|The ZIMBABWE Situation||Our
thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe |
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.
THE Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) yesterday
mass action to press President Robert Mugabe to restore law and order and
commit to the resumption of dialogue between Zimbabwe’s main political
Addressing nearly 5 000 Glen View residents at Makomva Shopping Centre
in Harare yesterday, Tsvangirai said repeated statements in and outside
Zimbabwe about the proposed talks were of no consequence to Zimbabwe’s
political and economic problems.
He said: “There has been talks about talks here, you have heard it. We
are not interested in the talks, but we are most concerned with the outcome
of the said talks. We want Mugabe and his ZANU PF to implement our concerns.
They should allow for free and fair elections, stop political violence and
arrest thieves that have continued to destroy the economy.”
The MDC leader said his party stopped preparing for mass
demonstrations in 2003 to give dialogue with the ruling ZANU PF a chance,
but there had been no progress on the talks.
“We are re-engaging mass mobilisations this year throughout the
country to force ZANU PF back to the negotiating table,” he said.
“These mass actions will no longer be done under individual
organisations, but will be people’s demonstrations, inspired by the Zimbabwe
Congress of Trade Unions, the National Constitutional Assembly and the MDC.
We have to unite as a front for mass mobilisation.”
Tsvangirai did not indicate when the mass action would start or what
form it would take.
Last year, the MDC organised what it termed its “final push” to press
Mugabe to resolve Zimbabwe’s economic crisis and political impasse. The mass
action involved a week-long work stayaway that was supposed to culminate in
However, the street protests were put down by the police, with ZANU PF
also bussing its supporters into city centres to intimidate would-be
Threats of further opposition-organised mass action come at a time
when South African President Thabo Mbeki has told the world that Mugabe is
committed to dialogue with the MDC.
Mbeki told journalists in South Africa last week that Mugabe had
advised him that he was ready for formal talks with the opposition.
Dialogue between ZANU PF and the MDC broke down in 2002 when the
opposition launched a court challenge of Mugabe’s controversial March 2002
Tsvangirai said his party was ready for the 2005 parliamentary
elections, and assured supporters that new strategies would secure the MDC
more than 80 parliamentary seats.
The opposition presently holds 54 seats in Parliament.
The MDC leader took a swipe at the Harare City Council for “dining and
wining with the devils in ZANU PF” while the electorate suffered in silence.
Before commenting on the situation at Town House, Tsvangirai summoned
several Harare councillors who were at the rally and asked them: “Why do you
need to destroy the struggle of the people by forgetting that you were voted
He added: “Zimbabweans liberated themselves from a few whites for
majority rule. This time we are taking it from a few black people, who are
stealing from us every day. Since Elias Mudzuri’s suspension as Harare’s
elected executive mayor, the council’s agenda has been hijacked by ZANU PF.
“The councillors are no longer focused. The MDC didn’t put you there
to pursue your corruption agendas. We have a problem where most of you are
supporting the puppets in ZANU PF. Sekesai Makwavarara is now the executive
mayor and we the residents continue to sustain the council.”
Tsvangirai said the councillors should remember that they represented
the people because they were elected by them into office, adding that it was
unheard of for a city budget to be discussed and approved in “four minutes”.
He said the behaviour of Harare’s councillors was a clear testimony of
their lack of accountability to residents.
He also called MDC MPs at the rally to stand before the gathering and
told them to protect the MDC’s presence in Parliament and avoid complacency.
The MDC leader said some of the legislators had forgotten their mandate.
MDC candidate held hostage
MASVINGO – The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)’s
next week’s Gutu North by-election has alleged that he was held hostage
yesterday by suspected ZANU PF supporters.
Crispa Musoni told The Daily News that about 100 youths, some clad in
ZANU PF T-shirts, confronted him near his shop at Gutu’s Mupandawana growth
point yesterday morning, and ordered him to withdraw from the by-election.
The group then took Musoni hostage and released him after he pleaded
The youths allegedly threatened to beat Musoni, while others
threatened to set his vehicle alight.
Musoni said he attempted to flee when he saw the group charging
towards him, but the youths followed him in their trucks and caught up with
“They charged towards me and ordered me to renounce my membership of
the MDC and to withdraw from the race,” he said.
“I told them that I had done nothing wrong, but some of them
threatened to beat me up, while others threatened to set my vehicle ablaze.
It was after the intervention of some sympathetic ZANU PF supporters that I
was released. But I am now living in fear.”
It was not possible to secure comment from Josiah Tungamirai, the ZANU
PF candidate, but Gutu police yesterday confirmed the incident.
A police officer who answered the phone at the Gutu police station
said no one had been arrested in connection with the incident.
MDC Masvingo vice provincial chairman Shaky Matake yesterday said
political violence had flared up in Mupandawana growth point, forcing some
of the party’s supporters into hiding.
The Gutu North seat became vacant following the death of
Vice-President, Simon Muzenda last year.
– Staff Reporter
Zimbabwe: Opportunity Knocks On Desperate Doors
Regional Information Networks
January 25, 2004
Posted to the web January 26, 2004
With about 3,500 people reportedly dying of AIDS-related illnesses each
week, coffin manufacturers in Zimbabwe have seen a sharp rise in sales.
A sign in Matapi coffin market in the capital, Harare, reads: "COFFINS
AVAILABLE 24 HOURS".
Givemore Tadiwa started operating here about six years ago and has since
become a market leader. "Initially, we were manufacturing furniture, but as
the death rate in Zimbabwe started soaring, we realised that we could
generate more money by making coffins," he told IRIN.
The sight of coffin makers displaying their wares close to residential
apartments has caused some discomfort among locals, but Tadiwa is more
fatalistic. "Because of the HIV-related high death rate in the country, many
people have become so used to death that they are no longer afraid of seeing
coffins on display in public."
Although for most people is not an obvious career choice, economic hardship
forced Tadiwa into the business. "The honest truth is that I have always
feared death - even after making some coffins, I am afraid to look at them
because they make me uneasy. But I have to get on with the unpleasant job
because I have to sustain my family."
The coffin business has now become so lucrative - and competitive - that one
manufacturer has conveniently set up shop opposite Harare Central Hospital.
Coffin manufacturers are not the only group of people reaping a profit from
Zimbabwe's high number of deaths. Of late, scores of street vendors can be
seen peddling their wares to the thousands of people who throng Harare's
Granville Cemetery to bury their loved ones.
Dennis Katupira, a vendor at the cemetery, told IRIN he had tried for years
to get a job, without success. Then he went to bury a relative at the
cemetery one day, and saw an opportunity to make money.
"I realised that mourners, who needed things like cool drinks and
cigarettes, had to drive back to town to buy them. That is when I decided to
start selling goods at the cemetery, although it is very uncomfortable
because I am terrified to be working from the cemetery," Katupira said.
As in most cultures, Zimbabweans generally try to avoid cemeteries unless
for purposes of burial. Gordon Chavunduka, president of the Zimbabwe
National Traditional Healers Association, said economic difficulties had
forced people to engage in "unAfrican" practices.
"As custodians of the country's traditions and values, we are disturbed that
people have lost respect for the final resting place of others by selling
wares at cemeteries while others are in mourning," he said.
'Why does the government pass buck on Zimbabwe?'
There is nothing wrong with English cricket making a stand against a grubby
Monday January 26, 2004
It was always a little too much to expect the England and Wales Cricket
Board to grasp the nettle and quickly make the decision that a majority of
country would probably wish them to make. Namely, at the gathering of their
management committee next Thursday, to have sat down and announced to the
world: "We, the body given authority to run English cricket, have decided
that our country's national team cannot be allowed to tour Zimbabwe next
Not their style perhaps, even when confronted by evidence of abuse and
oppression that any reasonably intelligent person must by now realise are
part and parcel of Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe. Many might have thought the
committee could only come up with one logical conclusion. The government has
all but said it, and public opinion demands it . . . call the damn thing
off. But no. It seems more time is needed. And yet another meeting with
ministers. As the ECB's chief executive Tim Lamb put it: "The decision is a
very difficult one and involves balancing a whole range of factors."
So now, the ECB is set to be dragged through the same arguments which dogged
the sport and all but finished Nasser Hussain as an international captain.
He certainly won't forget those weeks of highly unnecessary public agonising
which preceded the inevitable decision last year that England should not
play their World Cup match against Zimbabwe in Harare. Then, Hussain spoke
of players being in tears as they were torn apart by feelings, on the one
hand, of desire to play for their country and, on the other, of moral
It was an horrendous position in which no sportsman should have been placed.
Hussain was left to speak out against the failings of Mugabe's Zimbabwe on
behalf of his team while others, most notably the ECB, failed to give the
advice most felt was imperative. The government passed the buck too, and the
sport's international governing body, the ICC, effectively buried its head
in the sand to say: "This is a political decision and not a responsibility
At least now, 10 months before the tour is due to begin, there is the hope
that a satisfactory conclusion might be reached and it will not be left for
the players to take the matter into their own hands. This time, there can be
no excuse for the shabby fudging of the issue which left Hussain looking a
broken man. Nevertheless, I suspect many at Lord's must be wishing the
ultimate decision had been taken by those who rule rather than those who act
as sporting administrators.
Perhaps our elected representatives decided an awkward precedent might be
set were they to enter the affairs of an individual sport, although I fail
to see the argument if that is the case. After all, India did not play
Pakistan for more than three years because of a decision taken by the Indian
government, not the Indian cricket board. And what is so different in this
Maybe an element of the British government does not wish to upset Mugabe's
African neighbours when their support could prove crucial if London is to
have a chance of success in its bid to stage the 2012 Olympic Games. And I
do not doubt there are plenty who will be asking why cricket should be
suffering as a sport through the possibility of cancelled tours. After all,
there are still any number of unresolved questions about China's human
rights record, and it seems safe to assume Tibet will not be competing in
the Beijing Olympics of 2008. Yet nobody seems to be suggesting there should
be a boycott. So, the critics of a cricket boycott might ask with some
justification if values are not becoming a little blurred.
But the point is, two wrongs do not make a right. In any case, what is the
problem with English cricket making a stance against a grubby tyrant? In
1968, England's tour of South Africa was called off because of the Basil
D'Oliveira affair, and sport helped prompt the development of an
anti-apartheid movement which ended, 26 years later, with the overthrow of a
racist government and the election of Nelson Mandela as South African
president. Perhaps those who say sport and politics should not be linked
should try telling that to Mandela.
Hopefully, the ECB executives will spend their time lobbying the ICC and
other Test-playing nations like Australia and Sri Lanka, who are due to tour
Zimbabwe before England. Perhaps it is not too late to convince them to
follow suit and call off their tours. The ICC can pontificate as much as it
likes about binding agreements between Test-playing countries, and Zimbabwe
can speak of the need for compensation in the event of tours being
cancelled, but that does not begin to address the question of the moral
rights and wrongs of maintaining sporting links with Zimbabwe.
England's critics might ask what right we have to question the morals of
anybody, which is a debate that could fill a book. But the ECB will regain a
lot of the ground lost last year if they act now within the framework of the
guidelines laid down by their chairman of corporate affairs and marketing
advisory committee, Des Wilson.
His study, stupidly leaked last week to selected sections of the media
instead of being dignified by a formal ECB press conference, says moral
objection should be sufficient grounds for a tour to be called off.
Well, hurrah for that. Common sense at last. All that remains to be done is
for English cricket to take the final step. Even though the government has
not made any binding decree, it is patently obvious the support is there for
the decision to be taken. If the ICC doesn't like it, tough. Zimbabwe's
emasculated cricket authorities will cry foul, but they would, wouldn't
they? And if they demand compensation for England's failure to arrive, so
Let's not forget Andy Flower and Henry Olonga, who thought so much about the
death of democracy in Zimbabwe that they walked away from their Test team
and their country. For me, they were the ones who spoke out for the people
of Zimbabwe, black and white, and who said loud and clear they wanted no
more part of cricket in their country. Their words and actions should be
enough for England.
For them, and for common decency, England's tour of Zimbabwe cannot now go
Bakare launches voter education campaign
ANGLICAN bishop Sebastian Bakare has launched
a voter education
campaign aimed at convincing Zimbabweans to shun political parties that use
violence to gain votes in next year’s parliamentary election.
Bakare, who last year led an initiative by local churches to
facilitate the resumption of talks between the ruling ZANU PF and the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), said his campaign would
attempt to convince voters to “free themselves from violence, oppression and
He told The Daily News yesterday: “People should be made aware that,
through their votes, they have the power to free themselves from violence,
tyranny, oppression, hunger and disease.”
“Zimbabweans should vote for a friend and not a for person who
preaches violence, because one will be voting for the continuation of
violence and oppression. One should not vote because they have been
Voters should not reward violence by voting for a political party that
agitates for violence, regardless of whether that party is the ruling party
or the opposition.”
Local and international observer groups say elections held in Zimbabwe
in the past four years have been marred by politically motivated violence
and intimidation. Most of the groups concluded that the 2000 parliamentary
and the 2002 presidential polls were not free and fair because of violence
and alleged electoral fraud.
Observers say political intimidation has also been used in local
Although the ruling party has denied the charge, human rights
organisations say most of the violence has been perpetrated by ZANU PF
supporters against MDC members and officials.
While acknowledging that his campaign might attract a negative
response from government officials, Bakare said he would not be silenced.
Government ministers have in the past slammed church leaders who have
spoken out against political violence and human rights abuses, accusing them
of dabbling in politics and working with the opposition to topple the
Last year, Bakare and other church leaders – who shuttled between ZANU
PF and the MDC in an attempt to broker dialogue – were accused by government
ministers and ZANU PF officials of being “dishonsest brokers” pushing an MDC
Bakare yesterday said he would not be silenced by “junior and
loud-mouth politicians,” in his fight for justice.
He told The Daily News: “I will not be silenced by people who are
benefiting from the system of violence.”
He added that he had a national duty to speak against oppression and
Responding to allegations made by a columnist in the
government-controlled Herald last month, the Anglican bishop denied that he
had received funding from the Norwegian government to finance “subversive
activities” in Zimbabwe.
Herald columnist Nathaniel Manheru also accused the bishop of using
his influence to campaign for the MDC in the rural areas.
Bakare said: “Manheru is a retrogressive Zimbabwean who wants this
oppression to continue because he might be benefiting from it. Manheru
thinks the mission of the Church is not to concern itself with social and
justice matters. I have a pastoral duty to inform the people on the need to
use their vote for prosperity and freedom.”
NAMAS, ZIMA must compromise
MANY Zimbabweans are watching with trepidation as the
private doctors and medical aid societies square off in a high-stakes game
whose outcome will have a bearing on the health and the very lives of a
large number of people.
On the one hand, doctors insist that their recent 400 percent fee hike
is crucial if they are to operate viable businesses. But medical aid
societies say such an increase – which has pegged private doctors’ fees at
$46 000 – is unreasonable and unaffordable.
Last Friday, the two parties failed yet again to reach an agreement
and end a stalemate that threatens to make Zimbabwe’s medical insurance
industry irrelevant. Instead, both sides have taken to sniping at each other
in the media as they seek to expose the other’s faults and, presumably, gain
sympathy from the public.
Remarks by representatives of doctors seem to suggest that medical aid
providers are short-changing their clients, living extravagantly while their
On its part, the National Association of Medical Aid Societies (NAMAS)
maintains that it has the best interests of the public at heart.
The organisation points out that clients of its members are already
reeling from the 200 percent tariff increase caused by the doctors’ fee
increase, and cannot afford to pay cash for treatment as demanded by the
But as each side seeks to gain the moral high ground in a tense
standoff, the sobering reality is that their failure to find common ground
is worsening the plight of the very people whose interests they both claim
While the two parties stare each other down and wait to see who will
blink first, workers are paying huge amounts in tariffs every month, but
cannot use their medical insurance cards when they visit a doctor.
On top of their monthly contributions to health insurance providers,
they must pay close to $50 000 to their physicians, and then wait several
months to be refunded some of this money by their medical aid societies.
This at a time when most workers’ wages are lagging far behind
inflation. Such a situation is unsustainable, especially for those with
chronic illnesses, who are compelled to seek medical attention more
frequently than others.
With the country’s public health delivery system in a shambles, more
people have come to rely on the private health sector.
The standoff between private doctors and medical insurance providers
simply means that even more Zimbabweans will now be unable to access health
care as easily as they should.
That is why it is crucial that NAMAS and the Zimbabwe Medical
Association (ZIMA), representing private doctors, should make an effort to
find common ground so that they can best serve their clients.
It would be tragic if the Ministry of Health was forced to follow
through on its threats to step in and break the impasse, largely because the
government – with its populist and quick-fix solutions – tends to complicate
rather than resolve most crises.
It is in the best interests of NAMAS, ZIMA, and more importantly, the
long-suffering public that the present situation is not prolonged.
NAMAS must address doctors’ grievances about low fees and late
payments. Doctors must be able to meet their costs so they can remain in
business, otherwise they will be forced to close shop and join the exodus to
But doctors, too, must be prepared to meet the medical aid societies
half-way. If the two sides reach a compromise over fees and payments, then
doctors must be willing to concede that demanding patients to pay cash
before treatment will do NAMAS members great harm.
The weakening of the health insurance sector would not be in the best
interests of either doctors or the nation at large.
Dialogue entered into honestly by both parties remains the most
desirable means of preventing further decline in Zimbabwe’s health delivery
It is important that NAMAS and ZIMA soberly examine the consequences
of the course of action they seem determined to carry through to the bitter
end, before they commit themselves irrevocably.
Soccer mania will not mask the truth
FOR the last week, in between incessant
headline news about football,
the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) has been telling us that the
economy is well on the way to being fixed.
Apparently, so the government says, inflation has gone down and
according to ZBC’s “man in the street” interviews, everyone is utterly
delighted at falling prices.
I think I must be living in another country because my grocery bill
just goes up and up every week.
I would like to challenge any of the men who call themselves “economic
analysts” to explain this to an ordinary woman in the street.
In fact, it would be really great to hear from a female “economic
analyst” – one who actually goes into the shops and buys the food needed to
keep her family alive.
I wonder if any of these economic experts have gone shopping
recently – and I mean for real things like food and not luxury vehicles
whose origins are so suspect that they are being rapidly offloaded and
causing traffic jams in used-car lots.
How can school fees go up by 400 percent and yet inflation, they say,
is going down?
The same applies to municipal rents and rates, which have just gone up
by 1 000 percent, and yet inflation, they say, is going down.
In the last quarter of 2003 my electricity bill averaged $8 000 a
month, now the same consumption costs $17 000. Telephone charges have more
than quadrupled in the last three months and the cost of one little postage
stamp for a local letter, which was $300 in December, is now $500.
These examples of such huge price rises could go on and on for pages
and yet the government tells us that inflation is going down.
This is this same government which is apparently so utterly obsessed
with soccer that it has taken to scoring own goals in Parliament! Last week,
Parliament was trying to push through more amendments to the “fast-track”
Land Acquisition Act and, yet again, attempt to add paper legality to a
totally illegal land grab.
A parliamentary legal sub-committee presented an adverse report on the
amendments, saying they were unconstitutional. When Justice Minister Patrick
Chinamasa tried to counter the adverse report, he was called up on a point
of order by opposition MP David Coltart.
Coltart said that Chinamasa could not be involved in the discussion
because the justice minister had a personal financial interest in the issue.
Coltart said that Chinamasa and many other ZANU PF legislators in the
House were named as being multiple beneficiaries in the government’s
allocation of seized farms and should, therefore, recuse themselves.
The justice minister immediately shouted out that Coltart was a
“racist liar” and pandemonium broke out in the House.
Three Movement for Democratic Change MPs were subsequently thrown out
of Parliament for arguing. The legal committee’s report was then debated and
a vote was called for.
“All those in favour say ‘aye’,” the chairman called out. All
together, the ZANU PF MPs shouted “aye” and then realised that they had
actually just voted against themselves!
In breach of all parliamentary procedures, the ZANU PF chairman
ignored the rules and called for a second vote as if the last shout of “aye”
had been an illusion. This time, the ruling party MPs voted the other way.
Incessant headline stories about soccer games may attempt to hide the
truth about what’s going on in Parliament, but they certainly cannot
distract our attention from the fact that everything still costs more in
January 2004 than it did in December 2003.
Voting against your own amendments may be an illusion, but school
fees, food, electricity and telephone charges are not!
By The Litany Bird
Mugabe spin doctor in Nations Cup row
By Special Correspondent in Tunis
THE world hates Zimbabwe. Even African Football Confederation officials and
their Tunisian counterparts wish harm on our country. They will stop at
nothing to demonise Zimbabwe, and they cheat us too.
Listening to President Robert Mugabe’s chief spin doctor Jonathan Moyo
spinning on a straight forward defeat at the hands of Egypt, one would think
Zimbabwe was being prepared for a war, or there was a major diplomatic spat
with a rival nation.
Where everyone else saw Zimbabwe’s straight forward 2-1 defeat by the four
time African Cup of Nations winners Egypt, Moyo saw a grand conspiracy, and
that’s just what he told the players and travelling journalists after the
And when an old Zimbabwe national anthem was played instead of the latest
one, the jigsaw pieces seemed to fall in place for Moyo. He didn’t need any
more evidence of a plot against the government of Zimbabwe, its football
team and its people.
He ranted: "It was a cheap attempt by the organisers to demoralise our boys
and we are hoping that the responsible authorities will get to the bottom of
No one will dispute the bravery of the Warriors who matched their
counterparts in every part of the pitch. They fought like their lives
depended on that game, and many in Zimbabwe were definitely delighted at the
promise shown by their team regardless of the defeat.
But one would think Moyo was watching a different match. With a grand
conspiracy clearly on his mind, the Political Science Professor, known for
his acerbic outbursts and predilection for twisting facts in defence of
government policies warmed up to his theme with a remarkable outburst.
"The game was not decided by the way we played but by sheer luck. Both of
Egypt’s goals were scrappy and the second one was dubiously awarded. In the
end we lost controversially,” the recently discovered football enthusiast
Moyo, it would seem, needs a few football lessons. In this case, the bone of
contention is the second goal by Mohammed Barakat. Despite an effort by
Warriors defender Dazzy Kapenya to clear from the line, television replays
showed the ball HAD already crossed the line.
In football, referees have to blow their whistle to indicate a goal. But as
the driving force behind President Mugabe’s regime, maybe the Good Professor
knows a thing or two about snatching victory when defeat is certain.
With bitterness sweeping through him, Moyo, not known to be a church-goer
added rather ecclesiastically: "God is for us all, we are not cry babies and
we must now focus on the next game.”
If you thought Moyo’s utterances were bizarre, it turned even weirder with
the presence of notorious war veteran Joseph Chinotimba among Zimbabwe’s
travelling party to Tunis. Chinotimba, a fearsome follower of President
Mugabe’s ruling Zanu PF party who led farm invasions declared: "We lost the
battle but not the war."
Zimbabwe’s England based skipper Peter Ndlovu scored with a lovely header
early in the second half but the goal was cancelled by Tamer Abdelh Amid's
deflected goal and Mohammed Barakat's scrambled strike at the Taiebi Mhiri
The Zimbabwe government’s critics say it is using popular sport, mainly
football, to try and prop-up its flagging support amid growing poverty,
ballooning inflation and a tense political atmosphere that has torn apart
Zimbabwean stabbed to death in Texas
By Staff Reporter
TEXAN police in the United States have locked up a serial rapist from Dallas
charged with the brutal murder of a Zimbabwean woman.
Spiwe Mtemaringa, 24, was fatally stabbed in her apartment in North Dallas.
Paul Smith, 40, a known rapist and criminal who had just been let back into
the community by the police had bail set at $75 000 and he failed to raise
it which means he will stay in jail for the duration of the trial in which
he is accused with murder.
According to reports, police were summoned to check on Spiwe Mtemaringa, 24,
after screams were heard in her apartment on Monday night last week. The
apartment complex is in the 5000 block of Preston Oaks Road west of Texas
289 in far North Dallas.
Mtemaringa was the victim of multiple stab wounds in her chest and back.
Officers said witnesses saw a man leave the apartment shortly after the
screaming, then watched him go to a nearby apartment, reportedly the home of
a friend. Police arrested him there.
State court records show that Smith was convicted of aggravated rape in
1982. The records also show that he served time in the county jail for
probation revocation in 2001, misdemeanor theft of check in 1997 and felony
theft in 1996.
Mutemarinda’s uncle, Fredrick Chunga said the man who had been released from
prison, was also a tenant at the flat.
He said the suspect was later arrested after police had carried out some
searches at the flat. "The weapon used was found in his home and it had
bloodstains on it," he said.
Mutemarinda’s body arrived in the country last at the weekend for burial.
She lived in Harare’s Hatfield suburb.
By the time of her death, Mutemarinda was studying Radiography at Brookhaven
College in Dallas.
Meanwhile, doctor accused of sexually assaulting female employees at the
Royal Columbian Hospital in Canada last year is facing three more charges.
Floyd Sekeramayi, 32, was originally charged with three counts of sexual
assault on Dec. 15, last year, but he is now facing a total of six sexual
Sekeramayi appeared briefly at New Westminster provincial court Monday with
his next scheduled appearance Jan. 19.
A publication ban has been placed on the court proceedings.
The alleged assaults occurred between July and November 2003, and all the
alleged victims are hospital employees, said New Westminster police.
Sekeramayi turned himself in to police Dec. 16, the day after he was
Sekeramayi was placed on indefinite leave by the hospital, an internal
investigation was launched and police were contacted after several staff
members filed complaints in October.
One of the alleged victims is a nurse with nearly 20 years' experience at
the hospital. Another is a nurse's aide and a third is an orderly.
New Westminster police Staff Sgt. Casey Dehaas said there may be more
victims and encouraged anyone with information to contact police. He said
the alleged sexual assaults were in the nature of "fondling, touching and
groping" and dated to July this year.
Sekeramayi graduated from medical school in Zimbabwe in 1995 and came to
Canada in 1999. In order to qualify to practise medicine at Royal Columbian
starting in July 2001, he passed the necessary examinations at the
University of B.C to ensure his qualifications were equivalent to those of a
B.C. graduate medical student.
Dr. Morris Van Andel, registrar of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of
B.C., said the African physician received an educational permit to join the
hospital staff under the supervision of the orthopedics department.
"He was sponsored independently by a number of groups who are supporting
him" in Canada, Van Andel said. Any action by the college at this point
would be "superfluous" since Sekeramayi cannot practise medicine anywhere at
the moment, said Van Andel.
Mugabe 'fit and well'
ZIMBABWEAN officials reacted angrily to reports about President Mugabe's
failing health, dismissing them as contemptuous after the 79-year old leader
was flown to South Africa Saturday.
"The President is as fit as none of his detractors can ever hope to be in
their lifetime," thundered Secretary for Information and Publicity in the
Office of the President and Cabinet George Charamba.
Charamba said President Mugabe was on leave and had, in the context of that
leave, gone to South Africa strictly on private and not official business.
According to the British Sunday Telegraph newspaper, Mugabe was airlifted to
South Africa for emergency medical treatment after collapsing at his state
residence in Harare.
South African television said Mugabe was on a "private visit" which
observers said was rather strange.
"I cannot imagine President Mbeki flying to Harare on a private visit and
not meeting any of the Zimbabwean government officials. It follows therefore
that Mugabe cannot have a private visit to South Africa and not meet
government officials. There is something we are not being told," said an
official at the South African embassy in Harare.
Quoting an unnamed member of his security staff, The Sunday Telegraph
newspaper said a security alert had been raised in Zimbabwe and soldiers
deployed on the streets to counter any uprising as news trickled in of
Mugabe's failing health.
The paper said the 79-year-old dictator was flown by military aircraft to
Johannesburg after a violent vomiting fit. He was accompanied on the flight
by his wife Grace, personal doctors and a string of aides.
His collapse followed a similar bout of illness three months ago, for which
he was also treated in South Africa. Last night, road blocks were set up
around Harare, manned by riot police and soldiers to dispel any mass
protests. Reinforcements from police, army and militia outside the capital
were drafted into Harare to shore up the regime.
"We were ordered not to give any details of the president's illness in case
it brought people out on to the streets," a senior member of the 'Green
Bombers', the notorious youth brigade created by Mr Mugabe, told The Sunday
Telegraph. Mr Mugabe is understood to have vomited repeatedly during Friday
night then collapsed as he attempted to get out of bed yesterday.
On arrival in Johannesburg, he was driven away in an entourage of cars
accompanied by bodyguards, according to a witness who saw him at the
airport. He is understood to have been driven to a clinic for treatment. He
was previously treated at a private hospital near Pretoria.
Mr Mugabe is taken outside Zimbabwe for treatment to reduce the threat of
news of his illness leaking out and prompting popular unrest. Reports of a
similar collapse late in October, when he was said to have suffered
uncontrollable vomiting, prompted uproar.
At the time, spokesmen for his regime denied that he was ill or had left the
country, insisting it was "business as usual". However, television pictures
purporting to show the president at an international cultural conference are
said by broadcasters to have been old footage.
A member of staff at Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation later revealed that
they were asked to find recent footage of Mr Mugabe and play it during the
national news bulletin to "calm public opinion".
In fact, the pictures used dated from his ruling Zanu-PF's annual party
congress meeting, at Victoria Falls, last August. Supporters of the regime
have sought to play down Mr Mugabe's medical problems, but rumours of
ill-health and strokes have dogged him in recent years. Mr Mugabe's latest
collapse and emergency hospitalisation will intensify jockeying within
Zanu-PF over his succession.
After 23 years in power, the president has appeared increasingly frail in
recent months while at the same time showing remarkable stamina. Last night,
a spokesman for the South African government said: "I have no information on
whether President Mugabe is in the country or not."
ECB just a bunch of apologists
By Kate Hoey
A few days ago I thought the England and Wales
Cricket Board had at last
remembered that they were the governing body of a hugely popular sport and
not a bunch of apologists for dictatorships. But I was wrong.
Postponing for another month a decision on whether to tour Zimbabwe in the
autumn shows that they are led by a chairman and chief executive who do not
seem capable of providing leadership for cricket in this new century. Tim
Lamb says more time is needed to "make an informed decision".
This is the same Tim Lamb whose grovelling thanks to Peter Chingoka,
chairman of the Zimbabwe Cricket Union when President Robert Mugabe gave the
go ahead for their cricket team to tour England last year set the tone of
indecision and appeasement.
So, on Thursday, the board will discuss the Des Wilson paper which examines
the non-sporting grounds for cancelling tours. Then the executive will spend
a month "undertaking further analysis of the legal, financial and cricketing
implications of any possible postponement of the tour". Not much sign of the
moral dimension there!
I sympathise with those on the board who are furious that Wilson's paper was
released to the press from Lord's before they even had an opportunity to
discuss it privately. But that is a reason to find out who authorised this -
and not a reason for procrastination. Just how much more information do the
The Foreign Secretary's letter to Lamb, although unfortunately stopping
short of asking the team not to go, is blunt about the escalating abuse of
human rights, the dire shortage of food and the increasing isolation of
Mugabe by the international community.
What must be so frustrating for members of the board is that this tour need
never have been arranged. David Morgan, the ECB chairman, should not have
promised that England would tour. At the time many of us warned that this
was a shabby deal, made only for monetary reasons and likely to backfire.
Another opportunity was missed when Mugabe withdrew from the Commonwealth
after agreement was reached in November to renew sanctions. This was an
ideal time for the ECB to simply announce the tour was off. Within the ECB,
Mike Soper, their deputy chairman, had tried to get a decision on the tour
before England signed up to host this year's ICC Champions Trophy. But
Morgan did not listen.
Now, cancelling the tour is likely to lead to the ICC threatening to take
away the tournament from England. The Foreign Secretary's letter made no
reference to the fact that Zimbabwe are due here in September for the ICC
Trophy but this increasingly looks doomed too.
Last week the Foreign Office refused the Zimbabwe football team transit
visas to pass through London en route to Tunisia for the African Nations
Cup. So surely this means there would be no visas granted for Zimbabwean
cricketers to visit England in September?
But, in any case, how could we allow their cricket team to play at the
Oval - in my constituency - when there are hundreds of men and women,
refugees from this murderous dictator, living nearby. When Mugabe is not
ordering his Zanu PF thugs to murder, rape and pillage, he likes to watch
cricket in his capacity as president of the Zimbabwe Cricket Union.
Cricket supporters inside Zimbabwe are opposed to a tour too, as is Henry
Olonga, the brave cricketer sacked for his black armband protest for
When I went 'undercover' to Zimbabwe last summer to see the situation for
myself I met a group of young Matabele 'Cricket Supporters for Democracy'.
They had all suffered as a result of their protests at World Cup matches.
Wearing T-shirts with the slogan 'It's just not cricket' they told me of
being tortured while they were in custody.
While in Matabeleland I met a courageous woman, Jenni Williams, the founder
of Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA), a pressure group of ordinary women who
have over the past 18 months been bravely demonstrating and protesting about
food shortages, state violence and the human rights abuses of the Mugabe
Anyone suspected of being a supporter of the Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) is routinely dragged from their home at night and taken to police
stations where they can be kept for days.
Jenni has spent numerous nights in police cells which is why, just before
Christmas when she came to London for a short visit, she had shaved her
beautiful braided hair to make it easier to get rid of prison lice. One day
she went to Lord's to meet the ECB's head of corporate affairs, John Reid,
and plead for the tour to be cancelled.
He put it to her that the England visit would offer the opportunity for
pro-democracy demonstrators to attract attention and get their voice heard.
She told him how she had to deal with the aftermath of state-sponsored
brutality meted out to peaceful protesters, many of them teenagers at the
Queen's Club ground in Bulawayo at last year's World Cup.
She reminded him of the death of Edison Mukwasi, the MDC's former youth
chairman, who died directly as a result of torture he endured after handing
out leaflets at the match with Pakistan.
There are good people on the ECB board. It is time for them to stand up and
be counted even if their leadership have messed up once more. They must face
up to their wider responsibilities and pull out now. That would be a huge
morale boost for the brave Zimbabweans who are struggling for freedom and
would send a message to Mugabe that cricket will not be a propaganda tool
for his condemned regime.
Increase In Elephant Population Concerns Ramsamy
Prof Malema and Kabo Mokgoabone
1/25/2004 8:05:30 PM (GMT +2)
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) president, Prega
Ramsamy expressed concern on Friday at the alarming increase of elephant
population over the past decade. He lamented that the move has led to
conflict between the animals, people and their property.
He said the elephant population in the region
has doubled over the
past decade due to the stringent conversation measures, which the member
countries embarked on sparking an unhealthy eco-system problem.
“Countries such as Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe now have the largest
population head and density of elephants in Africa. Large elephant
concentration have always been a problem as they impact negatively both on
their habitat and people through damage to property and in some cases loss
of lives,” he said.
Southern Africa, excluding Angola is home to 242,469 elephants — 39
percent of Africa’s 615,269 population — sandwiched in an area of 1,200,000
square kilometres. Botswana alone is home to 120,000 elephants far ahead of
the 50,000 that is the country’s carrying capacity. Most of the country’s
elephants are sand-witched in the northern parts of the country between
Chobe/Okavango area - which is Botswana’s main tourism attraction point.
However, Ramsamy said SADC is aggressively advocating the sustainable
management of natural resources through community based initiatives. He said
among the programmes they are mulling over include direct benefit of the
communities from wildlife management which are vital in the improvement of
their livelihoods as well as wildlife conservation.
“As the secretariat of SADC, and through the protocol on wildlife
adopted by SADC heads of states and governments in 1999, we encourage member
states to adopt such national policies and management measures which
promotes not only the conservation of wildlife and in particular the
protection of endangered and migratory species like elephants, but also its
direct use values in consumptive, productive and non-consumptive ways,”
“We encourage the management of wildlife by communities as a way of
returning to them the right over natural resources. We encourage and promote
funding and investment for the management of wildlife resources in protected
areas especially where the habitat cross national boundaries of members
states,” he added.
A raft of measures - including the translocation of live animals,
limited trade in ivory and the erection of the transfrontier parks — aimed
at achieving their ambitious goal.
So far, the existing transfrontier parks include the Kalahari
Transfrontier Park between Botswana and South Africa, Limpopo initiative
between the three member states of Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
The other proposed transfrontier park is expected to be erected at the
Tuli Circle, in the Tuli Block area that will include Botswana, South Africa
and Zimbabwe while the other one is expected at the Caprivi Strip.
The other element includes negotiations with the Convention on
International Trade on Endangered Species (CITES), a world body which
oversees trade in endangered species which the member countries are a
The SADC member states, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa whose
elephants are listed under Appendix II - allowing limited trade in ivory -
persuaded the international body in Santiago, Chile in 2002 to allow them to
trade in ivory.
The move was the second since 1997 when Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe
won their campaign which led them to sell their huge stock of ivory stashed
in high security warehouses to Japan in 1999.
South Africa wants to sell 30 tons, Botswana 20 tons and Namibia 10
tons - 18 months after the agreement reached in November 2002 — and each
agreement is expected to be continually reviewed
Botswana’s Director of Wildlife and National Parks, Joseph Matlhare
has said the agreement caters for the trade in ivory and translocation of
live animals to acceptable nations.
Further, Matlhare stated that SADC countries are only prepared to sell
their ivory to countries, which have controls that would not allow illegal
ivory to jeopardise legitimate trade.
“It is not that we are going to sell to everyone. The countries that
we are intending to sell to must have controls which will not allow illegal
ivory to interfere with legal trade,” Matlhare said.