"The Zimbabwe Situation" news page
New Zealand Herald 8 August 2000
McKinnon's 'robustness' tested in
LONDON - Commonwealth Secretary-General Don
McKinnon has admitted his
May trip to Fiji during the country's hostage
crisis was a failure.
Mr McKinnon went to Suva to get directly involved
in negotiations with
coup leader George Speight, but his intervention did not
release of the hostages, who were finally freed late last
Mr McKinnon told the Times newspaper in London that while the
failed, "time and again they told us we have to resolve this
there is nothing you in the Commonwealth can do for
"There were some pretty odd characters waving guns around, but I
felt under threat. I didn't worry about it."
Mr McKinnon said he
admitted to being "politically incorrect," which the
paper called a
refreshing antidote to the blandness of his three
said his "All Black-style robustness" had been severely tested by
coup and the Zimbabwe elections.
With the latter, he was loudly
criticised for saying that it was
possible for the elections to be "fair and
free." Looking back, he
conceded that "the elections were not free of
intimidation and violence
Although he could speak out
now, he still could not act, for the powers
available to the Commonwealth
Secretary-General limited his freedom.
Given there was no military coup or
cancelled elections, he said he
would not, could not, have done
"We are not here to recolonise Africa, we are not here to
impose a whole set of values on an African country because we don't
what they're doing.
"They have to sort out themselves their own
future, and they will do it
in their own way. Zimbabwe hadn't crossed the
line, hadn't committed the
offence required for suspension."
previous quotes that "African politics is volatile at the best
of times" and
distinguishing between "white people and African people"
which have portrayed
him as a dismissive colonialist were taken out of
politically incorrect, I agree. But I don't believe the
Commonwealth can ever
do enough in Zimbabwe to satisfy the British media
or Her Majesty's
He hoped some day to own a farm. "I have just deviated in my
If you'd like to
discuss the state of the Commonwealth with this
powerful and influential
personage, fire away:
Don McKinnon :
Pall Mall London
Tel: 0171-839 3411; Fax: 0171:839 9081;
August 21, 2000, Vol. 156 No.
View from the Veranda
wait for clarity on land resettlement programs
By JIM SINCLAIR
I have a farm in
Africa, southwest of Harare in the province of Mashonaland, that has been in the
family since 1933 and now has a fourth generation of our grandchildren living on
it. It has seen many events, including our wedding in 1965, one golden wedding
celebration, family christenings and one murder, that of my wife's mother,
killed in May 1980 in the aftermath of the liberation war that brought Robert
Mugabe to power. So it is a place of potent memories, some happy and some sad.
The veranda is a place where I go to think because it looks out onto my wife's
garden of indigenous shrubs and trees and there is a peaceful feel to it. Today
it is also a place from which one can see if any invaders are driving down the
road to the farm.
For the first time in my life, the view from my
veranda is not at all clear. I know there is legal process to be gone through so
that the government may take over my farm to redistribute it to landless
peasants. But I also know that the rule of law has been hopelessly subverted by
the illegal farm occupations of the last six months. In the legal process I am
entitled to a court hearing to defend my ownership and to be given time to make
arrangements. Mr. Mugabe says he will pay for the improvements but not the land.
But he has not told us how he will fund that payment, nor on what basis that
valuation will take place or who will do it. The farm was the subject of an
acquisition order in 1997 and we have not heard from the government since. But
if this farm is resettled on the sort of haphazard basis that has been taking
place recently, almost $1 million worth of agricultural produce - beef, pork,
maize and tobacco - will not find its way to the market in the future, either
locally or for sale on world markets. I further cannot see clearly what is going
to happen to the 75 black families that work on this farm, some who have been
here for three or four generations. There have been so many conflicting
statements made on the subject by so many people that the farm workers cannot be
blamed for being, like ourselves, completely confused.
We are now going
into the planting season and we will be sowing our crops into fields already
staked out illegally several times over by the so-called war veterans while the
police stood by. There is no clarity on our legal rights to our property and the
organs of the State are being used to frighten us and to interfere in producing
food for the nation and providing livelihoods for our workers.
is littered with this sort of anarchy. The Cultural Revolution in China comes to
mind, as does the late Julius Nyerere's ill-fated ujamaa project in Tanzania.
But I never expected my country to be afflicted with this kind of madness. There
is unanimity on the need for land reform. There is land available and an
agreement was drawn up in 1998 for a program of sustainable land resettlement
which would have been financed by aid from Western countries. The government of
Zimbabwe has failed utterly to meet the terms of that agreement.
ask why we carry on. The answer is simply that we do not have another veranda.
This is still our property and our home and our livelihood. We are citizens of
Zimbabwe and are entitled to the protection of the law just like anyone else. We
have made a large contribution to this country and wish to continue to do so.
The prospect from my veranda is brightened, however, by three things.
The first is that the workers and their families on the farm are totally
supportive of us. The second is the strong support and love that our own family
has shown. We have two sons and a daughter-in-law involved in the family
business and we have met and faced down challenges that not many people have had
to handle. The third is that the people of Zimbabwe are now beginning to make
their voices heard and show their opposition to the anarchy and lawlessness that
stalk our country. The recent electoral setbacks for the ruling party were
evidence of that.
So we take each day one at a time, with the realistic
view from the veranda not so different from what it has been for the last 70
years or so. Our tractors are tilling the fields in advance of our next crops,
the cattle have been well tended during our African winter and, when this
madness is over, we hope we will be able to get on with doing what we do best:
farming the land, raising livestock and earning some hard currency to sustain
the country's economic activity.
Twenty years after independence, Zimbabwe is still riven by
political and economic turmoil
By ELINOR SHIELDS
Two decades ago when Zimbabwe won its
independence, the country had the potential to become an African success story:
fertile soil, abundant mineral resources and a new government that spoke of
modernization and reform. But today Zimbabwe seems caught in a downward spiral
of economic and political decline.
In April 1980, the former British
colony of Southern Rhodesia was internationally recognized as the independent
state of Zimbabwe. The country's new government was headed by the Zimbabwe
National African Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF), a group of African
nationalists that had fought for a different kind of independence from that
declared by Ian Smith's white regime in 1965 (TIME, Nov.
5, 1965). For almost 15 years Smith led settler-ruled Rhodesia in a
rebellion against Britain,
while African nationalists -- including
the ZANU-PF -- waged a bush war for black government (TIME, March 20,
Zimbabwean leaders Robert Mugabe
and Joshua Nkomo at a London conference in September
ZANU-PF's former guerrilla leader, Robert Mugabe, became the
first head of Zimbabwe, calling for "a new spirit that must unite and not
divide." But while Zimbabwe had a new name and a new leader, it was still beset
by old problems. The racial inequalities institutionalized by white rule
persisted in the disparity between black and white incomes and black Zimbabweans
wanted their fair share of the prime farming territory that had been carved up
for white ownership by settlers from the 1890s onwards.
Mugabe opted for
a conciliatory stance, pledging to redress racial and class injustices,
redistribute land and promote economic development. But Zimbabwe was virtually
bankrupt after the long war for independence and the economy was further
weakened by the mass emigration of Europeans and a severe drought in the early
1980s. The slow pace of land reform led to particular tension in Matabeleland in
southwestern Zimbabwe, the home of the Ndebele people and the heartland of the
Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU), the main opposition party and onetime
allies with ZANU in the struggle against apartheid. But now, once more, they
were rivals and the tensions between them and their ethnic groups increased as
the government accused ZAPU's leader, Joshua Nkomo, of inciting violence in the
region. The government began a prolonged military campaign against the
dissidents that claimed thousands of lives (TIME, March
It was not until 1987 that Mugabe and Nkomo resolved the
feud, agreeing to merge the two factions into a single-party Marxist-Leninist
government (TIME, Jan. 4, 1988). Mugabe became
Zimbabwe's first executive President and the larger ZANU-PF went on to win the
1990 elections. After a decade in office Mugabe had come closer to his vision of
one-party socialist rule, and he demonstrated the power of the state by cracking
down on sporadic student protests in the early 1990s.
Chronic food and
fuel shortages, inflation, unemployment, corruption, government inertia and the
stalled program of land resettlement sparked widespread discontent in 1992.
Another drought in Southern Africa added to the country's economic difficulties
(TIME, May 4, 1992). And the discovery of evidence
of atrocities committed by government forces in Matabeleland in the 1980s
increased popular resentment. Despite the continuing political malaise, ZANU-PF
won a fourth general election in 1995 and Mugabe was returned to office as
President in 1996. His government was unpopular, but no opposition party was
strong enough to pose a serious challenge.
Land remained an inflammatory and
divisive issue. In 1992 Mugabe passed legislation that prepared the way for the
compulsory purchase of land by the government, alienating both the
white-dominated Commercial Farmers' Union and Western aid donors (TIME, March 23, 1992). He used land reform as a political
rallying call again in 1997, when he pledged to seize white land in a bid to
cool the fury erupting in the streets (TIME, Dec. 22,
1997). By now the once- promising economy was on the verge of collapse.
Angered by low wages and escalating prices, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade
Unions (ZCTU) went on a series of one-day strikes (TIME, Feb. 16, 1998 and TIME, Feb. 1, 1999).
Landowner Pippa van Rechteren and her
daughters watch as protesters sing on the other side of an electric
Despite the dire economic situation, Mugabe made a costly
committment of troops to the Democratic Republic of Congo in support of
President Laurent Kabila's offensive against foreign-backed rebels fighting to
overthrow his regime. Mugabe's response to the ZCTU protests was to ban strikes,
and in February of this year he attempted to amend the country's constitution to
further bolster his autocratic control and allow him to seize white farmers'
land. But the political tide was turning and he was defeated in a referendum on
the reform by a new political party, the Movement for Democratic Change, and
other opposition groups -- the first opposition victory in any vote since
independence (TIME, Feb. 28, 2000).
Undaunted, Mugabe pressed for and got parliamentary approval for the power to
confiscate white-owned farms. It was a move that triggered diplomatic alarms and
international condemnation (TIME, Apr. 17,
In an atmosophere of turbulence and intimidation, elections
eventually took place in June 2000 (TIME, July 10,
2000) which saw Mugabe cling to power, but also marked the emergence of a
powerful and unified voice of opposition. The ruling ZANU-PF party won 62 of the
120 directly-elected seats with Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) winning 57
seats--a stunning result for the fledgling party led by Morgan
Tsvangirai, whose ambitions for the presidency begin to look plausible.
After 20 years in power, Mugabe has delivered neither the economic stability nor
the social unity he pledged when he first took office. The country continues to
be plagued by chronic shortages of food and fuel, and white farmers still live
in fear that their farms will be seized. Mugabe's promise of "a new spirit that
must unite and not divide" rings hollow in the wind of change that is blowing
From NZ Herald 14 August 2000
Mau Mau vets seek
NYERI-- Elderly men dressed in tattered suit jackets gathered
Saturday to mark the 50th anniversary of their rebel movement
British colonial rule and pleaded for the Kenyan Government to lift
decades-old ban against them.
The Mau Mau movement was outlawed by
British authorities on August 12,
1950, because it was considered a secret
society that was a danger to
the colony, and members were jailed, tortured
About 250 veterans of the movement, who have been largely
successive Kenyan Governments since the country's independence in
appealed for a field where they could build a Mau Mau Memorial
After the men sang revolutionary songs from the 1950s,
Ndung'u Gecheru, chairman of the Mau Mau War Veterans'
the group wanted recognition for the important role its
in Kenya's independence movement.
"How can we be
dangerous to our country which we fought to liberate?"
Gecheru asked the
Former President Jomo Kenyatta, himself jailed by the British in
a Mau Mau collaborator, did not lift restrictions on the rebel
Instead, he reissued the ban in 1970 in an effort to consolidate
and silence dissent. President Daniel Arap Moi has left the ban
The Mau Mau movement grew out of Kenya's Central Province
mostly of Kikuyu, the largest tribe in Kenya, who saw much of
land taken by white colonists. The movement gained notoriety
1953-1956 Mau Mau uprising, during which 11,503 alleged rebels
killed, and British security forces suffered 167 casualties.
Mau Mau also killed 32 European settlers, spreading terror in
Africa, but more than 1800 African civilians were killed
during the same
period, many by British troops.
"The recognition of the Mau Mau is very
important for this country. They
should die in honour, not in shame," said
Wanyiri Kihoro, an opposition
member of Parliament.
officials nor leaders of the ruling Kenya African
National Union Party
attended Saturday's ceremony and have not commented
on the group's
A different group of Mau Mau veterans on Thursday presented the
Embassy in Kenya with a petition demanding compensation for the
of Mau Mau members, their families and land seizures associated with
uprising. The group said that if they were not paid, they would sue
British Government. --
- Jonathan Moyo in trouble
- Mugabe now spends $1,5b a month to prop up Kabila
- Tonnes of sugar cane go missing after war veterans, villagers raid
- Chiredzi ranch
- 100 people including Banana in open prison
- Defiant vets go ahead with land allocation
- Miners down tools over pay
- Union asks guards to go back to work
- Ex-detainees slam police over probe
- War vets arrested for alleged torture of victims at stadium
- CCZ urges buying clubs for price-hit consumers
- ICFU calls for proper land reform blueprint
- Disease outbreak looms at Murewa Prison, says MP
- Zimbabwe mounts world's biggest mosquito net
- Tommy Sithole back at Zimpapers
Moyo in trouble
8/15/00 11:37:05 AM (GMT +2)
Jonathan Moyo, the Minister of State for Information and
resigned as a visiting professor after receiving a disciplinary
from the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) last month.
university's legal advisors sent him a letter of "abscondment", a
in disciplinary action, to force him to engage with his
colleagues and report
on progress on his research project.
Last night Moyo confirmed he had
resigned from Wits.
"I resigned and Wits accepted my resignation," he said.
because I had accepted an appointment in the government. They
me and asked me to return or they would presume me to have resigned.
had agreed to return but then that was before my new appointment."
years ago, Moyo was given funding of more than $7 million from the
International Development Agency for a research project, reports
newspaper in Johannesburg.
The money was paid to Moyo from the research
account at Wits, which was
to administer his project. The project, anchored
to the Department of
Political Science at Wits, allowed Moyo to call himself
On the basis of his association with Wits and the
project, Moyo was
granted a work permit in South Africa. But in the last
year, he has
rarely been in contact with Wits.
Instead, he took on a
high-profile job to promote Zimbabwe"s proposed
constitutional reform. He
then became a spokesperson and strategist for
Zanu PF in run-up to the last
election in which the ruling party"s
majority was slashed from 118 elected
seats to 62.
Wits sent a letter of abscondment to Moyo last month. Tom Lodge,
the Department of Political Science at Wits, said Moyo had now
After the election President Mugabe appointed Moyo
to Parliament and
made him a Minister of State for Information in the
The Star said Moyo was funded with up to $10,5 million to
research project at Wits but has so far failed to deliver any
it. It is understood that Wits will attempt to recover the
Moyo told The Daily News: "I started the project in 1998. We
research workshops and meetings and the results of the research
published by the Association of Political Science in Zimbabwe and by
University of California in the United States."
He said the
allegations were coming from "people making the usual
figment of their imagination. I wonder if these are the same
people who have
been sending me threats".
Moyo said: "There is no reference to the money in
Moyo had been living in an expensive house in
Saxonwold suburb with his second wife and
For more than a year during his contracts in Zimbabwe, he lived in
suite at the upmarket Sheraton Hotel in Harare.
Moyo has refused to
disclose how much public money he earned for
promoting the draft constitution
or for his job as Zanu PF campaign
Moyo was a highly respected
academic in Zimbabwe before he left the
country to work for the Ford
Foundation in Nairobi.
He returned to Zimbabwe last year and surprised his
former colleagues at
the University of Zimbabwe by suddenly embracing Zanu
PF, a party he had
previously criticised in articles in newspapers and
magazines for its
undemocratic performance at all levels of political life in
Moyo energetically courted the South African parliamentary
monitoring the election and worked successfully to get better
for Zanu PF from the SABC during the run-up to the Zimbabwean
now spends $1,5b a month to prop up Kabila
8/15/00 10:31:39 AM (GMT
THE presence of Zimbabwe's 11 000 soldiers
in the Democratic Republic of
Congo (DRC) is now estimated to be costing $1,5
billion a month.
Economists Eric Bloch and John Robertson, in
separate interviews, said
the government was spending $50 million a day in
The government, facing hard currency and fuel shortages, had
spending up to $114 million a month to keep the soldiers in the
before the devaluation of the dollar last month.
Bloch said the
soldiers should be pulled out of the DRC at the earliest
as the cost of their continued presence would rise
to $18 billion a
"The withdrawal of the soldiers could benefit us in the form of
currency needed badly to buy fuel and other import needs and to speed
the reduction of inflation," said Bloch, an economic analyst
director of companies based in Bulawayo.
"The government's withdrawal
of the soldiers will improve our
relationship with the international
community in general and would be a
major step forward towards the
restoration of support by the
International Monetary Fund, World Bank and
other donor agencies," he
The country's economic recovery programme
would improve, he said.
"Having made the initial mistake of going into the
DRC, we must now
minimize the costs by withdrawing without further delay,"
Robertson, who runs a consultancy in Harare, described the
stay of the soldiers in the DRC as nonsense.
"It is ridiculous.
That's way beyond our means as a country."
He said the high rate of inflation
had to be brought down with a lot of
work needed to restore confidence in the
"We are now looking at the consequences of the inflation, of
depreciation of the dollar, high interest rates, rising unemployment
the government's failure to meet its international obligations
failing to pay its debts, that's a very serious issue," said
Meanwhile, the United Nations will not deploy peacekeepers in
Democratic Republic of the Congo until it has received
guarantees for its personnel from all parties involved in the
the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation reported last
Southern African development Community leaders are meeting in
Zambian capital, Lusaka, to map the way forward in the DRC
which is now in its third year.
Angola, Zimbabwe and Namibia have deployed
forces in that country to
help Laurent Kabila's government which has been
besieged by rebels
supported by Rwanda and Uganda.
Zimbabwe has about 11
000 troops stationed in the DRC.
The ZBC report quoted Zambian President
Frederick Chiluba as saying
Rwanda and Uganda continued to violate the
ceasefire prevailing in the
DRC while the Organisation of African Unity
Ahmed Salim urged all leaders involved in the
conflict to renew their
commitment to the peace process.
Nations said it had mobilised countries which were eager to
peacekeepers and was ready to move in if the safety of the
of sugar cane go missing after war veterans, villagers raid
8/15/00 10:34:51 AM (GMT +2)
Daily News Correspondent,
ABOUT 125 tonnes of sugar cane worth $140 000 was stolen last
Levanga Ranch in the Save Valley in Chiredzi while several
The ranch was invaded by war veterans and
villagers from Sangwe communal
lands who have declared it a "no go
The Save conservancy administrator, Graham Connear, told The Daily
yesterday that 25 bundles of cane disappeared from the ranch
villagers from Gudo area in Sangwe communal lands of Chiredzi
He said the cane was carried away in ox-drawn carts
during the night by
villagers and former freedom fighters.
have declared the ranch a "no go" area," said Connear.
"About 25 bundles of
five tonnes each were stolen. The invaders are just
doing whatever they want
and have threatened to kill anyone who sets
foot in the ranch."
because of the death threats, a farm manager had abandoned
"Several rhinos are feared dead as uncontrolled poaching
He said because the invaders were hostile, it had
become difficult to
conduct routine checks on the rhino population.
have managed to locate a few rhinos that were badly damaged
There is no doubt that several have been killed and more are
die if the situation does not improve," he said.
He said the
occupants had started allocating land among themselves and
cutting down trees
indiscriminately in the
people including Banana in open prison
8/15/00 10:36:07 AM (GMT
ABOUT 100 people, including the former
president, Canaan Banana, are
being held at Connemara Prison in Kwekwe under
the open prison system.
Although the Zimbabwe Prison Service refused
to give details yesterday,
a spokesman for the Zimbabwe Association for the
Care and Rehabilitation
of the Offender (Zacro), Samuel Muyambo, said: "We
have always advocated
for the open prison system."
He said about 100
prisoners were serving sentences for various
convictions at the
"To some extent it overcomes the deficiency of the ordinary
system because it prepares the prisoner for life after prison. That
something that the ordinary prison system is failing to do as it
not prepare the person to rejoin society," Muyambo said.
He said the
new system, on experiment at Connemara prison, allowed for
between inmates and their families.
"Visitors are not restricted to the
normal 30 minutes as under the old
system. It is so relaxed that the prisoner
is allowed maximum time with
friends and relatives," he said.
ago, Banana was spotted in Harare conducting private business.
He said he had
been allowed to visit the capital on medical grounds.
Commenting on the
introduction of community service, Muyambo said his
organisation welcomed it.
"Community service is one of the innovative
moves that this country has
taken. The families of the convicts have
benefited because they are with
their families every day while the
person is serving his or her sentence.
Government has saved millions of
dollars by not imprisoning offenders with
minor crimes as it now costs
more than $2 000 a month to maintain a
prisoner," he said.
Community service was introduced to help curb the
Overcrowded prisons have led to the spread
of communicable diseases such
as tuberculosis and HIV/Aids. In 1998, the
Ministry of Health and Child
Welfare was forced to vaccinate all prisoners at
Central and Bindura prisons against meningitis after three
died of the highly infectious
vets go ahead with land allocation
8/15/00 10:40:18 AM (GMT
WAR veterans and suspected Zanu PF youths
yesterday continued allocating
stands to people at Stud Farm in Mount
Hampden, while in Kambuzuma the
pro-government supporters were busy cutting
down trees and pegging for
A large number of people from Mt
Hampden and elsewhere converged at the
farm yesterday morning, waiting to be
"Let those who want to talk continue doing so," said Abraham
"while some of us are actually taking the land. The time for talking
now over, this is the time for action."
Mandeya, 30, a father of two,
said he needs land on which to build his
house because he could not stand the
idea of "dying a lodger, paying
money on a monthly basis when I can also
afford to build my own house".
The ex-combatants have apparently ignored
calls by war veterans' leader
Chenjerai Hunzvi, during the Heroes' Day
holiday, for them to stop farm
invasions and allocating of stands and make
way for a
government-sanctioned resettlement programme being
down tools over pay
8/15/00 10:32:54 AM (GMT +2)
ZIMBABWE lost about $20 million yesterday, most of it in
currency, when 15 000 mine workers went on strike after the failure
negotiations in a collective bargaining exercise, the mining
officials said yesterday.
Doug Verden, a spokesman
for the Chamber of Mines, said about half of
the mines shut down yesterday
after the Associated Mine Workers Union of
Zimbabwe called a work
"About 15 000 workers are on strike and this is bad for the economy
some of the mines could fail to recover," he said.
Mutandare, the president of the workers' union, said the
continue until the chamber agreed to negotiate this year's
salaries on the
dollar value principle.
Workers at 17 of the 40 major mines, including Renco,
the Lonrho group
and Shangani had joined the strike.
Also affected were
Ripple Creek, Limestone near Redcliff and Buchwa in
Mberengwa, suppliers of
iron ore to the Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company
The three mines
provide 100 000 tonnes of iron ore a month to Zisco.
If the strike continues,
production at the giant steel works could grind
to a halt.
Ripple Creek and Limestone mines staged a demonstration in
morning demanding a salary increase.
Verden said mining earned Zimbabwe $6,54
billion between January and
May, putting the cost of yesterday's strike at an
estimated $20 million.
"The strike has several knock-on effects as some of
the workers could
lose their jobs," he said.
The mining industry is one of
the biggest earners of foreign currency,
raking in about $30 billion a
The strike comes at a time when the industry is under stress because
serious foreign currency shortages which forced the recent closures
Broken Hill Proprietary (BHP), Eureka, Venice and Athens
Mutandare said the miners worked in dangerous conditions and
"We are not going back. There is no way the chamber could
accuse us of
harming the economy when they are refusing to pay meaningful
Verden, however, said a determination issued by the
labour court last
week had referred the dispute for compulsory arbitration,
workers not to go on strike before the matter was
Negotiations between the chamber, representing the employers, and
union,broke down two weeks
asks guards to go back to work
8/15/00 10:38:17 AM (GMT
THE Commercial Workers' Union of Zimbabwe
(CWUZ) has urged all striking
security guards to return to work or face
Phillip Matumba, a union spokesman said yesterday: "The
illegal and if they continue they will be served with a letter
disposal from the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and
The strike entered its second week yesterday.
guards are demanding a wage increment of 150 percent as opposed to
percent awarded by their employers in July.
They said 45 percent was not
enough to sustain them, considering the
harsh economic conditions in the
Matumba said the guards were being misled by a rival union, the
Security Workers' Union (Pisewu) which he alleged was illegal.
said although it was a registered union, his union had appealed
registration of the rival union and the matter was still to
Matumba said this meant that Pisewu had no right to call for a
and proposing a 150 percent
slam police over probe
8/15/00 10:43:14 AM (GMT +2)
EX-POLITICAL prisoners have accused Nkulumane police of
investigations into the alleged abduction of Patrick Nabanyama, a
of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), by a group of war
on 19 June.
At an inter-district meeting of the Bulawayo
branch of the Zimbabwe
Ex-Political Prisoners, Detainees and Restrictees'
in Mpopoma, the branch chairman, Reginald Malinga,
complained that the
police had taken a long time to investigate the
"We are concerned that Nabanyama was kidnapped by war veterans from
house on 19 June," he said. "Up to now, he has not been seen.
Nkulumane police know what happened to him but they are not
Nabanyama was an election agent for David Coltart,
the MDC MP for
"If Nabanyama had been a Zanu PF member,
the police would have
investigated the matter promptly and brought the
culprits to book," said
Malinga. "What they did in Nabanyama's case was very
Five members of the Bulawayo province of the
war veterans' association
have since appeared in court on charges of
kidnapping Nabanyama. They
are Cain Nkala, 42, the provincial chairman, Simon
Rwodzi, 48, Ngoni
Dube, 45, Frackson Ndlovu, 41, and Aleck Moyo, 50.
if Nabanyama was an MDC member, the law must take its course. War
were granted too much freedom by President Mugabe to be
lawless. We are
concerned that a number of our members had been targeted
but escaped death by
a whisker," he said.
Nabanyama was a member of Zeppdra, which suspects that
he was murdered
by the war veterans and his body dumped at an undisclosed
"We want his remains to be shown to his family and the public,"
Malinga. "Our association is bitter about what happened to him and
his remains to be buried decently. His family is now suffering
of his abduction."
"His children are now scared of strangers
because they were present when
their father was kidnapped and bundled into a
motor vehicle by some war
Zeppdra has since elected a committee of
district and provincial
officials to set up a welfare fund to assist
vets arrested for alleged torture of victims at stadium
AM (GMT +2)
Daily News Correspondent, Bulawayo
THE police last
week arrested two war veterans in connection with the
torture of civilians in
a small room at Bulawayo's White City Stadium,
used as a torture chamber
during President Mugabe's rally in the run-up
to the June parliamentary
John Ncube and John Hungwe Simbarashe, both of Nkulumane,
were part of a
gang which assaulted civilians suspected to be supporters of
Movement for Democratic Change at the stadium.
The ex-combatants are
also accused of stealing their victims' property,
including cellphones and
their identity cards in an apparent attempt to
prevent them from voting in
One victim, Themba Dube, yesterday said he had recovered his
although he was yet to get his identity card, jacket and a
He was beaten up inside the stadium when he was found with a
the stadium and was accused of planning to kill the
Police in Nkulumane said they were looking for the other members
urges buying clubs for price-hit consumers
8/15/00 10:45:09 AM (GMT
ELIZABETH Nerwande, the director of the
Consumer Council of Zimbabwe
(CCZ), has urged consumers to form buying clubs
through which they would
go straight to producers to buy goods at wholesale
themselves against the escalating prices of basic
Nerwande said in a statement the prices of nearly all
drastically increased, severely affecting nutrition among
marginalized groups "The CCZ would like to demystify the notion
consumers have to literally buy everything from retailers for
"With the current trend of price increases and an unstable
environment, consumers should now be considering the possible
for survival," said Nerwande.
She said the price of beef recently
went up by 25 percent and the CCZ
was encouraging consumers to team up and
pool their financial resources
to buy beasts directly from producers and
share the meat.
"There is need for equitable distribution of natural
resources in our
country to combat poverty which is now way over 70 percent,"
The CCZ urged the business community to demonstrate a high degree
social responsibility and business ethics which, she said, they had
for a long
calls for proper land reform blueprint
8/15/00 10:46:05 AM (GMT
THE 1 500-member Indigenous Commercial
Farmers' Union (ICFU) has urged
the government to come up with a proper land
reform programme for
Zimbabwe to continue producing food.
commercial agriculture sector has since February been crippled by
invasions by war veterans, resulting in the severe disruption of
The war veterans, supported by the government, have occupied more
500 white-owned farms since the run-up to the election in June.
union president, Thomas Nherera said while his association supported
reform programme, it felt there was need to devise a proper
The veterans have recently targeted black-owned commercial
But Nherera said the invasion of the black-owned farms was
not a threat
to his organisation because it was insignificant as very few
had been occupied.
"The farm invasions have not alarmed us as
we have held
behind-the-scenes discussions with the war veterans and the
under control," Nherera said.
He said he was against the farm
invasions as they were causing havoc on
the commercial farms.
Mugabe has said he would not move the war veterans off the
farms as they were
"If the land reform programme is done properly,
there is a chance that
production would increase," Nherera said.
encouraged people being resettled under the accelerated land reform
to use the land productively and take farming as a
"Access to land is not an end in itself.
objective is to ensure there is increased productive use of
land by all given
access to this finite resource," Nherera said.
The government has said it
would acquire about 3 000 farms under the
urged the government to help the new farmers with support
systems and credit
facilities to achieve full production capacity within
the shortest possible
outbreak looms at Murewa Prison, says MP
8/15/00 10:47:44 AM (GMT
THE government should immediately
improve the situation at Murewa
Prison, where a major health disaster is
looming due to overcrowding.
Murewa North MP, Victor Chitongo, told
Parliament last week the prison
was failing to deal with a chickenpox
outbreak due to the overcrowding.
"Murewa Prison is a disaster, Mr Speaker
Sir," said Chitongo. "To the
Leader of the House whose Ministry of Justice,
Legal and Parliamentary
Affairs administers prisons, among other departments,
I am asking for
his immediate intervention to save the situation."
prison was constructed in 1936 for 140 inmates but it has 265
female section, designed for five inmates, is holding 12 prisoners.
It had no
coal or electricity stoves to cook for the prisoners.
"I wonder whether the
minister is aware of the fact that this prison is
surviving on firewood
hand-outs from well-wishers," Chitongo told
The situation was
just as bad at Murewa Hospital, which has two doctors
instead of four and 46
nurses instead of 70.
mounts world's biggest mosquito net
8/15/00 10:49:27 AM (GMT
A MOSQUITO net believed to be the biggest
in the world was last week
mounted at a site near Ruwa in preparation for the
Roll Back Malaria
Conference due to be held in Victoria Falls this
A company which specialises in the manufacturing of products
malaria control, said the mosquito net was produced at a cost of
$200 000 and was billed to find its way into the Guinness Book
The idea of the world's biggest mosquito net was meant to
malaria awareness campaign.
Malaria is one of the world's worst
killer diseases, which claims
thousands of lives every year, particularly
Sithole back at Zimpapers
8/15/00 11:39:15 AM (GMT +2)
Former Herald Editor and Zimbabwe Newspapers (Zimpapers)
Chief Tommy Sithole yesterday returned to the helm of Zimpapers
taking over the chairmanship of the financially troubled
The government, the majority shareholder,
dismissed the entire Nelson
Samkange-led board, whose last function yesterday
was to appoint an
entirely new board, save for Jonee Blanchfield who served
A terse directive issued by Honour Mkushi, chairman
of the Zimbabwe Mass
Media Trust, yesterday gave no indication why the
outgoing board had
fallen foul of government.
Mkushi ordered Samkange to
convene a board meeting whose agenda was to
appoint eight new members.
Samkange"s board was ordered to resign
members are: Sithole, lawyer Sobuza Gula-Ndebele, academic Rudo
Zimbabwe Rainbow Group chief executive Herbert Nkala,
Elizabeth Nerwande, insurance executive Rachel Kupara,
Technologies executive Rose Mukogo and businesswoman
ran on a collision course with Matthews Kunaka, who resigned
two weeks ago as
Zimpapers chief executive. Company secretary Allan
Choruma, who also tendered
his resignation, is due to leave.
Sithole left Zimpapers this year after 19
years with the group. He
served as editor of The Chronicle in Bulawayo before
moving to The
Herald where he rendered many years of faithful service. He was
in mysterious circumstances and replaced in 1998 by former
director, Bornwell Chakaodza.
Chakaodza recently also assumed
the function of managing director
responsible for the newspaper division and
was appointed simultaneously
to the Zimpapers board.
The changes yesterday
effectively signal the end of Chakaodza's term as
a board member, making his
possibly the shortest term of any Zimpapers
have been reports of rumblings among staff over the poor
performance of the
company as a result of government interference which
rendered it difficult
for Zimpapers executives to implement sound
management decisions in the face
of increased competition in the
Sales and advertising
volumes of The Herald and other Zimpapers titles
have dropped drastically
over the past year, since the launch of The
The price of
Zimpapers shares has nosedived from 45 cents last December
to around 25 cents