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

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Daily News

Businessman invades farmhouse in Nyazura

4/5/02 11:51:01 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

NATHANIEL Mhiripiri, the controversial businessman and Zanu PF district
co-ordinating committee chairman for Makoni, has invaded a farmhouse in
Nyazura and evicted the farmer.

Farm workers said Mhiripiri arrived at Abed Farm soon after the presidential
election and declared himself the new owner of the farmhouse. “The situation
at Abed Farm is tense. Mhiripiri took the keys to the house and asked Barry
Martin to leave,” said an employee at a neighbouring farm.

A senior police officer in Rusape confirmed the recent development at the
farm “Mhiripiri felt other senior Zanu PF officials occupied farmhouses but
he had not benefited, despite leading farm invasions. The District
Administrator wrote a letter to the provincial land committee about it and
there is no reply as yet.” the police officer said.
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Daily News

MDC MP escapes attack by gunmen

4/5/02 9:23:39 AM (GMT +2)

By Pedzisai Ruhanya

TAFADZWA Musekiwa, the MP for Zengeza, yesterday fled in a state of undress
after six men armed with AK47 rifles threw teargas canisters into his

The opposition MDC MP said around 2am yesterday, six people who were in
civilian clothes forced their way onto his premises and broke the window to
his bedroom. They ordered him to come out saying they wanted to talk to him.

Musekiwa said: “When I looked through the window, I saw three men armed with
AK rifles and another three holding teargas canisters. I realised my life
was in danger.”

When he refused to open the door, one of the men threw two teargas canisters
into his bedroom, smashing the windows in the process. “I was lucky to
survive because my assailants were also affected by the tear smoke,
resulting in them retreating. I then ran out of the house naked to make my

I was given something to wear by an elderly woman in the
neighbourhood,” he said. Musekiwa said while he was still in his house he
called the police at Zengeza Police Station but there was no response.

In a related incident in the same constituency, the police arrested eight
Zanu PF supporters after they stripped naked and assaulted Netsai
Usavihwevhu, 26, in Unit J for wearing an MDC T-shirt. More than 30 Zanu PF
supporters then burnt Netsai’s T-shirt before tearing her skirt, leaving her
completely naked. Neighbours came to her rescue.

The rowdy Zanu PF youths later broke three doors and a window at the home of
Usavihwevhu’s mother, Lorraine, 43, who is the constituency chairperson of
the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA).

They allegedly stole $6 500 including the civic organisation’s campaign
material. The officer-in-charge of Zengeza Police Station, who identified
himself only as Inspector Dondo, denied receiving any distress call from

Musekiwa, who sustained a cut on his left foot in the escape, said he also
called the police in Harare who promised to assist, but they did not turn

The MP said later in the morning, he received several calls from people who
said they were policemen and were at his house to investigate the incident.
“As I approached my home, I saw a white Defender vehicle parked about 50
metres from the house.

But, to my surprise, some of the attackers were still there and so I hastily
fled from the scene,” Musekiwa said. He again phoned the police, who later
arrived at his house and advised him not to touch one of the teargas
canisters, which had not exploded.

In the run-up to the presidential election, Musekiwa’s house was attacked by
Zanu PF supporters who accused him of mobilising support for the MDC in

In the case of Lorraine Usavihwevhu, she said: “They threatened to come back
at night to bomb my house and use it as their torture camp.” The NCA is
preparing to stage a nationwide demonstration tomorrow to demand a new
constitution and protest the manipulation of the flawed Constitution by Zanu
PF to rig last month’s election won by President Mugabe.

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Zimbabwe's Mugabe rules out election re-run

HARARE, April 5 — Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe ruled out on Friday
rerunning a presidential election rejected by the opposition and Western
countries as fraudulent, warning that he would not brook any challenge to
his authority.

       ''The national poll will be held six years hence and let this sink in
to Britain and...MDC,'' Mugabe said, referring to the main opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
       ''We will be very firm, we will be very resolute with upholding the
laws of this country,'' he said in a speech at an annual meeting of his
ruling ZANU-PF party's powerful central committee.
       Mugabe also accused British Prime Minister Tony Blair and U.S.
President George W. Bush of interfering in the southern African country's
electoral process.
       ''Who is Tony Blair to Zimbabwe's electoral process. Who is George
Bush? How could their preferences come to matter in a poll meant to decide
who shall rule and govern Zimbabwe,'' he said to applause from the
       He made the remarks as Nigerian and South African envoys held
separate talks with ZANU-PF and the MDC to map out the agenda for talks
between the two rivals.
       MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, free on bail on charges of plotting to
kill Mugabe, has described the veteran leader's victory in last month's
presidential election as ''daylight robbery.''
       Tsvangirai has said he will discuss nothing but fresh elections with
Mugabe's ZANU-PF.
       Zimbabwe was suspended from the Commonwealth for a year on March 19
after the group's election observers accused Mugabe of electoral fraud.
       The Zimbabwean government dismisses the fraud accusations, saying
they are being pushed by Western powers who want to see Mugabe ousted
because he is seizing white-owned farms for landless blacks.
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Avoid Unwise Moves By Building On International Support

The Daily News (Harare)

April 5, 2002
Posted to the web April 5, 2002

Stephen Cocco

There are many rumours doing the rounds right now as to our future in
Zimbabwe. Some predict doom and gloom, while others predict that the world
will save us. Some are saying that the MDC should be asking the people to
demonstrate, while others think they must back down and keep quiet.

We need to remember that only a few weeks have passed since the presidential
poll results were announced, and it was not exactly the outcome the MDC or
the people of Zimbabwe were expecting.

Most of the world is now reacting negatively to the results. So far, we have
seen the majority of election observers ruling that the poll was not free
and fair. Several countries, including Britain, Italy, Norway and the United
States of America, have condemned the process, and some have already
announced that they will not recognise Mugabe's government.

Think about it: should the MDC by now have made a statement as to what
action they will take and what they expect the people of Zimbabwe to do? I
think not.

Now is the time for the MDC to consult with Zimbabweans and the
international community on the way forward. At no other time in Zimbabwe's
existence have we seen so much support from the outside world. We need to
build on this and not rush into anything stupid.

The MDC would have had the support of hundreds of thousands had they asked
Zimbabweans to march to town and demonstrate.

But what would have happened had they asked the people for this support? I
believe the result would have made the Tiananman Square massacre look like a
garden tea party.

We will see change, be patient. Maybe much sooner than we think. Keep your
spirits up.

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Daily News - Leader

Time the Church moved away from quiet diplomacy

4/5/02 11:11:13 AM (GMT +2)

THAT Zimbabwe is currently writhing in agony given the volatile political
situation is indisputable.

No doubt the outcome of the presidential election has left many Zimbabweans
shocked, and it is foreseeable that the socio-political turmoil that
characterised the pre-election period will exacerbate.

It is against this background that the clergy should come to the fore and
play a pivotal role in striving for the restoration of order. Ministers of
religion should not just sit and pretend as if all is well. The quiet
diplomacy associated with the clergy is not only obsolete, but also

No one on this earth can safely claim to be apolitical we all live politics.
Church ministers are no exception; they preach and associate with a
congregation whose involvement in the politics of the day is direct and
visible for anyone to dispute. Ironically, some of the people responsible
for the suffering of Zimbabweans are born-again Christians.

Church ministers should not sit and watch as God’s people “bleed to death”.
Of apparent note is the fact that civic organisations in Zimbabwe have been
silenced and hardly are voices on key issues affecting Zimbabwe tolerated.

The position that has been held by the Roman Catholic Church since time
immemorial is worth emulating. Yes, churches have different philosophies and
doctrinal stances, but there is a common denominator respect for human life.

The criticisms levelled against Archbishop Pius Ncube of the Roman Catholic
Church by the State media because of his pastoral activities are telling.

At a national pastors’ conference held in Gweru in February, Ncube said: “I
am not living in an ivory tower I get first-hand experience of the
difficulties in Zimbabwe. Pastors ought to encourage people in this
depressed society. Pastors are sent by God to defend the people.”

The Church cannot be for praying only; it should be a church of action and
the clergy should play a pro-active role, which is not aligned to violence
and the general suffering of the populace. Assuming a neutral stance as
advised at the national pastors’ conference, does not entail indifference to
the key issues affecting people. Unfortunately, this is a stance that has
been adopted by most church ministers.

Ministers stand on pulpits every Sunday to blame the people, for their
thieving, housebreaking, assaults, murders and adultery, among other things.

No one attempts to relate all these vices to poverty, unemployment,
overcrowding and, above, all the draconian leadership that is blind to the
suffering of the common man.

Against the background of a silenced civic society, it is imperative for men
of God to speak out. There is absolutely nothing wrong in telling the truth
as it is, There is nothing wrong in advising a fellow country inhabitant to
respect the dignity of human life. Perpetrators of any form of violence need
to be assisted to be reminded of the key commandment: “Love your neighbour
as you love yourself.”

A language which does not show respect for humanity does not acknowledge God
and is not expected of anyone. Abusive language should never be condoned no
matter who says it. Men of God must not allow the devil to take centre stage
in the hearts of our leaders. Unless Church leaders assume a firm role in
the bread and butter issues of the day, the future is too bleak to

Ministers of religion who choose to be indifferent assist in perpetuating
the current crisis in Zimbabwe by omitting to condemn evil. One is shocked
by the appaling irrelevance of interpretation given to the Scriptures. This,
undoubtedly, is the worst sin.

The Church should carry much of the current problems bedevilling Zimbabwe.
This is so, not only because most churchgoers are politically active in one
sense or another, but also because they are the silent victims of the
unfriendly socio-political situation in the country.

They have been made to feel the unwanted stepchildren of God whose presence
they cannot feel. Time has come for churches to move away from quiet
diplomacy. Prayer alone is a futile undertaking; it is time practical action
accompanied the Word.

It is disturbing to note that there are some members of the clergy who
underestimate the dignity and responsibility associated with their office to
the extent that they accept being waylaid by the system.

Some pastors condone violence together with its perpetrators this is
unbelievable! At the Sermon on the Mount, not only did Jesus condemn the act
of killing, but also that of speaking ill of your own brother. In a country
teeming with injustice and fanatically committed to the practice of
oppression, intolerance and blatant cruelty, surely one cannot have the guts
to support the system.

Some church ministers severely condemn activism associated with the struggle
for the goodwill of humanity as unholy and secular and, therefore, misplaced
in Christian faith. Under such influences, church members develop into
neurotics and apparent abuse of power by the leadership becomes to them, a
temporal phase that will culminate in their joy in Heaven.

Hoping for a better future in Heaven surely does not entail being passive,
subservient and excessively meek in the face of evil.

Pastoral challenges in Zimbabwe today are quite demanding. They are well
beyond the beliefs of most church leaders. It is high time that ministers of
religion break out of the cocoon of indifference that pervades the pastoral
domain. Fear which breeds a culture of silence and has turned the Church
into too much of a turn-the-other-cheek institution should be discarded.

Through Divine intervention and our own practical efforts, Zimbabwe can make
a difference. As Steve Biko suggested: “God is not in the habit of coming
down from Heaven to solve people’s problems on earth.”

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Saturday, 6 April, 2002, 00:06 GMT 01:06 UK
Zimbabwe warns protesters
Some of the activists arrested in the courtyard of a police station
The activists have vowed to continue their protest
The authorities in Zimbabwe have warned people not to take part in anti-government protests planned for this weekend in the capital, Harare, and elsewhere in the country.

The national poll will be held six years hence and let this sink in to Britain and... MDC (Movement for Democratic Change)

President Robert Mugabe
Home Affairs Minister, John Nkomo, said the marches were illegal, and warned the opposition that those who took part would be prosecuted.

But the civil rights organisation the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA), who organised the protests, has vowed to go ahead despite the detention this week of hundreds of their supporters, many of them women and children.

Earlier President Robert Mugabe ruled out another election, warning that he would not accept any challenges to his authority.

"The national poll will be held six years hence and let this sink in to Britain and... MDC (Movement for Democratic Change)," he said in a speech to his ruling Zanu-PF party.


A coalition of churches, trade unions and students groups had called for massive street protests following President Robert Mugabe's controversial re-election last month.

Robert Mugabe
The NCA says Mugabe has too many powers

The police have declared the protests illegal and 354 activists have been arrested and held for 24 hours, said Lovemore Madhuku, one of the protest's organisers.

The arrests come as mediators from South Africa and Nigeria are in Zimbabwe, trying to reconcile Mr Mugabe's government with the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

They hope to cool the political temperature, possibly with the aim of setting up a government of national unity.

The NCA is an umbrella group set up to campaign for a new constitution - in particular a curb on the powers of the president.

"It is totally repressive. The police ban on our planned peaceful demonstrations in unlawful and unconstitutional. We are going ahead, even if they have to keep jailing people," said Mr Madhuku.

The MDC insists that the election was rigged and its leader, Morgan Tsvangirai has said he is only prepared to discuss the date of a new poll, held under international supervision, not any proposals for a government of national unity.


Meanwhile in the Zimbabwe countryside, the MDC says its members are still being victimised by triumphant Zanu-PF supporters.

Morgan Tsvangirai
Tsvangirai will only discuss Mugabe's departure

The claim is backed by the Commercial Farmers' Union - the voice of Zimbabwe's white landowners - which has been reporting an increased level of farm invasions, looting and harassment of its members.

It says a large proportion of the incidents seem to have been retribution against farmers who supported Mr Tsvangirai.

The War Veterans Association, which led the farm invasions, has now issued an ultimatum to all farmers whose land has been designated for resettlement to pack up and leave.

It says they are using their farms to organise against the government, and make negative publicity against Zimbabwe.

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Zimbabwe rounds up activists
Despite detentions, group vows to hold weekend protest
HARARE, Zimbabwe, April 5 — Police have arrested 354 activists as they organized protests against disputed presidential elections, in what critics say is the latest example of President Robert Mugabe’s efforts to turn Zimbabwe into a police state.
       THE ACTIVISTS were arrested Thursday as they met at a church-run hostel in Harare to prepare for weekend demonstrations to protest Mugabe’s victory in last month’s elections, organizer Lovemore Madhuku said Friday.
       Home Affairs Minister John Nkomo, in charge of the police, said the demonstrations planned for Saturday were illegal and told state television he was giving “a stern warning” to anyone choosing to take part.
       “The law will be applied in full force,” he said.
       Thousands of government critics and opposition activists have been arrested since the election as part of a campaign of harassment and violence targeting critics of Mugabe’s 22-year regime, human rights groups said.
       “It is a police state. We will not be intimidated,” said Madhuku, head of the National Constitutional Assembly, a coalition of activists.
       NCA spokesman Douglas Mwonzora said some of the detainees were women with children. “Some of the children, as young as 4-months-old, have been detained with their mothers in extremely poor sanitary conditions,”he said.
       Mwonzora also vowed that the group would press ahead with the weekend protests, despite the government ban.
       Penalties for illegal protests range from fines to a year in prison.
       The southern African nation has been wracked by political violence over the past two years that human rights groups contend was a calculated ruling party campaign to intimidate opposition supporters and ensure Mugabe’s re-election.
       Opposition leaders and several independent observer groups say the March 9-11 elections were deeply flawed and clearly biased toward Mugabe. The United States condemned the poll and the Commonwealth of Britain and its former colonies suspended Zimbabwe for a year.
       Since the poll, Zimbabwe’s 4,000 white farmers have reported an upsurge in violence, evictions, and looting of their property, which they blamed on retribution against them by Mugabe’s militants.
       Mugabe has rejected calls by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change for an election rerun.
       “The next poll will be held six years hence. Let that sink in to Britain and its surrogates in the MDC,” Mugabe said Friday at a meeting of his party’s 125-member central committee.
       The activists jailed Thursday were arrested under the sweeping Public Order and Security Act, passed by ruling party lawmakers in January, which requires police approval for all gatherings of more than three people that are seen as political in nature.
       Amnesty International condemned the arrests, accusing the ruling party of a campaign of “reprisal attacks” against opposition supporters.
       Instead of stopping the violence, the government condoned it in order to destroy the opposition and take revenge, Amnesty said in a statement.
       Some of the activists were accused of holding an illegal public meeting while others were accused of holding a gathering likely to induce public disorder, said Chief Inspector Tarwireyi Tirivavi, a police spokesman.
       Before the elections, police used the security law to ban at least 80 opposition rallies, while allowing Mugabe’s party to meet freely.
       Since the election, police have used the law to break up efforts to organize protests and to stifle criticism of the regime.
       A three-day national strike called two weeks ago fizzled out, partly because the laws prevented labor officials from moving freely and holding meetings at factories and businesses.
       Earlier this week, police in Harare forced The Book Cafe, something of an intellectual salon, to cancel political debates by authors and academics. Satiric plays at the cafe were also put on hold, cafe owners said in a statement.
       Police have ordered some bar owners to close early in strongholds of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change after raids to break up alleged illegal gatherings there.
       Brian Raftopoulos, a political analyst with the Zimbabwe Institute of Development Studies, described the security laws as “very repressive, but very effective” in stifling dissent.
       Earlier this week, Mugabe vowed to crush protests or civil disobedience to protest the election.
       The organizers of the planned weekend demonstrations face up to six months in jail if they defy the prohibition of their protest.
       “The police ban on our planned peaceful demonstrations is unlawful and unconstitutional,” Madhuku said. “We are going ahead, even if they have to keep jailing people.”
       The activists, which included women with young children, were arrested while meeting privately inside a church building, he said. Four officials with the group were later arrested when they asked police about the status of those arrested, he said.
       Raftopoulos said the security laws were comparable to measures used in dictatorships. They not only disrupted opposition campaigning, but also meetings of independent rights and reform groups and civic organizations.
       “It has had a most debilitating effect on the continuity of discourse and action on the protection of free expression, movement and association,” he said. “It works.”
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Daily News

US tightens restrictions on Zimbabwean officials

4/5/02 11:44:46 AM (GMT +2)

By Sandra Nyaira

THE UNITED States embassy has said the US government will continue to
implement a proclamation issued by President George W Bush in February
barring President Mugabe and his Cabinet ministers from travelling to the

An embassy spokesperson said Bush had on 22 February issued a proclamation
applying travel restrictions on Mugabe and his family, senior members of his
government and their families. Top officials of the country’s defence
forces, police and airforce have not been spared the ban, which extends to
members of their immediate families as well.

The ban has been extended to include other Zimbabweans who formulate,
implement or benefit from policies that undermine or injure Zimbabwean
democratic institutions.

The spokesperson said: “The proclamation also affects persons who, through
their business dealings with Zimbabwean government officials, derive
significant financial benefits from policies that undermine or injure
Zimbabwe’s democratic institutions.”

Spouses of affected persons also face travel restrictions. The proclamation
has seen businessmen with close links to Zanu PF like Mutumwa Mawere, Philip
Chiyangwa (Chinhoyi MP), Saviour Kasukuwere (Mt Darwin South MP) and church
leaders like the Anglican Church Bishop Nolbert Kunonga being black-listed
along with other senior Zanu PF officials.

The Daily News has it on good authority that many more businesspeople and
individuals have received letters from the embassy advising them that they
had been slapped with travel restrictions banning them from travelling to
the US. Those affected are also barred from travelling to European Union

Soon after the controversial presidential election Zimbabwe was suspended
from the council of Commonwealth countries for the next 12 months. The bulk
of the 54-nation bloc’s membership is made up of countries which are former
British colonies.

“The US government has not and will not divulge the names of persons subject
to the travel restrictions. We are attempting to notify the individuals
affected personally,” the spokesperson said.

It is believed the list of those black-listed is being widened. He said
those individuals who thought or believed their names could be on the list
should contact the embassy before departing for the US.

The restrictions are being applied under the US government’s Zimbabwe
Democracy and Economic Recovery Act after Mugabe’s government failed to hold
free and fair elections. The elections which Mugabe’s ruling party won have
been roundly condemned by the international community as heavily flawed.

The results were, however, deemed legitimate by most African leaders. Mugabe
’s main opponent in the presidential polls, Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the
MDC said the results of the election was the biggest fraud in history. The
road to the presidential election was marred by two years of violence which
claimed more than 100 lives.
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Zimbabwe group to protest although 350 women held

HARARE, April 5 — A Zimbabwean organisation pressing for constitutional
reforms vowed on Friday to go ahead with banned weekend protests despite the
detention of about 350 of its female members.

       The National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) said police had accused
the women, detained at a meeting on Thursday, of breaking a law passed
earlier this year, which forces people to get police permission for public
protests and gatherings.
       Police spokesman Tarwireyi Tirivavi said he was still trying to
confirm the arrests. Penalties for illegal protests range from fines to a
year in prison.
       The NCA, a coalition of student and church groups, political parties
and human rights organisations, said the women, some pregnant, were being
kept in ''inhumane conditions'' at several police stations in Harare.
       ''Some of the children, as young as four months old, have been
detained with their mothers in extremely poor sanitary conditions,'' NCA
spokesman Douglas Mwonzora told a news conference.

       ''The treatment of the women and the children amounts to gross abuse.
The sheer number of the arrested people shows the indiscriminate manner in
which the government deals with dissent,'' Mwonzora said.
       The NCA said it would still go ahead with a march on Saturday for a
new constitution to replace laws that critics say President Robert Mugabe
has used to entrench his rule.
       The NCA says the laws make it impossible to hold free and fair
elections in Zimbabwe, including the March 9-12 presidential elections,
which Western countries and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) rejected as fraudulent.
       Police have banned the planned march, saying the political situation
in the troubled southern African country was not conducive to protests.
       On Friday, Home (Interior) Affairs Minister John Nkomo urged
Zimbabweans not to heed the NCA demonstration call.
       ''We are concerned to hear that...NCA is planning demonstrations to
force the government to allow what they want. It is not appropriate to do
that at this time, so I am appealing to the public not to follow the NCA,''
Nkomo said in remarks broadcast on state television in the local Shona
       In a later Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation English news bulletin he
warned those ''who will choose to ignore this call for restraint that the
law will be applied in full force.''
       ''The Zimbabwe Republic Police will not hesitate to invoke sections
of the Public Order and Security it relates to demonstrations,''
Nkomo said.
       In February, dozens of riot police armed with batons and guns broke
up an NCA-organised protest against the government's refusal to adopt a new
national supreme law.
       In 2000, the NCA was instrumental in the majority of Zimbabweans
rejecting a proposed new constitution that critics said left Mugabe's
overwhelming presidential powers intact.
       Mugabe has amended the constitution 16 times since assuming power at
independence in 1980 in what are seen as bids to tighten his grip on power.

April 06, 2002

Harare police round up 350 women

ABOUT 350 women activists from a pro-democracy group, several of them with babies on their backs, were in custody yesterday after being arrested by Zimbabwean riot police for holding an “unlawful” meeting.

Most of them were arrested on Thursday in a Young Women’s Christian Association hall in the Harare township of Kambuzuma as they gathered to plan for nationwide demonstrations today to demand a new democratic constitution.

Police have banned the planned demonstration by the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA), an alliance of church, civic and labour organisations, under the terms of draconian security laws passed in January.

Also arrested were a smaller number of NCA workers who were distributing leaflets in the city centre yesterday, Lovemore Madhuku, the NCA chairman, said. Three NCA officials were also detained when they went to visit the arrested women, who are being held in nine police stations in Harare townships.

“This is a police state,” Mr Madhuku said. “There are pregnant women in the cells, women who brought children with them and women who left their children at home.”

A police spokesman denied that there were any children with the women. However, the Independent Daily News published a photograph of two toddlers in a police yard.

Lawyers are seeking a court ruling to secure the release of the women. “What police intend to do is to keep them until after the demonstration,” Mr Madhuku said.

The latest police action is seen as evidence of the Government’s rapid decline into dictatorship in less than a month since President Mugabe was declared the winner of presidential elections that most of the world has declared illegitimate.

“They think we will continue to be soft. That’s gone, that’s finished,” Mr Mugabe said at the weekend.

The women were arrested under the Public Order and Security Act which the Government used as a near- blanket ban on the opposition Movement for Democratic Change’s political meetings during the election campaign.

Police have also used the law to ban today’s scheduled demonstration. “I think there will be trouble,” Mr Madhuku said. “But we will not obey unlawful orders, including unlawful orders by the President.”

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Zimbabwe militia accused of abuse

April 5, 2002 Posted: 11:45 AM EST (1645 GMT)

LONDON, England (Reuters) - State-sponsored militia in Zimbabwe are assaulting and raping supporters of the country's opposition in reprisal attacks following last month's disputed presidential ballot, Amnesty International said on Friday.

The human rights group said it was concerned about mounting reports of rape and sexual torture by the militias, continuing a pattern seen in the run-up to elections won by President Robert Mugabe but rejected as rigged by Western governments.

The Crisis in Zimbabwe human rights group said on Thursday as many as 50,000 people, mostly supporters of the defeated Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), had fled their homes fearing revenge attacks.

Amnesty said militia had used a published list of names and addresses of MDC polling agents to attack and destroy the homes of opposition officials.

"The Zimbabwe government has an absolute protect all its citizens from human rights violations," Amnesty said in a statement.

"Instead, the government's condoning of militia violence serves a political purpose: destroying an opposition party and taking revenge on Zimbabweans who may still support the MDC."

Amnesty said dozens of people were being held in some 50 illegal detention centres around the country and cited a report that around 1,000 women were being held in camps.

Youth militia stationed outside food distribution centres were assaulting those thought to be MDC supporters and preventing them from buying food, despite a rising risk of famine in the country, Amnesty said.

Copyright 2002 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Zimbabwean militias attack opposition - Amnesty

LONDON, April 5 — State-sponsored militia in Zimbabwe are assaulting and
raping supporters of the country's opposition in reprisal attacks following
last month's disputed presidential ballot, Amnesty International said on

       The human rights group said it was concerned about mounting reports
of rape and sexual torture by the militias, continuing a pattern seen in the
run-up to elections won by President Robert Mugabe but rejected as rigged by
Western governments.
       The Crisis in Zimbabwe human rights group said on Thursday as many as
50,000 people, mostly supporters of the defeated Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC), had fled their homes fearing revenge attacks.
       Amnesty said militia had used a published list of names and addresses
of MDC polling agents to attack and destroy the homes of opposition
       ''The Zimbabwe government has an absolute protect all
its citizens from human rights violations,'' Amnesty said in a statement.
       ''Instead, the government's condoning of militia violence serves a
political purpose: destroying an opposition party and taking revenge on
Zimbabweans who may still support the MDC.''
       Amnesty said dozens of people were being held in some 50 illegal
detention centres around the country and cited a report that around 1,000
women were being held in camps.
       Youth militia stationed outside food distribution centres were
assaulting those thought to be MDC supporters and preventing them from
buying food, despite a rising risk of famine in the country, Amnesty said.
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Business Day

Mugabe's cronies upset by travel ban


By Duncan Guy
Smart sanctions by the United States on select Zimbabweans have started a
wave of whinging in reports published in the country's only independent and
privately owned Sunday newspaper, the Zimbabwe Standard.

While the United States Embassy in Harare will not divulge names of people
on its list, the paper has in the last month reported that a Member of
Parliament and the wife of the army commander who has game hunting
investments have found themselves to be targeted.

Also written about - though through hearsay - is an unnamed businessman
linked to arms sales.

Jocelyn Chiwenga, wife of Zimbabwe National Army commander
Lieutenant-General Constantine Chiwenga, was to have travelled to Las Vegas
to attend an international hunting show.

"She said she planned to use the show to promote trophy hunting on her
Kazungula hunting concession where she has a lodge," the paper reported.

"The Standard is informed that the trophy hunts are being co-ordinated by
the Department of National Parks which intends to recruit war veterans as
professional hunters to assist prospective international hunters."

It said Chiwenga refused to discuss her failed visa application but
confirmed she had bought air tickets to travel to the US to attend the
Safari International Convention in Las Vegas.

The unnamed businessman the Standard wrote about reportedly called Assistant
Secretary of State for African Affairs Walter Kansteiner and was "said to
have been taken aback when Kansteiner is said to have stopped short of
calling him an unashamed liar".

"Kansteiner one-by-one went through a number of deals that the businessman
was involved in with or on behalf of Zanu PF and the government, including
arms sales.

"Said one top source: "He (named businessman) was really taken apart. He was
shocked because he never expected Kansteiner to have that information about
him. He was trying to lobby to get himself off the list, but he did not
realise how serious and thorough the Americans have been about this whole
thing. I have not myself seen the list of individuals to be targeted, but I
understand it is quite frightening." "

The Member of Parliament, Philip Chiyangwa, from Chinyoyi which has been a
hot spot of farm invasions and election violence, was quoted as saying: "Why
are they interested in Chiyangwa? I do not need anybody to tell me which
country I should or should not visit. Is America our God? To hell with them.
All Zanu PF members will take appropriate action against this move as we
have not committed any crime. We will respond very soon. We are going to
take steps to match their actions, steps against the American, British and
Swiss nationals working here. We are busy consulting others so we can chart
the way forward," he told The Standard.

"My journeys are confined to countries in Africa. I have banned myself from
other countries in the past five years. They will never see me landing on
their soil."
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The Times

Mediators see Harare politicians
From Jan Raath in Harare

THE first moves toward a possible settlement of Zimbabwe’s political crisis
began yesterday when Nigerian and South African mediators held preliminary,
separate consultations with the ruling Zanu (PF) party and the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
State radio said Adebayo Adedeji, a Nigerian diplomat, and Kgalema
Motlanthe, secretary-general of South Africa’s ruling African National
Congress, discussed a venue and agenda for substantive talks.

It said that a full meeting with both parties present could begin only when
Patrick Chinamasa, the Justice Minister, returned from a business trip to

The bulletin gave no more details, other than naming the suprisingly junior
ruling party delegation that met the mediators. It said that it was led by
the Information Minister, Jonathan Moyo, who holds the post of deputy
secretary in President Mugabe’s politburo. He was accompanied by two former
Cabinet ministers, one dismissed for corruption in 1989 and the other
dropped for being ineffective.

The MDC was led by Welshman Ncube, its secretary-general. He is also a
leading advocate and Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of
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Daily News

Berserk soldiers beat up Gweru residents again

4/5/02 8:53:40 AM (GMT +2)

From Our Correspondent in Gweru

SCORES of Gweru residents were injured on Tuesday night after they were
indiscriminately beaten up at several nightclubs and council-owned beerhalls
by soldiers in the city.

The residents said the latest raids were meant to cow them into boycotting
the countrywide mass demonstrations organised by the National Constitutional
Assembly (NCA), tomorrow.

The NCA, a coalition of several civic groups, tomorrow plans to launch its
series of mass demonstrations to pressure the government to urgently review
the constitution, which it has described as grossly defective.

Several revellers at the council-owned beerhalls in Mkoba and Senga suburbs,
fled when the soldiers moved into the high-density suburbs.

The soldiers patrolled the city and high-density suburbs using two armoured
vehicles. Timothy Mukahlera, the owner of one of the nightclubs, described
the raid as “barbaric” and called on the government to stop the continued
harassment of urban dwellers.

During the run-up to last month’s presidential poll, the soldiers conducted
similar raids at nightclubs owned by members of the MDC.

Angry revellers at Chitukuko Hotel, owned by prominent Gweru businessman,
Patrick Kombayi retaliated, overpowered and disarmed one of the soldiers.

The firearm, an AK 47 assault rifle and its fully-loaded magazine, were
later handed over to the police, but the soldier in question has not been
formally charged.
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Daily News

Chinamasa recalled from Geneva to lead negotiations with MDC

4/5/02 8:49:09 AM (GMT +2)

Chief Reporter

PATRICK Chinamasa, the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs
and Zanu PF’s secretary for legal affairs, has been recalled from a
government business trip in Geneva, Switzerland, to lead his party’s
negotiations with the opposition MDC.

Contacted from Geneva yesterday, Chinamasa said he would be home tomorrow to
head the Zanu PF delegation comprising among others, Professor Jonathan
Moyo, the Minister of State for Information and Publicity in the President’s
Office, Witness Mangwende, a former Minister of State responsible for War
Veterans’ Affairs, and Frederick Shava, a Zanu PF administrator.

Chinamasa said: “I have been recalled home to lead the delegation in the
talks. I have been attending to government
business here in Switzerland and that has been terminated. I will get the
full details when I arrive home.”
Learnmore Jongwe, the MDC’s spokesperson, yesterday said: “I understand that
there have been some consultations between the facilitators on both sides,
but the official talks have not yet begun. We are waiting to hear from the
facilitators as to when the talks will begin officially.”

Jongwe said the MDC team is led by Professor Welshman Ncube, the party’s
secretary-general. Other members of the MDC team include Gift Chimanikire,
the party’s deputy secretary-general, Yvonne Mahlunge, a member of the MDC
national executive, and Professor Elphas Mukonoweshuro, adviser to Morgan
Tsvangirai, the MDC president.

Mukonoweshuro is a lecturer in the Department of Politics and Administrative
Studies at the University of Zimbabwe.

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Ankomah's Solidarity Based On Falsehood And Violence
Zimbabwe Independent (Harare)

April 5, 2002
Posted to the web April 5, 2002

Mthokozisi Mathuthu,

THE coming of Baffour Ankomah to Harare last week and the subsequent
discussions he held really help to contextualise the Zimbabwean problem.

Like the Sadc leaders and many other so-called Pan-Africanists who endorsed
President Mugabe's re-election as "legitimate", " free and fair" Ankomah
demonstrated a lack of understanding of what is happening through his
misplaced solidarity messages and denunciations of fellow journalists.

He said the people's condemnation of Mugabe's re-election was much ado about
nothing because elections were rigged in South Africa in 1994, the US,
Nigeria and elsewhere. He also said he didn't see anything wrong with the
media laws in Zimbabwe because there are worse laws in Britain.

Moreover he said Zimbabweans need not cry loud because more people died in
South Africa during the 1994 pre-election period.

Needless to say, this logic was bought by none other than the
Ankomah-think-alikes who include Tafataona Mahoso, Vimbai Chivaura, Ibbo
Mandaza, and Rino Zhuwarara who are conspicuous beneficiaries of Mugabe's
patronage politics.

It is not news to hear these people hailing Mugabe's fraud because they are
part of the minority which is scared of a new dispensation under which
competence, qualifications, credibility and business ethics will be upheld.

Like Ankomah, their reasoning seems to be that if thousands of people died
in South Africa then we shouldn't mourn the less than 200 killed by Mugabe's
shock troops in the farmlands and elsewhere because it was a revolution.

This logic is essentially built on falsehood and bears within it elements of
its own decay. It ignores the fact that in Zimbabwe we have a
supposedly-democratic leader, an anti-apartheid zealot who deliberately let
loose his dogs of war to secure his re-election.

While in South Africa violence was often spontaneous involving various
people, in Zimbabwe it is systematic occurring according to state plans and
in such a way that election observers would not see it.

If the situation in Zimbabwe is normal why did Mugabe like Ian Smith and
John Vorster introduce restrictive laws to block change? Why did he have to
remove judges like Anthony Gubbay and reintroduce laws previously rejected
by parliament?

How does Mugabe's fear of a future under which he will be in exile in Libya
or on trial for killing people since 1982 become a revolution?

People like Ankomah and his local mandarin friends seem to be forcing us to
believe that the killing of farmers, headmen and others is not murder per se
because it is part of a revolution.

According to them, Mugabe has a licence to allow his thugs to do anything
because all these will be classified as revolutionary acts. We are supposed
to support Mugabe's revision of the language of land redistribution.

The idea is to force us to only condemn Smith's barbarities while
white-washing Mugabe's own murderous projects.

This is a clear abuse of African memory. Ankomah, Mahoso, Chavaura,
Zhuwarara and Mandaza are helping Mugabe to personalise our collective
memory and the African crisis by legitimising self- renewal and bloody
projects such as the so-called Third Chimurenga.

The crisis in Zimbabwe is not about land. It is simply about misrule,
gullibility, patronage and thuggery.

That we find ourselves today held to ransom by an old man who stole an
election explains how we have allowed a certain culture of fear, deception,
gullibility and patronage to develop in the country since 1980.

The trouble with certain "scholars" in this country is that they see Mugabe
as a hero or master first and president last. These are the scholars whom
Mugabe will grant space on national television and papers to confuse
national values with his survival and personal projects.

How does one explain that these scholars found in the Media Ethics
Committee, Constitutional Commision and National Ethos programme have never
bothered to show us how bad Mugabe is?

Is it a coincidence that they bless everything which Mugabe champions?
Ankomah and his friends think that local journalists are not as patriotic as
their British counterparts. What makes them think that criticising Mugabe is
being unpatriotic or is "bashing" and "demonisation"?

It is difficult for Zimbabwean journalists not to criticise Mugabe every day
because he is an authoritarian who has put himself at the centre of every
facet of life in Zimbabwe surrounding himself with imbeciles and
criminals-in-waiting who cannot disagree with him.

He is a national problem at the centre of the crisis. This is what Ankomah
should have been told. He needs to be taken seriously and not hated by all
of us here.

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