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Zanu-PF Congress 2014: Is this the missing list of shame? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Saturday, 06 December 2014 10:33

By Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, 05 December 2014.

 

Given that the Zanu-PF congress is highly tense, nervous and reluctant to tackle corruption, could this be the missing list of shame? It might help to reflect at the disability claims investigated by Judge Chidyausiku’s Commission in 1998.

 

Following is an unedited copy of an article found on the Zimbabwe Situation website. It was published on 31 October 2004. It is important to note that the figures for the amounts awarded as compensation had changed as of 31st October 2004, otherwise it also gives an idea of how Zimbabwe’s currency had lost value by then. The most important point, though, is how some of the Zanu-PF leaders handled the truth about their degrees of disability for their role in the liberation struggle and how corruption started in Zimbabwe.

 

“In view of the recently passed Ex-political Prisoners, Detainees and Restrictees Bill, it is instructive to re-examine some prominent War Victims and their Disability Claims and Payments, investigated by the Judge Chidyausiku Commission in 1998.

 

 Note that the amounts paid should be multiplied by at least 417 to get the equivalent at today's [31 October 2004] rate of 7 500 - 1, assuming the amount was granted in 1998 at the rate of 18-1.  If payment was made in 1980, you would probably have to multiply by around 10 000 - unfortunately that detail is not available in the Commission Report.

 

The full list of claims investigated appears in the Report, and was also published in both the Financial Gazette and Zimbabwe Independent in August 1998.  

 

Name

Total % Disability claimed

Total % awarded

Amount (at 18-1 or less)

    

Chigudu, Tinaye Elisha

119

84

490 779,78

Chihuru, Augustine

20

20

135 645,04

Chikwinya, Nyasha

130

100

369 522,14

Chinamasa, Mishek

50

50

264 035,53

Chinengundu, R

99,4

86,4

585 986,07

Chipanga, Shadreck

25

25

188 629,71

Chiwenga, Constantine

66

59

225 584,36

Dongo, Margaret

90

48

89 720,00

Hunzvi, late Chenjerai

117

85

361 630,86

Kangai, Kumbirai

62

62

117 834,00

Mahofa, Shuvai

70

12

29 301,98

Malaba, Herbert

99

74

273 026,15

Marufu, Reward

95

95

822 668,55

Matanga, Godwin

94

92

618 076,83

Mathema, Cain

30

30

65 244,75

Matongo, R Mataruse

30

30

63 698,09

Mau Mau, Stalin

26

26

239 390,32

Mhlanga, Robert

65

65

237 592,69

Mohadi, Kembo

43

35

174 147,43

Mpofu, Griffiths

65

45

362 924,03

Mpofu, Obert

50

50

138 495,22

Muchechetere, Hapison

85

85

619 334,60

Mudzimbamuto, Daniel

85

70

333 839,66

Mujuru, Teurai Ropa

55

55

389 971,13

Mutsvangwa, Christopher

78,7

40,7

209 580,72

Muzonzini, Elisha

40

40

73 409,42

Mvenge, Moses

45

45

244 543,30

Mwashita, Vivian

94

64

585 220,06

Ndlovu, Charles

35

35

306 680,45

Nkomo, John

55

55

254 153,92

Nyambuya, R

50

50

231 246,61

Pasipamire, Christopher

75

75

487 139,12

Rushesha, Oppah

90

75

477 908,17

Shiri, Perence

50

50

90 249,20

Sibanda, Gerald

94

84

428 267,00

Siziba, Chemist

30

25

37 2.1,32

Tekere, Edgar

90

90

262 162,38

Tungamirai, Josiah

7

7

300,00

Tungamirai, Pamela

55

55

71 066,95

Zimondi, Kennedy

97

24

148 490,12

Zindi, Irene

91

7

408 379,58

Zvinavashe, Vitalis

55

55

224 395,80”

 

Source: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/old/oct31_2004.html#link11

Clifford is a former diplomat, author, London based political analyst and a doctoral researcher at London South Bank University, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 
Eddie Cross - Business as usual PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Saturday, 01 November 2014 21:40

We had three significant events this past week – the President opened Parliament; the IMF came to Harare on a road show; and the revenue Authority published its figures for the third quarter of the year. Taken together these three events summarize the situation in Zimbabwe very clearly and in a stark fashion.

The IMF visit was fascinating because it is the first time that we have been honored by the Breton Woods institution in having the Africa Director and a team, come to the City on a road show to present their review of African economic prospects and conditions and their forecast for the immediate outlook. The Director was impressive – clear grasp of the issues, confident and diplomatic.

Their predictions were most encouraging – Africa, south of the Sahara was growing rapidly and growth would actually accelerate slightly in 2015. The team showed us a series of figures that supported this and outlined what was needed to accelerate the growth of the region. Diplomatically they made no special mention of the figures for Zimbabwe but they did mention that we had met the objectives of the first Staff Monitored Programme (SMP) and as a result a second SMP had been agreed to run until the end of December 2015.

A study of the IMF documents however, revealed to extent of the recent collapse in the Zimbabwean economy. In almost all schedules, we were either at the bottom or close to it. These numbers were summed up in a table that showed us as being number 244 in GDP per capita in the world – I think only three countries were worse than we were. That single statistic shows just how catastrophic the collapse of our economy has been since 1997 when the World Bank and the IMF first signaled that we were no longer meeting their minimum criteria for membership.

 

However, as I have been saying for some time, if you take South Africa and Zimbabwe out of the African statistics – the continent is now growing fast, as fast as many of the Asian Tiger economies.

The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) press release this week was a shocker. In the first Quarter the decline in VAT was about 7 per cent. The Third Quarter it was down by a whopping 34 per cent. For me this is the key indicator as VAT collections represent domestic spending activity. A decline of 7 per cent would be serious in any economy, in Japan it would cause the Government to resign. But 34 per cent is a train smash and signals that another major economic crisis is under way.

The effects of the decline are already visible – children are being taken out of school, traffic levels in the Cities is distinctly lower, company closures are accelerating and major corporates are reporting the slow down with clear beer sales down a third. Car lots are crowded with unsold cars and second hand car prices have halved. Property prices are also declining and are already half what they were two years ago.

Despite all the rhetoric, the banking sector is still “fragile” to use a commonly used euphemism. 15 months ago we had 23 banks holding nearly 5 billion dollars in deposits, today we have 17 banks with another two teetering on the edge of collapse and the remainder holding just over $4 billion in deposits. The ratio of non-performing debts continues to rise and now approaches 20 per cent of all deposits – a realistic analysis I am sure would show that a third or more of the loans by certain banks are essentially non-performing.

In this lunatic asylum we call Zimbabwe; this situation is understood but hardly discussed. I pointed out to one of my Zanu PF colleagues in the House of Assembly that the ZIMRA numbers represented the clearest signal yet that our economy was, once again, in free fall and his reaction was to terminate the conversation and leave the room – not prepared to face the reality of being back where we were in 2008, except that this time we have the US dollar and deflation of about 2 per cent as against prices doubling every 4 hours with inflation at 250 million per cent.

Then, there is the cat fight that has been underway for the past three weeks as the “First Lady”, Dr. Grace Mugabe has taken on Dr. Joice Mujuru, the Vice President in a messy, no holds barred fight for political ascendency. Like a real cat fight there has been a lot of noise, fur flying and dust, but no blood on the floor. Both parties to the fight have suddenly left the arena and retired to lick their wounds (if any). The night is silent again.

In the midst of all this the President has performed the ceremonial opening of Parliament – using the old colonial motor car that was used in the days of Federation and the colonial cavalcade of beautiful horses and very smart mounted police. The Presidential Guard was on parade, two lines of very smart soldiers under the control of a Sergeant Major who looked every inch a soldier, although I thought the uniforms were a bit tatty.

His speech was shorter than usual but apart from having a bit of difficulty getting in and out the car and climbing the steps to the reviewing stand, he looked amazingly well for a 90 year old. Last time he opened Parliament I thought he was going to fall down at one stage.

But that was it – he made no mention of the economic situation, no mention of the cat fight and the role the two ladies in waiting had been through, no mention of the tough conditions contained in the second SMP and no mention of the future. Instead he carefully restated that there would be no changes to the indigenisation policy which has done so much damage to our economy in recent years. It was almost as if he needed something to bludgeon the economy to death, now that they have completely destroyed the old commercial farming system.

He stated that agriculture had been the star in the firmament of the Zimbabwe economy in the past year, growing at 20 per cent. This fiction fed to him I am sure by the Minister of Agriculture who does not have a clue about what is happening. In fact, if agricultural output grew even by 5 per cent last year I would be surprised. Mining has contracted and exports are down and tourism is still largely stagnant except for the Victoria Falls.

The most likely outcome of the political struggle going on in the Zanu PF Party is the status quo, no changes, Mr. Mugabe will be declared President for life, the Vice President will survive and Dr. Who will go back to her farms in the Mazoe Valley. We will remain a ship headed for the rocks without a Captain capable to rescuing us from our fate. As he declines in capacity, his first officer will have to take the wheel, but has little clue about navigation. The crew, busy gorging themselves in the dining room below decks, will pay no attention to the crisis upside until they hit the rocks and then abandon ship.

Eddie Cross – Harare

30th November 2014

 
Creating a More Equitable World PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 26 October 2014 13:31

Last week the Catholic Church made a statement at the UN where they claimed that the 67 richest people in the world had the same amount of wealth as half the population of the world living in poor communities. They went on to say that a billion people lived in absolute poverty.

 

The furor over Ebola in West Africa this past month has again showed the hypocrisy of the world we live in. I acknowledge that it’s important and that the threat of a global epidemic is present, but as one specialist said, the disease kills so fast that it quickly burns itself out. The death toll of 4500 is miniscule when compared to “normal” deaths due to Malaria, TB, water borne ailments, poverty and hunger and simple exposure to extreme weather.

 

In Zimbabwe our death toll was about 275 people per day in the period from about 1960 to 1990 but since then has risen to nearly 4 times that due mainly to HIV/Aids but also to associated infections such as TB. Malaria kills 80 people a day here and is totally preventable. The average age of the population of Africa is 15 years, in Japan, the country with the oldest population, it’s 47. Life expectancy in Zimbabwe has declined since 1990 from 63 to 34, levels that were last seen a hundred years ago.

 

Bad government is a much greater threat to the world and the poor than any communicable disease. It kills many more people than war and disease combined and yet does not receive the kind of attention that it deserves. There are few countries that try to pursue a foreign policy that focuses on the causes of poverty and the need to correct bad government wherever it is found.

 

As with most critical issues, the Bible is totally realistic about this, “the poor you will always have with you” Jesus said at one time. He then made it very clear that a Christ centered life will always put the needs of the poor first – “he who has two jackets, should give the one to he who has none”. “As much as you do this to the least of my brethren, you do it to me”. To the rich young ruler he admonished, “go sell all you have and give it to the poor, and then follow me”.

 

But how to create a more equitable world; it is the toughest question. In South Africa and Brazil you have governments whose whole raison d’être is to uplift the poor in their society; instead they have created the most unequal of societies. Instead of narrowing the gap between the rich and the poor, it has grown wider and more pronounced.

 

It cannot be done on the basis of charity – all that does is demean the recipients and create dependence and destroy initiative. I think that has been proved over and over again. Food Aid, even development aid, is more often than not destructive. We have to attack the problem of poverty and inequality in society on a broad front and rather seek to deal with the fundamentals of daily life in today’s world.

 

It’s no accident that true democracies seldom go hungry. Somehow responsive governments established on the foundations of a free society, simply perform better that those under dictatorial regimes. A simple comparison of the history of Botswana and Zimbabwe over the past 34 years clearly demonstrates this. It’s not that Botswana has a perfect society or government system – but it has been a real democracy for all this time whilst Zimbabwe has been governed by a technically Marxist regime which has been increasingly autocratic and dictatorial.

 

The second fundamental is that of the rule of law and the security of each individual and their property. Accumulation, whether it is in the form of a vendor saving to buy a bicycle or a millionaire seeking security for surplus funds, the needs are the same. They need to know that their rights under the law will be upheld by society and the instruments of the law and that when threatened the State will protect and enforce those rights. If this is not possible then accumulation is not possible and surplus income will be hidden or spent to prevent it being taken from the individual.

 

No one in Africa stood up for the commercial farmers in Zimbabwe when their property and many other constitutional rights, were abused by this regime. Billions of dollars of assets were forcibly taken over and handed out to politically selected individuals and instead of creating thousands of new millionaires the assets simply disappeared and the businesses stopped working and producing. The accumulated wealth of 100 years of hard work and labour has been destroyed and very little remains. The people who created that wealth and assets, are now impoverished and displaced.

 

The failure to uphold the law and to enforce the rights of the farmers has in fact destroyed the confidence of everyone who has invested in Zimbabwe – no one is secure, no one is saving, no one is investing. If we are not investing then why should anyone outside the country come here and sink their hard earned surplus in a venture in Zimbabwe? It simply does not make sense and they are not investing and all of us are victims.

 

Then there is the issue of the right to education and health services; the right to clean water and shelter. These are fundamental and when they are not addressed we condemn billions of people to a life of dependence and desperation. Nothing is more empowering than an education and more than anything else we should be making it possible for every child to go to school, not a dusty gathering under a tree somewhere, but a proper school with qualified teachers and electricity and internet access.

 

We need to ensure that every family has the opportunity to own their own home – no matter how it’s constructed. People must own the resources they are using to support their families essential needs, they must be able to accumulate their surplus with security. When disaster strikes, they must have access to health services – just look at the social conditions in West Africa, revealed by the Ebola crisis. Because it threatens our world, we rush in with emergency resources and cameras. Once the infection is dealt with and we are again safe behind our high walls and impenetrable borders, we can relax and forget the images of those shacks and the human misery and deprivation they reveal.

 

Dictatorial regimes do not want education for their people; they do not want settled secure communities living in their own homes. They want their people dependent on charity – their charity and permission. They want patronage and reward to be the keys to safety and security, not freedom and enterprise. Until we are able to meet these primary needs and to satisfy these fundamental rights, the problems created in our world by inequality and poverty will never be addressed.

 

Eddie Cross

Bulawayo, 25th October 2014

 
Complaint about Zimbabwe Vigil Diary of 11th October 2014 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Saturday, 18 October 2014 21:15

From David Coltart to the Vigil – Sent: Sunday, October 12, 2014 9:00 PM

I am sorry you have written such a negative article and wonder whether the person who wrote it was even there and listened to what I had to say - both about education and about the reasons for the crisis it faces. The report is a very sad distortion of the meeting and doesn’t do any justice to the people who run Budiriro Trust - the article implies that they are people living off the fat of the land which couldn’t be further from the truth. I will be interested to see if you have the honour to publish what I have written. Regards, Senator David Coltart

 

From the Vigil to David Coltart – Sent: Sunday, October 12, 2014 10:54 PM

Dear David – We feel you have misinterpreted our diary. We were not criticising the Budiriro Trust and didn’t even mention it by name. In fact we support their objective which we described as a ‘wonderful goal’. We thought we made clear that our criticism was of the chairman’s refusal to allow ‘political’ questions. As for our reference to NGOs this was not a reference to charities – least of all to the Budiriro Trust which we know is run by volunteers – but to the plethora of professional organisations making a living off the aid industry. We have attended meetings in London where they were present in their hundreds quietly listening to Zanu PF propaganda. Perhaps we could have made this clearer and we will publish your objections in our next diary. One last point, the diary was written by someone at the meeting who felt unable to put what we felt were very important questions about Zanu PF and its failures in the field of education.  Please be assured of our continuing respect for your work. Zimbabwe Vigil Co-ordinator

 

From David Coltart to the Vigil – Sent: Monday, October 13, 2014 7:00 AM

Thank you for your prompt reply and explanation. I am grateful that you will publish my objections because I am very impressed with Budiriro Trust and think they deserve fair coverage – many will know from other postings that that is the Trust I spoke on behalf of. Regards, David

LAST_UPDATED2
 
You can take the boy out of Africa . . . PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Saturday, 18 October 2014 20:16

Matthew Parris - The Times UK, 12:01AM, October 15 2014

 

I walk from the big aeroplane. Johannesburg airport lies at an altitude of more than 5,500 ft, and something in me knows it’s high. Something in the air invigorates.

 

I was born in Johannesburg and from boyhood until I came to England at 19, was raised in Salisbury (now Harare, in Zimbabwe) at a similar altitude. There’s a very slight thinness to the atmosphere and my nostrils scent it without conscious recognition: but something feels right. Like a freshwater fish swimming back up river from the brine, I’m returning to my habitat.

 

Every African-born white boy I know in Britain feels the same. We’re happy here, most of us; it’s our country now and we’ve made our way in it. The relative success of the tiny proportion of the British population who come from the former Rhodesia and from South Africa is striking and deserves study. But something of a sense of exile will never leave us.

 

Hi, my beloved country

Jo’burg was only a stopover. I was on my way to my beloved Zimbabwe, to write for Tatler about tourism there. Tourism’s growing.

 

Americans and continental Europeans are discovering a place that’s safer and gentler than South Africa or east Africa; that mass-tourism has yet to mar; where most things work and where the welcome from ordinary African people, who know their country’s loneliness, is heartfelt. On the verandah bar at my lodge at the Victoria Falls, you heard Italian and French spoken, and plenty of American and South African accents — but almost no British.

 

Why? I shall steer clear of politics. There’s a case for staying away from countries whose politics we disapprove of, and a case for visiting and making friends with their people. I’m decidedly of the second view but do respect the first. In any case, that’s not the reason so few British come: we will merrily tan ourselves on the beaches of some of the world’s most obnoxious regimes. No, we don’t go to Zimbabwe because we’ve heard it’s in chaos. “What will you eat?” said friends.

And that’s just wrong. Zimbabwe is a safe and ordered place with a stable economy: one of Africa’s more advanced countries and probably the continent’s best-educated.

 

I blush as a journalist to suggest that the reason we think it’s in chaos is that we British have read so much about Zimbabwe in our newspapers. The country was once ours. Some of the whites who stayed — our cousins, as it were — have had an awful time: mainly those who were farmers. It’s right to care about them but this is what gets the press going and has skewed our whole view of the country.

 

“What kind of government is there here?” two Americans (both professional people, just flown in from Florida) asked me. The elderly couple, totally uninformed, had the more balanced view. They didn’t read the papers. They relied on the Bradt guidebook.

 
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