Mail and Guardian
Zim arrest of suspected killer of MDC
06 April 2004
Zimbabwe police have arrested a man in connection with last
of an opposition member during a tension-filled by-election
that was won by
the ruling party, a police spokesperson said on
Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena said a 43-year-old man
near the capital, Harare, on Monday over the fatal March 28
Francis Chinozvinya of the opposition Movement for Democratic
"He [the suspect] has been charged with murder," said
that a pistol was recovered from the man, who is likely to
appear in court
However, Bvudzijena could not say
whether the suspect, whose name he could
not reveal, is a member of President
Robert Mugabe's ruling Zanu-PF.
Chinozvinya was shot and killed when
Zanu-PF activists stormed his party's
campaign centre during a by-election in
Chitungwiza, 25km south of Harare,
according to the MDC.
The area is a
traditional stronghold of the MDC. -- Sapa-AFP
Diesel crisis hits commercial freight sector
BULAWAYO, 6 Apr 2004 (IRIN)
- Standing beside his heavily laden haulage
truck, Agrippa Lusaba lifted a
20-litre jerry can to the lights of oncoming
traffic in a what has become a
familiar sign in fuel-scarce Zimbabwe.
While petrol-engine cars with
empty tanks have become a common sight along
the roads, for the first time
the country is facing an acute shortage of
diesel, which means long-distance
truckers like Lusaba are feeling the
"I am delivering coal from
Wankie Colliery Company to some tobacco producers
in Manicaland. I should
have delivered the load exactly two hours ago, but
here I am, about 500 km
from my destination. The tank is empty, and this
load is stuck with me until
I get fuel," he told IRIN, 80 km north of
Zimbabwe's second city of
Last week the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) announced it
suspending its services between Bulawayo and Harare, Victoria Falls
Chiredzi, due to the worsening shortage of diesel.
"We are unable
to run the regular inter-city passenger train services
because of the
shortage of diesel. It's a pressing moment for the NRZ,
because it comes just
as government has ordered that we prioritise the
movement of coal to the
tobacco curing kilns in the producer areas. So the
little diesel we are
getting goes to such priority projects," said a ticket
officer at the main
Stranded passengers could be seen milling around the
departure area with
their luggage, pondering where to go next. Railway
transport remains the
cheapest mode of travel in Zimbabwe.
shortage of diesel has reportedly forced some commercial freight
ground their fleets.
"We have pulled a number of our trucks off the road
because there is no
diesel, especially in areas around Bulawayo. Harare [the
capital] is better
because black market diesel is available. Bulawayo does
not even have it on
the black market," said Thulani Mbambo, a fleet manager
Carriers, one of Bulawayo's leading cross-border trucking
"We have sister companies across the region but we cannot import
their accounts anymore, for fear of contravening the foreign
Besides, no foreign company is willing to guarantee a credit
Zimbabwe because of the economic uncertainties," said
Other commercial freight managers contacted by IRIN said the
diesel was most severe in areas around Bulawayo, which have
railway-fed fuel deliveries.
Although in short supply,
petrol is still available, but opposition economic
analyst Eddie Cross said
the fuel crisis was likely to worsen.
"This crisis is a result of fear
generated by the new foreign currency
regulations. Fuel importers are now
afraid of bringing in large quantities,
as that would mean using large
amounts of foreign currency at a time when
the RBZ [Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe]
is investigating and fining a number of
companies over transactions in
foreign currency. They have adopted a
wait-and-see attitude, which may last
until the crackdown is over," said
"The shortage might even
lead to an increase in public transport and road
freight costs, as operators
are sourcing fuel at black market prices," said
An official of
the Zimbabwe Rural Transport Organisation confirmed that bus
applied to the ministry of transport for an increase in bus
fares to cover
Graft inquiry to probe Mnangagwa
Business Day 06 Apr 2004
Speaker of parliament and the party's administration secretary, he wielded
huge influence over Zanu PF's business empire
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's heir apparent Emmerson Mnangagwa will
once again come under the spotlight during an internal corruption probe within
the ruling Zanu PF. Mnangagwa, currently speaker of parliament and the ruling
party's administration secretary, is expected to be the centre of attention in
the investigation as he wielded huge influence over Zanu PF's business empire.
This comes as the Mugabe succession battle is steadily intensifying. The party's
decision-making politburo last week appointed a committee chaired by finance
secretary David Karimanzira to investigate its businesses amid allegations of
entrenched graft. The committee also included retired army commander, Gen
Solomon Mujuru, former finance minister Simba Makoni, Matabeleland North
governor Obert Mpofu and party deputy transport secretary Thoko Mathuthu. The
composition of the committee has raised eyebrows within Zanu PF, with insiders
saying it was targeted at Mnangagwa whom Mugabe now apparently wants to
eliminate from the succession struggle.
Mnangagwa has recently been beset by corruption allegations. Two weeks ago he
was implicated in an illicit gold scam in which he allegedly received Z$16m from
an "unscrupulous" dealer who is currently in court for allegedly violating the
Gold Trade Act. The state accused Mnangagwa of being part of a network of
illegal gold dealers wreaking havoc in the country through panning and trading
activities. The charges were seen as a major blow to Mnangagwa's chances of
succeeding Mugabe, who is expected to announce his exit his plans in December.
Zanu PF spokesman Nathan Shamuyarira has said Mugabe would announce his future
plans at the party congress in December, which he described as "a defining
moment" for Zimbabwe. He said there would be "infighting" among Zanu PF leaders
after Mugabe's departure. Shamuyarira said Nkomo and Mnangagwa were clear
frontrunners in the succession race. Meanwhile, the Herald newspaper, a
government mouthpiece, reported on Saturday a Zanu campaign was under way to
tarnish the name of Information Minister Jonathan Moyo. The report said sources
within government were circulating news that the minister had fathered an
illegitimate child, who is now 22 years old.
A 'pat on the back' for the Mugabe regime
By Kate Hoey
So the England and Wales Cricket Board have invited Peter
Chingoka, chairman of the Zimbabwe Cricket Union, to attend
their management board meeting this month.
What are they trying to prove? What do they expect him to tell
them that they do not already know? Given his recent characterisation of the ECB
as "sanctimonious", of "waiving rules" and "double standards", it is amazing
that any invitation was forthcoming. But nothing surprises me about the
behaviour of the ECB these days.
From the day last year in Harare when chairman David Morgan
promised that if Zimbabwe toured England then they would return the favour this
autumn, it was clear that only one thing mattered to cricket's governing body in
this country - money.
The ZCU's chairman is also very clear about what matters to his
association and it is not money. His role is to sell Zimbabwe to the world as if
nothing untoward is happening there and endeavouring to make sure that it is
'business as usual'. So his focus is on ensuring that the England tour goes
ahead to send the image of a normal country around the world. His urbane
approach in what is still perceived as the gentle world of cricket has made him
the ideal front man for the vicious regime. He has been very successful in
winning allies to his cause from among the cricketing nations of the world.
Many in Zimbabwe claim that he has been rewarded for his efforts
with a farm grabbed under Mugabe's farms-for-cronies 'land reform' scheme - a
sure sign that he has been doing useful work for the regime. Last year at
Lord's, Chinkoga was allowed to get away with refusing independent Zimbabwean
broadcasters admission to his press conference.
The European Union have imposed a travel ban on named individuals
closely associated with Mugabe's regime in Zimbabwe, so why should Chingoka be
allowed into the UK?
If the Government's view is that they can't
ban the tour or stop it physically, but that they don't want it to go ahead,
then why don't they refuse Chingoka a visa to come here? That would be a clear
signal that they mean what they say.
The leader of Zimbabwe's parliamentary opposition has warned that
a tour would be a "pat on the back" for Mugabe and a propaganda coup for the
regime. Recently in the House of Commons I chaired a meeting to launch a report,
"Playing with Fire", commissioned by a South African-based think tank. It
chronicles the systematic human rights abuse of the 57 opposition Movement for
Democratic Change MPs in Zimbabwe. Most of them have been beaten up, imprisoned,
tortured or had their homes destroyed. If this is how elected, well-known MPs
are being treated, how much worse it must be for ordinary citizens.
Let us be clear: If England did tour the players would not be in
danger - in fact they would be safer there guarded by Mugabe's police and army
than strolling through London. But that is not the issue.
More than any other sport, cricket has become the flag bearer of
the Mugabe regime. His recent reappointment as patron was proposed by Chingoka
and was a sign of their close relationship. That is one reason why it is a
target for a boycott. More recently, signs of political vetting in team
selection have been evident. Bryan Strang, who played 26 Tests and 46 one-day
internationals for Zimbabwe between 1995 and 2001, has now been banned by the
ZCU, who objected to comments he made last year about the morality of Zimbabwe
hosting the World Cup.
Even Heath Streak, who captained his country 21 times, announced
on Friday his withdrawal from all levels of cricket over disagreement about the
selection policy. After Henry Olonga and Andy Flower wore black armbands during
a World Cup match to 'mourn the death of democracy' the ZCU decided to rid the
team of dissident, anti-Mugabe players. Alistair Campbell and Guy Whittall, both
experienced players, complained about the 'politicisation' of the ZCU and are no
longer part of the team. Two backroom staff who had supported Olonga were also
sacked in another sign that the ZCU were determined to stop the team
embarrassing Mugabe again.
I have a suggestion for the ECB if they do meet Chingoka. They
should present him with a list of pre-conditions for any tour.
The first demand should be that all British citizens, including
journalists and politicians wishing to travel to Zimbabwe, must be allowed in
with complete freedom of movement anywhere in the country.
Secondly there should be an immediate lifting of the ban
preventing BBC/ITN and Sky television crews travelling to Zimbabwe to report on
the state of the country. Thirdly, they must insist that the team they play are
not politically vetted and that Mugabe will not attend any match.
As long as cricket is being used as a political tool by Mugabe to
prop up his dictatorship no English team should play there.
|Tim Cumming: Director, Old Mutual|
Posted: 2004/04/05 Mon 21:00 | © Moneyweb
|MONEYWEB: Wayne McCurrie might know him as a director of Old Mutual, you
might know him as the chairman of Old Mutual Properties, but some Zimbabweans
think he’s an international terrorist. Old Mutual director Tim Cumming joins us
now from Mozambique. Tim, you were on a fund-raiser and you and colleagues of
yours, nine of you in total, spent some time with the Zimbabwe police being
interrogated as being terrorists. What happened?
TIM CUMMING: Yes, evening, Alec. Yes, we actually weren’t quite sure what we were
being held for initially, but it was obvious with the benefit of hindsight and
as things developed, it was clear that what started out as an apparent dispute
over whether we had the right permits to be travelling down the Zambezi River on
the Zimbabwean side quickly turned into the authorities being suspicious of our
intentions and requiring us to – two of us had to remain in camp under police
custody, whilst the seven others had to go into Chirundu for what was initially
a fairly straightforward interrogation, and then turned into something of a
nightmare for the seven guys involved, where it was clear, even though they
weren’t laying charges, that they were being interrogated on suspicion of
something covert, which couldn’t be further from the point because we were on an
expedition to raise money to help fund malaria projects in the region – to help
the people and not to do anything to destabilise them.
MONEYWEB: Tim, Old Mutual
is a big name in Zimbabwe. Surely, just by saying that you’re from that company
and the expedition you’re on is Old Mutual-backed – did that not hold any weight
with the police?
Certainly every time it was mentioned from my
side, everyone knew about Old Mutual, but it didn’t seem to cut any ice. One can
only surmise what it was that led them just to look past that and continue to
press on for other information. Possibly it was that there is a line of command
that goes all the way up, and no one wanted to make a decision and everyone was
just told to keep interrogating. The information I had received more recently
was that, given the fact that – I’m not sure but I think – the mercenaries or
alleged mercenaries who were detained in that aircraft I believe are still in
Zimbabwe, and I think the Zimbabwean authorities were afraid that someone might
come and do something to release them. I’m sure they were on high alert for
MONEYWEB: Did you have any weapons with you?
TIM CUMMING: No, no, no. The biggest
weapon we might have is a fishing knife. We had no weapons and no need for
weapons. So there was nothing. If you searched through our bags and looked
through everything, there was absolutely nothing besides a couple of cell phones
and normal camping kit.
And those cell phones – did they not come in
useful? Could you not phone perhaps the South African High Commissioner in
Zimbabwe, perhaps people back home, other Old Mutual
TIM CUMMING: Absolutely. We had two lines of communication, and there were
some crossed wires, because I was back in camp under guard whilst the others
guys were in the police station 100 kilometres away, and I could use the
satellite phone that I’m talking to you on now to speak to our head of legal,
Koos Stassen at Old Mutual, and he got the ball rolling. But the guys also were
able to send SMSs from their cell phones, via their wives, to get information
out to the High Commission and to media to get things rolling from that side
once things seemed to hot up. But the cell phones were confiscated at about 10
o’clock the night they were arrested, and so I was the only one left with
communications to the outside.
MONEYWEB: You said a “nightmare” for
the seven guys who were arrested – amongst them a photographer, an attorney, a
neurosurgeon from Grootte Schuur, a director of Beige, a couple of colleagues of
yours from Old Mutual Properties – what do you mean by a
Well, I don’t know, I can’t speak for them –
the nightmare was simply because they didn’t get to sleep all night. They were
kept up through a roller-coaster of interrogation which, I think, is quite a
standard approach where someone interrogates you, you think it’s all settled,
they say it’s fine, you’re about to go, and then they stick you under the next
string of interrogation with a new bunch of guys, and it starts all over again.
There was no physical abuse or harm besides sleep deprivation and lack of food
or water – but it was for 24 hours. But it is clearly very anxious when you are
detained, you are not charged, you’re not allowed to contact your embassy, you
have things confiscated, no one tells you why you are there, and you are just
being pushed into a corner psychologically and mentally. I think for them it was
24 hours, for many people it’s a whole lot longer. They came through it with
flying colours. I think as a team they worked very well, and stuck to their guns
and I think they’re very relieved to be past it. Is it a nightmare? I’m sure
they’ll get over it, but it wasn’t a pleasant experience that anyone would wish
on probably their worst enemies.
MONEYWEB: What kind of questions were
they being asked?
There were questions like what’s your
favourite whiskey, or what’s your favourite pub, and what’s your name, and who
are your best friends, to where did you receive military training and are you a
member of the special services and do you have tattoos on your body of any sort.
So it was a whole range of things and, I would imagine, I’m no expert on
interrogation techniques, but that’s what they do, they just keep asking the
same questions over and over again until they find something maybe that they can
get a handle on and twist it. And there was nothing because we have
MONEYWEB: Tim, doesn’t this concern you though? You are a director of
Old Mutual, Old Mutual has substantial assets in Zimbabwe. This does not seem to
be the practice of a civilised police force?
TIM CUMMING: Yes, look, to be fair I
must admit it was out of the hands of the police after a very short while. All
of the encounters that I had and most of the guys had with the police were very
civil and amicable. It was when other forms of intelligence – and I don’t know
who they were, if they were CID, military intelligence, whoever they were, then
things became a little more hairy. What I can say is that, having realised that
they made a mistake, and it was a big mistake, even the CID, and they were very
apologetic and contrite, whether that cuts ice with the guys who had to undergo
some of the worst aspects that I didn’t have to – that’s up to them. But from an
Old Mutual perspective I wouldn’t want to suggest that that kind of experience
is something that is common or frequent. Clearly, people need to be cautious of
where they are going in countries that do have some form of security alert. We
thought we had those permissions, and it’s unfortunate that this happened. As a
company, I’m talking personally but also from an Old Mutual perspective, we have
to look for the positives and remember from a company point of view there are
hundreds and thousands of customers and clients out there who are good,
dependable citizens relying on us to deliver them a
MONEYWEB: But isn’t it sending a message to you? We’ve had on this
programme on numerous occasions Zimbabwean businessmen saying to us things are
out of control in Zimbabwe. They are pleading with us in South Africa to do
something about it. Now you get a fund-raising trip to raise money for malaria
research, of which Zimbabwe is going to be one of the beneficiaries, and you’re
going through Gestapo-type tactics for 24 hours. What more has to be done before
people like yourselves, Old Mutual for one – it’s a big powerful company – will
say hey, no more?
Look, Old Mutual is very committed to the
countries where it has customers. If it has problems with regulations and
authorities, it will deal with those as best as possible. Quite simply, if
you’re just talking from a financial point of view, the very worst time to be
selling a business or trying to exit a business is when things are in some kind
of a trough. That’s the time to be able to look forward and see if you can see
some light at the end of the tunnel, and work out how you’re going to come
through. Maybe that’s a little bit over-optimistic, and that’s my style, but
clearly there are problems that Zimbabwe has to work through. It’s an issue for
those citizens. From a company point of view, my colleagues from the Zimbabwean
part of Old Mutual deal with the authorities on a regular basis, and have a good
relationship and understanding. And I hope and I’m sure, I don’t know when,
things will get better.
Tim Cumming, a director of Old Mutual. Just
makes one remember some wonderful sayings, amongst them “Evil thrives when good
men do nothing”. I wonder if we aren’t going through something here that one day
we’ll look back on and say well, we should have known what happened in Germany
1933 to ‘39 – good men did nothing.
Airzim Blames State for Losses
April 4, 2004
Posted to the web April 5, 2004
Zimbabwe says it made significant losses last year as a result of
Speaking at an annual general meeting of the Zimbabwe
Engineers Association (ZAMEA) recently, Rambai
Chingwena, the Chief
Executive Officer of Air Zimbabwe said the government
froze air fares for
the better of last year resulting in the company's bad
"Last year because of the fuel shortages, the government
froze our airfares
but the cost of operations continued to soar," said
"It had become much cheaper to travel by air than to travel by
the road with
a Madza 323," said Chingwena explaining to airline workers why
had failed to raise salaries.
However, he said, the fares
were eased in December and Air Zimbabwe had
recorded some growth since
Chingwena said Air Zimbabwe missed a lot of chances to turn around
fortunes because of numerous problems.
He said there was a serious
mismatch between the cost of operating the
airline and the revenue the
company made last year.
"This year we are trying to cut down on costs by
aircraft that will ply regional markets such as Lusaka,
Kariba," he said.
Air Zimbabwe is struggling to acquire
spare parts because of the serious
shortage of foreign currency and has
failed to pay its workers respectable
Due to the low
remuneration, the company since March last year lost more
that 25 engineers
who left Zimbabwe to seek greener pastures.
Free And Fair, Or Else...
April 4, 2004
Posted to the web April 5,
THE government of a troubled central African
police State has announced that
all elections will be free and fair.
statement by the ruling Zany Party's ministry for misinformation said
anyone who disagreed with this sentiment would be punished by a weekend
police cells, death or both.
The statement went on to say that a
recently held by election had also been
free and fair because the new law was
A misinformation spokesman announced that the by election
'characterised by calm and peacefulness.'
untroubled spokesman said that allegations of a shooting were
imperialist puppets of the Anglo-US alliance.
'No one was shot,' he said,
'except possibly a known member of the anarchist
opposition who shot
The spokesmoron dismissed as 'colonial lies' allegations that a
the More Drink Coming Party had been shot by a gun-toting Zany
known for his fondness for firearms.
'These allegations carry
a penalty of a weekend in police custody, death or
both,' smiled the man from
misinformation. 'Are you suggesting a member of
the vanguard socialist Zany
Party would kill anyone?'
Over The Top declined to pursue the matter,
relying instead on eyewitness
accounts from a troubled township where 99
percent of residents said they
were confused by the Zany
Still, in response to the astonishing by election result, the
Coming Party said it would give serious consideration to
'It seems to us,' said a More Drink
Coming spokesman, 'That by Ôfree and
fair', the Zany Party means the results
are organised before the election is
More Drink Coming Party spokesman said he would leave OTT to
draw his own
conclusions as to how an opposition activist could shoot
himself from some
considerable distance away.
'These are matters of science that the Zany
Party's misinformation ministry
has not taken into consideration,' he said,
'but if I go into further detail
I could end up in police cells for the
weekend or be killed.'
Meanwhile the running dogs of western imperialism
remained largely silent on
election tactics in the troubled central African
banana republic. One brave
diplomat said the silence was because the
announcement that all elections
were free and fair was so mind numbingly
untrue that no one knew how to
Still, the Zany Party revelled
in its strange by election victory and
announced it was a 'sure sign' that it
had regained its losses in troubled
cities across the
Residents in the township said that, weekends and death in police
withstanding, they found the result perplexing given that of the
questioned, the only person who admitted he had voted for the Zany
an unemployed drunk man recently released from a mental
institution. He said
he had been on heavy medication for 25 years.
Furthermore, a group of green
clad youths told him to vote Zany if he valued
He said his experience was that if aggressive looking youths
sticks told him to do something, he generally did
The question of Zany youths camped outside polling stations was
emphatically by the misinformation ministry.
'Nothing of that
sort ever happens here because all elections are free and
fair,' he said,
adding, 'if you report otherwise you could face a penalty or
a weekend in
cells or death.'
Given the options, OTT is happy to report that there
hasn't been anything
approximating a free and fair election in the troubled
police state for the last four years.
Streak's sacking 'was illegal'
Heath Streak is due to meet the
Zimbabwe Cricket Union in Harare today to
discuss what his father claims has
been an illegal sacking.
With several team-mates believed to be upset by
the sudden departure of
their kingpin and captain last Friday, Zimbabwe face
the loss of more
disillusioned senior players.
The Union claimed that
Streak had given them an ultimatum to cut the number
of selectors from five
to four while demanding that selectors all had to
have experience of
Peter Chingoka, the chairman, said: "The board could
not meet his ultimatum
and immediately accepted the fact that he was
Tatenda Taibu was immediately appointed to take over from
Streak and, at 20,
he is due to become the youngest man to captain any
Denis Streak, a dispossessed farmer from Bulawayo, said he was
press reports. He said: "My son himself cannot make a statement,
considers himself bound by his contract with Zimbabwe Cricket Union,
limits his ability to make press statements.
"I am aware of the
situation, as Heath has obviously discussed it with me.
Heath at no time
tendered or threatened to tender his resignation as captain
or as a player,
as alleged by the Union.
"All he said was that if his concerns were not
addressed he would consider
retiring from international cricket. In the
circumstances the Union in my
view have acted unlawfully in unilaterally
terminating Heath's position as
captain and as a member of the Zimbabwe
Streak added that Heath was seeking legal advice and that
"overwhelming support" from his colleagues and the
Recently Paul and Bryan Strang, both former Test players, were
frozen out of
domestic cricket for alleged criticism of the Union's
Warwickshire are seeking urgent clarification of Streak's
one of their overseas players this summer, having assumed he
would be on
Zimbabwe duty for all but a couple of months.
Cairns, 33, has confirmed he will be retiring from Test cricket after
Zealand tour of England early this summer. He is hoping to continue
one-day career through to the World Cup in the Caribbean in
Pakistan are to ask the International Cricket Council for a code of
to prevent former cricketers from making match-fixing allegations
Last month their former captain, Rashid
Latif, voiced what he termed
"suspicions" on television that Pakistan had
intentionally lost a recent
one-day international against India. His
accusations were condemned by both
PRESIDENT MORGAN TSVANGIRAI’S TUESDAY MESSAGE TO THE
PEOPLE OF ZIMBABWE
We buried Francis Chinozvinya
(22) at Granville Cemetery in
Harare on Sunday afternoon, a week after he was
gunned down in broad daylight when a rowdy band of Zanu PF supporters raided the home of James Makore, the MDC candidate in the just-ended Zengeza by-election.
Francis could not be buried earlier because the police
kept on delaying the processing of his clearance papers, saying there was a shortage of pathologists to conduct the
Zanu PF tried to put a brave face over the death of Francis.
But a day after the tragedy, that party sent an emissary to the Chinozvinya family with a strange proposal. Zanu PF wanted to buy a coffin for Francis and to assist
with the funeral expenses. The party claimed Francis was a member of that party.
The family was surprised by these insulting overtures. They accordingly rejected
Hundreds of our activists and supporters lost their
lives at the hands of state security agents, rogue war veterans and Zanu PF supporters during the past five years. No arrests or
prosecutions were made, even in cases where the perpetrators are known to the
The latest election-related death of Francis highlights
one of the major problems confronting the democratic movement in
Zimbabwe since the emergence of the MDC on the
political scene. Our opponents have to resort to force to deal with the rising
MDC support every day, contrary to Robert Mugabe’s
view that our party is ready for burial.
For two years,
there was absolute peace and tranquility in Zengeza. Hell broke loose immediately after Zanu PF deployed thousands of party militias and soldiers
into the constituency. It is a pattern Zanu PF is
using to drive away people from voting stations, to promote apathy, and to cause
alarm and despondency as a way of discouraging people from exercising their
right to vote. In Zengeza, the militias randomly
attacked the residents, with the result that some Zanu
PF supporters were caught in the melee.
The questions I posed at the beginning of the Zengeza campaign remain unanswered. Why would a popular
party or government beat up its own supporters? Why would Zanu PF, if it is popular in Zengeza for example, bus in thugs and soldiers to attack and
kill residents of that constituency, including young
I stated that militias are a product of failed regimes;
regimes that thrive on terror. In the case of Zengeza,
peace returned to the area as soon as the militias were withdrawn, immediately
after the announcement of the result.
We understand 50 000 thoroughly brainwashed youths have
since graduated at various training camps countrywide. Their brief is to create
as much chaos as possible and confuse the electoral process in favour of Zanu PF. Their skills were tested in Zengeza; the practice will be perfected in Lupane next month.
Zanu PF’s idea is to remove the partisan members of the
civil service from the front-end of the party’s campaign in an attempt to
sanitize violence. The party wants to present a picture of an election
distressed by inter-party political clashes arising from political turf wars.
Zanu PF wants to argue that such electoral patterns
are common and acceptable in Africa and therefore the election, though slightly imperfect,
is the best Zimbabwe can produce and must be deemed
legitimate. This is incorrect. A firm
restoration of the rule of law could prove this opportunistic theory
Francis Chinozvinya’s death
shows that Mugabe and his party are left with only one
political card: violence. Without violence, they can't get anywhere. That is why
they want to give violence what they perceive to be an acceptable face; to make
violence part of our political culture.
To them, withdrawing violence as a formula means giving up power to the
As long as Zanu PF invests in
these idle youths by turning them into killing machines devoid of any morals or
a conscience, Zimbabwe will never see a free and fair election.
The militias must be disbanded. Their continued presence in politics is a sign
of Zanu PF’s weakness.
After Zengeza, the regime bombarded the nation with all sorts of
make-belief theories and over-boiled propaganda in a futile attempt to portray
Zanu PF as a party on a recovery path. Zanu PF will never recover because the wounds it inflicted
onto the people are too deep to be forgotten
By clinging to power into his dotage; by ruining the
economic and social fabric of Zimbabwe, the only impact Robert Mugabe could have on the nation could arise out of a
We are on record indicating our willingness to assist
with a programme that could lead to a soft landing for a beleaguered regime
considered, nationally and internationally, to have outlived his usefulness. We
wish to state once again that we have no intention of pursuing a campaign of
retribution once we assume power. There is no need for Zanu PF to go on a warpath against the people, purely out of
fear of the MDC.
In March 2001, I wrote a personal letter to Mugabe in a bid to halt the downward slide our nation was
facing arising from a selfish approach to the resolution of the crisis. Nothing
came out it.
The MDC leadership has done its best to try and break
the impasse and clear obstacles to national dialogue. We believe we have a
national responsibility, beyond our personal interests, to seek a lasting
solution to our problems and end the current wave of anxiety and untold
suffering that has befallen our people for some
Zanu PF can force itself onto the people. They can celebrate
their paper crowns as victories. But the solution to the crisis will remain
elusive. They are wasting time, abusing national resources and driving the
nation towards anarchy.
Killing Francis Chinozvinya
and scores of MDC activists will never produce an amicable solution to our
deepening crisis. If anything, such actions harden people’s attitudes and
further polarize the country making the process of healing and nation-building
even more difficult.
Mugabe’s public utterances on the need for unity and
political discussions between his party, Zanu PF, and
the MDC, his regime continues to push itself away from the people through a web
of repressive measures.
As leaders, we can register a significant shift in our
political mindsets and in our personal attitudes if we were to confer directly
to identify the main impediment to sincere and principled dialogue. The Church
has tried without success.
Our neighbours have put a lot of effort in attempting to
rescue us from inflicting further damage onto ourselves. Mugabe told the
nation in December 2003 that he was willing to open the way for formal dialogue
between Zanu PF and the MDC. What happened to that
We must clear our misguided suspicions, address
deep-rooted misconceptions and accord the nation the necessary confidence to
push our country towards a final resolution of the crisis. Zanu PF is refusing to accept its responsibility in this
regard. The nation cannot withstand any further battering. At a great risk to
our own political credibility as a political party, we continue to advocate
patience and self-control to our supporters. Our task could be made easier if
our opponents in Zanu PF were to
While Zanu PF stands in
jubilation over fraudulent results from fake elections, the crisis in
Zimbabwe is now at a frightening level.
The endurance of the people has now been stretched to
the extreme limit and there is no telling how much longer they can continue to
tolerate the anguish that is multiplying itself almost on a daily basis.
Zimbabweans are in a mess because of serious questions, demanding serious
answers, which our people are asking every day. People need to know why we
cannot have a clean voters roll.
A record of the public hearings of the Mugabe-sanctioned Constitutional Commission in 1999 shows
that Tobaiwa Mudede, the
current Registrar General of Elections, has been thoroughly discredited and
unfit to run elections in Zimbabwe. If the Mugabe
regime is serious about democracy why does it allow Mudede and his administration to preside over our national
elections? In short, people want an explanation as to why Zanu PF is not interested in an Independent Electoral
Commission – a body the people said was an absolute necessity during the same
Constitutional Commission hearings in 1999.
One of the issues highlighting Mudede’s incompetence is the perennial dispute over the
state of the voters roll. Zimbabweans wonder why Zanu
PF and the regime are against the introduction of a completely fresh voter
registration exercise done by an independent statutory body with the help of the
A new voters roll could be
distributed widely to all political parties. Zimbabweans are asking why the
actual voting process cannot take place on a single day, using translucent
boxes, with the counting of the ballots done at each polling station.
The majority have yet to get answers as to why it takes
two days for a mere 16 000 voters, as in the case of Zengeza, to cast their ballots. In other countries, with a
relatively lower literacy rate than
Zimbabwe, the process is completed in a single day.
Africa next week, for example, more than 20 million registered
voters are expected to vote in a national election in a single day. That
election has 35 political parties contesting for political power. The counting
of South African ballots will be done at the polling stations. The results will
be endorsed by party election agents on the spot. Surely a tiny nation like
Zimbabwe, with two main political parties vying for just about five million
registered votes, does not need three or four days of voting?
Why must we have ballot boxes, made of scrap wood and
containing material so sensitive that can make or break the nation, being carted
from one place to another over a period of time? As was the case in the last
election, MDC election agents were assaulted and chased away from 40 percent of
the polling stations and barred from verifying the
People cannot understand why Zanu PF is keen to legally limit their basic freedoms by
restricting the frequency of their meetings through the Public Order and
Security Act and by refusing to allow the majority access to the public radio
Strangely, Zanu PF does not
seem to have any answers to these basic questions. We are challenging them to
search for the answers and explain to the people if they are as democratic as
they claim to be. We are challenging them to explain why they think killing
voters, like Francis Chinozvinya, is a cause for
celebration and an indication that, by so doing, they were burying the
Free and fair elections must pass a public confidence
test. Why do Zimbabwean elections always fail that test? By raising these
issues, we are not asking for a favour from Zanu PF.
These are the minimum standards required for a legitimate election. They are
based on the SADC protocols, which
Zimbabwe ratified in
Zimbabweans are determined to stop Zanu PF from abusing the electoral process by claiming to be
organizing an election when, in fact, what Zanu PF
seeks to do is to engage in a fraud that leads to a pre-determined
The people are ready to take on the regime for it cannot
continue to cheat the nation all the time.
The people are determined to overcome their problems and to pursue a transparent, rights based approach to national
Sent: Tuesday, April 06, 2004 7:05 PM
Subject: WOZA in Court 7
The terrific trio of Jennifer Williams, Magodonga Mahlangu and
Khanye arrested on the eve of International Women's Day are due in
Court tomorrow 7 April.
They were brought to court on 9 March after
48 hours in custody and were
charged with "Contravening Section 360 (2) (b)
of the Criminal Procedure and
Evidence Act as read with Section 7 (c) of the
Miscellaneous Offences Act.
The essence of the charge: Inciting other people
to demonstrate and cause a
public disorder and/or disturbance and/or
The magistrate who was conveniently ill last week along with the
must answer a submission from the defence legal team. She will
either maintain the remand on charges that the prosecutor cannot
or grant the submission from defence that the trio be released from
and the state proceed by summons.
ZAMBESI RIVER FLOODING: RESCUE EFFORTS CONTINUE, OVER
Over 15-thousand people have been
displaced from the zone of Caprivi,
in the extreme north-east of Namibia,
afflicted in the past days by the
worst flooding of the Zambesi River in 50
years. As reported yesterday by
the local Red Cross, the situation is
rendered even more dangerous by the
presence of snakes and crocodiles
transported by the floodwaters. Numerous
helicopters - including some from
neighbouring Zimbabwe, deployed by the
Harare government - are conducting
searches in the flood zones in the Katima
Mulilo region, to evacuate as many
residents as possible. According to the
same humanitarian sources, at least
50-thousand people will be in need of
assistance over the next months due to
the disaster. "It is much worse than
last year, when we had to rescue
12-thousand people", stated Razzia
Essack-Kauaria, Red Cross secretary
general. In the past days, in assuring
efforts of the government to aid
residents of Caprivi, Namibian Premier
Theo-Ben Gurirab, declared that
alternative settlements are being evaluated
to guarantee the functioning of
schools, many of which submerged by the
Zimbabwe's ZANU-PF Tries to Remove Corruption From its
06 Apr 2004, 17:11
Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu PF party has opened an inquiry into
business holdings as part of what it says is a wider drive to stamp
corruption. The inquiry has sent a shockwave through the business
and prompted the departure of a number of prominent business
people from the
country. According to the state-controlled Herald newspaper,
prominent people close to ZANU-PF to leave the country in the last
members of the wealthy Joshi family. Linked to the ruling party
before independence, the Joshi family has helped ZANU-PF in
interests in many top companies.
ZANU-PF's records show
the party derives more than half of its
declared income from dividends from
its business holdings. Since
independence in 1980, ZANU-PF has become a major
business force in Zimbabwe.
Head of the party's finances is Emmerson
Mnangagwa, a man until recently
tipped as President Robert Mugabe's most
The party's April 1 announcement that a committee
to investigate the
party's finances was first seen as a joke. But when the
committee began its
work behind closed doors, it sent a shockwave throughout
community, and several leading businessmen left the country.
Added to the
community's apprehension is Zimbabwe's new anti-corruption
allows for detention without trial, and without any initial
The government says the investigation is
part of its drive to stamp
out corruption, but political observers and the
opposition are skeptical.
Paul Themba Nyathi, a veteran politician
who fought for Zimbabwe's
independence and is now spokesman for the
opposition Movement for Democratic
Change, said the probe is a sign of
possible struggle within Zanu PF over
who will succeed Mr.
Mr. Mugabe has repeatedly said he will not leave his
leadership post while ZANU-PF is in turmoil. Mr. Nyathi said the
probe appeared to be part of the ruling party's effort to clean up
among the increasingly impoverished Zimbabweans ahead of
elections in March 2005.
Members of ZANU-PF's
clean up committee were not available for comment
Tuesday. The committee's
proceedings are not public and it is not clear
whether the results of the
probe will be released.
JAG CLASSIFIED: Updated 6th April 2004
Please send any classified
adverts for publication in this newsletter to:
JAG Job Opportunities
Repeat - Advert Received 17th March 2004
GALLAGHER electric fence
energiser (nearly new) never
worked outside. Model M1500 - G316. Very
strong, works up to a
few kilometres. Offers to: Arnold 04 333285, 011 801
Advert Received 30th March 2004
Please could you place the following
advertisement for us.
For Sale. 1/2 sized Tony Morkel Snooker Table for
sale, plus balls cues
etc. Highest offer secures. For more information
'phone 011 401111.
Advert Received 31st March 2004
Please send this out on your email.
Toyota Landcruiser P/Up (1996)
Beige with white
Reg No: 641-173 B
LARGE REWARD OFFERED!
Contact: J. Saul -
Advert Received 31st March 2004
SPRINGVALE HOUSE GRADE 6
ENTRANTS - 2005
Springvale House has for many years double streamed at Grade
6 with the
idea of allowing children who wish to go onto Peterhouse Boys or
opportunity to do so.
This has proved most successful for those
15/16 children who are accepted.
A series of English and Maths tests is
written in July for children in
Grade 5 on work they have covered in their
syllabus. Successful applicants
are notified by August.
Those who are
interested should contact the School Office for
Telephone - 079-23598/22473
E-Mail - email@example.com
Address - P/Bag
More details on Springvale House can be found on
Advert Received 31st March 2004
I am looking for an air compressor with a
capacity of around 45 - 50 cfm at
a continuous 70 lbs per sq in pressure
(quite large) for sandblasting.
Please reply to
Advert Received 2nd April 2004
Please can you advertise for the
My daughter is coming out to Zim for a holiday and I would
like to have
some form of communication with her whilst she is there. Is
out there whol may have a spare econet line for her to borrow
obviously be responsible for her own calls.
please get back to me
Advert Received 5th April 2004
Please could you advertise the following
chemicals for sale :
Agrithin 1 x 5L @ $125 000 each
Dimethoate 4 x 5L
@ $50 000 "
Alachlor 5 x 20L @ $400 000 "
Tamaron 3 x 25L @ $450 000
Benlate 9 x 1kg @ $50 000 "
EDB 5 x 57L @ $600 000 "
091-253985 or 04-309066, e-mail :
Advert Received 5th April 2004
FAMILY HOME CARE SERVICE
We are Zimbabweans who have remained in
Zimbabwe despite the current
We are qualified
nurses who offer a service, for a small fee, to those who
have had to leave
the country and who are concerned about the well being of
parents or relatives left behind.
Our service provides regular visits,
with a comprehensive report back, by
e-mail, to the family on the general
health and well being (mental,
emotional and physical) of our
We offer to make appointments with, and provide transport to,
dentists, chiropodists etc. We will assist with general shopping or
regular social visit, much as a daughter would do. We are not prepared
queue for passports, petrol, pensions etc. We will try to ensure that
old folk are eating properly and managing to live comfortably.
are available at all times for any emergency and all have cell phone
e-mail contact numbers.
We look forward to being able to assist
you and alleviate your anxieties.
Ursula Murray Dorothy Page
Phone:- 263-9-471226 263-9-462445
Cell:- 091 292946 023 407985 091 389191
for Agriculture mailing list
To subscribe/unsubscribe: Please write to
JUSTICE FOR AGRICULTURE PUBLIC RELATIONS COMMUNIQUÉ - 5TH APRIL,
From The Sunday Tribune (SA), 4 April
We will not return farmers' land,
By Moshoeshoe Monare
Zimbabwe's Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) says should it win power,
it would not return land to evicted
white farmers. "We cannot go back to
the pre-2000 situation in which Mr Joe
Bloke who has now run away, is in
Australia, we say come and get back your
land. We cannot go back to that,"
said MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai, in an
interview. Invaders headed by
war veterans took over farms in 1999, chasing
white farmers away in an
action sanctioned by the ruling Zanu PF. "Neither
can we endorse what Zanu
PF has done," Tsvangirai said. "Land reform without
the issue of food
security is not land reform. Today six million Zimbabweans
assistance. The land grabbing exercise that Mugabe has embarked on
this country to a serious food deficit...We cannot reverse what has
done, but we cannot endorse what has been done," said Tsvangirai. He
the ruling party's method of grabbing the land was wrong, even though
was backed by sound ideals. "Zanu PF has embarked on this disastrous
grabbing exercise. We, as the MDC, think the method was wrong,
objectives might be right... what we want as MDC is a
process, to rationalise the land distribution process, to
reform programme so that it becomes equitable, transparent
and deals with
this historical grievance," Tsvangirai said. He said once his
party came to
power it would conduct land audits to find out who owned farms
many. This stems from allegations that some of the Zanu-PF and
officials have more than one farm. "(The audit) is going to reveal
got what, and clearly set up a mechanism of a land commission to deal
redistribution, land reform itself, assistance to farmers and
progressive support that should be given for food service sufficiency.
are not going to embark on witchhunting, we are going to say one farm,
person. Need is an important issue, not greed," he said. Responding
Tsvangirai's comments, Zanu PF spokesman Jonathan Shamuyarira admitted
"there might have been problems with land allocation". "But we are
with it, we are investigating the problem as government," Shamuyarira
He was referring to a probe into the land issue conducted by
but whose report has been kept under
From The Daily Telegraph (UK), 5 April
Mugabe land-grab advice
Christopher Munnion in Johannesburg
President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe
has begun to export his government's
expertise on the most effective methods
of seizing farms from white
landowners. A team of Zimbabwean "land
redistribution experts" arrived in
Namibia yesterday to advise the government
of President Sam Nujoma.
Namibia, a sprawling mineral-rich state in
south-western Africa, has
announced that it will soon start the forcible
expropriation of white-owned
land for "redistribution to the landless
masses". The government claims
that about 4,000 white farmers, most of them
of German and Afrikaner
descent, own nearly half the arable land in the
country. Mr Nujoma, one of
the most faithful supporters and admirers of Mr
Mugabe, has said he regards
Zimbabwe's land redistribution programme as "a
model for Africa". This is
despite the fact that the forced removal of
several thousand white farmers
from their land has led to the near collapse
of the economy, unemployment,
starvation, violence and an annual inflation
rate of more than 600 per
cent. White farmers in Namibia have said they are
prepared to discuss
reasonable land redistribution as long as proper
compensation is agreed and
all dealings are carried out under law. "We are
obviously alarmed that they
are taking advice from Zimbabwe," one said. "The
Zimbabwean land grab has
been an economic disaster and most of the farms
taken over by the
government in Harare were simply handed out to the ruling
rather than landless
for Agriculture mailing list
To subscribe/unsubscribe: Please write to
Business Report - SA
|SA imports 72 000 tons of maize |
|April 7, 2004|
By Bloomberg and
Johannesburg - South Africa imported 71 921 tons of maize from
the US and Argentina last week, the SA Grain Information Service, an industry
body, said on its website.
South Africa imported 32 781 tons of white
maize from the US and 39 140 tons of yellow maize from Argentina. Of the white
maize, 15 000 tons was re-exported to Zimbabwe.
From South Africa 13 417
tons of white maize and 963 tons of yellow maize were exported to six other
In Chicago, traders said maize futures were lower
yesterday following weakness in soyabeans. "It just seems to be running out of
steam," one pit source said.
But the market remains underpinned by
strong demand and the need to encourage farmers to plant maize as the US spring
The department of agriculture in the US said early yesterday
that exporters had sold 220 000 tons of maize to an unknown destination in the
Traders are paying closer attention to weather patterns in the
US Midwest as the spring planting season
|Zimbabwean minister calls
for provision of safe water |
HARARE, April 6 (Xinhuanet) -- Zimbabwean Environment and Tourism Minister
Francis Nhema here on Tuesday underscored the need for human settlements to have
access to clean water and sanitation.
Nhema said that access to these basics would allow people to engage in
productive activities while helping protect the environment.
"Human settlements should have access to clean water and sanitation to
assist them in their upkeep and production," said Nhema.
"By having clean water, people will be assisting in protecting the
environment since 60 percent of what they do involves water," he said.
Nhema had just returned from South Korea where he attended a ministerial
meeting on safe water, sanitation and human settlements and how they affect the
One hundred and fifty environment ministers from across the world
attended the meeting, held on March 27-31.
Rapist jailed for life
A rapist who climbed up a drainpipe and into his victim's Tooting bedroom
before assaulting her at knifepoint last summer has been jailed by an Old Bailey
judge after pleading guilty to a string of offences.
Zimbabwean teenager Lance Nicholas Smit received a life sentence for the rape
on Friday, and admitted a spree of violent crimes across south London, including
kidnap, false imprisonment and four counts of robbery. He was sentenced to three
years in jail for each, all to run concurrently. The judge recommended that Smit
be kept locked up for a minimum of five and a half years.
In his most audacious attack, during a heatwave that caused people to sleep
with windows wide open, he scaled the wall of the Nimrod Road house in the early
hours of June 16, 2003, produced a knife and subjected the woman to a 30-minute
ordeal while her unsuspecting housemates slept.
He then stole money from his victim, who was in her 20s, and made her let him
out into the back garden, where he collected his belongings from the foot of the
drainpipe before leaving by the front door.
An e-fit of Smit's face was carried on the front page of the Wandsworth
Borough News in July, helping to lead to his arrest but not until October.
Meanwhile, he robbed four women at knifepoint in the Tooting area, forcing
some including one with a young baby to withdraw money from cash machines.
Days later, on October 9, he attacked a female jogger on Tooting Common,
attempting to drag her into the bushes, but the woman made a lucky escape,
breaking free and later giving a description to police.
Later the same day, Smit's criminal campaign was finally ended when he was
stopped by police officers in Tooting, found in possession of a knife, and
Detective Chief Inspector David Way, from Wandsworth CID, said: "Smit is a
dangerous and callous individual who targeted women in the Tooting Common area
during the summer and autumn of 2003.
"We believe he may have been responsible for other crimes and would urge
anyone with information to call the Operation Sapphire team based at Tooting,
which deals with serious sexual offences, to call them on 020 8247
'We need funding to save lives in
April 06 2004 at 03:51PM
Harare - The United Nations is appealing for close to $100-million (about
R650-million) to meet "massive humanitarian needs" in Zimbabwe, according to a
statement received in Harare on Tuesday.
The appeal is an extension of
one made in July last year for funds to provide Zimbabweans with food aid and
non-food needs such as safe water, sanitation and health care until the end of
2004, said the statement.
"Funding requirements total $95,4-million,
including $31,1-million requested by local and international NGOs
(non-governmental organisations)," it pointed out.
percent of whom are said to live in poverty, are reeling under severe hardships
with inflation hovering at over 600 percent, high unemployment and critical
shortages of food, medicine and fuel.
Aid agencies estimate that around
5.5 million Zimbabweans, 2.5 million of them in urban areas, need emergency food
aid this year.
The country is also hard-hit by the Aids pandemic, which
claims around 132 000 lives a year, according to official
"Funding is required to prevent loss of life, decrease human
suffering and mitigate the impact of the crisis on the most vulnerable groups,"
Zimbabwe's Trust Bank Likely to End Up As Part of the
Old Mutual Stable
April 6, 2004
to the web April 6, 2004
Stephen Gunnion, Financial Services Editor
INTERNATIONAL financial services group Old Mutual is being
touted as a likely partner for at least one of Zimbabwe's ailing, locally owned
Reports last weekend speculated that Old Mutual and its
Nedcor subsidiary could be close to concluding a deal with Zimbabwe's Trust
Bank. Some analysts say it would make more sense for Old Mutual to strike a deal
than for Nedcor to do so.
Nedcor, whose CEO Tom Boardman has as his main task reviving
the bank's domestic fotunes, is unlikely to commit any capital to Zimbabwe due
to the sensitivity of its capital situation.
Old Mutual is a different story. It sits with surplus cash
in Zimbabwe, which analysts believe is probably invested in treasuries.
With treasuries yielding less than inflation, the
London-listed insurance group would probably be keen to move its money into a
higher yielding investment.
Such a move would also make sense for the group, as there
are a number of Old Mutual policyholders in Zimbabwe. It is unlikely to commit
any South African capital to Zimbabwe, however.
Trust Bank is one of five banks that have been baled out by
the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe's Troubled Banks Fund.
Of a total bail-out package of about Z400bn for the five
banks, Trust Bank took over half. Because of the number of institutional
investors invested in Trust Bank, the central bank chose to prop it up rather
than close it down. The central bank is now trying to find partners for Trust
Bank and the other troubled banks as it tries to rebuild Zimbabwe's banking
As one of the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange's largest investors, a
number of the banks are lining up at Old Mutual's door.
Old Mutual is estimated to own about 6% of Trust Holdings
through its subsidiary companies. But banking is not among its core businesses,
and analysts say it would likely be a shortterm strategy if it were to buy a
stake in Trust Bank.
One scenario would be to onsell the bank to Nedbank.
JP Morgan's banks analysts Jacques Badenhorst says it would
be surprising if Nedcor were to take up a stake in Trust Bank now, as it has so
many of its own domestic issues to sort out.
Nedcor cannot afford to fall too far behind other South
African banks regarding expansion into Africa. Nedcor's only known asset there
is a roughly 30% stake in the Merchant Bank of Central Africa.
The International Monetary Fund said last week that
Zimbabwe's real gross domestic product has contracted by about 30% over the past
five years, while inflation doubled each of the last three years to reach 600%
at the end of last year.
E.Guinea investigators due in SA
Wednesday April 07, 2004 06:58 - (SA)
A team of investigators from Equatorial Guinea will travel
to South Africa shortly to gather evidence for the trial of the South Africans
suspected in a coup plot against the president of that country, Foreign Affairs
The 70 alleged mercenaries, including at least 15 South
Africans, were detained on March 7 after their plane was impounded at Harare
International Airport, allegedly on its way to Equatorial Guinea where Harare
says they were planning coup.
Foreign Affairs spokesman Ronnie Mamoepa
said a team of officials from the SA Police Service, the National Prosecuting
Authority, the South African Secret Service, the Departments of Justice and
Foreign Affairs had visited Malabo, where the men were being held, and have made
several recommendations on how South Africa could ensure that the men had a fair
"The South African government firmly believes that by engaging
the government of Equatorial Guinea on this matter it will make a small but
positive contribution to the justice system in Equatorial Guinea."
added that the government would continue to engage the authorities of Equatorial
Guinea to ensure the South African prisoners were treated in the spirit of
So far the accumulated charges against the 70 men are:
conspiring to possess weapons of war, conspiring to murder the long-serving
president of Equatorial Guinea and his bodyguards, possession of weaponry,
violating Zimbabwe's immigration laws and attempting to overthrow a foreign
The accused say they were hired in South Africa to be
security guards on a diamond mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo.