Policy issues from South Africa and its neighbours. Reports every two weeks.

v20/17 26 August 05

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CONTENTS
[Page numbers are in PDF file]


ZIMBABWE:
Mugabe plays hard-ball as deadline for IMF expulsion nears P.1

State ends grain monopoly and admits food crisis P.2

Zanu elite, anticipates change, targets green belt farms P.2

Charges against bishop show up divide in Church community P.3

Quarter of population has fled, most whites gone P.4

ZAMBIA:
Civics warn of chaos as Mwanawasa backtracks P.5

REGION:
Burundi president takes over, but risks abound P.5

CONGO:
Repatriation from Tanzania to begin P.6

NAMIBIA:
Swapo-linked company chief commits suicide P.6
REGION:
Exchange rate concern for SADC business P.6

SA AIDS drugs company set for Africa sales P.7

SA POLITICS:
Mbeki seeks to thwart development of new bloc around Zuma P.7



Zimbabwe:

Mugabe plays hard-ball as deadline for IMF expulsion nears

[(c) SouthScan v20/17 26 Aug 05] The Zimbabwe government has said that it did not ask for a loan from South Africa to prevent is expulsion from the International Monetary Fund and will not accept conditions on the loan.

Zimbabwe's Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa told parliament that the country would "never" agree to the conditions for the loan, which is said to be between US$200 and US$500 million (SouthScan v20/16).
...
Freefall economy
...
Conditions for loan
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Zimbabwe:

State ends grain monopoly and admits food crisis

[(c) SouthScan v20/17 26 Aug 05] Zimbabwe's Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa this week scrapped duties on maize and wheat imports, and announced that the state-owned Grain Marketing Board would no longer enjoy a monopoly.

The move is seen as an acknowledgment that Harare is unable to import sufficient maize to offset widespread food shortages. Crucial food supplies have been delayed at border posts over import tax issues.
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Zimbabwe:

Zanu elite anticipates change, targets green belt farms

[(c) SouthScan v20/17 26 Aug 05] A list of top Zanu-PF officials has been published who have laid claim to prime estates along a proposed water pipeline from the Zambezi to Bulawayo.

The politicians and army officers have taken over prime wildlife-rich farms along the route of the Zambezi Water Project in Matabeleland, on a 450-km green belt, according to a report in the Financial Gazette.
...>>>
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Zimbabwe:

Charges against bishop show up divide in Church community

[(c) SouthScan v20/17 26 Aug 05] The Anglican hierarchy is attempting to bring a bishop who is a strong supporter of President Robert Mugabe under control. Bishop Nolbert Kunonga has been brought before an ecclesiastical court investigating charges ranging from inciting murder to besmirching the church. He is one of those on the US 'smart sanctions' ban list that SA Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma wants lifted.

The most serious charge of incitement to murder brought against the 55-year-old clergyman has been postponed and may be held in neighboring Malawi because his accuser fears retribution in Zimbabwe.
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'Destabilising' opponents
...>>>
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Zimbabwe:

Quarter of population has fled, most whites gone

[(c) SouthScan v20/17 26 Aug 05] Figures released this week show that fewer than 50,000 whites remain in Zimbabwe, down from a peak of 293,000 in 1974, before independence. But the figures are three years old and unofficial accounts give the white population now as less than 30,000, with most leaving after the land takeovers.

Of some 4,500 large-scale commercial white farmers operating in Zimbabwe five years ago, there are about 600 now who own three percent of the country's land. A small number of the white farmers have moved elsewhere in Africa, including to Zambia, Mozambique and Nigeria.
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'Illegals' in SA
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Zambia:

Civics warn of chaos as Mwanawasa backtracks

[(c) SouthScan v20/17 26 Aug 05] Tension is mounting in the country after the government backtracked on its earlier commitment to set up a constituent assembly before elections (SouthScan v20/07).

Opposition political parties and civil society are warning of "chaotic reaction soon" as President Levy Mwanawasa maintained that even if government had money for the constituent assembly, he would rather channel it to other developmental programmes "than waste it on the so-called Constituent Assembly".
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Region:

Burundi president takes over, but risks abound

[(c) SouthScan v20/17 26 Aug 05] SA President Thabo Mbeki was leading a South African delegation this week to the inauguration of Burundian President-elect Pierre Nkurunziza in Burundi. The Hutu ex-rebel leader won the elections on 19 August following years of conflict (SouthScan v20/06;09).

The inauguration represents a major victory for South African diplomacy in the region, and goes some way to dissipate pessimism about another SA mediation attempt, in the Cote d'Ivoire, where talks have run into the sands. In the DR Congo, meanwhile, SA forces continue to be active and Mbeki and his team make frequent visits whenever there are twists in a critical situation. Military analysts in SA believed the Burundi equation was solvable but have been considerably less hopeful about the Congo.
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Unpopular force
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Belgian grant
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Congo:

Repatriation from Tanzania to begin

[(c) SouthScan v20/17 26 Aug 05] The DR Congo and Tanzania have agreed to repatriate 152,000 Congolese refugees to South Kivu Province in September, despite concerns by the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, about the security and human rights conditions there.

The agreement this week was reached as more refugees continue to return home voluntarily following the start of voter registration on 20 June for the 2006 general elections. At least 10,000 Congolese refugees had returned home since October 2004.
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Girls in armies
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Namibia:

Swapo-linked company chief commits suicide

[(c) SouthScan v20/17 26 Aug 05] The head of an investment company with Swapo links being probed for fraud committed suicide this week after telling the High Court that the ruling party's youth wing held 10 percent of the firm.

Former president, Sam Nujoma has also been implicated in the court hearing (SouthScan v20/16).

Lazarus Kandara shot himself through the heart outside the Windhoek Police Station.
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Region:

Exchange rate concern for SADC business

[(c) SouthScan v20/17 26 Aug 05] Exchange rate fluctuations and crime are the two biggest challenges for businesses in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, according to a survey this week.

The exchange rate fluctuation "was quite a serious problem," while concerns about crime have come down marginally since 2004, Association of SADC Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASCCI) consultant Douglas Reissner said.
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Region:

SA AIDS drugs company set for Africa sales

[(c) SouthScan v20/17 26 Aug 05] South African generic drug maker Aspen Pharmacare is preparing to enter Africa's HIV/AIDS drugs market. The company is regarded as one the top performers in Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) in SA and its expansion into the rest of Africa is backed by SA Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang.

This new sector of trade and investment into Africa will give a significant boost to SA black business which believes it has an uphill struggle in breaking into the 'white' business world, analysts say.
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SA politics:

Mbeki seeks to thwart development of new bloc around Zuma

[(c) SouthScan v20/17 26 Aug 05] SA President Thabo Mbeki may once again be preparing to outmanoeuvre his Left wing after the central committee of the main labour federation Cosatu laid itself open by demanding he reinstate former deputy president Jacob Zuma.

Mbeki has now called for an internal Tripartite Alliance inquiry into whether there is a plot as alleged by the Left, headed by him, to oust Zuma and spoil his chances of taking over the country's presidency when Mbeki leaves.
...Acrimonious meeting
...Damping antagonisms
...>>>
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ENDSFILE