The following is the full text of an address to the British parliament by
Vauxhall MP Kate Hoey during a debate on foreign affairs on Wednesday,
By Kate Hoey
Last updated: 11/23/2006 10:12:43
IT IS always interesting to follow one of my many constituents, who can be
found on both sides of the House.
I shall not talk about Iraq, other than to say that I share many of the
views that have been expressed on both sides. We do need an early
withdrawal. It will not be acceptable to my constituents, most of whom were
opposed to the war, for our soldiers to continue to be killed. We need a way
I wish to address a crisis in which the UK's historical position means that
we could play a special role. Indeed, we have a right to play a special role
in Zimbabwe. I apologise for not being in my place earlier in the debate,
but I was chairing the all-party group on Zimbabwe, at which we had the
immense privilege of listening to Archbishop Pius Ncube, the very brave
Roman Catholic archbishop from Bulawayo, who has repeatedly stood out
against Mugabe and the political oppression in his country.
Until now, the Government have preferred to play a behind the scenes role in
dealing with the crisis in Zimbabwe, and Ministers have been anxious-perhaps
understandably-to avoid playing to Mugabe's propaganda scripts, which
portray the Zimbabwe crisis as a bilateral post-colonial dispute. That has
to change, and soon.
The socio-economic position in Zimbabwe has never before been so bad. The
country's inflationary rate is almost 2,000 per cent., the highest in the
world. The economy has declined at a rate unprecedented in a nation that is
supposedly at peace. It is the fastest declining economy in the world. The
GDP has shrunk by more than 40 per cent. in the past six years. Such an
economic collapse has never happened before in a nation that is not at war.
Zimbabwe has one of the highest HIV infection rates on earth, with more than
24 per cent. of the population infected, while pathetically small amounts
are spent on antiretroviral drugs by a Government who have been more
concerned to import military aircraft from China than to protect the lives
of their people.
By the end of this year, there will not be enough grain to feed the nation,
although Zimbabwe used to be the bread basket of southern Africa. There is
no sign of economic recovery, with the Zimbabwean Government threatening to
seize 51 per cent. ownership of all mines in the country. The lack of
security of any kind of ownership is hardly likely to encourage the foreign
investment needed to reindustrialise Zimbabwe.
Just a few weeks ago I visited for the third time and I saw for myself the
hunger, illness and desperation stalking the country. The cemeteries are
filling up, but no blood is being spilled. People are just fading away,
dying quietly and being buried quietly with no fanfare and no international
media attention. Each week an estimated 3,500 Zimbabweans die from a unique
convergence of malnutrition, poverty and AIDS. The figures suggest that, far
from the media spotlight-no BBC cameras allowed in-more people die in
Zimbabwe each week than in either, in the past, Darfur or Iraq. Those deaths
are largely preventable, but without significant intervention the situation
threatens to develop into a humanitarian crisis of biblical proportions.
The Zimbabwean Government continue deliberately to underplay the extent of
the malnutrition crisis for political reasons, using food as a political
weapon, most recently in the rural elections. The World Health Organisation's
figures, released earlier this year, put life expectancy in Zimbabwe as the
lowest in the world-34 for women and 37 for men. Despite attracting little
media attention, those figures, which relate to 2004, show the gravity of
Recently, there has been a crackdown on the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade
Unions and I met many of the trade unionists who have been beaten up. Those
brave trade unionists are fighting hard to get their voices heard and for
the rights and basic democracy that we take for granted.
One of the things that this country can do is try to change international
perception of what is happening in Zimbabwe. Mugabe is not stupid. He is a
clever operator and he has manipulated world opinion, especially in the
African region. He has also played on our memories of past struggles to
paralyse progressive opinion that should be expressing outrage at what he is
doing. It should be as unacceptable to defend Robert Mugabe today as it was
in the past to defend Pinochet of Chile or Idi Amin of Uganda.
Our Government cannot expect sustainable development in Africa until we find
ways of preventing the plunder of its economies and the destruction of its
natural and human resources by rogue leaders. Persuading regional leaders
that they must engage in finding a way to end the crisis in Zimbabwe is
basic to the future well-being of the entire Government there.
The Government have a real opportunity to support the recent moves towards a
resolution of the situation in Zimbabwe by promoting the initiative from
within the Southern African Development Community region. The recent
decision of the new chairman of SADC, the Prime Minister of Lesotho, to
dispatch a ministerial action group to Harare has evoked furious reactions
from the ruling Zanu PF in Zimbabwe.
Lesotho's decision to put Zimbabwe high on the SADC agenda shows an
acceptance, at last, that the crisis there is undermining the economies of
the region and peace there. I understand that that indictment of Mugabe's
regime at last has the blessing of the Governments of South Africa and
Botswana. SADC countries are beginning to face up to the political realities
of the crisis in Zimbabwe and accept regional responsibility for dealing
with a member state that has long been in breach of its fundamental
obligations as a member of that community.
I welcome the recent statements of the Under-Secretary of State for the
Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Lord Triesman, and my right hon. Friend the
Minister for Trade, both of whom are now prepared to speak out more clearly
and unequivocally on Zimbabwe. I wish that Ministers in other EU countries
would stop trying to undermine the targeted sanctions in their own national
self-interests and without regard to the plight of the people of Zimbabwe. I
hope that the British Government will do what they can to stop France from
inviting Mugabe to the African conference in the new year. We must ensure
that we support the efforts of those who carry on the struggle inside
Zimbabwe-civil society, the churches and the opposition. They need money and
resources, and we have to find ways of ensuring that they get them.
Mugabe's final term is due to end in March 2008, but there are already moves
afoot to extend it to 2010. He is terrified of ending up in a cell in The
Hague like Charles Taylor of Liberia. If the opposition in Zimbabwe are
prepared to say that one man cannot be allowed to stand in the way of ending
the suffering of an entire nation, we could accept that. Offering a way out
for Mugabe and, perhaps, other figures in the ruling party could form part
of negotiations on a transitional process. That process has to pave the way
for a new constitution and genuinely free elections so that the people of
Zimbabwe can start to rebuild their country and its institutions under a
Many hon. Members might think that compared with other emergencies around
the world, the situation in Zimbabwe is a relatively unimportant problem. In
fact it is relatively straightforward, but it requires leadership and
political will. The people of Zimbabwe would welcome any serious initiative
with enthusiasm. That would not require military involvement from our
already overstretched armed forces. With the help of allies in Africa, a
solution is possible.
Conditions in Zimbabwe have not got any better; they are getting worse. The
brutality of the regime has not declined. It is prepared to disregard all
civilised standards when it comes to suppressing expressions of dissent from
trade unions, churches or civilians. However, during my visit there I saw
that there is a unity of purpose. A cohesive opposition alliance has emerged
between trade unions, civil society and the opposition, who are planning
together for the future. That gives me grounds for optimism.
There is no point in devoting tens of millions of pounds of my poor
constituents' money from DFID's budget to food aid and efforts that will at
best ameliorate and at worst camouflage the impact of Zanu PF's wanton
mismanagement if ways of funding the organisations that make up the
mainstream opposition cannot be found. The Prime Minister is not going to
get his legacy in Iraq; if he wants a real legacy, he should spend the next
six months going around the African countries and really working. He could
end up getting a solution to the problems in Zimbabwe. The Zimbabweans and
the world want that, and it would give the Prime Minister his legacy.
By Staff Reporter
Last updated: 11/23/2006 12:38:40
ZIMBABWE'S ruling Zanu PF party has shut down a school almost two weeks
before the close of the third term in preparation for its annual people's
conference to be held there, New Zimbabwe.com learnt last night.
Goromonzi High School in Mashonaland Central Province was ordered to close
on Thursday this week, almost two weeks before the normal school term ends.
The Zanu PF conference, to be attended by President Robert Mugabe, opens on
Furious parents last night told of their surprise at the decision to close
the school early.
One parent who has a child doing Form 3 at the school said: "I paid fees for
the duration of the term. I am not sure Zanu PF will be refunding me."
Another parent blasted: "It's a scandal. It looks like our schools are now
political theatres...politics now takes precedence over the education of our
There was no immediate comment from school authorities.
Zanu PF sources last night said the closure was precipitated by a
realisation that there would not be enough time to renovate some buildings
and spruce up the school's surroundings between the end of the normal term
and the start of the Zanu PF congress.
A decision was taken by the party's coordinating committee for the
conference which includes State Security Minister Didymus Mutasa, Local
Government Minister Ignatius Chombo, Health Minister David Parirenyatwa and
Mashonaland East governor, Ray Kaukonde.
The officials toured the school early this month and were joined by
Education Minister Aeneas Chigwedere and the Goromonzi headmaster, Abisha
At the end of the tour, Mashonaland East senator Sydney Sekeramayi told
state television that Zanu PF would be releasing funds to renovate some of
the buildings at the school.
During the tour, the Zanu PF officials were shown the school hall,
classrooms, the clinic, the kitchen and offices which will be opened to
thousands of party delegates from across the country.
The committee also took an interest in the school's football ground where
tents will be pitched.
Last year's congress was held at Mzingwane High School in Matabeleland
South. After years of neglect, the school received a major facelift when the
Education Ministry suddenly made available funds for extensive renovations.
President Mugabe is set to use the Zanu PF conference to call for unity
among the party's senior officials who have crossed swords in the race to
succeed him when his term expires in 2008.
Mugabe recently hit out against fierce jockeying for his position, accusing
would-be presidential candidates of waiting impatiently "like witches" to
see him go.
It is thought Zanu PF might pass a resolution to use its parliamentary
majority to force through new constitutional amendments necessary to allow
the postponement of the presidential elections to 2010, the same year as the
Presidential candidates at present appear to be ruling party political
heavyweight Emmerson Mnangagwa; vice-president Joice Mujuru; former finance
minister and ruling party moderate Simba Makoni; and possibly Central Bank
chief Gideon Gono, although Gono has denied any interest.
Parastatals fork out $6 million per table
By Tricks Mupondagarwe
HARARE - In an intriguing development in President Robert Mugabe's
succession logjam, Vice President Joice Mujuru - the top contender for the
post - last month held a secret fundraising dinner at Rainbow Towers in
High-level sources told The Zimbabwean that Mujuru, who appears to have
fallen out of favour with Mugabe, was desperate to outflank her rival
Emmerson Mnangagwa, Sources said a sizeable number of cabinet ministers and
MP's aligned to Mujuru's faction, led by her husband and former army
commander Solomon Mujuru, attended the "secret dinner", which was neither a
State nor Zanu (PF) function. Some of the ministers and legislators present
at the indaba included, Munacho Mtezo who runs Mujuru's former ministry in
charge of Water resources and Infrastructural development, deputy finance
minister David Chapfika and legislator David Butau. Other ruling party
officials who attended include David Karimanzira, Karikoga Kaseke, Christian
Katsande, Ray Chihota and Joel Matiza.
"The whole thing caught us by surprise," a parastatal head who attended the
dinner meeting told The Zimbabwean. "We were told to make ourselves present
at the gala but were not sure what the function was all about. We were
instructed to buy tables for $6 million dollars after which we were made to
pledge donations for an unknown cause." Parastatal heads are particularly
vulnerable to government pressure as their jobs depend entirely on Zanu
Investigations revealed that Mujuru was booked at the Rainbow Towers
Jacaranda rooms 2 and 3, while the prior occupants of the rooms were ordered
out to pave way for the dinner. Sources added that the booking was made
through the finance director's office instead of the conferencing office,
raising eyebrows as to the motive behind the meeting.
An official at Rainbow Towers who declined to be identified for job safety
reasons listed Net One, Zesa, Air Zimbabwe and the Civil Aviation Authority
of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) as some of the parastatals present. No comment could be
obtained from the information ministry as information minister, Paul
Mangwana, kept switching his phone off. Mujuru's office declined to comment.
VICTORIA FALLS - Zanu (PF) cadres on Saturday stopped Zambian cross-border
traders in Victoria Falls and confiscated their goods, accusing them of
contributing to food shortages and escalating prices of basic commodities in
the resort town.
Police later raided a warehouse believed to belong to the National Railways
of Zimbabwe (NRZ) and seized goods, including maize-meal and sugar, on
suspicion that the supplies were stolen.
Victoria Falls was last week reported to have run out of maize-meal, cooking
oil and a wide range of basic commodities, including sugar. The shortage
reportedly incensed Zanu (PF) supporters, who marched to a warehouse where
the Zambians store their goods overnight before clearance at the border.
"They looted goods worth thousands of dollars," David Mulenga, a Zambian
cross-border trader said. "They kept threatening and accusing us of trying
to sabotage Zanu (PF)."
Police in Hwange said investigations were under way following a police raid
on the NRZ facility that recovered beer cans, maize-meal bags, cooking oil
and large amounts of sugar.
"We acted on a tip-off from the public," the officer said. "Some of these
people you say had their goods looted are smugglers and what they are doing
by Gift Phiri
HARARE - A top ruling Zanu (PF) party official has made fantastic claims
that Britain had put together an intervention force that was to invade
Zimbabwe and topple the Mugabe regime but was stopped at the last minute by
Zanu (PF) spokesman Nathan Shamuyarira made the startling remarks in
Bulawayo last week during a seminar organized by the Centre for Peace
Initiatives in Africa. He did not state which countries foiled the planned
military intervention, which he claimed was aimed at bringing "Baghdad-style
carnage to Harare."
"Britain wanted to come in but was stopped when the neighbouring countries
said they supported Zimbabwe's policies," Shamuyarira said. "Britain would
have intervened forcefully in Zimbabwe had it not been told to back off by
neighbouring countries. That kind of solidarity is the bedrock on which the
African Union is built."
Britain has rejected the charge as "absurd" saying it had not at any point
discussed invading Zimbabwe but had sought constructive dialogue with the
crisis-torn country as a conflict resolution measure.
Shamuyarira said Britain wanted to use the invasion of Zimbabwe to divert
attention from the "disastrous performance of British troops in Iraq."
He claimed that Britain, angered by the "highly successful" land reform
programme, wanted to deploy massive fire power to Harare to unseat
President Robert Mugabe and Zanu (PF) from power as a way of avenging the
eviction of thousands of white farmers under the agrarian reform programme.
BULWAYO - Zimbabwe's human rights groups are pressing for the withdrawal of
troops from rural Matabeleland.
The main human rights watchdog, Zimrights, has petitioned Defence Minister
Sidney Sekeramayi to urgently withdraw military units from rural
Matabeleland and some townships where they are spearheading the infamous
Operation Maguta, saying their presence is heightening fears.
Zimrights'executive director Kucaca Phulu said their deployment was meant to
"instil and maintain fear" in Matabeleland, where the infamous Fifth Brigade
massacred an estimated 20 000 civilians in the 1980s.
Mathula Lusinga of the Movement for Democratic Change said villagers in
Tsholotsho, Matabeleland, had reported this week that soldiers were firing
shots into the air at night to frighten people. While the Acting Information
Minister, Paul Mangwana, denied that army units were in Matabeleland,
Sekeramayi confirmed in Parliament last week that units were in the
province. Sekeramayi said the army had a duty to defend the "sovereignty and
territorial integrity of the country and to ensure that peace and
Some members of the Mutambara-led opposition Movement for Democratic Change
officials have also been arrested after they petitioned the military not to
oppress people and to think about their future in a post-Mugabe Zimbabwe. -
HARARE - The Zimbabwean government has rejected assertions by the
International Organization for Migration (IOM) that human trafficking is a
growing phenomenon in the southern African country, despite the existence of
enormous evidence on the ground.
IOM says Zimbabwe is increasingly becoming a human trafficking centre due to
its central location in the Southern African region. The UN organization
also links the latest wave to the desperation among the many seeking to
leave the country in a bid to escape the economic and political crisis.
Recently the police dealt with numerous cases involving young girls who were
being trafficked to China through a syndicate involving local business
people linked to Chinese trafficking cartels. According to a senior officer
in the ZRP victims friendly unit, the latest phenomenon "is a reality
despite government's denials."
"We have dealt with five unique cases, three of them in Harare and two in
Bulawayo but the problem is that we can not do anything to prosecute because
there is no law to deal with that as yet," said the officer.
Last year, the US State department reported that Zimbabwe was a source and
transit country for women and children trafficked for purposes of forced
labour and sexual exploitation, and that the government did not comply with
the minimum standards on the elimination of trafficking.
Dennis Chifamba, Head of Multilateral Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs, called for a joint assessment with the IOM aimed at ascertaining
the scope and nature of the problem in Zimbabwe. - Saul Chaminuka
BY GIFT PHIRI
HARARE - The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has pledged to seek legal
help from South Africa and the West to recover illicit funds stashed abroad
by President Robert Mugabe and his corrupt lieutenants when it takes over
the government of Zimbabwe.
The MDC will also instruct private sector lawyers to help launch an
investigation into the assets held abroad by the ruling elite, according to
a secret MDC document seen by The Zimbabwean.
The MDC says it is aware there have been huge capital outflows from top Zanu
(PF) officials to tax havens in Europe and the US.
The document, prepared by the MDC's Policy and Research portfolio, states
that there is conclusive evidence that top government officials have
stripped the nation's Treasury.
The opposition party will seek the co-operation of the international banking
community such as the World Bank, IMF and the European Union in proving that
donor funds were abused and also in tracking funds externalized by the
Without naming anyone, the MDC says it has evidence of top officials who
have sought to avoid detection by the central bank and the formal banking
sector by redirecting funds held outside Zimbabwe or by illegally exporting
A likely first destination is South Africa, which has a large banking system
offering access to international investment and strong financial ties with
its northern neighbour.
The MDC will also seek the cooperation of Switzerland in tracking down
looted assets under a United Nations Convention, which criminalizes bribery,
money laundering, and embezzlement of public funds. The pact obliges
countries to return illegally acquired assets.
"To get the Swiss banking authorities to co-operate, we would need some
official backing and a criminal prosecution," said the report.
Swiss banks have co-operated in investigations into the assets held abroad
by many fallen African dictators including Nigerian President, General Sani
Abacha, the late Zairean strongman Mobutu Sese Seko, fallen Mali dictator
Over the past 20 years, Switzerland has returned nearly US$1,3 billion in
The MDC document says any high-ranking account holders of suspect assets in
foreign coffers must prove to the new government that they were not
"An MDC government will do everything in its power to identify, block,
confiscate and return the funds of 'politically exposed' persons by means of
reciprocal legal assistance or other measures," the MDC document says, using
the Swiss euphemism "politically exposed" to refer to corrupt leaders.
Auditors however said the measures the post-Mugabe government was proposing
would apply to more easily-traceable, hard assets, such as properties,
rather than to bank accounts probably held in tax havens.
An auditor with Price Waterhouse Coopers, speaking on condition of
anonymity, said top Zimbabwean officials were likely to have used formal
private banking channels to move their money offshore. Alternatively, they
may have set up corporate front companies to transfer their personal wealth
"There are so many legal and practical obstacles and restitution can take an
awfully long period. But it can be done," she said.
BY NETSAI MLILO
BULAWAYO - Since February, when government introduced a new fee structure
that withdrew the student loan support system, the tertiary education sector
has been in turmoil.
Disgruntled students who consider the move a denial of their right to
education have taken to the streets to protest. Learning hours have been
lost as students boycotted classes to engage in running battles with riot
police, spent days in police cells and attending court hearings.
The financial pressures prompted students to revive the Zimbabwe National
Students Union (ZINASU). Promise Mkwananzi a law student at the University
of Zimbabwe is its current president.
Since assuming office in May, he has been arrested, detained by police and
taken to court for organising the students' demonstrations. He says the
harassment by State security agents is paying off somewhat.
"Project Defending Academic Freedoms is bearing fruit. Right now,
government has secretly gone to polytechnics, teachers' colleges and
agricultural training institutes and paid fees for the third semester. But
at Bulawayo and Gweru polytechnics they omitted the SRC (Students
Representative Council) presidents. Government has also not paid fees for
university students," said Mkwananzi in an interview in Bulawayo soon after
a court appearance.
He says leaving out student leaders and universities form the list of
beneficiaries is a deliberate ploy by government to try and weaken the
The student body has undertaken a survey to determine the impact of the fee
structure on students' ability to enrol. The study found that 80 percent of
students enrolled at government tertiary colleges are children of peasant
farmers who cannot afford the tuition fees without State assistance.
Milward Makwenjere is a student leader at Bulawayo Polytechnic. He worries
he might not be able to complete his studies and qualify as a motor mechanic
because his father is now struggling to pay his fees.
"My father's kraal is nearly empty now from selling cattle to send me to
school. But I am not the only child he has to look after," said Makwenjere.
Mkwananzi argues that even if students could afford to pay the new fees, the
quality of education that are receiving is not commensurate with the fees
"Since the new fee structure, standards of education have gone down.
Lecturers are leaving, students are being taught by other students, there
are frequent staff strikes, living conditions at the college are bad. The
conditions are not conducive to learning at all.
"Most of our members will not be able to finish their education and that is
the bedrock of conflict. We are saying these fees are increasing the gap
between the rich and the poor. Effectively, tertiary education is now for
the rich leaving the poor but talented students trapped in a cycle of
poverty," noted Mkwananzi.
He said ZINASU would not stop its protests until education was accessible to
every deserving student. But, organising sustained protests is risky and
disrupts the learning programmes of student leaders. Some have been expelled
for life, forcing them to enrol with external institutions to complete their
BY SMART KAMBEZO
MUSINA - Hundreds of Zimbabweans say they will continue to cross into South
Africa illegally despite the beatings, torture and rape at the hands of
border patrols officers and thieves on both sides of the Limpopo Rivers.
Several women who spoke to The Zimbabwean in Musina that it was better to
face the danger coming to South Africa because they would do menial jobs and
go back home with some Rands to feed their families.
Ruramai Mukumba, from Renco Mine in Masvingo said, "We are sometimes raped
by Maguma guma (the people who take border jumpers across the Limpopo for a
fee) and they they search us everywhere looking for money, but we have now
devised ways of sending our monies home," she said.
Berita Chikomo from Chirumanzu who survives by selling cigarettes in Musina
said she had fallen in love with a South Africa soldier who now facilitates
her entry in South Africa and also" shields me" from deportation.
She says she doesn't really love the South African soldier, but she has no
option as she has to raise funds to look after here family back home in
Life is tougher for men and boys who are beaten up and bundled into trucks
and detained at the police station before being deported to Zimbabwe.
Meanwhile travellers have complained of thefts at the bridge between the
South Africa and Zimbabwe. Some have lost their goods and money to thieves
in broad daylight and could not understand why such a thing could happen as
there border patrol officials at both sides of the bridge.
An official at Beitbridge police station, who declined to be named,
confirmed the thefts and blamed it on border jumpers.
Illegal crossings increase
MUSINA - The recent introduction of strict visa requirements by South Africa
has fuelled dangerous and illegal entry into that country by desperate
Zimbabweans fleeing political persecution, torture and poverty.
Scores of people who assist Zimbabweans to cross illegally into South Africa
in Beitbridge said they have had "brisk business" since the SA embassy in
Harare announced the new visa structure last month.
"The number of people coming here for help has increased over the last few
weeks and we think it's because it is now difficult to get the visa in
Harare," said Luckson Mlilo, who charges between R300 to R500 for his
To get a visitors' visa, one is required to have travellers cheques worth R1
000 plus Z$108 000 repatriation, refundable, deposit, ostensibly for use in
case of deportation or death whilst the individual is in SA
The Zimbabwe Exiles Forum (ZEF), an organization fighting for the protection
of human rights in Zimbabwe has condemned the tightening of visa
requirements by South Africa saying the move was "calculated to restrict
legal entry into its territory by Zimbabweans."
And yet South Africa has been actively recruiting engineers and other
skilled personnel from Zimbabwe, particularly as it seeks to prepare for the
2010 World Cup. - Own correspondent
HARARE - The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has approved a grand plan to
recruit into its ranks members of the notorious youth brigades without 'O'
Once the most elite policing operation in southern Africa, the force has
failed to attract school leavers from Matabeleland and Midlands regions, and
Staff Officer Recruiting Superintendent Mazhazhate was recently heard
pleading with temporary teachers to join the low-paying ZRP. The appeal was
met with stiff public resistance.
Asked to comment, Senior Assistant Commissioner Justice Chengeta, who is the
Chief Staff Officer Human Resources at Police Headquarters said the ZRP had
a diversified culture.
"If we see it necessary it will be alright to recruit those youths, anyway
policy issues pertaining to my organization are not to be discussed in
newspapers," he said.
Previously, the ZRP has gained an enviable international reputation for its
United Nations (UN) peacekeeping and observation duties.
"That international reputation is at risk if we allow people with
semi-literate backgrounds to join the force," said a recruitment officer
based in Bulawayo.
"The problem with recruitment in Matabeleland and Midlands provinces are of
both political and economic concern to the locals. These regions suffered
the 1982-6 Gukurahundi genocide that saw close to 20 000 people being
butchered by the North Korean-trained 5th Brigade soldiers."
The recruitment plan would split the force into two separate camps, said one
professional. "The schooled youths are professional in outlook and the
unschooled are people with the ruling party outlook. The latter are
dangerous in that they are extremely partisan," said a former Recruiting
Staff Officer who is now a human resources consultant. - CAJ News
BULAWAYO - Overjoyed junior members of the security forces this week
confirmed they have received "underground" bonuses worth five times their
normal salaries as President Robert Mugabe battles to constrain simmering
discontent among their ranks.
The bonuses have seen the lowest paid officer, who usually earns a basic
salary of around Z$27 000, netting above Z$120 000 this month.
More than 7,000 junior members of the security forces, mostly the police and
army, are reported to have either resigned from or deserted their jobs due
to low salaries, resulting in the government's spy Central Intelligence
Organisation and security chiefs pressuring Mugabe to award them massive
Mugabe is said to have promised underground bonuses this month before giving
another hefty salary increment and more allowances in January next year.
"It is true. We got the increments but they were not entered in our
payslips, I think it is because the directive came after our payrolls had
been printed. The most junior officer with little deductions is in the
region of between $120 000 and $127 000. In normal circumstances, we should
be having around $54 000 as basic salary plus bonus," said one of the junior
Some junior soldiers, confirmed the increments, but said they had been given
special instructions not to talk as this would cause an uproar among
government workers outside the security forces.
Defence Minister, Sydney Sekeramayi, said: "For matters of national security
we are obliged to keep the security forces happy . However, that does not
mean we should go public about every effort we put into safeguarding the
country's security." - Own correspondent
HARARE - Zimbabwe's grain shortages are approaching critical levels despite
government attempts to import from neighbouring countries.
State media report that another 2,000 tonnes of a 150,000 tonne maize tender
are due to arrive from South Africa next Wednesday, to replenish reserves
which Grain Marketing Board (GMB) officials said were at 'critical' levels.
But the rest of the tender has yet to be made public.
According to local experts, the only country in southern Africa with a grain
surplus - and a narrow one at that - is South Africa.
"The (Zimbabwean) government have pretty much mismanaged the tendering
process," said one Harare-based economist, who spoke on condition of
anonymity. "There's very little on the way. For months they denied there was
a need to import, and by the time they changed their tune, most of it was
allocated. There's not much more than a week or two's supply left."
Even if the government can source more supplies, there is little foreign
currency to buy it and too little transport and fuel to distribute it to
where it is most needed, he said.
The government now says it needs about 600,000 tonnes to make up for
domestic output, which fell to 450,000 tonnes this season, from 2.04 million
tonnes in 2001.
The UN's World Food Programme is appealing for US$60m to help feed nearly
600,000 people in the countryside officially at risk of starvation.
According to official newspapers, the government has seized 36,000 tonnes of
maize from commercial farmers who were refusing to hand it over to the GMB -
now Zimbabwe's monopoly supplier.
More than 6,000 tonnes was seized from a German-owned farm, the paper said,
despite efforts from German embassy staff to stop the process. But sources
said the impounded product was yellow maize mostly destined for animal feed,
and rarely used for human consumption. - Own correspondent
JOHANNESBURG - A group of six men who claimed they were undergoing military
training in South Africa to topple Robert Mugabe's regime have resurfaced
again in Johannesburg.
One of the men was spotted in Braamfontein last week visiting Zimbabwe civic
organisations, which he accused of facilitating military training for
members of the opposition MDC. In one of ZBC's stage-managed news
clippings, the men claimed they were recruited by civic organisations in
South Africa to undergo military training.
The Central Intelligence Organisation is accused of heavy involvement in the
"It seems they have been dumped after being used by Zanu (PF)," said one
activist, suggesting that the gang might be on another CIO mission. - CAJ
MUSINA - The South African Police Service (SAPS) and Immigration Officers at
Beitbridge Border Post no longer carry out deportations of Zimbabweans with
vigour after realization that such operations are just a sheer waste of time
The number of deportations this year is less than 300,000, compared with
600,000 in 2005, reports CAJ News.
"Deportations are no longer dependant on the deportee's legal status but
solely on what is offered as a bribe to the officers manning the legal and
illegal crossing points along the Limpopo River," said a source.
In a recent survey at the border post, South African Police Service members
confirmed that Zimbabweans were difficult neighbours whose determination and
courage were difficult to ignore.
"As people on the ground, we realise that our efforts to curb illegal border
crossing are fruitless. It's high time our government scrapped the visa
requirements in the same line with Botswana system. Zimbabweans are highly
skilled people and work very hard, so why not absorb them into the economy,"
said a captain in the SAPS.
A senior SA police officer in Musina said Zimbabweans were better than "drug
dealers from Nigeria and more productive than Somalian refugees". - CAJ News
JOHANNESBURG - The South Africa public broadcaster, SABC, has come under
fire for propping up the image of the Zanu (PF) regime by keeping silent on
Zimbabwe human right abuses while singing the praises of Robert Mugabe.
At an Open House seminar organized by the Institute for Advancement of
Journalism to discuss a report produced by Media Institute for Southern
Africa and Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition on SABC coverage of the 2005
Zimbabwe parliamentary elections, it was noted that SABC was "churning out
Zanu (PF) propaganda".
The report came just a day before the Freedom of Expression Institute staged
a public demonstration at SABC Auckland Park premises against censorship.
The SABC is accused of stifling the views of the people by blacklisting
certain individuals from commenting on their programmes.
"Most of the SABC coverage was partisan and uniformed and they ignored many
issues," said one of the compilers, Piers Pigou. The SABC also chose to
ignore the violence and rigging which took place during the elections and
portrayed the oppositon MDC negatively.
Elinor Sisulu, the Media and Advocacy Manager at Crisis who was one of those
blacklisted by the broadcaster, said she was disheartened that the SABC
failed to cover Operation Murambatsvina.
Some one million Zimbabweans rely on SABC for information on Zimbabwe.
A source close to the SABC said, "There is a section of SABC who support
Mugabe and the regime is viewed as sacred cow." - By our correspondent
By Josiah Bob Taundi
ZBH is moving into people's homes demanding licences, but they have made
such a mess of the news and programming on television that it is no longer
worth watching let alone paying a licence for. Truly there is a need for the
liberalisation of the airwaves to end ZTV's monopoly. Zimbabweans have
On the day ZTV announced that Tazzen Mandizvidza had been appointed the new
Newsnet Editor-in-Chief, I took time to look at the station's Tuesday's News
Hour and the next day's This Morning. What I found in just those bulletins
was an astounding case of "how not to broadcast." Tazzen has a great job to
News Hour: Tuesday 14th November 2006
"Meteorological Services Department says the rains that has started falling
in most parts of the country signals the start of the 2006/7 rains season."
what followed were details of water patterns around the country.
The falling of normal rains around this time is not news, let alone top
news. If floods had occurred it could have been worth a story. At best this
story was a basic weather report or stuff for Murimi wanhasi or Talking
"Most farmers countrywide still are battling to secure combine harvesters in
a desperate attempt to save their crop from the rains."
Since ZTV has always reported on such "challenges" (to use their wording) -
what was new about this? The story gave the wrong impression that the rains
Agronomists have called for institutional intervention in dealing with late
harvesting problems. The experts also called for rehabilitation of
Badly read by Dave Emberton, the above observation was too pedestrian and
certainly required no expert opinions of agronomists. It was common sense.
ZTV has a major disease of lining up "analysts" or "commentators" who simply
say the obvious.
President Mugabe has left Harare for Djibouti for a COMESA meeting.
"Meanwhile Vice President, Joseph Msika will be the acting president."
Mugabe leaving Harare is hardly news to anymore. The man always leaves
Zimbabwe for one meeting or another.
Minister of Anti-Corruption and Anti-Monopolies, Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana,
has called on people in leadership to be honest and live exemplary lives..."
The call is so banal as to be useless. It does not take a minister saying
this, it simply goes without saying. The story could be why is the minister
saying this? Is there a crisis of exemplary and honest leadership?
Government has unveiled a $4.2 billion to Agribank for the support of maize
and small grains production by communal and A1 farmers for the 2006/7
The story quoted Zimbabwe Farmers' Union (ZFU) vice president, Edward
Raradza, predictably welcoming the fund. The report never refreshed its
readers to an earlier contentious government policy to withdraw subsidies to
"new farmers." Was this a policy reversal? What was "welcome" about a
facility introduced when the rain season had already commenced as reported
in the first three top stories of the same bulletin? What a contradiction!
ZTV simply downloads news clips from the international media and flight them
as its own. The station goes put its reporters' by lines and voice-overs.
Sometimes the stories are credited to Newsnet's "Research Team." Plagiarism
is the cardinal sin any journalist can commit. On ZTV's "news beyond our
borders" it the normal thing to do everyday with impunity.
Wednesday 14th November 2006
"South Korean ambassador. said Zimbabwe's economy can recover from its
current form and become a force to reckon with within the global economy."
A statement made at a business lecture in Bulawayo. Any country on earth can
fit that probability. Such statement praising Zimbabwe seem to be part of
standing editorial rules in ZTV's feel-good ZTV journalism.
Hailstorms destroyed property worth billions of dollars and three government
schools in Bulawayo on Monday night.although Newsnet could not get pictures
some residents of Kumalo who spoke to Newsnet said.." The story went to
depend on residents for details. This was a classic case of bad journalism
1.Belated news- the event occurred on Monday night but reported on Wednesday
morning, three days after.
2.Instead of getting some video footage to witness the extend of the damage
for themselves viewers got a still picture of reporter, Jackie Gwemende,
narrating the damage in her own words - a direct contradiction of a common
saying in journalism that says "A picture tells a thousand words."
3.This story is much more important than Story 1, 2 and 3 of the previous
4.ZTV inherently fails to utilise the television medium for breaking news or
live coverage. The worldwide norm is a disaster occurrence get due
prominence and breaking news priority has an import news value: IMPACT (how
many people were, are or will be affected?). "News just received" is usually
about President Mugabe or Zanu PF having said something even it of no news
interest. Zimbabweans get "live" news when there is a government-sponsored
musical gala. Other cases of failures of prompt coverage include the Chikuti
Bus Disaster, Dingamombe Train Disaster and earthquakes that affected some
parts of the country. It is not clear why ZTV is so averse to the loss of
human lives and the suffering of ordinary Zimbabweans. ZTV's reflex to
celebrate government's sadistic crackdowns on the suffering masses one
"Operations" or another has reached to the level of crimes against humanity.
BY NOMSA GARANDE
A very interesting book called " From Third World to First" outlines the
incredible story of Singapore, a small country of 640 sq. km. with no
natural resources and a basically peasant fishing population of 2,7 million
people before it's transformation from economic third world to first.
Admittedly the book was written by the Singapore premier of the time, but it
has been endorsed by notable and credible personalities.
Like Zimbabwe it had a colonial past, not all pleasant and a potentially
explosive racial mix together with the difficulties of very nationalistic,
bigger neighbours who were struggling with their own settling faze the
culture of which was ripe for spilling over into Singapore.
Unlike Singapore, Zimbabwe a country of 390,000 sq. km., more than 600 times
bigger than Singapore, had tourist attractions, good hotels, coal, copper,
gold, chrome, asbestos, platinum, emeralds, enormous agriculture potential,
a healthy manufacturing industry and relatively speaking excellent banking
and financial structures, roads, rail and communications.
At independence in 1980, it also had the goodwill and investment potential
which was the envy of many a nation. The failure of Zimbabwe to grasp the
moment and make massive strides toward a predominantly middle-class nation
is testament to the unbelievably poor, non-statesman-like leadership
Zimbabwe has been subjected to for too long now.
So many things are being written now about how to fix Zimbabwe's problems.
Problems that have been manufactured by inward thinking self preserving
leadership that believes the country owes them everything. A 'leadership'
that spends far too much time blaming the present ills on the past. A
leadership that is busy carving up the national asset cake for themselves,
often mortgaging national assets to foreigners to pay for their many
The answer does not lie in the East or the West but rather in the hands of
the people of Zimbabwe. Let us trade with the East, let us trade with the
West, but let us hold our own dignity and asset ownership. Why are we so
eager to 'export' our raw materials? We should process where we can and
increase our benefit from those materials. That process of transforming the
raw materials toward the end product should be a major objective in our
economic culture, it has not been so. We would rather play the blame game.
No other nation will treat us as a father would a son, you can be sure that
they have their own interests in mind first and last when handing out
assistance to us and buying into our resources.
Let us begin to face the bleak truth, we are in rather serious trouble all
round, and we, each and every one of us, have ourselves to blame for soaking
up the propaganda over the last 26 years and allowing the situation to
deteriorate to the present state of affairs.
The handouts and assistance the country is receiving in apparent blind long
standing faith in each other is not what it seems. We have chased the
expertise we need from our land, we have retained the out dated historic
notion that a leader is there for all time. A leader should take office to
serve the nation not himself and when he can no longer benefit the nation
through his leadership, then in the interests of the people, it is time for
change. Our change is long overdue, our system of one party patronage is
flawed as is every human system, but at least democracy offers constant
change for the better.
The defining moment for our meteoric plunge to the depths we are now in was
in December 1987 when the unity accord became effective. From then on we
have been a de facto one party state.
Even before the Unity Accord, we were kept in the dark about the 5th Brigade
massacres. No one party state has been able to sustain economic viability,
the frailties of human nature kick in and the pattern and end result is
We may need a one party status to put us back on track, but it must be for a
predetermined period only. The saddest thing is that we have watched this
happening over a long period of time and have gone into stunned mullet mode.
Let us at least take the lesson and avoid a repeat.
The Zanu (PF) dirty tricks department has been at it again. First there was
the dramatic arrest of MDC officials and who we were told were their
accomplices - a "former Rhodesian soldier" (who it turns out was only a
minor at Independence) and an army captain.
The case against the MDC officials collapsed when it became painfully
apparent, even for the partisan Zimbabwean judiciary, that the story had
been concocted at CIO headquarters.
But that did not stop them continuing to hold and torture Peter Hitschmann
because an "arms cache" had been found at his premises. The fact that he was
a registered, licenced gun dealer was considered a minor details and the
charge prompted changed from caching arms to the more season one of plotting
to assassinate the head of state.
The star witness was presented in court - Alfred Chiukira - who proceeded to
give eye-popping testimony about how he had been involved as an under-cover
agent in plotting the assassination with Hitschmann.
He told the court he had alerted his superiors at Army Headquarters who had
given him the nod to carry on. After giving his dramatic evidence, it
emerged that Chiukira was himself a prisoner, facing charges of treason, for
which he could have faced a firing squad.
He had in fact been in army custody since March 2006 - the same as
Hitschmann. During this time he was denied access to lawyers, doctors or
family and tortured so much that he suffered 17% disability.
Last week he faced a court martial where he was found guilty of two courts
of treason. He was returned to incarceration at King George VI Barracks in
Harare to await sentence.
Lo and behold - a few days later the man makes a daring escape from the
maximum security of the army headquarters itself. Incredible! "Unconfirmed
reports" have been circulated to suggest he has fled to Mozambique - of all
Needless to say the case is full of holes. For instance, why was Chiukira
court martialled for treason if he was on duty as a mole at the time the
alleged assassination was planned?
They say fact is stranger than fiction - but really! We smell a very big rat
here - and sympathise with Chiukira's family who must be desperate for news
of his true fate.
EDITOR - Reverend Nqobizitha Khumalo, writing in a weekly newspaper recently
"As I write, I am watching television and Vice-President Mujuru is on
television urging the people of Mashonaland Central to deal with sell-out
non-governmental organisations. She actually urges them to "do what you
know" with them. This is the most dangerous and reckless statement such a
"mother" has ever made."
The Reverend confirms our fears, long established as a pattern; only that we
had been accused in the past of being partisan. I am MDC and everything I
say must be said to give political mileage to the party I support. When
Joice Mujuru was elevated to the Vice Presidency people heralded the
emergency of a woman into the high office.
We all hoped together with the international community that this lady who
joined the liberation struggle on principle; by leaving her education midway
in Form 2, by transcending the cultural yoke against women we thought the
platform had been raised for the reincarnation of an historical woman
cherished across the whole African Continent and among the black race. We
believed in the blend of heroism; the sacrifice given to the liberation
cause and the manifest Christianity of our Vice President.
She was not Robert Mugabe, who left Zimbabwe for South Africa to study for a
degree. Teurai Ropa left Zimbabwe to further the cause of black people,
abandoned by mankind and relegated to slavery during the Slavery years and
further humiliated by the severe mental subjugation that was the core
philosophy of colonialism.
Mai Mujuru, would have been the first liberation fighter to be a leader in
Zimbabwe and we would slowly have learnt to accept it because she would be
humble, listening to the will of the people and as a freedom fighter
remembering through and through that she is fish and the people are the sea
in which she swims. True freedom fighters will never turn against the
people; real war veterans will never beat or encourage the suffering of the
same father and mother who cushioned them during the liberation struggle.
What has happened to our freedom fighters; what disease is this that makes
them negate the liberation struggle like this? The statement by Joice Mujuru
is unbelievable, yet not inconceivable coming from a Zanu (PF) figure. The
ruling party has a legacy of violence; it is the same from the father to the
last born. The highest office in our country is occupied by a political
organization that believes in revolutionary aristocracy, that they and they
alone should be the leaders of Zimbabwe.
This party can never reform, it cannot be rehabilitated. They believe people
who say something against them are sell-outs. This is not confined to
politics alone. They have done so to cricket where people like Tatenda Taibu
have been punished for disbelieving the criteria used to select players;
they did it to soccer where Charles Mabika, a soccer commentator was
expelled for saying that Nigerian footballer Austin JJ Okocha was "skilful
and very talented".
Zanu (PF) is a monoculture; it is so for their Presidium no matter how
rejuvenated; it is so for their Politburo and every other structure. It is
so for their learned apologists like Tafataona Mahoso who behaves like a
toddler in defence of uncivilised behaviour.
JULIUS SAI MUTYAMBIZI-DEWA,UK
EDITOR - The Zimbabwe Exiles Forum (ZEF) is deeply concerned by reports of
the proposed mounting of eight roadblocks along the highway between
Beitbridge and Johannesburg. According to sources the Zimbabwean Central
Intelligence Organisation (C.I.O) will join forces with the South African
Police Service (SAPS) and the Scorpions in a bid to control illegal
immigration from Zimbabwe into South Africa. The operation is said to be
scheduled to begin on 30 January 2007.
If it materialises, this development would be most unwelcome as it will be a
serious threat to the well-being of Zimbabwean asylum-seekers in South
Africa. Firstly, the presence of C.I.O operatives in South Africa exposes
many Zimbabweans who fled torture and political persecution at home to the
very danger that they were fleeing from.
Secondly, this move makes it possible for the Mugabe government to
physically and materially eliminate and undermine the strong opposition to
its rule which has been organised by displaced Zimbabweans based in South
Africa. Many pro-democracy and human rights activists and their
organisations working on the Zimbabwean situation from South Africa will
also face strict censorship and might even close down. What this unholy
alliance will do in effect is to stifle the relatively democratic space to
freely express themselves that Zimbabweans find in South Africa. There have
already been disturbing reports of surveillance from CIO operatives that
clandestinely monitoring the activities of human rights and opposition
activists in South Africa and Botswana.
If this turns out to be true, which I hope it is not, it would confirm
beyond doubt what we have always said, that Mbeki and Mugabe lie under the
same blanket. The 'quiet diplomacy' policy of the South African government
is nothing but a veiled abdication of the duty to protect innocent citizens
in favour of protecting each other by African rulers. The ANC feels
obligated to assist Zanu (PF) for old times 'sake.
GABRIEL SHUMBA, Johannesburg
EDITOR - In light of the nightmarish spectre of shenanigans that led to the
fragmentation of MDC recently, doomsday prophets had conjured the outright
downfall of the party. Today the same sceptics sit there with eyes wide open
,in stark realisation that MDC are no pushovers at all. The party has beyond
doubt survived the torrent of political trickery and is even getting
This however does not mean we must then ignore the good advice by some
observers to reunite the warring factions. I am of the strong belief that
unity is a vital ingredient of any liberation struggle. The key thing is to
now explore ways on how to embolden the party in the run-up to the 2008
presidential elections. Under no circumstances should we tolerate the
howling hordes of Zanu (PF) savages, who enjoy inflicting us with untold
In the meantime the restoration of confidence at grassroots level must be a
primary concern. There is also a need to exercise self-control and restraint
with regard to emotions stemming from differences in opinion. Actions
displaying a bankruptcy of political maturity by the founding fathers of the
MDC movement are deplorable. And more riling is the vindictive and absurd
idiom that there are "irreconcilable differences" between the two factions.
There is no inadequate plea-bargaining expertise to resolve such an issue.
The childish mud-slinging we have witnessed lately can only be cheered by
the insane. We cannot afford to decimate the very foundation of the
organisation. A further point of importance is that serial initiatives taken
by civic society in backing our resolve to find a lasting cessation to our
suffering must not be overlooked, but embraced.
It is tragic that the on-going campaign by the clergy, based on the
so-called "National Vision Document", has been defied with a brazen
outpouring of scepticism by some quarters.
Of course it would be foolhardy for one to think that the men-of-the-cloth
document mirrors the interests of the entire population. But it is crucial
to see that the solution to our tragedy lies strictly on our willingness to
work together in fighting the "common enemy" regardless of persuasions.