The ZIMBABWE Situation Our thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.
1 December 2001 - Page 2
  1. Page ONE of today's updates
  2. Page TWO of today's updates
  3. Page THREE of today's updates

Back to Index

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily News

The truth about the violence outside the mortuary

11/30/01 7:42:04 AM (GMT +2)

Off the record with the mole

Last week we saw how The Herald has made it its ordained duty to twist
information and distort facts as a way of presumably protecting Zanu PF and
government leaders from the brutal truths they cannot accept and instead
feeding them on a diet of fictitious pleasantries.

It is to be taken as understood that every reference to The Herald also
covers The Chronicle, since, save for their different names and sizes, the
contents in both publications are virtually identical. It is useless to
comment on The Sunday Mail because that publication which, under Willie
Musarurwa, was the leader of the Zimpapers pack as The Chronicle later
became under the editorship of Geoff Nyarota, now no longer qualifies to be
referred to as a newspaper. It now rivals The People's Voice for the top
prize for the sickest joke in the history of journalism in this country.

But the papers are, of course, not alone in their disgraceful campaign of
spreading shameful lies designed to create an image of the MDC as a violent
party as a well-calculated prelude to what The Mole suspects is the
government's wicked intention to ban that party. The ZBC, with the active
collaboration of the Central Intelligence Organisation and the Zimbabwe
Republic Police, is on the same mission of smearing all manner of filth on
the defenceless MDC as an organisation and its leaders as individuals.

Most Zimbabweans would by now be aware that all the din surrounding the
finding, exhumation and reburial of Cain Nkala's body; the arrest and
confession of the alleged culprits - all in a glare of unprecedented
publicity with Reuben Barwe playing the role of master of ceremonies,
orchestrating the ghoulish tragicomedy - was carefully stage-managed by the

But few would be aware that the mayhem that took place in Bulawayo following
the "discovery" of Nkala's body was also carefully planned and spearheaded
by violent Zanu PF elements - including women, one of whom got thoroughly
thrashed when Njube residents retaliated - transported all the way from
Harare, Gweru and, so The Mole has been reliably informed, Kadoma. Or that
when, urged on by two politburo members, they marched along the streets of
Bulawayo looting and smashing up shops, they were being escorted and
protected by the police, who also stood guard to make sure no one stopped
them when they ran amok and set fire to the MDC's regional offices. Nor
would many people know that the violence that took place outside
Doves-Morgan funeral parlour, when Nkala's body was brought to Harare, was
also planned and initiated by the authorities. Contrary to Barwe's report
that there was a group of MDC supporters that had positioned itself at the
funeral parlour before the arrival of the body and started to attack the
people accompanying it on arrival, there was not a single MDC supporter
waiting there. The Mole has a first-hand account from occupants of offices
in the vicinity of exactly what happened on that day.

The violence was provoked by Zanu PF activists under the protection of at
least six police officers. Their first victim was a commuter minibus which
they attacked with stones as its driver innocently tried to drive past,
completely unaware that that section of the road was now closed to traffic.

There was no notice or sign to that effect.

The next victim was a female lawyer who had just left a nearby hair salon,
got into her car and was on her way off when, trying to drive past, she was
stopped by this stocky fellow who slapped her across the face and generally
humiliated her. Quick thinking saved her from worse treatment when she
decided to lie that she was a relative of the Nkalas and had driven all the
way from Bulawayo for the burial.

Next, an unsuspecting pedestrian was stopped as he passed by. He was then
attacked with fists and knocked to the ground before he managed to pick
himself up and flee. A cyclist met the same fate, being knocked to the
ground with a flurry of punches. He picked himself up and ran for dear life,
leaving his machine behind.

Then they started stoning vendors and kombis operating from a nearby rank
ordering them to move away. All this was witnessed by Barwe and his
cameraman who were both well positioned on the balcony, but the ZBC crew
didn't record it on film. If they did, it was edited out.

But when the angry vendors and kombi crews ganged up and started raining
stones on the violent Zanu PF group in retaliation, the ZBC cameras started
rolling, capturing their retaliatory action on film with Barwe falsely
telling viewers that they were MDC supporters attacking mourners
accompanying Nkala's body. The truth is it was a spontaneous reaction which
had nothing to do with the MDC.

Only two years ago, I would have vowed that no journalist could sink this
low. How wrong I was!

A seemingly minor incident, but one which in reality was a development of
immense importance, may well have escaped the notice of many Zimbabweans
because, although The Daily News carried it as its Page 2 lead on 8
November, the State-controlled media decided to treat it to a complete
blackout - for obvious reasons: it put their "hero" down!

I am talking about the reversal, by Minister Ignatius Chombo, of the highly
irregular promotion of the meddlesome Joseph Chinotimba which would have
placed him in the same grade with engineers, pharmacists and planners,
resulting in his pay almost doubling from $25 000 to $45 000 a month.
Chombo firmly put his foot down and said "Nada!", nothing doing.

Well done, Chombo, for once you have given us something to praise you for.
We praise you, if for no other reason, for refusing to set a dangerous

If the garrulous farm and factory invader had been allowed to bulldoze
council into promoting him, it would have put wrong ideas into many
similar-minded workers' heads throughout commerce and industry who would
have been tempted to follow his example, triggering anarchy at all
workplaces. Fortunately, not too many normal people would wish to be seen to
be emulating anything done by Chinotimba.

But much more worrying is the thought that it might also have given the
impression that in Zimbabwe, there is a reward to be reaped from being the
leader in acts of violence and lawlessness which benefit the ruling party.

We all know how the government's double standards when seeking justice and
its selective application of the law where so-called politically motivated
crimes are concerned have become a way of life with crimes of violence
involving so-called war veterans going unpunished, while those allegedly
committed by MDC supporters attract the full wrath of the police.

One of the most heart-rending incidents was the abduction and subsequent
murder of farmer David Stevens from a police station where he had gone to
seek refuge following an attack at his farm by war veterans. To this day no
one has ben arrested. However, when another farmer, Alan Bradley, was
ambushed and shot as he approached his homestead last Sunday, a suspect, who
is not a war veteran, was quickly tracked down and arrested whom the police
promptly labelled "a suspected criminal".

Are we to understand here that, in Zimbabwe, killing another person in the
name of Zanu PF or the war veterans' association, is not considered a crime?

Soon we could be told that Zanu PF supporters who eliminate those Mugabe
terms "cowards" in his party will be similarly absolved.

Perhaps Jonathan Moyo might care to explain to us what kind of "upholding
the rule of law" is that?

Back to the Top
Back to Index

ABC News

Posted: 1/12/01 2:30:08

Zimbabwe Govt approves bill banning foreign journalists

The Zimbabwe Government has approved a new bill effectively barring foreign
journalists from operating in the country.

The state-run daily The Herald reports that only Zimbabwe's citizens will be
allowed to operate as correspondents for foreign media, if the Access to
Information and Protection of Privacy Bill is passed.

However, the setting up of foreign media organisations will only be done
with the permission of the Minister of Information.

"This means all foreign journalists will need to be Zimbabwean citizens,"
the paper said.

Under the new law, a media and information commission, which will register
and accredit all journalists, will be set up.

The commission will have powers to discipline journalists for misconduct.

"The commission may delete a journalist's name from the register, order his
suspension for a specified period and impose conditions it deems fit subject
to which he shall be allowed to practice," the state paper said.

It was impossible to obtain confirmation of the report
from the government.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily News

Shortage of sugar, soap, oil, hits Harare shops

11/30/01 8:55:37 AM (GMT +2)

Farming Reporters

AS the festive season fever grips Zimbabwe, there is a shortage of sugar,
cooking oil and bar soap in Harare, The Daily News weekly food basket survey
revealed yesterday.

Major supermarkets, OK First Street, Food Chain Group (FCG) Harare Street
and Jarzin Angwa Street branches did not have white and brown sugar on

A notice in FCG Supermarket ordered customers: "You are only allowed to take
1x2kg sugar per person," but there was no sugar in the supermarket.

Popular brands of cooking oil, Olivine and Panol were not available in OK,
FCG and TM Supermarket Nelson Mandela Avenue. New cooking oil brands such as
Pot 'O' Gold and Super Save were available in OK and TM Supermarkets
respectively but the supermarkets were rationing the product.

While the supply of bar soap has improved, familiar types of soap such as
Dolphin, Perfection, Big Ben were out of stock in most supermarkets in

Brands such as Key bar and Sunlight were available but in limited quantities
in OK and TM supermarkets.

The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries last month warned of shortages
following the introduction of price controls on basic commodities.

Since the introduction of the controls last month, Harare has experienced
erratic supplies in cooking oil, margarine, bar soap, salt and sugar. While
retailers have blamed producers of basic commodities for the shortages, the
producers said supplies had remained the same despite the introduction of
the controls.

Asked to comment yesterday, Pattison Sithole, group managing director for
Zimbabwe Sugar Distributors Limited, refused to do so preferring to have
questions faxed.

Early this month, Sugar Distributors official, Tonderai Masawi dismissed the
reports that supplies of sugar had been reduced.

Masawi said: "We supply sugar according to customer requirement. We are
supplying sugar as much as possible to the market. Supplies of sugar have
not been affected by the price controls because prices of the commodity did
not change following the introduction of the controls.

Prices of both controlled and non-controlled commodities have remained the
same in the past month due to the controls.

The government introduced the controls to protect consumers from price
increases in basic commodities, which were being effected frequently.

Producers of basic commodities, who were accused by the government for
profiteering, said they were increasing prices on a regular basis because
they were importing raw materials using higher exchange rates because of
shortages of foreign currency.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily News - Leader Page

Election appeal shows government is scared

11/30/01 7:56:37 AM (GMT +2)

There was much jubilation in Harare last Friday as the news spread that the
Registrar-General, Tobaiwa Mudede, had been boldly ordered by High Court
judge, Justice Charles Hungwe, to hold elections for the mayor of Harare and
its councillors on 28 December. This followed the judge's equally bold
ruling that the Elijah Chanakira-led Commission running the city's affairs
had become illegal.

But the joy was short-lived. On Sunday, word was already out that the
government intended to oppose the order through an appeal to the Supreme
Court, which it immediately proceeded to do, courtesy of Chief Justice
Godfrey Chidyausiku. In an unprecedented move, Justice Chidyausiku, whose
political leanings are well-known, sat alone in his chambers - on Sunday -
to hear the urgent application for a permanent stay of Hungwe's order.

The following day, it was despondency all over Harare again when it was
announced the elections would no longer take place as ordered following a
Supreme Court ruling suspending Justice Hungwe's directive. Curiously, that
Supreme Court ruling was made in contemptuous defiance of Hungwe's express
provision that the order would remain effective even if an appeal was noted
on the matter.

Interestingly, of his own free will, Chidyausiku confessed that he had, in
fact, made his counter-ruling before he had had time to study the full facts
on which the original High Court order had been made.

The hasty manner, bordering on sheer panic, in which the Supreme Court was
convened to hear the government's application, not only testifies to the
unacceptable extent of totalitarian rule under which we now live, but also
to how desperate the government has become in its bid to avoid having to
subject itself to any test of popularity, not just in Harare but nationwide.

Only last week the government-controlled media were screaming their voices
hoarse as they parroted government's ridiculous claims that the MDC was
running scared of losing elections and so was resorting to "terrorism and
lies" to shore up support. The prevailing political situation suggests it is
the other way round; that it is the government which is running very scared.

Faced with a situation where an opposition party is falsely claiming to have
massive support, a truly popular government does not behave the way the Zanu
PF government is behaving - going to ridiculous lengths to prevent elections
at both local and national levels.

Instead, it would call the opposition's bluff by grabbing every opportunity
to stage polls and demonstrate how popular it is.

There could not have been a better opportunity for the government to prove
that than that which was handed to it on a platter by Justice Hungwe in the
form of his order for elections to choose a mayor and councillors for Harare
next month.

Jumping at that opportunity and ordering Mudede to get cracking, putting in
place everything necessary for the holding of smooth elections was what we
would have expected government to have done.

But, alas, the government chose to take the opposite course of action:
blocking the elections.

And the reason is not hard to see. The government appears to have lost the
courage to face unpleasant reality. It is obviously scared out of its wits
by the prospect of a repeat of recent events in Bulawayo, where every
municipal seat that was at stake, including that of executive mayor, was won
comfortably by MDC candidates. It was confirmation of the ruling party's
rejection by urban voters which first manifested itself in the June 2000
parliamentary elections.

In those elections, the people of Harare also massively rejected Zanu PF,
returning to Parliament a complete contingent of MDC MPs as their

The mood in Harare is such that if mayoral and ward elections were to be
held tomorrow, the chances of Zanu PF candidates winning are more remote
than they were in June last year, hence the government's determination to
block the polls. And the psychological effect on next year's presidential
election could be devastating.

But even government realises it is merely delaying the inevitable.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Harare. November 30, 2001

Mugabe targets the youth

The Zimbabwean president is planning to introduce compulsory national




imbabwean President Robert Mugabe last week declared a war for the hearts
and minds of Zimbabwe's rising generation.
Mugabe announced legislation to be put before Parliament forcing men and
women between the ages of 18 and 30 to produce certificates that they have
completed at least three months’ paramilitary training in his Zanu-PF party’
s National Youth Service before they can be employed in the public or
private sectors, or receive tertiary education.

At the first National Youth Service passing out parade at Mount Darwin this
month, Mugabe said: “We realised that we beat the snake [at independence]
but left out the head. What is left is to finish off the head."

Mugabe told the 973 trainees — volunteers from Zanu-PF — that the service
was required to instil “patriotism, discipline, entrepreneurship and
national orientation".

“Through no fault of their own, most of our young men and women do not
understand the causes of our liberation struggle, and consequently cannot
adequately contextualise the land reform and resettlement programme … and
other political challenges facing the country."

He said Zanu-PF had planned to introduce national service after 1980
independence, but shelved it until “the damage done by colonialism" became
apparent during the recent “Third Chimurenga" — his struggle to wrest 5 000
farms totalling 8,5-million hectares from their white owners.

The ruling party aims to establish at least one training centre in all 10
provinces, each turning out 1 000 recruits every three months — a total of
40 000 a year.

Talk Back Forum
E-mail the editor
E-mail this story
At the state funeral of murdered Zanu-PF leader Cain Nkala on November 18,
Mugabe alleged Britain was “sponsoring terrorist forces behind the Movement
for Democratic Change [MDC], corrupting or ruining the youths at colleges
and elsewhere, showering them with trinkets, with drink even, with drugs, in
order to get them prepared as cannon fodder in the terrorist fight".

MDC MP and former teacher Trudy Stevenson said Mugabe's scheme was
impractical in view of Zimbabwe's near-bankruptcy. Only a tiny fraction of
the 300 000 annual school leavers would be able to obtain certificates, even
if more centres complemented Border Gezi Camp at Mount Darwin, named after a
late minister notorious for organising violence in the June 2000
parliamentary elections.

Less than 8 000 school leavers find formal-sector employment each year.
However, the scheme would enable Mugabe to ensure Zanu-PF youths were given
preference for jobs and education. Said Stevenson: “The bigger worry is that
they are training for violence for the presidential elections. These young
people are going to go out like Mao's red guards to kill and torture."

In Parliament ministers have dodged questions about how the youth services
are being paid or armed.

Bases have been set up in the grounds of schools where pro-Mugabe “war
veterans" have already conducted sweeps for suspected MDC supporters among
headmasters and teaching staff. New textbooks are being issued for courses
on Zanu-PF-oriented “history", compulsory for all pupils to age 15.

Stevenson said compulsory national service would be particularly abhorrent
to parents of girls in the 30 000-strong Asian community, but all sectors
would rebel.

“They are not interested in going to camp, wearing a uniform and learning
about the past glories of Zanu-PF. They want change — being part of the
modern community, to go to discos, to get a decent job and work with
computer technology."

Nelson Chamisa, secretary for youth of the MDC, said an entire generation of
black students was feeling the malevolence of Mugabe’s regime.

“Mugabe is our generational enemy. He knows he has nothing for us," said
Chamisa. “Training these youths is a form of abuse of young people that has
happened since youth brigades were used in the 1980s Matabeleland

Chamisa said with 80% of Zimbabweans unable to afford more than one meal a
day, Zanu-PF was exploiting the economic deprivation and hopelessness among
the youth.

Legal coercion was coupled with a police crackdown on tertiary students. In
Harare police fought running battles with students of the University of
Zimbabwe protesting against the November 25 murder of their colleague Lameck
Chamvura, (22) who was thrown to his death from the Harare-Mutare train by
six soldiers.

Police claimed the murder was a “private brawl with no political
connotation". But Chamvura was half-strangled with a shoelace before being
thrown from the train, suggesting it was a reprisal for the November 5
killing of Nkala outside Bulawayo.

Police made 11 campus arrests and blocked students from joining a human
rights march to Parliament.

In Gweru, three student leaders at Midlands University were expelled for
organising protests. Mugabe’s principal mouthpiece, The Herald, was brought
into the campaign against student dissidents. “Mwana wenkoya inyoka" (a
snake's baby is still a snake) said the paper last week, urging that white
students at Rhodes University in Grahamstown “should be declared terrorists
and enemies of the state" for taking part in a march in solidarity with
those unable to return because they cannot get foreign currency to pay fees.
The Herald falsely reported the demonstration was against land reform.

-- The Mail&Guardian, November 30, 2001.

Back to the Top
Back to Index


November 30, 2001
Mugabe puts Africa's development in jeopardy, says DA

from the Democratic Alliance

It is sad to see a country like Zimbabwe which only two years ago had a
flourishing economy and a stable democratic society being dragged headlong
by President Mugabe to economic collapse and political instability.

The continuing land grabs, the attacks on the media, the collapse of the
Zimbabwe dollar, the shortage of food, the strong arm tactics employed by
ZANU-PF against their political opponents, the deployment of military
personnel in predominantly MDC territory and the intimidation that is
preventing opponents of President Mugabe from registering as voters seems to
indicate that Zimbabwe is close to the brink of disaster.

The shocking chain of events is taking place in the run up to the
Presidential election due to be held within months.

The question is, given the scale of state condoned violence and intimation
that is taking place, together with the abuse of power by President Mugabe
and his ZANU-PF cohorts, will it be possible to have an election that could
possibly be free and fair? I believe it will be impossible.

What is clear is that President Mugabe is determined to cling to power at
all costs, the cost of the stability of Zimbabwe, the cost of the well-being
of his citizens, and the cost of the New Partnership for African Development
for which President Mbeki and other African leaders have worked so hard over
the past year. It appears that President Mugabe is quite prepared to put the
whole programme of African Development in jeopardy.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily News  - Leader Page

The politics of the Zimbabwe Republic Police

11/30/01 7:58:35 AM (GMT +2)

By Takura Zhangazha

THE last time there was a demonstration, I overheard a police officer who
seemed to be in charge of a group of riot policemen say about us (the group
of demonstrators) that, "Vachaona moto nhasi" (today they are in for a high

Naturally, I got scared and told my colleagues that the police seem
determined to refuse us our constitutional right to demonstrate. Since we
couldn't stop our demonstration on the basis of an overheard comment, we
went ahead anyway and as expected we were chased from the Africa Unity
Square before we could even gather into a larger grouping.

Obviously, this is the sad story that follows every Zimbabwean citizen
(except war veterans) wishing to group and demonstrate peacefully against a
government policy. It is this scenario that brought about the necessity of
this article.

The police force is invariably made up of individuals of different political
persuasions and as such the laws that govern it are expected to be laws that
rule out the possibility of a partisan police force. In Zimbabwe, the police
are clearly a partisan force.

But this is almost an age old argument about how the leaders within the
police force are always under the armpits of those that are in power. Our
major concern in this article is the individual police officer or constable
and how they affect the functions of the police in light of the current
political climate. In our assessment there are three types of police

There are those that support the ruling party and establishment, those that
support civic society and the opposition, and lastly there are those that
basically couldn't care what form of government was in place as long as they
get a salary every month and go by the book.

The first group of police officers that supports the ruling party and
government is comprised mostly of senior police officers that have a history
rooted in the liberation struggle. A majority of them are war veterans of
the party-supporting breed. These in the majority of instances will show no
remorse in violating the constitutional rights of citizens whether the
citizens are demonstrating or not.

Officers from this rank are also closely linked to the government in a
particular way that does not augur well with the idea of professionalism.

This link often manifests itself in their attendance at ruling party
functions as well as their willingness to openly and publicly support the
government policies in their official capacity as senior police officers.

Also within this group are the new cadets that are being more or less
recruited on a party affiliation basis. They obviously will not bite the
hand that feeds them and they know that the party cannot be challenged.

The second group of police officers is the one that supports the civic
society and oppositional tendencies. These officers are normally in the
middle ranks of the police force and most have a number of professional
qualifications. They bear a grievance against the government mostly because
the government has been promoting officers with a history in the liberation
struggle as opposed to those not involved in the struggle. These officers,
however, will not openly support the civic groupings and the opposition.

They do so for fear of getting transferred to some police post situated in
the heartland of Mashonaland Central, where the ruling party holds sway. In
rare instances, however, some of these officers have openly resigned from
the police force citing discrimination and unfair labour practices because
they did not prove loyal to the ruling party.

In this group one also finds the police constables who are originally from
the towns and were recruited slightly before the formation of a strong civic

This group of officers is, however, aware that if they come out openly and
on their off days attend meetings as ordinary citizens they will be targeted
for transfers or fired for obscure reasons. Therefore, they will rarely
openly show their support for the opposition or civic organisations that
seem to be adverse to government policy.

The third group is perhaps the largest in the police force. This is the
group that perceives its role as merely technical. There is no political
principle about the job they do. It just serves as a job, where one does as
the superior says and leaves it at that. These officers are more or less not
too concerned with the political sway of things.

They are afraid and refuse to become conscious of their functional
environment. Their "play it safe" attitude has left a lot of innocent
civilians dead.

Professionalism does not only mean to do as the officer commanding
stipulates, but also to read between the lines of an instruction and
thereupon seeing it at variance with what a police officer should do, act
upon that knowledge.

The police force is going to be given the usual oppressive role in the
run-up to the presidential election. It shall protect mainly the ruling
party supporters and make sure it arrests a good number of civic society and
opposition activists. As such a critical point of curiosity is whether or
not the three groups will try and compete with each other to make sure that
their interests prevail in the run-up to the election.

The senior police officers will brook no nonsense when it comes to what the
ruling party wants. But the second group of middle level officers that are
sympathetic to the opposition will give moral support to the latter. It will
leak information about pending arrests as well as give behind-the-scenes
advice on strategies to be used against the violent components of the police

The third group will, however, remain stagnant and harbour the same
interests. They will simply do as they are told, whether it is to disperse a
legitimate demonstration, arrest opposition leaders or defend local war

There is, however, another force in the police that monitors each of these
groups very closely. This being the Central Intelligence Organisation. This
force will double up in various departments of the police in order to
maintain a stranglehold on all police events and to root out any potentially
disloyal police officers. In the run-up to the election next year it will be
the main source of tactics used by the police in assisting the ruling party
to win.

The three types of police officers we have mentioned are real. That they are
in competition, is equally true. If the opposition wins then there will be a
victory for the second group of policemen who are part of the middle ranks
within the police force, cadets in the police force. Whatever the outcome of
the poll, there will be a purging of the police force to rid it of elements
that will be on the losing side.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily News - Features

Zanu PF does not approve of other political players

11/30/01 8:28:41 AM (GMT +2)

By A Correspondent

GOVERNMENT has made decisions that have surprised a lot of people. These
decisions, which have ranged from confronting the Judiciary to punishing
innocent civilians, have left people questioning the worth and seriousness
of those who are in power today.

One would be forgiven if he were to justify the familiar label "terrorist"
as government has behaved in a way that propagates and justifies this
unfortunate befitting christening.

The question that must derive from the way Zanu PF has behaved since its
inception as a governing party in 1980 is whether the former guerrilla
movement has prepared itself adequately to become a ruling party.

If so, to what extent is the party prepared to comply with the demands of
being a governing party?

In the early 1970s Zanu PF - sponsored guerrillas enjoyed enormous success
in the Eastern and Gaza fronts and thus Zanu PF overtook Zapu as the most
serious organisation fighting for Zimbabwe's independence. Since 1965,
citing the fact that Zanu had been banned as a political party in the then
Rhodesia and since most of the senior leadership were serving long jail
sentences inside Rhodesia.

The exiled leadership had resolved through the Sikhombela Declaration to set
up a structure in Zambia that would perpetuate the struggle. The structure
which would be known as the Dare reChimurenga would hold elections once in
every two years. Things went smoothly until the mention of the release of
the detained leadership.

Apparently some of them seeing the enormous successes of the guerrilla
movement and the readiness of the Ian Smith regime to engage them in
dialogue, started manipulating the structures for their own selfish ends.

The greed for power resulted in the many disasters such as the Nhari
Rebellion which ultimately resulted in Herbert Chitepo's assasination, the
Dzino-Rebellion which conceived the Mgagao declaration and the Hamadziripi
rebellion which is not so divorced from the death of Magama Tongogara.

Zanu's problems began with their refusal to fall under the leadership of the
late Dr Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo and contest the the elections as one party with
Zapu, the united party to be known as the Patriotic Front.

This device was coming from among other sectors, their own military
personnel, the real element identifiable with the struggle. This reasoning
from Josiah Tongogara himself (may the good Lord deliver him) had the
advantages of giving Zimbabwe a unity leader in the form of the late Dr
Joshua Nkomo (whose name was familiar with the totality of Zimbabwe - "Kwese
kwese Joshua Nkomo).

It had the untold advantages of involving an element of the struggle who had
always believed they would become the first black government hence they had
started behaving so and formed structures and a government in exile.

And so it was disaster time.

The leadership of Zanu PF does not believe in detraction by any of their
members from the party stance.

In Zanu anyone who does not toe the party line would be labelled counter
revolutionary. Thus there has been numerous expulsions from Zanu PF of all
those who have jumped the party procedural jargon known as "democratic

Usually an expulsion from Zanu PF is followed by a tailor-made "bad spell"
as the "mischievous" member loses his life. This ensured that such a person
is both politically and economically dead and may have to remain so, unless
of course, he applies for salvation and reincarnation by reaffirming himself
as Zanu PF.

Rugare Gumbo, a prominent guerrilla was virtually dead since 1978 for having
taken part in the Hamadziripi Rebellion and had to be "resurrected"
Those who have had to kiss "good bye" to Zanu PF for challenging the
leadership include the pioneer and architect of real opposition politics in
independent Zimbabwe, Edgar Tekere, Margaret Dongo, the ZCTU, Fidelis Mhashu
and others.

Zanu PF also does not approve of any other political players outside

Thus opposition parties in Zimbabwe are not treated as partners of the
government but are treated as enemies.

So, every political party that has ever dared to challenge Zanu PF has been
given a name that gives the party a treasonous outlook. UANC was said to be
a puppet of Ian Smith regime, Zanu Ndonga - counter revolutionary, PF
Zapu -a group of dissidents that was working for apartheid South Africa.
Zum - a slave of liberal whites who had links with Renamo, ZUD and recently
MDC - slaves of the West which is bent on undoing Pan Africanism, reversing
the gains of the struggle and furthermore, especially MDC, intended to start
a civil war in order to hand-over the country to the former colonial master,
Great Britain.

Zanu PF and government have failed to establish terms of reference and so
there is no clear separation.

Zanu PF has given it to themselves to staff the civil service, the local
government authorities and parastatals. The result has been the lack of
professionalism in such important organs as the CIO. It seems the later
underwent orientation to become conversant with Zanu PF and their policy.
The dangers of this is that the
CIO is a speciality area and if they specialise in Zanu PF that means
disaster especially for the party itself.

Can our CIO be able to groom a leader of their own, say from the time that
person is in grade three, to the time that person is at State house?

Worse still, can our CIO be able to protect the life of an opposition party
leader all in the interest of the nation? Can our police force beat a Zanu

Suppose the MP was accused of inciting riotous behaviour. Will Minister
Sekeramayi or MP Philip Chiyangwa be waken up at night by window smashing
police, be beaten up and paraded on the streets as has been done to MDC MPs?

Zanu PF has a leader, in the form of President Mugabe, who thrives on
failing to respect his oath of office.

The president is not prepared to be Zimbabwean first before he becomes the
president of Zanu PF. It can be seen that the president is comfortable with
relegating himself to being the president of Zanu PF. As at so many
occasions recently he has chosen to derogate the opposition, especially MDC,
ahead of addressing national issues.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily News

Mugabe dressed down

11/30/01 9:00:02 AM (GMT +2)

By Pedzisai Ruhanya

ED Royce, the chairman of the United States' Africa Sub-committee in the
House of Representatives, says President Mugabe is "a power-crazed, aged
dictator" literally burning down his country in a desperate bid to keep his
privileges and avoid accountability for his crimes.

Royce said Mugabe had sanctioned utter anarchy in his homeland in an attempt
to win an election he had been pressured by Zimbabweans into holding.

A statement from the US Embassy's Public Affairs Section in Harare,
yesterday, said Royce was speaking after the House International Relations
Committee on Wednesday unanimously passed the Zimbabwe Democracy and
Economic Recovery Bill.

The Bill has been passed by the Senate and is supported by the State
It will soon head for the House of Representatives for final consideration.

Royce praised the Bill, saying it provided reasonable guidelines for US
engagement with Zimbabwe.

He called on his fellow lawmakers to be realistic because the prospects were
increasingly remote that the Presidential election, due early next year,
would be free and fair.

"With the election approaching and the conditions on the ground in Zimbabwe
rapidly deteriorating, it's important that we pass this Zimbabwe legislation
before adjourning."
Royce said if Mugabe, 77, had his way, he would undoubtedly run Zimbabwe as
the one-party state he ran through the 1980s.

He said: "Mugabe has spared no means in his attempt to suppress democratic
expression. His Zanu PF party thugs have employed murder, mass beatings,
systematic torture, gang-rape, house burning, death threats and every type
of police brutality.

"And while the Zimbabwean police are quick to crack down on peaceful
political protest, violent Zanu PF thugs are rarely brought to justice.
Dozens of political opponents have been murdered in State-sanctioned

"Yet Mugabe does not speak out against those doing the violence. He instead
calls the peaceful political opposition 'terrorists' and vows to crush

He said the State Department has indicated that the legislation, as passed
by the Senate unanimously, would be quite helpful to its diplomatic efforts.

Royce said that having led a congressional delegation to Zimbabwe several
years ago, he witnessed the climate of fear that the government had created
in the country.

"The US-based International Foundation for Electoral Systems has been chased
from the country. The government rejected a call by the European Union to
allow for election monitors," he said.

Royce said Mugabe was doing everything to suppress freedom of expression in
the country.

"Mugabe is doing all he can to see that the world is not watching him.
Washington Post and New York Times reporters have been denied visas to cover
his chaos.

"Foreign journalists are routinely harassed and intimidated. It is
Zimbabwean journalists, though, who have borne the brunt of it. Newspaper
offices have been bombed," he said.
Royce was apparently referring to the bombing of The Daily News printing
press in January by yet unidentified people.

He said the Bill importantly asks the Bush Administration to begin a process
of identifying the assets of the country's ruling clique and to impose
personal economic sanctions against them for breaking the rule of law in the

"The Bill provides aid for lawful and transparent land resettlement. I think
this will have to come after there is a new government. We should not lose
sight that Mugabe has sanctioned the violent land invasions and the murder
of Zimbabweans, black and white, precisely because it serves his political

He said Mugabe's land reform programme has been to take land and give it to
his cronies.

Royce's attack on Mugabe follows a strong warning on Wednesday by Thabo
Mbeki, the South African President, that civil war could break out in
Zimbabwe if next year's Presidential election is not free and fair and there
is no Press freedom in the run-up to the poll.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Friday, 30 November, 2001, 13:53 GMT
Zimbabwe seeks total media control
Information Minister Jonathan Moyo
Moyo is putting the squeeze on the private press
Zimbabwe's Government has approved a host of measures designed to give the authorities complete control over what is written and broadcast in the country.

The Access to Information and Privacy Bill, drawn up by Information Minister Jonathan Moyo, introduces a licence for journalists which can be withdrawn by a government-appointed commission

It also bans journalists from writing unauthorised reports on cabinet deliberations and excludes foreign journalists from working in the country.

This must be fought with all the legal powers we have to prevent it seeing the light of day

Trevor Ncube
Newspaper publisher

The bill has not yet been passed in parliament but the state-owned Herald newspaper says it will be introduced soon.

The move is part of President Robert Mugabe's campaign against the independent media in the run-up to presidential elections early next year.

Meanwhile, the United States is set to impose targeted sanctions on Zimbabwe's leaders after the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act was passed by the House of Representatives' international relations committee.

This is expected to be passed by the full House next week and would request President George Bush to impose a travel ban on President Robert Mugabe and members of his government.

Any foreign assets belonging to the leaders would also be seized. The European Union parliament has already puit forward similar proposals.


Last week, an unnamed presidential spokesperson said that six journalists were "terrorists", which prompted Britain to warn Harare of unspecified "diplomatic action".

Zimbabwe's private media immediately condemned the new measures as a move to "dictatorship".

Remains of the Daily News' printing press
The Daily News is still published despite the bombing

"This must be fought with all the legal powers we have to prevent it seeing the light of day," said Trevor Ncube, publisher of The Zimbabwe Independent and Sunday Standard, two major independent weeklies.

"Any attempt by the government to license journalists flies in the face of our constitutional rights of free expression and our right to earn a living," said Basildon Peta, secretary general of the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists.

Mr Peta was one of those named as a "terrorist" - a charge he denies.

Special permission

Journalists would also be barred from publishing information harmful to law-enforcement or which may lead to public alarm and despondency.

Only Zimbabwean citizens would be accredited as journalists and they would need special permission from the Minister of Information to work for foreign news organisations.

The media had been operating in an unstructured fashion which has led to ethical and professional lapses

Department of Publicity and Information

Penalties for contravening the regulations include two years imprisonment and a fine of Z$100,000 ($1,800).

Zimbabwe's media is sharply divided between that owned by the state, which act as government mouthpieces, and others which are highly critical of Mr Mugabe.

In January, the printing press of the only private daily newspaper, The Daily News, was bombed hours after Information Minister Jonathan Moyo vowed to silence it as an "enemy of the state".

Daily News journalists have been arrested several times this year but charges have been dropped.

Three foreign correspondents have been expelled this year and in July, BBC foreign correspondents were barred from reporting from Zimbabwe.

Meanwhile, 12 more members of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change have been arrested in connection with the abduction of war veteran's leader Cain Nkala - who was killed earlier this month.

Mr Mugabe must call presidential elections within the next four months and he is expected to face his strongest-ever challenge from the MDC's Morgan Tsvangirai.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Friday, 30 November, 2001, 15:13 GMT
US Congress aid conditions for Zimbabwe
The House or Representatives must also approve the proposal
A congressional committee in the United States has approved a new law offering economic help to Zimbabwe.

Debt relief, a new deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), aid money and support for the government are all on the table.

But there are two main conditions - the US wants free and fair presidential elections, and a fresh start to land reform.

Zimbabwe's economy is in tatters and the government is isolated internationally.

The Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act has just this week won unanimous support from the International Relations Committee of the House of Representatives.

The head of the Congressional Black Caucus in Washington, Don Paine, told the BBC's World Business Report that Harare needs to be offered more carrot than stick.

"We are trying to be positive rather than punitive. It should be an incentive for the elections to be run right," the senator said.

"We will move for a rapid removal of sanctions," he said, "therefore Zimbabwe would get immediate relief.

Rapid reaction

As soon as the bill is passed, the Caucus will start talking to the multinational development banks.

"We will urge them to immediately remove sanctions. There is $20m to help them start with land reform," Senator Paine said.

He admitted that it had been difficult to get consensus from the Black Caucus in Congress.

"The land problem has been so glaring," he said.

But he said they had overcome the hurdle of opposition from African American members of the International Relations Committee.

"That will send a signal to the other 38 African Americans in the Congress and we believe we will have their support," the senator added.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Manufacturers Halt Cement Supplies in Zimbabwe


Xinhuanet 2001-11-30 16:56:17

HARARE, November 30 (Xinhuanet) -- Cement manufacturing companies have
stopped supplying cement to retailers, barely a week after the government
reduced the prices of cement by more then 50 percent.

A survey issued by the Business Herald on Friday showed that the
manufacturing companies of Circle Cement, Unicem, Sino-Zimbabwe Cement and
Zimbabwe Cement had since stopped accepting any new orders from cement

While officials from all the companies remained tight-lipped about the
latest development, several workers confirmed that the manufacturing
companies had since stopped supplying the product.

An employee at Circle Cement said the company had stopped accepting
orders and was most likely to resume supplies by the beginning of the year

The price of cement was gazetted last Friday through Statutory
Instrument and most of the manufacturing firms confirmed this weekthat they
were already charging the gazetted prices although the product has suddenly
become scarce.

However, it is widely believed that most of the companies have resorted
to hoarding the product anticipating removal of the pricecontrol regulations
in the near future.

Last week, the Ministry of Industry and International Trade warned
businesses against hoarding essential commodities that are controlled.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zimbabwe Independent

Graft allegations levelled against vice chancellor

By Brian Hungwe
SHOCKING allegations of unbecoming conduct have been levelled against
University of Zimbabwe vice-chancellor Graham Hill and pro-vice chancellor
Levi Nyagura in the administration of UZ affairs.

Academics are now seeking an audience with parliament to investigate and
“stop the rot” at the university.

They are also mulling a protest march to parliament next year to urge
relevant authorities to take action, against a background of
fast-deteriorating standards at the university.

Academics who spoke to the Zimbabwe Independent on condition of anonymity
this week revealed that a number of internal probes had been swept under the
carpet. They said tender procedures were being flouted and promotions were
not based on competency and that academic standards had fallen to the lowest
level. Lecturers are said to be leaving in droves for greener pastures.

The academics said they had presented their grievances to a parliamentary
committee probing university affairs whose findings are still to be tabled
before the house.

One academic told the Independent that in 1997 a committee headed by High
Court judge, Justice Adam, was set up to investigate allegations that
Nya-gura had embezzled funds from the university’s Human Resources Research
Centre. The Adam committee said Nyagura had a case to answer.

“Hill never set up a disciplinary committee to look into the matter and the
Adam report was never seen again,” he said.

Adam’s report was never discussed and disappeared from the institution
though the matter warranted police investigation.

The academics said Hill and Nyagura had been covering up for each other on
several issues affecting the institution.

An internal audit on the same matter at the Human Resources Centre revealed
that the UZ was prejudiced of $131 270 which Nyagura could not properly
account for.

The academics said they were shocked that Nyagura was given the task to head
the university’s finance and administration despite the audit report
exposing irregularities.

The Independent phoned the university yesterday and was informed that Hill
was out of the country, while Nyagura was reported to have gone to the
medical school for interviews.

Tender procedures were allegedly deliberately flouted by both Hill and
Nyagura despite a ministerial order from Higher education ministry

The academics told the Independent that Hill ignored recommendations by the
permanent secretary Michael Mambo to submit all university projects to

Hill announced the award of two tenders, one to undertake drainage works at
the university and the other to service fire fighting equipment without
going to tender.

“They should have followed a statutory requirement to work according to
government tender procedures,” the academics said.

The academics also pointed out that Hill had his Borrowdale house in Carrick
Creagh Road, renovated by the university’s department of works and had opted
to stay at his private residence though the university had allocated him a

“Records at the university show that he has been receiving housing
allowance,” the academics said.

Academics, who indicated that they would make a protest march any time
beginning next year, said, “corruption at the university is now stinking”.
The academics said that over $50 000 might have been used in the renovation
and refurbishment of Hill’s private residence.

Hill is understood to have since hired Winterton, Holmes and Hill as
university lawyers after dumping Scanlen and Holderness who have been doing
work for the university for over 20 years.

Academics alleged that Wintertons had a lawyer who happened to be Hill’s
“family lawyer”. No tenders were called and Hill resisted advice from his
administration that what he had done was most irregular.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zimbabwe Independent

All Zimbabweans have a right to vote

ZANU PF is very adept at moving goal posts when conditions suit it. In fact,
it has gone further than moving goal posts; it has moved the whole field

The new electoral laws which Justice minister Chinamasa is tabling in
parliament are calculated to undermine, suppress, and derogate from the
people’s democratic and constitutional right to a free and fair election.
The amendments include disenfrachising Zimbabwean citizens working abroad
except for government supporters in diplomatic missions and the uniformed
forces; making it difficult for some Zimbabweans who are in the country to
register to vote through the imposition of unreasonable restrictions;
banning independent election monitors; giving sweeping powers to the
Electoral Supervisory Commission — which the government-controls — to be the
exclusive institution conducting “voter education”; and denying Zimbabweans
access to voter education by any interested civic organisations or

It’s a theatre of the absurd. How can civil servants be asked to monitor
elections conducted by others civil servants? How does one expect electoral
officials to monitor themselves?

The whole process is a farce and, of course, the electoral outcome would be
equally useless unless the exercise is administered in a non-partisan

It is an open secret that the ESC, headed by lawyer Sobuza Gula-Ndebele, has
no secretariat, has no resources and relies on civic organisations to fund
its operations. It is also compromised from the start because it is
appointed through presidential fiat.

Who will supervise the operations of the ESC? How objective will its
operations be? We have already seen cases of prison officers being forcibly
retired from duties and kicked out of government houses for allegedly
supporting the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

Teachers too have been hounded from their rural schools for expressing their
constitutional right. Are we expected to believe these same people will
“monitor” the election and point out anomalies when they know their very
lives depend on them closing their eyes to discrepancies? How authentic and
transparent is the voter registration exercise currently taking place? What
is happening is clear: government is laying the ground and putting in place
a mechanism to “steal” the presidential election. It won’t be electoral
fraud but downright theft!

How can president Mugabe oversee the election process when he is a
contestant. Mugabe has powers to arbitrarily — through presidential decree —
amend or pass laws to consolidate his campaign.

The field is certainly uneven and skewed in Mugabe’s favour. We need
independent election monitors not only to ensure the election is free and
fair, but also to protect the rights of the common man. Only yesterday
president Thabo Mbeki of South Africa said press freedom was necessary for
the holding of a free and fair election in Zimbabwe and warned civil
conflict could break out if Zimbabwe’s election was deemed otherwise by the

But as we all know Zanu PF will do everything in its power to commit
electoral fraud and grab victory. War veterans and Zanu PF hoodlums — now
the vanguard of this do-or-die campaign — are applying systematic terror to
secure Mugabe ill-gotten electoral gains. Attacks on law-abiding citizens
are on the increase. The army, the police and intelligence services are
helping out in the terror crusade. Mobs of blood-baying Zanu PF militias are
roaming the country wreaking havoc so that their masters’ threadbare claims
of “terrorism” stick. Like we mentioned elsewhere, there is no terrorism in
Zimbabwe but a fundamental breakdown of law and order. That is not terrorism
by any definition. Zimbabweans across the length and breath of the country
will be systematically denied information on the manifestos of the election
candidates except Mugabe’s turgid propaganda.

It is clear Zanu PF does not want to advance the cause of democracy in
Zimbabwe. The international community must intervene to ensure Mugabe’s
neanderthal regime adheres to the laws it has set. Shrill cries of
sovereignty are actually a camouflage for violent repression and vile

Zimbabweans must hold on to their power and exercise their franchise without
fear or favour. Hold on to your courage, don’t let violent others beat it
out of you. Hold on to your independence and reject the mandarins, their
official prescripts and policy of determinism. Roll on Zimbabweans and throw
out despotism. The ballot box is the best instrument to commit tyrannicide.
In all historical epochs, the good has always triumphed over malevolence.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zimbabwe Independent

Diplomats snub Zanu PF conference

By Dumisani Muleya/Godfrey Marawanyika
GOVERNMENT has invited diplomats based in Harare to attend Zanu PF’s annual
people’s conference to be held in Victoria Falls in two week’s time.

In a notice dated November 22, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs extended the
invitation to the diplomats for the event scheduled for December 14 at the
Elephant Hills golf course.

“The ministry wishes to advise the heads of diplomatic missions who will be
able to attend the opening session of the conference to make their own
travel and accommodation arrangements,” the invitation said.

Diplomats who spoke to the Independent said they would not be attending the
conference for fear Zanu PF would use the gathering for its campaign

“Most of us will not be attending because we know that the government will
use the congress to get political mileage,” said one diplomat.

“What they are trying to do is do divert the attention of the world away
from Zimbabwe’s pressing internal problems. They are beginning to feel the
pain of international isolation,” he said.

Government and Zanu PF spokesmen have in the past complained about diplomats
getting involved in their party functions. Foreign mission officials have
also been criticised for meddling in local politics whenever they have
pointed out certain critical issues regarding Zimbabwe’s political

Zimbabwe’s diplomats in foreign missions are forced to attend Zanu PF’s
gatherings. In December 1999 the diplomats were compelled to attend the
party’s congress and Mugabe gave them a roasting and warned those who did
not support him would be recalled.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zimbabwe Independent

Land for crops set to decline by 60%

By Augustine Mukaro
A DECLINE of more than 60% in the hectarage of land devoted to food crops
has been predicted by agricultural experts. Worst hit is the commercial
farming sector and analysts are blaming continuing land invasions and
violence and work stoppages on the farms.

“Invasions of even de-listed farms and tension on commercial farms are
making planting of crops difficult and farmers now fear to put large tracts
of land under crop because settlers are constantly coming to plant their
crops,” one agricultural expert said.

A statement from the Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) said because of the
on-going land invasions and rising political activity on farms, plus the
implications of the amendment to the Land Acquisition Act which have further
eroded confidence, maize production could fall by as much as 70%.

Early planting intentions surveys had indicated a maize crop size of 48 000
hectares and an estimated production of 255 000 tonnes.

“On the tobacco section by September, 508 farms faced total or partial work
stoppages on 26 026 hectares, roughly one third of the total area of the
tobacco grown in Zimbabwe in a normal year,” the CFU said.

“Results of a farm-by-farm survey mid-November indicated that 320 out of 1
750 farms had not managed to plant at all. Thirty-four farms were completely
abandoned,” the statement said.

The statement said in the beef section nearly a quarter of a million head of
cattle had been sold as a result of forced de-stocking in response to

“The figure represents about 20% of the commercial national herd and there
are bound to be adverse short- to medium-term repercussions for the
industry,” reads the statement.

According to the CFU security update, the situation remains tense throughout
the country.

“At least 67% work stoppages have been recorded in the Chinhoyi/Umboe areas
with settlers on the rampage planting their own tobacco and paprika
seedlings,” reads the update.

“In the Kadoma/Chakari area 740 hectares of irrigation land could not be
planted after settlers occupied the area.”

Officials at the ZFU said hectarage under communal and resettlement farming
was expected to increase as a result of the on-going fast-track

“Resettled farmers will cover considerable land because of the assistance
they are getting from the government through the inputs credit scheme,” the
official said.

Under the scheme, newly-resettled farmers get fertilisers, seed and tillage

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zimbabwe Independent

Impeachment committee sits next week

By Brian Hungwe
A PARLIAMENTARY committee set up to investigate the impeachment of President
Robert Mugabe for breaching the constitution through indirectly or directly
abetting a violent campaign against his political opponents in the run-up to
the presidential election will be sitting next week to map the way forward.

The “Ad hoc committee on the impeachment of the President” is chaired by
Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa and comprises members from both the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and Zanu PF.

MDC legislators David Coltart, Princilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, Tendai Biti,
Paul Themba Nyathi, Professor Welshman Ncube and Zanu PF MPs Lazarus Dokora,
Jorum Gumbo, Kumbirai Kangai, Shuvai Mahofa, Paul Mangwana, Olivia Muchena
and Webster Shamu make up the committee.

The committee meets next week on Monday to chart the way forward in terms of
gathering evidence.

MDC parliamentary chief whip Innocent Gonese told the Independent yesterday
that it was surprising that the matter had taken so long to be heard.

“We will be interested to see how they are going to progress as a committee
after having taken almost a year to come up with such a meeting,” Gonese

“It is almost a year after the committee was set to look into the concerns
with regard to impeachment.”

During last year’s June parliamentary election, over 30 people were murdered
by war veterans in acts of terrorism that received worldwide condemnation.
Mugabe went on to issue a clemency order pardoning hundreds of political
criminals — the majority his supporters — who had committed heinous crimes.

The majority of the perpetrators of the political violence have not been
brought to book. The murderer’s of David Stevens, abducted and killed from a
police station; Patrick Nabanyama who was abducted and has not been found
since; Tichaona Chiminya and Talent Mabika who were petrol-bombed and burnt
beyond recognition by a central intelligence operative and war veteran in
Buhera are all cases still to be investigated.

Mabika and Chiminya’s killers were identified in the High Court during an
electoral petition hearing but are still to be brought to book to answer
charges of murder.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zimbabwe Independent

Airline project hijacked

By Dumisani Muleya
TRANSPORT and Communications minister Swithun Mombeshora has been accused of
hijacking a money-spinning airline project from a local business consortium
and awarding it to his preferred company.

Official sources yesterday said the minister, who is at the centre of
several other murky deals, seized the project from a Leo Mugabe-led group
and handed it over to Flywell Airlines.

Flywell was piloted by Zanu PF member and former Zimbabwe United Bus Company
(Zupco) chair Forbes Magadu and ex-Air Zimbabwe captain, Eric Mathaba. The
airline, which has offices at Century House West, is currently trading as
Air Link Zimbabwe.

The Mugabe consortium, currently fighting Mombeshora, includes former
Zimbabwe Express Airlines chief executive, Evans Ndebele and Electoral
Supervisory Commission chair, Sobusa Gula-Ndebele. This group was supposed
to also trade as Air Link Zimbabwe.

Sources said Mombeshora usurped the deal after gleaning data from
communications between South African Air Link chief executive, Roger Foster,
and officials in his ministry.

SA Air Link, now working in collaboration with Flywell, was supposed to be
the foreign partner in Mugabe’s consortium. It had promised to lease three
planes to the company.

The planes included two 29-seater Jet Stream 41 aircraft and a 37-seater
Brazilian Embraer jet. Two of the planes have since been given to Flywell
which started flying the Harare-Johannesburg and Harare-Bulawayo route last

The official launch of Flywell was called off on Tuesday. Company chair
Magadu was quoted in the press yesterday saying the function was put off due
to government concerns over his company’s logo and colours.

Mombeshora offered the same explanation but sources said there was official
alarm about the manner in which the Flywell deal was handled.
The storm erupted after Gula-Ndebele protested against Mombeshora. The
former military intelligence officer wrote a strong letter to the minister
accusing him of sabotage.

The letter was copied to vice-president Joseph Msika and State Security
minister Nicholas Goche.

Mombeshora yesterday confirmed receiving the letter.

“I got it (letter) but all the things it raised were false,” he said. “It
contained rumours in the market. I have nothing to with that.” Gula-Ndebele
was unavailable for comment.

The minister also acknowledged meeting Foster and Magadu separately, but
insisted he did not influence the deal.

Evans Ndebele reacted with anger.

“We feel very disappointed with the minister because his interference failed
our project,” he said. “We were also let down by the South Africans who
allowed themselves to be swayed and involved in a corrupt deal.”

Sources said the other hindrance to the Flywell official launch was a
serious route dispute between Flywell and Mid Air Airlines.

Despite Mombeshora’s protestations, sources maintained he hijacked the
Mugabe airline project.

“The Leo Mugabe and Ndebele group started working on this project in July
and was supposed to start flying in October,” a source said. “But as soon as
Mombeshora took over, things started going wrong. He blackmailed SA Air Link
saying if they refused to partner Flywell he would not give them a licence.
That’s why they came to see him.”

Mombeshora denied this, saying the South Africans only paid him a courtesy

The Mugabe-Ndebele brothers’ airline was supposed to fly thin Air Zimbabwe
routes such as Harare/Kariba/Victoria Falls, Harare/Hwange and

Mugabe said he was in a meeting while Magadu was out of office.
Mombeshora is also mired in a murky US$100 million telecoms deal involving
Bulawayo tycoon Delma Lupepe’s Zimbabwe Express, a licence row relating to
Harare magnate Daniel Shumba’s telecoms firm, TeleAccess, and a $219 million
scandal involving a tender for the supply of luxury vehicles to government.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zimbabwe Independent

Parts of Zimbabwe go without fuel

By Forward Maisokwadzo
ZIMBABWEANS faced the spectre of fuel shortages this week as erratic
supplies resurfaced countrywide.

The country’s erratic fuel supplies triggered by acute foreign currency
shortages temporarily eased for the past five months after the government
signed a US$360 million fuel deal with Libya.

Government insisted there was enough fuel in stock to last the festive
season. But parts of the country, including Gweru, Chinhoyi, Matebeleland,
KweKwe and Victoria Falls, were said to be facing shortages. The government
said fuel disruptions in these areas had been caused by the NRZ strike
earlier this week.

Motorists are already panicking about the possibility of fuel shortage ahead
of the festive season.

They said despite problems caused by the National Railways of Zimbabwe
workers’ strike, it was hard to understand why areas where fuel was
transported by road were experiencing supply problems.

Oil Industry Association of Zimbabwe vice-chairman, John Makova, yesterday
said reports indicated there were logistical difficulties on the supply

“Logistical difficulties associated with fuel transportation mean that
moving fuel from supply point to inland distribution points can take up to
seven days. This period is extended if there are hold ups,” said Makova,
without explaining the hold up.

He called on stakeholders to “work together to ensure that logistical
challenges are resolved”.

Mines and Energy minister, Edward Chindori-Chininga told parliament on
Wednesday that oil companies were deliberately refusing to collect fuel from
depots. He did not shed light on why they were suddenly reluctant.
Chindori-Chininga blamed oil companies for not collecting about 5,7 million
litres of petrol and 8 million litres of diesel by Wednesday.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zimbabwe Independent

Chidyausiku faces conflict of interest

By Dumisani Muleya
CHIEF Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku, whose ruling on the Harare mayoral and
council elections this week threatens to provoke a storm, faces a conflict
of interest in the case, it emerged yesterday.

Legal sources said Chidyausiku refused to recuse himself in the case after
lawyers raised his involvement in a land purchase deal with council. They
said the chief justice’s order was made on the basis of wrong information
contained in Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede’s affidavit.

Attorneys representing the Combined Harare Residents Association on
Wednesday filed an application in the Supreme Court on these issues.
Lawyers said they told Chidyausiku about these misrepresentations but he
refused to listen, insisting on the note of appeal issue.

The chief justice, who conceded he had not read Justice Hungwe’s order,
suspended the stipulation in Hungwe’s order that an appeal should not affect
his judgement.

Legal sources said Mudede’s distortions could have been through “negligence
or forgery”.

Chidyausiku acquired an 8 042 square metre tract of land for $520 000.
The conflict of interest issue was also raised by lawyers in the opposition
MDC MP Trudy Stevenson’s recent challenge of the Harare commission.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zimbabwe Independent

Opinion 1

By Sizani Weza
THE so-called “liberalisation” of the airwaves in Zimbabwe has turned out to
be another fraud. The new ZBC Commercialisation Bill of 2001 is no

Interestingly, the government conveniently used the Supreme Court ruling
nullifying sections 27 and 28 of the 1957 Broadcasting Act and section 14 of
the Radio Communication Services Act to set the tone for tighter government
control of the airwaves.

The fact that it fast-tracked the Broadcasting Regulations (Statutory
Instrument 255A of 2000) introduced by presidential decree last year in
parliament against the advice of the respected Parliamentary Legal Committee
that some sections of the Bill were unconstitutional, shows that the
government was not acting in good faith. Moreover, standing parliamentary
orders were ignored with the result that MPs who called for amendments to
some sections of the Bill were dismissed.

The broadcasting regulations are extensive and complicated, and a full
review of the rules and their implications is not the aim of this paper. But
it is important to note that some aspects of the Act directly undermine
media freedom in a liberalised broadcasting environment. These include a
flawed regulatory authority, limitations on the number of private
broadcasters and restrictions on content, among others.

And this is what the new Broadcasting Services Act enacted in April 2001
seeks to achieve. For example, the minister is empowered to dictate what
broadcasters should broadcast.

It is sad to note that in an environment where government is revising media
policies to control information reaching people ahead of the presidential
election, the enactment of the Broadcasting Services Act is thus unfair.

Perhaps one of the most restrictive provisions in the Act is section 9 (3)
which states that “with the exception of a public broadcaster, a
broadcasting licence and a signal carrier licence shall not be issued to the
same person”.

Up until recently, ZBC was exonerated from this provision. It has now been
turned into a commercial broadcaster following the gazetting of the Zimbabwe
Broadcasting Corporation Commercialisation Bill of 2001.

Briefly, the bill seeks to commercialise the ZBC and convert it into two
public companies. One company will be responsible for signal transmission
and the other for broadcasting.

To start off with, the justifications for the formation of the two companies
as provided in the bill are not convincing.

That “commercialisation of the ZBC will give it the much needed business
flexibility to meet the challenges of a competitive business environment” is
a fib. It should be remembered that the 1957 Broadcasting Act was revised in
1996. This revision was meant to enable ZBC to operate on sound commercial
lines. ZBC has all along operated commercially from the revenue it generates
from advertising.

But that is beside the point.

Already, hopes for a new private national radio and television station
have been dashed by recent reports that New Ziana will become a new player
in the broadcasting arena. If Ziana, a national news agency wholly owned by
the Mass Media Trust, is licenced as the second national broadcaster, then
there will be no private broadcasters.

The Broadcasting Services Act allows for only one other national radio and
television station besides ZBC. In simple terms, the competitive business
environment envisaged is meant to deceive the public into believing that new
players will be licenced.

Community stations are the only hope for Zimbabweans. However, according to
the Act, they will be prohibited from carrying any political content.

Worse still are the content restrictions that the Broadcasting Services Act
imposes on all broadcasters. At least 75% of the programmes must be local,
10% must be in any other language other than Shona, Ndebele and English.
Five percent of the programmes on television must be understood by the deaf
etc. In other words, ZBC’s failure will be a victim of the policies of its
majority shareholder. The mind boggles why the public has to foot the
difference caused by misguided policies that were drawn up with minimal
consultation with the stakeholders. This immediately erodes any commercial
viability envisaged.

In fact, what the bill will achieve in the long run is to erode commercial
viability in the broadcasting sector. Up until now, nothing has been said
about the cost of using equipment from the signal carrier company. The rates
are likely to be different for different broadcasters. And this situation is
likely to be manipulated to the disadvantage of some broadcasters.

But the Bill has made room for this — apparently. Clause 10 of the Bill
provides that ZBC continues receiving public funding through licence fees.
This contradicts the very reason for commercialising its operations.

Clause 10, which contains the crux of the whole Bill, seeks to extend the
transitional period within which providers of broadcasting services have to
be licensed. In simple terms, this means Zimbabweans will have to wait
longer for new broadcasters to enter the broadcasting arena.

On the other hand, the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe has delayed
putting in place licensing procedures for new players and almost eight
months down the line, Zimbabwe is still to enjoy the “fruits” of the new

But the question many may pose is whether ZBC will continue to have any
public service obligations? In essence, what the Bill provides for is the
privatisation of a supposedly public entity. While ZBC may continue being
subsidised from public funds, it may altogether serve different interests
after the passing of the new Act. The “interests” are anyone’s guess.

The Bill also entrenches some of the repressive provisions contained in the
Broadcasting Services Act by controlling the means of communication.
Clearly, this is an infringement on freedom of expression guaranteed in
section 20 (1) of the constitution of Zimbabwe.

The Bill also raises concerns around national security interest. This
effectively nullifies section 9(3) of the Broadcasting Services Act. And
this in effect rules out the coming in of a new signal carrier company in
the broadcasting scene. In any case, there are no commercial rewards for
entering a sector that will have limited users. Although this is not stated
in the Bill, the implication is that signal carriers cannot be left in the
hands of private individuals. In this way, the introduction of a new signal
carrier company wholly owned and controlled by the government can only be
seen as a way of controlling private broadcasters who might be licenced, if
ever there would be any.

There are heavy penalties imposed on broadcasters who fail to comply with
licence requirements.

Further to this, section 4 (3) of the Bill states that “in the performance
of their functions, the successor companies shall give priority to serving
the needs of the state, to the extent that it is compatible with sound
practice to do so”. The “needs of the state” are not defined anywhere in the
Bill. Nor are they defined in the Broadcasting Services Act. This avenue is
open to manipulation.

The supposed “independence” of the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe has
once again been rendered useless. The BAZ, whose role in the Act is merely
advisory, will not be required in this scheme of things. The two companies
have automatically been licenced for the next two years as provided for in
the Broadcasting Services Act. It is likely that the licences will be
automatically renewed — there is no performance index to talk about here.

In conclusion, the Bill exacerbates the already repressive broadcasting
legislation that has been in existence since October 2000. No new station
has been licenced since the new regulations became law. However, the Capital
Radio case, challenging the constitutionality of sections of the Act, is
pending. There is every reason for Zimbabweans to be hopeful. But it may be
too late. The laws would have served their purpose then!
Back to the Top
Back to Index

From The Daily Telegraph (UK), 30 November

US threat to impose sanctions on Mugabe

Harare - International financial and travel sanctions against President Mugabe and senior officials of Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu PF party, along with their families, came a step closer yesterday. After black Congressmen dropped their opposition, the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act was passed unanimously by the House international relations committee in Washington. The measure, which passed the Senate in August and is now expected to be passed by the full House next week, asks President Bush to consult other countries, including European Union members, on ways to impose visa restrictions and other sanctions against those responsible for the continuing violence in Zimbabwe. The legislation is consistent with EU proposals for similar "smart" sanctions and echo the anger at Mr Mugabe's policies publicly voiced by Colin Powell, the secretary of state. Many children of senior regime members could be affected by the sanctions as they attend colleges and universities in Britain and America. A large amount in personal assets has been transferred to Europe.

The vote came shortly before workmen began placing concrete posts around Mr Mugabe's offices in Harare to increase his security. The 77-year-old leader, who has been in power since independence in 1980, has made repeated claims that he faces a "terrorist threat" from opposition forces supposedly in British pay. Sydney Sekeramayi, the defence minister, and other government officials declined to comment on a report in the independent Zimbabwean Financial Gazette about projects to build a bombproof underground shelter. It said the government was preparing for any eventuality, including "civil war should Mugabe lose next year's presidential election".

Pressure is mounting against the opposition Movement for Democratic Change whose president, Morgan Tsvangirai, will stand against Mr Mugabe. In Zimbabwe's second city, Bulawayo, Simon Spooner, 48, an MDC member who has been in prison for 17 days, applied for bail this week. He is accused of being part of a plot to murder Cain Nkala, a pro-government activist, earlier this month. Among the accusations levelled at him during his bail hearing were that he is white, a self-confessed member of the MDC and received military training during his youth in the 1960s in Australia. A ruling has been held over until next week while two of his fellow accused told the high court they were tortured into confessing that they helped to kill Nkala. Yesterday, Gibson Sibanda, vice-president of the MDC, said: "They are breaking our structures all over the country, particularly in rural areas. "Violence is going to increase to a frightening level."

As Mr Mugabe's seizure of white-owned land intensifies, the government has indicated that it has failed to provide supplies and equipment for hundreds of thousands of settlers and so-called war veterans illegally occupying recently productive farms. The government mouthpiece, The Herald newspaper, said white farmers should make their tractors available to settlers as they no longer needed them. Many commercial farmers have packed up such equipment and stored it.

From The Financial Times (UK), 30 November

Mbeki laments failure to curtail Zimbabwe violence

International initiatives are failing to remedy political violence in Zimbabwe and put the country on track for free and fair presidential elections in March, Thabo Mbeki, South Africa's president said yesterday. The Commonwealth and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) have set up ministerial contact groups to engage with President Robert Mugabe's government. They are seeking to encourage the ruling Zanu PF government to restore the rule of law and reverse the country's economic crisis, which has led to food shortages and a sharp contraction of the economy. "Those efforts have not brought the results we wanted to see," Mr Mbeki said in an interview with foreign reporters. He warned that any manipulation of the forthcoming presidential election would escalate tensions in Zimbabwe. "If you have elections in Zimbabwe which were not seen by the people as legitimate and where the (new) government was not considered legitimate, you would probably end up with a situation worse than it is now," he said. Investors and the South African foreign ministry have expressed concern that economic hardship and misrule by Zanu PF could precipitate civil strife, particularly among the minority Ndebele group in Matabeleland, ahead of the elections.

Jack Straw, the UK's foreign secretary, said earlier this week that Mr Mugabe had paid "scant regard" to the Commonwealth-brokered Abuja agreement, signed in September. This accord was intended to end the intimidation of political opponents, bring order back to the land reform programme and increase the country's contact with the international community. But over the past month, the Zimbabwean government has refused international election observers, barred expatriate Zimbabweans from voting and branded locally-based foreign journalists as enemies of the state. Mr Mbeki insists that South Africa will not act unilaterally in its approach to Zimbabwe, nor will it openly confront Mr Mugabe. It prefers to work within regional and Commonwealth initiatives and opposes the implementation of sanctions on a country facing severe economic difficulties. Mr Mbeki said Zimbabwe had unfairly "fallen into our (South Africa's) lap", but was more the responsibility of the UK. "We never colonised Zimbabwe," he said. Momentum in the international community for sanctions against Zimbabwe is gathering. This week the US House of Representatives approved legislation to put pressure on the Zimbabwean government to abide by democratic rule. The Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act provides for visa restrictions and targeted sanctions, such as the freezing of assets, against those responsible for political violence. "In Zimbabwe, we're sadly seeing a power-crazed, aged dictator literally burning his country down," said Ed Royce, chairman of the House of Representatives' International Relations' Africa sub-committee.

From ZWNEWS, 30 November

Smokescreen clears a little

For nearly three months, the Zimbabwe government has used the atrocity of September 11 as cover for domestic abominations of its own. On Wednesday that smokescreen cleared a little, as an influential committee of the US Congress gave its support to a Bill which, together with measures for economic aid if the rule of law is restored, also brings personal sanctions against President Mugabe, his associates, and their families, one step closer if it is not. The Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (ZDERA) was approved – unanimously - by the International Relations Committee of the US House of Representatives, pushing the draft legislation further along the path to becoming US law.

The initial version of ZDERA was introduced in the US Senate in 2000, but failed to complete its passage through the other half of Congress – the House of Representatives – by the end of last year. It was re-introduced and approved in the Senate this year, and on Wednesday cleared a crucial hurdle when it completed its "mark up" in the full International Relations Committee of the House. "Mark up" is the process whereby a final version of the Bill is agreed upon for referral to the floor of the full House of Representatives for a vote. If the floor vote in the House approves the Bill – this is thought to be highly likely – then the Bill will pass to a joint committee of Senate and House to iron out any remaining differences between the Senate and House versions. The resulting single version of the proposed law will then be sent to the White House for the signature of President Bush.

Introducing the Bill, Edward Royce – the chairman of the House Africa sub-committee - said: ""This legislation provides aid for lawful and transparent land resettlement. We shouldn't lose sight of the fact that Mugabe has sanctioned the violent land invasions and the murder of Zimbabweans, black and white, precisely because it serves his political interests. That is why many attempts by the international community to aid a lawful land reform program have gone for naught. Mugabe's land reform program has been to take land and give it to his cronies." The ranking member of the House International Relations committee, Tom Lantos, outlined the purpose of the Bill, as providing "a set of incentives for Mugabe and his government to move in the right direction - away from intimidation, violence, corruption, and draconian economic policies - toward a land reform policy that reflects the rule of law, and policies that restore an independent judiciary, allow political competition, and support a free, and independent press."

Crucial to the approval of ZDERA was the support of members of the powerful Congressional Black Caucus (CBC). The CBC had previously expressed its reservations about ZDERA, and has reportedly been the target of intense lobbying by political consultants employed by the Zimbabwe government in Washington. Despite these efforts, however, the CBC has swung its support behind ZDERA. Congressman Donald Payne, an influential member of the CBC and ranking member of the Africa sub-committee said: "Those who object to this legislation hide behind the race card. This is not about white versus black farmers or racism; it is about fair and transparent elections; respect for human rights; fair and transparent land reform; and to provide real help to those who need it most." Another CBC member, Congressman Gregory Meeks, said ""We can debate the sources of culpability for the way the current political, economic, and social conditions in Zimbabwe have deteriorated to crisis-like proportions - there are clearly ample internal and external sources of blame to go around. I recognize President Mugabe's role in Zimbabwe's independence process from centuries of British colonial oppression, exploitation and undemocratic rule. I am critical of his role in failing to address the issue of transforming access to land for all Zimbabweans and for playing politics with this issue."

Armed with this draft legislation, the US administration’s Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, Walter Kansteiner, is expected in Harare next week for talks. That the US Congress has found the time for ZDERA amid the pre-occupations of 11 September and Afghanistan sends a clear signal to the Zimbabwe government - but also to the EU, the Commonwealth, and Zimbabwe's SADC neighbours to follow suit.

From The Washington Post, 30 November

In Zimbabwe, Signs of 'Trouble Ahead'

Johannesburg - In October, Zimbabwe's government turned away international election monitors, accusing the European observers of favoring the opposition in presidential elections scheduled for early next year. That was followed by the arrests of two independent journalists, and last week President Robert Mugabe's information minister compared the international media to terrorists and began notifying foreign journalists that they would not be allowed to work in the country for the foreseeable future. Along the way, Mugabe's political party, which has governed the former British colony virtually since its independence 21 years ago, has introduced legislation to prevent relief agencies from sponsoring voter education programs, to establish tougher residency requirements for voters and, in a new anti-terrorism bill, to make it a crime to "undermine the authority of the president" or "engender hostility" toward him. The offenses would be punishable by death.

As Zimbabwe heads into the homestretch of an already violent campaign season, the shape of things to come is anything but promising, according to diplomats, opposition politicians and political analysts throughout southern Africa. With polls showing Mugabe running behind Morgan Tsvangirai, the candidate of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, the 77-year-old president is preparing to accelerate his party's 18-month-old campaign of violence and terror to force democracy to bend to his will, observers say. By pushing laws through parliament that could discourage thousands of voters from casting ballots, by harassing and jailing opposition politicians and their supporters and by shielding Zimbabwe from the watchful eyes of foreign media and independent observers, many here say Mugabe is likely positioning his governing party, Zanu PF, to rig the toughest election of his 21-year rule. "It has got all the potential for trouble ahead," said Michael Quintana, editor of Africa Defense Journal.

After voters rejected a constitutional referendum in February 2000 to further consolidate Mugabe's autocratic powers, violent mobs led by veterans of Zimbabwe's 1970s liberation war began seizing commercial farms owned by wealthy, white farmers, who account for less than 1 percent of the country's 12 million people. Nearly 40 people - mostly opposition supporters - died in the confrontations that followed, and many say they fear that the violence will only increase in the months leading up to the elections, which are scheduled for March. Survey results released this month showed Tsvangirai running ahead of Mugabe, and a Gallup poll due to be released soon shows the former trade union leader holding an advantage of 8 percentage points over the president.

After a government supporter was killed Nov. 13, mobs of war veterans accused members of Tsvangirai's party, the MDC, of orchestrating the murder in retaliation for the killing of one of their own, and rioted last week in Zimbabwe's second city, Bulawayo. Witnesses said police escorted the veterans as they marched through the streets attacking vendors selling independent newspapers that have been critical of Mugabe, overturning cars and setting them on fire. At the funeral last week of Cain Nkala, the slain Zanu PF supporter, Mugabe repeatedly referred to the MDC and sympathetic white farmers as "terrorists" and accused Britain - Zimbabwe's former colonial ruler – of supporting terrorists. That characterization, according to Western diplomats, MDC leaders and activists, lays the foundation for a government crackdown on the MDC in the name of state security. The rhetoric is similar to Mugabe's denunciation of political rivals following Zimbabwe's independence, which led to the government's violent clashes with dissidents in the Matabeleland region, where Bulawayo is located. "This is exactly the script that he used" in the 1980s, said Learnmore Jongwe, an MDC spokesman. "It is a signal to us that they are going to try everything - including assassination - to hijack the elections. We are telling our supporters to remain steadfast. They cannot kill us all."

Zimbabwe's information minister, Jonathan Moyo, did not return phone calls for comment. But he told reporters last week that reporting by British and South African journalists critical of the government role in the Bulawayo clashes was irresponsible. "It is now an open secret that these reporters are not only distorting the facts but are assisting terrorists. . . . As for the correspondents, we would like them to know that we agree with President Bush that anyone who finances, harbors or defends terrorists is himself a terrorist." Foreign news organizations have denied the accusation, but Zanu PF lawmakers used the heightened political tensions to begin "fast-track" passage of new anti-terrorism measures, providing the government with wide authority to make arrests for "insurgency, kidnapping and murder." That legislation coincides with electoral reforms that will effectively ban absentee ballots from Zimbabweans living abroad, with the exception of diplomats and soldiers. Pending rubber-stamp approval from the Zanu PF-controlled parliament, the law will also require voters to present proof of residency, a measure that could shave thousands from the voter rolls, political analysts say.

Mugabe, who led Zimbabwe's rebel forces against the Rhodesian army, is the only leader this country has known since independence. Once a tremendously popular leader whose Marxist government provided Zimbabweans with free health care and education, Mugabe abandoned socialism after the Cold War ended. Zimbabwe's adjustment to a free-market economy, however, has been hurt by widespread government corruption and mismanagement, economists and activists say. Mugabe's decision three years ago to send nearly 12,000 troops to fight an unpopular civil war in neighboring Congo has damaged the economy even more, and turned many voters against him.

From ZWNEWS, 30 November

State shifts blame again

The government is again attempting to shift the blame for Zanu PF inspired violence onto the Movement for Democratic Change, echoing the recent events in Bulawayo, where the murder of Matabeleland war veterans leader Cain Nkala was blamed on the opposition party, and has resulted in widespread arrests of MDC officials in the province. State television on Wednesday accused MDC members staying at the home of Mrs Sekai Holland at Mtaga growth point in Mberengwa of petrol-bombing the home of one Zanu PF official, and beating up another. "Reports were made from Mberengwa West that Cde Chiwera's house was petrol bombed last night, seriously injuring his wife and child. His colleague Cde Mujeri was beaten up by suspected MDC youths believed to be staying at Sekai Holland's house at Mataga Growth Point," reported ZTV.

This latest episode in the ongoing campaign to portray the MDC as "terrorists" relates to the death shortly after 5 November of Ravengai Sikumucha, the brother of an MDC activist in the Mberengwa area. A registration drive was being conducted in the Mberengwa district by a MDC group from Gweru, with leaflets being dropped and rallies held, to persuade villagers to register as voters for the presidential election next year. A truck carrying the MDC group was followed by police near Jeka. Inspector Magumise – the member-in-charge of Mataga police station, who is also a local war veteran, and fiercely opposed to the MDC – was in the police vehicle. Sikumucha had, with others, run away as the police vehicle approached. It is alleged by an eye-witness, who is now in Harare in fear of his life, that Inspector Magumise and a CIO operative named Walter picked up Sikumucha, who was wearing similar clothes to his brother, and tortured him to death. The witness says that Sikumucha’s body was left at Musume hospital after the parents of the deceased refused to accept the police story that their son had leapt from the back of the police vehicle. The Buchwa police were said to have finally taken the body to Bulawayo for an autopsy last Thursday. A funeral has not yet been held.

"The ZTV report is a lie," said Mrs Holland, who is the MDC Secretary for International Affairs. "I fear that it is made to lay the ground for a return to a violent presidential campaign by the ruling party in Mberengwa district. Recently Biggie Chitoro was released on bail and has held three rallies to date in Mberengwa West - despite this being contrary to his bail conditions that he never participate in political activities." Biggie Chitoro is a Zanu PF member from the area heavily implicated in making the Mberengwa West constituency one of the worst affected by political violence before the June 2000 parliamentary elections. The Holland's home in Mberengwa has been a target for attack for more than a year. Every attempt has been made to remove its occupants not just from Mataga Growth Point but out of Mberengwa district itself. The home is used by the MDC party to hold their weekly district meetings. It is also used by the youth and women's groups for training.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zimbabwe Independent

News Analysis

By Vincent Kahiya
ZANU PF and the MDC head for a bitter clash in parliament before year-end as
the ruling party intensifies its quest to pass laws that bolster its
position ahead of the presidential election next year.

A taste of things to come was manifest on Tuesday last week when MPs from
both sides of the house were involved in verbal combat, which in instances
bordered on abuse. In the face of a myriad laws set to come to the house,
parliamentary debates are likely to degenerate further as MPs trade insults.

Excitable MDC MPs have oftentimes been sucked into these childish
distractions which always work for Zanu PF. Zanu PF has used such
opportunities to draw MPs away from real issues of national interest. And
when the crunch time comes to pass laws, the ruling party will use its slim
parliamentary majority when the house divides to vote.

The Zanu PF caucus should already be in possession of the “campaign laws”
which should be fast-tracked through parliament. There is little interest in
parliamentary business by Zanu PF MPs, most of whom bunked most of
parliament’s sessions last week. There were just seven Zanu PF MPs on

Parliament is expected to adjourn for the Christmas break on December 13 and
then reconvene in the New Year. The calendar for 2002 will only be made
available in the New Year but indications are that the assembly will only
meet for about six weeks before preparations for the presidential election
take over.

Considering the little time left, Zanu PF is likely to use its now trusted
route of passing laws – the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) Act.
The battle for Zanu PF in next year’s election however requires more than
sloganeering and hawking fictitious manifestos as has been the norm in the
past. The strategy will include the enactment of bills to emasculate the
opposition MDC that is currently labouring under the tag of a “terrorist”
organisation. Two of the party’s MPs, Fletcher Dulini Ncube
(Lobengula-Magwegwe) and Mzila Ndlovu (Bulilimamangwe North) are currently
in custody on murder and kidnap charges respectively and the jingoism
orchestrated by Zanu PF leaders suggests they would like opposition leaders
in custody.

This, in addition to the terror in the rural areas and high density suburbs,
should render MDC MPs unable to campaign effectively.

Of late Zanu PF has been working feverishly to justify the need for more
draconian measures to enforce law and order. The abduction and murder of the
party’s two activists in Matabeleland, Cain Nkala and Limukani Luphahla,
have been exploited to the full to advance the notion that the country’s
sovereignty is under threat from MDC terrorists, hence the need for
draconian sedition laws.

The government has announced its intention to introduce the Public Order and
Security Bill (POSB) to replace the current Law and Order (Maintenance) Act
(Loma). The Bill seeks to make attempts to overthrow the government
punishable by death. The POSB would also prohibit courts from granting bail
to suspects in politically-motivated crimes.

The announcement by the government of the proposed piece of legislation,
curiously, followed a Supreme Court ruling last week dismissing the
government’s subversion charges against opposition leader, Morgan

Mugabe’s government also wants to amend the National Registry Act and the
Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act before the election to make it mandatory
for people to carry either a national identity card, a passport or a driver’
s licence, on their person at all times.

The new legislation proposes a fine of up to $5 000 or one year’s
imprisonment for people found without their identity cards. The legislation
will reverse a 1997 Supreme Court ruling that such a requirement was an
infringement on people’s freedom of movement.

An unnamed government source was quoted in the state media saying about the
Supreme Court ruling: “It invited the unfortunate conclusion that the bench
was unwittingly opening the door for terrorists to wreak havoc in the

MDC secretary for legal affairs, David Coltart, said the POSB was a subtle
way by the government to subject the country to a form of undeclared state
of emergency.

“The government cannot declare a state of emergency because there are no
conditions to justify such an action and it will not go down well with other
countries in the region, especially South Africa,” said Coltart.

He said the provision for the denial of bail for those suspected to be
engaged in terrorist activities could be used to detain opponents without
trial. Under the state of emergency, which was lifted after the signing of
the Unity Accord between Zanu PF and PF Zapu in 1987, the government had the
power to detain a person without trial for 30 days. The Zanu PF government
effectively used the state of emergency in the early 1980s to deal with
opponents, especially from PF Zapu, whose leaders were frequently detained
without trial.

“The law can simply be used to detain opponents to make sure we do not
campaign,” said Coltart.

Political commentator and law expert Dr Lovemore Madhuku said the proposed
legislation could be worse than the operational Law and Order (Maintenance)
Act. He said the new law could be camouflaged by taking on board
recommendations of the courts to strike down sections of the Loma.

“This can be worse than a state of emergency but it will be drafted in such
a way that it includes the sentiments of the Supreme Court,” said Madhuku.

To complete the package, the leader of the house, Justice minister Patrick
Chinamasa, is also expected to bring to parliament before the New Year the
amendment to the Electoral Act, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation
Commercialisation Bill and the Access to Public Information and Protection
of Privacy Bill. Chinamasa is also expected to bring to the house the
amendment to the Land Acquisition Act that is currently a statutory
instrument introduced under presidential powers.

The amendment to the Electoral Act seeks to ban independent monitoring of
elections and voter education and leave these roles to the government. The
government has argued that voter education by independent groups is meant to
discredit the ruling party and promote opposition politics. Observers say
this is another of Zanu PF’s tricks to steal the election as it gives it the
leeway to use its handpicked civil servants do the monitoring and voter

Last week government media produced a blacklist of local and foreign
journalists it accused of abetting terrorism. This, observers say, reflects
a fresh bout of paranoia by Mugabe’s government and will be used as an
excuse to clampdown on the private press.
Back to the Top
Back to Index