|The ZIMBABWE Situation||Our
thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe |
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.
URGENT ACTION APPEAL UPDATE
APPEALS TO: (It is sometimes difficult to get
Zimbabwe fax numbers but please keep trying; if you cannot
get through please send your appeal by airmail)
Minister of Home Affairs:
The Honourable Khembo Mohadi
11th Floor Mukwati Building
Private Bag 7703
Telegram: Minister of Home Affairs, Harare, Zimbabwe
Fax: 011 263 4 726 716
Salutation: Dear Minister
Mr. Augustine Chihuri
P.O Box 8807
Telegram: Augustine Chihuri, Police Headquarters,
Fax: 011 263 4 726 084/ 235 212/ 728 768
Salutation: Dear Mr Commissioner
Chief Prison Officer:
Retired Major-General Paradzai Zimondi
PO Box 7718
Fax: 011 263 4 739 986
Salutation: Dear Sir
Ambassador Simbi Veke Mubako
Embassy of the Republic of Zimbabwe
1608 New Hampshire Ave. NW
Washington DC 20009
Fax: 1 202 483 9326
Please send appeals immediately. Check with the Colorado
office between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm, Mountain Time,
weekdays only, if sending appeals after March 20, 2003.
Amnesty International is a worldwide grassroots
movement that promotes and defends human
This Urgent Action may be reposted if kept
intact, including contact information and stop
action date (if applicable). Thank you for your
help with this appeal.
Urgent Action Network
Amnesty International USA
PO Box 1270
Nederland CO 80466-1270
Zimbabwe's leading human rights organisation demanded today that
the country's police be reformed urgently before the rule of law "disappears
The Human Rights Non-Governmental Organisation Forum, an
alliance of 14 of the country's civil rights bodies, said in a report issued
today that "it is evident that torture is a serious problem in Zimbabwe and
it seems now that state agencies are implicated in torture."
The report was issued as the forum simultaneously said there had
been 159 cases of torture reported to it last month, as well as 103 cases of
The report said that "the evidence suggests a crisis within the
police that requires urgent action, and such action must take place now if
the rule of law is not to disappear completely. "The fabric of Zimbabwean
society is at grave risk if the level of state-organised violence and
torture is maintained or increased."
Indications were that it was "worsening," it said. The forum
appealed to international organisations for action "to reform the Zimbabwe
Republic Police in order to promote the accountability and effectiveness of
It also called for international and local action to ensure "the
Zimbabwe judiciary's independence." The International Bar Association has
denounced Mugabe's regime for "packing" the benches of the supreme court and
the high court with judges who openly support the ruling Zanu (PF) party.
Several judges have been given farms seized illegally from their
former white owners. - Sapa
Speaker of Parliament Emmer-son Mnangagwa told the Zimbabwe Independent on
Wednesday Musekiwa has not resigned.
"I have not received any letter of resignation from
Musekiwa and as far as I
know he is still a member of parliament," Mnangagwa said.
MDC secretary-general Professor Welshman Ncube said as far as
concerned there was no by-election in Zengeza.
position is that as of today we still are not in receipt of the
resignation of Musekiwa," said Ncube.
"We know what he has
stated to the press but he has not communicated to the
party that he has resigned.
"We are not aware that he has sent a letter of resignation
to the speaker of
parliament and no such announcement has been made in parliament," Ncube
Press reports last month said Musekiwa
had resigned and gone into exile in
Britain because he believed the government wanted to eliminate him.
Musekiwa is still in the UK where he sought political asylum. According to
the Zimbabwe constitution, an MP should not be absent from parliament for 21
consecutive sittings. These have not expired owing to the few days
parliament has been in session this year.
Meanwhile, the ruling Zanu PF prospective candidate,
is said to have started campaigning in the constituency.
Chigumba, who lost to Musekiwa in the 2000 parliamentary election, is said
to have set up a grinding mill in the area. He is understood to have started
distributing basic commodities such as sugar, mealie-meal and milk to the
The ZBC in January announced it was going on to the
market to raise about
$1,7 billion for re-capitalisation and other financial obligations.
Sources at Pockets Hill said there were no takers for
the ZBC paper because
of the high risk factor caused by poor management and financial
indiscipline. The Zimbabwe Independent has it on good authority that details
of the bond were made available to selected financial institutions the
government thought would subscribe to the bond.
Money market sources said there was a lot of uncertainty at ZBC
high staff turnover. They also want ZBC to demonstrate its ability to raise
revenue and operate profitably.
Revenue at the ZBC has
over the past three years diminished as advertisers
have taken flight from the corporation's poor programme schedule, which has
been crafted to fulfil a 75% local-content requirement and to promote the
government's political agenda.
The little advertising revenue that has trickled in comes
Sources said the bond did not "excite the market".
"We heard about it and just laughed it off in
the bar," said a senior
manager with an asset management firm. "No one took it seriously."
Workers who were retrenched under ZBC's Vision 30
programme this week said
they had still not received their terminal benefits as the public
broadcaster was unable to raise money. The former workers said ZBC owed
administrators of the pension fund Old Mutual about $100 million which has
still not been remitted.
l The failure to raise fresh
capital comes amid reports that ZBC is
contemplating introducing a complete ban on international music which
originates outside Africa.
Sources at Pockets Hill said Information minister Jonathan
Moyo - the
architect of the current unpopular 75% local content quota - is planning to
prohibit non-African music from ZBC television and radio stations.
"We understand he is planning to do this and there have
been signs of late
that he is determined to proceed," a source said.
"It may be coming in the next two to three months. He is likely
to say for
every 10 songs played, two must be from Africa and the rest from Zimbabwe."
A ZBC source said managers recently ordered SFM
disc-jockeys to stop playing
foreign music, meaning that which originates outside Africa, but retreated
after fierce resistance by listeners.
"They tried it recently and the DJ who was on air in
Studios came under fire from listeners," a source said. "People attacked her
for the experiment but she referred all complaints to Pockets Hill. The test
was later abandoned."
ZBC DJs say they have
been banned by their managers from playing
"unauthorised songs" like those of Thomas Mapfumo, Hugh Masekela, and
cricket star Henry Olonga.
Sources said the Dean of
Diplo-mats, Ndali-Che Kamati of Nami-bia, on
February 5 distributed a copy of a Foreign Affairs order barring ambassadors
and high commissioners from making addresses on their national days.
"The order basically states
that the practice of making speeches during
national days should be discontinued," a diplomatic source said. "After
that, embassies and high commissions have stopped speeches, toasts to
President Ro-bert Mugabe and the people of Zimbabwe, and any other gestures
the declining number oftoasts to Mugabe that proved the final straw
for government, the sources said. "Ambassadors, particularly from the
European Union and North America, generally preferred to toast 'the people
of Zimbabwe'," one source said.
Sources said the order was meant to gag
outspoken diplomats who have
criticised government over repression and human rights abuses. While
diplomats like Ka-mati, Zambian High Commission-er Dingiswayo Banda, who is
also Dean of African Diplomats in Ha-rare, and Nigerian High Commis-sioner
Wilberforce Juta, have tend-ed to whitewash Zimbabwe's simmering political
and economic crisis, others have been less indulgent. Spanish ambassador
Javier Sandomingo issued a stinging rebuke on the occasion of his national
day last year, lamenting the failure of Harare to address issues raised by
But Brown, in his
address, turned up the volume. In some of the strongest
remarks made by a senior diplomat in Harare, he told an Australia Day
gathering on January 26 that his country, which supported the process
leading to Zimbabwe's independence and reconstruction, was shocked by the
current dramatic national decline.
"Australia has watched with dismay as the people of Zimbabwe
poorer," Brown said. "They are now more vulnerable to ill-health. They are
more hungry, more often."
Brown said Zimbabweans had
become victims of growing repression.
"They are less able to enjoy the democratic and human rights guaranteed to
all peoples in the Commonwealth," he said.
"Above all, the people of Zimbabwe were, in Australia's
views and in the
view of the Commonwealth Observer Group, denied the free expression of their
will in the March 2002 presidential election."
Brown noted that since the disputed poll, repression had
"Since that election, we have seen the government of Zimbabwe tighten its
grip on its people, further denying their freedoms of speech and
association, and their protection under the law without discrimination," he
The government has of late been sending
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
officials to national days instead of ministers as was the custom in the
Highly placed sources in the horticulture industry said Shiri
approached farm produce exporting giant Mitchell & Mitchell of Marondera
seeking to be engaged as its out-growers. Shiri's offer was turned down
because he doesn't officially own the land he is occupying.
Under the fast track resettlement scheme, Shiri was
allocated Eirene Farm in
Marondera at the expense of 96 families who had initially taken over the
Directors at Mitchell &
Mitchell confirmed that many A2 farmers in the area
wanted to be the company's out-growers.
"We have received lots of inquiries from A2
resettled farmers aspiring to
get into horticulture farming," a director with Mitchell & Mitchell said
"It's unfortunate that we can't accept them because of the way they have
acquired their land. We work under specific and stringent criteria set by
"Only those farmers who officially own land are eligible to
out-growers. Farmers should produce title deeds as the first requirement. If
you don't have title deeds we don't even consider your offer," he said.
"The selection criteria we are using have not been
designed by ourselves
because we are not the final consumers of the products. It is what the
international market wants and we have to comply with their demands or risk
contract cancellation," he said.
Shiri and other
A2 resettled farmers do not have title deeds or even leases
to show that they are official owners of the land they occupy. The only
documentation they have is a certificate of occupation issued by the
Ministry of Lands. The state is the new owner of most of the 11 million
hectares acquired since 2000.
Mitchell & Mitchell is a major supplier of horticultural
products to leading United Kingdom-based supermarkets.