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Analysis and Commentary from UN Watch in Geneva

3 August 2005

Issue 134


 NGO Coalition Makes Zimbabwe Answer for Massive Human Rights Violations

After Zimbabwe was accused yesterday of rights abuses by an international coalition of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) led by UN Watch, the Mugabe government’s Geneva representative lashed out at the groups in a speech that urged a U.N. human rights body to “dismiss with contempt” the request for its intervention.

Ambassador Chipaziwa (left) responds to UN Watch today at the U.N.
Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights.

            Commenting on the more than half a million people made homeless by President Robert Mugabe’s demolition campaign, Ambassador Chipaziwa said they had lived in “erstwhile slums,” where “Government detractors had plotted and carried out illegal currency trades in efforts to destroy the country’s economy.”  Apparently referring to the NGOs, he added that Zimbabwe “does not deserve the ugly attention which her detractors try to conjure up,” and would “never yield to their evil designs.”  (Full text:

In a joint NGO statement that was delivered Tuesday before the U.N.’s Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights—a body of independent experts that belongs to the Human Rights Commission and meets annually—16 organizations, including UN Watch, Freedom House and Hope for Africa International, urged the assembly to speak out against Mugabe’s policies of land seizures, mass home demolitions and torture.  (The full text of the Joint NGO Statement appears at bottom.)

This was the first time that the Mugabe government was made to answer before an international human rights forum for its recent demolition of homes.  According to special U.N. envoy Anna Kajumulo Tibaijuka, approximately 2.4 million Zimbabweans have been affected— in their basic shelter, access to drinking water, sanitation and treatment for AIDS.  Ignoring the U.N.’s report, Zimbabwe today said that “the recent clean-up of the illegal slum dwellings in our towns and cities has resulted in reduced crime and handsome settlements.”

Zimbabwe’s U.N. speech made several related references to “the enemies of the Zimbabwe government,” who it claimed were conspiring to harm Zimbabwe.

The Mugabe government’s alarming resort to the imagery of enemies, conspiracies and “evil designs” reflects the sharply growing insecurity of a tottering dictatorship whose only strategy for survival seems to be the fostering of fear from external scapegoats.

What ought to be most troubling of all, is that Mugabe’s shockingly cruel demolitions began less than a month after the U.N. in April inexcusably voted to reelect his famine-causing government to another term on the Human Rights Commission—a move evidently interpreted by Harare as carte blanche for further abuses. 

The human rights catastrophe in Zimbabwe underscores the critical need to ensure that the upcoming U.N. reform summit in September endorses Kofi Annan’s call to prevent human rights abusers from obtaining membership on the Commission, which they use to frustrate its true purpose.

Whether the Sub-Commission, now half-way through its annual 3-week session, will indeed speak out on the abuses in Zimbabwe is far from clear.

U.N. rules allow it to tackle violations that have not already been dealt with by the Human Rights Commission, or urgent matters involving serious violations.  Because the recent annual meeting of the Commission failed to adopt any resolution on Harare’s abuses, and due to what the U.N. says is severe suffering by an estimated 700,000 newly homeless people, we believe the Sub-Commission is legally obliged to act.

Unfortunately, the Sub-Commission has not always been, shall we say, at the vanguard of human rights protection.  With Saddam Hussein grilled last week by Iraqi investigators for complicity in war crimes against his own citizens, it is worth recalling the Sub-Commission events of September 1, 1988, when a measure was introduced to censure the dictator for gassing the Kurds of Halabja.  Expert Halima Warzazi of Morocco jumped in and sprung a “no action” motion, successfully killing the resolution. Her move was supported by Alfonso Martinez of Cuba.  Nearly 20 years later, both are still members on the panel—with all that portends for any hope of action on behalf of Mugabe’s victims.

Still and all, our appeal to the Sub-Commission was not in vain.  For the first time since the appalling home demolitions, Zimbabwe was made to answer for its crimes before an international human rights forum, proving the regime’s vulnerability to international pressure.  With reports now that South Africa has decided to hand Mugabe an unconditional economic bail-out, the international community is hardly rising to the occasion.


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Following is the Joint NGO Statement on the Zimbabwe Crisis.


(GENEVA, 25 JULY – 12 AUGUST 2005)





Denying Democracy, Denying Development: The Case of Zimbabwe

Statement Delivered by Michael W. Inlander, UN Watch



Mr. Chairperson,

My name is Michael Inlander, and I am a Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fellow at UN Watch.  I am delivering the following Joint NGO Statement today on behalf of an international coalition of non-governmental organizations and human rights activists, reflecting a significant and diverse cross-section of civil society. 

The signatories to this Statement are:  African Services Committee; Associated Country Women of the World (ACWW); CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation; Council For A Community of Democracies; Dorrit Kjær Christiansen, European Representative Christian Science Committee on Publication; Droits et Démocratie / Rights & Democracy; Freedom House; Hope For Africa International (On behalf of all branches in Africa); International Council of Jewish Women; International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW); 8 de Marzo para la Promoción de Mujeres y Jóvenes; Tarumitra; Thai Catholic Commission on Migration; United Nations Watch; VIVAT International; Volunteerism Organization For Women Education and Development (VIDES); and the World Union of Catholic Women’s Organizations.

Mr. Chairperson,

The values of democracy, justice and the rule of law are the organizing principles of any rights-based society.  Disregard for these principles is, by definition, a violation of civil and political rights.

What must be equally appreciated, however, is that an assault on civil and political rights often leads to an assault on economic and social rights.  A government that denies its people democracy ends up denying them development.  As Amartya Sen famously observed, “no democracy with a free press ever has experienced a major famine.”

Nowhere is this more evident today than in Zimbabwe.  Over the past five years, under the regime of President Robert Mugabe, this great nation went from being the breadbasket of Africa to an economic and social basket case. 

How this came to be provides a case study into the ruinous effects of a government’s violation of the rule of law and democracy.  We would like to discuss in particular the violations of (1) land grabs; (2) mass evictions and home demolitions; and (3) torture.

Sub-Commission Obliged to Debate Violations in Zimbabwe

Before discussing the rule-of-law violations, it is important to set forth the Sub-Commission’s legal obligation to debate the situation in Zimbabwe.  In its resolution 2005/53, entitled “Work of the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights”, the Commission on Human Rights reiterated and reaffirmed that the Sub-Commission should continue to be able to “debate country situations not being dealt with in the Commission, as well as urgent matters involving serious violations of human rights in any country.”

The situation in Zimbabwe qualifies under both categories.  First, to our great disappointment, the 61st Session of the Commission failed to deal with the situation of Zimbabwe.

In previous years, the Commission saw draft resolutions introduced to condemn the Mugabe regime’s violations.  True, these were invariably defeated by abuse of the “No Action Motion” procedure.  Nevertheless, the annual attention surrounding each draft resolution shined an international spotlight on the violations, and gave voice to Zimbabwe’s victims.  We regret that, this year, the traditional state sponsors of this resolution apparently decided that Zimbabwe’s violations—and Zimbabwe’s victims—were not a priority.

Second, as detailed below, the gross and systematic violations in Zimbabwe constitute an urgent crisis of staggering humanitarian proportions.

Land Grabs Caused Famine and Ruined Economy

Five years ago, President Mugabe initiated an extensive land-grab campaign, seizing over 10 million acres of land, mostly from white farmers.  Whatever the evils of colonialism and its legacy, the effect of Mugabe’s actions for Zimbabwe’s people has been famine and a ruined economy. 

Zimbabwe has been turned into a major recipient of food aid.  Last year, the output of maize failed even to meet national demand, and equaled about half the amount produced in the year before the land seizures began.  Since then, the Zimbabwe economy has contracted by nearly 35%, with inflation last year reaching as high as 600%.  Today, approximately 80 percent of the work force is unemployed and 4 million of Zimbabwe’s 16 million people have emigrated.

Destruction of Homes

It was not thought possible, but in the past few months, life in Zimbabwe has become even worse—much worse.  Beginning on May 19, the government began a campaign it calls Murambatsvina, or “Operation Drive Out Trash,” which—under the pretense of urban clean-up—has destroyed the homes and livelihoods of approximately 700,000 women, men and children.

Mrs. Anna Kajumulo Tibaijuka, head of the special U.N. Mission to Zimbabwe, has just released a report showing that a further 2.4 million people have been affected in varying degrees, such as in their access to food, water, health care and sanitation.  Pearson Mbalekwa, a former member of the ruling party’s central committee, resigned over the demolitions, which he described as “callous and inhumane.”

The demolitions have shocked the conscience of the world.  They contravene our basic concept of human dignity and international human rights.   Not least, the demolitions are a blatant violation of the right to adequate housing, as guaranteed under Article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, to which Zimbabwe is a signatory.

According to General Comments no. 4 (1991) and no. 7 (1997) of the U.N. Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, “Forced evictions are prima facie incompatible with the provisions of the Covenant and can only be carried out under specific circumstances.”  Evictions should never result in rendering individuals homeless, and it is the responsibility of the government to ensure that adequate alternative housing or resettlement is available for all those affected before executing an eviction order.

Zimbabwe Government Practices Torture

The regime’s violation of the rule of law is not limited to grabbing land or destroying homes.  It also practices torture.

In particular, citizens who sought asylum while abroad are frequently harassed and tortured after returning to Zimbabwe.

Following his deportation from the United Kingdom, Zuka Kalinga was interrogated immediately upon his return to Bulawayo.  According to the Observer, government officials repeatedly questioned Mr. Kalinga on the whereabouts of his father, who was killed in 1982.  When Mr. Kalinga responded, “he disappeared,” a smiling guard replied, “Do you want to disappear too?”

Unfortunately, many have suffered far worse.  According to the Times of London, others have been tortured, including one man who gave detailed accounts of his subjection to electric shock treatment on his chest and testicles.  “We were punched on the head and neck and asked why we didn’t have the right travel documents. Then four agents from what we took to be the Central Intelligence Organization appeared and we were moved to separate rooms. They kicked me and kept shouting that I was a British spy.”

These practices are an express violation of the Convention Against Torture, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Within Britain, civil society, the courts, and the British government are vigorously debating whether or not to continue deporting illegal immigrants back to Zimbabwe, because of the dangers they face.  It is now time for the international community to speak out, and to consider measures which can assure that Zimbabwe ceases to commit torture against its citizens.

Mr. Chairperson,

The hundreds of thousands made homeless and hungry by the Zimbabwe government cannot wait until the next session of the Commission in March.  The Sub-Commission has before it an urgent crisis that is both humanitarian disaster and human rights crime.  The extensive and damning report by the U.N.’s special envoy was issued as we began this session.  The Sub-Commission has the legal and moral duty to condemn these crimes under international law.  Those who accuse this body of being ineffectual can be proven wrong. 

According to a report by CNN, President Mugabe, recently visiting Beijing, expressed confidence that China will use its veto power in the Security Council to protect Zimbabwe from any U.N. censure. 

Mr. Chairperson,

No state holds veto power in this assembly of independent experts.  If you don’t speak out for the victims of Zimbabwe’s government, who will?

Thank you.


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The fourth estate and I, by head of Zim's MIC
In a lengthy interview with Zimbabwe's state-owned Herald, Media and Information Commission chairman, Dr Tafataona Mahoso, speaks out on media terrorism, why the Daily News isn't being allowed back on the streets and even about Judge Hillary Squires.

The state-owned Herald introduces the interview as follows:

One of the biggest problems Zimbabwe faced over the past five years is the problem of media terrorism that manifested itself in sensational reports in the privately owned Press and Western media, pirate radio stations that broadcast hate speech and a proliferation of on line publications pursuing the illegal regime change agenda. Today, Media and Information Commission Chairman, Dr Tafataona Mahoso talks about media practice and regulation in Zimbabwe.

Dr Mahoso, you have been branded number one enemy of the media by some of the titles whose licences were cancelled. How would you describe your relationship with the media?

My relationship with the media depends on which media it is. There are so many media in Zimbabwe, as you know the word includes even those Internet sites that are proliferating. I would not mind being called an enemy of the media by some of those channels because they have become part of the global conveyor belt of lies. We live in a very dangerous world where the media have become an integral part of invasion. The examples of Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan and even Haiti and Granada and the Falkland Islands - all these are graphic examples of the abuse of the media and if the media which corroborate with such forces of inhumanity call me the number one enemy, it does not surprise me or cause me any regrets. However, there are other media in Zimbabwe who are trying to do an honest job and who are working under difficult conditions. I know that for instance, the programme of the foreigners in Zimbabwe since the 1990s has been to try to make the white minority voice the mainstream voice in Zimbabwe, and at the helm of this we have the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) and Norwegian Development Agency (Norad). So we are aware of that programme and I know that the people who say I am an enemy of the media are people who are aware that I am aware of that strategy.

The internet and on-line newspapers are presenting major challenges to the regulatory regimes of developing countries, how can Zimbabwe deal with the scourge of on-line newspapers some of which are peddling hate speech?

There are a number of fronts on which we should fight. The first one is that we must have some of our own sites which are reviewed regularly, the MIC is in the process of trying to do that, we have just interviewed the candidates for our Information Communication Technology section. We intend to have two things;

One is round-the-clock media monitoring, and each morning we review which stories were on radio, TV or even on the Internet in order to advise our stakeholders about what will be happening in the media.

The other front has to do with regulation, and at the moment I am not clear whether Government has actually decided which agency will be responsible for the electronic media beyond broadcasting. There has to be some legislation to regulate those channels that are not catered for under the Broadcasting Services Act (BSA) or the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA).

The third front is by training and by training we do not mean training of journalists, training journalists is also important but we have to find ways of training the audience.

The Media Ethics Committee Report was an attempt to do that. We found out that the consultations that we held when we went out were effective ways of empowering people because, first of all we invited them to say what their experience of media had been and then we shared with them some insights which they might not have had. In the process they also told us what they wanted to be done with the media. So media users need to be trained but as in every country, they are scattered they have no centre of their own. We want media critics who are not journalists but who are citizens who can also advise citizen groups about the role of the media in a national setting.

MIC has monitored the papers published in Zimbabwe, but you have done nothing about a paper called The Zimbabwean, which is always on our streets just like all other weekly papers and pirate radio stations. Are these media exempt from laws affecting titles published in Zimbabwe?

That is a concern of ours but as you know the Commission is not a law maker but is bound by the Act that it uses, it is empowered to make proposals to Government, and there is a proposal with Government on how The Zimbabwean problem can be solved. But while we wait for a response from Government we have of course not been idle, I think you will remember the responses that the MIC gave when the paper was first introduced. We believe that the moral critique of the Zimbabwean succeeded in weakening the paper and subsequently we are told that its finances are very weak and we do know definitely that its impact in the country is negligible. So if the Government eventually responds to the proposals that we put before it, it will not be because the paper has a huge impact, but because in future there may be six or seven similar papers being dropped into Zimbabwe from outside. But the weaknesses of the paper are very clear both morally, ethically and even technically because you can not write effective stories from a desk in London, and our people know what London stands for in Zimbabwe. So the paper more or less has discredited itself before the Government has actually legislated to control similar developments in the future. We are glad in fact that the people in Zimbabwe, because of their understanding of ethics and morality, their understanding of communication they have been able to resist this paper, so that it is simply tolerated as a nuisance among many other nuisances that we have to put up with.

You chaired a Media Ethics Committee between 2001 and 2002 that looked into professionalism or lack thereof in the media, what were your findings and what became of the report you submitted?

The report was of course done for the Department of Information at that time, it was really meant as a policy guideline but it was also intended as a resource for media studies programmes. We have seen quite a number of these recommendations being implemented, the creation and strengthening of the BSA and the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe; the creation of MIC was actually echoed in the recommendations. What we discovered was that all the people we consulted recommended that we could not rely on voluntary regulation, there should be statutory regulation. The experience of the previous 21 years - for this was in 2001, had shown that journalists in Zimbabwe would not self regulate and that the manoeuvres that were being made by donors were making it even more unlikely. But we also dealt with training. We have seen a lot of the report being implemented, even the idea of local content, we can see the idea there.

In one of your articles, you accused journalists of reporting events instead of relationships between events, and a few months ago your office said it was going to look into the curriculum and qualifications of the staff offering journalism training, how far have you gone with this initiative?

It is a huge project and we have already designed questionnaires, there are three of them, one for editors, one for media trainers and one for the students themselves. Rather than mail them, we decided that we should actually present them in person. What we have noticed is that the students are very eager to tell us what they are experiencing and the quality of their experience. The administrators are reluctant but so far we have said that we do not want to resort to section 50 of AIPPA, where we can actually subpoena information, we want a corroborative system, where they voluntarily give us information but the information has to be correct.

The questionnaires are very thorough, what they require is thorough documentation. How many students do you have per computer? How many students are there for every full time lecturer? How many part time lecturers do you have? What is the minimum qualification of the lecturers and so forth? There are also questions like what is the aptitude of the student you produce at the end of the programme, are you achieving that, what kind of examinations are you giving at the end of the programme? Who is able to double-check your examinations, is it a self-contained system where if you cheat on your own exam, nobody finds out? We believe that when the results come out it will be a big report. We already know a number of things that are quite disturbing, that the numbers of students who are in so-called journalism courses are too many. There are just too many students for the market. It appears that in one year, the training institutions produce enough students to replace all the full time journalists, which is unsustainable. Apart from the problem of quality the overcrowding is not good. It is important to mention that we do not have a statutory mandate to discipline the media training institutions, that mandate belongs to the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education. However, we do have power to influence and redirect and what we have done in recognition of that power is that we know for instance that we can give prizes, and there are a number of subject areas where of students excel we can give prizes of up to a million dollars. We want to give prizes in areas that we think are not being adequately addressed at the moment. Gradually, we want to tighten the qualifications, we will reach a stage where we say these certificates are not acceptable, and in fact we are already beginning to do that. There is one certificate going round, which has a good transcript but that can not be justified, this is a certificate obtained by correspondence school, than one we have already said we won't use. The holders are using five published articles in lieu of the certificate.

Critics say the MIC is being vindictive by waiting to pounce on Journalists who violate ethics, instead of monitoring the training to ensure that all who lay claim to journalism have been thoroughly trained. What you have outlined are long term measures, what will you do in the short term?

Our view is that it is not really the journalists, much of what we see as unethical conduct is the responsibility of the employers and editors, therefore everyone who approaches MIC wanting to register, a publisher or a mass media service, has to produce a proposed code of ethics. We are busy collating all the submissions from publishers; we will publish a volume of all the codes of ethics, which have been proposed by mass media service providers in Zimbabwe. There will be a section for newspaper publishers, magazine publishers, advertisers and publication houses. With a volume like that, we can then go to the stakeholders to say this is what you have suggested. We think that all of them are weak in certain areas, and those are the ones we want to discuss before we actually synthesise a national code. We believe that is the way to go. A journalist may have good intentions, and may have in his possession a good code of ethics, we have among the ones that we collected during the media Ethics Committee, a code ethics proposed by Geoffrey Nyarota, yet his practice had nothing to do with that code of ethics. It was just a paper, so we do not want to fool ourselves. When we come up with the code, it will be based on submissions and it will be discussed, our strategy is that once the volume is produced we will give it to media users.

Some critics say the MIC has been visible only where a newspaper is about to be closed, apart from the closure of unregistered titles, what other changes has the MIC brought to the media?

The first change is simply that in 2002, around June or thereafter, because we were actually appointed afterwards, there was nothing except a piece of paper called AIPPA. So the problem with some journalists is that they see the coming of the MIC as an event, it is a very detailed process. From the Act we had to envision an organogram, an office structure, committee structures, even personnel - how to define people who work in the organisation. What is in the Act is just the board, the Commissioners. The Secretariat is not there, so we had to spell out the kind of posts essential to fulfil the requirements of the Act, all that has been done. We now have a Media Trust Fund in terms of the Act; the fund will be used for media development. The only hurdle is that the amount of money is not enough for the problems that we have to deal with. I believe in two and a half years, we have done a lot.

There was a workshop that was held in Nyanga after AIPPA became law, it was co-ordinated by Media Institute for Southern Africa (MISA), but other so-called human rights organisations were there.

They gave themselves duties, the Law Society of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Union of Journalists, (ZUJ) Independent Journalists' Association of Zimbabwe (IJAZ), and ZIMRIGHTS - to scrap the legislation. Obviously the Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ) is best known for that, but there were various efforts all over the place. The first responsibility of the MIC is to defend the Act, and we have done that successfully, and it is only after the legislation is secured that we could implement the development side of the Act.

Much of that can not be visible, in the sense that you have to start by creating a Commission where there was just an Act, the fact that they can actually see a Commission becoming visible means that we have achieved something.

And your relationship with ZUJ?

I understand that they have approached the Minister of Information with a proposal for self-regulation, and a code of ethics. There was an attempt to say that we (the MIC) are afraid of their ethics and we want to stop it no. In fact the problem is that it was ZUJ, IJAZ and MISA who have misled people and misled even the rest of the world that AIPPA makes self-regulation illegal and impossible. AIPPA does not actually forbid self-regulation, in fact, the Commission would be very happy if the journalists were able to discipline themselves because it would mean that our resources would then be directed towards the development side of the Act which is quite enough to absorb our energies and resources.

So we would welcome self-regulation, though we are saying that in terms of weight the employers have more weight in determining the direction of a newspaper than the journalists.

The original challenge to stop MIC did not come from ANZ, it came from ZUJ, which filed an urgent application before Justice Makoni saying the whole thing should stop, and they gave reasons. The first reason was that the form the MIC was using was demanding information that was too sensitive and too private to be given to a government agency. The second reason they gave was that the MIC had not notified the journalists and had not published the forms. All we did was to take forms which the journalists routinely fill at workshops, when they apply for loans or when they join an NGO, and the information was almost identical. It had everything, e-mail, home address, business address, telephone, the same information that MIC was asking for except for the fact that these NGOs and other organisations do not give legal guarantees that this information will be used for the purposes for which it is collected. We have two Sections in the Act, Section 50 and Section 33, which actually say this information will be used only for the purpose for which it is collected. We then produced articles which the journalists had published in the Sunday Mail, in the Daily News and other newspapers, to show that in fact the journalists were aware of the regulations and the procedures, so Justice Makoni actually threw out the case.

The media is a critical institution in society, which is why some have called it the fourth estate. Do you feel the Zimbabwe media can be described as the fourth estate?

No! Because of the origins of journalism in the first place. Media operators say that they are there to promote accountability, democracy, transparency, human rights and so forth, so we asked the question during the Media Ethics Committee: Where did journalism come from as an aspect of communication? Journalism started as part and parcel of the machinery of foreign intervention, and I always refer to the example of Henry Morton Stanley, who came to Africa assigned by the New York Herald Tribune in 1869, what was he looking for? He was looking for the North Atlantic agenda in Africa, he was not looking for Africans and he is not known for writing a story about what Africans were doing or saying, he is known for recognising a white man in Africa - "Dr David Livingstone, I presume?"

We are saying therefore, when did journalism drop this agenda and start becoming a fourth estate, and we say that the part of the media which represents the majority interests in Zimbabwe came from exile during the Rhodesian days, it came from Mozambique, from Zambia, to the extent that the Director General of the Rhodesian Broadcasting Corporation in 1976 told an American Editor, "the reason why Africans are not allowed anywhere near a microphone is that they when an African gets a microphone he stirs up violence against the whiteman". So when we saw Sida and Norad, coming back in the 1990s wanting to reinvent that minority media to make it mainstream again, we found we did not have a fourth estate. We have a struggle between the external foreign voice embedded among us, and the African voice which has come from exile and is establishing itself and has not yet fully overcome the obstacles created by the minority media, and one reason is that Zimbabwe is a neighbour to a country where the minority voice is still mainstream - South Africa. That is why a hangman judge, Hillary Squires of the UDI and Apartheid era is being celebrated in the South African media as a man who is fighting corruption, when in actual fact the fact that Squires is a judge is in itself a manifestation of white racism as a form of corruption. If we were living in an uncorrupted world, Squires would be on trial at a war tribunal for the crimes against humanity in Rhodesia. So it is not yet a fourth estate, it is struggling to be.

The MIC has again refused to register the ANZ, and some critics have reduced the issue to a Mahoso - ANZ affair, what exactly is the problem?

The first part to my answer is that the matter is still subjudice. But there are a few points that can be discussed, the first piece of information the public should know is that this was not a fresh application, it was an old application which the Supreme Court remitted to the MIC, and remittal means that the Supreme Court was saying to the ANZ go back to the MIC to have your case heard again, because you are alleging that when the decision to deny registration was made you were not given an opportunity to answer to each of the contraventions had submitted made in the determination. So the purpose off coming back was to have the ANZ answer the contraventions, and then the Commission decides whether those answers exonerated them or convicted them. That is the first part. The second part is that the determination is available, and there is no need to speculate what the reason for the basis of the decision were.

Lastly, the matter is in court, and we will submit to the courts.

Wednesday, 03 August, 2005
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Radio Netherlands

The great leap backward
China clamps down on broadcasts it doesn't like
Commentary by Andy Sennitt, 4 August 2005

In three years' time, Beijing will host the Olympic games. TV and radio
reporters from almost every country in the world will be there, and you can
be sure that the Chinese will put on a good show. Sadly, that's exactly what
it will be - a show.

China is happy to tolerate the international media for a few weeks when it
has something to gain, but while the attention of many Western politicians
is focused on the war against terrorism, China continues to conduct its own
war on freedom of speech.

The Sound of Hope Radio Network (SOH) is a global, non-profit provider of
radio news and cultural programming. Established by Chinese immigrants in
June 2003, SOH is expanding quickly and now has over 20 operating teams
spread across North America, Asia, Australia and Europe, with the
headquarters in San Francisco, California. The SOH radio programmes are
primarily in Chinese languages (Mandarin, Cantonese and Taiwanese) and have
recently expanded to a multilingual service including English, Spanish and
French. Through online streaming and local AM/FM radio stations, SOH
programmes now reach Chinese immigrant audiences worldwide, as well as
people from other cultures.

Satisfying a demand
In order to satisfy the tremendous demand for an independent and objective
information source other than the state-controlled media for people inside
China, SOH has established shortwave radio broadcasts that cover the whole
of China. Currently, SOH offers four hours of shortwave broadcasts every day
and has thereby become the largest non-governmental radio network serving
the Chinese people. SOH says it embraces the values of freedom, democracy
and human rights, and seeks to provide channels for all voices to be heard.

Unfortunately, this concept clearly isn't to the liking of the authorities
in Beijing. Over the past several months, SOH has received many reception
reports from China indicating that the shortwave broadcasts are now
suffering heavy and deliberate interference. For example, listeners from
Dalian City (Liaoning Province) say that they could receive the SOH
broadcasts in the past, but recently the signals have been almost completely
covered by music, drumming and other programmes from China's central radio
station; listeners from Fuzhou City (Fujian Province) report that they can
no longer receive the broadcast even outdoors in an open field; and
listeners from Xinjiang, Sichuan, Shandong Province also strongly complained
that SOH programmes are specifically targeted by interference, since the
radio signals on the same frequencies return to normal after the SOH
programme airtime is over.

Selling jammers to China
In 2004, Reporters Without Borders reported that the Thales Group, a
corporation based in France, sold China many military-class devices used for
radio signal jamming for the disruption of foreign broadcasts beamed to
China. An internal source of information inside China has indicated that the
National Security Bureau, Public Security Bureau, and the General Military
Intelligence Sector II are the official bureaus in charge of monitoring and
censoring foreign radio broadcasts. Of these agencies, the General Military
Intelligence Sector II coordinates technical issues.

 SOH believes it has become the top target for shortwave jamming, and says
the intensity of the interference to its broadcasts surpasses the levels of
interference that Radio France International, BBC, VOA and Radio Free Asia
are subjected to. It also believes it knows why: SOH officials are convinced
it's a direct result of its exclusive and complete broadcast of the "Nine
Commentaries on the Chinese Communist Party" (a series of editorials
published by the Epoch Times Newspaper), as well as the station's extensive
reports covering the current phenomenon of millions of Chinese people
choosing to publicly - or secretly - quit the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

Helping others to jam
China's jamming efforts don't stop at the country's borders, and it also
assists other regimes with which it has friendly relations to suppress
broadcasts they don't like. Media Network has reported on the problems
encountered by SW Radio Africa, which has had to stop using shortwave to
broadcast to Zimbabwe because of government jamming using equipment supplied
by the Chinese. We have subsequently learned that there's clear evidence
that members of Zimbabwe's intelligence services and military were sent to
China to train in the use of the jamming equipment that was provided.

Furthermore, the CCP's interference to broadcasts beamed to China goes
beyond merely jamming them. Disrupting contact with the listeners is another
tactic. SOH set up toll-free numbers inside China for audience feedback, a
service widely used and appreciated by many listeners. After SOH dedicated a
full hour to broadcast the "Nine Commentaries on the Chinese Communist
Party", there was a massive response via the toll-free numbers. As a result,
the toll-free numbers were cut-off by the CCP for several days.

CCP special missions
SOH also believes it's being targeted by the Chinese security services.
Recently, the organisation learned of the existence of CCP special missions
to spy against independent media agencies abroad. Reliable sources in China
have learned and reported to SOH that the Public Security Bureau Sector 26
has recruited members from public security departments at provincial and
city levels in nine provinces whose objective is to infiltrate, collect
information, and create conflict and chaos amidst certain overseas Chinese
language media.

 SOH is now calling for a thorough investigation of these CCP spying
activities in Western democratic countries. It's clearly a myth that things
are opening up in China. Indeed, recent developments, such as the suspension
of any further new media activities by foreign companies in China, and
China's success in getting New Tang Dynasty TV taken off the Eutelsat
satellite, suggest that the authorities in Beijing are tightening, rather
than loosening, their control of the media. Just because this doesn't
endanger the lives of people in the West in the way that terrorism does, is
no reason to turn a blind eye to it. Press freedom is a global, not a
regional, concept.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the personal views of
the author, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Radio

© Radio Nederland Wereldomroep, all rights reserved
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From Reuters, 3 August

US freezes assets of Zimbabwean farms, businesses

Washington - The United States on Wednesday froze the US assets of 26
Zimbabwean entities it said are controlled by key members of President
Robert Mugabe's government, accusing them of undercutting democracy in
Zimbabwe. Under an executive order issued by President Bush, the Treasury
Department ``designated'' 24 commercial farms and two businesses controlled
by Mugabe administration officials who the US government says are
undermining democratic processes in Zimbabwe. The move freezes their access
to the US financial system and prohibits US citizens from doing business
with them. "The Mugabe regime rules through politically motivated violence
and intimidation and has triggered the collapse of the rule of law in
Zimbabwe,'' said Robert Werner, director of the Treasury's Office of Foreign
Assets Control. By denying the Mugabe regime access to the US financial
system and US persons, we're cutting off the flow of support they could use
to further destabilize Zimbabwe,'' he said. Zimbabwe is reeling from its
worst economic crisis since independence from Britain 25 years ago,
triggered by government seizures of white-owned farms for resettlement of
landless blacks and allegations of vote rigging. The Treasury Department
said the commercial farms are among those handed to favored members of
Mugabe's government following his chaotic land redistribution scheme. The
two businesses include Cold Comfort Farm Trust Co-operative, an agricultural
cooperative controlled by National Security Minister Didymus Noel Mutasa,
and Ndlovu Motorways, controlled by Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, an official with
Mugabe's ruling Zanu PF party. Treasury has designated Mugabe and 76 other
Zimbabwean government officials and "persons of influence'' for economic

From The US Treaury Department: The following entities have been added to
COMFORT FARM TRUST CO-OPERATIVE, 7 Cowie Road, Tynwald, Harare, Zimbabwe;
P.O. Box 6996, Harare; CORBURN 13 FARM, Chegutu; DUIKER FLATS FARM; EIRIN
Nujoma Street/Livingston Avenue, Harare; OLDHAM FARM, Chegutu; PIMENTO FARM,
Marondera; UMGUZA BLOCK FARM, Umguza.
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4 August 2005


SA Money Must Be Used For Immediate Humanitarian Relief


The MDC cautiously welcomes the agreement, in principle, by South Africa’s cabinet to extend financial assistance to Zimbabwe. It is imperative however that immediate priority is given to addressing the appalling human misery provoked by the Zimbabwe government’s ‘Operation Murambatsvina’. 



Notwithstanding the urgent need for all stakeholders in Zimbabwe to engage in meaningful dialogue, aimed at resolving the country’s multi-faceted crisis, our immediate concerns must be focused on alleviating the pain and suffering of hundreds of thousands of people on the ground. They need food, shelter and clothes as soon as possible and we hope that any financial assistance extended by South Africa is immediately channeled towards addressing these basic survival needs.



A direct show of solidarity by the South African Government would engender tremendous hope amongst those who have lost everything as a result of the Zimbabwe Government’s disastrous policies. 



MDC Members of Parliament and party officials from affected constituencies provide daily accounts of harrowing human suffering. They do what they can to help alleviate the pain but, given the sheer scale of the humanitarian crisis, they lack the resources and capacity to help all those in need.



The MDC hopes that President Mugabe responds positively to South African moves to help the suffering people of Zimbabwe. Given the gravity of the situation we urge him to move with expedition to ensure help reaches those most in need.



This is not the time for political grandstanding and deliberate delaying tactics aimed at securing narrow political gains. President Mugabe now has an opportunity to show that he does actually care about the poor and the dispossessed.



In the same context the MDC also calls upon President Mugabe to issue a formal appeal to the World Food Programme for food aid. We are fast running out of food in Zimbabwe and it is essential that a formal appeal is made before we are confronted with a humanitarian disaster of unprecedented proportions.



Paul Themba Nyathi

MDC Secretary for Information and Publicity




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From: Trudy Stevenson
Sent: Friday, August 05, 2005 4:12 AM
Subject: Public Discussion Friday 5 August 5-8 pm - The Politics of the UN
Report on Murambatsvina

Crisis Coalition is organising a

Public Discussion
The Politics of the UN Report on Murambatsvina

Friday 5 August
5-8 pm
Crown Plaza Monomotapa

Discussants - Dr Eldred Masunungure UZ, Trudy Stevenson MP, Dr Lovemore
Madhuku NCA & Prof Brian Raftopoulos ZIDS
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Zim Online

SA throws US$500 million lifeline to Harare
Thu 4 August 2005

      JOHANNESBURG - South Africa has provisionally agreed a US$500 million
bailout for Zimbabwe, enough to clear its northern neighbour's debt with the
International Monetary Fund (IMF) and leave some change for Harare to buy
critically needed food and fuel, authoritative sources told ZimOnline.

      The sources said South African President Thabo Mbeki would meet
President Robert Mugabe on the sidelines of the African Union extraordinary
summit taking place in Ethiopia "just to round off discussions" on political
conditions Pretoria has set for the loan.

      South African Reserve Bank governor Tito Mboweni and Finance Minister
Trevor Manuel were expected to lay out the economic conditions for the loan
at talks with Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Gideon Gono and
Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa who arrived in South Africa on Thursday,
according to the sources.

      "South Africa is going to give a total of about US$500 million with
the first tranche of that money going to immediately paying off Zimbabwe's
outstanding debt with the IMF," said one source, who declined to be named
for professional reasons.

      The source privy to the financial assistance deal added: "Mbeki is
going to meet Mugabe just to clear out the political issues but the finer
details and the economic conditions of the loan are going to be ironed out
by Manuel, Mboweni and their Zimbabwean counterparts."

      It was not possible to immediately get comment on the matter from the
spokesmen for Mbeki and Mugabe or from Manuel, Mboweni or their Zimbabwean
guests. Zimbabwe had asked for US$1 billion to pay off its US$300 million
debt to the IMF and to pay for oil and fuel imports.

      The crisis-hit country requires at least US$40 million for fuel every
month while it also requires millions more in hard cash to import 1.2
million tonnes of food after poor harvests last season.

      South African government spokesman Joel Netshitenzhe on Wednesday
announced that Pretoria was not going to provide the whole amount sought by
Zimbabwe but he declined to say how much exactly Harare would receive.

      Netshitenzhe, who said the date when the loan would be finally granted
depended much on the IMF which has given Zimbabwe up to the beginning of
September to pay back or be expelled, also downplayed whether there were any
conditions attached to the loan.

      He only said the loan agreement was "in the wider context of
Zimbabwe's economic recovery and the process of political normalisation."

      But media reports in the last three weeks and which South Africa has
not denied indicated that Pretoria was demanding wide-ranging political and
economic reforms by Mugabe's government including reopening negotiations
with the opposition to find a solution to Zimbabwe's crisis before it could
release money.

      Mugabe, who has been to China seeking money in what observers said was
an attempt to avoid stringent conditions by South Africa, indicated on his
return from Beijing that he was not going to be ordered to speak to the main
opposition Movement for Democratic Change party by anyone. The Zimbabwean
leader may however mellow down on talks given Harare's dire financial

      Another issue likely to be raised by Manuel and Mboweni in their
meetings with Murerwa and Gono is the overbearing powers of the RBZ, which
has virtually taken over the role of Zimbabwe's Ministry of Finance.

      Mbeki and the IMF have both criticised the RBZ saying the central bank
should revert back to its monetary role.

      The South Africans are also said to be keen to see Zimbabwe moving to
revive its agricultural sector which collapsed after Mugabe seized
productive land from white farmers. Meanwhile, Reuters agency on Thursday
quoted unnamed IMF officials saying the fund was waiting for details of
South Africa's loan to Zimbabwe before it could decide how to act on
Harare. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

Pressure group boss arrested
Fri 5 August 2005

      HARARE - Police on Thursday arrested National Constitutional Assembly
(NCA) chairman Lovemore Madhuku for organising protests against plans by the
government to amend the constitution.

      Police swooped on the demonstrators who were being addressed by
Madhuku and arrested the civic leader and 22 other protesters who had
gathered in Africa Unity Square in central Harare in preparation for the

      The NCA said it wanted to demonstrate against the holding of public
hearings by the Parliamentary Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs on the
Constitutional Amendment (No. 17) Bill which seeks to introduce a Senate and
other critical amendments to Zimbabwe's constitution.

      But their plans to stage the march were thwarted after the police
arrested Madhuku and took him to Harare Central police station.

      A lawyer representing the pressure group Alec Muchadehama, confirmed
the arrests yesterday.

      But police spokesman Wayne Bvunzijena refused to comment on the
arrests. Under Zimbabwe's security laws, it is an offence to demonstrate
without police clearance.

      The NCA, which is fighting for a new democratic constitution in
Zimbabwe, says it is against President Robert Mugabe's moves to use his
ruling ZANU PF party's majority in parliament to railroad constitutional
changes in the House.

      In a statement released prior to yesterday's arrest, Madhuku denounced
the planned constitutional Bill saying the government planned to "institute
self-serving amendments to the current constitution."

      "The NCA views this (public hearing) as a meaningless exercise and
indeed as an insult to the people of Zimbabwe. What our country needs at the
moment is a new, democratic and people-driven constitution," it read in

      "The proposed senate is just a mechanism to consolidate the power of
the ruling party by accomodating selected party faithfuls who failed to find
space in the current Parliament." - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

Farmers, lawyers say Bill will nationalise all land
Fri 5 August 2005

      HARARE - Zimbabwean farmers, lawyers and human rights groups on
Thursday told the parliamentary legal committee that plans by the government
to ban citizens from contesting in the courts acquisition of their land by
the state would effectively make all land state land.

      President Robert Mugabe and his government are planning to use their
absolute control of Parliament to amend Zimbabwe's constitution to bar
landowners from appealing to the courts against seizure of their land by the
state while courts will be banned from entertaining such appeals.

      Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) representative, Mike Clark said that
although they were not opposed to land reform, they were concerned that
Section B of the Bill undermines property rights and the rule of law in the

      "As soon as the section is effected into law, all the land in Zimbabwe
will become state land," Clark said.

      "We are worried about the powers vested in the Minister which are
unprecedented. The amendment fails to clearly define what agricultural land
is and where one draws the line in terms of acres which constitute
agricultural land."

      Under the new amendments, the Minister of Agriculture can revoke a
farmer's property rights leaving the farmer with no recourse to the courts.
Justice for Agriculture (JAG) Trust chairman, John Worswick in his
submissions, criticised the amendment saying it could result in the virtual
nationalisation of all land.

      He also criticised a provision in the Bill barring legal challenges in
the courts against land acquisition by the state.

      "We advocate for the true freedom of Zimbabwean citizens through the
right to individual property ownership", said Worswick.

      A representative from Women in Politics Support Unit (WiPSU), Tsitsi
Matekaire said that the amendment was open-ended and vague and was therefore
open to various interpretations.

      Irene Petras from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights said that the
amendments would be a violation of the African Charter that guarantees
fundamental human rights to individuals.

      "The Bill usurps the powers of the judiciary and constitution, which
many Zimbabweans depend on for protection from unchecked state actions," she
said. "Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights strongly rejects the Amendment Bill
and intends to challenge this dangerous and oppressive law."

      The Bill will also seeks to reintroduce the Senate which was abolished
10 years ago in a move critics say is a plan by President Robert Mugabe to
accommodate members of his ruling ZANU PF party who lost in an internal
election before the last parliamentary election in March.

      Civic groups in Zimbabwe have criticised the plans but Mugabe is
likely to railroad the constitutional amendments in parliament where his
ZANU PF party enjoys a majority. - ZimOnline

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No deportations as UK delays decision on Zimbabwean asylum seekers

      By Tererai Karimakwenda
      04 August 2005

      Zimbabweans in the UK celebrated loudly and sang till they were
voiceless when lawyers for the home office asked for an adjournment of the
case on Zimbabwe deportations. Judge Collins postponed the hearing till
September or October, and went further by ordering an end to all
deportations to Zimbabwe until then. By all accounts from people who were at
the Royal Courts of Justice in London, the judge seemed concerned about
Zimbabwe and was fair. Detained asylum seekers can now also apply for bail
to be released. The UK has been trying to determine what policy to pursue
regarding Zimbabwean asylum seekers. There have been cases presented to the
home office where people who had been returned to Zimbabwe were victimised
again by government agents. A home office lawyer described the situation in
Zimbabwe now as "transient", and Judge Collins corrected him, saying it was
      Sarah Harland of The Zimbabwe Association, an organisation that helps
asylum seekers, said Judge Collins transferred the case to a tribunal to be
heard as a country guidance case. This means all evidence presented will be
crucial in determining asylum policy on Zimbabwe.

      Opposition activist Crispin Kulinji, who was at the court Thursday,
said although it was a jubilant occasion the fight is not over. As he has
spent months in detention himself Crispin said he hopes all the detained
Zimbabwean asylum seekers are released within days.

      The reverend Dr. Martine Stemerick also went to the court for
Thursday's hearing. She said Judge Collins is truly concerned about Zimbabwe
and hopes that he gets to hear the tribunal case. She said the judge also
ordered the press not to reveal the names of any Zimbabweans who testified.

      SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
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      Mugabe critics want new constitution, slam changes
      Thu Aug 4, 2005 5:45 PM GMT

HARARE (Reuters) - Critics of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe slammed his
government's proposed constitutional amendments on Thursday and instead
called for a new constitution.

Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF took a two thirds majority in March parliamentary
elections -- described as neither free nor fair by the opposition and
western nations -- and is using this to introduce a raft of changes to the

The amendments include barring individuals whose land has been seized from
making a court challenge except on the amount of compensation, the
introduction of a senate and the imposition of travel restrictions on
Zimbabweans suspected of "engaging in terrorist training abroad".

"What Zimbabweans want now is a new constitution, not piecemeal amendments,"
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) shadow secretary for
agriculture Renson Gasela told a poorly attended parliamentary committee
hearing on proposed changes.

He did not say what the MDC wanted to see in a new constitution. In the past
it has called for a president to be limited to two terms in office and for
any senate to be elected by proportional representation to avoid it being
filled with Mugabe's appointees.

In 2000, the MDC helped defeat Mugabe in a nationwide referendum on a new
constitution, but he does not need a referendum to introduce amendments to
the original document.

Gasela said the new changes to the land law would further hit investment in
the country's key agriculture sector, already suffering the effects of the
government's seizure of thousands of white-owned farms for redistribution to
landless blacks.

White farmers have mounted several court challenges, most of which are still
to be resolved.

Critics say Mugabe's proposed 66-member Senate would cost money Zimbabwe
cannot afford after six years of recession and would be used to accommodate
ZANU-PF politicians.

"The sinister purposes of the Bill are to re-introduce a Senate which will
accommodate Mugabe's cronies ... to shamelessly whittle down an already
emaciated declaration of rights by attacking the judiciary, and limiting
freedoms of movement and rights to own property," pressure group National
Consitutional Assembly (NCA) said in a statement.

Police in central Harare stopped and picked up NCA activists demonstrating
against the proposed constitutional amendments. There was no immediate
information on the number of people arrested.
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WFP hamstrung by lack of formal appeal for aid

[ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

JOHANNESBURG, 4 Aug 2005 (IRIN) - The World Food Programme (WFP) hopes to
reach up to three million Zimbabweans in need of assistance between October
2005 and April 2006, but the lack of a clear appeal for aid by the
government has made it difficult to raise the resources required.

WFP spokesman Mike Huggins told IRIN that the aid agency estimated some 4.3
million people would need assistance in the months ahead.

Recent figures showed that drought conditions in Zimbabwe had reduced the
maize harvest to around 600,000 mt, against a national consumption
requirement of 1.8 million mt. The national grain procurer, the Grain
Marketing Board (GMB), was planning to import 600,000 mt to build its
strategic reserves.

But food security analysts have expressed serious concerns, saying the
figures did not add up and the government, already strapped for hard
currency, was unlikely to follow through on its promises.

To date there has been no official appeal for food aid. WFP said this made
it harder to gather resources for scaling up its interventions.

"The government has said it would welcome contributions from the
international community that came without conditions. We could scale up our
programmes, but it does make it much harder to go to donors with an appeal
for such large-scale assistance without having a clear and unambiguous
appeal from the government for assistance," Huggins noted.

WFP was currently reaching 1.1 million people through its vulnerable-group
feeding programmes, which targeted children in schools, people suffering the
effects of HIV/AIDS, pregnant and lactating mothers, and the elderly.

The agency wants to expand its programmes to reach more people in need,
which will require 220,000mt of food, firstly "for 1.3 million people, from
July 2005 to June 2006, through expanded support for orphans and vulnerable
children, school feeding programmes, home-based care for the chronically
ill, and other vulnerable-group feeding".

Huggins added that the agency then hoped to broaden its programmes to reach
three million people at the peak of the food crisis, in the traditional lean
season when the previous harvest has been exhausted.

"The bulk of the food is needed from October 2005 to April 2006, and we need
to receive significant donations from the international community now in
order to assure there's food on the tables of the people who need it during
that critical time," he said.

The challenge would be to raise resources from the international community
and move the food to where it was needed.

WFP's regional appeal has requested US $266 million for several countries
currently facing food shortages in Southern Africa, including Zimbabwe, but
so far the agency has received just $75 million.

"It's critical to get the money now, as it takes so long to procure and move
food to the countries that will require it, come the lean season," Huggins

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South Africa's cabinet to bail out Mugabe with no conditions

      By Tererai Karimakwenda
      04 August 2005

      South Africa's Cabinet has confirmed its willingness to assist
Zimbabwe, in principle, by providing a loan facility to help meet
obligations to the International Monetary Fund, and providing humanitarian
aid. The news comes as Zimbabweans wait anxiously to hear if any conditions
will be imposed on Robert Mugabe.

      Government spokesman Joel Netshitenzhe told SW Radio Africa that
negotiations were still continuing between the two governments to determine
the extent and amount of the assistance. Netshitenzhe said the idea is to
avoid a total meltdown that would bring more suffering to Zimbabweans.

      On whether any conditions will be imposed, Netshitenzhe said South
Africa is not in the business of playing "big brother".
      We reminded Netshitenzhe that there are human rights abuses going on
next door, no rule of law, repressive legislation and no independent media
to hold the government accountable. Zimbabweans want the same rights and
freedoms that South Africans enjoy. Was it not important to make these
issues a condition for helping Mugabe? Netshitenzhe said these issues are
important not only to Zimbabwe but to the sub-region. But he insisted that
it is the duty of Zimbabwe's leadership to implement them.

      SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
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UN News Centre

UN will launch humanitarian appeal for Zimbabwe next week
4 August 2005 - A humanitarian appeal to provide shelter for the 300,000
people worst affected by Government evictions in Zimbabwe will be launched
next week, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian
Affairs (OCHA) said today.

Its main priority is providing shelter, then food and sanitation, it said.

A report released last month by Anna Tibaijuka, the UN Special Envoy on the
evictions who is also the UN Human Settlements Programme's (UN-HABITAT)
Executive Director, said some 700,000 people had lost homes or businesses in
the Government of Zimbabwe's Operation Murambatsvina (Restore Order)

The operation "breached both national and international human rights law
provisions guiding evictions, thereby precipitating a humanitarian crisis,"
she said.

In a statement issued after the release of Ms. Tibaijuka's report,
Secretary-General Kofi Annan pledged urgent UN action to mobilize immediate
international humanitarian assistance to prevent further suffering.
Criticism, while fully justified, was not enough, he said.

Mr. Annan added that once the most acute human needs had been addressed, the
UN would give whatever help it could with implementing the report's other
recommendations, such as establishing a dialogue between the Government, the
domestic constituencies and the international community to address
Zimbabwe's serious social, economic and political problems.
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NGOs to discuss restrictions with govt

[ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

JOHANNESBURG, 4 Aug 2005 (IRIN) - Nongovernmental organisations in Zimbabwe
are expected to meet with senior government officials at the end of August
to focus on the immense challenges facing civil rights groups.

The meeting is being coordinated by the National Association of
Non-Governmental Organisations (NANGO), an umbrella body whose 400 members
are involved in various activities, including civic and voter education,
drought relief operations and HIV/AIDS prevention and awareness programmes.

NANGO spokesman Jonah Mudehwe told IRIN that restrictive regulations
contained in the Non-Governmental Organisations Bill of 2004 was a chief

The controversial Bill was passed by parliament late last year but President
Robert Mugabe refused to sign it into law and referred it back to parliament
for further discussion.

If it comes into force, the legislation will bar NGOs from receiving foreign
funding for governance programmes. Most NGOs depend on foreign funding for
the majority of their programmes.

However, since 2000 the government has ordered the closure of a number of
NGOs and banned others from operating in the country after accusing them of
acting as fronts and conduits for Western governments and the main
opposition, the Movement for Democratic Change.

"Political factors in the form of the harsh NGO Bill of 2004 have also
complicated our operations and created a feeling of fear and uncertainty,"
said Mudehwe. "Some organisations do not know if they will be allowed to
operate from the day the Bill becomes law. We therefore seek to interact
with the leadership, so that we can bring them to appreciate our operating

The meeting has been called in the wake of sharp increases in the number of
Zimbabweans needing all sorts of assistance. The international community
estimates that up to four million people across the country will need food
aid this year and NGOs have already taken the lead in assisting over 700,000
people made homeless by the government's controversial urban cleanup

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NAC Donates Food to Aids Orphans

The Herald (Harare)

August 4, 2005
Posted to the web August 4, 2005


THE National Aids Council on Tuesday donated food worth millions of dollars
to people living with Aids, Aids orphans and vulnerable children.

Over a hundred people benefited from the programme although some failed to
turn up for the distribution, at David Livingstone Primary School in the
Avenues, due to various reasons.

Each individual received a 10kg packet of cereal porridge and another 10kg
pack of mahewu which were recommended by health practitioners as best for

Harare Central area co-ordinator for NAC, Ms Tendai Mhaka said tonnes of
mealie-meal have already been purchased at the Grain Marketing Board (GMB)
and they are awaiting delivery.

"Mealie-meal is at the GMB and we are having transport problems to deliver
it to the storeroom at David Livingstone School. We have organised with the
school authorities to assist us with a truck, but they are still waiting for
permission from the parents," said Ms Mhaka.

NAC is also catering for school pupils through paying fees and currently
they are planning to purchase uniforms for orphans and vulnerable children.

"We have set aside $36 million for the purchase of school uniforms in Harare
Central District for identified pupils who can not afford to buy their own.
The majority of the beneficiaries are from St Joseph," said a NAC official.

During the distribution, a 17-year-old beneficiary, Kwanayi Manhango,
expressed gratitude to NAC, which he referred to as his parents.

"I would like to thank NAC for their good work of caring for orphans like us
and I have benefited a great deal from their programmes," he said.

Apart from giving the needy food, NAC is running programmes like training
the infected and the affected in commercial mushroom farming.
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Malawian Government Sets 14 Day Deadline To Evict Squatters

LILONGWE, Malawi (AP)--The government said Thursday that shack-dwellers in
the Malawian city of Lilongwe have two weeks to move -or they will be forced

The order affects an estimated 200 families. Many more live in squatter
camps in other parts of the country. In nearby Zimbabwe, hundreds of
thousands have been made homeless by a government drive to demolish shacks,
but there has been no suggestion that the campaign in Malawi will reach
comparable proportions or have such a devastating impact.

A senior Housing Ministry official, Felix Tukula, said authorities merely
wanted to enforce the law and evict people living on land that was earmarked
for industrial development.

"As government we will use what is provided in the law and if we have to
move them by force then the government will use that channel," said Tukula
as he was escorted by armed police through the squatter camps, which have
names such as Baghdad and Dubai.

Residents say they have nowhere else to go and are prepared to put up with
the lack of roads, running water and other basic services.

Wananga Mbeleka, the regional manager for the state-owned housing authority,
said the illegal settlements were hampering the planning for expansion of

"This problem of land encroachment has basically affected our future
development plans for housing and non-housing real estate properties like
community services, churches, police units and health centers," he said.

Property set for demolition includes houses and shops and does not just
belong to the poor.

According to Tukula, some prominent business dealers - including President
Bakili Muluzi - built structures on illegal plots that now risk demolition.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

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Price Increases Derail Inflation Battle

The Herald (Harare)

August 4, 2005
Posted to the web August 4, 2005


THE rate at which prices have gone up over the past week calls for urgent

To think that basics such as a bar of laundry soap have risen to between $50
000 and $66 000 from about $20 000 in the space of just a few days while a
tablet of bath soap now averages $30 000 is criminal, to say the least.

In January laundry soap was selling for $7 000 a bar while consumers parted
with $3 500 for a tablet of bath soap. Most prices have gone up by more than
10-fold this year alone.

Clothing, electrical gadgets, furniture, building materials and other such
products and services have also risen by frightening margins.

Granted, the obtaining operational environment has brought with it
challenges to manufacturers, retailers and every other Zimbabwean but
nothing can justify increases of such magnitude.

We anticipated price reviews, particularly of imports or products with an
import content following the adjustment of the Zimbabwe dollar to $17 500 to
the United States dollar but not at the rate that we have witnessed over the
past few days.

In fact, most goods were already overpriced and there was no need to adjust
the prices in this instance anyway.

We understand that last weekend most retail and wholesale outlets were busy
changing price labels on all items.

Consumers woke up on Monday to new prices and all you could hear in
supermarkets and department stores were sighs of disbelief as they tried to
absorb the new prices and their impact on an already squeezed pocket.

The effects of the latest round of increases on the inflation battle are
obvious. Inflationary pressures have been induced into the economy and this
could further derail the disinflation battle.

RBZ governor Dr Gideon Gono anticipates that the inflation rate will
continue to rise until September before subsiding to 80 percent by year-end,
but we don't think he expected such a sharp rise in prices, particularly at
a time when he has made a number of concessions to make life easier for
producers of goods and providers of services.

The questions that beckons is: What needs to be done to restore sanity and a
sense of patriotism by all stakeholders?

The answer, in my view, lies in the crafting of a social contract that binds
together Government, labour and business as a matter of urgency.

Sustainable economic development will not be achieved in the absence of such
a contract, an issue that has been the subject of much discussion for years

A social contract is loosely defined as a binding agreement between social
partners in which they agree to forgo their respective interest to resolve
agreed national interests.

Parties bound by the contract are expected to uphold transparency and
accountability to each other in pursuit of clear national goals.

I am sure many would agree with me that this has not been the case in recent
years. We have seen parties behaving as they please, regardless of the
effects of their decisions on other social partners.

Consumers have been the most affected by this.

However, it is my belief that time for cheap talk is over. The economy
presently needs total commitment by all stakeholders.

Government, business and labour should thus come together as soon as
possible to ensure all decisions, in terms of prices, salaries and other
issues are made in concert.

As emphasised before in this very column, the Tripartite Negotiating Forum
presents the right platform in the formulation of a social contract.
However, this body has not been as effective as had been expected when it
was first mooted a few years ago.

Talks under the TNF banner have not yielded much mainly because labour, as
represented by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, has withdrawn from the

However, reports last week that the Minister of Public Service, Labour and
Social Welfare, Mr Nicholas Goche, had had a meeting with ZCTU officials in
an effort to revive the TNF bring hope.

ZCTU has put spanners in Government's efforts to revive talks and we can
only hope that they have now seen sense in joining others in finding
sustainable strategies to turn around the economy.

All the parties are well aware of the challenges confronting the economy
today, chief among them being the rising rate of inflation.

The disturbing acceleration in the inflation figure in the last three months
should persuade stakeholders to depart from selfish and self-defeating
tendencies and join hands in bringing normalcy to the economy.

Zimbabwe has become the talking point on the globe for the wrong reasons. My
heart bleeds when the state of affairs is exaggerated and when the country
becomes part of the agenda at most international meetings.

As has been said before, solutions to the challenges lie with home-grown
solutions. This, therefore, means that all parties should work towards the
same objective through the application of agreed strategies.

As alluded to before, this has not been happening but it is not too late for
the three key stakeholders to sit down and chart the way forward.

The responsibility to turn around the economy has been unfairly placed on a
few individuals who can only do so much without support from the rest of us.
There is need for teamwork to get the economy back on a sustainable growth

We hope that a TNF symposium scheduled for this month will come up with
concrete strategies in this regard.

The TNF has not met since last December but we hope the scheduled meeting
will make up for lost time.

Despite the challenges, I believe the economy is not beyond redemption and
much will be achieved before year-end if Government, business and labour put
their heads together.

No goal is too difficult to achieve for as long as stakeholders work as a
team. To borrow the good governor's words: "Failure is not an option."
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Fertiliser Manufacturers Fail to Meet Demand

The Herald (Harare)

August 4, 2005
Posted to the web August 4, 2005

Golden Sibanda

ZIMBABWE could find itself spending millions on fertiliser imports during
the 2005-06 agricultural season if urgent measures are not taken to end the
critical shortage of the commodity.

Local private manufacturers have not been able to manufacture enough
fertiliser to ensure that the valuable commodity is readily available in
required quantities and at affordable prices.

When available, fertiliser prices have always been way beyond the reach of
many, forcing farmers to opt for cheaper substitutes, which inevitably
translate into lower yields. But even for those who can afford the
exorbitant prices it means the cost of production becomes unbearably high,
compelling farmers to ask for higher producer prices.

An urgent solution needs to be found before the shortage of fertiliser
starts to derail plans to effectively deal with food shortages and the
effects of last season's drought.

Agriculture Minister Dr Joseph Made indicated that early this year
Government's resolve to import the deficit but was discouraged by local
manufacturers who promised that they would be in a position to produce
enough fertiliser to meet local demand.

It is thus not improbable that, eventually, Government will go the import
route as the situation has not improved. Rather, it could get even worse
when farmers take to the fields in November.

It was critical that as a matter of urgency, and in light of the
repercussions of below optimum production levels, manufacturers of
fertiliser should be given preferential access to foreign currency to import
the essential ingredients.

That, however, should only be done after thorough investigations into
whether the shortage is, indeed, a result of limited foreign currency to
import the relevant inputs as claimed by major local manufacturers.

The prospect of food shortages at the end a normal rainy season is too
ghastly to contemplate and was probably one reason why Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe Governor Dr Gideon Gono had to literally bend over backwards in his
post-election and drought mitigation monetary policy framework.

Dr Gono committed billions of dollars to jump-starting agriculture to ensure
that the country returns to self-sufficiency in terms of food supply, but
all that could be money and effort down the drain if the necessary inputs,
such as fertiliser, are not available.

Last year the winter wheat crop suffered a major setback due to a critical
shortage of top dressing fertiliser and ammonium nitrate.

Most stakeholders are hopeful similar shortages will not haunt the crop
again this year.
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Dzl Struggles to Meet Milk Demand

Financial Gazette (Harare)

August 4, 2005
Posted to the web August 4, 2005

Ruramai Mutizwa

LEADING dairy products supplier Dairibord Zimbabwe Limited (DZL), is
struggling to meet demand and has had to rely on value-added products to
grow earnings in the half-year as margins on milk shrink.

Earnings from key milk products continued to deteriorate in the first half
of the year as a result of state monitoring of milk prices, which have been
kept below the cost of production.

DZL's financial statements for the six months ended June 30 showed an
increase in total sales volumes of 15 percent compared to the same period
last year, with the company's range of value-added products increasing by 38

Group turnover for the six months was $603.8 billion, an increase of 31
percent over the same period last year. Exports contributed $15.2 billion
over the period.

Despite worries over the future of the milk industry and controversy over a
consignment of bad milk shipped to Malawi earlier this year, DZL's share
price on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) has outperformed the market. The
share - as at last Friday - increased by 391 percent since January compared
to an increase of 265 percent for the ZSE's main industrial index.

DZL has over the past few years diversified its product portfolio, seeking
to cut exposure to the milk sector, expected by industry experts to remain
depressed due to the decimation of the national dairy herd.

The uncertainty in the dairy industry has led DZL to acquire Lyons, whose
products such as the Cascade fruit juice have seen strong volumes.

Foreign currency shortages had caused a crippling shortage of inputs and
fuel, DZL said, exerting pressure on the performance of the company. DZL
said cost containment would be at the centre of its strategy going into the
last half of the year.
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Press Release: 28/07/05

WEZIMBABWE presents:



Time for the gathering of the Zimbabwean tribes


·         Every Year, WEZIMBABWE hold Zimfest, the legendary day of Zimbabwean music, sport, food and great vibes in London.

·         This year we have a huge line-up including: Afro Jazz legend Paul Lunga, Zim Rockers Mann Friday and well-known Zim DJ Loyd Musara.

·         There will be volleyball, touch and five-a-side football throughout the day. There’ll be braai’s turning out steak and boerie rolls, African beers on tap, community stalls of all shapes and sizes, plus a kiddies zone for the nippers.

·         However, the biggest attraction is always the Zimfest vibe. Zimbabweans are a humorous, laid back bunch, but most of all they know how to have fun! Every year we have hundreds of non-Zimbabweans coming to enjoy the day.


Zimfest is also an opportunity to network and bond. Most importantly, all proceeds go to various hands-on projects, supporting people back in Zimbabwe. WEZIMBABWE are expecting 5000 people this year and all ticket sales are traditionally done before the event.


§         Date:               20th Aug, 2005. All day from 12 noon – 10 pm


§         Venue:            Prince George’s Playing Fields, Bushey Rd, Raynes Pk, London SW20.


§         Tickets:          £16 (kids under 12 free) Advance only: 

or ticket vendors. (See below)


§         Acts:                The Heritage Survival, Mann Friday, Paul Lunga (Afro-Jazz-Former Jazz

Impacto) Imbongi & Albert Nyathi, Baba Prince, Muzi Mangena, DJ

Lloyd Musara, DJ Mthu, Dhindindi & many more!


§         Attractions:    The usual fantastic stalls, sports, food, and heaps of Zimbabwean



  • Ticket Sale Points: Over the counter - Zulus (Leytonstone and Fulham) Downsouth

(Wimbledon) Butcher Boys (Acton) Zambezi foods (Luton) Krugers Deli (Raynes Park and Wimbledon) African enterprises (Embankment) Africa Centre Book Store (Covent garden) St Markus (Roehampton


Contact: For further press information on Zimfest or the acts or WEZIMBABWE charitable projects please contact:

+ Print & web editorial: Gordon Glyn-Jones:

   0783 476 8323

+ Community & Radio: Phillip Chikwiramakomo:

          0788 871 3048








Behind the scenes:


Every year, We Zimbabwe strives to represent the multi-culturalism of Zimbabwe. The organisers come from across the spectrum of Zimbabwean society and this is reflected in all choices made for Zimfest. 


Press angles:


The most important thing for us of course is to sell all the tickets! Perhaps not the sexiest line, but at least people know can do something for Zimbabwe.

If anyone is looking to do an in depth piece surrounding the fest, I would suggest that in the light of the difficulties at home, this is a pro-active Zimbabwean endeavour. We Zimbabwe membership is cross cultural and motivated by a no-nonsense and innovative approach to the future. The bands themselves make for interesting copy as does how the Zimfest money is spent in Zimbabwe.    


About us:

WEZIMBABWE is a non-partisan charitable organisation formed by Zimbabweans in the UK in 2001. Our main focus is getting Zimbabweans to participate in the projects that benefit all Zimbabweans and Zimbabwe as a nation.



Further Information, Biogs, interviews etc.


Gordon and Phil will be only too happy to provide biogs and images of artists, interviews with anyone involved in Zimfest, as well as any background on We Zimbabwe’s charity work. Please do not hesitate to call us on the following numbers.



Contact: For further press information on Zimfest or the acts or WEZIMBABWE charitable projects please contact:


Gordon Glyn-Jones:

Phillip Chikwiramakomo:



Thank you all in advance! - Zimfest Team.



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