One of the great ironies
of the Zimbabwean crisis is increasing acceptance by African National
Congress in South Africa of the lie that Zimbabwe's opposition party is a
front for "right-wing Rhodesians," Britain and the United States. Behind
Movement for Democratic Change members of Parliament such as Roy Bennett and
David Coltart is seen the sinister hand of Western liberal capitalism. This
canard is based on the racist delusion that black people are incapable of
feeling discontent without white incitement - a replay of South African Nats
blaming white liberals for fomenting black discontent under apartheid.
President Thabo Mbeki, writing in ANC Today on May 8, said in all apparent
seriousness that Zimbabwe's crisis arose from Robert Mugabe's "genuine
concern" to meet the needs of the poor, and things had innocently gone awry
due to a few sad economic snags. No Zimbabwean with any pride in their
country would appeal for foreign pressure on Mugabe, Mbeki added - a
grotesque remark coming from the leader of a movement that had sportsmen,
academics, and even musicians blacklisted for having any kind of contact with
South Africans under the old regime.
An opposition is not the puppet
of foreign interests because it indicts its ruling elite before the bar of
world opinion, as anti-apartheid forces did 1948-1992, and as Zimbabwe's
dissidents are doing now. There is a world of difference between, on the one
hand, a tyranny fomenting insurrections for selfish ideological ends, or to
exploit illicit trade in blood diamonds and endangered hardwoods, and on the
other hand a lawful political movement demanding peaceful foreign pressure
for reform, especially after it has been cheated at the ballot box. The ANC
appears fearful of letting the MDC appeal to the court of world opinion -
lending credence to suggestions the ANC is frightened of finding itself in
the dock one day. Mugabe's Zanu PF elite has endeavoured to exploit the ANC's
paranoia to the full, and a prominent figure in their propaganda offensive is
Matumwa Mawere. Mawere is a South African-based business associate of
Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is parliamentary speaker, secretary for
administration of the Zanu PF party, and who was named in a UN report last
October on looting in the Congo. Mnangagwa also aspires to succeed Mugabe. In
the 1990s, Mawere got South African newspapers to send black reporters to
Zimbabwe "to find out the real truth.'' Mawere has been a persistent lobbyist
for the Mugabe regime, and one need not look far for the source of recent
articles trashing the MDC's Morgan Tsvangirai as a potential successor to
Mugabe, while lauding Mnangagwa. Mawere knows that the very "ordinariness" of
Tsvangirai, a veteran trade unionist, gives him a special appeal to the
majority of voters in this country. A report in the Johannesburg Sunday Times
on May 11 contained the following preposterous public relations handout
description of Mnangagwa: "An exceptionally calculating man who intimately
understands the nature of power; a man with a reputation in the West for
getting things done and keeping the troops in line." Mnangagwa, this
ludicrous panegyric went on, is uniquely placed to give Mugabe requisite
guarantees of an undisturbed retirement, since he shares blame for the
1982-1987 Matabeleland atrocities (when he headed the Central Intelligence
Organisation). Human rights outrages are not usually boasted about on a
Mbeki must face the fact that Zimbabwe will continue to be a
political and economic millstone around South Africa's neck until there is a
sufficiently radical change to satisfy the IMF, the World Bank and
international donors. They will not be content with the old Mugabe gang under
Mnangagwa. Nor will they be satisfied with less than complete rejection of
the lawlessness displayed last Friday when my colleague Andrew Meldrum was
abducted and thrown out of the country, after 23 years, in contempt of three
separate High Court orders. As for relying on internal resources to repair
the damage, Zimbabwe will never be able to support its population while only
the political elite enjoy security - fleeting security - to engage in any
kind of productive or professional activity. No modern economy can work
without protection from criminals. Mugabe was in South Africa last week
and according to our state media enjoyed spectacular success at Fort
Hare University and at Walter Sisulu's funeral in projecting himself, as he
loves doing, as Africa's great beacon of anti-white sentiment. The ANC may
have been intimidated, as he intended, by this attempt to appeal over its
head to black sentiment. Meanwhile, the courage of Zimbabweans' own defiance
was reflected in an amazingly daring MDC advertisement in
independent newspapers, alluding to South African and Nigerian demands the
opposition endorse Mugabe's bogus 2002 election for a further six-year term.
A cartoon showed a well known figure being pursued by a crowd of passers-by
crying "Thief! Thief! Thief!". "Do you recognise him?" a caption
asked. "Yes, of course we recognise him. We recognise him as the
senile thief who stole your voice in March 2002. We recognise him as the
father of militia who murder and rape. We recognise him as plunderer of our
national resources, pensions and all. We recognise him as the one denying us
the right to express ourselves." No white or Western agent incited that. It
is how Zimbabweans feel.
LONDON, May 20 - Nigeria said on Tuesday it would campaign for
Zimbabwe's early readmission to the 54-nation Commonwealth and accused
President Robert Mugabe's critics of trying to patronise and blackmail
Africa. Foreign Minister Sule Lamido
told Reuters in an interview his country, which hosts a summit meeting of
Commonwealth leaders in December, had always opposed Zimbabwe's suspension
from the group of mainly former British
colonies. The 12-month ban, imposed in
March 2002 in protest at alleged election-rigging and the seizure of
white-owned farms for landless blacks, was later extended until the December
summit in the Nigerian capital, Abuja.
But the political and economic crisis in Zimbabwe has split the Commonwealth,
which groups 1.7 billion people around the world, with several African
countries angered by what they say is a Western agenda to
''punish'' Mugabe. ''The government
of Nigeria does not believe in the suspension of Zimbabwe because we don't
think it's the best way to get it out of its problem,'' Lamido said after a
meeting of Commonwealth ministers in
London. Lamido said Nigeria and South
Africa, two countries in a troika set up to pilot the Commonwealth's Zimbabwe
policy, had reluctantly accepted last year there was a consensus across the
Zimbabwe's suspension. He said his
government would try to persuade Australia -- the third troika member and a
vocal campaigner for tougher steps against Zimbabwe -- to reverse the move
before the Abuja summit. ''The troika
will still remain engaged and between now and (December) anything can
develop...I'm optimistic,'' he said.
ZIMBABWE'' Mugabe, 79, has ruled his
southern African country since independence from Britain in 1980. London
accuses him of leading Zimbabwe to economic disaster and a collapse in the
rule of law. ''Mugabe loves Zimbabwe.
Mugabe fought for Zimbabwe,'' Lamido said. ''I find people are so patronising
about their concern for the welfare of the people of Zimbabwe. It should be
seen from the perspective of the African
people.'' He dismissed as ''blackmail''
warnings from rich nations that investors would be scared away from business
in the world's poorest continent unless African countries put pressure on
Zimbabwe to reform. ''There are 54
independent sovereign countries in Africa and you can't take Zimbabwe as a
parameter for all of us,'' he said. ''We have our problems. We are saying
understand us, then appreciate us. Stop
'I will never forgive Mugabe and anyone
else who bears his name' By Basildon Peta 21 May
Fred Muza (not his real name) had never experienced President
Robert Mugabe's brutality first hand until he joined other cricket fans at
the Zimbabwe-Australia World Cup match in Bulawayo in February.
Muza, 28, insists he entered the Queens Sports Club in Zimbabwe's
second largest city purely for the cricket. "I had no intention of partaking
in any anti-Mugabe demos. I am no activist, much as I disapprove the
systematic destruction of Zimbabwe at the hands of the Mugabe regime," he
But Mr Muza's crime was to sit near a small band of people who had
smuggled placards into the ground and began demonstrating a few minutes into
Heavily armed riot police immediately swooped and arrested
more than 20 protestors, including Mr Muza who had no placard. They were all
He tried to plead with his tormentors that he was not part of
the protesting group, but to no avail. Four days of torture and heavy
beatings followed at the hands of the riot police.
"I will never
forgive Robert Mugabe, his children, his great-great-grandchildren and anyone
else who bears his name now and who shall bear it in the eternal future," Mr
He says his incarceration was in violation of Zimbabwe's laws,
which require the police to detain anyone for a maximum of only 48 hours
before sending them to jail.
He says he was kept in filthy conditions,
with lice feeding on his body. He only had a small wet blanket for cover on a
floor drenched in urine.
He was denied food, water and contact with his
family. Policemen took turns to beat him on the soles of his feet. He says
that he was released after four days, but was never told what crime he had
Mr Muza thinks that the British cricket authorities are
"heartless and cowards" for ignoring abuses in Zimbabwe by hosting the
"highly politicised" Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU). Mr Mugabe is the official
patron of the ZCU and its letterhead bears his name.
there [in London] should stop these piecemeal placard waving demonstrations
... They should invade the pitch and totally disrupt the match from going on
on Thursday," Mr Muza says.
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has said that it shall call for an
indefinite mass job stayaway at the end of the month and advises Zimbabweans
to stock up food and keep some money when they get paid in the next few
Lovemore Matombo, the ZCTU president told unionists in Kadoma on
Friday evening to "store a bucket of mealie meal and save a penny" in
anticipation of an indefinite job action at the end of this
He said labour would "withdraw its services" unless the
fuel prices were reduced to previous levels. The government has in the past
ridiculed the ZCTU's demand for cheaper fuel saying the union "was
Matombo said: "The government has to clearly, unreservedly and
unambiguously reduce the fuel prices if they dream to see the labour machine
roll out again.
"We want you (workers) to go home and let the message
filter to others who are not here that they should store a bucket of mealie
meal and some savings of their meagre earnings at home because when we go on
stayaway this time around we will not come back until our demands are
addressed," he said.
Matombo accused the government of constantly taking
labour for granted and disregarding its demands to peg the minimum wage at
$125 000 per month.
"It has always been futile talking to the government
about workers' woes because they behave so inhumanely. It is like talking to
an insensitive Chimpanzee-they feel no remorse about the current crisis,"
"But I promise you that if workers unite, we will tame the
Chimpanzee. We want all workers to earn at least $125 000 by the end of
June," Matombo said to a tumultuous approval from the 500 plus workers'
representatives who braved the early winter evening chill to converge at
Kadoma's Rimuka Stadium.
"Even if there are state agents and the
secret police among you, surely even the CIOs should by now know that the
life workers are living is unsustainable and unpractical. How do you expect a
worker who forks out at least $56 000 on transport fares a month to survive
on a $47 000 pay?" The ZCTU executive council was holding a weeklong general
meeting in this Midlands town to map out a strategy to cajole the government
into addressing workers' grievances.
At the same meeting, Raymond
Majongwe, the Progressive Teachers' Union of Zimbabwe secretary general,
urged workers to "cane" any teacher seen going to work during their ongoing
Teachers across the country downed chalk last week in protest of
low pay and poor conditions of service.
The ZCTU's leaders were
yesterday expected to continue with their mission to win over workers' hearts
for a nationwide mass action with a meeting
LONDON, May 20 - Deep divisions
within the Commonwealth over tackling the political crisis in Zimbabwe nearly
scuppered a weekend meeting of the 54-nation organisation's health ministers,
delegates said on Tuesday. They said
South Africa's Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang threatened to walk
out of the meeting in Switzerland, taking southern African countries with
her, unless Zimbabwe was allowed to
attend. The Zimbabwean minister, whose
country is suspended from the Commonwealth, was in Geneva for a separate
meeting of the World
Health Organisation. ''The meeting
was hugely disrupted. South Africa threatened to walk out and take SADC
(Southern African Development Community) countries with it,'' one delegate
who attended the talks told Reuters. ''It was
quite shocking.'' After an hour's
disruption and discussions during a lunch-break, Tshabalala-Msimang backed
down, the delegate said. The meeting had
aimed to agree a code of conduct on wealthy countries employing health
workers from the developing world. In the end, around 20 states signed up to
the agreement. Zimbabwe was suspended
from the decision-making bodies of the Commonwealth, a group of mainly former
British colonies, for a year after President Robert Mugabe was re-elected in
March 2002 elections amid widespread accusations of
vote-rigging. Mugabe's government had
already attracted international criticism over the violent seizure of
white-owned farms for redistribution to
landless blacks. Two months ago the
Commonwealth extended the suspension until a meeting of heads of state in
December, despite opposition from some
members. African heavyweights South
Africa and Nigeria say Mugabe's government has recorded enough progress over
the past year -- in land reform, human rights and democracy -- to merit
re-admission to the Commonwealth. But
Australia and Britain insist there is no sign of Zimbabwe returning to
democratic rule under Mugabe.
Commonwealth Secretary-General Don McKinnon, speaking after a meeting of
Commonwealth foreign ministers in London, said on Tuesday there was a ''wide
range of views'' on Zimbabwe. But he
said the overall consensus in the organisation was to maintain the
Activist tells of raids, beatings and death
threats By Paul Peachey 21 May 2003
Duran Rapozo, 28,
will be demonstrating at Lord's - with good reason. He has been arrested at
least six times, beaten on several occasions and threatened with
His activities as a prominent human rights campaigner in Zimbabwe
have led to his home being raided twice and all his documents and papers
By the time he fled Zimbabwe in July 1999, he had a
cracked bone in his leg from a beating with a baton during one of his
interrogations. It needed an operation but he was too scared to have one in a
Zimbabwean hospital. He feared being identified and injected with slow-acting
poisons by members of Robert Mugabe's Central Intelligence
Mr Rapozo, now a student in Britain, will bring 100 other
protesters from Manchester to Lord's tomorrow. "I feel that this tour should
not have gone ahead," he said. "We need the international community to assist
the people of Zimbabwe."
Mr Rapozo, an organiser for the Movement for
Democratic Change in the UK, was one of the youngest people to be voted on to
a senior position of the Zimbabwean Human Rights Association (ZimRights). As
an organiser of protests, he became a marked man. He was arrested after a
student demonstration in 1996 and held for 48 hours before he was
He was later approached by a member of the secret intelligence
service who threatened to shoot him. With the help of passers-by he disarmed
the man and handed the weapon to police. His would-be assassin has never been
He was arrested again after criticising the Mugabe regime at a
conference in the United States in 1998. Mr Rapozo, who believes he was under
constant surveillance, was detained as soon as he returned to
During his periods of detention he was beaten by his
interrogators, but only decided to flee after the two raids on his house.
"That's when they made me think twice and I came to the UK," he
MPs attack cricket chiefs for allowing
Test tour By Ben Russell, Political Correspondent 21 May
Almost 100 MPs condemned the English cricket authorities for
"putting profit before principle" yesterday and allowing Zimbabwe's test tour
to go ahead.
Eleven former Labour ministers, including the former sports
minister Kate Hoey and the former international development minister George
Foulkes, were among 94 MPs who condemned the tour.
The motion urged
the Government to intensify diplomacy aimed at resolving the Zimbabwe crisis
and bringing an end to "the gratuitous suffering of millions of ordinary
Zimbabweans". It stated: "The tour will misleadingly suggest that the
situation in Zimbabwe is getting back to normal."
Michael Ancram, the
shadow Foreign Secretary, highlighted the number of Labour MPs calling for a
tougher stance on President Robert Mugabe. He said: "So much for Jack Straw's
quiet diplomacy. His own party wants him to speak out against Mugabe's
Protesters plan a peaceful demonstration at the first Test
against Zimbabwe, which opens at Lord's tomorrow.
Members of the
Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group resolved to maintain Zimbabwe's
suspension from the organisation and said Mr Mugabe had none nothing to
engage with the international community. Yesterday Commonwealth foreign
ministers received a report on Zimbabwe, which remains suspended from the
councils of the organisation until the heads of government meeting in Nigeria
in December. Zimbabwe was suspended in March last year over politically
motivated violence during the presidential
crisis 'has cost region $2.5bn' By
John Reed in Johannesburg and Tony Hawkins in
Harare Published: May 20 2003 18:34 | Last
Updated: May 20 2003 18:34
political crisis has shaved a cumulative 1.3 per cent off South Africa's GDP
growth and cost the region's economies about $2.5bn (€2.1bn, £1.5bn) since
2000, according to a study to be published on Wednesday by the Zimbabwe
Research Initiative (ZRI), a non-profit
Lost trade with
Zimbabwe, unpaid invoices, forgone foreign investment and tourism and related
pressure on the rand have delivered a R15bn ($1.9bn, €1.7bn, £1.2bn) hit to
South Africa's economy, according to the report's "conservative"
"The effects of this crisis are
actual, they're real, and they're here," said Mike Schussler, author of the
Companies and officials in southern
Africa have long complained that Zimbabwe's problems are costing them
business. The report is believed to be the first serious attempt to quantify
Zimbabwe's economic output has
fallen sharply over the past three years, after President Robert Mugabe's
controversial land seizures and disputed elections that prompted his
political opponents to stage
South Africa lost R6bn
in trade with Zimbabwe in 2002 alone, according to the report's author.
Alongside lost trade and tourism revenues and unpaid bills to state
utilities, the weaker rand has kept inflation 1.2 percentage points higher on
average than it otherwise would have been, Mr Schussler said, with a
corresponding impact on interest rates.
The report also estimates at R18bn the direct cost in 2000-2003 of
the Zimbabwe crisis to the Southern African Development Community, comprising
14 of the region's states.
official figures showed on Tuesday that a near-trebling of petrol prices took
Zimbabwe's inflation rate to a record 269.2 per cent
from: SPEECH OF THE HOLY FATHER TO THE AMBASSADOR OF ZIMBABWE TO THE HOLY SEE
H.E. KELEBERT NKOMANI ON THE PRESENTATION OF HIS CREDENTIALS
Utmost vigilance is therefore called for in safeguarding the rights
and protecting the welfare of all citizens. Public authorities must
refrain from exercising partiality, preferential treatment or selective
justice in favour of certain individuals or groups; this ultimately
undermines the credibility of those charged with governing. In his famous
Encyclical Letter Pacem in Terris, my predecessor Blessed Pope John XXIII,
quoting Pope Leo XIII, summed up the situation thus: "The civil power must
not serve the advantage of any one individual or of some few persons,
inasmuch as it was established for the common good of all" (par. 56). In
fact, when everyone is treated on an equal basis - a sine qua non for a
society firmly based on the rule of law - the value, gifts and talents of
each member are more easily recognized and can be more effectively tapped for
building up the community. As traditional wisdom handed down in an African
proverb has put it: Gunwe rimwe haritswanyi inda (many hands make work
Making reference to your Government's land reform programme,
Your Excellency has remarked that this is a vehicle for improving the
people's standard of living, achieving equity and establishing social
justice. In many countries, such agrarian reform is necessary, as noted in
the document "Towards a Better Distribution of Land" published in 1997 by the
Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, but it is also a complex and
delicate process. In fact, as this same document points out, it is an error
to think that any real benefit or success will come simply by expropriating
large landholdings, dividing them into smaller production units and
distributing them to others (cf. No. 45). There are first of all matters of
justice to be considered, with due weight being given to the various claims
of land ownership, the right to land use and the common good. Moreover, if
land redistribution is to offer a practical and sustainable response to
serious economic and social problems in a given country, the process must
continue to develop over time and must ensure that the necessary
infrastructures are in place. Finally, and no less important, "indispensable
for the success of an agrarian reform is that it should be in full accord
with national policies and those of international bodies"
Feelings of disenfranchisement or of being unjustly treated only
serve to foment tension and discord. Justice must be made available to all if
the injuries of the past are to be left behind and a brighter future
built. Insofar as the authentic common good prevails, the fundamental causes
of civil strife will disappear. The Catholic Church pledges her full
support for all efforts to construct a culture of dialogue rather
than confrontation, of reconciliation rather than conflict. This in fact is
an integral part of her mission to advance the authentic good of all
peoples and of the whole
Zimbabwe tour can put focus on human rights By Andy Flower (Filed:
Zimbabwe tour details
It was with much relief that I
boarded the plane to leave Zimbabwe. I know that this is probably not the
most flattering thing to say about one's country but that is exactly how I
I went back there for a week after the World Cup had ended for us
in East London. Some thought I was mad to do so after Henry Olonga and I had
made our black-armband protest against Robert Mugabe's regime, but I had to.
I am keeping my house there and there were many things to organise and
a number of friends to whom I wanted to say a proper goodbye.
feel a little worried after the threats that Henry and I had received but
nothing happened and I can now start my new life, six months here playing for
Essex and six months playing for South Australia, with my wife and three
children. It will be a great adventure for us all.
I have not ruled out
returning to Zimbabwe one day because I believe that it can again be a
wonderful place to live. But there will have to be a great deal of change in
both the Zimbabwean leadership and my family (ie my wife!).
will definitely not be returning. Their life is now in England. That leaves
just my brother, Grant, in Zimbabwe to fend for himself. Playing cricket for
Zimbabwe is his life and he continues to delude himself that he can do so
until he is 48.
Someone who will not be playing again for Zimbabwe is
Henry. We speak regularly and have definitely become closer friends since we
made our stand over "the death of democracy" in our country. I realise that
he had much more to lose than I did over this issue and my respect for him is
He was a black icon in Zimbabwe and the perfect role model for
youngsters. The easy path for him to have taken would have been to stay in
cricket and not say anything. But he is brave and chose the harder
route. Many doors may have closed for him in Zimbabwe but others will
He is now getting his life sorted out over here. He is a
smart, charismatic guy who will not be short of career options, whether it is
cricket commentary, music or art. I would be very disappointed if it is
true that none of the other Zimbabwean players have been in contact with him,
but not necessarily that surprised because during the tournament very few of
them were willing to discuss our statement. We all got on fine but their
shying away from the situation mirrored the fear within the whole of the
country, where nobody wants to speak up.
I was extremely angry at the
shabby treatment meted out to Henry when he announced his retirement. He was
not allowed on the team bus and was then asked to pay his own hotel bill.
It will certainly feel strange when the Zimbabwean side arrives
in England this week, not being with them fighting the cause, especially
since my only other tour here in 2000 was not a personal success. It
was, indeed, peculiar seeing the scorecards from their recent series in
Sharjah without my name on them, having been involved with the national side
since 1988. But I will endeavour to see them as much as I can given the busy
county schedule, and Essex play them in a one-day game at Chelmsford, in
which I will be keen to play.
I will be especially looking forward to
batting against Grant, whom I have not faced since our schooldays. He was
obviously the favourite of the family and was sent to the posh, private St
George's College while I was relegated to a small government school.
Launching him into the River Chelm should set the record
Selection of Zimbabwean sides and the policies and criteria for
such selection have been huge bones of contention over the last couple of
years. Quotas, or goals as some put it, based on the colour of one's skin,
have kept emotions running high among players, policy-makers and public
alike. A clear vision, some clear thinking, transparent communication and
an understanding of what is required of international cricketers would go
a long way to calming a highly charged situation. I know that he has
now retired but I feel that Alistair Campbell has had a particularly raw
deal. He was left out of the World Cup squad and I just feel that his past,
or rather his past criticisms of the Zimbabwe Cricket Union, caught up
Craig Wishart is unlucky not to be on the tour. He has made
great strides under coach Geoff Marsh. And Brian Murphy, too. He is a
genuine wicket-taker whom I think could have troubled England.
mixed feelings about whether this tour should take place. There will be
demonstrations and I actually think that will be a positive thing because it
will give the human rights activists a chance to highlight the problems in
Zimbabwe. But I do not think that sporting sanctions against Zimbabwe will
necessarily work. They did during the apartheid years in South Africa because
of the importance South Africans attach to sport. But the Zimbabwean
leadership have their hands rather full these days, what with their own
business interests and rapidly deteriorating economy - and an increasingly
hungry, and therefore restless, population.
Andy Flower played for
Zimbabwe from 1988 to 2003 in 63 Tests and 213 one-day
London - Stop the Tour organiser Peter
Tatchell said his organisation could not be held responsible for any "chaos
and mayhem" at Lord's cricket ground when the first Test between England and
Zimbabwe gets underway there on Thursday.
On Tuesday, Marylebone
Cricket Club (MCC), the owners of Lord's cricket ground, rejected a request
from Tatchell, who wants the tour called off because of what he says are the
human rights abuses carried out by Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, to have
a dedicated spot inside the ground.
Tatchell, who has tried to have
Mugabe arrested on several occasions, wanted a space to display a protest
banner, even though MCC ground regulations ban spectators from bringing in
flags and banners.
And he was furious when the request from his
London-based group was turned down by an MCC executive board meeting earlier
"We were willing to compromise but the MCC rejected our offer to
call off the planned disruptions in exchange for a visible symbolic protest
inside the grounds," Tatchell said.
"Having been spurned, we are under
no obligation to show restraint. The MCC and ECB (England and Wales Cricket
Board) must bear full responsibility for any chaos and mayhem."
separate protest, organised by the Zimbabwe Cricket Campaign (ZCC), is also
due to take place outside Lord's on Thursday.
Made up of mainly exiled
black Zimbabweans, ZCC organiser Washington Ali told AFP on Monday that it
would be a peaceful gathering and and that there were no plans to disrupt the
Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) News Update
19th May 2003
34 female teachers arrested and forced to pay
WOZA is in receipt of information that approximately 60 female
teachers went to the Ministry of Education on Monday to meet with officials
and to press for an end to the 'retribution or forced transfers' of female
teachers. They met with an official who attempted to 'pass the buck' by
referring them to the Public Service Commission (PSC). They refused to be
referred, arguing that the PSC does not deal with transfers; they left their
demands promising to return next Monday 26th May 2003.
noon, they left Ministry offices in Ambassador House and walked through
Harare CDB in twos and threes without displaying their placards. They were
out of city bounds, close to the Harare Polytechnic when Police Defenders
swooped and arrested a group of 10 women. 24 women came upon their colleagues
being loaded up and insisted that they too be arrested. All 34 were then
transported to Harare Central, where they were made to pay a fine of ZD $5
000 each for conduct likely to breach the peace.
Mothers Day Bulawayo
arrestees also observed the same phenomena. The Zimbabwe Republic Police now
resort to fundraising as they too feel that the Public Order Security Act
(POSA) cannot stand constitutional scrutiny.
WOZA founders and members
fully support the demand made by our learned sisters for an immediate end to
the 'retribution or forced transfers'. We also note the excessive targeting
of female teachers and call upon the Ministry to take the demands and the
deadline of one week seriously as it is our social fabric at
WOZA fully support the Progressive Teachers' Union of Zimbabwe
(PTUZ) and especially the Women's Empowerment Department in their campaign to
ensure due respect, dignity and fair remuneration is availed to the teachers,
as it is in their hands we place the learning of our future generation. We
pray that as Monday 26th May 2003 approaches and there has been no end to the
tearing apart of families and teachers have not been re-instated in
a dignified manner, Zimbabweans will not be lacking in solidarity.
We therefore call on all self-respecting mothers and fathers to support
any democratic and peaceful activity related to PTUZ lobbying. It is time
to stand up and be counted - after all who taught us how to
forward this statement issued by the PTUZ Women's Empowerment
Targeting married woman teachers for transfer's damages
families Women Empowerment Department, Progressive Teachers' Union of
Zimbabwe May 15, 2003
In October 2002 the Progressive Teachers Union
of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) called for a strike to press the government for better
salaries for teachers.
The result of the strike saw teachers getting a
salary increment of about 100%, which was not what we demanded. We also saw
627 teachers being suspended from the service for 3 months without salary.
404 of them were women. This was a blow to the teachers considering that they
had no savings from their peanut-shell salaries. The PTUZ managed to give
some allowances to the affected teachers although but these were clearly
This period also saw the death of 3 of the suspended female
teachers. One of them taught at Warren Park High School and she died because
she could not afford to get treatment at West-End Clinic, as she could not
produce a current pay slip to show Medical Aid deductions. Her death was a
result of the cruel penalties set by the Ministry of Education. If not for
her suspension she might have survived.
6 months after the strike
teachers started to be penalized for their participation in the strike
action. These penalties included: · No promotion · Reprimands ·
Some of the teachers who had been charged with striking where
found not guilty. We can only now wonder what criteria were used to determine
the application of penalties. Surely all teachers who participated in the
strike should have been subjected to the same penalties. We, the Women
Empowerment Department (WED), have noticed a worrying trend. Teachers
targeted for transfers have mainly been women. These women are being
transferred to schools outside Harare, far from their families.
with great concern that the Ministry of Education, Sport and Culture is
promoting the spread of HIV/AIDS and child abuse by separating families in
this way. For example, a woman who is a mother and wife is transferred to a
school in Mtorashanga, far from home. She is forced to leave her husband
alone in Harare. With the salary she gets she can only afford one visit a
term. What this means is that substitutes are found for her in the home. This
in all likelihood promotes promiscuity and the spread of HIV/AIDS. She is
forced to leave her 7 and 13-year-old daughters and a 9-year-old boy alone
without a caregiver. With the high incidence of sexual assault prevalent in
Zimbabwe there is a great risk of the 7 year old being raped. She cannot
disclose this to Dad because he is never home in time.
Why is this
rape possible? The eagle realizes the chicks have been
The 13 year old starts her menstrual cycle but cannot
confide in Dad. She becomes isolated from others because she does not know
what to do. Even if she rushes to the supermarket with her pocket money she
cannot find cotton wool.
The 9-year-old boy needs special attention.
He is a child of special needs and when Mum leaves life is going to be hell
for him. They will all wish that mummy were home.
The WED representing
the Women Teachers cannot watch this happen. We are in the process of
mobilizing women teachers and any other organizations that sympathize with
women to press demands on the Ministry of Education to withdraw all of these
For more information: National
Secretary Judith Chiyangwa +263-(0)
So I'm sure it must an oversight, but I gather
your wonderful organisation has honoured Zimbabwe's Commissioner of Police
with a Vice presidency!
I am also sure that you must be unaware
of the appalling human rights abuses that this man is associated
From my own experience, I can show any body who might care to
know, that his actions have directly contributed to the deaths of some of my
staff at my Farm in Mutorashanga, Zimbabwe. (I refer Zimbabwe High Court No
1145/02 (In public record) Chihuri's Police have done nothing!! and so many
There are many other tragedies much much worse than I
Please prove my childhood admiration worthy of
todays. At least follow this up.
You can get hold of me on
Zimbabwe tel No 091 308 244 or by return E-Mail
Herald Reporter AS fuel shortages persist, attendants
at most service stations are now allegedly diverting fuel to the black market
instead of selling it directly to the public.
It has emerged that
motorists are spending days in static queues while the delivered fuel would
be siphoned from the tankers into drums for sale on the black
Attendants were also said to be demanding bribes before selling
fuel to the few cars on the forecourt.
In Chitungwiza, commuter
omnibus drivers on Monday night threatened to burn down Wedzera Service
Station in Chitungwiza following allegations that fuel allocations meant for
the public transporters were being diverted and sold on the black
Several commuter omnibuses blocked the main entrance out of the
service station barring a tanker that had just offloaded fuel from leaving
unless the fuel was sold to them.
The tanker was said to have
delivered both diesel and petrol at around 4pm, after it had brought another
consignment in the morning. The fuel had not been sold, the commuter omnibus
Mr Tichaona Chapfika said he had been in the queue
since Saturday morning and had not been able to buy fuel.
"It pains us
that we blame the Government for the problem of fuel which is being worsened
by some corrupt service station owners, and at times, some unscrupulous
attendants," he said.
Mr Chapfika alleged that the fuel delivered that
morning was sold to private companies and individuals who had jumped the
"We watched them buy and fill their containers and we thought
there was enough for all of us, but after two commuter omnibuses were served,
we were told there was no more fuel," he said.
Some alleged that the
same tanker had in the morning delivered fuel to a bakery situated behind the
"We are going to burn-down this service station if we
are not allocated another place to get our fuel from," said a commuter
According to one of the bus drivers, the attendants were
allegedly demanding bribes of up to $10 000 before they could sell the diesel
It is believed that up to 15 000 litres of diesel is allocated
at the service station and far less than that is sold to the public
A supervisor at one of the Wedzera service
stations in Harare last night said a meeting was supposed to have been held
with some senior workers at the Chitungwiza branch to iron out the
"We heard the workers there clashed with the commuter omnibus
drivers and a meeting was supposed to have been held with them," he
But an employee at the Chitungwiza branch said the meeting was not
held because the situation had been brought under control and the fuel was
later sold to the commuter omnibus operators.
She denied allegations
that the service station was selling fuel on the black market.
used to serve some private companies but we have since stopped,"
At another service station in St Mary's, there were long and
winding queues despite fuel having been delivered in the morning.
motorist said the same vehicles that had been queuing for fuel at the service
station on Monday night were still in the queue last night.
are issued with numbered cards and see the commodity delivered, fuel is not
served to those in the queue but to people who can afford to bribe the
attendants," said the motorist.
He said he was seventh in the queue and
had been given a number confirming that on Sunday, but had not yet been
served while some people who came with containers were being
"Most of the fuel is being sold very late at night while most of
us are tired from the days endless waiting and asleep," he
"These days you have to be associated with these people. We are
told there is fuel reserved for people willing to pay an extra," he
More than 100 vehicles were in a queue at another petroleum service
station and some motorists indicated that the fuel was delivered on Monday
but was still being sold under unclear circumstances.
"The queue is
not getting any shorter, we are the same people who were waiting here on
Monday night and we will sleep here again tonight," a Mr James Masahwa said.
Men and women of all ages are having to undergo some very harsh conditions
with even senior citizens having to spend a night or two in fuel queues in
this cold weather.
Fuel was not available at most Caltex service stations
while at most Exor service stations there were signs that fuel was being
sold. The situation at these garages was in most cases however
According to a motorist queuing at a service station along Seke
Road, people were made to pay up to $2 800 a litre for petrol and $2 600 for
Around the city centre, most service stations appeared dry
although some motorists were confident that the fuel would be sold late at
Police spokesman Inspector Andrew Phiri said police were closely
monitoring the situation at all service stations around the country to ensure
there were no cases of corruption.
He said police would not hesitate
to deal with service stations believed to be hoarding fuel and selling it on
the black market or demanding payment in foreign currency.
motorists observe such dealings, they must alert the police urgently so that
they dip into the tanks to see if there is any fuel being with-held. This is
a serious crime considering that fuel is a scarce commodity," Insp Phiri
He said owners and workers of such service stations risked being
charged with hoarding.
"Police are investigating the alleged
corruption at the Chitungwiza service station and others believed to be
depriving motorists of their allocated fuel," Insp Phiri
MCC reject plans for anti-Mugabe protests at
LONDON: Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), the owners of
Lord's cricket ground, have rejected a request from an anti-Robert Mugabe
protest group to have a dedicated spot inside the ground when the first Test
against Zimbabwe starts there on Thursday.
Peter Tatchell, one of the
organisers of the Stop the Tour campaign which wants Zimbabwe's two Test tour
of England cancelled in protest at what it says are the human rights abuses
carried out by the Zimbabwe president, asked for a spot inside Lord's to make
Tatchell wanted a space to display a protest banner, even
though MCC ground regulations ban spectators from bringing in flags and
banners. An MCC executive board meeting turned down Tatchell's request on
Afterwards MCC spokesman Iain Wilton said: "We're happy for them
to have a safe, peaceful and non-disrupive protest outside the ground and so
are the police."
A protest is due to take place outside Lord's on
Thursday morning. Organiser Washington Ali says it will be a peaceful
gathering. A group of protestors are due to travel through central London on
an open-top bus to the Zimbabwe High Commission to hand over a letter to the
High Commissioner calling for an end to what the protestors called "state
sponsored political violence in Zimbabwe".
Protesters will be handing
out black armbands to spectators in the hope these will be worn inside the
ground while the match is in progress.
This follows on from the protest
during this year's World Cup by Zimbabwe cricketers Andy Flower and Henry
Olonga. During Zimbabwe's opening match in February, against Namibia in
Harare, the duo wore black armbands and issued a statement lamenting the
'death of democracy' in Zimbabwe under Mugabe.
Both men, who have since
quit international cricket, are in England. Flower is playing county cricket
for Essex while Olonga, who was reported to have only narrowly escaped arrest
by Zimbabwe security personnel in South Africa, is playing for a club side in
annualised inflation continued to skyrocket last month, jumping 41.2 points
to reach 269.2 percent, the government said. "The year-on-year inflation rate
for the month of April 2003 as measured by the all-items consumer price index
(CPI) increased to 269.2 percent, gaining 41.2 percentage points on the March
rate of 228 percent," the Central Statistical Office (CSO)
The steep increase in inflation last month was accounted for
by hikes in prices of vegetables, fruits, beverages, rent, service rates and
Food inflation, which is prone to transitory shocks, stood at
294.4 percent, according to the CSO.
However, recent increases in the
prices of commuter train fares, postage fees and telephone charges were not
factored in the April inflation "due to timing differences" said the
At the same time last year Zimbabwe's annual inflation stood at 114
percent having jumped from 113.3 percent the previous
Zimbabwe's inflation rate has risen steeply from an average annual
rate of 22.6 percent in 1995.
The government introduced price controls
two years ago, but these have largely been ignored and controlled goods are
only found in the underground market.
Commonwealth Continues Suspension of
Voice of America, May 20,
Commonwealth foreign ministers have decided to keep in place, for
the time being, the suspensions of both Pakistan and Zimbabwe from the
Ministers from the organization of Britain and its former
colonies, meeting Tuesday in London, said Pakistan needs to make more
progress in restoring democracy before it is readmitted to full
The ministers from the Commonwealth's Ministerial Action
Group welcomed parliamentary elections held last year in Pakistan. But they
noted the parliament has remained deadlocked on the issue of sweeping
constitutional changes instituted by President Pervez Musharraf.
Zimbabwe, the ministers said they will continue to keep the suspensions in
place at least until the next meeting of the Commonwealth heads of government
later this year.
Officials have said there is a split in the 54-nation
Commonwealth about whether to continue the suspension of
Zimbabwe has been suspended from the grouping to protest
irregularities and fraud in last year's elections that kept President Robert
Mugabe in power. Pakistan was suspended in 1999 following General Musharraf's