|The ZIMBABWE Situation||Our
thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe |
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.
A weekend as Mugabe's guests
I wouldn’t recommend a weekend at the Harare Central Hotel if you are
proposing to visit Zimbabwe. Some of the staff can be over-attentive and the
room service leaves a lot to be desired. Mosquitoes nibbled at our bare feet
all night while cockroaches the size of rats scuttled about. The toilets?
Don’t even mention the toilets. In case you haven’t gathered, Harare Central
is the main police station in Zimbabwe’s capital, replete with holding cells
for the detention of the increasing numbers of accused persons passing
through the country’s creaking criminal justice system. Political offenders
such as myself and two Zimbabwe Independent staff members, news editor
Vincent Kahiya and chief reporter Dumisani Muleya, were guests there last
weekend for two days and two long nights in the company of carjackers,
fraudsters and a prominent Zanu PF member of Parliament who is accused of
obstructing the course of justice. We were charged with criminal defamation
for reporting that President Robert Mugabe commandeered an Air Zimbabwe
plane for his recent holiday in the Far East.
It is not disputed that Mugabe used the plane to ferry him
Indonesia and Singapore. But the state, or more to the point Information
Minister Jonathan Moyo, took great exception to the word "commandeer". "This
is not the first time the paper had written lies that are blasphemous and
disrespectful to the president," he fulminated. Within hours of Moyo’s
threat that the editor and the two writers of the report would be made to
account for what he called their "fictional story", detectives arrived at my
home saying they wanted to interview me. At the same time they picked up my
two colleagues. We were not interviewed but quickly consigned to the holding
cells. For those detained at Harare Central, the removal of shoes and
watches may be the worst part of their ordeal - exposed to unhygienic floors
and never knowing what time it is. Others may cite the absence of privacy in
crowded cells - some with up to 30 people crammed in a confined space. But
for me the chief terror was the long nights.
sleepless on those cold concrete floors, I recalled previous visits to
what used to be Salisbury Central. My first was in 1970 when I was arrested
for leading a student demonstration against the Smith regime. We were made
to sit on the lawns that form a quadrangle between the maze of colonial-era
offices. The lawns and flowerbeds are still well-tended. But many of the
offices, like those of the Law and Order section, which is the main
instrument of Mugabe’s crackdown on civil society, lie underground, are
poorly lit and could do with a lick of paint. Seventies vintage typewriters
are still very much in use. We were asked by the magistrate at our Monday
hearing if we had any complaints against the police. We had none. It was not
their decision to detain us over a weekend. But we were as mad as hell with
Moyo for putting us through this ordeal, separated from our families and
loved ones who didn’t know when they would see us again. At the same time we
understood perfectly well this is the price journalists pay to practise
their profession in Zimbabwe today.
It appeared the main purpose of our interrogation was to
identities of our sources at Air Zimbabwe. Moyo had spoken of "criminal
collusion" between airline officials and reporters at our paper. But we
explained that just as the police do not disclose the names of sources in
their investigations, we do not reveal ours. Would Air Zimbabwe lie about
the arrangements for Mugabe’s flight, we were asked? Quite possibly, we
replied. It lied when it said the reduction of its fleet from 18 planes at
independence in 1980 to five today - with only three operational - did not
represent a depletion of any sort and that it had enough aircraft to service
Criminal defamation is a relic of empire, part of
English common law that
acquired a Roman-Dutch personality en route from South Africa. It was
wielded by colonial governments to deal with nationalist leaders and critics
in the press. In recent years it has been struck down by courts in other
jurisdictions as incompatible with democratic practice. Ghana and Sri Lanka
are the most recent countries to have revoked it. But we are not surprised
to see it still lurking in the armoury of Zimbabwe’s vindictive executive.
In all our statements after our release we have made it clear that this case
is not about Mugabe’s reputation. It is about public accountability. Mugabe
is the country’s most senior public official. Air Zimbabwe is a publicly
owned airline. Both are accountable to Zimbabweans for the management of
public funds. It is the right and duty of newspapers to submit political
leaders to scrutiny. That we shall go on doing. Judging by the warmth of the
reception we received after our release, and given growing anger with Mugabe
’s incorrigible misrule, Zimbabweans clearly expect no less from us.
Iden Wetherell, Vincent Kahiya and Dumisani Muleya are out
on bail. Two more
Zimbabwe Independent employees were arrested on Wednesday in connection with
How could we have been so blind?
OPINION: We have, nearly all of us, asked
ourselves this question in
the past three years. How could we have
failed for so long to see that the mess we are in is not an
aberration, but a natural development of the ZANU way from the start? How
did we let them fool us for so long?
We did hear rumours of corruption early on, but we hoped that, if
there was any, it would soon be overcome.
We were disturbed when news of the Nhari rebellion and the killings
after it came to us, but hoped the stories were exaggerated - after all, it
might be Ian Smith's propaganda.
We refused to believe the evidence of the commission of international
jurists on Herbert Chitepo's death. If we heard about it, it was from
reports in Smith's newspapers and we knew we couldn't trust them.
When ZANU PF talked about a one-party state and their determination
never to give up power once they had won it, those of us who wanted a
socialist Zimbabwe accepted, maybe reluctantly, that we could never give
power back to anyone who would undo the reforms we hoped to see.
When ZANU PF talked about socialism, we should have been able to see
they didn't have much understanding of it, so how could they be committed to
something they didn't understand?
After independence, when things, big or small, went wrong, for how
long did we try to persuade ourselves that at least ‘He didn't know about
When Smith's state of emergency was kept in force until 1990, we made
excuses. Big changes were needed, and parliamentary methods are slow.
One could say that it would be easier to make those changes by
executive decree. The trouble was that those changes were not made.
Only a little land was given to landless people and a lot of that was
very poor land: bush areas of
former State land in agricultural regions 3 and 4.
Power was never given to the people. It was concentrated in the party.
Even those genuine war
veterans who used their demobilisation pay to buy farms or businesses
and run them as co-operatives met with obstruction at every step from
officials of the ministry that was supposed to help co-operatives.
Those officials could have been removed, or the rules they enforced
could have been changed, but nothing happened.
When Gukurahundi was let loose in Matabeleland, we tried to believe
the reports that leaked out were exaggerated, or that ‘surely he didn't
When the disabled comrades in the Ruwa rehabilitation centre were
discontented with conditions there, the director of the centre said they
could write to the Prime Minister.
They did, and the army promptly came to remove them. I, for one, still
tried to believe that ‘surely he didn't know?'
Then, in the 1985 elections, the two Gokwe constituencies returned
identical figures, Sabina Mugabe was elected with 157 percent of the
electorate in her constituency voting. ‘Surely he didn't know?' Chen
Chimutengwende, who everyone who had passed through London in the 70s knew
as we all know him now, was elected (with 128 percent of his constituents
He must have known.
Then there was the post-election violence . . . And pardons. Surely he
knew what he was doing?
And so to Willowgate. When convicted offenders were pardoned and some
even retained their place in the party, he clearly did know.
And so, through the 1990s, it became more difficult to believe that
‘surely he didn't know?' as corruption flourished and after every election
opposition candidates continued to be beaten, burned out of their homes and
their assailants were pardoned.
Could anyone still say that ‘surely he didn't know?'
When every sign of protest from university students, who, in any
country, are always the first to protest, was suppressed violently, with a
few students dying, he announced that they had to be made to accept
Then we all knew that he did know what was going on.
And yet many of us hoped when the referendum results were announced
that we would now see change. Many still hoped the parliamentary elections
would bring change. We saw what happened and how many high-up people openly
supported the violence and the denying of food to hungry people who didn't
vote ‘the right way'.
The gloves and the masks were off. We knew what was happening and who
A member of the Electoral Supervisory Commission claimed not to know
about the shootings, other violence, unlawful campaigning outside polling
stations and barring of voters from voting that marked the Kadoma
by-election last year.
When questioned about it, that commissioner only asked where the story
was published. Can that person honestly not know what is going on?
Most of us were not that deliberately blind, but we must share the
At this point I must warn our democratic opposition.
We, the voters who elected you, will judge you more harshly than we
did ZANU PF. This isn't because we don't want to see you govern, but because
we do want to see you put things right and we have learned by hard
experience that we must watch our leaders carefully, very carefully and warn
them immediately we see them deviating from the ideals they proclaimed
before they were elected.
We were blind and deaf for too long. We made too many excuses for what
was inexcusable, but we are determined not to make the same mistake again.
You openly proclaim that you will respect our rights, something that
ZANU PF was careful not to do. We will hold you to that promise.
Don't be surprised if we protest at the first sign that you are
getting absent-minded about our rights.
We respect your courageous stand so far and will do all we can to
ensure that you hold to it. We have learned that the price of freedom is
By Magari Mandebvu
Sunday Times (ZA)
Mugabe to intensify crackdown on fraudsters
Friday January 16, 2004 14:43 - (SA)
President Robert Mugabe says his government's crackdown on
fraudsters, some of whom have already been arrested, is just the start of an
all-out drive against all economic offenders, media reported.
Referring to the arrests of a top official from the ruling party as well as
several businessmen accused of involvement in a 61-billion-dollar (US$13.5
million) fraud, Mugabe said: "We are not finished yet, this is just the
"We will get them all," he said, speaking in the Shona language on Thursday
at a function at his old school in Zvimba, a rural district 80 kilometres
(50 miles) west of the capital.
The speech was aired on state television Friday.
Phillip Chiyangwa, a legislator, who is also chairman of the ruling Zimbabwe
African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) party in Mashonaland West
province, was arrested last week as part of investigations into an asset
Chiyangwa is also a high-flying businessman. A magistrate's court has turned
down Chiyangwa's application to be freed from police holding cells on
The High Court was expected today to make a ruling on an urgent application
by Chiyangwa's lawyers seeking his release.
Chiyangwa's lawyers had earlier alleged that his arrest was linked to a row
among ruling party officials over who will succeed Mugabe.
He was arrested for allegedly hiding evidence in a bid to protect the top
management of the ENG asset management company, accused of defrauding
In their investigations, police say they seized 30 luxury vehicles,
including an off-road Porsche, which the state-run Herald newspaper said was
believed to be one of only three in Africa.
Most of the cars are top-of-the-range BMWs and Mercedes Benz.
Mail and Guardian
Zimbabwe's animal victims find refuge in SA
16 January 2004 09:02
ruling party militants chased Batty's owners from their farm in
Zimbabwe, they gouged out the puppy's eyes.
Bloodied and wounded, he wandered the bush for days before he was rescued by
animal rights activists and airlifted to safety in neighboring South Africa.
Animal rights groups have evacuated some 3 000 brutalised and abandoned
animals since the start three years ago of Zimbabwe's often-violent seizure
of white owned farms for redistribution to blacks.
More than half have been reunited with their owners, according to their
rescuers. Most of the others have found new homes in South Africa.
Batty, a golden Labrador cross, was named by the vet who cleaned and
stitched his wounds in Zimbabwe before he was transferred to the Wetnose
Animal Rescue shelter in the South African capital, Pretoria. "Blind as a
bat," the vet had said.
"Some say it's cruel to keep a blind dog, but we don't put down blind
people, do we?" said Pippa Nairn, who took him home with her to Cape Town.
Nine months later, he is still wary of strangers and easily becomes agitated
by sudden noises, or the shouts of children at play.
But he has found a companion and guide in Fudge, Nairn's fully sighted
2-year-old Alsatian cross.
"It has worked extremely well. They are inseparable, they are ideal
companions," she said.
Batty becomes disorientated if taken out for walks, but loves riding in a
car, head thrust out of the window, Nairn said.
The dog has now started retrieving balls, even without a bell inside them,
and catching mice.
"Being blind, he is super sensitive in other ways, and he has an enchanting
and playful personality," she said.
At least 5 000 white-owned farms have been seized in Zimbabwe since the
redistribution program started. Dogs, cats, hamsters, rabbits, geese, swans,
horses and cattle have been slaughtered in the ensuing chaos.
A rescued Labrador named London had acid poured over her coat, said Fiona
Manuel, a volunteer at Wetnose,
"Animals are a natural part of any farm life. I don't understand how there
can be this cruelty," she said. "Perhaps it is to spite the owners, knowing
how much they love their animals."
Animal activists work discreetly in Zimbabwe for fear of retribution by
ruling party militants.
British Airways flies the rescued pets to South Africa free of charge. They
are then dewormed, inoculated and sterilised at the nonprofit Wetnose
Beit, a sought-after Rhodesian Ridgeback, is one of a handful still waiting
for a new home after his Zimbabwean owners moved abroad.
The numbers arriving in Pretoria have started tailing off now that most
white farmers have fled their properties, Manuel said.
Many have been reunited with their families who moved to South Africa.
"Many of the farmers and their families have lost everything, so it means a
lot to be reunited with their pets," Manuel said.
When a shipment of 90 crated animals was trucked from Zimbabwe last year, 22
of their owners were there to welcome them in Pretoria.
"The owners waiting here were in tears when we drove in," Manuel said.
Others, who couldn't afford to keep their evacuated pets, have stayed in
touch with their new owners through Wetnose -- even from Europe and
Australia, she said.
Nairn, who runs a taxi business in Cape Town, rejects criticism that the
time and money spent rescuing pets in Zimbabwe could be better spent
alleviating human suffering in the deeply impoverished country.
"Cruelty to animals shows a person has no heart, no soul," she said. -
Top official granted bail in corruption case
January 16 2004 at 07:33PM
By Cris Chinaka
Harare - A top official in Zimbabwe's ruling party was granted bail on
Friday, a week after being arrested on charges of interfering with a fraud
case that has rocked the country's banking sector.
The state said it would appeal to the Supreme Court against the decision,
and the official remains in custody.
President Robert Mugabe has vowed to act firmly against rising corruption,
which political analysts say has fuelled anger against his rule in the face
of a deep economic crisis many critics blame on government mismanagement.
High Court Judge Tedius Karwi granted bail on Friday to prominent
businessman and senior Zanu-PF executive member Philip Chiyangwa.
He was denied bail earlier this week by a lower court and has been in prison
since last Saturday on charges of intimidating police and meddling with
investigations into a major fraud case.
The judge asked Chiyangwa to deposit ZIM$5-million in bail, to surrender his
passport, to reside at his Harare residence and to report regularly to the
The flamboyant businessman is likely to remain in prison until the Supreme
Court hears the state's appeal, for which no date has yet been set.
Political analysts say Mugabe may have decided to crack down on corruption,
within his party and elsewhere, to boost Zanu-PF's chances in a
parliamentary election next year.
Chiyangwa's lawyers have argued during court appearances that his arrest was
engineered by political opponents amid feuding over who should succeed
Mugabe if he stands down as party leader.
Local media have over the past year reported splits within Zanu-PF as debate
intensifies over a successor for Mugabe, who turns 80 in February and has
hinted he may be ready to retire.
Police suspect Chiyangwa of withholding vehicles key to investigations into
allegations that two directors of the asset management firm ENG Capital
cheated investors of billions of dollars.
Prosecutors say the ENG directors used the money to buy hard currency on the
black market to import personal vehicles.
Authorities have accused financial institutions of driving a black market
where US dollars fetch up to five times the official rate against the
Zimbabwean dollar. The central bank has warned of a crackdown on speculative
trade in the sector.
Chiyangwa, a champion of the government's black economic empowerment drive,
denies any wrongdoing and says he intervened in the ENG matter merely to
ensure a political and legal settlement that did not harm the programme.
700 Council Workers Paid for Doing Nothing: Chideya
January 16, 2004
Posted to the web January 16, 2004
AT least 700 Harare City Council workers are being paid for doing nothing as
they just report for work and disappear to do their own private jobs taking
advantage of laxity in supervision.
Town Clerk Mr Nomutsa Chideya made the startling revelation yesterday when
he addressed the second meeting between him and senior and middle managers
at Rowan Martin Building.
He held the first such meeting on January 5 at which he read the riot act to
the managers as he outlined the city's vision for this year.
Mr Chideya said his office was now aware of the corrupt activities being
practised by some of the workers and estimations were that at least 700
workers only reported for work but quickly disappear to do their private
jobs. He said he would use the sweeping powers that were given to him by
council on managers as well.
The managers were now empowered to exercise their powers as outlined in the
Urban Councils Act and deal with the errant workers.
The majority of these workers are those who refused to go on voluntary
retirement and were sitting on abolished posts.
Mr Chideya said these workers should be redeployed to other departments
where their services are required.
He reiterated that managers and workers who did not subscribe to the goals
of council were free to quit.
"There is this in-built defiance in the system. Do as you are told," he
Mr Chideya said there were some workers in the works department who had
openly defied instructions given by his office citing examples of car
He said he had instructed that a vehicle be taken for repairs to Croco
Motors where the repairs would cost $500 000 but the official decided to
change garages and took the vehicle to another garage where the repairs cost
The same official had also refused to take another vehicle for repairs and
has not given reasons for defying the order.
Council has given Mr Chideya powers to hire, fire and restructure council in
a manner that would facilitate smooth operations.
He said workers should not be demoralised over low salaries as his office
was working tirelessly to ensure that council awards them salaries
commensurate with expectations on service delivery.
Mr Chideya ordered the department of works to ensure that all potholes in
the Central Business District were patched up by the close of day on Sunday.
He also said managers should ensure that workers given protective clothing
did not sell them.
Mr Chideya said it was a punishable offence to sell council property.
The managers expressed a willingness to work and achieve the turnaround
strategy as envisaged by Mr Chideya.
They however pointed out that council should seriously look into the issue
of remuneration to motivate the workers.
Zimbabwe: European Parliament Criticises Sanctions Failure
Integrated Regional Information Networks
January 16, 2004
Posted to the web January 16, 2004
European parliamentarians meeting in Strasbourg, France, on Thursday lashed
out at some European Union (EU) member states for their failure to implement
sanctions imposed on the Zimbabwean government.
Michael Gahler, a German member of the European Parliament told IRIN that
besides calling for tougher sanctions against Zimbabwe, parliamentarians
expressed "disappointment that sanctions, in practice, have not worked."
The reference was to France in particular, who had asked for a suspension of
the travel ban on Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe to EU countries to
enable him to attend a Franco-African summit last year. The move had caused
some acrimony between the French and British governments.
Without naming the parliamentarians, Gahler said some had argued that they
had to "respect the international Vienna protocol on diplomatic relations,
but I argued that we have the right to diplomatic reprisal - which is a
means to indicate our discontent towards someone who has broken several
A resolution calling on EU governments to toughen and renew the sanctions,
which expire on February 20, was on the table. It was adopted by a majority
of 66 votes in favour with four against and two abstentions. The EU
parliament's resolutions do not have to be implemented by member states.
Moving the resolution was Geoffrey Van Orden, the British Conservative party
spokesperson on human rights in the European parliament, who also had a
strong word for the dissenting EU members. Addressing the parliament he
said: "This House has previously called for more effective action by the
council on six separate occasions. To date, the council has failed to heed
The targeted sanctions, implemented two years ago, imposed a travel ban on
Mugabe and other Zimbabwean officials and their spouses, and also froze
their assets in Europe.
While commending the Commonwealth's decision in December to continue
Zimbabwe's suspension, the resolution on Thursday regretted the EU's failure
to make any "effective impact on the policies of Zimbabwe's neighbours."
The resolution also strongly criticised the failure of "some southern
African governments to exert any pressure on the ZANU-PF regime."
FG Urged to Halt Zimbabwean Farmers' Incursion
January 16, 2004
Posted to the web January 16, 2004
The Federal Government has been called upon to discourage various state
governments in the country from allocating or giving lands in their states
to Zimbabwe European farmers now contemplating moving into the country after
their ejection from Zimbabwe. An indigenous farmer and Managing Director of
Husaina Farms Limited, Alhaji Hassan Mashi stated that such gesture on the
part of such governments would be detrimental to the country.
He said that since the country's population is growing by day, it would be
wrong on the part of anybody, governments inclusive to give our lands to
Europeans who have been rejected by another country in Africa due to their
activities in such country.
Alhaji Hassan Mashi who was formerly the chairman of the Katsina State
Standing Committee on the prevention of farmers/herdsmen clash said
President Obasanjo as a patriotic leader, not only in Nigeria but in the
world, should use his good offices to prevent those state governments from
giving out our lands to those people whom our great grand children may find
difficult to deal with in the future hence, the Federal Government should
rescind such decision.
He said before the Zimbabwe Government took the action to eject the European
farmers in that country, millions of its people might have been denied their
lands and prevented from farming.
Foreign Press Center Briefing With Charles R. Snyder, Acting Assistant
Secretary, Bureau of African Affairs, U.S. Department of State
United States Department of State (Washington,
January 15, 2004
Posted to the web January 16, 2004
MR. DENIG: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the
Washington Foreign Press Center.
We are very pleased this afternoon to be able to welcome to our podium the
Acting Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Charles Snyder, who
will brief us this afternoon on recent events in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Secretary Snyder will have a brief opening statement to make, and after
that, we'll be very glad to take your questions.
MR. SNYDER: Thanks a lot. I'm glad to see there's a decent turnout given the
Iowa caucuses. Maybe I could get better than 22 percent, who knows?
(Laughter.) I'll have to look into those possibilities.
I just like to use this time of the year and the fact that Walter Kansteiner
recently departed to kind of say a kind of word on where this Administration
has been in Africa. I'll try and keep it down to five minutes so that I
leave you plenty of time for questions.
When Walter came in, we decided to take a fresh look at Africa policy. And
frankly, Africa policy, since the foundation of the Africa Bureau, has
always been about the same things, just different emphasis in different
administrations. And being a Republican Administration, and Walter being who
he was, we put trade and investment at the top of the list because we really
do believe that the answer to bring Africa onto the world and into the
modern economy is more trade and investment. And so we decided to focus on
that. And so we moved down democracy and development to the second place
under that, but did not neglect it. And that has also been part of the
policy in this Administration, to pursue democracy and development.
When we came in and decided to push trade and investment, we said we would
hold our traditional development and democracy budget harmless; we would
pursue this trade and investment agenda, AGOA 2, and other kinds of things
as a special initiative to get sovereign credit debt ratings for many
African countries -- those kinds of things -- we would hold the regular
And traditionally over the last ten years, the United States has given
between $800 and a $1 billion a year, going back to about '92, to Africa in
what would be called, developmental terms -- those kinds of things --
including some money for HIV/AIDS. We held that harmless and then went on to
do new things in trade and investment.
The other thing we took a look at was the environment. Walter was very
interested in the environment, and we've done some things in the Congo Basin
Initiative, one of the lungs of the world, to see that that is saved for the
world, but without harm to Africa in terms of development; in fact, to use
it for eco-tourism and other things that might encourage growth in African
We couldn't do any of those things without taking a look at the crosscutting
issues. Global terrorism is one of those things, post-9/11. There is a front
to be fought in Africa. It's not the number one- or the number two-priority,
but it is a priority in the global war on terrorism. You couldn't have won
World War II without fighting in the China-Burma-India Theater, and that's a
fair enough analogy. Africa's an important front in this war, but it's not a
The President has given $100 million initiative for counterterrorism in the
Horn of Africa. That's really about improving the system of border control,
police, better sharing of information -- that kind of thing. It's not
targeted at some grandiose crusade to nail down two or three al-Qaida cells,
although hopefully, that'll be one of the results of that initiative.
In addition to the global war on terrorism, which also extends into West
Africa, by the way, the old camel caravan route coming down from Libya all
the way through Mauritania is an area of interest and an area of trouble,
which extremists can use and we're paying attention to in this global war on
terrorism. But you have to do that as well or you're kidding yourself. If
terrorists can blow you up, you can't do trade and development. No
businessman is safe, no contract is honored, and therefore the trade and
investment initiative just doesn't work.
The other major crosscutting issues, of course, are HIV/AIDS. If you don't
get a handle on HIV/AIDS, you're kidding yourself about development. If you
have to train three teachers to get one survivor, you're just wasting your
money, ultimately. You're throwing a lot of money at a problem that you
could do much better about.
There's also cultural damage, which a lot of people forget when they look at
the HIV/AIDS problem. One of the reasons the drought in Ethiopia was so bad
recently was because the farmer that had seen this cyclical drought before
was gone. So was his wife -- victims of HIV/AIDS. And what you got were the
very young and the very old dealing with the drought. In one case, they
weren't quite able to deal with it; in one case, they hadn't seen before,
and so it was much worse.
So there's a real cultural residual wealth dimension to this HIV/AIDS
problem that people miss sometimes, and it's just as insidious as the more
transparent thing -- training three teachers to get one.
And President Bush decided to do something about this: the $15 billion
initiative. Now, there are "lies, damn lies and statistics," $15 billion
divided by 5 should be $3 billion a year. We didn't quite get there. We got
to $2.4 billion this first year.
But the good news on that score is, it proves our commitment. And this is in
addition to the HIV/AIDS bit that we were doing already, because I said
we've held that part of the budget harmless. This is new, and it's focused
for right now on African and Caribbean countries, although it will be beyond
that, hopefully, because the AIDS crisis is beyond just Africa and the
But we've engaged that in a serious way. That's serious money -- more than
anybody else is doing in this regard, because you can't do development or
trade and investment unless you get a handle on HIV/AIDS in Africa.
The third crosscutting issue is conflict resolution, where we've had some
success. Again, development is a joke if there's war, if you have refugees,
if nothing is dependable, if systems don't work. And we've done our best to
do some things about the conflicts in Africa.
The Sudan policy is part of that. We took a fresh look at that and tried to
do it differently. When we started this Administration -- I won't kid you --
we were looking at the crisis in Sierra Leone as conflict resolution. We
managed to get a handle on that, and then Liberia sprung up. And now we've
just barely -- but we do -- have a handle on, the crisis in Liberia. But you
can't do development if you can't stop the conflicts.
The Congo has been one of the secret success stories. Given where we were
when we started, the Congo is actually a place where there's some hope for
development. Certainly the political advancement inside the Congo has
finally begun to move after that Lusaka agreement that was made long ago,
way back in '94. It's finally coming to fruition.
And we've played our share behind the scenes. The Europeans have taken a big
lead, but Africa has taken the biggest lead. It was the Lusaka agreement.
And that's the other theme we've focused on. What we did in Sudan when we
looked around for a way to intervene effectively was, we built on what
Africa had already done. IGAD had engaged in this and cleared the ground and
allowed the United States, by throwing its weight into it, to advance the
process, but always advanced the process by backing up the IGAD initiative.
So, again, this African partnership, I think under this Administration, has
That's the propaganda piece that I wanted to get out of the way up front.
That's what we are about. That's what we've done.
What will we do in the remaining year of the Administration? We are from the
hard school of politics. I could list five or six things. We couldn't get it
done in a year, but we're going to take another hard look at Somalia. Is
there something we can do, based on what Kiplagat has done? Is there an
African initiative that we can fall in behind and make a difference in
Somalia? Maybe not. I'm not convinced that that's right, but we're going to
take a hard look at that.
Obviously, we have to finish what we started. We have to finish Sudan. We
have to see that Liberia gets past the post in better shape than when we
found it. And, you know, some crisis out there now that we can't even
anticipate, we'll have to do a lot about. We're also hoping to continue the
trade and investment portions of this, looking at new enhancements toward
the AGOA legislation, that kind of thing.
That's where we are. And I lied, I went seven minutes, but I'd like to take
your questions now.
MR. DENIG: Let me remind you to use the microphone, identify yourself and
your news organization, please.
QUESTION: Ahmed El Bashir from Sudan. I recently wrote two articles about
your excellent seminar in UCLA.
MR. SNYDER: That was off-the-record, by the way.
QUESTION: UCLA -- yeah, the 14th of --
MR. SNYDER: I remember. (Laughter.)
QUESTION: And I couldn't help noticing that the State Department right now
is in the hands of the military people: Powell, Armitage, Natsios, you. In
Sudan, we have Bashir, Garang. And from Kenya, we have Sumbeiywo. I would
like to hear from you about this coincidence and whether it is really
helping to move the American involvement in Africa in the direction of
conflict resolution. Nobody knows the pain of war like the military people.
Now all of you are military people. My two questions:
The first is the extent of the concerted American involvement in the peace
process in the Sudan and whether the final agreement will be signed in
Washington, D.C. There is a lot about that in the Sudanese press. And the
second question is about -- the negotiations that are going on. Two days
ago, Al-Bashir said that the three areas, Blue Nile, Abyei, and --
PARTICIPANT: Nuba Mountains.
MR. SNYDER: Southern Blue Nile? Nuba, Southern Blue Nile and Abyei.
QUESTION: Yeah, yeah, the Blue Nile. He said that they are off the table.
They are not for negotiating. The Sudanese people did not give us any
authorization to do that. We are -- this is only south-north thing. So as of
now, they are out of the table, off, you know, we're not going to talk about
them. So I would like you to comment on this.
MR. SNYDER: I hadn't actually thought about your first point, which I find
intriguing, that these are all military men dealing with each other. And I
suspect there may be something to do that. I mean, say what you will,
military men around the world kind of speak their own language, and maybe we
do hear each other a little more clearly, and maybe that's one of the
reasons we've had a little more success in Sudan. I had never -- never
considered that point.
But certainly General Sumbeiywo and I, when we talk to each other, can, as
we American military-types say, "cut to the chase" and get to the point a
little more quickly without that diplomatic language and dance that I now do
in my pinstripe suit, and so maybe we talk a little more directly and that
helps the negotiation. It's a good point, and I'm hoping some academic will
explore it when we've passed this by five years and you can look back
disinterestedly. But it may be an interesting point to pursue.
On the negotiation itself, the Sudanese party set the deadline of the end of
the year themselves. They've missed it, but they've done a lot of good work.
They have proved that this is serious. They're still engaged today in a very
serious engagement, and we're hoping that they can still come to a rapid
conclusion in the next several days. It's not impossible. They've done that
kind of work. They've come up with a wealth-sharing agreement, which
essentially divides the oil wealth of Sudan 50/50. Again, you need to be an
accountant to understand the details.
But the fact that the negotiating people have gone to that level of detail.
This is not an artist's concept where I write "50/50" on the board. This is
a case where they've gone through the Sudanese national budget, they've gone
through the oil revenues and they know exactly what they're talking about in
terms of money. So when they say 50/50, it is very detailed where that money
comes from. There won't be dispute about whether or not this $1 million is
there or the $2 million is there.
So it's serious work, which is why it took as long as it did. And it's
serious business. But it's the kind of business that if you expect a real
political partnership to run a government in the modern world, that they
should get down to that detail and they did. And we were quite pleasantly
surprised. I think if they had given us the big 50/50 splashy agreement,
we'd have been happy. But they went beyond that, and there's actually the
level of detail and attention that they know exactly what they mean by this.
It's not a case where I or the IGAD partners or Kenya or someone else will
have to come in and interpret what I remember you said. No, they know
exactly what they said and they've put it down on a piece of paper.
That same approach is causing the negotiations to take a little longer than
we would like. But we Americans are always in a hurry, and this is an
African negotiation, and it's a Sudanese negotiation that has to end the
right way. And I think there's a real chance that it can end in the next
several days the right way. They know the issues. They know what the answers
to the questions are. The political choices that have to be made are among
the answers that they know exist. It's not a case where they have to think
through the subject matter anymore. They have to decide in the endgame what
they're going to trade for what. What's the real political answer? That's
the place they're at. This is not a technology issue anymore. This is a
practical political issue. So they can do this in the next several days.
On the area -- the three areas, they've made some pretty serious
advancements there. They've talked about autonomy and other things for these
areas and compensation for what's happened in the areas to heal them up.
Don't forget, at the end of the day, what we're all hoping to come out of
this is a unified Sudan, but a unified Sudan that's bound up its wounds. And
there are wounds. There are grievous wounds that will take time to bind up.
And that's what this debate about the three areas is really about. It's
about reconciliation and how that's going to happen, and what kind of
assurances are given to the people that have been damaged over a period of
So your president makes a good point. We all know about negotiation. And
taking a strong position in public is one of the keys to many negotiations.
So we hope, at the end of the day that we'll come to an accommodation that
works for Sudan. There are no fixed positions in this. Our objective in this
has been what we said from the beginning, it's to get a just peace in Sudan
that would begin to bind up the wounds. The South has been most aggrieved in
this process and needs the most attention, but the entire system does. And
that's what we were after as Americans. But the Sudanese need the same
thing, and so the negotiations, really, is about a better Sudan, and that's
where we are.
Am I optimistic about tomorrow? Not necessarily tomorrow. Am I optimistic
about the next 30 days? Absolutely. I think this agreement is at that point
where it's inevitable. The question is timing, not if they will get there,
but when. And I'm optimistic it can be done quickly.
QUESTION: Is the signing in Washington?
MR. SNYDER: The signing in Washington is not our place. This is an IGAD
negotiation. The partners should decide where the signing takes place. You
know, Nairobi makes more sense to me. They're the ones that did the work.
But if somebody decides it's better to do it in the United States, it's
better to do it in London, it's better to do it in Oslo, it's better to do
it in Addis because that's where the AAU headquarters is, that's for the
parties to decide.
What needs to be done is, it needs to be done in a public forum that commits
the parties in a very splashy way, but splashy in the good sense of
commitment before the audience, before the world, before their own
communities, that this is a real deal. That can be done in Nairobi. It can
be done in Naivasha with modern technology. It could be done in Washington,
London, Oslo. We don't care. That's not the point of this. It's up to the
MR. DENIG: Okay. We'll take the gentleman in the first row, please.
QUESTION: Adu-Asare, AfricaNewscast.com. Would you think that the United
States could have done a little bit more in Liberia than it has done up to
MR. SNYDER: I don't like to prejudice relative success. I think it's come
out as well as we hoped it could in the sense of Gyude Bryunt's government
seems to be standing up. The DDR, faulty though it may be, is underway. The
parties seem to be complying with what they said they'd do. The UN is
ramping up. The United States commitment in the form of $200 million is on
the table. The commitment of our Secretary of State to co-host the donors
conference in February with Kofi Annan is in place. So we're in good shape.
Could we have done it better? I'm a military man and I never let the perfect
become the enemy of the good enough. And I think what we've done in Liberia
is better than good enough. It may not be perfect, but we're okay where we
are, and I can go from here to success for Liberia.
QUESTION: I'm talking about putting troops on the ground.
MR. SNYDER: We put the troops on the ground, as you'll recall, in a fashion
that got us to where we are. And they did go on the ground when it was
necessary, and they did show up off the horizon.
Again, these are relative value judgments. You know, I'm an old army
colonel, and I found long ago that you don't second-guess the company
commander if you come out of the battle okay. And we came out of this okay.
Liberia is in the place we need it to be.
Would I have done some things differently? Maybe on the diplomatic side,
maybe on the military side, but that's what graduate students are for. Let
them write about this after the fact. Right now, we got to where we needed
to be, so I'm satisfied.
MR. DENIG: All right. Let's go to the front row here, please.
QUESTION: Why not a lady this time?
MR. DENIG: Because I go back and forth (inaudible). Thank you. (Laughter.)
QUESTION: Charlie Cobb with allAfrica.com.
An important piece of this Administration's efforts around trade and
development has been AGOA, and AGOA 3 is now on the table in the former
House and Senate bills. But we detect from African diplomats here in the
city some concern that the Administration, despite, at least the President
expressed support for an extension of AGOA, that Administration efforts,
particularly with regard to the Congress, have not been very energetic. They
attribute that to some dissatisfaction, particularly on the Hill, with the
African stance at Cancun. And this is some sort of reprisal.
PARTICIPANT: A cosmic payback.
QUESTION: Does the administration support this legislation now in Congress,
both in terms of the extension and in terms of the crucial issue of
third-country fabrics? And secondly, are these diplomats right, that you all
haven't been very energetic?
MR. SNYDER: I'd like to blame it on some grand plan, and retaliation for
what happened in Cancun, that's not what it's about. What happened at Cancun
is unfortunate in many ways. We wound up talking to each other in
ideological terms instead of conducting a dialogue in which progress was
possible. But AGOA legislation is not affected by that, trust me. As an
insider on this, this is not what it's about.
Where are we on the AGOA 3 issue? There's different bills, as you know, in
the House and the Senate. And the Africa Bureau, traditionally, is the
junkyard dog of the State Department. And we like to wait until the 11th
hour to spot what we like best. And this debate is underway about what's
best; features that are changing; proposals that are changing. The African
governments aren't complete in weighing in yet. And the Africans need to
weigh in. They need to be a block on this thing. It impacts them as much as
At the end of the day, I'm hoping we will get legislation that we will
openly support. We're not there yet, but that's not because we don't intend
to get there. It's, again, because, like it or not, the Africa Bureau's
style, and the Africa Bureau includes the USTR on some of these issues, is
to wait and see what develops. And it's early yet and we haven't had the
State of the Union yet. And a trade bill is a tough thing in an election
year. But don't count us out on this game yet. The game is still early.
MR. DENIG: Okay, let's take the lady in the first row, please.
QUESTION: Adam Ouologuem with the African Sun Times. When you talk about
conflicts, you didn't talk about the one going on in the Ivory Coast, Cote
d'Ivoire. Do you think can put an emphasis on what's going on there? And
coming back to AGOA, do you think from a country member of African, West
African Economic Union can get the membership to AGOA very soon? Like the
cotton-producing country? Mali, which is my country, is among them, but
Burkina Faso is too much restricted. So what should they do to get into
MR. SNYDER: Let me take the easy question first. Cote d'Ivoire and the
United Nations peacekeeping operation. We're actually very supportive of
what's going on in Cote d'Ivoire and we're particularly pleased that the
Government of France, together with parties that are seeking peace, have
stepped up to the problem and made it possible for the UN to intervene in a
more effective way.
As you know, there's a debate now in the United Nations Security Council
about how to enhance the peacekeeping operation in Cote d'Ivoire. And we
will be in support of an enhancement of that operation. We haven't finished
debating the details, but the issue is not whether or not we think the
peacekeeping operation is good in Cote d'Ivoire and whether or not what the
parties have done to make peace is good or not. The question is how much
more and what would make it better.
We're engaged in this; we're committed to this, and we're hoping to help
refine what comes out of it. So it's not a case of us thinking Cote d'Ivoire
doesn't need the assistance. It's a case of what's the most effective
assistance. And we'll be there once we finish this debate. And I think it
will be in a way in which everybody is pleased.
On the issue of who gets to be new members of AGOA, Burkina Faso came very
close. I think Burkina Faso, with a few minor moves to do with regional
stability and threats to regional stability, will make it into the AGOA
round the next time. Most of West Africa has gotten in. This is meant to be
fairly wide open to everybody.
But there are standards and we are trying to enforce them. And Burkina Faso
came very close this last time and I'm optimistic the next time they'll get
there. And again, it had to do with a gray area call. Some countries aren't
even close to the gray area; most of West Africa's in.
I think the Burkinabe, especially under the energetic advice and support of
our Ambassador on the ground, Ambassador Holmes, will get there the next
MR. DENIG: Okay, let's go to the gentleman in the back, please.
QUESTION: Chuck Corey, Washington File to Africa. Could you expand a little
bit on the recent additions and deletions from AGOA eligibility? I believe
Eritrea and CAR were dropped from the list and Angola was added.
MR. SNYDER: CAR is the easiest one. The coup was a 508 kind of coup, taking
down a legitimate government. A legitimate, democratically
elected-government hasn't replaced it and there are standards. They're not
exalted. Having military governments, it seems to me, in Africa in this day
and age, is unacceptable to Africa, never mind to us. And so that's why the
CAR is not in the game. Eritrea, it's got to do with human rights violations
and warnings we've issued to them over time, that they need to become what
we hoped they would be when they got independence, the dynamic engine of
growth in the Horn of Africa.
And given the unfortunate problems that have arisen internally on human
rights, freedom of the press and other things, it lends us to question their
commitment to economic development of a standard size. When violations are
going on like this, will contracts be honored? If you don't honor contracts,
how can you have investment? There's that kind of question on the table, and
we did issue warning letters beforehand.
Can they get in? Yes, they can. Eritrea could very easily reverse where they
are now, and we hope they will, and we're looking forward to bringing them
back in. But right now, there are standards, and they're not particularly
egregious, but some people have managed to fall aside.
The Angolans, finally, we have a miracle after all this time. UNITA is
inside the system. Major political developments there led us to take a look
at this. Some specific promises that will be acted, hopefully, in the
near-term on transparency to do with oil and other things are about to take
We're hoping for an announcement of an election, in which UNITA and other
parties will be permitted to take place, and we're convinced that the
government is moving in that direction. And so we decided, and it was a near
thing, but we decided that Angola was welcome in. And we'll see if they
continue to remain eligible because they do do these things that we're
hoping they will do in the short-term. And we have every expectation they
So there is your candidates and what happened with them.
MR. DENIG: We'll take the lady there, please.
QUESTION: Thank you. Hi, I'm Nneoma Ukeje-Eloagu of This Day newspapers,
Nigeria and South Africa, but my question is on Nigeria. There has been a
recent warning on travel -- an update on travel warning to Nigeria. I
wondered if that was based on a domestic assessment in the situation, a
domestic situation, or is it part of the global picture on counterterrorism,
especially in light of efforts in West Africa?
MR. SNYDER: It's a little of both. I mean, Nigeria has had some internal
problems. As you know, there have been problems up in the western states.
There have been general terrorist threats throughout the region. You had
this unfortunate problem that has nothing to do with terrorism on one of the
airlines, all of which leads us to warn Americans that they need to be
careful when they go to Nigeria because of the general situation across the
This is not currently the kind of place that somebody that's unsophisticated
should go. And that's really what our travel warnings are about. In this
case, there's a terrorist dimension that has to do with a global problem
that's come up. I won't be more specific than that. But I think it can be
MR. DENIG: We'll take the lady in the back please.
QUESTION: My name is Adanech from Voice of America, Horn of Africa, Africa
Division. As you know, the Ethio-Eritrea border demarcation has been
postponed indefinitely. But we hear there are some diplomatic activities
right now. Could you please tell us what those activities are?
And my second question would be do you see any hope in preventing another
war between the two countries?
MR. SNYDER: I think we all need to remember that the Eritrean-Ethiopia
Border Commission was the answer to the problem that the parties selected,
that Ethiopia and Eritrea selected. And what we've been saying all along is
that the parties need to do what they say they would do.
They agreed in the beginning that they would honor and respect what the
Ethiopian-Eritrean Border Commission came up with, and they need to get on
with that. The diplomatic activities in the region are aimed at resolving
the broader situation. Deputy Assistant Secretary Yamamoto was just out
there, and those are bilateral relations between the United States and
Ethiopia and Eritrea. We have a broad agenda with both your countries,
global war on terrorism is among them, the border dispute is not, except to
say that we're friends, and if you can come up with a workable solution in
which we can help ease the pain of adjusting to what you said you would do,
in other words, the outcome of the EEBC, we're prepared to help that.
But it's up to you to tell us. It's not up to us to solve this problem. This
is a problem between you. It's bilateral relations between Ethiopia and
Eritrea. We're friends, we value you both, and we'd like to be helpful, but
we are not going to resolve this situation. You have chosen a path. We
agreed with you with what you chose. But you need to walk down the path.
In terms of the UN's efforts, we're very supportive of Mr. Axworthy. He's a
reputable gentleman that's done this before, and he's going to lend his good
offices to help the parties come to the proper conclusion. And in that area,
if he comes up with a suggestion for us to help in some fashion, we'll take
a look at it.
But again, it's for the parties to resolve, and the UN is doing the
appropriate thing. They've named a special representative. Secretary General
Annan is cognizant of this problem because we are afraid this could
deteriorate into a war, which is a total waste of humanity, in the case of
the Horn, as the first war was. And so we're hoping that Axworthy succeeds.
But it's ultimately on the parties to do this.
We're hoping this will move beyond it -- that was the reason our Deputy
Assistant Secretary went out -- to a dialogue. It's natural that Ethiopia
and Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia, for that matter, and Kenya are bound
together in the Horn and they should have decent relations with each other,
but real economic relations. Massawa and Assab should be the obvious ways
out for most Ethiopian traffic, as well as Djibouti. But there needs to be
peace and there needs to be a dialogue between the parties, as opposed to
hostility, and we are hoping to advance things in that manner.
We're not there yet, but we're optimistic. I'm a diplomat. I'm paid to be
optimistic. But I think there's reason to hope, given the people's decent
relations, that we can get past this problem.
MR. DENIG: Okay, let's go to South Africa in the middle, please.
QUESTION: Deon Lamprecht of Media 24 in South Africa.
On the eve of President Bush's visit to Africa last year, there was quite a
bit of emphasis from Secretary Powell and the President himself on the role
that South Africa should play in bringing Zimbabwe back to heel.
There was some implied criticism after President Bush met with Mbeki. The
message was that the U.S. would be happy to leave the handling of South
Africa to Mbeki, or the decision on how South Africa should handle Zimbabwe
to South Africa.
Is that still the view? Has there been any progress at all, from your point
of view in the role that South Africa could or should play in resolving the
crisis in Zimbabwe?
MR. SNYDER: I think our general view, and it's true in this case, as well,
that the best ones to come up with the best solution in the immediate crises
like this are the people themselves. If that's not possible, the region is
the one that gives the best advice. And ultimately, anyone that's concerned
and says there are standards in the world has a role to play.
And so when the Zimbabwe internal parties failed to resolve this crisis and
it got worse, and it began to bleed over the borders economically and with
refugees and other things, we were hoping for the region to step up. And
we've seen South Africa do great things in the region.
I remember the early intervention in Lesotho against a military coup, in
which Botswana joined South Africa in saying that the standard in southern
Africa is, there will not be a military regime. That's the old Africa.
That's the old world. It doesn't count here anymore.
We've seen South Africa step up to the plate in Burundi. The efforts of
President Mandela, and, at the time, President Clinton and others to bring
the Burundi crisis to where it is today where it's very close to resolution
is, in a large part, due to South Africa's energetic diplomacy, and in the
fact that you stepped up and sent troops.
We were hoping that we would get that kind of heavy weight, given the
neighbor relationship and the economic interdependence between yourselves
and Zimbabwe. We were hoping we would get that African insight. I think we
still are. I think we're hoping that President Mbeki will be able to quietly
and effectively get President Mugabe to see that what's going on is
destroying Zimbabwe. It's not advancing his agency in any way that makes
sense, either in the region, certainly not in the country, and to the
broader world at-large.
The Commonwealth actions, I think, say that the broader world community
across the world sees that what's going on in Zimbabwe is a step beyond the
norm. We're still hoping that President Mbeki will step up. We continued our
sanctions and other things, but ultimately, this problem will turn, I
suspect, because the region ultimately weighs in and says this is not
acceptable anymore. There needs to be a real dialogue. The opposition needs
to be respected, rights need to be restored.
Land reform makes sense, but not land reform that winds up being another
form of patronage and corruption. That's not legitimate land reform. So even
to hide behind that issue is thin drool these days, and that's what we've
been saying. But it counts much more when the neighbors say it because they
face some of the same problems.
It's nice for us to sit back here in a nice air conditioned studio in
Washington and talk about land reform in Zimbabwe, but it's different when
South Africa, when Mozambique, when Angola speaks about land reform in
Africa. It carries more weight, and it should. And that's what we're hoping
works. We're hoping that President Mbeki will win, like he's won in Burundi,
and he won earlier on Lesotho. The jury is still out. But unfortunately,
with a tragedy unfolding like this, time is of the essence, and we're hoping
that he takes a reenergized look.
MR. DENIG: Last, very quick question from Japan.
QUESTION: Well, this may not be so quick. But I'm Hiro Aida with Japan's
Kyodo News. And in terms of well, coordinated efforts for a global
partnership between Japan and the United States for assisting in developing
world, are there any specific areas of assistance or specific -- well,
countries where -- or African region where U.S. and Japan -- well, this
year, to cooperate?
And we heard a lot about so called, you know, trade is more important than
just assistance to development, and we heard a lot about so called trade
facilitations or, a kind of a trade capacity building. What happened to
those efforts, well, a couple of years ago? I'm just wondering.
MR. SNYDER: I think we're hoping that Japan does become more actively
engaged in Africa. We're certainly looking forward to Japan showing up at
the Liberia Donors Conference. We're definitely looking for a Japanese
partner in Liberia. We'd welcome Japan's participation anywhere that she
would choose to participate.
Certainly, I'm sure the French would welcome her assistance in Cote
D'Ivoire, as would the people of the Cote D'Ivoire for a number of reasons.
You've been a little more economically active on the eastern coast of
Africa, in Mozambique and other places, and Lord knows that the
opportunities in places like Mozambique for developmental assistance, but
also for trade, are vast and we would hope to see Japan there and perhaps in
places like Tanzania where post-Cold War, old alliances are gone and new
friends are there, but not in the significant way they might be. And we
would hope that Japan takes a look at these things.
In terms of the trade enhancements we were looking at, AGOA has really been
successful. This last conference that I went to was no more the high-minded
political rhetoric that we heard at the first go-round, or that we even
heard in the second meeting in Mauritius. This was more about, how do we get
it done? Things are happening. Textile advancements are taking place. One of
the unintended consequences, I think, of AGOA is automotive assembly in
South Africa. But that's what trade and investment is about. The pleasant
surprise is where statistics change for reasons you didn't expect, but in
ways that are helpful to the process. And we are hoping that Japan joins us
in that kind of thing. We're working on free trade areas in southern Africa.
That kind of activity from Japan would be more than welcome by us and
certainly by the Africans.
Thanks a lot. I've got to run off.
MR. DENIG: Thank you, Mr. Secretary. Thank you, ladies and gentlemen.
Political Violence On the Rise
The Daily News
January 16, 2004
Posted to the web January 16, 2004
OPPOSITION party officials and representatives of human rights
week said Zimbabwe was experiencing an upsurge in political intimidation and
violence as the country heads for next year's elections.
The officials said there had been reports of increased political violence
and intimidation since President Robert Mugabe urged supporters of his
ruling ZANU PF to begin preparing for next year's polls.
An official with the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), Zimbabwe's main
opposition party, said:
"Already, one person was killed in Shamva, Mashonaland Central, a teacher
was kidnapped in Rusape while another of our members was kidnapped in the
Midlands capital of Gweru."
The opposition party official added: "The ZANU PF supporters took Mugabe's
statements as a signal that opposition members and perceived MDC members
should be intimidated.
"They have gone on a rampage around the country. They want to keep people in
a permanent state of fear so that they know no other party except ZANU PF."
It was not possible to secure comment on the allegations from ZANU PF or the
However, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights director Anorld Tsunga confirmed
that there had been an upsage in political violence in Zimbabwe in the past
He said: "The escalation of political violence is obviously related to next
"We have received a lot of complaints about political victimisation from
different parts of the country, including Macheke, and Chimanimani."
Sources said there had been reports of opposition supporters' houses being
burnt down, while in the towns of Kadoma and Chegutu, suspected ruling party
youths had reportedly assaulted clients at up-market bars.
A proprietor of a pub in Chegutu said: "Drunken ruling party youths invade
upmarket pubs where they start singing revolutionary songs. They don't buy
beer in pubs, but move around with containers of opaque traditional beer
which they consume at the pubs."
Elections held in Zimbabwe in the past three years have been marred by
political violence and voter intimidation, mostly blamed on ruling party
As a result, the MDC challenged in the courts the results of the 2002
presidential election, as well as the 2000 general election results of
Another crack-down against illegal immigrants
1/15/2004 10:57:06 PM (GMT +2)
FRANCISTOWN: The crack down on illegal immigrants has been extended to
villages surrounding the city. The “Operation Clean Up” campaign which,
started last Sunday and ended on Wednesday, targeted illegal immigrants
mainly from Zimbabwe.
Spokesperson for the
operation, Senior Superintendent Boikhutso Dintwa
of Botswana police told Mmegi yesterday that they have nabbed about 552
illegal immigrants mainly in and around Borolong village, west of
The joint operation between the police, the army, immigration, prisons
and other government departments, was conducted from house-to-house. “We
nabbed some of our targets from their work places where they were employed
illegally. Some were travelling in the bush whilst others were from the
roadblocks that we mounted,” explained Dintwa.
About 100 of the immigrants were tried at the customary court and
given three strokes of the cane each. Some paid admission of guilty fines
for various offences such as overstaying in the country and selling wares
without permits. The arrested immigrants were taken to the Centre for
Illegal Immigrants where they were kept for a short period before some of
them were deported.
Gutu North people challenged
From Masvingo Bureau
PEOPLE of Gutu North constituency have been called upon to defend the
country’s sovereignty by voting for the ruling Zanu-PF party in the
forthcoming by-election scheduled for February 2 and 3.
The call was made by the newly elected Zimbabwe National Liberation War
Veterans Association chairman, Cde Jabulani Sibanda at a rally attended by
more than 3 000 people at Mupandawana Growth Point on Wednesday.
Cde Sibanda said it was important for all Zimbabweans to realise that the
country was under siege from enemies and Zimbabweans should preserve their
hard won independence by all means possible.
"You must go in large numbers and exercise your right to vote, which we did
not have before independence and it is important to use that right to defend
the country’s sovereignty.
"We have to defend our sovereignty through the ballot box and by any other
means necessary if the ballot fails because we spent many years fighting for
democracy," said Cde Sibanda.
He added: "We know what we fought for during the war of liberation and we
know how to defend that which we fought for."
The opposition MDC, Cde Sibanda said, was "as old as imperialism itself"
because it was being used by whites to perpetuate the subjugation of black
"MDC is as old as imperialism, only the name is new. Whites used such
puppets during the war of liberation and will continue to do so," he said.
People in Gutu North, Cde Sibanda said should vote for Cde Josiah Tungamirai
in order to defend and protect the constituency which has the legacy of one
of the pillars of independence, the late Vice President Dr Simon Muzenda.
He urged people to vote for Cde Tungamirai saying Parliament was polluted by
people who did not deserve to be there.
Gutu South MP Shuvai Mahofa said the only way to honour the late Dr Muzenda
was to make sure that Zanu-PF retains the Gutu North seat adding that the
party was united in the province as ever.
She appealed for financial and material support to boost the campaign
programme in the constituency while donating 40 peanut butter making
machines to the 20 wards in the constituency.
Chief Fortune Charumbira also donated $40 million at the same function.
Campaigning has been generally peaceful in the constituency ahead of the
elections with only isolated cases of violence between Zanu-PF and MDC since
the launch of the ruling party’s official campaign last week.
Cde Tungamirai will represent Zanu PF while Mr Casper Musoni will represent
Zimra extends deadline
THE Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) has been forced to extend the
deadline for the payment of carbon tax after it failed to cope with the
number of people trying to beat the deadline.
Zimra public relations officer Ms Priscilla Sadomba said the January 14
deadline had been extended by three days to January 17.
"People have been paying since the beginning of the year but the number shot
up as the deadline drew closer. We had to extend the deadline to Saturday to
cater for the outstanding motorists," said Ms Sadomba.
More than 2 000 people were queuing up to pay their carbon tax when The
Herald visited the Zimra payments office at Kurima House.
The carbon tax is charged according to the vehicle.s engine capacity while
foreign vehicles are also charged differently.
A vehicle owner with an engine capacity of 1 500 cubic centimetres pays $20
000 while an owner of a vehicle with an engine capacity of between 1 501CC
to 2 000CC pays $35 000.
Vehicles with engine capacities ranging between 2 001CC and 3 000 require
$50 000 carbon tax.
The first category comprises mainly small cars, Madza 323s; Nissan Sunnys
while the second category is for small trucks and the third category is for
lorries and busses.
The Government introduced carbon tax in 2000 as part of its efforts to
reduce excess exhaust emissions from vehicles from polluting the air.
The tax used to be paid through insurance companies together with vehicle
insurance but this was stopped after it was discovered that insurance
companies were not enforcing the payment of the tax as an incentive for
motorists to pay their insurance.
Under the new arrangement, motorists are supposed to get a carbon tax disc
from Zimra offices in addition to their vehicle insurance for them to be
allowed to purchase vehicle license discs from municipalities.