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

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Zim Independent


Xmas treat for Zimbabweans in the diaspora
ZIMBABWEANS living abroad will get a very special Christmas present this
year. They will be able to watch ZTV news via the Internet.

"Visit the website and you are home sweet home," a puff
piece in the Herald announced last weekend. Richard Chingombe whose company,
RC Microsystems Inc runs the website, said in addition to ZTV, surfers would
be able to listen to all Zimbabwe's radio stations.

"You can log on to all the local radio stations and listen to any radio
programmes of your choice," Chingombe said. Radio Zimbabwe, SFM, and 3FM
would all be available. Some people logged on four times a day just so they
could catch up with events back home, Chingombe chirped.

We can imagine who they are: George Shire, Chinondidyachii Mararike, David
Nyekorach-Matsanga, Coltrane Chimurenga, Violet Plummer, and the rest of
that gang of illusionists!

It was important to create a "balanced diet", Chingombe told the Herald
without explaining how that would be possible from ZBC. Most Zimbabweans
living abroad are seeking refuge from the Zanu PF dictatorship. They are
likely to choke on the diet Chingombe and his friends are providing.

Just in case you were wondering what else this website offers, Chingombe
helpfully explained that a person living in the US could buy a coffin
on-line for relatives in Zimbabwe. The website was also a "shoulder to cry
on", RC Microsystems CEO Winston Makamure suggested.

Listening to ZBC all day, surfers will need one!

The BBC reports that  Zimbabwe's government is looking at ways in which it
can ensure that only "patriotic Zimbabweans" work for the civil
service.According to the country's Public Service Commission, anyone working
for or wanting to join the civil service will be tested on their level of
loyalty to the ruling Zanu-PF party.Prospective entrants who fail the test
will not be employed. Those who are already employed could be dismissed.

According to Ray Ndhlukula, Secretary of the Public Service Commission,
there are too many people working in the civil service who are not committed
to the ruling party and government. This, said Ndhlukula, cannot continue -
hence the new stringent tests beginning next year.

"Details of how the assessmentwill be conducted have not yetbeen given," the
BBC says. "But for the estimated 160 000 civil servants, including teachers
and nurses, it may be prudent to buy a ruling party card and start
practising the party slogans to remain employed."

If Ndhlukula has been quoted correctly, then he is a disgrace. The public
service is there to serve all Zimbabweans including those - almost certainly
the majority - who oppose Zanu PF's corrupt and brutal rule. It is supposed
to be professional, impartial and prudent in its management of taxpayers'
funds. It represents a serious betrayal of public trust for the Public
Service Commission to suggest its employees should favour one party over
another. To suggest that they should support a party that is currently
abusing every tenet of good governance makes Ndhlukula's remarks all the
more serious.

Those in positions of public responsibility who support the lawlessness and
injustice currently prevalent and betray the trust the public have placed in
them will have to account for their contribution to misrule when a
democratic order is finally installed. That includes Ndhlukula.

Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa, who recently had to stand up in
parliament and clarify certain "misunderstandings" that had arisen from his
colleague the Information minister's comments on the right of Zimbabwean
citizens working for foreign radio stations to return to this country, was
last week obliged to make further "clarifications" on citizenship - this
time no doubt driven by recent court rulings.

The government has hitherto deemed anybody who had a claim to foreign
citizenship to be a dual citizen, despite the Citizenship Act's very clear
stipulation that only those who actually held dual citizenship were affected
by the Act's provisions.

Thousands of Zimbabweans were earlier this year required to renounce a
foreign citizenship they didn't have in order to conform with the
Registrar-General's flawed interpretation of those provisions.

Now Chinamasa has admitted the government was wasting their time and money.

"A person who merely has a claim or entitlement to foreign nationality,
whether by official discretion or as a matter of legal right, is not
presently a foreign citizen and therefore cannot be required to renounce a
citizenship that he does not actually and presently possess," he said in a
Government Gazette published last Friday and reported in the Sunday Mail.

"A person who claimed to be a Zimbabwean citizen was presumed to be a
citizen if he produced a passport, birth certificate, citizenship
certificate or national registration card," the report in the Sunday Mail
pointed out. "Such a person would not be required to produce written proof
or confirmation that he was not a citizen of a foreign country to establish
his Zimbabwean citizenship status."

So why were thousands of people put to considerable expense and
inconvenience when they were required by the RG's office to produce
renunciation certificates from the embassies and high commissions of
countries they were assumed to have an attachment to on the grounds of birth
or descent? Many of those countries understandably refused to cooperate in
such a dubious exercise thus leaving the applicants stateless and helpless.
For many there was the heartache of uncertainty about their status,
especially among the elderly or infirm who could not face the queues and
chaotic bureaucracy at the RG's office.

This was a grave injustice done by a government to a significant number of
people from all communities and backgrounds. They now arguably have a legal
case against the Registrar-General. This newspaper pointed out repeatedly
that the RG's interpretation of the Act was at variance with the actual
requirements of the Act itself: that is, only those actually holding dual
citizenship, not those entitled to the citizenship of another country, were
required to renounce their foreign citizenship.

So what was the point of this exercise? Undoubtedly it was to deprive people
of their right to vote. And it succeeded in removing thousands from the
voters roll - illegally as it now turns out. People so disadvantaged will
have a case against the Registrar-General who clearly acted in line with
what the government wanted instead of what the law required.

Chinamasa said evidence of foreign citizenship might take the form of a
foreign passport or certificate or might appear from the written law of the
country concerned. This is clearly an attempt to once again circumvent the
provisions of the Act. Many countries provide a right of citizenship to
people who were born there or whose parents were. But that is not their
fault, nor is it their responsibility to renounce that second citizenship
when they have taken no steps to claim it.

This loophole must not be used by the government and its judicial allies to
impose a further burden on a section of the population that has already been
deprived of their rights in law by bureaucratic fiat.

Muckraker has complained over the years about reports emanating from Reuters
that are sometimes less than helpful. We recall the wire service two years
ago describing Peter Hain as South African-born when in fact he was
Kenyan-born. There is no record of a correction being made. He was visiting
the region at the time.

Last week Reuters Nairobi bureau put out a report that "several thousand
Kenyans and a few dozen white settlers were killed in the (Mau Mau)

Is this the best they can do? "Several thousand and a few dozen"? There must
be more accurate figures knocking around.

"In addition," their report said, "British forces hanged about 1 048 Mau Mau

How can they say "about 1 048"? As it stands, the figure is pretty specific.
A more likely "about" would be 1 050.

Whatever the case, it is preferable to "several thousand and a few dozen".
And is it seriously suggested these "convicts" were hanged by British
"forces" without a trial or any reference to the judicial process?

What is remarkable about this is that the Reuters copy has been through a
battery of editors who hand on sloppy work like this to newspapers at
considerable cost in terms of subscription fees. What those papers are
paying for is accuracy, not "several thousand and a few dozen".

Muckraker's favourite was the name of a prominent Titanic passenger added by
a Reuters editor to another word in a piece on a memorabilia auction to
render it completely nonsensical.

Zimbabwe has secured a "big victory" in getting fellow ACP (African,
Caribbean and Pacific states) to boycott a meeting with European Union
lawmakers, minister of state Paul Mangwana was reported as telling the state
media last weekend. It would "embarrass" Britain, he claimed.

Why? British MEPs who joined those from many other EU states in refusing to
admit Zimbabwean ministers to their chamber must be feeling rather pleased.
They have struck a blow for freedom. The state media has been suggesting
that retaliation will come in the form of ACP states refusing to accept EU
aid. "We are going to punish you by not taking your money," they suggest.
But they will be cutting off their noses to spite their faces.

This logic will appeal only to the advocates of scorched-earth policies.
They should understand that nobody in the EU will lose any sleep over a
cancelled joint EU/ACP session.

As for British politicians having their businesses in Zimbabwe targeted, how
many people exactly are likely to be affected, if any? And exactly how would
the government go about identifying and penalising individual investors in
mining companies for instance? We are keen to hear. Like banning Tony Blair
from coming to Zimbabwe, this is likely to prove a non-event.

That goes for much else in this story. "The Minister of State for State
Enterprises and Parastatals, Cde Paul Mangwana, told the Herald from
Brussels that Mrs Kinnock, from Britain, was the co-president of the joint
assembly, representing the EU wing," the government mouthpiece told its

Why did the Herald need Mangwana to tell them that? Didn't they know that
already and if not will they be paying Mangwana as their reporter in

Readers may be interested in the remarks of Desmond Tutu, interviewed
recently by the Mail & Guardian. The former Archbishop of Cape Town said he
was "saddened and appalled by the way we've dealt with Zimbabwe. It was
right to try quiet diplomacy," he said, "but when it failed we had to show
where we stand - not because we want that country to go down the tubes, but
precisely because we don't. That we could play linguistics over something as
flawed as Zimbabwe's presidential election, tight-roping about whether it
was 'legitimate', undermined our own freedom. It was a huge blot on our
copybook," Tutu said.

"We would have been saddened if something similar had happened in 1994 - if
the international community had said: 'We'll accept this because we have to
but it was not free and fair'."

Now contrast those remarks with the silence of our own bishops - Anglican
and Catholic - as thousands of opposition supporters face starvation,
thousands of others are the victims of state-sponsored militias, and
fundamental liberties are snuffed out. Their silence is deafening. Only this
week, Fr Patrick Kelly was reported as noting that Bishop Alexio Muchabaiwa
of Mutare had done nothing to support him in his struggle with Zanu PF and
the CIO in Nyanga.

"Muchabaiwa has been quiet over the issue saying it was sensitive," Kelly

This sounds suspiciously like the standard response of the ZRP when
explaining their failure to act. We expect our bishops to be made of sterner
stuff. Muchabaiwa should stand up for the right of priests to do their work
instead of allowing the forces of evil to prevail in his sphere of spiritual

We liked the letter from "Peace Lover Ngonidzashe Siziba" to the Editor of
the Herald last Saturday congratulating the paper for carrying an article
headed "UK's shoddy anti-Zim campaign", which turned out to be a recycled
document from the late 1970s, seen by just about everybody at the time,
spuriously proposing a crude Shona nationalist agenda.

Siziba, who obviously had no idea that the fulsome praise of "RG Mugabe" in
the document was a prelude to a discreditable attack on the "lazy and
unintelligent Ndebele", took it all literally and thanked the Herald for
publishing the article "praising our intelligent and God-given president".

This sort of confusion by Herald readers is understandable. But it was the
writer's conclusion that caught our attention most. He sought to remind
those sowing the seeds of division of what happens.

"People will be rendered homeless; children will get no education; girls and
women will be raped; people will starve as food resources will be burnt and
destroyed; infrastructure will be destroyed; precious lives will be lost;
there will be no rule of law."

In case you were about to observe that we have all those things already
thanks to Zanu PF, the writer was quick to add: "Currently we do not have
any of the above problems."

Phew, what a relief!

A coffee planter in Zimbabwe recently sought to have two specialists from
Costa Rica join him here to advise on a plantation project. They signalled
their willingness to come but asked how they should go about getting a visa
in the absence of a Zimbabwean embassy in Costa Rica. The planter duly
contacted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

"That's simple," an official said. "The British Embassy in Costa Rica looks
after all our affairs."
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Zim Independent

Eric Bloch Column

Economic nightmare of great proportions
SOME time ago I reported in this column of a dream I had had. Now I must
sadly report a nightmare of gargantuan proportions. Inexplicably, I had
acquired invisibility, and even more, I was ensconced in a chair of the
cabinet room of the Zimbabwean cabinet. The vastness of the cabinet is such
that it was a very tight squeeze for all to be seated, for a president, two
vice-presidents and 21 ministers constitute a cabinet of 24, which exceeds
that of the US notwithstanding that Zimbabwe's population is minuscule in
size as compared to that of the US.

In addition, of course, the cabinet was aided by a bevy of secretaries. As
the principal item of the agenda was consideration of the proposed 2003
budget, every minister was present.

As debate commenced, it focused upon the prevailing state of the economy.
After many had bewailed Zimbabwe's pronounced inflation, its immense lack of
foreign exchange and consequential massive shortages of many essential
imported goods, the ever increasing levels of national debt, and even
greater extent of unemployment, the almost total destruction of the
agricultural sector and resultant lack of food, the near complete absence of
investment, meeting progressed.

Dialogue waged fast and furious, until one of those present (his voice
quivering so much with concern that I could not identify him) suddenly said:
"Comrades, it is time that we stopped patting ourselves on the back. Yes, it
is true that our great skills have been such that we have been able to
afflict immense traumas upon an economy which, from 1994 to 1997, was
steadily growing and becoming virile and vibrant. Yes, we have frequently
castigated ourselves for having allowed such a considerable transformation
to occur, from an economy in intense distress to one which was beginning to
show signs of spectacular growth. In those few years we blindly allowed
industry to expand, servicing both the improving economy and the demands of
diverse export markets. Agriculture was yielding all-time record earnings,
the mining industry was rapidly growing and tourism was developing
exponentially. The financial and service sectors were performing better than
ever before."

This, he said, was totally at variance with our wishes and objectives. "We
had always believed that we would entrench our power and authority only if
we could create and maintain a society in crisis, so detracted by the
economic and other ills befalling it as would divert attention from
whatsoever we may do, and as would render all so gullible as to believe
whatever we would say, including our blaming the economic disasters created
by us upon whichever victims we would see fit to blame".

He then said: "When in mid-1997 we recognised that economic development was
occurring diametrically opposite to all we intended, we devised a series of
strategies to reverse that development and to bring the economy rapidly to
complete ruination. We were agreed that our primary target should be
agriculture as it constituted the foundations upon which the economy was
built. We determined that we should, with utmost confrontation and
aggression, expropriate almost all of Zimbabwe's farms with contemptuous
disregard for property rights and international laws and norms. We would
falsely justify our doing so with unfounded allegations that the land had
previously been stolen from us. In doing so, not only would we destroy
agriculture and, therefore, the mainstay of the economy but also we would
cause much disruption in those other economic sectors as interact with
agriculture and we would alienate the long-supportive international

But, he added: "We did not rely upon that strategy alone. We made payments
of great largesse which we could not afford to war veterans, thereby adding
further distress to a very derelict exchequer. We turned a blind eye to the
economic erosion of corruption. We rescinded policies of deregulation and
liberalisation of the economy. Instead, we imposed draconian, impractical,
unrealistic and counter-productive regulations, all designed to destroy the
economy although we pretended otherwise. Most of all, as we progressively
reversed the economic gains and fuelled inflation, we steadfastly refused to
devalue our currency, thereby removing all price competitiveness from our
exporters, bringing them increasingly to their knees."

And then I heard the unknown minister continue, saying: "But, my comrades,
we greatly underestimated the Zimbabwean economic infrastructure. We grossly
misjudged our economy. We were oblivious to its very considerable
resilience. Despite all that we have done to the economy over the last five
years, it still survives. Yes, it is weakened, it is frail, it is
struggling, but it is not dead. Comrades, we have failed!"

A deafening silence descended upon the cabinet room. As all present pondered
upon the dismal picture of failure so eloquently described by their fellow
comrade, they became more and more depressed, for such failure was too
horrifying to contemplate. And then, suddenly, another voice was heard
saying: "All is not lost. We should not be discomfited by the fact that we
have not yet wholly destroyed the economy. In fact, we should derive much
satisfaction by recognising the magnitude of the economic chaos that we have
wrought. And yet more we can be heartened by recognition that further
opportunities to bring about economic Armageddon lie right ahead. I refer,
my comrades, to the forthcoming 2003 budget. We can readily convert that
budget into a weapon of ruination."

All stared at him in wide-eyed astonishment. How could a budget possibly
achieve that which five years of destructive machinations could not? Almost
in unison they demanded that he explain how they could use the budget to
achieve their long-wished for economic collapse to levels beyond recovery.
And explain to them he did.

"First," he said, "we must recognise that Zimbabwe is a very heavily
import-reliant country and that one cannot import without foreign exchange.
So, let us ensure that there be no foreign exchange. Destroy the parallel
market and the bureaux de change so that none can export profitably and so
that importers who do not export be so deprived of access to foreign
exchange that their imports will be minimal and, therefore, their businesses
will fail. The collapse of export operations and of import-dependent
enterprises will cause unemployment for tens of thousands. The inadequacy of
foreign exchange earnings will severely reduce availability of energy and
fuel, bringing the economy to a halt.

"At this same time, we must ignore the inefficacy of previous price
controls. We must impose a total price freeze. Of course, it will apply to
the private sector businesses only. Parastatals will continue to raise their
charges and most wage-earners will receive inflation-adjusted, increased
wages from January. The price controls will force many businesses into
liquidation, although they will fuel an even more successful black market
than before

, for the black market thrives when shortages exist. That will cause further
escalation in inflation, destroying the last vestiges of viability of any
businesses that still exist.

"To ensure that this succeeds, we must increase government spending
wheresoever we can, thereby causing mammoth fiscal deficits to be funded by
borrowings founded upon the Reserve Bank endlessly printing money, there
being no others as will lend to us. That will cause inflation to rise even
further. There are wide open opportunities for us to spend more. Let us
allege that with the exit of our magnificent forces from the DRC, they must
be re-equipped. That will enable us to vote more to Defence than to any
other ministry."

"Let us also ensure our profligate spending by including within the
President and Cabinet Vote half-a-billion dollars for 'special services'
much of which shall not be subject to audit. Let us spend astronomic amounts
upon international travel, and upon our vast plethora of State Residences.
And let us demoralise the private sector further. We can readily do so by
token adjustment of tax thresholds while concurrently responding to
inflation with massive increases in the values of taxable benefits.
Wheresoever it is beneficial to the taxpayer, we must adjust marginally for
inflation. Wheresoever it is beneficial to the fiscus, we must adjust
massively for inflation, as for example, the value of employee usage of
employer-owned motor vehicles."

At that stage, all present in the cabinet room burst into spontaneous
applause, the volume of which awakened me from that nerve-shattering
nightmare, only to realise that it was a reality!
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Zim Independent


Brussels outcome no victory for Zimbabwe
IT is symptomatic of the warped thinking going on in the upper echelons of
Zimbabwe today that the jeopardising of billions of dollars in trade and aid
for developing countries could be represented as a victory!

That is exactly what our rulers and their minions in the media want us to
believe: that Zimbabwe, in securing the solidarity of ACP (African,
Caribbean, and Pacific) states over the exclusion of two Zimbabwean
officials from the European parliament's premises, where a session of the
EU/ACP joint parliamentary assembly was due to be held on Monday, represents
a victory for this government.

Exactly how is difficult to fathom. The Cotonou Agreement provides
privileged access for the exports of former European colonies to the world's
largest and most lucrative market. In other words they get in ahead of the
competition. The most contentious example is the huge market provided by
Britain and Germany for bananas from the Caribbean. American companies
producing bananas in Central America cite this as a form of protectionism -
which it is.

The trade system established under Lomé in its four manifestations and
continued under Cotonou benefits the associate states in many different
ways. Millions of Euros are allocated every year to development projects in
ACP states. Sadc is a notable beneficiary.

But the Europeans rightly insist that if EU funds are to be generously
disbursed to developing countries, they must adhere to best practice in
governance. In other words they shouldn't do what so many of those
expressing solidarity with Zimbabwe this week have done with the billions of
dollars given to them since Independence - lost them, wasted them or stolen

The Cotonou Agreement lays down that "respect for human rights, democratic
principles, and the rule of law, which underpin the EU/ACP partnership
shall.constitute the essential elements of this agreement".

Zimbabwe is in open violation of those terms. It has subverted the rule of
law, trampled on the human rights of its citizens, and made a mockery of
democratic principles. Its economy is in a state of advanced decay as a
direct result of this misrule.

As co-president of the EU/ACP joint parliamentary assembly Glenys Kinnock
pointed out this week, the ACP grouping includes some of the most
disadvantaged countries in the world. Forty out of the 78 ACP states are
classified as "Least Developed Countries", 15 are landlocked, 38 have
serious levels of poverty, and 33 others are particularly vulnerable as
small island states.

The principles of democracy and the rule of law on which the Cotonou
Agreement is built are fundamental because development and prosperity cannot
take place without them. If the EU were to ignore them it would be pouring
money down the drain - as happened so often in the past. The 15 EU member
states have publics they must answer to. They expect their money to be spent
wisely and accountably. They also expect to see some benefit to the people
of developing countries, not the Swiss bank accounts of their rulers.

The EU legislators can therefore be expected to stand firm on the issue of
governance. They cannot afford to allow people who are part of a regime
which sabotages agricultural production, violates human rights and
manipulates electoral outcomes to carry on as if it were business as usual
with donors. Many of those this week expressing public sympathy with
Zimbabwe's rogue regime will no doubt be returning privately to say they had
no choice. There will be urgent appeals for the aid tap to be left open.

But the EU must make it clear that countries associating themselves with
oppression and misgovernance cannot have it both ways. Either they abide by
democratic rules or they lose the privileges accorded to them under Cotonou.
There must be consistency of purpose. As Kinnock pointed out, "our
electorates don't understand it when politicians take decisions which they
don't follow through in a consistent way".

One of the most important outcomes in all this is the resolve shown by MEPs
despite centrifugal national interests. Only a few months ago we were told
that other EU states were refusing to support Britain's position on
Zimbabwe. Now they all seem to be of one mind. How does the government
explain that?

This is clearly not a defeat for Britain or the EU. It is the people of 78
developing countries who will suffer. They are the victims of a misplaced
nationalism that suggests governments can abuse their populations and get
away with it. Not any longer it seems.

The people of Zimbabwe, who the ACP regimes don't appear to give a damn
about, will show little enthusiasm for their government's fictional victory
in Brussels. They understand only too well the meaning of Zanu PF's
sovereignty: shortages of everything, growing poverty and starvation. This
"triumph" of foreign policy denies to them the benefits of international
cooperation and brings home the cost of isolation. Meanwhile let's see what
the ACP states offer by way of assistance to the regime they endorsed in
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Zim Independent

Bid to boycott Bredenkamp's Sanyati Lodge
Vincent Kahiya
BUSINESSMAN and international financier John Bredenkamp, never far from
controversy, is faced with protest from activists campaigning for a boycott
of his flagship tourism investment in Zimbabwe, Sanyati Lodge in the Zambezi

A group calling itself Zimactivism has been sending e-mails to tour
operators asking them not to sell Sanyati Lodge as a tourist destination.

"Whilst Sanyati Lodge is beautiful, one can't say the same for John
Bredenkamp's activities," Zimactivism says. "Encourage a Bredenkamp
boycott - become actively involved in a 'Shame Sanyati Lodge Campaign'.

In Zimbabwe you can make a difference.get involved. There are a variety of
alternative holiday resorts.

"Make sure your friends in South Africa know the situation," the group says.

Based in Britain and Zimbabwe, Bredenkamp is the 33rd richest man in the
United Kingdom with a fortune of £720 million. He has over the years
attracted negative publicity here and abroad, mainly concerning the source
of his wealth.

Zimactivism is encouraging people to send protests to tour operators in
South Africa and the UK who market Zimbabwe.

However, Bredenkamp's office in Harare recently scoffed at the campaign
saying it had no bearing on tourist arrivals at the lodge.

"It is the quality that endures at the end of the day," said Bredenkamp's
spokesman, Costa Pafitis.

"Sanyati Lodge is the best lodge in the country and is recognised as such by
travellers who do not want to bring politics into their holiday. Our
bookings are full and continue to swell because we are the best. These
people (leading the campaign) should reveal themselves if they want us to
take them seriously," he said.

Sanyati Lodge has attracted a number of celebrities including the South
African cricket team and Spice Girl Geri Halliwell.

Bredenkamp has been at the centre of controversy because of his alleged
links to the ruling order and mining deals in the Democratic Republic of
Congo, the subject of a recent UN report.

He is also accused of brokering arms deals and sanctions-busting involving
aircraft spares for the Airforce of Zimbabwe. He has denied any wrong-doing.

Pafitis said no-one had come up with substantive evidence incriminating

"He is the flavour of the month and people can say whatever they want. But
if the allegations are true, why has he never been prosecuted?" Pafitis
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Zim Independent

Govt to introduce patriotism course
Vincent Kahiya
THE government will from next year introduce a compulsory "patriotism"
course for all tertiary students in what is seen as a full-bloodied attempt
to indoctrinate youths.

The Zimbabwe Independent learnt this week that students at polytechnics and
vocational and teachers' colleges will be required to take up National
Strategic Studies as a compulsory subject.

No student will be awarded a certificate or diploma unless they pass the
compulsory subject. Part-time students and those attending evening classes
at government institutions will also be required to take the course.

"This is nothing more than part of the curriculum from the National Youth
Training Service," a government source said.

"The move is to ensure that those youths who do not want to go to the
training centres will not escape the theory part of the training."

The course will cover topics such as the history of the liberation struggle,
nationalism, the importance of the land reform programme and other related

The government has already sent circulars to tertiary institutions ordering
them to give preferential treatment in enrolment to graduates of the youth
training service.

"A decision has been made to give first priority to students from national
service training centres wishing to enrol at the tertiary level," says a
statement from the Ministry of Higher Education.

"This is with immediate effect and all institutions are required to comply.
The institutions will, as before, continue to advertise and interview their
applicants for enrolment.

"However, no admission letters should be sent until a list of candidates
from the national service centres with the requisite qualifications has been
received from head office, after which admission letters will be sent to all
candidates including those selected from your interviews," the statement

"The final enrolment will thus comprise of students from head office and the
selection from institutional level."
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Zim Independent

Yet another date for Mat water project
Loughty Dube
THE fate of the politically plagued Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project
(MZWP) has taken yet another twist with the announcement of a date for the
commencement of the long-awaited project.

The project has been hanging in the balance due to lack of funding and
government commitment.

However, over the weekend the chairman of the Matabeleland Zambezi Water
Trust (MZWT), Dumiso Dabengwa, announced that the project would get underway
in January.

"The money allocated to us in the 2003 budget is to kick-start the project
which will begin in earnest with work on the Gwayi-Shangani Dam in January
next year," Dabengwa said.

The government recently allocated $550 million under the 2003 national
budget to the MZWP for the construction of the Gwayi-Shangani Dam.

The dam is the first stage towards the construction of a pipeline from the
Zambezi River to arid Matabeleland.

This is not the first time the MZWT has promised to commence the project and
subsequently failed to do so.

A few weeks before the mayoral election in Bulawayo last year, government
and the MZWT brought in a team of Malaysian engineers to commence work on
the project but the team left the country in a huff in unclear

Once again, before the presidential election in March, the MZWT announced
that it had secured funding of over $33 billion from a Malaysian investor
for the project but nothing materialised.

Dabengwa was forced to issue another statement saying the project would
start in the second half of the year.

However, later in the year he announced that the MZWT had discarded the
Malaysians and was now sourcing funds from the Chinese.

Quizzed on the constant changes to dates of starting work on the project,
Dabengwa angrily refused to give details and instead charged that the
independent media was out to soil his name.

"You always ask me questions and you go on to write bad stories about me,"
said Dabengwa. "You should stop asking me questions and wait for statements
that I will issue on the matter."
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Why Mudede barred me [Topper Whitehead] from inspecting the voters roll.


(A Herald newspaper report on the 20th November 2002 – MDC volunteer worker barred – Suspected of tampering with voter’s roll during inspection).



The Election Petition filed by Morgan Tsvangirai calling for the March 2002 presidential elections to be nullified cites Robert Mugabe and Tobaiwa Mudede as the 1st and 2nd Respondents, contains an affidavit by myself outlining conclusive evidence of flaws in the voters roll used in the election, which should, in themselves, be sufficient to invalidate the Presidential election result in terms of the law. (see High Court case No HC 3616/2002). 


In the notice of opposition filed by the Registrar General, Tobaiwa Mudede has sworn under oath, that “A duplicate is ONLY a duplicate if it appears twice in the same roll, i.e. either in one constituency or different constituencies.” And “There is no way an I.D. number can appear twice in the same roll as alleged by Mr Whitehead.


On the limited data available, we have conclusive and unequivocal evidence proving both these sworn statements by Tobias Mudede to be completely false.


In an effort to prevent any comprehensive analysis of the voters roll used in the March election, the Registrar General is withholding the bulk of the evidence from the MDC and the public. The Supreme Court, in an evasive ruling, has prevented the MDC from obtaining the voters roll in compact disc format. Access to the voters roll in CD form would enable us to analyse the roll in hours instead of weeks as we are now doing because the voter’s roll, [which is by law, public domain information], is being denied to the MDC.

The ruling by the supreme court just made public 2 weeks after being handed down indicates the desperate measures being taken to prevent the full analysis of the flawed presidential voters roll.


The Registrar General has on several occasions boasted that the voters roll is “world class” yet is going to extraordinary lengths to frustrate the right as allowed in any democratic system, of open access to the roll by the public.  We have been trying since 27th March 2002 to exercise our constitutional rights and legal entitlement (in terms of Section 18 (1), (2) of the Electoral Act, to be allowed to inspect, make copies and / or extracts from the voters roll during the working hours.) to obtain a complete version of the voter’s roll used in the March election and to inspect and make copies of the current roll. On the 28th October 2002 having been eventually given clearance by the Registrar General’s office I started inspection but when I started to make copies I was immediately prevented from doing so by senior officials in the Registrar General’s office.


An immediate objection was made to the Registrar General who after a 10 day delay conceded the issue and gave “his” permission for copies of the roll to be taken in terms of Section 18 (2) of the Act. In reality there should be no reason why the Registrar General must give his permission as the Act is very clear in making it a legal entitlement and NOT the Registrar General’s prerogative. However such is life in a Dictatorship.


Sampling Action Plan

As a digital copy of the roll is not being made available, the MDC is being forced to make an analysis of the voter’s roll using recognised sampling methods. An example of a sampling method to establish the state of something is when a Doctor wants to establish the state of health of a patient. A blood sample is taken (the Doctor does not take all the blood) and an analysis is carried out which gives the doctor a good idea of the health of the patient and a remedy prescribed.


The inspection routine requires that a representative sample be taken from the roll and then analysed for irregularities.  So far we have been allowed to inspect only 10 of the 75 rolls requested from the Registrar Generals Office.  The sampling routine used is as follows: -


  1. A photo copy of the selected representative sections of the roll is taken and then loaded into a computer using OCR (optical character recognition) and manual inputting which then turns the selections into digital format (in the absence of CD copies).
  2. With the data in digital format we are then able to conduct a computer search to establish any errors on the roll.


On the samples drawn to date of the 10 constituencies examined, we have positively identified a significant number of serious flaws in the roll. These flaws include numerous duplications of voter registration and the existence of thousands of dead people still registered as voters. In respect to the latter, we have obtained from various sources, details of persons who have died over the last 20 years and the routine to check if they are still registered as voters is: -


  1. Capture the data in digital format using OCR and/or manual inputting.
  2. Conduct a computer search to locate the deceased person and in which constituency he/she was registered.
  3. Manually check on the current voter’s roll to establish if the deceased person is still on the roll.


It was this last stage that was being carried out on Wednesday 13th November when the Registrar General’s officers alleged that I was tampering with the roll.


The full sequence of events on the afternoon of 13th November was: -


a)       Using the deceased person’s checklist I located the name of a deceased person on the current roll at the Registrar Generals Office.

b)       I then wrote on a blue “Post-it” label, the deceased date of death.

c)       The label was then placed below the name of the deceased on the roll and a photocopy taken to confirm that the deceased person was still on the roll.

d)       The Officer supervising this exercise asked what I was doing and was shown the labels and from this he could clearly see what was being done but the date of death and source detail was withheld.

e)       In addition to the label showing the date of death a label with aperture, time and flash settings was placed on the pages to establish the optimum settings for the OCR.

f)        When this exercise was complete in respect to the 10 rolls made available, I packed up and left the office. I was not aware that an official had gone to alert a supervisor or I would have waited.

g)       In the passage I met another officer who asked, “how is it going” to which I replied that I had established that there were many deceased persons still on the Rolland the question being did they vote?


All this was done in the full view of staff of the Registrar General who could see exactly what was being done and at least one Officer was present and observing throughout. There was no rush in respect to my departure as sampling of the rolls made available had been completed and I had another appointment.


It must be realised that putting a blue piece of paper on a white page is so obviously an alteration that to suggest that anyone could be using such a method to alter an official document of which the Registrar General is the sole custodian and who always insists on a certified copy is absolutely ridiculous. The only conclusion a reasonable person can make is that the office of the Registrar General and Tobaiwa Mudede himself are so nervous about the substantial flaws in the “World Class” Voters Roll that are in the process of being positively identified and recorded that they have manufactured these absurdly ridiculous allegations in an attempt to hide the truth.


The fact that a copy of the letter banning me from the Registrar Generals Office was delivered to the Herald before it was even received by the person to who it was addressed at the MDC is further endorsement of the political bias of the Office of the Registrar General. Indeed the original letter has never been received by the MDC.  It also highlights the nervousness that Tobaiwa Mudede feels that he might be exposed as a liar in his sworn affidavits to the High Court.


Also for the record and with reference to the story in the Herald on 20th November 2002: -


  1. The only links that I have with AMANI Trust is that I subscribe to their ideals of Democracy and their fight against Human Rights abuses, torture, rape as a political weapon and political violence.
  2. I am not a US national as the article suggests.  In fact I am a 4th generation Zimbabwean who has no intention to succumb to threats from bullies or dictators.
  3. My well-known support of Evelyn Masaiti (MDC MP for Mutasa ) Adella Chiminya ( Widow of Tapfuma Chiminya who was murdered by ZANU PF agents ) Maria Stevens ( widow of David Stevens who was murdered by ZANU PF) and Elliot Pfebve who’s brother was murdered by ZANU PF, in their quest for justice outside Zimbabwe because of the breakdown of Law and order and a partisan Police force within the country precludes justice for MDC members, is well documented and not denied. (the Police have still not apprehend Joseph Mwale for his involvement in the brutal murder of Talent Mabika and Chiminya, after having been ordered to do so by a High Court Judge.)
  4. I was not involved in disseminating hate propaganda against Robert Mugabe but am heavily involved in disseminating the truth and options for a better life for ALL Zimbabweans in a free Zimbabwe. I also strongly support a change in government to one that is truly democratic which will uphold the Rule of Law and subscribe to the accepted norms of good governance through a free constitution giving the people freedom as well as independence.


I remain committed to these personal principles and will not be intimidated and will take the matter as far as is necessary in the belief that eventually justice will prevail.


R { Topper } Whitehead

Wednesday, November 27th  2002.

The forgoing are my personal beliefs and not necessarily those of  the MDC.

All that is necessary for Evil to prevail is for good persons to do NOTHING.



Notes for editors.

  1. Article is 1669 words
  2. Topper Whitehead is a retired mining engineer, born in Harare on 15th April 1940
  3. Joined the MDC as a card carrying member in February 2000
  4. Has been instrumental in the successful suing of Robert Mugabe and ZANU PF for US$ 63 million in the USA for Human Rights Abuses.
  5. It has taken 6 months for the Registrar General to allow the inspection of the voters roll during which time his office has had the opportunity to tamper with it.
  6. The Electoral Act of Zimbabwe is very clear on the question of inspection and copying.

a)       Sect 18 (1)   The voters roll for every constituency shall be open to inspection by the public, free of charge, at the office of constituency registrar during office hours.

b)       Sect 18 (2)   A person inspecting the roll for a constituency may, without payment, make copies thereof or extracts therefrom during office hours.


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Zim Independent

Fuel situation set to deteriorate
Staff Writer
THERE is no immediate solution in sight for the on-going fuel problems as it
emerged this week that the government was reducing imports in line with a
new policy to only supply indigenous operators.

The new policy, announced on ZBC on Wednesday, comes as fuel queues of up to
half-a-kilometre long have resurfaced in Harare where there is a serious
petrol shortage. Energy minister Amos Midzi on Wednesday told parliament
that the shortages were a result of logistical problems.

The Zimbabwe Independent established yesterday there was about a week's
supply of petrol in the country while the position with diesel was slightly
better. There is however no credit facility in place as government is living
from hand to mouth.

Sources at Petrozim, which pumps fuel from Mutare to Harare, said it had
this month pumped just 40% of normal capacity. The sources said fuel was
only being released after being paid for.

Suppliers Independent Petroleum Group of Kuwait sent a delegation to the
country last week to impress on government the need to pay first before fuel
could be released. The delegation left last weekend as a Libyan delegation
arrived. It is here to evaluate Noczim's assets, which it intends taking
over as part payment of a US$63 million debt. The Independent understands
the assets - the fuel pipeline from Beira and Mabvuku holding tanks - have
been valued at US$40 million by government. The Libyans reportedly regard
the evaluation as too high.

Industry players this week said the new policy where government through
Noczim would supply product to indigenous players ahead of established
companies was fraught with structural problems which were likely to
exacerbate an already critical situation.

They said the policy did not address the supply side as indigenous players
did not have the capacity to import and had to rely on the government which
itself was struggling to secure foreign currency to pay for the commodity.
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The Times


            Starving Zimbabweans
            From Mr J. G. Wishart

            Sir, We may sin by commission and by omission.
            If it is sinful to attack the evil regime in Iraq and possibly
kill some hundreds of innocent civilians in collateral damage, it cannot be
moral to ignore the wilful policy of mass starvation of political opponents
in Zimbabwe (report, November 25).

            Instead of the possibility of hundreds of innocent victims being
killed by accident, we learn that the Zanu (PF) party's senior bureaucrat
thinks his country will be better off if six million Zimbabweans disappear
through his party's deliberate intent.

            This is evil. What is our Government, with its ethical foreign
policy, planning to do?

            What is the view of the United Nations?

            Yours sincerely,
            J. G. WISHART,
            Milton House,
            Milton of Balgonie,
            Glenrothes KY7 6PX.
            November 26.
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