The ZIMBABWE Situation Our thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.

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††††† Moyo's dream in tatters† 12/8/02
††††† Story by newsfocus By Farai Mutsaka

††††† Ever since he assumed office, the junior minister, who was handpicked
by President Mugabe after the June 2000 parliamentary elections, has not
made a secret of his desire to have a Zimbabwean media that neither sees nor
hears Zanu PF's evil.

††††† However, after a dramatic start which saw him pushing through
parliament the draconian Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act
(Aippa) despite protests from MPs, Moyo has suffered one setback after
another and seems incapable of doing anything about it.

††††† Even though over a dozen journalists have been arrested under the
discredited Aippa, the state has failed to secure a single conviction,
dealing a serious blow to Moyo's quest to muzzle the press.

††††† Only last week, his determination to rein in independent journalists
suffered greatly when Harare magistrate, Garikai Churu, ordered that charges
against The Standard editor, Bornwell Chakaodza, Entertainment Editor,
Fungayi Kanyuchi and Senior Reporter, Farai Mutsaka, be dropped.

††††† The three journalists were facing charges under section 80 of Aippa
which makes it criminal for journalists to publish falsehoods. The trio were
arrested in May after the publication of two stories, one revealing
sex-for-freedom deals involving prostitutes and police officers and another
which exposed the heavy anti-riot gear equipment purchased by government
from Israeli arms manufacturer, Beit Alfa Trailer (BAT). The latter story
was confirmed by the then Israeli foreign minister Shimon Peres.

††††† However, as the media fraternity waits patiently for a Supreme Court
ruling on a constitutional challenge by the Independent Journalists
Association of Zimbabwe (Ijaz) against some sections of Aippa, the unelected
minister has been forced to become a spectator as magistrates free
journalists charged under trumped up charges.

††††† Commentators say Aippa, largely viewed as Moyo's personal legal weapon
against independent journalists, is simply running out of steam.

††††† Earnest Mudzengi, a media analyst attached to the National
Constitutional Assembly (NCA), said Aippa was from the start a retrogressive
law that would never stand any serious legal scrutiny.

††††† "By cobbling up Aippa, the current regime showed the world it thrives
on insanity because that law is insane. The press is the lifeblood of any
democratic society. Ideally, the press should provide a public platform
through which people from various social segments can air their views, be it
for the status quo or against it. These victories show that government's
plan to continue to hang on to power through undemocratic pieces of
legislation will fail," said Mudzengi.

††††† He added that the media in Zimbabwe had set a precedent that civic
societies fighting for democracy should follow.

††††† "The press in Zimbabwe has proved itself to be resilient in the face
of immense odds. It has shown a level of determination that should be
emulated by other progressive arms of civic society," he said.

††††† While other cases are still before the courts, the majority of arrests
made under the law have rarely been followed by prosecution, confirming
fears that the legislation was put in place primarily to intimidate
independent journalists into silence, as well as extend Moyo's control of
the private media.

††††† "The fact that you have very few cases that have been prosecuted under
this law shows it was never a credible piece of legislation in the first
place," said a media lecturer at a state-owned institution who preferred
anonymity.

††††† Reyhana Masters-Smith, the chairperson of the Media Institute of
Southern Africa (Misa), noted that government was sabotaging newspapers by
bringing up trumped up charges against their journalists.

††††† "What is unacceptable is that the state is wasting time, money and
resources on arresting journalists and then dropping charges. It is a
deliberate attempt to sabotage media organisations. Media organisations are
also forced to spend large amounts of money fighting unnecessary legal
battles. We are also appalled at the selective application of Aippa against
the independent media.

††††† "That goes to show that there is a deliberate attempt to curb
alternative voices from being heard. The law is targeted at those who choose
to do their job professionally by holding accountable people who are in
leadership positions. I feel it is difficult to sustain a law that is
selectively applied and that criminalises the profession of journalism,"
said Masters-Smith.

††††† Aippa, which was bulldozed by Moyo through the Zanu PF parliamentary
caucus and eventually parliament amid serious resistance from the MDC and
some Zanu PF MPs, received probably the harshest criticism from the
parliamentary legal committee when it was still a Bill.

††††† Said Eddison Zvobgo, chairman of the committee, when he presented an
adverse report on the Bill to the House: "This Bill, in its original form,
was the most calculated and determined assault on our liberties guaranteed
by the constitution in the 20 years I served as cabinet minister. Your
committee expresses its gratitude to the minister of justice, legal and
parliamentary affairs, honourable Patrick Chinamasa, for his unstinting
heroism, through amendments, to give the Bill a human face. It is a matter
for regret that some unconstitutional provisions still remain."

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††††† Thirsty Xmas anticipated
††††† By Kumbirai Mafunda

††††† ZIMBABWEANS are set to experience one of their worst ever festive
seasons following revelations of a soft drinks shortage.

††††† The Standard understands that United Bottlers, the company solely
responsible for the bottling of carbonated soft drinks, lacks the sugar
supplies needed to manufacture large quantities of drinks required for a
holiday period.

††††† Peter Karimatenga, the general manager in charge of the manufacture of
soft drinks at United Bottlers, confirmed in an interview with The Standard
that they had indeed been receiving insufficient deliveries of sugar and
that the problem had been exacerbated by the collapse of the Zimglass
furnace in Gweru, which normally supplied his company with glass containers.

††††† Said Karimatenga: "It is a combination of two factors. Firstly, we
have been experiencing problems in getting sufficient sugar because the ZSR
has been having difficulties getting coal for their blast furnaces in
Harare. The other thing is that Zimglass has not been able to supply us with
glass bottles."

††††† He said they had made proposals to the ministry of industry and
international trade for the importation of sugar but no response had as yet
been received from that quarter.
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††††† Zim outlook bleak
††††† sundayopinion By Charles Fritzell

††††† AS the situation continues to deteriorate in Zimbabwe one needs to
consider the possible outcomes. It is difficult to predict the future,
especially so in unstable regions of the world. In order to come up with any
guesses as to the course of the future one has to clearly understand the
aims and strategies of those holding power.

††††† It is clear that the fundamental aim of Mugabe and Zanu PF is to
retain power at any cost to the nation, for a number of reasons.

††††† Firstly, there is the need to avoid retribution. Because of the
heinous crimes committed, which include genocide and corruption at a
staggering level the fear of retribution should a democratically elected
government come to power is all encompassing.

††††† The perpetrators live in daily terror of their crimes against the
people becoming known. Because of the culture of fear and secrecy these
crimes are very likely to be far worse than so far guessed. Many crimes
however are a matter of public record, murders where the perpetrators are
known, arson where the perpetrators are known and massive corruption where
the perpetrators are known.

††††† As an aside, I believe that analysts could be correct when they
surmise that the regime are trying to gain a two thirds majority in
parliament so that they can alter the constitution to suit their own ends.
When or if this happens, one should expect the death penalty to be removed
and some sort of legislation passed granting immunity from prosecution to
those presently in power. However, I would expect these amendments to be
repealed by any democratically elected government.

††††† The second major motivation is pure greed. Those in the elite have
used the opportunities offered to become obscenely wealthy without any
productive effort at all. Insider deals, blackmail and straightforward
confiscation have all added to this wealth. Even the armed force
intervention in the DRC, paid for by the taxpayer, has become a source of
huge wealth to some. Contracts are handed out to cronies and all manner of
crooked deals are taking place daily.

††††† If those are the aims, what are the strategies? Firstly, the armed
forces and police now operate merely as enforcers for a criminal regime. The
judiciary too has been subverted. There is thus a fertile climate for
gangsterism, where there is no law other than that dictated by the regime,
who are not subject to any laws themselves. Members of the regime have
become untouchable and immune to prosecution, whatever the crimes they
commit, including murder.

††††† Second, the Robin Hood strategy has been very successfully
implemented. Goods and property belonging to the 'haves' are seized and
distributed to the 'have-nots'. Because human nature is such that almost all
will jump at the chance of acquiring something of value without having to
work for it, this has worked extremely well.

††††† It also resonates well with the fundamental tenets of socialist and
communist ideology. The goods of others are parcelled out as rewards to one'
s followers. This implicates them in your own crimes and makes them
dedicated supporters, because to protest later would label them as the
thieves they are.

††††† An adjunct to this has been the playing of 'the race card'. By and
large, the white and Asian population are better off than the black masses
(though not nearly as wealthy as the new elite.)

††††† Racism lurks in every society and can be fanned into flame by any
morally bankrupt regime. The examples are endless. It is also a very emotive
issue in most of Africa. There has also been a cynical play on the
post-colonial guilt felt by many countries in Europe, where the negative
aspects are endlessly repeated and the positive aspects are totally ignored.
This has been very effective in paralysing British reaction to the outright
thuggery and racism of the regime.

††††† Third, common thugs are used to terrorise the general population. In
the case of Zimbabwe these are the so-called 'war veterans' both young and
old, and now the infamous Border Gezi youths. These dregs of humanity are
given free licence to beat, rape and steal as they want, with no fear of
retribution other than from their masters should they fail to please them,
or should they step out of line.

††††† This is a tried and trusted tactic used by all repressive regimes
since time began. These tactics were extensively used, tried and tested in
the liberation war, where far more black peasants were killed by the
liberation forces than by the Rhodesian army. There was also at that time a
deliberate policy of mutilation, rape and other atrocities to terrorise the
people. These tactics are now being recycled.

††††† Fourth, in order to preserve the status quo as much as possible, great
efforts are made to disguise a dictatorship as democracy. To this end,
elections are blatantly rigged, opposition members killed and the electorate
are terrorised because there will always be a number of like-minded leaders
who will endorse these mock elections as being valid. We have seen South
Africa, Namibia and others do just that in the recent past.

††††† Perhaps last but by no means least, is the control of all news and
information coming into and going out of the country. The vast mass of the
people does not have any access to unbiased news; they are incessantly
bombarded by government propaganda. The print media are not all government
controlled, and so strenuous efforts are constantly made to harass and
discredit the free press. Evidence of the fear of information can be seen in
the use of government thugs to prevent the distribution of independent
newspapers in certain areas of the country.

††††† All internal FM radio stations of the ZBC serve as propaganda outlets
for the regime. There are two external radio stations, but they broadcast on
short wave and not many people possess short-wave receivers.

††††† In summary, the strategy is to ensure the total breakdown of law and
order and replace it with a system of patronage and regional warlords.

††††† What then are the possible outcomes?

††††† In my opinion, violent and systematic opposition is unlikely. This is
because the general population are very docile and at present have no
focussed outside support, whereas the present regime relied heavily on the
eastern bloc for logistical and tactical support in their day.

††††† Without this support I doubt they would have achieved anything at all.
There may be sporadic riots as starvation grips the nation, but the well-fed
and relatively affluent police and military will put these down ruthlessly
because they know they have been compromised and will be called to account
for their actions should democracy prevail.

††††† It must also be realised that the generality of people are unarmed and
powerless in the face of the government. It is relatively easy for quite a
small proportion of the population to thoroughly terrorise the majority,
most especially when there is no recourse to law of any kind. Those armchair
strategists calling for rebellion conveniently forget this vital point.

††††† However, if foreign-based insurgency should break out, then it would
probably be based in Botswana, Mozambique and possibly Zambia as well.
Zimbabwe has vulnerable borders. South Africa and Namibia would not allow
operations from their soil. Nujoma openly supports Mugabe and Mbeki tacitly
supports him. This would become yet another long and bloody African civil
war as in Angola, Mozambique, Congo and Uganda, totally destroying the
country in the process.

††††† Outside intervention is highly unlikely at present. The USA is
currently preoccupied with Iraq, and has drawn the EU and UK into this
preoccupation. Though the US may indeed engage in food drops to alleviate
starvation, they are unlikely to use military force unless attacked by
Zimbabwean armed forces.

††††† Africa has already set the scene for the most likely outcome. What
little remains of the rule of law will very soon disappear entirely. There
is no way that Mugabe and his associates will relinquish power voluntarily.
This must be fully understood by all those desiring regime change in
Zimbabwe.

††††† Mugabe and his henchmen have made certain that it cannot occur
democratically or peacefully. At present, the opportunities are limited and
the outlook is bleak.
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††††† Using fear as a tool
††††† By Chido Makunike

††††† HOW is it that a government so unpopular and so unable to deal with so
many of the fundamental issues affecting the lives of Zimbabweans-as the
Mugabe regime is-seems to be so entrenched in power?

††††† The list of shortages grows by the day; prices keep skyrocketing;
there is no Aids strategy to speak of while the death toll mounts;
underfunded hospitals are merely places to go and die in; hunger stalks the
land in the midst of the political decimation of agriculture accompanied by
drought; companies that have not yet gone under stumble from day to day;
government officials work overtime to enact ever more repressive laws and
Zimbabwe continues to be a pariah state. How does Mugabe hang on in the face
of this amazing catalogue of failure?

††††† Part of the answer lies in the highly developed apparatus of fear that
has countless manifestations, some subtle and others not so subtle. One of
the factors that make it so sophisticated is that it is not necessarily
apparent. If you are a Zimbabwean who generally keeps his or her head down
politically, or a foreigner visiting parts of the urban areas or tourist
resorts for a few days, you are unlikely to come face to face with the
apparatus of fear that I talk about.

††††† Apart from the hired visiting foreign guns who dutifully parrot the
regime's sanitised version of life in Zimbabwe, we have also observed
visitors who come on their own and are genuinely puzzled about what all the
fuss is about, when Zimbabwe superficially seems to be so peaceful and
orderly. The riot police they expect to see at every street corner are not
in evidence, there is no blood flowing in the streets and Zimbabweans go
about their business in their usual easy-going style. Where is the evidence
then, of the repression of the Mugabe government they have heard so much
about?

††††† The very subtlety of it is what makes it difficult to detect, and yet
it so devastatingly and oppressively effective. Ruling with a ruthless iron
fist, while simultaneously giving the impression of normality, calm and
benevolence on the surface, is a tactic the Mugabe government has mastered
far better than the Smith regime.

††††† The sophistication of the oppression, helped greatly by the
easy -going, obedient, respectful nature of the Zimbabwean character I
alluded to earlier, makes for a deadly mix, and answers the question
increasingly asked by many Zimbabweans, as well as many others in the world,
as to why we seem so helpless in the face of a government that cannot point
to anything that it can claim to be doing right for the country.

††††† Crooked ministers with shady backgrounds are the same people given the
power to draft, ram through and enthusiastically push for the enforcement of
all kinds of petty laws that seem to criminalise what would ordinarily pass
for public and individual sentiment in a genuinely free country.

††††† Top civilian politicians and uniformed men better known for their
ruthless suppression of their fellow citizens are openly, admiringly touted
as future presidents and subsequently promoted and protected. The message
that there is a different set of rules for these dubious characters is
internalised in the population. It is understood by the subjects that not
only are these men immune from prosecution for their transgressions, but may
actually hold on to their power because of them, as it makes them interested
stake holders in the existing system of corruption and oppression.

††††† On the one hand, we understand the chilling message the rulers
cleverly intend for us through their symbolic actions (or inactions), while
on the other hand in parliament, in the cabinet, at parades and other fora
and ceremonies,we are expected to react to the rulers as if they were
ordinary, clean public servants, instead of some of the key players in
preserving the dysfunctional status quo.

††††† It is not necessary for them to come right out and tell us that we had
better behave ourselves, or else. We are expected to read between the lines
and through various symbolisms, just how far we can go towards expressing
our sickness and tiredness at seeing the way our country has in every way
gone to the dogs.

††††† If a minister known to be a thief is appointed and retained for years,
even when rejected by the voters, it is quite clear that no amount of public
protestation at the thieving ways or other crimes of the powerful who are
favoured will make any difference. The impunity with which they can go about
their activities helps to plant the seed of fear in us, but it is all done
in such a subliminal, genteel way that the regime can still argue that we
are a representative democracy.

††††† The increasingly blatant fixing of elections is an interesting way of
trying to hold on to the last shreds of a democratic veneer, while making it
clear that something as petty as the will of the people is not going to be
allowed to upset the status quo. The use of the fear of even greater
starvation than already existed in the Insiza constituency, for example, was
used to produce the desired result in the recent parliamentary by-election
there.

††††† Even if the constituents knew they were being 'played' cynically, such
is the power of the fear of hunger, and of defying an authority whose
ruthlessness people in that part of the country are keenly, bitterly aware
of, that many of them felt they had to go along, even if they knew the food
bait would disappear within days of the announcement of the result,
whichever way it went. That is the manifestation of the power of fear that
keeps people in line.

††††† On an even cruder level, selective beatings, torture and rape are
used, with the perpetrators rarely brought to book. Many of the incidences
are not even reported, because many of us no longer know if we have any
reason to continue having faith in the police or the judiciary. As a result,
even those of us who are not direct victims are cowed and fearful, doing our
best not to incur the wrath of the authorities because we don't believe we
would have recourse if abused. By making examples of a few people outside
the glare of the limelight, the rest of us get the message of what can
happen to us if we dare express unhappiness at our situation a little too
vociferously.

††††† An interesting thing about using fear as a tool of power is it's
corrosive effect on it's perpetrator. When a man who has openly boasted of
his capacity for violence, who often speaks in terms of threats, and whose
party sees no shame in making official heroes out of its leading enforcers
of violence, has to publicly confess that the increasingly difficult effort
to keep a lid on a situation that is fast ravelling out of control causes
him headaches and stomach aches, that is the boomerang effect of fear at
work. You are used to inflicting fear, but now it is eating you up as well.

††††† Hence the astonishing, widely derided need to cook up laws that make
it a criminal offence to make gestures thought to be disparaging of the
presidential motorcade. That is raw fear and paranoia at work, a case of
what you sent around, coming around.

††††† On one level, because we have been given ample evidence over the years
that if we do not behave as expected in response to the subtle threats, the
authorities are not at all averse to using more direct, cruder, bloodier
methods to keep us under control, it is understandable that we succumb to
the fear, as intended. But on the other hand, as invincible as the apparatus
of fear may seem, all it takes to overcome it is for enough of us to master
our fear sufficiently to refuse to be intimidated.

††††† Are there enough Zimbabweans who are tired enough of cowering on their
knees in fear of the brutal authorities to refuse to continue to be
intimidated and silenced as this country sinks ever lower by every measure
you can think of?
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††††† Santa's fantasy economics
††††† overthetop By Brian Latham

††††† True to form, a troubled central African country's minister for
evasive answers to difficult questions about fuel supplies was proved wrong
when he said fuel would be in plentiful supply last week.

††††† On a similar note, bookmakers taking bets on the issue made
considerable amounts of money when the promised fuel did not materialise.
Sadly they were unable to spend the money on petrol because there was none.

††††† Meanwhile the troubled central African nation's innovative economists
promised a bleak Christmas. One economist went so far as to dub the economic
policies of the troubled central African country as "fantasy economics". He
said this was in the spirit of the Christmas season which was largely a time
of fantasy.

††††† "It'll have to be a time of fantasy because it can't be a time of
giving," he said, adding that there would be nothing to give.

††††† Another economist said it required a leap of the imagination for
residents of the troubled central African country to get through the festive
season without too much depression. "We'll be putting virtual petrol into
our motor cars in order to go virtual shopping for virtual gifts," he said.
He explained that this was necessary because there was no real petrol and it
was unlikely that there would be any real gifts either.

††††† "Only our virtual government can really expect people to sell things
for less than they cost," he pointed out.

††††† Still, the troubled central African country's virtual government
entrenched its position on the economy. Decrees from the ministry of fantasy
economics stated that from this month every item sold would be sold at a
loss, thus depriving hundreds of thousands of their jobs and thousands of
businessmen of their businesses. Explaining the logic, a spokesman from the
ministry, speaking off the record, said this was acceptable because the job
losses would occur mainly in the urban areas, and everyone knew that these
areas were populated exclusively by members of the More Drink Coming (You'll
be lucky) party and other such traitors.

††††† "When all these businesses have gone broke because their white,
opposition, capitalist, neo-imperialist owners have sabotaged the economy,
we will take them over and hand them to qualified and incorruptible members
of the Zany RF party who will restore the economy in 48 hours," said the
spokesman on condition he was not quoted.

††††† Asked why the Zany party had renamed itself the Zany RF party, the
spokesman said he had no idea, but it was something to do with historical
similarities between itself and a previous government that also had
admirable views on law and order. Still, it was noteworthy that the new Zany
RF party had managed to bankrupt the country far more efficiently than its
predecessor and it deserved recognition for this amazing accomplishment.

††††† Returning to the economic climate in the troubled central African
country, the spokesman said it was a lie that there were shortages, adding
that just this morning his wife had made piles of toast and he fully
expected to have sadza for his supper.

††††† Asked how he managed to acquire such luxuries when the rest of the
country was starving, the spokesman emphasised that no patriotic citizen
with a current party card (from the right party) would go hungry. It was a
simple matter to get such a card and if one was youthful enough, one could
also get a smart green uniform that was a passport to success and a
hunger-free Christmas, he explained.

††††† "By joining Dzaku Dzaku, you are not only fulfilling your patriotic
and socialist duty, you are also guaranteeing yourself and your family a
happy Christmas and a particularly prosperous new year," said the spokesman.

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††††† ZCC: Are you ready to face Judgement Day?


††††† THERE has been so much comment in the past two-and- a- half years
about the role that various churches and church leaders are playing, or
should be playing, in the political life of Zimbabwe.

††††† Last Thursday, the Ecumenical Documentation and Information Centre in
Southern Africa (EDICISA) held a workshop in Harare for media and church
workers on how the media can advance the cause of peace in this country.
EDICISA should be congratulated for taking up the cudgels in a peaceful way
to challenge both the Church and the journalists to become forces for change
in Zimbabwe.

††††† There is a very important reason why the church, in partnership with
the media, should be involved in this process. The church is and should be
concerned about the whole issue of the struggle for peace, justice and
reconciliation in Zimbabwe. This is a task which the church cannot in any
way be absolved of, or hand over the responsibility to others. Indeed that
should be the central mission of the church anywhere in the world.

††††† In fact, EDICISA was born out of a conference of Church leaders of
southern Africa which was held in Harare, on 14-16 July 1986. That
conference was held under the theme "The role of Churches in the Liberation
Process of Southern Africa".

††††† At that time, apartheid was rearing its ugly head in both South Africa
and Namibia. And Zimbabwe, though far from perfect, was nevertheless
respected for its reconciliation policy, justice, good governance,
reconstruction and development. That is why the conference was held in
Zimbabwe in the first place.

††††† Fourteen years later in 2000, Zimbabwe has descended into a tunnel of
madness and the struggle for justice, peace and reconciliation is back in
focus. The tables have been turned. We are back at the starting point, so to
speak. This is the serious dilemma in which the church, the media and
Zimbabweans as a whole find themselves.

††††† Like in apartheid South Africa, there is a growing thrust of the
momentum of justice, peace and human rights in the hearts of millions of
Zimbabweans on one hand, and the growing fear of the minority black ruling
elite that they will lose everything they have looted in recent years on the
other. A classic situation of polarisation, of conflict and possible
bloodshed.

††††† Where does the church stand in this regard? What role should the
church be playing in this classic situation? For clearly, the democracy
deficit in Zimbabwe has become a huge one.

††††† We publish in this issue a letter to the Editor by Rev Graham Shaw of
Bulawayo, in which he accuses the Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC) of
being a cruel betrayal to the victims of injustice and oppression, of
appeasement and being politically correct and endorsing a situation which is
clearly untenable.

††††† We agree wholeheartedly with these observations and sentiments. Save
for two or three church leaders, notably Archbishop Pius Ncube and Retired
Rev Tim Neil, the church has failed this country. What use is the church
when it cannot stand in critical solidarity with the poor and the oppressed,
the hungry and the starving? The Zimbabwe Council of Churches is clearly
supping with the devil when it cannot condemn, consistently and regularly,
the conditions that have given rise to the tragedy that is now consuming
Zimbabwe.

††††† We know that the response of ZCC will be, "Ah, but we are feeding the
hungry and starving." Yes, you are, but that is not enough. This crafty
twist of the truth serves the new ruling black elite well. From the ruling
class point of view, these activities are conveniently conspicuous and
harmless. They give the appearance that something is underway, thereby
throwing a smokescreen over the deeper causes of poverty, the breakdown of
the rule of law, violation of human rights and the destruction of the
economy in the name of land redistribution exercise.

††††† Merely calling on "that there may be pace and prosperity" and calling
upon "the newly resettled farmers to make the possible use of land entrusted
to them", as the Zimbabwe Council of Churches did in their recent press
statement, is to evade the central core of the problem in this
country-namely power and greed, as well as political legitimacy through a
transparent, free and fair electoral process. On this and many other deeper
issues, there is deafening silence from the Zimbabwe Council of Churches.
Are ZCC leaders content to be merely church leaders rather than Christian
leaders? That is the question.

††††† We are here challenging the Zimbabwe Council of Churches and other
Church leaders to examine their own consciences, to look at themselves in
the mirror and be true to their deepest nature and come forward and present
to the Zimbabwean society the essential meaning of the message which you
proclaim as good news. And good news is news based on truth, based on what
is actually happening in the lives of people and communities.

††††† The majority of Christian leaders in Zimbabwe are so far behind in
their understanding of what is actually happening on the ground in Zimbabwe.
They are preaching a gospel which in many respects is far removed from the
actual sphere of the struggle and suffering of the people. ZCC does appear
to be living on a different planet from the rest of us ordinary folks.

††††† What a pity that there are so many churches and church leaders, but so
few Christians actually participating to address the deeper causes of the
Zimbabwean tragedy. Be they ordained or self-appointed, operating from a
cathedral or an open field, dressed in religious finery or a white sheet,
these charlatans and false prophets cannot hide from God the cruel betrayal
and insincerity.

††††† True Christians have the courage and moral conviction of the Son of
God whom they claim to follow. True Christians openly practise consistently
His teachings of love, truth and justice. True Christians do not support
evil and neither do they promote racism in the Church. They do not issue
bland and ineffective statements that amount to appeasement and support for
a corrupt political system.

††††† By not siding openly with the victims of violence, injustice and
oppression, you, the Zimbabwe Council of Churches, will one day face
Judgement Day. Are you ready for it?
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Zim Standard

Letter

††††† The worst profession


††††† THE once noble teaching profession has become the object of derision
because of the policies of the Mugabe regime.

††††† I regret having chosen this profession. What pride is there in a
profession that does not have adequate renumeration for its members many of
whom now live below the poverty datum line?

††††† Us teachers are subjected to much scorn from illegal gold panners,
omnibus touts and even vegetable street vendors who obviously make three
times more than we do in just one week. Everyone, including our pupils, know
that we are the least paid civil servants in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe.

††††† Chigwedere and the government are unaware of the fact that many of us
rural teachers are having to sell sweets, freezits and biscuits to try to
make ends meet. What else can we do?

††††† Those who fail to survive this way, are forced to borrow money for bus
fare from the pupils who are only too eager to help. What do Chigwedere,
Leonard Nkala of Zimta and the government make of this?

††††† Chigwedere and his ministry recently sent circulars to schools
commanding that teachers be in suits when executing their duties. Where on
earth does he think we will get the money to buy suits which now cost over
$40 000 each? Chigwedere should move around the rural schools and see how
teachers are faring. He will see teachers in old tattered clothing and
shoes.

††††† The proposed 80% salary adjustment to be effected in January is simply
an insult to teachers. Is that what Leonard was negotiating for? Who is more
entitled to an increment, the top government official or the teacher?

††††† We need to be guided by a man of conscience.


††††† Makhehla

††††† Filabusi
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Zim Standard

††††† War vets assault Zanu PF official
††††† By our own Staff

††††† BULAWAYO-A senior Zanu PF official, Agrippa Mdlalo Ndlukula, was on
Wednesday assaulted by war veterans inside the chambers of the Insiza Rural
District Council after he insisted that landless youths rather than a
government minister, should take over a rich farm in Matabeleland South.

††††† Ndlukula, who is the district treasurer for Filabusi, was beaten up at
a meeting called to resolve a wrangle over a section of the prime ranch,
Goddard Farm.

††††† The farm, which stretches from the Fort Rixon commercial farming area
down into the Filabusi communal area, is suitable for cattle and animal
ranching. That part of the ranch which is up for grabs, was surrendered to
the government a few months ago by its owner identified only as Goddard.

††††† The Standard understands that this section of the farm has caused
serious squabbles within the leadership circles of the Zanu PF Matabeleland
branch because, on the one hand, a group of landless youths occupying the
land are insisting that they are the rightful owners of the land while on
the other, Sithembiso Nyoni, the minister of small and medium enterprises
development has also laid claim to the farm.

††††† On Wednesday, the Insiza District Coordinating committee called a
meeting at the chambers of the Insiza Rural District Council to decide on
the ownership of the farm.

††††† Sources at the meeting told The Standard that tempers flared when Zanu
PF district treasurer for Filabusi, Ndlukula, insisted that the farm went to
its youthful occupiers.

††††† "Ndlukula was steadfast in his insistence that the farm should go to
the youths of the district. But the war veterans who supported Sithembiso
Nyoni, handcuffed him and beat him thoroughly using fists and booted feet.
Ndlukula suffered head injuries and was treated at Filabusi district
hospital," said the source.

††††† "The officer in charge is on leave and I cannot give you that
information," was all that the anonymous officer could say after a long wait
while he consulted with other officers in the background.
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Zim Standard

††††† Zanu PF card now a prerequisite for traders
††††† By Chengetai Zvauya

††††† THE ruling Zanu PF, now regarded by many as a rural political party,
has embarked on a violent campaign to regain lost ground in a capital city
dominated by the opposition MDC.

††††† The campaign which kicked off in Mbare high density suburb two months
ago, has already turned the populous area, the first port of call for most
visitors to Harare, into a political hotbed.

††††† Residents of the suburb who talked to The Standard at the weekend said
Zanu PF militia had set up terror bases in areas such as Magaba, Jo'burg
lines and Shawasha hostels where several people, perceived to be MDC
supporters, were being relentlessly beaten up.

††††† It also emerged that only Zanu PF supporters were being allowed to
trade at the Siyaso and Mupedzanhamo flea markets, where over the years,
many unemployed people have derived their livelihood.

††††† Several informal traders told The Standard that the only way they
could guarantee marketing space was if they attended the frequently held
Zanu PF meetings.

††††† "They have simply made it clear that if you are not Zanu PF, you may
not trade in Mbare. If you shun their meetings, you are simply inviting
trouble from the militias. The police won't even help you," said a trader
who has spent much of her adult life selling home grown tobacco at Mbare
Musika.

††††† A man from Block Number 7, Shawasha Flats who preferred to be
identified only as Constantine, told The Standard that he had also fallen
victim to the militant Zanu PF supporters.

††††† "I was beaten up in Magaba by some Zanu PF youths belonging to a
terror group called Chipangano. The group moves around the constituency
attacking families known to be MDC supporters. The attacks normally occur
after rallies," said Constantine.

††††† At these meetings, The Standard was told, Zanu PF officials take time
to remind people of how Zimbabwe was won through a bitter armed struggle
which could easily be evoked again if there was a danger of the country
returning to the Rhodesians via the MDC.

††††† At these meetings, scarce commodities such as mealie meal are readily
available.

††††† Tichaona Munyanyi, the MP for the Mbare East constituency also
confirmed that Zanu PF officials, backed by their militia, had been
campaigning day and night in the area.

††††† In an interview with The Standard, Munyanyi said he believed that the
campaign was aimed at wrestling the constituency from him.

††††† The legislator was arrested a few months ago on allegations of
attempting to murder Ali Manjengwa, a Zanu PF activist shot dead in Mbare.

††††† Munyanyi was subsequently remanded in custody for two months and was
only allowed out on being granted bail of $50 000 bail by the High Court.
However, his health has greatly deteriorated due to an illness, he claims
began while he was in the cells.

††††† "It sounds weird that people can campaign for your post when you haven
't yet been convicted of any offence, but it's happening. Zanu PF youths and
militia are already flushing out members of the opposition in the Mbare area
in anticipation of the much talked about 'by election'. They are telling
residents that I will soon be locked up and the seat declared vacant. I know
that Tony Gara is behind these youths who are beating up people because he
is interested in my post," said Munyanyi, his voice betraying deep anguish.

††††† Contacted for comment, Gara who lost to Munyanyi in the June 2000
parliamentary elections, dismissed the MDC legislator's assertions.

††††† "I cannot ask people to beat each other so that they can vote for me.
Munyanyi must not tarnish my name for no good reason. Ngaasiyane neni azive
zvekusungwa kwake. I have been a leader in that constituency for 20 years so
there is no way I can incite violence in that area," said Gara.
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Zim Standard

††††† Market records sudden high† 12/8/02
††††† Story by By our own Staff

††††† THE stock market gained 18% in the past week with 55 out of 77
counters recording gains. However, analysts have predicted that the
'resurrection' could be short-lived as the remaining weeks in the year are
likely to be characterised by profit taking as some fund managers take early
leave from investing.

††††† Analysts say the sudden high in the market was because investors had
realised that despite the carnage, the stock market remained the only
profitable investment option available. "Investors have nowhere to get real
value for money and are now coming back to the market. There are no other
viable investment opportunities that are better than the market at the
moment," said Patrick Saziwa, an analyst with Kingdom Stock Brokers.

††††† The market took a dive just after the budget was unveiled resulting in
small investors and speculators panicking enough to sell their equity.
Analysts attributed the sudden plunge to the budget, which they said was not
investor friendly. The investors were also uncertain as to the impact of the
new foreign currency exchange policy announced by the governor of the RBZ,
Leonard Tsumba.

††††† The investors, analysts say, do not believe they have reason to be
optimistic. "Investors have also realised that nothing much will change,
though there was lack of clarity on the foreign exchange rate and interest
rate policies. The gains may, however, only be recorded in the short to
medium term," said one analyst.

††††† By close of trade on Thursday, most counters had gained significantly
but analysts noted that the volumes were still thin.

††††† Some investors told Standard Business that the weak market was set to
spill over into the first two months of next year. Saziwa said: "At the
moment, we foresee the market maintaining but on the weak side until
companies start announcing their results in March."

††††† Truworths topped the week's top five risers with a 62,5% rise amid
speculation of a share split. In spite of the unclear exchange policy,
investors are taking the risk on counters with a foreign perspective.

††††† Old Mutual rose 51,9% to trade at $1 200 and analysts say the share is
trading at a discount to parallel rate. PPC continues to firm up putting
$200 on the week.

††††† Good results lifted ART up by 50% to trade at $45, while TZI traded at
$50,75 to record a 49,3% rise. Meikles and BATZ were the highest risers of
the week gaining 53,5% and 40% respectively.

††††† Major recoveries were recorded for ABCH, Afdis, Delta, TZI, Astra,
Gulliver, M&R, Meikles, Old Mutual and Bicaf. There were no major losses and
analysts said this probably indicates a 'temporary" improvement in market
sentiment.

††††† What this story means: The ups and downs of the stock market are
making it even more difficult for brokers to decide where to put their
money. If past records are anything to go by, the stock market may be weaker
and volumes thinner in the coming week due to profit taking and to some
brokers taking early breaks.
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Zim Standard

††††† National service for teachers† 12/8/02
††††† Story by By Parker Graham

††††† MASVINGO-Some headmasters and teachers from Masvingo's seven
administrative districts will from tomorrow begin their stint in the widely
condemned national youth training service programme, in a pilot project set
to be replicated across the country in a few months time, The Standard can
reveal.

††††† The first batch of teachers and headmasters expected in camp tomorrow,
will be based at Mushagashe Training Centre, some 30 kilometres outside of
Masvingo.

††††† Their course will last until 13 January 2003, although the
participants will be allowed a break for the Christmas and New Year
holidays.

††††† The programme, which was meant to be top secret, came to light on
Friday when a disgruntled civil servant disclosed to The Standard that
militant war veterans leader, Joseph Chinotimba was scheduled to address
headmasters and teachers of the recently formed Teachers Union of Zimbabwe
(TUZ) at Victoria Junior School in Masvingo.

††††† The TUZ, an affiliate of Chinotimba's Zimbabwe Federation of Trade
Unions (ZFTU) which is aligned to the Zanu PF regime, has been tasked with
destroying the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) which has
completely routed the traditional government ally, the Zimbabwe Teachers
Association (Zimta).

††††† The Standard managed to sneak into the meeting, also attended by war
veterans and state security agents, where Chinotimba successfully coerced
teachers and headmasters into undergoing the discredited national service
training.

††††† Said a highly charged Chinotimba: "Without this orientation (national
service), the government will always treat you with suspicion. To be honest
with you, headmasters and teachers present here, those who fail to do this
training will not get some of the benefits which those who will have
undergone the training will receive.

††††† "We discovered that most of you teachers have been sympathising with
the opposition MDC and are still drilling MDC politics into our children. So
for you to be in harmony with the government you must go for the training.
You can only be patriotic if you undergo this course."

††††† Chinotimba also told the teachers that participants in the first
intake would automatically replace the 700 teachers fired for embarking on
the PTUZ organised strike in Harare.

††††† Addressing the concerns of headmasters who said they were too old to
undergo the training, Chinotimba said: "You are not going to toyi-toyi like
the youths, but you will have to be drilled in theories of national service
and then you can go back."

††††† After his address, some known Zanu PF supporters among the headmasters
and teachers, urged their fellows to take up the offer and eventually it was
agreed that the first batch, comprising 120 educationists, would commence
their training tomorrow and continue until 13 January 2003.

††††† Contacted for comment yesterday, Chinotimba admitted that he had
travelled to Masvingo for a meeting with TUZ members, but denied having
threatened teachers and headmasters into submitting to the programme.

††††† "National service is not forced. It is a voluntary thing which is not
confined to the youth alone. Students and teachers and even old people can
go there. Even you can come to either myself or Cde Elliot Manyika and ask
to go for national service so that you can write your stories well," said
Chinotimba.

††††† Raymond Majongwe, the secretary-general of the PTUZ confirmed that his
organisation was aware of the secret programme for teachers.

††††† "We are aware of that plan and already know of some teachers who have
gone through it. It is totally unacceptable because it defeats the whole
purpose of having teachers in society if they are going to be ideologically
aligned with a certain political party through such a training programme.
Teachers should rise above party ideologies," he said.

††††† Teachers, who constitute the bulk of the civil service, have been at
the receiving end of the wrath of the Zanu PF regime over their alleged
reluctance to support the ruling party which views them as community leaders
in the rural areas.
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From News24 (SA), 7 December

Food centre for hungry village

Bikita, Zimbabwe - The crop fields are lush green in Bikita. But 1 000 hungry people in this remote southern area of Zimbabwe queue quietly under the midday sun for food aid. They're just a fraction of the eight million starving in this southern African country. Each person standing in this feeding centre queue in Bikita, some 240km south-east of Harare, has come to collect aid for at least two other people. Most of those waiting bear no visible signs of hunger - no really emaciated bodies here, no protruding ribs. They have been subsisting on wild fruit, one of those queuing tells reporters. The feeding centre, reached down a dirt track of several kilometres, is manned by aid agency Care for the UN's World Food Programme. Villagers are called up to receive their rations - corn meal and beans - according to the villages they come from. The orderly queue is disturbed momentarily by a pair of cavorting donkeys, who send children shrieking and screaming. "Our major problems are hunger, a serious drought and no rains," said Louise Nyambirai, an elderly woman from Madzvara village, about five kilometres away. Elderly people are among those suffering most in the current crisis, a Care field officer says. Many of them cannot read or write and therefore fail to get registered for food aid. "The law of the jungle is taking its toll here," said the official, George Baloyi. He explained that the elderly illiterate have to rely on the village headman's younger scribe taking down their details. But often the scribe makes sure his own family gets priority on the list. "People with influence want to survive. They (the elderly) don't have any form of influence. They can't read, they can't write." One example is 70-year-old Seraphina Mawere. Leaning on her stick, barefoot and with a woollen cap protecting her head from the sun, she has been forced to walk from village to village begging for food. She has never been on a food list.

The Aids pandemic, rife in rural areas like Bikita, aggravates the problem. "What you've got is this poisonous, ugly concoction of Aids and famine. The immune systems are so shorn of strength because of the hunger, that people die more quickly," the UN's special envoy on HIV/AIDS in Africa, Stephen Lewis, said on a visit to Bikita on Friday. A shortage of basic medicines to treat HIV patients meant that people in the area were "dying under the most grotesque of circumstances," he said, adding that the problem of Aids orphans had become overwhelming. "Every day the numbers of orphans go up," he said. There have been accusations that food aid is being distributed along party political lines in Zimbabwe. "We tell people that food should not be used as a weapon to square up scores with your enemies," Care official George Baloyi says. He points to the white sacks of US-provided corn and beans that are being shared among the hungry villagers. "It should be used freely, as it comes to us a free gift." However, people waiting in the queues complained that the rations - which are provided once a month - lasted the average family only eight days. The rest of the time they have to go back to their diet of wild fruit. Zimbabwe is the worst-hit of six southern African countries facing famine. And according to the UN's Lewis, only 56% of the food required by the WFP to feed hungry Zimbabweans has been met by donors. Meanwhile the numbers of hungry people continue to mount. The green fields offer no promise of a food-filled tomorrow. Already the maize which has germinated is wilting in the oppressive heat. The desperately-needed rains have not arrived yet this season."There's no hope," villager Serina Murindiwa said. The maize her village planted had already died from lack of rain, she said. Without rain the trees will soon stop bearing fruit to see them through.

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