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

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Zim Online

Mon 13 December 2004
  HARARE - Zimbabwe's ruling ZANU PF party has resolved to seize all land
from the few white farmers still remaining in the country, according to a
confidential report of the party's key central committee leaked to

      The central committee is ZANU PF's highest decision-making body
outside congress and its report, which was adopted by the party's congress
last week, forms the party's working plan, guiding its actions and policies
in government.

      Noting "successes" already scored under the government's chaotic and
often violent land reforms, the central committee resolved that "all whites
that were left with farms must vacate those farms including the (Roy)

      Bennett is a white Member of Parliament for the main opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party. He is in jail after ZANU PF
legislators used their majority in Parliament to imprison him for 12 months
for shoving Justice Minister, Patrick Chinamasa, during debate last May.

      The central committee resolution, which party insiders said was
certain to be implemented in coming months, will see about 500 white farmers
still holding on to farms lose their properties to the state.

      According to the 2004 annual report of the Commercial Farmers Union
that represents white farmers, out of the 4 500 white farmers in Zimbabwe
four years ago, only 500 were still fully or partially farming.

      The central committee resolution however contradicts claims by Mugabe
and his government that they have completed land reforms and there will be
no more land seizures in Zimbabwe.

      At least nine white farmers were murdered and thousands of their black
farm workers injured by marauding ZANU PF militants who invaded and seized
white-owned farms in the last four years.

      Mugabe and his government refused to act against the farm invaders
saying the farm seizures were genuine demonstrations against land hunger.

      Food production fell by 60 percent because of disruptions caused in
the agricultural sector by the farm invasions and Zimbabwe has escaped
starvation in the last three years only because donors chipped in with food.
The economy has also been in a painful freefall for the last four years. -
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Toronto Free Press

Zimbabwe's loneliest prisoner
by Judi McLeod,

December 13, 2004

With Christmas nigh and the international community looking the other way,
Roy Bennett, the only white farmer MP in Zimbabwe's opposition government,
marks more than 40 days in prison.

Sentenced to one year's hard labour, Bennett's already badly blistered from
sunburn and covered in lice. The MP's crime? Officially, it's that he
angrily pushed then apologized to Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa, who
had most flagrantly insulted his family. Chinamasa had called Bennett's
father and grandfather "thieves and murderers" and told him he'd never be
allowed to return to his farm, taken by Robert Mugabe's treacherous ZANU-PF

Fighting words, indeed for a former police officer, whose English
grandfather settled in what was then Rhodesia.

Bennett's real crime? Being the only white farmer in parliament who
persistently stand up against the Mugabe regime, despite beatings, arrests
and threats.

As he languishes in Mutoko prison, the world goes on without him.

The 20th wedding anniversary of Roy and Heather Bennett passed as the
courageous MP remained crammed with 17 other prisoners in a cell meant to
hold four.

The heartbroken and anxious Heather is allowed to see her husband for only
10 minutes every two weeks.

When I recently discovered and read that Bennett subsists
on half a cup of gruel and cabbage stew twice a day, memories came flooding
back about my August 16, 2002 meeting with him, memories that brought me to

In August, the Canadian media was invited to meet with the Zimbabwean MP at
a downtown Toronto hotel. Two reporters, including myself, turned up. A
smorgasbord was part of the lunchtime media event, and Bennett heartily
tucked into the scalloped potatoes and poached salmon.

"This food is delicious," he told me as he returned to the table for

Noting he had paid dearly for his courage in speaking out about starving
Zimbabweans, I asked if ever considered giving up and leaving his mother
country for a safer life elsewhere.

"You can't run away from everything. There are some things in life worth
taking a stand for," Bennett told me, winning a place in my heart forever as
a bona fide, true-life hero.

A farmer at heart, Bennett was never the type to cut and run. In my column
after our meeting, I wrote that he struck me as more of a farmer, husband
and father than a politician, a belief I carry to the present day.

Caring for others is the lure that took him away from a farming life and his
family to the harsher world of politics.

At home, Bennett became so popular among local people, he was dubbed with
the nickname, "Pachedu-"one of us". It was the local masses who convinced
him to stand in 2000 Zimbabwe elections. And that he did, winning an
overwhelming majority in what had been a stronghold of the ruling party.

The heartbreak that came from his election will haunt supporters all the way
to their graves. It started only two months later when Charleswood, his
coffee farm was for the first time invaded by self-professed "war veterans".
Heather Bennett, who was almost four months pregnant, was held hostage at
knifepoint and made to dance and sing ZANU PF songs in the rain. Two of the
farm's workers were brutally killed in front of her. When she finally
managed to escape, she had miscarried what was never to be their third

Charleswood, which hired hundreds of blacks, was driven into bankruptcy,
when its animals were slaughtered wholesale and its tons of coffee exported
to Germany. The invasion of the coffee farm came within months of the bank
loans that started it having been paid off in full.

But, like so many things in Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe, Charleswood is only a
fading memory of a better day.

Disturbing pictures of black workers raped and killed by human rights
trampling ZANU-PF can be seen by all on

In the bleak face of no one from the international community coming to the
MP's rescue, it was Heather, now renting a house with her teenage daughter
who came up with the idea to launch the Free Roy Bennett campaign.

As the weeks wear on, Heather is disappointed by the lack of interest and
the lack of help from the British government and others.

In her own words: "Everyone shouts about democracy and when brave people
like Roy stand up, they say this is the right thing to do. But when he is
arrested the international community turns their heads. It's criminal.", now rated by Alexa in the top one percent of the
Worldwide Internet, wants to show Heather that while members of governments
touting human rights are in Christmas mode, little people everywhere do

Thanks to the Internet, an email of hope and encouragement to Heather won't
cost a penny, and the spirits of Zimbabwe's loneliest prisoner could depend
on it.

Meanwhile, may the Christmas Christ Child protect and succor Zimbabwe MP Roy

Free Roy Bennett -

Canada Free Press founding editor Judi McLeod is an award-winning journalist
with 30 years experience in the media. A former Toronto Sun and Kingston
Whig Standard columnist, she has also appeared on, the Drudge
Report,, and World Net Daily. Judi can be reached at:

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President's Salary, Allowances Gazetted

The Herald (Harare)

December 11, 2004
Posted to the web December 13, 2004


THE Government has increased the salary and allowances for the President or
Acting President, which was effected from January this year.

According to a statutory instrument published in yesterday's Government
Gazette, the President or Acting President's salary is now $83 863 200 a
year, up from the $73,7 million effected in March this year.

However, all the other allowances remained the same.

These include a Cabinet allowance of $2,8 million a year, a general
allowance of $1,6 million and a housing allowance of $3,024 million a year.

The increase means that the President or Acting President will now earn $95
555 800 a year including allowances and a bonus of $7 380 600.

Before the increase, the President or Acting President earned $87 425 667 a
year plus allowances and a bonus.

This translated to $6 773 667 a month.

The President's salary was last reviewed at the beginning of the year when
it was increased from $20,2 million to $73,7 million.
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Business Day

Groups protest Mugabe policies


AMNESTY International and other civil society groups have launched regional
protests against human rights violations in Zimbabwe to increase pressure on
the government of President Robert Mugabe ahead of next year's elections.

This is the first time that civil society groups in the Southern African
Development Community (SADC) region have collectively taken up the issue of
rights abuses in Zimbabwe.

The campaign began on Friday with demonstrations outside Zimbabwean
embassies and high commissions in a number of SADC countries, including SA,
to coincide with the United Nations' international human rights day.

The demonstrators protested against laws in Zimbabwe that severely hamper
the ability of opposition groups to hold public rallies and make it
difficult for non-governmental organisations to operate in the country.

In Pretoria, protestors had planned to hand a petition to the Zimbabwean
embassy, but found there was nobody to whom they could give the document.

The groups are planning to protest in mid-February, near border posts
Zimbabwe shares with its neighbou rs.

Dec 13 2004 07:44:39:000AM Jonathan Katzenellenbogen Business Day 1st

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Daily News online edition

      Youth militia creep into security services

      Date: 14-Dec, 2004

      HARARE - Most of the graduates from the controversial national youth
service, which was introduced four years ago by the government, have been
incorporated into the country's security services, with a few joining the
civil service, a senior government official has revealed.

      A total of 16 600 graduates from the national youth service, have so
far been absorbed by the government's security organisations which include
the police force, the army and the dreaded secret service.

      Critics say the programme, seeks to prop up the ruling party's fading
support among the country's youths, who constitute more than 50 percent of
the country's population.

      A total of 22 000 youths have so far gone through the programme.

      Reason Wafawarova, the director of technical services in the youth
ministry, recently told The Voice, a Zanu PF weekly newspaper, that the
government intended to provide money to those graduates not absorbed by the
security services for self-help projects.

      The youth programme is accused of churning out youths who are not
tolerant of divergent political ideas. The main opposition Movement for
Democratic Change has accused the ruling Zanu PF party of unleashing the
youth militia to crush political dissent in the run up to elections.

      The training programme, which was suspended by the government due to
lack of financial resources, is set to be resumed next year after the
government provided funding in the coming financial year.

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Daily News online edition

      Moyo: evil genius or inveterate bungler?

      Date: 14-Dec, 2004

      By Mudodii Kunzwa

      THIS proposition is hard to sustain: that behind his designer
spectacles, his long forehead, his lanky frame, on which the clothes seem to
hang as if on a scarecrow, and the Comic Ali gestures, Jonathan Moyo is an
evil genius.

      This proposition was being actively pursued in the aftermath of Zanu
PF's Day of the Long Knives: the suspension of party provincial leaders who
had attended a Moyo-inspired confab in Tsholotsho before the congress in

      The meeting, held without the approval of the politburo, was to
endorse someone other than Joyce Mujuru, as second vice-president of the

      The party president, Robert Mugabe, was livid, as livid as he was when
he vowed to crush Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo and his PF-Zapu at the height of
their falling out in the early 1980s.

      Nkomo responded by describing Mugabe then as "very sly". Was Moyo the
new "dissident" leader, who would become the prime target of a relentless
campaign by another Enos Nkala?

      It was hard to conceive of this relatively young man, a green horn in
the politics of Zimbabwe bearing the deplorable baggage of a political
turncoat, beating Mugabe at a game in which he has become a master.

      Those who dared to believe that Moyo was a rebel leader, the
standard-bearer of a revolution in Zanu PF which could be described as a
fight for democracy in the party, could not themselves believe what they
were saying.

      This man has the credentials of a Mugabe clone. He hates the free
media, he hates all countries which profess faith in a free media as a
cornerstone of democracy, including the United States, the Commonwealth, the
European Union and all countries which are waiting in the wings to join that

      How would they be so blind? How would they justify his transformation
from this raving one-party, one-leader, one-media fanatic into a crusader
for freedom of expression, even in a dinosaur party like Zanu PF?

      The proposition that Moyo actually plotted the ouster of Mugabe as
president of Zanu PF is absurd in the extreme. Moyo's style has always
struck many analysts as that of a political commuter driver. He will wait
for an opportunity to profit from someone's blunder.

      Which bring us to the crucial question about this current plight:
doesn't his record suggest an inveterate blunderer rather than an evil

      A man possessed of a talent for subterfuge would surely not have
crafted the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act without
recognising how it could not survive a thorough examination by a legal mind
as sharp as that of the late Eddison Zvobgo.

      The rumour was that Moyo and a lawyer friend sat down one night and
worked out the major ingredients of the Act. The lawyer - the story goes -
had never learnt much about drafting legislation.

      So, when the Bill was presented to Parliament, in its rawest form, it
was a delight to hear Zvobgo tear it to pieces in the presence of its chief

      Zvobgo's indictment of the Bill would have persuaded anybody with the
malevolent subtlety of the real evil genius that it needed to be tailored
for the libertarians in the party as well - it should appeal to proponents
of press freedom without alienating those who believed that in an African
country whose government did not depend on its performance for its
popularity you needed a mailed fist to deal with the media.

      There are other examples of why Moyo, far from being the owner of an
evil intellect, has a rather mundane, almost plebeian approach to most

      How did Alum Mpofu end up as head of broadcasting if his background
had been thoroughly probed by Moyo's people? The ease with which Mpofu
betrayed his sexual proclivities suggested there had been a cynical
disregard for the probability of a hue and cry once Mpofu exposed himself as
being openly gay.

      An evil genius would have connived to have people - his employers and
the general public - believing that their radio and television networks were
being supervised by a man of such impeccable cultural credentials, all the
bishops and imams in the land would be falling over each others' robes to
invite him to dinner.

      So, apart from forecasting, with understandable glee, the demise of
Moyo's spectacular rise to power, journalists of the independent media
should also know that Moyo was not their most formidable enemy.

      He was not this evil genius, in the mould of Goebbels or any of those
Soviet apparatchiks who propounded their theories of thought control in
language which challenged the intellectual capacities of many ordinary
citizens. Mugabe was and remains the political genius - evil or otherwise.
Those who have always believed Mugabe was railroaded into accepting the
Lancaster House constitution by none other than Samora Machel would say the
latest events have vindicated them. He dreamed of marching into Harare, as
Fidel Castro marched into Havana from the Sierra Maestra mountains. He felt
humiliated to be sitting at a round table in London with Ian Smith and
Bishop Abel Muzorewa, "the enemy". Mugabe's political make-up was never one
to accommodate real consensus. If there were party members who believed that
Mugabe was a true disciple of real democracy, the latest developments must
have disabused them of that notion, once and for all. The latest events will
naturally spur the delicious speculation that they presage the implosion in
Zanu PF predicted by many neutral analysts of the political scene in
Zimbabwe. What may be more certain is that Zanu PF may never be the same
again, if only because, as this decidedly male chauvinist party it must
learn to live with a woman as Number Three leader. The spotlight is now
likely to focus on Joyce Mujuru, perhaps to go down in political history as
The Woman Who Almost Killed Zanu PF. - Loving It Always

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Zim Online

Mugabe can still be hauled to face justice in future, says IBA
Mon 13 December 2004
  HARARE - President Robert Mugabe could still be indicted at the
International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity even if
Zimbabwe had not accepted the court's jurisdiction, according to the
International Bar Association (IBA).

      In a commentary on Zimbabwe published by the Human Rights Institute
journal to mark the International Human Rights Day, IBA executive director,
Mark Ellis, said a post-Mugabe government could simply declare its
acceptance of ICC jurisdiction and in the process open way for his

      Ellis wrote: "A state which is not yet a party to the (ICC) Statute
may, by declaration lodged with the Registrar, accept the exercise of
jurisdiction by the Court with respect to the crime in question.

      "Thus, a post-Mugabe government could immediately accept the
jurisdiction of the ICC and so sanction a full investigation and indictment
of Mugabe for crimes he has committed since July 2002.

      "Under the ICC Statute, the UN Security Council could already
authorise the court immediately to investigate crimes committed by Mugabe.
Such an investigation can occur even though Zimbabwe has yet to accept the
jurisdiction of the court."

      Zimbabwe's army, police and militant supporters of Mugabe and his
ruling ZANU PF party have in the last four years committed political
violence and human rights abuses against the government's political

      None of the culprits have been arrested or prosecuted to date with the
police on several occasions instead arresting the victims of violence and

      Ellis also criticised continental powerhouse, South Africa and other
African nations for consistently shielding Mugabe from censure by the
international community.

      The IBA official called for more resolute action by the UN Security
Council and the ICC to ensure the Zimbabwean leader did not elude
international justice.

      "Those who have been victimised by Mugabe deserve better. If Mugabe
can manipulate and evade domestic and regional justice, he should not be
able to elude international justice," wrote Ellis. - ZimOnline
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Zim Online

EU beef ban costs Zimbabwe US$38 million annually
Mon 13 December 2004
  HARARE - Hard cash-strapped Zimbabwe is losing US$38 million annually in
potential earnings from beef exports to the European Union (EU) because it
has not implemented animal disease control measures to entice the EU to lift
a ban on the country's beef.

      The EU banned Zimbabwean beef products in 2001 following an outbreak
of the deadly foot-and-mouth cattle disease in the country.

      Head of the EU delegation in Harare, Francesca Mosca, said three years
after the ban, Zimbabwe had not yet invited Brussels to come and verify
whether Harare had implemented EU-recommended disease control measures that
could see the ban lifted.

      Mosca said: "If the country wants the ban to be lifted, it has to come
to the EU and say that it has done some progress in containing the disease
such that inspectors can come and assess, which Zimbabwe hasn't done.

      "Zimbabwe had the potential to increase its export since at one stage
they applied to do that, but it must first of all comply with certain
(veterinary) regulations of the EU," Mosca said.

      Zimbabwe's veterinary services director Stuart Hargreaves could not be
reached yesterday to establish why Harare had so far not moved to have the
beef exports to the EU resumed.

      Zimbabwe, which had a quota of 9 100 tonnes of beef to the EU, four
years ago generated four percent of its total foreign currency earnings from
beef exports mostly to Europe.

      Besides the government's apparent inaction over disease control,
Zimbabwe's herd has declined by a massive 82 percent from 1.4 million cattle
before the government's chaotic land reforms to about 250 000 at present and
would be hard-pressed to meet its quota to the EU. - ZimOnline
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Zim Online

Three cricket officials suspended for extortion
Mon 13 December 2004
  HARARE - Zimbabwe Cricket has suspended national team selector Stephen
Mangongo and a provincial administrator pending dismissal after the two were
last week implicated in an extortion scandal at the all-black Takashinga
cricket club.

      Mangongo, who is one of four national selectors, Mashonaland Cricket
Association (MCA) general manager Givemore Makoni, and another official,
Elvis Sembezeya, face charges of bringing the game into disrepute after
Takashinga players accused them of making them surrender 10 percent of their
earnings in order to be selected for national and provincial representative

      The three cricket officials make up the executive at Takashinga, which
is based in Harare's low-income suburb of Highfield.

      The trio are also believed to be behind efforts by clubs affiliated to
the powerful MCA to oust the 12-strong Zimbabwe Cricket board led by Peter

      The MCA clubs bypassed their own board and announced last Thursday
that they would disassociate themselves from Zimbabwe Cricket because they
were not happy the national association had rebranded without consulting
them, forcing the abandonment of all national league action at the weekend.

      The national cricket body was formerly known as the Zimbabwe Cricket
Union before changing its name and logo last month.

      The MCA said the rebranding was unconstitutional and had been done
unilaterally, hence the province would cut ties with the national body as
the province was affiliated to the "old" Zimbabwe Cricket Union.

      The apparent coup has sparked off a fresh round of controversy for
Chingoka and his beleaguered board after a bitter row with 15 white rebel
players that forced the International Cricket Council to suspend Zimbabwe's
Tests for the past seven months had seemed to be dying down.

      Rebel players Stuart Carlisle and Trevor Gripper and his father Ray
have joined hands with Makoni in their efforts to oust Chingoka, also basing
their rebellion on the fact that Zimbabwe Cricket had used a whopping $600
million on the rebranding at a time the union had said it had no money to
assist struggling clubs.

      Zimbabwe Cricket dismissed the rebellion by the MCA, with a senior
board member saying a group of power-hungry people were leaving no stone
unturned in tarnishing their image. - ZimOnline
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      Zimbabwe to introduce compulsory course for drivers 2004-12-14 03:14:02

          HARARE, Dec. 13 (Xinhuanet) -- The Zimbabwean Ministry of
Transport and Communication is considering making defensive driving a
compulsory course to cut down on the number of traffic accidents.

          In his remarks at the official launch of the 2004 Festive Season
Road Safety Campaign on Monday, Transport and Communications Minister, Chris
Mushowe, said the introduction of acompulsory course for drivers of public
service vehicles had seen a decrease in the number of accidents.

          "We are saddened to note that the bulk of accident statistics are
attributed to private motorists. My ministry is actively considering making
the defensive driving course a national standard."

          Figures provided by the Central Computing Services show that a
total of 46,759 accidents were reported between January and May this year,
resulting in 1,676 deaths and 21,014 injuries.

          "Consequences of these accidents are far-reaching. It is estimated
that they cost the country about one percent of the Gross Domestic Product
and much of it is in scarce foreign currency," said Mushowe.

          About 60 percent of national health care went to injuries and
disabilities of victims of road traffic accidents while the loss of limbs,
material and financial resources was enormous, he said.

          The festive season is usually characterized by a high mobility of
both human and vehicular traffic, which is a contributor to annual accident

          Last year's statistics show that a total of 62 people were killed
in 669 accidents that occurred during the festive period while 517 were
injured. Enditem

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Financial Mail


      By Special correspondent

      Sekeramayi could rise to the top as Mugabe blocks Mnangagwa's

      On the surface, the big winner at last week's annual congress of the
ruling Zanu-PF party was the country's new vice-president Joyce Mujuru, but
few political analysts see her as a credible successor to President Robert
Mugabe. The race for the top spot remains as open as before, though there is
now a new frontrunner - and it's not Mujuru.

      Her election as Zanu-PF second vice-president means she becomes junior
vice-president of Zimbabwe, with the elderly Joseph Msika - also not
presidential material, on age grounds - as senior vice-president.

      Mujuru, an undistinguished member of the government since independence
in 1980, is unlikely to feature in the succession stakes when the time comes
for Mugabe to step down - possibly, though not definitely, at the next
presidential election in 2008. Despite that, her victory last week could
have marked the end of the road for the former frontrunner, parliamentary
speaker Emmerson Mnangagwa.

      His failure to win the number three post in the party hierarchy is not
necessarily the end of his presidential ambitions. But party insiders
believe that the quiet man, defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi (60), who,
unlike Mnangagwa, has never declared his intention of running for the top
spot, is now heir presumptive.

      Sekeramayi is a central figure in the Zezuru faction, though arguably
its most powerful member excluding Mugabe himself is retired General Solomon
Mujuru, the new vice-president's husband.

      Like Sekeramayi, Gen Mujuru shuns the limelight. He is a power broker
and kingmaker, the man best placed to deliver the presidency to Sekeramayi,
a long-time Mugabe loyalist who, like Joyce Mujuru, has served in numerous
ministerial posts for a quarter of a century.

      It is too early to say that Mnangagwa is finished. Three years is a
long time in politics, especially in Zimbabwe where despite all the
exaggerated official claims of impending economic recovery, the imminent
return of lending by the International Monetary Fund and post-election
recognition by the West, the ruling party remains unpopular. But the man who
was the acknowledged frontrunner just three months ago may well have fluffed
his chance.

      Love him or hate him, Mugabe is the supreme manager of his party. He
had party members - who five years ago, after Zanu's defeat in the
constitutional referendum were urging him to go - eating out of his hand at
last week's congress. He dominated proceedings, saying nothing new, while he
hammered the West, UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, US President George W Bush
and, of course, the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

      It was just what the doctor ordered for the party faithful,
demonstrating beyond doubt just how vigorous and healthy he is, while
underlining that he is Zanu-PF. Take Mugabe away and the party is rudderless
with no single personality capable of leading from the front.

      His management of the so-called "Gang of Eight" - the six party
provincial chairmen, information minister Jonathan Moyo and War Veterans
Association chairman Jabulani Sibanda - was consummate.

      The eight had arranged and attended an "unsanctioned" party meeting at
Tsholotsho in rural Matabeleland, ostensibly to build a support base at the
congress for Mnangagwa. Because the meeting had not been authorised by the
party hierarchy, its decisions were overruled, contributing to Mnangagwa's
failure to become party vice-president. And seven of the eight participants
and organisers were suspended from the party for six months pending possibly
more severe disciplinary action.

      The eighth - Moyo - was reprimanded by Zanu's most powerful body, the
politburo. He was further humiliated at congress when he was not elected to
the 240-strong central committee.

      Despite these setbacks to one of the country's most feared (and hated)
politicians, it is premature to suggest that Moyo's political career is

      Like Mnangagwa's, it may have been shunted into the slow lane, but
Moyo has served the president well. He has emasculated independent and
international media coverage of Zimbabwe. He has secured the closure of two
critical newspapers and set up a media commission to control media coverage
as far as possible.

      He has acted as a lightning rod for Mugabe. Though he is not a team
player and - as the recent failed attempt to ban English cricket writers
from accompanying the English tour shows - a loose cannon who can do the
government more harm than good, Mugabe may well keep him for the time being.

      Now that Mugabe has clipped Moyo's wings, he may well feel that it is
better to have the mercurial "professor" inside government attacking the
"West", whites and the opposition, than challenging it from the outside.
After the March 2005 election, it could be a different story, however. Moyo
has made so many enemies that few will shed any tears if he goes.

      With the succession on the back burner for now, Zanu will focus on the
March parliamentary elections. It is in pole position to win easily, whether
or not the MDC decides to contest.

      On his recent travels MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai was advised by
leaders in Africa and Europe to fight the poll, even with a thoroughly
one-sided playing field.

      African leaders want him to validate the poll so that this time
election observers can declare it to have been free and fair and bring the
whole sorry saga to an end.

      The West lives in the (misguided) hope that after all they have been
through, the voters will turn against Mugabe, which would end the crisis
from its viewpoint.

      Both sides are misjudging the situation. The West will not recognise
another flawed Zanu victory, while Zimbabwe's voters lack the organisation -
and indeed the stomach - to "do a Ukraine" by insisting an unpopular leader
step down.
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Cincinnati Post

Shooting the messenger


Robert Mugabe is not the first dictator to take refuge in that injunction
dictators find so comforting: If you don't like the message, kill the
His tame parliament has approved legislation outlawing foreign and
foreign-supported groups that promote human rights and good governance.

You can see why Mugabe might feel that way. Last week, the International Bar
Association, meeting in South Africa, said Mugabe should be brought to
justice for the criminal way he has run his country.

According to the Associated Press account of the meeting, "In some of the
harshest criticism of Mugabe to date, the association said there was
staggering and well-documented evidence that his government has committed
murder, rape, abduction and enslavement."

Fertile and mineral-rich, Zimbabwe was once one of the most prosperous
nations in Africa. After 24 years of appalling misrule, it is impoverished,
isolated and the one-time breadbasket and food exporter is dependent on
international charity to feed its people. And Mugabe directs that food aid
to his supporters and denies it to people he suspects of opposing him.

As long as Mugabe stays holed up in Zimbabwe, protected by his well-rewarded
security services, he's safe from international justice. However, the bar
association did highlight another distressing issue: The "woeful response"
of fellow African countries that have refused to denounce Mugabe's wretched
human-rights record and indeed have been complicit in propping up his

But the simple fact that he had to take the grotesque step of outlawing
human-rights organizations shows that he may sense his hold on power is
becoming increasingly tenuous. The Zimbabweans can only hope.

Publication Date: 12-13-2004
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Zimbabwe Targets Groups' Foreign Funding

Jim Lobe

WASHINGTON, Dec 13 (IPS) - Victims of human rights abuses receiving medical
treatment or legal advice from dozens of non-profit groups in Zimbabwe could
be among those cut off if the government authorises a proposed law that bans
foreign rights organisations from working in the country, as well as foreign
funding of local groups.

"The law is a direct attack on human rights in Zimbabwe and should be
immediately repealed," said Kolawole Olaniyan, the director of Amnesty
International's Africa programme.

New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) also strongly denounced the bill,
which must still be signed by President Robert Mugabe, whose increasingly
autocratic rule has drawn strong condemnation from the West and disapproval
from African governments, as well.

"This law would enable the government to intervene in the reasonable
activities of civil society organisations and possibly force many of them to
close," said Georgette Gagnon, deputy director of HRW's Africa division. "It
would undermine the fundamental freedoms of association and expression in
Zimbabwe," she added Friday, international Human Rights Day.

The southern African country, which served through much of Mugabe's rule as
a major bulwark against apartheid in neighbouring South Africa, has long had
a vibrant civil society, but as Mugabe -- who has served as president since
independence in 1980 -- has felt threatened by growing opposition to his
rule, his government has periodically clamped down hard against critics,
including independent newspapers and foreign media organisations, opposition
political parties and non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

Observers have charged that the government resorted to intimidation and
fraud in elections in 2000 and 2002 in order to ensure its victory over the
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

Amid jockeying for the succession within his ZANU-Patriotic Front party and
new parliamentary elections scheduled to take place in March, the
Non-Governmental Organisations Act (NGO Act) appears designed to set the
stage for a new crackdown that will make it much harder for local NGOs to
continue their work and for foreign groups to report on the human rights
situation to the rest of the world.

The U.S. State Department suggested Friday that the bill, as well as a new
electoral law passed on the same day, could well jeopardise prospects for "free
and fair elections" in March. It called on Mugabe not to sign either law.

The NGO Act specifically targets organisations that "promote and protect
human rights," but it also gives the government sweeping powers to interfere
with the operations of any body in Zimbabwe through the creation of a
government-appointed NGO Council with which all groups must officially

HRW said it was particularly concerned about the limitations the proposed
law would place on NGOs active on a whole range of issues that may well go
beyond human rights. The bill states that no foreign NGO will be registered
if "its sole or principal objects involve or include issues of governance,"
which includes the protection of human rights.

Similarly, local organisations working on governance issues, which could
include corruption or even certain kinds of development assistance, would be
barred from receiving "any foreign funding or donation."

Moreover, the bill broadly defines as "foreign" anyone who is not "a
permanent resident of Zimbabwe or a citizen of Zimbabwe domiciled in

Thus, any Zimbabwean NGO with membership that includes expatriate
Zimbabweans could be considered "foreign" under the Act. HRW pointed out
that many civil-society groups in Zimbabwe depend on foreign and expatriate
funding to carry out their activities.

"Preventing local NGOs from receiving foreign funding for human rights work
would effectively mean the end of many vital human rights programmes, as
there is so little local funding available," said Amnesty's Olaniyan in a

The Zimbabwe National Association of NGOs (NANGO), which represents more
than 1,000 civic and rights groups, called the bill "unacceptable" stressing
that it could "result in the shutting down of the majority of NGOs in the
country. It estimated the total number of groups that could be affected at
about 3,000.

"Coming as it does on the international day for human rights, the bill can
only buttress the perception that the government is probably not committed
to the promotion and protection of human rights," a NANGO spokesperson said,
noting as well that churches and electoral monitors may well be affected.

Amnesty said it expects the law to be enforced selectively, as has been the
case for other repressive legislation approved over the past four years. It
noted that the Media Information Commission that was established in 2002 -- 
apparently a model for the proposed NGO Council -- has been used to harass
and, in some cases, close down independent media.

"If the NGOS Act is enforced across the board," said Olaniyan, "tens of
thousands of people being assisted by NGO programmes could suffer. Reputable
and dedicated human rights organisations in Zimbabwe provide vital medical
and psychological care and legal advice to victims of human rights

"Most victims have nowhere else to turn in a country where unemployment is
above 70 percent and the health service has been severely eroded," he added.

Both Amnesty and HRW pointed out that the bill's terms violate a number of
international human rights agreements ratified by Zimbabwe, among them the
Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections that was recently
agreed by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) of which
Zimbabwe is a founding member. (END/2004)
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New Zimbabwe


      Mujuru: the making of a President?

      Last updated: 12/13/2004 23:22:22
      HISTORY was made this week when almost unexpectedly, Mrs. Joyce Mujuru
was sworn in as the fourth ever Vice President of post independence
Zimbabwe. This was hardly a day or two after she had been elected the first
ever female member of the Presidium in Zanu-PF, the nation's ruling party.

      In so doing, Mujuru also made another masterpiece of history. She
became the first ever female Vice President in the entire history of
Southern Africa. And if what I heard from Robert Mugabe over the weekend is
anything to go by, then another piece of history awaits her.

      Mujuru is in line to be the first ever female President in the entire
African history!

      However, a closer look at Mujuru's life will reveal beyond any
reasonable doubt that she is no stranger in making history. In fact, it
appears she was destined by fate to be a history maker by nature!

      Included in his impressive profile are the following history making
achievements. Mujuru is the youngest ever female MP in the history of
Zimbabwe. She was also the youngest MP ever in Zimbabwean history until her
record was overtaken by Tafadzwa Musekiwa in the aftermath of the 2000

      Added to that, she is one of the few MPs that have sat in all
successive Parliaments for 25 years. And as MP for Mount Darwin, she is
already cruising to another five year term baring a miracle on the part of
the fortunes of the MDC in her constituency.

      Mujuru is also the youngest ever cabinet minister in the history of
Zimbabwe. She was appointed a minister in 1980, shortly after her 25th
birthday. Added to that, she is one of the few politicians who have served
in all of Mugabe's cabinet since independence in 1980.

      Let me hasten to mention that among the ministerial roles she has
played, is the fact that she was the first ever female Acting minister of
Defence in the aftermath of Moven Mahachi's untimely death. Mujuru has also
doubled up as Governor of Mashonaland Central at some various stages of her
political career.

      But Mujuru has another critical trump card on her sleeves. She is
regarded as an affable and soft spoken politician. It thus comes as no shock
that in her life long political career she has made more friends than
enemies. Even the opposition MDC MPs will find it difficult to pinpoint any
issues against her, unlike other aspirants such as Jonathan Moyo and
Emmerson Mnangagwa.

      Mugabe has hinted that Mujuru is destined for great things. He even
had the temerity to ask the Congress delegates whether they had elected her
to remain in that seat only or expected her to move further up later to the

      Judging by the overwhelming response the delegates gave to the freak
question, I would not be surprised if we are not forced by circumstances
beyond our control to face another ghastly reality. Sooner than later, we
might be forced to salute Mujuru as our 'Madam President'.

      It is my submission that all the pro-democracy movement elements in
the crisis in Zimbabwe should start to appreciate the reality of Zimbabwean
politics from that critical point of view.

      To dismiss Mujuru as a worm in a pond is an abdication of political
analysis and exercise in strategic thinking negligence. We need to prepare
to face the reality of a Mujuru presidency in Zimbabwe or else Zanu-PF will
continue to outwit us and remain in power ad infinitum.

      We need to learn from history. Political history is full of examples
of people who were underestimated and dismissed as clowns and pawns until
they stormed into power. The lives of the likes of Fredrick Chiluba, Daniel
Moi, Levy Mwanawasa, Bingu wa Mutharika and Hifikepunye Pohamba are a strong
case in point.

      Adolf Hitler was also taken for granted by many until he turned the
world upside down. The tragedy of the Jewish holocaust and the Second World
War would have been averted had the world listened to the prophetic warnings
of Winston Churchill, among other realists.

      But to bring the point closer home. Mugabe is a classic example of one
person who was taken for granted by his peers only to shock them by becoming
the undisputed leader of Zanu-PF. He then went on to pip the likes of Joshua
Nkomo and Ndabaningi Sithole in becoming the first ever leader of post
independence Zimbabwe.

      I am confident that in the 1950s, if someone had suggested that the
herd boy from Zvimba would be the longest serving leader in Zimbabwean
politics, that analyst would have been scoffed at and dismissed as a big
joke and clown.

      But as fate would have it, Mugabe did not only storm into power but
has also stood the test of time. As I write, he is one of the world's
longest serving head of state. And as things stand, we still do not have a
guaranteed date of the end of his grip on the presidency. In fact it would
be more realistic to call him a life President!

      But what then is my point? The point I want to drive home is that we
should all accept the possible reality of Mujuru becoming our next
President. She has already surprised us by becoming our Vice President. We
need to honestly admit that we never thought she would achieve that feat. We
all know that her name never cropped up every time we had a debate on the
succession issue.

      We need to avoid the danger of the ostrich mentality of political
avoidance by wishing Mujuru away. Mujuru is a political reality we all need
to take seriously. To try to ignore her reality will be the worst of our
political strategic blunders and history will judge us harshly for that.

      We need to admit that the mere fact that Mugabe now seems to favour
her is not by chance but by design. Mugabe is busy thinking ahead of us,
planning our democratic future and all we do in response is to laugh and
scorn his now preferred successor!

      We need to realize that there are serious reasons why Mugabe has
chosen Mujuru and in the process we need to analyze them and respond
accordingly. The failure to do so will leave us not ready to face the worst
of all realities, a Mujuru presidency in Zimbabwe by 2008! -
      Daniel Molokela is the National Co-ordinator of the Peace and
Democracy Project
      Johannesburg, South Africa. His column appears here every Monday

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New Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe state newspaper deserts Moyo

By Staff Reporter
Last updated: 12/14/2004 03:41:18
IN A surprise move, the stated-run Chronicle newspaper which recently came
under fire for being used to prop-up Information Minister Jonathan Moyo's
waning political fortunes has made a sudden U-turn
and attacked the beleaguered information czar.

In its weekly gossip column, Busy Body, the paper which has prodigiously
pandered to Moyo's whims, hinted that the motor-mouthed Minister was on his

The paper suggested that Zimbabwe's biggest daily
newspaper, The Daily News, which was closed under a draconian law crafted by
the professor, the infamous Access to Information and Protection of Privacy
Act might bounce back.

Said the paper: "Hopes are high that the paper (Daily News) might come back
following the alleged fall of seka Isaac (Isaac's father) of the so-called
Tsholotsho Declaration."

Moyo -- a former arch-critic of Mugabe -- together with several Zanu PF
officials are in trouble over a meeting they held in Tsholotsho ostensibly
to defy President Mugabe's directive that the ruling Zanu PF party must
nominate a woman as his deputy. The meeting is said to have come up with the
so called Tsholotsho Declaration, which supported Speaker of Parliament,
Emmerson Mnangagwa instead of Joyce Mujuru who was eventually chosen at the
party's congress three weeks ago.

Early this year, a young boy named Isaac who is from Tsholotsho, came out in
a story originated by Chronicle claiming to be the forsaken son of Moyo. The
junior minister, however, claimed that the boy was not his son and was only
"a figment of the imagination of his political opponents".

Nothing has been heard about the boy except that his mother died in
unexplained circumstances a few months ago.

The Busy Body column is believed to be written by Chronicle editor Steven
Ndlovu, Moyo's stooge, who was last week summoned to Harare to explain why
the paper was being used by Moyo to exonerate himself and attack other
members of the party.

This was after the paper dedicated its entire front page to stories
exonerating Moyo and attacking his opponents within the ruling party. One of
the stories is believed to have agitated Mugabe because it contained
confidential information which Moyo had used to defend himself when he
appeared before the party's highest decision-making body, the politburo,
over the "Tsholotsho Declaration".

The Chronicle, which has been nicknamed the Tsholotsho Bullentin, used to
sell more than 35 000 copies per day but has drastically lost readership and
sells less than 12 000 copies a day despite the closure of The Daily News.

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From The Daily Mirror, 10 December

Axe Moyo: war vets

Constantine Chimakure Chief Reporter

A splinter group of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans'
Association (ZNLWVA), led by Andrew Ndlovu and his secretary general Endy
Mhlanga, wants President Robert Mugabe to axe Information Minister Jonathan
Moyo from Zanu PF. Apart from Moyo, the Mhlanga group said it had also asked
Mugabe to fire "every party leader" who attended the infamous Tsholotsho
meeting at the behest of the minister. The meeting was allegedly convened to
stage a coup against the Zanu PF leadership led by President Mugabe. The
meeting also allegedly plotted to sideline from the party's central
committee some of Zanu PF's revolutionary cadres, such as former Home
Affairs Minister Dumiso Dabengwa, deputy political commissar Sikhanyiso
Ndlovu and Minister of State for Policy Implementation Webster Shamu, among
others. Dabengwa, Ndlovu and Shamu were retained into the central committee
through a Presidential nomination during the party's people's Congress that
ended last Sunday.As a result of the Tsholotsho meeting, Moyo has since lost
his central committee seat after the presidium vetoed his nomination by Zanu
PF Matabeleland North Province.

"We told President Mugabe during last week's congress that Moyo and all
those who attended the Tsholotsho meeting must be expelled from the party,
no matter their positions," Mhlanga told The Daily Mirror yesterday soon
after addressing a press conference in the capital. Mhlanga said apart from
meeting President Mugabe, they were still lobbying him to seriously consider
their request. "We are urging our patron (President Mugabe), who is the only
one who promoted Moyo and has got the powers to deal with him, to do like
wise. Furthermore, we are saying it must not only be Moyo, but all others
who might be holding high offices who attended the Tsholotsho meeting to
plot a coup," Mhlanga added. The war veterans' leader said the Tsholotsho
meeting had exposed Moyo and his colleagues' true colours. "The rebels were
of the opinion that if you cannot beat them (Zanu PF), join them and destroy
them from within. The rebels are the real agents of imperialism," Mhlanga
claimed. Asked what the war veterans would do if President Mugabe did not
heed their call, Mhlanga said: "He has been listening to us. He has never
ignored the war veterans before. We are simply saying to him: how can we
continue to share the same meal with people bent on destroying the party?"

Moyo's political career is waning, amid reports that President Mugabe will
drop him from the party's Politburo where he is deputy secretary for
information and publicity. Zanu PF has since suspended its of its provincial
chairmen over the Tsholotsho debacle for six months, while ZNLWVA chairman
Jabulani Sibanda was slapped with a four-year suspension.Observers said
there was indeed incontrovertible evidence that the six provincial
chairpersons committed a serious offence in terms of the party's statutes.
In political terms, the observers argued, the chairpersons violated
provisions of the party's code of conduct pertaining to clear dereliction of
duty as instructed by superior structures of Zanu PF, and for bringing the
good name of the party into disrepute through divisionist machinations. "The
Tsholotsho meeting that was attended also by the suspended six provincial
chairpersons is an open manifestation of a structured conspiracy to
undermine the authority of both the party and government," one observer
said. "It has both political and security undertones. While the party will
address the political aspects, it is hoped that the appropriate government
structures will resolutely attend to the security issues."

The observer added: "For example, on what basis were the 'conspirators'
promising fellow collaborators senior positions within the hierarchy of the
party and the government, when it is patently known that such authority to
appoint rests with the President? Why was the President 'missing' in their
political permutations? It is not far-fetched to consider these actions as a
precursor to a palace coup. This issue and its various connotations need to
be addressed expeditiously." The suspension of Sibanda led Ndlovu, Mhlanga
and other war veterans into passing a vote of no-confidence in him and his
vice-chairman, Joseph Chinotimba. Chinotimba and Sibanda have since declared
the move unconstitutional and are adamant that they are still at the helm of
the association. But Mhlanga yesterday insisted that their action to boot
out Sibanda's leadership was constitutional and that there was no going
back. "The association is a social welfare organisation controlled by the
Ministry of Defence and how do you reconcile a situation where Sibanda and
Chinotimba are now fighting the ruling party and continue to expect
government to support them? We are just an interim leadership of the
association and all this is above board," he said. Sibanda, in an interview
with The Daily Mirror, said: "All we understand is that Mhlanga is moving
around saying he has been sent by the President to take over the leadership
of the association. If the President sent him, we want to know in what
capacity." He added: "Whatever Mhlanga is doing is totally in contravention
of the principles and constitution of the association. So far nothing has
changed regarding the association's leadership". Sibanda said unlike other
people, he respected the association's constitution and the rule of law and
had total disrespect for those who circumvented the supreme law to suit
their needs.
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The Star

      Aimlessness of quiet diplomacy
      December 13, 2004

      "ANC endorses Mugabe's party to the hilt at congress" read a news
headline in The Star during Zanu-PF's recent congress in Harare.

      Now we know where the ANC stands; all this "quiet diplomacy" was never
meant to change anything in Zimbabwe.

      Henry Makgothi said South Africa had great confidence in the Zanu-PF
government, of course, ignoring human rights abuses, poverty, unemployment,
land grabbing, a 200% inflation rate ... do all those hardships mean
everything is fine?

      The three-day congress at the five-star Sheraton, attended by 10 000
delegates, cost Z$20-billion.

      No wonder the world questions our "quiet diplomacy".

      R Kartun
      Wendywood, Sandton

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From The Financial Mail (SA), 3 December

Pre-election spending hides big discrepancies

By own correspondent

Failures, losses and different assumptions out of the picture

There is little for business to either cheer or complain about in acting
finance minister Herbert Murerwa's patently political 2005 budget. With
Zimbabwe's parliamentary elections just four months away (March 2005),
Murerwa pulled out all the stops, pumping Z$5 trillion (US$90m) into
consumer spending, but raising the tax threshold to Z$12m (R12 600) a year.
Despite this largesse, no meaningful tax hikes were needed to maintain an
unchanged budget deficit of 5% of GDP (Z$4,5 trillion). So business is
expected to believe that the economy is so strong that it can afford to
slash taxes and treble public spending simultaneously. There has to be a
catch somewhere and, in fact, there are two. One is the exclusion of known
expenditures such as the estimated Z$2 trillion (8,5% of GDP) to
recapitalise failed banks, and the omission of payments to parastatals to
cover losses of at least Z$750bn. In recent weeks, the state-owned Grain
Marketing Board has reported losses of around Z$300bn and the Zimbabwe
Electricity Supply Authority another Z$190bn. If these are added to the
budget, then the budget deficit rises to 7,5% of GDP from Murerwa's 5%.

But more important is the basis of the finance ministry's calculations of
both output and revenue growth in 2005. The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and
Murerwa both predict that inflation will fall from 209% in October to
between 35% and 50% by the end of 2005. This implies an average annual
inflation rate next year of 100% since inflation will fall to 150% this
month (December). But the treasury's forecast of GDP growth in 2005 and its
revenue projections assume average inflation of nearly three times that -
about 285%. If the central bank is right, the budget deficit will be much
larger, partly because GDP in 2005 would be nearer to Z$50 trillion than the
Z$90 trillion budget estimate. In this case, the budget deficit (assuming
unchanged revenue) would be 9% of GDP. However, with a slower inflation
rate, revenue inflows would be lower than projected. As a result, the budget
deficit would be around Z$10 trillion or 20% of GDP.

Private-sector economists question both inflation forecasts. Some expect
inflation to continue to fall for a few more months and then pick up again
in the first quarter of 2005. But few expect it to average anything like the
285% implicit in the budget. Time will tell whether the budget numbers are
just a gaffe or whether the finance ministry really does expect inflation to
be nearly three times as rapid as that predicted by the central bank.
Whatever the explanation, there are some serious holes in the budget which,
if left unplugged, will spill over into much higher inflation in 2005/2006.
Murerwa is upbeat on economic prospects. Real GDP growth will turn positive
in 2005, at between 3,5% and 5% - the first since 1998. He expects 2004 GDP
to decline only 2,5% - much less than earlier forecasts of between 5% and
7,5%. Agriculture is the key to economic recovery: the minister forecasts a
28% jump in farm output next year, with tobacco production up 140%. Tobacco
industry sources are sceptical, predicting the 2005 crop will be marginally
greater than the 65m kg grown this year. Mining production, which rose 11,6%
in 2004, is projected to slow to 7,5% in 2005. But manufacturing continues
to slide, declining 8,5% this year.

The balance of payments deteriorated again in 2004, with the overall deficit
widening to US$523m from US$335m last year. Murerwa expects a recovery in
2005, however, on the back of stronger exports and some recovery in tourism,
based largely on Zimbabwe having been accorded "approved destination status"
by China. But Murerwa was silent on two crucial aspects of foreign payments:
the build-up of unpaid foreign arrears estimated by the International
Monetary Fund at US$2,6bn, and the yawning US$500m gap between foreign
currency inflows and outflows. The solution to both problems is out of
Murerwa's hands, dependent on a change of heart in the international
community that would open the door to resumed foreign lending and eventually
to debt relief. The government hopes that this will come after it has won
another term in office when the country goes to the polls next March. In a
BBC interview in London last week, the opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai,
did not rule out participation in the polls, but did make it clear that
unless Southern African Development Community (SADC) leaders put pressure on
President Robert Mugabe to implement the SADC election guidelines, his
Movement for Democratic Change would not participate. Mugabe's problem is
that an uncontested poll is unlikely to convince the donor community to come
to his aid. So, unless he starts to implement the SADC rules soon, the
stalemate will continue and Murerwa's budget will unravel.
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