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Circular No 9
When will the Madness STOP
When will sane people see the tyranny of mugabe and his henchmen?
When will all GOOD MEN start doing something?
When will the international community condemn mugabe outright?.
This is not about political alignment – this is about RIGHT and WRONG.
My name is Topper Whitehead  –  I am proud to be Zimbabwean and refuse to be intimidated or
give up the fight for justice, democracy, freedom of speech and the rule of law.  I am sending
this circular letter Number Nine – to all who have Zimbabwe at heart and to whom life and
justice is precious.  Most of which I say today was said in previous letters but because of the
seriousness of the situation will be repeated yet again because there are people who would rather
“sup with the devil” than risk their money.  These people must ask – what of Judice – is it money
or integrity – the choice is yours, as is you conscious.
Another innocent man beaten to death because of his political affiliation.
A student beaten to death on campus by mugabe’s Gestapo
Businesses invaded by WoVits to intimidate and the Police actually help them.
When will the madness STOP
Parliamentary rules flouted so that free Radio can be prevented and financial assistance denied
to people who want CHANGE – not change for the sake of change but change from Lawlessness,
Anarchy and Dictatorship to Democracy, Decency and Civility where the rule of law and the
constitution are upheld.
We are at the anniversary of the start of mugabe’s latest reign of murder and terror (
this is his 3rd stage, 1st was when he terrorised and brutalised his own people when fighting
smith, 2nd when he beat the Matabele into submission during the Gukurahundi [mugabe
genocide] )
Let us Remember them :-
(i) EDWIN GOMO : died after being hit on the head by a stone thrown by ZANU-PF
supporters during clashes in Bindura : 27 March 2000.
(ii) ROBERT MUSONI: killed by ZANU-PF supporters in Bindura, 28 March 2000.
(iii) DOREEN MARUFU: 6 months pregnant: died after being assaulted by
ZANU-PF after leaving an MDC rally.  Mvurwi, 2 April 2000.
(iv) CONST FINASHE CHIKWENYA: Shot dead at Marondera while trying to carry out his
duty and arrest war veterans who had assaulted people 4 April 2000.
(v) DAVID STEVENS: Arizona Farm – commercial farmer: shot to death after systematic
beating by “war veterans” after Steven’s workers attacked farm invaders. 14 April 2000.
(vi) TICHAONYA CHIMINYA: burnt to death after a petrol bomb attack on his vehicle
by ZANU-PF supporters, Buhera, 15 April 2000.
(vii) TALENT MABIKA: burnt to death in the same incident as Chiminya.  Buhera,      15
(viii) MARTIN OLDS: commercial farmer – shot to death after a long gun battle with
100+ “war veterans” specially sent from Harare to assassinate him, police refused to
come to his aid.  Nyamandlovu, Independence Day : 18 April 2000.
(iv) Mr BANDA: murdered in Shamva.  24 April 2000.
(x) PETER KARIDZA: murdered by ZANU-PF supporters.  Shamva, 24 April 2000.
(xi) LUCKY KANYURIRA: murdered in Kariba and his mutilated body displayed at a
shopping centre.   25 April 2000.
(xii) NICHOLAS CHATITAMA alias [BISHOP CHATIMA]: a security guard who died
in same attack as Kanyurira, Kariba 25 April 2000.
(xiii) MATTHEW PFEBVE: brother of MDC candidate beaten to death at night in his own
home in front of relatives.  Bindura, 3 May 2000.
(xiv) ALAN DUNN: beaten to death on his commercial farm in Beatrice by people
believed to be war veterans.  7 May 2000.
(xv) LABAN CHIRWA: murdered in Rugare.  7 May 2000.
(xvi) JOHN WEEKS: commercial farmer, Beatrice.  Shot in his own home by “war
veterans”.  11 May 2000.
(xvii) SGT ALEX CHISASA: beaten to death with an iron bar, allegedly for criticizing
ZANU-PF policies.  Chipinge.  13 May 2000.
(xviii) ROGERS MURIRAWANHU: murdered in Karoi, May – exact date unclear.
(ixx) TAKUNDWA CHAPUNZA: killed outside the “surgery” of Dr C H Hunzvi in
violent clashes.  Torture of MDC supporters is alleged to have been conducted in this
surgery.  Harare, 16 May 2000.
(xx) MATIONA MASHAYA: United Party supporter, beaten to death by ZANU-PF
supporters. Mudzi, 17 May 2000.
(xxi) ONIAS MASHAYA: son of Mationa, beaten to death in same incident.  Mudzi, 17
May 2000.
(xxii) MESSIAH KUFANDAEDZA:  campaign manager of a ZANU-PF candidate, shot to
death by rival ZANU-PF faction.  Gwanzura, 26 May 2000.
(xxiii) THADEUS RUNKUNI: MDC prospective candidate, beaten to death, Bikita, 31
May 2000.
(xxiv)  Mr SIMUDANANHU: farm worker killed in Shurugwi on Chess Farm in clashes
with invaders. 30 May 2000.
(xxv) ANTONY OATES: shot dead on his farm near Harare.  Trelawney, 31 May 2000.
(xxvi) Mr CHINYERE: senior MDC official in Mashonaland, pulled off a bus and beaten to
(xxvii) FINOS ZHOU: abducted, and beaten to death by “war veterans” in Mberengwa.
Died on 9 June 2000.
(xxviii) SCHOOLTEACHER: unnamed.  Beaten to death by war veterans for pulling
down Dr C H Hunzvi’s election posters in the school grounds.   Chikomba, 10 June
(xxix) PATRICK NABANYAMA: abducted by unknown assailants from his house in
front of witnesses.  He was an MDC polling agent, Bulawayo South.  He has never
returned, and is missing.  Presumed dead.  Abducted 19 June 2000.
(xxx) ZEKE CHIGAGWA: beaten to death with iron bars by 20 ZANU-PF supporters.
Gokwe 22 June 2000.
(xxxi) MANDISHONA MUTYANDA: 60 year old MDC ward chairperson for
Kwekwe’s Amavani suburb died of head injuries after being beaten up by 30
suspected ZANU-PF supporters.
(xxxii) WILHELM BOTHA: farm mechanic killed by unknown assailants on a farm in
Beatrice, 23 July 2000.
(xxxiii) SAMSON MBEWE: farm worker beaten to death by farm invaders while moving
irrigation equipment.  Ruwa, 9 August 2000.
(xxxiiv) Mr NDEBELE:  a school teacher from Plumtree who suffered serious beatings
before the elections, died in United Bulawayo Hospitals as a result of his injuries. 19 July
(xxxiv) MDC SUPPORTER: unnamed : an MDC supporter from Zvishavane who was
beaten two days before the election and subsequently suffered brain haemorrhages, died
in Mpilo hospital in Bulawayo after weeks of treatment.  28 July 2000.
(xxxv) GLORIA OLDS:  Mother of the late Martin Olds (killed under similar
circumstances) was shot 15 times by at least two suspected “war veterans” as she
went to open the gate of her farmhouse at Silverstreams, Nyamandlovu.  4 March,
 (xxxvi)   PETER MATARUSE:  MDC youth member in Muzarabani.  He was chased
by a band of 80 ZPF supporters. He jumped into the flooded Musengezi River to escape,
and drowned.  15 March 2001.
(xxxvii)   ROBSON TINARWO CHIRIMA:  MDC youth member in Muzarabani.
 Chirima was surrounded by a gang of Zanu PF youths and war veterans.  They     
beat him with heavy logs and gouged his eyes out of their sockets.  He was killed
instantly.  21 March 2001.
(xxxviii)  BATANAI HADZIDZI, a University of Zimbabwe student, was dragged from
his hostel at 3am and beaten by police.  Students had been protesting rising fees and the
unbearable cost of living.  Police raided the hostels and tear gassed the campus.  They
found Hadzidzi in his room and dragged him out in to the street, where they beat him to
death.  9 April, 2001.
These are the Murdered victims of mugabe’s reign of rule by force – what
about the thousands of beatings, countless rapes, numerous homesteads
destroyed and burned to the ground.

Let Us Remember them
Let us NOT forget who is behind this Madness
How did this start – a desperate and evil man turned against the people who trusted
him so he could stay in power.
This will continue until ALL good people say NO MORE – those who have been
doing nothing, and there are plenty of you, and hoping that IT would go away and
not effect you or yours – WAKE UP  - the MADNESS will only stop when
everyone says NO.
You may ask “how can we help without being victimised” – you can help and the chances of
being victimised or financially compromised are real – but are we to lie down and be trodden on
for the sake of financial reward, are we to turn a blind eye so that we can continue the luxurious
life style that this wonderful country has given us, are we to condone what is going on in the
destruction of the country.  Say NO.  You don’t have to be outspoken but you MUST stop
supping with the devil.
The Kangaroo Courts have started in Harare where innocent people are being frog marched to
ZANU PF HQ in 4th Street, where they are beaten and forced to chant ZANU PF slogans – the
Police refuse to react.  Businesses and Factories are being overrun by WoVits,  supported by CIO
and police. Do you think you are immune – wake up, take off your rose coloured glasses – this
isn’t something that only happens to other people, it can happen to YOU !
It is no longer apt to wait for things to happen – we must make thing happen!
It is morally and ethically WRONG to be part of the wealth of
Zimbabwe if you are not prepared to relate to the poverty and fight
the injustices.
“ The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in a moment of
comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy”
        Martin Luther King  Jr.
We have a situation that is far beyond politics – the break down of Law and Order and abuse of
Internationally acceptable Human rites.
The greedy industrialist and the rest of us who purport to be the pillars of industry all ensure that
Mugabe stays where he is.  Our greed ensures that we do not unite to fight the evil he is.
Our greed for material possessions ensures that we turn a blind eye to rape, murder and the like
as long as it does not affect “me or mine”.
Mugabe is sly and cunning – he knows we are greedy, he knows we will betray our fellow man
in return for material things, he known how far to go.
The churches must make a stand against evil – because what is happening is evil, the church has
a duty to use the pulpit and must do so.  Support Tim Neill
I recently met with about 15 clergymen from various religious denominations and only a few
aligned themselves with denouncing the current situation – the others cited the fact that if they
denounced the situation as it is they would be seen to be aligned with the MDC by mugabe,
Jonathan Moyo and the rest of the zanu pf thugs - such is the fear that mugabe has instilled in the
people – even the clergy are fearful and unwilling to denounce this evil.  I ask the clergy “in
denouncing evil and the devil from your pulpit are you not aligning yourself with good and
I refuse to be intimidated and with total conviction I am doing what I can for the survival of
this Country and its 13 million people.  Help me to help the people to save the country.
Mugabe and  ZANU PF’s  actions are appalling, disgraceful and tantamount to treason.
If there is any person who suggests that there may be some good in ZANU PF – they should look
at the facts and then ask if any good person can be associated with that!!   How can they be good.
– Get real - get practical – look at reality - and get off the fence.
Mugabe thinks politically for himself and NOT economically for the country and 13 million
people.  He has betrayed the people of Zimbabwe, even those to whom he is giving land.
Betrayal is the worst sin and I despise the man for it.
“Ask not what your country can do for you, but what can you do for your
country.”       John F Kennedy

Finally, please forward, print and circulate this message to everyone you know, or is on your
address list.   I can be contacted at :-   e-mail    
cell number 263  (0) 91 401 847  or  phone / fax   263 (1) 4 336876.  
All that is necessary for Evil to prevail is for Good Men to do Nothing - Edmund Burke
Are you good – is your conscious clear or is money your God
Think of the country - think of where your standard of living and wealth originated
Think of moral values – think of Justice – think of others – be a Leader and contribute
financially to the struggle and in doing so give mugabe the finger as far as his repressive
“fast track” laws are concerned  –  he cannot victimise all of us.  Think of financial
contributions as an investment in the future – yours, the countries and the other 13 million
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From the Telegraph
Zimbabwe farm widow attacks 'gutless' Church
By David Blair

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe's intimidation of the Church has thwarted efforts by the widow of David Stevens, the first white farmer to be killed by armed squatters in Zimbabwe, to commemorate the first anniversary of his death by holding an Easter Day remembrance march.

Maria Stevens planned to mark today's anniversary of his death with a march organised by the Anglican Church to remember all victims of political violence - from black pro-democracy activists to white landowners.

Church leaders have, however, refused to hold the event to avoid offending Mr Mugabe. "We have had many murders during different regimes in our country, we cannot just think of these ones," said Norbert Kunonga, the Anglican Bishop of Harare. "We don't want to further anyone's political views. We don't want to promote political parties."

Declining to take a "political view" is the accepted code for not wanting to upset the increasingly autocratic president. Mrs Stevens is furious. "They haven't got the courage to do it. That's just a typical example of how gutless they are," she told The Telegraph. "I asked them, how do you expect your flock in Zimbabwe to behave when you are such cowards?"

Mrs Stevens has been appalled by Zimbabwe's descent into chaos and has decided to leave. The family will emigrate to Sweden, where she was born, when her daughter, Brenda, 14, finishes school. Her eldest son, Marc, 16, is already studying there. Mrs Stevens said: "My generation is going to be the last generation of white Zimbabweans. We are all going to encourage our children never to come back."

With the support of the Rev Tim Neill, an Anglican clergyman who has been fiercely critical of the Mugabe regime, Mrs Stevens had proposed that worshippers gather in central Harare after the Easter Sunday services. They would march to African Unity Square, opposite the parliament building, and call for the return of law and order.

Instead, she will spend today with friends and try not to remind her four children of the traumatic events of a year ago. "What do I do on the anniversary of my husband's murder? I don't know - sit and cry perhaps. But I'll probably meet my friends and go out with them and try to be cheerful," she said, as her three-year-old twins, Warren and Sebastian, sat on her lap and tugged her hair.

At the height of the land invasions spearheaded by Mr Mugabe's supporters, Mr Stevens, 47, was abducted from their farm, beaten and shot dead in a dusty lane. The family fled to Harare after the killing and has never returned to Arizona farm near Macheke, 50 miles east of the capital, where they had lived for 12 years. Squatters burnt down the homes of the 75 black families who worked on the farm and then abandoned the land.

Mr Mugabe's Zanu-PF party won a narrow victory in last year's parliamentary election by waging a murderous terror campaign against the opposition Movement for Democratic Change that claimed 37 lives.

Today marks the anniversary of the peak of the violence perpetrated against white farmers in Zimbabwe. Hours before the murder of David Stevens, Tichaona Chiminya and Talent Mabika, both junior officials in the MDC, were ambushed by a Zanu-PF mob and burnt to death in a petrol bomb attack.

Five white farmers who tried to rescue Mr Stevens from the squatters were captured, beaten, tortured and narrowly escaped execution. No one has been convicted for the three murders.

The High Court summonsed an agent from the government's Central Intelligence Organisation to answer allegations by witnesses, made during the MDC's judicial challenge to the election results, that he participated in the killings of Mr Chiminya and Miss Mabika, but the operative did not respond.

The morning after the violence, Mr Mugabe fanned the flames with a furious speech in which he urged 1,000 supporters to "hit back" at the MDC. The president then caused Mrs Stevens more anguish in June by blaming her husband for starting the violence. During a campaign rally, Mr Mugabe said: "Stevens is the one who started the war. He is the one who started firing and he is the one who started the fight."

Mrs Stevens fears that Mr Mugabe, 77, will unleash more violence to secure victory in next year's presidential election and hold power for many years to come. She said: "African presidents always want to die in office and I don't see why Zimbabwe will be very different. It's so difficult to get people motivated here. It's depressing because no one is willing to do anything sometimes."


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from the Sunday Times

Mugabe's enforcers target opposition

RW Johnson, Harare

AS Zimbabwe descends further into lawlessness, Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, has increased the pressure on President Robert Mugabe by taking his election campaign to southern Matabeleland.

The Ndebele tribe, which forms the majority there, is traditionally hostile to Mugabe, whose paramilitary units massacred thousands in the region in the 1980s, making the area a potential power base for the MDC.

But just as the party appears to be making progress in the south, it faces more pressure in the capital, Harare, where businesses associated with the MDC have been raided and its chief executive, Isaac Maposa, has been attacked by an armed policeman.

"The guy was waving a gun around," said Maposa, "but there was no point in sending for the police. In the end we just took his gun and let him go."

In the topsy-turvy world that is Mugabe's Zimbabwe, it is the law-abiding who are often in the dock, pursued by the law breakers, abetted by the state.

Zanu-PF war veterans were able to commandeer eight vehicles and storm Lobel's Bakery in Harare last week, where they harangued staff for their allegedly pro-MDC stance. Ian Nel, the general manager, called the police but when they arrived they arrested him rather than the "vets", accusing him of receiving MDC e-mails.

The lawlessness is orchestrated from Zanu-PF party headquarters in central Harare, an unmistakable eight-storey building surmounted by a huge stone cockerel, the party's emblem.

Those involved scarcely bother to cover their tracks. War veterans also barged into the Leno Trading bus company last week and chased away Imran Chaudrhy, the managing director, before stealing 34 vehicles that were then parked outside Zanu-PF's HQ for five days. The matter was finally settled by the intervention of a Zanu-PF official and large cash payments made by Chaudrhy.

President Mugabe
Unease in the capital escalated further when students clashed with riot police after a raid on the University of Zimbabwe - another traditonal opposition stronghold - left one student dead.

"The threat to declare a state of emergency if the international community reacts against Mugabe is simply a way of saying that the regime holds the whole country hostage," said Paul Themba Nyathi, who heads the MDC's presidential election team.

After Mugabe infamously declared last year that he had "a degree in violence", few were surprised last week to find Josiah Hungwe, the provincial governor of Masvingo, and Border Gezi, minister for gender, youth and employment, dispensing cheques to teenage thugs and publicly avowing that those who did not vote for Zanu-PF would die.

Newspapers are also in the firing line. The Daily News's presses were destroyed by a bomb in February, widely blamed on Zanu-PF.

"There is absolute astonishment in Zanu-PF circles that the bombing didn't stop the independent press in its tracks," said Basildon Peta, who writes for The Financial Gazette. "What you hear now is that maybe the war vets will have to kill a couple of journalists so that we get the message."

oThe Sunday Times's appeal to help restore the damaged printing presses at The Daily News has so far raised £63,000.


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From the Times of India

After farmhouses, Zimbabwe's war vets come to town

HARARE: Militant Zimbabwean war veterans - notorious for their violent invasions of white-owned farms - are expanding their campaign into cities, where they have attacked several companies in the name of disgruntled workers.

The veterans of Zimbabwe's 1970s liberation war have stormed into at least six companies in Harare and the second city of Bulawayo in the last two weeks, usually saying they are acting on behalf of workers who have labour disputes.

But most of the besieged companies have links to the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) or are perceived to benefit non-black owners. Workers in Zimbabwe have faced massive lay-offs and reduced working hours as the economy buckles under pressure from the war vets' 14-month farm invasions, the costly military campaign in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the resulting withdrawal of international donors.

The war vets' move into what they call labour relations also strikes into the home territory of the MDC, which was largely born out of the labour movement and draws much of its support from the urban working class.

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai was the head of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) before helping to launch the country's first significant opposition party.

"This is all part of ZANU-PF's strategy," MDC spokesman Learnmore Jongwe said of the raids on companies, adding that President Robert Mugabe's ruling party was re-organising after it failed to win any urban constituencies in last June's parliamentary elections.

As with the war vets' invasions of white-owned farms - of which they still occupy more than 900 - companies perceived to have MDC links have become the target of violence.

On April 4, war vets drove eight pick ups into Lobels bakery plant on Harare's industrial side, claiming they wanted to help end a wage dispute, although the workers' committee and management had already settled their differences, Lobels officials said.

The war vets threatened to kill a guard, told the whites they were lucky not to be beaten, and searched the company's offices and computers, the officials said. Police arrived but did nothing to stop the war vets. Police arrested one of the company's managers, Ian Nel, after the war vets found email from the MDC on his computer, the officials said.

Nel was held overnight and released without charge. Managers at many of the invaded companies, like most farmers whose land is occupied, have been unwilling to have their names published for fear of their safety. Neither the managers nor the workers at a Delta Corporation business training center in Harare's northern suburbs would speak on the record about the war vets' raid there on Monday, when they broke into the building and attacked staff.

War vets have also attacked managers with iron bars at printing house Dezign Incorporated, also on Harare's industrial side, after the company laid off a group of workers. After beating two managers, the war vets took them to the headquarters of the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF), ignored their pleas for medical attention, and detained them for more than three hours until they agreed to reinstate the workers, according to the privately owned Financial Gazette.

War vets have also seized commuter minibuses from Leno Trading, owned by an ethnic Indian, took four million Zimbabwe dollars (about $73,000) worth of equipment from Resource Drilling, and beat a white board member of textile firm Merspin Limited in Bulawayo during a meeting with a potential buyer. (AFP)


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MORGAN Tsvangirai, the MDC president, addresses a rally attended by about 15 000 people at Maphisa growth point. He had earlier toured mass graves of victims of Gukurahundi in Kezi. On Wednesday, Tsvangirai toured more mass graves in Tsholotsho before donating five tonnes of maize to the Gwayi River flood victims. ­ Picture by Grey Chitiga
Villagers defy war vets to listen to Tsvangirai

4/13/01 1:18:30 AM (GMT +2)

Daily News Correspondent, Tsholotsho

AT LEAST 12 000 villagers on Wednesday defied threats of another Gukurahundi genocide by war veterans, and attended a meeting addressed by MDC president, Morgan Tsvangirai.

Tsvangirai, on a tour of the flood-torn district, waited for two hours at Sipepa District Hospital, about 182km west of Bulawayo, after war veterans attempted to thwart the gathering by ordering villagers to disperse.
The villagers, who were displaced by floods and now live in tents in the hospital grounds, were ordered to disperse or risk being beaten up. The people were displaced by floods a month ago after the Gwayi River burst its banks.
On Wednesday the villagers stood up to the war veterans. They told the former freedom fighters and Zanu PF supporters that they would not bow to intimidation.
Over the past few weeks, the business community, mostly in Harare, has watched helplessly as war veterans switched their terror campaign from the rural areas to the cities and invaded or intimidated private companies.
The villagers in Tsholotsho defied threats by the war veterans and the Zanu PF councillor for Ward 4, Edward Sibanda, not to attend the meeting addressed by the MDC leader.
Tsvangirai eventually addressed the villagers, before donating five tonnes of maize to the flood victims.
The MDC leader said his party had bought the maize from the Grain Marketing Board.
Sibanda said they had been instructed by top government officials, whose identity he did not disclose, to prevent Tsvangirai from addressing the villagers.
Tsvangirai attacked the war veterans and the councillor for trying to intimidate the villagers. He warned the Zanu PF officials and the war veterans that the people would resist any dictatorial tendencies by leaders bent on harassing and ordering them about.
Tsvangirai said: “We are not here to talk politics, but to assist the people. Who are these war veterans to disallow people from receiving assistance? And how do they expect you to have your grievances taken up in Parliament when they don’t want your MP to address you?”
The villagers jeered the war veterans and Zanu PF officials, insisting they wanted Tsvangirai to address them.

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Shutting ourselves from the rest of the world

4/13/01 12:53:13 AM (GMT +2)

Masola WaDabudabu

AS A sovereign state, we are about to rid our airwaves of unfriendly and alien music and films.

The local producers should brace themselves for a busy schedule as they have to come up with productions to fill up the 75 percent of the airtime of any broadcasting station.
This is a chance for the likes of Steve Makoni to give us improved sequels to Handiende, while Oliver Mtukudzi can release a super remix of his album Bvuma-Tolerance.
As the musicians rightly put it, it is a milestone in the fight against cultural imperialism.
The Broadcasting Services Act was swiftly passed on Wednesday 4 April 2001.
The passing of the Act was against the recommendations of the Parliamentary Legal Committee. The legal committee contended that some sections of the Act impinged upon the constitutional rights of the people of Zimbabwe.
Using its parliamentary majority, Zanu PF legislators fast-tracked the Bill into law.
In all fairness to the Zanu PF legislators, it is obvious that they were whipped into submission by their party.
Some members may have had reservations about the draft, yet for the sake of the party they had to do what the party deemed right. I am not saying that opposition parties do not whip their members into blinkered semi-idiots who will sing their parties’ stance however foolishly retrogressive the stance is.
It is not against the invasion of our culture that the Broadcasting Services Act was enacted. Our sovereignty was never threatened by the absence of the draconian Act, much as our sovereignty may never be protected by the Act.
Culture is a diverse subject that evolves with time, even for a closed community. Culture may never be protected from external influence.
Technological advancement makes it a mockery to try and restrict the evolution of culture. It is true that revolutions have also failed to stall the progress of cultural evolution.
As people embrace new cultural considerations, their perception of life in general changes.
It is at this stage that the people change their attitude toward authoritarian rule and begin to see through the thick walls of power.
The people see their leaders interacting with other leaders following an unwritten cultural etiquette. At this point the people’s minds are opened to the fact that culture can neither be prescribed like a medical dose nor maintained stagnant like the Rock of Gibraltar.
Long back, it was a culture that the king or emperor was to be feared by all his citizens. The rulers then enjoyed the fear instilled in the people by culture.
In some cultural dispensations, the subjects would lay prostrate when addressing the king. In China, the subjects would kowtow to the king. This culture of fearing the ruler has gone, thanks to the dynamics of culture.
People now respect or ridicule their leaders without fear of retribution.
There was no invasion or imperialism at play here, only people realising the changeability of culture.
People should not be programmed to adapt to culture, it is culture that has to be adaptive to the people’s needs.
It can be boldly stated that the history of culture is history and the future of culture of any community is unknown. No amount of law-giving can restrict the evolution of culture.
At times revolutionary elements end up promulgating sick laws to try and constrict the evolution of culture.
The Taliban of Afghanistan will agree with me that it is very difficult to impose or maintain a cultural status quo on the people. The Afghanis have had to resort to sick laws to protect what they think as their religious and cultural heritage.
Man have been forced to wear beards, even if some of them are not naturally hirsute. The Afghani women are forced to wear a veil on their beautiful faces, leaving only their eyes exposed. If this is culture, perhaps it was relevant during the early days of the history of Islam. Now it is exploitation at its worst. The best way the Afghanis could protect their Islamic culture was by offering incentives to those who follow the cultural code than force it on the people.
In our case we could also have offered incentives to broadcasting stations that play a certain percentage of local productions.
Such incentive could have been in the form of tax rebates and financial rewards. Trying to close cultural diversity by promulgation will only encourage more smuggling of foreign productions for home playing.
The locally produced stuff may fail to get any appreciable sales as people who want to hear or view it could always tune in to local stations.
As soon as our local producers feel the pinch of their productions not moving on the shelves, they will cry foul again.
So, you see dear musicians and film producers, the law as enacted by
Parliament may at the end disadvantage you.
I am not in the know as to how much ZBC pays the musicians in royalties though. Maybe it is better for them to receive royalties from music played on air than from sales of their records.
I believe it is cheaper for us to listen to foreign music on our stations than use scarce foreign currency to buy the music, or worse still to smuggle it, there-by depriving the Department of Customs some money.
I also believe that it is more beneficial to scramble for our local artistes’ productions on the shelves than to get them for free on the air.
Musical history has shown how quickly local music fades into thin air due to continuous airing.
Once a local song receives prominence on the airwaves, it is certain that it will not last long as the people’s song of choice.
The opening of the broadcasting systems to locals only may end up polarising the nation on tribal or regional lines even more. I am not saying locals are not capable of running their affairs with excellence.
All I am saying is that very soon stations like Radio Mthwakazi may start appearing. The nature of such stations can be deduced from their names.
They would preach the political song according to separatists, thereby
sensitising the people on their ethnic lines. This is actually the beginning of the road to disaster.
Artistes and producers may argue that the Broadcasting Services Act would open up new avenues in terms of employment opportunities.
To an extent I do agree, but what is the use of producing for local consumption yet the whole world is yearning for exotic productions?
To enjoy the foreign markets, we should also be receptive of foreign productions.
If we close our doors on foreign products, we should be prepared to suffer the reverse process.

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