40 minutes ago
HARARE (AFP) - The leadership of Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for
Democratic Change is meeting to discuss whether to enter fully-fledged talks
with President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF, party sources said Tuesday.
A special negotiations task force was locked in a meeting with the party's
top brass, including its leader Morgan Tsvangirai, a day after MDC
representatives met their ZANU-PF counterparts in Harare to discuss a
framework agreement to allow the start of substantive negotiations, the
"The standing council is meeting for its regular briefing and obviously the
MOU (memorandum of understanding) will be high on the agenda," said one
Negotiators from the rival political parties met in Pretoria last week under
the mediation of South Africa to cut a deal on how to proceed with talks on
the Zimbabwean political crisis.
While South African media has suggested the fully-fledged talks could begin
in Harare as early as Thursday, Tsvangirai has said such a timetable is
"We will not sign until the conditions are met," he told The Star newspaper
in Johannesburg. "And Wednesday is too early."
The MDC has laid down a series of conditions before it enters the talks,
including a complete cessation of violence and the release of hundreds of
its supporters who are in prison.
Another opposition source said there was pressure from the South African
mediators to sign the MOU and start the substantive talks before Jean Ping,
the head of the African Union Commission, visits Pretoria later this week.
A recent AU summit in Egypt ended with a call for dialogue between political
parties in Zimbabwe and a national unity government.
There have also been calls for the appointment of another mediator to
bolster efforts by South African President Thabo Mbeki who has come under
heavy criticism over his refusal to publicly criticise Mugabe.
The crisis in Zimbabwe intensified after the 84-year-old Mugabe defied
international criticism and pushed ahead with a one-man run-off election
late last month that handed him a sixth term.
Tsvangirai pulled out of the vote five days to the poll, citing rising
violence against his supporters that left dozens dead and thousands injured.
The opposition leader finished ahead of Mugabe in the March 29 first round
of the election, but officially fell just short of an outright majority.
July 15 2008 at 10:18AM
By Fiona Forde and Peta Thornycroft
Zimbabwe's rival parties were locked in talks in Harare on Monday
night, putting the finishing touches to a draft document intended to pave
the way for power-sharing negotiations to begin later this week.
Even in its draft form, however, the so-called memo of understanding
is already dividing the three parties it aims to unite.
Scheduled to be signed on Wednesday, the document was to lay the
ground rules for a two-week round of intensive negotiations during which
Zanu-PF and both factions of the Movement for Democratic Change would
discuss the formation of an inclusive government to put an end to the
However, Morgan Tsvangirai's wing of the MDC insist they won't sign
the draft until their demands are met. They are calling for the appointment
of an African Union envoy to the Southern African Development Community-led
talks, the release of all political prisoners, cessation of violence and
disbandment of all militias before they join the negotiating table.
With just 24 hours to go until the scheduled signing ceremony,
Tsvangirai suggested time was not on the negotiators' side.
"We will not sign until the conditions are met," he said on Monday
"And Wednesday is too early" to get those conditions in place, he
Even if the MDC conditions are met, the MDC's chief negotiator, Tendai
Biti, believes "Zanu-PF will not budge on real issues of governance".
However, a member of President Robert Mugabe's party, who spoke on
condition of anonymity, suggested otherwise. He said finding a solution was
in everybody's interest.
What Zanu-PF is likely to do next if the MDC refuses to sign the memo
of understanding is unclear.
Under Zimbabwe's constitution, the new parliament should be convened
on Thursday, when a new cabinet should also be appointed.
However, if the MDC refuses to agree to talks on Wednesday, Mugabe
could well constitute a cabinet of his own picking a day later - something
the other parties would hope to avoid.
This article was originally published on page 1 of The Star on July
July 15 2008 at 12:20PM
South African President Thabo Mbeki and the African Union's top
diplomat will meet on Friday to discuss the political crisis in Zimbabwe.
Officials from Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF and the opposition Movement
for Democratic Change met last week for the first time since President
Robert Mugabe's June 27 re-election, which was boycotted by the opposition
and condemned by the West.
South Africa's government is mediating the talks in Pretoria.
"The president called the meeting in order to brief (Jean) Ping on
developments in the Zimbabwe facilitation process," Mbeki's spokesperson
Mukoni Ratshitanga said. Ping is the most senior permanent AU official.
The MDC has downplayed the importance of talks with the Zanu-PF and
demanded that Mugabe's government halt violence against opposition
supporters and recognise MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai's victory in a March
Tsvangirai won a March 29 election but failed to win the absolute
majority required to avoid a second ballot.
The MDC leader withdrew from the run-off citing a wave of attacks by
The MDC said 113 of its activists have been killed in election-related
Mugabe, in power since independence from Britain in 1980, has blamed
the opposition for the bloodshed.
The AU has urged both sides to negotiate a power-sharing deal that
would pave the way for a unity government, which is seen by many African
leaders as the only way to avert further violence and total economic
collapse in Zimbabwe.
The once prosperous African nation has the world's highest inflation
rate, estimated to be at least two million percent, and unemployment hovers
around 80 percent.
Millions of its people have fled abroad in search of food and work.
Tsvangirai has come under African pressure to enter into full-blown
negotiations with Mugabe, who has branded the MDC puppets of the West and
vowed to never let them take power.
Mugabe, 84, says the opposition must recognise his landslide victory
in the election last month. - Reuters
This article was originally published on page 2 of Daily News on July
Marian L. Tupy 04.10.08, 6:00 AM ET
Close to two weeks after the ballots were cast in Zimbabwe's pivotal
elections, two points appear to be clear. First, the opposition won. Second,
the Mugabe regime has no intention of relinquishing power.
Blatant disregard for democracy that flies in the face of numerous
pan-African and regional conventions would, in an ideal world, spur African
leaders into action. They are, alas, silent and so free nations are once
again forced to turn to South Africa, the regional superpower, urging it to
do "something." Unfortunately, South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki has not
only tolerated the Zimbabwean regime. He has actively helped Mugabe to
maintain his grip on power.
Speaking in London over the weekend, Mbeki said, "I must say that we have
been very pleased with the manner in which the elections have gone. For the
first time, the opposition parties had access to everywhere in the country,
including the urban areas."
Of course, implicit in the admission that the victorious opposition Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC) was allowed to campaign throughout the country
"for the first time," is Mbeki's acknowledgment that the MDC was not allowed
to campaign freely on previous occasions. That begs a question: If the MDC
was not allowed to campaign freely previously, why did Mbeki's election
observers proclaim previous elections in Zimbabwe as free and fair?
In the past, Mbeki was criticized for not doing enough with regard to the
deteriorating economic and political situation in Zimbabwe. That puzzled
those who feared the negative consequences of Zimbabwe's collapse on the
regional economy in general and South African economy in particular. Mbeki
claimed that his "quiet diplomacy" would prevent Zimbabwe from descending
into chaos. Today, chaos in Zimbabwe is, if anything, more likely. But Mbeki
has not only tolerated Mugabe's dictatorship. He has actively promoted it.
For example, Mbeki has attempted to legitimize the Zimbabwean regime
internationally. It was on Mbeki's watch, after all, that the Mugabe regime
stole the 2000 and 2005 parliamentary poll and the 2002 presidential poll.
In all three cases, the Zimbabwean government's handling of the elections
was excoriated by the international community--except the Southern African
Development Community dominated by South Africa. Similarly, Mbeki's envoy to
the U.N. Security Council sidelined a debate on Mugabe's human rights
Moreover, far from pulling the proverbial plug on Mugabe, South Africa
continues to sell electricity to Zimbabwe at a price that is 36% lower than
the price that the state-run ESKOM charges South African consumers. In fact,
according to South African press reports, South Africa increased its
electricity supplies to Zimbabwe earlier this year--just as South Africa was
being plunged into darkness by economically devastating power shortages.
When, in 2003, President George W. Bush chose Mbeki as his "point-man" on
Zimbabwe, he could not have chosen a worse individual for the job. As Mark
Gevisser, author of Thabo Mbeki's biography The Dream Deferred, notes,
"Because of the history of their relationship ... [Mugabe is] not just a
father but a father whom he [Mbeki] sees some allegiance to ... Mbeki is
unable to bring enough pressure to bear on Mugabe to force him to some sort
of resolution. The opposition [MDC] doesn't have any trust in him and the
[Zimbabwean] government doesn't fear him enough to listen to his hard
As his presidency enters its last year, it is useful to contrast Mbeki's
performance with that of his predecessor. After 27 years in jail, Mandela
emerged as a man of forgiveness and compassion, and set about to forge a
nation in which his former jailors had an important role to play. Mbeki
never overcame his past and never grew in his post. His views remain that of
a Soviet-schooled Marxist ideologue who sees the world in black and white.
That world is split into the oppressor and the oppressed--the West and the
rest. Obsessed with race and colonialism, Mbeki ignored the HIV/AIDS
pandemic in South Africa at the cost of millions of lives of his countrymen.
To him, orthodox science "portrayed black people ... [as] victims of a slave
mentality." Rejection of the HIV/AIDS orthodoxy was necessary in order to
confront "centuries-old white racist beliefs and concepts about Africans."
Similarly, Mbeki refused to confront Mugabe as long as the latter man
skillfully couched his devastating economic policies in terms of his fight
against British plots and other delusions.
Zimbabwe's future hangs in the balance. Few people dare to predict the
outcome of this latest crisis and few doubt that the potential for violence
is very high. If a peaceful transfer of power somehow comes about, it will
not be because of South Africa's Mbeki, but in spite of him.
Marian L. Tupy is a policy analyst at the Cato Institute's Center for Global
Liberty and Prosperity, which has followed events in Zimbabwe closely.
Tuesday, 15 July 2008 13:22
By Staff Reporter
LUPANE - War veterans and other ZANU (PF) supporters here have
launched a crackdown on children whose parents they suspect to be supporters
of Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), whom they are forcing out of
According to villagers from Lupane, a vast rural district in
Matabeleland North, the crackdown began at the beginning of this month.
"The war vets say that our children cannot be allowed to attend ZANU
(PF) schools because their parents are sellouts. They tell us that we should
build our own MDC schools that we should send our children to," said
Mloyiswa Nyoni of Mathambo area, whose three children doing Grades seven,
five and two were chased away from Mathambo primary school by the former
freedom fighters, who have caused a lot of harm while pushing Robert
Mugabe's bid to cling on to power since 2000.
Teachers at nearby schools also confirmed the crackdown and said that
they could not do anything against the war veterans, who they say, have
always threatened to turn on them anytime they are prevented from punishing
"Last week a parent came here to complain to us, after his children
had been sent back home, despite him having no fees arrears. While we were
still explaining to him, a group of about five war veterans stormed the
headmaster's office and sent the man packing with sticks. They accused him
of trying to run the school yet his party had nothing to do with it," said a
teacher at Siziphile primary school in the same district.
The war veterans are said to have vowed that they will not rest until
all children whose parents are MDC supporters stop attending school.At some
of the schools, they are alleged to have even threatened to deal with
teachers for allowing those children they would have chased to return.
"We have no choice but to follow their orders because they are a law
unto themselves and the education ministry is doing nothing about that
despite us having reported the matter to them," said a headmaster at one of
Education officials in the province said that their hands were also
tied on the matter."They claim that they are carrying out orders from the
ZANU (PF) officials and who are we to challenge that. This is no longer an
issue of working for one's family, but keeping one's life as well. You know
what these people can do and teachers are always on the firing line on this
issue," said an official.
However, ZANU (PF) denies any knowledge of the intimidation.
"We know nothing about that. Why do those people report to you instead
of the police if such things are happening?" fumed party national chairman,
The Times, SA
Sapa Published:Jul 15, 2008
Approaching the International Criminal Court (ICC) for assistance in the
Zimbabwean crisis is the way to resolve the climate of violence in the
country, a civil rights group said today.
"No doubt, it is the only way to go," said spokesman for the Zimbabwean
Exiles Forum Gabriel Shumba, after a round table discussion in Pretoria on
the situation in Zimbabwe.
He said he believed this was the only way to stop the violence that had
taken place since the presidential election in March.
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights spokesman Otto Saki said he was also
concerned about the violence and he called for those in power to stop it
He voiced concern that the public knew very little about the mediation
Meanwhile director for the Southern African Litigation Centre, Nicole Fritz
said she was confident that she would receive a response from the National
Prosecuting Authority following a dossier handed to it requesting that
several Zimbabwean nationals be prosecuted for cases relating to torture.
July 15, 2008
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - Zimbabwe's opposition says 14 of its
members have been freed after being cleared of charges of committing
The Movement for Democratic Change says the activists were acquitted
Monday after the state failed to produce its key witness - a police officer
who died early that day.
The party says more than 1,000 activists and officials are in police
custody on "trumped up" charges of political violence.
The party insists on their release as a condition for negotiations
between the opposition and the government to resolve the economic and
political crisis in Zimbabwe.
Tue 15 Jul 2008, 13:47 GMT
By Sue Pleming
WASHINGTON, July 15 (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
told African nations on Tuesday they must do more to make Zimbabwean
President Robert Mugabe accountable for his actions, saying the political
and economic crisis there was "Africa's challenge."
Addressing African leaders at a conference in Washington aimed at boosting
trade with the continent, Rice referred to the "heartbreaking plight" of the
Zimbabwean people due to Mugabe's actions and his disputed re-election last
"In the Mugabe regime we see the page of history that Africa must turn. A
leader for independence which inherited a nation full of promise, but which
has devolved into a tyranny that values nothing but power," she said of
Mugabe won a landslide victory last month in a vote that was ultimately
boycotted by opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai and denounced by Western
nations. Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change says pro-Mugabe militia
have killed at least 113 of its supporters in a systematic campaign of
The 84-year-old Zimbabwean leader, in power since the 1970s after the end of
British rule, blames the opposition for the bloodshed.
The United States has made clear African neighbors such as South Africa
should take the lead in putting pressure on Mugabe, and Rice repeated this
appeal in her address to the forum, bringing together sub-Saharan African
countries that have a trade arrangement with Washington, including South
"It is hard to imagine how Africa will ever reach its full potential until
all of its leaders are accountable too and respectful of the will of its
people," Rice said.
"Southern Africa will face perennial instability until the peaceful
aspirations of all Zimbabweans are respected and reflected in their
government. This is Africa's challenge and Africa must succeed," she added.
South Africa and other African Union members are pressing Mugabe and
Tsvangirai to accept a power-sharing deal. African leaders see a unity
government as the way to avert a spread of violence and total economic
collapse in Zimbabwe, which has the world's highest inflation rate and
chronic food and fuel shortages.
U.S. and British attempts to further isolate Mugabe failed in the U.N.
Security Council last Friday when a resolution to impose sanctions against
Zimbabwe was torpedoed after Russia and China vetoed the move.
The proposed sanctions would have imposed an arms embargo on Zimbabwe as
well as financial and travel restrictions on Mugabe and 13 other officials.
The U.S. State Department said on Monday it was consulting with allies such
as Britain to come up with new ideas to put pressure on Mugabe and said
nations such as China and Russia were on the "wrong side of history" by
vetoing the U.N. action. (Reporting by Sue Pleming, editing by Philip
Tuesday, 15 July 2008 11:45
Terror continues in Manicaland
Robert Mugabe's bloodthirsty regime is continuing brutalizing the
defenseless, poor and hungry people of Zimbabwe in rural Manicaland amid
reports of more abductions, torture and displacement of MDC supporters from
Jefter Mangezi (50) from Chimombe Vilage,Chief Nenyashanu in Buhera
South was abducted and severely assaulted and tortured on 29/06/08 two days
after Mugabe claimed to have won the one man historical election. Mangezi
said that Mugabe's brutal ruffians led by Charles Mukanwa forced the whole
village to go and attend a 'victory meeting' at Pamuuyu torture base at
around 9:00hrs on 29/06/08.It was at this meeting that they were beaten up
severely one after the other for allowing "Mugabe to lose the March
elections". Mangezi said, "We were all force marched to Pamuuyu base where
after individual interrogation, we were made to lie down and beaten up on
the buttocks. Our crime was allowing Tsvangirai to win the March
Mangezi and other defenseless villagers were beaten throughout the
day and made to pay a goat,four chickens and a tin of mealie-meal each as a
form of punishment and a sign of repentance, showing that they have joined
ZANU PF. Pamuuyu Torture Base was established after the March 29 elections
and is being used as a place where kidnapped MDC supporters are tortured and
assaulted.The so called "base" ,is an open place without any tent or form of
protecton especially in the current winter season and is a few meters away
from Mutiusinazita Police Station where police officers observe the brutal
on goings and fail to take any action to protect unarmed and defenseless
civilians. Mangezi was detained at the base for two weeks and in between the
torture and assault sessions both abducted men and women were forced to sing
Zanu PF songs sung during the Liberation Struggle (Rhodesian bush war) and
chant ZANU PF slogans throughout the night and on a daily basis. They where
also forced to beat up fellow kidnapped MDC supporters and accompanied the
militias to their daily terror expeditions. "I was only fortunate to be
released on 12/07/08 because my arm had been broken during one of the
torture sessions, "said Mangezi.
Part of the Zanu PF thugs manning Pamuuyu torture base are Wilson
Mangezi,Newton Mupamhadzi,Abias Mabvira,Taape Tutsirai,Amos Madziturira and
In a related incident Steven Mavhiza (26) and Eliot Muradzikwa (31)
all from Ngoma Village, Chief Marange in Bazel Bridge were abducted on
07/07/08 from their hiding place in Runyani mountain by militias and war
vets led by Howard Chadambuka. Mavhiza said they were force marched to
Dhongire Torture Base where they were severely beaten on allegations that
they had made senior citizens / villagers in the area vote for MDC during
the March 29 election. "They tortured and assaulted us for more than four
hours and forced us to chant Zanu PF slogans," said Mavhiza. The
perpetrators included Dereck Mupikata , Martin Karumbidza and Charles
Other torture bases established in Manicaland after March 29 are
Samaringa ,Ishe Chidavanika and the one at Oppah Muchinguri's home (Zanu PF
Minister of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development). These bases
are being led by Colonel Masamvu, a serving soldier in the Zimbabwe National
Army .In Makoni south Chakuma ,Chitenderano and Nzvimbe Torture Bases are
being led by losing Mp Shadreck Chipanga and Nathaniel Mhiripiri and in
Buhera Mutiusinazita,Nutero,Bhegedhe and Baravara Torture Basesare being
led by Joseph Chinotimba, a notorious militant Zanu PF cadre and Colonel
Muzilikazi Masvingo Province Situation Report (14th of July 2008) .
Zaka East Constituency
Militia still very active and taking cattle and goats from MDC
supporters to feed their camps, this is making life impossible for the MDC
supporters who have already been forced to proclaim their allegiance to the
ZANU PF party. Many have been beaten since the farce elections held on the
27th June, and they have not been able to get maize meal when it was
distributed in the area, these people are now broke and have very little
livestock to slaughter for food or sale.
Proverbs Ngirivana who's brother Jacob was shot in a execution style
killing just after the March election, has had his property raided again
loosing most of what was left of his belongings, from the last time the
Militia with army personal burnt his store down.
ZANU PF officials backed by Militia are threatening and beating MDC
officials and supporters who have laid charges against them for the
atrocities committed during and after the March / June elections, they are
forcing the MDC officials and supporters to withdraw these charges. These
areas are affected much the same as the ZAKA areas, regarding the stealing
of stock and the food distribution.
15th July 2008
ZANU PF officials are traveling around Bikita telling the people that
there will be another Parliamentary Election in August, because the
elections of the 29th of March has not been recognized by the ZANU PF
Government.The children are back at school but there are no teachers,
because most of them voted for the MDC party and are afraid of returning,
many have been dismissed also for backing the opposition party.
Maize meal in these areas has become unobtainable and the poor who
cannot afford to travel to Masvingo some 100km to the west are suffering
It seems that the majority of the people who won the March 29
elections have lost out badly; they were beaten and many were killed,
hundreds still missing and they are still getting persecuted.
(CNN) -- It was a frigid June night at Pickstone Mine in Zimbabwe when 67-year-old Angela Campbell -- soaking wet, her arm broken and a gun to her head -- signed a document vowing to give up the fight for her family's farm.
Angela Campbell, 67, was beaten and kidnapped days after Zimbabwe's runoff election.
Though Campbell signed the document, her son-in-law said she has no intention of giving up her battle; Campbell's family will be in Windhoek, Namibia, on Wednesday to present arguments to a Southern African Development Community tribunal.
In pursuing the case, the Campbells and 77 fellow Zimbabwean farmers are risking theft, torture and death for what may be their only remaining chance to save the homes and farms so coveted by Mugabe and his loyalists. Watch a report from the time of the Campbell attack »
Mugabe blames the West for his nation's soaring inflation and poverty. But analysts say Mugabe's 2000 "resettlement" policy, in which property was snatched from white farmers and redistributed to landless blacks, is more to blame for the country's turmoil.
"All I want to see is justice," said Richard Etheredge, 72, a white farmer who was evicted from his farm last month. "The world cannot carry on with criminals."
On June 15, Etheredge, who has joined the SADC case, and his family received word that a Zimbabwean senator planned to take over his Chegutu farm -- a process known as "jambanja."
"We're going to murder you if we catch you," Etheredge recalls an assailant yelling from outside his son's house two days later.
The senator bused "criminals" to his property, Etheredge said. Etheredge, his wife and one of his twin sons escaped, but the other twin and Etheredge's daughter-in-law were later beaten, he said.
Looters stole his computers, farm equipment, antiques, custom gun collection and a safe with billions in Zimbabwean currency (hundreds of thousands in U.S. dollars). Etheredge said he watched the thieves abscond with his possessions in vehicles belonging to the senator.
The looters also caused about $1 million in damage to his property, which includes three houses and a fruit-packing plant that was once among the most sophisticated in southern Africa. The Etheredges have been farming for 17 years, and before the attack, were producing 400,000 cartons of navel oranges and kumquats a year, he said.
"The destruction is absolutely incredible," Etheredge said.
Mugabe's cronies visited the adjacent Mount Carmel farm about two weeks later, just days after Mugabe won a majority of votes in a runoff election denounced as a "sham" by the international community. Watch how violence persists after the election »
Like the Etheredges, Mike and Angela Campbell were warned that Mugabe loyalists, members of his Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front, were planning to invade their farm. The government had given the 1,200-hectare (2,965-acre) tract to a ZANU-PF spokesman who also served as Mugabe's biographer, according to the Campbells' son-in-law, Ben Freeth.
Two nuns went to Mount Carmel on June 26, the day before the runoff, wanting to buy sweet potatoes, Freeth said. But their quest for tubers was a ruse; they actually wanted to tell Freeth that ZANU-PF members were planning to raid the Campbell land, where the Campbells and Freeth and his wife, Laura, live.
On June 29, Freeth received a phone call: "War veterans," as the clans of pro-Mugabe thugs call themselves, were heading to his in-laws' house. Laura and her brother, Bruce, gathered their children. Laura fled with the children through a fence on the northern boundary of Mount Carmel farm, Freeth said.
Freeth jumped in his car and sped 1½ kilometers to the Campbell house.
"These guys had already arrived and they started shooting at me as soon as I drove through the gate," he said.
The bullets missed, but one of the war veterans hurled a rock through the driver's side window, smashing Freeth's right eye shut.
"They dragged me out of the vehicle and began beating me over the head with rifle butts," Freeth said.
The men tied up Freeth, he said, and took him to where his in-laws were lying bound on the gravel outside their home.
Angela Campbell was still conscious. The men had caught her on her way to feed a calf. They had beaten her and broken her upper arm in two places, Freeth said. Mike Campbell was in bad shape, "just groaning on the ground; in fact, he remembers nothing."
The heavily armed men threw the three in the back of Mike Campbell's Toyota Prado truck, and "the next nine hours were quite a nightmare," Freeth said.
Freeth and the Campbells were driven about 50 kilometers (31 miles) to Pickstone Mine. Their captors stopped at a dairy farm on the way and killed a white farmer's dogs, Freeth said. Night had fallen by the time they arrived at the mine to find about 60 men in ZANU-PF regalia waiting for them.
"They were pointing guns at us the whole time, telling us they were going to kill us," Freeth said.
Freeth and the Campbells were doused with cold water and left "shivering in the dust on the ground," Freeth said. They received more beatings, and Freeth said one of their captors thrashed the bottom of his feet with a shambock, a whip made of hippopotamus hide.
It was during this time that their captors made Angela sign a document promising to drop the case scheduled this week before the SADC tribunal.
Mike Campbell moved in and out of consciousness, as Ben and Angela prayed -- not for their lives, but for their captors. Freeth said he had never understood Luke 6:28 -- "Bless those who curse you" -- until that moment, and a "supernatural" peace came over him.
Freeth told God, "If I'm going to be with you today, then I'm ready."
It was almost midnight when Freeth and the Campbells -- still bound -- were tossed in the back of the Prado. They bounced around the sports-utility vehicle as their captors drove 30 kilometers down a craggy dirt road to Kadoma, where they were dumped in the streets.
"I managed to walk toward a light and knocked on the door of a house and used the phone to phone my wife," Freeth said.
The Campbells were released from the hospital last week. Both remain weak and still bear considerable scrapes and bruises. Angela has a pin in her arm. Mike, 75, suffered four broken ribs, a broken collarbone and a dislocated finger.
Mike is recovering just enough to sit up, and "he can walk a few paces," Freeth said Monday, complaining his hands were "still tingly" from being bound so tightly.
The hospital released Freeth at the weekend after neurosurgeons had to drill a 4-centimeter (1½-inch) hole in his skull to relieve pressure from a hematoma stemming from the rock and rifle-butt blows to the head.
One thing not battered is the farmers' resolve to remain on the land that the Campbells have owned for 34 years.
"We intend to be there on Wednesday, and we just hope for an outcome that is good for everyone, an outcome for justice," Freeth said of the SADC hearing, which is slated to last through Friday.
"I think it means a lot to him whether SADC is going to isolate him or continue to support him," Freeth said. "Once we get to the SADC tribunal and we get a judgment and it's basically binding in black and white, it's going to be difficult for Mugabe to say, 'We're abiding by our own law.' It's going to be very difficult for him to defend what he's doing."
Monsters and Critics
By Jan Raath Jul 15, 2008, 12:16 GMT
Harare - An elderly white Zimbabwean farmer severely tortured with his wife
and son-in-law a fortnight ago to force him to withdraw an international
legal challenge to President Robert Mugabe's violent farm seizures is
pressing ahead with his case, a relative said Tuesday.
The 10-person tribunal of the Southern African Development Community (SADC),
the regional bloc, is set to sit in the Namibian capital Windhoek on
Wednesday to hear a petition by Mike Campbell, 73, and 77 other white
farmers to have Zimbabwe's controversial eviction laws overturned.
On June 29, a group of militiamen loyal to Mugabe abducted Campbell, his
wife, Angela, 66, and son-in-law Ben Freeth, 38, from their farm in Chegutu
about 100 kilometres west of the capital Harare and subjected them nine
hours of assault and torture in an attempt to force them to ditch their
Campbell, a large-scale fruit exporter, suffered severe concussion, smashed
fingers, a broken collarbone and extensive lacerations and bruising. His
wife's arm was broken in two places and a burning stick thrust in her mouth,
while Freeth nearly lost an eye and was lashed at length on the soles of his
During the assaults, Angela Campbell was forced to sign an 'agreement' that
they would withdraw their case from the Windhoek tribunal. But, lawyers
said, there was no obligation to honour the signing because it was done
under 'severe duress.'
'No, my dad has no intention of withdrawing the case,' said their son Bruce.
'Ben has gone to Windhoek with our lawyer, but my dad hasn't gone, he still
cannot walk around. He's alright, he's recovering slowly, but he's going to
be bedridden for another three weeks.'
President Mugabe is a signatory to the treaty setting up the SADC tribunal,
which has the right to hear appeals from any of SADC's 14 members on the
provisions of the bloc's founding treaty, including the rule of law.
Campbell has already lodged an appeal against his threatened eviction from
his farm with the Zimbabwe supreme court, but 16 months later his case has
yet to be heard.
Only about 300 of around 4,500 white farmers that were working the land in
Zimbabwe in 2000 are still in agriculture following a violent campaign of
lawless land invasions by Mugabe party members, cronies and youth militia.
Campbell and the other 77 farmers are challenging a law introduced last year
that denies farmers threatened with eviction the right to appeal. They also
insist that the evictions are 'fundamentally racist.'
'It's an open and shut case,' said John Worsley-Worswick, spokesman for the
Justice for Agriculture lobby group that campaigns for the rights of white
'I don't believe there is a single farmer that has been legally evicted.'
The SADC tribunal has ordered the Zimbabwe government not to evict the
Campbells or the other farmers pending their hearing but state- backed
militia have defied the injunction by invading a number of the farms in
Bruce Campbell said police had arrested two senior Zanu-PF war veterans in
connection with the attack on his parents' farm.
Title: Of blind scribes, blinkered scholars and smart politicians
Author: Hope Dzavashumairi
Source Website: www.africafiles.org
African Charter Article# 9: Every individual shall have the right to receive
information and express their opinions.
Summary & Comment: This analysis was done by a senior lecturer from a
university in Zimbabwe. FG
Of blind scribes, blinkered scholars and smart politicians
Although the current election campaign in Zimbabwe offers a unique study in
unconventional or smart politics, both media and academic analysts have
largely remained amazingly uninformed, complacent and ignorant about what
they are witnessing and pontificating on. Tied hand and foot to the
positivist tenets of liberal journalism and scholarship, blind scribes and
blinkered scholars routinely saturate media space with simplistic
misrepresentations of the unfolding disaster. We may never awaken to reality
until it confronts us like death. Yet, the signals of deceit have been
abundantly communicated for seasoned scribes and sentient scholars to
deconstruct the current political spectacle of a ruling party nominating and
sponsoring three candidates to gang up on [kukutsirana] a formidable
opposition leader and win by default.
A Background of Unconventional Politics
To begin with, the conventional liberal view of multiparty democracy
surprisingly remains predominant despite unmistakable indications that the
ruling party will do literally anything to prevent any serious challenge to
its political monopoly. Subverting electoral institutions and processes is a
well known practice of ZANU PF and is now almost the rule. Security chiefs
boldly threatening voters should they dare elect anyone but the incumbent
party is business as usual. Blatantly biased reporting against the
opposition party has now spilled over from public to private media, leaving
voters without any reliable basis for rationally assessing their options
except silent gossip. Outright violence against opposition members is not
only condoned but officially organized, encouraged, expected and protected.
All these are familiar features of Zimbabwean multiparty democracy.
A lesser known but crucial part of ZANU PF's political ethic insidiously
pervades the campaign, namely unconventional or smart politics. This
unconventional ingredient was adopted at ZANU's formation in 1963 and
quietly inscribed in the office of Secretary for Public [Subversive] Affairs
to ensure that the struggle would continue should the party be banned like
its three predecessors, the ANC, NDP and ZAPU. ZANU's mastery of subversive
"martial arts" was duly acknowledged one evening in December 1973 in an
hour-long radio address to his Rhodesians by none other than Ian Smith
himself. Ironically, Smith eventually converted to unconventional tactics in
later phases of the war as he came to rely more on the Selous Scouts than on
his own conventional soldiers. In the process, the two adversaries, RF and
ZANU, literally educated each other in the smart politics of daring to
deceive. The rest of that bloody war is now archival material.
More recently, with all the financial and human capital at its disposal,
ZANU PF has spared no dime in sponsoring subterranean subversion against the
MDC and civil society opponents. The scribes and academics have apparently
forgotten the incredibly fabricated and orchestrated president-assassination
plots and subsequent treason trials and acquittals of opposition leaders.
They have forgotten the abduction and mischievously practiced exhumation of
a missing war veteran followed by the spectacular state media trial and
conviction of MDC members, only for the High Court judge to dismiss police
evidence with a damning reproach and acquit the alleged "self-confessed
murderers and terrorists".
During the 2005 parliamentary election campaign, after warning urban voters
against rejecting it again as they had done in 2002, the ZANU PF leadership
went on to destroy poor people's homes and livelihoods in the so-called
Operation Murambatsvina. The scribes and intellectuals matter-of- factly
reported the horrendous suffering of millions of Africans rendered homeless
and jobless and exposed to the biting winter without ever touching on the
political agenda and strategies involved. They decried and denounced the
cruelty of the operation. The United Nations sent a commission of enquiry
headed by a habitat expert. Back in New York, Anna Tibaijuka routinely
reported the horrors and recommended assistance in re-housing the victims.
All was seen as a housing crisis. Not a hint of the politics behind the
so-called "Operation Restore Order".
Another habitat fixer, UN Under-Secretary Egeland, followed that up with an
offer to provide tents and ameliorate the suffering. Mugabe simply told him
"tents are for Arabs". [Good lobbying for his own Bedouin bosom friend,
Gaddafi]. For their part, official scribes filled media space with images of
Operation Garikai [Prosper] which cynically pretended that the same
government that had destroyed people's homes was suddenly providing its
victims with improved houses. No one questioned the credibility of such
The misrepresentation of those operations and interventions as a "housing"
issue requiring habitat experts and reconstruction funds is a perfect
example of the skills of smart politics at work. In all these moves, the
process of punitive purging of the urban electorate was totally obscured by
the simulation of a housing and humanitarian crisis. Serious political
analysts would recognize this as a case of issue suppression.
With blind scribes, illiterate intellectual commentators and all other
global notables transfixed on the theatre of fictitious treason trials,
macabre exhumations, cruel home demolitions and damning reports, as well as
television images of fictive urban reconstruction, virtually no-one noticed
the connection between such punitive purging of urban voters and the
long-term strategy of liquidating the MDC opposition.
The vicious systematic removal of opposition supporters from those rural
areas that had once been known as commercial farms had been the first phase
in ZANU PF's overall plan to purge and punish the electorate. The scribes
and intellectuals saw and reported it all as "land reform", completely
missing the political substance of the misnamed "Third Chimurenga".
Operation Murambatsvina and other subsequent punitive purges of the urban
electorate were systematically sanitized, reported and explained as slum
clearance, urban renewal, price control and monetary policy implementation.
Purging and reconfiguring the electorate as part of unconventional political
practice remained beyond the horizons of global and local media and
intellectual imagination. The masters of smart politics could not be more
amused as the community of "political analysts" routinely swallowed their
mythologies bait, hook, line, sinker, and fisheman.
Smart Politics and the Current Election Campaign in Zimbabwe
So how does such a background illuminate the secrets of the current
electoral campaign? Zimbabwe's long experience with smart politics
notwithstanding, today's global Scribes and Pharisees have continued to view
the current campaign in terms of the routine assumptions of conventional
liberal scholarship. They have focused on the usual intimidation, violence,
arrests, partial administration, unequal coverage in public media, vote
buying, gerrymandering, all pointing towards a rigged outcome. Since all
this would not be monitored and exposed by international observers and
media, early predictions of the outcome invariably dismissed the opposition
as hopelessly divided. The election would be a non-event. That ZANU PF would
prefer a victory that looked more legitimate was totally overlooked.
Then suddenly, the masters of smart politics threw what looked like a wild
card into the works. Having prepared the ground by orchestrating a
succession battle and split that never was, ZANU PF created the illusion of
an internal rebellion centred on the "independent" presidential candidacy of
ZANU PF stalwart Simba Makoni. Partisans privy to the strategy could not
have anticipated a better response. The gallery of global and local Scribes
and Pharisees came alive and ensured that the issues in this election would
never be addressed, precisely what the party strategists had hoped for.
Peta Thorneycroft led the chorus with an operatic soprano portraying Makoni's
nomination as the rousing arrival of a "roaring lion". As an instant expert
in Swahili, she euphorically revealed the surprise finding that his first
name means "lion", completely mistranslating [and mispronouncing] the Shona
word for power to give it the same meaning as the Swahili word for lion. The
word for a lion in Shona is "shumba". Makoni's buffalo clan would be shocked
to read that he had defected to the lion clan. Peta went completely off the
rails! Forgive the digression.
After that, the Scribes and Pharisees had a field day in scenario writing.
While any outcome was now allowed to be conceivable, "the Makoni issue" had
to be factored into every analysis. Makoni, the medium of ZANU PF deceit,
not his message, had become the election issue for 2008. To that effect, the
conventional wisdom of the Pharisees stabilized on the inevitability of a
presidential run-off because the "Makoni factor" would allegedly certainly
prevent an outright victory for anyone. No-one bothered to specify the
nature of "the factor", explain its modus operandi, or even explore it.
Occasional warnings against reading the "Makoni factor" too literally
appeared in the press but were routinely dismissed as "conspiracy theories",
as if such theories self refute. Makoni himself revealed that he was a ZANU
PF member out to rescue his party through a leadership renewal which would
help it avoid regime change, that is an MDC victory. Dumiso Dabengwa
confirmed that intention. Munangagwa played the dummy that Makoni had
"expelled himself", to which the latter curtly answered "nonsense" and that
was the end of intra party hostilities. Earlier noises from the likes of
Joseph Chinotimba to "deal with Makoni the ZANU way" were soon silenced.
ZANU PF violence was never to be visited on Makoni's Mavambo outfit. They
were 2 sides of the same coin.
The Scribes and Pharisees were left to read these manouvres in their own
conventional language of splits, expulsions, and defections. A few well
known ZANU PF apparatchiks and had-beens came onto the stage and gave off as
much of their party identity as the script permitted them to do. But the
press gallery still insisted on mistaking them for real defectors. So the
game of suspense took over the mediasphere. With every scribe anticipating a
scoop on the next "defection", and every [invariably "respectable"] analyst
impatiently waiting to complete their next treatise, the spaghetti yarn just
unfolded endlessly. To those in the gallery, the ZANU PF split was for real
and it was only time before John Nkomo, Joseph Msika, Joice and Solomon
Mujuru, Dzikamai Mavhaire and Sheba Gava Zvinavashe followed and left poor
Bob for dead. The clock ticked. The train of defectors did not arrive. The
drama continued with no evidence of further defections.
In time, the "Makoni factor" grew into a cryptic puzzle. On short-wave radio
and South African television, Makoni was politely asked to present his
programme. Here was a democratic leader who claimed to "share your pain" but
would not tell viewers and listeners what he stood for. "The people know me.
I am Simba Makoni. I don't have a programme, Violet. Having a programme
would make me a dictator. Just elect me because you know me. When [not if]
you elect me, I shall form a "National Authority" of any elected people.
They will then, after you have already elected me, proceed to define what I,
your inevitably elected president, will then stand for". Voters must just
elect this "war cabinet" casualty without scrutinizing his record, his
connections and his intentions and hope that he will deliver them from the
current crisis. My foot! What enemies was he fighting in the "war cabinet"
and politburo? And he has the gall to insist that he will, not may, be
elected! What does all this mean in terms of smart politics?
Makoni took all precautions to hide his identity. Having clearly stated that
he was not alone, the gallery could be excused for anticipating a stream of
defections to his "project". Note the emerging vocabulary of smart politics.
It's no longer multiparty democracy but flexible politics with aspiring
leaders creating factions, formations, and projects to hide or stretch their
identities. Gone are the rigid identities of mass parties and mass rallies
of the age of African nationalism. With the same passengers in a single
spectacular road-show, and with television cameras repeatedly zooming in and
out of a small and enthusiastic rented crowed, all the fringe political
formations can now be misrepresented as great political events. Old parties
can present themselves in any new clothes, utter different slogans and offer
ingredients in the name of "power to the people". Unsuspecting voters may be
excused for failing to distinguish between competing candidates, their
respective political associations and the political choices between them.
Makoni is clearly an essential part of the ZANU PF election 2008 strategy.
One does not need a conspiracy theory to see that. He is the mid-field
playmaker venturing into the opposition, winning loose balls and supplying
opposition-splitting passes to his number 9 striker Bob. He is all the more
effective having been, like a Selous scout, redressed and manicured like the
political "other". He may be ritually reviled like ZANU PF's real "enemies",
called an opportunist, "a Prostitute from Mbare" or worse. Yet these are
purely harmless barbs calculated to render him less suspect among the voters
and in the press gallery. [By the way the prostitutes in Harare do not hang
out in Mbare. There are, on the other hand, lots of them in the Avenues
area, around State House!]. To his credit, Simba has played very well,
concealed his identity, picked up a few votes from the Mutambara MDC fiction's
[ yes fiction, don't edit] leadership.
Langton Towungana is also part of it. By simply playing God's candidate with
a cross symbol, he can pick up loose votes from religious zealots. With a
long name beginning with T, he may also pick up a few votes meant for
Tsvangirai. On the whole, it's been the smartest political spectacle ever
witnessed anywhere on Earth. But smart politicians, please give us a break.
If only you could use your skills for developing Zimbabwe rather than
cheating the people! To the scribes and Pharisees, please wake up and try a
little investigative journalism and smart scholarship in your practice. You
have had a good sleep throughout this campaign.
Tuesday, 15 July 2008 12:30
Preparing for the likely consequences
As increasingly inappropriate and unhelpful business conditions have
evolved from the severely corrupted election process and as the authorities
became increasingly contemptuous of the needs of suppliers and their
customers, we in the business sector have had to become extremely defensive
and shrewd to survive.
Many stayed the course by remaining a jump or two ahead of the
political challenges, others were obliged to take a conciliatory route to
remain in operation, but very nearly all surviving companies have suffered
severe shrinkage. Very few now have the stamina to withstand yet more
abuse.However, the severely flawed electoral process has thrust upon
Zimbabwe's long-suffering population a result that seems certain to impose
even more damaging conditions. As the ruling party's blatantly displayed
posture proved conclusively during the election re-run, its claimed right is
to demand obedience from the whole population, the business sector included.
In this regard, the business sector has always been seen as a
particularly irritating problem, but as compliance has been more
successfully pressed from Zimbabwean companies, the ruling party has
convinced itself that it is the extent of foreign ownership of local
companies that constitutes a threat to its absolute power.This has already
generated legislation designed to ensure that indigenous Zimbabweans will
gain controlling interests in every company, but the higher-profile
companies should now be considering pre-emptive measures to deflect what
might happen next.
In response to the almost universal rejection of the election results,
proposals from abroad are claiming that economic sanctions must be imposed
to ensure that foreign-owned companies cannot support the Mugabe regime.
Although such ideas might be well intentioned, they are unlikely to prompt
any change in political direction. More seriously, the party could all too
easily turn them into political capital for use against the whole business
As business activity is already severely inhibited and very few
companies are profitable, these sanctions proposals, however vague or
oblique, could become threats to any susceptible company's financial
survival. But whether or not any given business is on the edge, the ruling
party is likely to respond to this threat of real sanctions by imposing on
them even more controls, or possibly by nationalising those companies of
more strategic importance.
From the business standpoint, the argument is clear: such sanctions
will damage the interests of the affected companies' employees and clients,
most of whom are Zimbabweans who do not deserve to be caught in the
crossfire of clumsily directed penalties, and they will prejudice each
company's equally blameless shareholders, whether they are Zimbabwean or
foreign.Getting to the core of the matter, it seems that it is the absence
of acceptable alternatives that has brought economic sanctions back into the
debate, even though all virtually agree they will have little effect on the
intended target, Zimbabwe's ruling party rather than Zimbabwe's general
population. If that is the fact, then much more effort has to be put into
formulating the needed alternatives.
While the business sector works on, or waits for a breakthrough, it
remains with the pressing challenges of finding ways to fend off sanctions.
Exemptions for some companies might be won by preparing detailed accounts of
activities that prove sanctions would be inappropriate. Whether or not a
specific company succeeds, its directors would also be able to use such
documents to argue that they have tried hard to remain in business, that
their commitment to Zimbabwe cannot be questioned and that in no way were
they in support of sanctions.
Similar exercises can be carried out to persuade local officials that
further interference in the company's affairs from any source, local or
foreign, will cause unhelpful repercussions. Existing evidence can be used
to show that skills shortages will be worsened, efficiency will decline,
employment and training will fall, deliveries of goods to local and export
markets will drop, competitive edges previously enjoyed will dissipate
rapidly and shrinking tax revenues from profits, employment and customs duty
will aggravate the government's difficulties as well as those suffered by
If, despite these problems, government decides it can continue
imposing controls, but keep any business afloat by making it dependent upon
subsidies, low-cost loans or other less obvious forms of patronage, the
authorities should be advised that they will be guaranteeing the
continuation of high inflation.The reasons why some effort will have to be
put into spelling out all these issues is that, having regained its dubious
ascendancy after its humiliating performance in the parliamentary as well as
the presidential elections, Zanu PF can be expected to put considerable
effort into consolidating its authority to prevent the re-occurrence of any
As pressures mount from the many countries that have declared the
elections illegitimate, the party is likely to increase its campaign to
suppress all possible sources of internal dissent. Far from readily
accepting the need to change unpopular or damaging policies, the party
appears determined to renew its efforts to enforce them and to suppress
dissent and dissenters by every means possible. However, the problems are
certain to become more severe because not one of the policy choices is
making a helpful difference.
Scarcities of foreign earnings stem from the loss of exports after the
closure of the commercial farming sector, but this policy decision is still
being defended. It and its many secondary effects continue to impact on
manufacturing, commerce and the financial services sector, and because of
government's efforts to impose controls on exchange rate movements, the did
considerable damage to mining and tourism as well.
It was falling capacity to service debts, not sanctions, that
disqualified the country from access to credit and it was increasingly
restrictive business conditions, not sanctions, which brought investment
inflows almost to an end.
The sum total of all these meant that thousands of skilled people left
the country to find more secure work. The problems experienced in the
disabled productive and service sectors were soon being mirrored in the
declining deliveries of service from the power, water and communications
infrastructure as well as the social services led by health and education.
All of these made the country even less attractive to investors, and
because they led directly to the shortages of goods, jobs and foreign
exchange, and to the damage to social services and the formerly efficient
infrastructure, all of these issues that need to be carefully described to
employees to prevent their being misled by Zanu PF propaganda.
With Zanu PF now hoping that the elections are out of the way, it
appears to have nothing to offer that will have any prospect of alleviating
any of these profound difficulties. No support will be forthcoming before a
legitimate government has been elected and shown an eagerness to accept
reasonable policies. Meanwhile, the ruling party might be expected to try
repackaging its image and rearranging its personalities in an effort to give
the appearance of having made at least some of the needed changes.
A possible early development could be an announcement that Robert
Mugabe is to retire and his appointed - not elected - successor will approve
extensive policy revisions after claiming to have held extensive
consultations with businesses, foreign governments, international
development agencies and all other concerned bodies.
However, its first efforts seem likely to be to extract from all local
entities the compliance and obedience it believes it was due, but did not
receive during these past elections. Many of these are certain to impact
upon business, as producers and retailers will be the most suitable target
for accusations of economic sabotage and exploitation of the masses through
rising prices.The businesses that best survive what might become the most
unpleasant onslaught yet will be those that are best prepared with detailed
production and procurement costings and that have fully supportive
workforces whose understanding of the challenges prevents them from making
unfair accusations against their employers.
Those companies that are well prepared will have written evidence of
every advice of price changes, every application for foreign exchange to
purchase capital goods or raw materials, every response to supply or pricing
queries, whether from other businesses or government, and comprehensive
details of labour costings, welfare commitments and interactions with labour
unions.In circumstances such as those that now confront the Zimbabwean
business sector, most of the private sector will find itself on the
defensive most of the time, mainly because government will be trying to
deflect blame from itself. But some caution will have to be exercised in the
efforts to prove to clients and staff, to suppliers and shareholders, where
the blame really lies.
The ruling party's recent behaviour has recently invited and received
many adverse international reactions, some of which have gathered momentum
because of the sheer absurdity and the arrogant defence of unworkable ideas
that can now be seen to have served only to make a few people prosperous at
the expense of millions of people who have been plunged into poverty.The
business sector's efforts to deflect sanctions must capitalise on this
change by making more serious efforts to press for alternatives now that
external Ministries of Foreign Affairs are under pressure to show that their
countries are becoming more than just passive critics.
Perhaps the strongest argument is that the business sector should not
be expected to shoulder the full weight of costly, but largely ineffective
economic sanctions when the problems relate to human rights and political
legitimacy. The distinctly legal and political dimensions of the issues call
for legal and political answers, and these should not be permitted to
threaten the livelihoods of employees or employers.
However, this approach calls for the establishment of powerful and
universally supported legal institutions that can successfully challenge the
conduct of any government and bring to account any individuals who can be
shown to have disregarded the rights of their own citizens.
Zimbabwe is not alone in suffering from the fact that certain people
can abuse their power without running the risk of becoming answerable to
anyone. It is this fact that has to change, and the business sectors of any
affected country should not be forced to carry the burden of damaging
sanctions for lack of the needed legal procedures that could overcome the
real problems.Hopefully, protests couched in these terms will help
vulnerable companies in Zimbabwe to avoid even more ominous threats. As the
country moves into the third quarter of the year, it remains trapped in
rapidly deteriorating business conditions that are likely to translate into
very much more serious shortages of all basic requirements and an even more
rapidly declining capacity to sustain production, distribution or employment
As the repercussions of these worsening conditions are likely to lead
to social unrest and to even more violent repression, it must be hoped that
the challenges will receive urgent attention from those countries that can
bring their influence to bear on those claiming the right to govern the
country. And as sanctions will do nothing to alleviate the difficulties,
every effort must be made to ensure that they are not imposed.
In the table shown in the Excel attachment, an attempt has been made
to illustrate the pace at which the momentum behind the current inflation
rate will carry the country into totally unmanageable territory. The very
much faster rate of decline in the Zimbabwe dollar exchange rate during June
is allowed for and the assumption is that, with nothing to slow this down, a
similar rate will be maintained through July.
However, the annual inflation forecasts for the next few months are
shown to move up very sharply and this is because the price freeze imposed a
year ago held the Consumer Price Index almost static for these months in
2007. I have left in place my earlier assumption that increasingly desperate
attempts will be made by the end of the third quarter, and this is in the
belief that the rates of inflation will cause most economic activity to
grind to a halt. Government might be expected to remove nine zeros from the
currency before much longer, but that will not overcome any basic problems.
The only help that could make a quick difference would be a
substantial foreign currency loan that would reduce the scarcity premium on
hard currency purchases and lower the costs of imports, but the achievement
of the falling monthly inflation figures shown will depend upon the adoption
of much more penetrating policy changes and more generous assistance. By
then, it will hopefully be fully deserved.
From: Veritas <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 2008
BILL WATCH 28/2008
[14th July 2008]
Opening of Parliament delayed
No dates have been announced for:
§ the swearing-in of MPs and Senators
§ the election of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly and the President and Deputy President of the Senate
§ the Ceremonial Opening of Parliament
This means that it is now too late for the ceremonial opening of Parliament to take place before the constitutional deadline of Tuesday 15th July. The consequences of non-compliance with the deadline are not spelled out in the Constitution.
Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information supplied.
Africa News, Netherlands
.. Posted on Tuesday 15 July 2008 - 09:00
Conrad Dube Mwanawashe, AfricaNews reporter in Harare, Zimbabwe
A Harare magistrate on Monday removed from remand freelance journalist
Frank Chikowore who had been charged with public violence as the state
stepped up a crackdown on journalists and other dissenting voices since the
country's disputed March 29 elections.
Chikowore was arrested together with 26 opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) party activists on April 15 and charged with public violence.
Former Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ) secretary-general Luke
Tamborinyoka, now director of information for the MDC, was among those
detained with Chikowore.
His lawyer Alec Muchadehama said the defence lawyers had successfully
applied for refusal of further remand after the state failed to provide a
trial date for the fourth time.
"The state has failed to come up with a trial date for the fourth time so
we successfully applied for them to be removed from remand," said
PRETORIA, July 15 (AFP)
South Africa on Tuesday labelled as "unacceptable" suggestions by a US
ambassador at the United Nations that President Thabo Mbeki was "out of
touch" regarding Zimbabwe's political crisis.
"The extraordinary and unacceptable statements made will be taken up through
diplomatic channels," South African deputy foreign minister Aziz Pahad said.
"A British representative said South African mediation efforts had come to
nought and we have achieved nothing," he added.
"The US representative made remarks about Russia not being a worthy member
of the G8 and suggested that President Thabo Mbeki is out of touch with his
"These are not acceptable statements and we will take it up with those
The United States on Friday launched a scathing attack on Mbeki after
Pretoria's UN envoy voted against targeted sanctions against Zimbabwe
President Robert Mugabe's regime at the United Nations Security Council.
"We are surprised by what appears as Mbeki appearing to protect Mugabe while
Mugabe uses violent means to fragment the opposition," US Ambassador Zalmay
"I think he (Mbeki) is out of touch with the trends inside his own country."
China and Russia vetoed the sanctions that would have imposed a travel ban
and an assets freeze on Mugabe and 13 of his cronies as well an arms embargo
on the Harare regime.
The United States also sharply criticised Russia over its stance.
Mbeki has served as mediator between Zimbabwe's rival political parties, but
has faced heavy criticism over his quiet diplomacy approach.
Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai had previously called for him
to be stripped of his role as mediator, while Mugabe's regime has praised
the South African leader's efforts.
The crisis in neighbouring Zimbabwe intensified when Mugabe pushed ahead
with a one-man presidential run-off on June 27, defying international and
regional calls to postpone the poll.
Tsvangirai pulled out of the election five days ahead of the vote, citing
rising violence against his supporters that left dozens dead and thousands
Pahad described the South African president's relationship with Tsvangirai
as "very good" and said suggestions that the Mbeki-led mediation team should
be expanded were a "fake issue, diverting from other more important issues."
Opponents of the sanctions argued mediation efforts should be supported, and
that such measures would set them back.
July 15, 2008
BEIJING (AFP) - A BBC report alleging that China is breaking a United
Nations arms embargo on Sudan is biased, the Chinese special envoy to Darfur
said in comments published here on Tuesday.
Envoy Liu Guijin said China's arms sales to Sudan were only small scale and
that the trade in military equipment was not fuelling the conflict in
Darfur, according to the China Daily newspaper.
"The programme is strongly biased," Liu said, according to the
English-language daily, which is often used by the government to deliver
messages to a foreign audience.
"China's arms sales were very small scale and never made to non-sovereign
entities. We have strict end-user certificates."
The BBC broadcast a programme on Monday alleging that China was breaking the
UN arms embargo by providing military equipment and training pilots to fly
Citing two confidential sources, the broadcaster said China was training
pilots to fly Chinese Fantan fighter jets, and that Sudan had imported
several fighter trainers called K8s two years ago.
The BBC said it had also found one Dong Feng Chinese army lorry in the hands
of a rebel group in Darfur.
It cited independent eyewitness testimony saying the lorry had been captured
from Sudanese government forces in December.
"A few shots of Chinese trucks in Darfur cannot be used to accuse China of
fuelling the conflict in Darfur," Liu was quoted as saying in the China
Liu, citing an unnamed African politician, said the Darfur conflict was
continuing because Western countries were providing arms to rebel groups.
The Darfur conflict began in 2003 when ethnic minority rebels took up arms
against the Arab-dominated regime and state-backed militias, fighting for
resources and power in one of the most remote and deprived places on earth.
The UN has said that 300,000 people have died in Darfur and more than 2.2
million have been displaced since 2003. The Sudanese government puts the
number of fatalities at 10 000.
China is the main buyer of Sudan's oil and a key investor in its economy.
By Dr Last Moyo
Last updated: 07/16/2008 14:28:41
THE recent veto against the UN targeted sanctions on the key people in
Robert Mugabe's regime by China and Russia despite a deluge of international
condemnation of Zimbabwe's human rights violations before and after the run
off, must certainly be a cause of worry for all those who are working for
substantive political change in Zimbabwe and other troubled spots in Africa.
While China played a critical role in supporting African decolonisation
struggles such as in Zimbabwe, its current laissez-faire policy in Africa's
post- independence struggles for democracy certainly raises more questions
than answers about the country's moral and ethical commitment to Africa's
sustainable socio-economic and political development.
China's Africa policy -- a document that describes the framework of its
trade with Africa espoused by the communist government in January 2006 -
shows that China's relationship with Africa in general and Zimbabwe in
particular, is fraught with not only some head swaying contradictions, but
also a serious ethical and moral vacuum that exposes China to be shrewd,
selfish, calculating, greedy and primitive because it prioritises its
economic and political interests over ordinary people's human rights in its
dealings with African countries.
For example, regardless of Zimbabwe's international isolation due to its
human rights abuses, China continues to be Zimbabwe's biggest investor
strategically positioning itself to exploit our valuable natural resources
to develop its ever burgeoning economy at the expense of the basic freedoms
and entitlements of the ordinary citizens of Zimbabwe.
According to the Jamestown Foundation, a leading source of information about
the inner workings of closed totalitarian societies, since the Zimbabwean
crisis began in 2000, Chinese firms such as China International Water and
Electric, National Aero-Technology Import and Export Corporation (CATIC) and
North Industries Corporation (NORINCO) have clinched mouth watering deals in
mining, aviation, agriculture, defence and other sectors in an avowed all
weather friendship with Mugabe's regime.
While some critics argue that China's relentless support for Zimbabwe in the
Security Council is based on the close historical ties dating back to the
struggle for independence, it is now crystal clear to everybody that China
has always pursued self-serving policies that are solely based on its
economic and political considerations. It is all due to China's ascendancy
to be a global super power.
If indeed -- as the available evidence seems to suggest -- China's current
policy position in Zimbabwe is primarily motivated by its economic greed,
then Zimbabweans will have no reason not to believe the growing suspicion
that the support for the liberation struggle in the seventies was simply
based on China's need to spread communism and create geopolitical alliances
in the cold war and halt the spread of free market and liberal principles
The fact that ethics may have played no part, presents China as an
opportunistic power whose development can be directly linked to the tears,
pain and in some cases, blood of African children and women.
China's cold war geopolitical manoeuvres in Africa would certainly not only
explain why, for example, Mugabe pursued a one party state policy
immediately after independence, but also why China itself continues to
ignore pertinent issues of human rights, good governance and accountability
which it fallaciously believes to be a property of the West -- a logic that
unwittingly condescends on the struggles for independence and justice by
Africans in general and Zimbabweans in particular.
China must know that the quest for human rights and democracy in Africa did
not start with the spread of neo-liberal values in the nineties, but that
human rights, no matter how differently articulated by Africans, have always
informed African struggles for justice since the cradle of African
While Wang Guangya, the Chinese UN ambassador, used a seemingly plausible
excuse that it was improper to slap sanctions on Mugabe and his aristocratic
clique in Harare while SADC negotiations were still going on in South
Africa, this position does not explain why China has always supported
autocratic regimes in Africa whose legitimacy is based on nothing but rivers
of blood of innocent citizens.
For example, China's non-interference policy in Darfur, where according to
the UN and Amnesty International reports, more than 200 000 people have been
killed, countless numbers raped and tortured, and 2.5 million displaced does
not only expose China's insensitivity to the plight of the black people
living in the Southern parts of Sudan, but also smacks of a downright racist
attitude. China's Africa policy, therefore, falsely pledges support for
peace and development for the African continent.
In the midst of a what others have dubbed a genocide in Darfur, China
continues to be not only the biggest importer of Sudan's oil, importing
about 80% of the precious liquid, but also to illegally deliver weapons that
include ammunition, tanks, helicopters and fighter aircraft that according
to the UN, the Sudanese government has allegedly used to bomb and massacre
poor and defenceless black people living in grass huts.
True African democrats would surely wonder how on earth China thinks it can
support and bring about development, peace and stability in Africa when it
works tirelessly to defend pariah states and blood sucking regimes such as
the Sudanese and Zimbabwean regime in the UN Security Council.
Given the shaky SADC negotiations and China's selfish and unconditional
support for Zimbabwe, it is not surprising that the words of the British UN
Ambassador John Sawers that the Chinese and Russian vote on Friday was
"deeply damaging to the long-term interests of Zimbabwe's people... (and to)
prospects for bringing to an early end to. the oppression in Zimbabwe"
captured the imagination of most Zimbabweans who yearn for the restoration
of the political and economic rights.
Yet it's not about whether UN sanctions would work in Zimbabwe or have
worked in Sudan, but it's about that China's African trade must be
predicated on ethical and moral principles that motivate African governments
to open up and democratise because history attests to the fact that
democracy is a basis of all sustainable and enduring development all over
The Darfur example and the recent daring attempt by China to deliver weapons
and ammunition to the Zimbabwean government in the midst of an election
crisis in March, show that, if no quick measures are taken, the Chinese
would certainly give a helping hand to Mugabe to plunge Zimbabwe into a
civil war regardless of the moral responsibility implied in China's status
as a voting member of the Security Council.
As long as the Chinese state companies continue to harvest profits in Harare
and Khartoum and sell their shares in the New York stock markets, then the
fight for democracy by the ordinary people in Zimbabwe and Sudan continues
to be peripheral for the Chinese. Given this uncritical and immoral stance
on the violation of human rights by China, perhaps time has come for
Zimbabweans and all conscientious Africans to see China as part of the
African civic groups need to start mobilising people to confront the Chinese
government by demonstrating on the door steps of its diplomatic missions in
different parts of the world to protest against its activities in Zimbabwe
and Darfur. The people of Africa must not allow China to claim that it will
always maintain a policy of non interference and the respect for sovereignty
of African countries, yet be more than ready not only to illegally export
weapons to African dictatorships, but also use its veto powers in the
Security Council to block any punishment intended for those who commit
crimes against humanity in the continent.
Ordinary people's hopes in Zimbabwe and Darfur must now lie with
international civil society and their national NGOs and pressure groups to
force China to review its Africa policy and stop viewing Africa as an
unoccupied continent in space run by wealth dispensing vampires, but a
continent with people that also have blood flowing in their veins like its
majority Han ethnic people that it defended from the attack by the Tibetans.
It must be impressed on China that Africans are not less deserving of the
human rights enjoyed by its own citizens. China's Africa policy must be put
on the agenda and Africans must press for its reform that is well overdue.
While China has always pledged to improve its human rights record inside and
outside its borders, its actions on the ground show that it uses African
people's rights as political football to amass strategic economic and
political advantage out of the poignant situations of deprivation and
oppression of Africans. China must be forced to seriously take its pledge
that winning the Olympics would "benefit its further development of the
human rights cause."
Otherwise the actions by the Beijing's communist government in Africa show
that China has no true respect for the ordinary men and women in Africa
except for the ruling elite who offer it lucrative deals to plunder and loot
African resources while it, in turn, facilitates the murder of African
civilians whose protection from the UN it blocks with reckless abandon.
Considering that China's trade with Africa increased manifold from about $10
billion in 2000 to $50 billion this year, Africans must use this strategic
advantage to force China to change its Africa policy.
Dr Last Moyo writes from Wales, UK. He can be contacted at
Worldwide Faith News
Tue, 15 Jul 2008
Concern over the deteriorating situation in Zimbabwe:
Message from the Heads of Christian Denominations in Zimbabwe
As the shepherds of the people, we, Church leaders of the Evangelical
Fellowship of Zimbabwe (EFZ), the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops' Conference
(ZCBC) and the Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC), express our deep concern
over the deteriorating political, security, economic and human rights
situation in Zimbabwe following the March 29, 2008 national elections.
Before the elections, we issued statements urging Zimbabweans to conduct
themselves peacefully and with tolerance towards those who held different
views and political affiliation from one's own. After the elections, we
issued statements commending Zimbabweans for the generally peaceful and
politically mature manner in which they conducted themselves before, during
and soon after the elections.
Reports that are coming through to us from our Churches and members
throughout the country indicate that the peaceful environment has,
Given the political uncertainty, anxiety and frustration created by the
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC's) failure to release the results of the
presidential poll 4 weeks after polling day:
Organized violence perpetrated against individuals, families and communities
who are accused of campaigning or voting for the "wrong" political party in
the March 29, 2008 elections has been unleashed throughout the country,
particularly in the countryside and in some high density urban areas. People
are being abducted, tortured, humiliated by being asked to repeat slogans of
the political party they are alleged not to support, ordered to attend mass
meetings where they are told they voted for the "wrong" candidate and should
never repeat it in the run-off election for President, and, in some cases,
people are murdered.
The deterioration in the humanitarian situation is plummeting at a frightful
pace. The cost of living has gone beyond the reach of the majority of our
people. There is widespread famine in most parts of the countryside on
account of poor harvests and delays in the process of importing maize from
neighbouring countries. The shops are empty and basic foodstuffs are
unavailable. Victims of organized torture who are ferried to hospital find
little solace as the hospitals have no drugs or medicines to treat them.
As the shepherds of the people, we appeal:
1. To the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the African Union
(AU) and the United Nations (UN) to work towards arresting the deteriorating
political and security situation in Zimbabwe. We warn the world that if
nothing is done to help the people of Zimbabwe from their predicament, we
shall soon be witnessing genocide similar to that experienced in Kenya,
Rwanda, Burundi and other hot spots in Africa and elsewhere.
2. For the immediate end to political intimidation and retribution arising
from how people are perceived to have voted in the March 29, 2008 elections
and arising from the desire to influence how people will vote in the
anticipated run-off in the presidential poll. Youth militia and war
veteran/military base camps that have been set up in different parts of the
country should be closed as a step towards restoring the peace and freedom
of people's movement that was witnessed before and during the March 29, 2008
3. To ZEC to release the true results of the presidential poll of March 29,
2008 without further delay. The unprecedented delay in the publication of
these results has caused anxiety, frustration, depression, suspicion and in
some cases illness among people of Zimbabwe both at home and abroad. A pall
of despondency hangs over the nation which finds itself in a crisis of
expectations and governance. The nation is in a crisis, in limbo and no real
business is taking place anywhere as the nation waits.
4. To, finally, the people of Zimbabwe themselves. You played your part when
you turned out to vote on 29 March 2008. We, again, commend you for
exercising your democratic right peacefully. At this difficult time in our
nation, we urge you to maintain and protect your dignity and your vote. We
urge you to refuse to be used for a political party or other people's
selfish end especially where it concerns violence against other people,
including those who hold different views from your own. It was the Lord
Jesus who said, "Whatever you do to one of these little ones, you do it unto
me (Matthew 25:45).
We call on all Zimbabweans and on all friends of Zimbabwe to continue to
pray for our beautiful nation. As the shepherds of God's flock, we shall
continue to speak on behalf of Zimbabwe's suffering masses and we pray that
God's will be done.
We remain God's humble servants:
The Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe (EFZ)
The Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops' Conference (ZCBC)
The Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC)
Heads of Christian denominations in Zimbabwe
P O Box CY 738
I know the UN consistently lets down ordinary people when they need them most. I hoped a strong message would be sent to Robert Mugabe’s regime by the Security Council but I didn’t really expect much to come of it.
Vitaly Churkin, the Russian Ambassador to the UN, justified their veto of the recent UN Resolution on these grounds: “This draft is nothing but the council’s attempt to interfere in the internal affairs of a member state.”
I guess it depends how you look at it.
Ordinary Zimbabweans who believe in democracy and their right to participate in free and fair elections feel that they have been subjected to interference and meddling by other states in Zimbabwe’s internal affairs for years now.
Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF do not make up Zimbabwe: Zimbabwe belongs to its people.
The people have been meddled with and messed about consistently.
We queue to vote all day, choose our leaders, see our votes overturned and the fraud is upheld by states outside Zimbabwe. We are beaten and tortured and then subjected to the shock of hearing leaders outside Zimbabwe say, ‘No crisis’. Our rights are eroded before our eyes but certain states outside Zimbabwe refuse to speak the truth and acknowledge what is going on. If you ask me, supplying a country with arms that can be used to murder civilians is the ultimate act of meddling with the people of a county, and Zimbabweans have seen this too.
If Mugabe invaded a neighbouring country, the UN would consider this an act of interference worth responding too; but if soldiers from other countries are sent to Zimbabwe - controlled by a regime that the whole world recognises is illegitimate - this is not a problem. It is not ‘interference’, and it is not an act which could potentially destablise a region?
Tell an ordinary Zimbabwean how this makes any sense at all?
We know that Chinese soldiers were seen in Zimbabwe a couple of weeks after the March 29th elections:
The Chinese, together with about 70 Zimbabwean senior army officers are staying at the Holiday Inn, in the city’s central business district.
There are about 10 Chinese soldiers. “We were shocked to see Chinese soldiers in their full military regalia and armed with pistols checking at the hotel,” said one worker.
“When they signed checking-in forms they did not indicate the nature of the business that they are doing and even their addresses.”
But this article published in the The Independent (UK) really chills me because it points to foreign mercenaries - possibly Hutus - being recruited and involved in Mugabe’s war against his people.
Eyewitnesses say the men are more vicious than their Zimbabwean counterparts, with the marauding gangs attacking suspected members of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), forcing them to renounce the party.
They dress in army fatigues, carry Russian-made guns and are accompanied by interpreters when out with the militias. [...]
“We have observed that some of the people leading the violence are foreigners because they speak a different language and they do not understand our local languages.
“Also the tactics they are using are not peculiar with Zimbabweans because they are cutting out the tongue, removing eyes and genital parts. We are not sure where they come from.” [...]
Local people claim the irregular forces are Hutus from Rwanda, but the human rights representative said he could not be definitive. There are an estimated 4,000 Hutu refugees living in Zimbabwe, some of whom took part in the genocide of Tutsis and moderate Hutus in 1994.
Does the need for mercenaries show that Mugabe can’t find enough ordinary Zimbabweans to do his evil deeds?
How many other nations and people will be drawn into Robert Mugabe’s fight to hold on to power against the will of his people? When does this involvement hit a tipping point where the world recognises this type of behaviour could threaten to destablise a region?
The worlds values are all upside down if it is OK for an illegitimately elected state leader to pay foreigners and recruit foreign support to help him go out and kill and torture innocent non-violent civilian people.
July 15, 2008
By Simomo Mdluli
THANK you all for your comments on Jonathan Moyo’s utterances.
Kindly read Moyo’s speech and debate facts, do not make assumptions nor misinform Zimbabweans. Let us be serious as Zimbabweans, our country has gone to the dogs. I do not like Moyo as a person; I hate him with a passion. I come from Tsholotsho too and I mean it when I say I dislike the man.
Some of the issues he is raising make a lot of sense even though we do not like him for his past connection with Zanu-PF. I do not think Moyo wants to go back to Zanu- PF but I believe that he is talking reality and it is unfortunate that most of us are just dismissing him because he is telling us what we do not want to hear.
If we like Tsvangirai to be our next President, let us help him by pointing out the mistakes he is making and indeed some of them have cost us our independence from Mugabe. Let us not create another Mugabe out of Tsvangirai because he has become untouchable. It would be unfair and inhumane for all those who experienced Gukurahundi to stand by now and say to most of the Zimbabweans we told you so that the man is a killer.
When Mugabe unleashed a brigade in Matabeleland to look for ten dissidents, most of the people that were not affected did not believe that the killings were taking place. If at that time we had stood together as a nation and condemned the killings in Matabeleland, would we be experience this same kind of violence?
We stood and watched and criticised those that dared to label Mugabe a killer. It is too late now to talk about this but I am reminding you Zimbabweans that there is no one who is going to come to our aid to free Zimbabwe. There is one thing that we do not try to work on as a nation, to unite. Let us unite against the enemy and stop being petty and demonizing characters like Jonathan Moyo.
All Zimbabweans matter. Zimbabwe is our country. Mugabe destroyed our country whilst we were all watching because we gave him the mandate to. What destroyed us was a one party state and we are now advocating for a one party state by trying to recognize one faction of the MDC and dismissing the other. We are fighting for democracy. Are we being democratic ourselves in the process? Support whatever party or leader you want and let other have that right to choose too.
Please, Zimbabweans think about your parents, cousins and friends that are starving in Zimbabwe. Discuss issues that will bring about change. We are all free to voice our opinions and that is our right. Let us focus on how we will defeat Mugabe and bring about a new government. If we are fighting for Tsvangirai to be president and also against those that point out his mistakes and dislike those that differ from him, then we are as good as Zanu-PF that we are trying to remove from power now. We need a leader who is different from Mugabe and we as advocates from change we need to be different from Zanu-PF supporters.
Our enemy at hand is Zanu-PF. it is not Makoni, Mutambara, Welshman and many others. Leave the people to exercise their right too and let them contribute to Zimbabwean politics as well. Do you think demonizing them is going to bring Mugabe down? I doubt very much and I can tell you that we are losing focus on the people that have caused us so much suffering and spend time focusing on trivial issues.
Zimbabweans, what is the way forward now that we are in this situation? I would be interested in debates that focus on how we can pressure the international community, AU, SADC and Mbeki especially to take the Zimbabwean situation serious.
You may hate all these people that you waste your time trying to bring down but this will never bring bread into the stomachs of all the starving Zimbabweans. You might think they are irrelevant in today’s politics, but they are and we all need them at this stage. They are playing their part. What are you doing for your country? The anger that you have against your own brothers and sisters and the propaganda that you spin in these papers will not liberate us or will these things make us better people. Please Zimbabweans work towards liberating yourselves from Mugabe and stop focusing on individuals and insulting each other.
I read most of the comments but this is the first time I have responded. Your comments have made Jonathan Moyo relevant to the current situation. He was almost forgotten but you have propped him up. Leave him alone and let him haul or buck. We do not need him, neither does Zanu-PF.
Tuesday, 15 July 2008 08:14
In a welcome step, today the Prosecutor of the International Criminal
Court requested an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir on
charges of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes in Darfur.
In a report released today, ENOUGH Executive Director John Norris,
Co-Chair John Prendergast, and Research Associate David Sullivan argue that
the call to arrest Bashir is not only based on sound evidence, but that it
can be a step forward in the path to secure peace. "The status quo in Sudan
is one of the deadliest in the world. Until there is a consequence for the
commission of genocide, it will continue. This action introduces a cost,
finally, into the equation," says Prendergast. Using examples of past
indictments of war criminals Slobodan Milosevic during the 1999 Kosovo
conflict, and of Charles Taylor in 2003 in Liberia, the report argues that
introducing accountability for crimes against humanity can break the cycle
of impunity and improve prospects for peace in seemingly intractable
conflicts. Norris notes "with more than 300,000 dead and millions displaced
in Darfur, it is shocking that these charges are even remotely
controversial. President Bashir has orchestrated the Darfur tragedy from day
one, and any efforts to sweep his actions under the rug are both shameful
In a separate release, ENOUGH provides a rundown of some of Bashir's
past comments and behavior. From hosting Osama bin Laden to engineering a
famine in southern Sudan that killed hundreds of thousands, Bashir's
criminal track record extends well beyond Darfur, and leaves little question
as to why the
prosecutor is moving forward with charges.
Read "Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir: The Record Speaks for Itself"
ENOUGH Project | 1225 Eye Street NW, Suite 307 | Washington, DC 20005
ENOUGH is a project to end genocide and crimes against humanity. For
information, go to www.enoughproject.org.
Tuesday, 15 July 2008 13:51
Former Chairman Commissioner for Mutare City Council,Fungai Chayeruka
has been awarded an illegal exit package encompassing of a commercial stand
and purchase of 100litres of fuel per month among others by MP elect for
Zvimba North and former Minister of Local Government, Public Works and Urban
Development, Hon Ignatius Chombo.
In his approval letter dated June 19 2008 which the MDC office has in
possession, Chombo addressed Chayeruka as 'Executive Mayor of Mutare City
Council'-a post he never held.Chayeruka only served as an appointed Chairman
Commissioner for the council since March 2007.
The other benefits that Chayeruka was illegally awarded include;1-four
months salary for every year he served ,2-non payment of rates for
8months,3-free cell phone and line,4-a car at book value,5-siiting
allowances for Pungwe Brewery meeting held from July 2007 till June 2007.
Besides the 'illegally' awarded benefits of an Executive Mayor that
Chayeruka benefited, he is also in possession of two residential stands and
a Nissan scefero.
The illegally issuing of the exit package to Chayeruka comes at a time
when the government is delaying in swearing the legally elected councilors
for Mutare City Council.MDC Manicaland Spokesman and MP elect for Makoni
South ,Hon Pishai Muchauraya described this move as an attempt by the Mugabe
regime to pay their outgoing members by misusing council property and make
MDC inherit an empty City.
July 15 2008 at 12:53PM
An additional mediator to facilitate discussions around the Zimbabwean
crisis was a "fake issue", deputy foreign affairs minister Aziz Pahad said
"It is a fake issue..... I don't know of any formal position on this,
except in the media," he told a press briefing in Pretoria.
He said talks between Zanu PF and the two Movement for Democratic
Change factions were continuing and there had been no indication, to his
knowledge, that an additional mediator was needed.
An additional mediator was diverting from the fundamental issue that
talks were ongoing.
"I don't believe that any new body.... simply to be sitting there is
what is required."
Pahad said he had been given no proof to substantiate claims that an
additional mediator was needed, allegedly because President Thabo Mbeki was
He said earlier reports that African Union Commission chairman Jean
Ping was arriving in South Africa for an "urgent meeting" were not true.
"There is no emergency. If there was an emergency Ping would have been
here last week."
Mbeki would meet with Ping. However this was part of a constant
briefing to liaise on any progress made in talks to resolve the Zimbabwe
crisis, said Pahad. - Sapa
The Herald (Harare) Published by the government of Zimbabwe
15 July 2008
Posted to the web 15 July 2008
THE failure of Zimswitch system at point of sale terminals is causing
inconvenience to consumers in light of the low cash withdrawal limits.
With the current cash withdrawal limit falling below most of the basic
grocery items, for instance a multi purpose cleaner costs between $150-250
billion, most consumers were relying on Zimswitch POS terminals to purchase
goods as there is no restrictions on the amount used.
Zimswitch services were suspended, including some banks' ATM services, to
enable the system to be reconfigured to facilitate easier withdrawal of the
Zimswitch is an inter-bank system that allows the banking public to use ATM
and POS terminals of other banks besides their own.
At the present moment the POS terminals are only restricted to specific
account holders of the banks that would have installed them.
CABS, Kingdom and ZB Bank have widespread POS terminals while Standard
Chartered has the highest number of Visa machines. Other banks such as CFX
only have one terminal (at Farm & City supermarket).
CFX managing director Mr Onesimo Mukumba said there were plans to increase
POS terminals in order to provide convenience to account holders.
At current limits, provided that prices are stagnant, one needs to make
eight trips to the bank to raise money for a 2-litre bottle of cooking oil
while the daily limit covers only two days of transport.
The average weekly grocery bill for a family of six is estimated to be
around $6 trillion.
Towards the end of last year, the daily withdrawal limit stood at $50
million, enough to buy two litres of cooking oil at between $15 million and
$20 million, two litres Mazoe ($10 million) and a family size toothpaste.
The last two increases in cash withdrawal limits ($25 billion and $100
billion) have easily been eroded by inflation and have fallen way below the
rate of price increases.
In South Africa, a bank account holder is allowed to withdraw a daily
maximum of R3 000, enough to buy six-months grocery for an average family.
Most businesses are only accepting cheques in instances where although prior
arrangement is required owing to the cash squeeze.
Central bank governor Dr Gideon Gono last week removed the limits on cheque
from the government
HARARE, 15 July 2008 (IRIN) - "It was like the Biblical manna from heaven," a
villager in Murombedzi, a rural district about 110km northwest of the Zimbabwean
capital, Harare, recounted to IRIN after a truck with basic commodities at
knock-down prices arrived at the almost abandoned shopping centre.
"Imagine, I managed to buy two litres of cooking oil for Z$1.5 billion [US$0.02 at an exchange rate of Z$65 billion to US$1], a bar of soap for Z$1 billion [US$0.01) and two kg of sugar for Z$800 million [US$0.008], when I would need at least Z$600 billion [US$9.25] to purchase the same items in a shop or the black [parallel] market," said Tariro Musanhi, 32.
Word spread fast that items like cooking oil, washing soap, sugar and salt were being sold at "give away prices", and a long queue quickly formed. A government official accompanying the truck told the gathering the delivery of basic goods at affordable prices was part of the government's new programme called "People's Shops".
After an eight-year recession, Zimbabwe's annual inflation rate - estimated by independent economists to be between one million and 10 million percent - means basic commodities are increasingly being sold on the parallel market for foreign currency, such as South African rands and Botswana's pula, and few items are available in shops.
"We were told that every week the truck would do the rounds in our villages, selling the items at very low prices to cushion us against rising costs caused by selfish manufacturers and wholesalers," Musanhi said, but after three weeks the people's shop has failed to return.
Gideon Gono, governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), told the official The Herald newspaper that the concept of people's shops — some mobile and others to be based at existing retail outlets - was designed to cater for vulnerable communities in rural and poor urban areas.
Gono was one of those cited by Britain and the US in a recent failed UN Security Council resolution to freeze the assets of 14 people among the elite of the ZANU-PF party, which ruled Zimbabwe for 28 years, for anti-democratic practices.
|Among ordinary people, especially the vulnerable elements, the availability of basic commodities at affordable prices is the key to the revival of our national economy|
"Among ordinary people, especially the vulnerable elements, the availability
of basic commodities at affordable prices is the key to the revival of our
national economy," Gono said.
The "Basic Goods Accessibility Programme", of which People's Shops were the crucial element, had started "nationwide on a pilot basis" and was "going on very well", and Gono had "no doubt about the sustainability of the programme, because it is based on good business sense".
However, in the same edition of The Herald, he said: "The economy and politics are inextricably intertwined, such that it does not make sense for anyone to expect the RBZ to fix the national economy somehow and turn it around for the better, when political players continue to play bickering games over the way forward.
"Therefore, I cannot imagine, let alone proffer, any way forward in terms of reviving the economy, given the current situation that is not based on, and informed by, a political economy of national unity," Gono said.
Others were less confident about the success of the "People's Shops" initiative. Economist Erich Bloch, based in Zimbabwe's second city, Bulawayo, and a former reserve bank consultant, expected the concept to be short-lived. "The government has no resources to fund the so called People's Shops and I don't see the programme lasting a long time," he commented.
"It is a political ploy to give the people the impression that the government is concerned about their welfare, and I get disturbed by reports that those benefiting are being asked to produce [ZANU-PF] party cards," Bloch told IRIN.
|Its a political ploy to give the people the impression that the government is concerned about their welfare, and I get disturbed by reports that those benefiting are being asked to produce [ZANU-PF] party cards|
"In real terms, there are no benefits to the ordinary people, whether in the
short term or long run. There is no capacity to supply to needy consumers
adequately, and even if the reserve bank governor is saying it's a pilot
project, there is no evidence that many people are benefiting."
Bloch said by buying the goods to stock the "People's Shops" from local manufacturers and the Grain Marketing Board (GMB), a parastatal company that holds a monopoly for purchasing cereals, the government would deprive other shops of commodities, thereby forcing them to either scale down or close.
Because President Robert Mugabe's government was buying commodities for resale at "below cost", the programme would create an imperative for the government to borrow more money, thereby increasing its debts, Bloch said.
Innocent Makwiramiti, another economist and former chief executive of the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC), said the "People's Shops" programme was an "economically suicidal exercise meant to appease voters who the government promised a lot of things" before the recent elections, in which ZANU-PF lost it parliamentary majority for the first time since independence from Britain in 1980.
"Currently, even the manufacturers to whom the government is turning for supplies are operating well below capacity, with some of them showing signs of folding at any time. It would therefore take nothing less than a miracle for the shops to go on," Makwiramiti told IRIN. The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries believes that industrial production has shrunk to less than a third of pre-2000 levels.
There is suspicion among informal traders that goods confiscated from them by the police were among the commodities being sold at the people's shops. "I guess it is like robbing from Peter to give to Jane," John Chinyani, a trader who sources rice from Mozambique for resale in Harare, told IRIN.
"The police have increased their raids on us and we don't know where the goods they take from us are going, and with this talk about People's Shops it is possible that we are being used as a source of free items for resale."
[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]
http://www.alpha-2.info - France
Sunday was a soporific affair on the streets of Harare, except for the
government's Chinese-made Mig jets zig-zagging across the cloudless sky in a
show of power. All shops closed; nobody out on a Sunday stroll. Even some of
the boisterous evangelical churches thought it best to postpone choir
practice until next week
It would have been hard to know that it was the President's inauguration day
if it wasn't for the assorted 4x4s and Mercedes speeding through Harare's
central business district on the way to the ceremony. MDC leader Morgan
Tsvangirai was invited to attend from his temporary abode in the Dutch
embassy - was it political politesse or a bad joke? Anyway he refused,
By early afternoon the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission declared Robert Gabriel
Mugabe the winner. The results showed a high number of spoiled ballots -
9,166 out of 43,584 in Bulawayo alone. The ZEC's pace of work this time
stood in sharp contrast to the March 29 results, which took some six weeks
of counting and recounting before the results were announced.
Mugabe's victory: was there ever any doubt?
A mood of intimidation still hangs in the air. One youth sporting a Zanu-PF
t-shirt close to Harare's dilapidated polytechnic college said that he would
be joining in the victory celebrations 'for security'. There is fear of
Central Intelligence Organisation informers almost everywhere you go in
Harare. Resignation sets in once more, particularly within the rank and file
of the MDC, many of whom are dissatisfied at what they see as yet-another
ill-judged Tsvangirai decision. "He left it too late; in other elections
he's been undecided and then he contests in the end. This time a lot of his
supporters were disappointed," said one journalist on Harare's excellent
weekly Financial Gazette, covering his mouth whilst he spoke at a local
Mugabe has said he'll negotiate with the opposition but this could be a
diversionary tactic purely to please SADC leaders. Tsvangirai still appears
to have little domestic leverage or incapable of using what he does have.
However, one can sense the mood is different. No one believes that another
ZANU-PF regime can pretend it's business as usual. Inflation is estimated by
some to have reached 9,000,000 percent as Zimbabweans go into July.
Increasingly everyday transactions are taking place in US dollars. After
previous elections, a feeling of relief prevailed in the capital's wealthier
districts of Borrowdale and Gunhill: "Another electoral cycle over - now we
can get back to planning our holiday to Kariba".
But for most Zimbabweans such a return to normalcy or even predictability is
long gone. President Robert Mugabe has won his most blatantly rigged
election election yet, denounced by African monitors for the first time. He
is fast losing his most valued political asset - the approbation of Africa.
As he jets off to meet his peers at the African Union summit in Egypt, he
leaves behind a deeply troubled country.
Mardi 15 Juillet 2008
A/S Redaction alpha-2.info
Lu 55 fois