Mugabe's Denial of Retirement Followed by Opposition
15 Jan 2003, 14:28
There has been a wave of arrests of opposition politicians
and activists in
One opposition Member of Parliament, Paul
Mudzuri, was arrested in a poor
Harare suburb Sunday and his location remains
unknown. Police say a second
opposition lawmaker, Job Sikhala, was arrested
Later, three executive members of the Combined Harare
were arrested, and their chairman Mike Davies, said
they were taken to a
police station on the west side of the
According to the judicial watchdog organization the Legal
Foundation, human rights lawyer Gabriel Shumba was also
Assistant police commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena confirmed the
arrests of the
two members of parliament, and said they were being held in
unrest and the destruction of a public bus. He said he was
still checking on
other arrests brought to his attention.
of the Combined Harare Residents Association, says the arrests
of his members
were deplorable. He says lawyers have been contacted to help
Mr. Davies expressed concern that Member of Parliament Mudzuri
have disappeared in police custody, and he wants to be sure his
not suffer the same fate.
The Residents Association played
a key role in ensuring that there were
elections for a mayor and a city
council last year.
For years, Harare residents had an appointed mayor and
the ruling Zanu PF party. The Residents Association
launched a long series
of legal challenges to force an election, which was
held on the same day as
nation wide presidential elections last
Candidates from the opposition Movement for Democratic Change
swept to power
and now control most of the urban centers. Last week, the
announced it would appoint governors for the major cities, an
effort to marginalize the elected mayors.
mayor Elias Mudzuri was arrested last Saturday. He was
released early Monday,
and he reported filthy conditions in cells in Harare
Central Police Station.
He said there was not enough food for inmates, and
that if the first citizen
of Harare could be arrested while doing his job,
addressing taxpayers, no one
He said the government is constantly interfering with his
The mayor predicted that the government's critical shortage of
currency would force Harare residents to use impure water in three
because there are no chemicals to purify the city's recycled
There have been small anti government demonstrations in poor
of the city in the past two days.
Cricket row polarises debate on Zimbabwe
JOHANNESBURG, Jan. 15 - To play or not to
That is the question English cricket chiefs had to face ahead of
month's World Cup match in Zimbabwe, but the real poser is how the
should deal with President Robert Mugabe as his country slides into
and political chaos.
The furore in London, where the
opposition Conservatives have traded
insults with Tony Blair's government
over Zimbabwe, has only been exceeded
by the increasingly vitriolic debate in
South Africa over how to treat its
Africa's government has long espoused quiet, behind-the-scenes
encourage reform. But with economic refugees flooding across
the border and
famine threatening half the 14 million people of the region's
breadbasket, the chorus of disapproval is growing.
''He's a war
criminal and should be treated as such,'' one caller to
a South African radio
show said of Mugabe.
''He should be had up for murder and the ruin of
his country,'' said
The England and Wales Cricket Board
(ECB) defied pressure from the
Blair government and placard-wielding
anti-Mugabe protesters on Tuesday and
said it would play in Zimbabwe. The
Australian Cricket Board had already
indicated it would play despite Mugabe's
branding of its people as former
ECB chief Tim Lamb
accused the government of using sport for
political ends against a country
where British firms still trade and with
which Britain maintains diplomatic
''There are so many more meaningful ways in which the
government, the Commonwealth and the international community could
its displeasure at what is happening in Zimbabwe,'' Lamb
Zimbabwe has split the Commonwealth on loosely racial lines when
comes to cricket: England and Australia came under heavy government
to boycott their matches but there was barely a comment about
matches by Commonwealth allies India and Namibia.
In South Africa, the main World Cup host, the outcry over the
in Zimbabwe has intensified ahead of the tournament.
games should be played in Zimbabwe, as they will be viewed as a
support for the Mugabe regime,'' said the opposition Democratic
''It will also shore up Mr. Mugabe in much the same way as the
Games in Berlin were used to build Adolf Hitler's profile.''
rumours of a plan to ease Mugabe into voluntary exile,
Mbeki's opponents say quiet diplomacy has not worked and
South Africa cannot
stand by while its neighbour slips into ruin,
threatening its own economy in
Critics point to the international sporting ban which
ending South Africa's racist apartheid rule in 1994, but
say the situation is different -- especially after Britain
Zimbabwean athletes at last year's Commonwealth Games.
Nevertheless, England's footballers this week turned down an
Zimbabwe, deeming it ''inappropriate'' and perhaps mindful of
situation of their cricketing compatriots.
Millions of people face starvation across southern Africa due to
Mugabe is blamed for making the problem worse in Zimbabwe
mismanagement, in particular by his seizure of white-owned land to
Mugabe says that is why Britain is waging a campaign
against him and
backing his main opposition, the Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC), in a
bid to force him from power.
Police accused the
MDC on Tuesday of plotting violent protests to
disrupt the World Cup matches
to be played in Harare, a charge dismissed by
MDC mayor, detained by police at the weekend, has said
the matches should not
go ahead due to safety fears.
''How can I stand up and guarantee the
safety of these visitors? I
can't,'' he told Johannesburg's Star
Well founded or not, such fears may play into the hand of
boycotters by calling into doubt the International Cricket
December decision that Zimbabwe was a safe venue for matches.
monitoring security daily.
That would at least remove
any threat of England captain Nasser
Hussain being confronted with a
hand-shaking Mugabe on the outfield, a
danger which has preoccupied the
But it would not answer the wider question of whether
the world can
deal with Mugabe, or should isolate his country to induce a
might force him from power.
Secretary-General Kofi Annan spoke out on Tuesday in
favour of cooperation,
but even he accepted mismanagement was partly to
blame for Zimbabwe's
''The challenge now is for all Zimbabweans to work together, and
each other, and with the international community, to find solutions
it is too late,'' he said.
MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai responds to the current cycle of
propaganda campaign in Zimbabwe
For the record, Zimbabweans and the international community need to
that early last month, Colonel Lionel Dyck came to see me at my
purporting to be carrying a message from Emmerson Mnangagwa and
I gave him an ear and he stated that he was a
messenger of the two Zanu PF
politburo members. The two wanted to hear my
views on the way forward, now
that Robert Mugabe had, in Dyck's words, long
indicated that he wanted to
retire, was being restrained by Mnangagwa and
Zvinavashe, and could only be
allowed to do so at such a time deemed
appropriate by the two and many
others in ZANU PF.
I told Dyck that,
as we had said in the past, Mugabe's departure was long
overdue and that we
were prepared to assist in the necessary transitional
arrangements to enable
Zimbabwe to move forward.
The initiative from elements within ZANU PF to
approach me through Col. Dyck
was entirely their own affair. Dyck himself
confirmed to The Daily News on
19 December 2002 that a group led by Emmerson
Mnangagwa and General
Zvinavashe with Mugabe's concurrence out of the
realization that he has lost
all capacity to govern, had sent
There is all the evidence that this regime now relies only on
force its will upon the people. It is a regime, which rules for
benefit and impoverishing everybody. How many ordinary Zimbabweans
afford to import food parcels from London and Johannesburg as Mugabe and
poodle Jonathan Moyo are doing? Dictatorial rule is now big business
fabulous affluence for the few families of those who anchor and maintain
When I told Dyck that we were prepared to assist
with the transitional
arrangements, I made it categorically clear that this
does not mean
participating in the formation of a government of national
unity or some
underhand pact with Zanu PF.
The MDC did not approach
ZANU PF, instead it is the Mugabe dictatorship,
which has periodically send
envoys. Dyck is not the only one who was sent to
fly a kite. There have been
a few occasions when even men of the cloth have
approached the MDC purporting
to convey messages from Mugabe.
The MDC has never approached ZANU PF
through surrogates and will not do so.
We have stated clearly in the past and
would want to state again that the
Mugabe regime is irretrievably
illegitimate and the only way forward is for
it to accept that fact. There is
no political solution outside a course that
charts the way for a return to
We will never be party to any political arrangement that
seeks to sanitize
Mugabe's violent illegitimacy, and that includes Mugabe's
and the so-called government of national unity. We will
institutionalise and expand illegitimacy.
The MDC is not in the
business of arranging succession strategies for an
illegitimate regime that
survives on the basis of a systematic and ruthless
subversion of democracy
and fundamental human rights and continues to rule
through the barrel of the
Our position has remained unchanged since the aborted inter-party
in March 2002. There can be no resolution of the Zimbabwean crisis
return to legitimacy through a re-run of the stolen the election
and fair electoral conditions guaranteed and supervised by the
The Mugabe illegitimate regime cannot be
expected or trusted to superintend
a process towards a restoration of the
people's sovereign will.
Mugabe's greatest nemesis remains the economy,
which refuses to bend to all
his dictatorial formulae. He cannot use on the
economy the same weapons he
is using to subvert democracy and crush human
rights. He cannot rig it, he
cannot shoot it, he cannot intimidate it, and
although he raped it, the
economy continues to deliver and land fatal blows
that Mugabe cannot block.
This situation is going to expose the hollowness of
Mugabe's cheap and
insensitive boast that he will stay and continue to
brutalize and cause
untold suffering among Zimbabweans.
Right now the
country is grinding to a halt through an acute shortage of
fuel and Mugabe
does not know where the next litre of diesel or petrol is
going to come
The current stocks of fuel and maize were procured with a US$50
loan secured at the beginning of December from a Cairo-based bank.
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has a minority shareholding in this
The fuel is being released to the market in small
dosages in order to
stretch it as far as possible. It runs out at the end of
Thereafter a new line of credit has to be sourced, a difficult
for the rogue regime now that all avenues for support have dried
The dictatorship in Zimbabwe today is a unique one, which will meet
equally unique ending.
I issued a public statement on the 18th of
December 2002 condemning what we
considered to be a plan to legitimise the
Mugabe regime through underhand
The media paid little
attention to that statement. Three weeks later, this
subject re-surfaced with
reports that a so-called deal had been struck
between Mnangagwa, Zvinavashe
and myself. This is not true. No deal was
struck. I never met Mnangagwa and
Zvinavashe. I met Dyck who claimed to be
their messenger. I did not look out
for him. He came to me.
In the spin of denials, Zanu PF propaganda and
vitriol, the onus is on Dyck
and his principals to explain. It has never been
our responsibility to speak
on behalf of this illegitimate government and its
violent political party.
Mugabe and Zanu PF must move beyond what has
now become their habitual
assumption that the MDC will disappear through
violence and a propaganda
No amount of demonisation in the
public media will bring lasting peace to a
country that Mugabe has
systematically destroyed in his quest to hold onto
Mugabe must realise that he is now alone in his
stubborn determination to
hold onto office. All his lieutenants have
virtually abandoned him and
maintain an appearance of loyalty out
The machinery around Mugabe is now collapsing fast and leaking
Daily I receive tonnes of information about the goings on in
ZANU PF, at State House and Munhumutapa Building from people
close to Mugabe
seeking guidance from me as the legitimate leader of Zimbabwe
was denied through theft in March 2002.
information to reach my desk came in the form of reports of
Mugabe to his close family members urging them to get ready
for life after
his 23-year old dictatorship. And, that is soon. One of their
remarked that he has to start looking for a job overseas.
Mugabe and his
cronies need to know that the real Zimbabwean drama will
begin to unfold very
soon when it becomes clear that we are headed for
Commercial agriculture has collapsed and nothing is happening
in the former
commercial farms. The entire landscape has been reduced to
wasteland, as the
new owners fight over farmhouses and farm
Our goal is not only to end this era of tyranny, but also to
something completely new. We seek to raise the profile of
Zimbabweans by bringing about positive changes within our citizens
the restoration of their values and dignity as human
We shall build a nation in which problems are tackled with
courage and in a
constructive manner. If we are to avoid bloodshed and
achieve the change we
have been trying to secure over the past three years,
there is no other way
other than through constructive dialogue.
have an economic rescue plan designed to re-open the closed factories,
an expansive public works programme to alleviate housing shortages
jobs, attract new investment and expand employment opportunities.
will resuscitate mutually beneficial bilateral relations and re-engage
multilateral financial institutions.
Our international partners stand
ready to respond to a clear signal from us
to come in and team up with us in
a determined effort to revive the
MDC President, Harare,
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Any farmer wishing to do this
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Friday 17th January 2003.
From ZWNEWS, 15
Zimbabwe’s email system
The technical problems which have been brewing in Zimbabwe’s
email system for months came to a head yesterday, with widespread failures
affecting subscribers at almost all internet service providers in the country.
People outside Zimbabwe reported that email sent to Zimbabwe email addresses
were returned with the message "user/domain unknown". Those sending email from
Zimbabwe to international addresses had messages bounced back to them, and
access to Zimbabwean websites from outside the country has also been difficult,
or impossible at times. The problems are expected to take some time to sort
out. The technical faults apparently stem from the management of the top-level
Zimbabwean internet domain (anything ending in .zw) by Telone. Telone is the
successor organisation to the Post and Telecommunications Corporation (PTC), and
is the state-controlled body responsible for Zimbabwe’s electronic and telephone
networks. Managing the top-level domain involves the responsibility for, amongst
other things, keeping up to date the information required by internet networks
around the globe in order to communicate with the Zimbabwean system. It appears
that Telone may have lost this information, or not updated it, with the result
that the rest of the world will not have the technical information necessary to
communicate with servers in Zimbabwe. "As far as the rest of the world is
concerned, Zimbabwe may just as well not exist in electronic terms," said one
ISP manager. "The system has been run like an unroadworthy country bus repaired
at the side of the road."
From The Herald, 14
Minister's wife sues Daily
Harare - The wife of the Minister of
Information and Publicity Professor Jonathan Moyo, Mrs Beatrice Moyo, is suing
The Daily News for publishing a false and malicious story alleging that her
husband beat her up on New Year's eve while staying at a hotel in Johannesburg.
"The allegation carried in the sensational headline of the story is totally
false and is not supported by any evidence either in the story itself or the
original story maliciously published by The Sunday Times of South Africa on
January 12 2003," she said in a letter written to her lawyers. The sensational
and false headline in The Daily News story has caused me and my family,
especially my children who were with us during the holiday immense pain. I'm
distressed that my husband's political enemies are now seeking to intrude upon
the privacy of our family using half truths, outright falsehoods and innuendoes
to settle political scores with him at my expense." Mrs Moyo said it is true that they were celebrating New Year just
after midnight, when there was some misunderstanding among some of the guests
who were partying with them in Room 806 at the Mercure Hotel after they held a
fireworks display in the secluded gardens of the hotel, but there are a number
of inaccuracies in the manner the story was reported. "That I sought police
intervention is not true and that the fracas involved my husband or him beating
me up, as maliciously alleged by The Daily News is not true," she said.
"In fact at no time was my husband in Room 806 during the party or the
entire period of our stay at the hotel. Contrary to claims by The
Sunday Times repeated by The Daily News that I made reference to my husband
describing him as a "senior government officer," at no time did I ever mention
him in connection with the fracas in Room 806 or at any other time during our
entire stay at the Mercure Hotel for that matter."
The Sunday Times reported that Prof Moyo,
his wife and four children stayed at the hotel in Bedfordview from December 27
to January 8 and allegedly went on a shopping spree, spending thousands of rands
on food. It also alleged that the couple had fought and one of Prof Moyo's
children phoned the reception to alert the hotel's management. Mrs Moyo has
written a letter to her lawyers, Mr Johannes Tomana of Muzangaza, Mandaza and
Tomana instructing him to demand an apology and a complete retraction of the
false, sensational, malicious and hurtful headline from The Daily News. She also
instructed her lawyers to institute appropriate legal action for damages caused
to "me personally, her husband and her children". "The Daily News was so
unprofessional and unethical in its sensational and false headline that they did
not have the common decency to check their 'facts' with me. Even worse, their
headline makes an allegation which is not even hinted in the original story by
The Sunday Times nor supported by any police record. Nowhere in The Sunday Times
article is it claimed that my husband beat me up. That is a total fabrication by
The Daily News," she said.
The Daily News fabrication, she said, is an
"opportunistic and malicious attack on my husband using me and our children to
settle political scores, which have nothing to do with me." "As a family, we are
not prepared to tolerate this onslaught on my husband using falsehoods about me.
We have suffered enough from scurrilous allegations of a personal and hurtful
nature around my husband by The Daily News and other media like it. I am not
going to take any more of it. My husband has done a lot for Zimbabwe and
continues to do it at a great cost to me and the children who miss him dearly
when he is away on public duty. He has had to rely on family support, which we
have given him. I do not want this support to be contaminated or prostituted by
the likes of The Daily News who have shown no regard for the truth, personal
privacy and family values. It is for this reason that I would like you to
institute legal action against The Daily News on my behalf," she
From The Natal Mercury (SA), 14
Kaunda tells Mugabe what to
By Anthony Mukwita & Basildon Peta
Former Zambian president Kenneth Kaunda told Zimbabwe president
Robert Mugabe - with him on a Zambian stage - that he had to forget the past and
rather focus on fighting Aids and fostering development. Mugabe responded by
saying Zimbabwe's problems were British prime minister Tony Blair's fault. Later
he told reporters it would be "foolhardy" and "counter-revolutionary" for him to
quit power, rejecting reports that he planned to make way for a new leadership.
Mugabe was in Lusaka to attend a ceremony in honour of Kaunda by current Zambian
president Levy Mwanawasa. Kaunda said it was time to leave the hardships of
colonialism behind and tackle the new problems of Africa. "Yesterday it was the
fight against colonialism," Kaunda said "Today it is HIV/Aids, not white or
black." Mwanawasa, with Namibian president Sam Nujoma also looking on, bestowed
the Order of the Eagle of Zambia: First Division and Grand Commander of the
Eagle of Zambia on Kaunda. Mwanawasa described Kaunda as "a true Pan Africanist
who believed that Zambia could not enjoy true emancipation if the rest of the
region remained under the yoke of colonialism". Kaunda shed tears as he accepted
the honour and said he would dedicate his life to fighting Aids. He told Mugabe
to bury the hatchet and get on with economic development instead of fighting
"colonialist ghosts", quoting a passage from the Bible saying: "Vengeance is for
the Lord." Kaunda views Mugabe as a huge liability to Africa and has been
lobbying regional leaders to exert pressure on him to quit.
From The Independent, (UK), 15
Zimbabwe tells England cricket team:
safety is not guaranteed
By Baslidon Peta, Southern Africa
Correspondent and David Llewellyn
The safety of cricket players and fans in
Harare cannot be guaranteed, its mayor warned yesterday, after England decided
to go ahead with its World Cup match in Zimbabwe. Elias Mudzuri, who had
supported hosting six of the World Cup matches in his city, reversed his
position, saying he could no longer promise security because of the Zimbabwe
government's failure to show restraint. "The situation in Zimbabwe is
ever-deteriorating and anything could happen to the cricketers and their fans,"
Mr Mudzuri said. Opposition civic groups fighting President Robert Mugabe's
authoritarian regime also warned of "unpleasant" surprises awaiting the
cricketers. Tim Lamb, chairman of the England and
Wales Cricket Board, had said defiantly that his board would ignore British
government advice and proceed with the Harare match on 13 February. The
announcement was made at Lord's after the home of cricket had been invaded by
protesters opposed to the Harare match. The group, led by the activist Peter
Tatchell, barged past security officials, with placards saying "Bowl out killer
Mugabe", "No cricket while Zimbabwe burns", and "Berlin 1936, Harare 2003". Mr
Lamb was forced to move to another room. He said the decision of the board was
unanimous. "We have not been elected to make decisions of a political nature,"
he said. "The Government haven't offered a penny of compensation, which we
consider to be inequitable." But he left the door open. "I can assure you the
ECB will not expect its players to go to Harare if there is any risk that there
physical safety could be at risk."
Tensions are running high in Harare as
Zimbabwe grapples with a threatened famine, soaring inflation, political
violence and fuel shortages. Violent pro-Mugabe youths known as green bombers
are causing chaos in the city as they try to control food queues in the capital,
flushing out suspected opposition supporters. More government opponents,
including the mayor, were jailed at the weekend for assembling peacefully to
discuss water problems in the city. Mr Mudzuri said he had now learnt that
anything could happen. "How then can I stand up and guarantee the safety of
these visitors? I can't do that." Zimbabwe's civic groups, who have formed an
umbrella group called Organised Resistance, have also promised widespread
demonstrations during the World Cup matches to expose Mr Mugabe's brutality. A
leader of the umbrella group, Lovemore Madhuku, said his group was calling for a
national strike, which would prove to the cricket authorities that their
decision to play cricket in Harare amid the struggle for democracy in the
beleaguered country was insane. Morgan Tsvangirai,
Zimbabwe's main opposition leader, has publicly urged the England cricketers not
to travel to Harare. His party was accused by Zimbabwe police last night of
fomenting a secret plot to disrupt the matches and embarrass Mr Mugabe's
government. The police vowed to thwart any such plans. World Cup organisers
welcomed the England decision. The Australian team has come under similar
pressure from its government. President Mugabe branded all Australians as
criminals yesterday and described John Howard, the country's Prime Minister, as
"a product of genetically modified criminals".
Family baffled after couple
disappear in Zimbabwe
Andrew Meldrum in Harare and Jeevan Vasagar
Wednesday January 15,
Police in Zimbabwe are
investigating the disappearance in mysterious circumstances of a British woman
and her South African husband.
Hilary Allanson and her husband Ken, a dealer in stamps, have not been seen
since Wednesday evening when, according to their maid, they were picked up from
their home in Harare by another, unknown white couple.
According to Mrs Allanson's brother, Ian Pollard, police at first suspected
that the maid had fabricated a story about the car arriving, but the sighting of
a vehicle was confirmed by a neighbour.
The couple's passports were still at home, Mr Pollard said yesterday from his
home in Newcastle, and checks of morgues had found no bodies matching their
description. Mrs Allanson, 58, and her husband have lived in Zimbabwe for more
than 30 years and have two adult sons. The brother described them as "completely
"They are quiet people," Mr Pollard said. Their usual recreation is staying
at home watching television in the evening. They do very little going out.
"I certainly would not expect them to go out at 8 o'clock at night - I know
it sounds odd in the British context, but they are very quiet; their recreation
is really family and friends.
"We're absolutely desperate. I'm on the phone constantly to relatives from
around the world. Their sons hardly know where to turn. The main thing making us
worried is the lack of information. We are assuming the worst, but don't have
Mr Allanson's sister, Rosemary Rawson, who also lives in Harare, said: "We've
followed every possible lead. The police couldn't have been more helpful. People
are doing everything they can. Everyone has been wonderful. It's all very
strange, a nightmare.
"We don't know who the couple is that they went out with. If we did know,
then we would have something to go on."
Last night police in Harare were unavailable for comment. The British high
commission in Harare said: "We are in contact with the family in Zimbabwe and
the UK, and will provide whatever consular assistance may be required."
Posted: Thu, 16 Jan 2003 10:24 AEDT
Govt still hoping ACB will boycott Zimbabwe: Hill
The acting Foreign Affairs Minister, Robert Hill, says the Federal
Government still hopes the Australian Cricket Board will decide against playing
World Cup matches in Zimbabwe next month.
The England and Wales Cricket
Board has announced it will go ahead with its matches despite the Blair
Government's pleas for the team not to play.
The Federal Opposition
leader, Simon Crean, has called on the Government to step up its campaign to
stop Australia playing in Zimbabwe.
But Senator Hill says it is likely
Australia will play.
"We would like to still think that the cricket board
would listen to Government, that [they] are obviously looking at the bigger
picture and shift the games, but we are unlikely to act unilaterally," he said.
January 16, 2003
downfall imminent, say rivals
|THE leader of Zimbabwe’s opposition party
predicted the imminent collapse of Robert Mugabe’s regime yesterday in a lengthy
public statement affirming that two top officials from the ruling Zanu (PF)
party had offered him the President’s resignation.
Morgan Tsvangirai said that Mr Mugabe’s lieutenants had “all virtually
abandoned him and maintain an appearance of loyalty out of fear. The machinery
around Mugabe is now collapsing fast and leaking heavily.”
He claimed to have received reports from people close to Mr Mugabe that the
78-year-old leader had told his family to “get ready for life after his
Zimbabwe was “grinding to a halt”, Mr Tsvangirai said. Its commercial
agriculture was in ruins. The country’s fuel supply would dry up at the end of
the month and there was no money to buy more.
“Mugabe does not know where the next litre of diesel or petrol is coming
from,” he said.
Mr Mugabe’s “greatest nemesis” was the economy, which “refuses to bend to all
his dictatorial formulae. He cannot use on the economy the same weapons he is
using to subvert democracy and crush human rights. He cannot rig it, he cannot
shoot it, he cannot intimidate it and, although he raped it, the economy
continues to land fatal blows that Mugabe cannot block.”
Mr Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), issued the
statement to rebut a stream of denials from Mr Mugabe and Zanu (PF) that two of
the regime’s senior members had secretly offered him a deal to save Zimbabwe
from its deepening emergency.
A barrage of party statements blamed the British Government for reports in
The Times and other media outlets, calling them “wicked, malicious and
mischievous” and “the work of the enemy bent on destroying Zimbabwe”.
However, Mr Tsvangirai announced that “for the record, Zimbabweans and the
international community need to know” that in December, Colonel Lionel Dyck, a
respected former Zimbabwe Army officer, took a message to him from Emmerson
Mnangagwa, who ranks third in the Zanu (PF) Politburo, and General Vitalis
Zvinavashe, Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.
He said that they “wanted to hear my views on the way forward now that Robert
Mugabe had, in Dyck’s words, long indicated that he wanted to retire, was being
restrained by Mnangagwa and Zvinavashe and could only be allowed to do so at
such a time deemed appropriate by the two men and many others in Zanu (PF).”
Colonel Dyck had made clear that the initiative stemmed from “the realisation
that he (Mugabe) has lost all capacity to govern”.
Mr Tsvangirai said that he had told Colonel Dyck that the MDC was “prepared
to assist in the necessary transitional arrangements to enable Zimbabwe to move
forward”, but made “categorically clear that this does not mean participating in
the formation of a government of national unity or some underhand pact with Zanu
(PF) . . . We will never be party to any political arrangement that seeks to
sanitise Mugabe’s violent illegitimacy.
“If we are to avoid bloodshed, and achieve the change we have been trying to
secure over the past three years, there is no other way other than through
constructive dialogue,” Mr Tsvangirai said.
Brian Raftopoulos, a member of the Crisis in Zimbabwe think tank, said that
Mr Tsvangirai’s statement would inflame the long-suppressed debate inside Zanu
(PF) about Mr Mugabe’s future.
“Tsvangirai has very cleverly challenged them to deal with the situation,” he
said. “He is putting pressure on them to deal with it, and for people inside the
party to come out in the open.
“There are increasing indications that these discussions on succession are
taking place. There will be more leaks and more pressure. There is a real sense
now that he is battling. Zanu (PF) has never been so vulnerable. It gives the
public a sense of hope again.”
On Tuesday Mr Mugabe said that he would “never, never, never” go into exile.
But the state press reported his speech under the ambiguous headline: “I am not
Zimbabwe police arrest opposition MP over burnt bus
HARARE, Jan. 15 — Zimbabwe police arrested an opposition member of parliament on Wednesday after he was allegedly found with documents linked to the burning earlier this week of a bus owned by a state-owned transport company.
''Job Sikhala has been arrested in connection with being found in possession
of subversive documents,'' state broadcaster the Zimbabwe Broadcasting
''Police are investigating a possible link between
documents found with Sikhala and the burning of a ZUPCO bus,'' it added.
The television report said police spokesperson Wayne Bvudzijena confirmed the
arrest of Sikhala, a legislator for the main opposition Movement for Democratic
Change, and that he was likely to appear in court soon.
was not immediately available for comment.
Police on Tuesday accused
the MDC of planning to cause civil unrest ahead of World Cup Cricket matches
scheduled to be played in Zimbabwe next month in order to force a change of
But the opposition dismissed the charge, saying President
Robert Mugabe's government was looking for another excuse to clamp down on
opposition leaders and activists.
The England and Wales Cricket Board
said on Tuesday the England team would play its February 13 match against
Zimbabwe, rejecting government pressure to boycott the match in protest at
Mugabe's policies and Zimbabwe's human rights record.
Zimbabwe's High Court ordered the release of Harare's MDC mayor Elias Mudzuri
following his weekend arrest for holding a meeting without police approval, as
required by tough new laws that the opposition says are designed to stifle
Earlier on Wednesday, the MDC accused police of assaulting
another opposition legislator, Paul Madzore, arrested at the weekend for
allegedly organising riots in his Harare constituency. The party said Madzore
appeared in court on charges of contravening the Public Order and Security Act.
Police were not available for comment on the assault allegations.
The MDC currently holds 53 of the 120 seats in parliament that were
contested in elections in 2000.
Mugabe, in power since leading
Zimbabwe to independence in 1980, dismisses the MDC as a puppet of the West --
led by former colonial ruler Britain -- which he says is out to oust him for
seizing white-owned farms for redistribution to landless blacks.
Britain has led international criticism of Mugabe, and along with Australia has
called for a boycott of cricket World Cup matches due to be played in Zimbabwe