The setting by President Robert Mugabe of impossible and ridiculous
conditions for talks between Zanu (PF) and the MDC have torpedoed President
Thabo Mbeki's feeble mediation attempts.
Mbeki told the warring parties at the outset that no conditions for holding
the talks would be accepted. Yet he was the first to demand that MDC should
stop its defiance campaign in order to create conditions conducive to
negotiations during the run-up to talks.
But he has not said a word about Mugabe's ongoing reign of terror and
destruction of MDC structures. On top of this, Mugabe is now insisting that
the MDC recognise him as the legitimate president of Zimbabwe. In addition,
and most ludicrously, he has demanded, with a straight face, that MDC calls
off sanctions against the country.
For the umpteenth time, it seems we must make the point that there are no
economic sanctions against Zimbabwe. There is merely a range of targeted
measures involving travel by Mugabe and his sycophants, a freeze on their
assets, and an arms embargo implemented by the government of the United
States and the European Union.
These smart sanctions were not imposed at the instigation of MDC, neither
does the opposition have any influence over them. To suggest that it does,
is disingenuous at best and a blatant lie.
Mugabe himself was involved in negotiations with the Rhodesian Regime at
Geneva and Lancaster House. The war was still raging and real economic
sanctions were in force against that regime right up until an agreement was
There was no talk of lifting sanctions and stopping the war as a condition
to be filled before negotiations could take place. He himself would never
have agreed with that.
Mugabe is patently insincere about negotiations. He said last week he would
never allow Morgan Tsvangirai to rule Zimbabwe. We were under the impression
that it was up to the people to decide who ruled them. He clearly has no
intention of allowing that to happen. He believes it is up to him to "allow"
who will rule us.
It is obvious that Mugabe has once again tricked the SADC leaders by
appearing to agree to the need for talks with the opposition, while in
reality he has no such intentions.
Negotiations with the opposition could not be further from his mind. He is
thoroughly involved in rigging the 2008 elections - re-drawing boundaries to
dilute the urban vote, unleashing a vicious militia to terrorise voters and
destroy the opposition, and mortgaging the country to the Chinese to fund
He is moving Zimbabwe further and further away from the demands of the
African Charter on Democracy, elections and governance. What is Africa going
to do about it?
BY ITAI DZAMARA
The drafting of a vicious, secret force from the ranks of Green Bombers and
war vets into the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP), headed by members of the
Central Intelligence Organisation, is reminiscent of the days of 5 Brigade.
This force is behind the continuing wave of killings, abductions and brutal
assaults of opposition and civil society activists, according to
investigations by The Zimbabwean.
This 'special branch' was established last year by the Mugabe regime to
operate underground with a mandate from the head of state to eliminate
voices of dissent - exactly the same as that of 5 Brigade in the 1980s.
Operating from the CIO headquarters in Harare, the special branch has its
members assigned to police stations around the country.
Sources privy to the operations of the force said it was responsible for the
murder of journalist Edward Chikomba, brutal assaults on MDC leader Morgan
Tsvangirai, NCA leader Lovemore Madhuku and other activists as well as chief
reporter of The Zimbabwean, Gift Phiri.
"The special branch now controls the Law and Order section at Harare
Central, that is why most people being arrested on political grounds are
taken there for brutalisation," a senior police officer spoke on condition
"Members of the branch are deployed at strategic places such as the Harare
International Airport and were behind the attack on Chamisa". The MDC MP
and spokesman was left for dead last month after an attack by about eight
man whilst trying to leave the country for a summit in Brussels.
Sources said leaders of the special branch reported to state security
minister, Didymus Mutasa and deputy minister of youth, Saviour Kasukuwere.
"It was established last year and is also used to spy on other police
officers, members of the army as well as government officials in order to
fish out those opposed to Mugabe or posing threats to him," a former
government minister revealed.
Mutasa denied the existence of the special branch saying "state security
measures are being done in a normal way".
Kasukuwere could not be reached for comment. Sources also revealed that the
special branch has in its possession a death list of opposition and civil
society leaders, lawyers as well as journalists that must be eliminated.
BY TREVOR GRUNDY
British Anglicans are almost as stunned as their counterparts in Zimbabwe
that the Archbishop of Canterbury's attempts to knock sense into their heads
of church leaders in Harare's much-troubled province have come to naught.
Following a meeting of the Central African Episcopal Synod during the week
of 'celebrations' marking Zimbabwe's 27th anniversary of Independence, 14
Anglican bishops issued a messagethat was broadly supportive of the Mugabe
government, sharply contrasting with an earlier call by Roman Catholic
leaders for the disgraced 83- year old head of state to step down.
"So called targeted sanctions aimed at the leadership of the country have
affected the poor Zimbabweans who have borne the brunt of sanctions, "the
bishops said after their meeting.
Prominent among the signatories was the Bishop of Harare, the Rt Revd
Nolbert Kunonga who is praised by ZANU (PF) as a "model Christian" and a man
who puts nation before domination by clerics from the Western world.
Last month, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, met Bishop
Kunonga along with the Archbishop of Central Africa, the Most Revd Bernard
Malango who is a friend of President Mugabe. No details of the meeting
President Mugabe is most anxious to neutralize the Christian church and give
the world the impression it sides with him against his critics.
On March 11 police crushed a prayer meeting that led to world press
publicity against the entrenched Mugabe regime. Later Catholics issued a
pastoral statement that infuriated Mugabe.
Zanu (PF) 'spin doctors' assert that "rebel" Catholics are led by the
Archbishop of Bulawayo, Pius Ncube who (they claim) is in the pay of Prime
Minister Tony Blair and the British Government.
Reacting to the Anglican message, Eddie Cross of the MDC said that
Zimbabwean Anglicans are in a difficult position. "Perhaps they should
withdraw from all congregations that are led by Bishop Nolbert," he
suggested. "Or join a church that is not so myopic in its views."
Meantime, Anglicans in the UK are waiting to hear from the Bishop of
Croydon, the Rt Revd Nicholas Baines. He flew to Harare on Easter Tuesday
and is expected to inform Lambeth Palace about the situation in Zimbabwe.
Sources told The Zimbabwean that Bishop Nick was anxious not to meet Bishop
Nolbert who most Anglicans say has disgraced the 75 million strong worldwide
community. "The Zimbabweans have been very clear that we should visit them
at their points of weakness and not just wait until everything is OK," he
said before his departure.
HARARE - Desperate for foreign currency, the corrupt Mugabe regime is now
dishing out prime agricultural land to the Chinese, having grabbed it from
commercial farmers under the pretext of giving land to the people.
The Chinese have also been given mining concessions and future tobacco crops
in exchange for foreign currency and farm machinery. But because of rampant
corruption and the artificially maintained chasm between the official and
parallel rates of exchange, most of the forex will end up in the pockets of
Zanu (PF) fatcats, while agriculture, mining and industry collapse.
Analysts say Mugabe has mortgaged the nation's future to the Chinese, who
are desperate for natural resources to fuel their massive industrial
Sources revealed this week that the visit by chairman of the National
Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, Jia
Qinglin followed several months of pleading by Mugabe to the Chinese for
assistance during which the Asians insisted on a give-and-take arrangement.
The Chinese are reported to have clearly stated that they could only provide
loans of assistance to Zimbabwe if they were given tangible things such as
mining concessions or tracts of land.
"The Chinese were very particular about getting stakes in mining, and
despite Mugabe's initial reluctance to give in on that, they finally got
their way by pledging more loans, agricultural equipment as well as
assistance with clearing the country's balance of payments," a source privy
to the deliberations between the two parties revealed.
It has emerged that Mugabe finally agreed to grant the Chinese mining
concessions as well as allocating "several state-owned farms to Chinese
companies or representatives".
China will give Zimbabwe a US$58 million financing facility to be used to
purchase farming equipment, implements and tools. In return, Zimbabwe will
deliver 110 000 tonnes of tobacco to China over two years. Chaos triggered
by Mugabe's land reform programme has slashed tobacco output from more than
200 000 tonnes in 2000 to below 60 000 tonnes.
Zimbabwe and China have also signed three separate agreements related to
finance, agriculture and education. The Chinese have also been promised
stakes or payment through proceeds from Zimbabwe's mining sector in return
for their assistance.
"The tragedy of all this is that the Chinese are never going to stand with
Zimbabwe when it comes to international issues. If they were serious about
helping Zimbabwe, the Chinese president would not have skirted the country
on his eight-nation tour of Africa earlier this year," said political
analyst John Makumbe. - Own correspondent/ZimOnline
For Zimbabwe's despotic leader, Robert Mugabe, the most humiliating and
embarrassing thing that could ever happen would be to be driven out of
office and out of Zimbabwe into exile. The second most embarrassing and
humiliating thing would be to be defeated by Morgan Tsvangirai, or by any
other opposition presidential candidate, in an election.
Perhaps the third most humiliating and embarrassing situation would be for
Zanu(PF) to lose the parliamentary elections and become the opposition
party. The fact that any or all of these three could happen in the next few
months leaves Mugabe bathed in cold sweat. I do not think he sleeps very
well these days. At 83, the old man needs all the sleep he can get.
To ensure that none of these three scenarios gets even the slightest chance
of becoming reality, Mugabe has decided to do what he does best - cheat and
deceive the nation, the opposition, the SADC, and even himself. The naked
emperor has decided to go for the great deception with the primary objective
of retaining political power come March 2008.
While addressing an angry and hungry crowd during the Independence
celebrations on 18 April 2007, Mugabe outlined some of the proposed changes
his government intends to implement prior to the 2008 elections. This was a
clear indication that the tyrant is not at all serious about the Thabo
Mbeki-brokered dialogue. Although he has not openly shot down the SADC
proposition, Mugabe is obviously going ahead with the proposed Amendment 18
to the discredited and much amended Lancaster House Constitution.
Wise as a serpent he is, and likely to go through the motions of engaging in
dialogue. Then, at the last minute, he will simply manufacture a deadlock
and revert back to the obnoxious Amendment 18 to the Constitution. The MDC
and civil society must not put too much faith in the proposed dialogue. If
they do, they certainly will be caught napping and the dictator will have
the last laugh as he will proceed with the elections come rain or sunshine.
Both the MDC and civil society must urgently strategise against Mugabe's
deception. It is important that plans be laid out pertaining to what
opposition political parties and civil society will do if Mugabe causes a
deadlock in the dialogue process. To simply say the MDC will boycott the
2008 elections is no longer enough to dissuade the dictator from going ahead
with Amendment 18. We all know what happened in 1996 when both Muzorewa and
Sithole boycotted presidential elections. Mugabe went straight ahead with
the dubious election and claimed that he had won the contest even though he
was the sole candidate. Sick!
Crazy old Mugabe knows very well that he is not going to win a free and fair
democratic election. He has never won one in the past, anyway. He will
therefore rig the forthcoming parliamentary and presidential elections to
the fullest extent of his capability. Constituency boundaries are going to
be re-drawn to diffuse the MDC's urban support.
National identity documents are not going to be issued to young people who
have applied for them. Indeed, Zanu(PF) militia are currently illegally
withdrawing some IDs from those that have them. Then there will be the usual
fabrication of marked ballots and the transposing of results at the
announcing stage. In the end the dictator will have won the day and Zimbabwe
will continue to bleed. This must not be allowed to happen. Regime change
has to come in 2008, if not sooner.
HARARE - The Zimbabwe government is set to unveil a supplementary budget in
June, expected to breathe new life into the ailing economy, but economists
were sceptical that it would make any significant impact on investor and
business confidence - at its lowest ebb since Independence.
The supplementary vote is expected to bolster funding for President Robert
Mugabe's presidential campaign, and also oil the State security machinery
that has in the past few weeks led the terrorism campaign against the
Officials sources said while most ministries had exhausted their votes,
there were serious concerns about the amounts being gobbled by security
agencies, which fall under the Defence, Home Affairs, and the President's
Despite receiving the biggest chunk of the 2007 national budget, the
security agencies have been the first to exhaust their allocations. The
Zimbabwean last week published details of a letter indicating the spy agency
CIO had received an unbudgeted $3 trillion from State Security minister
Didymus Mutasa, raising questions about the source of the cash. - Staff
The Zimbabwe government has not followed the proper procedures for
cancelling the registration of NGO's, according to the parliamentary watch
dog Bill Watch.
The minister of information, Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, announced recently that the
licences had been cancelled and all NGOs would have to re-apply for
registration. Section 10 of the private Voluntary organisations act allows
the PVO board to cancel an individual NGO registration only on the grounds
The registrar is required to notify the NGO in writing of an intention to
cancel registration. A notice has to be published in the Government Gazette
before cancellation takes effect. No such notices have been published. The
Presidential powers temporary provisions act allows cancellation but so far
this has not been done.
Ndlovu cannot cancel registration by means of a ministerial announcement. -
Workers in Zimbabwe are planning one of the biggest processions ever for May
Day in protest against the deepening economic crisis, deteriorating
purchasing power and crippling job losses.
The General Council of Zimbabwe's biggest labour federation, the Zimbabwe
Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), meets Saturday to iron out the finer
details of the protest action set for Workers Day (May 1), according to ZCTU
president Lovemore Matombo.
Details about the planned protest action are being kept secret since
organisers could be sent to jail for at least five years under current
legislation should their identities become known.
Labour sources said the latest action was a grass-roots initiative rather
than a formal stay-away action arranged by the labour unions last month.
"People are at a dead-end. They cannot go on any more. It is cheaper to stay
at home than to go to work every day," one of the organisers said on Monday.
The ZCTU is worried that the welfare of the worker is deteriorating by each
day, the country no longer had any currency to talk about except bearer
cheques - partly because of the astronomical inflation and partly because
people have withdrawn their savings from banks because of economic
uncertainties in the country.
Money and food are now being stockpiled in case the ongoing unrest
continues. Sources said the countrywide strike would probably become evident
in public and on the streets as services and food supplies finally collapse.
"There are fears that eventually the ruling rich and privileged will become
the targets of the hungry masses," said one of the organisers. "There is a
strange mood among the people: the silence before the storm. The one thing
everyone agrees on is that nobody will back off this time."
Matombo hinted that there would be music and cultural dances to mark May
Day. He declined to disclose the names of the artists fearing they could be
targets of harassment by the State. - Staff reporter
Angola Airlines has recently moved in big time to establish operations from
Harare to major international destinations, joining other regional airlines
cashing in on the ineptitude of Air Zimbabwe and placing themselves
strategically for the 2010 Soccer World Cup in South Africa.
Air Zimbabwe has continued to sink due to falling standards, huge
operational deficits and stiff competition coming from South African Airways
over the past years.
Kenya Airways has also been operating from Harare to several destinations.
Recently Angola Airlines moved in to launch several routes from Harare
International Airport. The company is on a massive marketing drive in the
region and internationally to sell their flights to regional destinations,
Europe, America and Asia.
"We are increasing our operations in the region. Harare is central and has
an internationally acclaimed airport. We are also preparing for the 2010
World Cup in South Africa," an official at Angola Airlines said in a
The airline is currently running advertisements in the local media marketing
its flights from Harare to almost all the major world destinations. On the
other hand, Air Zimbabwe still struggles to offset its international debts
risking its suspension by the International Air Travel Associations.
Now a pale shadow of the viable national airline it was at independence,
mis-governance and abuse by the Zanu (PF) government have destroyed the
airline. RBZ governor Gideon Gono last month made the startling revelation
that the airline was getting a weekly amount of up to US$600 million from
the central bank to enable it to keep going.
Confusion now reigns within government over its imposition of the Zimbabwe
National Water Authority (ZINWA) to take over water and sewage reticulation
services in cities following the rejection of the parastatal by parliament.
Both the House of Assembly and the Senate pronounced as "ill-advised" the
move by ZINWA to take over the reticulation services in Harare, Bulawayo,
Mutare, Gweru and other cities and towns following findings of a
parliamentary portfolio committee which concluded the utility lacked the
"ZINWA doesn't have the capacity to manage the huge task because it lacks
the resources. It is even failing to do its core duty of making water
availability and it was simply ill-advised for cabinet to approve the
take-over of water and sewage reticulation services in towns and cities by
ZINWA," the committee concluded.
Parliament called on government to reverse the ZINWA take-over but
investigations by The Zimbabwean revealed that senior government officials
among the beneficiaries of the ZINWA tenders were fighting hard to defy the
advice from parliament.
This paper reported last month that investigations had revealed Zanu (PF)
officials such as MP Leo Mugabe and Mcdonald Chapifika were set to benefit
through tenders to supply equipment, chemicals and services to ZINWA.
Sources within government this week said there were more senior officials
dipping their fingers into the same pie and working on blocking the reversal
of the ZINWA take over.
Local government minister Ignatius Chombo said that the response by
parliament had been considered by cabinet but claimed that other officials
still supported the take over.
Local authorities have bemoaned the take over by ZINWA, and said they feared
for the worsening of water and sewage reticulation problems. Several cities
have witnessed demonstrations from residents protesting against the move.
'Trail of Violence' report details opposition activities
The Zimbabwe Republic Police has recently released a document called "Trail
of Violence". It recounts in excruciating detail activities by
pro-democracy groups, clearly intending to portray "the opposition" as an
organised, violent, ruthless force aimed at destabilising the government.
It fits snugly into the government's own propaganda strategy. It's easy to
imagine how they'll roll it out at regional summits or in conversations with
the likes of South African President Thabo Mbeki. It's written to illustrate
that the Mugabe government is under threat, and that any restrictions on
civil liberties, human rights or freedom of movement are "measured and
necessary"-even if this includes beating activists, arresting them and
holding them indefinitely.
When I first heard about the ZRP Trail of Violence report, I was sceptical
if it was even a legitimate document. But seeing a link to it on the
Government of Zimbabwe Ministry of Home Affairs website gave me confidence
in its existence as a document genuinely produced by the government. But big
question marks still linger about its contents.
The report outlines the activities of "the opposition" in Zimbabwe in the
form of the Broad Alliance which it describes as including:
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) anti-Senate
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) pro-Senate
National Constitutional Assembly (NCA)
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU)
Crisis Coalition in Zimbabwe
Women/Men of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA/MOZA)
Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU)
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights
It claims that the agenda of these organisations is to "mobilise people for
regime change in Zimbabwe." The leaders of these "opposition forces have
been addressing numerous meetings across the country, drumming support for
anti-Government activities and civil disobedience." To prove this, they
chronicle rallies, public meetings and demonstrations which these groups
have put together.
It's hard not to laugh at the report's desperation. What awful things have
the Save Zimbabwe Campaign done? They've distributed flyers urging people to
clap, hoot and shout for a better Zimbabwe. What mischievousness is the MDC
up to? Well, they are holding rallies attended by thousands of people and
discussing the need for a new Constitution. They are marching through
Bulawayo with placards saying "Pay the Police" and "We demand Jobs."
From one perspective it's a record of an impressive array of pro-democracy
activities. Between the MDC, NCA, ZINASU, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition,
ZCTU, the Christian Alliance and WOZA, hundreds of people have attended
meetings or participated in demonstrations not only across Harare but in
Bulawayo, Masvingo, Mutare, Kadoma and Gweru as well. Unsurprisingly, given
that the ZRP wrote the report, a lot of attention is given to the alleged
beatings and petrol bomb attacks on police officers. None to the beatings of
opposition activists whilst in police custody, which have resulted in at
least 225 people needing medical attention in the past month are mentioned.
It sounds callous, but the pictures of the allegedly petrol bombed women
police officers aren't in the least convincing. If you've just survived
having a petrol bomb thrown into your home and your face and body are burnt
to the excruciating extent they're made to look, would you really be sitting
up in your hospital bed with a nurse giving you tea straight from the cup?
Wouldn't your lips be too sore to sip?
Outside of critique and incredulity, what can we learn from this document?
The report spends several pages detailing the different ambassadors who have
been seen in association with opposition activities. The Mugabe government
falsely believes Zimbabweans are incapable of organising resistance without
outside prompting or support. If the government is convinced of this, how
useful is the presence of these ambassadors at jails, hospitals, courts, and
rallies? What does it achieve, and at what cost?
Do any of the organisations which feature in the report have as thorough a
record of their own activities? What can we learn from this documentation,
and how can we use it to help enhance activities within and across civil
society organisations in the future to develop strategies and grow
Finally, one could read the report and get intimidated. It is 58 pages of
names and dates and locations and events. But this shouldn't come as a
surprise. Most pro-democracy activists and organisations in Zimbabwe are
aware of the potential for government surveillance, and the possibility of a
CIO agent in every meeting. Mugabe wouldn't be running a dictatorship if he
wasn't good at keeping tabs. Everyone knows this, but if activists are
becoming a bit lax, the report reminds us that Mugabe government's
surveillance activities are alive and well. - Kubatana.net
The ministerial decree banning Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and
ordering them to re-apply for re-registration is null and void at law and
will not distract NGOs from continuing their important work of meeting the
social, economic and political development needs of the people of Zimbabwe,
NGO representatives have said.
Information minister Sikhanyiso Ndlovu announced at a Zanu (PF) meeting in
Bulawayo last week that registration of NGOs under the Private Voluntary
Organisation (PVO) Act has been cancelled and all charities were expected to
re-apply because government was eager to sniff out all NGOs involved in
efforts to topple President Robert Mugabe from power.
"There is no legal basis to this whole thing," said a statement from Crisis
in Zimbabwe Coalition. "Section 10 of the Act allows the PVO Board to cancel
an individual NGO registration only for one of the grounds clearly listed in
this section. Before cancellation the Registrar of PVOs has to write to the
organisation to notify it of an intention to cancel its registration and to
allow it a reasonable opportunity of showing cause why the [registration]
certificate should not be cancelled."
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, which represents more than 50 NGOs, said for a
cancellation to take effect it has to be published in the Zimbabwe
"No cancellations have been published in recent issues of the Government
Gazette," said Crisis adding: "Any change in this position cannot be made
by ministerial announcement. It can only be changed by Act of Parliament."
It would, however, be possible for a change in the provisions of the PVO Act
to be made under the Presidential Powers (Temporary Provisions) Act. This
would allow President Mugabe to make temporary regulations affecting all
NGOs, but after six months these would lapse unless confirmed by Act of
None of these changes have been noted in all the Government Gazettes, so the
supposed ministerial ban is null and void, said Fambai Ngirande, the
spokesman of the National Association of NGOs (NANGO), an umbrella body
representing all NGOs in Zimbabwe.
"If anything the government of Zimbabwe should be announcing plans to ensure
a positive and enabling operating environment for NGOs to strengthen ongoing
efforts by NGOs to mitigate the prevailing crisis in Zimbabwe," he was
quoted. "We are amazed at how a government minister could possibly announce
to citizens in one of the hardest-hit drought areas in Zimbabwe that the
government would consider cutting off the lifeline that has been supporting
them in the absence of a coherent programme by government to meet the food
and social security needs of an obviously disadvantaged region," Ngirande
"We have not received any official communication from the responsible
ministry so we will not be distracted by utterances made by the minister
from the important work of meeting the social, economic and political
development needs of the people of Zimbabwe." - Staff reporter
The Zimbabwe Exiles Forum has expressed horror and disbelief at reports that
the ZRP held women naked in the cells following a WOZA demonstration against
electricity black outs
"These are the most recent human rights violations aimed at Zimbabwean women
whose only crime was to carry placards in protest against power outages. It
is someone's mother who spent hours naked in front of police officials and
other prisoners, some young enough to be her sons.
"The rights of women, the most vulnerable members of our society, are
continuously violated in soaring proportions, by the Zimbabwean government,
a country once known and admired for its national customary moral values.
This can only be an act of a paranoid government scared of its own shadow.
"ZEF pleads with other human rights organizations especially CEDAW to which
Zimbabwe acceded on 13 May 1991, to intervene in the plight of Zimbabwean
women, who are victims of the worst kind of cruel, inhumane and degrading
treatment," says the statement from ZEF. - Own correspondent
HARARE - The Zimbabwe government is broke amid reports foreign capital
coming in has virtually dried up due to a drawn-out tiff between government
and the international community, while domestic debt has skyrocketed to a
shocking Z$1 trillion.
The capital account - a summation of investments, aid and credit coming into
a country - is totally depleted as a result of the suspension of foreign aid
and development capital, coupled with unfavourable domestic and external
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe announced last week that government had a debt
of $1,283 trillion as at March 30, and of that amount, $903 billion was
interest that had accrued on loans advanced to the Zimbabwe government.
Hyperinflation had also contributed to the burgeoning government debt, which
in January was pegged at $175,6 billion.
Economists said there were fears that government would eventually fail to
meet its obligations such as imports of food, fuel, drugs and bankrolling
its civil service salary bill.
They said the state of the capital account when government debt was
ballooning was of particular concern. The capital account reflects the level
of confidence the international community has in a country.
The International Monetary Fund has revised its year-end inflation
projections from 4,000 percent to 5,000 by December.- Staff reporter
'Securing justice is a political necessity to combat a culture of impunity'
'Only true justice for the victims of such abuses will assuage their
longings for revenge through unlawful means'
The unprecedented scale and ferocity of state violence against civilian
opponents in Zimbabwe over the last few weeks, involving widespread and
systematic gross human rights abuses including torture, combined with a
fast-collapsing economy, strikes and a succession crisis in the ruling party
has led many to believe that the Mugabe regime is at 'tipping point' and we
are into the 'end game'.
However, in this 'heat of the moment' we should not allow ourselves to be
caught up in a political transition process, which could result in a fragile
future peace because of the denial of justice for past wrongs and the
persistence of a culture of impunity in the future.
Securing justice, to mean accountability and punishment for perpetrators on
the one hand, and redress for victims on the other, is not simply a moral
imperative. It is a political necessity to combat a culture of impunity
stretching unbroken from colonial times through the Smith regime and the
Gukurahundi violations in the Matabeleland and Midlands provinces in the
1980s to the current period of political violence and torture that began in
Only true justice will convey the hard message to present and future
generations that perpetrators of politically motivated acts of torture and
other gross human rights abuses will be held accountable and punished.
Equally, only true justice for the victims of such abuses will assuage their
longings for revenge through unlawful means, which would undermine peace and
security and fuel further cycles of violence.
For perpetrators of organised violence and torture in Zimbabwe to be held
accountable for their crimes, and for victims to receive redress, a
mechanism that reflects the country's particular circumstances must be
Most important here is that the views of all Zimbabweans, not just
politicians but victims, their families and civil society as a whole, must
be sought in finding a national process likely to deliver truth, justice and
an end to impunity. However, discussion of such a process appears to be
substituted by talk of amnesty for perpetrators, notably for Mugabe himself.
While amnesty may be politically expedient for contesting political parties
to facilitate a smooth transition in the name of reconciliation, it will not
deliver truth or justice.
Indeed, the 'imposed reconciliation' at Independence in place of
accountability and justice for crimes committed by the Rhodesian state was
fertile ground for Zanu (PF) to resurrect the twin colonial legacies of land
and race in 2000 as justification for its repression and retention of power
In any event, national amnesties do not exempt individuals from
international prosecution for gross human rights abuses such as torture. In
the words of the UN Human Rights Committee, "amnesties are generally
incompatible with the duty of States to investigate such acts; to guarantee
freedom from such acts within their jurisdiction; and to ensure that they do
not occur in the future. States may not deprive individuals of the right to
an effective remedy, including compensation and such full rehabilitation as
may be possible."
Failure to get justice at the national level for torture and other gross
human rights violations does not mean justice denied. The last decade has
seen remarkable developments in the machinery of international justice for
such abuses, including the establishment of the International Criminal Court
in 2002, the arrest of Chile's ex-President Pinochet in Britain in 1998, the
indictment of former African despots such as Foday Sankoh of Sierra Leone,
Charles Taylor of Liberia and Hissene Habre of Chad, and the setting up in
quick succession of international criminal tribunals for the former
Yugoslavia, Rwanda, East Timor and Sierra Leone and the stream of
indictments, trials and convictions under these tribunals.
Under the Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) no government
official is immune from "criminal responsibility" and "the crimes shall not
be subject to any statute of limitation". While Zimbabwe has not ratified
the Statute, ratification by a future government or a decision of the UN
Security Council means that those responsible for torture and like crimes in
Zimbabwe may well find themselves before the ICC or must live with this
prospect for the rest of their lives...and if they are fortunate enough to
avoid the ICC, the principle of universal jurisdiction may see them
In recent years many individuals responsible gross human rights violations,
from former heads of state down to ordinary 'foot soldiers' who 'just
followed orders', have been caught in the net of international justice..and
the guilty 'still at large' should know the net is there for them; fear of
which is why Idi Amin did not leave his asylum in Saudi Arabia, why Sharon
of Israel avoids travel to Europe and why Mengistu hides in Zimbabwe.
A gang of thugs, known as "magumaguma", who target Zimbabweans fleeing
political violence at home, have intensified attacks on the thousands who
cross the border daily.
Their numbers have increased significantly since the government crack-down
on perceived opponents during the past six weeks.
"When we get to Beitbridge, we are helped to cross the Limpopo river by a
league of young men who call themselves the 'Zim Side Supporters'. However,
when we were right in the middle of the river, we were suddenly by
confronted by the robbers who take whatever we are carrying," said Winnie
Mable, a young mother who had eventually made it safely to Pretoria.
She said the magumaguma often became violent. This reporter also spoke to
young man with a fresh gash on his head who had managed to fight off three
magumaguma and outrun them.
"I had more than R1000 which had taken more than a year to save while I was
still in Zimbabwe. There was no way I was going to give away my hard-earned
cash. I was suddenly overpowered by the survival instinct and we fought back
when they tried to rob us, but not before one of them hit me on the head
with a heavy metal rod," said Ignatious Ngwerume, showing his wound.
The Pretoria-based human rights organisation, the Zimbabwe Exiles Forum,
said it was deeply saddening that those fleeing the harsh political and
economic environment at home still had to contend with losing their money
and belongings to their own countrymen.
"But the culprit for this man-made economic and political economic disaster
is Robert Mugabe. We call on him to step down immediately for the purposes
of the restoration of democratic governance in Zimbabwe," said Gabriel
Shumba, ZEF Executive Director. - Nowell Marufu
BY MADOCK CHIVASA
The NCA believes in the cause of a new, democratic and people driven
constitution. All Zimbabweans must join the cause for a new constitution. It
is only with a new constitution that Zimbabweans can enjoy full freedom and
participate in elections that will be truly free and fair.
This is because the current constitution has a number of key flaws -
* too much power to the president. The president can use his sweeping powers
to subvert the people's electoral wishes. A new constitution will take away
such dangerous powers from an individual.
* a partial Electoral Supervisory Commission. For there to be a free and
fair electoral system, there is urgent need for a democratic constitution to
allow for the creation of an Independent Electoral Commission that can run
elections on an impartial basis.
* no guarantee of media freedom and diversity. A democratic constitution
will give room for media freedom and diversity in electoral coverage and
will not accommodate AIPPA.
* no freedom for political activity such as free campaigning and gives room
to laws like POSA.
* depriving the judiciary of independence in solving election disputes. A
people centred democratic constitution will guarantee the courts
independence and effectiveness in the settling of electoral disputes.
* a winner takes all electoral system that has resulted in a one-party
dictatorship. A democratic constitution will provide for proportional
representation in parliament so that the House can effectively represent the
interests of different social and political groups.
* a weak parliament. A democratic constitution will establish Parliament as
an institution representing people power and will accord parliament the
powers and status befitting a house of representatives elected by the
* a partisan police force that is among the perpetrators of violence. There
is need to define their role in any election.
When these issues are considered, it becomes clear that the conduct and
outcome of elections is largely centred on the country's broader
constitutional framework. In order to have meaningful and democratic
electoral reform in Zimbabwe, the broader constitutional question must first
be addressed. A democratic electoral system must have a democratic
constitution as its basis.
President Thabo Mbeki's mediation between MDC and Zanu (PF) is virtually
dead in the water following farcical pre-conditions set this week by Mugabe.
The aged dictator is insisting that MDC call off European Union and American
"sanctions" and acknowledge him as a legitimate leader before talks can take
Zanu (PF) spokesman, Nathan Shamuyarira confirmed the demands.
"There can't be talks with people who are calling for sanctions that are
affecting everyone in the country," he said. "We demand that they should
start by calling off sanctions by their sponsors in the West and acknowledge
the legitimacy of the president otherwise there can't be any talks. That is
the position we maintain to President Mbeki."
The hard-line stance by Mugabe is set to preclude any prospects of
meaningful dialogue between his party and the opposition, which has
submitted to Mbeki the need for Mugabe to accept constitutional and
electoral reforms ahead of next year's elections.
The opposition has also called on Mugabe to stop political repression, which
the aged leader has repeatedly defended, alleging the opposition had an
agenda to destabilize the country through terrorism. - Itai Dzamara
The warped monetary and fiscal policies being implemented by government and
the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe have forced many players in the exports sector
to halt operations, mainly due to the foreign exchange regimes highly
unfavourable to their operations.
The sector has shrunk by more than 60% over the past two years. Coupled
with other factors, this has led to the drying up of foreign currency
reserves at the RBZ, which recently led to the collapse of gold processing
The Export Processing Zone said in a statement that most players in the
sector were failing to stand the heat.
"Most exporters cannot keep in operation because of the foreign currency
exchange regimes especially the official exchange rate when compared to what
is on the parallel market. As a result, many have stopped operations and
there has been a huge reduction in the amount of income from exports," the
RBZ governor Gideon Gono has steadfastly refused to alter the official
exchange rates, which have been fixed for over a year now at Z$250 to US$1
despite the greenback trading on the parallel market at Z$20,000 to one.
Gono has brushed aside calls for devaluation arguing that it would worsen
the situation, which he blames largely on foreign currency dealers, who are
known to be ruling party fatcats.
BY IGNATIUS BANDA
Zimbabwe's burgeoning illegal mining activities have sucked in a most
unlikely aspiring entrepreneur: university students struggling to make ends
meet amid rising tuition fees and cost of living.
In the middle of the Central Business District in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's
second largest city and now home to a parallel economy that economists say
has become the sole source of foreign currency for local industrialists,
Tinashe Kudzani opens a small pouch to show stones which he confides are
In his final year at the local National University of Science and Technology
(NUST), a centre once celebrated as Zimbabwe's finest example of academic
excellence but now victim to the country's political and economic woes,
22-year-old Kudzani is one of many here who have failed to resist the lure
of instant riches.
Since the semester opened late February, NUST lecturers have twice gone on
strike demanding salary hikes. Sources say despite the stoppages, the
semester is not likely to be extended.
Kudzani - the student turned diamond peddler - says he now has different
ideas about how he has spent the last four years doing his studies here.
"It is tough my friend. I have to look after myself as I have no relatives
in this city," Kudzani said.
Samuel Ganyani, a social scientist at a teacher training college in
Bulawayo, says the economic crisis has bred a new kind of entrepreneur not
seen before the country's recession set in almost a decade ago.
"Not many university students want to pursue formal employment after
graduation. They now see opportunities elsewhere because today it is those
without any formal training who seem to be thriving in Zimbabwe," Ganyani
Economist Vincent Hove of the Zimbabwe Chamber of Commerce says the diamond
rush has turned many into a sector that has potential of netting millions of
US dollars as national income, but this has not happened because government
officials themselves are involved.
"It has become a free for all, and it is the small guys who fail to escape
the arm of the law," Hove said.
Global Witness, an international diamond trade watchdog says only a few
African countries have benefited from their diamonds reserves, and for
students like Tinashe Ganyani for whom education no longer offers lifetime
surety, these stones have offered him a chance to benefit from his country's
natural resources - albeit illegally.
President Robert Mugabe is said to have indicated that he will anoint
neither of the current aspiring candidates, Vice President Joice Mujuru and
minister Emmerson Mnangagwa if he wins next year's elections. Mugabe calmed
the storm that rocked Zanu (PF) recently over his controversial refusal to
step down a allow for the choosing of another candidate to contest next
year's elections by promising to step down after the elections, which he is
confident he will win, and appoint someone to take over.
However sources close to him told The Zimbabwean that Mugabe recently
indicated that he no longer trusted Mujuru or Mnangagwa and wanted to
appoint an entirely different person, without giving any pointers.
"He recently discussed with his advisers and close confidantes such as
Shamuyarira, who seem to be lining up to push their own agendas, and
indicated he was considering passing the baton to an entirely different
person," a source within the ruling party said.
Nathan Shamuyarira, who is the ruling party's spokesman said, "there is
nobody that should expect to take over unless the president himself makes an
announcement" when contacted for comment. A senior Zanu (PF) official
belonging to the Mujuru faction said Mugabe could now be favouring state
security minister, Didymus Mutasa. "He has lately endeared himself more to
Mutasa and John Nkomo but it is a foregone conclusion that the latter won't
be anointed his successor because of his tribal originations, leaving Mutasa
the likely successor in that case," the source said.
Mutasa, who has been getting kudos from the president for his brutal
crackdown on opposition-led protests, is perfectly positioned both in the
ruling party and government. He is the party's secretary for administration,
a very powerful position whilst also presiding over the party's election
campaign trump card, the land reform programme in addition to overseeing
state security issues in government.
Zimbabweans living in South Africa have created a Humanitarian Fund aimed at
assisting victims of police brutality as it is predicted the forthcoming
2008 Presidential election will be marked by bloodshed, massive arrests,
torture and illegal detention.
Announcing the fund, Zimbabwe Diaspora Civil Society Organisations Forum
vice chairman, Sox Chikohwero, who is also a victim of the Mugabe's regime,
said the fund would assist in purchasing medication, food and accommodation.
"I would like to appeal to all Zimbabwean individuals, civil society
ogranisations and churches in South Africa to donate in cash so that we
raise enough funds to assist those being terrorised by the police back home.
"We are more than three million Zimbabweans living in South Africa, and if
each one of us could donate one rand per month we would raise R3 million
(about Z$90 billion a month," he said.
The newly opened account is under the First National Bank (FNB) and with
account numbers: 621 329 186 26 Branch Code: 251105, Johannesburg.
Chikohwero said Zimbabweans living abroad were touched by the plight of
those who had been severely beaten by police. He said the victims could not
afford to purchase any medication. - CAJ News
President Robert Mugabe's private helicopter reportedly crashed towards the
end of February and sources say the aged leader plans to spend huge amounts
of foreign currency to purchase another one ahead of next year's elections
The Zimbabwean has spent the past three weeks investigating information
supplied by highly-placed sources that the president's white Cougar
helicopter crashed just outside Harare but without claiming any casualties.
It is reported that there were some injuries.
The wreckage of the helicopter was reportedly quickly cleared off the scene
after the crash caused by a technical fault. Efforts to confirm the physical
existence of the wreckage at an air base in Harare were in vain. But senior
officials at the Air base confirmed the helicopter crashed and the wreckage
had been hidden somewhere.
"It crashed just before the end of February whilst on a test run just
outside Harare and there was swift action to quickly remove the wreckage," a
source involved in the running of affairs at the base said. "The assessment
by technicians proved that it was a write-off but I am not in a position to
be aware of efforts to replace it."
A technician, also speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed that the
helicopter was a write-off following the crash. Other sources in government
said they had been wondering about the absence of the helicopter over the
past month or so.
Questions sent to Mugabe's offices a fortnight ago had not been responded to
by the time of going to press. Another source, close to Mugabe said that
the aged leader was working on getting another helicopter, but this time
through his friends in Asia due to the embargo on buying arms and equipment
from the EU.
"I am not aware of how much exactly he is likely to spend but can confirm
that he has been working on getting a replacement through some connections
in Asia," the source said.
Mugabe would have to spend up to US$2 million for another helicopter of
similar size and capacity to the previous one.
He needs the helicopter for his countrywide tours as he campaigns ahead of
next year's general and presidential elections, which he will contest having
bulldozed his way despite stiff resistance from sections of his party, Zanu
The Zimbabwe Netzwerk (e.V.) used Independence Day to stage a national day
of action in Germany under the slogan Save Zimbabwe. A huge balloon
depicting a cartoon of President Robert Mugabe was carried from Berlin
Brandenburg Gate to Potsdamer Square in the centre of the German capital.
Although the European Union, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the
lead, has increased targetted sanctions to press for the compliance with
human rights, brutal attacks against members of the opposition continue.
SHEREEN ESSOF, Zimbabwean feminist and revolutionary activist, speaks on the
fate of women in Zimbabwe. Currently based in Cape Town, she is known for
her role in the women's movement in Zimbabwe.
Women are always targeted. They are targeted differently depending on what
the political economic and social context is. Our society is deeply
patriarchal and misogynistic. During the liberation war, women's bodies were
used as part of the struggle. That struggle was by no means equitable.
In the 1980s when the state went into moral panic about the freedoms women
had gained after independence they targeted 'women as prostitutes' in
something known as Operation Clean Up where any women out after 6pm was
arrested. Now 27 years later, women are being targeted for being women and
political activists. The violence is sexualised, that is why they can be
called 'Tsvangirai's whores'.
Gender-based violence against women is more acute where, as in Zimbabwe,
traditionalist patriarchal values persist. This is not only due to a value
system which treats women as being in some way lesser people than men, and
thus not worthy of the protection of the law. It also arises directly from a
certain proprietal attitude.
As male 'property' women are not treated as actors in their own right. Hence
the epithet 'Tsvangirai's whores' directed at female members of the
opposition by state agents and Zanu (PF) supporters, implying that they are
merely acting on behalf of a man, motivated by considerations other than
their own desire for change or political activism.
Furthermore, sexual violence perpetrated upon women is perceived not so much
as an assault on the woman herself, but an attack on the 'property' of the
'owning' male. Combined with traditionalist attitudes towards sexuality and
virginity, there is a perception that sexual violence perpetrated upon women
members of the opposition is viewed by the perpetrator as a particularly
effective way of attacking and humiliating male members of the opposition.
The resultant social disruption is extensive.
Gukurahundi was an early example of the extent to which Zanu (PF) would go
to in order to stifle dissent and opposition. As Yvonne Vera's Stone Virgins
testifies, it was played out across women's bodies in very particular ways:
rape, brutality, the ripping apart of women, of people and families and
communities. Gukurahundi is part of the same continuum that leads us to the
recent beatings of opposition activists by state agents.
Operation Murambatsvina is another example. The majority of people in the
front-line of feeling and dealing with the effects of that were women and it
saw the displacement of an estimated 700 000 people.
Women and children are the most common victims in situations where organised
violence and torture become prevalent and are frequently the first victims
in civil conflict. They are also the most greatly affected in cases of
The state has never had the interests of women at heart. Women have actually
never been considered full citizens of Zimbabwe. They are only considered
citizens when the state has something to gain. For example, in March 2007
the state held a celebration for international women's day under the theme
of 'stop violence against women', on the grounds that they had passed a
domestic violence bill. This is interesting, given that at the exact same
time you had women being detained and tortured by the very same state.
What needs to be happening now is the building of a mass movement, linking
the struggles by women, workers, residents, traders, Aids activists,
students, disability rights activists, debt cancellation activists, the
rural poor to start defining the content of the change we want. That means a
movement that fights for a new political, economic and social order.
BY TICHAONA SIBANDA
Next year's presidential and parliamentary elections are bound to leave
President Robert Mugabe diminished as a leader. The word abroad is that
'Gushungo' is on the defensive and has taken a knock. Enemies will be
encouraged. Friends will take cover.
So I was not surprised to learn that the Zimbabwe Election Commission was
planning to keep Gushungu from sinking by denying millions of Zimbabweans
living in exile the right to cast their ballots. I don't believe in planners
and deciders making the decisions on behalf of Zimbabweans. But this is a
rising tide that nobody can hold back. Even as the country's security forces
are fighting freedom with all their cruelty because freedom is their
greatest fear, they should be afraid, because freedom is on the march in
What makes Zanu (PF) think the MDC cannot win the election without the 3
million plus votes from outside? As Martin Luther King once said; 'Injustice
anywhere is a threat to Justice everywhere.
Every citizen has a right to vote for a candidate of his or her choice. If
the 2008 election is to be considered free and fair by all, Zimbabweans in
the diaspora should participate and vote as Zimbabwean citizens. The power
of any democratic government lies with its citizens. It is therefore a
constitutional right for all citizens to exercise that power.
One of the fundamental and most important ways to wield power over
government officials and policies is to vote. If the right to vote is
denied, democracy then becomes meaningless. It would be a shame on any
Zimbabwean for that matter to argue this issue with fellow Zimbabweans or
with those in the Southern African Development Community.
Participation of Zimbabwean diasporans in the political process of their
country is long overdue and must take place starting with next year's
elections. Denying a vote to Zimbabweans in the diaspora is not only denying
them from exercising their civic duties, but I believe this also constitutes
a human right violation.
I therefore urge all political parties, Zanu (PF) included to work on this
issue very seriously. Elections are all about people's choices in
determining how the affairs of their nations should be run. That is why
people deserve the right to choose their representatives. People should
therefore be allowed to vote freely for a candidate of their choice without
I am privileged to have been exposed to the mechanisms of democracy in my 5
years living in exile. It's a marvel following events during an election
period. Everyone understands that all citizens have the same rights and no
one citizen has more legal privileges than the other.
Similarly, law enforcement officials have an important role in the
maintenance of peace at all times especially at elections when the truth of
law, justice, democracy, and fairness are all at the test. It is their role
to ensure that people are law abiding, including them. This would allow all
Zimbabweans to select a government through a ballot box than through the
barrel of a gun.
Patrick Kombayi, one of the leaders of the movement that fought the
liberation war and later became the first black mayor of Gweru believes his
former teacher President Robert Mugabe was corrupted by absolute power. He
also blames the people of Zimbabwe collectively for the current problems
bedevilling the country. He speaks to our special correspondent.
SC-On March 24, 1990 you survived an assassination attempt by two CIO
officers, Alias Kanengoni and Kizito Chivamba, who were sentenced to seven
years in imprisonment but then pardoned by Mugabe through the use of
Presidential powers of clemency. What is your view of the powers Mugabe
wields under the current constitution?
PK- Mugabe and I never saw eye to eye again from the moment I said we had to
give it to a people's congress to elect the leader of ZANU whilst he wanted
to grab the position. Then came the elections of 1990 where I stood against
his handpicked Vice President, Simon Muzenda and before which I was almost
killed by the CIO people. I wasn't surprised by the pardon knowing Mugabe as
I do. He wanted me eliminated. He allowed the election to be held in the
constituency despite me fighting for my life in a Bulawayo hospital. If it
was in progressive democratic countries, the election could have been
postponed. Despite that, I won. The people who were counting the votes
called me straight from the command centre to congratulate me. However,
Tobaiwa Mudede when announcing his own version of results gave my 14 000
votes to Muzenda and gave me his 8000 votes, 2000 of which he claimed had
come from postal votes by army members fighting in Mozambique. He failed to
justify such a shocking claim when I challenged it.
SC-What role do you think your ZUM party played in moulding Zimbabwe's
current so-called multi-party democracy?
PK-We definitely managed to stop the system of one-party-state. We didn't
form ZUM because we wanted to rule at the time. We knew Mugabe was still
popular and had not yet made many mistakes as is the case now. Even when we
formed the Forum party, the main purpose was to stop the one-party-state
Having experienced Kaunda and Nyerere failing with the one-party-state
system we decided with some international cooperation from some Front Line
leaders to form ZUM and FORUM.
SC-You were the first black Mayor in post-independent Zimbabwe. What is your
view of local governance in Zimbabwe at the moment?
PK-It is no longer local governance. It is now Mugabe's type of rule where
the people that were democratically elected into the local councils kicked
out to be replaced by appointed commissions.
But consider this: Sekesai Makwavarara leading the Harare Commission after
the ouster of Elias Mudzuri quit the liberation movement together with
Nathan Shamuyarira to form FROLIZI. Ignatius Chombo, who is orchestrating
all this chaos, was also a member of FROLIZI. He is picking his former
FROLIZI colleagues to fill the commissions.
SC-You worked closely with Mugabe during the liberation struggle in Zambia.
Do you think he still remembers the reasons you went to war for?
PK-Yes, he still remembers. The only problem is that he is a politician with
hunger for power. He got absolute power, which corrupt absolutely. But I
don't blame him alone because we the people of Zimbabwe have contributed to
Let me cite some few examples. He sent soldiers to Mozambique without
approval from parliament. We don't even know how much was spent there, even
the number of casualties. We remained quiet.
He did the same with the war in the DRC, where my brother Col Kufa died and
the story was the same. Zimbabweans didn't do or say anything.
When we got independence we received a lot of money such as that from
ZIMCORD. We don't even know how much it was, only Mugabe and Chidzero did
and the account is still private to Mugabe. We never questioned.
Even the money which came from Britain for de-mobilisation of our army
members was never accounted for. There was looting of state funds by ZANU PF
as a party as well as money from NSSA and ZIMDEF without us questioning and
that is why I blame the people of Zimbabwe.
SC-You are now MDC secretary for Gweru. Do you think the MDC has the
intellectual clarity and gravitas to form the next government?
PK-If intellectual abilities are what determined the capacity to provide
good leadership, then the MDC has the right material because there are many
intellectuals in the party. But in my view, it is not merely academic power
that matters in leadership but the need for good policies, which the MDC has
as well. The leadership of the MDC is very capable of implementing these
policies. I am confident because we work as a team in the party, guided by a
SC-Founding Zanu (PF) secretary general Edgar Tekere has just published an
autobiography claiming Mugabe was a reluctant recruit into the liberation
struggle. How accurate is Tekere's narration of events?
PK-Very accurate. Remember it was Tekere, Eddison Zvobgo, Enos Nkala, Morris
Nyagumbo, Rex Nhongo, Herbert Ushewokunze and sometimes myself who could
manage to stand up to Mugabe and tell him the truth after he had made
himself very powerful in Zanu. Hence all of us became his enemies. I
remember Nkala saying 'khati hau madoda uMugabe ufuna ukusiyenza abafasi
bakhe yini? (Mugabe wants all of us to be his wives).'
Zimbabwean police officers got surprise salary adjustments this month to
mollify them in the face of rising political tensions.
The salary adjustments for the security forces are efforts to calm
discontent among junior officers who have not been spared from the harsh
effects of Zimbabwe's unprecedented economic meltdown.
But police officers are now required to work seven days a week and leave
applications are reportedly being denied.
Police sources say the force is now on constant standby and authorized to
use live ammunition in response to public violence.
Home Affairs Minister, Kembo Mohadi and Wayne Bvudzijena, the police
information officer, refused to comment.
This follows reports that about 2500 Angolan paramilitary police, feared in
their own country for their brutality, are to be deployed to boost the
police force. But the government denies the allegations saying they are in
the country for an exchange programme. - CAJ News