Zimbabwe's land policy yields a bitter
Jeter The Washington Post - Tuesday, November 12,
Farm seizures - Reform or
The motorcade arrived shortly after noon, and it was an
army commander who curtly told Eva Matthews that she and her husband had only
hours to leave their farm. While he spoke, Matthews later recalled, she noticed
a provincial government official giving Zimbabwe's first lady a tour of her
1,000-hectare wooded estate.
When a group of farm workers gathered around President
Robert Mugabe's wife, Grace, she announced, "I am taking over this farm."
The seizure of Iron Mask Estates here two months ago
illustrates what many Zimbabweans say is the most cynical element of the
government's two-year-old effort to seize land from the country's white farmers.
Mugabe has repeatedly characterized his government's
land policy as the long overdue remedy for a colonial injustice, redistributing
what is perhaps the country's most precious resource - its rich, fertile land -
from a prosperous minority to poor, landless peasants.
Grace Mugabe is, of course, neither poor nor landless.
Yet she and hundreds of the president's relatives and supporters, as well as
senior government officials and their families, have been given commercial farms
seized from white owners, according to civic groups and government records.
Of the first 600 farms seized after voters rejected
constitutional proposals to strengthen Mugabe's authority in February 2000,
nearly 200 went to Zimbabweans with connections to his ruling party, the
Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF). The list, according
to Justice for Agriculture, a farmers advocacy group here, includes Vice
President Joseph Msika, government ministers, their siblings and adult children.
"This is not land reform," said John Worvick, a
spokesman for Justice for Agriculture. "This is cronyism, pure and simple. The
process is completely corrupt, and it's only transferring the ownership of the
land from one group of elites to another."
Mugabe's government accelerated land distribution
efforts in August, and government officials say that within a few weeks, they
will have evicted nearly 2,900 of the country's 3,500 white farmers. Relief
agencies, foreign diplomats and supporters of the country's main opposition
party, the Movement for Democratic Change, say the campaign is a ploy by Mugabe,
78, to fend off the first real threat to his autocratic rule since he took
office following Zimbabwe's independence from Britain in 1980.
Few dispute the need for land reform. Though whites
accounted for less than 1 percent of Zimbabwe's population, they owned 70
percent of its arable farmland before government-sanctioned mobs led by veterans
of the country's independence war began chasing them from their land more than
two years ago. More than a dozen white farmers have been killed during the
campaign, and an estimated 150,000 black farm workers have lost their jobs and
homes. Government spokesmen deny allegations of cronyism and say that their
efforts are partly designed to build a black commercial farming class to replace
the whites who dominated the sector. Edward Matutse, a government spokesman,
said that could be done only by providing farms to black Zimbabweans with the
resources to run large estates and support the black peasants who work on them.
"The one thing all black Zimbabweans have in common is
that we are all landless," Matutse said. "The whites and the Western media want
to say that it is only the president's relatives who are benefiting from the
land reform program, and this is a lie. How many relatives do you think our
The evictions have come as southern Africa grapples with
its worst food shortage in decades, and critics say Mugabe's land grab has
combined with drought to worsen the situation by replacing Zimbabwe's most
productive farmers with inexperienced ones.
Nearly half of the 11.4 million Zimbabweans are at risk
of starvation, and critics contend that Mugabe is using international food aid
the same way he is using the land: as a blunt political instrument to punish
supporters of the Movement for Democratic Change, which in March nearly unseated
Mugabe in presidential elections that were preceded by heavy repression of the
Food donations are being funneled to ZANU-PF strongholds
and away from the capital, Harare, and other urban centers, which overwhelmingly
supported the Movement for Democratic Change and its presidential candidate, the
trade-union leader Morgan Tsvangirai, according to many Zimbabweans.
"It is clear to everyone in the city that Mugabe is
trying to starve dissent - literally," said Moses Bangwayo, 26, a university
student and opposition supporter. "There is no food in Harare. Why? The man
wants to punish us, and he uses food and land to do it. This has nothing to do
with the liberation of black Zimbabweans. It has everything to do with one old
man who has run out of ideas, run out of support and run out of time, trying to
hold on to power at any cost to his country."
The seizure by Grace Mugabe of the Matthewses' farm
about 50 kilometers (30 miles) north of Harare underscores the government's
cynicism to many here. Known for her shopping sprees at upscale shops in London,
she is a former secretary to Mugabe who married the president following the
death of his first wife in 1990. She campaigned with her husband this year and
often led rallies in deriding Tsvangirai as a puppet of the British and whites
who want to see a return of the colonial arrangement. "Morgan Tsvangirai," she
repeated mockingly in campaign speeches, "is a tea boy."
In seizing the Matthewses' Iron Mask Estates, Grace
Mugabe got one of the most coveted farms in Zimbabwe, a lush and hilly property
with majestic vistas and an elegant, colonial-era house with 29 rooms.
"It is a beautiful place," Eva Matthews said of the
wheat farm she owned for nearly 35 years and where she raised three children.
For many white Zimbabweans, the evictions signal the end
of an era that began when this country was the white-ruled British colony of
Rhodesia. Whites who remained here after independence are packing up and moving
away - to South Africa, Australia, Britain and elsewhere.
"The Rhodies are disappearing," said one of the
Matthewses' neighbors, who did not want his name used because he feared
retribution from the government. "Part of it is due to our own arrogance, I
suppose. We should have cooperated more with the government and with the blacks
who did not have as much. But I think we contributed something to this country."
Matthews said, "It's all very sad." Then she paused.
"But it's more than that, really. It's wrong."
Libyan envoy denies collapse of fuel deal
11/12/02 12:22:07 PM (GMT +2)
Libyan Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mohammad Azzabi, said yesterday
problems in the fuel deal with the government in Harare, his
still committed to supporting Zimbabwe's fuel needs.
reports that the oil deal with Libya had collapsed,
saying relations between
the two countries were good.
"As with any commercial transaction
the world over, hiccups are bound
to occur here and there, but that does not
constitute a collapse of our
commitment to Zimbabwe. That commitment is total
and above small hiccups
that may occur from time to time," he
Azzabi was responding to a story in yesterday's issue of The
News, quoting a story in the Sunday Times of South Africa which said
deal with Libya had collapsed. The newspaper quoted Azzabi as saying
reasons for the collapse of the US$360 million (Z$19,8 billion) supply
between Zimbabwe and Libya were commercial and not
Yesterday, Azzabi also denied the Sunday Times story and
in the Sunday Mirror, which said Britain had persuaded Libya to
supplies to Zimbabwe.
He said nothing had changed between
the relations and bilateral
arrangements between Zimbabwe and Libya, adding
that the commercial
arrangements confirmed the historical and political ties
between the two
"When we committed ourselves to
support Zimbabwe's fuel needs, we were
fully aware of the negative forces
working against Zimbabwe and its present
difficult economic situation,
especially as it relates to foreign exchange,
hence the arrangements made to
reinvest proceeds of our oil supplies back to
Queues have resurfaced country-wide as the government
grapples to find
enough foreign currency to procure adequate quantities of
In a rare admission of failure, President Mugabe last week
said he was
having "headaches and stomach-aches" to maintain constant fuel
In a major policy U-turn, Mugabe said
oil companies should procure
fuel themselves since they had the foreign
Wednesday, 13 November, 2002,
Tortured Zimbabwe journalist dies
Chavunduka (in sunglasses) is survived by a wife
and three children
Mark Chavunduka, 37, a journalist who was tortured by
Zimbabwe's army for writing about an alleged coup plot, has died in Harare.
The cause of death has not been made public but it is not thought to have
been caused by the torture.
He will be remembered for standing up to this regime
Trevor Ncube Zimbabwe Standard
Mr Chavunduka and his colleague, Ray Choto, were
both held captive by the army for several days in 1999 despite court orders for
Mr Chavunduka was editor of the Zimbabwe Standard newspaper, which published
a story written by Mr Choto, that sections of the army had plotted to oust
President Robert Mugabe.
Following his release, he received treatment for post traumatic stress
disorder in both Britain and the United States.
He often complained of nightmares following the beatings and electric shocks
he received during his detention by the military.
Trevor Ncube, publisher of the Standard, praised Mr Chavunduka as a champion
of press freedom against Mr Mugabe's government.
"He will be remembered for standing up to this regime," he said.
Mugabe warned journalists to leave the army
Correspondents say they were the first victims of a campaign against
independent journalists by the Zimbabwe authorities.
Mr Mugabe refused to condemn the journalists' torture, instead warning
writers not to antagonise the army.
In January 2001, the printing press of the privately-owned Daily News was
bombed after being criticised by cabinet ministers and government allies.
A new media law was introduced after Mr Mugabe's controversial re-election
earlier this year, which independent journalists say is designed to stop them
from publishing stories which the government does not approve of.
The authorities have refused to prosecute those identified by Mr Chavunduka
as responsible for the torture.
Both Mr Chavunduka and Mr Choto received several journalism awards.
He is survived by his wife and three children.
Zimbabwe's Chavunduka dies
HARARE - Zimbabwean journalist and publisher Mark
Chavunduka, whose arrest and subsequent torture helped expose his government's
increasing repression of dissent, has died after a prolonged illness, his family
The cause of his death was not announced, but was believed
to be unrelated to the effects of his weeklong detention and torture in 1999.
Dexter Chavunduka, his father, said his son complained of pains in his
side before his death at a Harare clinic late on Monday.
"It was a
long-standing health problem and something he used to complain of now and
again," he said.
But Chavunduka, 37, had also often complained to
friends and colleagues of recurring nightmares of the beatings and electric
shocks he received at a military intelligence facility outside Harare.
Chavunduka and a colleague, Ray Choto, were detained after reporting in
the independent Zimbabwe Standard newspaper on disaffection in the military and
a possible coup plot against President Robert Mugabe's government.
government denied the report and ignored court orders to either free Chavunduka
or press charges against him.
After the men were released, authorities
refused to prosecute torturers Chavunduka identified.
Both men later
received lengthy treatment for post-traumatic stress in Britain and the US.
Trevor Ncube, publisher of the newspaper, in a tribute on Wednesday,
described Chavunduka as "a young man with a passion for journalism" who stood up
for press freedom under Mugabe's increasingly repressive government.
will be remembered for standing up to this regime," he said. His torture brought
the world's attention to the government's human rights violations and its
efforts to suppress criticism.
Charges against Chavunduka and Choto for
allegedly publishing a false report liable to create alarm and despondency were
Chavunduka received several international awards for
courageous reporting. In April, he took over a controlling share in an
independent magazine publishing business.
He is survived by his wife and
three children. Burial arrangements were not announced.
From ZWNEWS, 13 November
Zimbabwe editor Mark Chavunduka, who was instrumental in
focusing international attention on the ruthless human rights records of Robert
Mugabe’s regime, died in Harare on Tuesday. He was 37. The cause of death was
not announced, but it was not believed to be connected to the torture inflicted
on Chavunduka in 1999 after the newspaper he edited, The Zimbabwe Standard,
published a report about unrest in the army. "As the founding editor of The
Zimbabwe Standard he was a young man with a passion for journalism, a young man
who will be remembered for standing up to this regime, and a young man who by
being tortured brought to the attention of the world the kind of thing Robert
Mugabe does to try and silence people," said Trevor Ncube, publisher of the
Sunday Standard and its sister newspaper The Independent.
Chavunduka came to international attention in January 1999 when
his newspaper reported widespread unrest in the Zimbabwean army over deployment
of up to 14 000 troops in the civil war then raging in the Democratic Republic
of Congo. Casualties incurred while underpinning the regimes of Joseph Kabila
and his late father Laurent have still not been disclosed. Standard reporter Ray
Choto was first abducted and tortured by security police, then Chavunduka
himself , after he agreed to be questioned by police in return for Choto's
freedom. Both men subsequently required extensive therapy in Britain and the
United States. Police spurned lawyers' efforts to force prosecution of the known
torturers, but in May 2000 Zimbabwe's Supreme Court, then under the widely
respected Chief Justice Anthony Gubbay – subsequently forced into retirement by
the regime – quashed Mugabe's attempt to have the two journalists arraigned for
"publishing a false report liable to create alarm and despondency."
Chavunduka, and Choto, who is now in the United States,
testified that torturers said they had Mugabe's "death warrant" to kill them.
And Mugabe himself defended use of "extraordinary measures" against the pair,
who he described as "black white men". "My family all said I should have stayed
in the United States, but I am so angry about the way we were treated … and I
won’t give the government the satisfaction of knowing I’ve run away," Chavunduka
told Amnesty International after he returned home. Chavunduka said he could
never sleep without having nightmares about the beatings and electric shocks to
which he was subjected – while human rights organisations and churches demanded
his release, and trade unions threatened to strike.
Chavunduka, who received many international awards for
courageous journalism, was a member of a distinguished Zimbabwean family. His
father, Dr. Dexter Chavunduka, was the first black veterinary surgeon in former
Rhodesia and a member of Parliament nominated by Mugabe for his expert knowledge
of animal husbandry. His uncle, Professor Gordon Chavunduka, a veteran African
nationalist politician, was Vice Chancellor of the University of Zimbabwe and
conferred an honorary degree on Mugabe. His aunt, Sarah Kachingwe, was once the
top civil servant in Mugabe's information ministry. Chavunduka, who is survived
by his wife and three children, joined the Sunday Standard from Parade Magazine.
Earlier this year he returned to Thomson Publications, owners of Parade, after
buying a controlling interest. Zimbabwe, said publisher Ncube, has been robbed
of a young man with a huge potential contribution to make
From News24 (SA), 11
Democracy award for
Washington - The leader of Zimbabwe's embattled opposition,
Morgan Tsvangirai, is to be honoured this month for his pro-democracy struggle
by an international group of political consultants, the organisation said on
Monday. Tsvangirai, head of Zimbabwe's Movement for Democratic Change is to
receive the 2002 Democracy Medal from the International Association of Political
Consultants at its annual meeting on November 19 in Rio de Janeiro, the group
said. He is to be honoured for "courageously fostering, promoting and sustaining
the democratic process", the association said in a statement. The announcement
comes amid a spate of arrests of opposition figures in Zimbabwe as authoritarian
President Robert Mugabe continues a harsh crackdown on dissent. And it follows a
decision last week by Zimbabwe's High Court to delay until February the trial of
Tsvangirai and two other party officials on treason charges stemming from an
alleged plot to assassinate Mugabe. They deny the charges, which carry the death
penalty on conviction. They say they were set up by government agents bent on
sidelining Tsvangirai ahead of a March presidential election, which he lost to
Mugabe. That election was widely denounced by the West as fundamentally
Tsvangirai, who will not be able to accept the award in person
because his passport has been confiscated pending the outcome of the trial, said
in a letter to the IAPC that he would continue his fight for the "oppressed
people of Zimbabwe (who) yearn for change". "State fascism and state-sponsored
election violence and fraud have not abated," he said. "Instead, the Harare
regime appears determined to destroy the opposition and, indeed, any other
alternative voice in the country through targeted persecutions, selective
application of the law and a compromised judiciary," Tsvangirai wrote.
Tsvangirai was chosen from a list of nominees that included US Secretary of
State Colin Powell, Afghan President Hamid Karzai, former US president Ronald
Reagan and outgoing Brazilian President Fernando Cardoso, the IAPC said. Members
of the IAPC, founded in 1968, include political campaign specialists, career
politicians, political party executives, polling consultants, political
academics and lobbyists. Previous winners of its Democracy Medal include former
South African president Nelson Mandela, former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev
and former US president Jimmy Carter.
New York Times
An Academic Retreat for African Ex-Presidents
NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov. 12 - Africa is not an easy place to be a
president. One's likeness is rubbed right off the currency as soon as
moves out of the presidential mansion. The cars and the houses and
thousands of minions disappear into thin air as well. Schools and
and airports are renamed for the new guy. Then there is the pesky
of paying for one's presidential misdeeds.
But there is now a new
opportunity for African ex-presidents with too much
time on their hands: a
fellowship at Boston University that comes with fancy
healthy stipend, plenty of security and the opportunity to
return to the
lectern. Delta Airlines is even providing domestic airfare,
version of a presidential jet.
The first fellow, who began in September, is
Kenneth Kaunda, who ruled
Zambia from independence in 1964 until he stepped
down 27 years later. It is
not hard to see how Mr. Kaunda found the offer of
a fellowship attractive.
After leaving office, Mr. Kaunda and top members of
his party were arrested
repeatedly, usually on treason charges that were
later dropped. When Mr.
Kaunda tried to come out of retirement in 1996, he
suddenly found himself in
court again, facing accusations that he was not
even a Zambian citizen.
Since arriving in Boston, Mr. Kaunda has been busy
both on and off campus.
He recently gave the opening lecture at a conference
at Boston University on
integrating Africa into the global economy, and he
has also spoken at
Harvard and at People's Baptist Church in Boston. The
preparing an archive of African presidents, and Mr. Kaunda has
sat for a
lengthy interview, recalling his days in office.
"He is a living
embodiment of Africa's past struggle against colonialism,
and his commitment
to democracy and free-market reform makes him a symbol of
and future challenge to live with globalization," said
Charles R. Stith, a
former American ambassador to Tanzania who now runs
African Presidential Archives and Research Center.
The fellowship is part of
a broader effort by American universities to
establish direct links with
Africa. Already, Boston has a study-abroad
program with the University of
Abdou Moumouni in Niger and a faculty
exchange program with a university in
Ethiopia. Now the university has a
former head of state from Africa hanging
around the campus as well.
"I'd definitely recommend this program to other
African presidents," Mr.
Kaunda said in a telephone interview from Florida,
where he was on a
speaking tour. "It helps Americans understand Africa and
the other way
Mr. Kaunda said he had not found Americans lacking
when it came to their
knowledge of Africa. "I had lunch a couple of days ago
with three professors
in Boston, and I was amazed, and pleasantly so, to see
the depth of their
knowledge of Africa's problems," he said.
freewheeling fellowship could not have come at a better time for
ex-presidents, some of whom are going through a particularly rough
There is the former president of the Central African Republic who
sentenced to death in absentia recently for plotting to overthrow
current government, and the ex-president of Zambia whose house was
in a drug investigation. A former Nigerian dictator was recently
the killing of a journalist 15 years ago.
No ex-president is an
angel - here in Africa or anywhere else - and the
fellowship, called the Lloyd G. Balfour African Presidents
Program, takes that into consideration. But there are limits,
University, which has one of oldest African studies programs in
intends to steer clear of presidents who completely trampled
When it comes to deciding who is a potential fellow and who is
goods, Mr. Stith has been working with the Bush administration to
that Boston University's selections do not collide with foreign
interests. State Department officials say they back the program as a
showing African leaders that there are tangible rewards for stepping
Mr. Kaunda, the current fellow, will hold the position for a year.
Stith will choose from the many other presidents he says fit the
including Ketumile Masire of Botswana, Nicéphore Soglo of Benin,
Mascarenhas Monteiro of Cape Verde and Jerry Rawlings of
Nelson Mandela of South Africa is high on the list of contenders,
university officials are also willing to consider his predecessor, F. W.
Klerk, who presided over the end of white rule.
"It's an interesting
pool of people," said Mr. Stith, who plans a trip
through Africa in January
to begin searching for the second fellow. "There
are more possibilities than
most people imagine, and it's a group that is
growing by the year."
coming months and years, Daniel arap Moi of Kenya, Robert Mugabe of
and Yoweri Museveni of Uganda could all be ex-presidents. Mr. Stith
to rule in, or rule out, Mr. Moi or Mr. Mugabe, saying that doing so
their terms end would amount to speculation. Mr. Museveni's name,
does appear on Mr. Stith's short list. "The determination of
only really be made when one is a former president," Mr.
Stith said. "You can
only make an assessment of leaders' contribution to
democracy after they are
out of office."
Mr. Kaunda, for instance, would not have been eligible if the
been around 30 years ago, around the time he banned multiparty
Over the years, however, he became a democrat, and he stepped
peacefully after calling multiparty elections and losing to
"Most of the democracies in Africa are relatively young
compared to ours,"
Mr. Stith said. "The role ex-presidents play is still very
much a work in
Mr. Stith would not say the amount of the
stipend the African fellows
receive. He did say that they would live less
stately lives than they did
during their presidencies, but "a little better
than a junior professor."
Stigma Prevents Pwas From Receiving Care And Treatment
Integrated Regional Information Networks
November 12, 2002
the web November 12, 2002
already affected by HIV/AIDS and those headed by
women, children or the
elderly may have difficulty accessing food aid
because of stigma, according
to a recently released AIDS country profile.
The current food crisis
threatens six million Zimbabwean, but people living
with HIV/AIDS "may have
difficulty accessing food aid because of impaired
mobility, ostracism, or
stigma. Within households, the distribution of food
may favor those perceived
to be more healthy and productive; those who are
HIV-positive may be given
low priority," the AIDS Profile Project,
undertaken by the University of
California San Francisco's AIDS Policy
Research Centre, said.
that despite high levels of awareness of HIV/AIDS, high levels of
remained. Consequently, there was tremendous fear around being tested
HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe. Over 90 percent of those infected were unaware of
HIV status, the country brief said.
Traditionally, sickness and disease
was considered punishment by one's
ancestors for immorality and
unfaithfulness and people with HIV/AIDS were
still perceived as having done
"Zimbabwe's Tsungirirai AIDS Service Organisation
reports that 'HIV/AIDS is
a disease of shame. People with HIV are shunned and
treated with contempt
and described as immoral' Even in recent years, when a
sizable number of
people living with HIV/AIDS (PWAs) are open about their
remains and tends to prevent PWAs from receiving adequate
treatment," it added.
According to the profile, reports of
AIDS-related stigma and discrimination
in communal farming communities found
that community leaders at times made
discriminatory statements during
graveside funeral orations.
In their responses to the epidemic, many
faith-based organisations still
found it difficult to address stigma and
discrimination towards PWAs, as
they could not openly discuss sexual
behaviour and sexuality.
The profile also outlined the effects of
political violence and the
humanitarian crisis on the epidemic.
country's fast-track land reform programme has been accompanied by
movements of people, regroupings of family units and exposure to new
networks. "This population mobility can increase vulnerability to
HIV," the report noted.
HIV/AIDS, drought, fast-track land
reform, and the deteriorating economic
situation have made most coping
The extended family safety net and local support
networks were now
increasingly under pressure, the profile said.
the end of 2001, UNAIDS estimated that 2.3 million Zimbabweans were
with HIV/AIDS. Of infected adults, 1.2 million (60 percent) were
Zimbabwe's adult HIV prevalence was 33.7 percent, the third-highest
However, preliminary findings from ante-natal clinics in 2001
in the HIV status of the youngest women. Those positive signs
threatened by the current humanitarian crisis. Young women in
who resorted to exchanging sex for food or cash - were at risk
HIV exposure, the study said.
For more information on
Zimbabwe's AIDS Profile:
AIDS Profile Project has also developed updated profiles of HIV/AIDS
Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Senegal, South Africa, Uganda, Tanzania,
Tsvangirai's Court Records Disappear
November 12, 2002
Posted to the web November 12,
Records of the election petition case in which MDC
leader Mr Morgan
Tsvangirai challenged his defeat by Cde Kenneth Manyonda in
have gone missing at the High Court.
Even the notes of
former High Court judge Justice James Devitte, who heard
the case last year,
can also not be located.
In his judgment delivered in April last
year, Justice Devitte nullified Cde
Manyonda's victory, which meant an
election re-run was supposed to be held
in Buhera North.
Manyonda who defeated Mr Tsvangirai in the 2000 parliamentary
appealed against the judgment to the Supreme Court in May 2001.
appeal meant the office of the Registrar of the High Court had to
appeal record, which was to be forwarded to the Supreme Court.
appeal now hangs in balance following the disappearance of
The Registrar of the High Court, Mr Jacob Manzunzu,
confirmed yesterday that
his office was facing difficulties preparing the
appeal record as the
necessary information was missing.
He said the
problem was discovered when 23 cassettes on which the
proceedings of the
petition were recorded were sent to the senior legal
process transcriber for
The senior transcriber, a Mrs Fambi, discovered that six
of the 23 cassettes
were missing from her office and when an attempt was made
to transcribe the
remaining 17 cassettes, it was further found out that all
of them were
inaudible and could not be transcribed.
clerks who did the recording both say that the recording
developing a mechanical problem by producing a squeaking sound,"
He said the problem was brought to the attention of Justice
Devitte and the
trial was moved to Court C where the recording machines had a
"Mr Justice Devitte went as far as driving one of the
recorders to Harare
Magistrates Court to look for a replacement of the
recording machine," said
This necessitated the
adjournment of the trial.
Eventually a Mr Dahwa who repairs the recording
machines indicated that the
problem had been rectified and the case resumed
on the understanding that
all was in order.
"With the benefit of
hindsight, it now turns out that the confidence that
the recording machine
had been satisfactorily repaired, was misplaced," said
said it became necessary to explore other methods of reconstructing
record with the only remaining option being to use Justice
"Unfortunately, the judge's notebooks too
could not be located."
Justice Devitte resigned last year and cannot be
located as he is now in the
"It is against this
background that the record of appeal has not been
Manzunzu said an urgent meeting to decide the way forward was called
resolved that a committee of inquiry be appointed to investigate
circumstances of the disappearance of the six tapes and why there was
monitoring of the condition of the recording machine to ensure
were being properly recorded.
He said security measures
have since been tightened to curb any recurrence
of similar events or
interference with records.
The two clerks who did the recording a G
Mutakiwa and a Mr Chimanga both
confirmed in their reports that the machines
"When the matter resumed in February 2002, I was the one
who recorded the
first tapes. After recording the first ones I discovered
that the machine
was developing a mechanical problem by producing unusual
"I reported the matter to the judge who then instructed me to
report to Mr
Dahwa. I reported to Mr Dahwa at the same time looking for
"When I failed to find another court that is when we
proceeded using the
court. In the middle of the matter I was asked to go to
Mutare High Court
circuit with Justice Chatikobo since Mr Chimanga was not
yet familiar with
official opening. I also highlighted to him about the
problem of the
machine," said G Mutakiwa in a report.
In his report,
Mr Chimanga also confirmed that the recording machines were
faulty. He said
he informed Justice Devitte who at one time personally drove
Mr Dahwa to the
Rotten Row Magistrates' Court to look for a replacement.
After failing to
secure another machine, Mr Chimanga said Mr Dahwa fixed the
machine in Court
F in his presence and it started recording.
He said the trial resumed the
following day and he tested the machine and
found that it was
In her report, Mrs Fambi said since the trial was long with many
distributed them to all the transcribers since one could not manage
She said she discovered that some tapes were
missing when she was
distributing the tapes and notified her superior, a Mr
Mrs Fambi said she kept the tapes on the floor in her office
since she did
not have a cabinet with a lock.
"Every morning when I
came for work I found my door locked as I had left it
and there was no sign
of break in.
"We tried to transcribe the remaining 17 tapes since the
missing were only
six and thought a record could be produced but to our
surprise there was
nothing recorded on the remaining 17 tapes which then
means the whole case
was not recorded including the missing tapes," said Mrs
It has also emerged that the matter was only brought to the
attention of the
Judge President, Justice Paddington Garwe on September 13
2002 after which
an inquiry was instituted.
It was not also unclear
what happened to the report made to the Chief
Magistrates Office about the
matter while the former acting Registrar of the
High Court a Mr Machakaire,
who is said to have handled the initial inquiry,
has since retired on medical
Legal experts who spoke to The Herald yesterday said the only
matters like this was for the appellant, Cde Manyonda, to petition
Supreme Court for a retrial.
However, they said a retrial would
have complications because the original
trial judge has since resigned and if
a new one hears the matter he or she
might reach a different verdict which
might itself be controversial.
The lawyers said another problem was that
the credibility of the witnesses
would be in doubt because some might have
lapses in memory while others
might have their recollections contaminated by
the post trial publicity.
This is the not the first time that records of
cases involving Mr Tsvangirai
have gone missing.
Last year, a docket
in a case in which he was being charged for calling for
the violent removal
of President Mugabe from office went missing from the
Office in unclear circumstances.
The opposition leader has since been
freed on the charges.
The Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary
Affairs Cde Patrick
Chinamasa could not be reached for comment last
U.S. Man Killed in Africa Aided Kids
Tuesday November 12,
2002 7:30 PM
TORRINGTON, Conn. (AP) - While his brother worked in a
school in Zimbabwe,
Dick Gilman quietly collected money, books and clothes in
send to needy students in Africa.
Gilman, 58, was in
Zimbabwe to help out at the school when he was shot and
killed Monday by
border police. The shooting is under investigation.
Gilman was a former
middle school teacher who left that job in the 1970s to
run his own computer
He left for Africa last month to help at his
brother's school and arrange to
get food to the children, he wife, Mary
Gilman, said in Tuesday's Waterbury
Republican-American. He was supposed to
be back in Connecticut by
Longtime friend Art Perret
said Tuesday that Gilman did not like to talk
about the humanitarian work he
did. ``He did this all on his own, without
any fanfare, without anyone
knowing about it,'' Perret said.
Gilman and Perret were ``hiking
buddies'' and had discussed Gilman's trip on
a hike last month. Perret said
he asked Gilman if he was concerned about the
recent violence and uprisings
``He said, `No, people are very kind down there,''' Perret
Zimbabwe police told the newspaper Gilman was shot while trying to
after arguing with border officers about his passport and travel
Mary Gilman said she found it difficult to believe he argued with
authority figure in a foreign country he loved and had visited
Perret said he also found the police account
Gilman had traveled by car from South Africa to Zimbabwe
said, and was accustomed to going through border
``It would be very uncharacteristic of Dick to run through a
Perret said. ``He was a guy with a lot of confidence, no fear,
but he wasn't
Gilman was an avid traveler and outdoorsman who
hiked, kayaked and biked. He
once rode a bicycle in New York from Albany to
Buffalo, and biked from
Torrington to Washington, Perret said. Last summer,
he bicycled through
Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia.
U.S. officials investigate shooting of American in
HARARE, Zimbabwe, Nov. 12 - Border
police in Zimbabwe shot and killed a
Connecticut man who was on a
humanitarian mission in Africa, the U.S.
Embassy said Tuesday.
Richard Gilman, 58, a computer consultant and former teacher from
Conn., was shot near the border with Mozambique on Monday after
speeding from a police roadblock, police and state media said.
circumstances of the death remain unclear,'' a statement from
Embassy said. ''We have sent people there to talk to anyone who can
understand what happened.''
Gilman had been visiting his brother in
the border town of Mutare,
about 160 miles east of Zimbabwe's capital,
Harare. He donated supplies and
helped with nutritional programs at a local
school where his brother was a
The state-run Herald
newspaper reported Tuesday that an American
driving a Toyota Corolla with
South African license plates was stopped at a
roadblock. The man's visa was
valid until January, but the car's temporary
import permit had expired Oct.
According to the newspaper, the American became uncooperative
drove off at high speeds, forcing officers in front of him to jump out
his path. One officer fired at the car's left rear wheel.
second bullet went through the car's rear license plate, ricocheted
struck Gilman in the shoulder, The Herald said.
He was taken to a
medical facility, where he died three hours later
Police headquarters in Harare said the shooting was
investigated. No further information was immediately available from
On Monday, Zimbabwe police told the Waterbury
Connecticut newspaper, that Gilman argued with border
officers about his
passport and travel papers.
''He tried to run
away and that's when he was shot,'' officer John
Nahanda was quoted as
telling the newspaper.
Gilman's wife, Mary, said from her Torrington
home Monday that her
husband was returning from a round of golf. She said she
found it difficult
to believe he had argued with an authority figure in a
foreign country he
loved and had visited before.
Gilman had been in
Mutare almost three weeks, and was to return to
Connecticut in 10 days, the
''He went there to help children and get food,''
his wife said.
Even before his trip, Gilman had sent food and
books and clothing, to the school at his own expense, his
Art Perret said.
''I went hiking with him just a
few weeks ago,'' Perret said. ''We
talked about his planned trip. I asked him
about the volatile situation. He
described the people in the area as
friendly. He wasn't worried about his
safety at all.''
wracked by political violence and economic turmoil for 2½
years, is suffering
its worst economic crisis independence from Britain in
least half the country's 12.5 million people face hunger in coming
because of a sharp drop in agricultural production blamed on a
the government's seizure of thousands of white-owned commercial
US man dies after Zimbabwe roadblock shooting
November 12, 2002,
An American died in hospital in Zimbabwe after
being shot by
police while he tried to flee from a checkpoint in a vehicle
without a valid
permit, police said today. A spokesperson confirmed a report
state-controlled Herald newspaper that the 54-year-old lecturer, who
visiting from neighbouring South Africa, was shot after he tried to
a security roadblock in Zimbabwe's eastern town of Mutare yesterday
three hours later.
The spokesperson declined to
give the dead man's name and other
personal details, saying they would only
do so once his relatives had been
informed and a police probe was completed.
Officials at the US embassy in
Harare confirmed they had heard about the
death but were waiting for a
report from the Zimbabwean authorities on the
circumstances of the shooting.
Police said the man, whose US
passport had a temporary residence
permit for South Africa, was driving a car
with South African registration
whose temporary import licence for Zimbabwe
had expired in October. The
police said officers shot at his car twice, and
one of the bullets went
through and hit him in the shoulder. - Reuters
Villagers on violence charges remanded to
11/12/02 12:23:20 PM (GMT +2)
TWENTY-FIVE villagers in Sizeze communal lands in the
who are facing charges of public violence have been further
remanded to 21
January 2003 for trial.
They appeared before
Gwanda magistrate Owen Tagu.Prosecutor Peter
Dzipe told the court that the 25
were part of a group of 38 villagers who
last month went to a neighbouring
resettlement farm and destroyed crops and
property worth $48 000 in a feud
over grazing lands.
The other 13 are already serving five-year jail
Advocate Tim Cherry argued that he needed to consult
widely with his
clients in order for him to prepare their defence
The court did not have their warned-and-cautioned statements
was agreed with the consent of both parties that the case be postponed
later date to allow the police to bring the statements.
Police thwart MISA road show
11:04:40 AM (GMT +2)
From Our Correspondent
in Bulawayo on Friday thwarted efforts by the Media Institute
Africa (MISA) to mobilise the masses to lobby the government to
licensing of private broadcasters.
Zenzele Ndebele, a MISA member
said the police had initially given
them the greenlight.
Bulawayo MISA advocacy committee had organised a road show,
Bulawayo groups, Bongo Love and IYASA. It was to be held at
Ndebele said: "We had been given permission to hold
the road show by
Superintendent Muzeza on Friday morning. Later that day
officer, David Gwenzi, said we could not hold the
According to a letter written to MISA, the police could not
the road show because they did not have enough
According to the Public Order and Security Act, it is a
offence to hold a public gathering without notifying the police.
Daily News - Feature
A message of hope Jongwe never
11/12/02 11:51:28 AM (GMT +2)
By Tawanda wa
ON THE morning of 23 October 2002, I received a telephone
informing me of the sad news of the death of Learnmore Jongwe. It was
that shocked me beyond belief but when I went onto the Internet,
messages from our mutual friends confirmed the reality of the tragic
About three weeks before on the 3 October, I had written a
Jongwe which was to be delivered to him by a mutual friend. Sadly,
letter may never have reached him. It was meant to be a letter of
It is a letter that I believe my brother would have been
receive - for we had become as close as brothers.
I send the letter to Zimbabwe for the same theme in that letter
is one that
applies equally to our present scenario. When you read it, I
satisfied that Jongwe will have read it too - for he was one who had
at heart and would have wanted the same message delivered to all as
it was to
him. We are all mere mortals and though our bodies may lose life,
remains in us all. This is what I said to my friend, and this is
what I am
saying to Zimbabwe too:
My brother Jongwe,
I have been
meaning to communicate with you ever since the tragic news
shores. I am grateful that our mutual brother Terry has
opportunity. I hope this one finds you well and I hope you
will be happy to
read these few words from me. I would have loved to make
but time and technology only allow me to type. But they
remain my words -
true and well meant.
I do not know where to start. I can only say,
my brother, sad as it
is, we must never lose hope. The enormous walls that
they have erected
around you are not the ones that restrict your freedom, for
freedom lies in
your heart. Some day the walls can break down but if your
heart is not free,
you will forever commit yourself to
As they say in that epic film Shawshank Redemption,
fear can hold you
prisoner but only hope can set you free, so we must all
have hope and look
to the future. If ever I thought that there was no hope, I
would not think
about you and I would not be sitting here, writing to
Break down the shackles of fear and despair and bring yourself
the embracing arms of hope.
At a time when things are
difficult, it should not be surprising that
there will not be many friends.
Indeed, some might even shun association.
When we are in such hard situations
we feel let down, betrayed and
forgotten. Sometimes we gnaw at our hearts and
get depressed at the
loneliness of our world. But I must say to you that
regardless of the
circumstances, there are still some people who will never
forget you and who
will try to be there whenever possible. I can assure you
that I am one of
those. If there is anything I could do to assist, please let
me know. Some
people from that (I cannot name our old place of employment)
law firm and
who are now in these isles call me from time to time to enquire
welfare and they too send their warmest regards.
most important thing, my brother, is acceptance. That is an
thing because you communicate with your heart. When you do
that you set
yourself free. You let your mind wander and enjoy all that life
has to offer.
Shakespeare may have said "life is but a walking shadow, a
poor player that
struts and frets his hour upon the stage and is heard no
more," and that
"life is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
nothing". Indeed, it would seem thus.
But I believe it is more than
that - life is an enriching experience.
The crests of waves that we
ride and the troughs and swamps through
which we wade, are all important
episodes in our lives. We have to pay
attention to the road as we move along
because when we do that we not only
learn, but the road also teaches us how
to move forward. And that road is
not always smooth - but then, the hardships
that we encounter should make us
more resolute, strong and capable of
withstanding other problems that we
might encounter in future. That is why
this experience should not be
disheartening as such - and why, far from
causing you to feel low, it should
spur you on. For the future holds many
challenges, and if you can go through
this, and I am hopeful you will, then
you should be better able to handle
known each other for a long time now. I remember the
enthusiastic boy who
followed me all the way to the law school that day in
1995, the boy who
always wanted to succeed and was ever willing to learn. I
remember too, the
humble boy who sought advice when he was running for
office at university. I
cannot forget the young man who followed me all the
way to that law firm
after doing so well at varsity. Those were the days -
but we cannot think
that similar days will not come again. Jongwe, we have
to hope - it's
important to stay positive.
If we all knew what would happen to us
in future, life would not be
worth living. It is the expectation of the
unexpected that makes life such
an adventure - an interesting epoch. Life,
the greatest teacher, counsels us
that we can learn and that we can change
even when the impossible seems to
be the only possibility. In life there are
many things that could have
happened but did not and others still that might
not have happened but did.
Such, as they say, is life. As to the future,
Time, the magician, will tell.
My main word to you, as I have
repeated in this letter, is hope. It is
that which keeps us going. You are a
versatile man and I am sure you are
doing your best to cope and survive under
That's the spirit my man - just keep going. I
am not sure if they
allow you to read - but if at all there is a book that I
would like to send
for, it is a book that will give you the power to look to
the future. Pass
the message to the bearers of this letter and I will send it
It is the book with the message that when you really want
the whole universe will conspire to make it happen for
So after all that has happened could Shakespeare have been
all? That "life is but a walking shadow and a poor player, a tale
told by an
idiot"? Perhaps. But I insist that it is far more than that and
still have cause to look to the future. I did not write this letter
obituary - it is what I felt about this man in real life.
Today, it is just a tribute to my friend. It was meant for him but I
he would have been pleased too, if the message that I intended to
him could be delivered to Zimbabwe.
It is a message of hope. It is
why I have sent it to you. The walls of
poverty, terror, and desperation are
not the ones that should keep us
prisoners - it is the fear and despair in
our hearts that can hold us down.
Once we overcome that we can achieve our
goal - not to destroy, but to build
on what we have and become better again.
And I am sure Jongwe will be happy
Black Money Market Dogs Zimbabwe
The Associated Press, Tue 12 Nov
HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) - Restaurant customers in Zimbabwe
thick wads of local currency bulging in their bags. Real estate
over deposits of millions of Zimbabwean dollars stuffed into
Newspaper advertisements have begun
offering currency counting
machines for sale.
With inflation out
of control and a massive shortage of hard currency,
the value of the Zimbabwe
dollar has collapsed - the latest sign of this
``We are looking at total meltdown. It could in the next
push the country into absolute collapse,'' said Harare political
On the black market, the value of the
Zimbabwe dollar fluctuated
wildly Monday. By the afternoon, $1 bought 1,800
Zimbabwe dollars compared
to Friday's 1,500.
``The rate is
changing by the hour,'' said one black market dealer on
The official rate stands firm at 55 to 1.
Meanwhile, exasperated officials at the central bank are running out
currency as black marketeers and money launderers withdraw massive
bank notes to buy hard currency.
Central bank officials said they
would monitor large cash withdrawals
from banks of more than 500,000 Zimbabwe
dollars in a bid to trap them.
The government has repeatedly
refused to devalue the currency.
Unofficial trading has been spurred by a
severe hard currency shortage
stemming from political instability that has
disrupted the main hard
currency earning industries: tobacco, tourism and
Independent economists say the black market exchange
rate has been
pushed up by desperate state enterprises seeking hard currency
rates to pay debts for oil, imported electricity and external
fees and debts
owed by the state airline. Many of those debts face
foreclosure and the
termination of supplies and services.
central bank said last week it deferred a decision on issuing a
Zimbabwe dollar bank note until after the retirement at the end of the
of Leonard Tsumba, the bank's governor.
The highest existing bill
is 500 Zimbabwe dollars. With official
inflation at a record 140 percent and
forecast to rise to at least 500
percent early next year, the biggest
Zimbabwe note, red in color, has become
known as a Ferrari, after the red
Italian sports car that goes very fast.
Thousands of cars were not
going anywhere in Harare on Monday.
Travelers reported no gas at stations
along the 160 mile main route from the
eastern border town of Mutare to
Oil industry executives say the shortages have been caused
dearth of hard currency to pay for state-controlled imports and
near-collapse of a deal with Libya that would supply 70 percent of
country's monthly gasoline requirements.
The state National
Oil Company holds a monopoly on imports and has
pegged gas prices in a bid to
Gasoline in Zimbabwe is the cheapest in the region
at about 68 US
cents a gallon, half the price of locally produced milk or
Gas imports are being heavily subsidized by the state.
industry executives say on the open market gas would be bought
into the landlocked country for up to about $4 a gallon, raising
consumer price by 600 percent.
Without a heavy price
increase, shortages will continue, analysts say.
At least 6.7
million Zimbabweans, more than half the population, face
hunger in coming
months because of a sharp drop in agricultural production
blamed on a drought
and the government's seizure of thousands of white-owned
Pensioners demand benefits overhaul
11/12/02 12:18:02 PM (GMT +2)
impoverished pensioners want the government to completely overhaul
benefits for the calender year starting January 2003.
In a letter
dated 27 September 2002 addressed to July Moyo, the
Minister of Public
Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Dr Herbert Murerwa,
the Minister of
Finance and Economic Development, and the director of
pensioners called upon the government to review their monthly
"We hereby kindly request your highest authority and
a complete review and overhaul of our pensions benefits,"
read the letter.
The pensioners said the high cost of living, reflected
in a galloping
inflation currently pegged at 139 percent, demands that the
According to a letter in the possession
of The Daily News, the pension
benefits were way below the inflation
One pensioner said most pensioners were now living in abject
He said: "Remember that on average most pensioners are
between 40 and
55 years of age and still had children attending
Unlike their colleagues in government, the former civil
they were not getting salary adjustments
The retired civil servant demanded that government award
increases every time their colleagues received salary
"We would like a situation where if civil servants get a
rise we also
get one," said the pensioner.
accused government of deliberately and systematically
They demanded that the former employer pay outstanding
increments of 78 percent backdated to 1998. They further demanded
be paid a 20 percent cost of living adjustment awarded to civil
August last year.
Among other grievances, the
pensioners want to be paid an annual bonus
equivalent to their monthly
"We also request that all State pensioners' wives and
free treatment in government hospitals as is the case with
veterans," read the last part of the letter.
Moyo and Murerwa could not be reached for comment by the time
of going to
press, some economic analysts said the government was unlikely
to meet the
pensioners' demands considering the appalling state of
The analysts cited mass starvation in the country,
a collapsing health
delivery system, poor remuneration for teachers among
other critical areas
as posing the greatest challenge.
Chanakira blames insanity for economic woes
11/12/02 12:19:38 PM (GMT +2)
By Chris Mhike
INSANITY, not Tony Blair, nor the British, nor the white race, is the
of Zimbabwe's economic woes, says Nigel Chanakira, the deputy chairman
Kingdom Financial Holdings Limited.
Addressing delegates attending
the Zimbabwe National Chamber of
Commerce (ZNCC) conference in Nyanga last
week, Chanakira said Zimbabwean
authorities had repeatedly failed to take
corrective action for the
rectification of failed economic policies. Such
repeated failure, said the
international businessman, was tantamount to
Chanakira said: "Insanity prevails where you do things
the same way
every time, with disastrous consequences and yet each time
results. In Zimbabwe there has been a heavy cost to our own
paradigm shift we need so much has not been
The Zimbabwean economy has been rapidly contracting
in the past five
years as a direct result of government's warped economic
The chaotic land "reform" programme, price controls, the
expansion of Cabinet, coupled with high government expenditure and
by the international community, are high on the list of the
government's retrogressive political moves in the last five
During the last half of the decade aggregate output from the
productive sector declined by 25,8 percentage points in cumulative
Export levels have progressively declined from US$3,1 billion
billion) in 1996 to US$1,4 billion (Z$77 billion) this year.
reached a peak of 139,9 percent at the end of September this year,
31,7 percent in 1998. Output and productivity in the agricultural
fell drastically since the year 2000, when the so-called "Third
land invasions commenced.
But the government has
strong-headedly continued to pursue these
ruinous policies. Government
officials, especially President Mugabe, have
sought to divorce the nation's
economic crisis from the flawed policies.
British Premier Tony
Blair, the International Monetary Fund, the World
Bank and the white race
have been invariably blamed. Blair's name features
in almost every speech
made at home or abroad by Mugabe and Jonathan Moyo,
the Minister of State for
Information and Publicity in the President's
said: "People naturally want to blame others, or something
else, for their
"If Tony Blair is really the problem, why do we not
and go to 10 Downing Street and find solutions for the
nation's problems at
the point of the origin of the problem?"
Downing Street in the official residence of the British Prime
London, United Kingdom. Chanakira appealed to the business
community to rise
above partisan politics and make a more positive
contribution to the healing
of Zimbabwe's economy.
Chanakira said: "This talk of Blair is
ducking and diving. The time
for politics is over. The elections are over - I
hope. So as the politicians
tear each other business leaders should be doing
business, coming up with
solutions to Zimbabwe's economic
He said the successes of business people at the domestic
international levels would in the long run, force political leaders
respect the role
of the business community in the running of the
economy, in terms of
The ZNCC, a body
comprised of business leaders from all the provinces
of Zimbabwe drawn from
all sectors of the economy, undertook to enhance its
participation in the
revival of the economy.
How about donating fat pay cheques to
11/12/02 11:44:51 AM (GMT +2)
I WISH I was an Ethiopian.
If I was I would be
filled with pride at the recent announcement made
by that country's
Last week the entire Ethiopian government announced that
each donate one month's salary to help people starving to death in
If I was an Ethiopian I might be hungry, thin and
tired but I think my
heart and soul would feel good because at least I would
know that the
leaders of the country do care about my suffering and are
trying their best
to help me.
What shame upon shame for
Zimbabwe's leaders yet again, with the
announcement of pay rises for our
leader, Cabinet ministers and other top
Last week, President Mugabe's salary and those of his deputies,
ministers and Members of Parliament were increased by an
percent with immediate effect.
The salary increments were the
second since February this year and are
backdated to 1 July
The latest pay rises come against a backdrop of numerous
government and parastatal workers over pay increases and better
Two weeks ago health workers in government
hospitals went on strike,
crippling the public health sector.
They claim the government misled them when it said their salaries
increased in October.
The Progressive Teachers' Union of Zimbabwe
called a strike, now four
weeks old, over pay. In reprisal more than 600 of
their members have since
On the other hand, the
strike by Air Zimbabwe engineers over pay
increases and improved working
conditions is into its second month.
More than six million
Zimbabweans are surviving by trapping mice in
barren fields, putting plastic
bags over flying ants' nests and eating wild
leaves and berries.
Their votes are vital but their hunger and suffering apparently
I could not stop myself from switching on a
calculator and doing a few
sums to see just exactly what I could do with my
monthly salary, if I was
one of the gallant men leading Zimbabwe in November
Not allowing for the four months' back pay on my recently
salary and just going by the published figures in the Presidential
and Allowances Notice, this is what I could put in my shopping trolley
today's prices - assuming of course that I could actually buy
commodities and would only have to pay the controlled prices:
Ten trays of eggs; 50 loaves of bread; 100 litres of milk; 100kg of
100 cobs of green maize; four jars of coffee; six boxes of teabags;
maize-meal; two pockets of potatoes; 20kg of beef; 10 packets of
biscuits and assorted fruits and vegetables.
Still having well over
half my salary left and knowing that I don't
have to pay my domestic staff or
school fees, I might then treat myself to
one watermelon, which now only
costs $850. Maybe I'd even buy all my
children one apple. They are only $80
each, after all.
I might then put $50 000 into my savings account
and donate one
hundred thousand dollars to the six million starving people I
It is they, after all, who pay my wage, school fees and all
other allowances I regularly receive.
If I was just an
ordinary teacher in Zimbabwe, by the time I'd paid
the transport charges to
work and back every day, my domestic staff's wages,
school fees and rent, I
could only just afford to buy the two pockets of
potatoes and 50 loaves of
bread on the shopping list - everything else would
be in my
I wouldn't be able to donate anything to the six million
people in the country or put anything at all into my savings book,
a bit of luck I might find some watermelon seeds at the roadside
could collect and plant.
At least I would have the empty
raffia sacks from the potatoes to use
as blankets and the used plastic bags
from the bread to trap flying ants
with, so perhaps my life wouldn't be so
bad after all.
The gap between the rich and the poor in Zimbabwe is
now wider than
the Grand Canyon.
Last week, as 100 or more cars
sat in queues at the few filling
stations which had fuel outside Harare, an
official convoy of armoured
vehicles went past.
At the head of
the convoy were two police motorcycles. Behind them
were a Mercedes and a BMW
and behind them, 14 armoured vehicles.
Armed and aggressive-looking
soldiers glared out at the world which
they had ordered to stop.
They guarded their precious cargo of deadly cannons but did not seem
realise that the faces looking back at them are those of people near
What is wrong with you, the men and women who lead
How about donating one month's salary to the more than
million starving people who supposedly voted you back into
Even one week's salary would do.
I wish I was an
Beitbridge needs $10m for solar eclipse
11/12/02 12:19:19 PM (GMT +2)
THE Beitbridge District Solar Eclipse Committee has appealed
million for preparations for the 4 December event.
Sifelani Modeme, the committee chairman, made the call after players
tourism industry failed to respond to an earlier appeal.
was made after the committee realised that the Beitbridge
Council would not be able to finance and carry out the work
required to clean
up the town and give it a face-lift.
"We have not yet received any
response to the appeal, but we expect
players in the tourism industry to
respond positively. There is so much work
to be done and we do not expect
council alone to provide the resources to
give the town a face-lift. We have
less than a month to go before the great
event. That is why we are once again
appealing for urgent support."
The $10 million is meant to cover
the purchase of new refuse bins and
to tar access roads around the town,
among other things.
The rural district council has applied to the
Ministry of Local
Government for financial assistance to improve service
delivery in the town.
Meanwhile, Beitridge has just experienced a
week-long water crisis.
The council has advertised its intention to
borrow $300 million from
government under the Public Sector Investment
Programme to upgrade its sewer
Originally designed to
serve a population of 10 000, the sewer system
is now failing to cope with 30
000 people now living in Beitbridge.
The border town also serves a
huge transit population moving to and
from South Africa on a daily
Meanwhile, the National Board of Casinos has donated $10
Linkfest to host a five-day entertainment gala from 1 to 5
Modeme said the committee was working with the Linkfest
hire drama, poetry and dance groups to entertain the expected
Centres competing for the solar eclipse clientele are
Matopos National Park, Gwanda and the Victoria Falls.
MDC to challenge grain seizure
12:14:31 PM (GMT +2)
From Our Correspondent
MDC will soon go to court to force the government to release 132
maize grain held by the State at Beitbridge border post.
leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, last Friday travelled to Beitbridge for
with Customs officials over the consignment being held in a
warehouse at the
William Bango, Tsvangirai's spokesman said: "The
president held a
meeting with the Customs and clearing agents."
Bango said people were in desperate need of the staple food and the
no option but to take the matter to court.
While Tsvangirai was
locked in a meeting with Customs and clearing
officials, hundreds of people
waited desperately at Lutumba Grain Marketing
Board depot to buy the maize,
even though they had no idea when delivery
would be made.
MDC national chairman, Isaac Matongo, said the government should
process the release of the seized consignment for the benefit of
Matongo said: "The maize will benefit all the people
their political affiliation. We are facing starvation as a
nation and we
need a combined effort from both Zanu PF and MDC to feed the