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

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Dear Family and Friends,
What a week it's been in Zimbabwe. For the first time in nearly 2 years the work I and hundreds of others (and all of you) have put into exposing the truth of Zimbabwe's crisis has at last started to bear fruit. Suddenly the world has woken up to the truth†behind the horror†in our country and have started to do something. The week started with South African President Mbeki speaking out, frankly and honestly. President Mbeki†is calling for urgent dialogue with regional leaders and said: "In a situation in which people are beaten up so that they don't act according to their political convictions, there can't be free elections." Past President Nelson Mandela†said: "It is quite clear now that Mugabe has not listened to him (Mbeki) and that is why he is getting tough."†The massively powerful Congress of South African†Trade Unions,†(Cosatu) added it's voice: "We should be doing more than sending a memorandum ... we should be mobilizing workers to defend democracy actively." In New Zealand pressure increased too when Foreign Minister Goff said he would call for Zimbabwe's expulsion from the Commonwealth. Mr Goff said: "Mr Mugabe appears ready to do anything to stay in power including destroying his country." The Canadians announced that with immediate effect visas would now be required for†Zimbabweans†travelling to their country to try and control†"an increasing flow of irregular migrants" into Canada. In the UK Foreign Minister Jack Straw said that Commonwealth Heads would meet before Christmas to consider action against Zimbabwe. Mr Straw said: "Do I believe that Abuja has been followed up? No!" The†most damning†condemnation came when America voted (396-11) in favour of the Zimbabwe Democracy Bill. This†Bill asks President Mugabe to do 5 things: Get†your soldiers out of the Congo;† return to the 1998 world backed plan for land reform; allow freedom of the press;†restore law and order; and lastly, allow†election observers into the country†to ensure a free and fair election. If Zimbabwe agrees to these 5 issues, the Americans will release US$20 million for land reform; US$6 million for election monitoring and release millions in humanitarian and food aid. Undoubtedly our government are not prepared to even consider any of the 5 issues and will therefore face the prospect of targeted sanctions which will: impose travel†restrictions on President Mugabe†and his associates; block aid and debt relief; freeze Zanu PF assets abroad and freeze new investment into†Zimbabwe.†American Congressman Donald Payne said: "The objective of the Zimbabwe Democracy Act is not to punish the people of Zimbabwe. Rather it is to ensure a secure, democratic and prosperous Zimbabwe."
Well, to put it bluntly, this combined international attack on our government has left our propaganda peddlers foaming at the mouth. All week the state radio and television have lambasted the whole world. The Herald newspaper said that President Mbeki's statements†"neatly dovetail into Britain's grand plan for a global coalition against Zimbabwe." A† Zim Foreign Minister spokesman, according to The Herald, said the US Bill was "a racist piece of legislation which has nothing to do with the natural norms of sound governance." And the Minister of Information, Jonathan Moyo (not known for either small words or succinctness) said (Take a deep breath!) : "Now the people of Zimbabwe, Africans and the rest of the progressive world know that the treacherous MDC is a movement for anti-people sanctions operating under the guise of democracy, good governance, human rights and the rule of law as defined and dictated by racist Americans and Britons." We have been bombarded with very long sentences like this all week which have been littered with†phrases like: diabolic and treacherous, racist union, racist websites, unethical foreign correspondents, despicable but predictable machinations, racist American Senators etc ...ad nauseum. It seems to be beside the point that sanctions against both Rhodesia and apartheid South Africa were good but against Zimbabwe they are bad.
While all this was going on President Mugabe said, as usual, absolutely nothing. He spoke to teenage boys newly graduating from the governments Youth Brigade. He said: "We realised that we had beaten the snake (whites) but left out the head. What is left is to finish off the head (the MDC)" President Mugabe also said that youth service would now be mandatory for anyone applying for work in government departments or entering Zimbabwean universities. Shortly afterwards President Mugabe and a "large entourage" arrived at Harare airport, diverted a UK bound plane†and left dozens of passengers stranded. Mugabe has gone to Spain apparently to lobby EU officials ahead of possible†sanctions from there too and also to consult an eye specialist. Sadly, an eye specialist is also needed†in a Bulawayo maximum security prison where an MDC MP, Fletcher Dulini-Ncube†is still detained. He was one of the 18†implicated in the abduction and murder of a war veteran in Bulawayo. Fletcher is an insulin-dependant diabetic and has been refused adequate supplies of insulin and subjected to a continuous regime of all night interrogation since his arrest. Fletcher's eyesight is said to be failing as a result of insufficient insulin and his lawyers continue to frantically try to get him released on bail. Simon Spooner, implicated in the same case was granted Z$100 000 bail on Thursday after a lengthy struggle by his lawyers.
For 2 years I have reported on the crisis on Zimbabwe's farms so cannot end without telling of the most devastating ruling made this week by our Supreme Court. In a 4:1 judgement, the Supreme Court ruled that law and order had been restored on our farms and that the government had come up with a satisfactory land redistribution exercise. The newly appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Godfrey Chidyuasiku, was asked to recuse himself from the hearing on the grounds of political bias but had refused. In Parliament this week Justice Minister Chinamasa was asked to explain why Z$1million had been allocated to furnishing Justice Chidyuausiku's new government house. Need I say more?
I know this letter is very long but it has been a momentous week in our country and in answer to the dozens of enquiries, Alan Bradley, shot in the arm and chest a fortnight ago is now out of intensive care, the drain has been removed from his lung and he is on the long slow road to recovery. Last night a roll of honour in memory of 83 people killed in Zimbabwe's political violence was loaded onto my web site. It can be seen at: http://africantears.netfirms.com
Until next week, with love, cathy
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Daily News - Feature

Zimbabwe cannot go it alone

12/8/01 8:02:02 AM (GMT +2)


Pius Wakatama on Saturday

THERE is something rather sweet in being able to pat yourself on the back
and saying to those who disagree with you: "See, I told you so."

In June last year I wrote about Thabo Mbeki's soft diplomatic approach to
the Zimbabwean situation. When some were saying Mbeki supported the violent
and chaotic land reform programme in Zimbabwe, I begged to differ.

I wrote, "Regional leaders too, realise the danger of encouraging
lawlessness. They would not like the anarchy that is taking place in
Zimbabwe to spill over into their countries. They would like to see land
redistributed in an orderly peaceful and just way which will not harm their
fragile economies.

"... President Mbeki is no fool. It is most unlikely that a man like Nelson
Mandela could have made a mistake in his choice of a successor. He realises
that nothing will be gained in antagonising our rather irrational and
belligerent President Mugabe.

"... Even though Mbeki might not succeed with Mugabe, his philosophy and
diplomacy have to be applauded. With leaders like him there is hope for
Africa yet..." His vision of an "African Renaissance" has rekindled hope in
the hearts of those of us who look beyond the mundane. Let us give the man
who has put on Madiba's mantle a chance."

I have been proved right. In the fullness of time, Mbeki saw that he was not
getting anywhere with Mugabe and that he was actually being used and he has
plainly said so. He no longer wants to be friends with us. He can no longer
continue to protect us in the international arena.

Now we have lost the only real friend we had. We are on our own.

When a friend is drowning and you jump in to rescue him, he should
co-operate by trying to swim as you pull him. If he clings onto you in such
a way that you can't swim and are in danger of drowning with him, it is
better for you to disentangle yourself from him and swim ashore, even if it
means using force.

Many people have lost their lives trying to help desperate but
unco-operative drowning friends. Mbeki has rightly chosen to swim ashore
rather than drown with Mugabe. Who can blame him?
The road to our isolation began with our getting broke, ineptitude, fiscal
mismanagement, corruption and outright thievery. In order to make ends meet
we went, cap in hand, to the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and
the international donor community for assistance.

After borrowing huge amounts of money from these institutions we were not
willing to take the necessary measures required for our economy to improve
and for us to be in a position to pay back the loans.

When we couldn't meet our loan obligations the IMF refused to give us more
money until we met the requirements of the Economic Structural Adjustment
Programme, which we had accepted. Our response was to tell the IMF, the
World Bank and the international donor community to "go to hell".

Later on we took on the British, the Commonwealth, the European Union and
the Americans for insisting that we return to the rule of law and hold a
free and fair presidential election observed by the international community.

Our president told the European Union, in no uncertain terms, that Zimbabwe
was not going to allow former colonisers to lecture it on how to conduct
elections, good governance and democracy.

He said Zimbabwe had a lot of experience in holding elections and did not
need any foreign assistance. Our refusal to allow foreign election monitors
and observers because that would compromise our sovereignty is a lot of
hogwash. A few years ago Zimbabweans were part of an international team that
went to Cambodia to monitor the elections there. That did not compromise
that country's sovereignty at all.

Even if we don't want foreign election monitors and observers because that
would compromise our sovereignty, why is the government not willing to allow
local non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and churches to be monitors and
to give voter education to the people.

What are they afraid of?

The more our society is open and transparent the stronger our sovereignty
will be, because real sovereignty comes out of the respect accorded our
national institutions by the international community. Sovereignty does not
come out of thumping one's nose at the rest of the world and beating one's
chest in defiance like a stubborn chimpanzee.

If our elections are going to be free and fair we shouldn't be afraid of
anyone observing them. In fact, we should be proud to invite all and sundry
to learn form us how democratic elections should be conducted.

You and I know the government is afraid. The history of our elections is a
history of racial hatred, polarisation, violence, torture and outright
murder.

They are afraid that foreign monitors and observers will be astounded by the
machinery Zanu PF has set up to rig the election and to bar thousands of
Zimbabwean citizens from exercising their right to vote freely.

If the MDC does win it will be a miracle from heaven. The whole thing is
going to be an expensive charade.

In our volatile situation it is imperative that neutral parties from outside
be involved. If that does not happen, any government leader recognising
President Mugabe as the winner and legitimate President of Zimbabwe will
need to have his head examined.

As if we don't have enough so-called enemies to fight we have added the
United Nations to our hate list for daring to publish a report which claims
that our politicians and army chiefs have been looting the DRC. According to
our government it is the British who have influenced the UN to turn against
poor, innocent Zimbabwe.

The United Nations reports that our greedy leaders have been looting the DRC
is quite believable. If it is all lies why doesn't the government come clean
and put out a report on the activities of government-owned and other
companies in that country? Why is everything shrouded in secrecy?

The truth is that our boys are suffering and dying over there to fill the
pockets and stomachs of a few Zanu PF leaders. They will therefore do
anything to remain in power in order to protect their ill-gotten gains.

Zimbabwe has not benefited as a nation from our involvement in that rich
country. What we have there is a mercenary force, propping up an unelected
and undemocratic regime.
My question is, can we be right and the rest of the world wrong?

Are we going in the right direction? Can Zimbabwe really exist alone without
the co-operation and assistance of the rest of the world?

The answer is an emphatic no. John Dunn was right when he said: "No man is
an island unto himself."

He who has ears to hear, let him hear.
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Daily News

Money market faces shortages as panic grips most investors

12/8/01 8:44:44 AM (GMT +2)


Business Reporter

The money market is experiencing shortages as a result of final tax payments
by corporations, stockbrokers have said.

In its weekly commentary for the period ending 30 November, Sagit
Stockbrokers (Pvt) Ltd said the shortages ranged from $1,2 billion and $1,5
billion.

Sagit said: "The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe rejected all 91-day Treasury Bill
bids because of the high rates quoted. There will not be any significant
maturities until 7 December and the market should remain square. As a
result, overnight rates should remain relatively firm."

The brokers said the 91-day Treasury Bill rate remained at 23,23 percent.

The foreign currency market remained the same.

Sagit said it appeared that panic had gripped most investors, including
those who would not normally panic.

"The falling prices have led to frantic stock trading and share dumping,
leading to a market oversupply," Sagit said.

"Invariably, prices continue to be depressed, leading to even further
frenzied trading and panic.
"It is a vicious circle out there. Excellent corporate results have failed
to stir the market upward - if anything, prices have failed to stir the
market upward - if anything, prices have fallen after release of impressive
results."

Sagit said these were certainly tough times for equity investors.

"But remember, volatility is a way of life for equity investors," Sagit
said.

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Daily News - Leader Page


The tragedy of being a youth in Zimbabwe

12/8/01 8:26:41 AM (GMT +2)


By Givemore Nyanhi

THERE has been a massive exodus of Zimbabwean youths in recent years. The
tide of young men and women leaving the country keeps on rising. The flood
of youths who are making the sacrifice to leave their families and face the
challenges and ravages of living in a foreign land, away from their parents,
increases with each day.

Almost in every household the probability of having no relative abroad is
becoming rare. Almost every family has a relative who has joined the great
trek northwards, particularly to the United Kingdom, where the lure of the
pound has opened fantastic possibilities for youths and has become a very
powerful incentive that is hard to resist.

In the wake of all this, questions are being asked and justifications being
given on why this trend is becoming so prevalent. Some say that it is
colonialism in reverse, others call it globalisation, while still others
more cynical would prefer to see it as the new face of modern slavery, a new
form of exploitation, a situation under which cheap labour is being
channelled to the richer countries as a direct result of their perverted aid
policies that are designed to create large pools of well educated,
intelligent unemployed youths in declining economies.

Youth is the thread that binds any society, and a society devoid of youth is
one that is also devoid of vision and a future. It hurts to think that our
country spent billions of dollars since 1980 investing in an education
system and social services so that other counties could benefit. It hurts to
think that schools and colleges are churning out youths in their thousands
who have no other desire save to get their certificates and go abroad.

Society has always had a knack for coming up with a name for youth movements
that defy common societal beliefs. For instance in the late 1950s in the
United States of America, a new post-war generation arose to challenge
America's military arrogance. The youth were clamouring for a free society
that was not driven by any fierce capitalist motive. This generation or
youth movement came to be known as the "Hippie Generation" with Allen
Ginsberg standing out as its most ardent and well-known proponent. In one of
his most famous poems, he wrote: "I saw the best minds of my generation
being destroyed by madness/starving, hysterical, naked."

It seems as if a madness has finally caught our country unawares and swept
all sanity away. A madness tearing our country to pieces, a madness sending
our youth scampering abroad, fleeing from the tragedy that our country has
become.

Our own Zimbabwean society has come up with a new label to describe the new
post-Independence generation that we have today. Some call us "maborn-born",
while others call us "born-frees". It becomes difficult to understand
whether the terms are derogatory, condescending or derisive.

The tragedy of being a youth in Zimbabwe is that of having to come to terms
with the fact that we did not have any overdose of Marxist-Leninist
teachings, and neither do we have any sentimental attachments to the war of
liberation in Zimbabwe. To say that our contemporary youth shed tears when
they think about the liberation war, which they can't recall is an atrocious
lie. We have no vivid memories of the pre-Independence era, but what we know
is that we are Zimbabweans by birth and right and we are proud of the legacy
that our fathers bequeathed us.

In Zimbabwe today there are more than 2,5 million unemployed youths and the
effects of unemployment are beginning to show in our disintegrating social
fabric: the prevalence of poverty, child prostitution and labour, high rate
of crime and death, frustration, anger, a huge sense of betrayal and
disillusionment among the youth, political violence, imminent social unrest
and, lately, the mass exodus of our youth to other countries.

The boys I grew up playing soccer with in the streets, fighting with and
sharing passionate dreams with are all gone. In three years I have seen more
friends of mine leave this country than ever before. It has suddenly become
unfashionable to remain in Zimbabwe. It is not a case of any lack of
patriotism or nationalism that they are going it used to be that a long time
ago, but what is happening today is a case of survival, a matter of
self-preservation.

The older generation never took time to explain our own national history.
For the past 21 years they have allowed us to evolve into something they
can't understand. Twenty-one years were more than enough to instil a sense
of patriotism and national pride. Twenty-one years were more than enough to
inculcate and entrench the teachings, ideas, and values that influenced and
won the liberation struggle. Twenty-one years were more than enough to shape
the destiny of our nation. The absence of a vibrant non-partisan youth
policy in Zimbabwe in the past 21 years is now proving to be the cause of
its undoing and the presence of one now makes a very big and yawning
difference appear between teaching youths about their past and
indoctrinating them with selected information.

But what we have is a young generation alienated from its past not out of
any devise of their own.

What we have is a generation of youths fed on a flawed education system that
the Nziramasanga Commission found wanting, a youth that was fed a perverted
diet on national television and radio. We grew up watching the films like
the A-Team, McGyver, Santa Barbara and many others.

If our youth grew up watching and listening to State-controlled stations
that provided more than 90 percent foreign content for the past 21 years, it
shall need another 21 years to rectify that wrong.

Saying that all this can change within a short space of time is unrealistic;
it's more of a declaration of war on the youth that I don't think anyone can
win.

Amid all this, our country is haemorrhaging profusely, the rich blood of its
veins is gushing out and soon only a carcass will be remaining.


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Daily News - Leader Page


Government deliberately misleading people on Act

12/8/01 8:26:02 AM (GMT +2)



THE government has become paranoid, if it believes the rest of the world has
ganged up against it in one giant conspiracy.

The Zimbabwe Democracy and Recovery Act passed by the US House of
Representatives on Tuesday this week is not against the people of Zimbabwe.

It targets those who, for the past 23 months, have deliberately authored and
orchestrated anarchy and terror in both the rural and urban areas, and are
responsible for the foreign currency and fuel crisis and shortages of many
basic commodities.

It targets President Mugabe, his ministers and colleagues in government and
Zanu PF and their families.

But the government, realising it is cornered, is deliberately seeking to
mislead Zimbabweans by
suggesting that all Zimbabweans will become victims of the American action.

If ever there was any need for fresh evidence of just how our rulers have
become clueless, then it is there for all to see. Either they now live in a
totally different world or they have consistently lied for so long to
themselves that they believe it is impossible to distinguish them as
individuals from the country. They now believe they have become synonymous
with Zimbabwe.

But the introduction of the Bill presented a window of opportunity for the
Zanu PF leadership to reflect on just what has gone wrong during the past 23
months. The fact that they do not see how roguish their conduct as a
government has become is a tragedy of Shakespearean proportions.

They are effectively demonstrating their lack of depth and incapacity to
rescue this country from the nightmare they have created.

While the government will rant and rave about how its friends have deserted
it, the truth is that they are being abandoned because they themselves have
pressed the "self-destruct" button. And how the collective intelligence of
the government cannot remind the leadership that it is going off the rails,
only demonstrates how cunning they were to hoodwink the rest of the
population into believing that they could have been our liberators. They
sacrificed the lives of scores of thousands of young Zimbabweans in the
fight against settler oppression so they could become the new tyrants.

How could people who sacrificed so much in the interests of democracy,
suddenly abandon the very tenets of democracy.

Zanu PF has always known terror, but for as long as it was assured of
continued rule, it saw no basis for resorting to its trump card: terror
against the masses.

The Zimbabwe Democracy and Recovery Act is not as vindictive as the
government wants the rest of the population to believe. In fact, it is a
package of incentives: the House of Representatives offered US$26 million
(Z$1,43 billion) in aid, forgiveness of some debt and a promise to help
promote trade and investment if conditions for a fair presidential election
next year are met. Anyone who does not see this in the Act is dishonest.

Of course, one of the many effects of the Act, is that it will bring the
crisis in Zimbabwe right into the living rooms of the political hierarchy.
Their children, who enjoy the privilege of education at some of the world's
best institutions of higher learning, will be sent home, where they will be
forced to put up with what their parents have prescribed for the children of
the masses. Perhaps for the first time, the student disturbances at the
universities will end. Their children will brief their parents on the lack
of resources and facilities, conducive to higher learning. And because of
this, the government funding for university education will be tempered with
realism because government ministers and officials will be paying for their
own children's education, unlike the situation at present where the children
enjoy a monopoly of government scholarships or those extended to Zimbabwe by
other countries and international organisations.

This should provide a salutary lesson for the government.


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Daily News

Name-calling dominates parliamentary debate

12/8/01 9:07:34 AM (GMT +2)


By Sandra Nyaira Political Editor

TEMPERS flared in Parliament this week, with MPs calling each other names
like racist, stupid, foolish and silly.

All this happened in the heat of debate in which the MDC described as
dictatorial some of the laws being introduced in Parliament.

The forthcoming Presidential election, which has much at stake, could be
responsible for the rising temperature.

It started on Tuesday with the debate on the 2002 budget dismissed by the
MDC as "disastrous, unorthodox and bankrupt", and a Zanu PF electoral
amendment designed to tighten the electoral process.

The chairman of committees, Kenneth Manyonda, ejected Munyaradzi Gwisai
(Highfield) for raising a point of order against Manyonda, who had announced
the adoption of the Ministry of Home Affairs' $17,9 billion budget in spite
of an objection from Innocent Gonese (Mutare Central) and Gabriel Chaibva
(Harare South). They claimed they had not heard Manyonda calling for
objections.

The MDC MPs walked out, alleging Manyonda was trying to stifle debate.

This is not the first time the MDC has walked out during debate on the
budget.
After the walkout on Tuesday, Zanu PF passed all but one of the votes
without debate. Manyonda introduced the ministerial votes and asked for
debate. Zanu PF MPs shouted back "No debate".

The amount of resources invested into the budget by institutions such as the
Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce, the State University of New York and
other stakeholders in assisting them to analyse it seemed wasted

Gonese, the MDC chief whip, said they walked out in protest at Manyonda's
conduct but Joram Gumbo, the Zanu PF chief whip, saw it differently.

He said: "The MDC has a problem in understanding the implications of walking
out and the rules of debate regarding the budget. A lot of resources and
help came our way through workshops. It pained me for them to walk out and
allow the budget to be passed in 10 minutes because a lot of work was put
into this budget."

Then came the mayhem on Thursday, which ended with the ejection of two MDC
MPs from the House as debate raged on the amendment to the Land Acquisition
Act through the General Laws Amendment Bill.

Gonese and Chaibva were thrown out by the Sergeant-at-Arms, Alfonso Mhuru,
as tempers flared.

The MDC said the government was cheating them by introducing the amendments
through the back door.

They felt cheated by the deputy chairperson of committees, Reuben
Marumahoko, who moved for the adoption of the amendment promulgated by
President Mugabe through the Presidential Powers Act, without giving them a
chance to object.

A statement from Patrick Chinamasa, the Minister of Justice, Legal and
Parliamentary Affairs, enraged the MDC.

"It is a shame that you, the descendants of Lobengula, still want to beg the
white men by going down on your knees and appointing a descendant of Rhodes
to talk on your behalf on issues to deal with land," he said.

There was uproar from the MDC side, with Paul Themba Nyathi (Gwanda North)
saying of Chinamasa's oblique reference to David Coltart (Bulawayo South):
"That is a stupid remark from a stupid person."

Nyathi later apologised for "losing my cool and reacting to insults by
Chinamasa - this is akin to being kissed by a toothless nun".

The House had to be divided at one stage for the remaining clause on the
controversial amendment Bill to pass.

The MDC was unhappy with the way the government sneaked through the back
door new amendments to the Electoral Act. The draconian amendments,
criminalising the posting of election posters, were sneaked in through the
Order Paper and are to be incorporated into the General Laws Amendment Bill,
already passed through to the second reading.

Parliament adjourned to 18 December.

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Daily News


Nyarota scoops Economist Freedom of the Press Award

12/8/01 9:04:52 AM (GMT +2)


Staff Reporter

The Daily News Editor-in-Chief, Geoffrey Nyarota, was this week named the
winner for 2001 of the prestigious Economist Freedom of the Press Award.

The award, which was introduced last year by the Association of Circulation
Executives and is sponsored by The Economist monthly publication, recognises
"publishing achievement anywhere in the world in the face of adversity,
whether through government restriction, civil war or other hardship".

As he received the award in London on Wednesday, Nyarota paid tribute to the
courage of the Daily News vendors who have been subjected to arrest and
physical attack as they sold the paper. He said in some rural areas the
paper was banned by overzealous Zanu PF supporters, who did not themselves
miss an opportunity to read the paper.

He said: "While the detention and harassment of journalists has been well
documented, the risks and hardships faced by those who sell newspapers in a
hostile environment have often been overlooked."

Nyarota also paid tribute to the late Mozambican journalist Carlos Cardoso,
the first winner of The Economist Freedom of the Press Award.

"Cardoso, a promoter and defender of Press freedom, was murdered as he
investigated corruption in the Mozambican government," Nyarota said.

The Daily News, launched only 34 months ago, was this week officially
recognised as Zimbabwe's most widely read newspaper. The Daily News has
overtaken its main rival, The Herald, in circulation and readership in both
the rural and urban areas, according to a survey commissioned by the
Zimbabwe Advertising Research Foundation.


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Daily News

Mugabe must go, says Cosatu

12/8/01 9:09:07 AM (GMT +2)


By Sandra Nyaira Political Editor

THE powerful Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), part of the
ruling alliance in South Africa, said yesterday Zimbabwe could only be saved
from economic collapse if President Mugabe was removed from power at the
next election.

Cosatu general secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi, said Zimbabwe could only be saved
through the mobilisation of "workers to defend democracy actively".

According to the Mail & Guardian weekly newspaper of South Africa, Vavi
spoke after a three-day meeting of the Southern Africa Trade Union
Co-ordination Council (Satucc) in Johannesburg.

He asked: "How do we save Zimbabwe? Remove Mugabe in the next election."

He said Mugabe's sole aim was power and he was "desperate and does not care
how many corpses he leaves behind".

Satucc, of which Vavi is president, brings together trade unions from
Southern Africa Development Community, except the Democratic Republic of
Congo and Mauritius.

The federation decided that free and fair elections in Zimbabwe were not
possible if the current climate of lawlessness persisted.

"We should be doing more than sending a memorandum, though, as this will
probably be ignored. We should be mobilising workers to defend democracy
actively," Vavi said.

His comments come after a visibly toughening stance of the South African
government on Zimbabwe, including three public attacks by President Thabo
Mbeki last week.

The attacks, to which the official State media, especially The Herald, have
responded with venom, have strained relations between the two countries.

But officials from both governments have refused to be officially drawn into
the debate, saying they will not comment on newspaper reports.

Vavi said he was not sure the South African government could do anything
about the situation in Zimbabwe, "seeing that we are facing similar
problems - though not on the same scale - of poverty and escalating
unemployment. We do not have our fundamentals right in this country".

But he said Mbeki was now "making the right noises, which is encouraging . .
. We need more of these noises, but would have preferred stronger statements
earlier. It might have helped a bit".

Mbeki, supported by his predecessor, Nelson Mandela, over his tough stance
against Mugabe, has for a long time maintained a "quiet diplomacy" policy
towards Harare, only to change recently, citing Mugabe's failure to accept
and implement advice from his colleagues.
Satucc leaders will soon be writing a letter to Mugabe asking him "to curb
the anarchy" in the country and to stop intimidating unions and opposition
parties.

Meanwhile, the New Zealand Foreign Minister, Phil Goff, yesterday said
Zimbabwe must be expelled from the Commonwealth, if a "free and fair"
Presidential election is not held next year.
Goff said Mugabe seemed committed to maintaining power at any price,
including the destruction of his own country.

He said it was "critically important" to get international observers into
the country in time and under conditions that would enable them to monitor
the election effectively.


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From ZWNEWS, 8 December

Bail refused

Fletcher Dulini-Ncube, MDC MP and Treasurer, was yesterday refused bail by the High Court. Dulini-Ncube, who was arrested nearly a month ago, is 60 years of age and a diabetic. He has been denied adequate supplies of insulin and medical attention during his detention, with the result that both his sight and his hearing are now failing rapidly. Judge Chiwesha, before whom he appeared, is a former Advocate-General in the Zimbabwe National Army and a member of the War Veteranís Association. Simon Spooner, 48, who was granted bail by the High Court on Thursday and freed from his four-week detention, was re-detained less than 24 hours later, when, in compliance with one of his bail conditions, he reported to the Hillside police station in Bulawayo. Police said the reason for his re-arrest was that the Attorney-General was appealing against the High Court order granting him bail. An urgent application for his release from this second arrest was turned down.

Dulini-Ncube, Spooner, and dozens of other MDC members were originally arrested in the wake of the murder of Cain Nkala, a leader of war veterans in Matabeleland. Two MDC members were paraded on state TV confessing to their part in Nkalaís murder, and implicating senior MDC officials. These confessions were the only evidence the state has produced as justification for the charges laid against a number of MDC members. However, the two witnesses last week retracted their confessions in court, saying that they had been extracted under police torture. The stateís case against all those they have accused of complicity in Nkalaís murder has therefore collapsed, and in the order granting bail to Spooner, the judge said there was no evidence against him.

Legal sources described the vigour with which the Attorney-General has pursued the prosecution of all the MDC members arrested in the sweep following Nkalaís murder as "simply astounding". Biggie Chitoro, a Zanu PF supporter who was heavily implicated in brutal political violence in the Mberengwa constituency during last yearís parliamentary elections, is free on bail. Mberengwa district was reported by human rights organisations as being one of the areas worst-affected by government and Zanu PF brutality against opposition supporters. Chitoro has resumed his "political" activities in violation of his bail conditions. Few, if any, prosecutions have been brought against those accused of murders in politically motivated violence since February 2000, which now stand at almost 120. Those responsible for the abduction and probable murder of Patrick Nabanyama, who disappeared in June 2000 and has not been seen since, have also not been prosecuted. Nkala was one of those charged with Nabanyamaís abduction, and had been due to appear in court shortly after he, too, was abducted and murdered. Matabeleland war veterans, and members of Nkalaís own family have said that Nkalaís murder was an "inside job", related to fears that he was about to reveal that senior members of Zanu PF in Matabeleland had ordered the killing of Nabanyama.

From News24 (SA), 7 December

Amnesty slams Zim violence

Johannesburg - Amnesty International said on Friday police and security forces in Zimbabwe are waging a campaign of violence and intimidation against judges, journalists and opposition leaders in advance of presidential elections early next year. An organisation of African-based foreign correspondents also condemned a proposed media law that would effectively ban foreign correspondents from Zimbabwe, allow the government to decide who could be a journalist and set prison terms for violating "media standards" set by a government commission. Casey Kelso, the Zimbabwe researcher for Amnesty International, told journalists in Johannesburg that President Robert Mugabe's government had created a climate of intimidation and political violence that could prevent free and fair voting in presidential elections to be held early next year. "I observed a level of fear that I have not seen before," said Kelso, speaking of meetings he held over two weeks inside Zimbabwe with aid workers and supporters of the political opposition. "Everybody was looking desperately for the outside world to come in and help." Kelso accused the government of waging a "war by proxy" against its own people and said Amnesty International was appealing to the 14-nation Southern African Development Community to apply pressure on ruling party officials. "Zimbabwe is using the legal system to undermine independent institutions," said Kelso, explaining that the government was using security forces and groups of ruling party militants to attack, arrest and intimidate the opposition and the media. He also noted that President Robert Mugabe's government was packing the courts, undermining the once independent judiciary and giving legal cover to acts of repression.

Political violence has convulsed Zimbabwe since March 2000 when ruling party militants, encouraged by the government, began the often violent occupation of white-owned farms. About 60 people have been killed in the political violence. Mugabe's government ignored court orders to end the occupations and restore the rule of law. It also refused to protect judges, including the chief justice of the supreme court, when they were threatened and harassed into resigning. The government has appointed new judges that consistently rule in favour of the government. Kelso also confirmed media reports that ruling party militants randomly attacked whites on the streets of Bulawayo last month, attacked vendors selling independent newspapers and blacks regarded as members of the opposition. He said they also firebombed opposition party offices while police escorts watched passively. The government accused foreign media organisations of being terrorist collaborators for reporting on the violence in Bulawayo, which was also confirmed by Western diplomats.

The crackdown on the opposition and the press in Zimbabwe is increasing as the country moves closer to presidential elections. Mugabe, 77, who has ruled since independence in 1980, wants another six-year term. He is facing the toughest electoral challenge of his rule. In an effort to gain greater control over the press, Mugabe has approved a proposed new media law that would license journalists and set prison terms for journalists who violate "standards" set by a government-appointed media commission. The bill is likely to be presented to parliament for enactment before the Christmas recess. The Foreign Correspondents Association of Southern Africa said on Friday the proposal violated freedom of expression and "would aggravate the dangerous conditions local and foreign journalists already face in Zimbabwe". The association urged the government to withdraw the proposed law and give journalists access to the country before presidential elections. Under current accreditation restrictions, Mugabe's government is preventing most foreign correspondents from entering the country.

From ZWNEWS, 8 December

Spanish visit

Speculation is again mounting over the health of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. Mugabe last Sunday ordered a London-bound Air Zimbabwe flight to divert to Madrid, leaving forty paid-up passengers stranded at Harare airport to make way for his entourage. Reports from sources in Brussels earlier this week suggested that Mugabe had included a consultation with an eye-specialist during a visit to Spain. The UKís Independent newspaper reported yesterday that doctors from France would be flown to treat him there. The South African News24 news service, quoting the Spanish-based Europa Press agency, reported today that Mugabe, together with his wife and several of his children, is in the north-eastern Spanish city of Barcelona for medical examinations. The Financial Times reports that he was seeking a second opinion on medical advice received in London. Britain's†Daily Telegraph today confirmed the earlier reports of eye-trouble, quoting a spokesman at†the Barraquera hospital in Barcelona, which is renowned for its world-class eye treatment, who confirmed that the 77-year-old Zimbabwean president was attending the clinic as an out-patient. Diplomats have also suggested that Mugabe has advanced cancer.†There has also been speculation that Mugabeís trip to Spain may have been related to an attempt to heal a rift with the European Union (EU) that had widened after he had stormed out of a meeting with senior EU officials and politicians in Harare recently. However, the Independent reports that he had travelled without an invitation from Spain. News24 reports that he did not meet any Spanish government leaders during his week-long visit, which the Financial Times describes as "unofficial". Mugabe is expected to leave Spain this evening. Mugabe is due to address the Zanu PF annual congress in Victoria Falls next week.

From The Zimbabwe Independent, 7 December

Vic Falls "no fly zone"

In a clear sign of growing paranoia, the government has banned all light aircraft from flying below 5 000 feet in the resort town of Victoria Falls during the Zanu PF conference from December 12-17. The six-day flight ban will negatively impact on the struggling tourism industry in the town as bookings will have to be cancelled. The acting director of Air Navigation Services in the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe, Ezra Mazambara, yesterday said planes could still fly over the town but would have to remain above 5 000 feet. He said this restriction had been put in place as a precautionary measure for the safety of the gathering on the ground. "This is not the first time we have done it. We have always tried to do this whenever people gather," said Mazambara. However, operators who spoke to the Independent yesterday said it was pointless to organise sight-seeing flights at the prescribed height as it was too high. Industry sources said each operator is set to lose as much as US$3 000 ($165 000) a day as a result of the ban and more from other cancellations.

From The Zimbabwe Independent, 7 December

US Black Caucus ditches Mugabe

President Robert Mugabeís claims of support from the Black Caucus in the United States congress evaporated on Tuesday night after the House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted for tough measures against his regime. A last-minute attempt by lobbyist Andrew Young to sway the vote failed. Gregory Simpkins, vice-president of the Foundation for Democracy in Africa, a Washington-based think-tank, said there was irresistible consensus in favour of the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Bill. "Everyone voted for the Bill," Simpkins said. "The Republicans and the Democrats voted for the Bill, nearly all Black Caucus members voted for the Bill, all Black Caucus members in New York voted for the Bill, conservatives and liberals alike voted for the Bill," he said.

Simpkins said House of Representatives members - including Congressman John Louis who replaced Andrew Young and others who initially gave Mugabe the benefit of the doubt such as John Conyes, Charles Rangel and Maxine Waters - voted for the Bill. Simpkins, an African-American, told the Zimbabwe Independent it was a fallacy that black congressmen were opposed to the Bill. "Blacks know what is right and what is wrong. It was not a matter of black and white but what is happening in Zimbabwe," he said. "Silence is not consent...Just because they havenít been saying anything doesnít mean they supported Zimbabwe." Simpkins said the silence of developing countries does not mean support for Harare either. US congressmen were anxious to act, he said.

"An overwhelming majority voted for the Bill, much more than those who voted in the Agoa (Africa Growth and Opportunity Act)," Simpkins said. Zimbabwe was excluded from Agoa. Simpkins said the breakdown of the rule of law, official pursuit of "political justice which is not justice at all", and the land crisis swayed the vote against Zimbabwe. Congress passed the Bill by 396 to 11 votes. It was unanimously approved in the Senate earlier this year but will now return to the upper house to approve minor amendments. A last-ditch appeal by former Atlanta mayor and US ambassador to the United Nations Andrew Young to members of congress cut no ice. Now the head of GoodWorks International Inc, a firm of lobbyists, Young claimed Mugabe is a "Christian socialist who has focused on the distribution of wealth but less on generating wealth through foreign investment, which should be the strategy of the debt-ridden Zimbabwean government".

Repeating remarks he made in Harare earlier this year, Young said there had been much less violence in Zimbabwe than in Britain, Ireland or South Africa. "Fewer than 50 people in two years of struggle over land reform have been killed," he said. "I hope you will do everything in your power to oppose this Bill," he pleaded - in vain. Young told the Independent in July that he was not being paid for his work on behalf of the Mugabe regime. In a statement after the passage of the Bill, Africa subcommittee chair Ed Royce said Congress had acted on dictatorship. "Today, the US House of Representatives acted against tyranny in Zimbabwe," he said. "I foresee the US working closely with the European Union, South Africa, and other regional states to address this crisis. The US congress is watching Zimbabwe. I hope President Mugabe gets the message."

Zimbabwe, Simpkins said, squandered opportunities to block the Bill. "There were a lot of attempts to talk to Zimbabwe but that didnít work," he said. "But Zimbabwe still has a chance. The ball is in governmentís court. This Bill is a plea for dialogue. I hope it will not result in more intransigence." Simpkins observed the Bill is aimed at the regime and not the people. "Itís strictly targeted at government and the leadership. We want Zimbabwe to be a partner in democracy. We are looking at how to get Zimbabwe back on track and not how to destroy it." US assistant secretary of state Walter Kansteiner is expected in Zimbabwe next week for talks on the local crisis. He has already visited Kenya and Ethiopia and is currently in South Africa.

From The Zimbabwe Independent, 7 December

Ebrahim blasts fast-track land programme

Supreme Court Judge Justice Ahmed Ebrahim differed sharply with his colleagues on the Supreme Court bench who this week ruled that the government had re-established the rule of law on the countryís white-owned farms and had implemented a proper programme of land reform. In what appears to be a stinging rebuttal of remarks made in the majority ruling, Justice Ebrahim said it was not the duty of the court to support the government of the day but to uphold the law. Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku together with Justices Misheck Cheda, Vernanda Ziyambi and Luke Malaba agreed that the governmentís land reform programme was a matter of "social justice and not, strictly speaking, a legal issue". However, Justice Ebrahim, the fifth member of the bench handpicked by Chidyausiku to hear the case, said it was "impossible" to state that the rule of law had been restored on the countryís white-owned farms or that there was a land reform programme. "It is not the function of the courts to support the government of the day," he said in his dissenting judgement. "The courtís duty is to the law and the law alone. They may never subvert the law. To act otherwise would create huge uncertainty in the law," he said.

The majority overturns an order given last year by the previous Supreme Court bench, led by internationally respected former Chief Justice Anthony Gubbay, which declared that Mugabeís fast track land reform programme was chaotic and illegal. Justice Gubbay resigned after threats of violence by Mugabeís supporters and Mugabe appointed Chidyausiku in his place. Justice Ebrahim said that the state lawyers were "repeating the arguments previously rejected by the Supreme Court under Justice Gubbay. "All the points were carefully considered and that court came to the conclusion it did," said Justice Ebrahim. "Haphazard squatting cannot form part of a lawful programme of land reform. It is not lawful for any occupier to be on the land at all, let alone cut down trees, build homes, till land, graze their cattle. It is a criminal offence. It is impossible to accept that the rule of law has been restored." Apparently responding to the view of Chidyausiku and the other three that land reform was a matter of social justice rather than the law, Ebrahim said "the courtsí duty is to the law and the law alone. Judges, as individuals, have their own political, legal, and social views and opinions. But it is the sworn duty of every judge to apply the law, whatever he or she may think of the law."

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Guardian

Zimbabwe Rights Abuses Condemned

Saturday December 8, 2001 2:00 AM


JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AP) - Amnesty International said Friday police
and security forces in Zimbabwe are waging a campaign of violence and
intimidation against judges, journalists and opposition leaders in the
run-up to presidential elections early next year.

Casey Kelso, of Amnesty International in Zimbabwe, told journalists in
Johannesburg that President Robert Mugabe's government had created a climate
of intimidation and political violence that could prevent free and fair
voting in the presidential elections.

``I observed a level of fear that I have not seen before,'' said Kelso,
speaking of meetings he held with aid workers and supporters of the
political opposition in Zimbabwe. ``Everybody was looking desperately for
the outside world to come in and help.''

Kelso accused the government of waging a ``war by proxy'' against its own
people and said Amnesty International was appealing to the 14-nation
Southern African Development Community to apply pressure on ruling party
officials.

Political violence has convulsed Zimbabwe since March 2000 when ruling party
militants, encouraged by the government of President Robert Mugabe, began
the often violent occupation of white-owned farms. About 60 people have been
killed in the political violence.

Mugabe's government ignored court orders to end the occupations and restore
the rule of law. It also refused to protect judges, including the chief
justice of the Supreme Court, when they were threatened and harassed into
resigning. The government has appointed new judges that consistently rule in
favor of the government.

The government accused foreign media organizations of being terrorist
collaborators for reporting on violence in Bulawayo that also was confirmed
by Western diplomats.

The crackdown on the opposition and the press in Zimbabwe is increasing as
the country moves closer to presidential elections. Mugabe, 77, who has
ruled since independence in 1980, wants another six-year term. He is facing
the toughest electoral challenge of his rule.


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Tehran Times

Zimbabwe Government Accuses U.S. and Britain of Racism


HARARE -- The Zimbabwe government Friday accused Britain and the United
States of racism, and said U.S. sanctions legislation was aimed at
increasing the suffering of Zimbabweans.

In a statement, Information Minister Jonathan Moyo also accused the
country's main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) of committing
"treachery".

"The treacherous MDC is a movement for anti-people sanctions operating under
the guise of democracy, good governance, human rights and the rule of law as
defined by racist Americans and Britons," Moyo said.

His statement follows the passing of the Zimbabwe democracy and economic
recovery act by the U.S. House of Representatives this week. The act now
awaits President George W. Bush's signature before becoming law.

Washington says the act will pave the way for imposing economic and travel
sanctions against individuals it holds responsible for "The deliberate
breakdown of the rule of law and politically motivated violence."

But Moyo said Friday the sanctions would fuel unemployment, the cost of
living and shortages of basic commodities, thus increasing hardship for
Zimbabweans facing the country's worst economic crisis in years.

"The MDC and its media mouthpieces have lied that the sanctions bill targets
government officials and their families," Moyo said.

Former colonial power Britain has incurred the wrath of Harare officials for
criticizing the government's land reforms and violence on white-owned farms.

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News24

MDC man freed, rearrested

Harare - A Movement for Democratic Change administrator was back in prison
on Friday after nearly 24 hours of freedom.

This was after state lawyers challenged a judge's bail orders for Simon
Spooner, 48. High Court Judge Lawrence Kamocha ruled that Spooner, who was
initially arrested on November 12, be released on bail, but the state
lawyers' appeal, in terms of new laws, means that Spooner must be
incarcerated until the appeal is finalised.

Spooner, who is an MDC official in Zimbabwe's western city of Bulawayo, was
released from the city's Khami prison on Thursday when Kamocha found police
had failed to produce any evidence to hold him on murder allegations.

He was arrested on November 12 in a police swoop on MDC officials following
the discovery of the body of a war veterans leader.

However, soon after his bail was paid and he was released, state lawyers
appealed, said his lawyer Ndabezinhle Mazibuko.

Getting thin in prison

In terms of recent changes to criminal law, the judge was obliged to suspend
the bail until the state's appeal was heard, and police took him back into
custody, Mazibuko said.

Spooner is alleged to have participated in terrorist activities following
the discovery of the body of a Zanu-PF supporter.

"The appeal in the Supreme Court could be any time," Mazibuko said.

"We hope they will deal with it as a matter of urgency."

Spooner, who lost 8kg in his 24 days in prison, is one of dozens of MDC
officials and supporters arrested last month amid accusations by Mugabe's
ruling Zanu-PF party of "terrorism".

They were followed by repeated attacks by militia on MDC offices, and the
razing of the party's regional headquarters in Bulawayo.

However, in the last week courts aroundthe country ruled in several cases
that police had failed to provide evidence against the arrested MDC
officials.

This week a court in Bulawayo ruled that the evidence against the police's
two prime suspects in the murder case had been extracted by torture.

Bulawayo MP Moses Ndlovu was released on bail after a judge found police had
no reason to continue holding him in custody.

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