Mark S. Ellis International Herald Tribune
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 27, 2005
LONDON Zimbabweans have been gallant in their struggle to try to
topple Robert Mugabe and rescue their country from despair. But Mugabe's
state machine is simply too powerful and corrupt to be defeated by weakened
and demoralized citizens. The escalating humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe
requires an immediate and forceful international response.
Mugabe must be held accountable for the crimes he has committed. A UN
Security Council referral to the International Criminal Court to investigate
Mugabe and his regime, similar to the referral over Sudan's Darfur
situation, is the most appropriate and effective response.
The International Criminal Court, or ICC, was established on July 1,
2002, as the first permanent international court to investigate and try
individuals for the most heinous violations of international humanitarian
law. A referral to the ICC to immediately investigate Zimbabwe would fall
squarely within the powers of the Security Council to decide what measures
should be taken to maintain or restore international peace and security.
Exercising its wide discretionary powers, the Security Council could
specifically name Mugabe as an ongoing threat to the peace and security of
the region and authorize an ICC investigation, even though Zimbabwe has
refused to accept the court's jurisdiction.
Would an investigation for crimes against humanity stop Mugabe? Nobody
knows. But we have to try, because the Zimbabwean government's systematic
human rights abuses have reached staggering proportions.
Under the guise of creating order in the cities, Mugabe's government
has razed informal suburban townships that housed more than a million
people. Without notice or judicial proceedings, tens of thousands of homes,
classrooms, clinics and businesses have been bulldozed or set on fire,
forcing their residents onto the streets. The government has provided no
alternative housing, nor has it provided aid for the 700,000 people who are
Crimes against humanity include acts committed as part of a widespread
and systematic attack directed against any civilian population - including
the deprivation of housing and forceful transfer of a population, calculated
to bring about the destruction of a targeted political group, which is the
case in Zimbabwe.
Mugabe's razing of the townships is the culmination of the ruling
ZANU-PF Party's anti-democratic assault. In rural areas, ZANU-PF is able to
control voting through village leaders using a widespread system of
patronage. But the residents of the townships and cities, who have access to
the news media and are able to mobilize, form the backbone of Zimbabwe's
opposition. Not content with shutting down the opposition media and
targeting its leaders, the government is now is literally dispersing
There is overwhelming evidence that Mugabe's government has committed
other crimes against humanity, including imprisonment, rape, abduction and
Zimbabwe is a country in ruins; its people are destitute. The
unemployment rate is more than 70 percent and the annual inflation rate is
more than 500 percent. Since 1998, annual foreign investment inflows have
dropped from $436 million to less than $5 million.
The rural population suffers from increasing starvation, which is now
being exacerbated by the influx of people displaced from the townships.
Nearly 40 per cent of Zimbabweans are malnourished, with 70 percent of the
population living below the poverty line of $1 a day. In the span of only 15
years, the average life expectancy has declined from 60 years to 30 years.
To make the situation worse, many of those who have been left on the
streets suffer from AIDS. The World Health Organization reports that one in
four Zimbabweans has the AIDS virus. In a recent demolition campaign, an
AIDS orphanage was bulldozed. The independent news media have been shut
down; the judiciary has been compromised; social services have collapsed and
elections are rigged.
Mugabe is a demagogue whose egregious crimes have, to date, gone
unpunished - much to the consternation of Zimbabweans. It is time for the
international community to act, by using the "trigger mechanism" at the UN
Security Council to initiate proceedings before the International Criminal
An indictment by the ICC would turn Mugabe into a pariah within the
context of international law: An international arrest warrant would be
issued, and all UN member states would be obliged to detain Mugabe if he
stepped outside the borders of Zimbabwe.
A referral to the ICC would also send an unmistakable message to the
beleaguered citizens of Zimbabwe that Mugabe will ultimately be held
accountable for his crimes. There is no statute of limitations for those,
like Mugabe, who commit atrocities against their own citizens. It is time to
bring him to justice.
December 26, 2005
Trevor Ncube, one of Zimbabwean President Robert G. Mugabe's most vocal
critics, says Zimbabwe is now effectively being ruled by the military and
the intelligence agencies.
Ncube publishes South Africa's Mail & Guardian, and the last remaining
independent newspapers in Zimbabwe, The Independent and the Zimbabwe
He says: "Mugabe has no intention to leave (the presidency), and in
fulfillment of that he now relies more and more on the military.
"In other words, we have a military dictatorship in place."
In an interview with the Institute of War and Peace Reporting (Dec. 13,
2005), Trevor Ncube said it is clear that Mugabe is not running the country.
"Remember after Operation Murambatsvina. It was revealed that it was the
Central Intelligence Organization that was behind it," he said.
Operation Murambatsvina, which translates into English as "Operation Drive
Out Rubbish," made between 700,000 and 2.3 million Zimbabweans homeless
when, beginning in May 2005, armed police, soldiers and Zanu-PF militias
moved into opposition Movement for Democratic Change (M.D.C.) strongholds in
towns and cities and razed thousands of homes and small-scale businesses to
the ground. The operation destroyed over 500,000 informal and small-scale
businesses and led to the arbitrary arrest of more than 30,000 innocent
people. A number of women and children were also killed in the process.
Civic groups and the opposition M.D.C. argue that the government's main
reason for Operation Murambatsvina was to punish the urban poor for voting
for the opposition during the March 2005 parliamentary elections.
Ncube identifies Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede, Immigration Director
Elasto Mugwadi and Army Commander Constantine Chiwengwa as part of the core
group of people who are now running the country.
In December 2005, Ncube and two other critics and opponents of the Mugabe
regime, had their passports confiscated amid revelations that the regime was
restricting travel rights of its critics and opponents to stop them from
"badmouthing" the government abroad.
Between 15 and 64 human rights activists and critics of the regime have been
placed on a list of people who are banned from traveling abroad and whose
passports are to be seized "with immediate effect" if they try to either
leave or enter the country.
"This operation, it's dictated by the 'securocrats,' who are the real people
running this country. They include Tobaiwa Mudede and Elasto Mugwadi - but
the people pulling the strings are military men.
"Mugabe's spokesman George Charamba, 24 hours after the seizure of my
passport, was adamant nothing like that could happen in Zimbabwe," Ncube
says. "Attorney General Sobhuza Gula-Ndebele himself was also in the dark.
He said it could not happen because there is no legislation in place to
allow the state to seize people's passports."
Ncube points out that when civil structures fail to deliver, the military
and intelligence agencies take over.
"That is why Army Commander Constantine Chiwengwa is now being touted as a
possible presidential successor," Ncube says.
Sunday Times, SA
Tuesday December 27, 2005 11:54 - (SA)
By Mondli Makhanya
At some point it just stopped being funny. The ranting and raving of one
Robert Gabriel Mugabe, that is.
There was a time when the Zimbabwean leader's penchant for outlandish
rhetoric could elicit a giggle and a bemused headshake.
Ever the great orator, Mugabe would respond to criticism by unleashing a
torrent of anti-colonial and anti-Western bile. He would tell Tony Blair to
"keep his Britain and we will keep our Zimbabwe", and accuse Western nations
of wanting to recolonise his country. He would rant about how
self-sufficient Zimbabwe was and how it did not need a leg-up from anybody.
But it stopped being funny as Mugabe intensified his destruction of the very
country whose birth he had midwifed.
Over the past half-decade or so he has given us the definitive ABC on how to
kill a country.
Although the signs of decline were present then, the Zimbabwe of six years
ago was a functional republic.
There were sporadic fuel shortages, but with patience and at a monetary
premium you could fill up your car.
The economy was teetering but the factories worked and the bourse ticked
along. The currency was heading south but it was still nowhere near the
Weimar republic denominations you see today.
And even though Mugabe and Zanu-PF were showing clear disdain for human
rights and democracy, Zimbabweans were optimistic that their country would
soon turn the corner.
There was hope and expectation in the air. The vibe on the streets of
Harare, Bulawayo, Gweru and Victoria Falls felt a little like South Africa
in the late '80s.
All of that has been replaced by misery and hopelessness.
In six years the world has witnessed a phenomenon rarely seen in modern
history - the unravelling of a society.
Those who know the Zimbabwean landscape will tell you the rot started to set
in around 1997 when Mugabe, desperate for popular acclaim, caved in to the
demands of rebellious war veterans and gave 50,000 of them an unbudgeted-for
pay cheque of nearly US$3000 each.
Zimbabwe never recovered from that audacious raid on the treasury and the
economy went into sharp decline. By 2000, as the Zimbabwean economy was
about to be admitted to the casualty ward, the people started grumbling
loudly. They rejected Mugabe's constitutional reform proposals and made it
clear they would throw their weight behind the newly formed opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in that year's parliamentary election.
It was the thought of losing to this upstart party that unchained the
Mugabe first went for the white farmers - the very people who had feted his
party and helped build its Harare headquarters. In an agricultural society
where white farmers still hogged the most arable land, to many they
represented the last vestige of colonial rule. They were an easy target.
War veterans led the charge and before long the Zimbabwean countryside was a
Commercial farming, the backbone of the country's economy, was destroyed.
Once the virus of lawlessness had set in, spreading it was easy.
The veterans turned on Zanu-PF's political opponents. Beatings, abductions,
rape and torture became normal political conduct.
Looking back, it is not difficult to understand how Zimbabwe arrived at the
precipice it is on today. One thing was always going to lead to the next as
the country struggled to maintain its fabric.
Once the government had decided to allow rule by violent mobs, it was only
logical that those sectors of society most threatened by the lawlessness
would fight back using the only instrument available to them - the law.
The farmers, media, civil society organisations and the abused turned to the
courts for relief.
Zimbabwe's judges, having built a culture of jurisprudence in the
post-independence era, almost without fail ruled in favour of order and
Then they were in the firing line. Judges were harassed, forced into
retirement and the Bench was packed with Zanu-PF sympathisers.
With the opposition crushed, the media and the judiciary under siege, the
economy destroyed and poverty rampant, Zimbabwe will enter 2006 officially
in the category of basket case.
When United Nations (UN) head of emergency relief Jan Egeland pointed out
the dire state of the country's people after a visit to Zimbabwe the other
week, Mugabe responded in typical style by dismissing the envoy as a
"Norwegian ... (who) couldn't speak proper English" and accused him of being
a Blair pawn.
"When he left the country he said nasty things about us," Mugabe thundered.
"I am going to tell the (UN) secretary-general not to send us men and women
who are not his own but are agents of the British. We don't trust men from
his office any more."
And it just wasn't funny any more.
Wed 28 December 2005
HARARE - Zimbabwe's main opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) party says it will next year mobilise Zimbabweans to take on President
Robert Mugabe's government on the streets in a bid to oust it from power.
MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa told ZimOnline in an interview on Tuesday
that the party, which has splintered into two warring factions after serious
disagreements over participation in last month's senate election, had
resolved to use confrontation to end Mugabe's uninterrupted 25-year rule.
"There will be mass arrests, injuries and agony. But that is the price
we should be prepared to pay for our freedom because next year we are going
to be as confrontational as we have never been before," said Chamisa.
He added: "We have in the past engaged in a lot of passive resistance.
We will now have a paradigm shift and 2006 will see us using a different
delivery route - fighting fire with fire. It is now clear that Mugabe's
misrule will not be liquidated through elections."
Contacted for comment yesterday on the MDC's threats, Zimbabwe's State
Security Minister Didymus Mutasa, who is also Mugabe's confidante, warned
that the government will crush the opposition-led street protests.
"Let them try it and they will find out the hard way that (all what
has happened to them before) has all been child's play. This time we will
descend on them for sure," said Mutasa.
Last month, MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai hinted that his party, which
has been weakened by a serious power struggle pitting him and secretary
general Welshman Ncube, was now focusing on mobilising Zimbabweans for
"democratic resistance" against Mugabe's government.
But observers doubt whether the MDC, paralysed by bitter factionalism,
would be able to mount a serious challenge to Mugabe's authority. The
Zimbabwean leader however remains wary of the threat posed by the hugely
popular Tsvangirai whom he fears might still be able to take advantage of
rising public discontent because of worsening economic hardships to mobilise
Zimbabweans to revolt against his government.
Two weeks ago, Mugabe told Zimbabweans living in Malaysia that his
government would descend heavily on the MDC and its allies if they sought to
oust him through street protests.
Chamisa, who also heads the opposition party's youth wing, said the
MDC and its partners in the civic movement had already agreed over the
strategies they will use during the protests.
"We are going to use active resistance methods. Confrontational
politics will be at the fore of our struggle. Our civic partners are aware
of this great challenge lying ahead next year," he said.
Meanwhile, Chamisa on Tuesday said Tsvangirai was still firmly in
charge of the opposition party contrary to last weekend's announcement by a
faction opposed to his leadership that he had been expelled from the party.
Chamisa said the announcement by the pro-senate faction was part of a
well orchestrated effort to sow confusion ahead of the party's congress next
"Mr Tsvangirai is firmly in control of the party, enjoying the support
of women and youth assemblies and all provincial and district structures. So
for anybody to say that Mr Tsvangirai was expelled from the MDC is utter
nonsense," said Chamisa.
Last Saturday, Gift Chimanikire, who belongs to the Ncube faction,
announced that the MDC leader had been expelled for violating the party's
constitution in yet another demonstration of the chaos and confusion rocking
the opposition party.
But yesterday, Chamisa scoffed at the ruling by the faction's
disciplinary committee which he said was illegitimate and unconstitutional.
"As a party we have decided not to give any semblance of recognition
to the kindergarten games played by the Ncube faction.
"These are a group of rebels who continue with their attempts to cause
unnecessary confusion. Whatever they are doing is unconstitutional and
should not be taken seriously," said Chamisa.
The MDC, Zimbabweans' only hope to end Mugabe's 25-year grip on power,
is embroiled in a serious power struggle pitting Tsvangirai and a faction
led by Ncube. - ZimOnline
Wed 28 December 2005
HARARE - Although Marko Chiunye, a 43-year old accountant in Harare
would have loved to dream big as 2006 approaches, the situation on the
ground makes it clear that making any resolutions for next year would be a
practice in futility.
For Chiunye, the New Year promises more of the same drudgery and
hopelessness that characterised 2005.
Despite his "high earner" tag as an accountant, Chiunye has over the
last 12 months struggled like any other Zimbabwean to put food on the table
for his small family of four.
Now with the new year on the horizon, he says his main concern right
now is where to find school fees for his four children who are enrolled at a
private school in Harare, the only schools still providing some semblance of
normality in the education sector.
Chiunye's sad situation is clear proof of how Zimbabwe's spectacular
economic decline has flattened the ambitions of the country's well-to-do.
"The company has withdrawn perks such as school fees because of the
poor business climate. Not long ago, my New Year's resolutions included
buying a new car for my wife. This year I couldn't even take the family for
a holiday or buy new clothes for that matter.
He adds: "If people with decent jobs like myself find ourselves in
such a trap, I just wonder how the poor in our society are managing. I just
shudder to think of next year."
Having spent Christmas, a revered holiday here, without running water,
electricity and food, millions of suffering Zimbabweans say they have no
reason to look forward to 2006 as a year when things might change for the
"I haven't seen or heard anything that suggests next year will be
better. After all, (President Robert) Mugabe will still be firmly in charge.
Things will only get worse.
"We no longer plan for big things because the money is simply not
enough," says Andrew Mtewere, who makes a living selling mobile telephone
recharge cards on the streets in the eastern border city of Mutare.
Zimbabwe, one of the strongest economies in Africa at independence
from Britain 25 years ago, is in its fifth year of a bitter economic
recession blamed on Mugabe's mismanagement. Inflation is at over 500
percent, one of the highest such rates in the world.
Food, fuel and basic medicines are all in critical short supply
because there is no hard cash to pay foreign suppliers. The World Bank says
Zimbabwe's economic decline over the past five years is unprecedented for a
country not at war.
But Mugabe denies ruining the country's economy blaming the crisis on
sabotage by the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change party and
Western governments whom he says are punishing his government for seizing
land from the minority whites for redistribution to landless blacks five
John Robertson, a respected economic consultant in Harare, says the
standard of living for most Zimbabweans is set to fall again as the economy
hobbles towards total collapse.
"The new year does not bring much hope for changed fortunes. We are
likely to hit four digit inflation early in the year. The way the economy is
being run means more companies will close down or relocate to better managed
countries thereby dealing another blow to the economy.
"The government did not actively promote agriculture hence food
problems will worsen. Repressive laws that are being drafted every day will
continue to scare away investors.
"The biggest threat to our revival is the government's refusal to
repent and govern properly. A shrinking economy and more hardships are what
would be in store for Zimbabweans for 2006," said Robertson.
But for Anita Dombo, a dressmaker in Harare, the solution to the
country's problems lies in one bold move - kicking out those responsible for
"It is no longer about making empty New Year's resolutions.
Zimbabweans should just make one big resolution - to kick out those whom we
trusted with power and instead abused it to mismanage our affairs. There
should be no other resolution till we fulfil the one to rid ourselves of
those responsible for our suffering," she said. - ZimOnline
Gentlemen please find the following attachment answering the Movement
Democratic Change purportedly split. This you can publish. As you are aware
now, the world is not well informed on why the Senate issue has not been
accepted by the nation at large. It is unfortunate that the Zimbabwean
media is highly influenced by the ruling party, Zanu (PF), and the Central
Intelligence Agency. with the exception of the Zimbabwe Independent and the
Standard. Understanding exactly what is happening on the ground is therefore
extremely difficult. I hope the following attachment might shed some light.
We have recently established the Movement for Democratic Change in Toronto,
already exists in the Niagra region.
If there are any questions please feel free to contact me on 519-208-0117
the MDC Toronto chairman Mr. Andrew Manyevere on 905-492-0490.
My best regards to you both.
MDC Toronto Secretary for Information and Publicity
MDC split, is there anything new after all? Why Morgan, and the rest of the
country are standing shoulder to shoulder.
By Johannes MutyandaThe existence of Zimbabwe African National Union
(Patriotic Front) in the last twenty-five years has been a shrewd act, until
now. The evidence that has come out of the split within the Movement for
Democratic Change of Zimbabwe is nothing new after all. The point is the
split failed but not completely, however. The largely failed part of the
split is the sticking point right into the eyeballs of Robert Gabriel
Mugabe, his entire Politburo, and the evil intelligence. Taking track back
memory lane during the failed Esap I, and perhaps more appropriately Esap
II. This serial program coined by the Bretton Woods institutions was partly
responsible for the creation of the current political challenges Mugabe
The program enabled expose the inability of Robert to feed the resource that
stimulates the economic, instead he went on a binge race pocketing the
financial package that came his way. The traits to deprive, and oppress have
been there Mugabe is not a "dear leader". The Senate election has and is
still sending the wrong and right signals about the wanton of power. That is
the challenge that faces Zimbabweans, albeit in a small way, patience must
not necessarily be nurtured, the country is bleeding out rapidly. That is
being done at unprecedented levels. The creation of the bicameral parliament
is sucking in US$4.8 million. That amount of money to buy duty-free
four-by-four the MPs and Senators, for what in a starving impoverished
nation. The government does not have that kind of money, but to buy out into
opposition MPs, Zanu (PF) can get the money anyway anyhow. The reason why
Zanu (PF) is termed Zanu yeropa (the slaughter, the murderer) is because it
does not care what we are going through. We do not advocate violence of any
nature. Zimbabweans we must move into voluntary suffrage to strike out a
cord of well-orchestrated civil disobedience. What purpose does it serve to
elect an unnecessary cost? If Mugabe must cushion himself with zombies the
cost is warranted only for him. The significance of the Senate, especially
in view of the MDC split, so lauded by the Zanu (PF)-run media, is a plot to
sustain Robert even after he quits, quitting is tough for him at the moment.
Mugabe will face the wrath equivalent to the NO-VOTE defeat. He is scared.
The Senate is an issue that sent a victorious NO-VOTE success during the
February 2000 referendum. Mugabe lost because the accord of civic
organizations and the ZCTU leadership was concrete, it is still so but
Robert's team has found among the MDC donkeys that are eager to eat the
dangled carrot. Robert never gave up on the senate establishment. Because we
defeated him in the NO-VOTE referendum, his determination to see the senate
being set-up effected on the escalation of violence through the years up to
the March 2005 elections. When elections we rigged and announced, the
violence seized. The deal had gone through. The back introduction of the
Senate was an easy passage. We cannot enter into any referendum ever! Robert
introduced the backdoor entry of recreating the Senate, this time not
through Zimbabwe but his two-thirds majority MPs. The Senate debate was
executed, and elections held in November 2005. Where did you stand? We are
ruled by the influence of a minority. The pro-Senate faction fell
hook-and-sinker into Zanu (PF)'s political gallery arena. But that is now
the pro-senate problem. Our concern is addressing the issue that the MDC has
never been split or divided. The MDC had let normal business into the wrong
hands, but God forbids. Evil cannot triumph over Good. The pro-Senate
faction will remain in the cold, the people have shut the door, not Morgan.
It is the suffering masses that struggle to work, farm, service, and is
taxed by the nefarious regime that shut Mugabe's vices out of the MDC. Vanhu
varamba. Morgan is a messenger, an honorable one, given the mandate to
protect the principles of the MDC from the onset, February 1999, and
reaffirmed in September 1999.
We remember the labor movement leadership hammering consistently about the
workers' living wage. Cornered and battered by a borrowed Esap II package,
Mugabe with no way to run slapped his hand on the table and told ZCTU to
challenge him as a political movement. Plain and simple, "if you think you
can fix it, then change my government". Stubborn huh. That signaled the
first time that the guerilla-leader stopped addressing the May-Day workers'
rallies. The ZCTU took over addressing May-Day rallies at Rufaro Stadium,
and thus began the fix. The workers and all concerned are still within that
fight expect the pro-Senate few. The pro-Senate failed Mugabe, they will in
due course pay their dues. The labor movement and all civic organizations
were driven to the same accord - workers' living wage and suffrage - a bond
was formed and forged. The outcome was one consultation after another within
the daring workers' unions. All activities were done underground because the
bloody hound was sensing the sting in the air. The battle to change the
political structure started then, than now. The ideas to split the unions
started then, than now. Within the ruling party's corridors of power, the
ZCTU-NGOs alliance was a dead hit. Changing the structures of government
from a unicameral to a bicameral one was a way out, but only if Zimbabweans
would allow it. Contrary to this the labor-civic marriage worked hard on a
change of the Zimbabwean Constitution only and only if Zanu (PF) would not
be the dominant force to executive the constitutional account. That still
remains so today and has culminated in what most of the world see as the
MDC-split. As the momentum gathered force within the urban areas, and even
within some rural areas, certainty gave the labor-civic union a unique
marriage. That marriage confirmed its endorsement of custody of principles
through entrusting the ZCTU leadership with Movement for Democratic Change
because it had the structure and support base against the milking and
butcherman, Robert Mugabe. The values to entrust this leadership for and on
behalf of Zimbabweans set up principles to which a safeguard was needed.
Fortunately that safeguard is still there, thanks for once to Morgan
The pro-Senate participants carried out the blatant slaughter of one of the
principles. When the MDC was set up, challenges of never entertaining Zanu
(PF) leadership were endorsed. One of these was to preclude Zanu (PF) in the
formation of the Zimbabwean Constitution. Zanu (PF) never wanted to change
the Constitution, it still has not because it renamed/paraphrased the
colonial legislation to suit its bill, that is, to oppress the hands that it
feeds from. The MDC adheres to principles, set principles, agreed
principles, the principles that make Mugabe quiver. If you uphold these
principles, and never look at the super corrupt handovers that Mugabe
dangles in front of you, then uri munhu. Tsvangirai stood, initially by the
principles that were set, not only by the labor movement, but also by the
larger body, the civic organizations, and then used the Movement's
Constitution to stick his senses out, that is what a leader does. The
constitution was never violated, here is why. First, the Senate issue is a
national issue. Second the sole announcement on national issues is by the
president, and not anyone else. Movement was making a decision to veto and
to protect the entrustment of principles by the electorate of MDC. Morgan
amply executed that avenue. If Morgan has never appeared a leader, it is
these events that maketh him so, a trusted leader, in spite of a wholesale
national council. But who was the really winner/loser in all this. It would
have been a crushing defeat for Zimbabwe had Tsvangirai let go the principle
on Constitutional change under Zanu (PF). The other six brothers lost the
ball, the Congress will dictate who was right or wrong. We hope they will
scrap through. The Senate is one issue the Movement will never dance with
the devil about. The split, therefore Zimbabweans, is a litmus test that God
Himself makes out of His wisdom to show us who really is for or against us.
And this split is not the first one. Zanu yeropa has used divide-and-rule
several times but particularly when Edgar Tekere left (was fired as
secretary-general of Zanu (PF) Central Committee) to form Zimbabwe Unity
Movement, it split United Parties to shreds, and who gained, Mugabe, we
lost. We cannot let Robert win again. If you look at this tactic it is a
really old one, used unfortunately, on brothers who see the opportunity of
not missing the very corrupt gravy good train. We are fortunate, as a result
of this "split", two fold, first to know dedicated leaders, and second,
As an electorate, Zimbabweans, we are learning fast to see beyond the closed
curtains. Our political awareness must not been taken for granted by anyone.
By Michael Wines The New York Times
MONDAY, DECEMBER 26, 2005
JOHANNESBURG Leaders of Zimbabwe's sole democratic opposition party, the
Movement for Democratic Change, have decided to expel its president,
deepening an already yawning internal split that has brought the party to
the brink of insignificance.
It seemed unclear, however, whether the expulsion would stick or whether it
would settle the struggle for control of the six-year-old movement, which
has been torn by factional battles after a string of election defeats.
The president, Morgan Tsvangirai, was removed Saturday by the disciplinary
committee of the Movement for Democratic Change, which is largely controlled
by Tsvangirai's critics within the party. Tsvangirai's spokesman, William
Bango, told press agencies that the expulsion was illegal and would be
An analyst of Zimbabwe politics for decades, Iden Wetherell, said in a
telephone interview that the two sides appeared to be jockeying for
advantage in advance of a February party congress.
After nearly toppling President Robert Mugabe from power in elections early
this decade, the movement suffered punishing losses in elections this year
for Zimbabwe's Parliament - in part, many outside election monitors said,
because of voter fraud.
The movement's leaders publicly fell out several months ago over whether to
field a slate for November elections to the nation's newly reconstituted
Senate. Tsvangirai had contended that the Senate elections were hopelessly
rigged and should be boycotted, while the party's other senior leaders
insisted that to sit out the elections would undermine the party's
commitment to democratic change.
Privately, some senior members of the party say that they believe the
movement has been penetrated at high levels by Mugabe's omnipresent secret
police and that the party is riven in part because of the government's
success in sowing discord.
The party's debate about whether to take part in an election that might be
rigged has descended into a blood bath in recent months.
Tsvangirai's critics have questioned what they call his increasingly
undemocratic behavior, including what they say is his tolerance for attacks
by youth gangs on some party members.
For his part, Tsvangirai has contended in recent days that a faction led by
his party's second in command, Welshman Ncube, the secretary general, was
plotting with Mugabe's supporters to assassinate Tsvangirai.
If Tsvangirai appeared on the defensive, Wetherell - an editor of the weekly
Zimbabwe Independent, one of the nation's few surviving newspapers not under
state control - said that he appeared to be successfully purging his critics
within the movement in advance of February's party congress.
Tsvangirai had earlier been suspended from the party, but that suspension
was overturned by one of the government's courts, which ruled that only
members of the impending party congress could take such an action.
As the only national figure of the political opposition, Tsvangirai enjoys
broad support among Zimbabwe's urban poor and peasants, who have reaped few
benefits from Mugabe's rule.
"What we're seeing here is Tsvangirai establishing his control of the
party," Wetherell said, "and he's quite determined to reorganize the party
in such a way that when they meet next February, he'll have a full
Compliments of the Season wherever You are located!
The Movement for Democratic Change National Council set up 6 Congress
Preparatory Committees. These in alphabetical order and their chairpersons
Communication Committee: Chaired by: Nelson Chamisa
Constitutional Review: Tendai Biti
Institutional Review: Eddie Cross
International Relations: Paulina
Logistics and Fundraising: Thokozani Khupe
Policy and Ideology Review: Sekai Holland
The Congress Preparatory Policy and Ideology Committee Chairperson
coordinates all the party portfolio Secretaries to carry out their portfolio
reviews and programmes for the March 2006 Congress. Our committee is
responsible for producing the Congress Policy and Ideology review diocument.
The ongoing traumatic events in our party force us to spearhead an inclusive
review process as we work our way to the March 2006 party Congress. We
invite those Zimbabweans in the diaspora who wish to do so, to send us your
views on our policy and ideology, in the light of your own experiences as
MDC members and/or supporters in the last 6 years of the party's life.
The constitutional requirement is that Congress be held two months after the
last Provincial Congress is held. This process is halfway completed. The
last province holds its Congress in mid January in the New Year. Only then
can the National Council determine the exact date of the coming Congress.
Those who did not receive the emails of the December 2003 National
Conference policy and ideology documentation please email us back so that we
email you these. You will require these documents to be specific about the
reviews you make. Please suggest future programmes for those in the country
you are based in which you feel promote MDC there. Include these, based on
the policy and ideology suggestions you make.
We hope you respond in your diversity.
Best Regards for 2006.
MDC Policy and Ideology Chairperson
Tuesday, December 27 2005 @ 12:02 AM GMT
Contributed by: correspondent
The death of an 18-year-old man just before midnight on Sunday
took the national holiday road toll to eight - seven less than last year.
His death was the last of eight road deaths nationwide by Monday, the final
day of the national holiday period.
Two paramedics, whose ambulance crashed into a tree on the way
to an accident on the Marondera Highway, have also been counted among the
deaths recorded on Christmas eve. Six of the eight people killed on all
roads until then were not wearing seat-belts. In the end, Harare- with a
record low annual road toll of 333 for 2005 - recorded the third-worst
holiday toll in Zimbabwe this Christmas . There were three deaths in the
city and two in outlying areas.
At five, Harare's holiday toll is five down from the 10 recorded
last year. Harare police spokesman Loveless Rupere told zimdaily the figures
showed drivers could change their behaviour to keep the road toll down. He
urged motorists to be vigilant when driving back from holidays."While we've
had a successful year overall, it's important for each of us to remain
attentive," Rupere said.
While the state holiday toll was lower than last year's, Rupere
said the result should not be taken for granted. "The tragedy is that even
these deaths could have been avoided," he said. "I urge all motorists to
take proper precautions. Make sure you are well rested before driving, make
regular stops if travelling long distances, and don't speed or drink and
drive. "These are small measures to take to ensure your own safety and that
of your loved ones."
A BISHOP has spoken of the misery and suffering he has seen under President
Robert Mugabe's 'bankrupt' regime in Zimbabwe.
But the Rt Rev Crispian Hollis said he had also seen for himself that even
those living in abject poverty could survive thanks to their religious
The Roman Catholic bishop of Portsmouth has recently returned from
celebrating mass in a township on the outskirts of Zimbabwe's capital
In his sermon, preached at the Christmas Eve mass at St John's Cathedral, he
told worshippers that hope can prevail in even the darkest corners of the
Obviously affected by what he witnessed in Africa, Bishop Hollis said: 'The
people there have suffered greatly.
'As a result of a vicious - and some say vindictive - government programme,
the virtually homeless have been made absolutely so as their flimsy shacks
and shelters have been bulldozed away.'
He highlighted the 'drastic' collapse of medical services in the country.
'Twenty-five per cent of the population are infected with the HIV Aids virus
and there is a crying need for education.
'This hasn't all happened through natural causes, though the people describe
it as their tsunami. It has happened because a bankrupt regime seems intent
on destroying a once prosperous and virtually self-sufficient country and
all for the sake of political ideology, and, of course, it's always the poor
who suffer most.'
But he said the mass he celebrated in the township gave some hope for the
future. 'There was dance, music and song. It was a real celebration of a
people who have nothing to give to God but themselves.'
27 December 2005
The deaths of cattle due to drought have affected crop production in
Zimbabwe this season, official media The New Ziana reported on Monday.
The agency said that most farmers in resettlement and communal areas
reduced areas their put under crops as drought killed their cattle last
The worst affected homesteads lost between five and 15 cattle each as
the critical shortage grazing and water deepened, it said, adding the
shortage of draught power coupled with the rising cost of essential inputs
such as seed and fertilizers worsened the situation.
"We are going to fail to plant most of fields this season because most
of us do not have the cattle to plough the land," said a villager. "I lost
five cattle to drought and those that remain are still too weak to plough."
In November, the Zimbabwe Rural Food Security and Vulnerability
Assessment said the shortage of draught power was one of the top three
critical challenges that were essential for rural communities to improve
their livelihoods. The other two were sufficient rainfall and reasonable
cost of basic commodities.
PRICES of fertiliser have shot up significantly with some retailers selling
a 50kg bag of ammonium nitrate for between $1 million and $1,3 million
instead of the gazetted price of $252 000.
A survey yesterday revealed that in some shops in Harare and surrounding
areas, Compound D was being sold for at least $650 000 against an official
price of $424 000.
There were virtually no stocks of AN in most shops, while Compound D was
available in large quantities.
At Mbare Msika, black market traders were selling a bag of AN for about $1,3
One of the traders interviewed said business was brisk although he was aware
that what they were doing was illegal.
"Yes, we are aware that we must be selling a bag of AN for at least $252 000
but considering the severe shortage of fertiliser we have no choice but to
maximise our profits," he said.
Farmers interviewed appealed to the Government to deal with the black market
Mr Timothy Muzavazi of Seke communal lands said the fertiliser should be
sold at reasonable prices and the shortage of AN should be urgently
addressed as this would impact negatively on the farmer's yields.
"We believe there is still time to address the situation because what is
needed now is Compound D which is readily available although at prohibitive
prices and the topdressing (AN) will be applied to the crops later," he
Mrs Jennet Nyakudya of Domboshava said there was no justification for shops
and black market traders to raise prices of fertiliser to such levels.
"Even if they factor in transport costs there is no justification for them
to increase the price of fertiliser up to $1,3 million a bag.
"While the Government is talking about consolidating gains of the land
reform some are busy sabotaging the very same process meant to ensure food
security in the country," she said.
An official at Windmill confirmed that the company had only Compound D in
stock and did not know when AN would be available.
Zimbabwe is facing a shortage of AN as the major producer, Sable Chemicals,
is operating below capacity due to shortage of foreign currency.
Zimbabwe Fertliser Company (ZFC) public relations manager Ms Monica Mutuma
recently said the company was facing challenges in meeting the demand for AN
although Compound D was readily available for this season.
She said the shortage of fertiliser could only be alleviated in the event of
Sable Chemicals operating at full capacity.
December 27, 2005
A new administration to take over from the Peter Chingoka-led Zimbabwe
Cricket board and managing director Ozias Bvute looks now certain in the
next week, but not without incorporating some government-handpicked
Aenias Chigwedere, Zimbabwe's minister of sports, met officials from new
proposed provincial associations who had petitioned him and President Robert
Mugabe to "take action" after their application for affiliation with ZC on
Friday was blocked by another quorum failure.
Sources told Cricinfo that Chigwedere is delaying approving the new interim
leadership to run the affairs of ZC after the pro-board camp faction had
complained to him that the committee, set up by the Sports and Recreation
Committee, did not strike a balance. The new provinces want at least one
representative on the new ZC leadership.
Chigwedere is said to have made an undertaking to expedite the provinces'
affiliation, so that the new administration comes into office in the next
few days. But since the new provinces cannot be registered lawfully as
things stand, the government is likely to stir up more controversy by
ignoring the ZC consitution and dismissing some stakeholders who the
minister was told were "standing in the way of change."
The move of form the smaller provinces has been seen as a well-orchestrated
move by Chingoka and Bvute to gunner support and consolidate their stay in
But Cricinfo has gathered that leaders of the pro-board camp have expressed
reservations about the role of Themba Mliswa in the cricket leadership. They
are said to have told Chigwedere and Mliswa himself that they would not want
him included in the interim ZC leadership. "As much as we support the
disbandment of the ZC board and the setting up of this interim committee, we
do not wish to have Mliswa on that board, " explained one influential
chairman from one of the five new associations. "Mliswa will not be
acceptable to most people. As new associations, our objective is to spread
the game of cricket to all corners of the country. We are not fighting the
players, we are not fighting the old provinces, and we are not fighting the
stakeholders. We just want to see cricket grow. We want an amicable solution
to this crisis."
But it remains to be seen whether Mliswa will be willing give up on a
position which he failed to get under Chingoka and Bvute, and whether the
politicians will let go on an opportunity to control cricket especially
after the Zanu-PF conference a few weeks back when the party announced its
intention to muscle into Zimbabwe's major sports.
Tuesday, 27 December 2005, 10:59 GMT
A drought and the continued economic crisis in Zimbabwe are starting
to hit the country's largest game reserve.
The management of Hwange National Park say most of its watering holes
have now dried up and grazing has become scarce. They say 40 three elephants
have died, 53 buffaloes and a number of zebras, giraffe and antelope.
There have also been reports of an outbreak of a disease known as
blackleg which experts say often occurs when there is a shortage of drinking
As if that wasn't bad enough, in recent years the illegal poaching of
elephants has been on the increase.
The elephant population of the park has reached bursting point - it
has a capacity for 14,000 elephants but currently has at least 27,000, and
official government statistics put the population even higher.
The authorities say the country's fuel shortages are affecting the way
they run the park - for example they are struggling to deliver spare parts
for the water pumps.
A spokesman for the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, a
non-governmental organisation, said he believed the Zimbabwe government was
hoping the elephants would starve to death, thus providing a way of culling
Zimbabwe's safari and wildlife industry used to be one of the most
successful sectors of the country's economy, employing tens of thousands of
people and providing a huge source of revenue for the game parks, but
recently it has suffered a staggering decline - a victim, it seems, of
Zimbabwe's general malaise and misfortunes.
Severe food shortages together with a deepening economic crisis have
left millions of Zimbabweans in a desperate situation - now it seems their
plight is being shared by the animal population too.
December 27 2005 at 09:12AM
Life-giving rains have brought temporary relief to the thirst-crazed
animals of Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe after a fierce drought which
left the park littered with shrunken, rotting corpses.
Pinetown conservationist John Davison, who has just returned from the
park, said many dams and water pans were full to the brim again after nearly
230 mm of rain fell in less than a month.
Davison is part of the Save Hwange Trust which was formed earlier this
year to avert a water-supply crisis in the cash-strapped wildlife park.
Just over a month ago, he said, long lines of weak and thirsty animals
were congregating around the few remaining drinking holes because
diesel-driven water pumps had broken down or run out of fuel.
At one of the watering holes in the south of the park, mature elephant
bulls were monopolising the little remaining water to such an extent that
safari operators had to drive them away to allow other animals to drink.
Davison said smaller species, including sable antelope, had waited for
days because the biggest elephants were sucking up water as fast as it could
be pumped - leaving nothing for the weaker elephants and smaller species.
He left Pinetown earlier this month as part of a volunteer mission to
supply fuel and to transport pump service teams within Hwange.
On arrival, though, he had witnessed a "spectacular recovery".
"In the northern Robins Camp and Sinamatella region, dams and pans are
brimming over with water deep enough for the hippo to submerge.
"The recovery of the trees and shrubs, as well as the sudden flowering
of bulbs and tuber plants and the sprouting of ground cover and creepers is
nothing short of nature's miracle."
However, the corpses of several elephants were still visible next to
derelict bore hole engines and pumps which might have saved them from
starvation had they been in working order.
Davison warned, however, that while the rains had brought respite from
suffering, the park's problems were not over.
"The Save Hwange Trust, park management and many other concerned
organisations have been given a period of relief in which to plan and put in
place remedial measures.
"The huge backlog of maintenance and repairs to the water supply
infrastructure before the next drought arrives is a daunting task which
needs resources and support," he said.
This article was originally published on page 0 of The Mercury on
December 27, 2005