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- may peace, truth and justice prevail.

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President Mugabe to stay

14 January 2003
The ruling ZANU-PF party has dismissed reports by the British intelligence
and their surrogate, the opposition MDC, suggesting that Cde Robert Mugabe
will quit his post as president of Zimbabwe before the expiry of his term of

ZANU-PF secretary for information and publicity, Cde Nathan Shamuyarira
described the reports as wicked, malicious and mischievous attempts meant to
bring the British-sponsored MDC into power through unconstitutional means.

The British media is awash with stories claiming that a succession plan has
been hatched and President Robert Mugabe will soon step down as head of
state before the expiry of his term of office to pave way for a transitional
government which will oversee fresh elections.

The report says the British-sponsored MDC is part of the plan, with its
leader Morgan Tsvangirai involved in talks with retired colonel Lionel Dyke.

Cde Shamuyarira said the ruling party, the acting president, Cde Simon
Muzenda and the ZANU-PF secreatry for administration, Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa
know nothing about the reports and they have never discussed such an issue
and will never be an agenda for now.

Cde Shamuyarira also disclosed that any attempts at working with the
opposition MDC have been abandoned because of the rogue and immature
behaviour of its parliamentarians at state occasions, including their
failure to remain disciplined in parliament.

The commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, General Vitalis Zvinavashe
said the report is not worth commenting on as it is the work of enemies bent
on destroying Zimbabwe.


Harare denial on Mugabe retirement
Monday, January 13, 2003 Posted: 11:00 AM EST (1600 GMT)


HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) -- Zimbabwe's ruling party has dismissed reports that
President Robert Mugabe would retire as part of a plan to set up a
power-sharing government to end the country's political and economic crisis.

Nathan Shamuyarira, secretary for information in Mugabe's party, accused
Britain, Zimbabwe's colonial ruler, of being behind reports the increasingly
dictatorial president would step down in a deal with the opposition Movement
for Democratic Change.

"It is not correct. It is a mixture of wishful thinking and mischief on the
part of the British," he told reporters at the headquarters of the ruling
Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front party in Harare.

Independent mediators trying to end the nation's political crisis said on
Sunday two of the ruling party's most powerful figures -- parliament speaker
Emmerson Mnangagwa and armed forces chief of staff Gen. Vitalis
Zvinavashe -- proposed Mugabe's retirement. The offer was made in hopes of
regaining international legitimacy and renewed aid and investment for the
country during a period of transitional rule.

The mediators, fearing allegations of treason if the offer collapsed, spoke
on condition of anonymity.

MDC officials also denied the offer on Monday.

However, MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai told The Associated Press on Sunday
that he had received the offer. He said his party's lawmakers were ready to
vote with the ruling party for a constitutional amendment allowing the
creation of a caretaker government once Mugabe stepped down.

The power-sharing government would aim to end an economic meltdown that has
left at least half Zimbabwe's population on the verge of starvation.

There was no suggestion Tsvangirai would head a caretaker government, though
his party would be offered a small number of Cabinet posts, the mediators

Shamuyarira said on Monday that Britain backed the opposition and wanted to
see Tsvangirai installed in power.

"The British would like to see that happening, but it is not going to
happen," he said.

Mugabe's whereabouts were unclear on Monday. There was no official word on
his scheduled return from a two-week vacation abroad to southeast Asia.

In another reversal of opposition policy, Tsvangirai said any agreement on
Mugabe's resignation would include guarantees of immunity from trial over
alleged misrule and human rights violations during his 23 years in power. He
also could remain in the country.

Malaysia has reportedly been approached to offer Mugabe sanctuary if he
chose to leave.

Mugabe, who led the nation to independence in 1980, won a new six-year term
in elections last March that independent observers said were deeply flawed.
The MDC, along with Britain, the European Union and the United States, have
refused to accept the results, saying voting was rigged and influenced by
violence and intimidation.

Thousands of white-owned farms have been seized, often violently, in the
past three years, a practice Mugabe has defended as a justified struggle by
landless blacks to correct colonial era injustices which left 4,000 whites
owning one third of the nation's productive land.

Disruptions in the agriculture-based economy and erratic rains have caused
acute shortages of hard currency, gasoline, food and essential imports.

Financial Times

      Zimbabwe denies reports of Mugabe exit plan
      By Stella Mapenzauswa
      (Reuters) - January 13 2003 16:49

      HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's ruling ZANU-PF party has dismissed
reports of a plan for embattled President Robert Mugabe to retire early and
make way for a government formed with opposition support.

      The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and the South
African government also denied on Monday any role in the so-called "Mugabe
exit plan" reported by Zimbabwe's privately owned Sunday Mirror newspaper as
a bid to end the country's worsening political and economic crisis.

      The 78-year-old Mugabe, who has ruled since 1980, faces international
isolation over his seizure of white-owned farm land and a controversial
election victory last March. Critics say the land campaign has exacerbated
food shortages threatening seven million Zimbabweans with starvation.

      The Sunday Mirror reported that authorities in Zimbabwe, South Africa
and former colonial power Britain had proposed a plan that will see Mugabe
hand power to a chosen successor before the end of his current term in 2006.
The reports were also carried in the international media.

      "It is a mixture of wishful thinking and mischief on the part of the
British," Nathan Shamuyarira, ZANU-PF information secretary, told a news

      "We are alarmed by the extent to which Britain is prepared to go to
interfere in Zimbabwean internal affairs. It should also be known that it is
not possible to form a government of national unity with an irresponsible
opposition," he added.

      The opposition denied any role in the plan.

      "Reports coming from the media that suggest the MDC is party to an
exit package for Robert Mugabe are false," MDC spokesman Paul Themba Nyathi
said in a statement.


      Talks between the MDC and ZANU-PF on the political crisis collapsed
last year when the opposition challenged Mugabe's election victory over MDC
leader Morgan Tsvangirai. Many Western countries also condemned the poll as

      Tsvangirai told BBC radio on Monday that he was approached in December
about an initiative from two senior ZANU-PF officials -- the speaker of
parliament and the head of Zimbabwe's armed forces -- to resume

      "My own assessment was that the issue of succession has not been
decided in ZANU-PF and that there were people who were positioning
themselves to take the initiative within ZANU-PF," Tsvangirai said.

      He said the MDC would be ready to resume talks when "Mugabe stops the
violence, stops politicising food distribution and returned the country to
political normality".

      Tsvangirai also did not rule out granting Mugabe immunity from
prosecution if he stepped down.

      Mugabe's retirement plans have long been the subject of speculation
and last month ZANU-PF was forced to make a statement that the veteran
leader would serve his full term.

      The Sunday Mirror said the plan would see Mugabe handing power to
Emmerson Mnangagwa, the speaker of parliament and a close confidant. An
interim government would then lead the country until parliamentary and
presidential elections in 2005.

      Mnangagwa, seen as Mugabe's preferred successor, said the reports
"were all lies".

      "Nothing is happening. There is no truth to it. We don't know where it
is coming from," he told South African public radio on Monday.


      But analysts said Zimbabwe's political elite are feeling the bite of
its economic crisis and Western sanctions against Mugabe's inner circle. A
South African newspaper reported on Sunday Zimbabwe Information Minister
Jonathan Moyo had stocked up on staple foodstuffs during a family visit to
South Africa.

      "If not now, this may be the shape of a deal to come," said Ross
Herbert, a senior Africa researcher for the South African Institute of
International Affairs.

      The Sunday Mirror is run by Ibbo Mandaza, a former senior civil
servant in Mugabe's administration, who is considered close to the
government. The report quoted diplomats and "sources privy to the highly
confidential plan".

      The Sunday Mirror named South Africa as a key broker of the transition
plan, but the Pretoria government said on Monday it was not aware of the

      Zimbabwe's woes have weighed on the South African rand and speculation
about the plan lifted the currency on Monday.

      © Reuters Limited
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Tehran Times

Opposition Denies Involvement in Plan to Send Mugabe Into Exile

HARARE -- Zimbabwe's main opposition party on Monday denied reports in the
British press that it was involved in a plot to send President Robert Mugabe
into exile and allow for a government of national unity to be formed, AFP

The **Times** of London reported Monday that a scheme was being hatched by
senior officials in Mugabe's ruling Zimbabwe African National Union
(ZANU-PF) Party which would guarantee Mugabe immunity from prosecution if he
agrees to leave the country.

"That story is not true, it's mere speculation," Paul Temba Nyathi,
spokesman for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) told AFP.

The paper cited MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai as saying his party was ready
to offer immunity to the the long-time leader of Zimbabwe who reelected to
another six-year term in March last year after holding power since 1980.

Sources close to ZANU-PF said they believed the authoritarian leader --
whose domestic policies have plunged Zimbabwe into economic hardship and
seen the Southern African country ostracized by the international
community -- "wants to go" and has agreed to the plan, the paper said.

The **Times** quoted Tsvangirai as saying that Emmerson Mnangagwa, the
parliamentary speaker and number three in the ZANU-PF hierarchy, and Armed
Forces Commander General Vitalis Zvinavashe had contacted him about the
scheme and promised that Mugabe would stand down as a first step.

In return, the MDC would be ready to offer him immunity from prosecution
that could stem from his violent campaign of repression of his opponents and
the seizure of nearly all white-owned farms in the country, the paper said.

"We have more to lose by getting bogged down (on issues like Mr.

Mugabe's immunity) and more to gain by saying this is a hurdle we have
overcome. We have to give dialogue a chance," Tsvangirai was quoted as

The Malaysian government is believed to have tentatively agreed to offer
Mugabe asylum, the **Times** said.

Former colonial power Britain had been informed of the scheme and offered
support, it added.

On Monday, both Nyathi and Tsvangirai's spokesman, William Bango, said the
British daily was probably referring to a claim made last month by
Tsvangirai that there were diplomatic efforts afoot to get him to meet with

He claimed then that Britain, South Africa and the ruling party were working
behind the scenes to get him to the negotiating table with Mugabe to discuss
the country's many crises.

Zimbabwe's economy has nosedived, with severe shortages of foreign currency
and inflation running at around 175 percent. The country is also in the
grips of crippling food shortages which threaten more than two-thirds of the
population of more than 11 million with famine.

The shortages have been blamed on a drought which has ravaged Southern
Africa, but critics have also pinned part of the responsibility for the
worsening food crisis on Mugabe's controversial land reforms, which have
seen white-owned commercial farms seized for redistribution to landless

Nyathi said there has been no easing of relations between his party and

"We as a party are exactly where we were when the talks between MDC and
ZANU-PF broke down" in May last year, he said. Those talks, which were aimed
at finding a way out of the post-election impasse between the two sides, ran
aground after the opposition launched a legal challenge to Mugabe's

Tsvangirai, who lost to Mugabe in the March election, has rejected the
outcome of that vote, alleging fraud and malpractice, and called for fresh
ZIMBABWE: Power-sharing plan rejected

JOHANNESBURG, 13 January (IRIN) - Zimbabwe's main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) on Monday denied news reports that it was involved in a deal to guarantee a safe exit for President Robert Mugabe and the setting up of a power-sharing government.

The UK daily The Times, and the Associated Press news agency, on Monday reported that under the arrangement, allegedly backed by leading members of the ruling ZANU-PF party, Mugabe would receive a guarantee of immunity against prosecution over alleged misrule and human rights violations.

According to The Times, parliamentary speaker Emmerson Mnangagwa (widely regarded as Mugabe's chosen successor), and armed forces chief of staff General Vitalis Zvinavashe had contacted MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai about the deal and promised that Mugabe would stand down.

The newspaper quoted MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai as recently saying his party was ready to provide Mugabe, currently on vacation in Thailand, with immunity if he gave up power.
But the MDC has since denied any involvement in the plan, saying since the collapse of talks in May 2002 brokered by South Africa and Nigeria, negotiations with ZANU-PF were "closed".

"The MDC is not aware of such a plan," vice-president Gibson Sibanda told IRIN. "We remain open to negotiations with ZANU-PF with regards to the setting up of a transitional authority. Under this transitional authority the decline of the economy, food shortages and other issues bedevilling this country would be addressed. However, this transitional authority will not rule indefinitely. We are still committed to holding fresh elections."

Sibanda added that the MDC did not have a policy on whether or not Mugabe would face prosecution should he relinquish power. "There is no hard position on whether Mugabe would receive a total amnesty or not should he give up power. We will wait and see what ZANU-PF puts on the table and then we will decide," Sibanda said.

ZANU-PF spokesman Nathan Shamuyarira also dismissed The Times report as "a mixture of wishful thinking and mischief on the part of the British".

French news agency AFP quoted Shamuyarira as saying: "We are alarmed by the extent to which Britain is prepared to go to interfere in the internal affairs of Zimbabwe ... It is not possible to form a government of national unity with an irresponsible opposition, an opposition that does not respect the constitution, that does not respect the presidency, that does not respect parliament."

Moreover, Shamuyarira added, there was no constitutional provision to form a government of national unity before Mugabe's current term expires in 2007.

The MDC has refused to accept the results of the March 2002 presidential election, saying that voting was rigged and influenced by violence and intimidation. The political stalemate has been accompanied by an economic meltdown, manifested in an acute foreign currency scarcity, fuel and food and shortages.

"ZANU-PF is becoming increasingly aware of how untenable the current situation really is," John Makumbe, a political analyst at the University of Zimbabwe told IRIN. "There is definitely credibility to the proposed ouster plan, although ZANU-PF is unlikely to admit to it."

Jackie Cilliers, director of the Pretoria-based Institute for Security Studies, told IRIN that reference to the power-sharing deal and proposed immunity for Mugabe in news reports probably referred to a claim made by Tsvangirai last month that there were diplomatic efforts afoot to get him to meet with Mugabe.

In an address to MDC parliamentarians in December, Tsvangirai claimed then that Britain, South Africa and the ruling party were working behind the scenes to get him to the negotiating table with Mugabe to discuss the country's many crises. He named a retired white army officer, Colonel Lionel Dyke, as an alleged emissary of Mnangagwa and Zvinavashe.

Cilliers said: "There has been talk for some months now about a possible deal. If it turns out to be credible then this would satisfy South Africa as they have always favoured quiet diplomacy as the answer to Zimbabwe's problems. But it is important to note that ZANU-PF is not as unified as it is portrayed in the media. There are factions which have great interest in maintaining the status quo, while others realise that a sinking Zimbabwe doesn't help anybody."

Civil society activist Reginald Machaba-Hove told IRIN that Dyke's meeting with Tsvangirai was likely "a fishing expedition, not the start of serious negotiations. I see this as the start of exploratory talks, to see if the MDC would be open to such an arrangement, and it would be very suprising if it was not with the knowledge of President Mugabe".

He added that not only had the media publicity "killed" the prospect of any such deal, but it would also be likely rejected by Zimbabwean NGOs, an important support base for the MDC. "Civil society's position would be for broad-based consultations, not a deal done by a few people behind closed doors," Machaba-Hove said.


Tel: +27 11 880-4633
Fax: +27 11 447-5472
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'I will not play in Zimbabwe'

Christo Buchner

Johannesburg - Errol Stewart, a former South African one-day player, has
conscientious objections about going to play three games in Zimbabwe for the
South African 'A' team next week.

Stewart, the KwaZulu-Natal wicketkeeper and strong candidate to make the 'A'
team, does not want to lend credibility to the Mugabe regime by playing
against Zimbabwe to help them with their preparations for the World Cup.

"My conscience will not allow me to live in a luxury hotel in a country
where people are dying of starvation and there is not even petrol. As
someone in the legal profession, I am very sensitive about the abuse of
human rights and the fact that the Zimbabwean judiciary is put under so much

"I also don't agree at all with the way land is taken away from farmers.
Ordinary Zimbabweans are being persecuted and there is no equal distribution
of food in that country.

"Mugabe pays no heed whatsoever to democracy. There is starvation and I
would never be able to forgive myself if I support a tyrant like Mugabe by
going there to play cricket and give credibility to what he is doing to his

"I cannot think how any country could declare themselves willing to go and
play there during the World Cup. They don't even have food for their own
people. How are they going to provide quality health care in the event of a
player or a supporter getting injured?" Stewart asked.

Stewart represented South Africa in five one-day matches and is also the
secretary of the South African Players Association.

Stewart is hoping that the fact that he is the first player to openly take a
stand not to go in play in Zimbabwe would motivate Australian and English
players to do the same.

He informed the convenor of national selectors, Omar Henry as well as
selector Pat Symcox that he will not be available for the three matches in
Harare. The 'A' team that will be announced on Tuesday, will play against
Zimbabwe on 22, 25 and 26 January.

Stewart said he has not yet heard of other players sharing his convictions.
"However, I belief that there will be other players feeling the same way. I
sincerely doubt that the stand I'm taking would count against me in terms of
my future selection for the South African team. It would be petty if it
did," Stewart said.

As wicketkeeper Stewart is a strong candidate to be one of the five official
replacements for the South African World Cup squad.
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Journalist accused of spying
January 10, 2003

The state media and the government of Zimbabwe have accused, Lewis
Machipisa, a Zimbabwe journalist of spying for the British Broadcasting
Corporation (BBC) and SW Radio Africa a community radio station based in

In a front page lead story that appeared in the state owned weekly, The
Sunday Mail on 22 December 2002, the paper said that Machipisa is now
working for the BBC and a London based community radio station SW Radio
Africa despite the "fact" that the government banned the BBC from operating
in Zimbabwe after accusations that the station was peddling "falsehoods".
The government has also labelled SW Radio Africa as a hostile station, which
they accuse of peddling "anti Zimbabwe propaganda".

The paper said that Machipisa is now going "underground" in the rural areas
shooting images for the BBC and writing stories and sending them to London.
Machipisa is also accused of sending pictures to SW Radio Africa.

In a move that has worried many journalists in Zimbabwe, the state owned
paper produced what it claims to be briefs of Machipisa's conversation with
Barry Langbringe, BBC's head for Africa and the Middle East. The paper
quotes verbatim what Machipisa is claimed to have said over his work for the
BBC. "George Charamba, (Department of Information and Publicity Permanent
Secretary) called me to ask about my clandestine activities.BBC TV
reporters. I refused the claim and offered to meet him to cover up the
problem. I suspect they have bugged my cellphone, that is the only way they
could have got this information," The Sunday Mail alleges Machipisa said
these words.

The work that Machipisa does for the BBC has however never been a secret in
Zimbabwe. MISA-Zimbabwe notes that it is public knowledge that Machipisa
correspond for the BBC and he appeared in one issue of the widely
circulating magazine "BBC focus on Africa" in 2002, which profiled his work
in Zimbabwe. The story by the Sunday Mail, which is made to appear like a
scoop, is nothing but attempts to draw attention of the authorities to
Machipisa and ultimately intimidate him to stop working for the BBC.
MISA-Zimbabwe notes with concern the complicity of the state media in the on
going harassment of fellow media workers. Ends



Information distributed by: Zoe Titus MISA Researcher & Information Officer
Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Private Bag 13386 Windhoek,
Namibia Tel. +264 61 232975, Fax. 248016 e-mail: web:

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Zanu PF Sells Maize On Black Market

Zimbabwe Standard (Harare)

January 12, 2003
Posted to the web January 13, 2003

Cynthia Mahwite

Government's efforts to stamp out the country's black market will not
succeed unless senior Zanu PF and government officials move away from the
parallel market, some disgruntled ruling party activists have said

The activists who declined to be named for security reasons, said it was a
well known fact in Bulawayo that some senior Zanu PF officials were fuelling
the black market by hoarding maize and then selling it at exorbitant prices

They alleged that Matabeleland North governor Obert Mpofu, among other
senior officials, was hoarding mealie meal and reselling it, and therefore
defeating the efforts to stamp out the black market

"The governor is selling mealie-meal from his home at an inflated rate, and
this defeats the entire purpose of banning the millers because he is no
different from them," said the activists

Jabulani Sibanda, the chairman of the Zanu PF Bulawayo province confirmed
that there were problems in the distribution of food and that many of the
needy people were failing to benefit

"I can't comment on individual cases but what I can say is that something is
not correct in the manner in which maize is being distributed. They (Mpofu
and Livingstone Mashengele, the provincial administrator) are the people in
charge of food distribution and it is not for me to say whether or not
anyone is hoarding maize," he said

Approached for a comment, Governor Mpofu who is currently on leave, stated
that he was not at liberty to talk to the press

"Isn't there anyone in the office you can talk to. Can't you respect my
privacy? I do not want to appear in the paper when I am on leave," he said

Mushengele told The Standard that reports about the hoarding of maize by
officials could not have been made to his office since he was one of the

"Naturally, complainants will not come to this office as they will think
they are reporting to the alleged culprits. What surprises me is that we are
not in charge of the distribution of maize so I can't imagine how we could
have diverted maize for hoarding. What I know is that people are failing to
receive maize because of the inadequate deliveries," he said.
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The New Republic

Wait Time
by Peter Beinart

      Post date 01.13.03 | Issue date 01.20.03

South African President Thabo Mbeki has a big idea. And, while it's
virtually unknown in the United States, in South Africa it has attained what
University of the Witwatersrand political scientist Tom Lodge calls "almost
liturgical status." The idea is that, under Mbeki's leadership, South Africa
is ushering in a continentwide "African Renaissance." This renaissance, in
Mbeki's vision, is about genuine modernization, in contrast to the
artificial, failed modernization that characterized the first decades of
African independence. It means assimilating Western technology--not just
importing it, but integrating it with traditional African values so it no
longer feels alien. And, even more importantly, it means assimilating
democratic values--giving substance to the veneer of parliamentary democracy
that has characterized despotic postcolonial African government. Just as
Africans must make the Internet their own, he argues, they must internalize
democracy as well. It is time, Mbeki announced in 1998, to "put behind us
the notions of democracy and human rights as peculiarly Western."

Coming from the democratically elected leader of Africa's most powerful
country, those are important words. They implicitly repudiate the
relativistic nonsense that African dictators and their Western sycophants
have long peddled to justify the continent's tyrannies. And they form the
moral foundation for a kind of grand bargain: Africa's leaders will demand
democracy across the continent, and the United States and Europe will reward
them by substantially boosting foreign aid. The outlines of such a bargain
began taking shape in 2001, when Mbeki helped create something called the
New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD). In June 2002, it was
endorsed by the G-8 economic powers. In July, it won the endorsement of the
African Union. Just as Mbeki hoped, Africa seemed to be embarking on a new
partnership with the world.

There's just one problem: Mbeki himself. His behavior is betraying his
vision. And with his blessing, Zimbabwe is turning his African Renaissance
into an ugly joke.

In the last two years, Robert Mugabe has put his country on the fast lane to
hell. And Mbeki's government has cheered him on. Mugabe's campaign of terror
began in June 2000, after the opposition Movement for Democratic Change came
from nowhere to claim close to half of the contested seats in parliament.
Mugabe responded with a two-pronged strategy aimed at securing victory in
the presidential elections due in 2002. First, he whipped up racial hatred
by sending government goons to chase white farmers off their land. Second,
he began plotting to rig the vote. And Pretoria helpfully facilitated both.
In December, after months of continuous, often violent, land invasions, a
delegation from the Southern African Development Community--of which South
Africa is the most powerful member--lauded Zimbabwe's "improved atmosphere
of calm and stability." Not long afterward, as Lodge notes in Politics in
South Africa: From Mandela to Mbeki, the leader of an African National
Congress (ANC) delegation to Zimbabwe announced that he was "deeply
satisfied" by Mugabe's opposition to allowing foreign monitors to observe
the upcoming presidential vote.

Mugabe eventually relented, allowing select foreign delegations to observe
the campaign. What they found, in the words of University of London
Professor Stephen Chan, author of Robert Mugabe: A Life of Power and
Violence, was "a massive and sustained program of brutalities and
persecutions, of beatings and murders, of coercion and threats." The head of
the Zimbabwe Election Support Network, an alliance of local civic groups,
said, "There is no way these elections could be described as substantially
free and fair." State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said the election
"was won by intimidation and not by votes." But the South African
government's monitoring team disagreed, calling the vote "legitimate."

After the election, things went from bad to worse. By late 2002, Mugabe's
land invasions had replaced many white farmers with corrupt party cronies.
And, even where needy black farmers did get land, the government failed to
give them the seeds, fertilizer, and equipment to produce crops. As a
result, in the last year farm production has fallen 50 percent, and the
country's economy has contracted by more than one-tenth. Zimbabwe, once a
major agricultural exporter, has begun importing grain. But the government
is denying it to people who voted for the opposition. Current estimates
suggest that half the country faces starvation.

In response to these atrocities, the United States, Britain, and the
European Union have imposed sanctions. South Africa, by contrast, has
announced plans to increase economic cooperation with its neighbor to the
north. In October, Mbeki said, "We are not going to act on the Zimbabwe
question with a view to punishment." He followed that up in December by
calling Mugabe's party, Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front
(ZANU-PF), "our ally and fellow liberation movement." And, at the ANC's
national conference that month, ZANU-PF came to say thank you. Emmerson
Mnangagwa, the speaker of Zimbabwe's parliament and a close Mugabe ally,
told cheering ANC delegates, "On numerous occasions, you have sought to
clarify the position in Zimbabwe in response to our detractors." Indeed, to
Mbeki and the ANC's enduring discredit, it has.

The simplistic explanation of Mbeki's behavior is that he is a would-be
Mugabe himself, plotting to impose authoritarian, demagogic rule in South
Africa. The truth is more complicated: Mbeki has actually pursued an
aggressively free-market economic policy, one that has brought him into
conflict with longtime ANC allies in the labor movement and the South
African Communist Party. His refusal to condemn Mugabe, like his earlier
flirtation with Afrocentric AIDS quackery, more likely stems from a fear of
being seen as insufficiently radical by the ANC's militant political base.

But, whatever the reason, Mbeki's pro-Mugabe policy is making a mockery of
his vision for the continent. The European Union, the likely source of much
of the NEPAD aid Mbeki hopes to procure, has already implied that it
considers Zimbabwe a test of African leaders' seriousness about democracy.
If the West does not substantially aid Mbeki's grand compact, left-leaning
critics will undoubtedly attack U.S. and European leaders as cynics who talk
big about Africa's future but don't follow through when it counts. And
that's partially true. But what about the grandiose cynic in Pretoria?
Morgan Tsavangirai, the Zimbabwean opposition leader now potentially facing
the death penalty for treason, recently said, "You know this is the saddest
thing about Africa, all these flowery declarations and all without
commitment. ... The declarations are not worth the paper they're written
on." Looks like the true African Renaissance will have to wait.

Peter Beinart is the editor of TNR.
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CTV Canada

Zimbabwe farmer warns of impending genocide

By Sandra Dimitrakopoulos, CTV News Staff

Zimbabwe was once called the bread basket of Africa. Today, it is a place
where "fear and poverty stalk the land." A place where millions are facing
starvation and the hope of food is fading as white farmers are forced off
their land.

"We have a situation of genocide approaching and no one seems able to stop
it," says Mike Carter, a Zimbabwe farmer who has had to leave his farm after
43 years under a controversial land-redistribution program.

According to the United Nations World Food Programme, a total of 14.4
million people are starving in southern Africa -- a whopping 6.7 million in
Zimbabwe alone. Zimbabwe's government blames a 20-year drought, but it is
clear the controversial land reform program that calls for the
redistribution of land owned by white farmers to blacks -- many of which are
Mugabe supporters -- has played a part.

Carter's land has been divided up into 55 plots and allocated to people from
town. Nothing has been left for him or his workers to live off of and they
won't be planting a harvest this year. As well, the fact that much of the
land is being given away in partial plots could mean the end of commercial

"So this coming season there will be nothing produced by us and it appears
the new settlers will also produce virtually nothing," says Carter, who used
to farm maize, potatoes, beef cattle, tobacco, essential oils, flowers and

Foreign countries have become fed up with Zimbabwe's politics and are
cutting back on their food aid amid reports that Zimbabwe President Robert
Mugabe is denying food to regions supporting the opposition political
parties. Last week, the UN stopped delivering food to one area where
political intimidation had become intolerable.

"The general economic situation is becoming a catastrophe. More businesses
are closing every day and more people queue for food aid, which is only
issued to supporters of the ruling party," says Carter.

He adds that members of Mugabe's ruling party arrive at his farm unannounced
and pull the workers from their houses. "They hold political rallies and
tell them that if they don't vote for Zanu-PF, they won't get any food aid."

A vote against the Zanu-PF could be more dangerous than just withholding
food. Carter says people are afraid to express support for the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change for risk of being arrested, having their
homes burnt or even being beaten up. This fear increased during the Zimbabwe
election in March, which was widely criticized as being rigged in Mugabe's

"Fear and poverty stalk the land," Carter says. "Personal tragedies seem
more prevalent and the AIDS pandemic is more obvious. The stolen election
has left a sense of hopelessness and people are afraid to express

Carter has not had any physical confrontations with members of Mugabe's
party. But some of his friends have, and a few have even been killed. Among
the 400 families with farms that he knows personally, all have had their
land taken from them.

The farmers have been allowed to appeal the acquisitions in court, but the
system has some flaws. Carter won a High Court appeal declaring the
acquisition of his land to be null and void. However, a new law allows
cancelled eviction orders to be reissued, which means Carter and his wife,
Judy, will have to pursue further legal action. In the end, they expect
they'll have to move to town permanently. But they are unsure about leaving
Zimbabwe entirely.

"Yes, we do talk about it. But it is a big thing to pull your roots up when
you are over 50 years old," he says.

It seems no one is exempt from the suffering in Africa. And while the UN
provides much-needed food, Carter says this situation "has exposed the UN as

"It needs to define itself as a democratic organization and then implement
these principles."

It seems many foreign countries are also waiting for the UN and other
organizations to deal with the power politics in the country before
providing more aid. Canada, however, has pledged $6 billion over the next
five years in new and existing aid. Prime Minister Jean Chretien has also
been a heavy supporter of an African initiative that calls for billions in
foreign aid in exchange for good governance, called the New Partnership on
Africa's Development (NEPAD).

Carter suggests one way to affect change would be to ban trading by
Zimbabwean companies identified as being close to the ruling ZANU-PF party
and having members as directors. "This approach should be applied to all
non-democratic organizations."

Despite the current turmoil, Carter does hold out some hope for Zimbabwe.

"It will get better when these racist old men, who are running this country,
are finally replaced by sensible people," he says. "Unhappily they are
determined to hold on as long as possible."
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Zim court orders release of Harare mayor

      January 13 2003 at 01:54PM

Harare - A Zimbabwe court has ordered the release of the opposition mayor of
Harare, arrested at the weekend for allegedly breaching security laws, the
mayor's lawyer said on Monday.

Mayor Elias Mudzuri, who belongs to the main opposition party Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC), and a group of 21 council officials and residents
were arrested on Saturday after police said they had held a political
meeting without first obtaining police clearance, which is required under
the Public Order and Security Act.

"The judge said there was no reasonable suspicion that they committed an
offence," said Mudzuri's lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa.

She could not confirm, however, whether Mudzuri was going to be charged with

      'There was no reasonable suspicion that they committed an offence'
On Sunday, state radio reported that Mudzuri was facing a charge of assault
after he allegedly bit the finger of a policeman who was leading him into a
prison cell.

Members of the MDC have dismissed the charge and claim Mudzuri was
"manhandled" by police.

Mudzuri has said that Saturday's meeting, held in Harare's low-income suburb
of Mabvuku, was called to discuss a severe water shortage and other civic
issues concerning sewage and roads.

It was one of a series of meetings held amid deteriorating relations between
MDC mayors and President Robert Mugabe's ruling Zanu-PF party.

The arrests came just days after the government announced that governors
would be appointed to oversee Harare and Bulawayo, the second largest city
in Zimbabwe. Both cities have MDC mayors.

The government dismissed charges by the MDC that the move to appoint
governors was designed to bypass democratically-elected opposition mayors,
and has argued that all other provinces in the southern African country have

Mudzuri last week said government interference was making his job
"impossible". Mugabe's government has accused the Harare mayor of flouting
tender procedures and bungling city affairs management.

Last week a planned demonstration by the opposition in solidarity with the
mayor failed to get off the ground due to a heavy police presence. -
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Mugabe exit plan 'wishful thinking'
Monday, 13 January, 2003, 12:55 GMT
Robert Mugabe
Mr Mugabe has governed since independence
Reports that senior officials are making plans for President Robert Mugabe's departure have been denied by Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF party.

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai had told the BBC he had been approached with an offer of talks from two of the most powerful figures in the ruling Zanu-PF party.

He said, Parliamentary speaker Emmerson Mnangagwa and General Vitalis Zvinavashe, head of the armed forces, had wanted to discuss the possibility of forming a power-sharing government.

I was approached just before Christmas about possible negotiations

Morgan Tsvangirai,
Opposition leader
But Zanu-PF's spokesman Nathan Shamuyarira dismissed the alleged plans for Mr Mugabe's departure - also published in Britain's Times newspaper - as "wishful thinking".

"The British would like to see that happening but it is not going to happen," he told a news conference.

The BBC southern Africa correspondent Barnaby Phillips says talks would be consistent with proposals put forward by African negotiators working to resolve the crisis in Zimbabwe.


Mr Tsvangirai, the leader of the Movement for Democratic Change, told the BBC's The World Today programme that he would be willing to consider an amnesty for Mr Mugabe as part of any possible deal.

But he said the deal would have to involve Mr Mugabe's stepping down, an "end of lawlessness", and free and fair elections.

He said his party was willing to negotiate with the government "provided Mr Mugabe stops the violence [against opposition supporters], stops politicising food distribution and returns the country to political normality".

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai
Mr Tsvangirai demands free and fair elections
Although his party has in the past called for Mr Mugabe to be prosecuted for alleged human rights abuses, Mr Tsvangirai said the MDC would be willing to consider granting him immunity as part of any deal.

"The people have to decide," he said.

Peter Longworth, a former British High Commissioner in Zimbabwe, told the BBC he found Mr Tsvangirai's claims "very credible".

He described Mr Mnangagwa and General Zvinavashe as "people who can deliver" a deal.


Mr Tsvangirai said the offer might be related to a power struggle within the ruling party.

"The issue of succession [to Mr Mugabe] has not been resolved within Zanu-PF," he said.

Zimbabwean women
Zimbabweans are facing famine
Zimbabwe's famine and economic crisis are worsening by the day.

The crisis was sparked by Mr Mugabe's programme of land seizures, and has been compounded by poor rainfall.

Previous internationally-backed plans for Mr Mugabe to go quietly have been vehemently rejected by the Zimbabwean president himself.

But our correspondent says it is likely he is aware of the alleged proposal.

The 78-year-old leader, who was re-elected in March 2002, is due back in the country on Monday after a two-week holiday in Thailand.

Talks between the MDC and Zanu-PF, brokered by Nigeria and South Africa, broke down in May last year after the opposition launched a legal challenge to President Mugabe's election victory alleging fraud.

Mr Mugabe has said he will only step down when his land reform programme has been completed.

From an original 4,000 white farmers, only some 600 now remain on their land.

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Business Day

No exit plan for Mugabe, says SA


The South African government said today it had no prior knowledge of a plan
in terms of which Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe would resign and be
replaced by a coalition government.
Reacting to news that Zimbabwe's opposition party denied being involved in
the plan, foreign affairs spokesman Ronnie Mamoepa said the South African
government stood by its earlier statement that it was "not at all aware" of
the reported offer.

"We categorically state that South Africa is not involved in the reported
Zimbabwe deal. We are not aware of the deal at all," Mamoepa said.

The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said on Monday that media reports
that suggested it was party to an exit package for Mugabe were false.

"The MDC position is that talks that were facilitated by South  African and
Nigerian presidents Thabo Mbeki and Olesagun Obasanjo collapsed at the
behest of Zanu(PF). Since then the party's national council decided that
talks with Zanu (PF) were closed. No further such negotiations can ever take
place without a fresh mandate from the party's national council," said the
MDC's spokesman Paul Themba Nyathi.

AFP reports that Zanu (PF) dismissed as "wishful thinking and mischief"
media reports that senior party officials were hatching the exit plan for
Robert Mugabe.

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Mugabe's Possible Retirement is the Talk of Zimbabwe
Peta Thornycroft
13 Jan 2003, 16:51 UTC

Speculation about whether Robert Mugabe plans to resign as president of
Zimbabwe is dominating conversations in Harare.

A man in a parking lot near an international hotel was furious when he could
not find a copy of any of three dailies normally available at mid-morning.
He said he wanted to read the newspapers to learn more about what everyone
was discussing: the rumor Mr. Mugabe was going to quit.

A beggar at a traffic light ambled over, asking not for money for food, but
whether it was true that the president was going. Telephones of foreign
journalists rang incessantly with Zimbabweans asking if it was true.

What is true is that Colonel Lionel Dyke, a former soldier who served with
both the Rhodesian and Zimbabwean armies, met with the leader of the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change, Morgan Tsvangirai, late last

The Associated Press said Sunday that the mediator claimed he was sent by
Parliament Speaker Emmerson Mnangagw and army chief General Vitalis
Zvinavashe to discuss a way out of Zimbabwe's deepening crisis.

Mr. Tsvangirai says they discussed a scenario in which Mr. Mugabe would
retire, and the possibility of a transitional government leading to new
presidential elections.

The question of amnesty for Mr. Mugabe's alleged human rights violations
during nearly 23 years in power was also discussed. Mr. Tsvangirai said he
believed that for Zimbabwe to recover, amnesty for Mr. Mugabe, to ease his
retirement, would be necessary.

But Mr Tsvangirai said nothing more came from that single meeting. He said
he thought so little of it, because there had been several similar ones in
the past, that he did not fully brief his colleagues.

Mr. Mnangagw told public radio in South Africa that the report was all lies.
Mr Mugabe, due back from holiday any day, has not issued a statement.

Most political analysts in Harrare say the issue at stake is whether the
ruling ZANU-PF believes the economy will continue to deteriorate without any
possibility of international rescue until Mr. Mugabe leaves office or his
powers are reduced.

Meanwhile the opposition mayor of Harare, Elias Mudzuri, was released from
prison, after a judge said he had been wrongfully arrested Saturday while
making a speech. The judge said there would be no charges against him.

Analysts say Mr. Mudzuri's arrest shows that while the ruling elite may be
talking about Mr. Mugabe's possible retirement among themselves, they are
determined as ever to ensure that ZANU-PF remains firmly in control.
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The Straits Times



      Yet Libya is set to head UN Human Rights Commission
      By Betsy Pisik

      NEW YORK - Libya is poised to take over the UN Human Rights Commission
(HRC) next week, much to the chagrin of the United States which is returning
to the once-prestigious group after an embarrassing one-year absence.

      Libya is the official candidate of the African group and is to be
endorsed by the Geneva-based HRC next Monday.

      'For Libya to get such an important position is appalling,' said US
envoy Sichan Siv, who handles human-rights issues at the United Nations.

      'Libya has a very poor human-rights record and it is wrong...for them
to chair the committee.'

      The chairmanship, like many key UN positions, rotates among the
regional groups. If African nations agree to endorse Libya this year, there
is nothing other governments can do.

      Human-rights groups and Western diplomats have been trying
unsuccessfully to pressure more moderate African governments to switch their
choice to a less repressive regime. After a similar effort in 2000,
Mauritius edged out Sudan for a seat on the UN Security Council.

      In a largely symbolic show of disapproval, Washington will to demand a
roll-call vote on Monday so that it and other governments can publicly
distance themselves from the Libyan chair.

      US diplomats posted to HRC nations were instructed by the State
Department last week to lobby governments to join the US-led dissent.

      Mr Siv said this precedent-setting gesture would undermine Libya's
chairmanship and 'send a message' to Asia, which will select next year's HRC

      'Asia can't promote North Korea or Iran, if for some reason they
wanted to,' he said.

      Rights advocates say Libya's ascension to the chairmanship is the most
dramatic blow to the HRC, whose membership has in recent years swelled with
governments better known as rights abusers than defenders.

      Among the 2003 HRC members with questionable rights records are
Algeria, Chad, Burkina Faso, China, Cuba, the Democratic Republic of Congo,
Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe.

      'The greatest challenge for the HRC is going to be overcoming the
tendencies of thugs to flock to it,' said Mr Ken Roth, executive director of
Human Rights Watch.

      The more progressive governments in the developing world have sought
out development committees by which they can influence the direction of
donations and technical assistance. The rogue regimes, by comparison, have
begun to seek out the human-rights organs instead of ignoring them.

      The HRC is the cornerstone of the UN human-rights effort, an
independent body that monitors government behaviour and the treatment of
minorities and prisoners.

      It sends rapporteurs to countries to probe abuses including torture,
summary executions, judicial interference and religious persecution.

      In recent years, Washington has tried in vain to win high-profile
condemnations of Cuba and China. Both nations sit on the HRC and have
increasingly found sympathy and protection from its members.

      As chairman, Libya will have the power to shape and schedule debates
but will not control the commission's agenda.

      Libya, ruled with an iron hand by Muammar Gaddafi since 1969,
routinely makes the lists of human-rights abusers. The government quashes
free speech and jails political opponents, often subjecting them to torture.
There are no independent human-rights groups, and the press is strictly

      Two years ago, a special Scottish court found one of two accused
Libyan intelligence agents guilty of planting the bomb on the Pan Am flight
that crashed over Lockerbie. A UN arms and air embargo imposed after the
1988 bombing has since been suspended.

      It is widely assumed that Libya, a generous underwriter of the newly
created African Union, sought the HRC chair to raise its influence and
profile on the continent.

      The HRC is based in Geneva and meets in the same complex as the UN
High Commissioner for Human Rights, which is part of the UN Secretariat. But
the UN office has no control over which nations seek to join the 53-member
committee or how they behave once they get there.

      'But that's a too-fine distinction for most people,' acknowledged one
senior UN official. 'What kind of credibility are we going to have in the
human-rights sector when people can point at Libya in the chairman's seat?'

      Human Rights Watch and affiliated groups have proposed minimum
requirements for HRC membership. To be eligible, governments should ratify
all or most of the main human-rights treaties, issue a standing invitation
to the HRC's rapporteurs and not have been condemned by the HRC in the
recent past, they said.
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Harare Demands War Compensation

Sunday Times (Johannesburg)

January 12, 2003
Posted to the web January 12, 2003

Sunday Times Foreign Desk

IN A move that could drive a diplomatic wedge between the Democratic
Republic of Congo and Zimbabwe, Harare is demanding $1.8-billion (about
R15.3-billion) compensation for its involvement in the war in Congo.

Zimbabwe needs the money to shore up its depleted foreign currency reserves
and pay for fuel and other critical imports. It initially claimed it would
not demand payment for helping Kinshasa fight Rwandan and Ugandan-backed
rebels, but now wants Congo to pay it back in US dollars the Z100-billion it
has sunk into the four-year Great Lakes conflict.

The demand is said to have come up during a series of meetings between
Congolese and Zimbabwean officials in December. The meetings were aimed at
formalising shady business deals made during the war.

The foreign currency crisis has resulted in Zimbabwe being unable to pay for
fuel imports from Libya and Kuwait.

A spokesman for Congo's embassy in Harare said he would clarify the
compensation issue with Kinshasa because he was not aware that his country
was supposed to pay Zimbabwe for its war effort.
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Farm inspections that weren't

Sizwe samaYende

Musina - Farm inspections by South Africa and Zimbabwe's labour ministers
flopped on Friday when they were met by only three farm labourers dressed in
suits and ties on one farm, and no workers on the other.

Farm workers' rights activists said Labour Minister Membathisi Mdladlana and
his Zimbabwean counterpart July Moyo wasted their time as they were unable
to get a proper picture of the abuse farm workers suffered.

"It was pure window dressing," said Nkuzi Development Association
fieldworker Shirhami Shirinda.

"Where have you seen a farm worker working in a suit and tie. You could see
the clothes were new and bought to deceive the ministers. One was even
looking very uncomfortable in a pair of new shoes."

While the ministers met with the three suited labourers at Rudi Vos farm,
they found no workers at Maswiri Boerdery, one of the province's biggest
citrus and tomato farms.

Shirinda said: "Their visit achieved nothing. They should have spoken to
workers as they're the ones suffering."

The farms are near the Zimbabwean border and the visits, according to labour
spokespeople, were meant to give the ministers insight into the extent of
Zimbabwean labour in South Africa and compliance by the Soutpansberg region
farmers to labour legislation.

National labour spokesperson Snuki Zikalala concurred that the visit was a
failure and said: "We were not satisfied. We'll still go [back] to those
farms and see what is happening."

The ministers did, however, see the leakiness of the Beit Bridge border post
when their police escorts nabbed three illegal Zimbabwean teenagers.

Memorandum of understanding

Meanwhile, a small group of unemployed farm labourers picketed during the
ministers' visit and demanded that South Africans get first option for jobs.

Nkuzi organised the picket and the workers also demanded that Mdladlana
ensure the minimum wage for farm workers was introduced at the beginning of

Mdladlana and Moyo have agreed to sign a memorandum of understanding before
the end of July this year, to address critical issues like the plight of
former Zimbabwean migrant mine workers, Zimbabwean farm workers in Limpopo
and the revival of the joint task force on chrysotile asbestos.

According to South Africa's labour department, there are about 10 000
illegal and legal Zimbabweans employed on Limpopo farms.

The departments of labour and home affairs have been trying to phase out
illegal Zimbabwean farm workers in the province for about four years. -
African Eye News Service
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The Herald

MDC on brink of collapse: Coltart

Political Reporter Lovemore Mataire
MDC secretary for legal affairs Mr David Coltart has admitted that his party
is on the brink of collapse after losing last year's presidential election.

Mr Coltart said disillusioned supporters were leaving the party en masse as
a result of failed expectations.

In an 18-page document leaked to the pirate SW Radio Africa station, Mr
Coltart said the public profile of the MDC leadership has gone down as a
result of the defeat.

Contacted yesterday, Mr Coltart confirmed that he was the author of the
document, but said the views expressed in the damning report were his
personal views and not the general thinking in the party.

The document is titled "The Emperor Without His Clothes - New Year Message
From David Coltart".

"When the presidential election was stolen in March it was inevitable that
those not prepared for the long haul would lose heart and that there would
be some fraying at the edges of the MDC's support. That has certainly

"In other words we knew that many who supported the party in the run-up to
the March election would fall away as a result of weariness, failed
expectations or through the realisation that the bandwagon was not leaving.
And that has happened."

Mr Coltart said in the document another problem besetting the opposition
party is the fact that most of its financial donors have withdrawn their
support after investing heavily in the party.

The shortage of funds has made it difficult for the MDC to publish pamphlets
and pay people for vigorous campaigns throughout the country, he said.

"Furthermore, MDC found itself cash strapped after the election having
poured all its resources into that endeavour. In short, the MDC has not had
the resources to publish pamphlets and to pay for vigorous campaigns
throughout the country," he said.

He alleged that the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) has been used to
silence MDC leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai and that the Political Parties
Finance Act was preventing the MDC from being funded effectively.

"The truth is that the MDC has been living from hand to mouth financially
since the election - virtually all our resources were thrown into the
campaign and the coffers were virtually empty by April. Since then we have
spent a fortune in legal fees defending members who have borne the brunt of
politically motivated arrests and the selective application of the law by
the regime. In other words not only have we had to contend with the State
funds being used against us but also we have had to spend our limited
resources on defending our position rather than on positive work such as
building our structures and advertising our policies."

He said the MDC leadership has been under attack from the Press for being
cowardly following its failure to wage a violent struggle against the

He singled out a report by a BBC reporter, Fergal Keane, which said the MDC
was lacking in direction and unity in the aftermath of the presidential

Mr Coltart challenged the MDC leadership to take the allegations seriously
and that any problems should be promptly addressed.

"No political party worth its salt would take these allegations lightly and
indeed it is in the interests of all Zimbabweans committed to democracy to
tackle these concerns head on."

However, Mr Coltart said that much of the criticism leveled against the MDC
leadership was coming from armchair critics sitting safely in London or Cape

He said some of the criticism was coming from those who desire mass action,
those who believe that demonstrations in the streets are the only way to
deal with the Zanu-PF regime.

"It is in this context that some have accused the MDC of being
directionless," he said.

While admitting that mass action was inevitable, Mr Coltart said the MDC was
exploring other ways that could enable it to assume power. These ways
include the current legal action to over-turn the presidential election
result, the resumption of inter-party talks, international lobbying and
party restructuring.

"MDC is absolutely committed to non-violent and lawful means of bringing
about change. This commitment does not preclude mass action as there are
many types of mass action that require detailed and careful preparation and
planning and must be launched at the appropriate times.

"We understand the frustrations of the people but we also know that if the
mass action goes wrong we will be held responsible for any resultant loss of
life," he said.

He commended the recent executive reshuffle by Mr Tsvangirai especially the
dismissal of former Highfield MP, Mr Munyaradzi Gwisai, and the sidelining
of the so-called Young Turks.

Mr Coltart justifies the reshuffle on presumptuous assertions that the
Central Intelligence Organisation had secretly recruited some members of the

He, however, said that although he was himself a target of suspicion from Mr
Tsvangirai and MDC vice president Mr Gibson Sibanda, he now has a better
relationship with the two.

He admits that all is not well in the MDC as there is inherent mistrust
among even the top leadership.

"Speaking personally my relationship with Morgan Tsvangirai and Gibson
Sibanda has never been better. I am sure that both of them viewed me with
some skepticism in the past as they would have viewed others in the MDC.
Were we just along for a ride-simply on the bandwagon or abroad with other
agendas?" Mr Coltart queries.

Playing the tribal card and substantiating the fact the opposition party was
behind a document which was being distributed in the country and in some
Western nations about the Government's plan to eliminate Ndebeles, Mr
Coltart laments the fact the current Cabinet only has three Ndebeles.

He alleges that the appointment of the new Cabinet in August last year
provided proof of President Mugabe's distrust of people around him as he
only elected three Ndebele ministers out of the 27.

Mr Coltart took a swipe at white commercial farmers and the business
community for not taking a hard stance against the Government.

"Sadly, one of the fundamental errors of judgment made by the business
community, the CFU and even regional and world leaders regarding Mugabe is
that they have not appreciated just how far he was prepared to go in his
quest to hold on to power."

He attacked President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa for supporting the

He, however, said on his part, he has managed to try and lobby international
support for the MDC and the isolation of the Zimbabwean Government.

He boasts of having met United Nations secretary general, Mr Koffi Annan and
United States Secretary of State, Mr Collin Powel in Washington last year in
the company of MDC shadow foreign affairs minister, Mr Moses Mzila Ndlovu to
coerce sympathy for the MDC.

He said he also held talks with Canadian Foreign Minister Mr Bill Graham in

"In other words the key players in the international community are aware of
the gravity of the situation and will act to promote democracy. I have heard
rumours circulating recently that the United States of America will agree to
a quick fix compromise, solution. Nothing could be further from the truth."

He also said that he hosted, at his home, Mr Raila Odinga, now a cabinet
minister in the new Kenyan government led by Mr Mwai Kibaki.

"Several years ago when he had dinner in my home I was impressed by his
commitment to promote democracy throughout Africa. I have no doubt that he
will be a very useful ally in Africa."

Contacted for comment, MDC spokesman Mr Paul Themba Nyathi prophesied
ignorance about the document.

"But you should take my word because I am the spokesperson of the party.
Coltart is an honest clear man who does not fear to express his mind but his
views are personal. The document has nothing to do with party policy," said
Mr Nyathi.

He dismissed Mr Coltart's assertions that the party was cash strapped saying
that the party had enough funds to carry out all its activities.
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Mail and Guardian

Secret deal for Mugabe to quit

      13 January 2003 07:15

Mediators acting for top government officials have floated the idea that
President Robert Mugabe would retire in return for immunity from
prosecution, Zimbabwe's opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, disclosed last

Tsvangirai said he had talked with independent mediators on behalf of the
house speaker, Emmerson Mnangagwa, and armed forces chief of staff, General
Vitalis Zvinavashe. "They wanted my assurance that if Mugabe retired, [the
Movement for Democratic Change, Zimbabwe's opposition party] would take part
in a transition towards new democratic elections."

Gen Zvinavashe and Mnangagwa, seen as Mugabe's heir apparent, are two of the
most powerful ruling Zanu-PF politicians.

Tsvangirai said the approach was made because they said they realise Mugabe
"is the main stumbling block".

"They said Mugabe must step down before we can find solutions to our
economic decline and the hunger, among many other problems."

Tsvangirai named retired Zimbabwean army Colonel Lionel Dyke, a close
associate of both men, as a mediator.

The mediators said the two Zanu-PF leaders would secure Mugabe's retirement
to regain some international legitimacy for the country and get renewed aid
and investment.

Tsvangirai thought that Mnangagwa and Gen Zvinavashe had tried to set up
talks because there is no clear Mugabe successor. "Clearly, the succession
issue has not been concluded and they were trying to position themselves."

Despite the apparent promise that Mugabe would step down, the opposition
leader turned down the mediators' suggestions.

"I rejected that exploratory approach because we in Zimbabwe need open,
transparent discussions to lead us back to democracy. We cannot accept
pre-conditions set up in secret deals," he said.

Tsvangirai's MDC held direct talks with Zanu-PF last year. The talks quickly
broke down but Tsvangirai said he thought there was a good chance for their
renewal. Tsvangirai said talks could determine how Mugabe would step down
and the establishment of a transitional coalition government leading to free
and fair elections.

Issues to be considered include whether or not Mugabe would be granted
immunity from prosecution for alleged human rights abuses and whether he
would be exiled. Tsvangirai has stated many times that any power-sharing
government would only be temporary.

Zanu-PF party officials were unavailable for comment. There has been no
response from Mugabe himself, who was scheduled to return to office today
after a holiday.

Britain's shadow foreign secretary, Michael Ancram, said: "Anything that
shows any movement in relation to ending Mugabe's evil regime must be
greeted with cautious welcome."

Ancram said he wanted to know more about the suggested deal, particularly
those concerning an end to the persecution of the Matabele, the displaced
black farm workers, and the illegal land grabs.

"I obviously will wish to consult with opposition members in Zimbabwe before
deciding whether this offer is genuine or cosmetic."

Prof Paul Wilkinson, an international relations expert from St Andrews
University, said such a deal would be "extraordinary" if it happened.

But to be successful, he said, the move would need wider support, preferably
from Mugabe himself, or at least senior ministers and the ruling Zanu-PF
party machine. - Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2001
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The Times - letters

            Famine in Zimbabwe
            From Mr Mark Everest

            Sir, I have just watched Channel 4's disturbing programme Mugabe
's Secret Famine, with its harrowing scenes of people in Zimbabwe feeding
their children slices of wood in order to ward off hunger pains.
            I find it indefensible that our Government plans to support
President Bush's intentions to drop bombs on Iraq, which will undoubtedly
cause the deaths of children and other innocents, whilst the plight of
people being starved of food deliberately by Mugabe's corrupt regime is

            It seems to me to be inconsistent that our country is all too
ready to take action against Saddam Hussein because he might have weapons of
mass destruction, but will do nothing about Robert Mugabe who is already
visibly using his weapon of mass destruction - the total control of the
distribution of food, or, to be more precise, the prevention of its
distribution to his political opponents and their dependants.

            The Government should direct the Royal Air Force to drop food
parcels on Zimbabwe's hungry rather than bombs on Iraq's innocent.

            Yours truly,
            MARK EVEREST,
            2 Bodiam Drive,
            St Leonards on Sea,
            East Sussex TN38 9TW.
            January 12.
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Mugabe retirement reports cause furor in Zimbabwe


HARARE, Zimbabwe, Jan. 13 - Ruling party and opposition officials on Monday
denied ever considering a deal to end Zimbabwe's political crisis by having
President Robert Mugabe retire and hand authority to a new power-sharing

       Independent mediators and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai said
Sunday that under the deal, Mugabe would agree to step down and his
opponents were ready to vote with the ruling party for a constitutional
amendment creating a caretaker government.
       But ruling party representatives said to be behind the proposal and
other opposition leaders said Monday that they were not involved in any such
       Gen. Vitalis Zvinavashe, the commander of the armed forces, told
state radio that reports of the deal were ''not worth commenting on.''
       Zvinavashe, who had been named by mediators as one of the two
powerful ruling party figures promising to deliver Mugabe's retirement,
dismissed the idea as ''the work of enemies bent on destroying Zimbabwe.''
       Opposition spokesman Paul Themba Nyathi also said the Movement for
Democratic Change was not involved in negotiating an ''exit package'' for
       Mugabe, 78, who led the nation to independence in 1980, won a new
six-year term in March elections despite widespread accusations of human
rights abuses. Independent observers said the elections were deeply flawed
and the opposition, along with Britain, the European Union and the United
States, say the voting was rigged and influenced by violence and
       Ruling party Information Secretary Nathan Shamuyarira also dismissed
reports of Mugabe's potential retirement, callng it ''a mixture of wishful
thinking and mischief.''
       Speaking to reporters at the headquarters of the ruling Zanu-PF party
in Harare, Shamuyarira said Parliament speaker Emmerson Mnangagwa, a party
official named by the mediators along with Zvinavashe, knew nothing about
the plan.
       Opposition talks with the ruling party, which were brokered by
Nigeria and South Africa, broke down last year and the party's national
council, its top policy making body, declared contacts closed, Nyathi said
in a statement.
       ''No further negotiations can take place without a fresh mandate from
the party's national council,'' Nyathi said.
       Tsvangirai, however, claimed that the ''clandestine'' offer was
brought to him by unnamed mediators.
       He said his party could accept immunity for Mugabe and be prepared to
vote for a constitutional amendment allowing for a transitional government
to prepare for fresh elections in two years.
       Under the constitution, new elections must be held within 90 days of
the president leaving office.
       Tsvangirai said he turned down initial overtures by mediators late
last year, but he changed his mind because he believed there was a case for
Zimbabweans to ''forget the past and move forward.''
       However, he said he didn't fully trust the offer and wanted it
discussed openly.
       ''The pot is boiling. There is a lot of agitation and debate in the
country. I am hopeful it may be more indicative of a solution at hand than
at any other time,'' he said.
       Tsvangirai appeared not to have taken the proposal to his colleagues,
which could promote divisions in the opposition leadership.
       Analysts said some opposition officials have demanded a maximum of
six months transitional rule before elections and insist that Mugabe face
trial for alleged misrule and human rights abuses under his leadership.
       Mugabe's whereabouts were unclear Monday. There was no official word
on his scheduled return from a two week vacation abroad.
       During the past three years, Mugabe's government has seized most of
Zimbabwe's thousands of white-owned commercial farms, calling it a justified
struggle by landless blacks to correct colonial era injustices that left
4,000 whites with one-third of the farm land in the former British colony.
       Political chaos and the government's isolation internationally has
caused shortages of hard currency and essential imports.
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Daily Telegraph

Harare match anger at Lord's

Protesters including Peter Tatchell, the gay rights activist, confronted
cricket officials yesterday about the forthcoming England match in Zimbabwe.

The England and Wales Cricket Board will decide today on the World Cup
fixture in Harare on Feb 13. Tatchell and seven other people, including
Zimbabwean refugees, entered offices at Lord's Cricket Ground after posing
as a university sports club.
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EastDay - China

Chinese state councilor meets Zimbabwean minister

The Chinese government greatly values its friendship and cooperation with
Zimbabwe and will work together with it to further advance bilateral
relations in the new century, says State Councilor Luo Gan.

Luo made the remark in Beijing Monday at a meeting with Patrick Chinamasa,
Zimbabwean minister of justice, legal and parliamentary affairs.

Luo said the friendship and cooperation between China and Zimbabwe went back
a long time and had withstood the test of international volatile changes.

Since the two countries forged diplomatic ties more than 20 years ago, their
relationship had progressed smoothly with frequent high-level exchanges and
remarkable results in cooperation in politics, economics, culture, education
and health work, said Luo. China was well pleased with this, he added.

He said he was convinced that with joint efforts from both sides, bilateral
friendship and cooperation based on mutual respect, equality and mutual
benefits would achieve greater heights.

Boosting legal and judicial exchanges followed the common aspirations of the
two governments and their peoples, he noted. He believed this visit would
not only promote ties between the two ministries but also help further the
growth of bilateral relations.

Chinamasa, who is on his first visit to China as guest of the Chinese
Ministry of Justice, cited the long history of bilateral friendship and
cooperation between both countries and their identical or similar views on
many major international and regional issues.

The Zimbabwean government adhered to a one-China policy, he said, and his
country would further strengthen bilateral cooperation in various fields.

Luo voiced his appreciation for Zimbabwe's one-China policy.
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