By Tichaona Sibanda
10 November 2005
Long serving Zimbabwe Cricket President Peter Chingoka was picked up
for questioning on Thursday by the country's anti-corruption unit. He was
arrested together with his close confidante and a very controversial figure
in Zimbabwe Cricket, Ozias Bvute.
The arrest of the two top cricket officials came hardly a week after
damning allegations were made against them by all of the country's cricket
provinces, who apparently demanded Chingoka's resignation during a press
conference on Thursday.
The demand was made in a letter delivered to Chingoka by Charles
Robertson, chairman of the powerful Mashonaland Country Districts, on behalf
of six constituted provinces.
The letter also demanded the immediate suspension of Zimbabwe Cricket
managing director Osias Bvute "pending a forensic audit of the business and
financial affairs of ZC before there is total collapse". According to media
reports, the provinces have requested the board of directors to support
their call for Chingoka's resignation.
In their letter to Chingoka, the provinces described him as fomenting
discord, playing the race card, drawing a "huge salary and perks to which
you are not entitled" and dismissing their request for answers to 80
questions regarding the cricket's board's finances. The questions, many of
which referred to possible dubious activities, were submitted nine days ago
in a 13-page document. In their letter Thursday, the provinces told
Chingoka: "Your avoidance of our queries only strengthens our belief that
you have something to hide. As a long-serving board member and President you
should have perceived and addressed (financial) areas of concern before they
reached the point where they are a threat to the very existence of Zimbabwe
SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
By Lance Guma
10 November 2005
The President of the Zimbabwe National Association of Students Unions
(ZINASU), Washington Katema has accused the police of assaulting detained
student leaders in custody. Katema and five student leaders from the
University of Zimbabwe were arrested Wednesday for allegedly organizing a
student demonstration in tandem with a weekly nationwide plan of protest
organised by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU).
In an interview with Newsreel immediately after leaving police cells,
Katema narrated how they were shuttled between 5 different police stations.
They were subjected to varying degrees of assault and abuse between
Borrowdale, Avondale, Harare Central and St Mary's police stations before
being sent back to Avondale again. Officers from the Law and Order section
at Harare central allegedly severely assaulted them while questioning them
on the reasons for the demonstration.
After being transferred to St Mary's police station in Chitungwiza,
chronic water shortages in the town meant they were consigned to stinking
cells because of unflushed toilets. Lice and mosquitoes added to the misery.
To top it all, the police switched charges at each police station. After
being charged under the miscellaneous offences act, the charges were changed
to go under the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) and vice versa. Amidst
the deliberate confusion the POSA charge became the final one at the St Mary's
Katema and his colleagues were arrested on Wednesday at the Manfred
Hudson hall at the University of Zimbabwe after leading a demonstration by
students. The students were protesting the late payment of their
supplementary payouts, inflation and the country's flawed constitution,
which they believe is at the centre of the nation's problems. He vowed the
arrests will not deter them from further demonstrations and urged ordinary
Zimbabweans to join the struggle against the oppressive regime.
SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
By Tererai Karimakwenda
10 November 2005
While starvation due to food shortages continues to grip the nation,
Zimbabwe's government officials and ruling party cronies have intensified
farm evictions in the Karoi area. The Zimonline news site reports that 18 of
the last remaining white farmers in this prime farming district have been
ordered to leave. The report said Robert Mugabe's friend Billy Rautenbach is
the only farmer in Karoi who has been allowed to stay.
The evictions are senseless in a country that is reeling from hunger
due to a huge reduction in food production. And despite reassuring rhetoric
and threats from Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono and Vice president
Musika, there is no security for white farmers in Zimbabwe anymore.
The 18 farmers were last week ordered to vacate their properties to
make way for new black owners, most of them reported to be senior government
officials and ZANU PF cronies. Mashonaland West province governor Nelson
Samkange confirmed the evictions to ZimOnline, saying that the black farmers
taking over were just as good. But the situation on the ground tells a
different story. Many farms are lying idle and Zimbabweans are relying on
food aid to survive, this only 5 years after the land invasions started.
As for Rautenbach, the only Karoi farmer who has been allowed to keep
his farm in this fresh round of evictions, he is wanted in South Africa on
some criminal charges, and is known to be a personal friend of Robert
The latest farm seizures that come just as the main planting period is
getting underway after the country received its first substantial rains
about a week ago, flies in the face of assurances two weeks ago by Mugabe's
first Vice-President, Joseph Msika, that the government was not out to chase
away all white farmers.
Mutasa, who oversees land reforms and food aid distribution, is one of
the government hardliners. He was about three months ago quoted by the local
media as having said white farmers were filthy and should all be removed
from the land.
One of the affected Karoi farmers, Ben Tamblach said a former chief
executive officer of a government-owned agro-bank was eyeing his farm and
had deployed a number of war veterans to chase him away from the farm.
The farmer said he had 50 hectares of potatoes at the flowering stage
and had prepared 200 hectares of maize, while another 100 hectares of winter
wheat had already been harvested.
SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
By Tichaona Sibanda
10 November 2005
Up to 160 Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions activists, including its
two top leaders are still languishing in police cells two days after being
arrested for staging protests against the country's worsening economic
ZCTU spokesman Mlamleli Sibanda said 120 activists were picked up in
Harare as soon as the protest got underway, while forty more were arrested
in the eastern border town of Mutare on Tuesday.
Labour officials are worried about the inhuman conditions the
activists are being held under at the Makoni police cells in Chitungwiza.
The town has had no water for almost a month now and conditions there have
been described as horrible.
'Imagine a police holding cell with 120 people without water. Although
they are keeping their spirits high by singing revolutionary songs, one
cannot undermine the mental torture they are going through' said Sibanda.
Among those still in detention is National Constitutional Assembly
chairman Lovemore Madhuku, who was arrested on a separate charge but on the
same day as the ZCTU protests.
Madhuku is being held at another filthy police cell in Mbare together
with the Mayor of Chitungwiza Misheck Shoko. Police spent most of Tuesday
taking fingerprints and getting warned and cautioned statements from the
However, the 48-hour period they are allowed to detain people has
since elapsed and the ZCTU has asked its lawyers to seek an urgent chamber
application to inform the High Court to compel the police to either release
them or take them to court.
SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) - Zimbabwe's cricket players and provinces
joined Thursday to demand the resignation of Zimbabwe Cricket chairman Peter
Charles Robertson, chairman of Mashonaland Country Districts
initially delivered the demand in a letter to Chingoka on behalf of the
country's six provinces.
The letter also demanded the immediate suspension of Zimbabwe
Cricket managing director Osias Bvute "pending a forensic audit of the
business and financial affairs of ZC before there is total collapse."
The provinces requested the board of directors support their
call for Chingoka's resignation.
Later Thursday, the players added their weight to the revolt in
a statement saying they were "tired of being threatened by ZC and tired of
the way they have been attacked individually."
"In coming forward in this way we realize we risk our careers,
especially as ZC has shown in the past they will not hesitate to bully
players. But we have no choice but to speak out," it added.
The conference was attended by all but one of the provincial
chairmen and by national team captain Tatenda Taibu plus regular first team
players Dion Ebrahim, Blessing Mahwire, Brendan Taylor and Stuart
Also attending was coach Phil Simmons, who is fighting a
ZC-inspired deportation order in a dispute over his own contract.
In their letter to Chingoka, the provinces accused him of
drawing a "huge salary and perks to which you are not entitled" and
dismissing their request for answers to 80 questions regarding the cricket
Sunday Times, SA
Thursday November 10, 2005 15:39 - (SA)
HARARE - Zimbabwe's triple-digit inflation shot up to 411% in October on a
year before, dealing an embarrassing blow to central bank targets to reduce
it to around 300% by year-end, according to official figures.
"On average a bundle of goods and services that cost 100,000 Zimbabwean
dollars (1.6 US dollars) in October 2004 would on average cost 511,000 (8.50
US dollars) in October 2005," the Central Statistical Office (CSO) said in a
The increase hit postal rates, hairdressing charges and the prices of
bicycles the hardest, up by 1,965.6%, 1,750.8 percent and 1,838%
The country's average annual inflation has been climbing since 2000 when it
stood at 55.9%, rising to 71% a year later. It reached 133.2% in 2002 before
soaring to 622 percent in January 2004.
Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono said last month "the upward trend is
expected to slow down during the last quarter of the year, with annual
inflation expected to reach levels of 280 to 300%
by December 2005 and of between 50 and 80% by December 2006."
Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa admitted two months ago that targets for
economic growth and inflation would be missed.
He said that economic growth that had been expected to reach more than 3.5%
would now be below 2% for the year in Zimbabwe.
"The annual rate of inflation, which had been targeted to further come down
to under 300% by year-end, is now projected to end the year higher," said
Zimbabwe is in the throes of what analysts say is its worst economic crisis,
characterised by triple-digit inflation and chronic shortages of basic
commodities like fuel, cooking oil and sugar.
The government of President Robert Mugabe blames the crisis on targeted
sanctions imposed on its rulers by European Union member countries and the
United States, as well as prolonged drought.
US ambassador Christopher Dell last week angered Harare when he said the
"Zimbabwe government's own gross mismanagement of the economy and its
corrupt rule" were at fault.
BY PAUL SALOPEK
HARARE, Zimbabwe - Don't come looking for bargains at the Mbare market
Once a sprawling and funky warren of food stalls, workshops, and mom-and-pop
stores crammed onto the southern edge of this capital city, Mbare, one of
Africa's iconic marketplaces, remains little more than a checkerboard of
barren fields four months after government bulldozers rolled through, razing
thousands of shanties and ramshackle businesses.
"You must go," a former market vendor hissed when foreign visitors stopped
by recently. "They are watching. It is not safe."
"They" were the secret police. The nervous peddler darted back to his
shelter: a few scraps of asbestos roofing propped up with sticks. Ragged
market women and their children slumped listlessly in the dust. Some foraged
for meals at a local garbage dump. And they were the lucky ones. Hundreds of
thousands of other Zimbabweans made homeless by President Robert Mugabe's
notorious "Drive out the Filth" urban renewal campaign remain unaccounted
for. Many face starvation in the countryside.
This is the grim, Kafkaesque world of modern Zimbabwe, perhaps the only
place on this hustling continent where market traders run in fear from
prospective customers rather than mob them - the legacy of a tattered police
state that is fast becoming the North Korea of Africa.
A recent trip through this beautiful but insular country, which greatly
restricts the access and movement of foreign journalists, revealed a nation
fast approaching economic meltdown, where triple-digit inflation has spawned
absurd parking fines of 1 million Zimbabwean dollars, roughly $12 at the
black market exchange rate; where asset stripping has degenerated into
leasing out scenic chunks of world-famous national parks to businessmen
interested in building private safari lodges, and where the aging strongman
remains so firmly entrenched that he has demoralized all domestic
opposition, and can tweak the Western world with impunity.
Last month Mugabe - whose xenophobic regime has been lumped by the U.S.
State Department with Venezuela and North Korea as an "outpost of tyranny" -
blasted President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair at a United
Nations food conference, comparing them to Hitler and Mussolini.
It wasn't always this way, of course. Only five years ago Zimbabwe was still
a bright-eyed star of Africa: the continent's second-most industrialized
nation, a premier tourist destination and a significant grain exporter. But
since his power began slipping at the polls in 2000, Mugabe has cracked down
on dissent. And his violent land reforms, which parceled out 4,000
white-owned commercial farms to landless blacks and government cronies, have
eviscerated Zimbabwe's economy.
A recent flurry of land invasions and seizures, many of them targeting the
country's last viable money-making operations, ranging from Zimbabwe's only
remaining bull-breeding ranch to a plush tourist lodge inside the famed
Matobos Hills National Park, have sparked whispers of a "final purge"
against the 400 or so remaining white landholders.
"Look, white farmers are not the story anymore, we're insignificant,"
declared John Worswick of Justice for Agriculture, an organization
pressuring Mugabe and Britain, Zimbabwe's former colonial ruler, to pay
compensation for lost property.
"We're talking about mass starvation now," Worswick said. "We're talking
about a potential for mass dying. We've gone from being a bread basket to a
Hunger statistics bear him out. According to the United Nations and private
aid groups, a staggering 5 million Zimbabweans will face food shortages this
year - roughly half the country's population.
Like the rest of drought-scorched southern Africa, many of the hungry
languish in small villages, where families already are reduced to eating one
meal of sadza, or corn mush, daily. But in Zimbabwe, politics has spawned a
whole new class of the hollow-bellied - some 700,000 urban victims of
Operation Murambatsvina, or "Drive out the Filth," a Draconian government
"My children are now eating out of a garbage dump," said Zvikomborero, a
33-year-old firewood vendor who asked that her full name not be used because
she feared police retaliation. "We are washing potato skins and eating them.
We are starving."
Bulldozers flanked by platoons of security men flattened her house in
Harare's sprawling Mbare market district in June, Zvikomborero said. Today,
thugs in the pay of Mugabe's ruling Zanu-PF Party are harassing any
stragglers who dare to camp in the dusty ruins. The militants roar by in
pickup trucks, hurling violent threats, she said. Meanwhile, homeless market
women are being reduced to prostitution - a fatal vocation in AIDS-plagued
"You can say we are dead," Zvikomborero whispered dully.
Zimbabwe's urban poor have been criminalized, say Mugabe's critics, because
they supported the country's feeble opposition party, the Movement for
Democratic Change, or MDC.
Mugabe's secret police, the Central Intelligence Organization, have been
ruthlessly effective at neutralizing any threats, human rights groups say.
Businessmen, foreign diplomats and civic leaders all said they assumed their
phones were being tapped. And the Chinese recently supplied the government
with radio-jamming equipment to block foreign or opposition broadcasts, says
the watchdog organization Reporters Without Borders.
China, in fact, is one of Zimbabwe's few friends these days. Isolated by
Western sanctions, Mugabe has relied on a desperate "Look East" policy to
stay afloat. Beijing exchanged $600 million in trade with Zimbabwe last
year. Zimbabwe Airlines now flies noisy, Chinese-made turbo-props. Cantonese
restaurants have popped up under Harare's blossoming jacaranda trees. And
the tide of cheap and often shoddy Chinese goods flooding local shops has
been dubbed "zhing-zhong," an ostensibly Chinese-sounding word, by
long-suffering Zimbabweans. Mugabe has outlawed the derisive term.
Even Beijing, however, appears to be having second thoughts about investing
in Zimbabwe. "They've turned down Mugabe's offers to take over commercial
farms," said Richard Cornwell, an analyst at the South African Institute of
Security Studies. "Like most people, they're waiting to see when things will
Others aren't. Zimbabwe's hemorrhaging economy has attracted packs of
business hyenas, both domestic and foreign - from gold and gasoline
smugglers to entrepreneurs renting islands in Victoria Falls National Park
for $10,000. According to press reports, a nephew of Mugabe was arrested two
weeks ago for reselling scarce subsidized flour in Zambia, where it fetched
a higher price.
Apparently, nobody has found any profit in 900 tons of U.S.-donated food. In
late July the United Nations was forced to condemn the mountain of corn-soy
mush, which is designed for malnourished children and mothers, after
Zimbabwe rejected the gift food for looking too green after cooking. It was
merely over-fortified with nutrients. Now it's slated to be burned or
buried, a U.N. source says.
"We live in frustrating times," said Paul Themba Nyathi, a spokesman for the
opposition MDC, which has fractured into squabbling camps over whether to
participate in yet another rigged election, this time for senate seats.
"Mugabe doesn't have any more power to consolidate," Nyathi said wearily.
"In my view, nothing has worked against him. International pressure,
regional pressure - it has no effect."
Mugabe certainly shows no sign of stepping down before the next presidential
election in 2008. The wily dictator, in power since 1980, is reputed to work
out every morning at a gym in his $9 million mansion roofed with enameled
Zimbabwe takes its name from the ruins of a medieval African city that juts
from a high hill in the nation's southeast - Great Zimbabwe, or "esteemed
houses" in the majority Shona language. Tourist guides tell how, when the
city's ancient kings died, the residents of Great Zimbabwe commented that
"the mountain had fallen."
Mugabe toured the site last April on the occasion of his 81st birthday, and
climbed to the very top.
Posted on Thu, Nov. 10, 2005
BY PAUL SALOPEK
HARARE, Zimbabwe - When police arrested Monica Nzou for selling fruit
on a slum corner, they taunted her about her AIDS.
Nzou, 34, a shy, painfully thin street peddler and one of 700,000
Zimbabweans uprooted by a government crackdown on informal settlements,
begged to be released. She had two young daughters to take care of, she told
the officers. She was an HIV-positive widow - her husband had already died
"They laughed and said they were going to charge me with murder for
infecting my husband," she recalled softly. "Then they took away my shoes.
They told me to walk barefoot back to the countryside. They said, `Go away
That is exactly the fate that confronts not just Nzou, but millions of
other HIV-positive people in Zimbabwe, a once-prosperous African state
sinking ever deeper into mass hunger, economic ruin and authoritarian rule.
Haunted by one of the world's highest incidence rates of AIDS,
Zimbabwe would face a daunting public health challenge even in the best of
times. More than a quarter of its 12.7 million citizens are infected with
the deadly virus, U.N. statistics show. As many as 3,000 new cases surface
in the country every week.
Yet today, surging inflation, a lack of foreign currency to buy
imported medicines, and President Robert Mugabe's ruthless slum-clearing
campaign all mean that fewer Zimbabweans than ever have access to crucial
anti-retroviral drugs that are prolonging life elsewhere in AIDS-plagued
In the past three months, according to a U.N. report, hyperinflation
has jacked up the cost of a monthly cocktail of generic AIDS drugs from
$7.70 to $17 or more - a fatal hike in a country where the average laborer
earns the equivalent of $20 a month.
Just obtaining enough food has become a struggle for untold thousands
of Zimbabweans weakened by AIDS. The nation's farming output has been
slashed by drought and a disastrous land-reform policy. And in the cities,
the poorest AIDS victims have stopped taking their medicines due to
Operation Murambatsvina, or "drive out the filth," Mugabe's massive urban
Over the past four months, bulldozers have leveled entire shantytowns
in Zimbabwe. Human-rights groups accuse Mugabe of trying to drive the
restless urban poor back to the countryside, where his ruling ZANU-PF party
maintains a tighter political grip. Food aid distribution in the cities has
been restricted to keep displaced slum dwellers from returning.
But some humanitarian groups have reacted by slipping HIV-positive
township dwellers clandestine rations of corn.
"We're seeing a flood of new referrals because people can't afford
their drugs anymore," said a doctor at a clinic in Harare. Like many health
workers, he asked not to be identified because of the political sensitivity
of the subject.
"They will lie, cheat, do anything to get these drugs," he said. "I
don't blame them. I would too."
One woman who was forcibly relocated outside Harare walked six hours
back to a city clinic to maintain her anti-retroviral drug regime, he said.
Another HIV-positive woman, dumped at a remote farm, braved police beatings
to reach a nearby well. She did this for her infected baby, who required
potable water to drink with his pills.
"The (slum cleanup) destroyed all these feeding centers for people
with HIV who were just beginning to learn to take anti-retroviral drugs," a
foreign aid worker said. "They needed that food to take along with their
drugs. Now those people are probably dying, or are at least in a critical
The Zimbabwean Health Ministry still offers subsidized drugs to a few
lucky AIDS patients. But the funding for such programs is woefully
inadequate. A national drug rollout announced with fanfare last month, for
example, has a budget of less than $2 million - a sum that will hardly dent
the needs of 200,000 to 400,000 Zimbabweans with full-blown AIDS.
International AIDS funds also have dried up in Zimbabwe. Mugabe's
regime distrusts outside humanitarian groups. The average HIV-positive
patient in neighboring Zambia gets $184 in foreign aid, the United Nations
says. In Zimbabwe, those infected receive $4.
Meanwhile, even the tiny fraction of Zimbabweans who can afford drugs
at commercial pharmacies are finding empty shelves.
Three weeks ago, the nation's main manufacturer of anti-retrovirals,
Varichem Pharmaceuticals, ceased producing anti-AIDS pills because it lacked
U.S. dollars to pay for medical raw materials from India.
Zimbabwean dollars, which are officially exchanged at about 26,000 to
the U.S. dollar, are devaluing so fast under the nation's 350 percent
inflation rate that few foreign banks will accept them.
Nzou, the wraithlike fruit seller, tries to remain optimistic. Now
barred by the government from hawking bananas and oranges, she has no hope
of obtaining drugs to control her disease.
"Food is my only medicine now," she said at a private feeding center
that was quietly supplying the sick with corn. "When I eat, I feel stronger.
I must remain strong for my girls."
Hefting a small sack of grain, she stepped gingerly out into the harsh
sunlight and set off to a distant plot of land crammed with other homeless
slum families - a frail woman swallowed in the folds of her faded dress.
She kept to the back streets, to avoid the police.
Institute for War and Peace Reporting
Nothing can beat local journalists when it comes to providing the best
insight into the world's trouble spots.
By Alan Davis, 10-Nov-05
Yahoo!, unimpressed by current news coverage of world hotspots, has launched
its own international reporting operation it is hailing as "news reporting
for the new millennium".
The internet giant describes its Kevin Sites in the Hotzone service as a
"nexus of backpack journalism, narrative storytelling and the internet
designed to reach a global audience hungry for information".
In the space of just a few weeks, Sites has been and done Somalia, the
Congo, Uganda and Sudan. There are a dozen countries still to go and a
further 15, including Iran, Zimbabwe and Uzbekistan, on the watch list.
Best known and heavily vilified at home for his broadcast footage of a US
marine shooting dead a wounded Iraqi in Fallujah last year, Sites was
already very highly regarded in blogging circles for his postings from
crisis zones across the world while working as a TV cameraman.
Yet it is only his reputation, bravery and undoubted good intention that
saves Yahoo!'s first foray into news reporting from being dismissed as a
faintly ridiculous - even insulting - idea.
There is more than a whiff of Churchillian hubris in the idea that a single
white westerner can tour and explain away the world's crisis spots at the
rate of one every two-and-a-bit weeks.
With Yahoo! accusing them of failing to report global conflicts properly,
the mainstream media may well ask where was Sites when Islamic militants
recently stormed the town of Nalchik in the Russian North Caucasus.
The newswires excepted, it is surely clear that neither Yahoo! nor the more
traditional media organisations are able to report, let alone explain
properly, the many conflicts and crises around the world.
Even the venerable BBC World Service has announced plans to shut its Thai
service, despite the rapidly developing conflict in the south of the
country. And although the international media did a brilliant job in
reporting the build-up of coalition forces in Iraq and the march into
Baghdad, the publication of Sir Christopher Meyer's book this week prompts
us again to ask just how good was the actual reporting on Iraq itself?
A few years ago this would have mattered much less than it does today. Now,
even as our collective need to understand and communicate becomes ever more
pressing, global audiences are fragmenting along ethnic and religious lines.
If the western media were ever able to set standards and report for the
entire world, it is increasingly unable to do so now.
In Baghdad, as the recent abduction of the Guardian's Rory Carroll showed,
even the bravest of western reporters now faces lockdown. Ironically,
although Iraq remains the biggest international news story, it is rapidly
becoming an information black hole for western audiences.
Luckily, local journalism is increasingly able to fill this vacuum. With all
due respect to Sites and his team, it is local journalism that constitutes
the best reporting for the new millennium.
But for the presence of a handful of local journalists who, after some hard
training, can now report as well as any westerner, Uzbekistan's president,
Islam Karimov, would have got away with murder in the provincial town of
Andijana few months ago. A key ally in the "war against terror", he almost
spun the massacre in May of 500 men, women and children into a necessary
police action against Islamist insurgents.
The local Uzbek journalists in Andijan did not have the benefit of foreign
passports or plane tickets back out. All they had was their commitment to
covering the story and their work with the Institute for War and Peace
Reporting - iwpr.net. The London-based charity provided eyewitness reporting
and analysis to the world's media on the day of the massacre and in the
weeks that followed.
Likewise, just a few weeks ago on IWPR, local reporters inside Nalchik in
the North Caucasus were able to provide the kind of detailed analysis and
eyewitness reporting that their international colleagues covering the story
from Moscow 600 miles to the north could hardly dream of.
The reporting from Andijan will this month land IWPR's country director,
Galima Bukharbaeva, an international press freedom award from the US-based
Committee to Protect Journalists. The committee is also awarding the prize
to Beatrice Mtetwa, a Harare-based media lawyer who also happens to be on
the board of IWPR Africa.
They and their colleagues around the world deserve our collective praise and
support for helping keep the world a better informed - and at great personal
IWPR is wholly reliant upon donations and is used to the phones ringing off
the hook at the first sign of escalating crisis in some far away, forgotten
and inaccessible place. The callers are from the broadcast and print media
around the world, who want a local journalist to analyse, if not report on,
a breaking crisis.
Chances are we will be able to oblige, having set up news agencies,
developed human rights and women's reporting networks in Islamic countries
and provided an iron lung for journalism in some of the world's worst areas.
We work in nearly two dozen conflict, crisis and transitional countries,
including Iraq, Afghanistan, Chechnya, Uganda and Zimbabwe. Funds
permitting, the toughest areas of Asia also beckon.
So when CNN or the BBC rings, it is not really breaking news, not for us,
the country or the region concerned. We have been covering many of the
world's problem spots for years, building up the skills and capacity of
local journalists, helping fine-tune their reporting, analysis and features
and sending it out free of charge in the hope that diplomats, politicians,
aid organisations and the traditional news media sit up and take note.
Lest we forget, these journalists are not mere fixers or stringers but
professionals building a new international standard of reporting for their
Alan Davis is a director of the Institute for War and Peace Reporting.
© Guardian Newspapers Limited 2005
By Staff Reporter
Last updated: 11/11/2005 01:16:53
THE body of an MDC polling agent, Petros Jeka, who was murdered by a Zanu PF
member during the violent 2002 presidential election campaign will be
interred this week after the government granted a paupers burial.
A former MDC Masvingo North treasurer, Jeka was stabbed several times on
April 4 2002 by a ruling party supporter, Winterton Chirove, the Zanu PF's
youth chairperson in the area.
His relatives persistently refused to bury the body in fulfilment with the
late MDC activist's deathbed wish that his murderer first pay compensation -
40 heard of cattle and $2 million
As a result of the family's refusal and Chirove's relatives failure to pay
the compensation, the department of social welfare decided to bury the body.
The ruling party supporter is now serving an 18-year jail term for the
The Police Officer commanding Masvingo Province Senior assistant
commissioner, Emmanuel Shiku confirmed the development.
"We have since notified the relatives about the burial," he said
Jeka's decomposed body has been lying at Masvingo General Hospital, with
efforts to arrange a burial by the police and the department of social
welfare hitting a brick wall.
The MDC has refused to recognise the outcome of the 2002 elections won by
President Robert Mugabe, citing widespread political violence and rigging.
During the period, dozens of MDC supporters and commercial farmers were
murdered by suspected Zanu PF shock troops to secure Mugabe's victory.
Tsvangirai’s talking points for a brief to the
Your Excellencies, I welcome this opportunity to meet and confer with you after a fairly long period.
n to stay away from the Senate election;
n to withdraw candidates who registered under the banner of the MDC from the Senate election;
n to maintain the unity and integrity of the party, and to jealously guard and re-affirm the party’s commitment to democracy and social justice values;
n to engage the broad Zimbabwean society and galvanise the people to demand a new people-driven Constitution;
n to embark on an intensive, internal political healing
process to iron out differences and disagreements arising, in particular from
the fall out of
n to speed up work on the Congress process to enable the party to convene its Congress by the end of February, 2006.
Sent: Thursday, November 10, 2005 10:15 PM
Subject: Europe & Tsvangirai
Dear Ms Kwinjeh,
Contrary to what is reported by some Internet bloggs, quoting fictitious
analysts and non-existent sources, Mr Tsvangirai has no intention to leave
Zimbabwe in the near future for any destination, regional or international,
and to meet anyone in connexion with the fall-out of 12 October. Mr
Tsvangirai believes the issues are so clear that they can be attended to at
home by Zimbabweans inside the MDC.
As for the speculation that Mr Tsvangirai is snubbing President Mbeki, this
is far from the truth. After briefing Harare-based diplomats this morning,
the new South African ambassador, Dr Makhalima, paid a courtesy call on Mr
Tsvangirai at his Strathaven residence in Harare at which a number of issues
were discussed , notes compared and fresh proposals for co-operation were
hammered out. Mr Tsvangirai took the opportunity to brief Dr Makhalima on
the state of the party and the MDC's view on the resolution of the national
There is worrying, unexplained habit to resort to anonymous sources in
today's Zimbabwean journalism. Unfortunately, there is very little we can do
about it because our national crisis has destroyed the profession and turned
almost all our scribes into political party activists and faction admirers,
jstling for leadership positions in their factions.
If you have time, kindly communicate with the editor of the website and put
the record straight.
Have a good day.
T W Bango
Personal Assistant to the President,
Movement for Democratic Change, Harare, Zimbabwe
By Staff Reporter
Last updated: 11/10/2005 14:55:23
ZIMBABWE'S main opposition leader was last night ready to plunge his party
into an international public relations disaster by addressing the European
Parliament next week, days after he turned down an invitation by President
Thabo Mbeki of South Africa to discuss a damaging rift with his senior
Sources told New Zimbabwe.com Wednesday that the Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) leader would travel to Brussels, Belgium, next week to brief
European MP's on a split that threatens the six-year-old opposition party.
Sources say Tsvangirai also wants to use the visit to stake his legitimacy
with the international community in a raging power struggle with his senior
colleagues, led by his deputy, Gibson Sibanda and the MDC's secretary
general, Professor Welshman Ncube.
However, political analysts warned last night that Tsvangirai was playing
into the hands of President Robert Mugabe's propaganda machinery which has
always maintained that he is a puppet of Western powers seeking to
"Basically Tsvangirai is thumbing his nose to President Mbeki, who has tried
to mediate in the MDC crisis but was told that it would be unnecessary by
Tsvangirai," said analyst last night.
"If he goes ahead with this trip, it will not only alienate him from the
South African government but it will drive a wedge between the MDC, at least
his faction, and the rest of the SADC leaders who have always been slightly
circumspect about Tsvangirai."
The MDC's European Representative, Grace Kwinjeh, declined to comment last
night, referring questions to Tsvangirai's spokesman William Bango. Calls to
Bango's mobile had not been returned last night.
The MDC is currently locked in a bitter internal power struggle, sparked by
a vote of the party's national council favouring participation in Senate
elections on November 26.
Tsvangirai went against the national council's vote, and clashed with his
colleagues who now accuse him of being a "dictator in the making". They have
vowed never to work with him again.
President Mbeki extended an invitation to the MDC's Management Committee,
known as the Top Six, to try and broker a truce. However, Tsvangirai
delivered a snub by refusing to travel to South Africa, while his senior
colleagues went and met Mbeki.
Analysts say it is "puzzling" why Tsvangirai would decline such an offer
from an African leader, but be readily available to discuss his party's
problems with MP's of European countries with little understanding of the
"Tsvangirai has failed to convince his own colleagues about the direction he
wants the party to take. He failed to discuss these issues with a respected
regional leader, and he is now taking his gospel to Europe. What chance of
salvation here? It's either he is politically naive or he has just gone
potty," said an analyst who declined to be named because of a professional
relationship with some MDC officials.
Political journalist, Dumisani Muleya, told New Zimbabwe.com he expected the
battle for the control of the party to continue until the party's national
congress, expected to be held next February.
"It would appear to me that the only thing that will provide some form of
finality to this split is the party's national congress. In the meantime, we
will continue to see this mud bath," said Muleya, news editor of the weekly
Zimbabwe Independent newspaper.
November 10, 2005, 07:00
Robert Mugabe, the Zimbabwean president, is attending the opening of an
international meeting hosted by a Commonwealth body in Lesotho, despite his
country's suspension from the body.
The Maseru 2005 "Smart Partnership" Dialogue, aimed at forming partnerships
between developing countries, is an annual event convened by the
Commonwealth Partnership for Technology Management.
Zimbabwe was suspended from the Commonwealth in 2002 after Mugabe was
re-elected in the presidential elections.
THE South African constitution is different from that of any other country
with a similar political background. The essence of that difference was
articulated by the late Mohamed DP in State v Makwanyane, when he said that
"it retains from the past only what is defensible and represents a decisive
break from, and a ringing rejection of, that part of the past which is
disgracefully racist, authoritarian, insular, and repressive, and a vigorous
identification of and commitment to a democratic, universalistic, caring and
aspirationally egalitarian ethos expressly articulated in the constitution".
This analysis became more pertinent last week when President Thabo Mbeki
endorsed land expropriation in accordance with the constitution. The
fundamental basis, as I comprehend it, is that the current "willing
seller-willing buyer" premise was unable to bring about substantive access
to land by the majority. In fact, access to land has been evolving at snail's
pace since the dawn of democracy. In order to rectify the situation in SA -
where a small minority owned the majority of the land - the drafters of the
Freedom Charter wrote that "restrictions of land ownership on a racial basis
shall be ended, and all the land redivided amongst those who work it, to
banish famine and land hunger".
Government's objective is that by 2014, at least 30% of the agricultural
land must have been redistributed. However, the black majority has
criticised the concept of "willing seller-willing buyer" because it is not
effecting the transfer of land ownership fast enough. What is certain,
though, is that SA cannot follow Zimbabwe's example when it comes to the
issue of access to land.
One could argue that in SA, to date, government has bent over backwards to
accommodate minority concerns on the land issue. One need only look at the
raft of statutory reforms adopted and promulgated by the government relating
to land - the Abolition of Racially Based Land Measures Act of 1991
(abolished laws that restricted land rights based on race); Upgrading of
Land Tenure Rights Act of 1991 (transfer of land rights to ownership);
Restitution of Land Rights Act of 1994 (restitution of land rights for
people dispossessed after 1913); Extension of Security of Tenure Act of 1997
(state measures to facilitate long-term security of land tenure); Prevention
of Illegal Eviction from and Unlawful Occupation of Land Act 1998 (which
deals with unlawful eviction); and the Land Reform Act of 1996 (to provide
for security of tenure of labour tenants).
Of particular significance to me is section 25 of the constitution. Section
25 protects property rights of every owner - and further states that no
arbitrary deprivation or expropriation of property would pass constitutional
muster unless it conformed with the rule of law.
If one looks at what transpired at the land summit, and at Mbeki's views in
Parliament, it is clear that SA refuses, and in fact denounces expropriation
without compensation, at this stage, until amicable solutions and
alternatives have been fully exhausted. This is not what happened in
Further, the constitution does allow for expropriation without compensation
but this is not being invoked, as yet, by the democratic government.
Regardless of these constitutional obligations, the democratic government
refuses, for the time being, to take measures that infringe on the rights of
Having said that, as a matter of constitutional imperative, the land
question has, at some stage, to be addressed (regardless of the aspirations
of the current minority land owners) if there is to be substantial
realignment of access to land to realise equality by the majority. Perhaps
this is what influenced Mbeki's view on land expropriation.
Eddie Maluleke is MD of Mn'wanati Consulting and a constitutional law
----- Original Message -----
From: RSF Afrique / RSF Africa
To: Recipient List Suppressed:
Sent: Thursday, November 10, 2005 9:05 PM
Subject: ZIMBABWE : "State sabotage" of radio station's broadcasts / La
radio néerlandaise Voice of the people brouillée , « sabotage d'Etat »
contre l'information indépendante
English / Français
Reporters Without Borders
10 November 2005
"State sabotage" of radio station's broadcasts
Reacting to the systematic interference of the Zimbabwean independent radio
station Voice of the People (VOP) since 18 September, Reporters Without
Borders voiced outrage today at a campaign to jam dissident radio broadcasts
which the Zimbabwean authorities are clearly orchestrating with Chinese
The press freedom organisation pointed out that this "state sabotage" of VOP
comes three years after it was the target of a still unsolved bombing in the
heart of Harare.
"Robert Mugabe's government has once again shown that its policy is to
systematically gag all independent news media," Reporters Without Borders
said. "The use of Chinese technology in a totally hypocritical and
non-transparent fashion reveals the government's iron resolve to abolish
freedom of opinion in Zimbabwe."
The press freedom organisation added: "We reiterate out belief that
Zimbabwe's progressive submission to the dictatorship of a single view is
being made possible by the incomprehensible failure of the great African
democracies to take a stand against this behaviour by the Harare
VOP beams a radio programme to Zimbabwe every evening from 7 to 8 p.m.
(18:00 to 19:00 GMT) on the 7.120KHz shortwave frequency using a relay
station belonging to the Dutch public radio station Radio Netherlands on the
island of Madagascar, in the Indian Ocean.
"Our signal is no longer as clear as it is supposed to be," a VOP employee
told Reporters Without Borders. "There is a funny noise and this is
affecting our evening programme. We can say we are being jammed." The VOP
staff suspect that the government is using sophisticated jamming equipment
imported from China.
This hour of VOP programming has offered the sole opportunity for Zimbabwean
listeners to tune into to an alternative to the Zimbabwe Broadcasting
Corporation (ZBC) ever since deliberate jamming of the London-based exile
station SW Radio Africa began in February. SW Radio Africa is no longer able
to broadcast on the short wave.
Voice of the People was created in June 2000 by former ZBC employees with
help from the Soros foundation and a Dutch NGO, the HIVOS foundation. The
police raided its studio in Harare on 4 July 2002 and took away equipment.
It was then the target of a bombing on 29 August 2002 which wrecked the
entire studio. It was nonetheless able to resume broadcasting.
A frequently-used jamming technique is to broadcast a noise on the same
frequency as the target signal using another radio station's transmitters.
The power and location of these transmitters determine the area where the
jamming is effective. According to the information obtained by Reporters
Without Borders, VOP can now only be heard in the rural part of Matabelele
Land, an area not covered by Zimbabwe's public radio station. This suggests
that the noise jamming VOP's programmes is being broadcast by the Zimbabwean
authorities using the public radio station.
These illegal practices, which violate international regulations governing
telecommunications, are one of the specialities of the Chinese government.
Jamming is standard practice in China, especially the jamming of Tibetan
radio stations and foreign radio stations beaming programmes to the west of
the country. A Reporters Without Borders release described this policy as
the "Great Wall of the airwaves."
According to a source in Zimbabwe, a number of Chinese intelligence officers
have been stationed in a luxury hotel in Harare since January. Chinese
experts have been invited to give training in telecommunications and radio
communications to Zimbabwean technicians under economic and technical
cooperation accords signed between China and Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe's already significant relations with China have been stepped up
even more as a result of its diplomatic isolation, which culminated in its
departure from the Commonwealth in 2003. Ideological affinity and interest
in its natural resources have prompted the Chinese to sign many political
and trade accords. China has become the leading foreign investor in
Their collaboration in the area of censorship may not be limited to radio
broadcasts and could also extend to the pirating of websites. Reporters
Without Borders has previously voiced concern about the Zimbabwean
government's acquisition of equipment that could be used to monitor Internet
traffic. But its expertise is almost certainly not up to using this kind of
equipment, which suggests that it has subcontracted the implementation to
its Chinese suppliers.
Bureau Afrique / Africa desk
Reporters sans frontières / Reporters Without Borders
5, rue Geoffroy-Marie
75009 Paris, France
Tel : (33) 1 44 83 84 84
Fax : (33) 1 45 23 11 51
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
Web : www.rsf.org
Fri 11 November 2005
HARARE - Zimbabwe's October annual inflation raced to 411 percent,
past the International Monetary Fund (IMF) year-end target and setting the
stage for further sharp increases before December, which would compound the
misery of the majority in the impoverished southern Africa nation, analysts
Inflation climbed to 411 percent from 359.8 percent in September on
the back of sharp increases in the prices of bicycles as persistent fuel
shortages force some motorists to leave their cars for bicycles while some
workers, unable to cope with the ever increasing fares have resorted to
cycling to and from work.
Electricity charges, fares for trains, a popular form of public
transport especially the "Freedom Trains", introduced by the government
five years ago in urban areas to woo the urban vote, and prices of food had
helped send inflation past the 400 percent mark.
Zimbabwe is in the throes of its worst economic crisis, shown in
hyperinflation, shortages of foreign currency, food and fuel, a jobless rate
of over 80 percent and grinding poverty.
Analysts said inflation was likely to end the year above 450 percent,
a blow to central bank governor Gideon Gono's target of between 280-300
percent and his efforts to put back on the rails the economy's turn-around
"We need to have a dramatic policy shift to reverse the inflation
trend," Harare-based economist James Jowa told ZimOnline. "I think the
target will not be achieved, personally I see inflation at no less than 450
percent by the end of the year."
President Robert Mugabe's government has branded inflation its number
one enemy but all efforts to tame it seem to be failing. Inflation hit an
all time high of 624 percent last year in January and has since receded but
analysts said without drastic changes in policy, it could creep back to
Analysts attribute recent price increases, which have fed into
inflation, to the weakening of the Zimbabwe dollar on the newly
re-introduced interbank market over the last month.
A depreciation of the local currency will make imports more expensive
and businesses have resorted to passing the costs to consumers. Zimbabwe is
now a net exporter with its industry operating below 30 percent and after
some firms buckled under the economic crisis, throwing thousands onto the
Figures published by the Central Statistical Office yesterday showed
that the annual increase in the consumer price index had already breached
the IMF's forecast of 400 percent by December.
"Even the IMF forecasts are conservative, the figure will be much
higher come December," added consultant economist John Robertson.
Early in November, the prices of most basic commodities more than
doubled in a single week, with analysts saying this would further push
inflation higher and hit hard on the country's toiling workers.
Prices of some commodities change almost on a daily basis in Zimbabwe,
as businesses blame the unstable economic environment.
The analysts said a return to higher agriculture production would be
necessary to ease food shortages and stabilise prices and eventually tame
But they said the current fuel crisis, shortages of inputs and lack of
commercial farming skills by black farmers resettled on former white-owned
farms had hit preparations for the coming agriculture season and predicted
Zimbabwe will be forced to import more food to make up for the expected
"One of the critical elements of any recovery programme is a return to
production on the farms. With a good harvest, it is the first stage towards
reducing inflation but our authorities don't seem to realise this," said
Mugabe, in power for the past 25 years, is widely blamed for gross
mismanagement of the economy, a charge he outrightly rejects and instead
points to a plot by the West to punish his government for arbitrarily
seizing land from whites for redistribution to landless blacks. - ZimOnline
Fri 11 November 2005
JOHANNESBURG - The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) on
Thursday demanded the immediate release of hundreds of trade unionists who
were detained in Zimbabwe for protesting against worsening economic
conditions in the country.
In a statement released in Johannesburg yesterday, titled "Stop this
apartheid style repression in Zimbabwe," Cosatu said it was enraged by the
continued detention of leaders of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions
(ZCTU) and other civic society activists.
"The only 'crime' of these workers' leaders has been to mobilise their
members, the workers and the poor to exercise their basic human right to
demonstrate and protest peacefully.
"This is yet another attempt to silence the trade union movement in
Zimbabwe, a force that has withstood untold harassment from the security
forces in that country."
The ZCTU leaders and about 200 other demonstrators were last night
still detained at Makoni police station in Chitungwiza town, about 27km out
Cosatu called on the African Union, the United Nations and the
International Labour Organisation (ILO) to step up pressure on President
Robert Mugabe's government to restore democracy.
It said Harare, which is a signatory to several "ILO conventions,
including the conventions on freedom of association and right of workers to
strike," must immediately release the protesters.
Relations between Harare and Cosatu have been frosty over the past few
years. A Cosatu delegation which had gone to Zimbabwe to assess conditions
for a free and fair election ahead of the March poll was in February
deported out of the country.
The union has been at the forefront in criticising the Zimbabwe
government over human rights abuses in the country. In response to the
deportation, Cosatu threatened to close Zimbabwe's lifeline Beitbridge
Meanwhile, National Constitutional Assembly boss Lovemore Madhuku and
Chitungwiza town mayor, Misheck Shoko, and several others who were arrested
last Saturday for demonstrating for a new, democratic constitution, were
released from police custody yesterday.
NCA lawyer, Andrew Makoni, said Madhuku and Shoko were set free after
the police wrongly charged them under the Criminal and Evidence Act. The
police said they will proceed on the case by way of summons.
The two were arrested on Tuesday for allegedly inciting violence and
agitating for the violent ouster of Mugabe and his government. They were
denying the charge.
Madhuku, who was in a defiant mood last night, said he will press on
with the fight for a new, democratic constitution for Zimbabwe.
"If the state has a case against me, it must not use these dirty and
intimidating tactics, courts are there. There is no need to detain me for
days. Let them investigate me and then take me to court." - ZimOnline
Fri 11 November 2005
HARARE - Zimbabwe national soccer team coach Charles Mhlauri is
expected in South Africa tomorrow on a spying mission ahead of Senegal's
match against Bafana Bafana on Saturday.
The Senegalese, who were drawn in the same group as Zimbabwe at the
Nations Cup finals in January, take on South Africa's Bafana Bafana in a
Nelson Mandela Invitational Challenge match in Durban.
The Warriors will also face Nigeria and Ghana at the African Cup of
Nations finals and this weekend, Mhlauri has been presented with a great
opportunity to watch a full-strength Senegal.
A senior Zifa official who spoke to ZimOnline confirmed that Mhlauri
would make the trip.
"The coach came up with the idea and we immediately agreed to the
arrangement. He wants to study their style of play so that he can plot their
"As you know, Mhlauri's main strength is studying the opposition and
capitalising on their weaknesses and that is exactly what he is going to do
in South Africa.
"The trip also presents him with a great opportunity to travel around
and visit some of the players in the national team.
"He is also expected to set up all the logistics needed to organise a
training camp for the Warriors in December because they will spend some days
in Johannesburg on their way to France for a training stint," said the top
Zimbabwe will step up preparations for the African Cup of Nations
finals in December when all the foreign-based players will be released from
A number of friendly matches have been lined up including a high
profile international match against neighours Zambia. The Warriors are also
expected to play South Africa and Egypt before the finals. Mhlauri has
already indicated that he would like to make sure that the Warriors are
ready for battle before the tournament kicks off in January. - ZimOnline