|The ZIMBABWE Situation||Our
thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe |
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.
The Interpol treaty forces France to welcome members of the executive committee of the organisation
And French officials said they had no choice but to allow Mr Chihuri, Interpol's vice-president, into the country, to attend the meeting in Lyon.
"The Interpol treaty forces France to welcome members of the executive committee of the organisation," one said.
He last visited France, on Interpol business, in June.
Instead of feting Chihuri, Interpol should arrest him
Gay rights campaigner, Peter Tatchell
She said it was ironic that he was in France to talk about international policing and the rule of law, when the ruling Zanu PF party was "implicated in widespread human rights abuses".
British gay rights campaigner, Peter Tatchell, who has twice tried to arrest Mr Mugabe under international law, has written to Interpol leaders asking them to arrest Mr Chihuri on torture charges.
French human rights organisations are reported to be exploring whether they can force his arrest.
Mr Chihuri has played a major role in organising the expulsion of white Zimbabwean farmers from their homes.
Police have defied court orders to protect farmers, instead transporting gangs of squatters and "war veterans" to farms whose owners have not left voluntarily.
He is also reported to have chosen a farm for himself.
President Mugabe himself is allowed to travel to UN meetings, despite the sanctions, and is due in Johannesburg for the World Development Summit.
But Zimbabwe's deputy secretary for the disabled, Joshua Malinga, was detained at London's Gatwick airport in July as he travelled from Zimbabwe to a UN conference in New York, and put on a flight back to Harare.
Zimbabwe deplored Mr Malinga's removal and threatened retaliatory measures against UK citizens.
|TUESDAY 27/08/2002 15:07:12|
Cape Town - While experts have condemned Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's new cabinet as a "slap in the face" for President Thabo Mbeki and the Commonwealth, the South African Institute for Race Relations has called on Mbeki to openly denounce Mugabe's actions.
Institute of Security Studies executive director Dr Jakkie Cilliers said on Monday that Mugabe's new cabinet reaffirmed his implacable stance on seizing commercial farmers' land. Cilliers maintains the new cabinet, styled as a "war council" by state media, should be seen as a slap in the face for South Africa, Nigeria and the Commonwealth.
Cilliers said: "Mugabe's cabinet indicates clearly he is not prepared to come to a compromise with the MDC about a government of national unity."
Meanwhile, the SAIRR said "no degree of silent
diplomacy on Mbeki's part can change the fact that he is neglecting to condemn
Mugabe for letting down South Africa, Zimbabwe and Africa."
Mugabe says no room for talks with white farmers
HARARE, Aug. 27 — Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe ruled out talks with white farmers fighting his controversial land seizures on Tuesday, saying they must hand over their farms to landless blacks and learn to share.
Speaking at a rally in southeastern Zimbabwe, Mugabe said there was nothing to talk about because white farmers owned large tracts of land while indigenous blacks had nothing.
''There is no room for talks, there is no room for any negotiations because the real owners of this land are asserting their rights and reclaiming their land,'' he said in remarks broadcast on Zimbabwean television.
''If you (white farmers) want to live with us, to farm alongside us, we, the rightful owners of our ancestral land, will carve out some land for you...but you cannot decide what you will have in our country,'' he said in Zimbabwe's local Shona language.
Mugabe's government has ordered 2,900 farmers of the country's remaining 4,500 white commercial farmers to quit their land without compensation, but nearly two thirds have defied an August 8 deadline.
Nearly 300 have been arrested and charged for defying the orders. Many are on bail but have been ordered to stay away from their farms.
Mugabe, who has been in power since the former Rhodesia gained independence from Britain in 1980, says his land drive is aimed at correcting colonial injustice which left 70 percent of the best farmland in the hands of white farmers.
White farmers say they support land redistribution but are opposed to the government's methods.
Heavily armed police and Central Intelligence Agency officers raided the premises on Monday night and prevented MDC officials from entering.
The lawyer representing the MDC said the police were investigating the murder last week of an official from the ruling Zanu-PF party.
He said they were looking for weapons and suspects named on a search warrant.
The MDC sees the raid as part of a continuing campaign of harassment against the party which has staged the strongest challenge yet to President Robert Mugabe's 22 years in power.
Earlier on Monday the president unveiled his new "war cabinet", replacing his most liberal finance minister to continue his controversial land reform programme.
While farmers are being prevented from harvesting their crops, six million people, half the country's population, are facing severe food shortages.
Tens of thousands of black farm workers have also been left homeless and jobless by the land seizures.
In Angola, United Nations secretary general Kofi Annan has called on Zimbabwe to implement a new land reform programme based on the rule of law, in order to ease its economic and food supply problems.
He said it should allow for proper training and adequate support to new small farmers and pay compensation to displaced farm workers and commercial farmers.
"Such a land reform programme is urgently needed in order to minimise the negative effects of the current situation on food production and the overall economy in Zimbabwe. It would also ensure the engagement and future support of the international community."
Mr Annan is expected to visit Botswana, Lesotho and Mozambique before arriving in South Africa for the World Summit on Sustainable Development.
President Mugabe is banned under sanctions from travelling to much of the West, but is due to attend the 10-day UN environmental summit in in Johannesburg.
The MDC is holding a series of protests there.
By Caiphus Kgosana, Sapa and AFP
Dressed in riot gear and armed with batons and shields, scores of heavily armed police officers lined Alice Street outside the Sandton Convention Centre. Facing them was a small group of protesters armed only with placards.
The group from Ethiopia was the second "official" protest during the summit.
Earlier on Monday a group from Zimbabwe's Movement for Democratic Change had also staged a political protest.
But the small group of about 40, who represent the Oromo Community of South Africa, made enough noise to ensure that they drew attention to their the mistreatment of the Oromo people of Ethiopia.
Spokesperson Shibiru Wondimu said the Oromo were the largest ethnic group in Ethiopia, representing about 50 percent of the population.
"Successive governments in Ethiopia have taken our land and killed our people."
"Five million Oromos have up to now lost their lives," he said.
Three busloads of supporters of the MDC staged an authorised protest march, accusing President Robert Mugabe of "racial cleansing".
Spokesperson Moses Mzila-Ndlovu said the 200 marchers, wearing MDC T-shirts and waving placards berating Mugabe as a "liar", were marching to focus the world's attention on the plight of ordinary Zimbabweans, especially commercial farmers and their workers.
"The world must know, there is a racial cleansing in Zimbabwe. This must be brought to an end," Mzila-Ndlovu said.
Groups opposed to the summit, plan to go ahead with an unauthorised march on Saturday. Speaking for the Social Movements Indaba, US citizen Elise Miller said: "We will march in any case."
Safety and Security Minister Charles Nqakula said agreement on 13 out of 17 applications for protests had been reached, but four applications were still under discussion.
From ZWNEWS, 27 August
Opposition offices surrounded
Armed riot police this morning surrounded the central Harare offices of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change prior to a "massive" search by a large force of plainclothes members of the police and CIO. Party officials in the offices in Harvest House were evicted from the building, and a room-by-room search was underway this morning. A spokesman for the MDC said he was not aware of any search warrant for the government's action. Previous police operations against the party's offices have claimed variously to be searching for arms of war, subversive material, illegal communications equipment, and details of "illegal" party funding, but nothing seized in previous raids has resulted in prosecution. Search warrants have been produced on some occasions and not on others.
From The Observer (UK), 25 August
Bill Saidi: All the news the government likes to read
In its version of What the Papers Say, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation's television service focuses on the Herald of Harare, the capital, and the Chronicle, of Bulawayo, the second city. Both are government owned. Politically, the cities are strongholds of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change. Shown on screen in a two-hour news programme called This Morning are the lead stories on the two papers' front and back pages. The programme features either attacks on the MDC, the British, the Americans or the European Union. The country's only independent daily newspaper, the Daily News, has not once featured it. Neither have any weekly independent papers. On the rare occasions they have been mentioned, they have been vilified for 'publishing falsehoods' - a euphemism for stories that get up the government's nose. Since the constitutional referendum of February 2000, which Mugabe's party, Zanu PF, lost, the government has waged war on the private media, which it blamed for that defeat and for the loss of a huge chunk of its parliamentary representation in the general election in June that year. Since then there has been a war of attrition between the two. The government finally bared its fangs and introduced the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) this year. With booming self-righteousness, the government said it intended to bring an element of 'ethics' into Zimbabwean journalism. For most journalists in the independent media, this was another euphemism – ethical journalism was that which didn't annoy the government.
The independent newspapers have until 31 October to register their companies and their journalists. All journalists, local and foreign, have to pay to be registered. The decision to permit them to operate rests with the Media and Information Commission, chaired by Tafataon Mahoso, head of the government's journalism school, a regular TV panelist and columnist in a government weekly. All these provisions are part of the AIPPA, an acronym which in the Shona language means 'he is bad', a reference to Jonathan Moyo, the junior minister of information who piloted the law's stormy passage through Parliament. He is recognised as the chief architect of Mugabe's pursuit of all journalists critical of his regime. The Act has already netted two editors, Bornwell Chakaodza of the Standard, and Geoff Nyarota of the Daily News, whose case is before the Supreme Court, his paper's lawyers having challenged the law's constitutionality.
A serious setback for the government was last month's acquittal of Andrew Meldrum, correspondent of the Guardian and The Observer. He had filed a dispatch quoting a story in the Daily News in which a man alleged his wife had been beheaded in front of her small children by Zanu PF activists in a remote village in Mashonaland West, Mugabe's home province. On discovering the story was false, the Daily News published an apology, as did the Guardian. But the government pursued Daily News reporter Lloyd Mudiwa and Meldrum, who was acquitted but ordered to be deported within 24 hours. But the High Court suspended the deportation and referred the matter to the Supreme Court. It must decide whether Meldrum, who has lived in Zimbabwe for 22 years, enjoys, as a permanent resident, the same rights as a citizen. The Supreme Court decision, although not dealing with the 'falsehood' of the story which sparked the case, may still have a bearing on the AIPPA which, to every independent journalist in Zimbabwe, is designed virtually to emasculate their freedom of expression, or turn their stories into 'falsehoods' only when they annoy the government.
Bill Saidi, acting deputy editor of the Daily News, is one of Zimbabwe's leading journalists and the author of five novels.
Earlier, the UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, urged Zimbabwe to change its land programme to prevent famine from devastating the country.
But Mr Mugabe's rhetoric just gets stronger and stronger.
And with each speech, the future of the white farmers seems to become more bleak.
The Commercial Farmers Union is split over an internal row, with the CFU president urging dialogue.
But his arrest and President Mugabe's speech seem to suggest this route has now been blocked.
International pressure is mounting, especially with the World Summit on Sustainable Development taking place here in neighbouring South Africa.
But the hardline determination to evict the white farmers as soon as possible continues.
Mr Annan joined criticism of the regime, urging Zimbabwe and its fast-becoming pariah president to change the land reform policy, to compensate the farmers and to ensure those receiving land know what to do with it in order to prevent a looming famine.
But the crisis merely seems to deepen as time runs out for white Zimbabwean
farmers and the thousands of black workers that depend on them for jobs and
WASHINGTON: The US yesterday
dismissed Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's cabinet reshuffle and repeated
its opposition to his leadership of the country. "We have been appalled by the way they've decimated
Zimbabwe's international standing and its ability to produce food at a time when
they have a national emergency," Mr Boucher said.
Mr Mugabe, facing mounting international criticism
over his eviction of white farmers, announced he was dissolving his cabinet five
months after the disputed election win.
Finance Minister Simba Makoni, seen by many as one of
the more moderate cabinet members, and the ailing, sole white member, Health
Minister Timothy Stamps, were dropped from the new line-up.
Mr Makoni was considered a lone voice of dissent in
the cabinet, especially after Mr Mugabe announced a return to socialism and an
end to market reforms in October.
State Department spokesman Richard Boucher indicated there was nothing Mr Mugabe could do to repair his credibility, damaged by a seriously flawed election this year and his pursuit of policies which the US says are threatening the drought-stricken country with famine.
"We have been appalled by the way they've decimated Zimbabwe's international standing and its ability to produce food at a time when they have a national emergency," Mr Boucher said.
Mr Mugabe, facing mounting international criticism over his eviction of white farmers, announced he was dissolving his cabinet five months after the disputed election win.
Finance Minister Simba Makoni, seen by many as one of the more moderate cabinet members, and the ailing, sole white member, Health Minister Timothy Stamps, were dropped from the new line-up.
Mr Makoni was considered a lone voice of dissent in the cabinet, especially after Mr Mugabe announced a return to socialism and an end to market reforms in October.