The government cannot win this
11/29/2002 1:05:32 AM (GMT +2)
from day one of coming to power, Zanu PF set for itself one
mission which it was determined to accomplish at any cost:
ruling forever by
making Zimbabwe a one-party state. It didn't take long
before it became
apparent that the new so-called majority rule government
was far more
repressive and a lot less tolerant of criticism and political
Ian Smith's had ever been.
The infamous Gukurahundi, meant to wipe
out all support for Joshua
Nkomo's PF-Zapu, a party that was considered
regional, was the first show of
that intolerance of political pluralism. Zanu
PF's preoccupation now seems
to be to wipe out the Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC). The government
found a convenient excuse for waging Gukurahundi
by making it appear it was
fighting insurrectionists which it termed
But, with the benefit of hindsight, it is obvious the
was in pursuance of the ruling party's all-consuming agenda
to turn Zimbabwe
into a one-party state - an agenda which has become
However, while the brutal military operation against
PF-Zapu, which in
reality was a war being waged by Zanu PF as the party in
power, using State
machinery to destroy what was then the only credible
party - was confined to the two Matabeleland provinces
and the Midlands -
the war against the MDC is nationwide.
the Gukurahundi operation, the war to obliterate the MDC by all
possible is exactly that - every possible means is being used,
harassment and torture to the withholding of food aid to all
communities suspected to be anti-Zanu PF, an outrage no other
ever been known to resort to in the entire world.
On Tuesday this paper reported that Zanu PF youths destroyed about
hectares of maize at Cashel Valley in Manicaland's Chimanimani
even as the maize shortage crisis is worsening, all because the
that maize are suspected MDC supporters. And there was not a word
from official circles.
In a heart-rending letter to
this newspaper, a schoolteacher in Binga
wrote: "We are appealing to all
churches in South Africa and all over the
world to pray for the survival of
the children in Binga. Because President
Mugabe banned any kind of food from
being distributed in Binga, most
children are on the verge of dying of
hunger. The musika tree fruit which
the people had turned to as a substitute
for sadza is now finished, so there
is nothing to eat. The children being
victimised are not MDC."
Isn't it a crying shame that a government
will resort to starving
children to force their parents not to support the
Perhaps the most visible example of the government's
determination to do to the MDC what it did to PF-Zapu is its
persecution - and prosecution - of the opposition party's top
parliamentarians. The police have acted against several of
party leader Morgan Tsvangirai, MPs Welshman Ncube, David
Musekiwa, Job Sikhala, Roy Bennet and Fletcher
for the government, in many cases, charges
against the opposition officials
have been thrown out by the
Even when there is no evidence of them having committed a
as in the case of at least three Matabeleland North MPs, the most
victim being Jealous Sansole, quite a few of them have been
attacked by war veterans or by soldiers for no apparent
The vexing question in the minds of many people must
obviously be: Is
it only MDC officials - more specifically MPs - who have
tendencies? Conversely, they may also ask: Are all Zanu PF MPs so
that none of them has ever committed an offence?
not too late for the ruling party and the government to learn
that you cannot
force anyone to love you. If people no longer support Zanu
PF, no amount of
brutalisation will make them do so again. This is one war
cannot win. The government will have to find a better way of
back to Zanu PF. It could start by restoring the rule of law.
CIO official loots Nyamandlovu farm
11/29/2002 12:47:05 AM (GMT +2)
From Chris Gande in
A TOP Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) member has
looted $50 million worth of vegetables from a Nyamandlovu farm and
the owners out of their farmhouse.
The farm owners,
Margaret and John Sankey, reported the matter to
Nyamandlovu Police Station
and the Crime Report number is 0074551.
Thandanani Farm is
Bulawayo's leading vegetable producer and the
country's largest producer of
The CIO operative, identified only as Chibaya, was
hectares of Thandanani Farm under the government's land reform
has moved to the other part where the farmhouse is
He has reportedly seized farming equipment worth more than
from the farm.
A group of about 20 people claiming to
be his workers are reportedly
guarding more than $4,5 million worth of the
Sankeys' farming equipment.
Sankey's wife said before Chibaya
invaded the farm on Monday, he had
been taking 100 pockets of onions a day.
By Wednesday he had looted more
than 20 tonnes of onions.
highly productive farm is under a Section 8 notice which was due
to expire in
January. Initially, the Sankeys farm measured 400 hectares,
plots of 100 hectares.
They bought the farm, located in the middle
of the Nyamandlovu area,
Three plots, including the one
allocated to Chibaya, were taken,
leaving them with the 100-hectare plot.
Sankey's wife said: "We know that
the other farms are gone but we want our
one and only plot back. We are
farmers and farming is the only thing we know,
so we are going back to the
She said when they confronted
Chibaya over the looting of vegetables
he pulled out a gun and threatened to
She said when Chibaya came to the farm on Monday he was
in the company
of a police officer and another CIO operative identified only
"They want to take crops which they did not sweat for.
They have no
legal basis to take away our one and only farm," she said.
Call to use traditional herbs to fight Aids
11/29/2002 12:53:02 AM (GMT +2)
From Guthrie Munyuki in
TRADITIONAL medicines can be used effectively in
the fight against the
HIV/Aids pandemic, a Ugandan dentist and herbalist told
the Centre for
Applied Social Studies Regional Public Programme conference
Uganda's fight against the pandemic has been
as one of the most successful, not only in Africa,
but in the world.
The conference is being attended by delegates
from a number of
Southern Africa Development Community countries, including
Dr Sakagya Yahaya, a dentist by profession and a
herbalist by calling,
said traditional medicines played a significant role in
the fight against
HIV/Aids in Uganda.
"The Ugandan Traditional
Healers' Association was formed to respond to
poor health conditions and lack
of proper treatment," Nahaya said.
He said traditional drugs had proved
more effective than Western
medicine as they reversed some of the
Nahaya said the medicine treated diarrhoea, vomiting,
and the wasting away of the body.
But he said
traditional medicines were often treated with contempt by
who associated traditional healers with demons.
doctor, Dr Dickson Opul, said southern Africa had to
move away from its
reliance on Western drugs only, as it sought to fight the
prevalence rates of
"We must have an entry point to start life. Surely we
should focus on
investing in traditional medicines. I would encourage you to
cultural vehicles to stop the pandemic," Opul said.
Opul said risk perceptions, change of attitudes and uninterrupted,
campaigns were the key elements to southern Africa's fight against
Opul said southern Africa had a fight on its hands as it
Opul said Ugandans had changed their
attitude in dealing with HIV/Aids
in 1991 when their response to the problem
helped reduce its prevalence from
15 percent at that time to the current 5
"There was high political response to the pandemic. What
Africa) need is a sustained and uninterrupted campaign. With
that you are
bound to change," he said.
He said when the cases
of HIV/Aids were first recorded in Uganda, the
Ugandans changed their
attitude and the communities, government and
business, responded fully to the
"Uganda spearheaded the concept of Voluntary and
Testing (VCT) before the global world came up with the idea
said. "VCTs started in 1990 and were geared to empower
Test Clubs were introduced for those who had tested
negative so that they
would remain in the club disseminating information to
those who had not
He said VCTs were more than
just centres for testing and counselling.
"It is more than just testing. It
is what happens after testing," Opul said.
Beitbridge school closed after cholera
11/29/2002 12:58:15 AM (GMT +2)
Oscar Nkala in Bulawayo
The Ministry of Health and Child Welfare
has ordered the closure of
Tongwe School near Beitbridge after 17 pupils
contracted cholera last
The outbreak, which has killed
one person, comes less than a week
before the eclipse of the
Beitbridge is one of the areas expected to have a total solar
which is anticipated to attract thousands of tourists.
Sixteen of the cholera victims have been admitted to hospital.
David Parirenyatwa, the Minister of Health and Child Welfare,
confirmed the outbreak, saying the ministry was making good
containing the epidemic.
He said all the affected students were
still in isolation at
Beitbridge District Hospital yesterday.
Parirenyatwa said: "We have mobilised staff from all over Matabeleland
Masvingo to assist in containing the epidemic. We have set up centres
Tongwe School and in major business centres like Lutumba to make sure
we have control teams covering the affected area.
generally confined to one area, but we are in the process of
boreholes in and around the affected area. We have also sourced
fluids to stabilise the condition of the infected."
said his ministry had isolated all the infected pupils
until the epidemic was
Sources in the health sector said the government had
efforts to conceal the outbreak from the media for fear that
publicity would scare away solar eclipse watchers who are expected
to Beitbridge nextweek.
"Every member of the health team
dealing with the outbreak is under
orders to make sure that no information on
this outbreak reaches the media,
to avoid scaring away the eclipse
enthusiasts," said one source.
Parirenyatwa said the disease could
have spread by infected food
bought from Lutumba business centre, about 25
kilometres from Beitbridge.
But the sources said the disease had
been traced to a self-employed
trader suspected to have contracted it in an
affected area of Masvingo.
The sources said the health teams had
information that upon his return
from Masvingo, the man went through Tongwe,
Masera and ended up at a fishing
camp at Zhovhe Dam where he fell
"We are positive that the man brought the disease from
because soon after he fell ill, we started receiving reports from
areas he had passed through," said the sources.
cholera outbreak was reported in Masvingo last month and there were
that it was spilling over into Beitbridge.
that the outbreak could result in solar eclipse
enthusiasts cancelling their
bookings and choose to view the eclipse from
are aware that this outbreak may affect solar eclipse business.
That is why
we are working so hard to contain it. We are making good
progress and there
is no reason for anyone to fear a recurrence within the
next week," he
Beitbridge is expecting thousands of solar eclipse watchers
throughout the world on 4 December when the southernmost part of the
experiences the rare natural phenomenon.
No typhoid outbreak in Harare, says
11/29/2002 12:45:40 AM (GMT +2)
ONLY one case of typhoid fever was notified from premises
in one of
Harare's high-density residential suburbs, the acting Director of
Health Department, Dr Maureen Wellington, said on
She said: "Secondly, there was an increase in incidence
diarrhoea cases in the west-south-west suburbs of Budiriro,
Glen View, which is common during this time of the year, but the
on the decline."
A report carried in Tuesday's issue
of The Daily News incorrectly
suggested there had been an outbreak of typhoid
fever in Harare.
Wellington said: "First and foremost, there is
only one case of
typhoid fever which has been notified from one residential
premises in one
of the high-density residential suburbs and not 'a number of
suburbs in the capital.'
"Most importantly, what
needed to be made clear is the difference
between typhoid and watery
A typhoid fever incident is different from a watery
incident, both from the seriousness of the case, causative agent
treatment regime. A watery diarrhoea incident is a milder enteric
than that of typhoid."
She said investigations were
under way to establish the source of the
increased watery diarrhoea cases and
the notified case of typhoid from Glen
Tsvangirai vows to continue
12:55:54 AM (GMT +2)
Tsvangirai, the president of the Movement for Democratic Change
Wednesday assured Zimbabweans that his party remained resolute in
endeavour to feed millions of starving Zimbabweans.
the fresh commitment when he addressed over 50 women
the MDC's Harvest House offices in Harare.
The women implored the
MDC leader to intervene as the country faced
its worst economic and political
"We have heard your cries, we shall make sure you never
Tsvangirai said amid loud cheers and applause.
statement addressed to Tsvangirai, the women who said they
mothers across the country, blamed the government for the
"We are pleading with you to help us, as we are groping
in hunger and
starvation because you are the true president elected by the
people in March
this year," the statement read.
Mugabe's destruction and plunder of wealth, Zimbabweans
now find themselves
facing death by starvation. Our children can no longer
afford to go to school
and our husbands have been forced out of work."
Harare's Nelson Mandela Avenue was yesterday brought to a
brief standstill as
the sloganeering, pot and pan beating demonstrators were
joined by members of
The women accused Zanu PF of using food aid as a weapon
to break the
opposition structures and ensure forced allegiances to the
The statement said: "In the high-density areas,
maize-meal is being
sold to Zanu PF card-carrying members only. We wonder
where Robert (Mugabe)
got such a heavy heart to punish his own people in such
"Our daughters are also being raped by the infamous
Border Gezi youths
and the illegitimate regime of Mugabe condones such acts
as the perpetrators
are not brought to book."
yesterday urged Zimbabweans to intensify the pressure for
"The concerns you are raising are quite legitimate and the
behind you. There is no way we can accept to live in a climate
political scene is characterised by traumatised citizens, a
and fractured communities hurting and hating themselves
because of lack of
freedom and a systematic denial of our basic rights," he
Ex-BHP workers evicted from Norton flats
11/29/2002 12:37:28 AM (GMT +2)
ABOUT 26 former Broken Hill Proprietary (BHP) workers, living at
Flats in Norton for the past four years, were on Wednesday evicted
the way for the workers of Zimplats, which has taken over the
An additional 10 were evicted
Officers at Norton Police Station confirmed the
evictions but refused
to give details.
An officer who answered
the phone said: "The tenants were reportedly
not paying their
Their property was removed from the company houses and they
the open following their court-ordered eviction by
The workers were in the flats as part of their employment
with BHP, before the sudden closure of the mine in June
Yesterday, several of the tenants milled around the flats.
security guards guarding the premises denied them access to drinking
Andrew Malunga, 43, a former boilermaker with
BHP, claimed his letter
of appointment stated they would occupy the houses
for about 25 years, and
would eventually buy them.
He said: "The
mine closed and we were left in the cold. They paid us
our severance packages
and assured us no one would remove us from our
houses. That's why we were
The workers said they paid their monthly rent to an
housing officer, now working for Zimplats, until January
2000 when they
stopped paying at the instigation of the officer.
Rosewitta Murombo, 32, one of the tenants, said they paid between $350
500 every month in rent until they stopped in 2000.
yesterday and ordered us out. Aston Musunga, the Zimplats
lawyer, came with
police officers and evicted us," she said. "We were
unprepared for this. They
should have told us where to pay the rent."
Angela Mutundura, 33, said
their children could not attend school due
to their eviction.
"We entered into an agreement with BHP to buy these flats through
rent-to-buy arrangement, but surprisingly when Zimplats took
operations, they never consulted the workers on the status of the
she said. But Musunga said the former BHP workers were evicted
had not paid their rent for the past two years.
was instructed by Zimplats to evict them," he said. "There was a
agreement between BHP and the former workers. Zimplats evicted them
they no longer paid their rents. I issued summons on that basis."
Jonathan Samkange of Byron Venturas and Partners, representing the
tenants, said he was unaware of their eviction.
He said: "I
thought there were negotiations between Zimplats and the
tenants. "I cannot
comment on the whole issue now."
Zimplats owns 70 percent of
Makwiro Platinum (Pvt) Limited, while
South Africa's Impala owns the
remaining 30 percent.
In April, Annah Moyo, Zimplats public
relations consultant, said the
tenants were buying time because they did not
have any legal grounds to
argue their case.
consulted the government on the matter and donated
315 houses to Zebakwe
Housing Trust which was scheduled to be for the
benefit of the affected
workers.The Trust is scheduled to be officially
launched on 2 December.
Barwe fires shots at war vet over land row
11/29/2002 12:43:47 AM (GMT +2)
By Precious Shumba
Reuben Barwe, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation chief
embroiled in a land ownership dispute with war veterans, on
allegedly fired three shots at one of the plotholders, an
Relations between Barwe and the war veterans at a farm in
reached boiling point on Wednesday when Barwe, 49, allegedly pulled
pistol and fired at Isaac Chidhakwa, 46, one of seven plotholders
Sunnyside Extension Farm.
Police in Norton confirmed the
incident while Barwe could not be
reached for comment yesterday.
An officer at Norton Police Station said an Inspector Sithole, the
district intelligence officer with the Police Internal Security
recorded Barwe's statement of the reported incident between 12
noon and 1pm
"Barwe has been officially charged with the offence of
firearm and attempting to kill the war veteran," he
In March this year, Barwe allegedly fired two shots into the
Budiriro Flats in Harare to scare off people who were jeering at him
pro-government news reporting.
Earlier that day on 9
March, the first polling day of the presidential
election, Barwe was involved
in an altercation with voters at Glen View
3 shopping centre polling
In an interview yesterday, Chidhakwa confirmed he had
incident to the police.
He said the incident
happened at about 5pm on Wednesday as he returned
from his plot. He said he
was in the company of another plotholder, Abisha
"Before we reached the gate, we met Barwe who stopped his vehicle. He
me to talk to him about their problems, but l refused to stop,"
Chidhakwa said. "He became hostile. l walked away because he looked
dangerous. I turned around and the next thing I saw was Barwe aiming a
"I took to my heels and he fired a shot which went
Barwe reportedly then proceeded to Chidhakwa's plot where the
veteran's workers were planting maize seed and threatened to
Barwe allegedly came back and chased Chidhakwa
in his vehicle, firing
two shots in the process, which again went wide.
Chidhakwa said he sought
shelter at the adjacent Hunyani Forest
War veterans allocated land at Sunnyside have previously
evict Barwe from the farm.
Last Wednesday, Barwe
denied they were trying to evict him. He
maintained he still retained the 240
hectares allocated to him and had
already tilled about 50 hectares and
planted maize and soya beans.
Sunnyside was designated by the
government under the chaotic land
distribution programme and the Department
of Agricultural Extension Services
pegged 12 plots.
allocated one of the plots, 66 hectares in size, but has
he owns all the 240 hectares.
UN acts on Tongogara
11/29/2002 12:36:02 AM
From Brian Mangwende in Mutare
Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) has tightened
Tongogara refugee camp in Chipinge amid allegations of rampant
of vulnerable refugees by humanitarian workers and senior
Tongogara refugee camp is home to at least 800 displaced
countries such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda,
Sudan and Mozambique.
Speaking at a workshop in Mutare
on sexual and gender-based violence,
David Mlambo, the UNHCR's administrator,
said the police would now be
deployed round the clock at the camp, while male
advisors would be replaced
with female ones as they were suspected to be the
perpetrators of sexual
"Because of reports of
sexual harassment at Tongogara camp, it is only
prudent to tighten security
there," he said.
"Women are now going to assume the roles of
counsellors or advisors
because men are alleged to be at the root of the
problem. Policemen are
going to be permanently stationed on the premises. The
security is going to
be tightened to avoid embarrassment."
July, two senior officials, Ernest Maigurira, the International
Migration Commission's programme director in Zimbabwe, and Mavuvo
commission's community service officer at Tongogara camp, were
over allegations of sexual harassment.
They were alleged to have
demanded sexual favours from single women
and female minors in return for
scholarships and provisions such as food and
blankets, to which the refugees
were entitled in any case.
John Adu, the UNHCR's director in
Zimbabwe, said yesterday: "There
have been many allegations of humanitarian
workers being themselves the
abusers in refugee camps. This is a great
concern for the High Commissioner
for Refugees. You heard about the
highly-publicised scandal in West Africa
as well as our own in Tongogara
camp. It tarnishes all of us in the eyes of
those we are here to protect, as
well as to the outside world."
He said the High Commissioner has
put in place a Zero Tolerance of
Sexual and Gender-Based Violence policy to
be carried out by
approved humanitarian workers.
further enforce the policy, a strict code of conduct has been
all the staff of UNHCR have signed their commitment to abide
provisions," Adu said.
"There are serious disciplinary measures for
any transgression. It is
a form of self-policing as an organisation to
eliminate the possibility of
such gross misconduct such as selling
humanitarian assistance in exchange
for sex as is alleged to have happened in
the incidents aforementioned."
Youth - cannon fodder in Africa's
11/29/2002 1:08:17 AM (GMT +2)
African youth, to say the least, is a sorely challenged social
visible yet not heard and when heard at all, it is too often in
notes of war, rebellion, riots and other disturbances.
It would be
stretching the definition too far to claim that I am still
a youth though I
will continue to defend the notion of youth as a state of
Just two generations ago across this continent, it was divine
young. We had hopes, nurtured grand ambitions, and believed that even
sky was not a limit, just an obstacle to be surmounted. There were
great battles and struggles to inspire our youthful
There was the epic battle against settler colonialism in
Africa and the apartheid regime in South Africa. The context of the
also simplified the world into the good guys against the bad guys.
to chant Amilcar Cabral's dictum: "Every spectator is either a coward
traitor," in a world where there were only two roads: progress or
Outside of Africa there was Vietnam for earlier
generations, and for
ours there was Nicaragua and Cambodia. Even in
organisations there were issues like the New
Order, New International Economic Order, the Non-Aligned
There were a lot of issues to help
politicise the youths and students
both locally and
We used to very confidently say: "We can beat
them, therefore we won't
join them." As we grew older, many of our erstwhile
became realists or just plain opportunists and started
you can't beat them, join them."
But what are the
choices available for the African youth of today?
Even those who wish to join
the system - and things are just so desperate
that they would join any system
anywhere - soon find out that they cannot
really join them.
has the African youth got to look forward to now?
As the active
labour force, the majority of them cannot look forward
to a future with
employment, gainful or otherwise. For the few who have
or degrees, many are being certified without
being educated. For the
many who are not fortunate enough to go to any
school, the collapsing
economies around them mean blighted futures.
We were forced to
confront these issues at a recent conference titled:
Learning for Change -
Youths and Conflict Avoidance in West Africa, held at
the Africa Leadership
Forum's Conference Centre, Temperance Guest House,
Otta, Ogun State, Nigeria.
It is a wonderful retreat environment, if you can
survive the notorious Lagos
traffic and get there.
The Conference was co-organised by Community
Development and Advocacy
Centre, Centre for Democracy and Development and the
Education and Advocacy Programme. It brought together
youth from a number of
West African countries namely, Ghana, Benin, Sierra
Leone, Liberia, the
Gambia, as well as West African youth from the United
Kingdom and the host
It was a great
opportunity to hear youth from different backgrounds
and organisations and
those working with them, comparing experiences and
discussing ways and
means of enhancing the interest of the youth in
the political, social and
economic livelihoods of their countries.
The youths are
marginalised within the marginalised and
disproportionately victims and
perpetrators of the many senseless wars and
armed conflicts across the
They are the bulk of the regular army and rebel
groups, party thugs,
vigilantes, militias, and other armed groups. The Otta
noted: "In places that have suffered prolonged civil wars
like Sierra Leone
or Liberia, the acquisition of small arms and the knowledge
violence with impunity have perverted the sense of worth and
many youths. Holding an AK47 has become both a prestige and
power status for
young people with no other prospects."
society that promotes desperate poverty on one hand, and fabulous
the other, with little in-between, as do many African countries,
cannot be a
Indeed it is a society to be replaced by concrete
and attitudes that turn the majority of the people into
In order to make war, violence, political and religious
attractive to Africans as a whole, but in particular to the
youth who are
used as storm troopers, we must create an enabling environment
them hope, guarantees their security and puts a premium on
progress, sustainable growth and development.
It is a
cliché to say the youth are the leaders of tomorrow. How can
believe this when the same men (and mostly men) but also women, of
are still firmly dominating the socio-economic and political
without any predictable renewal efforts or successor generational
How can the youth be patient when there are no clear road maps as
to when the
system could confidently let them assume responsibility?
concentrate too much on formal politics and political
positions when we talk
about empowerment. This is too narrow because having
young people in specific
offices is not necessarily empowering the youth.
ruling party or opposition movement has its own youthful
apologists who may
care more for their bosses than the youth. As with the
struggle to correct
the unequal gender relations, empowering the youth must
their concerns in all the facets of our public and
private lives. Let them be
heard if you want them to listen to you, trust
them with responsibilities and
journey with them as they develop into
responsible citizens, contributing to
general peace and development.
- Dr Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem is the
secretary-general of the Pan-African
Movement, Kampala, Uganda.
MDC volunteer denies tempering with voters'
11/29/2002 12:57:00 AM (GMT +2)
Tamborinyoka Political Editor
TOPPER Whitehead, an MDC volunteer
worker whose affidavit is part of
the presidential election petition filed in
the High Court, alleges the
Registrar-General barred him from collecting
evidence from the voters' roll
because he had started unravelling serious
Whitehead was responding to allegations against him
published in The
Herald of 20 November 2002, that the Registrar-General's
Office had barred
him after he had allegedly tempered with the voters' roll
The newspaper, quoting a letter from the RG's
Office to the MDC
Director of Elections, Remus Makuwaza, alleged that
Whitehead was seen
changing identification numbers of certain voters on
voters' roll and then
photocopying the roll.
It alleged that he
wanted to strengthen his party's petition in
challenging the results of the
presidential election with false evidence.
Whitehead said the
limited information available had conclusive and
unequivocal evidence proving
sworn statements by the RG, Tobaiwa Mudede, to
he had found out that some deceased people were still on the
"In an effort to prevent any comprehensive analysis of the
roll used in the March election, the RG is withholding the bulk of
evidence from the MDC and the public.
"The RG has on several
occasions boasted that the voters' roll is
world class, yet he is going to
extraordinary lengths to frustrate the
right, as allowed in any democratic
system, of open access to the roll by
said because the copy of the voters roll was not immediately
MDC was being forced to make an analysis of the roll based on
He said he was in the process of doing that in the
officers from the RG's Office when he was said to have tampered
"The only conclusion a reasonable person can make
is that the office
of the RG and Tobaiwa Mudede himself are so nervous about
flaws in the 'world class' voters roll that are positively
and recorded that they have manufactured these absurdly
allegations in an attempt to hide the truth," he
"The fact that the letter banning me from the RG's Office
delivered to The Herald before it was even received by the person to whom
was addressed at the MDC is further endorsement of the political bias of
Office of the Registrar-General.
"It also highlights the
nervousness that Tobaiwa Mudede feels that he
might be exposed as a liar in
his sworn affidavits to the High Court."
Whitehead denied he was a
United States national, as alleged by The
Herald, but a Zimbabwean.
Milk price must rise or we run out of
THE dairy cows of Zimbabwe are eating each other - the
cannibal cows. No,
don't panic, you aren't all going to get BSE.
s what is happening. The price of milk production meal is some $30 000
than the price of milk. That means the dairy farmers are not covering
cost of production.
Now, if you do not pay your stock feed bill, you
do not get any more feed,
so to pay the bills, we are selling off about five
to 10 cows each month.
In effect, the cows are eating each other.
This creates an interesting
situation. We have run out of the fat, the
mastitis, the old, the cross-eyed
and knock-kneed animals.
It is a
race to see which happens first. Either the price of milk rises to
cost of production (tut-tut, there's a price freeze), or we run
out of cows,
with the inevitable result of no more milk (sorry chaps) or we
just run out
Roll up, place your bets, the race is half
Who said crime
does not pay?
IN the Zimbabwe of today crime certainly pays, from the
godfatherhood of RGM
The government of Zimbabwe of current
times has long-ago evolved into a
fully-fledged state-monopolised, sponsored
and controlled criminal
syndicate. There is no-one outside Zimbabwe who
Born and educated in Harare, I started work in
Customs and Excise in 1966.
In those days, "civil servants served the
government of the day" and this
was rightly drilled into me, I
Active participation in politics was out, I was told,
membership (but only that) was okay.
Fair dos - for
in a real democracy, the government of the day might change
but its servants
should not (certainly not on political whim alone).
So I was always
safe, I believed, provided I just did my job honestly,
without fear or favour.
Indeed, when Neil Harper and I were first
detained, the slogan "without fear
or favour" was slogan of the
And so, I carved a successful career in Customs and Excise. I
survived various "governments of the day" from 1966 to 1988. The
some I agreed with, the politics of others I did not and, in the
very own political persuasions changed, grew and evolved
Through it all, I remained a loyal Zimbabwean and an
Indeed, our effectiveness against
Mandrax smuggling into South Africa (via
Harare) in industrial quantities,
the smuggling of luxury cars north of the
Limpopo (Mercedes and BMWs) on a
commercial scale and other South African
sanctions-busting scams, involving the connivance
and profit of CIO and Zanu
Pf in Harare, were certainly less than helpful to
the criminal minds of the
Historical cases record clearly that we (Zimbabwean
customs officers, Harper
and Austin) were too effective for the likes of Zanu
PF, the CIO and the PAC
at that time.
And so it was that a cabinet
decision (which included the then Prime
Minister Robert Mugabe) was taken to
neutralise "for good" myself and Neil
Harper (a colleague of equal, if not
greater, ability and loyalty). The
rest, as they say, is
We were labelled "South African spies" and detained without
trial for two
years - mostly in Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison, Greendale,
However, to this day, I continue to invite
Emmerson Mnangagwa to reveal to
the media the so-called "secret document"
which he hid to cause our
detention without trial for two
For if Mnangagwa is now a serious pretender to the throne in
surely the nation should now know about such stuff.
and Harper know that we were never spies for South Africa or anyone else.
come on Emmerson, let's hear the truth!
From one perspective, I am
able to regard this as "water under the bridge"
now but only because I have
been able to re-establish my family again
elsewhere and mostly, but not
completely, recover from the indescribable
damage that the current Zanu PF
regime has deliberately and criminally
visited upon me and my family.
Nevertheless, what is going on in Zimbabwe is
not only wrong - it is insane
and evil, even though I have been fortunate
enough to have escaped the worst
I and Neil Harper were clearly "forced" into early retirement
granted by President Mugabe himself to us some eight months after
released from Chikurubi).
Not an index-linked "abolition"
pension (which was clearly appropriate - and
not awarded), but a belated and
presidentially back-dated voluntary early
retirement Lancaster House
Neil and I retired as assistant controllers in customs and
excise. I think
that they now call them directors. Anyway, the equivalent
civil service open
field grade is under secretary.
background, and in my case 22 years service (the last two in
in Neil Harper's case about 28 years service, why do I still
a Zimbabwe pension "fixed" shortly after my time of release
from Chikurubi in
1988 at $489,70?
I have watched this "fixed" pension shrink from
around £160 in 1988 to
around £6 when I last received a very belated cheque
for my June 2002
pension three months ago.
And yet, I watch amazed
as I read reports of the rank-and-file of the "war
vets" and "green bombers"
and others receive Zim dollar salaries and
allowances that, if I were to have
my pension re-assessed thereon, would
greatly enhance my own
I was a senior, effective and productive former civil
servant of Zimbabwe -
bludgeoned out of office.
No nation can keep
on rewarding evil forever and get away with it. Things
have got to change,
whether Zanu PF likes it or not. I do believe that
sooner, rather than later,
the scales will bounce.
Meanwhile, I suspect my £6 odd pension
arrears from July 2002 onwards are
Indeed, when the real
exchange rate is one-day applied to my pension
entitlement arrears, I suspect
that the envelope and postage will be worth
more than the cheque
Not bad for twenty two years of loyal, honest, effective and
service? A career that started at age 17 and was deliberately
criminals in the highest offices of Zimbabwe 22 years later when
I was 39.
A process which dragged my wife Joleeb and my three young
children (Sally in
nappies) through the corridors of Harare Central cells,
Hatfield cells, St
Mary's cells, Goromonzi CIO interrogation centre, Rotten
Row holding cells,
Harare Central Remand and Chikurubi Maximum Security
Prison. Not bad for a
dedicated Zimbo who always and loyally served his
country well, and still
Looking forward to a decent and
proper pension, one day perhaps after long
and loyal and unblemished service?
Perhaps not, but I will always look
forward to the day when pensions are at
least curtailed for all of those who
have pillaged and raped our nation with
Meanwhile, I watch with interest the current civil/military
class of owners
of 4x4 twin-cabs and/or Kompressors. One day, soon I hope,
transparent justice will prevail in Zimbabwe.
I hope they
are extending the halls of Chikurubi Maximum in readiness for
Pamberi . but until that day, aluta continua!
Former head: Harare
The end is nigh for Zanu PF
president and the Zimbabwean people should check out what happens when
country suffers economic bankruptcy and implosion. Look no further
Argentina. It is not very pretty, and it makes the present misery of 95%
Zimbabweans and the inconvenience of another four percent look like
beer in comparison.
Does the president really think he can get
out of the corner he is in by
toughing it out and bringing all the ZNA troops
in Zimbabwe and the DRC into
Harare or by banning gestures and swear words
directed at his fine
It is all only a question of time.
The end will come when the international
bankers close down all credit lines
(and even all cash lines).
It might still come when the people, in
desperation, riot or take part in
peaceful demonstrations (which are banned
in this phoney democracy).
Will the troops pull the trigger on their kith
and kin or will they down
tools in protest?
Despite idiocies (like
150%) put out by home-grown economists, inflation is
at 1 000% per year or
more and forex rates are tumbling like stones.
And although the
concept of freezing all prices seems like a great idea, if
it worked it would
have been used in Brazil in 1989, Turkey in 2001 and in
The end is on its way - it can be postponed or hastened,
but it cannot be
avoided. The mills of God grind slowly.
Expat forex: is it merely a trickle?
much forex is coming into this country per month? A plugged-in banker
Sandawana that the money coming in from the UK did not amount to more
£50 million a year against earlier estimates of £20 million a month.
some simple mathematics: £20 million times $2 500 equals $50
House buying is a major activity of our brothers and sisters
that is only half of it.
If it is also supposed to
be going into house building and consumptive
activities such as beer
drinking, it should in some way show up on PG's and
Delta's figures, which
must account for at least 10% of the overall spend.
PG turned over
$6,6 billion in the six months just past, while Delta did $34
Average that out to a month and it's $7 billion, and then take 10%
and we are down to $700 million, which is only £280 000 at the
If similar amounts were externalised in the UK and US without
into the country (ie UK bank account to UK bank account), we
might have a few
million pounds or US dollars a month.
Therefore, Sandawana thinks the
banker is closer to the truth. Sandawana was
also told this week that banks
are converting 50% of proceeds at $55:US$1
and the balance at the black
market rate. This is going to quickly drive the
whole trade onto the streets.
The buy/sell spread may now widen between the
source of the currency and the
final beneficiary, but the end rate is
unlikely to come down
If nothing else, the government can happily take
comfort in the fact that
the black market has created more job opportunities
as people struggle on in
this Maoist existence (ie you force the povo to keep
busy enough sustaining
their basic living so that they have no time to think
reactionary). With anything from bread to forex, there are so
along the way taking their hyperinflationary cut, that the
chain may now
accommodate five or six people as opposed to one or two
Negotiating the bendz
DRIVING around in that
Mercedes Benz for the business chefs is not as much
of a delight as it was
two weeks ago before the budget. Business executives
have sighed as they have
commented to Sandawana about the market's fall and
how much of an
overreaction it all is.
Of course, business will find a way around
the new restrictions, the FCA
will be manifested in some other form, price
freezes will last two weeks,
under-invoicing and transfer payments will rise
further - prejudicing no one
but the short-sighted government - so what's the
Yes, volumes have been light. And perhaps the market was
although this argument totally falls away if you consider the
real pace of
inflation and look at average real earnings growth among those
that are not basketcases on the ZSE. Last week's raft of results
some interesting outcomes but it did not matter how they compared
Meikles Africa was quick to point out
how its regional exposure made it a
good bet, Delta said there was little for
them to worry about apart from the
shortage of sugar, but OK Zimbabwe's
earnest Willard Zireva was more frank
and said the outlook was
He looked exasperated as he spoke about the effect of recent
policy, particularly the price freeze. And so while volumes have
on the ZSE, it is perhaps this micro-trading that hints at a
greater worry -
the market reads these new restrictions as a sign that the
end is nigh. No
money for fuel, maize or wheat ... so what will happen? Will
we come to the
long-predicted grinding halt?
THE Kingdom, and now the Zimre rights issues could hardly
have come to the
market at a worse time. Kingdom has rightly argued that the
dip in the
market is temporary (inflation will lift stocks when the market
gets an idea
of what tricks business has up its sleeves) and that they should
not offer a
greater dilution because of the long-term value of
The arguments about Kingdom's value and performance against
its peers are
sound. However, the market remains nervous - however misplaced
may be - about future earnings from forex and the effect of
What will ultimately determine whether these two
issues are correctly priced
in the current market is if shareholders can pick
up shares in the market
cheaper than if they follow their rights. Kingdom is
at $29 while NMB more
accurately reflects sentiment and has fallen to
Shareholders don't want to take up stock and find that buying
once the issue has been complete, which will depend on whether
there will be
a sustained period of weakness over the next few weeks or
The Astra case
PREDICTABLY - and rightly so for us
taxpayers - the government is
challenging the Astra court judgement. But it's
pretty difficult to see what
legal grounds they have for a case to succeed -
there are several people to
blame for this whole botched privatisation
episode but most lies with PAZ
The government has few
options to win this one: a presidential decree to
nullify the process or
dismissing the entire PAZ executive for incompetence
and claiming that as the
basis for disallowing the sale.
tourism revival set to take place next week with the eclipse and the
go-ahead by the ICC for the World Cup Cricket matches? On the
airlines have told Sandawana that capacity is nothing special and
there is no
petrol anyway, while there will be a proviso issued on the
yes, but we'll cancel if there is a whiff of trouble").
always had a taste for going to shunned destinations since you
the place to yourself and competition for your tourist dollar is
while Sandawana has probably brought more tourists into the
country in the
past two months than the ZTA has managed in the whole of the
past year, they
are not of the middle-class variety that are the engine
Sandawana's visitors have all expressed wonderment at
our beautiful country
and how peaceful things are (God, wouldn't ZBC have
died to get their hands
on them?). However, tourism players have told
Sandawana that the dreaded
"moral" issue (as seen in Myanmar) is increasingly
cited as the reason for
not coming. This is a tad more worrying because those
Scandinavians, Dutch and Germans are the market that was looking
to plug the
tourist earnings gap left by the Briteesh.
hardline stance at the ACP meeting is a case in point. When will
change? When will our hostility to the West subside? According to
banker, it will be when you wake up one morning and find the hondo
tracks are no longer being played on radio and TV.
Stock market rout continues
Industrials index plunged another 14,7% over the past week, taking
market's cumulative losses in the 10 trading days since the budget
The market lost the key 100 000 level last Friday and
continued to slide
throughout the rest of the week. On Wednesday, the
Industrials index dropped
another 2 996.73 points to close at 89 165.29.
Volumes remained relatively
Brokers said gloom still
pervaded the market, which was no closer to
understanding the government's
policy on forex and interest rates.
There were a mere 14 risers in
the week - the best gain came from Barbican
(52%), the recently reverse
listed financial group. After its recent strong
run, Truworths dropped 50%,
Old Mutual was off 34,2%, and NMB plummeted
that those companies that recently had a change of
shareholding were also big
losers. Zimsun plunged $4 to $7 on Tuesday as it
went ex-dividend of a mere
40 cents, although the stock recovered to close
at $10, but still
significantly below the $18 at which the buyout was
conducted. SeedCo was $37
(the shareholding changed hands at $65) while
Interfresh was at $8,99. The
buyout took place at $17.
"Alot of the companies have been taken over
with funds that are neither
deemed to be 'export' or 'productive' ... and
this is a worry. We fear there
are some financial institutions that are in
big trouble," one broker said.
Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa, who
officiated at the THZ demerger on
Monday, said government was "aware of the
anomalies in the export sector",
but he was not forthcoming on any corrective
action that the government
would be taking. Analysts have speculated that the
government will either
reverse its decision on the FCAs to prop up the ailing
market, or introduce
another exchange rate - the exporters' rate at a blended
One broker told businessdigest that
there had been lots of enquiries for
corporate work before the stock market
plunge, but this had "all but dried
However, some analysts
said the market was oversold and there were many
bargains around at current
All Evicted from Kamativi Mine
The Daily News
November 28, 2002
Posted to the web November 30,
Ntungamili Nkomo in Bulawayo
THE eviction of suspected
MDC supporters from the Kamativi mining compound
to make way for members of
the Zanu PF youth militia has taken a new twist,
with everyone ordered to
vacate the premises by this Saturday.
Initially, about 350 families
perceived to be aligned to the opposition MDC
had been ordered out of their
They were to make way for the Zanu PF youth brigade members
as the "Green Bombers", who are undergoing so-called
national youth service
training at the mining compound.
residents said the move was unacceptable as they had nowhere to
They said it was an unconscionable decision taken by a ruling
which had an obligation to protect all its people.
John Dube said: "We
have been given five days' notice to vacate the area,
but any sane person
would wonder how people are going to move out in five
days. Besides, where
are we going to relocate to?"
Dube said there were people of Malawian
origin and some were too old to be
moving from one place to
Some of the people of foreign origin said they were worried
about where they
would go as they did not have relatives in the
Another villager, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear
said about 100 Green Bombers had already occupied some of the
"This is just not fair to some of us who have been developing
the area for
years. Where does the government really want us to go?" he
He accused the government of promoting lawlessness in the country
allowing the youths to brutalise innocent people with
Siphiwe Mapfuwa, the Hwange Rural District Council chairperson,
all people were affected. She said that the affected people were
land on which the council intended to establish a Zanu PF youth
"Those affected are those in the areas where we want
to establish the
training base," Mapfuwa said.
Asked what type of
training the youth would undergo, she said she was not
quite sure but
insisted that those displaced were going to be offered
She could not say when they would be offered alternative
the deadline expires on Saturday.
violence broke out in Kamativi following the victory of Matthew
MDC candidate in the rural district council election.
Ngwenya, his wife
and several other villagers were attacked by suspected
Zanu PF supporters and
left for dead following his victory.
Kamativi is a former mining compound
owned by the Zimbabwe Mining
Development Corporation. Mining operations in
the Kamativi Tin Mine ceased
About three weeks ago members of
the Zanu PF youth militia allegedly went
around the compound telling the
tenants they should get ready to move out of
the houses by 20 November. The
deadline was later extended to this weekend.
Zimbabwe offers World Cup assurance to ICC: Speed
The Zimbabwe government has assured the
Council (ICC) that it will allow all accredited
journalists into the country
for the 2003 cricket World Cup, the ICC said
Malcolm Speed, the ICC chief executive, said he had
been given a
written assurance during a trip to Zimbabwe to assess safety
the tournament. The issue came to a head after two British
hoping to cover the ICC trip were refused
"Widespread coverage of the ICC cricket World Cup 2003
vital element of the tournament," Speed said in a statement after a
with Aeneas Chigwedere, Zimbabwe's minister for education, sport
"The minister has acted quickly to assure us
that all ICC
accredited cricket journalists will be able to cover the matches
and I appreciate his prompt action in addressing this issue. The
Zimbabwe has been very beneficial," said Speed. Zimbabwe are due to
World Cup games in February.
Mugabe's political stand-off with the
international community and the
violence which has accompanied his
controversial land reform programme have
drawn calls for the matches to be
moved to South Africa.
Speed is heading an ICC delegation including the heads of the
from the countries due to play in Zimbabwe in meetings with
The delegation is due to write a report
before the ICC executive
board makes a decision over Zimbabwe in
Australia and England have expressed most concern
in Zimbabwe. India, Pakistan, Namibia and the Netherlands are
also due to
Zimbabwe, at loggerheads with
former colonial ruler Britain
mainly over the seizure of white-owned farms,
imposed visa requirements on
Britons in apparent retaliation from similar
measures by the British
government. - Reuters
Zim recalls commissioner after Mugabe attack
2002 at 12:36PM
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has recalled
his high commissioner to
Botswana as relations between the two southern
African neighbours soured
following comments by President Festus Mogae, a
news report said on
The Johannesburg-based Saturday Star
reported that although there was no
immediate suggestion nor confirmation
that High Commissioner Zenso Nsimbi
had been recalled because of Mogae's
recent criticism of Mugabe's policies,
"this would seem likely," it
Mogae has emerged as the only African leader to publicly attack
his political and economic policies, which the Botswanan leader
hurting the entire southern African region.
million people, or half of Zimbabwe's population were threatened
due to food shortages.
Aid agencies blame the shortages on a drought and
disturbances to commercial
agriculture due to an extremely controversial land
Mogae recently told the London-based African Business
Zimbabwe's woes were the result of a "drought of good
He also told the BBC's HardTalk programme that tourism had
affected by events in Zimbabwe and that Botswana had been
suffering as a
The Botswana Guardian newspaper reported that
Nsimbi had been recalled after
complaints about his inaction regarding the
plight of Zimbabweans allegedly
being ill-treated by Botswana
Zimbabweans, who say are escaping economic hardships from
have been travelling into Botswana through the Plumtree border
illegally sneaking past dry river beds that separate the two
However, Nsimbi said the claims were
difficult to prove: "We receive these
allegations from Zimbabweans but they
do not bring concrete evidence. We
have also established that their
allegations were false." - Sapa-AFP
Mugabe pours scorn on charges of plunder in
HARARE, Nov. 30 - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe poured
Saturday on allegations that his country had plundered the mineral
Congo during a four-year military intervention.
U.N. probe said in October that senior Zimbabwean military and
officials had been involved in looting Congo's vast mineral
Zimbabwe sent troops to help Kinshasa fight rebels backed by
Mugabe told a military parade, organised to honour soldiers
returned from Congo, that his government had intervened to defend
''At no time was our motive anywhere
near the malicious, puerile or
even libellous allegations that have been made
against us by our
detractors,'' Mugabe said.
''At no time did
we...seek the plunder of that country's resources or
the unfair exploitation
of a war situation to steal from a sister country.''
The war in the
Democratic Republic of Congo erupted in August 1998.
Zimbabwe, Angola and
Namibia sent troops to back the government in Kinshasa
supported by Uganda and Rwanda, which were also accused of
plunder by the
Foreign troops have now withdrawn under peace deals. Zimbabwe
out in October. At the height of the war it had about 11,000 troops,
third of its army, in Congo.
Mugabe said Zimbabwe had suffered
only minimal casualties and
material losses during the war but he gave no
He said Zimbabwe had helped to restore peace in Congo and
international community would help maintain the country's fragile
Mugabe has vowed to give veterans of the Congo
treatment in a controversial government programme to
seized from the white farmers among the landless black
On Saturday he again held out the promise of land.
''I wish to assure you that you enjoy the same facility of being
under the current phase of the resettlement programme,''
''You have come back to the reclaimed and restored
land of your
forefathers. You will therefore certainly get your rightful
share of that
The land seizures have drawn fire from the
West but Mugabe says he is
only trying to redress an injustice of British
colonial rule which left 70
percent of the country's best land in the hands
of whites who make up less
than one percent of the population.
cannot have little England or little Europe. This is our land
and it shall
remain our land forever,'' Mugabe said.
Dear Family and Friends,
I apologise in advance for a longer than normal
letter and hope you read to the end.
I sat on a hard bench in the Harare High Court one
morning this week with two of the five farmers who were abducted at gun point
from a Zimbabwean police station and tortured in April 2000 just two months
after our government lost a constitutional referendum and the political madness
began here. There were not many people in the room aside from prison and court
officials, an interpreter, 4 witnesses, one of the accused and a couple of
journalists who had all come to hear of the circumstances which led to the
horrific murder of commercial farmer David Stevens. I could not help but look
back into my childhood memories as we waited for the judge to come in. My father
had worked in this High Court, had been called to the Bar here and somewhere
there is a photograph of him, gowned and wigged, standing proudly in the
courtyard of these same buildings. I could not stop myself from thinking that my
Dad would be turning in his grave if he could see the place now. Everywhere
there is unbelievable filth. The white walls are covered with the grimy tide
marks of people's heads and hands, there is nowhere for people to sit before
they go into court, except on the floor. The windows, doors and ledges are
coated in thick, brown dust. The tar which covers the upper walkways is melting
and bubbling up in great shiny blobs. Finding a toilet was nearly impossible and
the longed for mouthful of water was never realised.
The red robed and grey wigged Judge arrived and sat
with 2 Judge Assesors and he, like the rest of us, struggled to hear
the proceedings as for some reason the microphones had not been switched on. In
a little over an hour it was all over. Neither the Prosecutor nor the Defence
were ready to proceed with the case even though David Stevens was murdered 31
months ago. The Judge released the accused man on Z$5000 bail and postponed the
case for another 5 months. There are now two trials involving this murder that
have been started and postponed and we wonder if justice will ever be done and
why, nearly 3 years later, there is this apparent attempt to show that law and
order does still exist in Zimbabwe. David Stevens is just one of well over
200 people who have been murdered in political violence in Zimbabwe in the last
33 months and this is the only case which has got to court so far
While justice for 200 political murders may never
be seen in Zimbabwe under the present government I am humbled to know that I've
had a part in exposing some of the horrors of the last 3 years. I am delighted
to be able to tell you that my new book is now in print. It is
called "Beyond Tears" and has this week been released
in South Africa. The true story of what really happened to David Stevens and the
farmers who tried to save him is told in Beyond Tears. Also dozens of
other eye witness accounts of gang rape, beating, torture and the obscenities
that have become a part of every day life for us all here. It's not a political
science book and doesn't try and give an insight into anyone's minds, it is
simply the story of living in a country which is falling apart. "Beyond
Tears" and a reprint of "African Tears" (with a new cover) were
launched without me as I know that it is a very dangerous road that I travel in
exposing the cold but truthful fact that the crisis here is neither about land
nor race but about a political party determined to stay in power. I am worried
about repercussions but just do what I always do when I'm scared which is to
clean windows and take one day at a time !
As I did 18 months ago, I would humbly ask all the
people who read this letter and have followed our horrors to help me spread the
word about my two books. Now, perhaps more than ever before, we need the world
to hear just exactly what has been happening here. If you know of people who may
be interested in reading the books please let me know. If you have email
addresses of book shops who may be prepared to stock my books please contact me.
I can't go on book tours and signing ceremonies, am keeping a low profile and
praying for my safety and that of a very brave Zimbabwean journalist Bill Saidi
who has written the most powerful Foreword for "Beyond Tears". Bill and
I both believe these stories must be told - particularly to politicians,
journalists and diplomats and particularly in African countries where this could
so easily happen when leaders just won't relinquish power. Both books can be
ordered right now from my website (detailed below), also from www.kalahari.net and hopefully within the
next week from amazon.com too. If you would like
to help in spreading the word about my new book please email me at email@example.com . I asked this same thing
18 months ago and received over 4000 emails in the first week so I know you can
help me to get this message far and wide and perhaps this time round, with a
reputable publisher behind me, we can get the world to listen to our desperate
calls for help. With thanks and love, cathy. http://africantears.netfirms.com
Policy switch to cut asylum 'abuse'
Michael White, political
Saturday November 30, 2002
The government moved
yesterday to stem the increasing flow of asylum seekers
by announcing reform
of the practice that gives up to 20,000 people
"exceptional leave to remain"
in Britain each year.
To the dismay of refugee support groups, who suspect
that Tony Blair is
dancing to tabloid tunes, ministers plan to replace what
is known as ELR
status with a more tightly drawn category to be called
They expect it to cut the number of people
not granted full refugee status
under the 1951 refugee convention but allowed
to stay, from 25% of initial
cases decided to 10%, a target cut of around
12,000 on current flow rates.
"ELR has encouraged abuse and acted as a
pull factor," said the immigration
minister, Beverley Hughes.
Office unveiled its policy tightening as it was forced to admit
applications had risen by what officials called an "unacceptable" 11%
quarter from July to September - to 22,560. Most of the increases
three political hotspots, Zimbabwe (56%), Somalia (44%) and
Downing Street and the Home Office stressed that, on top
of the new change
to ELR status, other measures now in place should curtail
the "pull factor",
including speedier processing of cases under the new
Immigration Act and the
new arrangements with France to close the Sangatte
refugee camp outside
Calais and improve security around ports and the Channel
With the Daily Mail campaigning harder than ever against asylum
immigration-related abuses Number 10 sounded highly defensive in
the latest rise. It overshadowed a faster rate of decisions on
and a record number of deportations of failed applicants - 3,565
Humanitarian protection is said to be "tighter and easier to
work" than ELR,
which officials said had seen a six-fold increase since 1997,
up from 10% of
applicants to 25%.
"These figures are not satisfactory
and demonstrate that we continue to take
more than our fair share of
claimants with an unfounded asylum claim," Ms
Hughes said in a statement.
Promising further "robust" measures she added:
"We are determined that
protection should only be granted to those who
really need it - our asylum
system is not a shortcut to work or settlement
in the UK."
to Home Office officials, what has been happening is that people
starting a degree in Britain, or who have joined family - or made
while applying for refugee status - have been getting ELR status
are not at risk of death or other unacceptable treatment in their
In the last quarter 4,540 people won ELR, slightly down on the
quarters when 5,205 and 6,060 respectively were allowed to stay.
the new HP status will go to those who really need it, ministers
will remain flexible.
But the Refugee Council said the
real criterion is people in danger. "What
concerns us most is that the
government says this will lead to a cut in
accepted applicants. You simply
cannot have targets for protection - someone
either needs protecting or they
Ministers cite their responsiveness to the crisis in Zimbabwe by
visa regime to prevent abuse of the asylum system as proof of a
determination which they have coupled with an expansion of opportunities
legitimate economic migration.