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African ministers to ''audit'' Zimbabwe land reforms

HARARE, Dec. 9 — Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe will open his land reform
programme for an ''audit'' by regional ministers on Monday, but opponents
say the exercise is unlikely to change or slow down his drive to seize
white-owned farms.

       The Zimbabwean government said a six-member ministerial team from the
14-nation Southern African Development Community (SADC) was due in Harare on
Monday for a two-day visit to assess its ''highly successful'' programme to
acquire white-owned farmland for black resettlement.
       Farmers and other critics say Mugabe has largely ignored a
Nigerian-brokered plan he endorsed in September to end the farm seizures in
exchange for funds from former colonial ruler Britain and other sources to
implement a fair land reform plan.
       The Commonwealth will meet within two weeks to discuss possible
sanctions against Zimbabwe and the U.S. House of Representatives has
endorsed a bill that threatens sanctions to press Mugabe to ensure free
elections and establish land ownership protections in his country.
       Nine white farmers have been killed, scores of black farm workers
have been assaulted and thousands of others displaced since pro-government
militants began occupying white-owned farms in February last year in support
of Mugabe's land programme.
       The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said it was
sceptical that the SADC visit would change anything.
       ''Whatever observations SADC will have, it will have little impact on
the ground. It's given that Mugabe is sticking to his guns, but all pressure
will be good,'' MDC Secretary-General Welshman Ncube told Reuters.
       Political analysts say Mugabe, in power since the former Rhodesia
gained independence in 1980, is using the land programme as part of a
campaign to retain power in presidential elections due by April 2002.
       The December 10 trip follows reports that South African President
Thabo Mbeki is pressing for a special meeting of the SADC task force on
Zimbabwe. Mbeki said earlier this month that the situation in the southern
African country was deteriorating.
       On Sunday, Zimbabwe's state-controlled Sunday Mail quoted a a
government spokesman as saying the SADC team's visit would have been a
routine audit if it were not for foreign pressure.
       ''The committee is coming at a time when there are renewed efforts by
Britain to mobilise the European Union, the Commonwealth and some countries
in the southern Africa region that includes South Africa, Botswana and
Mozambique to reverse the highly successful land reform exercise,'' the
spokesman said.
       Zimbabwe's Supreme Court ruled earlier this month that the land
seizures were legal. It said white farmers occupied 14 million of 33 million
hectares (35 million out of 81.5 million acres) of farmland and used only 40
percent of that while many blacks had no land.
       (Harare Newsroom: +(263-4) 369-122; fax: +(263-4) 369-118))

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Zim Standard  - Feature

On Sunday—Why won’t Mugabe go?

Chido Makunike
LET us look beyond the nonsensical excuse of finally resolving the issue of
the redistribution of land, for some of the reasons why President Mugabe may
see hanging on to office by hook or crook as his only option.

A country is not a small private enterprise that may wither and die without
the drive and vision of it’s head, but an on-going entity whose agenda and
aspirations are continually evolving, never quite complete.There will always
be some pressing issue that needs to be finalised, so that cannot be a
legitimate excuse for a loser of a president to keep haunting the citizens.
The idea of nationhood goes far beyond the petty egos of its rulers, or
inter-party jostling for power.

Megalomania is certainly a strong reason for Mugabe’s words and actions; the
sense that even if he has now been rejected by the majority of Zimbabweans,
his shoes are too big for anyone else to fill. He expressed outrage at the
mere hint of those shoes being filled by the MDC’s Morgan Tsvangirai.

“To rule which country?” he sneered. As much as he has failed dismally to
rule this country for the benefit of the majority of its citizens, he simply
cannot imagine that someone else could take his place. So without even any
longer pretending he has any grand vision for the nation, nor ideas to
implement it with, he keeps plodding on, ever looking behind him with
increasing paranoia, and always looking for one more protective bunker, law
or other gambit to protect him from the inevitable.

So why have elections at all? At various times over the years, Mugabe has
boasted of being a democrat and an intellectual. Despite having wandered so
far from his espoused liberation war-era ideals, he still likes to imagine
himself as a selfless revolutionary, rather than the aloof, out of touch,
luxury-loving despot many now see him as. This democratic, intellectual, and
egalitarian veneer needs some semblance of popular approval, and as long as
elections produce the “right” results, what is to be lost from having them?

But when the electorate shows signs of disrespect by no longer voting for
him and his party in the same numbers and enthusiasm of previous years, then
to hell with the veneer of legitimacy! “We do them a tremendous favour by
granting them the right to vote, and they abuse it by going to vote for the
opposition; who do they think they are?”

Remember the churlishness with which Mr Mugabe reacted to having his
constitutional proposals spurned by the voters last year, despite a
short-lived pretence of being graceful in defeat. Instead of sifting for the
nuances of the result like a statesman, to try to pick out what exactly the
people supported and opposed, and continue with the constitutional reform
effort, it was taken as an excuse to “punish” the ungrateful voters by
simply continuing with the the old constitution. It was conveniently ignored
that the citizens had also expressed unhappiness with it, particularly the
portions they felt gave him too much power, and allowed him to so easily
hold on to power indefinitely.

There was a camaraderie forged between all those who participated in the
liberation struggle. On a human level, it is perfectly understandable that
people who went through hell together should stick to each other like Mugabe
and his colleagues do. From a national point of view, however, this has been
disastrous, resulting in a petty type of cronyism that has allowed Mugabe
insiders to get away with murder.

Before and after independence, there have been power struggles,
disappearances and mysterious deaths of those who have fallen out with the
system for one reason or another, and the disappearance of billions of
dollars into the pockets of Mugabe insiders. The system has done a splendid
job of protecting its members from having to answer for all this, except for
the odd individual who is sacrificed to quell growing public disaffection at
the different set of rules for the ruling clique.

This is why you periodically hear about “crackdowns on corruption” from
Mugabe, with nothing at all materialising, except the throwing of a fewer
minor functionaries to the wolves, to fool people. Any serious attempts to
combat corruption and pluck it by the root would cause the collapse of the
entire government; that’s how high and wide the rot spreads.

Mugabe’s succession by another Zanu PF insider may well leave this system of
cronysm intact, with the only change being of the faces of those who are
brought under the protective umbrella. On the other hand, Mugabe’s defeat at
the hands of an opposition party would not only mean a collapse of the whole
corrupt edifice, but would lead to revelations of all the pre and
post-independence dirt that has so far been successfully swept under the
carpet. This would reduce Mugabe’s stature even further than it has already
sunk, although some would say it couldn’t possibly sink any lower.

Mugabe may be able to negotiate an amnesty for whatever nefarious deeds can
be directly tied to him, beyond the protective confines of presidential
immunity, but many of his hangers-on would not be so lucky. So his hanging
on represents the continued livelihood and protection of many people in the
whole corrupt system.
Recently, the old time cronies have been joined by a ruthless bunch of
completely amoral young mercenaries wanting to join, for ‘thirty pieces of
silver’ and protection, some of them accused embezzlers and fugitives from
justice in a number of countries.

Mugabe may feel an obligation to protect all these people who have protected
him and done his bidding. Besides, many of these peoples’ loyalty to Mugabe
will only last as long as he wields the powers of punishment, protection and
patronage over them. As soon as he is deposed, many will turn against him
and spill the beans, trying to distance themselves from his disgraceful
record as much as possible.

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Zim Standard - Comment

Mugabe’s true colours

Those who know the man better have often said that he is one individual who
is unforgiving to the grave against real or imagined foes.

The bitterness and hatred that he can harbour against anyone crossing his
path, or against any group that poses the slightest threat to his political
supremacy, cannot be broken even by the saddest of personal circumstances.

This is how Robert Mugabe has been described over the years, although many
people have credited him with greater refinement, especially taking into
account his Christian upbringing.

Others would argue that there is little evidence of any Roman Catholic
influence on his upbringing, pointing to the tyranny and suffering that
Mugabe has brought upon his countrymen, not to mention his flagrant
disregard of Catholic Church tenets, firstly by engaging himself in an
improper extra-marital relationship, and secondly by even failing to respect
the two-year period before he took on another spouse.

In tandem with his political fortunes, Mugabe’s social and cultural ratings
this week fell to a new low. Following the death last Sunday of the Reverend
Jonas Mudadirwa Zvobgo, father to veteran politician and one of the founders
of what today is ZanuPF, Dr Eddison Zvobgo, Mugabe has not as much as sent a
message of condolence or issued a pubic statement, simply because he now
views his ally of nearly 40 years as a political renegade and potential

The growing political differences between Zvobgo and Mugabe, especially over
the last eight years, have been well documented. Suffice it is to say that
Mugabe has not missed a single conceivable opportunity to reduce Zvobgo’s
political clout.

When the-then minister of mines was involved in a road accident in 1997, he
immediately had his cabinet portfolio taken away from him on the spurrious
grounds that he had to rest and recover. He was made minister without
portfolio. In rapid and calculated succession, he lost that post too, as he
did his powerful post as ZanuPF secretary for legal affairs, because he
spoke his powerful mind and took actions with the courage of his
convictions, something unheard of in Zanu(PF) Pvt Ltd under chief executive
Mugabe. Zvobgo is a sharp and astute politician, and obviously the
implications of his controversial statements on his political career could
not have been lost upon him. But he was obviously prepared to pay the price.
So be it. After all, politics is not like a wedding where partners vow to
stay together forever.

But notwithstanding whatever differences arose between them, rules of
civilised behaviour dictate that one mourns with his erstwhile colleagues in
times of bereavement. This applies in most cultures—African, European or
whatever. But because of his unforgiving nature, Mugabe could not bring
himself to mourn with Zvobgo—just as he did upon the death of fellow
nationalists such as Ndabaningi Sithole, Noel Mukono, Enoch Dumbutshena and
many others. That is the true Robert Mugabe. In fact, a more tactful
politician would have seized the occasion to forge a conciliation between
the two divisions in Masvingo province—the larger of which is aligned to the
Zvobgo/Mavhaire faction—and garnered more support for himself in the
forthcoming presidential election. He could have made reference to Rev
Zvobgo’s work as an educationist and—more appropriately in the prevailing
circumstances—as a missionary—to unite people.

We hope that Mugabe’s treatment of Zvobgo serves as an example warning to
all those fawning minions who fall over each other every day to attract
their leader’s attention. His character is typically that of using people
for his own ends and then ditching them unceremoniously whenever he feels
that they have nothing more to offer. Those are the true colours of the man.

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Zim Standard

Mugabe’s fascism revealed

By Farai Mutsaka
RECENT moves to enact repressive pieces of legislation by President Robert
Mugabe’s embattled regime have raised fears that the septuagenarian will
employ every trick in the book to ensure victory in next year’s presidential

Legislation that come quickly to mind are the amendments in the Electoral
Act, the Public Order and Security and Bill the Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy Bill.

All these pieces of legislation seem to have one thing in common—legalising
the suppression of people’s fundamental rights such as freedom of speech and
association and also shutting the international community from monitoring
Zimbabwe’s elections.

Reminiscent of the fascist regimes of Germany’s Adolf Hitler and Chile’s
Augusto Pinochet, the ruling party has over recent months moved to suppress
any dissenting voices by enacting laws that seek to perpetuate Mugabe’s stay
in power.

What is alarming even Mugabe’s own followers is that he seems to be
increasingly borrowing from the fascist ideals of the likes of Hitler and

Both men tried to use scapegoats for their own shortcomings and had a deep
rooted hatred for dissenting voices.

Just like the Pinochet and Hitler regimes, Zimbabwean opposition supporters
are mysteriously murdered, abducted and tortured at the behest of ruling
party officials, while the independent press is now treated as the enemy,
and even labelled terrorists.

Following in Hitler’s footsteps, Mugabe, under the guise of National
Service, has been training a private militia in Mt Darwin where they are
indoctrinated with Zanu PF propaganda before they are unleashed to terrorise
defenceless citizens. The Hitler Youth, a militia in the mould of Mugabe’s
youths, were responsible for the beating and murder of opposition supporters
in Germany, particularly towards elections.

Takura Zhangazha, a political scientist, said:

“We are not very far from fascism. In fact, Mugabe has endorsed fascism in
his rule.
Once racism is institutionalised and laws that discriminate against race are
passed, then that is fascism. The similarities also extend to repressive
laws and the amount of propaganda churned out by Mugabe. He does not,
however, completely match Hitler. Hitler’s fascism was a bit more extreme
and it involved the majority. Mugabe does not have the majority on his side.
Mugabe does not have an aggressive foreign policy and this is where he
differs from the European fascism,” said Zhangazha.

Through the state media, Mugabe has perfected the art of fanning racist
sentiment against the country’s small white population which he blames for
his own shortcomings.

While blaming whites for the country’s problems, Mugabe has been busy
advancing anti-imperialist sentiment to boost his image as a nationalist
leader seeking to defend the the country from foreign interference.

A saying by one historian during Hitler’s days best describes how Mugabe has
come to control the operations of the state media to promote this image:

“Fascist editors were told what to write, when to write and how to write it
down to the details. Journalists were simply agents of the regime.”

This statement aptly describes the situation prevailing in the
government-controlled media where editors and reporters have been reduced to
purveyors of statements from the department of information and publicity.
Indeed, in their bid to please their master, some overzealous reporters and
editors have gone to the extent of shamelessly fabricating stories
implicating the opposition in evil deeds.

Evidence of the Mugabe regime’s repression abounds. In a bid to financially
cripple the MDC, government this year passed the Political Parties
(Finances) Act. The Act makes it an offence for a political party to receive
funding from a foreign organisation or country.

Sensing defeat in next year’s presidential election, Mugabe has sought to
hold the election under the cover of darkness away from the prying eyes of
local and international monitors.

The proposed amendments to the Electoral Act seek to ban local and
international monitors from assessing the presidential campaign. And in a
bizarre development, Zanu PF is also seeking to pass legislation that would
allow government-appointed polling officer to break the seals on ballot
boxes and open them in the absence of observers. Analysts have argued that
the amendments are meant to facilitate rigging in the election.

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Zim Standard

‘Land ruling a fraud’—lawyers

by our own Staff
LAWYERS have described as fraudulent the two-week-old ruling by the Supreme
Court which legalises the government’s current land grab exercise, The
Standard has learnt.

In a statement to be delivered to the Law Society of Zimbabwe’s annual
general meeting on Monday, society president, Stanford Moyo, noted that
concern had been raised that the court had no jurisdiction to reverse an
earlier decision made by the same court.

It was further argued that the minister of lands and agriculture as well as
other respondents had acted in contempt of the earlier orders of the Supreme
Court of 10 November 2001 and 21 December 2000 and should not have been
granted a hearing while in contempt. “The interim order has caused some
anxiety among some of our members who have found it difficult to understand
how the interim order could possibly have been given before a decision on
the preliminary points. Others have pointed out that the effect of the order
renders it final and not an interim one,” said Moyo.

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Zim Standard

Amnesty asked to assist Mapfumo in Zimbabwe

by Michael Kariati
CHIMURENGA king, Dr Thomas Mapfumo’s United States-based promoter, Al Green,
has appealed to Amnesty International to assist the musician when he comes
home later this month.

In a letter to the Zimbabwean chapter of the international human rights
group, Green said Mapfumo had been informed that there were plans to
eliminate him during his visit to the country.

In the message, Green says: “I am sure you recognise Mukanya’s name, and are
aware of the persecution and censorship that the Mugabe regime has allowed
upon this important social commentator and artist. Thomas has received word
from sources within the Harare police department that there will be an
attempt on his life should he return to Zimbabwe.

“This is in retaliation for Thomas’ messages to Zimbabweans in his music,
messages which are critical of Mugabe. Thomas is currently in the US on a
working visa and is planning to return home this month.”

Green said despite the fact that the Mugabe regime had become very vicious,
Mapfumo was still determined to return home to play the music he had written
for the people.

“Please, is there a way he can fly into Harare with AI at his side? The man
truly needs some protection and the more cameras and international observers
around him, the better. If there was always a video camera on him, the
government would relent, I believe. I realise in the great scheme of things,
we’re small, but this is important and Zimbabwe is a microcosm of the larger
picture: Injustice has to be peacefully resisted. There is no better way
than through music,” said Green.

“Please let me know as soon as you can if your organisation can devote some
of your resources towards getting Thomas into Zimbabwe and shielding him to
some small degree while he is there.”

Green is the owner of Anonym Records of Pennsylvania, Mapfumo’s record
label. He also helps in arranging the musician’s tours.

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Zimbabwean Ruling Party to Hold National Conference

Xinhuanet 2001-12-09 16:08:39

   HARARE, December 9 (Xinhuanet) -- More than 7,000 delegates from
10 provinces of Zimbabwe will converge in the resort town of
Victoria Falls for the National Conference of the Zimbabwe African
National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) to be held from Thursday
to Saturday,according to the Sunday Mail.
   The ruling party will also officially launch its campaign there
for presidential elections scheduled for next year.
   It claimed that the conference has created a lot of interest as
it is being held at a time when the government has successfully
managed to resettle about 230,000 people this year under the land
reform program.
   National Chairman of the ZANU-PF John Nkomo said on Saturday
that the preparations for the conference have reached an advanced
   He said: "We will obviously focus on the land redistribution
exercise, bread and butter issues and try to find ways of getting
the resettled farmers into the mainstream economy."
   "We will also be updating members on how far the government has
managed to fulfill the resolutions passed during the congress of
last year," he added.
   Many people will be following events at the conference with
keen interest because it is the last national gathering of the
party before the presidential elections.  Enditem
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Mbeki rallies support against Zimbabwe
By Jane Flanagan in Pretoria
(Filed: 09/12/2001)

SOUTH Africa will attempt this week to forge a coalition with its neighbours
to curb the threat of economic and civil chaos being posed to southern
Africa by the excesses of President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe.

Thabo Mbeki: refused to condemn Mr Mugabe until last week
The move, which represents a radical change of tack by Thabo Mbeki, the
President of South Africa, comes as the United States and the European Union
are poised to impose sanctions on Zimbabwe.

After months of "gentle diplomacy", interpreted by critics as inaction, Mr
Mbeki appears finally to have been convinced that the threat of civil war in
Zimbabwe will spread instability across southern Africa.

With the rand tumbling - it has lost a third of its value in less than 12
months to stand at 15.5 to the pound - and the first serious food shortages
reported in Zambia, Mr Mbeki last week ordered "urgent action" and a
dramatic hardening of Pretoria's diplomatic position towards Harare.

As leader of Africa's sole economic superpower, Mr Mbeki had resolutely
refused until last week to condemn Mr Mugabe for his misguided and
destructive economic policies.

But he let it be known through his "advisers" that he was concerned over the
consequences of all-out civil war north of the Limpopo.

His government will tomorrow use a meeting of officials from the influential
14-nation Southern African Development Community (SADC), the dominant
diplomatic grouping in the region, to try to rally effective support against
Mr Mugabe at a meeting in Harare.

Mr Mbeki at a press conference last week threatened to withdraw all aid for
Zimbabwe and called on allies in southern Africa to join together to stem
the tide of instability.

He issued a warning that "civil unrest" was likely unless the presidential
election in Zimbabwe, due by April next year, is seen to be free and fair.

The international community has also stepped up the pressure on Harare. The
American Congress last week passed the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic
Recovery Bill which - among other penalties - places travel bans on Mr
Mugabe, his cabinet and senior Zanu PF officials.

The measures, which await President Bush's signature, will additionally
freeze the assets of the Zimbabwean leader and those of his leading

The EU is considering imposing sanctions on Zimbabwe early next year, while
a Commonwealth ministerial team will meet in London next week to discuss the
situation in Zimbabwe.

South Africa provides Zimbabwe with electricity, maize and credit lines to
its central bank - links which may prove useful in applying pressure on Mr

Reports of starvation in the poorest rural areas of Zimbabwe are emerging
and for the time being Pretoria is eager not to heap further misery on
Zimbabweans through economic sanctions.

Mr Mbeki's criticism of Harare has revealed a fault line within the ruling
Zanu-PF with squabbles breaking out over how to react.

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Zim Standard  - Features

Local Insight—People, language and politics

by Chenjerai Hove
I OFTEN wonder whether Zimbabwean politicians think about the language they
use in the face of the people. Or is it a lesson in the relationship between
power and language.

That relationship is interesting to study, especially in Zimbabwe and the
rest of Africa. A few years ago, a Nigerian politician-cum-millionnaire was
asked why he was so rich and how he had acquired his wealth. The gentleman,
in expensive flowing robes, answered: “I am not rich. I am only

Language and political power. Governing party politicians are the worst in
their understanding of this relationship. When they talk about the voters,
they always call us “our people”. Now, wait a minute! Who is the other
person’s person, the one who is the messenger or the one who sends the

The elected politician is the messenger and he has no right to stand up and
say “my people”. No one in the world can ever own people except the creator.

And what follows after that kind of abuse of language is the horrible
behaviour of the politicians. For example, when a politician arrives at a
meeting and there not sufficient numbers that he thinks he is worth, he
abandons or cancels the meeting or rally. He does not realise that even if
there are 10 people, he should talk to them, sitting under a tree, asking
them why the others had not come. He is facing his bosses.

If it so happens that there are enough people in the stadium, the Zimbabwean
politician is full of energy and lies. He will tell the people what goodies
government has given them even if the crowd looks miserable and abandoned.
He will lie to them about how education is ‘free’ for all children in the
country. In the midst of all this he does not see the children among the
crowd, on a school day. The children are not in school because their parents
cannot afford school fees and uniforms.

The politician will insist on telling them how Zimbabweans will never starve
to death even when he has been told that the villagers have just come from
the funeral of one of the children who has starved to death.

My old friend, Joe Made, minister of agriculture without the agriculture to
minister to, is a typical example. There was plenty of maize and wheat, he
said, after having inspected it from the air, in a small aeroplane.

Corruption begins with the corruption of language. Then came Chinamasa the
other day, not minding his language about the disabled people’s
representation in parliament. The minister unashamedly thinks he and John
Nkomo represent ‘disabled’ people because they are also disabled. One
wonders what the minister understands by that word which he uses in
parliament, to the Zimbabwean people.Although, of course, we can argue that
being of little intelligence can also be a disability, and there is a lot of
that disability in the Zimbabwean house of parliament.

The leader of the opposition only wanted to highlight a serious national
problem reflected in the absence of truly disabled representatives in
parliament. That means the president should not have appointed his own
disabled person, but an official of the registered association of the
disabled of Zimbabwe. Chinamasa, Nkomo, or the honourable speaker of the
house, have never been known to be members of the association of disabled
people. If they are, I can only hope that the nature of their disability is
physical, not mental.

Another thoroughly abused phrase is “the masses”, referring to the ordinary
people. I once challenged one governing party politician why he was calling
me a “mass”.
His response was that I was not one of the “masses” because I was a

Now, once you call people “the masses”, the behaviour towards them changes.
The politician will address “the masses” at a rally and will never ask for
their opinions and views on any subject. After all, they are “the masses”.

Anything that if for “the masses” becomes rough and uninteresting. At the
rallies the people will be fed like dogs while the politicians go to eat in
the nearby hotel. And the politician calls it a successful meeting.

I once asked Dr Bernard Chidzero when he was finance minister if he could
have the budget presented in Ndebele and Shona languages alongside the other
official language, English. He looked at me, laughed, and said: “Chenjerai,
you are mad. The people are not educated enough to understand the budget.”
Case closed.

Here we are looking at the word ‘educated’. I could not help wondering in my
mind why the minister accepted the job to prepare a budget for uneducated

Even after realising that the people are uneducated, I once watched a
politician addressing a rally in Lupane, in perfect English. At this point I
wondered again who actually is not educated.

And the people endured it all. They clapped hands and danced for the
minister. He went away feeling happy with himself. But what he did not know,
since he is not educated, was that the people would have danced anyway, even
if he had not visited them. And they clapped their hands to acknowledge the
end of their language torture, not to applaud him. And they later shook his
hands to wish him well in his job of shamelessly performing like a circus
monkey in public.

The way we dress is also part of the language which Zanu PF politicians have
never understood. In one October month, the hottest in Zimbabwe, I met a
politician in Chivi, fully dressed in jacket and tie, sweating it in the
village, battling to address poor peasants who wore only tatters.

Surely, the man was not educated. One old man whispered to his neighbour:
“Ko zvino haahwi kutsva here?” (Is the man not feeling this burning heat?)

Another word which does not exist to a Zanu PF politician, young and old, is
the word ‘sorry’. For over 20 years, no Zanu PF politician has ever
genuinely said sorry, even after making the most disastrous mistake.

Corruption begins with language, and if the current campaign goes on without
due care in the use of language, the politics of Zimbabwe will continue to
deteriorate. We will be in the gutter soon, calling journalists ‘terrorists’
. What a shame and what a reckless use of language.

• Chenjerai Hove is a renowned Zimbabwean writer.

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Zim Standard

UZ dismisses parliamentary report

By our own Staff
Authorities at the University of Zimbabwe have expressed outrage that a
parliamentary committee which investigated the university this week
presented a highly distorted report to the House.

They have charged that the team chose to ignore solid documentary evidence
disproving allegations of corruption, and instead appeared to have had
adopted a position even before they started investigations.

A 14-member parliamentary portfolio committee on education, chaired by
Chitungwiza MP Fidelis Mhashu, presented a damning report to parliament on
Tuesday, in which several allegations of corruption were made against
vice-chancellor Prof Graham Hill, and pro-vice chancellor Prof Levy Nyagura.
The committee also said that the chairman of the council of the university,
Dr Gideon Gono, should be held accountable for “sanctioning” corrupt
activities at the institution.

In seperate interviews with The Standard this week, Prof Hill described the
report as “pretty upsetting” while Prof Nyagura said the accusations made in
the committee’s report were “unfair and regrettable”.

Said Nyagura: “The Mhashu committee has ignored all substantial evidence
given to it because some of them already had positions before they even
began interviewing anybody. To describe as ‘corrupt’ and ‘mismanaged’ an
institution which is able meet its financial commitments to the tune of half
a billion dollars, purely out of reserves, does not make sense.”

He was referring to an amount of approximately $554 million paid out by the
university from its own reserves last year to meet new salary scales for
academic and non-academic staff following adjustments made by cabinet, and
retrenchment packages.

“Where would half a billion dollars come from to meet those requirements if
there was corruption? How could this money come about if we did not have
tight budgetary systems in place? Now somebody comes to say the University
of Zimbabwe is mismanaging its financial resources.”

In its report to parliament, the Mhashu committee said that Gono, Hill, and
Nyagura had violated government tender procedures in the awarding of
contracts despite an order by Dr Michael Mambo, the permanent secretary for
higher education, to approach the Government Tender Board when procuring
goods and services at the university.

In fact, according to documents now in the possession of The Standard, Mambo
’s directive was only issued on September 7, 1999—almost a full year after
the tenders in question had been invited, adjudicated upon and awarded by
the UZ Tender Board. The university’s tender board was set up on 19 August,
1998, and among its members are the registrar, Wilfred Mukondiwa; bursar
William Mapani; Dr Margaret Mabugu, an economist and non-Senate member; and
Dr Margaret Mhasvi, warden, food and nutrition specialist and non-Senate
member. Neither Gono, Hill, nor Nyagura took part in the tender adjudication
process for any of the projects, neither are they on the tender board.

Hill is accused by the committee of having externalised foreign currency
following a business trip to Sweden. The vice-chancellor explained that he
had drawn a daily allowance of 150 pounds for the trip. The hotel booked by
Sida close to their offices in Stockholm cost 130 pounds a day, excluding
meals and other costs, and Hill soon found himself with a financial
difficulty. His credit card would not work. He communicated his predicament
to the Sida officials who then said they would pay the shortfall on his
hotel bill, and Hill would pay back into the Sida account at the University
of Zimbabwe. Immediately upon his return, Hill informed the bursar of the
arrangement and a loan agreement was signed. At Mapani’s suggestion, the
loan was to be repaid at $5 000 a month. This was done and Hill repaid the
amount in full. In actual fact, Hill did not have to repay since, in terms
of his contract of employment with the university, he still had a
substantial credit on his holiday allowance which he has only used twice, in
Zimbabwe, over a nine-year period.

The committee also made a scathing attack on registrar Mukondiwa, charging
that in his absence his wife used his official UZ vehicle and “illegally”
procured about 100 litres of university fuel. But Mukondiwa’s wife is a
registered university driver and her name is listed under the institution’s
insurance cover. Numerous other documents are in The Standard’s possession
to dispute allegations made in the report. For example, it emerged that it
was the council, not Hill, who changed the university’s legal advisers from
Scanlen and Holderness to Wintertons.

Said Nyagura: “The Mhashu committee has not been honest. I spent a lot of
time and gave them all documents and information to the effect that, even
before Mambo’s directive, the university already had an elaborate,
transparent, and comprehensive tender process in place. Why did they ignore
the truth? What are they trying to prove? Why are they creating stories out
of things that are false? What came out is just a pile of lies in a
deliberate attempt to tarnish the names of certain people.”

Hill said: “They have put the report in such a way that I am
misappropriating university funds. I have had nothing from the university,
quite the reverse.”

Gono’s alleged involvement was never explained, while Mukondiwa, who was
heavily criticised on the basis of information given by third parties, was
not even interviewed by the committee.

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Zim Standard

Defence chiefs’ terms extended

by our own Staff
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has extended the terms of office of his key defence
chiefs ahead of next year’s crunch presidential election in which the
military is set to play a pivotal role.

Air Marshall Perence Shiri of the Air Force of Zimbabwe (AFZ), who led the
notorious Fifth Brigade massacres in Matabeleland in the early 1980s, will
continue at the helm of the AFZ for another year.

In a notice published in Friday’s Government Gazette, President Mugabe also
extended for another year, effective from 1 September, the services of
General Vitalis Zvinavashe, commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF).
Earlier this year, the term of office of army commander, Lieutenant General
Constantine Chiwenga, was extended by a year.

Shiri has remained close to the president ever since he led the Matabeleland
killings over which local and international human rights organisations
demanded an investigation.

Government objected to the report on the findings of the Chihambakwe
Commission being made public. While the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change has ruled out victimising service chiefs who served under Mugabe if
it wins next year’s poll, the party has promised to bring to book all those
responsible for crimes against humanity.

The extension of the terms of office comes at a time when the military is
being deployed around the country, ostensibly to quell pre-election
violence. The opposition has said the deployments are meant to derail its
election campaign.

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Business Report

Zimbabwe - where a 23% interest rate returns 70% real loss

John Matisonn
December 09 2001 at 07:10AM
The banks in Harare are fighting hard for your money - so hard that they are
offering 23,5 percent interest if you will lend it to them. There is just
one small problem - inflation in Zimbabwe is running at about 95 percent, so
what you get for your 23 percent interest is a net annual loss of over 70
percent of the value of your capital.

As a result of the rising cost of goods, personal savings are being wiped
out. If you have any money left at the end of the month, you buy something
before the value of the money is eroded. This has led to an artificial stock
market surge and, with the flight of farmers to the towns, a threefold
increase in the price of houses in some parts of Harare in the past six

The Land Acquisition Act is giving hundreds of farmers three months to
vacate their farms, so banks have stopped accepting the farms as collateral.
Implements are being confiscated by so-called war veterans, so banks are
averse to accepting them as security. Banks may still lend you money for a
single crop, but only if your farm is not designated for redistribution this

But the fact that a few small banks may collapse as a result of their
exposure to high risk loans is not, by far, the worst of the economic
indicators in Zimbabwe. Banks have failed in Zambia and Kenya in the past
decade, and the same phenomenon in Zimbabwe would be quite manageable. And
most banks will survive.

The stock market surge, now off its peak by about 10 percent, and the
housing bubble are also only symptoms of the larger problem, which is that
we are witnessing the de-industrialisation of the Zimbabwean economy, or so
say Harare economists and bankers.

Manufacturing has halved from contributing 25 percent of gross domestic
product (GDP) 10 years ago to 12,5 percent now. And agriculture makes about
23 percent of GDP, but if you include agriculture-dependent sectors, such as
implement manufacturing and maintenance, it's about 35 percent.

The average yield produced by small farmers is one fifth of the commercial
farmers' yield. This is for a variety of reasons, of course, including the
quality of land available to each sector, the amount of capital, and hence
technology, and expertise.

I have seen land reform in practice, with cattle and ostrich ranches taken
over for mielie cultivation. The animals are either killed or penned into
areas too small to sustain them.

And the land isn't suitable for maize. The government's own adverts listing
the number of tractors it has available to plough this season show that
ploughing cannot be done in time.

When fertiliser ran out, President Robert Mugabe's Goebbels-like propaganda
chief, Jonathan Moyo, promised price controls on fertiliser, in the
interests of the ordinary black farmer. But price controls make it
uneconomical to supply the stuff, so no more is being brought to the market.

The government has done the same with cement, so cement is becoming
unavailable. Officials promised to subsidise the cement price, but that
would mean subsidising South African cement companies, which is politically
impossible even if the government had the foreign exchange.

A forex shortage is also behind the petrol crisis. I couldn't find a drop
between Bulawayo and Victoria Falls last week. Mugabe has a solution: he has
done a deal with Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi, to obtain three months'
supply of oil. In return, Gaddafi gets 5 percent of CBZ Bank, Noczim House,
and a few farms. In other words, assets are being sold for a short-term
supply of petrol.

The promise of maize production by the war veterans is a cruel joke, Harare
economics professor Tony Hawkins says. He admires the commercial farmers'
expertise, but not their leadership in the Commercial Farmers Union,
especially in the mid-1990s.

"Lions led by donkeys," he calls them.

Black and white Zimbabwean professionals are reacting as you would expect -
they're emigrating. An estimated 300 000 Zimbabweans are in Britain.
Doctors, nurses and hospital administrators are offered salaries it would
take them four years to earn in Zimbabwe.

Even then, they send money home, but the forex doesn't pass through the
banks. Black professionals still there told me they would decide the day the
presidential election result is announced whether they too would go.

The big question is whether there will be food come January, or whether
people will starve. Whatever the state may have done to delay planting, it
now depends on nature. With good rains, mass starvation may be averted.
Otherwise, a massive aid effort will be needed. And hungry refugees are
already trickling across our borders.
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Zim Standard

Calls for Kunonga to go

by our own Staff
PARISHIONERS of the Harare diocese of the Anglican Church have threatened to
excommunicate themselves if Reverend Nobert Kunonga is not removed, The
Standard has learnt.

Church elders who held consultative meetings last week, told The Standard
that the general feeling among the majority of church members was that
Kunonga should be relieved of his duties as bishop of the Harare diocese.

The consultations came as the Mufakose parish excommunicated itself from the
Harare diocese citing irreconcilable differences with Kunonga.

The elders said they would send delegations to meet with the church’s
archbishop for central Africa, Bernard Malango, currently in Zimbabwe, to
express their displeasure with Kunonga.

Contacted for comment on the latest developments, the former vicar-general
of the church, Tim Neill, attributed the current problems to Kunonga’s
attempts to victimise those church leaders who had refused to side with him
during his protracted power struggle with Neill.

Said Neill: “The problem is just out of hand now. The appointments for top
posts in the diocese are all credited to those who planned my downfall.

“Most of his (Kunonga’s) appointees have been under investigations for cases
such as sexual immorality and it is surprising that the same people now head
sections of the diocese.

“The man has just shown his failure to run the diocese and I think an
independent body should be constituted to look into the problems of the
church.” said Neill.

Meanwhile, trouble continued to dog the church’s St Luke’s parish in
Mufakose which has excommunicated itself from the Harare diocese. Last
Sunday night, gunshots were heard being fired at the church.

Church members in Mufakose are against the move to remove their parish
priest, Father Petros Nyatsanza.

“Now our priest, Father Nyatsanza, has been forced to resign but I want to
assure Kunonga that he is the one leaving not Nyatsanza,” said one member of
the parish. Sources within the Mufakose parish said they were now concerned
about their priest who is said to be receiving threats and who was forced to
seek refuge at a hotel with his family following gunshots at the church last

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Zim Standard

Zimbabwe snubs Sadc

by Farai Mutsaka
GOVERNMENT, which has made it clear that it will not entertain election
observers and monitors from the western world, has gone a step further by
snubbing monitors from the sub-region, The Standard has learnt.

Under normal circumstances, the Sadc parliamentary team would have already
been in the country to monitor the voter registration and roll inspection
exercise which ends today.

Sam Mpaso, the chairman of the Sadc Parliamentary Forum, confirmed to The
Standard last week that the government had not yet invited his team for the

Mpaso said it was normal for the Sadc parliamentary team to monitor
pre-election formalities in a Sadc country holding an election.

He however, stressed that the team could only go in at the invitation of the
host country.

Said Mpaso: “We have a plan to send a team of members of parliament from
Sadc. We are just waiting for the invitation, we haven’t received it yet.
“As soon as we are notified of the dates, we will come. We came last year
and observed the formalities before and after the election. We should
observe those formalities. What we are simply waiting for is notification
from the Zimbabwean authorities.”

A source said the Zimbabwean government was not keen on inviting the Sadc
team because of the chaos surrounding the voter registration exercise.

“They don’t want Sadc to see the rot. What they will do is invite Sadc
during the actual polling days, when it would be too late for them to really
see the rigging. It would be difficult to tell Sadc off like they did the
EU, so Sadc is being barred on a technicality. Sadc will have to be invited
though, but the invitation will only be sent after this chaotic voter
registration exercise is over,” said the source.

The voter-registration exercise has been mired in controversy with the
opposition alleging that the ruling party was using the exercise to rig the

Apart from commissioning war veterans and Zanu PF supporters to handle the
registration, government has tried to make it almost impossible for people
in urban areas to register by asking residents to produce documents of proof
of residence. The MDC support base is the urban areas.

In rural areas, there have been reports of headmen compiling lists of
villagers residing in their areas.

Justice minister, Patrick Chinamasa, has also made amendments to the
Electoral Act and this has been widely seen as a government attempt to
further facilitate its rigging exercise. The amendments effectively bar
independent local and foreign election monitors from overseeing the
election. If the amendments are passed by parliament, the returning officers
will be allowed to open the ballot boxes without being observed by election
monitors and polling agents.

Speaker of parliament, Emmerson Mnangagwa, could not be reached for comment
last week as he was said to be busy in meetings.
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From The Zimbabwe Standard, 9 December

War vets deny food relief to villagers in Matabeleland

Bulawayo - Life has become a living hell for hundreds of villagers in Matabeleland North where warlords and vigilante groups have taken over the distribution of food relief. The vigilantes operate with the blessing of senior ruling party leaders in the province who include a member of the politburo, Zanu PF’s supreme decision-making body. Hundreds of starving villagers who are not members of the ruling party in Lupane have been denied food aid by the war veterans and vigilante groups. The worst affected are the children and the elderly. The war veterans, most of them former Zipra guerrillas who were themselves victims of the same party and government in the 80s, have made sure that only members of Zanu PF obtain food relief.

About 100 000 people are in urgent need of drought relief food in Lupane and Nkayi districts but food is not reaching them. The plight of the villagers has been worsened by the recent decision by the government to ban local and foreign aid agencies from distributing food to the starving people in the rural areas. The government banned the aid agencies after accusing them of using food to campaign for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). Matabeleland is the political powerbase of the MDC which swept all but two seats during last year’s legislative elections. A local aid agency in Bulawayo said it was receiving weekly reports of starving people in the Lupane and Tsholotsho areas but that there was nothing it could do because of the new government regulations. "Every week, I get disturbing reports that hundreds of people are being denied food by Zanu PF supporters and officials," said the official who requested anonymity for fear of reprisal.

War veterans have banned journalists and human rights officials from visiting Lupane. Two weeks ago, three officials from Zimrights were threatened with death by war veterans in the presence of Zanu PF officials. The officials had planned to visit victims of political violence and assess the situation on the ground. This Standard reporter, however, passing himself off as a rural school teacher, managed to sneak past two makeshifts roadblocks manned by war veterans. On arriving at three villages which included the Gandangula area, The Standard discovered that there was widespread suffering among the local population. Villagers appeared traumatised by the daily harassment they have been undergoing which has included beatings by war veterans and vigilante groups armed with traditional weapons.

"My son, I have not eaten isitshwala for six days because me and my family were accused of being MDC supporters," said one old man who looked frail and weakened by hunger. He said he had been surviving on wild fruits which are now in abundance in the district because of the rains. Scores of other villagers accused the government of trying to starve them to death because of their unwavering support for the MDC. The villagers told The Standard that the main problem lay with a senior Zanu PF leader. "Whenever this man comes here, there is always trouble because he moves with thugs who beat us and our families up," a villager in Gandangula said. The official who is known to this reporter denied he was controlling a group of gangsters to terrorise MDC supporters. When asked to comment on reports from the villagers, the official, who is believed to be a member of the security service, threatened to beat up both reporter and his "imperialist" employers. "Who told you those lies. How can you believe people who are used by whites and foreigners to destroy our government," one war vet fumed when I tried to ask questions.

As I was interviewing the villagers, some fearfully advised me to leave in case the vigilantes killed me. "My son, you are risking your life. We are living in hell here. Life is now worse than during the white man’s rule," said Simon Mhlanga of the Insuza area, where in 1982, six western tourists were abducted by the so-called dissident guerrillas. The villagers in Insuza said when they went to register for relief food at the district administrator’s office in Lupane, they were told to go and ask for food from MDC president, Morgan Tsvangirai, and his vice, Gibson Sibanda. Every week, Zanu PF officials address villagers in the area and physically threaten MDC supporters.

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From The Sunday Times (SA), 9 December

Bid to defuse Harare 'timebomb'

A task force of Southern African Development Community ministers will meet in Johannesburg today to determine what action the region should take to intervene in the Zimbabwean crisis. The ministers from Namibia, Botswana, Tanzania, Mozambique, Malawi and South Africa will decide whether to fly to Harare tomorrow to hold talks with Robert Mugabe's government on the turmoil threatening the stability of the region and the credibility of next year's presidential elections in Zimbabwe. The meeting comes as a result of President Thabo Mbeki's phone call to his Malawian counterpart, SADC chairman Bakili Muluzi, last week requesting that the regional body make urgent moves to help Zimbabwe out of its escalating political and economic crisis. It also comes as pressure grows in the West for sanctions to compel the Zimbabwe government to allow free political activity ahead of next year's election.

Labour Minister Membathisi Mdladlana, South Africa's representative on the task force, said Zimbabwe was a "time bomb" and warned that an "illegitimate" election could have "serious consequences" for the region. He said the SADC team wanted to push for a number of measures to ensure a conducive climate for a fair and violence-free presidential election. These include: "positive contact" between the ruling Zanu PF and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change; engagement between Vice-President Joseph Msika and white farmers; a multiparty election committee in which issues of "ill-discipline, intimidation and violence" can be raised; and a code of discipline for political parties. Mdladlana said it was a positive sign that Mugabe had already indicated he had "absolutely no problem" with a SADC team monitoring the election. He added that South Africa wanted to help its neighbour secure aid to pull the country out of the economic doldrums, as it was a matter of time before a "peasant revolt". "We don't want any eruptions. We don't want the people of Zimbabwe to have many enemies."

Trade and Industry Minister Alec Erwin told a media briefing on Friday that South Africa would join an international sanctions crusade against Zimbabwe only if such a call was spearheaded by the SADC. Speaking after meeting trade unions and business groups, Erwin said the Zimbabwean situation was creating negative perceptions of the entire region. Said Erwin: "We cannot accept events taking place in Zimbabwe. They are not good for the region. There has to be stabilisation. There has to be a movement towards the rule-of-law processes and there has to be a great degree of movement to a fair election and a greater degree of tolerance among everyone in Zimbabwe." Meanwhile, human rights body Amnesty International is to release a damning report next week spelling out the complicity of the police and the military in political violence, torture of civilians and land invasions in Zimbabwe. Casey Kelso, who headed a fact-finding mission to Zimbabwe, said there had been a "degradation of the police profession" as officers were being used as "political instruments of the ruling party". Civil servants were also unhappy that Zanu PF members were being promoted while MDC members were fired.

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From The Sunday Independent (SA), 9 December

MDC appeals to Mbeki for help

With political tension at an all-time high, Zimbabwe's opposition leaders are appealing to South Africa to put pressure on President Robert Mugabe to accept a framework agreement for next year's presidential election. Mugabe was flying home on Saturday night with his wife and three children from a trip to an expensive eye clinic in Madrid, Spain, to escalating conflict at home in the wake of a threat of a new crackdown by Augustine Chihuri, Zimbabwe's commissioner of police. Chihuri, who is emerging as a key member of the Zimbabwean kleptocracy, recently visited a farm in the country's prime Shamva farming region - accompanied by his wife - to notify the farmer that he was taking over the farm as part of the government's policy of redistributing land to the landless poor. The order granting him the farm was signed by Joe Made, the agriculture minister.

Chihuri told a police graduation ceremony at the weekend that he would "descend hard on perpetrators and collaborators of terrorist activities", terms used by the government to refer to elected opposition politicians and the media. MPs from the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) told The Sunday Independent that there appeared to be no prospect of free and fair elections, and called on the South African government to act immediately. "It's unrealistic to expect a free and fair election under these conditions," said Paul Themba Nyathi, an MDC MP. "To restore law and order you need a police force. Besides corruption, the undermining of the economy means there will be logistical problems. The government has created a system that feeds off violence. If Mugabe bludgeons his way into power, what will the reaction be? Should the MDC win, what will the reaction be? There will have to be massive overseas support to stabilise the country. Pressure must be placed on Zanu PF to negotiate. I'm not sure we can do it ourselves." The United States congress this week approved "smart sanctions" against Zimbabwe that will allow President George Bush to freeze Mugabe's assets, and prevent his advisers, members of his cabinet, and their families from entering the US, where many government ministers' children are studying. Some European countries are taking up the same issue. Had Spain had such rules in place this week, Mugabe and his family would not have been able to visit the eye clinic.

"South Africa will need to enter into a partnership with the European Union to get a framework agreement for the elections that includes the setting of standards for the poll, and makes clear what will happen afterwards," said Priscilla Misihairabwi, another MDC MP. Mugabe has imposed a set of laws that restrict different categories of people from voting, and there is no independent electoral commission. People without electricity accounts or any other means of proving that they reside in the country are not allowed to register to vote, and neither are Zimbabweans who are abroad, except for soldiers. In addition, Zimbabweans who qualify to become citizens of other countries are being forced to renounce their right to do so. The government's threats against the independent local press and foreign correspondents have escalated, and a draconian new press bill has been published. "In my constituency, people can't register. The election is already unfair. In the event of a struggle, what will happen?" asked Misihairabwi. A delegation from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) is scheduled to arrive in Harare on Monday, but Nyathi said Mugabe was not adhering to recommendations made by the body, and that the SADC had failed Zimbabwe. For the past two weeks, President Thabo Mbeki has been publicly criticising Mugabe. He briefed the ANC's national executive committee last Saturday about Mugabe's failure to co-operate after each of the SADC meetings at which he had undertaken to end the illegal land invasions by his supporters.

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Sent: Friday, December 07, 2001 3:13 PM
Subject: Update (5)

How relieved I am to be able to say that Alan has been moved out of ICU wing
and is now in a private ward - yippee!  They did a scan yesterday to see
just how much fluid was there and must have seen that there was not enough
to put the drain back.  I haven't seen him today but when I left him last
night he was in very good spirits but still tired.
The boys had a good visit with him yesterday and I really think this gave
him a boost - they were much better for seeing him too.
I am really looking forward to seeing him today.  Arthur and Irene very
kindly booked me in for a "full body massage" today - wow, what a treat and
I really am going to enjoy that!
Any-way must dash, perhaps I will try and update you all later once I have
seen him and can hear what the doctor said about it all.
Love to you all

Sent: Saturday, December 08, 2001 7:56 PM
Subject: Update (6)

Well things have progressed so quickly and Alan has been discharged!!  He
phoned this morning to say he had managed without oxygen all night and his
stitches would come out today and then he could come out.  I was like a
school girl and the morning didn't go quick enough.  I have organised a
physio from the Dandaro clinic to contact us on Monday and so starts our
I cannot tell you how wonderful it feels to have him sitting here watching
He asks me to thank you all for the good wishes, flowers and prayers.  We
have such special friends and we will get round to thanking you all
personally over the next few weeks.
Love to you all from us.
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Building Fund for the MDC Bulawayo Offices  

This fund has been set up to finance the rebuilding of our Bulawayo Offices, which were recently gutted by fire. Almost total reconstruction is required. It is with regret that we turn once more to our faithful supporters for their assistance in cash or kind. Donations may be sent to:

Building Fund

P.O. Box 9400



Cheques should be made out to the MDC Building Fund

All donations will be receipted/acknowledged and confidentiality will be respected. A Bank Account is now in operation to cater for direct deposits. It is the MDC Building Fund, account no.0100241395301, The Standard Bank, Fife Street, Bulawayo.

Regrettably we must make it clear that WE CAN ONLY ACCEPT FUNDS FROM ZIMBABWEAN SOURCES, as fundraising for political parties from external sources is illegal under Zimbabwean law.

In addition we are appealing for office furniture and equipment - desks, tables, chairs etc. Please phone 091 244 699 to arrange delivery / collection. This number is also available for further information if required.

As it will be very difficult to raise funds under the current economic / political climate, this will be largely a self-help/labour only project. We will need the skills of our supporters and well-wishers. Already the Youth have been flooding in to provide their labour - now we need our Seniors!  We need builders / bricklayers, plumbers, glaziers, carpenters etc! 

Progress Report

Rebuilding started in earnest on Friday 30th November after the roof had been removed. The work has been carried out in a wonderful spirit of enthusiasm . The roof to the back half of the building was replaced by Monday 3rd December. As of today, 90% of the ceilings have been replaced, electrical carcassing and wiring is complete in the same area. We still need light fittings socket outlets and light switches. Two offices are completely plastered. Door frames and glazing could be complete by 5th December.

We are also looking for 4 no. external quality doors, 3 no. internal quality doors complete with ironmongery.

The toilets are the next challenge. Immediate needs are two toilet suits and a wash hand basin and associated plumbing materials.

Finally, there is the painting and general cleaning.  Should you be in a position to assist please phone in details of volunteers to 011 631 229.

These offices could be ready for occupation by the 21st December with your help. We wish to take this opportunity to thank all those who have already given so generously. This has facilitated the amazing progress made to date. Let us unite in support of our people and take one more step on the way to rebuilding our beloved Zimbabwe!



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Date: Saturday 15th December 2001
Time: 12.00hrs - 14.00hrs
Venue: Outside the Zimbabwe High Commission
429 Strand Street
(Nearest tube Charing Cross).
Premier Christian Radio: Monday 10th December @ 16.10hrs discussing Zimbabwe - 1305, 1332, 1413 MW & Sky TV Digital 873.  
To the Churches, Organisations, Radio and Television Stations Worldwide that receive this message, if you cannot join us please remember to Pray with us -  Thank you and God Bless.  
There needs to be a Revival and desire in our lives in believing and following the word of Jesus Christ as our  Lord and Saviour. We need to now more than ever before give praise to God for who he is and what he has done. We need to ask God for forgiveness, believe in our hearts and confess with our mouths. We ask you to join us in thanksgiving for the health and freedoms we have today. Paul says, '' If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (2 Cor 5:17). That means you are forgiven, redeemed, and perfect in the eyes of God. 
We ask you to join us in Prayer for Zimbabwe, for healing, for understanding, for tolerance, for love, for peace, for respect for one another, for freedom and a revival so we may come together as one in the body of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour.  We prayer Christians shall join us as Zimbabwean's cry out in their darkest hours of need. We invite ALL to Pray on the day where we will worship and know we can only turn to One awesome and mighty God to deliver us. We Call upon all Churches and governments throughout the world who have remained silent to finally stand up and speak out against the Zimbabwean exploitation, injustice towards, and oppression of the poor, weak, defenceless, and innocent.
This is not a knee jerk response to Zimbabwe's problems. When we believe and sense the Holy Sprit is working in us, when we go to God not away from him and strengthen ourselves in the love and the word of God. We are better prepared and equipped daily in our response in rebuking the evils that surround us. We build our faith and strength through the word in asking and praying. Stop murmuring and believe, that no matter who you are, or what you are, or were you are, you are important. Don't let the spirit of apathy and procrastination keep you away, give Zimbabweans the gift this Christmas - one of CARING
Human Rights Day is on Monday 10th December.  
God Bless and God willing, we pray you will join us.
Albert Weidemann
1 Ambrose Road
North Yorkshire
Tel: 01765 607 900
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