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From Mmegi (Botswana), 28 July ZIMDAY Thursday 29 July 2004 Getting a work permit the Zimbabwean way Meekaeel Siphambili In this issue: Zimbabweans seem to be always ahead of the Labour and Immigration Manyika named - Financial Gazette departments when it comes to acquiring residence and work permits. After the regulations for employing farm labourers and herdsmen were relaxed, Working the system – Mmegi almost every Zimbabwean taxi driver, and self-employed bricklayer has a System not working - Refugees International permit that states that he is a herdsman or farm labourer. John Mathemba HOMELINK flops - Zim Online (not his real name) is a 24-year-old taxi driver but his permit says he is a Little relief – IRIN herdsman. He has been driving taxis for the past two years. He says he got his own permit by placing an advertisement for a farm labourer in the Daily Moyo loses defamation case - Financial Gazette News. "It is so easy. All you have to do is place an advert in the Daily News, Mann pleads guilty - Times and let it run for two weeks," he says. "And it's cheap to place an advert of this nature in the Daily News. It only costs about P7. According to Mathem- ba you need a contact number and a postal box number. "After two weeks, From The Financial Gazette, 29 July you can attach the advert to your application forms and ask a citizen of Minister cited in MDC supporter's death Botswana to act as your boss and hand in the application forms on your Brian Mangwende behalf. All you need is a work permit and a resident permit. Where you work Former Minister of Youth Development, Gender and Employment Creation, is not really an issue. You can get a permit, which says you are a Elliot Manyika, faces claims for $135 million in connection with the death of herdsman, but still drive a taxi," the Zimbabwean says. a Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) supporter and injuries to anoth- The other way of getting a permit is by marrying a Motswana, he says. er during violence which marred the Zengeza by-election held about four "Even if you are married in Zimbabwe, you can still marry again in Botswana months ago. The claims against Manyika, who has since been relegated to and nobody would know that you have a wife back home. "A letter that con- the obscure post of Minister Without Portfolio in the President's Office, come firms that you are not married can be bought over the counter in Zimbabwe amid a cacophony of angry voices over the bloodshed and shootings that and nobody can charge you with bigamy," Mathemba says. "As long as the have characterised Zimbabwe's elections. Violence, which has become a wives do not meet, you are safe or you can tell your wife back home why trademark of the country's elections, has been blamed on growing intoler- you have to marry a Motswana and she is bound to understand. Life is ance for political opponents and confrontation. The claims against Manyika, tough in Zimbabwe. She has no choice as long as you bring money home". the ruling Zanu PF legislator for Bindura who was dumped from his former The Zimbabwean illegal immigrants, who are seen as a menace by many ministerial portfolio in the last mini Cabinet reshuffle, are contained in High Batswana, are said to be a blessing for many would-be homeowners. The Court cases 8359/04 and 8360/04 in which the plaintiffs Arthur Chinozvina self-employed Zimbabwean bricklayers are said to be charging five times and Aurther Gunzvenzve have filed summonses implicating Manyika in the less than their Batswana counterparts. Many Batswana rely on Zimbabwean sudden death of 22-year-old Francis Chinozvina, an MDC activist and the builders because they say they save a lot of money. injuries to Gunzvenzve. Manyika is currently Zanu PF's political commissar. In papers prepared by Magwaliba, Mathuthu and Kwirira Legal Practitioners From Refugees International (US), 14 July and filed at in court on June 30 2004, it is claimed on behalf of Francis Chi- Zimbabweans in South Africa: Denied access to political asylum nozvina that: "On or about the 28th of March 2004 and at Chitungwiza near South Africa is denying access to political asylum to thousands of Zimbab- the residence of a Movement for Democratic Change parliamentary candi- weans seeking to escape persecution. Of the 5,000 applications for political date, the defendant caused to be discharged a firearm into the direction of asylum filed by Zimbabweans to date, fewer than 20 Zimbabweans have the late Francis Chinozvina and others. The discharging of a firearm in a actually received political asylum in South Africa. But more troubling still is public place and in the presence of a considerable number of persons was the fact that few Zimbabweans are able even to apply for political asylum. deliberate or alternatively grossly negligent. As a result of the defendant's The South African government office that handles immigration, Department conduct, one bullet from his firearm hit the person of Francis Chinozvina of Home Affairs (DHA), has five Refugee Reception Offices in the country. causing serious and severe injuries as a result of which he died immediate- There are two offices close to the Zimbabwe border. The largest office, in a ly." It is claimed that before his death Chinozvina was a commodity broker shopping center in the Rosettenville section of Johannesburg, has been earning $1 million monthly and supporting several dependants including five moved and closed repeatedly since October 2003. There are no signs iden- minor children left behind by his late brother. tifying the office, but it is easy to find if one looks for the hundreds of people The plaintiff claims, on his own behalf and the minor children, from Manyika clustered in an alley trying to gain access. Asylum seekers sleep overnight $20 million in respect of funeral expenses, $30 million for his own loss of to get a good place in line and queue for hours. One asylum seeker told support and damages and $40 million for loss of support and damages for Refugees International, "This is the third time I’ve been here… I’ve never the minors. In the second case, Gunzvenzve claims that as a result of the been in, you just wait in line." shooting, he sustained a huge hole across the shin, severe wounds around While DHA has acknowledged its problems and is working on a "turnaround the lower part of his knee and severe damage to the knee cartilage and strategy," in the words of DHA Director General, Mr. Barry Gilder, it "still has tendons and wants $45 million from Manyika. Gunzvenzve's claim is for $20 a long way to go." All of the offices are woefully understaffed, resulting in a million for medical expenses incurred, $15 million for future medical ex- backlog of up to 80,000 cases waiting to be reviewed. DHA claims that penses and $10 million for damage, pain, suffering, shock, disfigurement Zimbabweans do not face more barriers than asylum seekers of other na- and loss of amenities of life. Manyika's address in both summonses is cited tionalities, but that is contrary to the direct observations of RI. A Zimbab- as 55 Shaneragh Road, Mandara, Harare. Contacted for comment, Manyika wean told us that he lined up at 11 a.m. the day before the office opened so said he had sold that property in 1999 and had not had sight of the sum- he could be first in line. "They only took one Zimbabwean that day. I was monses. "They are dreamers," Manyika said. "I sold the house in 55 Shane- number two." While the senior management of the Immigration Department ragh in 1999. I don't live there anymore. As far as I am concerned, that story acknowledged to RI that Zimbabweans have the right to be considered is a non-starter. The police have already said that I was nowhere near Chi- refugees, Refugee Reception officers were unable to state whether or not tungwiza on that day." Zimbabweans had the right to political asylum in South Africa. Staff in the In earlier press reports published in the government-controlled media, police Reception Office told RI that Zimbabweans were not a priority because spokesperson Wayne Bvudzijena exonerated Manyika, saying the Member "there is no civil war in Zimbabwe, so there is no reason to apply." Other of Parliament for Bindura was in his constituency at the time of the incident Zimbabweans told us they were denied access to the process because they and that his alibi had been confirmed by the Electoral Supervisory Commis- did not have valid passports. Even the UN agency in charge of refugees sion chairman, Sobusa Gula-Ndebele, police officers at a roadblock in Ma- could not agree. The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees zowe, personnel at Mazowe Hotel and employees at his farm. Bvudzijena (UNHCR) in South Africa was also unable to provide a clear determination was quoted as saying: "As much as we would want members of the public as to whether Zimbabweans qualify for asylum. They told RI that they were to come forward with information, we will only tolerate reasonable and subs- waiting clarification themselves from Geneva. tantive information that can be used in a court of law". The police subse- Corruption is widespread within the Department of Home Affairs and the quently arrested a 43-year-old Arcturus man identified as Ernest Matsotso South African Police Services. RI interviewed people who told of being in connection with the Zengeza skirmishes. Matsotso has since appeared at asked for a bribe merely to receive a letter giving them an appointment to the Harare magistrates' court in connection with the matter. The bloody present their asylum claim. Police officers ask for bribes to look the other Zengeza by-election was won by ZANU PF's Christopher Chigumba, who way when rounding up undocumented asylum seekers or those whose trounced MDC's "imposed candidate" James Makore. Makore has since temporary permit of stay has expired. One Zimbabwean told us, "I was filed a petition in the High Court challenging the outcome of the poll results, stopped while walking down the street. The policeman asked for my papers arguing that the by election was riddled with violence. The Zengeza seat fell but told me that for 200 Rand [U$33] he would not deport me." At the Linde- vacant following the abrupt departure of MDC legislator Tafadzwa Museki- la detention center, bribes are demanded for release, while deportees can wa to the United Kingdom citing security reasons. also pay to jump from the "deportation train" on the way back to Zimbabwe. In 2003, over 100 Zimbabwean asylum seekers were unlawfully detained in the Lindela Detention Center. Zimbabweans comprise the second largest group of deportees. Most are repatriated without ever having seen an immi- secure accommodation in one of the country's working class suburbs. "The gration official. According to organizations that work in Lindela, there are monthly rental for a typical five-roomed home in a high-density suburb, very few immigration officers who work in the facility. "On any given day where the majority of people live, is between Z$800,000 and Z$1.5 million. there may be between two and zero for a facility that holds up to 5,000 Even if they are not taxed, they then can only afford a two-roomed home - people." There is no Refugee Reception Officer in Musina, a town that rests whether or not they have a family - so where are they going to get money on the major thoroughfare between South Africa and Zimbabwe. If an asy- for food? There's no money for food, school fees, transport." lum seeker were to request to apply, they would be directed to go to Preto- "What I'm saying, basically, is there should be huge tax breaks - in fact, I ria or Johannesburg, over five hours away. No transportation would be pro- would suggest that a person earning up to Z$2 million should be tax free - vided. RI interviewed Zimbabweans along the border who told us of being but we know the government has admitted that it is getting the greatest arrested and immediately dropped over the border without any contact with portion of its revenue inflow from individual taxes, so that suggestion would immigration officials. Police and Army in the border regions rely on spurious not be viable for them," he added. All these factors have had a "very nega- methods to identify Zimbabweans, such as asking questions in a South tive impact on the urban poor" and more and more people have had to turn African language or checking which arm bears a smallpox scar. According to the informal economy to earn a living. "Everywhere you go now in Harare to an NGO working in Musina, "The police have no training. Some people you see people selling this and that on the street - that to me is a sign that are being deported because [Zimbabweans] are darker." things are not in order," Nikisi concluded. The IMF has attributed Zim- From Zim Online (SA), 29 July babwe's economic decline mainly to inappropriate macroeconomic policies HOMELINK does not bring home the bacon and structural changes that weakened Zimbabwe's economic base. "In Foreign currency scheme flops particular, the disorderly implementation of the land reform programme has Harare - A new scheme, meant to tap into hard currency held by Zimbab- contributed to a sharp reduction in agricultural production. Concerns about weans living and working abroad and called Homelink, has failed, Gideon governance and human rights, and the continued lack of clarity about prop- Gono, the governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has admitted. erty rights have severely damaged confidence, discouraged investment, Under Homelink, Zimbabwean exiles are encouraged to send money back and promoted capital flight and emigration," the Fund said. home to relatives and friends using banks and other official channels. Reci- pients in Zimbabwe would get the money in hard currency if they so wished. From The Financial Gazette, 29 July Gono now said said during a review of monetary policy function earlier this Minister Moyo loses Daily News case week that he would reconsider Homelink. People were only using the Brian Mangwende scheme to obtain scarce foreign currency from the official market which they The High Court yesterday ordered Information Minister Jonathan Moyo to would then sell on the illegal parallel market. The RBZ chief said Homelink pay $2.5 million in defamation charges against The Associated Newspapers had by last Monday raised US$23,3 million from Zimbabweans in the dias- of Zimbabwe (ANZ). ANZ, publishers of the defunct Daily News and The pora. Gono, who in the last three months visited Zimbabwean communities Daily News on Sunday, successfully sued Moyo following defamatory in South Africa, the United States of America and Britain to encourage them statements he made against The Daily News and its staffers in The Herald to use the Homelink system, said at the time he was hoping to raise on May 17, June 3, June 10, June 14, June 15 and June 18 2003. The High US$300 million per week through the scheme. To ensure that foreign cur- Court also ordered Zimbabwe Newspapers (Zimpapers) Private Limited to rency sent through Homelink remained in the official market, Gono said, 'all pay $5 million and columnist Nathaniel Manheru to pay $250 000 as the receipts under the Homelink channel will be converted to local currency at second and third respondents respectively. Herald editor Pikirayi Deketeke the diaspora rate of Z$5 600, or the auction rate, whichever is higher, and claimed that he was Manheru. The judgment was handed down yesterday no payments shall be given out in foreign currency'. in the High Court on behalf of Justice Yunus Omerjee. Details of the full judgment are yet to be made public. The defendants' lawyer, Johannes From IRIN (UN), 27 July Tomana, said his clients would definitely appeal against the judgment. "De- Tax breaks bring little relief for urban poor, economist fendants are going to appeal against the decision within the prescribed 14 Johannesburg - Zimbabwe's government has announced tax breaks aimed days," Tomana said. Simon Sadoma of Gill, Godlonton and Gerrans, the at stimulating the ailing economy and easing the erosion of incomes caused lawyers representing ANZ had this to say of the judgment: "It's a victory for by soaring inflation. Economist Dennis Nikisi told IRIN on Tuesday that "the press freedom." Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) director Sarah tax break announced is a good start, but certainly not the whole solution to Chiumbu said: "It's a progressive move by the judiciary because of late the the problem" of ongoing erosion of household purchasing power, even media has been receiving a lot of negative judgments. We hope that such though inflation had slowed from a peak of 600 percent last year. "Inflation cases, when they crop up, are handled on merit and not influenced by poli- is increasing, but at a slower rate, so as long as we do not address the tics. question of a complete moratorium on price increases [for basic goods and From The Times (UK), 29 July services], then [the tax breaks] are meaningless," said Nikisi, director of the ‘Mercenary' leader admits trying to buy weapons Graduate School of Management at the University of Zimbabwe. Finance From Jan Raath in Harare Minister Herbert Murerwa announced the tax breaks on Monday at a mid- A former British SAS officer at the centre of an alleged plot to overthrow a term review of the government's financial policies. "High rates of inflation West African dictatorship pleaded guilty yesterday to conspiring to acquire have not only eroded the real value of incomes but have pushed up most military weapons. Poker-faced and lank-haired, Simon Mann rose from his employees into high tax brackets. This undermines disposable incomes, seat alongside 69 other alleged mercenaries in Chikurubi maximum security critical for stimulating aggregate demand in the economy," Agence France- prison near Harare to admit the conspiracy charge that carries a penalty of Presse quoted him as saying. The individual tax-free threshold will be raised up to ten years in jail in Zimbabwe. But he denied buying £100,000 worth of from Z$200,000 to Z$750,000 per month from 1 September. rifles, machineguns, anti-tank weapons, rocket launchers and explosives As inflation cuts into incomes, there has been further evidence of increased without a permit. The second charge, under the Firearms Act, carries a vulnerability among ordinary Zimbabweans, leaving them less able to pro- maximum penalty of five years. Mr Mann and the other 69 were arrested in cure basic goods and services. In a recent press release the International Harare on March 7 where they were allegedly planning to load the weapo- Monetary Fund (IMF) said Zimbabwe's GDP fell by 30 percent over the last nry for use in an attempt to overthrow the Government of President Obiang, five years and another 4-5 percent decline is expected this year. "Unem- of the recently oil-rich state of Equatorial Guinea. For the first time since ployment is very high and increasing, social indicators, which were once their arrest at Harare international airport, evidence was given in the large among the best in Africa, have worsened, and the widespread HIV/AIDS white-painted shed that serves as a courtroom, surrounded by heavy securi- pandemic remains largely unchecked. Severe food shortages have necessi- ty.Group Captain Hope Mutizi, the marketing manager of the state-owned tated massive food imports and donor assistance," the Fund noted. IRIN Zimbabwe Defence Industries, from whom Mr Mann was allegedly buying reported earlier this month that the capital, Harare, had seen a rising num- the weaponry, told the court he had been doing business with Mr Mann’s ber of kwashiorkor cases. The symptoms of kwashiorkor, caused by inade- company, Military Technical Services, for up to five years. This latest deal, quate protein consumption, include a bloated stomach and spindly arms however, was done "very clandestinely". Mr Mann told him that "as little as and legs, and can result in death if not treated. In his health report for 2003, possible would be put in writing". There were no "end-user" certificates for the city's director of health services, Dr Lovemore Mbengeranwa, noted that the weapons. The final payment, of £50,000 in cash, was delivered by a instances of diagnosed kwashiorkor had risen by 11.1 percent. A total of representative of Mr Mann’s at the Harare Holiday Inn hotel on March 5, he 621 cases were treated at council-run clinics, of which 97 percent were said. Two days later, Mr Mutizi met Mr Mann in a hangar at Manyame mili- children under the age of five. Mbengeranwa told IRIN that "food vulnerabili- tary airbase next to Harare airport to check the consignment. "We were ty in urban areas is increasing at an alarming level due to economic instabil- suddenly surrounded by armed men," he said. "We were asked to produce ity in the country". the government authority for sales of weapons." On Tuesday, the other 68 NGOs had earlier warned that a recent 150 percent hike in the maize pro- pleaded guilty to charges of violating immigration and aviation laws, which ducer price, as well as a 50 percent increase in bread prices, brought on by carry maximum penalties of two years and one month in jail respectively. a shortage of flour, was going to result in staple foods becoming increasing- The trial continues today. François Joubert, the veteran South African attor- ly inaccessible to ordinary Zimbabweans. "Most Zimbabweans cannot afford ney and head of the defence team, has withdrawn from the case. He re- mealie [maize] meal ... when it is available in the retail outlets," a represent- fused to give a reason. ative of a food security monitoring agency told IRIN in May. Nikisi said aver- age salaries of between Z$500,000 and Z$700,000 were not enough to
"ZIMDAY Monday 19 July 2004"