Thousands of delegates from Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF party are gathering in
the resort town of Victoria Falls for their annual conference, which starts on
President Robert Mugabe is expected to use the event to launch his campaign
for the presidential election in March.
With political tension mounting, Zimbabwe's neighbours are concerned that the
situation there should not slip out of control.
Zimbabwe's big neighbour, South Africa, has most to lose
should the crisis deepen in the coming weeks.
Already hundreds of jobless Zimbabweans are trying to cross into South Africa
every day, and the dramatic fall in South Africa's currency is partially due to
a loss of confidence because of the Zimbabwean upheavals.
Other, smaller neighbours, have similar concerns.
Both Malawi and Mozambique fear that thousands of migrant workers could
return home from Zimbabwe if they lose their jobs.
In public, African leaders are reluctant to criticise.
The governments of Angola and Congo - military allies in the Congolese war -
will not break ranks with President Mugabe.
It is President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa who has voiced concerns about the
possibility of an unfair and illegitimate election.
President Mbeki is trying to build a new relationship between responsible
African governments and leading Western powers.
The political violence in Zimbabwe sits awkwardly with his rhetoric of an
Air Zimbabwe loses $1,23m as London flight is
12/13/01 8:19:07 AM (GMT +2)
THE Air Zimbabwe Boeing 767 flight which was grounded on 3
London due to a technical fault is now serviceable and was
undertake the Paris-Brussels-Kinshasa-Harare route on Tuesday
Moses Mapanda, the acting senior manager public relations, said
was expected in Harare late yesterday afternoon.
said there had been some delays in clearing passengers who were
and Harare because another aircraft, a Boeing 737, had also been
last Sunday after
it developed a technical fault in
"We discovered that the plane had a technical fault when it
Nairobi and the problem has since been rectified and it will be
its domestic and regional flights today," he said.
the clearing of passengers leaving either London or Harare would be
Mapanda said in addition, Air Zimbabwe had also hired a
Boeing 727 from
South Africa to fulfil its regional obligations.
100 passengers on Air Zimbabwe flight bound for Harare were on
evening stranded at Gatwick Airport in London after the plane was
to pick up President Mugabe and his family from Spain.
parastatal lost about £15 400 (Z$1,23 million) to accommodate
inconvenienced passengers at Gatwick.
The passengers spent two
nights in London.
Zanu PF in bid to hijack Dynamos
AM (GMT +2)
By Tendai Madinah
ZANU PF appears to have hijacked
the reins of power at Dynamos Football Club
to try to exploit the team's
popularity to boost the party's support among
an increasingly defiant
Sources say the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) on
restructured Dynamos on the instructions of Zanu
Zifa set up a commercial unit, Dynamos Private Limited, in the club
three directors, all from the previous nine-member executive
Cliff McIlwaine, the Zifa chief executive, said the directors
Chigogora, Dominic Kambeu and Raymond Majongwe.
executive members are Simon Makaza (chairman), Philip
(vice-chairman), Victor Nyaumwe (organising secretary) and Godfrey
Some members of the board and the executive said
yesterday that Zifa
chairman, Leo Mugabe, showed them letters from the Zanu
PF Harare Province
and the war veterans, which ordered that Dynamos must be
"get the right people at the right place" to help the party
ahead of the Presidential poll next March.
that the letters, which they could not take away, said there
within the Dynamos executive who were advancing the interests
of the Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC).
One official said: "This is no longer
football, it's now politics. The MDC
commands about 95 percent support in
Harare and Zanu PF has a war to fight
in order gain support."
officials said the subject of Dynamos being used as a vehicle to revive
waning popularity of Zanu PF was likely to be discussed at the
conference which kicks off in Victoria Falls this
Mugabe denied any political motives in the new
He said: "There is no political victimisation here because we
accommodated everyone. If we did not like Majongwe, we would have
dropped or banned him. We don't do politics secretly. If we want
go public and join one of the many political parties
On the two letters from the war veterans and Zanu PF, Mugabe
"Representations or no representations, they have no bearing on
because they are not from football people."
Mugabe said Zifa
was trying to introduce efficiency and professionalism
Asked if the executive committee elections which were
scheduled for 23
December would still be held, Mugabe said there was no need
He said if the Dynamos members approved the constitution, the
would start working towards holding the elections.
said: "We are bringing normalcy to the club. People should not hurry
elections when others are not clearly aware of what is
Meanwhile, none of the Dynamos interim executive members
besides Rafiq Adam,
who is out of the country, has been dropped in the new
Only Majongwe commented on the developments.
He said he
was not happy to be assigned to a "non-existent company".
He said that
there was more to the restructuring than the development
Majongwe said: "I will have another life somewhere. The
people who appoint
us will determine our fate, but that must be in the
interest of Dynamos.
There are so many things behind this restructuring. The
truth of what is
happening will eventually come out."
prominent Zanu PF members like war veterans' leader Joseph
tried to associate themselves with Dynamos.
Chinotimba attended a
farewell dinner for long-serving Dynamos captain
Memory Mucherahowa upon his
retirement at the end of September.
Mucherahowa played for the club for
Law Society blames
State for increasing lawlessness
12/13/01 8:23:29 AM (GMT
By Collin Chiwanza
THE Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ) has
lashed out at the government for
condoning lawlessness marked by political
violence, extortion and personal
attacks on judges and other legal service
In his annual report for 2001, Sternford Moyo, the LSZ
president, said: "It
is with sadness that I have to report that the year 2001
lawlessness characterised by politically motivated
violence, threats of
violence, extortion and the undermining of formal
mechanisms in labour matters."
Moyo attacked what
he described as the indirect expropriation by the
government of domestic
savings through the mechanism of interest control, a
move he said had
domestic savings in general.
He said the
government's threats to re-introduce the mandatory carrying of
was in defiance of a Supreme Court ruling which stated this
was a violation
of the Bill of Rights as enshrined in the Constitution
Describing the plan as an exercise in futility, unless it
is accompanied by
a constitutional amendment, Moyo said: "The Supreme Court
has already ruled
that this requirement is unconstitutional."
related how the former Chief Justice, Anthony Gubbay, was "compelled
sustained abuse, unjustified and defamatory attacks together with threats
violence" to resign before his time was up.
He noted how Justice
James Devittie was also threatened by persons who could
remove him from the Bench.
Moyo said: "In the absence of a public
condemnation of the threats, Justice
Moyo noted in
his report that the conditions of service for judges remained
He said it was not, therefore, surprising that Justice Esmael
resigned from the High Court to take up a similar judicial
"Instead of receiving commendation for diligence and commitment
after responding to calls to attend to duty outside normal working
Chatikobo was subjected to unjustified attacks and was, without
justification, accused of irregular conduct," said Moyo.
Michael Gillespie also resigned this year.
"He made it clear that the
conduct of the Executive rendered his continued
service as a judge
untenable," said Moyo.
He condemned the attacks on legal service
providers country-wide, citing
cases of a Bulawayo lawyer's office which was
stormed, and the Deputy
Sheriff for Bulawayo who resigned as a result of
Former Zanu PF MP says the government has
12/13/01 8:25:27 AM (GMT +2)
From Energy Bara
ALBERT Chamwadoro, the former Zanu PF MP for Chivi North,
said yesterday the
government had failed to comply with the Abuja agreement
and threatened it
with legal action for taking over his farm for
The farm, Lot One of Allanvale Farm near Mashava, was
invaded by so-called
war veterans and has now been listed for
Chamwadoro said: "The government has completely failed to
honour the Abuja
Agreement on the land. It appears some government officials,
provincial governors, are not aware of government policies and need
enlightened. I am a black man and own one farm."
He said if the
government continued to personalise the land issue, it risked
He said: "Violence has been the order of the day on my farm
and the police
have folded their arms while crimes are being committed. This
is a direct
violation of the Abuja accord."
Chamwadoro said he would seek recourse in
the courts to reverse the decision
by the government to take over his farm.
He said he felt his farm should not
Youths demand return of removed Anglican
12/13/01 8:26:48 AM (GMT +2)
DIFFERENCES between Bishop Nolbert Kunonga, the head of the
in Harare, and his congregation took a dramatic twist on
Sunday when a group
of youths stormed into a church service at St Luke's
Anglican Church in
Mufakose, driving out worshippers protesting against the
removal of their
parish priest, Rev Petros Nyatsanza, by Kunonga.
five youths, led by two brothers who star in a television drama series,
allegedly hired by Lawrence Gandiya, a rector imposed on the parish
Kunonga to replace Nyatsanza.
Gandiya could not be reached for
A man at his Mufakose home would not say when he would
be available. The
man, who refused to be identified, said: "I doubt if he
will talk to you
because he is not allowed to talk to the
Eyewitnesses said the youths stormed into the church and ordered
worshippers to stop singing and get out of the church.
allegedly lifted one end of a long bench and tipped it over, sending
women tumbling to the floor.
The worshippers bolted out of the church in
Misheck Mutambirwa, a senior parishioner, said trouble started
took to the altar to start the early morning mass and the
started singing a hymn continuously, in solidarity with
during clashes at the church last Sunday.
also sang in protest against Gandiya's appointment.
The hymn is about the
advent and the subsequent deliverance of those in
congregation was singing continuously and Gandiya took his Bible
notebooks and stormed out," said Mutambirwa.
Moments later, the
youths marched into the church and ordered the service to
They allegedly smashed two widowpanes and a
Ordinary church members dispersed while Mutambirwa and other
of the church went to report the incident to the
When the worshippers returned under police escort, they found the
The youths allegedly locked a hall used for Sunday
school lessons as well.
"We are not happy with the removal of our priest
and his replacement with
Gandiya," said Susan Mutero, a senior councillor in
She accused Kunonga of neglecting problems bedevilling the
"The bishop was appointed to lead the flock," said Mutero,
"Why doesn't he attend to our problems? We want
Reverend Nyatsanza to stay
here. It's not that we worship him but we want him
to finish the projects he
was appointed by God to fulfil."
Mapeza, the secretary of the mother's union, said the parish would
a priest imposed on them.
Last week the parishioners presented a
declaration to Kunonga, through his
secretary, excommunicating themselves
from the Harare diocese saying Kunonga
had failed to address their
Siwela tipped for Zapu's presidency
8:29:04 AM (GMT +2)
From Mduduzi Mathuthu in Bulawayo
Siwela, the outspoken secretary general of the opposition Zapu, is
to ascend to the presidency of the party at its national congress
Zapu has already indicated that it will field a candidate in
Presidential election due by 1 April next year.
understood to have been plotting to wrest the party presidency
Although he denied such clandestine moves to eclipse Madlela, he
hide his ambitions this week.
"If the people want me to be
their representative, I will not stand against
The party, which is largely unknown outside its small
political enclaves has
failed to take up a
party has also failed to field candidates anywhere outside
When it fielded candidates in the parliamentary election
last year and the
Bulawayo municipal elections this year, most of its
candidates hardly polled
over 200 votes.
However, Siwela said he
believed they stood a realistic chance of winning.
He also attacked
supporters of the ruling Zanu PF and the MDC , accusing
them of fanning
Daily News - Leader
A chance for Zanu PF to rethink its
12/13/01 7:22:08 AM (GMT +2)
steady decline in popularity over the years can be attributed
directly to its
foolhardy policy of refusing to take cognisance of the
Consensus has never been among its main operational
Instead, the party has always relied on the dangerous belief
that might is
right; that it can always use threats to make people accept its
wishes and decisions, no matter how unpopular.
democracy does not seem to exist in Zanu PF's vocabulary. It
like the military.
As a result, it has grown so arrogant it has lost
touch completely with the
mood of the nation - the fears, hopes, desires as
well the concerns of the
Nowhere has this arrogance shown
itself as clearly as in the party's
selection of candidates either for posts
within the party itself or for
elective office at local and national
The sham the party used to call primary elections
candidates have, without exception, always been imposed from
the top as a
Invariably, the decision of the the top
leaders is final.
It is that modus operandi which has resulted in the
kind of deep-seated
disenchantment in the party that has been responsible for
factionalism in Masvingo rendering Zanu PF all but dead in that
It may not be altogether far-fetched to suggest that the
Stanley Majiri as the party's mayoral candidate in Chegutu may
have had some
bearing on Zanu PF's poor showing in last weekend's
We would have expected to see the issue of the party leaders'
tendencies featuring high on the agenda of its crucial conference
today at Victoria Falls.
Instead, we are told by the party's
secretary for publicity and information,
Nathan Shamuyarira, that the launch
of Zanu PF's Presidential campaign "will
be one of the highlights of the
Because Zanu PF has perfected the art of rule by fear, the
may not be saying it openly, but the issue of imposition of
candidates is a
matter of grave concern to them. Thus, before the delegates
can even get to
discussing the party's Presidential campaign strategy, its
first task ought
to be to revisit their choice of candidate.
matter how much the likes of Shamuyarira and Didymus Mutasa might
frighten the rest of the party members into accepting the lie that
Mugabe is the party's unanimously chosen candidate for next
Presidential election, the fact remains that many - perhaps most -
supporters are not happy with his candidature.
And so, too,
are the rest of other Zimbabweans who have no interest in
but who, nevertheless, are genuinely apprehensive at the
prospect of his
re-election for the obvious economic consequences it will
have on the
His retention as a Presidential candidate, therefore, spells
just for Zanu PF, but for the country as a whole.
from his rumoured failing health and his advanced age, which are
minuses in his bid to remain at State House, Mugabe is probably
unpopular inside Zimbabwe than he has become in the European Union and
United States, both of which have virtually declared him a persona
Trying to force him on the people is most likely to cause
to Zanu PF.
The conference affords the party a
golden opportunity to get out of the grip
of its ageing leaders' lunacy by
courageously pointing out to them the plain
truth that fielding Mugabe as
their candidate is to condemn Zanu PF to
Delegates must point
out to them what Mozambique's ruling Frelimo leaders
said when President
Joaquim Chissano announced this week that he would not
stand for another term
"His (Chissano's) decision is a gesture of great dignity and
wisdom," the Frelimo leaders said in a statement.
would be said about Mugabe if he decides to quit, even at this late
abstaining he could actually increase his party's chance of winning
Daily News - Leader
Current constitution legitimises
12/13/01 7:22:58 AM (GMT +2)
NEXT year the country faces its most critical election in 21 years.
first time in two decades President Mugabe faces his most
political hurdle in the form of the opposition Movement for
Change (MDC) Presidential candidate, Morgan
However, as we face this historic and for some "hysteric"
election, it is not only necessary, but imperative to define the
which will determine the outcome of the vote and issues which will
be addressed even beyond the poll.
I propose that there are at
least five vital issues which will either
determine the course of the
election or which whoever wins the election will
These issues are: governance, economy, land, corruption and
Unfortunately, for the ruling Zanu PF party, they will be
judged more by
their track record rather than what they will purport to offer
The incoming President and his government face
the unenviable task of
proving that they can deliver what the present
government has failed to
deliver with painful consistency over the past 21
Tsvangirai and the MDC have the distinct advantage of being the
to 21years of misrule and misgovernance. Like an untried soccer
warming up on the sidelines, he can claim to be more resourceful than
current underperforming player with a long history of scoring economic
goals, rough play and costly defensive "blunders".
It has been
argued convincingly by many that the current crisis is one
Bad governance has manifested itself economically
through mass poverty and
Those who contend that the
current crisis is of governance, point to the
current government's failure to
build structures, institutions and a
political culture conducive to good
The supreme law of the land, the Constitution, is the most
contract between the governed and the governing class. It
ensures that the
relationship between the State and the citizenry is mutually
However, the current constitution legitimises dictatorship
all-powerful Executive Presidency, which exalts the President to
of a god before whom "every knee shall bow and every tongue confess
is 'President' ".
This tragic flaw in the document allows
Mugabe to engage in arbitrary
decision-making by engaging in foreign wars,
invoking repressive laws and
undermining the independence of the
Formulation of a new constitution is, therefore, a political
any new government. The current government has already proved
that it is not
only unwilling, but also unable to draft a genuinely new
The fraudulent Constitutional Commission is clear testimony
government's unwillingness to facilitate a new constitutional
On the other hand, if the MDC's candidate wins the
himself will become a legalised dictator because the
moulds the incumbent into a despot by virtue of the
The current government will be judged on the
basis of its track record in
these areas and does not have the privilege of
offering the electorate fresh
models of governance.
Zapu on the other
hand, while propounding a new and fresh model of
federalism, is likely to
emerge as an insignificant factor as it has neither
the national or even
regional clout to present a formidable challenge.
The MDC, by virtue of
having a vast national following whether active,
passive or protest, should
accept the constitution-making agenda as one of
the most primary issues at
stake for the Presidential poll and beyond.
With the economy experiencing
negative growth and unemployment at 70
percent, economic issues are likely to
be a determining factor during the
election. Waning investor confidence as a
result of economic misgovernance
has crippled the country's productive sector
and indications are that the
country is unlikely to attract foreign direct
Current economic indicators do not augur well for the ruling
party which has
been forced to engage in "interventionist economic policies"
such as price
Unemployment, inflation and general mass
poverty - 75 percent of
households - are factors likely to conspire against
Zanu PF. Furthermore,
none of the government's economic policies over the
past 21 years seem to
Growth with Equity in the 1980s was
a flop. The Economic Structural
Adjustment Programme (Esap), which was meant
to bring shock therapy to the
economy, brought shock but no therapy.
Zimbabwe Programme for Economic and Social Transformation (Zimprest)
out to be a glorified wish list and the Millennium Recovery Plan
be a confused and confusing policy document founded more on
reality. Having failed to deliver through all these highly
economic policies, Zanu PF and its candidate are unlikely to
sympathy from the electorate.
The MDC, on the other hand, stands to
benefit from Zanu PF's economic
failures. Interestingly, the MDC's economic
policy document bears a striking
resemblance to the principles of both Esap
and Zimprest. The MDC should be
reminded that it is not enough to merely
oppose Zanu PF's economic policies,
but they also have to propose viable
The current, chaotic fast-track resettlement programme is a
gimmick meant to win the rural vote. There has to be real
through an orderly and transparent land programme, which will
who are needy and able.
Our current leaders have indeed
led us out of minority colonial rule, but
have paradoxically led us into
black colonial rule.
If the opposition fails to come with sound leaders
who will look beyond
personalities, they shall be judged by future
generations in the same way
that the present government will be judged by
this generation in the
election next year.
Mugabe tries to block Harare municipal
By Sydney Masamvu Political Editor
12/13/01 3:43:00 AM
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe might invoke his presidential powers to
Harare mayoral and council elections whose date has been set for
by the Supreme Court to well after the crucial March presidential
official sources said this week.
The sources said
Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Patrick
crafting statutory instruments under the Presidential Powers
Act that would
be used to amend the Urban Councils Act and postpone the
mayoral and council elections in the capital.
Harare has been run by a
government-appointed commission since 1999 after
the state fired the ZANU PF
executive led by businessman Solomon Tawengwa
Retired diplomat and former senior civil servant Elijah
term is expected to end on December 31 this year, heads the
has since governed the affairs of the city, Zimbabwe’s
The Supreme Court last week ordered the Registrar-General’s
Office to hold
mayoral and council elections for Harare on or before February
11 next year.
The ruling was made after an urgent application by the
Residents Association compelling the government to hold the
Information Minister Jonathan Moyo warned
when the Supreme Court ruling was
made that the government would explore
other legal options "to ensure that
the right thing is done".
sources told the Financial Gazette this week that government legal
were already working on a statutory instrument that could be used to
the mayoral and municipal elections until well after the
presidential election in March.
Mugabe faces the stiffest
challenge to his iron-fisted 21-year rule from
Morgan Tsvangirai of the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC),
who also enjoys massive
support in almost all of Zimbabwe’s urban centres
Analysts say Mugabe is reluctant to have the Harare mayoral and
elections held before the presidential poll because the MDC would
ZANU PF and the result would adversely affect the morale of his
Senior governing party officials have also raised concerns
about the impact
of the results of the municipal elections, which ZANU PF is
likely to lose
heavily, on Mugabe’s presidential campaign that is supposed to
momentum at the same time.
ZANU PF has already lost three
mayoral elections to the MDC this year in
Masvingo, Bulawayo and recently in
The statutory instrument to be used to postpone the Harare
municipal elections is likely to be issued when Parliament
Tuesday and the amendments would be passed before the House breaks
"We will be seeing a statutory instrument
shortly under the Presidential
Powers Act that will seek the postponement of
the Harare mayoral elections
until after the presidential election," an
official in the Ministry of
Justice told the Financial Gazette this
Chitungwiza municipal elections that are scheduled for next month
likely to be postponed under the proposed amendments to the Urban
The sources said the government would claim that the
necessary for the Registrar General’s Office to thoroughly
prepare for the
Chinamasa could not be reached for
Mudenge off to Belgium to avert EU sanctions
Joseph Ngwawi Business News Editor
12/13/01 3:49:31 AM (GMT
ZIMBABWE has partially succumbed to international pressure and will
week meet the European Union (EU) in Belgium for talks meant to
President Robert Mugabe another chance to address concerns about
political and economic crisis in the southern African country and
Francesca Mosca, head of the EU
delegation in Harare, yesterday confirmed
that the crucial meeting would take
place on December 19 in Brussels.
The Brussels meeting is to be held
under Article 96 of the Cotonou agreement
of European countries and African,
Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) nations that
allows the EU to demand talks with
any signatory deemed to have failed to
respect democratic principles and the
rule of law.
Belgian Foreign Minister Louis Michel will lead the EU team
Minister Stan Mudenge is expected to be in charge of the
"A ministerial meeting on Zimbabwe will be held
on 19 December in Brussels
at which issues relating to Zimbabwe will be
discussed," Mosca told the
Financial Gazette yesterday.
No comment was
available from Mudenge or the government.
The EU invoked Article 96 last
month after failing to secure Mugabe’s
cooperation over promises he made at
the Abuja land conference in September
to restore law and order and arrest
Zimbabwe’s continued slide into anarchy.
The EU, the world’s largest
trading bloc, also wanted Mugabe to assent to
international demands for
foreign monitors to the crucial presidential
election to be held in March but
whose dates have not yet been announced.
Mugabe this week however
maintained that he would invite only African and
Asian observers to next
year’s poll and not monitors.
He told visiting Nigerian academics that he
was even reluctant to invite
"some white men" to observe the election,
perhaps except those from
individual friendly EU countries.
he snubbed a team of senior EU officials, led by Michel, that
to discuss Zimbabwe’s involvement in the Democratic Republic
of the Congo war
and issues of good governance, by storming out of a
said next week’s talks were a last ditch attempt by the EU to give
another chance to address issues concerning democratic principles,
of law and the need for a free and fair presidential election next
before sanctions can be considered.
The United States is already
preparing targeted sanctions at Mugabe and his
close allies after its
Congress passed the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic
Recovery Bill early this
Muzenda threatens to stop Chipinge rural electrification
12/13/01 3:56:08 AM (GMT
MUTARE — Vice President Simon Muzenda has threatened residents in
that an electrification programme in the area would not be completed
do not vote for the governing ZANU PF party in next March’s
Muzenda and other ZANU PF officials
hijacked the launch of a $7 million
rural electrification scheme in Chipinge
South at the weekend to try and woo
voters ahead of next March’s landmark
The launch, part of a $24 billion Zimbabwe
Electricity Supply Authority
(ZESA) fast-track rural electrification
programme, was attended last
Saturday by Muzenda, Mines and Energy Minister
ZESA chairman Sydney Gata, and other senior party
Muzenda, who was acting President while President Robert
Mugabe was in
Spain, told the residents of Chipinge South that the completion
electrification scheme would hinge on ZANU PF’s return to power next
"If we go out of power, if the government changes, all this
go too," Muzenda said, accusing Chipinge South of "failing
to choose" by
voting for an opposition ZANU Ndonga Member of Parliament in
ZANU PF failed to win a seat in the
area last year, with Chipinge North
voting for the main opposition Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC).
Muzenda told residents: "Some of you are
trying to sell the country. Even if
you are against Mugabe or Muzenda, ask
yourselves if you want to sell your
country to people who have shown that
they do not care about you. I’m told
people in Chipinge are educated but I
don’t know how you choose your MPs."
ZESA chairman Gata, who is also ZANU
PF Manicaland provincial secretary for
production and economic affairs, said
ZESA had made use of ruling party
structures to bring electricity to
"opposition areas" like Chipinge and
representative Wilson Kumbula of ZANU Ndonga and MDC
Jongwe both castigated ZANU PF officials over their
said: "Does Muzenda expect opposition parties to electrify rural
is the government’s job and they should have done it a long
Jongwe added: "It is clear that ZANU PF is leaving no stone
unturned in its
attempt to mislead the electorate. However, the people of
this country are
not foolish and they know who and what to vote
Mugabe quietly tightens grip on power
Mutsakani Assistant News Editor
12/13/01 4:13:48 AM (GMT +2)
Robert Mugabe is quietly tightening his grip on Zimbabwe through
despotic laws which analysts this week said were calculated to
opposition, silence the Press and prolong his 21-year
Mugabe’s multi-pronged strategy to silence dissension that includes
raids on opponents, mysterious abductions and killings of political
blamed on state secret agents, has induced fear among citizens
thrusting Zimbabwe into "a new kind of fascism", the analysts
Tarcey Zimbiti, the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace
director, said four new bills Mugabe’s ruling ZANU PF party
bulldoze through Parliament would put the country under an
martial rule ahead of the critical presidential poll next
"It is just a way of putting the country under an unofficial
ahead of the presidential election," Zimbiti
Brian Raftopoulos, University of Zimbabwe (UZ) Institute of
Studies political analyst, said the harassment and killings of
opponents, blamed by the government on the opposition but which
Zimbabweans say are the work of state security agents, were meant
intimidate Zimbabweans ahead of the presidential ballot.
meant to create the impression that the government is watching its
and that it is aware of every move they make. In fact, this
movement towards some kind of new fascism," Raftopoulos said.
of Africa’s longest serving rulers, faces Morgan Tsvangirai in a
election that analysts say he could easily lose if it is free
The Press will however not be able to report on and ensure the
transparent if a new proposed Bill, ironically dubbed the
Information and Protection of Privacy Bill, is passed into
Once enacted, as is widely expected, this new media law would
cripple Zimbabwe’s small but vibrant independent Press that has
Mugabe’s government’s abuse of power, its widespread disregard of the
of law and gross human rights violations.
In fact, many of the
robust privately-owned weekly newspapers such as the
Financial Gazette and
the only independent daily paper — the Daily News —
might be refused
registration and forced to close down under the new law.
Under this new
legislation, penned on the lines of harsh Press laws common
in Communist bloc
countries during the Cold War, journalists could be thrown
into jail for up
to two years for writing about public bodies such as
deliberations of the
Cabinet, municipalities and rural councils.
The new law also wants to
impose a total blackout on news from Zimbabwe with
foreign news organisations
only allowed into the country on permission from
Mugabe’s hawkish Information
Minister Jonathan Moyo while generally, only
Zimbabwean citizens would be
allowed to report on local events.
Moyo has in the past expelled foreign
journalists he accuses of spreading
false reports about the government to
tarnish Zimbabwe’s image.
A media commission, hand-picked by Moyo, would
be accorded widespread powers
to administer and charge hefty fines from
erring journalists and their
Tawanda Hondora, the
chairman of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, this
week said the
proposed new law already violates Zimbabwe’s Constitution.
not only journalists but even ratepayers may not be able to
information about a local government authority and there is no
for that," Hondora said.
The Independent Journalists Association of
Zimbabwe (IJAZ), most of whose
members will be under the spotlight of the new
law, says it intends to
challenge it in court once the Bill is enacted into
IJAZ vice-president Vincent Kahiya this week said his organisation
already presented its objections to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee
Transport and Communications.
"But we are well aware this Bill is
part of ZANU PF’s political survival
strategy and therefore the ruling party
will ensure its passage and we are
ready to challenge it in court as soon as
Mugabe signs it into law," said
Zimbabwe Union of Journalists
president Matthew Takaona said while there was
need for some regulation of
the media, his union strongly felt that some of
the provisions in the Bill
"need to be looked at again".
Said Takaona: "We also believe that there
are some issues that have been
included in the Bill but which should actually
be put in a media code of
ethics and not an Act of Parliament."
Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA-Zimbabwe) said it was
demonstrations against the proposed new law and was also
considering a legal
challenge against it.
"This Bill effectively blocks all points of access
to information. Basically
journalists will have nothing to write about under
this Bill," said
MISA-Zimbabwe director Sarah Chiumbu.
constitutional law expert Lovemore Madhuku said the only
solution left for
Zimbabweans was a popular mass resistance to the various
other laws being
crafted by the government to silence all alternative
not much you can gain from legal challenges given that the
already shown it will not obey court rulings that do not fit
programme," said Madhuku, who is also chairman of the National
Assembly, a coalition of civic bodies and opposition parties
a new constitution.
Another newly proposed electoral law wants to bar
Zimbabweans living outside
the country from voting in next year’s crucial
The new law says only Zimbabweans, or residents of
Zimbabwe, that have lived
in their constituencies for the whole year are
entitled to vote thereby
disqualifying more than three million potential
voters in countries such as
Other measures to
disenfranchise voters that have recently been announced
include the barring
of civic organisations from providing voter education
services and even
monitoring next year’s election.
The new Public Order and Security Bill
is another cocktail of legal
instruments that analysts say will further
curtail the most basic freedoms
for Zimbabweans and effectively guarantee no
real opposition to Mugabe and
----------------White farms’ seizure set to slash GDP
12/13/01 2:36:52 AM (GMT +2)
Domestic Product (GDP) will fall by $62 billion to $426
billion if the
government presses ahead with its seizure of 90 percent of
commercial farms, it was learnt this week.
A Southern Africa
Development Community (SADC) ministerial team, which
arrived in the country
this week to audit Zimbabwe’s land reform programme,
heard from white
commercial farmers that the destabilisation of the sector
would also have an
impact on the SADC region.
Commercial Farmers’ Union (CFU) acting
president Doug Taylor-Freeme told the
ministers that Zimbabwe’s food security
was at risk.
"(The) total value of commercial farm production equals $69
percent of GDP) (and) if 90 percent of farmers stop farming, the
equal to $62 billion (12.70 percent of GDP)," Taylor-Freeme
Zimbabwe’s annual total GDP is $488 billion.
official said if the government acquired 90 percent of the
commercial farms as it intended to do, Zimbabwe could lose US$$689
($37.89 billion) worth of exports.
Zimbabwe is this year
expected to generate US$2 billion from exports, US$765
million of it from the
commercial farming sector.
Taylor-Freeme said although the government had
made a commitment at Abuja in
September to engage in dialogue with commercial
farms and to halt violence
and fresh invasions, the situation on the ground
did not reflect this.
"We as major stakeholders have not been consulted
on any of the recent
issues including new legislation and price controls that
forced upon the commercial agricultural sector," said
"In another disturbing development, the Minister of Lands,
Rural Resettlement is allocating farms to applicants under
resettlement A2 scheme frequently prior to their acquisition
by even a
Section 8 order. The recipients of land under the A2 scheme include
commissioner of police, other senior ranking police and defence
personnel, ministers, members of parliament, senior civil servants
ruling party officials."
Section 8 of the Land Acquisition Act
allows the government to give farmers
90 days notice to cease farming and
vacate their properties and is also
expected to have disastrous consequences
for the economy. — Staff Reporter
police or anti-riot police?
12/13/01 3:56:23 AM (GMT
Richburg’s description of "shiny boots" for soldiers reminds me of
fiasco I witnessed in Norton a few months ago. It also reminds me of
"famous" "black boots" in this country, a term commonly used to refer
Zimbabwe’s ruthless police support unit.
In Norton, the clash
between supporters of the ruling ZANU PF and the
opposition Movement for
Democratic Change was the most unfortunate and
regrettable incident I have
seen in the history of the politics of this
the sense that many people were maimed in the clashes and
some houses were
burnt down in the name of "supporting" political parties.
painful part is that those who throw stones at one another and burn
destroy each other’s humble belongings benefit absolutely nothing from
misguided acts except for getting wounds, scars, bandages, clutches
It boggles the mind when poor Zimbabweans who have been
impoverished to the
marrow still allow themselves to be used — I regret using
this phrase — as
political "condoms" to be easily discarded shortly
It is a pity that ordinary, poor and at times unemployed
"youths" are at the
forefront of resorting to insanity and fighting to put
the "Big Men" into
power. And it is shameful that the latter forget the
youths soon after
achieving their goal.
Even Richburg pointed out that
in Africa today, ‘"blacks are still waiting
to be empowered three decades
after the last Europeans packed up and went
home . . . power simply passed
from a white colonial dictator to an
indigenous black one and the result has
been more repression, more
The supporters of the ruling
party and the opposition party in Norton, both
of whom are still waiting to
be economically empowered, must have realised
soon afterwards that Zimbabwe
is a tragic country of repression and
deployment of brutal troops in Norton to quench the violence
was the most
paradoxical method of restoring peace I have ever witnessed.
reminiscent of the Korean-trained Fifth Brigade’s reaction to the
dissident insurgency in Matabeleland and the Midlands provinces in
when the brigade wreaked more havoc than that it ostensibly sought
I was more than convinced after the Norton incident that we might
heading, especially in the face of the impending presidential
towards the Somali scenario when Siad Barre would bomb Somali
the name of restoring peace.
Zimbabwe troops, with its
"shiny boots" and latest weapons as if they were
on an arduous mission to
subdue heavily armed rebels, perpetrated
unprecedented acts of terror on the
people of Norton.
Besides imposing a curfew — in a typical Ian Smith
regime style — in the
town that compelled everyone to be indoors by 6 pm
sharp, the soldiers, who
I suspect outnumbered the residents of Norton,
randomly thrashed and
tortured people with devilish ruthlessness.
though the town was almost calm by the time the army was deployed,
soldiers were determined to "teach" the people of Norton a lesson and
soldiers openly quoted one of the late System Tazvida’s lyrics that
wakazvikanyira wega" (you messed up your own life) in apparent
the sparking of violence which the soldiers were sustaining and
to cataclysmic proportions.
Although Paulo Freire points
out in The Pedagogues of the Oppressed out that
"violence is initiated by
those who oppress, who exploit and who fail to
recognise others as people",
my first-hand exposure to violence in Norton
made me slightly differ with
Precisely, it might be said that it is the oppressed, the exploited
unrecognised who are still awaiting economic empowerment, who
violence for political gains they never receive.
oppress often sustain and exacerbate violence using "minimum"
threshold is vaguely explained and the Norton fiasco to me
became a living
testimony of repression at work in this country. It posed a
challenge to me
as to whether this country needs a riot police or an
In his speech on August 28 1963, the legendary Martin Luther King
stressed the necessity for non-violence in these words:
there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the
threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of
our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us
to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of
Yes, belonging to different political parties
should not be a reason for us
to hate each other, maim one another and, worse
still, kill one another but
let only the ballot be the
Otherwise the "law enforcement" agents will tell us "ndiwe
wega" and we will be the ultimate losers.
Mudzimu is a freelance writer. He can be contacted on e-mail email@example.com
US pledges $1.4b for Zim’s land reforms
12/13/01 2:34:53 AM (GMT +2)
THE United States government has
pledged US$26 million ($1.4 billion) for
Zimbabwe’s land reforms and to
bolster the southern African country’s
democratic institutions if the Harare
authorities meet conditions set in the
Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic
According to the Bill, passed by the US Senate last
week and now awaiting
President George W. Bush’s signature to become law,
Washington is willing to
extend financial assistance to the tune of $20
million ($1.1 billion) for
Zimbabwe’s land redistribution exercise as well as
another US$6 million to
support economic reforms and democratic
"Of the funds authorised to be appropriated to carry out part
chapter four of part two of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, for
year 2002, US$20 million is authorised to be available to provide
assistance described in subsection (5)(2) and US$6 million is authorised
be available to provide the assistance described in subsection (a)(3),"
The Zimbabwe govern-ment has in the past year
compulsorily acquired land
from white farmers under a controversial plan that
has seen the country
isolated from the rest of the world.
More than 4
000 farms have been designated since the ruling ZANU PF party
embarked on a
fast-track programme to grab land from whites, whom it accuses
of siding with
the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and of
defeat in February 2000 of its bid to change the
Bush administration says it will review of the feasibility of
rescheduling or eliminating the sovereign debt of Zimbabwe
held by any agency
of the US government and in assisting the country in
getting debt relief,
according to the Bill.
The Bill, a carrot and stick legislation, urges
Bush to consult with
European countries, Canada and other nations on possible
President Robert Mugabe and others accused of being behind the
has engulfed Zimbabwe since last year.
government has also been accused of human rights abuses, political
Analysts said Mugabe has no choice but to satisfy the
conditions set by the
Bill in order to access the financial
"It means that he has to take steps towards improving
institutions by stopping the violation of other people’s rights,
the rule of law and embarking on an orderly and transparent land
said consultant economist John Robertson.
The amount pledged
by the Americans, which is however about 10 percent of
what the Zimbabwe
government has budgeted to spend on farm acquisitions
under the second phase
of its controversial land reform programme, is
expected to open doors for
similar assistance from other international
authorities have said they would spend about US$184 million on
acquisitions during the second phase of the reforms out of a budgeted
expenditure of US$1.9 billion.
More than US$932 million would be spent on
the provision of infrastructure
such as roads, boreholes, schools, clinics
and dipping facilities for
livestock while about US$26 million would be
required for farmer assistance.
Another US$177 million is needed for credit
support to the resettled
Govt holds on to US$9m for tobacco growers’
12/13/01 2:30:36 AM (GMT
ZIMBABWE’S tobacco growers are frantically trying to secure US$9
($495 million), which is part of US$25 million ($1.375 billion) that
supposed to be made available to them by the govern-ment to import
for next year’s crop.
The growers, who have already planted
next year’s crop, said there was no
explanation from the government on
whether the money was still to be
disbursed by the end of the tobacco selling
season on October 26.
The government in August agreed to allocate 25
percent of the foreign
currency generated from tobacco sales to the growers
to help them import
crop inputs for the current planting season.
move followed complaints by growers that they were buying inputs at
parallel market rates while selling the crop at the official market rate
$55 to the US dollar, culminating in massive losses.
received US$16 million ($880 million) but since the end of the
season, we have not received anything," a senior Zimbabwe Tobacco
(ZTA) official said this week.
"We have approached the government to try
and secure the remaining US$9
million but they keep promising us that the
money will come and yet farmers
are two months into the new
It was not possible to get comment from ZTA president Kobus
mobile phone was unreachable.
Tobacco growers plant in
September and harvest in March with auction sales
The government this year struck a deal with foreign financiers who
US$381 million for tobacco merchants to buy the local leaf from the
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe was in September this year said to
investigating the disappearance of US$256 million meant for the
of tobacco and input support for growers.
It was not
clear this week how much of the hard cash provided by the foreign
been used to buy tobacco at the end of the selling season
Some growers said they feared that they might fail to
access the money and
that this could affect current production.
newsletter released this week showed Zimbabwe’s projected tobacco
next year falling to 160 million kg from the 201 million kg sold
floors this year.
The tobacco industry has been thrown into turmoil
following the government’s
seizure of white-owned commercial farms to
resettle landless blacks.
President Robert Mugabe says it is immoral for
4 000 white commercial
farmers to own more than 70 percent of the country’s
The ZTA, which has about 1 400 large-scale growers who
produce 90 percent of
the tobacco crop, said up to 40 of its members — mainly
in Mashonaland East
province — had failed to plant because of violence and
intimidation by farm
The association said about 500 of its
members faced constant harassment and
work disruptions from gangs of
ZANU PF seen urging more violence
By Njabulo Ncube
Bulawayo Bureau Chief
12/13/01 4:09:34 AM (GMT +2)
BULAWAYO — While
past ZANU PF annual conferences have been high-sounding
fear an embattled President Robert Mugabe could use
this year’s, which kicks
off today in Victoria Falls, to stir his supporters
to more violence ahead of
next year’s landmark presidential election.
Analysts say with the
ruling party having failed to woo voters using various
campaign gimmicks, the
four-day congress could endorse the stepping up of
violence to cow the
populace into abandoning the main opposition Movement
for Democratic Change
(MDC), which enjoys huge support in urban areas and in
provinces such as
Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the MDC, will square off
against Mugabe in
the presidential election and is expected to offer the
the ZANU PF president has faced since he took power 21
Measures taken by ZANU PF to woo back voters include an
disastrous land redistribution campaign that has seen land,
commercial farms, being wrested away from white farmers and
landless black peasants and ruling party supporters.
ruling party has also attempted to garner support by blaming the murders
Bulawayo war veterans leader Cain Nkala and ZANU PF Matabeleland
Limukani Lupahla on the MDC, which Mugabe has labelled puppets of
Prime Minister Tony Blair.
The analysts said against these
failures and in the face of increasingly
sour relations with the
international community, Mugabe could use the ZANU
PF conference — expected
to attract about 7 000 supporters — to preach
increased violence against the
party’s perceived enemies.
The analysts said Mugabe, who surprised
members of his inner circle by
opting to stand in the presidential poll
despite his advanced age, feared
strongly losing a free and fair election to
Bekithemba Sibindi, leader of the leftist Matabeleland-based
Yamahlabezulu, said: "In the past, we used to ignore these
just occasions for wining and dining by ZANU PF people. But
this one in
Victoria Falls, coming after the ruling party has lost in all the
municipal elections and a few months before the presidential polls,
different pot altogether."
Sibindi added: "That is where the true
colours of the ruling party will be
seen in the face of a fierce challenger
"Mugabe is a wounded lion and we should all brace for a bloody
New Year. The war veterans will be given new orders at the
they are known to follow instructions up to the last detail.
It would be
naïve for us to assume that the conference will advocate free and
Daniel Molokela, a human rights lawyer and activist,
said: "Normally, the
annual event is a non-event but this year it is
occurring when ZANU PF is at
its most disjointed state on the eve of a win or
break presidential poll. I
expect radical statements from the conference and
the use of more violence
against political opponents cannot be ruled
Molokela said the squabbles in Masvingo and sharp differences
ZANU PF leadership in Matabeleland and the war veterans did not
for the ruling party as it strategises to save Mugabe from
oblivion in next year’s polls.
"The problems within the
party itself will make the conference difficult,"
Molokela told the Financial
Gazette. "Instead of concentrating on the
campaign, they will also be forced
to deal with the Masvingo issue, among
Ndlovu, the ruling party’s acting political commissar, said apart
discussing the presidential campaign, the conference would discuss
the black majority in Zimbabwe by giving it land and would also
governing party’s election strategy.
"We have been working on this
(campaign) for some time and we are confident
of winning the presidential
polls,’ he said. "I cannot disclose to you what
is contained in our campaign
Sibindi said the conference in Victoria Falls was also very
Mugabe because of the threat of Tsvangirai.
demonise the opposition at the conference again so as to fire
supporters to engage in more violence. The loss in Chegutu has also
helped matters and this means he will be in a bad mood in Victoria
Molokela also predicted a bloodbath that would be
instigated by the
self-styled war veterans.
"When the war veterans
come out of the conference, they will be very
agitated by Mugabe’s radical
speeches. The stage will be set for the
continuation of an orgy of violence.
The problem now is that it will not be
confined to rural areas. It will start
at the Falls and spread to other
areas of the country," he
First 24-hour shopping mall opens soon
12/13/01 3:05:38 AM (GMT +2)
EL NOUR United Engineering
Group, an international property development
firm, this week said it would
shortly open a 24-hour shopping mall in
central Harare, the first of its kind
in southern Africa.
The group’s spokesman, Taurai Mamvura, told the
Financial Gazette that the
multi-million-dollar Asian-style complex would be
named the New Market
Square and would comprise nearly 300
Development of the mall is at an advanced stage and should be
mid next year.
"What we are developing here is a special
shopping mall, the type that is
found in countries like China, Korea and some
North African countries,"
Mamvura told the Financial Gazette when it visited
the construction site
this week, where work has been underway for the past
Harare’s four main roads, that is, Chinhoyi, Mbuya Nehanda,
Bank and Bute
roads, where the capital city’s now defunct old Market Square
border the site.
The uniquely designed two-storey
shopping complex, which has four main
entrances, will have more than 50 large
shops and about 50 medium size
It will also have hundreds of
shops small enough to accommodate informal
operators who currently operate in
open flea markets. The smallest shops are
about two square metres in
"We designed this shopping complex to cater for all traders,
supermarket operators right to the small traders running flea markets,
it would operate for 24 hours," Mamvura said.
He said leasing of
space at the complex would begin early next year and the
had already received inquiries from potential tenants.
"We have started
receiving applications but we have not started allocating
space as yet,"
Mamvura said. "The whole project is expected to be complete
by mid next year,
but the first phase may be opened earlier than that."
The shopping mall
will also boast a car park and the old Market Square
building will be
converted to a recreational facility.
El Nour is involved in similar
projects in two West African countries,
Guinea and Ivory Coast.
FinGaz - Comment
A shameful act by
12/13/01 3:36:10 AM (GMT +2)
Africa Development Community (SADC) must be ashamed to have
been used and
abused by President Robert Mugabe again this week in his
desperate but losing
battle to cling to power at any cost and forestall
action against his tyranny of 21 years.
The foreign ministers of the
SADC were hurriedly hauled to Harare to lend
credibility to Mugabe’s fight
against international sanctions which target
only himself and his cronies —
and not Zimbabweans — and his violent land
grab which has already left a once
prosperous nation grappling with dire
Zimbabweans will be most disheartened that their neighbours have
failed to identify the root cause of Zimbabwe’s growing pains and
Mugabe’s insatiable appetite for power and his increasing use
extraordinary measures to achieve this goal.
missions have already been to Harare this year, but not
even one has dealt
with Mugabe’s naked abuse of power and his utter contempt
accepted norms of good governance.
The Commonwealth was in Zimbabwe only
recently, so was a high-ranking SADC
heads of state team which in September
gave Mugabe up to a month to restore
law and order and begin serious talks
with the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) to lower the
dangerously rising political
temperature in the country.
Then and now,
what is clear is that Mugabe is just wasting everyone’s time
because he is
only interested in giving an impression that there are some
within the region
and the international fold who support his tyranny.
Mugabe, now facing
personal sanctions from Washington which might be
emulated by the 15-nation
European Union, knows full well that many missions
to Harare allow him to
hoodwink the international community that something
is being done to resolve
a crisis which only himself and his government have
More ominously for Zimbabweans and the international community,
daily taking every possible step to try to steal the coming
election which even he himself knows he will lose with a wide
margin if it
is anything free and fair.
The international missions
which Mugabe has invited to Harare have merely
bought him more time to
violate the Abuja land agreement, which was signed
with so much fanfare in
September, and to proceed unhindered with his land
everyone dithers on Zimbabwe’s crisis and the SADC unashamedly lends
weight to unprecedented repression of humankind this century, Mugabe
has not wasted time: he has drafted more repressive laws to crush
voices and to clear the way for the staging of a fraud in the
name of a
Only this month, Information Minister Jonathan Moyo
unveiled one of the most
fascist pieces of legislation ever drafted by any
The so-called Access to Information and Protection of Privacy
outlaws news organisations which do not toe the official line
protecting Mugabe and his fat cats from the little media scrutiny that
made them so nervous.
This draconian law wants to stop ordinary
people from even inspecting how
corrupt municipalities and rural councils
misuse taxpayers’ money.
The iniquitous Bill is not the only one. Hot on
its heels is yet another
nefarious piece of legislation, the Public Order and
Security Bill (POSB).
The POSB, under which Mugabe could outlaw the
opposition, intends to jail
Zimbabweans for publishing or making statements
which attack Mugabe and his
actions and wants to impose the death sentence on
those accused of
sponsoring so-called terrorism.
And yet this week’s
events near Mugabe’s home in Chegutu — the trouncing of
his governing ZANU PF
party by the MDC in municipal polls there — mirror the
stoic resilience and
heroism of Zimbabweans who have braved the Old Man’s
use of intimidation,
repressive laws and violence for political ends.
The MDC’s victory in
Chegutu, which follows other poll wins by the
opposition in Bulawayo and
Masvingo this year, has only one clear message
for Mugabe: the time to go is
NOW, otherwise you will face a sea of voters’
anger come next
Unanimous Senate Votes to Sanction
December 12, 2001
Posted to the web December 12,
Charles Cobb Jr.
By a unanimous vote,
Tuesday night, the Senate passed the "Zimbabwe
Democracy and Economic Act of
2001." Last week, the bill passed the House of
Representatives, also by
In retaliation for "the deliberate breakdown of the
rule of law." the
legislation imposes punitive "personal" sanctions -
restrictions to the United States - on President Robert
Mugabe, his cabinet
ministers, other government officials and members of
families Such sanctions are extremely rare and have been
reserved for war-criminals and dictators.
The bill halts
bilateral trade between Zimbabwe and the United States and
bars the U.S.
government from dealing with the Zimbabwe government.
also doubles funding for "democracy programs" in Zimbabwe
and calls for U.S.
support for election observers to the parliamentary and
elections scheduled for March 2002.
Once the U.S. President and Congress
believe that democracy and the rule of
law have been restored, suspended
assistance would restart and an initial
US$20m would be allocated for
alternative land reform programs.
Though critical of Mugabe's policies,
ministers of the Southern African
Development Community (SADC) who were in
Zimbabwe's capital city, Harare on
Monday to evaluate the country's land
program, backed away from supporting
the Congressional action, which was then
pending. "Sanctions would cause
untold suffering to scores of Zimbabweans and
others in the region," said
Malawi's Foreign Minister, Lillian
Zimbabwe's collapsing economy has already threatened the health of
neighbors' economies. "There can be no sanctions smart enough to
Zimbabweans alone. Our destinies are intertwined," Zimbabwe Foreign
Stan Mudenge told his SADC counterparts.
The bill will now be
sent to President Bush for signing. "Now that Congress
has given the bill its
overwhelming support. I fully expect the President to
move quickly to make it
law," said Senator Bill Frist (R-TN), ranking member
of the Senate Foreign
Relations Subcommittee on African Affairs.
Zimbabwe's man in South Africa blasts
JOHANNESBURG, Dec. 13 — Zimbabwe's high commissioner to
South Africa added
his voice to his government's criticism of the media,
on Thursday of ''nauseating'' bias in their reporting on
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is preparing to
put forward a bill
threatening jail for journalists who violate new
regulations and banning
foreigners working as correspondents in Zimbabwe, set
to hold a presidential
High Commissioner Simon Khaya
Moyo criticised South African public
television and print media for failing
to give sufficient or balanced
coverage to parliamentary by-election
victories by Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF
party and a Supreme Court verdict that
the government's land reform policies
''The media's bias is
nauseating...This misguided propaganda is not
good for the profession of
journalism,'' Moyo said in a letter printed by
News organisations have
strongly criticised the proposed bill,
arguing it is a government attempt to
prevent independent reporting of the
election and the land reform programme,
marred by the violent seizure of
A U.S. official urged the
Zimbabwean government on Wednesday to
ensure conditions were in place for
next year's fair elections or risk U.S.
sanctions aimed at the ruling
Moyo said the media in
neighbouring South Africa were deliberately
overlooking gains by ZANU-PF at
the ballot box.
''The South African
media, both print and electronic, were obviously
not amused, hence there was
very little, or no coverage, on these important
national events,'' Moyo
He singled out the South African
Broadcasting Corp (SABC) for telling
a ''naked lie'' over what was Mugabe's
An SABC spokesman was not
immediately available to comment.
Mugabe, who has led Zimbabwe since independence from Britain in 1980,
his strongest political challenge in the March poll from the
Movement for Democratic Change.
say Mugabe has chosen a biased state body to run the
millions abroad from voting and allowed his militant
supporters to run a
violent campaign against the opposition for over a year.
Mugabe rallies fans to fight
Harare - President Robert Mugabe opened a two-day meeting of
party on Thursday, vowing to crush political opponents he accused
violence and terrorism.
In a rallying call to his party's central
committee ahead of crucial
presidential elections in March, Mugabe alleged
the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change was to blame for political
violence that has convulsed the
"Violence is not just
happening, it in fact has been deliberately hatched at
the centre of the MDC
and by its patrons and principals overseas ... This is
a real physical fight
and we have to prepare for it," he said.
He said the opposition posed "a
real terrorist threat which we will not
allow to continue
According to the independent Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum,
comprised of 10
church and rights groups, 41 people have died this year in
related violence, six of them killed in November.
forum said 31 of the dead were opposition supporters. At least 36 people
in political violence last year that erupted after ruling party
began illegally occupying white-owned farms in March.
Zanu-PF blamed for
Human rights groups blamed ruling party militants for most
of those killings
surrounding parliamentary elections in June 2000 that the
Mugabe, however, told leaders of his
Zimbabwe African National Union
Patriotic Front party meeting the
northwestern resort of Victoria Falls the
opposition "and its shameless
supporters have chosen a path of violence and
terrorism in order to win
He accused Britain, the former colonial ruler, of masterminding
international campaign to discredit his party over its seizures of
owned by the descendants of colonial era British
British Prime Minister Tony Blair "fabricated a lie" that
lawless and devoid of democracy and human rights, Mugabe
"Blair was a troublesome and difficult little boy. He is still
that. We are
dealing with liars, crooks and intellectual frauds," he said in
broadcast on state television from Victoria Falls.
November report, the human rights forum said attacks on black farm
seized white-owned farms were continuing. This year at least 70
workers were displaced and many others were beaten or tortured or
homes in arson attacks.
Police fail to react
In many cases,
police failed to react satisfactorily to violations affecting
and opposition supporters and few ruling party perpetrators
were punished, it
The government has listed some 4 500 properties - about 95 percent
farmland owned by whites - for nationalisation without compensation.
month it warned about 800 farmers they had three months to vacate
Mugabe said the wresting of farms from "illicit hands of
settler whites" for
handing over to landless blacks was seen as "an
unforgivable crime in the
white man's book."
"We must show our
detractors we are the people's party and we are putting an
end once and for
all to violence that has been unleashed by the MDC and its
Mugabe told party leaders. - Sapa-AP
S.Africa opposition leader sees Zimbabwe civil
CAPE TOWN, Dec. 13 — Civil war is a real threat in
Zimbabwe if South Africa
and its peers fail to persuade President Robert
Mugabe to return to
democracy and the rule of law, South African opposition
leader Tony Leon
said on Thursday.
Leon said regional heavyweight
South Africa was feeling the effects of the
crisis in Zimbabwe, where Mugabe
has sanctioned the sometimes violent
seizure of land from white farmers and
has ignored the intimidation of
political foes by his ruling
The leader of the Democratic
Alliance, which is the official
opposition in parliament, said refugees were
streaming into South Africa and
he anticipated the flow would accelerate as
Zimbabwe's recession deepened.
war is a possibility in Zimbabwe...if there is no economic
miraculous restoration of grain production, no restoration of
liberties, no acceptance of a minimum democratic culture and a
of the reign of terror,'' Leon told Reuters in an
Leon said foreign investors
did not, as South African President Thabo
Mbeki has suggested, confuse South
Africa with Zimbabwe, but that they
looked to South Africa for action against
the anarchy in Zimbabwe.
continue to do nothing, then your silence becomes consent,''
Zimbabwe, once one of the most
successful democracies in Africa,
faces severe food shortages, rising
unemployment, inflation close to 100
percent and a critical lack of foreign
exchange. Most international funders
have suspended aid.
Leon said Mugabe, 77 and in
power since the independence of the
former Rhodesia in 1980, was likely to
win the presidential election
''If it carries on like this, I
don't think that even remotely the
conditions for a free and fair election
will exist,'' he said, accusing
Mugabe of terrorising rural voters and trying
to disenfranchise groups most
likely to oppose
''He will very possibly win a
rigged poll. Because the cost of
victory is going to be so high in terms of
civil dissent, economic
ruination, mass starvation and with Mugabe back in
charge, it has to lead to
some sort of civil
Leon criticised Mbeki's measured
response to the Zimbabwe crisis,
saying it was a significant deterrent to
foreign investment in South Africa.
Mbeki has insisted he cannot influence Mugabe through what he has
''megaphone diplomacy,'' but hinted last week that he was losing
with his northern neighbour.
time Mbeki has said he is going to get tough...it is followed
by a retreat or
a failure to match words with deeds. The really critical
thing with Zimbabwe
is not to say something, but to do something,'' he
South Africa is part of separate
South African Development Community
(SADC) and Commonwealth initiatives on
Zimbabwe, but has resisted taking a
strong lead either to criticise Mugabe or
to impose sanctions on him or his
Thursday, 13 December, 2001, 17:12 GMT
Mugabe warns of battle ahead
Mugabe is confident of victory
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has urged his supporters
to prepare for a physical fight with the main opposition party, which he has
again accused of terrorism.
This is a real physical fight and we have to prepare
Speaking at the start of a three-day conference of his ruling Zanu-PF party,
Mr Mugabe said the opposition Movement for Democratic Change had chosen to use
violence and terror, because it had no viable political programme on which to
contest presidential elections, now set for March.
"Violence is not just happening, it in fact has been deliberately hatched at
the center of the MDC and by its patrons and principals overseas... This is a
real physical fight and we have to prepare for it," he said in a nationally
However, an independent human rights group in Zimbabwe has said that most of
the people known to have been killed in political violence in the past year were
Amnesty International accuses Mugabe of
And they say the widespread intimidation of farm workers and opposition
supporters is continuing, with police failing to intervene satisfactorily.
President Mugabe is launching his presidential election campaign in front of
the thousands of delegates who have gathered in the resort town of Victoria
It is expected that Mr Mugabe will face the oppositon leader, Morgan
Tsvangirai, in the poll.
President Mugabe also accused Britain, the former colonial power, of being
behind an international campaign to discredit his party over its policy of land
The conference comes amid mounting political tension, with Zimbabwe's
neighbours concerned that the situation there should not slip out of control.
US is threatening sanctions on Zimbabwe
Our Southern Africa correspondent says that Zimbabwe's big neighbour, South
Africa, has most to lose should the crisis deepen in the coming weeks.
Already hundreds of jobless Zimbabweans are trying to cross into South Africa
every day, and the dramatic fall in South Africa's currency is partially due to
a loss of confidence because of the Zimbabwean upheavals.
Other, smaller neighbours, have similar concerns.
Both Malawi and Mozambique fear that thousands of migrant workers could
return home from Zimbabwe if they lose their jobs.
But in public, African leaders are reluctant to criticise too much.
And Southern African leaders have spoken out against the sanctions threatened
by leaders in the United States and Europe.