Press Release: 11 March 2002
My Fellow Zimbabweans:
I thank you
for your courage as you continue to vote in your millions. We
determination. We hear your support. We share your impatience. The
in your hands. What the people of Zimbabwe now deserve is
But there are those who say that dark clouds threaten
the horizon of our
Together we have travelled a very
difficult road to achieve democratic
change. Your resilience to reclaim your
rights, as expressed by the
overwhelming turnout, has shaken the corridors of
power. Rare in the history
of mankind have a people faced such brutality
while retaining such gracious
But the forces of darkness
may yet try to block your path to victory.
As I address you, it is sad
that this regime still seems intent on defying
your will. Whatever may
happen, I as your loyal servant am with you all the
way. They may want to
arrest me and at worst kill me, but they will never
destroy the spirit of the
people to reclaim their power. We have said that
this election is about the
choice between hope and despair. We may have
moments of fear but we must
never let despair overwhelm us.
The tide of change is irreversible but we
must be prepared to pay a high
price for our freedom. President Mugabe and
his colleagues are afraid of the
people and we have heard they may do
anything to kill the messenger. If they
do, you must stay strong and carry on
the work we began together. Among you
walk heroes -- heroes who waited hours
and hours to vote, heroes who refused
to be turned away. These are the heroes
of the new Zimbabwe whose voices
must be heard around the world.
is the time we have been waiting for and we are ready. But let us first
peacefully for your votes to be cast and counted. Restrain yourselves
do not allow their sinister plans to succeed. As you wait for the
not succumb to their provocative traps. I know they are trying
very hard to
provoke you. Yes, we share your fear that the result will be
rigged, but let
us complete the process we began together in our campaign
for a better life
for all Zimbabweans.
In closing, let us pray that President Mugabe, his
party, and the security
forces shall uphold the Constitution while peacefully
respecting the will of Zimbabwean people.
May the Lord
bless you in your continued efforts for freedom.
Delays and arrests as Zimbabwe tries again to vote
By Ravi Nessman, AP
11 March 2002
Zimbabwe's chaotic presidential elections resumed for a third day, with
polling stations opening five hours late and the arrest of two senior Opposition
After being chased away from polling stations by police last night, thousands
of voters this morning after the High Court ordered the government to extend
voting countrywide for a third day. But the polling stations did not open until
noon, after many voters had given up and gone home or to work.
Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa said on state television this morning the
government would comply with the court order under duress and would only extend
voting in Harare and a nearby township, both opposition strongholds. He said
many polling stations in the rest of the country had already been dismantled.
Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai accused President
Robert Mugabe and his ruling party of attempting to steal the election by
driving opposition observers from 43 per cent of the rural polling stations,
some of the rural counting stations and discouraging people in urban areas from
"If those thousands of people are not allowed to vote, this is a stillborn
election," he said. "The MDC will not be part of an illegitimate process to try
to disenfranchise people."
The opposition party's secretary–general and third ranking official, Welshman
Ncube, was arrested in the south–western town of Plumtree, while his deputy,
Gift Chimanikire, was detained in Harare, said David Coltart an opposition
legislator. Police gave no reason for the arrests, but Ncube has been charged
with treason in a previous case.
"We will not succumb to this kind of intimidation," Mr Tsvangirai said,
adding that he will not appeal to the country's Supreme Court because they
consistently rule against the opposition. He appealed to the people to show
restraint and avoid confrontation with security forces.
Two US diplomats were also detained for several hours by Zimbabwean police in
the turbulent town of Chinhoyi, 75 miles north of Harare, said Robert Whitehead,
deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy. He said they were accredited as
election observers and Zimbabwean authorities had not explained why they were
Government officials were not immediately available for comment.
Despite pre–election violence and intimidation that opposition officials
blame on Mugabe loyalists, voters headed out in record numbers to cast their
ballots during the weekend vote – especially in urban areas like Harare.
In the poor Mbare neighborhood of Harare, Duncan Gideon, an unemployed
25–year old who waited all day Sunday to vote, returned to the polling station
after his sister called him and said it had reopened.
"Others have gone to work, others are hungry, sunburned," Gideon said,
explaining why many had given up on voting. About 250 people were in line with
The presiding officer of the station, who did not give his name, said the
reopening was delayed because officials had just received the order to reopen.
In Zimbabwe's second city of Bulawayo, observers said most people appeared to
have cast their ballot and there appeared to be no need for an extra day of
The government announced turnout figures that showed massive voting in Mugabe
strongholds with far fewer voters casting ballots in opposition areas.
Mashonaland Central, which normally votes strongly for the ruling party, had
a 68 per cent turnout. Harare had a 47 per cent turnout so far, and the city of
Bulawayo a 46 per cent turnout, the government said.
'Opportunity Always Presents Itself': Success in a
March 11, 2002
to the web March 11, 2002
The political turmoil in Zimbabwe presents TRACY MUTAVIRI,
dean of the Faculty of Commerce at the University of Zimbabwe, with an
opportunity to put into perspective the survival strategies that managers can
adopt under unsettled circumstances. The Zimbabwean economy is going through
turbulent times. Inflation is in three digits (112 per cent by end of December
2001) and unemployment continues to rise (approximately 60 per cent of the
Short-term money market interest rates, which had risen to
70 per cent in 2000, fell sharply at the beginning of 2001 as the government
embarked on a programme to restructure its domestic debt, which now stands at
197 billion Zimbabwe dollars (foreign debt Z$38.5 billion). Interest rates are
however, expected to surge above 100 per cent by year end as the government will
be forced to bring the cost of borrowing in line with the surging rate of
The Z$ continues to weaken against major currencies. The
official exchange rate (currently pegged at $1: Z$55) is now 5 to 6 times lower
than the parallel market rate. Critically low levels of foreign currency have
resulted in intermittent supply of critical inputs such as petrol and diesel.
Investment has fallen by 10 per cent in the past four years while savings have
declined by 11 per cent. Divestments have increased and the World Bank and IMF
have suspended their financial support.
Because of the high rate of inflation, input costs and
margins are unpredictable. Disposable income is rapidly being eroded, forcing
consumers to review their buying patterns. The reduction in effective local
demand has been a major problem for most companies since they depend largely on
the domestic market.
Exporters are forced to review their prices regularly as
input costs keep rising. They are never sure what the cost of their imported
inputs will be because of fluctuations in the real exchange rate. At the same
time, they cannot adjust their prices in foreign markets because they are price
takers. The issue of low returns is currently the biggest problem for Zimbabwean
Although economic conditions are clearly harsh, Zimbabwean
companies cannot afford to adopt a wait-and-see attitude. Uncontrollable
variables have always been a feature of business environments. The question that
boards of directors and management need to address is: "How can we adjust our
company strategies in response to the negative trends in the environment?"
To survive and succeed, an organisation should have the
ability to create or identify those opportunities that it is best qualified to
exploit given its technical and financial resource endowment. According to
insolvency consultants, businesses fail either because of loss of market or poor
An analysis of success stories in Zimbabwe reveals that
successful companies typically believe in:
Rigorous industry analysis
Superior knowledge of market requirements
A high degree of customer orientation
Good financial management
Proactive planning procedures
Investing in people and value systems
Rigorous Industry Analysis
Industry analysis helps companies identify gaps and
weaknesses within their industries and offer product(s)/service(s) that address
those gaps. Strategy is about where and how to compete in a given market.
When the Zimbabwean banking industry was deregulated,
traditional players had a rude awakening. An influx of locally owned banks
significantly redefined how business was done, to their competitive advantage.
They introduced new products (unit trusts, educational finance, housing loans
for Zimbabweans living abroad), identified pockets of unfulfilled demand (small
scale enterprises / businesswomen), and adopted a different attitude towards
risk (e.g. no collateral when lending).
In dynamic markets, today's customers will be gone tomorrow
- companies need to get used to this and act on it. Accelerating technology and
shifting demographics - due to massive retrenchments and lay-offs, company
closures, company formations, galloping inflation, education, the land
redistribution programme, massive exodus to other countries and multiple
exchange rates - are some factors behind the growing turbulence in the
Successful companies always strive to be at the right place
at the right time. They have a tendency to perform in newer, growing markets -
markets of the future that are, as such, less vulnerable in periods of economic
distress. On the other hand, poor performers tend to be positioned primarily in
mature or declining markets.
The chairman of a recently listed Zimbabwean commercial bank
that recorded a 363 per cent rise in profit after tax had this to say: "While
acknowledging the tough economic times ahead- opportunities will always present
themselves, as existing and new customers seek solutions for their business
needs." The same bank also provides technical expertise through a management
contract to a bank in a lesser-developed economy - earning itself and the
country foreign exchange in the process.
In the life assurance business, a young, dynamic company has
over the past five years, responsed to the high death rate caused by the Aids
pandemic with a finance plan to help families meet funeral expenses; an
education policy to help parents pay for the increasing cost of educating their
children, and, as tuition fees at state-owned tertiary institutions were hiked
beyond the reach of most parents in Zimbabwe, a financial plan for university
Realising that retirement in a hyperinflationary environment
is a daunting prospect, the company then introduced a product that enables
holders to actually plan for their retirement. This dynamic company reported a
151 per cent increase in profits; a 129 per cent increase in earnings per share
and a 92 per cent increase in return on equity during the first half of
Knowledge of Market Requirements
In the service business, employees are key to delivering
quality service; consequently, smart companies aim at attracting, developing,
motivating and retaining the best employees to in turn attract and retain
customers. This has been the strategy of two companies, one in the mobile phone
business and another in the financial services sector, that have managed to stay
on top in their respective industries in Zimbabwe.
In today's high-tech business world, the strategic challenge
is to move from a conventional business design to a digital design that embraces
the customer; this in turn means managers and salespeople who can talk
information technology. But simply adapting new technology is not in itself the
key to success. Technology must be used to create better products/service for
Today's customers want products to be made to their
specifications and delivered immediately. So one needs to create a highly
integrated supply web that has business partners working together on the
Successful companies are more likely than their competitors
to listen to what the market is saying. They are also more prepared to put in
the hard work necessary to sell products in competitive environments. Most of
the companies that are doing well in Zimbabwe are either already in
regional/international markets or are seriously contemplating entering them.
Successful companies let the customer define quality and
then work on delivering an improved version of that definition. When the going
gets tough, many companies tend to downplay quality and redefine it to meet only
the regulatory and licensing requirements. Successful companies, on the other
hand are prepared to invest money in differentiating their product or service -
for example by charging very low prices to generate interest among customers and
at the same time offering superior service. The low margins can put off one's
competitors and buy time to recoup one's initial investment through volume.
A leading Zimbabwean company in the life assurance business
is a good example of focusing on what matters most to the customer. The company
approached an internationally renowned credit rating company, which has given a
seal of approval to over 800 insurance companies worldwide. This move, the first
of its kind in Zimbabwe, was based on its understanding of the real reason why
customers want life assurance - because they want to make sure that those they
leave behind when they die are financially provided for. Given the economic
environment prevailing in the country, the international rating has given the
company's clients the peace of mind that their payments are assured.
Successful companies exercise a greater degree of control on
costs, conducting frequent analyses of costs and performance. This constant
pressure to justify activities financially not only means efficient use of
resources, it also ensures that attention is constantly focused on the major
objective of any business organisation - profit.
In the mining and food manufacturing business in Zimbabwe,
subcontracting has paid off. A food processing giant, realising that its
strength is marketing, has now subcontracted its production and canning
operations to small enterprises set up by former employees whom it has assisted
to set up shop.
The company's production and technical staff provide
technical backup and guidance. The organisation has become leaner, and margins
have increased remarkably.
Unbundling (or shedding non-core business) is behind the
successful turnaround of some Zimbabwean companies. The head of group operations
of a Zimbabwean conglomerate cited it as the underlying factor that helped them
turn around, having spread themselves too thinly across a wide range of
Through the shedding of non-core businesses, the company has
eliminated its exposure to high volume, low margin businesses or businesses
currently experiencing high production costs, price controls and low consumer
Top performers map out possible future scenarios and then
plan to bring about one. The marketing and sales director of a Zimbabwean bank
that was successfully turned around (within two years) cited the following as
the key factors behind their success: A clear vision; ability to read the
environment coupled with the ability to adapt; exciting goals that can energise
the team; a means of tracking and measuring performance; good leadership;
ability to learn continuously, and use of technology to reduce costs while at
the same time increasing income
Although most successful organisations tend to plan with
longer-term time horizons, the marketing and sales director remarked that
"Long-range plans are not the issue in Zimbabwe right now, it's the short-term
manoeuvres and tactics that matter."
In the first half of 2001, the bank's share price rose from
520 to 3,000 Zimbabwe cents within eight months. With a balance sheet of
slightly over Z$25 billion, the bank is now Zimbabwe's third largest bank in
terms of assets.
In turbulent times, it is vital for companies to develop a
culture that is both challenged by the unexpected and confident in (as well as
capable of) dealing with whatever comes along. Executives need to get more
comfortable with ambiguity and unpredictability and to listen to others in ways
they have never done before.
Investing in People
Since everything else can be copied (because of
technological advancement), the only sustainable competitive advantage is an
organisation's human resources - not its physical assets, but the brains that
drive those assets, the knowledge that is accumulated in the heads of its
This means companies need to move away from relying on
"experts" and capture that knowledge internally, documenting processes so as to
replicate best practice, so that when the "expert" leaves, the organisation does
not come to a standstill. They place information on the company's intranet so
that it can be retained and is available to everyone.
In turbulent times, team spirit, flexibility and
co-ordination are critical. As such, you want to create a work environment that
tells people that you want to facilitate collaboration. A single cafeteria for
everyone, an open office design and same size offices and desks says to
employees that everyone is important and that you are not discriminated against
because of the kind of work you do. You cannot achieve great things if you work
Hyperinflation: Buy When Others Are Selling
March 11, 2002
to the web March 11, 2002
NORMAN SACHIKONYE, chief executive officer of First Mutual
Life Assurance Society of Zimbabwe, focuses on macroeconomic variables and
examines how some businesses have coped with escalating commodity prices. For 15
years after independence from Britain in 1980, Zimbabwe remained a beacon of
hope for Africa.
The Zimbabwean economy, which is endowed with vast mineral,
tourism and agricultural resources, coupled with a successful education policy,
continued to post reasonable growth. This was despite several years of drought
during the same period.
The economic situation changed for the worse following the
collapse of the Zimbabwean dollar in late 1997 and it has been in the sickbay
since 1998. Inflation rose to unprecedented levels - from 12 per cent in 1995 to
112 per cent in January 2002 - causing severe hardship to companies and
individuals. It is still rising. Analysts predicted that it will peak at 120 per
cent in the next few months before it can be gradually brought to manageable
Many companies have succumbed to the harsh economic
environment. However, an increasing number of the new-generation companies have
defied the odds and are flourishing.
All economies in the world today experience some form of
inflation. Mild inflation can be good for the economy. It can stimulate an
economy from slumber, particularly where government makes a deliberate effort to
kick-start the economy.
However, when inflation reaches high proportions and remains
stubbornly high, it becomes hyperinflation. This form of inflation is always
very dangerous. We have seen many countries slide into anarchy due to
In Africa, Zimbabwe is a classic example of how a country
with great potential can quickly degenerate into a hyperinflation. How can this
happen? Do companies close shop when this happens? What strategies can managers
adopt in order to continue to do business? There are many success stories in the
burgeoning financial services sector in Zimbabwe.
The new management in this sector have defied the odds by
creating highly successful companies that continue to prosper even in the
hyperinflationary environment. How do they do it?
One thing common to most of these institutions is their
unwavering focus on the high-payoff activities. Executives must concentrate on
their core competencies and cut out all unnecessary activities.
The development of human resources is fundamental to the
success of any business. People are the creators and drivers of value in
businesses today. Companies with a long-term view spend generously on the
training and development of their human resources.
A hyperinflationary environment presents huge challenges in
terms of cost management. Prices of goods and services generally rise
substantially over a very short period of time. One survival strategy is to buy
in bulk, but this can only be applied where a company has sufficient cash
However, cost management taken to the extreme can stifle
business. It is therefore important to be able to allocate the financial
resources of the organisation to the high payoff areas. One of the most powerful
ways of motivating employees and instilling loyalty is by enabling employee
share-ownership. Most people desire to own the means of wealth creation and gain
a high sense of motivation when they have an equity stake in their company.
Companies that have a significant employee share-ownership generally have high
staff morale and are focused on value creation. People police each other and
achieving targets becomes much easier.
The principle of employee share-ownership is even more
rewarding when the company is listed on the stock exchange. Employees are able
to see the direct effects of their value creation by the gains in the valuation
of their company share value. Many high-flying banking and other financial
institutions in Zimbabwe have exploited this strategy extensively. Former state
firms like Cotton Company of Zimbabwe and the Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe that
implemented employee share-ownership schemes are now among the most profitable
enterprises in the country, exporting their products to neighbouring
Doing business in a hyperinflationary economy is highly
risky. There is no guarantee of supply and over time there is a high probability
that your customers may not be able to afford to buy your goods and services. So
it is good business practice to diversify country risk by investing in countries
that have more manageable inflation levels.
This strategy forces managers to think laterally. Many
financial institutions have established offices in Botswana, Zambia, Malawi
Mozambique and Tanzania. Some have gone further a field to West African
countries like Nigeria and Ghana. The results have been startling. The African
Banking Corporation, in response to a requirement to diversify the Zimbabwean
country risk, has now managed to transform itself into a regional financial
services group and is rapidly becoming a pan-African financial services
organisation. Zimbabwe Reinsurance Company has successfully expanded its
operations into Southern Africa. Innscor Africa, a leading food chain that
specialises in fast food, has transformed itself into a regional player with
operations as far afield as here in Kenya.
In a hyperinflationary environment, investing in real assets
helps preserve value. In Zimbabwe, the stockmarket has performed exceptionally
well in the past six years, being twice voted the best performing emerging
market in the world.
A hyperinflationary environment creates business
opportunities of different types. You must take a "contrarian" view of business,
buying companies or starting up businesses when everybody else is selling,
seeing opportunities where most people see problems. Thus a company that has
diversified its portfolio into other countries can pick up basically sound
companies cheaply in a hyperinflationary economy.
Zimbabwe opposition leader says life at riskBy Nicholas Kotch
HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has told
his supporters that if anything happens to him they should carry on the struggle
against President Robert Mugabe.
Speaking shortly after the arrest of a top lieutenant on Monday, Tsvangirai
signalled that he believed his life was at risk.
He told his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) followers to stay calm
despite signs that Mugabe's ruling party was stealing Zimbabwe's presidential
"President Mugabe and his colleagues are afraid of the people and we have
heard they may do anything to kill the messenger," Tsvangirai said in a
"They may want to arrest me and at worst kill me but they will never destroy
the spirit of the people to reclaim their power," he said as thousands of MDC
followers queued for a third consecutive day in Harare trying to cast their
The run-up to the election was marred by political violence in which
independent monitors say 33 people have
died, most of them from the opposition.
"Zimbabweans must never be provoked into confrontation with this rabid
regime," he told a crowded news conference after reading his statement. Later he
briefed foreign election observers on the MDC's detailed allegations of
wholesale rigging by the ruling ZANU-PF.
MDC officials said the party's secretary-general, Welshman Ncube, was
arrested on Monday at a police roadblock southwest of Zimbabwe's second city of
Police were not available to comment, but state radio said Ncube might have
been trying to leave the country.
Tsvangirai, Ncube and a third MDC official were formally accused by the
government last month of treason over an alleged plot to assassinate Mugabe.
They have denied the allegation and remained at liberty despite the gravity of
On Sunday night a High Court judge ordered voting to be extended for a third
day because huge queues at polling stations in opposition strongholds had
prevented people from voting.
The government said it would comply only in Harare and the neighbouring town
of Chitungwiza, but even there presiding officers failed to allow voting until
midday on Monday, saying they were awaiting instructions.
Tsvangirai said in his statement that MDC followers should wait for the
announcement of the election result, originally expected on Monday night but
delayed by the extension.
But later he seemed to imply his party might withdraw from the electoral
process before the count and final announcement.
"We'll make an assessment at the end of the day.
"If these people (voters queuing on Monday) are disenfranchised, there is no
logic for us to continue."
He denied he was throwing in the towel but at times he struck an almost
valedictory note, thanking his followers for what he called their heroic efforts
to cast their votes.
Economic recovery hinges on poll result
NATIONAL Merchant Bank Holdings chairman, Paddy Zhanda, has said
for the ailing national economy lies in the outcome of this
presidential election, provided the results are deemed to be a
reflection of the Zimbabwean electorate.
Zimbabwe could no longer afford to stay outside the
as this had seen the country experience immense
"The continued isolation of the country from the
international community is
a cause for concern. The outcome of the
presidential election and the
acceptance of the election results as free and
fair will shape our destiny
of our operating environment," said
He said it was important for Zimbabwe to re-establish ties with
lending institutions as this was a prerequisite for steering the
economy back to recovery.
"In order to steer the economy back
on the recovery and growth, the
following key factors are pertinent: the
reestablishment of links with the
IMF, World Bank and other multilateral
lending institutions; the formulation
and implementation of exchange rate and
interest rate policies; containment
of money supply growth rate, runaway
inflation and the resolution of the
land distribution exercise," said
The IMF terminated balance of payments support and cut crucial
Zimbabwe after the government failed to halt its insatiable appetite
spending in October 1999. The disregard of the rule of law also
isolated the Mugabe regime, resulting in vital credit lines drying
Since then, the economy has been on a free fall with inflation at 116%
foreign currency reserves have long dried.
Faced with mounting
economic problems, government last year responded by
announcing that it had
dumped the IMF-recommended Economic Structural
Adjustment Programme, and
instead decided to return to the command economic
system of the
But the National Merchant Bank chairman criticised this policy,
that of implementing price controls. "The inclusion of more
products on the
controlled list will, if it goes unchecked, have an adverse
impact on both
local and foreign investment," said Zhanda, adding that the
policies were isolating it from the international
Earlier this year another banker and former industrialist,
Sanyanga of Stanbic Bank, said the next government that takes over
this weekend's presidential election must engage the Bretton
institutions if the economy was to recover from the current
President Mugabe has blamed the economic mess on
sabotage by the
international community and the opposition MDC.
Schori expulsion costs country $108m
THE government's decision to expel Pierre Schori, the head of the
Election Observer Mission to Zimbabwe, has cost the country over
$20 million or $108 million at the parallel market rate, in
earnings as it resulted in the entire EU team pulling out of
The team of 30 observers was
staying at the Crowne Plaza Monomatapa Hotel
where they were paying US$80 per
night for accommodation. They were supposed
to stay at the five star hotel
until after the election.
At the time of the impasse, only 30 observers
had arrived in the country
with the remaining 120 scheduled to arrive some
few days before Schori was
booted out. All in all, the 150 observers were
supposed to spend 30 days in
Zimbabwe, which would have seen them spending
US$360 000 on accommodation
Government denied Schori
accreditation to observe the poll on the basis that
Sweden, where Schori is
from, was not part of the invited countries to
observe the crucial election
which may bring Mugabe's 22 year rule to an
end. Other EU countries that were
blacklisted included the Netherlands,
Britain, Denmark, Germany and
Crowne Plaza Monomotapa's general manager, Anthony Petrakis,
Standard Business that the pull-out by the EU had affected their
"I can confirm that the hotel is not full. It certainly has
occupancy. You will never replace lost business in the hotel
Latest figures from the Reserve bank show
the country's foreign exchange
market shortages persist as the Zimbabwe
dollar remains pegged at the
government fixed rate of 55 Zimbabwe dollars to
one United States dollar.
Monthly foreign currency inflows have also declined
by more than 50% in the
past five months.
The once booming tourism
industry has been badly damaged by the skewed
policies the Mugabe-led
government has pursued in the last five years in a
desperate attempt to cling
to power. Foreign earnings from tobacco and
tourism, two major sources of
forex, have declined drastically because of
lawlessness. Investor confidence has
significantly declined as
ZESN observers restricted
BULAWAYO-In what is
seen as another attempt to rig this weekend's
presidential poll, the
government has ordered that election observers
registered under the Zimbabwe
Election Support Network (ZESN) should observe
the elections from at least
100 metres away from polling stations.
The government last week informed
ZESN, a grouping of 38 civic
organisations, that the decision to push out the
observers was to reduce
overcrowding at the polling stations.
legal and parliamentary affairs minister, Patrick Chinamasa,
confirmed to The
Standard that the local observers would be barred from
"Each candidate will have four polling agents and it is up to each
party to observe the other as they have more of a critical basis to
analytical than observers," said Chinamasa. "I have not denied
accreditation, but I am only trying to handle the overcrowding
the polling stations," he added.
The decision by the
government to restrict the observers from ZESN comes
after government reduced
the number of accredited observers from the
organisation to 420 from a
possible 12 500 who had applied to cover the
However, ZESN said the Electoral Act gave provision of three
observers and two monitors per polling station.
The chairman of
ZESN, Reginald Matchaba-Hove, said the withdrawal of
monitors and observers
would compromise the credibility of the whole
excuse they are giving us is that the polling stations will be
hence we have to do away with election observers. But they could
in at least one observer per polling station," said
Standard is also informed that most of the local observers who
accredited by government were drawn from pro-Zanu PF NGOs such as
Zimbabwe and the National Development Assembly.
selected names from each of the 38 civic bodies.
Matchaba-Hove noted with
concern that foreign observers have been accredited
ahead of domestic
observers and that their numbers are significant.
According to the Electoral
Supervisory Commission (ESC), some 560 foreign
observers have been accredited
as poll watchers.
Tsvangirai predicts 60% majority win
AS thousands of Zimbabweans trekked down to polling stations to
vote in the
crucial presidential election which ends today, a buoyant Morgan
predicted that he was set to land at State House with a
The MDC leader, who is expected to cast his
vote at Strathaven Shopping
Centre on his 50th birthday today, was however
quick to point out that he
could have easily recorded a landslide victory had
the electoral process
"We will win by over 60%. We are
very confident of our chances of winning
this election. The old man
(President Mugabe) is running scared. Time is
running out for him,"
Tsvangirai told The Standard from his Strathaven
Independent opinion polls carried by a number of
persistently pointed to a victory by Tsvangirai.
desperate last minute bid to win the electorate's confidence, Mu-gabe,
flew around the country at taxpayers' expense holding rallies. The Zanu
leader, who has been in power since independence in 1980, held a total of
major rallies, as opposed to Tsvangirai's eight.
Tsvangirai said there was no
need for the opposition to go for the overkill
a few days before the election
as his party had been steadily campaigning
over the last two
"Ukanosakura sora mumunda icho chibage chacho chakura zvino-batsirei?
will not be of any help if you decided to weed the field when the crop
already matured)," said Tsvangirai, referring to Mugabe's whirlwind tour
"We were aware that we needed to mould institutions and we
have been working
in the rural areas for two years doing that. You can't
convince the people
now. They have already made up their minds. The MDC vote
will transcend the
rural-urban divide. Forget about Mugabe's rallies, they
won't yield much. In
2000 he addressed 40 000 people in Kwekwe and 50 000
people in Chitungwiza a
day before the election, and the people still went on
to vote for the MDC
the following day. The issue is not about rallies, it is
Mugabe is talking about history while we are talking about real
are affecting the people," he said.
'Friendly' election monitors of death
by Chenjerai Hove
IN perusing through all sorts of European newspapers,
one is struck by the
presence of Zimbabwe in almost all of them, including
And we are there for all the wrong reasons in the
world-the brutality of the
ruling party towards political opponents, the
government's policies which
are oblivious of any international participation
and perspective, the
starving people who are made to produce party cards
before receiving food to
stay alive, and the gangs of militias on the loose
to kill and maim with
fear of the law.
The other day, I was amused at
some kind of campaign to try to lure tourists
into our country under the
present conditions. I talked with four company
directors and asked them what
they were going to do now.
"It is like inviting my tourists to go and be
killed in your country," said
one to me, before announcing that he would take
his group to Kenya or
For, the madness in our
country is beyond description. In Zimbabwean
newspapers, I read that some
tourists are given only two days to visit and
then get out.
Every one of
the political decision-makers knows that it is only a foolish
would spend their money flying to a country where they are only
check into a hotel one day and out the following day.
politicians are making the mistake of thinking that tourists
have piles and
piles of money in their banks and they are about to spend it
throwing it into the sea. Tourists are just human beings like
you and me,
who, after saving money from their tough jobs, they decide to go
take a well-deserved rest. Their money did not come from the
coffers of some
They sacrifice in order to visit the countries of their
choice, in the hope
that they will be able to escape the madhouse of their
The situation is worsened by President Robert Mugabe's
monitors. Hence the Namibian gentleman issues such a
horrible statement when
there is violence right next to his hotel. To say the
independent news media
are exaggerating reports of violence is to insult the
intelligence of the
people of Zimbabwe.
If an opposition political
activist is killed, how does one exaggerate that
event? The man has been
killed, and no newspapers says he has been killed 10
times. And despite the
fact that some monitors have been beaten up, the
deliberately decides to remain blind to the fate of
innocent victims of the
Of course it is a well-known fact that the president
of Namibia is a good
friend of the violent president of Zimbabwe. What more
can we expect except
what the gentleman has already publicly said? He is
being dozed with gallons
of Zimbabwean wine and mountains of Zimbabwean food
so much that he has
forgotten his mission.
In a country where foreign
correspondents are almost entirely barred from
entering the country to report
on what is happening, it is only a foolish
man who can stand up and tell the
world that the elections are free and
fair. In a country where there is clear
manipulation of the voters' roll and
the courts are no longer ruling
according to law, it can only be a foolish
man who stand up and think the
independent media are lying.
It can only be a blind Namibian who fails to
see all those torture and
murder camps spread right across the country,
including somewhere near his
own hotel. Such blindness is dangerous in a
situation where a once
prosperous nation has gone to the dogs while the likes
of the Namibian
gentleman are praise-singing President Mugabe.
Namibia 'observer' is in the country as a tourist, he must just say
proceed to Victoria Falls or the Great Zimbabwe and desist from
foolishness about the political violence in our country.
being held to ransom by crooks and criminals who think they can
seal off a
country in this new millennium. It is not possible to cut off a
the international eye in this day and age. The Chinese, with
sophisticated technology, acknowledged this a few years ago. Now they
correspondents from newspapers all over the world.
You see, running a
country and running a village, or private farm, are two
Even now, any sensible village head knows that it is not
possible to exclude
strangers from the village. Even a farmer cannot seal
off his property
The ruling party politicians tend to delude themselves by
Zimbabwe is some private property where they can decide who
comes in or goes
out. They want to run our country like a fiefdom, with a
warlords controlling this or that valley. That is not
Any sensible election observer in Zimbabwe has to realise that
dealing with a dictatorial government which wishes all different
dead. It is simply a country in a serious state of political
The major problem of the ruling party politicians is the
serious lack of
listening to critics for many years. Anyone who tried to show
how they were messing up our country was subjected to a lot of
intimidation. That arrogance led slowly to the state of economic
political collapse we find ourselves in today.
violence in our country is a clear indication of a leadership
lacks any semblance of a political or economic vision for the
ruling party sees the country in five-year or six-year
and nothing else. They forget the country will be there
long after all of
them are dead.
"The problem of Africa is the lack of a leadership with a
novelist, Chinua Achebe once said.
kutonga," (yes, we are governing), the ruling party always says.
But we all
know that it is rule without concern for the weak and
dispossessed. It the
rule of murder and total lack of feeling for those who
need to be protected
and taken care of. It is rule by persistent and
shameless lies which has
reached the highest levels of absurdity.
Whatever happens in this week's
presidential election, the people of
Zimbabwe have registered in their hearts
and minds that the present
government is a cruel and murderous establishment.
The people know that when
they are being chased by marauding murderers, they
run into the mountains
rather than to a police station. And the police too
are ashamed to be forced
to transform in a violent party machinery for the
repression of the ordinary
Everything of the cruelty of this
government is known to every citizen, and
even if they 'win' the election, it
will be one of those bad jokes one hears
at a funeral.
is a renowned Zimbabwean writer.
State House workers in dilemma
UNCERTAINTY has gripped workers at State House over their fate
Sources within State House told
The Standard that workers were anxious about
the outcome of the election as
they wanted to ascertain their new status.
Unlike previous elections when the
outcome was virtually known even before
the election kicked off, the polling
that ends today is a tight contest
between President Mugabe of Zanu PF and
MDC president, Morgan Tsvangirai.
The veteran trade unionist is heavily
tipped to end Mugabe's 22-year-old
grip on power. A number of independent
surveys have indicated that Mugabe's
honeymoon as Zimbabwe's president will
come to an abrupt end after this
The sources said most workers
at the presidential residence were not
confident that Mugabe would retain
power and were therefore anxious to know
whether Tsvangirai would accommodate
They were also not sure what kind of boss Tsvangirai would be.
people here are beginning to realise that Mugabe might not come back.
feeling has created a lot of anxiety among workers who now feel
about their jobs. Tsvangirai might decide to bring his own staff.
Even if we
are retained, we are not sure what kind of boss he will be. There
sorts of anxieties right now," said the source.
So deep-rooted is the
uncertainty at State House that some workers refused
to accept free 'Third
Chimurenga' t-shirts they had been offered a fortnight
ago, the sources
Zanu PF has dubbed its election trump card, the ongoing land reform, as
'Third Chimurenga'. There were some who took the t-shirts, but many
to take them. Those who refused were not even afraid of being
"Why should we be forced to wear Zanu PF regalia
when we are civil servants?
Working at Mugabe's house does not make us Zanu
PF supporters," he said.
If he wins the election, Tsvangirai would be no
newcomer to State House. In
January the MDC leader was chauffeur-driven to
the president's residence for
a meeting with Nigerian leader, Olesugun
Obasanjo where he was warmly
received and served tea by employees
Tsvangirai has persistently said that there was no need for
workers to be uncertain over their future as long as they were
Matabeleland set to slaughter 'Jongwe'
BULAWAYO-Residents of Matabe-leland, a region that has been
neglected by the
government since independence, regard the two day
presidential poll that
ends today as an excellent opportunity to 'boot out' a
ruling party that has
been cruel and insensitive to their needs for over 21
A year after independence, the Zanu PF government, eager
to destroy the
Ndebele people who were PF Zapu supporters, was desperate for
an excuse to
purge the Matabele people. A few dissidents who emerged in the
the excuse that Mugabe needed to "deal once and for all" with
Over 20 000 civilians were massacred in cold blood
by the notorious North
Korean-trained Fifth Brigade and several thousands
maimed under an operation
code-named 'Gukurahundi'. Up to now the Mugabe
regime is yet to compensate
victims of the Gukurahundi.
Apart from the
atrocities by the Perence Shiri-led brigade, pleas by the
government to solve acute water problems experienced there have
For more than 10 years, government has dilly dallied on the
Zambezi Water Project (MZWP) which could transform parts of
into a green belt, while at the same time guaranteeing adequate
supplies to Bulawayo, once Zimbabwe's industrial hub.
during the run up to the mayoral election, the government
announced that work
on the $336,7 billion project was starting in earnest
investors had released $24 million for the initial phases of
of the Gwai-Shangani Dam. As expected, this turned up to be
political gimmick by a government that only recognises the
Matabeleland when elections are beckoning.
A team of Malaysian engineers
which had arrived for the project a few weeks
before the Bulawayo mayoral
election went back home for 'Christmas' and up
to now they are yet to set
foot in Matabeleland.
Mugabe in trouble
By our own
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe looks definitely set to vacate State House
response to yesterday's polling is anything to go
As had been expected, there was an overwhelming turn out of
upbeat voters in
major urban areas such as Harare, Bulawayo, Kwekwe, Gweru
and Mutare. People
trekked to polling stations as early as 4am for voting
which started at 7am.
According to official figures, there are 3,4
million people registered to
vote in urban areas, the opposition MDC's
stronghold, as opposed to 2,2
million in rural areas which are dominated by
Zanu PF. Even taking into
consideration the extra 400 000 expected from the
supplementary voters roll, the figures are still heavily in
favour of the
The president himself almost failed to cast
his vote as his name was missing
from both the mayoral and council voters
rolls at Highfield's Mhofu Primary
School where he traditionally casts his
vote. Mugabe then had to go to
Kudzanayi Primary where he finally managed to
cast his vote.
All polling stations in Harare were characterised by long
when The Standard toured the city, with attendances heavy,
high density suburbs. However, people complained that the
painstakingly slow, but they showed a steadfast determination to
"We are used to these queues, and this is the most important event
history as it will determine the way forward for our troubled country
the next six years," said Elliot Mutapi of Glen Norah.
Kuwadzana 5 polling station, a voter said he arrived at 4am and only
to vote by 9am, two hours after polling had started. To ensure
officers were giving people numbered cards, with the voter in
been the 73rd person to cast his vote.
At Kuwadzana 2 polling station,
hundreds of voters in high spirits could be
seen with bottles of clear and
opaque beer to keep them company while they
patiently waited to vote. There
was disorder at Warren Park 1 Primary School
where less than 100 people had
managed to cast their vote by 11.30am. So
chaotic was the situation that riot
police had to be called in to restore
order, but instead they beat up people
The same chaos was evident at Chengu Primary School in
Highfield and Seke 2
Primary in Chitungwiza where people broke the walls
around the respective
schools in frustration at the slow pace of
There was drama at St Peters Kubatana in Highfield when some
incensed by the arrival of unpopular war veterans leader, Joseph
At Chikanga Primary School in Mutare, no voting
material was available when
The Standard visited at around 10am. Polling
officials present refused to
explain why this anomaly occurred.
apllication to the High Court by the MDC voting was extended in the capital, Harare and Chitungwiza
through today and possibly tomorrow. Not that it matters
much. Many thousands have been unable to vote and there are still large
queues outside polling stations. It is unclear whether the government will
permit another extension. In another major development 260 people have been
arrested in Harare, the government claim that this is for attempting to vote
twice. The Zimbabwe Broadcast Corporation are claiming to that turnout in rural
areas has been 80% while in the towns and cities it has only been between 30%
and 50%. Results are expected tomorrow evening or early on Wednesday. Turnout
across the country has been very uneven, while the queues in Harare demonstrate
a determination to vote they also show how few polling stations have been
opened. In rural areas voters have faced intimidation, often being forced to
vote. And it's getting worse. A top MDC official,
Welshman Ncube, has been arrested. The first of a flood?
So it's election weekend. What
happens next, though? Whether Tsvangirai wins or not, the outlook isn't good.
Various situations present themselves. That violence is inevitable is the theme
of this story.
And that neoliberalism in some form will plague Zimbabweans is a running theme
in this month's socialist worker, and Rosa Zulu's latest
article. Add your comments to the articles, write your own, and make your
To All MDC Supporters: Zimbabwe Presidential Elections
Newsletter from Southern Support Centre
This has been a most confusing and frustrating day – but then it is
entirely deliberate and designed to sap our morale. The farcical situation
concerning extensions of voting did not help, with polling booths in areas
opening, closing, and reopening. Confusion reigned and even in Bulawayo polling
officers did not know what to do.
The result that there was
apparently no polling outside the capital and Chitungwiza today. Ballot boxes
are generally now inside the counting halls, and in most cases were escorted in
by our polling agents.
Several reports received from the
Bubi Umgusa constituency of armed resistance to polling agent’s vehicles
following ballot boxes. From Inyathi reports that police actually cocked their
rifles and threatened the drivers, and alarming increase of armed persons in
the constituency generally. In Nyamandhlovu reports coming in of armed persons
in a vehicle visiting the polling stations. The emphasis appears to be on
preventing the following of ballot boxes. In Plumtree the police have said they
do not want any white drivers in the area. This has been the trend in other
areas as well.
Late last night in Bulawayo a
government vehicle was seen with several ballot boxes on board. It drove out to
Mbalabala and then disappeared towards Zvishavane, but was not seen again. What
on earth could they have been up to?
In other areas ballot boxes have
been taken to the wrong destinations for counting – Inyathi came into Bulawayo,
as did one from Lupane, and the boxes from Zaka which should have gone to
Chiredzi did not.
In West Nicholson a farmer was
interrogated by the CID from Beitbridge who had driven up all that way to
inspect his BBC short wave radio. How absurd can you get? Amazing how they can
find transport when they want to.
What does all this mean – why do
they not want us to follow ballot boxes? You can draw your own conclusions, but
it all adds up to the actions of a desperate man.
Our emphasis now should please be
on sending all information through to us as quickly as possible, and also on
accurate reporting of every incident. All of this is required in Bulawayo so it
can be captured and forwarded to those who require it.
In Esigodini police have called
together leaders of both political parties and warned them that any violence
after the results are announced will not be tolerated from either party.
There has been much speculation an
the next two days are going to be the longest. A sense of anti-climax almost as
we await the results. We have to be patient and wait it out. That we have won
handsomely there is no doubt-the only question that remains is whether they
will get away with their rigging and whether it will be on sufficient scale to
wipe out our lead. I don’t think so. Reports of contact with international
observers are most encouraging.
Depending on what happens tomorrow,
we may decide not to send out a newsletter. The next one will be detailing our
victory celebrations. Well done and good luck.
(On behalf of Commercial Farmers Union)
date received this evening from Banket indicates that the twelve
still in custody, ten are in Banket and Geoff Kirkman under
police guard in a
Chinhoyi hospital. Seddon Fox who was arrested Saturday
night is in a
Two people Denise Peale and her son Grant were arrested
this morning but
after a search of their houses, they were
Police also searched the home of Mrs Jean Simons this morning,
unable to locate her. She has been moved to a safe
Her manager granted a television interview shortly after
20 police had
completed their search of the farmhouse. He summed up the view
by farmers by saying, “We are farmers and we just want to be
Lawyer, Jonathan Samkange has been appointed
to represent the 12 men. He
expects to appeal to the High court for the
immediate release of the men who
are being detained without charge. Rumour
doing the rounds of the police
station halls is that the men will be face
charges for violating the Public
Order Security Act and possible the Election
Act. This shaky rumour seems to
be built on the concrete fact that farmers
have for the last few years
utilised a licensed radio network for the safety
of families resident on the
Efforts to allow the men to
vote in their constituencies came to naught
Sunday evening but as we turn in
for the night, breaking news is that the
polling days have been extended for
another day. Perhaps we will yet secure
their freedom and the right to
exercise their democratic right to vote along
with the 2 475 147 people who
had voted by mid afternoon today.
For more information, please contact, Jenni
Cell 011 213 885 or 091 300 456
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
US, UK citizens held
Zimbabwe - Sixty-five people are being held at the Rudo police
Honde Valley, Mutasa, unconfirmed reports stated on Sunday.
the detainees did not have their identity cards with them,
since their bags
containing their identity documents were allegedly stolen
Among the detainees are US national Terry Fishcer (40) and his
wife Sherrie (26), and UK citizen Will Powell (28) and his wife
also a Zimbabwean.
The MDC has sent Dr Matthew McNally
from Bonda Mission to the police
station, the report said, and he was
apparently allowed to treat the
detainees, some who had suffered serious
Friends and relatives of the detainees have met with Inspector
is in charge of the Rudo police station. Mutowo rejected any
the release of the detainees despite their injuries.
command of a nearby militia base apparently prevented their
policemen at the station said.
The release of the detainees
apparently depended on the results of legal
action these commanders were
planning to lodge in the Zimbabwean Supreme
Court, but the exact nature of
the action was not immediately clear.
Meanwhile, 11 farmers were still
being detained at the Banket police station
at Raffingora, a letter by a
Zimbabwean News24 reader reported earlier. The
reason for their detention was
also not clear, since neither relatives nor
their lawyer were allowed to see
New Zealand Herald
Clark: Mugabe not
A free and fair election in Zimbabwe would
not return President Robert
Mugabe to power, says the Prime
"The general feeling seems to be that he has lost the support
of his people,
but no one has got great confidence in that being the outcome
of the vote,"
Helen Clark said at her weekly press conference.
polling seems to have gone on in a reasonably calm fashion ... but
obviously been a great deal of intimidation and violence and
feedback we're getting from the ground is that if the election
was free and
fair then Mr Mugabe would not be returned.
"The feedback I have is that
voter turnout was extremely high in urban
areas, which would seem to favour
the Opposition, and not so high in rural
areas which would normally favour Mr
Mugabe, at least in some parts of the
The New Zealand
election observers in Zimbabwe, former high commissioners
Chris Laidlaw and
Bruce Middleton, said some voters showed scars from
torture, and although
voting had gone smoothly, there was evidence of
intimidation. Many voters had
complained of physical abuse.
Zimbabwe election diary - Day
The BBC's Grant Ferrett is reporting on the Zimbabwe
elections from Beitbridge, on the South African-Zimbabwe border - since the BBC
is banned from reporting in Zimbabwe itself:
Day Four - Sunday 10 March
Day two of voting in Zimbabwe, and I'm up again at 5am. Looks like I'm stuck
with the early starts.
Still, lots of Zimbabweans were up all night, waiting outside polling
stations after failing to vote yesterday because of the amazingly long queues.
Hear that lots of people think it's a deliberate tactic by the authorities to
frustrate the opposition.
Someone with a surname beginning with "N" says the
polling station officials made a painstaking search of the voters' roll for her
name, starting with the "A"s.
A long wait for many Zimbabwean
Finally get through to the Justice Minister, Patrick Chinamasa. His phone has
been engaged for hours. Seems happy to talk.
Unlike yesterday, he says there's no need for an extension of voting. Is he
worried there might be violence because of frustration among voters?
"Why? There is no frustration, just organised demonstrations by the
[opposition] MDC." Not a good sign.
Just when things seem to be getting really interesting, interest in the
story in London is waning.
Latest violence between Israel and the Palestinians pushes us down the
bulletins and reduces our workload, so time for another bit of background
reading on President Mugabe.
Here's part of a speech to parliament in 1982, when he was concerned by
"An eye for an eye and an ear for an ear may not be adequate in our
circumstances. We might very well demand two ears for one ear and two eyes for
Oh, it's Mothers' Day, must call my mum.
Monday, 11 March, 2002, 15:27 GMT
Zimbabwe election diary - Day
The BBC's Grant Ferrett is reporting on the Zimbabwe
elections from Beitbridge, on the South African-Zimbabwe border - since the BBC
is banned from reporting in Zimbabwe itself:
Day Five - Monday 11 March
Wonder if I'll ever turn into a morning person? No sign of it yet.
Day three of voting in Harare, and the word 'confusion' is cropping up rather
a lot. Polling stations which should have opened at 0700 didn't allow voting
until about midday.
Scenes of confusion as people cannot vote in
'Phone contacts in Harare to ask what's going on. "Complete chaos. Almost
certainly deliberate." Relieved that those nearer the action seem to be almost
as much in the dark as us, stuck across the South African border.
Get through to the justice minister for a response: "I'm in a meeting. Call
me back in three hours." Hhmmm.
Watch TV feed of opposition press conference in which MDC candidate, Morgan
Tsvangirai, says he won't be part of an illegitimate process.
By way of light relief after the quotations from President Mugabe, here's one
from his Information Minister, Jonathan Moyo, speaking to journalists a few days
"The BBC people are no better than terrorists and that is why they do not
deserve to be here. Those elements if caught might take long to go back home."
Probably best if I stay this side of the border for the moment then.
The BBC portacabin offices are looking more lived-in and crowded.
The tin foil is peeling off the windows. The radio room (two tables and
masses of cables) now has a television to watch the pictures coming in. There
are jerry cans outside to supply the droning generators.
The power cuts can't get us now.