International Herald Tribune
The Associated PressPublished: June 1, 2007
HARARE, Zimbabwe: President Robert Mugabe accused Britain of backing what he
called a terror campaign by his opponents and said his nation's security
forces were on heightened alert, the official media reported Friday.
Mugabe, addressing police recruits at a parade, urged his countrymen to
unite against "shameless arm twisting tactics" by Britain and political
opponents seeking his ouster, state radio and the official Herald newspaper
Independent human rights groups say police, troops and ruling party
militants were responsible for most of the violence that has wracked the
country in more than six years of political and economic turmoil.
The agriculture-based economy in the former regional breadbasket collapsed
after Mugabe ordered the often violent seizures of thousands of white-owned
commercial farms in 2000.
"Our security forces have heightened their vigilance to thwart the
subversive maneuvers of those who engage in crimes of political violence and
ensure that violence of whatever nature is not allowed to rear its ugly head
in this country," Mugabe said.
The government accuses the opposition Movement for Democratic Change of
mounting a series of gasoline bomb attacks in recent months, charges the
While Britain and its Western allies criticized police for enforcing law and
order, they ignored opposition violence that occurred after the main
opposition party was "egged on by its masters," Mugabe said.
"The so-called masters of democracy, who are known for their double
standards, have ignored or underplayed this vicious campaign of unrestrained
acts of terror and instead sought to besmirch the government for enforcing
law and order," he told recruits Thursday at the Morris police depot in
Harare, according to the state media.
In March, Mugabe praised police for violently crushing an opposition-led
prayer meeting and assaulting opposition leaders in custody. Several
opposition leaders suffered broken bones and most, including opposition
leader Morgan Tsvangirai, required hospital treatment.
Lawyers defending opposition activists were beaten up by police as they
dispersed a lawyers' demonstration outside the Harare High Court last month.
The lawyers were protesting the arrest of two colleagues accused of
obstructing the course of justice by contesting police evidence against
clients detained for alleged involvement in petrol bombings, saying police
evidence was faked and activists could not have been involved in at least
one incident because at the time they were already in jail.
Mugabe on Thursday praised the police for their "dedication to duty" and
said authorities would not tolerate strikes and other protests.
ZADHRZimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights
1 June 2007
Prevailing Health Sector Emergency
The Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) deplores the failure by the Government of Zimbabwe to address the prevailing emergency in the public health sector.
Inadequate remuneration and unacceptable working conditions for health workers across the country have resulted in a crisis that has left the country?s major referral hospitals unable to function. Inadequately remunerated health workers across the country can no longer afford to travel to work and in Harare many other health worker cadres have now joined the nurses in commencing strike action as at 1 June 2007.
The loss of life and increased morbidity resulting from the absence of health workers at their places of work, whether resulting from inability to pay for transport or from actual strike action, remains the responsibility of the Government with whom the obligation remains to ensure that the right of all Zimbabweans to health care is respected, protected and fulfilled.ZADHR considers that it can no longer be said that the health service is ?near collapse?. The emptying of central and other hospitals of staff, and therefore of patients, means the health service HAS collapsed. ZADHR calls upon the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare in liaison with other relevant Government departments to attend to the situation and resolve the health worker emergency without delay.
By Lance Guma
01 June 2007.
Junior doctors from the country's government hospitals began an official
strike Friday over low salaries. This is the second strike in 6 months
although they have also been engaging in on and off small-scale strikes
inbetween. Amon Siveregi who heads the Hospital Doctors Association told
journalists that the strike was now in full swing and that general hands in
the hospitals had also joined in. The doctors want their salaries to be
raised to Z$70 million from the current Z$2,4 million including allowances.
They also want a one off payment of US$3000 in foreign currency for vehicle
It's reported that officials at Parirenyatwa are turning away patients who
are not in need of emergency treatment. What is compounding the problem is
that most nurses are not turning up for work because they are also unhappy
with their poor salaries, which cannot even cover basic transport costs to
work. Most employees in the country are struggling to survive under the
weight of an inflation rate officially pegged at 3,700 percent but which
most experts believe has already surpassed 10,000 percent.
Our correspondent Simon Muchemwa visited Harare Hospital and says almost all
staff there have joined the strike. This includes canteen staff, general
hands, cashiers and nurses. A policeman at the hospital confirmed to
Muchemwa that over 30 bodies remained uncollected in the wards and relatives
who went to the mortuary to collected their loved ones found no one to help
them. People who resort to private hospitals as an alternative have to fork
out cash in advance before treatment and this has meant poor patients have
nowhere to go.
Meanwhile speaking at a graduation ceremony for police officers in Harare
Mugabe said that strikes and job stay aways were part of a plot by the
opposition to sow political turmoil in the country. 'Our security forces
have heightened their vigilance in order to thwart the subversive maneuvers
of those who engage in crimes of political violence,' the official Herald
newspaper quoted him as saying. Critics say the regime has run out of
excuses and desperately looking for excuses to cover up it's corruption and
SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
June 2, 2007
Greg Hurst in Pretoria
Tony Blair admitted the limits of his interventionist policy on Africa
yesterday, saying that Robert Mugabe's regime in Zimbabwe would end only if
neighbouring countries agreed to it. With President Mbeki of South Africa
standing impassively beside him, Mr Blair said that Britain's role could be
confined only to supporting the actions of others.
After talks in which the two leaders discussed Zimbabwe, the G8 summit and
world trade negotiations, Mr Blair told a press conference in Pretoria that
the only option was "an African solution".
"The truth is whatever the views I have, and they are well known and they
are very clear, the most important thing is to help the people there," he
said. "But it is from within Zimbabwe and this region that change has got to
come. What we will do is support those, like President Mbeki, who are trying
to bring about change."
He added: "I get attacked from both ways round on this. I get attacked for
not single-handedly changing events in Zimbabwe, and I get attacked from the
other side because people say when Britain intervenes it is the least
helpful thing in relation to this."
His comments were in marked contrast to those he made earlier in his trip,
when he spoke in favour of a "thoroughly interventionist" foreign policy
Mr Mbeki has been accused of failing to use his role as the head of Africa's
super power, and Zimbabwe's immediate neighbour, to confront Mr Mugabe but
Mr Blair praised him for acting as a mediator between the Government and
opposition groups in Zimbabwe.
Mr Mbeki, in response to a question on Zimbabwe, confined his response to a
terse summary of an agreement within the Southern Africa Development
Community, which was accepted by Zimbabwe, to seek a political solution.
"The decision was that we should facilitate the discussions between the
government and ruling party and the opposition in order to find a solution
to these problems, which has started," Mr Mbeki said. "Indeed we are engaged
in that process now."
Speaking from Zimbabwe, Mr Mugabe blamed Britain for backing what he called
a terror campaign by his opponents and said his nation's security forces
were on heightened alert. In a speech to police recruits he condemned
"shameless arm-twisting tactics by Britain and political opponents".
British officials said that Mr Mbeki had not been given sufficient credit
for changing his position on Zimbabwe and agreeing to act as mediator. He
has hosted meetings with Zimbabwe's main opposition, the Movement for
Democratic Change, which is seen as significant. His position may simply be
a response to the economic reality of the damage caused by the collapse of
the Zimbabwean economy, where inflation is now 3,700 per cent.
South Africa has experienced huge inflows of refugees across its border with
Zimbabwe and its gross domestic product has fallen 3 per cent as a result of
Zimbabwe's economic slump.
President Kufuor of Ghana, chairman of the African Union, has also been
active in seeking change in Zimbabwe, as has President Kikwete of Tanzania.
Mr Blair has previously called for Mr Mugabe to quit before Zimbabwe's
presidential elections, which are due to take place in February or March
next year. And he promised that if there was change, Britain would help to
rebuild the country's economy.
Later, in a televised discussion for a South African television broadcaster,
Mr Blair was more blunt in defending his stance, telling a panel of
questioners: "Me attacking the Mugabe regime doesn't do an awful lot to
The Independent, UK
By Peter Fabricius and Basildon Peta in Johannesburg
Published: 02 June 2007
Tony Blair has endorsed the mediation efforts by Thabo Mbeki, the South
African President, in the search for a solution to the economic and
political crisis in Zimbabwe.
Although often at odds over Mr Mbeki's "softly, softly" approach, in private
talks the Prime Minister appeared to have given Britain's full support to
the President's mediation on behalf of the Southern African Development
Community. Mr Mbeki is hoping to persuade Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF and the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change to begin negotiations to create a
fair political dispensation before elections expected by March next year.
Mr Blair, on the last leg of a farewell African tour before leaving office
on 27 June, and Mr Mbeki appeared to be in tune on the right strategy for
Zimbabwe, perhaps for the first time. They were questioned mainly on
Zimbabwe at a press conference in Pretoria after meeting for more than an
hour in Mr Mbeki's office.
Asked if they had reconciled Britain's "loud diplomacy" on Zimbabwe and
South Africa's "quiet diplomacy", Blair said his views and Britain's were
well-known but were not the important thing. "In the end, what is important
is to improve the lives of the people of Zimbabwe. The obligation of Britain
is to do everything it can to help. But in the end the solution is an
African solution for Zimbabwe and that's why I welcome the work that
President Mbeki has undertaken on behalf of the southern African regional
"And we wish him well and will do whatever we can to support the changes
necessary to support the lot of people in Zimbabwe. The change has to come
from within Zimbabwe ... and we will try to support those like President
Mbeki who are trying to bring about that change."
Mr Mbeki thanked the Prime Minister for championing the cause of Africa,
especially at the G8 summit at Gleneagles in 2005 when he persuaded his
fellow leaders to sign on to a comprehensive programme of increased debt
relief, aid and other help to Africa. Blair, in turn, thanked the President
for launching Africa's development programme, Nepad.
Despite criticism from many non-government organisations that the G8 leaders
had failed Africa, both leaders expressed optimism that the G8 leaders
meeting at their summit in Germany next week would continue to implement the
promises they made to Africa at Gleneagles.
The G8 had delivered $38bn (£19bn) in debt relief, another $1bn for
vaccinations, considerable development aid, funding to give anti-retroviral
drugs to one million Aids sufferers and enough money to educate three
million primary school children.
President Robert Mugabe yesterday accused Britain of backing a "terror
campaign" by his opponents. The Zimbabwe government described Mr Blair's
imminent departure from office as "good riddance".
British intervention may have worked in Sierra Leone, but Blair's
grandstanding on Zimbabwe makes it harder for Mbeki to act against Mugabe.
June 1, 2007 7:00 PM
Not every stop on Tony Blair's African itinerary is going to involve his
hosts draping him in chiefly robes while he grins and mutters about hoping
the pictures won't find their way back to the UK.
Nevertheless, there are several African leaders who have reason to be
grateful to Blair. One of them is the Sierra Leonean president, Ahmed Tejan
Kabbah, whose government was saved by the British intervention in 1999
against the Revolutionary United Front rebels. Another is the Zimbabwean
president, Robert Mugabe, whose position becomes firmer every time Blair
chooses to pronounce on Zimbabwe.
Blair and Mugabe have co-operated in ruling out the possibility of any sane
discussion on Zimbabwe. They have turned the debate into a shouting-match of
imperialism versus resistance that does wonders for Mugabe's reputation, and
a great disservice to a complex society of 13 million people living amid the
Two years ago, I went to Zimbabwe in the aftermath of Operation
Murambatsvina, the "clean-up" operation that left half a million homeless -
and I saw for myself how the viciousness of the government did not stop at
the eviction of white farmers which had dominated western media coverage a
few years earlier. Yet the debate on Zimbabwe was already tainted by tales
of colonialism and resistance. One of my online articles prompted a reader
to ask why I had written about white farmers. Had he read the piece in
question, he would have known that I had not so much as mentioned a white
farmer. But grudgingly, I could see his logic. Western media plus Zimbabwe
equals white farmers.
Later, the New African magazine did its own take on Operation Murambatsvina.
The cover showed a single house being built as part of the government's
reconstruction programme. The article inside told of people who were glad no
longer to be living alongside the brothels which had been destroyed in the
clean-up. A more recent edition of New African has an interview in which
Mugabe speaks of the torture of opposition officials as having taken place
in a "context where our erstwhile enemies - Britain and its allies - were
actually orchestrating a situation that they believed would lead to regime
change here". Mugabe reminded readers that "it was here in southern Africa
that the real fight against imperialism took place".
Yesterday, Blair met the South African president, Thabo Mbeki, apparently to
ask him if he would please tell Mugabe to get his house in order. South
Africa's stance towards Zimbabwe has in the past year shifted from one of
denial to one of timid bemusement. But memories of national liberation loom
larger in the Southern African regional politics than Blair could ever know.
On the other hand, South Africa does have interests in seeing an end to the
crisis in Zimbabwe: altruistic ones to do with human rights, and
self-interested ones to do with the unknown numbers - some say millions - of
Zimbabweans who have come to South Africa as economic or political exiles.
Mbeki may yet find a way of resolving the foreign policy puzzle that these
conflicting objectives pose - but a friendly chat with Tony is not going to
get the ideas flowing any faster. On the contrary, Blair's grandstanding on
Zimbabwe makes it harder for Mbeki to act against Mugabe.
The British intervention in Sierra Leone worked because the politics were
uncomplicated. This is not to pretend that the Kabbah government is
spotless. The Revolutionary United Front, however, did not have a programme
for making things better, and before the British intervention was busy
making things a lot worse. What is more, Sierra Leoneans - unlike
Zimbabweans - were never dispossessed of land by British settlers, and never
saw the descendents of British settlers delay their independence by 20
years. Britain in 1999 was able to re-enter the Sierra Leonean story as a
British foreign policy is one thing. The needs of African societies are
another. On the occasion when these objectives coincide, well, then it's
print fabric and coy smiles all round. But those occasions are rare.
SW Radio Africa (London)
1 June 2007
Posted to the web 1 June 2007
The MDC's deputy national organising secretary Morgan Komichi, is battling
for life in remand prison as authorities continue to block him from
receiving specialist medical treatment.
Harare Magistrate Gloria Takundwa ordered Komichi to be taken straight back
to a prison hospital when he appeared for a remand hearing on Friday.
Komichi is one of several activists who were savagely tortured in police
custody, according to Jessie Majome, the MDC's deputy secretary for Legal
Komichi was abducted from his home in Hwange, Matebeleland North six weeks
ago and has a history of hypertension. He appeared together with the other
29 activists who have been in remand prison since 28th March, at the Harare
Magistrates court on Friday. They were further remanded to Monday which
means they continue to be held in jail.
'His hypertension has reached alarming levels and we are all worried about
it. His condition is life threatening and this was noticed by the magistrate
who immediately granted an order that he be taken straight to the prison
hospital,' Majome said.
The magistrate also ordered the police to investigate the alleged torture of
the political prisoners after some of them appeared in court with fresh
wounds and bruises. Among those who were having difficulties walking were
Philip Mabika, Shame Wakatama, Piniel Denga and Komichi.
On Thursday High Court Judge Ben Hlatshwayo postponed to June 6 the hearing
of the bail application by the 30 activists. But the party's director of
elections Ian Makone was released on bail on Wednesday.
Justice Hlatshwayo blocked attempts by state prosecutors to further delay
the bail hearing by an additional two weeks. They had claimed that the
police needed time to submit findings on their investigations in South
Africa, where the MDC activists were allegedly were being trained as
saboteurs. Their lawyer Alec Muchadehama told the court that the state was
buying time at the expense of the freedom of his clients who are
continuously being denied their freedom and 'denied the benefit of being
presumed innocent until proven guilty.'
SW Radio Africa (London)
1 June 2007
Posted to the web 1 June 2007
The country's second largest city Bulawayo has run out of cash as the
economy rushes towards total collapse. Government mismanagement has plunged
the nation into a hyperinflationary spiral, bringing the economy to its
ZAPU President Paul Siwela told us he went to two separate banks in the city
and was told there was no cash to dispense. He believes stringent banking
regulations have discouraged a lot of people from depositing their money
Currently a corporate account holder is only allowed to withdraw Z$3
million. This means a company can only access the equivalent of US$30 a day,
making it impossible to keep a business running or to pay wages. Individual
account holders can withdraw Z$1,5 million a day. Siwela said such a
scenario forces people to think twice before taking their money to the bank
because of the restrictions they face when they want to withdraw part of the
He said this has precipitated a situation where money was no longer
circulating within the financial or banking systems.
'How can people run businesses on US$60 a day. It means people don't see the
reason why they should bank their money and be restricted to withdraw Z$3 or
Z$1,5 million,' Siwela said.
The dramatically accelerating crisis has forced many companies to shut down
countrywide and prices are doubling on a weekly or even a daily basis just
as the nation also struggles with a drought.
'One does wonder how much longer can the economy be allowed to collapse,
because we now have a mafia running the country and not a government,' said
The Herald (Harare) Published by the government of Zimbabwe
1 June 2007
Posted to the web 1 June 2007
WHEAT farmers managed to plant just under 40 percent of the targeted 76 000
hectares by the May 31 planting deadline, a situation which could see the
country once again having to rely largely on imports.
Secretary for Agriculture Dr Shadreck Mlambo said this week an array of
problems affected wheat farmers who had only managed to plant about 30 000
hectares ahead of the deadline.
He cited shortage of farming equipment, fertilizers and diesel as factors
that might further reduce the set targets.
Dr Mlambo said only five million litres of diesel was supplied to farmers
when they required about 13 million for the season.
He noted that shortage of farming equipment was also affecting production on
"More than 30 000 hectares have so far been put under wheat as the winter
cropping season enters its second half. This is about 30 percent of the
projected 76 000 hectares targeted for 2007 winter wheat cropping," Dr
He could, however, not say how much hectarage was expected to be put under
the late crop planted after the planting deadline.
Planting wheat after May 31 results in reduced yields of about three tonnes
a hectare or even less and is not recommended.
But Agriculture Minister Cde Rugare Gumbo said the Government was satisfied
with the progress on the winter wheat.
"Government is pleased with amount of hectarage of land that has been put
under wheat this year. The country has already surpassed the amount of land
put under the crop by this time last year.
"I am also pleased that Government and the private sector have joined hands
in trying to improve the supply side of the economy through increasing
production in various sectors of the economy," Cde Gumbo said.
However, some farmers have been accused of abusing the inputs they would
have accessed either through bank loans or subsidised schemes, seriously
Commenting on this, Dr Mlambo said the Government would crack the whip and
deal with the culprits accordingly.
"Anyone who is abusing the inputs facility regardless of their stature will
be brought to book as they are drawing back the land reform," he said.
The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Lands and Agriculture recently
heard from stakeholders who stated that it was impossible to reach the
projected target of 76 000 hectares.
Zimbabwe requires about 400 000 tonnes of wheat but the country has been
producing well below 200 000 tonnes over the past few years.
The Herald (Harare) Published by the government of Zimbabwe
1 June 2007
Posted to the web 1 June 2007
ONCE again, our farmers have failed to meet the projected 76 000 hectares
needed for winter wheat this season.
We would like to believe that the projected hectarage was not just plucked
from the air but was predicated on the inputs the Government disbursed and
the hectarage farmers who accessed the inputs claimed they would manage.
So what went wrong?
Apparently somebody somewhere did not honour his/her end of the bargain, and
we urge the Government to get to the bottom of this mess.
All farmers who got land did so on the understanding that they would use it
productively, and every farmer who got inputs was supposed to invest them in
By reneging on this noble contract, the farmers have put the Government and
the nation in a difficult situation.
It is regrettable that the Government; that commits scarce resources to
empower farmers through bank loans, cheap fuel and subsidised input schemes,
ends up taking the flak after some misguided individuals abuse well-meant
schemes for self-enrichment not national production.
One does not have to be a genius to visualise what is likely to happen over
the next three months; flour shortages will feed into scarcity of bread. And
as the laws of supply and demand decree, the bread shortage will trigger
price increases with concomitant misery for the already overstretched
Not only that, the Government may also be forced to divert scarce foreign
currency from productive sectors to import flour, which by dint of being
acquired at great cost, will also necessitate an increase in the price of
What is regrettable is that almost the same farmers who have let the nation
down again and again, are usually the ones who always access inputs that
they do not use.
This is why we urge the Government to come down hard on all farmers who
acquired inputs on the understanding that they would use them productively
but failed to do so. They have to explain why they did not honour their part
of the bargain.
Such farmers are no different from the economic saboteurs who are bleeding
the economy through illegal dealings that create personal rather national
wealth on a daily basis.
We urge the Ministry of Agriculture to use the records at Agribank and
various GMB depots countrywide to follow up on all beneficiaries, who must
account for what they got from the fiscus.
Unless adequate mechanisms are put in place to ensure that farmers account
for what they are given, this vicious cycle will not end.
But that is not all, we have also noted unwarranted shortages of other
agricultural products like onions, tomatoes and even carrots simply because
we have not structured our post-land reform agriculture to ensure that a
variety of crops are grown.
Here again we would like to urge farmers to try as much as possible to go
into the mode of agriculture that used to be carried out by previous farm
Admittedly, part of the failure also had to do with ignorance on the part of
some newly resettled farmers who opted to pursue types of farming at
variance with the agro-ecology of their land, again they have to be guided
by what the previous owner was producing.
We hope this is the last time, farmers will get away with it.
The Herald (Harare) Published by the government of Zimbabwe
1 June 2007
Posted to the web 1 June 2007
GOVERNMENT will soon put in place a policy to control the importation of all
agricultural machinery so as to prevent the market being flooded by
equipment ill-suited for local conditions.
Speaking at the launch of the distribution of the tractors imported by the
Zimbabwe Farmers' Development Trust -- a subsidiary of the Farmers' World --
earlier this week, Agricultural Engineering and Mechanisation Minister Dr
Joseph Made said there was need for central government to protect farmers
from overcharging as well as ensure only suitable machinery found its way
onto the farms .
"Government will soon come up with a policy to regulate the types of
equipment coming to Zimbabwe. No one will bring equipment in the country
without the consent of Government.
"All tractors and farming implement will have to be checked for their
suitability to the dry air ambient conditions and altitude existing in the
country. They will also look at the conditions of the soil in the country
and the machinery's horsepower.
"This will see my ministry operating provincial, district and local offices
to assist in the mechanisation programme," said Dr Made.
He said companies in the private sector keen to participate in the
mechanisation programme or wishing to import agriculture-related machinery
would be asked to advise Government who will assign engineers to assess the
equipment's suitability in terms of the country's geographical and climatic
Government had started mobilising new agricultural equipment and
rehabilitating old equipment while several local and international suppliers
had already been identified to provide services and ensure that the
programme achieved its intended goals before the start of the next farming
Said Dr Made: "Government is prepared to revamp the industry and provide
resources to jump-start agricultural mechanisation that has been put in
He said inroads had already been made in sourcing tractors, irrigation
equipment ox-drawn ploughs and other implements from both local and
international suppliers in such countries as China, India, Brazil, Iran,
Algeria and Egypt, among others.
1st Jun 2007 23:31 GMT
By a Correspondent
WASHINGTON D.C. - Peta Thornycroft has today been named among top
international media women who will receive honours for doing their work in
The International Women Media's Foundation (IWMF) announced today it will
present its Lifetime Achievement Award to Thornycroft, 62, who has been a
journalist for 35 years.
A statement from the IWMF, which in 2002 awarded former Daily News Political
Editor, Sandra Nyaira, with a Courage in Journalism Award for her work at
the banned newspaper, said Thornycroft was one of the few remaining
independent journalists in Zimbabwe.
"She reports on human rights abuses, farm occupation, the state of the
country as commodities become scarce and inflation rises, and government
repression," read the statement. "A foreign correspondent for British,
American and South African news media, she renounced her British citizenship
and became a citizen of Zimbabwe after the government ruled that all
journalists working in Zimbabwe had to be citizens of the country."
Thornycroft has been accused of terrorism and barred from court proceedings,
and in 2002 she was arrested while investigating reports of a campaign
against members of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change. At the
same time, she has led journalism training initiatives benefiting thousands
of southern African journalists, said the IWMF.
The IWMF also announced this years Courage in Journalism Award winners.
Lydia Cacho of Mexico, Serkalem Fasil of Ethiopia, and the Iraqi Women
Reporters of McClatchy's Baghdad Bureau will all be honoured with the
Courage in Journalism Awards at ceremonies to be held in the United States
later this year.
Cacho travels with guards because of ongoing threats to her life.
Also to be honoured is a group of women reporters who every day risk their
lives to cover the war in Iraq and an Ethiopian publisher who gave birth to
a son while confined to a vermin-infested jail cell for her work.
"These women have shown dedication and bravery in reporting and in their
commitment to journalism," said Judy Woodruff, chair of the IWMF Courage in
Journalism Awards. "They tell tough stories that need to be told, and in
doing so, help defend freedom of the press."
Winners of the 2007 Courage in Journalism Awards are:
Lydia Cacho, 43, correspondent for CIMAC news agency and feature writer for
Dia Siete magazine in Mexico. Cacho, a journalist for more than two decades,
has endured numerous death threats because of her work reporting on domestic
violence, organized crime and political corruption. In 2004, Cacho published
The Devils of Eden, a book based on her research on child pornography among
Mexican politicians and businessmen. A year later, she was arrested on libel
charges and driven to a jail 20 hours from her home in Cancun, with officers
hinting that there was a plan to rape her. In recent years, she has written
extensively about pedophiles. In February 2006, a tape recording of a
conversation between a businessman and a Mexican governor discussing a plan
to have her arrested and raped was obtained by the media. Several years
earlier, in 1998, Cacho was raped and beaten in the bathroom of a bus
station. She doesn't know if the attack was related to her work. On May 8,
while Cacho was testifying at the trial of a pedophile she has written
about, her car was sabotaged. Cacho is also a human rights advocate; she is
the founder and director of the Centro Integral de Atencion a las Mujeres in
Cancun, a crisis center and shelter for victims of sex crimes, gender-based
violence and trafficking.
Serkalem Fasil, 26, of Ethiopia. The former co-owner and publisher of the
weekly newspapers Asqual, Menilik and Satenaw, Fasil was one of 14 editors
and reporters of independent and privately-owned newspapers arrested after
publishing articles critical of the government's actions during the May 2005
parliamentary elections. The journalists were accused of genocide and
treason, charges that could bring life imprisonment or the death penalty.
While in jail, Fasil gave birth to and cared for a son, who was premature
and underweight due to inhumane conditions and lack of proper medical
attention. She was released from prison in April 2007.
Six Iraqi women journalists of McClatchy's Baghdad bureau: Shatha al Awsy,
Zaineb Obeid, Huda Ahmed, Ban Adil Sarhan, Alaa Majeed and Sahar Issa.
Constantly under duress, these women dodge gun battles and tiptoe around car
bombs to do their jobs in the most dangerous country in the world for
journalists. They are targeted for their work, and so are their families.
Their homes have been destroyed and they've lost family members and friends.
Each day they risk their lives just to get to work. They are driven by the
desire to report accurately the situation in Iraq, to tell others what is
happening in a world that is dissolving around them.
Created in 1990, the IWMF Courage in Journalism Awards honour women
journalists who have shown extraordinary strength of character and integrity
while reporting the news under dangerous or difficult circumstances. This
year's awards will be presented at ceremonies in New York on October 23 and
in Los Angeles on October 30.
The International Women's Media Foundation was launched in 1990 with a
mission to strengthen the role of women in the news media worldwide. The
IWMF network includes women and men in the media in more than 130 countries
1st Jun 2007 23:35 GMT
By Pete Rosenberyt
CARBONDALE - The Southern Illinois University School of Law honored a
prominent lawyer and outspoken advocate for human rights in the African
nation of Zimbabwe during commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 12. 2007.
Arnold Tsunga received the law school's 2007 Rule of Law Citation. The
citation is a formal recognition by law school faculty "of the important
tradition of the legal profession that requires lawyers to stand firm in
support of liberty and justice in the face of oppression and, by their words
and actions, to honor and support the Rule of Law even at great personal
risk," Dean Peter C. Alexander said.
A total of 121 law students earned degrees in ceremonies at Southern
Illinois University Carbondale's Shryock Auditorium.
Tsunga is executive director of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights;
secretary to the Law Society of Zimbabwe; chair of the Zimbabwe Human Rights
Association, or ZimRights; and a trustee of an independent radio station,
"Voice of the People."
Tsunga received the 2006 Martin Ennals Awards for Human Rights Defenders.
Tsunga has also served as an International Fellow of the University of
Minnesota 's Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs.
According to the watchdog organization Human Rights, Tsunga is a target of
his government because of radio broadcasts criticizing the Zimbabwe
government and its president, Robert Mugabe, for not respecting the rights
of all Zimbabweans, law professor Mark R. Lee said during the ceremony.
Tsunga is the victim of repeated harassment and threats by government
officials, Lee said. In 2002, officials seized Tsunga without warrant, held
him for several hours, and beat him in full view of the public. In January
2006, after police entered his home, they held Tsunga's housekeepers at a
police station until Tsunga's arrival and arrest. The three workers were
severely beaten while in custody, Lee said.
And, according to a recent news release by Amnesty International, police
assaulted several lawyers on Tuesday, May 8, before their release. The
lawyers represent activists from political opposition parties.
Law school officials placed a commencement hood and scroll on an empty chair
in the front row with law school faculty.
"It symbolizes this lawyer is with us in spirit as we celebrate the
accomplishments of our graduates," Alexander said. "It is also a reminder to
our graduates that in becoming a lawyer you may be called upon to take very
serious stands on very important issues, and there may be very dire
The Rule of Law Citation raises public awareness "about the plight of this
attorney," Alexander said.
"We hold this person up to our students and their guests as an example of
what a lawyer should be," he said.
Mail and Guardian
01 June 2007 11:10
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is to
produce a report by the end of the month on Zimbabwe's economic and
political crises, reports said on Friday.
"By the end of June, we must have a report ready for the
relevant authorities," the state-run Herald quoted SADC secretary general
Tomaz Augusto Salamao as saying.
"We are here to continue what we have started already --
that is doing our assessment and research and come up with a recommendation
that we will forward to the relevant authority."
Salamao is leading a team from the regional bloc on a
follow-up mission to find a solution to the problems of Zimbabwe, which has
witnessed widespread political violence and is struggling under the impact
of an inflation rate above the 3 500% mark.
The SADC secretariat was tasked at a summit in March to
study ways and means through which the regional trading bloc could assist in
the economic recovery of Zimbabwe.
Regional leaders at the summit in Dar es Salaam called on
Western nations to lift a programme of targeted sanctions imposed on
President Robert Mugabe's government.
SADC also tasked South African President Thabo Mbeki with
mediating between the Mugabe regime and the opposition in the countdown to
elections due next year.
In April Salamao came to Zimbabwe and held meetings with
Mugabe, government officials and various representatives of multilateral
The next SADC summit will be held in Zambia in August and
Zimbabwe is expected to dominate the agenda. -- Sapa-AFP
1st Jun 2007 01:42 GMT
By a Correspondent
HARARE - Fuel stations have once again run dry in Zimbabwe with fuel prices
rising to as much as $70 000 per litre on the parallel market where it is
Petroleum products merchants in the country have been hoarding the precious
commodity to press for a price adjustment.
This has led to a massive shortage and increase in fare charges, hiting poor
workers hardest. Most workers in Zimbabwe now walk to work with many opting
to stay at home because they cannot afford to pay the high cost of
travelling and related costs.
Some employees have even taken to sleeping at work to avoid the high cost of
travelling everyday as inflation continues to eat away their earnings.
A survey conducted yesterday revealed that most service stations in the
capital where dry while others were simply not selling following threats of
arrests by the government on fuel dealers for what it said was over pricing
of the commodity.
Some service stations have even been forced to close down.
The government has set an official price of $350 per litre, a far cry from
the actual cost of importing the commodity.
Fuel dealers have argued that the official price gazetted by the government
was not viable as they source the hard currency on the parallel market where
the rate is increasing on a daily basis.
By last night one pound was going for $105 000.
Sources within the fuel industry said they had stopped selling petrol and
diesel because they wanted the government to officially increase the price
to avoid further arrests of fuel merchants.
An official at Total Head office who refused to be named for fear of
reprisals said the company had stopped selling and importing petroleum
products because of the pricing problems with government.
"No Total service station has fuel as we speak," the official said. "We are
not expecting any deliveries until the problems surrounding the price of
fuel are sorted out," he said.
He said that negotiations with the government were ongoing but refused to
shed more light on the progress of the negotiations.
The shortage of fuel has worsened transport problems as state owned National
Oil Company of Zimbabwe (Noczim) fails to supply enough fuel for the nation
due to capacity problems and a shortage of foreign currency to import the
Public transport operators have increased fares to $15 000 per trip into
town and in some cases to as much as $30 000 per trip to distant satellite
towns such as Chitungwiza.
Only some of the Caltex service stations had the petrol and diesel in Harare
but customers must first obtain coupons to access the commodity.
The Caltex system is mostly used by Zimbabweans in the diaspora who purchase
coupons directly from Caltex and send the coupons to relatives in Zimbabwe.
But Caltex requires minimum purchases of about 2500 litres and this has made
it difficult for most local Zimbabweans.
Illegal fuel dealers who conduct their business outside most of these Caltex
service stations are selling a 25 litre coupon at $1 450 000 which
translates to $58 000 per litre.
However other dealers who supply liquid fuel charge as much as $350 000 per
5 litre container of petrol.
Energy and Power Development minister Mike Nyambuya could not be reached to
comment on the latest developments.
But a ministry official said that government was aware that fuel suppliers
were hoarding fuel to press for a price review.
Zebra Press, 2006,
You may never have heard of Geoffrey Nyarota, but, a world away in Zimbabwe, many consider him a contemporary folk hero. In 1999, Nyarota founded the Daily News, a newspaper whose lifespan was brief but whose determination to tell the truth about President Robert Mugabe’s noxious government is now legendary—not to mention brave. Though Mugabe is not exactly tolerant of criticism, the upstart Daily News dragged his ruinous economic policies and human rights abuses out in the open for all to see. By the time the government banned the newspaper in 2003, Nyarota had been jailed six times and stalked by a would-be assassin, and the newspaper’s printing presses blown to kingdom come.
The reputation of the memoir isn’t riding high these days, but don’t let the subtitle of Nyarota’s book put you off. There’s not a speck of self-indulgence in Against the Grain: Memoirs of a Zimbabwean Newsman—no hyperbole, no sensationalism. Nyarota’s real subject is not himself, but Zimbabwe. “In little more than two decades,” he writes, “Mugabe reduced a prosperous nation, once the breadbasket of Southern Africa, to a basket case.”
That Nyarota can write with dispassion (and occasional amusement) about a country of extremes is a bit of a miracle: The average life expectancy in Zimbabwe—37 years for men, 34 for women—is the lowest in the world; its rate of inflation, upward of 1,700 percent, is the highest. Reading this book is probably the closest we’ll ever get to the style, restraint, and balance of the defunct Daily News.
Learning the outlines of Nyarota’s life is also a fine crash course in the history of Zimbabwe. He was born in 1951, when the country was the British colony Rhodesia, a place where the black majority suffered overt racial discrimination. As a boy, he was captivated by languages and literature. (He had a serious soft spot for Latin, which he credits for shaping his English vocabulary.) He dreamed of practicing journalism, but that was seen as a white man’s job. So he became a teacher, one of the few professions open to black university graduates. In the 1970s, Nyarota was teaching in a rural area when black resistance to white minority control turned into civil war. Mugabe, the leader of a major guerilla army, emerged as a national hero.
In 1980, when Prime Minister Ian Smith surrendered political power to the black majority, Rhodesia was reborn as Zimbabwe. Mugabe, elected prime minister, built schools and hospitals, vowed to mend the rift between blacks and whites, and boosted the country’s industries. Nyarota, who had seized an opportunity to train as an investigative journalist, earned a reputation as a reporter whose stories were hard-hitting, elegantly written, and scrupulously researched. It was a hopeful time for Zimbabwe.
Then, the unthinkable happened. Mugabe, liberator of his people, turned into a caricature of an African dictator. After exposing corruption in Mugabe’s cabinet, Nyarota was hounded by the police. It was then that Nyarota conceived of a publication that would tell the truth to Zimbabwe’s citizens and might activate change so that the democratic promises of 1980 could be realized—the Daily News.
These days, Nyarota often asks journalists whether they would die for a story. When “they answer in the affirmative, expecting to please me, I always tell them: ‘Rather than die for a story, live to write two more.’”
You may be wondering how Nyarota’s story connects with life in the peaceful Mid-Hudson Valley. When Mugabe’s government succeeded in outlawing his newspaper, Nyarota knew his number was up. And so, for the last four years, the editor in exile has lived in our neck of the woods. From Bard College, he runs the Zimbabwe Media Project, which produces the online Zimbabwe Times (www.zimbabwetimes.com). Its motto? “News Without Fear or Favor.”
Geoffrey Nyarota’s Against the Grain describes a life led with the same mix of mettle and integrity. We are lucky to have such a clear-eyed and eloquent guide to Zimbabwe’s troubles.
Fri Jun 1, 2007 5:28AM EDT
By Jeremy Lovell
LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Lauren St John was just 11 when Rhodesia's war of
independence hit home as the chair next to her in school was suddenly empty
one morning -- her friend Bruce shot dead in an attack on his farmhouse
Nearly 30 years later after shattered innocence, followed by denial and
guilt she has decided to tell her tale in a book whose title "Rainbow's End"
not only uses the farm's name but is an allegory for modern Zimbabwe's
Once a respected symbol of the independence struggle in southern Africa,
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe -- in power since independence from
Britain in 1980 -- has become a pariah with inflation at 3,700 percent and
an economy in meltdown.
"It is about betrayal -- by my father of us, by the whites of black
Zimbabweans but also of the black Zimbabweans by Mugabe," St John said.
The book opens with the killing of her friend Bruce Forrester, his father
Ben and grandmother as well as a family friend in a hail of bullets on the
evening of January 9, 1978 at the height of the bush war.
It then tracks backwards to 1975 and charts her life moving from Rhodesia to
Cape Town and then back again, through the war, the break-up of her family
due to her father's infidelities, through independence in 1980 up to 1983
when she left.
"Writing this was a cathartic experience for me. I had locked away the
memories and the feelings. But when I sat down to write this it all came
flooding back," St John said.
It is a very personal tale of a bloody conflict seen through the eyes of a
very young girl who had to grow up very fast as the fighting came closer.
When her family moved into Rainbow's End farm nine months after the murders,
she found blood from that night in her bedroom.
But even then, with the war drawing closer all the time and phone calls to
the farm threatening a repeat of the Forrester murders, it was not until
independence that she fully understood the lie she and her fellow whites had
"Independence opened my eyes to reality. Only then did the scales fall away
and I realized we had been living parallel lives," St John, a former golfing
journalist, biographer and budding children's author, said.
"I also realized that as blacks and whites had been living parallel lives,
so had my father with his affairs. I grew up very quickly," she added.
St John, who is now reconciled with her father who still lives in Zimbabwe
despite all the difficulties, returns every year to visit the country she
It was the contrast between the harmonious multi-ethnic life she saw in
Harare on a visit in 2000 and the sudden collapse of the thriving agrarian
economy that started three weeks later with Mugabe's state-sponsored land
grab that triggered the book.
"That started me thinking. Here was a country being plunged back into the
stone age," St John said.
"We betrayed the blacks by denying them land ownership, but Mugabe is
betraying them all over again. The plots of land they are given are simply
"Things have got so bad there now that I don't think Zimbabweans can rescue
themselves. If they haven't done anything with inflation at 3,700 percent
then what hope is there. South Africa must help," she added.
SW Radio Africa (London)
1 June 2007
Posted to the web 1 June 2007
The rigging of elections by Zimbabwe's Registrar General seems to have
rubbed off onto student council elections at the University of Zimbabwe a
Following accusations of double voting and the use of riot police to
intimidate voters, progressive student leaders at the university are said to
be contemplating the formation of a rival union to represent students. The
feeling is that Zanu PF sponsored candidates were able to grab key posts on
the back of massive financial backing and outright rigging.
Washington Katema, a coordinator with the Zimbabwe National Students Union
(ZINASU) told Newsreel the idea was one among many that came out during a
brain storming session between students, after the chaos of 23rd May. It's
alleged one of the candidates in the election, Christopher Mutangadura,
called in 3 truckloads of riot police to force a counting of votes after
students confiscated ballot boxes, protesting at the rigging that was taking
place. Other candidates like Edwin Kunaka allegedly canvassed for votes
right outside the polling booths and the general impression in the student
community is that the election was stage managed to produce a result
favourable to government-sponsored candidates.
Despite the dean of students nullifying the poll, Vice Chancellor Levy
Nyagura is said to have over-ruled him and endorsed the process. Clever
Bere, the SRC President at the National University of Science and Technology
who observed the poll, condemned it as fundamentally flawed. 'Is this what
you call an election?' he is said to have asked his colleagues.' Another
student leader, Blessing Vava noted that 'it is disturbing when rigging
start at grassroots level and it shows how desperate ZANU PF has become, as
revealed by their big involvement in student activism.'
Meanwhile a ZINASU student leader Tellington Kwashira, who was abducted by
suspected ruling party thugs in the Goromonzi farming area on Wednesday,is
said to have been released on the same day. Kwashira is the Education and
Research secretary for ZINASU and was serving his industrial attachment with
the General Agricultural and Plantation Workers Union of Zimbabwe in the
A ZINASU statement said he was on an official farm workers assessment visit
when he was taken to a ZANU PF office near Ruwa. It's there that he was
allegedly detained and assaulted. The mob used the usual government rhetoric
as an excuse, accusing him of working with the British government to reverse
the land reform programme in Zimbabwe.
From The Star (SA), 1 June
The government had no information about divisions within Zimbabwe's ruling
Zanu PF or that there were internal party concerns about President Robert
Mugabe's candidacy next year. Replying to questions in the National Assembly
yesterday, President Thabo Mbeki said: "I'm not quite sure where the matter
comes from, but certainly it does not represent any knowledge that the South
African government has, and it is certainly not something that we would want
to cook up. There may well be other people in society who think so and may
have that information, but we don't." Mbeki is mediating between Zanu PF and
the opposition MDC in line with a Southern African Development Community
resolution. Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma this week again rejected
calls for tough action against Zimbabwe during debate on her budget vote.
She told MPs that SA was determined to maintain an approach that would not
push countries like Zimbabwe over the brink. The success of attempts by
Mbeki to facilitate dialogue between Mugabe's government and the opposition
would largely depend on Zimbabweans themselves - particularly the "political
will of the Zimbabwean government and opposition political parties - to take
Zimbabwe out of this crisis".
If you are a farm boy like myself, you will be very well acquainted with the
dip tank. It's a concrete lined rectangular tank - quite deep at the
"plunge" end rising rapidly to the "walk out" end with a long drainage
shute to a holding pen on the other side. The purpose is to remove the
accumulated parasites off the skin of the cattle and to give them some
protection from reinfection for a few days out in the veld. It is filled
with water and dosed with an appropriate insecticide.
On dipping day the cattle are brought together and herded into a holding pen
that leads via a short shute to the dip tank. They have been through this
before and although it is not a pleasant exercise they seem to get used to
it and when pressured from behind they leap, one by one, into the tank and
swim to the others side where they then climb out dripping wet from head to
In the past week we have heard from several commentators that the MDC/Zanu
PF talks are on track. Because of the secrecy surrounding this process we do
not know exactly what that means but words along those lines have come from
President Mbeki, Union Buildings in Tswane, the German Parliament and
yesterday from Tony Blair in South Africa. By now you will know that these
talks are the first ever between the two political movements (both fractured
into several pieces) since the MDC was formed in 1999.
We also know that the talks are expected to lead to an agreement about the
required conditions for a "free and fair" election in March 2008 by the end
of June. Today it is the 1st of June so in four weeks time we should know
what is happening and can postulate what will happen next.
I was very skeptical about this whole process at the start, but the more I
have seen, both on the inside and the outside, has persuaded me that this
time we might just have some chance of success and get a shot at real
change. It is the dip tank process that persuades me of this.
To be successful the process requires a number of things. First you have to
muster the cattle. That means you send out into the field several men who
are familiar with the land and the cattle and get them to herd the players
towards the dip tank and then finally into the holding pen. In this
particular exercise, this has been achieved. Dipping was set down for March
2008 and then the SADC States set about getting the cattle involved into the
pen. This has been done and not without a bit of cussing and cracks of long
whips made from good African rawhide.
The pen on this occasion is an interesting one. I have worked with wild
cattle in Matabeleland and can recall one scene where some Brahman animals
were being penned for handling and I saw an animal sail over a gate that was
at least 6 foot high. Once free we never saw him again and the Rancher told
me that he had to actually shoot the animal later as ration beef as they
simply could not pen him for handling and loading.
The walls surrounding this dip tank pen are too high for any of the
participants to get over. On the right hand side we have the position of the
international community. They met earlier this year and told those
responsible for this operation that they wanted five basic benchmarks to be
met before they would recognise a new government in Zimbabwe and provide the
resources required to get the country back on its feet. These fundamental
demands have been set out with great clarity and in specific terms, if they
are not met then what is the purpose of any agreement? We have to have
international support to climb out of this deep hole we are in at present.
Rescue is impossible without a rope!
The very people herding the cattle - the leaders of the SADC, crafted the
other side of this pen some years ago. They sat down and agreed that a "free
and fair" election had certain common characteristics. These were defined
and laid out in the SADC Protocols or principles for democratic activity.
All the leaders at the time agreed that they would conduct their own
elections on this basis and this decision laid the groundwork for much of
the progress in the SADC that we have seen since then.
This side of the pen cannot be broken out of, as they would be allowing one
of their numbers to violate the very rules they prescribed and adopted for
the region as a whole. Indeed they can legitimately say that the one bull in
this holding pen actually had agreed to these conditions when they were
drafted and has been in violation of them for some years now! They know this
bull well and they know that given half a chance he will break out of the
pen and run. He is therefore the target of a specific containment exercise
and a big whip is being used to bring him into line if and when required.
So this weekend we are about to close the gate on the cattle herded into the
holding pen. Once in there they must decide how they are going to approach
that dip tank. I am told that those with the whip are saying that no one
will be allowed to leave the pen until all have been through the dipping
For those of us who have been demanding just such an intervention, the dip
tank holds no fears. Lets get it over with, we say. For those who fear the
dip tank, they do not know what lies ahead and they are deeply apprehensive.
The talks that will start in the next few days will be about how to
translate conditions on the ground in Zimbabwe into the clear requirements
laid out by the international community and the SADC. They will not be about
the requirements for a free and fair election - these are known and
predetermined. It is what we have to do to satisfy those requirements that
is at stake.
There is no way the cattle can avoid going through the dip. Behind are a
number of herdsmen with cattle prods - battery operated machines that
deliver a powerful shock to the rear end of any reluctant animal. From the
sides of the pen you cannot see the prod being administered because of the
dust and the heaving bodies, but you can clearly see the effect! Once in the
dip, the liquid does the rest. We can expect that if we can get to a free
and fair election, that the people will deal with the parasites in our
midst. Those that survive the dip can then get on with the task of
rebuilding our suffering land.
Bulawayo, 1st June 2007
June 01, 2007 10:15 AM
IN an extraordinary display of indifference to what the world thinks
of Zimbabwe's political and economic woes, the ruling party, Zanu-PF has
began a series of embedded and cheque-book journalism to unleash the highest
level of propaganda to all corners of the world.
This was marked by the recent seventy-seven
(77) paged sponsored supplement published in one of world's leading
magazine, NewAfrica on behalf of Zimbabwe government.
Zanu-PF which is now venturing on grim "party public relations
campaign" following the 11 March barbaric attacks by police on innocent
civilians, opposition party and civic leaders, through the ministry of
Information and Publicity hired veteran journalist and NewAfrica editor
Baffour Ankomah to lift the government and party's face.
Ankomah whose was on an all expenses paid trip was hosted for a week
at Harare's plush Rainbow Towers Hotel, formerly Harare Sheraton. "I went to
Zimbabwe at the invitation of the Zimbabwean government, because it wanted
to tell its side of the story", Ankomah said in his report.
Zimbabwe's 11 March moment of madness was described by the
international community as a "barbaric act not even belonging to the 20
first century" and as a "shame and embarrassment to Africa" according to
African Union and Ghana President, John Kufour.
Subsequent to the March events Zambian president, Levy Mwanawasa
described Zimbabwe as "A sinking titanic".
Ankomah carried interviews with President Robert Mugabe, the police
and featured articles authored by Zanu-PF gurus and its political
sympathizers which political activists dismissed "not only as the highest
level of propaganda but a complete falsity and an exercise of treachery
never to be expected in the media".
"I have gone through the supplement several times. It's nothing but
highest level of propaganda, falsity and treachery not to be expected in any
form of media", political activist Simbarashe Mutangadura in Johannesburg
He added: "Zanu PF was now resorting to using paid supplements as a
last resort to improve its battered image as the international media was
very critical of its mismanagement and the suffering of the people in
Sources with direct information to what happened said reserve bank
governor Gideon Gono paid approximately US$ I,6 million to a UK based IC
Publications which publishes NewAfrica.
The amount can feed starving Zimbabweans for period of more than two
Efforts to obtain a comment on the issue from IC Publications were
fruitless as Ankomah and publication marketing and advertising department
did not respond to questions posted to them by the time of going to press.
During the 2002 presidential election the government introduced
several radio and television campaign strategies, apart from recording music
albums, government had other ideas for television and radio. It began to
record and release a series of Chave Chimurenga (its now war) music campaign
By September 2004, there were several music jingle titles dominating
the airwaves and they included Kwedu Kumachembere, Sisonke, Our Future,
Siyalima, Mombe Mbiri Nemadhongi Mashanu, Uya Uone Kutapira Kunoita Kurima,
Rambai Makashinga, Sendekera Mwana Wevhu and Zesa Yauya neMagetsi. Save for
Zesa Yauya neMagetsi which centers on the rural electrification programme,
the rest of the music jingles promote farming and the land redistribution
An estimate made in 2003 for one Chave Chimurenga music jingle titled
Rambai Makashinga showed that for radio (four stations) it was being played
approximately 288 times a day, which amounts to 8 640 times per month. On
television the advert was flighted approximately 72 times a day, which
amounts to 2 160 times a month.
Below are some annotations, extractions and citations made by the
president during his exclusive interview with Baffour Ankomah:
"THEY WILL GET MORE TSVANGIRAIS BEATEN UP".
"If a person challenges the police, breaches law and order, and thinks
the police would just look at him and shake hands with him, and say "you've
done a good thing by tossing and pushing us around", well, he is quite
mistaken. The police are there to maintain law and order. And it doesn't
matter who, if you threaten them with force, they will answer back with
We may regret that in doing their work, they might have exceeded the
punishment they gave them. But these things happen.
It happens in war, it happens everywhere. If you challenge the police,
don't think they are going to be merciful with you at all. The opposition
can do another 11 March incident, certainly if they do a repeat, and if they
dare challenge the police, they will get more Tsvangirais beaten up", The
"AMBASSADORS WILL CERTAINLY BE KICKED OUT".
"We have read them the riot act, and if they continue to do that, we
will certainly kick them out of the country. It doesn't matter who it is. If
America wants a man like Christopher Dell [their ambassador] to remain here,
then he's got to behave because we will not brook further nonsense from
him.", Mugabe said.
"THE OPPOSITION IS AN EXTESSION OF IMPERIALIM".
"The opposition is an extension of imperialism, they are agents of
imperialism; they are not home-grown opposition people, they were put
together as an opposing package by the British, the three parties in
Britain - the Labour Party, Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats -
established the Westminster Foundation Fund, and it was on the strength of
that fund that the MDC was formed. They chose the leaders, and they had to
come from the labour movement. Tsvangirai became the president of the new
movement, and they took Welshman Ncube from the university to become
secretary-general. But now they have split into two, and we think they can
even split into four, and like the amoeba go on multiplying until they come
to nothing", said Zimbabwe president.
"IT IS THE PREROGATIVE OF THE PRESIDENT TO CALL ELECTIONS".
"Ready or not ready, we will have elections next year. Mind you, it is
the prerogative of the president to call elections any time. But in this
particular case, a presidential election is constitutionally due in March or
soon after March, because the current presidential term ends in March. So we
must go to elections then. If they are not quite ready, well, hard luck.
They must get ready. In politics you must stay ready. So if you are not
ready and you think in politics we should wait for you, to enable you to
take your time? It is when we judge that you are not ready, and we can take
advantage of your being unprepared, that we perform best, isn't it? These
are tricks of electioneering and it's done all over. But anyway in this
particular case, they knew that the presidential election was due in March
next year - they have had six years to prepare, surely they must be able to
do something", President Mugabe told Ankomah.
WHO ARE YOU TO TALK ABOUT THE CONSTITUTION?
"Buy you don't just conceive a constitution, who are you? The majority
of the people support the ruling party, that's why we are ruling, and the
majority of the people have not demanded a new constitution. However, the
government is prepared to offer amendments if the opposition want amendments
to the constitution. We will discuss them in the context of what we
ourselves are proffering", He said
A NEW CONSTITUTION IS OUT OF QUESTION.
"Out of the question, certainly! Our current constitution has
undergone various amendments and there is no way a fresh constitution can be
written between now and March. The opposition must have a mandate from the
people for that kind of thing to happen, and they haven't got it. They are a
minority party and they can't call the tune".
MY PARTY HAS NOT FOUND A SUCCESSOR.
"Well, for as long as I can go and for as long as the party wishes me
to go. That's the combination. And if the party says stand, it means the
party has not found a successor. We will find a successor in due course",
the president said
The Herald (Harare) Published by the government of Zimbabwe
1 June 2007
Posted to the web 1 June 2007
THE Zanu-PF Politburo has set up a task force comprising three Cabinet
ministers to investigate reports of the discovery of a diesel-like liquid in
Chinhoyi and Kariba in Mashonaland West Province.
The move follows a visit by a committee made up of security forces,
Government officials, academics and traditional leaders, led by Deputy
Police Commissioner Godwin Matanga, to the two places last weekend to
investigate the discovery.
The ministerial task force -- comprising Cde Sydney Sekeramayi (Defence),
Cde Kembo Mohadi (Home Affairs) and Cde Didymus Mutasa (National Security,
Lands, Land Reform and Resettlement) -- begins its work today by visiting
Mashonaland West Province.
The Matanga-led committee reported its findings to the Zanu-PF Politburo on
Wednesday, when the ruling party's policy-making organ held a routine
meeting, following which the decision to appoint a ministerial task force
It is understood the committee told the Politburo that it was satisfied that
the liquid oozing out near Chinhoyi Caves and Makuti was pure diesel.
A video footage of the visit by the committee was shown to the Politburo.
The video showed the liquid gushing out of a rock at the summit of a hill
near Chinhoyi Caves and Makuti.
Zanu-PF Secretary for Information and Publicity Cde Nathan Shamuyarira
announced the establishment of the ministerial task force at a Press
conference in Harare yesterday.
"The ministers have been tasked by the Politburo to go to the two areas and
ascertain if there is diesel and report back as soon as possible. If we
establish that we have a marketable quantity of oil deposits, that will be a
big boost and relief to the nation because fuel has been expensive," said
Kariba legislator Cde Shumbayaonda Chandengenda, who was part of the Matanga
team, said they were led to the areas by a spirit medium (mhondoro) called
He said the spirit medium performed some traditional rituals before they
proceeded to the site where large quantities of "diesel" were gushing out.
Cde Chandengenda said some vehicles were filled with the liquid and were
driven without any problems.
Mashonaland West Governor and Resident Minister Cde Nelson Samkange, Chief
Manyepa Dandawa, and Chief Bepura, among others, were present when the
Matanga-led team visited the areas.
The legislator said Sekuru Dombo told them that the "diesel" was a gift from
ancestral spirits and should be used for the benefit of the whole country.
If the liquid is proved to be diesel, then the discovery would come barely a
year after diamond and emerald finds triggered a rush in parts of
By Jonga Kandemiiri
01 June 2007
All residents associations in Zimbabwe, converged in Masvingo Thursday, to
discuss the state's countrywide take over, of the management of water and
sewerage systems, from local authorities.
The government repealed the Water Act of 1976, and passed into law the Water
Act of 1998, which authorized the Zimbabwe National Water Authority, to run
and manage all of the country's water resources.
But residents, local authorities and other stakeholders, including some
lawmakers, have opposed the decentralization of water management in the
country, because they said, the state cannot carry out the services as
efficiently as local authorities.
Combined Harare Residents Association vice chairman Israel Mabhowo, who
attended the three-day convention in Masvingo, told reporter Jonga
Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe, that they hope to find a solution
to the take over and issues of compensation to local authorities over the
assets taken by ZINWA.
By Carole Gombakomba
01 June 2007
All healthcare staff from Harare's two main referral hospitals, Parirenyatwa
and Harare Hospitals, have threatened to join their junior and senior
counterparts, and down their tool on Saturday, unless the government
increases their salaries.
The healthcare staff reached this decision following a meeting at the two
hospitals, Friday afternoon.
The move comes one day after junior and senior residents from Harare state
hospitals went on strike, demanding that the government pay them $Z70
million a month, and US$3,000 for car loans.
Meanwhile, some junior and senior residents at government hospitals in
Bulawayo, also went on strike Friday, while the remaining 50 percent have
decided to stay on their jobs to complete their housemanship.
Health secretary Henry madzorere of the Movement for Democratic change led
by Morgan Tsvangirai, told reporter Carole Gombakomba of VOA's Studio 7 for
Zimbabwe, that the junior doctors were justified in demanding high salaries,
which he believed are in line with the rate of the country's more than 3,700
Saturday 02 June 2007
By Hendricks Chizhanje
HARARE - Zimbabwe bank workers this week filed a 14-day notice to embark on
a crippling job boycott to force employers to award them a 165 percent
salary increase granted by independent arbitrators last March.
In a letter to the Bank Employers Association of Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe
Banks and Allied Workers Union (ZIBAWU) President Blessing Mujuru said bank
employers had since March refused to comply with the order leaving them with
no option but to resort to strike action.
Under the terms of the arbitration award, the lowest paid worker could have
seen his salary rise from Z$100 000 to $600 000 a month. The arbitrators
also ruled that transport and housing allowances be reviewed bi-monthly to
cushion workers from the current high inflationary environment.
"Notice is hereby given of our intention to engage in an industrial
Collective Job Action in terms of Section 104 (1) of the Labour Act Chapter
28:01 as amended.
"This fourteen day (14) notice follows the failure or unwillingness by the
Bank Employers Association of Zimbabwe to implement in full an Arbitral
Award that was issued in the Cost of Living negotiations for the period 1
March 2007 to 30 June 2007," read part of the letter.
The lowest paid bank worker earns about $600 000 a month, way below the
country's poverty datum line which currently stands at Z$1.7 million a
Zimbabwean police last month barred the bank workers from demonstrating in
Harare over the refusal by bank employers to honour the arbitration award
saying the protest could be hijacked by unruly elements from the political
Protests by workers over poor pay and working conditions are common in
Zimbabwe that is in the grip of a severe eight-year old economic crisis most
critics blame on President Robert Mugabe's mismanagement of the economy.
The southern African country, once seen as a model economy on the continent,
is battling with the world's highest inflation rate of over 3 700 percent,
massive joblessness and poverty. - ZimOnline
By James Butty
01 June 2007
Transparency International, the global civil society organization that is
leading the fight against corruption, says most Africans believe the
judicial systems in their countries is corrupt. In its recent survey of
eight African countries, the group says one in five people it polled said
they paid a bribe in their interaction with the judicial system.
Transparency says of the eight countries polled, Niger, Nigeria, Zambia, and
Zimbabwe were the most affected.
Casey Kelso is Transparency International's regional director for Africa and
the Middle East. He told VOA why people said they paid bribes to the
judicial systems in their countries.
"There are two major reasons that corruption takes place in the judicial
system across Africa. One is the lack of resources that provide room for
corruption and often denies access to justice for the poor. The other major
reason that we found was political influence. So across the continent of
Africa, we found that from Zimbabwe to Algeria, Zambia, Niger, there was
political influence over the selection of judges, there was political
interference in the decisions such as in Zimbabwe to remove judges that were
perceived as being ruling against the ruling party or the party of the day,"
Kelso admitted that political influence over the judiciary was not unique to
Africa. But he said Africa was unique because of the level of violence
"Certainly one of the things we found is that political influence is across
the world. In the United States, the current controversy of the ruling party
there where the Republicans selectively getting rid of some federal
prosecutors because they are perceived to be too liberal in the interest or
the ideology of the ruling party there in the United States. So it's not an
African problem per se, but the situation that really did seem to be
different in Africa was the level of violent intimidation and outright
threat against judges," Kelso said.
From Nigeria to Uganda, judges have recently handed down major rulings
against the ruling parties in those countries. Kelso said the judiciary in
Africa has made some progress.
"Yes, certainly I would say Transparency International views both the
positive elements as well as some of the negative elements. In Nigeria, the
judicial reform has made the people believe in the Nigerian system of
justice. In Ghana, several reform initiatives, including the fast track
initiative and a judicial council review of judges' behavior actually seems
to have succeeded in reducing some corruption," he said.
Kelso said Transparency International has been working to improve the
African judicial systems.
"I think there's a couple of different steps in terms of how we see judicial
reform stepping forward. One of the things that Transparency has been doing
is to try to monitor how have people interacted with the judiciary. I think
also there's an awareness raising that needs to be done as well. One of our
initiatives in Madagascar, for example, helped put out in both French as
well as the Madagascan language, brochures that tell people exactly how to
deal with court procedures, how to file a court case and that you don't need
to file with a bribe for a court official," Kelso said.
He also said part of the judicial reform being promoted by Transparency
International is to make sure that judicial salaries reflect the
performances and professional development of court officials who he said are
May 31, 2007
Zimbabwe's hopes of resuming playing Test cricket have been dealt a hammer
blow by the ICC Cricket Committee which met in Dubai this week.
The newly-constituted committee, chaired by Sunil Gavaskar, has recommended
that the ICC does not allow Zimbabwe to return to the Test arena "until such
time as the team demonstrates its ability to perform at a standard that does
not risk undermining the integrity of Test cricket". It continued: "In order
to be able to judge when Zimbabwe's performance merits a return to Test
cricket, the committee felt the team first needed to continue in its current
practice of playing a number of representative four-day matches. The
committee encouraged the scheduling of such matches against ICC Full Member
A teams and Associates with, for example, the inclusion of Zimbabwe in the
next ICC Intercontinental Cup."
Although the recommendations still have to be discussed by the ICC executive
when it meets in London at the end of June, they will make it much harder
for Peter Chingoka, the ZC chairman, to persuade other members that Zimbabwe
are ready to resume playing Tests.
It has always been stressed that Zimbabwe's suspension was at their own
behest, but there have been increasing concerns that the standard of their
side is now so poor as to threaten the ethos of Tests.
Zimbabwe first voluntarily suspended themselves in 2004. They returned to
Tests in January 2005 but of eight matches between then and their second
withdrawal in January 2006 they lost all but one by massive margins, with
the one drawn match being severely disrupted by rain. They have also won
only one of their last 19 ODIs.
If the committee's recommendations are accepted then Zimbabwe could be added
to the eights countries in the 2007-08 Intercontinental Cup which gets
underway next month and runs until late 2008. That would enable them to play
four-day matches against the leading Associates as well as other series
against A teams.
There is unrest, especially among the Associates, that Zimbabwe continue to
be heavily funded by the ICC - they are about to receive US$11.5 million
from the World Cup - and yet they do little more - less in some instances -
than Associates such as Ireland, Scotland and Kenya who receive a fraction
of that money.
Harvard Political Review
By Mary Cox
Harvard Political Review: As the leader of the opposition party, how
possible have you found it to advance a political agenda in South Africa?
Tony Leon: South Africa has a lot of possibilities, but it's also got a lot
of history, and history weighs quite heavily on the present time. I always
think of that old joke told in Russia, "We know the future; it's the past
that keeps changing." There's quite a lot of contest about who did what in
the struggle, and a lot of our politics is still burdened by racial
identities. So that makes it difficult to espouse and advance non-racial
liberal democracy, which my party stands for, because you tend to find that
the minority community will vote for you, and the majority community will
align itself with the liberation party, which is the African National
Congress. You want to break out of those particular racial molds, but you
also have an electoral base that tends to reinforce them. To me,
transcending race and getting into issues of ideology is the great
challenge, which we haven't overcome yet. On the other hand, I have to say
that when President Clinton came to South Africa in 1998, he requested a tea
party with the opposition in Parliament. He said the only question in
politics is, "Compared to what?" And if I look at the past in South Africa,
the real past, not to how we imagine it, it was a pretty brutal place. It
had no testing power for the Supreme Court, no multi-party politics, no
equal citizenship. Compared to that, it's fantastic now, but there are some
big challenges and some orange lights that are flashing which we must turn
to green. My party has established areas of control, including Cape Town,
the biggest city, and most of the municipalities in the Western Cape. I hope
we can use that as a base to expand and really become a national
alternative, not just a regional minority party.
HPR: You mentioned the problem of race in politics. A decade after
apartheid, what exactly is the status of race relations between people in
TL: I think that "on the ground," at the grassroots level, they're pretty
good. The white minority which held the monopoly of power until 1994 has
come to terms pretty amiably with the fact that they're a minority now and
they don't control the political power. And the black majority, which you
might have expected would have gone for some racial revenge after 350 years,
have not done that. On those two important facts we can express a lot of
satisfaction. But in the "chattering classes," as the English call them,
among the elite, there's an enormous amount of race-holding. To take two
American examples, you have a lot of Al Sharptons, and you have one or two
Don Imuses in our country, people who really are race-warriors, who use race
as a club and a shield. But I would say that it's much better on the ground
than it is at the top.
HPR: What are the main policy issues that your party is facing right now and
what are you trying to do to advance your positions?
TL: The biggest issue in South Africa is poverty. In a sense we have the
most wonderful democratic transitions, but most of our population lives on
the red line or below it and we've got a massively unequal distribution of
income. It's as if we have Belgium and India together in one country; we've
got a core of fantastic development and a very large periphery of massive
underdevelopment. How does one keep a market economy going, and at the same
time make sure that those at the bottom actually start having some hope of
escaping poverty? One approach by the government is called "Black Economic
Empowerment," which is a nice concept, but it's made some exceptionally rich
blacks into billionaires. It hasn't actually spread the economic wealth in a
proper way. We don't want to do it in a Marxist way, we don't want to kill
the goose that lays the golden eggs in the economy, but it's becoming a very
big debate in South Africa.
The second major issue in South Africa is determining our role in the world.
We've got quite a respectable position in the world, but we use it sometimes
in bizarre ways. To show no action on Darfur or in Zimbabwe shows that we
have this very impressive legacy of human rights commitments, yet we
squander it in the international forum.
HPR: Would you like to see South Africa taking a more active role in cases
TL: Absolutely. I would like to see South Africa standing up to its basic
principles and starting to export them instead of shielding some
neighborhood oppressor from scrutiny. Even if we can't make a difference, we
should at least do the right thing. Doing the right thing often does make a
difference, but it surely does no harm. We've gone in the opposite direction
and we could certainly do much more.
HPR: From your experience, what have been the most important steps in
building lasting democratic institutions?
TL: The most important thing we did was to settle upon a constitution,
because that provides you with the roadmap and a framework. Establishing a
democratic culture is more prosaic, but also somewhat more difficult. And we
have all the "bells and whistles" of a democracy, including Parliament and
Question Time, when the Ministers have to answer. The spirit of true
governmental accountability is something that still requires quite a lot of
attention and work in our country. The executive often has disdain for the
legislature, which is also an issue here in the United States. In a young
democracy, those issues are more profound, because if you don't get it right
in the beginning, you might never get it right at all. While having a
representative parliament with the whole country represented is not a mean
achievement given our past, I remember on the other hand Tolstoy's famous
description of a tree, where the leaves enchant us more than the roots. I
think the leaves are very good but sometimes the roots need more attention.
HPR: Do you feel like there's faith among the people that this democracy
will work out, or do the problems with unemployment, or any number of other
issues, disenchant the people?
TL: I think it's mixed. There's a lot of deference toward leadership, which
can be a very bad thing in our country. People tend to say, "Well, the
government says it so it must be alright." On the other hand, people are not
voting as much in South Africa. In the first election, about 90% of people
voted, but in the last election, there was a 13% drop-off. In a sense, the
people vote with their feet, and the disillusioned just drop out of the
system completely. I don't think there's going to be any violent revolution
in South Africa. But some people feel alienated from the system. One of the
problems in our system is that we don't have electoral districts, so
Parliament gets elected on a party list. This process creates distance
between the legislators and the electorate. It's very nice for me, as leader
of the party, because I get control over the members of the Parliament, but
it's not good for the voters at all. Our party and a lot of other people in
South Africa are very much in favor of changing the system, so you can mix
proportional representation with the constituents on a district basis, as in
the United States. Then you will establish a more direct contact and bring
the government closer to the people.
Posted on Tuesday, May 29, 2007 at 09:03PM
By NAT HENTOFF
Published Friday, June 1, 2007
The United Nations is increasingly becoming a parody of itself while
American taxpayers last year provided $439 million to the regular U.N.
budget - plus a headquarters in New York that the U.N. management wants to
Not only has this dysfunctional and occasionally corrupt organization failed
to stop the genocide in Darfur, but on May 11, the insatiably brutal Robert
Mugabe's government of Zimbabwe was elevated by the United Nations to chair
its Commission on Sustainable Development - dealing with land, rural and
economic development, and the environment.
Astonished, The Economist magazine on May 19 noted that Zimbabwe, once known
as "the breadbasket of Africa," has had its agriculture "largely destroyed
by its government's catastrophic policies."
This year, it was Africa's turn to lead the Commission on Sustainable
Development, and the U.N.'s African members shamefully and inexcusably
support Mugabe's government for that post.
Zimbabwe is a disaster area. The country's own Social Welfare Commission, as
reported by The New York Times on Dec. 19, found that 63 percent of the
rural population and 53 percent of the urban population cannot meet basic
Under Mugabe's rule, Zimbabwe's inflation is the highest on the planet -
more than 2,200 percent.
The African nations voting to bestow "legitimacy" on Mugabe's terrorism
against his own people closed their eyes and consciences to the fact - as
reported by The Economist - that "every day, desperate Zimbabweans cross the
Limpopo River, braving crocodiles and occasionally drowning, to try their
luck in neighboring South Africa. Trapped into illegality there, many are
exploited and abused."
Meanwhile, the liberator of Zimbabwe from white rule into its present
wasteland is planning a 2008 campaign for an additional six-year term and a
$4 million museum - a "shrine" - of his lifetime achievements, as reported
in the May 2 issue of the Washington Times.
Mugabe will surely win - if not by acclamation, then certainly through
In May, for example, he forbade Zimbabwe journalists - those who still risk
beatings and prison for reporting the truth - from marching in commemoration
of World Press Freedom Day, the May 7 New York Times reported.
While the United Nations elevates Mugabe to alert the world on vital issues
of sustainable development, on May 15, Christopher Dell, who is ending a
three-year assignment as U.S. ambassador to Zimbabwe, gave National Public
Radio his assessment of the living hell Mugabe has created: "The metaphor I
have is that it is like a lake. And as the waters of the lake recede, more
and more of the fish are being left to die in the mud. At the center, the
big fish are swimming around nicely and making huge fortunes, huge
Metaphor turns into reality in this Dec. 17 dispatch by Erik German of
Newsday from Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe: "A few miles south from empty luxury
hotels in this once dazzling tourist spot, dozens of gaunt young men survive
by scavenging food from the town dump. Alan Sibanda, 23, has been coming
here ... for the past five years, scuffling with baboons and vultures for
the least-rotten scraps. Since midsummer, garbage has been his main source
I guess the U.N. members who voted to honor Mugabe by making Zimbabwe the
head of the Commission on Sustainable Development didn't bother to interview
Sibanda before the final ballot.
To cap the current and chronic disgrace of the United Nations, guess who the
new officers of the U.N. Disarmament Commission are?
The chair is Syria, home of abundantly armed warring factions, and the vice
chair, believe it or not, is Iran, the leading prospect to blow up its
region of the world. Having this proud stoker of nuclear destruction become
second-in-command of the U.N. Disarmament Commission is like springing Jack
Abramoff from prison to fill the new vacancy at the World Bank.
In one of its series of editorials, "Your U.N. at Work," the May 19-20 Wall
Street Journal said: "It's a shame the U.S. didn't respond to the outcome of
these two 'leadership' elections - including Zimbabwe heading the
Development Commission - and walk away from both of these useless U.N.
It makes much more sense for us to walk away from the United Nations itself,
period. There are other organizations that - with more help from us and
other concerned nations - can feed the hungry and provide medical aid for
those in need around the world.
But Eleanor Roosevelt's dream of the United Nations serving as an
international beacon of human rights has become a nightmare of millions of
people's betrayed hopes.
Nat Hentoff is a nationally renowned authority on the First Amendment and
the Bill of Rights and author of many books. His column is distributed by