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

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Business Day

Mbeki off to Harare to discuss Mugabe exit'


PRESIDENT Thabo Mbeki is expected to travel to Zimbabwe next week with
President Robert Mugabe's early retirement likely to be on the agenda,
despite denials yesterday by the Zimbabwean government that Mugabe will step
down before his term expires in 2008.

While not giving details of Mbeki's visit, a senior government official said
one of its aims would be to bring Mugabe's Zanu (PF) and the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) to the negotiating table.

One of the main obstacles to talks has been the MDC's claim that Mugabe was
not legitimately

Continued on Page 2 ...(well even without the rest we get the gist of it... no more posted on the web...B)
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'Zimbabwean cricket team a bunch of yes men'

LONDON: The Zimbabwe cricket squad set to embark on their tour of England
have not been selected according to their ability but because they won't
rock the boat with president Robert Mugabe's government claimed former
skipper Alistair Campbell on Tuesday.

Campbell told the Times current captain Heath Streak - whose father a white
farmer was detained for three days by the police last year and had three
quarters of his farm seized under the government Land Laws - wouldn't be
outspoken if asked about what he thought of human rights abuses and
electoral rigging perpetrated by Mugabe's government.

"That's what the team are, a bunch of yes men," said Campbell, who retired
from the international stage after the World Cup where Zimbabwe exited in
the first round. "And Heath Streak couldn't say a bad word about anything.
"If you could pick your best Zimbabwean side, not many of these guys would
be in it."

Campbell said all the players would only have been permitted to go on the
two-test tour if they passed a political vetting process by the Zimbabwe
Sports Commission as he had experienced when he was a member of the squad.

"I used to have a clause in my contract that said if anything from me
appeared in the press that was politically orientated, then I'd be suspended
without pay pending investigation. "So all you'll hear from these players is
I'm here to play cricket. That's it," he said. While there is every
likelihood of the England-based 'Stop the Tour' group staging protests at
the two tests at Lord's and Chester-le-Street led by Peter Tatchell, who
famously leapt naked onto Mugabe's car when he paid a visit to England, and
former Sports Minister Kate Hoey, Campbell says there is unlikely to be any
such dissent from the players.

Zimbabwean duo Andy Flower and Henry Olonga were heralded as heroes when
they stepped out for the first match of Zimbabwe's World Cup campaign
sporting black armbands in protest at the death of democracy in their
country once hailed as the 'bread basket of Africa' but which is now wracked
by famine.

Flower is playing for Essex in the English county championship while Olonga
is believed to still be in hiding in South Africa fearing Zimbabwean secret
police are trying to kidnap him and take him back to Zimbabwe. Campbell said
it was unfair to have selected so many young players - only Streak, Andy
Flower's brother Grant and Stuart Carlisle have over 20 caps while eight of
the party have less than 10, for such a difficult baptism of fire in the
test arena.

"It's a lot of untried youth," he said.

"I actually feel sorry for them. It's unfair to thrust them into the
international arena so early."

The Zimbabweans open their campaign with a match against the British
Universities on May 3 with the first Test at Lord's starting on May 22.
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State Media Criticizes Zimbabwe Banks for Closing During Strike
Tendai Maphosa
29 Apr 2003, 21:56 UTC

In Zimbabwe, the state-owned media are sharply criticizing the country's
banks for closing during last week's three-day general strike. The strike
was called by the country's labor unions to protest a hefty price hike on
fuel. The criticism of the banks comes as thousands of Zimbabweans are
spending hours trying to withdraw money from the banks.

The state media charge that the banks are cooperating with the opposition to
cripple the economy. The state-owned Sunday Mail says unidentified legal and
banking experts are calling on the government to investigate the activities
of some financial institutions.

The state-owned Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation went further, saying that
the country's central bank, the regulating authority of banking
institutions, is not being tough enough on the banks. It says the central
bank is turning a blind eye to what it calls illegal activities such as
changing money at the black market rate, rather than the official rate.

The banks are also being accused of violating the country's Banking Act,
which prohibits banking institutions from engaging in undesirable methods of
conducting business and requires them to provide depositors with their money
any time they want, during banking hours.

Under the Act, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development can withdraw
a license from a banking institution found to be in breach of the law.

The Sunday Mail however quotes the vice president of the Bankers Association
of Zimbabwe, Jerry Tsodzai, as saying that the banks did not close in
support of the strike. Rather he says the banks had to close because most of
their employees did not turn up for work.

When banks re-opened on Saturday after the strike, there were unusually long
lines of depositors wanting to make withdrawals. The depositors had to wait
several hours to get their money, as the banks waited for the central bank
to provide them with cash.

The lines grew longer Monday following rumors of a strike on Tuesday. But
that strike did not happen.

Zimbabwean depositors have to notify their banks in advance if they want to
withdraw large sums of money because the country is experiencing a shortage
of bank notes.

The central bank, which is responsible for printing the notes, cannot
satisfy demand because it is short of foreign currency to pay for the
imported paper the notes are printed on.

Zimbabwe is facing its worst economic crisis since independence 23 years ago
and is experiencing severe shortages of basic commodities, as well as fuel.
Inflation is at an all time high of 228 percent and unemployment stands at
80 percent and is rising as companies downsize or close down as a result of
the harsh economic environment.
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Washington Times

Why we're there

Allan Gerson

     With the human-rights file on Sudan closed, with Cuba essentially
getting a pass despite its jailing and mistreatment of 74 dissidents, with
Zimbabwe escaping from the list of countries requiring special observation,
and without any mention of human rights violations in Chechnya, it is little
wonder that editorialists argue that the United States should get out of the
U.N. Human Rights Commission.
     Thus, The Washington Post on April 18 opined in its lead editorial, "If
the Commission [chaired by Libya] is going to continue to act against the
interests of the world's weak and persecuted, we ought not to lend it any
further credibility." Walking out is offered as the solution.
     The trouble is that, if we pick up our marbles and go away, the
commission still continues to function in its nasty way. Countries like
Israel that have been subjected to the worst calumny and accused of
"Nazilike practices" will have no one - with the valiant exception of
Germany at this year's session - to stand up for them. Israel's ambassador,
Yaakov Levy, has said that, when he addresses the commission, he tries to
look at the delegates as individuals, many of them young people, many of
them unaware of the facts, as an opportunity to set the record straight, or
at least to present another side of the picture to which they would
otherwise not be exposed.
     Participation creates a special dilemma for the United States. Last
year, it was booted off in a secret ballot in which the U.S. for the first
time in the commission's 55-year history did not gain a seat. Instead the
body, which is supposed to be the U.N.'s premier organ for dealing with
human-rights violations around the world, granted that seat to Syria. The
chairmanship went to Libya. Faced with that unpalatable outcome, the U.S.
government decided to withdraw its participation. However, when re-elected
this last year, the issue became whether to send a U.S. emissary of
relatively low diplomatic stature or to send a big gun. It was decided on
the latter, and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Jeane
Kirkpatrick was selected for the task.
     Was it worth the candle? Did we squander a valued national resource by
dignifying a body which required only a slap from the back of the hand? To
judge what in fact occurred, it is necessary to take into account what is
not generally known: the unheralded diplomatic successes scored against the
record of what could not be achieved.
     Two days after the start of the Iraq war, when success seemed still
distant, a special session was called for under the banner of humanitarian
concerns to call for a cease-fire. This would essentially have given a
victory to Saddam Hussein, or at the least have made diplomatic life for the
United States all the more difficult. Mrs. Kirkpatrick deftly handled the
diplomacy with letters to the members of the African Union calling directly
for their support, with notification to all the other delegates of the
actual strength of those forces supporting the United States, militarily and
otherwise, and through a variety of other means.
     Granted, this is not exciting stuff to make the front pages of any
newspaper, especially when bullets are flying. But, it can have a critical
impact. Keep in mind first what the word "cease-fire" means. Cease-fire is
what the omnibus eight-page U.N. Security Council resolution 687 of April 3,
1991, called for, and it bought the Iraqis more than 12 years of time,
despite the resolution's repeated call for unconditional and immediate
destruction of weapons of mass destruction and chemical weapons.
     Undoubtedly, the Arab League, meeting in Cairo two days after the start
of the war, had something along these lines in mind when it voted in favor
of a cease-fire resolution. That exercise didn't go anywhere until someone
had the clever idea of bringing the show to the Human Rights Commission in
Geneva. It had already been addressed by various foreign ministers,
including those of France and Germany. It seemed like an ideal locale to
launch the effort of a cease-fire as, unlike the U.N. Security Council, the
U.S. would not be in a position to exercise its veto, and U.N. legitimacy
could then be claimed in favor of a cease-fire.
     Syria and Cuba spearheaded the effort, joined by Zimbabwe, South
Africa, Malaysia, Libya, Sudan, Burkina Faso and, surprisingly, Russia. On
March 26, it introduced its resolution calling for a special emergency
session to consider "Human Rights and Humanitarian Consequences of the
Military Action Against Iraq." The body of the text made clear, however,
that the resolution had nothing to do with humanitarian concerns, as the
operative paragraphs condemned the coalition action as "clearly in violation
of the principles of international law and the United Nations Charter," and
called for "an immediate end to the unilateral military action against
     The night before the anticipated vote, the likely tally did not look
good. Latin American countries that the U.S. could usually count on for
support - Venezuela and Brazil - were now lined up squarely in the opposite
corner. Others - like Costa Rica and Mexico - were being pressured to
distance themselves. Newer friends - like Croatia and Ukraine - also seemed
uncertain in their vote.
     Under Ambassador Kirkpatrick's leadership, the United States not only
went to the delegates themselves, but also made demarches in capitals trying
to make clear how important the outcome of this vote would be. When the vote
on the resolution was called for on March 27, the European Union stood
firmly with the United States. Germany, the chairman of WEOG (the Western
European and Others Group) exercised a decisive leadership role. In Africa,
the Cameroons and Uganda broke ranks with the African Union to vote against
the resolution; Senegal, Togo and the Democratic Republic of Congo
abstained. Swaziland and Sierra Leone decided to absent themselves from that
day's business. Ukraine did likewise. Thailand, despite pressure from the
Asian bloc, voted resoundingly No.
     The final tally was 25 against the resolution, 18 in favor, and 7
abstentions. It was a big victory for the United States, although one that
went practically unnoticed by the international press. It was too busy
covering skirmishes in Iraq to notice what was going on in the posh
surroundings of Lake Geneva in the old halls of the League of Nations.

     Allan Gerson, an international lawyer and coauthor of "The Price of
Terror" (HarperCollins 2001), was a senior adviser on this year's U.S.
delegation to the U.N. Human Rights Commission.
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Zanu-PF, MDC Don't Share Common Values

The Herald (Harare)

April 30, 2003
Posted to the web April 30, 2003


AS the scramble for Zimbabwe's presidency intensifies, a major local and
international push is being made for a negotiated settlement between the two
major political parties.

The ruling Zanu-PF and opposition MDC do not share any common values, with
the former which is driven by the quest for sovereignty, integrity and total
economic and political independence while the latter is obsessed with
acceptance by the West and jobs, among other peripheral issues.

As a result of the vast ideological differences, Zimbabwe's politics has
continued to be mired in protests, violent demonstrations and vicious
campaigns that do not seek to develop the country's fledgling democracy but
force the people into accepting unconstitutional and undemocratic practices.

The differences between the two parties stem from the very foundations of
the liberation struggle, with the ruling party belonging to the pioneers of
independence and the opposition being made up of forces that fought against
black majority rule.

While the opposition has been given a lot of room to play in the political
arena, the electorate is still not convinced that it can uphold the values
upon which this country was liberated judging by its track record and the
company that it keeps.

The impatience it has shown in not wanting to wait for either the
constitutional process of elections or its legal challenges pending before
the courts of law, renders their motives suspect.

With one leg in legality and another in clandestine political maneuvering,
the MDC has failed to show that it is willing to respect the country's
constitutional or democratic processes.

If it surely cannot be trusted with following the very democratic principles
that it purports to be fighting for, how then can it be entrusted with
upholding the laws and interests of this country?

It is every Zimbabwean's right to aspire for the highest political office in
the land and no one should be impeded from trying his or her hand at
becoming the president of Zimbabwe.

However, there is a clear line that should never be crossed, which separates
independence and re-colonisation.

While the MDC is willing to sleep with the enemy for expediency, we know for
a fact that it does not have the wherewithal to brush it aside once the
prize is won.

There is no greater shame than to betray one's country in order to enjoy
international patronage, more jobs and food on the table when we know that
our people can deliver the goods, if given the chance.

The irony is that the faces that are at the forefront of the country's
re-colonisation drive are mostly the same forces that fought against the
independence of Zimbabwe.

Almost the entire leadership of the MDC either fought against the struggle
for freedom or ran away from the war front with none of the leaders having
any real liberation credentials, even though most of them were old enough to
actively participate in that struggle.

They have, however, declared that they are willing to pay the highest
sacrifice for "change" in Zimbabwe's politics.

While they had no such courage to fight against white colonial oppression
and even abetted it, they have become so brave that they are now prepared to
die in the name of democracy, rule of law and freedom of expression, among
other popular cliches.
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" Let us live for every second of our present lives...give of ourselves
completely and totally in the moment and the results will take care of
themselves. Refuse absolutely to accept despair...of all the emotions this
is the killer - a man in despair is one of the living dead. We have
everything to live for...everything to justify why we are right here, right
now in our lifetime. Seize this day - the why is already apparent - we stand
for peace, for love and for a better future in our chosen community - the
how is what you are doing right now - the fight for freedom has never been

 Victor Frankl
(Written whilst prisoner in a concentration camp)

28 April 2003 07:49
The End of Our Tether.

It has begun to dawn on the business community here that we are at the end
of our tether in every sense of that phrase. This is leading to a dramatic
change in both their perceptions and attitudes to the MDC and the movement
for change. This past week we saw an attack on business leaders by the
government - both for their perceived support for the union led stay away
and on other issues.
Lets look at the present situation as far as the country is concerned.
We are politically as isolated as we can get. Even our neighbors and other
African states are wavering in their support for Mugabe and the current
regime. Western condemnation and pressure is, if anything, intensifying.
Whatever the government may say we have not grown more than a third of what
we need to feed the country in the next twelve months. We in the MDC predict
that the total maize crop will be about 700 000 tonnes, the winter wheat
crop at most 80 000 tonnes. This leaves us with a grain deficit of about 1,4
million tonnes. With the aid agencies winding down and the government frozen
in its shoes, we face a crisis that is worse than last year - in a much more
adverse domestic and global environment. We have no margarine in our stores,
little cooking oil, no sugar and very little milk and milk and all
grain-based products.
My local supplier of fuel has not had diesel for a month, we now operate on
fuel brought in from Botswana, and filling stations are dry across the
country. People spend days in queues. Paraffin is a thing of the past. Coal
is difficult to get - you have to send your own transport to Hwange to
collect supplies. Electrical energy is now so short that factories are
operating at 40 per cent or less of capacity. Mines are being load shed and
you can image what that is doing to them. We understand that if nothing is
done soon - that even worse cuts in electricity are possible. For many, this
is the issue that has broken the back of the situation - we are so short of
energy that we can no longer operate our factories, mines and businesses.
The new minimum wage for industry is Z$47 696. Workers now pay on average
Z$600 to Z$700 per day for transport. After tax and transport they have
virtually nothing left. We are now witnessing people leaving their places of
work to go either small-scale mining (gold) or to migrate to South Africa
where they will join the millions already there in a life of crime or
illegal employment. As a result many local factories are now experiencing
shortages of labor.
The official price of a 50 kg bag of cement is less than Z$500. The market
price ranges from Z$3000 to Z$10 000. The official price of maize meal is
about Z$30 a kilo. In the market prices range from Z$300 to Z$450 per
kilogram. The official price of bread is Z$60 per loaf - it will actually
cost you Z$250 to Z$350 per loaf. There is no let up in the inflation
-officially at 228 per cent but in reality at least twice that figure.
Pensioners and low income workers are literally starving. Last month it was
reported that in half the households surveyed for the food situation, the
household was selling capital assets to buy food.
There is no sign that the government is coming to grips with the situation
-their economic recovery plans are fragmented and unrealistic, they are not
facing up to the severity of the economic crisis or growing political
isolation. They continue to blame the western world (Britain and the USA)
for their problems. They continue to harass and intimidate the opposition
and violations of basic human and political rights continue unabated.  There
has now been two successful stay away's from work - the first organised by
the MDC and the second by the Trade Unions. Both drew widespread support
from all elements in our society - including many in the State sector. The
next phase in the mass action campaign is coming and they know that and this
will entail street protests for the first time. They must know that the
military and the police are getting edgy at the continued use of the armed
forces for domestic oppression and violence against the local population.
Yes I think we are at the end of our tether in all respects. We could go on
but only at the cost of very dramatic hardship for all the people of the
country - including now the very people on whom Mugabe depends for support.
The minority who have grown rich whilst the people have been impoverished.
Then there is the painful issue of who controls the tether?  Again no
comfort for Mugabe. For whatever the reason Mbeki has told his people to
treat Zimbabwe as a commercial customer - no special privileges. So a
Minister goes to a South Africa clinic for treatment and is turned away when
he says the government of Zimbabwe will pay the bill. The South African
energy giants of Sasol and Escom are both imposing normal conditions on
present and future energy supplies, so are Libya and Kuwait as well as
Mozambique. The EU and the USA (the largest sources of aid funds in the
world) are both saying it cannot be business as usual for African States if
they continue to permit Mugabe delinquency. The IMF and the World Bank are
also saying - no business until you put your house in order.
Finally there is the MDC, no matter what they do to us we will not go away
and we will not bow. Those whom Zanu despised yesteryear as nobodies are in
fact now an insurmountable obstacle to progress in the political arena.
There is now a viable opposition and potential future government in the
wings, one with policies and a clear ideological base and popular mandate.
An opposition that cannot be defeated democratically and now stands in the
way of any directed solutions. One that cannot be circumvented in any road
out of the valley we are in at present. One that controls the tether and
with whom they will shortly have to negotiate their own futures and
Eddie Cross
Bulawayo, 27 April 2003.
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Daily News

      Mudzuri suspended

      4/30/03 6:51:51 AM (GMT +2)

      By Columbus Mavhunga

      Engineer Elias Mudzuri, the Executive Mayor of Harare, has been
suspended by the government with immediate effect.

      Announcing the suspension last night - after attending a Cabinet
meeting - Dr Ignatius Chombo, the Minister of Local Government, Public Works
and National Housing, said Mudzuri had failed to turn around the city since
he assumed office last year.

      But Mudzuri immediately dismissed Chombo's accusations, saying there
were no sustainable grounds to suspend him. He said the move was politically

      "Chombo must be warned that he is playing on a wrong political
scenario," said Mudzuri. "He wants to trigger unnecessary chaos and
confusion within the city. Whatever reason Chombo gave for my suspension is
rubbish. Those were fabricated charges."

      Chombo said since Mudzuri took over the highest office in the city
last year on an opposition MDC ticket, the mayor failed to deliver and turn
around the city.

      "The mayor has arbitrarily suspended key management staff without a
staff audit," Chombo told journalists. "He has abused his authority, flouted
tender procedures and not followed procedures. He has failed to sufficiently
supply water to the city and its satellite towns since September."

      But Mudzuri laughed it off when he was asked to comment on the water

      "I will issue a detailed statement to that effect tomorrow (today),"
said Mudzuri. "All I can say is that Chombo has been trying to test my
strength for quite a long time. I am the strongest character in the city."

      Chombo said the deputy mayor, Sekesayi Makwavarara, would now act as
mayor pending the findings of a committee to assess whether Mudzuri should
be dismissed or reinstated.

      Asked what move he would take now that he had been suspended, Mudzuri
said: "All the power lies with the residents. The people of Harare have the
final say. I am the second highest elected person in Zimbabwe after Mugabe,
but I believe in democracy. I will listen to the residents. If they say I
have to go through a referendum, I will go. But I will not take heed of the
dirty tricks which the minister is playing."

      Mudzuri and Chombo have continually clashed since the mayor's election
last year.

      Chombo has been accusing the MDC-dominated council of mismanagement,
corruption, poor provision of services to the city and victimising council
employees deemed loyal to Zanu PF.

      Mudzuri has, in turn, accused Chombo of continual interference.

      The Daily News was last night inundated by callers deploring the move
and urging residents to boycott paying rates.
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Daily News

      SA envoy urges Zimbabwe to talk over land reform

      4/30/03 7:23:33 AM (GMT +2)

      By Precious Shumba

      NEO Masitela, the chairman of the South African Portfolio Committee on
Agriculture and Land Affairs, yesterday said the major problem affecting
Zimbabwe was lack of communication between the government and major
stakeholders who are involved in the land reform programme.

      Masitela said Zimbabweans should promote dialogue among themselves
whenever they are faced with problems.

      He was summarising presentations by agri-business dealers, and
representatives from the General Allied Plantation Workers' Union of
Zimbabwe (GAPWUZ) and the Farm Community Trust of Zimbabwe (FCTZ) at

      "There is clearly a serious lack of communication among yourselves as
Zimbabweans," he said. "Most of the inputs you are making today could have
been addressed if you had dialogued among yourselves."

      Masitela said although the government had voted nearly $800 million
for agricultural development programmes, this had not been made public.

      He said this culture of working in silence posed a serious problem.

      He was responding to the presentations by agro-dealers, who told the
SA delegation that Zimbabwean farmers did not have resources.

      The SA MPs are in the country to gather evidence from their Zimbabwean
counterparts in the Portfolio Committee on Lands, Agriculture, Water
Development, Rural Resources and Resettlement on how the government's land
reform programme was progressing.

      Masitela said they were here because there was a Communal Rights Bill
that was before their parliament, and they would want to gather as many
views as possible from Zimbabwe.

      Masitela said all issues affecting agricultural development in
Zimbabwe must be discussed with the government.

      He said open dialogue should centre on the controversial GMO, health
delivery, production and how to assist new farmers.

      "We will make recommendations to the Zimbabwe government," he said.
"All stakeholders in the land reform have the capacity to correct things.

      "We will convey this message to your government that some people are
worried in the manner in which the land reform is being implemented. We need
to work out things together."

      Walter Mzembi, the chairman of the agro-dealers, in his presentation
to the delegation, said they were giving small-scale farmers a
four-pillar-support system which included resource based use, input and
financial support.

      Getrude Hambira, a GAPWUZ representative, said displaced farm workers
desperately need food assistance, medication and education for their

      She said most schools and clinics which were built by the white
commercial farmers were forcibly closed down and government was aware of
that problem.

      Godfrey Magaramombe, the director of FCTZ said about 2 million people
who depended on about 500 000 displaced farm workers were left without any
source of income.
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Daily News

      New twist in MDC arson case

      4/30/03 7:29:08 AM (GMT +2)

      Court Reporter

      THE MDC was not at all involved in the fire which gutted the building
housing Zanu PF offices in Chinhoyi last month as previously claimed, the
High Court heard yesterday.

      The fire could have been started by an employee of a workers' union in
the same building who was determined to destroy evidence in a fraud case.

      The revelation was made by Harare lawyer, Alec Muchadehama,
representing Gift Machoka Konjana, an MDC provincial administrator,
implicated in the arson and denied bail.

      Konjana allegedly confessed to torching the Mashonaland Turf Club
building which houses offices for various organisations including the
General Agricultural and Plantation Workers' Union (Gapwuz) and Zanu PF.

      "There are suspicions that a serious fraud was committed at Gapwuz and
one employee is suspected to have burned that building to destroy evidence,"
Muchadehama told High Court judge, Justice Moses Chinhengo.

      "It's quite possible the applicant could be innocent."

      Konjana, Martin Wilson, Peter Lwanda and Rodgers Joseph Chimatira are
being charged with arson or violating the Public Order and Security Act.

      Konjana's co-accused were released two weeks ago on $150 000 bail each
after Chinhengo ruled that there was no strong evidence linking the accused
to the offence.

      Chinhengo denied Konjana bail, saying Konjana had outlined in a
statement to the police how he allegedly single-handedly burnt down the

      Muchadehama said his clients were tortured by detectives and CIO
agents and that Konjana made the alleged confession under duress.

      He said the investigating officer had admitted that Konjana and his
accomplices were assaulted while in police custody.

      "The State has now confirmed that the statement was extracted in
circumstances in which the applicant could not be said to have confessed
freely and voluntarily," Muchadehama said yesterday.

      "The State's case has been weakened by the State's own investigation
which found that there is an indication that the applicant was assaulted in
the manner described in the court application."

      Brian Vito, of the Attorney-General's Office, argued that there was no
evidence to suggest that Konjana made his alleged confession under duress.
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Daily News

      Harare Central, Makonde voters' rolls ready for inspection

      4/30/03 7:26:07 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      THE voters' rolls for the Harare Central and Makonde by-elections, are
now open for inspection, the Electoral Supervisory Commission (ESC) said

      In a statement, Thomas Bvuma, the ESC spokesman, urged voters to check
their names on the voters' rolls to avoid being inconvenienced.

      Said Bvuma: "The ESC is concerned that many people just turn up at
polling stations on polling days and are surprised when they are told that
they cannot vote because their names do not appear on the voters' roll.

      "Some names do not appear on the voters' rolls either because people
are not registered as voters or because they have changed residence but have
not notified the Registrar General of their new address."

      By-elections are due in Harare Central and Makonde constituencies at a
date yet to be announced by President Mugabe. This follows the resignation
of the MDC's Mike Auret and the death of Dr Swithun Mombeshora, who
represented Makonde.
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Daily News

      Madiro threatens timber producers

      4/30/03 7:26:43 AM (GMT +2)

      From Chengetai Murimwa in Mutare

      MIKE Madiro, the Zanu PF chairman for Manicaland, has threatened
timber producers that they risk losing their plantations if they continue
supporting the MDC.

      Madiro made the threats at a meeting with members of the Timber
Producers' Federation (TPF) a fortnight ago.

      TPF is an association of about 32 timber growers and sawmills in

      Top provincial Zanu PF members, Kenneth Saruchera, the deputy
treasurer, Munacho Mutezo, the secretary for administration, Robert Gumbo,
the secretary for commissariat and Paul Kadzima, the treasurer, attended the

      Gumbo is also the chairperson of the war veterans in Manicaland.

      According to minutes of the meeting, it was agreed, among other
things, that the TPF would not support opposition politics and should work
with Zanu PF to ensure the ruling party wins the forthcoming urban council

      It was also agreed that TPF should recognise the government's
controversial land reform programme and to assist newly resettled farmers.

      TPF was represented by Border Timbers Limited, Forestry Company of
Zimbabwe, EC Meikle, Troutbeck Timbers, Wattle Company and Mutare Board and
Paper Mills.

      John Gadzikwa, TPF chairperson, yesterday confirmed the meeting took
place but refused to give details.

      "The meeting took place but I can not give you details," said
Gadzikwa, who is also the managing director of Border Timbers Limited.

      Madiro yesterday refused to discuss the matter referring any enquiries
to Charles Pemhenayi, the Zanu PF spokesman in Manicaland. "The meeting was
a lobbying event to work with industry and commerce including TPF," said

      He denied that Madiro threatened timber producers. But sources
maintained the TPF was threatened and ordered not to participate in job
stayaways organised by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions.
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      10 000 Harare residents benefit from food aid

      4/30/03 7:27:25 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      AT least 10 000 people in Harare are benefiting from food aid being
distributed by the United States government and distributed via the United
Nations World Food Programme each month.

      The food distribution started in February.

      During a tour of one of the food aid programmes in Mbare yesterday,
Joseph Sullivan, the United States Ambassador to Zimbabwe, said the US had
since March 2002 contributed approximately 217 000 metric tonnes of food
assistance to Zimbabwe, valued at US$111,6 million (about Z$6 billion).

      "The US is acutely aware of how difficult life has become for most
Zimbabweans," he said. "As a result, the American contribution to Zimbabwe's
emergency food need is larger than that of any other single donor."

      He said the US would remain committed to helping the Zimbabwean people
overcome the mounting challenges they are facing.

      In Mbare at least 4 500 people under the Mashambanzou Trust are
benefiting from the food aid programme.

      The beneficiaries include Aids orphans and those infected with the
virus and they receive maize, beans and cooking oil.

      The Mashambanzou Trust is also involved in paying school fees and
meeting the medical needs of the less fortunate children.
      According to the UN more than six million Zimbabweans need food aid
because of the current drought and the effects of the government's chaotic
land reform programme.
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      Mashonaland West MDC activists flee terror

      4/30/03 7:27:53 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

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

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

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

      Simon Mudzingwa, the MDC deputy chairman for Mashonaland West, said
the police had been hunting for senior MDC activists for their alleged role
in the stayaway. Mudzingwa said he escaped from Chinhoyi following what he
alleged were several attempts on his life by Zanu PF supporters and the

      He said: "We will not return to our homes until this illegitimate
regime is gone."
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      Tenants resist eviction despite court order

      4/30/03 7:30:30 AM (GMT +2)

      By Brian Mangwende Chief Reporter

      ABOUT 300 families at Eastview Gardens, Harare, are resisting eviction
from the complex despite a Supreme Court ruling ordering them to move out.

      There are 384 two-bedroomed flats at the complex situated near
Rhodesville Police Station along Mutare Road.

      The flats previously belonged to the Zimbabwe Reinsurance Corporation
Limited (Zimre) and later sold on the open market to individuals.

      Now, a storm is brewing among the new owners and the tenants with the
new owners saying they were being prejudiced.

      The new owners have since engaged the Messenger of Court to evict the
tenants who are refusing to budge.

      Last week, residents who were dressed in Zanu PF regalia and chanting
slogans in praise of the ruling party, barred the Messenger of Court from
executing his duties by picketing the entrance to the block of flats.

      They also hoisted the National Flag at the gate.

      They are arguing that they were not given enough time to respond to
offers made by Zimre when the flats were up for grabs in 2000.

      Those interviewed declined to be named. One resident said: "Zimre took
us by surprise when they said the flats were now for sale. "They gave us
first preference as sitting tenants to buy the flats, but in a surprise
move, they reversed that decision, without giving us enough time either to
look for the money or enter into any agreements."

      The residents sought the protection of the High Court, but they lost
the case. They then appealed to the Supreme Court which upheld the High
Court decision.

      Upholding a High Court judgment to evict the tenants, the Supreme
Court ruling reads in part: "Courts have no power to create legal rights.
Their duty is to interpret the law and declare the existing rights which
they enforce.

      "If, as was the case here, there was no agreement between the first
respondent (Zimre), and the tenants in terms of which the right to purchase
the flats they occupied was given to the tenants, the court had no basis on
which to grant them a right to purchase the same.
      "Courts cannot make contracts for parties. The appeal is without
merit. It is dismissed with costs," read the court ruling.

      Two days before Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions-led job stayaway
last week, residents failed to report for work in continuous efforts to
protect their property after the Messenger of Court reappeared to evict

      The residents went a step further and solicited the protection of
Joseph Chinotimba, a war veteran and Zanu PF's losing candidate in the
Highfield by-election.

      Chinotimba addressed the residents and made it clear that as long as
they supported Zanu PF they would not be evicted.
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      Subdued start to ZITF

      4/30/03 7:31:19 AM (GMT +2)

      From Our Correspondent in Bulawayo

      THE crippling fuel shortage nationwide turned yesterday's start of
this year's Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) in Bulawayo into a
low-key affair.

      Some Bulawayo filling stations have not received fuel supplies since
the price of the commodity shot up about two weeks ago.

      Although 596 exhibitors, compared to last year's 523, had confirmed
their participation at the beginning of the year, a significant number had
not yet set up their stands by yesterday.

      Some exhibitors said they were not sure whether they would be able to
erect their stands as they were having difficulties transporting their goods
to the ZITF grounds because of the fuel shortage.

      ZITF officials would not comment on the number of exhibitors who had
turned up for this year's event.

      An exhibitor from Botswana said they had decided to bring marketing
brochures instead of goods because of the fuel shortage.

      The fair, which ends on Saturday, will be officially opened by Angolan
President Eduardo dos Santos on Friday.
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      Zimbabwe's capital account dries up

      4/30/03 6:42:32 AM (GMT +2)

      By Hama Saburi Business Editor

      FOREIGN capital coming into Zimbabwe has virtually dried up largely as
a result of the current stand-off between the Zimbabwe government and the
international community.

      Without disclosing figures, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, said there
has been capital outflow from Zimbabwe and the rest of the continent.

      The RBZ said: "For instance, Zimbabwe's capital account has virtually
dried up following the suspension of foreign aid and development capital,
coupled with unfavourable domestic and external conditions."

      A capital account is a summation of investments, aid and credit coming
into a country.

      It reflects the level of confidence the international community has in
a country.

      Joseph Muzulu, a local economist, said a lot needs to be done to
attract foreign capital.

      "We need to address the macro-economic situation and encourage foreign
investors to invest and then capital will flow in depending on interest rate
differentials with other countries," Muzulu said.

      While the situation in Zimbabwe has deteriorated, emerging markets and
some Asian countries remain attractive to foreign investors because of
brighter prospects for growth and higher returns on investments.

      In its weekly economic highlights, the central bank said high
inflation prevailing in Zimbabwe against stable rates obtaining in trading
partner countries was inimical to growth and export competitiveness.

      Consequently, Zimbabwe's real gross domestic product growth declined
by over 12 percent last year and is projected to plunge further by at least
7 percent this year.

      "Despite these challenges, however, developing countries, particularly
in Africa, should take advantage of the positive growth prospects in the
world economy, to increase capacity utilisation and expand the export base.

      "This, however, requires these countries to address domestic and
external imbalances ranging from slowdown in economic activity to high
inflation and weakening external competitiveness.

      "Zimbabwean exporters should take advantage of existing export
incentives and the recent changes to the exchange rate arrangements to
increase production and export share, so as to boost the country's export
earnings," the RBZ said.

      There are encouraging signs of recovery across the world's major
economic blocs, following marked slowdown to 2,2 percent in 2001.

      World output is projected to increase by about 3,7 percent this year,
up from 2,9 percent last year.

      Emerging market countries are expected to register a positive growth
of 4,9 percent this year, while growth in industrialised countries will also
remain strong at 2,5 percent.

      Mixed, but strong performance is however, expected in most developing
countries in Africa and Asia.

      On average, growth in Africa's economy is projected at 4,2 percent
this year, while developing Asia will grow by 6,3 percent.
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      Industrial production declines

      4/30/03 6:43:26 AM (GMT +2)

      From Ntungamili Nkomo in Bulawayo

      INDUSTRIAL production has plunged to a mere 30 percent owing to
intermittent electricity power cuts.

      Antony Mandiwanza, the president of the Confederation of Zimbabwe
Industries, said the acute shortage of foreign currency had worsened the

      The extent to which production has declined is a cause for concern
since it contributes to the depreciating value of the local currency.

      Mandiwanza said recently: "Industry is currently suffocating under
immense pressure because of the general economic conditions confronting us.
In terms of capacity, load-shedding, stayaways, and a depressed economy have
stifled production to 30 percent."

      The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority introduced load-shedding
last month following the reduction in power imports due to soaring debt.

      Zesa needs US$165 million (Z$9 075 million) to settle arrears with the
World Bank, European Investment Bank, the African Development Bank, among
other creditors. The parastatal imports electricity from South Africa,
Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

      Mandiwanza lamented low industrial production, which he said had
resulted in a serious reduction in exports, leading to the shortage of the
much-needed foreign currency. Many workers could lose their jobs as
companies continued to downsize citing viability problems.

      He said the government should take corrective measures to salvage the
country's industry from total collapse.

      "The solution hinges on the government's responsibility to resuscitate
the troubled industry. They need to implement the much-vaunted National
Economic Revival Programme in a holistic and integrated manner. That should
cover the issues of foreign currency, exports and domestic production," he
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      It's the lying messenger who should be shot

      4/30/03 6:40:08 AM (GMT +2)

      WHO remembers Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf? I do: every time he appeared on
television at the height of the United States-British invasion of Iraq, my
thoughts turned to Jonathan Moyo.

      Al-Sahaf was described by Reuters as "the ever-defiant Information
Minister". They could have been describing Moyo. Here is an example:

      On 8 April, a US spokesman, Lieutenant Mark Kitchens told reporters:
"What you're seeing is a vice. A vice is closing in on this regime and as
the vice closes, their time is running out."

      Al-Sahaf responded: "They (the coalition soldiers) are going to
surrender or be burned in their tanks. Baghdad is bracing itself to pummel
the invaders."

      But by 12 April, the vice had indeed closed in and US troops were in
Tikrit, Saddam Hussein's home town, having conquered Baghdad earlier.

      At the time of writing, there was no information on the whereabouts of
the garrulous Information Minister, let alone his boss.

      But towards the end of last week there was news that the former deputy
prime minister, the ailing Tareq Aziz, had given himself up.

      Between Al-Sahaf and Moyo, I found an identical style of delivery: the
tendency to be pathologically economical with the truth and to use language
sailing perilously close to the shores of obscenity. Then there is the
passion, symbolised by the bulging eyes and the oral gymnastics; the
self-confidence of someone convinced he is speaking to ninnies who are
swallowing his every word: how dare they challenge him? They didn't go to
university, as he did, or work at that prestigious university in South
Africa, or the internationally respected Ford Foundation in Nairobi.

      There have been amazing stories of Moyo's departure from both
institutions - no doubt peddled by people envious of his success, he might

      If he has commented on the fate of his Iraqi counterpart after the
fall of his boss, I have not read of it. People being what they are -
sensible and pragmatic - have compared Saddam Hussein's fate with that of
Moyo's boss, and his own to that of al-Sahaf.

      His friends have discussed an exit plan for President Mugabe, but it's
early days yet. Most citizens would feel grievously hurt if they were denied
an opportunity to ask Mugabe what they have being dying to ask to him for 23
years: why did you hate us so much?

      What happened to al-Sahaf after Saddam fled his country? He could have
escaped. I doubt he will turn up to denounce his former master in front of
US and British TV cameras as the worst dictator in Asia since Pol Pot of The
Killing Fields notoriety - as someone I know is dying to tell the world,
once he locates the offices of the BBC, CNN or SkyNews in Harare.

      So far, I haven't mustered the courage to tell him these people have
no offices in Zimbabwe because Moyo believes they would cramp his style:
essentially, to keep Mugabe from discovering that, in public, he is sounding
more and more like a clone of The Professor, rather than the other way

      Mugabe's performance on ZBC-TV in that incredibly predictable
interview was a fine example of a leader believing his own chief

      There was an unforgettable moment when he looked thoroughly
bewildered: Supa Mandiwanzira kept probing him about the British connection
with the MDC. Mugabe was so hard up for an answer he blurted out they have
bugged Morgan Tsvangirai's telephone. He said they knew of a telephone
conversation between the MDC leader and Tony Blair.

      He was so desperate to convince Supa of this alliance that he was
forced to disclose that little security detail.

      Most people know that the desperation of this government has reached
ballistic proportions. They routinely bug the telephones and cellphones of
every citizen they suspect of being even indifferent to Mugabe's rule, let
alone critical.

      Still, I think Nicholas Goche, who must have provided the intelligence
on the bugged conversation, would not have been pleased with this
disclosure, which other people would be told was on a "need to know" basis,
as they say in the spook business.

      At another level, that performance confirmed what Doris Lessing said
about Mugabe in a recent article: he is a very frightened man. I noticed
that my colleague, Alexander Kanengoni, did not agree with that perception,
although for the life of me I can't imagine why: so many people in and
outside Zimbabwe now dislike and despise this man so intensely he would have
to be psychologically numb not to feel scared.

      He may not be in the same league with Osama bin Laden, but he
certainly has his share of ill-wishers around the world.

      Let's assume for one moment Mugabe was confronted with the same fate
as Saddam Hussein - it's not so fanciful: I bet the Iraqi leader did not for
one moment imagine he would be hightailing it pronto out of his palace as
the US tanks smashed through the gates.

      Would Jonathan Moyo keep telling the world that what Mugabe's enemies
were saying were lies, that he was still in full control, even if the truth
was that he had left State House and was being flown by helicopter to the
border with the DRC?

      I mean, is that what really happened as the presidential election
swung in Tsvangirai's favour in March 2002?

      Al-Sahaf was loud and eloquent in defence of Saddam Hussein.

      It's always difficult to gauge the sincerity of such people.

      As genuine spin doctors, you can trust their word only at your own

      Some of their loyalty is suspiciously of the insane variety. There
must come a time when such messengers, whose specialty is to lie to protect
their masters and their interests, may deserve the same punishment as the
people they served.

      Listening to Mugabe in the interview with SupaI thought of the many
live broadcasts Saddam used to have at the peak of his reign.

      He would speak to his people about the struggle against Iran whose
people I remember him saying "are not even Arabs".

      He would speak to them later about the people of Kuwait, whose country
he wanted to annex. Thousands of Iraqis died in both wars, which many
analysts now say were avoidable.

      Which is where Saddam and Mugabe bear a striking resemblance. Mugabe
sent Zimbabweans into three wars - against so-called Zimbabwean "dissidents"
in Matabeleland and Midlands, against Mozambicans fighting Mozambicans in
their own country and against Congolese fighting Congolese in their own

      You get the eerie sensation that the similarity doesn't end there.
Both countries are endowed with abundant natural resources, yet their people
are as poor as if they had no resources, except a surfeit of mendacious

      Clearly, their messengers have spoken with the forked tongue of the

      When the time comes, they too must be asked to account for their
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