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

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New Zealand Herald

      Mugabe rebuffs UN plans for US$30 million emergency aid

      26.08.05 1.00pm

      UNITED NATIONS - President Robert Mugabe's government has refused a
US$30 million ($43.5 million) UN emergency fund-raising drive to provide
food and medicine for Zimbabweans hardest hit by his demolition campaign of
urban slums, UN relief officials said on Thursday.

      UN aid agencies presented documents to the government some three weeks
ago that would provide assistance to more than 300,000 people, but there was
no agreement, according to telephone interviews with aid officials in
southern Africa, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

      "We are continuing to work with the government but we have not gotten
their support on the document to date," said Kristen Knutson, a spokeswoman
for the UN emergency relief coordinator, Undersecretary-General Jan Egeland.

      At issue is Zimbabwe's reluctance to appear needy and be the target of
a UN "flash appeal" of about US$30 million. The government is still smarting
from a July 22 UN report that called Zimbabwe's bulldozing of urban slums a
disastrous and unjustified venture, the aid officials in southern Africa

      In response to the report, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan pledged
urgent action to mobilise assistance for Zimbabwe, where inflation has
soared and a turnaround for its depressed economy looks bleak.

      "We have a duty to help those in need," Annan said. "The United
Nations will urgently seek agreement with the Government of Zimbabwe to
mobilise immediate humanitarian assistance on the scale that is required to
avert further suffering."

      On Aug 4, the United Nations announced it would launch an appeal
within a week to provide shelter, food and sanitation to those most affected
by the evictions.

      But as the days slipped by, no appeal was launched. Egeland intends to
give a news conference on Friday on Zimbabwe's humanitarian situation but
not appeal for funds, Knutson said.

      Some 700,000 people lost their homes or livelihoods or both and 2.4
million people were affected one way or another, said the UN report by Anna
Kajumulo Tibaijuka, executive director of the Nairobi-based UN-Habitat

      Last week, the Harare government said it had prepared a 45-page
response, which accused the United Nations of exaggerating the impact of the
evictions. The UN report failed to address "a cocktail of social, economic
and security challenges that were negatively impacting on the country's
economy and the populace," the official newspaper, The Herald, said.

      UN and other aid agencies are still operating on the ground in
Zimbabwe. The World Food Programme is reaching some 1.1 million people and
plans to feed 3 million more in December.

      The new "flash appeal" would have added 300,000 to 400,000 vulnerable
people to the WFP roster immediately, a spokesman for the agency said.

      Zimbabwe last month declared an end to the two-month demolition
operation, which government officials have said was aimed at rooting out
urban crime and a prelude to building better housing for poor Zimbabweans.

      But on Tuesday, Harare city authorities said they would resume efforts
to drive out street children and illegal vendors who had had returned to the
capital, raising concern the blitz could begin again.

      Unicef, the UN Children's Fund, reported that 250,000 children were
homeless, many living in transit camps as a result of the demolitions. With
relief funds scarce, the agency said in a statement that its own staff "had
opted to help children out of their own pockets."

      - REUTERS

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The Telegraph

Trial of Harare bishop collapses in farce
By Peta Thornycroft in Harare
(Filed: 26/08/2005)

The ecclesiastical trial of an Anglican bishop who is an ardent supporter of
President Robert Mugabe ended in farce yesterday when the presiding judge
withdrew from the case before a plea had been heard.

Bishop Nolbert Kunonga, 55, the head of the Diocese of Harare, had been
accused by priests and parishioners of 11 charges ranging from incitement to
commit murder to bringing the Anglican church into disrepute. He rejects the
charges .

But the trial, ordered by Archbishop Bernard Malanga, the head of the Church
of the Province of Central Africa in Malawi which has authority over
Zimbabwe, was quickly bogged down in technicalities and adjournments raised
by the defence.

Judge James Kalaile, from the Malawian Supreme Court, told the court, mostly
filled with black Anglicans gathered to give evidence against their bishop:
"I have not in my years as a judge in Malawi or elsewhere heard anything
like this dispute. I will contact the archbishop and ask him to appoint
another judge."

Minutes after proceedings began, the defence attorney James Matizha demanded
17 pages of "further particulars" of the Church's case against his client.

Jeremy Lewis, the prosecuting barrister who is a prominent Anglican, said
the objections were "vexatious" and out of step with ecclesiastical justice
and intent. "The bishop has not even been asked to plead. Let him admit or
deny the charges, that is why we are all here," he said.

Pauline Makoni, another leading Zimbabwean Anglican who travelled from
London to give evidence against the bishop, said: "Our canons remain broken,
our case against the bishop will not go away, we will continue." Wearing a
cerise cassock and surrounded by family members, Bishop Kunonga emerged from
the courtroom, convened at Harare Royal Golf Club, smiling broadly and
claiming victory.

Bishop Kunonga would only speak to Zimbabwe's state media after the hearing.
He is an open supporter of Mr Mugabe, who has given him at least two farms
seized from their white owners.

An Anglican priest, Rev James Mukunga, who fled Zimbabwe last year, claimed
in an affidavit signed in London last week that Bishop Kunonga had solicited
assistance from state security agents and militant war veterans loyal to Mr
Mugabe to have 10 "unruly" parishioners and priests killed because they
opposed his tenure at Harare cathedral.

The chancellor of the Harare diocese, Bob Stumbles, who Bishop Kunonga has
tried to sack, said: "I understand this case may now be investigated to see
if charges can be brought against the bishop in the civil court."

The allegations against the bishop, had they culminated in a full trial,
would have been the first time charges of such a serious nature would have
been decided by the Anglican Church in Africa.

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ICC insists all tours to Zimbabwe must go ahead

Paul Kelso
Friday August 26, 2005
The Guardian

The International Cricket Council confirmed yesterday that it will not bow
to pressure from the governments of Britain, New Zealand and Australia to
boycott Zimbabwe following further evidence of human rights abuses by Robert
Mugabe's regime.
The ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed said the cricket authorities would
continue to ignore national politics when setting the international

"For the past three years at least we've been asked that players be allowed
not to comply with their agreements with Zimbabwe or that cricket not be
played in Zimbabwe," he said.

"The ICC position has been consistent: we say to governments that we don't
take decisions based on political judgments. We expect governments to do

The intervention of the three administrations follows the mass clearances of
homes belonging to Zimbabwe opposition supporters by Mugabe government

More than 700,000 people have been displaced by Operation Murambatsvina -
which translates as "clear out the rubbish" - but Speed said ICC members
were "comfortable" with continuing to play in Zimbabwe.

The governments have attempted to make an example of cricket, claiming that
by maintaining relations the sport confers a semblance of normality on the
troubled state.

"We do respect their views but we don't make decisions on political grounds
and neither are our decisions on playing cricket based on the human-rights
record of a country," Speed said. "I haven't had a chance to speak with our
president [Ehsan Mani] but our stand on such matters is pretty clear.

"It's up to the teams to decide whether they honour the commitments. If the
countries want to play, it's fine; and if they don't, we don't interfere in
the foreign policy of any government."

The New Zealand team are currently in Zimbabwe for a Test and one-day tour
but their government has indicated that they will refuse Zimbabwe's players
entry to the country should they try to fulfil their commitment to tour New
Zealand in December.

This weekend the ICC chief executives are expected to ratify a future-tours
programme based on a six-year cycle, committing all nations to playing
Zimbabwe home and away at least once by 2012.

Roy Bennett, an opposition MP for the Movement for Democratic Change jailed
last year by the regime, told Radio Five Live last night that the ICC was

"Sport can help and it's long overdue," he said. "Just 500 metres from the
ground people are being beaten to death and crippled while a game is going

"The ICC is disgusting in the way it has handled cricket issues in
Zimbabwe - the way top-class sportsmen who have been victimised by
politicians have been brushed aside and told to get on with your lives.

"The ICC, while there is media and broadcasting rights and there's money to
be made out of screening Zimbabwe and from Zimbabwe being in the cricket
loop, they will do anything to sweep these issues under the table and will
never ever expose them or speak out about them."

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New Zimbabwe

Judge felt 'tortured' by inaudible tape

By Staff Reporter
Last updated: 08/26/2005 08:40:03
HAVING earlier ruled that an audio tape in the corruption trial of Justice
Benjamin Paradza was provisionally admissible as evidence, presiding judge
Justice Simpson Mutambanengwe on Thursday stopped the tape after 10 minutes
saying it was "torture to my ears".

The dramatic events came four days into Justice Paradza's trial on charges
he tried to influence two fellow judges to release a passport to his
business associate who was under strict bail conditions for a murder he was
later convicted of.

Prosecutors say Paradza attempted to defeat the course of justice after he
requested Justices Maphios Cheda and George Chiweshe to release his partner
Labuschagne's passport in January 2003.

Also Thursday, Justice Chiweshe told the court that although it was common
for judges to consult on cases they were handling, the request to him by
suspended Justice Paradza to release Russell Labuschagne's passport was

Labuschagne, Paradza's business partner in safari operations, was on bail
and was subsequently convicted of murdering a fisherman in Binga and jailed
for 15 years by Justice Cheda.

Chiweshe, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission chairman, said if he had acceded
to Paradza's request and released the passport he would have acted

"It wasn't normal in the sense that it was improper. He wanted me to
exercise my discretion in favour of his friend and I thought it was improper
and if I had acceded to his request I would be acting improperly myself. He
was asking me to do a favour where I shouldn't have done so," Chiweshe said
in his evidence.

Earlier on, Chiweshe said Paradza had called him on his cellphone advising
him that Labuschagne's application would be coming before him (Chiweshe) so
he could amend the bail conditions and have his passport released. Paradza
allegedly indicated to Chiweshe that it was in the interest of his business
that the passport be released so that Labuschagne would source some
customers for him in the USA.

However, Chiweshe said he told Paradza that he had dealt with the same
application in which Labuschagne had sought his passport to travel to South
Africa for a fishing convention but dismissed it.

He said he advised Paradza to approach Justice Lawrence Kamocha who was the
trial Judge.

Chiweshe said he was aware that the same approach had been made to Cheda and
was reported to Judge President Paddington Garwe, but he could not disclose
it because the matter was already under investigation.

Under cross-examination from Paradza's lawyer Advocate Jeremy Gauntlet,
Chiweshe said Paradza never induced him in his request and was quite frank
about his commercial interests.

"He was upfront and frank about his commercial interests. He wanted me to
grant the application because his business was bound to lose.

"We consult a lot as judges but it is not usual for one to ask for a favour
like this one," Chiweshe said.

Meanwhile, after hearing the evidence of the transcriber of the audiotape of
Justices Parazda and Cheda's telephone conversation produced as provisional
evidence in court on Wednesday, presiding judge Justice Simpson
Mutambanengwe said he wanted to hear addresses from both the State and the
defence on the admissibility of the tape as evidence in the trial.

He indicated that his ruling to provisionally admit the tape was affected by
a Supreme Court judgment, and he would re-visit it if necessary.

After the tape was played for about 12 minutes, Mutambanengwe ordered it to
be stopped ruling that it was torture to the ears.

"If the tape is going to be playing like that throughout it would be a
torture to the ears. Otherwise the exercise is completely useless,"
Mutambanengwe said.

In his evidence, the transcriber Constantine Musango told the court that he
struggled to hear some of the things that were recorded on the cassette.

"I indicated to Marodza (one of the investigating officers) that I could not
transcribe the tape because some portions were not audible. The recordings
were poorly done," Musango said.

He said he was not satisfied that the transcript he made was an accurate one
and he did not certify it.

The trial continues next week on Monday when the State is expected to call
its last witness, one Christopher Dube who was said to be at a funeral on
Thursday - Daily Mirror

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New Zimbabwe

Constitutional madness will not save Zanu PF

Zimbabwe's parliament votes on key constitutional changes next Tuesday
which, if passed, will establish a Senate (Upper House) and also give the
government powers to seize passports of citizens suspected of "threatening
the national interest". Writing for New today, former
Information Minister and Tsholotsho MP Professor Jonathan Moyo says the move
is "needlessly controversial, ill-advised, ill-timed and totally misplaced"

By Professor Jonathan Moyo
Last updated: 08/26/2005 12:26:12
AS THINGS continue to fall apart in Zimbabwe, thereby making the search for
a way out even more urgent, Robert Mugabe's beleaguered Zanu PF government
demonstrated yet again this week how it has irretrievably risen to its level
of policy ineptitude, political irrelevance and constitutional madness when
the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Patrick Chinamasa,
tabled in Parliament a needlessly controversial, ill-advised, ill-timed and
totally misplaced omnibus Constitutional Amendment No. 17 whose provisions
are driven by patronage dictated by Zanu PF's sunset politics around Robert
Mugabe's succession.
Therefore the bill has nothing whatsoever to do with Zimbabwe's national
interest as it is about Zanu PF interests only. This is because the bill
does not have ideological, constitutional, institutional or economic
principles that are shared by the body politic. All it has is the principle
of political expediency: how to manage the Zanu PF succession by abusing the
national constitution to get Zanu PF beyond its sunset so that it can look
east with a longer horizon and hopefully also longer lifespan.

Although Chinamasa opportunistically, actually falsely, claimed that the
major motivation of the constitutional bill is to bring finality to the
controversial fast track land reform program that begun in 2000, the true
position is that the bill is quite messy because it has had to be hurried up
to contain the fires burning from the increasingly bitter succession
struggle within Zanu PF, and growing political opposition to its
undemocratic rule, whose uncertainty has incapacitated government structures
and increased rent seeking behavior as it threatens to split if not kill the
ruling party.


Notwithstanding Chinamasa's false claims about seeking to bring finality to
outstanding conflicts over land acquisition for resettlement purposes, the
indubitable main purpose of the constitutional bill is to reintroduce the
Senate abolished in 1989 by the very same people who now want to reintroduce
it in order to reward Mugabe loyalists who are either unelectable or who
were defeated in the March 31, 2005 general election so that they can
support Mugabe's approach to his succession in Zanu PF. As such, the bill is
a piece of paper whose contents cannot and will not withstand the
constitutional test of time. The bill's proposed Senate was described by
Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa to the Zanu PF central committee last May
as "a stop gap measure for "this hour" and "for these special circumstances"
and will thus be a temporary Senate in place for a maximum of five years
after which a different and more permanent Senate would be sought!

Chinamasa told the Zanu PF central Committee, in an official ministerial
document a copy of which is with the High Court of Zimbabwe, that the
proposed temporary Senate is "the best workable proposition in the
circumstances for the period between 2005 and 2010"and further claimed that
the "proposal enhances representation of traditional Chiefs in that they
will, for the and perhaps only time, be represented in both Houses of
Parliament". This alone proves that the proposed Senate is a patronage
institution with a temporary life for temporary reasons that are removed
from enduring principles, institutions and values that must underpin any
constitution worthy of the name. Thus the composition of the proposed Senate
and its method of election are specifically intended for the period between
2005 and 2010!

This is the only reason for the amendment, it's all about patronage to
secure temporary loyalty, and that's why it is thoroughly disgraceful.
Although the Zanu PF government would like the proposed Senate to last for
five years, developments on the ground indicate that Zimbabweans will
boycott the Senate elections and that the illegitimate body would not last
more than 30 months.


On land reform, while Zanu PF's declared intention for further amending
Section 16 of the Constitution is noble, as indeed everyone now want
finality to the fast track land reform program started in 2000, the proposed
constitutional amendment has nothing to do with the declared intention
behind it. If anything, the proposed amendment will in reality undermine
land reform as a process of empowering the previously landless black
majority. The reasons why the proposed amendment on land reform will not
bring any finality to the contentious issue are as follows.

1 The amendment repeats the nonsense that there should not be any
compensation for the land itself but only for improvements on the land.
Surely, this is not a tenable or enlightened position to keep maintaining
against the backdrop of the experience of the last five years. The issue of
compensating the former white commercial farmers for the land must be
revisited in order to bring finality to the matter. This is necessary to do
not only in order to ensure that the historic land reform exercise is indeed
irreversible but also in the interest of equity and social justice in order
to restore the much needed national and international confidence in our
economy. In any event, the best and most of the farmland in Zimbabwe will
have no market value as an economic asset as long as the acquired land is
not compensated for and so there will be no finality sought by the

2 In what is clearly a shockingly barbaric constitutional provision, the
Constitutional Bill provides that a person having any right or interest in
the compulsorily acquired land "shall not apply to a court to challenge the
acquisition of the land by the State, and no court shall entertain any such
challenge". It is terrible to have such a provision in a constitution.
Nothing in the law should be beyond of judiciary scrutiny and due process is
the lifeline of constitutional democracies. Therefore, there is no way a
provision of this kind can ever bring finality to an already contentious
matter and the challenges will keep coming up fast and furious if not before
Zimbabwean courts then before relevant international jurisdictions. In this
regard, this amendment is mischievous because it has the effect of inviting
necessary international intervention on grounds of international human
rights covenants and protocols to which Zimbabwe is already party.

3 The constitutional Bill provides for selective nationalization of the best
and most of the agricultural land. This means that Zimbabwe will henceforth
have three competing land tenure systems: (a) statehold, (b) freehold and
(c) leasehold. Whereas land leased under a freehold system has a market or
economic value; land leased under statehold has no market or economic value
and thus cannot be used for trading purposes as an economic asset. Having
economically valueless land all over the place will not bring any finality
to land reform.

4 Statehold does not empower the people but empowers only a clique, the
ruling clique that is, which calls itself "the State". This is a serious
problem especially in times such as the present moment when the nation is
divided and polarized and where the levels of public mistrust of the
government are very high to a point where the State is synonymous with a
tiny group of individuals driven by all manner of political, social and
economic prejudices.

5 The presumption that land leased under statehold can empower anyone
leasing it is a legal and economic fallacy. In fact, there can be no
empowerment without ownership. The people who had their land stolen during
colonialism want their land back; they want to own and they are entitled to
its ownership and they must therefore be given title deeds without being
forced to lease their land from a small and corruption prone clique that
defines itself as "the State". Because the State is always a contested
terrain, empowering the State is not the same as empowering the people.

6 Thus, the Constitutional Bill's proposed statehold will render land
valueless and this will undermine economic confidence and economic
production and mess up property rights and asset development in an economy
where the majority was long dispossessed of its assets.

7 The clique that calls itself the State will sooner or later after the
Constitutional Bill has become the fundamental law of the land turnaround,
as is already happening anyway, and say that the majority of the people
leasing land from the State, namely the peasants with no other economic
means, have no capacity to fully utilize the land and the land will be
repossessed from the peasants and returned to "the State" (that clique) for
reallocation. The inevitability of this scenario arising from the
Constitutional Bill means that there will be no finality of any kind because
the peasants will never ever give up their struggle for genuine land reform
in Zimbabwe that actually empowers them through ownership and not patronage.

8 Ironically, while Zanu PF is opportunistically claiming that the intention
behind the proposed selective nationalization of land is to bring finality
to the fast track land reform program, the truth is that an acceptable and
civilized "rule of law" process of bringing that kind of finality is already
underway and needs to be supported. Already, the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe,
the highest Court of the land, has upheld the constitutionality of the fast
track land reform exercise. Indeed, the Supreme Court has upheld the
constitutionality of Section 8 of the Land Acquisition Act, as amended,
which vests ownership of land in the State but requires the courts to
confirm Acquisition Orders. There is no reason for tinkering with the
constitution and putting strange things in black and white where the highest
court in the land has pronounced itself and set a legally binding precedence
in favour of redressing social injustice.

9 The idea that the Courts should not inquire into any matter involving
fundamental rights has no place in a constitution of a civilized society. It's
awful paranoia and is actually barbaric.

10 Surely, there is no reason why the government of Zimbabwe should fear its
own courts in the same manner it is already fearing its own people.
Moreover, we should not assume or believe that only the Executive branch of
government has greater wisdom or greater rights than the other branches of
government, namely, the judiciary and the legislature. In fact, between
these three branches, it's always the Executive that sells out and tramples
on people's rights and thus ever poses the greatest danger to our
sovereignty, democracy, human rights and economic growth and development.

11 The real reason why legal and constitutional finality on land reform
remains elusive is simply because Robert Mugabe's Zanu PF government has
been unwilling to put its money where its mouth is by establishing enough
administrative courts to adjudicate over the confirmation of Acquisition
Orders. Having one or two such courts to deal with thousands of cases is not
serious at all.

12 In other words, the reason for delay is administrative and not
constitutional. Solving an administrative problem through a constitutional
amendment is the height of incompetence and lack of creative imagination and
a government that suffers from this to the point of seeking constitutional
refuge has no business pretending to be in power.

13 Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF government have an opportunity to prove
their detractors wrong by demonstrating an unwavering commitment to the rule
of law and there cannot be any rule of law where the courts are ousted from
their constitutional role of interpreting the law over matters of due


Besides the contentious issues around the Senate and land reform, the
Constitutional Bill also seeks to upgrade the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission
(ZEC), currently a statutory body, into a constitutional body. While it
indeed makes sense to do so, the good intention is compromised and subverted
by the fact that it does not make sense to have a lonely constitutional body
where other supporting constitutional bodies as both organs of the State and
democratic institutions of society are absent. A ZEC established under the
current Zanu PF Constitution that replaced the Lancaster Constitution in
1987, does not meet the constitutional test of principles of democracy and
good governance. Under the Zanu PF State Constitution, the new ZEC will be a
legal oasis in a constitutional desert and there will not be enough
constitutional water to breed democratic practice and values in our
electoral process. That's why this piecemeal way of amending the
Constitution is practically useless save for purposes of entrenching Zanu PF


There is also a provision in the Constitutional Bill proposing to amend
Section 22 of the Constitution in order to restrict the right to freedom of
movement by denying a passport to a Zimbabwean wishing to travel outside
Zimbabwe where it is feared or believed or known that the Zimbabwean in
questions will, during his or her travel, harm the national interest or
defence interest or economic interest of the State. Obviously, this
amendment is motivated by the calls for sanctions and other punitive
measures that some MDC opposition members, including Morgan Tsvangirai, have
made from foreign lands. To be sure, the calls have been ill-advised,
immature and uncalled for. But this should not be the basis for an
overreaction to the point of amending the Constitution of the land just to
fix a few individuals who may not know better. Already, the legal position
is that a passport is a privilege and not a right. There is therefore no
need to take matters too far onto the Constitution.

In any case, the presumption that Zimbabweans need a passport to travel
outside the country to make calls for sanctions and all those unacceptable
things is wrong and archaic because all they really need in the new digital
world brought by globalization is a password and not a passport to interact
with anyone anywhere anytime. The proposal to restrict the freedom of
movement by denying some Zimbabweans passports serves to expose Zanu PF as a
sunset party led by backward paranoids.


A notable underlying feature of the bill is that, apart from the spurious
claim that it is motivated by government's desire to bring finality to land
reform, Zanu PF is using three dangerous myths to justify its adoption of a
piecemeal approach to constitutional reform when there is overwhelming
evidence that, while they differ on how to achieve it, Zimbabweans are
agreed on the need for a new comprehensive constitution and this agreement
dates back to 1999.


The first myth peddled by Zanu PF is that Zimbabwe is still under the
Lancaster Constitution and this claim allows Zanu PF to give the false
impression that all it is doing is to amend a colonial constitution in order
to paint its opponents as running dogs of imperialism who support a colonial
constitution. Yet the truth is that, if a constitution is defined, as it
must be, in terms of its fundamental pillars and principles regarding the
structure of government and approach to fundamental rights, then the
Lancaster Constitution was in force from 1980 to 1987 when it was amended to
introduce the executive presidency in anticipation of the introduction of
the one party state. From 1987 to now, Zimbabwe has had what can be best
described as a Zanu PF constitution wherein the state is Zanu PF and Zanu PF
is the state. It is this constitution, the Zanu PF constitution, that
Zimbabweans have wanted to see replaced since 1999 and it is the same
constitution that is entrenched by the latest constitutional bill.


A second myth that Zanu PF has used to justify why it is introducing a an
inappropriate piecemeal amendment to entrench the current Zanu PF
constitution which Zimbabweans want replaced is a claim that the opposition
rejected a comprehensive new democratic constitution in the February 2000
constitutional referendum and must therefore live with the consequences of
that rejection. Apart from being false, this is a cynically punitive
position not expected of a responsible government outside cheap

The truth is that, contrary to popular falsehoods also peddled by the MDC
and its media supporters, Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF never supported the
draft constitution that was rejected in 2000. In fact, Zanu PF did not even
want to campaign for it and instead got an ill prepared and under resourced
statutory body without any political structures to campaign for the draft in
order to assure the failure of the referendum. Mugabe was the happiest
person when the draft constitution was rejected because he simply did not
want it and that is why he was quick to gleefully concede defeat and
proclaim the result a democratic outcome. He had won by fooling his
opponents into thinking they had defeated him.


A third myth invented after the March 31, 2005 general election is that Zanu
PF was given a mandate to amend the constitution by the electorate. This
would be true had Zanu PF garnered two thirds majority directly from the
electorate during the last election. But nothing of the sort happened as
Zanu PF got 78 seats out of a possible 120 contested constituencies, two
short of the required two thirds. Presidential appointees total 20 (eight
governors and 12 non constituency members of parliament) to bring the Zanu
PF total to 98 out of 150 that makes up the total composition of parliament,
again two seats short of the required majority. Zanu PF has been illegally
and corruptly manipulating through patronage and counting as part of its
membership and caucus ten chiefs who are not appointed by Mugabe but who are
directly elected by a special electoral college of chiefs in order to get
the required two thirds majority by bring its seats to 108. While in
practical political terms this illegal manipulation through the corrupt
practice of patronage does assure Zanu PF of the votes it needs in
Parliament, the point still remains that the electorate did not mandate Zanu
PF to amend the constitution because voters did not give it the two thirds
for that mandate to be valid.

In effect, by pursuing the latest constitutional amendment in the manner it
has, Zanu PF has further subverted and usurped the will of the people and
further divided and polarized public opinion with the consequence of
increasing public mistrust and dislike of the current constitution, the
government and its institutions which in turn incapacitates the government
and denies the political legitimacy necessary for it to become part of the
solution to the political deadlock gripping Zimbabwe today. What this means
is that, whereas the constitutional bill could have been a leadership
opportunity to rally the country and unify it towards a common purpose,
Mugabe has yet again put himself above the nation and used a constitutional
bill to further divide and polarize the country.


What makes divisive constitutional bill needlessly controversial,
ill-advised, ill-timed and totally misplaced is that Zanu PF has prioritized
it and allocated scarce resources better utilized elsewhere to the bill's
proposed institutions at a time when Zimbabweans are going through the worst
economic suffering in living memory and when the levels of polarization of
political opinion and public mistrust of the government are at a historic
high and when the international community, including key voices within SADC,
is truly getting fed up with Mugabe's intransigence.

The litany of Mugabe's intransigence speaks for itself and is there for the
asking as shown by the following examples of the contradictions that played
out in Zimbabwe over the past week that can only be best captured in a
sentence as long as the examples: While the Zanu PF government has been
arrogantly and flippantly rejecting African Union mediation through the good
offices of former Mozambican president Joachim Chicano by demonizing
President Olusegun Obasanjo; and while a three member International Monetary
Fund (IMF) team is in Harare in a last ditch mission to determine whether
Zimbabwe can be saved, by South Africa, from expulsion from the IMF; while
Zanu PF has stepped up its double-talk rhetoric denying that it ever
approached South Africa or anyone else for an urgent bail pout loan to pay
off the IMF debt and import food and fuel; while trading at the Harare Stock
Exchange has come to a standstill for almost a week as stockbrokers protest
against a recently imposed desperate tax they find unjust; while the
shortage and unaffordability of basic commodities has become chronic as the
number of the poor hovers above 80% of the population; while 18% of the
population who had their homes or livelihood or both destroyed by the evil
"Operation Murambatsvina" remain unassisted; while unemployment is now over
75% with no new jobs being created as companies are closing down and
production is hitting zero levels; and while the United States dollar has
become the currency of choice in the all too important fuel market with the
effect of dollarizing the Zimbabwean economy from a pricing point of view
and thus making a mockery of Mugabe's favorite slogan that Zimbabwe will
never become a colony again, the greatest irony and testimony to
breathtaking insensitivity and ineptitude is that Robert Mugabe's Zanu PF is
busy in Parliament pushing what is essentially a patronage constitutional
amendment for the sole purpose of entrenching Mugabe's personal rule under a
de facto one party state created in 1987. Mugabe's intransigence must be
stopped and the duty for doing that falls squarely on Zimbabweans at home
and in the Diaspora.

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Harare Seeks to Disenfranchise Foreign-Descended Voters
      25 August 2005

Opposition members of parliament resisting a wholesale rewrite of the
constitution by the government say it has resorted to subterfuge to push
through a provision that would restrict voting to native Zimbabweans and
disenfranchise those descended from immigrants.

Officials of the Movement for Democratic Change say about 300,000
individuals born of parents from Malawi, Mozambique or other countries in
the region are on voting lists at present, but that some 3 million permanent
residents could be affected.

Birth certificates and other forms of identification indicate whether a
person is Zimbabwean or of foreign extraction. But until recent years this
distinction had little significance.

Until now, President Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party has raised national
origin as an issue in the electoral context, there has been no official form
of discrimination.

Reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe asks the MDC's
parliamentary spokesman for legal affairs, David Coltart, why the opposition
is up in arms.
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The Zimbabwean
28 die at SA’s ‘concentration camp’
One of the pictures smuggled out of Lindela refugee repatriation centre, showing the crowded conditions there.
LONDON – A staggering 28 people have died at South Africa’s notorious Lindela repatriation center, near Krugersdorp, in the first seven months of this year, according to minutes of South Africa’s parliamentary Home Affairs portfolio committee in the possession of The Zimbabwean. Seven of these died in the camp itself, and 21 died after being transferred to the nearby Leratong Hospital.
It is not clear how many were Zimbabweans – but the majority of the camp’s 4000 inmates are known to be Zimbabwean asylum seekers awaiting re-patriation. Officials have only confirmed the deaths of two who died last month – one of them was a pregnant teenager, Alice Tshuma, whose body is still lying unclaimed at the mortuary.

The committee has initiated a meeting for August 30, in Cape Town, to meet representatives of the inmates. This will be followed by a meeting the next day with the department of Home Affairs, which is responsible for administering the camp.

According to the minutes, officials told the committee they were unable to tell the cause of death of the 28 inmates as it had not been possible to locate the relatives of the deceased. “These relatives were needed to sign certain documents that would allow autopsies to be conducted to discover the cause of death. Without relatives an autopsy could only be carried out if there was a criminal case,” he explained. Natural deaths had therefore been assumed in most cases.

The minutes show that the South Africans are battling a backlog of 180 000 asylum seekers who have yet to be processed. Lindela has a holding capacity of 4004 and is already full. The committee was told that most of the asylum seekers cross into the country through the Giant Limpopo transfrontier park which encompasses Kruger National Park in South Africa, Gonarezhou in Zimbabwe and Mozambique’s Limpopo Park.

Several people have been killed by wild animals while attempting to cross the park on foot. The Park is yet to be officially opened shortly by the presidents of the three countries. This will involve the removal of further sections of the fence allowing for the free movement of animals and people along the length of the international borders within the boundaries of the park.

A group of seven clergymen, alarmed at reports coming from the camp, visited Lindela from Zimbabwe last week and described it as 'a concentration camp’. They met the commissioner of police for Gauteng Province, Ray Naidoo, and said they were encouraged by his concern for the welfare of Zimbabweans at Lindela.

A spokesperson for the group, Rev Vimbai Mugwidi from the Methodist Church, urged Zimbabweans to file detailed complaints of any incidents of ill treatment with the police in order to make it easier for full investigations to take place. “The SA officials have an attitude that there is no war in Zimbabwe. This makes it difficult for Zimbabweans to be granted asylum or refugee status. As a result, they are living in more misery and more terror than they fled from,” she explained.

There have been several reports of South African policemen demanding bribes and sexual favours from asylum seekers to save themselves from being sent to Lindela.

One of the officials complained to the committee that cameras had been smuggled into the center to document conditions there. He said the problem was compounded by inmates being allowed to keep their cell phones, some of which had cameras, and appealed for ‘this problem’ to be addressed.

Other problems highlighted in the minutes included very high staff turnover, poor security and the theft of 20 new computers in the past year. An official told the committee that security cameras situated near where the break-in took place had been removed on ‘instructions from new management’.

Officials admitted that there was ‘a serious lack of knowledge’ among those dealing with refugee matters – including the ‘protection and welfare of refugees’ and said there was insufficient information at ministerial level about the government’s obligations towards them.
The committee visited Lindela last year and said it found the conditions ‘satisfying - unlike those described in the media’.

At a meeting to coordinate refugee activities recently, Joyce Dube of Southern Africa Women Migration (SAWIMA) painted a gloomy picture of Lindela. Dube said her organization, which had been holding demonstrations to put pressure on the SA government to improve conditions at the camp, was going to take the case to Amnesty International for assistance.

One human rights lawyer said he was having difficulty accessing his clients at Lindela.

"Sometimes we are told the person has been moved while in fact he is languishing in the camp and you have to put pressure to get past the various barriers," he said, adding that most of the people from Lindela come out ill or die shortly after being released. “Food poisoning is being suspected at the camp and the living conditions are deplorable,” he said.

One man who was deported to Zimbabwe but came back said the situation is terrible and the camp overcrowded. “Disease is rampant in the camp. The remand prisons are much better than the situation at the camp. You have to close your eyes to eat. The SA government should really make an effort to deal with this deteriorating situation,” he said. Catering at Lindela is sub-contracted to a local company which is paid R59 per person per day to feed the inmates.
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The Zimbabwean

Workers at state farms not paid
HARARE - The Zimbabwe government has failed to pay workers for the last
three months at more than 56 farms it seized from white farmers but now
derelict because of lack funds and poor management, ZimOnline has learnt.
It was not possible to immediately establish the exact amount owed to the
more than 15,000 workers at the state farms which include Kondozi Farm in
Manicaland province, which before its seizure last year was one of the
biggest agro-export projects in southern Africa.

Agriculture Minister Joseph Made confirmed state farm workers had not been
paid since last May but absolved the government of blame. "We don't want
those farms to be dependent on the government. So we are asking them to pay
for their own expenses, including labour. The farms have to be
self-sufficient," he said.

Narrating the chaotic situation at ARDA Odzi Farm in Eastern Zimbabwe, a
worker said: "No one has explained to us why we are not getting our money.
Some of the workers simply stay at home and no longer report for duty,
others have left the farm altogether to find jobs elsewhere while others
like myself still hang around simply because we have nowhere else to go."
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The Zimbabwean
Tsele appeals for truth
Mtwakazi drama group reduced many in the congregation to tears
Credit: Bongani Xumalo
JOHANNESBURG - The South African Council of Churches General Secretary, Reverend Molefe Tsele, has castigated some sections of Zimbabwean church community for sanitising the deteriorating crisis in the country.
At a service in the Central Methodist Church in Johannesburg at the weekend he urged the churches to speak truthfully about the situation. "There are some in Zimbabwe who are denying there is any conflict. There is great confusion about the role of churches - that’s why some of us had been labelled MI6 [British intelligence agency] when we visited Zimbabwe recently to see the situation on the ground," he said.

“Some churches hold vigils and prayers to prop up the Mugabe regime and are rewarded with pieces of land from government. Prominent church leaders such as Reverend Nolbert Kunonga support the regime and castigate church members who speak out about
the situation in country.”

Rev Tsele pledged ongoing support ‘because you are our neighbours’. He said the SACC would continue to source humanitarian aid and expressed disgust that Zimbabwe was not on agenda for the recent Southern Africa Development Community heads of states
meeting in Botswana. “This is because leaders are trying to use diplomacy which is dangerous as it is telling blatant lies in an intellectual way,” he said.

The service, which was well-attended by Zimbabweans and South Africans, highlighted the plight of refugees and pledged solidarity through prayer and action.

The Mtwakazi Theatre Group had people in tears and laughter with their performance of Operation Murambatsvina. The most sombre episode was about a child who was killed in a house demolished by police. The crying of the bereaved mother sent the whole gathering into a sombre mood and many started to weep.
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The Zimbabwean

Zanu-PF zealots seize country club
CHIMANIMANI - Zanu (PF) zealots, including the DA, and the committee of
53-year-old Chimanimani Country Club are in a tense standoff over the
seizure and occupation of the club house in what members suspect is revenge
for helping local victims of Operation Murambatsvina.
Club chairman Mike Gratwicke and his committee say they are determined to
take legal action, although the local DA, Mr. Chindavande, has announced he
will ignore any court order to vacate the club house. Chindavande argues,
among other things, that the club is now the property of Zanu (PF) and local
war veterans on grounds it was built by the Queen; he has proof that every
Wednesday afternoon members hold political meetings - an apparent reference
to the regular weekly golf competitions; the club harbours MDC supporters;
and the Zimbabwe authorities are taking over all sports clubs.

The latest trouble for the club began July 16, when Chindavande directed the
razing of 15 houses in the old Chimanimani township, and ordered out its 2
000 inhabitants. Some of those burned out and made homeless moved with their
property on to the club's golf course and have camped there since. The newly
homeless included three club employees who were given permission to store
their property in the club buildings.

Chindavande seized the club house July 27 after ordering one of its
temporary employees to hand over the keys, and to phone Gratwicke and tell
him the club now belonged to Zanu (PF). Gratwicke and Chindavande, who was
accompanied by some other party officials, had an acrimonious meeting later
that day. According to Gratwicke's minutes of the meeting, one party
official said the issue was racial. They discussed in front of Gratwicke how
to remove him from Chimanimani and the country. They said the club workforce
now worked for them, but would not get paid, and that the club members 'have
had your chance to use' the club house, but could still use the golf course.

The club, opened in 1952, was built with private funds. Gratwicke and other
committee members wonder whether the club house seizure is the start of
nationalizing all private property in Zimbabwe, including homes and
businesses, or is the work of an overzealous DA with high political

A year ago Chindavande tried to seize the club, saying it was elitist.
Gratwicke gave him 20 membership application forms, but heard nothing more.
During the latest confrontation, Chindavande vanished for a spell when some
200 people lined up outside his office after he ordered away the charity
Christian Care, which had arrived in the village with two 30-ton trucks
bringing food and blankets for the victims of the razing of the old
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The Zimbabwean

Zimbabwe's two contrasting worlds

MBARE - We picked her up on the human scrap heap, the open ground near the
bus terminal where the homeless have set up hovels made of planks, plastic,
corrugated iron sheets and pieces of furniture to ward off the chilly night
breeze. Her sister could not take her in because her husband would not allow
it. He objected especially to her small children.
She has no rural home to go to. She has no money to pay rent ($500 000 per
month for one room). She stands no chance of getting one of the houses
Operation Garikai is building for the homeless (on the TV screen more than
in reality). She belongs to those six million Zimbabweans the country can do
without, according to Minister Didymus Mutasa. She is superfluous. Not
needed. To be disposed of.

On the edge of Mbare, already in Ardbennie, Missionaries of Charity (Sisters
of Mother Theresa) live with and care for a community of old men and women,
frail and feeble, cut off from or abandoned by their families. In the eyes
of those Sisters, in the eyes of the God they serve, nobody is superfluous,
nobody fit to be thrown away, to be disposed of. Every human being is

These are two sharply contrasting worlds. There is no half-way house.
Compromise would be betrayal. Which way, Zimbabwe?

The Christian community is severely tested. We need to identify the really
needy, those suffering most. Not everybody can benefit from food aid. Those
tasked to look into the needs of their neighbours must act with great
selflessness. Not very well off themselves they must see the greater need of
others. Jealousy and envy are never far. We learn, not without pain, through
trial and error. - Oskar Wermter SJ, In Touch Jesuit Communications
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The Zimbabwean

The nation needs talks

HARARE - Caesar Zwayi's attack on the MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai, which
appeared in the daily government mouthpiece, the Herald of August 16, 2005
cannot go unchallenged.
In his article on the talks Zwayi makes unfounded claims against Tsvangirai
and his political objectives. One can understand why Zwayi has to shout with
such a shrilling voice. He is singing for his supper and he must do it in
such a way that he captures the attention of his master or else he will not
have a meal.

His claims that Tsvangirai's call for inter-party dialogue between the MDC
and Zanu (PF) to resolve the national crisis is driven by a desire for
personal gain is an absurd line to take. Tsvangirai's desire for talks
demonstrates that he is acting in the national interest. The crisis that is
afflicting our development as a country is essentially a political one. By
attempting to end the political stalemate through a dialogue process that
culminates in a political settlement Tsvangirai is simply expressing what
most Zimbabweans desire - so that we can begin the process of re-building
our shattered lives and building a country which gives our children hope for
a better future.

Contrary to Zwayi's assertions, Tsvangirai is not demanding talks so that he
can be fast-tracked into state house. Instead, he has made it clear that the
product of any dialogue process should be a free and fair election. If Zanu
(PF) wins this election, so be it. That is democracy. Moreover, the
fundamental objective of the leader of any political party is to lead your
party into power. This is a basic duty and one that Tsvangirai is trying to
fulfill. To attack him, in this context, for having a personal agenda is
symptomatic of the pervading belief amongst certain constituencies in Zanu
(PF) that rejects the principle of multi-party democracy and refuses to
acknowledge the right of other political parties to challenge for power.

Zwayi's denial that the Zimbabwean crisis is about governance represents a
desperate attempt to re-build the wall of deception that was blown apart by
the report published by UN envoy Anna Tibaijuka on Operation Murambatsvina.
The appalling misery of life under Zanu (PF) has been fully exposed. Even
the ANC Youth League, previously so vocal in their support for Mugabe and
Zanu (PF), have retreated into silence following the publication of the

This regime has few friends left now and it is up to lost souls such as
Zwayi to try and forge new friendships on the basis of a new package of
lies. He has a tough job on his hands.

Zanu (PF) has hijacked national institutions and events such as Independence
and Heroes' days and turned them into party instruments used to denigrate
those perceived to be opposed to their views and ideology. More often than
not, these functions are used as spring boards to lambaste the opposition.
Until such a time that the ruling party realizes that national consensus is
built through inclusiveness, trust and mutual respect, it is naïve for
members of the opposition to give respect to such national events.

Distortions, half-truths and downright lies are evident throughout Zwayi's
article. Yet again, the tired old rhetoric about the MDC and Tony Blair is
trotted out. The people of Zimbabwe no longer believe this garbage. In fact
such rhetoric now provides many of us with much needed humour, so please
keep it coming Mr Zwayi - you are inadvertently entertaining us.

Mr Zwayi lets be fair to Zimbabweans. If your party is on firm ground as you
claim, why are you afraid of talks? You and your party have lied to
Zimbabweans for the past five years, making claims and counterclaims about
your alleged policies for economic recovery. This has however proved elusive
and has exposed your party's inability to formulate coherent, sensible and
realistic policies for the country.

You should be aware that time is not on your side. Reality is about to catch
up with you. Zimbabweans are determined to show you the exit door. Talks are
necessary and they will benefit the nation not Tsvangirai.
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The Zimbabwean

ZIYA calls for talks
HARARE - The Zimbabwe Youth Alliance (ZIYA) is increasingly concerned about
the unending impasse between Zanu (PF) and the MDC. It's peace building and
conflict prevention department has launched a national call for the
resumptions of talks between the two political parties.
"While we acknowledge that talks are necessary for the betterment of the
people of Zimbabwe, ZIYA is concerned that Mugabe as head of state has
snubbed the olive leaf that Morgan Tsvangirai had extended upon the MDC's
realization that the resumption of talks is necessary for building bridges
and encouraging peaceful resolutions to conflicts," said a recent statement.

"Both parties must be reminded that taking Zimbabweans for granted will soon
backfire and they may find themselves without any supporters," said the
statement, signed by the president Chawaona Kanoti and secretary general
Moses Mutyasira.
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The Zimbabwean

5 m for cottage - then bulldozed

HARARE - The truthfulness of United Nations Special Envoy Anna Tabaijuka's
report has given me the courage to say what has been locked up inside me for
about a month and a half and perhaps help ease a little the lump in my
throat that threatens to suffocate me.
The headline in the Sunday Mail of 26 June, 2005 stated that Operation
Murambatsvina was over and was being replaced by Operation Garikai. The
following day policemen in four cars, armed to the teeth, came to our home
and cordoned off part of the street. Some of the policemen remained in the
street whilst others entered the yard with guns at the ready. Accompanying
them was a truck full of municipal police and a bulldozer. They said they
had come to demolish our cottage. The cottage was a beautiful, well-built,
5-roomed structure housing a single lady teacher, a recently married couple
and a bank employee with a wife and two children.

It was also a source of income for the 80-year-old owner and his family. The
police were shown the regularized plan for the cottage and the receipts
dated 17 June 2005, for which City of Harare had charged nearly $5million
(we had to scrounge around, borrowing here and there to raise this), but
they were not interested. Appeals not to demolish the cottage fell on deaf
ears. It is said the senior police officer even said instructions were for
him to make sure the cottage was demolished because if not, he would lose
his job.

Never in a million years can government build such a beautiful house for
anyone. You see, it's a complete lie when they say they were destroying
shacks and illegal structures. Now, the City Council is telling us to bury
the rubble from our destroyed homes. We are told if we don't comply, a heavy
charge will be levied upon us for every month the rubble remains visible.

The cottage was built about six years ago. This was after a plan, drawn by
an architect who has been drawing building plans for many years and is very
well-known to the City Council, was submitted for approval. After being told
there was a backlog in building plans approval, we were told to go ahead and
build. A builder, also well-known to the City Council and his team built the
cottage. The City Council Building Inspectorate inspected the building from
foundation to completion. We never got the approved plan - hence the
regularized plan, which the City Council accepted and charged us nearly $5m

The bulldozing of our cottage happened while I was walking home from town
after failing to get transport due to the severe fuel shortage. On arrival,
I saw property strewn all over and collapsed on being told our beautiful
cottage had been bulldozed. My mother, who had come to visit, saw the whole
terrifying thing and fell ill.

For two weeks I avoided going anywhere near the bulldozed area because it
was too painful for me. On asking the City Council about compensation, we
were told to buy a form for $100,000, fill it in and on submission pay a
further $500,000 for them to look into it! Nobody knows how long this will
take or if anything will ever come of it. Advice was sought from a ZLHR
lawyer who said he could take the case provided we submitted all
documentation pertaining to the cottage, together with two or three
evaluation reports from property evaluators. Problem is the evaluators want
7% of the cost of the property immediately after evaluation. If the
bulldozed property cost $200m, it means each evaluator will need a lot of

My questions are to the authorities we all entrust to lead us as fellow
citizens and children of God. How do we build an economy when we, the
ordinary people, work so hard to build and those in power work tirelessly to
destroy what we build? My family is hurting, very angry and feeling hopeless
at the willful destruction of our beautiful asset. Added to this
hopelessness is the fear of not knowing whether this madness is really
over - or one day they will come back to bulldoze our remaining dwelling.
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The Zimbabwean

Zim Action Group to meet
LONDON - The Zimbabwe Action Group will hold a general meeting on August 27
at Banbury Town Hall, Oxfordshire North, to further its aims of working with
like- minded groups to bring about a satisfactory end to the Zimbabwe asylum
and refugee problem.
The group plans to review the existing laws and regulations with a view to
lobbying for change in collaboration with the relevant institutions, such as
the Home Office, and to visit all holding centres where Zimbabweans are
being held in conjunction with the local authorities to draw up a register
of all Zimbabweans and their needs.

They also plan to establish an office that will function as a drop-in and
call centre for Zimbabweans needing assistance. The organisation will
endeavour to assist existing bodies to integrate Zimbabweans into their new
communities so that they can fully participate in cultural, educational, and
recreational activities.
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The Zimbabwean

The Limestone Coast

ADELAIDE - "I've just been to a farmers' meeting and I met HB. Wow! Can I
have one like him?" I picked up the phone and was listening to the voice of
an Australian woman. We laughed and I promised to do what I could. This was
two years ago and since then we have placed 26 Zimbabwean families into that
one farming area in the Limestone Coast of South Australia - famous for its
grape growing district, the Coonawarra.
While in Zimbabwe to launch my book 'Beloved African' in April 2000, the
farm invasions had just started and on my return to Australia, stories of
the anguish of farmers and the domino effect on the trades and other support
services began hitting home. A friend, Joy Brook, and I called a meeting of
local ex-Zimbabweans to see if we could find a mechanism to help and so was
born the Zimbabwe Connection. It is a registered charity, formed in the hope
that we might help a dozen families gain entry, and now having helped well
over 300 Australia-wide.

Our role was to be that of 'caring relative or friend' - neither migration
nor employment agents, but brokers - putting those seeking entry (usually
without the necessary points to do so without help) in touch with
Australians who could not source required experience locally and would offer
sponsored employment.

I spoke to farming groups and the media about what we were doing, but few
job offers resulted. Then a farmer from the Naracoorte area in the Limestone
Coast contacted me and said he would write a letter to every farmer in the
area urging them to consider taking on a Zimbabwean family - and would I
follow up with a trip to give them more information. We placed our first
families six months later and the demand continues.

The Zimbabwe Connection is a sophisticated organisation with its database
hosted by the Regional Migration Department of South Australia and available
to its rurally based Regional Project Officers, as well as to the Zimbabwe
Connection's 14 mentors scattered throughout the State and nationally.
Although we place families nationally, we are now responding to requests to
establish the same infrastructure in each State.
We are not a social club. We operate within strict procedures and have
produced information sheets clearly stating the requirements of the
Department of Immigration and our role within that.

Tough? Sure it's been tough - particularly for the farmers - used to running
a large business with many workers, and now running a herd of 1,000 bullocks
with a single person and a couple of dogs! But they have been magnificent.
We are there to listen and to help them through those inevitable and ghastly
moments of grief and loss - but we are also there to celebrate new
Australians when they feel their roots starting to bed more comfortably into
the unfamiliar soil.

One very large farmer in this area has now taken on nine families with five
more on the way. They have so many children between them that the local
school has had to buy a new coach. The ripple effect of diminution and
destruction in our home country is becoming a wave of revitalisation and
renewal in our new country - and the kindness and generosity of Australians
has been quite extraordinary.
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The Zimbabwean

Pressure for change increases

This week DR STANFORD MUKASA argues that Zimbabweans must be proactively
involved in the latest initiatives to bring to the conference table Zanu
(PF) leader Robert Mugabe and his MDC counterpart, Morgan Tsvangirai.
WASHINGTON - The US Senate Committee recently confirmed Ambassador Jendayi
Fraser as the assistant secretary of state for Africa - a move which could
see a more aggressive US policy toward Zimbabwe.

During her time as US ambassador to South Africa, Ms. Fraser advocated more
pressure to be brought on Mugabe in the aftermath of what she saw as an
ineffective policy of quiet diplomacy practiced by South African president
Thabo Mbeki.

In her position as undersecretary of state for African affairs Fraser, who
is very knowledgeable about Zimbabwe, will most likely put US policy on
Zimbabwe in high gear. Already President Bush has signed an executive order
freezing the US assets of 26 Zimbabwean companies that are said to be
controlled by some of Mugabe's cronies.

The big question is whether any new tougher policies on Mugabe will be
effective, as he has so far resisted all kinds of pressures. There is fear
in the US state department that any increase in pressure on Mugabe will tend
to portray him as a David against the Goliath of the giant United States.
However, the US can increase pressure on SADC. This may well be happening
now, with the AU having just appointed Chissano as a special envoy on

And now Mugabe is being dragged kicking and screaming to meet with the
opposition leadership in the MDC. But he has declared that he will under no
circumstances talk to MDC leader Tsvangirai. Mugabe got carried away with
his exuberance when he said he would rather talk to Tony Blair, the British
prime minister. The reason he gave was that MDC is controlled by the
British. Alternatively, Mugabe said if he were to talk to Tsvangirai, the
MDC must break off links with the British. On another occasion Mugabe said
he could only talk to the MDC in Parliament.

All of these are desperate measures by Mugabe to try to escape the
spotlight, now that he has been exposed as the stumbling block not only in
short -term effort to help starving Zimbabweans but also efforts to resolve
the problems of bad governance in Zimbabwe.

There appears to have been a flurry of diplomatic activity to get Mugabe and
Tsvangirai to the conference table. It seems the initiative came from a
meeting between Thabo Mbeki and the G-8 in July. It seems that at this
meeting both Obasanjo and Mbeki were tasked with trying to get the two to
talk. But knowing that Mugabe would refuse, the G-8 leaders must have
offered a financial incentive through South Africa to try to persuade Mugabe
to talk to opposition leader Tsvangirai. This probably explains a sudden
interest by South Africa to grant Zimbabwe a loan of $500 million or more.

Although they seem to be making some efforts, we can almost rule out SADC
and the African Union playing an effective role on Zimbabwe. These two
organizations have supported Mugabe fully. The African Union at one time
would not intervene in the destruction of property and homes by Mugabe
because, according to a spokesman for the organization the AU was 'too busy
attending to some other business'.

The bottom-line is that whatever role the international community plays it
is likely to persuade or encourage, rather than pressure for change.
Zimbabweans cannot afford to sit by and wait and hope that the international
community will effectively bring about the desired changes in Zimbabwe.
Civic society leadership in Zimbabwe must at all times be strategizing how
to engage the masses against Mugabe.

However any talk about what role the masses can play is almost always
defensively met with the fear that any plan involving mass action is likely
to be doomed. On the face of it, or initially, Mugabe may succeed in
quashing such actions, as has happened so far. But if these actions are
persistent they will eventually tire wear out Mugabe. Apartheid South Africa
is a good example of where mass action ultimately won the day in the
campaign against apartheid.

The MDC leadership has also conceded that, so far, all other strategies to
force Mugabe to talk with them have not been successful. It is therefore
time to review strategies for mass action. Such actions can come in various
forms. As they say, there are many ways of skinning a cat. What MDC and
civic society should be looking at right now are different strategies for
confronting Mugabe. New actions need not start with mobilizing thousands of
Zimbabweans in a street protest. What MDC and civic society need is to put
together a small group of dedicated individuals who will instigate
non-violent acts of civil disobedience.

Acts of civil disobedience can range from distributing pro-democracy flyers,
documenting and widely publicizing criminal acts by Mugabe against
Zimbabweans; and in some cases disobeying orders under either POSA or AIPPA
on the grounds that such orders are unconstitutional. Civic society leaders
can also encourage Zimbabweans to come up with acts of civil disobedience
that can be implemented by individuals or groups.

It is essential that Zimbabweans contribute towards their own liberation. I
have always said that the international community, especially South Africa,
will come up with its own agenda about how to reform Zanu (PF) if there is
no involvement by the masses in the democratization process. The chances are
that, unless they get involved, the terms for the resolution of the crisis
in Zimbabwe may not be to their liking.

- Letter from America is broadcast on SW RADIO AFRICA on Monday (internet
5pm) and Tuesday (medium wave 5am 1197kz)
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The Zimbabwean

Revolt is out of the question
LONDON - I think I know what is behind all this resistance to aid agencies,
Christian churches and humanitarian organizations which are being prevented
from helping the Zimbabwean victims of the Murambatsvina onslaught. Nothing
I have to say is new, none of it is news, but for the average Zimbabwean
(not the few remaining rich ones), gagged, bound and blinkered, one feels
genuine compassion.
One has to try to look inside the minds of the genuine article: the keepers
at the gateways of fortress Zimbabwe who are actively resisting the entry of
all aid because they REALLY believe that the help offered by or coming from
any Western source is tainted with the helpers' mad desire to re-colonize
the country. They want to say that the exploitative cycle of land and
natural resources appropriation (by stealth this time) will be repeated and
they will ultimately be doomed once again to everlasting servitude.
Sovereign independence will be lost. By allowing this to happen, the
believers will be destined to repeat the mistakes of their pre-colonial

Now, put aside for the moment the cynical politician in power, the well fed
one - he who is wearing the Western clothes, speaking the Western tongue,
driving the Western Merc. Having brainwashed people into believing his
hogwash, his anti-West, anti-neo-colonialism claptrap, he has a vested
interest in continuing to promote the fiction. He controls things. This is
what keeps him comfortable.

Concentrate instead, not on the majority, the hapless peasant or the
dispossessed and starving burgher and look up towards the next level of
society, those 'believers' with a little authority, the 'haves' and not the
'have-nots'. Perhaps they should be called the 'have-a-little(s)'. They will
be at the tail end of the food chain. They are still eating, but their
continued survival depends - as far as they know - not upon handouts from
'foreigners' (especially Western foreigners who have traditionally benefited
from getting control of everything) but from their obedience to The Party.

They must obey instructions coming from their wise leaders who ultimately
are guided by their Great Liberator. That is what their controllers are
telling them: they must shake off a colonial mentality, a pathetic
dependency on Western handouts. There must be no price, too high, no
strings, no conditions, no weakening of resolve. That is why they must beat
people who resist, people who are too stupid to understand where their best
interest lie. That is why they must look East, as the Great Liberator says.
If they are to be free of past injustices, that is the way of the future...

Could this warped mindset explain why Zimbabweans will do nothing to save
themselves? Is this what has happened now that all avenues of peaceful
protest have been closed: no independent media, no independent judges, no
foreign relief agencies and soon, no education but that which is designed by
the puppets of the Great Liberator. People are being systematically starved
into submission and open revolt is out of the question.

One is being frequently reminded now - 60 years after the fall of the Third
Reich - how powerful and how hideously self-destructive is state propaganda.
Much of 'liberated' Africa is discovering that it is dangerous it is to put
all your faith in a single leader and to relinquish the balancing powers of
an independent judiciary, a freely elected legislature and an executive
constrained by the law. Judges who accept free farms, Ministers who
expropriate the property of others, bureaucrats and businessmen, petty
officials who are looking for quick riches - all are in the business of
destroying the country and the future of their own children - those who have
not fled elsewhere, that is.

Democratic freedoms may not be perfect but they have been shown to be
self-regulating. Meanwhile, unjust wars and human greed notwithstanding, the
democracies feed their people and generally have food to spare. It is that
surplus food that is being withheld from starving Zimbabweans. Poor,
miserable, powerless people. Our hearts ache for them.
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The Zimbabwean

No politricks in economic affairs
HARARE - During a dialogue on the issues affecting Zimbabwe last year, one
observer said, 'Zimbabwean politicians can tell lies but they cannot lie on
the economy.' A poorly managed economy will always show. 'There is no
politicking in economic affairs.'
Stranded in my rural area during the Heroes' holiday, after failing to get
transport back to Harare, I observed that rural people are now feeling the
bite of this mismanaged economy. They talk about Operation Murambatsvina,
which has driven their relatives, sons and daughters from the urban areas.

It's now almost three months since they last received a bar of soap, cooking
oil or seeds from their kith and kin from town via the rural bus driver.
They have been surprised by the price of soap (over $70 000 a bar) and
cooking oil (not less than $500 000 a 750ml bottle). They are not used to
this big money. When their children where in town they used to receive the
basics from them. Money did not come into it

The little maize obtained during the last season is not enough for
additional families of the returning sons and daughters. 'I will go to my
family and ask them for money to hoard soap and other basics so that I can
resell them for cash,' said a dispossessed daughter-in-law arriving is the
rural home of her husband. She is not used to rural life. But her
mother-in-law together with the whole family cry:

Ndiye here Mugabe wataivaridzira mazambia edu kuti atsike? Ndiye here Mugabe
wataipa zvipo zvehuku, mbudzi nemombe? Ndiye here Mugabe wataitsemukira
rurimi tichipururudzira? Chakachenjedza ndochakatanga!

Is he still the Mugabe for whom we used to spread our cloth on which he
walked? Is he still the one to whom we gave gifts of chicken, goats and
cattle? Is he the same Mugabe for whom we ululated in the past? What was
hidden in the past is now coming into the open.

Elsewhere in the community people gather for a memorial service (nyaradzo)
and the unveiling of a tombstone (magadziro). They express the same
sentiments about the economy and Murambatsvina. A visibly angry elder prays:

May those who try to kill me be defeated and discarded,
May their path be dark and slippery while the angel of the Lord strikes them
Without any reason they laid a trap for me and dig a deep hole to catch me,
But destruction will catch them before they know it,
They will be caught in their own trap and fall to their destruction.

{Psalms 35: 4-8}
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The Zimbabwean

Voters reject Zanu (PF)
HARARE - The evil regime of Zanu (PF) is paying the price for its ugly
Operation Murambatsvina as the electorate in Bulawayo voted 6 to 1 in favour
of the opposition MDC mayoral candidate. The little known Zanu (PF)
candidate, Basuthu, must have been selected because the beleaguered reeling
party assumed that he would be popular with the electorate as he is unlikely
to have soiled himself with some of the filth that his party is infamous
for. The voters, however, would not be fooled by such childish politricks,
and they rejected the Zanu (PF) candidate.
Just over 10% of the voters bothered to cast their votes in Bulawayo for
obvious reasons. Elections have become largely meaningless in Zimbabwe since
the ruling party simply corruptly rigs them each and every time. The fact
that Ndabeni-Ncube of MDC won the Bulawayo mayoral election does not
necessarily mean that there was no rigging by the rejected ruling party.
Rather, it simply means that the support for the MDC overwhelmed even the
well-oiled Zanu (PF) rigging machine.

The lesson for the MDC is that all is not lost after the March 31
parliamentary elections. Rather, the opposition political party still has
tremendous support throughout the country. In fact, it is very clear that if
Zanu (PF) had not rigged the March 31 elections it would have lost, as
indeed, it did, to the MDC by a huge margin.

The pattern reflected in the Bulawayo mayoral elections can easily be
replicated in virtually all urban areas in Zimbabwe, including Bindura and
Chinhoyi, where the ruling party claims to have its strongholds. The
Zimbabwean voter is now openly hostile to Mugabe - his party no longer
commands any popular support, except, perhaps, in China. Indeed, some
naughty Zimbabweans have now started calling the evil ruling party Zhanu
(PF). It is, indeed, a Zhing Zhong party - cheap and nasty.

Having failed again and again to reclaim political space in Bulawayo, the
Mugabe party is going to resort to Chombo's wicked politricks that have been
used in Harare and Mutare, to oust the Bulawayo mayor and his council
unceremoniously sooner or later. Left unchecked, evil has a tendency to
escalate to frightful levels such as those demonstrated by Operation
Murambapovo. It must be quite embarrassing for a party that claims to have
liberated this country from colonial masters to be rejected by the very
people it claims to have liberated. But Zhanu (PF) has long since become a
shameless political party. It no longer relies on policies aimed at
benefiting the people of Zimbabwe in order to obtain political support.

It is important, however, that all the political space that has so far been
redeemed from the dictatorship be maintained in the hands of progressive
political parties. Sadly, there has been considerable retreat from
democratic space by both political parties and civil society in Zimbabwe
since the 2002 presidential elections. Very few civic organisations and
churches can claim to be actively involved in the quest for democracy and
good governance. The Bulawayo electorate must therefore be congratulated for
effectively staying in the trenches and giving the dictator a hard run for
his money. Well done Bulawayo; you are indeed the City of Kings.

The authoritarian regime dares not conduct mayoral elections in Harare any
time soon. The regime is fully aware that no sensible Hararian would vote
for a Zhanu (PF) candidate. It is therefore likely that they will simply
keep their trusted political prostitute running (down) the affairs of the
capital city for the foreseeable future. They assume that they are buying
time, and that eventually the people of Harare will support them again. My
own assessment is that such a development can only come about after regime
change. In other words, Zhanu (PF) is unlikely to field a serious candidate
for the mayoral office while Mugabe is still the self-imposed President of
this country. Regime Change Now!!!
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The Zimbabwean

Why do they do it ?
HARARE - Why do they do what they do? Why do they keep it up? What is it
about him that commands such blind faith? Is it ideals? Is it greed? Is it
fear of their grim past? Or is it just stubbornness? Or maybe they really do
believe? Do those who destroy believe? Believe in their violence, believe in
their corruption, believe their own lies. Do they destroy all that they see
because they really believe their way is the right way? Why else would they
obey his every command? Why do they ruin all about them if they don't
believe? They tell us that it's just a job. That they also need food. What?
Just a job? Destroying homes, bulldozing and killing - just a job?
Watching the bulldozers all I could do was wonder. Why? Why would he do
that? Watching him drive his machine through their homes. I wondered how the
driver feels that night, at home, sitting in his chair, children on his lap,
food in his belly? I wonder if he thinks about his work tomorrow? Is it just
a job?

I wonder about those baton-wielding thugs protecting that driver. Do they go
home at night and cuddle their little children to sleep? Is it just a job?
Destroying, burning looting and then it's nearly five, knock off time. Time
to go back to their families. Do those young cops get home late, in the
middle of the night, and do they sleep peacefully, confidant in their job
well done?

Do they wonder where they will be deployed tomorrow? Is it just a job? Pay
the bills, buy a beer. Just a pay-cheque, to be a thug, a burner, a
destroyer, a protector of 'him'. Do those 'Big Men' giving the orders
command such respect, such fear, that our young men rush to grab their
pickaxes, belt on their clubs and deploy to go get those sell outs, those
that are their neighbours, their brothers, their sisters, their fathers.

Has our country been reduced to a single, national jail yard, the bullies
hold sway and the scabs salute every order? The wardens nod encouragement,
"get him, he's not one of us, he's a sell out!." And the rewards are paid.
You get what you earn, a farm, a Jeep Cherokee, perks or maybe, for the
small man, only a fist full of bloodied notes.

Shame on you, all of you that run to his every tune, hold up his banners and
praise him! Shame on you all in your uniforms, your vast chests glittering,
sitting in your armoured cars, hatches battened, your guns loaded, your
teargas ready. Shame on you! You who rub dirt in the eyes of the nation,
shout your lies and point your fingers. Denounce your very own mother. Shame
on you.
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The Zimbabwean

No chance for dignified exit left
HARARE - Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party
has said President Robert Mugabe threw away an opportunity for a dignified
exit out of his worst ever political and economic crisis when he rejected
African Union (AU) mediation.
Former Mozambican leader Joaquim Chissano, who was appointed by the AU to
mediate in the Zimbabwe crisis, gave up on his mission last week, saying he
had been told by Mugabe on the sidelines of the just-ended Southern African
Development Community (SADC) summit in Botswana that his help was not needed
because the Harare administration would engage the opposition in Parliament.

MDC secretary-general Welshman Ncube said the continental body should now
stop shielding the veteran Zimbabwean leader from punitive measures by the
international community to force him to implement democratic reforms. Most
western powers, who are critical of Mugabe's rule, have accused African
countries of siding with the Zimbabwean leader despite charges of rights
abuses and rampant vote rigging.
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The Zimbabwean

State-run media's new challenge
HARARE - The state-run media, facing the challenge of glossing over
international and regional impatience with the crisis in Zimbabwe, has
turned its attention to discrediting the Nigerian president and
misrepresenting conditions for getting money from South Africa.
The Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe (MMPZ) in its weekly report covering
August 8-14 said these consisted mostly of amplifying Robert Mugabe's
rejection of talks with the MDC.

The private media, however, pointed to the absurdity of Mugabe saying he
would talk to British Prime Minister Tony Blair (in terms of his weary
mantra that the MDC is a puppet of Britain).

The Financial Gazette and the Independent agreed with British Embassy
spokeswoman Gillian Dare that Mugabe needs to engage with fellow Zimbabweans
and that talking about talks with Western leaders 'simply distracts from the
pressing issues at hand', the MMPZ noted. The Independent bluntly observed
that what is needed is 'national dialogue to find a way out of this man-made
disaster, characterised by hyperinflation, and shortages of foreign
currency, food, fuel, power and water'.

In contrast, the government media portrayed the African Union's appointment
of former Mozambique leader Joaquim Chissano as a mediator to broker talks
between Mugabe and the MDC as simply a personal initiative of Nigerian
president Olusegun Obasanjo. This was followed by five stories personally
discrediting Obasanjo - described by the Herald's vituperative columnist
Nathaniel Manheru 'as a man whose joints have apparently been well oiled by
Uncle Sam's filthy lucre'.

The MMPZ also highlighted a particularly novel take on the South African
bail-out deal aired in the Financial Gazette. "It quoted Secretary for
Information George Charamba saying Zimbabwe had never 'asked for money from
South Africa' but that it was Pretoria that had 'offered' to help Zimbabwe
after the World Bank 'approached SA President Thabo Mbeki' and 'asked him to
help Zimbabwe'."

All the media failed to give adequate coverage of the Bulawayo mayoral
election, won by the MDC, the reported added. This included no examination
of the accuracy of the voters' roll, and other related electoral mechanics,
including the location of polling stations, and the composition of election
monitors and observers.
Pie in the sky reports on the razing of poor urban areas and the so-called
reconstruction programme dubbed Operation Garikai continued. With no sign of
much actually being done, the state media carried glowing reports of how
pleased state officials are the with programme.

Said the MMPZ: "Power FM (10/8) epitomised such coverage. It reported,
'government is pleased with the progress of Operation Garikai in Lupane .
despite shortages of water, skilled personnel, fuel crisis."
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The Zimbabwean

Photographer's nightmare
HARARE - Paranoia has set in - warming the cockles of me old photographer's
heart! All the more reason for taking more photographs! The New Zealand
Herald has reported that one David Fisher was arrested for taking photos in
Zimbabwe within hours of landing at Harare International Airport.
"President Robert Mugabe's image stares at you from photographs in the
Harare airport. He is everywhere, ruling Zimbabwe through menace, playing on
fears and imagination. It wasn't long before I felt the full impact of the
Mugabe regime. As soon as my flash burst, as I was photographing people
queuing for sugar, soldiers moved towards me, dragging me through the gates
to the warehouse beyond. The crowd of mainly women, calling for their
ration, fell silent and parted to let me through. With a billy club slapping
against his thigh, a soldier demanded to see the photo. 'You are under
arrest my friend. It is a very big offence.' My passport taken and camera
confiscated," writes Fisher.

It is worth noting that that there is no offence prescribed in Zimbabwean
law (yet) concerning the taking of photographs in a public place. Clearly
there is infringement in a military cantonment area and there are other
specified areas too which are legislated for, but not just anywhere.

The most interesting part about this report is that Fisher alleges he was
arrested by soldiers. A soldier does not have the power of arrest unless he
does this in his capacity as a private individual for what we used to know
as First Schedule offences - i.e. murder, rape, etc. This story is
particularly unique in demonstrating Zimbabwe's fall from the rule of law.
You have a situation here where a person, who has no authority to arrest,
has arrested someone for an offence which does not exist in the statutes of

It would appear the regime's storm troopers are ever more aware of the
damage a bad photo can inflict.

In the four hours that followed Fisher's arrest, a series of police officers
interrogated him: "Some were gentle, others harsh: 'Are you a journalist?
What do you do for a job? Why are you here?' Knowing other foreign
journalists had been deported, I replied: 'I'm a teacher and I'm here for
the cricket.' As I waited, outside night fell and a single bulb in the
ceiling came on, giving little light. A man was seated next to me, his
camera also taken. During a break in the questioning I asked what he had
done. 'I am a journalist. I took a photograph. It's the way it is,' he said.
Another man was lead through, who also told police he was a journalist. They
were both local men, and faced hefty fines for their crime," wrote Fisher.

Faced with prison or the next flight out, he stuck to his story and was
eventually released - with a warning and with his camera. They called him a
taxi and sent him on his way with a warning that Harare was dangerous at
night. What sweet cops we have here!
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The Zimbabwean

Gothamites - mad for destruction
HARARE - I came across the word "Gothamite" the other day and on looking it
up I found: "A foolish or simple-minded person; from Gotham, a village in
Nottinghamshire traditionally renowned for the foolishness of its
inhabitants; the name was also applied to New Yorkers in the 19th century."
This terse definition regrettably does not reveal what the inhabitants of
Gotham and then of New York had actually done to deserve the appellation,
but it is clear who have inherited their mantle - the Government of
Zimbabwe, the people who allegedly elected it, and certainly the party that
espouses it.
If anyone had consciously and deliberately set about the piecemeal
destruction of a young country he could not have achieved this more
effectively than has been done in the last 10 years by the powers-that-be in
Zimbabwe. So much so that any like myself who remain here rather than join
their three million compatriots in the diaspora must also risk the Gothamite

One of our very notable Gothamites is the Minister of Education who goes by
the illustrious name of Aeneas Chigwedere. As we know, his namesake went in
quest of a New Troy after the destruction of the old one: this Aeneas goes
in quest of its destruction after the foundation of the new.

Zimbabwe has always been rightly proud of its educational traditions for
which it had acquired something of a reputation, particularly in Africa.
Unfortunately the Minister seems hell-bent on destroying this great
enterprise, made difficult enough by the depredations of a collapsing
economy and the flight of trained personnel. Shortages of text books, desks
and basic equipment, employment of untrained staff, and the stubborn refusal
to increase fees (and salaries) to keep up with the rigours of inflation
orchestrated by government, all have wrought havoc upon a once proud
education system. He has finally been forced to announce a termly government
school fee increase from $300 to $300 000 - which the government's
mouthpiece rather optimistically called a thousand percent increase: my
calculations render it a 99900 percent increase, and this must be an
all-time world record. Regrettably too late to do much good.

However, a significant portion of the education system is not in government
hands: many schools have been Church foundations, inter alia, and these with
the assistance of independent boards and the co-operation of parent bodies
have struggled manfully to pay their teachers, maintain their
infrastructure, and keep traditional standards high, albeit at the necessary
cost of fees regularly rising with inflation. For the children involved,
such schools have been havens of normality in the maelstrom that represents
today's Zimbabwe.

But, guess what! Our Gothamite Minister of Education has decided, (without
consultation, at least not with the stakeholders concerned) to rein in these
schools and bring them directly under his control; he has proposed
legislation, some of it of very dubious constitutionality, which is designed
to wrest control from the "Responsible Authorities" who established the
schools and maintained them. The Minister and his Permanent Secretary will
be the arbiters of what fees can be charged; they will direct who sit on
school financial committees/Boards and what their responsibilities are: the
Minister and his Permanent Secretary will approve (or not) of teachers who
are to be employed at the schools, and they will seek to control them by
means of a special disciplinary code designed for the purpose. They will
govern enrolments and even make decisions on uniforms.

All this, despite Article 20 (3) of the Zimbabwe Constitution that states,
"No religious denomination and no person or group of persons shall be
prevented from establishing and maintaining schools ." And despite the
Universal Declaration of Rights (Article 26) that allows parents " a prior
right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children".

If this proposed legislation is passed, and it has already had its first
reading in Parliament, there can be little doubt that it will effectively
end the viability and existence of private education in this country;
another attack on basic human rights will have been successful, and the
cause the self-destruction will have been promoted yet again by the new
Gothamites in Zimbabwe.

We have the educational equivalent of a 'Murambatsvina' on our hands: it
will sweep out of the country many teachers who are unwilling to be
controlled by the Minister, as well as many professionals who will have to
go elsewhere to pursue their dreams of a sound education for their children.
And it will make more remote a return to their homeland for thousands of
Zimbabweans who have already left in disgust.
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