*** The views expressed in the articles published on this website DO NOT necessarily express the views of the Commercial Farmers' Union. ***
Power shortages set to continuePower shortages set to continue
Thursday, 28 January 2010 17:07
ZIMBABWE will continue to experience power shortages. A Zimbabwe Power Company generation report dated January 24 2010, seen by Business Digest, shows that all is not well at Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) with only one unit operating at Hwange.
The other five are tripped due to system failure with only unit 6 expected to return to service soon.
The ZPC report reads: "The total internal power generation capacity available from ZPC power stations is 835MW which is 53,2% of the forecast maximum demand of 1570MW. Six units are in service at Kariba and only one unit is service at Hwange Power Station. There is no generation at the small thermal power stations."
Hwange Power Station is operating at a mere 13,4% of capacity producing 90MW against targeted capacity of 670 MW.
Kariba is operating at almost near capacity. The plant is generating 745 MW against a targeted capacity of 750MW.
All three small thermal stations are not generating any power. As of Monday this week, ZPC was producing only 835MW against a forecast demand of 1 570 MW.
ZPC's imports are not helping with the power company importing 230 MW of power against the required 300MW. Ironically, Zimbabwe is still meeting its end of the export bargain with Namibia.
Documents show that ZPC is exporting 150MW to Namibia despite a crippling shortage of energy on the domestic scene.
With a deficit of 655 MW, Zimbabwe will continue to experience power outages.
At Hwange only Unit 4 is in service and sending out 90MW. According to reports, Unit 1 is need of a "major overhaul'.
Unit 2 and 3 are tripped due to a system disturbance but might return to service. Engineers are said to be inspecting Unit 5 which tripped almost two weeks.
Unit 6 went out due to a tube leak and is now awaiting diesel to return to service.
Worries over erratic power supplies have seen mines and industry engaging Zesa on how to ease the problems.
But with the current problems at HPS, it could be long until blackouts are eliminated.
Zimbabwe Seeks Zambezi Water project Go-aheadZimbabwe Seeks Zambezi Water Project Go-ahead
Thursday, 28 January 2010 18:30
ZIMBABWE is seeking permission from Sadc countries to draw water from the Zambezi River to ease water problems in the Matabeleland region. Water Resources Development Minister Samuel Sipepa Nkomo told the Zimbabwe Independent this week that the country was yet to get the authority from the other riparian states although his ministry had made a proposal to the countries.
Riparian states are countries that are connected to a river. Rivers riparian to the vast Zambezi include Angola, Namibia, Zambia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Tanzania, and Mozambique.
"We have not yet obtained permission to draw water from the Zambezi," Nkomo said. "We need to inform other riparian states of our intensions. A proposal has been submitted but no permission or agreement has been reached."
Nkomo said there has been extensive correspondence between Zimbabwe and Zambia.
"The Zambians asked for a comprehensive environmental impact assessment report and that was submitted and we are still awaiting feedback. We are in constant touch with them," he said.
The now renamed National Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project (NMZWP) is seen as a permanent solution to end water crisis in the Matabeleland region. The NMZWP wants to draw water from the Zambezi through the construction of a 450km pipeline to arid Matabeleland.
Unreliable water supply has in the recent past forced several companies to relocate from the region, particularly Bulawayo, to other provinces. This has reduced employment levels.
Last week Nkomo said under current estimates, a whopping US$1,1 billion was needed to finance the three phases of the project.
This involves the completion of the Gwayi/Tshangani Dam, laying of a pipeline from the dam to Bulawayo and its connection to the Zambezi.
Nkomo further suggested that the cash-strapped inclusive government would implement the project through a joint venture partnership with a Sadc country. He said he would soon embark on a regional tour to hold talks with several countries on the possibility of a joint venture.
Botswana could be the partnering country, Nkomo hinted.
"I will be in Francistown on Sunday to meet my counterpart to discuss the water project. Botswana has shown interests in also drawing water from the Zambezi River but they want to access the water from Bulawayo. A joint venture is a possibility," said Nkomo.
Last Thursday Nkomo was in Zambia to discuss the Zambezi Water Course Commission.
The Matabeleland water project was first mooted way back in 1912 but has been shelved over the years due to funding constraints.
The total cost of the pipeline has sky-rocketed over the years and Nkomo's estimate is almost double the US$600 million previously budgeted for in 2007.
Nkomo said the current cost of laying the pipeline is pegged at 18 million rand/km and three companies would be awarded the tender.
ZanuPF divisions deepen in Mash WestZanu PF divisions deepen in Mash West
Thursday, 28 January 2010 20:29
POLITICAL divisions in Zanu PF's Mashonaland West province are deepening as the party's executive and senior politburo members fight for control of the province.
Three members of the provincial executive who were suspended on January 15 at a meeting called for by Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo have accused the politburo of trying to take charge of their province.
The provincial chairperson John Mafa, his vice Frank Nhambakuwa, and secretary for lands and resettlement Temba Mliswa were suspended allegedly for repeatedly misrepresenting the provincial co-coordinating committee's resolutions on elections last year for the national executive committees of the youth and women's leagues.
However, sources in the provincial executive believe that the three were suspended because of a report the lands committee is preparing that would expose Zanu PF bigwigs and their close family members who are multiple farm owners and those allegedly leasing out their farms to former white commercial farmers.
Sources in the party said there were efforts to suppress the report and this, they claimed, led to the suspension of provincial executive members who sit in the lands committee.
A member of the lands committee said: "All these (land) investigations have resulted in people being victimised. A district administrator is now on forced leave while some lands officers are now going to be transferred. This
has also led to the suspension of Mafa and Mliswa who sit on the lands committee."
In a letter to the acting national political commissar, Richard Ndlovu, copied to President Robert Mugabe, his deputies Joice Mujuru and John Nkomo and other senior party officials, Mafa said the suspensions were
He said the meeting convened to suspend him and others was not sanctioned by the party.
Mafa's letter reads: "The meeting was totally out of order. There was no quorum at the meeting. You will recall that we met several times and have advised on the problems in the province concerning the youths and women and now the central committee selections.
"Amongst other issues there have been tribalism, imposition and misuse of the land reform process. I would like to state that I, as chair of the province, divorce myself and my executive from any resolutions passed at the
Friday 15th January 2010 meeting as I was not part of the conception of this debacle of a meeting."
Mafa chronicled the power struggle between his executive and politburo members who want to take control of the province.
He wrote: "I called for the executive meeting a week earlier than the proposed 16th January 2010 date. Surprisingly on the 14th January 2010, Cde Ignatius Chombo called for a co-coordinating meeting for 15th January 2010. I advised him of the difficulty of holding the meeting on this date.
"He however went ahead and advertised for the meeting on the radio and used my name as though I had approved and had sanctioned that meeting, which I had not."
Mafa said it appeared that each time the provincial executive meeting is called for, there is a counter provincial co-coordinating committee meeting. "This is evidence that the chairs and facilitators of these meetings do not want my leadership as the provincial chairman," he said.
When contacted for comment, Chombo said the trio should follow the proper party procedures when aggrieved instead of talking to the media. "Why are they talking to you?
They know what procedure to follow when aggrieved. If they told you that they wrote to the commissar, well he has not informed us about it," he said.
Court sets aside eviction rulingCourt sets aside eviction ruling
Thursday, 28 January 2010 19:23
THE High Court has set aside its own ruling ordering a retired army general, Edzai Chimonyo, to vacate Fangundu Farm (Pvt) Ltd, which he occupied over the festive season.
Chimonyo is Zimbabwe's ambassador to Tanzania.
The occupation of the plantation may have far-reaching consequences in Zimbabwe's quest to lure foreign direct investment even from countries it has bilateral trade agreements with.
Justice Joseph Musakwa ruled that an earlier judgment by Justice Tedious Karwi ordering Chimonyo to vacate Fangundu Farm in Burma Valley be set aside on the grounds that he and his lawyers had not been served with court papers.
In his ruling made available yesterday, Justice Musakwa said: "The operation and execution of the default order handed down by Honourable Karwi in case number HC 6541/09 be and is hereby stayed."
Justice Musakwa said Chimonyo should apply for the recission of the earlier judgment which ruled against him.
Chimonyo's lawyer Gerald Mlotshwa yesterday said: "Justice Musakwa granted a provisional order suspending the operation and execution of an earlier judgment by Justice Karwi which judgment had required the ambassador to vacate the farm.
"The provisional order was granted principally on the basis that the ambassador and his lawyers had not been served with the original application. The ambassador is now going to apply for a recission of Justice Karwi's judgment."
Chimonyo is reportedly back at work in Tanzania but his workers have maintained a sustained presence at the farm in the southeast of Mutare.
Fangudu Farm, a banana plantation in Burma Valley, is owned by Matanuska (Pvt) Ltd, a farming entity whose shareholders are Malaysian and Dutch property investors.
Their company, Property Route Toute BV, is registered in The Netherlands and recognised and approved as an investor through the Zimbabwe Investment Centre Act.
The occupied property is protected under a Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (Bippa) which protects foreign investment.
Zimbabwe High Court Issues Stay of Magistrates Eviction Orders Against FarmersZimbabwe High Court Issues Stay of Magistrate Eviction Orders Against
Lawyer David Drury, representing the three farmers, said Kudya's ruling
gives a temporary reprieve to the farmers, although their land has been
occupied by unruly crowds of hundreds believed to be ZANU-PF militia members
Gibbs Dube | Washington 28 January 2010
A Zimbabwean High Court judge has ruled that three white commercial farmers who were given 24 hours to leave their property by a magistrate in Chipinge, Manicaland province, should stay put until their cases are adjudicated.
Justice Samuel Kudya issued the order late Wednesday following the issuance of eviction orders on Tuesday by Magistrate Samuel Zuze.
Lawyer David Drury, representing the three farmers, said Kudya's ruling gives a temporary reprieve to the farmers, although their land has been occupied by unruly crowds of hundreds believed to be ZANU-PF militia
Drury told VOA Studio 7 reporter Gibbs Dube that although the Office of the Attorney General has 10 days to appeal the High Court order staying the lower court order, the farmers now have a legal right to stay on their land.
Algernon Taffs of Chirega Farm, Dawie Joubert of Stilfontein and Mike Odendaal of Hillcrest Farm were supposed to have moved out of their farms on Wednesday. Mike Jahme of Silverton Farm was ordered by the Chipinge court to vacate his farm within 30 days.
In a related development, former Commercial Farmers Union President Trevor Gifford said he and one of the farmers facing eviction now face jail because they tried to serve Zuze with the High Court order. Gifford said Zuze refused to sign the papers and accused the two of failing to obey his eviction orders.
Zuze, who could not be reached for comment, allegedly reported the matter to police in Chipinge, who charged the farmers with contempt of court.
"The magistrate was very upset when we served the papers and as a result farmer Joubert was immediately arrested and I was ordered by the police to report to the nearest police station," Gifford said.
White commercial farms have been subject to seizure in Zimbabwe for a decade since President Robert Mugabe launched a land-redistribution program. There are now only a few hundred farms remaining in white hands, but loyalists of Mr. Mugabe's ZANU-PF party has been pressing ahead with takeovers in disregard of objections from Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
Mr. Tsvangirai's former opposition Movement for Democratic Change party says such land seizures are counterproductive because they signal to potential foreign investors that the rule of law has not been restored despite the installation of a national unity government in February 2008