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Mugabe, Tsvangirai finally sign deal

http://www.thezimbabwetimes.com
 

July 21, 2008

Golden handshake - President Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai after signing deal.

By Our correspondent

HARARE – An unlikely spectacle was witnessed in the Zimbabwean capital on Monday , July 21. The Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe, looking somewhat sulky, and his bitter rival for a decade, Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, stood and shook hands over a deal that had for long remained elusive.

Zimbabwe’s ruling party Zanu-PF and opposition MDC have finally signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on future talks after months of tension and political violence caused largely by President Robert Mugabe’s party.

An embrace by the two leaders would have been more in keeping with the momentous occasion and convinced an anxious nation that genuine progress had been achieved.

The deal is intended to set conditions for talks on a possible unity government which would include President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) led by Morgan Tsvangirai.

In June, Mugabe won an uncontested presidential run-off election after his opponent, Tsvangirai, withdrew at the last night minute over political violence against his supporters. Monday’s agreement comes after more than a year of talks mediated by South African President Thabo Mbeki. Mbeki attended the signing ceremony at Harare’s Rainbow Towers, formerly the Sheraton Hotel. Also present was Prof Arthur Mutambara, leader of a small faction of the MDC. The faction won 10 parliamentary seats in elections held on March 29. Mutambrara and the entire leadership of his faction were, however, defeated.

The South African leader has been under fire especially by the United States and Britain for supporting mediation and opposing more sanctions on Zimbabwe. The United States and Britain proposed sanctions against Mugabe’s government at the United Nations Security Council, but the draft resolution was vetoed by China and Russia.

US and British companies have been under strong pressure from their governments to cease trading with Zimbabwe, while China enjoys a growing market in the country and shares a great President Robert Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai pledged a new chapter in their bitter relationship as they agreed to hold fully-fledged talks on ending Zimbabwe’s political crisis.

A stony-faced Mugabe shook hands somewhat unconvincingly with a smiling Tsvangirai. They said it was time to work together after one of the bitterest periods in the country’s history.

“We sit here in order for us to chart a new way, a new way of political interaction,” said Mugabe.

“We must act now … as Zimbabweans, think as Zimbabweans and act as Zimbabweans,” said Mugabe.

Mugabe has often accused Tsvangirai of representing foreign interests.

Tsvangirai for his part said it was time to put the “bitterness behind me”. He said was committed to finding a solution with his old rival.

“We are committed to ensuring that the process of negotiation becomes successful,” he said. “We want a better Zimbabwe.”

Although copies of the memorandum of understanding were not immediately available, Mbeki said that all parties wanted a rapid resolution to their dispute sparked by elections in March.

“It commits the negotiating parties to an intense programme of work to try and finalise the negotiations as quickly as possible,” said Mbeki.

“All the Zimbabwean parties recognise the urgency of the matters they are discussing and all are committed to trying to complete this process as quickly as possible.”

Commentators have said that the biggest sticking point on resolving a crisis sparked by disputed elections will be the reluctance of either man to accept a position seen as inferior to the other.

But comments by Mugabe that there was an acceptance of a need to amend the former British colony’s constitution will fuel speculation that they may come to an agreement similar to that which recently brought an end to a post-election dispute in Kenya with the creation of a new post of prime minister.

“We agreed … that our constitution as it is should be amended variously,” said Mugabe.

The meeting between the two men was their first since Tsvangirai formed the MDC at the end of 1999.

The former trade union leader has twice been charged with treason and underwent medial treatment for head injuries last year after he was assaulted by members of the security forces ahead of an anti-government rally.

The bitter rivalry of Mugabe and Tsvangirai ascended to new heights during the course of the March 29 presidential election which saw Tsvangirai defeat Mugabe – the President’s first ever defeat since coming to power 28 years ago. .

The MDC leader subsequently pulled out of a second round of voting at the end of last month after more than 80 of his party’s supporters were killed in attacks that he blamed on pro-Mugabe militants.

Ignoring widespread calls to shelve the ballot, Mugabe went ahead and staged the poll without a challenger. He won a predictable landslide victory. But there was little celebration as the crisis continued to intensify its grip on Zimbabwe, while the economic crisis plummeted to an all-time low.

Meanwhile, United Nations political official Haile Menkerios is in Pretoria, South Africa, to further Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s efforts to help resolve the political crisis in Zimbabwe, a spokesman for the world body announced today.

Menkerios, who is Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, has held meetings with South African President Thabo Mbeki and with the African Union Chairperson Jean Ping, Marie Okabe told reporters.

He was expected to be briefed on the state of the mediation efforts aimed at resolving the ongoing dispute between Mugabe and Tsvangirai


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Full text: MOU

http://zimbabwemetro.com

By Staff ⋅ © zimbabwemetro.com ⋅ July 21, 2008 ⋅
Memorandum of Understanding between the Zimbabwe African National Union
(Patriotic Front) and the two Movement for Democratic Change Formations

21 July 2008
Zimbabwe Memorandum of Understanding

PREAMBLE

We the Parties to this Memorandum of Understanding;

Concerned about the recent challenges that we have faced as a country and
the multiple threats to the well-being of our people;

Dedicating ourselves to putting an end to the polarisation, divisions,
conflict and intolerance that have characterised our country’s politics;

Determined to build a society free of violence, fear, intimidation, hate,
patronage, corruption and founded on justice, fairness, openness,
transparency, dignity and equality;

Recognising the centrality and importance of African institutions in dealing
with African problems, and agreeing to seek solutions to our differences,
challenges and problems through dialogue under the auspices of the SADC
mediation, supported and endorsed by the African Union;

Acknowledging that we have an obligation of establishing a framework of
working together in an inclusive government;

Desirous therefore of entering into a dialogue with a view to returning
Zimbabwe to prosperity;

Recognising that such a dialogue requires agreement on procedures and
processes that will guide the dialogue.

NOW THEREFORE AGREE AS FOLLOWS:

1. Definitions

The ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ (“MOU”) shall mean this written agreement
signed by the Principals.

‘The Parties’ shall mean ZANU-PF, the two MDC formations led by Morgan
Tsvangirai and by Arthur Mutambara respectively.

‘The Principals’ shall mean the President and First Secretary of ZANU-PF,
Robert Gabriel Mugabe, the President of the one MDC formation, Morgan
Richard Tsvangirai and the President of the other MDC formation, Arthur
Guseni Oliver Mutambara.

2. Declaration of Commitment

The Parties hereby declare and agree to commit themselves to a dialogue with
each other with a view to creating a genuine, viable, permanent and
sustainable solution to the Zimbabwean situation and, in particular, to
implement this Memorandum of Understanding.

3. Representation

The Parties will be represented by two representatives each in the dialogue.

4. Agenda

The Parties have agreed to the following Agenda:

4.1. Objectives and Priorities of a new Government

(a) ECONOMIC
(i) Restoration of economic stability and growth
(ii) Sanctions
(iii) Land question

(b) POLITICAL
(i) New Constitution
(ii) Promotion of equality, national healing and cohesion, and unity
(iii)External interference
(iv)Free political activity
(v) Rule of law
(vi) State organs and institutions
(vii) Legislative agenda priorities

(c) SECURITY
(i) Security of persons and prevention of violence

(d) COMMUNICATION
(i) Media
(ii) External radio stations

4.2 Framework for a new Government

4.3 Implementation mechanisms

4.4 Global political agreement.

5. Facilitation

The Dialogue shall be facilitated in accordance with the SADC and AU
resolutions.

6. Time frames

The Dialogue commenced on 10 July 2008 and will continue until the Parties
have finalised all necessary matters, save for short breaks that may be
agreed upon for purposes of consultation. It is envisaged that the Dialogue
will be completed within a period of two weeks from the date of signing of
this MOU.

7. Venue

The Dialogue shall be conducted at such venues as shall be determined by the
Facilitator in consultation with the representatives of the Parties.

8. Communication with the media

None of the Parties shall, during the Dialogue period, directly or
indirectly communicate the substance of the discussion with the media. The
parties shall refrain from negotiating through the media, whether through
their representatives to the Dialogue or any of their Party officials.

9. Decisions by the Parties

The Parties shall not, during the subsistence of the Dialogue, take any
decisions or measures that have a bearing on the agenda of the Dialogue,
save by consensus. Such decisions or measures include, but are not limited
to the convening of Parliament or the formation of a new government.

10. Interim measures

10.1 Security of persons

(a) Each Party will issue a statement condemning the promotion and use of
violence and call for peace in the country and shall take all measures
necessary to ensure that the structures and institutions it controls are not
engaged in the perpetration of violence.

(b) The Parties are committed to ensuring that the law is applied fairly and
justly to all persons irrespective of political affiliation.

(c) The Parties will take all necessary measures to eliminate all forms of
political violence, including by non-state actors, and to ensure the
security of persons and property.

(d) The Parties agree that, in the interim, they will work together to
ensure the safety of any displaced persons and their safe return home and
that humanitarian and social welfare organisations are enabled to render
such assistance as might be required.

10.2 Hate speech

The Parties shall refrain from using abusive language that may incite
hostility, political intolerance and ethnic hatred or undermine each other.

11. The role of SADC and the AU

The implementation of the Global Political Agreement that the Parties will
conclude shall be underwritten and guaranteed by the Facilitator, SADC and
the AU.

12. Execution of the agreement

This agreement shall be signed by the Principals in the presence of each
other and shall be witnessed by the Facilitator.

Signed at Harare this day of 2008.

Robert G. Mugabe
President, ZANU-PF

Morgan R. Tsvangirai
President, MDC

Arthur G. O. Mutambara
President, MDC

Thabo Mbeki
SADC Facilitator


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MOU: What they said

http://zimbabwemetro.com
 

Morgan Tsvangirai
“It’s too early yet to make a judgment as to the outcome of the process” but noted that it is “a collective effort and it involves tolerance, compromise, (and) putting the best interest of Zimbabwe at the forefront of these negotiations.”

“Leader of the ruling party meeting with the leader of the winning party”.

“This is the first tentative step towards searching for a solution to a county that is in crisis”.
“We are committed to ensure that the process of negotiation becomes successful.

“We want to make sure that every Zimbabwean feels safe, we want to share a common prosperity for everyone and we want a better Zimbabwe.”

“Moving towards these negotiations I hope that all of us will always bear in mind the mother and the child who goes to sleep without food, the people that have been brutalised, the divisions, the hate speech - I hope that will become part of the past”

“We want to make sure that every Zimbabwean feels safe, we want to share a common prosperity for everyone and we want a better Zimbabwe.”

“This is a very historic occasion”

Robert Mugabe
“We are meeting in order to chart a new way”

“We must act now …… as Zimbabweans, think as Zimbabweans and act as Zimbabweans”

Today’s agreement arose from a decision, a decision that we made, we of southern Africa, made some time ago that we assist each other, and in this particular case we assist Zimbabwe, to overcome the political and economic situation which requires support”

“Let us start to move forward on what Professor Mutambara has been calling ‘one vision’

“There will be no European hand here”


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Robert Mugabe wins, democracy loses in any Zimbabwe power-sharing deal

The Telegraph

Analysis by David Blair, Diplomatic Editor
Last Updated: 6:25PM BST 21/07/2008
Scores of his supporters have been murdered and thousands tortured in the
cause of ridding Zimbabwe of President Robert Mugabe, yet Morgan Tsvangirai,
once the opposition leader, had no shame in shaking the old dictator's hand.
If a power-sharing deal emerges from the talks that will now open, Mr
Tsvangirai will join the president in a "government of national unity".

At a stroke, Mr Mugabe will neutralise his leading opponent, cripple what
remains of the opposition, win international recognition - at least in
Africa - and break the wall of isolation that presently surrounds him.

This would be no mean achievement. Less than two weeks ago, Mr Mugabe was
threatened with a United Nations Resolution that would have subjected him to
a global travel ban and asset freeze.

If he reaches a deal with his opponents, Mr Mugabe will vault from pariah to
elder statesman, certainly among his African neighbours.

In short, he will have succeeded in guaranteeing his grip on power until, in
his own good time, he chooses dignified retirement.

African autocrats follow one iron rule - either kill your opponents or buy
them off. Mr Mugabe's great innovation was to do both.

First he murdered Mr Tsvangirai's followers, now he will do his utmost to
buy off his leading opponent.

There is still a chance that Mr Tsvangirai will resist the pressure and
refuse to join a coalition government under Mr Mugabe.

But the former opposition leader is not very good at resisting pressure. On
the contrary, he generally blusters, vacillates and conducts numerous
u-turns - before choosing the course of least resistance.

If so, Mr Tsvangirai and his followers will be compensated with cabinet
jobs, official residences and smart cars. Mr Mugabe will ensure, however,
that real power rests with him.

President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa will claim vindication for his long
years of diplomacy, much derided by Britain and his legions of critics.

Having solved crises in Kenya, Congo and elsewhere, the creation of a
"government of national unity" will be described as the classic African
solution to political impasse.

But the result of the only contested round of Zimbabwe's presidential
election - which Mr Tsvangirai won - will be forgotten.

Everyone will be in the government, whether they won or lost the election.
The people's verdict will be ignored.

For as long as that outcome is tolerated, democracy in Africa is lost.


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Humour masks enmity at Zim signing

IOL

    July 21 2008 at 06:46PM

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on Monday struck an
uncharacteristically conciliatory note after his momentous signing of a
joint accord with opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai to begin talks on
sharing power.

"We sit here in order for us to chart a new way, a new way of
political interaction," the 84-year-old leader said at his first
face-to-face meeting with Tsvangirai in a decade.

Mugabe was speaking after signing a memorandum of understanding on
talks on behalf of his Zanu-PF party with Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) leader Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara, leader of a smaller MDC
faction.

Mugabe and Tsvangirai were responding to a call by the 53-member
African Union in June to form a government of national unity to end months
of political violence.

Monday's agreement arose from "a decision, a decision that we made, we
of southern Africa, made some time ago that we assist each other, and in
this particular case we assist Zimbabwe, to overcome the political and
economic situation which requires support," Mugabe said.

South African President Thabo Mbeki, southern Africa's mediator in
Zimbabwe, oversaw the signing, which took place in a Harare hotel in an
atmosphere of good humour and camaraderie at odds with the emnity that has
characterised relations between Mugabe and Tsvangirai until now.

"Let us start to move forward on what Professor Mutambara has been
calling 'one vision'," Mugabe urged, expressing a desire for "brotherly",
"sisterly" relations with the opposition and saying of the accord: "We
(Zanu-PF) take it quite seriously."

Tsvangirai also adopted a softer than usual tone with the elderly
leader, recognizing that the two had "exchanged a lot of bitter words" over
the past 10 years and saying he hoped the divisions were "a thing of the
past."

But Tsvangirai was also cautious in his overtures, referring to Mugabe
as "the president of Zanu-PF, Comrade Robert Mugabe" and not state
president, and calling himself "the leader of the ruling party" - a
reference to the MDC's victory in March parliamentary elections.

"We all committed ourselves to taking the first tentative step towards
searching for a solution to a country that is in a crisis," Tsvangirai said.

In a swipe at Mugabe's past venomous attacks on the MDC, whom he has
accused of being "puppets" of the West, Tsvangirai said: "There is no-one
who can claim the monopoly on the sovereign will of the people."

Mugabe, for his part, called Tsvangirai "the president of the MDC-T
(Tsvangirai)" and insisted that: "We shall be doing this (negotiating) as
Zimbabweans, entirely as Zimbabweans, with the help of South Africa."

"There will be no European hand here," he vowed.

Mugabe was also fulsome in his praise of Mbeki, who was in a jovial
mood for the ceremony, which represents a breakthrough for his
much-criticised "quiet diplomacy" approach to Zimbabwe.

Drawing gales of laughter from reporters, Mugabe praised Mbeki's
"positive insensitivity to criticism," over his mediation, saying such
criticism was "ill-placed, ignorant and undeserving."

Mbeki returned the praise, congratulating the various parties to the
agreement on taking a "very important step."

Both Mutambara and Mbeki said the three parties hoped to conclude the
talks on a powersharing arrangement quickly, with Mutambara talking of a
two-week period for the negotiations, which will take place in South Africa.

While describing the memorandum as a "very important document"
Mutambara said a "longer political conversation" was needed to resolve the
issues facing Zimbabwe, including talks on a new people-driven constitution.

Monday's agreement followed a first, failed attempt by Mbeki a few
weeks ago to kickstart direct talks between Tsvangirai and Mugabe.

Tsvangirai only came to the table last week after Mbeki expanded his
mediation to include African Union and United Nations representatives.

The African Union's call for a unity government in Zimbabwe came after
Mugabe was sworn in as president for a further five years in June following
a run-off election he alone contested.

Tsvangirai boycotted the election over a spate of deadly attacks by
Mugabe loyalists on his supporters. The MDC leader won the first round of
voting for president in March. - Sapa-dpa


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How Mugabe and Tsvangirai would govern together


guardian.co.uk,
Monday July 21, 2008

What will happen in the power-sharing talks?
The South African president, Thabo Mbeki, will mediate the signing of a
memorandum of understanding between the ruling Zanu-PF and the two factions
of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) to outline a
framework for a formal agreement to try to resolve Zimbabwe's political and
economic crisis. Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai will both attend the
signing in Harare.

What is Tsvangirai likely to agree to?
Tsvangirai has previously refused to sign even a framework deal unless
government militias stop their violence. One of his key demands has been
that the mediation process expands beyond Mbeki, whom he has accused of
favouring Mugabe.

Last week it was announced a group of senior diplomats, including
representatives from the UN, the African Union and the South African
Development Community, would assist Mbeki in the negotiations, widening the
mediation process.

The MDC says it is open to a government of national healing - but only one
with moderate ruling party members, not Mugabe.

What will Mugabe do next?
At the time of the election, Mugabe said he would enter talks with the
opposition after the vote, suggesting he would try to form the kind of
"government of national unity" proposed by the African Union by co-opting
some members of the MDC.

But Tsvangirai has dismissed this idea. It would also be dangerous because
of the possibility of reprisals against those who refused to take part, and
against Zimbabweans who did not vote.

Zanu-PF has said it is open to power-sharing but only if Mugabe heads any
unity government.

What happened in the presidential run-off?
Tsvangirai was Mugabe's main opponent but withdrew before the polls, saying
he could not ask people to endanger their lives by voting for him.

Nonetheless, the electoral commission ruled that Tsvangirai had pulled out
too late to cancel the election and it went ahead. In the end, Mugabe won
more than 85% of the vote but the MDC said most people stayed away from
voting. There have been at least nine murders since the run-off last month.

Was it possible to vote MDC?
People could have voted for Tsvangirai, whose name remained on the ballot
despite his withdrawal. But few would have taken the risk. Before evidence
of election rigging was revealed in a Guardian film, there had been numerous
reports of opposition activists being assaulted and killed by ruling party
militants. Tsvangirai said the structure of the MDC itself was being
targeted.

In the run-up to the election, the party was prevented from holding rallies.
Tsvangirai was detained twice and the party's secretary general, Tendai
Biti, was arrested and charged with treason.

Who monitored the election?
A regional group, the Southern African Development Community, sent more than
200 observers. Zimbabwean pro-democracy groups tried to field observers,
although they met repeated bureaucratic obstacles. The observers could not
move freely, particularly in the areas that had witnessed the worst
pre-election violence.

What was the view of the international community?
International opinion hardened against Mugabe. The EU backed Tsvangirai's
position on a national unity government and said it believed that if there
were to be one, Tsvangirai should lead it to reflect "the will of the
Zimbabwean people". Gordon Brown said the UN should send an envoy to
Zimbabwe to begin discussions on a transition agreement, and the US drafted
a UN security council resolution for further sanctions against Zimbabwe.

Are there divisions within Zanu-PF?
Zanu-PF is deeply divided over the course Mugabe is taking. One of the
vice-presidents, Joice Mujuru, and her husband, Solomon, are thought to lead
a dissenting faction in the party's politburo. Another is led by a former
finance minister, Simba Makoni, who stood against Mugabe in the first round
of the presidential elections. But since Zanu-PF's loss of its majority in
the house of assembly elections in March, the politburo has ceded power to a
narrower group of hardliners and generals in joint operations command, led
by Mugabe's lieutenant, Emmerson Mnangagwa.

What has been the impact of this on the economy?
Zimbabwe's economic collapse under Mugabe's rule has flooded neighbouring
countries with millions of refugees and saddled the once-prosperous country
with crippling food and fuel shortages.

On July 21, the central bank in Zimbabwe issued a new 100 billion dollar
note in an attempt to keep up with shortages of cash and the world's worst
inflation running at 2.2m per cent.


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The biggest obstacle for Zim peace

IOL

    July 21 2008 at 06:51PM

by Susan Njanji

Harare - Deep mistrust between President Robert Mugabe and arch rival
Morgan Tsvangirai will remain a major obstacle to rapid progress in ending
Zimbabwe's crisis, despite an agreement to sit down and talk.

While there is a common sense of urgency for the two sides to bury
their differences as Zimbabwe's economy lurches from bad to worse, observers
say neither Mugabe nor opposition leader Tsvangirai is about to give up his
claim to be the country's rightful leader.

And while South African President Thabo Mbeki may have pulled off
something of a coup on Monday by persuading the pair to sign a memorandum of
understanding on full-scale talks, Tsvangirai's pointed refusal to refer to
Mugabe as president of anything more than his ZANU-PF party hardly boded
well.

According to Joseph Kurebga, a political scientist at the University
of Zimbabwe, the talks could proceed "very fast and to the satisfaction of
all parties" -- but only if and when the main sticking point is resolved.

"President Mugabe will want to be recognised legitimately, while
Tsvangirai would also want to be recognised as the leader or winner of the
elections."

Mugabe was predictably re-elected late last month in a one-man poll
that was boycotted by Tsvangirai after a string of deadly attacks on
supporters of his opposition Movement for Democratic Change party.

Tsvangirai, who pushed Mugabe into second place in the first round of
voting on March 29, has refused to acknowledge Mugabe's victory and insists
he has the right to the biggest slice of cake in any power-sharing
agreement.

In a speech a week after the June 27 second round vote, Mugabe warned
that for any talks to even begin, all sides had to recognise him as head of
state.

"Everybody has to accept that if they want dialogue," he told
supporters.

While Mugabe may have given some ground then in agreeing to at least
speak to Tsvangirai, Lovemore Madhuku, a pro-opposition analyst, says that
should not be interpreted as a sign of the 84-year-old's weakening resolve.

"Mugabe still wants to be an executive leader of this country and he
will remain the executive leader, there's no illusion on that," said
Madhuku.

"The major issue is where to place Tsvangirai, and whether Tsvangirai
will accept the position he will be offered or not."

If Mugabe has slightly softened his line, Tsvangirai has also had to
temper some of his demands such as on the make-up of the mediation team.

He has previously called for Mbeki to be sacked from the position that
was handed to him in March last year by leaders of the 14-nation southern
African Development Community (SADC) and more recently called for African
Union and United Nations envoys to be brought into the process.

Although Mbeki has now set up a new body which would allow input from
the AU and UN, he remains the chief mediator -- a point reinforced by his
presence at Tuesday's signing.

Mbeki, whose first shot at mediating came after the 2002 elections,
has come in for heavy flak over his consistent refusal to publicly criticise
Mugabe.

Eldred Masunungure, a veteran Harare-based commentator, said Mugabe
owed Mbeki -- especially as he was instrumental in ensuring a bid to
introduce a new package of sanctions failed at the UN Security Council
earlier this month.

"The veto put them in a corner to support the negotiations," said
Masunungure. "Now it's payback time."

Weighing on Tsvangirai's mind will be the memory of how the late
Joshua Nkomo's ZAPU faction entered into a coalition in the early 1980s and
then saw his party swallowed up by Mugabe's ZANU in the merged ZANU-PF.

Madhuku however said that ZANU-PF, which lost control of parliament in
March for the first time since independence in 1980, was considerably weaker
these days which would make it harder to mess Mbeki around.

"Failure (in previous mediation) was mainly the refusal of ZANU-PF to
give in to any meaningful concession, so after the 29th March you should
expect Mbeki... to be facing a weakened ZANU-PF," said Madhuku. "I think
this will make Mbeki achieve a good deal."

Masunungure agreed the collapse of the economy in a country where
annual inflation is now officially running at 2.2 million percent meant that
ZANU-PF's hand was nowhere near as strong as in the past.

"There is an element of desperation on the part of ZANU-PF," he said.

"The economy does not respond to demands, you can't torture it, you
can't kill it."

Sapa-AFP


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Zimbabwe talks should reflect 'will of people' : US

Yahoo News

26 minutes ago

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States cautiously reacted Monday to a pact
between President Robert Mugabe and the opposition to sit down and resolve
their differences, saying any talks must reflect the "will of the Zimbabwean
people."

At a ceremony in Harare overseen by long-time mediator South African
President Thabo Mbeki, Mugabe and leader Morgan Tsvangirai signed an
agreement for negotiations to bring the country out of political chaos in
their first meeting in a decade.

"We support a negotiation process that leads to resolve the expressed will
of the Zimbabwean people," said State Department spokesman Gonzalo Gallegos.

"Our understanding is that the MOU that was signed by the leaders of the
ZANU-PF party and both factions of the MPC is providing a vehicle for
undertaking the talks but that they have not actually started the talks," he
said.

"We are obviously keeping an eye on what is happening there and we are
continuing to watch it closely," Gallegos said.

The memorandum of understanding inked by Mugabe, main opposition Movement
for Democratic Change leader Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara, head of a
breakaway MDC faction, paved the way for fully-fledged talks aimed at
finding solutions to the country's political and economic woes.

Tsvangirai, who pushed Mugabe into second place in the first round of voting
in March, pointedly refused to refer to the veteran leader as anything more
than president of the ruling party.

According to a copy of the MOU seen by AFP, the two sides have set
themselves a two-week timeframe to wrap up the talks which are expected to
take place in both South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Gallegos, when asked to elaborate on his statement on the need for a
negotiation process underscoring "the expressed will" of Zimbabweans,
highlighted "an election that is free, fair and open and (which) all parties
can participate in without fear from aggressive acts against them."

Russia and China last week vetoed a US-sponsored draft at the UN Security
Council that called for an assets freeze and a travel ban on Mugabe and 13
of his associates as well as an arms embargo.

Mugabe was re-elected in a run-off last month after Tsvangirai pulled out,
citing a campaign of intimidation and violence against his supporters that
had killed dozens and injured thousands.


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Factbox - What next in Zimbabwe's crisis talks

Reuters Foundation

Date: 21 Jul 2008

July 21, (Reuters) - Below are answers to some questions on what is likely
to happen after Zimbabwe's political rivals signed a deal laying down the
framework for formal talks on forming a power sharing government to end a
deep crisis.

President Robert Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai signed the
agreement on Monday. The deal was mediated by South African President Thabo
Mbeki.

WHEN WILL THE TALKS START

The talks are expected to start later this week.

Officials from both sides said the framework agreement sets a two-week
deadline for the government and two factions of the opposition MDC to
discuss key issues including a unity government and how to hold new
elections.

Mbeki said the agreement committed the rival parties to an intense
timetable.

WHAT WOULD COME FROM NEGOTIATIONS?

The question of who leads a unity government would be at the heart of any
talks. Both sides sharply disagree on this point.

ZANU-PF will argue Mugabe is the country's legitimate leader as elected
president, while the MDC will maintain that Tsvangirai is entitled to lead
the nation based on his victory in the March 29 poll.

There are indications Tsvangirai might accept the prime minister's position
as long as it came with strong executive powers, allowing Mugabe to remain
as a nominal head of state. Mugabe is not seen agreeing to such an erosion
of his power.

There is also the important question of what a unity government would do and
whether its job would be to hold fresh elections within a specified time
frame.

The longer any negotiations take, the more they might favour Mugabe since he
is already in power and the attention of other countries could easily drift
to other issues as the elections recede into the past.

WHAT IF THE CRISIS DRAGS ON?

The prospects of reversing Zimbabwe's economic meltdown are slim without a
change in government. Mugabe refuses to consider reforms and Western powers
are unlikely to provide the billions of dollars in development aid needed to
bail out the economy.

Zimbabwe's neighbours could be swamped with an even bigger influx of
refugees than the 3 million who already left. Investors keen to invest in
Zimbabwe will keep plans on hold.

WHAT ROLE ARE AFRICAN LEADERS PLAYING?

African leaders have generally favoured the diplomatic approach although
some want to punish Zimbabwe by banning Mugabe and his officials from
meetings of the African Union and Southern African Development Community.

African countries have rejected the toughened sanctions sought by the United
States, former colonial power Britain and other Western states and have
played down prospects for sending peacekeepers to Zimbabwe, an idea some had
floated.

Prospects for talks between Zimbabwe's rivals appeared to change late last
week when Mbeki agreed to expand the mediation process to include the
African Union, United Nations and other officials from the Southern African
Development Community (SADC) as a "reference group."

The change came after Jean Ping, the AU's top permanent official and U.N.
envoy to Zimbabwe Haile Menkerios held talks with Mbeki last Friday.

Expansion of the mediation beyond Mbeki has been a key demand of Tsvangirai
who has strongly criticised the South African president, accusing him of
favouring Mugabe.

WHAT DO WESTERN COUNTRIES WANT?

The United States and European Union already have visa bans and financial
restrictions on members of Mugabe's inner circle as well as sanctions on
arms exports. They are already discussing how to broaden their sanctions.

A global arms embargo on Zimbabwe is also an option, although it is unclear
that it would be supported by key countries, including South Africa, Russia
and China.

The European Union has said that only a government led by Tsvangirai can be
seen as legitimate.

Western countries are wary of actions that could deepen the suffering of
Zimbabweans, caught in the economic collapse of the once prosperous state.
They also realise sanctions have done little but embolden Zimbabwe's elite
to hold power.

(Reporting by Harare and Johannesburg bureaux; Editing by Matthew Tostevin)


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Zimbabwe opposition MPs in hiding

BBC
 
Monday, 21 July 2008 14:50 UK
 

By Andrew Harding
BBC News, Harare

Pineal Denga, a newly-elected MP for Zimbabwe's opposition MDC party, peered out cautiously through the curtains of a safe house in Harare.

A supporter of Zimbabwe"s opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) lays in hospital in Ruwa, on July 7, 2008. The man (no name given) said that men with masks attacked him.
The MDC says 27 of its members have been killed in the past three weeks.

"I'm fearing for my life," he said angrily, "that's why I'm staying in hiding."

In the last few weeks, he said, his house and office have been raided repeatedly by the police, and many of the local councillors in his Mbare constituency have been attacked by Zanu-PF militia.

"There is no justice here. I was elected by the people, but I'm being treated like a common criminal," he said.

It appears that he is not alone.

The MDC says more than 1,500 of its officials are still in prison or in police custody; 27 people have been killed in the past three weeks; and 18 MDC MPs are currently facing charges – ranging from inciting political violence to treason – and many of them are in hiding.

Although the levels of violence across Zimbabwe have dropped sharply since the widely condemned presidential election run-off on 27 July, there is strong evidence of a continuing state-sponsored campaign designed to disrupt and weaken the MDC itself.

Woods

Lying on his stomach in a Harare clinic, a young MDC activist winced in pain as a doctor examined the deep gashes on his buttocks.

He said he had been beaten with sticks a fortnight ago by dozens of Zanu-PF militia, after he refused to join a rally celebrating Robert Mugabe's election victory.

It is not safe for us to move
MDC official

"If I go home, I am scared they will beat me again," he said.

In the woods just outside Harare, I found 170 opposition activists and officials hiding in a makeshift camp, crammed inside a few tents.

They had been there for more than two weeks.

"It is not safe for us to move," said the group's spokesman, an MDC official who asked for his identity to remain secret for his own protection.

"Zanu-PF militia are targeting mainly councillors, winning MPs and those in the party structure who have senior positions."

Sceptical

The same morning, in the centre of Harare, Eric Matinenga was busy tidying his desk at his law office.

It was his first day back at work, after spending some three weeks in prison, charged with inciting violence.

Why are people being brutalised?
Eric Matinenga, MDC politician

The newly-elected MDC MP is one of Zimbabwe's most prominent lawyers.

"Naturally, I keep a low profile. It's a survival instinct," he said.

"But it's hard because of the nature of my job. Let's just say I don't travel at night."

Mr Matinenga acknowledged that the country was quieter now.

"Maybe it's not on the same scale," he said, "but now we have a situation where the leadership of [the MDC] structures are deliberately targeted."

As for the possibility of substantive negotiations between the MDC and Zanu-PF, Mr Matinenga was sceptical, arguing that Robert Mugabe was simply buying time.

"If Zanu-PF are genuine, why are people being brutalised?... To me, Zanu-PF simply wants further space in order to achieve what it wants."

At another safe house in Harare, I met an MDC legal secretary from a constituency just outside the city.

He said he had been on the run for three months, and was hoping to flee the country soon.

"My family is living in fear," he said.

"I'm not afraid to die, but I don't want to die. Oh God, if I could get my hands on [Zanu-PF] I would tear them apart."


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Papering over the cracks in Zimbabwe


The push for Mugabe and Tsvangirai to reach a political deal must not
overlook the root causes of violence in the country

Blessing-Miles Tendi
guardian.co.uk,
Monday July 21, 2008

Robert Mugabe's ZANU PF party and Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC party are
reportedly close to signing a deal setting out a framework for talks on the
country's political crisis. A political stalemate exists between both sides
over the legitimacy of last month's violent one-man presidential election
runoff won by Mugabe. The move towards the beginning of talks has been
welcomed in some quarters with Zimbabwe's leading labour group, the ZCTU,
calling for the talks to be conducted swiftly because "the economy is in bad
shape". Tsvangirai is reported to be in favour of pressing ahead with
negotiations on the grounds that "the people have suffered enough". This
emerging rush to reach a power-sharing deal between Zimbabwe's contending
political parties risks papering over the need to address the country's
enduring legacies of violence, impunity and pseudo-reconciliation.

Zimbabwe experienced one of the most bloody and bitterly fought wars against
colonialism in Africa. There were untold human rights violations on both
sides but these were never addressed because of an independence settlement
reached at Lancaster House that did not lay a constructive foundation for
nation-building. Systematic racial discrimination was the pillar of white
domination in the colonial years but its negative legacies were not tackled
post-independence. Race relations remained problematic from 1980 but the
subject was never taken seriously and some even romanticised independent
Zimbabwe's so-called racial reconciliation.

The British-sponsored, short-sighted Lancaster House agreement was more
intent on appeasing and protecting the white minority's privileges than it
was long-term nation building. The Lancaster House agreement left white
Zimbabweans susceptible to envy and resentment by a majority black
population that understood white dominance in terms of unresolved colonial
legacies, fertile earth for demagogues attempting to rouse nationalist
sentiment. Mugabe had preferred a total military victory over the
white-settler government. His eventual resort to reconciliation was
expedient. The language of racial reconciliation bought western acceptance
for his government, which many had feared would espouse communism and
disregard private property rights by nationalising white-owned assets. These
unresolved legacies are part of the seed for the violent anti-white farm
seizures that erupted in 2000.

The early independence emphasis on racial reconciliation resulted in the
neglect of the need for meaningful reconciliation within the black
population. Little surprise that in the early 1980s Mugabe ordered a
campaign of violence aimed at crushing the Matabeleland province's
allegiance to ZAPU, a rival black nationalist party to Mugabe's Zanu-PF. Up
to 20,000 lives were lost. There is no existing official explanation for the
atrocities and the victims have been disallowed the right to articulate
their victim-hood publicly.

There have been other violent episodes in Zimbabwe's independence period
history, all of which are unaccounted for officially, nor has any form of
justice been served. In 1980, hundreds of Zimbabwean strikers were arrested
and others killed during state repression of massive strikes mostly against
multi-national corporations. In popular riots against the Zanu-PF government
over increases in the price of basic commodities in 1998, Zimbabwe's
military forces, equipped with live ammunition, guns, teargas, baton sticks
and armoured vehicles, were deployed in the townships to suppress the
unrest. Mass violence, beatings, intimidation and looting ensued for three
days. Uncounted deaths, injuries and arrests transpired. In 2005, the Mugabe
government carried out Operation Murambatsvina - a nationwide "urban
clean-up" - in which more than 569,000 Zimbabweans lost their homes in
evictions which, according to a UN report (pdf) "took place before
alternatives could be provided, thereby violating human rights and several
provisions of national and international law".

The disturbing violence and human rights abuses witnessed in Zimbabwe's
presidential election runoff have some of their roots in the country's
unresolved legacies of impunity, intolerance and the primacy of a coercive
state. The current diplomatic push to reach a political deal in Zimbabwe
must not overlook the pertinence of resolving these negative legacies once
and for all. If they are disregarded, as they were at Lancaster House and
throughout the post-independence period, Zimbabwe will experience more
violent occurrences in future - and the international media, concerned
states, and international and regional bodies will once again look on
helplessly wondering, "how can such violence be happening?"

------

Comments

CheeseCommando
Jul 21 08, 01:02pm (about 8 hours ago)

Nonsense. It is the terrorist Mugabe who caused the famine, the beatings and
the torture. It was a colonial agreement that told him rig an election,
steal millions?

CheeseCommando
Jul 21 08, 01:08pm (about 8 hours ago)

This actually makes me angry, genuinely pissed off. Somewhere like Zimbabwe
will never ever get any better if its government is taken off the hook like
this and somehow absolved of responsibility. Any attempts to blame the
whites dont offend me, they just miss the point, and do Africans governments
propaganda for them.

You want someone to blame for this? Look do the black leaders in South
Africa who dont give a *****.

Duballiland
Jul 21 08, 01:15pm (about 8 hours ago)

Why are we trying to a deal with Mugabe?

Given the country is moving to starvation, let it run its course and
eventually the old dictator...darling of the 70-80's left will start missing
his meals on wheels.

waazpi
Jul 21 08, 01:25pm (about 8 hours ago)

"The British-sponsored, short-sighted Lancaster House agreement was more
intent on appeasing and protecting the white minority's privileges than it
was long-term nation building. The Lancaster House agreement left white
Zimbabweans susceptible to envy and resentment by a majority black
population that understood white dominance in terms of unresolved colonial
legacies, fertile earth for demagogues attempting to rouse nationalist
sentiment. Mugabe had preferred a total military victory over the
white-settler government."

waazpi
Jul 21 08, 01:32pm (about 7 hours ago)

He may have preferred a total military victory but it's doubtful that he
would have won a victory against the white government.

Without the Lancaster House agreement, which allowed white farmers to remain
on the land, it's doubtful that the Ian Smith government would have given up
control of Rhodesia.

Anyway, in spite of the inequalities in land ownership, there's no reason
why Mugabe had to do things this way. As far as I'm aware the white
population was already declining and the land would have eventually ended
back into the hands of the government or black farmers.

Perhaps he he could have just raised property taxes on land holdings greater
than X number of hectares to encourage the white farmers to sell it to the
government.

 AugustSpeak
Jul 21 08, 01:36pm (about 7 hours ago)

CheeseCommando

You are too defensive and wrongly conclude that Blessing-Miles is blaming a
colonial agreement for what has happened in that sad country. No need to be
angry here. Blessing-Miles simply said the truth. The colonial agreement
caused the racial problems about land but I think its pretty obvious from
the article that the other problems were Mugabe`s (i.e. black Zimbabweans)
doing. You have missed Blessing-Miles point.

 AugustSpeak
Jul 21 08, 01:52pm (about 7 hours ago)

I hope Zimbabweans can fix the historical problems Blessing-Miles talks
about. Its really sad whats going on in that country and quite frankly I am
sick of reading about Zimbabwe for all the wrong reasons. Its time they fix
this mess!

SharifL
Jul 21 08, 02:02pm (about 7 hours ago)

Duballiland, When you ask why must a deal be made with Mugabe, the answer is
simple: Mugabe is 85 years old. He was once a hero, who liberated Zimbabwe
from the likes of Ian Smith' apartheid. So if we can give him an honorable
'exit' we should try this. With all the bad things associated with him, he
is still better than many despots in other parts of the world. Let him go in
peace. Hopefully we can say good bye to him soon.

Duballiland
Jul 21 08, 02:08pm (about 7 hours ago)

SharifL

On your logic, the same can be applied to Hitler. He took them out of a
terrible recession, foreign occupation and then proceeded to destroy the
place.

Mugabe may be a hero of independence, but he put Zimbabwe in the same place
as Hitler left Germany.

Hitler would have been executed had he not taken the cowards way out in
advance. I wish we could do a Nuremberg on Mugabe, but I dare say he'd kill
himself first, unless out of his guard wakes up and spares us the expense.

He deserves no honourable exit. $100billion notes that can't buy a loaf of
bread.

AugustSpeak
Jul 21 08, 02:39pm (about 6 hours ago)

Duballiland

I don`t think Mugabe and Hitler are in the same league to be honest. I can
see what you are trying to say but the times are different Duballiland,
don`t you think? Mugabe never started a world war like Hitler or killed 6
million Jews? I think Mugabe should not be let off the hook but I wonder if
this mess can be fixed without giving Mugabe and his corrupt cronies a safe
landing? They are a stubborn and violent lot. Might not be a bad idea to
give them a safe exit rather than risk a war??

Duballiland
Jul 21 08, 02:54pm (about 6 hours ago)

Mugabe slaughtered almost a complete tribe at the start of the 80's in the
south of Zimbabwe: Systematic genocide.

Poor people with no resources or anyone to speak for them internationally,
no-one cared then or now.

What's he perpetrated on what's left of his people since, systematically
implementing a scorched earth policy, is no worse than the devastation that
Hitler left Germany in.

Except when this is over the West is not going to pour money in as per the
Marshall Plan. Given the pathetic way Africa has reacted to this, Sudan,
Rwanda, Somalia before it...why should we in the West care, because Africa
very obviously does not.

AugustSpeak
Jul 21 08, 03:11pm (about 6 hours ago)

Duballiland

"Mugabe slaughtered almost a complete tribe at the start of the 80's in the
south of Zimbabwe" - So 20000 dead out of a tribe in the hundreds of
thousands is slaughtering almost a complete tribe???

Duballiland
Jul 21 08, 03:22pm (about 6 hours ago)

I wasn't aware the Zimbabwe government was in the habit of allowing
impartial observers to count the aftermath.

We have no true idea how many died in Rwanda, guessing wildly in Sudan and
we've given up on Somalia.

The only time it was stable for the indigenous population was when the
Europeans ran it...although their own wars insured it wasn't quiet.

No one is suggesting going back to that, but it raises the question about
life before the European's turned up.

AugustSpeak
Jul 21 08, 03:48pm (about 5 hours ago)

I think you have a Eurocentric view of how Africans lived before we showed
up. We did them no favours. If their societies were unstable they were no
more unstable than our societies were. We had the Napoloeanic wars, Crimean
war, WWI, WWII, etc. Peace and stability in Europe are as recent as 1945 and
we have still had problems like Kosovo and Bosnia! I dont see much
difference.

DianaJ
Jul 21 08, 04:02pm (about 5 hours ago)

Duballiland: 'I wasn't aware the Zimbabwe government was in the habit of
allowing impartial observers to count the aftermath'. Briefly, it was. The
deaths in Matabeleland in the 1980s were researched and published following
the unity accord between ZANU and ZAPU in 1987. After a decade of careful
excavation, examination by forensics and extensive interviews with
survivers, the findings were published by a Roman Catholic organisation, the
Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace, in 1999. People of both Shona and
Ndebele ethnicity were killed in the early 1980s, although the majority were
Ndebele. The motive was politics, not genocide or ethnic hatred. (The rest
of the world was unsure how to react, given that the victims were said to be
supporters of South African sponsored destabilising forces, comparable to
those in Mozambique that the British Army was helping to train the Zimbabwe
National Army to fight.)

Comparisons with Hitler are really really not helpful... People are dying
here and simplistic posturing is thoughtless and dangerous.

SharifL
Jul 21 08, 04:05pm (about 5 hours ago)

Dubaliland: It is a shame that you compare Mugabe with Hitler. Hitler was an
evil man. He killed 6 million Jews, a million less Gypsies and caused the
deaths of over 5 million Russians. I am not including other casualties of
western Europe. Add to that the misery he brought to Germans. He wanted a
master race and destroy everything else.

I am not defending Mugabe, but he is an angel compared to Hitler. The
problem with southern Africa is that the Brits distributed land to whites
generously and now that blacks are ruling the country, wealth is still with
those few. His method of redistribution is controversial, I admit, but we
should not make an evil man out of him..

June15
Jul 21 08, 04:19pm (about 5 hours ago)

Blessing

  The disturbing violence and human rights abuses witnessed in Zimbabwe's
presidential election runoff have some of their roots in the country's
unresolved legacies of impunity, intolerance and the primacy of a coercive
state.
No, Blessing they have to do with Robert Mugabe's use of brutality and
violence to stay in Power. You can't keep blaming Britain for the abysmal
mess that is Zimbabwe. It might have been a colony but it wasn't a mess when
Mugabe got his hands on it. It was quite a well off country with an
excellent agricultural economy and markets. Now it has a million percent
inflation and the breadbasket of Africa can't even feed itself.

Mugabe wrecked Zimbabwe all on his own. It has nothing to do with a colonial
past and everything to do with its new beginning.

CaptinJohn
Jul 21 08, 04:28pm (about 5 hours ago)

"The British-sponsored, short-sighted Lancaster House agreement was more
intent on appeasing and protecting the white minority's privileges than it
was long-term nation building"

Thats rich.

They wanted independence so we gave it to them, then they had a civil war
and we helped them broker a peace. Their peace, not our peace imposed on
them. They wrote it and signed it and confirmed it be vote a hundred times
over. And now we are supposed to believe that they (Mugabe and the other
"freedom" fighters) wrote it to appease white privilege. If that is true
then its true because Mugabe et al wrote it, signed it and enforced it for
30+ years. No one forced it on them they chose it.

Still at least now they have "woken up" to the evils of whites and expelled
them. Let me know how that works out. Oh wait, it already did.

The sooner that thugs like Mugabe and ZANU-PF are prevented from claiming
the colonial past and white people as the cause of the ills they have
created the sooner Africa will have responsible government.

The sooner that property rights are returned to Zimbabweans irrespective of
their colour the sooner their farms and businesses will reopen and they will
cease to go hungry.

As long as people like you Mr Tendi continue to apologise for them make
excuses for them they will continue to rape (yes rape in every sense of the
word) the nation of Zimbabwe and its people.

SharifL
Jul 21 08, 04:34pm (about 4 hours ago)

June15 and dubailand and Co. Let's not get carried away with our
righteousness on Zimbabwe. We were wrong on Zimbabwe when it counted most,
and that's why we have so little influence over Mugabe today. What I mean is
that, during the critical period of Zimbabwe's struggle against white
minority rule, the U.S. and Britain demonized the liberation forces as
Communist tools, which they were not. China and Russia, on the other hand,
put themselves on the right side of history by aiding the liberation
movements, including Mugabe's.

I repeat I do not consider him a good leader. But he fought to end
apartheid. Where were you then? Not hunting him and other freedom fighters
to be able to kill them like animals without any proper court case? I have
heard a lot of stories of this nature, I rather not talk of details.

jackzilroy
Jul 21 08, 05:13pm (about 4 hours ago)

"Zimbabwe experienced one of the most bloody and bitterly fought wars
against colonialism in Africa."

You don't know much about colonial wars in Africa. The Spanish army lost
twenty thousand dead in a single battle at Annual against the Rif. During
the course of the Rif War around fifty thousand Rif were killed.There were a
quarter of a million dead in the Algerian War. Then we have the very brief
colonial war - it lasted around six months or so - in Abyssinia in 1935 in
which ten thousand Italians were killed and perhaps as many as one million
Abyssinians when taking into account civilians. Then we have assorted
colonial wars in Egypt and the Sudan in which people died by the hundred
thousand. How about the Anglo-Ashanti wars? Anglo-Zulu wars? And more
recently the Portuguese Colonial Wars in Angola and Mozambique where people
died by tens of thousands.

The recent Zimbabwean conflicts were and are tame affairs, largely because
the Zimbabweans are themselves easily intimidated and only brave when in a
pack attacking the defenceless. During the Rhodesian War, most of the
casualties were the result of Patriotic Front terrorism - landmining buses,
mortaring farm homesteads, executing villagers for not toe-ing the Patriotic
Front line, shooting down civilian airliners......

This cowardliness explains how a population in the millions allows Mugabe
and a small coterie of henchmen to terrorise the entire country. Castro with
fifteen men and only twelve rifles between them toppled Batista and the
Cuban Army in two years....

phco
Jul 21 08, 08:16pm (43 minutes ago)

You are right about the cracks being papered over, where a president is on
the way to being unseated by 49-42% and then allows a terror to be unleashed
to ensure the runoff election will avoid the humiliation of inevitable
defeat.

But the idea put forward, that the reasons for this violence "have some of
their roots in the country's unresolved legacies of impunity, intolerance
and the primacy of a coercive state" is a sixth former sophistry beyond
belief.

How did you dream up (or plagiarize) this "primacy of a coercive state" ???

To most people the violence is due to an arrogant male elite that is totally
lost in its own selfish welfare, and determined not to lose the privileges
they have pirated, at any cost.

It has nothing to do with white men or white dominance but has governed much
of Africa for centuries. The guilt of the British at Lancaster House is
that, as in the Sudan, and in Iraq, and in Indonesia by the Dutch, etc,
their imperialism was transferred from one elite to another.

No one asked the inhabitants of the imperial domain if they wanted to belong
to a false country with false borders, drawn by pirates on pirates maps. The
new owners of all those souls conveniently forgot to mention that, lost in
some higher consciousness - that of themselves - and a self importance every
bit as arrogant as those they replaced.

The main point is that everyone is responsible for what they do. You cannot
murder or torment your people and say that, "the Hiroshima bomb was worse",
or "what about what the Belgians did" or " the Romans crucified far more"
and on and on and on.....

Try thinking about how ordinary people in Zimbabwe feel instead of using
their nightmare as a launch pad for yet another "blame" orgy.

On the "Independent" website there is a comment by Robert Fisk on how he has
just found out that during WWI the Germans did line up civilians, women and
children included, in Belgium and shoot them in cold blood, red faced with
anger for some.

The word of mouth "myth" was in fact found to be true, after the painstaking
work of tracking it down. However the response is yet another "blame" orgy -
read it.

The more important idea of how events become myths, and myths are made out
to be events, or just what happens to draw apparently ordinary people into
committing such atrocities, how you really are a victim of your own culture
(not just those colonialists), seems too complicated for the chattering
class mind. That mind sometimes seems happier grinding some axe in its
status and gossip based intellectually.

mijames
Jul 21 08, 08:44pm (15 minutes ago)

I think it's very interesting that for most white people NO blame can ever
be placed at the hands of other whites. It seems to be that it doesn't
matter whether the independence government (who interestingly you "gave"
independence because obviously it belonged to you and not to them) was white
or black. The important detail is that a bad balance was struck between the
needs of one group and the needs of another. If this is indeed true, then
this article is correct. An even balance needs to be struck or violence will
continue.

There is an accusation of "blame game" or as they say here in America
"playing the race card" whenever any problem is attributed to racial bias,
but only an idiot would claim that race doesn't play a part in
decision-making, particularly in colonial and post-colonial Africa. It is
not the fault of every white person that some white person has used this
bias to his or her benefit, or even that an entire government has done so.
Take a deep breath and THINK. You are not being attacked. The only reason
for you to feel attacked is if you are part of and complicit with a system
of prejudice. Acknowledge that white people have some times been on the side
of wrong. The writer here freely admits that black people have been. Then
address the real issue instead of conflating your own racial oversensitivity
with the writer's aims.


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Why power-sharing offers false comfort in Zimbabwe

http://blog.foreignpolicy.com

Mon, 07/21/2008 - 12:21pm
There's heavy speculation that today's agreement between Zimbabwe's
government and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) could be setting the
stage for a power-sharing arrangement between two sides. South African
President Thabo Mbeki as well as mediators from the African Union (AU) and
Southern African Development Community (SADC) are all pushing the idea of a
"government of national unity" along the lines of the one that was formed
during Kenya's election crisis earlier this year.

It's understandable that the African community likes this solution. It's a
quick way to stop the bloodshed while giving some concessions to the
opposition who, after all, won the original election. But it's a rather
feeble solution nonetheless. Although the deal in Kenya may have put an end
to the violence, the divided government in Nairobi remains highly
dysfunctional.

In Zimbabwe, there's even less reason to believe that Robert Mugabe and
Morgan Tsvangirai, who openly hate each other's guts, could ever form a
workable partnership. Any sort of power-sharing deal is little more than a
fantasy while MDC leaders still fear for their lives.

But what's most worrying is the precedent this sets for elections in Africa.
From now on, if a strongman leader loses an election, all he needs to do is
ignore the result and provoke violent unrest. Before long, AU or SADC
mediators will swoop in to propose a "government of national unity" in order
to defuse tensions. In most places, when you lose an election, you have to
step down. In Africa, it's just a starting point for negotiations.

The MDC may have no other choice but to accept such a deal, but African
leaders are heading down a very dangerous path by pushing for it.


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Opposition Warned of Power-Sharing Risks

Institute for War & Peace Reporting

Current opposition would do well to remember the fate of ZAPU, say analysts.

By Jabu Shoko in Harare (ZCR No. 156, 21-Jul-08)

As the Movement for Democratic Change, MDC, agreed to discuss a
power-sharing deal with the Zimbabwean government, analysts in the country
warned the opposition party not to allow itself to be coopted and then
neutralised.

At an unprecedented meeting in Harare on July 21, President Robert Mugabe
and his opponents Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambare, representing the
larger and smaller factions of the MDC respectively, signed a document
setting out a framework for formal negotiations on a shared transitional
administration intended to lead the country out of its long-running
political and economic crisis.

South African president Thabo Mbeki, who has led the mediation effort and
drafted the document, attended the signing ceremony at a hotel in Harare.

Teams of negotiators from either side will now spend two weeks hammering out
the details of a possible deal.

At this point, no one is saying what kind of transitional authority might
come out of the talks.

Previously, Mugabe has indicated that he sees himself in charge of a
government of national unity, to which he would appoint some opposition
politicians.

Tsvangirai, meanwhile, has insisted that he should head the interim body, on
the grounds that he won more votes in the first-round presidential election
held on March 29. He pulled out of the June 27 run-off, citing mounting
political violence against his supporters. Mugabe proceeded to stand
unopposed, and was duly declared the winner.

If the power-sharing deal comes off at all, the question is just how equal
the relationship will be.

Analysts in Zimbabwe recall the unhappy experience of another opposition
force in a different era which was intimidated, subsumed and then
effectively done away with by Mugabe's ZANU party.

Joshua Nkomo's PF- ZAPU emerged as a rival to Mugabe soon after Zimbabwe
became independent in 1980.

Citing the current political violence directed against the MDC, analysts who
spoke to IWPR said they believe Mugabe is now using the same strategy he
used to bring the late Nkomo under his control - first violence to weaken
his opponent, and later an unequal division of power.

Maxwell Mkandla, a veteran of PF-ZAPU's armed wing, the Zimbabwe People's
Revolutionary Army, ZIPRA, recalled the military offensive that Mugabe
launched to eliminate Nkomo's support base in the Matabeleland and Midlands
provinces in the first half of the Eighties. Accounts of the number of dead
vary, but at least 10,000 people are believed to have died in Operation
Gukurahundi.

A badly battered PF-ZAPU was then forced to sign up to a unification deal
with ZANU in December 1987, creating the present ZANU-PF, still entirely
dominated by Mugabe's people. Nkomo was appointed vice-president of Zimbabwe
and held the post until his death in 1999, but wielded little real power.

Speaking of the current situation, Mkandla, who now heads the Liberators'
Platform group in Matabeleland, said, "It's reminiscent of the Gukurahundi.
The only difference now is that the violence is directed at his own people
for voting for Tsvangirai, but the tactics are the same."

Mkandla warned the MDC to be wary of Mugabe's apparent willingness to talk.

Eldred Masunungure, a politics lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe,
agreed that "the parallels [with what happened to PF-ZAPU] are there, and
very close".

"ZANU-PF has resorted to using the powers of the incumbent for leverage in
the intra-party talks. What's going on in terms of the security situation is
typical of what happened in Matabeleland and the Midlands during the late
1980s," he said.

Violence which the MDC says left over 100 of its sympathisers dead before
the June 27 ballot and at least 20 since then is, according to Masunungure,
an attempt to force Tsvangirai to the negotiating table, just as Gukurahundi
did to Nkomo.

Analysts also draw comparisons between the decimation of PF-ZAPU's party
infrastructures in its heartland provinces in the Eighties and the current
campaign of violence, which many say has focused particularly on rooting out
MDC activists from areas traditionally seen as ZANU-PF strongholds, where
the opposition scored surprise wins in the March polls.

Gorden Moyo, executive director of the Bulawayo Agenda group, agrees that
Mugabe's tactics are similar to those he unleashed in the Eighties. But he
insists that Tsvangirai and his MDC faction are well aware of the pitfalls,
and will take care to avoid them.

"Tsvangirai has tried to behave differently. The MDC is trying very hard not
to be ensnared by ZANU-PF, because ZANU-PF wants history to repeat itself,"
said Moyo. "ZANU-PF's strategy is, and has always been, to use [its
experience with] ZAPU as a model."

By contrast, said Moyo, the MDC is prudently setting conditions for a future
deal. Tsvangirai has said he will not sign anything until the violence
against his supporters stops, and unless the mediation team is expanded to
include an envoy from the African Union.

Mbeki is acting under a mandate from the Southern African Development
Community, a grouping of regional states, but the MDC suspects him of being
too close to Mugabe to act as a truly honest broker.

Now the MDC is "refusing to walk into the lions' den willingly", said Moyo,
urging the party to "continue to insist on the expansion of the mediation
team".

On July 18, Mbeki met the United Nations special envoy to Zimbabwe Haile
Menkerios and the chairman of the African Union's commission, Jean Ping.
According to the AFP news agency, they agreed that while Mbeki's team would
continue to lead on mediation, it would work more closely with the UN and
African Union, and a new joint body would be set up to monitor progress.

Jabu Shoko is the pseudonym of a reporter in Harare.


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Seeking Justice for Zimbabwe

http://www.americanprogress.org
 
A Case for Accountability Against Robert Mugabe and Others | 1981 - 2008
 

By Professor David M. Crane, Sir Desmond De Silva, QC, Professor Tom Zwart | July 21, 2008

 

    Read the full report (pdf)

    Legal options available in holding accountable President Robert Mugabe for possible international crimes

    For almost three decades Robert Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe. Under his regime Zimbabwe has declined into a state of anarchy. Recent political unrest around the elections for President has resulted in death, destruction of property, persecution of political opponents, and the flight of Zimbabweans out of the country.

    This political unrest has caused the withdrawal of the opposition candidate from the run-off election Mugabe himself has refused to back down and has called for “war”. He was recently “elected” and sworn in as President.

    These actions have brought condemnation from various capitals, few from Africa. This did not change after the African Union meeting. The withdrawal of the only viable opposition candidate in the run-off election in order to quell the unrest and destruction of life and property appears to have been the line that, when crossed, has now forced the international community to take action. The recent G8 Summit noted the turmoil in Zimbabwe.

    There are numerous legal, political and diplomatic options available to the international community which include doing nothing to the creation of a justice mechanism by which Mugabe would be held accountable for alleged domestic and international crimes committed while President of Zimbabwe.

    This discussion paper will highlight the parameters of the legal options available to hold President Robert Mugabe accountable for various international crimes. It must be stressed that political and diplomatic options impact on the legal options. To a large degree it will be a political decision as to whether Mugabe should be held accountable, though the development of an accountability/justice model to be used, should the decision be taken to investigate Mugabe, is appropriate now.

    Based on the extant facts and circumstances, Mugabe could either be tried by a hybrid international war crimes tribunal or an internationalized domestic court. The location should be in Harare or within the region. The International Criminal Court has limited jurisdiction as the gravamen of the offenses took place prior to July 2002.

    The mandate should be prosecuting either Mugabe himself alone or those who bear the greatest responsibility for the crimes committed in Zimbabwe, to include Mugabe and selected henchmen. The facts will bear out who those possible indictees are.

    The crimes committed are both international and domestic in scope. It appears the international crimes are largely crimes against humanity. Using the Rome Statute as a guide, Article 7, crimes against humanity, some charges would include persecution, imprisonment and other severe deprivation of personal liberty, as well as other inhumane acts that intentionally cause great suffering, all pursuant to a state policy.

    The practical aspects of this initiative call for local, regional, and international political support and action. At the local level both the people and the Diaspora will need to be a part of the process. At the regional level the African Union, along with the European Union will have to support this effort, calling upon the United Nations Security Council to take appropriate action. The Commonwealth of Nations will also need to step up and endorse the initiative. The African Union will be reluctant to do this, but without their support the effort will be weakened indeed.

    It is also important to dialog with and get support from key NGO’s, e.g. the International Commission of Jurists, the Venice Commission etc.

    At the international level the United Nations Security Council will need to pass a resolution calling for some type of legal sanctions on Mugabe and his henchmen, to include an endorsement of a regional court or a domestic court with international aspects to it to ensure fairness and efficiency.

    A truth and reconciliation aspect to this overall initiative should be considered, as well, as a way of building a sustainable peace.

    Due to his age, it is realistic to consider an amnesty or a type of immunity arrangement (under the threat of indictment) if he agrees to step aside and leave Zimbabwe for good. This is only an option because of his advanced age. Other potential indictees should not get the benefit of this amnesty.

    The bottom line is that there should be accountability at the local and regional level, with international support, for those who bear the greatest responsibility for the crimes against humanity committed in Zimbabwe over the rein of Robert Mugabe. Due to his age this needs to be done within the next year or two at the latest.

    Read the full report (pdf)


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    Tsvangirai Still Minus Passport

    http://www.radiovop.com


    HARARE , July 21 2008 - More than a month after approaching the
    Registrar General's office for a new passport, Movement for Democratic
    Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai is yet to be issued with one.

    On 16 June officials from the RG's Office told Tsvangirai that they
    could not issue him with a new passport citing "unspecified reservations"
    from the police. His lawyers, led by Alex Mambosasa of Mambosasa Legal
    Practitioners, were last month turned down after High Court Judge Justice
    Chatukuta ruled that the matter was not urgent.

    Mambosasa told Radio VOP that Tsvangirai, a key figure in the on-going
    talks meant to solve Zimbabwe 's political and economic problems, was still
    having problems trying to get a new passport after exhausting all the pages
    of his current one.

    "My client paid all the US dollars that are required for one to apply
    for a 'super urgent' passport. The application process went well for two
    days before everything fell apart, with the officials saying the police had
    stopped them processing it for security reasons," said Mambosasa.

    Under normal circumstances, passport applications paid for in foreign
    currency are processed within seven days. Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede
    has written to the law firm advising them that Tsvangirai's application was
    going through "the normal vetting process" before they could issue him with
    a replacement.


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    JAG - urgent press release communique - Dated 21 July 2008

    Email: jag@mango.zw : justiceforagriculture@zol.co.zw

    JAG HotlineS: +263 (011) 610 073, +263 (04) 799410.  If you are in trouble
    or need advice, please don't hesitate to contact us - we're here to help!
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ------------------

    Jag believes the attached case history regarding Mr Charles Lock's Karori
    Farm in Headlands is particularly news worthy at this time. It provides a
    window into the workings of the political process in relation to so called
    "land reform" in one small instance. In Headlands alone, Ministers Made,
    Chinamasa and Mutasa have been key players in the process of designation,
    acquisition and allocation of land. They have sought to ensconce themselves
    as well as relatives, friends and well connected party members with multiple
    properties. The process has been neither transparent, legal or in line with
    stated policy and has been hijacked for personal gain and political
    patronage.

    The recent electoral process has seen inordinate violence and political
    intimidation in the Headlands area, including several murders. There has
    been clear involvement by some senior military and political figures. In
    addition there has been the persecution of policemen who attempted to
    exercise their right to vote freely. The policemen were subsequently
    incarcerated and dismissed from the police force. Alongside this has been a
    campaign of suspension and withdrawal of offer letters from small scale A1
    beneficiaries of the land reform process because of perceived support for
    the MDC. All of the above is well documented. The allocation of looted
    spoils for loyal political service remains a clear agenda.

    This case of the persistent harassment and forced illegal eviction of a law
    abiding farmer by a high ranking military officer is a clear case in point.
    Particularly noteworthy are the following pointS:

    . Mr Lock voluntarily relinquished, to the land reform process, his own
    inherited 1250 ha farm
    . He subsequently gave up a further72% of his father-in-law's farm, to land
    reform, although the farm clearly fell outside the stated policy guidelines
    for land to be compulsorily acquired.
    . The remaining 379 ha portion was allocated to him by confirmation in the
    Administrative court and the Vice President responsible for land reform , at
    the time Acting President
    . Mr lock has therefore complied with both the spirit and the law of land
    reform in the country
    . He has never taken the state to court but has successfully defended
    himself against the state twice.
    . He has, never-the-less, been forced to seek recourse through the courts
    when he has been evicted and experienced other disruptions perpetrated by
    well connected individuals with offer letters.
    . These individuals were already beneficiaries of other land in the
    district.
    . The impact on the 175 permanent farm workers and their families has been
    life threatening, traumatic and disruptive to a very serious degree
    . The disruption to farm infrastructure and production has contributed to
    the on- going decline in the country's economy

    The police are clearly able to act to enforce the law however they are
    subject to external political interference. This remains the reality for
    most Zimbabweans. It is now essential that in all spheres of activity the
    professional role of the police, military and other organs of the state be
    restored and divorced from partisan political activity. This is particularly
    true in all matters relating to a just and enduring solution to Zimbabwe's
    land issue.

    From THE JAG TEAM

    BELOW IS A SUMMARY OF EVENTS IN RELATION TO C. LOCK AND KARORI FARM BY
    CHARLES LOCK.

    I am a Zimbabwean citizen trained in Zimbabwe as an agriculturalist. I have
    worked most of my life in Zimbabwe barring seven years when I worked as an
    agriculture consultant for a tobacco company traveling all over the world. I
    have represented my country at international level as a cricketer. I
    inherited a farm of 1250 ha from my father in 1999 in the district of
    Murewa.

    . In 2002 I voluntarily gave up my farm to the state as part of their land
    reform Programme and moved onto my father-in-laws farm in Headlands. It was
    1200 ha and in 2003 I acquired the majority shareholding. The farm produced
    tobacco, roses, cut flowers, cattle and maize turning over US$1, 5 million
    per annum. We built a school on the farm holding 400 pupils and a clinic
    which we funded.

    . In 2003 the state officials demanded we give up some of our remaining
    farm. We agreed to let go of 250 ha. A month later we were asked by the
    District Administrator to give more. We agreed again to another 250 hectares
    but confirmed with the D.A. and the Governor that we were free to remain
    with the rest and the matter was finalized.

    . At the end of 2003 Minister Made moved into the area and allocated our
    remaining portion to his relatives and we were put under pressure on the
    land by him and his agents. We were served prosecution notices and taken to
    court over the remaining portion despite all our prior agreements. In the
    prosecution we were granted 376ha of land.

    . The minister refused to accept this and his relative continued the
    harassment on the ground until we had him evicted through a high court
    order.

    . We then had about 2 years of trouble free farming until Brigadier General
    Mujaji arrived on the farm and claimed all was his including my crops and
    equipment. He produced an Offer letter signed by Minister Mutasa and put 4
    to 8 armed soldiers at my gate. My labour were harassed as was I, and some
    of my equipment was looted. We were forced to grow crops for him at gun
    point. I then went to see the Acting President Msika who is chairman of the
    National Lands Board. He told me to stay on the farm as I had been allocated
    it by the state under the Land Programme. He ordered the Governor to put
    this in writing for me.

    . Mujaji said that he did not listen to Msika and carried on with his
    extortion at gunpoint. I then went to the high court and got an order
    against him requiring him to leave and replace what he had taken. He
    appealed against this to the Supreme Court and failed.

    . He refused to acknowledge the ruling of both the courts and evicted me at
    gunpoint from my house whilst the police looked on. He took whatever
    equipment remained on the farm. I then sought a contempt order on him and he
    was found guilty and sentenced to 30 days in prison with hard labour. See
    appendix 5. He was never arrested despite the order being served.

    . I returned to my farm in November 2007 and built things up again. We grew
    a large crop of maize 500 tons, and managed to get about 20% of our workers
    back. My flowers had been destroyed as had the tobacco crop amounting to a
    loss of 85% of income. As soon as we had finished reaping Mujaji pitched up
    to the farm with Militia and army staff and attacked us on the farm. My
    labour was beaten up and I was barricaded in my house. I managed to escape
    at night and walked 15 kilometers to the main road where I got a lift. My
    key workers were chucked off the farm and Mujaji removed some of my
    irrigation pipes and a trailer and stole maize. He told me he was taking my
    crops including my wheat crop in the ground, my tobacco seed beds and all my
    equipment. Even my house was looted. The police reacted after two weeks and
    only after I took the issue to Head Quarters Police. They arrested no one.
    Mujaji still commandeers the farm with his soldiers and youth. He has
    prevented me from delivering any maize and all my workers have been severely
    threatened should they communicate with or assist me.

    . In the meantime I have again been charged by the state for being on the
    land unlawfully; this was a criminal case and holds a sentence of 2 years
    imprisonment. I pleaded not guilty and was acquitted.

    Mujaji ignored this and the local police have refused to deal with him.

    I have got authority to be on the land from

    1. The Acting President Msika and the Governor of Manicaland.
    2. Two High Court Orders backed up by a Supreme Court Order.
    3. A Civil Prosecution where I was allocated the Land
    4. A criminal prosecution where I was acquitted thereby confirming my
    allocation.

    In spite of all this and including the fact that I donated my own farm to
    the State and 70% of my last remaining farm which really belonged to my
    father in law; built a school and a clinic, I have been evicted at gun point
    and my crops and equipment looted and taken by Brigadier General Mujaji.

     I have never once taken the state to court believing that they would honour
    their own laws and agreements. I am currently trying to get the Police,
    through their highest office, to act, to ensure the law is upheld. Mujaji is
    a senior member of the Zimbabwe National Army who is openly using Military
    Personnel to defy the Courts, Police and laws to steal a farm that he wants.

    By Charles Lock - 18 July 2008

    Below is a full 2 part transcript of an interview conducted with Charles
    Lock:

    INTERVIEW WITH CHARLES LOCK
    DATE: 8TH JULY 2008
    PLACE: HARARE
    INTERVIEWERS: SW AND MCW

    TRANSCRIBER: AD

    KEY:
    C: CHARLES LOCK
    S: SW
    M: MCW

    M: Ok this is a recording with Charles Lock on the 8th July 2008 um first of
    all Charles can I ask if you consent to being recorded?

    C: Ja no problem.

    M: Ok. Um I just want to get a sort of background about your history in
    agriculture um and the farm in question that we are talking about now is ah
    Karori Farm, was that your first farm or did you have one before then?

    C: No the uh I am a Zimbabwean born bred and raised I was trained at Gwebi
    college, which is a local college, um and I worked on farms here for about 8
    years. I then went abroad and trained as a professional Agricultural
    consultant and worked for a tobacco company for another 5 years. I then
    returned to this country and carried on my farming practice.

    M: When did you return?

    C: I returned in 1995 and I worked with a tobacco company running 5 farms in
    Mount Darwin.  Um you know those farms were then forcibly taken over in
    2001, 2002 and we had to vacate.  I had my own farm in Murewa called
    Leylands (sp) which wasn't well developed at the time and I had gradually
    been building it up.

    S: When did you get Leylands?

    C: Leylands was acquired in about 19 uh it was acquired in 96, 97

    S: So you had a certificate of no present interest from the government?

    C: Yes that was, it was actually acquired through my father alright and it
    was passed on to me.

    M: Was that the sort of family homestead that farm?

    C: Um, No it wasn't the family farm, it was part of the family farm and when
    my father died he passed that on to me.  Uh and I didn't have the capital to
    develop it at the time, so the plan was to try and get capital to develop
    it, um which was happening slowly.

    S: What was sorry what was on Leylands?

    C: Leylands was basically um a dozen tobacco barns it was a multi
    agricultural cropping farm with sort of reddish soils, it was 1500 ha um
    S: Water?

    C: Ja it had boreholes and it had rivers and so on but they all had to be
    developed

    S: And dams?

    C: But that was all being done.  No it didn't have a dam

    S: No dam ok.  So you had irrigation on it.

    C: So we had irrigation on it ja

    S: Ok what did you grow on there?

    C: So it was a small, basically tobacco, a bit of winter cropping and some
    horticulture.

    M: You had a compound there?

    C: Ja no there was workers quarters there for about 40, 50 guys,

    S: Did you live on it?

    C: No I didn't live on it I had a guy living there who rented it ok and the
    plan was to move on there but events overtook everything.  Um ja so when I
    left the farms in Mount Darwin um

    M: That's in 2001?

    C: Ja. I had a choice of either to move on to Leylands or to get out of the
    agricultural business altogether.  I was approached by my father in law who
    owned Karori Farm at the time and asked me to come in with him on Karori, so
    I agreed in doing that and I joined him on Karori farm

    S: Being in the same area?

    C: Being in the same area exactly. We then voluntarily relinquished Leylands
    farm to the Government, we conceded, we didn't object

    S: When was that?

    C: And we did that around 2002, 2003.

    S: You had received sections at this stage for Leylands

    C: We had received sections for Leylands

    S: Ok so how did you do that?

    C: Well we basically just said we won't object to this and we made it known
    to the authorities that we wouldn't object to it on the basis that we could
    retain our remaining farm.

    S: Ok, so who did you see?  Did you go and see the Governor ah for Mash East
    or who did you see?

    C: Um we explained it to the Das

    S: Who was that?

    C: It was done to the local authorities through their Agritex Department who
    were itemising farms then and it was also done to the authorities in Eastern
    Mashonaland, because it was in the district of Murewa.

    C: Ok

    M: Mrs Murewa. Um ja I'm just, did you put that in writing

    C: We have got documents to the effect that we would not contest this farm
    um and that you know we would be remaining on the other farm

    S: So did you withdraw from that farm? The guy who was leasing

    C: We withdrew completely, we cancelled the lease and we withdrew

    S: Ok.

    M: And um did you get a response to that withdrawal?

    C: No there was no real response at all um it was all you know "yes that's
    fine we accepted this and you can remain on your farm".  Um Then I was on
    Karori farm and we got approached by the local authorities again, from the
    DAs office who said they were now under pressure to take more land. and

    S: This was Chiringa again?

    C: This was Chiringa and there was an Agritex Officer there called Richard
    Makoni who has since long gone but is specified in the open order um.

    S: Sorry I just want to go back to Leylands had, did they resettle people?

    C: Oh yes.  Oh no yes

    S: They did so they accepted they took it and they resettled people and you
    moved on to Karori ok.

    M: As far as you are aware did they do it for A1, Model A1 or Model A2

    C: I think it's a combination because Leylands was actually 2 title deeds
    and I think the one went to A2 and the others went to A1, but I haven't
    taken further interest in that since we

    M: Pulled out of it.

    C: Uh yes so then on the Karori side we voluntarily conceded 250 ha, um

    S: You demarcated that

    C: We demarcated and they accepted it, um and that was done through an LA3
    um a few months later they were back again saying they needed more than the
    250 so we agreed to a final 250 which was 500 ha in total and we said that
    is it, no more.

    S: How big was Karori?

    C: Karori is 1200 ha so this was about 45%.

    S: And how, what were you growing on it at the time?

    C: It was a multi faceted farm it produced um about 75 ha maize, 50 ha of
    tobacco, 2 ha of roses, 300 head of cattle uh um a lot of grass seed,
    pastures.  Turned over probably in the region of 1 million US Dollars at the
    time.

    S: Ok so you had water you had everything

    C: It was

    S: Fully developed

    C: It was a fully developed farm with two dams; four water rights all the
    underground piping completely done, everything.

    S: Homesteads?

    C: We had a full valuation done on the farm ah. From the immovables and it
    had three homesteads, and that was valued in the region of 1.6, 1.7 million
    US at the time uh

    S: And what about your compound, how many labour did you have?

    C: We employed 200 people and I think there was plus or minus about 70 homes
    there.

    S: Ok with water, ZESA

    C: Everything was watered, everything, uh we were on a horticultural scheme
    thereby we were trying to comply with European standards so a lot of effort
    had been put into developing all the workers quarters and the workers
    conditions to comply with what was called GAP standards and so you know it
    was a very smart set up um.

    S: Schools, Clinic?

    C: We had a we had a school that we at Karori actually built ourselves, and
    we were the responsible authority, we had 10 teachers there and it had ah
    400 pupils of which we probably had about 80 from Karori the rest came from
    the surrounding community.

    S: Did you employ those teachers or was it Government?

    C: We covered all maintenance costs for that school except for the teachers
    salaries, Zesa and personal things

    S: Ok.

    C: Which were paid for by the Government and I continue to this day to be
    the responsible authority for that school

    S: And they didn't take that away Charles, they allowed you to continue?

    C: I will explain that

    C: So after the concession of the 500 ha, ah the Minister of Agriculture,
    Made moved into the area and his brother Mr Chiware (sp) was suddenly
    allocated the balance that was left to us, so we argued and said how can
    this be when you have already agreed that we can remain on this piece.

    S: How did you how did you know that?

    C: This was done in the DAs office

    S: Did you get a letter to say, did he show you and offer letter Chiware ?

    C: Yes came and said I have got an offer letter so the DA then said um this
    is beyond me these issues are now being taken over directly by Harare Office
    you must deal with Harare Office.  Uh on going to Harare office I didn't
    speak to the Minister directly but we were told that the farm had now been
    given in its entirety to Mr Chiware and we must make way for him

    S: When was this Charles was it?

    C: It was 2003

    S: Ok

    C: So we then proceeded to object and we were immediately served with a
    section 8 and a further section 7 and we were subjected to harassment by
    Chiware and his employees who he put on the farm, about three or four of
    them.

    S: What were they doing?

    C: Just harassing workers, and basically harassing me and you know stopping
    our planting, stopping our operations like every third day

    S: Just four of them hey?

    C: Yes

    S: Were they armed?

    C: No they weren't armed, these were civilian details and the police were
    just so slow to react in all these cases and made life very difficult

    S: And did they react?

    C: Ah they would react eventually but they always you know hid behind the
    political curtain.

    S: So you have got RRB No's for your reports or did they not even give them
    in the end?

    C: A lot of these incidences, they were just happening on such a regular
    basis that there were no RRB Nos.

    S: Ok

    C: Then we were, the section 7 was actually bought to court, surprisingly it
    was bought early and we heard the section 7 in October, the hearing, we were
    dragged, taken to the administrative court in Mutare where the Chief
    Justice, Bere, (sp) um he was a, his designation, he was a judge, he was
    the, I can't remember he was a Chief Judge uh highest one in Manicaland at
    that time, and he heard our case, we were in there for four days um and at
    the end of that case he specified that this case would never have actually
    come to court, the reason it had come to court was because of peoples
    personal interests and the influences within the acquiring authority uh he
    said it smacked against the law of the land and he had dismissed it and
    ordered the state to give us 376 ha, which was even less than what we had
    originally agreed, um but we accepted it and he ordered the state to give
    that to us.  Um the state didn't even appeal against the order.  Their reply
    was to just immediately issue a new section 5 and a new section 8 within in
    days of the ruling

    S: So this is the end of 2003?

    C: Ja

    S: So Christmas time now?

    C: Yes, and this was done uh directly from the Ministry under the orders of
    the Ministry of Lands, Made, himself, and we were subjected to further
    harassment, the Chiware gentleman refused to leave um and caused more
    trouble which extended for another three or four months after that.  The
    police refused to move him so we eventually were forced to get a high court
    order against him which we did and when we got that high court order the
    police acted and they removed him through the auspices of the Deputy
    Sherriff.  We then farmed peacefully for about a year and a half, two years,
    there were mutterings of this and that and this is going to happen to you
    and that is going to happen to you and so on, but we didn't have any direct
    issue happening.

    S: Your neighbour you mentioned earlier was Made, did he ever in that 2
    years he never came back he never came to visit you on the farm

    C: No I have actually never even spoken to the Minister at all

    S: Ok not even as a neighbour

    C: Not even as a neighbour

    S: Ok

    C: You know he's, he's a whole farm away from me, and you know I basically
    kept to myself I just kept to my little operation there uh and other
    neighbour is Chinamasa (sp) who moved on to Richard Yates' farm and I
    haven't had much to do with him either, I mean most people just keep to
    themselves and just get on with their work.  The next issue we had was come
    October 2006 we suddenly had a detail of army people of 4 or 5 army people,
    fully clothed, fully armed with AK's posted at my main gate and proceeded to
    instruct us that they had been offered the farm and that they were taking it
    over and the Brigadier Mujaji arrived and said that ah

    S: No documentation given to you they

    C: Just produced an offer letter straight

    S: Oh they did. With his name on it

    C: With his name on it, said the farm's his.  I said how can that be, the
    farms actually been allocated to me by the state themselves, through their
    own legal channels.

    S: Who was the spokesman at this time?

    C: And the spokesman was, Mujaji

    M: Mujaji personally

    S: Oh personally sorry I thought

    C: Personally yes it was him

    M: And were they armed when they came?

    C: Fully armed and fully threatening

    M: Was he in uniform?

    C: Yes, he was in uniform once, after that he wasn't

    S: so only the initial um

    C: Ja but all his troops were always in uniform, always had their weapons
    there and they often cocked them and threatened us and ja it was a problem

    S: Charles were your family around at the time, were they on the farm with
    you?

    C: Ja they were but I then had to move them off and

    S: This was in 2006

    C: And I stayed there on my own

    S: You were planting your tobacco crop at this stage, being October

    C: We had planted all our crops, we had just completed everything, he
    actually came at the end of October.  Once all the crops were planted the
    maize was planted um the flowers had been sorted out, he said, he helped
    himself, uh then what proceeded from there was basically one year of really
    severe harassment, intimidation um and it was a tortuous year where our
    workers were abused, I was threatened, abused, we had, it got so bad we even
    had police officers stay on the farm to guard us

    M: This was October 2006

    C: Right up to up to October 2007

    S: Over a year

    C: Um he he

    S: Interfering with your farming

    C: Every single day there was interference.  He actually forced me to
    irrigate and plant for him, he forced me to do his crops for him.  He
    stopped us from selling tobacco for two and a half months. To the point
    where I didn't sell 80 tonnes of tobacco until the very last day of the
    floors, meanwhile we had to load 6 lorries at night, it was only at the
    instigation that the police came there and allowed us to do that.

    S: Did you have the same member in charge from ah like 2004 to 2000 and

    C: The member in charge of Headlands and the member in charge of Dispol
    Rusape were actually very helpful during this period.

    S: Oh were they, this 2006, 2007 time.

    C: But they were constantly having their orders, they were being restricted
    by head office.

    S: They told you that

    C: They told me that as much.  Its difficult, I don't know if you can put
    this down, but they were restricted and they just said we cannot operate, we
    you have to get your documents in order for us to actually support you here,
    um although they knew what was happening, they were in a very difficult
    position.

    M: You made did you ever get RRB no's from them?

    C: There's countless RRB no's in Headlands, there's countless statements
    made and if some one wants to dig in there they will find them all

    M: Ok.

    C: Um Mujaji he you know he would stop me reaping.  At one time he shut all
    my boilers down, he closed up all our fans.  We had 16 tobacco barns full,
    which had started to rot, um he stopped all reaping, he stopped all reaping
    of flowers.  Uh. Everything except the water and irrigation of the, of his
    crop which we had to do under duress.

    S: What was his crop, what were you growing for him?

    C: A little span of sugar beans. And he um

    S: How many ha

    C: 5, 6, 8 ha

    M: Did he supply all the inputs for that crop or?

    C: Ja no he did he, um he, you know we lost financially quite a lot at the
    hands of this guy and the abuses that he carried out.  He looted my
    equipment um my whole workshop stuff was taken out at night.

    S: Again reported to the police

    C: Reported to the police, my scales were taken out.  I've had electric
    motors taken out by them.  And the police have made dockets on him on this,
    but they said they cannot act 'because they have no order from Propol and
    they can only do it unless they have an order from Propol.

    S: Who's head of Propol there?

    C: Propol changes quite regularly, the latest one is a guy called Mutatu,
    (sp) um before that was a guy called Benge (sp)

    M: Would you happen to know why they would change very regularly, would you
    think it is 'cause they are helpful or they just

    C: I don't know, I would assume that these guys get moved around

    S: Have you tried to form a relationship with, you obviously have already
    with the police at Headlands, because you have been there for years but then
    again with Dispol and then Propol.

    C: Ja we have very good relations with Headlands police, and Headlands
    police were actually very good.  But just before this last election they all
    got removed and there's now a bunch of people there that are totally
    compliant and will not act at all unless they receive a direct order um

    S: Ok

    C: Uh he, the final, I actually went to Msika, the acting President, after
    having spoken to virtually everybody within Manicaland.  I then got to see
    Msika on a number of occasions and Msika ordered that that farm be left to
    us as it had been allocated to us by the states through their own laws, and
    he said this was not the states policy to behave in this manner, and he
    instructed the minister of lands, who was Mutasa at that time, to make sure
    this was carried out.  Mutasa never did this and I had details of all those
    conversations that I had with Mutasa and with Msika.

    S: When did you see Msika?

    C: I must have seen Msika 6 times,

    S: When, 2007?

    C: 206, 207

    S: Ok

    C: Ja

    M: Do you know if Msika actually gave Mutasa an instruction in writing to
    that effect or.

    C: I know that Msika ordered Mutasa to

    M: To back off.

    C: To allocate that farm to me.

    M: Ok

    C: Not to allocate it, to ensure that I remain on the farm, because it had
    already been allocated to me. Ok. And he was very clear and he said this was
    not the Governments policy and he specified that um what had been settled
    before Mutasa's Ministry alright, was not up to Mutasa to now change, but
    just cause there was a change in the Minister he was not entitled to change
    the law itself. Um he wrote a letter to Mujaji himself telling him to back
    off.
    M: Did Msika say anything disparaging about Mutasa in your conversations
    with him.

    C: Look these are meetings, (sighs) I was there at those meetings um and it
    was quite evident that there was a conflict of views here.  Of Musika who
    didn't believe what was happening and I was correct and Mutasa who obviously
    had a different view. So that's what the story was, but it got to the point
    where eventually I said to Musika, I said this can't go on like this.  I
    have been allocated this land, you have tried me, you have taken my own
    personal farm. You have tried me in your own courts and your own laws and
    you your own Government has allocated me this land.  Now under what basis
    are you taking it away from me and handing it over to a man in Military
    Service by force and Msika said no that is totally incorrect and he called
    the Governor into the office while I was there and ordered the Governor to
    ensure that I remain on that farm.

    S: Was this Muchingure the Governor?

    C: No that was Chigudu (sp)

    M: Chiguru

    S: Chiguru oh he took over from her hey?

    C: Ja
    (paper shuffling, break in recording)

    M: Recommencing with Charles Lock

    C: So the Governor then gave me a letter which confirmed my meeting with
    Msika stating alright quite clearly, and Msika was acting President at the
    time, that they were not to take that farm from me, that I had already given
    up my own farm and that I was to remain upon Karori farm, now this letter is
    a letter that I will never use in court in any case against the state and
    for the record I have never actually taken the State to court ever.  The
    state has always been the one who's prosecuted me; it has always been the
    other way around.  I have only taken the individual concerned who has
    caused any unlawful behaviour on the farm.  I took this letter to Mujaji and
    Mujaji response to this thing was that he doesn't listen to anyone, the vice
    President or acting President and he put that again as a public statement to
    some reporter uh that was made at the time.  So we were in a situation here
    where we had conflict and at the end of the day Mujaji forcibly evicted me
    in October, no in September he brought in some extra soldiers.

    S: 2007

    C: Ja. He drove me out of my house.  I was forced to unpack my house at
    gunpoint.  All my workers were driven off the form off the farm at gun
    point, within 24 hours there wasn't a worker on that farm.  He then seized
    what equipment he could.  I didn't go back to that farm for about a week and
    when I did go back I managed to get a few things off, they seized the keys
    off me
    S: Were they very aggressive when you went back?

    C: Extremely aggressive, when you have got soldiers shouting and screaming
    at you with cocked weapons and Mujaji's wife ordering them to do this and
    that

    S: Where were they living, were they living on your farm?

    C: Ja

    S: In one of those three homesteads and

    C: That was when I actually was, was removed, ah I left fertiliser there,
    there was quite a lot of equipment there and so on.  Anyway, we took the
    commissioner of the police to court because the police refused to act on
    this matter, although it was so blatant now, they just said no we are not
    going to act, so we took the commissioner of police and the commander of the
    army to court um and Mujaji, let me just stop there for a moment.  Mujaji,
    the High Court issued an order in March of 2007 whereby stating that Mujaji
    must get off the farm ok.  Mujaji appealed against that to the Supreme Court
    and hid behind the appeal, now an appeal suspends the order, it suspends the
    order

    M: Ja

    C: So he remained on the farm with his soldiers causing trouble. So we had
    a problem there in that legally we could do nothing to combat what he was
    doing. However, we pushed for the appeal and this appeal was heard in July
    and the Supreme Court threw his appeal out.  Once the Supreme Court threw
    his appeal out, he has no leg to stand on, and the High Court Order must
    automatically be enforced, the Police still refused to act.  They said that
    because the Military were involved there they were not going to be able to
    react. So we then took Mujaji to court for contempt and he was sentenced
    to 30 days with hard labour, I think, and his wife, unless he purged
    himself of that contempt within 72 hours, whereby removing himself,
    returning all the equipment that was stolen and returning the workers that
    he kicked off, he refused to accept that.  Legally where did we stand? We
    then cited the Commissioner of police and the Commander of the army for
    failing to uphold the law of the land. The judge said that he would hold
    those two in contempt themselves if they didn't enforce this order.  Nothing
    happened for 6 days, on the 7th day the Military Police arrived and removed
    the army, the police then arrived, only under the auspices of the Deputy
    Sheriff which I had to pick up and carry all the time. They provided no
    transport.  They provided no effort to help in any other way other than to
    witness and support the Messenger of the Court. We had Mujaji's wife
    arrested and she served I think 12 or 15 days of the 30 days.  Mujaji as far
    as I am aware has never been arrested although the papers were served on him
    in Harare.  I am told he has served 6 or 7 days

    M: For contempt of court?

    C: For contempt of court, but I have no evidence of that and I certainly
    think that he hasn't done 30 days.  We removed all his things from the farm
    and very hesitantly we went back there.

    S: What time frame are we looking at here now?

    C: November

    S: 2007

    C: Ja. I then decided that I might as well do something with the farm so we
    planted 75 ha of maize and that was it.  Our roses we had 2 ha ah a hectare
    of roses had been destroyed because he hadn't looked after them during the
    period he had been there, and so we lost that in its entirety. Uh the state
    of the farm was not good um.  Anyway we planted our 75 ha of maize, and
    since then I have put in some seed beds and we've just tried to get the farm
    back into a sort of a running form.

    S: So your labour came back only when you went back in November?

    C: Only when I went back

    S: They came back

    C: Not all of them, probably a third of them

    S: Ok

    C: And we have tried to get the place working again.

    S: What about your equipment that he took? Did you recover that?

    C: I have filed RRB numbers, I have filed reports to the police, the police
    say they are aware of it, they know that he's got it, but they wont act.

    S: Do they know where it is?

    C: They say they know where it is

    S: Do you know?

    C: Well I am sure he's got it on his farm (.) was booted off

    M: Which Is?

    S: Which Is?

    M: Which is he has another farm?

    C: He's had land all over, he's been allocated 2 or 3 pieces of land

    S: Do you know any of the names of those farms Charles

    C: No, but I know where they are

    S: Ok

    M: Ok

    S: Not in the same district?

    C: No, he's got some in the same district.  He had a farm in Goromonzi,
    actually he right back in 2003 he was allocated land next door to us and
    he kept that land for a year and then he asked me to load some of his
    equipment for him cause he said he had been allocated another piece of land
    in Goromonzi and he was off.

    S: Was he in the Congo?

    C: And, I have no idea. And then he went off to Goromonzi and the next time
    I heard that he was back, he was back jambanjering us

    M: I I. Why do you think?  Do you have any theories as to why he has picked
    your farm?

    C: I think he is related to some of the head honchos there and that's just,
    they like to have all people that are related to them in the area, basically
    just sort of power enforcement.  Um the, the next issue happened was quite
    out of the blue on last Wednesday, we were, he pitched up with

    S: We talking about July 2008 sorry I just want all the dates

    C: Ja he pitched up with about a dozen youth on the farm and I was there.

    S: He being Mujaji

    C: Mujaji himself, and with uh Sergeant Mukoni,(sp) he was one of the army
    guys who had been probably the most vociferous and aggressive during the
    previous you know episodes

    S: Again all in uniform, armed?

    C: No all of them in civvies

    S: Any weapons?

    C: Not that I could see, all brandishing sticks, um they then threatened me,
    they said go back to my house, I refused, so they ignored me and rounded up
    all my workers.

    S: You were on your own then, no family with you?

    C: I was on my own. The workers were rounded up they beat a couple of them
    there which I witnessed, they then threatened me and told me to go back to
    my house, um again I refused so they told me if I wanted me to beaten up in
    front of my workers then I better comply so I then went to my house and from
    there I could see what was happening.  They rounded up all the workers made
    them sit down, kneel down.  Some of the senior guys were hit over the head
    by the youth under the instruction of that Sergeant Mukoni. They then um had
    them singing and dancing for that night and they locked all my gates and put
    some guards around and told me not to come out of the house.  Under cover of
    darkness I managed to break out and I walked to Headlands.

    S: Sorry before we go on. Um what about fires and food and?

    C: Ja they lit some fires around the place and they got some of the women to
    cook them some food and

    S: Where did they get that from?

    C: It was my maize

    S: So they stole your maize your mealie meal

    C: Exactly

    S: Ok. What about cattle, did they slaughter any of your cattle?

    C: No they didn't do any of that

    S: Ok.

    M: What about keeping you in your house what things did they do to you?

    C: They just threatened me I mean I was locked in there.

    M: They locked you in did they put any guards around?

    C: Well they had guards all around anyway, and so I couldn't really get out.
    If I got out I was going to get beaten, and there was only one gate to get
    through with a lock um so I just watched from the offices as to what was
    happening, and I saw them pouring water over one of my foremen I mean this
    is middle of winter 8, 9 o'clock at night and they made him stand out there
    with cold water on uh and the rest were singing and dancing and they were
    shouting things at them, just basically intimidating them.  So anyway I got
    out and I got to Headlands and caught a lift

    S: How far away is that Charles?

    C: About 15 kms.

    S: Ok

    C: I then reported the matter to the relevant authorities, I reported it to
    Headlands, I reported it to Dispol in Rusape, I reported it to Propol. They
    have all got copies of my High Court Orders everything but they failed they
    are not acting, and I'm being told straight I'm playing (.) at them they not
    going to act, when I had been barricaded, I did call the Dispol, they sent
    a vehicle, it arrived. It made no attempt to come and see me. It was there
    probably 30 seconds and it turned around and went back.

    S: Who did you speak to at Dispol

    C: Dispol told me, uh Mujongwe, (sp) that they are under orders from Propol
    ah that, that to call back that lorry. Since then I must have spoken 20
    times to all these people, they will not act, they will not send anybody
    there. Uh the reports I'm getting from the farm through workers who have
    been chucked off ah are that the plan was to intimidate all the workers,
    after two or three days to bring me out in front of them, to get the workers
    to beat me up and to chase me off the farm thereby the workers having done
    it, they only found out a day after I had gone that I was not there and they
    sent the youth to go and fetch me from the house, when they found out that I
    was not there, they then decided to turf off all the main, remaining people
    from the farm, I picked up three, in Headlands one and two in Marondera

    S: Did they contact you?

    C: No no-ones contacted, my workers did

    S: I'm talking about your workers yes sorry.

    C: They related me what had happened, they had pungwes every night for three
    nights. Um that some of them had been hit over the head basically um I'd say
    the worst was what I had seen. They told me that um some of our maize had
    gone missing and that some of our pipes had gone missing.

    S: Irrigation pipe

    C: Ja they said also that our tractor had been used to ferry people around
    and that they were using my vehicle to drive around the farm and so on

    S: And your fuel

    C: And my fuel. They were all told that if anyone communicated with me in
    any way that I, they will be beaten. Um As it stands I haven't gone back to
    the farm, I intend to go soon as I need to pay my guys.  We've got a barley
    crop in the ground 50 ha ah 40 ha of barley which obviously will probably
    die because it needs diesel to run the generators.  Mujaji has sent
    messages to me through my workers that nothing will leave that farm um
    unless I negotiate with him

    S: Do you know what he wants to negotiate?

    C: I think he, Mujaji wants to keep all my equipment, he would like to keep
    some of that maize and probably some of my cattle he's probably going to try
    and take whatever he can get his hands on.

    S: Do you think he wants you to stay there and farm it for him?

    C: No. I think he wants me to remove any court orders on him. I think he
    would like to for me to uh agree to leave.  Cause all my orders which are
    from the highest court in the land state clearly that these orders will
    stand unless I voluntarily relinquish or leave that farm so the only way he
    can undo this is to force me to voluntarily leave.  I have submitted
    statements to the Head Office in Harare here PGHQ, to their legal
    department, who are fully aware of the situation, they have copies of my
    statements, they have copies of my orders, they still refuse to act.

    M: Um Mujaji has he ever said that, said as much to you, said lets
    negotiate has he ever offered to talk about negotiating for your equipment
    or asked you to drop the

    C: Yes often, often when he used to barricade me um before this incident and
    stop me, stop us from grading tobacco or selling, his plan was to say right
    there is going to be no selling of tobacco, that you must lift your court
    orders on me, he said that to me in his office.

    S: Ok so he's worried about this.

    C: Ja and wants all the legal things off and wants to keep the equipment

    S: Take it now

    C: It's just a looting exercise

    M: So he wants everything

    C: He wants everything, and the police appear to see it happen at this
    stage.

    M: Um how long has the army been present on your farm then, that's about?

    S: We've had them for a whole year

    M: A whole year, and 9 of them or

    C: It varied, sometimes 4, sometimes 10, they used to vary and chop and
    change depending on what he had in mind

    S: And he obviously came out or somebody came out and paid them and fed
    them.

    C: Ah he used to come out regularly his wife used to come out regularly,

    M: And they were soldiers in uniform.

    C: Ja, uniform and always armed.  Often I was threatened, um cocked weapon
    and threats.

    S: Have your family been off um your wife and children been off since 2006
    then or did they go back with you in March last year.

    C: No you know sometimes I would take them back there um

    S: But as a home hey Charles it's been

    C: But as a home its just it's not at all safe to have family there.  Uh
    Since we've got back on in November, um we've been back a number of times
    and you know we've tried to get it back to looking like a home, but you know
    it's obviously deteriorated.

    S: Charles your labour how, you mentioned before we started recording that
    they have been very supportive um

    C: They have been through this with me for 8 years and they have put up with
    so much harassment and so on and they

    S: They have never demanded SI6 package or anything

    C: No, no I have always told them that if I leave the farm I would pay them,
    and when Mujaji kicked us off at gun point I did pay everybody, you know
    they have also got to survive so I paid them off, everybody on the farm, and
    when I came back again the ones that wanted to come back came with me.

    S: And have any of them been beaten that they have needed hospitalisation or
    have you got any medical reports or have they medical cards

    C: I don't know

    S: You have never had to take someone to the hospital because they have been
    so badly beaten.

    C: No. No no the beatings are basically intimidation, but its not life
    threatening.

    S: Ja. They haven't made them go I know you said, mentioned they were
    drenched in water they haven't been made to go and tread water in the dam or
    anything like that

    C: Uh No no but I know this latest incident the labour are getting really
    scared because they have had a year of it and they know what these guys can
    do.

    M: Have they ever mentioned um MDC or anything in that respect over the
    election time.

    C: No look we have always stayed out of politics and there has always been a
    plan to try and paint us as a big political stronghold there and so on um
    but it's a very low key they always put polling stations right at the school
    uh and so on but there has never been any political issues there,

    S: Ok

    C: Really um.

    S: You mentioned the school you said there was a story about the school.

    C: Ja we've got a school there which we built. It was mentioned in our (.)
    court order that the fact that we have done this for the community and that
    we still run the school and pay for it is a commendable thing. Right now we
    are re-thatching and trying to sort it out, ah but obviously that's of no
    interest to the state, and this this um Mujaji I don't think she has the
    same view point.

    S: How old is this Mujaji do you think?

    C: He must be quite close to retirement

    S: Oh really.  How's your wife?  I mean how are they taking all this and the
    kids?

    C: Look it's not easy, you know it's a choice that we've all had to make. Do
    we acquiesce to the wrongs that are happening here and just pack our bags
    and go, or do we stand by what we believe in and see it through.  I've
    always sort of believed that you know provided that we are on the right side
    of the law that we should stand by it and provided that the laws of the land
    are in our favour we should stand by it, its now got to the point where the
    State won't abide by its own laws and you know there's total lawlessness
    going on, the police are totally, are probably complicit in this whole
    thing just by virtue of the fact that they won't act at all, they won't
    carry out their duties.

    M: Do you ever have days when you yourself feel really despondent and
    despair and...

    C: You know I do I have moments when I think its time to chuck this whole
    thing out and what is it all for and you know and then all of a sudden I'll
    get a little light that will come through and give me a bit of hope and say
    no just see it through you know and I take it on a day by day basis um I've
    always said when it gets to a position where my family and myself and their
    lives are threatened then obviously that's the point where its not worth it
    any more, its just land at the end of the day and its living, but its become
    more than that in many respects its become a focal point for our actual, all
    our civil liberties, all our way of life style in this country, when your
    institutions themselves are being used against ordinary civilians you know
    who are on the right side of the law it becomes more than just land. This is
    way way beyond that.

    M: What about in terms of your own identity as a farmer, I mean the land is
    part of that you know I mean.

    C: Look everybody is, I'm a farmer I need land to farm, I'm a Zimbabwean.
    Its, by virtue of what the state is doing here, not only are they, they
    basically disowning us, as civilians you know as people of the country we
    are just being disowned.  Its like going to a guy who is a doctor and just
    saying right fine, well you've got no hospital to work in, we are taking all
    your injections, all your things away, and all the rest of it you know he
    no longer becomes a doctor um

    S: Ja. What's going on with the other, I mean there have you got other
    people around you who are farming, commercial farmers what's going on with
    them as well . Are they

    C: Ja we've got other farmers. I am targeted because I have basically taken
    a moral stand. We have farmers around us who lease land.  We have farmers
    around us who have taken a totally different approach to the way I've taken
    and um they are not as contentious but I have decided that you know if
    people aren't prepared to even listen to their own laws of their own country
    then what is the point of entering into an agreement, a negotiated agreement
    with them, they can't even abide by that, they can't even listen to the
    acting president of their own country what's the hope of even discussing
    anything with them.  So rather stand by the principal and by the law and see
    how far that takes you.  If that won't work then obviously nothing will
    work. So that has been my thinking of that process

    S: Ok what is your what is your thinking now what is your way forward from
    today, you've been yesterday you were with PGHQ and lodging all your
    statements and everything , so now what do you what's next?

    C: Obviously the, the um
    (ringing noise)

    C: Obviously the (sighs) I would have to go back to the police and lodge a
    high court order citing them, the Commissioner and the Commander of the army
    for further contempt uh because as an acting member of the military he has
    again broken the law in exactly the same way as he did when the previous
    contempt order was raised and he was forbidden from coming to the farm in
    any way until I prosecuted and found guilty. The. That would be the first
    thing to do.  Once they are cited and they fail to act then we are clearly
    the situation of total lawlessness.  If that happens I have no other option
    other than to take the issue to SADC and hope that they will intervene and
    to install some form of law into the situation. I have never taken the state
    to court ever they are the ones who have prosecuted me in each case, in fact
    I am under prosecution right now for the second time

    S: I was going to ask you about that

    C: And if my case was initiated in July last year and it's been going on for
    the whole year

    S: By the state or by Mujaji

    C: By the state. The state has prosecuted me for the second time for being
    on the land unlawfully which seems ludicrous because how can they prosecute
    me when I am actually being allocated the land through the same laws that
    they wish to prosecute me and on top of that it has been backed up by a
    letter from the most senior person in the country who is the Chairman of the
    Land Reform Board, himself, who acknowledges that I have been given that
    land so I don't see how they can find me guilty, I think if they do wish to
    find me guilty on it, it is not going to be through not lawful means but
    another angle.

    S: Mm jeepus

    C: So we await, I I have got to go to the court on Friday again, instructed
    she, the Judge, the Magistrate actually said she would pass Judgement on
    whether I should even have to give evidence any more because the State in
    making their case presented one witness who was incapable of answering more
    than 50% of the questions that were put to him and in fact refused to answer
    most of the questions, which in itself is an offence as they are the
    prosecuting authority

    S: Their witness

    C: Their witness.  They then asked for an adjournment to call for more
    witnesses when they recognised that they had a problem here.  The magistrate
    accepted that adjournment and said you have got three weeks to come up with
    other witnesses.  They certainly will not put any senior person on the land
    because I have got evidence against all of those people which I will produce
    in court if I am prosecuted.  The State closed its case without bringing any
    further evidence or any further prosecute any further witness thereby making
    this case, its got such a weak case.  The magistrate herself appeared
    surprised um.

    M: So you will apply for

    C: So we immediately applied to have this case withdrawn and for me to have
    an immediate acquittal because I have a high court order allowing me to be
    on the land and they have specified that I am there legally and they have
    specified the time frame that I have been there legally. So in law I don't
    see how I can be found guilty. The law does not say that it can undo a
    previous court case or a previous law. I have been allocated the land by
    the Government, so I think that this is just sheer intimidation and taking
    advantage of the situation and abuse of all the legal

    M: Processes

    C: Processes

    S: Absolutely

    M: That's it

    C: I would never take the State to court in this country. Why should I need
    to when they have already given me the land, what is the point, but it
    appears that they can't even abide by their own law.  Its, it's quite a
    serious implication

    S: Jeepus so if nothing else Charles you've exposed huge

    C: Ja well

    M: Corruption. Can of worms

    S: Incredible

    C: Well I don't think the courts are corrupt in terms of the law

    S: Well discrepancies let's put it that way then

    C: Ja you know the judges have treated my cases fairly.  The judges have
    made good judgement.

    M: Ja ja

    C: No judge has looked at it and made a ridiculous judgement.  They have
    looked at it and in terms of law they have made fair judgements. The problem
    comes in the enforcement of those laws. And in terms of my current case
    where I am being prosecuted, The magistrate I think will find it extremely
    hard for her to carry on with the prosecution with this sort of evidence
    against it, and even if she acquits me, who's to say that they are going to
    listen to that.  The issue is no one listens to the laws that are made.  And
    I have always said quite openly I have said to Mutasa, and I have said to
    Msika, and I have said to the Governor and I have said to virtually every
    single authority, I said why all this intimidation, why all this nonsense.
    I said you are the governing people in this country.  You make the laws if
    you want to remove us just make a law whereby we have to go, simple and we
    will go. I said if I am guilty and I am on the wrong side of the law, I will
    go.  I will just pack my bags and go, why military people why jambanja, why
    intimidation, beating the people, why this whole farce.

    S: And what's their answer to that I mean do they respond to that?

    C: They agree with me but nothing changes

    S: Ja

    C: Um so that's where we're at

    S: Phew

    M: Gee. Anything else?

    S: Have you anything

    M: Anything more you want to add

    C: Uh ja I think just as a final note on all of this there's just a view
    point here that the few remaining white farmers, you know, are enemies of
    the state in terms of being on the land and I think it needs to be carefully
    looked at as to why those people are on the land and on what authority that
    they are on the land um and look at this whole issue from a proper legal
    professional point of view.  The anarchy that is reigning here is just for
    the benefit of those individuals who seem to be just taking advantage of the
    whole situation.  For it to go forward I don't know where we, where this is
    all going to lead us.  But a lot of those farms that are being taken over,
    it has just got to the point where it is just irrecoverable, the amount of
    capital required to get these farms back and working is huge, and more
    importantly the workers that are required to do it are just not there any
    more we have lost a whole generation of workers right now who have the
    skills to do this, who have gone and the people who are we are left to work
    with are youth who have been indoctrinated to think in a totally different
    manner. So unless this thing stops soon its going to be irrecoverable, it
    will take generations and generations. Look how long they've taken in
    Mocambique to get the agriculture going they, it won't be a thing that money
    can sort

    S: Absolutely, I've said it all along.

    C: And that is, we are getting to that point where we are virtually over the
    precipice.

    S: Slippery slide down fast.

    C: That's all I've got to add

    M: Thank you very much

    S: Thank you Charles thanks.

    INTERVIEW WITH CHARLES LOCK - Follow Up Update
    INTERVIEWERS: SW AND MC
    DATE: 16 JULY 2008
    PLACE: HARARE

    TRANSCRIBER: SW

    Key
    S: SW
    M: MC
    C: Charles Lock

    M: This is an interview with Charles Lock on the 16th July 2008.  First of
    all Charles can I ask you if you consent to being recorded

    C: Yes I do

    M: Okay when we last left it, you were about to go back to your farm having
    left it under duress, you had to climb out of the over the fence and walk,
    um as far as I remember, is that correct?

    C: Ya, that is correct

    M: Okay what, what's happened since then?  You said we last spoke you said
    you were going to return to the farm,

    C: Right, um on Wednesday I, Mujaji (sp) arrived on the farm with his
    militia and his army and basically jambanjaed us and I've explained all of
    that

    M: Ya

    C: The Thursday I was in town recording everything and trying to see people.
    On Friday I received a message that 3 of my senior workers had been dumped
    in Headlands and I picked them up. My senior workshop guy had been hit over
    the head quite hard, that I had actually seen myself when I had been
    barricaded.  The other two guys had been accused of um supporting me.  One
    of them had to stand up and had water poured all over him at night time.
    The other one was a security guard and they were told to get off the farm
    and their belongings dumped with them. Another two guys had managed to make
    it out to Marondera that was a driver and also a senior lorry driver.  The
    gentleman were picked up at Headlands by myself and I took them to Headlands
    police station where they all made statements. When they made those
    statements I also made a statement and submitted that to the Officer in
    Charge and he gave me a stamped copy of which you've got a copy I'm leaving
    here at this office.  Um, I explained um what Mujaji had done, I explained
    the whole jambanja and the people involved, I explained picking up my
    workers, I explained what had happened to them.  They also put it down on
    their affidavits that the plan had been for me to have be brought out in
    front of my workers and for me to have been beaten up by my workers and
    chased off and thereby absolving the militia and the army for that
    particular job

    M: Sorry who explained that?

    C: My three workers I had picked up

    M: Oh okay (.)

    C: Over the weekend I did not receive much information from the farm, the

    S: You came back to Harare hey?

    C: I came back to Harare

    S: And those guys what happened to them?

    C: I basically gave them some money and some food I didn't have much maize
    meal because it was all on the farm and I asked them to just take a few days
    off, which they did

    S: Charles, sorry their families weren't affected; I assume they had wives
    and children, were they all okay at this stage?

    C: Um from what I understand yes. I got messages from workers who ran off
    the farm who asked to not be identified by names because they were told
    categorically that anyone who communicated with me would be beaten up. Um
    there was a very big effort to stop all communication between the workers
    and myself.  On the Monday I saw more people.  On the Tuesday I made a plan
    to go out to the farm

    S: More people being who?

    C: I basically had meetings with various people who I thought could help.  I
    spoke to all the Propols, the Dispols. I had meetings with Mabatamasango
    (sp) who is the head of the Legal Affairs Department at PGHQ.  Um I gave him
    all my documents.  He said my papers were in order and legally I was the
    occupier of the farm um and that the only thing that was pending was my
    court case" of which a judgement was coming the following Friday.  He said
    my High Court Order was extremely specific and he had ordered the Propol and
    the Dispol in my presence by telephone to arrest all those concerned and to
    rectify the situation and to recover all property that had been taken and to
    take whatever necessary statements that need to be taken.  He made that
    order twice when I was there on both the Monday and the Tuesday and then he
    instructed me to go out to the farm.  Um I did go out to the farm and I took
    some people with me.  I had an accredited reporter with me; I also had a
    driver because I wanted to recover one of my vehicles. Um on arriving at
    the farm um I was met by all these people at the gate. I asked for the
    driver and

    S: All these people being the militia

    C: Being militia and the army

    S: Okay in uniforms still?

    C: Of which Sgt Makoni (sp) was the head

    M: They were in uniform?

    C: Um one of them was but the other two I know were in the army because they
    have been part and parcel of being at the farm for the past year when they
    were finally evicted from previous problems.  These guys all sort of
    surrounded me and I told them that I wanted to pay my workers and I wanted
    to verify what was going on on the farm.  They wanted to know who was in the
    pickup and they sent some people to find out who was in there

    M: Which pickup?

    C: The one that had the reporter in and my driver.  I also had a backup car
    with two friends in which were sitting sort of half way off the farm.  Um I
    went into the yard and they locked the gates after me and they stayed all
    around me these guys but they were not threatening, they seemed to be quite
    calm and they said that I could see if everything was in order but I was not
    allowed to speak to any of my workers

    S: Do you know at this time if Propol or Dispol had been out to the farm?

    C: Um as of yet, no

    S: Not at that time, that was Wednesday?

    C: No. Yes.  They, I then asked to do an audit.  I checked my maize stocks
    and noticed that 19 bags of maize were missing.  They indicated that Mujaji
    had taken them but they didn't want it to go any further.  I asked where my
    irrigation pipes had been taken and they didn't want to make any mention of
    that. They said "Oh they will just be returned". They didn't say who had
    taken them or how they had been taken. I also noticed a trailer had been
    taken and they made no comment on that either. I checked the rest of my
    equipment and it seemed to be alright but some of my diesel had been taken
    and I noticed that my vehicle had been used, um I asked my manager what the
    story was with the vehicle and he was very hesitant to make any comment.  He
    later told me that if he mentioned anything to me, he had been threatened.
    I then went into my house because my house had been broken into and I
    noticed that quite a few things had been looted - clothes, food, um a few
    utensils, um a few provisions. I um, had made a statement to the police
    about this and noticed that a statement had already been made by the army
    and by my maid as to the break-in.  While I was walking around and

    M: Were you privy to that statement made by the army? (.)

    C: No I was not privy to it I just actually went and saw it at the police
    station

    M: Did you manage to read it?

    C: I just took note of what they had written down that had been taken, it
    was very specific I don't know how they could have been so specific because
    I am the only person who knew what was in that house exactly.

    S: (Chuckle)

    M: Ya

    C: Um in my deliberations around the area during the course of the day I
    managed to get some information from two guys who told me they actually knew
    who the person was who jumped over the wall and into the house, they had his
    name but they weren't prepared to tell me about it because Sgt Makoni had
    said if they spoke about it, they would be sorted out, so I haven't released
    their names to anybody yet.  The um RBZ then pitched up with a few police
    officers wanting to buy some of my maize and this caused a bit of chaos in
    the area and upset the rhythm of things.  Um Mujaji also arrived and
    despatched some people to go and find this photographer and or newspaper man
    and driver and also to find the backup vehicle I had. The backup vehicle
    left the farm when they realised they were being pursued although I believe
    that Mujaji spoke to them and was quite cordial and said "No you can come in
    if you want" but they declined.  The cameraman was found and they took his
    film off him, I don't know if he'd taken any pictures they wanted to know
    who he was what he was doing and they took his ID and went through all of
    his personal effects

    S: Was this just coincidence RBZ arriving and Mujaji at the same time?

    C: Ya

    S: It was?

    C: Ya this was just coincidence

    S: Wow

    C: It just upset the rhythm of things and I think they were wrong footed.
    Mujaji then allowed me to take my pickup and I took a few belongings out of
    my house that were immediately vulnerable because they had broken down two
    doors. And then he wanted to speak to me.  He said that basically the farm
    was his, he told me that the maize had been grown on his land. He would
    honour my contracts okay but anything over those contracts would basically
    be his. I presumed that he would be paid by the contractor for the maize
    that would be delivered. He indicated that no maize would be leaving the
    farm without his authority.  He said that all his equipment would largely be
    mine that the Government would be coming to do a valuation of all my
    equipment and that they would value and pay me for it. He said that
    fertilizer stocks and chemical stocks I could take unless I wanted to
    remove, um sell it to the state or to him but that I should co-operate if I
    wanted this to happen. He also stated that I had cattle on the farm.  He
    said "your cattle are on the farm, we'll look after them for you", he wanted
    to buy some but he said at some stage I must move them off.  He said my
    barley was basically and my tobacco seedbeds because I had grown them on his
    land and then he just told me to go away and think about it.  I made no real
    comment I just listened and after that I picked up my pickup and the
    reporter who was a bit nervous at this stage and we left.  I proceeded to
    the office at Headlands where I submitted a report

    S: Office for

    C: Headlands Police and submitted another report as to what happened that
    day.  That was my 2nd report

    S: Was it just you and Mujaji talking or were there other hangers on?

    C: Sgt Makoni was there, um I also had a driver with me who was there and he
    heard most of what was said.  They were questioning the driver as to what he
    was, they wanted to know where he was from so on and I think they accepted
    who he was after his questioning.  Mujaji told me to be there on Thursday to
    check the valuation and I said "I won't be there" and that was it. I made my
    reports to Propol Dispol and the local police um but nothing happened. I
    then proceeded to inform Mabatamasango again on Thursday back in Harare
    exactly what happened. Mabatamasango again 2nd time around ordered Dispol
    and Propol to affect an arrest and comply with the High Court Order.  I left
    his office and proceeded to Rusape on Friday morning.  At Rusape I awaited
    the judgement for my criminal prosecution.  At that prosecution a Mr
    Superintendant Zvombe (sp) who is directly underneath Mabatamasango from
    Legal Affairs Head Office Harare was present at that verdict.  There were
    police around the court room, it was full.  I noticed Mujaji in the
    background but I didn't see him sitting in the actual court room.  The
    verdict was read out it was one and a half hours long and I was acquitted
    and discharged.  After that acquittal

    M: Sorry just for the clarity for the recording.  The criminal prosecution
    is in terms of

    C: Consequential Land Amendment Act, Consequential Provisions Land Act and I
    was charged by the State for being in occupation of the farm unlawfully

    M: On State land?

    C: On State land.  Um the Magistrate stated that the State had provided
    absolutely no evidence. 1) that the land had even been acquired, 2) that I
    was there unlawfully, 3) that there was any evidence to the contrary of the
    statements that I've produced that I have been allocated that land.  They
    produced one witness who refused to answer any of the questions. In summary
    it was a very, very poor effort and she stated that in her judgement saying
    if they wanted to prosecute this they should have brought a number of
    witnesses and prepared their case in a more thorough manner.  Um she stated
    that when my letter had been presented from the Acting President Msika and
    the Governor allocating me that land and confirming that I was to remain
    there the witness refused to answer any more questions after that which is
    quite interesting.  Anyway, I didn't go back to the farm that weekend but I
    did receive reports that the soldiers were still there, that maize was going
    bag by bag and that um court case that had happened was not be relayed to
    anybody on the farm.  I went back to Mabatamasango on Monday I showed him my
    court case and he acknowledged that Zvombe had been there but that he had
    not communicated with Zvombe.  He said that I should return to the farm on
    Tuesday and that I would be happy with the efforts of the police when I
    arrived there that I would find nobody there.  He said "If you are not
    happy with the situation then you feel free to report matter to the Deputy
    Commissioner in charge of Crime Debi Sibanda (sp) who's one under the
    Commissioner himself. I went out to the farm; I went out with my nephew

    S: This is yesterday now

    C: Yesterday.  I went to Headlands they gave me three details. When I
    arrived there I found that Dispol was there in their vehicle with another 3
    details.  Sgt Makoni was there and he's been the prime criminal in this
    whole case.  Um they said that no one was on the farm

    M: Sgt Makoni is (.)

    C: From the army and Mujaji's 2 IC.  Um and he is the guy who I actually saw
    him in Headlands driving around in my vehicle believe it or not with about
    20 people in the back. That's already been subject to a report.  The police
    made no effort to arrest Makoni, they merely said "everything's fine here.
    Do you want to check everything is okay?" I said "fine".  My manager was not
    allowed to release any information to me out of fear.  I found a paper about
    maize taken by Mujaji and Makoni but he didn't give it to me I actually got
    that out of the office later. Um, he tried to deny that any maize had been
    taken so I did my own stock take and found that about 60 bags in total
    including the 17 prior were missing.  I also established that 35 irrigation
    pipes and fittings and a trailer been taken off the farm by Mr Chakonyora
    who was the guy who had stolen a lot of stuff off the farm in the first
    jambanja a year ago. This had been taken to Mujaji's farm had not been
    returned

    S: Which farm is that, do you know?

    C: Mujaji has a farm in Headlands

    S: Don't know what it's called

    C: I don't know what it's called.  I mentioned this to the police, the
    police merely said "Oh this has been borrowed and will be returned" I said
    "I gave no authority for the stuff to be borrowed, this is theft", they
    merely wrote it down.  I then checked my house again and nothing else had
    been taken.  My vehicle had been used extensively over the last week and was
    in a bad state of disrepair, it no long started, the speedo cable had been
    disconnected or is broken, the diesel thing didn't work, both windows don't
    work um and the exhaust has broken off.

    S: In how long Charles, 2 weeks?

    C: In 2 weeks! I actually got it out from some of our workers that it had
    been used every single day.  Um they had been ferrying people backwards and
    forwards to Headlands, they had been putting maize in there they had been
    using it for personal things and running around the farm. At the end of all
    of this I said to the police that could they take Makoni away to Headlands
    presumably to be locked up and also could they check the house next door
    where Makoni and his people had based themselves and had been living, they
    just drove around, had a look, came back and told me no one was there and
    then proceeded off to Headlands

    M: With Makoni?

    C: With Makoni. I spoke for an hour with my manager who was quite shaken up
    about everything who said that these guys were not going to leave they are
    going to come back they have threatened us, if we tell you really what has
    been happening we will be beaten up and sorted. I explained to him that he
    needs to make a proper affidavit because that would be his only protection
    and I said that I would be in touch. I said I had to go to Rusape to go and
    get my Acquittal Order.  I did that and went off to Rusape; I got my
    Acquittal Order and the Judgement and drove back.  I thought I had better
    just check up on the farm on my way back from Headlands so I drove up
    through the farm I stopped at the green houses which were about 300m from
    the main gate, I deliberately didn't go up to the main gate and I just had a
    look.  I saw two workers coming by, who will remain nameless and they stated
    to me that um they didn't want to talk.  I said "Are the soldiers still back
    there?" and they said "Boss, they have arrived, they've come straight back"
    and I said "what since the police took them off?" and they said "yes" I
    decided not to go into the area and cause any trouble and I would just
    report this issue back to the police and leave which is what I have done.
    This morning which is Wednesday morning I wrote a letter out to the
    Assistant Commissioner General Sibanda in charge of crime at PGHQ. I met him
    personally, I gave him a copy of the letter and I gave him a copy of my
    Acquittal I explained everything that has been happening on the farm and I
    asked him please if he would see to it that this was resolved as Propol and
    Dispol were not acting in a proper manner here to order the situation, that
    my High Court was not being carried out, that my Acquittal was not being
    recognised and that Mujaji was still playing games with the soldiers on the
    farm, that my equipment had not been returned and that I would like to have
    all my maize and the stuff taken from the farm to be returned, he said he
    would look into it.  From there I proceeded into the office and I am now
    making this statement.

    M: Okay

    S: Have you had any communication from your workers or your manager on the
    farm overnight till this morning?

    C: I haven't, I haven't I am a bit concerned as to what has happened to him.
    But if nothing has happened by the end of the day I will take the matter up
    further.  I mean I think his life could well be in danger as could be a few
    others there. They have obviously tried not to release any information to me
    but I have ways of finding it out. Um and ya I think I am pretty accurate in
    what is happening on there.  I have copied my letter into Propol that I sent
    to the Assistant Commissioner General and there is a copy here which I am
    including on the records including my statements that were sent to the
    police.

    S: Okay

    M: Have the police ever refused to give you a RRB number or anything?

    C: No they have never refused to give me a RRB number but they have been
    very

    M: Obstructive

    C: Slow to react and in some cases they just don't react at all.  Um they
    were instructed to go and arrest these individuals and when I spoke to
    Superintendant Dube from Dispol he said he just sent some people out there
    to tell them they were there illegally and that was it.  These guys have
    been on the farm for 2 weeks.  The court order specifies that they must be
    arrested immediately and brought to the Registrar of the Court in Harare.
    That still has not even been done not one single one of them has been
    charged in spite of all the crimes on top of their contempt order have been
    committed. We have all their names, we know who they are.  Mujaji drives
    around as if he's a protected man and he can break the law openly.
    S: Sounds like he is, shocking man jeepers.  So this Mabatamasango is having
    no effect really is he (.)

    C: Well he has tried and I have taken it through the normal and proper
    channels um through all the proper channels and I cannot go any higher than
    this other than to site a complaint order onto the Commissioner himself
    which may have to be the next route if they refuse to to sort this matter
    out but I have tried to avoid that um rather to try and get some action to
    lend them the opportunity to try and sort it out themselves but it appears
    within the province there is certainly no will to do that

    M: Um what about your contract with um Delta? Have they been of any
    assistance?

    C: I have mentioned it to them and they are most concerned but I don't think
    they can do anything and I also have contracts for my maize.  They are (.)
    most concerned I mean they had to pay for a lorry to go out there and come
    back empty

    M: They weren't allowed to load up?

    C: They weren't allowed to load.  I mean that's a jail able offence
    immediately.  That's theft of maize large quantities of it and nothings been
    done

    S: GMB are not involved hey?

    C: No the GMB is not involved my maize is contracted to Delta and Staywell.
    The GMB didn't provide us with any assistance um I've sold them a bit of
    maize to show goodwill but my contracts are with those two people.
    M: What about production on the farm is there anything that, obviously
    everything(.)

    C: Well my labour force is in tatters so I probably won't be able to put in
    a tobacco crop this year.  I'm extremely worried about security about theft
    of our cattle about our implements, about irrigation pipes and equipment
    that are all outside about theft at night because the farm has been a free
    for all youth militia, army all sorts of people over the last 2 weeks
    they've had access to everything, our keys the lot, so I'm concerned about
    that

    S: Tell me did the Government valuators go out there on Thursday?

    C: Apparently they did, yes

    S: So how can you get hold of the inventory and the valuation?

    C: Well they say that the inventory is done, I mean there are laws as to
    what they have to do on that valuation but to be honest I don't see how they
    can value my equipment and say they want to acquire it when I am the lawful
    occupation of the land and utilizing it

    M: (.)

    C: And I already have an order to that effect but they just chose to ignore
    that

    M: So you are utilizing that equipment

    C: Ya

    M: So it cannot be acquired, mm interesting.  Is there anything else you
    want to add?

    C: Basically I just think Mujaji and his co-horts are just acting above the
    law and unless the law acts and sorts them out then we are living in a
    totally lawless society right now where the military are in control and the
    evidence is here for everybody to see

    S: Ya you are right hey, scary

    M: Okay thank you


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    Constitutional Deadline Missed

    BILL WATCH 29/2008
    [18th July 2008]
     
    Opening of Parliament
    Constitutional Deadline Missed
    The 15th July deadline for the first meeting of the new Parliament has been missed.  The deadline is imposed by section 62(2) of the Constitution:  "There shall be a session of Parliament beginning in every calendar year so that a period of more than one hundred and eighty days shall not intervene between the last sitting of either House in any one session and the first sitting of Parliament in the next session."  It has been questioned whether section 62(2) applies only to the period between sessions of the same Parliament and therefore cannot apply to the present situation.  However, all experts in Constitutional law consulted by Veritas reject that suggestion.  The provision in the Constitution is clear and it is set in a historical context, the purpose being to prevent government without Parliament. There is no other provision in the Constitution for the commencement of a Parliament.  We have not yet had a session beginning in this calendar year, and it is now over 180 days since the last sitting of the session that commenced last year.
    The date for Parliament's first meeting is determined by the President and published in a Proclamation in the Government Gazette.  [Constitution, section 62(1): " Š.. the sessions of Parliament shall be held in such place and shall begin at such time as the President may, by proclamation in the Gazette, fix."]
    Swearing-in of New Parliamentarians
    This must be done before the opening of Parliament.  The timing of the swearing-in ceremonies is determined by the President. [House of Assembly Standing Order No. 2: "At such time on such day as is fixed by the President, members shall assemble at the time and place appointed, and shall make and subscribe to the oath of loyalty in terms of section 44 of the Constitution."  The Senate has a similar Standing Order.]  The House of Assembly already has its full complement of 210 members waiting to be sworn in.  The Senate, however, is still incomplete.  Senators for the 60 elected seats were elected in the March 29 poll, and the 18 Senator Chiefs were chosen separately by their own electoral colleges.  Still to be announced are the 5 presidential appointees and the names of the 10 Provincial Governors [who are ex officio members of the Senate].  [Total seats in the Senate 93]
    Election of Speaker and Deputy Speaker of House of Assembly
    Immediately after the swearing-in ceremony, members of the House of Assembly must elect their Speaker and Deputy Speaker.  [Constitution, section 39: "(1) When the House of Assembly first meets after any dissolution of Parliament and before it proceeds to the despatch of any other business it shall elect a presiding officer to be known as the SpeakerŠ (4) When the House of Assembly first meets after any dissolution of Parliament it shall, as soon as practicable after the election of the Speaker, elect in accordance with Standing Orders a member of the House of Assembly Š to be the Deputy Speaker ".]  And [House of Assembly Standing Order No. 3: "Members having assembled and made and subscribed to the oath of loyalty in terms of Standing Order No. 2 shall, as soon as a quorum (25 members) is present, forthwith proceed to elect a Speaker and during such election the Clerk shall act as Chairperson." This is followed by the election of the Deputy Speaker.]
    The election of the Speaker is the subject of intense interest.  Normally the party [or combination of parties] with the majority of MPs would determine who will be Speaker and Deputy.  The combined MDC has 110 MPs against ZANU-PF's 99 [+1 Independent - total 210].  But police action against MDC legislators has resulted in some being held on criminal charges.  [See below]   Also, in the post-election violence some MDC MP's have been hospitalized.  Others have reported threats of violence or arrest and have gone into hiding.  This raises the possibility that the combined MDC voting power may be significantly eroded by the absence of some MPs [Note:  MPs do not have any special immunity from arrest on criminal charges; subject to that, however, preventing an MP from attending Parliament is a serious contempt of Parliament under the Privileges, Immunities and Powers of Parliament Act, punishable by a level 7 fine or imprisonment of up to two years; that punishment may be imposed either by Parliament itself or by a court.]   The balance between the two parties could also be affected, either way, should any of the pending election petitions result in the unseating of members elected in the 29th March poll.  However, early finalisation  of the election petitions seems unlikely. 
    Once elected, the Speaker enjoys considerable security of tenure.  He or she can be removed from office by MPs, but only by the affirmative votes of at least two-thirds of the total membership of the House [i.e.140 votes]. 
    Election of President and Deputy President of the Senate
    Immediately after the swearing-in ceremony,  Senators must elect the President and Deputy President of the Senate [Constitution, section 35, as read with Senate Standing Orders, Nos. 3 and 8, which are to the same effect as the provisions set out above for the election of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly.]
    In the election of the President and Deputy President of the Senate the President's party is likely to carry the day in any event.  Although the 60 elected Senators are evenly split between ZANU-PF [30] and the MDC [30], the President's 5 nominees and the 10 Provincial Governors would be expected to support his party, and the Chiefs tend to vote with the Government.  This would give a majority of 63 senators likely to support a ZANU-PF candidate against MDC's 30.  
    Criminal Charges against Parliamentarians
    Ten MDC MPs have been arrested on criminal charges and detained for varying periods since the 29th March.  A further 6 are believed to be in hiding.  The seat of any legislator accused of a criminal offence must be considered at risk, having regard to sections 41, 42 and 43 of the Constitution.  Section 41(1)(d) provides that a member forfeits his or her seat if absent from twenty-one consecutive sittings during any session without the leave of the Senate or the House of Assembly, and if the House concerned resolves, by the affirmative votes of more than one half of its total membership, that the seat shall become vacant.  Section 42 provides that a member automatically loses his or her seat if convicted and sentenced to death or imprisonment for six months or more.  Section 43 provides for expulsion of a convicted MP sentenced to a lesser sentence, if the House concerned decides by a vote of at least two-thirds of its total membership that the MP is unfit to continue in office.
    Against that background, the following figures of MDC legislators arrested since 29th March, or said to be wanted by the police, are significant, because in most cases the offences alleged are serious and punishable by prison sentences in excess of 6 months: 
    MPs arrested (10):  Tendai Biti, MP for Harare East;  Mischeck Shoko, MP for Chitungwiza South; Trevor Saruwaka, MP for Mutasa Central;  Shuwa Mudiwa, MP for Mutare West;  Amos Chibaya, MP for Mkoba;  Heya Shoko, MP for Bikita West];  Eliah Jembere, MP for Epworth; Naison Nemadziwa, MP for Buhera South;  Eric Matinenga, MP for Buhera West;  Ian Kay, MP for Marondera Central;  Norman Mpofu, MP for Bulilima East;
    Senators arrested [2]: John Masaba, Senator for Kariba; Lutho Tapera, Senator for Bulilima-Mangwe
    MPs reported wanted by police [6]: Pearson Mungofa, MP for Highfield East; Shepherd Mushonga, MP for Mazowe Central; Elton Mangoma, MP for Makoni North;  Pineal Denga, MP for Mbare;  Broadwin Nyaude, MP for Bindura South;  Edmore Marima, MP for Bikita East
     
    Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information supplied.



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    Toe the line or else, warns SADC

    IOL

        July 21 2008 at 02:26PM

    By Angela Quintal

    The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has taken a dim view
    of some of its member states who have broken ranks about Zimbabwe and has
    effectively told them to toe the line on regional positions.

    This comes as Zimbabwe's political parties have finally agreed to
    power-sharing talks, which could lead to an end to political violence and
    the implementation of an economic recovery plan for the country.

    Key officials in the SADC warned at the weekend that member states
    were divided about Zimbabwe and that these differences could threaten peace
    and unity in the region.

    Among those who have been openly critical of Robert Mugabe are Zambian
    President Levy Mwanawasa and Botswana's President Ian Khama, as opposed to
    key Mugabe allies, such as Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos.

    The unprecedented situation was highlighted at the opening of the
    ministerial committee (MCO) meeting of the region's organ on politics,
    defence and security, which met in Durban about two days at the weekend.

    The chairperson of the MCO, Angolan foreign minister Dr Joao Bernardo
    de Miranda, said there were "many interpretations" of the Zimbabwean
    presidential run-off election, which was boycotted by Morgan Tsvangirai.

    "As a result the unity and cohesion of the SADC is somehow fragile
    (sic). Such a fact is a very dangerous precedent, a very worrying situation
    because in fact it touches on the fundamental principles of our organisation
    and which could constitute an obstacle to regional peace."

    He warned that it could also scupper the implementation of steps
    already taken for the region's political, social and economic integration.

    But a statement released after the meeting stressed there would be no
    change to the region's support for the African Union's resolution on
    Zimbabwe, including the creation of a government of national unity.

    The MCO also reaffirmed its support for Thabo Mbeki's mediation
    efforts and "urged all parties to engage in serious dialogue" and to do so
    in a "genuine and constructive manner" for the sake of peace and
    development.

    SADC executive secretary Tomaz Salomao described the MCO discussions
    as "frank".

    "When you have differences here and there, there is a culture in the
    SADC that we take our decisions in a consensual manner."

    It had been brought to the attention of member states that whenever
    the region faced difficulties on the political front, this should be left to
    the SADC's organ's troika "which has the responsibility to mediate, take
    positions and to brief the summit in that regard".

    This did not mean, however, that the SADC was trying to censor the
    more outspoken heads of state. Salomao said the SADC member states had
    agreed on the way forward.

    Zimbabwe's political parties are expected to sign a memorandum of
    understanding in Harare on Monday that will set the scene for power-sharing
    talks, scheduled to begin in Pretoria later in the week.

    This article was originally published on page 1 of Daily News on July
    21, 2008


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    Zimbabwe Dollar Hits 1,2 Trillion Against the UK Pound



    SW Radio Africa (London)

    21 July 2008
    Posted to the web 21 July 2008

    Lance Guma

    Zimbabwe's economic decline was emphasized Monday when its currency slumped
    to an all time low of trading 1 British pound to Z$1,2 trillion.

    With inflation officially at 2,2 million percent but unofficially over 10
    million percent, the Reserve Bank responded by introducing a Z$100 billion
    dollar note. But a loaf of bread alone is costing more than Z$100 billion,
    in an economy that is beset by crazy contradictions. Teachers and other
    civil servants are earning around Z$140 billion a month, just enough to buy
    two packets of potato crisps.

    It was only in January this year that a $Z10 million note was issued. That
    was quickly followed by Z$50, Z$100 and Z$250 million dollar notes, meant to
    stave off cash shortages in the banking sector and allow for easier
    transactions. But it has only taken a couple of months to move from million
    dollar notes to billion dollar ones. While the regime has done its best to
    blame so-called 'western sanctions,' economists say the printing of money in
    an economy that is not producing anything has fuelled the hyper-inflationary
    environment.

    Over eighty-percent of the population is living below the poverty threshold,
    with millions thought to be facing starvation, following the banning by
    government of aid distribution by NGO's. Most people in formal employment
    are having to sell goods and services on the side to supplement their
    incomes. One teacher interviewed said teachers are selling sweets to their
    students to supplement their meager wages, in violation of Ministry of
    Education rules. Not surprisingly there are rumours that soldiers have just
    been awarded trillion-dollar salaries, although it's impossible to find out
    if this is correct.

    Meanwhile the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the MDC and
    Zanu PF on Monday brought mixed reactions on whether the country's economy
    could soon turn a corner and improve. With promises of massive investment if
    the political situation does improve many Zimbabweans were hoping their
    suffering might be a thing of the past. Those who are skeptical feel that
    Mugabe is using the MDC to get legitimacy for himself, and the situation
    will only change for those at the top while ordinary people's suffering
    continues.


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    Mass starvation looms for Zimbabweans


    By Tererai Karimakwenda
    July 21, 2008

    Global media reports have said mass starvation is looming for millions of
    Zimbabweans this year, following recent poor harvests and the ongoing food
    shortages in the shops. But people on the ground are using a different
    language. They say they are already starving. The government's chaotic 'Land
    Reform' programme has resulted in poor harvests, even though there were
    heavy rains this season. Government policies have produced an economy
    characterised by hyperinflation and severe food shortages in the shops. With
    experts estimating that inflation is currently between 10 and 15 million per
    cent, prices for some goods are more than doubling every day.

    An estimated five million people in the country will be in need of food
    assistance very soon and hundreds of thousands who harvested very little
    this season will require food aid immediately. This is according to the
    United Nations, who also said that one third of the population suffers
    malnourishment. An increased number of children are now suffering from
    kwashiorkor, a serious disease linked to malnutrition.

    Renson Gasela, an official in the Mutambara MDC and former head of the Grain
    Marketing Board, said starvation is very, very visible these days. He said
    in a country where everyone depends on maize as their daily food, it is a
    serious problem when there is no maize at all. A 20-kg bucket of maize meal
    now costs up to Z$ 1 trillion.

    Gasela said he worries about going to his constituency because people expect
    him to do something about the food shortages. A woman that he knows showed
    up on his farm last week, selling a large bag full of her family's clothing.
    Gasela quoted her as saying: "We can always buy more of these in the future,
    but right now we need to eat."

    Gasela angrily criticised the current government ban on humanitarian aid
    agencies, that is stopping them from feeding people in the rural areas. He
    said: "When you remove NGOs from feeding children, what are you saying? You
    are saying that they are condemned to die."

    Our Harare correspondent Simon Muchemwa said many people are showing up in
    the capital after leaving their rural homes because they did not grow enough
    food to keep them alive. The shortages have been worse since the
    presidential runoff election when ZANU-PF handed out bags of maize meal to
    supporters with party cards.

    The government recently announced what they call 'People's shops,' where the
    food is subsidised. But the exercise has been criticised as nothing more
    than a publicity campaign. Muchemwa said even one of these shops that he
    went to have empty shelves, and only soldiers, intelligence agents, police
    and prison officers have access to the food. In one shop last week, soldiers
    argued over supplies of sugar that had just been delivered, threatening to
    pull out guns if they did not get any.

    Even if you have money there is another problem. Banks have a maximum
    withdrawal limit of Z$100 billion per person a day, and it costs more than
    that for a soft drink.

    Muchemwa said cross border traders are reporting that Zimbabwe's shortages
    are now causing price increases in South Africa and other neighbouring
    countries. Supplies across the borders are reportedly getting scarce as
    Zimbabweans buy in bulk to sell at home.

    SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news


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    Mbare report, 21 July 2008

    Mbare Residents
    Power Supplies: Residents have expressed concern at the inconsistent power
    supplies to the western parts of Mbare, split by Mhlanga Avenue. For the
    past two weeks, power supplies have been erratic and outages have gone on
    from 5 am to around 8.30pm or 9 pm. Refrigerated foods in the shops are
    going to waste, in these trying times, worsening the plight of business.
    Refuse collection: It remains a puzzle to the Mbare Residents' Trust why
    residents have to continue to pay for the once a week refuse collection when
    nothing is being done. Council workers are regularly seen loitering without
    doing much work. Street corners have heaps of uncollected garbage.
    Food shortages: The crippling shortages of maize meal threaten many families
    in Mbare as the commodity is now scarce at Mbare Musika. When available it
    is going for as much as Z$600 billion, making it unaffordable to the
    majority of residents, who mostly survive on the informal sector to earn a
    living. The black market has become almost the formal market as almost
    everything; scarce in the shops has become readily available at a high cost.
    The situation has put the lives of nearly 500 people on the home-based care
    programme and over 2 000 orphans in jeopardy of starvation. Families have to
    take one meal a day to prolong the time taken with a small portion of mealie
    meal. The Trust forecasts if the situation is left unchecked in the next
    fortnight or three weeks, most families would starve to death due to
    malnutrition.  In fact most families now prepare their relish without
    cooking oil. Our major concern is the plight of the sick that have to eat
    nutritious food before taking their daily medication.
    Health Services:  It has come to our attention that our clinics seem to be
    operating on go slow.  Our investigations at Mbare Poly Clinic revealed that
    the institution looks understaffed.  TB patients are appealing o the nurses
    to process them earlier.
    Bus Terminus Security: Mbare Musika bus touts are running riot at the
    termini.  They can be seen jostling women as heavily laden would be
    passengers.  They wittingly relive people of their luggage then start
    running in all directions, parcels disappear in the ensuing confusion.  We
    call upon the Municipal Police and ZRP to seriously look into this matter.
    Beer Halls Security: Beer Garden patrons have noted that most of these no
    longer have Municipal Police manning hem.  It's not rare to see women with
    babies strapped on their backs drinking.  Underage kids can sometimes be
    seen selling cigarettes to patrons.  One is now risking life and limb by
    patronizing these unprotected bars, because tsotsis are now calling the
    shots.  Most patrons are complaining that bar workers are short-changing
    patrons by adding ZINWA (Water) to their opaque beer.  We call upon Rufaro
    Marketing to look into these matters.

    .
    Ends,
    Contact us on email mbaretrust@yahoo.com


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    Mugabe's thugs waved through Australian skies

    Sydney Morning Herald
     

     
    Russell Skelton
    July 22, 2008

    AIR ZIMBABWE is using Australian air space to ferry military officials and war veterans responsible for political violence in Robert Mugabe's repressive regime to China.

    Flights from Harare, also carrying tonnes of illicit goods including ivory, gold and diamonds, pass directly through Australian air space en route to Singapore, before touching down in Beijing and southern China.

    The Herald has been told that the flights, scheduled to depart on Monday and Fridays, have regularly been commandeered over the past year by Mr Mugabe and his "palace cronies" for junkets and holidays, leaving business passengers stranded at Harare International Airport.

    Zimbabwe aviation sources said a recent flight carried 15 tonnes of unidentified "palace cargo" to Beijing to be exchanged for weapons and luxury items.

    A spokesman for Australia's Foreign Affairs Minister, Stephen Smith, yesterday declined to say what Australia's position was on the flights.

    The Herald understands that Morgan Tsvangirai's opposition party is bewildered by Australia's failure to ban Air Zimbabwe from its air space - in line with a ban announced by the Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister, David Emerson, last month.

    The ban, following Zimbabwe's violence-marred run-off election on June 27, is accompanied by restrictions on Zimbabwean government, military and police officials and their families travelling, working and studying in Canada.

    It is believed the aircraft are guided through Australia air space over the Indian Ocean by traffic controllers in Brisbane. Government sources said the Rudd Government had the power to refuse the flights access to the air space.

    Zimbabwe aviation sources said the China flights were a political lifeline for President Mugabe and his Government, which faces international condemnation from Europe and the US. They claimed the country's wealth was being freely exchanged in China for luxury items and fittings for the $15 million presidential palace.

    "You often see war veterans on these flights. They are being rewarded for their thuggery with free junkets to China," a flight engineer said. "When the flights arrive back in Zimbabwe they are escorted to a secured part of the airport and unloaded by trusted palace staff. They are often crammed with plasma televisions and luxury goods that people can only dream about.

    "Just before the recent elections the return flights carried tonnes of posters and printed political propaganda and T-shirts for the war veterans.'

    China has been steadily spreading its influence in Africa in an effort to secure energy and food resources for its rapidly expanding economy.

    Another Zimbabwean flight engineer, who also asked not be named to protect his safety, said the Beijing flights were hazardous because safety requirements and mandatory rest breaks for crews were regularly ignored. "There is non-stop smoking. Flight engineers are not properly rested, yet if something goes wrong, they are the ones responsible for fixing it."

    In April a Chinese ship carrying 77 tonnes of small arms including AK-47 rifles, mortars and rocket-propelled grenades destined for Zimbabwe was turned away from the South African port of Durban.


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    ZANU PF Loses Parliament again

    http://zimbabwemetro.com

    By Roy Chinamano ⋅ © zimbabwemetro.com ⋅ July 20, 2008 ⋅

    ZANU PF’s hopes of legaly overturning the MDC’s majority in parliament faded
    when the Electoral court threw out a total of 16 petitions by ZANU PF.
    Some reasons for the Court to throw out the petitions was the timeframe they
    were filed while other petitioners filed on time failed to deposit security
    fees within the proscribed time of 10 days.

    ZANU PF also withdrew 10 cases before the Electoral Court had sat to
    deliberate on them.

    Judge President Rita Makarau dismissed eight ZANU PF petitions after the
    petitioners had served the petitions at the MDC’s harvest house
    headquarters.

    This, she said, did not amount to compliance with the Electoral Act, which
    provides for the petition to be served at the respondent’s residential or
    business address.

    “Section 169 is quite clear as it employs clear language that admits of no
    ambiguity. It requires all petitioners to serve written notice of the
    presentation of the petition and a list of proposed sureties upon the
    respondent, personally or by leaving it at his residence or place of
    business within 10 days of the presentation of the petition.

    “This is what all the petitioners ought to have done or were required to do
    by the law,” said Justice Makarau.

    Losing ZANU PF candidate former Minister of Water Resources Munacho Mutezo ’s
    case challenging MDC’s Lynette Karenyi’s victory in Chimanimani West was
    thrown out as he failed to file the election petition within the 10 days set
    out by the Electoral Act.

    Ten Zanu (PF) ministers lost their parliamentary seats and some include
    Patrick Chinamasa, Samuel Mumbengegwi, Aeneas Chigwedere, Amos Midzi, Mike
    Nyambuya, Joseph Made, Munacho Mutezo, Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, Chris Mushowe,
    Oppah Muchinguri and Rugare Gumbo.


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    Makoni denies also meeting Mnangagwa

    http://www.thezimbabwetimes.com/

    July 21, 2008

    By Geoffrey Nyarota

    FORMER Finance Minister Dr Simba Makoni has denied he met President Mugabe
    in January in the presence of Emmerson Mnangagwa, the Minister of Rural
    Housing and Social Amenities.

    It was reported in an article published on this website on Thursday July 17
    that contrary to his widely disseminated claim that he consulted Mugabe in a
    one-to-one meeting before he launched his bid for the presidency early in
    February, Makoni had, in fact, met Mugabe in the presence of a third person.

    Makoni dismissed this allegation in a statement issued Thursday to The
    Zimbabwe Times.

    "My last meeting with the then President Robert Mugabe was on January 21,
    2008," The former minister said. "It was the two of us alone."

    The Zimbabwe Times immediately went back to the primary source of the
    information about the meeting between Makoni and the President. The source
    conceded that Makoni was indeed by himself when he arrived at State House on
    January 21.

    "It is true that Makoni was alone when he arrived at State House to see the
    President," the source said. "Three other people had, however, entered the
    State House grounds, just ahead of him. These were George Charamba, the
    permanent secretary for information, Chris Mushohwe Minister of Transport
    and Communications and Mnangagwa.

    He added that on arrival, Mnangagwa had gone in briefly to see the President
    and then had gone out but, had remained in the grounds of State House.

    "Makoni was taken to see the President immediately on arrival," said the
    source. "They discussed for just over one hour. It was at the end of the
    hour that Minister Mnangagwa then went in to join them. The meeting
    continued for about another hour."

    This new information was submitted to Makoni in writing on Thursday with a
    request for his urgent response. By Sunday night he had not responded
    despite reminders on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. In fact, a number of
    questions pertaining to Makoni's meeting with Mugabe were submitted to him
    at two email accounts on Wednesday, before the article was published. The
    initial story was published before Makoni responded. In his statement on
    Thursday Makoni said he had failed to respond to the initial questions
    because he had not visited either of the email accounts by the time he
    retired for the night on Wednesday. He had, therefore not seen the email, he
    said.

    "I only became aware of the story when a friend contacted me from
    Switzerland on Wednesday," said Makoni.

    He said he had then checked his email and seen the questions and had
    immediately responded and emailed a statement to The Zimbabwe Times. He
    complained that he had not been granted sufficient time to respond. For the
    record, Makoni has still not responded to a number of questions submitted to
    him in February during the run-up to the March 29 elections. The questions
    were copied to the Mavambo publicity secretary, Godfrey Chanetsa.

    At the time of writing on Sunday night Makoni has not responded to fresh
    questions four days after they were submitted to him.

    Thursday's article in the Zimbabwe Times also alleged that Makoni's
    Mavambo-Kusile-Dawn had procured 25 pick-up trucks from South Africa and
    that senior official Dumiso Dabengwa had travelled to South Africa on a
    fund-raising mission. It was further reported that the vehicles had not been
    used for the election, save for one that was issued to Dabengwa. We have
    since obtained information that another vehicle was allocated to Chanetsa.
    Chanetsa is a former press secretary to President Mugabe and was
    subsequently posted to London as information attache.

    The rest of the fleet had allegedly been parked at the premises of Fidelity
    Printers, a company which is operated by the Reserve Bank in Msasa, Harare,
    where bank notes are printed.

    It was alleged in the story that the vehicles, still unregistered, had later
    been released and used by the military in the campaign of violence that
    engulfed Zimbabwe from the beginning of April. Brand new twin-cab trucks
    were invariably reported to have transported perpetrators to the scenes of
    violence.

    "Yes, we procured 25 vehicles during the campaign period," Makoni said in
    his statement. "Only five were received by us and used before polling date.
    The rest were only cleared after March 29, and remain in our possession, for
    use in the work of our movement country-wide. They definitely were not, at
    any time, stored at Fidelity Printers, and were not used by 'death squads .
    killing innocent Zimbabweans."

    Makoni has not responded to follow-up questions relating to the whereabouts
    and the current circumstances of the trucks, including whether they still
    remain unregistered.

    Makoni denied a suggestion in the article that he had been in South Africa
    since early April.

    "I have been in Zimbabwe all the time," he said, "and remain here now; am
    writing to you from my office in Harare. I visited South Africa from June 1
    to 13 2008, to meet Mavambo.Kusile.Dawn (M.K.D) activists and sympathisers
    there; consult with members of President Mbeki's facilitation team and other
    public officials; and attend the Africa Summit of the World Economic Forum."

    Makoni gave a South African mobile number as his reliable contact number.

    He denied he had met Mnangagwa again after the alleged State House
    encounter.

    "I have met Mr Emmerson Mnangagwa only once since I left Zanu-PF," Makoni
    said. "That meeting was in early June, 2008. I met him, as I have done with
    other Zanu-PF leaders, to advance two matters, viz; to seek an end to the
    violence unleashed after the release of the results of the March 29 poll,
    and to urge for cooperation among political leaders to end the national
    crisis, including discussion on a national transitional authority."

    Makoni also denied that Dabengwa has visited South Africa on a Mavambo
    fund-raising mission.

    "You can see from the foregoing that the "information from extremely
    reliable sources" and "those close to (me)" is pure fabrication," he said.
    "You may wish to re-assess your rating of the reliability and closeness to
    me of your sources. You will be aware that during the election campaign
    period, an attempt was made to link me to so-called "British and American
    multinational organisations". I suspect this may be continuation of the same
    smear tactics.

    "It is noteworthy that the information is being released at a time when our
    (M.K.D) proposition of a national accommodation (transitional national
    authority or government of national unity) has taken centre stage, as the
    only way out of the country's crisis."


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    Speech given to Bulawayo Agenda meeting

    President Room, Rainbow Hotel
    Friday 18 July 2008

    Introduction

    It is appropriate for me to open my speech by conveying hearty
    congratulations to Nelson Mandela on his 90th birthday.  I think I speak on
    behalf of all here today in wishing him continued health and happiness as he
    enters the twilight of his long and illustrious life. It is also appropriate
    to refer to Nelson Mandela in the context of today's meeting.  As terrible
    and as insurmountable as the problems we face in Zimbabwe appear to be today
    the fact is that South Africa was in a similar crisis in the late 1980s.
    South Africans managed to negotiate a settlement which culminated in the end
    of apartheid, the introduction of the new Constitution and the laying down
    of a new foundation on which to construct a modern, vibrant, free and
    democratic state.  Whilst the international community played a constructive
    role in bringing South Africans together, ultimately it was South Africans
    themselves who negotiated a new beginning for South Africa.

    Key to the success of the South Africa negotiations was of course the
    towering figure of Nelson Mandela himself.  More than any other single
    factor it was his wisdom, his commitment to genuine reconciliation, his
    commitment to a peaceful resolution and, most importantly, his profound
    commitment to freedom, liberty and democracy that ensured the success of the
    negotiations.  There were many occasions when the negotiations could have
    floundered; for example when Chris Hani was assassinated South Africa could
    have slipped back easily into anarchy and civil war.  It took the wisdom and
    calm head of Nelson Mandela to pull the process through those crises.

    One of the great strengths of Nelson Mandela is his humility and modestly.
    He has always been on the first to acknowledge that he was fortunate to be
    surrounded by other great leaders who also had level heads.  South Africa
    was fortunate that it had people of the calibre of FW De Klerk, Cyril
    Ramaposa and Roelff Meyer involved in the negotiation process.  There is no
    doubt that they played a key role in keeping the negotiations on track.
    They had the wisdom to know the right time to compromise and the right
    issues to compromise on. They had the strength to haul recalcitrant elements
    in their respective political parties along with them.

    It seems almost certain that a Memorandum of Understanding will be signed
    next week. Whilst the MOU will undoubtedly be a positive step forward
    towards a negotiated settlement in Zimbabwe, many pitfalls still lie ahead
    and we will need Mandela-like wisdom to negotiate them.

    A few weeks ago in London Nelson Mandela commented on the Zimbabwean crisis
    using four words which are profoundly significant as we move towards a
    negotiated settlement. He said that the Zimbabwean crisis was, and I quote,
    a "tragic failure of leadership".  At that time many took his comments as an
    attack on Robert Mugabe alone.  However I do not believe that his comments
    were directed solely at Robert Mugabe. I believe that he was referring to a
    collective failure of leadership in Zimbabwe not just this year but over a
    protracted period.

    It is just over 50 years since Garfield Todd's tenure as Prime Minister of
    Southern Rhodesia ended on the 17th of February 1958. In his farewell
    statement Garfield Todd said "we must make it possible for every individual
    to lead the good life, to win a place in the sun.  We are in danger of
    becoming a race of fear ridden neurotics - we who live in the finest country
    on earth". Those wise words have been disregarded by a succession of
    political leaders in Zimbabwe for the last 50 years.  Zimbabwe has been
    blighted during the last 50 years by political leaders of all races and of
    all ideologies who have been guilty of the following errors of judgement:

    1. They believe in physical force rather than moral force

    Since the early 1960s Zimbabwean political parties have generally been led
    by men who believe that physical force is more important than moral force.
    The 1961 Constitution would have led to a gradual and orderly transition
    from white minority rule to majority rule but it was derailed by both black
    and white politicians who did not believe in compromise and who preferred to
    place their faith in the use of force and violence either to retain power or
    to acquire it.  The politics of the 1960s and 1970s were marked by a
    shocking lack of commitment by most political leaders to seek non-violent
    means of resolving the then political crisis.  Since 1980 we have been led
    by a regime that has a deep-rooted belief in and commitment to the use of
    violence to achieve political objectives. Tragically as so often happens
    under tyrannical regimes those who oppose tyranny sometimes get poisoned by
    tyranny and themselves replicate or mirror the methods used by the very
    tyrannical regimes they
     oppose. Zimbabwe has been no exception and I have no doubt that the
    struggle for freedom has been compromised periodically when we in the
    opposition have lapsed into the thinking that our problems may be resolved
    through the use of physical force and violence.

    I was horrified to read recently statements made by a few senior opposition
    leaders which betray this thinking. One threatened a "shooting war" and went
    on to say that the MDC should not be blamed "when we start."  Another wrote
    that an option was to "pick up arms of war" and drive Mugabe out. Whilst I
    fully understand the deep sense of frustration which leads to statements
    like this being made, these utterances are irresponsible. War, or the threat
    of war, should never be part of our lexicon, especially during any
    negotiation process. That is the language we expect to hear from Mugabe - it
    should never come from a democrat at this juncture of our history.

    All democratic political leaders must consider the legacy of the last 50
    years of violence in Zimbabwe.  We need to all understand that it is this
    continual reversion to violence which has brought our great nation to the
    sorry state is in today.  Unless all political leaders unequivocally revoke
    the use or threat of violence there will never be a meaningful negotiated
    settlement in Zimbabwe.  And it is simply no excuse for opposition leaders
    to threaten the use of violence or war in response to the shocking brutality
    exercised by this regime against the Zimbabwean people.  All those threats
    will do is perpetuate the horrifying cycle of violence this country has
    experienced in the last 50 years. In short war or the threat of war is
    simply not an option. If the talks, which are about to commence, are to
    succeed that threat should never be used by anyone, certainly not by the
    democrats.

    Accordingly if a negotiated settlement is to be achieved there needs to be a
    fundamental commitment to the use of non violent means to settle the
    political crisis henceforth.  Martin Luther King in 1963 drafted a pledge
    for the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights.  Paragraph 8 of their
    pledge records a commitment to "refrain from the violence of fist, tongue or
    heart".  I do not believe that one can wave a fist and speak of peace at the
    same time.  The two are mutually exclusive. And whilst of course it is ZANU
    PF which has been overwhelmingly responsible for most of the violence the
    fault does not just lie with them. We in the opposition have also on
    occasions been guilty of simply paying lip service to the use of
    non-violence. One of the greatest tragedies of the struggle for freedom
    during the last eight years is the fact that in the last three months
    several of the young men within the opposition who were suspended in 2005
    for deviating from the opposition's polic
    y of non-violence have now themselves been brutally assassinated by the ZANU
    PF regime's hit squads. I cannot help but feel that had they been led more
    actively along a different path they may have survived to see a new dawn of
    freedom and tolerance in Zimbabwe. But that is now past and we must move
    forward.

    I should stress that whilst my sentiments in this regard are mainly rooted
    in principle and morality there are also practical reasons why violence and
    the threat of war is simply not an option, and indeed never have been.
    Firstly it is trite that if one is going to make a threat one should be able
    to carry it out if it is to carry any weight. For reasons which require
    another whole speech the opposition has not managed to organise mass
    protests against the regime so its chances of successfully organising a war
    are minimal. There is no public will for war. We do not have neighbouring
    States which would in any way support a war. So, even if one believes in war
    it is in reality a hollow threat so serves no purpose. Secondly, and perhaps
    more importantly, we must understand that one of our greatest strengths
    internationally is that we have by and large demonstrated a commitment to
    using peaceful, non-violent, democratic methods to achieve our political
    goals and that has generate
    d immense sympathy for our cause throughout the world. The world has a
    limited attention span and interest and often support comes down to a simple
    understanding of who the "good guys" and the "bad guys" are. In Zimbabwe,
    certainly this year, it has been very easy for the world to grasp who has
    been "good" and "bad". Despite strenuous efforts made by ZANU PF to avoid
    responsibility for the horrors our nation has experienced since March, the
    world knows who is responsible and that is one of the main reasons why ZANU
    PF is so isolated now, even in Africa.

    Accordingly if we are to negotiate a settlement there must be a profound
    commitment to refrain from the violence of the fist, tongue and heart by the
    opposition, irrespective of what ZANU PF leaders have done or are planning
    to do. We must recognise that we occupy the high ground morally as we enter
    this process and we must not lose that position by making foolhardy threats
    at this critical juncture.

    2. They are concentrated on either the retention or acquisition of power
    rather than the national interest

    I question what has happened to all our patriots? It seems to me that our
    nation has been blighted by a succession of leaders who are more concerned
    with their personal interests or the narrow interests of their own political
    parties and supporters then they are in the great nation state of Zimbabwe.
    This should be a great nation; it is richly endowed with bright articulate
    hard-working people; with rich natural resources; with the best climate in
    the world; it is a country of stunning natural beauty.  As Garfield Todd
    said over 50 years ago it is indeed the finest country on earth.  How can it
    then be that the finest country on earth is the location of one of the
    world's worst nightmares? I believe that is primarily because our political
    leadership has for decades put selfish personal interests ahead of the
    national interest.

    One of the reasons the Lancaster house talks did not provide a long-term
    resolution to Zimbabwe's problems is because white rights were put before
    the entrenchment of universally recognised human rights.  Instead of
    ensuring that the new Zimbabwean Constitution deeply rooted democratic
    principles there was a concentration on protecting white interests.  In
    contrast both FW De Klerk and Roelff Meyer in the South African negotiations
    recognised that it was more important to entrench democracy for all than it
    was to seek to protect white privilege.

    Likewise the reason the December 22, 1987 Unity Accord has come unstuck is
    because it accommodated the interests of the political leadership of ZANU PF
    and ZAPU rather than the general interests of the Zimbabwean people. One of
    the reasons there is such antipathy in Zimbabwe today regarding a government
    of national unity is because of the 1987 Unity Accord.  The Unity Accord is
    viewed by most people, certainly in Matabeleland, as a settlement which
    benefited a few leaders that which did not entrench democracy and so lay the
    foundation for meaningful economic development which would benefit all
    Zimbabweans.

    Sadly that attitude continues to this day and applies to both ZANU PF and
    the MDC. I fear that the current negotiations may focus on who gets what
    instead of what structural reforms are needed to put Zimbabwe back on the
    road to recovery.  If the negotiations focus on how much power is either
    retained by ZANU PF or acquired by the MDC rather than the policy reforms
    needed then any settlement that arises from the negotiations will not be
    wholeheartedly embraced by the Zimbabwean people.

    To this extent who leads the country and who is in any Cabinet is
    irrelevant.  Let me be quite clear what I mean.  Obviously the democratic
    will of the people of Zimbabwe as reflected in the 29th of March 2008
    elections must be respected.  However the problems Zimbabwe face are so
    severe and intractable that we cannot allow petty bickering about who gets
    what to derail the negotiations.  All national leaders must recommit
    themselves to the national interest and be prepared to subordinate their
    personal goals and ambitions to what is in the best interests of Zimbabwe.
    This means that in the interests of compromise there may have to be some
    power-sharing mechanism during a transitional period.

    In this regard let me briefly respond to the statement issued by the civil
    society organisations yesterday the 17 July 2007 in which they call upon a
    transitional government to have "leadership by a neutral body" and a
    transitional government "headed by an individual who is not a member of ZANU
    PF or MDC". Once again whilst I appreciate the sentiment which lies behind
    the statement one cannot just disregard the wishes of the Zimbabwean people
    as expressed on the 29th of March. Our society remains deeply polarised and
    we cannot ignore the fact that leaders on both sides of the political divide
    enjoy the passionate support of their respective supporters. They have been
    given a mandate by their supporters and that mandate must be respected in
    the negotiation process.  However it is because of that deep polarisation
    that I believe we will have to consider some interim power sharing
    mechanism. And it goes without saying that power-sharing involves compromise
    on both sides.  As a l
    awyer who has been involved in human rights issues and who has been
    concerned about the problem of impunity for my entire professional life I do
    not like compromise on certain issues.  However at this juncture of our
    nation's history I do not see any alternative which will bring our nation's
    tragedy to an end without further loss of blood.

    The world has passed us by in the last 50 years

    Tragic consequences

    We need to recognise that the world is passed us by the last 50 years. I
    think that Bulawayo airport stands as a monument, a constant reminder to us
    of our lost opportunities.  It was built in the 1950s some 20 kilometres
    from the city centre, an island in a sea of trees and bush. It was designed
    that way because our city fathers anticipated that there would be great
    growth in Bulawayo. However it remains an island because Bulawayo and
    Zimbabwe has stagnated for 50 years.  Indeed if anything our economy is now
    smaller than it was in the 1950s.  We have suffered 50 years of lost
    opportunities and this country's great potential has not been realised. We
    need to all now draw a line on the sand and move forward.

    But the tragic consequences are not solely confined to economic collapse.
    Almost of greater concern to me is the collapse of the moral fabric of our
    society. We need to consider the effect of 50 years of violence on our
    national character.  In this regard and I am not only speaking about the
    victims of violence but also about the perpetrators.  In the last few weeks
    I have seen horrifying injuries inflicted on Zimbabweans by young men.
    Doctors say that some of these injuries are so severe that they would never
    occur, for example, in a traffic accident.  Bones had been broken repeatedly
    by young men acting on the instructions of their political leaders.  I have
    no doubt that they will be haunted by what they have done in the years that
    lie ahead.  Scientific studies show that those who inflict violence on
    political opponents often go on to inflict violence on those they love
    including spouses and children. It is also a fact that we now have a deeply
    ingrained culture of viol
    ence. The Genie is out the bottle and it will be difficult to get it back in
    even if there is political will shown by ZANU PF. If negotiations are to
    succeed then not only must this violence stop immediately but other measures
    must be taken to ensure that violence does not derail either the talks or
    the transition.

    In these circumstances the demand by the MDC that all violence should stop,
    that political detainees should be released and that is NGOs be allowed to
    distribute food are reasonable.  However I would qualify these demands by
    recognising that even if ZANU PF gives undertakings it will be difficult to
    verify the compliance of those undertakings in the short term and to change
    the mind set of a generation of youth militia overnight.  I believe that
    SADC has a key role to play in this regard.  I think the State should
    immediately deploy civilian monitors to report back to the facilitators
    regarding whether militia camps have been removed, whether NGOs are able to
    function and other legitimate issues of concern have been addressed. I think
    that if such a commitment is given by SADC then negotiations should commence
    without further ado. But we must recognise that unless there are neutral
    SADC monitors deployed in the country eruptions of violence are more likely
    to occur and these
    may have the effect of disrupting the talks.

    It follows as well that a crucial aspect of the talks must be how to tackle
    the culture of violence so that it does not derail any transitional period
    agreed to in the talks. Time does not permit me to go into what is needed in
    this regard. Suffice it to say that we must not underestimate how serious
    this problem is and our need for an ongoing presence of SADC monitors even
    during the transitional period. In short even after the talks have ended the
    world must not pass us by - we will need an ongoing international help and
    commitment, especially from our SADC brothers and sisters, to stabilise our
    beloved country.

    The way ahead

    No GNU

    For the reasons I have outlined above a government of national unity will be
    viewed with extreme scepticism by most Zimbabweans.  The fear of Zimbabweans
    is that the government of national unity will draw in unscrupulous political
    leaders who then become part of a corrupt system.  The fear is that those
    leaders are then compromised and that they will fail to deal with the
    fundamental problems facing Zimbabwe.

    Transitional authority

    It is for this reason that a transitional authority should be agreed to and
    I would like to discuss a few aspects of this authority. Before I do so let
    me respond to those who may say that there is no difference between a GNU
    and a Transitional Authority. Some argue that this is just about semantics.
    I disagree - the difference is all about emphasis. A GNU focuses on "unity";
    substance is secondary and the notion of a transition to something different
    is completely subordinate to unity. A Transitional Authority focuses on
    "transition". There can, and must of course, be unity in transition but the
    emphasis is on a transition to something new, not just a changing of the
    guard at the top.

    1.  Composition

    In the same statement issued by civil society organisations yesterday they
    said that the transitional authority should be neutral and should include
    all representatives of civil society groups including churches.  That sounds
    fine in theory that a major problem faces us all in agreeing who is neutral.
    In addition agreement would have to be reached within civil society as to
    who from civil society should be included in any such transitional
    authority.  One needs to ask the question "what is a person's mandate". How
    will agreement reached regarding who should represent civil society,
    especially bearing in mind the urgency of the crisis? Bearing in mind that
    the civic organisations which have made this call are generally aligned to
    the MDC there must be a danger that if inclusion is insisted upon that
    "civic organisations" aligned to ZANU PF, such as the War Veterans
    Association and others, will make similar demands. In short whilst one
    understands the need for inclusion there
    are practical problems which should not be allowed to derail or hinder the
    process at this juncture.

    My own belief is that any transitional authority emerging from the talks
    should generally respect the will of the people as expressed on the 29th of
    March 2008. As stated above because our nation is so deeply polarised there
    will have to be a power-sharing arrangement during the transition including
    all the political parties given a mandate by the electorate in March.
    However during the transition civil society will have to play a major role
    in certain aspects of the transitional authority's mandate, especially
    regarding the process which should culminate in a new democratic
    constitution.

    2.  Duration

    Any transitional authority agreed to should have a finite mandate.  It must
    be made clear that the authority will not have a mandate to govern
    indefinitely.  In addition the duration of the authority should be as short
    as possible; and it should be understood that it is to govern in the short
    term - I would hope for no longer than 18 months to two years.

    3.  Mandate

    It seems to me that there are four critical areas that need to be addressed
    by a transitional authority.

    A. The economic crisis

    The transitional authority should be mandated to stabilise the economy, to
    seek balance of payments support, to tackle inflation by engaging
    institutions such as the World Bank and the IMF. It will need to draw on
    technical expertise from qualified Zimbabweans and others who can introduce
    the necessary economic policies to stop Zimbabwe's economic freefall.

    B. The humanitarian crisis

    Zimbabwe is arguably suffering the world's greatest humanitarian crisis at
    present. The country faces a severe food shortage; our hospitals are devoid
    of qualified personnel and medication.  An absolute priority of the
    transitional authority should be to engage the international community to
    ensure the importation of the necessary food and drugs and introduction of
    policies which will attract qualified personnel to return to Zimbabwe to
    address the food and health crisis.

    C. The Constitutional crisis

    At the root of the political, economic and humanitarian crises is our deeply
    flawed Constitution. The transitional authority should immediately engage
    all Zimbabwean political parties, civic organisations that trade union
    movements, churches and other interested organisations to recommence the
    constitutional debate and to agree on an all-inclusive process which will
    culminate in a new constitution.

    D. Fresh elections

    Once the economy has been stabilised, the humanitarian crisis addressed and
    a new constitution enacted the transitional authority should hand over to a
    genuinely, and objectively verifiable, Independent Electoral Commission
    which will then conduct and genuinely free and fair elections supervised by
    SADC and the AU.

    Unique opportunity

    Zimbabwe has reached a political stalemate.  There is no way out for ZANU
    PF. Its nemesis is now the economy.  It has no solution to hyperinflation.
    It knows that in the coming weeks and months it will not even be able to
    feed key elements of its support base. To that extent it has no choice but
    to negotiate. Likewise the combined MDC in respecting its moral and
    practical commitment to a non violent solution to the Zimbabwean crisis must
    recognise that it to too has no choice but to negotiate, no matter how
    unpalatable that may be in certain respects.

    Despite our fears and reservations we must see this as a unique opportunity
    to negotiate a peaceful settlement for our nation.   Our country is in great
    peril today.  We can either allow it to continue down its present slide to
    destruction and oblivion or we can all work together to seize this
    opportunity to lay the foundations for a great nation.  I reiterate again
    the words of Garfield Todd made over 50 years ago - this is indeed the
    finest country on earth.  It is missing one key ingredient at present -
    democracy. When that ingredient is rooted I have no doubt that the Zimbabwe
    will yet become the jewel of Africa.

    Senator David Coltart
    Khumalo Constituency
    Bulawayo
    18th July 2008


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    Mbeki kicks for base

    http://www.hararetribune.com

    By Eddie Cross | Harare Tribune News
    news@hararetribune.com
         Updated: July 21, 2008 13:23

    I must say that the past week has surprised me. Mr. Mbeki came home
    from his trip to the G8 summit in Japan in a hurry. First he called for an
    immediate resumption of the dialogue between the MDC and Zanu PF - suspended
    after the debacle last year when Mugabe simply put his foot down and said
    that he would not implement the agreement thrashed out over 9 painstaking
    months by the negotiating teams under Mr. Mbeki's mediation. MDC was
    reluctant to begin 'talks' but eventually agreed to resume 'talks about
    talks.' These got under way on Friday last week and after two days of
    fruitless arguing, the talks were suspended and the negotiators returned
    home.

    On Monday this week, the South Africans continued the dialogue and
    although we know little of what went on behind closed doors, we understand
    that it was a very rough session - almost physical at times. The result was
    a draft 'Memorandum of Understanding' which the South Africans then said -
    'sign that - all of you'.

    By all accounts Zanu PF were prepared to sign but the MDC led by
    Morgan Tsvangirai stuck to its guns and said they would not sign nor begin
    substantive talks until its preconditions were fulfilled. There was much
    huffing and puffing about that - both in the State controlled media here and
    in South Africa where the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs dismissed the
    MDC demands with several snide remarks in Pretoria.

    On Thursday the MDC National Executive was recalled to review the
    draft MOU and after two hours of intense debate and several amendments, they
    agreed that providing our preconditions for substantive talks were
    satisfied, MDC would sign the MOU as a basis for full negotiations on a
    transitional authority to run the country until a new constitution could be
    adopted and free and fair conditions held - perhaps in two years time. I was
    astonished by the terms of the MOU and said so to the President.

    Now today (Sunday) the BBC has stated that following a terse
    announcement in Johannesburg to the effect that Mr. Mbeki would be assisted
    in his mediation role in these talks by both AU and UN representatives, MDC
    has announced that we would sign the MOU on Monday. In fact behind the
    scenes there was more to this than met the eye and I think most media have
    yet to fully appreciate what in fact has transpired.

    On Thursday the Chairman of the AU Commission, Mr. Ping, arrived in
    Johannesburg and on Friday the SADC Organ on Security and Politics joined
    him. In subsequent meetings, they thrashed out an agreement that paved the
    way to the appointment of the AU and UN representatives and by doing so met
    one of our key demands as a precondition for the talks. The other
    preconditions were all covered in the MOU and had already been agreed by
    Zanu PF on Tuesday. These include a complete cessation of political violence
    and the resumption of humanitarian aid on a non-political basis.

    And so the stage is now set for full negotiations between the MDC and
    Zanu PF. The first step in this process will be a short, but highly
    significant meeting between Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai - the first
    such meeting since this crisis began 10 years ago. Following this meeting to
    agree on the basis for the negotiations, locale and timetable, the leaders
    will sign the MOU. At this point I would imagine that the MOU would become a
    public document and be available to everyone via the Press and other Media.
    When this happens I forecast shock and trepidation in Zanu circles and
    astonishment and delight everywhere else.

    It represents a full climb down by Mugabe and his cohorts made even
    more significant by the fact that nowhere does it mention that Mugabe is the
    President of Zimbabwe. In fact we really do not have a government at the
    moment - not even a caretaker one as the winners of the March election have
    yet to be sworn in and the subsequent 'election' of Mugabe as President has
    not been accepted by any of the major multilateral organisations involved -
    the SADC, the AU and the UN. Far from taking Zanu PF forward, the sham
    election held on the 27th of June has simply compounded their problems and
    isolation.

    Once the MOU is signed I expect the full negotiations to begin
    immediately at a secure location and with the full team of mediators
    present. Our own team is now being selected and appointed and will include
    both technical experts and politicians. Theirs is a very tough assignment
    and nobody inside or outside the country is putting any money on a
    reasonable outcome. Skeptism is almost universal.

    This time my own money is on an outcome that we can live with and
    start the long process of stabilizing and reconstructing our battered
    economy. The reasons are quite simple - Zanu PF is at the end of the road,
    Mr. Mbeki and his associates want this crisis resolved and those with the
    resources to help us put Zimbabwe back together again have a very clear
    understanding of what they will accept in terms of a political solution that
    qualifies us for assistance. There is absolutely no point in negotiating a
    deal that is not acceptable to the people with money - both in the shadowy
    world of finance and investment and in the realm of bilateral donor
    activity.

    The one feature of recent events that convinces me that this time
    Mbeki is kicking for the posts is that he has demanded that the whole
    process is wrapped up in two weeks. In fact there is talk of a SADC summit
    of Heads of State in mid August to receive a report on the talks and to
    consider their outcome and any future role of SADC as a guarantor of the
    implementation of the final Agreement. I agree fully with this timetable, as
    our own economic slide is now so fast that not many are going to survive the
    ride for much longer.

    Not covered in any of the talks so far or mentioned in any agenda is
    the issue of just what is going to happen to the many monsters who have been
    responsible for planning, managing and undertaking the violent repression of
    the opposition in the past decade or more. Clearly there is no place for
    these men and women of violence and corruption in any transitional
    administration. That is a key subject that the Mediators will have to attend
    to and resolve.

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