THE UTILIZATION AND MANAGEMENT OF SUSTAINABLE RESOURCES – ANOTHER CASUALTY
OF ZIMBABWES’ LAND CRISIS … the salient points
Ø Consequences of Poaching
Ø It will contribute to a decline in tourism; tourists visit the country
principally to see wildlife, and if it is not there, they will find a new
Ø Negative impact on tourism due to bad publicity.
Ø Conservative estimates are that approximately 60% of wildlife has
disappeared from former commercial farms due to rampant poaching. This figure
does not include the smaller species.
Ø Due to the natural habitat decreasing, territorial fighting has increased
and resulted in some deaths.
Ø Wildlife Conservancies have not escaped unscathed, where poaching is
Ø Detrimental consequences for some marginal species; i.e. Black &
White Rhinoceros, Tsessebe, Leopard, Cheetah etc
Ø Decreased revenue for the State from the sale of trophy animals.
Ø Decreased revenues for local communities where this takes place in
Ø Reduces the national reserve of wildlife species without a positive
return for the nation.
Ø Will destroy the animal resource necessary for the successful marketing
of photographic and hunting safaris for overseas clients, thus denying the
country valuable foreign currency and employment. The hunting used to bring
US$45 million per annum revenue for the state.
Ø Reduced wildlife management within the National Parks system: i.e.
fences not being repaired, with Management being prevented from pumping water
for the animals. This is very serious since the game has become reliant on the
artificial water points and we are experiencing a drought, so most natural water
points have/or are drying up.
Ø No control of movement of animals and hence the spreading of disease, ie
foot and mouth.
Ø There is reduced monitoring of endangered species.
Ø Uncontrolled export of rhino horn to the east, and an increase in
Ø Uncontrolled export of animals to countries that do not have the correct
habitat for the species.
Ø Where poaching is done by snaring
1. It does not discriminate on the species caught, and up to 70% of the
snared animals are left to rot.
2. Cruelty to the animals caught due to the
3. If the animal is the not killed immediately by the snare,
the process of dying from starvation & thirst is unacceptable.
4. A large
number of animals poached are in calf, so we are loosing two in one hit and
inhibiting the gene pool.
Currently tourists in the area of Hwange National Park and other areas’ can
see the consequences of snaring; as numerous animals can be seen carrying wire
snares around their necks or legs or bare the scars of this menace. The
majority of the casualties lie rotting in the bush unseen by visitors. Even
herd members of the Presidential herd of elephants are evidencing snares and
their resultant wounds.
Some animals break free from the snares, but are so badly injured, that
they either die a very long and slow death or if found have to be put down, due
to the extent of the injury and infection.
Consequences of Tree Cutting & Habitat Destruction
Ø Increased soil erosion and land degradation.
Ø Habitat destruction which results negatively on vulnerable species that
are habitat dependant. i.e. certain species of insects & birds.
Ø Contributes to the Greenhouse effect which results in global
Ø Gold panning – deadly chemicals are getting into our water systems and
serious erosion due to the huge holes erupting along the river banks. These
chemicals are also poisoning our wildlife.
Ø Bush fires which are deliberately started.
Ø Due to decreased habitat and vast areas being burnt/cleared,
grazing/browsing is in short supply for both wildlife and domestic
Culprits of Destruction & Poaching
Ø Members of civil society who are able to take advantage of the lack of
the “Rule of Law” currently bedevilling the country. This goes as high up as
ministers and governors hunting indiscriminately and illegally.
Ø Members of government who treat wildlife as their own preserve, and often
order local authorities or members of the Department of National Parks and
Police to slaughter game for political rallies, and feeding the government’s
Ø Newly resettled farmers/war vets and squatters.
Ø Communities adjoining National Parks boundaries.
Ø Commercial bushmeat trade.
Ø Members of the armed forces.
Responsibility of Control
The Department of National Parks and The Zimbabwe Republic Police are
mandated by the State to control poaching in all its forms. This is rarely
Poaching is rampant throughout the country; not even National Parks animals
are spared from this scourge. In fact, often poaching is done by National Parks
staff members themselves, under the guise of shooting for staff rations. These
off takes are in most cases far in excess of the authorised allocations.
Methods of poaching
Ø using packs of dogs
Ø commercial – using weapons –
Ø netting of animals and birds
Ø netting of
our aquatic life
Ø poisoining aquatic life
Ø poisoning animals
/ bows and arrows / pangas
Ø disabling the animal, then clubbing it to death
No man is an Iland, intire of it selfe; every
man is a peece of the
Continent, a part of the
maine; if a Clod bee washed away by the
Europe is the lesse as well as if a
Premontorie were, as well as if a Mannor
thy friends or of thine owne were; any mans
death diminishes me,
because I am involved
In Mankinde; and therefore never send to
whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee
National Survival and
Utilisation of Resources and
THE WORLD EARTH SUMMIT
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA
For once it is not the AK47, the legacy of one Mikhail Kalashnikov
favoured by every militant and his dog from Cape to Cairo, Bagamoyo to Bengwela,
and which has been one of the bells tolling, by way of its distinctive
chattering fire pattern, for the wildlife of Africa… and particularly, in the
context of this report, for the wildlife of Zimbabwe. As with the bushmeat
trade that has blossomed its sanguinary way across the length and breadth of
Africa, decimating rain forest and bushveld species alike, it has not, by and
large, been the curse of the Kalashnikov AK47 that has been the perpetrator of
that particular mayhem. Panga, spear, bow and arrow, ancient muzzle loader,
hired or stolen sporting rifle, pits, the noose and the ubiquitous snare tend to
be the tools of the trade for that line of business.
The more silent killers, their insidious inroads into the resources of our
country, our continent, our planet no less effective through their
In Zimbabwe the orchestrated destruction of wildlife and its habitat, the
degradation of the rivers by the mushrooming illegal gold panning business, and
the decimation of thousands of hectares of trees, a carefully planned exercise
that forms part of a definite strategy of the history currently unravelling in
this country is swiftly and steadily leading towards a moment that, should
normality ever prevail again, the ecological damage caused will be
It should be made clear from the outset of this report that the details
contained herein pertain essentially to the wildlife and environment outside the
boundaries of the National Parks under the jurisdiction of that relevant
government body. The areas of Zimbabwe to which this report refers are, in the
main, the private conservation areas (Conservancies), and the once commercially
viable farms on which wildlife occurred naturally or was re-introduced. That is
not to say that the wildlife and environment in the National Parks themselves
are not under threat.
Contrary to what the reader might be told by the relevant Ministers and
other government mouthpieces at this Earth Summit, there is little to celebrate
about within these regions, for whereas the National Parks of Zimbabwe were once
safe and well managed redoubts for the dwindling wildlife of the region, as was
the case with other areas of Africa, today, as never before, the lacklustre
commitment by its managing body, the collusion of staff in poaching operations,
and, that eternal bugbear, dearth of funds – often exacerbated by mismanagement
of funds and underscored more recently by disillusioned donors – has caused
these once-upon-a-time sanctuaries to be raped and pillaged to a degree never
before experienced. A political campaign that has allowed many a genie out of
its bottle to run amok, with accountability and recourse non-existent, has added
its own dimension of battue to the foregoing.
But, enough of the National Parks scenario. There will be, as is
customary, platitudes galore spilling forth from the custodians of that area of
Over the course of several decades Zimbabwe has gained an international
reputation for its progressive approach towards the management of its natural
resources, both in its gazetted protected areas and in the commercial farming
areas. Without question one of the most successful programmes has been the
establishment of large private conservancies… an amalgamation of units of land
whose owners have taken the route of managing their wildlife resources jointly
rather than individually. This train of thought, and its implementation, was
born of a vital need to enlarge areas of semi-arid savannas and scrub-woodland
if wildlife populations were to have the space they needed to survive; to be
able to move the distances required as they foraged in such poor resource
conditions. In some of the conservancies the original business of cattle
ranching continued, where the natural environment allowed. In others, where the
hostility of the natural environment negated any of the plus factors associated
with commercial farming, cattle or otherwise, large areas of land were given
entirely over to what wildlife existed, with the introduction of further wild
species that could survive, and indeed increase, despite the harshness of the
In agricultural terms such environmental regions are referred to as Grade
Five areas… that is, areas where economical and sustainable commercial farming
has no chance of succeeding. A prime example of such a conservancy is the Save
Valley Conservancy in the south-eastern Lowveld of Zimbabwe. This conservancy,
with a total area of 340,000 hectares (including two state owned properties)
converted completely from cattle production to wildlife production in 1992 and
incorporated the world’s first large-scale translocation of elephants (almost
600 animals) in complete family groups. Along with predators and buffalo, the
elephant populations of the region had been eradicated when the cattle ranching
era had evolved. Largely in vain, it would prove. Whilst other species
re-established themselves on their own, such as the endangered wild-dog which,
in that conservancy, has grown to become one of Zimbabwe’s largest wild dog
populations, in tandem with the various packs in and around Hwange National Park
environs – many other species were also re-introduced.
It is the well-managed development and far-sighted vision of the
conservancy-type project that became the cornerstone of the survival of
Zimbabwe’s black rhino population. With the decimation by poaching gangs in the
late 1980’s, these originating mainly from neighbouring countries, of the black
rhino populations in the northern-most national parks of Zimbabwe, a number of
those rhinos still hanging on were translocated to private land. It should be
made clear that these rhinos remained the property of the government. What was
different was that, with this move, the protection of the rhinos became the
responsibility of the relevant ranch owners, whose employment of game guards,
and the implementation of anti-poaching operations was undertaken privately, out
of their own pockets. Whilst having such an endangered species on their
property was, in some cases, an attraction in terms of ecotourism, the
undertaking by the ranchers was essentially to assist the national rhino
conservation effort. Approximately 190 black rhinos were moved to different
areas of private land within Zimbabwe. Under meaningful protection again, that
private land population has doubled over the last decade. On the other side of
the coin, the endeavours of the National Parks in their areas of management were
insufficient to protect the remaining black rhino populations.
The vast tracts of land, coupled with some of the reasons already
mentioned, resulted in the Department of National Parks and Wild Life Management
concentrating its efforts and resources on four restricted Intensive Protection
Zones (IPZ’s), where approximately 150 black rhinos are being protected, with
the assistance of significant donor support. Of concern, it has to be recorded,
is the effectiveness of the Intensive Protection Zones in the current
circumstances prevailing in Zimbabwe. Particularly so when poachers can, as
they did on 28 March 2002, enter such a zone and go about their business
successfully. This occurred at the National Parks IPZ at Matusadona on Lake
Kariba when poachers used pesticide to poison two semi-tame rhinos in pens.
They succeeded in killing one, removing its horn, managed to steal fuel, and
took their leave. Undetected.
Almost 75% of Zimbabwe’s black rhinos are on commercial farms and
conservancies, whilst almost half of the national total of approximately 200
white rhinos are also on private land. In these sectors there have also been
poaching fatalities as a result of the land invasions, and we will come to
Because it is not enough that projects such as conservancies be sustainable
in ecological and economic terms… that they also have to be sustainable in
social and political terms, several of the conservancies have introduced their
own outreach programmes. Usually formalised via the relevant Rural District
Councils through the formation of a community trust and a formal memorandum of
understanding, such programmes include mechanisms that help to resolve the
conflict between wildlife and humans whilst also garnering benefits for the
humans living on the fringe of the ranching and conservancy areas by way of
funds from hunting and ecotourism being channelled their way.
The founding of CAMPFIRE (Communal Areas Management Programme for
Indigenous Resources), unique at the time of its inception in Zimbabwe, and now
a programme adopted by other African countries, was a cornerstone and blueprint
for such outreach programmes that promoted the use of sustainable
However, all such schemes have been disrupted by the land crisis, and in
tandem with such disruption has come a poaching crisis and a destruction of
resource crisis of hitherto unparalleled proportions.
THE CURRENT STATE OF AFFAIRS
In Zimbabwe at the time of this report and the scheduling of the Earth
Summit in South Africa it would not be unrealistic to use the Four Horsemen of
the Apocalypse as an analogy for what is happening. War, Famine, Pestilence and
Death are riding high and wild, and it is not only the humans, black or white,
that are succumbing to the plague. The plight of the white commercial farmers
and their respective workforces, who are in a state of well defined and declared
war, and death… the plight of the majority of the black population who are in a
state of famine, pestilence, death and war… all of this orchestrated mayhem has
been chronicled by the world media. To some degree. What is only just
flocculating to the surface are that the same Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
are visiting themselves upon the wildlife and commercial stock of the country.
And in their wake the sustainable resources of the country have been torn
Since the land invasions began in earnest, essentially commencing in the
Masvingo area in February 2000 – though there had been sporadic invasions over
the previous two months – the wildlife and environment on the farms and
conservancies came under threat also. By the middle of June 2000 1634 farms had
been occupied, and once the results from the election held on 24 and 25 June
were known, the purgatory in which the country of Zimbabwe was engulfed
ratcheted up ever higher. Wildlife, agricultural livestock and the environment
entered a new concerted phase of destruction. No longer were the snare lines
and sporadic shots in the night merely another indication that things were
getting increasingly out of hand. It was an obvious campaign by the government
of the day to turn the heat up, in its determined bid to remain in power. For
the people whose support was paramount to it remaining in power, the grassroots
population of the rural areas, it was a free meal ticket to help themselves to
the massive supermarket around them. After all, they were told it belonged to
And the slaughter and destruction began in earnest.
The conservancies and game ranches in the provinces of Midlands,
Matabeleland South and Masvingo have felt the brunt of the destruction, though
no game or domestic stock area has been spared the attentions of the rampant
genies making the most of their time out of the bottles.
What has made the situation even more untenable is that the “every man
for himself” syndrome reigns supreme as cabinet ministers, senior army and
police officers, provincial governors, local authorities and the different
factions of so-called war veterans’ leadership all struggle for their place at
the trough, issuing orders and counter-orders in bewildering profusion.
International agreements signed by the government have proved to be as worthless
as the local currency being printed at an ever increasing rate, whilst rulings
and decisions made by individual “lightweight” ministers are summarily
discarded, court rulings are routinely overturned and presidential decrees that
deny access to courts for people at the sharp end of the land invasions are the
order of the day.
As the wanton destruction of wildlife continues – with the meat of the
animals very often not utilized, or, if so, a leg hacked off here, a haunch
there; as the trees come falling down, more often than not in areas where not
one seed of grain will be planted in the pillaged barren areas created, or if
they are, will not germinate in the hostile environment invaded; as the fires
sweep across the country, destroying wildlife and habitat alike… the world
continues to turn. Apart from isolated individual reaction – bravely taken at
considerable risk to themselves and their careers – by members of the Zimbabwe
Republic Police and the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management,
the supinity of these two government departments has ensured that the
destruction of the wildlife and environment will continue unabated. The
sustainable resource credo is out the window. When measured against the
wildlife poached, the rivers and dams poisoned, the fires raging uncontrolled,
the amount of poachers arrested and charged is abysmal. And more often than not
the sentence handed down, should a poacher be charged, is a joke… three days
community service for a man arrested by game scouts who has a butchered kudu and
warthog in his possession, along with two kilometres of snare lines taking their
toll, unattended… the animals dying a lingering death and left to rot – it’s a
waste of time arresting the person.
There is some communication, of course, between the people trying to keep
that last of the wildlife from going down the plughole and the various ministers
and levels of governmental hierarchy. There is much verbiage. Many platitudes
are mouthed. Many free lunches are enjoyed. The right words are trotted out at
the right moments.
Such as these words of the Hon. Francis Nhema, MP, Minister of
Environment and Tourism, spoken at the Thirteenth Cresta Wildlife Oscar
presentation in Harare, December 2001. More than at any other time in our past
history, we need the support of organizations, not only those within the tourism
sector, to promote this sustainable development, management and utilization of
our wildlife and other natural resources for the benefit of all Zimbabweans. My
ministry is totally dedicated to working with all players in the tourism sector
and with organizations such as the Wildlife Producers’ Association and the
Zimbabwe Hunters’ Association, to promote sustainable development of the
wildlife industry for the benefit of visitors to Zimbabwe and also the people of
Zimbabwe. We have built up a reputation for being a nation which utilizes its
natural resources wisely and in an environmentally-conscious manner, and we want
to maintain that reputation.
As eloquently as such words are manufactured, they nevertheless have
little meaning at the coalface, where the management of sustainable resources
actually takes place. Neither do they have any restorative effect on the
tourism sector of Zimbabwe. The crisis within the country has impacted on the
whole of southern Africa, and its fallout has been felt over the length and
breadth of the continent. Not only has tourism in the neighbouring countries of
Botswana, South Africa and Zambia been affected, foreign tourists have cancelled
trips to Kenya and even Egypt.
Back to the situation on the ground.
In the June 2002 edition of Outpost, the magazine of the Zimbabwe Republic
Police, it was conceded that poaching had reached alarming proportions in
northern Zimbabwe. On the other side of the country it was reported by the
Zimbabwe Independent of 9 November 2001 that settlers establishing themselves in
the Gona re Zhou National Park were demanding that government grant them
“appropriate authority” to exploit and sell the Park’s natural resources …
naturally including its abundant wildlife. And so it goes.
The three conservancies that appear to have been targeted for the most
severe pressure on their resources are the Save Valley Conservancy (the largest
in Zimbabwe), the Chiredzi River Conservancy and the Bubiana Conservancy.
Each of the conservancies has maintained, in varying degrees of detail,
records of the destruction inflicted since the land invasions first began.
However, even the most diligently maintained statistics represent but a fraction
of the story, and generally err on the side of conservatism.
When one considers that, as one example, the Buffalo Range ranches (part of
the Chiredzi River conservancy) have been operating a successful cattle and
wildlife production system for the past 40 years in Natural Regions categorised
as Three, Four and Five, where land is marginal for conventional agriculture,
including livestock production : whose records, ever open for inspection over
those 40 years are testimony to the professional management of their resources,
whose estimations of game destroyed (quite apart from 60,000 acres of land),
from leopard to waterbuck to cheetah to zebra is conservatively estimated to be
12,694 animals … wither resource management now?
Large tracts of land in all three conservancies have been declared “no-go”
areas by the recently arrived settlers, a situation they enforce vigorously,
assisted by the “war veterans” purportedly supporting their cause in
re-acquiring the land that current history and the politicians decree belongs to
them. It is this lack of access on the ground that makes it impossible for
wildlife custodians and veterinary personnel to get a clear picture of the
damage done to wildlife and habitat alike – and where facts are few, rumour and
speculation prosper. Because of the “no-go” areas in the conservancies there is
a question mark hanging over the status of the wildlife known, once upon a time,
to be resident there. This applies to both big and small game, and in
particular to endangered species such as black rhino, wild dog and their ilk.
Some press statements have suggested that as many as 50 rhinos, black and white,
have been poached during the land invasions. As at this time of writing there
is nothing to substantiate such guesswork. What is known is that 15 black rhino
have been snared, resulting in six being killed… two in one conservancy, four in
another. No white rhino have been recorded as poached. Yet.
Over the course of 18 months, on 76 ranches in Matabeleland South, records
show that 30367 animals have been killed and 39662 snares collected. It is but
a tip of the iceberg.
Ranch scouts have been disarmed, intimidated and severely assaulted as
they tried to perform their duties, and so are unable to determine the full
impact of the snaring in their relevant areas of responsibility. The wholesale
removal of hundreds of kilometres fencing has resulted in livestock and wildlife
mingling, with the resulting threat of endemic diseases spreading from the
wildlife to the livestock. Foot and mouth disease is a particular concern in
For one example of wildlife destroyed, and the threat imposed by the
“silent death” … snaring, in a report originating from the Save Valley
Conservancy for 25 July 2002, please refer to Annexure One enclosed.
Annexure Two. The Utilization and Management of Sustainable Resources –
Another Casualty of Zimbabwe’s Land Crisis … the salient points.
Like all thinking Zimbabweans, the farmers, ranchers and conservancy
custodians need no persuading that the acquisition of land on which to settle
land-hungry subsistence farmers is an inescapable imperative. The massive
question mark that hangs over the current free-for-all scenario, causing as much
bewilderment as it does disillusionment to people who have maintained an
efficient sustainable resource environment to the mutual benefit of themselves
and their country over many years is the method of it’s application.
For the stakeholders, the ranchers, conservationists and visionaries who
initiated the conservancy projects in the regions entirely unsuitable for
sustainable systems of agriculture, with the soils poor and the rainfall low
(Grade Five areas), the current on-going destruction of the environment makes
the least sense of all.
Perhaps the geographical position of conservancies such as Malilangwe and
the Save Valley allows them some hope that sanity might prevail by way of the
tremendous potential of the Trans Frontier Conservation Area (TFCA) initiative,
long on the drawing board and now well set on its path towards combining
countries, ecosystems and joint effort into multi-beneficial, profitable,
sustainable wilderness and wildlife industries – and which will (or should)
incorporate those particular conservancies. Whether that hope is justified
remains to be seen.
For the rest …. Their resilience will continue to be tested to the
extremist of limits. Because this scenario is not about land. It is about
power, at any price.
What price tag does the sustainable natural resources of a country have
This is a question we ask you, the reader of this document. The other
question we ask you is this.
Where are the voices and action of the many wildlife and environmental
organisations that claim to care ?
On the grave stone of one of the world’s greatest hands-on
conservationists, Bernhard Grzimek, up on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater,
where he lies buried beside his son, are these words :
IT IS BETTER TO LIGHT A CANDLE THAN TO CURSE THE DARKNESS
The people of Zimbabwe who continue to keep their candles alight in their
ongoing struggle to save what is left of a sustainable environment need a few
more candles lit.
the 1st of August 2001 the following statistics have been recorded
|| Total since August 2001 up to the end of:
|| This week
where animals have been killed
of snares recovered
|Number of poachers dogs shot
|Snares recovered equate to about 43680 metres of wire although often
these snares are up to 4 strands thick
| so constitute more wire and greater threat.
|Over 80km of fencing has been destroyed
comprising up to 1280km of wire. This is potentially 427 000 snares
about 400 000 still to be recovered.
of Poached Animals found : -
Killed up to the end of : -
|| ZW$:1US$ Conversion
||Killed This Week
|| SI 115 value
|| Trophy value ZW$
|| $ 342,000.00
|| $ 47,880,000.00
|| $ 117,600,000.00
|| $ 14,640,000.00
|| $ 51,000.00
|| $ 15,300,000.00
|| $ 1,600.00
|| $ 480,000.00
|| $ 18,000.00
|| $ 720,000.00
|| $ 16,000.00
|| $ 2,160,000.00
|| $ 18,720,000.00
|| $ 17,640,000.00
|| $ 51,000,000.00
|| $ 30,000.00
|| $ 3,600,000.00
|| $ 30,000,000.00
|| $ 1,000.00
|| $ 90,000.00
|| $ 20,000.00
|| $ 900,000.00
|| $ 18,000.00
|| $ 1,500,000.00
|| $ 75,000.00
|| $ 3,000,000.00
|| $ 36,000.00
|| $ 3,000,000.00
|| $ 19,000.00
|| $ 2,280,000.00
|| $ 30,000.00
|| $ 240,000.00
|| $ 8,000.00
|| $ 360,000.00
|| $ 6,000,000.00
|| $ 70,000.00
|| $ 42,000,000.00
|| $ 379,110,000.00
|| $ 8,535.17
|| $ 631,850.00
Incidents reported up to the end of : -
||Reported This Week
obtained come mainly from properties that are partially or totally
to "no go" status imposed on Mkwasine Ranch, Mukwazi, Mukazi, Angus
and Chigwete ranches,
are in most instances not available from these properties.
DIARY OF POACHING ACTIVITIES ON A RANCH IN ZIMBABWE
Juvenile poacher caught with warthog and taken to Police
Eland and 1 young giraffe killed and 1 eland wounded during the night, dogs and
spears were used. Meat of 2 eland removed in donkey cart. Rest left for
vultures and jackals.
12/08/02 1 giraffe killed at KB dip during night
10/08/02. Taken away by vehicle from Joco (no telephones to make report).
Government heavy vehicle in about 2pm and left again at about 3pm loaded with
12/08/2002 2 Eland found killed
reported to Sgt Ndhlovu poachers with spears and dogs near homestead. Police
arrived at about 02.30 am fired 2 warning shots in air and returned. In the
morning 2 eland were found and the meat had been taken in a donkey
16/08/2002 3 Big steers were missing. As suspected they had been
killed. Found 2 eland and 4 kudu that have been killed
pipes, rods, pump, mono pump head, electric motor, starter stolen, smashed the
cement block. Value $3500000.00
16/08/2002 1 kudu killed at Chipata, only
the backleg taken, the rest has been left.
TOTAL IN 7 DAYS IS 12 ELAND, 5
KUDU, 2 GIRAFFE & 3 STEERS
NO HELP FROM POLICE OR NATIONAL PARKS, ALL
MEAT SEEMS TO HAVE BEEN REMOVED FROM THE FARM MOSTLY IN DONKEY
Yes, we have no prisoners
overthetop By Brian Latham
POLICE in a troubled central African country have discovered a new method
of avoiding troublesome paperwork-as well as difficult questions from lawyers,
human rights activists and lawyers.
The simple process, described as "brilliant" by the chief of police,
involves arresting lots of annoying people and then denying that anyone has been
It is believed the system was perfected in North Korea where the deranged
leader of that country, a close friend of the most equal of all comrades, has
managed to use the tactic on hundreds of thousands of people-who of course no
Still, it is only in recent months that the tactic has been employed in the
troubled central African country. And while it has been used only to a limited
extent on journalists, human rights activists, judges, union leaders and
professional students, it is understood the police are pleased with their
"This is not Stalinist Russia," said a police spokesman, "It is not our
intention to arrest millions of people and then deny their existence, mainly
because we do not have any Siberian labour camps in which to hide them."
Still, it is believed the police are doing a sterling job by filling the
limited space in various cells, holding centres and remand prisons to an extent
never intended by the colonial architects who designed them. A non-existent
prisoner told OTT that he was in contact with at least two other non-existent
prisoners whom the police had vehemently denied were in detention.
Meanwhile lawyers complain that it can take up to a week to trace
non-existent prisoners. "Very often when we find them they are in need of
medical attention, which is also worrying," said one lawyer. He explained that
the treatment meted out to non-existent prisoners was usually worse than the
treatment meted out to existing "official" prisoners.
A troubled police spokesman denied the accusation of torture of
non-existent prisoners. "There is no ill-treatment of non-existent prisoners
because non-existent prisoners do not exist and therefore cannot be
ill-treated," said the
policeman. "Besides, our cells are full of criminals and other enemies of
the state, and as everybody knows, some of these people are very rough and
violent, so who knows what happens in there?"
The tactic was raised to new levels this week when a newspaper editor was
charged for publishing a story about a non-existent prisoner who subsequently
became existent, but was not tortured. Instead he accidentally wired himself to
the national grid, which just happened to be switched on at the time, itself an
increasingly unusual event in the troubled central African nation.
A convincing police spokesman praised the ingenuity of innovative prisoners
who managed to attach themselves to the electrical mains, despite the complete
absence of any electricity in most cells. "They have obviously been taking
lessons from their South African criminal colleagues who are experts at slipping
on bars of soap, falling out of 20th floor windows and other such amazing
tricks," said the spokesman.
He retracted the statement when it was pointed out to him that such things
no longer officially happen in the troubled central African country's confused
southern neighbour, where, of course, all prisoners are treated humanely unless
they are being attacked by dogs or beaten with truncheons.
As for torture, the spokesman assured citizens of the troubled central
African nation that it never happened. "While sometimes its kind to be cruel, we
would never consider beating the soles of peoples' feet, attaching electrical
wires to their bodies or putting their heads in buckets of water." Such methods
of obtaining information from non-existent enemies of the state, he said, were
old fashioned,outmoded and frankly implausible-except when absolutely necessary.
Ziana Retrenches 80 Workers
The Daily News
October 25, 2002
Posted to the web October 28,
MORE than 80 workers at the
financially-troubled Zimbabwe Inter-Africa News
Agency (Ziana) were
retrenched on Tuesday.
The workers were served with retrenchment letters
last month which advised
them that they should leave the organisation by 21
October because of the
financial problems the old Ziana was
According to some of the retrenched workers, only four
reporters were spared
the axe: Gretina Machingura, Walter Muchinguri,
Takesure Matarise and Zodwa
The old Ziana has been operating
under very difficult conditions with
creditors besieging the
Early this month, the messenger of court descended on the
agency and attached property to recover more than $1 million
owed to the
National Social Security Authority.
Munacho Mutezo, the
chairman of Ziana, said: 'We had an agreement with the
that they would receive their packages in a few months'
time. 'We are
restructuring and down-sizing the organisation.
'We want quality results,
that is why we retrenched many workers. As we are
still reorganising the
agency, we may consider more retrenchments in the
denied that the Gweru and Masvingo branches of the Community
had been closed.
'We still have reporters operating in Masvingo and
Gweru, but I do not have
their names on me right now,' he said.
Border-Jumper Wounded By South African Soldier
The Daily News
October 25, 2002
Posted to the web October 28,
Oscar Nkala in Beitbridge
AN unidentified Zimbabwean
border-jumper was last week shot and seriously
wounded by a South African
soldier as he tried to sneak across the Limpopo
River into South
Sources at the Department of Immigration said the incident
occurred at the
South African sources said yesterday the
soldier who shot the man had been
arrested and was being held at Messina but
they could not disclose the
The wounded man was moved to a
hospital in Bulawayo, the sources said. 'The
victim was a border-jumper. We
have not yet established where he came from,'
said a source. 'Some of these
people do not carry any identity papers when
they cross the border
Police in Beitbridge confirmed the shooting but refused to
Thousands of Zimbabweans have been sneaking
across the border into South
Africa because of delays in the processing of
passports and failure to
obtain the visas.
The immigration sources
said as many as 500 border-jumpers cross the Limpopo
River into South Africa
despite the risk of running into army units deployed
South Africa deports an average of 3 000 Zimbabwean border-jumpers
month and dumps then in Beitbridge where some choose to hang around for
or weeks until they have another chance to sneak back into South
A combination of the current economic crisis and high
Zimbabwe have been identified as major factors forcing youths
to risk arrest
trying to cross into South Africa. The border-jumpers also
attacked by crocodiles and being swept away by the Limpopo when it
JAG SITREP 27th OCTOBER 2002
A farming couple were robbed
and assaulted in their farmhouse on Friday
25th October. Waller Kirk owns
three dairy farms in the area (Redbane
Dairies), two of which are run by his
sons, and he and his wife run the
third. On the night in question, four men
broke into their farmhouse at
about 21h00 (the Kirks had returned home at
about 20h00). They grabbed
Waller, who was sitting at the computer, and
demanded that he give them
the keys to the safe. When he refused, the
burglars took out knives, and
assaulted and tortured him. He has since been
admitted to hospital with
a broken rib, a punctured lung, a severed tendon on
one arm and a number
of slash wounds and contusions all over his body. His
eye has also been
severely damaged, and may well be lost. His wife was also
although she was tied up, she was not assaulted.
robbers then spent the next few hours clearing out the house of
transferring it all to a white Golf parked down the road, in
which the fifth
member of the gang remained. When they departed, the
thieves also took the
The Kirks managed to call the police after midnight, and
that they would have to send around a car to collect the
detail. When a
policeman was collected, he did nothing, but rather informed
them that a
full detail would arrive in the morning. The promised detail
arrived at 16h00 the next day, however, and when they were offered
drinks as refreshment, they asked for "something harder". In the
of taking the statements and examining the house, the police
several bottles of beer.
The Kirks have been under some SI6
pressure, and a number of ex-employees
visited earlier in the week to request
further payments, which they were
denied. On Thursday evening 6 heifers
bearing calves were stolen from
the farm as well. However, all indications at
this stage are that this
incident was not politically motivated, but rather a
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'No chance of recovery with Mugabe'
By Kumbirai Mafunda
AS recycled finance and economic development minister, Herbert Murerwa,
puts final touches to his budget proposals for 2003, an overwhelming sense of
pessimism pervades the country, with few expecting the minister to deliver
anything special come 14 November.
A survey by Standard Business revealed that people are so demoralised that
they expect no miracles from Murerwa, or the Zanu PF government which is largely
blamed for the economic quagmire the country has sunk into.
Rashid Mudala, an investment analyst with First Mutual Life, says Murerwa
was likely to stick to the status quo.
"There is no solution coming from Murerwa because a budget is used to fine
tune the economy. So when things are running badly, as they are now, you can not
fine tune them. So it is going to be a very difficult task. There hasn't been
any change in economic fundamentals, which will be very difficult to achieve,
hence we are going to remain with the fixed exchange rate, managed interest
rates and spiralling inflation," Mudala says.
He says inflation ,which continues on its upward trend, needs to be
"There is need to look at how to tackle inflation which recently hit 139,9%
and one way is to put fiscal discipline. Our interest rate regime is also not
healthy because it has encouraged speculation."
For the past five years Zimbabwe has lost its export competitiveness as a
result of government's reluctance to implement sound economic policies and its
refusal to devalue the local currency. On the other hand, expenditure has been
on an upward trend as evidenced by ousted finance and economic development
minister, Simba Makoni's request for a $52 billion supplementary budget in July.
University of Zimbabwe lecturer at the Graduate School of Management,
Professor Tony Hawkins, is more brutal in his perception of Murerwa and
"As long as Mugabe is president there is no chance of recovery. It is going
to be more of the same, compounding the existing crisis. The economy has been
boxed in by politics. There is no way you are going to escape with this current
government. So the only way is to get rid of this government," says Hawkins.
The professor adds workers should brace themselves for a major hike in
taxes as government has to spend heavily on its much-vaunted land reform.
Munyaradzi Shumba of Harare concurs with Hawkins. "Nothing can be sorted
out unless there is a change in government. We have been giving them advice
which they have been ignoring for long. They have closed all doors to our
international partners, so let a new government come in."
Although Mugabe has entrusted Murerwa with drawing up the budget for 13
million Zimbabweans, he was in charge of the same ministry during one of
Zimbabwe's darkest hours in economic history when, in 1997, he awarded an
unbudgeted $4 billion in the form of gratuities to 50 000 war veterans who were
threatening to abandon Zanu PF. This single act led to the local unit crashing
against major currencies on what has come to be infamously known as 'Black
Said a Chitungwiza man who refused to be identified: "Murerwa has nothing
to offer. He was a failure in 1997 as he yielded to political pressure at the
expense of the economy."
Lovemore Muziwisi of Rusape says: "Government must increase food
availability and work towards resuscitating the health and the education
Dennis Mhlanga, a building contractor, wants Murerwa to address the needs
of his sector which has experienced a slump in activity this year.
"Building materials are being sold at black market rates, which is
impacting on builders and those undertaking construction projects, so government
must reduce the prices of cement and building materials. They could start by
subsidising producers of cement and bricks."
Munyaradzi Madzimure, a wood machinist student at Harare Polytech, says
Murerwa should pay special attention to the welfare of tertiary college
"Government must increase our payouts because the cost of living has gone
up and our loans from banks must also be reviewed," says Madzimure.
Zanu PF's quasi command economic policies have drastically affected the
country's productive capacity, with traditional foreign currency earners like
mining output shrinking by 4,1%, manufacturing production declining by 11,9% and
agriculture, formerly the mainstay of the economy, contracting by 24,6% during
the first half of 2002.
Zim opposition's offices attacked
Posted Mon, 28 Oct
The offices of Zimbabwe's main opposition party in the country's
largest city have been extensively damaged in an attack by ruling
supporters, an opposition spokesperson said on Monday.
Zimuto, a spokesperson for the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
telephone from Bulawayo, 439 kilometres south-west of Harare, that
by around a 100 youths was "unprovoked".
"It was an unprovoked attack.
They simply came in and started throwing
stones," said Zimuto. He said
windows were shattered, and five of the
party's vehicles parked in front of
the offices were damaged.
Senior officials of the party, including the
MDC Vice President Gibson
Sibanda were in the offices at the time, but no one
was injured, he added.
Zimuto said the attackers were dressed in the
green uniform of the Zimbabwe
African National Union-Patriotic Front
(Zanu-PF) party's youth militia.
Police were not immediately available to
confirm the incident.
Tensions have been running high in the region,
where a by-election contested
by the MDC and Zanu-PF took place at the
weekend in the district of Insiza,
east of Bulawayo.
ZIMBABWE: By-election marred by allegations of foul play
October (IRIN) - Elections in Zimbabwe were once again marred by allegations of
intimidation and misappropriation of relief food - this time in the weekend
parliamentary by-election in Insiza in Matabeleland South.
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) alleged that its candidate Siyabonga Ncube
was stopped at a police roadblock on Sunday and barred from entering the
constituency. He and ZANU-PF's Andrew Langa were vying for the seat which became
vacant when MDC legislator George Ndlovu died in August.
The party also
alleged that maize was distributed by ZANU-PF officials at Sidzibe and Pentagon
polling stations and that campaigning was taking place within 100 metres of the
polling station, in contravention of electoral regulations.
the allegations, Edward Mamutse, senior press secretary in the Department of
Information said: "That's news to us. We observe the regulations and the rules
of polling stations are applied rigorously by the registrar-general's office and
by the Electoral Supervisory Commission (ESC)."
He said the ESC would be
the appropriate body to investigate the allegations. An ESC official based in
Harare said he was unable to comment as people "on the ground" were counting the
ballots and were difficult to contact.
Earlier this month the World Food
Programme (WFP) suspended delivery of food aid in two wards in Insiza after
ZANU-PF officials allegedly intimidated its implementing partner, the
Organisation of Rural Associations for Progress, and took a consignment of 3 mt
and distributed it as part of its by-election campaign.
WFP spokesman in
Zimbabwe Luis Clemmens told IRIN on Monday that the delivery of monthly rations
to over 6,000 people in the wards remained suspended "until further
On Monday evening it appeared that ZANU-PF were winners by a
"It wasn't an election, it was a circus," said Maxwell
Zimuto, MDC spokesman for the election. "One player was both the referee and the
player. Our candidates were monitored and arrested and we still don't have a
copy of the voter's roll. How can we win an election like that?"
government confirmed that it had an unofficial observer monitoring the polls,
but spokesman Bruce Wharton said he was not sure whether their observations
would be released.
According to the state-controlled Herald newspaper,
Sweden, Spain and the United Kingdom also had unofficial observers at
Tel: +27 11 880-4633
Fax: +27 11
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28 Oct 2002 18:21
New Congo-Rwanda talks planned in South
PRETORIA, Oct 28 (Reuters) - The leaders of Rwanda and the
Republic of Congo are due to meet South African President Thabo
Friday to discuss attempts to end Africa's biggest conflict,
The meeting, one of a series following
a July peace accord between
Congo and Rwanda, was announced as Congolese
government officials and rebels
were in South Africa to discuss Mbeki's plans
for a political transition in
Congo, carved up by foreign armies in four
years of war driven by its
government invaded Congo in 1998 in pursuit of Hutu
perpetrators of its 1994
genocide, and backs Congo's biggest rebel movement,
the Rally for Congolese
Since the two countries struck the July deal under
Mbeki, Rwanda has pulled its troops out of Congo, raising hopes
for a peace
that would boost Mbeki's credentials as he promotes an economic
Last week a United Nations panel
criticised Rwanda, Uganda -- which
supports the rival Congolese Liberation
Movement (MLC) rebels -- and the
government's ally Zimbabwe for plundering
Congo's gems and minerals during a
war in which an estimated two million
people have been killed.
Mbeki's office said in statement that
Friday's meeting with Rwandan
President Paul Kagame and President Joseph
Kabila of Congo aimed to assess
progress made under their peace accord, which
was co-signed by Mbeki, and to
"chart a way forward".
officials are already in the South African capital Pretoria
for meetings with
rebel delegates to work out details for a political
transition proposed by
"It's all about balance -- no party should be at a
Ngombane, South Africa's ambassador to Kinshasa, told
He said talks were continuing between all sides and the
special representative Moustapha Niasse.
the proposals, Kabila would remain in office, with four
drawn from Kabila's supporters, the two rebel groups
and the political
Sources close to the talks said the MLC rebels object
to parts of the
plan, causing the talks, which began on Saturday, to drag
S.African Farmers Warn of Zimbabwe-Style
- By Sue Thomas
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (Reuters) - White South African farmers
warned that farm killings and legislation are threatening to tip
country's agricultural sector into a crisis similar to that of
"There is growing concern among white
South African farmers as regards
their future, mainly as a result of events
in Zimbabwe and Namibia, but also
as a result of certain actions, or lack of
action, in South Africa," leading
trade magazine SA Grain said in an
editorial in its latest edition.
"If this spirit of anxiety and
negativism is not addressed vigorously
and effectively, the long-term
sustainability of agriculture in South Africa
is in danger."
Grain accused South African President Thabo Mbeki and his ruling
National Congress of "marching down a road that must end in the
of the White South African."
The warning comes against a backdrop
of a controversial land drive in
Zimbabwe, where President Robert Mugabe has
sanctioned a sometimes violent
land grab by blacks to reverse the white
domination of the country's best
Africa's government has consistently said it will not tolerate
land grabs on its soil, emphasizing that any land reform that
under it will be done in a market-friendly manner and within the
SA Grain said South African farmers were "already
Zimbabwe-style situations on their farms," citing one farmer who
unable to evict about 40,000 people who had illegally occupied his
"The question in everyone's mind...is:
'Will we have a Zimbabwe in
South Africa? Or...How long will it be before we
too are driven from our
The editorial also highlighted
strict new labor legislation, stringent
property taxes and continued farm
attacks as reasons for heightened anxiety
among South African farmers,
despite a good grain crop and prices for other
Farmers say their profession is the most dangerous in the country,
farmers killed in 1,000 attacks last year, compared to 84 murders
attacks in 1997, South Africa's main farmers organization Agri SA
South Africa has some of the highest rates of violent crime
world, fueled by poverty and glaring income disparities.
Agri SA say the number of farmers has fallen to about 50,000 from
some 30 years ago, mainly due to farm violence and
The South African government said last week
it aimed to put 30 percent
of agricultural land in black hands by 2015 in a
bid to right the wrongs of
apartheid which dispossessed hundreds of thousands
of black South Africans
of their ancestral land.
It has promised
that its land reform program will be peaceful and
orderly, and has so far
carried out all its transactions on a "willing
buyer, willing seller"
Monday, 28 October, 2002, 18:50 GMT
Mugabe wins key
The Insiza seat had been won by the MDC in June 2000
Zimbabwe's ruling party has won a key by-election in the south-west of
President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF took the seat of Insiza from
the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
Meanwhile the MDC
says its offices in Bulawayo were extensively damaged in an attack.
spokesman for the party said a crowd of about 100 youths stoned the building on
Monday morning, shattering windows.
The spokesman described the attack
as unprovoked and said the assailants wore Zanu-PF youth militia uniforms.
The Insiza seat, near Bulawayo, was won by more than
7,000 votes, with Zanu-PF getting more than 12,000 to the MDC's 5,000.
The by-election reversed an MDC victory in parliamentary elections in
Bulawayo is the second largest city in Zimbabwe, and it is
also a stronghold of the MDC.
The MDC earlier alleged
that voters had been intimidated and bribed with food.
An MDC spokesman,
Paul Themba Nyathi, dismissed the election as a "misnomer".
not elections, they are a charade," he told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme.
He said vehicles were also damaged in the attack on the movement's
premises in Bulawayo.
He said senior opposition officials were in the
offices at the time, but no-one had been injured.
There was no immediate
comment on the incident from the Zimbabwe police.
For the government, Insiza was no ordinary
10/28/02 9:45:06 PM (GMT +2)
government had nothing to be afraid of if its conduct and campaign
Insiza parliamentary by-election was above board and was not driven
But it is clear that for the government, Insiza was no
by-election. It was much more significant than that.
could be part of the government's strategy to reclaim two-thirds of
seats in Parliament, which would enable it to change laws without
the support of members from the opposition.
To achieve this, it is
absolutely necessary for the government to win
as many of the forthcoming
by-elections as possible, by any means necessary.
While Zanu PF
poured in its heavyweight guns, headed by Vice-President
Joseph Msika, into
Insiza, that is not always a guarantee for success. In
Masvingo and Bulawayo
they tried the strategy during the mayoral elections
and they were rewarded
with embarrassing defeats.
In the case of Insiza, Msika promised
new roads, one of them to
Maphisa. After 22 years of neglect, the promise,
was as insulting as it was
irrelevant. It demonstrates utter contempt for the
electorate and assumes
they are very naive.
What the people of
Insiza want right now is not roads, but food, for
which both the government
and Zanu PF have kicked out non-governmental
organisations (NGOs) from the
Voters in Insiza know who is responsible for this.
What is tragic is
that the Electoral Supervisory Commission (ESC) appears
only concerned about
whether or not people were able to drop their ballots
down the box and not
about the clear cases of electoral breaches. For
example, there should be
equal access to the constituency by all candidates
and their supporters,
while food should not be used to entice
These breaches were documented in this particular
The police set up roadblocks ostensibly to ensure peace, but
these were meant to curtail the free movement of the candidate from
opposition and his campaign team. While it was acceptable for Zanu PF
bring in all their ministers from Harare, it was not acceptable for the
Food was distributed to people near polling stations and this was
on both the State-run television and in the independent
These cases and the shooting of an MDC supporter by the
candidate would normally be the subject of an investigation by
police and the ESC, to establish the impact they have on the extent
the poll was free and fair.
The government and the
ruling party went and camped in the
constituency for almost two weeks before
the by-election and employed all
But it is
hoped the voters in Insiza are more perceptive than the
motley band of "war
cabinet" ministers and politicians, and will exercise
their right to elect
the person best qualified to represent them.
The government is
anxious to win the seat and increase its
That is why it barred NGOs, and accused the British and Americans
allegedly seeking to "meddle" in Zimbabwe's internal affairs, chargesm
But the only way envoys posted to Zimbabwe can gauge
the extent to
which Harare adheres to principles of and respects democracy is
to test this
on the ground.
They were in Insiza to see first-hand
the extent to which the
opposition was allowed to campaign.
is because they found out the truth, which has upset the
cannot mislead the international community into believing
that the opposition
was free to campaign, because numerous obstacles were
placed in its way. If
the government says it has nothing to hide, why is the
Organisation for Rural
Associations for Progress (Orap), which was founded
by Sithembiso Nyoni, the
Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises
Development, in trouble for
distributing food to suspected MDC sympathisers
simply because the government and the ruling party do not
they are opposed to.
CIO monitors Insiza election
9:25:38 PM (GMT +2)
widespread evidence of vote-buying by Zanu PF, very few of the
registered voters cast their ballots in the two-day Insiza
by-election that ended yesterday.
However, the MDC alleged
Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO)
officers and youths from the Border
Gezi Training Centre observed and
monitored the poll in a clear breach of
electoral laws as they have no such
000 people cast their ballots by the end of the first day,
22 percent of the voters in the constituency.
There were bags of
maize stacked at most polling stations in a clear
case of vote-buying by Zanu
PF. Some village heads stood outside some of the
polling stations with lists
of names of their subjects. At Ntute and Mbokodo
polling stations, several
headmen stood outside the polling stations
recording the names of the people
going in to vote.
The MDC said it had established that some of the
voters had received
seed packs and $2 000 each from the ruling
In a statement, the MDC said some of its polling agents were
from entering the stations by presiding officers.
Jabulani Mbambo, the constituency registrar, alleged the MDC had
register polling agents for some polling stations. Voting began on
morning with a reasonable turnout, but because of intimidation by
Zanu PF in
the run-up to the by-election, many people refused to talk to The
The by-election pitted Zanu PF's Andrew Langa against Siyabonga
of the MDC.
"We have suffered enough. I hope there is going to be
peace now. I
have voted, but please do me a favour by going away," said one
villager at Tshazi.
Yesterday, Ncube, the MDC candidate,
could not travel to the
constituency after the police told him they could not
guarantee his safety.
Ncube, who has survived an assassination
attempt last week, said:
"I could not go to Insiza after the police
told me that I would go
there at my own risk."
Members of the
Electoral Supervisory Commission (ESC) yesterday
refused to comment on the
The Zanu PF candidate, Langa, who was chosen to represent
the party at
the last minute, allegedly shot and injured an MDC supporter,
Kadengu, during the campaign period.
Welshman Ncube, the MDC secretary-general, said the incident
State-sponsored violence were some of the irregularities that
made the whole
process not free and fair.
Zesa lumbers consumers with massive tariff
10/28/02 9:23:34 PM (GMT +2)
Nyakunu Business Editor
THE country's loss making power utility has
lumbered consumers with
yet another tariff increase, this time nicodemously
under the guise of
introducing a new billing system.
Harare consumer was shocked to receive huge bills meant to
Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority's numerous unexplained
charges with a
new account number last week.
The new bill did not take into
account the payments made in August and
September and was in fact charging
consumers a 30-day balance where one did
not exist, The Daily News
established from a queue of infuriated consumers
at the power utility's
Consumer Service Department along Samora Machel
Avenue on Thursday
Under Zesa's new billing system consumers can expect to
pay as much as
$6,42 for anything above 23,33 kilowatt hours of power
consumed on the
domestic front. Consumers also face a fixed charge of 6
percent, the imposed
Rural Electrification Development Levy at 5 percent and
sales tax at another
A Mrs Muswe, a credit controller
at the Consumer Services Department
admitted that the power utility had not
taken consumers' previous payments
into account before sending out the new
bill, when asked how they had
arrived at a figure of $13 455, 59 for one
month's domestic consumption in
the case of this reporter's
All she could say was: "I don't deal with these queries
because I am
the credit controller." When asked to explain why she had agreed
to see this
reporter following a telephone call, she became rude. "Look Mr, I
with these issues. Next time, call on the enquiries counter and
help you," was all she could say when this reporter insisted that
he did not
take kindly to being sent from pillar to post.
However, the bill was reduced from $13 455, 59 to $2 955,59. Mrs Muswe
failed to account for another $16 500 this reporter had paid earlier
disconnection, and how the huge bill had been reduced
This is despite the fact that at the back of
its new bill, Zesa has
gone out of its way to state conditions concerning
payments, which was not
the case on the old bill.
read: n Although accounts may be in dispute, unless the
bill is more than
double the normal consumption, payments must nevertheless
be made on or
before the due date.
Any necessary adjustment will be made with
retrospective effect and
will appear on the next statement where possible.
*The total sum owing
should be paid in full.
In the event that
the payment made is insufficient to settle the total
balance due, the payment
shall be appropriated first to the oldest debt and
then to the
* Interim and amended statements are due on
* Where an account is in dispute or any complaint has
been lodged by
the customer in respect of such account on its billed
* Electricity meters will be tested (when applicable)
nominal fee deposited as prescribed in the Supply and Tariff
If tests conform to the limits of prescribe
tolerance, the meter test
fee will be appropriated by Zesa.
However, if not the total amount will be refunded, the meter replaced
necessary adjustments will be done to the account.
Electricity Supply Authority reserves the right to issue
accounts or accounts based on average consumption for
various reasons, for
example faulty meter, locked premises where customers
are consuming power and
* Consumers should give 48 hours written notice of
discontinuance of supply otherwise they will be held responsible
for all the
power subsequently consumed on the premises between the date that
vacate the premises and when they transfer or discontinuance
In the event of such failure to give notice the
deposit held with be
Electricity Supply Authority is empowered to institute
legal proceeding for
the recovery of any debt outstanding and charge the
cost to the
* Payments can be made at the nearest Zesa office
or any approved
Cheques and Postal orders must be crossed
and made payable to Zesa and
posted to the address printed on the
* Electricity Supplies will be disconnected at any time
further notice if the account remains unpaid after due
However, despite all these disclaimers, Zesa has never made
refunds in a case where they are at fault.
households have been receiving bills ranging from $10 000 to $20
000 for the
past two months which the power utility has failed to justify
Irate consumers are blaming government for allowing the
power authority to "strangle" consumers with huge bills in a
bid to keep
Zesa afloat. Edward Chindori-Chininga, the Minister of Mines and
admitted to that fact in July when consumers were slapped with the
percent increase in tariffs since January.
get comment from the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe on the
issue for the past
week were fruitless. Consumers have, however, lost
confidence in the CCZ as
it is a government-sponsored organisation.
Consumers are blaming the
loss-making Rural Electrification project for
their plight and Zesa's need to
make up for its foreign debt to power
utilities in the region.
Zesa imports more than 40 percent of the country's electricity from
Africa, the DRC and Mozambique. Already consumers are experiencing
and load shedding. Zesa has defaulted on payments to Escom, South
which has been slowly withdrawing power to Zimbabwe. The power
revenue base has shrunk following the farm eviction orders.
Commercial farmers were contributing $500 million a month to Zesa's
base. Returns from the Rural Electrification project were far much
the revenue collected from Zesa's former major customers, the
farmers, where the government has wreaked havoc and designated
and evicted 95
percent of the farmers.
Traders cash in on shortage of paraffin
10/28/02 10:04:16 PM (GMT +2)
SEVERAL traders in Harare, taking advantage of the current fuel
now selling paraffin at $150 a litre - five times the
Charles Mubawa of Harare said he recently bought one
200-litre drum of
paraffin for $30 000 from an outlet at Cold Comfort Farm in
This translates to $150 for a litre, as opposed to the
of $30 a litre.
Cold Comfort falls under the
Ministry of Youth Development, Gender and
The transaction was facilitated by one C C Nyanga, who signed
Mubawa said he collected the paraffin from the National
Zimbabwe Eastern Area storage facility along Kenneth Kaunda
Efforts to get comment from Cold Comfort Farm
unsuccessful as no one was prepared to be interviewed by the
Paraffin is also sold at prices ranging between $60 and $150
around the capital.
At Mbare Musika, several traders
were last week selling paraffin for
lighting and heating in small bottles at
"We have to make a living," said a Mbare woman
selling paraffin at $50
for a 750ml bottle. This translates to $66 a litre.
"Paraffin is in great
demand," she said.
Sources in the fuel
industry said last week that in June this year,
the government barred the six
major fuel suppliers - Mobil Oil, Caltex,
Total, Exor, Engen and Shell BP -
from collecting fuel from the Msasa depot
of the National Oil Company of
Zimbabwe (Noczim) but from the Feruka fuel
depot in Mutare.
six argue going to Feruka costs them extra money and they would
if they were forced to sell the fuel at the
One industry source said most of the
28 indigenous fuel suppliers
allowed to get fuel from the Msasa depot, such
as Comoil, Royal Oil, Atrax,
Powerfuels, Wedzera, Exor, Titrex and Country
Petroleum, had no service
stations for resale of the fuel, as required by
Trade sources said they understood some of the indigenous
owned by senior government officials.
Muriritirwa, the Noczim chief executive officer, did not
respond to questions
on the matter faxed to his office a week ago.
State media not meant to churn out propaganda:
10/28/02 10:01:03 PM (GMT +2)
DR NATHAN Shamuyarira, Zimbabwe's first minister
of information, says
the original aim to have State-owned media was not to
turn them into
government mouthpieces, but to give Zimbabweans a free voice
and to allow
the independence of journalists.
journalists in Kadoma yesterday, Shamuyarira, a veteran
journalist and the
ruling Zanu PF party's spokesman, said after independence
received money from Nigeria to buy shares in the Argus Group
and created the
Zimbabwe Newspapers (1980) Limited and the Mass Media Trust.
created the Mass Media Trust so that the media would be in neutral
not business tycoons or the government - that would quash the free
independence of journalists," Shamuyarira said.
He said he tried to
further that initiative by appointing trustees who
had no interest in
journalism or politics.
"The first board of trustees I appointed
had a medical doctor, a town
clerk and the like - it was a neutral board of
trustees," said the former
Asked whether it was
necessary to have a repressive media law such as
the so-called Access to
Information and Protection of Privacy Act, he said:
"I have not read it
fully, but if I was still running the media I would have
called for tougher
legislation because of the war situation prevailing.
"How can a
foreign government say it wants to remove the Zimbabwean
non-governmental organisations and the media? I would not
have tolerated that
- but the Press during my time was free but the
situation has changed. It is
now being used as an instrument to overthrow a
whether the State media had achieved what it was established for,
"We can say it achieved it in the sense that we operated for many
honour and integrity. But the Trust was later taken over by private
and it was overwhelmed and it was put on the defensive."
He said he
would say it was successful if the country today had
"neutral" papers which
were authoritative in politics, economics, sport and
revealed that the government at one time wanted to take
over The Financial
Gazette so that it would be turned into an authoritative
Zanu PF card a must for maize-meal seekers
10/28/02 9:54:00 PM (GMT +2)
what appears like a desperate bid by Zanu PF to win back the
electorate, the ruling party is now selling scarce maize-meal only to
card-carrying supporters in Harare and Chitungwiza.
"programme" began a few weeks ago in Kuwadzana and Warren Park in
where the ruling party has been campaigning, since the incarceration
late MDC MP Learnmore Jongwe in July, to sway the electorate to
Yesterday, hundreds of Zanu PF supporters converged at
the Zengeza 4
creche and at the Chitungwiza Community Hall to buy
The maize-meal, sourced from Murehwa Milling Company,
was sold to
card-carrying Zanu PF supporters in 10 and 20-kilogramme packs.
maize-meal was being sold for $300 for a 10kg pack and $600 for a 20kg
Perceived MDC supporters and fence-sitters were turned
"We were asked to submit our names to local Zanu PF branch
last week," said Bessy Mutimba of Zengeza 4. "To be registered for
maize-meal you need to have a Zanu PF card."
Community Hall in Unit L, police officers and youths
wearing the Zanu PF
youth brigade uniform, were closely monitoring the
situation, ensuring that
only the "right people" benefited, while suspected
opposition supporters were
kept at bay.
Zanu PF supporters wearing their party regalia, milled
giant community hall while some sat in small groups according to
party cells and branches - all anxiously awaiting their
A tense air hung over the nearby Unit L where truckloads of
supporters patrolled the area.
When this reporter asked
if he could possibly buy maize-meal from the
community hall, a man who later
refused to be identified, asked: "Which
branch do you belong to? If you have
not carried your card and if you are
not from this side, you can forget about
getting maize-meal from here."
"This is not fair," said an angry
resident walking away from Unit L.
"Is it now compulsory for everyone to be a
Zanu PF member? Zanu PF is trying
to gain more support in towns but, I am
afraid, this is not going to work."
"Playing the victim will destroy the MDC".
(Image of newspaper cutting from the Daily News, Zimbabwe - 15th Oct )
Zambia: Zimbabwe Farmers in Jeopardy
Zambia Accuses Zimbabwe of Blocking
White Farmers From Moving Equipment Across Border
The Associated Press
LUSAKA, Zambia Oct. 28 — Zimbabwe has prevented 125 evicted white
farmers from moving their equipment across the border to Zambia where they have
been given new land, a Zambian official said Monday.
The white farmers from Zimbabwe lost their land under a controversial
government program that redistributes most white-owned farmland to poor
The land reform program, frequently accompanied by violence, has brought
commercial farming in the southern African country to a standstill.
Some white farmers hoped to relocate to neighboring Zambia and
But Zimbabwean authorities have jeopardized moves to Zambia by refusing to
allow farmers to take equipment with them, such as tractors and irrigation
systems, said Zambian Vice President Enoch Kavindele.
No immediate comment was available from the Zimbabwean authorities.
Many Zimbabwean farmers have applied for permission to relocate to Zambia,
Kavindele said, and the Zambian government hopes to help resolve the equipment
Zimbabwe says white farmers can't take
October 28, 2002, 22:15
Zimbabwe has banned 125 white farmers
evicted in a state-sponsored land reform campaign from moving their equipment to
neighbouring Zambia where they planned to settle, officials have said. Some
white Zimbabwean farmers have been seeking to migrate to neighbouring Zambia,
Mozambique, Botswana and Namibia after their land was seized by the Harare
government for redistribution to landless blacks. |
Zimbabwe's High Commissioner to Zambia, said Harare would not allow the white
farmers to remove equipment from farms designated for resettlement by
"The intended removal of any equipment from the farms designated
for reallocation is tantamount to sabotage. It is illegal in accordance with
Zimbabwean laws and cannot be allowed," Mathema said.
The 125 farmers had
planned to settle in Zambia before seasonal rains began in October.
only problem they face is that they cannot bring their equipment. Otherwise they
are keen to settle in Zambia," Enoch Kavindele, the Zambian Vice President, told
Zimbabwe was plunged into political and economic crisis in
2000 when militants backed by the state invaded white-owned farms in support of
President Robert Mugabe's land reforms. Mugabe says the reforms are necessary to
correct imbalances of colonialism which left most of Zimbabwe's prime farming
land in the hands of whites who form less than 1% of the
Zambia has nearly 13 million hectares of arable land - and
85% of it is virgin unutilised fields. The Zambian government wants to boost
farming in a bid to diversify away from the country's economic mainstay, copper
mining, which has fallen on hard times. Zambia and Zimbabwe are among six
countries in the region threatened by severe food shortages due to drought and
poor government policies. - Reuters
Zambia accuses Zimbabwe of blocking white farmers wishing to emigrate
LUSAKA, Zambia, Oct. 28 — Zimbabwe has
prevented 125 evicted white farmers from moving their equipment across the
border to Zambia where they have been given new land, a Zambian official said
The white farmers from Zimbabwe lost their land under a
controversial government program that redistributes most white-owned farmland to
The land reform program, frequently accompanied by violence,
has brought commercial farming in the southern African country to a standstill.
Some white farmers hoped to relocate to neighboring Zambia and
But Zimbabwean authorities have jeopardized moves to
Zambia by refusing to allow farmers to take equipment with them, such as
tractors and irrigation systems, said Zambian Vice President Enoch Kavindele.
No immediate comment was available from the Zimbabwean authorities.
Many Zimbabwean farmers have applied for permission to relocate to
Zambia, Kavindele said, and the Zambian government hopes to help resolve the
© 2002 Associated Press. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Visas Hampering Trade, Movement
Posted to the web October 28, 2002
Editor. - May I appeal to the relevant authorities to
consider the issue of visas between Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
My request is that this issue should be considered in the
context of either having free visas between the two countries or scrapping the
visa issue completely.
I believe this is hampering trade movement to and from
Mozambique as well as Malawi, since those going to Malawi are required to have a
Mozambican visa too.
Of all countries, I was of the opinion that we have a sound
diplomatic, political and economic relationship with Mozambique.
However, to my dismay the visa to and from Mozambique keeps
May the powers that be, please consider my request on
scrapping visas with Mozambique.