are not only sensational but personal. I strongly feel that what Mubhawu
said is not criminal. The Parliamentary Privileges and Immunities Act allows
legislators to freely express themselves in the august house. That is what
parliamentary democracy entails. To say the Domestic Violence Bill is
diabolical and should not be passed does not mean the Mabvuku legislator
does not respect women, or condone their rape, murder or abuse.
Government is using these organisations to get political mileage. Am I the
only person who is seeing this unholy alliance between women organisations
on one hand and government and the official media on the other? Why does
government allow demonstrations that are not critical of its mismanagement
to take place while they criminalise those by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade
Unions (ZCTU) and Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) that protest against
skyrocketing prices of goods and services. I give an example of Woza who
usually demonstrate against school fees increases and the increase of bread
price. Are these demonstrations not equally important and if so why then
does government support one demonstration and criminalises the other?
Government is actually using this Domestic Violence Bill to divide the civic
society and turn women's organisations against the MDC.
I stand by my words: What the Mabvuku MP said in Parliament was not a crime.
He was merely expressing his opinion. Women organisations should leave him
alone because with or without him Zanu (PF) will still pass the Domestic
Violence Bill to appease women ahead of the 2008 or is it 2010 presidential
EDSON MADONDO, Harare
Principle of equity
EDITOR - The MDC today represents the only viable alternative to the outpost
of tyranny the current Government of Zimbabwe has become.
In an era when the black-person is trying to show the world that he too is
capable of developing himself, the government of Robert Mugabe is busy
ridiculing that by showing the world that they will not allow themselves to
be criticised and that anyone who does so risks the loss of his or her life.
The Daily Telegraph last wek reported on the sad story of Didymus Mutasa,
who still thinks that the Security Agency is his personal fiefdom there to
protect his party.
The MDC was founded on the principle of bringing equity to Zimbabwe;
political equity for all people in our country to have a say as taxation is
only taxation by representation. As the Zimbabwean taxpayer we have every
right to participate in the governance of our country by directly choosing
those who will represent us, economic and social justice. The slogan for
MDC; "Chinja Maitiro, Guqula Izenzo" is a philosophical statement not an
empty statement: it's not even emotional. It says what we expect our
Zimbabwe to be - a country deeply embedded in a culture of transparency,
tolerance, accountability, responsibility and which seeks to achieve this by
giving the power to decide to a very included and well-informed citizenry.
The MDC in the UK and Northern Ireland urges the International Community to
see the danger of allowing Robert Mugabe and his government the pleasure of
this impunity. Not only is Zimbabwe treading on dangerous ground but it is
carrying the international order with it.
JULIUS SAI MUTYAMBIZI-DEWA, Secretary, MDC UK and Northern Ireland
Why are you in UK, Miss Zim?
EDITOR - In response to Faith Mutambanashe the reigning Miss Zimbabwe in UK,
I say kana waguta Macdonald you must shut up and take a siesta rather than
talking a lot of rubbish. How dare you insult Zimbabweans in the Diaspora by
saying we are tarnishing the image of Zimbabwe? If Zimbabwe was good for
you, why are you here in UK? You must go back to Zimbabwe and promote
The Diaspora is telling the truth of what is happening in Zimbabwe and how
people are suffering - including Faith's relatives. Just two weeks ago the
government that Faith is protecting was out of leash beating up the
leadership of ZCTU.† You should log on the net and view the video clip which
is in circulation around the world about the brutal beatings of ZCTU leaders
and you will be shocked.
We are now seeking refuge in many countries because of the anarchy in
Zimbabwe. It's one year since the government of Zimbabwe destroyed a number
of houses and a lot of people are still homeless.
Do you think we the Diaspora hate our country like Mugabe does?
LUKA PHIRI, UK
No generals - just Mujibas
EDITOR - History tells us that the relationship between the political leader
and the miltiary leader of a state is a delicate one at the best of times.
Where there is war or national upheaval, it simply becomes more delicate.
Hitler declined Rommel's military advice, which was identical (on the
significance of North Africa) to that of General Alan Brooke to Winston
Churchill. Thankfully, Churchill chose to listen to Brooke.
But the Harare Government (read Mugabe) has specialised in the science of
stooges - his Mujibas - nurturing, and then rewarding his most loyal ones
with farms and much more. Chihuri was "encouraged" by a spell in detention
in Mozambique in the 70s, apparently - Dabengwa rewarded with a spell in
detention in the New Zimbabwe.
Is it just possible that Tongogara was just no mujiba, but rather a General
of Rommel's stature, and mysteriously died in car, just like Rommel? I think
It seems that Zimbabwe's greatest limitation is that it does not have one
proper General - just a Military Mujiba, loyal to its leader not its (poor)
people, and is now locked into that "27 Year Mujiba Cycle."
Who will break it?
MUJIBA WATCHER, Australia
Is it nearly over?
EDITOR - We think that as the sun sets each evening, that another day has
passed. Maybe for the better or possibly for the worse. Somehow we forget
that when the day ends for us, it is only just beginning for others who are
There is so much destruction in this world, so much anger and hate. The
Human race is incredibly adaptable, we change to suit our surroundings and
try our best to find a comfortable niche.
Therefore what is supposed to happen when we are thrown out of our comfort
Many people, who are older and perhaps wiser, tell me that they believe the
end is coming soon. Strangely the end has been coming soon for about the
past 5 years. ( a third of my lifetime )
What is to result from the current crisis in Zimbabwe?
Is this just the start of our nightmare, halfway through, the beginning of
the end, or is it finishing, is it nearly over? Or is it just time that will
JACKIE ROBINSON, (AGE 15), Australia
Root of failure
EDITOR -Allow me to air my views in your widely-read paper on the
opposition's continual failure, in the wake of its recent losses in
by-elections. Failure continues to haunt our Zimbabwe opposition mainly
because of the presence of its accommodation of opportunists within its
ranks. The formation of the opposition availed a rare opportunity to some
people to jump onto the political bandwagon. The other political window in
Zimbabwe required one to have liberation war credentials or links with
people who had these credentials. It was a question of who do you know?
South African theoretician, Isaac Bangani Tabata once said: "Opportunism is
the worst disease that can infect any organization". It can be diagnosed
that our opposition contracted this disease at birth and the medication also
appears to be elusive. The symptoms of the 'disease' are apparent in the
opposition-factionalism, regionalism, and intra-party violence. What is
worrying is that the opposition does not seem to know it has this ailment.
The major setback of opportunist is that they quickly run out of steam -
they cannot stand the heat. This evidenced by running out of ideas as a
result they fizzle out and throw in the towel at a time when the masses are
banking on them.
While it may be justified that the playfield is not level due to draconian
laws among other factors, the opposition's enemy number one is itself. The
unevenness of the political field should bring out the best in the
opposition-great leaders are products of hard and trying times.
In the just ended by-elections the 'disease' was also evidenced - the
opposition should refrain from its accommodation of opportunists because
they are bound to fail. What really pains the heart is that people thought
that at last the Messiah had come to save them, but alas the wait has to
SAVIOUS HARI, USA
Shame on the passers by
EDITOR - A recent video clip circulating on the SW Radio Africa web site
showed Zimbabwe Republic Police savagely beating ZCTU leaders and fellow
The sheer insensitivity and unmitigated aggression of the police as they
meted out their unlawful justice was dramatic, and unfortunately not an
unusual occurrence in today's Zimbabwe.
The police showed no shame and no fear of retribution, confident in the
knowledge that their actions are condoned not only by their superiors, but
by the government of Zimbabwe itself.
Seen in the background of the video clip were pedestrians strolling past
totally unconcerned, seemingly oblivious of the violence being inflicted on
their brothers and sisters, in broad daylight, and in the city centre.
It seemed the height of irony that walking up and down on the pavement
opposite, and giving cursory glances at the mayhem taking place only a few
yards away, were the very citizenry that could be beneficiaries of the ZCTU
public outcry against poverty hunger and oppression.
Some of the participants who went out on that fateful day are now facing
permanent and serious ill-effects from the bashing received, as well as
astronomical medical bills. Their families are traumatised and their
livelihoods are at risk.
How many witnesses of the tirade of brutality have since organised or
contributed to a fund to alleviate the suffering of the few?
Zimbabwe watchers safely ensconced in the diaspora often ask why there isn't
serious mass action?
Being part of a popular and successful demonstration of hundreds and
thousands is one thing, but having to courageously and forever go it alone
is quite another.
EXILED ZIMBABWEAN, UK
Learn from Zambia
EDITOR - Thank you for the tireless effort you are doing to bring to us
independent and true news about our country. There is just one thing that is
disappointing to many of us who would like to see change in our once
prosperous Zimbabwe -† the lack of unity among the forces fighting for
The opposition groups must learn from the Zambian experience where the
opposition parties lost because of divided votes yet they were all
contesting against Mwanawasa and the MMD.
Unless there is unity of purpose in Zimbabwe Zanu (PF) will continue to mess
on our faces.