AMONG the discussion papers published by the African National Congress (ANC)
to inform debate at its 51st national conference, to be held in Stellenbosch
in December, is one called Facing the African Continent.
states that "tolerance of dictators" by the Organisation of African Unity
(OAU) was one of the reasons why the continent "entered the 1990s with its
hope for a renaissance shattered".
SA, the paper argues, can now
contribute to renaissance by "bullying" others or by "working through
The arguments for multilateralism,
whether over Zimbabwe or any other problem (such as Iraq) are powerful and
need no repetition. But the multilateral approach adopted by SA towards
Zimbabwe has failed, along with "quiet diplomacy".
been almost guaranteed by the ambiguity which has been the hallmark of our
policy all along. Whatever disapproval President Thabo Mbeki might have
expressed to President Robert Mugabe in private has been outweighed by a
series of public statements conveying the opposite impression.
Although various anonymous sources have lately again been tipping
off journalists that SA policy is toughening up, contradictory
Cumulatively, the statements suggest that
our government's sympathies are with the Zimbabwean president rather than
with his victims. Notably:
SA repeatedly characterises the key
issue in Zimbabwe as land reform (the subtext of which is that it's all
really the fault of white farmers and British colonialism);
argue the violent dispossession of land should be accepted as a fait
accompli, and criticising it would be "unrevolutionary";
characterised two violence-ridden elections (in 2000 and 2002) as producing
We continue to denigrate the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and its leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, as
beholden to other "masters";
We downplay events in Zimbabwe by
saying the media are exaggerating them;
We reiterate that the
only people really bothered by what is happening there are selfish SA whites
(ignoring harsh criticism voiced by black South Africans);
the attacks on the Zimbabwe bench began we said they did not undermine the
rule of law; and
We endorsed a Southern African Development
Community (SADC) view there were no human rights abuses in
Government complains Mugabe "would not listen to us". It
is far more likely, however, he did listen to all of this and drew the
reasonable conclusion that he had little to worry about from SA.
The question is, where do we go from here? The first step is for government
to decide whether or not it actually disapproves of what Mugabe is doing. On
the assumption it does disapprove, it needs to say
Unfortunately, it has already attempted to
dismiss this option as "shouting from the rooftops" or "megaphone
These are red herrings. It is quite possible to
communicate condemnation of Mugabe's behaviour in compelling but measured
terms using the global mass media government uses for all its communications.
Given worldwide doubt about SA's stance on the Zimbabwe horror, Mbeki would
be sure of huge coverage.
This would be the beginning of a
process of undoing the huge damage that two-and-a-half years of ambivalence
has done to our reputation, our economy, and our people. It would help us to
strengthen our claims that we are different from Zimbabwe.
for working through the SADC, that requires leadership. We are told that as
the new boy on the block we have to tread warily in Africa.
However, as the tragedy in Zimbabwe deepens, this argument is becoming a
rationalisation for abdication.
It is also part of why the OAU led
to one-party states that "became instruments for mass repression", as the ANC
discussion papers recognise.
The issue is not whether we are going
to be a "bully" another red herring but whether we are willing to exercise
the role of moral and political leadership that our relative size in Africa
inescapably thrusts upon us.
Contrary to what Mbeki says, we are
not called upon to invade Zimbabwe yet another red herring but we are called
upon to speak up for the values upon which our democracy is
If Mugabe's friends in the SADC do not want to follow our
lead, then they will just have to stay behind.
Kane-Berman is SA
Institute of Race Relations CE.
The first step is for government to
decide whether or not it actually disapproves of what (he) is
Oct 30 2002 12:00:00:000AM Business Day 1st
A summit next week will
explore new ways to fight the twin evils of Aids and famine
Carroll in Lwangwe Wednesday October 30, 2002 The Guardian
bleached shantytowns of southern Africa they call them the ugly sisters - a
twin force of such devastation that from the wreckage it is seldom possible
to distinguish one sibling's impact from the other: Aids and hunger have
become inseparable. Relief agencies and governments will meet in South Africa
next week to call for a new approach to a humanitarian crisis on a scale no
one has quite seen before. Plague and famine have intertwined into a
self-perpetuating phenomenon which could last for decades.
Johannesburg meeting will bring together UN agencies, the 14-member Southern
African Development Community and non-governmental organisations to discuss
new ways of tackling the economic, social and cultural nexus that is the
result of the ugly sisters.
A shack dustier than most in Lwangwe, a
sprawling shantytown in northern Zambia, illustrated the challenge facing
policymakers. Not so long ago it was a prosperous household. Although Derek
Mubanga lost his job when the copper mines closed hefound another with a
relief agency and his wife, Agnes, sold vegetables in the market. Providing
for the six children was not a problem.
Derek, however, was HIV
positive and he became too sick to work. Nursing him for 16 months prevented
Agnes from growing vegetables so they sold their possessions until there was
nothing left to sell. Two weeks ago Derek died and the last of the food was
used up at his wake.
Stretched on a mat cradling her youngest son, a
three-year-old also called Derek, it was obvious from her wan, skeletal
figure that Agnes, 38, had full-blown Aids. The family had not eaten that
day, there was no food in the house and the next monthly ration of relief
food - a 1kg pack of fortified maize - would not arrive for two
"Derek cries from the hunger but I tell him God will provide and
eventually he falls asleep," said Agnes. Sheepishly, she admitted not
consuming vitamin tablets. "I know they are good for the health but the
tablets make me hungry."
The tablets stimulate appetite, making
doctors despair that a vicious circle spins ever faster. People with HIV/Aids
are supposed to eat 50% more protein than usual, supplemented by foods rich
in micronutrients, otherwise the immune system collapses and vulnerability to
opportunistic infections such as tuberculosis and meningitis
"Forget anti-retrovirals, the medicine these people need is food.
Food, food, food," said Sister Joan Walsh, an Irish nun who runs a home-based
care organisation in Lwangwe.
Her colleague Eileen Keane, a doctor,
was frustrated by governments and aid groups which focused on
anti-retrovirals. "They end up in the hands of the elite and those who can
afford bribes. For the poor the priority is nourishment."
traditional reliance on wild berries and nuts in lean times was not an option
for those with enfeebled digestion, she added. Between 13% and 33% of the
adult populations of Zambia, Lesotho, Swaziland, Malawi, Mozambique
and Zimbabwe are HIV positive. Up to 28 million people are infected
in sub-Saharan Africa, which is too poor to distribute anti-retroviral
According to the UN's World Food Programme (WFP),
14.4 million people in those countries also face starvation because drought
and mismanagement have shrivelled their crops. The region had a food crisis
in 1992 but this one is different.
"The crisis within the crisis - the
HIV/Aids crisis - is enormous," said James Morris, the head of the WFP. "This
is a catastrophe in the world that in some respects is
That the countries worst hit by famine are among those
worst hit by Aids is no coincidence. Hunger breeds HIV and HIV breeds hunger.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation the disease is ravaging
Mozambique, for example, lost 2.3% of its farmers in 2000 and
can expect to lose 20% by 2020. No one can estimate the impact that will have
Scarcity inflates prices but families exhaust savings caring
for sick members - often the breadwinners - and abandon work in order to be
by their bedsides. Penury deepens with funeral costs.
Nalungwe, 31, would earn 45p every day selling fritters - enough to feed her
two children - but since entering an Aids hospice near the Zambian town of
Ndola the children have stayed with their impoverished grandmother. "They
have nothing to eat," said Justina.
Admissions to the hospice have almost
doubled in the past three months because hunger was accelerating the onset of
full-blown Aids, said Sophie Chifokola, an administrator. It was also
accelerating its spread.
Less than two miles from Justina's bed a beer
hall geared up for another night. Wearing short skirts and wide smiles, the
widows and abandoned wives lined a bench, waiting in turn to pick up
Full sex cost around $2, double that if the man did not want to use
a condom, said Richard Kasonde, a medical officer who dealt with
"These ladies have children and with $2 you can feed
three mouths for one day. They are educated about the virus but say they
would rather die of Aids than hunger."
As pregnancies have soared so
have the deaths of babies infected with HIV. The drug nevirapine can greatly
reduce mother-to-child transmission if formula rather than breast milk is
used. In the absence of formula milk some doctors tell mothers to breastfeed,
calculating that malnutrition is a bigger risk than HIV.
A bloody revolution, like in France in 1789,
10/30/02 7:15:05 PM (GMT +2)
current happenings in Zimbabwe remind me of the situation in France before
the momentous French Revolution of 1789.
It has always been
said that history has a tendency of repeating itself. The King of France at
that time, Louis XVI, took his people for granted and never expected them to
revolt against him.
The French government was corrupt, to the
extent that by 1789 the national coffers had run dry. Most of the money was
spent on luxuries especially by the Queen Marie Antoinette.
is argued that she had more than 1 000 pairs of shoes and more than 300
servants working for her, while the French masses starved to death.
In addition, the French King was involved in unnecessary wars which saw a lot
soldiers dying and a lot of the taxpayers money ill-spent.
most of the people were overburdened with taxes which were worsened by the
dues which they were expected to pay to the lords.
was made worse by the system of government which existed in France at that
time. It was simply autocratic.
Louis XVI believed he was God-sent.
He also believed in the Divine Right of Kings. The major spark among others
was that the king failed to give his own people food. A revolution was,
therefore, inevitable and it overthrew Louis XVI and his autocratic
The French did not end there, they also killed Louis XVI in
1793 with a guillotine.
For the people of Zimbabwe, the future
is in their hands. The French were responsible for their future.
Two Top Members of Zimbabwe's Commercial Farmers Union Resign Peta
Thornycroft Harare 30 Oct 2002, 16:58 UTC
The two top men in
Zimbabwe's mainly white Commercial Farmers Union quit their jobs late
Tuesday. The leaders lost the support of union members months
Colin Cloete, president of the farmers' union, was forced to
quit under pressure from the few hundred remaining members in the union. In
fact, many of them were calling for his resignation several months
David Hasluck, the union's director, was a long-serving employee. He
quit because he said he was closely associated with Mr. Cloete's
The split in the union started a year ago, when the union
leaders decided to stop legal challenges to seizures and invasions of
Mr. Cloete actively promoted dialogue with the
government and told farmers that going to court would be
He hoped his approach would persuade the government to
reconsider its policy of seizing white-owned farms. But the government's
policy never changed and 95 percent of Zimbabwe's white farmers have been
forced to leave their farms. In many cases, supporters of Mr. Mugabe invaded
farms and violently forced the farmers and their workers to leave.
the height of violence, Mr. Cloete said the first priority was to save lives
of farmers and workers. He believed that any legal confrontation at that time
would lead to further violence.
Under Mr. Cloete's leadership, the union
was also reluctant to publicize hundreds of cases that it had documented
where Mr. Mugabe's family, friends and political associates took the best of
the white-owned farms, including the equipment on them.
As recently as
three years ago, the Commercial Farmers Union had more than four thousand
members. But after Mr. Mugabe lost a referendum on a new constitution in
February 2000, the union and its members became targets. Mr. Mugabe viewed
the farmers as supporters of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change,
which worked against the proposed constitution.
He retaliated against the
farmers by saying they were enemies of the state and mobilized his supporters
to force them off their land.
There are now no more than 300 fully
productive white farmers left in Zimbabwe, and many of them, including those
who produce the country's milk, are under pressure.
Most of the staff
of the union are now leaving, and a few remaining white farmers will take
over the day-to-day running of the office.
Cloete, Hasluck quit CFU
PM (GMT +2)
By Takaitei Bote Farming Editor
embattled Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) president, Colin Cloete and the
unions director, David Hasluck, have resigned.
resigned at the CFU national council meeting held in Harare yesterday after
giving in to pressure from members calling for
The members had threatened a vote to choose
between confrontation or dialogue with the government in dealing with farm
About 95 percent of the commercial farmers 4 300 members
have been issued with eviction notices under the governments controversial
and often violent land reform programme.
There are now two clear
factions within the once united union of mostly white commercial
One faction is calling for the unions to use the courts to
deal with the massive farm evictions, while the other, supported strongly by
Hasluck and Cloete, continues to prefer dialogue. The resignations by the two
means that the faction which advocated litigation against the implementation
of the land reform programme and their resignation, has triumphed.
ProComm Public Relations, the public relations firm of the union said in
a statement: The CFU Council confirms with regret the resignation of the
CFU president, Colin Cloete, who has given 30 days notice of his intention
to relinquish the position he has held since being elected in August 2001
and re-elected in August 2002.
The statement said Cloete was
leaving the union for personal reasons.
The election of a new
president of the CFU by council will be held on Tuesday 26 November 2002, the
The public relations firm said Hasluck also
announced his retirement during the council meeting and gave a 30 days notice
to be relieved of the position he has held since 1984.
has served the union since 1977.
Hasluck made headline news in the
State media last week when he attacked Britain for worsening the situation of
commercial farmers when it refused to fund the land reform programme, which
has been marred by chaos, deaths and threats.
himself a Manyika who comes from Manicaland Province as he sought to appease
the government which was threatening to deal with any farming union itching
for a fight.
Doug Taylor-Freeme, the vice-president of the CFU,
said in the statement: The CFU has embarked on a broader
One, that will encompass the needs of all members
regardless of whether they are farming or not. Both Hasluck and Cloete were
not available for comment yesterday.
They were said to be still
in the council meeting all day.
As the division within the union
widened, Cloete and Hasluck suspended the unions regional executive officer
for Mashonaland West (South) Ben Freeth for taking a confrontational approach
towards the land reform programme.
Freeth was suspended without
pay from 2 September 2002 for denouncing the government in prayer and a
message circulated via e-mail.
Contacted for comment, Freeth said
yesterday: The resignation of the two is what farmers have been calling for
in many instances as they wanted principled leaders.
this year, Justice for Agriculture, a splinter association representing
commercial farmers who were unhappy with Cloete and Haslucks accommodating
approach toward the government, broke away from the union and decided to take
the government to court.
BBC Wednesday, 30 October, 2002, 16:28 GMT Zimbabwe dollar plunges on
The seizure of white-owned farms has hit exports
The Zimbabwean dollar has lost nearly half its value on the black market
over the past two weeks, pushed down by the need of oil importers to pay off
their foreign debts. It now takes between 1,400 and 1,600 Zimbabwean dollars
to buy one US dollar, well above a rate of 750 a fortnight ago. The official
exchange rate is 55 to the US dollar.
are down 50%
Observers blame Zimbabwean oil importers for the sharp
decline. The country imports oil worth about $360m (£231m) a year, and oil
traders are currently buying up all the dollars they can get to settle their
This has weakened the Zimbabwean dollar, and will in turn force
up the prices of both imported goods and all local products that depend on
energy and transport.
In a country where about
half the population is threatened with starvation, the added inflation will be
felt particularly hard. Annual inflation is already running at nearly 140%.
Sharp drops in international aid, tourism to Zimbabwe and exports to
western countries have all contributed to the dollar shortage.
Dwindling tobacco harvest 2000 - 237m kg 2001 - 202m kg
2002 - 162m kg 2003 forecast - 70-80m kg
Tobacco exports, once Zimbabwe's top earner of hard currency, have
collapsed following the state-sanctioned seizure of white-owned commercial
As a result Zimbabwe has a thriving black market for foreign
Even the government has tacitly acknowledged that its
exchange rate is removed from reality.
Key exporters such as miners,
tobacco growers and textile companies are offered rates well above the official
55 to the US dollar, to encourage them to repatriate their foreign currency
AGRI-PROCESSING giant, Border Timbers Limited, has blamed
the government for the fires that gutted the companys forests in the
Eastern Highlands last week.
At least $650 million, 60
percent of which brought in much-needed foreign currency through export
earnings, was reportedly lost in the raging fires.
In a notice
to shareholders dated 25 October 2002, the board said the relevant
authorities had failed to remove land invaders from the timber forests,
despite repeated requests to that effect.
Your board has, in the
past, notified shareholders through notices and annual reports, of the
hazards which inevitably follow from illegal occupation of forest land, a
hazard compounded by the low rainfall experienced during the current season,
read part of the notice.
The notice said following an
acknowledgement by the Attorney-Generals Office of the protection afforded
the company under the German-Zimbabwe Investment Protection Agreement and the
consequent delisting of the properties, Border Timbers made repeated requests
to the authorities to have the settlers removed.
authorities have failed to do, Border Timbers said. Despite reporting the
acts of arson, to date no legal action has been taken against the
On the contrary, Border Timbers officials have been
discouraged by government from making further reports on the incidents. In
recent weeks, there have been a number of fires in the companys forests,
resulting from illegal occupation, which were contained.
October 2002, a fire was started by illegal occupiers burning part of the
companys Westward Ho Forest, at Charter, coincidentally land which had never
been designated, Border Timbers said.
The company said the effect
of the destruction would be felt in the immediate and long term.
The overall loss of timber, both mature and immature, would not only affect
current production volumes, but would have a negative impact on immature
timber over the next few years. The fires would reduce
Border Timbers said bearing in mind the
danger from fires posed by illegal settlers, it would continue with its
urgent efforts through all legal channels to have the occupiers removed from
the company property.
WILLIAM Hungwe, suspected to be a member of the Central
Intelligence Organisation (CIO), was severely beaten up yesterday by mourners
and MDC youths at the tension-filled burial of Learnmore Jongwe, the former
MDC spokesman and Kuwadzana MP.
Jongwe was laid to rest at
his rural home in Samambwa village in Zhombe. Tension was high at the burial
after Jongwe died in custody at Harare Remand Prison on Tuesday last
He was awaiting trial for the alleged murder of his wife,
Rutendo, in July. He had been repeatedly refused bail.
has blamed the government for Jongwe's death, saying they were bound to have
ensured his safety in prison.
As a crowd of about 5 000 mourners
paid their last respects to Jongwe, the MDC's security team spotted the
suspected CIO operative, identified as Hungwe, loitering outside the Jongwe
homestead with an audio recorder.
Hungwe had on him a Zimbabwe
National Liberation War Veterans' Association identity card and a Premier
Medical Aid Society membership card, which indicated that he was from the
President's Office, under which the CIO falls.
The MDC youths
pounced on him, accusing him of spying on the funeral of the former MDC
spokesman, who they alleged died at the hands of the State. Within a few
minutes after the attack, a vehicle with riot police in full gear arrived and
took the badly injured man away. Earlier, another unidentified youth was
beaten up and had to be rescued by senior MDC officials after the restless
youths said he had been dropped by a vehicle from the State-controlled
Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, which they accused of being biased and
hostile in its coverage of Jongwe's death.
Thousands of mourners
braved an early morning roadblock mounted by the police at the Empress Mine
turn-off to attend the burial.
Senior MDC officials, including the
president, Morgan Tsvangirai, his deputy, Gibson Sibanda, the party's
secretary-general, Welshman Ncube, and several MPs attended the tense burial,
which took place exactly a week after Jongwe was found dead in his cell in
Other prominent people at the burial
included Dynamos founder-member Morrison Sifelani and Gweru businessman
Speaking at the burial, Tsvangirai said Jongwe was
a talented young man who was born to serve his country and not just his
He said Jongwe was a child with an adult heart and the
party was distressed by his death. 'I believe he could have died because he
refused to sell out his cause, his country and the path he had chosen as a
politician, Tsvangirai said.
'He was under the custody of the
government, so we believe they killed him. Sibanda said Jongwe's wish for a
better Zimbabwe must be fulfilled. He too blamed the government for the
Jongwe's close friend, Ernest Mudzengi, and Phillip
Pasirayi, the Zimbabwe National Students' Union's secretary for information,
described Jongwe as a committed leader.
Posters of Jongwe
portraying him as a national hero dedicated to the country's cause, were
pasted throughout the homestead.
Grief-stricken relatives and
friends braved the heat to witness the burial of Jongwe, whose coffin was
draped with a flag bearing the emblem of the MDC Youth Assembly.
Suspected Zanu PF militia yesterday took their onslaught
against The Daily News to the Midlands capital of Gweru when they seized and
destroyed 54 copies of the paper in the city centre and threatened to beat up
Police reacted swiftly and arrested six of the
youths, some of them clad in Border Gezi training centre
They were still detained at Gweru Central Police Station
by late yesterday afternoon as the police continued their
The police declined to comment but recorded the
case number as BK0003399. The incident occurred after midday.
Mifungo Magutsa, the papers sales and distribution representative in Gweru,
said the destroyed newspapers were valued at $3 240.
has been banned in most outlying areas of the Midlands province, especially
in Gokwe, Mberengwa, Zvishavane and Mvuma.
The circulation of the
newspaper has also been curtailed in most parts of Mashonaland East, West,
Central, Manicaland and Masvingo provinces.
BISHOP Alexio Muchabaiwa, the leader of the Mutare Diocese of the Roman
Catholic Church, has answered his critics who are accusing him of failing to
rally behind Father Patrick Kelly who is being harassed by so-called war
Bishop Muchabaiwa, however, claims that helping
Father Kelly, 60, would put many lives in danger, a British newspaper has
Father Kelly, the estranged Irish priest, fled his Nyanga
parish after a group of seven so-called war veterans, acting together with
Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO), accused him of preaching
Kelly was given up to 22 August to leave
Nyanga or face unspecified action. Since those threats were made, the priest
has been in hiding.
According to a British weekly, The Catholic
Herald published on 20 October 2002, Muchabaiwa said if he had rushed to
defend Kelly, he would have put many lives in danger.
paper did not disclose whose lives he meant.
Muchabaiwa was quoted
as saying: We are investigating the matter, but it is a very sensitive issue,
and one has to be very careful in matters of this nature, otherwise you are
putting many lives in danger.
He allegedly said the possibility of
the priest returning to his diocese depended on what we find out in the
process of investigating.
Muchabaiwa said: It is a long and not an
easy process to see all the people involved.
said from his hiding place he had been informed that Roman Catholic church
officials were trying to get the Manicaland provincial governor and resident
minister, Oppah Muchinguri, to intervene.
I understand they are
trying to set up a meeting with the governor, war veterans, the CIO and the
police, Kelly said. So far, nothing has materialised, but I hope a resolution
will be reached soon otherwise I am left with no choice, but to leave the
Kelly said trouble started when he distributed literature
by writers Chenjerai Hove and Pius Wakatama, calling for peace in the
He claimed he was arrested by CIO agents twice and
interrogated for at least two hours on each occasion.
BEIJING, Oct.30 (Xinhuanet)
-- Chinese Defense Minister Chi Haotian held talks with Zimbabwean Minister
of Defense Sydney Sekeramayi and his party in Beijing on
Chi, also vice-chairman of the Central Military
Commission and a state councilor, said China and Zimbabwe enjoyed a
traditional friendship, noting the Chinese people had supported the
Zimbabweanpeople during their struggle for independence. Since the forging of
diplomatic ties, the two countries had conducted effective cooperation in the
political, economic, cultural and scientific areas. Frequent high-level
exchanges of visits in recent years hadboosted mutual understanding and
strengthened friendship between the two countries and the two armed
Chi said he appreciated the Zimbabwean government's
firm support for China on the issues of Taiwan and human rights and praised
Zimbabwe's contribution to the peace and stability in Africa.
He hoped the friendly ties between the two armed forces would be boosted
in the new century with the joint efforts of both parties.
also stated China's stance on international affairs, and itsforeign and
Sekeramayi said the friendship between
Zimbabwe and China datedfrom the Zimbabwean people's struggle for
independence. The frequent high-level exchanges and fruitful cooperation in
personnel training had encouraged the development of bilateral ties between
the two countries and their military forces. He said he was positive the
friendly cooperative relations would continue to develop in the
Sekeramayi and his party arrived in Beijing on Oct. 28
for a nine-day friendly visit to China. Enditem
CRS Food Relief Reaches Sick And Malnourished In
Catholic Relief Services (Baltimore)
2002 Posted to the web October 29, 2002
the severe food crisis that has threatened millions in Zimbabwe with
malnutrition and starvation, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is providing
direct food assistance in 20 of the country's rural hospitals and reaching an
estimated 150,000 people.
"We are witnessing one of the most urgent
humanitarian crises in Africa's history, and it is hitting hardest in
Zimbabwe," said Paul Macek, CRS Regional Emergency Representative for
southern Africa. "We are expanding our programming -- which has already been
functioning at emergency status -- to assist the greatest number of people
possible from the most vulnerable populations."
million people throughout southern Africa are facing food shortages that
could result in widespread starvation, malnutrition and disease. Of that
total, nearly half of the at-risk population is in Zimbabwe. The country is
also suffering from a critically high infection rate of HIV/AIDS, as one out
of four adults in Zimbabwe lives with the disease.
In cooperation with
its local partner, the Zimbabwe Association of Church-Related Hospitals
(ZACH), CRS has begun distributions of corn soya blend on a daily basis to
complement in- and out-patient care. The feeding program is targeted to those
in rural districts where acute and chronic malnutrition levels are high and
where forecasts for rainfall and crop production are poor. The hospitals are
located in 14 districts in the Manicaland, Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland
East and Masvingo Provinces.
The ongoing food crisis -- resulting from a
combination of factors including severe drought and poor crop production --
is unprecedented in severity because of its occurrence during an HIV/AIDS
pandemic that has infected more than 20 percent of adults in the
Macek noted that even in years of normal rainfall, crop
production has suffered due to the number of HIV-positive adults who are too
ill to carry out the hard labor required for subsistence farming. "In times
of crisis, resources strain as poor communities are expected to care for
rising numbers of sick people while facing an acute lack of resources," Macek
said. "As a result, the sick receive less care and are more vulnerable to the
effects of the disease resulting from malnourishment."
institutions are located in every province of Zimbabwe, with all but five in
rural areas. ZACH hospitals account for 45 percent of all hospital beds in
the country and 68 percent of all rural hospital beds.
CRS began working
in Zimbabwe in 1989, helping to coordinate and direct responses to
development and emergency needs throughout the region. CRS participates in
the World Food Program's food distribution network in Zimbabwe and throughout
southern Africa and is one of the lead agencies, along with CARE and World
Vision, of a consortium of American private voluntary organizations
distributing a total of 185,000 metric tons of food in the region through
CRS Executive Director Ken Hackett, along with a
delegation of U.S. bishops, is currently traveling in Zimbabwe to increase
solidarity and promote awareness of the current challenges Zimbabweans, and
others in southern Africa are facing.
Catholic Relief Services is the
official international humanitarian agency of the U.S. Catholic community.
The agency provides assistance to people in more than 87 countries and
territories on the basis of need, not race, creed or nationality.
contribute to Catholic Relief Services' efforts, send donations to: Catholic
Relief Services, "Southern Africa Food Crisis", P.O. Box 17090, Baltimore, MD
21203-7090. Tel: 800-724-2530.
Zimbabwe has lost some of its sheen but not its
---------------------------------------------------------------------------- ---- Mzi
Khumalo's acquisition of five gold mines in Zimbabwe for $15,5m from Lonmin
earlier this week may have left some scratching their heads, considering
Zimbabwe's economic plight but Metallon Corporation, which is chaired by
Khumalo, is adamant that this is a good deal for the company. Lonmin said
yesterday that Pemberton International Investments, in which Khumalo had an
unspecified interest, had bought its five Zimbabwean gold mines. These mines
will be managed by Khumalo's Metallon.
In spite of the slump in the
country's economy and laws that compel gold miners to sell their metal
through the country's central bank the five mines were still
But with the value of the Zimbabwean currency crumbling,
recent reports say the Zimbabwean dollar has just about lost 50% of its value
on the black market in the last two weeks alone. The unofficial black market
value of the Zimbabwe dollar is about Z1400 to the US dollar, while the
official rate is still pegged at Z55 to the US dollar. The weakness of the
Zimbabwean dollar has repercussions for gold miners that need to buy capital
equipment, chemicals and fuel in hard currency predominantly the US
Metallon, however, said it had got a good deal when the price of
the assets, which produce about 180000/oz of gold a year, was taken into
consideration. "The assets are extremely undervalued as a consequence of the
political situation but we do not believe it is a permanent situation," said
a Metallon spokeswoman.
Ian Farmer, Lonmin's director of corporate
development and marketing, said yesterday that for the last two year's
Lonmin's strategy had been, generally speaking, to focus on platinum group
metals, and disputed the claim that the gold assets had been sold under
"It is a fair price in the context of the perceived
political risk of working in Zimbabwe," said Farmer.
spokeswoman said the company would work to negotiate a more favourable
trading arrangement with regard to the current regulatory environment for
gold companies in Zimbabwe. She said, however, that Metallon was not
depending on any changes in the regulatory framework and that the mines were
Metallon is also in talks with possible Zimbabwean partners,
but nothing as yet had been finalised.
"We will definitely have a
local partner," she said.
Metallon said it was prepared to wait for
change in Zimbabwe, but for many companies the economic slump and political
turmoil resulted in business closures.
The deepening economic and
political crisis has knocked the country from third to fifth in the league
table of African gold producers, seen ferrochrome expansion plans shelved and
curbed production of metals ranging from nickel to copper.
inflation is at record levels and the stringent regulatory environment has
seen companies ranging from Delta Gold, now known as Auriongold, to First
Quantum Minerals shut their mines.
Rio Tinto has said that a worsening of
the situation could lead to closure of its two gold mines, while Falcon Gold
and Kinross have already shut their mines.
Still, the Zimbabwe
government has made some concessions in a bid to stave off the collapse of
the gold mining industry, second only to tobacco in terms of exports. It has
lifted the amount it pays for an ounce of gold to about Z47000 $854 at
official exchange rates, but just $67 at black market rates. Producers are
now allowed to keep 40% of their earnings in foreign currency. "A number of
gold miners are now fairing better," said Josh Sachikonye, the operations
director of Rio Tinto Zimbabwe.
Ashanti Goldfields' Freda Rebecca mine,
Zimbabwe's biggest gold mine, is one operation that appears to be saying
Ex-Liberators Need to Be Freed From All-Consuming Bitterness
Daily News (Harare)
OPINION October 29, 2002 Posted to the web
October 29, 2002
As a white Zimbabwean, I have a question to ask
those so-called war veterans and Zanu PF supporters, the police, army and
Central Intelligence Organisation operatives and government officials who are
so intent on ruining this country with their intolerance, violence,
lawlessness, arrogance, vitriol, hatred, bigotry and bitterness.
repeatedly told us during the liberation struggle that they were not fighting
against whites per se because that would be reverse racism. Rather, they were
fighting to liberate Zimbabwe from an unjust, oppressive system. They said
that as whites, we had been brainwashed. In their struggle, they succeeded in
freeing me. I no longer think of Rhodesia either physically or mentally. They
succeeded in breaking the mental shackles I had. They freed me from wrong
attitudes and unjust practices. I no longer think of servants as unworthy
second-class citizens. I no longer think of myself alone, now I think of how
we, together, can build this nation. I'm proud of my Africanness. But, it
seems to me that, with their bitterness, anger and hatred against anything
and anyone with whom they choose to disagree even with their own family the
former liberators are now shackled, as I once was.
They are now
imprisoned in their mind, as I once was. They are oppressed, as I once was.
They are no longer free. After liberating me, they have become imprisoned.
They are former liberators who still need liberating. My question is: Do they
see the irony in this? Is it not strange that the rescuer needs rescuing?
That the once oppressed has become the oppressor? That the exploited has
become the exploiter? That the persecuted has become the persecutor? That the
slave has become the slave master? Why? Perhaps I could encourage them to
think about this as they go about their daily activity of ruining this once
CHARLES Muzenda, the MDC Masvingo deputy organising
secretary, was on Sunday afternoon brutally assaulted by suspected Zanu PF
youths at Neshuro growth point in Mwenezi as political violence continues in
parts of Masvingo province.
The MDC activist was
initially admitted to Neshuro District Hospital following the assault, but
was transferred to Masvingo for further treatment due to the serious nature
of his injuries.
The youths, clad in Zanu PF national service
uniforms and armed with stones and sticks, raided Neshuro business centre
saying they were on a mission to kill all MDC activists in the
The youths later pounced on Muzenda and manhandled him before
dragging him for about 10 metres.
They later took turns to
strike him with empty bottles and stones. Muzenda said yesterday: I sustained
serious injuries all over my body. I have been referred to Masvingo for
The youths took turns to assault me and ordered
me to stop supporting the MDC. They also ordered me to accompany
them to their base and I refused. They then dragged me until the police came
to my rescue. Muzenda's eyes were badly swollen and doctors have
advised him to see an eye specialist.
constable at Neshuro police post identified only as Sibanda was named as the
investigating officer in the case.
A police officer based at
Mwenezi said: Constable Sibanda is dealing with the case.
can phone him, but as far as I know no one has been arrested since the Zanu
PF youths who were deployed in this area have since left for Guyu training
camp in Gwanda. Political violence continues in Mwenezi and Zaka
districts of Masvingo as suspected Zanu PF supporters embark on a fresh wave
of violence to silence the opposition MDC in the districts.
Daily News has been banned in the two districts by suspected Zanu PF youths
allegedly on the instruction of top Zanu PF officials
RENSON Gasela, the MDC shadow minister
for agriculture, has said he fears the partys maize impounded by the
government could have been used to buy votes in the Insiza by-election over
There were widespread reports that tonnes of
maize were being distributed to villagers by Zanu PF during their campaign in
The reports said some of the maize was to be found
inside polling stations, apparently to entice villagers to vote for the
About 2 640 bags of maize sourced by the MDC in South
Africa in September are believed to be still at the Customs Offices at the
Beitbridge border post as negotiations to secure their release have reached a
It is possible the maize could have been used by Zanu PF
because no one knows whether it is still there or not, said Gasela. There was
a lot of maize brought to Insiza by Zanu PF at the expense of other
drought-ravaged areas, such as Zhombe. Some of the maize could have been that
which we sourced.
Efforts to get a comment from the Customs
officials were fruitless. Last month the MDC, together with the Feed Zimbabwe
Trust, brought into the country 2 000 bags of maize which were later
impounded by Customs officials because the MDC does not have the licence to
Earlier, another 640 bags had also been withheld by
the Customs officials.
The MDC has been trying to negotiate with
the border officials to release the maize, which is intended for the
drought-ravaged areas of Gweru, Chivi, Binga and Chikomba.
there has so far been no agreement as the government has insisted that the
MDC should first apply for an import licence.
The State-run Grain
Marketing Board has a monopoly to import maize into the country.
We are still facing a standoff, but we are putting pressure that if the maize
is still there sanity should prevail and the maize be distributed to the
starving people, said Gasela.
confusion and total lack of concern, which seem to characterise the work of
the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture, is contributing to the brain
President Mugabe recently castigated the United States,
Australia, Britain and New Zealand for allegedly stealing Zimbabwes
But he and his government would do well to note that
they are, in fact, facilitating the teachers passage to the developed world.
Being fired by a government that is discredited by the rest of the world is a
In the past the governments poor handling
of the junior doctors and nurses strikes has contributed to a mass exodus of
doctors in great demand in the US, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the
Aeneas Chigwedere has acknowledged that teachers
salaries are low, compared with those of other civil servants. Instead of
working to bridge this gap, he resorts to threats, intimidation and even
extends his mandate to firing them, when this is clearly a function of the
Public Service Commission.
Chigwedere has not helped matters by
repeatedly describing the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe as an
organisation. It is a registered organisation and finds
support among teachers he believes are anti-government. The sooner the
minister learns to negotiate with them, the better will be his working
relationship with the teachers.
The minister elects to ignore
that teachers under his ministry were overlooked when the salaries of other
civil servants were rationalised. He should be fighting for the teachers
Apart from making procedural blunders, the ministry behaves
as if everything is in order. It isnt. Students are in the middle of their
final examinations, but there is no government urgency to address the
problem. Clearly, the failure to resolve the teachers strike will impact on
those writing their examinations. By penalising the teachers, the ministry
is jeopardising the future education of many students who are writing
their final examinations.But last week the government increased the pensions
of war veterans. That this could happen at a time when it is denying
teachers an increase demonstrates a total lack of sensitivity. Many of
the professionals trekking to greener pastures will feel vindicated that
the government does not believe their genuine grievances deserve its
But perhaps one of the most tragic
developments is the apparent inaction of parents whose children are affected
by the governments failure to listen to the teachers gripes. The parents
should not be mere spectators while the future of their children is being
jeopardised. It is time they brought pressure to bear on the government to
treat the teachers fairly.
But the government could be doing this
deliberately. It is aware it has nothing to offer this years school leavers
and its strategy appears to be to keep them in schools by disrupting their
education. If they are kept in school, it is assumed, their discontent will
be contained and they will not join the ranks of the dissatisfied unemployed,
intent on unseating the government.
Their first journey into
life after school will be into unemployment. This has the potential of giving
rise to seeds of uprisings because there are no opportunities for the many
The government should be condemned for its inept
handling of the teachers strike. If it was sincere, it would have already
made a written undertaking.
Zimbabwe is ending its four-year
campaign in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The withdrawal should
translate into savings which can address the plight of teachers unless there
is more looting planned.
The teachers strike has dragged on for far
too long. The ministry has stood by while teachers were victimised by
government supporters. The ministry has allowed so-called war veterans to
recruit and fire teachers in the countryside. Marking of examination papers
is fraught with problems, there are still double sessions in some local
authorities, while the 1999 Zimbabwe Junior Certificate examinations have not
These, added to the blunders over a single-school
uniform, school name changes and teachers new working hours, suggest its time
the President rewarded someone
JOSEPH Mwale, a senior officer with the Central
Intelligence Organisation implicated in the death of two MDC officials during
the run-up to the 2000 parliamentary election, has declared Chimanimani, a
plantation and farming region east of Zimbabwe, a no-go area for the private
The move has forced a private company, Radar Holdings,
which was planning a media tour of its plantations gutted by fire last week,
to shelve the tour.
The Media Institute of Southern Africa said
Radar Holdings, which owns several plantations in the area, had planned an
aerial media tour of its plantations to see the extent of the damage caused
by a raging fire on 25 September.
During the past several weeks,
illegal settlers set 14 000 hectares of pine and gum trees on fire as they
prepared their land in readiness for the planting season.
Timbers Limited (BTL), the subsidiary company that manages the plantations,
confirmed the tour was cancelled for security reasons.
permission for the flight on allegations that it would bring in private media
reporters who would report negatively on the situation, said John Gadzikwa,
the managing director of BTL.
He warned us that if the tour went
ahead it would be at the risk of the passengers aboard. We had no option but
to shelve the tour.
Mwale was implicated in the 2000 murder of
opposition activists Talent Mabika and Tichaona Chiminya in Buhera. Although
the High Court directed that the Attorney-General indict Mwale, nothing has
happened so far.
Mwale was also instrumental in the arrest and
detention of Peta Thornycroft, a correspondent for the British Daily
Telegraph on 27 March 2002, in Chimanimani. According to MISA, BTL
lost approximately US$168 million (Z$9 billion) worth of timber in the fire
that gutted the plantations. IRIN
KILLIAN Mupingo, the provincial administrator for
Manicaland, said yesterday the government would soon evict all illegal
settlers on estates belonging to Border Timbers Limited (BTL) and the
Forestry Company of Zimbabwe (FCZ) in Chimanimani.
Three weeks ago, the illegal settlers set fire to more than 14 000 hectares
of pine and gum trees worth about $9 billion while preparing land for
The settlers took advantage of the controversial land
reform programme and invaded Charter Estates belonging to BTL in Chimanimani
and various estates in the province run by FCZ, which is wholly owned by the
BTL and FCZ are two of the biggest timber producers in
southern Africa. Mupingo said: The government did not designate those estates
and we are in the process of putting mechanisms in place to evict those
people. We do not support that type of behaviour. The district administrator
in that area is busy working on the evictions, but they will be
On 20 August, the Administrative Court in Harare dismissed
an application by Joseph Made, the Minister of Lands, Agriculture and
Rural Development, to have BTL designated after the Attorney Generals
Office failed to defend its acquisition.
John Gadzikwa, BTLs
managing director, and Veronica Gutu, the public relations manager of FCZ,
said there had been sporadic fire outbreaks caused by the
On Charter Estate which has 15 000 hectares and
subdivided into several tree plantations, Gadzikwa said the first fire broke
out at Westward-Ho and Fairfield Block on 25 September, destroying both
mature and immature trees.
The second outbreak was nearly a
fortnight ago in the same area and 700 hectares of trees were destroyed.
Gadzikwa said the company lost at least $9 billion worth of trees during the
fires while Gutu said 699,65 hectares of pine and gum trees were destroyed in
Chimanimani, Gwendigwe area, Chipinge and Nyanga with an estimated value of
$68 829 774.
A government-backed delegation concludes that GM food is too
risky - aid workers say the decision means people will go hungry
Zambian government confirmed on Tuesday that it would not accept genetically
modified food aid for the 2.5 million Zambians facing severe food
Zambia's president Levy Mwanawasa has described GM food as
"poison", but in August 2002 agreed to send a delegation to South Africa,
Europe and the US to assess the risks.
The delegation is now reported
to have concluded that GM food poses too great a risk to be accepted.
Zambia's agriculture minister Mundia Sikatana said on Tuesday: "In the face
of scientific uncertainty the country should thus refrain from action that
might adversely affect human and animal heath, as well as harm the
GM aid has been offered to Zambia by the US Agency for
International Development, via the World Food Program (WFP). The WFP says it
will be hard to find enough non-GM food to feed all of Zambia's hungry people
in the next few months.
A WFP spokesman told New
Scientist: "At the moment we haven't heard reports of people starving to
death. The main problem is people suffering from HIV and AIDS. If they don't
have the right nutrition then they are going to start dying. Clearly if we
cannot supply them for November there will be people suffering in
During October, the WFP was only able to supply food to 50 per
cent of those suffering from food shortages. The WFP predicts the number
needing food will increase to 3.3 million before the next harvest in March
"We accept the right of any government to reject GM food," says
Jorgen Schlundt, of the World Health Organization's food safety program. "But
we believe the GM foods on the market do not represent a health risk. They
have gone through risk assessment and have actually been eaten for many
Some environmental groups commended Zambia's
decision to refuse US GM supplies. But opposition politicians in Zambia have
condemned the move.
Leader of the UPND opposition party, Saqwibo Sikota,
told the BBC's Network Africa there is no scientific evidence that GM food
poses a health risk.
Six other southern African nations face food
shortages and possible famine in coming months. Four of these, Zimbabwe,
Malawi, Mozambique and Lesotho have agreed to receive GM food aid provided
that it is milled so that it cannot be planted and contaminate indigenous