The ZIMBABWE Situation Our thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.

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Natal Witness

MDC retains Harare despite it all

Zimbabwean capital tense after by-elections and the expiry of an opposition
ultimatum

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Zimbabwe's main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC),
retained two seats in crucial parliamentary by-elections over the weekend,
according to state-operated radio.

In Harare's Kuwadzana township, the MDC polled 12 548 votes while the ruling
Zanu-PF garnered 5 002.

In Highfield, where President Robert Mugabe cast his ballot on Saturday, the
MDC got 8 759 votes against Zanu-PF's 4 844.

Zanu-PF's Highfield candidate was Joseph Chinotimba, a fiery "war veteran"
who led the invasion of white-owned farms two years ago.

The Kuwadzana vote was held after the death of former MDC MP for the
constituency Learnmore Jongwe. The popular young MP died in prison last
year.

The elections were preceded by high tension and political violence.

The results make Harare an opposition stronghold, with all 19 seats held by
the MDC.

Earlier by-elections in at least seven constituencies in the past two years
have ended in victories for Zanu-PF after violent campaigns.

Riot police besieged the MDC headquarters moments after the poll results
were announced, blocking supporters flocking to the offices to celebrate.

The opposition party said the election was neither free nor fair and that
the victory was not an easy one "in the face of concerted violence and
electoral fraud".

It, however, said the poll outcomes "indicate what is possible when a people
is resolved to free itself from tyranny".

The party had given Mugabe until Monday to take steps to resolve the
country's crises, or face action.

"In the days ahead, we shall be working frantically with you to put in place
strategies that will rid the country of the current crises that stem from
the illegitimacy of the Mugabe regime," party spokesman Paul Themba Nyathi
said.

Amid the heightened tension surrounding the elections on Monday, the MDC's
vice president was arrested in connection with a recent anti-government
strike in what the MDC says is part of a crackdown against its leaders.

Gibson Sibanda was arrested after being summoned for questioning on Monday
by police who visited his home in Bulawayo.

"Sibanda was arrested at about noon today and will be formally charged
later," Nyathi said.

He faces charges related to the organisation of a two-day mass
anti-government strike early this month.

Chief police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena said Sibanda was arrested for
"attempting to subvert a constitutional government".

The MDC organised the strike on March 18 and 19 to press President Robert
Mugabe to take urgent steps to resolve the country's grave economic and
political crises.

After the two-day stoppage, the MDC issued the ultimatum.

The MDC says Sibanda's arrest was the start of a crackdown ahead of the
expiry of the ultimatum.

"This is yet another sign of panic by a regime that is conscious of its
unpopularity," said Nyathi.

Police deployed large numbers of security forces around Mugabe's residence
as the opposition expired.

Some 400 MDC members and two MPs were arrested following the strike two
weeks ago.
Publish Date: 1 April 2003
Source: SAPA-AFP
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Tension mounts between government, opposition in Zimbabwe


By ANGUS SHAW, ASSOCIATED PRESS

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) - President Robert Mugabe's residence and offices were
under heavy police guard Monday as an opposition deadline expired for the
government to introduce democratic reforms.
The security measures were taken to thwart any attempts to cause anarchy,
said Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi, according to State radio.
The opposition has said it will resume mass protests if the government does
not start sweeping democratic reforms by Monday. The opposition leader
Morgan Tsvangirai vowed to make good on the ultimatum, telling supporters to
be on alert for when protests are called.

"This will be the final push that will restore our sovereignty, liberty and
freedom," Tsvangirai said. "It will be a struggle that calls for extreme
sacrifices, indeed even the supreme sacrifice" of death.

The government has threatened to arrest Tsvangirai and other opposition
officials if they call more anti-government protests.

Tsvangirai, however, made clear that the protests would be peaceful, saying
"even at this late hour, we seek no mortal combat ... we have no weapons of
war and we do not need any."

Mugabe led Zimbabwe to independence from Britain in 1980. But he has become
increasingly authoritarian, spearheading media controls and takeovers of
white-owned farms. The farm-grabbing campaign has led to more than two years
of political unrest during which scores of political opponents have been
killed.

Zimbabwe's political crisis deepened this month after the government cracked
down on participants of a crippling two-day national strike against Mugabe's
government.

Independent human rights monitors said at least 250 people were treated for
injuries from assaults and beatings in the crackdown - which was strongly
condemned by the State Department for what it called unprecedented violence
sponsored by the Zimbabwe government against domestic opponents.

The crackdown continued Monday with the arrest of Gibson Sibanda, the deputy
leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

The strike was the largest protest since Mugabe - brought to power at
independence in 1980 - was re-elected for another six-year term in
presidential elections contested by Tsvangirai last year. Observers said the
elections were marred by intimidation and vote-rigging.

Tensions were also heightened this weekend during two parliamentary
by-elections in opposition strongholds in western Harare.

State radio reported Monday both seats were retained by the opposition
despite claims that ruling party militants tried to intimidate voters.
Mugabe's ruling party had hoped to recapture urban support in Harare.
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The Times

            April 01, 2003

            Mugabe's foes brace for 'the last push'
            From Jan Raath in Harare

            THE leader of the Zimbabwean Opposition called on the country
yesterday to prepare for the "final push" in mass protests to bring about
the end of President Mugabe's rule.
            Morgan Tsvangirai, speaking as his Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) party won two key by-elections in Harare, gave warning of "a
long hard struggle" that would entail "extreme sacrifice".

            The Zanu (PF) party of President Mugabe enjoys a comfortable
majority in parliament, but it holds none of the capital's 19 parliamentary
seats and had hoped to break the MDC's stranglehold in urban areas.

            Instead, after a brutal campaign in which both sides accused the
other of violence, thousands of MDC supporters poured on to the streets to
celebrate the opposition's by-election successes in Kuwadzana and Highfield.
However, they were stopped in their tracks by riot police.

            The MDC national executive is due to meet shortly to draw up its
strategy of "people's power" against Mr Mugabe. Yesterday the deadline
passed for him to meet the party's 15-point ultimatum to restore the rule of
law and begin dialogue for political change.

            "Mugabe has made it quite clear that he is not accountable to
anybody but his murderous dictatorial whims," Mr Tsvangirai said. "It is our
constitutional right to peacefully protest against violent misrule. We shall
exercise this right soon and at a time and manner of our choosing.

            "We seek no mortal combat against anybody. We are not an army.
We have no battle plans. We have no weapons of war and we do not need any.
We are just ordinary Zimbabweans whose only crime is our desire to be free."

            Yesterday police in the western city of Bulawayo arrested Gibson
Sibanda, the MDC's vice-president, on allegations of "attempting to
overthrow the Government by unconstitutional means". The charges relate to
Mr Sibanda's role in the MDC's 48-hour strike on March 18 and 19 that
paralysed the country.
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The Sun

Fury over new Zim tour
By DAVE KIDD

ENGLAND'S cricketers will refuse to tour Zimbabwe next year if despot Robert
Mugabe is still in power.

Players are furious ECB chief David Morgan has committed England to a
month-long visit of the troubled African nation in the autumn of 2004.

Morgan made the move to ensure Zimbabwe give the green light to their own UK
tour next month.

But Lord's chiefs did not consult England's stars.

The players made an 11th-hour decision to boycott February's World Cup match
in Harare, insisting it was for moral reasons and not just safety fears.

Morgan has promised England will tour as long as the squad's protection is
assured.

But senior players insist moral and safety issues cannot be separated in
Zimbabwe, where evil Mugabe has increased his crackdown on opposition groups
since the World Cup and proudly compared himself to Adolf Hitler.

Zimbabwean fast bowler Henry Olonga is in hiding, fearing for his life,
after attacking the government before his country's first World Cup match.

Yet Morgan still insists cricket's top brass should not have to make moral
decisions over tours.

Players' union chief Richard Bevan will meet with ECB bosses this week to
discuss the players' fears.

He said: "Since the ECB decided not to consult us about this, it's not
appropriate to comment until we've discussed it fully.

"But what is certain is a decision will be made well in advance of this
tour. It will not be allowed to go to the wire like it did in South Africa."

Lord's bigwigs feared losing around 8million if Zimbabwe cancelled their
tour as a tit-for-tat measure after England's boycott.
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Daily News

      MDC 2, Zanu PF 0

      4/1/2003 2:47:20 AM (GMT +2)


      By Columbus Mavhunga and Lawrence Paganga

      THE opposition MDC yesterday retained the constituencies of Highfield
and Kuwadzana in the weekend by-elections, further stamping its dominance in
urban areas despite massive intimidation by pro-ruling Zanu PF militias in
the run-up to the polls.



      In Kuwadzana, the MDC's Nelson Chamisa garnered 12 548 votes against 5
002 polled by Zanu PF's David Mutasa, while in Highfield the opposition
party's Pearson Mungofa polled 8 759 votes in beating Joseph Chinotimba of
Zanu PF, who trailed with 4 844 votes.

      The defeat of Chinotimba did not go down well with his supporters who
had gathered at the constituency's command centre at Cyril Jennings Hall.
They hurled stones at the police and MDC supporters who were already in a
celebratory mood.

      Riot police dispersed the Zanu PF supporters, effectively smothering a
potentially explosive situation.

      Chinotimba said the poll had not been free and fair, alleging Zanu PF
supporters had been attacked and intimidated by suspected MDC supporters on
Saturday.

      President Mugabe and the First Lady, Grace, cast their votes at Mhofu
Primary School in Highfield on Saturday.

      Said Chinotimba: "I am going to challenge the results in court as a
number of Zanu PF supporters were assaulted and denied their right to vote."

      Mungofa said the electorate had defied intimidation and voted for
change.

      "The elections were held in an atmosphere that was not free and fair
as Zanu PF engaged in vote-buying and harassed MDC members," he said.

      "However, the people endured the intimidation and remained steadfast
to elect the party of their choice."

      Mungofa said five MDC supporters had been assaulted during the polling
days and the vehicle used by his election manager, Eric Murayi, was damaged
by suspected Zanu PF supporters.

      Armed riot police immediately cordoned off Harvest House, the MDC
headquarters in Harare city centre, as they kept a hawk's eye on jubilant
supporters who broke into song and dance upon hearing the results.

      In Kuwadzana, an elated Chamisa said: "I salute the people of
Kuwadzana. They defied violence, intimidation and massive vote-buying which
was associated with this by-election.

      "I view my victory as a tribute to my friend Learnmore, who died under
mysterious circumstances. I will continue fighting for democracy and make
sure that we are liberated. I want to promote a culture of debate and
tolerance of political diversity in Kuwadzana."

      Learnmore Jongwe, the former MP for Kuwadzana, died in remand prison
last year while awaiting trial for the murder of his wife, Rutendo.

      Dejected after spending thousands of dollars on maize-meal which he
dished out to potential voters ahead of the by-election, Mutasa could only
say: "You can write what you want. Ask me anymore questions and see what I
will do to you."

      Other minnows in the Kuwadzana contest were Aaron Mandla of the United
Parties, who polled 12 votes .

      National Alliance for Good Governance's (NAGG) Kimpton Chiwewete
garnered 82 votes.

      As if sensing defeat after only polling 73 votes, Munyaradzi Gwisai,
the former Highfield MP, who stood as an independent, did not attend the
counting process.

      The seat fell vacant after Gwisai was expelled from the MDC for
continuing to criticise the party's policies.

      Evaristo Chidhakwa of Nagg polled 48 votes, Alphios Mapuranga of UP,
garnered 34, and Egypt Dzinemunhenzwa, African National Party, 272.

      Zimbabwe Election Support Network (Zesn), an umbrella body of 36 civic
organisations, yesterday said it was concerned with the "serious anomalies"
in the conduct the elections.

      "The pre-election period was marred by violence, visible vote buying
and the failure by the Registrar-General's office to release the voters roll
to contesting candidates on time," said Reginald Matchaba-Hove, the Zesn
chairperson.

      "The actual polling days were characterised by vote buying, violence,
abductions of observers and party polling agents, intimidation, denial of
access to the polling stations to accredited observers, and a heavy presence
of the uniformed forces and Zanu PF youths in the vicinity of the polling
stations."
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Daily News

      MDC youth tells of torture

      4/1/2003 3:04:52 AM (GMT +2)


      From Our Correspondent in Bulawayo

      Mthulisi Mloyi, an opposition MDC youth, who was abducted by war
veterans in Nkayi last month, says he went through hell during the two hours
he was allegedly held captive by the pro-Zanu PF ex-fighters.



      He said that he was forced to chew on his party's regalia which
included scarves and pamphlets.

      Mloyi, who is hiding in Bulawayo, yesterday said he had still not
recovered from the torture he was subjected to about three weeks ago.

      Mloyi was abducted on 7 March by a group of armed people, some known
to be former armed dissidents of the 1980s, when he and other youths were
putting up posters for an MDC rally which was to be held in Nkayi.

      "They first of all removed all my clothes and then they bundled me
into a vehicle without number plates," said Mloyi.

      He said he was robbed of $50 000 cash, a necklace and his national
identity documents, by the group. He said the group, numbering about 20,
assaulted him and forced him to chew on the MDC's party regalia.

      After the ordeal, which lasted about two hours, he said he was first
stripped naked before he was released.

      Although the police refused to comment, Mloyi said he made a report at
Gwelutshena Police Station.

      Meanwhile, the group of former dissidents who allegedly abducted Mloyi
are believed to be in Binga.

      A villager, who asked not to be named, said: "We suspect that the
group is being sponsored by Zanu PF because they are booked in a lodge."
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Daily News

      MDC trio's application for bail relaxation fails

      4/1/2003 3:04:12 AM (GMT +2)


      Court Reporter

      Justice Paddington Garwe, the Judge President, yesterday threw out an
application for the alteration of bail conditions imposed on Morgan
Tsvangirai, the MDC president, and two of that opposition party's top
officials facing high treason charges.



      The court also refused to grant an application for the temporary
release of Welshman Ncube's passport.

      Defence counsel, George Bizos, said on Thursday last week, Ncube
wanted to travel to Canada to instruct a lawyer who will witness the testing
of the equipment used to produce a video-tape forming the basis of the
treason charges.

      Garwe said: "The accused are facing serious charges and the reporting
conditions cannot be said to be unreasonable or unwarranted."

      A Harare magistrates' court last year ordered Tsvangirai,
secretary-general Ncube and Renson Gasela, the MDC shadow minister of
agriculture, to report twice a week to their nearest police stations as part
of their bail conditions.

      The trio was also ordered to surrender their passports to the clerk of
court. Garwe said: "Advocate Bizos did not give further details why they
should report once instead of twice a week. Considering that part of the
order had been agreed to between the State and the defence, I find no reason
to interfere with the order."

      On the application for the release of Ncube's passport for the
duration of the High Court vacation, Garwe said, "no real basis has been
given".

      "The reasons are somewhat unconvincing," the judge said.

      "The suggestion that all five legal practitioners are unable to travel
to instruct the lawyer in Canada is highly unlikely."

      All the members of the defence team of Innocent Chagonda, Romualdo
Mavedzenge and advocates Chris Andersen, Eric Matinenga and Bizos said they
had other commitments during the High Court vacation. The trial is expected
to resume on 12 May.
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Daily News

Leader Page

      Kunonga's dismissal of chancellor unlawful

      4/1/2003 2:52:52 AM (GMT +2)

      By Bob Stumbles

      The Anglican Bishop of Harare, Nolbert Kunonga, appears to have lost
the confidence of many members of his flock at the Cathedral and elsewhere
through flaunting Church procedures and ignoring the rights and needs of
parishioners and clergy.

      When I pointed this out in my capacity as the Chancellor of the
Anglican Diocese, the Bishop purported to dismiss me. Apparently I am not
sufficiently compliant for the Bishop of Harare and have persistently
advised that the law should be complied with in the Diocese. It seems the
dismissal was illegal and invalid.

      I have decided to comment on reports that I have been dismissed as
Chancellor. These reports are incorrect. The position is that apparently
Bishop Kunonga and all the members of the Standing Committee of the Diocese
met and attempted to terminate my services as Chancellor. With respect, they
do not have the lawful authority to do so and any resolution passed by them
in this regard is invalid.

      An announcement that I had been immediately dismissed as Chancellor
was made after a Meeting of the Standing Committee of the Diocese held on 13
February convened to discuss a 17-page letter dated 7 February I had written
to the Bishop. The letter set out
      numerous instances where the Church laws had not been followed or had
been deliberately flouted, depriving parishioners and others of their
rights.

      Bishop Kunonga disapproved of the contents of the letter and summoned
the meeting of the Standing Committee, which resolved to terminate my
services as the Chancellor. The first I heard of this attempt to dismiss me
was when I read about it in a newspaper. I received no notice of the meeting
and, therefore, had no opportunity to respond to the concerns of the Bishop
or Standing Committee about my letter, which I am given to understand was
the main subject of the meeting. Later a letter of dismissal arrived from
the Bishop.

      I am informed that at that same meeting the services of Arthur
Mutsonziwa, the Diocesan Registrar, were also terminated with immediate
effect. Bishop Kunonga has accused him of siding with those intending to
prosecute the Bishop and the Diocese. This allegation is both baseless and
unjust. Mutsonziwa is on the side of what is lawful.

      In a letter which I sent to Bishop Kunonga on 20 February, I explained
that in purporting to dismiss me as Chancellor, the Bishop and the Standing
Committee had not adhered to and had ignored the procedure laid down in the
laws of the Diocese and of the Province of Central Africa. Ostensibly, this
was just one more of several instances where the Bishop has contravened the
laws of the Church.

      The Canons (laws) clearly stipulate that a Diocesan Chancellor holds
office for life unless he tenders his resignation to the Bishop or is
removed from office by the unanimous resolution of the Episcopal Synod,
which consists of the Archbishop and Bishops of the Church of the Province
of Central Africa.

      The Chancellor cannot be dismissed in any other way. There has been no
resolution of the Episcopal Synod. Thus, the action taken by the Bishop and
Standing Committee is clearly in breach of the laws of the Church.

      When a Chancellor is appointed, he undertakes to do justice within the
Diocese. This is not a promise to do justice as interpreted by a Bishop or
Standing Committee, but justice according to all the laws of the Church and
the common law of the country where applicable. In pursuance of this
fundamental undertaking, it became necessary eventually to write the letter
of 7 February to reveal the disturbing failure to comply with or do justice
through the laws of the Diocese.

      Apparently reports and letters of complaint and distress had been sent
by parishioners and some members of clergy, particularly about the conduct
of Bishop Kunonga and the previous Dean of the Cathedral of St Mary and All
Saints, Godfrey Tawonezvi (who is now Bishop of the Diocese of Masvingo),
not only to the Bishop of Harare, but also to the Archbishop and Bishops of
the Province, over many months. This correspondence has so far evidently
evoked no firm response.

      I believe that the Bishops of the Province and others in authority
must by now be fully aware of the serious transgressions of the law and
procedure within the Diocese of Harare and will act swiftly.

      It is sincerely hoped and believed that the laws of the Church will
now be invoked. Failure to do so will be greatly detrimental to the
reputation of the Anglican Church and the rights of its members.
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Daily News

Leader Page

      Suicidal violence

      4/1/2003 2:53:33 AM (GMT +2)

      TO make violence a vital component of governance is suicidal for any
government - those who live by the sword perish by the sword.



      Most dictators throughout history have discovered to their everlasting
chagrin that - to misquote the Bible - the wages of dealing in death is
death.

      The government of President Mugabe, which has made violence part of
its stock-in-trade, must know that one day soon it will rue the day Mugabe
himself pronounced in public that "we have many degrees in violence".

      It would be a travesty of history if it succeeded in cowing the people
of Zimbabwe forever through the use of violence.

      What is bound to happen, sooner or later, is for the people to throw
caution to the wind and confront the warriors of violence with their own
violence.

      Much blood will be shed, perhaps as much as was shed during the
struggle for independence, during which the people confronted the violence
of the minority regime with their own violence.

      Internecine violence has plagued many African countries after their
independence. Most of the bloodshed has resulted from struggles for power
between groups of people or between leaders. The fighting has cost many
lives and dragged economic development back to pre-colonial darkness.

      This is about to happen to Zimbabwe because a 79-year-old man, who has
led the country since independence, does not believe the country has any
future unless he or his party are in charge.

      Apart from the insult to the intelligence of the people - that they
can't distinguish between a good and a bad leader - there is the matter of
ignoring the real harm to the economy that Zanu PF has wreaked on the
nation.

      This damage has to be reversed and the only way that can be done is
not through cosmetic, populist, grandiose economic plans such as the
much-vaunted National Economic Revival Programme, but through a return to
the "basics".

      The "basics" constitute an immediate political transformation which
makes the acceptance of dissenting voices a sine qua non of good governance.

      The doctrine of "crushing" the opposition, as pronounced by Mugabe
belongs in a "banana republic", recalling dictators such as Augusto
Pinochet. The world, as one, reacted with revulsion, to Pinochet's reign and
there were no tears shed when he was ultimately punished.

      Saddam Hussein would have earned similar notoriety if he had not
benefited from by a combination of European rivalry for power and a United
Nations Security Council stymied by the same struggle.

      Still, Hussein's Iraq is not a shining example of a democracy, not
even in a region where democracy is rare as a system of government.

      But for Mugabe, a "regime change" would not necessarily involve an
invasion by United States and British forces, although there are extremists
in Zimbabwe, who would not flinch from supporting such an eventuality.

      What would happen is for the people to seek an alternative to beating
Zanu PF in a free and fair election. They would seek an alternative to not
being, beaten, arrested and jailed for not agreeing with Zanu PF.

      That alternative might turn out to be more effective than any other
strategy they have tried against Zanu PF - and that could be adopting Zanu
PF's own methods, only more ruthlessly.

      Yet the window of opportunity for a more peaceful resolution of the
crisis has been available for a long time: dialogue and a return to the
"basics" - the basics which Mugabe decided to abandon at the height of the
2000 invasion of the commercial farms.

      A return to the rule of law would halt this suicidal plunge by the
government.
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Daily News

      Mnangagwa robbery suspects claim duress

      4/1/2003 3:01:05 AM (GMT +2)

      Court Reporter

      THE police allegedly tortured three men accused of robbing Emmerson
Mnangagwa, the Speaker of Parliament, of property and cash worth $2 million
to force them to admit to the charge, a regional magistrate heard yesterday.



      Charles Ganda Mbombo, one of the accused persons, told Harare
magistrate, Leonard Chitunhu, that the police had allegedly connected live
electric wires to the handcuffs binding the trio while they were in custody
at Harare Central Police Station.

      Said Mbombo: "When I denied the charge, Detective Jamare tortured me
to force me to admit to the offence.

      "He also refused to listen to my statement. He said he had already
recorded a statement from Charles Janga and that he was not interested in
hearing my side of the story."

      Janga is a State witness.

      Granger Tongogara and Dyvon Takawira Masona, the co-accused,
corroborate Mbombo's evidence.

      During cross-examination, Mbombo, Tongogara and Masona said they
admitted to the charges under duress.

      "I did not give my statement concerning the matter freely because you
were torturing me and you threatened to continue if I denied," Masona told
Jamare during cross-examination.

      Masona claimed he was being framed by Jamare.

      Prosecutor Fungai Nyahunzvi, alleged that on 28 November last year,
the three, driving in a yellow Lancer, trailed Mnangagwa along Herbert
Chitepo Avenue.

      They stopped at the traffic lights along Sam Nujoma Street, quickly
got out of their car and smashed Mnangagwa's rear window.

      The three suspects allegedly stole a Nokia 9210 cellphone, $200 000 in
cash, a wallet and an elephant skin briefcase, among other valuable goods.

      The trial continues today.
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Daily News

      Gibson Sibanda arrested

      4/1/2003 3:06:58 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporters

      GIBSON Sibanda, the MDC's vice-president, was arrested yesterday as
the government stepped up its crackdown hard on the heels of the expiry of
the opposition party's civil unrest ultimatum.



      Sibanda's lawyer, Josphat Tshuma, said: "The police charged Sibanda
under Section 5 of the Public Order and Security Act for allegedly
organising the mass job stayaway on 18 and 19 March."

      Tshuma said the police alleged the Nkulumane Member of Parliament
convened a meeting at his party's provincial offices in Bulawayo on 1 March
to organise the stayaway.

      Party colleagues Thokozane Khupe, the MP for Makokoba, and Abednico
Bhebhe, the MP for Nkayi, said they had heard reports that the police were
looking for them.

      Blessing Chebundo, the MP for Kwekwe, and six other party supporters
were arrested at the MDC's offices in the city last Friday for allegedly
possessing dangerous weapons.

      Chebundo yesterday said they were only released the following day
after the police failed to locate the alleged weapons. Said Chebundo: "The
police said they had information to the fact that I had some explosives in
my car, but when I challenged them to search the car they refused to do so.

      "Instead, they continued interrogating us about plans by the MDC to
stage another mass protest.

      "We were then ordered to provide all our personal details to the
police before we were released the following day. "

      Soon after the mass stayaway, the MDC issued an ultimatum to the
government to restore the rule of law by yesterday or face civil unrest.

      On Sunday, Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC leader, said the government had
failed to comply with the 15 demands that formed the basis of the ultimatum.

      He said the opposition party was now contemplating its next move in
the wake of the expiry of the deadline.

      President Mugabe, equating himself to the German butcher of the Nazi
era, Adolf Hitler, last month ordered State security agents to crush any
dissenting voices.

      "This is yet another sign of panic by a regime that is conscious of
its unpopularity," Paul Themba-Nyathi, the MDC's spokesman, said.

      "This nervousness stems from realising that the war they have been
waging against the people is lost. These are the last kicks of this dying
regime."

      Commenting on the MDC's ultimatum, Professor Heneri Dzinotyiwei, a
political analyst, said: "I have a feeling we have a situation where there
is a wait -and see- attitude on both sides. I don't think there seems to be
a clear direction on what is happening at the moment."

      In Harare, police mounted roadblocks on all major roads leading into
the city centre. They searched people for weapons.

      Commuters along the Borrowdale, Chitungwiza, Domboshawa and Simon
Mazorodze roads found without identity cards were allegedly harassed as the
police conducted body searches.

      The police reportedly forced them to roll on the tarmac as punishment.

      Asked whether it was constitutional for the police to demand the
production of identity cards, Kembo Mohadi, the Minister of Home Affairs,
remarked: "What's unconstitutional about a roadblock? What's the reason for
issuing you with an identity card if you are not going to be asked to
produce it at any one time?"

      He referred further questions to Augustine Chihuri, the Commissioner
of Police, whom he said had deployed the police.

      The MDC has, however, vowed to go ahead with the mass action as it was
reportedly making final consultations with its members.

      Themba-Nyathi said: "The roadblocks only confirm we live in a Police
State and the nature of the repressive and dictatorial State we are
currently exposed to."

      On Friday, Mohadi said the police had been deployed in Kuwadzana and
Highfield to maintain peace during the by-elections.
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Daily News

      Ndlovu faces trial for threat to Asians

      4/1/2003 3:05:20 AM (GMT +2)

      Court Reporter

      ZIMBABWE National Liberation War Veterans' Association secretary for
projects, Andrew Ndlovu, who is serving a three-year jail term for
corruption charges, will stand trial on 29 May for threatening the Asian
community in Mutare last year.



      The ruling followed Ndlovu's application for the State to withdraw
charges against him since he had been on remand for the past 10 months.

      In his application, Ndlovu also said it was only fair for the Court to
throw away the charges because some of the witnesses, who are mostly whites,
had left the country while others had died.

      Magistrate, Judith Tsamba, said it was not proper to throw away the
charges, but the trial court was going to decide whether there was evidence
linking him to the offence or not and would act on its findings.

      According to the State, sometime in April last year, Ndlovu, 46,
allegedly wrote and printed a document entitled: Operation Liberation,
Indians Watch Out.

      It is alleged the document was meant to endanger, promote or expose to
hatred, contempt or ridicule a group of the Indian community, thus
contravening the Public Order and
      Security Act.

      Ndlovu stated in his document that the Asian and Indian communities
should surrender part of their properties in all cities around the country
to the government. He alleged the Indians were sabotaging the economy by
dealing in foreign currency.
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Daily News

      IMF demands stability before resuming talks

      4/1/2003 2:42:18 AM (GMT +2)

      By Colleen Gwari Business Reporter

      THE government has to restore economic and political stability before
it can entertain any hopes of accessing balance of payments support from the
World Bank (WB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).



      Ohene Nyanin, the WB country manager for Zambia and Zimbabwe yesterday
described stability and investor confidence as critical for the resumption
of talks with the Bretton Woods institutions.

      He said Zimbabweans must also reach a consensus on how pressing
political and economic problems besetting the southern African country could
be resolved, before engaging the international community.

      "Certainly there is need for continued dialogue so as to bring the
international community back on board," Nyanin told journalists in Harare.

      Nyanin was in Harare for a two-day visit, during which he signed a
US$55 million (Z$3 billion at the official exchange rate) memorandum of
understanding with the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF).

      The money would be provided to ACBF over five years to build human and
institutional capacity as well as for fighting poverty throughout
sub-Saharan Africa.

      Zimbabwe was suspended from WB support schemes in the 1990s owing to
its failure to pay accrued arrears. The country is failing to clear its
arrears with the WB because of a critical shortage of foreign currency.

      The crisis was caused by donor fatigue following the violent and
chaotic land reform exercise initiated by the government after the massive
rejection of the draft constitution in February 2000. The land reform
exercise had a negative impact on the country's agro-based economy resulting
in poor export performance.

      First to pull the plug was the IMF, followed by the donor community,
who had poured in
      billions of dollars in aid and concessionary loans.

      Nyanin said the Bretton Woods institutions were not getting support
from the government, which is currently under mounting political pressure.

      "Of high priority to the government at the moment are the agrarian
reforms," he said.

      He said: "It is interesting to note that Zimbabweans are now beginning
to talk to each other. Although the economic revival programme is a positive
thing, it is just the first step. There are other broader issues that need
to be tackled at policy level."

      The WB official said Zimbabwe has a strong human resources base and
infrastructure that can be used to revive its waning economic fortunes.

      Nyanin said there were encouraging developments locally, such as the
launch of the economic recovery programme. Nyanin's sentiments, however,
indicated that Zimbabwe could be far from winning international support.

      The government insists that problems facing the country are a direct
result of British resistance to the land reform exercise. The government
views the controversial land reform as the panacea to the problems facing
the country.
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Daily News

      Load-shedding hits industry

      4/1/2003 2:41:42 AM (GMT +2)

      By Hama Saburi Business Editor

      A SPATE of company closures and retrenchments is looming on the back
of load-shedding, which has cost the business sector hundreds of millions of
dollars in lost revenue.



      Load-shedding has had adverse effects on critical sectors,
particularly mining, agriculture and manufacturing, which contribute at
least 45 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP).

      GDP is basically the total value of goods produced by a country.

      "Production is being interrupted at a time when capacity utilisation
is low and companies are grappling to secure fuel and foreign currency.

      "A number of companies temporarily closed on Wednesday last week, only
to open on Friday because of load-shedding," said Antony Mandiwanza,
president of the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI).

      Consumers were last week caught unawares when the Zimbabwe Electricity
Supply Authority (Zesa) started rationing electricity.

      Zesa is slowly being cut off by regional electricity suppliers because
of its failure to clear arrears.

      As of June last year, Zesa owed US$24 million (Z$13,2 billion at the
official exchange rate). Zesa is struggling to raise foreign currency needed
to service the foreign debt.

      The CZI boss hinted yesterday that industry may not continue to absorb
losses incurred from disruptions in power supplies.

      Workers could be retrenched to reduce the wage bill, while some
companies could wind up operations. Unemployment is currently estimated at
above 70 percent.

      Industry is now concerned about the possibility of losing export
markets should it fail to honour existing contracts.

      Load-shedding has however brought big business to some sectors.

      For instance, manufactures of electricity generators as well as coal
and firewood merchants, are cashing in on load-shedding.

      David Murangari, Chamber of Mines chief executive, described the
situation in the mining sector as "very bad".

      Murangari said: "We are compiling information on the impact of
load-shedding on our members."

      Load-shedding has also affected agricultural activities throughout the
country.

      Farmers had started preparing land for tobacco seedlings, while the
season for winter wheat cropping is only two months away.

      Farmers are dependent on electricity for irrigation, repair and
maintenance and lighting greenhouses.

      Fears are that the country, which is coming out of recent consecutive
droughts, could suffer a drastic decline in winter and tobacco hectarage
should load-shedding continue.

      This would put more pressure on the fiscus as the Minister of Finance
and Economic Development, Dr Herbert Murerwa, would have to raise foreign
exchange needed to import wheat.

      Efforts to contain inflation would also come to nought because the
resultant shortages of basic goods would drive up prices.

      "It will become difficult to contain inflation when you have lower
production," said trade and economic consultant, Samuel Undenge.

      Undenge urged Zesa to seek alternatives to cushion industry.

      One way of doing it would be for Zesa to conduct a sector-by-sector
analysis, where critical industries would be given preference over others.

      Companies can also contribute to the payment of Zesa debts by paying
part of their electricity bills in foreign currency.

      Much depends on the government, which should put in place effective
policies to ensure the generation of adequate foreign exchange.

      Initiatives introduced so far under the Tripartite Negotiating Forum,
came a little late.

      Bulawayo-based chartered accountant Eric Bloch said industry could
collapse if a solution is not found soon.

      "It means a tremendous disaster to industrial operations," he said,
adding that it was only logically for foreign suppliers to cut off supplies
to Zesa because of the parastatal's failure to service its debts.
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Mugabe's opposition celebrates poll wins

Andrew Meldrum in Harare
Tuesday April 1, 2003
The Guardian

Zimbabwe's main opposition party celebrated crucial byelection victories in
the capital yesterday, billing them as a springboard for mass action to
topple President Robert Mugabe.
"This is only the beginning of the struggle to recapture the stolen
presidential poll, so that the sovereignty of the people of Zimbabwe is
consolidated," the Movement for Democratic Change's president, Morgan
Tsvangirai, said after his party's two victories.

"In the days ahead we shall be working frantically to put in place
strategies that will rid the country of the crises that stem largely from
the illegitimacy of the Mugabe regime."

Political tensions rose across the country, as the MDC's vice-president,
Gibson Sibanda, was arrested in Bulawayo and Harare was surrounded by armed
roadblocks. Extra army units guarded Mr Mugabe's official residence.

Despite unprecedented state violence, widespread intimidation and evidence
of massive vote-rigging, the opposition retained its parliamentary seats in
two townships of Harare, where the ruling party holds none of the 19 seats.

"We won! They used every trick in the book but they still could not defeat
us," an exultant MDC supporter, Derek Madharani, said. "We are celebrating
in the streets. People are so happy. We know the army will come and beat us
tonight, but we don't care."

Mr Mugabe's party, with 95 seats, enjoys a comfortable majority in the
150-strong parliament and victory in the two byelections would have taken it
a step closer towards the two-thirds majority it needs to enact
constitutional changes.

Mr Tsvangirai yesterday warned that his party intended to launch mass action
against the government. The MDC had issued an ultimatum to the government to
restore democracy and human rights by yesterday or face a popular uprising.

"The people of Zimbabwe must now be on permanent alert," he said. "They must
be ready to heed the call for the final demand on the Mugabe regime to be
accountable to the people and to restore their sovereign right to be
governed by a government of their own choice. This will be the final push
that will restore our sovereignty, liberty and freedom."

Gibson Sibanda, a trade unionist, was arrested in Bulawayo early yesterday.
He was expected to be charged under the draconian security laws for
organising a successful, largely peaceful, two-day national strike last
month.

His arrest could be a prelude to jailing Mr Tsvangirai. Calls by government
leaders for Mr Tsvangirai to be put behind bars were prominently reported
throughout the weekend on state television, radio and in the newspapers. The
home affairs minister, Kembo Mohadi, who is in charge of the police, said
the courts should revoke the bail of the MDC leader, who is on trial for
treason.

The two parliamentary victories were in Harare's low-income residential
areas of Highfield and Kuwadzana. The MDC candidate in Highfield defeated
the war veteran Joseph Chinotimba, notorious for inciting violence on farms
and in the capital, by a vote of 8,759 to 4,844. In Kuwadzana, a popular MDC
youth leader routed the ruling party's candidate by 12,548 votes to 5,002.

The relatively low turnout of just over 30% of registered voters was blamed
on the high levels of intimidation. Gangs of youths from the ruling Zanu-PF
party patrolled the voting queues in violation of election regulations,
sometimes chasing away people coming to vote, according to independent poll
observers.

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Electoral fraud could spark violent backlash warns Tsvangirai

Staff Reporter, Financial Gazette, Zimbabwe
HARARE, 1 April 2003

Indications of electoral manipulation or fraud during last weekend's
Highfield and Kuwadzana by-elections could precipitate a violent backlash
from opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) supporters, MDC
president Morgan Tsvangirai has warned.

HARARE: Addressing journalists in the capital, Tsvangirai urged his
supporters to remain calm, but warned that his party's followers might not
be willing to wait for the MDC leadership to decide on a course of action if
they believed the polls were rigged.

He said: "Let (Registrar General Tobaiwa) Mudede and ZANU PF be warned that
subverting the will of the people could be counter-productive. People will
react swiftly if their wishes are overridden.

"They should understand that the MDC is getting stronger by the day. Our
supporters are determined to carry out this struggle to its logical
conclusion (and) ZANU PF should not tempt our supporters by rigging the
elections."

The MDC has accused the ruling ZANU PF of rigging the 2000 parliamentary
elections, last year's presidential poll and several other elections since
1999.

Mudede and ZANU PF officials have denied the allegations.

The MDC has however challenged the results of the 2000 and 2003 polls in the
courts and last week gave President Robert Mugabe an ultimatum to take steps
that would result in a "legitimate" government in Zimbabwe or face mass
action.

Repression will never stop people from acting

The ultimatum, which gave the government until the end of March to respond
to the opposition party's demands, came at the end of a two-day job stayaway
called by the MDC. The mass action brought most of industry to a halt.

Meanwhile, Tsvangirai accused the government of taking retaliatory action
against MDC supporters and members of the public for the stayaway.

He said the police had detained more than 500 MDC supporters and officials
since the end of the mass action.

"Repression has never restrained people from acting," the MDC leader told
journalists. "If at all, it has put people in a more determined position to
confront this regime. No amount of beatings or thuggery is going to
discourage people from engaging in an agenda that will see this regime out.

"It is only six days to go and we not retreating from these demands (issued
last week). Neither are we retreating from the ultimatum. We urge our
supporters to remain calm because the deadline is fast approaching. The
party will define the content and form of the next action."

Meanwhile, the country's labour watchdog, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trader
Unions (ZCTU) this week also slammed the security forces for violence
against members of the public.

Members of the army and police are reported to have assaulted several people
in the past week in what commentators say is retaliation for last week's
stayaway.

ZCTU secretary general Wellington Chibhebhe said his organisation had
appealed to Defence Forces Commander Vitalis Zvinavashe and Police
Commissioner Augustine Chihuri to rein in their subordinates.

Chibhebhe said: "ZCTU expresses its concern on the conduct of the uniformed
forces of indiscriminately harassing and beating up innocent citizens of
Zimbabwe. In a retribution exercise aimed at people who are alleged to have
taken part or organised the recent job stayaway, the police are
indiscriminately arresting, harassing and torturing law abiding citizens in
an effort to appease the government and the ruling ZANU PF party.

"It is only a matter of time before the people of this country take the law
into their own hands and the leaders of the security forces will have to
take the blame if the security situation deteriorates."

The police and the army have denied that they are involved in a retaliatory
exercise
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The Australian

US rights report blasts 'axis of evil'
From correspondents in Washington
April 01, 2003

THE United States today accused China's rulers of grievously suppressing
basic freedoms and rapped "axis of evil" foes Iraq, Iran and North Korea for
what it said were gross human rights abuses.

The US State Department has published its annual survey on global human
rights as the Bush administration was embroiled in war with Iraq, military
clashes in Afghanistan and a global anti-terrorism campaign.

An angry response is always guaranteed from targeted governments.

But extra controversy could be generated, with the Bush administration
accused of causing civilian deaths in Iraq and criticised for its treatment
of detainees from its anti-terrorism war.

However, US Secretary of State Colin Powell said Washington would not shrink
from its commitment to point out human rights abuses wherever they occur.









"Our country was founded on the precept that freedom is the birthright of
every human being, and America is proud to serve as a force for freedom
across the globe," he said, unveiling the report which covers 2002.

China is no stranger to US criticism on human rights.

This year's report said its record was still poor but highlighted several
areas where repression had eased slightly.

The report noted the communist government's permission for senior envoys of
Tibet's spiritual leader the Dalai Lama to visit Beijing.

But it said those positive developments were undermined by the arrests of
democracy activists, the imposition of death sentences without due process
on two Tibetans, and the trials of labour leaders on subversion charges.

"Authorities were quick to suppress religious, political, and social groups,
as well as individuals, that they perceived to be a threat to government
power, or to national stability," the report said.

It also contained a new broadside of criticism aimed at Iraq.

"(Iraqi President) Saddam Hussein's regime is a classic illustration of the
fact that such regimes, which ruthlessly violate the rights of their
citizens, tend to pose the greatest threats to international peace and
stability," Powell said.

Israel and the Palestinians both got a ticking off.

The report noted "problems" with Israel's treatment of Israeli Arabs, while
it accused the Palestinian Authority of having a poor human rights record
and continuing "to commit numerous, serious abuses".

The report said members of the Palestinian security forces and Yasser
Arafat's Fatah faction of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) took
part in anti-Israel violence and terrorist attacks.

More criticism was heaped on Central Asian states, including Turkmenistan,
Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan.

All were accused of sharpening state control over dissent, more than a
decade into the post-Soviet era.

Burma, a frequent target of US scorn, earned new black marks, as the report
lauded the bravery of democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

"Her tremendous strength of character stands boldly in the face of the
military regime's disregard for human rights and democracy, a disregard that
extends to abuses such as extrajudicial killings, rapes, disappearances,
forced labour and forced relocations," the report said.

With the US locked in a nuclear showdown with North Korea, the report took
the opportunity to highlight what it said was the use by Kim Jong-Il's
regime of torture, forced abortion and capital punishment as instruments of
state power.

The human rights record of the third member of President George W Bush's
"axis of evil", Iran, "remained poor and deteriorated substantially during
the year, despite continuing efforts within society to make the government
accountable for its human rights policies," the report said.

"Systematic abuses included summary executions; disappearances; widespread
use of torture and other degrading treatment, reportedly including rape;
severe punishments such as stoning and flogging; harsh prison conditions;
arbitrary arrest and detention; and prolonged and incommunicado detention,"
it said.

The report also ripped into Zimbabwe's human rights record, accusing
President Robert Mugabe's government of conducting an intentional,
systematic campaign of abuses.

The report accused the government of extrajudicial killings as well as
beatings, rapes and torture, restricting freedoms of speech and the press,
undermining the judicial system and failing to crack down on blatant rights
abuses.
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