By Alec Russell
Published: July 27 2007 22:12 | Last updated: July 27 2007 22:12
Zimbabwe's military, police and intelligence chiefs have decided that
despite the country's economic and political crises, their best interests
are served by remaining loyal to Robert Mugabe, according to Jonathan Moyo,
the president's estranged former close aide.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Mr Moyo said that, behind the
scenes, senior officials in the ruling Zanu-PF party were looking for a
successor to the 83-year-old ruler, but there was little chance of a palace
coup for the time being.
"Only the Joint Operations Command [the security and intelligence chiefs who
regularly brief the president] could go to him and tell him to stand down,"
said Mr Moyo. "And they think the status quo is the safest at the moment."
The chiefs were worried that without a clear succession strategy, Zanu-PF
might fall apart once Mr Mugabe steps down, he said. "There is one thing
that Mugabe says that is true: he is afraid that change will lead to the
disintegration of Zanu-PF. That's why the military prefers the status quo."
In a strange case last month, six men including a former army officer were
charged with treason and accused of a coup plot. They denied the allegation,
which many analysts say could have been a ploy by Mr Mugabe to warn off any
Trevor Ncube, a Zimbabwean newspaper publisher living in South Africa, said:
"The coup theory was a way of saying, 'This is how we'll deal with anyone
who moves against us'."
Until two years ago, Mr Moyo was one of Mr Mugabe's most devoted advisers.
As information minister, he oversaw draconian press laws. Since then, he has
fallen out with his old boss but he retains close links with the Zanu-PF
His comments echo the view of many analysts that - despite the dire
economy - Mr Mugabe's inner circle is not ready to break ranks with the man
who has led Zimbabwe since independence in 1980. Many have made fortunes in
recent years, even as inflation has rocketed to 6,000 per cent on the
official index and large sections of the population have become
Mr Moyo, now an independent MP who was expelled from Zanu-PF in 2005, said
many in the party, and even in the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change, wanted a consensus candidate to succeed Mr Mugabe. But there was no
agreement on who it could be. Like many Zimbabweans, he has little
confidence in South African efforts to broker an end to the crisis by
hosting talks between Zanu-PF and the MDC.
Mr Mugabe has made clear he is not interested in rewriting the
constitution - a key MDC demand. In what was widely interpreted as a
deliberate snub to Pretoria this month, Zanu-PF did not turn up for the
start of formal negotiations, and kept the MDC delegates and their hosts
waiting for two days.
South African officials will not comment in public on the talks but,
privately, senior officials have conceded they have scant chance of success.
One cabinet minister said there was still the chance of a coup, but that Mr
Mugabe could "stagger on through a meltdown of the economy and still be
there in two or three years".
With the opposition demoralised after a crackdown by the security forces,
there is speculation in Harare that an emboldened Mr Mugabe is considering
standing down next year in favour of a Zanu-PF successor - having guaranteed
immunity from prosecution.
But Mr Moyo suggested the president was as likely to try to cling to power.
"I'm sure there's an element of a martyrdom complex," he said. "'I've
crossed the Rubicon,' he thinks. He wants to fight to the bitter end."
SW Radio Africa (London)
25 July 2007
Posted to the web 27 July 2007
Confusion appears to be the key word affecting everything to do with
Zimbabwe these days, and the ongoing price blitz by government has
complicated matters, not just for business, but for organisations that
distribute critically needed aid to remote areas. The National Association
of Non-Governmental Organisations (NANGO) spokesperson, Fambai Ngirande,
said the ban on fuel coupons last week caused an administrative nightmare
and the distribution of life saving anti-retroviral drugs and food was
Ngirande described how warehouses used as storage were raided by price
monitoring teams. Food, medicine and other items for distribution around the
country were confiscated by officials who accused the groups of hoarding in
order to affect regime change. Ngirande laughed at this suggestion, saying
the whole price control exercise was a populist initiative that is being
used ahead of an election.
The ban on fuel coupons was taken so seriously by non-governmental
organisations, that all United Nations agencies threatened to leave last
week. According to the Institute for War and Peace Reporting, Reserve Bank
Governor Gideon Gono intervened and organised a meeting between the UN
agencies and Robert Mugabe. In the end they were assured access to fuel
through one particular international company, and decided to stay.
There was even more confusion for private abattoirs whose licenses were
revoked when government gave monopoly to the Cold Storage Commission last
week. Now there are reports of a reversal of this policy. According to VOA,
government asked the private Surrey Abattoirs to resume operations and
prepare to supply sides of beef to the market. It is not clear whether all
other privately owned abattoirs will now be allowed to resume operations.
Some abattoirs did not shut down, claiming no official information had
Earlier this week government relaxed price controls on some items, including
bread and cooking oil. Experts described the move as a sign that the
authorities realised they were wrong. But just a day later Robert Mugabe
told manufacturers he met with that he would not end the price blitz.
Government says it is working on a new pricing structure while monitoring of
compliance by business continues.
Meanwhile serious shortages of basic items continues, and thousands of
business directors and owners accused of overcharging await their trial
dates. Lawyer Eric Matinenga described the whole exercise as "irrational"
and said: "Since when has government to decide on what basis such luxury
items as perfume should be charged. Government has no business doing that,
and when they have done so, they've got to explain to us why."
Saturday 28 July 2007
By Hendricks Chizhanje
HARARE - Zimbabwean police on Friday arrested a senior Zimbabwe Congress of
Trade Unions (ZCTU) official for conducting an "illegal" workshop in Kadoma
without first seeking clearance from the police.
An official from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) was also
arrested during the swoop in the farming town of Kadoma, about 100km
south-west of Harare.
The arrest of the labour leaders came a day before the ZCTU general council
meets in Harare to endorse the labour union's decision to embark on mass
action in protest over Zimbabwe's worsening economic crisis.
ZCTU spokesperson Khumbulani Ndlovu told ZimOnline yesterday that the police
had arrested Mildred Giyaya, the labour union's HIV and AIDS co-ordinator as
well as an ILO specialist on HIV/AIDS, only identified as Hungwe.
The two were conducting a workshop for one of the ZCTU affiliates, the Pulp
and Paper Workers' Union on HIV/AIDS.
"They are still being interrogated by the police. We have provided the
police with the 2002 High Court judgment barring them from interfering with
ZCTU activities but despite this they continue to disrupt our activities,"
Under Zimbabwe's tough Public Order and Security Act (POSA), Zimbabweans
must first seek permission from the police before gathering in groups of
more than three people to discuss politics.
But the ZCTU and other civic groups have in the past defied the law to stage
protests in urban areas against worsening economic hardships in Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe has been on political knife-edge over the past few months due to a
rapidly deteriorating economic crisis that has seen inflation zooming beyond
4 500 percent, the highest in the world.
The labour union, a strong ally of Zimbabwe's main opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) party, blames the crisis on mismanagement by
President Robert Mugabe, in power since the country's independence from
Britain 27 years ago.
The ZCTU last month said it will soon call mass protests against the
government to force Mugabe to link wages to inflation and address an
eight-year economic recession described by the World Bank as unprecedented
for a country not at war.
The labour body however said the nature and timing of the protests would
remain a secret in order to catch the country's security forces off guard
after armed police last September brutally assaulted ZCTU leaders for
attempting to organize worker protests. - ZimOnline
By Peta Thornycroft
27 July 2007
There has been no maize meal in Zimbabwe's second city Bulawayo, in
Matabeleland in the south of the country, for the last week either in
supermarkets or on the usually robust black market.† Peta Thornycroft
reports for VOA that the population depends on cooked maize meal as its main
Bulawayo, an opposition stronghold in a dry part of southern Zimbabwe,
suffered from lack of rain last summer resulting in the failure of its maize
This means there is no maize available from farmers around Bulawayo and the
city then has to depend on supplies from the capital Harare.
There is only one legal grain trader in Zimbabwe, the government's Grain
Since Zimbabwe's agricultural sector failed following seizures of productive
white-owned farms in 2000, Zimbabwe has had to import maize and depend on
emergency food aid from the United Nations and other humanitarian agencies.
In other parts of Zimbabwe, especially in the north, some subsistence
farmers did have decent rain and crops, and some of that is being sold
unofficially, on the black market.
David Coltart is an opposition member of parliament for the Movement for
Democratic Change representing a poor urban constituency in Bulawayo.
"From my personal experience trying to source mealie meal, my wife and I
have been trying to source mealie meal for the last two days and have gone
to a wide variety of supermarkets around town," he said.† "We have also
approached wholesalers for this staple and it is simply unavailable. I have
been in to my own constituency every day in the last week, and I have seen
no evidence of any international or domestic NGOs distributing food for the
needy. I have also been to the homes of disadvantaged people in the last
week, and it is clear to me we are at the point where people on the margins
In a rural area in the south, another MDC MP, Abdenico Bhebe, said people in
his district were dying in record numbers.
"What I see every day - we are seeing a lot of deaths, especially the young
and old, and I believe that it has been exacerbated by the shortage of food.
Yes the middle age, there is the issue of HIV, which [has] actually been
worsened by the lack of food. So we are seeing a pathetic situation.† So in
every homestead, there are one or two funerals every day. There is no maize,
no mealie meal in Nkayi at the moment. There are wild fruits and some
watermelons, but they have dried up."
Traditionally, relief agencies stop supplying food to people under threat of
starvation from the onset of the maize harvest, usually May until September.
There was no harvest in the south.
"We know the situation in the south is particularly bad, but believe me it
is bad in lots of places.† And I am not sure we have the right numbers of
people who will need food aid before the next harvest in 2008," said an
executive of a relief agency in Harare who did not want to be named.
The World Food Program, WFP, estimated that about 4.1 million Zimbabweans,
or more than a third of the population will need emergency food aid before
Zimbabwe is currently importing maize from Malawi, but none is available to
millers in Bulawayo.
Coltart says the sudden shortage of maize in Bulawayo should not have been a
surprise to the government.
"I think the government has known for some time that there would be
shortages, but I am not sure this catastrophe applies countrywide," Coltart
noted,† "as subsistence farmers in the north and east, where they had good
rain will have some maize - but the situation is very dire in the south.† I
don't know what government is doing about it, but they have certainly been
The U.N. has warned that it does not have enough money to provide emergency
food aid for Zimbabweans until the next harvest in May 2008.
Mail and Guardian
Johannesburg, South Africa
27 July 2007 04:49
††††††The Zimbabwean embassy in South Africa on Friday denied a
looming ban on food imports into Zimbabwe, but said permits will be required
to import bulk foodstuffs for resale.
††††††"There are no new regulations coming into effect on August 1
pertaining to this subject as has been pronounced by various media. It's
business as usual," said ambassador Simon Khaya Moyo in a statement. "The
Ministry of Industry and International Trade and the Zimbabwe Revenue
Authority advise that there is no change of policy and that no ban has been
†††††† However, people or businesses wanting to import bulk foodstuffs
for resale should first apply for permits or licences from the ministry, he
††††††Moyo said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had contacted the
Ministry of Industry and International Trade to verify media reports that
the Zimbabwean government had banned food imports.
††††††Earlier this month, a media report said the Zimbabwean
government would ban the import and export of various goods, among them
groceries, for resale or disposal without a permit.
††††††According to that report, the importation of goods such as beef,
butter, cooking oil, milk, cheese, sugar, tea, wheat flour, ice cream,
fertiliser, cotton lint, and hides and skins without a permit would be
outlawed with effect from August 1.
††††††The exportation of meat, millet, milk, poultry, sorghum, soya
beans, sunflower, tea, vegetables and wheat would also be banned, said the
report in the Zimbabwe Independent. Families would be allowed to import
goods worth $250 a month for domestic consumption only.
††††††The article said this was meant to kill off cross-border trade
in basic commodities that had largely kept shops supplied in the absence of
locally manufactured goods.
††††††On Friday, Moyo said existing rules and regulations on
quantities of personal goods and foodstuffs to be imported duty free, as
well as quantities subject to payment of duty, will continue to be
applied. -- Sapa
††††July 27 2007 at 05:14PM
Harare - With meat now in desperately short supply in Zimbabwe, a
group of men from the eastern city of Mutare are urging residents to try
eating dogs, a local newspaper reported on Friday.
In a case that has shocked city residents, four men barbecued and ate
a dog they had stolen, the Manica Post reported. On being quizzed, the men
first claimed they were barbecuing a buck.
But when a member of the family that had lost its dog looked carefully
at the meal, he was not convinced. Bits of fur still on the meat matched
those of the missing canine, the newspaper said.
The dog-eaters have defended their actions.
"The meat is very nice and tastes better than most meat," said one of
the men identified as a psychology student with the Open University of
The dog went missing in June, just before President Robert Mugabe
launched his controversial price blitz, ordering businesses and stores to
slash prices by at least 50 percent.
Meat has since disappeared from butcheries and supermarkets, along
with a host of other basic commodities.
The Manica Post said eating dog meat was the worst thing imaginable
for Zimbabweans. - Sapa-DPA
Fri 27 Jul 2007, 6:57 GMT
HARARE (Reuters) - Poaching by hungry Zimbabweans may escalate after the
government closed private abattoirs in a price blitz that has sparked
shortages of basic goods, including meat, the nation's wildlife authority
said on Friday.
The southern African country is home to some of the continent's largest game
reserves but experts say some animal species are at risk as people hunt for
food, an additional threat to that posed by cross-border trophy hunters.
"We are concerned that the continued demand for meat now with our animals
that are edible roaming our parks, we could be seeing a worse poaching
situation," Edward Mbewe, spokesman for the Parks and Wildlife Management
Authority told the official Herald newspaper.
President Robert Mugabe's government has revoked licences of all private
abattoirs for overpricing, but cattle producers have refused to sell their
animals to the state-owned abattoir because prices are low, resulting in
massive shortages of beef.
Chicken producers have also halted production due to the price blitz, which
is intended to fight Zimbabwe's soaring inflation rate now officially close
to 5,000 percent.
Mbewe said game meat was being illegally sold in some areas near state-owned
game parks around the country. Killing wildlife attracts a small fine, which
wildlife officials say is not enough to deter poachers.
Zimbabwe is struggling with a severe economic crisis, marked by the world's
highest inflation rate, rising unemployment and shortages of foreign
currency, food and fuel.
Mugabe's government last month slashed prices of goods and services by half
and ordered a price freeze, which has left most shop shelves empty of basic
goods such as maize-meal, cooking oil, meat and sugar.
NATIONAL REVIEW, Aug. 13 print edition
Meet Zimbabwean archbishop Pius Ncube
Archbishop Pius Ncube, Zimbabwe's senior Catholic cleric, has told his
country's sad recent history so many times that his description has become
methodical. In the past decade, he recounts, "the GDP has shrunk by 40
percent. Farmers have left the country. Inflation has been phenomenal,
around 9,000 percent now. Joblessness is over 80 percent. The government
makes only cosmetic changes, like striking off zeros from the dollar - last
year, they chopped off three."
Rarely has a country lost so much, so quickly. Once relatively prosperous,
Zimbabwe today holds two unenviable world records. The first is its
inflation rate: Prices more than double with each passing week. The
resulting scarcity, together with a high prevalence of HIV/AIDS, has
accorded Zimbabwe its other record: the world's lowest life expectancy. A
female born today can expect an average lifetime of 34 years; a male, 37
"If you came to Bulawayo tomorrow I could bring you to cemeteries that are
overflowing," says David Coltart, an opposition member of parliament who
represents Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second city and the seat of Ncube's
archdiocese. "I imagine they look like the battlefields of the Somme must
have looked like - miles and miles of earth, freshly dug and freshly filled
In recent months, as the economy went into freefall and the crisis grew,
Mugabe's regime became only more paranoid and prone to violence. Archbishop
Ncube is one of the few Zimbabweans whose high profiles allow them to speak,
if not unmolested, then with the prospect that their injury or death would
cause a sensation. He has grown increasingly strident, calling for a popular
uprising, and telling the *Times *of London that, in light of the "massive
risk to life" within the country, a British invasion would be justified.
"Zimbabweans need a bit of courage," he says. "There is so much fear. People
are afraid of the cruelty of the state. People are afraid that if they go on
the streets in protest they will be beaten and jailed, or even killed.
Villagers in rural areas are afraid that they will be denied access to food
if they speak out. . . . The Church needs to show by example that freedom is
worth risking death for."
An early critic of the Mugabe regime, the archbishop has a long history of
putting himself in danger. In 1983, Ncube was a parish priest at the
epicenter of Gukurahundi, the fanciful name (it means "the rain which washes
away the chaff") given to the ethnic slaughter of 20,000 of Zimbabwe's
minority Ndebele people, carried out by a North Korea-trained brigade that
answered directly to Mugabe. Coltart credits the young priest with "bringing
in the news and writing reports when most of the church, Catholic and
Protestant, was mute and petrified."
In the intervening years, neither Mugabe nor Ncube has much changed. Mugabe
remains driven by his will to hold unchallenged power, saying recently of
his political opponents, "The police have the right to bash them." The
police did just that on March 11, beating and jailing dozens at a prayer
gathering called by the parliamentary opposition. Later in the day, the
ruling party's youth brigade stormed a hospital where some of the wounded
were being treated and brought them at gunpoint to police stations to be
The crackdown in March sent a loud warning that most Zimbabweans quietly
heeded. But the Catholic Bishops' Conference broke the silence the next
month, issuing a pastoral letter on Easter weekend to be read at Mass and
posted in all churches. Citing John Paul II's injunction to "give a name to
the root of the evils which afflict us," the bishops' letter frankly
diagnosed Zimbabwe's political situation and pointed a finger at the
government. Each parish was directed to hold a "Prayer Service for Zimbabwe"
every Friday, indefinitely. Much of the pastoral letter was clearly the
handiwork of Ncube, who has loudly blamed Zimbabwe's crisis on Mugabe's
"egocentricity and megalomania."
Visibly enraged that the Church had not toed the line others had, Mugabe
appeared soon afterwards on state television, declaring, "This is an area we
warn them not to tread." In the months since, the state press has upped its
propaganda offensive against Ncube, labeling him "arrogant" and "a puppet"
of Western powers, and accusing him of various far-fetched misdeeds, from
rape to distributing homosexual pornography. Catholic clergymen have taken a
place among the foremost targets of the Central Intelligence Organization
(CIO), Zimbabwe's formidable spy agency.
Mugabe is nothing if not a cunning politician, and, throughout his rule, he
has intimidated and co-opted not just politicians and industrialists, but
many clergymen as well. A report compiled by Ncube, Coltart, and others that
detailed the 1983 atrocities was withheld from publication by a Church
hierarchy wary of publicly challenging Mugabe. And for years, Archbishop
Patrick Chakaipa of Harare, Zimbabwe's capital, remained silent in the face
of the regime's depredations, allowing Mugabe to claim (at Chakaipa's
funeral Mass, no less) that Ncube had committed a "satanic" betrayal,
"siding with the enemy . . . the farmers and the British."
Today, the Vatican seems to have endorsed Ncube's approach, and has filled
vacant bishoprics with clerics critical of the regime. But other
high-ranking religious figures owe their livelihood to Mugabe. A textbook
example is Nolbert Kunonga. After teaching "African Christianity" at a New
York seminary owned by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, Kunonga returned to Zimbabwe
as chaplain of Africa University, the country's first private college.
"Because he was a man of the cloth, the university wasn't thinking he could
be a state informer," says Liberty Mupakati, a former CIO agent who worked
with the chaplain and now lives in England. In this role Kunonga excelled,
dutifully informing on students and faculty. When the Anglican bishopric of
Harare became vacant, the regime was determined to emplace its own man in
the pulpit. Amidst a torrent of bribes, Kunonga was elected. In his years as
bishop, he has been a reliable mouthpiece, firing dissenting clergy,
speaking of the need to "baptize children the Zanu-PF [the ruling party]
way," and loudly promoting the government's policy of land seizure. Kunonga
himself has received a large farm for his troubles. But he has also become a
gaudy emblem of the Zimbabwean elite's excesses, calling off Sunday services
on one occasion and telling priests to bring their flocks (and tithings) to
his 33rd wedding anniversary instead.
This "worship of power" is something Ncube sees everywhere in Zimbabwe's
ruling circles, and he has attempted to combat it by example. Coltart
describes him as "a simple person. He doesn't have any airs. Though he's an
archbishop, you rarely see him in his role. He often drives himself around
in a battered old car."
The archbishop's humble demeanor and decades-long reputation as an
uncompromising voice for human rights make him the regime's "most
problematic critic," Coltart says. "His comments are not viewed as partisan,
and he's been extremely difficult to attack. . . . [The government has] been
pretty desperate to do something about it, because his comments have been
incredibly damaging, in Africa in particular."
Hours after I spoke to the archbishop by phone, the deputy sheriff of
Bulawayo arrived at St. Mary's Cathedral to serve Ncube with a summons. In
tow was a gaggle of media personnel from the state-controlled (and only)
television channel, as well as the two state-controlled (and only) national
newspapers. The next day's banner headline read: "Pius Ncube Shamed."
Photographs were printed - nine in all, the most damaging showing the fuzzy
image of a man claimed to be Ncube with a woman in various states of
undress. The stories claimed that the photographs were taken by a hidden
camera installed in the archbishop's bedroom.
Evidence-tampering and politically motivated prosecutions are hardly
novelties in Zimbabwe. In 2004, Morgan Tsvangirai, the opposition leader,
was found not guilty on treason charges after a judge found that the central
piece of evidence, a video recording made by CIO agents in Montreal, had
Still, it is hard to tell what impact the allegations, if proven or
perceived to be true, will have. Some are not optimistic. Mupakati, the
former CIO agent, says, "He's a church leader, and his credibility exists on
moral grounds. I think he's more or less finished." The hopeful argue the
government's tactics will be seen as desperate and hypocritical. Robert
Mugabe, after all, fathered two children with his secretary Grace, a married
woman 35 years his junior, while his first wife was succumbing to cancer.
Coltart says the cleric enjoys an "enormous well of support," and points to
a parishioner, interviewed by Voice of America, who noted that Ncube "has
never condemned human frailty, but he has always condemned evil."
On the day the scandal breaks, Ncube sounds exhausted. "It is impossible to
vote out Mugabe," he replies when asked about the elections scheduled for
next year. He says many Zimbabweans are simply too physically weak to resist
the government, and acknowledges that his hopes for foreign intervention
amount to wishful thinking. Asked to predict how Zimbabwe's crisis will end,
the archbishop sighs. "I don't know. I just don't know."
--Mr. Kavulla is Associate Editor of National Review and a 2007-08 Gates
Scholar in African History.
Mail and Guardian
27 July 2007 05:48
††††††Zimbabwe's main trade union said on Friday that police were
guilty of attempted murder when they beat dozens of protestors earlier this
††††††About 150 members of the pro-democracy National Constitutional
Assembly (NCA) had to be hospitalised after police arrested and beat them on
Wednesday, reports said on Friday.
††††††Lovemore Madhuku, the head of the NCA, said the assaults were
worse than those perpetrated in March this year when opposition leader
Morgan Tsvangirai and a number of his supporters were beaten.
††††††"What this goes to show is that the Zimbabwean government does
not value the sanctity of human life," said the main Zimbabwe Congress of
Trade Unions (ZCTU) in a statement.
†††††† "The government, through use of its security agents, has become
an instigator of violence in a bid to instil fear in Zimbabweans," it added.
††††††The NCA held demonstrations in Harare, Mutare, Masvingo and
Gweru to protest plans by President Robert Mugabe's party to amend the
Constitution allowing for the simultaneous holding of parliamentary and
presidential elections early next year and the expansion of both houses of
††††††The NCA is pushing for a new democratic constitution before any
fresh elections take place.
††††††The ZCTU said the police violence showed Zimbabwe was slowly
degenerating into mayhem.
††††††"The paranoia within government is now ridiculous as there is no
need to brutalise unarmed, harmless citizens," the union said. The ZCTU has
warned it plans to hold a strike next month.
††††††Meanwhile, there are growing signs some Zimbabweans may be
turning against the police.
††††††Four policemen were beaten up in Harare's densely populated
suburb of Budiriro, apparently as they investigated a robbery, state radio
reported on Friday.
††††††In a separate report from eastern Zimbabwe, five police officers
were badly beaten by villagers in the Rusape area, the Manica Post newspaper
said. The police had been reportedly trying to clamp down on the illegal
brewing of beer. -- Sapa-dpa
By Violet Gonda
27 July 2007
The headquarters of the National Constitutional Assembly in Harare, and
provincial offices in Gweru, were still under police guard on Friday, two
days after police embarked on a violent crackdown on the organisation. The
pressure group reports that the offices are still closed and guarded by
heavily armed police and soldiers and NCA staff are barred from entering the
premises. NCA coordinator Tapera Kapuya said arrests are still continuing as
more activists are being hunted down countrywide.
Many people were beaten and arrested on Wednesday during countrywide
demonstrations for a people driven constitution. Scores of activists were
arrested in Mutare, Gweru, Masvingo, Bulawayo and Harare. NCA chairperson Dr
Lovemore Madhuku said more than 170 people received hospital treatment in
Harare after they were assaulted while in police custody. Those beaten
included elderly women and nursing mothers. Several people are still in
Hospital at the Avenues, Dandaro and West End Clinics.
The NCA coordinator said the atmosphere was extremely tense, especially in
Harare on Friday, where there was a heavy presence of members of the police
and military. Describing the situation at the NCA office he said: "In the
morning there was a tanker, one of those riot police tankers and a military
van. There are a number of police and military personnel who remain at the
gates of the NCA headquarters in Harare. This is the same scenario at the
NCA Gweru office."
The group said it's apparent, given the display of force, that this is all
about intimidation, but the NCA said there is nothing that will "put the
breaks into their resolve to ensure that Zimbabwe becomes a democracy."
The violence and arbitrary arrests continue against the backdrop of a SADC
initiative to resolve the crisis in Zimbabwe. Observers say the actions of
the Zimbabwean government clearly show the regime's contempt for regional
institutions and many believe African leaders have taken sides and are
backing the regime, not the people of Zimbabwe.
Robert Mugabe himself was quoted by the New African Magazine in March saying
South African President Thabo Mbeki backed his government. He said, "And in
Dar-es-Salaam President Mbeki put it very clearly. He said, `The fight
against Zimbabwe is a fight against us all. Today it is Zimbabwe, tomorrow
it will be South Africa, it will be Mozambique, it will be Angola, it will
be any other African country. And any government that is perceived to be
strong, and to be resistant to imperialists, would be made a target and
would be undermined. So let us not allow any point of weakness in the
solidarity of the SADC, because that weakness will also be transferred to
the rest of Africa."
Mbeki later said that statement was taken out of context but critics say the
'deafening' silence by SADC leaders is shameful as the brutal oppression of
anyone perceived to be an opponent of the Zimbabwe government continues.
SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
By Tichaona Sibanda
27 July 2007
Over a hundred protesters from the Zimbabwe Youth Movement on Friday held a
demonstration against children of top Zanu (PF) officials, studying at
Universities in South Africa.
The peaceful protest march took place in Johannesburg, where the
demonstrators walked from the Braamfontein Methodist Church to Wits
University. ZYM spokesman Remember Moyo said they presented a petition to
the Wits University Vice-Chancellor Loyiso Nongxa, calling for the South
African government to expel children of senior Zanu (PF) officials.
He said the expulsions would be based on the fact that senior ruling party
officials have destroyed education in Zimbabwe while their children are
attending good schools in South Africa, America and Europe.
'In South Africa we have information that close to 50 students benefit
directly from being connected with Zanu (PF). We've got the details of many
of them and we will soon be visiting their institutions to petition
authorities with the same message,' Moyo said.
ZYM has details of 15 students closely linked to Zanu (PF) officials
studying at Wits University, while the rest are dotted across universities
in South Africa. The majority of those however are at the University of Cape
Town and Fort Hare in Durban.
'Two weeks ago the government led a major crackdown on students at the
University of Zimbabwe. They sent in the riot squad who beat up students and
disrupted examinations for many of them,'Moyo said.
This campaign has gained momentum in countries like the United States,
Australia and New Zealand. It is believed Zanu PF officials have over 300
kids studying in either US, UK and Australian universities. British and
American governments are mulling plans to ban the children from attending
educational institutions in their countries.
SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
By Lance Guma
27 July 2007.
Leaders of several UK based Zimbabwean pressure groups have resolved to
forge a common platform which will see them coordinating their activities in
a united front. In a series of debates on our Behind the Headlines series,
Rose Benton from the Zimbabwe Vigil, Matthew Nyashanu (MDC) Wellington
Chibhanguza (Free-Zim Youth), Maureen Ndawana (Zimbabwe Women's Network) and
Robert Gonouya (Zimbabwe Action Group) all pledged to ensure their
organisations work together and remove duplication of effort. It had been
suggested the reason for the lacklustre approach to activism in the UK was
due in part to a divided framework of action, with different groups
competing against each other.
Gonouya from the Zimbabwe Action Group threw down the gauntlet challenging
participants to set up a framework that would bring all the pressure groups
under one umbrella body by next week. He said it was necessary to harness
the different strengths of all the groups in the UK, saying Zimbabweans had
the talent to make a difference. Gonouya said there needed to be division of
labour with groups allocating each other areas of responsibility. Those
doing the same things needed to work together while those good at things
like lobbying parliament or street campaigns should get support from
everyone else. 'We need less talkers and more doers,' he told the programme.
Benton from the ZimVigil said their Saturday campaigns, which have been
going on for almost 6 years, were open to everyone. Chibhanguza from the
Free Zim Youths expressed fears about smaller groups not wanting to get
swallowed up by bigger groups. He also spoke about ideological differences
making it difficult on occasion to get groups working together. Another key
point from the discussion was that groups tended to compete for resources
and in the end viewed each other as competitors. The reservations were set
aside Thursday as the panellists agreed to launch a new era of cooperation.
Whether a Save Zimbabwe Campaign platform is set up in the United Kingdom
remains to be seen.
SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
ZIMBABWE'S accountants are failing to implement international accounting
standards which require inflation adjusted accounts in hyper inflationary
economics owing to the governments' failure to of issue monthly inflation
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe (ICAZ) says they are
finding it difficult to comply with the International Accounting Standards
after the government Central Statistical Office (CSO) suspended releasing
"CSO has suspended indefinitely the issuing of statistics, presenting
accountants with the dilemma of how to comply with International Accounting
Standard 29 which states that in a hyperinflationary economy, financial
statements should be issued based on inflation adjusted figures rather than
historical cost figures which are misleading in a hyper inflationary
environment," read a statement by ICAZ president, Tawanda Gumbo.
The country's CSO office has postponed "indefinitely" the release of
inflation figures after the May figure touched a record breaking 4500
percent, the highest in the world outside a war situation.
The official figures are, widely disbelieved, with the Zimbabwean dollar
continuing to fall against all major currencies on the black market and
soaring prices for fuel, postage and telecommunications, transport,
medicines, and many basics.
President Robert Mugabe's government has projected that inflation will slow
to between 350 and 400 percent by the end of the year, but economic analysts
and the International Monetary Fund predict a continued rise.
Zimbabwe's inflation is the highest in the world and reflects a deep
economic crisis marked by rocketing unemployment and chronic shortages of
foreign currency, food and fuel.
Recently, the former United States Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Christopher Dell
said no government throughout history had ever survived an economic crisis
of the magnitude Zimbabwe was facing, with inflation nearing seven figure
digits and the formal economy barely functioning- CAJ News.
IN what could eventually stand out to be one of the worst forms of political
abuse, the Attorney General's office is considering dropping charges against
the bulk of 32 Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) members that spent a
long time in remand prison.
Zimbabwe Attorney General, Sobusa-Gula Ndebele, conceded during an interview
with CAJ News on Wednesday that the state case against the opposition
members was crumbling and only one option could be left, which is that of
dropping the charges.
He spoke after High Court Judge Lawrence Kamocha had on Tuesday released 15
leaving only two members of the opposition in remand prison.
"It is possible that the charges can be dropped because that is the legal
route to follow in the event those doing investigations fail to come up with
tangible basis for taking the cases for trial," Gula Ndebele said.
Gula Ndebele has recently returned to duty after going on what sources in
his department was forced leave after his clash with Justice minister,
Patrick Chinamasa reportedly on issues including the cases of the MDC
The AG is reported to have insisted on justice the MDC members when the
executive wanted the cases to culminate in conviction for the opposition
members as part of ways of weakening the opposition party ahead of next
The accused persons are being charged with terrorism and political violence
following a spate of incidents of petrol bombing that rocked the whole
country as political tension increased.
However, it has emerged that the political violence is mostly traceable to
the state or ruling Zanu (PF) militia.
Among the MDC members released on Tuesday was MP for Glen View, Paul Madzore
and they had spent four months
in remand prison.
They were made to pay bail of $10 million each. MDC lawyer, Alec Muchadehama
confirmed to CAJ News that there was hope the remaining two, Morgan Komichi
and Dennis Murira would also be released soon.
Komichi is battling for life after police and Zanu (PF) militia brutally
assaulted him when he was arrested in March and was subsequently denied
medical access for a long time- CAJ News.
THE Zimbabwe judiciary system has been hard hit by mass exodus of
magistrates, prosecutors and clerk of courts citing poor remunerations, CAJ
News can reveal.
The first casuality is the country's second largest city, Bulawayo, which
lost more than 10 magistrates and prosecutors at both the high court and
magistrates court between January and June 2007.
Authoritative sources revealed that staffers at the Bulawayo Magistrates and
High Court are leaving at an alarming level as nearly all sworn magistrates
have resigned from the bench while a number of prosecutors are also
Magistrates and prosecutors earn less than R200 (Z$3 million) per month
month against over R300 (Z$5.5 million) a family of five requires a month to
survive, according to estimates by the Central Statistical Office.
Patrick Chinamasa, the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs
could not be reached for comment as he was said to be busy preparing for the
talks between Zanu PF and MDC with the African National Congress (ANC) of
South Africa where President Mbeki is an immediator.
But officials at the courts in Bulawayo confirmed the staff exodus. "The
courts continue to be a training ground for the private law firms while some
magistrates and prosecutors keep trekking to neighbouring countries."
A source revealed that this Monday, another Magistrate, Loveness Chipateni
tendered her resignation with immediate effect and has since joined a
private law firm. It could not be established which private law firm she had
John Masimba, the magistrate responsible for Matabeleland Province confirmed
the exodus in the southern region of Zimbabwe. "Chipateni has left the
service like some who have left after being tempted by incentives in the
Last year, three senior regional Magistrates, Jennifer Chikate, Clifford
Foroma and a Mrs Zvedi are reported to have landed top posts in Botswana
after leaving the service in Zimbabwe- CAJ News.
by chief reporter
- US State department spokesman Sean McCormack has launched a stinging
attack on President Robert Mugabe accusing him of clinging to power and
sanctioning the violent suppression of the democratic opposition.
In a press statement issued yesterday, McCormack condemned Mugabe for the
turmoil in Zimbabwe and the brutal assault of National Constitutional
Assembly activists by his police militia.
At least 150 NCA members sustained broken bones and bruises after a severe
bashing by police. They had attempted to demonstrate during the official
opening of Parliament against despotic laws set to be passed during the 3rd
session of the 6th Parliament of Zimbabwe that was officially opened by
NCA chairman Lovemore Madhuku said the demo was aimed at protesting against
Constitutional Amendment No 18 which empowers Mugabe to expand parliament.
Police arrested 243 NCA activists in Harare while 15 people were
arrested in Mutare, 12 in Masvingo and six in Gweru.
"The U.S. calls on President Mugabe and the Government of Zimbabwe to
respect the right of all Zimbabweans to participate in the democratic
process and to guarantee the safety and well-being of its citizens,"
McCormack said. "Yesterday's beating of over 200 Zimbabwean citizens that
were peacefully demonstrating for a new constitution is an overt attempt by
the Government of Zimbabwe to eliminate any criticism in advance of
elections planned for next year. This latest action continues to call into
question the Government of Zimbabwe ' s commitment to the SA D C (Southern
African D evelopment Community) mediation effort to establish conditions for
free and fair elections."
Ruling party militants, headed by veterans of the bush war that led to
independence in 1980, have long carried out violent attacks on the
opposition. They have recently begun threatening businesses in urban areas.
Sydney Morning Herald
July 28, 2007
Zimbabwe, once the darling of Africa, is in free fall. As Robert Mugabe
decrees prices be halved, Geoff Simms reports on a regime on the brink.
They came into Barry's trading store in an isolated part of a Zimbabwe a bit
over a week ago: two men waving rifles, saying they were acting on Comrade
Mugabe's instructions that all prices be marked down by 50 per cent.
Barry told them he was barely scratching a living as it was. Villagers
depended on him to bring in basic food supplies - mielie, or maize meal -
and other essentials.
The armed men shouted threats at him, one putting a gun to his head. Then
the armed men cleaned out the store's shelves, took the mielie and sugar,
candles and soap, his precious fuel and sped off in a ute.
"Borstards!" Barry said, they way they do. His staff were terrified. Would
the robbers come back?
Whether the gunmen were police, officials or opportunists is impossible to
Barry, a middle-aged African born in East Africa, has lived in most
countries all the way to Cape Town. Barry is not his real name, of course.
He's been around, run stores and garages, learnt most of the trade skills,
does a bit of engineering work, makes ends meet. He's no angel, but lives in
basic harmony as a white man in black Africa.
A month or so ago, Barry supplied some fuel and food when we rode through
Zimbabwe - four blokes on motorbikes, my wife on the back with me, and the
wife of one rider and her friend in a back-up car. His prices were
reasonable and he was helpful.
You could be reasonably certain other business people - black and white,
small and large - have faced the same sort of opportunistic hold-ups since
Robert Mugabe's latest insane dictate to deal with inflation.
"There is no law here," another businessman says. "So many regulations, but
For the past two years at least, Zimbabwean business people of all sorts
have had to adjust all their prices daily because of inflation. That means
every price tag, every job estimate, every quote. Foodstuffs were already in
short supply, fuel near impossible to get, before this latest act.
Last month inflation in Zimbabwe was 2200 per cent a year; it was 3713.9 per
cent a month later - officially. By the Government's figures, the rate was
doubling every month.
Even at that rate the worthlessness of the Zimbabwe dollar was staggering.
One collective hotel "extras" bill was $US125 ($143). Foreigners have to pay
in US currency, but that amount equated to $Z3.6 million. In 1980, when
Mugabe came to power, the Zimbabwean dollar and the US dollar were about on
par. By April last year, the rate had gone off the scale. Mugabe ordered his
bankers to reprint all bank notes with the last three zeroes taken off. So
$Z3.6 million was actually $Z3.6 billion - and that's doubled again and
again over the past month or so.
In any case, the notes are labelled "bearer cheques" and cease to be valid
after this month. They will probably remain in circulation, but they could
be officially worthless - literally not worth the paper they're printed on.
Crossing the Zambezi River from Zambia, with Victoria Falls on the right and
a couple of tourists bungy jumping from the old steel bridge into the void
below, it is straight to the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge. A tourist bus
leaves, full of Americans waving at and photographing a "warrior" in
feathered headdress who is chanting to them, waving a spear.
He might have been calling everybody silly buggers, but the first impression
was: here was a country riding a tourist wave.
Package tours bring foreigners in from Johannesburg. They see the falls,
have their pictures taken, eat well, stay a couple of nights and are driven
back to the airport. Tourism Zimbabwe starts and finishes with Victoria
Falls and whatever hotel the tourists stay in.
The once bustling Victoria Falls village of curio shops and eateries, truck
drivers and prostitutes, moneychangers and pickpockets, squatters and
beggars, was near deserted. Only eight years ago it was chaotic, but at
least it was alive. The squatters, the stallholders, the jobless, the
desperate, were all cleared out in one of Mugabe's purges. More than 6
million Zimbabweans have fled into South Africa, most of them illegally.
In the lodge, one waiter's name tag reads "Confidence". It is the only
indication of it. Confidence is a nice young man, immeasurably luckier than
most Zimbabweans in that he has a job, but if this last outpost of tourism
collapses, there is nowhere to go.
On the road out of town, African craft huts stocked with wood and soapstone
carvings, many of them exquisite, are empty of buyers.
Lake Kariba, a huge, man-made waterway on the Zambezi, is as spectacular as
ever, surrounded by magnificent bush. The lake was once bustling with
pleasure craft and anglers. Now, a few rusting houseboats sit by the shore,
Hwange National Park, an international drawcard less than a decade ago, was
a similar story. The lodge has 100 rooms, 95 of which are empty.
Yet the game is abundant. One herd of more than 20 elephants comes out of
the bush almost immediately. A short drive away there are lion, buffalo,
sable antelope, kudu, impala, wart-hogs, baboons.
One impala ram is barking to keep his females in line and to warn off other
interested rams. Bheki, the game guide, says it's the "rutting season", but
he pronounces it "rooting" and is pleased with an Australian's response,
though he doesn't know why. He is delighted just to have people to drive
There is little traffic anywhere. Fuel is in such short supply, vehicles are
left abandoned, trucks and trains are lined up to take coal from the Wankie
Colliery for export, but there is no diesel fuel to power them. The few
motorists share the road with goats, donkeys and cattle, and very
occasionally a bus with a zigzag chassis and loaded well above the roofline.
Everywhere the crops have failed. People depend on Government handouts of
mielie, but in this area of Zimbabwe the population has been punished for
supporting the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.
Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's once prosperous second city, has become just another
down-at-heel African town. Overloaded buses belch smoke; a leftover old
white man rides an ancient bicycle through a red traffic light and is almost
flattened by one of the buses. Men push broken carts with firewood in them.
The shops are mostly empty. The once manicured parks have returned to bush.
The Bulawayo Chronicle newspaper ("the nation's liveliest") reports: "The
House of Assembly yesterday adjourned prematurely after failing to
constitute a quorum" because Mugabe's politicians couldn't be bothered
The newspaper also reports an incident to show how common Barry's later
experience has become. Two uniformed policemen have been arrested for armed
robbery, using an AK-47. Their names are Die Not Madoro and Righteousness
Kafesu. There isn't much else funny about it, but at least they were
How does the place function at all? The black market, or "parallel economy",
flourishes for those who can get their hands on any sort of cash. There's
bartering (if there's anything to trade), there's subsistence (if anything
can be grown) and there's bare survival for most.
Children in rags throw rocks into the giant baobab trees along the road.
Some bring down the seed pods and dig out the powdery pulp that's used to
make cream of tartar. "This is breakfast," says an older boy. It may also
have been lunch and dinner.
Others carry slingshots to try to bag a bird or perhaps a lizard.
The story in the capital, Harare, may be different, but Zimbabweans
travelling from there tell a similar story of food and fuel shortages,
blackouts and lawlessness.
On the approach to the border at Beit Bridge, there is a police roadblock.
Two uniformed policemen do the usual passport checks. Then two other
plain-clothes police appear, members of Mugabe's "special" service. It is
very hot as they sniff around the bikes, tweak this pannier and that, run
their hands over the tank bag.
It is a tense moment. In the bag is a television camera, used to shoot a
piece for the ABC's Foreign Correspondent. Luckily, their curiosity is not
South Africa opens its arms to what was once an unlikely freedom, and the
Zimbabwean border closes again. A few travellers have come and gone, seeing
just a little of what the President/tyrant wants no one to report.
It's a country on its knees, waiting for Mugabe to pass. People say: "It can
only get better." You have to hope they're right, but in Africa, one tyranny
often follows another.
?FOOTNOTE: When we first crossed into Zimbabwe from Zambia, I listed my
occupation as "retired". Journalists are banned.
In the crush at the immigration counter, a black man pushed in front of me.
He was wearing a black polo-style shirt. On the left breast it had that
familiar ABC symbol, with the words "ABC TV News and Current Affairs".
I must have done a double take because the man seemed unable to take his
eyes off me. Was I being set up or what? I couldn't move.
Bang! The immigration official pounded my passport with his stamp and we
Who the man in the ABC shirt was, and how he got it, I'm sure I will never
know. Had it been a gift? Had he mugged the last ABC correspondent to pass
Whatever, he disappeared before the boom gate went up.
Geoff Simms is a reporter for ABC TV.
The Herald (Harare)† Published by the government of Zimbabwe
26 July 2007
Posted to the web 27 July 2007
THE health of more than 1 000 renal patients hangs in the balance following
the breakdown of 10 haemodialysis machines at Parirenyatwa Group of
Hospitals in Harare a few weeks ago.
The hospital has 18 dialysis machines but of late, patients have been
queuing for their weekly toxic removal sessions, which have also been cut
from five hours to four hours to accommodate many patients.
Patients from Bulawayo are the most affected following the non-functioning
of all the renal machines at Mpilo Central Hospital. One of the patients
from Harare, Stephen Madhovi, on Monday said there is a possibility that
some patients were succumbing to renal related complications.
"Last week on Tuesday and Friday we queued at Parirenyatwa Hospital for
hours and only got the help we needed at 10pm," Madhovi said.
Renal patients do not pass urine the normal way and has to undergo the toxic
removal process on the dialysis machine three times a week.
Due to an increase in the numbers of renal patients in the country, patients
now undergo haemodialysis treatment in public health institutions at least
twice a week.
Most private haemodialysis centres are a preserve of well to do patients who
can afford to pay up to $3 million for a five- hour session.
Several renal patients said there was need for Government to look into the
medical challenges faced by renal patients in accessing adequate treatment.
They said most patients with renal complications suffer from high blood
pressure and required a certain drug, which costs $6 million for a single
COMBINED HARARE RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION (CHRA)
P. Box HR 7870
145 Robert Mugabe, Third Floor,
Tel/Fax: +263 4 705114
Cell: 011 862 012, 011 443 578, 0912 924 151
†††††††††††††††††††† 0912 249 430, 011 612 860
††††††††††††††††††† Website: www.chra.co.zw
27 July 2007
ALERT: Diplomats Consider CHRA Request
THE Ambassadors of Greece and have referred to their Foreign Affairs Offices
the urgent request by the Combined Harare Residents' Association (CHRA) to
place all the commissioners running the City of Harare on the list of
The Association on 10 July officially wrote to the Ambassadors of the
European Union, the United States of America, Australia, New Zealand and
Canada, requesting that they consider placing Harare Commissioners Sekesai
Makwavarara (Chairperson), Professor Jameson Kurasha (University of Zimbabwe
lecturer), Sasha Jogi (President of the Institute of Urban Planners), and
Alfred Tome (District Administrator in Harare), Musavaya Reza (Provincial
Administrator for Harare), Killian Mupingo (ZUPCO Board Member, Deputy
Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and Urban
Development, responsible for Rural Local Authorities), Richard Mahachi
(architect in private practice), Sylvia Masango (a principal director in the
office of Vice President Joyce Mujuru),† and Madzudzo Pawadyira (Civil
Protection Unit Director) on the sanctions list.
CHRA believes that a new leadership will be the beginning of the development
process that Harare desperately needs. The intended merits have certainly
been outweighed by the penchant for the disregard of court judgments and the
collapse of service delivery in the City by a group of people without
In his response, Ambassador Jon Sheppard, the Australian Ambassador said he
had brought our proposal 'to the attention of the appropriate authorities in
Australia'. He said: "In the meantime, you may be interested to know that
Mrs Sekesai Makwavarara is in fact already on the list of individuals
designated under Australia's sanctions regime."
Hie Greece counterpart Ambassador Dimitri M. Alexandrakis said "Your letter
has been forwarded to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Greece."
The responses of the international community to the crisis of governance at
Town House draws the attention of all concerned democrats to revisit their
relationship with an illegal entity that continues to violate the Statutes
and court judgments.
CHRA reiterates its commitment to demanding and advocating for the
restoration of democracy, rule of law and good governance. We further demand
a new people-driven constitution that guarantees the rule of law.
"CHRA for Enhanced Civic Participation in Local Government"
For details and comments please write to us on firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit us
at Exploration House Corner Robert Mugabe Way and Fifth Street. You can also
call us on 011 862 012, 011 612 860, 0912 249 430, 0912 924 151 and 011 443
578 or visit our website www.chra.co.zw
Combined Harare Residents' Association
Mobile: 011 612 860 or 0912 869 294
"Stand Firm. Be of Good Courage"
Saturday 28 July 2007
By Taruona Dhewa
HARARE - Zimbabwe labour leader Lovemore Matombo on Thursday urged the
government to ditch price controls saying price controls will not work
unless Harare addressed key governance issues affecting the country.
Matombo, who heads the powerful Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU),
was speaking on the theme: Price Controls - A sustainable economic cure, at
a public meeting organized by the Mass Public Opinion Institute in Harare.
"The political risk factor, the need for good governance is the problem. We
might bring the best economists in the world to turn around our economy but
without addressing the politics, this will come to nought," said Matombo.
The Zimbabwean government last month ordered businesses to roll back prices
to mid-June levels and reduce prices by 50 percent in a desperate attempt to
control rampant inflation that last May stood at over 4 500 percent.
The price controls have led to shortages of basic goods with economists
warning that the price cuts could force most struggling companies to fold
triggering a total collapse of Zimbabwe's weakened economy.
Matombo said the business sector needed the government's "shock therapy"
because for a long time business leaders had refused to throw their weight
behind labour and the opposition professing to be apolitical.
Charles Mangonera, who was chairing the meeting, said business leaders in
Zimbabwe never used to care about the political environment in the country
leaving civic society, students and workers to fight for democracy.
"Business used not to care about politics. They used to leave this to civil
society saying our business is to make money, not politics. Now they know
better. Democracy is good for everyone, including business," he said.
Both Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries President Callisto Jokonya as well
as Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce President Marah Hativagone could
not be reached for comment on the matter.
At least 5 000 business executives and managers have been arrested since the
government launched the crackdown on prices codenamed Operation Dzikisa
Mutengo (Operation Reduce Prices).
Mugabe has defended the crackdown accusing business leaders of hiking prices
so as to foment an uprising against his government. Business denies the
charge. - ZimOnline
Saturday 28 July 2007
By Prince Nyathi
HARARE - The state has withdrawn charges against two human rights lawyers
who were arrested last May for challenging a ministerial certificate barring
the courts to grant bail to 12 opposition activists who were accused of
petrol bombing police stations.
The two lawyers, Alec Muchadehama and Andrew Makoni were arrested for
challenging a certificate issued by Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi
barring the courts from granting bail to the Movement for Democratic Change
The two lawyers who were on bail, appeared before Magistrate Archi Wochionga
at the Harare magistrates' court yesterday.
"The state is withdrawing charges before plea. The charges are withdrawn,"
said state prosecutor Austin Muzivi.
Harrison Nkomo, a lawyer representing the duo, confirmed yesterday that the
state had withdrawn charges against his clients.
"There was no way those charges would stand. They were just malicious and
meant to frustrate them and in the end abandon their clients," said Nkomo
soon after the court appearance.
Makoni and Muchadehama's arrest sparked widespread international
condemnation against the Zimbabwean government.
Zimbabwe Law Society president Beatrice Mtetwa and several other lawyers
were last May severely assaulted by state agents after they attempted to
march in Harare to protest against the arrest of their colleagues. -
††††† By Jonga Kandemiiri
††††† 27 July 2007
Residents of the Zimbabwean capital of Harare and the satellite city of
Chitungwiza have complained that they are receiving water and sewerage bills
both from their respective municipal authorities and from the Zimbabwe
National Water Authority, or ZINWA, which took over the delivery of water
and sewage services last year.
An official of the state-appointed Harare Commission dismissed the
complaints as unfounded, adding that the city surrendered such
responsibilities to ZINWA when the national agency took over the services in
December 2006. The official said the council is only sending out bills to
residents for rates other than water and sanitation.
She told VOA residents might be confused by the fact that ZINWA is operating
from municipal premises. ZINWA spokesman Nicholas Mukarakate said that if
there has been double billing, residents should ignore bills from the
He conceded that the ZINWA takeover has run into some problems, which might
have had a bearing on the complaints, but he insisted they are a thing of
VOA was unable to obtain comment from the Chitungwiza town council.
Combined Harare Residents Association spokesman Precious Shumba told
reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that his
organization has evidence residents are being double-billed, saying city
officials have not addressed this.
††††† By Patience Rusere, Ndimyake Mwakalyelye and Blessing Zulu
††††† 27 July 2007
Following his release this week along with 15 other members of Zimbabwe's
political opposition after four months in police detention, parliamentarian
Paul Madzore said he would sue the government for unlawful detention and
Madzore was one of the last to be released of around 30 officials and
members of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change faction led by
Morgan Tsvangirai who were arrested in March and held on an assortment of
charges including involvement in a series of firebombings and conspiring to
overthrow the government.
Bail applications for Madzore and others were repeatedly put off by
prosecutors and magistrates, and lawyers for the activists were arrested at
one point and charged with obstruction of justice for their efforts to
defend their clients. Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi repeatedly
intervened in the case seeking to block bail.
Madzore told reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that he
was not only free on bail but was innocent of the all charges he still
The government's case against 17 of the opposition members was dealt a major
blow on Tuesday when a high court judge slammed the evidence against them.
In handing down a judgement granting bail to 15 of 17 men of an initial 34
arrested in March, Justice Lawrence Kamocha said the state's evidence
"turned out to be non-existent" and accused police of citing "fictitious
persons" as supposed witnesses.
Despite the ruling, lawyer Alec Muchadehama, one of the attorneys
representing the opposition activists, told reporter Ndimyake Mwakalyelye
that the high court judgement has no bearing on the trial that is set to
begin next month.
Former dean Dennis Mandudzo of the University of Zimbabwe law department
told reporter Blessing Zulu that the bail decision was both revealing and
Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to
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†please don't hesitate to contact us - we're here to help!
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Letter 1 ‚^ņ^” ¬ Pat Mangwende
After long consideration, I have decided to revisit the letter written by
"Tourism Consultant", despite the fact that it raised the ire of some.
I have read the letter a number of times. I do not think that the letter
was written as a joke. I think that Tourism Consultant is extremely
concerned and deeply angry about what has happened in our country.
However, one needs to read between the lines to fully understand where
this contributor was coming from. In this respect, I stand alongside
Tourism Consultant, should this debate continue.
I cannot help but get the feeling that the Tourism Consultant is someone
who has been deeply affected by the situation in Zimbabwe and I wouldn't
be surprised if this person has lost their farm, their home and their
livelihood. There was a very serious message in that letter and the
message was simple. You cannot have normality in such an abnormal
society, no matter how hard you try. No doubt the dripping sarcasm went
over a few heads, as some of the responses would indicate.
I do not see that references made to those farmers, who were so brutally
murdered, was in any way meant to offend the memory of the people
themselves, or their families. In fact, quite the opposite was intended.
It was meant to highlight the deep misery that this zanupf regime has
inflicted on so many lives and that these good people must always be
remembered for their courage in giving up their lives to stand up for
what is right and just. We all greave for these farmers and their
The past 7 years (and more) have been incredibly traumatic for all
commercial farmers and their workers. If anyone is bitter as a result,
surely we can understand this. In addition, there is very little
democratic space to speak freely in Zimbabwe at this point in time. The
JAG forum has offered a place where people can express their views, and
vent off their steam. There will always be arguments for and against
using one's name or alias. This is especially so when people feel
strongly about the issues.
However, it is highly likely that forcing people to use their names will
dry up commentary and debate. The lack of communication on this forum
over the last few weeks is instructive. Be real, this is Zimbabwe, where
expressing an opinion can be darn right dangerous and allowances should
be made. We should encourage discussion. In fact we should defend
anyone's right to say their piece, regardless of their alias or name or
whether or not we agree with what they say. If there are some who don't
like it, I strongly suggest that they shouldn't read this forum. It's
their democratic right not to read, write or subscribe.
Personally, I salute Tourism Consultant, despite the sarcasm. The truth
of the matter is that it cannot be business as usual. Zimbabwe has been
hijacked by a pathological bunch of thieves and murderers. This regime is
at war with the people of this country. Our country is being raped and it
incumbent on all of us to do whatever we can to destroy this evil regime.
No doubt there are some who sup with this devil. There are even some who
go so far as to take part in such things as free patronage of tractors.
To them I say, nothing is ever free and like all these things, evil never
lasts and those who sup with the devil usually get supped in the end.
Letter 2 ‚^ņ^” Renata Casciati
Just to let you know that your emails are eagerly received with the
information you send out. Many thanks and keep up the good work.
Also, I am trying to find out if anyone in Harare is doing or still does
yoga classes, if you know of or have heard of someone please could you
let me know.
All letters published on the open Letter Forum are the views and opinions
of the submitters, and do not represent the official viewpoint of Justice