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

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Zim Standard

Children worst affected by 'clean-up'
By Bertha Shoko

AS the effects of "Operation Murambatsvina" continue to be felt in the
country, we lament the plight of Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVCs)
caught up in this whole humanitarian crisis.

Children have no doubt been among the most affected group in society,
particularly AIDS orphans.
The burden on those children taking care of sick parents and relatives,
whose conditions have also been aggravated by the effects of "clean-up"

After being forcibly removed from their homes, on short notice, many
displaced families have become destitute, sleeping in the harsh winter cold,
making them vulnerable to many diseases.

It is estimated that more than a million people have been displaced under
the government's ongoing crackdown on "illegal" structures with education
representative bodies estimating that more than 300 000 children are out of
school as a result of the "clean-up" campaign.

Many organisations working with children have had their programmes
interrupted after OVCs and families they were working with were displaced.
Some of these Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) who were offering
educational assistance and food packs to OVCs, have been forced to scale
down their programmes after some of the families they were working with were

An official from the Child Protection Society (CPS) told StandardHealth that
they had lost 64 households they were working with as a result of the "clean
up" campaign.

The CPS was working with at least 400 families in two Harare high-density
suburbs and was offering educational assistance to more than 100 children
and also providing supplementary food for the households.

The CPS says of those 400 families 112 were chronically ill adults that they
were assisting.

"We have no idea where these PLWAs were taken to because we have lost
contact with them. When they were being removed we just watched helplessly
because they was nothing we could do for them," said the CPS official who
preferred anonymity for fear of victimisation.

"Wherever they are, they must be suffering. Most of them were bedridden.
With the conditions that most evictees have had to endure, we are greatly
concerned about them. God help them."

Yes indeed, God help us.

The vulnerability of children in all this chaos is certainly something that
should worry us greatly.

While numerous organisations have come out in response to an obvious
humanitarian crisis, more organisations need to come out with focus on OVCs.

Already UNICEF has come out by donating a temporary learning centre for
children at Caledonia holding camp and a lot more must be seen to be done by
other organisations.

Children are innocent victims who have been unjustifiably disadvantaged by
this whole operation, together with their parents or custodians. It is such
a shame that this so-called operation has caused untold suffering on

What kind of a government inflicts such pain and anguish on innocent
children and women? It is truly a shame. But let's "shame the devil" and
overwhelmingly respond, as child rights activists and organisations, to this
crisis. Children are our future. Let's give them that future.

For feedback and questions please email:

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Zim Online

Group wants expelled farmers to snub Mugabe
Mon 18 July 2005

HARARE - A lobby group for Zimbabwe's evicted white farmers has called
on the farmers to ignore government calls to return to the land until there
is rule of law, an independent judiciary and firm guarantees property rights
will be respected.

In a warning to farmers at the weekend, the Justice for Agriculture
Trust (JAG) said the 99-year leases that the government is promising as a
guarantee of tenure to white farmers who agree to resume farming was not
enough security against future eviction.

The group, which is an offshoot of the main representative body for
white farmers, the Commercial Farmers Union (CFU), blamed some
"opportunists" for returning to farms they were expelled from in the last
five years and in the process fuelling state propaganda that white farmers
were back on the land.

"These could be opportunists trying to jump on a non-existent band
wagon or, as seems more likely, undercover operatives testing the (white)
commercial farmer waters and thereby fuelling the propaganda," said JAG.

Zimbabwe government-owned newspapers and radio have reported in recent
weeks that several expelled white farmers were considering returning after
influential Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor, Gideon Gono, implored them to
come back and revive the faltering dairy, beef and tobacco industries.

But JAG and the CFU, while not ruling out that some of their members
are back on the farms, insist disturbances are continuing on the few
remaining white-owned farms with several farmers evicted in the last few

JAG in its warning to white farmers said they should not take up
government offers to give back land it seized from them until there was a
return to the rule of law, restoration of the independence of the judiciary
and a repealing of all unjust laws.

The group also called on dispossessed farmers not to accept any
government land offers until they were fully compensated for land, farming
equipment and crops seized by the government and its supporters.

In March, the CFU conservatively estimated that the government needed
Z$360 trillion to compensate farmers displaced under the chaotic and often
violent land seizures.

Gono and other government leaders have indicated the state is willing
to pay for equipment seized from farmers but not for lost earnings. The
state will also give returning farmers generous financial assistance to
restart farming.

But the government is also moving to cement farm seizures and plans to
use its absolute control of Parliament to amend Zimbabwe's constitution to
ensure the country's basic governing document confirms and upholds the
acquisition of land from whites for redistribution to landless blacks. -
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Zim Online

New Zealand wants to drag Mugabe to International Criminal Court
Mon 18 July 2005

HARARE - New Zealand says it will step up a diplomatic campaign to
drag President Mugabe to the International Criminal Court for serious human
rights abuses.

Foreign affairs minister Phil Goff said New Zealand was considering
investigating a case that might bring Mugabe before the International
Criminal Court, while representations would also be made to the European
Union and Zimbabwe's neighbours, mainly South Africa.

He did not specify the case implicating the veteran 81-year old
Zimbabwe who is accused by the West of committing serious human rights
violations against his political opponents.

New Zealand also said it will push to have crisis-ridden Zimbabwe
expelled from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for failing to service
its debt saying it will not relent on its spirited campaign "until there's
change in Zimbabwe".

New Zealand has been at the forefront in criticising Mugabe's human
rights abuses against his political opponents and stealing elections.

Mugabe denies charges of human rights abuses and in turn accuses the
West of seeking to oust him from power for seizing land from the white
commercial farmers for redistribution to landless blacks.

On the sporting scene, Goff met at the weekend the International
Cricket Council (ICC) president Ihsan Mani to discuss measures that would
exempt New Zealand's Black Caps from heavy penalties if they boycotted on
moral grounds their tour of Zimbabwe scheduled for next month.

Mani said they would only approve a boycott if the New Zealand
government adopted new legislation banning the tour.

The Black Caps are scheduled to arrive in Zimbabwe on August 2 for two
Tests before they are involved in a triangular one-day international series
against the hosts and India.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe's first Test black cricketer Henry Olonga and
human rights activist Judith Todd, daughter of liberal former prime minister
of Rhodesia Garfield Todd, on Saturday joined over 400 protesters in
Auckland marching to stop the tour. - ZimOnline
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Zim Online

Zimbabwe foreign minister expected in Pretoria in bid to avert meltdown
Mon 18 July 2005

JOHANNESBURG - Zimbabwe Foreign Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi is
expected in Pretoria today to press for a massive $1 billion bailout from
the South African government to avert a looming economic and humanitarian
disaster in the crisis-sapped country.

Mumbengegwi is expected to meet South Africa's Finance Minister Trevor
Manuel and Reserve Bank of South Africa governor Tito Mboweni to discuss the
financial rescue package.

The Pretoria talks come amid weekend Press reports that the World Bank
and the International Monetary Fund were set to expel Zimbabwe on Wednesday
this week over failure to repay debts, a development that could hasten the
southern African nation's total collapse.

The Bretton Woods institutions withdrew aid to Zimbabwe several years
ago and expelling the southern African country would be the last signal to
other multilateral financial institutions and the donor community to cut
whatever little aid is still trickling to Harare.

Embattled President Robert Mugabe last week begged South Africa to
give Zimbabwe at least US$1 billion to buy badly needed fuel, food and maize
seed or the country would grind to its knees.

South African President Thabo Mbeki, under pressure from the
international community over Mugabe's demolition of homes in a controversial
urban clean-up campaign, is said to have demanded a halt to the urban
renewal drive as a pre-condition for financial aid.

Mbeki's deputy Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka is said to have also emphasised
the need to stop the mass eviction of poor urban families when she met
Mugabe and his second Vice-President Joyce Mujuru in Harare last week.

The Harare authorities immediately announced at the weekend a
temporary halt to the controversial clean up exercise which has drawn
criticism from the United Nations, Western governments, Zimbabwean and
international human rights groups.

Zimbabwe is grappling its worst economic crisis since it was founded
by Mugabe from the ashes of the British colony of Rhodesia 25 years ago.
Inflation is pegged at 164.3 percent, one of the highest such rates in the
world. Unemployment is estimated at 70 percent while non-governmental
organisations say about 80 percent of Zimbabweans live below the poverty
datum line.

A burgeoning HIV/AIDS pandemic is killing at least 2 000 Zimbabweans
every week while four million people out of the country's population of 12
million people face starvation unless donor groups provide 1.2 million
tonnes of food aid.

Critics accuse Mugabe of running down what was one of Africa's most
vibrant economies and blame his chaotic and violent seizure of productive
land from whites for causing perennial food shortages in a country that only
five years ago was one of the region's bread baskets.

Mugabe denies ruining Zimbabwe and instead accuses Western governments
of sabotaging the country's economy in a bid to punish his government for
taking land from whites and giving it to landless blacks. - ZimOnline.
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Cape Times

Bank on coercion
July 18, 2005

Zimbabwe is at the point of genocide, a disaster comparable to the
Rwanda genocide of 1994. Our government whinges and pleads it can do

What utter nonsense! The collapse of apartheid and South Africa's
transition to democracy was made possible by the intervention of the
international community, especially the banks.

As a one-time international banker, I was involved in the banking
sanctions campaign from 1985 until 1991. We targeted the New York banks
because of the role of the US dollar as settlement currency for foreign
exchange transactions.

We had five conditions:

a.. the end of the state of emergency;

a.. the release of political prisoners;

a.. the unbanning of political organisations;

a.. the repeal of apartheid law; and

a.. constitutional negotiations towards a non-racial, democratic South

Without access to New York banks, the South African financial system
and economy would collapse.

President FW de Klerk's speech on February 2, 1990 conceding the first
three demands, was the result of our campaign.

We then maintained the pressure for the fourth and fifth demands and
until transition to democracy was irreversible.

Zimbabwe is even more dependent upon South African banks than our
country is on access to the New York payment system.

Close down all payments to and from Zimbabwe against demands for the
resignation of the Mugabe dictatorship and negotiations by Zimbabweans
towards a democratic future.

Terry Crawford-Browne
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Zim Standard

Mugabe gears up terror tactics
By Caiphas Chimhete

THE increasingly paranoid Zanu PF government has intensified its campaign
aimed at instilling fear and uncertainty in the population by effectively
smothering political discourse in public places, analysts have said.

By observing the pattern of arrests since the promulgation of draconian laws
such as the Public Order and Security Act (POSA), they said President
Mugabe's government, has upped the application of repressive laws to silence
mounting dissatisfaction in the past few months.
This comes at time when there has been mounting discontent as the masses
struggle to come to terms with the worsening socio-political and economic

It has become a common occurrence to see secret security details,
masquerading as customers, in queues of basic commodities such as sugar,
maize meal and cooking oil.

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) director Arnold Tsunga says "insult
laws" have come in handy for the government which is determined to
drastically narrow the democratic space.

"We are pursuing a number of cases of this nature. This is done to limit
freedom of expression and consolidate dictatorship," said Tsunga.

Under section 16 of POSA, it is a crime to "undermine the authority or
insult the President" and one can be fined up to $400 000 or be imprisoned
for a period not exceeding one year or both.

Wanton arrests, Tsunga said, have intensified following the political threat
posed by the opposition MDC to the regime, which has has been in power since
independence in 1980.

National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) chairman Lovemore Madhuku said
President felt unsafe in his position and laws such as AIPPA and POSA had
given him a false sense of security.

"The government has definitely intensified repression but if more and more
people take a stand against the regime, it will collapse," said Madhuku, who
has, on several occasions, been arrested for organizing demonstrations
calling for a people-driven Constitution.

In the streets of Harare and Bulawayo, there has been a notablyheavy
presence of the police, soldiers and youth militia trained at the
controversial "Border Gezi" training centres .

These have become even more evident as the government cracks down on so
called illegal settlements in the exercise dubbed "Operation Murambatsvina."
A number of people who have publicly spoken against the operation have been
brutally beaten up by the security forces.

One such victim was Lloyd Madzimure of Kambuzuma who was detained and
harassed for nearly two hours after he phoned a reporter inviting him to
witness the "barbaric demolitions" in the suburb.

"I did not know that I was standing next to a security officer when I phoned
a reporter to come and write a story of the ruthless nature of the
demolitions. He grabbed me by the belt and locked me up in the back of a
police vehicle," said Madzimure, the son of MDC's Kambuzuma MP, Willias

The general feeling among the population now is that even in commuter buses
(kombis), trains or other public places where one is likely to be overheard,
freedom of speech can no longer be exercised without attracting the wrath of
Mugabe's secret agents.

Late last year, Reason Tafirei was sentenced to 140-hours community service
at Zengeza Primary School in Chitungwiza after he denigrated Mugabe.

Tafirei was arrested aboard a commuter bus to Chitungwiza when he was heard
making statement that equated Mugabe to a dictator and British Prime
Minister, Tony Blair to a saviour.

Mugabe has a history of instilling fear in his opponents. At the the height
of farm invasions in 2001, he bluntly told his supporters to instil fear
into "heart and mind of the white men", apparently referring to commercial
farmers who resisted seizure of their properties.

However University of Zimbabwe political analyst, Heneri Dzinotyiwei,
believes that there is no deliberate effort to kill public political

He said people were more concerned about putting food on their tables than
political talk.

"I don't think people have been cowed. They spend most of their time trying
to find alternative ways of survival," said Dzinotyiwei.
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Zim Standard

Harare becomes city of 'rodents and flies'
By Caiphas Chimhete

LACK of adequate financial resources seriously compromised the operation of
Harare City Council last year, virtually reducing what was once the
"Sunshine City" to a "fly and rodent city", says the latest report by the
local authority.

The 2004 Annual Report of the Harare City health Department released last
week, expressed concern over the deteriorating health and hygienic state of
Harare as flies and rodents invaded the city due to erratic collection of
The report said there was erratic collection of refuse due to lack of
transport or aging municipal refuse fleet, which spend most of the time in
the garages. This resulted in dumping of refuse by residents at almost every
available space in both low and high-density residential areas, industrial
and commercial areas, the report noted.

Decomposing refuse continues to pile up in most suburbs of Harare, exposing
residents to serious health hazards. In high density areas of Mufakose,
Kambuzuma, Budiriro, Dzivarasekwa and Glen View swams of flies could be seen
in most of the dumping areas. Choking stench and swarms of flies are a
common occurrence in most of the high-density areas. "The dumping resulted
in fly and rodent infestation and smells from dumped refuse," said the

In a foreword to the report, Lovemore Mbengeranwa, head of Harare City's
Health Department, said the lack of funds severely affected the operations
of the already financial beleaguered authority. "The perennial shortage of
funds resulting from a dysfunctional budget completely paralysed council
operations," Mbengeranwa said.

During the course of the year, private firms contracted to collect refuse in
Harare stopped after the city council failed to pay them. The private
contractors collected 44 percent of the refuse, while the council was
responsible for 56 percent.

"Some of the contractors had cash problems because council did not pay them
on time. As a result of erratic collection of refuse by contractors, council
had to move in time and again service the affected areas," said the report.

Companies contracted to collect refuse by the Harare City Council include
Broadway Services, Encore Consolidated Waste and Cleansing and Environment
Services. Residents complained that the council continued to charge for
refuse collection when it was not providing such a service.

Godfrey Muswanhi of Kambuzuma said: "I am worried that the council is
robbing us of our hard-earned cash. We are paying for services, which are
not being rendered, its daylight robbery."

Environmental problems in Harare were further exacerbated by the
introduction of water rationing in the city, with some suburbs such as
Waterfalls, Tafara and Mabvuku going for over two weeks without a drop of
water. The city council attributed the water crisis to mechanical breakdowns
that were experienced at Morton Jaffray Water Works.

Some residents resorted to fetching water from unprotected wells for
domestic use, exposing their families to serious health hazards. "This
impacted negatively on the quality of the environment whilst putting the
health of the residents at risk to infectious disease outbreaks," read the
173-page report.
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Zim Standard

Transport blues return to haunt commuters
By Thomas Kwaramba

TRANSPORT blues, which temporarily "disappeared" in some of Harare's
hard-hit areas during the two-week visit by United Nations special envoy,
Anna Kajumulo Tibaijuka, in Harare, have resurfaced because of the fuel

Surveys by The Standard last week showed that thousands of commuters were
stranded, as the rural buses, introduced in the city a few weeks ago, were
nowhere to be seen.
The worst affected commuters included those from the high-density suburbs of
Glen Norah, Kambuzuma, Mabvuku, Tafara, Warren Park, Dzivarasekwa, Epworth
and Hatfield.

Gift Manenji, from Warren Park, said: "I have been waiting for the bus for
more than three hours now and there has been no transport. Last week the
situation was better but now it is getting worse."

The visit by UN special envoy saw the government requesting bus companies,
among them Chawasarira, Tenda, Munenzwa, Nyamweda and Kukura Kurerwa, which
service rural destinations to ply urban routes.

Commuters said the availability of the buses might have been designed to
impress the UN envoy who toured urban areas.

"Following the visit by the UN envoy we received several buses but now it is
really difficult to get transport. I have no doubt they just wanted the
envoy to think that all was well in Harare," said Timothy Ngwenya, a
commuter from Kuwadzana.

However, this arrangement seriously prejudiced people who wanted to travel
to rural areas which were not in Tibaijuka's itinerary.

The Standard established that thousands of travellers who wanted to go to
rural areas have been stranded for weeks as they cannot get buses.

A visit to Mbare Musika showed that there were fewer buses than usual going
to rural areas and many travellers were disappointed.

An official with one of leading bus operators said many bus companies now
preferred urban routes.

"Under the new arrangement, we were only allocated 150 litres a day by
Noczim. The fuel is enough for short routes. There is no way you can travel
to Bulawayo and back with 150 litres, so we use that little fuel for short
local routes," said the official.

He said the unavailability of buses after the UN envoy left was a result of
lack of fuel supplies.

He said the situation was even worse with rural destinations, as most
companies were awaiting supplies.

"Most buses are shunning rural destinations because they need a lot of fuel.
Although rural routes are usually more profitable, the current situation
makes it more profitable to ply urban routes than rural routes, as the buses
are always full to and from the city centre," he noted.

An inspector with a Harare-based bus company said the sudden increase in
"chicken buses" operating in the city centre could be attributed to the new
$5 000 fare a trip.

"The new price is more competitive and makes the business more profitable as
we get a lot of money from less fuel and over a short distance," said the
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The Star

We pray for better as we watch Zim get worse
July 18, 2005

Since before the Zimbabwe "elections" - which, predictably, by no
means "reflected the will of the people" - I and others have been writing
letters to the press about the conditions in that despotic state.

Thanks to a professional and vibrant press here in South Africa,
editorials and feature articles with sad pictures and cartoons tell the
ghastly story of Zimbabwe's decent into a failed fascist state.

Two million town dwellers have been punished in past weeks for voting
for the opposition MDC by having their homes and livelihoods destroyed.
Thanks to the press, here and overseas, the story has got out.

Ex-disinformation minister Jonathan Moyo, blustering and bluffing on
3rd Degree would be well advised to distance himself from the regime and an
apology for his role in banning the Daily News would not be out of place.

This stamping out of freedom of expression and the press determined
the illegitimacy of those elections before polling day.

A gleam on the horizon is the UN's special envoy, Anna Tibaijuka, who
told Zim state officials what she thought of the callous destruction of
homes. She objected to the description of decent dwellings of thousands of
Africans as "illegal structures".

Meanwhile, those of us who lived in and loved Zimbabwe can only Cry
the Beloved Country and hope and pray that, in time, anarchy will give way
to a more rational, compassionate regime.

Ivor Davis
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The Star

Rights activist slams 'misery-maker' Mugabe
July 18, 2005

Harare - Two months after Zimbabwe's government launched a drive to
demolish illegal housing and trading, rights groups in the country say it
has brought nothing but misery.

Operations Murambatsvina ("Clear Out Trash") and Operation Restore
Order were launched on May 19 in an exercise President Robert Mugabe said
was aimed at driving out crime and grime but that has left hundreds of
thousands of people homeless.

Now, just a week after the government pledged a rebuilding programme
to cost some Z$3-trillion (about R2,2-billion), thousands of displaced
people are inhabiting makeshift tents in transit camps such as Caledonia
Farm, located near Harare.

"The question is: 'Have people's lives changed for the better since
the clean-up started?' " said Alouis Chaumba, whose rights organisation has
been feeding displaced families, in some cases providing tents and temporary

"The answer is a loud no," said Chaumba, director for the Catholic
Commission for Justice and Peace.

"At Porta Farm (west of Harare), for example, close to 10 000 people
are still in the open and thousands of people who earned an honest living as
vendors have been left with no alternative means of livelihood.

"What the government has done is to create a cycle of hardship in
which the poor will remain trapped for years to come."

The government's rebuilding exercise was "not likely to yield tangible
results any time soon because the local authorities have no capacity to
undertake building projects of the magnitude required to cater for those

Rangu Nyamurundira, of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, said: "Some
of them have lost property bought from many years' savings and, as far as we
are aware, none of our clients from Porta Farm has been allocated stands
promised for those who were displaced."

The United Nations estimated that about 200 000 people have been left
without homes. The opposition has denounced the blitz as a campaign of
repression and says up to 1,5-million Zimbabweans have been affected.

Despite police saying last month that the clean-up campaign was in the
final stages, it has moved into the plush suburbs of Harare, where the
demolition of staff quarters, garages and other outbuildings erected without
approval was ordered.

Government forces halted the demolitions on Friday and gave residents
10 days to have their outbuildings approved by the city council. South
Africa has said it will await a report from UN special envoy Anna Tibaijuka
before deciding what action to take.

A South African newspaper reported yesterday that the "temporary
cessation" of demolitions four days after a visit by Deputy President
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka was probably tied to an attempt to obtain a loan from

The paper said Mugabe's government had asked Mlambo-Ngcuka to extend
the terms of a Z$1-billion loan.
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The Mercury

'Healing energy' for Zimbabwe
July 18, 2005

By Stephanie Saville

A worldwide energy healing session for Zimbabwe and its leaders,
initiated by a Drakensberg resident, was held last night.

Rowan Wilkinson, who is also known for his homeopathic success with
horses struck by African Horse Sickness, said that the plight of people and
animals in Zimbabwe could not be ignored.

Wilkinson issued a world-wide plea via e-mail asking people to set
aside time last night to pray for those people affected by Zimbabwean
President Robert Mugabe and the actions of his government.

Simultaneously, an energy healing session was held on a farm near Bell
Park Dam in the central Drakensberg, led by Wilkinson and Barry Jacobs, who
is a therapist.

Wilkinson said that the focus of the prayer session was to send the
power of love to Mugabe and to enable him to pray for forgiveness. It also
aimed to heal the people and animals affected in Zimbabwe.

Wilkinson said that he felt it was important to send positive energy
to someone who only ever received negative energy.

He said that he had a particular wish to support the animals in
Zimbabwe, many of which were abandoned on farms and left with no food.

"There are horses, cats, dogs and farm animals which are not being
looked after."

Wilkinson said he believed that prayer could make a difference and
urged people to join in the session.

"If you believe one person can make a difference, then pass on the
thought 'I send the power to love and forgive to Robert Mugabe and I send
healing to those people and animals that have been affected'."

Wilkinson said that he would be watching the news carefully to see
what effect the positive energy healing session had on Zimbabwe.
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Zim Standard

'Clean-up' campaign to affect voting patterns
By our staff

THE massive 'clean-up' exercise which has displaced thousands of people in
the cities could be a ploy by the ruling Zanu PF to cut the number of
constituencies in the opposition strongholds, says Harare North MDC
legislator, Trudy Stevenson.

Stevenson who was recently appointed the MDC parliamentary spokesperson for
local government said only one out of the 350 families, recorded just after
the demolitions in Hatcliffe Extension was allocated a stand at Hopley farm,
despite claims by government that they had been accommodated at the farm.
"They are just reducing the number of people living in Harare North, in my
view, so that we will be merged with another constituency to reduce the
number of MDC constituencies," said Stevenson.

She said the residents of Hatcliffe Extension still believe they have a
right to their allocated stands, for which they paid deposits and rent, and
had lease agreements from the government.

"This matter is before the Supreme Court, but we have no idea how long they
will take to hear the case or hand down their judgement - besides which, we
know that we can no longer rely on the impartiality from that Bench," she

Stevenson said she undertook an analysis of the list to see how many of the
350 families whose details they managed to record before the evictions had
been allocated stands at Hopley.

"The number of stands allocated at Hopley, which were all for Hatcliffe
Extension residents according to Chombo, is 1272 stands. Of all the people
on our list, only Susan Mapuranga, has been allocated a stand," she said.

Ignatious Chombo, the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and Urban
development had claimed that all the residents of Hatcliffe Extension who
went to Caledonia Farm were allocated stands at Hopley Farm as listed in The
Herald of 2 July.

Chombo said: "Regrettably, for reasons best known to some of them, they seem
reluctant to take up the offer Government has made to them. 1 200, whose
names were published last Saturday, have been relocated to Hopley and they
are extremely very happy except a few who were carried to that place last
week on Monday by the Hon member (Stevenson) and stage managed for the
chairman to see. Those are unhappy."

He could, however, not give figures of the affected people.

Chombo said lecturers from the Zimbabwe Open University and teachers from a
police boarding school close to the area would be given houses there so that
they stay nearer to their institutions.

Earlier, Stevenson had questioned in parliament why Hatcliffe Extension had
suddenly been considered geographically unsuitable when 10 years ago this
area was laid out as a site-and-service scheme for low-cost housing.
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Zim Standard

Villagers blast govt over uncompleted projects
By Godfrey Mutimba

MASVINGO - Travelling along the Mpandawana - Kurai road one could easily
equate this desolate stretch of land to the war torn region of Ituri in the
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which was devastated by years of civil

Despite the government's repeated promises to improve road infrastructure in
the country, the Mupandawana - Kurai road remains a sorry sight.
As a result, bus operators now shun the road, which is riddled with
potholes. Villagers walk for several kilometres to the nearest bus stations.

Villagers from Bhasera, Zimbisi and Munyikwa in the Chimombe area, about 120
km east of Mupandawana Growth Point, are the most affected. They endure long
distances on foot - often carrying their luggage - to the main tarred road,
where they can board buses to their various destinations.

The government started a project to tar the road in 1995, promising that it
would be completed in five years. But 10 years on, the project still remains
uncompleted. Only a 15km- stretch of the 150-km road hasbeen tarred.

The government's failure to complete the project has sparked an outcry from
villagers, who have accused the authorities of feeding them empty promises
during elections.

Trynos Gonese, a villager from Bhasera said:"What irks us most is that
whenever elections draw near, that is the only time we hear about the
government pledging funds to complete tarring the road."

Other villagers have accused the Member of Parliament for Gutu South, Shuvai
Mahofa, of gross incompetence and dereliction of duty.

Taurai Hunduza said: "Our MP is letting us down. She knows the bad state of
the road and she must be seen to be at the forefront of sourcing funds to
complete the project. Since the project started, she has always promised
that the road will be completed soon but we now realise she will be only
soliciting for our votes."

Hunduza, a University of Zimbabwe law student, said once the elections were
over, Mahofa stopped talking about the project.

Hunduza, who is from Makonese village, said: "We are likely to hear about
the project again when the country goes for another legislative plebiscite
in 2010."

Contacted for comment, Mahofa attributed the slow progress on projects in
her constituency to lack of funds. "I have done quite a lot and as for the
road, we have covered 20 kilometres. Progress has been stalled by lack of
funds," said Mahofa, who refused to answer further questions.

"I am going into a meeting. You are troubling me. Why don't you go there to
see for yourself," said Mahofa, before switching off her mobile phone.

Other than the road issue, other social amenities such as clinics, hospitals
and schools in the area have not received due attention and continued to
deteriorate, according to the villagers.

Chepiri clinic, officially opened by Vice President Joseph Msika at a rally
to drum up votes for Mahofa before the disputed 31 March parliamentary
elections, faces closure due to lack of staff, equipment and drugs.

Chimombe Hospital, the largest referral centre after Gutu Mission also faces
the same fate. Nurses and doctors shun the hospital because the road makes
it difficult for them to access other centres.

There have also been complaints of poor living conditions at the hospital.

Although there are numerous primary schools in the area, secondary schools
are still few.
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Zim Standard

Buhera villagers fume as clean-up targets their huts
By Valentine Maponga

THE widely condemned "Operation Murambatsvina" is now spreading to rural
areas, with reports indicating that all thatched houses and cattle pens at a
village near Murambinda Growth Point were last week being targeted for

Villagers from Buhera said the rural district council officials and police
officers were moving around the area advising them to demolish all buildings
that had no plans. They said about 18 homesteads that fall under an
irrigation scheme a few kilometres away from Murambinda Business Centre were
also being targeted.
"We were given less than two hours to demolish all thatched huts and cattle
kraals without being given any alternatives. When we asked them why, they
told us that they were just following orders," said one of the affected

Among the 18 homesteads that are going to be affected is a 49-year-old home
belonging to Advocate Eric Matinenga, who usually represents opposition
Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

Matinenga said: "When we settled in that area there was just a small
business centre and it was way before independence. My relatives and all the
other villagers were told to destroy their kitchen huts only because they
are thatched."

Last week Matinenga successfully sought a court order barring the Buhera
rural district council from destroying the property. The order was granted
by High Court judge, Justice Charles Hungwe, who issued the order barring
Buhera rural district council and the police from carrying out the

The homestead has a thatched kitchen hut, a gazebo and a brick storeroom,
according to Matinenga.

Buhera District Council officials confirmed to The Standard that they were
"cleaning-up" the area of all "illegal structures" near the Growth Point.

Vambai Shenjere, the chief district engineer for Buhera said on Friday that
the "clean-up" exercise touched all urban settings and it would be unfair if
they spared the area.

"Thatched huts are illegal in all urban settings and they have to be
destroyed," Shenjere said.

He said that the area now formed part of the low-density suburb of
Murambinda and could not be referred to as a rural area.
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Zim Standard

The nightmare of a 320km rural trip
eyewitness By Walter Marwizi

A casual look at the mattress betrays its age and the status of its owner.
It's just there, battered and propped up by an old three-legged base made
out of cheap patched-up wood.

There isn't anything particularly striking or different about this item
since there are many other household goods that litter a pick up point along
the Masvingo -
Beitbridge road commonly known as Mbudzi.

It's just that the mattress was at the same spot yesterday when I made a
first unsuccessful attempt to get public transport to Gutu.

"This is just one of the countless items that have been abandoned here by
people who could not find transport to their rural areas after
"Murambatsvina," a disguised airtime vendor says showing no sign of concern.

Mbudzi - usually a meeting point for well-dressed travellers and cross
border traders seeking transport either to Beitbridge, Masvingo or Gutu -
looks different today.

There are many people who seem to be carrying all their earthly belongings.

A middle-aged man who is about three metres from me is jealously guarding an
assortment of suspicious looking items packed in seven dirty grain bags. A
pot's handle and an old primus stove that have fallen out of one of
weather-beaten bags are enough to whet anyone's curiosity about the
remainder of the bag's contents.

"I have been coming here everyday for the past two weeks but I have failed
to get transport to Zaka. All the buses are full with people leaving the
city," he says when I start the usual bus-stop-conversation with him.

"Havachadi kuti tigarewo mudhorobha. Hanzi endai mundoorera kumusha,"(They
say we should go back our rural homes. They no longer want us in the city)
says the man.

I quickly leave him alone. I have heard too many heart - breaking stories
and I think it's important for me to think about the journey to my communal
home, about 320 km away from Harare.

I arrived at Mbudzi at six in the morning and it's almost 11AM - and still
there is no sign of a bus or lorry on which I can hitch a ride.

After an hour or so, a bus laden with worn-out household goods, which
anybody would have been ashamed to be seen with a few months ago, arrives.

Its conductor calls for only two passengers going straight to Masvingo. I
beat the stampede to get into the bus and I become a standing passenger for
almost 150km. I will just have to pay a full fare to Masvingo and ask to be
dropped off in Chivhu.

"One hundred thousand dollars to Masvingo is much cheaper, sometimes you can
be charged $150 000 to get there," one man who seems to be an expert on
transport problems says as I count the fare. Six months ago the same trip
cost $45 000.

I have a couple of $500 notes and the conductor gets agitated when he sees

"Enda unopa Gono mari yako iyoyo, handina nguva yekuverenga maKwacha
iwayo."(Go and give those useless notes to Gono (Governor of the Reserve
Bank of Zimbabwe, Gideon Gono) I have no time to count them.)

An outcry from other passengers saves my day and soon I put the embarrassing
incident behind me.

At Chivhu, after an hour-long wait, a sleek Japanese 4X4 vehicle pulls off
the highway and its driver, a thin man wearing glasses, makes it clear that
he doesn't want any suspicious people in his vehicle for fear of picking up

Knowing that I stand to lose out if I don't get into the vehicle, I pleaded
with him to take me in. Soon his vehicle cruises along the deserted highway.

What is unmistakable outside the confines of the vehicle is the havoc that
has been wrecked on the former commercial farms that used to be productive.

There is no cattle in the former dairy farms now - just signs of scattered
crops that weathered before they matured.

In Gutu, I wait for an hour before I get into a Muzokomba-bound bus, which
is also packed. My hopes of finishing the remaining 90km are short-lived as
the driver kicks the old engine to life.

The bus, which has seen better days travels at about 20 km an hour and a few
yards away from Zvavahera, breaks down as many had predicted it would. It's
something to do with lack of spare parts.

We have to wait for five hours for a mechanic to come from Gutu, about 40km
away, and fix the problem.

And as dusk engulfs the communal area, home to Zimbabwe's former Vice
President Simon Muzenda, the engine roars into life again and we resume our

Arriving at Bhasera Township is no source of comfort for me. It's almost
8PM, there is no transport and home is still several kilometres away.

A lorry that arrives there shortly takes me five kilometres away and leaves
me at a pitch-dark bus stop. It's late but I have no other option but to
walk the remaining 23 kilometres home.

"It's a distance we are used to walking these days," says a man who becomes
my companion. "You may not like what I am saying, but I do not know whether
we are still in Zimbabwe, the land of milk and honey or in some other damned

I am not sure about the answer but the truth is that I left my Harare home
at 5AM and it's now shortly after midnight yet I haven't reached my rural
home, which is only 320km from Harare.

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Zim Standard

EU wants more pressure on Mugabe regime
By our staff

THE European Parliament wants a special envoy appointed for Zimbabwe in
order to galvanise action among African states, as international pressure
mounts on President Robert Mugabe.

In a raft of resolutions 10 days ago, Members of the European Parliament
(MEPs) said in order to achieve such a feat there was need for support from
the United States and Commonwealth countries.
The resolutions have been forwarded to the EU General Affairs and External
Relations Council for consideration and possible action when the council
meets tomorrow.

The resolutions call "for the suspension of the return of Zimbabwean asylum
seekers from member states until the situation in Zimbabwe improves".

The MEPs said there was need for an immediate end to forced evictions under
the so-called "Operation Restore Order".

"We demand an immediate end to Mugabe regime's forced evictions and insist
that unrestricted access be granted to relief and humanitarian agencies
assisting those internally displaced.

"We remind the South African government of its special responsibility
vis--vis its neighbour Zimbabwe and call on it to strive that the Mugabe
regime stops the forced evictions immediately," reads the statement.

The EU legislators insisted that aid "must be made available to the
Zimbabwean people through non-governmental organisations" and called for the
establishment of an international committee of inquiry to investigate the
use of food and shelter as political weapons.

They criticised the African Union for failing to rein in Zimbabwe.

"We deplore the weak stance of the African Union, in particular South Africa
and a number of Zimbabwe's other neighbours, in turning a blind eye to the
daily oppression of the people of Zimbabwe and the destruction of the
country's economy," the statement said.

The Parliament said SADC had to close its regional peacekeeping training
centre in Harare as an indication of its willingness to exert pressure on
President Mugabe.

The EU Parliament urged the G8 nations to insist upon a clear demonstration
on the part of African regional organisations and nations of their
commitment to good governance, tackling corruption, democracy, the rule of
law and respect for human rights, as well as economic progress. They regard
Zimbabwe as a test case.
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Zim Standard


Govt can no longer be trusted

INCREASINGLY, more people are beginning to see through the web of deceit
being woven by the government.

Members of Parliament last week refused to swallow the government's barren
proposals three months after initially being assured the worst fuel crisis
to grip the country would be over in a fortnight.
In revolting over the worsening fuel crisis, the MPs did what they are
elected to do - speak on behalf of and represent the grievances of the
people who elected them to parliament. The MPs effectively told the
government that it had run out of ideas on how to manage the country.

They also signalled that they can no longer trust what the government tells
them because its promises count for nothing. In April, Zimbabweans were
promised an end to the worsening fuel crisis, but it is evident today that
this is the worst phase of the crisis that can be traced to October 1999.

The fact that the country has staggered from one crisis of varying
proportions to another over the last six years is a profound statement on
the hopelessness of several government initiatives. The government does not
like to admit its shortcomings, but it is evident that it is clueless as to
how it can move this country out of the mess the government landed it in. It
is this paucity of inventiveness in the face of crises that the MPs rose up
against in Parliament last week.

No one has a monopoly of ideas, yet the government, which is essentially
made up of recycled characters, who are well past their sale-by-date,
believes it can resort to hoodwinking the nation in the hope that the
problems will blow over and somehow things will sort themselves out.

The major problem is that our leaders are not receptive to ideas from
outside. They feel threatened by ideas and initiatives that they themselves
have not originated, even though it is clear that after a quarter of a
century, they are bereft of any originality.

What the MPs told the government last Wednesday was that even at its worst
the UDI government was able to manage the fuel crisis and ensure that it
could pay for its requirements. Zimbabwe's must be the only government in
the world that is required to pay for its fuel before delivery.

It is significant that while President Robert Mugabe travelled to Sirte,
Libya, for an African Union meeting, he failed to take advantage of the
summit to appeal for assistance over the crippling fuel crisis.

It is such dearth of initiatives that outraged the MPs last week. There was
also another factor. On 26 June as the United Nations special envoy arrived
in the country for an assessment of the State-engineered humanitarian
crisis, the government declared: "The clean-up operation code-named
'Operation Restore Order' is winding up and is being replaced by a new one
known as 'Operation Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle', under which the government aims
to provide residential and business accommodation to deserving people under
a comprehensive reconstruction programme."

But exactly a day after the UN special envoy left Harare, the government
made a u-turn as if poking its nose at the UN and said the "programme" would
from last Monday move to the low density suburbs, starting with Hatfield and

The same day that the UN special envoy left Harare the ruling party's
mouthpiece declared defiantly: "Murambatsvina will not end." This is exactly
the opposite of what the government had spent two weeks assuring the special

Last week the government also made another u-turn and said councils should
spearhead the reconstruction of houses to replace those demolished by the
government. No council has the kind of resources that would enable them to
undertake such a massive housing programme, when they can not even cope with
lesser taxing undertakings such as refuse collection.

More importantly, the government again has not said where the trillions it
is promising will come from, because no such provision was ever made in the
budget. But the MPs saw the obsession with destruction being at the expense
of the real crisis confronting this country.

The recent resignations from the ruling party signals the beginning of a
winter of discontent for Zanu PF. They portray the ruling party as an animal
that has gone out of control and is a threat to the wellbeing of the
country. The discordant voices could signal the beginning of the end of Zanu
PF's political hegemony.

Once a government can no longer be trusted on what it says, it loses
whatever little credibility that remained. Its refusal to engage the
opposition, which has a significant representation in parliament in the
search for solutions to the Zimbabwean crisis, has led many to realition
that both the government and ruling party no longer govern in the interests
of the nation but of a few individuals.

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Zim Standard

Africa needs fair trade, not aid
sundayopinon with Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem

EVERYBODY loves Africa and is going to desperate lengths to show why
they are our new best friends! It is like South Africa after the release of
Nelson Mandela from prison. Suddenly we could not find any supporters for
the loathed apartheid system anymore both inside and outside of South

Even the Boer Nationalist Party that institutionalised apartheid
became anti-apartheid. Everywhere Mandela went powerful politicians in
powerful countries in Europe and America who had shielded the apartheid
regime from international sanctions and prevented censure of the racist
regime in multi-lateral forums including the UN Security Council,
Commonwealth, EU, etc were all queuing up to have their pictures taken with
the Great Madiba.
They all reinvented their political CVs to show how all along they
have been fighting for his release and an end to apartheid. One of the worst
of this latter day friend of South African Liberation was Mrs Margaret
Thatcher who as British Prime Minister resisted any criticisms of apartheid
South Africa, invited P W Botha on a State visit to London and described the
ANC as a "typical terrorist organisation like the IRA".

Africa is in a similar situation now. It is difficult to know how to
react to this sudden show of concern for a people that have been so
marginalized and humiliated for such a long time. It is like being offered
handkerchief by the same person who is beating the hell out of you.

After last Saturday's multi-city parties the whole world is now
programmed to look up to eight White men in dark suits who met in far away
Gleneagles, Scotland, to save Africa. None of them is an African.

Yet a much bigger assembly of another powerful group of people (at
least in their countries even if the rest of the world may not feel their
impact), all of them heads of state and government from across Africa were
meeting in the Libyan city of Sirte deciding on the future of Africa without
similar focus in the global media.

It is these people through their action and inaction who have the
power to change things for the better or worse on this continent. Anybody
who really cares about helping Africa needs to know what this group of men,
many of them also in grey suits but others in elegant African dresses have
been saying to themselves.

The fifth ordinary Summit of the Assembly of the African Union ended
in Sirte, Libya recently. The leaders, among other pressing issues,
addressed themselves to the dances for poverty and pledges for action about
Africa from outsiders. They welcomed the initial debt relief package for
developing countries out of which 15 African countries will benefit.

However, they called for a universal debt cancellation that benefits
all African countries, not just select few.

This is a logical consensus given previous experience of African
countries scandalously competing among themselves about who is more
connected in Washington, London or Paris. Individually they sold out but
collectively we may regain some dignity and credibility. They have to avoid
being played against each other. The separate deal for debt relief for
Nigeria is potentially one of those divide and rule tactics. It may limit
Nigeria's capacity to talk on behalf of Africa and also neutralise it in
bloc negotiations whether in the World Trade Organisation or in the
IMF/World Bank. My own suspicion is that they have agreed to throw this
carrot at Nigeria as an advance compensation for her not to get the
much-coveted UN Security Council permanent seat, which will more likely go
to South Africa.

Significantly, the AU summit did not dwell so much on aid but rather
called for the abolition of unfair trading rules that rig international
trade against Africa and asked for a clear timetable for the abolition of
these subsidies. One can see that the African leaders are not taken in by
various pledges on aid but rather want us to trade our way to prosperity
instead of being aided to remain dependent.

This contrasts with Premier Tony Blair's breakthrough in getting a
calendar on aid targets. Just as the Algerian nationalists told their French
colonialists when offered the choice of being independent or being part of a
neo-colonial French federation according to Malcolm X they said: they needed
their land not some French! The AU is saying we need some fair-trade not
some aid.

These are the messages that the African leaders invited to the G8 as
side salads took to Gleneagles. I really wish that these leaders would stop
ridiculing themselves by appearing like a non-governmental organisation
lobby group at these summits of the rich. From next year, they should have a
face-to-face summit to review any progress on mutually agreed targets. After
all that is what the mutual accountability principle in the African Peer
Review Mechanism is all about. It is about us judging ourselves and also
mutually judging each other with our so-called international partners.

Apart from the response to G8 the summit made numerous decisions on a
variety of issues that have direct impact on Africa and Africans than
anything a group of ageing rockers and an exclusive club will do for Africa.

One of those defining issues is the call by the Muammar Gaddafi, which
President Yoweri Museveni immediately supported, for an All African Union
government and a dismantling of all barriers to freedom of movement for
Africans across Africa.

While many dismiss this as hasty and too ambitious I would like to
remind them to rewind to the reaction to Gaddafi's call for an acceleration
of the integration process through a review of the OAU charter at an
extraordinary summit in the same city of Sirte in September 1999. Then, the
idea was initially dismissed as far-fetched but within three years we had
the African Union. Its institutions are now taking shape and at this summit
the Libyan leader was upping the stakes for the AU to rise up to the next
phase of the struggle for unity without which we will remain beggars and
vulnerable to extra African powers. There is no point in asking the rich
countries to open up their markets to us when we close ours against each
other. We cannot sustainably globalise without Africanising.

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Did the Cubans teach Mugabe's people to kill by poisoning?
[I spotted this story on TheBeardedMan's blog spot in his daily
bulletins and would like to add some thoughts on to this.

Two years ago, when I was involved with Zimbabweans who had fled to
S.Africa, I had many interesting conversations with them. I was introduced
to many different people, some of whom were particularly interesting. I was
especially fascinated when I heard stories of poisoning. One will find that
Communist defectors from Russia, for example will talk of poisoning.
Poisoning is something these totalitarian freaks of the Far Left have quite
a liking for. It is a way of quietly getting rid of nuisance people. Anyone
who has lived in Zimbabwe will tell you that from the earliest days of
Mugabe's rule, there has been a lot of talk about him murdering people, even
in his own political party. But I would now like to mention things I heard
directly from Zimbabweans, some of whom were members of the MDC. These are
the things people told me, and which I will relate as best as I can

1) I was told prior to the June 2003 Mass Action by the MDC, that
there were soldiers in Mugabe's army who began fearing a mass uprising might
actually come about. I was told that some secretly approached people in the
MDC saying: "Please don't kill our families. If the uprising starts, we will
switch sides".

2) I was told that Mugabe's Military Intelligence was constantly
monitoring the loyalty of soldiers. If they suspected soldiers were starting
to become disloyal, and were associating with the opposition, they would
then be killed. I was told that soldiers would disappear suddenly, without
warning. Apparently, their Military Intelligence had a procedure whereby
they would kidnap soldiers in their beds at night. These soldiers would
never be seen or heard from again. It was rumoured that they were killed and
their bodies were buried in a graveyard on the outskirts of Harare.

3) I was told that there was somebody in the MDC, who was poisoned,
and that it was quite a well known that this person was poisoned. I cannot
remember the exact circumstances of the poisoning. As best I recall, the guy
was arrested, taken to a Police station where he was beaten. Later he began
coughing blood. He was taken to a private clinic in Harare. He was ill for
quite some time after the beating, and then he died. Apparently one of the
Doctors at the clinic told his wife that he had an unnatural substance in
his lungs, and the doctor was quite sure that the man had been poisoned.

4) I was told that the doctors in the various private clinics around
Harare, were fully aware that some of the patients in their care had been
poisoned. However, out of fear for their jobs, they did not discuss this.

5) I always thought, after hearing these stories of possible
Government poisonings of people, especially in the political opposition,
that perhaps this is the ideal situation for investigative journalists - for
them to meet up either secretly with doctors inside Zimbabwe, or with those
who had fled, to see if they could get expert testimony about poisonings and
then detail this and submit it to various governments and humanitarian
bodies around the world.

6) One man told me that a friend of his was a mid-level officer in the
Zimbabwe army. This guy told him that several army officers had recently
been sent to Cuba for training in the art of poisoning. Apparently, the
Cubans have a very efficient methods of killing people by injection.

7) I was told that the Cubans had developed poisons which would make
you die "from natural causes". I was told that diarrhoea was one of the
possible symptoms of poisoning.

8) I was told that one method of killing people was to have them
arrested and taken to a Police station. Once in the Police station, this
person would be harrassed and beaten. While he was distracted in this way, a
person trained in assassination by injection would come up behind him, and
would quickly inject him with a poison without the victim realising it.
Later, this person would develop symptoms and die. I refer back to (3)
above, about the MDC person who developed strange symptoms after he had been
beaten by the Police - but which were not directly related to the beatings

9) I was told about a camp not too far from Harare, where they
tortured people and sometimes murdered them. I think they said it was on the
way to Banket. Apparently the commander of this camp was known to people as
"Black Jesus".

I have never been able to corroborate these stories. But I did
question the people directly. If anyone comes across any more information
regarding poisonings in Zimbabwe, then feel free to drop me a line on the
Contact us page on my website.

I often wonder how many people Mugabe has really killed in the last 5
years, and whether there were many cases of poisoning which Mugabe's people
got away with?

I also wonder if there are any Cubans out there, perhaps who have fled
to the USA, who can confirm whether Fidel Castro also makes use of

As you will see in the story below, doctors confirm that the victim
was poisoned. I still think, that poisoning by the Mugabe Dictatorship could
be a big untold story that still needs to be properly investigated. How many
people might have been killed, that we don't know about? Mind you, another
untold story are the many rumours about political allies and people in his
own party who died under mysterious circumstances. This is also another
huge, untold story which I have never seen the Mass Media touch on. Jan]

The National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) strongly condemns the
poisoning of the former Zimbabwe National Students' Union president, Philani
Zamchya, by suspected security agents. Zamchya was kidnapped by six men gang
in town on Wednesday 13 July 2003. The men jostled him into an unmarked
Defender vehicle which had no number plates. After making him drink some
liquid and assaultin him, the men dumped Zamchya along Seke Road where he
started experiencing severe stomach pains. Zamchya only managed to be taken
to hospital after he phoned Donald Lewankia, a friend who took him to the
Avenues Clinic where doctors confirmed that he had been made to drink
chlorine. The NCA deplores such murderous acts that are aimed at suffocating
democracy. The men who kidnapped Zamchya accused him of planning an NCA
demonstration, threatening that he would lose his life if he continues
participating in activities of the NCA. Associated story. Source:

The same story also appears as:-
NCA Condemns Attack On Philani Zamchya

The National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) strongly condemns the
poisoning of the former Zimbabwe National Students' Union president, Philani
Zamchya by suspected state security agents.

Zamchya was kidnapped by a six men gang in town on Wednesday 13th July
2005. The men jostled him into an unmarked Defender vehicle which had no
number plates. After making him drink some liquid and assaulting him, the
men dumped Zamchya along Seke road where he started experiencing severe
stomach pains. Zamchya only managed to be taken to hospital after he phoned
Donald Lewanika, a friend who took him to the Avenues clinic where doctors
confirmed that he had been made to drink chlorine.

The NCA deplores such murderous acts that are aimed suffocating
democracy. The men who kidnapped Zamchya accused him of planning an NCA
demonstration, threatening that he would lose his life if he continues
participating in activities of the NCA.

The NCA sees this as an open attack to the cause for a democratic
constitution in Zimbabwe. Zamchya's tormentors are part of the clique that
is benefiting from the status qou and are against an open democracy that
will help spread the proceeds from national coffers to the majority of
Zimbabweans. The existence of such reactionaries will certainly not stop the
NCA from wedging the struggle for a democratic constitution in the country.
More demonstrations and other forms of mass action in protest against the
prevailing bad governance are on the cards.

In applauding his bold steps in fighting a regime that thrives on an
anachronistic constitutional framework, the NCA wishes Zamchya a speedy

Jessie Majome
NCA Spokesperson
14 July 2005


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Zim Standard

People of conscience, leave Zanu PF
Sundaytalk with Pius Wakatama

ZIMBABWEANS take off their hats to senior Zanu PF central committee member
and former MP Pearson Mbalekwa for resigning from Zanu PF because he could
not stomach the suffering brought upon the people by "Operation

In his shock resignation, Mbalekwa said: "It is very clear to me that when
any other rational person takes a closer look at what has been happening in
Zanu PF, government and the country over the last eight months, Zanu PF as a
political party, is no longer with the people. Therefore, I have as of today
left Zanu PF to be with the people."
He further said: "Hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans are living either in
the open next to their demolished homes or in filthy holding transit camps
where there have been outbreaks of all kinds of diseases."

Like Moses, who decided to eschew the delights of Pharaoh's table and the
comforts of a princely life, to identify with poor and suffering Israelite
slaves, Mbalekwa chose to leave the comforts and the big feeding trough of
Zanu PF to identify with the suffering masses of Zimbabwe.

The Bible says of Moses: "He chose to be mistreated along with the people of
God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. He regarded
disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of
Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward." (Hebrews 11:25, 26).

Of this reward, the Bible says: "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for
righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they
will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called the sons of God."
(Matthew 5: 6 - 9).

Zimbabweans take off their hats to Mbalekwa because he had the guts to be
true to his conscience and convictions thus showing the way to other Zanu PF
leaders who are stifling their consciences and denying their convictions
because of lack of courage.

Mbalekwa could not bring himself to say that which is blatantly wrong is
right for whatever reason. The government has reached the height of lunacy
in its sadistic cruelty to its own people.

The Church in Zimbabwe, both Protestant and Catholic, has condemned, without
reservation, the cruel treatment of the people by President Mugabe and his
government. I cannot, therefore, for the life of me understand how and why
some who profess to be Christians and put on church uniforms can accept and
even attempt to justify the cruel punishment being meted out to innocent and
helpless fellow citizens. I can only conclude that they are not Christians
but ravening wolves in sheep's clothing.

There are some so-called reverends, who froth at the mouth in their defence
of the atrocious "Operation Murambatsvina" and the many other merciless
actions of the Zanu PF government. These are not men of God but unashamed
pharasaical charlatans who are after money. To these Christ says: "Woe unto
you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You are like
whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are
full of dead men's bones and everything unclean. .You snakes! You brood of
vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?" (Matthew 23).

Since the Church has publicly condemned the actions of the Zanu PF
government, isn't it now reasonable that Christians listen to their
consciences and publicly disassociate themselves from this evil political
party even as Mbalekwa has done.

Here, I am not talking about ordinary people. The majority of the people
left Zanu PF long ago. It is common knowledge that Zanu PF had to massively
rig the last elections in order to win. The people did not vote for them.
This is why Zanu PF is meting out punishment to poor citizens, especially
those in the cities, by wantonly destroying their homes.

By destroying homes and scattering the people over the place, Zanu PF is
working out a diabolically clever plan. Members of the MDC have been so
scattered that it is nigh impossible for them to effectively organise
against the government.

Since its party structures were strong among the poor and downtrodden, it is
now almost impossible to locate officials for meetings. "Operation
Murambatsvina" took care of that. Also those who are being sent to rural
areas can now be easily controlled, intimidated and re-educated through
Pavlovian conditioning.

I am not calling upon these ordinary sufferers but upon those Zanu PF
leaders who still have a conscience to disassociate themselves from what the
whole world now recognises and acknowledges being evil.

Zanu PF leaders are quick to label anyone who criticises Mugabe's
government, a puppet of the West. In fact, now I would not be surprised if
even our much touted friends, the Chinese, start distancing themselves from

"Operation Murambatsvina" has not only disadvantaged the MDC. It has also
brought division into Zanu PF. Writing in The Standard of 19 June, Foster
Dongozi and Vusumuzi Sifile reported: "The decision to destroy homes and
flea markets has reportedly left Zanu PF divided, with some senior central
committee members describing the locally and internationally condemned
exercise as an anti-people campaign.

".Senior Zanu PF officials have not come out in the open in support of the
brutal campaign because they are concerned it could cost them potential
votes in future elections."

A Politburo member who declined to be named is reported to have said: "What
is going on is absolute madness. It does not make sense to destroy people's
homes and their sources of income where there is a lot of poverty and
suffering. That is why you have not seen any politician supporting this

It is true that most senior Zanu PF leaders have not come out in support of
"Operation Murambatsvina". Those who have done so have done so mutedly and
under obvious duress. It is only the newly appointed officials (Mafikozolos)
who are vociferous in their support. They do soexcitedly as they are new to
the feeding trough and are busy acquiring farms and properties.

Why don't these senior members who are in disagreement not come out in the
open and resign from the party like Mbalekwa? Why are so many decent,
law-abiding and church-going silent in the face of such blatant human rights

The major reason is fear. The mere thought of attracting President Mugabe's
displeasure petrifies them. Former Zanu PF MP, Margaret Dongo, called them
"Mugabe's wives". Others have so many skeletons in their cupboards or know
too much that they can't afford to resign. They are afraid of being
subsequently "investigated" with the possibility of ending up in jail like
the former Minister of Finance, Christopher Kuruneri. He has been
languishing in jail for more than a year without having been convicted of
any crime.

Unlike Mbalekwa, some who are now castigating Zanu PF are doing so for
purely selfish reasons. These are the thousands of war veterans who had
resettled themselves at different places around the country and had their
houses and businesses demolished by the government. These people in the not
too distant past terrorised the population on behalf of Zanu PF. They looted
tortured and killed in the name of Zanu PF. Now that their houses and
businesses are gone they are crying foul. They became too full of themselves
and began challenging the authority of their masters, the chefs. After being
used as canon fodder, they were conveniently thrown on the dust heap
together with those they tortured. Can these seriously identify with those
they poured scorn on yesterday?

Gentlemen, don't kick even an enemy when he is down. If I were not a
gentleman, I would say to them: "Tsvatu waro. Manzwa bhata. Chamakadya
chamuka." You deserve all that you are getting.

He, who has ears to hear, let him hear.

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