2 bystanders killed by Police sparking violence in Harare

A police officer allegedly shot and killed an innocent bystander after the police had been engaging in running battles with kombi drivers. Violence broke out in retaliation in the Harare central business district late yesterday evening (22nd of Feb 2018)

The violence outbreak started when the police fired at a kombi that was near the Seke Road flyover. It was reported that one person had died and another was seriously injured.

It is still not obvious what triggered the battle between the ZRP and kombis, which lead to one of the officers drawing his weapon and shooting at least two bystanders. Members of the public in the area then besieged the Harare Central Police Charge Office, where they wanted to lay a charge against the officer responsible for the shooting.

the public started throwing rocks at the police and police vehicles parked outside the police station. The result was that a car was burnt and another vehicle also caught on fire. The police response was to fire teargas to disperse the angry crowd.

Roads leading to the charge office were later blocked to the public.

The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP), admitted it was investigating deadly clashes between the force and the public.

The police confirmed only two people had been killed in the altercation, and not three people as earlier reported on the Thursday night clashes.

General Godwin Matanga (Police Commissioner) conveyed condolences to the families of the deceased and described the incident as “regrettable”.

“The ZRP is seized with the matter and I have since directed a team of expert investigators to extensively establish the cause, what transpired and who was responsible,” said the Police Commissioner. Mr Matanga assured the Zimbabwean public that “action will be taken and investigators will leave no stone un-turned”.

Violence of whatever form is not tolerated, he declared.

The Police Commissioner said police officers opened fired at pedestrians, killing two on the spot and injuring four others after a commuter omnibus refused to comply with an order.

He said while police and other security services, including the Harare Municipality, were implementing an operation to decongest Harare city centre, the government has since issued a directive to halt the operation against the kombi drivers. However, members of the security services continued enforcing the ban, apparently unaware of the halt command.

This subsequently led to confrontation between kombi operators and the police resulting in the shooting incident. This kicked off public outrage as citizens demonstrated against the killing.

It has been reported that three cars were burnt and extensively damaged while 3 police officers were injured, according to Matanga. It gets worse as the police have appealed to members of the public to help identify the deceased, as they did not have identity particulars on them.

We’ve captured Robert Mugabe

Harare – In one of the most unforgettable scenes witnessed in Zimbabwe this past week, an opposition protester struck the pose of a triumphant boxer, holding aloft a street sign emblazoned “Robert Mugabe Rd”.

“We’ve captured Robert Mugabe,” screamed the protester, as if displaying a word championship title belt.

The stone-throwing youths had just overpowered Harare’s much-feared riot police and barricaded roads leading to the city centre, declaring a liberated zone. When police used tear gas, the youths quickly picked up the canisters and threw them back, sending the terrified police officers scampering for cover.

The victory pose was an iconic moment, quite simple in execution but very humiliating in it’s statement. The victorious protesters were overjoyed with their war trophy and repeatedly proclaimed that, in a sense, they had “captured Robert Mugabe”.

Barely 1km from the protesting youths, the real Robert Mugabe was hosting Sierra Leone Vice-President Victor Bockarie Foh and as always trying to convince the world that all is well in Zimbabwe and there was nothing to worry about.  The Vice-President had come to officially open the annual Harare Agricultural Show, but tellingly the public terraces were empty.

Smarting from his humiliation, Mugabe issued a stern warning to the opposition, saying “They are thinking that what happened in the Arab Spring is going to happen in this country. That is not going to happen here,” said the 92-year-old Mugabe.

He was speaking after police had fired tear gas and beat up opposition protesters demanding electoral reforms ahead of the 2018 national elections.

A team of police were deployed to seal off the starting point of the planned protest. Despite a high court judge authorised the protest, police continued to violently disperse the opposition crowds. As footage of shocking violence went viral, the UN implored the Zimbabwean government to uphold constitutional rights to freedom of association and assembly.

Angered by the clampdown, the protesters threw stones at the riot police and set tyres ablaze. During this clash, the opposition protestors managed to bring down the signpost of a street named “Robert Mugabe Rd”.

Mugabe was furious as he once again accused foreign governments of fomenting the unrest, “What politics is that when you burn tyres? We want peace in the country,”

Friday’s battle was an escalation post, Wednesday’s violence when police clashed with opposition youths protesting police brutality. The Harare city centre turned into a war zone after police used tear gas and blue coloured water cannons on more than 200 protesters marching to hand a petition to the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Unlike previous clashes, where protesters have run for cover once tear gas is deployed, the opposition protestors stood firm and fought back, taking the riot police by surprise. They accused police of sparking the violence by attacking peaceful marchers.

As the central business district turned into a battle zone, the angry protesters threw stones and tear gas canisters back at the police who had deployed them in the first place. In the escalating battle, the opposition burnt a police van and one other owned by the state-run Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation.

A supermarket owned by Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko was ransacked, with groceries and $12 000 (R172 000) looted. A nearby electronic store was looted in the widening violence, with people sprinting off with laptops and TV sets.

Overpowered by the protesters, the frustrated police began randomly beating up passers-by and journalists they came across, blaming them for the violence. Despite pleas of innocence, a middle-aged man carrying a Bible was soundly beaten by truncheon-wielding officers. In a spine-chilling incident, police lobbed a tear gas canister into a commuter minibus full of passengers.

The dazed driver panicked and sped off, with terrified passengers jumping out of the moving minibus through windows.

Since the outbreak, over a 100 suspected protesters have been arrested on charges of public violence. The opposition MDC-T accused the government of planting “agents provocateurs” among protesters. George Charamba, believed to be Mugabe’s spokesman, declared war on opposition protesters, warning them the Zanu-PF government would pay scant regard to international opinion.

Leaders of the main opposition, Joice Mujuru of Zimbabwe People First and Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change, condemned the police brutality.

The Bag on my Back: Return to Zimbabwe

Harare – Newly liberated with productive farms and an education system that was the envy of its neighbours, Zimbabwe in the early 1980s was a land of plenty.
Within one person’s childhood all that changed.

Filmmaker Tapiwa Chipfupa returns to the country of her birth to understand why the catastrophe happened.
Guided by a box of old family photographs and phone calls to her parents who are in exile in the UK, she traces the story of her family’s life across Zimbabwe and the parallel story of the decline and collapse of the country.

Told from the perspective of a middle-class African, this is a story of remembrance, of coming to terms with exile and change, and a reminder of the need to guard and protect hard-won freedoms.

By Tapiwa Chipfupa

I was born in 1977, just three years before Zimbabwe gained its freedom from the government of Rhodesia. My mother was a nurse and my father was one of the first qualified black farm managers. For more than 20 years we moved from farm to farm, going wherever my dad was posted. As the country approached the turn of the century, the government tried to fast-track land reform and in that process my outspoken father was removed from his job.

In 2000, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe introduced an accelerated land reform programme – the Third Chimurenga or “third revolution” in the Shona language – after much tussling with our former colonial master Britain over land reparations and restitution.

The programme included the appropriation of land from white landowners and the breaking up of large government-owned farms into smaller plots to be handed out to new black farmers. However, even this land reform process did not happen quickly enough for many, particularly the war veterans who had for two decades been waiting for restitution. Frustrated, they began grabbing land by force in 2000. The government supported these farm invasions and began to accelerate its own land appropriation process. Economic sanctions were soon imposed on Zimbabwe. My country, already troubled by several other issues that had been escalating as we approached the new century, could not withstand the strain.
The economy buckled and the country slid into a monumental meltdown.

Filmmaker Tapiwa Chipfupa returns to the country of her birth to understand Zimbabwe's decline [Al Jazeera]

Filmmaker Tapiwa Chipfupa returns to the country of her birth to understand Zimbabwe’s decline [Al Jazeera]

Opinions on the true long-term effects of the land reforms remain divided but the immediate economic effect was devastating in human terms. Millions of Zimbabweans left the country to seek a better life and security around the globe. Some left legally because they could, while others found a way to leave even if it meant swimming across crocodile-infested rivers.
Some stayed on because they were hopeful things would get better, while others had no choice but to stay. My mother left to find work in the UK and together with my father and four siblings we struggled to make ends meet in Zimbabwe. A few years later my father joined my mother with my siblings. I continued my studies, gave birth to my daughter and obtained a scholarship to the AFDA film school in Johannesburg, South Africa.

When I was finally able to visit my parents I tried to go to England but by then the British authorities had changed the immigration laws and they denied me a visitor’s visa. They have refused me many times since then, with the result that I have not seen my parents or siblings in 12 years. I wanted to make a film that showed what had happened to my family amid the tense political situation at the time.

My family’s gradual decline and disintegration mirrored that of our country. My family left not because they wanted to or just because they could, but because the circumstances gave them with no other choice. Now they live in limbo in Europe and Australia with visa restrictions on both our sides preventing a reunion.

As the years steadily pass by, the sadness in my heart continues to deepen as my younger siblings transform into grown men and women and my parents’
hair turns grey over countless photographs and Skype conversations. My family have never met my nine-year-old daughter and she does not know the touch of a grandparent. I am overwhelmed by the pain of separation from my family and life in exile and so making this film and going back to Zimbabwe was a very tough experience, both emotionally and physically.

I had to make sense of what had become of my life, perhaps to try to understand what I am going through and to be able to accept the situation I find myself in. I cannot see my family but at least this film gave me the opportunity to go back home.

Tapiwa Chipfupa traces the story of her family's life across Zimbabwe and the parallel story of the decline and collapse of the country [Al Jazeera]

Tapiwa Chipfupa traces the story of her family’s life across Zimbabwe and the parallel story of the decline and collapse of the country [Al Jazeera]

The film was very challenging for me because it was a deeply personal and emotional journey. It was difficult to accept that none of my family was there and to see what had happened to the places where I grew up, to see what has become of the country of my childhood. But it was very rewarding in the sense that, like so many others, I had reached a place of acceptance with what it is today and had somehow forged a way forward.

Filming in Zimbabwe is very complicated. Getting a filming permit was a difficult process. In some areas it was very dangerous to film and on a few occasions our lives were threatened by war veterans who were afraid that we were filming them or that we had some other agenda.

We had to film on two cameras, the larger camera that was obvious in the safer areas, and the smaller camera, that appeared to be a stills camera wherever filming was restricted. All the farms we filmed at were places I had once lived, and it would have been impossible to gain access to film there if the current occupants had not seen the photographs of the old days and, in some cases, recognised me and respected me as the daughter of Mr Chipfupa, the old farm manager.

I did not set out to provide statistics, to sum up the land reform process in Zimbabwe or to discuss the politics of my country. My film is not a diatribe against particular individuals or politicians. I set out to make a personal film that explores the universal themes of childhood, exile, family separation and loneliness.

Vicariously through that I wanted to present one of the many unheard and untold stories of an ordinary Zimbabwean by telling my own story of my connection to, and my separation from, the land. The result is a film that is deeply personal and at the same time contains quite strong and genuine social and political content that is current and relevant to a fuller understanding of what is happening in Zimbabwe.

Original article

The Future of Zimbabwe?

The Future of Zimbabwe

And so another year starts, 2015 and another year that Robert Mugabe is in Power since 18th of April 1980. Interestingly, he is on the top 15th longest standing dictator. Fidel Castro leading the list at 52 years in power.

The Future of Zimbabwe

Let me first say I am no expert but I am passionate about my country, I felt little choice but to leave back in 1999. Many of my friends left at the same time and are scattered around the globe. My parents still live in Harare, my brother in SA. Below, I have a few questions and observations about Zimbabwe;

The first question is, do we want Mugabe in power for the next 20 years? I suspect he shan’t survive 20 years however, I think you get my point?

The Future of Zimbabwe

The next question is what will he do in the next, lets say 10 years? Will it be anything positive? When was the last time Mugabe did something positive, inspirational or useful?

It would appear his recent introduction of coins that are supposed to be the same value as the US Dollar is a prelude to an attempt to reintroduce the Zimbabwe dollar and perhaps even start it off matching it to the US Dollar as per the coins? A few think this is rubbish and will never happen but I have seen this reported on more than one site and lets face it, Mugabe is a man who does what he wants. And as time goes on he is realising more and more than the West is willing to do less and less to oppose him. And why should they?

The Future of Zimbabwe

What has Zimbabwe got to offer or barter with the rest of the world? We have no oil and China is currently raping the minerals from the land daily, while even wild animals are being sold abroad to various countries for personal profit to Government officials (apparently)

If we go back to 2000, 15 years ago Zimbabwe still had a lot going for it but it was starting to rapidly drop off. She always had strong tourism throughout the country, one of the world’s foremost tobacco suppliers to the entire world. Exporting fresh produce around the world (I worked for Selby Enterprises doing this back in 97)


Harare – Capital of Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe has always had a strong mining background especially for gold. I worked for Fawcetts Security who collected gold from a number of mines around the country. I actually went on a few gold collection runs to Mutare. We would leave at 4am and be back just after lunch.

I understand Robert kindly sold off various mineral rights to the Chinese for 10 years a number of years ago. The real repercussions of this, i am not sure? However, what I do know is that this will not benefit Zimbabwe or it’s people or it’s economy.

victoria falls

Victoria Falls

Neither shall of the loss and private sale of her wild life (baby elephants and lions and so on) be of any benefit to a country being raped and pillaged year after year.

When I was 10 years old (1986), I knew nothing was going to change in Zimbabwe. My dad was adamant that things would turn around, the US was waiting for Mugabe to dethrone and then they would sweep in and save the day and everything would be great. However, i knew that things were already not great, things we already desperate, even that long ago but nobody was doing anything about it. i knew then, the only way forward was it if did something. If I for example and hypothetically picked up a gun and shot Robbie myself would there be any change.

Matobo Hills

Matobo Hills

And sure enough, almost thirty years later, nothing has changed, apart from the fact that things have got progressively worse and worse and then beyond worse. And still, the people of Zimbabwe sit and wait.

But what can we do I hear you ask? Well, this indeed is the question. What can we do and what are we willing to do?

I would be willing to stand for President but I am probably not the best person for the job and my family is there and I would be concerned for their safety. I am not Political by any stretch, I say things how they are and how I see them.

So what are our options really?

Other African countries seem to have a degree of success by having new Government leaders elected who have been educated in top Western Universities like Standford, Yale, Oxford or Cambridge. Is there a highly educated, black individual who would be able to elected?

Would Mugabe even allow this or would our new knight in shinning armour suddenly hit a black dog crossing the road in the middle of the night? The driver would probably survive if thats any consolation?

The biggest challenge would not be a single man called Robert Mugabe but the multitude of powerful people in the background keeping him in power. It is the people we don’t see that are making sure Mugabe stays in power for as long as he does they will remain powerful and will reap the vast financial benefits of having a President in their back pocket.

great zimbabwe

Great Zimbabwe

The quest to make any kind of change is indeed a substantial one but do we make a stand or do we look on, helpless and unable to do anything and watch what is left of our beautiful country be pillaged bare?

There are a lot of clever and able people in the world, surely we can come up with creative ideas for a solution to countries being ruled by a dictator for decades?

St Georges College, Zimbabwe – Sherlock Holmes film

St Georges College, Zimbabwe – Sherlock Holmes film

The incident at Victoria Falls

Just watched an old Sherlock Holmes movie called The incident at Victoria Falls. I remembered that while i was at school, they had filmed a Sherlock Holmes movie. I was wondering if this was indeed the episode and thought i recognised a few shots of the school. I was 100% sure when i saw the scene below.

This goes back to early 90’s. Quite a trip down memory lane. I went to the junior school, Hartman house before that.

I found another video which gives more info on the school itself. The new headmaster’s speech is rather painful.

Zimbabwe – Observations on the Mid-Term Fiscal Policy review

Zimbabwe – Observations on the Mid-Term Fiscal Policy review
Zimbabwe - Observations on the Mid-Term Fiscal Policy review

The Minister of Finance and Economic Development presented the 2014 Mid-Term Fiscal Policy Review Statement in Parliament on Thursday, September 11. The Review considers the performance of the economy during the six months to June as well as the outlook to year-end. For a copy of the full statement, please call up the Ministry’s website, from which you can download the entire presentation. At 140 pages, it is even heavier reading than the summary below.

In the first sections the Minister offers details of the assistance offered to Zimbabwe by various countries and development agencies, together with up-dates on contracts for work on power stations, dams and roads.

In the Minister’s assessments of achievements in the first half of the year, he makes frequent references to the evidence of mounting stress in the economy, some of the consequences of which were disappointing revenue collection figures and increased levels of expenditure.

Zimbabwean Finance Minister Zimbabwe - Observations on the Mid-Term Fiscal Policy review

Zimbabwean Finance Minister

He also reviews production, trade and the budget figures for the first half of the year, all of which lay the foundation for his observations on the macro economic framework. From these, the Minister derives indicators upon which he then tries to build performance forecasts for the rest of the year.

Of concern from this point – which is reached on Page 80 – is that claims of economic growth appear to be out of line with the evidence that emerges from his preliminary observations. In summary, mining output values are down, imports are down, exports are down, corporate tax revenues are down, VAT revenue is down, which means that retail spending is down, the public debt is increasing and to provide for higher government recurrent expenditure, cuts were made to planned capital spending.

Despite these harsh trends, the Minister expects Gross Domestic Product to increase from $13,49 billion in 2013 to $14,01 billion this year. The forecast appears to be based on the improved tobacco and maize output, but the value of those improvements do not compensate for the shrinkages seen in commerce and mining, together with the undisclosed falls in manufacturing and formal employment, all of which were reflected in falling tax revenues.

With rising budget commitments – additional spending requirements of $951 300 000 are identified – the Minister announces Revenue Enhancing Measures. These are dependent on expected revenue flows from taxes on fringe benefits, higher rents from government housing, a new tax on mobile phone use and higher excise duties on fuel, as well as higher import duties and surtaxes on meat, dairy products, vegetables, prepared foods, beverages, cosmetics, cleaning materials, furniture and motor vehicles.

No information is offered on the amounts that the Minister expects to raise from these different sources, but as the full amount will impact directly on the disposable incomes of consumers, their total purchases of household requirements will be reduced by about the same total. Accordingly, the increases in tax revenues achieved from the targeted areas will be closely matched by falls in tax revenues from other sources, these being mainly VAT, company profits taxes and import duties.  If these falls are significant, further job losses and reduced PAYE contributions will also undermine tax receipts.

These possible cuts appear not to be worthy of the Minister’s attention because he argues that the higher import duties will persuade consumers to more actively support local producers of the affected products. By enhancing industry capacity utilisation, says the Minister, government will be able to resolve some of the challenges relating to the competitiveness of local products and the unsustainable current account deficit. He also claims that the measures to get industry working will resolve the liquidity crunch, the growing unemployment and, using the phrase “as well as fiscal space”, improve tax revenue flows as well.

Unfortunately, actually resolving such challenges would depend upon restoring capacity. But it no longer exists. With the disappearance of efficient farmers, it is the falling production volumes that were soon causing the evaporation of investor confidence upon which each of the value-adding manufacturing business depended. The final nails in their coffins were driven home by price controls, but it was Land Reform that did the initial damage.

Food product imports are a specific target for the Minister, but for the food processing companies who are supposed to be put back on their feet by higher import duties, the capacity they once had depended upon substantial investments that were once fully justified by the steady, dependable supplies of the needed inputs from dependable, well-capitalised farmers. It is these farmers who are now missing from the picture. That is where the start should have been made, but government remains determined to prevent the restoration of large-scale commercial farming.

Taken together with the destruction of corporate savings, the indigenisation demands and the dissipation of industrial skills, these are the factors that have to be included in the sequence of events that brought about the deindustrialisation suffered by Zimbabwe. This whole sequence has yet to be unravelled, but further distortions have since been imposed. While price controls have not been a handicap since dollarization, Zimbabwe has instead become burdened by self-inflicted cost factors that are serious enough to prevent local factories from becoming competitive.

Among these are wage levels that cannot be supported, given the inefficient production methods in use, and further inefficiencies are caused by erratic electricity and water supplies. Excessive trades union influence, supported by Ministry of Labour regulations, has led to job protection measures that prevent the rationalisation that might have given business owners reasonable prospects of becoming successful. While those in place are struggling to survive, the continued existence of regulations hostile to employers will hold down the country’s prospects of attracting new investors.

Revisions to retrenchment laws are needed as much in the public sector as in the private sector. Zimbabwe’s public sector employment costs are the highest in Africa and the Minister announces in his statement that another $209 million will be needed by year-end. This will take government’s employment costs to $3,2 billion, which will be 77% of total expenditure, or 83,1% of expected revenue. Government’s inability to retrench thousands of superfluous public sector employees has placed these individuals in a privileged position that even if the country’s economy were enjoying strong growth, would be beyond its means. This job protection is not deserved.

The needed growth will not materialise until investors, local as well as foreign, begin to find the investment environment acceptable. In this regard, the Minister claims that the country’s Indigenisation laws have been misinterpreted and misrepresented.

He then makes the claim that compliance with the indigenisation policy framework can be achieved by obtaining a listing on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange. This is interesting news, specially for all the companies that were already listed on ZSE when the Indigenisation and Empowerment Act was passed. Their directors have since faced repeated and often threatening reminders of the penalties they will face if a majority of the shares in issue are not transferred to indigenous individuals, or to government entities such as the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation.

Investors are invited to await the publication of a Government Gazette Notice that will clarify the regulations to the Indigenisation and Empowerment Act. These are expected to revise the terms for Joint Ventures, and for investments that will empower local communities, serve needy sectors of the economy, take the form of contract farming or land use agreements, or involve the investors in Build-Own-Operate-Transfer projects.

Despite the Minister’s claim that the earlier Statutory Instruments on indigenisation have been simply misunderstood, these reinterpretations amount to significant changes that will bring with them the need to amend the original Act. Before they can take these claims seriously, investors will be keen to see revisions in the regulations reflected in amendments to this Act.


In his Fiscal Policy Statement, the Minister certainly recognises many of the economy’s shortcomings and he makes a point of the need to improve upon the efficiency and accountability of the various arms of government, the parastatals and local government.

However, the Minister’s policy measures are almost entirely directed at raising more revenue from whatever is left of the country’s productive capacity. The few exceptions that will be of benefit to producers include a reduced royalty level for gold mines, but the deeper issues adversely affecting business and investment levels either receive no attention, or have attracted cursory glances that will make no difference to economic performance.

More direct Ministry of Finance intervention would be helpful in ensuring that the official charges, levies, fees and taxes, which presently add to the costs of doing business in Zimbabwe, should not be allowed to remain the reason why locally produced goods cannot compete with imports. Directly under the Minister’s control are the recently introduced border charges, surtaxes and fines. When taken together with inordinate delays at customs posts, these have contributed to the production costs that have made many companies uncompetitive.

Also within the Minister’s sphere of influence is the fact that a US dollar does not go as far in Zimbabwe as it does in other countries. Blatant price distortions have emerged and the Minister should use his authority to prevent the imposition of exaggerated US dollar prices, costs and wages, as these are also partly responsible for making Zimbabwean producers uncompetitive.

Public sector salaries in Zimbabwe, relative to GDP, are the highest in Africa partly because the value of a US dollar is assessed at too low a figure. This thinking has been carried through into an official price for maize of $390 a tonne, which is almost twice the current world price. The Minister of Finance should have over-ruled the Ministry of Agriculture’s attempt to devalue the currency on which Zimbabwe has become dependent. If this price is allowed to stand, there will be nothing to stop, say, the Minister of Mines declaring that gold will now sell for, say, $3000 an ounce.

In the business sector, distortions on the same scale have forced US dollar wages to be twice as high as their equivalents in the Far East.  The Ministry of Labour, in support of the activities of trades unions, has sustained these distortions in the valuation of the US dollar. The resulting pay scales have reduced the viability of companies that would have paid higher taxes if they had not been rendered unprofitable. Many have been forced to close, so the jobs and PAYE contributions have been destroyed as well.

Tax revenues are generated when economic activity, which requires investment, brings about value additions and profits. As the old investments struggle to remain competitive and the US dollar’s real value is high enough to permit access to imports at prices that are lower than their local equivalents, the Minister’s taxable territory is shrinking. For the affected goods, the country receives only the VAT. The rest of the taxes are paid somewhere else.

Zimbabwe has seen its formal employee levels fall to the figure that was recorded in 1970.  In 44 years, the population has more than doubled, so today our formal sector employees should total about two million, not the 850 000 who presently have a job. If two million employees were holding down formal sector jobs in Zimbabwe, they would have become a far bigger source of tax revenue than three times that number now struggling in the informal sector and being targeted for new taxes and fees.

In 1980, one person in every ten formal sector workers had a job in government. Today, one person in every three formal sector workers has a government job. These figures exclude parastatal workers. To get back to an affordable public sector, the taxable private sector needs to be built up to at least three times its current size.

That requires investors, and investors need an investor-friendly environment. Right now, Zimbabwe’s business environment ranks as one of the unfriendliest in the world. The Minister of Finance does express a wish to address some of the shortcomings through legal, regulatory or administrative reforms, and he also recognizes the need to re-establish good working relationships with the international financial institutions, from whom long-term loans are essential.

The Minister does report on the efforts made to meet payments obligations to the IMF, the World Bank, the African Development Bank and the European Investment Bank, to which it will make “token” payments to “demonstrate Zimbabwe’s commitment towards resolution of its external debt challenges”. According to the Minister, the payments are considered important; they will assist Zimbabwe to negotiate for debt relief.

Rabies Alert

Rabies Alert

Rabies Alert


Veterinarians for Animal Welfare Zimbabwe (VAWZ) is deeply concerned with the increasing number of confirmed Rabies cases throughout Zimbabwe. Recently a dog from Arcturus was tested positive, as well as a feral cat from Sussex Road (Avondale West).

Tragically a young boy in Chegutu has died from the disease, two months after being bitten by his neighbour’s dog. We cannot stress enough the importance of having ALL your pets vaccinated annually against this deadly disease.

Should you come into contact with an unknown animal, particularly one displaying unusual behaviour, please seek medical advice immediately. Children must be warned not to interact with strange animals.

RABIES IS 100% FATAL, DON’T TAKE A CHANCE! Please report sightings of suspect animals to VAWZ (0778431528 / 0775722449) or your nearest veterinary surgery.

Rabies (“madness”) is a viral disease that causes acute inflammation of the brain in humans and other warm-blooded animals. The time period between contracting the disease and the start of symptoms is usually one to three months; however it can vary from less than one week to more than one year.

The time is dependent on the distance the virus must travel to reach the central nervous system. Early symptoms may include fever and tingling at the site of exposure. This is then followed by either violent movements, uncontrolled excitement, and fear of water or an inability to move parts of the body and confusion followed by loss of consciousness. In both cases once symptoms appear it nearly always results in death.

walking with Lions

walking with Lions

Some friends of the family recently had a little trip to Antelope Park to walk with Lion cubs. Certainly makes me miss Africa and the bush.

Walking with the lion cubs

With a lion cub

Antelope Park Sean with lion cub

Antelope Park 1