BY OUR CORRESPONDENT
HARARE - MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai has made an impassioned plea to
security forces not to allow themselves to be used as instruments of
oppression by the Mugabe regime.
Speaking at weekend rallies in Mutare and Harare, Tsvangirai said the armed
forces in Zimbabwe were paid peanuts and yet they were asked to be at the
forefront of oppression. The salary increases they had been promised last
year had still not materialised.
"When we go for the mass resistance you must remember that you are also
poorly paid. You should not be used by Mugabe to fight your own people. I
have in my possession pay slips of policemen. They come to my house every
day complaining that they are suffering. Yet when Mugabe says crush the mass
demonstration you are ready to shoot the people. You must not be used," he
Specifically addressing military, the police, the CIO and the war veterans
he said: "All of you should remember this when the day of the mass
Tsvangirai is on a country-wide tour to mobilise Zimbabweans for mass action
against the Mugabe regime.
This Sunday he will speak in Victoria Falls, while members of his executive
fan out into the rural areas and high density suburbs all over the country
to roll out what they call the "Reach out" programme in preparation for mass
Tsvangirai implored his audiences to remain peaceful at all times, so as not
to give Mugabe and his trigger-happy henchmen a justifiable excuse for using
Meanwhile State Security Minister Didymus Mutasa this week reiterated
threats that the government would use armed soldiers and police to crush
"We will not fold our arms while the country burns," said Mutasa. He
mockingly challenged Tsvangirai to march alone "along Samora Machel Avenue .
then he shall see that we mean business."
Earlier this year the commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, General
Constantine Chiwenga, told Mugabe that his failure to implement the salary
increases promised to the forces before Christmas would place the security
of the Zanu (PF) government in jeopardy.
BULAWAYO - The government has failed to avail billions of dollars it
promised to suffering state companies in a bid to save them from going
Many parastatals are on the brink of collapse, saddled with huge debts,
which they can't settle.
As a result, the government, in February, unveiled a facility for distressed
companies, which seeks to resuscitate companies reeling under viability
However, CAJ News has established that the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) is
reluctant to release the billions the government has been asking for.
In an interview, Obert Mpofu, the Minister of Industry and International
Trade confirmed that the government was yet to get money for the state
Mpofu said: "...our Ministry is still in the process of finalizing the list
"Officials in the Ministry are in the process of examining the projects to
be funded and ensuring that the funds to be availed will be put to intended
RBZ governor, Gideon Gono, has hit out at state companies saying that they
are a drain on the fiscus. - CAJ News
BY TANAKA CHITORO
GWERU - The leader of the pro-senate faction of the MDC, Professor Arthur
Mutambara, has dismissed criticism by his opponents that his prolonged stay
out of the country has put him out of touch with the Zimbabwean reality.
Responding to questions during a question-and-answer session following his
wide-ranging address to journalists at the Gweru Press Club last Saturday,
Mutambara said it was time for people like him who had benefited from their
experiences abroad to intervene and help resolve Zimbabwe's problems.
"Some have said I have been out of the country for 16 years and I am out of
touch with the country's reality. They say I don't know the price of bread
but I guess I am not the only one because the price changes everyday,"
Commenting on his recent meeting with South African president Thabo Mbeki,
Mutambara said he had gone there to confer with Mbeki and to explain his
faction's position. He said the visit was out of the recognition of Mbeki's
importance in the region and internationally.
"The details of the visit remain confidential, but Mbeki was very
comfortable with us. We are rebranding, so we had to explain our position to
Mbeki. Mbeki and South Africa are very important to Zimbabwe. The problem
that the MDC made in the past was that it failed to know who to align
themselves with. We have come to hate Robert Mugabe so much that we have
been willing to sup with the devil. For the MDC to be seen to be in alliance
with ex-Rhodesians and Tony Leon's democratic party is wrong. When
Tsvangirai aligned himself with that was the kiss of death. It's like us
aligning ourselves with the Ku-Klax-Klan. During the liberation struggle,
ZANLA and ZIPRA were trained in countries like Cuba, Russia and China. Did
you ever hear about them being trained in London or New York. Europe and the
US will talk about human rights, but when it comes to their own interests
they will never help us. We told Mbeki that our allies will be COSATU and
the SACP not the ex-Rhodesians and the racist Afrikaners. We have to be
careful in choosing our allies. There is no way you can be relevant to the
people in Zimbabwe and elsewhere when the leaders in the region don't
respect you," he said.
Asked about his faction's position on mass action Mutambara said his side
reserved the right to engage in democratic resistance but would take that
option as a last resort.
"We are determined to dislodge Mugabe through the ballot. We are going to
build this party into such a powerful force that it will be impossible to
rig elections. Even if they rig they won't be able to live to explain. There
is no democratic resistance that we don't understand. We are not afraid of
jambanja but I think it is naivety of the highest order to talk about things
like 'final push' and so forth. The difference between us and the other
faction is that not only do we have plan 'B' but we also have plan 'C', 'D'
and 'E'," Mutambara said without elaborating.
The pro-senate faction's secretary general said threats of a mass action by
the Tsvangirai faction were "empty" as those threatening them were cowards.
"I have worked with these people in the past and I know these threats are
empty. I dare you to phone if they eventually carry out their threats. What
is the point of telling your enemy about what you intend to do to them,"
On the possibility of reuniting with the anti-senate faction Mutambara said
his side remained open to reuniting, but the Tsvangirai-led faction also had
to respond to calls for unity.
Mutambara said in the event of such reunification there had to be fresh
elections for all positions in the party.
He said the current position between the two factions was that of sharing
assets, logos and slogans and protecting either side's Members of Parliament
in course without appeal to the speaker of parliament or recourse to the
courts. He added that if the current impasse between the two factions
remained, his faction would rebrand, with the option of choosing a new name
being a possibility.
Mutambara also said his faction would focus on reaching out to the rural
population and assist them with things like agricultural inputs even when
the faction was still in opposition. We won't wait to get into power in
order to start delivering," Mutambara said.
He had earlier visited Malamulela in Zhombe on a meet-the-people tour. On
Sunday, Mutambara had a walk-about in Gweru's central business district
meeting vegetable vendors and other members at the main bus terminus, then
proceeded to Maboleni in Lower Gweru.
BULAWAYO - The Mutambara-led faction of the MDC has expressed shock and
horror at President Mugabe's attack and insult on Zimbabweans "sweating and
toiling to earn a decent living in the diaspora".
"Mugabe's Independence speech was in bad taste. He insulted citizens for
what he called the 'scratching of old people's backs' by Zimbabweans in the
Diaspora. It is very unfortunate that the President pretends as he has
always done, not to know why citizens of Zimbabwe are crossing crocodile
infested rivers, land mined borders and sell their life time savings to buy
air tickets to go and try their luck in the region and overseas," said
deputy information secretary Morgan Changamire in a statement.
He said Mugabe's attack contradicted the Reserve Bank Governor's several
trips abroad to drum up support for remittance of valuable foreign currency
by citizens in the diaspora.
"It seems he is not also aware that the ruined economy is sustained by
citizens in diaspora because the country has no exports to talk about with
sectors like manufacturing, agriculture tourism and textiles on their
knees," said Changamire.
He called upon patriotic citizens of Zimbabwe in the diaspora to ignore the
attacks and insults and continue to support their suffering families at home
"inflicted upon them by a black minority regime ruling under the guise of
HWANGE - The Zimbabwean Conservation Task Force (ZCTF) has managed to get
four broken-down Landrovers back on the road in Hwange National Park through
generous donations from Zimbabwean and South African companies.
Johnny Rodrigues, Chairman for the ZCTF, said that when he visited the park
last December almost all the vehicles had engine problems and were up on
stands with no tyres. These included tractors, graders and Landrovers.
"The Landrovers are desperately needed for anti-poaching patrols and to make
regular trips to the pans to refuel and maintain the pumps and engines. They
need to be able to go into town and buy food and supplies for their staff.
They need tractors to pull large animals out of the mud when they get stuck
and they need graders to repair the roads," he said
Rodrigues has been traveling "backwards and forwards" since October last
year delivering spares to the park in order to get the vehicles functioning.
The latest delivery of second hand tyres donated by Kelvin Shewin of Tyax
Trading, Johannesburg and Rolf Steyn of Independent 4 x 4 in Pretoria,
should see more vehicles back on the road in the national park.
After the tyres were delivered, Rodrigues drove through the park and found
that the water levels in the pans were dropping rapidly now that the rains
are over. "We are going to have to work hard to ensure that all the pumps
are functioning if we are to avoid a repetition of last year's water crisis.
We will welcome any assistance with funds, fuel, spares etc. We are also
looking into installing windmills at all the pans which will be a huge
saving on fuel and maintenance because when the wind is blowing, the
windmills will take over from the engines," he said.
JOHANNESBURG - The militant and powerful Young Communist League of South
Africa has castigated the Southern Africa Development Community and Africa
Union leaders for shielding Robert Mugabe's dictatorship in Zimbabwe.
During a demonstration at the Zimbabwe Consulate on Independence Day the YSL
demanded an end to human rights abuses in Zimbabwe and called on African
leaders to force Mugabe to leave office.
Addressing more than 3000 people, including demonstrating South African
security guards, at Library Gardens the Secretary General for YCL Buti
said South Africa should consider stopping trade relations with Robert
Mugabe's regime as these were only benefiting the elite Zanu (PF) leaders.
"They are walking on red carpet while the people of that country are still
living under massive poverty and unemployment. The Zanu (PF) regime has
unleashed 26 years of hell on its people and cannot be allowed to continue,"
"The economic situation in Zimbabwe, with more than 950% inflation, massive
price increases in food prices, soaring unemployment and low wages, becomes
more and more unbearable especially for the youth," he added.
The YCL leader bemoaned the way the South Africa government was handling the
Zimbabwe crisis and said South Africans could no longer stand by and watch.
Hundreds of demonstrators braved chilly weather and light showers to hand
over a petition at the closed consulate offices, demanding an end to
state-sponsored violence, access to food for ordinary people, an end to
human rights abuses and suppression of press freedom.
The YCL are also demanding an open and consultative process that will result
in a constitutional review and the immediate resignation of Mugabe. - Own
HARARE - The state controlled Herald newspaper has reported that the
Anti-Corruption Commission is investigating the operations of the illegal
Harare City Commission, headed by Sekesai Makwavarara, regarding corruption,
mismanagement and flouting of laid-down procedures. The paper has been
reporting her every move in what seems to be a campaign to destroy her, but
the Combined Harare Residents Association chairman Barnabus Mangodza said
the entire Commission running the capital needs to be replaced by an
accountable elected council.
Observers in Harare believe Makwavarara has either fallen out of favour with
some top officials or become a liability. Makwavarara was once the darling
of the same state paper now tarnishing her. The Herald ignored her excesses,
corrupt tendencies and lack of accountability after minister Chombo
appointed her to the illegal Harare Commission. She immediately took over a
productive farm and was seen lounging there paying no attention to
agriculture or the farm workers. Now a series of incidents showing her as a
greedy official have been published week after week.
Mangodza said none of this matters as far as the residents are concerned.
They have been calling for fresh elections for a long time and this campaign
against Makwavarara is the Commission's own internal problem. He said: "They
should not just get rid of her and replace her with another illegal
Commission, but remove the entire group and put in a democratically elected
council that will be accountable to the residents."
The Herald and other state papers are regularly used by those in power to
tarnish the images of their political rivals. Makwavarara just happens to be
the latest target.
- Tererai Karimakwenda, SW Radio Africa
JOHANNESBURG - The Zimbabwe Action Support Group (ZASG) has fired its
embattled coordinator, Rodgers Mudarikwa for alleged corruption,
maladministration and fraud.
ZASG Chairman, Remember Moyo confirmed this week that Mudarikwa had been
relieved of his duties as the organisation's coordinator and been replaced
by Lovemore Chikandiwa, who is on an interim basis awaiting elections to
choose a substantive coordinator.
Some MDC politicians and activists have also expressed concern about
Mudarikwa's conduct of business in the party, particularly in Johannesburg.
He had been elected deputy organising secretary for MDC South Africa while
awaiting the elections in June.
Efforts to get comment from Mudarikwa proved fruitless by the time of going
Mudarikwa is accused of sourcing funds aimed at raising bail for Remember
Moyo, who in the past five months was in police detention for holding two
passports. He allegedly diverted more than R5 000 (about Z$150 million) for
his personal use instead of paying the bail for Moyo. - CAJ News
HARARE - Lawyers for the MDC led by Morgan Tsvangirai have written to the
Attorney General requesting that he take action in the case of the murders
of Tichaona Chiminya and Talent Mabika, Tsvangirai's election campaign
manager and young party supporter, who were killed in Murambinda on April
15, 2000, in the run up to the general elections.
"Easter Saturday marks the 6th anniversary of these killings. Our client, Mr
Morgan Tsvangirai, is concerned that not everything possible is being done
to deal with those responsible," says the letter.
Justice Devittie in his judgement in the High Court in 2001 heard undisputed
evidence which was not contested by the police, nor by those publicly
implicated. The evidence showed that the ZR Police had been present during
the assassinations. The Commissioner of Police had been subpoenaed for the
trial but failed to do so.
"This judgement confirmed that the killings were particularly coldhearted,
brutal and politically motivated - in the judge's words 'a wicked act',"
says the letter.
A taped record of the evidence was mysteriously stolen from a locked room at
the courthouse before it could be sent to the AG's office - but again no
action was taken.
"The conduct of the whole prosecution surrounding these deaths is so unusual
that it is difficult to escape the conclusion that the same acknowledged
political interference still continues and that in violation of the
Constitution instructions are still being given and followed by your office
in this matter," says the letter.
It demanded that the AG provide information about the status of
investigations into the two murders as well as into those of hundreds of
other MDC supporters after the 2000 referendum. "Our information is that
most of these murders have still not resulted in any prosecutions." - Own
HARARE - Zimbabwean firms are failing to attract potential investors while
local companies' turnout has been relatively low at investor meetings
arranged within the region and abroad.
Countries which lead the region in receiving investment include South
Africa, Botswana, Mozambique and Zambia. The Zimbabwe Investment Center
(ZIC) continues to register concern over failure by firms to recognise the
importance of such events at a time when the country desperately needs
ZIC director, Richard Mubaiwa said it is disappointing to note that only a
few companies manage to travel for workshops and meetings, as there are
great opportunities of luring new investors.
"For instance, Zimplow is the only local firm that attended the European
Union-Southern African Development Community Investment Partnership
Promotion (ESIPP) workshop on the Light Manufacturing Industry held recently
"We are still waiting for an official report from the company concerning the
workshop," he said.
The ZIC creates a platform for potential investors in the country whilst it
also gives the green light by registering approved projects.
According to the institution, the Light Engineering 2006 meeting brought
together entrepreneurs and investors from SADC, EU and other regions to
build and strengthen mutually beneficial inter-enterprise cooperation and
There were 99 SADC companies present, 114 projects, 90 companies from EU and
Third Countries and 20 Investment Related Intermediary Organisations from
SADC and 2 from EU.
"Zimplow is also understood to have been involved in private talks with
"We do not understand why our companies do not value such meetings, but on
the other hand it could be because many companies do not have enough
resources as they are crippled by economic hardships," said Mubaiwa.
During the meeting, over 800 one-to-one meetings took place between the EU
and SADC companies, which resulted into recording 45 letters of intent.
"At the meetings attended by ZIC, there are a lot of potential investors who
are trying to penetrate into the Zimbabwean market and this opportunity
needs to be grabbed quickly," he said.
A few local firms also attended the Mat Construct 2005 meeting held late
last year in South Africa, which was also attended by Zimbabwean government
There were 102 EU and 78 SADC companies attending the event with a total of
258 participants, including regional intermediary organisations. - One
MUTARE - Chief Mutambara, believed to be 100 years old, sent a delegation to
represent him at the MDC rally held here last Saturday. The delegation was
headed by Vaisai Munjoma, 79, (sekuru vaArthur and a senior adviser to the
reigning Chief Mutambara) and Fibion Musukutwa, 80, (an uncle to Arthur,
babamudiki) See photo p 9.
Mr Musukutwa is next in line for the Mutambara chieftainship. Together, the
two senior citizens and members of the royal Mutambara clan told the Mutare
rally that their Chief had assigned them to convey a message to Morgan
Tsvangirai at Chisamba grounds. Musukutwa told more than 25 000 people at
the rally that when Arthur Mutambara had sought his advice about entering
politics at the invitation of Welshman Ncube and others, he told him to
abandon that "dangerous dream".
He said as far as the family was concerned, and indeed the whole of
Chimanimani, Morgan Tsvangirai remained the legitimate leader of the MDC. As
far as the Mutambara clan was concerned, there was only one MDC led by Roy
Bennett in Manicaland and by Tsvangirai nationwide. Musukutwa's short
address sent the rally into a loud applause.
The two later donated a ram to Tsvangirai, saying it was a gift from the
people of Mutambara in Chimanimani. - Own correspondent
HARARE - MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai and his Liberation Team descended on
the eastern border city of Mutare last Saturday, before winding up their
weekend rallies on Sunday at the ceremonial home of people power - Zimbabwe
Grounds in Highfield.
The revolutionary mood continues to be more exuberant at each and every
outing - a clear testimony that it is only the MDC that holds the key to a
prosperous and democratic Zimbabwe. Euphoria is high as Zimbabweans continue
to give notice to the regime to brace for a long winter of people power and
resistance against tyranny.
The President's message centred on how the nation will proceed in
liquidating dictatorship and tyranny. The MDC will also articulate the
roadmap to a new Zimbabwe.
The nation is ready for the liberation of the country. These rallies are
intended to consolidate the people's resolve to reclaim their dignity.
The MDC will now embark on a nationwide round of rallies across the country's
districts. The leadership will visit all corners of the country - every
growth point, every village and every township to engage the citizens in the
great march for freedom. Victory is inevitable. People need a new Zimbabwe
and a new beginning. The people shall govern. - Nelson Chamisa, MP,
Secretary for Information and Publicity.
BY A CORRESPONDENT
HARARE - The state-run media's policy of refusing to link Zimbabwe's
agricultural and economic disasters to official incompetence, mismanagement
and corruption is now so finely honed it could be summed up as "ask no
questions, but tell some lies."
Thus in the week April 10-16 the state mouthpieces handled production
problems in milk, maize and wheat this way: hailing empty official
pronouncements as panaceas, never asking how the promises of extra supplies
of this or that could be delivered, or why the country has got into such a
The same went for official reporting of economic decline. The media
watchdog, Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe (MMPZ), noted in its report
covering the period that while The Herald and The Chronicle did make
unquestioning mention that there's a supplementary budget coming yet again
(a result of hyperinflation), ZBH ignored this.
"Instead, like the official papers, most of its reports were either
hackneyed assurances by government and business officials that the
authorities were taking measures to ease the economic distress the country
was facing, or simply highlighted the problems without linking them to
government policies," MMPZ said.
Highlights of the state media's coverage of agriculture included ZBH
celebrating an announcement of an injection of eight million litres of
diesel in this season's wheat farming, to be sold at the heavily subsidised
price of Z$11,000 a litre, compared with the current market ranges of
$185,000-$200,000 a litre.
ZBH never asked whether this was enough, how the forex-starved regime could
pay for it, or even if it did, how a distribution system involving, among
others, police, war veterans, Zanu (PF) and government officials would work.
Then there's milk. Real situation is that production is down 60% since the
mid-90s, and the dairy herd has fallen from 104 483 to just 35 000 last
year. MMPZ noted that the state-run Sunday Mail mentioned this, but only
emphasized that Dairibord Zimbabwe Holdings Ltd. would import 450 - yes,
450 - cows from South Africa and this would considerably "boost milk
production." Just how, of course, remained unsaid.
The private media (apart from, as is now usual, the Mirror group) provided
incisive coverage of the problems, interpreting them as the result of the
chaotic seizures of white-owned land, skewed official policies and erratic
supplies of inputs, MMPZ said.
The Financial Gazette said the authorities were becoming increasingly
"jittery" about the pending crop assessment next month by the multilateral
Zimbabwe Vulnerability Food Assessment.
The Standard reported gloomy assessments from the Famine Early Warning
Systems Network, including that the food situation had "deteriorated
significantly with rural households surviving on wild foods." The Zimbabwe
Independent reported looting of farming equipment by senior state officials.
The Financial Gazette and The Zimbabwe Independent also told readers how
Robert Mugabe's "Look East" policy is shaping up: an admission by the
Zimbabwe Tourist Authority that arrivals from that quarter were down 70% and
planes flying to the Far East were losing nearly US$1 million a month.
And finally, the regime continued to mire Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe,
publishers of the banned Daily News and its sister Sunday, in bureaucracy,
through a combination of ignoring a court order and prevarications,
technicalities and irrelevancies under the country's notorious anti-press
This Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) was a "fine
piece of legislation," Deputy Information Minister Bright Matonga told ZTV -
just a shade cumbersome.
The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights by the current regime in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe. http://www.zimvigil.co.uk