|The ZIMBABWE Situation||Our
thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe |
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.
At least three women that include Theresa Maonei were arrested by members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police at First Street in Harare this afternoon. The women were part of a crowd of at least 2000 people who gathered at 1st Street to attend a lunchtime prayer service for the return to peace for Zimbabwe. Pastor Munemo of Apostolic Faith Mission conducted the service.
The President of the Movement for Democratic Change Morgan Tsvangirai at a campaign rally called on all Zimbabweans to pray for the country ahead of the peaceful demonstrations the party has called for next week.
Members of the riot police broke the prayer meeting by ploughing into the crowd right in the middle of prayers and indiscriminately assaulted the people who had gathered most of them women using baton sticks. They also threw tear gas into the crowd.
They chased people in all directions injuring at least twenty people. Rev Munemo has since gone to Harare Central Police Station to inquire on the three women who were arrested. He can be contacted on 091394217.
Paul T Nyathi
MDC Secretary for Information and Publicity.
Economist warns SA to heed Zim's mistakes
PRETORIA -- Efforts by three African leaders to broker peace in Zimbabwe were being jeopardised by their continuing support for President Robert Mugabe, a Zimbabwean economist said yesterday.
Presidents Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria and Bakili Muluzi of Malawi had dented their "honest broker status", Tony Hawkins told a conference here on security.
He said the three leaders had put forward a one-sided negotiation plan. Mugabe was allowed to set preconditions, but the opposition Movement for Democratic Change was not.
He also described attempts to get Zimbabwe reinstated to the councils of the Commonwealth as misguided.
Even with a speedy solution, it would take Zimbabwe at least five years to return to the economic footing it held in 1998, Hawkins said. It could take as long as 10 years to return per capita incomes and employment to their 1991 level.
Skills lost to the country were unlikely to return, confidence would be slow to recover, and donors would be hesitant to finance a "third honeymoon" after two huge aid injections in the early 1980s and 1990s.
"The damage done to the economy, especially to commercial agriculture and manufacturing, is permanent."
He said inflation was expected to surge from the present 269 percent to 500 percent by year-end.
South Africa could learn from Zimbabwe's problems which largely resulted from its failure since the mid-1980s to deliver on promises of jobs, land, education, health services and higher incomes.
The South African government should not create the impression that there were quick fixes to the country's own developmental backlogs.
Such suggestions were dangerous because it led governments to take steps like those taken by the government in Zimbabwe, he explained.
He advised South Africa to tackle expectations and land crises before they became unmanageable.
It should also be wary of frightening off investors with "quick fix" affirmative action and black economic empowerment, Hawkins said. -- Sapa