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

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      Brave Zimbabweans can take decisive action

      2/25/2003 6:47:29 AM (GMT +2)

      By David Ignatius

      For students of the art of "regime change", the African nation of
Zimbabwe offers a timely lesson. And as a bonus, the story features a bit of
mischief by French President Jacques Chirac - the same man who has been
making America's life so difficult in the epic battle for regime change in

      Britain and the United States would like to see the increasingly
despotic leader of Zimbabwe, President Mugabe, replaced by a more friendly
ruler. They believe that Mugabe's policies are destroying the once-vibrant
Zimbabwean economy and that his attacks on opposition groups are turning
Zimbabwe into a police state.

      The Zimbabwe story parallels that of Iraq, with two obvious
exceptions: Zimbabwe has no oil, and it has no weapons of mass destruction.
But the two countries raise the same basic end-game question: Who will bell
the cat? Can an oppressive dictator be replaced through a military coup,
avoiding massive bloodshed?

      There were hopes that Mugabe might be toppled lawfully in elections
last March and be replaced by Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change. But as I explained in a column
last year, there appears to have been massive vote fraud, planned in secret
discussions within Mugabe's ruling circle.

      Tsvangirai not only "lost" but was charged with attempted murder by
Mugabe's prosecutors and faces possible imprisonment.

      As the situation in Zimbabwe has worsened during the past six months,
the British and Americans have been hoping that some deal might be
negotiated for Mugabe's peaceful
      resignation and exile. Rumours were doing the rounds last month about
just such a deal, supposedly being brokered by two key Mugabe lieutenants:
the Speaker of Parliament,
      Emmerson Mnangagwa, and the head of the armed forces, General Vitalis

      But those rumours seem to have registered more strongly with the
British Press - which trumpeted the supposed resignation deal - than with
Mugabe, and nothing has happened.
      In this delicate moment, you might wonder: Who would be irresponsible
enough to lend legitimacy to Mugabe, a man whose brutal land-seizure tactics
have reduced much of Zimbabwe to starvation? But you have probably guessed
the answer: It is that bastion of liberty, fraternity and equality - the
president of France.

      Some months ago, Chirac invited the 78-year-old Mugabe to Paris to
attend a gathering of African leaders, part of Chirac's effort to make Paris
a bigger player in Africa. The British protested the invitation bitterly,
just as they had when Chirac made a similar invitation several years ago. So
Mugabe goes to Paris for a three-day visit.

      Now, as every coup plotter knows, embattled leaders must be careful
about making trips abroad - lest they provide openings for their opponents.

      And it is here the situation in Zimbabwe becomes truly interesting. On
29 January, the politburo of Mugabe's ruling Zanu PF met to discuss the
growing internal political discord.

      According to sources in Zimbabwe, Mugabe's lieutenants told him that
his party was losing its grip. The sources report that Mugabe's Information
Minister, Jonathan Moyo, was especially outspoken, warning Mugabe that he
was destroying the party's political future.

      Mugabe responded by berating all the dissenters and accusing them of
corrupt abuse of Zimbabwe's "land reform" process. That was an implicit
threat against his own inner circle. But the sources say Mugabe seemed
worried by the defections in his own ranks.

      There are now said to be three factions within Mugabe's party, each
trying to position itself for the succession. The strongest is led by the
head of the armed forces, Zvinavashe.
      There's a rival group around the Defence Minister, Sydney Sekeramayi,
and another one championing the Minister for Special Affairs, John Landa

      The British suspect that Zvinavashe may lead a military coup - using
Mugabe's trip to Paris as a pretext. Whether the new coup rumours are any
more reliable than last month's remains to be seen. But it must be said that
if Mugabe's inner circle decides to dump him, few will shed a tear -
probably not even Chirac.

      In the same way, a bloodless transfer of power is the dream of those
who seek to topple Saddam Hussein in Iraq. President Bush's aides would
probably turn cartwheels of joy if a group of Iraqi generals deposed
Hussein. But they know the Iraqis aren't likely to move until they hear the
American tank treads on the desert sand.

      The secret may be to create so much momentum for a coup that it will
happen spontaneously. Western hands don't have to pull the trigger; someone
else will.

      Leaders in Washington or London can dream all they want about
potential coups. But in the end, it's brave Iraqis or Zimbabweans who must
take the decisive action. They may be too frightened of Saddam Hussein or
Mugabe to move today, but perhaps tomorrow.
      - The Washington Post
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Daily News

      Boycott businesses run by Zanu PF fat cats

      2/25/2003 6:46:49 AM (GMT +2)

      THE need for people to boycott businesses and institutions which are
bankrolling President Mugabe and his government is understandable. But it is
crucial that the opposition MDC has a concrete strategy to ensure the
success of the boycott.

      The MDC, the National Constitutional Assembly, and the Zimbabwe
Congress of Trade Unions, the labour umbrella body, have all organised work
boycotts before to put the Mugabe regime under economic pressure and force
it to bring about change. But these moves have invariably failed.

      The MDC must disabuse itself of the notion that it will just be swept
into power without formulating an effective strategy to remove the ruling
Zanu PF.

      Since the controversial parliamentary and presidential elections of
2000 and 2002 respectively, which the international community condemned as
not free and fair because of rampant violence, rape and intimidation, there
has not been any clear strategy to dislodge Mugabe.

      The MDC could have taken advantage of the situation and called for a
national boycott of the results of those elections. The people were feeling
cheated and they were angry. But the MDC decided to follow the legal
channel, which is long and cumbersome.

      Yes, they have scored several successes legally with some election
results having been declared null and void. But we feel the current scenario
calls for a different approach altogether. The only boycott which was a
major success was the mass job stayaway of 1998. It succeeded because there
was focus, co-operation and co-ordination within the labour movement to
ensure that the call was transformed into action.

      There seems to be a lack of a clear-cut agenda with which to remove
Zanu PF from power on the part of the opposition party which shook the
ruling party into reality when it was launched in September 1999. The
following year at the referendum on the draft constitution, the situation
was ripe for the taking.

      The MDC had gained momentum and that was only realised by the ruling
party in June 2000 when the new party clinched 57 seats in Parliament
despite the violence and intimidation which left more than 40 people dead in
the run-up to that poll.

      But that momentum slackened after the presidential election of March
2002 which Mugabe won controversially. MDC members have even openly
criticised the party's leadership. There seems to be a lot of covert
jockeying for positions within that party with not a clear-cut agenda and
strategy to remove Zanu PF in sight.

      There is need for sacrifice on the part of everyone involved in the
fight against this repressive regime. The European Union and the United
States have successfully imposed smart sanctions and travel bans on Mugabe,
his family, Cabinet ministers and close associates.

      It is now time for Zimbabweans to get out of their slumber and act for
their survival. While the masses queue for petrol, sugar, maize-meal, flour,
bread and other basic commodities, Zanu PF chefs and their close associates
are not worried. They don't have to queue for anything. These are the same
people who are spearheading the black market for all commodities in short

      Their bureaux de change were blamed by Mugabe himself for causing a
severe shortage of foreign currency. He immediately called for their ban,
but it was too late. The fat cats had already made their money. It was like
closing the stable doors long after the horses had bolted.

      We should take a leaf from that and ensure that those linked to Zanu
PF and its companies do not make any profits from us to enable them to live
in vulgar opulence. All the filthy rich people in this country have made it
through Zanu PF. Their businesses should be boycotted forthwith.
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Daily News


      Why we don't have mass protests in Africa

      2/25/2003 6:24:22 AM (GMT +2)

      By Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem

      The last time I was in a Million Person March was 1995, in Washington
DC. Minister Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam had called for A Million
Man March on a Day of Atonement and Reconciliation.

      In spite of controversies about Farrakhan's politics, many came out
because the march was about them and the issues were theirs.

      By being there I earned my certificate and T-shirt that carried the
slogan: I Was One In A Million.

      Two weeks ago, I earned my second One In A Million honour. This time
it was more than a million, but we will settle for a million because it
sounds and reads well.

      I was with my wife, our two daughters, friends, neighbours and
comrades in the United Kingdom at the anti-war demonstration organised by
the Stop the War Coalition and the Muslim Association of Britain in London.

      It had been a long time since I participated in a demonstration from
start to finish.
      This time I did without cutting corners. After a lifetime of agitation
and championing so-called lost causes, you become demo-wise to know how to
strategically insert yourself in a march halfway through or calculate the
time it will take to get to the convergence point where the speeches will be

      Therefore, make plans to arrive there early enough and wait for the
real marchers to arrive. I am, of course, talking about marching in the UK
where I was a kind of veteran from the early 1980s through to the 1990s.

      Marching in Africa takes different preparations and often leads to
many casualties. They are mini-wars and a battle of wills between the
government and the demonstrators (more often than not students and organised

      An unfriendly and panicky security establishment and unyielding and
insecure governments have always combined to make the democratic exercise of
"the right to peaceful demonstration" a bloody matter.

      Even in the older democracies the civil space is constantly under
threat as is evident in the silencing of anti-war voices in the United
States since 11 September 2001.

      Tony Blair had to leave town, conveniently addressing his party's
winter conference in Glasgow on the day of the demonstration.

      The organisers, the police and the media (while disputing final
figures) agreed that it was the biggest demonstration in the history of

      The London marchers were not alone.
      In 600 cities across the world, including the US, demonstrations were
simultaneously taking place.

      The noticeable "quiet" cities were glaringly in Africa and the Middle
East where only in Johannesburg, Cairo and Tel Aviv were there

      That of Tel Aviv showed the courage of peace lovers who have refused
to be cowed by butcher Ariel Sharon, the linesman, co-cheer leader with
Blair, for US President George W Bush in this blood-spilling enterprise.

      In Cairo about 600 protesters braved the emergency laws and vicious
security system. Three-thousand police surrounded the 600 protesters, a
ratio of 5:1 in favour of the police!

      Jo'burg had a decent turnout because post-apartheid South Africa is a
beacon of democratic rights and freedoms on this continent.

      There is no doubt that the majority of Africans oppose the attack on
Iraq. It is even possible that most, if not all our governments, are opposed
too, but they are too scared to let either their own views and, much less,
that of their citizens be too loud for fear of getting on the wrong side of
the Americans.

      Also many of them are so insecure that they know that a demonstration
against the attack on Iraq could easily turn into popular protests against
their own unjust wars and oppressive rule. The same is true for the Middle
East countries and their largely unelected and unelectable leaders. They
appeal for moral and political support on so-called "Arab issues", but are
fearful of their own people and, therefore, provide logistical and strategic
support to the US.

      It is easier to focus attention on the US, but peace activism must now
shift to the Arab states that are aiding and abetting US arrogance,
militarism and unjust war.

      The peaceful marches may not change the minds of Bush and Blair, but
like Jesse Jackson observed in one of many interviews, "political careers
can change".

      In Britain, Anthony Eden lost his premiership due to the Suez Canal
crisis. In the US, Bush's father "won" the Gulf war, but lost the election

      The marchers were not condoning Saddam Hussein's atrocities against
his own people, but articulating a different approach that is less costly in
human and material terms and more enduring: allowing more time for the
inspectors to do their work.

      It is possible to retain, through the United Nations, the threat of
war without having to use it. The Bush/Blair not-so-hidden agenda for regime
change is another matter.

      As one of the placards on the march stated Regime change begins at
home, they must not use the suffering of the Iraqi people to justify their
own selfish designs given their country's connivance in maintaining Saddam
in power for a long time and perpetrating unjust sanctions since the first
Gulf War.

      Drop Blair not bombs and many other slogans on the march competed for

      Take a sample: Make love, not war, Don't attack Iraq, victory to
Palestine,No war for oil.

      My favourite ones included: Not in my name and Blix not blitz.

      Of course, there were some rude ones too like George Bush, we know
you! Daddy was a killer too! and Tony Blair we know you! Daddy was a poodle
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Daily News

      Makoni speaks out

      2/25/2003 6:49:06 AM (GMT +2)

      By Brian Mangwende Chief Reporter

      SIMBA Makoni, the former Minister of Finance and Economic Development
and a Zanu PF politburo member, says the ruling party should work
hand-in-hand with the opposition MDC towards addressing the worsening
economic crisis in the country.

      In an interview with The Daily News yesterday, Makoni said: "Like in
other countries where opposition parties exist, the government of the day
works closely with formal opposition parties even though they know that on
the political scene they will be trying to topple them. We must work
together in addressing national issues. For example, in the health sector no
one should be attended to on the basis of which political party that person
belongs to."

      Zanu PF has been accused country-wide of monopolising the distribution
of relief food as a political weapon against those perceived as supporters
of the opposition.

      In Kuwadzana and Highfield, where parliamentary by-elections are
scheduled for next month, the respective Zanu PF candidates, David Mutasa
and Joseph Chinotimba, are allegedly distributing maize-meal and grain from
the State monopoly Grain Marketing Board to their supporters only.

      On reports that he met with South African President Thabo Mbeki to
discuss Zimbabwe's economic and political crisis in the hope of forming a
government of national unity, Makoni said: "I did not meet with Mbeki and I
do not think I'll meet him in the near future.

      "The last time I met him was when I was still a minister. I do not
know on what these reports are based on.
      "What I am saying is a country should have a national government
mandated by the people of that country to govern it. There is a difference
between a government of national unity and a national government."

      Last week, Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC leader, accused senior Zanu PF
officials of secretly meeting with Mbeki in order to clear their names from
the worsening crisis in the country.

      Tsvangirai singled out Makoni, Emmerson Mnangagwa, the Speaker of
Parliament, and John Nkomo, Zanu PF's national chairman and Minister for
Special Affairs in the President's Office, as being among the senior Zanu PF
members who had met with Mbeki.

      Meanwhile, Business Day of South Africa reported yesterday that Mbeki
appears to be gaining ground in his quest for a political settlement in

      The paper claimed that his call for a government of national unity was
gaining support from France and key political figures in both Zimbabwe and
South Africa. Makoni, tipped by observers as Mugabe's ideal successor ahead
of Mnangagwa, has thrown his weight behind Mbeki's call, saying only a
united Zimbabwe could deal with its severe economic and political problems.

      The newspaper said Makoni's statement coincided with a weekend
announcement by South Africa that France had agreed to help bring about an
inclusive political settlement.
      This comes in the wake of reports of behind-the-scenes meetings
between the opposition Pan-Africanist Congress of South Africa and the MDC,
Zimbabwe's leading opposition party, on ways to end Zimbabwe's political and
economic crisis.

      But Paul Themba Nyathi, the MDC spokesman, yesterday dismissed the
reports, saying no such meetings took place. "I am unaware of such a
development," Nyathi said. "The official party position is that we are not
going to accept a government of national unity. We want a transitional
government with a short life span and then elections to choose a new

MDC reacts to utterances by a Zanu PF politburo member


The utterances attributed to Simba Makoni in the Daily News of 25 February 2003 come as no surprise to the MDC. Makoni is mimicking long held MDC political positions on the resolution of the Zimbabwean crisis.

We have remained steadfast in our conviction that it is only through a return to legitimacy freely conferred by the sovereign people of Zimbabwe that the country can begin to address the intractable problems that face us all.

A so-called government of national unity that represents an expansion of Mugabe’s dictatorial and illegitimate rule, or one that is based on a so-called reformed Zanu PF, is clearly a false start.

If as a member of Zanu PF’s politburo, Makoni’s utterances reflect the current thinking among his colleagues in the top echelons of that party, then it is an open admission and confirmation the MDC’s position that the March 2002 Presidential election was stolen making Mugabe’s regime irretrievably illegitimate.

We hope that Makoni will be bold enough to move a step further and call for Mugabe to step down paving the way for the establishment of a transitional authority leading eventually to a democratically elected government. Mere pronouncements in newspapers extolling political theories with action reflect the highest form of opportunism.

The record of this man in the service of Mugabe’s dictatorship speaks for itself. Makoni, together with Nkosana Moyo, were invited and accepted to serve Mugabe. After a few months, Moyo resigned in disgust, in the context of gross human rights violations and was denounced by Makoni’s boss as a spineless collaborator and unworthy of inclusion in a dictatorial regime. Makoni, praised by Mugabe as part of the amadoda sibili, remained a willing agent of the dictatorship, globe-trotting in a vain endeavour to sell and sanitise a murderous regime.

Zimbabweans do not need to be reminded that after the bloody 2000 parliamentary election in which 40 people died and thousands were maimed, raped, tortured and brutalised, Makoni turned a blind eye to the atrocities going on around him.

As remains a senior member of a party that has brought untold suffering to Zimbabweans, we hope Makoni has now finally decided to abandon those that glorify violence as a passport to political power.

The MDC has maintained that the political problems of Zimbabwe can only be solved through genuine and honest dialogue that would yield a legitimate political dispensation acceptable to all Zimbabweans. There is no other viable political solution on offer. The issue is not about the positionining of individuals, rather it is about an all inclusive national process to achieve democratic change.

 Morgan Tsvangirai


Harare, February 25 2003.

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            NAM stops short of supporting Zimbabwe
            February 25, 2003, 16:00

            The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit has stopped short of
supporting the Zimbabwean land reform programme. A draft declaration - in
the possession of the SABC - only acknowledges the programme. However, NAM
leaders have called for an immediate lifting of sanctions against Zimbabwe.

            The speeches at the NAM summit in Kuala Lumpur have reached
boiling point. Leaders condemned the current world order, which they say,
plunges poor countries deeper into poverty.

            Robert Mugabe, the Zimbabwean President, says colonialism now
presents itself as globalisation. The Zimbabwean president also slammed
Britain, calling the country a born-again colonialist. South African
president Thabo Mbeki, the former NAM chairperson, says the organization is
concerned about calls for Mugabe to be removed from power. Mbeki said
developing countries are sympathetic to Zimbabwe reversing the legacy of

            The war on Iraq was again condemned across the board with
President Mbeki saying war in Iraq is a threat to world peace. NAM leaders
are resolute in their disapproval of the conduct of the US.

East London Dispatch

Mugabe's round
A RESOLUTION backing Robert Mugabe's land policy and calling for the lifting
of all sanctions will be a boost for Mugabe's cabal. It could also be an
embarrassment for the Non-Aligned Movement.

The draft resolution passed without opposition at the Nam conference in
Malaysia yesterday. United in opposition to war on Iraq, Nam is in a mood to
back anything which might pinch the United States and Britain.

The resolution expresses "deep concern at the grave humanitarian situation"
in Zimbabwe, blames it on drought in the region and calls for urgent
assistance. It also criticises the International Monetary Fund and World
Bank for withdrawing support.

The resolution does not mention the seven kilometre queue of trucks backed
up at the Beit Bridge border post with loads of food, fuel and other goods
bound for Zimbabwe, Malawi and Zambia. According to reports, as few as five
trucks a day are getting through, not because of road-building operations
but because Zimbabwe has changed its import procedures.

Positions on Zimbabwe have similarly been stuck in the dust for so long many
salient issues have been lost.

Contrary to the popular view, now shared by our Foreign Minister Nkosazana
Dlamini-Zuma and, apparently, our Cabinet, the 1979 Lancaster House
Agreement does not commit Britain to a buy-out of white land. Britain
understood the need for a land programme -- and the costs -- and agreed to
contribute and to rally support from the international donor community.

It paid out about R700 million for land reform and to support Zimbabwe's
land programme. The resettlement grant finally closed in 1996 with R45
million unspent.

Two years on, a land reform conference was convened in Harare by the United
Nations Development Programme. The Zimbabwe government, commercial farmers
and foreign aid donors agreed on an initiative to acquire 1,5 million
hectares of land on a willing-buyer willing-seller basis.

That plan is still on the table.

But years of poor management and heavy spending by Mugabe's cabal saw his
political star waning and the Movement for Democratic Change rising. Still
thinking he could win majority support, Mugabe called the 2000 referendum to
amend the constitution.

The proposals included land seizures without compensation, but Mugabe lost
the referendum. Stuck in a political hard place, the cabal allowed "war
veterans" to take land, changing the law and judges as required.

Sympathisers, like Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo and Dlamini-Zuma,
rely on Mugabe, his ministers and agencies for their information. So did our
election monitors.

A rescue deal was proposed, apparently by South Africa, offering the Mdc
some back seats in government. The Mdc insisted on nothing less than new,
free and fair elections.

South Africa gave full support to Mugabe and urged Nam to do the same.

Such outright support for a government which has lost a referendum, an
election and its food supply shows no regard for democracy or humanity.


 The 116-member Non Aligned Movement was formed to promote the sacred values of freedom, justice and prosperity throughout the developing world. It played a pivotal role in the struggle to achieve these noble values, in particular the decolonisation of countries under colonial bondage. It is in this context that the MDC is alarmed at current developments at the 13th NAM summit in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. Expressing solidarity with and active support for a nakedly vile and murderous dictatorship in Zimbabwe is the very opposite of the cherished values upon which the Movement was formed. It is a tragedy that the Movement has now come to be dominated by leaders who do not share or practice these values in the day-to-day governance of their nations. The organisation has now become an unwieldy and tired club submerging a minority of democratic leaders and prompting the fortunes of autocrats.


Indeed it is a total betrayal of those founding members who sought to create a brave new world where ordinary men, women and children could live in peace and prosperity.


It therefore comes as no surprise that the movement has no capacity to act decisively on post-colonial dictatorships and human rights violators within their own ranks. High-sounding political declarations and statements extolling paper freedoms devoid of any meaningful content on the ground have often reduced the NAM summits to mere talk shops massaging the egos of murderous dictators. At the current summit, NAM could pass a resolution of support for Mugabe’s outrage. But the matter ends there. The man still has to come back home empty handed to face the glaring problems he has created in Zimbabwe. Foreign currency, fuel, drugs and food are in short supply and it won’t improve. Perhaps the only tangible dividend from such a resolution would be to embolden Mugabe to intensify his repression against the peace-loving people of Zimbabwe. NAM has therefore mandated Mugabe to continue to implement genocide and other crimes against humanity.


The resolution is based on a deliberate distortion of the reality of the Zimbabwe crisis. The crisis is a crisis of governance. Contrary to the positions of the Mugabe regime, the Zimbabwe crisis has never been about land. To all well-meaning Zimbabweans, an equitable, sustainable and growth oriented land reform and redistribution programme has never been a contested issue. What is at issue are the violent and unsustainable methods employed by Mugabe and which have reduced a once vibrant and highly productive agricultural sector to a wasteland, threatening over half of the population with chronic poverty and starvation in the process. Land is used by the Mugabe regime as an alibi or smokescreen behind which crimes against humanity are committed as a strategy to remain in power. NAM ambassadors to Harare are obviously aware of this chilling reality. But they decided to ignore this, colluding with Mugabe in coming up with this resolution.



Thousands of people who were given the hastily parcelled out unsustainable pieces of land have either not taken them up because of the absence of vital agricultural support services or they have failed to make them productive because the corrupt and bankrupt Mugabe regime lacks the resources to establish new viable and productive agricultural communities. As a result, Zimbabwe will continue to hold out the begging bowl for food from the international community throughout 2003 and beyond. 


It is totally false that the chaotic and unsustainable land redistribution programme carried out by Mugabe for purely personal and political reasons has benefited the majority.


Since the fraudulent March 2002 presidential poll, the Mugabe regime has done absolutely nothing to dismantle the infrastructure of tyranny upon which its rulership is based. NAM decided to ignore this basic fact. If anything, Mugabe and his associates have actually consolidated dictatorial rule to the point whereby violent autocracy has become the guiding political philosophy, contrary to the ideals of the founding fathers of NAM.


The rule of law remains effectively subverted; law enforcement continues to be selective and heavily politicised; persistent violations of human rights is still a central instrument of governance; the torture of political opponents has been intensified; ZANU PF political militias and the so-called “war veterans” continue to maraud the country perpetrating untold atrocities on a defenceless population; democratic space has been effectively shrunk and the general militirization of the political process has made it virtually impossible for the political opposition to conduct normal or legitimate political activity.


The irony of all this is that NAM, in its fight for the decolonisation of the Third World took on imperial powers precisely because of the open denial of these basic and fundamental rights.


The Public Order and Security Act (POSA) continues to criminalize all opposition political activity in the same manner and form that colonial authorities used repressive and bogus legislation against freedom fighters. The MDC finds itself in the same situation that the gallant anti-colonial freedom fighters confronted. NAM is aware of this. But it chooses to offer solidarity with a dictator whose moral equivalents are the colonialists of yesterday.


Through POSA freedom of speech, assembly and association, which are basic rights in a normal democratic political dispensation, are severely curtailed. The Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) continues to gag freedom of the Press and guarantees the Mugabe regime free rein to monopolize and abuse the public media.


The sum total of the situation in Zimbabwe reduces the NAM resolution to useless howl.  The resolution simply signifies solidarity with Mugabe in his war against the people of Zimbabwe.



Morgan Tsvangirai.




February 25 2003.

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Business Day

      MDC will not drop challenge to Mugabe's poll victory


      International Affairs Editor

      ZIMBABWE's main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC), will not withdraw its court challenge to President Robert Mugabe's
contested victory in last year's presidential election until "a timetable
and process for the restoration of legitimacy in Zimbabwe has been agreed

      In addition, the party says that in the wake of failed efforts by
outsiders to resolve the crisis in Harare, Zimbabweans should now take
matters into their own hands.

      The MDC reached these positions at a meeting of its council at the
weekend held in Harare in the wake of intensifying efforts by SA and Nigeria
to broker a settlement in Zimbabwe.

      SA and Nigeria, taking the cue from Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu (PF) party,
are insisting that dropping the court challenge is key to interparty talks
and a settlement of the political crisis in the country. Last week, SA
Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad said the MDC should not be a "fight back"
party like the Democratic Alliance in SA. Zanu (PF) unilaterally broke off
inter-party talks last April after the MDC mounted a court challenge to
Mugabe's victory in the presidential elections.

      One of the problems the MDC identified at the weekend meeting in
dropping the challenge was that no guarantees had been offered about the
restoration of an atmosphere that is free of intimidation and violence in
which the party can campaign and operate.

      In addition, the MDC said it wanted a transitional arrangement leading
to a rerun of the presidential election, under which political parties,
business, labour and civil society groups would hold positions in a cabinet.

      The MDC has previously questioned SA's role as an honest broker in the
crisis, charging that Pretoria has aligned itself too closely with Mugabe.
The party has also rejected Pretoria's calls for a government of national
unity under which it would share power with Zanu (PF).

      SA has said that should the MDC not drop its challenge to the Mugabe
victory, a settlement would have to await the outcome of the court

      Feb 25 2003 07:05:30:000AM  Jonathan Katzenellenbogen Business Day 1st

      25 February 2003
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Business Day

Is MDC standing in the light at end of Mugabe's tunnel?

Voices in Zimbabwe's independent media ask whether main opposition offers a
real alternative to Zanu (PF)
SOMEONE once said politicians are people who, when they see light at the end
of the tunnel, order more tunnel. The stance taken by presidents Olusegun
Obasanjo and Thabo Mbeki of Nigeria and SA respectively, in opposition to
Australian Prime Minister John Howard, seems to suggest Africa has decided
to order more tunnel for Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe.

Clearly African leaders are at a public level not sold on the idea of an
exit strategy for Mugabe and are therefore in direct conflict with opponents
of the ruling Zanu (PF).

In saying recently that the European Union must "do the opposite of what
African leaders are doing", Glenys Kinnock, European MP, has brought into
focus the rift opened up between the western component of the Commonwealth
and Africa on the Zimbabwean question. This rift complicates attempts by the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) to mobilise international
support when it does not seem to enjoy the respect of the African continent.

It is also all the more reason why the opposition in general, and the MDC in
particular, should bear in mind that a high media profile in the western
media is no substitute for an effective strategy at home.

The MDC can, however, take some comfort from the widely reported utterances,
in January, of Zimbabwe Defence Force commander Gen Vitalis Zvinavashe. By
voicing concern about the rapidly deteriorating socioeconomic conditions in
the country, the general may be pointing towards a possible intervention by
the army. The likelihood of such an intervention is proportional to the
levels of insecurity within the armed forces.

While a coup against Mugabe is unlikely at present, the possibility of a
meltdown may force the army to cut its ties with him and protect its
interests by negotiating a deal with the political elite. This is one of the
routes through which MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai may become part of a
postMugabe government.

But a meltdown may lead to more repression as the regime tries to suppress
resistance to its misrule. If the security forces come out in full support
of the Zanu (PF) government, the opposition may suffer if it does not
improve on its strategy and tactics, thus leading to the demobilisation of
civil society.

A strategy to heighten internal resistance by building a strong coalition of
opposition forces might force nations such as SA to rethink aversion to
"megaphone diplomacy".

This brings us to the question of why Pretoria appears to be part of a plan
to build more tunnel for Mugabe.

SA lacks the petulance and hard power of the Bush administration and so is
unlikely to call for regime change anywhere in Africa. Added to this is
Mugabe's influence on and support from the leaders of Africa.

The choices Mbeki faces are very complex indeed if African Union (AU) unity
on the issue is to be maintained. It seems Mbeki is careful not to risk
continental backing for Nepad (the New Partnership for Africa's Development)
and may be more nervous about a risk to AU unity, at a time when a lot of
institutional work on the AU still has to be done.

If this is true, our government seems to have very little choice but to work
with the rest of the continent. The problem with this multilateral approach
is that it may undermine SA's moral standing if Africa's despots are able to
find shelter under Pretoria's multilateralist agenda. In the meantime Mbeki
should not lose patience with, and give up on, South Africans who seem
critical of his government's foreign policy on Zimbabwe because not all of
them want him to do a Bush on Mugabe. He must be open to the possibility his
government has not communicated effectively on this issue and take steps to
ensure he takes the country with him even if not all South Africans agree
with him.

More importantly, government has to address the perception it is antiMDC to
win back confidence it has lost. The MDC, however, must realise its greatest
challenges are inside and not outside Zimbabwe. The fact many Zanu (PF)
supporters see the MDC as a threat to Shona hegemony and see the Ndebele as
non-Zimbabweans means Mugabe may benefit from this political suspicion.

The rural-urban divide which sustains Zanu (PF), given its support in the
countryside, might prove less devastating to the MDC's interests than the
possibility of ethnic conflagration.

These challenges aside, the question seldom asked is whether the MDC is a
viable alternative to the Mugabe regime? Can Tsvangirai lead Zimbabwe back
to the path of democracy, peace and prosperity?

Because solid journalism has at times been suffocated by hysteria on the
part of the western media, a climate exists in which there has been very
little critical thinking on the quality of leadership and opposition needed
to lift Zimbabwe out of its morass.

Since there are voices in the independent media in Zimbabwe who are
beginning to be critical about the efficacy of MDC strategy, those
Zimbabweans thirsty for an alternative to Mugabe's political and economic
mismanagement might develop a thirst for an alternative to the MDC.

Matshiqi is an independent political analyst.

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Zimbabwe slides into economic chaos

BBC journalist Carolyn Dempster reports on the economic collapse of the once
thriving nation, in the second of a series of articles on Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe is running on empty.
Empty political promises, empty fuel tanks, and empty bellies.
Economists now predict that 2003 could bring the crunch point for Zimbabwe,
as the country plunges towards economic collapse.
"We are very close to implosion," says Professor Tony Hawkins, head of the
University of Zimbabwe's graduate school of management.
"Unless some radical new policies are introduced, one can't see it lasting
the year."
Inflation is running at 208%, with the International Monetary Fund
predicting that it could rise to more than 500% by the end of the year.
Unemployment stands at more than 70%.
And the chaotic land reform programme has resulted in a 47% contraction in
commercial agriculture - once the backbone of Zimbabwe's economy.
At least 7.2 million out of Zimbabwe's population of 12 million is at risk
of starvation, with deaths from Aids-related illnesses "peaking at about
2,500 per week", says Stephen Lewis, the UN's special envoy on HIV and Aids
in the region.
Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF government has reverted to price controls in a
desperate bid to rein in inflation.
It has adjusted the official exchange rate for its currency, moving it
closer to rates paid on the black market.
Economy unwinds
But the drive is not working.

In every city and town, there are few essential foodstuffs - even sugar,
salt and the staple maize meal - on offer at affordable prices.
"Happy queue year" is the greeting Zimbabweans grimly exchange as they join
the queues which can last for hours, or even days.
Zimbabwe's economy is visibly unwinding.
Fast money
The only business that is booming is the parallel foreign exchange market.
At the original exchange rate, US$1 used to buy 55 Zimbabwe dollars. Now the
government has set the rate for exporters at 800 Zimbabwe dollars to the US
On the streets, black market traders offer up to 1,500 Zimbabwe dollars for
The red 500 Zimbabwe dollar note is jokingly referred to as a "Ferrari"
because it drops in price so fast.
And at the last count there were nine different exchange rates in operation
in the economy, being applied in a variety of ways.
Different rules
Political patronage and corruption is spawning the growth of a rich and
crooked business elite whom Mr Hawkins describes as the "crony capitalists"
of President Robert Mugabe's regime.

"There are different rules for different players," says Mr Hawkins.
"Some people just ignore price controls, and they are politically well
connected and that's alright.
"Some of the banks do pretty much what they like and that's okay because
they are politically well connected.
"The normal rule of law no longer applies."
Budget maths
Ironically, there has been a 400% rise in property prices, because people do
not trust the banks, and invest their money in fixed assets in the hope
that, following political change, economic prosperity will return.
Those who have the cash are splashing out on luxury vehicles, imported goods
and expensive living.
Everything is available on the black market, if one can afford it.
For a newly qualified teacher, a monthly stipend of 56,000 Zimbabwe dollars
does not go far, and in spite of promises of increases, teachers' salaries
have now been frozen by the government.
Yet in its 2003 budget the government managed to find the resources to
earmark 76.4bn Zimbabwe dollars for defence - allocating almost twice as
much to security agencies as to land, agriculture and rural resettlement.
The equation was not lost on teachers.
"If they are going to be giving chiefs vehicles, if they are going to pay
militias allowances, why not teachers, who are citizens like anyone else,"
asks Raymond Majongwe, secretary general of the Progressive Teachers Union.
"Even if it means them printing the money, so be it!"
Colgate squeezed
Lance Reynolds, a Harare businessman with interests in real estate and
tourism, says he has been forced to revise wages for his employees every few
months to keep pace with inflation.

"We had no choice but to shut down our sail safari operation in Kariba," he
adds, reflecting on the 80% drop in tourism revenue to Zimbabwe.
A tube of toothpaste now costs 1,500 Zimbabwe dollars - US$27 at the
official exchange rate.
This month Colgate Palmolive, the country's principal manufacturer of soap,
detergent and toothpaste, announced it was relocating its operations to
South Africa.
It became one of the dozens of manufacturers that have closed down, or moved
elsewhere in the region.
Petrol queues
In rural areas, where the drought is taking hold and hunger is already
biting deep, herds of cattle are being slaughtered, trees felled for
firewood, and wild animals poached in their thousands.
More than one million Zimbabweans have already abandoned their homeland in
search of a better life elsewhere.
The two-mile-long queue outside the passport office in central Harare tells
a story that the exodus will not abate any time soon.
Says Mr Hawkins: "The critical thing is that there's no economic solution,
it's a political solution."
And he says that even if there is political change, radical new policies and
renewed support from the donor community, it will take decades to repair the
damage done to agriculture and manufacturing.
And it could decades before investors or tourists once again have faith in
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Zimbabwe's Flower saved by player revolt - source
By Telford Vice
BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe, Feb 25 (Reuters)

Andy Flower was set to be axed for Zimbabwe's World Cup match against Australia on Monday but was reinstated after a player revolt, a source close to the team said on Tuesday.
The left-hander, one of the top batsmen in world cricket, was to be dropped for disciplinary reasons following his public denunciation of alleged human rights abuses in the strife-torn country, the source added.
But three of his team mates warned Zimbabwe coach Geoff Marsh that they would refuse to play against the world champions if Flower was omitted.
Former Australia test batsman Marsh, who is not a member of Zimbabwe's six-man selection panel, passed on the threat to the selectors who quickly backed down.
The selectors, according to the source, had been instructed by the Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU) executive board to drop Flower.
A member of Zimbabwe's selection panel, however, denied on Tuesday that Flower had ever been dropped.
"That isn't the truth," he told Reuters. "We picked him (Flower) in the side."
The same selector, however, who asked not be identified, said there had been long discussions over Flower's inclusion.
"There was a debate about including Flower and (fast bowler Henry) Olonga... (but) we did not have an instruction either way.
"We wanted to know whether there was an issue with including them. We sought clarification from the ZCU and we were told there was no problem with picking them."
Olonga, the first black player to represent Zimbabwe, joined Andy Flower in making a statement mourning the "death of democracy in our beloved Zimbabwe" before the team's opening Group A match against Namibia on February 10.
The pair also wore black armbands.
Reported to the International Cricket Council (ICC) by the ZCU for bringing the game into disrepute, they escaped censure but were asked not to wear the armbands again.
They duly appeared against India last week wearing black wristbands. Olonga was dropped to 12th man for that match.
On Monday, Flower played against Australia with white wristbands. Olonga, sacked last week by his Harare club over the protest, was not selected.
Flower batted but did not field against Australia. Zimbabwean team management said Flower had a groin strain.
The ZCU confirmed on Tuesday that letters had been sent to both players "asking them to desist from their political protest".
Lovemore Banda, the ZCU media officer, told Reuters: "What we have done is to reaffirm the ICC position that the World Cup should not be used as a platform for making political statements."
Andy Flower told Reuters he had received two letters from the ZCU but declined to comment further.
Zimbabwe's final group matches are against the Netherlands on Friday and Pakistan next Tuesday, both in Bulawayo.
Last week Nathan Shamuyarira, information secretary for the governing ZANU-PF party in Zimbabwe, told Johannesburg's 702 radio station that Flower and Olonga had been "pressured by the British and the external forces" to wear the armbands.
He added: "Olonga is not a Zimbabwean, he is a Zambian, but he has been allowed to play here. Flower is also not a Zimbabwean. He is British."
Olonga was born in Zambia of a Kenyan father and Zimbabwean mother. Flower was born in Cape Town but has lived all his life in Zimbabwe.
From The Times (UK), 25 February

Rebels force Zimbabwe climbdown

From Geoffrey Dean in Bulawayo

The Zimbabwe cricket team were on the verge of rebellion before yesterday's
match with Australia after news reached them that Andy Flower was about to
be dropped for disciplinary reasons. Upon hearing that Flower was going to
be omitted for his joint political statement with Henry Olonga and their
wearing of black armbands and wristbands against Namibia and India
respectively, several players made it known to Geoff Marsh, the Zimbabwe
coach, that they would refuse to play against the world champions. Marsh,
not a member of the six-man selection panel, informed the selectors, who
then backed down. "That was the only thing that saved Andy from being
dropped," a source within the Zimbabwe party said, asking for his identity
to be protected for fear of recrimination.

It would seem that governmental pressure was applied on the executive board
of the Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU) to take punitive action against Flower
for his courageous stand with Olonga, which mourned the loss of democracy
and abuse of human rights in Zimbabwe. The selectors apparently were
instructed by the ZCU executive board to leave out Flower. Player
solidarity, however, thwarted the ZCU, a highly politicised body that will
look for other means of retribution. One of these was applied yesterday when
it emerged that Olonga, the best fielder in the squad, was banned from
taking the field as twelfth man. Olonga, like Flower, was sporting the white
wristband of "peace" after the pair decided that black ones might push the
ZCU too far. "Talk of double standards," the source said. "ZCU are prepared
to give in over Andy playing but not over Henry fielding as a substitute.
How disgusting is that?"

Olonga was dropped from the side after the game with Namibia but Heath
Streak, the Zimbabwe captain, denied last night that he had been left out
because of his protest and that he may not play again in the World Cup. "He
is available for selection," Streak said. "He played well in the first game
but then all-rounder Andy Blignaut came back from injury and it made it a
bit tougher to select him. He is bowling well and he could play a big role
in the next few games." Despite Streak's assertion, though, the source
within the party still believes that attempts will be intensified by the ZCU
board to remove Flower from the team to play against Holland on Friday.
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Both of Cathy Buckle's books "Beyond Tears" and the reprinted "African Tears" are now available in Australia. - relevant information below.
Australian retail each book is 26.95.
John Reed Book Distribution
Unit 4F, 9-13 Winbourne Road
Brookvale, NSW 2100
Tel:  61 02 9939 3041
Fax:  61 02 9939 3388
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ZIMBABWE: Food aid needed for another year

JOHANNESBURG, 25 Feb 2003 (IRIN) - Food aid to Zimbabwe needs to be extended
for another year with urgent steps taken to protect people from the
consequences of yet another poor harvest, the latest Famine Early Warning
Systems Network (FEWS NET) said on Tuesday.

With most of the maize crop performing badly due to inadequate inputs and
poor rainfall distribution, crops are in a much worse situation than last
year. In 2002, more than half of the country experienced a complete crop
failure or well-below average yields, FEWS NET said.

Current maize imports are coming in at less than half the national demand of
about 150,000 mt per month. Combined with poor harvest prospects and
anticipated low stock levels, initial estimates suggest that Zimbabwe will
need to import between 930,000 mt and 1.3 million mt of maize for 2003/4.

FEWS NET urged the government and the Grain Marketing Board to start
planning now to find financing to import the maize required during the
coming consumption year, and to appeal for continued donor assistance. It
also said that the World Food Programme would need to extend the Emergency
Operation (EMOP) for another year.

The current EMOP stops at the end of March. But the latest vulnerability
assessment, which will be revised in March, shows that households in nine
out of 10 rural communities are already reliant on the sale of wild fruits,
gold panning and in some cases even commercial sex work as coping

Households have limited scope to expand their income-earning options. Their
food security is expected to deteriorate further as January's 208 percent
inflation rate eats into their small resources. Only households with cash
reserves could afford the option of buying the rights to tend and
subsequently harvest plots of immature maize in the northern districts where
crops are doing better, the report said.

In addition, drought-induced declines in crop yields are coupled with an
outbreak of armyworms in parts of Masvingo, Manicaland, Mashonaland East and
Midlands provinces. There were also reports of cattle deaths in Matabeleland
South province where households rely mainly on livestock.

Households in the southern and central districts are expected to have huge
crop deficits and only households in the central and northern districts -
who expect 70 percent or more of average yields - have prospects of being
food secure in 2003/4.

FEWS NET recommended that NGOs reduce their general distributions of food
aid in favour of food for work activities for about six months from April
onwards, to protect rural incomes and reduce dependency on food aid.
Thereafter they should revert to general distributions.

The agency also urged NGOs to extend their mainly rural-based food aid
programmes to cover 850,000 urban poor and up to one million displaced farm

"All stakeholders in Zimbabwe [must] meet urgently to coordinate their
management of the worsening food emergency and schedule regular meetings to
review the situation and take action," FEWS NET said.
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Dear All
An armed robbery took place at 0830 on Monday Feb 17th on a houseboat moored at Gache-Gache, Lake Kariba. The men in the party had gone off in the tender to do some fishing, and 4 women and the 2 man crew were left on board. 3 armed men came on board from the land and at gun point and knife point proceeded to rob the boat. The crew were made to lie down. One woman had a gun at her head and another woman was threatened with a knife. All their clothes, food, cellphones, radios, and cameras were stolen. The police and army reacted when the crew was able to radio for help. This is a very serious incident and the victims are all severely traumatised. One of the women is an Australian tourist.
One suspect has been arrested.
On another note I would like to share with you what I read in a newspaper last week. At the end of a letter to the paper, the writer had written that " Zimbabwe is losing the will to function"  -  I thought that was so sad. It reminded me of a huge ship at sea, unable to function and beginning to sink: It finally turns turtle.
Love all round
Mary van Heerden - Anti Hijack Trust.
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The Star

      Opposition bottom line for peace is 'Mugabe must go'
      February 25, 2003

      By John Battersby

      Zimbabwean opposition politicians and civic leaders have ruled out any
political solution in the country that stops short of a second election and
the retirement of President Robert Mugabe.

      Their remarks followed disclosure of an offer to the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) to take part in a government of
national unity while executive power was transferred from Mugabe to his
ally, Emmerson Mnangagwa, parliament's Speaker.

      The four visiting MDC heavyweights, speaking at a seminar at the
Institute for Justice and Reconciliation in Cape Town yesterday, ruled out a
government of national unity, which, they claimed, would merely legitimise
an internal transfer of power within the ruling Zanu-PF party.

      But they said they would consider a transitional authority that was
headed by a convener designated by the United Nations or the African Union
which would hold government to its undertakings.

      "This would enable the people of Zimbabwe to discuss what kind of
Zimbabwe they want, draw up a constitution and repeal repressive laws," said
Brian Kagoro, the national crisis co-ordinator in Zimbabwe.

      "What is unacceptable is that Zanu-PF continues to have control over
the military and the coercive arms of the state," added Kagoro. - Group
Political Editor
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Herald Sun, Australia

Mugabe slams 'colonialist' Britain


ZIMBABWE'S Robert Mugabe has directed a withering tirade at Britain and the
United States, accusing Tony Blair of seeking to impose "neo-colonialist
rule" over Harare.

Mugabe, addressing the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) of 116 countries today,
criticised Washington's threats to wage war on Iraq and said the West was
unfairly depriving poorer nations of the right to develop nuclear weapons.
"The United States, awakened to the implications of being the sole
superpower, joined by Britain as a born-again colonialist and other Western
countries, have turned themselves into ferocious hunting bulldogs raring to
go as they sniff for more blood," Mugabe told the summit.

British Prime Minister Blair, who has been among Mugabe's strongest critics
over alleged human rights abuses in Zimbabwe, was accused of "irrational"
behaviour towards the former British colony.

"He desires and is determined to undermine the sovereignty of my country and
introduce neo-colonialist rule," Mugabe said.

The Zimbabwe leader, who was recently vilified as a "monster" by the British
tabloid press, added that the United States had no right to order Iraq to

"Iraq might have developed or desired to have developed arms of mass
destruction but the United States has massive arms of that magnitude,"
Mugabe told an audience including the Iraqi vice president.

"Why should the United States determine what Iraq should do? By destroying
their massive arms heaps they should surely lead by example."

Mugabe has received a major boost from NAM with the summit of mainly
developing nations set to call for the lifting of sanctions against

Sanctions were imposed by Australia, the United States, European Union and
other nations following violence in the run-up to Mugabe's re-election a
year ago.

Zimbabwe was also suspended from the Commonwealth after its observers
delivered an adverse report on the March 2002 poll.

NAM was also due to urge international support for Mugabe's controversial
land-reform policies, under which thousands of white Zimbabweans have been
driven from their farms, in a resolution later today.
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Mandela's defender on case in Zimbabwe
By Geoff Hill

     JOHANNESBURG - In 1963, lawyer George Bizos saved anti-apartheid icon
Nelson Mandela from the gallows, and Mr. Mandela went on to become president
of South Africa. Forty years later, he is defending Zimbabwe opposition
leader Morgan Tsvangirai on a capital charge of plotting to kill President
Robert Mugabe.
     As the trial continues this week in Zimbabwe's capital, Harare, Mr.
Bizos is pleading his client's case before Paddington Garwe, whom Mr. Mugabe
appointed recently as judge president of the High Court.
     Mr. Bizos, 74, arrived in South Africa at the age of 13 after escaping
the German occupation of his native Greece in World War II.
     In 1948, he enrolled at law school in Johannesburg and met fellow
student Nelson Mandela. After graduating, the two often worked together on
cases, especially in the field of human rights, and they are still friends
     Mr. Mandela wrote in his autobiography, "George is a man who combines a
sympathetic nature with an incisive mind," and described him as, "one of the
bravest and staunchest friends of the freedom struggle that I have ever
     In 1963, Mr. Mandela was arrested and charged with treason and the
state presented compelling evidence that he, Walter Sisulu and Govan Mbeki,
the father of current South African president Thabo Mbeki, had planned acts
of sabotage.
     Although Mr. Bizos was a junior member of the defense team, he is
credited with convincing Mr. Mandela to make a statement from the dock
rather than submitting to cross-examination by the court.
     In that speech, Mr. Mandela moved the court with his commitment to a
free and democratic South Africa and he and his fellow accused were
sentenced to life imprisonment instead of death by hanging.
     Mr. Mandela was released in 1990 and elected president in 1994.
     Now Mr. Bizos has come out retirement to defend Mr. Tsvangirai, whose
case rests on a scratchy videotape recorded in the boardroom of a publicity
firm in Canada. The tape purports to show the opposition leader talking
about the forced removal of Mr. Mugabe.
     It later emerged that the Canadian firm, headed by former Israeli spy
Ari Ben-Menashe, was being retained by Mr. Mugabe's government.
     Mr. Tsvangirai insists that he is innocent and has been framed.
     In segments of the video played to the court over the past three weeks,
Mr. Ben-Menashe says it would be possible to "eliminate or assassinate
Mugabe or whatever." Later in the tape, Mr. Tsvangirai protests that a
constitutional path would have to be followed even if Mr. Mugabe was no
longer in office.
     Under Zimbabwe's constitution, if the president dies or retires, a
fresh election must be held within 90 days.
     In court, Mr. Bizos accused Mr. Ben-Menashe of accepting $1 million
from the Zimbabwan government and labeled him an unreliable witness and "a
     Mr. Ben-Menashe interrupted the lawyer and, shaking his fist, shouted
across the court, "I really resent that word [fraudster]. I have not been
convicted of any crime."
     Judge Garwe told both parties that he would not tolerate a "slanging"
     The trial quickly became bogged down over details of a $1 million
contract between the government of Zimbabwe and Mr. Ben-Menashe. The
government insisted that it would damage Zimbabwe's national security to
make the deal public. But Mr. Bizos insisted on hearing the details, so the
trial was moved into the judge's chambers and the lawyers for both sides
were warned that they should not divulge details of the proceedings.
     In 1963, despite the oppressive nature of South Africa's white minority
government, the courts remained independent. The same cannot be said of
     Over the past three years, Mr. Mugabe has removed judges whose verdicts
have displeased him and stacked the High Court with his own supporters.
There is no jury system and cases are decided by a judge and two assessors.
     Many of Judge Garwe's recent decisions have favored Mr. Mugabe's
     In March last year, he refused an application from Mr. Tsvangirai's
Movement for Democratic Change to extend voting in the presidential
election. The opposition presented evidence that the government had reduced
the number of polling stations in Mr. Tsvangirai's strongholds, creating
such long lines that, by the end of voting, some people had been unable to
cast their ballots.
     Mr. Mugabe was later announced the winner of the vote, but many Western
countries including the United States refused to recognize the result.
     Before coming to Zimbabwe to defend Mr. Tsvangirai, Mr. Bizos was a
strong critic of both Mr. Mugabe and the breakdown of law and order in the
     But, speaking in Harare, he remained optimistic about his client's
     "However oppressive a regime might be, the court is the last forum in
which an oppressed person has an opportunity to speak out," he said.
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Daily News

      Consumer body defends boycotts

      2/25/2003 7:01:36 AM (GMT +2)

      Business Reporter

      THE Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) has defended boycotts saying
the practice is used the world over to protest against unfair business and
labour practices.

      In a statement, the CCZ said: "A boycott is a tool used by any
concerned group to protest against unfair business and labour practices.
      "Groups such as labour unions, racial minorities and consumer groups
can invite boycotts and if these are well-organised can yield positive

      The CCZ said when consumers are frustrated by the effects a company,
policy or product has on society, then they have a right to call for a

      The watchdog - widely viewed as toothless and pro-government in some
circles - said boycotts were meant to bring about an improvement in the
social environment over economic and political issues.

      "This means that a boycott always has a target and is result-oriented.
It is not carried out without prior consultation with the parties concerned.
      "Communicating the threat of a boycott can force the targeted concern
to bow down to consumer demands," said the CCZ.

      The council has been widely criticised for remaining quiet in the face
of poorly implemented government policies and economic deterioration which
has led to mass starvation and a severe shortage of basic commodities.

      Despite poor service provided by parastatals and public utilities such
as the Zimbabwe Electric Supply Authority, TelOne, Zimpost, the National
Railways of Zimbabwe and the Grain Marketing Board among others, the CCZ has
not acted decisively in championing the consumer's interest.

      The CCZ has turned a blind eye to continued poor service delivery
which has led to avoidable accidents.

      The council said it was only after negotiations had failed that
consumers could resort to boycotts.

      It indicated that a boycott encompassed not participating in a given
party or company's activities which included not buying its goods and
services. A boycott could last from a day to a number of years.

      While the public and other quarters have alleged that the CCZ is
ineffective, the consumer watchdog has denied the accusations and instead
said it has, in the past, not received adequate support from consumers owing
to lack of information and indifference from the public itself.

      It said: "It has been realised that instead of consumers themselves
taking an active role, they remained passive onlookers, ignorantly engaged
in riotous behaviour or have even taken a boycott of a particular service as
a punishment on consumers themselves."

      The success of a boycott was more than just a decrease in sales, the
CCZ said. Boycotts helped to create socially-just and
environmentally-reasonable business practices, the watchdog added.

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Daily News

      MDC to propose audit of Aids funds

      2/25/2003 6:33:20 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      The opposition MDC is expected to move a motion calling for an audit
of the National Aids Trust Fund (NATF) when Parliament resumes its business
today after adjourning in December last year.

      Several bills were also scheduled to be tabled for debate, among them
the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

      Today, the house will resume debate on motion in reply to the
presidential speech which was adjourned on 10 December.

      Blessing Chebundo, the MP for Kwekwe, will propose that the
Comptroller and Auditor-General, should conduct an audit of the NATF,
including the use of funds distributed to its implementing agents.

      Chebundo will ask the Auditor-General to make an assessment of the
impact of the National Aids Levy Fund to the beneficiaries.

      The MP will demand that the Comptroller and Auditor-General evaluate
and advise on the effectiveness of the current administration of the fund.

      Willas Madzimure, the MP for Kambuzuma, will ask Parliament to resolve
that the Portfolio Committee on Energy and Power Development immediately
institute investigations into the causes of the fuel shortages.

      The Portfolio Committee on Transport and Communications, which
launched investigations into the operations of Air Zimbabwe, is also
expected to present its findings during the course of the week.

      The Committee on Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement, will also
present its report.

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Daily News

      MDC accuses Zanu PF of intimidation ahead of Highfield poll

      2/25/2003 6:36:59 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      Kundishora Shonhe, the opposition MDC's campaign manager, says Zanu PF
has established bases in Highfield ahead of the parliamentary by-election
scheduled for 29 and 30 March.

      Investigations by The Daily News have, however, revealed activity at
only one of the three alleged bases.

      Zanu PF youths were observed guarding a walled car park at Gazaland
shopping centre where they have hoisted the ruling party's flag.

      The Highfield seat, held by the MDC since June 2000, fell vacant when
the MDC fired Munyaradzi Gwisai late last year, for criticising the party's

      Gwisai last week announced that he was going to stand as an
independent. The other candidates are Pearson Mungofa for the MDC,and Zanu
PF's Joseph Chinotimba, self-styled commander of the violent invasions of
white-owned commercial farms. Also in the running is Everisto Chidhakwa of
the National Alliance for Good Governance.

      Shonhe accused Zanu PF of intimidating the electorate. He alleged that
Zanu PF supporters were going around the constituency writing down people's
personal details and national identity card numbers.

      He said: "They probably want to register people from outside the
constituency using those particulars, or to remove the names of known MDC
supporters from the voters' roll."

      Shonhe said Zanu PF was distributing scarce basic commodities like
maize-meal, bread, sugar and cooking oil to induce voters.

      He said: "This food aid to attract voters is temporary. They are
pretending they will continue to bring food to Highfield, but we know this
will end as soon as the election is over."

      Shonhe said the MDC would sell itself to voters through door-to-door
campaigns. He declined to disclose his party's counter-strategy "because it
might be hijacked by Zanu PF".
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Daily News

      Zanu PF youths attack MDC supporter in Kuwadzana

      2/25/2003 6:36:27 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      ZANU PF youths on Thursday allegedly assaulted Kerecencia Musonza, the
MDC's branch chairperson for Kuwadzana 3 and left her unconscious.

      A by-election has been set for 28 and 29 March in that constituency.
      The Kuwadzana seat fell vacant following the death, in remand prison,
of the MDC's Learnmore Jongwe in October last year.

      Musonza said the youths stripped her naked and assaulted her.
      She said when she gained consciousness, she walked to the house of a
fellow party member who bathed her and gave her some clothes.

      Musonza said did not report the case to the police because "the police
support Zanu PF supporters".

      Musonza said she was going to her maize field when she heard her name
being called out by three youths.

      Musonza said: "I was called all sorts of names by the youths. They
said they were punishing me because I was Tsvangirai's prostitute.
      "They said they wanted to remove the party's spirit in me that was
making me want to fight back."

      Morgan Tsvangirai is the MDC president.

      Musonza said she did not recognise the youths leading her to suspect
that they were not from that area.

      Nelson Chamisa, the MDC national youth chairman, David Mutasa of Zanu
PF, Kimpton Chiwewete of the National Alliance for Good Governance and Aaron
Mandla of the United Parties are vying for the seat.

      Musonza said the assault will not deter her from participating in her
party's activities.

      She said: "They have baptised me. I will work harder for the party
because we want our candidate to win the seat."
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Daily News

      Strike: UZ fails to open

      2/25/2003 6:34:49 AM (GMT +2)

      By Angela Makamure

      THE University of Zimbabwe (UZ) has failed to open for the 2003
academic year as close to 600 lecturers yesterday went on an indefinite
strike, demanding a 50 percent retention allowance on their basic salaries.

      A member of the Association of University Teachers, who preferred
anonymity, yesterday confirmed the lecturers were on strike and would not go
back to work until they were awarded the allowance like their counterparts
in the Faculty of Medicine.

      The UZ director of information, Elizabeth Karonga, would not comment
yesterday, but said she would do so today.

      A lecturer said all staff briefly met in the morning and decided on
strike action following an unsatisfactory undertaking by Dr Swithun
Mombeshora, the Minister of Higher Education and Technology, to address
their grievances.

      "We had a meeting with the university authorities, but no resolutions
were made and now the UZ senate is meeting. It's not fair to favour one
faculty of the university - that is where our argument is," the lecturer

      "We are also saying we want a salary that differentiates us from
non-teaching staff, because at the moment the difference is quite

      "If the ministry does not address these discrepancies with immediate
effect, we won't start talking."

      A lecturer in the Faculty of Arts, who identified himself as Thulani
Sigauke, said: "After awarding us an 80 percent cost of living adjustment as
well as a substantial increase in housing and transport allowances, what
then can stop the ministry from giving us a 50 percent retention allowance?"

      He said the issue had to be resolved promptly so as to stem the
worsening brain drain.
      "Lecturers are leaving at an alarming rate and if our grievances are
not addressed, the already bad situation will deteriorate further. The
official establishment of the UZ staff must be 1 200, but now we are less
than 700."

      Students could be seen milling around the campus aimlessly, while
others were still arriving after a three-month holiday.

      Last year, lecturers went on an indefinite strike, demanding a 135
percent cost of living adjustment and a review of their salaries.
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Daily News

      Opposition youths denounce Mbeki

      2/25/2003 6:34:22 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      ABOUT 20 MDC youths yesterday demonstrated outside the South African
High Commission, denouncing President Thabo Mbeki's soft stance on Zimbabwe,
saying Pan-Africanism without democracy is meaningless.

      They said Mbeki should understand that that President Mugabe "stole
the election". The youths said Zimbabweans would not rest until a democratic
government was installed.

      "The road to democratic governance would be easier to travel and
shortest if our neighbours took a principled stand. Any bias or omission by
our neighbour will not deter us from installing a democratically elected
government," they said.
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Daily News

      Judge orders Ben-Menashe to provide documents to defence

      2/25/2003 6:33:48 AM (GMT +2)

      Court Reporters

      Justice Paddington Garwe yesterday ordered the chief witness in the
high treason trial of three top MDC officials to provide the defence lawyers
with certain documents they say would help exonerate their clients.

      Garwe, in line with objections raised by the State, however, excused
Ari Ben-Menashe, a Canadian-based political consultant, from providing three
of the seven documents that the defence had requested.

      The judge said two of the documents were public documents and could be
easily acquired by the defence.

      They are records that were lodged with the United States State
Department on the agreement entered into between the government of Zimbabwe
and Ben-Menashe's political consultancy firm, Dickens & Madson, in January

      The defence also wanted copies of the registration of any variations
to the contract and all returns of work done by Dickens & Madson and
payments made by Zimbabwean government.

      On the third document, Garwe said a requisition showing when an
attorney for Ben-Menashe's company received in his trust fund the US$976 000
(Z$53,68 million) paid by the MDC to the political consultancy for services
rendered, would be sufficient.
      The defence had requested for the statement of accounts.

      The lawyers acting for Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC leader, his
secretary-general Welshman Ncube and Renson Gasela, the opposition party's
shadow minister for agriculture, had invoked Section 233 of the Criminal
Procedure and Evidence Act to compel Ben-Menashe to submit the documents.

      The Act provides for the imprisonment of a witness who deliberately
refuses to provide certain documents in his possession until he complies.

      Tsvangirai, Ncube and Gasela are being charged with high treason, an
offence punishable by death, for allegedly conspiring to assassinate
President Mugabe and topple his Zanu PF government in November 2001.

      Garwe directed Menashe to cause the deposition of a requisition of the
US$976 000 in the trust account. The requisition should indicate when the
money was received and what became of it.

      Ben-Menashe should provide a list of names of Dickens & Madson's
employees, agents and consultants employed in and outside Canada between
2001 and 2002. He should also submit the company's annual financial accounts
for the same period.

      Garwe instructed the witness to submit a brief indication of work done
by his company, its agents and consultants on behalf of the government of
Zimbabwe within that period, and to provide an authenticated copy of his
company's certificate of incorporation.

      "It is so ordered," Garwe said.

      Ben-Menashe, who was on Friday granted leave to return to his Canada
base, will be notified of the ruling by the Attorney-General's Office.

      The trial resumes on 3 March.
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Daily News

      Couple missing after secretary's death

      2/25/2003 6:32:35 AM (GMT +2)

      By Margaret Chinowaita

      MYSTERY surrounds the whereabouts of Elliot Tumbwi, a director of
Unity Furniture, and his wife, who were in the company of a secretary who
fell to her death at Trustee House along Samora Machel Avenue, Harare, on
Saturday night.

      Employees at the company identified the deceased as Ellen
Ziendanemaoko, Tumbwi's secretary. A manager at the company said Tumbwi did
not report for work yesterday.

      "We are not aware of Tumbwi's whereabouts," said another employee who
declined to be identified. "An officer from Harare Central Police Station
was looking for him this morning. One of us actually went to the police
station, thinking Tumbwi was assisting the police with investigations."

      A police spokesperson refused to comment on the tragedy, saying:
"Unfortunately, you know we don't talk to your paper."

      Security guards working at Trustee House, which also houses offices of
The Daily News and the Zimbabwe Defence Industries, said the three entered
the building at about 8pm on Saturday.

      A security guard at the building said: "He was accompanied by his
secretary and his wife and when they went in. They appeared to be very
jovial and were actually laughing.

      "Hardly 10 minutes later, there was an ear-splitting scream and a loud
thud and we realised that something had fallen to the ground." Another guard
said for a while, nobody realised that it was a person who had fallen to the
ground until some eyewitnesses started screaming.
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Protestors claim a victory - and so do Australia

Mike Coward in Bulawayo
Tuesday February 25, 2003
The Guardian

Australia won their fourth consecutive World Cup pool match yesterday,
beating Zimbabwe by seven wickets on a foundation laid with customary
emphasis by the openers Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden.
But far more significant triumphs were enjoyed throughout the day. It was a
victory that the game went ahead at all after endless debate about moral
responsibility, player security and political necessity.

This was a point made by the Reverend Graham Shaw, the minister of the
Hillside Methodist Church in Bulawayo and spokesman for a group calling
themselves Christians Together for Justice and Peace.

Initially he had hoped the match would have been relocated to South Africa,
but realised that the match provided a "window of opportunity to present the
real picture and to show the cameras of the world what is really happening
in Zimbabwe today".

Led by Pius Ncube, the Catholic Archbishop of Matabeleland and renowned
human rights campaigner, the group wore black crosses and black armbands and
sat quietly on a grassed tier near spectators enjoying a beer and the
conviviality of what was a festival match with an intensely competitive

That they were not harassed by police or security guards and were allowed to
hold their banner for the benefit of photographers represented a small
victory, given that this is a country yearning to be liberated from what the
group termed "the cruel yoke of oppression".

The stand by the churchmen buoyed impassioned patriots Andy Flower and Henry
Olonga, who in earlier matches risked so much by wearing black armbands and
then sweatbands to denote the death of democracy in their beloved country.

Despite the relaxed attitude of the International Cricket Council towards
them wearing the black sweatbands, the Zimbabwean Cricket Union has
struggled to conceal its fury, and Flower wore a white sweatband when he
batted yesterday.

There had been intense speculation on Sunday that Flower would be left out
together with Olonga, whose place has gone to the big-hitting all-rounder
Andy Blignaut.

The sense of apprehension leading up to the game gave way to an intoxicating
celebration as a rich mix of people spent a relaxed day in the sun at a very
normal cricket match.

"The eyes of the world were on us and it was a well-behaved and peaceful
crowd," said the Zimbabwe captain Heath Streak.

The arrival of Australia, the defending champions and tournament favourites,
provided some compensation for the country's cricket community, which
remains incensed at England's refusal to play in Harare back on February 13.

The Australian captain Ricky Ponting and his party were warmly embraced by a
crowd of around 4,500. There were some empty seats, but it remained unclear
whether they belonged to global sponsors, or had been bought by the Movement
for Democratic Change opposition and left empty as a form of protest.

Ponting said at no point had any of the Australians felt apprehensive and
that the security aspects of their visit had not been discussed in the team
room for more than two weeks.

They certainly approached the match positively and with energy, although
Ponting said he felt the levels of concentration were not as they should
have been. Even so, there were three exceptional cameos in the Zimbabwe
innings that highlighted the difference in class.

Grant Flower was brilliantly run out by a relayed throw from Glenn McGrath
to Gilchrist, and Brett Lee held the hottest of return catches to end the
spectacular assault by Blignaut. The all-rounder belted 54 from 38 balls
with two sixes and eight fours. His return was only bettered by Andy Flower,
who took 62 from 91 balls before being bowled by a stunning Brad Hogg

Zimbabwe's 246 was creditable but 30 shy of making the day truly
challenging. Once Gilchrist and Hayden had put together a pulsating opening
stand of 89, the middle-order was able to progress at a pace that suited it.

Gilchrist was dropped twice on his way to 61 from 64 balls and he
established a pattern that Ponting, Damien Martyn and Darren Lehmann were
only too willing to develop, Martyn and Lehmann sharing an unbroken stand of
92 to see their side home.
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ABC News

Mugabe Attacks Big Brother World of Bush and Blair

      Feb. 24
      - KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe
launched a blistering attack on the United States and Britain on Tuesday,
accusing them of creating a world where powerful Big Brother states imposed
their will on weaker ones.

      Speaking at a summit of the 116-member Non-Aligned Movement (NAM),
Mugabe said President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair were
imperialists who wanted to impose a new form of colonialism on developing

      Mugabe is under fire from the West over the alleged rigging of an
election last year and the persecution of political foes as well as the
seizure of white-owned farms for landless blacks. The United States and
European Union, encouraged by rights groups, have imposed travel, aid and
economic sanctions on Zimbabwe.

      "Bush and Blair have apparently developed similar war-like
dispositions deriving from similar ideologies of new imperialism," Mugabe
told the summit.

      "The United States, awakened to the implications of being the sole
superpower, joined by Britain as a born-again colonialist, and other Western
countries have turned themselves into fierce hunting bull-dogs raring to go,
as they sniff for more blood, Third World blood."

      Blair has been particularly critical of Mugabe, spearheading
opposition to the Zimbabwe government in the European Union under pressure
from Britain's large expatriate Zimbabwean community.


      Mugabe said Blair's actions on Zimbabwe were "irrational."

      "He desires and is determined to undermine the sovereignty of my
country and introduce neo-colonialist rule. That we shall never allow him to
achieve," he said.

      Mugabe said his position in Zimbabwe was more legitimate than that of
Bush in the United States.

      Bush, he said, had only become president after the very close U.S.
elections in 2000 because the U.S. Supreme Court, "dominated by Republican j
udges" imposed him as winner of the polls.

      "And is it not ironical that Mr. Bush who was not really elected
should deny my legitimacy, the legitimacy of President Mugabe, established
by many observer groups from Africa and the Third World. Who, in these
circumstances, should the world impose sanctions on? Robert Mugabe or George

      Mugabe said that with the demise of the Cold War, colonialism had
assumed a new form "under false economic pretences."

      "Politically our sovereignty will not have the same weight as that of
Big Brother and Big Brother has the right to determine the justice of our
systems and not we his."

      He said the Western powers imposed different standards for themselves
and others.

      "Iraq might have developed or desired to develop arms of mass
destruction. But the United States has massive arms of that magnitude. Why
can't the United States demonstrate what Iraq should (do) by destroying
their own massive heaps first?"

      Copyright 2003 Reuters News Service. All rights reserved. This
material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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