Government plants spies among evicted families Mon 20 June
HARARE - The Zimbabwe government, wary about swelling anger
against its controversial urban clean-up campaign, has planted secret
service agents among thousands of homeless families dumped at a farm outside
Harare to spy on the families.
A ZimOnline news crew touring
Caledonia Farm, converted into a holding camp for thousands of families
evicted from their shanty homes in and around Harare, met several agents of
the state's dreaded spy Central Intelligence Organisation
They said they were at the camp to "monitor the mood" of the
families and also to keep a record on who visits them especially
non-governmental organizations or members of the main opposition Movement
for Democratic Change party, adding that this was being done only as a
"Do not blow my cover. We are
here on assignment. We want to hear what these people say and who visits
them," said one CIO agent, who is well known to ZimOnline
Intelligence Minister Didymus Mutasa would not take
questions on the matter saying he did not discuss security-related issues
with the Press. "What makes you confident that a minister would talk about
security matters to an irresponsible journalist," Mutasa said, before
switching off his mobile phone.
Several thousand families are
being held at the Caledonia farm after their makeshift homes and informal
trading stores were burnt down by police in a campaign condemned by the
United Nations, European Union, United States, Zimbabwean church and human
rights groups as insensitive and a gross violation of poor people's human
There are no toilets or clean water and the majority of the
families including children and elderly people sleep in the open at the
camp, which the government says is only a temporary holding centre before
the families are taken back to their rural homes.
impaired people, blind beggars and street children rounded up from the
streets of Harare are also being dumped at the farm, where health experts
have warned of an imminent outbreak of diseases such as cholera unless clean
water and sanitary facilities are put in place.
According to the
CIO agent, the state spies take turns to stay at the farm camp masquerading
as homeless people and informal traders caught up in the clean-up
More than 22 000 people have been arrested nationwide for
selling goods without licence and close to a million people were left
without shelter after their makeshift homes were razed down in a campaign
the government says is meant to restore law and order in cities and
But the government, which is now widening the clean-up
operation to former white farms to evict people who illegally settled
themselves there, has not provided alternative accommodation for the
Although the clean-up campaign is highly
unpopular and could be used to galvanise Zimbabweans against President
Robert Mugabe and his government, a two-day mass work boycott to protest the
evictions called by the MDC and civic groups flopped two weeks
Political analysts however warn that the clean-up operation
coupled with worsening economic hardships remains fertile ground upon which
to mobilise Zimbabweans against Mugabe and his ruling ZANU PF party. -
Police destroy 25 000 copies of in-house magazine Mon 20
June 2005 HARARE - Zimbabwean Police Commissioner, Augustine Chihuri last
week ordered the police to destroy 25 000 copies of an in-house magazine
after it erroneously carried a wrong picture of Mozambican President Armando
Guebuza. Sources within the police said Chihuri ordered copies of the
police's The Outpost magazine May issue to be destroyed after carrying a
wrong picture of Guebuza who opened the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair in
Bulawayo last April.
"This is rather absurd of the Commissioner
who seems not to care about the implications. Most of us think this is an
irresponsible decision by the first police officer as the magazine could
still have made an apology in its next publication," said an officer who
refused to be named for fear of victimisation.
openly pro-ruling ZANU PF party supporter, ordered members of the Press and
Public Relations department to write reports explaining the
Disgruntled police officers say the reprinting of the
magazine was a complete waste as the magazine was solely funded by members'
contributions. An official from printing company Natprint, which prints the
magazine put the printing cost at Z$150 million.
comment yesterday, police spokesman Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena
said: "You people are always a problem. You have been misquoting us all the
time. I will not say anything because you have a system of manipulating our
comments to suit what you want to portray about the ZRP," he said before
switching off his mobile phone. - ZimOnline
Zimbabwe's homeless forced to 'book toilet
time' Harare June 20, 2005
Herded into a holding camp, dozens
of Zimbabwe's new homeless people are having to make a booking with police
to use the only available toilet. At least 30 families have been moved to
Caledonia Farm on the outskirts of Tafara suburb, east of Harare, after
their shacks were destroyed in Operation Restore Order, the Zimbabwe
Independent newspaper says.
They are having to book a place on the sole
toilet with police officers in charge of the farm, the report
"You have to register first with the police officers if you want to
use the toilet," one recently evicted man said.
Fears of cholera are
running high as some people resort to going to the toilet in the open, the
Harare police launched Operation Restore Order a month ago in
what they said was a bid to restore order to Zimbabwe's cities, destroying
shacks and homes built without planning permission.
put the figure of the new homeless at up to one million.
opposition Movement for Democratic Change says the operation is a bid to
punish urban supporters of the party and force them to move to rural
Meanwhile, the Government has announced it is sending
"building brigades" to help build more than 4400 new houses.
will be only for those who have their names on city council waiting lists
and an administrative fee of $Z500,000 ($A73) has to be paid before
construction work can begin, according to the state-run Herald
New World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz, on a trip to Africa,
warned at the weekend that Zimbabwe was in bad shape and getting
a Correspondent The article in The Standard's edition of last Sunday entitled
"State brutality causes untold suffering", purported to have been contributed
by one Sister Patricia Walsh, must have surely excited those who are
frothing at the mouth and bitter over the Government's drive to rid the
country of illegal settlements and clean up the nation.
As it was
coming from a person from the hierarchy of religious government, a Catholic
sister, the handlers of the publication must have thought their anti-clean-up
drive had been given a deified face, legitimising their stance against the
However, unbeknown to the readers and fellow journalists was
how ethically flawed the process of getting the "article" was, revelations of
which may truly send shivers down the spine and send people into corners of a
lack of safety knowing they are not safe from the media.
It is one
that appears to have taken an intrusive and terrorist style of gathering news
at the selfish gain of their publications without regard to common basic
As the article was read by the nation as they made an
insight into the mind of what seemed a politically active person of the cloth
joining the ranks of failed politicians masquerading as men of the cloth like
Pius Ncube of Bulawayo, Sister Patricia Walsh was in mental agony. On the day
she was preparing a letter to write to the Permanent Secretary in the
Ministry of Information, Cde George Charamba, and the Editor of the
publication in question.
Her worrying allegations are set to get the
heart skipping a beat. Much as she admits she indeed penned the story, Sister
Patricia reveals that she did so only for the benefit of her family and
personal friends to whom the letter was copied on electronic mail
So how did The Standard land its hands on the personal private
documents? Where did they get the right to publish private sentiments giving
the impression that the author contributed the piece willingly for
their consideration? Where were journalistic ethics on copyright and the
right to privacy when they decided to copy and paste this here
The right to privacy, a basic human right which the paper and all
else in the "independent bloc" purport to subscribe to?
At best, the
newspaper could have connived with a recipient of the piece to have it
published without the consent of the writer; and at worst, a
serious possibility of cyber terrorism, in which the paper intercepted mail
on the web is possible.
Either way, a serious infringement of
copyright law is in place. According to the internationally recognised law on
copyright, "no person may reproduce any original work or any substantial part
of it, without the consent of the owner of the copyright". Letters and
personal memoirs as that of Sister Walsh fall into this category.
the letter of discontent, Sister Walsh wrote: "I take exception to
this article appearing under my name as if I had written the article for
your paper. You did not say where you sourced this information, which
was incidentally from personal e-mail to my family and friends and not
addressed to you or any other paper."
Reacting to the abuse of and
disregard of journalistic privilege and ethics, the acting permanent
secretary of information, Mr Ivanhoe Gurira, bemoaned the skewed conduct by
the editorial staff at the newspaper.
"It is evident that one's privacy
was infringed upon and the question is: are we safe using the Internet? One
would expect the media practitioners to adhere to ethics when gathering
information for publication, but printing people's personal pieces of mail by
far misses the mark. All that to discredit the Government's noble plan to
give Zimbabwe an orderly image by way of a noble clean-up campaign," he
True to her worry, Sister Walsh questioned the credibility of a
paper after such a dirty patch of cyber or copyright terrorism.
type of journalism discredits both your paper and journalistic ethics in
general. I find this totally unacceptable and ask to have this
false impression corrected in your paper," Sister Walsh demanded.
case no doubt is one for the Media and Information Commission to ponder, and
leaves a dent in the efforts by the new powers at the helm of the Ministry of
Information, Dr Tichaona Jokonya and Cde Bright Matonga, to harmonise
relations between the ministry and a polarised media fraternity.
'Scorched earth policy in Zim' 19/06/2005 19:38 -
Johannesburg - President Thabo Mbeki should condemn the
Zimbabwean government's clampdown on street traders and shack dwellers to
ensure Africa's credibility at next month's G8 Summit, the Democratic
Alliance said on Sunday.
"The African peer review mechanism will
never be taken seriously by world leaders unless President Mbeki and his
fellow African leaders are seen to be taking action against acts of
despotism of this sort," the DA's Joe Seremane said.
and focused action is taken by President Mbeki on Zimbabwe, there is every
chance that a humanitarian crisis of unimaginable proportions will be
allowed to develop - to the cost all who live in the region," he
Seremane was referring to the Zimbabwe government's Operation
Murambatsvina, or Drive Out Trash, in which police have destroyed shacks and
arrested street vendors.
The operation has seen the Zanu-PF
government "unleash a 'scorched earth policy', in an unprecedented act of
political retribution," Seremane said.
"Imagine calling hundreds of
thousands of people trash. These are the incipient seeds of
Seremane said South Africa had not spoken out against the
Zimbabwean government's "systematic and brutal campaign against its own
people that has caused untold human suffering".
"The operation bears
all the hallmarks of apartheid-era forced removals, yet at a scale that even
the apartheid government could not have dreamed of.
"In the face of such
unprecedented suffering, President Mbeki has chosen to remain silent," he
Seremane said Mbeki's stance had prompted Movement for Democratic
Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai to criticise the South African president for
failing to provide the necessary leadership.
"President Mbeki has
always defended his 'quiet diplomacy' on Zimbabwe by arguing that he is
intent on ensuring stability in Zimbabwe.
"In light of this massive and
destabilising clampdown, it appears that even this excuse for failing to
speak out has now worn thin," Seremane said.
Leaders of the Group of
Eight industrialised countries will meet in Scotland in July to discuss
poverty reduction in Africa.
Last updated: 06/20/2005
03:42:41 THERE are hard and difficult times for all of us as
Zimbabweans both at home and abroad. Never have we as a nation faced such a
serious crisis of purpose and confidence about our collective future
prospects as a people.
The level of uncertainty, doubt, and
despondency has never been felt so deeper among the majority of our people.
For others, it has even turned for worse with the alarm bells of
hopelessness ringing louder than ever before. The death knell seems to
tolling for our country more than ever before. Indeed never before have we
gone through such a time hard times as a people for such an indefinite and
protracted period. It is as if we are cursed as a nation!
Whichever way one may choose to look at things at Zimbabwe today, it is hard
to derive any positive inspiration form the current dire state of affairs.
If truth may be told, our once beautiful country is a terrible mess. Big
Forget about 'murambatsvina', the so-called clean up exercise
that the unpopular regime has unleashed on our poor majorities. There is an
even bigger mess that needs a lot of urgent national attention. The biggest
stench we have as a country is mainly oozing from the executive arm of
state. In particular, the sour smell of abuse of power oudourating from the
Indeed, it may be hard to find a few people
who are not feeling disgusted by the level of moral decadence that has
engulfed the country as a result of an evil and repressive regime. Many are
of the opinion that the biggest clean up operation exercise should target
the State House. There is a lot stinking stuff and illegal structures there
that have really overstayed their welcome.
Indeed is not time
that we as Zimbabwean s gathered our courage and launched our own
'murambatsvina' operation that will leave our State House
Is it not time that we stopped agonizing about the
odorous stench of abuse of power emanating from the presidency and decided
to clean up the evil mess once and for all?
My message this
week is simple and straight forward. My message to all Zimbabweans both at
home and abroad is as follows; 'let us not agonize but let us organize and
Indeed the time has come for all of us to stop the blame
shifting processes. The time has come for us to stop passing the buck to
others. The time has come to take responsibility about our future. Let us
make it both a national and personal obligation to rise up and clean up the
mess of this regime that has festered for over 25 years without an
To that end I call for Zimbabweans to start looking for ways
to renew the pro-democracy agenda. I call upon all Zimbabweans both at home
to start to renew attempts to share ideas and strategies. We all need to
start to build networks and alliances that will help to bring a lasting
solution to the crisis in Zimbabwe.
I for one have taken the
step forward by agreeing to be a key part of the newly created Zimbabwe CSOs
Forum. The forum is a strong coalition of over twenty civic organizations
that work on Zimbabwean related issues in South Africa. The forum plans to
build a viable and sustainable national platform for all Zimbabwean
activists based in South Africa.
However the forum is also looking
beyond South Africa. There are plans to help set up similar forums all over
the world. The process will start with the neighbouring countries all over
southern Africa before evolving to Europe, America, Australasia and the rest
of the world.
The idea is to challenge all Zimbabwean activists and
organizations in the Diaspora to join hands and forge a common national
agenda in their respective countries.
The forum also has plans
to host the first ever 'international Diaspora conference' that will focus
on developing both short term and long term strategies over the future of
Zimbabwe. In particular, the conference will focus on the role of the
Diaspora in the nation building process. Plans have already been put in
motion for Johannesburg to host the conference in the not so distant
I therefore urge all Zimbabwean activists who are
interested in being part of this new initiative to make every effort to
contact the forum in South Africa. Please, do not wait for others to respond
but be the first to respond to the clarion call for a new agenda of hope for
our nation. The forum's contact email address is 'firstname.lastname@example.org.'
As I have already said, the time for moaning and mourning is over. Now is
the time to rise and determine our future as a people in a very positive
manner. Let us not agonise anymore. Let us arise, organize and mobilize
ourselves into a formidable pro-democracy force that will ultimately make a
difference for the good of our country and its long suffering majorities.
Now is the time! CONTACT DANIEL: email@example.com
Daniel Molokela is the National Co-ordinator of the Peace and Democracy
Project Johannesburg, South Africa. His column appears here every
commission to clean after Mugabe Last updated: 06/20/2005
03:44:28 SOON after independence, Robert Mugabe looked East to the
Korean Peninsular for assistance with the establishment and commissioning of
a gang of armed killers dubbed the Gukurahundi. With nefarious
determination, the North Koreans came and within a record time, they had
assembled, trained and passed out ruthless slayers of civilians on behalf of
their principal customer, Robert Gabriel Mugabe.
reviewing the pass-out parade for the Fifth Brigade, Mugabe should have had
planned a big killing day for them already. No sooner had they finished
training were they unleashed to cause mayhem in Matabeleland and parts of
midlands provinces. The background of all this is that Mugabe was personally
in charge of the Ministry of Defence.
There is no other way to
describe the ruthlessness of the Fifth Brigade without being boringly
repetitive. Literally, they came, they shot and they assumed they had
conquered! Several areas in Matabeleland, namely Tsholotsho and Bhalagwe in
Kezi became the Auschwitz of Zimbabwe in its war against its Jewish
equivalent. The goons from the Fifth Brigade were so stupid that they would
shoot their victims dead and ask the corpses a few questions
There were other areas where people were just shot, killed
and buried in insulting shallow graves. Even to this day, their whereabouts
remain unknown. I recall the shallow graves in Figtree! Three men who worked
at the telephone exchange in Figtree were gunned down over petty work
related issues. It is said that they were shot as they dug shallow pits, not
knowingly that they were digging their own graves! The men had been sold out
by their colleague. This aggrieved co-worker obviously had intimate
political and ethnic connection with the perpetrators of the on-going
When a lot had been said about the ruthless operation,
Mugabe took to his devious nature again. He profusely professed ignorance on
the nature of operations his god-sons were engaged in. In an assumed angelic
fashion, he commissioned Justice Chihambakwe to look into the operations by
the Fifth Brigade in parts of Midlands and Matabeleland Provinces. From the
outside, this may seem noble for a statesman to do. From inside Zimbabwean
politics, however, this was just a devilish move by Mugabe to absolve
himself from the massacres he had personally sanctioned.
known facts about Gukurahundi massacres still point an accusing finger at
Robert Gabriel Mugabe's wicked ambition and his declared rivalry and fear of
Joshua Nkomo. He had to do everything humanly possible to cripple Joshua
Nkomo's support base. His failure to use humane methods to unseat Nkomo
meant that he had to resort to the barbarism and callousness of the Fifth
Brigade. It is an openly established fact that Mugabe was given regular
up-dates by his commanders, including the dirty Mnangagwa and the Doctor
Sydney 'Josef Mengele' Sekeramayi. It further remains proven that the head
of the Gukurahundi at that time still remains one of Mugabe's trusted
The apparent natural death of the term
'Gukurahundi' in the Shona language is an open pointer to the known shame
the Fifth Brigade brought to the people.
Another known fact is
that the state controlled media did its best in encouraging the slaughter of
more people. It is in this regard that even people like Geof Nyarota, the
Editor of the Chronicle newspaper then, wrote an editorial commentary
suggesting that the Gukurahundi (not the army) be sent again to
Matabeleland. Mugabe would not have been so stupid as not to know that the
men he had sent to commit heinous acts against unarmed civilians were
carrying out his orders to the book!
So, when the Chihambakwe
Commission tabled its report, Mugabe was surprised to see that they had
unearth most of what he thought was privy to him and his trusted
lieutenants. He was so embarrassed that he could not bring the report to be
published. To further protect his bloody image from further scrutiny, the
Chihambabwe Report mysteriously disappeared from the State Archives. (It
remains an open secret that Mnangagwa was the keeper of those archives for a
Of late, there is a dirty operation that is going on in
Zimbabwe. When it was begun, the herald newspaper actually tried to justify
it by publishing a story about the removal of Gypsies in the United Kingdom.
When the world started voicing its concerns on the unplanned destruction of
people's homes, Mugabe quickly seized the opportunity to absolve himself
from any blame once more. In his usual satanic manner, he told the world
that he did not know that his people were unleashing so much terror upon the
people. In his typical fashion, he summoned one of his vice-presidents for
clarification. Again, we are probably going to be gifted with another
commission of enquiry to enquire on the manner people's homes were
destroyed. We are sure never to know the out-come of this enquiry
Somehow the ignorance Mugabe displays in such grave issues
leaves us with so many questions on his mental state and capability to lead.
It also makes us ask if he is the real power in Zimbabwe or there is some
person or group of persons pulling the strings in a puppet show fashion. How
can he order operations, see the devastation with his own eyes and later
disassociate himself from his own creation? CONTACT MASOLA: firstname.lastname@example.org
Canada sets universal human rights model Offers training for activists from
corrupt, war-torn countries
Shelley Page The Ottawa
June 19, 2005
Ste. Anne de Bellevue, Que. * They
have come by the dozen from many of the world's most authoritarian and
corrupt countries to be trained in human rights advocacy, Canadian style --
though what they learn in this picturesque Quebec village could put some of
them in jeopardy back home.
Described by their hosts as among the "most
courageous people in the world," the participants in this training workshop
have travelled from Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Bahrain, Zambia, Indonesia and
60 other countries. Many have escaped fresh conflicts to spend three weeks
here, where they are discussing normally taboo subjects of religion and
politics and absorbing the fundamentals of human rights.
It is risky.
Some participants were reluctant to speak to the Citizen for fear of
reprisals when they return home.
The program offers a respite from
violence and fear, but it is impossible to escape the troubles completely.
One Iraqi learned this week that her uncle and cousin had been kidnapped for
Still others couldn't even get to Canada. About two dozen,
primarily from Africa, were refused visas for fear they might not return
home, said Ian Hamilton, executive director of the Canadian Human Rights
Foundation, which is hosting the program.
Mr. Hamilton said that by
teaching human rights, Canada becomes a "powerful moral force in society."
When the participants go home, equipped with new skills and knowledge, they
bring what could be considered one of Canada's proudest exports.
does acknowledge that there is tension between the idea of universal human
rights and cultural relativism, which contends that human values aren't
necessarily transcendent and can vary according to one's cultural
"Educating people in human rights is not received well
in my country," says 23-year-old Tafadzwa Mugabe, a lawyer from Zimbabwe.
"Human rights ideology is perceived as foreign and western and raised
concerns about recolonization, just when we're struggling to overcome the
long-term effects of colonization."
Mr. Mugabe has been fighting
against his government's aggressive urban cleanup campaign that has left
thousands destitute and homeless and has led to the arrest of about 22,000
people in Harare. He recently went to court on behalf of 2,000 families to
fight the eviction, but the legal challenge was dismissed.
lawyer, who graduated just last year, said he wants to promote human rights
from within Zimbabwe's culture and customs. He wants to make sure his
people's cultural diversity and integrity are respected and not
Mr. Mugabe has questioned whether human rights are
universal, but says he has come to Canada with an open mind.
this week he sat with his colleagues in a circle at John Abbott College,
where the training is being conducted, trying to find a common ground to
begin the program. The group included people from Kosovo, Kazakhstan,
Azerbaijan, Nigeria, Cameroon, Thailand and Nicaragua. "We all agreed that
we value life, human dignity, freedom, equality, but through our different
cultures and customs we express it in different ways," he said.
2,500 activists and educators have attended the program, many flying here
with the support of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).
They leave with an action plan for their own country. Mr. Hamilton says that
nearly 70 per cent find a way to implement what they learned in
Fatima Al-Shiraida, an Iraqi university professor, says it's
a treat to wander without fear along a Canadian street or stroll down to
Lake St. Louis. In Baghdad, she carries a pistol in her purse -- in her
classroom, while shopping, even in her own home.
Yet she also carries
optimism for the new Iraq. For example, after 10 long years of asking for a
divorce from her husband -- "just an awful man" -- she was granted one last
She is also engaged in an unprecedented experiment. Every
afternoon, four days a week, she brings together 40 teenage girls and 40
teenage boys to teach them how to respect each other. Boys and girls don't
mix in the Iraqi school system, and therefore don't relate well as adults.
The program started nine months ago and already the students are like
"brothers and sisters."
Ms. Al-Shiraida wants to take her training in
Canada and pass it on to her students. "I want to help them become
One of the co-facilitators is Sawsan Al Refai, a doctor from
Yemen who runs an organization to improve literacy among Yemeni girls. This
year she's a trainer, but last year she was a student, part of the largest
group from the Middle East. Those delegates have since established, with the
support of the Canadian Human Rights Foundation, a network to promote human
rights education in Arabic-speaking countries.
Their experience in
Canada has helped them to organize workshops in the Middle East that address
democratization, civil liberties, terrorism and anti-terrorism, and the role
of Islam as a force of social and political change.
If the principal
human rights issue in the Middle East is political reform, in Africa it
could be HIV and AIDS. In Zambia, as elsewhere in the continent, there is a
stigma attached to HIV, said Paul Sichalwe, 27, who belongs to a
non-governmental organization involved in HIV/AIDS human rights advocacy
called the Zambia AIDS Law Research and Advocacy Network.
In his country,
there are about 1.1 million people known to have HIV or AIDS. Of these,
about 140,000 are in need of anti-retroviral treatment, and only 22,000 are
getting the medicines.
Mr. Sichalwe said his organization is fighting for
legislation that will protect the rights of those with HIV/AIDS, however,
"this process moves very slowly."
Two members of his organization
have already trained with the Canadian Centre for Human Rights. In turn,
they have trained people with HIV/AIDS in human rights and have organized
daylong educational sessions for 30 judges in Zambia, including the
country's chief justice, along with members of the police force and prison
officials. "That is pretty significant and it is something we're really
proud of," he said.
Please read the attached and lobby your MP. Why cant
Britain, in fact the whole of the G8, do to Mbeki just what was done to the
Apartheid regime regarding ridding Rhodesia of Ian Smith? June 2 is the
ideal opportunity. Please also pass this on to everyone you know in the UK
who has an interest in this Country, and request them to also lobby their
The Hitler youth, dressed in riot police uniforms and
using arms of war supplied by China, are busy carrying out the most brutal
attacks on the poor, totally smashing their homes and businesses, and
stealing anything they fancy. The people are either being dispersed to G-d
knows where or very often being carted off to overcrowded concentration
camps; we are told, to be "re-educated"!!
Can you just imagine the
pressure this has put on the SPCA? We now have NO petrol in this Country.
Any fuel required for emergencies has to be stolen, begged for or borrowed;
to be paid back once we have a legal Government here. Who knows
Our kennels are bulging at the seams with dogs, cats, chickens,
geese, ducks, rabbits, guinea pigs and goats!!!!!!! These are the ones we
have managed to save, wandering around aimlessly amongst the rubble and
debris that once was their owners homes. Some of us still have to stay here
if only to help deal with the suffering being metered out.
creatures have even smashed down orphanages leaving orphans from young
babies to teenagers huddled together for warmth with no roof over their
heads. It is now mid winter here and the night temperatures reach freezing
point and below.
After World War II, the World said "We will never let
this happen again" !!!!!!?????
Is the World turning a blind eye to
what is going on here simply because we have nothing to offer them? (Oil,
It is the
expressed and unequivocal purpose and policy of the Zimbabwe Conservation
Task Force to work without financial or material gain and to be completely
independent of political predilection towards the holistic preservation of
Zimbabwe's wildlife, associated environments and natural resources for the
absolute benefit of the country and as an incontrovertible legacy to future
generations of Zimbabweans.
It is stated without reservation,
that the allegations made against myself of exaggeration and misguided
attempts to raise funds for personal gain, are falsely made by the
uninformed, and in many cases the culpable
Abundant evidence exists amongst the vast
majority of local, regional and international supporters of wildlife and
natural resources stakeholders.
Since the inception of the ZCTF
in 2001, numerous attempts have been made to bring to the attention of all
stakeholders and various authorities, the intolerable and unsustainable
magnitude of the following :
wildlife destruction through poaching within and without proclaimed wildlife
areas using inhumane means
ii. Organised illegal
hunting by known individuals and organisations within and without
proclaimed hunting areas and with a total disregard for the balance of
species and the sustainability of offtake.
decimation of aquatic natural resources by careless netting and illegal
fishing practices including poisoning.
decimation of vast tracts of pristine, natural woodland areas through
v. The destruction of
natural watercourses, rivers and dams through alluvial gold mining and
panning and the subsequent embankment and surrounding natural environment
vi. The illegal dealing in and
exporting and smuggling of wild animals and wildlife
Given the reluctance of role players and authorities
to hear and heed the evidence of the ZCTF, coupled with their unwillingness
to cooperate on extensive malpractice information, or to launch their own
initiatives and as a result of which, the concerns as outlined have been
related to the media by the ZCTF based on the best possible information and
evidence. In so doing without fabrication or any malicious intent
whatsoever, the ZCTF has endeavoured to portray the true picture pertaining
to environmental and wildlife issues in Zimbabwe.
extensive data collated since 2001 by ZCTF, has been provided by private
individuals, by employees of various authorities and by attentive
organisations, each with direct access to bear witness, and all of whom
share equal anxiety for the current and future preservation of Zimbabwe's
wildlife. For obvious reasons, the individual identities within this witness
sector cannot be made public under the current
It is imperative that it be widely known, that the
current rate of devastation across Zimbabwe through thoughtless and
irresponsible malpractice, regardless of culpability, is directly and
rapidly serving to irretrievably harm :
Covenants of best practice for natural resource
ii. Species diversity availability and
iii. Sensitive species breeding stocks and
natural regeneration thereof
iv. Water courses, rivers,
dams and wetland environments
v. Fishing and related
aquatic based enterprises
vi. Tourism and foreign exchange
vii. Hunting and foreign exchange capital
viii. Forest and pristine woodland stability and
sustainable harvesting thereof
commercial and communal agriculture
x. Ethnic cultures
and natural ancestral heritage sites and areas
in the form of residual wildlife stocks required for recovery of wildlife
and the natural environment is currently perilously positioned. Recovery to
normalcy is now estimated to be up to and beyond fifteen
Given this precarious situation, ALL STAKEHOLDERS are
encouraged to seek early dialogue with one another and the ZCTF to firstly,
resolve and reconcile any differences. Secondly, to share pertinent
information and concerns with a view to implementing strategic options in
the best interests of preserving Zimbabwe's wildlife
Open dialogue is the cornerstone to securing
resolutions in the challenges that lie ahead. The ZCTF subscribes to this
principle and mindful of such extends an open invitation to ALL
STAKEHOLDERS, to meet in a transparent and frank manner for the purpose of
allaying all issues.
Zimbabwe's government crackdown on informal settlements and
traders, which has left thousands of people homeless, showed a "callous
indifference" to the lives of the poor, a church group said
Thousands have seen their informal business premises razed to the
ground and their goods confiscated in the cleanup campaign, which has also
left an estimated 200 000 homeless after their shacks were demolished over
the last two weeks.
The southern city of Bulawayo's section of the
Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) said the campaign had
worsened the plight of Zimbabweans already grappling with food shortages it
said were "approaching a famine situation".
"At such a time...the
launching of the (crackdown) is in our view particularly insensitive and
inappropriate. Indeed the whole operation smacks of a callous indifference
to the plight of the poor," the group said.
Pius Ncube, Bulawayo's
Catholic Archbishop, has been vocally critical of Robert Mugabe, the
Zimbabwean president, as the country battles an economic crisis widely
blamed on his government's mismanagement.
Mugabe's goverment says the
clean-up campaign, dubbed "Operation Restore Order," is meant to get rid of
illegal structures that have sprouted around urban centres in the last few
years and are seen as a haven for illegal traders in foreign currency and
scarce food items.
But critics say the exercise, which has hit thousands
of unregistered informal traders, has merely piled on pressure on
Zimbabweans faced with unemployment of over 70% and chronic shortages of
foreign currency, fuel and food.
The government largely blames
drought for the food crunch, but critics point to disruptions to the key
agriculture sectory linked to Mugabe's controversial forcible redistribution
of white-owned commercial farms among blacks.
Mugabe, in power since
independence from Britain in 1980, says opponents of the land reforms -
which he says are meant to correct land ownership imbalances created by
colonialism over a century ago - have deliberately sabotaged Zimbabwe's
economy. - Reuters
Mbeki must speak out on Zimbabwe before G8 summit: DA
19, 2005, 14:00
President Thabo Mbeki should condemn the Zimbabwean
government's clampdown on street traders and shack dwellers to ensure
Africa's credibility at next month's G8 Summit, the Democratic Alliance (DA)
"The African Peer Review Mechanism will never be taken
seriously by world leaders unless President Mbeki and his fellow African
leaders are seen to be taking action against acts of despotism of this
sort," the DA's Joe Seremane said in a statement.
"Unless urgent and
focused action is taken by President Mbeki on Zimbabwe, there is every
chance that a humanitarian crisis of unimaginable proportions will be
allowed to develop - to the cost all who live in the region," he said.
Seremane was referring to the Zimbabwe government's Operation Murambatsvina,
or Drive Out Trash, in which police have destroyed shacks and arrested
The operation has seen the Zanu(PF) government "unleash a
'scorched earth policy', in an unprecedented act of political retribution,"
Seremane said. "Imagine calling hundreds of thousands of people trash. These
are the incipient seeds of genocide."
Seremane said South Africa had
not spoken out against the Zimbabwean government's "systematic and brutal
campaign against its own people that has caused untold human
Hallmarks of apartheid-era removals "The operation bears
all the hallmarks of apartheid-era forced removals, yet at a scale that even
the apartheid government could not have dreamed of. "In the face of such
unprecedented suffering, President Mbeki has chosen to remain silent," he
Seremane said Mbeki's stance had prompted Morgan Tsvangirai, the
Movement for Democratic Change leader, to criticise Mbeki for failing to
provide the necessary leadership.
Leaders of the Group of Eight
industrialised countries will meet in Scotland in July to discuss poverty
reduction in Africa. - Sapa
Mugabe blocks aid to victims of crackdown Basildon
Peta June 19 2005 at 09:57AM
The plight of hundreds of
thousands of poor families whose shacks and stalls have been demolished
around Zimbabwe has worsened rapidly as the regime of President Robert
Mugabe has blocked humanitarian agencies from extending any form of help to
Aid agency workers said the plight of children is
particularly dire with tens of thousands reportedly forced out of school as
families moved to rural areas in search of new accommodation.
Thousands of informal traders and vendors whose stalls have been demolished
and banned from operating no longer have the means to earn a
To make matters worse, unusual heavy winter rains fell
around Zimbabwe on Friday night, drenching thousands sleeping in the open.
Representatives of churches and other aid agencies said they had been
branded "enemies of the state" for trying to help victims of Mugabe's
"Operation Restore Order".
"I have witnessed the
situation in Zimbabwe deteriorate rapidly over the past five years, but I
had never contemplated seeing what I am seeing now. It's all sadistic," said
an aid agency programme director.
"We wanted to set up a centre to
erect tents for women and children sleeping in the open cold but the police
told us these would immediately be pulled down as they still constitute
informal structures," added the aid agency director, who asked to have her
name and that of her agency withheld for fear of victimisation.
She said representatives of various aid agencies had met officials from the
ministries of labour, public service and social welfare with proposals to
help victims but had had no success.
"In fact, they [officials]
said the best help we can give is to provide bus fare for these victims to
go to their rural homes, but not everyone has a rural home. We also hear the
crackdown is being spread to some of these rural areas," said a church
official who also did not want to be named.
non-governmental organisations who don't normally criticise the government
publicly, such as the Zimbabwe Doctors for Human Rights (ZDHR) and the
Zimbabwe Teachers Association (Zimta), have been forced to speak out because
of the magnitude of the crisis.
ZDHR said between 1 million and 2
million people had been rendered homeless.
Zimta said many
teachers, who live in backyard shacks because they can't afford houses, had
been left homeless and were unable to report for work. The United Nations
has also condemned the crackdown. Now in its fourth week, the UN estimated
that the crackdown had left more than 200 000 homeless in its first week
International televisions viewers were shocked this week
after stations in different countries ran an on-the-ground clip by the
London-based Independent Television Network's Neil Connery showing
bulldozers ramming into houses and families being given as little as five
minutes to move out all their belongings.
government says it is targeting informal houses to "clean up the city", many
non-informal home-owners have also lost their properties.
formed co-operatives and the government had in fact allocated them land to
build proper houses, mainly on peri-urban farms seized from white farmers
ostensibly for peri-urban expansion.
When bulldozers turned up at
one co-operative area in Chitungwiza, prominent war veteran and musician
Chinx Chingaira stood his ground and told the police he would not allow them
to destroy his tiled eight-roomed property.
He argued that he
had fought in the liberation war and this was not the sort of treatment he
had risked his life for. Chingaira then climbed to the roof of his house,
telling them that they would have to bulldoze him as well if they proceeded
with their plan.
Undeterred by his actions, the bulldozers rammed
through the property while he was on the roof and he sustained serious
injuries. He is now recuperating in hospital.
wants to depopulate urban areas ahead of the 2008 elections and recreate a
rural peasantry in which voters are brought under the control of local
chiefs and Mugabe's militias," Sydney Masamvu, a Zimbabwean analyst from the
International Crisis Group think tank, said.
Opposition parties say
this is Mugabe's campaign of retribution against mainly urban voters and
targeted rural areas that have persistently rejected his party in
a.. This article was originally published on
page 3 of Sunday Independent on June 19, 2005
Zimbabwe - Mugabe's Genocide Where is the outcry from the Left
It is a wasteland. Street after street razed in a scene
that looks like a natural disaster. The hundreds of thousands who have been
left homeless are calling it Zimbabwe's tsunami. But man, not nature, is to
blame for the destruction enveloping this country.
The full force
of Robert Mugabe's state is destroying homes and lives in what it calls
Operation Restore Order. But all that can be seen is chaos and trauma. There
is no compassion, only carefully executed brutality.
orphanage, run by Dominican sisters, the nuns, workers and 180 orphans were
given a day to get out before the bulldozers arrived. Many of the children
had lost their parents to Aids. Now, thanks to what the regime justifies as
a crackdown on illegal settlements and traders, they have lost the roof over
their heads and have nowhere to go.
Why doesn't Geldof take his
protest march to Zimbabwe's embassy and protest against Mugabe?
is the Left's patron saint, the UN, doing?
The Left are too busy calling
US troops Nazis and Gitmo a Soviet Gulag, to be bothered by a little real
torture and genocide.
HARARE, June 19 (Xinhuanet) -- Voting to choose the
new Member of Parliament for Mudzi East constituency in Zimbabwe ended on
Sunday with a victory for the ruling Zimbabwe African National
Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF).
Joseph Musa of ZANU-PF
secured a massive 15,811 votes against Bvunzayi Gozi's 2,382 votes of the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change.
18,643 votes cast and 450 spoilt ballot papers. People voted in 90 polling
stations with a total of 42,072 registered voters.
constituency fell vacant when President Robert Mugabe appointed Ray
Kaukonde, who had been elected Member of Parliament for the constituency in
March, governor of Mashonaland East Province. Enditem
CHINESE, Indian and Nigerian nationals who continue to keep huge
amounts of foreign currency in their homes at a time the country is facing
acute shortages of foreign currency, face arrest, according to the Minister
of State Security, Didymus Mutasa.
Mutasa told the Sunday Mirror that
his ministry was carrying out investigations alongside those by the Ministry
of Anti-corruption and Anti-monopolies, to flush out all Chinese and Indian
nationals who continue to stash the much-needed forex.
process, Mutasa removed the sacrosanct status perceived to have been enjoyed
by Chinese nationals following government's "Look East" policy, in which
China has emerged as one of Zimbabwe's main trade partners.
accepted that it was not a crime to keep foreign currency, he hastened to
add that the circumstances that the country is currently facing warranted
investigations by government into people who stashed huge amounts of forex
in their homes.
"What they are doing is economic sabotage. They are
adding onto the problem, and we don't take such behaviour kindly. Everyone
who continues to hold on to such huge amounts of forex is an economic
saboteur, and we can't have that in Zimbabwe," said Mutasa.
also criticised black entrepreneurs who also stashed forex in their
"Why should that money lie idle? Why not put it into the
system so that the country can benefit from its usage? All those black
Zimbabweans who are keeping such large sums of forex at their homes will
also be targeted. They are now behaving like black Rhodesians who want to
sabotage Zimbabwe," said Mutasa.
Mutasa's comments come two weeks
after a Chinese national, Guixun Ma, was robbed of more than US$81 000 and
$20 million in cash stashed in his Greendale residence.
a Chinese family was robbed of an undisclosed amount of forex and $150
million in cash last month.
This year, state security agents and the
police carried out raids in Belvedere, where a large portion of the Indian
Mutasa told this paper that his ministry and the police
had held a meeting following the raids in which the Indian nationals found
with large amounts of foreign currency were admonished.
promised us that they would not do it again. We also warned them that if
ever we find them with huge amounts of forex again, we will not return that
money, but instead, the state will confiscate it," added Mutasa.
Republic Police (ZRP) spokesperson Wayne Bvudzijena could neither confirm
nor deny whether Ma would be prosecuted for keeping large amounts of forex
at his house.
"We are still investigating. It is not for us to say
whether the Chinese national is guilty or not; it is for the courts to
decide. Right now as the police, we are just looking into the circumstances
of the case," said Bvudzijena.
The Chinese, Indian and Nigerian
communities have all been accused of fuelling the parallel market through
illegal forex deals.
Last month, Zanu PF Women's League spokesperson,
Nyasha Chikwinya called on government to arrest foreign nationals implicated
in forex scams, as an extension of the clean-up operation, which police
claim, has eliminated illegal forex dealings within flea
Chikwinya called for the clean-up operation to extend to the
Chinese, Nigerian and Indian communities.
"The move you have taken
(clean-up exercise) is very bold. However as women, we feel the police
should also target the Chinese community because they are engaging in
illegal foreign currency deals. If they were to be given positions, the
Chinese would be number one, Nigerians, number two and Indians number
three," Chikwinya is reported to have said.
People of Indian origin have
largely been viewed as shrewd business people who do not bank their money;
while some Nigerian businessmen have been generally regarded as corrupt
GOVERNMENT's appointment of six sub-committees to assess and
monitor Operation Murambatsvina/Restore Order, could be an admission that
something went wrong, while it has also come to light that President Robert
Mugabe, a staunch critic of the breakdown of law and order in any form, was
not amused with the poor planning of the operation.
highly-placed source claimed that President Mugabe had already asked
Vice-President Joice Mujuru to look into the matter and take corrective
"The President was not happy at all with the manner in
which the clean-up operation was carried out. A report on the clean-up
operation is currently before Vice-President Mujuru," said one of the
The source claims that the visible negative socio-economic
ramifications caused by the poor planning of the clean-up operation had
angered President Mugabe. As a result, high-powered meetings are said to
have taken place in the last week to look into ways of providing viable
social amelioration programmes, including a sane resettlement programme for
The six committees include the identification
committee that will identify illegal development; the allocation committee
responsible for re-allocating space for legitimate use; and the development
and funding committee to source funds for financing legitimate land
The social services committee will provide social protection
to cover vulnerability induced by the operation; the co-operatives committee
will assist in re-organising displaced people into units for orderly
development; while the remaining committee will look at promoting small and
Six ministries are involved in the
sub-committees that will work with local authorities in re-organising local
The ministries are: Local Government and National
Development, Health and Child Welfare, Public Service and Social Welfare,
Youth Development and Employment Creation, Lands and Agriculture, and Small
and Medium Enterprises Development.
The appointment of the
ministerial committees, coupled with plans announced by the Ministry of
Finance to launch a $1 trillion facility to mitigate the effects of the
clean-up, were cited by the source as some of the stop-gap measures being
taken by government.
Apparently, some modalities have forced the
postponement of the launch of the $1 trillion facility - a scenario that
gives weight to allegations that the clean-up operation was poorly
At the time of going to press it was still not clear who
would have benefited from the intended facility or what requirements would
have been necessary for one to access funding.
More than 22 000
people were arrested, while estimates put the number of people left homeless
at around 200 000.
It is further alleged that President Mugabe had
found himself in a tricky situation where he could not overlook the fact
that the clean-up operation, noble in its intention, had gone awry,
affecting almost everyone in the country negatively.
same time, as Head of State, he could not distance himself from the decision
to authorize the clean up," said the source, referring to President Mugabe's
recent commendation of the clean-up operation.
Efforts to get a
comment from the minister of Local Government, Public works and National
Housing, Ignatius Chombo were fruitless, as he was said to be out of
His deputy, Morris Sakabuya, however, refuted allegations
that government had resorted to fire-fighting antics, saying he was unaware
of President Mugabe's displeasure with the negative effects of the clean-up
"I am not aware of reports that President Mugabe was
not happy with the clean-up exercise, nor am I aware of any report made to
Mai Mujuru on the clean-up operation," said Sakabuya.
said that government was following plans made before the exercise, with his
ministry currently working with local authorities and identifying land for
resettling displaced people.
"Soon, the displaced people will be
allocated new land in new areas being identified by government. The exercise
will be over in a couple of days, probably at the end of this coming week,"
The clean-up operation has affected almost every
Zimbabwean in the country in one way or another.
Over the years
there has been a rural-to-urban migration that saw people moving to towns in
search of jobs. One social commentator observed that there was a discernible
disparity in the manner the authorities had resorted to justifying the
operations suggesting that, despite statements to the contrary, the clean-up
had indeed gone awry.
"It appears that the right hand did not know
what the left hand was doing. And all this talk about restoring the Sunshine
City status of Harare, while commendable in principle, has a hollow ring to
it. Does it imply a return to Salisbury? If so then it is important to bear
in mind that Salisbury was clean at the expense of the African people who
were, ironically, alienated from it, yet they provided the services to make
the city clean. Can we really re-create such virtually sterile standards of
cleanliness without punishing the people?" The commentator further observed
that most of the structures that were being cleaned up were, in fact, a
reflection of a grim reality for the majority who had been marginalized from
partaking of the national cake.
"Things like tuckshops were a
reflection of real life as people struggled to eke out a living in a
Removing them is like trying to create a surreal
existence, without really going to the bottom of the matter and as such an
almost unnatural social and political order is being restored. Let's face
it, a significant part of the urban malaise arose as a result of the
negative aspects of the land reform programme, for that programme ought to
have included urban areas as part of the reform exercise . There was a lot
of rural-to-urban migration as a result of displacements from farms and now
some of those unfortunate people are being displace all over again," added
The clean-up operation has reversed urban-rural
trend and people are now being forced to go back to the rural areas - a
situation likely to result in congestion, which government tried to
eliminate through the accelerated land redistribution programme that
commenced in 2000. But one Hararean, Reuben Moyo, feels that this is a
"What this whole exercise does is to send a
message out there that: kuHarare hakungouiwa. Many of these people were
simply buying and selling without engaging in any form of
And there were a lot of criminal elements. The Jo'burg
Lines in Mbare were a virtual maze where criminals could disappear with
impunity. This development augurs well for the cities," he
However, calls have been made for a new masterplan for
urban development - as opposed to one left by the Smith regime - that takes
into account housing difficulties faced by the people and to create
industrial parks for informal traders in the city centre where business is