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

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Daily News

      Sadc grills Mudenge

      4/4/2003 12:05:50 AM (GMT +2)

      By Brian Mangwende Chief Reporter

      THE Southern African Development Community (Sadc) foreign ministers
have resolved to send a task force to meet President Mugabe's government
next week over gross human rights abuses, muzzling of the Press and the
collapse of the economy.

      Ten foreign ministers, together with high commissioners, yesterday
spent nine hours in a closed meeting in Harare with their Zimbabwean
counterpart, Stan Mudenge, during which they grilled him over
State-sponsored violence taking place in the country.

      Soon after the meeting, Leonardo Simao, the Mozambican Foreign Affairs
Minister who chaired the meeting, said: "We discussed the prevailing
situation in Zimbabwe which continues to attract our attention.

      "Zimbabweans are not living in peace and harmony. We got a briefing
from Minister Mudenge and we are worried because Zimbabweans do not live in

      "We are concerned and because of this, next week a task force should
be coming to Zimbabwe to deal with the situation. They will take it up. We
have an obligation to overcome the difficulties Zimbabweans are facing.

      "At the moment we are working together with the European Union and the
United States Agency for International Development to try and resolve the
Zimbabwe problem."

      He said the task force would also meet the various farmers' unions,
non-governmental organisations, church leaders and the opposition MDC to
save Zimbabwe from total collapse.

      Simao and the Mozambican deputy defence minister on Wednesday went on
a guided tour in Mashonaland West together with Peter Chanetsa, that
province's governor, in an effort by government to prove that the land
reform programme was a success story.

      But Simao said: "I will not consider that visit as a global picture of
what is happening throughout Zimbabwe."

      Ronnie Mamoepa, the spokesperson for the South African Foreign
Ministry, said: "South Africa is currently in ongoing talks with the
Zimbabwean government at president-to-president, party-to-party,
government-to-government and minister-to-minister levels to resolve the
Zimbabwe problem.

      "Zimbabwe is South Africa's largest trading partner and whatever
happens in Zimbabwe will have an effect on us. It must be made clear that
South Africa is doing something about the situation, but confidentially. It'
s a process, not an event. Our position is that the people of Zimbabwe must
be masters of their own destiny. We will continue to assist the people of
Zimbabwe to encourage national reconciliation."

      Jeremiah Ndou, the South African High Commissioner to Zimbabwe, who
has been accused of failing to tell his bosses in Pretoria the true
Zimbabwean picture, said yesterday: "I am in touch with what is going on in
the country. With the recent peace agreement between the warring parties in
the Democratic Republic of Congo, there is a renewed sense of optimism and
enthusiasm that Africa has the capacity to resolve its problems through

      Mudenge refused to disclose any details of the discussions, but as
soon as journalists rushed to Simao for a briefing, the Zimbabwean Foreign
Minister swooped in as if to say: "Don't say what I wouldn't say."

      Simao simply said: "The task force is going to discuss Zimbabwe in

      Asked what Sadc's stance was on the arrest this week of Gibson
Sibanda, the MDC vice-president and leader of the opposition in Parliament,
Simao said: "I can't comment on that. I don't have the necessary details and
am not familiar with the case, but the task force will deal with that when
they come next week."

      Sibanda was arrested on Monday in Bulawayo for allegedly organising
the 18 and 19 March stayaway.

      The Nkulumane Member of Parliament is in custody pending the presiding
magistrate's ruling on his bail application next Monday.
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Daily News

      Recruitment attacked

      4/4/2003 12:23:27 AM (GMT +2)

      From Our Correspondent in Masvingo

      THE National Union of Students at Polytechnic and Technical Colleges
(NUSPOTECH) will challenge in the courts the partisan recruitment of
pro-Zanu PF youths to undergo training at colleges throughout the country.

      Skumbuzo Manduna, the secretary-general of NUSPOTECH, said the
partisan intake and deployment of the graduates at colleges was a cause for
concern as it was prejudicing other students.

      The government last year said graduates of the national youth training
service would be given preference when it came to studying at public
institutions of higher learning.

      Manduna said the recruitment procedure was unconstitutional.

      He charged that deserving students were being deprived of their right
to education because of their perceived political affiliation.

      Said Manduna: "The youth service products are terrorising other
students. We have cases of students who have been victimised for expressing
their views. This is daylight corruption. We are going to file a court
application to challenge the recruitment procedure."

      Manduna said students should be allowed to demonstrate because it was
their constitutional right.

      He deplored the harassment and arrest of student leaders by the police
and State security agents. On the welfare of students, he said the union
would fight to have their allowances increased.
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Daily News

      Food shortages to persist: UN envoy

      4/4/2003 12:25:29 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      VICTOR Angelo, the United Nations resident and humanitarian
co-ordinator, yesterday said Zimbabwe would face further humanitarian
challenges in 2003 and it was important that more guarantees be put in place
to protect the rights of vulnerable communities.

      Angelo was speaking at a workshop to review the current humanitarian
crisis in the country.

      The workshop comes at a time when there are allegations that thousands
of people in Zimbabwe are facing starvation due to the unfair distribution
of food aid mainly due to political interference.

      Angelo said non-governmental organisations should critically examine
their obligations in order to serve the interests of vulnerable people.

      "We must further guarantee that there are safety nets to protect the
rights of the vulnerable parts of the population," he said. "It is also our
obligation to establish that equity and accountability form the foundations
of humanitarian interventions."

      The humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe, though compounded by drought, has
been widely blamed on the fast-track change in land ownership in the last
two years.

      The workshop seeks to come up with solutions on how humanitarian
organisations can effectively co-ordinate food distribution as loopholes had
been found in a number of cases.

      Flora Buka, the Minister of State for the Land Reform Programme in
Vice-President Joseph Msika's Office, said she expected the number of people
in need of food aid to drop from 7,8 million in May to about 3 million by

      "However, I anticipate that the numbers will start to rise from
October 2003 when households would have used their harvests," she said.

      Buka said all players in food distribution should operate within the
broad structure provided by the government.

      "Provision of food aid has brought with it claims that food aid in the
country is being politicised," she said.

      "Some donors are still doubtful that aid reaches the targeted
beneficiaries and suspect that aid is being used to further government's
political agenda at the expense of the people."

      Zanu PF has been accused of using government structures to deny food
to its suspected political opponents.
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Daily News

      Woman claims rape at Zanu PF HQ

      4/4/2003 12:27:34 AM (GMT +2)

      From Our Correspondent in Bulawayo

      THE defeat of Zanu PF by the MDC in last weekend's parliamentary
by-elections in Highfield and Kuwadzana did not go down well with a Bulawayo
man who allegedly vented his anger by raping a woman twice.

      The incident allegedly occurred at the Zanu PF provincial
headquarters, the Davies Hall.
      The case was heard on Wednesday when Richard Munthuli of Mzilikazi
appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Fadzai Mthombeni.

      He pleaded not guilty to two counts of rape but was remanded in
custody to 22 April when the magistrate is expected to consider his bail

      Presenting the State case, Simba Mabasa said, on 31 March at Davies
Hall, Munthuli allegedly grabbed the complainant who was passing near the

      The State further alleged that Munthuli carried the woman on his
shoulders and went with her inside Davies Hall where he allegedly raped her

      The complainant told the court that Munthuli raped her because he was
unhappy with Zanu PF's defeat.

      Nelson Chamisa of the MDC beat Zanu PF's David Mutasa in Kuwadzana
while Joseph Chinotimba who stood for Zanu PF in Highfield lost to Pearson
Mungofa of the MDC.
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      Businessman sues for ordeal in filthy cell

      4/4/2003 12:22:54 AM (GMT +2)

      By Lloyd Mudiwa

      CHARLES Chituku, a Harare businessman, is suing Kembo Mohadi, the
Minister of Home Affairs, and Augustine Chihuri, the Police Commissioner,
after he was allegedly detained in a police cell in sub-human conditions.

      Led by his lawyer Misheck Hogwe, Chituku told High Court judge,
Justice Rita Makarau, that he was thrown into a cramped cell at Marlborough
Police Station on 15 March 1998. He shared the cell with 24 inmates, six of
whom were suffering from diarrhoea.

      High Court judge, Justice Benjamin Paradza, in an application to the
Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of his arrest and remand in
February on charges of obstructing the course of justice, said he was
detained under appalling conditions at Borrowdale Police Station.

      Chituku was detained overnight pending his appearance at the Harare
Magistrates' Courts for failing to pay a $100 fine for a traffic offence.

      "The conditions were diabolical," he said. "They could have held pigs
there and several of them would have been found dead the next morning. There
were about five or six inmates who had been brought to the cells from remand
prison for further investigations into their cases. They had running tummies
owing to the bad food in remand prison.

      "They took turns every few minutes to use a squat pan behind a
one-metre-high wall in one corner. Imagine just hearing the sound of people
relieving themselves, let alone the stench wafting across the cell
throughout the night," Chituku said.

      He is claiming $100 000 as damages for inhuman and degrading treatment
plus interest at the rate of 25 percent per annum from the date the summons
were issued. Chituku issued the summons on 22 February this year.

      Makarau reserved judgment saying she required time to consider the

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      Green Bombers posing as army, says Mutsekwa

      4/4/2003 12:24:58 AM (GMT +2)

      From Our Correspondent in Mutare

      YOUTHS from the national youth services training centres, masquerading
as soldiers, are at the forefront of unleashing terror in Manicaland, a
senior opposition MDC official has said.

      "We have conducted a survey which has revealed that all these people
do not belong to the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF)," said Giles Mutsekwa,
the MDC shadow defence minister and MP for Mutare North. "They do not have
regimental numbers certifying their attestation into the force. They are
mere graduates from the infamous Border Gezi training centres.

      "The Zanu PF leadership wants to create animosity between the army and
the people. Yet in the MDC we are fully aware that the ZDF are a
professional force which will not go about terrorising people they are
supposed to protect."

      The army has in the past weeks been accused of beating up people in
beerhalls, nightclubs and in their homes.

      The incidents are rampant in the country's urban centres.

      But this week, an army spokesman, identified only as
Lieutenant-Colonel Chinoingira, said he has not received the reports.

      Reward Magama, the provincial youth development officer for
Manicaland, declined to comment. "I cannot comment on that rubbish," Magama
said yesterday.

      But Mutsekwa said by continuously sending the youths to beat up
people, Zanu PF was tarnishing the image of the ZDF.

      "We urge the government to separate the chaff from the grain," he
said. "In this instance, the chaff are the youths who are being trained at
the Border Gezi training centres."

      Mutsekwa said the Zanu PF machinations would, however, not create
hatred between the army and the MDC.

      "It is very clear in our minds that the ZDF is also totally disturbed
that the uniform used to bring pride to our nation and the ZDF is now being
put on by people whose agenda is nothing but to terrorise the people for the
reasons of prolonging Mugabe's stay in power," he said.

      "At the moment we are doing a lot of public relations for the army and
we are also busy educating our followers that the ZDF is a people-oriented
force created to defend the people and not to harm them."

      But Zacharia Mutize, the deputy provincial police spokesman, said:
"There is no way we can get to know about that when the people do not report
to the police. We tend to question their motives when they report to The
Daily News as if it is a charge office. They should report to us."

      There have been reports that people in army uniforms are harassing
civilians following the MDC-led mass action.
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Leader Page

      Moyo clearly suffers from selective memory loss

      4/4/2003 12:05:05 AM (GMT +2)

      By Cathy Buckle

      In both the parliamentary election in June 2000 and the presidential
election in March 2002, there were thousands of reports of violence and
human rights abuses in Zimbabwe.

      There were murders and beatings, rape and torture. On both of these
occasions a number of top Zimbabwean ministers and even President Mugabe
himself were asked to explain the mayhem that swept through our country.

      When they were not blaming the opposition for everything, our
President and his ministers said the violence in 2000 and 2002 was nothing
compared to what they had been through in the run-up to the election in

      Excusing violence, murder, torture and rape on the grounds that it was
not as bad as it was two decades ago, is no justification for what is
happening now.

      Speaking on ZBC-TV last week, the Minister of State for Information
and Publicity in the President's Office, Professor Jonathan Moyo, described
the media coverage of the war in Iraq as "barbaric and shocking".

      He said it was barbaric to parade prisoners on television and that
each person should look at these events and be able to empathise with the
victims. Moyo said we should try to identify ourselves with these horrors by
saying "that could be me, my child or my parent".

      Moyo clearly suffers from selective memory loss. He must have
forgotten what happened in August 2001 when 26 commercial farmers were
arrested and paraded endlessly on ZBC-TV.

      Not only were these men shown struggling down from police vehicles
barefoot and with their hands and feet shackled, this disgusting footage was
then used for a music video featuring Youth Development, Gender and
Employment Minister Eliot Manyika.

      Worse still, these farmers were not prisoners of war, but innocent
civilians and every single one of them was subsequently found not guilty of
any crime.

      Perhaps Moyo has also forgotten what happened outside Bulawayo a few
days after the murder of war veteran Cain Nkala in November 2001.

      In front of ZBC-TV cameras, police led a barefoot and shackled man to
a patch of dusty ground and, apparently, then and there they discovered a
shallow grave.

      In disbelief and disgust, Zimbabweans watched what we were told was a
decomposing limb being unearthed.

      Someone needs to refresh Moyo's memory. Cast your mind back to
Blackfordby Farm outside Harare in June 2001.

      There, in the presence of both police and ZTV, who carefully turned
their cameras away,

      32-year-old Zondiwa Dumukani was bludgeoned to death by a mob wielding
sticks, axes and a golf club. Did we hear a single government official
"identify" with the dead man ?

      Even more shocking and barbaric in Zimbabwe have been the events of
the last fortnight since the two-day nationwide stayaway. Hundreds of people
have been arrested and beaten. This has not been shown on television, but it
too is utterly barbaric.

      The stories of what happened to some of these people have been told in
horrific detail by the survivors.

      Yet Moyo chooses - for political reasons - to "identify" with the
Iraqi victims while conveniently ignoring the suffering of his own African
brothers and sisters at home.

      Selective ministerial memory loss indeed!

      This week ordinary Zimbabweans are identifying with our own innocent
victims. We do not need television cameras and videos to be able to
empathise - we all know what has happened.

      I wonder if Moyo can find it in his heart to empathise with the men on
opposition Member of Parliament Roy Bennet's leased farm who had their
fingers and toes broken by men in army uniform last week?

      Can Moyo look at the front page photographs of 60-year-old Isobel
Gardiner's bruised and bloodied buttocks and think: that could be my wife,
my mother?

      Perhaps he can imagine how Mrs Gardiner and the other victims of
mindless brutality must have felt lying on the ground being beaten black and

      One wonders if Moyo knows or cares about the bestial sexual violation
suffered by one woman where soldiers placed a condom on the end of a rifle
telling her it represented
      opposition MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

      Can the minister deny all knowledge of this and is he not shocked and

      This could have been Moyo's wife, mother or sister.

      It is no good condemning barbaric behaviour in one country whilst
sanctioning worse horrors in your own or by saying they are nothing compared
to what happened in 1980.

      Moyo may have forgotten Zimbabwe's horrors of the last three years,
but we have not and are still living with it - day after day.

      Cathy Buckle is a Zimbabwean housewife who lives in Marondera.
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Leader Page

      Objectivity a must on Zimbabwe

      4/4/2003 12:04:27 AM (GMT +2)

      WITH a few exceptions, among them Senegal's Abdoulaye Wade, Ghana's
John Kuffuor, and, to a certain extent, Mozambique's Joaquim Chissano,
African leaders seem to have rallied behind President Mugabe in his titanic
struggle against the majority of the people of Zimbabwe.

      Most African leaders endorsed Mugabe's controversial re-election last
year and pooh-poohed any attempts by the opposition MDC to challenge the
legitimacy of that poll.

      Yet many non-African countries, including the United States and
members of the European Union, refused to endorse the election as free and

      Leading the fight on Mugabe's behalf are two powerful African leaders,
Thabo Mbeki of South Africa and Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria. To their
credit, they did make initial overtures for dialogue between Mugabe and the
MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai.

      But all that is now water under the bridge: the two men tried but
failed to get the Commonwealth to readmit Zimbabwe into the group on the
dubious grounds that the country had returned to normalcy.

      But Zanu PF is stepping up its propaganda campaign against the MDC
among the Africans: the burning-down of the ruling Zanu PF party's offices
in Chinhoyi and the victory of the MDC in the by-elections in Highfield and
Kuwadzana have been used as examples of how it is the opposition, rather
than Zanu PF, to blame for the political crisis. The arson case is still
with the police, so it would be unfair to comment on it here, except to ask
the diplomats a few questions.

      Did they ever visit the MDC offices in Bulawayo after they were
attacked? Did they visit the printing press of The Daily News after it was
bombed, or the offices in Trustee House after a bomb blast under the former
editor-in-chief's office?

      But the results of the two by-elections are something else.

      Stan Mudenge, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, said, almost
predictably, that the MDC victory showed how free and fair the by-elections

      In yesterday's paper, we published a picture of a young man alleging
he was battered by suspected Zanu PF thugs in Highfield constituency. He was
another victim of what the MDC has alleged is Zanu PF's retribution against
those who voted for the opposition.

      The African diplomats may choose to be sceptical of such claims, but
they ought to remember there was similar thuggery after the parliamentary
election in 2000 and the presidential election in 2002.

      The very least the diplomats could do is to ensure they hear the other
side of the story. Only then could they form a balanced and objective
picture of what is happening.

      To take Mudenge's word as the gospel truth is highly dangerous. It
would, unfortunately, be compatible with the cynics' view that the diplomats
' function is to "lie abroad for their country".

      Africa needs to re-examine its dossier on Mugabe as the hero of the
anti-colonial struggle for liberation and as the leader of a free and
independent Zimbabwe.

      As the latter, the man appears to have wandered into the dense forest
of self-preservation which dictates that his prime motivation is to maintain
his grip on power - no matter at what cost.

      Only the people's determined action can flush him out of that forest,
back into the clearing which would lead the country to the prosperity his
party promised them at independence.

      If Africa insists its alliance with Mugabe is in the best interests of
the people of Zimbabwe, then its diplomats are not acting in their countries
' enlightened self-interests, as they ought to.
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Daily News


      Costly blunder haunts Air Zimbabwe

      4/4/2003 12:07:07 AM (GMT +2)

      By Precious Shumba

      AIR Zimbabwe was set to collapse if the deal to secure two commuter
aircraft on hire had not been shelved last week.

      Aviation experts say the deal would have compelled the airline to pay
out large sums in foreign currency for almost everything that had to be done
on the planes.

      The deal was heavily tilted in favour of Air Littoral Industrie SA of
France, which dictated everything from maintenance to payment, leaving Air
Zimbabwe without any option but to abide by the unfavourable conditions.

      Air Zimbabwe wanted to hire two ATR 42-500 aircraft from the airline
and was ready to pay US$147 000 (Z$117,6 million) for each plane for the
next three years.

      But the deal collapsed after The Daily News published details of the
contract, which had reportedly not been disclosed in full to the government,
according to Air Zimbabwe.

      David Mwenga, the airline's spokesman, last week issued a statement
playing down the implications of the collapsed deal.

      Mwenga said they were now in the process of demanding back the US$630
000 (Z$504 million) Air Zimbabwe claimed to have paid to Air Littoral
Industrie SA for the ATR 42-500 aircraft.

      He said: "The airline management is conveying this decision to the
French company and will be claiming back the deposit and commitment fee as
provided for in the leasing arrangements. The airline also continues to
explore alternative arrangements with appropriate commuter aircraft
suppliers in order to enhance the viability of the airline."

      The airline's efforts to recover its money from the French company
might hit a snag following revelations this week that the Air Zimbabwe
management reportedly signed a memorandum of understanding with the French
company a fortnight ago.

      Although Mwenga insisted that Air Zimbabwe paid Z$504 million as
commitment and deposit fee, the airline paid for the training of two pilots
for over one month at Air Littoral Industrie's base in France to familiarise
them with the 50-seater ATR planes. The pilots on induction received US$350
(Z$280 000) every day of their stay in France and about Z$16,8 million was
spent on their allowances.

      Ironically, engineers who repair and maintain aircraft were kept out
of the deal until the last minute.

      It remains unclear how the airline will recover all the foreign
currency it paid to Cornwell Muleya, an aviation consultant and a former
manager with Air Botswana who they engaged to link them up with Air

      Engineers who spoke on condition they remained unnamed said the
collapsed deal was pregnant with aviation inconsistencies that had the
potential to destroy Air Zimbabwe.
      If the deal had been sealed, Air Zimbabwe would have paid about US$250
000 (Z$200 million) as a maintenance reserve figure. This amount would have
covered spare parts and maintenance of the planes.

      At the same time that Mwenga was telling the world that Air Zimbabwe's
team of negotiators had recommended that the Air Littoral deal be shelved,
two additional pilots who were supposed to leave for France failed to do so
following the publication of the deal.

      The engineers said the airline's management did not consult them when
it began talks with Air Littoral Industrie for the acquisition of the two
ATR planes.

      "The deal was strictly between the airline's management and Air
Littoral Industrie SA," one engineer said.

      "The engineering manager, Phineas Ndlovu, was only brought into the
picture when the deal was at an advanced stage. The management ignored the
input from engineers and relied on lawyers to make serious decisions on the
type of planes to be acquired.

      "The problem we have at Air Zimbabwe is that we have a management that
is led by lawyers and a board that has no aviation expertise. The board
accepts without questioning the viability and essence of the decisions taken
by the management."

      If the deal had been sealed, it would have bled Air Zimbabwe to the
point of collapse, leaving the country without a national airline.

      According to the contract, Air Littoral was supposed to bring to
Harare replacement aircraft spares for the ATR.

      This meant that every time Air Zimbabwe wanted to replace worn-out
spares, they would pay Air Littoral labour charges at one-and-a-half the
normal hourly rate in foreign currency.

      The engineers alleged the management lacked a clear working plan to
revive the national airline because if they had one, they would have taken
their time before rushing into what the engineers said were "impossible"

      "We have many aviation experts who can run Air Zimbabwe," said one

      "There has been a trend at the national airline where managers make
blunders in order to be fired and go away with a golden handshake. Huttush
Muringi, the third managing director for the airline was fired after he
entered into a Fokker 50s deal without consulting the government."

      Muringi later challenged the dismissal in court and received several
millions of dollars as an exit package.

      Livingstone Gwata, the airline's board chairman has come under fire
from Air Zimbabwe employees for his alleged failure to stamp his authority
on the parastatal.
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Dairibord Fined $1,5m for Repackaging Milk

The Herald (Harare)

April 3, 2003
Posted to the web April 3, 2003

From Bulawayo Bureau

The Bulawayo branch of Dairibord Zimbabwe Limited was yesterday fined $1,5
million for repackaging 500 millilitres of three brands of milk into 300ml
satchels in contravention of the control of goods regulations.

The company represented by Mr Abraham Ngwenya pleaded guilty to the three
charges before senior western division regional magistrate Mr James

In mitigation, Mr Ngwenya told the court that the Government was a
shareholder with 10 percent shares in DZL.

He said the supply price of milk is $125 a litre and that the Government
controlled price is $79 a litre and that for the company to break even, they
had to charge $625 per litre.

Agreed facts are that on March 18 this year, Dairibord was found to have
rebranded and repackaged 500ml of fresh milk into 300ml packets.

Two days later, they were also found to have rebranded and repackaged 500 ml
of Chimombe milk and sour milk and replaced them with 300ml packets.

All this was done without the authority of the Minister of Industry and
International Trade.

Mr Ngwenya, however, told the court that the company has since made an
application to the Ministry to be allowed to produce the smaller packets. Mr
Clement Mukwasi appeared for the State.

The arrest and subsequent conviction of DZL comes against a background of an
increasing number of unscrupulous manufacturers and retailers who continue
to defy price controls on basic commodities by constantly hiking prices,
rebranding their products or coming up with products whose mass or volume
does not fall within the gazetted list.

A survey by The Chronicle last month revealed that despite the price
controls, and the employment of fulltime price monitors, prices of basic
commodities continued to increase and are now beyond the reach of most

Before the rebranding and repackaging of milk last month, milk had been
difficult to find in retail outlets but with the reduced sizes and increased
prices the commodity came back on the shelves.

Statutory Instrument 314C of 2002 stipulates that no producer or
manufacturer of controlled products may produce or provide any goods or
services under a new name or brand or in units not previously offered for
sale except with the written permission of the Minister of Industry and
International Trade.
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Zanu PF Militants Force Workers From Coffee Farm

Business Day (Johannesburg)

April 3, 2003
Posted to the web April 3, 2003

Trevor Bisseker

WORKERS on the Chimanimani coffee farm owned by Roy Bennett, Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) MP in Zimbabwe's eastern highlands, were chased off
the property by Zanu (PF) militants last week.

They were forced to leave with all their possessions and dumped in the rain
at a bus terminus in the village.

Also expelled were Wally and Leslie Johnson, owners of Mawenje Lodge, which
they built on a corner of the farm six years ago after returning to Zimbabwe
from SA.

While the once-thriving lodge had suffered badly with the collapse of
Zimbabwe's tourism industry, it had been left alone, apparently because it
was a foreign investment. In an e-mail message to friends, Leslie Johnson
writes: "Everyone was told to pack and get off the farm, including us.

"Our staff had been given a day off, so we were there on our own. This meant
we had to pack and load with no help, and in a hurry. We could only take
what would fit into our 4x4 and trailer."

The Bennett farm had been targeted previously in Zimbabwe's land reform
programme, with sites being earmarked for smallscale farming.

Bennett is fighting the move on the grounds that the farm is an
export-processing zone, and is therefore, exempt from the land reform
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Concerted Effort Needed to Ease Transport Woes

The Herald (Harare)

April 3, 2003
Posted to the web April 3, 2003


Transport problems in Harare and other major towns are far from over despite
various strategies introduced by the Government to alleviate the crisis.

Commuters, particularly in Harare and Chitungwiza, leave home early and get
back late, and are at times being forced to pay more than double the normal
fares as operators capitalise on the situation.

Over the past few months, the Government has come up with a number of
initiatives which include the relaxation of regulations to allow rural bus
operators and private cars to ferry commuters to and from work during peak
periods between 4 am and 9 am and in the evening from 4 pm to 9 pm.

This was done under the auspices of the National Economic Revival Programme
through which the Government seeks to revitalise all sectors of the economy.

In addition, the National Railways of Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe United
Passenger Company are being recapitalised, with particular emphasis on
developing urban commuter transport capacity.

In the 2003 national budget, the Minister of Finance and Economic
Development, Dr Herbert Murerwa, also announced the duty-free importation of
commuter buses and spare parts.

Furthermore, a number of service stations have also been set aside for
exclusive use by commuter omnibuses in Harare and Bulawayo, a move that is
beginning to pay dividends although there maybe some teething problems.

These strategies are expected to ease the transport problems in the short to
medium term but the Government cannot go it alone in finding lasting

There is need for concerted effort by all stakeholders.

It is understandable that existing public transport operators are failing to
meet demand due to the shortage of spare parts and foreign currency to beef
up their fleet. Erratic fuel supplies also remain a major constraint.

However, we challenge these operators to service their fleet regularly so
that they operate efficiently.

It is also their duty to keep their ears on the ground and identify points
where fuel is available on a particular day to avoid a situation where they
have to park their vehicles because they do not have fuel.

Private car owners also need to rise to the occasion and help ferry
commuters during peak hours. Although some truck owners have started doing
so, observations have shown that small car owners are not too keen to help
alleviate the transport problems.

In Indonesia, such selfish private car owners are actually penalised if they
do not ferry commuters during peak hours.

Its capital, Jakarta, is one of the highly populated cities in the world and
public transport systems cannot provide enough buses for commuters.

Zimbabweans could take a leaf from the Indonesian experience.

In other instances, it would make more economic sense if parents staying in
the same area, whose children go to the same school, could take turns to
ferry the children to school.

This could actually save fuel and make life easier for the parents

Everyone should play their part in easing the transport woes.
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City Needs $18bn for Water Treatment Chemicals

The Herald (Harare)

April 3, 2003
Posted to the web April 3, 2003


Harare City Council needs at least $18 billion to procure water treatment
chemicals, 15 times the budgeted $1,2 billion, because of the new foreign
currency trading rate.

The council had been able to buy currency at the Government rate of $55 to
the US dollar but now has to buy from the Reserve Bank at the non-Government
trading rate of $824 to the US$.

Most chemicals have to be imported.

The problems came to light at a meeting between Harare executive mayor,
Engineer Elias Mudzuri and residents yesterday.

Suppliers of water treatment chemicals are now revising their quotations
upward to take into account the rate laid down for commercial transactions.

Council spokesman Mr Cuthbert Rwazemba said the council had come up with the
idea of holding meetings every Wednesday afternoon with the residents to
reach an agreement on how best to tackle this problem.

"The idea is for residents to make suggestions to the mayor and come to a
mutual agreement on how best we can tackle this inevitable problem of $18

"We want them to understand the problems that the city is facing," said Mr

Residents at the meeting said they would also want to invite the Minister of
Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Cde Ignatius Chombo,
for discussions.

The chemicals that the city need to buy include liquid aluminium sulphate,
white hydrated lime, sodium silicate, powdered activated carbon, and
oxidising agents such as Ecol 2000, among a list of other solutions.
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The Star

      Leon urges rich countries to keep promises to Africa
      April 4, 2003

      Democratic Alliance leader Tony Leon has urged developed countries to
make good on promises to support the African economic recovery plan through

      Addressing the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London
yesterday, Leon said: "The developed nations of the world must follow
through on their promises of trade and investment. They must make the
rewards for joining Nepad tangible and credible."

      Nepad (the New Partnership for Africa's Development) is a plan to
fight poverty on the continent.

      Leon said rewards should be made in recognition of good governance by
African government.

      He urged South Africa to take a leading role in resolving the crisis
in Zimbabwe in order to restore the credibility of Nepad.

      "The reason that the League of Nations failed in that era, and the
United Nations has faltered in ours, is that their member states lacked the
determination to abide by their ideals and to enforce their rules. In other
words, they had lost credibility.

      "The same loss of credibility has been Nepad's greatest weakness. The
real threat to Nepad is not the war in Iraq -it is the crisis in
Zimbabwe." - Political Staff
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Two public notices appeared in the Herald of 4th April. We whish to comment
on some of the issues that arise from these notices.

The first notice is on page C11 of the "Classified" section. The notice
deals with the issue of farmers allegedly frustrating the land reform

We wish to point out that at no time have farmers opposed a transparent
free and fair land reform program. All challenges by farmers are where the
program has been implemented disregarding the constitutional rights of the
owners and infringing the legal process.

The second point in the first statement is that these farms have not been
acquired legally and as such these settlers are part of an illegal process.
The courts will clearly indicate these shortcomings. The courts will also
indicate who the guilty parties are and what they are liable for.

The third issue that this notice neglects to address is the fact that these
settlers have in many cases been guilty of criminal acts against the
rightful owners. It is the function of the courts to defend the rights of
all the citizens of this country.

The second notice is on page C12 of the "Classified" section and deals with
the issue of: Offer Letters under the A2 Resettlement Model. This statement
from Government is a clear contradiction of other statements that the
resettlement program is proceeding in an organized and orderly manner. It
is clear from this statement that Government has lost control of the
process. It is also clear that the program has been hijacked by individuals
on the ground for personal gain.

In most cases the procedures, laid down by Government, in the Act, have not
been followed and farms have been illegally settled. It is the intention of
farmers to point out these abuses through the courts and to ensure that the
guilty parties are held accountable for breaking the law. By discouraging
legal action the state clearly indicates their role, and accountability,
in the breakdown in the rule of law. It is clear that many innocent people
have been severely traumatized and abused for political gain. This category
covers farmers, farm workers and in some cases legal settlers that have
been removed from their land by illegal invaders and chefs.

Government has through its actions encouraged individuals to take the law
into their own hands, disregard the legal procedure for land acquisition
and interfered with the police to promote the breakdown of the rule of law.
In taking their plight to the courts farmers hope to promote:

The return to the rule of Law

The respect for property rights as enshrined in the Constitution.

Accountability and Restitution

A Transparent Fair and Sustainable Land Reform Program, leading to
poverty alleviation.

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UK Blames Mugabe for Impoverishing Country

The Daily News (Harare)

April 3, 2003
Posted to the web April 4, 2003

Staff Reporter

BARONESS Amos, the British Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth
Affairs, on Monday said Zimbabwe's economy was the fastest contracting in
the world and the worst performing in Africa with more than 75 percent of
its population unemployed.

Amos was addressing journalists at the National Press Club in Pretoria,
South Africa.

In a speech titled Co-operation not Colonialism, Amos said inflation was now
hovering above 200 percent.

She said: "Robert Mugabe and his government will tell you three things.

"That unfair land distribution was the sole cause of the country's problems;
that the United Kingdom opposed land reform in Zimbabwe because it wanted to
protect the large share of the land owned by the white minority as a legacy
of colonialism; that the United Kingdom reneged on commitments made under
the Lancaster House Agreement to fund the land reform programme.

"They combine these points by saying that all their country's many problems
are caused by a bilateral dispute with the UK. None of this is true."

She said inequitable land distribution was not the sole cause of Zimbabwe's
problems, but that the country had been destabilised and impoverished by bad

Amos said the country was now poorer than it was at independence and there
was widespread State-sanctioned political violence, intimidation and
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Southern Africa wants EU talks on Zimbabwe crisis

By Cris Chinaka

HARARE, April 4 - Southern Africa's regional bloc SADC urged the European
Union on Friday to drop sanctions against Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe
and open talks with his crisis-struck government.
       The EU has condemned a crackdown on opponents of Mugabe's
administration and in February renewed sanctions against him and his close
associates for one year in protest at violence by his supporters linked to
his seizure of white-owned farm land.
       But African leaders have stood by Mugabe through a hail of criticism
from the United States, the EU and the Commonwealth.
       A committee of ministers from the political and security arm of the
14-member Southern African Development Community (SADC) who met in Harare on
Thursday noted that the controversial land reform programme had been
completed and urged the EU to drop sanctions in favour of talks.
       ''With regard to cooperation with EU, the meeting mandated the work towards the establishment of a channel of communication for
dialogue between the EU and the government of Zimbabwe with a view to
convincing the former to lift sanctions against Zimbabwe,'' they said in a
       The SADC troika is made up of the past, present and future chairs of
the bloc, currently Mozambique, Tanzania and Angola.
       Mozambique's Foreign Minister Leonardo Simao, who chaired Thursday's
committee meeting, said a SADC task force would visit Zimbabwe next week to
examine the political crisis.
       Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who lost March 2002 presidential
elections he says Mugabe rigged, accuses Mugabe's security forces of a
brutal crackdown on opponents since one of the biggest protests against
Mugabe's 23-year rule last month.
       As well as the EU, the United States has condemned the crackdown, and
Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) had urged the SADC
delegates to follow suit.
       But the ministers said they had been briefed by Zimbabwean Foreign
Minister Stan Mudenge and had ''noted that those opposed to Zimbabwe have
tried to shift the agenda from the core issue of land by selective
diversion'' to rights and governance issues.
       Tsvangirai is currently on trial on charges of plotting to kill
Mugabe and accused Mugabe on Wednesday of trying to sow the seeds of civil
       The MDC says 500 of its supporters have been arrested, 250 taken to
hospital, scores beaten and Tsvangirai's deputy Gibson Sibanda charged with
plotting to overthrow the government.
       Sibanda's bail hearing was postponed for a third time on Thursday in
what the MDC said was ''a deliberate ploy by the Mugabe regime to
unjustifiably lock up MDC officials.''
       Police say they arrested scores of people in connection with violence
during last month's strike protest, but deny torture.
       Mugabe says the MDC is a puppet of Western nations trying to depose
him for seizing white-owned land, a policy critics blame for food shortages
affecting half Zimbabwe's 14 million people.
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Mail and Guardian

Zimbabwe launches charm offensive


      04 April 2003 13:57

Zimbabwe's foreign minister said Friday that the government had invited a
special regional task force to the country to counter what it calls negative

Stan Mudenge told a press conference that a task force of the Southern
African Development Community (SADC) was due to visit Zimbabwe, but said it
was not as a result of a meeting of regional foreign ministers held in the
capital, Harare on Thursday.

Mozambique Foreign Minister Leornado Simao, who chairs the SADC organ on
politics, defence and security that met on Thursday, had said the task force
would come to the country next week to look into issues in Zimbabwe,
including claims of human rights abuses against the opposition.

But Mudenge told reporters the task force was coming at his invitation.

"All is my initiative and my strategy," Mudenge said.

The minister said this was "to ensure that my colleagues in SADC, who are
subjected to so much propaganda, a lot of it untrue, do come and get a
better view, and a better impression of the situation in Zimbabwe."

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has been issuing daily
reports of alleged human rights abuses against its supporters, mainly in the
politically tense, low income suburbs of Harare.

The MDC recently retained two Harare suburban seats after hard-fought
by-elections that President Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwean African National
Union -- Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF) had vowed to take back.

On Thursday the MDC issued a statement urging the SADC ministers gathered in
Harare to condemn the alleged human rights abuses against its members.

Mudenge told reporters that Thursday's meeting also resolved to get SADC to
make representation to the European Union (EU) to lift targetted sanctions
against the Zimbabwe government for its alleged abuse of democracy and human

The sanctions include a ban on Mugabe and 71 of his associates from entering
EU territory. Mudenge said SADC would "engage the European Union, with the
objective of peruading the EU to remove its so-called smart sanctions
against Zimbabwe." - Sapa-AFP
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Mugabe under regional spotlight
MDC activist James Munetsi shows his injuries
MDC activist James Munetsi says he was attacked by ruling party supporters
Southern Africa's regional body has announced that it is to send a task force to Zimbabwe to investigate allegations of political violence.

The Southern African Development Community (Sadc) team will travel next week to speak to political parties, farmers' groups, civil rights organisations and churches, said Mozambique's foreign minister.

Sadc has been criticised for not putting enough pressure on President Robert Mugabe's government to end political violence but Zimbabwe's Foreign Minister, Stan Mudenge, said he had invited the Sadc team to dispel "propaganda".

The announcement came as the vice president of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) remains in police custody.

Those who resort to military and paramilitary tactics will be treated in equal if not greater measure and they have no reason to complain especially when they throw petrol bombs, and dynamite bridges and buildings
Jonathan Moyo
Information Minister

Gibson Sibanda's bail hearing was postponed until Monday after the judge did not turn up because his daughter was ill, reports the privately-owned Daily News.

The MDC condemned "a deliberate ploy by the Mugabe regime to unjustifiably lock up MDC officials".

'Peace and stability'

Following an MDC-called strike two weeks ago, hundreds of opposition activists have been arrested.

The MDC says that many have been tortured but these claims have been dismissed by the authorities, who say those arrested were planning or responsible for acts of violence.

Rioters throw stones at a policeman
The strike was marred by violence

Mr Sibanda was arrested for organising the strike and the police do not want him released in case he organises another "more devastating" one.

An MDC deadline to the government to stop political harassment passed on Monday but the opposition has not yet announced what action it will take after Mr Mugabe ignored the ultimatum.

"We are worried because... we want to see peace, stability and harmony in every member state and in Zimbabwe you don't live under this," said Mozambique's Foreign Minister Leonardo Simao after a meeting of Sadc foreign ministers in Harare.

The MDC had earlier urged Sadc not to "turn a blind" to the "political reign of terror" in Zimbabwe.

Foreign Minister Stan Mudenge said he had invited the ministerial team "to ensure that my colleagues in Sadc, who are subjected to so much propaganda, a lot of it untrue, do come and get a better view, and a better impression of the situation in Zimbabwe."

Government spokesman Jonathan Moyo defended the crack-down which followed the recent strike.

"We want to make it clear that those who resort to military and paramilitary tactics will be treated in equal if not greater measure and they have no reason to complain especially when they throw petrol bombs, and dynamite bridges and buildings," he told the official Herald newspaper.

"These are not instruments of democratic expression nor are they small matters to be handled by the police in the usual manner.

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From Business Day (SA), 4 April

Magistrate defers MDC leader's trial

As Southern African Development Community (SADC) ministers met in Harare
yesterday under the auspices of the ministerial committee of the SADC organ
on politics, defence and security, Zimbabwe's official opposition's deputy
president was told he would have to return to prison. Gibson Sibanda of the
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has been charged under the Public Order
and Security Act for the part he played in organising a recent peaceful
protest. Minutes before the bail hearing in the Bulawayo Magistrate's Court
yesterday, Magistrate John Masimba excused himself from delivering judgment,
saying he had to go to Harare on urgent personal business and adjourned the
case until Monday. Sibanda was returned to Khami Prison, where he is being
held in solitary confinement, under heavy armed guard. The reason for this,
says his wife, is that the authorities fear that if he is put in a shared
cell, he may influence others. "It is ridiculous, but at least he does not
have to share his two metre square cell with 20 other inmates, as is
currently normal in Zimbabwean prisons," she said.

In what has been described as a crackdown on the Zimbabwean opposition, the
MDC MP for Kadoma, Austin Mpandawana has been held in the police cells at
Kadoma for two weeks. He was arrested during the two-day stayaway two weeks
ago and like Sibanda, also faces charges relating to the Public Order and
Security Act. He was denied bail and his appeal against this judgment was
referred to the high court. His legal counsel have now been informed that
his case is not urgent, which means he could wait indefinitely for it to be
heard. Morgan Tsvangirai, president of the MDC described the recent stayaway
yesterday as the Zimbabwean people's Rubicon and said the party was now
ready to "finish the job". Tsvangirai, whose treason trial has been
adjourned until next month says the MDC has never been in better shape or
been more determined to "complete the change".

Spokesman for the MDC, Paul Themba Nyathi, said, "SADC ministers must not
waste this crucial opportunity to unequivocally condemn the inhumane
behaviour of the Mugabe regime. "SADC ministers cannot ignore the current
reign of terror against innocent civilians that has been sanctioned and
encouraged by Mugabe himself. "No one can deny the brutality and the scale
of the crimes that are being committed here. To turn a blind eye, for the
purposes of multilateral cohesion, would be a distinct abdication of moral
responsibility," he said. Nyathi also expressed concern and disbelief that
Zimbabwe was not on the official agenda for the meeting, "given that the
meeting is taking place in our country amidst the background of an
unprecedented political and humanitarian crisis, the omission of Zimbabwe
from the official agenda is bewildering and deeply disappointing".
Meanwhile, Zanu PF activists in Harare have evicted all vendors at the Mbare
Musika market and forced the market to close because of Zanu PF's poor
performance in the Highfield and Kuwadzana parliamentary byelections last
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ZIMBABWE: Citizenship laws to include foreign farm workers

JOHANNESBURG, 4 Apr 2003 (IRIN) - The Zimbabwe government has decided to
extend citizenship to all Southern African Development Community (SADC)
citizens who were resident in the country at independence in April 1980.

A communiqué released after a meeting of SADC foreign ministers in Harare on
Thursday said the government would promulgate the Citizenship Amendment Act
for the farm workers "mainly of Malawian, Mozambican and Zambian origin".

Welcoming the move, the Farm Community Trust of Zimbabwe (FCTZ) said the Act
would recognise the problems that up to two million farm workers and their
families faced.

Godfrey Magaramombe, director of the FCTZ told IRIN on Friday: "It will give
them access to social services and, as citizenship is tied into land rights,
will enable them to participate in land reform programmes. It will allow
them to get birth certificates and national identity documents, and birth
certificates for their children, which affects their right to progress
beyond primary school."

Access to social services would also be a welcome relief for farm workers
affected by the country's land reform programme.

In February the monthly report of the Famine Early Warning Systems Network
said the number of commercial farm workers adversely affected or displaced
by the fast-track resettlement programme had increased significantly.

Although in some cases the newly installed farmers had absorbed former
commercial farm workers, many still faced problems. Foreign workers did not
have family links in the rest of the country, or the money to return home.
Losing their livelihoods and their homes meant they had to rely on relief
food provided by NGOs like the FCTZ.

All farm workers will be included in an assessment of the food security
situation on farms.
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Police blamed for Zim stadium deaths
Steve Vickers
BBC Sport in Harare

Tear gas erupts in the stadium
Thirteen people were killed
Police in Zimbabwe have been blamed for the country's worst-ever stadium disaster and some officers face prosecution.

Thirteen people died and many more were injured at a World Cup qualifier between Zimbabwe and South Africa at the National Sports Stadium in July 2000.

Tragedy struck when disgruntled fans began throwing objects onto the pitch when the visitors took a 2-0 lead with seven minutes of the match remaining.

Police responded by firing teargas into the crowd, resulting in a stampede as fans pushed towards the exit points, many of which were closed.


Following an inquest into the disaster, Harare magistrate Faith Musinga ruled that police were entirely to blame for the loss of the 13 lives.

She said: "May the case be thoroughly investigated with prosecution in the next two months."

Players duck down on the pitch as tear gas fills the stadium
Players were also affected
One of the fans at the stadium on the fateful day, Aleck Fidesi, testified at the inquest as to how his six year-old son died of asphyxiation from inhaling teargas.

"I asked the police to protect my son and daughter from the stampede, but instead they threw teargas at us," said Fidesi, who broke down while testifying.

How can you disperse a full stadium if the gates are closed?
Faith Musinga
Harare magistrate
At the inquest, the police blamed fans for throwing objects onto the pitch, and claimed that a coloured flare let off from the terraces caused panic among fans.

But the magistrate dismissed the police evidence as "inconsistent and unreasonable."

Musinga said: "There were a handful of hooligans, who should have been identified and arrested. The police were negligent and overreacted."

"Before firing (teargas) they should have ensured that the gates were open. How can you disperse a full stadium if the gates are closed?"

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Olonga has no regrets about leaving Zimbabwe
Reuters - 4 April 2003

Zimbabwe fast bowler Henry Olonga has said he has no regrets about his
protests during the recent World Cup and added he hoped to return home when
the political climate had changed.

Olonga and team mate Andy Flower wore black armbands and wristbands "to
mourn the death of democracy" in Zimbabwe's first two Cup matches in
February in Zimbabwe before being asked to stop by the international cricket

"Having received a few threatening emails towards the end of the World
Cup...I just felt it probably wasn't a good idea for me to go back to
Zimbabwe," Olonga said in an interview aired on Australia television on

"I don't believe if you stand up for something that is right, that you can
(have) regret...I'm just suffering the consequences at the moment," added
the cricketer who was described as hiding in a secret location in South

"I don't think in a year, possibly, that the world can tolerate the type of
leadership that we see in Zimbabwe. Six million people may be faced with

"I will try and get a work permit and see where I can fit and when things
come right, I'll go back."

Olonga, a talented singer, said he had received offers of work in Britain.

"I think things are going to change (in Zimbabwe) and change quickly, and
I'm looking forward to that," said Olonga, the first black cricketer to
represent Zimbabwe.

© Reuters

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Comments on the Compensation offer published in the press on Sunday the
30th March.

There are 290 farmers on the list that was published in the Sunday Times on
the 30th March 2003. This list is an invitation to the farmers on the list
to contact the ministry, to make an appointment, to negotiate for
compensation, for the properties listed.  All farmers that appear on the
list were requested to contact the ministry, in person to initiate the
negotiating process.

Before you contact the ministry we recommend that you take note of the

1. The offer made to you must be in writing as stipulated in the Act under
Section 29 B, subsection (3) (b) (1).

2. Farmers must be aware of the conditions in the act and insist on the
implementation of these conditions.

3. Farmers must be aware that an offer on only part of the compensation, or
that does not reflect the true value of the property, have a right to
decline the offer. Before any final decision is made we urge that you seek
a second opinion. JAG are in a position to advise, and would welcome
queries from affected farmers.

4. All negotiations and agreements must be in writing, and have a deadline,
to avoid the negative effects of inflation.

6. We urge all farmers to contact professional advice with the full details
of any proposals. The agreement must honor and protect your legal and
constitutional rights.

7. Where possible have a valuation from the valuators consortium or an
acceptable private company to back up your own claims. (The valuation must
be for compensation.)

According to the Act the Government have to set up a Compensation Fund.
This has not been done and shows lack of financial commitment.  We urge
farmers to be very cautious in accepting any deal that would prejudice them
from future claims and receiving full compensation for:

Land and Improvements
Moveable assets
Loss of income and other Consequential Losses,
As well as Losses due to Theft and Vandalism, Trauma and Relocation.

Comments from a farmer that attended one of these negotiation meetings

"they offered me a derisory amount. I asked him how he they had arrived
at such a figure and he read out a wildly inaccurate schedule of fixed
assets with no description of condition etc."

"I said in terms of Section 29B subsection (3) (b) (1) he was required to
prepare an estimate and give me a written notification of the offer. I said
when I had that I would exercise my option under the act to submit my
representations. He was somewhat taken aback at this but agreed. So now I
await his letter."

We urge farmers to make an appointment as soon as possible. The apparent
deadline for this exercise is Tuesday the 8th April.

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Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe
March 24th- April 1st 2003
Weekly update 2003-12   



1. General comment  

The war in Iraq has attracted the attention of ZTV, which has established a daily hour-long phone-in programme to discuss the morality of the conflict. But it has done little to enhance ZBC’s reputation as an impartial national public broadcaster when the purpose of the programme is to condemn the British and American military initiative. This was announced by the programme’s anchorman, Daily Mirror proprietor Ibbo Mandaza, and panelists sympathetic to this point of view were selected to field viewers’ comments.

When viewers asked for a balanced panel, ZTV invited ZANU PF MP Eddison Zvobgo and US official Bruce Wharton (26/3), who both supported the US and Britain’s position. However, it was Zvobgo who was more vocal in his support for war. He argued that earlier UN resolutions provided for a possible legal basis for war. He also noted that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was a dictator and that “dictators who are prepared to kill their own people cannot plead sovereignty and let the rest of the world just watch”. His vehement support for the American and British stance against dictators evidently disturbed Mandaza and panelist Tafataona Mahoso, who repeatedly interjected to stop Zvobgo expressing this opinion.
While ZBC audiences were still relishing this rare feat of balanced coverage, ZTV (27/3, 8pm) turned it into a news story by reporting criticism of Zvobgo’s point of view, saying “some Zimbabweans…feel there is no basis to justify the invasion of Iraq”. That same evening the programme reverted to its original one-sided approach. Suffocating alternative opinion shortchanges audiences who are entitled to access fair and balanced information of their choice.

Predictably, ZBC extended its unprofessional conduct to its coverage of the Highfield and Kuwadzana by-elections. As in previous elections, ZBC swamped news airtime allocated to the election campaign with favorable ZANU PF coverage. For example, out of 17 minutes ZTV devoted to the topic during the week, ZANU-PF was allocated 11 minutes and 55 seconds (70%), while the remainder was allocated to the other three contesting candidates from small parties. No positive coverage was given to the main opposition MDC. Instead, the party was mentioned negatively in about 8minutes and 10 seconds or 48 percent of the total time allocated to the election campaign.
ZTV’s anti-MDC stance was more apparent a day before the election. It aired comments from most of the contesting candidates (28/03, 8pm) on their chances of winning the election and then claimed the MDC candidates were not available for comment.   

2. By-elections  

The Highfield and Kuwadzana by-elections dominated media space during the week under review. While the public and private media agreed that violence was a cause for major concern in the electoral process, they differed on who the perpetrators were. The public media accused the MDC of fanning violence and used isolated incidents that broke out during the previous week’s stay-away as examples.

Conversely, the private Press observed that violence against ordinary civilians and those perceived to be opposition party supporters by ZANU PF activists and security agents would render the elections not free or fair. Unlike the public media, they also noted that the combination of violence, vote-buying and the manipulation of the voters’ roll by the Registrar-General, Tobaiwa Mudede, would tilt the scales in favour of the ruling party. For example, The Daily News (28/3) reported that the MDC had discovered that about 19,000 “ghost” voters who did not live in the two constituencies had been added to the voters’ roll. The party’s director of elections, Remus Makuwaza, was quoted as saying his party suspected these anomalies to be the main reason why Mudede had delayed providing the opposition with copies of the roll. In fact, Mudede only released the voters’ roll after the High Court had ordered him to do so.

ZTV (28/03, 8pm) tried to dismiss these claims by presenting the RG’s office as transparent in its conduct. It quoted Mudede as having said interested members of the public could buy copies of the voters’ roll provided they complied with conditions set by his office. However, these conditions were not stated. Neither was Mudede challenged to explain the alleged irregular inclusion of an extra 19,000 names, a fact also reported by The Daily Mirror  (24/3) and (28/03).

Suspicions that Mudede would use the roll to rig the two elections was also aired in The Zimbabwe Independent’s comment (28/03), which observed that ZANU PF was “incapable of winning an election without the help of the Registrar-General’s office”. The Weekend Tribune (29/03) weighed in with a call for impartiality in the RG’s office. It stated: “ … it is important that the Registrar-General’s office that is running the elections be fully prepared and be fair to all contesting parties. We do not want a sham of an election, one that is skewed in favour of one political party.”  In its front-page article, the paper reported that the MDC had even contemplated withdrawing from the elections because of fears that the RG would facilitate a ZANU PF victory. Indeed, these fears saw the MDC threatening mass protests if the elections were rigged, The Daily News (24/03) and The Financial Gazette (27/03).  The Daily Mirror (24/03) also carried the MDC’s threats, but deliberately distorted the remarks made by one of its MPs, Tendai Biti. He said his party would “go onto the streets” if the elections were rigged, a statement The Daily Mirror interpreted to mean MDC promises more violence, according to the article’s headline. The story also sought to present the violence that broke out during the two-day strike as having been sanctioned by the party. 

In fact, the public media continued to milk the stay-away violence and the MDC’s threat to protest to bolster the notion that it was a violent party. For example, ZTV (28/03, 8pm) quoted Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi saying the MDC was “bussing people from outside Harare to come and cause havoc. The train last night brought in people from Bulawayo and picked up another group of people from Gweru just to come and cause some mayhem.”  Without providing any evidence, Mohadi added: “We are very much aware that whether MDC wins these by-elections or loses they are still going to cause violence”. The Herald (29/3) also unquestioningly quoted Mohadi making similar remarks.  It was not surprising the public media allowed Mohadi’s claims to pass without scrutiny because they suited the media’s stance to sell the MDC to the electorate as a violent party. In the same ZTV bulletin, President Mugabe was quoted employing grossly inflammatory rhetoric when he accused the MDC of fanning violence, describing it as a “terrorist party” that “murders wives and kills women”, adding, “it should thus be confined to the electoral scrap heap and I hope this happens tomorrow and Sunday” His remarks were also carried the in public Press the following day (29/3).

While the public media remained silent on ZANU PF candidates’ vote-buying tactics through the use of scarce basic commodities, the private Press diligently exposed this chicanery. For example, The Weekend Tribune, Basic foods galore in Highfield, reported ZANU PF candidates had brought scarce commodities to the two constituencies to lure voters.  The paper interviewed two political commentators, Heneri Dzinotyiwei and John Makumbe who both agreed that food would not yield support for ZANU PF.

Although the private Press was tenacious in exposing ZANU PF’s irregular efforts to engineer election conditions that would favour its candidate, it failed to fully explore the issue of polling stations and their location. It was only on voting day that The Daily News (29/03) revealed that polling stations had been increased in both constituencies. The paper quoted MDC candidate for Kuwadzana Nelson Chamisa as saying, “The number of polling stations has been increased to facilitate the traffic of their (Zanu PF’s) ghost voters. The intention is dubious.”  However, Chamisa did not clearly explain how the increase would facilitate rigging. The Herald (28/3) merely announced that a total of 19 polling stations had been established for both constituencies without even notifying its readers that this was an increase of six from the previous 13 that were used during the presidential election. Similarly, ZBC, (ZTV, 28/03, 8pm & Radio Zimbabwe, 29/03, 1pm) reported the issue as a mere announcement.

Besides the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN)’s supplement in The Daily News (26/3), no other media carried adequate information on voter education.  Also, no media fully investigated the boundaries of the two constituencies particularly Kuwadzana, following speculation that settlers at White Cliff farm, which is outside Kuwadzana, would vote.

Meanwhile, the extremes of perspective between the private and the public Press were again highlighted in their coverage of the election days. While The Sunday News & The Sunday Mail (30/03) and The Herald (31/3) reported that the polls were conducted “without incident” and “ended peacefully”, The Standard (30/3) and The Daily News (31/03) observed otherwise. The Standard reported that ZANU PF youths “ran amok trying to intimidate voters and to influence the poll result”. It also alleged that the police “watched helplessly” as ZANU PF supporters held gatherings near polling stations where “voters were being invited … to register for scarce food commodities such as mealie-meal which could be seen piled up nearby”. The Daily News (31/03) and (1/04) corroborated The Standard’s report.

There were also conflicting reports on voter turn-out. While The Sunday Mail reported, Huge voter turn out in Highfield, Kuwadzana by-elections, The Sunday Mirror led with, Low turn-out mars decisive by-elections. Notably, both papers based their reports on the same statistics of the number of people who had voted by 7pm on Saturday, figures which represented a mediocre response at best.
ZTV (29/3) also confused its audiences on the turn-out on the first day of the election. While its 6pm bulletin reported that voting in Kuwadzana began at a “slow pace”, it later reported, in its 8pm bulletin, that, “when polling started at 7 o’clock in the morning in Kuwadzana, there was a large turnout of voters, the biggest queue of 350 voters was reported at Kuwadzana district office.” 

When it emerged that the MDC had won the elections, the public media downplayed the newsworthiness of the opposition’s victory. For example, ZTV (31/03) carried the results as item five out of 11 news pieces in its 6pm bulletins. And in its 8pm bulletin, the station led with a review of a previous day’s soccer match between Zimbabwe and soccer minnows Seychelles. The story was accorded about 10 minutes. It was only after the soccer story and a short break, that ZTV then announced the results in a two-minute report. The trend was not different in the public Press. The Herald (01/03) and Chronicle (01/03) reported that results showed that ZANU PF “was consistent by maintaining its support base while that of MDC fluctuated”. While The Herald led with the story, the Chronicle placed it on page two preferring to lead with an unsubstantiated article, MDC’s security agents revolt. The papers also quoted Chinotimba as saying, “Zanu PF supporters were on Sunday threatened by Glen View MDC MP Paul Madzore who moved around polling stations wielding a pistol.” Notably, it was the same papers that reported the elections were peaceful.

In announcing the results, The Daily News (1/4) reported that the MDC had managed to retain the two Harare seats “despite massive intimidation by pro-Zanu PF militias in the run-up to the polls.” According to the report, both Chinotimba and the winning MDC candidate Mungofa acknowledged that the elections had not been free and fair.
The Daily Mirror (01/03) comment expressed surprise that MDC candidates accepted the results “despite the fact that the MDC had made claims to the international world that the elections had been rigged before they were held”, adding that “Zanu PF candidates, Joseph Chinotimba and David Mutasa must be commended for accepting by-election results.” Surprisingly however, its lead story contradicted this position, reporting that Chinotimba had refused to accept the results and had “briefly addressed his supporters outside Cecil (sic) Jennings Hall who in turn let volleys of stones at the celebrating  MDC supporters …”   

3. Post-strike retribution 

The by-elections in Kuwadzana and Highfield were conducted against a backdrop of widespread allegations of human rights abuses by state security agents in the form of arrests, detentions, harassment and torture of opposition supporters following the success of the MDC-organised national job stay-away.

Eleven incidents of this nature were reported in the week and all were carried in The Daily News. In one of its stories, The Daily News (28/03) reported that soldiers had forced nightclub patrons in Chitungwiza to have unprotected sex and “ those men who failed to get erections were severely assaulted”. The paper (27/03 and 29/3) also revealed that some opposition MPs had fled their homes as a result of state-sanctioned retribution.

The public media ignored reports of the security agencies’ gross human rights violations and merely presented the arrest of MDC activists (24/3) for allegedly supporting the party’s mass action as the right course of justice.
They also called for the arrest of the MDC leadership. For example, the Chronicle comment (24/03), Terrorists must be locked up, described Tsvangirai as a “coup plotter” adding that “Such coup plotters and thugs must be locked up and the keys thrown in Lake Kariba.”  Similarly, The Sunday Mail story (30/03), Arrest Tsvangirai, say local leaders, claimed that “ordinary Zimbabweans, legal experts, church leaders and some indigenous business leaders” had called on the police to arrest the opposition leader whom they accused of inciting violence “despite the fact that he is facing high treason charges”.

Meanwhile, the clampdown on the MDC and the public in general put Zimbabwe back under the spotlight of the international community. The private Press reported that the international community had criticized Zimbabwe for gross human rights violations.
For example, The Daily News (24/03), US official slams Mugabe for abuses reported that the US had tabled a resolution calling on the international community to take note of the gross human rights violations by the government.  The Zimbabwe Independent reported that German MPs had criticized the clampdown on dissent and urged their federal government to use its position in the UN Security Council to have Zimbabwe put onto the agenda. In another story, Mbeki slams Mugabe clampdown, The Daily News (27/03) reported the South African President telling his country’s Parliament that the he had instructed the South African High Commissioner to Zimbabwe to investigate the alleged human rights violations. Indeed, we have said to the Zimbabwean government that we would not agree with actions that deny the right of Zimbabweans to protest peacefully, democratically…” Mbeki was quoted saying.

The Herald
(28/3) only carried some of the international community’s concerns as part of Information Minister Jonathan Moyo’s response to them. Moyo made it clear that government would not relent in its stance towards MDC activists, saying any government “anywhere in the civilized world would not tolerate such thuggery and violence”. His statements set the tone for President Mugabe, whom The Herald (29/03) quoted defiantly saying, “It is now time for law and order to have the upper hand, and we will not seek the approval of outsiders to enforce law and order in our country.”

The MEDIA UPDATE was produced and circulated by the Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe, 15 Duthie Avenue, Alexandra Park, Harare, Tel/fax: 263 4 703702, E-mail:;   

Feel free to write to MMPZ. We may not able to respond to everything but we will look at each message. For previous MMPZ reports, and more information about the Project, please visit our website at

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Doctors, Private Hospitals Fees Up

The Herald (Harare)

April 4, 2003
Posted to the web April 4, 2003

Ruth Butaumocho

DOCTORS and private hospitals have with immediate effect increased their
consultation fees by 60 and 40 percent respectively, further pushing health
care beyond the reach of many ordinary Zimbabweans.

The increases have been agreed to by the National Association of Medical Aid
Societies, the Private Hospitals Association of Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe
Medical Association.

Patients should also brace themselves for two more fee increases to be
effected in July and October this year.

Negotiations between Namas and doctors on the percentages to be effected for
the next increases are at an advanced stage.

The latest increases mean that doctors will now charge $3 213 consultation
fee, and a patient on medical aid will now have to pay $643 upfront as
co-payment before being treated.

Patients seeking treatment from private hospitals will now have to fork out
$17 290 to be admitted in an ordinary ward at the Avenues Clinic.

In addition, patients will now have to meet extra costs for drugs,
therapeutic and diagnostic procedures, theatre, anaesthetic and other
clinical procedures which are charged separately.

Other services that have gone up in private hospitals include sundry
equipment and consumables such as cardiac monitors, anaesthetic drugs, gases
and admission fees and other services offered in maternity wards.

It now costs an average of $16 000 for a pregnant woman to deliver at Baines
Avenue maternity ward, while the same service now costs $21 678 at the
Avenues Clinic.

A patient seeking dental treatment or services will now have to pay 20
percent of the cost of dental treatment and this money shall not be
reimbursed by medical aid.

A member will only be eligible for a 50 percent tax rebate.

Attendance fees payable by the patient each time they visit the dentist has
also gone up to $300, from $200.

Namas chairperson Mrs Florence Kazhanje yesterday said the increases had
been necessitated by the prevailing harsh economic conditions, which had
resulted in high inflation.

She said the increase in input costs for consumables such as film for X-rays
have left the society with no option, but to increase private hospitals' and
doctors' fees.

She added that doctors were actually threatening to operate on a cash basis,
hence the increase.

"Most of the equipment and consumables being used by doctors and hospitals
are imported. So doctors have no option but to procure the equipment from
outside the country and they are doing so against a background of serious
foreign currency shortages, among other factors," she said.

Mrs Kazhanje said co-payment is a cost-sharing strategy between medical aid
societies and the member at the point of services so that the medical costs
remain within reasonable limits.

Another alternative, she said, would have been increasing subscriptions to
all medical aid societies by a significant percentage to cushion the
societies from inflation.

The fee increases by private hospitals and doctors come at a time when
public hospitals like Parirenyatwa are considering a new fee structure,
which would also push health care beyond the reach of the ordinary worker.

Meanwhile, the Premier Services Medical Aid Society yesterday announced that
it had broken away from Namas as a way of cushioning its members against the
recent hikes.

PSMAS group chief executive officer, Mr Cuthbert Dube, said the society had
taken the decision after realising that most of its members would not be
able to afford the new tariffs.
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The Herald

Paradza's partner jailed

HARARE High Court judge, Justice Benjamin Paradza's business partner was
yesterday sentenced to an effective 15 year jail term for murdering a
fisherman he had allegedly found poaching fish.

Russel Wayne Labuschagne (41), pleaded not guilty to killing Mr Wilson
Mudimba (30) but was convicted of murder with constructive intent by Justice
Lawrence Kamocha sitting with Mr Patrick Hikwa and Mr David Prince Mahlaba
as assessors.

His co-accused, Walter Ryan Claasen (26), of Nswala Farm in Mvuma, also
pleaded not guilty to the charge and was convicted of a lesser charge of
assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

He was fined $30 000 or five months in prison. An additional imprisonment
term of four months was wholly suspended for five years on condition of good

In sentencing the pair, the judge said he had taken into account that this
was an unprovoked attack on Mr Mudimba.

He added that the accused had not shown any remorse. However, the court
found as an extenuating factor, that Labuschagne did not premeditate the

It was also the court's finding that the offence bordered on culpable
homicide and that the verdict at which the court arrived at was in itself an
extenuating circumstance.

The State case, presented by Mr Herbert Ushewokunze Junior, was that
Labuschagne and Claasen operated a fishing camp at Sinamwenda in Binga.

Mr Mudimba was a licenced fisherman from Kalonga village under Chief

On 28 November 2000 at around 5pm, Mr Mudimba and a friend were fishing in a
prohibited area along Sinamwenda River using a dugout canoe.

Labuschagne and Claasen who were using a speedboat spotted them and
approached them. When they questioned them, an argument ensued and
Labuschagne, who was in control of the speedboat drove straight at their
dugout canoe and rammed it on the side.

The canoe capsized throwing the occupants into the water.

Mr Mudimba's friend managed to swim to safety while Mr Mudimba clung to the
rails of the speedboat.

Claasen held Mr Mudimba's hands while Labuschagne assaulted him with an oar.

He continued assaulting him all over the body until he let go the rails.

He then clung to a log, which was protruding from the water. Labuschagne
drove the speedboat towards him and rammed into his back resulting in Mr
Mudimba drowning.

His body was never recovered.

Soon after the sentence, Labuschagne's lawyer Mr Joseph James made an
application for leave to appeal.

The court granted the leave after the State indicated it was not opposing
the application.

Mr James noted that the evidence before the court was circumstantial and
that no body was found.

It was his contention that a higher court might come up with a different

He said he would submit his written arguments on an application for bail
pending appeal later.

Addressing the court in mitigation, Mr James of James, Moyo-Majwabu and
Nyoni asked the court to exercise leniency on his client.

He said he operated safari businesses and was into other ventures employing
about 30 people.

The lawyer said the case had dragged on for two years and this had a
negative impact on his client's businesses because he could not travel
abroad to look for business.

Justice Paradza was arrested early this year, for allegedly trying to
corruptly have Labuschagne's passport released so that he could travel
abroad to attend a business meeting.

Justice Paradza is being charged for contravening a section of the
Prevention of Corruption Act or alternatively attempting to defeat the
course of justice.

He is out of custody on $20 000 bail and his trial has been set for July
this year.

He is alleged to have made several calls between 15 and 23 January this year
to some High Court judges based in Bulawayo, attempting to have them rule
favourably in one of many applications by Labuschagne to have his passport,
held as part of his bail conditions, released.

Justice Paradza allegedly told them that he risked losing US$60 000 (about
$3,5 million) if they failed to release the passport to Labuschagne, who was
his business partner in the safari business.

Justice Kamocha is one of the 10 High Court judges who signed and issued a
statement saying the arrest and detention of Justice Paradza was not done

The judges said Justice Paradza was supposed to have been investigated by a
tribunal set up by President Mugabe before any arrest could be made.

Justice Kamocha is also one of the judges who was allegedly repeatedly
requested by Justice Paradza to release Labuschagne's passport.

The others were Justices Maphios Cheda and George Chiweshe who together with
Justice Kamocha will testify against Justice Paradza.

A fourth judge Justice Nicholas Ndou could also be called up to give

The Judicial Conference of Australia, which represents judges and
magistrates in Australia, which has been at the forefront of the campaign to
isolate Zimbabwe by alleging that the independence of the judiciary in the
country was being undermined by the Government, has said it supports Justice
Paradza and the 10 judges who issued a statement protesting over his arrest.

"The courage and integrity of the Judges who issued the statement in
upholding the independence of the Zimbabwean judiciary is a bright light in
difficult times.

"If the independence of the judiciary is undermined, so is the rule of law,
democratic government and individual freedom.

We all hail our colleagues for defending those basic human rights," the
conference said. - Bulawayo Bureau-Herald Reporter
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