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

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COSATU plots tougher action against Zimbabwe
Fri 15a July 2005
  JOHANNESBURG - The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), which
caused problems for the Zimbabwe government through a series of
demonstrations and pickets at Zimbabwe's Beitbridge border and the embassy
in Pretoria, has warned that it's considering more tough action against

      COSATU secretary general Zwelinzima Vavi said members of the powerful
labour movement's decision making central committee must gear themselves to
agree on more "real measures" to support the struggle in Zimbabwe.

      These he said must go beyond the "mere pickets and demonstrations"
COSATU organised after its expulsion from Zimbabwe before the March
parliamentary election.

      Vavi also condemned African leaders over their continued silence on
Zimbabwe which he said has "become a massive tragedy".

      Speaking to reporters yesterday, Vavi also urged President Thabo
Mbeki's government to jettison its "quiet diplomacy" approach because it had
failed to rein in Mugabe's excesses and adopt a more robust approach to
rescue Zimbabwe from the precipice.

      Vavi said the silence of African leaders over "Operation
Murambatsvina", which had made between 300 000 and 1.5 million people
homeless, according to varying estimates, was equally tragic.

      "We have said the AU and its Nepad project will be discredited if they
don't concern themselves with what is a clear case of human rights abuses,"
he said.

      "Other (African) governments must speak up, be heard and be counted
alongside the voices of the vulnerable in the country (Zimbabwe)," said

      Vavi urged the COSATU central committee to agree on "real measures" to
help the struggling people of Zimbabwe at its meeting scheduled for today.
These measures must go beyond picketing at Zimbabwe's borders and they must
also be more than mere statements condeming Mugabe.

      He could not immediately say what these measures should be saying it
was up to the COSATU central committee to decide.

      But ultimately, it was the responsibility of the Zimbabwean people to
liberate themselves from Mugabe's tyranny, he said. Much as Zimbabweans were
entitled to outside help in what was clearly their greatest hour of need, it
ultimately was their responsibility to confront the Mugabe regime and seek
to end its tyranny.

      "They (Zimbabweans) might be feeling hopeless at the state of events
in their country but eventually, they will have to rise just as we rose
against apartheid repression in South Africa," he said, emphasising that
they should first rise through the ballot box.

      If this route continued being shut for them, then it would be in their
rights to opt for other sterner measures, Vavi said.

      "The tragedy continuing to unfold in Zimbabwe no longer requires a
softly-softly approach from South Africa and other southern African
countries but a more robust strategy to rein in President Robert Mugabe's
excesses," he added. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

Mugabe's ambitious housing dream faces ruin
Fri 15 July 2005

      HARARE - Zimbabwe's grand programme to build houses for close to a
million people displaced by its urban clean-up exercise appears set to fail
with only 170 foundations laid so far ahead of an August 31 deadline because
there are no funds for the much publicised reconstruction drive.

      Local Government and National Housing Minister Ignatius Chombo
yesterday told ZimOnline that Treasury had so far released only Z$50 billion
out of a total of $3 trillion which the government says it needs to build
houses for evicted families and to clear a national housing backlog of more
than two million people.

      The $50 billion - a paltry sum given high building costs in
hyperinflationary Zimbabwe - will be shared among the country's 10 provinces
but only $1 billion has been given to each province so far.

      President Robert Mugabe's government, facing international
condemnation and pressure to halt its controversial urban renewal programme,
announced last month it was embarking on a major reconstruction exercise
after its demolition of city backyard
      cottages and shanty towns left thousands of families enduring cold
nights deep into the winter season.

      But economic analysts dismissed the reconstruction programme as a ploy
to hoodwink the international community saying Harare, already hard pressed
for cash for fuel and food imports just did not have enough resources to
undertake such a massive building project at short notice.

      "A total of $50 billion has so far been released by Treasury out of
the $1 trillion set aside for the first phase of the reconstruction
programme," Chombo said. "Government is inviting all stakeholders to
participate in the programme to maximise resource utilisation," he added.

      Chombo said the government would construct a total of 5 000 core
houses by the end of this month throughout the country and at that rate,
many of the displaced families will still be homeless by the end of the
government's August 31 deadline.

      In a tacit admission that it does not have adequate resources, the
government has now decided to allocate residential stands to homeless
families wishing to build on their own. But the stands are not serviced with
roads, water or sewerage reticulation facilities.

      The government has also allowed displaced people allocated new stands
to build makeshift structures, the same which were declared illegal and
demolished by the police.

      Harare and Chitungwiza, the most hit by the operation, are expected to
have 2 010 houses built by the end of this month but as of last Friday, only
170 housing foundations had been laid in Harare while a few demo-houses were
being finished at Whitecliff, just outside the capital.

      Murerwa, who publicly admitted the massive housing programme was not
budgeted, is expected to seek extra funds from Parliament in the next two
weeks when he presents a supplementary budget, a situation analysts say will
help widen the budget deficit and fuel inflation.

      A UN envoy is expected to publish findings of her two-week assessment
mission of Harare's housing demolition campaign before the end of next
week. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

Reserve Bank in backdoor devaluation of dollar
Fri 15 July 2005

      HARARE - Zimbabwe's Reserve Bank yesterday introduced a blanket 25
percent "bonus" on all official foreign currency sales, a move analysts said
was a backdoor devaluation as the crisis-ridden country's foreign currency
shortages deepen.

      The surprise measure effectively devalued the local currency to 13 067
to the US dollar, from its 10 454 to the greenback at the country's

      The central bank's arm Homelink (Pvt) Ltd said all people who receive
money from abroad through its Homelink programme would receive the 25
percent bonus in addition to the exchange rate.

      The Homelink programme is an RBZ special scheme to entice the more
than three million exiled Zimbabweans to send foreign currency back home by
offering them high returns for their hard cash.

      In a statement, Homelink said: "The same applies to individuals who
exchange their foreign currency at banks and the Reserve Bank's foreign
currency purchasing centres.

      "This is as a result of the Reserve Bank's exchange control department
extending to foreign currency offered for sale as free funds the 25 percent
export delivery bonus for foreign exchange delivered to the bank within 30

      All banks were yesterday offering the "bonus" which previously had
been confined only to exporters, the remaining key players in generating
foreign exchange after the collapse of key sectors such as tourism.

      The auctions, introduced last year in January have failed to end the
six-year foreign currency crisis brought about by the drying up of external
funding from international donors and multilateral institutions.

      Zimbabwe needs US$67 million for fuel every month and at least US$14
million for power imports but has in the past failed to raise the money.

      Officials in the forex-starved country this week repeated that it had
ordered 1.8 million tonnes of maize from mainly South Africa but would not
disclose where the government had got the money. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

Africa's complacency on Zimbabwe mirrors another Rwanda, warns trade
Fri 15 July 2005

      JOHANNESBURG - A top Zimbabwean trade unionist accused Africa of
complacency in the face of a deteriorating crisis in Zimbabwe saying
continental leaders will only wake up to act if the situation degenerates
into a Rwandan-type genocide or the Darfur massacres.

      Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) women's affairs
representative Thabitha Khumalo, who is in Johannesburg for talks with the
Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) told the Press that
President Robert Mugabe's controversial urban clean-up drive had shocked and
numbed crisis-sapped Zimbabweans.

      Close to a million people have been cast onto the streets without
food, clean water or a means of livelihood after their informal businesses,
backyard cottages and shantytown homes were demolished by armed police in a
campaign Mugabe has defended as vital to smash crime and restore the beauty
of Zimbabwe's cities.

      Khumalo, whose face was blue and swollen following a violent assault
allegedly by pro-Mugabe youths, said the clean-up campaign had reduced
Zimbabweans to refugees in their own country.

      The international community has roundly condemned the clean-up drive
while the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), which enjoys
more support in urban areas, has said the government campaign is meant to
punish city residents for backing the opposition party.

      A United Nations envoy is next week expected to submit a report of her
findings after a two-week mission to Zimbabwe to probe the mass evictions. A
South African Council of Churches delegation that returned from Harare
earlier this week, also
      castigated Mugabe's clean-up operation saying it was "shocked" by the
untold suffering and misery brought on poor families displaced by the
clean-up operation.

      COSATU, which has differed with President Thabo Mbeki and his ruling
African National Congress (ANC) party on their policy towards Harare, says
the humanitarian crisis triggered off by Mugabe's clean-up drive was beyond
the capacity of non-governmental organisations alone saying African
governments should intervene.

      The South African workers' union, which is in a tripartite ruling
alliance led by the ANC and which includes the South African Communist
Party, says the only way forward for Zimbabwe was for the formation of a
broad-based government of national unity including Mugabe's party, the MDC,
civil society, churches and labour. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

Report says African leaders' response to clean up "disgraceful"
Fri 15 July 2005

      JOHANNESBURG - A report co-authored by outspoken Bulawayo-based
Catholic Archbishop Pius Ncube has described responses by African leaders to
the government's controversial clean up exercises as "disgraceful."

      The report entitled, "State in Fear - Zimbabwe's tragedy is Africa's
shame," was co-authored by Ncube, Roger Bate of the American Enterprise
Institute in Washington DC, and Richard Tren, the director of the
Johannesburg-based Africa Fighting Malaria.

      The three argue that African leaders and the African Union have failed
to do enough to halt the crackdown which has rendered close to a million
people homeless.

      "African leaders must accept that they are playing into the hands of
those who perceive the continent as a failure and a breeding ground for
despots," they said.

      Ncube is a strong critic of President Robert Mugabe's policies.

      Close to a million people have been rendered homeless after their
homes were destroyed in a clean up operation the government says is meant to
renew urban areas and smash the illegal foreign currency parallel market
blamed for Zimbabwe's economic woes.

      The United States, Britain, human rights groups and churches have all
condemned the exercise as a violation of poor people's rights.

      But the majority of African leaders have refused to condemn Mugabe for
the exercise. The African Union only agreed to send an envoy to probe the
evictions after relentless pressure from the international community after
it had initially refused to intervene saying the matter was an internal

      Ncube and his colleagues also argue that the Zimbabwean government's
clean up exercise is meant to "remove local competition threatening
newly-arrived Chinese businessmen whose stores sell cheap and often poor
quality goods."

      The Zimbabwean government says it is now looking towards the East for
economic salvation after the majority of Western governments imposed
sanctions on Mugabe and his top lieutenants for stealing elections and human
rights abuses against political opponents. - ZimOnline

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The Argus, Brighton, UK

Mugabe can bank on Hoogstraten
Property tycoon Nicholas Hoogstraten has strengthened his ties with the
regime of Robert Mugabe by becoming the biggest foreign investor in

Hoogstraten owned more than 400 homes in Brighton and Hove at the height of
his power but his fortunes dipped after he was arrested following the death
of his business rival Mohammed Raja, in July 1999.

Mr Raja was shot dead at his home in Surrey by two men alleged to be Mr
Hoogstraten's henchmen. They are serving life for murder.

The tycoon, 59, was given a ten-year jail term at the Old Bailey in 2002 for
manslaughter but his conviction was later quashed on appeal.

He has now built up his stake in Zimbabwe's NMB bank to about 30 per cent.

NMB Bank was valued at £70 million when it was floated in 1997 and was
ranked among the top 30 banks in sub-Saharan Africa.

But last year its fortunes plummeted after its founders - supporters of the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change - were forced to flee Zimbabwe.

They were accused of illegally moving currency abroad and Mugabe's
government froze all their assets.

Hoogstraten, a key financier of Mugabe's ruling Zanu PF party, owns several
large farming estates in Zimbabwe, which Mugabe spared from seizures during
his chaotic land reform programme.

Hoogstraten also has a controlling stake in Wankie, the country's largest
coal mine.

Last week Hoogstraten shocked what remains of Zimbabwe's financial community
by turning up at the annual meeting of NMB and announcing he had become the
largest shareholder.

The Raja family won High Court rulings which resulted in Mr Hoogstraten
being fined £1 million for non-disclosure of assets.

They were pursuing a £5 million claim their father had been making against
Mr Hoogstraten over business deals before his death.

The tycoon, who once boasted he was worth £500 million, was granted £1.12
million in legal aid for representation in his murder trial.
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Mbeki, SACC to discuss Zimbabwe clean-up campaign

July 15, 2005, 06:00

President Thabo Mbeki will meet a South African Council of Churches (SACC)
delegation at the Union Buildings in Pretoria today. The meeting follows a
damning report by the SACC about the Zimbabwean government's razing of
shantytowns and the moving of thousands of destitute people to transit

The council says a delegation will return to Zimbabwe this weekend as part
of its campaign to put an end to the clean-up campaign.

Morgan Tsvangirai, the Zimbabwe opposition MDC leader, said this week Mbeki
had assured him that he would change his approach towards the Harare

Zimbabwe must deal with own problems
Bheki Khumalo, Mbeki's spokesperson, reacted by saying the president was
still in favour of Zimbabweans dealing with their own problems.

Meanwhile, Robert Mugabe, the Zimbabwean president, says his government
should have emphasised the "reconstruction aspect" of the controversial
programme of shack demolitions.

Mugabe told a seminar in the resort town of Victoria Falls that the exercise
was seen by some as "a callous exercise to destroy homes".
He says it should be seen as bringing "joy" to the homeless, because 2
million new houses will be built by 2010.
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What will Africa do without grandparents?

An Africa that dies young is bereft of the family joy, social continuity and
wisdom that grandparents can bring

Joan Bakewell
Friday July 15, 2005
The Guardian

Let us not forget Africa. Among the welter of concerns that now jostle in
our heads, a clutch of numbers sticks in my mind. The statistics for life
expectancy in Africa are alarming: Ghana, 57 years; Nigeria, 51; Sudan, 56;
Ethiopia, 47; Uganda, 46; Somalia, 46; Tanzania, 43; Zimbabwe, 34; Sierra
Leone, 34. And things will get worse in sub-Saharan Africa because of
extensive HIV infection.
This is tragic enough for those directly affected. But indirectly, too, the
people of Africa will suffer. Soon most of its children will be without

Life expectancy in the developed world - Japan's is highest of all - means
that a three-generational family is expected. Grandparents are part of the
social, familial pattern of our community. We assign them a specific place
at the table, and a role in the emotional and psychological evolution of the
The culture at large looks for guidance to the wisdom and experience of its
elders. The guidance may be ignored, but it does at least exist and stands
as a record of what earlier generations thought and said. I think that
debates in the House of Lords are less confrontational and more packed with
good sense than anything you'll hear in the Commons. In Africa, our House of
Lords would be virtually empty.

So what are grandparents good for? And what will the young families of
Africa miss out on? Certainly it's my experience that women look to their
mothers when they are having their own children. It is a visceral bond.
Talking of how they themselves came into the world with the woman who gave
birth to them is both reassuring and as emotionally bonding as any human
relationship can be. For this, petty quarrels are put aside, distances are
crossed, and incompatible lifestyles tolerated. Mothers and daughters matter
most to each other at such moments.

Grandparents have more time. Two-job families leave little space for those
easygoing times together. Grandparents are good at nursery rhymes - they
probably know more too. They pass on the old wives' tales and saws of
yesteryear. They remember mnemonics and their multiplication tables. They
enjoy reading and playing games. They remember their own Blue Peter days and
can be a dab hand with two toilet-roll tubes and some cotton wool. I'm sure
African grandparents have their own equivalent. The relationship of play and
discipline between the elder generation and the very young is of a different
quality and may be more fun than that governed by the immediate urgencies of

Grandparents are less anxious. They aren't fuelled by driving ambition for
themselves any more. So they may well be more relaxed about under-achieving
youngsters. They are wise to the shallowness of human aspirations and able
to take pleasure in things that parents overlook. Grandparents have tales to
tell, of what life was like when they were young, before television, before
mobile phones, before PlayStations. In Africa, it may well be before
independence, before the civil war, before oil.

Grandparents are vessels for the traditions of the community. This is not
always good news. A group of Ethiopian women once explained to me that it
was the grannies who seek to perpetuate the tradition of female genital
mutilation. As they campaigned to liberate their daughters from the custom,
they had to defy the grannies. But this is surely an extreme case. Far more
typically, grandparents offer the weight of age and survival to the
instability of youth. Their view is long, their outlook benign. Their
seriousness redresses the wildness of the young. Grandparents do much to
steer the steady direction of a society. What will Africa do without them?

Britain's Voluntary Service Overseas now takes recruits up to the age of 75
and 20% of their volunteers are over 50. Apart from the job they do, such
people, being part of the community, often get friendly with local children.
For instance, that's what John and Ann Tennant did in the Gambia. They went
there when John was in his 60s, and soon became popular: "The children would
run into our compound: we had paper, crayons and things. They liked that.
Sometimes when we were tired they would be noisy and irritating. But when
the time came for us to leave the children said, 'we will have a farewell
party ... with skipping and games and biscuits'." And so they did. Just as
grandparents would.

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The Australian

Mugabe defends demolition policy
From correspondents in Harare, Zimbabwe
July 15, 2005
ZIMBABWE President Robert Mugabe today defended his government's
two-month-old crackdown on illegal structures, saying it should be seen as
reconstruction, not destruction.

Speaking on state television, he said the clean-up, which aid groups say has
made an estimated 300,000 people homeless in poor townships, was aimed at

"We are constructing brand new houses, mending those which require to be
mended, where it is necessary to destroy some. But the thrust is a
reconstruction one a positive thrust to rebuild things...that's how we
should have done it," Mr Mugabe said.

"But it was seen by others as a callous exercise. They said we were
destroying homes and not shacks. We were destroying shacks and attachments
to houses that were built to exploit the homeless ones."

A few weeks ago, bulldozers demolished structures in Harare's poor townships
which the government said had been built without permission.

The government has said the campaign, called Operation Restore Order, was
intended to clean up cities and help end crime and illegal trading in
foreign currency and scarce commodities. It has been extended to more
affluent areas.

Mr Mugabe said the government was moving swiftly to provide houses for those
affected by the operation.

"Let's move as quickly as we can, so that people can see that in areas where
land was subdivided into plots ... houses have now arisen," he said.

"There will be joy on the part of those who did not have homes, joy on the
part of those who had homes which could not accommodate fully their
families. Let's bring about that joy and we shall erase this image of a
Zimbabwe that is in ruins."

The crackdown took place against the backdrop of a deepening economic crisis
marked by acute shortages of foreign currency, fuel and food.

Mr Mugabe, in power since independence from Britain in 1980, is accused by
opponents and critics of running down one of Africa's most promising
economies through a series of unsound policies, including land seizures.

Mr Mugabe denies the charges and says the economy is the victim of sabotage
by opponents of his forcible redistribution of white-owned farms to blacks.

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The Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe

Monday July 4th – Sunday July 10th 2005

Weekly Media Update 2005-25










1. General comment


THE government media’s misinformation campaign reached new extremes this week. These media either distorted or censored stories that portrayed government in bad light, in an effort to minimize the massive humanitarian crisis triggered by government’s Operation Murambatsvina and muffle condemnation of the exercise.


While the private media reported UN special envoy Anna Tibaijuka’s reservations over Murambatsvina, the official media suffocated this news and only selected comments that portrayed her as appearing to legitimise the exercise. This saw the Chronicle and The Herald (8/7) misleading their readers by claiming that   the UN envoy had endorsed the government’s brutal purge of the urban poor when they reported her saying that “cleaning up” cities was part of the world body’s ambition.

Apart from distorting Tibaijuka’s comments to justify government’s action, these papers also either censored or dismissed out-of-hand criticism of the clampdown as fabrications of the West while portraying Africa as fully behind Murambatsvina.


For example, The Herald (8/7) sought to downplay the African Union (AU)’s concern over government’s blitz on Zimbabwe’s urban populations by implying that the visit by Bahame Tom Nyanduga, to assess the impact of Murambatsvina, was not sanctioned by the AU but its human rights commission, the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR). To substantiate its claims, the paper then quoted unnamed third party sources narrating how AU Commission chairperson Alpha Oumar Konare had expressed “regret” to Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi over the failure by ACHPR to follow “proper procedures” in dispatching Nyanduga. The “sources” added that Konare had “pleadingly” told Mumbengegwi that he “stood by Zimbabwe”. No comment was sought from Konare or the AU, whom the private and international media reported as being responsible for sending Nyanduga.


Instead, the paper tried to scandalise the ACHPR, by dishonestly claiming that last year the commission “unsuccessfully tried to smuggle a damning” human rights violations report on Zimbabwe, which the AU had rejected. It deliberately omitted the fact that the African Heads of State adopted the report at the AU summit in January this year after the Zimbabwe government had managed to obstruct its adoption by the AU for nearly a year.


The government media also used a false story distributed by the international news agency, Associated Press, to dismiss international criticism of Zimbabwe as a British plot when The Herald (9/7) refuted the AP report claiming that Russian President Vladimir Putin had described President Mugabe as a dictator. The paper quoted an unnamed diplomatic source saying that an unnamed Zimbabwean government official had exposed Andrew Lloyd, the head of the southern Africa Desk at the British Foreign Office as being responsible for inventing the allegation in a memo to British Prime Minister Tony Blair. But besides quoting a statement from the Associated Press acknowledging it had wrongly attributed Putin’s comments, as well as the Russian ambassador’s dismissal of the story, the paper made no attempt to substantiate its claims, or even to seek comment from the British.


While the government media continues to disregard professional journalistic standards, an offence under the country’s repressive media laws, the government-appointed Media and Information Commission, whose term of office expired last week, has remained deafeningly silent.


2. Purge of the poor and international concerns


MURAMBATSVINA and government’s launch of Operation Garikai, a reconstruction exercise aimed at mitigating the humanitarian crisis caused by its purge of the poor continued to dominate media coverage.


Eighty-nine stories on the matter appeared on ZBH (ZTV [37], Radio Zimbabwe [31] and Power FM [21]) while Studio 7 carried 25 stories. The Press carried 70 reports, 35 of which appeared in the government papers and the remaining 35 in the private Press.

But the dominance of the topic on ZBH did not translate into an informative coverage of the matter.

All its stories glossed over the devastation caused by government’s actions by passively portraying the authorities as addressing the misery through Garikai.

Similarly, 14 (40%) of the 35 stories the government Press carried pursued this theme.

It was this obsession with legitimizing government’s blitz that resulted in its media suffocating the growing international criticism of Murambatsvina.


Neither did they report UN envoy Anna Tibaijuka’s critical remarks on Murambatsvina, portraying her instead, as being satisfied with the operation. The supine tone with which the official media handled the issue was captured by ZTV’s announcement (4/7, 6&8pm) that government’s reconstruction programme, which has “created massive employment”, had begun nationwide.

The station quoted six alleged beneficiaries of Garikai hailing the authorities for allocating them housing stands. It then used their comments to claim that, “Zimbabweans have now begun to appreciate government intentions in embarking on Operation Restore Order and Garikai as they now reap the benefits”.


Without adequately discussing the criteria used to select the beneficiaries, it unquestioningly quoted Harare City Council spokesman Leslie Gwindi saying those being allocated stands are “bona fide beneficiaries who have been displaced” by Murambatsvina and not “ghosts and all these imaginary people who had inundated the city”.  This brazen disdain for the victims of the purge went unchallenged.


ZBH’s passivity was also apparent when ZTV (8/7, 8pm) and Power FM  (9/7, 6am) reported Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo saying about 5 000 houses would be built in the “next three weeks” for the victims of Murambatsvina. There was no attempt to question the practicability of such claims.

In fact, the broadcaster’s attempts to present the authorities as committed to assisting those affected resulted in Power FM (6/7, 6am), Radio Zimbabwe (6/7, 8pm) and ZTV (7/7, 6pm) drowning Tibaijuka’s calls on government to urgently provide victims of Murambatsvina with food and shelter in glowing reports on Garikai.

To justify the involvement of the military in government’s exercise, ZTV, Radio Zimbabwe (8/7, 8pm) and Power FM (9/7, 6am) reported “prospective home seekers” as having called on government to expedite the construction of houses by “mobilizing uniformed forces” and “building brigades”.

Tibaijuka’s reservations on the matter and other issues concerning Murambatsvina were censored.


Likewise, all nine stories that the government Press carried specifically on remarks by Tibaijuka omitted her critical observations on Murambatsvina, especially the remarks she made in Bulawayo. The Chronicle and The Herald (8/7), for example, merely portrayed her as supportive of the blitz while The Sunday Mail and the Sunday News (10/7) diverted attention from her remarks by focussing on Bulawayo Mayor Japhet Ndabeni-Ncube’s alleged barring of three government ministers from a meeting his council held with the UN envoy. The government weeklies reported government as contemplating disciplinary action against the mayor, whom “officials” attacked for trying to ridicule “cabinet ministers in front of the UN’s special envoy”. The papers did not seek comment from Ndabeni-Ncube or provide details of his meeting with Tibaijuka.


Instead, the official Press carried four stories, which sought to pre-empt the findings of the UN envoy. For example, The Herald and the Chronicle (9/7) unquestioningly reported Information Minister Tichaona Jokonya as saying government was confident of “a balanced report” from the UN despite the fact that “some members of the opposition were literally taking people to holding camps at night” in order to influence the UN envoy.

The Herald’s editorial also suggested Tibaijuka could only produce a negative report on Murambatsvina as a result of outside influence from the country’s detractors. The paper then drew parallels between Tibaijuka’s mission and that of former Nigerian president Abdulsalami Abubakar, then head of the Commonwealth Observer Mission to the 2002 Presidential poll, whom it falsely accused of having “capitulated to foreign interests” when he condemned the election despite having made “positive comments a few days before the poll”.


The next day, the Sunday News (10/7) quoted Deputy Information Minister Bright Matonga as saying the UN report would be “immaterial” to government whether it is good or bad.

The government media’s partisan approach on the matter was reflected by their dependence on official comment and sympathetic members of the public as shown in Figs 1 and 2.


Fig 1 Voice distribution on ZBH




Local govt.





Zanu PF


Ordinary people











Power FM










Radio Zim





















Fig 2 Voice distribution in the government Press



Local govt.


Zanu PF














Notably, most of the foreign voices quoted were sanitized comments made by Tibaijuka. Except for the MDC, almost all other local sources quoted passively amplified the official position.


In fact, the government media’s uncritical conduct resulted in The Herald (7/7) failing to question the logic and possible consequences of the Harare City Council’s unprecedented decision to rescind “all land sale agreements” it made between 1998 and this year and “resell” it at “market rates to the same buyers, where necessary”.

In contrast, the private media was more revealing in their 60 stories, 35 of which appeared in the private Press and the remaining 25 on Studio 7. These media exposed Tibaijuka’s reservations about the mass evictions and the international community’s reaction to the crisis. The private Press also reported on the divisions in government itself over the exercise and the continuing demolitions despite government’s announcement that Murambatsvina was “winding up”.


For instance, the Zimbabwe Independent (9/7) reported that Tibaijuka had criticised the militarisation of Garikai as well as the authorities’ continued reference to the victims of the clampdown as “criminals” and “squatters” during her meeting with government officials in Bulawayo. The paper and Studio 7 (9/7) also cited G8 leaders, the Danish Prime Minister, Australia, New Zealand and UN secretary-general Kofi Annan as having added their voices to the growing criticism.


In another story, the Independent noted that Mugabe had not received the usual energetic support from fellow African leaders at the AU summit in Libya and as a result had returned, “without the moral support he had hoped for from his African brothers to prop up his failed state”.


The Daily Mirror’s somewhat patronising story (5/7), New Zealand and Australia at it again, and all seven stories carried in The Financial Gazette (5/7) on the topic also projected increasing international isolation of Zimbabwe over the blitz.

For example, the Gazette reported the fact-finding delegation from the US Congress as having been “shocked” by the exercise, which it described as a “gross violation of human rights”. It also carried the Associated Press’s false report (see comment above) in which Russia’s President Putin was quoted saying G8 member countries should not be afraid of stopping aid to corrupt “dictators like Zimbabwe’s Mugabe”.

Although The Herald and Chronicle (9/7), carried the AP correction, they made unsubstantiated claims that it was a fabrication by British intelligence. Earlier, The Herald (7/7) attacked Western media and the MDC for peddling “laughable and spurious claims” to “justify the baseless demonisation campaign” against Murambatsvina.


The manner in which the private Press handled the topic was generally reflected in its attempts to balance official comment with alternative views as illustrated in Fig 3. But AP should be censured for its serious inaccuracy and The Financial Gazette should not be shy to carry a clear explanation of AP’s “mistake”.


Fig 3 Voice distribution in the private papers



Local govt.


Zanu PF



Ordinary people










3. The economic crunch continues


THE government media continued to relay piecemeal reports on the country’s economic meltdown, characterised by crippling fuel and commodity shortages and price increases. For example, although ZBH’s 50 stories on the economy included isolated reports on indicators of economic decline, such as fuel and foreign currency shortages, the broadcaster avoided relating the issues to government’s economic policies. 


The government Press adopted a similar stance in its 22 stories on the matter. The papers made no attempt to link the increases in the price of commodities and services to government’s management of the economy. Instead, they tried to shield the authorities by blaming sanctions, the drought and business people for the problems.

For example, the government Press carried five stories that blamed “defiant” retailers and commuter omnibus operators for the sharp rise in bus fares and prices of basic commodities.


The Chronicle (4/7 & 5/7) reported that government would soon “crack the whip” on urban commuter omnibuses who were not following stipulated fares. It reported (4/7) that rural buses were also defying government’s price controls and were sticking to “illegal fares” which they announced without government approval soon after the fuel price increases.

The paper failed to investigate the viability of price controls or relate them to the recent massive fuel increases.


The Herald (4/7) was similarly guilty of blame-shifting when it accused retailers of defying a government directive not to increase commodity prices.

The government media’s blaming of businesses for the galloping cost of living came amid revelations by the Consumer Council that the monthly bread basket of a family of six for the month of June rose to $4.2 million up from the May figure of $3 million. (The Herald, 7/7 and Sunday Mirror, 10/7).

The survey was reportedly conducted before the fuel price increase.


In an effort to give the impression that government was addressing public transport shortages, ZBH carried 14 passive reports on government’s purchase of 69 buses. There was no analysis on whether they would solve the deepening crisis.

The government media’s professional ineptitude in handling the topic was reflected by the official Press’ sourcing pattern, which was typically pro-government. See Fig 4.


Fig 4 Government Press voice sourcing





Ordinary people






In contrast, the private Press provided a clear view of the economic meltdown in 23 reports.

It carried 15 stories on various indicators, including spiralling prices, fuel and commodity shortages and Zimbabwe’s international isolation. Four were specifically on the fuel crisis, while three were on price hikes.

The private Press’ stories categorically noted that the lack of foreign currency, coupled with government’s international isolation would make it difficult to end the economic crisis. For example, The Standard (10/7) revealed that Harare would miss out on the G8’s debt cancellation and aid doubling programme due to its poor international image.

The Independent reported the International Monetary Fund as having said economic recovery was not possible without political reform in Zimbabwe.


However, Studio 7 was largely reticent on the country’s economic decline. Half of the six stories the station carried on the subject were on the G8’s debt cancellation for Africa, with emphasis on Zimbabwe, two were on the alleged firming of the Zimbabwean currency on the parallel market and only one was on maize meal shortages in Mutare.



The MEDIA UPDATE was produced and circulated by the Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe, 15 Duthie Avenue, Alexandra Park, Harare, Tel/fax: 263 4 703702, E-mail:


Feel free to write to MMPZ. We may not able to respond to everything but we will look at each message.  For previous MMPZ reports, and more information about the Project, please visit our website at

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Blitz should be seen as bringing joy - Mugabe
          July 15 2005 at 07:21AM

      Harare - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on Thursday said his
government should have emphasised the "reconstruction aspect" of a
controversial programme of shack demolitions that human rights groups say
has left at least 300 000 people homeless.

      Mugabe told a seminar in the resort town of Victoria Falls that the
exercise - dubbed Operation Restore Order - was seen by some as "a callous
exercise to destroy homes".

      Instead, he said it should be seen as bringing "joy" to the homeless
because two million new houses will be built by 2010.

      "Unfortunately when we started (Operation Restore Order) we did not
emphasise that reconstruction aspect of it, which is the positive aspect,"
Mugabe said on state television. "But it was seen by others as a callous
exercise to destroy homes."

      Zimbabwe's main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), which
says the demolitions are a deliberate attack on its supporters, says the
government is broke and cannot afford to build new houses.

      The government has admitted it has not budgeted for the reconstruction
programme, which it says will cost three trillion Zimbabwe dollars (about

      Zimbabwe is already critically short of foreign currency, fuel and
power as a result of failed government policies. This year it will need to
import 1,8 million tonnes of the staple maize to make up for failed
harvests, blamed largely on the dismantling of white-owned large scale farms
which have been occupied by landless Africans.

      Since mid-May, riot police have swept through Zimbabwe's towns and
cities, demolishing backyard shacks, cottages and housing co-operatives that
they say were built illegally. Squatter camps, flea markets and home
industry sites have also been targeted.

      The programme has been condemned by many Western countries, churches
and human rights groups, coming as it does in the middle of the southern
African winter and at a time of escalating social and economic hardships.

      Mugabe on Thursday insisted his government had destroyed only "shacks
and attachments to houses that were meant to exploit the homeless".

      Mugabe said by building new houses, the country would erase the "image
of a Zimbabwe that is in ruins". - Sapa-dpa

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Home Office halts Zimbabwe deportations

Robert Booth
Friday July 15, 2005
The Guardian

The deportation of failed Zimbabwean asylum seekers was suspended by the
Home Office last night following interventions by the high court.
Last week Mr Justice Collins appealed to Charles Clarke, the home secretary,
to block all deportations until the conclusion of a series of test cases to
establish the legality of sending individuals back to Zimbabwe.

The Home Office said last night that deportations would be suspended until
the cases were heard on August 4.

The Refugee Legal Centre, which has been campaigning for the suspension of
removals, said it was delighted by the Home Office's decision.

Failed asylum seekers say they are in danger of being ill-treated and abused
in Zimbabwe because they claimed asylum in the UK.

On Wednesday Mr Justice Ouseley also urged Mr Clarke to change policy when
he heard a plea by a Zimbabwean, who cannot be removed because his case is
under judicial review, on behalf of other failed asylum seekers held in

His counsel, Simon Cox, told the judge: "The claimant wants to help all the
people in the same boat as him, and to let them know they can make a claim
for judicial review in the same way as him."

Steven Kovats, appearing on behalf of the government, said it was "a matter
of constitu tional principle" that the Home Office did not give categorical
assurances in such circumstances.

Mr Justice Ouseley said: "The court is not going to allow people to be
removed to Zimbabwe without them being told there is potential for judicial

He said the issue was "politically sensitive" and both sides should come up
with a "face-saving" solution.

The Home Office said last night: "We have decided to suspend removals until
August 4 when there is a test case."

Barry Stoyle, chief executive of the Refugee Legal Centre, said: "We are
very concerned at the dangers faced by asylum seekers who are returned to
Zimbabwe. Of particular concern is the fact that many Zimbabwean asylum
seekers are detained in the UK and do not have legal representation."

He urged the Home Office to release all Zimbabwean detainees "pending the
outcome of the test cases".

In recent weeks, 37 Zimbabwean detainees had gone on hunger strike in
protest at the threat of deportation. One hunger striker, Crispen Kulinji,
an opposition politician, said he faced certain death if the government
deported him.

The Home Office said last night: "There are no Zimbabweans currently
refusing food in detention."

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Business Day

Posted to the web on: 15 July 2005
Rural exodus turns to tragedy in Zimbabwe
Patekile Holomisa


AT ONE of his pre-election rallies this year, Zimbabwean President Robert
Mugabe expressed pride that his cabinet had more graduates than any other in
the world.

His ministers, he told the multitudes who had come to listen to him, had
obtained multiple degrees from various universities in the US, Europe, SA,
Zimbabwe and elsewhere. The president later went on to underline his
commitment to good education by sending about 20 students for studies at the
University of Fort Hare, his own alma mater.

The president was quick to point out, though, that the leadership of his
party, Zanu (PF), was also committed to its African roots. While it was fine
for people to have residences in the urban areas where they had come for
work, in terms of African custom and tradition, to be considered a real man,
a man must have a homestead in his rural area.

Naturally this resonated with the world outlook of someone concerned with
the tendency of educated Africans to abandon their roots, migrating to the
cities as if urban lifestyles are what people should be striving for.

It is this migration to the cities that leads to the general neglect of
rural areas, with essential services being either of poor quality or
nonexistent. Even here in SA, some villages, including my own, have no water
or electricity.

The rural people of Zimbabwe are forced by lack of job opportunities and
income-generating enterprises to seek work in the cities. As there is no
accommodation reserved for the kind of population influx that follows, these
people find themselves having to construct makeshift shelters to protect
themselves from the elements and to accommodate and display their wares.

I have always been struck by the industriousness of the people of that land.
As a person who grew up in a land where manufactured goods and farm produce
were generally made under the direction and supervision of white people, I
always watch in awe and admiration when I see Zimbabweans running all
aspects of their lives by themselves. They have mastered the white man's
skills to the extent that they have little need for the white man.

However, the concept of a global village (whose headman I still do not know)
does not allow any corner of the earth to be independent of the white man.

Unpalatable as it may sound to some, the genesis of Zimbabwe's economic woes
was the seizure of whites' land and its handover to blacks. The
mismanagement of the land redistribution programme and the greed of some
politicians and officials were handy tools for those whose interests were
threatened and whose desire, therefore, was the failure of the attempts to
correct a historical wrong.

When I went to Zimbabwe three years ago, the economic situation was so dire
that people slept in cars parked in almost endless queues, waiting for fuel.
In Harare's supermarkets the floors and shelves were often empty. The land
redistribution programme was at its height at the time. The white community
the world over was up in arms.

Come this year and the imminence of peaceful elections, as well as the
possibility of the removal of Zanu (PF), the economic situation turns
around. The supermarkets are full. Fuel is plentiful and cheaper than in SA.
The elections are run peacefully but, alas, Zanu (PF) is the winner.

Hardly a few weeks later, the supermarket shelves are once again empty;
motor vehicle queues seeking fuel are longer and the vehicles are turned
into bedrooms. Clearly somebody's desired outcomes have failed to

Zimbabweans who cannot manage to look for greener pastures in SA and
elsewhere try to make ends meet by eking out a living on the cities'
pavements, selling what wares they can find to their fellow citizens. The
land does not legally belong to them, however, although Zimbabwe is their
land. Their land in rural areas cannot sustain them because they do not have
inputs and implements to work it productively. All of this is not their

The government is clearly wrong in targeting these people in its attempts to
"clean" the cities. The treatment meted out to these innocent Zimbabweans is
in violation of the basic tenets of African culture and custom. A human
being is never allowed to sleep out in the open; he is not forced to go
about hungry and destitute. These are traits that are found in the cultures
of those from whose oppression Mugabe liberated the people of Zimbabwe.
Surely the need to "clean" up the cities cannot be more important than the
lives of human beings? The acquisition of education must not turn Africans
into something they are not!

?Holomisa is an ANC MP and president of the Congress of Traditional Leaders
of SA. He writes in his personal capacity.
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Business Day

Posted to the web on: 15 July 2005
Zanu (PF) MPs clamour over fuel crisis
Dumisani Muleya


Harare Correspondent

ZIMBABWE'S ruling Zanu (PF) MPs revolted against the government over the
worsening fuel crisis during a heated parliamentary caucus meeting on

The MPs attacked President Robert Mugabe's embattled regime for failing to
end the shortages, setting off alarm bells for the Harare authorities, under
siege as the political and economic crisis worsens.

Energy and Power Development Minister Mike Nyambuya explained at the meeting
that fuel shortages were worsened by high prices and a lack of foreign
exchange with which to buy fuel.

However, sources said yesterday the MPs, who put aside the business of the
day to address the issue, angrily rejected Nyambuya's explanation, saying
they showed government had no plan to deal with the deepening crisis.

They also attacked central bank governor Gideon Gono for making a "false
promise" in April that the fuel crisis would end within two weeks.

Nyambuya's revelation that state-run National Oil Company of Zimbabwe
(Noczim) was pumping just 300000l of petrol and 500000l of diesel was said
to have triggered livid reactions and attacks on ministers.

Nyambuya said the country's consumption was 75-million litres of diesel and
60-million litres of petrol a month, "which costs about $65m to $70m".

MPs were said to have told Nyambuya the amount of fuel Noczim was pumping
was a "mere trickle" compared with the country's needs. The parastatal's
debt has ballooned to $80m.

The price of oil, up 30% this year and at nearly $59,50 a barrel yesterday,
has more than doubled Zimbabwe's fuel import bill.

Sources said Nyambuya suggested a relaxation of stringent foreign exchange
controls to allow companies and individuals to import fuel. But MPs rejected
the suggestion, saying it would create chaos in the market.

The government is also planning to reintroduce fuel coupons, last used in
1979, but fuel dealers said coupons would not work if petrol was not there.

Meanwhile, South African Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma defended SA's
policy of quiet diplomacy on Zimbabwe yesterday, saying louder lobbying of
Mugabe had not yielded results.

"We have never condoned things that are wrong that happen in Zimbabwe, the
only difference probably has been how we deal with them," said Dlamini Zuma,
following talks in London with Britain's Foreign Secretary Jack Straw. "If
there is something wrong in Zimbabwe we don't say it's right."

Asked if she agreed that quiet diplomacy had not worked, she responded:
"Loud diplomacy hasn't worked either." With Sapa
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The Mercury

      They torture my flesh, but can't torture my spirit
      July 15, 2005

      Harare: She has been tied up, beaten and humiliated, but she will not
to give up the fight. Yesterday she showed the press in Johannesburg a black
scar on her left eye, sustained when Zimbabwe government agents attacked her
at the weekend, but vowed in the same breath to return to Zimbabwe and
confront the Robert Mugabe establishment.

      "They are torturing my flesh, but they cannot torture my spirit. (It)
remains intact, always," declared 43-year-old Thabita Khumalo, the head of
the women's department of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions. She spoke
to the IFS after she had addressed the press at Cosatu House.

      Attacks on household names like MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai and his
senior party colleagues attract international headlines, but lesser known
activists like Khumalo are bearing the scars of Mugabe's brutality in

      On Saturday she was about to open a meeting of union women officials
when a group of 25 men and women stormed the venue at Harare's low-priced
Quality International Hotel. They ordered the meeting closed, but Khumalo
refused to vacate her seat.

      She says they started beating the 35 women present and all ran out,
but she remained defiant in her chairman's seat. One of the 25 aggressors
shouted: "Let's now kill this one, once and for all."

      She said a man grabbed her by the belt and tied her hands behind her
back before the "free-for-all" assault on her began.

      Despite her scars, Khumalo says thousands of ordinary Zimbabweans have
suffered worse torture and assault at the hands of the Mugabe regime. But
their suffering goes unnoticed.

      Fleeing Zimbabwe is not on her agenda."I cannot sell the struggle by
fleeing. That's not on," she says.

      The challenge is for all democratic forces in Zimbabwe to converge and
formulate a workable strategy to confront Mugabe's tyranny, she says. -
Mercury Foreign Service

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Mail and Guardian

      Removal causes rifts

      Godwin Gandu | Harare

      14 July 2005 11:59

            The controversial Operation Murambatsvina and President Thabo
Mbeki's role in the Zimbabwean crisis has heightened divisions within
Zimbabwe's two major political parties, and has caused ructions within the

            Opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan
Tsvangirai is taking strain for "betraying" the party by meeting Mbeki in
Pretoria on the eve of the African Union summit. A senior MDC official told
the Mail & Guardian: "That's why we are angry with Tsvangirai. He did not
have the courage to tell or remind Mbeki of our national executive
resolution not to engage him as a mediator."

            On Wednesday Tsvangirai told journalists that Mbeki had conceded
that quiet diplomacy had not worked and was now seeking to "engage
[President Robert] Mugabe with new strategies". Party sources say Nigerian
President Olusegun Obasanjo had mooted former Mozambican President Joachim
Chissano as a new mediator, but that "Mbeki rejected that because he thought
Chissano wasn't going to have enough leverage. Mbeki felt that only he could
sway Mugabe and Tsvangirai agreed with him."

            This faction within the MDC is also disillusioned with the party's
"tame response" of merely condemning the demolition of shacks and market
stalls and is advocating a more militant approach. The evictions have also
opened up Mugabe to uncharacteristic criticism from heavyweights within the
ruling Zanu-PF. The M&G has learnt that the dissent cuts across the party's
traditional factions, with both the old guard and young turks expressing
their displeasure with the "implementation" of operation Murambatsvina.

            Among those who have railed against it are Vice-President Joyce
Mujuru, her rival in the party succession race, Emmerson Mnangagwa, party
chair John Nkomo and Zanu-PF information chief Nathan Shamuyarira. "Unlike
before, it's no longer the case that Mugabe barks instructions," a Zanu-PF
insider said. The source said that the party is also split on dialogue with
the opposition. Some young turks were keen that the party return to the
negotiating table, but the old guard believes "that the ideological chasm is
so huge that there is no way of finding a workable solution".

            Mbeki's role in Zimbabwe also came under fire at a protest
outside London's Guild Hall last week. The Zimbabwean newspaper, run by
exiled journalists based in London, reports that demonstrators trashed South
African fruit and wine. "We are not anti-South African, simply determined to
make our point that President Mbeki can make all the difference if he
recognises publicly what is going on next door," the organisers said. "Does
Mbeki condone what Mugabe is doing? If he does, and this certainly seems to
be the case, then perhaps we are doing our friends in South Africa a
favour - maybe Mbeki is thinking along the same lines as Mugabe," protester
Sean Robinson is quoted as saying.

            The trampling of wine, fruit and vegetables was accompanied by a
call to boycott South African produce. But members of the recently formed
Zimbabwean Diaspora Coalition in the United Kingdom admonished their
compatriots for "a naïve action ... which, in the context of chronic food
insecurity at home, is stunningly insensitive and misdirected".

            The group acknowledges that Mbeki and others who "prop up" the
government are "legitimate targets", they said it was a "spiteful slap in
the face for the workers" who harvested and packaged the goods for export
and the Congress of South African Trade Unions who "have offered soli-darity
with ordinary Zimbabweans and consistent condemnation of Mugabe's despotism".

            The recent ANC National General Council resolved that there
should be more urgency in addressing the Zimbabwean situation. On Tuesday
Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and Deputy Minister of Finance Jabu
Moleketi met Mugabe and his deputy, Joyce Mujuru, in Harare. The M&G has
learnt that paying for Zimbabwe's fuel supplies and assisting the country
with much-needed foreign currency was discussed on the day-long trip. The
government talks came on the same day that a group of South African clergy
returned with a damning account of the demolitions. "Young people who could
be agents for change may be catalysts for conflict as they are exposed to
the hopelessness of their parents," said the church leaders in their report.
"This deliberate destruction ... is unparalleled in modern-day Africa."

            Their observations came a few days after United Nations special
envoy Anna Tibaijuka concluded her fact-finding mission. Her report is
expected in two weeks' time.

            Sugar cane could solve Zim's fuel shortage
            Zimbabwe has approached multi-national giant Anglo-American to
revive an ethanol plant in the country's lowveld region to try to fix a
crippling fuel crisis that has worsened because of rising world oil prices.

            ZimOnline reports that the government was offering to return
some of the land it had forcibly seized from Anglo in the last five years as
a sweetener for the deal.

            Anglo built the ethanol processing plant at the height of
international sanctions against the government of Ian Smith. The plant
produced ethanol from sugar cane grown on vast estates owned by Anglo and
other firms.

            The process of distilling sugar into ethanol that has a high
alcohol content, before it is mixed with petrol, is a low-cost way of
producing fuel. Zimbabwe's fuel stations have run dry as the country battles
to generate foreign currency to pay for supplies.

            Minister of Energy and Power Development Mike Nyambuya would not
confirm the government's move but said Harare was doing everything possible
to secure fuel "given the difficult" circumstances. Anglo officials would
not be drawn on the matter.

            "Let me say we have approached Anglo on how we can work together
to find a lasting solution to the fuel problems, and we have identified the
ethanol plant as one of the critical areas we should start with," said a
senior government official who refused to be identified. The official said
Anglo had concerns about the economic viability of the project. -- ZimOnline

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The Zimbabwean

Starving detainee handcuffed
LONDON - A Zimbabwean immigration detainee, in clinical shock and described
as 'looking like a concentration camp survivor,' was handcuffed on a journey
from a detention centre to hospital against the advice of his doctor.
He remained chained to an escort in his hospital bed for four hours, while
connected to drip tubes, until Labour MP Kate Hoey intervened to free him.

A doctor has called the security concerns over his patient, 'spurious' and
says that the home office is party to a contract with the private sector
that provides a 'perverse incentive to put security before health care'.
30-year-old Timbha Mqhubele, who was detained in Harmondsworth detention
centre, had been refusing food for 36 days in protest at his impending
removal to Zimbabwe, where he claims to have been tortured.

Last Friday, after concerns for his health grew, he was examined by Dr Frank
Arnold from the Medical Foundation. Dr Arnold told staff at Harmondsworth
that Mqhubele's life would be in danger unless he received specialist
re-feeding treatment in hospital.

Despite Dr Arnold's insistence that his patient could not stand unaided, let
alone run away, the handcuffing procedure went ahead.

According to a Detention Services Order handcuffs should not be used as 'a
matter of routine' on detainees, but a source inside Harmondsworth detention
centre said all detainees who go to outside hospitals are handcuffed.

Dr Arnold said that his patient weighed less than six stones and was in
clinical shock, with a low pulse and high blood pressure. "I believe that
the home office is party to a contract which provides a perverse
incentive-to private security companies-to ensure that security concerns,
however spurious, take total precedence over any medical concerns," he said.
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The Zimbabwean

Mugabe serious about talks?
LONDON - Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, claims to have broken the
logjam between President Robert Mugabe and opposition MDC leader Morgan
In a move that highlights the failure of South African president Thabo Mbeki's
quiet diplomacy, Obasanjo last week told British legislators that he had
persuaded Mugabe to go to the conference table to hammer out a solution to
Zimbabwe's fast deteriorating crisis.

No date has been set and no further details are available at the time of
going to press. It is hoped that this time Mugabe is serious about
negotiations to save Zimbabwe. All previous attempts have ended in failure
because of his intransigence and double-dealing.

Political observers do not expect positive results, given Mugabe's personal
loathing of Tsvangirai and the steadfast absence of condemnatory African

Just what sort of pressure Obasanjo exerted to persuade Mugabe to agree to a
meeting is not clear. He admitted the Zimbabwean leader was initially
uncooperative and reluctant to commit to talks with his political opponent.

The choice of a mediator for the proposed conference is crucial. Two names
have been put forward - Sam Nujoma and Joachim Chissano, former presidents
of Namibia and Mozambique respectively. Nujoma would be a disaster from the
word go. Chissano, Mugabe's best man at his wedding to Grace, could be good
news. After all he is the man who sat down with his arch-enemy Renamo and
hammered out a successful solution which has led to peace and prosperity in
his country.

Mugabe has seen to it that he comes to the table with what he regards as a
fistful of aces. He has destroyed the MDC's urban power base, starved the
rural population into submission, armed himself to the teeth, cheated his
way to a two-thirds majority in parliament and seen to it that Zanu (PF)
supporters have everything to lose from a negotiated settlement.

This would make it unlikely that any conference will result in a meaningful
sharing of power with the MDC.
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The Zimbabwean
A trail of destruction
Scattered belongings - hundreds of thousands of people have lost everything they worked for over an entire lifetime.
The following compilation gives an overview of the extent of the damage done by Operation Murambatsvina – by the Harare Munich Partnership:
HARARE: An estimated 200,000 people displaced. Fleamarkets gone, including Africa Unity Square. Fourth Street Bus Terminus and Julius Nyerere Footbridge “cleaned”. 200 traders at Mosque Flea Market forced to take flight despite having paid rentals to city council. Seven office buildings closed in central Harare, leaving hundreds of small businesses from dress-making to cellphone traders on the street. Sculpture parks along the main roads smashed.

Mbare: Back yard cottages, extensions to homes, tuck shops and vendors’ stands destroyed, as well as the Jo’burg line, Mupedzanhamo market. Resistance, in vain. Hatcliffe Extension: razed to the ground. A crèche for 180 AIDS orphans, a clinic and a mosque dismantled. After the raid, an estimated 10,000 people sleeping outdoors. (During the last sitting of Parliament, a resolution was unanimously passed upgrading Hatcliffe Extension to a legal housing settlement. But High court ruled demolitions were justified because residents had made improvements to their properties without prior government approval).

Mufakose. Old Tafara. Mabvuku (resistance, in vain).
Kuwadzana. Glen Norah (resistance, in vain).

Budiriro (resistance, in vain).

Glen View: 400 furniture businesses, each employing a minimum of 5 people, closed and goods seized, without warning.

Warren Park D: KwaMereki shut down.

Highfield. White Cliff Farm: Josiah Tongogara, Joshua Nkomo and Herbert Ushewokunze housing cooperatives, benefiting war veterans and set up with ministerial approval since 2000, bulldozed flat. Another 24 housing cooperatives were also declared illegal and have either been destroyed, or are in the process of destruction (25 June), including Joseph Chinotimba in Glen View, Ivhu Rakauya in Aspindale, Tashinga in Dzivaresekwa 2.

Porta Farm: 1,500 families forcefully evicted.

CHITUNGWIZA: grocery shops, hair salons and out-buildings were targeted. St. Mary’s (resistance, in vain). BINDURA: Kitsiyatota mining compound. MUTARE: city estimates 120,000 people are displaced. Green Market destroyed. Nyazura: tuckshops, back cottages and the Zanu (PF) offices destroyed. BULAWAYO: 2,338 backyard structures pulled down as on 22 June. Estimated 10,000 displaced. Vending sites closed down include Unity Village in Main Street - once officially opened and proclaimed a successful small enterprise development by Minister John Nkomo - further Forth Street Market – once officially opened by Cain Mathema and Fifth Avenue Market, licensed by the council. Killarney and Ngozi Mine are no more. The displaced have found temporary refuge in Bulawayo’s churches. Makokoba: 800 dwellings knocked down.. Njube: 397 structures knocked down. CHIMANIMANI: some settlers on Roy Bennett’s (former) farm evicted. CHIPINGE: New Stands in the Gaza area demolished. Another operation, code-named, 'murivangani' or 'how many are you' is said to be in full force. Police are going door-to-door in Chipinge counting the number of people per household. They have set a limit of eight people per household and the remainder are told to go to the rural areas. BEITBRIDGE: 165 arrests. 200 dwellings knocked down.

VICTORIA FALLS: 3,368 houses totally destroyed, displacing an estimated 15,000 – 20,000 people, i.e. up to 30% of the town’s citizens. Entire settlements have vanished. 10 km of vending sites burnt to the ground. Chirumanzu, Umvuma and Lalapanzi: shacks and kiosks at major crossroads torn down.

The Chronicle, 7 June 2005: “Flea markets raided”.
The article is 17 sentences long, and uses the following words:

Criminal - 6 times; Illegal - 4 times; Stolen - 4 times; Smuggled – 1x; Carjackers - 1x; Housebreakers – 1x.

TOTAL – 17 derogatory phrases relating to the market activities, in 17 sentences.

Yet the article does not mention a single arrest as a result of the reported raid, nor even one actual criminal, smuggler, carjacker or house-breaker being identified.

Zimbabwean priest:

I keep telling them my little homilies that the violent will not win, they will have to answer for what they have done, but I see a city ringed by fire. People who worked to look after their families - carpenters, metalworkers, street vendors and caterers - have been turned into beggars by their own government. This is a crime against humanity and all we can do is give them black plastic sheeting. (Sunday Times, UK, 19.6.05)

Ignatius Chombo, Minister of Local Government, Zimbabwe:

This is the dawn of a new era. To set up something nice, you first have to remove the litter. (IWPR, 6.6.05)

Shari Eppel, human rights expert, Zimbabwe:

This is like Pol Pot, corralling people into the countryside where they can be controlled and indoctrinated… We're heading into the dark ages here. What we're going to see is selective starvation. He wants people hungry and compliant. (The Independent, UK, 12.6.05)

Miloon Kothari, UN special rapporteur on the right to adequate housing:

It is not the people of Zimbabwe who are illegal, it is their Government. (BBC World, 18.6.05)

Didymus Mutasa, Minister of State Security, Zimbabwe:

Everyone in Zimbabwe is very happy about this clean-up… People are walking around Harare saying, 'We never knew we had such a beautiful city.' (Radio Interview as quoted by Allister Sparks, The Star, SA, 29.6.05

Fr William Guri, priest, Zimbabwe:

I have come to a point where I feel that as a nation we are alone. As a priest I am trained to preach and give hope to the people and here is a situation where you can not hope against hope. How can the people say God is with us? Here is a government that has become morally bankrupt and that has run out of ideas. (Sunday Telegraph, 19.6.05)

Reuben Marumahoko, Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, Zimbabwe:

Streetism has been wiped out … Robberies have fallen down drastically and ladies can walk in the city freely. (Sunday Times, 19.6.05)

Kolawole Olaniyan, Director of Africa Programme, Amnesty International:

The people of Zimbabwe are being sold out – in the interests of a false 'African solidarity'. This conspiracy of silence amongst African leaders is fuelling a human rights catastrophe for the people of Zimbabwe. African solidarity should be with the people of Africa – not with governments responsible for grave human rights violations. (Amnesty International, 24.6.05)

David Karimanzira, Resident Minister for Harare Metropolitan Province:

The clean-up exercise currently underway throughout the country has successfully brought sanity to the city despite attempts by some sections of society to politicise it. The operation, which is targeting all forms of illegalities in the country, had its effects felt far and wide. (The Herald, ZW, 1.7.05)

Paul Themba Nyathi, MDC spokesman, on Zimbabweans applying for asylum elsewhere:

The international community thinks that because there’s not a war going on in Zimbabwe, it’s a normal country… But in reality, all the manifestations of a nation at war are there. The atmosphere is stifling.It’s a police state. There is no freedom. You always have to look over your shoulder in case someone is watching you. People’s homes are being destroyed now, and they have nowhere to go. What do you call them when they leave the country? Economic refugees? In Zimbabwe today, you either stay and fight or you leave. (Times Online, UK, 24.6.05)

Roselyn Machaya, tailor, Glen Norah, has lost her shop in a home industries building:

Bulldozers just appeared from nowhere and started destroying the buildings in this place, causing so much chaos. People were running and screaming, trying to take out whatever they could. Thieves helped themselves to machines and property because once you took out something and placed it outside, it would be gone by the time you came back with other stuff… We were allocated these stands by the council and we are shocked that they now say they are illegal. They have destroyed our livelihoods and I don’t know what the future holds for me now. I will go to the village and think of what to do from there. (Sunday Times, SA, 26.6.05)

Victoria Muchenje, Mbare resident whose shack was destroyed:

We are suffering, we have nowhere to go. Our children are not going to school, we are sleeping outside everywhere. If you walk, everywhere you see people sleeping in the road. (IWPR, 6.6.05)

Sandiso Mutupidzi’s son died of pneumonia after excessive exposure to cold following the demolition of his parents’ house in Richmond, Bulawayo:

This boy lying dead here was my only child and I don’t know what to do. I am making efforts to see that justice prevails. I am a poor person but what happened to my son needs God’s intervention because we are fighting a powerful force that does not care about human life. (Zimbabwe Standard, 26.6.05)

Wellington Murerwa watched his home burn:

I have lost the only source of income that I had after my vegetable stall was destroyed… Since 1981 the only place I have known as a home with my family was a backyard shack, and I cannot start all over again. (IWPR, 6.6.05)

Sam Togara:

Even though I could have relocated to my rural home, where would I start? There is no land there, and with the current drought, where would I get the food to feed my family? (IRIN, 14.6.05)

Glory Mawimbi, mother of three, owner of Glory’s Hair Palace on the corner of Madzima Road in Mbare with three employees, now demolished. Asked how she will survive, she replies:

We will do, I suppose. I made a decent life for my family out of nothing and now it’s all gone. (Sunday Times, UK, 19.6.05)

Dickson Jaya has relocated to his rural home in Chirumanzu with his family. They are now staying with his parents:

The issue of living space aside, I am cracking my head over how I will be able to find food for the family. As an informal trader, I used to send money here [to my parents] because there is drought, and if we do not get help from the government or donors we might starve. (IRIN, 14.6.05)

The headman who declined Jaya’s request for approval to build a house near his parent’s place apologized:

As you know, people from urban areas are viewed as being too much against the government, and I don't want to be in trouble with the politicians. (IRIN, 14.6.05)

Mother of four, evicted twice in less than five years:

What was wrong with where we were?… First we were dumped at Porta Farm, then Hatcliffe Extension and now this? (Zimbabwe Independent, 17.6.05)

Kudakwashe Machemera came home from work, only to find his home of eight years reduced to a rubble:

I couldn’t believe my eyes… They had the cheek to bulldoze a locked house. I lost everything in the process because I never took out my stuff. I have now stopped going to work because I have nowhere to stay. This very government used to promise housing for all by the year 2000…which they failed to achieve. And now that we helped ourselves by building the houses ourselves, they are destroying them. They are mad. (Sunday Times, SA, 26.6.05)

Patricia Walsh, Dominican nun, Hatcliffe:

A Grandmother asks, "Sister why has God abandoned us? I do not try to answer. People call out "Sisters pray for us". An emergency taxi (mini bus) stands in the middle of this "war zone" with the words "God is Faithful" written on it! (end of May, 2005)
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The Zimbabwean

AIDS - Visiting Alice

RURAL ZIMABWE - She lay on a crumbling piece of foam rubber in the family
cooking hut. She was very weak but managed to sit. Her mouth was full of
sores and her thighs were the size of my arms; her knees great bulges of
bone. Her movements were jerky and she seemed somehow petulant. It made it
difficult to empathise with her, and that was so uncomfortable.
To get to where Alice lives we'd driven through beautiful countryside. The
sky is wide and the land is interspersed with great granite kopjes. But the
bushfires started early this year, testimony to the drought.

I was with a photographer who has been documenting the aids pandemic for a
few years now.

When we arrived at the rural hospital the first person we met was a young
foreign aid worker. She went to great lengths to make us understand that
this hospital was not typical of rural Zimbabwean hospitals today. She named
others where she had worked and spoke of over crowded filth, apathy,
corruption and lack of medicines. We were shown round a quiet, clean and
efficient hospital. There were even empty beds - a credit to the marvellous
people who run it.

We were asked not to mention anything that could identify the hospital in
order to maintain its lifeline, donor funding.

On the way there a healthy looking Sister told me that her husband had
infected her with HIV before dumping her for a younger woman. This
encouragingly open woman is part of the home-based care team and we chatted
as we were driven in the back of an open truck. As we picked up speed she
wrapped a hospital sheet round her head and used another as a shawl. We
laughed when this caused passing members of the Apostolic Church to wave and
greet us.

The place is beautiful but it's also arid and she pointed to wilted maize
plants less than a foot high and said, "There is no food here."

On our journey we had met three young women who are able to care for their
children thanks to donated anti-retroviral drugs. But it's the image of
Alice Moyo that has stayed with me, maybe because she's the same age as my

Alice was angry with her mother. A large jolly woman with great pendulous
breasts, she stirred a pot of sadza with all the vigour that her daughter

It turned out that Alice wanted to go the hospital with the home-based care
team because she had missed her date for the ARV drug programme, for want of
a bus fare. She was too weak to go alone and her mother wouldn't leave the
family kumusha (homestead) unattended. Friends and sisters were there but
they needed the permission of their husbands before they could leave home to

The photographer gave her the bus fare and tried to commit her mother to
take her to the hospital on Monday.

"The mother is looking after her very well," the Sister told me. "There is
no smell and she is clean." What must it be like not to be well looked after
I wondered?

I was so unsettled by Alice that I went back to the cooking hut to say
goodbye to her. From the doorway I could see that she sat alone but for the
youngest of her three children whose distended belly suggested that he was
about two years old. Her face was so thin that she looked almost simian. Her
bulging knees were drawn to her chin, and a wide-eyed stare met my eyes as
they accustomed to the gloom. Her face seemed to be a skull covered only
with skin. And then I understood that what I had seen as petulance was a raw
naked fear. Writing about it now I realise that I've never before seen a
human being look like a cornered animal.

I fled back into the sunlight where her mother joked about her taste for
beer with the nurses. They gave her a pair of rubber gloves and a bar of
soap as we left.

The last man we saw had been a bus conductor in Chinhoyi. We sat in his
spotless hut on the maroon coloured velvety lounge suite he must have worked
so hard for. It was draped in white protective covers with intricately
crocheted edges.

He had Karposi's sarcomas on his neck and leg and in unguarded moments his
pretty young wife looked terrified, despite her best efforts to smile and be
hospitable. I left when the photographs began, grateful that writing doesn't
require any equipment.

Then one of the nurses asked if I wanted to go and meet her family. They
lived nearby and we set off through the next village.

She shouted hello to them long before we passed through and continued
chatting long after we'd left. The lingering 'Ooo's' only faded away when we
joined the main road at a spot where we'd hooted earlier. This had been to
summon Sekuru, Gogo, Baba, Amai, Hanzvadzi, Muroora and the children and I
was introduced to them all. Gogo was bent and wanted mapiris (pills) -
basically for old age. (After all, what is the point of having a
granddaughter who is a nurse and who arrives in a truck if you can't get
mapiris for everything that ails you?)

It felt so good to be there. We travel out of town so little now. Then a car
passed and the driver looked surprised to see a white woman standing on the
side of the road. There was a time when his reaction would have been simply
one of surprise. It's all so different now. I felt uncertain and wondered
who he was. I was relieved when our truck came. I'd already been told not to
use my car as 'they' would want to know who 'the whites' were.

Our last call was back at the hospital to photograph a desperately ill
mother trying to feed her child. An 'official looking' man was hanging
around the ward.

"I just don't know anymore if I'm being paranoid," he said.
"It's impossible to know now." I replied, then added, "But probably not, and
we should probably leave."

I drove home faster than I've driven in a long time, angry and a little

To find that we have 6 new Chinese fighter jets. And that an Air Zimbabwe
plane had flown from Dubai to Harare with one passenger on board. This is a
world aviation record for the size of the plane, the distance flown and the
number of passengers on board.

This is the insanity of Zimbabwe today. An empty plane goes on a senseless
journey and a frightened young woman dies of aids for want of a bus fare
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The Zimbabwean

Still playing the land card
LONDON - Where there were once more than 4000 white-owned commercial farms
in Zimbabwe, there are now about 400. Robert Mugabe and his Zanu (PF) regime
have come in for a smarter bit of stick from the world's democracies now
that they have almost completed the destruction of commercial agriculture
and turned their cruel attacks upon the urban poor. They have violently
demolished thousands of homes, be they shacks or brick built, temporary or
permanent, legal or illegal. An orphanage in Hatcliffe for children whose
parents have died of AIDS has not been spared. These new homeless are
Zimbabweans with an infusion of long-settled Malawians, Mozambicans,
Batswana. all black Africans. Nobody understands how this entirely arbitrary
policy of Murambatsvina (clean out the dirt) can be anything but a
convenient excuse for an act of political vengeance for urban Zimbabweans'
massive rejection of his party at the March 31 polls.
What amazes and disgusts democratic Zimbabweans is this: in looking the
other way, Mugabe's supporters everywhere have not caught up with today's
facts regarding his re-possession of the land. For better or worse, (much
worse as it has turned out), only the smallest fraction of the land is now
'owned' by non-Africans. We watch with real concern as the well-informed and
more even-handed among Africa's interested parties, like Nigeria's President
Olusegun Obasanjo, are still advancing the Land Ownership issue as an excuse
for African leaders' unwillingness to confront Mugabe and his out-of-control
henchmen -the 'liberators' cynically waging a one-sided war on their own
people. More disturbing, Mugabe has sold his African audience a distorted
story, claiming 'frustration' (as Obasanjo put it to the BBC's James
Docherty last week) over 'slow delivery' of land to the people.

The slowness in land transfer was Mugabe's own. He was the ruler and he
could have planned a viable and properly managed transfer program right from
the start of Independence in 1980 and even before the Lancaster House
agreement lapsed less than ten years later. South Africa's Thabo Mbeki, the
most powerful of Zimbabwe's neighbours, has been reluctant to address the
problem of Mugabe's lawlessness in the land issue - which lawlessness has
now percolated through to nearly destroy the country. African leaders who
would embrace the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), wilfully
ignore the Peer Review Mechanism (PRM), an African initiative which is
supposed to rein in rogue leaders. PRM is an important process and a
conditionality for the promised cash inputs from developed countries
('Making Poverty History'!). It amounts to aid in exchange for 'good
governance' and all that this over-arching expression implies.

What is certain is that Mugabe's people are not enjoying good governance,
and the Land Issue no longer has anything to do with it.

It is time that some home truths penetrated the self-deception of his
apologists. British cabinet minister, Baroness Amos, recently did her best
to get the true story across on a BBC Question Time program. At Lancaster
House (1979), the British did indeed promise money for land transfer through
willing-sellers and willing buyers. She reiterated a documented fact that
money was given but that a proportion of it was actually returned, unused
when there was land on offer. In late 2002, Bafour Ankomah, a Ghanaian
journalist, wrote a 17-page praise piece, interviewing Mugabe, in the New
African magazine. A nugget of information was an astonishing admission by
Mugabe himself who was possibly carried away by Ankomah's doting flattery.

He said that at Lancaster House, the American Ambassador to Britain had
approached him saying that it was clear that Land was the sticking point
impeding a peaceful handover agreement between the British - original
colonizers of Rhodesia - and Zimbabwe's African nationalists. Mugabe
revealed that he and the late Joshua Nkomo had met privately with a British
negotiator and the American to discuss the question of money for land.
"Plenty of money was raised", according to Mugabe, but he confided that he
and Nkomo were committed not to reveal the major source. The reason: the
American public would not take kindly to paying for land in a British colony
for which America had no responsibility. How much of this is true, only
Mugabe and those survivors privy to the alleged meeting, will know.

If the bounty was delivered, we are entitled to ask what happened to the
money. Mugabe's sternest critics have never doubted that land redistribution
was a necessary part of the country's liberation, but they can be sure that
it was not intended to be carried out in such a ruthless and destructive

Mugabe's critics should not be blamed for assuming that he held back on the
Land Issue because it would be his last card, ruthlessly played in the game
of his political survival. From 1989 onwards, his regime was under serious
threat from restless war veterans and new opposition parties: his former
ally, Edgar Tekere's ZUM, Zimbabwe's ex-Chief Justice Enoch Dumbutshena's
Forum and ex-guerilla Margaret Dongo's ZUD as prime examples. When the war
veterans threatened to turn on him in 1997, he had the perfect solution -
deliver the land to the masses (in theory anyway because the masses are
still waiting to actually own their land). That way, his re-election by
overwhelming numbers of rural, land hungry Zimbabweans, has been made to
appear more plausible.
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The Zimbabwean

The lash goes on
HARARE - In 1974 it seemed the impasse between our colonial settlers and
freedom fighters would be settled within three years. 1977 came and went. A
further three years of struggle and death had to go by before independence.
In 2000 when all hell broke loose in the country, who would have thought it
would last five years? And it shows no signs of being over yet.
Now we have had six weeks of murambatsvina. No protests from civic bodies,
NGOs or churches make any difference. No voices from outside the country are
heeded. The cries of the people, their suffering and even their deaths make
no difference. The campaign of destruction and propaganda goes on. There is
a new word to soothe us - garikai. But words do not build houses or restore
livelihoods. There is a hint now that the UN envoy will not give a
favourable report. So the media prepares for this by saying civic bodies and
churches have hijacked her 'for their own political ends.'

In war and times of civil strife truth, it has been said, is the first
victim. It is as though there is a deliberate policy of not listening to
anything or anyone that questions the rightness of a policy long planned.
This closedness when it comes to us is a most worrying development. 'My mind
is made up. Do not confuse me with facts.'

W. B. Yeats, who wrote 'things fall apart, the center cannot hold,' also
wrote a poem, The Great Day, about the change of masters in his homeland
after independence:

Hurrah for revolution and more cannon shot!
A beggar upon horseback lashes a beggar on foot,
Hurrah for revolution and cannon come again!
The beggars have changed places, but the lash goes on.

There is a lack of serious reflection about what we are doing to ourselves
as a country. People are blindly obeying orders without, it seems, ever
reflecting on the morality and long-term consequences of what they are
doing. If history tells us anything, it is that there is always a
reckoning - national and personal.

You simply cannot trample on other people, or on your own conscience,
without reaping a whirlwind sooner or later. The people most to be pitied in
the long term are those who blindly co-operate in evil. They may have the
whip hand and be on horseback but they remain beggars.
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The Zimbabwean

Africa needs stronger civil society
FRANCO HENWOOD, country coordinator for Amnesty International UK, addressed
a meeting of the Young Fabians last week. These are excerpts from his
LONDON - Before Zimbabwe's recent election, violence was directed
selectively: mostly by the government against real or suspected opponents.
Now violence has become wholesale, directed against hundreds of thousands of
people through forced evictions and demolition of informal settlements. This
was an unexpected move. The government's motives in doing so are unclear.
Nonetheless, it illustrates that the crisis is not just confined to a
dispute about election procedure. It is an expression of the collapse of the
rule of law and the respect of human rights in the country.

Amnesty International is neutral on whether or not the election was free and
fair. Amnesty considers however that the climate of intimidation, human
rights violations and impunity made free participation in the elections
impossible. In any case, from a human rights perspective, victory in an
election - fair or not - does not give any government licence to trample on
the rights of its citizens. It does not give the government a licence to
deprive its citizens of a livelihood, food or shelter. It does not give the
government a licence to silence a free press, to harass torture and kill its
opponents with impunity.

From a human rights perspective we need to ask not only was the election
free and fair? We also need to ask: will the government respect human rights
and the rule of law in the country? The evidence since the elections
suggests not. Blade Nimizande, Secretary General of the South African
Communist Party, commenting on the elections last October wrote:

While pushing firmly for democratic elections in Zimbabwe, we must be sober
in our expectations. There is very little to suggest that Zanu PF, in
particular, is seriously and confidently preparing to lay the foundations
for a democratic process. Almost all of the indicators are pointing in the
opposite direction for the moment. Making the best of a bad deal in the hope
that somehow, after a flawed election, a victorious Zanu PF would be more
magnanimous would not lay the basis for any sustainable resolution of the

In my view, recent events have vindicated his analysis.

Bu what, after all, is so exceptional about Zimbabwe? You can find plenty of
examples of human rights disasters in Africa, after all. Yes, hundreds have
died from political violence in Zimbabwe. But thousands have died in inter
communal violence in Nigeria. Millions have died in a civil war in the
Democratic Republic of Congo. The list goes on. It's a valid question and it
deserves a considered response. I think there are three responses that can
be made.

First, crude comparisons of body counts miss the point. What's striking
about Zimbabwe is this: the demolition of one of the Africa's most thriving
and vigorous civil cultures by its own government. One reason why we have
repeated calamities is precisely because of the relative weakness of African
civil societies against the state. If there is one thing the continent
needs, it is stronger civic institutions and organisations - a free press,
genuine political pluralism, the rule of law, a thriving variety of civic
and activists' organisations, independent of state control. In my view, the
demolition of one of the continent's showcase civil societies is a set back
for the human rights cause for the entire continent.

The reaction of fellow African states and the African Union is crucial. What
sort of solidarity will it affirm? Will it affirm solidarity with
authoritarian regimes or with their victims? The answer to this question
will have significance for the human rights struggle for the entire

Second, the full extent of human rights violations in the country is not
known. Because of the closure of independent sources of information, it is
likely to be underreported. For example, many former residents of the now
bull dozed settlements were among the weakest, most vulnerable members of
society. Many have been dispersed into the countryside. Many of them face
certain death if aid agencies cannot reach them. But the countryside is
where the government's grip is strongest and external scrutiny weakest.

Third, there is the sheer scale of the social economic collapse in the
country. Thousands succumb weekly from AIDS. Health and education services,
once showcases of their kind on the continent, are in ruins. And looming
over all this is the threat of famine, with millions at risk from
starvation. The socio-economic crisis is not entirely the government's
responsibility. The HIV/AIDS epidemic and food shortages afflict Southern
Africa generally. But the government's contempt for the rule of law and
human rights compounds it and exacerbates the crisis. The weakening of civil
society makes it a lot more likely that crisis will slide into catastrophe.
Let me give you one example before we conclude.

Before 2000 Zimbabwe was a net exporter of food. The UN's World Food
Programme had an office in the country to distribute its food surplus
elsewhere in the region. Four years later, agriculture had collapsed and the
WFP was supervising hand- outs of food aid to the country. Despite food
shortages, the government expelled the WFP and refused to appeal for food
aid. President Mugabe appeared on sky TV and claim the country was going to
reap a bumper harvest. It was of course a dangerous, irresponsible claim to
make: it simply defied reality. In a country with a free press and freedom
of expression protected, such a claim could not have stood up. But it stood
because challenging it meant risking arrest or worse.

It is beyond my competence to make predictions as to whether a famine is
likely or not. The point is this: If the worse happens, if millions starve,
then they will starve not only because the government denied the victims the
right to food, but the also the right for them speak out and demand food.

Thank you.

Before Zimbabwe's recent election, violence was directed selectively: mostly
by the government against real or suspected opponents. Now violence has
become wholesale, directed against hundreds of thousands of people through
forced evictions and demolition of informal settlements. This was an
unexpected move. The government's motives in doing so are unclear.
Nonetheless, it illustrates that the crisis is not just confined to a
dispute about election procedure. It is an expression of the collapse of the
rule of law and the respect of human rights in the country.

As for whether the election was free or fair. No comment. Amnesty
International did not observe them. The point is that we don't consider that
conditions for free and fair election exist in Zimbabwe. In any case, from a
human rights perspective, victory in an election - fair or not - does not
give any government licence to trample on the rights of its citizens. It
does not give the government a licence to deprive its citizens of a
livelihood, food or shelter. It does not give the government a licence to
silence a free press, to harass torture and kill its opponents with

Blade Nimizande, Secretary General of the South African Communist Party,
commenting on the elections last October wrote:

"While pushing firmly for democratic elections in Zimbabwe, we must be sober
in our expectations. There is very little to suggest that Zanu (PF), in
particular, is seriously and confidently preparing to lay the foundations
for a democratic process. Almost all of the indicators are pointing in the
opposite direction for the moment. Making the best of a bad deal in the hope
that somehow, after a flawed election, a victorious Zanu (PF) would be more
magnanimous would not lay the basis for any sustainable resolution of the
crisis." In my view, recent events have vindicated his analysis.

What, after all, is so exceptional about Zimbabwe? You can find plenty of
examples of human rights disasters in Africa, after all. Yes, hundreds have
died from political violence in Zimbabwe. But thousands have died in
inter-communal violence in Nigeria. Millions have died in a civil war in the
Democratic Republic of Congo. The list goes on. It's a valid question and it
deserves a considered response. I think there are three responses that can
be made.

First, crude comparisons of body counts miss the point. What's striking
about Zimbabwe is this: the demolition of one of the Africa's most thriving
and vigorous civil cultures by its own government. One reason why we have
repeated calamities is precisely because of the relative weakness of African
civil societies against the state.

If there is one thing the continent needs, it is stronger civic institutions
and organisations - a free press, genuine political pluralism, the rule of
law, a thriving variety of civic and activists' organisations, independent
of state control. In my view, the demolition of one of the continent's
showcase civil societies is a set back for the human rights cause for the
entire continent.

The reaction of fellow African states and the African Union is crucial. What
sort of solidarity will it affirm? Will it affirm solidarity with
authoritarian regimes or with their victims? The answer to this question
will have significance for the human rights struggle for the entire

Second, the full extent of human rights violations in the country is not
known. Because of the closure of independent sources of information, it is
likely to be underreported. For example, many former residents of the now
bull dozed settlements were among the weakest, most vulnerable members of
society. Many have been dispersed into the countryside. Many of them face
certain death if aid agencies cannot reach them. But the countryside is
where the government's grip is strongest and external scrutiny weakest.

Third, there is the sheer scale of the social economic collapse in the
country. Thousands succumb weekly from AIDS. Health and education services,
once showcases of their kind on the continent, are in ruins. And looming
over all this is the threat of famine, with millions at risk from
starvation. The socio-economic crisis is not entirely the government's
responsibility - but its contempt for the rule of law and human rights
compounds it and exacerbates the crisis. The weakening of civil society
makes it a lot more likely that crisis will slide into catastrophe.

Before 2000 Zimbabwe was a net exporter of food. The UN's World Food
Programme had an office in the country to distribute its food surplus
elsewhere in the region. Four years later, agriculture had collapsed and the
WFP was supervising hand outs of food aid to the country. Despite food
shortages, the government expelled the WFP and refused to appeal for food
aid. President Mugabe appeared on sky TV and claim the country was going to
reap a bumper harvest. It was of course a dangerous, irresponsible claim to
make: it simply defied reality. In a country with a free press and freedom
of expression protected, such a claim could not have stood up. But it stood
because challenging it meant risking arrest or worse.

It is beyond my competence to make predictions as to whether a famine is
likely or not. The point is this: If the worse happens, if millions starve,
then they will starve not only because the government denied the victims the
right to food, but the also the right for them speak out and demand food.
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The Zimbabwean

Zim Blog: I choose to fight - for life
HARARE - Day 1. The aircraft glided over acres of scorched earth beginning
its descent into Harare International Airport. The tawny African savanna was
splotched with black inkblots blown artistically across the heart of my
homeland - visible scars of what I had only read about in the press abroad.
Operation drive out rubbish was quite literally a scorched earth policy.
Leaving the airport I passed endless lines of parked cars inevitably ending
adjacent to a fuel station. My journey took me through empty streets save
for a few weary pedestrians. An African nation void of street vendors and
their inevitable crowd of loiterers is indeed a peculiar sight. The few
motorists on the road were uncharacteristically polite, giving way as others
swerved to avoid potholes and driving slowly, presumably to conserve fuel.

I stopped to offer a lift to a familiar gent who lived near me. "Oh thank
you boss!" he exclaimed amiably. I had given up asking him not to call me
"boss" years ago. An aged domestic worker in Zimbabwe is not likely to grasp
the concepts of equality, self worth, liberty or empowerment. Servitude and
submission have been legislated into this culture for centuries. This may
explain why despite the despicable state of affairs, government's appalling
mismanagement and gross human rights violations there have been no mass

"How are things?" I asked casually, authentically curious though cautious -
in Zimbabwe this is an invitation to engage in a lengthy discussion about
hardship, shortages, inflation and politics. "Aah, things are tough," the
greybeard sighed. In the few days that have passed since then I have grown
to despise a number of clichés, such as: "That is life." "What can you do?"
"I can't complain."

What? And always said with a straight face or a half smile that causes one
to question the speaker's sincerity. "It can't go on forever." Forever?
Three days has been long enough in my experience. Common advice includes,
"Just keep your head down and things will be alright." I find myself
struggling to refrain from shaking people daily and screaming "This is not
just life. This is not how things are supposed to be and there is plenty
that you can do, yes you!" It's not alright and it is not going to end soon.

If I want to live here I have to make a choice - either bury my head in the
dirt with the rest of the population, or strive to teach, inspire, empower
and uplift my countrymen and my own fettered spirit. I choose to fight - for
life, liberty and happiness.

Day 2 "Ah come on, what's this?" cried the distressed youth as his bag
disintegrated in his hands under the strain of a thick blanket and a few
belongings. "Ha ha another Zhing Zhong special!" teased his comrades. This
derogatory term has become common-place in the new Zimbabwe. It refers to
poor-quality Chinese imports. This tide of neo-colonialism ushered in by the
government's "Look East" policy has many citizens bemused.

The implications, however, remain deeply misunderstood and usually amount
merely to an exchange of comical remarks. As I explored the phenomenon
further the truth and depth of the occurrence was made frighteningly clear
to me.

A Chinese businessman explained that China, for the next 10 years, must
build a city the size of Johannesburg every six weeks in order to keep pace
with the rapid growth (50 million people a year) of its population. In
addition, this population requires natural resources to sustain it.

My teacher painstakingly explained that every continent on the planet was
more or less spoken for in terms of ownership, governance and stability.
That is except for Africa - A continent that accounts for just 10 percent of
the global population and yet possesses one third of the world's total
natural resources. The reason for China's apparent interest and attempts to
develop and invest in Africa suddenly became frighteningly obvious.

How could we have missed this? Why are we openly inviting such blatant
exploitation and colonization? I am once again floored by the
shortsightedness and greed of our leaders as they barter my heritage and pad
their pockets. Where is the world? And when will they realize that they too
face a dangerous future at the mercy of a China growing in power, influence
and control. Perhaps I will laugh when a Zhing Zhong microphone falters
during the next televised international political address. Probably not. Do
you like Chinese food? I do. Perhaps that is a good thing.

Day 3. I am today deeply disturbed by the news of recent terror attacks in
London. Like many Zimbabweans I have many friends and family in the
vicinity. I am reminded that suffering and security are not purely
Zimbabwean concerns - though only here we fear our government and not some
ill-informed terrorist group. Our terror is legislated.

Attacks do not cause alarm - merely pain. Police uniforms appear on
Zimbabwean streets as menacingly as Al-Qaeda t-shirts would at JFK airport
in New York City. I mourn for the victims of this new wave of attacks and
welcome the sufferers into our circle of survivors questioning why? Hatred
has a home in the hearts of evil men. Freedom is forged by fierce men who
must fight for its familiarity. Tomorrow Londoners will seek the safety of
police uniforms. Tonight I wonder where I will run if the vehicle now idling
outside my window should turn out to hold those sworn to protect and serve.
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The Zimbabwean

Mass clearances hit small towns
By IWPR staff in southern Africa
ZIMBABWE - Most stories about Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe's campaign
to clear and destroy whole swathes of "illegal" housing have come out of the
capital Harare and the other major city, Bulawayo.
But Operation Murambatsvina (Drive Out the Rubbish) has been countrywide,
affecting small towns as well as cities.

An IWPR contributor who visited Victoria Falls in the northwest of the
country heard the same kind of stories from dispossessed people now
struggling to survive.

In Victoria Falls, once a major attraction for foreigners, the owner of a
tourist craft village who wanted only to be known as "F" told IWPR of troops
in armoured vehicles destroying homes and small businesses.

"Some of you have heard about [Operation Murambatsvina] on the news, but
others didn't realise it hit our little town too," said F. "On a Friday, our
high density areas were invaded by armoured vehicles and dozens of troops
with metal helmets and batons, and they burnt every single house that was
not concrete - wooden houses, lean-tos, shacks - smashing windows as they
went," he said.

In particular, F told how the authorities destroyed homes built for the
traditional dancers who entertained tourists who once flocked to the region.
He said that five years ago, the village had paid the local council to
connect it to the water and sewerage networks and build wooden houses for
the dancers, who had no homes of their own.

Though they were able to halt the demolition after appealing to the council,
and began repairing some of the damage, several days later the police came

"One of the dancers rushed to the shop to say two armoured cars and 20
police were smashing and burning everything," said F. "Naturally we couldn't
get hold of the police chief or anybody in council, so we just took our
truck and tried to salvage as much as we could. Now we sit with 80 or so
people with no roof over their heads and nowhere to go."

Commenting on the wider campaign of demolition he saw in the Victoria Falls
area, F said, "I wept to see such utter destruction. To see thousands of
homeless in this cold winter of ours, with their belongings piled up
alongside somebody's home, mattresses, blankets, furniture, stoves, fridges,
wardrobes and hundreds of small children all staring wide-eyed at what was
happening - it was all too sad even to describe.

"What is so sad is to buy a wooden home costs millions [of Zimbabwean
dollars]. To replace the glass in windows smashed and the roofing asbestos
sheets smashed - we are looking at about 80 million per home, which we don't
have. Why they had to smash and burn everything, nobody knows."

F once again set about making repairs to his village, and soon everyone at
least had a roof over their heads, though with some sharing. Some staff
however, had to be sent back to their rural homes, F said, and one older
woman was put into a home for the elderly.

If Operation Murambatsvina continues, F fears that everyone will eventually
have to return to their traditional villages.

"We will have no traditional village and no traditional dancing for the
tourists, who we hope will return soon. Now we hear the police are chasing
people away who are sharing accommodation, and even if you are staying in
somebody's kitchen you have to go."

Eight hundred kilometres away, high in the eastern highlands on the
Mozambique border, Mutare provides another case-study of the many small
towns where homes have been torn down and livelihoods destroyed.

Mutare is one of the coldest areas in Zimbabwe and the Red Cross of Zimbabwe
is setting up tents for the estimated 120,000 people who have been displaced

The Standard, an independent weekly, described how ten-year-old Takudzwa
Taroyiwa died of pneumonia after spending nights in the open following the
destruction of his family home by police in Mutare.

Enock Nhongo told the paper how his wife Chido also died of pneumonia,
leaving behind a five-month-old baby, after her home was flattened. Nhongo
said although his wife had not been feeling well, her illness worsened after
she was exposed to the winter temperatures.

"My baby son is now surviving on bottled milk and sleeping in the open like
us grown-ups," he said. - IWPR
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The Zimbabwean

Government jumps at shadows
HARARE - A nervous Zimbabwean government has put its opponents under siege
in what analysts believe will be a futile effort to thwart swelling public
fury over
Operation Murambatsvina (Drive Out the Rubbish) and the current economic
Armed police forcibly broke up a public meeting in central Harare organized
by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, MDC, on June 16.

Police insisted the meeting, being held to commemorate the Day of the
African Child, posed a threat to public order. Several MDC activists
including some of the party's parliamentarians, as well as journalists
covering the meeting, were beaten during the raid.

Analysts say further proof of the government's mounting sense of in security
was the reaction when University of Zimbabwe students in Harare decided to
celebrate Liverpool Football Club's victory in the European Cup. Armed riot
police, assuming the students were protesting against the government,
descended on the campus.

Similarly, police also broke up a meeting of university students who had
gathered to elect a new leadership. Then, a few days later, they dispersed a
crowd watching a local soccer match in Harare's Mabvuku township, suspecting
that the event was an MDC meeting to mobilise for mass action.

"Every little thing is a cause for strong reaction from the authorities. It
just shows how insecure the government feels," said Professor Brian
Raftopoulos, director of the Institute of Development Studies at the
University of Zimbabwe.

The MDC has threatened mass protests to force President Robert Mugabe to
halt the demolition of millions of shack homes around the country.

In a show of force unprecedented since Mugabe and his ruling Zanu PF party
wrested power from Ian Smith's white government 25 years ago, armed police
have in the past few weeks swooped on opposition strongholds, destroying
homes and arresting more than 30,000 people, mainly opposition supporters.

University of Zimbabwe political scientist Eldred Masunungure said by
Publicly wielding the iron fist, Mugabe is sending a clear message to
ordinary Zimbabweans about the price they will pay if they join any protest
against his government.

As he scatters some two million people to the rural areas, the president is
intent on banishing the biggest threat to his 25 years of autocratic rule as
poverty, unemployment and mass hunger reach record levels.

"The strategy is to thoroughly terrorise the population into submission as a
way of neutralising any impending mass action," Masunungure told IWPR.

Raftopoulos believes the government's high-handed approach is also an
admission it does not have any solution to the deepening political, economic
and food crisis. "They see suppression of all voices of dissent as a way of
consolidating their hold on power. What we are seeing are the typical signs
of dictatorship."

Nearly half of Zimbabwe's remaining 11.5 million people (an estimated 3.5
million have fled into exile) face starvation, partly because of poor rains
last season but mainly because ZANU PF supporters destroyed agricultural
production when they seized land from large-scale white commercial farmers.

International isolation of Zimbabwe's government, which intensified
following ZANU PF's controversial parliamentary election victory in March,
has accelerated the meltdown of an already rapidly declining economy sapped
by lack of foreign aid, international investment and hard cash, runaway
inflation, 80 per cent unemployment and mass poverty.

Masunungure insisted that strong-arm tactics amid worsening social and
economic conditions would not be enough to silence opposition. "It can only
achieve the opposite," he said. "We have seen this in other countries where
governments have attempted to quell discontent by using force against the

"In the long run, these governments have failed and there is no valid reason
to believe the government of Zimbabwe will succeed where others have
failed." - IWPR
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The Zimbabwean

Zimbarbie takes the bus, doll
Dear Family and Friends,

Zimbabwe acquired 69 new buses this week. The arrival of the buses made
headline news on Zimbabwe's radio and television stations on 7 July. For the
first 26 minutes of the main hour-long news bulletin on Thursday evening,
the only story was the 69 buses.

Video footage showed a line of parked, shiny blue-and-yellow buses
stretching as far as the eye could see. This was followed by a string of
interviews with prospective passengers either standing next to or seated in
a stationary bus. At one point the glories of the shiny, blue-and-yellow
buses were contrasted with a parking lot full of stranded, dusty country
buses - stranded because of the now-dire shortage of fuel across the
The absurdity of reporting on new buses when almost the entire country has
come to a standstill this week, was striking.

Thirty-seven minutes into the same evening news bulletin, Zimbabwe
television reported on the four bombs that had devastated London on Thursday
morning. In less than two minutes, ZBC TV told the entire story of the
London horror.

They then moved on to explain, yet again, why our government was still
breaking down peoples' homes in mid-winter in their drive to restore order.
Millions of Zimbabweans, literally, have experienced terror at first hand in
our country in the last five years, and we offer our love, support and
prayers to the victims and families of the horrific bombs in London.

Watching some of the film footage of thousands of people walking out of
London on Thursday, was strikingly similar to scenes in Zimbabwe this week.

An eerie silence has descended across Zimbabwe, as we are now a country
completely crippled without fuel. We wake up to silence as people walk to
work, rush hours are non-existent, and literally hundreds of people line the
roads desperate for lifts. Stocks in shops are dwindling and businesses are
barely ticking over, as there are fewer and fewer customers able to travel.

One friend told me this week that sales in their normally busy business had
dropped by 40 percent in the last five days.

The reality of a country coming to a dry and grinding halt does make the
story of the 69 buses rather ludicrous, doesn't it?

I will end this week on the latest absurdity to come out of Zimbabwe, and I
quote from the government-owned press: "Harare City Council has rescinded
all land-sale agreements made between 1998 and this year, and is now
reselling the land at market rates to the same buyers, where necessary," the
official Herald newspaper reported, citing Harare Town Clerk Nomutsa
When things can't get much worse, the silliest things cause great hilarity.
How about this gem doing the rounds: "The new Barbie on the market comes
with no shoes, no clothes, no make-up, no car, no food, no house and no
farm. It's called... Zimbarbie!"

Until next week, Ndini shamwari yenyu.
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The Zimbabwean

Beware the minister of culture

For the next few weeks we serialize a recent presentation on what it means
to be an African writer, prepared for the Scottish chapter of PEN, by
award-winning Zimbabwean author, CHENJERAI HOVE, currently living in
self-imposed exile in Europe.
In 1989, I got a long letter from the Director of the National Arts Council,
a department of the Culture Ministry, instructing me to write a musical
dance drama to celebrate 10 years of Zimbabwe's independence. If I remember
well, the instructions were simple and clear: Write a Musical Dance Drama to
Celebrate the Achievements of Ten Years of Independence.

For me as a writer, the crucial words were 'celebrate' and 'achievements'. I
immediately called the Director for clarification and questioned the
rationale of assuming that, in the first place, I was willing to undertake
such a project. I also wanted to know the justification of selecting me
among the many poets, musical composers and others all over the country. The
response was that having won the continental literary prize, the 1989 Noma
Award for Publishing in Africa for my poetic novel, 'Bones', I was the best
writer for that responsibility. (But even as recently as four years ago,
when I won a human rights prize, the German-Afrika Prize, for human rights
and freedom, the only complement the government gave me was to send a secret
service agent to collect my acceptance speech for their files.)

I went to see the Director in person, to discuss issues - the first being
that 'celebrating' might not mean the same to the Director as it did to me.
For me, it meant just to mark the occasion, to acknowledge that the event of
Independence indeed happened on that day as a historical occurrence.

From an artistic point of view, I argued, 'celebration' as acknowledgement
simply means coming face to face with the reality of a historical event, in
all its joys, sorrows, doubts, worries, imaging all the suffering, the pain
that one can put in prose, song, poetry, dance and music. Even death is
celebrated in Africa, in the lurid jokes people make in its defiance. Tears,
too, are part of the celebration.

The Director's view was that 'celebration' was just a joyous occasion in
which only the flowers are painted, minus the invisible worms that are
eating the flower from inside the 'Sick Rose' of William Blake.

Then 'achievements' was the second word which caused misunderstanding. 'What
if there were no achievements according to my perceptions?' I asked the
stunned Director. He could not countenance that there were problems and
failures in the previous 10 years. I requested that I be allowed to write
the musical dance drama without being limited to the government's perception
of what it terms 'achievements.' I was clear that I would definitely
highlight the failures as well as the successes of that arduous previous
decade. The Director expressed his shock and I expressed my disgruntlement -
the musical dance drama was never written.

A Brazilian writer once told a stunned audience in an international writers'
conference in Rio de Janeiro that writers should not worry too much about
the Ministry of Culture imposing its interpretations of culture on them.
'What we, as writers, should worry about as a matter of grave concern, is
the culture of the minister of culture,' he said.

Ask any African minister of culture which African novels he or she has read
recently, and that is enough to earn yourself a secret agent file. An
African writer, a haunted poet from a West African country, told me that he
was afraid of four people in his country. He feared the minister of the
interior because the man was in charge of the police who arrest him. He
feared the minister of justice because he made the laws under which the
writer is arrested. He feared the minister of culture who wants to impose
his definition of culture on the writer. He feared the minister of
information who has the tendency to think that writers are his unpaid public
relations officers.
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----- Original Message -----
From: "Ebu Collins"
Sent: Friday, July 15, 2005 4:11 PM
Subject: African Political Hope


just wanted to drop you a note regarding the 2004 Edition of the
"Political Indaba Resource" The African Reference no Self-Respecting
Politically aware person should be without.

Below is a brief note and links to further information on this book,
should you wish further information of this popular publication, please

As Zimbabwe and much of Africa approaches the well documented 30 year
near irredeemable post-independence point already suffered by many
African States.  Little time remains for many to correct their path, the
need to apply a more robust less corruptible Legislative Parliamentary
Model has never been more urgent. To this end the 2004 edition of
"Political Indaba Resource" by Colin Bature is now available at all good
book outlets or direct from Amazon at:

The Economic, Social and Political need of Zimbabwe and her African
neighbours has never been greater, the time for increased support,
knowledge, information, and reference is now!

For more information please visit any of the following:

It's our future!

best regards

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