Godfrey Marawanyika THE government
has gazetted land that includes some of Zimba- bwe’s best-known tea and coffee
estates as well as holiday resorts in the Eastern Highlands as part of its
latest fast-track seizures.
Included in the 374 farms gazetted recently
is land belonging to the Tanganda Tea Company, Busi Coffee Estates, Petronella
Coffee Estates and Chipinga Coffee Company. Tourist areas gazetted include land
belonging to Outward Bound, Pine Crest and Raynes Park Estates.
is home to some of the best-known hotels and lodges in the country, among them
Troutbeck Inn, Pine Tree Inn, Inn on the Ruparara, Brondesbury Park — which has
been closed for over a year — Rhodes Nyanga and Chimani-mani Hotel. Some hotels
have had their land designated although hotel managers contacted yesterday were
reluctant to talk.
“I don’t want to say a thing about that,” one told
the Zimbabwe Independent. Hotel industry representatives have been equally
reticent with one telling the Independent it was not in the interests of those
affected to say anything at this stage.
Two weeks ago the government
gazetted land belonging to Matetsi Leisure Resorts at Victoria Falls.
The acquisition of land in the Eastern Highlands comes against a
backdrop of fears of serious food shortages next year.The acquisition of
productive tea and coffee estates and the uncertainty surrounding prime tourism
facilities will compound the crisis by impacting on forex revenues.
of those areas gazetted could reflect sloppy drafting at the Ministry of Lands.
Among the numerous errors cited in the new list is a Forestry Commission estate
which is already state land. The list also includes land administered by the
Gwaai Valley Rural Council in Matabeleland.
The chairperson of the Tea
Growers Association, Martin Cameron, refused to comment on the reaction of his
members to the gazetting of their properties.
“We are not in a position
to comment publicly at present as the matter is being dealt with through the
appropriate channels,” he said. This is the second time in less than a year
that the government has compulsorily acquired land from prominent companies.
Last year it gazetted land belonging to the South African mining and farming
dynasty, the Oppenheimers. The family later submitted proposals to the
government to set up a trust — Shangani Empowerment Trust — to assist the people
of Insiza and Shangani districts where the family had land holdings.
date it is not clear whether the government has agreed to the setting up of the
trust in return for the delisting of the Oppenheimer estates. There is also
confusion over the Save conservancies where government policy has been
President of the Zimbabwe Council for Tourism Pedia Moyo
this week confirmed the gazetting of tourist areas. She said the affected
members of her council would contest the government’s move.
members are going to contest the acquisition. But what we are saying as an
association is that the Eastern Highlands is mountainous so it does not make
sense to resettle people in such an area,” she said.
She said tourism
had contributed significantly to the development of Nyanga and other surrounding
areas, some- thing which government appeared blind to.
sector in the Eastern Highlands has created employment for the locals. They do
not have to come to Harare to look for jobs. But if these areas are acquired the
residents will lose their livelihood,” Moyo said.
“In any case the
resettled farmers would have to specialise in growing pine, wattle or other such
trees from which they will only realise a return after about 20 years.”
Moyo appealed to the government to come up with a resettlement policy
that recognised the importance of the tourism industry.
“We pay a lot of
money through taxes to the government everyday, un- like other sectors of the
economy which pay once or twice a year,” she said.
“The greatest problem
we are facing at the moment is the continued lawlessness. Our members are being
harassed by the day but if they speak to the press those people who have
harassed them return and attack them again,” she said.
Since last year
66 tourism operators have closed shop, with more than 10 000 people losing their
Dr Joseph Made, the Minister of Agriculture, refused to comment
when asked if government would listen to the concerns of the tourism industry.
“Please stop bothering me on my phone. I do not want to be disturbed in any
way. Just stop bothering me,” said Made before cutting off the call.
attempt is made to provide a comprehensive report of ongoing activities in
relation to farm invasions, but many incidents are unreported due to
communications constraints, fear of reprisals and a general weariness on the
part of farmers. Farmers names and in some cases, farm names, are omitted to
minimise the risk of reprisal.
NATIONAL REPORT IN BRIEF: a.. Work
stoppages and fast tracking of properties, irrespective of their legal status,
is continuing countrywide. b.. About 100 illegal occupiers from mines in
the Banket vacinity have moved onto Mimosa Farm with an increase of maize and
cattle theft. c.. There are work stoppages on 17 farms in the Macheke /
Virginia District. d.. On Umbono Ranch, in Mwenezi, war lord Vundukayi is
selling and reselling the same plots. REGIONAL REPORTS:
There was no
report received from Matabeleland Region.
Central General - Most areas are relatively quiet aside from isolated
incidents of harassment by illegal occupiers. Centenary - Earlier this week
Zanu PF Youths moved around part of the area "re-educating" farmers and farm
workers. Horseshoe - Land prep continues to be prevented on Manovi and
Mashonaland West North Chinhoyi - The DA Chawaruwa
visited Elmley Farm and instructed that further land preparation for the wheat
crop be ceased. Government valuators visited Bandira, Bunya, Dora and Rococo
Farms. Umboe - On Cotswold Estate the owner was told to stop further land
preparation for his wheat crop. Tengwe - Beau Geste and Welgin Farm were
visited by Government valuators. Doma - Numbers of illegal occupiers has
increased with much movement through farms. Karoi - There is a lot of
movement in the area. Illegal occupiers moved onto Haselmere Farm, causing
wheat preparations to cease. On Furzen Farm the owner was restricted to his
security fence with 25-40 invaders outside. Police did not react in fear of
being seen to be siding with the farmer. Banket - Illegal occupiers are
pegging on Sutton Estates. About 100 illegal occupiers from mines in the
vacinity have moved onto Mimosa Farm. There is a lot of maize and cattle theft
taking place. Riverside Farm has been fast tracked.
South General - The DA Chegutu has issued letters to about 10 farms for
Agritex to peg 20 ha plots on farms for the illegal occupiers. Norton -
On Fort Martin Farm some of the irrigation hydrants were smashed.
Battlefields - The new invasion on Twintops farm is made up of people from
other farms in the area. Illegal occupiers have started stealing the owners
maize from the lands. Chegutu - On Ranwick Farm 3 head of cattle were
Mashonaland East Beatrice - About 30 - 40 settlers
were placed on Logan Lee Farm which has been delisted . Agritex commenced
pegging on Carnethey. Illegal occupiers moved into a vacant house on Kerry Farm
whilst the farmer was on leave. The farmer was told that after his crop had been
graded, he was to vacate the property. 20 aluminium hydrant caps were stolen on
Central Farm and wheat preparation stopped. Harare South - Building of
homesteads by illegal occupiers in this area has increased. Marondera - Spes
Bona has been reinvaded and illegal occupiers are errecting their structures on
the farm. Macheke/Virginia - There are work stoppages on 17 farms in the
district. Illegal occupiers on Flint farm have demanded that the owner restore a
borehole and let them have access to it. There was a new invasion of 7 people
on Journeys End Farm. Wedza - Irrigation pipes and fittings were stolen from
Corby Farm. 2 cattle have been killed on Totnes Farm. Rapako farm has been
reinvaded and illegal occupiers are building on the farm.
Rusape - There has been an increase in numbers of illegal occupiers on some
properties. Chipinge - On Rietvlei illegal occupiers broke a padlock on a
vacant homestead on the farm and are now occupying it. Mutare - Fairview is
overrun by illegal occupiers. The DA was meant to visit the farm but never
Masvingo Masvingo East & Central - Illegal occupiers
were transported onto Des Nes Farm, and pegging has commenced. Chiredzi - 600
head of cattle have been relocated by illegal occupiers on Ruware Ranch. About
30 illegal occupiers visited Wasarasara making demands for the use of farm
equipment and permission to fish on the farm. There has been an increase of
illegal occupiers on Buffalo Range. Mwenezi - On Umbono Ranch, war lord
Vundukayi is selling and reselling the same plots. Gutu / Chatsworth - The
situation has still not been resolved on Nyombi Estates and a bull has since
been slaughtered. Save Valley Conservancy - Poaching and illegal occupations
continue. Snares are still rife. Mateke Hills - About 2000 communal cattle
have been moved onto ranches within the Red Zone.
- There is a marked reduction of tension on farms since war vets attention has
been diverted to labour issues affecting businesses in the towns. Kwe Kwe -
3 farmers are being prevented from planting their winter wheat crop. War vets
have closed operations on Chaka Mine near Kwe
Details are sketchy, but what is becoming clearer is that
Zimbabwe's economy has been hijacked by the ruling party, prepared to use any
tactics to keep its desperate hold on power.
However else the raids on ordinary commercial enterprises are being paraded,
at their heart they are part of a sinister drive by Zanu-PF to destroy the
country's legitimate opposition ahead of next year's presidential election.
Such is the state of terror that now prevails, hard information is available
only in fragments, but a concerted effort now seems under way to "redistribute"
ownership of Zimbabwean business.
As far as I can make out, middle and lower management is being assembled,
asked to air its collective grievances (real or imagined) and then told that the
company now belongs to all its employees. The news a fortnight ago was that
companies would not be allowed to close down, no matter what their
circumstances. Those Zimbabweans who are able to are walking out and leaving
Contradictions and outright lies are commonplace in times when the forces of
reaction become involved in a last-ditch battle to preserve their hold on power.
This is why Chenjerai "Hitler" Hunzvi, self-appointed leader of the war
veterans, is able to terrorise innocent folk as many times a day as he likes,
We should not think that these events, because they are north of the Limpopo,
do not affect us and aren't of our concern.
On the contrary, among our disadvantages as an emerging economy is that not
only are we part of a continent seen by the industrialised world as being a
basket case populated by beggars, but we're also right next door to Robert
The actions we take now must be motivated solely by the need to protect
ourselves, our sovereignty and the standing we have in the world.
This means we mustn't be swayed by sentiment of any kind - we have to do
what's good for SA.
Over the next few months, we must expect commercial activity in Zimbabwe to
Already, there is no trade in the Zimbabwe dollar at the official rates.
Anyone moving money trades on the black market, where the rate is now somewhere
around Z180 to the pound, and around Z20 to the rand.
Much better under current conditions for SA companies operating there to be
advised quietly to scale down.
At the same time, Zimbabwe's declining ability to feed itself will become
Within a comparatively short time, this former African granary will become a
net beggar for food and medicines - and, since there's unlikely to be much
sympathy from international aid donors, we will be first in line to give it
handouts which we cannot afford.
These are among the reasons our political masters should be planning now to
help Mugabe and his cronies to make as quick and smart an exit offstage as can
It is economic and commercial nonsense to provide him and his party with the
wherewithal to continue with their current policies - and it tarnishes our own
This doesn't mean we must get involved in Zimbabwe's internal turmoil. But -
and as John Vorster discovered when it mattered most to the old National Party
government - there are plenty of fine ways in circumstances such as these to
achieve what you consider important for your country without needing to lift a
single rifle, and I'm sure I don't need to spell these out.
President Thabo Mbeki has a lot more riding on the Zimbabwean mess than
merely the problem of how he shifts from "quiet diplomacy" to "tactical
Much was made, a few years ago, of how SA was destabilising the subcontinent.
This is precisely what Zimbabwe's government is now doing to the rest of us -
and we cannot sit by while Mugabe frog-marches us to perdition.
An extraordinary opportunity now presents itself, one that can be put to use
by Mbeki to take the kind of decisive action that will rescue the entire region.
In the process, it will repair his own dented image.
Ncube, Bulawayo Bureau Chief 5/3/01 8:30:40 PM (GMT
BEITBRIDGE — Armed riot
police camped under leafy Mopane trees and menacingly toyed with their guns and
teargas canisters but could not prevent 10 000 residents of this town and
surrounding areas from giving Morgan Tsvangirai, head of the opposition Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC), a rousing welcome here at the
C’wealth joins chorus of
5/3/01 8:07:56 PM (GMT
LONDON — Commonwealth
secretary-general Don McKinnon yesterday expressed concern over violent attacks
on businesses in Zimbabwe and threats against foreign
Hunzvi’s own goal
5/3/01 6:47:25 PM (GMT
CHENJERAI Hunzvi, the
self-styled Hitler who thrives on threats to press his point home, last week
rudely awoke to the high cost of his many reckless
Eager to curry favour with his bosses in the
ruling ZANU PF party, he gleefully announced his rampaging war veterans would
raid Harare-based foreign embassies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs)
which ostensibly support the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
Using war-like language that propelled him to infamy when he campaigned
for state gratuities for the veterans three years ago, Hunzvi warned the
embassies and NGOs to stop their alleged support for the MDC or face unspecified
In his words: "We will use whatever means we have to deal
with these foreign nations here who want to install a puppet regime in
His comments, made in an interview with this newspaper,
immediately drew an international outcry and counter-warnings against the
government not to widen its violence against opponents to foreign missions and
The European Union, South Africa and Britain were among
the governments which moved to warn against such irresponsible action, which
inevitably would have elicited a swift and strong response from the
As the fallout from his comments became clearer
to Harare, Hunzvi fumbled for an explanation, telling state television that he
never spoke to the Financial Gazette.
Even then, it took him three full
days to make his U-turn, most likely made only after someone in the highest
office in the land read him the riot act.
Needless to say, Hunzvi was
indeed interviewed by two separate reporters from this newspaper who were
checking two different stories and we have our records.
blaming the messenger when things get tough, Hunzvi and many of Zimbabwe’s "new
thinking" politicians must learn the basic rule of thumb: weigh your thoughts
very carefully before blurting out gibberish.
And if you do make
unfortunate remarks which you later regret, please apologise unreservedly and
immediately. This way, you do not exacerbate your problems.
As it is,
Hunzvi’s own-goal comments caused much alarm and despondency not only in
Zimbabwe but throughout the civilised world, already at the end of their tethers
because of the government’s widening lawlessness.
And yet the government
never wants to own up to the fact that its battered image at home and abroad is
caused by none other than its own actions and deeds.
Indeed as Hunzvi
threatened foreign diplomats last week, the foreign ministry weighed in with its
own statement which only confirmed the government’s position.
Chiwewe, the permanent secretary in the ministry, warned the diplomats they
would not receive any protection from the government if they aligned themselves
with "one political party against another" — a euphemism for those perceived to
be backing the MDC.
"Such diplomats would have set aside the relevance
and usefulness of this ministry," Chiwewe noted.
"It is hereby
emphasised that such diplomats would have chosen to meet and live with the
fortunes of the party they would have chosen to support," he warned.
such circumstances, he went on, the government would not "intervene when they
(the diplomats and the embassies) find themselves in trouble with the agents or
sympathisers of one political party or the other".
The comments by
Hunzvi and Chiwewe were made just days after the veterans had indeed raided the
offices of one Harare-based foreign NGO, which was forced to cough up hundreds
of thousands of dollars in order to buy its peace.
Zimbabweans must ask: if the government still respects the rule of law as it
claims, why is it not moving against the illegal raids and money extortion by
these common criminals? --------
London challenged to stop land seizures
Swindells 5/3/01 8:12:32 PM (GMT
Mugabe slammed former colonial power Britain yesterday, saying London could not
stand in the way of his controversial plan to redistribute white-owned farm land
to landless blacks. ---------
Tatchell still on
Reporter 5/3/01 8:13:16 PM (GMT
PETER TATCHELL, the
British human and gay rights activist who has twice failed to make a
citizenship’s arrest on President Robert Mugabe in Europe for alleged human
rights abuses, says he will make another effort to have the Zimbabwean leader
arraigned during the Commonwealth Heads of Government (CHOGM) meeting in
Australia later this year. ---------
The regime of President Robert Mugabe has retreated from threats to allow its
supporters to storm Zimbabwe's foreign embassies.
At the same time as diplomats received an official reassurance, Mr Mugabe
gave his seal of approval to a wave of occupations of white-owned
The leaders of his shock troops, who claim to be veterans of the war against
white rule, released a list of 20 companies in Harare that will be targets of
invasion by mobs.
Mr Mugabe is thought to be deliberately easing the pressure on diplomats
while turning on white businessmen. This twin-track strategy allows the official
campaign against Zimbabwe's white community to be pursued to its logical
conclusion the replacement of white business owners with black
All embassies and high commissions in Harare have received a conciliatory
message from Willard Chiwewe, senior secretary at the Foreign Ministry. The
letter says that the ministry "presents its compliments to all diplomatic
missions and has the honor to reaffirm its protection" under the Geneva
Foreign diplomats based in Zimbabwe were expected on
Thursday to hold emergency talks with the government on their safety and
security as several foreign missions consider contingency plans to evacuate
their nationals should Zimbabwe's political crisis worsen, the 'Financial
The report said that envoys had last week asked Palestinian
ambassador Ali Halimeh, the dean of diplomatic corps in Zimbabwe, to urgently
meet foreign ministry permanent secretary Willard Chiwewe over what they said
was Harare's violation of the Vienna Convention that protects diplomatic
missions. "The meeting was supposed to have taken place last Monday but could
not happen, presumably because of the death of Employment Creation Minister
Border Gezi," one ambassador was quoted as saying.
The report added that the envoys were also taking urgent
measures to ensure their safety should Zimbabwe's burgeoning political crisis
explode. "Following the threat by Chenjerai Hunzvi, we have improved security
measures at the embassy," the ambassador said. "We are also reviewing our
emergency evacuation and improving on our state of alert and preparedness to
evacuate all our people should anything happen."
Pro-government militias, which claim to be veterans of
Zimbabwe's independence war, last week threatened to attack foreign missions
they perceived to be backing the opposition Movement for Democratic Change
Starvation looming for cash-strapped
Zimbabwe Expected crop shortage means the country will have to import grain
HARARE Zimbabwe, which is reeling from a foreign currency crisis, needs to
raise Z8,5bn for grain imports to avert an expected grain shortfall of up to
800000 tons and looming starvation.
Government sources and economists have warned of food shortages by the last
quarter of the year if no action is taken immediately.
Zimbabwe needs to import 700000 tons of maize and 100000 tons of wheat at a
cost of $96m and $24m respectively.
Transport and logistics for the imports will cost $28m but the cost will rise
if the imports are from outside the Southern African Development Community
The SADC's early warning unit has also warned of starvation in Zimbabwe. It
said yields have been reduced by the late rains and a devastating dry spell in
January. Subsequent excessive rains and floods in late February and March also
led to vast crop failures.
The situation has been worsened by the sustained assault on commercial
agriculture following farm invasions which started last year.
Although government insists there are enough maize and wheat stocks, it
banned exports of those two weeks ago apparently to forestall shortages.
The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has repeatedly urged
government to import the gains immediately before shortages hit the country.
Maize and wheat form the staple diet of most Zimbabweans.
"There is no way out. We have to import the grain," said Renson Gasela, the
MDC's shadow minister of agriculture.
If southern African countries did not have the maize, Zimbabwe would be
forced to import yellow maize from Kenya or South America.
Gasela said the country was already running out of stocks before farmers
plant for next season. Wheat planting is expected to start in earnest this
However, Zimbabwe will find it difficult to import maize and wheat due to
foreign currency shortages. It is struggling to import fuel and power.
Sources said the debt-ridden Grain Marketing Board (GMB), the state
enterprise responsible for grain management, would be forced to borrow to meet
letters of credit for the required Z8,5bn.
It could also try to raise foreign currency on its own in the parallel market
or from government's meagre resources.
John Robertson, an independent economist, said the only way out was for the
government to immediately import maize from SA before it starts assessing its
"Government is squarely to blame for pursuing expensive choices of policies.
There is going to be starvation as long as government fails to come up with
clear and sound economic policies."
Robertson said the looming shortage was partly due to the havoc wreaked on
The Jewel Bank and Trust Bank, in the market to raise about Z250m for the
government- guaranteed GMB grain bills, are likely to be approached to raise
money for imports.
Another bank, First Banking Corporation has also secured a Z4,5bn GMB tender
to provide for the board's purchase of grain from farmers.
Statistics released by the crop forecasting committee recommend a total
production of 1,4-million tons of maize should be harvested with 732270 tons
being delivered to the GMB.
Government has indicated that GMB, sitting on a Z10bn debt, has about 400000
tons of maize in reserves.
May 04 2001
12:00:00:000AM Dumisani Muleya Business Day 1st
District Council Vacant Seat By-Elections – Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th May
The above by-elections are due to take place in MATABELELAND NORTH on the above dates. There are 10
It is important that MDC gains a foothold in all
District Councils whenever they are contested
We must be prepared to make a big impression in
these elections. After the dissapointingly poor
turnout in Mashonaland West, everyone is requested and encouraged to ensure that
a huge turnout is achieved to prove that solidarity for change exists at every
level of government in Zimbabwe
Unconfirmed reports have been received that possible
candidates for the MDC have already been intimidated. In one case a supporter
has been chased from his area to seek refuge. We need to provide support to all
candidates who are nominated and selected to stand as councillors in their
individual Council Wards.
Please pass this message on to as many people
as possible as volunteers are required to assist in each individual constituency
campaign. Volunteers should contact the Provincial Chairman as indicated
Our apologies to those people on our
mail list who are not affected by these elections. Your support and prayers will
be appreciated by everyone in our city.
TOGETHER WE CAN COMPLETE THE
CHANGE FOR THE BENEFIT OF ALL
ZIMBABWEANS. THE POWER IS IN OUR
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ MDC Support (Southern
Region), Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
THIS INFORMATION TO AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE --WE MUST WIN BOTH THE MAYORAL
AND WARD ELECTIONS - We have until the 6th May GET
We must be
prepared to make a big impression in these elections. Check your names against
the Voters role at the centres detailed below. IF YOU DO NOT APPEAR, INSIST THAT
THEY ACCEPT YOUR REGISTRATION FOR THE SUPPLEMENTARY ROLE.
THE BULAWAYO REGISTRAR HAS ANNOUNCED THAT THE ELECTIONS FOR BOTH THE
MAYORAL AND THE SEVEN VACANT WARD SEATS ARE TO BE HELD ON SATURDAY 23RD AND
SUNDAY 24TH JUNE 2001
Everyone is requested and encouraged to ensure that
a huge turnout is achieved to show that solidarity for change exists at every
level of government in Zimbabwe.
We are further advised that polling booths will be
the same as those addresses described below for Voters Role
The vacant wards are 12, 13, 16, 17, 24,
26 & 27.
Our apologies to those people on our mail list who
are not affected by these elections. Your support and prayers will be
appreciated by everyone in our city.
TOGETHER WE CAN COMPLETE THE CHANGE
FOR THE BENEFIT OF ALL ZIMBABWEANS. THE POWER IS IN OUR
ELECTION NOTICE BULAWAYO MUNICIPALITY MAYORAL
AND URBAN COUNCILS BY-ELECTIONS INSPECTION OF VOTERS ROLLS
It is hereby notified in terms of Section 103F of
the Electoral Act (Chapter 2:01) that voters rolls for the underlisted local
authority areas will lie for public inspection, free of charge at the centres
mentioned below, from April 23 to May 6, 2001.
WARD INSPECTION CENTRE 1 (a) City
Hall (b) Beit Hall/12th Avenue/G. Silundika (c) Bulawayo District
Registry (Drill Hall) (d) Bulawayo Provincial Registry 2 (a) Trenance
Primary School (b) Richmond Recreation Club (c) Baines Junior
School (d) Queens Park West Shopping Centre (e) (i) Airport Compound
Hall (23/04/01 to 28/04/01) (ii) Reigate Primary
School (29/04/01 to 06/05/01) 3 (a) Woodville Primary School (b) Old
Nic Mine Hall (c) Paddonhurst Creche (d) Mahatshula Primary
School (e) Thomas Rudland Primary School 4 (a) Waterford Primary
School (b) Bradfield Shopping Centre (c) Ascot Shopping
Centre (d) Leeside Shopping Centre (e) Tennyson Primary
School 5 (a) Hillside Shopping Centre (b) Morningside Shopping
Centre 6 (a) Jock's Shopping Centre (b) Greenfield Infant
School (c) Barham Green Primary School (d) Sidojiwe Hostels -
Tent (e) Greenfield Primary School 7 (a) Stanley
Hall (b) Westgate 8 (a) J. M MacDonald Hall (b) Inguboyenja
Pre-School 9 (a) Mpopoma Community Hall (b) Matshobana Community
Hall 10 (a) Entumbane Community Hail (b) Nhliziyo Shopping
Centre 11 (a) Emakhandeni Hall (b) Mtshingwe Primary
School 12 (a) Njube Community Hall 13 (a) Pelandaba Community
Hall (b) Iminyela Community Hall (c) Mabutweni Hall 14 (a) Lobengula
Community Hall 15 (a) Mafakela Primary School 16 (a) Fusi Primary
School (b) Mabodoko/Maplanka Shopping Centre 17 (a) Robert Sinyoka
Primary School (b) Methodist School (c) St Peters
School (d) Malindela Primary School 18 (a) Magwegwe Community
Hail (b) Mhali Primary School 19 (a) Pumula Community
Hall (b) Ngwegwe Primary School 20 (a) Nkulumane
Motors/Garage (b) Mgogo Primary School 21 (a) Sizinda Community
Hail (b) Tshabalala Community Hall 22 (a) Mandwandwe Secondary
School (b) Nkulumane Community Hall 23 (a) Queen Elizabeth Primary
School (b) Amaveni Primary School 24 (a) Nketa Community
Hall (b) Nketa Primary School 25 (a) Manondwane Primary
School (b) Mgiqika Primary School 26 (a) Senzangakhona Primary
School 27 (a) Dumezweni Primary School 28 (a) Mahlathini Primary
School 29 (a) Mazwi Primary School (b) J Mthimkhulu Primary
Personal Identity documents to be produced for the
purposes of inspection, initial registration and effecting transfer. a) A
Zimbabwean national identity card, or b) A valid Zimbabwe passport showing
applicant's national number, or c) A Zimbabwe driver's licence showing
applicant's national identity number and documentary evidence that the applicant
is currently residing in the respective municipal area, such
as: (i) Certiticate of occupation/title deeds. (ii) Lodger's permit/card
issued before April 23, 2001 (iii) Rates/water statements in applicant's
name (iv) Electricity statements in applicant's name (v) Credit store
statements showing physical address of the applicant
Qualification for Registration as a
Voter: Applicant must be: a) Eighteen (18) years of age, and b) A
citizen or a permanent resident of Zimbabwe, and c) A resident of the
respective urban council ward
Hours of Business: Inspection centres will be
open from 0700 hours to 1800 hours.
T.T. Mudede REGISTRAR GENERAL OF
April 4, 2000.
Mike Lander ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ MDC Support (Southern
Zimbabwe ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Phone: +26391241156
/ 7 or +26391244699 E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org OR email@example.com Fundraising
Details:~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ MDC SUPPORT (Southern Region) FUND -
Make cheques payable to Matilda Trust, and send to P.O. Box 9400, Hillside,
Bulawayo, Zimbabwe (clearly endorsed "Support ") or deposit into Barclays Bank,
Main Street Branch (2307), Bulawayo - account number 1996379. For
transparency and accountability, please advise this office of deposits to enable
us to receipt accordingly. VICTIMS OF POLITICAL VIOLENCE FUND - as above, but
clearly endorse cheques for "Victims Fund" SOUTH AFRICA - One of the Party’s
approved Fundraisers is Laurel Zurnamer, who is contactable on +27214473570 or
+27832921407. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ VISIT THE MDC
WEBSITE AT www.mdczimbabwe.com !! ALSO
LOOK IN AT the (all-new) ZimNews website at www.zwnews.com and the ZimToday website at www.zimtoday.com for news, views and
pertinent information! To subscribe to the MDC central mailing list, EITHER sign
up via the MDC website's Home page, OR send a blank e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
FOR UP-TO-DATE INTERNATIONAL PRESS INFORMATION on the situation in Zimbabwe,
subscribe to ZimNews at email@example.com .
Vincent Kahiya THE deregulation of
the fuel industry has hit a brick wall as players in a consortium formed to
replace the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe (Noczim) in fuel procurement are
engaged in an internal dispute over the indigenisation of the sector, the
Zimbabwe Independent heard this week.
While government has agreed to
deregulate the industry the consortium has not yet devised a procurement plan
because of a war of attrition between indigenous-owned companies and established
international fuel firms who together constitute the consortium.
local operators, most of whom have just entered the industry, want preferential
treatment in the allocation of foreign currency. They have proposed that the
government should cede the 25% forex quota for the energy sector to them so that
they can compete with established companies.
Black-owned compa- nies
also want the government to reduce the import duty on fuel.The deregulation
pro-cess has also encount- ered another hurdle in the form of the government’s
unwillingness to increase the price of fuel to guarantee profitability. Noczim
has been selling fuel at a loss of up to 20% per litre as government has reacted
sluggishly to calls to raise the price of fuel. There is also the problem of the
exchange rate at which the companies have been buying forex, mainly on the
parallel market, to import fuel.
Members of the consortium have proposed
that the government through the Reserve Bank should make available foreign
currency at the bank rate. But there isn’t enough for all the players, hence the
indigenous companies are demanding preferential treatment.
Noczim is taking almost all the forex being made available by the central bank.
The bickering among the private players has seen Noczim continuing to
procure fuel albeit it at a loss, which has added to the company’s indebtedness.
The Noczim debt is currently sitting at $20 billion. Once the industry has been
deregula- ted, Noczim will assume the role of regulator and it will also be the
custodian of the government’s strategic reserves.
companies have been holding a week’s supply of fuel in anticipation of an
announcement on the price of the commodity. Sources said there was fuel being
held at the Birmingham Road tanks in the Southerton industrial area. The source
said the companies have been releasing the fuel in small quantities since last
week Other than that there is nothing in reserve at the big storage tanks in
Mabvuku. Sources said no product had been pumped through the pipeline for
the last 10 days. However, there are still 15 million litres of petrol and eight
million litres of illuminating paraffin belonging to Independent Petroleum Group
at the Feruka depot in Mutare.
EU diplomats discuss their security following threats
Dumisani Muleya EUROPEAN
Union (EU) diplomats yesterday met in Harare to discuss security issues and the
economic bloc’s relationship with Zimbabwe. Although the diplomats insisted
it was a regular EU envoys’ meeting, the gathering comes at a time when their
embassies are threatened by war veterans.
EU missions have been trying
to clarify the Zimbabwe government’s position following contradictory statements
from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Last Thursday Foreign Affairs permanent
secretary Willard Chiwewe said embassies and NGOs that supported certain
political parties could not expect protection.
“Those diplomats who, for
whatever reason or background, seek to further the interests of one political
party against another, or to act as an agent of one political party against
another, may not hope to receive assistance from the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs,” he said in language that outraged members of the diplomatic community
who see civil society enhancement as part of their responsibilities.
on Wednesday Chiwewe wrote to the embassies assuring them of his ministry’s
protection in line with Zimbabwe’s commitments under the Vienna Convention.
This volte-face is widely seen as an exercise in damage limitation.
Chiwewe’s original letter was considered so provocative that it was not carried
in the government media and now appears to have been disowned. The intervention
of the South Africans, who last Thursday summoned Zimbabwe High Commissioner to
Pretoria SK Moyo to receive an expression of grave concern about the fate of
South African businesses invaded by war veterans, was thought partly
instrumental in the government’s turnabout.
“All diplomats and
diplomatic premises shall continue to receive the full protection and assistance
that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs gives in accordance with its obligations
under the Vienna Convention,” Chiwewe wrote this week to embassies.
Diplomatic sources said yesterday’s EU envoys’ meeting which was held at
the Swedish embassy focused on the current situation. Sweden has the EU
presidency and therefore chairs the 15-member bloc’s ambassadorial meetings. It
is understood that security concerns were paramount although ambassadors
declined to comment on the details.
“We are a group that coordinates a
lot and we meet regularly. Yesterday’s meeting was one of those regular meetings
which we normally hold,” Swedish ambassador Lennart Hjelmaker said.
we don’t discuss specific issues in the press. We don’t work like that. We don’t
report through the press,” he said.
Head of the European Commission
Delegation Asger Pilegaard also refused to be drawn on the details of the
meeting. “It was an internal EU meeting,” he said.
Dean of the
diplomatic corps Ali Halimeh said he had not yet been approached by anyone to
make representations on behalf of the diplomatic community to the Ministry of
“I have not been approached or given a mandate by the
diplomatic community to talk to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” said Halimeh
who is also the Palestinian ambassador and a long-standing Zimbabwe resident.
Asked if the whole diplomatic was concerned about the current events,
Halimeh said: “It’s only a particular group of people who are concerned. Have
you had concerns from African diplomats, Arabs or Asians?” he asked. “I
don’t want to say who is complaining. Western ambassadors are concerned. Whether
they have legitimate concerns or not, I don’t know. But
I have been here
since 1983 and I have never been threatened,” he said
The government has gazetted land that
includes some of Zimbabwe’s best-known tea and coffee estates as well as holiday
resorts in the Eastern Highlands as part of its latest fast-track seizures.
Included in the 374 farms gazetted recently is land belonging to the Tanganda
Tea Company, Busi Coffee Estates, Petronella Coffee Estates and Chipinga Coffee
Company. Tourist areas gazetted include land belonging to Outward Bound, Pine
Crest and Raynes Park Estates. Nyanga is home to some
of the best-known hotels and lodges in the country, among them Troutbeck Inn,
Pine Tree Inn, Inn on the Ruparara, Brondesbury Park – which has been closed for
over a year - Rhodes Nyanga and Chimanimani Hotel. Some hotels have had their
land designated although hotel managers contacted yesterday were reluctant to
talk. "I don’t want to say a thing about that," one told the Zimbabwe
Independent. Hotel industry representatives have been equally reticent with one
telling the Independent it was not in the interests of those affected to say
anything at this stage. Two weeks ago the government gazetted land belonging to
Matetsi Leisure Resorts at Victoria Falls.
The acquisition of land in the Eastern
Highlands comes against a backdrop of fears of serious food shortages next year.
The acquisition of productive tea and coffee estates and the uncertainty
surrounding prime tourism facilities will compound the crisis by impacting on
forex revenues. Some of those areas gazetted could reflect sloppy drafting at
the Ministry of Lands. Among the numerous errors cited in the new list is a
Forestry Commission estate which is already state land. The list also includes
land administered by the Gwaai Valley Rural Council in Matabeleland.
The chairperson of the Tea Growers Association,
Martin Cameron, refused to comment on the reaction of his members to the
gazetting of their properties. "We are not in a position to comment publicly at
present as the matter is being dealt with through the appropriate channels," he
This is the second time in less than a year
that the government has compulsorily acquired land from prominent companies.
Last year it gazetted land belonging to the South African mining and farming
dynasty, the Oppenheimers. The family later submitted proposals to the
government to set up a trust – Shangani Empowerment Trust – to assist the people
of Insiza and Shangani districts where the family had land holdings. To date it
is not clear whether the government has agreed to the setting up of the trust in
return for the delisting of the Oppenheimer estates. There is also confusion
over the Save conservancies where government policy has been
President of the Zimbabwe Council for
Tourism Pedia Moyo this week confirmed the gazetting of tourist areas. She said
the affected members of her council would contest the government’s move. "Some
members are going to contest the acquisition. But what we are saying as an
association is that the Eastern Highlands is mountainous so it does not make
sense to resettle people in such an area," she said. She said tourism had
contributed significantly to the development of Nyanga and other surrounding
areas, something which government appeared blind to. "The tourism sector in the
Eastern Highlands has created employment for the locals. They do not have to
come to Harare to look for jobs. But if these areas are acquired the residents
will lose their livelihood," Moyo said. "In any case the resettled farmers would
have to specialise in growing pine, wattle or other such trees from which they
will only realise a return after about 20 years."
Moyo appealed to the government to come up
with a resettlement policy that recognised the importance of the tourism
industry. "We pay a lot of money through taxes to the government everyday,
unlike other sectors of the economy which pay once or twice a year," she said.
"The greatest problem we are facing at the moment is the continued lawlessness.
Our members are being harassed by the day but if they speak to the press those
people who have harassed them return and attack them again," she said.
Since last year 66 tourism operators have closed
shop, with more than 10 000 people losing their jobs. Dr Joseph Made, the
Minister of Agriculture, refused to comment when asked if government would
listen to the concerns of the tourism industry. "Please stop bothering me on my
phone. I do not want to be disturbed in any way. Just stop bothering me," said
Made before cutting off the call.
From The Star (SA), 4 May,
Zim's militants slam
Harare - Self-styled Zimbabwean war
veterans marched through Harare on Thursday to accuse the Zimbabwe Congress of
Trade Unions (ZCTU) of sacrificing workers' jobs and backing opposition to the
president. "The workers have lost faith with the ZCTU. ZCTU is now, according to
them, a thing of the past. If the workers feel they want to overhaul the ZCTU
that's up to them," veterans' leader Douglas Mahiya said. The militants, who spearheaded the violent seizure of white-owned
farms last February, had protested against wage cuts at Zimbabwe's biggest car
plant earlier on Thursday. They also accused the ZCTU of being a mouthpiece for
the opposition MDC. Mugabe's ruling Zanu-PF party backs the militants. Mahiya
said the ZCTU "has diverted from its original objectives of representing workers
and is taking more time on issues that are political".
The MDC swept all the seats in Harare
during parliamentary elections last year, leaving Zanu-PF heavily reliant on the
rural vote to cement its overall poll win. The militant's strategy aims to win
worker's votes ahead of presidential elections next year, when Mugabe will seek
to extend his 21-year rule for six more years. The march was conducted without a
police presence and disrupted traffic in the country's main commercial
Earlier on Thursday, a group led by
veterans' leader Chenjerai Hunzvi descended on the country's largest car
assembly plant in Harare to negotiate on behalf of 300 workers whose salaries
had been cut. Management at Willowvale Mazda Motor Industries agreed to pay the
workers their full salaries. "We have reached an agreement with management and
also the workers. Employees will continue to be paid 100 percent of their wages
and salaries," Hunzvi said. Willowvale management was not available for
Gangs led by former fighters of Zimbabwe's
1970s guerrilla war against white minority rule have raided scores of businesses
and the premises of international volunteer groups in recent weeks, demanding
reinstatement or compensation for sacked workers. The attacks on businesses and
threats against foreign embassies prompted former colonial power Britain and
regional heavyweight South Africa to summon Zimbabwe's ambassadors in London and
Pretoria to protest. Economists have warned that the
attacks on businesses have further damaged investor sentiment already blighted
by the militants' violent campaign last year which helped Zanu-PF win a narrow
victory in parliamentary elections. The poll violence left 31 people dead, most
of them MDC supporters.
From The Mail & Guardian (SA), 3
Zimbabwe Tops Log in Media
Johannesburg - South Africa fared very well in a report on the
state of media freedom in Southern Africa, where Zimbabwe led the charts with
the highest number of violations. Thursday was World Press Freedom Day, and the
Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa) released its report on the Southern
African region titled So This Is Democracy. The report said media freedom in the
region was dealt a massive blow with the death of editor Carlos Cardoso in
Mozambique. There was an increase in violations against the media in the past 12
months, with 46 of the 182 incidents recorded by Misa occurring in Zimbabwe.
This was followed by Zambia with 31 incidents, Angola 24, Swaziland and Namibia
18 and Malawi with 16. The lowest number of media violations in Southern Africa
occurred in Lesotho with only two incidents. In the past year, compared to 1999,
more journalists were assaulted. Zimbabwe once again had the highest number of
assaults with six in the past year, Zambia two and Angola one. Media
institutions were bombed in Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Misa recorded 26
detentions of journalists, with nine in Zimbabwe, four in Tanzania, four in
Botswana, three in Angola, two in Malawi, two in Zambia and two in
"What put the media in Zimbabwe under siege and what pushed the
country to the top of the charts for media freedom violations was the violent
parliamentary election held in June 2000," the Misa report says. "The political
and economic turmoil in the country sparked so much tension that it spread to
the media. This resulted in the government shifting the blame from themselves to
the media by accusing the media of working against the government and the good
of the country and reversing the gains of independence."
The suing of media institutions by politicians appears to be on
the increase in the region, Misa said. President Bakili Muluzi of Malawi is
suing a newspaper for publishing a story that claims he masterminded a
government corruption scheme and President Sam Nujoma of Namibia is threatening
to sue a newspaper for reporting that he owns a diamond mine in the DRC. In
Tanzania, a parliamentary candidate filed a suit against a newspaper for
publishing allegations that he moved an election campaign into mosques. In
Zimbabwe criminal defamation has been brought against a newspaper and
journalists for publishing a story linking President Robert Mugabe to what the
newspaper described as unauthorised payments allegedly made by Air Harbour
Technologies in connection with the controversial $5-billion new Harare
International airport. In Angola three journalists were found guilty of defaming
President Jose Eduardo dos Santos and government officials. "The state of media
freedom in the region is still fragile and far from normalising," Misa
From The Star (SA), 4
DRC factions to sign declaration in
Lusaka - Rebel leaders are to join Congolese President Joseph
Kabila on Thursday in the Zambian capital Lusaka to pave the way for
country-wide dialogue among warring factions of the country, said officials.
Former Botswana President Ketumile Masire, named by regional peace negotiators
as the facilitator for the inter-Congolese dialogue, was in the capital on
Wednesday preparing for the meeting. The leaders are to sign a Declaration of
Fundamental Principles that lays the basis for discussion among half a dozen
groups from the DRC.
Over the past two years the conflict has drawn in at least five
other countries in central Africa who sent troops and material to back either
the late President Laurent Kabila or those trying to unseat him. Joseph Kabila
took over as president in January, after the assassination of his father
Laurent, viewed by international mediators as a major stumbling block to peace
efforts. In recent weeks the rebel groups and neighbouring Uganda, Rwanda and
other countries involved in the fighting have agreed to implement a ceasefire.
The United Nations has started deploring forces to observe as the country
defuses the conflict. Leaders from the two major rebel groups were expected to
join the meeting on Thursday, including Jean Pierre Bemba, leader of the
Movement for the Liberation of Congo, and the head of the Rally for Congolese
Democracy, said a foreign ministry spokesperson. Other groups were also to be
represented. The MLC representative at the Lusaka-based Joint Military
Commission (JMC), Valentin Senga, said on Wednesday that Bemba had already
arrived in Lusaka.
Harare - The regime of President Robert
Mugabe quietly retreated yesterday from a threat to allow its supporters to
storm Zimbabwe's foreign embassies. At the same time as diplomats received an
official reassurance, Mr Mugabe gave his seal of approval to a wave of
occupations of white-owned businesses. The leaders of his shock troops, who
claim to be veterans of the war against white rule, released a list of 20
companies in Harare that will be targets of invasion by mobs. Mr Mugabe is
thought to be deliberately easing the pressure on diplomats while turning on
white businessmen. This twin-track strategy allows the official campaign against
Zimbabwe's white community to be pursued to its logical conclusion - the
replacement of white-owned businesses with black entrepreneurs.
All embassies and high commissions in
Harare have received a conciliatory message from Willard Chiwewe, senior
secretary at the Foreign Ministry. The letter says that the ministry "presents
its compliments to all diplomatic missions and has the honour to reaffirm its
protection. All diplomats and diplomatic premises accredited to Zimbabwe shall
continue to receive the full protection and assistance of the ministry in
accordance with its obligations under the Vienna Convention".
This hasty reassurance followed a wave of
international outrage caused by a statement from Mr Chiwewe last Friday, in
which he withdrew protection from diplomats who "further the interests of one
political party against another". His words followed an explicit threat from
Chenjerai "Hitler" Hunzvi, leader of the War Veterans' Association, to invade
any embassy suspected of backing the opposition MDC with the British High
Commission most at risk. Diplomats are accustomed to the erratic behaviour of
the Mugabe regime, but they believe that the latest episode has done lasting
damage to Zimbabwe's tattered international reputation.
Will Chinotimba fill Border Gezi's
More than 15,000 people - the majority of whom were bussed in
from Mashonaland Central province under threats of recriminations from ZANU PF
thugs - thronged Zimbabwe's national Heroes' Acre today in order to bury Border
Gezi, the man responsible for retaining the ruling party's stranglehold on rural
constituencies in last June's parliamentary election. Last year, after
spearheading a major campaign that saw more than 30 people brutally killed, Gezi
was appointed Minister of Youth Development, Gender and Employment Creation.
Following the untimely death of Gezi, a senior member of the party confirmed
that its leaders were in a quandary about who was best suited to fill Gezi's
shoes as ZANU PF's national political commissar.
Enter Joseph Chinotimba, the begrudging, violent Harare
municipal worker, absent from work for a year after joining Hunzvi in invading
white-owned commercial farms. Although he is seen in some quarters as lacking in
depth, some party members believe his capacity to unleash violence, and at the
same time get workers around to his way of thinking, could put him in the
frontline for Gezi's job. Chinotimba has recently led a campaign of intimidation
against foreign and white-owned companies on the pretext that he was solving
labour disputes. Another strong contender is Amos Midzi, a former ambassador and
former deputy minister, now the party's Harare provincial chairman. A war
veteran, Midzi - although not as energetic as Gezi and Chinotimba - has of late
been calling on workers to seek assistance from ZANU PF if they are
short-changed by their employers.
According to some political analysts Gezi's death is a major
blow to Mugabe who is seen as having put his political future in the hands of
the Chenjerai Hunzvi-led war veterans, the Minister of Information and
Publicity, Jonathan Moyo, and Border Gezi. "Here was a willing tool, and someone
so malleable, Mugabe could point him towards any object and he would simply do
what was needed to be done. He had endeared himself to the president because he
was seen as man who could get things done under any circumstances. Whoever takes
over Gezi's job has a tough calling. It's not going to be easy for the party to
replace him judging by the dejection with which the president received the news
of his death," said a political observer.
Gezi, who rendered Mashonaland Central province out of bounds
for non-ZANU PF Zimbabweans, was largely seen as one of President Robert
Mugabe's 'blue-eyed' boys. Over the past few months he embarked on a scheme to
win back voters ahead of the 2002 presidential election through disbursements of
millions of dollars to various provinces. When his government-issue Mercedes
Benz ploughed into three trees, he was on his way to the troubled,
faction-riddled Masvingo province to dish out Z$1.6 million. "ZANU PF is going
through a period that could see it continue to lose more support. At the moment
anyone who is seen as able to talk through the current political morass is
welcome aboard the campaign trail. What Mugabe and his followers don't seem to
realise is the fact that beating up people will not garner them votes. Last
year's reign of terror might have worked in their favour but things could turn
against them during the presidential election," said another political
Born in Mvurwi in Mashonaland Central province 37 years ago,
Gezi joined the ruling party in his early teens as a military informer for the
guerrillas during Zimbabwe's liberation struggle. He rose through the ranks in
the party's youth wing to become a Member of Parliament. The ruling party's
supreme decision-making body, the Politburo, unanimously declared Gezi a
national hero. He is the 48th person to be buried at the shrine, largely seen as
a burial site reserved especially for the ZANU PF faithful. "Loved by some, he
was also hated by many in his Mashonaland Central Province where he declared
enemies of all those who opposed his party. Even some senior members of his
party had begun to resent his heavy-handedness," he said.
From The Financial Gazette, 3
UK rejects Zim
Britain this week rejected sanctions against Zimbabwe because
London believes that sanctions would hurt ordinary Zimbabweans more than the
embattled government of President Robert Mugabe. British Secretary of State for
Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Robin Cook, who has repeatedly clashed with
Mugabe over alleged human rights abuses, told the House of Commons that the
United Kingdom should not impose economic sanctions against Zimbabwe because
they would have grave consequences for the country’s poorest. Cook spoke as the
US Congress fast-tracked the Zimbabwe Democracy Bill aimed at imposing sanctions
against the governing ZANU PF party and members of Mugabe’s regime who are
behind a wave of lawlessness that has stalked Zimbabwe since last year.
"I reject economic sanctions," Cook said in response to a
question from the representative of Canterbury, Julian Brazier. "It would be a
grave mistake for the government to apply such a sanction, which would deal a
very grave blow to the innocent people of Zimbabwe. They have suffered enough
already under the appalling economic mismanagement of President Mugabe. I do not
think that it would be wise of Britain to volunteer to allow Mugabe to make us
the scapegoat for his errors."
Cook said London had already taken several measures against
Zimbabwe, whose government has indicated it will declare a state of emergency if
economic sanctions are imposed on the country. Britain has already imposed an
arms embargo on Zimbabwe, halted the provision of Land Rovers to the police and
cut aid by a third. "This government has also withdrawn the British military
advisory training team from Zimbabwe," Cook said. "We have raised the question
of Zimbabwe in the Commonwealth, the European Union and the United Nations, and
we have received support in all of them."
Meanwhile, he said he would raise the subject of attacks
against Zimbabwean companies by self-styled war veterans at a meeting with
foreign ministers of other European nations at the weekend. "The targets include
businesses from half the countries of the European Union and a transit depot of
EU humanitarian aid," Cook said. "I will be raising these attacks with my
colleagues this weekend at the informal meeting of foreign ministers." He said
his government would also closely monitor the trial of opposition MDC leader
Morgan Tsvangirai on charges of terrorism, due to begin in Harare next week.
Mugabe accuses Britain of funding the MDC and says it wants him toppled by
Tsvangirai in next year’s presidential election, a charge Britain
From The Star (SA), 3
Zim's bishops issue scathing
Harare – Warning President Robert Mugabe to beware of the
punishment of hell, Zimbabwe's Catholic bishops on Wednesday issued a powerful
indictment of his government for fuelling anarchy and lawlessness in the
country. Mugabe himself is a Catholic. In an unprecedented pastoral letter that
will be read in all Catholic churches this Sunday, the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops
Conference implicitly accuses members of the government of abusing Zimbabweans
through violence, intimidation and threats, and point out that this is unjust.
The letter does not name Mugabe or his government as such - apparently to avoid
embarrassing them too much. But the context makes it clear who it is directed
at. "In our country, the holders of political power, including those claiming to
be Christians, do tend to abuse their fellow human beings," it says.
At a press conference announcing the letter on Wednesday, the
president of the Catholic Church's human rights arm, Patrick Mutume, said: "We
look upon those who hold public office to put an end to what is happening. They
have all the machinery to put an end to what is happening." The letter is being
widely interpreted as implicitly endorsing the belief of many analysts and
observers that Mugabe and Zanu-PF bear responsibility for unleashing self-styled
war veterans on the country. Most recently, the veterans have invaded factories
and other businesses across the country, assaulting and intimidating employers
involved in disputes with their employees.
With a congregation of about 20 percent of Zimbabwe's
12-million population, Catholicism is the largest single religious group in the
country. The Catholic Church has a solid and impartial record of speaking
against injustice, dating back to its criticism of Mugabe's predecessor, the
white leader Ian Smith. The letter laments: "We note with sadness that, in many
cases, public officers came to be associated with self-enrichment and
corruption. There is a need for transparency and accountability in public
office. Allegations of corruption have undermined the government's moral ground
from which it should operate." The pastoral letter acknowledges the need for
land reform but the bishops criticise the violence that has accompanied the land
resettlement programme. "We should be careful not to create more injustices in
the process of addressing legitimate concerns. It is also important that farm
labourers are catered for in the exercise. Priority should also be given to the
setting up of infrastructure and providing resources," the bishops write.
From The Financial Gazette, 3
Defiant Beitbridge folk fete MDC
Beitbridge - Armed riot police camped under leafy mopani trees
and menacingly toyed with their guns and teargas canisters but could not prevent
10 000 residents of this town and surrounding areas from giving Morgan
Tsvangirai, head of the opposition MDC, a rousing welcome here at the weekend.
Not even the presence of a well-known war veteran-turned-spy for the government
and dozens of plainclothes state security agents could thwart them from turning
out to witness Tsvangirai’s first visit to this hot and poverty-stricken border
town, one of only two areas that the MDC failed to win in Matabeleland in last
year’s general elections. As Tsvangirai’s entourage of a grey saloon car and
five four-by-four double-cab trucks swept into Tongwe Business Centre, the first
venue of the two meetings held here, the expectant villagers, mostly elderly
people, erupted into song and dance. They came on foot, bicycles and
donkey-drawn scotchcarts to see for themselves the man who they said they
praised for challenging President Robert Mugabe, remembered here for unleashing
the army’s dreaded Fifth Brigade on them in the 1980s and war veterans in the
run-up to last June’s parliamentary poll.
The crowd shouted MDC slogans and waved open palms, the party’s
symbol. They chanted "Tshintsha Zwiito", Venda for change, much to the surprise
of Tsvangirai whose party’s candidate performed dismally here against Kembo
Mohadi of ZANU PF in the June ballot. Youths energetically ran around talking
fearful villagers into coming forward to see the MDC leadership that included
several members of the MDC national executive. "There is no one who can stop me
from listening to what Tsvangirai has to say," said Roderick Muleya, watching a
group of youths dance around the MDC leader’s motorcade as it drove into the
business centre, a stone’s throw from a police station. "We have waited a long
time for them (MDC) to come here and see us. This is the only time we can have
issues clarified, especially the party’s policy on land," he said. Muleya went
on: "You see, my son, people are very fearful here," he told me. "War veterans
are having a field day because we are closed off from the rest of the community.
Just yesterday, they went around the business centre and surrounding villages
warning people not to attend today's meeting." He said some of his neighbours,
who had initially intended to attend the rally, had stayed home for fear of
retribution from the veterans, whose violent campaign against MDC supporters
last year and again this year is now well documented. Asked if he was not afraid
of reprisals himself, a hardened Muleya quipped: "I survived the Gukurahundi and
At the business centre, Tsvangirai - whose entourage included
MDC vice president Gibson Sibanda, national chairman Isaac Matongo,
secretary-general Welshman Ncube, national treasurer Fletcher Dulini and
secretary for women’s affairs Thoko Khuphe - told villagers that they should not
be afraid of the police and intelligence officers observing the meeting. "Don’t
be afraid of the police, the army and the CIO because they belong to us," he
said to the delight of the crowd, which kept on glancing at the armed police and
CIO operatives. The latter were frantically taking notes. "We know you suffered
a lot during the war of liberation as well as soon after independence. Don’t be
threatened by people who say the government will unleash the Gukurahundi again
if you vote Tsvangirai. The country has gone to the dogs and we are here to ask
you to help us vote Robert Mugabe’s government out," Tsvangirai said. Sibanda,
the party’s vice president, told the villagers that the MDC was not a violent
party as portrayed by the government in the partisan state-owned media. "We are
not here to blame you for voting ZANU PF in the June elections," he said, toying
with a cowboy hat he used to shield himself from the scorching sun. "We know
people were threatened and beaten into submission by a desperate ZANU PF party.
We say no to violence. That’s why we did not force people to attend today’s
rally, the first of several to follow here."
Beitbridge residents also took the opportunity to air their
views and express some of their fears and concerns. A male villager, who only
identified himself as a war veteran, told the gathering that his colleagues were
spreading the rumour that the MDC would discontinue pension payouts of former
freedom fighters once it came to power in next year’s presidential ballot. He
also asked Tsvangirai to clarify his party’s position on the emotive land issue
and answer charges that the MDC is a "white party" formed by the British.
"These views are being promoted by ZANU PF," Tsvangirai said.
"ZANU PF leaders know that they are on their way out and are now using all sorts
of propaganda to prevent people from making change. "We won’t cancel the
pensions. The war veterans deserve them because they gallantly fought for our
independence. In fact, when the MDC comes to power, we will increase the
pensions maybe two or threefold depending on the state of the economy. But it is
fair to tell the war veterans that we as MDC disagree when they are being used
by a desperate Mugabe to perpetuate violence and lawlessness." On the land
issue, he said the MDC believed that land was a very important natural resource
that should be allocated to the landless, but in an orderly and transparent
manner. "What is happening with the present so-called fast-track land exercise
is that those who don’t need the land are being given land," the MDC leader
pointed out. "ZANU PF is settling people in the bush and other areas that don’t
have basic infrastructure such as roads, dams and schools." Responding to
charges that the MDC is British- driven, he asked: "Do you really believe that
black people need to be told by whites or the British that they are suffering?"
The huge crowd erupted into deafening cheers and chants of approval.
After the rally at Tongwe, the MDC entourage drove to
Dulibadzimu Stadium, located in the dirt-poor Dulibadzimu high-density suburb
here, where a large crowd of mostly youths had gathered to hear Tsvangirai
speak. "Muvhuso Wambava awutuwe (The government of thieves must go)," said
Siyoka Ndou, an unemployed youth. "We need jobs. How long shall we continue
evading crocodiles to cross the Limpopo?" he asked, referring to the method used
by many youths to enter South Africa, less than two kilometres from here, and
work as illegal immigrants. Although the MDC estimates that 15 000 people
attended the rally the figure was downgraded by independent analysts to 10 000.
The labour-backed party said it was pleased with the rousing welcome it received
on its maiden trip to the border town. Robson Tlou, MDC chairman for
Matabeleland South, said: "We as the provincial leadership are impressed. We
will build on the success of this visit. We were not able to win in June because
of the harassment and beatings of villagers by the war veterans, but people now
know what the MDC is about - even in the remotest parts such as
From Pan African News Agency, 2
Rebel Leader Demands Pull Out of All
Kampala - Congolese rebel leader, Jean Pierre Bemba has given
an ultimatum to forces allied to President Joseph Kabila to immediately pull out
of DR Congo after Uganda hinted its withdrawal. "Today we are giving an
ultimatum to Zimbabwe that if they do not pull out, we see no reason to respect
the Lusaka peace agreement," Bemba told a press conference Tuesday evening in
Kampala. "The international community should put pressure on Zimbabwe, Namibia
and Angola to follow the example of Uganda to pull out of Congo to leave
Congolese solve their problems," Bemba whose rebel forces are supported by
President Yoweri Museveni on Sunday announced that he would
withdraw Ugandan troops from Congo, where they and Rwandan forces back rival
rebel groups. Museveni's announcement is in apparent reaction to a UN report
accusing Uganda and others of plundering DR Congo's wealth. Bemba said the major
reason advanced by Kabila's allies to intervene in 1998 to contain external
aggression was "now null and void with the total pull out of Ugandan forces and
the significant withdrawal of the Rwandan troops". He praised the decision of
the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) to pull out of DR Congo. "I have the
list of UPDF officers to supervise the withdrawal. I praise the Ugandans for
sacrificing their lives, their equipment and everything to train my people.
Congolese are proud of Ugandans," Bemba said.
He disclosed meeting European community envoys in Uganda to
urge them to help convey the message that pressure should be put on Kabila's
allies to pull out of DR Congo by 15 May in accordance with UN Security Council
resolution 1341. He maintained that he would not pull out his troops from the
two remaining axes of Bolomba and Befale unless the UN observer mission (MONUC)
provides security and relief aid to citizens in those areas. The head of MONUC,
Gen. Mountaga Diallo Sunday accused Bemba of continuing to block the deployment
of UN observers in the northwest of the vast
Harare - Mobs loyal to loyal to President
Mugabe suffered their first defeat yesterday when they failed to hijack a rally
organised by Zimbabwe's trade union movement. To chants of "war", a gang of at
least 200 surged on to the football pitch at Harare's Rufaro stadium. But the
invading force from the President's Zanu-PF party was outnumbered by a crowd of
7,000 and swiftly retreated. The Mugabe regime has carried its terror campaign
into the capital, and the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) presents an
obvious target. Shop stewards founded the opposition MDC and are seen by Zanu-PF
as a front for the interests of white employers. The invasion of white-owned
businesses is designed to persuade urban workers to abandon the ZCTU and put
their faith in Zanu-PF. But yesterday's fiasco showed how Mr Mugabe has lost
almost all support in his own capital.
As traditional dancers warmed up the
May Day rally before the ZCTU leadership began speaking, a white Land Rover
roared on to the football pitch. Joseph Chinotimba, a notorious Zanu-PF
rabble-rouser awaiting trial for attempted murder, got out. Scores of his
supporters streamed on to the pitch to surround their leader. The police stood
by as they waved their fists and chanted: "Forward with Zanu-PF, forward with
Comrade Mugabe." But the crowd responded with the open-hand salute of the MDC,
and were later rewarded by a speech from Lovemore Matombo, president of the
ZCTU, which was critical of the government. When he asked for support for ZCTU,
the crowd roared its approval. As the rally closed, Mr Chinotimba was allowed
back to the pitch and conducted what he called "the real ZCTU rally". But his
speech was drowned by the noise of the departing crowd.
ZCTU call for minimum wage of
$14,000 at May Day celebrations
The president of the Zimbabwe Congress of
Trade Unions (ZCTU), Lovemore Matombo, suggested that a minimum wage of Z$14,000
should be introduced, back dated to the beginning of this year, at a May Day
celebration held in Rufaro Stadium in Harare yesterday. This figure is twice as
much as what the self-styled war veterans have said they want the private sector
to pay its workers. Matombo, who declared he would
not be pushed around by government, openly made scathing attacks on the ruling
party and urged workers not to be forced to run scared. He also chided the
government for blaming its woes on everyone else but itself. "We can blame the
United Kingdom, South Africa and America but we can’t continue to do so for
another 20 years. We have to find out what has become of our country and find a
way of handling the problems we have. As workers we are the ones who handle the
issues that affect us so we should not be threatened or scared of anyone," said
He also pointed out that the government and
urban councils had enough money to pay their employees but were not doing so.
Matombo warned the government against fast tracking the Labour Bill expected to
be tabled when parliament resumes next week. He said there was a need to make
amends to some of the proposals in the Bill. "This Bill, if allowed to pass,
will be the most oppressive piece of legislation. It doesn’t even have a policy
on a minimum retrenchment package, something that even countries like South
Africa and Malawi have. If the government dares to go ahead and make this Bill
law, we are going to be calling each other for funerals. "If we have to fight
for our rights we will have to fight whichever way. They can kill us, but for
how long can they continue to do that?" he said to loud cheers.
Zimbabwe’s ruling ZANU PF party suffered
yet another embarrassment in front of more than 5,000 workers who turned up at
Harare’s Rufaro stadium for the May
Attempting to use strong-arm tactics, self-styled war veterans and less than
1,000 supporters of the ruling party tried to subdue the crowd and force its way
into leading the celebrations. They were, however, pushed into one corner of the
stadium where they sat glumly as they listened to Matombo‘s address. A
potentially volatile situation was averted when the riot police and police dog
handlers managed to separate supporters of the ruling party and those of the
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), who started fighting for territory on the
pitch. War veterans’ leader Chenjerai "Hitler" Hunzvi and ZANU PF’s chairman for
Harare Province, Amos Midzi, who is also a former ambassador and deputy
minister, had earlier milled around the grounds uncertainly wondering whether or
not to go in.
Over the past few weeks ZANU PF supporters
have invaded mostly foreign and white-owned companies, or those led by blacks
suspected of supporting the MDC. Sources within the party said the strategy now
was to try and woo urban workers who overwhelmingly voted for MDC in last June’s
parliamentary election. This, the sources said, was the reason why the ruling
party had been so keen to make its presence felt at the Mayday celebrations. But
efforts by the leader of farm and company invasions, Joseph Chinotimba, to
address workers were thwarted when the ZCTU firmly stood its ground and
proceeded with its programme as planned. Chinotimba and Hunzvi only managed to
take over when the ZCTU, MDC officials, and most of the workers had left.
Said one independent political analyst: "The
government is desperate but what has happened today is a major source of
embarrassment because I’m sure they have seen it for themselves that people are
tired of being lied to."
Meanwhile, Chinotimba announced that this
week they would be invading more companies and would continue to do so until all
workers were happy. Papers were passed around within the small group of ZANU PF
supporters to write down names of companies they want dealt with. Olivine
Industries, OK Zimbabwe and TM supermarkets, National Railways of Zimbabwe,
Surgimed, Lion Matches, Fawcett Security, Doves Morgan Funeral Services,
National Foods, Universal Metal, Paramount Clothing and Sable Chemicals were
listed as some of the several companies targeted for this week. The government
owns shares in some of the companies. Chinotimba said Fawcett Security would be
visited because its workers were underpaid and "we are also aware that you have
been using your vehicles to ferry people to white commercial farms." He said, in
a tone that could be a warning to homeowners, that they had also received
representations from domestic workers and they would soon be visiting private
homes to settle disputes.
From News24 (SA), 2
War vets threaten to step up
Harare - Militant war veterans threatened on Tuesday to step up
their attacks on businesses in Zimbabwe, during their alternative May Day rally
held after a main rally organized by labour unions. "We want everyone to bring
their problems to us for settling," said firebrand war vet leader Chenjerai
Hunzvi, in a speech at Harare's Rufaro soccer stadium. Fellow war vet leader
Joseph Chinotimba assembled a list of about 20 employers he said his followers
would target for raids to settle labour problems. During the last month, the war
vets have raided scores of companies and beaten or harassed managers, claiming
they were acting in the name of disgruntled employees.
Chinotimba invited his few hundred supporters in the crowd to
name companies they wanted to see raided. His list included international
electronics giant Philips, two major Zimbabwean supermarket chains, the national
railway, the state postal and telecom company, the national bus line, a funeral
home and a cooking oil company. But it also included small employers, such as a
local producers of matches and fireplaces, as well as employers of domestic
workers. One company named by Chinotimba, Fawcett Security, already had its
Bulawayo offices raided by war veterans on Monday, in a raid of three major
security companies in the city.
The threat comes amid a campaign by President Robert Mugabe's
ruling Zanu-PF party to bolster his support among urban workers ahead of next
year's presidential elections. Zanu-PF failed to win any urban constituencies in
last year's parliamentary elections, losing them all to the opposition MDC. His
militant followers are now transferring to Zimbabwe's cities the violent tactics
of intimidation and harassment they used in rural areas when they occupied 1,600
white-owned farms ahead of the June parliamentary elections. At least 34 people
died in political violence ahead of the polls, and thousands more were beaten,
raped or kidnapped.
From The Daily News, 1
Tsvangirai’s bodyguards appear in
court for alleged unlawful military training
Matthews Masokere and Ernest Chifombote, the bodyguards of MDC
president Morgan Tsvangirai, appeared before Harare provincial magistrate,
Dominic Muzavazi, yesterday on charges of undergoing unlawful military training.
Masokere, 38, of Zengeza 3 in Chitungwiza, and Chifombote of Marlborough,
Harare, are alleged to have clandestinely undergone military training in Uganda,
contravening Section 24 (2) of the Law and Order (Maintenance) Act Chapter
11:07. They were not asked to plead. The court remanded them in custody to
tomorrow when the magistrate is expected to make a ruling on their application
for refusal of remand.
The State’s case is that some time in 1999, Masokere, then
employed by the Zimbabwe Hotel and Catering Workers’ Union, Chifombote, a
gardener, and three others not named in the court papers, were allegedly called
by Tsvangirai, then secretary-general of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions,
to his office. Tsvangirai allegedly told the five men that they would be sent
for military training in Uganda. On 31 July, Masokere, Chifombote and their
colleagues, who were said to be at large, allegedly boarded a Ugandan Airlines
plane to Kampala, Uganda. They were allegedly met at the Kampala airport by two
Ugandan men who took them to a secret location in the city. They were later
driven to a secluded camp, 500km out of Kampala, where they allegedly underwent
training in martial arts, military intelligence, close security duties,
terrorism and weapons handling. They completed the training on 8 October 1999
and came back through South Africa, the State alleged. They were arrested on
Friday last week. The two were represented by Innocent Chagonda of Atherstone
and Cook. Chagonda said: "The offence is said to have occurred in 1999 before
the MDC was launched and two years have gone by without the allegations. The
allegations by the State don’t constitute any offence at all."
From IRIN (UN), 1
Washington Says Uganda Should Stick
Nairobi - The US State Department on Monday urged Uganda to
reconsider its decision to withdraw from the Lusaka peace agreement on the DRC,
saying that it still considered Lusaka the best hope for achieving a just and
stable peace in the region. Uganda's participation was "important for the
ultimate success of the process", Reuters quoted State Department spokesman
Phillip Reeker as saying. "We really believe the parties should focus on
implementing the [military] disengagement plans and preparing for the start of
the inter-Congolese national dialogue," he added.
US Ambassador to the UN James Cunningham also called on Uganda
to "address in a constructive way" the issues raised in a UN report on the
exploitation by combatants in the DRC war of the Congo's natural resources,
Reuters reported on Tuesday. Among the report's recommendations were sanctions
on Uganda's and Rwanda's exports of minerals, gold and timber. Cunningham said
the hope was "to focus attention on the issue to secure improved performance",
and hoped that this could be done without imposing sanctions, the report added.
Cunningham, who holds the rotating presidency of the UN Security Council for
May, has scheduled a public debate on the UN panel's report on the exploitation
of Congolese resources for Thursday, 3 May, at which the foreign ministers of
the DRC, Uganda and Rwanda are expected to speak, Reuters added.
From IRIN (UN), 1
Annan Plays Down Pullout From Lusaka
Nairobi - UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said on Monday that
Uganda's announcement that it had withdrawn from the Lusaka accord - in reported
retaliation for a UN report citing Ugandan looting of natural resources in the
Congo - was "not necessarily a setback" for the DRC peace process provided that
the authorities in Kampala respected the spirit of the agreement. Under the
Lusaka accord, Ugandan troops were supposed to withdraw from the Congo, he said.
"If indeed Uganda does withdraw and ends this engagement in the Congo and
respects the spirit of the agreement, I think it will be fine," he added. Annan
said he had heard of Uganda's stance only through the media, and would need more
specific details directly from President Yoweri Museveni.
The DRC government on Monday criticised Uganda's decision, and
said it cast doubt on the country's stated intention to withdraw troops from the
Congo, the semi-official Ugandan 'New Vision' newspaper reported. The Lusaka
accord was signed in mid-1999 by the DRC, Angola, Namibia, Rwanda, Uganda,
Zimbabwe and three Congolese rebel movements: the Rassemblement congolais pour
la democratie (RCD), the RCD-Mouvement de liberation (RCD-ML) and the Mouvement
de liberation du Congo (MLC). The two last-named have since merged as the
Congolese Liberation Front. The Lusaka agreement includes provisions on a
ceasefire, the withdrawal of foreign troops and normalisation of the situation
along the DRC's border, as well as the holding of a national dialogue; the need
to address security concerns; and the establishment of a mechanism for disarming
militias and armed groups.
is entitled to protection of the law'
BY LORD GOLDSMITH,
THE first reaction of the Zimbabwe Government to the
publication last week of a report by the Human Rights Institute of the
International Bar Association was regrettably predictable. Produced after the
visit to the country in March by a seven-member delegation of judges and
lawyers, in which I was privileged to participate, the report was deeply
critical of the state of law in Zimbabwe. The visit had been prompted by
international concern at the apparent erosion of the rule of law and reports
in the international press of intimidation of judges. So we went to see
for ourselves and to listen to all sides of the story, including the
We met at length with key ministers, including a
three-and-a-half hour meeting with President Mugabe, and separate discussions
with the country’s Attorney-General and Minister of Justice. What we saw
dismayed us: intimidation and threats to judges which the Government appeared
to condone; unconstitutional pressure by government ministers on judges to
leave the Bench; a failure by the Government to enforce orders of its own
courts; and a widespread belief that there is selective prosecution of crime
where political violence is at issue. Despite reassurances we were given,
and which we record in our report, we were gravely concerned that all this
was leading to a culture of lawlessness in the country.
of the Government, through its Information Minister Jonathan Moyo, has,
however, been to reject the report, as other international criticism before
has been rejected, by raising the spectre of a British-dominated conspiracy
to damage Zimbabwe and accusing the delegation of a refusal to recognise the
legitimate interests of Zimbabweans to land reform.
Two key facts,
however, demonstrate how false that analysis is. The first is that this
delegation was no British conspiracy. As is the IBA itself, the delegation
was truly international. I was the only Briton out of seven members. Indeed,
I was one of only two white members, the others drawn from the Caribbean,
India, South Africa and Namibia as well as a federal judge from the United
States. This was not a delegation to have any truck with colonialism or
racism. The fact is that the delegation was open-minded, objective and
independent. You would expect no less of those such as the present Chief
Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, the Honourable Chief Justice
Sir Dennis Byron, the past Chief Justice of India, Justice A.M. Ahmadi, or
Judge Andre Davis, a US District Judge.
Secondly, the delegation was in
no way against land reform. On the contrary we recognised that the majority
of fertile land in Zimbabwe is concentrated, 21 years after independence, in
the hands of a minority of white farmers, no more than 4,500 farmers out of a
population of 12 million. The delegation had no hesitation in accepting that
reform to remove this inequitable distribution is urgent. But it must be
reform within Zimbabwe’s own laws, and not outside them.
the Government of Zimbabwe still does not honour orders made by its own
courts over a year ago, to restore occupied land to its owners. As recently
as December, the Court of Appeal repeated orders consented to by the
Government, and ordered immediate compliance. Following our mission, it is
the IBA’s view that the Zimbabwe Government’s failure to enforce
these rulings must stop and the State must act in support of the courts,
with sensitivity, to bring the occupations to an end.
The losers are
the people of Zimbabwe, for judicial independence is not a privilege of
judges, but a right of every citizen: to have the law applied impartially by
an independent judge, protected from external pressure. They are entitled
also to an impartial application of the law by everyone: police, Government
and security services. As the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides, “every
person is entitled to protection of the law”; and it is the duty of every
person to respect and abide by the Constitution.
The example set by the
Government can only lead to contempt for the law in other areas. Events
reported since the delegation left Zimbabwe, for example of the spread of
action by war veterans to other areas of commerce, only underline that
concern. The IBA has called upon the Mugabe Government to make public the
assurances it gave our delegation, that it would respect the independence of
the judiciary, and to back these assurances with concrete actions.
the great US judge Justice Brandeis said 50 years ago, “In a government of
laws, existence of the government will be imperilled if it fails to observe
the law scrupulously . . . Government is the potent, omnipresent teacher. For
good or ill, it teaches the whole people by its example. If the Government
becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for the law; it invites every man to
become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy.”
The author is co-chairman
of the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute.
International Bar Associations’ Human Rights Institute’s Report of Zimbabwe
Mission 2001 can be found at www.ibanet.org.
For copies: 020-7629 1206.
ZIMBABWE’S workers are the victims of a trade union body
that has been politicised and therefore can no longer effectively represent
their interests, hence the need for war veterans to intervene on their behalf,
Zanu PF spokesmen suggest.
Only the terminally stupid are likely to fall
for this line. The party that has been urging us to study our revolutionary
history appears to have conveniently forgotten the role played by trade
unionists such as Charles Mzingeli and Joshua Nkomo. They would have given
today’s Mafikizolos an appropriate retort to claims that trade unionists should
not be political. This country’s early nationalist stirrings and the history of
trade unionism are inextricably linked.
Trade unionism is about workers
organising themselves to secure better wages and conditions for their members.
That is a very political exercise. In a booming economy they should be able to
reap maximum benefits. In one that is ailing their best bet is to arrive at
accommodations that secure jobs without breaking the backs of the companies they
But modern trade unionism can hardly confine itself to
objectives which ignore wider economics. If the government of the day is
pursuing populist policies that sabotage economic activity of any sort, trade
unions have not only a right but a pressing duty to make their positions known.
What is the point of demanding pay hikes when companies are being pushed
to the wall by a regime whose pattern of borrowing, spending and waste so
pollutes the business climate that costs exceed returns? If trade unions are
unable to safeguard their members’ jobs in the current situation that is hardly
Trade unionists have every right to team up with parties
that offer a better dispensation — one where investment and jobs flourish.
Across the world trade unions support parties of their choice.
Historically these have been Social Democratic or Communist parties. But
more recently unions have hedged their bets, offering to back parties providing
specific advantages to companies and their workers in a challenging global
environment. Often they have joined governments in wooing investors.
South Africa’s Cosatu is involved in an ongoing public discourse with
the ANC government over the terms of its alliance, in particular the handling of
privatisation. It has also been forthright in defending workers’ political
rights. Cosatu has been quick to defend the rights of Zimbabwean workers,
pointing to what happens when an intolerant regime, free of constitutional
checks and balances, resorts to violence to maintain itself in office.
“Near-dictatorial governance has become a fertile ground for impunity,
corruption and disregard of the law,” said Cosatu secretary-general Zwelinzima
Vavi at a conference on lessons to be drawn from Zimbabwe recently.
our News Analysis on Page 12 this week we quote Hassan Sunmonu,
secretary-general of the Organisation of African Trade Union Unity saying how
intolerant governments in Africa had become when unions led civil society in
demanding the restoration of civil rights.
“They think that unions
should only deal with bread and butter issues,” Sunmonu said, “but every human
being is a political animal and we have a right to air our opinions about the
way our countries are run.”
From 1997 to this year the government tried
— and failed — to incite workers against their employers. Now it has unleashed
war veterans on employers ostensibly on behalf of workers who proved impervious
to its blandishments the first time around.
Government spokesmen claim
that the ruling party and war veterans have emerged as an effective alternative
to the ZCTU, moving in quickly to resolve labour disputes. In fact they have
very effectively ensured there will be no further business expansion in Zimbabwe
this year or next!
These are not the circumstances in which any sensible
business planner will borrow or take on new staff.
We note the number of
cases in which Zanu PF officials and other predators connected to them have
sought directorships in order, they claim, to ward off future invasions.
Willard Chiwewe, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
appears to have given the government’s blessing to this lawlessness by warning
embassies that NGOs supporting political parties — presumably other than Zanu PF
— cannot expect protection. This will prevent them engaging in civic
capacity-building, arguably an important facet of their work in Zimbabwe.
Admittedly Chiwewe’s letter to embassies was so shocking in its
implications that it was excluded from the pages of the state media. But
nonetheless Joseph Chinotimba has the bit between his teeth and will now
presumably proceed against the 20 companies he designated on Workers Day.
Let’s hope they have contingency plans in place. Government has in this
whole sorry episode at least shown us what it means when it criticises the
politicisation of trade unions — that they can be as political as they like when
they support Zanu PF but any other political activity will not be tolerated.
Isn’t that true of the double standards they apply across the board?
This week the Catholic bishops found their voice and condemned the use of
war veterans to settle disputes. Government should “ensure the nation is not
held to ransom by a few”, they said.
“Violence, intimidation and threats
are the tools of failed politicians. We must point out to them that they are
engaging in an unjust activity.”
This is a start. Let’s hope others are
now as forthright in their denunciation of the anarchy and evil in our midst.
WE were pleased to
have on the record the forthright comments of George Bizos SC on what he thinks
of Jonathan Moyo. “He is a liar,” the ANC’s leading counsel said.
followed a dispute between the two over remarks made after the International Bar
Association’s meeting with President Mugabe. Moyo had accused Bizos of coming to
Zimbabwe with preconceived ideas and comparing Zimbabwe to apartheid South
Africa. He was shown on TV waving his arms around and shouting at Bizos.
“Moyo is not telling the truth. He is a liar and he should stop lying.
He has no reason to question my credibility,” Bizos told the Standard. “People
should judge my credibility against his.”
But Moyo accused South
Africa’s distinguished trial lawyer of having a small mind. He said he didn’t
care if Bizos was Nelson Mande- la’s attorney.
“That is not worth a pin
in Zimbabwe. Bizos should know that Africans don’t care that he was Mandela’s
That one statement tells us all we need to know about the
government’s attitude to Mandela and everything he stands for.
an international reputation for his fight against apartheid and human rights
abuses. He was recently voted trial lawyer of the year by his international
colleagues. But Moyo says Bizos’ record as a champion of victims of apartheid
doesn’t mean a thing to him.
This might help to explain his dexterity on
matters relating to his own war record. Summoning his favourite Sunday Mail
reporter to rebut a story in the Zimbabwe Independent last week in which Edgar
Tekere and Wilfred Mhanda had questioned Moyo’s revolutionary credentials, the
minister said the notion that “if you were not at this or that camp then you
were not in the struggle” was “inherently foolish”.
He was “nowhere
near” Mgagao in 1974 as alleged by Mhanda, Moyo insisted.
thing is fiction. How could I desert from a place I was not at in the first
place? However, I am flattered that even though I was a toddler in 1974, Mhanda
thinks at the time I was already a professor.”
Although he may not have
been a professor, Moyo must have been a very large toddler. He was 17 at the
time according to our calculations!
Moyo asserted that it was not
necessary for people to say what they did during the struggle, which is of
course fine so long as you are not claiming to possess revolutionary
credentials. He artfully linked Mhanda to the MDC and asked whether there would
be any investigation of atrocities that allegedly occurred at Mgagao under
“There are many horrific things that are said to have
happened at the camp. I think Mhanda should just shut up,” was Moyo’s parting
We are none the wiser despite this exclusive interview. Is there
for instance a Zanu-Sithole connection from 1977/78 as rumoured in some
quarters? We await the next thrilling instalment.
sentence in the report of the International Bar Association caught our
attention. Noting the threats made against judges by ministers and others, the
IBA said it had received “important assurances from the acting chief justice
that he will protect the judges from attack”.
That is useful to have.
But the IBA should have asked Justice Chidyausiku what his role was when those
same ministers were making vicious verbal assaults on Supreme Court judges and
visiting their chambers to tell them “the president wouldn’t want anything to
happen” to them.
Did he speak out then in defence of his colleagues,
either publicly or privately? We would like to know.
We also welcome his
statement that he does not believe there is any reason to initiate a tribunal to
investigate any judges. Again, was this his view when the government said it
intended to set up such a tribunal as part of its campaign of threats and
intimidation against Chief Justice Anthony Gubbay and other judges? Did
Chidyausiku oppose it then?
He appeared during the IBA’s visit to be a
staunch defender of judicial independence. But only a short time before, he had
accused Gubbay of provoking a confrontation with the executive by advising court
applicants of their rights under the law. Let’s hope the views he expressed to
the IBA were designed to achieve more than softening its indictment of a regime
whose wishes he said in a 1999 interview he was keen to ascertain.
Justice James Devittie’s judgements on the MDC’s electoral petitions
last week clearly caused him some anxiety. He was quoted as saying that his
decision to annul certain results “caused me more anxiety than I have had cause
to feel in the time I have sat on the bench”.
His convictions had been
“sorely tested”, he said, “by consideration of what men of my generation
perceive to be in the national interest, by an appreciation that this nation is
undergoing a process set in motion in pre-independence times to achieve economic
and social justice”.
And there we were thinking that all he had to do
was interpret the law!
If he wishes to expand upon such subjective
matters as the national interest and historical processes it may be a good time
to point out that the social justice the nation sought since pre-independence
times has been betrayed by a parasitic class that is holding on to power through
violence and intimidation.
The task of the judiciary is to uphold the
rights of Zimbabweans as guaranteed under the constitution. That includes the
right to the protection of one’s life and property and the right to choose a
Ruling on issues as fundamental as these should cause no
anxiety whatsoever. All judges have to do is the right thing. Why all the
Anybody listening to Joe Winter’s interview with the
Zimbabwe Tobacco Association’s Kobus Joubert last week will understand our point
that the government deported the wrong person. Winter, who now operates from
Bush House, adopted a Rottweiler attitude to Joubert from the outset, clearly
regarding tobacco farmers as “the enemy” for holding back their crop. Wasn’t it
in the national interest for them to surrender it to the tobacco floors
regardless of what price they got, he asked?
Joubert patiently explained
to Winter that farmers’ inputs had shot up while prices remained fixed by an
unfriendly exchange rate. Farming was a business in which farmers had every
right to secure the best price.
“So all this business about farming
having been disrupted by farm invasions was just scare-mongering?” Winter
Admittedly, by suggesting tobacco farmers had a good crop to
sell, Joubert had minimised the impact of invasions. But the interview exposed
an underlying antipathy to commercial farmers that has long been a facet of
Muckraker’s view is that the Zimbabwean authorities
confused Winter with Grant Ferret, whose incisive reports for the BBC from
Harare were sharply critical of the regime. Ferret was booted out of Munhumutapa
Building last year after a contretemps with Moyo over an interview.
Asked by George Charamba who he was, Ferret gave his name and asked
Charamba who he was. “I am who I am,” came the imperious response. Ferret was
also identified as “Joseph Winter” by Sydney Sekeramayi at an election rally
Ferret left under his own steam earlier this year. But Winter
could have paid the price for his colleague’s scathing commentaries.
seems the government’s propaganda offensive is not confined to paying Herman
Cohen’s company $160 million. The Independent first revealed Cohen’s role as a
Zimbabwe government publicist in July last year. But judging by their material,
journalists may have been included among the recipients of taxpayers’ forced
How else does one explain Bright Matongo’s poison-pen pieces
from London in the Herald which describe the IBA report as “a fabrication of
lies and propaganda conducted by a bunch of thugs with the sole aim of
destabilising Zimbabwe”? Is this the language of journalism — or of Moyo?
This is the same author who wrote a long article attacking RW Johnson’s
contributions in the British press before the Herald published a letter from
Johnson disclosing he was not the author of the articles referred to!
Then there are the funny little pieces by somebody called Udo Froese in
Johannesburg which seem to perfectly reflect official policy in Harare.
And who commissioned David Martin’s recent five-part series in the
Herald? This was designed to add a historical dimension to the land issue but
instead simply revealed an ideologically arthritic commentator who cannot prise
himself from his loyalty to a violent and oppressive regime. He thinks we should
have emulated Tanzania in nationalising land.
Whatever the provenance of
these stories, Zanu PF commentators will have to do better in explaining
Zimbabwe’s predicament than simply ascribing it to Britain and white settlers.
And why do David Martin’s historical accounts invariably manage to focus on the
Bvumba? Are we missing something here?
The office of the United Nations
resident coordinator in Zimbabwe is fast developing a reputation for unhealthy
collaboration with the state media in its attacks on the independent press. Last
year after we published a UNDP technical team report on fast-track land
resettlement that was critical of facets of the programme, the resident
coordinator put out a statement saying our story was misleading.
it turned out to be 100% correct. Tackled about this, the resident
representative said he didn’t like the heading! Now he has issued a statement
saying a story in the Daily News on a meeting of diplomats at the UNDP offices
was “misleading”. Instead of just informing the paper that carried the story, he
made a fawning statement to the state media.
“No such meeting is taking
place at this office, neither does the organisation plan to have such a meeting
in future,” the statement said.
The UN office said it wanted to “renew
to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs assurances of its highest consideration”.
This craven declaration, clearly designed to head off attacks by war
veterans, came hard on the heels of a shocking statement by Foreign Affairs
permanent secretary Willard Chiwewe saying embassies and NGOs that indulged in
what he called “partisan political work, meaning supporting civil society —
could not expect government protection. The statement was so crude and so
damaging in its implications that the state media was told not to carry it.
But the UN representative’s office still found it expedient to convey
“assurances of its highest consideration” to the government.
Angelo: where are your cojones? Your job is to help civil society, not assist a
brutal regime in undermining it. Stop grovelling.
Justice Ben Hlatshwayo
is yet to deliver judgement in an application brought by Trudy Stevenson
questioning the legitimacy of the government-appointed commission running the
city of Harare. He said in February he needed to determine the capacity in which
Stevenson made the application because, he said, she was “wearing too many
She was an MP, a voter, a Harare ratepayer and a member of the
MDC, he pointed out.
Stevenson’s lawyer made it clear she was bringing
the action as a voter. Justice Hlatshwayo was recently asked in a now-concluded
civil action against a company with holdings in the Daily News to recuse himself
because he had recently worn a number of hats. He has been a constitutional
commissioner, a university lecturer, and the acting editor of a pro-government
newspaper. No wonder he is confused about other people’s hats!
why is the President’s Office scared of photographers? Three were arrested at
the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair for taking pictures of Mugabe while he was
touring exhibits. They were told they could be charged under the Law and Order
If it is now illegal to photograph the president the
country should be told why. What does he want to hide apart from his record?