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

Portal of Truth 6

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A constant. My vote won't make a difference.
These words have been around for a while and needed a title and a graphic
treatment. We need to be reminded.

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EU in fresh showdown with Mugabe on observers

Jane Fields In Harare

THE EU headed for a new showdown with Zimbabwe over election-monitoring yesterday, insisting that a Swede would lead its team despite Harare pointedly not including Sweden in a list of invited countries.

The European Commission spokeswoman, Emma Udwin, said former Swedish government minister Pierre Schori would travel to Zimbabwe tomorrow to head the 150-EU monitoring team.

Ms Udwin repeated EU threats of sanctions on the president, Robert Mugabe, and his inner circle if he blocks deployment of the monitors or if there are election abuses.

In the 9-10 March poll, Mr Mugabe faces his stiffest challenge in the 22 years since he led the country to independence. Zimbabwe’s opposition charges that Mugabe and his ruling ZANU-PF party intend to rig the elections.

Ms Udwin said Mr Mugabe’s government earlier this week invited monitors from nine of the 15 EU countries, but left out Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Britain, Germany and the Netherlands.

"We believe it is up to the EU to determine who takes part in its mission," Ms Udwin said. "We are continuing all the arrangements to deploy our observers as planned."

Zimbabwe state radio reported last month that Mr Mugabe has invited foreign observers but would not allow election monitors from former colonial power Britain. Mr Mugabe accuses London of seeking to undermine his rule after disputes rooted in often-violent seizures of white-controlled land since 2000.

Ms Udwin said the EU had taken the necessary steps to invoke sanctions on Zimbabwe as early as next week if Mr Mugabe obstructs the observer mission. "Preparations for sanctions - should they be needed - are very well in hand," she said.

The so-called "smart sanctions" unveiled by the EU last month would freeze the foreign assets of Mr Mugabe’s family and inner circle and bar them from travel.

The EU would also ban exports of arms and other equipment that could be used for internal repression.

Ms Udwin said the sanctions could be invoked if the EU finds a deterioration of human rights or signs of intensified attacks on the opposition. She said that sanctions also could be imposed after the elections if they were found not to be free and fair, or if international media were prevented from covering the vote.

"A decision on Mugabe’s actions can be taken at any point," Ms Udwin said.

In Harare, the opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, accused Mr Mugabe of turning the country into a "basket case".

"I’ve never seen a country that has developed by taking people from the industry to the land," 49-year-old Mr Tsvangirai said to roars of applause, as he stood against a wooden crucifix, a giant poster of himself and a map of Zimbabwe at a rally in Harare’s Borrowdale suburb, the heart of his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

Mr Tsvangirai, who is being portrayed in the state press as Tony Blair’s "baas boy" or colonial-style servant, said he had no quarrel with the need for land reform in a country where whites own some 70 per cent of the most fertile land.

"Where we differ is the method," he stressed, "the method by which he [Mr Mugabe] has turned this country into a basket case."

Hundreds of people began piling into the red-brick church building an hour before the meeting began in Borrwdale’s Northside Community Church yesterday evening.

Among the 600 or so attending were expensive-suited and mobile-phone carrying businessmen, both black and white. But there were school children too, powdered old white ladies in their Sunday outfits and local market sellers.

Together they raised their palms in the trademark MDC salute and chanted the party slogan, Chinja matiro, which in the local Shona language means "Change your ways".

Mr Tsvangirai, who was on his third rally of the day, accused the government of turning the country into "a land of peasants."

"We’re living in anxious times," Mr Tsvangirai said. But elections at the beginning of March are not about "a choice between Morgan Tsvangirai and Robert Mugabe", he stressed. He said the choice was "for the future of the country."
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EU threat to freeze Mugabe's assets over observers
 The Irish Examiner 09 Feb 2002

By Ann Cahill, Europe Correspondent, Caceres, Spain

THE EU is threatening to freeze the assets of the Zimbabwean president, his family and cronies and refuse them visas if the EU mission to oversee the coming election encounters any problems.

Robert Mugabe has been president and virtual dictator in the African country for the past 22 years and has been using the security forces and his political party to intimidate opposition politicians and candidates in next month's election.

While the EU received an official invitation from Zimbabwe to send election observers, according to EU diplomatic sources, Mr Mugabe has made it clear he does not want any Germans, British, Danes, Swedes, Dutch or Finns included.

The head of the 150-strong EU mission is Swedish and there are also a number of Dutch members. An EU spokesperson said yesterday they will not tolerate efforts to dictate which countries take part - the mission is to represent the EU and not their individual countries.

EU Foreign Ministers, meeting in Spain, are expected to agree today to sanctions against Zimbabwe in the event of any observers having problems. They want the initial core group of 14 observers - expected to arrive in the country today.

Mr Mugabe, whose supporters have been orchestrating a reign of terror against white farmers in the country, has salted away many millions of euro in banks and companies throughout the EU.

The EU foreign ministers are being asked to agree to the sanctions - to be brought into force through a special meeting of EU ambassadors on Monday if the observers encounter any problems. But diplomatic sources do not want to be seen to be precipitating anything. "We may be witnessing the last weeks of an ailing dictatorship and don't not want to do anything premature", one source said.

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Zimbabwe prepares for elections

February 9, 2002 Posted: 3:45 PM EST (2045 GMT)

BLANTYRE, Malawi (AP) -- Despite mounting tension and ongoing political
violence ahead of next month's presidential elections in Zimbabwe, a
southern African ministerial group said Saturday they were confident a free
and fair poll was still possible.

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe had followed through on almost all
promises he had made to regional leaders at a recent summit in Malawi to
ensure the election was legitimate, said Lillian Patel, Malawi's foreign

Patel headed a ministerial taskforce from the 14-nation Southern Africa
Development Community, or SADC, which recently visited Zimbabwe to review
election preparations. Patel said she was impressed.

"For instance, Harare has already invited international observers and
journalists to monitor the elections," she said.

The taskforce unanimously opposed any form of sanctions against Zimbabwe and
agreed that the SADC chairman, Malawian President Bakili Muluzi, should
officially write to the European Union expressing this view.

The EU has threatened targeted sanctions against Mugabe and his close allies
unless the elections are free and fair, and election monitors are allowed to
work unhindered.

Mugabe, 77, who has ruled Zimbabwe since 1980, is fighting for political
survival in the election. He faces a strong challenge from former trade
unionist Morgan Tsvangirai, who now leads the Movement for Democratic

Zimbabwe's opposition and human rights groups complain of a
government-sponsored campaign of terror against its opponents, and say a
free and fair election is highly unlikely.

But Southern African nations, which have longstanding political and economic
ties with Mugabe, have been reluctant to criticize him.

Patel said it was Harare's prerogative to decide which nations should be
invited to observe the elections, due to take place March 9-10.

The Southern African Development Community parliamentary forum plans to send
39 lawmakers to monitor the elections, while regional electoral commissions
will send separate delegations.
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Dear Family and Friends,
132 people have been killed in politcial violence in Zimbabwe since March
2000, 15 of those people died last month in what is being called Bloody
January. It was with great sadness that, with the assistance of the Zimbabwe
Human Rights Forum, I updated the roll of honour on my website this week.
They may just be names and dates to a lot of people but the details behind
these deaths are horrific and barbaric, the reasons so unnecessary. I would
like to quote just one brief excerpt from the January ZHR Political Violence
Report. " They demanded to know the names of the people in the MDC party
structures... then he was tortured by being squeezed with great pressure
around his diaphragm and then had electrodes from the battery of the car
attached to his inner thigh and under his fingernails and was given electric
shocks. They beat him on the head and legs with sticks and then forced him
to swallow a herbal mixture that caused severe diarrhoea. T.K. subsequently
died..." As I have done many times in the last two years, I dedicate my
letter this week to the lives, loves and in memory of all who died in
political violence in January 2002.
So many people are suffering and yet every night this week our State run
television news has told us categorically that political violence in the
country is declining. Every day this week the newspapers have been filled
with reports of beatings, burning, stoning and torture. The titles of items
in Friday's newspaper paint the most accurate picture of every day life in
Zimbabwe: "Villagers starving in Matabeleland North .... Soldiers torture
MDC MP's...Youths terrorize Chivhu villagers...MDC says assaults on
supporters increase in Manicaland... Homestead gutted as violence grips
Not a single area of the country is untouched and there are increasing
incidents of teachers and students in rural schools being harassed,
intimidated and forced to attend political re-education meetings on sports
fields and play grounds. The education of a huge number of Zimbabweans is
under threat and the recent 300% rise in the fees at Zimbabwe's Open
University will have far reaching implications for the future. Sometimes it
is a bit like living in a goldfish bowl in Zimbabwe. With horrific reports
of outrages in local schools, the Daily News yesterday reported on an item
in the South African Sunday Times: 13 Zimbabwean government ministers, the
Speaker of the House of Parliament and a Provincial governor have their
children studying in schools and universities in Switzerland, the UK,
America and South Africa. It would seem that our schools and universities
are not good enough for our leaders' children.
This entire week there has been no cooking oil, milk or  refined maize meal
in Marondera. The queue outside our towns' Grain Marketing Depot was 250
strong on Monday morning. It took two of my friends 5 hours to get to the
front of the line where they had to fill in a form with all their personal
details before they were allowed to buy a 50kg  bag of unground maize. A
couple of days later there was no queue as the grain had completely run out
and the government helicopters clattered overhead, taking the President to
political rallies in Manicaland. The State television reporter that night
said it was shocking to see the state of drought affected crops in our area.
He did not say that hundreds of farmers with state of the art irrigation
equipment have been prevented from farming who, with their knowledge,
experience and equipment could, right now, be saving our dying crops.
There are now 27 days until the Presidential Elections and every day is one
of  disbelief. Yesterday, in the space of ten minutes I met two people, the
first a white farmer who was recently shot by armed men who had ambushed him
outside his farm gate.The farmer is back on his land and waiting to be
allowed to grow food. My second meeting was with a "real" war veteran who
has had nothing to do with the insanity of the past two years and is waiting
to be able to have a normal life and carry on with his small business. We
are all waiting now and I continue to wear a small yellow ribbon pinned to
my shirt in silent protest at the suffering in my country - I hope in 27
days I will be able to take it off. Until next week, with love, cathy.
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The Financial Gazette
Posted Thursday 7 February 2002
Time is almost up
2/7/02 1:10:42 AM (GMT +2)
EDITOR — The Commonwealth and the rest of the international community have been making promises to help bring peace to Zimbabwe for almost two years now.
The British Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Jack Straw, and his predecessors have been threatening unspecified action against the Robert Mugabe regime for equally a long time. Such action would be taken, he said, if the current political violence continues.
I often ask myself: but for how long and after how many deaths at the hands of the terrorists threatening stability in Zimbabwe?
The so-called pioneer for African Renaissence, President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, and his team in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) "Old Boys Association" still believe that Mugabe deserves another chance, even after more than 100 Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) activists have been brutally "butchered" by ZANU PF-sponsored thugs.
Let me warn the SADC leadership and those who are expected to protect the terrorised Zimbabweans that time is almost up.
We must now ask the USA, UK, Canada, Nigeria and other peace-loving nations to prepare to bring in their armies and use force to bring democracy and peace in Zimbabwe. The alternative can be very unpleasant, for we (Zimbabweans) reserve the right to do whatever we can to bring sanity and peace ourselves.
There is overwhelming support for the imposition of smart sanctions against senior government and ZANU PF officials. The MDC and other progressive institutions must educate ordinary people that these sanctions are targeted at the "chefs only" and will never harm ordinary citizens.
I have already started, with the help of friends, compiling a register for names of children of these "chefs" who are in the UK. Our intention is to hasten the pace of the effects of the smart sanctions.
Kumbirai Kangai’s children in London and Enos Chikowore’s daughter at Salford University, Manchester, will also be included. Why do ZANU PF officials send their children to Europe, seek medication and invest in the Western countries if they are that much against the West? Why don’t they go to Libya and Malaysia where their friends are?
The struggle continues until ZANU PF becomes history.
Jennings Rukani
United Kingdom.
You’re not alone
2/7/02 1:10:03 AM (GMT +2)
EDITOR — This letter is in support and sympathy of the Financial Gazette’s Special Projects Editor, Basildon Peta. You are not alone weZimbabwe.
Peta was arrested by the ZANU PF police because of his alleged leadership role in the organisation of a demonstration by independent and foreign journalists against the draconian Information Bill which was passed into law recently.
The ruling party is using all the tactics that can be found in the book to curtail any freedom of expression and association ahead of the historic and no-holds-barred March plebiscite. Peta was arrested, not because of his role in the demonstration, but because of his fearless investigations and stories about the ailing ZANU PF government.
I applaud the unwavering and unequivocal stance taken by the independent Press in Zimbabwe in laying bare the inadequacies of the moribund ZANU PF government. The resilience of Peta and the support that he is getting from other open-minded journalists reminds me of the jailed personae in Maina Kinyatti’s poem "The Monstrous Instrument".
Mairos Gokoko
Ohio, USA.
Shut up now Mbeki
2/7/02 1:09:13 AM (GMT +2)
EDITOR — South African President Thabo Mbeki should now just keep his mouth shut, leave Zimbabwe alone and divert his energy towards saving the rand.
Mbeki is so pompous he is now acting god to the suffering Zimbabweans and wants us to pray to him until we run out of prayers before he can whisper something to President Robert Mugabe — after all it’s called quiet diplomacy.
His attitude is that we should be thankful for just being neighbours with South Africa and we should behave ourselves lest that privilege is taken away and bestowed to other far away poor African countries which would do anything to be neighbours to Big Brother.
Daily reports of state-sponsored violence, killings and abductions of innocent people in Zimbabwe are becoming an irritation to you rather than a cause for action. All you say is: "I have talked to him and he seems not to listen." Thank you very much Mr President, I wish we could have said the same to you during your days of struggle.
We are tired of your quiet and non-effective diplomacy and we urge you to call it off because we shan’t beg you anymore. We have been on our knees for the last two years and you are more preoccupied with repatriating farm labourers back to Zimbabwe (a petty issue) than solving a problem which befits your stature, and it’s time as a nation that we stopped looking expectantly for assistance from the other side of Limpopo.
With hindsight, I think it was rather myopic on our part for poor, ordinary, defenceless and brutalised Zimbabweans to call on the might of your country to help us fight a dictator of our own creation. After an event of equal magnitude in Lesotho, your government did not have the time for any diplomacy — loud or quiet — as South African tanks rumbled through the streets of Maseru to restore order and democracy.
Today, democracy and all its supporting institutions are under severe threat in Zimbabwe and you selectively choose to stand aloof. Perhaps we have not suffered enough or perhaps the number of political deaths so far is still "manageable" as you once said of the situation in Zimbabwe.
Is this what African Renaissance is all about — minding one’s own business and lending morale support to a corrupt government, which has succeeded in suppressing all known freedoms and basic human rights?
Maybe you are inspired and amused by Mugabe’s antics and taking lessons on how much punishment people can take before they reach the threshold level and hoping to apply the same prescription to your people at a time convenient to you.
Mbeki, we will always be "indebted" to your response in our hour of need and the quiet support you have given us. Your non-action has instead spurred us to realise that it’s none but ourselves who will set ourselves free.
We painfully draw some encouragement from your response as we bury our beloved, being killed on a daily basis by an inhumane government which has turned against its own people. With or without your assistance we will fight our own struggle and one day when we have triumphed (and that is inevitable) we will take count of those who fought with us and those who fought against us.
Andrew Tsiga,
The Daily News
Traumatised by State violence
2/9/02 10:08:22 AM (GMT +2)
The people who stayed in my house at the time of the last election were indeed running away - from brutal government-inspired political violence.
They were initially shocked and frightened and later, when the relief of escaping with their lives gave way to the realities of all that they had lost, they became depressed.
The men felt useless, the children were unnaturally quiet and women who had lost good jobs took to making peanut butter to survive. This is the reality and they were the lucky ones.
Care Giver
Amani Trust
Soldiers won’t shoot their relatives
2/9/02 10:09:20 AM (GMT +2)
On behalf of all the Zimbabwean community, we learnt with heartfelt sorrow, disbelief, shock and an infuriating burning remorse of what has happened to our beloved country, Zimbabwe.
We all saw the BBC news of General Vitalis Zvinavashe announcing his allegiance to President Mugabe, and that the army would not accept the people’s choice! What a fox!
Has the general forgotten what our true comrades and real founding fathers of this nation fought for? Has he forgotten the slogans on the first T-shirts worn at the pro-independence rallies, when the real vakomana (The Boys) came from the bush and Mozambique?
Surely this shows that he is not part and parcel of the revolution. I was shocked to be told at the High Commission of Zimbabwe in the Strand, London, that I am not allowed to vote!
What? How can Mugabe take away my right to vote just because I am in a foreign country?
I have totally lost all the respect I ever had for him.
I realise now that it’s true what your peers say, that “you came out of the bush without knowing how to salute or even how to hold a gun”. The new generation cannot allow you to betray your comrades such as Herbert Chitepo, Josiah Tongogara, Nikita Mangena, Jason Moyo and Leopold Takawira. I won’t even mention Joshua Nkomo because he was on his own level!
I guess I will have to come back and jump into the trenches with my fellow brothers and sisters.
It is a new age, and do you honestly think that our brothers in the army will shoot us, the civilians their family members! Maybe that happens elsewhere, Mr President.
But nowhere else would soldiers turn their guns on their own parents, brothers and sisters in defence of one man, Mr President.
Anyone who believes such a thing can happen is a lunatic. It is going to be a bloodless revolution.I can put my money on that! Ask Mengistu Haile Mariam, Kwame Nkrumah, Idi Amin and Mobutu Sese Seko wherever they may be.
Remember Milosevic
Since when did mere boys become war vets?
2/9/02 10:10:26 AM (GMT +2)
Somebody correct me if I am wrong, but the liberation war was fought more than 22 years ago which means those heroes who were brave enough to have fought in it one way or the other must be in their mid-30s going up.
So I watch with great disbelief, shock and amazement when young men (or should I say boys) in their late teens and 20s go around abusing good law-abiding citizens of our great nation under the banner of war veterans.
Zimbabwe rightly boasts of having one of the highest literacy rates in Africa and among Third World countries.
I think we also have one of the highest rate of ignorant people.
When I was growing up, I learnt to respect, admire and appreciate all the sacrifices made by the liberation war heroes from all the literature I read and tales I heard.
I really wonder if these so-called war veterans did anything during the struggle, because if they did for reasons we all know why people lost their lives 22 years ago, then they seriously wouldn’t like to see our country, which they helped, build fall apart.

Have already swallowed bitter pill
2/9/02 10:11:01 AM (GMT +2)
I thought people were joking when they told me that The Herald was full of funny stories. I recently saw the funniest and most stupid presidential campaign advert in The Herald recently: “Tsvangirai’s Bitter Pill”.
I am sorry Zanu PF, but we have already swallowed that bitter pill, courtesy of RGM. If it was the ruling party’s way of saying “yes, this is what we have done for Zimbabweans”, then for once they are right. I’m still laughing.
Can’t Vote
Cape Town
Mugabe knows he is the pariah of the Commonwealth
2/9/02 10:12:02 AM (GMT +2)
President Mugabe should not take satisfaction from the decision not to suspend Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth.
On the contrary, he should have more feelings of shame than if the decision had been made to suspend us.
He has the responsibility for bringing the Commonwealth into disrepute because there is an increasing clamour now in Britain for it to leave this partly disreputable group.
The Commonwealth has as its cornerstone the Harare Declaration, of which every Commonwealth country is a signatory. Mugabe has broken this accord in every conceivable way from the very early days after he signed it, just as he has broken every other international and Commonwealth agreement, the Abuja agreement being but one more example.
Central to the Harare Declaration is the requirement for all Commonwealth countries to be governed along democratic principles based on human rights and the rule of law.
Those that voted not to expel Zimbabwe should be cast in the same light as Zimbabwe, as being an affront to every other decent member of the Commonwealth.
That is not to say all is lost in this regard. While he still can do anything, including going to meetings where he is not wanted, it is unlikely that he will attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Australia.
It is too close to the election and Zanu PF will require his personal inspiration in order to subjugate the opposition. Secondly, to say that he will be “cold-shouldered” if he does attend the CHOGM is an understatement.
As Australia was one of the prime movers to get him suspended, I suspect that he will be confronted by massive demonstrations, which are already being planned.
He knows that he is the pariah of the Commonwealth and is now spoken of in the same breath as Idi Amin and Jean Bedel Bokassa. Knowing this, how could he mix with other reputable Commonwealth leaders?
The CHOGM, therefore, will probably not have to put up with his presence.
So, whether Zimbabwe was suspended or not, his personal shame is of the same degree.
Zimbabweans should not regard either the United Kingdom or Australia - or any other Commonwealth country for that matter - working for the exclusion of their country to be anti-Zimbabwe. They are not.
Indeed, once Mugabe goes as he surely will, Zimbabweans will see improvements resulting from his downfall at the elections and much assistance will come from those countries. The UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, many of the Pacific states, yes, and many of the African states are anti-Mugabe, not anti-Zimbabwe, the country that he has ruined and so shamefully represents. Member states of the Commonwealth watch with interest whether Mugabe will have the courage to attend CHOGM.
M Clift

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The following news updates from the MDC are below:

1.  Political White Water
2.  3 MDC MPs Assaulted

1.  Political White Water Rafting
They say (the pundits) that we have the best white water rafting conditions
in the world at the Victoria Falls and into the Devils Gorge on the Zambezi
River. I have done the run – with a white water rafting guide from the
Colorado River in the USA and she said it was the best in the world from her
perspective. She was a geologist who did nothing else but guide "dudes"
through the white water experience all over the world.
If you have not done it, it’s a wonderful and exhilarating experience. The
river is huge – 1,7 kilometers wide at the falls, which plunges a 1000 feet
into the pools below and then runs through gorges that at times are less
than 50 meters across. Here the water is deep and fast and the existence of
huge boulders in the riverbed creates white water conditions like you have
never seen. Some of the rougher areas are best traversed by foot along the
edge – it’s just too dangerous for most ordinary mortals. When I did it I
was thrown out a couple of times and received a huge bruise across my torso
and face from an encounter with an oar, saw the odd crocodile but no
encounters of that kind while in the water. Stimulating, fast, unforgettable
and at the end – too short! Climbing out of the gorges was the worst part.
The present political campaign in Zimbabwe is much the same sort of
experience. Its fast, exhilarating, dangerous and a never to be forgotten
experience. The water rushes on, unscathed by the white water experience and
emerges at the end unaffected. So it is going to be here with the vote – the
voters are running the gauntlet of Zanu PF obstacles and violence, but will
emerge at the end intact and when they vote it will change everything.
Suddenly we will be out in open country again, into silent pools and the
sunshine, out of the darkness of the gorges. Climbing out of the hole we are
in is going to be the tough part – one where we will need help. In the
gorges, nobody can really help except those in the water with us.
We are all in different rubber dinghies for this trip – one for the lawyers,
another for the actual politicians another for the economists – I sit in the
latter with as fine a team of economists that have been assembled anywhere.
Talking to David Coltart – who leads the lawyers raft, we agreed that we are
having such fun – it’s a sin to be enjoying the ride so much. Sure it’s
rough and dangerous and the risks are great – even life threatening at
In Dave’s raft are some of the best legal brains in the country – Adrian de
Bourbon, Brian Elliott, Tendai Biti, Welshman Ncube and ream of others – all
of whom are working for a quarter of what they would charge otherwise or (in
Dave’s case) working for free. The lawyers are engaged in their own struggle
within this campaign – and what a fight they are putting up. The electoral
act is bombarded every day – we have the Registrar General on the ropes and
even threatened with jail for contempt of Court. Edison Zvobgo, not a member
of the team -–but a helpful bystander, single handedly ran rough shod over
the Media Bill last week damaging ego’s all over the place. The fight in the
courts for justice and for the basic rights – daily struggles in the courts,
bail hearings and worse. We can be justly proud of our legal profession and
at the end of this all we will have something even better, a country that
appreciates the value of the rule of law and the need to protect, with our
lives if required, our basic human rights. Never again will we take the
principles of equality before the law, the rights to freedom of speech and
association lightly.
In the political raft are collections of former trade unionists that have
worked and struggled together for the past 20 years. Led by Morgan their
work is dangerous and the water as rough as it gets anywhere in the world.
They hold onto each other, support each other and laugh a lot. That’s
important – prayer and laughter whilst we are in the struggle. What do they
face – gunfire from the sides of the river, impediments in the form of the
new draconian media and security legislation, arbitrary arrest and
detention, beatings and worse. Threats to their families, their homes burned
down and a publicly owned media that screams abuse at every turn. If they
fall into the water and struggle to the side, people on the shore simply
push them back into the river with the injunction that they must find their
own way out. When this raft gets to the end of the gorge they will know they
have been in a fight. Bruised but exhilarated, a sense of loss for the
casualties and grief for their families, but a deep commitment that it was
all worthwhile in the pursuit of a better life for the water they have swum
in. This will be one crew of political leaders who will know what is
important and what is irrelevant, what works and what does not work, what to
do and what to stop doing.
In my raft our main concern has been to plot the gorge ahead and warn the
other rafts of what lies ahead – joblessness, hunger, lower life
expectancies, corrupt practices and the failure of current strategies. Our
other job is to prepare the way out of the gorge. We know the crews will be
exhausted when we get there – they will need a clear route to the top. They
will need to know what has to be done and by whom. I can tell you, there has
never been in Africa, a political movement or Party that has been as well
prepared as the MDC is to take power and climb out of this gorge we are in.
It’s deep and hot and dry, but there are lots of people who will help and
they need to know what sort of help we will need.
In the media raft there are some really fine people with excellent minds –
Trevor Ncube at the Independent, Geoff Nyarota at the Daily News, Mdlongwa
at the Gazette. To this list we must now add Georgina Godwin and the blond
bombshell, Jerry Jackson at SW Radio Africa in London, not to mention the
Voice of the People out of Holland. Then there are the dozens of journalists
who defy the odds every day to tell the truth and to cover the expedition.
We respect these guys very much and will never again take lightly the issue
of the freedom of the press and the right to impartial information as a
foundation stone of democracy in a free society.
The raft that attracts a lot of attention and has more than its share of
characters is the farmers raft – full of guys who know the water backwards
and wear strange things like veldskoens without socks and floppy hats on
brown heads. They are deeply bruised and have taken some tragic casualties
but exhibit great determination and courage at every bend. There is Roy
Bennett in full sail – bellowing orders in fluent Shona. Their raft is full
of tough guys – not able to farm at present so they have thrown themselves
into the challenge of the white water in the hope that there will be some
sort of future for them at the end.
When we get out of the gorge hopefully we will then be able to stand on our
own two feet again and perhaps help others who are in the river or on their
own way out – just as we have been in the past two years. 27 days to go and
counting. Had a bit of rain last night – 2 mm. The weather is behaving like
the government – promising much, delivering little.
Eddie Cross
Secretary for Economic Affairs
Bulawayo, 8th February 2002.
This message reflects the views of the individual, and not necessarily the
position of the Movement for Democratic Change

2.  Zimbabwe MPs tortured in new wave of terror
From The Guardian (UK), 8 February
Harare - Three Zimbabwean opposition MPs campaigning for next month's
elections have been abducted, beaten and tortured for two days by supporters
of President Robert Mugabe in a remote town, according to the Movement for
Democratic Change. The three were paraded, injured and bleeding, wearing
handcuffs in front of the police station in Nkayi yesterday while 37 other
opposition party officials and supporters were also held, the MDC says. The
attack marks an escalation of political violence in the run-up to the poll.
Until now, the ruling Zanu PF's militia has reserved its attacks for less
prominent opponents. The MDC also says at least four party supporters have
been beaten to death this week, and a new wave of political terror is
sweeping through Matabeleland in southern Zimbabwe, a key area of opposition
The three politicians - Abednico Bhebhe, MP for Nkayi, Peter Nyoni, MP for
Victoria Falls, and Joel Gabuza, MP for Binga - led a convoy to distribute
leaflets for Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC leader who is challenging Mr Mugabe
in the presidential poll on March 9 and 10. The tyres of their cars were
shot at by soldiers and they were attacked by Mr Mugabe's youth militia
working with the army, according to local residents. Mr Bhebhe was among
those seriously injured, said the residents. The MPs and other MDC officials
were eventually taken to the Nkayi police station where they were
interrogated and held overnight on Wednesday. Some of the MDC members were
taken to the local hospital yesterday and returned to the police station,
say the residents. "It is frightening," said one resident. "We don't know
what is going to happen to them. The army is here, the youth militia is here
and they are beating so many people."
Police in Nkayi said the MPs had been arrested for carrying dangerous
weapons such as catapults, knobkerries (walking-sticks with knobs at the
end) and stones. A police spokesman, Wayne Bvudzijena, denied that the
politicians were beaten. In May last year Mr Bhebhe was abducted and beaten
unconscious in Nkayi. Although many bystanders witnessed the daylight
assault, no one was arrested. "Abednico is one of our best MPs and he has
been planning this return to Nkayi, which is in his constituency, for some
time," said David Coltart, the opposition MP for Bulawayo South. "He felt
that this car rally, as he called it, would give him safety in numbers to be
able to campaign for Morgan Tsvangirai. We are very concerned about him and
all those with him." Mr Coltart accused the army and ruling party militia of
beginning "a new wave of terror" across rural Matabeleland. Earlier this
week two MDC supporters were reportedly beaten to death in separate
incidents in the Matabeleland towns of Lupane and Tsholotsho.
Another MDC member of parliament, David Mpala, was abducted and stabbed two
weeks ago. He is still recovering from the attack. In other incidents, a
schoolteacher in the northern Mount Darwin area an opposition supporter in
the Mhondoro area were beaten to death, according to the MDC. "The MDC urges
all international monitors who have arrived in Zimbabwe to go to Nkayi and
witness Zanu PF's brutality at its best," said Welshman Ncube, the MDC
secretary general. The first four members of the Commonwealth team who will
oversee the presidential elections received government accreditation
yesterday. Eventually they will lead a team of about 50 observers. They met
the registrar-general, officials of the state electoral supervisory
commission and arranged meetings with political parties, according to the
Commonwealth press liaison officer, Mwambu Wanendeya. Last night, the
Commonwealth team was not aware of the violence against the MPs in Nkayi.

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The Irish Independent

Sanctions move closer as Mugabe spurns observers

THE European Union moved a step closer to imposing sanctions on Zimbabwe
last night after Harare refused to give unimpeded access to an EU observer
mission for next month's elections.

Stan Mudenge, the Zimbabwean Foreign Minister, said observers from only nine
of the 15 EU countries would be admitted, and that they should form part of
a joint mission led by the African, Caribbean and Pacific group of

Twelve days ago the EU's Foreign Ministers unanimously agreed to impose
sanctions on President Mugabe and 20 of his closest associates if Zimbabwe
blocked the work or deployment of the EU observer mission. The same
ministers are meeting in Spain today.

The ministers cannot trigger the sanctions themselves because they are
meeting informally, but sources said they may ask a special meeting of EU
ambassadors in Brussels to do so on Monday.

Another key test of Mr Mugabe's intentions will come tomorrow when Pierre
Schori, the Swedish head of the EU mission, tries to enter Zimbabwe to begin
his work.

Sweden is one of the six EU countries that Zimbabwe deems unacceptable.

In addition to Britain and Sweden, Mr Mudenge identified Denmark, Finland,
Germany and The Netherlands as countries whose observers would not be
welcome. EU diplomats said Zimbabwe wanted to exclude member states who had
been most critical of the Government's repression.

Next week more than 30 EU observers are due to fly to Zimbabwe, many of whom
are from the blacklisted countries.

Meanwhile, President Mbeki of South Africa appealed to President Mugabe
yesterday to end the violence in Zimbabwe and "let the people speak through
the ballot box."

Mr Mbeki said it was vital for Zimbabwe and the southern African region for
the government that emerges after the poll to be legitimate in the eyes of
the people of Zimbabwe.

He failed, however, to make any direct criticism of Mr Mugabe. ( The Times,

Martin Fletcher in Brussels
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Women fight Mugabe with 'chitter-chatter'
by Jane Flanagan
(Filed: 10/02/2002)

FEMALE members of the Movement for Democratic Change are taking a new
frontline role in the opposition party's attempt to defeat President Robert
Mugabe in Zimbabwe's elections next month.

Intimidatory tactics by pro-Mugabe supporters and new laws restricting
anti-government demonstrations have made orthodox electioneering virtually
impossible in much of Zimbabwe.

In the first few weeks of 2002, according to an independent human rights
group, 19 opposition supporters, all of them men, have died in political

In response, the MDC women's alliance has a launched a so-called
"chitter-chatter campaign", based on informal meetings of women over cups of
tea and plates of maize meal.

Even local knitting groups, a traditional meeting place for rural Zimbabwean
women, are being used to spread the MDC's message and mobilise voters.

Organisers believe that female activists are more likely to escape the
attentions of the police and Mr Mugabe's notorious "youth groups", who have
terrorised voters across the country.

"Women are going to be the most effective campaigners in this election,"
said Lucia Matibenga, the chairman of the MDC's women's alliance, "because
they're not as visible.

"They can slip into houses and arrange meetings discreetly. Men like the big
rally approach. But women generally prefer to chat together about issues
that will affect our families. With Mugabe's new laws we have to campaign
the women's way or not at all."

Across Zimbabwe, MDC officials have reported a boom in female volunteers,
eager to contribute to the "chitter-chatter" initiative.

The small town of Chitungwiza, south of Harare, witnessed the women's
alliance in action last week. More than 30 activists gathered to knock on
doors before attending a knitting meeting in the town.

Before the campaigners went on the streets, they each received an MDC wrap
and headscarf, in vivid green, red and yellow. The day began with
anti-Mugabe songs and the usual MDC mantra: Chinja - or change.

Miriam Mushaya, another activist, told her colleagues: "Go out and tell your
friends and your neighbours that if they don't vote this year they are
condemning their children to a life not worth living.

"Let us have sugar on our table before we talk about dividing up the land.
If the kitchen is not right then there is nothing we can do."

Under Mr Mugabe's increasingly paranoid regime however, even a meeting of
middle-aged women is in danger of being viewed as a threat to the state.

Within hours, one of the women campaigners had been arrested, although she
was later released without being charged. The leaflets of other volunteers
were confiscated along with party insignia.

The women's alliance has also discovered that the notorious list of "Wanted
MDC Terrorists", which has been handed to the government's self-styled war
veterans, features Mrs Matibenga and offers a reward for her capture.

Mrs Matibenga is now protected by a team of bodyguards, while her three
children live at a safe house, seeing their mother rarely.

Mrs Matibenga, who stood as an MDC MP in the June 2000 parliamentary
elections, said: "It is not us who are brave, but the women working for us
at the grassroots. They do not have phones and security for protection.

"They know that there is a risk and they are prepared to take it because it
is the only way they can make a difference."

The day after the police raid, the women were back again, in party
headscarves and wraps, continuing their work.

"Even the threat of arrest has to be better than the thought of Mugabe
winning again," said one.
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Urban Consumption Cost Soars in Zimbabwe

HARARE, February 9, 2002 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- The monthly cost of the
consumption basket for Zimbabwe's urban families has leapt by 57 percent to
6,300 Zimbabwean dollars (about 114.5 U.S. dollars), the Zimbabwe
New Agency reported on Saturday.

Victor Chisi, a senior manager of the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) was
quoted as saying that the number of households unable to afford basic goods
services in Zimbabwe's urban areas have doubled over the last six months.

The minimum consumption basket comprises commodities and services like
accommodation, food, clothing, education, health and transport, said Chisi.

He noted that a lot of people in the urban areas are living below the
datum line of 9,000 Zimbabwean dollars (163.6 dollars) per month.

He appealed to the business sector to be sympathetic to consumers by not
charging on those commodities which do not appear on the price control list.

Despite the re-introduction of price controls on basic commodities by the
government, many consumers are failing to purchase them because most have
salaries below the poverty datum line.

Chisi said that at the end of last year, the CCZ carried out a survey which
revealed that half of Harare's residents were unable to afford basic

The number of the jobless in the country has continued to grow as companies,
reeling under the harsh economic climate, continue to retrench.
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Zimbabwe prepares for elections

February 9, 2002 Posted: 3:45 PM EST (2045 GMT)

BLANTYRE, Malawi (AP) -- Despite mounting tension and ongoing political
violence ahead of next month's presidential elections in Zimbabwe, a
southern African ministerial group said Saturday they were confident a free
and fair poll was still possible.

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe had followed through on almost all
promises he had made to regional leaders at a recent summit in Malawi to
ensure the election was legitimate, said Lillian Patel, Malawi's foreign

Patel headed a ministerial taskforce from the 14-nation Southern Africa
Development Community, or SADC, which recently visited Zimbabwe to review
election preparations. Patel said she was impressed.

"For instance, Harare has already invited international observers and
journalists to monitor the elections," she said.

The taskforce unanimously opposed any form of sanctions against Zimbabwe and
agreed that the SADC chairman, Malawian President Bakili Muluzi, should
officially write to the European Union expressing this view.

The EU has threatened targeted sanctions against Mugabe and his close allies
unless the elections are free and fair, and election monitors are allowed to
work unhindered.

Mugabe, 77, who has ruled Zimbabwe since 1980, is fighting for political
survival in the election. He faces a strong challenge from former trade
unionist Morgan Tsvangirai, who now leads the Movement for Democratic

Zimbabwe's opposition and human rights groups complain of a
government-sponsored campaign of terror against its opponents, and say a
free and fair election is highly unlikely.

But Southern African nations, which have longstanding political and economic
ties with Mugabe, have been reluctant to criticize him.

Patel said it was Harare's prerogative to decide which nations should be
invited to observe the elections, due to take place March 9-10.

The Southern African Development Community parliamentary forum plans to send
39 lawmakers to monitor the elections, while regional electoral commissions
will send separate delegations.
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SADC Happy With Zimbabwe Election Preparation


Xinhuanet 2002-02-10 02:11:57

   LUSAKA, February 9 (Xinhuanet) -- The Southern African Development
Community (SADC) Ministerial Taskforce on Zimbabwe has expressed
satisfaction with Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's fulfillment
of his pledge on the country's March 9-10 presidential election.
   Malawi Foreign Minister Lilian Patel, who led the taskforce to
Harare on an assessment visit, said Saturday in Lilongwe that her
delegation was impressed with the arrangements, according to
information reaching here.
   "For instance, Harare has already invited international
observers and journalists to monitor the elections," she said.
   In addition to the representatives to be sent into Zimbabwe by
electoral commissions in the sub-region, the SADC parliamentary
forum would also send a group of 39 MPs, Patel said.
   She stressed that the taskforce was opposed to any sanctions
against Zimbabwe and agreed that the SADC chairman, Malawi
President Bakili Muluzi, should officially write to the European
Union to protest recent threats of targeted sanctions against
   Mugabe faces a critical challenge to his two-decade of
uninterrupted reign in the March elections, which pitted him
against former Trade Unionist Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement
for Democratic Change.
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Zimbabwean Opposition Party Stages Campaign Rally in Harare

Xinhuanet 2002-02-10 02:14:39

   HARARE, February 9  (Xinhuanet) -- The opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) staged a campaign rally here on Saturday,
in which party senior officials urged supporters to protest if the
party lost in what they termed a flawed process in the
presidential election set for March 9 and 10.
   During the rally, which was attended by about 600 people, the
speakers, including national youth chairman Nelson Chamisa, took
turns to berate the government instead of articulating their party
's policies.
   They failed to spell out what they would do for the electorate
if they won the election and did not outline the measures they
would take to address the economic problems gripping the country.
   Instead, they attacked the government's land reform program
which has already received a lot of support from many including
the Southern African Development Community.
   Besides President Robert Mugabe and MDC leader Morgan
Tsvangirai, three others will also run for the presidency in the
upcoming elections.

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Saturday, 9 February, 2002, 14:22 GMT
Scotland's vigil for Zimbabwe
Police guarding ballot boxes
Zimbabwe's elections take place next month
A vigil has been held in Edinburgh in support of free and fair elections in Zimbabwe.

Human rights groups have warned of an alarming increase in politically-motivated violence in the run-up to voting on 9 and 10 March.

Foreign election observers have only been allowed into the country after intense international pressure.

Campaigners said hundreds of thousands of young people without jobs will effectively be denied the vote under an electoral law pushed through the parliament.

Right Reverend John Miller
Right Reverend John Miller visited the country
There have also condemned what they said are efforts to curtail the freedom of the press, with another law stopping independent journalists from writing stories which do not meet with official approval.

The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, the Right Reverend John Miller, expressed concern about the possibility of free and fair elections in Zimbabwe after visiting the country three weeks ago.

On Saturday, representatives from the church and the British Zimbabwe Society joined MSPs and members of Amnesty International for a vigil at the Mound in Edinburgh.

Supporters planned to wear gags to demonstrate what they describe as the lack of free speech in Zimbabwe.

President Robert Mugabe is facing his strongest political challenge in 22 years in the shape of the Movement for Democratic Change's Morgan Tsvangirai.

Political violence

The Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum has warned of a rise in politically-motivated violence in the lead-up to the poll.

It said 16 political deaths were recorded in January 2002 - the highest monthly total since the political violence began two years ago.

The group blames supporters of President Mugabe for most of the violence, but said three activists from his Zanu-PF party were among the dead.

The government has claimed that political violence is lessening ahead of the presidential elections.

International groups such as the European Union and the Commonwealth have threatened to impose sanctions on Zimbabwe's leaders unless the elections are free and fair.

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Mugabe pressed again on violence
February 9, 2002 Posted: 11:13 AM EST (1613 GMT)

Mugabe says it is his opponents who are fuelling unrest

GWERU, Zimbabwe -- Main Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has
again demanded President Robert Mugabe put a stop to violence gripping the
country ahead of presidential elections on March 9-10.

Tsvangirai, head of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), told a party
rally that elements close to Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party as well as some
police officials had deliberately targeted Mugabe's opponents.

"There are people in this country who have been killed, raped and assaulted
and we're saying the government must take responsibility," Tsvangirai told
8,000 MDC supporters in the central city of Gweru on Saturday.

On Friday Tsvangirai told a campaign rally that Mugabe appeared "married to

The MDC says more than 100 people have been killed in the last two years and
that despite ZANU-PF pledges to rein its supporters violence had increased
in the past month.

Tsvangirai said Mugabe's "green bombers" -- the nickname given to graduates
of a national youth service which critics say has been turned into a private
party militia -- were still terrorising opposition supporters across the
southern African country.

"If Mugabe wants to prove that he is committed to running a free and fair
election, he must disband these armed bandits," Tsvangirai said.

Tsvangirai poses the main threat to the president's quest to extend his
22-year rule. Mugabe has been at the helm since co-leading the then Rhodesia
to independence in 1980 after a protracted 1970s guerrilla war against white
minority rule.

Tsvangirai told Saturday's Gweru rally that, if elected president, he would
set up a Truth and Justice Commission to allow perpetrators of the violence
"to come clean" on their activities as part of a national healing process.

"We want peace in this country and we want national healing," Tsvangirai
said. The MDC, which narrowly lost a June 2000 parliamentary election to
ZANU-PF, says it would have won had it not been for a bloody campaign which
left at least 31 mainly opposition supporters dead.

Mugabe accuses the MDC of being a front for local whites and his
international opponents led by former colonial ruler Britain who he says
want to unseat him in retaliation for the land seizures.

The veteran leader, who turns 78 later this month, denies responsibility for
bringing a once-vibrant national economy to its knees, and says it has been
sabotaged by his enemies.

The Zimbabwe Human Rights Non-Governmental Organisations Forum said this
week that 16 politically motivated murders had been recorded in January, the
highest monthly toll since it began logging incidents two years ago. It said
13 of the dead were MDC members.

Mugabe has said he will allow foreign observers to the elections, but will
not admit members from Britain, which he accuses of backing the opposition.

Zimbabwe has fended off a threat of European Union sanctions by allowing the
15-nation bloc to send in observers for the March 9-10 elections.

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Daily News - Leader Page

Playing games with Harare’s residents

2/9/02 10:14:03 AM (GMT +2)

The residents of Harare will, naturally, have been pleased by the Supreme
Court ruling on Wednesday which was, however, dampened by the same court’s
decision yesterday that President Mugabe does not have the power to
determine the running of the affairs of the City of Harare.

In the eyes of many, it was made all the more significant by the fact that
the full Bench of the Supreme Court, which was sitting as a constitutional
court, was presided over by the Chief Justice, Godfrey Chidyausiku, who is
widely regarded as a close ally of Mugabe.

Looking at it in that light, the average person will be forgiven for seeing
the ruling as a major triumph for the Judiciary over the Executive,
notwithstanding the fact that it would have been impossible, given the
virtually strait-jacketed provisions of the Constitution, for the court to
have arrived at any other decision.

The truth, however, is that the ruling was only the latest in what would
appear to be a carefully woven plan by the government to play a
long-drawn-out game of hide-and-seek with the residents of the City of
Harare to prevent the holding of elections for as long as possible.

As such, therefore, there is little to cheer over this latest development as
it looks suspiciously to fit neatly into that general plan to hoodwink the
residents of Harare.

It was pointed out soon after the expiration of the first term of the
commission running the affairs of the City of Harare that the commission
could lawfully be in place for a maximum of six months only and that
extending the life of that commission beyond that would be unconstitutional.

But because, it had sensed a pronounced change in political mood among the
people of Harare which had become discernably hostile to Zanu PF, the
government decided to ignore the law and went ahead to extend the commission
’s life by a second, then third, fourth and now fifth term.

Intrepid individual residents, such as Trudy Stevenson, who is also the MDC’
s MP for Harare North, have tried to fight the continued illegal existence
of the commission in courts, but the system made sure the interests of those
in power, that is, reaping material benefits for the ruling elite through
their hand-picked commission, were protected at all costs.

Of greater significance have been the sustained court battles by the mighty
Combined Harare Residents and Ratepayers’ Association, ably led by David
Samudzimu, to have the commission’s tenure ended.

These finally appeared to be paying off when Justice Charles Hungwe ruled in
the association’s favour. He ruled some time last year that the commission
was now in office illegally and ordered Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede to
hold elections as soon as possible.

The government, knowing fully well it had no chance of winning the case,
still went ahead and appealed against the ruling, triggering the
now-they-are-on-now-they-are-off circus that has characterised the Harare
municipal and mayoral elections to this day. The people of Harare deserve
better. All the ommission’s extensions were effected in full knowledge and,
thus, also in total defiance of the law through the inordinate use of
Presidential powers to override the Constitution when, in fact, those powers
should only be invoked within the trict confines of the Constitution and for
very special reasons which normally would be for the good of the citizens.

It is a sad commentary on the Presidency that those powers have always been
invoked, not to enhance democracy, but to defeat the course of justice and
trample upon the rights of the people in pursuance of one and only one
thing: power for an individual.

It was in pursuit of that selfish goal that Mugabe ordered the police to lay
their hands off when his self-styled war veterans began the terror campaign
on white-owned farms two years ago, degenerating into the countrywide
lawlessness we see today. We think it is a crying shame.

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Daily News

LEADER PAGE  Saturday   9  , February

Outcomes after presidential election

2/9/02 10:15:57 AM (GMT +2)

By Greg Mills

IT WILL be harder for South Africa to avoid acting against Robert Mugabe if
the 9-10 March presidential election is seen as fraudulent. At this month’s
World Economic Forum, President Thabo Mbeki confirmed that Pretoria and the
Southern African Development Community (Sadc) were focused on trying to
ensure that the election in Zimbabwe is free and fair.

This was also the intention of three days of deliberations at the start of
February of the Sadc task team on Zimbabwe. For many observers, such
pronouncements are too little too late, given the ruling Zanu PF’s disregard
for the rule of law and violent intimidation tactics of Zimbabwe’s
opposition over the past 18 months.

It also raises questions about why southern African leaders have been so
slow to condemn Mugabe’s tactics. Even to the most autistic of observers,
for a long time it has been evident that Mugabe is out of control, quiet
diplomacy will not work, and South African policy is pivotal to ensuring a
free and fair election and yet is
wholly ineffectual.

Moreover, as Mbeki himself hinted at the forum, the Zimbabwe crisis has
adversely affected the promise of the New Partnership for Africa’s
Development (Nepad) and the related confidence in African guarantees of good
governance and self-regulation.

Nepad’s origins might, however, partly explain the continent’s reluctance to
appear more strident in their dealings with Harare where Sadc wants to be at
least seen to be providing an African solution and not be seen to be
dictated to, especially by the West.

Some Sadc leaders might also fear a precedent for a more interventionist
stance against Harare given that more than half of the regional body’s
14-member states have questionable democratic credentials.

The outcome is rhetoric and inaction. Whatever the failings of analysis and
of quiet diplomacy, the damage is now largely done. Assessing a way forward
beyond the election is, however, tied to the outcome. Here two scenarios
emerge, with quite different implications.

The first of these is that the election is declared to be substantially free
and fair, principally due to two interventions: one, the role of
international observers and two, the upholding of the Zimbabwe Supreme Court
decision allowing voters to use registration documents as proof of

If Mugabe wins in this scenario, the outcome and the relationship with the
donor community is clearly less sanguine than an opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) victory. Focus would probably have to shift to
trying to find a way to “encourage” Mugabe to step down, without which the
economy will continue its long-term decline.

In the event of an electoral win by MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, the focus
will shift to immediate food and fuel needs and shipments and, in the longer
term, the reorganisation of the Zimbabwean political economy, including the
civil service.

Whoever wins, following poor rains and the disruption caused to commercial
farming by the activities of Mugabe’s war veterans, the MDC estimates that
there is a requirement to import 2 million tonnes of maize the staple of
most Zimbabweans’ diets between now and mid-2003, and about 150 000 tonnes
of wheat and 120 000 tonnes of soya.

What happens personally to Mugabe and his Zanu PF cadres will, to a great
extent, probably depend on the manner of their political departure the more
graceful, the less likely a Pinochet/Milosevic-type trial, though this can
be no guarantee of what steps other nations might take in this respect.

The second, less positive, scenario is that the election is defrauded and
won by Mugabe in a blatant manner. What happens next will to a great extent
depend on whether Africa declares the election result acceptable (or not),
and what the reaction of the West will be. This might lead to a North-South
split on the issue, with devastating impact on Nepad and on southern Africa’
s investment prospects.

The Commonwealth will likely be split down the middle. External reaction
will no doubt, however, be overshadowed by internal developments, with a
rapid deterioration in social, economic and security conditions, and with a
direct impact on South Africa in the form, for example, of increased refugee

The factor that appears to lie between chaos and an orderly transition is,
thus, the role to be played by the external community in saturating Zimbabwe
with election monitors/observers, and in providing media coverage of the
election and putting on pressure for accreditation, not least so that Africa
cannot ignore a blatant fraud.

Here Sadc and others share the same method to get out of the mess, even
though they have got to this juncture along quite different paths. South
Africa will, of course, find it much more difficult to avoid dealing
directly with a fraudulent outcome, not least because of its status in the
region, its own democratic credentials and its leadership role in Nepad.

Like others, it will have to consider what mechanisms it could use to
reinstate the rule of law and democratic process in Zimbabwe, including the
possible application of sanctions, smart or otherwise.

Put simply, following the poll, Pretoria, like others, will not simply be
able to dodge acting against Mugabe on the basis that this could jeopardize
the election process.

N Mills is the National Director of the South African Institute of
International Affairs based at the University of the Witwatersrand. Business
Day (Johannesburg)

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Daily News

Judgment overturned

2/9/02 8:53:17 AM (GMT +2)

Court Reporter

IN an unprecedented move, Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku and three other
judges of the Supreme Court Justices Vernanda Ziyambi, Luke Malaba and
Misheck Cheda yesterday set aside the court’s earlier ruling that the Harare
mayoral and council elections be held before March.

Instead, the judges agreed with President Mugabe’s notice to have the
elections held on 9 and 10 March 2002.

On 7 December 2001, Chidyausiku, Ziyambi and Justice Wilson Sandura ordered
Tobaiwa Mudede, the Registrar-General, to hold the elections by 11 February

Mudede had appealed against High Court ruling by Justice Charles Hungwe that
the elections should be held by the end of last December.

Sandura was not part of the proceedings in this latest ruling.

However, Justice Ahmed Ebrahim disagreed with his four colleagues. Ebrahim
said Mudede should have implemented Justice Moses Chinhengo’s High Court
ruling ordering him to have the elections by Monday as was ordered by the
Supreme Court last December.
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Daily News

Moyo allegedly sends Zimpapers boss Kamudyariwa on forced leave

2/9/02 9:32:38 AM (GMT +2)

By Columbus Mavhunga

UNCERTAINTY surrounds the fate of Bramwell Kamudyariwa, the chief executive
officer of Zimbabwe Newspapers (1980) Limited amid conflicting reports that
he was sent on forced leave by Jonathan Moyo, the Minister of State for
Information and Publicity.

Sources said Enoch Kamushinda, the Zimpapers board chairman, had assumed the
role of acting chief executive officer. But contacted for comment from
Malaysia, Kamushinda said he was not aware of the development.

“How come I have not signed a letter to that effect?,” he asked. “I am not
aware of anything of the sort. I cannot assume the post of acting chief
executive officer when I am here.”

While Kamushinda said he was not aware of Kamudyariwa’s dismissal, The
Herald on Thursday said Moyo had rejected Kamudyariwa’s resignation letter.
It could not be established why Kamudyariwa had forwarded his resignation to
Moyo and not to Kamushinda and the Zimpapers board. The article strengthens
unconfirmed reports that Kamudyariwa was told to vacate his office on
Tuesday by 11am or the army would be called in to evict him by 1pm.

Sources said Kamudyariwa was refusing to implement some of Moyo’s decisions,
arguing that business decisions were being compromised by the minister’s
constant meddling in company affairs, sources said. Last week, Zimpapers
workers went on a go-slow on Thursday and Friday demanding between 47 and 60
percent salary increments.

Sources at Herald House alleged that Kamudyariwa clashed with Moyo after he
refused to buy Brezhnev Malaba, The Sunday News editor, a company car
because the company had no money. Clarson Taruza, the acting company
secretary, would not comment on the issue. Contacted for comment yesterday
Kamudyariwa said: “I do not share my professional life with reporters. I am
a nonentity, so there is nothing that is news if I lose a job or not.”

Moyo’s mobile phone was not taking any incoming calls. His personal
assistant said Moyo was out of town on business. Kamudyariwa joined
Zimpapers in the audit department in 1998. He rose to the position of acting
company secretary, becoming acting chief executive officer in April 2001.

He was appointed chief executive officer in September last year. Kamudyariwa
took over from the late George Capon, who was appointed acting chief
executive in November 2000, replacing Matthews Kunaka who is now a director
of the Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe, publishers of The DailyNews.

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Daily News

ZBC urged to give equal coverage to all political parties

2/9/02 9:30:25 AM (GMT +2)

By Ray Matikinye Features Editor

CIVIC groups working under the umbrella of the Zimbabwe Election Support
Network (ZESN) have called for an equitable allocation of airtime on the ZBC
to all political parties.

The groups say this would provide voters with information that enables them
to make informed choices. The sole broadcaster, ZBC, this year announced new
rules on direct access and political advertising ahead of the 9 and 10 March
presidential election.

Since independence in 1980, ZBC has come up with different standards and
rules on election campaigning on radio and television. According to the
Media onitoring Project Zimbabwe, an independent media research
organisation, these rules increasingly deny the opposition airtime on radio
and television.

The media research organisation analyses information output of all the
Mainstream media in Zimbabwe. Civic groups argue that ZBC should offer free
airtime and space to political parties to advertise their material because
it is a parastatal which survives on public funds.

They say it should devise a system that allows both paid and free access to
the media. ZESN voter education material could not be broadcast on some
radio stations because of bureaucratic bungling in the application of the
“ten golden rules”.

The system of allocating time and vetting material, according to the civic
groups, should instead be devised by the Electoral Supervisory Commission
(ESC), to forestall the minister in charge of ZBC from getting absolute
discretion in awarding airtime to political parties.

Civic organisations have recommended that political advertising spending
should be regulated to allow for balanced access to the media for all
candidates. They dispute the rule which says such advertising would be
accepted provided it upheld and conformed to ZBC’s directives.

They say the ESC should place a limit on the amount of private advertising
allowed for each candidate, to minimise unfair advantage to parties which
have extensive campaign funds.

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Daily News

Top soldiers ready to serve MDC government

2/9/02 9:25:02 AM (GMT +2)

From Our Correspondent

MDC vice-president, Gibson Sibanda, said this week several top army officers
had approached him and his party’s leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, to assure them
they were ready to serve under an MDC government if the party won the
presidential election in March.

Sibanda said in an interview in Bulawayo, the colonels and majors distanced
themselves from the controversial statement by General Vitalis Zvinavashe,
the Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, last month.

Speaking in the presence of his security chief colleagues, Zvinavashe
virtually declared they would not accept an MDC victory in the election.

Zvinavashe sparked international outrage when he avowed the service chiefs
would not salute a leader with no liberation war credentials, a
thinly-veiled reference to Tsvangirai. The MDC described the statement as

It was also roundly condemned by regional and international leaders.
Sibanda said this week: “Some army and police chiefs have distanced
themselves from that statement. “They denied ever drafting it and totally
disowned it.

It’s now clear that the statement was authored by Zanu PF in a bid to
intimidate voters and create unnecessary panic. “In fact, from the onset we
did not believe Zvinavashe’s utterances because military coups are not
announced at glittering media conferences but implemented in secrecy.”

Army sources this week said Sibanda’s revelations exposed a widening rift
between top military chiefs aligned to Zanu PF and an elite corps of modern
officers who believe President Mugabe has overstayed in power.

They said even in the event that Zvinavashe tried to stage a coup, he could
not be assured of backing from junior and middle-rank officers.
Tsvangirai told over 7 000 party supporters during the launch of his
presidential campaign in the south-western district of Gwanda last weekend
that a coup was not possible.

Tsvangirai said if the MDC won the poll, he would immediately and duly take
over the constitutional reins as Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence

Military officers “tired of work” or not ready to serve his government would
be asked to leave, he said. “We would take those who would not salute an MDC
government for people who are tired of work,” said Tsvangirai, responding to
concerns raised by villagers following Zvinavashe’s threats.

He said his party had no plans to create new defence structures and expected
army, police and intelligence officers to carry on with their professional
duties of defending the country’s sovereignty.

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