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

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      International Herald Tribune

      Zimbabwe violence stirs outcry against Mugabe
         Ginger Thompson NYT  Saturday, March 29, 2003


JOHANNESBURG In the days after a crippling strike by opponents of President
Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, the government there has struck back with a wave
of violence and intimidation, which has brought condemnation from
governments and human rights groups around the world.
.
Human rights workers and diplomats say that with the world's attention
focused on war in Iraq, Mugabe has unleashed Zimbabwe's armed forces and
militia against his own people, even as the country prepares for two
important parliamentary elections Sunday.
.
Internet reports from Harare describe hospital wards full of people
suffering from severe burns and broken fingers and toes. Photographs show
men and women with swollen lash marks across their backs and chests.
Opposition leaders report that more than 1,000 people have fled their homes
and that more than 500 people have been arrested.
.
The police confirmed that they had arrested hundreds, adding that those
detained had incited violence. Some of them, the police said, burned buses
and cars. The police officials denied accusations of brutality.
.
Human rights groups, however, say most of those arrested are leaders and
supporters of Zimbabwe's main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic
Change. The prisoners, human rights officials say, are often beaten and
detained in their homes.
.
The deepening tensions followed a two-day strike by the opposition that
halted most business and industry in Zimbabwe. The action was considered the
largest public protest against Mugabe, 79, since he was re-elected last year
in a contest that was marred by charges of fraud and intimidation.
.
Political analysts and opposition leaders issued forecasts for more
political storms ahead. In a speech on March 21, Mugabe boasted that he
could be a "black Hitler tenfold."
.
The U.S. State Department has called on the Zimbabwe government to "cease
its campaign of violent repression," and to bring to justice the
perpetrators of "serious and widespread human rights abuses." South African
leaders, long advocates of what they call "quiet diplomacy" with Zimbabwe,
began Wednesday to turn up the volume, with expressions of concern by
President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa to Parliament. A South African
diplomat in Harare said that Mbeki had ordered them to "get to the bottom of
the accusations and report back."
.
Amnesty International warned in a report on March 21: "The alarming
escalation in political violence is a clear indication that the Zimbabwe
authorities are determined to suppress dissent by any means necessary,
regardless of the terrible consequences. We look upon the next 10 days with
fear."
.
On Sunday, voters in two important townships controlled by the opposition
are supposed to go to the polls to elect new representatives to the
Zimbabwean Parliament.
.
At a news conference Thursday in Harare, opposition leaders showed reporters
copies of the government's voter rolls and said that dozens of people on the
lists did not exist. Government officials dismissed those charges.
.
Monday is the deadline set by the opposition for Mugabe to accept and begin
addressing a list of 15 demands, including disbanding government militias,
restoring freedom of the press and releasing all political prisoners.
Mugabe, who has governed Zimbabwe since the end of white-minority rule more
than 20 years ago, played down the impact of the strike and dismissed his
opponents' demands, saying he would not obey "pathetic puppets" of the West.
.
He also ordered security forces to crack down on those using violence
against the government, accusing the opposition of employing mob aggression
under the guise of defending human rights.
.
The opposition, emboldened by the success of its two-day strike, has
promised "mass action," against Mugabe. Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the
Movement for Democratic Change, said the violence by soldiers and militia
had deepened the country's "crisis of governance."
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Mugabe troops 'torture hundreds'

Andrew Meldrum in Harare
Saturday March 29, 2003
The Guardian

An unprecedented explosion of state-sponsored violence broke out amid
charges of massive vote-rigging before voting begins today in two crucial
parliamentary byelections.
Hundreds of tortured and severely injured supporters of the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) flooded Harare's hospitals this week.
They told of vicious beatings, electric shocks and cigarette burns inflicted
by uniformed army officers and other supporters of President Robert Mugabe.

Two women charged they were raped by army men using the barrels of their
rifles. Doctors confirm serious injuries consistent with the accounts of
torture.

At least one man has died and 500 others have been injured, according to the
MDC. The government denies the charges.

"Two armoured trucks came at about 1am and about 20 soldiers in uniforms
broke into our house," said Margaret Kulinji, 32, an MDC official.

"They started beating my mother, an old woman who doesn't know anything
about politics. They beat me with the cord of my iron. They forced my
mother's legs open and sexually abused her with an AK-47 rifle. They burned
me with cigarettes. It was terrible."

Mrs Kulinji, her mother and her brother are all recuperating in hospital.
Mrs Kulinji said her mother, who was visibly distressed, was depressed and
talked of suicide.

Doctors in casualty wards said they have never seen such severe injuries.
"Victims show similar injuries: fractures, deep lacerations, severe
bruising. They give similar accounts of soldiers inflicting the violence.
They picked out local leaders of the MDC. This is a new human rights
emergency," said one doctor.
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The Times

            Zambians welcome great trek by white farming pioneers
            From Michael Dynes in Chongwe, Zambia

            THE decision to extend Zimbabwe's suspension from the
Commonwealth means nothing to Brent and Venessa Greatorex, from Darwindale
north of Harare. Their land was invaded two years ago by rampaging war
veterans.
            Along with scores of other white farmers, they have turned their
back on Zimbabwe and joined the white exodus to neighbouring Zambia, in
search of new lands to begin farming again from scratch.

            "We just couldn't take it any more," Mr Greatorex, 34, said. "We
had 42 families re-settled on our farm by President Mugabe's Government.
They subjected us to constant harassment and abuse. It was more trouble than
it was worth. So we decided to pack it in and come here."

            After visiting Zambia five or six times in search of suitable
land, Mr and Mrs Greatorex found Kokoma, a 300,000-acre farm in the Chongwe
district east of Lusaka, which had been allowed to go to ruin.

            "It was a state-owned dairy farm," Mr Greatorex said. "But when
we found it, less than half of 1 per cent was being used to grow tomatoes.
It was just lying here idle," he added.

            Equipped with a ten-year lease and a six-year 360,000 loan, Mr
and Mrs Greatorex have begun the work of making Kokoma productive again.

            "It's daunting, I know," Mr Greatorex said. "But we have got to
make a go of it. I have already started borrowing the money."

            An estimated 120 white Zimbabwean farmers have relocated, or are
in the process of doing so, to Zambia, with hundreds more waiting to join
the new generation of pioneer white farmers trekking north.

            Although Zambia is blessed with five rivers, a high water table
and vast expanses of rich red soil, less than 15 per cent of its 100 million
acres of arable land is cultivated. The Zambian Government has welcomed the
new pioneers, eager to use their know-how to boost declining agricultural
output.

            Mr Greatorex plans to grow around 250,000kg of tobacco. At that
rate, it would take only 16 white farmers to double Zambia's current annual
production of four million kg. Hundreds of white farmers could transform the
agricultural economy, enabling Zambia to eclipse Zimbabwe's former status as
a major tobacco grower.

            Peter MacSporran, a former Zimbabwean farmer whose lands were
also seized under Mr Mugabe's land reform programme, has set up Agricultural
Advisers International, specialising in helping Zimbabwean farmers to move
to Zambia.

            "We are aiming at the young farmer, who has the necessary
experience, and wants to stay in Africa," Mr MacSporran said. "We have
already helped to establish around 21 new farms, and more will be set up
during the year. By September, they will have created about new 6,000 jobs."

            International tobacco companies and financial institutions have
been financing the operation. "We have been trying to get funding from
Britain, but the British don't want to touch us. It's the stigma of
compensation," Mr MacSporran said. "We are farming totally on debt, without
equity and without any assistance. But Zambia is now our new home. We have
to make it work."
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Daily News

      Another MDC MP flees

      3/29/2003 12:28:08 AM (GMT +2)


      Staff Reporter

      PAURINA Mpariwa, the MP for Mufakose (MDC), has fled from her home
after last week's mass action called by the main opposition party.

      She is the second MDC MP to go into hiding in the last few days.

      Evelyn Masaiti, the MP for Mutasa, this week fled her Mabelreign home
in Harare after she was threatened by strangers.

      Mpariwa said some unknown people broke into her house on Monday and
stole some goods.

      Speaking from her hide-out, Mpariwa said: "I cannot even go back to my
home. When these people broke into the house they told a guy we left there
that they would burn it unless they had seen us (Mpariwa and her husband
Paul Madzore, the MP for Glen View). So we are in hiding.

      "But I managed to go to the house in Marimba after it had been broken
into. It was in a mess. Everything was left upside-down and you could tell
that the people who had done this were not thieves but were after some
information."

      She said they took all the MDC regalia and literature, her old
passport, national identity card, public address system, speakers, all her
jewellery, two man's suits, three pairs of shoes and a cheque book.

      Mpariwa said: "The guy who was at home when the incident took place
said the people who raided and ransacked my home were acting on instructions
from above. So in such a scenario there is nothing we can do. We have to be
refugees in our motherland."

      Another MDC MP, Tafadzwa Musekiwa, fled to the United Kingdom, from
where he resigned his seat this month, following beatings and threats
against his life by suspected State security agents.

      President Mugabe last week ordered the State security agents to crush
the MDC following its successful mass action last week.
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Daily News

      Polling stations increased

      3/29/2003 12:44:03 AM (GMT +2)


      By Brian Mangwende Chief Reporter

      THE number of polling stations in the Highfield and Kuwadzana
by-elections, which start today, have been increased raising more suspicions
among opposition candidates that there could be rigging afoot.

      In the presidential election last year Highfield had only six polling
stations, which have now been increased to eight, while the seven stations
in Kuwadzana have gone up to 11.

      Nelson Chamisa, the opposition MDC candidate for Kuwadzana, said
yesterday said: "The number of polling stations has been increased to
facilitate the traffic of their ghost voters. The intention is dubious. We
want to urge the people to come out in large numbers to vote."

      But Nathan Shamuyarira, the ruling Zanu PF's spokesperson, dismissed
Chamisa's remarks, saying the MDC was known for not accepting defeat.

      "The population has increased and so have the polling stations," he
said. "What does the MDC want? If they lose an election, they say it was
rigged, but if they win, they say the election was free and fair. Last time
they complained that the polling stations were not enough. Now that they
have been increased, they say Zanu PF wants to rig. In fact, we know that
they bus in people to elections and there is no doubt about that."

      Thomas Bvuma, the Electoral Supervisory Commission (ESC) spokesperson,
said the number of polling stations had been increased because more people
had registered to vote.

      He said during the presidential election in Highfield last year there
were 41 794 registered voters and for the current by-election the number had
increased to 42 148. In Kuwadzana the number increased from 45 862 to 46
192.

      "We are happy with the increase in the number of registered voters
because it proves that our campaigns have been successful," he said.

      Bvuma said the ESC had deployed 76 monitors to supervise the two
by-elections.

      The ESC yesterday confirmed the Registrar General of Elections had
increased the polling stations in the two constituencies.

      In contrast, the number of polling stations in most urban centres was
reduced in the presidential poll last year from those in the parliamentary
election in 2000. This raised suspicion among opposition parties of the
government's motives, since polling stations in the Zanu PF stronghold of
the communal areas were simultaneously increased.

      The increase in the number of polling stations in Kuwadzana and
Highfield comes in the wake of claims by the MDC of unearthing elaborate
plans by Zanu PF to rig the polls.

      Remus Makuwaza, MDC's director of elections, told a Press conference
on Thursday the rigging plans were in connivance with the Registrar-General,
Tobaiwa Mudede, and some State security agents.

      He said more than 19 000 suspected "ghost" voters not resident in the
two constituencies had been added to the voters' roll.

      Today, Kuwadzana and Highfield go to the polls amid allegations of
brutal assaults on residents by State security agents.

      Hundreds of people have reportedly been beaten up or arrested by the
police and soldiers following last week's largely-heeded mass stayaway
called by the MDC. The National Alliance for Good Governance has also
alleged that its members have been assaulted.

      Both polls are seen as a two-horse race between the MDC's Chamisa and
Zanu PF's David Mutasa (Kuwadzana), with Pearson Mungofa (MDC) pitted
against Joseph Chinotimba (Zanu PF) in Highfield.
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Daily News

      Villagers demand promised food

      3/29/2003 12:30:03 AM (GMT +2)


      Staff Reporter

      ABOUT 200 villagers in Hurungwe West constituency on Wednesday
demanded food promised to them by the government during the Zanu PF campaign
for the by-election last July.

      The villagers were gathered at Kangurunguru Primary School for the
ground-breaking launch of a school construction project jointly sponsored by
World Vision Zimbabwe and Barclays Bank. They pleaded loudly with Phone
Madiro, their MP, who attended the ceremony, to give them the food.

      The villagers shouted as Madiro tried to address them.

      Madiro was meeting the villagers for the first time since becoming
their MP eight months ago. He promised to approach the Grain Marketing Board
to ensure that relief aid reached the starving people in the district.

      The villagers complained that they had not received the relief
maize-grain they were promised during the campaign for the Hurungwe West
by-election.
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Daily News

      Chipangano terrorising Mbare folk

      3/29/2003 12:30:38 AM (GMT +2)


      By Precious Shumba

      THE Zanu PF's vigilante unit in Mbare, dubbed Chipangano, has become
synonymous with the torture, harassment and beatings of residents since Zanu
PF lost the Mbare East seat to the MDC in the 2000 parliamentary elections.

      The group has on several occasions reportedly force-marched residents
of Mbare to Zanu PF meetings, as part of their efforts to shore up the
ruling party's waning support.

      Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena, the police spokesman,
yesterday refused to comment on the police's inaction against the group.

      Chipangano was allegedly first led by the late Ali Khan Manjengwa, a
Zanu PF militant shot dead last August by unidentified gunmen.

      Immediately after Manjengwa's death, Zanu PF militants went on the
rampage, terrorising residents and vendors for allegedly celebrating
Manjengwa's death.

      Last week, the Chipangano vigilantes force-marched residents and
commandeered vehicles in the suburb to ferry them to Town House to
demonstrate against Elias Mudzuri, the Harare Executive Mayor, for his
alleged failure to administer the council.

      Mbare residents have reported repeated beatings, evictions and torture
by Zanu PF youths identifying themselves as Chipangano, which is Nyanja for
agreement.

      The name Chipangano reportedly emerged after unconfirmed defections to
the MDC by Zanu PF youths ahead of last year's presidential election.

      The Zanu PF leadership in Mbare then allegedly screened those believed
to be genuine party supporters and formed Chipangano as a gesture of total
commitment to Zanu PF.

      The group reportedly wields excessive power, with the police coming
under fire from residents for failing to put a stop to its activities.

      A Mbare resident said: "We thought with Manjengwa's death, we would be
able to walk freely during the night because Mbare had been turned into a
war zone during his time."

      Vendors operating from Mupedzanhamo flea market said they were forced
to buy Zanu PF membership cards by the militias.

      Endy Mhlanga, the secretary-general of the Zimbabwe National
Liberation War Veterans Association, said he was not aware of the group's
activities but had heard that it was a watchdog group for Zanu PF.

      "But war veterans are totally against any form of violence by any
group or party," he said.

      During the war we fought for the rights to vote and access land. For
as long as people continue to be harassed by whoever, whether Zanu PF or the
MDC, people generally get bitter."
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Daily News

      Load-shedding looms in Harare

      3/29/2003 12:32:51 AM (GMT +2)


      Staff Reporter

      THE Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority's (Zesa) Harare region has
drafted a schedule showing both industrial and residential areas to be
affected by load-shedding, introduced this week.

      Zesa has introduced load-shedding because of the reduction of power
supplies from Cahora Bassa in Mozambique and reports of technical faults
from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

      Zimbabwe imports 60 percent of its power needs from Eskom in South
Africa, Cahora Bassa and Snell in the DRC.

      Zesa owes a combined debt of US$150 million (Z$8,25 billion) to Eskom
and Cahora Bassa.

      This is likely to be the worst load-shedding exercise undertaken by
the power utility in the history of Zimbabwe as Eskom this week gave Zesa
until 30 April to settle its debt or risk having supplies cut off.

      The schedule, leaked to The Daily News, is supposed to be kept a
secret until next week. No comment could be obtained from Zesa senior
management who have reportedly been in marathon meetings since Thursday.

      The schedule shows that companies in industrial areas will experience
power failure for three hours in the morning between 8am to 11am and in the
evening between 5pm to 8pm twice a week.

      Electricity consumers in residential areas should brace for four-hour
outages from 6am to 10am and three hours in the evening from 5pm to 8pm.

      Areas surrounding Harare which include Ruwa and Chitungwiza will also
be affected.
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Daily News

      NAGG candidate admits battle for Highfield not easy

      3/29/2003 12:29:24 AM (GMT +2)


      By John Mokwetsi

      For Evaristo Chidhakwa, 32, the National Alliance for Good Governance
(NAGG) candidate for Highfield, winning the seat for his party is the only
way the constituency can develop.

      But he admitted it was not going to be an easy battle this time
around, although he said he felt the people were now fed up with the
cat-and-mouse games being played by "some" parties.

      NAGG feels it has covered enough ground since the controversial 2002
presidential election in which the party was virtually outclassed by the MDC
and Zanu PF.

      Chidhakwa blames violence and vote-buying, especially by Zanu PF, for
their defeat.

      "We lost the battle because we were not violent and we didn't get as
much media exposure as other parties," he said.

      He castigated the notorious Public Order and Security Act which he
said was not helping in providing a level playing field.

      "Chinotimba uses Mhizha Primary School to buy votes through the
distribution of maize and he campaigns anywhere without interference from
the police, which leaves me wondering whose interests the police are
serving," Chidhakwa said.

      The NAGG candidate spoke of eradicating poverty among the people of
Highfield.

      "There is need to come up with projects that generate income
especially for the unemployed youths. The power of living a comfortable life
nowadays is through self-employment in such jobs as carpentry and even
sculpture."

      He said it was important to create jobs for the people because their
absence was manifest in the alarming crime rate in the constituency.

      He said the number of police stations must be increased because the
only station at Machipisa shopping centre was failing to cope with the
demand its services.

      The number of clinics should be increased, he said, to avoid a health
disaster in the constituency.

      He said: "The shortages of clinics and houses are critical and they
are vital in developing a healthy and vibrant constituency which in turn can
contribute meaningfully to the nation."

      Chidhakwa said he wanted "to cultivate a culture of respect in the
youth by creating youth centres that seek to share ideas that are
progressive".

      "The transport system should be revised to allow people to move around
and be productive," he said.

      Chidhakwa emphasised the need for food to be located where it is
accessible to the people, rather than in schools or on the black market.
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Daily News


      Zvobgo stands by his views on Iraq

      3/29/2003 12:31:50 AM (GMT +2)


      Staff Reporter

      The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) on Thursday screened what
it claimed were the results of a survey of people criticising Eddison Zvobgo
's stance on the war in Iraq during a live televised debate.

      Zvobgo, the Zanu PF MP for Masvingo South, took part in the Wednesday
night debate with, among others, Bruce Wharton, the spokesman for the United
States Embassy in Harare.

      The programme was chaired by Ibbo Mandaza, the publisher of The Daily
Mirror and Sunday Mirror newspapers. Tafataona Mahoso, the chairman of the
government's Media and Information Commission, was another panelist.

      Zvobgo said the United States-United Kingdom military intervention in
Iraq was legal as it was in line with the United Nations Security Council
Resolution 1441 of 2002.

      In an unusual move, the ZBC's Newsnet went on the streets on Thursday
to interview a few people on the debate.

      Later, in its news bulletins, it quoted what it claimed were "most
Zimbabweans interviewed" allegedly condemning Zvobgo's views. Some,
according to the ZBC, said "nobody in his right mind" would hold those
views, while others called for "measures" to be taken against him.

      But Zvobgo, a lawyer and at one time Zanu PF's top legal adviser, was
unfazed by it all.

      He said in an interview yesterday: "I don't see why anybody should be
excited about that. I was just expressing a legal opinion. People can agree
or disagree with me. It doesn't bother me that others hold a different view
from mine."

      Zvobgo said he was surprised that the ZBC had solicited people's views
on the streets. He said: "It is sad to take a debate from the table,
misinterpret it, and run with it in the streets. If you are discussing the
law, my view is you don't ask people on the streets how to interpret that
law."

      He said the UN Security Council, including three African member
countries, had unanimously adopted Resolution 1441.

      He said: "The point I was trying to make was they voted unanimously.
And if you look at the structure of the resolution, you will see it refers
to previous resolutions which have not been observed by Saddam Hussein,
calling on him to disarm, failure to do which would lead to serious
consequences.

      "All I was saying was the US and Britain wanted to table a resolution
by giving Saddam an ultimatum to which France and Russia took exception, so
Britain and the US withdrew, leaving Resolution 1441 on the table.

      "My purpose was to show that France and Russia are just pretending for
their own domestic reasons. They voted for the serious consequences."
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Daily News

Leader Page

      Air Zim plays with foreign currency

      3/29/2003 12:42:14 AM (GMT +2)


      The government has taken a rare but highly commendable decision of
reversing the multi-million dollar deal, struck clandestinely between Air
Zimbabwe and a French airline, Littoral Industrie SA recently.

      It was refreshing to learn that Christian Katsande, the permanent
secretary in the Ministry of Transport and Communications, ordered Air
Zimbabwe to shelve the deal which the parent ministry had not approved
anyway.

      Under the agreement, signed in France recently by senior Air Zimbabwe
officials and the French company, Zimbabwe was to hire two aircraft for
three years at a cost of US$ 147 000 a month each.

      This would translate to Z$176 400 000 a month for one aircraft.

      Already, the cash-strapped airline has paid $US 630 000 (Z$756 000
000) to the French company as a deposit and commitment fee.

      Not so long ago, Air Zimbabwe hired South African engineers whom it
paid in foreign currency after its own engineers had gone on strike.

      The strike eventually ended with the government itself intervening.
The management appeared ready to prolong the stand-off with the engineers
until the airline collapsed.

      The airline is, by some accounts, on the verge of collapse, and not
making money, raising questions about its management capacity.

      Foreign currency is very scarce and the national airline is not
spared. Yet its officials have the temerity to enter into what appear to be
shady deals involving large amounts of foreign currency.

      Katsande should seriously review the managers' conduct and take
remedial action.
      The government might also consider selling off part of the airline to
the private sector, if it is to make any money.
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Daily News

Leader Page

      Anger simmers beyond the walls of State House

      3/29/2003 12:42:47 AM (GMT +2)


      By Davitha wa Munzara

      I write to update you, Gushungo (President Mugabe), on what is
happening outside the fortified walls of your castle - State House.

      Far away from your favourite route, the airport road, there is misery
in the streets where I am convinced your highness can never walk alone and
talk to the people freely like what Morgan Tsvangirai did a few weeks ago.

      I am talking about the dusty streets of Mbare, Kuwadzana and
Highfield, let alone Mucheke or Makokoba. I am told Grace finds the company
of the residents of the above-mentioned locations highly degrading and
irritating.

      Their singing at the airport when they come to welcome you from your
highly successful and productive business trips in the Far East, is one of
Amainini Grace's dislikes. Amai Chatunga fears you can get snatched by one
of those lasses.

      Well, I don't know, Gushungo, but I think she knows better - remember
she snatched you from Amaiguru Sally (may her soul rest in peace).

      Chef, I am also in great fear for my comrade Chiwenga. The way Jocelyn
and this young man Sporadic are hanging out leaves a lot to be desired.

      Back to business Comrade Chef. I am sure you heard about the two-day
mass action, advocated by the British-sponsored MDC. I have no apologies to
the stayaway being a complete flop, Mr President, even though 95 percent of
your people decided to spend Tuesday and Wednesday (cooking-oil-less,
maize-meal-less, sugar-less, milk-less, bread-less) in the comfort of their
homes.

      According to the ZBC, "everything was normal" in Harare and Bulawayo,
even though business was at a standstill. I can't help but wonder what ZBC
meant by "normal" yet business was at stand still. It is mind-boggling.

      Mr President, some of our people must be punished for insubordination,
especially those of your servants at our own Jongwe Printers. They now
prefer to listen to Morgan rather than listen to you. I am sure in the
secret ballot they cast their vote in favour of Morgan. No wonder why we had
to employ the services of Tobaiwa in order for us to achieve the landslide
victory in the presidential polls.

      Gushungo, I am not happy about what Munyaradzi Hwengwere is doing at
ZBC. First and foremost, he has stopped playing the most requested jingle on
TV and radio (Hondo YeMinda/ Uyadela).

      I am told Hwengwere said our advertising contract had expired. What
contract? What expiry? When we fought for this country did we have any
contracts, Gushungo? What has hit this young man? Iboora ngoma chairo! Thina
sifuna amadoda sibili! He is reversing the gains of our hard-won
independence.

      I have this feeling he is not patriotic enough. I hereby propose we
replace Hwengwere with Cde Chinx or Grey Gambiza.

      Secondly, on 19 March, 2003, a presenter, Killian Butu to be
particular, opened the telephone lines to hear what the povo thought about
the famous stay-away.

      I am sure Killian must be told that it is illegal under POSA to listen
to what the masses have to say. Hwengwere must make it known to all his
operatives that Mbare studios were constructed not for the masses, but for
you, Gushungo.

      When you and the learned professor have a thing or two to say, you use
the ZBC. It is the mouthpiece of the State, not of the people. I am
disturbed to say most of the callers applauded the mass action.

      Punish these people, Comrade Robert. Freeze their salaries and hike
prices of basic commodities. Expand the tax burden, cut fuel supplies to all
the major urban centres. Ask Cde Herbert Murerwa (is he a war vet,
Gushungo?) to introduce some funny policies that can force their companies
to close down. Then they shall know you are His Excellency in this sovereign
state.

      Starve their wives, assault their infants with batons, especially on
the forehead, and inflict permanent scars. Then democracy can be born.
Arrest their ring leaders. Under POSA it is easy - even the innocent are
guilty. Beat up their mayors, torture them by putting electric current on
their genitals. If they are female, beat them until they menstruate.

      From then on, democracy will be with us. From then on, Gushungo, I can
tell you they will be very afraid of you. They will call you Bob.

      Comrade Chef, I am also not happy to say the British-sponsored MDC did
what the ZCTU and the NCA failed to do.
      The writing is on the wall, changamire: we at Zanu PF also failed to
stop them from doing what they thought they had to do.

      I am also very afraid to say the people are in love with this MDC
thing, mambo wangu. The masses are behind Tsvangirai, chef. We must step up
our smear campaign.

      lose the treason case, he is an idiosyncratic snob, chef. In a more
independent court he would have gone for a week's hard time for contempt of
court.

      Ben-Menashe is a stupid liar, chef. What we need is a clever liar -
much clever than Jonathan.

      But, Gushungo, I must say you did a good job at Mombeshora's funeral
(may his soul rest in peace). You must continue in that path without shame.

      Using your degrees in violence, convert any platform you get into a
political rally; politicise church meetings (it worked for the late
Madzibaba Border), global meetings; and politicise funerals even though the
bereaved are in a state of mourning. Politicise even the murder of Jongwe
nee Muusha.

      Who knows, Gushungo, you might last this term of office if you do not
decide to relocate from State House to some single quarters nearer to the
National Sports Stadium.
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Daily News

Leader Page

      Zesa load-shedding a load of inefficiency

      3/29/2003 12:41:43 AM (GMT +2)



      The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) on 25 March
introduced load-shedding of electricity, adding more strain to an economy
already agonising from operational problems stemming from the government's
mismanagement.

      The load-shedding will be from 6am to 10am and from 5pm and 8pm each
day, a power cut likely to cripple the operations of many companies. It
could even lead to a number of job lay-offs.

      Zesa's failure to pay its foreign debt demonstrates the height of
misplaced priorities by the government.

      The parastatal owes Eskom of South Africa and Cahora Bassa of
Mozambique $US150 million (Z$8,25 billion at the official exchange rate, but
Z$180 billion on the realistic and operative parallel market), part of which
should have been paid by the end of business last Saturday.

      The concern about the power cuts raised by the captains of industry
and commerce this week is understandable because electricity, like fuel and
water, is a critical resource that turns the wheels of life.

      In Harare, for instance, Graniteside, Msasa, Willowvale, Waterfalls,
Hatfield, Chitungwiza and Southerton woke up without electricity on
Wednesday, affecting all their operations.

      Zesa should have displayed a higher degree of sensitivity and prudence
than it did by warning the nation of the pending power cuts.

      At a meeting with industrialists on Thursday, Zesa officials urged
exporters to settle their electricity bills in foreign currency. It is clear
the parastatal, like the government, is hard-pressed for foreign currency.

      The irony is that the government continues to waste foreign currency
on endless foreign trips where large delegations accompany the President.

      The government should plan more purposefully, especially on issues
likely to adversely affect the nation.

      It must come up with an urgent long-term solution to the foreign
currency shortage, one of the major problems facing the nation.

      It must re-enter the international marketplace.
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Daily News

      Struggling Zimpapers in record $410m loss

      3/29/2003 12:49:28 AM (GMT +2)


      By Chris Mhike Business Reporter

      Zimbabwe Newspapers (1980) Limited (Zimpapers) sunk into deeper murky
water with their latest results reflecting a record $410 million loss inside
12 months.

      Zimpapers publishes The Herald, The Sunday Mail, The Chronicle, The
Sunday News and the vernacular Kwayedza.

      The disappointing performance was described by stockbrokers yesterday
as not surprising in view of the partisan editorial slant taken by
Zimpapers.

      The results indicated that the group, which suffered a $56,5 million
loss in 2001, was far from recovering. The loss was a massive 626,5 percent
deterioration in earnings.

      Zimpapers chairman, Enock Kamushinda, admitted that fortunes for the
group had deteriorated. The Zimpapers stable includes National Printers,
BoldAds and Typocrafters.

      Kamushinda blamed the poor performance on high input costs.

      "Cost of sales recorded an astronomical rise of 160 percent to $3,95
billion while newsprint costs increased by more than 300 percent," he said.

      Stockbrokers said Zimpapers needed to revisit its unpopular editorial
policy if it wanted to retain the leadership level which earned it blue-chip
status in the late 1990s when Simba Makoni, the former Finance Minister, was
the company's chief executive.

      Zimpapers has had three chief executives after Makoni, namely Matthews
Kunaka, Bramwell Kamudyariwa and Justin Mutasa. Mutasa was not available for
comment yesterday.

      A survey conducted by the Zimbabwe All Media and Products in September
last year revealed that newspapers under Zimpapers, with the exception of
The Chronicle, had suffered heavy losses in readership.

      Kamushinda, who also chairs the Grain Marketing Board and Metropolitan
Bank, blamed the fuel crisis for the loss in readership and poor newspaper
sales.

      Kamushinda said: "Shortages of fuel sometimes resulted in late
deliveries of newspapers. This had a negative impact on sales volumes."

      He pinned hopes for the revival of the group's fortunes on a
restructuring exercise conducted last year. He expected an improved
performance in agriculture production to also boost sales.

      "Increased economic activity in the agricultural sector as well as the
announcement of a new realistic producer price for maize and wheat will give
our people more cash not only to feed themselves but to buy our products,"
he said.

      Strangely, Kamushinda said he was grateful to the heavens for the
disastrous Cyclone Japhet, which resulted in loss of lives and extensive
damage to property and crops.

      "We thank God for the divine intervention of quickly replacing the
drought with the cyclone that has brought continuous rains," he said.

      Zimpapers' performance was more frightening in inflation-adjusted
terms.

      For instance, net loss after taxation was $941,6 million, down from
the 2001 loss of $318,2 million. Earnings a share tumbled from a negative 55
cents a share to -163 cents.
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Daily News

      Fuel situation remains critical

      3/29/2003 12:50:01 AM (GMT +2)


      Business Reporter

      THE fuel supply situation has remained critical, bringing into focus
the ineffectiveness of a recent deal struck between Exor Petroleum and the
National Oil Company of Zimbabwe (Noczim).

      The deal, whose details are being kept a secret, was expected to
improve fuel supplies.

      Service stations are going for several days without receiving fuel,
while long, winding queues are the order of the day.

      Lindiwe Mhunduru, Exor's public relations manager, ducked questions
raised by The Daily News.

      "We cannot comment on the supply of fuel. Noczim, as the national
procurer of fuel is best placed to comment," she said.

      Noczim officials could not be reached for a comment.

      Mhunduru admitted though, that Exor has a licence to import fuel on
behalf of people or companies with access to foreign exchange, but said the
arrangement with Noczim is protected by client confidentiality.

      "We cannot disclose the details of the arrangement between Noczim and
Exor because of client confidentiality.

      "Our business is the distribution and retailing of fuel products. In
this regard we are not in a position to disclose the dealings between Noczim
and ourselves," she said.

      Sources in the fuel industry doubted Exor's capacity to execute the
fuel deal in view of its size and the prevailing shortage of foreign
currency.

      Unless Exor gets foreign currency at the official exchange rate, it
would be difficult to import fuel using money sourced from the parallel
market and sell the product at the gazetted prices.

      Circumstances under which Exor landed the deal were also not clear.

      "It is not clear to us whether it was through tender or a private
arrangement. If it was a tender, then we missed the advertisement," said a
player in the fuel industry.

      Exor Petroleum was incorporated in April 1999 with the objective of
distributing and retailing of petroleum products.

      Officially, the company is chaired by businessman Nelson Mawema and
managed by John Makovah.

      The other directors include Peter Mabasa, Tanya Chinamo, Willard
Zireva, Tsitsi Makovah and Leslie Manhombo.
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BBC
 
Mugabe opponent faces arrest
Morgan Tsvangirai
Tsvangirai has issued an ultimatum
The government in Zimbabwe has asked for the arrest of opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai on charges of causing civil unrest.

Mr Tsvangirai is currently on trial for plotting to assassinate President Robert Mugabe - a charge he denies - but is currently on bail.

The call for his detention comes just over a week after a massive two-day general strike aimed at ousting Mr Mugabe, who was re-elected last year in a vote deemed fraudulent by many outside observers.

A spokesman for Mr Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party vowed that the opposition, which is fighting two key by-elections this weekend, would not be crushed.

Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi accused Mr Tsvangirai of using his freedom to incite violence against the government and he urged the judiciary to withdraw his bail and hold him in custody.

"The courts must be aware that while Morgan Tsvangirai is being tried for treason, he is taking advantage of being out of custody to orchestrate acts of violence," he said in a press statement.

"We urge the judicial system to review this position so that he is tried while in custody."

If convicted of the assassination plot, the MDC leader faces the death penalty.

Opposition ultimatum

MDC spokesman Paul Themba-Nyathi said his party's leaders were used to government threats.

"This government has been threatening the MDC leadership for years now and we are not frightened," he told Reuters news agency.

Robert Mugabe
Mugabe is accused of behaving like a dictator
"We are pursuing a popular cause and they cannot crush that."

The MDC accuses Mr Mugabe's ruling party, Zanu-PF, of planning to rig the two by-elections in Harare.

On Friday, the European Union condemned "unprecedented government-sponsored violence" against the opposition in Zimbabwe.

The EU accused President Robert Mugabe's government of arbitrarily detaining and torturing hundreds of opponents.

It also said the Zimbabwean people had a constitutional right to protest peacefully and called on the government to respect that right.

The statement, made at a meeting in Greece, followed the nationwide anti-government protest on 18-19 March, which Morgan Tsvangirai has described as a resounding success.

Mr Tsvangirai has called for further peaceful mass action against the Mugabe government if opposition demands for law and order are not met by Monday.

"There can be no compromise or surrender," he told foreign diplomats in Harare on Friday.

"Mugabe must unconditionally yield or face decisive mass action from the people."

'Vote-rigging'

Up to 19,000 extra voters have been registered for the Harare by-elections, the opposition reports, and food stained with indelible ink is allegedly due to be distributed to prevent locals from voting.

In order to prevent people voting more than once, voters dip their finger in indelible ink when they cast their ballots - anyone with indelible ink already on their hands will not be allowed to vote.

"We are aware that state agents plan to taint doors and water taps with the indelible ink in those areas which are known MDC strongholds in order to disqualify our voters," said MDC elections director Remus Makuwaza.

Joseph Chinotimba - a leading figure in the violent occupation of white-owned farms since 2000 - is contesting Harare's Highfield seat.

The MDC Highfield MP was expelled from the party for indiscipline while the other seat, Kuwadzana, became vacant following the death in police custody of MDC MP Learnmore Jongwe.

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