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

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      Demo at Mau Mau's UK shop

      3/24/2003 2:02:29 AM (GMT +2)


      From Sandra Nyaira in London

      UNITED Kingdom-based Zimbabweans yesterday heeded a call by the
opposition MDC to boycott Zanu PF businesses and staged a massive
demonstration calling on British authorities to expel ruling party stalwart,
Stalin Mau Mau, and his businesses from Britain.



      A march was organised to Mau Mau's shop in Southend on Sea, Essex.
Opposition and human rights demonstrators from all over England carried
placards denouncing President Mugabe and his government, Mau Mau and other
Zimbabwean business people with links to Zanu PF. Mau Mau, the losing Zanu
PF candidate for Harare East in the 2000 parliamentary election, holds a
senior post in the party's Harare province. Escorted by the police, the
demonstrators marched to the shop, Zim-Link, which sells products from
Zimbabwe such as food, music tapes and hair products. The shop also does
money transfers for Zimbabweans living in the diaspora at a rate of 1 to
Z$1 800.

      The windows are emblazoned with the Zimbabwean flag colours and copies
of The Daily News proudly stand out in the display as the paper is said to
be in demand in the area. Mau Mau, real name Keen Marshall Charumbira, was
nowhere to be seen since he lives in Zimbabwe and comes here occasionally
for business. But Washington Ali, the organiser of the demonstration, is
convinced Mau Mau is now staying in England. "Mau Mau is a Zanu PF
heavyweight and a human rights violator, he is an illegal farm invader and a
Mugabe functionary," Ali, a Zimbabwean, said in a petition to British
authorities. "Expelling Charumbira from Britain and stopping his business
activities here is essential to sustaining pressure on all those who hope to
profit from Robert Mugabe's destruction of Zimbabwe, its economy and its
people.

      "His continued presence in this country is offensive to all UK-based
Zimbabweans, an insult to British people and an affront to the international
community. The fact that he continues to live and work in Britain with
impunity flies in the face of international efforts to isolate the Mugabe
regime and bring it to justice." The drum-beating demonstrators, wearing MDC
T-shirts, queried why Mau Mau was bringing in food from Zimbabwe while
millions back home were on the verge of starvation and could not get basics
such as soap, mealie-meal and cooking oil. Meanwhile, Sapa reports that over
500 Zimbabweans took to the streets in Johannesburg on Friday to demonstrate
against President Mugabe and human rights violations perpetrated by his
government. The group gathered in central Johannesburg's Joubert Park before
embarking on a 20-kilometre march to Sandton.

      As they marched, carrying placards, they denounced South Africa's
policy of quiet diplomacy towards Zimbabwe. The placards read "Zimbabwe is
dying", "Quiet diplomacy failed", "Away with Mugabe" and "Bush give Mugabe
48 hours". Some of the marchers wore black armbands and carried coffins to
symbolise the death of democracy in Zimbabwe. "More than 200 people have
died at the hands of the police, army and militia groups sponsored by the
ruling party, Zanu PF, ever since Mugabe stole the election early last
 year," said Jairos Tama of the Concerned Zimbabweans Abroad - a body which
organised the protest. "Millions of Zimbabweans are starving and most of
them have a friend or family member who has been beaten up or tortured."

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Daily News

      US official slams Mugabe for abuses

      3/24/2003 1:41:05 AM (GMT +2)


      By John Gambanga Editor

      The United States Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Africa,
Mark Bellamy says his government will continue calling on the international
community to censure Zimbabwe for its bad human rights record until there is
positive change.



      In an exclusive interview with The Daily News on Friday, Bellamy said
the US had tabled a resolution at the recent 59th session of the United
Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva calling on the international
community to take note of the gross human rights abuses by the government of
President Mugabe. He said the resolution was part of a document entitled,
"Zimbabwe's man-made crisis" which chronicles human rights abuses in
Zimbabwe, including the massacre in Matabeleland in the mid 1980s. Thousands
of innocent civilians in Matabeleland were tortured, maimed and killed by
the Korean-trained Fifth Brigade which was led by Perence Shiri, now the
Commander of the Air Force of Zimbabwe.

      "We believe that it would be a tragedy if the world failed to focus
attention on what is happening in Zimbabwe today. The resolution we tabled
is meant to mobilise international support for a positive stand against
repression, violence and lawlessness," Bellamy said. "Even if the other
members do not adopt it, this will not deter us from speaking openly about
human rights abuse in Zimbabwe. Already, we have put in place targeted
sanctions against Zimbabwe which we hope will have some positive effect."
Bellamy noted that Washington was not the only one calling for change in
Zimbabwe, citing the European Union, which has also imposed sanctions
against Mugabe, and the Commonwealth, which last week extended Zimbabwe's
suspension from its councils for another nine months.

      The International Bar Association recently called on the International
Criminal Court to prosecute Mugabe for serious violations of international
humanitarian law.
      Bellamy said the US government supports mass stayaways as they are an
effective form of expressing discontent against government repression and
human rights abuse. Although he could not say what effect the recent two-day
mass stayaway in Zimbabwe would have, he commended "the people of Zimbabwe
for their tactful and peaceful protest against human rights abuse by the
government". He said peaceful stayaways had been used effectively in the
past during anti-apartheid campaigns in South Africa before it attained
independence. Asked if the US would indict President Mugabe or his close
lieutenants if there was no positve change, Bellamy said that this would not
be possible.

      "Zimbabwe is a full member of the UNHRC and is free to participate in
its sessions. No country has the right to bar it from attending or to indict
its leaders but we will continue to express concern about what is happening
in that country," he said. Bellamy noted that the US, a major contributor of
food aid to Zimbabwe, some of it channelled through the World Food
Programme, was not happy about reports that some of this food was being
politicised by Zanu PF and distributed only to party members, leaving out
members of the opposition MDC. "It is very wrong to politicise food aid and
we will closely monitor how it is being distributed and register our
displeasure at every opportunity," he said.
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      Amnesty warns of more human rights violations

      3/24/2003 1:43:15 AM (GMT +2)


      From Chris Gande in Bulawayo

      AMNESTY International says there are indications that mass arrests and
human rights violations will escalate as the MDC's deadline to President
Mugabe to meet certain demands approaches.



      Following its successful mass stayaway last week, the MDC issued an
ultimatum to Mugabe to meet several demands related to the issue of
governance and human rights. The MDC threatened more protests if the demands
are not met by 31 March. In response, President Mugabe last Friday warned
the MDC about its demands. In a chilling statement reminiscent of his
utterances before he unleashed Gukurahundi (Fifth Brigade) in Matabeleland
and the Midlands in the mid-1980s, Mugabe said those who play with fire
would be burnt and consumed by that fire. More than 20 000 people were
killed when Mugabe let loose a crack army unit.
      Amnesty appealed to Kembo Mohadi, the Minister of Home Affairs and
Police Commissioner, Augustine Chihuri, to stop the mass arrests and
persecution of opposition supporters.

      Mohadi yesterday said he was in Beitbridge and had not seen the letter
which he said could be in his office in Harare. Asked to respond to
allegations that police were arresting MDC supporters without charge he
said: "Let me see the allegations first then I will respond." Chihuri could
not be contacted for comment yesterday.
      In a letter sent to Mohadi and Chihuri on Friday and copied to
diplomatic representatives in Zimbabwe, Amnesty said up to 500 people
including media workers and MDC Members of Parliament, have been arrested
and detained without charge since the mass stayaway last week. The report
said an unknown number of people have reportedly been abducted by supporters
of the ruling Zanu PF party and state security agents.

      There have also been reports that some MDC activists had
disappeared.Philemon Bulawayo, a Daily News photographer and Gugulethu Moyo,
Associted Newspapers of Zimbabwe's Corporate Affairs Director, were among
the people arbitrarily arrested and detained during and after the stayaway.
Also arrested were Giles Mutsekwa, MP for Mutare North and Austin
Mupandawana, MP for Kadoma Central together with 60 MDC activists, as the
police swooped on people in their homes and in the streets. Amnesty
International said: "According to reports, four MDC activists were abducted
by Zanu PF supporters and state agents in Bindura on 18 March. Their
whereabouts remain unknown and it is feared that they may have disappeared."
Four MDC activists were also allegedly abducted in Mabvuku. Other MDC
activists are reported to be missing.
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Daily News

      Biti warns against poll-rigging

      3/24/2003 1:44:42 AM (GMT +2)


      By Lloyd Mudiwa

      TENDAI Biti, the Member of Parliament for Harare East, yesterday
warned that if Zanu PF manipulates poll results in the Highfield and
Kuwadzana parliamentary by-elections set for this weekend, the MDC would
engage in mass action.



      "If they cheat in the vote, the agenda will go onto the streets," he
told about 5 000 MDC supporters gathered at the Zimbabwe Grounds in
Highfield. "This time there will be no court application that will have
Pearson Mungofa as the applicant and Joseph Chinotimba and Tobaiwa Mudede as
the respondents. "There will be no court application that will have Nelson
Chamisa as the applicant and cite David Mutasa and Mudede as the
respondents." Mungofa and Chinotimba are the MDC and Zanu PF candidates for
Highfield constituency, respectively.

      The MDC's Chamisa is pitted against Mutasa of Zanu PF for the
Kuwadzana seat, while Mudede is the Registrar-General. Said Biti: "We (the
MDC) have taken the agenda from Parliament and from the courts, and to the
people. "We have already engaged in the first instalment. We want to see who
remains in the second instalment." He said Tsvangirai held the real power in
Zimbabwe since people heeded his call to stay away from their jobs on
Tuesday and Wednesday last week. Chamisa said products of the so-called
Border Gezi national youth training centres burnt buses when they realised
that people heeded Tsvangirai's call.

      Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC leader, and his secretary-general Welshman
Ncube, did not address the Highfield rally and another one scheduled later
for Kuwadzana because they were reviewing the mass stayaway. The MDC has
given the government until Monday next week to address people's grievances
or face another action. There was a huge turnout at Highfield despite a
sustained campaign by the police and soldiers since the stayaway to assault
suspected MDC members in most high-density suburbs in Harare. Chamisa said:
"Mugabe might murder people and unleash the police on you, but I want you to
know that when you begin to smell smoke from fired tear-gas canisters, then
the aroma of maize-meal is not far off.

      "When you see soldiers and the police on alert, then know that change
is coming. I can smell mealie-meal, but Mugabe is the obstacle." Mungofa
said he had the easiest task of all MDC candidates since he had been pitted
against Chinotimba whom he labelled a comedian. A second rally planned for
Kuwadzana was washed out by timely rains, preventing imminent clashes
between the Zanu PF youths and the police, on the one hand, and the MDC on
the other.
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      Soldiers assault Zimpapers vendor

      3/24/2003 1:45:39 AM (GMT +2)


      Staff Reporter

      A VENDOR with Zimpapers was yesterday assaulted, allegedly by soldiers
at State House, as he was returning from delivering The Sunday Mail
newspaper at the home of the Minister of Information and Publicity in the
President's Office, Professor Jonathan Moyo, in the upmarket suburb of
Gunhill.



      The vendor, who refused to be named, said he was coming from Gunhill
cycling past State House when a soldier stopped him. He said the soldier
demanded to know why he was looking at President Mugabe's residence. The
vendor said he replied politely that he was just passing. He was then
ordered to leave his bicycle at the gate where there were four other
bicycles. He said he was taken inside the grounds of the presidential
residence where he was taken down a drainage trench where he saw four other
people being beaten up. The four were then ordered out and the vendor was
struck on the head by a soldier and he fell into the trench.

      He said two soldiers started assaulting him with boots while he was
lying in dirty water. He reported the case to police at the First Street
police post and was given investigating record number 032461. This is not
the first time that people have been assaulted at President Mugabe's
residence. Last month some MDC supporters who were on their way to a rally
in Hatcliffe were severely assaulted by soldiers manning the State House.
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      Soldiers beat up nightclub patrons

      3/24/2003 1:51:13 AM (GMT +2)


      Staff Reporters

      CHRISTOPHER Caridade, the managing director of Portugal Restaurant in
Harare, last Friday threatened to close down his outlet after soldiers
allegedly beat up patrons.



      He claimed he lost about $300 000 cash during the attack. "Soldiers
came in an army tank at around 2am on Friday and beat up vendors before they
came into the club," a visibly shaken Caridade said. "The reasons for the
assaults were unclear." Soldiers countrywide have reportedly run amok
beating up people they believe participated in the recent two-day mass
action called for by the opposition MDC. Ruling Zanu PF youths in Glen View
and Highfield allegedly set on fire houses belonging to MDC members.

      Among those assaulted are Rabson Tengera, of Mbare, Never Mubayiwa,
Johannes Mwerenga, Steven Muunganirwa and Mary Manadangu of St Mary's.
      Lieutenant-Colonel Chinoingira, the army spokesman, said: "I prefer
questions in writing. But are we in a war where soldiers would do what you
are saying? We have not received such reports." Meanwhile, Caridade said: "I
am now seriously considering closing this restaurant because I do not
understand how revellers can be assaulted at a legal outlet." An
unidentified woman, suspected to have broken her arm during the pandemonium,
was rushed to Parirenyatwa Hospital. Anderson Robson, a patron, said: "There
were about 15 uniformed soldiers who beat up people. One of them beat me up
with a metal wire."

      About 18 employees sustained serious injuries, Caridade said. The
soldiers allegedly looted beer after assaulting patrons. In Mutare, mystery
still surrounds the whereabouts of Pishai Muchauraya, the MDC provincial
spokesman, Patrick Chitaka, chairman of Mutare North, and Maiphos Tenga, the
co-ordinator for Mutare North, who were arrested last Wednesday. Giles
Mutsekwa, the MP for Mutare North and the MDC's shadow minister of defence,
was arrested on Tuesday in Mutare and is still being detained at Marange
police post. Edmund Maingire, the provincial police spokesman, said: "Go and
tell those who have given you that information that if they want to locate
their leaders they should go to police stations and not to The Daily News
offices. They won't find their people if they use The Daily News."

      Meanwhile, Stanley Karombo, a freelance journalist, arrested on
Wednesday is expected to appear in court soon.
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Daily News

      Students call for protests over university closures

      3/24/2003 1:43:43 AM (GMT +2)


      Staff Reporter

      The Zimbabwe National Students' Union (Zinasu) has resolved to stage
mass demonstrations to force the government to reopen the University of
Zimbabwe (UZ) and the National University of Science and Technology, Zinasu'
s new president, Jabusile Shumba, said last Thursday.



      The closure of the two State-run institutions last week followed a
protracted strike by lecturers last month. Shumba, who was speaking at a
Press conference in Harare, said a legal challenge against the closure was
not an option because it would drag on in the courts without an immediate
solution. He said: "We have no time to waste. The sooner the government
realised that closing Zimbabwe's premier institutions of higher learning
compromised the quality of education, the better for the nation." He said
the closure of the institutions was unrelated to students' behaviour.

      Speaking at the same occasion, Nkululeko Nyoni, the incoming Zinasu
secretary-general, said the government's ultimatum for students to vacate
the universities' premises within 48 hours was heartless because the
students were not consulted. The previous national executive of Zinasu
issued an ultimatum to the government to open the universities by 1 April
2003. Nyoni said the government failed to solve the lecturers' strike when a
solution could easily be found. University lecturers went on an indefinite
strike last month, demanding a 50 percent retention allowance on their basic
salaries which government promised them last year.
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      Soldiers on the rampage in Harare

      3/24/2003 1:46:15 AM (GMT +2)


      Staff Reporter

      SOLDIERS went on the rampage during the weekend, assaulting and
abducting a number of opposition MDC officials and supporters in Harare's
high-density suburbs.



      In Mabvuku, the MDC women's league provincial secretary, Margaret
Kulinji, together with her family, were severely assaulted by soldiers in a
midnight raid. Kulinji said two truckloads of soldiers descended on their
home around 1am. She said they jumped the gate and banged the door. When her
father opened the door, the soldiers grabbed him and locked him in one of
the bedrooms. Kulinji said they then started assaulting her mother. The
soldiers dragged Sonile, Kulinji's mother, into her bedroom and forced her
to open her legs and stuck a gun into her private parts. Kulinji and her
brother, Crispen, who is still missing, were also assaulted. "I don't know
what they are doing to my son, I fear for him," said Kulinji's mother.

      The soldiers proceeded to Albert Gatsi's family home where they
severely assaulted him and his wife leaving them for dead. In a statement,
the MDC secretary for information and publicity, Paul Themba Nyathi, said in
Mufakose, a relative of Glen View MP Paul Madzore was severely assaulted by
members of the army who demanded to see the MP and his wife who were not at
home. "The relative received injuries all over his body and he is now in
hospital," Nyathi said. In the same high-density suburb, a group of army
officers and suspected Central Intelligence Organisation operatives raided
Jack Chimuza's home on Saturday night. They beat up his wife and two
children before bundling Chimuza and his brother Kennedy into a truck. They
proceeded to abduct Epheas Kondo, the councillor for ward 35.
      Nyathi said Chimuza was severely assaulted and left for dead in a bush
near Manyame Air Base. He was only picked up yesterday morning and is now in
hospital.
      The other two members abducted together with Chimuza are still
missing.

      Cephas Matotote was abducted from his Mbare home on Saturday night and
severely assaulted. He is now in hospital, Nyathi said. In St Mary's,
Chitungwiza, Moses and Tabeth Kuvarega were assaulted by soldiers who raided
their home at 3 am. The soldiers also raided Harare's Deputy Mayoress
Sekesai Makwavarara's nightclub in Mabvuku on Saturday night. The staff and
patrons were assaulted and property worth millions of dollars was destroyed.
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      Villagers starve as aid officials squabble

      3/24/2003 1:48:45 AM (GMT +2)


      From Chris Gande in Bulawayo

      MORE than 30 tonnes of Red Cross Society food meant for starving Nkayi
villagers is lying idle following a row between the leaders and volunteers
of the international humanitarian organisation.



      The food from overseas donors was for people living with Aids, the
aged and orphans. It is being kept at Nkayi Hospital.Volunteers said last
week that the Red Cross in Matabeleland North had been heavily politicised,
at the expense of starving villagers. The development came amid revelations
that several tonnes of food donated to the Red Cross by international
well-wishers had vanished. The volunteers are accusing Red Cross management
of imposing an executive committee which they said did not have the
interests of the people at heart.

      The organisation, which was supposed to have helped in last month's
Dete train disaster in which 50 people died, was nowhere to be seen. The
volunteers accused the programmes officer, Scott Busenga Mpofu, of not
releasing the keys of an ambulance and another vehicle, making it difficult
for the volunteers to respond to disasters. They said with the threat of a
cyclone, which has already hit some parts of the country, it was imperative
that the society be prepared to help people. Differences within the
organisation began when the volunteers passed a vote of no confidence in an
interim committee headed by the former Nkayi Member of Parliament, John
Maluzo.

      An interim committee was then chosen, but the late Red Cross Society
of Zimbabwe president Swithun Mombeshora allegedly refused to recognise it.
Some volunteers said after a stormy meeting to resolve the issue they were
harassed by State security agents. The volunteers have said they want
elections to choose a new executive. If there were no such elections, then
they would present their grievances to the International Red Cross
headquarters in Geneva. The volunteers called for investigations into the
disappearance of food aid.
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      Zanu PF offices bombed

      3/24/2003 1:49:58 AM (GMT +2)


      By Brian Mangwende Chief Reporter

      ZANU PF offices in Chinhoyi were damaged in a petrol bomb attack last
Friday. The ruling party's Mashonaland West provincial officials immediately
pointed fingers at the opposition MDC. But Paul Themba Nyathi, MDC's
spokesperson, has distanced his party from the attack, saying it was an
inside job by Zanu PF.



      The incident occurred a day after Zanu PF youths and State security
agents went on the rampage assaulting civilians indiscriminately whom they
suspected to have participated in last week's two-day stayaway. Philip
Chiyangwa, the Zanu PF chairman for Mashonaland West, said it was not the
first such attack in the province.

      Said Chiyangwa: "Other attacks such as the bombing of a bridge in
Kadoma have taken place. I believe the situation has got out of hand. If the
MDC has turned into a violent political party, then I can't be held
responsible if Zanu PF supporters react violently. I have never propagated
violence, but very soon I'll not be able to contain the people of my
constituency if they decide to react."

      Heavily armed soldiers were immediately deployed in Chinhoyi and were
allegedly beating up anyone they suspected to have participated in the
attack. Nyathi said: "For us non-violence is an act of faith. We can't
achieve meaningful change if we were to mutate into another Zanu PF. As far
as we are concerned that was an inside job. The country has seen how the
enemies of freedom and democracy create incidents." "The success of the mass
action has shocked and rocked Zanu PF to the foundation. "They will stop at
nothing to unleash further violence on MDC members. We condemn violence as
much as we condemn the wanton murder of Steven Tonera, MP Roy Bennet's
former farm worker, and acts of violence on innocent civilians."
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      Bulawayo water crisis averted

      3/24/2003 1:51:42 AM (GMT +2)


      From Sandra Mujokoro in Bulawayo

      THE water treatment chemicals crisis which was facing Bulawayo City
Council has been averted. The council has secured an agreement with Zimbabwe
Phosphate Company (Zimphos) to supply them with 14 tones of aluminium
sulphate every week.



      Last month the city had only one month's supply of chlorine, lime and
HTH and about 10 days' allocation of aluminium sulphate per station. This
was due to the shortage of foreign currency which is affecting most sectors
of the economy. But the council said the Zimphos supply was only half of
what they would need under normal circumstances. They need 28 tonnes a week.
Zimphos could not guarantee the length of the period they would be able to
supply aluminium sulphate since they are overstretched, being the sole
supplier of the chemical to most urban councils.

      Moffat Ndlovu, the town clerk, said although it was necessary to
secure constant supplies of aluminium sulphate, if it ran out the water
would still be drinkable. "A shortage of aluminium sulphate would only mean
that we have to use more chlorine which is more expensive. This will not
affect the quality of the water except that one would be able to taste the
chlorine in the water," said Ndlovu. He said the council had secured some
stocks of chlorine which would be used as alternatives in the absence of
aluminium sulphate. Bulawayo has two major treatment works which are Ncema
and Criterion waterworks. Each should under normal circumstances hold two
months' stock of chemicals.

      Ndlovu said there was still an urgent need for the council to seek
more foreign currency allocations from the Reserve Bank, to cover the
council's needs. The council has set aside $300 million for water treatment
this year in anticipation of the high inflation and difficulties in sourcing
foreign currency. However, the price of aluminium sulphate has increased
four-fold and there was need to source more funds.
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Leader Page

      Mugabe lets the cat out of the bag

      3/24/2003 2:01:11 AM (GMT +2)



      It has been said many times before. But it must be said again.
President Mugabe's habit of abusing funeral gatherings by turning them into
occasions to issue threats to his adversaries and make inflammatory
political statements is deplorable, to say the least.



      Not only do his speeches at burials fly in the face of the solemnity
immanent at such occasions but, invariably, they also are totally indecorous
and unbecoming of a man in his exalted position. Many will say, for example,
that it was highly unbefitting of a head of state to use the burial of
Swithun Mombeshora, last Friday, to publicly insult MDC leader Morgan
Tsvangirai by referring, ghetto-women fashion, to his height and the size of
his belly. What had that to do with Mombeshora's life - or death, for that
matter - which, common sense would suggest, was the territory to which the
President ought to have confined his speech on that sorrowful occasion?

      As it turned out, ill-conceived as they obviously were, insulting
Tsvangirai and attacking Western countries for their imagined financing of
the people's mass action last week were the less shocking of his remarks at
the burial. After referring, twice in as many years, to the MDC as a
terrorist organisation - first at Cain Nkala's funeral in 2001, and now at
Mombeshora's - Mugabe used that largely unproven pretext to let the cat out
of the bag with regard to who actually is behind the now widespread State
terrorism.

      He openly confessed that his government, which is widely regarded as
illegitimate, had instructed State security agents to ruthlessly thwart any
attempts by the opposition MDC to mobilise the people into mass protests
against his government's misrule, which has taken away all their rights and
freedoms and is fast condemning them to a life of grinding poverty and
suffering. Mugabe declared: "Those who promote and unleash violence and
terrorism must be severely punished. Our law enforcement agents must react
promptly and with vigour as they provide appropriate responses to dangerous
mischief-makers. Let the MDC and its leaders be warned that those who play
with fire will not only be burnt, but will be consumed by that fire. Read us
correctly."

      The President can rest assured that the people have indeed read his
regime correctly. Not just in recent weeks or months, but from as far back
as early 2000 when his government let loose paid thugs masquerading as war
veterans, to spearhead lawlessness on commercial farms, and later the entire
countryside, to stem certain defeat for Zanu PF in that year's parliamentary
election, which Mugabe had clearly seen coming in the absence of those
underhand manoeuvres. The only problem is that the people's reading of who
the real merchants of violence and terrorism are is completely different
from Mugabe's own deliberately misleading interpretation of the situation in
Zimbabwe.

      From the year 2000, following his spine-chilling declaration that he
and his followers have degrees in violence, it is State-sponsored
terrorists, made up mostly of vagabonds led by out-of-uniform soldiers, who
have been the purveyors of violence among the innocent and peace-loving
citizens of this country. It is they, not MDC supporters, who were
responsible for the brutal murder of farmers David Stevens and Gloria Olds,
to name only two of at least 10 commercial farmers killed by so-called war
veterans with the blessing of Mugabe, who called that murderous campaign
"peaceful demonstrations". Not surprising, really, considering that he,
personally, had called upon his party supporters to "put fear into the
hearts of whites; make them tremble". However, while in those days State
terrorism was indirect in that it was carried out by civilian hirelings, now
it has become more sinister in that it is being carried out directly by
State security agents, as Mugabe freely confessed last Friday.

      It is not the MDC, but the police who are routinely arresting and
torturing opposition party MPs. It is not the MDC but the army and Zanu PF
militias that are harassing and torturing suspected MDC supporters
throughout the country. It was members of the army that brutally assaulted
workers on Roy Bennet's Ruwa farm, killing one of them, Steven Tonera.
Saturday's shocking front page picture of a brutalised Isobel Gardiner bore
eloquent testimony to the regime's terrorism.
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Leader Page

      UZ Vice-Chancellor dragging politics into grievances

      3/24/2003 2:01:46 AM (GMT +2)


      By Bingo waJakata

      At last, the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) executive has finally come to
its senses and done what it should have done more that two weeks ago - that
is closing the oldest institution of higher learning in Zimbabwe.



      My prediction is that unless the Vice-Chancellor at the National
University of Science and Technology (NUST) has better negotiating prowess,
that institution may be closing its doors as well. Closure of the university
is unfortunate, yet necessary since the government has no capacity to run
such institutions anymore. Why fool the students and parents as well as the
Zimbabwe population at large by churning out graduates whose training is in
all regards below standard in most of the faculties?

      We have students graduating without doing some courses because there
is lack of trained manpower to teach certain subjects. The truth of the
matter is that the government does not care whether the country has such
institutions anymore. In fact, I strongly believe that they are of the
conviction that they are better off without them. This may sound unbalanced,
but I have my reasons for saying this. For one, why would the university
executive (an arm of the government) declare that NUST and UZ are opposition
universities?

      Is the mere fact that the teaching staff is not happy with their
remuneration and goes on industrial action adequate reason to label the
institutions opposition turf? I am not sure exactly were that came from, but
it was eventually delivered by the Vice-Chancellor to the executive of the
Association of University Teachers (AUT). This is not the first time our
Vice-Chancellor has used unsavoury tactics in an attempt to cower teaching
staff. In one meeting he reportedly noted that he could fire and replace all
teaching staff with Cubans and Egyptians. Since I was not party to this
meeting I am not sure whether this was said in jest or otherwise. Apart from
annoying me, I found the prospect of such a move to be quite interesting in
many ways and I, for one, would love to see it in operation.

      Imagine a Cuban teaching Shona literature. I am not sure what language
of instruction the institution will then use, Spanish? Assuming the Cubans'
command of English was acceptable, as Vice-Chancellor, would you be proud to
lead an institution staffed with 80 percent or more foreigners? What about
national pride? I thought we are all supposed to uphold it! I have nothing
against the Cubans. If the truth be told, I admire their success in
home-grown institutional capacity-building that has made Havana a successful
biomedical research centre respected by the whole world. It is unfortunate
that instead of trying to assist his staff, the Vice-Chancellor chooses to
label the very institution he is supposed to head as well as NUST opposition
universities. It is much more worrisome to note that although the AUT has
always pointed out that it is not affiliated to any organisation, including
political parties, the UZ executive thinks otherwise.

      I could tell you the names of AUT members who are active members of
either the ruling Zanu PF or the opposition MDC. That is as it should be at
the UZ, a divergence of opinions without polarisation of academic
relationships or membership to the association representing the interests of
teaching staff. In future, I wish the Vice-Chancellor would desist from
dragging politics into what are otherwise very clear non-partisan
bread-and-butter issues. It only makes matters worse. I was hoping that he
would never get himself into that web, but now that he has, he must realise
that he is dealing with people who may be poor in bank notes and other
assets, but not in brains and resolve.

      I wish to apologise to the students for the inconvenience caused, I
know how that feels. I have relatives and sons and daughters of friends, and
neighbours who should have been graduating after the March/April
examinations, but do not know what is next. We may be labelled opposition -
truly I do not see what is so gross about that. If this was true I would beg
to ask why all the brains at NUST and UZ are opposition. The truth is we
love our jobs and are dedicated to our students.
      The problem is a simple one - we have families who look upon us to
supply food, clothes, school fees, medical insurance and pay the bills. If
the powers-that-be were to put something on the table, something meaningful
and tangible, ie, an acceptable figure with a legally binding undertaking to
deliver within an acceptable time frame, they will have a hard time keeping
us from our work.

      It would be foolhardy and an underestimation of the university
teaching staff's resolve to expect them to return to work while they fail to
provide their families with basic necessities simply because they are scared
of being labelled the opposition.
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Daily News

      Runaway inflation fuels poverty

      3/24/2003 2:10:41 AM (GMT +2)


      By Hama Saburi Business Editor

      THE inflation scourge gripping Zimbabwe has fuelled poverty and costs
of production, derailing both the economic recovery plan and the current
National Budget that was premised on a lower rate of inflation.



      Inflation, which reached a record 220,9 percent last month, has placed
Zimbabwe among the world's fastest declining economies. Conservative
estimates indicate that inflation could reach between 450 percent and 500
percent by the end of the year. Analysts said companies, bleeding from a
combination of price controls and higher parallel market rates for foreign
currency, could no longer swallow the ballooning input costs. The situation
is more acute for entrepreneurs caught up in price controls because they
cannot pass on additional costs to the consumer. The market share is also
getting smaller and smaller as a result of falling disposable incomes and
retrenchments.

      At least 70 percent of the country's population is now living below
the poverty datum line. David Mupamhadzi, Century Holdings Limited's chief
economist, was convinced that the 2003 National Budget was now way off
target. It would, therefore, be a mammoth task to achieve Finance and
Economic Development Minister Herbert Murerwa's target of bringing down
inflation to 96 percent before the end of the year. "By the second half of
this year, ministries would be asking Treasury for additional resources,"
said Mupamhadzi. Murerwa was obviously over-optimistic by choosing to ignore
negative factors that militated against his projections. At the time of the
Budget presentation, Zimbabwe was already experiencing a severe drought and
needed to import maize and wheat to feed the starving population.

      Foreign currency inflows had taken a severe knock, declining to just
two weeks' import cover at the time. Leonard Tsumba, the Governor of the
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, unveiled his new monetary policy a few weeks
later. Murerwa was also aware of the donor fatigue that cut off all lines of
credit which Zimbabwe previously enjoyed. The drying foreign exchange
resources and the food shortages meant that every commodity available would
be sold at exorbitant prices. Mupamhadzi said Murerwa would have to go back
to the drawing board. "If you look at the recovery plan, you will notice
that the thrust was to create an environment conducive for the exporter,
hence the devaluation of the exchange rate applicable to exports from Z$55
against the United States dollar to Z$800.

      "The increase in inflation has eroded that benefit at a time when
inflation in regional countries is also coming off," he said. Policy makers
were faced with a situation where they could either ignore the need to
further devalue the dollar and leave business to suffer, or slash the value
of the currency to redress the situation. Mupamhadzi said seeking recourse
through supplementary budgets worsened the inflation outlook and exacerbated
the Budget deficit. As usual, the government would have to compete with the
private sector to borrow from the domestic market to finance its spiralling
Budget deficit. Mismanagement, inefficiency and allegations of gross
corruption were responsible for most losses parastatals made.

      In an effort to reduce government expenditure, proposals had been made
for the government to shed its stake in parastatals. But the privatisation
drive had not gone into full throttle. "This puts pressure on interest rates
and inflation," said Mupamhadzi, adding that the government may consider
issuing more treasury bills (commercial papers issued by the central bank on
behalf of the government when borrowing) to finance the Budget deficit.
Samuel Undenge, a trade and economic consultant who supports the current
economic reforms, believed that the parcelling out of land from white
commercial farmers to blacks would improve the supply side of agricultural
commodities and stabilise inflation in the long run. His view was also
shared by Jonathan Kadzura, another local economic commentator. Gibson
Mashingaidze, another analyst, said a number of companies choked by the
inflation scourge were now facing closure.

      Wage and salary increases awarded by most employers had fallen way
below the rate of inflation, straining relations in both the industrial and
commercial sectors. Mashingaidze urged the government to bring on board the
international community, particularly the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
and the World Bank, which turned their backs on Zimbabwe before the turn of
the century. "We need international support and cannot afford to ignore
institutions such as IMF and the World Bank. Investors look at the IMF and
World Bank for direction if they put a thumbs-up for Zimbabwe," he said. The
inflationary spiral has also hit pensioners hard as they live on fixed
incomes, and the ordinary consumers who are finding it hard to keep pace
with the rising cost of living. It is now virtually impossible for an
average Zimbabwean to buy a vehicle or a house as prices have shot up by
over 300 percent in the past 12 months.
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Daily News

Feature

      Three days of hell at the hands of the police

      3/24/2003 2:03:57 AM (GMT +2)


      By Gugu Moyo

      This is the first part of an article by Associated Newspapers of
Zimbabwe Corporate Affairs Director, Gugulethu Moyo, on her harrowing
experience at the hands of the police last week.



      I arrived at Glen View Police Station at about 11:30am on Tuesday
morning, accompanied by a fellow legal practitioner, Alec Muchadehama. Our
mission was to secure the release of Philemon Bulawayo, whom we found in a
back office, sprawled on some chairs writhing in pain. The officer-in-charge
advised us to wait outside for the investigating officer who would tell us
why Bulawayo had been arrested. Twenty minutes later, two pick-up trucks,
one written Chivaraidze Farm, swept into the police station and riot
policemen swarmed out.

      An army Range Rover, registration number 750-123A, drove in after
them. Out jumped three soldiers in combat gear, a man in khaki longs and
shirt came out of the driver's seat. An expensively-dressed woman alighted
from the passenger's seat and walked purposefully across the lawn, gesturing
wildly as she spoke on a her mobile phone. "Deploy more police, these people
in Glen View are a problem. When you get them, beat them," she ordered over
the phone. I looked on, drawn in by the action, having assumed by now that
this woman was a plain-clothed policewoman. She dashed across the yard to
where police in riot gear were forcing accused persons to roll in mud.

      As they rolled in the dirt, the police officers bore down on them with
their batons. Their screams fell on deaf ears. Nearby, a group of 10 others
were being forced by baton-wielding police officers to toyi-toyi and shout
political slogans. The woman stood over the rolling bodies and shouted:
"This is not Tsvangirai's country!"
      My phone rang. It was my boss and as we spoke, I looked up and saw the
woman fly straight towards me. "Who is this woman talking on the phone?" she
shouted. "Who are you?" "Madam, I did not realise it was an offence for me
to talk on the phone. I'll be with you just now," I said, turning away to
continue with my conversation.

      I felt a tug on my jacket. "Answer me! Who are you and what do you
want at this police station?" she bellowed. "Gugulethu Moyo, I work for
Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe," I explained. There was something
terribly wrong with my answer. Her eyes blazed with anger. "What? You are
from The Daily News? You are here for that journalist?" "You, the people who
write that there is no rule of law in Zimbabwe, you are here to bail out
that criminal so you can go and write that there is no rule of law? Never!
"Do you know who I am? My name is Jocelyn Chiwenga, wife of the army
commander. I am going to show you that there is no rule of law in Zimbabwe.

      Today you shall know," she roared. Chiwenga held me like a vice. I
struggled to escape, but she held on, hurling curses at me all the while.
The man in the khakis ran towards me from the other end of the yard. He
rolled his fist, aimed straight for my right eye and landed a blow as he
lunged at me. He pulled at my collar. "Come here, you traitor, I'll show
you!" At this point Chiwenga grabbed my handbag. She searched it. She pulled
out my British Council Library card. "You work for the British," she
snarled. "This card says British Council member. British prostitute, sell
out!" she roared. She held up the card for all to see. "You see, we told
you, these people work for the British, they work with foreigners to destroy
this country, they have sent her here so she can go and write about the rule
of law in Zimbabwe.

      "Well, today your British shall pay you, we will beat you up. You
shall tell them that the wife of the army commander beat you up." "Tell them
it is Heritage that beat you!" the man in khaki added. "We fought for our
country to be taken over by the British and traitors like you? Never!"
shouted Chiwenga. "The British give you money to come and bail out criminals
like your photographer. Well, today the British will do nothing to save you.
You will see why Tafadzwa Musekiwa ran to the British," the man added.
      To be continued tomorrow

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Daily News

      ZBC expects viewers to pay for their lies

      3/24/2003 2:08:01 AM (GMT +2)


      By Maxwell Sibanda Entertainment Editor

      THE Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC)'s coverage of the recent
two-day mass stayaway was disastrous as they distorted the truth about the
real situation on the ground not only in towns, but in rural areas as well.



      The corporation's news bulletins lied to the nation that it was
"business as usual" when, in fact, most banks and shops were closed on the
first day of the stayaway.
      ZBC chose to mislead the nation by reporting that the mass action was
a flop. On Tuesday and Wednesday, the central business districts of all
major cities resembled ghost towns. The days resembled lazy Sunday mornings,
but the ZBC insisted the mass action was a failure. On the second day of the
mass action in Harare, not a single bank, including those owned by ruling
Zanu PF apologists, was operational and most major shops were closed. A
classic example was that of Jongwe Printers, a Zanu PF-owned company which
The Daily News took pictures of, but as if they were blind, ZBC chose to
mislead the nation and say business was normal. Get real, guys!

      How business could be "business as usual" when banks, the post office,
building societies, light and heavy industries were closed is baffling to
say the least. Even the Vehicle Inspection Department (VID) in Kadoma last
Tuesday closed business because of the protest. ZBC, as a public service
provider, should learn to report the truth and not distort information. ZBC
and other government-controlled media institutions totally failed in
churning out their propaganda because this time it was evident to the naked
eye that all was not well in the country. The inconsistencies were so
appalling. If the stayaway was a flop or a non-event, why did the government
unleash soldiers and the police to beat up innocent civilians?

      Why then did President Mugabe attack the opposition MDC if the effect
was not significant? It may have been a non-event in the newsrooms of the
government controlled ZBC and The Herald, but clearly not in Sizinda,
Sakubva, Mabvuku, Mucheke, Rimuka, St Mary's and Mutapa suburbs, to mention
only a few places where people are being brutalised by State security agents
and denied food by Zanu PF cohorts daily. The fact that commuter buses were
on the road but workers still did not report for duty nullifies the
misrepresentation that workers did not do so due to the unavailability of
transport, but out of a real cause. And that commuter buses were on the road
by 6am does not mean business was normal. Does it?

      The problem is that ZBC would be lying to people who are on the
ground, witnessing true events as they happen. The institution has a serious
ethical dilemma of reporting what Zanu PF officials want to hear at the
expense of reality. Maybe for ZBC every day is always April Fools' Day! On
Tuesday afternoon I was part of a group of journalists having lunch at a
Harare restaurant when ZBC-TV's lunch-time news bulletin reported the
ongoing stayaway. The corporation's different reporters who filed in copy
were all saying "it was business as usual", but what struck us all was the
footage used in the report - overcrowded streets which showed for sure that
business was "normal and usual".

      Viewers in the restaurant could not agree with the reports and
corresponding footage. An extreme case was a report from Gwanda. Someone in
the restaurant shouted: "That is not in Gwanda - it is in Mbare!" Another
woman sitting nearby remarked that the footage being shown had actually used
earlier in an edition of This Morning television programme's Traffic and
Travel. Our suspicion was proved true when towards the end of the report we
saw the footage being accredited to "file". The "file" footage with streets
filled with people doing their normal business was taken on a busy day. But
why mislead the people? Anyone who can read between the lines could tell
that these were deliberate lies.

      Such kind of fabrications and lies by the sole corporation has badly
tainted our once respectable journalistic trade. Why is ZBC lying to the
Zimbabwean public who directly fund it through the paying of licences? For a
station that has no competition, it is unfair for the viewer/listener to
have confusion setting up shop right at the cradle of the sole broadcasting
station in the country. And Munyaradzi Hwengwere, the ZBC executive officer,
should be ashamed of himself. He is teaching innocent journalists how to
distort information contrary to guided professional journalistic principles.
This will not help ZBC at all. Otherwise what Hwengwere should realise is
that those advertising with the corporation will run away. How can one
advertise with a corporation that lies and misleads the whole nation? And
Hwengwere still expects listeners and viewers to pay licences. Pay licences
for these lies and distortions? People have lost faith in ZBC's news reports
and none trusts them any more.

      In the process this reflects badly on Hwengwere's management style.
There are no ethics under him. I feel sorry for these journalists who would
one day decide to cross the path and join the non-partisan Press. They would
find it difficult to survive by telling the truth. Some of these habits die
hard. And to Hwengwere, we know what happens at ZBC because the journalists
who work under you are our friends. And they tell us like it is. And I
cannot agree any more with an artiste who disputed ZBC's motto of ZBC Your
First and Permanent Choice. He instead preferred the motto: ZBC, Your First,
Forced, and Only Permanent Electronic Media Choice. All this because the
government is deliberately maintaining a monopolistic hold on the ZBC to
suppress dissenting voices. For your comments e-mail:
dailynews11@dailynews.co.zw
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