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

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Torture victim Torture victim Torture victim
Click on the thumbnails to see larger images

Three pictures of the results of the state sponsored attacks by the military on Wednesday 19th March 2003, of Roy Bennett's (MDC MP Chimanimani) employees. Norman (61) and Isobel Gardiner (60) and 70 of Roy's staff were told to lie on the ground and keep rolling over while the ZANU PF Army thugs beat them with sticks, heavy steel cable tied to sticks, sjamboks (leather whips) and iron fencing standards.  This was carried out over a four hour period on the men, women and children.  This attack was carried out by army personal in full combat kit, wearing bandoliers, carrying AK 47 rifles and driving three Army trucks mounted with machine guns.  All to beat up some innocent civilians. This is direct retribution for the successful two day stay away called by the Opposition MDC party on Tuesday 18th March and Wednesday 19th March 2003.
 
The night before, members of the Police Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) had visited the farm seeking the whereabouts of Roy from his guards.  Unable to furnish this information, the guards had all their fingers and toes broken and were severely beaten by the CIO operatives who then dumped them at the nearest Police Station, whereupon one of the victims died. The Police merely phoned a Funeral service to remove the body to a mortuary. As of this date, the whereabouts of the deceased is yet to be established.
 
On Thursday morning more military (thought to be from the Presidential Guard) arrived at the farm next door to Roys and carried out further retribution by viciously beating 28 women.
 
All over the country, anyone affiliated to or thought to be involved with the MDC opposition party are being (arrested) abducted, usually in the early hours of the morning, thoroughly beaten and then taken away.  Elias SHAMU (ex Army, whose wife Viola is an MDC Councillor in Harare) was set upon by 6 men in army uniform at 1am at his home on Friday. He was badly beaten in front of his children and at the time of writing his whereabouts have yet to be established.
 
THIS IS A CONTINUATION OF THE POLITICIDE THAT AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL AND GENOCIDE WATCH HAVE BEEN WARNING ZIMBABWEANS AND THE WORLD ABOUT.     TO CONTINUE TURNING A BLIND EYE TO SUCH GROSS HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES IS TO BE COMPLICIT.  IT IS TIME THAT OUR SADC NEIGHBORS, ESPECIALLY, DENOUNCED AND ACTED UPON THIS GENOCIDAL REGIME.    
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VOA

Zimbabwe Doctors Treat 250 After Alleged Gov't Reprisals
Peta Thornycroft
Harare
23 Mar 2003, 16:57 UTC


Many people were being treated in a private clinic in Harare, claiming they
are victims of reprisals by government forces for last week's general strike
called by the opposition. More than 250 injured people have been treated
since Friday at one hospital alone.

The scene in the emergency room of a private hospital in Central Harare is
shocking.

One woman, Sonia Kulinjiwas, was bent over double in pain. She said she was
sexually assaulted with the butt of a rifle early Sunday at her home in
Mabvuku, east of Harare.

Down the corridor, her daughter Margaret, a mother of two, was in too much
pain to speak.

A white woman lying on a stretcher said she was attacked late Saturday in an
upmarket suburb, by five men wearing Zimbabwe National Army uniforms. The
woman, Sharon Nel, said she was stripped naked, beaten and thrown around.
Speaking with difficulty, Mrs. Nel said her attackers said they were going
to rape her, but she shouted at them that she is infected with HIV/AIDS, and
they decided not to.

A doctor in the emergency services department at the hospital, who asked not
to be named, said at least 250 people have been treated since Friday. The
doctor said most of the injuries were broken bones, but the hospital was too
busy to provide statistics.

The doctor said several of those treated had had their fingers and toes
broken, and one man was admitted because both his legs were broken.

The surge in violence allegedly committed by government operatives follows
sharp criticism of the opposition by President Robert Mugabe on Friday. The
president called the opposition a terrorist organization, and that it would
be crushed. He said the two-day general strike last week organized by the
opposition was aimed at overthrowing his government. He vowed there would be
greater action by the government and that the opposition would no longer be
treated with what he called soft gloves.

Police say they do not know how many people are in detention after the
strike, but human rights lawyers say many people are missing, and many
others have been held without being brought to court within 48 hours as
required.
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Name and Shame violent men

Friends in the struggle,

News just in from a Harare clinic that survivors of Zanu PF harrassment and retaliation attacks are arriving in numbers for medical treatment. Last night, soldiers of the regime, militia, war veterans and plain clothes officers went around assaulting defenceless citizens. This was the third night since the successful stay away and there was no sleep for activists.
 
A member of WOZA had her house attacked, she had to escape over the durawall partially dressed. Her husband and children were then assaulted with sjamboks. The husband was then abducted and has only resurfaced today in a bad state. He has been admitted and we pray for his recovery along with the hundreds of others. He says that he was taken away dressed only in his trousers and was tortured at an air base he heard the noise of planes) then he was taken to Matapi and there tortured again. He was then dumped and warned that his wife and those that work with her would be visited and given the same treatment.
 
A steering committee member called in from the same clinic to say that the mother of one of the Valentine walkers is in a bad state and is threatening suicide. The 65 year old women was visited last night and sexually abused with the barrel of a gun by soldiers and war veterans.
 
Justice for Agriculture Sitrep reports indicate that on Tuesday 18th March 2003 Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) men went out to MDC MP (Chimanimani) Roy Bennett's farm on the outskirts of Harare. When Bennett's 3 guards were unable to assist them. The CIO men proceeded to break all the guards toes and fingers and beat them severely. They then dumped them at the Epworth Police Station. One of the victims died on arrival at the Police Station.  The whereabouts of the deceased's body is yet to be established.
 
On Thursday 20th March 2003 three armoured vehicles with mounted machine guns were driven into Bennett's farmyard. Approx 12 men in army uniform, all fully kitted out in bandoliers carrying AK 47 assault rifles advanced on the home of the farm Manager Norman Gardiner (61) and his wife Isobel (60) yelling instructions for everyone in the house to come outside.  The Gardiner's and their domestic staff were then told to lie down and keep rolling over while the army details beat them with wire cable tied to sticks, iron fencing standards, sjamboks (leather whips) and sticks.  The assailants then marched them to their home and searched it, supposedly looking for Bennett. When they found nothing they turned their vicious attention to Bennett's farm workers who were in the lands and systematically beat the men, women and children of all ages. This all took place over a period of four hours.  All the victims were treated for their injuries in Hospital and released.
 
On Friday 21st March 2003 Army, Police and Support Unit details visited another farm in the area and there 28 women have been badly beaten and are being treated at a Hospital.
 
ZVAKWANA reported another incident of abuse on a woman.... Gertrude lives in Mufakose. She went to a shopping centre to bang pots in support of the ZVAKWANA noise campaign. She was abducted and blindfolded by Mugabe's militia and taken to a deserted field. There she was given 3 choices by these horrifying men: a) she could drink acid b) she could have intercourse with a dog or c) she could be electrocuted. She chose the last one. Her attackers electrocuted her, and one of them bit her. He sank his teeth into her flesh until she bled. Later on she was treated for her injuries.
 
Gertrude could be your mother, sister or daughter. The Green Bombers are the tools used by Mugabe in his desperate attempt to hold on to power and to terrify our people into accepting his unpopular and brutal rule. All of us who support peace and justice outnumber the Green Bombers by huge numbers. Yet we allow - yes friends, we allow, we give them our permission - to abuse us. This must stop. Where is our courage to confront these hostile youth and chase them out of our communities? ZVAKWANA, SOKWANELE, Enough is Enough.
 
WOZA support calls by ZVAKWANA for women, the defenders of our social fabric to confront these youth and their perverted masters and stop them from attacking defenseless Zimbabweans exercising their democratic rights.
 
NAME THEM AND SHAME THEM ! WE ALSO ASK THAT YOU EMBARRASS THEIR WIVES AND MOTHERS WHO DO NOT PARTICIPATE IN DISCIPLINING THEM TO STOP BEING SUPPORTERS OF EVIL!
 
Get their telephone numbers, find out their places of business and tell them that it is their place in their homes to talk sense into their men to STOP THE VIOLENCE.
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sundayherald.com

Cricket: Disgrace and disgust prevail in the end

Fred Bridgland looks back on a wholly unsavoury incident which summed up the
World Cup


The hope somehow was that last week's semi-finals and tomorrow's final would
produce cricket of such brilliance that, against all odds, the bloated 2003
Cricket World Cup would be remembered with something approaching fondness.
But, no. Outrageous politicians and greedy, unprincipled cricket
administrators again managed in the contest's dying days to produce their
most ghastly cock-up yet and render this competition best buried and
forgotten.

Zimbabwean fast bowler Henry Olonga, who got the tournament off to a bright
start by publicly criticising the oppressive policies of his country's state
president, Robert Mugabe, has been forced to go into hiding, Scarlet
Pimpernel-like, to avoid being tried for his life. Olonga wore a black
armband in his country's first World Cup match in Bulawayo 'to mourn the
death of democracy in our beloved country'.

Mugabe, a deeply embittered man, never forgets a slight. And alarm bells
rang heavily when -- on the night before Zimbabwe's final Cup match against
Sri Lanka in the sleepy South African coastal town of East London -- seven
officers of Zimbabwe's secret police, the notorious Central Intelligence
Organisation (CIO), were spotted. Outrageously and disgracefully, they were
being entertained by top South African and International Cricket Council
officials.

The Zimbabwe team were tipped off that the CIO men were there to 'escort'
the 26-year-old Olonga home to face a charge of treason relating to his
black armband protest and his statement rubbishing Mugabe and all his works.
The punishment for treason in Zimbabwe is death.

Olonga, the youngest player and the first black man to play international
cricket for his country, is now in hiding in a safe house somewhere in South
Africa. Officials have said Olonga is assured of political asylum in Britain
if he can reach Heathrow.

Before Zimbabwe's final World Cup match began, Olonga's team-mates made a
plan for his escape. They played the match as though everything was normal,
with Olonga, named as 12th man, carrying drinks on to East London's Buffalo
Park pitch early in the afternoon. As Olonga was dispensing the pick-me-ups
on the field, sympathisers in the World Cup-appointed Close Protection Unit
went to his hotel, packed all Olonga's possessions, and took his bags to the
Zimbabwe dressing room. Olonga had fled before the final ball was bowled.
Zimbabwe were defeated and exited the World Cup.

Olonga and his white colleague, star batsman Andy Flower, began Zimbabwe's
World Cup campaign by wearing black armbands in the match against Namibia.
Further attacking Mugabe's despotic regime, they said: 'We cannot in good
conscience take to the field and ignore the fact that millions of our
compatriots are starving, unemployed and oppressed.'

Flower and Olonga were immediately dropped from the World Cup squad by the
Zimbabwean selectors, people appointed by Mugabe's ruling Zanu-PF party and
who have never played cricket. They were reinstated when the rest of the
troubled squad said they would refuse to play all fixtures if the two brave
protestors were excluded.

'Henry was pretty shaken, but he seemed to be coping as well as anyone can
in a situation like that,' said a team-mate after Olonga had faded into the
night. 'The final farewells to Henry were very emotional. He sounded
reasonably clear about what he needed to do. He said he was staying
positive.'

Before Olonga disappeared, he left a statement for the media which said: 'I
was never under the illusion that my stand would have no consequences, but I
believe that one should have the courage of one's convictions in life and do
all one can to uphold them.

'I believe that if I were to continue to play for Zimbabwe in the midst of
the prevailing crisis I would only be 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.

'To my fellow Zimbabweans: the Zimbabwe we dream of must merely remain
within our hearts. We must be strong, stand united and strive to give our
children the brighter day in which they must belong.'

Olonga has many interests outside the increasingly ungentlemanly game of
cricket. Since high school, where he was head boy in a mixed race school, he
has been a devout Christian and an operatic tenor-cum-gospel singer. His
recent CD, called 'Our Zimbabwe', made it to No 1 in his country. 'It is a
song about patriotism,' he said in a recent interview. 'Our national pride
has been eroded over the last two or three years because of the political
mess we're in. I wanted to write a song that said: 'Don't give up'.' Henry
Olonga is still on the run.

The officials who entertained the secret policemen who sought Olonga's death
have behaved disgracefully from the start of the tournament a long
six-and-a-half weeks ago.

The South African officials compounded their offences last week by sacking
the national captain, Shaun Pollock, after the country's abysmal performance
and early exit on home soil. Now, Pollock was a truly uninspiring skipper --
but he should not have been fired before the officials had sacked
themselves. World Cup organiser Ali Bacher, a former South African captain,
simply lied to the cricketers and the media when he said the Zimbabwe police
had given assurances that peaceful demonstrations would be allowed at all
six scheduled matches in their country. Therefore, said Bacher, it was
ridiculous, scandalous and destructive that England should refuse -- partly
from fear, partly from principle -- to play their one match in Mugabe-land.

In the event, the police banned all demonstrations outside the Bulawayo and
Harare grounds, beat up demonstrators, including women, while 44 protestors
were mercilessly whipped and imprisoned. Bacher has not apologised and
remains in post.

South African cricket's chief executive, Gerald Majola, banned wicketkeeper
Errol Stewart from all future international representation for his country
because he had refused on principle to play for South Africa 'A' in
Zimbabwe, a country where Stewart said two-thirds of the people were
starving to death. Majola remains in post.

Percy Sonn -- the South African Cricket Board president who delivered a
stream of sneering racist remarks at the England players for their
'cowardly' and unnecessary refusal to play in 'peaceful' Zimbabwe --
staggered completely drunk around hospitality boxes at a match, uttering
obscene insults to all and sundry. He did this quite skillfully because all
the time his designer britches were around his ankles. Sonn remains in post.

No wonder many have described this World Cup as a Mickey Mouse affair. At
least the next World Cup, hosted by the West Indies in 2007, will be an
official Mickey Mouse occasion. A handful of games will be staged outside
the West Indies at Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
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Washington Times

March 23, 2003


President renews vow against opposition

     HARARE, Zimbabwe (Agence France-Presse) - Zimbabwean President Robert
Mugabe yesterday vowed "greater action" against the main opposition party,
which he accuses of wanting to overthrow his government.
     Mr. Mugabe slammed the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and its
work stoppage this week, declaring that from now on there would be "greater
vigor, greater vigilance and greater action by my government."
     His comments came as a farmers group said soldiers had beaten nearly 30
farm workers, and the MDC said hundreds of its supporters were abducted in
night raids by military agents.
     Rights groups say there has been increased repression of perceived
opposition supporters since a widely followed work stoppage earlier this
week closed down urban areas.
     In comments carried by state television, Mr. Mugabe told hundreds of
youths from his ruling Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front
(ZANU-PF), "We shall not treat them with soft gloves anymore."
     The stoppage, which was organized to protest purported misgovernance,
has aroused the ire of Mr. Mugabe and his government. They blame the MDC for
violence during the strike, in which several vehicles were stoned and
burned.
     Mr. Mugabe said the stoppage was a "flop."
     "They can't tell the world that they succeeded, because their target
was to overthrow our government," he told cheering supporters at his party's
headquarters in Harare.
     And he said black MDC supporters were really whites. "Yes, you wear our
skin, but below that skin, you are white." Mr. Mugabe's government regularly
accuses the MDC of being a front for white interests and former colonial
power Britain.
     "We want peace, peace, peace and stability," he said.
     Meanwhile, the farmers' group Justice for Agriculture (JAG) said that
on Friday soldiers assaulted workers on a farm next to the one leased by
opposition legislator Roy Bennett, near the town of Ruwa.
     Twenty-eight workers had to be hospitalized after the attack, the group
said.
     A police spokesman contacted by AFP was not able to confirm the attack.
     "The uniformed military ... came in and beat the workers," JAG said in
a statement.
     Earlier this week, soldiers were reported to have attacked workers on a
farm leased by Mr. Bennett in Ruwa, outside Harare.
     Opposition spokesman Paul Themba Nyathi said, "Hundreds of our
officials and supporters have been abducted from their homes during the
night and tortured in ZANU-PF torture camps" in the past 24 hours.
     Human rights group Amnesty International said in a statement that it
was concerned by a "new and dangerous phase of repression" in the southern
African country.
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Wife of Mugabe's army chief said: 'That woman's trouble, beat her'

When lawyer Gugu Moyo went to a police station she was hit with batons and
thrown in a cell. Andrew Meldrum reports from Harare on a new outbreak of
official brutality

Sunday March 23, 2003
The Observer

It was a trip that had become almost routine. As a lawyer, Gugulethu Moyo
was accustomed to visiting Harare police stations, but last Tuesday she
walked into a nightmare when she attempted to secure the release of a
photographer arrested while covering Zimbabwe's two-day national strike.
A well-known legal practitioner and a director of the company that owns the
Daily News, Zimbabwe's largest-selling newspaper, Gugu, as she is known, is
well liked in media circles and has a reputation as a sharp dresser with an
even sharper mind.

But last week she became a high-profile symbol of how Zimbabwe's rule of law
is being subverted by President Robert Mugabe and his cronies in the ruling
Zanu-PF party. The 28-year-old lawyer endured vicious beatings and two
nights behind bars on the whim of the wife of Zimbabwe's army commander.

'It was the first day of the national strike. I went into the police station
and saw scores of prisoners lying on the ground and being forced to roll in
the mud while police officers beat their feet,' Moyo told The Observer .

'Police said they did not have our photographer, Philimon Bulawayo, but I
saw him in the cells, so I waited to see what charges would be pressed.' Two
trucks drove up with riot police and an army Range Rover pulled up.

'A woman came in speaking on a cellphone. She said, "We must deploy more
forces and beat them up!" My cellphone rang and I began speaking and she
shouted: "Who is that woman on the phone?"

'I said I worked for Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe and she went wild.
She shouted at me: "So what if you are a lawyer? Your paper wants to
encourage anarchy in this country. You want to represent our enemies".

'A man with her grabbed me and hit me. She twisted my arm and started
slapping me on the face. It is hard to remember the sequence, but they kept
hitting and shouting at me. She said: "I am Jocelyn Chiwenga, the wife of
the army commander. Your paper says there is no rule of law in Zimbabwe.
Well, I will show you the rule of law".'

Moyo said she was dragged outside and pushed so hard she fell, hitting her
head on a rock. They beat her feet as they interrogated her, accusing her of
working for the British Government.

'She said "You must be scared of me" and, foolishly, I said no. This enraged
her. She said that since I am Ndebele, they would do to me what the army did
in Matabeleland in the 1980s.' That reference to the massacres, when the
army was blamed for 20,000 civilian deaths, terrified Moyo.

'She said she was powerful and would kill me. She said she would shoot me.
She said she was very rich with lots of cars. The man punched me in the eye
and she kept hitting me. Policemen folded their arms and watched.'

Moyo was held in the cells. 'There were more than 100 people there who were
arrested,' she said. 'A 13-year-old boy sat with me. He was very
frightened.'

After some hours Moyo was sent to Harare Central jail. 'As I got on the
truck with about 30 other prisoners, Mrs Chiwenga shouted to the police:
"That woman is trouble, beat her!" Five men beat my back, my legs,
everywhere with their truncheons. It was so painful I started screaming.'

At Harare Central, officers knew Moyo from her professional work but they
kept her imprisoned for two nights, refusing her access to legal or medical
help.

'The cells were full so I had to stand, which was okay because my backside
was so bruised I could not lie down. There were so many people who were
arrested. Most were under 18 and most had been beaten. Many had serious
injuries.'

Eventually, Moyo was released without charges. The bruises on her face have
gone down, but she still has trouble walking. A graduate of the University
of Zimbabwe who did a post-graduate degree at Oxford, she is normally
unflappable, but she was clearly shaken by the ordeal.

'What kept me going throughout all of that was the thought that on Monday
morning Mrs Chiwenga will have charges of assault on her desk,' said Moyo
from her Harare office. 'It is galling that a civilian can command the
entire police force. My family is frightened that she will come after me
again.'

Jocelyn Chiwenga is well known in Zimbabwe. Aided by soldiers, she seized a
white-owned farm last year. 'I have not tasted white blood since Zimbabwe's
independence, and I miss it,' she allegedly said as soldiers aimed guns at
the farmer.

Sam Sipepa Nkomo, chairman of the Daily News group, said the company would
sue police for the assault and wrongful detention of Moyo and the
photographer, who was also beaten.

Moyo's ordeal is one of hundreds of arrests and beatings following the
national strike called by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) which shut down Zimbabwe last Tuesday and Wednesday.

The past few days have seen scores of Zimbabweans taken to hospital with
injuries inflicted by soldiers and police. The MDC, galvanised by the
success of the strike, issued an ultimatum to the Mugabe government: restore
democratic rights and freedoms by 31 March or face a popular uprising that
will force the government out.

The situation alarmed Amnesty International, which said this weekend: 'This
is an explosive situation where there seem to be no limits to how far the
government will go to suppress opposition and maintain its hold on power.'

On 18 March soldiers tortured three workers on the farm of Roy Bennett, MDC
MP for Chimanimani. The three men were forced to lie on their stomachs on
the ground and were hit with batons, sjamboks (whips) and wire, according to
survivors. Their fingers and toes were broken. One of the workers, Steven
Tonera, died, said Bennett.The three men were accused of being MDC
supporters.

On Thursday and again on Friday, truckloads of soldiers came back to the
farm and severely assaulted up to 70 people, said Bennett. Human rights
workers were busy yesterday providing medical treatment to the injured.

These latest accounts of human rights abuses should make it more difficult
for the Commonwealth to lift its suspension of Zimbabwe. It is to be
maintained until December, when it will be considered by the heads of
government meeting in Nigeria. But now South Africa and Nigeria are
understood to be lobbying other Commonwealth members to lift the suspension,
asserting that the situation in Zimbabwe is improving, that the rule of law
has been restored, that repression of the press has been lifted, and
political life has returned to normal.

Moyo's experience would suggest otherwise.

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News24

400 MDC members arrested
23/03/2003 20:29  - (SA)


Harara - Police in Zimbabwe have arrested about 400 opposition members since
a widely followed controversial two-day opposition-led strike this week.

Police spokesperson Bothwell Mugariri said most of those arrested had been
charged with malicious injury to property and are still in custody.

Buses were stoned and burnt, roads barricaded, supermarkets torched and a
ruling party office fire-bombed during and after a two-day strike called by
the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

"The majority of the 400 have appeared in court and have been remanded in
custody," Mugariri said.

State radio however later put the number of those arrested at only 200 and
said that many were top party officials.

Meanwhile the MDC has stepped up allegations of state-sponsored violence
against its members.

MDC spokesperson Paul Themba Nyathi said that several MDC members in
Harare's low income suburbs of Mabvuku and Mufakose had been attacked this
weekend by ruling party supporters.

"Apart from assaulting our members, these criminals looted cash and goods
from the victims' homes," Themba Nyathi said.

Police have not confirmed the attacks.

Rights groups say there has been a surge of retaliatory violence this week
against the opposition and rights activists. Opposition leader Morgan
Tsvangirai visited the victims of the violence in hospital.

President Robert Mugabe on Saturday vowed his government would take "greater
action" against the opposition, whom he accused of trying to overthrow the
government.

The strike on Tuesday and Wednesday was called to protest alleged bad
governance and the MDC has presented the government with a list of demands
it wants addressed by the end of the month.

Tensions are rising in Harare ahead of two key by-elections next weekend.
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Zimbabwe Mirror


Zanu PF leadership transition in the works
Mirror Reporter

CONTRARY to speculation in the international media over Zimbabwe's
succession process, the ruling Zanu PF is working on a leadership transition
which is geared to see it through the years ahead, the Sunday Mirror has
learnt.

Political pundits indicate that contrary to the speculation at home and
abroad over the dynamics allegedly playing themselves out in Zimbabwe's
succession drama, there is an internal plan by Zanu PF to both reproduce its
leadership for the post-Robert Mugabe era, and also to prepare for the
elections in 2005.

Speaking to the Sunday Mirror at the weekend, a confidential source in the
ruling party's powerful Politburo revealed that Zanu PF had put in place a
plan to produce a national programme which, in the tradition of the national
liberation movement, is to include and involve all provinces in the country
and thereby use the current basket to position the party more strongly.

"Secondly, this plan takes into account the existing leadership, recognises
the role they have played, but acknowledges that, quite naturally, they are
on their way out mainly because of age and natural attrition," said the
source.

The revelation of the internal plan comes on the heels of reports in the
international and domestic press, alleging the emergence of several factions
within the ruling party jockeying for coveted positions in a post-President
Mugabe era.

In a report entitled "Zimbabwe: Danger and Opportunity", the International
Crisis Group (ICG) claimed that a fierce succession struggle had begun in
Zanu PF, with three distinct groups emerging as the core protagonists in the
race to succeed President Mugabe. "Two camps have emerged in the struggle
for post-Mugabe leadership of Zanu PF. (Speaker of Parliament, Emmerson)
Mnangagwa and (Zimbabwe Defence Forces chief, General Vitalis) Zvinavashe
are on one side, while on the other are retired Army commander Solomon "Rex"
Mujuru, Defence Minister Sydney Sekeramayi, current army Commander
Constantine Chiwenga, Air Force Commander Perence Shiri, sacked Finance
Minister Simba Makoni (whom Mujuru has been pushing as successor to Mugabe),
former Home Affairs Minister John Nkomo, Zanu PF businessman Ibbo Mandaza,
and elder statesman Eddison Zvobgo," reads the report.

Further, it claims the existence of a third group, which, on account of its
lack of a major support base in the party and in the broader public, "will
ultimately play a spoiler role at most".

Information Minister Jonathan Moyo, Agriculture Minister Joseph Made, and
Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa are mentioned in the report as the
leaders of the "spoilers" faction.

According to the source, the ruling party's main objective at the moment is
to reconcile differences within the party in order to produce a united
front.

"And as part of this renewal, old party veterans like Enos Nkala, Edgar
Tekere and Morton Malianga are being kept in touch," added the source.

Nkala was Minister of Defence in Mugabe's cabinet, but resigned his post
following his involvement in the famed "Willowgate Scandal" of 1988/9 in
which senior government officials fraudulently purchased vehicles from
Willowvale Motor Industries for less than their market value and resold them
at highly inflated prices.

Tekere was Zanu PF's chairman for Manicaland province at the time of his
sacking by the party for alleged indiscipline.

The source, who conceded that President Mugabe and his two deputies - Simon
Muzenda and Joseph Msika, both of whom are not in the best of health - could
be serving their last terms, said an integral feature of the transition plan
is the combination of some of the party's leaders in the top hierarchy with
the relatively younger ones.

" As such, long-standing leaders such as Mnangagwa, Didymus Mutasa, Dumiso
Dabengwa, Sydney Sekeramayi and John Nkomo would act as a bridge from the
old to the new dispensation," the source revealed.

From all the country's provinces would come the crop of leaders who would
form the core of Zanu PF's future leadership, the source added.

Long-serving cabinet minister Joyce Mujuru and State Security Minister
Nicholas Goche stand out in Mashonaland Central province, while Foreign
Affairs Minister Stan Mudenge and former Airforce of Zimbabwe Commander
Josiah Tungamirai in Masvingo, Finance and Economic Development Minister
Herbert Murerwa in Mashonaland East, Labour Minister July Moyo in the
Midlands, Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi and Simon Khaya-Moyo in
Matabeleland South, Jonathan Moyo in Matabeleland North, Ignatius Chombo in
Mashonaland West, and Simba Makoni and Patrick Chinamasa in Manicaland,
would most certainly serve as the core of Zanu PF's future leadership, the
source revealed.

He said Mujuru, whom London-based newsletter Africa Confidential dubbed "the
non-retired kingmaker, would along with Dabengwa, Mutasa and Zvobgo play a
key role in influencing who lands the coveted opportunity to succeed Mugabe
as the party's leader and, possibly, the country's next president.
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From The Sunday Times (SA), 23 March


Decision on Zimbabwe vexes Pretoria


Ranjeni Munusamy


A diplomatic row has broken out between South Africa and the Commonwealth
over an announcement this week that Zimbabwe is to remain suspended from the
54-nation group until December this year. The government wants Commonwealth
Secretary-General Don McKinnon to substantiate his claim that the three
members of the Commonwealth troika - Australia, Nigeria and South Africa -
"concluded that the most appropriate approach" was to extend Zimbabwe's
suspension. Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Aziz Pahad said President Thabo
Mbeki never agreed to this. He said Nigeria's Olusegun Obasanjo had also
distanced himself from the decision. Pahad said McKinnon should explain to
the troika on what basis the decision was made and by whom. McKinnon said in
a statement on Sunday that the troika asked him to consult with other
Commonwealth governments on the issue. He said "the broadly held view" among
Commonwealth member states was that the suspension should remain in force
until the leaders hold their biennial summit in Nigeria in December. SA's
High Commissioner in London, Lindiwe Mabuza, said it was "important for us
all to know precisely which countries were consulted and what positions they
communicated". She argued that African and Non-Aligned Movement states would
not have supported such a decision. McKinnon is claiming that Mbeki and
Obasanjo agreed to go with the majority view when he spoke to them last
weekend. Commonwealth spokesman Joel Kibazo said McKinnon had not been asked
to explain the decision but was willing to do so.
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Comment from The Spectator (UK), 22 March


Why are we backing regime change in Baghdad but not in Harare?

By Rod Liddle

At the British High Commission in Harare, the going rate for a visa to get
the hell out of that indiscriminately violent asylum whose government we
helped to install is 79,200 Zimbabwe dollars. That's not far short of
1,000. The official rate for a British visa across the rest of the world -
i.e., similarly awful, despotic, lawless yet totalitarian, economically
suicidal basket cases like Sierra Leone, Somalia and, yes, Iraq - is rather
less than this. It is 36. How come the somewhat glaring discrepancy?
Simple. The British government uses the illegal black-market exchange rate
in Zimbabwe, of Z$2,200 to the pound, as opposed to the official exchange
rate of Z$85 to the pound. Still, you have to say, this little bit of
financial and political chicanery is doing the job. It's keeping Zimbabwean
blacks out of Britain, which was, presumably, the intention. If you're black
and Zimbabwean and not unemployed, or under house arrest or in prison or on
the run, then you just might earn 1,000 within a few years, if you're very
lucky. Maybe, if you skimped on the luxuries and put aside 50 per year for
the visa, then you'd arrive at Heathrow by the time Clare Short actually
does resign over something. Round about 2025. If you're white, you might be
able to scrape the money together a bit more quickly, white Zimbabweans
being altogether more affluent - which is not to diminish the hell that they
've been through. Thing is, if you're black, it's different. It's a lot
worse and, paradoxically, you have more to lose. And so we have a situation
where our arms are opened to the Muslim madmen of the Maghreb, Algerian
nutters laden with ricin, whacko Yemenis, estranged Egyptians, and very
angry Afghans, Romanians and Albanians who will be happy to wash your car
windows at a set of traffic lights or, failing that, nick your car. But
persecuted and committed democrats from a country which we owned and then
meddled in and of which we have now, apparently, washed our hands can go
hang. Metaphorically, of course. But unfortunately, literally also.


You may remember the name Henry Khaaba Olonga. Henry is the Zambian-born but
naturalised Zimbabwean fast bowler, the first black man to play for his
adopted country. He's an OK cricketer, Henry, good enough at least to play
the game at World Cup standard, which in fact is what he was doing earlier
this month. Henry and his team-mate Andy Flower, a white man, did a
brilliant and very brave thing in the World Cup. They played their first
game wearing black armbands to signify the death of democracy in Zimbabwe.
The Zimbabwean government went berserk; the two were told to drop the stunt
for the next game, which, obediently enough, they did. They wore white
armbands instead. Andy Flower, the best cricketer Zimbabwe has ever had,
later reluctantly resigned from the side under pressure. He was 34 and had
enjoyed, as they say, a good innings. But it was brave of him to make that
stand, and pretty rare in the selfish, monomaniacal world of professional
sport. For Henry things were even worse. He was dropped to twelfth man in
the next match. Then he was sacked by the Takashinga Cricket Club, which was
the club side for which he played and through which he earned his living.
Then the death threats started, mainly via email. Henry was told to clear
off. Get out of the country. Come back and you'll be tried and hanged for
treason. Or maybe just shot. So Henry, sensibly, left and made his way
surreptitiously to South Africa, which is where he is now.

Did he get a hero's welcome in the democratic republic of South Africa? Did
he hell. The African National Congress has just described him as being
`deluded' and `insulting'. This is because Henry is staying in hiding in
South Africa, not entirely trusting the government there to keep his
whereabouts a secret from the barking mad Mugabe. He thinks the ANC is apt
to act as an apologist for Zanu from time to time. Surely not. Anyway, the
South Africans don't want him either. Henry's dad, Dr. John Olonga, who
lives in Bulawayo, doesn't know if he'll ever seen his son again. I spoke to
him this week, just after he'd received a call from Henry. The phone rang;
it was his son calling from a secret number. They spoke briefly and then he
was gone. `He's never coming back to Zimbabwe. It's just become too
dangerous for him,' said Dr. Olonga. `The threats started and then they
became cumulative. It was the progressive effect of the threats which drove
him away. You know,' he adds, `I wouldn't have had the courage to do what my
son did. I really wouldn't have had the courage.' Dr. Olonga might start to
worry about his own safety soon. `The difference is,' he says, `I'm not a
citizen like Henry is. I'll stay here and keep working until someone tells
me to get out and then, I suppose, I'll get out.' Imagine it. A month or so
ago Henry Olonga was a cricketer at the very top of his profession. One act
of bravery and defiance later and he is deprived of his means of earning a
living, effectively deprived of his home, penniless, on the run, unwanted.
Let's hope he comes here and let's hope, even more, that when he does, he is
given a hero's welcome.

If you were to compile a roster of countries that require what the Americans
have taken to calling a `regime change', where would Zimbabwe come on your
list? First? Second? In what sense, you might well ask, is Mugabe possibly
less despotic, less deranged and less of a threat to his own people than
Saddam Hussein? Has he not wreaked more havoc, murdered as many people, and
wrecked his country into the bargain? And do we not, for good, recent
historical reasons, have a rather greater obligation to deal with Zimbabwe
than with Iraq? I suppose he has no oil, big Bob, nor has he enraged and
humiliated the father of the current President of the United States, so far
as I am aware. Mugabe has been offered succour by the French, I suppose - so
there are some international, geopolitical similarities. But we seem
disinclined to do anything about Zimbabwe, except to whinny impotently from
the sidelines and then, when nobody's looking, make it as difficult as
possible for the country's beleaguered black citizens to make their way to
Britain. We cheer Henry Olonga and Andy Flower for their acts of bravery and
then, a month or so later, put them out of our minds. As the tanks line up
on the northern Kuwaiti border, it's this, rather than unconditional
pacifism, which makes me wonder if we're doing the right thing; if we have
our priorities right. Who will sort out Zimbabwe? And when?
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