Sunday, September 30, 2007

BBC: Why "indigenization" won't work

"...The economic situation here makes the notion of staying in business a great challenge. But we don't know when these changes have to be made by - the intricacies have not been spelt out yet. Or how it will be put into practice...

Another factor to consider is who the government sees as indigenous and who they don't... Business owners may think that if they hold a Zimbabwean passport then they are OK.

But the government has said before that those who make up Zimbabwe's coloured [mixed-race], Indian and white communities were at an advantage during colonial times.

So maybe the so-called colonialism benefiters will be forced to relinquish their shareholds.

But a person's ability to run a business successfully doesn't depend on their skin colour. What you need is the best person for the job......

Another thing in the press are reports that the foreign companies doing business here support the opposition and their agenda is for regime change.

Maybe by passing this law the government thinks that stopping these foreign-owned companies from operating, will mean financial support for the opposition dries up.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Foreign investors weigh results of new law


More than 300 foreign-owned business are still operating in Zimbabwe and the legislation raised concerns that investment might dry up.

Some feared a repetition of government seizures of white-owned farms in 2000 to redistribute among inexperienced indigenous black farmers, a controversial move which economic analysts say led to the current economic crisis.

Analysts said foreign businesses had scaled down or written off their local interests, but mining companies were still exposed.

These included the world's two largest platinum producers Anglo Platinum and Impala Platinum (Implats).

"As far as we are concerned we have agreements in place and these will be taken into account when looking at the overall compliance," David Brown, chief executive of Implats, told Reuters in an e-mail reply to questions.

London-listed Old Mutual and South Africa's Standard Bank, which has a 14-branch network in Zimbabwe, said they were still studying how the bill would affect their businesses.

"We are still reviewing the legislation and the process by which it will be implemented," Standard Bank spokesman Ross Linstrom said.


It was not clear how the bill would be implemented.

"There is no clarity at all and this will put a further damper on the economy, especially with the view that it is a political gimmick," Sheunesu Juru, a fund manager at Zimnat Insurance said.


Thursday, September 27, 2007

Mugabe meets Iranian President

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe, who is attending the United Nations general assembly meeting in New York, yesterday (MONDAY) held a one hour meeting with his Iranian counterpart, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
The meeting, was closed to the media.
The two presidents, who appear to be the odd ones out at a meeting where issues related to HIV and Aids and global warming are set to take the centre stage, are attending the summit amid concerns that they are the world’s worst respecters of human rights.
Iran is involved in a diplomatic war with the United States of America over its nuclear enrichment programme, while Zimbabwe is on the wrong side of the law in terms of respect for human rights, good governance and respect for the rule of the law.
Mugabe is scheduled to address the UN today (WEDNESDAY).
According to Zimbabwe's U.N. ambassador, Boniface Chidyausiku, Mugabe will make the case to the assembly that the U.S. Zimbabwe Democracy Act has prevented international institutions and private investors from bringing capital to Zimbabwe.

Ummm...isn't having people invest money in your country a good thing?

Mugabe gives speech at UN


Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on Wednesday delivered a particularly bitter denunciation of Western critics in the United Nations General Assembly, lashing out at U.S. President George Bush for what he called "hypocrisy" in describing his Harare government as "tyrannical," and denouncing U.S. policy in Iraq and elsewhere.

Mr. Mugabe accused the United States and Britain of seeking to maintain neo-colonial control over Zimbabwe and of attempting to engineer "regime change" there. "I am termed (a) dictator because I have rejected this supremacist view and frustrated the neo-colonialists in their endeavor to keep us as slaves in our own country."

Mr. Mugabe took exception to President Bush's reference to his government as a "tyrannical regime" in a speech Tuesday to the General Assembly.

President Bush said Mr. Mugabe's "tyrannical regime" was "an assault on its people and an affront to the principles of the (U.N.) Universal Declaration" of Human Rights.

Mr. Mugabe responded that Mr. Bush "has much to atone for and little to lecture us on (regarding) the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. His hands drip with blood of many innocent nationalities, and today with the blood of the Iraqis."

Mr. Mugabe dwelt on the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for terror suspects. "At that concentration camp, international law does not apply...laws of the United States of America do not apply. Only Bush's law applies."

He accused Britain and the United States of pursuing "a relentless campaign of destabilizing and vilifying my country." He said the two nations "sponsored surrogate forces to challenge lawful authority in my country," this a reiteration of the charge, often lodged by Harare, that the opposition is Western-sponsored.

"They seek regime change," he said. "They seek regime change - not my people."

Mr. Mugabe said Zimbabwe "will not allow a regime change offered by outsiders. Mr. Bush and Mr. Brown have no role to play in our own national affairs. They are outsiders and mischievous outsiders and should therefore keep out."

Mr. Mugabe expressed "gratitude" toward South African President Thabo Mbeki for his mediation of talks between the ruling ZANU-PF party and opposition Movement for Democratic Change which in recent days has yielded a compromise constitutional amendment which President Mugabe said "paved the way" for 2008 elections....

Ncube denies he will enter politics

Ncube releases statement:
Bulawayo, Zimbabwe 25 September 2007

I have received a number of enquiries over the past week, asking if I am about to enter into politics, or if I am considering standing for the Presidency of Zimbabwe.

I should like to make it clear that in the Catholic Church we have a rule against the clergy getting into party politics or taking on civil duties.

Moreover, I personally have not the slightest interest in entering into politics, and I know nothing about politics. I am a clergyman, and my passion is to work for the Church. As such I shall continue to stand up in defence of human rights which are part of the gospel of Christ.

We have had bad experiences in Zimbabwe when clergy become politicians. When they have to follow a particular party political line, their Christian values become compromised. ....

see previous link about this...Many thought his quick resigntion implied that he, like President Aristide, wished to enter politics (Clergy are forbidden by Canon law to go into politics)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Zim to attend summit despite EU objectcions

HARARE (Reuters) - President Robert Mugabe will attend an EU-Africa summit in Portugal in December despite a boycott threat by Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Zimbabwe's information minister said on Tuesday....

Ndlovu said the Southern African Development Community (SADC) had taken a position to support Mugabe against those seeking his exclusion from the summit.


Both SADC and the AU have warned Lisbon that the summit might not occur again if Mugabe, who is banned from travelling to parts of Western Europe as a result of targeted sanctions, was barred from Portugal.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Monks lead protest in Burma

The BBC reports that huge pro democracy protests are occuring in Burma (Myanmar):

Tens of thousands of monks and civilians around Burma have held the biggest protest marches against the military government yet.

Eyewitnesses say up to 100,000 people marched peacefully through Rangoon with monks demanding better living conditions and national reconciliation.

To those of us in the Philippines, this brings back memories of the EDSA revolution, where hundreds of thousands demonstrated against Marcos, led by priests and nuns and the greatly revered Cardinal Sin.

When intellectuals write scathingly of religion, they usually chose the worse case scenerios: the most ignorant and extreme as examples of religion.

But the real danger of religion to governments and others who want to control people’s lives is twofold: One, that religious leaders are respected by the common people, and two: that religious leaders answer to a Higher Power, and so a government is not able to insist their law is supreme. The third way religion is dangerous is that threats of death is not a deterrant.

Yes, this last reason has been twisted out of recognition by jihadi “suicide bombers” who kill civilians they consider heretics (mainly Shiite Muslims). But it was this fearlessness and sense of peace that marched in defiance of threats of violence that made the Freedom Marcher of Selma and the Edsa and Gandhi and of Solidarity so inspiring.

If there are only two ways to overthrow an evil government (war from within and war from without) it is religion that gives a third way: peaceful resistance.

The BBC has an article on Democracy advocate and Nobel Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi HERE.

THIS WEBSITE has updates on the situation.

and Gateway Pundit has a long report with links of the huge protests against that military junta…led by Buddhist monks.

One worry in all of this is China. A the BBC reports, they are an ally and trading partner of the government of Myamar but ironically, one thing standing in the way of their support of a government crackdown is….the Olympics.

instability or even war in Burma is not in China’s interest. But neither is a bloody crackdown, because China is worried about its own image in the run up to next year’s Beijing Olympic Games.
And a Beijing-backed crackdown in Burma would spoil China’s idea of a trouble-free Olympics.

So one of the ironies is that the Burmese people might get their democratic government because of the Olympic games.

Now, if only we could pressure South Africa’s support of Mugabe, by threatening a boycott of their World Cup

Zim: A regional solution?

The regime needs external financial support to maintain its patronage networks and shore up the economy before risking elections (or before desperate people riot), and its request for a rescue package gives the regional initiative crucial leverage if SADC is willing to use it. Nevertheless, the challenges are daunting. Mugabe outmanoeuvred rivals in March 2007 to gain the ZANU-PF nomination for a new term. The party seeks to bypass Mbeki's mediation by advancing a unilateral constitutional amendment that would tighten its hold on power by rigging the electoral process and ensuring it can name an eventual successor to Mugabe without a new popular vote. The MDC is bitterly divided and appears unable to mobilise effective opposition.

South Africa and the SADC mistrust the MDC, especially its larger faction led by Morgan Tsvangirai, and would like to see a government of national unity emerge led by a reformed ZANU-PF. Some SADC leaders remain Mugabe supporters, and there is a risk the organisation will accept cosmetic changes that further entrench the status quo. The ultimate objective of the reform process, however, is not regime change as such but to guarantee that all adult citizens can freely and fairly choose their rulers and that an electorally legitimated government can reengage with donors to turn the economy around. There is little likelihood that the opposition - so long as it remains badly fractured -...

Long post go to link...

Zim diaspora may get to vote

Sources at the talks mediated by South Africa say that everyone born in the country may be allowed to vote.

If confirmed, this would grant suffrage to the huge Zimbabwean diaspora - believed to be as many as four million.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Who will stop Mugabe?

The Anglican Archbishop of York, Ugandan-born John Sentamu, wants the British government to do something, finally, about Zimbabwe and its President Robert Mugabe.

Sentamu wants Britain to find the courage to lead a campaign of foreign intervention.

Writing in the Observer newspaper, the Archbishop says, "the time has come for Prime Minster Gordon Brown to finally slay the ghosts of Britain's colonial past. The time for African solutions alone is now over." Sentamu describes Mugabe as "the worst kind of racist dictator."


The international community is reluctant to take a meaningful stand against Mugabe, and while the UN is finally sending troops to Darfur, the beaten and hungry of Harare are somehow seen as less in need of rescue.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Ncube to run for president?


My source told me: "Pius is determined to fight Mugabe on the political front. All along he has been supporting other candidates, but none of them has been able to topple Mugabe. So this time he is taking the bull by the horns." Ncube has so far made no direct statement of his intentions. I spoke to him at the weekend, and he told me: "I will issue a statement to answer your questions very soon."

The prospect of an Ncube candidacy is a ray of hope for all those who oppose Mugabe.,,,

Mugabe barters Maize for fuel

HARARE - PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe gave Equatorial Guinea president Theodore Obiang Nguema over 50 tonnes of maize when the visiting leader came to Zimbabwe last month and the maize was flown to Malabo, Guinea on an Air Zimbabwe long haul Boeing 767, ZimDaily can reveal.

The maize was meant to convince Nguema to provide Zimbabwe with three months supply of fuel but Nguema is said to have made a condition clear to Mugabe before he left, that he deliver Simon Mann or no fuel.

Mann was arrested in 2004 and was alleged to have been leading a group of 76 mercenraies to Equatorial Guinea to depose Nguema who seized power in the 70s after murdering his uncle who was president.....

The major problem for Mugabe is that Zimbabwe has no extradition treaty with the oil rich Equatorial Guinea making it difficult to extradite Mann.

The revelations come at a time when over nine million Zimbabweans are facing starvation after governments disastrous and failed land policies which have resulted in widespread hunger in the former breadbasket of the SADC region.

Election watch

Sokwanele has an article on election watch...excerpt:

Analysts confirmed last week that Zimbabwe cannot have free and fair polls next year if there are no radical political and electoral reforms in line with Southern African Development Community (SADC) election guidelines.

In their view, South African President Thabo Mbeki's pronouncement on 30 August that Zimbabwe will have free and fair polls (in 2008) ignores the political situation on the ground where the ruling Zanu PF has an upper hand against the opposition.

The analysts note that Zanu PF has "unfettered access to state resources …, while the majority of the opposition survives on shoe-string budgets."

To illustrate this, we include an article from the Zimbabwe Independent newspaper which reports that Zanu PF is mobilising resources, including a staggering Z$600 billion, for its election campaign "since Mugabe has vowed to win at all costs".

David Chimhini, executive director of the Zimbabwe Civic Education Trust, says Zimbabwe cannot have free and fair elections "when we have failed to adopt the SADC election guidelines of which we are a signatory." He also stresses the need to level the playing field, which is currently tilted in favour of Zanu PF.

In a surprising turn of events, our lead story reports that the Registrar-General, Tobaiwa Mudede, has for the first time complained of pressure from politicians to register "certain groups of people". It transpires he has unlawfully used an interpretation of the Citizenship Act to deprive millions of potential Zimbabwean voters, mainly farm workers, of the right to vote.

The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) has urged Mudede to re-launch mobile voter registration, saying that insufficient publicity led to the poor turnout. The ZESN notes that the operation has also been undermined by insufficient funding, unqualified personnel and corruption among traditional leaders.

An article from SW Radio Africa, which is barred from operating in Zimbabwe, says Zanu PF has demonstrated its priorities by allocating Z$12,662 trillion or 33 percent of the supplementary budget to defence and security organisations while the National Water Authority is struggling for resources to provide adequate water for the people.

Once again Mugabe is buying the support of senior members of the army and police, as well as the Central Intelligence Organisation, by spending thousands of US dollars on luxury vehicles while the country has no foreign currency for essentials like drugs.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

China turns back on embattled Mugabe

"...“China in the past provided substantial development assistance but owing to the dramatic currency revaluations and rapid deterioration of economic conditions, the economic outcomes of these projects have not been so good.”

The decision deals a heavy blow to a country where unemployment is 80 per cent, inflation hit 7,600 per cent in July and the value of the Zimbabwean dollar on the black market recently fell to 500,000 to the pound...

With the Olympic Games less than a year away China may not want to be associated with a state leader regarded by many nations as a pariah. China is Zimbabwe’s largest investor and its second-biggest trading partner – after South Africa....

Monday, September 17, 2007

Mugabe uses water as a weapon


Three of five main reservoirs in Zimbabwe's second city have dried up. The fourth is expected to be empty next month and the last one will be able to supply only 16per cent of the city's already tightly rationed needs.

"If we have even a mediocre rainy season this summer, we are faced with the spectre of Bulawayo literally shutting down," said David Coltart, MP of theMovement for Democratic Change.

The water crisis is a dangerous extra strain on Bulawayo, which is already reeling from the country's hyperinflation, critical shortages of basic food and electricity supplies, and the political repression witnessed in the rest of the country. Church and political leaders believe Mr Mugabe is determined to let Bulawayo wither without water. The Government has ignored repeated appeals for help.

"The problem is political," said the Reverend Kevin Thomson, a leading figure in Churches In Bulawayo, an alliance of the city's churches which has begun an emergency water supply operation in the townships. "They don't want to fix the problem. Just as they control the supply of food for political purposes, water has become another area for controlling people."..."

Note: Bulawayo is Ndebele, and Mugabe is Mashona. Mugabe had ruthlessly put down Ndebele dissadents and insurgents with the help of North Korea in the 1980's with little publicity, and many of his main opponants are Ndebele. Partly this is cultural, since the Ndebele are a Zulu offshoot and have a warrior tradition, and are "newcomers" to the region.. The Mashona are better educated but culturally tend to be passive/aggressive, so would leave the country rather than stand up and fight. This is one reason that Mugabe has stayed in power so long.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Uganda and central african report

The link is a long analysis of Central Africa, and the need for redevelopment of that region...but security is the main problem. I post it partly to show that Mugabe is terrible, but anarchy and civil war would be worse....

The long porous border separating Uganda from Kenya and South Sudan offers a big challenge in resolving what stands out as a regional problem that requires coordination from regional governments. Over 40, 000 guns are estimated to be in Uganda alone but a porous and insufficiently guarded border and the lack of government controls in Sudan and Kenya means an in-flow of more guns makes it worse. Kenya is a major transit route for guns from Somalia.

‘’The issue is within a regional context and requires a regional solution,’’ agreed Lokech. Apparently, there has been very little if any disarmament in Kenya. Yet, across the border in Kenya are found other illegally armed tribes posing an equal threat to regional security. The Dinka and Toposa tribes also bring in guns ‘unchecked’ from South Sudan into Uganda. South Sudan is still recovering from decades of war and it will take much more time and effort to consolidate its southerly security.

Though road ambushes have reduced in the past months, UPDF is still fighting cattle raiders and it is still impossible to give a time frame to the end of insecurity. The reality on the ground, given that no significant efforts are made in neighboring affected countries points to a dilemma for Uganda.

‘’You can’t solve this problem in a short time given the Kenya and Sudan factor,’’ admitted Lokech ‘’we are pushing it to IGAD [the Intergovernmental Authority on Development is a regional organization] level’’ the Ugandan army, nonetheless is determined to accomplish its mission in the region....

The Kenyan factor is of paramount importance, there is no disarmament in Kenya and unlike in Uganda where the army is involved, Kenya’s authorities are yet to look at the issue at border more seriously. In Kenya the security issue is police work and the army only engages in serious external threats. Also important to note is that this being an election year in Kenya, it means nothing much is expected from high Kenyan political levels of government to influence regional security.....

FIFA, Zimbabwe, and the world cup

Some are expressing doubt about Zimbabwe’s capacity to host visitors on their way to the 2010 World Cup of soccer in South Africa. The debate was sparked by the visit of a delegation from the International Federation Of Association Football to assess accommodations and other facilities for World Cup ticket-holders.

The FIFA inspection tour comes at a time when Zimbabwe faces severe shortages of food and other essentials, including fuel. But optimists say such problems won’t deter FIFA from giving Zimbabwe a thumbs-up to serve as a way-station to the World Cup 2010.

World Cup and Zimbabwe

One reason Mugabe can get away with it is because South Africa's president Mbeki is keeping him in power (via money and political support). However, the world cup is being held in South Africa in 2010, and thousands of sports fans will go there to see the games and to visit that beautiful country.
The problem is that right next door will be a country run by a murderous president that has ruined the economy and caused thousands to flee to South Africa and elsewhere in order to live.

Mbeki has the power to pressure Mugabe into resigning or at least not to re run for election, but refuses to do so. Maybe sports fans could help.

Rev. Hove has a petition up on his blog to have sports fans pressure South Africa to stop supporting Mugabe.

Similar threats of boycotts to the Olympics in China have contributed to the Chinese pressuring the Sudan to make peace with Dafur, so come on, sports fans, sign a petition.

Alternative link is to go HERE

Friday, September 14, 2007

Commonwealth Minister wants Mugabe at conference

Plans for an EU-Africa summit have been on hold for years because Britain and other EU countries have refused to attend if Mugabe is there, while African countries have refused to come if he is barred.

Some EU officials have suggested Zimbabwe could be represented at a lower level than Mugabe, perhaps by the country's foreign minister.

"It's useful to have him (Mugabe) there for the dialogue to go on," Commonwealth chief Don McKinnon told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday during a two-day visit to Brussels. "Africa's relation with the EU is very important."

"If the dialogue gets cancelled because Africa refused to get on with the request (to veto him), it would be a bigger problem."

Zimbabwe left the Commonwealth in 2003 after being suspended the previous year. The body groups Britain and 52 mostly former British colonies, 18 of which are African nations.

Portugal, the current EU president, is keen to improve relations between the bloc and Africa and has said it will not discriminate among African states.

But diplomats say some EU leaders such as Britain's Gordon Brown are not keen to share a forum with Mugabe.

Mugabe's dirty trick campaign

Last Updated: Thursday, 13 September 2007, 07:30 GMT 08:30 UK
Zimbabwe's dirty tricks brigade
By Joseph Winter
BBC News

Bishop Pius Ncube (file photo)
Archbishop Ncube - many believe he was a victim of CIO agents
Pius Ncube is widely believed in Zimbabwe to be the latest victim of dirty tricks by the feared Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO).

Bishop Ncube, who has just resigned as the Archbishop of Bulawayo, has been a vocal critic of the government.

In July this year, he called for foreign intervention to remove President Robert Mugabe.

A week later, he called the president a "megalomaniac, a bully and a murderer".

Barely two weeks after that, state media gleefully published photos - allegedly of Bishop Ncube in bed with a married woman.

check out link for other dirty tricks....


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Ncube resigns

One of the most eloquent opponents of the notorious Mugabe government in Zimbabwe, Archbishop Ncube, has resigned after photos of a “sex sting” were released to the public. Ncube claims he has resigned to spare the church from being attacked by the government.
Although Ncube has denied the allegations, the acceptance of his resignation from the Vatican suggests that the Archbishop had resigned in sorrow and repentance. However, he remains a priest in full standing and says he plans to continue his political opposition to the Mugabe government.

Mugabe himself threatened church leaders in the country as Bishops became more vocal against his regime. He said they were on a dangerous path if their agenda became political and they would be treated harshly.

Immorality on the part of priests and bishops is not unknown in Africa, and one of my sources whose convent was destroyed in “operation cleanup” says that those remaining faithful to their vows are often falsely accused of immoral acts out of spite by those both inside and outside the church who wish to hide their own immoral actions.
But the fall of Ncube is a sad incident, first because it was an assignation not a love affair with a married woman and second because the Archbishop showed a lack of self control, putting his own needs for a sexual dalliance over the holiness of his vows at a time when the government was eager to destroy his ability to lead the opposition.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Zim migrants flood South Africa

"..."We're so frightened to go back to that hunger country, where there's nothing," Peter said as he waited.

His parents died in a bus crash two years ago, Peter said, and he has five younger siblings and no hope of feeding them. Before he left Zimbabwe last month, he and the other children, ages 2 to 12, were eating two or three times a week. In between, he said, the children scoured the bush for any wild fruit they could find.

"It's terrible. You feel sorry for them," Nienaber said before buying some bread and milk for the five illegal immigrants and handing them over to the police. Yet he sees the Zimbabweans who cross his land, cutting his fences and destroying his water pipes, as a threat to his survival.

The tide of Zimbabweans arriving in South Africa, driven by extreme shortages of food and basic goods, has grown into a flood as strong as the nearby Limpopo River in the rainy season.

Zimbabwe used to be one of Africa's most prosperous countries. Its slide into economic chaos under President Robert Mugabe's regime has forced people to make heart-wrenching decisions -- taking their children out of schools because they can't pay the fees, or even leaving them behind while they try to find work in South Africa....

Another game and vegetable farmer, Willem Helm, lost a herd of eland valued at about $29,000 after his fence was cut. He has to employ a man full time just to fix the holes in his fences, he says.

"These people are so hungry; sometimes they have not eaten for four or five days. They don't have a cent on them. They will steal anything," he said. "They do what they have to do to survive. I'd probably do the same.

"But compassion is running out. We are getting frustrated and sometimes getting angry, especially if something is broken or stolen. The situation is so bad that you can't let them go. If I am to survive on my land, then they must go."...

Zim migrants flood South Africa

"..."We're so frightened to go back to that hunger country, where there's nothing," Peter said as he waited.

His parents died in a bus crash two years ago, Peter said, and he has five younger siblings and no hope of feeding them. Before he left Zimbabwe last month, he and the other children, ages 2 to 12, were eating two or three times a week. In between, he said, the children scoured the bush for any wild fruit they could find.

"It's terrible. You feel sorry for them," Nienaber said before buying some bread and milk for the five illegal immigrants and handing them over to the police. Yet he sees the Zimbabweans who cross his land, cutting his fences and destroying his water pipes, as a threat to his survival.

The tide of Zimbabweans arriving in South Africa, driven by extreme shortages of food and basic goods, has grown into a flood as strong as the nearby Limpopo River in the rainy season.

Zimbabwe used to be one of Africa's most prosperous countries. Its slide into economic chaos under President Robert Mugabe's regime has forced people to make heart-wrenching decisions -- taking their children out of schools because they can't pay the fees, or even leaving them behind while they try to find work in South Africa....

Another game and vegetable farmer, Willem Helm, lost a herd of eland valued at about $29,000 after his fence was cut. He has to employ a man full time just to fix the holes in his fences, he says.

"These people are so hungry; sometimes they have not eaten for four or five days. They don't have a cent on them. They will steal anything," he said. "They do what they have to do to survive. I'd probably do the same.

"But compassion is running out. We are getting frustrated and sometimes getting angry, especially if something is broken or stolen. The situation is so bad that you can't let them go. If I am to survive on my land, then they must go."...

Sunday, September 09, 2007


WAPOST links to this fashion show by African designers.

Yes, Africa has dictators and other problems, but one needs to remember it is a vibrant continent...

Mugabe's youth groups


Hitler had the Hitler Youth. Mao had his Red Guards. Robert Mugabe has the 21st February Movement - a youth organisation now to be revamped, indoctrinated and let loose in our streets and schools.

The 21st February Movement - it's Mugabe's birthday - began life in 1986 as a benign boy scout-type organisation. Now it is to become a fanatical corps of uniformed kids, all dedicated and devoted to their President and their Party.

A recent meeting of Zanu-PF's governing body agreed to militarise and politicise the 21st February Movement, starting with pre-school toddlers. The programme, which will be compulsory for all children, is titled, with surprising frankness, 'Operation Catch Them Young'.

go to link for entire story.
Headsup from LINK

Friday, September 07, 2007

Opposition leader arrested for tour of empty supermarket

By Lance Guma
06 September 2007

MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai has been charged with ‘disorderly conduct’ over a tour he undertook assessing shops affected by government’s controversial price freeze. Although the tour took place over a month ago the charge is only being raised now. Observers have noted that this is just two days after the deportation of police commissioner Augustine Chihuri’s son Sylvester from Australia. Eight students with Zanu PF parents were kicked out of the country on Monday, much to the fury of the police chief.

Tsvangirai’s lawyer Alec Muchadehama told us they suspect the Manager of an OK supermarket in Mufakose was arm twisted into filing a complaint. The manager claims Tsvangirai disrupted business at the shop by moving around with over 30 bodyguards, journalists and photographers. Pictures of empty shelves were taken without the manager’s consent it is further claimed. The entourage toured Gutsai supermarket in central Harare, OK Mufakose, OK Glen View 3 and Makro wholesalers in Braeside, to assess the impact of the price blitz. Tsvangirai described the blitz as unsustainable and politically motivated.

On Thursday the MDC leader was quizzed for more than an hour before being released....

Zim supermarkets run low on food

...On row after row of white shelving, wiped clean each day, sit a dozen cabbages. The bakery has ten plain scones. That is all the food there is in the largest supermarket serving tens of thousands of people in the oldest, and teeming, township in Harare.

One night last week, Rosa, a church volunteer, scoured Mbare for supplies to make the daily ration of maizemeal, the national staple, and some green vegetables, to be cooked without vegetable oil and often without salt. She found two loaves of bread.

“How do I feed the 14 people in my house with two loaves of bread?” Rosa asked. “Sometimes there is nothing and you go to bed with no dinner. We are living like orphans.”...

Summary Price freeze resulted in buying/hoarding especially by gov't employees, and now there are no new supplies...even the black market is drying up thanks to a government crackdown...and riots are expected but police/miliary are there to put them down

Cost of living

Z$30,000 Price of a loaf of bread in Zimbabwe, the equivalent of $120 at official exchange rate but $1.30 on the black market

Z$55,561 The cost of producing a loaf of bread

7,600% Current rate of inflation

450,000 Tons of wheat needed by Zimbabwe per year

78,000 Tons yielded by last year’s harvest

325,000 Tons yielded in 1990 harvest

80% Of Zimbabwe's population is estimated to be living below the poverty line


Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Corporate take over of Heinz by Zim

government has taken control of one of the country's leading food processors by buying out US firm HJ Heinz.

The state will buy Heinz's 49% stake in Olivine Industries, which makes cooking oils, fats and soaps, for $6.8m.....

New laws which would force foreign-owned businesses to sell a majority stake in their operations to black-owned Zimbabwean firms are set to come into force within months.

Officials said the Olivine deal had been under discussions for some time and pre-dated the planned shift in ownership rules.

The black market thrives in Zim


Tall, wearing neat jeans and a crisp black jacket, the 34-year-old carries a briefcase and looks like a businessman or shop owner. Sure, he's deeply religious and active in his church, but he has a motto in Zimbabwe's dog-eat-dog economy: Never give anything away for free.

When there is no meat in the shops, his wife and children eat meat. He has luxuries that none of his neighbors can afford: a laptop computer, satellite TV, a DVD player.

"You can only afford those things if you're a black market guy," he said. "They're not for people on salaries."

Most days, there's an air of anxiety in Zimbabwe's supermarkets. The freezer sections, once filled with meat and chicken, yawn emptily. The shelves where cornmeal, rice and bread used to be stacked are bare. But on other shelves, cakes, cookies, dog food and chocolate are piled up, at prices few people can afford.

When staples arrive, the anxiety turns to panic, and sometimes violence.

When people see a queue in Zimbabwe, they join it and ask questions later. According to local news reports, a queue to buy sugar snaking for 900 yards erupted into pandemonium in late July in the eastern town of Marondera. A security fence was toppled and a woman sustained a broken leg in the crush, before police with dogs were called. Days earlier, two people were seriously injured when a truck carrying cornmeal was mobbed in Bulawayo.

But business has never been so good for Shumba, who sells his goods secretly at night from his home, or delivers to special customers...."

Sunday, September 02, 2007

China stops trade with Zimbabwe

September 1st, 2007 by Nancy Reyes

Having the Olympics in China may end up with saving African’s lives.

By hosting the Olympics and seeking a huge foreign audience to “show off” the brand new China, that country is making itself vulnerable to boycotts and protests.

Some, like those for free Tibet, will be ignored (with the large influx of Han Chinese, China figures that in a hundred years, Tibet will be integrated into China again).

And it is unclear if boycotts by those worried about internet censorship will have much effect.

But pressure on China to save the people of Dafur has already led to that country pressuring Sudan to allow international peacekeepers.

But China’s relationship with Mugabe is based only partly on economics (Zimbabwe does not have oil, but does have chrome and other rare minerals). Their relationship has to do with Mugabe’s revolutionary background, as a Marxist liberator against the rogue racist government of Ian Smith.

As late as 2005, China not only was providing much needed manufactured goods into Zimbabwe, but supplying much of their military equipment.

But now things are changing, and the reason is: Follow the money:

Sidney Masamvu, a researcher on Southern Africa at the International Crisis Group, said China has simply weighed its diplomatic imperatives and decided Zimbabwe can easily be sacrificed. He said the Chinese are no longer benefiting that much economically from Zimbabwe and there was more for them to gain from siding with their partners on the UN Security Council. China has also changed its stance on the conflict in the Darfur region. They reportedly helped to pressure the Sudanese government to allow peacekeeping troops in the region.

The Chinese are now being realistic. Mugabe’s government can’t pay the bills for all the cheap Chinese manufactured goods. The Zimbabwe economy is collapsing. The Chinese had hoped that they could pick up mining and other valuable properties, but with Mugabe threatening to take over all non Zim owned businesses, even this is no longer a secure investment.

And revolutionary ties don’t pay the bills, especially when the revolutionary will soon die of old age or be replaced by other means, leading to someone who might be annoyed at China’s assisting in Mugabe’s oppressive policies that have caused much of the educated middle class to flee elsewhere for jobs.

AfricaBeatBlog summarizes:

At the very least, they can smell change in the air. Zimbabwe’s no longer bankable, no longer a country in which to make long-term investments in industries or in people. Politically, I get the sense that things could turn in any number of directions at any moment.

This isn’t the Cold War anymore….. But it was never about ideology. It was about strategic interest. And for whatever reason, China’s decided it’s no longer in its interest to throw its weight behind Robert Mugabe.

(my post on

China to stop non humanitarian aid to Zim?

ROBERT Mugabe is to lose vital support from one of his few remaining allies on the world stage, China.

One of the Zimbabwe president's oldest diplomatic friends, China yesterday told Lord Malloch Brown, the Foreign Office minister, that it was dropping all assistance except humanitarian aid.

President Mugabe was given a warm welcome in Beijing two years ago by President Hu Jintao. But attitudes have changed

The move follows a decision by China, a permanent member of the United Nations security council, to work more closely with the international community in bringing pressure to bear on "rogue regimes". It represents a major shift in its previous policy of refusing to attack the internal policies of long-standing allies.


good news if true

Saturday, September 01, 2007

The ten most dangerous professions in Zimbabwe

Link too long to's an excerpt:

6. At number 6 are Doctors. Just like lawyers above, harassment and threatening doctors gathered pace in March after the violent crackdown on opposition activists where three activists died. Douglas Gwatidzo, a shy general practitioner who specializes in emergency care at Avenues Clinic in
Harare, has been at the forefront of Doctors targeted by Mugabe's government for treating MDC patients. Gwatidzo is also The Chairman of the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights, he witnessed harassment of doctors first hand when he treated victims of Mugabe's crackdown on opposition in March this year. Each patient was guarded by two armed riot police officers, Gwatidzo said, and they insisted on entering the cubicle where Tsvangirai was being treated. "They were very aggressive and threatening, and demanded to be present during medical examination," Gwatidzo recalled. But the doctor said no. "I will not examine any patient under duress," he told them. "If you truly believe he can disappear, you can take me instead." The police relented, though tensions at the clinic remained high as more than 133 policemen carrying batons, pistols and shields packed an emergency room filled with the battered protesters. Doctors are finding it increasingly difficult to practice.

5)At number 5 is membership to WOZA Activists belonging Women of Zimbabwe Arise most of them mothers with babies strapped on their backs while they protest have been the arrested, beaten, tortured countless number of times. Recently some of the 19 members were arrested while playing netball. You can read extensively here about their numerous runs in with the
Zimbabwe's bloodthirsty police.

to err is human, but...


Most governments, whether they are democratic or given to riding roughshod over the people are not inclined to apologise to the people for their mistakes.

This is because, perhaps, they believe the people will exact a heavy price for their mistakes – at the next election or, in the case of totalitarian regimes or dictatorships, through a coup or some other such bloody act of retribution.

There have been many jokes told of the government’s price blitz. One closest to my heart argues that it is the government which should be slashed, to either half its size or to nothing – which would entail a general election, harmonized or not.

Not many Zimbabweans I have spoken to expected an apology from the government. After more than two months of terrorizing both the private sector and ordinary, law-abiding and peace-loving citizens, the government decided to drop everything and restore sanity to the price jungle.

How many people lost heir jobs, their wives and husbands and children or even their lives as a result of the government’s wild exercise to garner votes for Zanu PF in 2008 elections will probably never be disclosed – not by the government, anyway.

If they didn’t disclose the terrible statistics in the aftermath of Murambatsvina, why would we expect them to act differently this time?/......"

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