past few weeks, Harare residents heaved sighs of relief as a truce seemed to
have been declared in the raging political warfare between the Executive
Mayor, Elias Mudzuri, and the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and
National Housing, Ignatius Chombo.
At the height of this combat,
the exchanges between the two men threatened to degenerate into name-calling
Hopefully, this lull will become permanent, as both
men must realise the capital is virtually under siege and its problems may
have little to do with politics.
The council has announced its
intention to introduce water rationing because of the drought and the
non-availability of water purification chemicals, a result of the shortage of
Moreover, the council is anxious about the delay
in the construction of Kunzvi Dam, mooted in 1997 at a cost of $77 million,
but now likely to cost $21 billion.
The construction of this dam
could solve Harare's water problems. Even after Zanu PF lost control of
Harare City Council in the June 2002 elections, the government in October
2003 said it was still keen to build the dam. What has inhibited
implementation of the project in the past could not have been
But today, when the city is controlled by the
opposition, most people would be forgiven for harbouring the sneaking
suspicion that a political equation has crept in. Chombo's scuffles with
Mudzuri have had such a huge political element many people expected it to end
only when one of them laid down his arms in surrender.
recent lull would seem to portend a resolution of sorts of the crisis.
Perhaps a modus vivendi has been worked out? Any further delays could only
raise the cost of building the dam higher than $21 billion.
is virtually under siege and both the government and the council have to
concentrate their energies on Kunzvi Dam. It may be politically painful for
Zanu PF. But what is stake is bigger than any political party.
ELLIOT Manyika, who took over
from Border Gezi as the Minister of Youth Development, Gender and Employment
Creation, could be said to be trying to "out-Gezi Border".
penchant for not wanting to distinguish between Zanu PF and the government
must be upsetting many people who found the late politician's style of
treating the two as one just as frustrating.
The government and the
ruling party are two distinct entities and, in reality, "never shall the
Of course, the reality for the government and Zanu PF
is that they are one and the same thing.
Speaking to a group of
people in an area which probably did not vote for Zanu PF in last year's
rural district council elections, Manyika urged his audience to work with
Zanu PF organs if they wanted development.
Not for the first time,
he urged his audience to shout in response to the party slogan.
These people voted for the opposition party in the firm belief that this was
their democratic right as free citizens of Zimbabwe.
But if a
Cabinet minister tells them that the only way development will come to their
area is if they co-operate with Zanu PF, he should be officially censured, if
not by the President, then certainly by Parliament in which there are three
It is time for Zimbabwe to clean up its
politics, difficult as this may seem to a party like Zanu PF. The country has
adapted firmly to the multi-party system and there can be no going
It is highly unlikely that any citizen would today honestly
speak of missing the "good old days" when only Zanu PF was the party that
mattered in the politics of the country.
Zanu PF diehards like
Manyika ought to accept that the political changes wrought by the people's
will for change are irreversible.
98% of commercial farms taken 17/03/2003 08:30 -
Harare - The Zimbabwean government has now acquired 98% of the
former commercial white farms under its controversial land reform
Out of the 11,02 million hectares under commercial farming
prior to the advent of the fast-track land reform exercise in 2000, a mere
220 400 hectares remain unlisted for compulsory acquisition.
figure constitutes only 2% of what used to be Zimbabwe's
Though the land acquisition programme was
declared officially over in August last year, government has continued to
designate more farms with the latest being the serving of Section 8 notices
to over 40 farmers in the Karoi/Tengwe area two weeks ago.
to Justice for Agriculture (JAG) and the Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) the
remaining area would produce not more than 5% of
"Production from the unlisted hectarage would
be insignificant," CFU vice-president Doug Taylor-Freeme, said.
the start of farm invasions in February 2000 the large-scale commercial
farming sector throughout the country had 11,02 million hectares.
February 2003 survey to establish current status of commercial agriculture in
Zimbabwe, the CFU described the service of Section 8 notices to commercial
farmers in the Karoi/Tengwe area last week as part of a record of
"Government has reneged on agreements and rebuffed sincere
attempts to resolve issues of contention," the CFU said.
government, through Lands and Agriculture minister Joseph Made and
Information minister Jonathan Moyo, tried to lure the CFU into accepting a
government-doctored memorandum of understanding.
The CFU turned down the
"olive branch" citing government's lack of seriousness in resolving the land
"The CFU is concerned with the implementation of government land
policy, especially pertaining to one-man, one-farm policy," the CFU
The CFU said despite government claims that the acquisition
exercise was over, this was certainly not the case. As of February 2003,
listing of properties for acquisition by government was still going
Moreover, the acquisition procedures are still being implemented in
a lawless and disorderly manner, with illegal occupations, interruptions
to productive operations and human rights violations continuing.
the ground, commercial farmers are still experiencing great difficulty trying
to work with the police to resolve problems.
"In many cases reports by
farmers of illegal acts are ignored and perpetrators of crimes still not
brought to justice," the CFU said. The CFU added: "Overall production is
discouraged by the absence of credit, erratic input supplies, soaring costs
and price controls resulting from a continued lack of foreign exchange."
In an exclusive interview
Henry Olonga tells John Stern his retirement plans.
Monday March 17,
2003 The Guardian
For a man who is effectively on the run from the
clutches of Robert Mugabe, Henry Olonga was remarkably calm, eloquent and
charming at the Zimbabwe team hotel yesterday. The morning after announcing
he was retiring from international cricket he was not, as reported, in hiding
but happy to discuss his plans to launch a musical career. "At this stage
I would say music is the more likely option for me," he said. "I sing R&B
and music for the stage. I even have some songs recorded but I don't know
whether they are up to industry standard. But if I can find someone who likes
what I do then maybe I can release a CD." Did he have an agent? He looked
surprised at the question. "No. Yesterday I was a cricketer."
his team-mate Andy Flower, who has also announced his retirement from the
international game, Olonga has no guaranteed future in county cricket. But he
is hoping his talent as a singer may be the key to a successful future. Two
years ago he recorded a single called Our Zimbabwe which reached the top of
the charts in his country. The CD had five versions of the song - English,
dance, instrumental and Shona and Ndebele, ethnic groups within Zimbabwe -
and British television viewers were treated to him singing a capella on the
BBC show On Side three years ago.
The 26-year-old believes he cannot
return to Zimbabwe because his life is under threat. At the very least his
anti-Mugabe protest with Flower at the start of the tournament means any life
in his homeland would be fraught with danger and constant worry.
for the time being he will stay in South Africa while he decides where to go
and what to do. His ultimate destination will be determined by his choice of
career, which could also include television punditry. "I have to
decide whether I want to continue with cricket," he said.
businessman last week offered £30,000 to bring him to county cricket. But his
prospects of finding a county appear limited. Most sides have already filled
their allocation of two overseas players and those who have not have made a
financial decision to have only one. There is the possibility, though, that
Lashings, the Maidstone pub side who lured Brian Lara and a host of stars to
play for them, could offer Olonga a contract.
As for places to live, he
believes it is a toss-up between Britain and the United States. He has family
spread over the world. "My father is in Zimbabwe, my stepmum is in England,
my real mum is in Australia, I have a stepbrother in England and a stepsister
in Kenya; you won't remember all that, will you?" he laughs.
Streak, the Zimbabwe captain, said he was shocked to hear of
Olonga's retirement but seemed confident he would fall on his feet. "Henry is
a multi-talented guy," he said.
But it will not be easy. Over this
past weekend Olonga has received threatening emails and it was reported that
he had undercover policemen from Zimbabwe on his tail. All of this as a
result of the statement made by himself and Andy Flower on the morning of
Zimbabwe's first match of the World Cup against Namibia in Harare on February
They talked of the "death of democracy" in Zimbabwe and wore black
armbands during the match. The repercussions were considerable. The
International Cricket Council persuaded the players to give up their protest
and Zimbabwe's selectors tried to drop Flower from their fourth game
against Australia. Only the threat of a players' revolt ensured the country's
one world-class player kept his place.
Olonga was not picked at all
after the Namibia game, making appearances only as 12th man until playing
what turned out to be his last match in the Super Six defeat by Kenya. Flower
had already decided to retire and released an eight-line statement on the
morning of the match in which he talked of his "difficult and sad decision"
and said: "It is now time for my family and me to move on."
Olonga's statement was a different story. He explained why his
continued involvement with the Zimbabwean team had become imposible. "I
believe that if I were to continue to play for Zimbabwe I would do so only by
neglecting the voice of my conscience. I would be condoning the grotesque
human rights violations that have been perpetrated - and continue to be
perpetrated - against my fellow countrymen."
rebuked him for his "continued insubordination" and criticised him for using
the World Cup as a political platform.
When Olonga was told his and
Flower's stand had been widely respected and applauded in Britain he said:
"That's good to hear. Hopefully that friendship and respect will be extended
if I decide to come to England."
Diary of despair
10 Henry Olonga and Andy Flower wear black armbands in their opening World
Cup match against Namibia. "In doing so we are mourning the death of
democracy in our beloved Zimbabwe," they say in a statement. Olonga is later
told by cricket and government officials that he will never play for Zimbabwe
February 12 England's captain Nasser Hussain says Flower and
Olonga "have proved to be great men by what they have done". England forfeit
their pool match against Zimbabwe in Harare the next day for security
February 14 The ICC, notified of the protest by the Zimbabwe
Cricket Union, rules that Olonga and Flower have not brought the game into
disrepute but ask the players to stop wearing the black
February 19 Olonga is omitted for the match against India
but when he comes on as a substitute fielder he, like Flower, is wearing a
February 20 Olonga is sacked by his local cricket
club Takashinga. "It is disgraceful what Henry Olonga and Andy Flower have
done," says the club's chairman Givemore Makoni.
February 22 ZCU
officials warn Olonga and Flower to stop their protest. The
Zanu-PF information secretary Nathan Shamuyarira says the players were
"pressured by the British and external forces" to protest. "No true
Zimbabwean would have joined in," he adds. "Olonga is not a Zimbabwean, he is
a Zambian, but he has been allowed to play here."
March 7 The
Suffolk businessman Lawrence Mallison offers £30,000 to help Olonga play for
any English county.
March 11 Olonga's father, Dr John Olonga, a
Bulawayo paediatrician, says he does not want his son to return to Zimbabwe.
"It is a brave stand and I am proud. But sometimes you pay the price. The
price he will pay is leaving Zimbabwe."
March 12 An injury crisis
forces Olonga to be recalled and he takes one for 21 in four overs in the
defeat to Kenya. He makes no protest as Zimbabwe are knocked out of the
March 15 Olonga is dropped against Sri Lanka and
announces his retirement from international cricket.
ZIMBABWE should be permanently suspended from the Commonwealth until
the regime of President Robert Mugabe had been ousted from power, Labor
foreign affairs spokesman Kevin Rudd has said.
Commonwealth decided today to extend a one-year suspension of Zimbabwe at
least until December amid bickering among member nations.
against Mr Mugabe's government was imposed in March last year in protest at
alleged election-rigging and the seizure of white-owned farms for
redistribution to landless blacks.
But with the member countries split on
whether the measure should be continued beyond Wednesday's one-year expiry,
Commonwealth Secretary-General Don McKinnon said it would be maintained until
a heads of government meeting in Nigeria at the end of the year.
Rudd today said the suspension should not have been given a timeframe.
Divided Commonwealth extends Zimbabwe
sanction March 17, 2003, 05:00
Commonwealth has decided to extend its one-year suspension of Zimbabwe, until
at least December.
The sanction against President Robert
Mugabe's government was imposed last March, after allegations of
election-rigging and in response to the seizure of white-owned farms for
redistribution to landless blacks. However, with the group's 54
nations split on whether the measure should be continued beyond Wednesday's
one-year expiry, Don McKinnon, the Commonwealth secretary-general, said it
would be maintained until a heads of government meeting in Nigeria. "The most
appropriate approach in the circumstances is for Zimbabwe's suspension from
the councils of the Commonwealth to remain in place until Commonwealth Heads
of Government (CHOGM) address the issue and decide upon a way forward at
the CHOGM meeting in December 2003," he said in a
The Commonwealth split over Zimbabwe has appeared
to pit white nations against African and Asian ones, in the seven-decade-old
group which joins almost one third of the world's countries with 1,7 billion
people. On one side, African heavyweights South Africa and Nigeria, say
Mugabe's government has recorded enough progress over the past year - in land
reform, human rights and democracy - to warrant re-admission to the
However, Mugabe's opponents such as Australia
say that stance is a betrayal of Commonwealth principles, pointing to the
treason trial of opposition figures and harsh media and security laws.
Australia, South Africa and Nigeria form a Commonwealth troika mandated to
look at what course of action to take on Harare.
reform at heart of controversy "Some member governments take the
view it is time to lift Zimbabwe's suspension from the councils of the
Commonwealth when the one-year period expires on 19 March, 2003. Some others
feel there is no justification for such a step and that there is in fact
reason to impose stronger measures," McKinnon added.
issue of land reform is at the core of the situation in Zimbabwe and cannot
be separated from other issues of concern to the Commonwealth, such as the
rule of law, respect for human rights, democracy and the economy," he said.
There was no immediate reaction from Harare.
former colonial ruler Britain and others of perpetuating "neo-colonial"
attitudes towards Zimbabwe and argues land reforms are a bid to correct a
colonial injustice that left 70% of the best agricultural land in hands of
whites making up less than 1% of the population. - Reuters
DOCUMENT March 17, 2003 Posted to the web March 17,
The Commonwealth Secretary-General, Don McKinnon,
issued the following statement in London today.
Troika, mandated by Heads of Government to deal with the Zimbabwe issue,
suspended Zimbabwe from the councils of the Commonwealth on 19 March 2002 for
a period of one year. Under the Marlborough House Statement, the issue was to
be revisited in twelve months time, 'having regard to progress in Zimbabwe
based on the Commonwealth Harare principles and reports from the Commonwealth
Secretary-General.' At their subsequent meeting in Abuja on 23 September 2002
the Commonwealth Troika decided to 'see how Zimbabwe responds to the
Marlborough House Statement over the next six months as foreshadowed in that
Statement, at which point stronger measures might need to be
"Members of the Troika, in reviewing the Zimbabwe issue,
agreed that I should undertake wider consultations among Commonwealth
governments. Accordingly, over the past few weeks, I have been listening to
the views of and discussing the issue with virtually all leaders across the
Commonwealth. They have all stated that they wish to see the Commonwealth
continue to work together on the issue of Zimbabwe.
governments take the view that it is time to lift Zimbabwe's suspension from
the councils of the Commonwealth when the one-year period expires on 19 March
2003. Some others feel that there is no justification for such a step and
that there is in fact reason to impose stronger measures. However, the
broadly held view is that Heads of Government wish to review matters at the
Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Nigeria in December 2003
and that the suspension of Zimbabwe from the councils of the Commonwealth
should remain in place pending discussions on the matter at CHOGM.
have advised members of the Troika of these views. I have also submitted to
them my report as foreshadowed in the Marlborough House Statement.
members of the Troika have now concluded that the most appropriate approach
in the circumstances is for Zimbabwe's suspension from the councils of the
Commonwealth to remain in place until Commonwealth Heads of Government
address the issue and decide upon a way forward at the CHOGM in December
"I wish to reiterate that Zimbabwe and its people matter to
the Commonwealth. All the Heads of Government I have spoken to have urged me
to persist with my efforts at engagement with President Mugabe and
his government in the context of my good offices role. I intend to do
"The issue of land reform is at the core of the situation in Zimbabwe
and cannot be separated from other issues of concern to the Commonwealth,
such as the rule of law, respect for human rights, democracy and the economy.
The Commonwealth and the wider international community remain ready to
assist the Government of Zimbabwe in addressing this key issue. I once again
call on the Zimbabwe Government to re-engage with the Commonwealth and the
United Nations Development Programme on the issue of transparent, equitable
and sustainable measures for land reform, as agreed at Abuja in September
2001. Commonwealth governments also look to the Government of Zimbabwe to
honour its undertakings given to other regional leaders on issues of
"The Commonwealth looks forward to Zimbabwe being able to regain
its full and rightful place in the Commonwealth family."
Editors: The Commonwealth Chairpersons' Committee on Zimbabwe, consisting of
the Prime Minister of Australia, Rt Hon John Howard, the President of
Nigeria, H E Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, and the President of South Africa, H E
Mr Thabo Mbeki, was mandated by the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting
in Coolum, Australia in 2002 to determine appropriate Commonwealth action on
Zimbabwe, in close consultation with the Secretary-General. The Committee is
also known as the Commonwealth Troika.
the second time in two days, the police yesterday attacked opposition MDC
supporters trying to attend a rally in Harare two weeks before key
by-elections in Kuwadzana and Highfield.
Meanwhile, the State-run
Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation last night claimed that one person was
killed yesterday when a car in which the MDC's Kuwadzana candidate, Nelson
Chamisa, was in rammed into a crowd. MDC sources said the driver was not
Yesterday, the police fired shots into the air and
tear-gassed thousands of MDC supporters on their way to a rally in Kuwadzana
Extension. The supporters scattered in all directions as four plainclothes
officers armed with pistols and scores of baton-wielding riot policemen
charged at them.
Later, a vehicle carrying two MDC Members of
Parliament was ambushed by Zanu PF supporters who fired shots at it, forcing
the MPs to flee into a maize field for refuge. The MPs, Job Sikhala
(St Mary's) and Paurina Mpariwa (Mufakose) said they survived the attack "by
the grace of God".
A bloodied MDC supporter said he was assaulted
by State security agents. On Saturday, several people were injured
and business brought to a halt in Highfield as police fought running battles
with ruling Zanu PF supporters determined to prevent the MDC from holding a
rally at Zororo Grounds.
Tendai Marima, 18, was rushed to Harare
Central Hospital after an attack by Zanu PF youths in the ensuing melee. The
youths, wielding stones and catapults, assaulted anyone they suspected to be
an opposition supporter. Motorists abandoned fuel queues and drove away as
the youths went on the rampage.
Marima was severely assaulted
and left for dead. The problem started in the morning when Zanu PF
supporters clashed with MDC youths who were putting up posters for the 2 pm
rally. Armed riot police reacted swiftly to control the explosive situation
and the Zanu PF supporters, numbering about 100, then retreated.
Later, when an estimated 10 000 MDC supporters gathered for the rally at
Zororo grounds, about 500 Zanu PF supporters clad in their party
regalia descended on the venue. The MDC supporters abandoned their rally and
some of them charged towards their adversaries.
The police again
forced the Zanu PF supporters to retreat as the two groups pelted each other
with stones. The police dispersed them with teargas. The rally proceeded
about an hour later.
Addressing the rally, Welshman Ncube, the
party's secretary-general, told the people of Highfield not to succumb to
Zanu PF's vote-buying gimmicks.
Ncube said: "If there is maize
meal, please go and get it. But you have to be clever on the day of voting.
Harare belongs to the MDC."
Pearson Mungofa of the MDC will contest
the seat against Zanu PF's Joseph Chinotimba in the 29 and 30 March
by-election to fill the seat vacated by Munyaradzi Gwisai, when he was
expelled from the MDC last year.
Gwisai is standing as an
independent. Yesterday in Kuwadzana Extension, hundreds of Zanu PF
supporters invaded the football grounds where the MDC was due to hold its
rally for the 29-30 March by-election. They were later repulsed by the police
who in turn, barred the MDC supporters from proceeding to the grounds, more
than 300 metres away.
Nelson Chamisa, the MDC's candidate, who
is standing against David Mutasa of Zanu PF, deplored the police
He told his supporters: "We don't want violence in this
constituency. The problem is the police don't want us to go ahead with our
rally. The people who are inciting violence are the police. They are letting
the Zanu PF supporters do as they please."
As soon as he
finished speaking, shots and teargas were fired, resulting in panic-stricken
supporters fleeing in all directions.
When they sped off from the
scene, Chamisa, his campaign manager Charlton Hwende, and the MPs Mpariwa and
Sikhala, escaped death by a whisker after their Nissan double-cab truck was
ambushed by Zanu PF supporters on the Harare-Bulawayo road.
fled into a maize field from where they hid.
Mpariwa said: "They
fired shots into the field and we only survived by the grace of God."
Rival Party Members Clash in Zimbabwe, Injuring Several
The Associated Press
HARARE, Zimbabwe March 16
- Police fired tear gas and live ammunition to disperse ruling
and opposition party members clashing at an opposition rally Sunday,
officials and witnesses said. Several people were injured.
clashes started, opposition officials said, when ruling party militants armed
with stones and clubs attacked opponents of President Robert Mugabe where
they planned to rally.
One person was wounded seriously after being
hit by a car speeding from the violence, said Welshman Ncube, a senior
official with the opposition Movement for Democratic Change. An unknown
number of people were arrested, he said.
Police spokesman Wayne
Bvudzijena said he had no immediate information on Sunday's
The rally, planned for the western Harare voting district
of Kuwadzana ahead of a parliamentary by-election later this month, was
canceled due to the unrest.
Opposition officials said their
candidate, Nelson Chamisa, arrived for the rally with colleagues but found
the venue taken over by ruling party militants loyal to Mugabe.
Police told them ruling party supporters were being cleared from the venue.
Opposition officials said the unrest began when armed ruling party militants
refused to leave and attacked opposition supporters arriving for the
Ncube said the vehicle Chamisa and an opposition lawmaker
were traveling in overturned while their driver tried to flee the stadium
over rough ground. Neither was injured.
Chamisa and several
high-ranking opposition officials were to have addressed the rally. When the
tear gas and live ammunition was shot in the air, the speakers
Zimbabwe is in the midst of its worst economic crisis since
gaining independence from Britain in 1980, with massive shortages of food,
fuel and essential imports.
Almost half of the country's 13
million people face possible starvation because of a food crisis blamed on
erratic rainfall and the government's chaotic and often violent seizure of
white-owned commercial farms.
The opposition accuses the
government of stifling its activities through violence, police torture,
intimidation and stringent security and media laws.
In the past
month at least 300 people, including clerics on a peace march, have been
arrested for staging political demonstrations declared illegal under the
On Sunday, the Commonwealth of Britain and its
former colonies extended Zimbabwe's suspension from the group for nine
months. A yearlong suspension imposed after Zimbabwe's general election was
marred by violence and vote rigging was scheduled to expired
The suspension was extended until December, when heads of
Commonwealth governments plan to meet in Nigeria, said Commonwealth
Secretary-General Don McKinnon.
Formerly known as the British
Commonwealth, the Commonwealth's member states include Britain, India,
Pakistan, Canada, Australia, many Pacific and Caribbean Island nations and
several African states.
refresh your memories, I shall take you to the musical hit charts of our once
beautiful country. I hope you all remember the hit song Handiende by Steve
In Handiende, Makoni portrays a maritally dedicated - or
rather a maritally deranged - woman who will not quit the marriage that has
been rendered null and void by those wicked forces that work against
This piece is about one such woman.
For expedience, we shall refer to this woman who refuses to go as Doomy.
Doomy is a name ingeniously coined by my friend Caesar as a
special dedication to this woman of extraordinary perseverance and
killing dedication to a marriage on the rocks.
dutifully sings and sobs that she will not leave the marriage even if
technically there is no marriage to talk about.
The woman uses the
existence of children in the marriage as the only factor mitigating against
her leaving the small prison she finds herself in. The reasons are flimsy
because the marriage is actually causing her offspring untold psychological
pain as they see that mother and father are practically dying from killing
each other, so to say.
Anyhow, Doomy refuses to go. She says the
children need both the deranged father and herself. She refuses to realise
that her continued association with the man who used to be her husband is
softly killing the poor kids. All she is concerned with is staying on and,
perhaps, having more fights with the poor man. The wife-bashing goes on and
the woman's resolve to stay grows stupidly stronger. Aha, Doomy is a
Mrs Doomy "Handiende" the dummy is a lame excuse of the
weaker sex. She is almost wicked in her resolved to stay on for the sake of
the children. The husband comes in stone-drunk, throws up smelly
fermenting stuff on her and throws some complimentary blows onto her torso.
She cries out loud, but still vows to stay on.
In a further
attempt to make the woman see sense, the cunning man calls his mistress and
they have a flirtatious chat, whilst the battered woman bleeds away in her
resolve to persevere.
Once a while, Doomy the dummy is exposed to
the worst case of open infidelity by the rough husband. The man brings along
another woman of iniquities to comfort him in the presence of our dedicated
woman. She looks at everything and silently concludes that it is a passing
stage. She does not consider her welfare and health. She accepts that her man
will one day come back to her. She does not care what her man would bring
back to her. Disease and pestilence is looming. Doomy vows that she would
stay for the sake of the children.
My countrymen, welcome to
Zimbabwe and her marriage of convenience to Mugabe! Mugabe is the wife who
feels that it is not necessary for her to leave the marriage, even though
there is nothing on the marriage to talk about.
Mugabe is the
woman we, as the people of Zimbabwe, are trying to divorce. He is kicking his
legs and screaming that he shall not leave his marriage to Zimbabwe. He
claims that he has to stay in the marriage for the sake of his
Mugabe is Doomy. He is a gift to the people of Zimbabwe
from some doomsday cult we do not care to know its origin. He has seen our
lives and our livelihoods being eaten away by his ineptitude, yet he refuses
to go. He has seen our happiness being negatively eroded by his obsession to
stay in power, yet he will not let go.
Mugabe "Handiende Doomy"
is just like the wife who vows to stay on even if the marriage she got into
is devouring her children. Mugabe loves his marriage to power to a deadly
extent where he does not give a damn about the negative consequences. He is
willing to ruin all of us before he ruins himself in some
Analogies aside, Mugabe is one hell of a person obsessed
with power. He will not give up power for anything. He will be satisfied that
by the grace of the Lord, he ends his days on earth on the throne. To him,
the people of Zimbabwe do not matter any more. He is living for himself
When he went to France, Mugabe got so overwhelmed by the
trappings of the sly capitalists to a degree that he could not hide the fact
that he misses the European capitals. In his valedictory message to the
French, he expressed wishes that the rest of the European countries should
allow him free access to their small paradises like France had done. He did
not plead on behalf of his suffering people. He only wanted the personal ban
slapped on him and his small inner circle to be removed.
President, who has done so much destruction to Zimbabwe, bluntly refuses to
accept blame for taking the marvellous country down with him. He blames
everyone else except himself.
In typical "Handiende" fashion, he
claims that he will soldier on for the people. He refuses to listen to the
calls for him to divorce himself from the political scene. He obviously
thinks that it will be a sin for him to quit, hence his motto that "Mugabe
does not quit".
In his time, Mugabe has seen the country slide from
a beautiful country to a desolate one with nothing to be proud of. He has
presided over a people whom he has poisoned with his tongue-lashing and
arrogance. He has personally supervised the downfall of the agricultural
In terms of growth, Mugabe has only seen negative economic
growth during his turbulent years. Every aspect of the economy has shrunk so
much that countries like Mozambique are becoming havens for
Whilst his monetary policies have seen
an amazing growth in terms of the amount of cash carried by the weary
citizens, it is true that he has slashed the spending power of the citizens
several thousand-fold. The rate of inflation is truly amazing.
Talking of growth, Mugabe has managed to oversee the rapid growth of poverty
In an uncharacteristic fashion for a President, he
has glorified his reputation as a man of violence and has used violence
effectively for his own ends. He has put in place hit squads that hide behind
the call of national service for the youths.
In all fairness,
Mugabe would do his country and the world a favour by gracefully leaving
politics and governance to more capable people.
He should not hide
behind a lame excuse like Doomy the woman who refuses to be divorced
because of the children. He should just go!
He will not surprise
anyone if he retired from politics; after all, that is what we all expect him
WE HAVE been been relying too long on others to liberate
us. Zanu PF gave us independence, but not liberation. They were always too
keen to keep real power in their own hands.
Now they have
created a system where they try, usually very effectively, to co-opt anyone
who values anything more highly than liberating the people. Those
who wanted to get rich quick and those who would be satisfied with
comfortable positions were easy to bribe with these things.
professional non-governmental organisations (NGO) people and all those who
like to call themselves "civil society" are very vulnerable. They live well
off the salaries, travel expenses, meals in expensive hotels and perks that
come from foreign funding. Many of them don't really want to rock the
We have seen politicians and trade unionists tried and tested
by every kind of threat or bribe, and we should know by now who we can
Even Church leaders have proved themselves human, which
means they can be bribed or bullied. Like the NGOs, they often have
comfortable well-paid positions, so they have a lot to lose. I get suspicious
when I hear comfortable people talking about reconciliation rather than
confrontation in our present situation. Reconciliation and forgiveness are
important values, and not only Christian ones, but there can be no
reconciliation between Christ and Belial, between justice and unrepentant
We saw this in the hearings of the South African Truth
and Reconciliation Commission. Archbishop Desmond Tutu knew that the truth
had to come first, so that we all knew what needed to be reconciled. He
tried very hard - and succeeded - in getting some evildoers to admit they had
done wrong, then they could be forgiven.
confront evil and call it by its name before they try to reconcile with the
evildoer. Jesus was gentle with a woman who had been caught in adultery and
other sinners who admitted their sin, but he wasn't always meek and mild. He
could be very confrontational. Old Testament prophets said some hard things,
as when Amos told a self-serving priest: "Your wife shall be a harlot in the
city, and your sons and your daughters shall fall by the sword, and your land
shall be parcelled out by line; you yourself shall die in an unclean land,
and Israel shall surely go into exile away from its land."
Strong stuff, that: but we find stronger stuff in the New Testament. When
Pharisees and scribes came to John the Baptist, he called them: "You brood of
vipers." When someone delivered a message from Herod to Jesus, He said: "Go
and tell that fox . . .' and He is recorded as calling pharisees "whited
sepulchres" to their faces. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't recall any
of the Old Testament prophets making that kind of
That language may have been a challenge to
examine themselves, but don 't we need to make people in high places examine
themselves here also? Crimes are being committed daily by people in positions
of power - murder, torture, arson and rape. Those who order these things are
worse criminals than those who obey their orders. Corrupting the judiciary
and police so as to get away with all these and other evils is even worse.
Corrupting the youth by training them to do these things is worst of
But is anyone challenging the criminals? Are any Church
leaders challenging them? Yes, a few: Archbishop Pius Ncube and
Bishop Sebastian Bakare, to name two, but can you name another? More stay
silent, and an increasing number are talking about reconciliation and peace
"but not confrontation".
I agree that confrontation is not the only
way to go forward, but it must be one of the methods we use. You can't just
sit two parties at a table, forget their crimes and get them to shake hands,
sign an agreement and live together in peace. Leaders like Presidents Thabo
Mbeki of South Africa and Jacques Chirac of France may think so: there always
have been politicians who thought they could sweep problems out of sight like
this, at least until the end of their term in office. Few politicians think
any further ahead than the next election, but ordinary people have to think
what sort of world their grandchildren will live in and churchmen preach
about eternity, which is a lot longer than that.
should get the parties to sit down together, and confront them there. Some
Church leaders do sit down to tea with the politicians, but they don't
confront them there - maybe because they are afraid they won't be invited to
tea again. What sort of leadership is that?
And let us not forget
that one party has committed more crimes. Their opponents might become as bad
as they are if they had the same power, but they haven't done that yet and
standing up to evil leaders now will make us all more able to prevent future
leaders from committing similar crimes.
If Church leaders did
confront the criminals in private and were thrown out, then they would be
left with the only course of action that the rest of us have: to confront, by
telling it like is, anywhere that we will be heard. That may be in the
newspapers, it may be on the streets, it should certainly involve telling it
like it is to anyone in the countries around us, like the Bishop of Cape
Town, who could influence their governments to put pressure until our leaders
agree to sit down and really listen to us.
And if Church leaders
tell the hard truth and suffer for it as many ordinary people are suffering
already, they will only be where a true pastor should be - with his
The recent heavy rains may have resulted in a welcome rise
in the water levels of Harare's major sources of water supply, but water
rationing is still on the cards for the city.
Seke and Harava dams last week held almost 16 months ' supply at the average
daily consumption rate of 750 million litres. Before the rains, the dams held
about 14 month's supply.
Cuthbert Rwazemba, the council spokesman
said: "Ideally, the dams should hold at least 24 months'
But water rationing remained on the schedule, he said,
despite the significant inflows over the past fortnight.
month the council resolved to introduce water rationing as the dam levels
were critically low. The council is still to consider the maximum consumption
levels for the different consumers, as well as the surcharges.
Water rationing will affect Chitungwiza, Norton, Epworth and Ruwa, which are
supplied by the City of Harare.
Rwazemba said the council's
capacity to supply treated water was being exceeded by demand.
Unrestricted average daily consumption of water is 750 million litres a day.
This includes 150 million litres lost in the distribution system through
leakages, pipe bursts and during the treatment process.
proposed water rationing would see the average total daily consumption and
losses reduced to 600 million litres a day.
Rwazemba said: "The
city has reached its maximum capacity in terms of catchment area and there is
need for a relatively pollution-free source of supply like the proposed
Kunzwi Dam in Murehwa."
The dam has been on the cards since 1997
and would have been completed last year. He said Harare's water
problems were likely to remain until Kunzwi Dam was built, which would take
about four years.
Rwazemba said: "Water rationing is not intended
to punish consumers or get more money for the council. What we are doing is
managing a critical situation so we can all be assured of supplies for the
He said many of Harare's water pipes were old
and needed to be replaced but the council did not have the
"This is a situation we cannot rectify overnight. The
rehabilitation of our water network is a long process and it is unfortunate
that we have not been granted borrowing powers to embark on some of the
Harare residents last week demanded the dissolution of the
Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec) over allegations of rampant
corruption in the management of national examinations, to restore credibility
in the education system.
In a snap survey, the residents said
the scandals which recently rocked Zimsec had confirmed the fears expressed
ahead of the localisation of examinations.
took charge of the examinations in 1998. Zimsec has of late been dogged by
reports of forgery of results by its senior officials, examination leaks and
doubts about the acceptability of the Zimsec certificates outside the
Eighty students at Guinea Fowl High School in Gweru, for
instance, failed to collect their "A" Level results in February after a
mix-up at Zimsec.
The results were recalled after the students
were awarded points for subjects for which they had not sat.
Member Kadyaridzire of Glen View said it was sad that Zimsec had betrayed the
trust vested in it.
Kadyaridzire said: "The way they are running
the show at Zimsec indicates that corruption has reached endemic levels in
the country. The government must stop the rot." Kadyaridzire said
the students who continued their education on the basis of forged results
were bound to fail when they progressed to higher levels.
Phineas Chikadaya of Glen Norah said national examinations should revert to
Cambridge, the examining board which used to set and mark the country's
"It will be difficult to look for employment
elsewhere with a certificate awarded by the discredited Zimsec," she said.
"University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate was professional and
must be reintroduced."
Togarepi Gandiwa of Mabvuku said:
"Corruptly awarded certificates won' t be of any value and it will be
difficult to look for jobs overseas with a Zimsec document. Zimsec must be
Zimbabweans interviewed yesterday said they were more than ready for the mass
action called for by the MDC for tomorrow and Wednesday.
professed ignorance of the impending mass protests against the government of
The MDC yesterday implored the masses to conduct
themselves peacefully amid reports of massive deployment of Central
Intelligence Organisation (CIO) agents and the police in Bulawayo ahead of
tomorrow's planned mass action. Riot police patrolled the
Sources within the CIO said hundreds of State security
agents had been deployed throughout the city.
"We have been
instructed to deal ruthlessly with anyone seen participating in the mass
action or uttering provocative statements likely to incite public violence,"
said a source. Meanwhile, anonymous flyers, apparently aimed at
thwarting the mass action, were distributed in Harare blaming the MDC for the
shortages of fuel, food, sugar, cooking oil and transport blues.
The fake flyers, bearing the banner: The Daily News: MDC Sanctions Killing
the Nation, are said to have been written by "concerned students, workers'
unions, civic organisations and church leaders".
In Mutare, there
were mixed feelings on the mass action. Most of those interviewed said the
mass action would succeed. Others called for further dialogue between the
government and the MDC.
The mass action is the first ever to be
called for by a political party to protest against the worsening
socio-political and economic environment. The MDC said it had
consulted widely with ordinary people and organisations, including labour and
The mass action is intended to shut down the country's
major urban centres. It follows hard on recent calls by the MDC for
a boycott of businesses owned by Zanu PF supporters.
while stressing that the mass action must be peaceful, the MDC said:
"As a majority, we can't continue to be subjected to this type of life. We
must stand up and declare that we have had enough of this brutality. Our
rights and freedoms must be restored to us."
In Harare, Ryan
Mparadzi, 30, said: "I think the mass action will be effective if
organised properly and its intentions understood."
guard who declined to be named said: "If there is a stayaway we will
participate because we are the ones who are starving. We used to think these
stayaways were not important, but now we want them like yesterday."
Other people said for the mass action to succeed, public transport operators
should withdraw their vehicles from respective commuter routes.
National Constitutional Assembly (NCA), which is agitating for a new
constitution and whose calls for similar actions have largely been ignored in
the past, came out fully in support of the MDC's call for
Lovemore Madhuku, the NCA chairman, said yesterday:
"We support all initiatives that can bring about open democracy in
Lovemore Matombo, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions
(ZCTU) president, said: "This is a political matter and normally, to make
an official position, we have to sit as a general council. The ZCTU is
composed of members of different political parties. Zimbabweans are
intelligent enough to make up their own minds."
said instead of just announcing the date of the proposed mass action through
the Press, the MDC should thoroughly mobilise the people.
Bulawayo, Martin Ndlovu of Tshabalala said: "We don't know what they mean by
mass action. Are they saying people should riot?"
Kim Phiri said
previous experience had shown that mass action did not work. He
said: "The MDC should try another strategy." Cecilia Ncube, a resident
of Killarney , said people were scared of reprisals under the draconian
Public Order and Security Act.
She said: "People are not interested
in mass actions because they are counter-productive." Jacob Sibanda
said the MDC should have given the masses at least two months
notice. Farai Maguhu, a former student leader at the Africa University
in Mutare, said: "Now is the right time, for people have suffered
"There is no way the mass action can fail if those behind
it made proper consultations and lobbied all the stakeholders, who in this
case are civic organisations and the ordinary people."
Chikoti, 24, of Dangamvura said the mass action could not have come at a
He said: "This is the time to tell the Zanu PF
government that their time is up." He said if the police did not
"react irrationally" the mass action would be the turning point for
Driving in Harare needs special skill - pothole
3/17/2003 7:32:58 AM (GMT +2)
A good number of Harare's drivers are fast-acquiring a new
skill - pothole dodging.
Some of the city's roads have become a
nightmare for drivers as the recent rains have worsened a continuing problem
of potholes in the city.
Unless they are familiar with a particular
road or section of the road, drivers risk damage to their vehicles when they
suddenly come across some of these potholes.
Worse still, the
drivers and their passengers risk being injured if they drive into these
potholes, which are virtually invisible when they are waterlogged or it is
Early in 2001, there were two fatal accidents at such a
pothole in Willowvale. Several other non-fatal accidents were reported at the
Some residents around Harare have taken to filling in
potholes in their areas with rubble and other material, bringing temporary
The council is failing to cope with the numerous potholes
that have developed around the city.
Elias Mudzuri, Harare's
Executive Mayor, said in a council meeting last week: "I have seen so many
potholes on the major roads. Nothing is being done. We have not been getting
reports from the Department of Works. I think you (the acting director of
works) are encouraging laziness if you don 't reprimand your subordinates. We
want to know the reason why the roads are not being repaired."
The mayor ordered the acting director of works to produce the report in the
next monthly meeting of the council.
In January this year, the
council extended for three months the contracts for road repairs and
maintenance awarded to two private companies.
procurement board, made up of six councillors, last month told the Department
of Works to submit a report to the board justifying the payments made for
road repairs. The board said the report, which is yet to be presented to the
council, should indicate the amount paid for work on each road, and the work
to be carried out up to 31 March. The city has more than 3 000km of
Meanwhile, the shortage of fuel continues to affect the
collection of refuse in many of the city's areas, with some places going for
weeks without the service.
ZIMBABWEANS lead the pack of asylum seekers in the United
Kingdom, says a report released by the British government.
than 7 500 Zimbabweans fled political persecution in their own country 2002
to settle in the UK, according to a report released by the UK Home Office
Secretary, David Blunkett.
Zimbabweans finding political refuge in
the UK surpass other Africans from such war-ravaged countries as Somalia, the
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Sierra Leone, Eritrea, Uganda and
Zimbabwe leads the pack with 7 695 followed by Somalia (6
680), the DRC (2 315), Angola (1 440), Eritrea (1 190), Sierra Leone (1 160),
Nigeria (1 125), Algeria (1 080) and Uganda (730).
spokesperson for the British High Commission in Harare, Sophie Honey, said
out of the 7 695 who fled to the UK, 2 245 had already been granted
Tafadzwa Musekiwa, the former MP for Zengeza, is among
those who fled to Britain because of political persecution.
Honey said 3 870 had been denied asylum while a decision was pending on the
She would not explain why the 3 870 had been turned
down, saying: "Information pertaining to individual asylum applications is
But according to the Home Office report, when asylum
is denied an appeal can be lodged. Applicants may be relocated to a third
country or flown back home. "Figures for 2003 are not yet
available," Honey said.
The influx of Zimbabweans relocating to the
UK and elsewhere has been blamed on the deteriorating socio-political and
economic situation in the country.
Zanu PF youth militias and
State security agents have been largely accused of harassing and beating up
supporters and sympathisers of the opposition, according to officials from
non-governmental organisations and human rights pressure groups.
The Blunkett report did not specify the number of economic refugees in that
country, believed to run into several thousands.
The 28-page report
says asylum seekers from Africa increased from 17 920 in 2000 to 20 710 in
SOLDIERS deployed along the border with Mozambique last
Wednesday arrested 29 nationals from Rwanda who had entered Zimbabwe through
an illegal entry point.
The Rwandans were handed to the
Department of Immigration after they indicated they were seeking
The Rwandans, who included men, women and children, are
believed to be coming from Tanzania where they were expelled.
The Rwandans were taken to Grand Reef, an army barrack, 20 kilometres north
of Mutare where they were reportedly interrogated before being handed over to
the Department of Immigration. They are all of Hutu origin.
are 29 of them," said one source, "we took them to Grand Reef but we now want
to hand them over to the Department of Immigration." Zimbabwe has
experienced an influx of Rwandan refugees into the country since January this
The Rwandan refugees, who were expelled by the Tanzanian
government, are trekking down to Zimbabwe, a country seen as a safe haven for
refugees from the Great Lakes Region.
They were expelled on the
grounds they should return to their country because there is now "peace and
However, the Rwandans are reluctant to go back home,
fearing retribution from the Tutsi-led government of President Paul
Tapiwa Huye, the United Nations High Commission for
Refugees, assistant programme officer in Harare, on Thursday said: "They
(Rwandans) are coming in numbers."
He said Zimbabwe was
receiving an average of 300 new arrivals a month since January from a monthly
average of 50 before the latest developments in Tanzania.
said: "The problem we have now is that our accommodation is saturated."
Zimbabwe is home to about 10 000 refugees.
Angolan refugees at Tongogara Refugee Camp, Chipinge, have accused the
Angolan Ambassador to Zimbabwe Joaquim De Lemos of harassing them for their
alleged links with the former rebel movement, Unita.
said their lives were at risk following last November's unannounced visit to
the camp by the ambassador who was accompanied by security agents and
journalists from Angola.
Their spokesman, Adito Camia Tati, 38,
said since the ambassador's visit, they were being constantly interrogated by
unidentified men who accused them of undermining Angola's
The others are Antonio Barata, 35, and Joau Amedeu De
Sousa, 36. But Carreira Hilda, the first secretary of information at
the Angolan Embassy denied the allegations, saying De Lemos' visit to the
camp was part of the commemoration of Angola's independence on 11
Hilda said: "The Angolan Embassy denies any involvement
in any action to put pressure on the refugees to return to Angola. It's not
the policy of the Angolan government, which has often appealed for the
voluntary return of Angolan refugees in Zimbabwe, Namibia and Zambia, to
force the refugees to return home.
"The ambassador's visit was
official. We met the three refugees and they said they did not want to return
She said it was normal for the ambassador to be
accompanied by journalists on such visits.
While in Angola,
Barata and De Sousa worked for a humanitarian organisation that distributed
food in areas controlled by Unita. Tati was a police mechanic.
Tati's wife was allegedly killed by government agents for
allegedly supporting the former rebel movement which has now transformed
itself into a political party.
Tati's application for refugee
status was rejected by the Zimbabwe government but he has lived at Tongogara
for the past four years awaiting relocation to another refugee camp in
Their grievances were submitted in writing to
David Mlambo, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) camp
administrator at Tongogara.
Tati said: "We are now worried about
our security in Zimbabwe. "We believe the UNHCR should relocate us to
other countries in southern Africa."
Bulawayo women bare all in protest against police
3/17/2003 7:26:11 AM (GMT +2)
Florence Ndhlovu in Bulawayo
LAST Sunday, curious by-standers in
Bulawayo's city centre watched as two women bared their bodies by lifting
their dresses up to their shoulders, exposing their
The women were protesting against police brutality
on marchers marking International Women's Day in the city.
Thirteen women, including two opposition MDC MPs, were arrested at
the Bulawayo City Hall car park during a Women's Day commemoration addressed
by Zodwa Sibanda, the wife of MDC vice-president Gibson Sibanda.
They were released on the same day without being charged. About 300
women, many carrying Bibles, had gathered at the venue to sing religious
songs including Asilwi lokuthula, silwa loSatan (We are not fighting peace,
but fighting Satan) as they walked around the city hall waving red and white
Six women, Thokozane Khupe (Makokoba MP), Nomalanga
Khumalo (Mzingwane MP), Zodwa Sibanda, Ann Chitsa (deputy chairperson for the
MDC's national women's wing), Lydia Phiri (provincial chairperson of the MDC
women's wing) and Gertrude Mthombeni were ordered into the police vehicle,
prompting the rest of the women to block the entrance into the parking
The women knelt, prayed and sang while blocking the path of
the police vehicle carrying their six colleagues.
of riot police arrived and drove straight at the kneeling women who then got
up and dispersed as the police indiscriminately attacked them with
Meanwhile, the police vehicle carrying those arrested drove
out of the parking area to the Bulawayo Central Police Station
Some of the riot police then moved around the pavement and
picked up three women, including Jennie Williams, spokesperson for Women of
Zimbabwe Arise, who was arrested while speaking on her cellphone and appeared
to be part of the crowd of curious spectators.
Action then moved
from the city hall area to the pavement at the intersection of Leopold
Takawira Avenue and Fife Street where the women regrouped to sing, while
waving their red and white ribbons.
Contacted for a comment, Khupe
said: "I am very upset because 8 March is our day, but the police - who are
products of women - tried to run us over, denying us an opportunity to air
our views as women."
She said there was a shortage of cotton wool,
and they wanted to address such issues, but had their protest march
disrupted. "What are we going to use? Leaves? Clothes need to be washed, but
soap is expensive."
She said that on their release, some of their
colleagues were at the police station to welcome them, but the police
attacked them with batons.
IN a bizarre incident, two Gokwe-based policemen allegedly
kicked a coffin and assaulted the driver of a vehicle which was taking a body
for burial at a rural home.
The incident is alleged to have
taken place at around 11pm. The policemen, who are based at Venice Mine
Police Post, were said to have been drunk.
Brilliance Mjike, the
driver, said the incident occurred when they stopped at Venice Mine business
centre for refreshments.
He reported the case at Samambwa Police
Post in Gokwe on 2 March. The case reference number is 814989.
Mjike was given a report requesting medical attention at Samambwa Police
Station. Part of the request for medical attention reads: "Complainant was
assaulted with the butt of a pistol on the right jaw with great force and was
kicked all over the body."
Mjike said policemen at the post told
him that the matter would be transferred to Battlefields Police Station for
investigations. Efforts to get comment from Midlands police spokesman,
Inspector Oliver Mandipaka, were fruitless.
Mjike said the
policemen in question crossed the road in front of one of the cars. He said
the officers, who were holding beer bottles, approached him and accused him
of trying to run them down.
Mjike said an argument ensued.
"When I told them that we were taking the body of our relative for burial,
one of them went around the car and kicked the coffin several times. He said
there was nothing special about the deceased as they had many bodies of
battered people at the police station."
One of the policemen struck
Mjike several times on the right jaw with the butt of a pistol while the
other one punched and kicked the driver of the second car. He said a
third policemen tried in vain to restrain his colleagues.
Mjike: "The officer with the gun ordered me to drive on and never to report
the matter if I wanted to stay alive, so I drove on. He was so drunk that he
could easily have shot me if I had defied his orders."