The ZIMBABWE Situation Our thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.

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Last Update: 22/04/2003 03:12

Mugabe: U.S. official can 'go hang' over call for free ballot


HARARE - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe said Monday that the United
States' top African affairs official could "go hang" for calling on him to
submit to free and fair, internationally supervised elections.

In a rare television interview, granted to the South African Broadcasting
Corp., Mugabe referred to remarks last week by Walter Kannsteiner, the U.S.
assistant secretary of state for African affairs, who last week urged a new
ballot because Mugabe "stole" presidential elections in March 2002.

"Nonsense. He can go hang," Mugabe said.

He said the African Union; the 13-nation Southern African Development
Community (SADC), a regional economic bloc; and individual African countries
had declared the presidential elections "free and fair."

The Commonwealth and the SADC parliamentary election observer group both
said, however, that Mugabe's victory was the result of violent intimidation
and rigging. The European Union was barred from monitoring the vote.

Observers said Mugabe appears to be in danger of isolating himself from
African leaders - particularly South African President Thabo Mbeki and
Nigeria's Olusegun Obasanjo - amid intensifying diplomatic moves by the
United States to get Mugabe's neighbors to act more decisively against him.

"The neighborhood is starting to realize that there is a downside to giving
aid and protection to Comrade Bob," Kannsteiner said. "There is stuff
happening behind the scenes."

"If he doesn't listen, let him go hang," Mugabe repeated. "We stick by our
own verdict. Once we accept that outsiders can dictate how to run our
affairs, we are finished."

He also referred to Botswana President Festus Mogae, who has criticized
Mugabe, as a "sellout."

Asked about criticism from southern African governments, particularly
Botswana, of the past three years of state-driven violent repression, Mugabe
said that if anyone fails to support an SADC observer group's endorsement of
the election, "that neighbor will have sold out."

He dismissed questions about Obasanjo, who last month said it was time
Mugabe retire, and Mbeki, who has been reported to be shifting from his
position of "quiet diplomacy."

"They are more positive than negative, and we are glad of that," Mugabe
said. He described Obasanjo's remarks as "politics."

He was also noncommittal about questions about his own retirement.
Interviewer Supa Mandiwadzira pointed out that Mugabe, 79, had repeatedly
stated he would step down once he had settled the "land question" and had
asserted during the interview that the issue had been concluded with the
"displacement of the white man by the black man" on the country's commercial
farming areas.

"We are getting to a stage where we shall say, 'Fine, we have settled this
matter,' and people can retire," Mugabe replied.

He also suggested that the campaign of illegal, violent seizures of nearly
all white-owned land in the country would be repeated in the country's
manufacturing and mining sectors.

The country's agricultural land was now "free", he said, but mining and
manufacturing were "not very independent."

"Empowerment is going to visit these sectors as well," he said. "We cannot
be a totally free country until the blacks are in power."

"Foreigners" were still dominant in the two sectors, he said. "These
foreigners will always want to add to the suffering of the people so the
people can rebel against their government... and put it out of power."

He repeatedly dismissed Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the opposition Movement
for Democratic Change, as an "agent" of the British government.

But when pressed for evidence, he said: "There are telephone calls from
[British Prime Minister Tony] Blair to Tsvangirai. There was a recent one
not long ago. There was that. We know."

Mugabe also denounced as "agents of imperialism" the civic organizations
that have accused his regime of torture and lawlessness.
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ABC Australia

Zimbabwe's Mugabe hints at retirement

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has hinted that he was "getting to a stage"
when retirement might be possible, when asked on state television if he was
ready to step down.

There has been mounting speculation that several officials within Mugabe's
ruling party are jostling to position themselves to replace the 79-year-old
leader, should he step down.

Mr Mugabe has said in the past that he would consider stepping down when his
Government had completed the land reform program that has seen white-owned
land redistributed among new black farmers.

"We are getting to a stage where we shall say 'ah fine, we have settled this
matter and people can retire,'" Mr Mugabe said, when asked if he felt he had
achieved what he had set out to.

Mr Mugabe often uses the plural 'we' when talking about himself.

In January this year it was rumoured that army chief Vitalis Zvinavashe and
speaker of parliament Emmerson Mnangagwa had contacted opposition leader
Morgan Tsvangirai over a plan to retire Mr Mugabe and form a unity

The ruling party dismissed the report.

Mr Mugabe has been in power in the southern African country since
independence in 1980.
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Two Hurt As Dynamite Explodes During Clash

The Herald (Harare)

April 21, 2003
Posted to the web April 21, 2003


TWO Kadoma men were badly hurt and taken to hospital last week when dynamite
they had tried to throw at a group of illegal miners during a clash

Jabson Makure's hand was blown off while his colleague sustained serious

An illegal gold miner, Ngxo Alucks, had his ears and hands chopped off
during the clash.

Police spokesman for Mashonaland West Sergeant Denford Maingire yesterday
confirmed that violence broke out at Venice Mine and so far four suspects,
including the mine owner, had been arrested.

"We are charging them with public violence, the other three who were
seriously injured are detained at Kadoma Hospital where they are being
treated under police guard," Sgt Maingire said.

It is believed that on Monday afternoon an illegal gold miner entered one of
the shaft mines at Venice Mine and found a mine worker going about his
business there.

The worker, who had some ore in his bag, sought to know why the illegal
miner was in the shaft without permission from the owner of the mine.

He later reported the matter to the owner before the two ganged up with 33
other workers at the mine to fight the group of illegal miners camping a few
metres away.

"During the clash, two miners were severely injured when a dynamite
prematurely exploded before they had thrown it at their opponents. The
owner's gang then bundled up an illegal miner and slashed off his ears and
hands," Sgt Maingire said.
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'Zim's future bright'

By Tsitsi Matope
ZIMBABWE has the capacity to emerge out of the prevailing economic
challenges stronger and more prosperous if people work hard and persevere,
President Mugabe has said.

He was speaking during a wide-ranging special independence interview on
television last night.

"Hardships will go and we want to ensure people that with land now in our
hands we are going to improve our lives and have a status that comes with
independent people.

"Empowerment is going to visit other sectors as well like manufacturing and
mining. We want our people to work alongside foreign investors who are
welcome in this country if they also embrace our people.

"Zimbabweans must endure the hardships of this period because tomorrow is
going to be better than yesterday and today," he said.

The President said there was nothing wrong in people openly debating the
Presidential succession issue, especially now that the land is back to its
rightful owners.

Cde Mugabe said he was aware that some people were already debating about
who would take over after his retirement.

He said there was nothing offensive about people having ambitions and
thinking about tomorrow.

"It was mainly the land issue actually that needed to be addressed before
getting to a stage where we say fine, we have settled this matter and people
can retire.

"But when one looks ahead and starts clandestinely to organise in groups, on
tribal lines or on personal lines that bring conflict in the party system,
then the idea loses its sound basis. We would encourage open debate rather
than meetings endowed in secrecy," he said.

President Mugabe said he is not a dictator as his enemies and some Western
countries portray him.

"I do not impose ideas on the party. As a democratic Government we discuss
suggestions, proposals and even principles, but the problem is when people
look at you on matters of principle and see that you stick to them, they
conclude that you are a dictator. I am not a dictator."

He dismissed as nonsense reports in the international media that he might be
preparing to hand over power to a transitional government.

"I was elected constitutionally and the election results were declared valid
by countless observer teams including Sadc, the African Union, Comesa and
Carribean countries. So the issue of handing over power to another person
who was not elected by the people of Zimbabwe is actually a breach of law."

The President said the Government wanted to have peace and good relations
with all countries, including those calling for sanctions against Zimbabwe.

The Government had always been open to dialogue.

"But you have in Britain now a government that naturally revises any rules
and any courtesies and it does not want to talk. What do you do if on one
hand as you place yourselves in a position to hold dialogue your
counterparts do not want dialogue?

"We continue to try to use third parties in order for us to establish a
platform from which the problems can be discussed. They will not go away
unless they are discussed. The problem is that Tony Blair is a man who
thinks everything that he believes in is always right and no one questions
him. He is a little bully."

Zimbabwe would stick by its principles and the election verdict and will not
accept outsiders to run it, he said.

"If we let outsiders run our affairs then we are finished as Africans. It
means going back to colonialism and I am never ever prepared to be subjected
to that kind of outside rule and obedience, to that kind of lawlessness that
would ruin us for good. We will not recover from it."

President Mugabe said European countries that had imposed sanctions on
Zimbabwe were not working alone, but with the MDC.

Cde Mugabe said he was prepared to meet MDC leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai as
long as he recognised that he was the President of the country.

"Zanu-PF is strong politically but what has the opposition MDC been doing
since its inception apart from not accepting the validity of any election
they have lost? How can one work with such an opposition? They must be
Zimbabweans in spirit and in terms of their thinking. But look at them, are
they nationalists? They are not."

The Government had accepted the results of the 2000 parliamentary election
as supporters have their own reasons to vote for a candidate of their own
choice, he said.

"We can not blame the supporters but I feel they must be educated to see
beyond their problems like shortages of fuel, basic commodities and any
other crisis and try to see what is causing the problems. Is it not the
opposition that called for sanctions and other countries not to support the
economy of Zimbabwe?" Cde Mugabe said.

Reflecting on the past 23 years of independence, President Mugabe said apart
from ensuring that the social services were accessible to all, the major
achievement was land redistribution.

The President said the Government had since 1980 done extremely well
especially in the education and health sectors, while it experienced hurdles
in other sectors such as manufacturing and mining.

Droughts and cyclones that ravaged the country over the past few years could
not be prevented while the suffering that ensued as a result of the natural
disasters is not a result of bad governance.

"You can not get (smooth) progress because there are always handicaps and
things might not move as planned. There were shortages of resources, funding
and in our particular case now, the sanctions that have visited us,
compounded by two years of successive droughts increased our suffering."

The bold stance by the Government to address the land issue once and for all
had resulted in the imposition of sanctions by Britain and her allies,
impacting negatively on the economy.

Cde Mugabe said despite the conflicts, he was delighted that at last the
land had been returned to its rightful owners.

"We are still to undertake a number of programmes in order to ensure that
those resettled on the land will have the means to till it and make sure
that the necessary technical advice is given to them," he said.

The majority of people living in the rural areas were happy with the way his
Government had addressed the issue while a few people in the urban areas
where land reform is not appreciated thought otherwise.

"The general theme has been correct, the line has been great but along the
line you get some irregularities, inconsistencies and these are the matters
that we are going to address in our land audit that will start soon."

The Government was eager to develop the agriculture sector that employs many
people as compared to the manufacturing industry.

"To talk of developing the manufacturing sector is to lose sight of the fact
that technology has improved to the level where it now dispenses with most
of the labour that yesterday would have been employed. Let people use their
hoes and ploughs, take agriculture in a big way with the help of inputs from
the Government," the President said.

Cde Mugabe said Government was aware of the drought in some provinces like
Matabeleland South where most people had lost their livestock.

"We have heard of what they call human rights abuses here and unfair
distribution of food but we have not heard of where people who have voted
for the MDC have died because of hunger. We only won two seats in
Matabeleland but we are still providing food to those people and have done
it for years," he said.

The President said redrafting the Constitution was not a priority. He was
responding to a question concerning calls for a new Constitution by the
National Constitutional Assembly, an organisation which, however, campaigned
vigorously against the draft constitution by the Constitutional Commission
in 2000.

"Our interpretation was that they (people) want the present Constitution to
continue as before. Amendments will be made and discussed in Parliament
before they are passed. Who are the NCA? I only know of Madhuku who is
leader of the NCA and is also the members of the NCA."

He said the issue of going back to a ceremonial president as opposed to the
Executive President was open to debate.

"With an Executive you have the opportunity to have two Vice Presidents that
always help in decision making."

He said 23 years after independence he feels Zimbabwe was now truly
independent after redressing the imbalances in the ownership of land.

"We still are not completely independent because there are other sectors
still dominated by foreigners who will always wait to add onto the suffering
of the people so that they rebel against their own Government," he said.
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Daily News

      ZCTU strike on this week

      4/22/03 6:52:38 AM (GMT +2)

      By Sam Munyavi

      The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions yesterday called for a mass job
stayaway from tomorrow (Wednesday) to Friday this week to protest against
fuel price increases imposed by the government last week.

      Wayne Bvudzijena, the police spokesman, was yesterday quoted by the
State-controlled ZBC as warning that the proposed stayaway would be illegal.

      The government ignored the ZCTU's demand last Wednesday to
"immediately" reverse the increases or face what it called "specified

      The price of unleaded petrol shot up from $176,53 to $500 a litre,
leaded petrol from $145 to $450 a litre and diesel from $119,43 to $200 a
litre. As a result, transport operators immediately raised fares, in most
cases doubling them.

      The ZCTU said the strike call had nothing to do with the MDC or any
other political party. The MDC, which organised a successful two-day strike
last month, and the National Constitutional Assembly yesterday expressed
support for the stayaway call by the labour umbrella body.

      Lovemore Matombo, the ZCTU president, said the fuel price increase was
unaffordable to most Zimbabweans. He said transport costs alone would gobble
more than 80 percent of workers' take-home pay.

      Matombo said: "In many countries transport and basic commodities are
subsidised by the state. These are basic human needs which everyone should
access. It is the role of the state to ensure that everyone has a decent
meal. Unfortunately, Zimbabwe has become a dangerous state to live in."

      He said the poverty datum line was now above $125 000, which no
organisation could afford.

      He said: "The government itself cannot pay its civil servants this
minimum wage. With that in mind, how does the government explain this
chaotic situation? No doubt, there is no one in the government who is able
to advance any meaningful argument on this madness. Even businesses are
going to fold.

      "We do not believe there is any company capable of paying any minimum
wage as triggered by the fuel price increase. One needs to be totally mad
and very cruel to support such an increase."

      Matombo said people should stay at home and should not damage or loot
property. He warned people to be on the lookout for "hooligans and those who
may be planted to cause chaos".

      He urged public transport operators, including railway enginemen, to
join in the stayaway.

      Paul Themba Nyathi, the MDC spokesman, said the stayaway call was
"completely justified and deserves the support of every progressive

      He said: "There is no doubt that this inconsiderate fuel price
increase is the result of bad governance. There can be no doubt that
(President) Mugabe's heart is not with the people. There is all the evidence
that Mugabe's heart is only with his obsession with personal political

      Nyathi said the fuel price increase was a symptom of a deeper crisis
of governance, which was now compounded by "the crisis of legitimacy".

      He said: "In demanding the reversal of the fuel prices, the workers
and those in the progressive democratic movement must also demand the
restoration of legitimacy. After the ZCTU stayaway, let us all brace up for
the final push in an all-inclusive lawful mass action to demand the
resolution to this national crisis."

      Lovemore Madhuku, the NCA chairman, said his organisation fully
supported the proposed stayaway.

      He said: "We also believe stayaways should be accompanied by peaceful
demonstrations. Peaceful demonstrations are the only way to bring about

      The NCA is agitating for a new, democratic constitution.
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Daily News

      Exiled Zimbabweans link up in cyberspace

      4/22/03 7:00:28 AM (GMT +2)

      By Columbus Mavhunga

      AFTER feeling lonely while in the United Kingdom (UK), Quentin
Tannock, capitalising on information technology, made sure that no other
Zimbabwean would encounter the same problem.

      Tannock and his friend David Wright established - an
on-line database of Southern Africans that can be accessed over the Internet
from the web site

      "The site was created to help Zimbabweans abroad to stay in touch with
friends, family and contacts," said Tannock. "We started the service after
realising the extent of the diaspora among the southern Africans around the
world, particularly Zimbabweans."

      Over five million Zimbabweans are said to be living abroad as they run
away from the economic and political turmoil in the country. They are either
in South Africa, the United States of America, the UK, New Zealand,
Australia and other countries.

      Tannock, a University of Zimbabwe law graduate, is studying for a
masters degree at Cambridge University.

      "When I got into England I was like a fish out of water, I knew no one
there, " said Tannock. "So for the past 12 months I have been thinking about
that. When I came back here four months ago, we set up the website. The
response was fantastic."

      He says more than 10 000 people have managed to hook up with friends,
relatives and former classmates so far.

      "The response in the first week was alarming," he said. "The
respondents were mainly Zimbabweans and eventually foreigners with
connections in Zimbabwe started joining in."

      In Zimbabwe, one can benefit from the service by paying $3 500, while
those in the diaspora can pay using credit cards.

      One of the convincing features of the service is the unique privacy
protection offered through the messaging features.

      Users can be found and receive messages from other users without
seeing their personal contact details. Similarly, users can send messages
through the site without disclosing their personal contact details such as
their e-mail address. The site is operated to the highest data protection
standards and the company is registered under the UK Data Protection Act. To
save users having to log in frequently to check for messages the site has an
automatic e-mail notification that e-mails a user when a message awaits them
on the site. Added to this is a feature where users can request an e-mail
notice of when a friend the user has been looking for successfully joins up.

      The search facility on is broad and users are not
limited to only finding people that they went to school or university with.

      The site allows you to search for any southern African you know using
their name or nick-name and one other field, such as the country they are
now in or the school that they went to.

      Tannock said of the proceeds they have received from subscribers to
advertise about the website. "I will not rest until I have reached the 50
000 mark," he said. "But at the rate at which people are responding we will
smash that target soon."
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Daily News

      GMB official linked to food scam transferred

      4/22/03 7:01:06 AM (GMT +2)

      From Our Correspondent in Masvingo

      MARTIN Marumazvitsa, the Masvingo GMB assistant depot manager, has
been transferred over allegations of corruption in which he allegedly
flouted food distribution procedures.

      Marumazvitsa has been transferred to Chegutu amid reports that more
workers at the depot linked to a maize scam involving Zanu PF stalwarts may
be either fired or transferred.

      One of those mentioned is the deputy minister of Youth Development,
Gender and Employment Creation, Shuvai Mahofa.

      Tongai Matutu, Marumazvitsa's lawyer yesterday confirmed his client
had been transferred to Chegutu over the allegations.

      Matutu is representing Marumazvitsa, who is being charged on
allegations of corruption.

      Matutu said: '"My client has been transferred to Chegutu following
allegations of corruption and he has to come from there to attend his trial.
That is why a warrant of arrest was issued."

      Marumazvitsa, jointly charged with Makanzeyi Jecheche, the district
administrator, was last Tuesday issued with a warrant of arrest after he
failed to turn up for the trial.

      The warrant was later cancelled after he turned up in court with his
lawyer, claiming they had transport problems as he was based in Chegutu.

      Marumazvitsa and Jecheche are facing corruption charges involving 15
tonnes of maize delivered to Mahofa under unclear circumstances.

      It is the State's case that on 5 February, the Masvingo food
distribution committee compiled a list of people to receive maize supplies
from the Masvingo GMB depot.

      On the day in question the committee was chaired by Major Charles
Marambara since Jecheche was not there.

      As the district administrator, Jecheche would chair the food
distribution committee meetings.

      The State alleges that Mahofa, who was not entitled to any allocation,
then came to the GMB depot to demand that she be given maize.

      The State alleges Jecheche and Marumazvitsa then communicated with
each other and authorised that Mahofa be given the maize.
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Daily News

Bulawayo travellers stranded

4/22/03 7:02:45 AM (GMT +2)

From Sandra Mujokoro in Bulawayo
TRAVELLERS over the Easter holidays were stranded in Bulawayo after
transport operators failed to secure fuel in time to ferry passengers to
their rural destinations.
Fuel supplies were critical on Thursday and Friday, when many people planned
to visit relatives in the communal areas.

Hundreds spent the whole day sitting at the Renkini long-distance bus
terminus over the two days, as only a few Botswana-bound buses and some
Zupco ones were operating.

Sicelesile Sibanda of Cowdray Park said she abandoned her trip to Maphisa
after failing to get transport.

Another traveller, Billy Ndlovu, said he only managed to go to Plumtree
aboard a Botswana-bound bus after spending the whole of Thursday at the
Renkini bus terminus.

"I boarded a Botswana bus which charged me $2 500 instead of $1 500 for the
same trip in our buses," he said.

A manager with Kukura Kurerwa Bus Services, who declined to be named, said
the Bulawayo depot only received fuel on Saturday and by then there were
very few travellers left. Most had found alternative transport or had
abandoned their plans to travel over the long weekend.

"First, we struggled to secure the fuel when we needed it most, just before
the holidays started and when we got it we were now struggling to get the
passengers," he said.

Despite the slight improvement in the diesel supplies in the city, some
buses which service most of the rural areas of Matabeleland, were seen
parked in fuel queues at service stations in the city.

A fuel attendant at Engen Service Station which is designated for public
transporters only, said they had received limited supplies of diesel and
petrol since Saturday and many buses were able to get some fuel.
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Daily News

      MDC members flee homes

      4/22/03 7:03:21 AM (GMT +2)

      By Precious Shumba

      SEVERAL MDC activists in Chitungwiza and Mashonaland West province say
they have fled their homes for fear of police arrests and torture after last
month's stayaway called by the MDC.

      In separate interviews last week, the activists alleged the police
were out to arrest them for allegedly organising the protest, which
paralysed most of the major cities and towns.

      Wayne Bvudzijena, the police spokesman, was yesterday not available
for comment but the police have previously vowed to arrest all those who
organised the stayaway.

      Simon Mudzingwa, the MDC deputy chairman for Mashonaland West, claimed
the police had been hunting for senior MDC activists for their alleged role
in the stayaway.

      Mudzingwa said he escaped from Chinhoyi following what he alleged were
several attempts on his life by Zanu PF supporters and the police.

      He said: "We will not return to our homes until this illegitimate
regime is gone."

      Mudzingwa was arrested and detained together with other MDC activists
from 17-20 March. They alleged that they were tortured during their

      Mudzingwa said policemen and members of Zanu PF's notorious "Top Six"
had kept a close watch on his deserted house in Chinhoyi.

      The police allegedly visited his rural Hurungwe home and harassed his
parents for refusing to disclose his whereabouts, he alleged.

      In Chitungwiza, Runnmore Chigwada was allegedly severely assaulted
when the police raided houses belonging to MDC agents last Sunday.

      The activists had been on the run for some time since the stayaway.

      The others arrested were David Chipunza, John Mazhambe, Lisbon
Mutandwa and Tonderai Machiridza, who died at the Avenues Clinic on Friday
from injuries he sustained when he was tortured.

      Tariro Shumba, the MDC spokesman for Chitungwiza province, said
yesterday others on the run in Chitungwiza were Rachael Hombarume, Arthur
Taderera, Paul Sambira, Tendekai Maswata, the provincial youth chairman,
Lovemore Mutamba, the provincial secretary and Alexio Musundire, the
provincial chairman.

      Shumba said the police have indicated they would arrest them
immediately after Machiridza's burial which has been set for Thursday.

      Maxwell Zimuto, an MDC information officer, said MPs Paul Madzore
(Glen View) and Paurina Gwanyanya Mpariwa (Mufakose) had not returned to
their homes since the stayaway.

      He said all the MDC district youths in Mabvuku had fled their homes
after constant police and army raids on their homes.

      More than 200 MDC supporters, including MPs, were arrested and
allegedly tortured in police custody after the stayaway.
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Daily News

      Cash-strapped Zesa warns of power cuts

      4/22/03 7:03:59 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      THE Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) has warned of a long
period of frequent power cuts because "curtailment measures" effected by its
external suppliers for non-payment of electricity imports worth about US$20
million ($1,6 billion).

      "The load-shedding has come about because there is insufficient
generation to meet demand as a result of curtailment measures adopted by our
external suppliers due to non-payment," the power utility said in a notice
published in The Sunday Mail this week.

      Zesa said the acute shortage of foreign currency had made it difficult
for the parastatal to import electricity from its suppliers under the
Southern Africa power pool which brings together Eskom of South Africa, HCB
of Mozambique and Snel of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

      An insider yesterday said each time the power utility fell short on
its payments for electricity imports from Mozambique's HCB, supplies of
between 50 and 200 megawatts would be withheld every month until Zesa clears
its debt.

      Zesa said measures taken by its external suppliers following its
frequent non-payment of power imports had forced it to introduce

      A spokesman said load-shedding was now in full swing and daily
interruptions of electricity supplies should be expected.

      The Zesa spokesman said it was not possible to run the power
generation system without "a spinning reserve" which is provided by power
imports.Zimbabwe, whose peak demand for electricity is about 2 000
megawatts, imports about 35 percent of electricity to supplement the 65
percent generated locally.

      Industrialists have warned of retrenchments because of low levels of
production caused by load-shedding.

      Commerce and industry have already voiced concern at the proposed
load-shedding plans, which will reduce production levels at a time most
companies are affected by adverse economic conditions.
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Daily News

      Teachers attack minister over unfulfilled promises

      4/22/03 7:04:32 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      TEACHERS are bitter and are calling for an explanation from Aeneas
Chigwedere, the Minister of Education, Sports and Culture over what they
termed "unfulfilled promises" on their salary adjustment this month.

      About five teachers who preferred anonymity, said yesterday they were
bitter and said they would stand by the ultimatum given to the government by
the Zimbabwe Teachers' Association (Zimta) to engage in a strike if their
grievances were not addressed by 8 May.

      Zimta, last week gave the government a deadline which expires this
month to announce the results of the Public Service Commission job
evaluation exercise conducted last year or risk a strike when schools reopen
next month.

      The delayed results of the job evaluation are expected to determine
the new salary structures for all teachers and are expected to match those
of their counterparts with comparable qualifications in the public sector.

      "Enough is enough!" said Leonard Nkala, the Zimta president last week.
"Failure to meet these demands will result in the educators withdrawing
their services."

      Takavafira Zhou, the president of the Progressive Teachers' Union of
Zimbabwe, said his organisation was mobilising its members for a strike on 8
May, when schools reopen.

      "We are not going back on the industrial action. With the recent fuel
increments, you need about $50 000 to $60 000 for transport per month, yet
you're getting something like $40 000? How are you supposed to survive?,"
said Zhou. "Teachers are already out of employment by virtue of these price
hikes and harsh economic conditions. That's why we are calling on teachers
to be united and to act."

      Clever Saungweme, a teacher in Glen View, said yesterday: "Chigwedere
made lot of noise over salary increments for teachers since last year, but
there is nothing on offer.

      "I was shocked when I visited my bank to see if my salary cheque had
been deposited, but it was the same old story."

      Dolphin Mapako, a teacher in Gweru, called on teachers to come
together and fight for a common cause.

      Efforts to get a comment from Chigwedere were fruitless.

      The government awarded teachers an interim increment of 80 percent
cost of living adjustment in January. It promised them hefty salaries
equivalent to other officers in the civil service with similar
qualifications this month backdated to January.
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      Mandaza, worker in $1,7 million row

      4/22/03 7:05:50 AM (GMT +2)

      By Brian Mangwende Chief Reporter

      THE police in Mazowe and Harare are reportedly investigating a case in
which David Kareki, the assistant manager on Ibbo Mandaza's PaNhowe Farm in
Mazowe, is claiming he was tortured by his employer over the alleged theft
of nearly $2 million.

      Jonathan Samkange, Kareki's lawyer, said the police in Mazowe had
opened a docket, No. 00081717, against Mandaza. But Bvudzai Gwidibira, a
senior manager on the farm, said Borrowdale police had opened a docket - No.
4073/03 - against Kareki.

      Mandaza is the publisher of The Daily Mirror and The Sunday Mirror. He
has recently chaired a daily ZBC-TV debate on the United States-British
invasion of Iraq.

      Mandaza alleges Kareki stole the money and wants the police to
investigate the theft.

      Kareki, who lost a tooth, said trouble started last Monday when
Mandaza accused him of stealing $1,7 million in wages.

      "I was approached by Mandaza who accused me of being responsible for a
shortfall of $1,7 million," Kareki said. "I was baffled and I asked him to
explain as I was not directly responsible for handling cash. He immediately
slapped me several times in the face, saying I should admit to the crime.

      "He ordered me not to leave the farmhouse allocated to me and placed
one of the security guards to guard me round the clock."

      Kareki alleged that every morning, Mandaza would hit him with a stick
to force him to confess to the crime.

      Mandaza denied the allegations, saying: "That's rubbish. After the
workers heard that the money was for their wages as well, they assaulted
him. I saved him. As a matter of fact, the money involved is more. He ran
away with the time and record book for the milk we produce. Instead of
delivering 12 900 litres to Dairibord last week, only 6 000 litres were
delivered, and he is the one who knows what happened to the rest of the
milk. After he ran away he telephoned me saying he would fix me. Last
Friday, he telephoned me saying he was from The Daily News, but when I
recognised his voice and told him so, he cut the phone."

      Mandaza said he suspected Kareki stole the money "to settle a huge
debt he may have incurred in the past".

      Gwidibira said Kareki had been beaten up by one of the farm workers
following an argument over $50 000 Kareki had misappropriated.

      Gwidibira said: "We have been having problems with him ever since he
joined us on 24 February. Because of him, we have failed to pay the workers
this month. He was in charge of the finance and administration department,
but every day we get calls from people complaining about either non-delivery
or non-payment. He was not beaten up by Mandaza. There was an altercation
between himself and another worker in our office and I suspect that is where
he lost his tooth."

      But Kareki insisted Mandaza assaulted him for a week.
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Leader Page

      Violent regimes leave no option but war

      4/22/03 6:54:02 AM (GMT +2)

      By Charles Frizell

      I have always greatly respected the ethics of Fr Oskar Wermter, though
at times I may have disagreed with certain aspects of the Catholic dogma.
His fearless and frank comments on the ongoing crisis in Zimbabwe are an
example to all of us. Last Maundy Thursday, I read his article in The Daily
News proposing that war should be outlawed.

      Indeed, this is a noble aspiration and very few sane people would
advocate war for the sake of war. Only the mentally unbalanced thirst after
violence and war, and here the supporters and instigators of the
much-vaunted Third Chimurenga come to mind.

      A moment's thought will reveal that no church can accept or condone
the killing of another human being; this is absolutely central to the
teachings of the Christian, Jewish and Islamic religions.

      However, in real life and in an imperfect world we are forever forced
to make choices and take moral decisions, to choose the right action as
Eastern philosophies put it. This right action cannot be preordained because
it varies according to time and circumstance. What is right in one situation
and at one time may be wrong in another.

      We are all now faced with the question of the morality or otherwise of
the war to liberate Iraq from dictatorship.

      Was it wrong under all circumstances to embark on action that would
certainly kill and maim a number of innocent victims? Was it wrong to attack
a country that had not attacked ours? Was it wrong to deliberately set out
to kill the soldiers of another country?

      But we have to look deeper into the question of moral responsibility.

      Can we ignore the neighbour who beats and terrorises his family? Can
we turn our backs on murder, rape and mayhem in our community merely
because, so far, we have not been the target, and in fact may never be? No,
in all conscience we cannot. It is unquestionably our moral duty to protect
the weak from abuse and terror. When Cain asked: "Am I my brother's keeper?
the answer was an unambiguous "Yes."

      The world is now our village; we are aware as never before of the
abuse meted out to the suffering people under dictatorships in foreign
lands. Can we turn our backs and ignore abuse because it is not happening in
our own country? Does that fact make it acceptable for us to do nothing, to
let others suffer and die?

      Another of the basic tenets of the People of the Book (Judaism, Islam
and Christianity) is the injunction: "Justice is mine, sayeth the Lord."
This could be taken to mean that society cannot and should not punish
offenders against the norms of that society. However, a little further
thought reveals that this passage is, in fact, an injunction against
revenge. A fine line, perhaps? But nevertheless a source of justifiable
moral soul-searching.

      Over the millennia we have come to accept that there will always be
misfits in society, however regrettable that may be. We have also come to
accept that for the good of society as a whole, these misfits must be
restrained and punished so as to protect society and discourage others from
similar action.

      No society can function properly without the rule of law, a fact
recognised throughout all of human history, as well as being particularly
close to our hearts in Zimbabwe. We do not wait for divine justice to zap
miscreants with a thunderbolt - we use just laws to punish them ourselves.

      This is the case where miscreant nations such as Iraq are concerned.
We, as the greater society, have to enforce the law and promote a more just
society ourselves. Whether in our own small village, or the Global Village
as Marshall McLuan put it, we have a moral duty to be our brother's keeper
and to do our best to protect the weak and innocent from abuse.

      We cannot say, "I am not the one!" with a clear conscience. Yet that
is what the anti-war protesters are saying. I believe that it is indeed
immoral to condemn the war to free the Iraqi people when, if those
protesters were in the Iraqi situation they would be pleading for
liberation. As we are.

      War and violence must always be the method of last resort. War and
violence of any sort must always be condemned by clergy of conscience.

      But when a regime uses violence and terror to subjugate a nation, it
is clear to all moral realists that some degree of violence is going to be
necessary in order to remove it. Regrettably, it is the very violence of the
regime that makes war the only way to free the people from bondage. Life
lived consciously is always full of difficult moral decisions. I believe
that it was a pity that the coalition used the question of weapons of mass
destruction to justify the war on Iraq; I believe they should have had the
courage to admit that it was a heinous regime that desperately needed
removing for the good of the people.

      That is certainly the case I would put for removing the present regime
in Zimbabwe.

      Allan Frizell is a social and political commentator
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      Battle of control freaks could help unseat them

      4/22/03 6:53:19 AM (GMT +2)

      THERE has been a simmering battle of the control freaks in Zanu PF
since independence.

      Recently, the battle degenerated into a full-blown war, with two
Cabinet ministers openly attacking the junior minister of information and
publicity in the President's Office.

      The bone of contention was an attack on the South African President,
Thabo Mbeki, by the editor of The Chronicle newspaper of Bulawayo. The
editor suggested Mbeki had made an about-turn in his support for President
Mugabe's political and economic struggle against, not only the rest of the
progressive world, but even against the majority of the people of Zimbabwe.

      The editor was allegedly parroting the views of one of the major
control freaks in Zanu PF, the junior minister of information and publicity,
who has a rather frosty relationship with the South African leader.

      His immediate boss in the party, Nathan Shamuyarira, weighed in with
an attack on the editor, as did that other control freak, Stan Mudenge, the
Minister of Foreign

      Affairs, who declared that only he could spell out publicly the
country's foreign policy.

      Although their strong-worded rebukes were ostensibly directed at the
hapless editor, nobody is in any doubt that their main target was the
aforementioned junior minister, who controls the editors of the government
media as rigidly as any control freak is capable of.

      On Sunday, the junior minister came to the defence of his lackey,
effectively taking this battle of the control freaks into the streets.

      We can expect to see even more mudslinging at the highest level.

      But if, as is most likely to happen, the chief control freak of them
all, Mugabe, decides to step in, it could all blow over before people enjoy
a veritable close-up of a political bar room brawl.

      Many people may not appreciate this, but this has been the curse of
this country since independence: the domination of its political and
economic destiny by a group of control freaks, people who will brook no
dissent because they are running the country as they ran the liberation war
from the jungles of Mozambique.

      A number of notable victims of this curse have included Edgar Tekere,
Margaret Dongo, Simba Makoni and Eddison Zvobgo, whose political ambitions
took a turn for the worse once he evinced signs of being impervious to the
one-party one-leader whims of the control freaks in his party.

      The intolerance of any opposition to Zanu PF, crystallised in Mugabe's
recent order to his followers "to crush the MDC", is just one more signal to
the people of Zimbabwe that they must get rid of this curse if there is to
be any political and economic development in this country.

      The 23rd independence celebrations were the worst in the country's
short history. The economy is in a mess, with inflation at 200-plus percent,
ordinary workers' disposable incomes are down literally to a few worthless
cents, the recent increase in commuter bus fares being the last straw.

      The control freaks still insist that the country is booming and that
its prospects for the future are as bright as they ever were. As far as they
are concerned, those who insist the country has gone to the dogs are
"sell-outs", even if they are themselves reduced to living a dog's life.

      Slowly, the people have been asserting their right to free themselves
from the grip of the control freaks, who have responded in the only way they
know how - with violence.

      But the battle among the control freaks could work in the people's
favour. If the internal squabbling weakens their grip, as it is bound to,
they could become easy meat for a determined final push to unseat them.
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      Government steps in over Dairibord's milk packaging

      4/22/03 6:48:18 AM (GMT +2)

      Business Reporter

      FIVE hundred millilitre packets of milk, which had vanished from the
shelves of most shops and supermarkets, have resurfaced.

      A survey conducted by The Business Daily showed that supplies of 500ml
of sour milk and Chimombe have reappeared, replacing the unpopular 300ml

      A 500ml packet is selling at anything between $600 and $650 in most
retail outlets, far above the gazetted price of $100,09. A packet of
Chimombe is fetching around $250.

      The improved supplies come in the wake of a government directive
ordering the Dairibord Zimbabwe Limited (DZL) to withdraw the 300ml sachets.

      Last week, Anthony Mandiwanza, the chief executive officer of DZL,
confirmed that the milk processor had been directed by government to
reinstate the 500ml sachets.

      "In the meantime DZL has been ordered by the authorities to withdraw
from the market the new 300ml sachet of milk at its current price and we are
working towards the reinstatement of the 500ml sachet," he said in a

      Over the past year, DZL has been receiving reduced supplies of milk,
at least 30 percent less than last year's because of bad weather conditions,
hyper-inflation, uncertainties on farms and rising costs of stockfeeds.

      As a result of the decline in milk output coupled with price controls,
cross border trade and a thriving black market have emerged.

      Mandiwanza said: "Costs of production continued to rise, while
consumer prices remained stagnant, thereby seriously undermining both
producer and processor viability. For example, a 500 ml unit of Chimombe was
sold for $250 on the black market, while DZL was wholeselling at the
gazetted price of $100,09. This neither benefited the consumer, processor
nor the producer."

      Mandiwanza argued that DZL had introduced 300ml sachets and other
market offerings to stretch product visibility and recover costs.

      The government has come under heavy criticism for introducing controls
on selected goods. The government is adamant that price controls protect
consumers from unscrupulous business persons bent on profiteering.

      Lovemore Kadenge, president of the Zimbabwe Economic Society said:
"Price controls have never worked anywhere in the world as they only lead to
shortages and a thriving black market, further worsening the plight of
vulnerable members of society."
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      Please, donate generously to feed the hungry in Zimbabwe

      4/22/03 6:55:44 AM (GMT +2)

      With reference to Charles Frizell's letter of 8 April, may I make a
request to anyone who wants to collect money abroad to help famine relief

      We have a small but effective scheme which relies entirely on private
contributions and needs more if it is to continue.

      We distribute food to the neediest people identified through church
people on the ground, mostly in Mashonaland East, West and Central, but we
send a significant amount also to Bulawayo and some other centres.

      The recipients are all the needy people they know, not just church

      In March we fed some 50 000 to 60 000 people and, as it seems that in
the coming months rural people's needs may be less but the needs in town may
even grow, we are joining with all the churches and the mosque in Mabvuku
and Tafara to supply more there, if the money comes in.

      We would ask donors to send any money to the Jesuit Relief Fund at the
address below.
      We guarantee that every cent will be spent to buy food we import.

      If it was sent here, we would lose a lot on the exchange and possibly
not be able to find much to buy.

      Please send to:
      Missionsprokur der deutschen Jesuiten,
      Kęnigstr. 64,
      90402 Nārnberg,

      or direct to their bank:
      Vordere Sterngasse 32
      90402 Nārnberg
      Account: BLZ 75090300,
      Account 5115582

      The IBAN number (for those who know what that means - I think it is
for bank-to-bank transfers)
      DE 61 75 09 03 00 00 05 11 55 82 for Europe
      The BIC Swiftcode GENODEF1MO5

      Brian MacGarry SJ
      Committee Chair
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      Vendors making a killing at the cemetery

      4/22/03 6:51:20 AM (GMT +2)

      By Foster Dongozi Features Writer

      AS THE sonorous voices of bereaved families drift across Granville
Cemetery along the Harare-Masvingo road, a handful of small entrepreneurs
from the capital are the only few who are smiling as the grief of others
provides them an opportunity to make money in a very depressed Zimbabwean

      The sombre hymns from grief-stricken mourners contrast sharply with
the excited chatter of the vendors as they cash in from the mourners, most
of them clad in black.

      Some of the wares on sale include cigarettes, sweets, maputi, frozen
cool drinks, fruit, fruit juices and ice-cream.

      From mid-morning, when hearses and buses and smaller vehicles carrying
bereaved relatives and friends, start arriving for burial services, the
vendors, like other Zimbabweans reeling from the fall-out of a collapsing
economy, cannot disguise their excitement.

      They would have arrived at about 9 am, when they start displaying
their wares.

      Among Zimbabweans, death is so feared and solemn a phenomenon that
people who work for funeral parlours are shunned by their relatives because
of where they work.

      The fear of death among Zimbabweans is so pronounced that on realising
that they are heading towards a funeral parlour, some people change

      Before the advent of HIV/Aids which causes an estimated 3 000 deaths a
week among Zimbabweans, there used to be a myth that if a hearse drove past
a motorist, it was a bad omen.

      But now, with almost every Zimbabwean being affected by the prevalent
deaths caused by HIV/Aids, the fear of death among most Zimbabweans has
almost gone.

      Professor Gordon Chavunduka, a sociologist and president of the
Zimbabwe National Traditional Healers Association says: "As custodians of
the country's traditions and values, we are very disturbed by reports that
people have lost respect for the final resting places of others by peddling
their wares at cemeteries while others are in mourning.

      "The spirits of the dead should be respected."

      Chavunduka said the high death rate in the country had "demystified"

      "In the recent past, except for deaths caused by old age, a few
diseases which could be cured and accidents, death was a rare occurrence and
people respected and feared it."

      He said vendors who sold their wares at cemeteries could end up having
psychological problems.

      "Because they have familiarised themselves with death, there is a
possibility that some of them might cease to respect the value and sanctity
of life that taking away another person's life might not pose any problems
to them."

      He said while it was understandable that difficult economic conditions
had driven people to seek money through methods that were frowned upon, a
way around the problem could always be found.

      "What is not acceptable is for vendors to move around the graves
hawking their produce. The Harare City Council could be lobbied to build
some stalls at the entrance to the cemetery from where entrepreneurs can
sell theirs wares."

      The acting town clerk, Numero Mubaiwa said it was illegal for vendors
to sell their wares at the cemetery.

      "As far as the city's by-laws are concerned, any vending is supposed
to be conducted at designated sites and cemeteries are not designated
vending sites.

      "Members of the Harare municipal police are supposed to deal with
people operating from illegal vending places," said Mubaiwa.

      Chavunduka said immediately after a burial, it was the practice among
Africans to cleanse themselves by washing their hands before entering any

      "What it means is that some of the vendors could be exposing members
of their families to bad omens because what it means is that they should
cleanse themselves every day after selling their goods at the cemetery."

      He said another danger of not being cleansed after visiting graves on
a daily basis was that their behaviour could deteriorate, leading them to
become social misfits.

      But 32-year-old Dennis Katupira of Glen Norah, from where most of the
graveside vendors come, said he was on a genuine mission to fend for his

      "There may be certain assumptions and beliefs about making money from
the cemetery but I have a lot of people to fend for and I am not stealing
but earning money honestly.

      "Some mourners actually appreciate the services that we provide
because on very hot days, some of them are very grateful that we are able to
supply them with sweets and cool drinks."

      He said although he was initially afraid of selling his wares at the
cemetery, he had outgrown that fear.

      "Now when I am selling my goods at the cemetery, I just feel as if I
am attending a relative's funeral. I no longer fear anything."

      A 22-year-old woman, who identified herself as Mai Sigauke, was
reluctant to talk, obviously embarrassed by questions on whether it was
morally correct to earn a living from the graveside.

      "I am just passing through, I don't usually do this kind of thing,"
she said before running away.
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      Mugabe has signed himself into political oblivion

      4/22/03 7:06:26 AM (GMT +2)

      By Cyprian Muketiwa Ndawana

      PRESIDENT Mugabe and his so-called war Cabinet have eventually
endorsed their signatures to exit from power. With the latest 300 percent
increase in the fuel price, coming barely two months after the previous one,
the government has tabled all the ingredients for an unprecedented national

      Although Zimbabweans are by nature a peace-loving people, whose
tolerance range is long, this time they have been stretched to breaking
point. The push has now come to such a shove that, like an overloaded
electric circuit, an explosion is inevitable.

      The ripple effects of the price increase are far-reaching - a
skyrocketing cost of living leaping to unmanageable levels. It is now
pitched at a point which will inevitably further impoverish the population.
With the man in the street now failing to meet his barest needs - food,
clothing, transport, housing and education for the children - the government
has a potential mass vote of no confidence looming large.

      High prospects for an uprising have long been written clearly on the
wall for all and sundry to read. And, the pointer that the government has
monumentally failed to drive the country to the "promised land" was equally
visible. The fullness of time has now come as it is now beyond doubt that
the government has no prescription for the slump in the socio-economic
situation, which has been on free-fall for quite some time.

      Coming hard on the heels of electricity load-shedding, the fuel price
increase has exposed the extent to which the government is stuck in the
morass. All its policies, among them that of designating some fuel filling
stations to commuter omnibuses, clearly show that it has reached its wits'
end. It is now at the mercy of fate and appears headed for the dead end.

      The irony of the fuel supply situation is that Mugabe recently assured
the nation that he would personally look into the problem of procurement.
Since his assurance, supplies have in effect continued to dwindle, with
long, winding queues of cars evident everywhere as motorists congregate at
the few outlets lucky enough to have fuel in stock.

      As the situation worsens, an increase in price was announced against a
backdrop of a deafening silence from the President, whose earlier assurance
has remained nothing but an empty promise. At least he should have had the
basic courtesy to inform the nation that fuel supplies are to him as
problematic as a faulty trousers zip - he cannot pull it up and keep it
there once and for all.

      It remains unclear whether his assurance was nullifying his previous
lament on the headaches and stomachaches he said he was suffering from due
to fuel procurement problems. Whatever the case may be, the bottom line is
that all the tricks in his bag have been exhausted with no visible
improvement in the supply of fuel. By increasing the price of a commodity
that is not readily available, the government has surrendered to wishful
thinking like a dog that barks and barks to the moon.

      Mugabe once bragged that he leads the most educated cabinet in the
world. While this might be true in terms of theory, in practice his is a
grouping of some Humpty-Dumpties. With one minister embarking on an aerial
survey to ascertain the harvest in commercial farms, and another bogging
himself down in some unworkable price controls, and with yet another going
on a money issuing spree for the non-viable "maprojects", boasts of being
well educated become difficult, if not impossible, to defend.

      Even the Professor is not immune to bungling. As if for fear of being
outdone by his colleagues, he has made distortions, half-truths and
propaganda his way of life. He has muzzled the public media to such a point
that it sees, hears and talks no evil that abounds in the government.

      Instead, it glorifies the torture and harassment of members of the
main opposition party, and sees nothing wrong with the repressive laws and
corruption in government.

      Headed by a medical doctor who took an oath to alleviate pain, the
Defence Ministry has mauled a pound of flesh from the populace. The army has
been unleashed on the people in a move reminiscent of the apartheid era. The
parading of "deserters" on television was too cheap a ploy to hoodwink

      Gentle by nature, Zimbabweans have watched with profound sadness the
fall of their living standards. They have endured the agony of queuing for
basic foodstuffs, public transport, a deteriorating public health sector and
the hyper-increase in the price of basic goods and services.

      To fan the flames of the suffering, the populace, especially the
urbanites, has been subjected to brutal assaults by the government that make
Adolf Hitler appear like a mere Boy Scout. If State-sanctioned brutality
were a service that can be included on the gross domestic product, Zimbabwe
would be a force to reckon with.

      Although the repression, torture and assaults have been borne with
humility, and the scramble for basic foodstuffs has reduced the dignity of
the populace, the ripple effects of the fuel price increase are too ghastly
to contemplate; they are too drastic to accommodate such that an uprising is

      With tempers already having reached the boiling point, I am only being
polite by reminding the government that a hungry man is an angry man. As the
economic pressures take their toll, the time is ripening for an
unprecedented uprising.

      The people are bracing up to take a cure that is more painful than the
disease that needs to be healed. Put simply, there is a determination on the
part of the people to pay whatever price - be it limb, arm, leg, or even
life - for them to wrest freedom from the claws and jaws of a vicious

      Cyprian Muketiwa Ndawana is a Zimbabwean writer/columnist whose
writings have been published widely
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