'More Fire' turns blue as chefs
THE much publicised Independence Gala, dubbed "More Fire" after
the Zanu PF
slogan, turned out to be just what many had anticipated - more
Elliot Manyika, minister-turned-crooner, put on a dismal
Instead of singing, he drawled. Bryan Mteki's attempts to cover
up for him
only worsened the matter.
Manyika's performance led people
to ask if he had genuinely recorded the
song, Nora, in the first place
without some help from the dubbing
department. The video version is fine. So
what accounted for the minister's
inability to repeat the performance
Stage fright could have been a factor. But things didn't get any
next day when he sang it unaccompanied at a party to thank Zanu PF
for voting for the sole ruling party councillor in Harare, Hubert
We hope the minister will practise his vocal skills so he can team
Koffi Olomide to campaign for Kabila next year in the
Saviour Kasukuwere, the MP for Mt Darwin, shocked many people - even
rent-a-crowd which he hired - when he paid $200 000 to Last Chiangwa,
Tambaoga, for the thoroughly disgusting song, Agirimendi, in which
musician poured scorn on Tony Blair.
No prizes for guessing who
inspired this fortune-seeker. The song's lyrics
went as follows: "The only
Blair that I know is a toilet."
But this wasn't the limit to his talent.
Tambaoga went further in another
song using words that are best left in the
For an MP to pay that amount for a repeat performance of a song
not rise above obscenities is a mockery to thousands of
to death as a result of Zanu PF's abuse of
Think what you like of Tony Blair, he didn't have to kill anybody
to stay in
office. Nor are his people starving.
While Manyika sang his
way to the top, Kasukuwere wants to do it on the
dance floor in the style of
a former Information minister. His antics though
did not amuse anyone as his
performance was distinctly lacklustre.
Kasukuwere's exertions and those
of his foul-mouthed songster were beamed
live into people's homes by ZTV at
prime viewing time when children were
watching. Where's Tafataona Mahoso and
his ethics committee when we need
Nazi propaganda minister Josef
Goebbels believed that a lie repeated often
enough quickly secured a purchase
on the public mind. Zanu PF has
successfully adopted this approach in its
propaganda offensive on land.
In a speech to mark Independence Day in
Pretoria, High Commissioner SK Moyo
was reported to have said "a situation
where 1% of the population, which
happens to be white, continues to own 70%
of all fertile and arable land is
At least he didn't
suggest, as other government spokesmen do, that whites
own 70% of all land in
Zimbabwe. He qualified it by specifying "all fertile
and arable" land. But
while that may have been partly true (it ignores the
state's own vast
holdings) two years ago, it certainly isn't true today when
90% of commercial
farmers have seen their land designated or seized by Zanu
PF gangs. Today,
70% of the country's best arable land is in the possession
of the government
and its supporters.
While some of that land has been allocated to peasant
farmers and A2
recipients, much has been arbitrarily seized by chefs. Every
day we read of
new depredations by ministers, police chiefs, security
personnel and other
well-connected officials of the Zanu PF
The South African public needs to be told these facts so they
our diplomats abroad to continue getting away with false claims.
happening in Zimbabwe is pure theft accompanied by threats of
In addition to the human victims of this
lawlessness - the farmers, their
families and their workers - there is
another casualty. Forty percent of the
country's wildlife has been destroyed,
it is estimated, and with it
irreplaceable habitat lost as a result of tree
felling and grass burning.
That will impact on tourism. Everywhere, Zanu PF
has created a desert where
once there was life.
Zimbabwe Lawyers for
Human Rights recently published a full-page statement
in this newspaper
setting out their conclusions on the various court cases
that were heard on
issues relating to citizenship and the vote. The
statement noted Justice
Adam's ruling extending the deadline for
renunciation of foreign citizenship
to August 6 and declaring that
Zimbabwean citizens by birth do not have to
renounce a potential foreign
citizenship unless they actually hold the said
foreign citizenship. This was
in line with another ruling by Justice
ZLHR says the logic of Justice Adam's ruling could be applied
those Zimbabweans who were born in a foreign country but have lost
foreign citizenship by operation of the law when they acquired
citizenship. ZLHR points out that the RG's office has subsequently
that those Zimbabwean citizens who do not hold a foreign citizenship
not lose their entitlement to vote simply because they did not
entitlement to a foreign citizenship.
But people are still
being denied passports and even birth certificates for
their children on the
grounds they have not renounced their entitlement to
ZLHR notes. Such people are being asked to reapply for
on payment of $25 000 and are told they will have to
"It is our opinion," ZLHR says, "that the case law indicates that
action is incorrect and that a logical interpretation of the Citizenship
as amended is that unless you actually hold a foreign citizenship you
lose your Zimbabwean citizenship. We feel the error should be
voluntarily by the Registrar-General's Office…"
conclusions have enormous ramifications. Justice Adam's ruling has
suspended while the state appeals. But if his ruling stands it will
RG's office has wrongly obliged thousands of people to go through
arbitrary, confusing and hugely inconvenient process on the basis of
deficient interpretation of the law. The consequences for many could
"catastrophic", ZLHR points out.
That will provide all those
concerned with no option but to seek civil
redress against the RG. The state
is currently mobilising the dubious Access
to Information Act against the
Daily News over its coverage of the RG's
handling of the electoral process.
If the chance arises for the public to
secure some measure of justice for the
way they have been treated by an
arbitrary and partisan manipulation of the
law by state officials, they
should seize it.
What ranks do Robert
Mugabe Jnr and his little brother Chatunga hold in the
Police? They were shown on the front page of the Herald
decked out in their
uniforms for the Independence Day ceremony at the
National Sports Stadium.
The Herald's reporter described them as
"resplendent in police
No doubt we will be told that this was a harmless indulgence of
significance; that the "First Family" have no military ambitions for
offspring; that we are not about to be arrested by little
But their father has shown a marked reluctance of late to
reins of office despite 22 years of failure. Indeed, he
regards the recent
presidential poll, plagued by coercion and manipulation,
as a mandate to go
on misgoverning the country for another six
The succession is a taboo topic among his followers. Nobody is
mention the "S" word. So when we see his kids dressed as police
can perhaps better appreciate the stance by the security forces
when they said they would salute no other candidate.
a dynasty in the making? And should those who thought the top job
to them in the fullness of time worry about their prospects?
much-mocked comment in 1996 that "Mugabe is our king" may
We were sorry to hear that the Independence Flame went out yet
last Thursday's ceremony. It has suffered the indignity of going
number of times in the past. Readers may recall the various attempts to
it alive after its inaugural appearance at Rufaro Stadium in 1980.
were various experiments with gas cylinders. Then it was parked by
toposcope on the Kopje where, flameless, it was guarded by police. But
didn't prevent the toposcope itself falling victim to crime and
Perhaps it is symbolic that the flickering flame has become a
witness to the
sort of environmental decay Zimbabwe as a nation is
Mugabe could of course have kept it alight by breathing on it.
other temporary gaseous expedient was no doubt adopted that saw it
for a few moments before being returned to the Kopje, flameless
forgotten for another year.
We hate, by the way, to deprive Herald
writers of their illusions, but the
Kopje was not "where the Pioneer Column
hoisted the Union Jack more than a
century ago". If Elton Dzikiti looks out
his office window he will see the
spot. It is marked by a
The NGO, Women and Law in Southern Africa, need to be warned
that they are
in danger of sowing the seeds of division when they invite
their book launches and let them abuse their hospitality by
Patrick Chinamasa used the launch of of WLSA's
latest publication to
threaten legislative intervention to ensure NGOs
conformed to Zanu PF's
self-serving view of patriotism.
The last time
the government introduced a law of this sort it was thrown out
by the courts.
Did WLSA members take up Chinamasa's claim that government
guide NGOs and ask him whether that included lawlessness,
policies that pauperise women?
We were however interested to see
Chinamasa this week saying he could not
yet respond to the Law Society's
comments on the independence of the
judiciary because he had not been
officially notified of them. But that
hadn't prevented Information minister
Jonathan Moyo from making what the
Legal Resources Foundation called "abusive
and intemperate attacks" on Law
Society president Sternford Moyo for
reflecting the concerns of legal
practioners that the government was packing
the Supreme Court with its
"Unelected" Minister Moyo
threatened to amend the Law Society's governing
statute in remarks which the
LRF said reflected his "unfortunate tendency to
statements with which he disagrees".
So why does Chinamasa need to
comment? Is he not aware that Moyo speaks for
him - and for the Home Affairs
minister, the Foreign Affairs minister, the
Attorney-General, the police and
just about everybody else?
In fact, do we need ministers when Moyo is
trespassing on everybody else's
patch? Perhaps Chinamasa could tell
Leading Zanu PF "academic and social commentator" Chris Mutsvanga had
brush up on his maths before he next goes on ZTV.
On Sunday he
proved that he is an academic from the University of Outer
Space. He claimed
that Harare's budget was bigger than Malawi's.
Does he have any idea what
he's talking about? Or is it possible to get away
with this sort of nonsense
without any challenge on ZTV nowadays?
Perhaps he is confusing Malawi's
budget with the money his wife Monica spent
trying to get elected as a city
Has anybody heard of Africa Strategy, claiming to be a
group? Its director, David Nyekorach-Matsanga, claims the
Observer Group's head, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, told him he
betrayed by the Commonwealth team and that their report was not the
Abubakar had been under "immense pressure", we are
told, to produce a
"doctored document". Needless to say, Abubakar has said no
such thing to
The image of the Commonwealth had been
dented, Africa Strategy alleges, by
the chairmanship of Abubakar, "a former
Nigerian dictator who detests
democratic elections anywhere on
Other allegations include the Commonwealth Observer Group sharing
facilities with the MDC at Meikles and womanising.
that "the male staff of the Commonwealth were engaged in heavy
with most South African women journalists who had been
enlisted by the MDC as
Really scientific stuff this!
methodology did Africa Strategy use to test the air during the
Matsanga and his friends wore Zanu PF T-shirts to an MDC rally and
have been lynched" had they not produced their accreditation cards.
question: For how long had Matsanga and his associates been wearing
Zanu PF T-shirts?
Elusive Ben-Menashe flip-flops over trial
CANADIAN businessman and lobbyist for the government of Zimbabwe,
Ben-Menashe, has continued to send mixed signals this week over his role
the pending treason trial of Movement for Democratic Change leader
Ben-Menashe, a master schemer, said in an
interview with the Independent
last week that he no longer had anything to do
with the case.
"We no longer have anything to do with the MDC and Morgan
case," he said last Thursday.
"We have nothing to do with
In a subsequent interview with Georgina Godwin of SW
Africa Radio on
Friday - monitored by the Media Monitoring Project - he
confirmed that he
was no longer involved in the treason case. Excerpts from
the transcript of
the interview read as follows:
Ben-Menashe I understand that you are saying that you are no
in the Morgan Tsvangirai treason case?"
Godwin: "But I understand that you were to appear as Zanu
Ben-Menashe: "I'm not...I don't work for Zanu
Godwin: "But I understand you were to appear as a witness at the
what has changed?"
Ben-Menashe: "You see, I really don't want
to discuss any of this...it's
all, you know...you know it's before the courts
and let them decide whatever
Godwin: "But will you be
appearing for the prosecution?"
Ben-Menashe: "I really don't want to
discuss our position because, I mean we
really did not have any contact with
the Zimbabwe government about this
subsequently told Canadian newspapers he was not
astonished to read the article concerning myself, and the comments I
alleged to have made regarding the treason charges against Morgan
in Zimbabwe," he told the Toronto Globe & Mail in a
"Because Mr Tsvangirai has been formally indicted for high
because members of this firm might be required as witnesses with
certain evidence against him, we believe it would be
inappropriate, so long
as the matter is sub judice, for myself or any member
of our firm to comment
on the case.
"The comments attributed to me
in the attached article do not reflect my
views," he said.
told the Ottawa Citizen: "I did not pull out."
Ben-Menashe told the
Independent last Thursday he had signed a contract with
the government to do
some lobbying work.
Asked by SW Africa Radio what this entailed, he
said: "Doing lobbying work
Godwin: "Do you think that either
yourselves or Zanu PF have any credibility
left either in Zimbabwe or
Ben-Menashe: "Why are you being so nasty about
Godwin: "Well I'm not nasty at all. I'm just asking you the
question. Do you
think that is the case?"
Ben-Menashe: "I don't
question... answer, the question, you know, I ...In
Africa, at least African
people think that certain things were done right."
Godwin: "And what
things would those be?"
Ben-Menashe declined to say anything further to the Independent,
his formal statement to the Canadian press.
"We have released a statement
on the issue. That's the furthest we can
Royal Canadian Mounted Police, who are investigating whether
any crime has
been committed in Canada in connection with the alleged
treason plot, said
yesterday they were still verifying the authenticity of
"At this point the issue remains as allegations," RCMP
spokesman, Richard Huard, said. "We are still verifying
allegations are true or not before committing ourselves to
Huard said the RCMP would consider the context of
Zimbabwean politics and
the people involved.
Zanu PF militias loot MDC members' Bindura
THE Zanu PF militia which had invaded homes
belonging to members of the
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in Bindura
and turned some into torture
camps, have finally moved out after the
intervention of the courts. But they
left a trail of destruction in their
wake, the Zimbabwe Independent has
The saga still
continues, though, as the owners are now afraid to go back
since the militia
is still on the prowl openly threatening to kill them.
The militia has
now moved to Tendai Hall, just a kilometre away from some of
The Independent this week visited Bindura with members of the
families and found their homes cleaned-out of all
Some of the ringleaders were milling around, sporting Zanu PF
T-shirts. The militiamen openly boasted that there was nothing the
could do to them.
"Those who vote for the MDC must relocate
to Harare from Mashonaland
Central," said one youth standing outside
Abedinico Chikuvanyanga's house.
Chikuvanyanga is one of the
"We are going to deal with you decisively. Come and
surrender your party
cards at our camp and you may stay here," the youth
The militia first occupied homes in Bindura at the time of the
parliamentary election. Property worth millions of dollars was
Sofas, tables, beds, wardrobes and any wooden furniture were
or turned into firewood by the militia.
The roofs to
all the six houses were destroyed, windows shattered and wooden
The houses now resemble those of a ghost town, with
the outside grass
growing wild. The MDC members broke into tears as this sad
them. All their clothes were stolen. Household property
televisions, refrigerators, stoves and other electrical
items were missing
from their homes.
"We are trying to assess the
damage and I have thus instructed the families
to compile a list of what they
lost," said Shepherd Mushonga, the lawyer
"We will then go to the police and press theft and malicious
property charges. We may even go to the civil court as well. We
recover a few items," said Mushonga.
Four of the affected
families, all from Chiwaridzo Township, have so far
managed to get quotations
for the damages to their homes.
Godfrey Mumbamarwo's house will cost $960
000 to repair while that of
Chikuvanyanga is estimated to cost $105
Joyce Dokotera's bill runs to $972 241 and that of Andreat
Mhunza is $176
588. The other two, Transwell Koti and Clemence Masawi, are
Chikuvanyanga and Masawi got "their"
electricity bill from Zesa.
Chikuvanyanga's is $6 465 for the four months the
house was occupied.
Masawi's bill is $7 729 for the same period and he is the
only one who
managed to get a rental bill ($9 528) from Bindura Town Council.
were just left lying on the floor.
Children of all the
affected families have not been able to attend school
since the homes were
The MDC had to seek the intervention of the courts after
the ZRP refused to
assist their members. Police spokesperson, Chief Inspector
told the Independent earlier this year that they could not
act because it
was an "ownership wrangle".
Lawrence Malimbiza last week ordered the militia to move
out of the houses.
He ordered members of the Criminal Investigation
Department in Bindura to
accompany the Messenger of Court to carry out the
evictions and ensure the
safe return of the owners. They were given 48 hours
to vacate the
Hands off invaded farms, chefs tell
Blessing Zulu/Loughty Dube
SENIOR Zanu PF officials have
instructed police not to get involved in cases
where farmers are being
stripped of their land and property, the Zimbabwe
The Commercial Farmers Union claims that Matabeleland South
Nkomo, Beitbridge MP Kembo Mohadi, and the District
Beitbridge Eddison Mbedzi addressed police officers at the
station and other provincial stations and warned them not
to intervene in
events that were politically driven.
addressed Beitbridge police officers and it is said they told the
to intervene in events that were politically motivated, including
eviction of farmers," the CFU said this week.
"Several reports from
other areas around the country also indicate that
police reaction only occurs
after authorisation from district
administrators, local government officials
who report to the provincial
In Mashonaland West province,
farmers had resolved to move their equipment
to secure places but this could
not be done.
"Our equipment was being looted and we decided to move
it to a secure place
in Chinhoyi, but the officials forcibly seized it," said
Chalain, a farmer in the province.
The move to seize
the property involved senior government officials in
"Those who came to collect our equipment included
administrator, the district administrator and two members from
Republic Police," de Chalain said.
vehicles were being used in the latest exercise.
"These officials loaded
about 400 irrigation pipes into government vehicles.
They also seized a Vicon
fertiliser and wheat spreader. The lorries used to
ferry the pipes were
government vehicles with registration numbers GLM 2357
and GLM 2796. The
tractor, which carried the Vicon spreader, was from the
Fund and the registration number is 739-586x. We do not
know where the
equipment was taken to," said de Chalain.
CFU spokesperson Jenni
Williams said there was confusion on the farms.
"As at April 17, the net
listed farms were 5 069 representing 10 198 174
"Throughout the country 449 farms, which translates to
about 854 505
hectares, were delisted and 342 farms which is 770 487 hectares
"The amount of farms relisted has dramatically
increased by 291 from 51
farms reflected at the beginning of March to 342
farms in this update," she
Several top Zanu PF officials
have already been reportedly involved in
Marondera West MP, Retired Brigadier Ambrose Mutinhiri,
equipment valued at $400 million from Waltondale Farm,
according to reports.
Retired army general Solomon Mujuru allegedly auctioned
farm equipment worth
$40 million at Alamein Farm under the guise of providing
to farm workers.
Police spokesman Wayne
Bvudzijena, however, said police have always
intervened in political cases
but it was the CFU that was creating alarm
"Police have investigated political cases and a
good example is the Cain
Nkala case that we are still pursuing but the CFU
has certain interests that
they are trying to protect by portraying the
police in the eyes of the
public as ineffective," he said.
Farm seizures cost Zim $72b
ZIMBABWE is set to lose $72 billion this year in gross domestic
(GDP) as government proceeds to seize all remaining white- owned
President Robert Mugabe has said Zimbabwe's economic recovery hinges
agrarian revolution but the implementation of the land reform
failed to guarantee continuity in production levels, instead
food security and foreign currency earnings.
a GDP of $488 billion and, before the orgy of farm invasions
years ago, the contribution of commercial farm production
Acting Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) president Doug
Taylor-Fremme this week
said if, as anticipated, 90% of farmers stopped
farming, $72 billion (or 14%
of GDP) would be lost.
He said last
year Zimbabwe exported goods worth US$2 billion in which the
farming sector contributed US$765 million or 38% of the total
With 90% of the farmers expected to cease production, at
least US$689 million
in foreign currency will be lost.
In the livestock category, the
commercial farming sector produces 80% of the
export beef, contributes 95% of
pork and pork products, 99% of ostriches,
90% of dairy and 100% of chicken
including foundation stock to the country's
crops it contributes 90% of tobacco, 95% of tea, 99% of coffee, 97% of
and 90% of paprika, while in the cereals category it contributes 95%
beans, 90% of wheat, and 95% of barley. It currently provides 90% of
Apart from heavy losses to foreign currency
reserves, economists have said
the demise of commercial agriculture would
trigger a serious social crisis
stemming from unemployment.
commercial farming sector employed more than 350 000 workers with an
wage bill of $15,1 billion as of January 2000. The appropriation
commercial farmland has resulted in retrenchments of 90% of the
which translates to the loss of $13,6 billion spending power due
lay-offs resulting from farm occupations.
mean that the government has to spend more on welfare.
Economists say at
least 60% of Zimbabwe's total population could soon be on
welfare due to crop
failure induced by drought and stalled production.
Robertson said GDP shrunk significantly in all sectors over
the past two
years and is expected to shrink further if the current damaging
policies are pursued.
"GDP shrunk by 4,5% in the year 2000 and 7,5%
in 2001 despite the fact that
weather conditions were favourable in the two
years. It is forecast to
shrink by between 10% to 12% this year mainly
because of farm invasions but
the inter-linkages of all sectors would result
in further decline," he said.
Another economist who requested anonymity
said the crisis which Zimbabwe
faced was a result of inappropriate
macro-economic policies resulting in
investors and donors shunning the
country, hence the dramatic shrinkage of
"In the past GDP
used to have a positive relationship with good rains but
since 2000 it has
been shrinking which makes us question the policies at
"The food shortages are not a result of this year's drought but
from the prevailing political atmosphere."
He said the
country was set to plunge into an even worse crisis if
such as restoration of investor confidence, reducing
uncertainties and risks,
restoration of the rule of law and the preservation
of property rights were
"There is a high possibility that by next year there
won't be any export of
agricultural products, including the main foreign
currency earner tobacco,
if government goes ahead and designates the
remaining commercial farms," he
Zanu-PF faces huge claims
New York - A United States
Federal Court has found Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF
party liable for human
These include beatings, torture, intimidation and
extra-judicial killings in
the run-up to the country's June 2000
The case, to be heard in Manhattan in New York
City, offers a unique,
potentially precedent-setting finding of liability
against a foreign
political party for human rights
According to one of the American lawyers working on the case:
prior judgments, we believe that very substantial damages, in the
millions of US dollars, are warranted."
The amount of the
award, however, sits with the judge who will decide on the
basis of written
submissions from the plaintiffs and live testimony which
will be presented on
Several plaintiffs will be present
in the US district courthouse to give
first-hand testimony about the
human-rights abuses they suffered and saw.
The plaintiffs testifying on
April 25 include family members of individuals
who were attacked, beaten,
tortured and killed by Zanu-PF.
Witnesses include Adella Chiminya, whose
husband was doused with fuel and
burned in the run-up to the parliamentary
election in June 2000; Elliot
Pfebve, executive committee member of the MDC
(Movement for Democratic
Change) who stood as a candidate opposing Zanu-PF in
the same election and
whose brother was assassinated by Zanu-PF supporters in
a case of mistaken
identity; and Sanderson Makombe, a witness to
The witnesses will describe their personal experiences and the
campaign of terror designed to intimidate all of Zanu-PF's
opposition through harassment, physical attacks, and the
Zanu-PF failed to appear before
The district court for the Southern District of New York has
an order of default judgment against Zanu-PF for its failure
before the court and contest the allegations of gross and
violations of the rights of the citizens of Zimbabwe.
that remains is for the plaintiffs to provide evidence as to the extent
the abuses and for the court to set a dollar amount on the judgment that
be entered against Zanu-PF.
A similar case against Serbian, Radovan
Karadzic, was decided in August 2000
and resulted in a judgment of $745
million in compensatory and punitive
damages as was reported by leading
international media organisations
including CNN, National Public Radio in the
US, the BBC and the New York
In recent months, the government
of Zimbabwe has been widely featured in the
international press as a poster
child for democracy gone wrong.
against Zanu-PF and Zimbabwe leader Robert Mugabe, seeks justice
political party that has intimidated, injured, terrorised,
tortured and even
murdered its political opponents.
The victims of this well-documented
violence were wholly unable to obtain
any measure of justice in their home
country and have turned to the laws of
the United States as their last
This case originally named Robert Mugabe, the de facto President
and head of Zanu-PF, as well as other government ministers, as
Because of US state department intervention in this suit, the
Mugabe have been dismissed.
In previous developments,
the US state department submitted a "Suggestion of
Immunity" to the district
court asserting that Mugabe should be afforded
immunity from suit due to his
status as a foreign head of state.
However, a contested presidential
election in March of 2002 resulted in an
international outcry about election
irregularities and a statement from
President George W Bush himself that the
United States did not recognise the
validity of Mugabe's
The hearing on the April 25 will finally provide these
victims with their
day in court and an opportunity to speak to the world of
the human rights
abuses they have suffered.
Libya denies land-for-oil deal
Harare - Libya's ambassador
to Zimbabwe has denied his country is supplying
oil to the southern African
nation in exchange for thousands of hectares of
farm land owned by whites,
the state-run Herald reported on Friday.
"No Libyan owns a single grain
of land in Zimbabwe and I am surprised where
these reports are coming from,"
Ambassador Mahmoud Azzabi told the Herald.
"It surprises us that our
economic relations with other African countries do
not attract the same
attention as Zimbabwe."
"We can only reach the conclusion that there are
some people who do not want
us to forge bilateral relations because we both
(Libya and Zimbabwe) benefit
from the links," he said.
weekly Standard newspaper reported last weekend that
Zimbabwe had offered 10
000ha of farm land and several Harare flats to Libya
in exchange for
desperately needed fuel supplies.
Mugabe 'sold' country to Libya -
Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi visited several white-owned farms
during a trip
to Zimbabwe in July 2001. But Azzabi said the visits had been
made only to
assess President Robert Mugabe's land reform programme, which
aims to hand
over white-owned farms to blacks.
"It is not true that he
toured the farms to identify land which he would be
offered in exchange for
fuel supplies," said Azzabi.
Zimbabwe's opposition leader Morgan
Tsvangirai said earlier this month that
Mugabe had "sold" the country to
The European Union and the United States have imposed sanctions on
and his inner circle, prompting the longtime leader to seek better
with Libya, which now provides 70 percent of the nation's fuel. -
56th violence victim dies
Harare - A provincial official in
Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) died early on
Friday from injuries he suffered
during an attack before last month's
presidential poll, the party said in a
provincial secretary for Harare's satellite city Chitungwiza,
was tortured by
intelligence agency officers ahead of the March 9-11 poll,
Learnmore Jongwe said.
His death brings to 56 the number killed this year
in political violence,
which rights groups said has mainly targeted MDC
Jongwe also said the party was "dismayed" that Zambian
Mwanawasa had endorsed the election results, in a speech
reported on Friday
by the state-run Herald newspaper.
MDC has rejected
President Robert Mugabe's re-election, saying the poll was
widespread political violence and vote fraud. Independent
observers, as well as most western nations and the Commonwealth,
have taken a
similar stance. - Sapa-AFP
Mugabe calls Blair 'arrogant little fellow'
April 25 2002 at
London - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has called
Minister Tony Blair "an arrogant little fellow", in an
interview with the
journal "New African".
"I am not the only one who
has discovered that he is an arrogant fellow,"
Mugabe told May's edition of
the monthly magazine. "Quite a number of my
neighbours, they won't tell you,
but I will tell you what he is, they say so
Mugabe also hits
out over former British colonial rule of Zimbabwe and the
threat of further
EU sanctions in response to what the body sees as
motivated violence against opposition supporters.
He also spoke about his
own future after 22 years as leader of the Zanu PF
'Who do we
listen to, the Europeans who yesterday were our oppressors?'
"Our people can
never, never allow themselves to come once again under
remote control or direct control, never!" said Mugabe.
"I look back with
regret that for all we did to forgive those we could have
for the loss of life and the treason that this country saw,
and for all the
acts of oppression, suppression and repression that our
people suffered from,
that hand we extended, the hand of reconciliation and
the policy of
forgiveness we pursued, have not yielded reciprocity,"
Regarding the threat of further sanctions, he said: "If this
is what we are
going to pay, we will pay it for sustaining our principle and
the right of
people to be sovereign over their resources, yes."
do we listen to, the Europeans who yesterday were our oppressors and
want to be our oppressors today? Or to our own people who are genuine
would want Zimbabwe to prosper alongside their own countries? Of course,
will listen to our African brothers," said Mugabe.
Although Mugabe stated
that Zanu PF "is here to stay", he was less clear on
his own future within
the party and whether he would stay until the end of h
is new six-year term
following his landslide election victory in March.
"I don't know
about that... If we can decide on a successor some day, well,
sure, I will be
willing to retire and rest and do a bit of reading and
Amnesty International regrets inaction by United
Nations Commission on Human
Amnesty International expressed its
deep regret at the decision by members
of the UN Commission on Human Rights
in Geneva to vote in favour of a
"no-action motion" to avoid a discussion of
a draft resolution on Zimbabwe
during the 58th session of the
"The UN Commission on Human Rights is a forum in which human
violations should be discussed in an open and cooperative way to
accountability and work towards ending impunity", the organisation
"Voting items off the agenda of the Commission which relate to open,
and flagrant violations of human rights will only contribute to
perpetuation of impunity which is the root cause for the ongoing
of human rights in Zimbabwe and a threat to regional stability",
Amnesty International, with many other
organizations, has impartially
documented and reported numerous cases of
killings, acts of torture,
arbitrary arrests and discrimination on grounds of
political opinion in
Zimbabwe over the past years, including the period of
elections in 2000 and the recent presidential elections in
The draft resolution asked for government assurances "of full
freedom of opinion and expression, including freedom of the press
relation to all types of mass media". It also called for the UN's
rights experts to visit the country and carry out independent,
investigations into allegations of "political killings, acts of
widespread intimidation of opposition supporters and human rights
by government supported militia". Following consultation with
African delegations the draft text also recognised "the importance
just and sustainable land reform".
The vote was narrowly
split between 26 votes for the motion, 24 against it,
and three abstentions.
With the exception of Cameroon, abstaining, all
African countries supported
the motion, as did many Asian countries. The
vote resulted in blocking the
discussion on the draft resolution submitted
by Spain on behalf of the
Mugabe hints he may not stay full six-year
LONDON, April 26 — Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, who
won a fresh term
in office in controversial elections in March, has hinted he
may not serve
the full six years.
In an interview with the monthly
New African Magazine, published in
London, the 78-year-old former guerrilla
said he had no immediate intention
of stepping down but might consider doing
so if a suitable successor came
''I don't know about that.
If we can decide on a successor some day,
well, sure, I will be willing to
retire and rest and do a bit of reading and
writing,'' he told editor Baffour
Ankomah in reply to a question whether he
would stay the full term.
But he said there was no active search within his ruling ZANU-PF
find a successor.
''No, no, no. The party hasn't been talking about
that. We naturally
look at ourselves within the party and we see people who
are aspiring to,
but there has not been any choice yet. No,'' he
Mugabe, in power since independence from Britain in 1980, has
vilified by Britain and suspended from the Commonwealth of 54 mainly
British colonies since the elections that were widely seen as being
However, Zimbabwe's African neighbours have
continued tenure despite rising lawlessness in the former
collapsing economy, looming famine and the prospect of a flood of
crossing their borders.
Sandura, Chidyausiku differ
SUPREME Court judge Justice Wilson Sandura has disagreed with
Godfrey Chidyausiku's ruling that opposition leader Morgan
not entitled to seek legal redress against President Robert
arbitrary changes of electoral rules before the recent
In a dissenting judgement, Sandura - the most
experienced judge of appeal
remaining after a spate of forced resignations -
said Tsvangirai, who leads
the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), had
locus standi (legal standing).
"The applicant had the right to demand
that the presidential election be
conducted in terms of the Electoral Law
passed by parliament as required by
S28(4) of the constitution," Sandura
"In the circumstances, he had the right to approach this court
terms of S24(1) of the constitution and had the locus standi to
Tsvangirai had applied to the court seeking
the nullification of Section 158
of the Electoral Act under which Mugabe made
the changes. He also wanted
Statutory Instrument 41D of 2002 containing the
modifications to be declared
the alterations after the Supreme Court, presided over by
the Justice Ahmed
Ebrahim in Chidyausiku's absence, set aside the General
Laws Amendment Act,
which had introduced the changes, as unprocedural.
said in his application that "there has been and there
continues to be
serious breaches of the Declaration of Rights as set out in
But Chidyausiku, with the agreement of three other
Supreme Court justices
appointed last year, said the opposition leader had no
"In the present case, the applicant has not shown that
his right to
protection of the law has been infringed by the enactments which
he seeks to
impugn," he said in his ruling.
Tsvangirai said his
supporters were denied the right to register as voters
after January 10,
while Mugabe's followers were allowed to do so.
Chidyausiku said the MDC
chief could not seek redress on behalf of his
cannot be a torch bearer for them," he said.
insisted Tsvangirai was entitled to redress.
"I wish to say that in
the past this court has taken a broad view of locus
standi in applications of
this nature in order to determine the real issues
raised where the applicant
has a real and substantial interest in the
matter," he said.
the circumstances, as the applicant had locus standi, the court should
determined the real issues raised in this application before the
election was held."
Zimbabwe, Zambia Demand Withdrawal of Israeli Forces From
HARARE, April 26 (Xinhuanet) -- Zimbabwe and Zambia on Friday
demand the immediate withdrawal of Israeli forces from all
territories and the immediate cessation of Israel's
military campaign in
In a joint communique issued on Friday evening in Bulawayo,
the second largest city of Zimbabwe, President Robert Mugabe and
Zambian counterpart Levy Mwanawasa said that they paid close
the situation in the Middle East and the occupied
The two presidents also noted with concern the continued
marginality of African countries in the increasingly globally
dominated by the West and reaffirmed their commitment to
self-reliance within the context of regional and
such as the Southern African
Development Community (SADC), the Common Market
for Eastern and
Southern Africa (COMESA), the African Union (AU) and the
Mwanawasa arrived in Harare on Wednesday morning
for a four-day
state visit. He will leave Zimbabwe on Saturday for South