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

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VOA

Defense Claims Document Theft in Tsvangirai Treason Trial
Peta Thornycroft
Harare
19 May 2003, 20:42 UTC


Lawyers representing Zimbabwe's opposition leader and two colleagues on
trial for treason say some of their confidential papers were taken by a
police officer and photocopied.

At the end of a hearing, defense attorney Chris Andersen told the court a
six-page statement it was waiting for was intercepted by a policeman,
copied, and distributed.

Judge Paddington Garwe said Tuesday's court session will begin with a
discussion of the alleged document theft.

Most of the day's session was taken up by the testimony of the head of
Zimbabwe's Central Intelligence Organization, Brigadier Happyton Bonyongwe.

He testified that a Canadian consultant who made the videotape at the heart
of the state's case switched sides, after being hired by the opposition he
began working for the government.

The consultant, Ari Ben Menashe, was the state's first witness when the
trial began in February. He was questioned extensively as the court watched
the videotape, in which the state claims opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai
plotted to assassinate President Robert Mugabe.

The opposition said last week it had sued Mr. Ben Menashe in Canada to
recover money it says it paid him for lobbying work to promote its image in
North America.

The treason trial is one of several High Court actions in which the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change is a major player.




Last Friday, Mr. Tsvangirai asked a High Court judge to recuse himself from
a hearing related to the opposition's challenge of last year's
presidential-election results.

The papers say the judge, Ben Hlatwayo, has received a formerly white-owned
farm as part of the government's land reform program. The opposition says
that calls his impartiality into question

Mr. Tsvangirai's has filed papers to force the High Court to set a trial
date, after many delays.

Meanwhile, in the same court building, another trial is reaching a crucial
stage. An opposition member of parliament is charged with murdering a ruling
Zanu PF party supporter nearly two-years ago. The government has used the
killing to justify its claim that the opposition is a terrorist
organization.

The only evidence the state has produced so far are statements made by two
of the accused who said they were tortured into making confessions.
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Independent (UK)

Mugabe opponents seek 'protest zone' at cricket
By Paul Peachey
20 May 2003


The MCC will consider today a demand from anti-Mugabe campaigners to permit
a "protest zone" at this week's controversial test match between England and
Zimbabwe or face a pitch invasion.

Protesters have warned of a series of "disruptions" if officials refuse to
allow a visible campaign inside Lord's Cricket Ground on the first day of
the match on Thursday.

Organisers of the protest have threatened to run on to the pitch with
cricket whites covered in fake blood to highlight human rights abuses by the
regime of Robert Mugabe.

The executive board of the MCC, the Marylebone Cricket Club, which owns
Lord's, will discuss the threat at a scheduled meeting today.

Peter Tatchell, of the Stop The Tour campaign group, telephoned Roger
Knight, the MCC chief executive, last week with his proposal. The club said
spectators would be banned from bringing banners into the ground.

Hundreds of anti-Mugabe protesters are expected to attend the Lord's Test -
the highlight of protests and the blue riband event of the two-Test series
against England.
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ninemsn (Australia)

Report lashes Zimbabwe regime


Foreign Minister Alexander Downer will present his Commonwealth counterparts
with a damning dossier of human rights abuses in Zimbabwe.

Mr Downer said he was frustrated there was no general consensus within the
Commonwealth to take strong action against Zimbabwe and he hoped the
Australian report would help sway his counterparts to take action.

Australia has chronicled recent human rights abuses in Zimbabwe, detailing
the deteriorating situation and revealing cases of vicious beatings with
sticks wrapped in barbed wire as well as rape and torture camps.

Mr Downer will present the report to the Commonwealth Ministerial Action
Group in London.

"We have been somewhat frustrated that the Commonwealth has not been able to
build sufficient consensus to take strong action against Zimbabwe," he told
ABC radio.

"The Commonwealth is built on the foundations of democracy and the rule of
law and the freedom of speech and expression.

"We're not seeing that in Zimbabwe.

"We'll be presenting the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group with a paper
outlining the situation in Zimbabwe so that all members of the Commonwealth
Ministerial Action Group are able to understand how horrific the situation
is in Zimbabwe.

"So bad is it's economy that with a 220 per cent inflation rate they can't
even afford any longer to import the ink and paper to print bank notes."
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The Star

      Don't talk of Zim 'regime change'
      May 20, 2003

      By Chris Landsberg

      At times, the South African media, especially the print variant, can
be extravagant in their sensationalism.

      They worship drama, and would even add their own spice to create
intrigues, even with high stakes processes.

      Prior to last week's diplomatic mission to Zimbabwe by President
Bakili Muluzi from Malawi (as team leader), Nigeria's President Olesegun
Obasanjo and President Thabo Mbeki, many newspapers, including several
editorials, built up the visit as a "regime change" mission. When the visit
turned out to be exactly as Mbeki and his officials had depicted from the
onset - a facilitation mission - the same personalities in the media
proceeded to brand the outcome a "failure", a "debacle" and a "fiasco".

      Regime change ^ la the hawkish Bush administration in America cannot
work in the African context. The stakes are too high, the political terrain
too complex, and the actors and interests far too many and interwoven for a
simplistic notion like replacing one leader and one regime with another to
work. It is instead to the idea of negotiated transitions and bargained
outcomes that we have to look in Africa.

      Both might have the same result - the removal of a despotic leader,
but the two differ in crucial respects. Regime change is based on the
imprudent assumption that simply replacing one individual (President Robert
Mugabe) with another (opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai) equates
      democratisation. One only needs to look at the Zambian case to see the
serious limits in that approach.

      Negotiated transitions, in turn, place an emphasis on mutual outcomes
and seek to accommodate the positions of all sides. They stress win-win, not
zero-sum outcomes. More importantly, negotiated outcomes seek to spell out
clear rules of the game by which belligerents to the conflict, and
participants in the transition, are expected to live.

      Even Walter Kansteiner, US president George Bush's assistant secretary
of state for African affairs, felt the need to make a U-turn and describe
how diplomacy and working for a transition in Zimbabwe - not a gung-ho
posture of regime change - was a rational and prudent response to
      the Zimbabwe crisis.

      We already have prevailing in Zimbabwe what political
scientist-turned-business guru Vincent Maphai called a "mutually hurtful
stalemate".

      The problem is that the belligerents in Zimbabwe, the MDC and Zanu-PF,
do not really realise, or pretend not to realise, that they have dragged
their country into such a stalemate that it will have serious long-term
implications for re-building Zimbabwe. Mugabe and his party, especially,
appear to be living in denial about the consequences of their political
egotism and bravado.

      So, Mbeki and his African counterparts are right in striving for a
negotiated transition in Zimbabwe.

      The chief aims of their engagement should be first to get Zimbabweans
to comprehend the severity of the crisis in their country and, indeed, to
realise that they are caught in the grip of a mutually hurtful stalemate.

      The other, and probably more important, goal of external engagement in
Zimbabwe, should be to try and get Zimbabweans to talk, to join in dialogue.
The MDC and Zanu-PF should find the ways to critically engage in an exchange
of ideas. But the main protagonists are by no means the only ones who need
to talk seriously about their country's crisis and the route to transition.

      The NGO community has, in recent times, been focused on opposition to
the Mugabe government. Little emphasis was placed on the transition and how
to re-build and restore Zimbabwe after a transition.

      The farming community - predominantly white at that - have themselves
a key role to play in talking about, and making key commitments towards,
resolving one of the most contentious and divisive issues in Zimbabwe: the
social justice question of land possession, dispossession and repossession.

      To be sure, credible transition in Zimbabwe has to address the issue
of restoring democracy. Present-day Zimbabwe represents a case of
backsliding and retreating from democracy. It further has to deal with the
economic meltdown in that country, and it has to address, as a matter of
cause, the land question.

      South Africa experienced a transition from apartheid and white
minority domination to democracy; from a white-dominated, closed and
sanctioned economy to an open, globalised - but by no means
black-dominated - economy. A process of a negotiated transition should
involve exactly that: a process. It should deal with procedures, identify
all the actors, deal with the critical issues, and even grapple with
sectarian interests.

      Indeed, there are some lessons to be learnt from South Africa's own
transition. But the recent tendency and practice, openly backed by some
donors, by which South African entities bring Zimbabweans in, not to talk to
one another about their own challenges, but to "learn" from the South
African "miracle" is not only misplaced, but condescending.
      The notion in some NGO quarters that South Africa has nothing to learn
from its neighbours and the continent more broadly, just a lot to teach
"black Africa" is, in fact, a complicating factor in its regional role.

      Those non-African external powers who wish to play a role would
themselves be better advised to encourage a genuine transition, rather than
"regime change" in Zimbabwe. There certainly is a role for external
encouragement, persuasion, pressure and even punitive threats, but the
intent should be to try to trigger a well-planned restitution of democracy
and carefully crafted changeover to a new order that would be based on
democratically decided rules and which would be able to sustain democracy
well into the future.

      Mugabe, for his part, should contemplate the consequences - for his
party, his country, the region, and his people - of a selfish, arrogant
quest for status based on a permanent hold on power.

      Unless Mugabe seizes that opportunity, we may have to pin our hopes on
divine intervention to bring Zimbabwe back from the abyss.
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Mail and Guardian

Zimbabwe, the police state

Andrew Meldrum

19 May 2003 07:25


Night visits to my home by threatening men in vans with blacked out windows.
Attacks vilifying me in the state press as a "terrorist", an "agent of
imperialism" and "a liar". Threats, by phone, email and conversations with
"friends", in which I was told that I would not be safe in this country.

These were all signs of the antipathy of President Robert Mugabe's
government to a journalist chronicling the decline of his long and torrid
rule.

Over the past year I have been harassed, arrested, thrown in jail, put on
trial, acquitted and finally -- this weekend -- deported from Zimbabwe.

For those 12 months I continued to live and work there, to write about the
country's political crisis, the economic melt-down that has turned one of
Africa's most prosperous economies into one of its poorest, and the abuses
of human rights and other democratic freedoms.

In short, I watched how the regime transformed a functioning democracy into
a police state.

I first arrived in Zimbabwe in 1980 when the country won its independence
and majority rule. I was a young journalist full of enthusiasm for Robert
Mugabe's new order, his policy of racial reconciliation, his socialist
measures to improve the education, health and standards of living of black
Zimbabweans. It was a heady time, when the entire country was infused with
irrepressible optimism.

Sadly, honeymoons never last, and by 1982 I found myself uncovering and
reporting on the horrific mass killing of Zimbabwean civilians by the army's
Fifth Brigade, Mugabe's praetorian guard. The chain of command led directly
to Mugabe. It was a contradiction of all the country's positive
developments. It was clear that the killing was part of Mugabe's drive to
stamp out the opposition party, Joshua Nkomo's Zapu.

By ejecting Nkomo from his cabinet and arresting army generals allied to
Nkomo and charging them with treason, Mugabe caused a small scale rebellion
of soldiers who supported them. Then the Fifth Brigade rolled into southern
Zimbabwe, Matabeleland, and began the wholesale slaughter of thousands of
the rural Ndebele people, the minority ethnic group which forms about 20% of
the country's population. Scores of thousands more suffered beatings and
hunger as the government stopped food supplies reaching the chronically
drought-stricken area.

It became apparent that the violence was part of Mugabe's drive to
consolidate his power. It continued until December 1987 when a broken Joshua
Nkomo agreed to allow his party to be swallowed by Mugabe's Zanu-PF. The
creation of a one-party state, Mugabe's stated goal, was within his grasp.

Somehow, Robert Mugabe managed to emerge from the horrors of Matabeleland
with his reputation relatively unscathed. No longer an untarnished hero, to
be sure, but he remained a plausible leader. The lot of the majority of
Zimbabweans continued to improve.

Zimbabwe remained a beacon beaming the light of hope on South Africa's dark
system of minority rule. Anti-apartheid activists of all colours flocked
there and insisted that its democracy pointed the way for South Africa's
future. It also became a hive of South African spies carrying out
assassinations and terror bombings. It was an engrossing place to work as a
journalist.

When Nelson Mandela was freed, Zimbabwe was the first country he visited,
underlining the crucial role it had played in the struggle against
apartheid.

But South Africa's progress was not entirely good news for Robert Mugabe.
The international community ceased to see him as the lesser of two evils,
compared to apartheid. A wave of democracy swept across southern Africa in
which Malawi's Hastings Banda and Zambia's Kenneth Kaunda were toppled by
overwhelming votes.

When Mugabe proposed to declare Zimbabwe a one-party state, members of his
own party's central committee blocked it, saying that they would be going
against the democratic tide, and that they could enjoy de facto one-party
rule without the trouble of imposing de jure control.

Compared to the glowing magnanimity of Nelson Mandela, Mugabe appeared
bitter and spiteful. A turning point came in August 1996 when, while opening
the Zimbabwe International Book Fair, he spewed out a hate-filled tirade
against gays.

I remember scribbling down his furious words describing gays as "worse than
pigs and dogs" and suggesting that homosexuality was akin to having sex with
dead bodies. A group of schoolchildren sat dumbfounded by the speech. From
that point on Mugabe's international image began its decline to despot.

This should not paint a picture that everything has been negative in
Zimbabwe. My experience there has been overwhelmingly positive. Friends who
are doctors, teachers, artists and lawyers bound together to create a
community always encouraging fairness and democracy. But by 2000 the
opposition to Mugabe's rule had grown so great that the churches, women's
groups, human rights defenders and lawyers groups pressed for a new
constitution.

Mugabe agreed but, wily as ever, he created a document which increased his
power rather than reduced it. His draft constitution was presented to the
country in a referendum in February, 2000.

Despite saturation coverage in the media, the voters rejected it. It was a
stinging slap in the face.

Two weeks later the first invasions of white-owned farms began. Mugabe was
fighting back. The invasions were illegal but the police were ordered not to
take any action against them. It was the beginning of the transformation of
the police into a political entity which simply carries out its master's
bidding.

In June 2000 came the parliamentary elections. The opposition party, the
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), had already won widespread popularity
and campaigned valiantly despite a programme of violence in which more than
200 people, virtually all opposition supporters, were killed. The MDC
narrowly lost the elections, which all credible international observer teams
said were not free or fair.

In addition to the often ugly political developments in Mugabe's Zimbabwe,
he has tragically failed to give effective leadership in the two huge social
challenges facing the country, Aids and famine.

Aids spread so rapidly that a few years ago Zimbabwe had the world's highest
HIV infection rate: 35% of the adult population. Shying away from effective
public education, the government created an Aids fund and then allowed
Mugabe's cronies to loot it.

After Mugabe's seizures of white-owned farms little was done to keep the
land cultivated. It was no surprise when famine gripped the country. Even
when more than half the population were forced to depend on international
food relief, Mugabe could not resist trying to starve areas which supported
the opposition.

Repression of the press began in 2000. Just before the parliamentary
elections, immigration officers served deportation orders on the BBC
correspondent Joe Winter. He won a court order giving him a week to pack and
wind up his affairs.

But that night government thugs went to his house, ransacked it and
terrorised him, his wife and young daughter. Winter left the country and
within days the government deported the legendary South American journalist
Mercedes Sayagues, whom we called La Pasionaria for her fearless reporting
on human rights abuses.

A few months later the Telegraph's correspondent, David Blair, was forced to
leave the country. I became the last foreign journalist in the country.

The determination of the Zimbabwean press, particularly the reporters on the
privately owned Daily News, the Zimbabwe Independent and the Standard,
inspired me with their commitment to exposing corruption, beatings, torture,
murder and other unsavoury aspects of Mugabe's rule.

The printing press of the Daily News were blown up, the editor of the
Standard, Mark Chavunduka, and his reporter, Ray Choto, were abducted by
army officers and viciously tortured. Yet Zimbabwe's journalists refused to
be deterred from writing about events as they happened.

Systematic human rights abuses, the thwarting of democracy, corruption --
these are the issues any journalist is obliged to cover. I continued to do
work, the best work I could, and that led to my arrest and imprisonment last
year.

After my trial and acquittal and the government's failed attempt to deport
me, I returned to my work. The steady drivel of articles vilifying me in the
state press did not get me down, largely because of the hearty support and
encouragement I received from people of all colours and walks of life when I
walked on the street.

That support, and phone calls and e-mails from fellow Zimbabwean journalists
helped me to shrug off the government's threats.

But last Friday I was abducted and thrown out of the country, despite a
court order to halt the action.

When all is said and done, I still blame Ian Smith for Zimbabwe's troubles
today. He ran a system which deprived the majority of their rights and
dignity. The Rhodesian regime was so violent that only violence could unseat
it. Only the most ruthless could overthrow Smith's system, and that was
Robert Mugabe. Violence begets violence. And we can see now that Mugabe only
values his own power and will use any force to maintain it.

I am angry at how Mugabe has subverted Zimbabwe's democracy and reduced
people to misery. I am appalled that the police kidnapped the opposition
member of parliament Job Sikhala a few months ago and tortured him with
electric shocks. I am furious that the regime has targeted ordinary citizens
such as Raphinos Madzokere, who has been hospitalised twice for torture, has
seen his home destroyed and now lives on the run with his wife and three
children.

I am determined to continue reporting on these abuses in the hope that they
will stop, and to help bring the perpetrators to justice.

I am confident that the people of Zimbabwe will succeed in restoring the
country's democracy and basic freedoms, and will rebuild the economy to
prosperity. - Guardian Unlimited Guardian Newspapers Limited 2003
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Daily News

      Ben-Menashe lied: CIO boss

      5/20/2003 7:45:25 AM (GMT +2)


      Court Reporter

      THE head of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO), retired army
Brigadier Happyton Bonyongwe, conceded yesterday that the political
consultancy company of Ari Ben-Menashe, the government's star prosecution
witness in the treason trial of opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai and his
two co-accused, lied about the contents of an audio-tape on the alleged plot
by the three Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leaders to assassinate
President Robert Mugabe.

      Bonyongwe said in his evidence-in-chief during the trial of
Tsvangirai, MDC secretary-general Welshman Ncube and the party's shadow
agriculture minister Renson Gasela that all he could discern from the entire
audio-tape was Tsvangirai's voice.

      Even then, the CIO boss said he did not hear the MDC leader utter the
words "kill", "murder", or "assassinate" and that he relied for the most
part on Ben-Menashe's narration of the alleged plot.
      But Dickens & Madson, the Montreal-based political consultancy headed
by Ben-Menashe, published a newsletter on 13 February 2002 which carried an
article purporting that Tsvangirai could be heard on the secretly recorded
audio-tape requesting the firm's aid in a plot to murder Mugabe and
overthrow the ZANU PF government.

      Several State witnesses, including Ben-Menashe and Air-Vice Marshal
Robert Mhlanga, have conceded that they could not make out the conversation
on the tape which Ben-Menashe had earlier claimed contained the vital
evidence of the murder and coup conspiracy.

      "The people who were recorded were up to no good but there was nothing
substantive on which we could formulate the essentials of the plot,"
Bonyongwe said yesterday as he was being led by Acting Attorney-General
Bharat Patel.
      The tape was delivered to Mhlanga as part of evidence of the alleged
assassination plot.
      Asked by defence lawyer George Bizos whether he agreed that the
article in the newsletter relating to the audio-tape was "a lie", Bonyongwe
      responded with a "yes".
      Bonyongwe blamed poor memory and "oversight" for failing to pick out
the lie when he read the newsletter, produced by Dickens & Madson as part of
its lobbying project on behalf of the Zimbabwe government.
      But the CIO director-general said he believed Ben-Menashe's claims
because "the department had received information from other sources that
there was indeed a plot to assassinate the President".
      Bonyongwe went with Police Assistant Commissioner Moses Magandi to
collect the video-tape forming the basis of the State's case but denied ever
playing a central role in the investigations.
      He said after viewing a video recording of a meeting between
Tsvangirai and Dickens & Madson officials, he was convinced that Tsvangirai
had a case to answer.
      "When evidence was secured, it was given to the experts in the
 police," he said. "I was not meant to be a kind of investigator in this
case."
      Bonyongwe said after Ben-Menashe delivered the audio-tape, diskette
and transcript of the alleged assassination plot, the Zimbabwe government
awarded his Canadian political consultancy firm a contract to lobby the
United States, Canada and European Union countries to adopt a positive
stance towards Zimbabwe and to seek investment from West Africa and the
Russian Federation.
      The government paid Ben-Menashe's company US$385 000 (Z$317 240 000 on
the 824: 1$US exchange rate) for his work.

      In a separate incident, police officers manning the High Court
entrance yesterday briefly held an MDC messenger and seized Tsvangirai's
statement at the ongoing treason trial.
      The messenger had just collected the statement from the MDC's offices.
      The officers allegedly photocopied the document, whose contents could
not be established yesterday but which defence lawyer Chris Andersen said
was "classified".
      Patel said the matter would be dealt with by "relevant authorities"
and that the culprit would be prosecuted.
      The trial continues today.
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Daily News

      Muzenda ordered Meldrum expelled

      5/20/2003 7:55:56 AM (GMT +2)


      By Farai Mutsaka Chief Reporter

      BEATRICE Mtetwa, the Harare-based lawyer for deported American-born
journalist Andrew Meldrum, said yesterday she would petition the High Court
to compel the government to bring her client back into Zimbabwe.


      She spoke as it emerged that Vice-President Simon Muzenda had
apparently sanctioned Meldrum's deportation on Friday night, which the
government carried out despite a High Court order that it be halted.

      Government officials said Muzenda ignored advice from Foreign Affairs
Minister Stan Mudenge, who had argued that the deportation should be stopped
because it would harm Zimbabwe's already battered human rights record.

      Meldrum, a permanent resident of Zimbabwe who had covered the country'
s unfolding economic and political crisis for two decades, was bundled into
a London-bound Air Zimbabwe flight after government officials shrugged off
the court order.

      But Mtetwa vowed yesterday she would petition the High Court to force
the immigration department to bring Meldrum back in accordance with the High
Court order granted on Friday by Justice Charles Hungwe.

      "The court directed that he should be brought back and I am still
pursuing that. They (the government officials) are in contempt until they
bring Meldrum back and they should go to jail if they don't respect the
court," she told The Daily News.

      Government officials told this newspaper that after Justice Hungwe's
order to bring Meldrum to the court in the afternoon, chief immigration
officer Elasto Mugwadi sought political opinion from Mudenge and Muzenda on
how he could proceed.

      Mudenge advised Mugwadi to respect the High Court order but this was
overruled by Muzenda.

      "Muzenda gave his blessings for the deportation to go ahead despite
the court order. He said it was better to have Meldrum out of the country,"
one senior government official said.

      The officials declined to be named for fear of reprisals.

      It was not clear yesterday what role had been played by Home Affairs
Minister Kembo Mohadi, who was cited as a respondent in Meldrum's court
papers challenging the deportation order.

      Contacted for comment, Muzenda refused to respond to questions from
The Daily News.
      "I am not going to answer those questions. Vanhu vekuDaily News
musarambe muchitinetsa, vakomana. (You people from The Daily News should
stop giving us headaches, please)," he said before switching off his mobile
phone on Sunday.

      Further efforts to get him to respond proved fruitless yesterday.

      Mudenge's home and mobile phones went unanswered on Sunday while his
secretary yesterday said the minister would be out of Harare this week.

      The government officials said Mudenge had argued that going ahead with
Meldrum's deportation was counter-productive as it would strengthen
allegations that the government did not respect the rule of law.

      "Mudenge reasoned that whatever damage Meldrum had done or caused
could not be reversed by deporting him. He thought that deporting Meldrum
could only attract undue bad publicity at a time when African leaders are
trying to convince the international community that Zimbabwe has restored
the rule of law," another official said.

      The officials said following Muzenda's intervention, a plan was
hatched by immigration officials to circumvent the court process. It was
agreed that the immigration officials would not present Meldrum to the court
but that government lawyers would represent the State in court while
immigration officials waited for the Air Zimbabwe flight.

      Despite Justice Hungwe having given his order in the morning, Loyce
Matanda-Moyo from the Attorney-General's Office only appeared at the court
at 8.30pm, an hour before the Air Zimbabwe plane was due to leave for
London. She did not bring Meldrum as ordered. Justice Hungwe then gave a
final order that Matanda-Moyo should assist Meldrum's lawyer Mtetwa in
locating Meldrum at the airport. But Air Zimbabwe and immigration officials
ignored the order.

      "The idea was that the State would make a late appearance at the court
so that Meldrum's lawyers would not get the time to type the order and serve
it on immigration before the plane left," another official said.

      Meanwhile Mark Ellis, the International Bar Association (IBA)
executive director, and head of the Law Society of Zimbabwe Sternford Moyo
have written to Bharat Patel, the acting Attorney-General, raising concerns
over the manner in which the government ignored the High Court order.

      "On behalf of the IBA, I respectfully urge you to ensure that the
court order is immediately respected, that the proper procedures are
followed and that necessary measures are taken to ensure that such clear
acts of intimidation do not take place again," Ellis said.

      Moyo said his organisation was "gravely concerned" by the deportation.

      "As you will no doubt appreciate, contempt of court undermines the
authority of the court and the administration of justice," he said. "When
agents of the State disregard court orders, the rule of law and indeed the
administration of justice are seriously weakened."

      Patel last night said he had not seen the letters from Moyo and Ellis.
"If I see them, I will definitely address their concerns," he said.
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Daily News

      Anti-MDC blitz chews $2bn

      5/20/2003 7:54:39 AM (GMT +2)


      By Farai Mutsaka, Chief Reporter

      THE Department of Information and Publicity in the President's Office
has spent at least $2 billion of taxpayers' money on a propaganda blitz
aimed at discrediting the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
and propping up the government, it was learnt this week.

      Officials within the ministry said a further $10 billion was needed
for the propaganda campaign, and might be sought from the fiscus at a time
the government is battling to raise funds to feed people affected by food
shortages and to pay for fuel and electricity imports.

      The officials said the ministry, which is spearheading a massive media
campaign, had budgeted about $2 billion for an exercise that had been
running since early this year.

      They said the $2 billion was separate from the close to $1 billion
that was spent on a series of advertisements, dubbed the Chave Chimurenga
adverts, which were flighted on television, radio and newspapers.

      T-shirts and other paraphernalia were also printed as part of the
campaign, which was aimed at promoting the government's controversial land
reform programme.

      Sources said the $2 billion was spent on a series of adverts whose aim
was to discourage the public from heeding calls for mass action by the MDC
and the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU).

      The adverts paint the opposition and the labour body, which have
spearheaded successful work stayaways this year, as economic saboteurs being
used to advance dubious foreign interests.

      ZCTU and MDC officials have indicated that they plan to call for
further mass action in an attempt to press the government to solve Zimbabwe'
s economic crisis.

      George Charamba, the information and publicity permanent secretary,
yesterday said there was nothing sinister about his department spending its
budget allocations on a media campaign "targeted at the public".

      Charamba queried why this newspaper would be concerned about the
financing of a media campaign whose objective was to enlighten the
taxpayers.

      "So what?" queried Charamba when asked to confirm if his ministry had
so far spent $3 billion on its media campaign.

      He added: "Those messages are not aimed at Charamba but at the
taxpayer, so what is the complaint about? You should have questioned who the
targets of those adverts are first if you wanted us to have an intelligent
discussion.

      "And it's clear that the messages are meant for the taxpayer's
consumption. Do you want Charamba to pay bills for the taxpayer?"

      Sources said the Ministry of Information had intensified its
propaganda campaign following a successful job stayaway called by the MDC in
March. They said the campaign was also in response to adverts run by the MDC
congratulating the public for heeding the stayaway call.

      "The current campaign will take about $2 billion. Initially it was
meant to promote NERP (New Economic Recovery Programme), but it intensified
after the MDC stayaway and subsequent threats for more destabilisation," a
ministry official said.

      He added: "While portraying (MDC leader Morgan) Tsvangirai as an
economic saboteur, the campaign would also show how government, through
NERP, was committed to economic recovery."

      The information ministry reportedly owes the Zimbabwe Broadcasting
Corporation over $400 million for adverts that it ran in 2002, while several
companies that provided services for last year's propaganda campaign are
said to be battling to recover $275 million owed to them by the ministry.

      Government sources said there was concern in government circles that
the hype that accompanied the launch of the land seizures in 2000 was dying
down because of the worsening impact of the economic crisis.

      They said the ministry had been tasked with formulating urgent media
strategies that would rekindle interest in government programmes.
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      Mugabe ferries Benz to SA for Sisulu burial

      5/20/2003 7:56:53 AM (GMT +2)


      By Chris Goko Deputy Business Editor

      PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe ferried, Muammar Gaddafi-style, his official
Mercedes Benz limousine to South Africa where he attended the burial of
anti-apartheid icon Walter Sisulu and the graduation ceremony at Fort Hare
University.

      According to sources, the ultra-modern navy blue S600 Mercedes, which
weighs five tonnes, was "temporarily exported" to South Africa for the
ageing leader's pleasure and comfort during his travels by road to the
Eastern Cape for the graduation ceremony and around Johannesburg.

      It could not be immediately established how the opulent vehicle, which
guzzles about 90 litres of petrol per 200 kilometres, was ferried to and
from South Africa.

      Mugabe's spokesman George Charamba confirmed Mugabe had taken with him
to South Africa the luxurious vehicle he imported from Germany early last
year. Charamba said it was "elementary" and should not be cause for concern.

      Charamba said: "Of what interest and significance is the President's
(Mugabe's) travel to those who are raising it?"

      Charamba sought to down play the matter, alleging that Egyptian
president Hosni Mubarak, former American leader Bill Clinton, Libyan ruler
Muammar Gaddafi and former British premier Margaret Thatcher had brought
their own official cars to Zimbabwe on official visits.

      Charamba added: "Is it out of love, is it out of frustration with
their intention, which won't succeed?"

      Mugabe went to South Africa to attend the burial of Sisulu and the
graduation at Fort Hare where his presidential scholarship fund sponsors
students from less privileged families.

      Mugabe is also a former student of the university.

      According to eye witnesses the custom made limousine and two other
back-up E-class Mercedes Benz cars were lined up in Johannesburg ready to
ferry Mugabe and his wife Grace on their errands in South Africa's
commercial capital.

      For the trip to Fort Hare, Mugabe must have burnt no less than 900
litres of petrol, which at about four rands per litre translates to about
$367 000 worth of petrol using official market rates. It is probably the
first time Mugabe has taken his car with him to another country.
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Leader Page

      The end-game dangers

      5/20/2003 7:46:45 AM (GMT +2)


      THAT President Robert Mugabe is on the final stretch of his
iron-fisted 23-year rule is not in doubt.

      The troubling signs of the end-game are there for everyone to see; the
only question left unresolved is how the curtain will finally come down.

      In the uncertain days and months ahead, many in crisis-weary Zimbabwe
will offer possible solutions on how to hound the Old Man out of office, and
yesterday's calls by civic groups and the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) for mass street protests against the government should be seen
in this context.

      It is difficult to criticise the proposed action by these groups, who
over the years have been given little, if any, meaningful democratic space
to enunciate their views to the larger population.

      And yet there are obvious dangers in the envisioned street protests.
These demonstrations could be hijacked by criminal or political elements to
cause mayhem, which could justify the government's high-handed intervention,
resulting in a setback for the democratic march.

      No one sensible wants that.

      It is thus imperative that protests, whatever the justification of
their cause, are held peacefully and that organisers guard against
infiltration by undesirable elements bent on causing violence.

      The mere whiff of possible political change in Zimbabwe could trigger
its own instability, and indeed there is already intense behind-the-scenes
jockeying for power even within the ranks of the ruling ZANU PF.

      This change needs to be managed carefully and deliberately, lest it
degenerates into the battle of the fittest and strongest on the streets.

      This is where Mugabe himself can help out by managing his own exit so
that it becomes peaceful and orderly.

      Despite his acts of omission and commission in the closing years of
his era, let it be said
      that Mugabe was a towering and inspirational founder of the nation
who, under normal circumstances, should be given a hero's send-off.

      But even now, with Zimbabwe on its bended knees economically,
Zimbabweans can still show that magnanimity because it is not Mugabe to whom
they are opposed per se but the policies of his government, which have
killed a once promising land.

      Indeed this sober - many would say mature - approach to dealing with
Zimbabwe's crisis is the only one which promises success and stability on an
otherwise tough road ahead without maps. Zimbabwe has already seen enough
bloodletting, some of which Mugabe has rightly called acts of madness, and
no one wishes to see any more.

      It is thus not asking for too much that the main political
stakeholders, crucially the MDC and its civic allies, take only those steps
which, while advancing the freedom cause, minimise any further loss of life.

      Again Mugabe could play a pivotal role here by magnanimously accepting
the de facto position of his politically wounded presidency: that it is time
to go peacefully to allow a fresh beginning for all in the land, including
himself.

      After all, a truly democratic Zimbabwe is for all who live and work in
the country.
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      Mugabe's obstinacy has cost us our dignity

      5/20/2003 7:47:34 AM (GMT +2)

      By Jack Zaba

      When the three regional leaders jetted into Harare to facilitate the
much-talked-about inter-party dialogue, tongues were wagging and many people
were filled with the hope that at long last the two political titans would
roll back and find a compromise to extricate our embattled country from the
economic and political quagmire in which it is stuck.

      That very week brought with it a great sense of hope to our nation.
But to some sceptics, the talks were just not going to materialise, but we,
out of despair, entrusted our salvation to the dialogue.

      But now where are we? Having experienced a few days of creating
fantasies about how Zimbabwe would soon be back on track and how we would
soon be able get fuel at any time, anywhere, we built our utopian world. In
a few days of selective ignorance and blind patriotism, we thought otherwise
and forgot that we are dealing with the most cunning of dictators - our dear
President Mugabe.

      We dipped into a fatal frenzy, brushing aside our knowledge that
Mugabe and his Zanu PF mandarins are not ready to relinquish power. This
oversight is characteristic of a people who are in a state of dire
desperation.

      When you become a victim of intense despair, you tend to believe in
absolutely everything that gives you hope.

      It's like being HIV positive and someone, gives you paracetamol,
telling you that it has just been discovered that it can be used to treat
HIV. One may take the pain-killing drug with much hope, but when they come
back to their senses, it will only be apparent that they are heading towards
death.

      This was our predicament. We thought Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo,
Thabo Mbeki and Bakili Muluzi had made the right diagnosis, and had given
the right prescription for the ailing Zimbabwe. Alas, it never was.

      The two protagonists in this game both gave conditions. MDC leader
Morgan Tsvangirai gave the condition that for the talks to be held, there
shouldn't be any conditions, and the theatrical revolutionary Mugabe, having
been so haunted by his stolen victory in the last presidential elections,
thought this was the opportune time to claim legitimacy.

      He realised that you can manipulate numbers through the aid of rigging
technocrats like Tobaiwa Mudede but you cannot steal legitimacy from the
people because they are the ones who validate such claims.

      Mugabe feels increasingly insecure being at State House and this is
giving him more headaches and stomach pains. He decided that to decrease his
mental turbulence he should be accepted by the man whom he fears so much -
Tsvangirai. But Tsvangirai thought otherwise since he knows that the more
insecure the old man feels, the closer he edges towards State House. So the
mind game went on until an early stalemate was declared - no replay appears
to be on the horizon.

      But what is it that has made Mugabe so much uncompromising? Is it
because he is happy about the situation in our country or does he have an
instant remedy to the decay? Does he have any solutions to our plight? Some
would say no, as it is now apparent that the old man has no hope of
ameliorating the morass, and his only hope is vested in the MDC.

      Be that as it may, he continues to sing his handiende (I won't go)
chorus much to the chagrin of the nation. Mugabe has for long detested the
concept of capitulation. It is actually the worst vice for a politician not
to accept defeat whatever the cost.

      For any reasonable talks to take place, there is need for one of the
contesting parties to capitulate or roll back a little. Joshua Nkomo did it
and he was swallowed like a delicious snack by the whale - Zanu PF.

      Mugabe thinks Tsvangirai should follow in Nkomo's patriotic footsteps.
Politicians accept the principle of capitulation only when it is not their
own head at stake in the turbulent political arena.

      Mugabe is now behaving like a dog which has such an obsession with
admiring its tail that it forgets that the eyes too are also in its
possession.

      He is too proud to accept failure due to the fact that he feels he
performed commendably in the anti-colonial era.

      A leader preoccupied with the past is not progressive enough to take
us out of the present predicament. The old man should accept that fact and
call it quits. Unless Mugabe accepts that he has failed us, there is no hope
of dialogue.

      The benchmark of the dialogue would be how much Mugabe has reduced us
to vagabonds. With his pride, can we expect him to defy all odds and accept
that he has failed? Not the Mugabe we know.

      Even fanatical Joseph "Marcopolo" Chinotimba would vow to return to
the bush if Mugabe conceded failure.

      The concept of a solution through dialogue will remain an illusion as
long as the plunder of the economy continues. Mugabe, who holds a Master's
degree in economics, should have known that the looting of the economy would
also affect his own close relatives one way or the other.

      As long as he says he is the best manager of our economy there ever
was and there ever will be, then he will experience stomach pains and
headaches as the opposition thrust gets closer to State House.

      I can see the MDC will not rest before Mugabe relocates to Zvimba or
to some south-east Asian country.

      The old man has cost us our dignity and he should accept that. If he
can't, he will definitely have to face his highly disgraceful demise.
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