Zimbabwe's loss is our gain
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe's campaign to seize Zimbabwe's white-owned
proved an unexpected boon for an unassuming Australian farming
As Mr Mugabe has thrown off their farms some of his nation's
farmers, Tom Brinkworth and his wife Pat have found a labour
provided a haven for almost 40 men, women and
Over the past two years Mr Brinkworth has travelled seven times
and has sponsored nine families, with another six on the way, to
work his more than 40 farms in the triangle between Kingston,
Keith in South Australia's fertile South East.
was a kid everybody wanted to be a farmer," Mr Brinkworth said.
nobody wants to be a farmer."
Mr Brinkworth, 68, was spurred into action
in 2003 when he spotted an
advertisement calling for sponsors placed by
former Zimbabwean journalist
Jill Lambert, who has since helped more than
200 families settle in
The humanitarian aspect of the
Brinkworths' actions are not lost on the
families they have housed and
'They're not our parents but they've really taken the place
of them," says
dairy farmer Jan Bronkhorst. Mr Brinkworth said Zimbabwe
normally had dozens of workers.
"The blokes just had
to delegate," he said. "I didn't think they'd be much
families have made Mr Brinkworth eat his words.
"They've coped remarkably
well," he said. "We almost prefer that they don't
know much so that we can
teach them. All they have to be is honest and hard
working, and willing to
Lisa and Thomas Niehaus and children Aiden, Connor and Jessica
first to be taken under the Brinkworths' wing after they lost their
Mr Niehaus, who had more than 40 employees on his produce and
farm, found the new work tough.
"The first couple of months
here almost killed me," he said. "It was a hell
of a wake-up call. We grew
Mr Niehaus, 40, said it was difficult leaving Zimbabwe. He
feels he is
starting life again.
"I'll never be able to own my own
farm. As a farmer here you have to put
down a 40 per cent deposit and I'll
never be able to afford it."
Mr Bronkhorst left his father behind to come
to Australia with his wife
Bridget and children Kaelee and Justin.
nearly got killed by a heap of guys. They threatened my wife and my kids
when that happened I said 'That's it, we're out of here'," he said.
daughter Kaelee was with me when I was threatened and I put her through
window and told her to run home."
The Bronkhorsts' house was surrounded
by a 3m electric security fence and by
bars, and Mrs Bronkhorst said it took
months for the family to relax in the
sleepy South East.
took a couple of months to go out in the paddocks and feel safe,"
Democratic Institute urges Mugabe retirement as best option
06 August 2005
aftermath of reports that South Africa's cabinet had agreed in
bail out Zimbabwe from the IMF and to help with humanitarian
critics and observers have expressed disappointment at Thabo
unwillingness to demand concessions. They say any money given to
Mugabe would be a free gift because the country is not able to pay it
Ivor Jenkins, director of the Institute for Democratic
South Africa (IDASA), said the best plan for Zimbabwe would be
plan for Mugabe as he has become a liability for the whole
believes if a loan is given, South Africa should insist that
establish a more open democracy and agree to some specific economic
Without such concessions, Jenkins believes there would be no
SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe
Farmers appeal to world arbitration over
Harare, Zimbabwe, 08/07 - A group of 60 Dutch farmers have
taken Zimbabwe to
international arbitration after Harare seized their farms
landless peasants under its controversial land
The farmers said they had filed their case with the US-based
Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, an affiliate of
The group claims the farmers` property was protected
by a Bilateral
Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (Bippa) signed
between the two
countries, and should therefore have been spared the
The Zimbabwe government seized thousands of farms from white
owned the bulk of the country`s arable land, to resettle
An official at the Dutch embassy in Harare, Lily
Talapessy, said the farmers
were seeking compensation from the government
for the loss of the farms.
"The farmers do not demand more than Zimbabwe
has agreed to compensate,
stipulated in the Bippa between Zimbabwe and the
Netherlands," Talapsessy, a
first secretary at the Dutch Embassy,
"Where the government has not followed the agreed procedure, the
farmers claim compensation, mutually agreed and paid in the currency
into the account of their individual choice," she added.
Dutch farmers were affected by Zimbabwe`s land reforms, and lost
property. The majority grew flowers.
Sent: Monday, August 08, 2005 2:05 AM
Subject: Update - Hatcliffe Extension 5 August 05
On Friday 5 August I visited Hatcliffe Extension
for the second time since the people had been allowed back to their stands in
the "New Stands" area. 4000 stands have been allocated or reallocated. Many
people are back, but some have not yet come, presumably because they have not
been informed about the reallocation. Some are now too sick, like Mr M.. who is
still in Epworth with relatives. Some have not found the money to transport
their belongings back.
Very few people have been given the 4 asbestos
sheets promised by Minister Muchena & co when they addressed residents 2
weeks ago. Some were promised they would be given the sheets last Monday, but
so far no-one has come back to fulfil that promise. In any case, those asbestos
sheets are narrower than a single bed, and scarcely longer - they cannot make a
house with that! Residents are however very busy putting up their shelters with
whatever they can find, and some are already making solid foundations for
substantial houses. Many are living in bits of plastic and any corrugated iron
etc they managed to salvage and hide before they were chased away - but at least
one young mother is sleeping in the open with her baby, she doesn't even have
plastic. We are asking well-wishers to please now help with plastic sheeting
and building materials if at all possible. It is so tragic that all these
residents had adequate, if flimsy, shelter 3 months ago, and many now cannot
afford to replace even that basic shelter!
The promise of extra lessons to make up the two
months of lost classes has come to nothing - there are no facilities at all for
extra lessons. Many parents have opted to wait until the new term begins in
September rather than wasting more school fees for just 3 or 4 days of lessons
at the end of this term. However it is unclear whether Zambuko Primary School
will reopen. Currently it is being vandalised, with a number of broken window
panes and probably books etc from the classrooms are disappearing, if not
already gone. The corrugated iron roofing on the main hall is being "helped" to
The biggest shock was the Clinic, near the school,
which has disappeared! It was still standing and unharmed a month ago, and we
were told it would probably re-open, but only the foundations remain. Before
and after photos are available on request.
I am very concerned that so many efforts from
churches, NGO's and individual well-wishers have been destroyed by the regime
and its agents in this Operation Murambatsvina. I know that it will be
extremely difficult to persuade those people and organisations to invest in the
residents of Hatcliffe Extension a second time round, after this deliberate
destruction. They also need major infrastructure investment in terms of
boreholes and/or upgrading of the Municipality infrastructure to be able to cope
with their water and sewerage requirements, etc - it is not clear what help, if
anything, they will get at that level.
Meanwhile, it is still very cold at night, and many
residents have lost their property one way or another in the various upheavals,
so we appeal yet again for whatever you may be able to give to assist -
especially building materials and plastic sheeting. Also warm clothes,
blankets, children's clothes, and dry foods esp. mealie meal. Donations can be
dropped directly at New Stands (opposite SIRDC and further down the hill near
the contractors' site) or at St Augustine's Catholic Church in Hatcliffe One
(access from Scam Way off the Borrowdale Rd before Domboshawa) or small amounts
at my Parliamentary office in Mt Pleasant Hall (leave with caretaker Mr
Gwarada), my home at 4 Ashbrittle Crescent, Emerald Hill or at Our Lady of the
Wayside Mt Pleasant (crnr The Chase/Pendennis Rd) or St Gerards in Borrowdale.
Every donation goes to very deserving people, and we are very grateful for
everything, however small!
Trudy Stevenson MP
Harare North Constituency
Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe
Farmer goes berserk
issue date :2005-Aug-08
ABOUT 300 hectares of crops worth
billions of dollars belonging to Zimbabwe's
ambassador to China, Chris
Mutsvangwa, and the director of State Occasions
Anne Knuth, were reportedly
destroyed by a disgruntled former commercial
farmer, only identified as
The two government officials were last year allocated Nickleson's
Farm, part of the vast Burgandy Estate in the prime farming zone
Nickleson allegedly resorted to sabotage tactics in a vain bid to
operations on the farm.
Knuth and Mutsvangwa have since sought the
intervention of Mashonaland West
provincial governor Nelson Samkange,
alleging that immense graft had crept
into Chegutu district. A clique of
remaining white farmers are apparently
working in cahoots with politicians
to remain on a number of farms.
Documents at hand allege that Nickleson was
allowed to wind up his
operations at the farm but became hostile and
reportedly set his cattle to
graze on 15 hectares of seed maize crop in
A further 70 hectares of seed maize and 45 hectares of seed sugar
said to have wilted after Nickleson's farm manager, a Bolton,
removed irrigation equipment from the plots.
hectares of sugar beans were razed after Thornhurst Investments,
contracted by the Jewel Bank to assemble irrigation equipment at
delayed the job.
Bolton allegedly removed electricity circuit breakers a
Thornhurst finally delivered.
"In April, 150 hectares of
land had been prepared for the winter wheat.
"However, six irrigation pumps
and engines were removed, all to sabotage and
throttle our winter planting
"It is surprising that whilst we are going through all this naked
and hustles with Nickleson/Bolton, while these reports have reached
of all top government officials and authorities in Chegutu, none of
officials have dared to correct this inconvenience.
"This leaves us
with no hesitation to conclude that they are on the side of
inconveniencer since some pipes and sprinklers removed from the premises
found their way to the Selous councillor's farm and other officials around
Chegutu," Knuth alleged in a letter to Samkange, dated 24 May 2005.
confirmed last week that together with Mutsvangwa they had sought the
provincial governor's help, after suspecting underhand dealings were at play
as pleas for assistance from local political and government departments,
including the police, were hitting brick walls. "I don't want to name
people, but I sought the governor's (Samkange) intervention after realising
that it was impossible to farm. They were not forthcoming," Knuth
"However, after we wrote the letter, Nickleson was asked by the
Administrator (DA) for Chegutu to bring back the pumps."
letter was also copied to the DA and other government officials.
yesterday said the dispute could have been dealt with at a lower
he quickly pointed out that he was prepared to intervene if the
still facing problems.
"If I am appraised of the current state of the
situation, I will be quite
happy to resolve it," he said.
officer-in-charge of Selous Police Station confirmed receiving
Knuth and Mutsvangwa but referred questions to the police
headquarters in Chinhoyi.
"We have received the complaints,
but we are not allowed to speak to the
press. Talk to the provincial public
relations officer in Chinhoyi," he said
adding that four reports were
Efforts to get comment from Nickleson were fruitless at the time of
The Daily Mirror investigations last week
revealed that graft had reached
alarming levels in Chegutu
Information at hand shows that about 20 white commercial farmers
assumed immense influence to dictate things after allegedly pumping out
millions in this year's parliamentary polls to prop up chances of prominent
local politicians in return for protection against compulsory acquisitions
of their properties.
Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe
High Court delays hearing CHRA urgent
The Daily Mirror Reporter
THE Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) has
unacceptable delays in setting down their urgent application to
Court challenging the continuous stay in office of the commission
The commission was appointed in December last
CHRA's legal committee chairperson and MDC MP for Harare North Trudy
Stevenson, said they filed the urgent application to safeguard residents'
right to be represented by democratically elected councillors.
applied for an urgent hearing of this matter in order to avoid
residents in terms of rates and charges payments and prevention
right to be represented by democratically-elected councillors,"
"Our urgent chamber application has still not been heard nearly two
later and this is unacceptable," she added.
She said residents
were now being forced to pay huge increases in rates and
despite numerous objections made to the Commission
CHRA applied for an urgent hearing of the matter to avoid
residents in terms of rates and charges payments and snapping of
to be represented by office bearers of their choice.
urgent chamber application has still not been heard nearly two months
and this is unacceptable," Stevenson charged.
She went on: "Residents are
being forced to pay huge increases in their
rates and charges, despite
numerous objections that were lodged with the
Municipality. The Makwavarara
Commission has failed to respond to these
objections in clear contravention
of the law." CHRA filed the urgent High
Court application challenging the
continued stay in office of the Commission
on June 7. But the Minister of
Local Government, Public Works and Urban
Development Ignatius Chombo
extended its mandate by a further six months on
Electoral Commission (ZEC) chairperson, Justice George
commission running the affairs of Harare and Chombo have been
respondents in CHRA's urgent application.
"CHRA is concerned at the
judiciary's delay in setting down our challenge to
the extension of the
Harare Commission beyond the 6-month term provided by
the Urban Councils Act
and confirmed by the Supreme Court in the case of
Stevenson Vs Chombo,
Chanakira Commission et al. in 2001" Stevenson said.
The residents' lawyers,
the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), have
also written to Judge
President (JP) Paddington Garwe over delays in hearing
letter dated July, residents' lawyer Rangu Nyamurundira said: "On 7th
we lodged an urgent chamber application on behalf of CHRA arising from
violations of the electoral laws and Urban Councils Act asking this
honourable court to urgently rectify the situation. It was served on all
parties the same day and was allocated to the Honourable Mrs Justice
Despite the initial certificate of urgency and a number of enquiries,
action has been taken and nothing has been heard from the learned
The JP is yet to respond to the residents' concerns.
Govt should clarify Zimbabwe loan conditions: SACP
The SACP has called on the government to attach what it calls
conditions to Zimbabwe before any loan facility is extended to the
strapped southern African state.
Robert Mugabe, the Zimbabwe
president, has asked South Africa for a one
billion US dollar loan to help
relief his country's economic woes.
Blade Nzimande, the SACP general
secretary, has urged the South African
government to be firm and vigilant in
engagement with the Harare on the loan
BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe, Aug 7 (Infostrada Sports) - Scoreboard at close of
play on the first day in the Test between Zimbabwe and New Zealand
New Zealand 1st innings
J. Marshall c
Taibu b Mahwire 5
L. Vincent c Carlisle b Mahwire
H. Marshall lbw b Mpofu 20
S. Fleming c Carlisle b
N. Astle c Taylor b Streak 23
Styris run out 7
B. McCullum c Cremer b
D. Vettori b Streak 127
Franklin b Cremer 13
S. Bond not
C. Martin not out
Extras (b-1 lb-7 nb-5 w-2) 15
Total (for 9
wickets, 89 overs) 452
Fall of wickets: 1-21 2-24 3-63 4-104 5-113 6-233 7-309 8-369 9-432
Bowling © Reuters 2005. All Rights
Streak 23.4 - 5 - 102 -
Mahwire 26 - 4 - 115 - 3 (nb-2 w-2)
16.2 - 1 - 100 - 2 (nb-2)
Cremer 22 - 0 - 113 - 1 (nb-1)
Taylor 1 - 0 - 14 - 0
Sunday Mirror, Zimbabwe
IMF/World Bank to re-engage Zim
Recent developments and murmurings locally and internationally
indicate that Zimbabwe, on the verge of an economic collapse, could
re-engage the international community in order to creep out of its
The Zimbabwean Ambassador to the New York-based United Nations,
Harare's dramatic shift from its anti-western rhetoric, has
called on the
International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank (WB) and
agencies to move in and find how best they can help solve
economic crisis in order to avert collapse.
The call comes
in the wake of what appears to be positive engagement between
South Africa, China and the United Nations, among other nations
The South African government, according to media
reports, has already okayed
a US$500 million loan to Zimbabwe, while the UN
Annan, is expected in Zimbabwe in the near future on
a mission that insiders
at the world body say would focus on how best to
support for Harare.
South African government
spokesman Joel Netshitenzhe has said monetary aid
to Zimbabwe would be
"within the context of their (Zimbabwe's) programme of
On the other hand, China is increasingly showing
willingness to forge out
business deals with Zimbabwe, when the country's
traditional partners in the
European Union and the United States of America
(USA) have sharply reduced
trade volumes or completely withdrawn. Boniface
ambassador to the UN, said it would also be in the
best interest of southern
African countries to help their neighbour because
developments in Zimbabwe
have a direct impact on them as well.
"Zimbabwe has one of the best
infrastructures on the (African) continent and
it would be sad for them (the
IMF and other donors) to let it go to waste
for political reasons. "If
people in Washington (at IMF) are willing to
help, we are not asking for too
much. All we are saying is that they should
resume balance of payments in
order for our foreign currency reserves to
improve, so that we can be able
to adequately fund agriculture and
industry," Chidyausiku told the Sunday
He said it was a "miracle" that the Zimbabwean economy had not
following the withdrawal of financial aid by the IMF and WB from
ago. "Most developing countries have their budgets largely
with some of them receiving as much as 90 percent of aid. But,
has taught us, there is no free money and those who assist
always aim to
reap political capital," he added.
From the turn of the
century, Zimbabwe has been burdened by dwindling
foreign currency supplies
which have impacted negatively on macro-economic
Currently, the country is having problems in sourcing
fuel from outside, a
situation that has hit hard, not only the transport
sector, but also other
industries that depend on fuel and forex. Basic goods
are in short supply
and there is a thriving oil and commodities black
market, while inflation,
which had been on a downward trend from the
beginning of last year, is now
perched at 164 percent and might shoot upward
of 300 percent by year-end.
In spite of these problems, there is optimism
in some circles that if the
government heeds advice, there could be a real
turnaround in the fortunes of
It is expected that the
windfall that Pretoria has extended to Zimbabwe
could be used to largely
settle the country's debt with the IMF, which by
June stood at US$295
million, following which negotiations between the
government and the
international financial institution would take place for
the country to be
re-instated as a full member.
In a statement in June the IMF external
relations, following a visit by the
body's team to Harare, said the move to
defer deliberations was meant to
provide for "the country (Zimbabwe) with
another chance to strengthen
cooperation with the Fund in terms of policies
and payments". ""A rebuilding
of relations with the international community
is a critical part of the
effort to reverse the economic decline. We hope
the authorities will work
more closely with us to formulate and implement
such a policy package, which
would help stabilise the economy and improve
the welfare of the Zimbabwean
people," stated the IMF. The IMF intends for
Harare to come up with a
"comprehensive policy package" that would lower the
fiscal deficit being
experienced and the establishment of a "unified
rate" as well as structural reforms to ease
bureaucracy and restore investor
There are calls for the
government to use the loan from South Africa to
ensure long-term solutions
to its problems rather than merely plough it into
South Africa last week availed the loan, half of what
reportedly asked for, saying the collapse of Zimbabwe's economy
would have a
destabilising effect on Pretoria. A senior official at the UN,
the record, told the Sunday Mirror that the resumption of
payments to Zimbabwe by the IMF would help restore investor
boost the economy.
"Engagement between Zimbabwe, the
IMF and other donors would help improve
macro-economic dynamics. As it were,
the perception of (Zimbabwe as) a
country in conflict, whether justified or
not, has taken root and once the
IMF comes in again, there could be renewed
investor confidence," said the UN
He said even though a
date has not been set, Annan "would be too happy to
undertake a visit to
Zimbabwe and see how best he can help".
The UN secretary-general was
recently invited to Zimbabwe by President
Robert Mugabe to assess for
himself the situation on the ground following a
operation that led to a special envoy, Anna
Tibaijuka, being dispatched to
the country on a fact-finding mission.
She produced a report that damned
the government for causing suffering to
about 700 000 Zimbabweans when their
homes and informal markets were
The UN source said Annan
would be coming principally to address humanitarian
Secretary-General will soon visit Zimbabwe basically to engage the
government and other stakeholders on how best to mobilise food aid in the
wake of the drought that affected the country and to see how people who were
affected by the clean-up operation might be helped.
"He will assess
how Zimbabwe sees the prospects of dialoguing with the
donor communities, after which he would encourage those
that can help to
chip in because he would be better equipped by his visit,"
He added that Annan would not be coming as a mediator between the
Zanu PF and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), in the wake of
local and international calls for dialogue between the two political
parties, but said the secretary-general would also talk to the main
opposition and civil society.
Said the source: "Mr Annan is in
constant touch with all UN agencies and
programmes to impress on them the
need to mobilise support for Zimbabwe, and
I am aware that there has been a
flash appeal to raise US$31 million for
humanitarian aid." "Depending on the
discussions, Mr Annan would also want
to talk about the political
environment in Zimbabwe and advise on how best
the country can shed off the
tag of intolerance and address certain
controversial laws, but that would
only be done bearing in mind that
Zimbabwe is a sovereign country." He said
even though Annan had commissioned
Tibaijuka to write a report based on her
observations, his visit was still
relevant because the secretary-general
might not necessarily agree with the
contents of his envoy's
The African diplomat added however that the government should
consider the recommendation for developmental co-operation with UN
in order to mitigate the effects of drought.
There has been
an outcry in the past when the government virtually banned
donors to avail aid to hungry Zimbabweans, accusing them
political agendas. Some observers have been speculating that,
in spite of a
bona fide desire in South Africa to help the country out of
its mess, there
could have been behind-the-scenes manouvres between
President Thabo Mbeki
and the IMF to rescue Zimbabwe.
They also say China might have encouraged
Zimbabwe to shed its defensive
attitude against perceived political enemies
in the EU and the US and work
towards progressive dialogue with
China itself had lived in near-isolation for decades before
its own "Iron Curtain" in the early nineties, opening up its
economy to the
world and setting the tone for its current economic bloom.
Even though the
IMF pulled out in 1998, accusing Zimbabwe of fiscal
monetary institution has never shown any urgency to
completely expel the
country from its ranks.
In February, the IMF
extended by six months deliberations on the compulsory
ejection of Zimbabwe.
The timing of the loan from South Africa is seen as a
deliberate way of
making sure that Harare rises from the depths.
Chidyausiku admits that
Zimbabwe has made political and economic gaffes in
the past, but hastens to
add that institutions like the IMF should also
Analysts say the attitude of the IMF, whose policies a former WB
economist, Joseph Stiglitz, once likened to "high-altitude bombing"
from an unacknowledged admission that it has also played a part in
The IMF in the 1990s pressured the
government to adopt a structural
adjustment programme that proved to be
disastrous and offset a debilitating
structural adjustment programme (ESAP), which was premised on
unhindered liberalisation of the economy, crippled industry and
massive job losses and flight of capital.
Analysts say there should have
been a quid pro quo between economic
liberalisation by Zimbabwe on one hand
and balance of payment support by the
IMF. The government has been arguing
that it had been playing its part,
while the IMF in 1998 refused to provide
balance of payment support, arguing
from 1995, that while Zimbabwe had been
heeding its directions, not enough
was being done. The failure to provide
balance of payment support, at a time
when Zimbabwe had liberalised to the
extent of massive capital flight by a
footloose section of the population,
proved almost economically fatal, from
the late nineties to the present.
Moderate quake hits Zimbabwe, Zambia
Zimbabwe, 08/07 - A moderate earthquake, measuring 3.6 on the
hit the border areas of Zimbabwe and Zambia Monday night,
officials said here.
Lovemore Masawi, spokesman for Zimbabwe`s earthquake
Goetz Observatory, said there were no reports of damage
after the tremor,
which struck in the middle of the night, and had its
epicentre along the
Zambezi River, the border line between Zimbabwe and
He said the resort towns of Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, and
Zambia, felt the quake, but no damage was
"There was a tremor at 0231 hours and 28 seconds. The epicentre
earthquake was 18.11 south on the latitude and 26.27 east on the
Its magnitude was 3.6 as measured on the Richter Scale," Masawi
According to him, this was on fault lines along the Zambezi River,
experienced several earthquakes in the last six
"Generally, the possibility in this area is very high because of
faults," he explained.
No Forgetting the Blood On Moyo's Hands
August 7, 2005
Posted to the web August 7,
The least of the former
Zimbabwean Information minister's crimes is blinding
He is a vile, evil, two-faced, dissembling co-conspirator
starvation and murder
MEMORIES of injustice persist. They
cannot be erased, they cannot be subju
gated. They rise.
example, cannot forget Gugu Moyo. No one who meets her would. Frail,
serious, the young lawyer used her devastating intellect and stamina to help
launch and drive an international campaign to save the Daily News in
Two years ago she travelled to South Africa, Namibia,
Botswana, the UK and
the US to ask govern ments and civil organisations to
help save the
newspaper after it was shut down by the government of
Zimbabwe. She failed.
Moyo is not the only one I cannot forget. I cannot
forget the young
journalists at SW Radio Africa, forced to broadcast from
London because they
would be jailed in their own country. I also cannot
forget Wilf Mbanga and
John Masuku, journalists who have fled the same
persecution in Zimbabwe.
I cannot forget the despairing faces of the
hundreds of activists - many
with devastating stories of torture - I have
met in New York, Hillbrow,
London, Pretoria and Amsterdam. All of them fled
the torture and death that
Jona than Moyo - as Robert Mugabe's Information
minister - gleefully
orchestrated, ruthlessly carried out and defended with
robustness in public.
These memories - and those of
millions of Zimbabweans and others across the
world - are alive.
time when so many get away with murder, memory remains the most
weapon against a repeat of the corruption, dishonesty, cant and
is visited upon our fellow human beings in places like Zimbabwe.
In fact, it
is the only weapon we have.
Dictators and their cohorts thrive on the
rewriting of history and the
erasure of memory.
Jonathan Moyo writes
in last week's Sunday Times, "Mugabe has dug Zanu-PF's
grave", as though he
were not complicit in the wave of torture, repression
and murder that has
engulfed that country in the past seven years.
hypocrisy, he calls Mugabe a "rhetorical nationalist who
does not want to
see democracy anywhere near him".
For years Moyo was the main driver of
Mugabe's attempts to throttle the
legitimate voices of the Zimbabwean people
- and now he wants us to forget
his role in all this?
erase from our collective memory what Moyo has done and the
he has to be accused of causing.
We must also not forget that Moyo is not
where he is today because he
decided to stand up against Mugabe's excesses.
Moyo and some of his cohorts
within Zanu-PF were plotting to block a Mugabe
favourite from taking over
the party leadership and thereby hopefully
succeeding the ageing and
Moyo and his friends
wanted themselves to sup at the table that Mugabe is
luxuriating at while
Moyo thinks we have suddenly forgotten all this. But
memory must persist,
and it does in his case. We have not forgotten the
Sunday Times expos© of
his living it up in Johannesburg, stocking his 4x4
with luxuries, while the
poor ate mud in Zimbabwe.
Let us remember
the Daily News, once Zimbabwe's biggest-selling newspaper.
Monitoring Project of Zimbabwe (MMPZ) points out that when legal
close the paper in 2000 failed, Moyo - then getting into his stride
Mugabe's apologist - began "extra-legal" steps to shut it down.
2000 its head office was bombed. In January 2001, its printing
bombed in a military-style operation. Hours before this attack,
Information minister [Moyo] had told the government-controlled
that the state would silence the Daily News, saying it posed a
to the nation," the MMPZ wrote.
Moyo went on to introduce one of the most
undemocratic pieces of legislation
ever passed through an African
parliament, the Access to Information and
Privacy Act. After its adoption,
foreign journalists were kicked out of
Zimbabwe, more newspapers shut down
and hundreds of journalists forced into
exile or jail.
brought the legislation to parliament even his Zanu-PF colleagues
was bonkers. The chairman of the Parliamentary Legal Committee,
Zvobgo, said: "I can say without equivocation that this Bill, in
original form, was the most calculated and determined assault on our
liberties guaranteed by the Constitution, in the 20 years I served as
Moyo cannot fool us, must not fool us. He is a
principal player in the
conspiracy that has brought Zimbabwe to its knees,
and he is a principal
player in and accessory to the harassment, torture and
murder that has
become the signature of Robert Mugabe.
He is to
Mugabe what Goebbels was to Hitler. While Mugabe killed, Moyo lied,
whitewashed and turned the screws on independent media. Through his columns
in The Herald he exhorted Zanu-PF's militias to harass and where possible
eliminate the opposition. He is a vile, evil, two-faced, dissembling
co-conspirator to torture, starvation of the poor and murder.
this we have not forgotten. These memories must stay with us for the day
International Court of Human Rights rolls into Harare, Bulawayo and
and we must take the stand and testify.
And Moyo, no matter how much
whitewashing of the past he attempts, will be
in the dock.
a freelance writer