DR SYDNEY Sekeramayi, the Minister of
Defence, is at the centre of a wrangle over a commercial farm near Marondera
from which scores of settlers, among them war veterans, were evicted
allegedly to pave way for the minister.
The settlers were on Wednesday
this week ordered off Maganga Estate, about 17km north-east of Marondera, by
armed riot police, allegedly to make way for Sekeramayi and other senior Zanu
PF officials who are interested in the property.
About 80 settlers,
among them 20 women, some with babies, besieged the provincial governor’s
office in Marondera early yesterday morning to protest against their
No comment was immediately available from Sekeramayi yesterday.
He was continuously said to be in meetings.
But Eric Samunda, the
District Administrator for Marondera, defended Sekeramayi’s right to the
land. He said: “Sekeramayi has the right to be allocated land like everyone
else. But I do not allocate A2 plots.
That is done by the Ministry of
Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement. There is no discrimination, just
because he is a minister.”
The settlers, who came from Murehwa when they
were resettled north of Marondera, demanded a meeting with David Karimanzira,
the Mashonaland East provincial governor.
Karimanzira told The Daily
News through his secretary that Samunda was handling the case.
the settlers, who declined to be identified for fear of reprisals, said they
were particularly angered by the fact that their eviction was coming just a
month after the presidential election. They said they had voted for President
One of the settlers said: “Now that the election is over they are
evicting us to make way for the party bosses.
“We have been here since
March 2000, but they now tell us that the farm is for A2 commercial
resettlement. We hear that the farm has been given to Minister Sydney
Sekeramayi and other senior party officials.”
A spokesperson for the
settlers, who identified himself as Marange, said: "Armed riot policemen came
and told us yesterday that we must leave the farm immediately.
said the same government that had let us settle on the farm was the same
government that was now evicting us."
He said the riot policemen had
threatened to return to the farm and beat up anyone they found still on the
Samunda said: “They have been asked to move because this is an A2
scheme, which they have not applied for, and which has since been allocated
to the beneficiaries. When they settled on the farm, that was random
occupation. This is now land reorganisation.”
He said the settlers
were resisting efforts to move them to Surrey Farm, about 20km from Marondera
along the Harare road.
Harare Residents’ Association (CHRA) yesterday demanded the resignation of
the Registrar-General, Tobaiwa Mudede, because of his shoddy conduct of the
presidential and municipal elections held on 9-11 March.
said the polls, especially the municipal elections, were fraught with serious
irregularities, including Mudede’s failure to comply with a series of court
orders to hold elections in Harare. “At no time did we hold any faith in the
ability or the intention of the Registrar-General to hold free and fair
elections and events have done nothing to erode our pessimism,” the
association said in a statement.
The CHRA statement comes hard on the
heels of Mudede’s confusing announcement of fresh presidential results at a
Press conference in Harare on Wednesday. This has cast more doubt on the
credibility of the results as the announcement comes nearly a month after he
officially declared President Mugabe the winner.
The association said
it would be better if urban councils reverted to the old system where the
elections were conducted by the Town Clerk. The civic group said while they
applauded the fact that Harare now had an elected council, the questions
arising from the flawed electoral system needed to be addressed. “The failure
of the Registrar-General to release the full results of the council elections
. . . timeously does little to promote faith in his office and encourages the
proliferation of rumours,” the CHRA said.
A EURO MP has warned that if Zimbabwe athletes are allowed to
attend the Commonwealth Games, political leaders must not accompany
them. North west Labour MEP Arlene McCarthy has called for the Zimbabwe team
to be banned from the Manchester Games in July over corruption claims and the
way the recent elections were handled.
But Foreign Secretary Jack
Straw has since said the athletes themselves should be allowed to attend -
providing they are not accompanied by "stooges" of Zimbabwe President
Mr Straw rejected calls from Ms McCarthy and others for the
African state to be thrown out of the sporting event. The final decision is
for the Commonwealth Games Federation.
Ms McCarthy told the Manchester
Evening News she had not changed her mind about calling for a ban on the
"But I accept that the Foreign Secretary has to apply the
rules and the Commonwealth Games Federation has said that the Commonwealth
suspension on Zimbabwe does not include the Games,'' she said.
believe that we should be very careful that the team is not accompanied by
what Mr Straw describes as stooges, getting round the European ban on
visas,'' said Ms McCarthy.
She claimed that at the World Cup in France,
Nigerian diplomats managed to get round a visa ban, with the country's Sports
Minister himself turning up.
"We don't want to see diplomats with Rolex
watches, or members of Mugabe's family, sneaking in to Manchester with the
team of athletes,'' she added.
"I wouldn't put it past Mugabe to try to
get his own back."
ZIMBABWE: EU urges government to respect human rights
April (IRIN) - The European Union (EU) has submitted a draft resolution to the
United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) urging Zimbabwe to comply with
its human rights obligations.
Wednesday's submission, by Spain as head of
the EU, expressed concern over government human rights violations and "the
adverse impact of the actions by the government of Zimbabwe on the security of
The submission referred to "continuing violations of human
rights", the deaths of "at least 100" opposition Movement for Democratic Change
supporters since June 2000 and the actions of "youth militia" and "war
The EU said it was concerned about disappearances,
executions, kidnapping, torture, beatings and detentions without trial of
members of the media, the opposition and human rights groups.
submission referred to attacks on the judiciary and the rule of law, and cases
of sexual and other forms of violence against women. It also cited the recent
Public Order and Security Act and the Access to Information Act as violations of
freedoms of expression, opinion, association and assembly.
The EU urged
the government of Zimbabwe to uphold its obligations under the International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on
Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention Against Torture, and other
human rights treaties to which it is a party, including the African Charter on
Human and People's Rights.
It also asked for an investigation into
allegations of politically-motivated killings, violence and harassment and to
create conditions for the "proper exercise of human rights".
resolution asked for UN special rapporteurs on torture, the independence of
judges and lawyers, freedom of expression, extra-judicial executions and
violence against women to carry out missions to investigate the allegations and
report to the Commission at its 59th session.
The EU urged the
international community to strengthen support for human rights non-governmental
organisations in the country.
UNHCR spokesperson Veronique Taveau said
that once the resolution was finalised and voted on it would be "a moral
contract" on Zimbabwe.
The EU rejected the outcome of the March
presidential election in Zimbabwe after a stand-off over foreign election
observers. The EU team left the country even before the
government now needs to seriously introduce security measures in the farming
community to ensure that agricultural output is maintained, says the business
This comes barely a week after President Mugabe told
the Zanu PF central committee, that all efforts would now be put towards
agricultural production to solve the “land issue once and for
Mugabe said the country’s economic programme would be an
agriculture-led one which would result in growth and development stimulating
the small-scale agriculture sector through greater input and extension
He said: “We cannot brook any further delays, whether coming
from our bureaucrats or from farmers from whom the land must come.” The
controversial fast-track land resettlement programme has caused a lot of
damage on the country’s image. Zimbabwe is now rated as the world’s riskiest
destination by the European Intelligence Unit. It has been suspended from
major international fora, and is facing a severe foreign currency crisis
because exports have dwindled.
Malvern Rusike, the chief executive
officer of the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries, said: “Provision of
security measures in the farming community to ensure agricultural output
should be enhanced to avert hunger and starvation.” Farmers have complained
that they are not being protected by the State when individuals calling
themselves war veterans attack them. The police, on the other hand, say they
are not informed of attacks, some of which have resulted in the death of
Because of the poor planning in agriculture and the current
drought, Zimbabwe now needs at least US$300 million (Z$16,5 billion) this
year alone to feed 7,8 million starving individuals.
This comes at a
time when the government does not have money to pay for food imports from
some of its neighbours especially South Africa who have been supporting the
food programme. Rusike said with the dust now settling after the presidential
election, attention should be on the economic revival of Zimbabwe.
said drastic changes were needed to the current “poor policy implementation
record”. Rusike cited the Economic Structural Adjustment Programme, which led
to individuals suffering even more than before it was introduced due to
failure to stick to conditions of the programme.
AFRICAN POWDERKEG Zimbabwe falls
further into anarchy African group sees 'calm' in Zimbabwe - Yet latest
human-rights report tells of continuing brutality Land-grab policy causes
Zimbabwe famine Gadhafi eyes Zimbabwe: Libya supports Mugabe's confiscation
plan -- for a price South Africa's ANC stained by scandal - Mandela:
Corruption 'actually worse than the apartheid government' Apartheid in the
rearview mirror - Is South Africa capable of overcoming epidemic of
AFRICAN POWDERKEG Zimbabwe falls further into
anarchy Murder of whites continues while famine grows nearer
"This is a great victory against the white
colonialists. Soon we will cleanse Namibia and then South Africa of all
Europeans and whites." – A Namibian commenting on the election of Zimbabwe
President Robert Mugabe
WINDHOEK, Namibia – The election of Zimbabwe
President Robert Mugabe, strongly condemned as fraudulent by outside
observers, has given the strongman a platform to continue a crackdown on his
opponents – both black and white – as the nation grows closer to a
full-fledged famine accompanied by increasing anarchy.
believe the dictator's recent "victory" has spiraled the nation to perhaps
the point of no return. The Movement for Democratic Change, or MDC, is
Mugabe's main opponent in Zimbabwe. They have thus far refused to form a
coalition government with Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF Party.
As Mugabe's land
confiscation policy has driven white farmers off their land, a famine is
coming to the nation. Scores of Zimbabweans are heading for South Africa,
creating a refugee crisis in a nation that already has lost control of its
vreemdelingehabeer, Afrikaans for "border influx control."
Van der Hausen, a South African policewoman in Cape Town, "The Marxist
leaders in Namibia, South Africa and Angola are watching Mugabe's terror
tactics go unchallenged by the West, and this only eggs them on to do the
same, I'm afraid."
Mugabe recently passed a law in Parliament banning all
foreign journalists from the nation. News is hard to come by. Last week, the
British Daily Telegraph's Zimbabwe correspondent, Peta Thornycroft, was
jailed by Mugabe under new security laws. Thornycroft, a 57-year-old woman,
is being held by the Central Intelligence Oganization in Chimanimani, east of
Harare, according to her lawyer, Tapiwanashe Kujinga.
the arrest of Daily News editor Geoffrey Nyarota last week for running what
Information Minister Jonathan Moyo called a "patently false" story in
Zimbabwe's only independent daily paper.
Nyarota had written a story
stating that a meeting of parliamentarians from the African, Caribbean and
Pacific organization and European Union had jointly agreed on a resolution
calling for a redo of Zimbabwe's recent election.
How is Mugabe kept
in power, many may wonder. To begin, Mugabe is backed by a series of "white
angels" in the UK who fund and launder his many African adventures and
financial operations. Mugabe is heavily involved in fighting UNITA in Angola
and in the Marxist Congo, where he has lucrative mining deals going
South African military intelligence officer Pieter Coetzee
told WorldNetDaily, "Famine aid will surely come to Zimbabwe, and the
West's powerful food conglomerates, through the United Nations, will surely
profit. Mugabe makes money from sanctions, farming, famine, mining, ivory,
drug laundering – you name it."
Last week, Zimbabwe's finance
minister, Simba Makoni, issued a public statement in which he said he would
revise Zimbabwe's budget to find money to feed the country's
Makoni said that preliminary forecasts showed that Zimbabwe
would need to import more maize and other grains than was anticipated when
the budget was presented last November.
Under white rule until 1979,
Zimbabwe, then known as Rhodesia, was a net exporter of grain. Times have
changed, however. Makoni's public statement said that Mugabe's government has
so far spent about US$37 million on imports of maize and grain. Even Mugabe's
own government officials say that over 500,000 Zimbabweans will need food
assistance. That figure, say international aid agencies, is grossly
One British SAS commander, who asked that his name not be
revealed due to political considerations, told WND, "The Labor Party [in the
UK] supports Mugabe. The Conservative Party does nothing. The British army is
apolitical, but in reality, our troops get sent overseas to Sierra Leone to
guard diamond mines owned by our wealthy countrymen when Tony Blair should
be sending us into Zimbabwe to put the MDC into power."
African civil servant Alan Grieve commented that the ANC government of South
Africa "is unlikely to pressure Mugabe. South Africa's leaders are not
elected by popular vote. South Africans vote for a party, not an individual.
Even Nelson Mandela called this phenomenon 'a serious flaw' in South Africa's
new dispensation. Mugabe can tell [South African President] Mbeki that he
[Mugabe] has been popularly elected, while Mbeki was not."
Zimbabwean Cathy Buckle, a white farmer who has survived
Mugabe's farm invasions and chosen to remain inside the country, reports that
conditions are worsening in Zimbabwe.
"The picture on the front page
of this week's Zimbabwe Independent is gruesome and shocking. It is of
murdered farmer Terry Ford, lying in a pool of blood, his body covered from
top to bottom in wounds and bruises. Terry, trying to escape from his farm,
was overrun by a mob, caught, tied to a tree, bludgeoned and then shot," she
"Terry's family were brave enough to allow the
world's cameras in to expose this horror, but his murder is only one of seven
that have taken place in the last 10 days [at the hands of Mugabe
Those seven, Buckle said, are Terry Ford, Ernest Gatsi (MDC
activist – beaten to death), Tafi Gwaze (MDC polling agent – abducted,
tortured and beaten to death), Laurence Kuheya (MDC activist), Funny Mahuni
(MDC supporter), Owen Manyara (MDC activist – beaten to death) and
Darlington Vikaveka (farm security guard – beaten to death).
case, the brutality has been barbaric in the extreme, and I offer my
condolences to the families and friends of them all. In addition, scores of
people have been beaten. A dozen farms have been looted or trashed, and an
estimated 1,200 MDC polling agents have been displaced from their homes and
are on the run, being hounded by government supporters who seem intent on
hunting down anyone who dared to differ in our recent elections,"
Buckle told WorldNetDaily that the only comfort for
ordinary Zimbabweans "is that world pressure is mounting."
been suspended from the commonwealth council for a year. Denmark has closed
its embassy in Harare and suspended all development aid, and Switzerland has
imposed travel and financial bans on President Mugabe and other top
government officials. We all know that the horrors in Zimbabwe cannot and
will not last, and each day has become one of survival. I continue to wear a
tattered and frayed yellow ribbon on my chest in support of all who are
suffering and in silent protest of anarchy."
Says Herman Davids, a white
Zimbabwean farmer who recently fled Harare with his family to come to Cape
Town and live with relatives, "Mugabe has killed Zimbabwe."
the West?" Davids asked. "Where is President Bush and Colin Powell on this
issue? We are bleeding and dying in Zimbabwe while the world does nothing.
It's almost as if the West has an unwritten agreement with the communists to
hand over control of all of Africa to interests hostile to the West. Only God
Anthony C. LoBaido is an international correspondent for
AFRICAN POWDERKEG African group sees 'calm' in
Zimbabwe Yet latest human-rights report tells of continuing
Despite recent reports that leaders throughout the
world were beginning to speak out against Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe's
human-rights abuses, members of the Southern Africa Development Commission
appear to have come to the dictator's defense, having discovered an
"improved" Zimbabwe on a recent trip there.
Six foreign ministers from
the Southern Africa Development Commission, or SADC, traveled to Zimbabwe on
a fact-finding tour last week. The tour was aimed at examining the fallout
from Mugabe's campaign to drive the nation's white farmers off their land
through violence and murder, and the resulting famine that threatens the
What did the SADC leaders uncover? Nothing too encouraging for
those who oppose Mugabe's rule, according to Cathy Buckle, a white Zimbabwean
farmer, author and activist.
"After two days in an Harare hotel, the
SADC members said they 'welcomed the improved atmosphere of calm and
stability' and were 'gratified to learn that violence on farms had reduced
significantly,'" Buckle told WND.
"Their spokeswoman was Malawian Foreign
Minister Lilian Patel," explained Buckle, "and although she spoke with
apparent conviction, her words make no sense at all in view of recent
statements condemning events in Zimbabwe from her own president and others in
the region. Our regional neighbors are already suffering because of the
crisis in Zimbabwe, and the time for groveling, appeasement and the 'old boys
club' is long past."
"With an estimated 300,000 Malawian farm workers in
Zimbabwe about to be unemployed and destitute, I think Ms. Patel and her
fellow delegates should be ashamed. The facts … do not describe an 'improved
atmosphere of calm and stability.'"
Mugabe's reign of terror and
anarchy has shown no signs of improvement in recent weeks, Buckle
"For example, 29-year-old Augustus Chacha was kidnapped from Gonye
Village in Gokwe in front of his wife and five children last weekend.
Augustus was the MDC (the Mugabe opposition party, Movement for Democratic
Change) youth organizer in the area. His body was found floating in Gonye Dam
two days later," she said.
"In another incident of 'improved calm,'
the newly elected MDC mayor of Chegutu, Francis Dhlakama, was forced out of
his office on his first day at work. About 50 war veterans, chanting and
singing pro-government songs, ordered him out. Police were present but did
nothing to assist the mayor-elect, who left to avoid violence."
mentioned the November report on political violence just released by the
Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum.
"It certainly does not describe 'improved
calm and stability,' either," Buckle said.
The report details the
horrors of the past month inside Zimbabwe. In examining the report,
WorldNetDaily found details of six deaths/executions in November, eight
kidnappings, 81 cases of property damage and 115 cases of torture and
The Forum defines "torture" as: "Severe pain and suffering,
intentionally inflicted, with a purpose, by a state official or another
acting with the acquiescence of the state."
The 25-page report tells
of people having their heads forced into ant bear holes, having their mouths
filled with sand, being beaten by gangs armed with chains, sticks and rubber
hoses. It also tells of highly irritant plant powders known as "huriri" or
"uriri" (Buffalo Bean) being soaked into peoples' clothes, stuffed into their
anuses and smeared under the penile foreskin.
WorldNetDaily that Mugabe's "electioneering" has started in earnest and that
he launched his ruling Zanu-PF campaign at his party's annual congress last
week with the theme: "Land for Economic Empowerment." The presidential
election is set for March.
"A massive [tent], seating the 7,618
delegates, has been pitched on the Elephant Hills Golf Course in Victoria
Falls, and the rhetoric is beyond belief," said Buckle.
said, 'The Rhodesians have been organizing themselves' and described the
opposition MDC as 'agents of the white settlers.' Talking about the hundreds
of companies forced into liquidation in the last 21 months, about 80 percent
inflation and 60 percent unemployment, President Mugabe said these are
'obviously trends that were meant to achieve a political purpose.' He also
told the delegates that they 'must prepare for a physical fight. We must
maintain a high sense of caution and security because we have seen the
enemies' capacity for evil and murder. Our youths should rally behind us in
defense of our independence.'"
Speaking of the UK, Zimbabwe's former
colonial ruler, Mugabe told the delegates, "The British were brought up as a
violent people, liars, scoundrels and crooks, and I am told that [Prime
Minister Tony] Blair was a troublesome little boy at school. So we cannot
have reasonable dialogue with such people."
POWDERKEG Land-grab policy causes Zimbabwe famine Mugabe government won't
allow relief agencies to distribute food
Although less than 25 years ago, Zimbabwe, then known
as Rhodesia, was a net food exporter, the current policies of the nation's
dictator, President Robert Mugabe, have produced a serious famine in the
Mugabe – through both unofficial violence and official government
policy – systematically has driven white farmers off their land, some of the
most productive in all of Africa.
Cathy Buckle, a Zimbabwean farmer,
has been updating WorldNetDaily on events inside Zimbabwe, which have for the
most part been overlooked by the establishment media. Buckle is also an
author, having compiled stories of the killings and harassment of white
farmers in a book on the Zimbabwe land grabs entitled, "African Tears: The
Zimbabwe Land Invasions."
"The events of this last week in Zimbabwe are
almost beyond belief. According to world relief agencies, including the World
Food Program, the U.N. and Oxfam, 1 million Zimbabweans will be in urgent
need of food aid within the next month. Our government, having acknowledged
the crisis and held out the begging bowl, announced this week that they would
not allow anyone but themselves to distribute the food as it comes in. The
government has banned all foreign aid agencies from distributing humanitarian
food aid," Buckle told WorldNetDaily.
Zimbabwe's minister of
information spoke at a press conference last week and declared, "We will not
allow strangers to roam around our country interfering." The minister claimed
foreign aid agencies were "planning to smuggle election monitors into
Zimbabwe using the guise of food aid to 'decampaign' (destabilize) the
Says Buckle, "Can there be anyone now who believes
that the Zimbabwean government actually cares for her own people? It is
criminal that 1 million people face starvation because our government has
prevented farmers from growing food and have allowed people calling
themselves 'war veterans' to rule supreme for the last 20 months. I can
hardly bear to think how people who do not support the ruling party will
survive. How can any government refuse to allow donors to distribute the food
they have collected?"
Buckle explained that the imminent food crisis has
been overshadowed by what she called the "devastating announcement" that
Mugabe's Land Acquisition Act again has been amended. The strongman now has
plans to evict over 4,000 white farmers in Zimbabwe.
"Farmers who have
been served with a section-8 letter informing them of the seizure of their
land have been told to immediately cease all farming operations and have 90
days to get off their farms and out of their homes. The starvation we face
now will be compounded a hundred fold in 2002 and 2003," Buckle
"I say this not because I believe only whites can farm but because
the people squatting on farms simply do not have the experience or
capital needed to grow more than enough food for just themselves. The mere
fact that they cannot even plough the land they have invaded and, as I write,
are waiting for the government to give them seed, demonstrates this fact
Buckle continued, "More worrying is the evidence that
many of the men squatting on farms are being paid to do so and are not
farmers at all but political pawns. I gave proof of this in my book "African
Tears" and told how an American TV crew actually filmed the 'war veterans'
receiving their weekly pay for squatting on my farm."
minister of agriculture, Dr. Joseph Made, told South Africa's media that any
payment of compensation to farmers evicted from their farms would be up to
the British government. The UK is the former colonial ruler of
Zimbabwe/Rhodesia. Made said that Zimbabwe's government would pay
for "improvements" (the buildings, fencing, dams, etc.) but could only afford
to pay 25 percent now and the balance over 5 years.
have been frantically trying to decide what on earth to do now, both with
themselves and their families but also with nearly a quarter of a million
people who work for them, the country has seen burning, looting and beating
in Bulawayo. An abducted war veteran was found murdered. Two terrified young
men stood in front of a TV camera and 'confessed,' but there was a huge wave
of arrests. As I write, more than 16 people are in police cells – all are
active members of the official opposition MDC party; one is an MP. Many have
been denied their rights to legal counsel. Many have been held for more than
48 hours without being charged. All have been denied bail," said
Buckle said that the rule of law is rapidly
vanishing in Zimbabwe.
"A magistrate in Gokwe convicted two government
supporters of robbery and sentenced them to eight months. That night the
magistrate was attacked by a mob in his home. His windows were smashed,
furniture trashed, and he fled bruised and terrified into the night. The
magistrate is unable to return to either his home or workplace and is in
hiding," explained Buckle.
"I met last week for tea with a farming couple
in their 70s who survived the most terrifying experience recently. A mob of
40 'war veterans' got into their house at night by breaking down the back
door. While this elderly couple hid in their bedroom the 'war veterans'
smashed the windows, climbed onto the roof and broke a hole in the asbestos
with a steel pole. They looted the contents of the fridge and deep freeze,
stole tools from the garage, cutlery from the kitchen and then smashed
glasses and plates. They put the plug into the sink, turned the taps on and
flooded the lounge, dining room and pantry. They smashed the bedroom window
where the couple were hiding and tried to set the curtains
Continued Buckle, "For three hours, 40 men roared and shouted
and destroyed. The police were called at 7 p.m. and did not arrive until
after 10 p.m. The following morning, three men were arrested. They were found
with two of the 25 geese that the mob had stolen. This couple is not leaving.
They have been terrorized repeatedly in the last 20 months but are not
leaving. This is their home."
When Zimbabwe's anarchy stops may have a
lot to do with the nation of Libya. The London Telegraph recently reported
that Muammar Gadhafi and Libya are dispatching 10,000 mercenaries to
Zimbabwe. The Telegraph reported that each mercenary will be given a
"Gadhafi has been cooperating with the West in the
new war on terror. Perhaps that is why he is being given a free hand to
operate in Zimbabwe. Why won't the U.S. and UK help us?" Graham McKeever, a
Zimbabwean farmer living in Harare told WorldNetDaily.
Geoff Cooke, an ex-Rhodesian intelligence officer, Mugabe's use of foreign
troops to suppress the people is not unprecedented.
"Mugabe used North
Korean mercenaries to kill off more than 30,000 Matabele tribesmen in
northern Rhodesia who opposed his rule. This was done back in the early
1980s. Mugabe is not opposed to using foreign troops," Cooke said.
Southern Africa Financial Gazette, the bible of commerce in
Zimbabwe, reported that in anticipation of civil unrest, Mugabe ordered The
Ministry o f Home Affairs to seek authority from Treasury to make a down
payment of $Z105 million to an Israeli company recently contracted to supply
nearly $Z1 billion worth of special vehicles and water cannons that can be
used in riots by the Zimbabwe Republic Police ahead of presidential elections
The Financial Gazette reported that the equipment being
bought is part of a wider government strategy to ensure that the Zimbabwe
Republic Police is adequately equipped to deal with any possible riots ahead
of the election, which Mugabe is seen losing.
Anthony C. LoBaido is an
international correspondent for WorldNetDaily.
Zimbabwe Libya supports Mugabe's confiscation plan -- for a price
Libyan potentate Moammar
Gadhafi is strengthening his alliance with Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe
with an eye toward gaining more influence in
Geostrategy-Direct Intelligence Brief quotes Western
intelligence sources as saying Gadhafi and Mugabe have struck a deal – Libya
will support Mugabe as it expels white farmers from the country and
confiscates their property.
The deal is based on the assessment that
Mugabe's expulsion will result in international sanctions as well as a flight
of hard currency from Zimbabwe. That's where Libya comes in. Gadhafi has
pledged to export oil to Zimbabwe regardless of its ability to
The Libyan supply will cover 70 percent of Zimbabwe's needs.
Gadhafi, who visited Harare in July, ordered his state bank to make the
necessary financial arrangements.
What does Gadhafi want? First, the
Libyan ruler wants to extend his grip to Black Africa. At the same time,
Gadhafi wants a piece of Zimbabwe's lucrative mining industry.
has been aiding the Marxist-run nation of Zimbabwe as it continues to slide
As recently as 1979, Zimbabwe was known as
Rhodesia, a white-run, pro-West nation that was an exporter of grain to other
nations in Africa. Mugabe has, in recent years, encouraged cadres to attack
white-owned farms and confiscate property.
Libya is heavily involved
in propping up Mugabe’s failing regime. On July 29, the Zimbabwe Standard
reported that Gadhafi made a pledge of $1 million to Mugabe's political party
to bolster his campaign for next year’s presidential election. Such a gift is
illegal under the Political Parties (Finance) Act.
Africa's ANC stained by scandal Mandela: Corruption 'actually worse than the
TOWN, South Africa – When billionaire Mark Shuttleworth blasts off
with Russian cosmonauts on April 22, becoming the first South African in
space, several beleaguered leaders of the ruling ANC might feel like flying
off with him.
The African National Congress – armed, trained and
educated by communist China and the Soviets – has long been the darlings of
Western liberals and hard core communists in Cuba, Zimbabwe, Angola and North
Korea. Now, after more than eight years in power, the ANC is struggling to
keep its head above water.
The ANC's membership rolls are dwindling as
South Africa's emerging black middle class becomes increasingly dissatisfied
with the ANC's ineptness dealing with issues such as AIDS and violent
Internationally, the ANC's tilt towards Zimbabwe dictator Robert
Mugabe and his brutal white farm confiscation has enraged even the liberal
Labour Party in the UK, as well as the U.S. State Department. When South
African President Thabo Mbeki backed Mugabe's election victory last month,
the British Commonwealth threatened not to fund Mbeki's economic initiatives
for a southern Africa economic agenda. Within 24 hours, Mbeki changed course
and followed the UK in condemning Mugabe's victory as
Recognizing Mugabe's election victory is one of the more recent
black eyes on the ANC, which touted itself during the apartheid struggle as a
champion of true democracy.
While all governments are plagued to some
degree by corruption, the ANC's missteps are especially troubling to former
South African President Nelson Mandela. Mandela told the world press that he
was "most saddened" by the corruption of the ANC leadership, which was
"actually worse than the apartheid government."
Africa and the ANC have been rocked by so many scandals it is sometimes hard
for observers to keep track of them.
ANC-authored kickback scandals
involving ARMSCOR, the Armaments Corporation of South Africa, and AIDS/HIV
drugs have tarnished its image.
The ANC recently blundered by promising
800 billion Rand for slave reparations against South African corporations in
the February budget. This fund was supposed to go to "victims" who earned
"victories" in the Truth and Reconciliation Hearings, or TRC.
the provisions of the TRC was that guilty parties would be fully pardoned if
those injured by them were fully compensated," said Ansuriettta Wolfardt, a
South African policewoman, in an interview with WorldNetDaily.
cronies were recently linked to a diamond-rights scandal in Schmidtsdrift
near Kimberly, South Africa, where the black empowerment mining company New
Diamond Corporation has seized the rights to ancestral lands occupied by poor
Another scandal that has hurt the ANC is its claim that Germany's
Deutsche Bank Securities colluded to drive down the value of the South
African Rand through dishonest financing methods with South African chemical
corporation SASOL, a major player in the nation's economy.
stain on the ANC is the emergence of NDF, an offshoot of the apartheid-era
mercenary army Executive Outcomes, which has been deployed in the oil fields
of southern Sudan by the militant Islamic government of Khartoum in its war
against black Christians and animists in that nation.
broke open recently with the revelation that the ANC was caught red-handed
accepting bribes from Taiwan to keep the ANC from recognizing mainland
This scandal was particularly troubling, one former Afrikaner
intelligence official told WorldNetDaily, "because it shows that the ANC's
foreign policy is for sale."
As the ANC was coming to power in 1994,
the anti-communist government of Taiwan, fearful that the ANC would switch
recognition to mainland China, offered the ANC $11 million to maintain
relations. The ANC initially asked for $20 million. President Nelson Mandela
at first said that it would be "immoral" to abandon Taiwan. This struck most
South African analysts as strange and infuriated the ANC ranks since
communist China had long armed, trained and backed the ANC against the
The point man in this operation was Taiwanese colonel
Lui Kuan-chun, a National Security Bureau agent. The ANC, says Lui, asked for
the cash to "help pay off its campaign debts." (China had donated $10 million
to the ANC about two years earlier as incentive to switch
Taiwan paid the ANC the money in three installments. This
transfer was confirmed by former Taiwanese ambassador to South Africa Loh
Loh told the international media that when he brought up the
matter with Mandela, the president was "very surprised to hear about this,
yet also very pleased. At the time, Mandela was very grateful to our country
and thanked me profusely."
In the end, the ANC took the Taiwanese
millions then recognized Beijing anyway. Taiwan responded by stopping its
funding of a $350 million chemical plant and a $30 million foreign-aid
package to the ANC.
Claire Montgomery, a white ANC activist in Cape Town
told WorldNetDaily that she is troubled by the recent misdeeds of the
"We were idealists, as whites, believing that the ANC was fit to
rule this country. Pure greed and a thirst for power have replaced apartheid,
and considering the state of affairs in this nation, it's far, far
Anthony C. LoBaido is an international correspondent for
Apartheid in the rearview mirror Is
South Africa capable of overcoming epidemic of crime?
CAPE TOWN, South Africa – There are only two kinds
of people in South Africa, goes a local saying, those who believe there are
no problems, and those who believe there is no hope for the future. In
Constantia, a wealthy, safe white suburb of Cape Town, most residents believe
Here, daily life seems not only frighteningly "normal" but
somewhat of a utopia. Crime is almost non-existent. Children play safely in
parks; churches have lively services; and the local shopping mall is filled
with both goods and customers. The cost of living for foreigners is
"If crime can be controlled, then South Africa can have a bright
future," said Internet e-mail café owner Jacob de Boer, a longtime Cape
"But honestly, the ANC (African National Congress)
cannot govern this country, and their membership rolls continue to dwindle,
mainly due to the apathy of the emerging black middle class. However,
alternate parties critical of the ANC are springing up. Perhaps they will be
capable of restoring South Africa to a peaceful, prosperous nation where
Marxism is again anathema, criminals are punished and life is
So, while the clouds, or "tablecloth," roll across the top of
the picturesque Table Mountain, passing softly over the Cecil Rhodes
Memorial, who pioneered a "United States of Africa," Cape Town residents can
be thankful that they live in the safest region in the entire nation.
Other than a few bombings of Western targets carried out by Islamic
extremists in recent years, the region is safe and even prosperous.
a nation-wide basis, however, South Africa's problems are legion, manifesting
themselves most severely in cities like Johannesburg
There is a rape every 25 seconds in this nation. The
murder rate is skyrocketing. The police are out-manned, out-gunned,
under-funded and demoralized.
In an interview with WorldNetDaily,
South African special forces war hero Wynand du Toit affirmed that crime is a
major problem. Du Toit's private security company is a multiracial group
dedicated to fighting crime.
"One of our members, who had joined our
group after a stint in the French Foreign Legion, was killed recently
fighting crime," du Toit told WND.
Then there are the farm killings of
whites. South Africa has 40,000 white farmers. Over 1,200 have been murdered
since 1994 and another 7,000 attacked. This makes the white Afrikaner/Boer
farmer the highest at-risk murder group on Earth.
The ANC's response
so far has been to put a moratorium on crime statistics due to fear that such
publicity might scare off foreign investment.
Baby rape is epidemic. Says
Mary Swinton, who taught school in South Africa for 20 years, "Baby rape is
not new in this country. There are cultural aspects associated with
Little Angels, a hospital that caters to victims of baby rape, was
recently forced to move out of Constantia due to "zoning" violations. The
hospital continues its function to help babies in need in a nearby suburb,
say South African social workers.
Radical Islamic groups like PAGAD
and Marxist organizations like the Pan African Congress are also a problem in
South Africa, for they are breeding grounds for extremism. A few years back,
one PAC leader publicly stated, "When [Nelson] Mandela dies, we will kill you
whites like flies."
Not all South Africans embrace that notion. In fact,
most reject it.
Squeeza Jabulani, a Zulu woman who works as a maid, told
WorldNetDaily that her people want to maintain friendly relations with white
"I moved to Cape Town from KwaZulu ('Kwa' meaning 'place
of') to avoid the bloodshed and violence," she said.
Over 20,000 Zulus
were killed in politically related violence in the nation in the 1990s, the
highest of any single ethnic group.
"There were shootings every night,"
Jabulani explained. "My children, they could hear the gunshots and they would
be frightened. In Cape Town, we have excellent schools and lower crime. It
was the whites who built this country, and we must continue to embrace them.
Apartheid is gone. I say forgive and forget the past."
there was little resistance to the dismantling of apartheid by South Africa's
whites. Those with skills fled overseas to Anglophile nations like Canada,
New Zealand, the UK and Australia. Right-wing leaders like Eugene
Terreblanche of the renegade Afrikaner Resistance Movement were put in jail,
where they remain even today.
"When South African war heroes like Willem
Ratte were put in prison and the Conservative Party broke apart, that
signaled the death of the old South Africa," said Franz Pretorius, a former
Conservative Party activist in the Transvaal.
In general, South
Africans of all political stripes are amazed that the right wing is staying
quiet in the face of the decay of the nation. The ANC, especially Nelson
Mandela, has tried to reach out to whites. He visited the widow of
apartheid's founder and asked that white South Africans who fled the nation
return to help rebuild the country.
John Anderson, an Australian
immigration consultant based in Cape Town, told WorldNetDaily that while many
whites are fleeing South Africa, emigration out of South Africa isn't
necessarily the best option for everyone.
"South Africa still offers so
much for its citizens," he asserted. "It's still possible to build a future
Yet many whites, especially conservatives, are skeptical of the
"This nation is filled with communism, rape, AIDS,
political correctness and affirmative action," Pretorius said. "In all
honesty, I am ashamed of the Afrikaners. We fought against these wicked
communists and terrorists, against the United Nations and the globalists
since 1948, and in the end, our leaders betrayed us, especially F.W. de
Klerk. Couldn't de Klerk have cut a better deal for us whites? Now China and
the ANC are calling the shots inside our nation, along with the Russians.
It's just disgusting."
Change comes to South Africa not in small doses
but like a tidal wave. The army, the erstwhile South African Defense Force,
the same army that drove out the Soviets and Cubans from Angola and fought
the Nazis in World War II, has been decimated. China has been embraced, while
longtime ally Taiwan has been forsaken.
Last month, the ANC was shaken
by revelations that in 1994, the Mandela government accepted money from
Taiwan (about 1 billion rand) to have the ANC continue the apartheid
government's recognition of Taiwan vis-à-vis China. The ANC pocketed that
money but then changed South Africa's foreign policy toward
The ANC is decidedly anti-Israel and pro-Islam.
hard to remember at times that it was South Africa who helped Israel build
her atomic arsenal," South African intelligence officer Garth
Smuts commented. "These days, Gadhafi, Mugabe, Castro and other Islamics
and Marxists are being feted by the ANC."
AIDS will infect about a
third of the black population by 2010. Abortion, pornography and homosexual
rights have been legalized and protected by the new constitution. The South
African rand is now 12 to 1 against the U.S. dollar. In 1973, the rand was
worth 20 percent more than the U.S. dollar. Today, it holds about 3 cents of
its 1973 value. Labor problems and affirmative action hurt
Privacy and Internet issues also dog the government, as
civil libertarians in South Africa oppose new ANC laws attacking personal
Over 25 percent of the drugs in the world are shipped through
South Africa, and the drug Mandrax is a serious problem for the police. Many
whites take their children to school escorted by armed guards.
is a lot at stake for the West in the "new South Africa." It is the world's
strategic mineral treasure chest. The Cape of Good Hope is a vital sea lane.
China is making inroads to the port at Walvis Bay, now abandoned by South
Africa, and setting up space-war infrastructure capabilities in neighboring
Namibia. Is the West optimistic about South Africa's future? The new U.S.
Embassy in Pretoria is the most expensive embassy ever built, prepared, say
officials, to withstand a nuclear and biological attack.
Not all the news
is bad. South Africa boasts excellent medical professionals, tourism is
booming, whites affected by affirmative action are starting their own
businesses, foreign investment is pouring in and the tired old excuses about
"racism" are no longer being tolerated by the average South African citizen,
be they white, black or Indian. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission,
criticized by the right as a "witch hunt," has exposed the deeds of apartheid
killers like Wouter Basson and Eugene de Kok.
The Zulu king has
reinstated the ancient custom of having all females inspected publicly for
virginity, serving to restrain sexual behavior and reduce AIDS/HIV amongst
the Zulu nation.
"We Zulus must survive. AIDS is killing off the Mosai in
Kenya, but our king won't let that happen to our people," Jabulani told
As South Africa rebuilds from its current ethos of
destabilization, a return to the old ways may be just what the nation needs
to build a new South Africa that works for all its
Anthony C. LoBaido is an international correspondent for
CONTROVERSIAL Zanu PF publicist Temba Mliswa is running a
recruitment agency in London which has seen Zimbabweans anxious to enter the
United Kingdom turned around at Gatwick by British immigration officials and
Mliswa's company, Education UK Ltd, whose British
office is given as Wembly Point, 15th Floor, Harrow Road, Middlesex, promises
applicants placement in the UK on payment of £100 (or $400 000 if paid in
Zimbabwe) as a registration fee. The company specialises in the recruitment
of students, teachers and nurses and claims to have offices in Sri Lanka,
Ukraine, Russia and East Africa.
The company has so far failed
to refund nine people who were deported in February alone. Mliswa is the
company's director for Southern Africa.
One of the deportees said
Mliswa, a former national soccer team fitness trainer, had taken them for a
"His company assured us that everything would be okay as
they had assisted many Zimbabweans who had gone abroad," said one woman who
spoke on condition of anonymity.
"I cannot disclose my name
because I might be victimised by Mliswa who is well-connected to the ruling
party. Besides I might not even be able to recover the $400 000 I paid," she
"In order for us to help you," says the company's
prospectus, "you must first register with us. The cost of registration is
£100 for five years if you are applying for the UK and £520 if you are
applying for the United States."
Education UK Ltd claims to
assist applicants gain admission to education programmes
"This means that after registering, we can help you to
gain admission not just for one course, but also for many different courses,"
the prospectus says.
Contacted for comment, Mliswa said:
"Look, I am not an immigration officer. I only assist people to have their
papers in order. If they fail to answer questions at the airport that is not
my problem. I cannot assist them with my brains. Those people should have
paid me £100 before leaving but they did not," said
Another deportee said Mliswa was not being
"Mliswa had given us a letter which we were supposed to show
immigration officers at Gatwick. But once we mentioned his name, we were
immediately deported. They said he had sent many people to the UK claiming
they would only stay for two weeks and they had just vanished," the deportee
An official from the British High Commission said they had
no arrangement with Mliswa's company.
"I have never heard of
this company and we have no dealings with Education UK Ltd," she
Mliswa also claimed that people were being deported because of
the Aids scourge.
"Let us not blame (Robert) Mugabe for these
deportations. Many Zimbabweans who go there are straining the British health
system as they will be infected by the deadly Aids virus," he said.
Mugabe's economic recovery plan 'a disaster' Augustine
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe's 10-point plan to revive Zimbabwe's
ravaged economy is a dead-end set to plunge the country further into crisis,
a prominent economist said this week.
He said the plan would not turn
around the economy because it did not address fundamental issues such as
restoration of the rule of law and investor confidence.
National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) policy manager James Jowa said the
10-point plan unveiled by the president at the Zanu PF central
committee meeting last week would further erode investor confidence and
increase the risk of doing business in the country.
He said the
revival plan would take Zimbabwe backwards.
"Modern economies are not
driven by agriculture but industries. Instead of the unsystematic taking over
of the land through the ad-hoc fast track, we should carry out an agrarian
reform which is production-oriented with the rightful people taking over the
land," Jowa said.
"The fast-track resettlement scheme is just dumping
people in the wilderness where there is no basic infrastructure for them to
be productive," said Jowa.
Jowa said Zimbabwe could not
concentrate on domestic capital formation because of the absence of a savings
culture in the country.
"Indigenous savings and investment rates are
all below 9% of GDP after having fallen from 20% before the year
"For an economy to be on an acceptable growth path it requires
a minimum investment rate of 25% of GDP, therefore a miracle is needed to
bridge the existing resource gap domestically," he said.
government is already over-involved in the running of business, mainly
through parastatals which have a long record of performing
"Parastatals have become a huge burden on the fiscus and to
assume that the government will fare better if it acquires additional
companies is expecting miracles," he said.
Jowa said history had
shown that governments throughout the world were poor managers of the
"Government's duty is not to create employment, it is only
the facilitator, providing a conducive environment for business to flow while
the private sector creates employment," he said.
He said Mugabe's
proposal of "extending our experience in agriculture to transforming the
owner- ship structures in mining and tourism in order to create wealth for
our country through economic empowerment and job creation" would be a "total
disaster and should not be allowed to happen".
"The move simply means
that another violent occupation is to be promoted and that should not be
allowed to go ahead because it will further erode investor confidence, it
will be a total disaster for the country," Jowa said.
He said the
government should concentrate on feeding the nation whose citizens were
virtually living in queues hoping to get a share of the small rations of
maize meal delivered to supermarkets.
THE ruling Zanu PF party has hijacked the World Food Programme's
food aid distribution process in the rural areas by exploiting loopholes in
Those in need of food assistance are required to register
with their ward councillors, village development committees, traditional
leaders, headmasters and agriculture extension workers. Most of these
officials are Zanu PF supporters and those who have tried to be impartial in
the execution of their duties have faced the wrath of war veterans and Zanu
PF militias who are leading a nation-wide purge of MDC
The WFP, which is heading the food distribution programme
through its implementing partners, Christian Care, Orap and World Vision,
does not have the capacity to handle the screening of those in need of food
In Umzingwane district last week war veterans threatened
to derail the WFP distribution exercise after they demanded that they should
Norbert Dube, the director of Orap, confirmed to the
Independent that some groups wanted to hijack the programme in Umzingwane
district for political reasons.
"We had problems with some people
who wanted to meddle in the distribution exercise for political reasons but
we made it clear to them that the food we are issuing is apolitical," said
WFP officials in Umzingwane caused an impasse after they
refused to hand over the exercise to war veterans who wanted to move the
distribution venue to their stronghold in the Nswazi area.
THE Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) has lost its Supreme Court application against the
use of the supplementary voters role in the hotly-disputed March 9/11
The ruling was made two weeks ago but details are
only now emerging.
The full Supreme Court bench ruled four to one
that Morgan Tsvangirai, the losing candidate, did not have the locus standi
(legal standing) to bring the case to court. The case was thus dismissed on a
technicality with the court ruling that Tsvangirai could not be a "torch
bearer" in the application. The court did not therefore delve into the merits
of the matter, which was the introduction of the supplementary roll on the
eve of the poll.
Justice Sandura dissented.
Justice Moses Chinhengo yesterday ruled in favour of the Zimbabwe Congress of
Trade Unions against the police intervening in their general council meeting
which starts today. Chinhengo said the police had no right to attend today's
meeting or any future meetings.
The order was made to Augustine
Chihuri and the ZRP Officer Commanding Harare Province.
Govt flouts maize tender procedures Vincent
THE government has since January imported 100 000 tonnes of maize
without following proper tender procedures, the Zimbabwe Independent has
Since October government has advertised three maize import
tenders totalling 600 000 tonnes but not all the maize delivered was through
the tender process, industry sources said yesterday.
said the circumventing of the tendering process was similar to the problem
that had landed former Agriculture minister Kumbirai Kangai and former Grain
Marketing Board (GMB) chief executive Martin Muchero in court for importing
maize in 1998/9 outside of tender procedures.
This week the
Independent heard that GMB chairman Enock Kamushinda was in Brazil to
negotiate a 130 000-tonne maize import deal while bids for last month's
tender had not yet been adjudicated on.
The Independent heard that
government had already paid R57 million to Cargill in South Africa for 30 000
tonnes of maize as part of the Brazilian deal. Of the Brazilian imports,
sources said at least 40 000 tonnes would be yellow maize of which 2 000
tonnes had already been delivered to the Southern region GMB
In October the government advertised for a 200 000-tonne
maize tender and contracts for a parcel of less than 30 000 tonnes were
secured off-tender. The same was true in January when another 200 000-tonne
tender was floated and contracts were awarded to non-bidders. Results of last
month's tender have not been made public yet a contract for 130 000 tonnes
has already been awarded.
The sources said some of the overseas
bidders were now enquiring through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on why
tender results had not been made public.
"The net effect of this is
that Zimbabwe is creating a bad name for itself and in future no-one will
want to do business with a country that ignores its own tendering process,"
said one bidder.
First Lady's brother in bid to take over local
firm Dumisani Muleya
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe's brother-in-law is
involved in a labour dispute with a local white- owned company where workers
under his leadership are attempting to seize control.
The row has
drawn in First Lady Grace Mugabe. Her younger brother Erasmus Marufu is at
the centre of a dispute at the Four Seasons herbs and spices company sparked
by quarrels over bonuses and wage increments.
Sources said the
problem at the company erupted in January after workers returned from their
annual break and started to systematically sabotage the company claiming its
owners were externalising funds and wanted to shut it down.
workers occupied the company illegally and started demanding six week's pay
as bonuses," a company source said. "They issued notices to shareholders and
customers that they had taken over."
Sources said Marufu and
co-workers resorted to management lockouts and threats of appropriation as
bargaining tactics. But Four Seasons' managers resisted intimidation and
ended up getting a High Court order to evict the employees who had virtually
It is understood that after the workers failed to get
their way, Marufu turned to the First Lady for help. Her spokesman Lawrence
Kamwi said he referred such cases to the Ministry of Labour for
However, political pressure has remained as a
negotiating tool. General manager Chris Dunbar has been pushed out. Dunbar,
who has been replaced by Norman Mavudzi whom workers are barring from taking
office, said he was warned that with Marufu involved, he would not
Marufu, who confirmed Grace was his sister, yesterday said
workers wrote a letter to the First Lady asking for her
"We wrote a letter but they didn't give us a clear
answer," he said. "They just replied saying we must go the Ministry of
Labour. We went there but nothing came out of it."
Kamwi last week
said he could not remember the case but "we refer such cases to the relevant
Four Seasons insiders said Marufu has now removed his
overalls for a jacket and tie and installed himself as the new receptionist
at the front desk.
But he denied this.
"I did not place
myself there. I was put there by the managing director (Mike Jack)," he said.
"The management is lying about a lot of things. We didn't want to take over
the company and we never locked them out."
Jack would not comment on
the problems this week. He referred questions to his company's public
relations manager who would only say the matter was being resolved
Sadc leaders exclude Mugabe from talks Vincent
SADC heads of state have apparently joined the international
community in isolating Zimbabwe, with the latest snub being delivered by
South Africa which last weekend did not invite its northern neighbour to a
meeting between regional leaders and visiting Canadian Prime Minister Jean
Chretien to discuss the New Partnership for Africa's Development (Nepad)
This comes amid reports that New Zealand would next week impose
sanctions on Zimbabwe in response to last month's controversial election
Officials at the Canadian High Commission in Pretoria told
the Zimbabwe Independent that the host country had sent out the invitations
for the Nepad talks and the decision not to invite Zimbabwe had come from
"South Africa was responsible for drawing up the list," an
official said. "They issued the invitations. You can talk to the Office of
the President here over that issue," she said.
Reports from South
Africa this week quoted Walter Kansteiner, the US Assistant Secretary of
State for African Affairs, as saying Zimbabwe's suspension from the
Commonwealth had saved Nepad's position on the agenda at the Group of Eight
(G8) summit to be held in Canada in June.
G8 governments are due to
come up with a plan of action for Africa at their summit in Canada in
response to Nepad. Kansteiner said that the suspension of Zimbabwe "was very
important and sent some strong signals, and there was a real sense that Nepad
principles were behind that decision".
Kansteiner said that
subsequent diplomacy led by SA and Nigeria to bring about a political
settlement in Zimbabwe had also rein- forced those principles.
officer at the Canadian High Commission in Harare this week said there did
not appear to be any keenness on the part of Zimbabwe to participate in the
Nepad initiative, hence the country's exclusion from the talks was
The Pretoria meeting was attended by heads of
state from Malawi, Botswana, Tanzania, Mozambique, Namibia and
At the Pretoria meeting Chretien said there would be greater
opportunities for trade between African countries and Canada. He said those
African countries that did not join the Nepad initiative would miss out on
the opportunities and benefits.
ZRP distances itself from army beatings Abeauty
THE Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has distanced itself from last
weekend's indiscriminate beating of people in the capital and other major
towns by members of the defence forces to discourage them from attending
peaceful demonstrations called by the Nat ional Constitutional Assembly
Speaking to the Zimbabwe Independent this week, police spokesman
Assistant Commissioner Tarwireyi Tirivavi said the involvement of the army
came as a surprise and that the ZRP did not invite it to
"The army was not invited to assist us in controlling the
demonstrations," Tirivavi said. He said the police did not know that the army
was busy beating up people in the
high-density suburbs last
"If we had invited them, we would say so. We only invite the
army to assist us when the situation is out of hand and when more
reinforcement is needed," he said.
He said the police were able to
handle Saturday's demonstration on their own.
"Whoever invited the
army last weekend is still unknown," Tirivavi said.
He said whenever
the police are deployed, it is with the sole aim of controlling crime and not
to politicise the exercise.
In Highfield, members of the defence
forces invaded Front Page nightclub around 10pm and indiscriminately beat up
revellers. Most nightspots closed as early as 7pm on Friday after being
informed of the army's presence in the high-density suburb.
suburbs that were affected in Harare include Budiriro, Glen
Norah, Mabvuku-Tafara, Glen View and Mbare. The dormitory town of Chitungwiza
was not spared either.
The situation was tense in other towns such
as Bulawayo, Gweru, Mutare, and Masvingo.
"The violence and
lawlessness that has continued, and even intensified, after the presidential
poll has become cause for great concern for all Zimbabweans, not just MDC
supporters," said one resident of Highfield who asked not to be
The army took Saturday's demonstration as an opportunity to
show off their new acquisitions, crowd-control vehicles - Acmats - some of
which were fitted with water cannons.
The Independent understands
the order for the army to go onto the streets came from the command centre at
King George VI Barracks. The command centre, comprising army, CIO, police and
airforce personnel set up in the run-up to the election, has not been
disbanded. Under the control of the army, it was responsible for all
deployments of officers at election time and was set up to deal with any
Minister quashes rumours of fuel increase Vincent
THE National Oil Company of Zimbabwe (Noczim) is currently sitting
on a $12 billion surplus after successfully paying off its debt, also
estimated at $12 billion, at the end of last year.
this week said Noczim was in such a good financial position that the price of
fuel would not go up even if the Zimbabwe dollar was devalued to 120:1 to the
Transport and Energy minister Edward Chindori-Chininga
yesterday said there would be no fuel increase, quashing rumours in the
market that fuel was expected to go up any time now. The rumours had been fed
by a 25% fuel price increase in South Africa last week and the volatility of
the commodity's price on the international market.
"We have done
our calculations and there is not going to be a price increase," said
"Noczim's investment in the financial sector
amounts to approximately $6 billion. In addition to this amount there is an
amount of approximately $6 billion in cash collaterals for current foreign
denominated debt," he said.
The sources said the financial position
of Noczim and power utility Zesa had influenced the decision by the Reserve
Bank and the Finance ministry to devalue the dollar, which is currently
pegged at 55:1 to the United States dollar.
Sources this week said
Noczim had managed to build reserves because fuel prices on the international
market had been sup- pressed before this month's jump. There should have been
corresponding cuts in forecourt prices of the commodity. This did not happen
resulting in Noczim making a profit.
The oil company is currently
using the reserves to buy hard currency for fuel purchases from sources other
than Libya. Zimbabwe also imports fuel from IPG of Kuwait and Sasol in South
Libya has meanwhile continued to supply fuel to the country
in exchange for national assets.
Chindori-Chininga said the Libyan
fuel was being paid for through investments and exports to Libya. The
government has ceded part of its stake in the Jewel Bank and hospitality
counter Rainbow Tourism Group in exchange for fuel. The Libyans have also
shown interest in infra-structural development in oil-related industries and
Chindori-Chininga said some of the fuel was being paid for
through a beef exports deal secured by Farirai Meats, which is headed by
businessman John Mapondera.
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe's government is looking to have the
state-run Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) included on the DStv
network as it seeks new ways of getting its views publicised
The placing of ZBC widely seen as a 24-hour propaganda
outlet for Mugabe on the DStv bouquet of channels broadcast throughout Africa
will be done through Transmedia, a local company over which the government
has significant influence. Transmedia has taken up a minority shareholding
in SkyNet Holdings, the holding company for MultiChoice Zimbabwe,
the Zimbabwean franchise of satellite broadcaster MultiChoice Africa. The
local licensing of MultiChoice Zimbabwe has taken place to allow it to
operate within the framework of recently introduced legislation on
SkyNet CE Peter van Deventer said a deal had
been signed between the two parties and would have a number of benefits for
television viewers in Zimbabwe, and the broadcasters
Featuring ZBC on DStv will expand Mugabe's already vast
propaganda network, which includes the government-controlled newspaper
empire, Zimpapers, and state news agency Ziana. The news agency is being
restructured into a big media group that will include eight newspapers, radio
stations and "southern Africa's CNN", a television channel committed to
The latter is designed to counter what Mugabe's
government calls "western disinformation and propaganda". "ZBC TV 1 will soon
be included in the large selection of African and international channels
broadcast on the DStv service by satellite into a growing number of African
countries, and it is also hoped that terrestrial broadcast of selected DStv
channel programmes by ZBC will in due course be facilitated, Van Deventer
"This development is the result of several years' discussions
between ourselves and the broadcasting authorities in Zimbabwe, and it is
hoped this will have a number of positive benefits for all the parties
involved," he said.
THE whole of last month’s electoral process was heavily loaded
against the opposition. The opposition could not win because of politically
motivated intimidation. Zanu PF could only win because of it.
African countries were ready to accept President Mugabe as the winner. But
the threat of having financial aid cut unless Africa stops paying lip service
to good governance has forced the African leaders to change
To ordinary Zimbabweans at the mercy of Aids and the
economic hardships, the discussions between the two main political parties
may appear of little relevance to them. The alternative is to accept Mugabe
as the President, but that would be endorsing that Mugabe is not
democratically accountable to the people of Zimbabwe. That is very
If there is one important lesson Zimbabweans should have
learnt during the last 22 years, it must be: never again to let our political
leaders take us for granted.
Zimbabwe is in the political, social and
economic mess it is in today because it was a de facto one-party state and
Zanu PF has done as it pleased.
The land resettlement programme never
took off. Some of the land acquired for resettling the landless peasants was
given to Zanu PF leaders.
The leaders made the usual public platitudes
about reforming the economy and ending corruption but did nothing.
electorate felt powerless and, as a result, voter apathy set in. One could
not get the people to register as voters in 1990 and 1995, let alone to vote.
The ruling party showed that it was easier to rig any election with a poor
voter turnout. It bussed in its supporters from other constituencies and
allowed them to vote hence the curious phenomena of dead people “voting” , as
Margaret Dongo’s High Court challenge of the 1995 Harare South
election results revealed.
Voter apathy was self-defeating. It
achieved nothing. The people learnt and re-engaged themselves in the
political process. The long queues of determined voters during the
referendum, 2000 parliamentary election and 2002 presidential election forced
Zanu PF to sit up and listen to the people for the first time in the 22 years
the party has been in power.
There is more evidence that Zanu PF for once
is listening. The party is now serious about redistributing land. The party
“hopes to resettle 150 000 families between now and 2008”, the Zanu PF
manifesto said. The same document admits only 91 000 families were resettled
in the last 22 years - many believe the true figure is 71 000. So the party
will now resettle twice as many families in one quarter of the
The people must realise just how powerful their vote is. For the
Zanu PF leadership, the lesson they must learn is no one has the divine right
to rule Zimbabwe forever. All who seek public office must be accountable to
the public; the ordinary man and woman who pay the taxes and whose lives
the public office bearer’s actions and policies affect.
I do not think
there is one single Zimbabwean who would say no to being given a piece of
land. The tragedy is, people are now getting the land when the overwhelming
majority of them are so impoverished they cannot make use of it. Many of the
militant Zanu PF supporters who terrorised commercial farmers and have since
settled on the farms found they could not afford to buy the seed, let alone
the fertiliser and the farming equipment.
The reality is many of the new
farm owners will be subsistent peasant farmers. Many of them will be living
in the middle of nowhere, with the nearest school, clinic and shop many
kilometres away. Those with farms near urban centres will sell the only handy
resource they have - firewood. This could lead to serious deforestation. The
novelty of owning a farm will not last and the people will be back asking for
a better life.
The only sure way for a better life for all Zimbabweans is
through increased production in all sectors of the economy. Agriculture was
the engine that drove Zimbabwe’s economy. Tobacco was our biggest foreign
But Zanu PF has completely disrupted the agricultural
sector - the party needed a scapegoat for its past failures and commercial
farmers came in handy. We were at one point the breadbasket of the region,
but now the country can no longer feed itself.
While Zanu PF can dish
out land like confetti to appease the voters, the party does not know what to
do to stop the economic rot. Its price controls have created shortages, the
huge salary increases for soldiers and government ministers is the root cause
of the spiralling inflation, while its anti-West rhetoric has scared away
Zanu PF is well aware that the novelty of owning land
will soon wear off and the voters will be back demanding food, jobs, quality
health care and other things which it is incapable of delivering now or in
Mugabe is boxed in. The only way out, now that the voters are
cracking the whip, is to continue and intensify his campaign of terror
against the opposition and their supporters. The overwhelming majority of the
victims are supporters of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). Zanu
PF supporters, the police and the army are carrying out these acts.
is not the MDC that Zanu PF is hoping to destroy. It is the spirit
and political will of the Zimbabwean electorate they are after. What the
party wants is the country to return to the 1980s when the voters were herded
into the polling station and told who to vote for and they dutifully did. If
not that, then the 1990s when the voters felt they were so powerless their
vote did not count.
The MDC-Zanu PF talks must include
non-governmental organisations and the Church, the free media and others. We
must not forget that once upon a time, Mugabe and his Zanu PF friends were
“freedom fighters” fighting to end white oppression. Yet how many of the
oppressive laws and practices are still on the statute books?
has added many more of its own. It would be naive to think the MDC will not
suffer from the same change of heart once they are in office.
challenge in the post-Mugabe era is not to replace one dictator with another.
In 1980, Zimbabweans were convinced we would not make the same mistakes other
African countries who attained their independence before us made.
MDC 2001 Election Manifesto says the core of its charge for power
is “reclaiming the people’s power”.
However, the manifesto says
precious little about how the party intends to reclaim the power or how it
will deter any future dictator who would want to usurp it.
ABOUT 40 Zanu PF
polling agents and 10 war veterans on Tuesday forced the closure of their
party’s offices at Murambinda growth point in Buhera North, accusing the
ruling party of failing to pay them about $500 000 for services rendered in
last month’s presidential election.
The angry activists besieged
the offices in the early hours of the morning, demanding that they be paid or
they would permanently close the offices. The offices were reopened after
Robert Gumbo, Zanu PF’s political commissar in Manicaland and provincial
chairman for war veterans, and Kenneth Saruchera, the ruling party’s deputy
treasurer, intervened. An insider within Zanu PF said the polling agents were
given $100 000 as part payment before they agreed to leave the premises. But
Gumbo denied paying the agents.
He said: “The problem was very minor. The
polling agents wanted to know when we were going to pay them. I explained
that they would be paid as soon as the money arrives from Harare. They were
satisfied and work continued as usual. “As for the war veterans, they had
problems with the rural district council which we are looking into. I need to
go through the allegations being levelled against the council before I can
comment.” Saruchera denied the offices were temporarily closed and downplayed
the event, saying the incident was a minor misunderstanding.
month, a group of youths besieged the party’s offices in Mutare and later
went to those of Oppah Muchinguri, the governor of Manicaland, demanding
payment for attending President Mugabe’s re-election
Bulawayo’s Sauerstown, Rowena and Kenilworth low-density suburbs are
complaining about increased cases of burglary and theft in their areas since
Zanu PF established a youth brigade camp at the Jessie Lovemore School in
Sauerstown early this year.
The chairman of the residents’
association of the three suburbs, Amen Mpofu, told The Daily News in Bulawayo
that between 15 and 25 March, about 16 houses were broken into and a large
quantity of property, including television sets, was stolen. “Why are the
youths still at that place where boys and girls live together under extremely
immoral conditions?” asked Mpofu. He added: “What is going on there is
pathetic; it is worse than Sodom and Gomorrah.” He said the residents, as
parents themselves, were deeply worried about the health and future of the
youths housed at the base. Asked whether the residents had ever asked the
youths why they did not return to their respective homes, Mpofu said the
youths had said they are awaiting payment which they were promised by Zanu
PF. He said the group was not violent, but the residents were wondering why
the camp was still being maintained weeks after the presidential
Mpofu said that residents would discuss the whole matter at a
meeting, to be attended by the police, at Hugh Beadle Primary School in
Kenilworth last Sunday. “It’s not morally proper to keep boys and girls
together in a confined place. “Why do those responsible for that place not
separate the girls from the boys, and accommodate them at the Sauerstown
Police Station, for instance?” Mpofu asked.
Villagers from Chief Mugabe’s area in Masvingo have vowed to
remain on Muzero Farm owned by the Reformed Church in Zimbabwe (RCZ), despite
a government eviction order to pave way for the construction of the
Great Zimbabwe University.
The villagers argue that the farm
belongs to their ancestors. The RCZ has proposed to build the university on
the 673-hectare farm but villagers who moved onto the property at the height
of farm invasions are refusing to leave.
The villagers argue that they
are the custodians of the Great Zimbabwe national monument and, therefore,
cannot leave the area. The farm is located a short distance from the
One of the villagers said: “Our ancestors lived in this area
and there is no way that we can be evicted. We have sacred places here and we
are also custodians of the monuments.” RCZ secretary-general Austin Mandebvu
on Wednesday confirmed the standoff with the villagers over their
Said Mandebvu: “It is only that some villagers have failed to
understand the position. This farm originally belonged to the church and some
time ago we surrendered it to the government.
“We later got the farm
back after we successfully applied to government that we needed the property
for the construction of the university. It is our hope that a long lasting
solution will be found.”
On Tuesday, Masvingo governor Josaya Hungwe held
a meeting with the villagers and advised them that they were going to be
evicted to pave way for construction of the university.