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

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Mail and Guardian

SA 'kicked Zimbabwe in the butt'

Harare

21 January 2003 21:24

Zimbabwe's state press Tuesday stoked the diplomatic row over Zimbabwean
Information Minister Jonathan Moyo with a warning to the South African
government that a formal protest over his alleged slur against South African
President Thabo Mbeki had set "a dangerous precedent".

The state-controlled daily Herald said it was "unfortunate" that the South
African foreign ministry had been "sucked in" to "kick Zimbabwe in the butt"
in a furore over revelations in the Johannesburg Sunday Times last week of
Moyo's recent shopping trip to South Africa, and his subsequent
invective-laden reaction.

The newspaper revealed that Moyo filled three luxury vehicles and a trailer
with food and electronic goods to take home when half of Zimbabwe's
population of 14 million faces starvation.

The Zimbabwe government had to issue a public reassurance to South Africa
that Moyo, when he used the expression "dirty, filthy and recklessly
uncouth" in his attack, was referring not to Mbeki or South Africans in
general, but to the South African "apartheid" press.

The South African official protest quoted another reported
remark from Moyo: "If these people, in the name of South Africa, believe
they can lead an African Renaissance, then god help them".

Zimbabwe claimed Moyo had directed his comments at the South African press,
and not at Mbeki.

However, Tuesday's Herald accused the South African government of backing
"the view that government business is transacted through newspapers.

"It is indeed a dangerous precedent for governments to start holding each
other accountable for views published by the media, instead of relying on
the official diplomatic channels."

It said that senior South African officials -- including central bank
governor Tito Mboweni and Defence Minister Patrick Lekota -- had previously
made "scurrilous allegations at no lesser a person than President Mugabe,"
but the Zimbabwe government had never protested.

"Does this make Zimbabwe a lesser sovereign state than its
brotherly neighbour?" asked the Herald. "We think not," it asserted.

The incident is the latest in a series of clashes between Moyo and the South
African government in recent years, and occurred as Mbeki's government has
embarked on a policy of "quiet diplomacy" with Mugabe's regime in an attempt
to end the country's crisis and rescue it from international isolation. -
Sapa-DPA
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The Herald

CFU pledges to back land reforms

Herald Reporter
A major breakthrough was reached yesterday when for the first time, the
Commercial Farmers Union pledged to support land reforms by releasing
farming equipment worth $30 billion and providing skills to newly settled
farmers.

The breakthrough was reached at a meeting between the Minister of Lands,
Agriculture and Rural Resettlement, Cde Joseph Made and the CFU leadership
comprising president Mr Colin Cloete and vice-president Mr Doug
Taylor-Freeme in Harare.

The equipment includes large tractors, disc ploughs, harrows, irrigation
pipes, combine harvesters, tobacco-curing equipment, sprayers and many other
farming implements all estimated to be worth $30 billion.

Sources close to the meeting said Mr Cloete pledged to work with the
Government in ensuring the success of the agrarian reforms, promoting
productivity, and ensuring food security and economic recovery.

The meeting followed an appeal by Cde Made for the former commercial farmers
to release the equipment they had taken to warehouses and auction centres in
various towns throughout the country for use by the newly settled farmers.

The Government would buy the equipment and if they were not for sale, would
pay for services rendered to the new farmers, such as tillage and irrigation
facilities.

The sources who attended the meeting quoted Mr Cloete as saying: "We are
still Zimbabweans, we want to be part of the nation and to be useful in any
way.

"We would like to be helpful wherever we can. We have tried to take politics
out of the CFU. We are trying to talk farming issues and getting our unions
together. We have gone a long way down the road."

The sources said Cde Made told the farmers that the equipment would be used
by the new farmers and on national projects such as the Nuanetsi project and
the proposed irrigation projects in Chirundu and at Charara, in Mashonaland
West province.

"We did realise that mechanisation will be the heart of everything, in
whatever form, be they scotch carts, ploughs or tractors, let us have the
former white farmers coming up with equipment. We want to buy it, not to
have it for free. Those who do not want to sell it can give their services
to the new farmers.

"We are looking at food security. The world will not continue feeding us. We
want to continue planting. We have our own initiatives. Hippo and Triangle
gave us land. We have started on Nuanetsi and we want to peed it up," he is
quoted as having said.

The Government wanted to open up irrigation schemes at Charara and in
Chirundu and put the areas under maize and wheat.

The breakthrough comes at a time the CFU leadership has come round to
embrace the changes that have taken place under the land reforms and have
found a positive role in the country.

Agricultural industry sources said this should constitute a breakthrough in
the stand-off that the British government had tried to create between the
CFU and the Government

Many farmers had withdrawn their equipment with the hope of taking it out of
the country. But the Government last year gazetted laws making it an offence
to take farming equipment out of the country.

According to one expert, this equipment was lying idle and benefiting no one
and the decision to release it was therefore pragmatic because the owners,
the new farmers and the country's economy would benefit.

A CFU member who declined to be named said: "This is the moment we have been
waiting for. We are very encouraged by this news and hope that the British
government and others will see this as an opportunity for a fresh start that
is more positive and build on this initiative to promote understanding."

Last year, former CFU director Mr Dave Hasluck criticised the British
government for reneging on their promise to release funds to compensate
white commercial farmers for the improvements on the farms.

The Government has allocated $4,5 billion in the 2003 national budget for
compensation for the improvements on the farms. It has challenged the
British government to compensate the farmers in accordance with the
country's laws.

Sources said the breakthrough might be the spark that the British government
needs, especially as it comes on the eve of a meeting between Prime Minister
Tony Blair and South African President Thabo Mbeki.

Sources close to the meeting yesterday said Mr Cloete was upbeat. The CFU
leader could not be reached for comment.

However, Dr Made confirmed that he had an excellent meeting with the CFU
leadership.

"It is the best meeting that we have ever had," the minister said, but
declined to comment further, saying there were a number of details still to
be worked out.

Agricultural Research and Extension Services officials said the equipment
would come in handy to open up a lot of land, especially irrigable land.
They said with this development, it should be possible to still plant maize
in areas where the crop has been devastated by the drought.

An agricultural economist said that it was quite encouraging against a
background of the on-going dialogue between the Confederation of Zimbabwe
Industries and the Government to find ways of resuscitating the economy.

Last year private sector companies, namely Delta and FSI Agricom, injected
billions of dollars in support of the new farmers.

The unresolved question in the land reforms has been whether white farmers
who were members of the besieged CFU would co-operate and support the
programme.

After the conclusion of the fast track programme last year. A number of
white farmers left the country for Australia, Britain and New Zealand, where
reports say they have been facing difficulties.

Others organised themselves into groups that started exploring opportunities
in neighbouring countries. A few went to South Africa, Mozambique and
Zambia.

But many others have remained on farms under the prescribed one man, one
farm policy.

Sources close to yesterday's meeting said Dr Made also told the CFU leaders
that they were Zimbabweans and should therefore not ask questions about
where they should fit in.

The commercial farmers are said to have expressed concern at the shortage of
fertiliser and fuel saying this was retarding land preparation, in view of
the impending winter cropping season. The shortage of coal, which is used to
cure tobacco, was also threatening the tobacco industry.

However, Dr Made said he would talk to the Minister of Energy and Power
Development, Ambassador Amos Midzi with a view to having some fuel allocated
for agricultural purposes.

He said the opening up of the old Beitbridge should speed up the movement of
food and inputs into the country.
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Cash-Strapped Zimbabwe Endangers Regional Export Industries

African Eye News Service (Nelspruit)

January 21, 2003
Posted to the web January 21, 2003

Sizwe Samayende
Pretoria, South Africa

Zimbabwean agricultural authorities' failure to control the spread of foot
and mouth disease is placing the entire southern African region's meat
industry in jeopardy.

South Africa's Red Meat Producers Organisation (RPO) warned on Friday that
Zimbabwean authorities appeared overwhelmed and had failed to contain the
disease in even one of its affected regions.

RPO general manager Gerhard Schutte stressed that even if southern Africa
weathered the current crisis, there would be regular new outbreaks until
Zimbabwe put effective measures in place.

"Zimbabwe threatens [to bring] the entire region's markets to a standstill,"
he said.

The highly contagious disease currently affects the southern African
countries of Zimbabwe, Botswana and Mozambique.

The current epidemic was first reported in Zimbabwe and Mozambique in
November last year, and in Botswana earlier this month. South Africa
immediately froze all beef and other meat imports from the countries.

"Botswana and Mozambique reportedly have the situation under control, but
Zimbabwe needs about 14-million doses of vaccine worth US$18-million over
the next two years and has asked for help from SADC," said Schutte.

"We've not yet received [SADC's] response, but have ourselves asked the
South African government in particular to help."

If the disease isn't contained it could easily spread across the largely
unfenced border to South Africa, where the red meat industry earns
R600-million per year through exports alone.

Dr Johan van Wyk, a SADC red meat committee official and senior animal
health technician in the national agriculture department, was consistently
unavailable to comment on the issue this week.

When foot and mouth broke in KwaZulu-Natal in 2000, however, it took the
industry more than two years to recoup its export markets in fiercely
contested regions such as the Middle East.

Schutte meanwhile warned that the outbreak in Botswana, Mozambique and
Zimbabwe was depriving Africa of valuable foreign exchange, because other
developing world producers such were capitalising on Africa's losses.

"It's not as if South Africa can take up the slack when Botswana and
Zimbabwe fail to meet their quotas to the European Union. We don't export to
Europe, and the market share is instead snapped up by South African
producers," said Schutte.

"The region as a whole therefore loses when anyone misses their export
quotas."

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Rumblings of Compromise As Economy Faces Collapse

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks

January 21, 2003
Posted to the web January 21, 2003


This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

Seven-months ago President Robert Mugabe was triumphant. He had trounced his
opponent Morgan Tsvangirai - albeit controversially - in presidential
elections, and had snuffed out the threat of urban civil resistance through
a string of tough new laws.


But Zimbabwe's free-falling economy, with an inflation rate of around 200
percent and three-quarters of the population unemployed, plus a food
emergency that has more than seven million people reliant on aid, has proved
less amenable to resolution.

A political storm has now arisen over allegations that key ruling party
members have been trying - with Mugabe's apparent blessing - to negotiate a
deal with Tsvangirai that could lead to a government of national unity to
tackle the country's economic and humanitarian crisis, and possibly Mugabe's
early retirement.

Media reports linked parliamentary speaker Emmerson Mnangagwa (widely
regarded as Mugabe's chosen successor) and armed forces chief-of-staff
General Vitalis Zvinavashe to an alleged emmisary, retired Colonel Lionel
Dyke, who met Tsvangirai in December. But the allegations of a proposal have
been refuted by the ruling ZANU-PF, while Mugabe described the idea of such
a deal as "counter-revolutionary".

Tsvangirai has also publically distanced himself. In a statement confirming
that some kind of offer had been made by Dyke, he said: "The MDC [Movement
for Democratic Change] 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 gun."

However, in a rare interview Zvinavashe told local newspaper the Business
Tribune earlier this month that the country was in crisis, and a national
task force was needed to steer the country out of trouble. Although
Zvinavashe did not say whether the opposition would be part of the task
force, analysts told IRIN that his comments hinted at a possible compromise
between ZANU-PF and the MDC.

"Zvinavashe's comments are significant as it lends credence to reports of
talks of a compromise with the MDC. This is despite widespread denials
within ZANU-PF that this is an option. Now that the inevitability of some
kind of deal is in the public domain, the MDC may come under increasing
pressure to agree to some kind of transitional arrangement," civil rights
activist Reginald Machaba-Hove told IRIN. (See IRIN report
http://www.irinnews.org/report.asp?ReportID=31776)

Behind the talk of backroom deals has been the glaring reality of Zimbabwe's
economic collapse, and an opposition that over the past year has seen the
potency of its political challenge whither in the face of widely reported
cases of state-sponsored violence. According to the Zimbabwe Human Rights
Forum, over the course of 2002 there were 1,061 cases of torture and 58
political murders, the victims overwhelmingly being MDC supporters.

The economic gains and social services expansion of the 1980s have been
thrown into reverse. Zimbabweans are now far poorer than they were in 1970.
The economy has shrunk by 11 percent over the past year, a gulf widens daily
between the official exchange rate (Zim $55 to US $1) and the parallel
market (Zim $1,800 to US $1), skilled Zimbabweans have left in droves,
company closures are accelerating, and fuel shortages worsening.

The government's search for new financiers has failed to match frozen donor
aid and lost foreign exchange. Its land reform programme has undermined
commercial farming, the bedrock of the economy and a political support base
of the opposition, but as yet has been unable to create a new
self-sufficient class of successful small-scale farmers. Production
estimates for key crops for 2003 are forecast to be sharply down, which has
also affected Zimbabwe's formerly robust agro-manufacturing industry. (See
IRIN report
http://www.irinnews.org/report.asp?ReportID=30736)

In the countryside where the majority of Zimbabweans live, there have been
widespread reports of the politicisation of food distribution as a means of
punishing perceived MDC supporters. The hardest hit group in the current
food crisis are commercial farm workers who have no jobs and have been
largely ignored by the land reform programme, humanitarian agencies warn.

The government's response to the deterioration in the standard of living in
2002 was to strengthen its hold on the economy with further price controls.
That has led to yet more shortages on the shelves as goods are diverted to a
booming black market, and howls of complaint from manufacturers whose
imports are paid for in foreign currency.

According to a recent survey based on official prices by the Consumer
Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ), a family of four needs Zim $35,000 [US $636] for
basic commodities each month, a more than four-fold increase on the CCZ's
January estimate. Although the government had announced an 80 percent salary
increase for civil servants from January this year, the raise was condemned
as insufficient by unions amid estimates suggesting that inflation could hit
500 percent in 2003. (See IRIN report
http://www.irinnews.org/report.asp?ReportID=31013)

Meanwhile, a new class of business people has emerged. "It is within their
interests to keep the regime blundering. They make their money from foreign
currency speculation and the disposal of state owned enterprises. Their
success is based on their capacity to pay bribes or posture as ZANU-PF
stalwarts," said Brian Kagoro, coordinator of the umbrella Crisis in
Zimbabwe committee.

Zimbabwe has struggled to overcome the political polarisation that marked
the March presidential election. ZANU-PF represented the MDC as a front for
Rhodesian and British interests and Mugabe as the leader that personified
the struggle for independence. The opposition branded Mugabe a tyrant who
had unleashed the war veterans as a personal militia to subvert democracy
and would risk civil war to hold onto power.

When the votes were finally tallied, Mugabe had scored 56.2 percent to
Tsvangirai's 41.9, with his strongest showing predictably in the rural
areas, a traditional support base, but one which was also policed by the
veterans. Western and local election observers condemned the poll as neither
free nor fair.

Analysts say the MDC was slow to recover from the shock of its political
defeat. Opposition activists were aware of the extent of the challenge
presented by the levels of pre-election violence, the serious problems
encountered over the voters' roll, the reduction of polling stations in
urban areas, difficulties over monitoring, and the use of mobile polling
booths in the countryside.

But even so, "there was still a feeling that if people came out in their
millions, whatever rigging attempts had been made would be minimised", said
Machaba-Hove, who headed the Zimbabwe Election Support Network.

"There were critical failures within the opposition movement," Kagoro told
IRIN. "The first was the single strategy dilemma based on winning the
election - there was no morning-after strategy. The morning-after shock
exposed the poor quality of leadership, the poor quality of commitment,
versus a dictator willing to pay any price to stay in power."

For many observers, the reconsolidation of Mugabe's authority has been based
on undermining civil society structures, as well as the commercial farmers,
on the basis of their perceived support for the MDC and independent
financial clout. The police and army, who have remained loyal, have been key
to that strategy, as well as legislation that controls public gatherings,
limits the freedom of the press, the right to strike and the financing of
NGOs.

After the sense of anticipation before the election, "the mood has changed"
among many Zimbabweans that ordinarily would have voted for MDC, Nancy
Kachingwe of the NGO network Mwengo told IRIN. "People's biggest problem is
the food situation and their day-to-day cost of living, there is a sense of
resignation on the political front ... To be an MDC activist at the moment
is not the safest way to lead your life."

Throughout last year, despite predictions that economic conditions were so
dire urban insurrection was only a matter of time, attempts to organise
protest action in the form of labour-led stayaways flopped. "On the one hand
we have the masses waiting for a leader to arrive, and at the same time we
have the [opposition] leaders waiting for the masses to arise. Now there is
a realisation for a need to reconstruct new structures at the grassroots,
the need for greater coordination of effort," said Kagoro.

While Mugabe has battled Britain and thumbed his nose at European sanctions,
he appears to have lost an element of regional support, some analysts
believe. Although South Africa has persevered with its policy of quite
diplomacy, apparently in the hope of agreement on a government of national
unity, neighbours such as Botswana have voiced criticism of Zimbabwean
government policy. Towards the end of last year, Mugabe even lost his seat
as vice president of the Southern African Development Community.

"The ruling party has lost the economy, popular support, and friends in the
region," Machaba-Hove said. "Across the political divide there is a feeling
that there is a need for something to break the logjam of the political
stalemate. The reality is we can't continue up to 2005, when the next
parliamentary election is due, the way the economy is at the moment."

The path that appeared to begin with a visit by Dyke to Tsvangirai is one
that was likely to be re-explored in weeks to come, Machaba-Hove said. "A
government of national unity is one way to break the logjam, with an interim
phase of a finite period of 12 to 18 months that doesn't absorb and corrupt
the opposition. Economic stabalisation would be followed by free and fair
elections under a new constitution," he suggested.
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An Unlikely Tool Against Mugabe



Accra Mail (Accra)

OPINION
January 22, 2003
Posted to the web January 21, 2003

Jonathan Temin
Accra

An issue recently making waves in England has largely flown under the radar
of Africa watchers elsewhere: the question of whether England's national
cricket team should boycott its upcoming World Cup match in Zimbabwe. Cup
matches will be held primarily in South Africa, but several are scheduled to
take place in Zimbabwe, including England's February 13th match in Harare.

Over recent weeks debate has raged in England over whether the team should
play. But in an effort to defuse the issue, last week the England and Wales
Cricket Board (ECB), the governing body responsible for the national team's
activities, announced that the team will go ahead with the match in
Zimbabwe, even though Tony Blair's government made clear its preference that
it boycott the event.



The ECB's decision is, to say the least, unfortunate, and was clearly made
with little historical context in mind. Too often the value and influence of
sport is overlooked, dismissed as mere "games". But in southern Africa
sports boycotts and sanctions have been quite effective politically, as they
were critical to the dismantling of the apartheid regime in South Africa, a
country that can only be described as sports obsessed. The fact that South
African rugby and cricket teams could not participate in competitions
abroad, and that many of the world's premier teams refused to compete in
South Africa, angered the minority government and, more importantly,
isolated the regime internationally. Sports boycotts were not the cause of
apartheid's demise, but they were unquestionably an important contributing
factor.

The ECB's decision makers seem content ignoring this lesson and pretending
that Zimbabwe is no different from any other country. They know better, of
course, and presumably they read many of the horrific accounts emerging from
Zimbabwe with increasing frequency. But somehow they see sports as being
"above" politics, as a sacred realm that cannot be bothered by vivid and
undeniable accounts of politically motivated rape, torture and murder.

In justifying the decision, Tim Lamb, the ECB's chief executive, remarkably
claimed "it is not our role to make subjective moral judgments." Then whose
role is it? Does this responsibility fall to the government? Apparently not,
given that Blair and his ministers made their opinions on the issue well
known. The truth is that it is every individual's role to make "subjective"
moral judgments, and most do so daily. Cricket players and administrators
are no exception, and to pretend that they are incapable of or not
responsible for making such judgments is naÔve.

Several less outrageous arguments have been made in favour of the match
proceeding as planned, both by Lamb and others. Lamb tried to cast the
government's request that the team boycott the match as hypocritical, noting
that roughly three hundred British companies still trade with and in
Zimbabwe and that the British government itself maintains diplomatic
relations with Zimbabwe, which has not been expelled from the Commonwealth.
There is some merit to this argument, but Lamb fails to recognize the fact
that companies conducting daily business in Zimbabwe and a national athletic
team participating in a high-profile, internationally televised event that
occurs only once every four years are vastly different. Hosting a World Cup
cricket match lends legitimacy of the Mugabe regime and creates the
appearance that it is a normal member of the international community,
whereas those three hundred British companies doing business in Zimbabwe do
very little to change perceptions of the country and its leadership.

An argument has also been made that the majority of cricket fans in Zimbabwe
are sympathetic to the opposition, and that the power brokers in Mugabe's
ZANU-PF care little for the sport. This is largely true, but it is also
widely known that Mugabe himself is a passionate cricket fan, who no doubt
savours the thought of playing host to some of the world's most important
cricket matches. Why grant him that satisfaction? Furthermore, why not at
least try to use a boycott as one more non-violent tool against Mugabe? Even
if a boycott were to have little effect, is it not worth the effort? Given
the possibility that a boycott could increasingly isolate Mugabe and draw
additional attention to his murderous reign, isn't it worth the risk?

Robert Pires, the outstanding French footballer who plays for Arsenal in
England, said in a recent interview that when it comes to politics, "it's
simply not possible to say that we are sports people and to cut ourselves
off". He was speaking in reference to the rise of the far-right leader
Jean-Marie Le Pen in France, but his observation is equally applicable to
this situation. Athletes cannot pretend that they are not also citizens, and
that they do not wield substantial influence. The revered position they hold
in society, and the accompanying benefits, come with responsibility. It is
not too late for England's cricketers to exercise their influence, and there
are indications that they might - on Sunday the England captain indicated
that his players are still considering a boycott, regardless of the ECB's
position. They should take a long look at recent events in Zimbabwe and
consider the opportunity they have to take a stand that may contribute,
however incrementally, to bringing about change.

Jonathan Temin is a graduate student at The Johns Hopkins University School
of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C. He was a 2000-2001
Fulbright Fellow in Ghana.
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War Veterans Threaten to Be Overshadowed By Youth Militia

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks

January 21, 2003
Posted to the web January 21, 2003


This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations

The mention of the words war veterans conjures up images of large groups of
men marching through the city streets in demand of war pensions, or stick
wielding groups of people trying to accelerate the country's land reform
programme by camping outside white-owned farms up for compulsory
acquisition.

Led by the late Chenjerai Hunzvi, a controversial Polish-trained medical
doctor, the war veterans had become such a powerful force that President
Robert Mugabe took them on board.

However, 12 years after its formation and almost two years after the death
of Hunzvi, the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association
(ZNLWA)is in a state of disintegration and in danger of being replaced by
the newly trained youth militia.

"The war veterans movement will never be the same without Hunzvi. It is only
a question of time before the former freedom fighters become a spent force,"
John Makumbe, a political science lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe
told IRIN.

The cracks began to emerge earlier this year among a group of Bulawayo-based
ex-combatants.

Former fighters from the Zimbabwe People's Revolutionary Army (Zipra), which
was the military wing of the Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU) that
merged with the ruling ZANU-PF in 1987, called on their colleagues to pull
out of the ruling party.

This followed clashes between the Bulawayo provincial chairman of the war
veterans association, Jabulani Sibanda, and senior ZANU-PF officials. The
Bulawayo branch accused party officials and senior staff at the
government-controlled Grain Marketing Board, which has a monopoly on maize
distribution, of corruption in the distribution of maize, and backed a
volatile demonstration by the city's residents outside one of the depots.

Max Mkandla, the former Zipra spokesman was quoted in a privately owned
daily newspaper as saying that ZANU-PF was using the war veterans for
selfish gains and alleged that the ruling party had sidelined the people of
Matabeleland during the land redistribution exercise.

"Former Zipra fighters should stop preaching ZANU-PF politics because it
does not benefit them at the end of the day," Mkandla said.

However, in a sign of splits within the organisation, ZNLWVA acting
chairman, Patrick Nyaruwata, dismissed Mkandla's call for a breakaway
saying: "Who is Mkandla anyway? Is he not just one of those misplaced
elements being used to promote the interests of the enemy? While different
views are permitted within our movement, we shall not hesitate to deal with
divisive people masquerading as war veterans."

Andy Mhlanga, ZNLWVA secretary, said war veterans had not been allocated the
20 percent of the total land taken by the state during the land reform
exercise as had been promised by government.

He said that some former combatants who had occupied white-owned farms from
2000, when the land reform programme began, were evicted from the farms and
now had nowhere else to go. He also claimed that top government officials
had allocated multiple farms for themselves at the expense of the intended
beneficiaries.

The election planned in February to choose a new leadership for ZNLWVA might
also rock the organisation, analysts say. Since Hunzvi's death from
suspected cerebral malaria in May 2001, elections have been postponed on
several occasions due to the threat of divisions.

Mugabe, who is the association's patron, is reported to have directed that
the elections be delayed until after his presidential election, fearing a
split in the vote.

This generated a war of words between Andrew Ndlovu, who was projects
secretary, firebrand Joseph Chinotimba and Nyaruwata.

Chinotimba, who is the chief inspector in the Harare Municipal police
section and vice president of the Zimbabwe Federation of Trade Unions, and
Ndlovu, wanted the elections to go ahead. But Nyaruwata, a moderate seen by
many as Mugabe's close supporter, fought for the elections to be postponed.

The ZNLWVA suffered a setback when some of its members broke away two years
ago to form the Zimbabwe Liberation Platform (ZLP). The breakaway was
reportedly caused by growing disillusionment among by some members who were
worried by the violence and alleged killings perpetrated by the ZNLWVA. The
ZLP have since managed to win the support of civil society, Makumbe
observed.

Lobbying ahead of next month's election both Chinotimbe and Nyaruwata claim
to be the popular choice.

However, analysts say their support base may be eroded by the training of
militias at state-run youth service centres countrywide, as a ploy by Mugabe
to replace the war veterans and ensure ZANU-PF's continued grip on power.

In 2000 the Ministry of Youth, Gender and Employment Creation started a
national youth training programme that has churned out militant graduates
who are allegedly being used to terrorise opposition party supporters.

Shakespeare Maya, leader of the National Alliance for Good Governance
(NAGG), an emerging political party, said the creation of "Green Bombers"
was a deliberate move to cancel the influence of the war veterans and
eventually replace them.

He said the militias were already proving to be an asset to ZANU-PF because
of their youth, energy and zeal and appeared to able to be present wherever
the ruling party needed them.

This was particularly worrying in the light of recent reports that the
militia had been seen supervising maize sales amid allegations that
supporters of ZANU-PF have been getting preferential treatment of the grain
which is in short supply.

Over seven million Zimbabweans now need food aid due to economic problems,
droughts and a disruption in farming due to the land reform programme.

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Business Day

Pretoria does not hold key to solving woes in Zimbabwe'

SA's neighbour needs to find its own solutions to its problems, says ANC
Political Editor

THE African National Congress (ANC) does not subscribe to the view that SA's
government holds the key to solutions for the situation in Zimbabwe.

ANC secretary-general Kgalema Motlanthe said yesterday the party believed
solutions to Harare's woes could be found only through Zimbabweans' efforts.

"As South Africans, as outsiders to that situation, we can only come in to
help their own efforts," he said.

This means SA will maintain its "quiet diplomacy approach towards Harare.
Pretoria is under sustained pressure, domestically and internationally, to
adopt a tougher line against human rights violations in Zimbabwe."

Motlanthe said the party would continue to interact with Zimbabweans,
pointing out that only last week the ANC met a delegation from Zimbabwe's
opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

Motlanthe differed with the MDC's contention that the ANC was not neutral in
its handling of the Zimbabwean issue.

"The MDC is a brand-new protest organisation. They only came about on the
eve of last January's elections. They know and accept it up front that we
have relations with Zanu (PF), both at a government and party to party
level.

"Zanu (PF) accept they are our sister former liberation movement, but to the
extent that we can add value and help find a solution, they accept we should
talk to the MDC. They do not in any way restrict us from that," he said.

Efforts to create an atmosphere for dialogue between both sides had to
continue, he said.

"We talk to the people on both sides. We take the view that if all systems
collapsed, we will be directly affected. The boundaries between SA and
Zimbabwe would disappear.

"It is even, if you like, for selfpreservation purposes that we have to
adopt a constructive approach which seeks to find a solution to the problem.

"We cannot follow the approach of (British Prime Minister) Tony Blair . We
have to differ with Blair because London is quite a distance from Harare."

On the coming Commonwealth troika meeting of President Thabo Mbeki, his
Nigerian counterpart Olusegun Obasanjo and Australian Prime Minister John
Howard, Motlanthe said the view of the ANC was unchanged.

"We must engage with the situation in Zimbabwe and all the stakeholders in
the most constructive way. No purpose would be served by cutting ourselves
adrift from Zimbabwe.

"Whether we like it or not (it is) our neighbour. Therefore it is in our
interest that a solution should be found to those problems," he said.

The troika is expected to review Zimbabwe's one-year suspension from the
Commonwealth in March.

Motlanthe took Britain and Australia to task on their stance of urging their
teams to boycott the Cricket World Cup games to be played in Zimbabwe. SA is
hosting the Cricket World Cup, but Kenya and Zimbabwe have been allocated
some matches.

"They (Britain and Australia) were urging their teams to boycott the games
in Zimbabwe, although they were quite happy to receive the Zimbabwean team
in the Manchester Games only last year and in Sydney during the Olympic
days. (Yet) they are quite happy to play cricket with (military dictator Gen
Pervez) Musharraf's Pakistani team ... There is no consistency whatsoever,"
he said.

Motlanthe's comments tie in with those of the ANC Youth League, which last
week accused Australia and Britain of practising hypocrisy on the Zimbabwean
issue because whites' property rights were under threat.
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iafrica.com

Moyo stokes tension with South Africa
Posted Wed, 22 Jan 2003

Zimbabwe's state press on Tuesday stoked the diplomatic row over Zimbabwean
Information Minister Jonathan Moyo with a warning to the South African
government that a formal protest over his alleged slur against South African
President Thabo Mbeki had set "a dangerous precedent".

The state-controlled daily Herald said it was "unfortunate" that the South
African foreign ministry had been "sucked in" to "kick Zimbabwe in the butt"
in a furore over revelations in the Johannesburg Sunday Times last week of
Moyo's recent shopping trip to South Africa, and his subsequent
invective-laden reaction.

The newspaper revealed that Moyo filled three luxury vehicles and a trailer
with food and electronic goods to take home when half of Zimbabwe's
population of 14 million faces starvation.

Media sources said Moyo's foreign ministry called in the South African high
commissioner to Pretoria to issue a formal protest.

Zim govt do damage control

The Zimbabwe government had to issue a public reassurance to South Africa
that Moyo, when he used the expression "dirty, filthy and recklessly
uncouth" in his attack, was referring not to Mbeki or South Africans in
general, but to the South African "apartheid" press.

The South African official protest quoted another reported remark from Moyo:
"If these people, in the name of South Africa, believe they can lead an
African Renaissance, then god help them". Zimbabwe claimed Moyo had directed
his comments at the South African press, and not at Mbeki.

However, Tuesday's Herald accused the South African government of backing
"the view that government business is transacted through newspapers.

"It is indeed a dangerous precedent for governments to start holding each
other accountable for views published by the media, instead of relying on
the official diplomatic channels."

Fingers pointed at Mboweni, Lekota

It said that senior South African officials - including central bank
governor Tito Mboweni and Defence Minister Patrick Lekota - had previously
made "scurrilous allegations at no lesser a person than President Mugabe,"
but the Zimbabwe government had never protested.

"Does this make Zimbabwe a lesser sovereign state than its brotherly
neighbour?" asked the Herald. "We think not," it asserted.

The incident is the latest in a series of clashes between Moyo and the South
African government in recent years, and occurred as Mbeki's government has
embarked on a policy of "quiet diplomacy" with Mugabe's regime in an attempt
to end the country's crisis and rescue it from international isolation.

Sapa-DPA
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icWales

Exile calls for cricket boycott Jan 22 2003

      The Western Mail - The National Newspaper Of Wales

      AN EXILED farmer from Zimbabwe, now living in Wales, yesterday urged
England's cricketers not to play in his home country during next month's
Cricket World Cup.

      Mark Young, 36, managed a 3,500-acre farm in Zimbabwe until he fled to
Britain two and a half years ago. He now lives with his wife Sherriene and
children Michael, seven, and Teryck, four, near Raglan, Monmouthshire, where
he has a job in the building trade.

      Yesterday he was at the National Assembly in Cardiff Bay at a function
sponsored by the Farmers' Union of Wales to promote Welsh produce.

      He said, "I love cricket - all the farmers in Zimbabwe love cricket.
But the whole point is that we are talking about a country where literally
millions of people are being starved to death by Robert Mugabe because they
do not support him.

      "The England and Wales Cricket Board says it would lose £10m if it
pulled the team out now, but what is money in comparison with the lives of
the people who have been lost?

      "People who say that politics should be kept out of sport are naive.
Mugabe is the patron of Zimbabwe cricket and will be milking the England
team's appearance for all it is worth."
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The Times

            Barmy Army beats retreat from Zimbabwe campaign
            By Thrasy Petropoulos


            THEY are best known for their beer-guzzling bonhomie and
masochistic desire to follow the England cricket team as they lurch around
the world from one disaster to the next.

            But now the fun-loving soldiers of the Barmy Army - derided as
louts by Australian cricketers - appear to have discovered a strand of moral
fibre under their beer bellies.

            Not one package tour to watch England's controversial World Cup
match against Zimbabwe has been sold.

            Barmy Army soldiers said that loyal as they were to their team,
they were questioning whether it was morally right to attend a fixture
played under President Mugabe's regime.

            "You don't like to mix sport and politics, but this is a big
issue," Dave Peacock, a founder member, said. "The consensus is that they
shouldn't be playing in Zimbabwe."

            The Barmy Army were the first organised cricket tourists to
visit Pakistan and Sri Lanka two winters ago, in spite of security fears.
But this time, safety is not an issue. "Barmy Army foot soldiers have been
all round the world, but they are not comfortable going to a country with
that sort of political regime," Mr Peacock said.

            Paul Hopkinson, of Sport Abroad, one of the leading World Cup
tour operators, said: "There has been no interest at all. Partly it is
because England are scheduled to play only one match in Zimbabwe, but the
key here is that people have taken an ideological view and decided that it
is not a country they wish to visit."

            Phil Dumbleton, of Gullivers Sports Travel, said: "When we put
together our World Cup programme last March it was immediately clear that
there would be virtually no interest and the deterioration in the situation
has made it an even less attractive option."

            But while the England team are likely to be without vocal
support for their opening match, they should not be short of encouragement
for the tournament's South African games. Gullivers and Sport Abroad have
sold more than 800 packages to South Africa at about £2,500 each. The
Foreign Office has meanwhile warned fans that wearing an England shirt could
be construed as a political statement in Zimbabwe. One retorted: "So it's
safe to go as long as you don't wear your colours or go to the game? I think
I'll be watching at a pub in Jo'burg thanks."

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Sunday Times (SA)

SA ties with Zimbabwe 'back on track'

Diplomatic relations between South African and Zimbabwe are back on track,
with Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma scheduled to arrive in Harare
this morning to continue talks on how best to resolve the Zimbabwean crisis.

President Thabo Mbeki speaking at the African National Congress'  conference
in December told delegates: "We are  convinced that it is necessary to bring
to a close the controversial issues relating to our important neighbour,
Zimbabwe."

"In this regard, we are ready to engage both our ally and fellow liberation
movement, Zanu-PF (the Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front), and
all others concerned to help resolve the various issues in a constructive
manner."

A foreign affairs spokeswoman Basetsane Thokoane said Dlamini-Zuma was
scheduled to leave for Harare at 8.30am for a one-day visit.

"It's a follow-up on our bilaterals with Zimbabwe."

On whether this was a sign that relations were back to normal after the
recent diplomatic row over Information Minister Jonathon Moyo's rant against
South Africa, she said: "We don't have problems. Our relations are still on
track".

It was not clear whether Dlamini-Zuma would only meet government
representatives, or whether she would also meet the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change.

The MDC last week accused South Africa of not being an honest broker in
attempts to resolve the Zimbabwean crisis, because of the African National
Congress' support for the ruling Zanu-PF.

The visit also comes a week after MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai said he had
been approached by two senior Zanu-PF officials with a view to restarting
stalled talks between the two parties and which involved an exit plan for
President Robert Mugabe.

However, this was later denied by Zanu-PF, while South Africa also claimed
no knowledge of the plan.

Dlamini-Zuma last visited Zimbabwe in October for bilateral talks with her
counterpart Stan Mudenge.

Sapa
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Ananova

      ICC could make U-turn over Zimbabwe game

England could still gain a reprieve from their controversial World Cup match
in Zimbabwe on safety grounds.

The game could be switched to South Africa.

The International Cricket Council have sent what is effectively a second
security inspection team to the troubled African country to reassess the
unrest and potential risks to players, officials and spectators.

ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed and tournament director Dr Ali Bacher were
scheduled to inspect Zimbabwe with the World Cup organisers' security and
other private experts and report back to an ICC board meeting on Friday at
10am GMT.

Meanwhile, England's players discussed any reservations they had about
fulfilling their February 13 fixture against the co-hosts in Harare with
England and Wales Cricket Board chairman David Morgan.

Although none of the 15-man World Cup party indicated they would pull out of
match for moral or political reasons, concerns over security from the ECB
continue.

"We are very interested in the safety and security visit that is taking
place," said Morgan, who will be involved in Friday's meeting via tele-link
from Melbourne.

"We will have a report on safety and security on Zimbabwe then and if that
report says that safety and security is okay then it will still have to be
kept under review.

"The players are comfortable with the conclusions that were drawn by the
first visit which (ECB chief executive) Tim Lamb was on in November but they
want to be assured that the position remains as it was.

"Any deterioration, any risk to their safety and security, they would
certainly be unhappy to go."

The England players have repeatedly pronounced their trust in the ECB and
moreover the ICC to ensure safety.

However, the ECB's concerns over increased rioting by starving mobs in
Harare and Bulawayo led to Lamb writing a letter to Speed 10 days ago.

Subsequently, the ICC set up a four-man standing committee - including Speed
and president Malcolm Gray, a fellow Australian - to monitor the situation.

"I think the only thing that will stop the game taking place is for Malcolm
Speed and Ali Bacher to come back with a report to the effect that safety
and security is not as good as it was first thought," added Morgan.

"We have said we will only go if there is no deterioration in safety and
security."

If the ICC decide Harare and Bulawayo are not fit to host their matches, a
contingency plan is in place with Port Elizabeth, South Africa, a possible
new venue for England's match.

That would prove a get-out for the ECB who have come under pressure in some
quarters, most notably the government, to scratch the match for political
reasons.

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The Star

      More to Zim's problems than Mugabe - ANC
      January 22, 2003

      By Khathu Mamaila

      The ANC does not believe the removal of Zimbabwe's President Robert
Mugabe from power will resolve the political and economic crisis in that
country.

      ANC secretary-general Kgalema Motlanthe said yesterday: "I am not
convinced that the problems in Zimbabwe can be resolved by removing Mugabe
from office. The problems are much more deep-seated."

      He was responding to a question that sought clarity on the ANC's
involvement in the so-called exit strategy for Mugabe, which has been
vehemently denied by Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF, whereby Mugabe would resign
and go into exile.

      Zimbabwe would then be under the control of a government of national
unity consisting of Zanu-PF and the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change.

      Motlanthe said if such a plan existed, the ANC was not involved in it.
He emphasised that the problems of Zimbabwe should not be reduced to one
person.

      He defended Mugabe's government, saying that there were many people
who accused Zanu-PF of not caring about the people.

      "Zanu is in trouble not because it does not care about ordinary
people, but precisely because it cared," he said.

      He explained that Zanu-PF used loans to finance social spending such
as transport, health and food subsidies, but he added, the policies could
not be sustained in the long term.

      The ANC, Motlanthe said, would continue to help Zimbabweans to find
solutions to their problems. "We do not subscribe to the view that we hold
the key to the problems of Zimbabwe. The solution to their problem can only
come from their own efforts. We can only help," he added.

      He said the ANC wanted to avoid a meltdown in Zimbabwe.

      "We have to differ with Tony Blair. London is quite far away,"
Motlanthe said, implying that if there was a total collapse in Zimbabwe, the
refugees from that country would stream into South Africa, and not flee to
Britain.
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SABC


            SA ready to prevent foot-and-mouth spread
            January 22, 2003, 08:15


            Kgabi Mogajane, the Chief Director of Agricultural Regulatory
Services, says South Africa has a contingency plan in force to prevent
foot-and-mouth disease from spreading across its borders. Mogajane says all
products coming into the country are being monitored.

            Neighbouring countries, including Zimbabwe and Botswana, are
experiencing huge problems with the contagious disease.

            Botswana began the process of putting down an estimated 5000
cattle yesterday within the quarantined north-eastern district. The district
is plagued by the foot-and-Mouth disease. The highly contagious deadly viral
infection has spread from Zimbabwe, mostly through smuggled meat and cattle.

            Zimbabwe's export markets to South Africa and Europe had been
closed since the outbreak of the disease more than a year ago. In November
last year, cases of foot-and-mouth were reported in Mozambique and last week
some were detected in northern Botswana.
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Remarks by President Morgan Tsvangirai at a report-back meeting at Northside Hall in Harare North Constituency

21 January 2003

Honourable Members of Parliament, senior MDC officials, party supporters, ladies and gentlemen

I feel greatly honoured for the invitation to address this meeting. For the past three years, our once beautiful nation has been subjected to untold suffering and the denial of peopleís democratic rights.

 We have watched our standard of living collapse. Basic goods and commodities are expensive and in short supply. We cannot feed our immediate families in a nation known for its traditional generosity and culture of caring for extended families.

 Our relatives in the rural areas are starving because of the shortage and denial of food. Our children, brothers and sisters are unemployed because industry has collapsed. Every Zimbabwean family has watched its loved ones die because of the collapse of the health services. The list is endless. We face common problems in these difficult and trying times.  

I salute the 260 priests, deacons, sisters and brothers of the archdiocese
of Bulawayo who, only last week, came out in the open and said:  

"There is no place for neutrality in the face of the evil which is destroying our nation. Time has run out for compromise with an evil regime. Attempts to use personal influence and persuasion have only allowed a corrupt system to consolidate its power."


I want to salute the Mayors of Harare and Chegutu, our Members of Parliament, ordinary villagers and party supporters who have to face the increasing brutality perpetrated by a regime that claims to be doing so in their name and as part of their sovereign will. 

I want to salute millions of workers and peasants who have to withstand the daily humiliation of queuing for whatever little supplies that trickle out of the Mugabe regimeís corruption chain and finally lands in the supermarkets.

Even The Herald, a newspaper you all know has been abused to a ridiculous level, had to report that in Zvimba, Robert Mugabeís rural home, villagers are receiving only 10 percent of their normal staple food requirements. If that can happen there, please try to imagine what the situation could be like in areas where the opposition commands the majority support.

 Against this background, I stand before you with the uncomfortable comfort of addressing our once esteemed, but fast-shrinking middle class. The middle class in this country has tended to watch unfolding scenes from the fence.

It reminds me of a story I heard sometime ago. Ten prisoners at a certain prison decided to go a hunger strike. After the first day, two of their number decided to dropout. Many followed suit, leaving only one person in action. 

Later that day, those who opted out could be heard shouting to their colleague to soldier on, saying they were solidly behind him. 

Fear can be a serious problem. The simplest way to overcome it is through collective risk. We derive comfort in numbers.

 The sooner our middle class joins the oppressed in the quest for basic freedoms, in the reclamation of our sovereign voice, the better for the nation.  

We need to act in various capacities for national survival. When factories collapse we are all affected. When there is no fuel, we all suffer.

When cotton wool, a basic commodity every woman needs is not available, we all suffer. When businesses are isolated from the international community, when Zimbabwe faces expulsion from the IMF, when bilateral aid ceases, when government corruption becomes the new mode of doing business, surely we all suffer.

 Some members of your community, either as managers or business people have actively supported this regime in its incessant quest to destroy units of business perceived as not supportive of the regime. Ordinary criminals have benefited from these sinister arrangements and now call themselves successful business people.

 These games will never get us anywhere as long as the fundamentals that led to the formation of our party, the MDC, are not addressed. These games will never succeed as long as what happened in March last year is not rectified.

 Mugabe may enjoy the abuse of the state machinery and pretend to have the power in his hands, but as long as the issue of legitimacy is unresolved, Mugabe shall rue the day he decided to steal the voice of the people. 

We stand here to make a fervent appeal to you, a dying middle class, to re-examine what has hit your lifestyles. Our ultimate objective is to see you at the forefront of this struggle, joining hands with fellow Zimbabweans in confronting this ruinous dictatorship.

 There is no tomorrow as long as this corrupt regime maintains its stranglehold on the country. In a few months time, the entire country will have been reduced to one big flea market.

 It does not make sense for any of you to standby idly and watch what you have so painstakingly put together crumble to dust because of the actions of one man.

While the rest of the world is now trying out electronic commerce, or e-commerce as they say, we are sliding backwards to the black market. Mugabe even has a government minister responsible for that sector whose job is to facilitate selective benefits to those who are politically connected to ZANU PF.

 It is both in the national interest and in your self-interest for you to be part of the process of change. Our party structures in middle class areas are shunned because they are run by your workers. It is high time you join hands with them. Collectively, we can strengthen our capacity to unseat this regime.

 Let me say that the situation here is moving so fast, events are unfolding at a rocketing pace. If we donít do anything about the Zimbabwean situation, a solution could be imposed for us from outside our borders.

 Zimbabwe is a rich country made poor by bad governance.  No amount of cosmetic surgery and fiddling with the so-called public image of the Zanu PF regime can provide the solutions required.

 As the president of the MDC, I am personally determined to lead the nation in correcting these ills.

 Will I see all of you behind my back on this mission, urging me to carry on, alone?

 Are you ready to join the millions of others, across colour, race, social station and status who are already on the frontline of this deadly struggle for freedom and prosperity?

 

Morgan Tsvangirai

President

 

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Comment from ZWNEWS, 22 January

Not-yet accredited journalists face bizarre new demands

By Michael Hartnack

Two international news agencies, Reuters and Agence France Press, last week
obtained accreditation for their bureaux and news staff in Zimbabwe,
submitting fees in US dollars, demanded by the regime's newly formed Media
and Information Commission. The American news agency Associated Press
refused and closed its bureau, although it retains two correspondents. A
group of Zimbabwean correspondents for foreign media, including myself, were
advised by our lawyers that paying in American dollars would violate
exchange control regulations - which bar Zimbabwe citizens and permanent
residents from paying a Zimbabwean body such as the Media Commission in
foreign currency. The regime accuses us of being confrontational, thus we
remain without the official press cards which technically were required from
January 1, and, in the latest twist, have received a bizarre new set of
conditions for getting accreditation. In a letter dated Jan. 6 to our
lawyer, Commission chairman Tafataona Mahoso, a doctrinaire revolutionary,
sidestepped the U.S. dollar payment issue, saying he is "conducting
research" into it, and then invented a brand new excuse for stonewalling
accreditation. Correspondents must, he said, "demonstrate our professional
authority" based on academic background knowledge or "originality, and
having an acute sense of what is significant or profound in a situation or
event." Mahoso's voluminous writings in The Sunday Mail, a mouthpiece of the
regime, indicate his sense of what is significant will differ acutely from
that of most Western editors, since he sees capitalist and racist
conspiracies on all sides. Other new Mahoso criteria include publication of
ground-breaking books, a long and consistent record of accuracy, integrity,
diligence and respect for sources and audiences and readers. We should, he
added, be "first providers of the first draft of history ... not
fly-by-night mercenaries."


Acceptance of Mahoso's peculiar opinions cannot be made a precondition to
practice as a journalist. But that was not all. Mahoso, a lecturer in
politics at the Harare Polytechnic, sees his commission's role as similar to
that of the state-run Grain Marketing Board which has a monopoly on grain
imports. Foreign news organisations will come to him, and he will assign
them correspondents he feels suitable for their needs. Journalists must,
Mahoso said, demonstrate "excellence consistent with the role of a national
correspondent educating other nations about our nation." All this goes far
beyond the draconian press law, the Access to Information and Protection of
Privacy Act, under which Mahoso's commission was set up. The concept of a
"national correspondent" suggests the journalist is somehow nationalised - a
subsidiary of central government. We know how Mahoso and his master,
Information Minister Jonathan Moyo, would like us to educate other nations
about Robert Mugabe's 23-year rule. Mahoso's imaginative elaboration of the
Commission's role is both ludicrous and menacing, set against the background
of the state media conducting prolonged, mendacious smear campaigns against
any perceived opponent of the regime. The state media attempt to rouse
xenophobic paranoia through deliberate disinformation. On January 8, for
example, state broadcasting announced that unidentified security sources
believed the stabbing of an Australian tourist at Victoria Falls was linked
to elements opposed to the staging of the World Cup Cricket in Zimbabwe. The
next item highlighted the opposition of British Prime Minister Tony Blair to
matches being played in Zimbabwe - a clear implication Blair was somehow
behind the murder, which the Australian High Commission say was a bungled
robbery. Arguments against cricketers playing World Cup matches here include
that the accompanying journalists will bow to the regime's inherently
obnoxious orders, and that Mugabe, patron of the Zimbabwe Cricket
Association, will use the occasion to suggest that the country is now back
to normal. But, in my opinion, there is no comparison with sports boycotts
of apartheid South Africa. Thabo Mbeki's South Africa supports Mugabe so it
is pointless trying to convey ostracism through a sports boycott.


There are other issues. Firstly, the safety of the players is not so certain
since the deliberate creation of paranoia over the Australian tourist's
murder. Secondly, were Mugabe to quit tomorrow it might still be improper -
indeed, morally indecent - for matches to take place when in rural areas
people are starving. If the English cricketing authorities stick to their
decision to send the team to Zimbabwe, human rights activists should demand
they make a major charitable gesture to the victims of Mugabe-made famine.
And what if, just if, every time bowlers changed ends spectators chanted the
slogan of Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change: "Chinja maitro
''. That would be something for those accredited first drafters of history.
Meanwhile, the not-yet accredited journalists bat on, advised by our lawyers
that Mahoso's commission is to blame for not processing applications lodged
two months ago, and that the demand for greenbacks which convert to about Z2
million on the black market violates of our constitutional rights. In
theory, the police might turn up at any moment, seize my computer, and drag
me away to face charges, which carry a two-year jail sentence, of practising
illegally. What is certain is that without press cards we shall certainly
not be allowed into the World Cup media tents.
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From The Guardian (UK), 22 January

ICC chief unshaken by firebomb

Andrew Meldrum in Harare and Paul Kelso

The ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed will fly into Harare today to inspect
Zimbabwe's World Cup security arrangements in the aftermath of political
violence that left one dead and seven injured. In an attack which police
blamed on supporters of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, an
office of President Robert Mugabe's ruling party was firebombed, killing a
party supporter. A police spokesman said 50 people attacked a Zanu PF office
in Kuwadzana township with petrol bombs early yesterday. He claimed they
were MDC supporters intent on disrupting a by-election and the World Cup
matches scheduled for next month. The MDC denied involvement. "The chances
are it was an inside job designed to tarnish the image of the MDC," said a
spokesman, Paul Themba Nyathi. The MDC, which won a majority of the urban
seats in parliamentary elections in June 2000, says Zanu PF has stepped up a
violent campaign to get hold of the Kuwadzana seat to prove it still has
support in urban areas. The seat became vacant in October when its MDC
member of parliament died in police custody.


Speed and Ali Bacher, head of the World Cup organising committee, will
inspect security arrangements that were agreed when an ICC delegation paid a
visit in November. "The safety and security of players and officials in
Zimbabwe is clearly an issue for some countries and this meeting is an
important opportunity for the ICC to see first-hand how the security
arrangements for this event are proceeding," Speed said. Last week the
England and Wales Cricket Board confirmed that England would fulfil their
fixture in Harare on February 13 unless the security situation in Zimbabwe
deteriorated significantly. With the MDC and other opponents of the Mugabe
government threatening to stage peaceful protests, an eight-man police unit
armed with automatic rifles is guarding the Harare Sports Club. An ICC
spokesman said yesterday that Speed and Bacher would look specifically at
security at airports, hotels and stadiums, and played down the relevance of
the unrest. "We are aware of the latest events in Harare but if you look at
the report of the original delegation you will see that we foresaw much of
what is happening," he said. "While it is regrettable that these things are
happening, you have to ask does the threat of violence pose a significant
risk to the safety and security plan we have in place, and at this point we
don't believe it does."


The delegation's report acknowledged the risk of civil unrest but dismissed
the threat to player security, and praised the ability of the authorities to
maintain order. "The risk of orchestrated violence from within the country
that could place the players and officials at risk is minimal. If food riots
occur, it is highly likely that the police and military would be able to
contain them," it concluded. The increasing tension in Harare comes as
opposition to England's participation has hardened in the UK. In the first
proper test of public opinion an ICM poll commissioned by the Guardian found
that 58% of people think England's match should be called off. Only 27%
support the match, with 15% undecided. Zimbabwe is racked with political
chaos and is suffering its worst economic crisis since independence in 1980.
Maize, bread, milk, sugar, fuel and other commodities are scarce, leaving
long lines of shoppers waiting outside stores. The police are also at the
centre of controversy after evidence was presented in court that an
opposition member of parliament, Job Sikhala, was tortured with electric
shocks and severely beaten while in custody.

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Daily News

      Nkala widow tells of war vet's inaction at abduction

      1/22/2003 10:00:06 AM (GMT +2)


      Court Reporter

      SIKHUMBUZO Mguni, the widow of slain Bulawayo war veteran leader, Cain
Nkala, said yesterday she was surprised by the behaviour of Singatsho Moyo,
a war veteran who visited their home the day her husband was abducted and
subsequently murdered.

      Moyo allegedly sat in the house as Mguni struggled to rescue her
husband from his kidnappers. Moyo did not accompany her to the police to
report Nkala's abduction either, she said.

      At the ongoing murder trial of Fletcher Dulini-Ncube, the MP for
Lobengula-Magwegwe (MDC), and five other party members yesterday, Mguni said
Moyo called at the Nkalas' home in Magwegwe, Bulawayo, asking for Nkala on
the fateful day in November 2001.
      Nkala was away at the time and Moyo waited for him, watching
television with Mguni and her children.

      When Nkala arrived around 8pm, said Mguni, Moyo asked Nkala to write
him a letter. Mguni said she did not hear the subject of the letter or the
men's subsequent conversation.

      Fifteen minutes later, when Nkala was being abducted by men who pulled
up in a truck outside the house, Mguni rushed to her husband's assistance.

      Unmoved by developments outside the house, Moyo allegedly remained in
the house and did not come to her assistance.

      Asked during cross-examination by defence counsel Advocate Eric Morris
what she thought when "your husband's comrade-in-arms did so little to
assist in the terrible events", Mguni said she was surprised by Moyo's
inaction.

      Morris is representing Khethani Augustine Sibanda.
      Mguni said she next saw Moyo at the war veterans' provincial offices
in Entumbane where Nkala's colleagues organised search parties to look for
him.

      It was suggested at the meeting that Moyo should be taken to the
police station to explain why he did not act as Nkala was being abducted.

      Sibanda, Dulini-Ncube, Sonny Nicholas Masera, Army Zulu, Remember Moyo
and Sazini Mpofu, have pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

      They have denied "any knowledge or involvement in the kidnapping or
death of Cain Nkala".
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      Gwanda bid to divert maize-meal thwarted

      1/22/2003 10:01:53 AM (GMT +2)


      From Oscar Nkala in Bulawayo

      THERE was a near riot at Phakama shopping centre in Gwanda on Monday
when hundreds of residents surrounded the premises of a milling company to
block the delivery of a consignment of maize-meal to an unspecified
destination in Manama.

      It is understood an order to deliver the maize-meal to Manama had been
given by Abednico Ncube, the deputy Foreign Affairs Minister.

      Reports from Gwanda said the residents gathered at the premises of R&F
Millers as early as 6am after receiving information that Ncube had ordered
the miller to deliver the maize-meal to an unnamed location in Manama.
Residents said some had queued for the maize-meal for more than two weeks.

      Councillor, Petros Mukwena of Gwanda Municipality's Ward 9 said the
residents invaded the miller's premises and demanded to know why the
consignment, one of the few in weeks, was being delivered to Manama when the
town had virtually no maize-meal.

      Mukwena said: "People went there after receiving news that Ncube had
on Sunday ordered the miller to mill his allocation and deliver it to
Manama.

      "This angered the people and they came out in large numbers to resist
the directive. The miller finally gave in and the maize-meal is now being
delivered to Gwanda retail shops as we speak."

      Ncube is the Member of Parliament for Gwanda South, an area hard hit
by food shortages.

      People in the area have since early December joined hundreds of others
across the province in sleeping outside Gwanda shops to wait for maize-meal
and other scarce basic commodities to be delivered.

      Mukwena alleged that people were forced to go to Gwanda after they
realised that Zanu PF's pre-rural district council election promises of a
constant supply of food would not be fulfiled.

      "People were promised improved food supplies but they are realising
that all those were campaign lies because they have not received anything
since the elections.

      "That has forced them to come this far in search of food," Mukwena
said.

      Ncube could not be reached for comment as he was said to be attending
a workshop at the District Development Fund training centre, and his mobile
phone was switched off.
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Daily News

      Makoni MDC chairman dies, party blames war veterans

      1/22/2003 10:05:31 AM (GMT +2)


      From Our Correspondent in Mutare

      SAMSON Shawano Kombo, the MDC chairman for Makoni East constituency,
died on Monday at Rusape hospital in circumstances that remained unclear
yesterday.

      Kombo, 51, was among 15 MDC members allegedly abducted by a group of
suspected war veterans following the petrol-bombing of the offices of
ex-combatants and the homes of Zanu PF activists in Rusape last November.

      Results of the postmortem conducted on Kombo, who is survived by his
wife and two children, were not available by yesterday.

      One MDC member, who was identified by opposition party officials as
John Marunganise, was shot in the leg during the abduction.

      It was not established whether the shots were fired by the suspected
war veterans or Zanu PF activists.

      Pishai Muchauraya, the MDC spokesperson in Manicaland, said Kombo and
other party members were severely assaulted and sustained serious injuries.
Kombo never recovered, Muchauraya said.

      The MDC spokesperson said: "We hold the war veterans and Zanu PF
youths in Rusape responsible for his death. They abducted him and beat him
up severely for no apparent reason."

      Didymus Mutasa, Zanu PF's secretary for external affairs and MP for
Makoni North, blamed MDC members for the petrol bombings.

      "MDC supporters threatened to descend on Makoni district after
successfully causing disturbances in Buhera district," Mutasa said soon
after the abduction and attack.

      He said: "About three people threw petrol bombs at the offices and
later attacked two houses belonging to war veterans."

      Muchauraya insisted the attack on the war veterans offices was "an
inside job", precipitated by a dispute between Zanu PF officials and war
veterans over the distribution of drought relief maize.
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Daily News

      MP says country under virtual State of Emergency

      1/22/2003 10:08:38 AM (GMT +2)


      By Columbus Mavhunga

      PRISCILLA Misihairabwi-Mushonga, the MP for Glen Norah, said the
government must come clean and declare a State of Emergency.

      Her call comes as 12 MDC youths from her constituency arrested last
Thursday were still languishing in police cells yesterday, not having
appeared in court.

      There has been a spate of arrests of MDC MPs and activists in the past
few days.

      Misihairabwi-Mushonga said on Sunday, the 12 were Lakatan Baker,
Trevor Zengeni, Iridye Mavhura, Ebeni Zengeni, Paul Kazonda, Washington
Chipunza, Lloyd Masawi, Edgar Taderera, Godknows Nyamweda, Blessing Mangwiro
and two others who were not immediately identified.

      All were picked from their respective homes by the police.

      The youth were charged with allegedly setting on fire a Zimbabwe
United Passenger Company (Zupco) bus in Willowvale last Monday night.

      The MP said she went to Glen Norah Police Station to check on the the
youths but was told they had not been detained there.

      "Honestly, we are in a State of Emergency," she said. "How can people
in certain areas be arrested and the police responsible for the area claim
ignorance of the arrest?"
      She said on Saturday she returned to the police station where officers
said they had no idea of the whereabouts of the youths, but confirmed the
arrests.

      "It was only after reading The Herald that I went to Harare Central
Police Station to look for them," she said.

      Saturday's issue of the State-controlled Herald quoted police
spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena as saying the 12 youths were being detained at
Harare Central while awaiting trial.

      "That is where (Harare Central) I witnessed that the police force in
the country had collapsed," said the MP. "At first they denied that they had
arrested the 12. When I insisted, they told me the youths were in their cust
ody. However, they refused to let me to see or speak to them."

      She claimed one of the youths was not at Harare Central.

      Misihairabwi-Mushonga said: "I fear for him, they might be torturing
him as they did MP Job Sikhala. I will not rest until I know where he is.
Even those whose whereabouts I have established might be tortured too.

      "I am now writing a formal letter to the Minister of Home Affairs,
Kembo Mohadi, to seek clarification on whether we are now in a State of
Emergency or not. How can citizens of this country be denied their liberty
for more than 48 hours while in custody? The government has been saying
there is a lot of bad publicity on this country. What good can come out of
such events?"

      Mohadi could not be reached for comment.

      Sikhala, the MP for St Mary's, was last week arrested on allegations
of masterminding the burning of the Zupco bus.

      But the charges were later changed to "planning to topple the
government unconstitutionally".

      A medical report made after Sikhala's release shows that he was
brutally tortured and assaulted while in police custody.
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Daily News

      Sikhala vows he won't flee

      1/22/2003 10:10:37 AM (GMT +2)


      By Sam Munyavi

      Job Sikhala, the MP for St Mary's, (MDC) has vowed he will not flee
from Zimbabwe despite his alleged beating and torture by the police while in
custody last week.

      Speaking from his bed in a Harare hospital on Monday, Sikhala, 30,
said: "What the people of this country must know is that the blood of the
martyrs shall water the tree of freedom. I shall never abandon the people of
this country. This painful experience has not only happened to me but to
others as well."

      Sikhala was arrested at the Nyamutamba Hotel in Zengeza on Tuesday
last week, together with Gabriel Shumba, 29, Taurai Magaya, 34, Charles
Mutema, 28, and Bishop Shumba, 20, for allegedly contravening the Section 5
of the Public Order and Security Act.

      The five were accused of planning to topple the government through
unconstitutional means and burning a Zupco bus in the Willowvale industrial
area on Monday last week.

      They appeared in court on Thursday and were granted bail of $30 000
each the next day.
      Magistrate Caroline-Ann Chigumira remanded them to 4 February and
ordered that they report to the police once a week.

      In court on Thursday, Sikhala alleged that he was beaten up by the
police, subjected to electric shocks on his toes, genitals and tongue, and
forced to drink an unknown substance that made him ill.

      In the interview on Monday, he said agents of the State were trying to
force him out of politics.

      He said: "Basically, they said I must get out of politics. They
accused me of having wild ambitions to be president of this country."

      He said that after he was arrested he was blindfolded, taken to an
unknown destination by two police officers, beaten on the soles of his feet
and subjected to electric shocks.

      He said: "At one point I accepted the reality of death. I thought I
was going to die."

      Wayne Bvudzijena, the police spokesman, denied that Sikhala was beaten
or tortured.

      IRIN, a United Nations information service, quoted him as saying he
had not received reports of Sikhala's alleged torture.

      "We don't have a culture of assaulting or torturing suspects in our
custody," IRIN quoted him as saying. Bvudzijena routinely refuses to speak
to The Daily News.

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Daily News

      Police step up patrols ahead of stayaway

      1/22/2003 10:04:01 AM (GMT +2)


      Staff Reporters

      HEAVILY armed police, some on horseback, were on patrol yesterday in
Mutare ahead of a national stayaway called by the National Constitutional
Assembly (NCA) for today.

      The NCA's is pressing for a new democratic constitution.
      Daniel Sithole, the NCA chairman in Manicaland, said: "That's
intimidation. What the police must realise is that if people decide to
support our cause for better governance, they will stay indoors."

      Moses Chiri of Sakubva said most people were prepared for anything
because "enough is enough".

      In Bulawayo, Felix Magalela Mafa, the NCA spokesperson, said yesterday
people should support the stayaway called for today.

      The NCA has in the past few months staged a number of demonstrations
calling for constitutional reform and a rerun of last year's presidential
election which it alleges was flawed.

      The demonstrations have largely been ignored by the masses because of
a number of factors, including the draconian Public Order and Security Act
(POSA) which has been used to crush the peaceful protests.

      Mafa attributed all the socio-economic ills bedevilling the country to
the mismanagement of the economy by the government, and that the problems
were compounded by a flawed colonial constitution.

      Mafa said various opposition parties, human rights organisations,
labour movements and other concerned bodies had pledged to participate in
the stayaway.

      He said: "It is imperative that the people heed our call. They can
only ignore it at their own peril."

      He said the stayaway was a strategy by his organisation to circumvent
confrontation with the police who could charge them under the repressive
POSA.

      In the past, NCA demonstrations have resulted in some NCA officials
being arrested and harassed by the police during or before the
demonstrations in a bid to intimidate the public.

      Asked to comment on reports that his organisation had resolved to
stage mass demonstrations during the Cricket World Cup games next month,
Mafa said:
      "We will hold demonstrations before, during and after the matches."

      In Harare, the Zimbabwe National Students' Union (Zinasu) and some
residents of Harare said they supported the stayaway.

      In a statement, Zinasu secretary for information and publicity,
Phillip Pasirayi, said the people's patience had been stretched too far in
the face of the worsening economic hardships.

      Rerai Mufundirwa, a vendor in Harare, said he supported the stayaway
because that was the only way that people could express their grievances in
the face of repressive laws.

      Police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena was quoted in the State-controlled
Herald on Monday saying the stayaway would be illegal.
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Daily News

      MP arrested

      1/22/2003 10:04:50 AM (GMT +2)


      By Luke Tamborinyoka Political Editor

      THE police in Harare on Monday night arrested Mufakose MP Paurina
Mpariwa on allegations that she was involved in the plans for today's
stayaway, organised by the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA).

      By late afternoon yesterday, Mpariwa was still in police custody at
the Harare Central Police Station.

      The arrest of Mpariwa, an MDC member, comes barely a week after the
police arrested and allegedly tortured St Mary's MP Job Sikhala, human
rights lawyer Gabriel Shumba and others on allegations of planning to
overthrow the government.

      Mpariwa's husband, Paul Madzore, is the MP for Glen View. He was
arrested last week on allegations that he beat up two policemen during a
demonstration by Harare residents in support of the Executive Mayor of
Harare, Elias Mudzuri.

      Yesterday, Madzore said he was not allowed to see his wife at the CID
Law and Order Section in Harare when he brought her food in the morning.

      He said he was away when a group of about eight policemen came to
their Marimba Park home at around 5pm and arrested Mpariwa. He said the
police told the maid they were arresting the MP in connection with a rally
she held in her constituency in Mufakose where she is said to have urged
people to support today's stayaway.

      "The details are still very sketchy but they are saying it has to do
with the stayaway. An officer at the CID Law and Order Section told me they
were still looking for eight women from her constituency whom they want in
interrogate in connection with the stayaway," he said.

      By late yesterday, Madzore said he was still making frantic efforts to
secure his wife's release.
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Daily News

      Odzi farmer acquitted

      1/22/2003 10:07:02 AM (GMT +2)


      From Our Correspondent in Mutare

      MATTHEW de Klerk, a commercial farmer in Odzi, was last Friday
acquitted on a charge of indecent exposure after a couple resettled on his
farm accused him of undressing in front of them in a bid to stop them from
planting.

      Mutare provincial magistrate Billiard Musakwa said there was no
evidence linking De Klerk, 39, to the charge. De Klerk owns Wallacedale
Farm.

      It was the State's case that on 20 November 2001, De Klerk removed his
clothes
      in front of Chido Nhidza and Cleopas Mutichazwa, her husband, while
they were planting maize on Wallacedale Farm.

      Prosecutor Mike Tembo had alleged that De Klerk became so infuriated
by the agricultural activities of resettled people on his farm that he
removed his shirt and shorts to ankle level in front of the couple, thereby
contravening certain provisions of common law. But through his lawyer, De
Klerk denied the charge.

      His lawyer argued that his client was about 200m away from them and
there was no way the couple could have seen him.

      He conceded that De Klerk had removed his clothes, but was wearing
acceptable underwear.
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Daily News

      Zanu PF chiefs' bid to oust war veteran flops

      1/22/2003 10:09:29 AM (GMT +2)


      From Chris Gande in Bulawayo

      ATTEMPTS by Zanu PF to oust its Bulawayo provincial chairman, Jabulani
Sibanda, were shelved on Sunday when dozens of party supporters threatened a
demonstration in solidarity with Sibanda.

      The Zanu PF top brass, including Vice-President Joseph Msika and the
national chairman John Nkomo, met at the provincial offices where Sibanda's
dismissal was reportedly discussed.

      Sibanda was facing accusations of leading a demonstration at the
Bulawayo Grain Marketing Board (GMB) depot and of allegedly causing
divisions in the party.

      These were among a host of other allegations in a document allegedly
written by the provincial leadership. Sibanda denies the charges. The
meeting was closed to ordinary members and the Press.

      A mob of angry Zanu PF supporters, some with placards, gathered
outside the offices.
      Among the placards were some which denounced the former MP for
Mpopoma, Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, the alleged mastermind of Sibanda's ouster.

      Sibanda and Ndlovu are reportedly both eyeing the newly-created post
of governor for Bulawayo, which they deny.

      "If Sibanda is ousted then we are prepared to show our leaders that
they have made a very big mistake," said one supporter.

      Msika reportedly defused the potentially volatile situation by
addressing the supporters.
      Ndlovu yesterday denied he was behind the plot to oust Sibanda.

      "I have nothing against Sibanda," he said. "He is the same age as my
son and my wish is to see him grow up into a good leader."

      The damning report against Sibanda alleges his leadership has
"paralysed" party organs.

      "Since its election, the current executive of Zanu PF in Bulawayo
province has been in a state of paralysis caused by the leadership style of
its chairman who does not seem to understand the simple basics of the
constitution," reads part of the document.

      Sibanda, who has publicly attacked "the big fish" for diverting maize
from the GMB for themselves, commands support among ordinary members. Party
insiders said his removal could strike at the party's waning support base in
Bulawayo.

      Former Zipra fighters say the attempts to oust Sibanda demonstrate
Zanu PF's attitude against former PF Zapu members brought into Zanu PF by
the shaky 1987 Unity Accord.
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Leader Page

      Time to put Moyo's tongue on a leash

      1/22/2003 10:30:58 AM (GMT +2)



      JONATHAN Moyo was bound to commit the ultimate diplomatic gaffe sooner
or later. As a result of his insulting language against the South African
people and, by inference, their president, the government of President
Mugabe has had to apologise to Pretoria.

      The demarche lodged by the South African Ministry of Foreign Affairs
over Moyo's description, among other lapses, of the people of South Africa
as "filthy and recklessly uncouth", was the strongest protest a government
can issue against another which under extreme circumstances would be the
forerunner to the closure of a foreign mission.

      Although the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Harare issued a statement
distancing itself from Moyo's crassly undiplomatic language, many
Zimbabweans will feel that the acid-tongued minister will have got off
lightly if no further action is taken against him.

      In any other democracy, Moyo would have been sacked. In any case, this
latest blunder would deserve his expulsion from the Cabinet. The opprobrium
he has brought upon the government of Mugabe, both at home and abroad, since
his appointment, is enormous.
      Many, including some of his colleagues in Cabinet, would heave a huge
sigh of relief if he were to be eased out of his post.

      Zimbabwe's political and trading relations with South Africa are so
vital for its survival the cost of Moyo's gaffe is incalculable.

      Today, Zimbabwe has not been punished as severely by the international
community as it deserves, thanks to the South African government's so-called
softly-softly, pragmatic approach to its problems.

      If it had not been for South Africa's unstinting support, Zimbabwe
would have been expelled from the Commonwealth, instead of the one-year
suspension imposed on it for human rights violations, and a notoriously
flawed presidential election.

      The South Africans must feel that to be kicked in the teeth in return
for all the support they have rendered to a government now unofficially
recognised as a pariah, is grossly unfair.

      Moyo's diatribe against the South African media, who covered his
shopping spree in their country, was typical of a man whose contempt for The
Fourth Estate led to his creation of a law as anti-democratic as the Access
to Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

      Nowhere else, except in the former communist countries of Eastern
Europe, were such repressive laws promulgated against a vital component of
the people's freedom to communicate with each other.

      Moyo, by trying to export his vile hatred of a free Press to South
Africa, displayed the sort of intolerance that has reduced the public media
in this country to nothing more than a lap dog of the government.

      What this has done to the independent privately-owned media is equally
terrifying. The gullible among the public now believe the private media is
anti-government, anti-Zimbabwean and anti-African. Some of them have reacted
with violence against the private media as a result.

      For a country facing so many political and economic problems in its
relations with the rest of the world, Zimbabwe does not need a loose cannon
such as Moyo to complicate its life even further.

      Not all Zimbabweans feel the South African government has acted in
their best interests by virtually allowing the Mugabe government to kill,
maim and rape its own people with impunity in the dubious name of African
solidarity.

      Most Zimbabweans, the majority of whom are enduring the results of the
Mugabe government's political and economic blunders, would feel friendlier
towards the South African government if it took a tougher stance against
their government.

      If, apart from a personal apology to President Thabo Mbeki, they
demanded that Moyo step down, there would probably be a real appreciation of
how much his diplomatic blunder hurt them.

      The man needs to be taught that the tongue, if not put under stringent
control, is like a matchstick in the hands of a madman, able to spark an
uncontrollable bush fire.
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Leader Page

      AIPPA fosters corrupt environment

      1/22/2003 10:32:19 AM (GMT +2)


      BY Takura Zhangazha

      One of the unique attributes of the Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) is that it is rarely discussed outside the
parameters of the media industry.

      It is important that a new angle be assumed around the AIPPA. It
affects many components of Zimbabwean society from individuals, civil
society organisations to the business industries that operate in Zimbabwe.

      In the same vein, it affects the struggle for a corruption-free
society through the manner in which it inhibits access to information. It
is, therefore, important for media practitioners, civil society, individual
citizens and business interests to take a closer look at how to deal with
AIPPA.

      To begin with, the issue of corruption in Zimbabwe has grown beyond
what one would wish to term incomparable levels.

      Nowhere in the world today has corruption become as an acceptable way
of life as is the case in Zimbabwe. There has been a marked escalation of
greasing of the palm among Zimbabweans to the extent that one can no longer
get as basic a commodity as yellow maize-meal without either bribing someone
or paying double the gazetted price.

      A classic illustration of how corrupt practice has become so pervasive
in our society, is that getting public transport to and from the city after
work one must first bribe the rank marshal or commuter omnibus conductor.

      The availability of information and the lack of it has had a
significant impact on the ability of anti-corruption organisations such as
Transparency International Zimbabwe or the mainstream media's ability to
fight against corruption.

      AIPPA has clauses that restrict and that allow access to information
for citizens and for organisations.

      In fact, in its preamble it ably states that everyone shall have the
right to information, but in the rest of its main body reduces that right to
the arbitrary whim of what it calls the head of a public body. As
highlighted before, in any society, whether dictatorial or democratic,
information is power. In the same vein, the ability to acquire that
information is not only power but, within a democracy, a process leading to
empowerment.

      For anyone to acquire information from a public body one shall request
in writing, to a public body. Never mind the expected cost of the
application, but what is more critical is that the information required is
subject to approval by a senior civil servant termed the head of the public
body.

      It is the same senior civil servant that has the authority to respond
to any person's request for information on any arm of government or
parastatal within 21 days following which if the application has not been
processed there is room for an extension of the time to respond to a request
to another period not exceeding 30 days. It is important to note that there
are provisions within AIPPA that protect certain information from being
sought after. Information that is protected includes proceedings of the
Cabinet and/or local government bodies, any policy advice given to public
policy institutions, information relating to government foreign policy, and
information relating to personal privacy.

      It would be trite to quote from a committee report that was brought
before Parliament before AIPPA became law. This quote ably illustrates the
manner in which the Act limits access to information, the minister (of
information) seeks a blanket immunity to shield thousands of people employed
by public bodies from civil actions and the shield he seeks to raise and to
arm unlawful acts is acting in good faith.

      The AIPPA, thus, does not signify any new horizons in combating graft.
It consolidates the protection of public officials from public scrutiny and,
therefore, from the law. Such a situation is untenable because corruption
thrives within an information-starved society. This is further augmented by
the manner in which the Act affects the media. The media is now under the
stewardship of the Media and Information Commission (MIC) chaired by Dr
Tafataona Mahoso. The point need not be belaboured, but the MIC is a
draconian arm of the government whose obvious political role is to stifle
the one thing that is essential for the exposure of corruption and freedom
of the Press.

      Since most of the participants to this workshop are practising
journalists they are all too familiar with the process of accreditation that
they had to undergo, but more importantly the possibility that the
accreditation card is subject to withdrawal if one writes a story that is
deemed to have violated the information provisions of AIPPA as well as
journalistic privilege. This obviously instils a lot of unnecessary caution
within the media fraternity because it comes with a fine or a maximum of two
years in prison.

      There can be no strict focus of the media on fighting corruption when
the MIC is breathing down one's neck waiting to revoke a licence or
influence that one be sent to jail.

      Ever since AIPPA became law in March 2002, there has been a
commendable trend within the media fraternity, that of ignoring the Act.
Until December 2002, a number of journalists have continued exposing
corruption scandals such as the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe story, the
Nyasha Chikwinya housing scandal in Hatcliffe as well as the biased nature
of the Zimbabwe Republic Police. The defiance of AIPPA has been noble and
over 16 journalists from the private media have been arrested under the Act'
s notorious clauses.

      There has to be a conscious struggle to protect freedom of
information, freedom of the Press and freedom of expression if there is to
be a serious anti-corruption drive in Zimbabwe.

      This consolidated approach has to include individual citizens, the
media, civil society and business. There should be the drafting of an
alternative Freedom of Information Act by the stakeholders mentioned. This
information Act must propose a much more democratic operating environment
for citizens to access information as well as protect the right to freedom
of information. The media fraternity should be allowed to regulate itself
without government interference, as is the case with the Zimbabwe Law
Society.
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Feature

      Famine threatens Bulilima and Mangwe folks

      1/22/2003 11:07:17 AM (GMT +2)


      By Foster Dongozi Features Writer

      A drought of catastrophic proportions is stalking the people of
Bulilimamangwe North and South constituencies in Matabeleland South Province
as the possibility that a famine never experienced in recent years is about
to grip Zimbabwe.

      A tour of the two constituencies established that the locals had
already resigned themselves to their fate due to food shortages while their
cattle scrounge for sparse grazing.

      Only on rare occasions could knee-high maize crops be seen as most of
the farmers had still not cultivated anything due to lack of rains.

      Scattered rains fell in the area last Friday and brought relief to an
area that has all but run out of food for the people and pasture for
livestock.

      In normal years at this time of the year, the grass is usually green
and lush while livestock are at their best.

      The scenario is different this time around as the lack of grass has
turned the area into a dust-bowl while scrawny cattle can be seen struggling
in the veld to get a tuft of grass.

      Good rains at this time of the year usually result in the abundance of
alternative foods like mushroom, vegetables like nyevhe\ulude,
derere/idelele, wild fruit and amacimbi/madora the edible mopane worm.

      The two constituencies lie in what was until recently, Zimbabwe's
largest district then known as Bulilimamangwe.

      A presidential proclamation towards the end of May last year divided
the district in two and saw the northern half being named Bulilima district
with the southern half being christened Mangwe.

      Davis Luthe, until recently, the chief executive officer for the
entire Bulilimamangwe district before it was cleaved in two, acknowledged
that severe food shortages hung like a spectre over the locals' heads and
their livestock.

      The two new districts and Plumtree town have a population of just
under 300 000.
      "The two districts are staring a major catastrophe in the face," he
said, "but remember there is not much people can do with natural phenomena
like drought and floods.

      "The hardest hit of the two new districts is Mangwe, in the southern
parts and this includes areas like Empandeni, Embakwe, Sanzukwi and Brunapeg
where negligible amounts of rain have fallen since the beginning of the wet
season."

      While the two districts have an annual average of between 400 and 500
mls of rain, below 100 mls of rain have been recorded this season.

      The entire Matabeleland South province was recently reported to have
lost thousands of cattle worth millions of dollars since last year due to
the drought.

      Many communal farmers said they had taken advantage of the chaos
created by farm invasions and moved their livestock on to commercial farms.

      "Unfortunately for communal farmers, moving cattle onto commercial
farms has not helped because there just isn't any grazing," said Mlamuli
Nkomo from Embakwe, in Mangwe district.

      He said when their livestock ran out of grazing, the villagers' only
option was to drive them into the commercial farms.

      "Unfortunately, the situation was no better on the ranches and soon
there were reports that cattle were either being slaughtered by some unknown
people or dying of hunger."
      Nkomo said: "As soon as we heard that any of our livestock was on the
verge of dying, we collected them by scotch-cart and slaughtered them."

      He said despite the poor quality of the meat, they opted to slaughter
the dying beasts as they went for weeks without food.

      But, not all communal farmers were lucky to find their cattle still
alive so that they could slaughter them.

      "Some peasant farmers were unfortunate: when they went looking for
their livestock in the ranches, they only came upon their rotting
 carcasses."

      He said communal farmers needed to be educated on how to avoid
livestock losses in a drought.

      "They just don't want to part with their livestock and would hope the
next day would bring more rains when it is so obvious that we are going to
face a major disaster," said Nkomo, who had to sell seven beasts as the
possibility of losing them all to the drought became a reality.

      A commercial farmer in Mangwe district said large-scale cattle ranches
had started a massive de-stocking exercise to avoid losses.

      "We are fattening the cattle and selling them off. Our cattle are
still surviving because we are buying stockfeed to fatten them before
selling them at cattle auctions."

      Luthe said there was a strong possibility that cattle from the two
districts could be relocated to areas with better pastures.

      "At least with cattle, we have an option of relocating them to areas
with better grass, but we cannot do the same with people," said the CEO.

      He said World Vision, working together with a German organisation and
the government, were doing all they could to keep the food supply lines
running.

      "There is a food deficit in the country and it would be expecting too
much from any organisation to provide a constant supply of food when they
would have to source it from outside the country," said Luthe.

      Also facing the wrath of the elements are the 130 families of the San
people living in Makhulela, about 120 km west of Plumtree town.

      A representative of the community, Bomani Tshuma, said the San,
referred to as Bushmen by others, were under threat as they lived nomadic
lives and had no agriculture to speak of.

      "We are still in the process of abandoning our old style of hunting
and gathering. We are gradually adopting the modern lifestyle of cultivation
and rearing livestock and there has been very little success."

      He said because they lacked farming implements and livestock, the
threat from the drought haunted many of them.

      "For now, we are dependent on assistance from the Germans but remember
no amount of donations can ever be enough to chase away hunger."

      Tshuma said the absence of rains made life even more difficult for the
San community as it meant the roots which they usually depended on were not
succulent enough to provide sustenance.
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            Zimbabwe workers shun anti-Mugabe strike call
            January 22, 2003, 12:45


            Zimbabwean workers have ignored a national strike called for
today by civic groups to protest at policies of President Robert Mugabe.
Factories and businesses opened and commuters streamed in to work in Harare.

            Riot police, some armed with tear gas, batons and guns,
patrolled the capital's Mabvuku and Tafara townships on foot and in armoured
cars, witnesses said. Police and helicopters also patrolled Chitungwiza, a
poor dormitory town near Harare that is prone to political violence.

            There were no immediate reports of violence from across the
country, which is grappling with its worst economic crisis since Mugabe came
to power on independence from Britain in 1980.

            The National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) - a coalition of
church and student groups, rights organisations and political parties -
called the strike to press for a new constitution. Previous NCA protests
have mostly flopped. Critics say it has organised them poorly and has
co-ordinated badly with its ally, the main opposition Movement for
Democratic Change.

            Zimbabwe is struggling with record unemployment and major food
shortages amid a drought and following Mugabe's policy of seizing
white-owned farms for redistribution to landless blacks. Political tensions
are also high after Mugabe's re-election in March amid accusations of
electoral fraud.

            The NCA said the job stay-away was simply a call for democracy
and not aimed at disrupting Zimbabwe's plans to host several cricket World
Cup matches next month. Malcolm Speed, the International Cricket Council
chief executive, was in Harare earlier to assess security arrangements for
the matches. The NCA is against Zimbabwe hosting the matches but says
today's strike and a series of demonstrations planned for during and after
the World Cup were coincidental. - Reuters


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