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From The Times (UK), 21 June

Boxes of dollars free Tsvangirai

From Michael Hartnack in Harare

A High Court judge ordered the release yesterday of Morgan Tsvangirai,
leader of Zimbabwe’s opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), on
Z$110 million (£77,000) bail and sureties while he awaits trial on a second
charge of high treason. Mr Tsvangirai was cheered and greeted by dozens of
his supporters as he left prison for his home in a Harare suburb. MDC
officials had difficulty getting Z$10 million in cash, as demanded by the
judge, Susan Mavangira, because of an acute shortage of banknotes. The
Reserve Bank has run out of imported paper and ink to print notes, while
inflation soars above 269 per cent. Court officials were stunned when Mr
Tsvangirai’s lawyers brought the money in Z$50 bills - the only denomination
banks could supply - in three huge cardboard boxes. It took more than an
hour to count. Mr Tsvangirai, 51, was ordered to produce a Z$100 million
surety in the form of title deeds to property, and banned from making any
statement "calling for the violent or unlawful removal of the President and
the Government". His trial on a previous treason charge continues.
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Comment from ZWNEWS, 21 June

Those hangings...

By Michael Hartnack

Without word to their families, Zimbabwe’s regime suddenly hanged four men
on June 13 in the Harare prison complex where opposition leader Morgan
Tsvangirai was being held. The circumstances surrounding the convictions six
years ago of two of the executed men were dubious, and details of the
convictions of the other two were simply not disclosed. All that was bad
enough. But there was more to come: Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic
Change believes the timing of the hangings was political - to intimidate its
leader. MDC justice spokesman David Coltart described the hangings, the
first in Zimbabwe in more than a year, as a "brutal show of force" aimed at
intimidating Tsvangirai. "The hangings are typical, entirely consistent with
Mugabe's vindictive nature," said Coltart. "They are appalling, given the
deterioration of our justice system - there is deep concern innocent people
might go to the gallows." The MDC linked the timing of the executions to a
statement by Robert Mugabe earlier that day that he was "glad Tsvangirai is
in state house (prison) now".

Released prisoners report the atmosphere in the complex, off Harare's
Enterprise Road, is electric as men are taken to the gallows, with other
inmates kept locked in their cells to check demonstrations of sympathy such
as hymn-singing. On Friday, a judge ordered Tsvangirai released on bail
after spending two weeks in the complex. He faces two charges of treason,
the most recent stemming from a successful work stayaway this month called
by the MDC to demand an end to Mugabe’s 23-year rule. Lawyers said that no
advance warning of the executions was given to the men's families. No formal
public announcement was made, but David Mangoma, permanent secretary to the
Ministry of Justice, confirmed the executions to state-run Herald newspaper.
Two of those executed, Stephen Chidhumo and Elias Chauke, were among a group
of four who escaped from Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison on the outskirts
of Harare six years ago, while serving sentences for robbery. One of the
escapees, Pedisayi Musariri, snatched a rifle and killed a warder, and he
was shot dead. The fourth man, Marika Ngulube, broke his leg in a fall from
the prison walls and was left with his injuries unattended in a prison cell
where he died. Lawyers said his death amounted to unlawful killing by the
state. Chidhumo and Chauke were later sentenced to death for killing the
warder after Judge Godfrey Chidyausiku, now the Chief Justice, announced in
a controversial ruling that "it did not matter who fired the fatal shot." A
recent constitutional amendment prevented Chidhuma and Chauke from obtaining
clemency because of their long sojourn on death row. The other two executed
men were William Mukurugunye and John Nyamazana. They were both alleged to
have committed murder without extenuating circumstances, but no details were

The hangings underlined fears that, on top of killings with impunity by
state agents and pro-Mugabe thugs of at least 200 opposition supporters
farmers in the past three years, there is an increasing risk of innocent
people being sentenced to death by the courts. For example, six opposition
supporters are being tried in the High Court for the murder of an
ex-guerrilla, Cain Nkala, depicted as a political martyr by the state
propaganda machine. Defence lawyers say Nkala was abducted and killed by
fellow Zanu PF supporters because he was trying to expose a corruption
scandal. Even The Herald, which usually follows the regime line slavishly,
expressed unease. In an editorial it urged more debate about the
effectiveness of the death penalty as a deterrent, adding, "Another cogent
argument is that there could be a mistake, and an innocent person could be
wrongly convicted and hanged." Since 1980 independence Mugabe's
administration has sent 73 men to the gallows despite a nationwide petition
for abolition led by Catholic churchmen. In 1988, 13 hangings were kept
secret during a state visit by Pope John Paul. Six years earlier, Mugabe had
ignored a personal appeal from the Pope to spare two Frenchmen who served as
mercenaries in the Rhodesian army. During the 1982-87 unrest in
Matabeleland, Mugabe’s government unhesitatingly executed captured
dissidents, but was quick to pardon 2 000 security force and ruling party
members accused of murder. One had shot dead five opposition supporters on
Hwange railway station. Asked to comment on the latest hangings, Amnesty
International spokesman George Ngwa said at the human rights organisation’s
headquarters in London, "As far as we are concerned the death penalty is
brutal and does not solve anything."
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More pressure in store for Mugabe

By Stella Mapenzauswa
HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's main opposition leader says his detention will
not deter him from pressuring President Robert Mugabe's government for a
solution to the country's worsening political and economic crisis.

Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai was on Friday
granted bail of 10 million Zimbabwe dollars (around U.S. $5,500 at black
market rates -- 3,300 pounds ) after two weeks in custody on charges that he
sought to spark a revolt by his supporters against Mugabe.

The former trade unionist was also barred from making any statements that
could be construed as advocating the violent or unconstitutional removal of
Mugabe or his government.

"Arresting Tsvangirai may give this regime a temporary satisfaction but
really it doesn't solve any of the problems that this country is facing,"
Tsvangirai told a news conference on Saturday.

"We will continue to exert as much pressure as we can exert to force
(Mugabe's party) ZANU-PF to come to the negotiating table. We cannot fold
our hands and say because the government has used brute force, we should
abandon whatever action we are thinking about."

Tsvangirai, whose MDC poses the most potent challenge to Mugabe's 23-year
grip on power, was arrested on June 6 after the opposition led a week of
mass protests in its urban strongholds that the government described as an
attempted coup d'etat.

The arrest came as Zimbabwe grapples with its worst economic and political
crisis since independence from Britain in 1980, struggling with chronic food
and fuel shortages and inflation riding at 300 percent -- one of the highest
rates in the world.

"I've never in my statements previously and at any point advocated for
Mugabe's overthrow. That's why I have gone to court to challenge the
legitimacy of the elections," Tsvangirai said, alluding to his legal
challenge to Mugabe's victory in a disputed March 2002 presidential poll.

"The interpretation that the whole effort was to try to overthrow a figment of somebody's imagination."

Tsvangirai described the conditions in remand prison as a health hazard and
warned of deaths among inmates.

"It's the embodiment of the deterioration of the whole institutional
framework of governance in this country," he said.

Tsvangirai and two senior MDC officials are already on trial on separate
treason charges of plotting to assassinate Mugabe, and could face the death
sentence if convicted. All three deny the charges.

The MDC says Mugabe has mismanaged the economy, partly by condoning the
seizure of white-owned farms for redistribution to landless blacks, a move
analysts say has undermined the key agriculture sector.

Mugabe denies mismanaging the country and says the economy has been
sabotaged by local and international opponents in retaliation for the land
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Daily News

      High Court judge set to rule on state’s bid to call new witnesses

      6/21/2003 3:10:04 PM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      HigH Court judge Justice Sandra Mungwira will on Monday next week rule
on an application by the state yesterday to call three new witnesses in the
trial of six opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party activists
charged with kidnapping and killing Bulawayo war veterans leader Cain Nkala
two years ago.

      Prosecutors Charles Kandemiri and Neville Wamambo said they wanted to
call Isabel Mhlope, a former officer-in-charge at Mbembesi Police Station
where one of the accused, Remember Moyo, was allegedly tortured and denied
food and water.

      The two other witnesses the state now wants to summon to court are a
detective constable Sibanda and one detective sergeant Shumba both of whom
are said to have witnessed the recording of warned and cautioned statements
from Sazini Mpofu and Army Zulu.

      Moyo, Mpofu and Zulu are facing trial for the murder of Nkala together
with MDC legislator for Lobengula-Magwegwe Fletcher Dulini-Ncube and two
other activists of the opposition party Sonny Masera and Kethani Sibanda.

      Kandemiri said the state wanted to call Mhlope to rebut allegations
that she had given Moyo food and water allegedly against orders by police
superintendent Martin Matira that the opposition activist be starved and
denied water.

      Matira was one of the senior police officers leading investigations
into the kidnapping and murder of Nkala.

      Kandemiri said although detectives Sibanda and Shumba had been omitted
from the state outline, the defence was however aware that the state
intented calling them to testify in court.

      The prosecutor said: “Calling these three witnesses will be of no
prejudice to the defence.”

      But defence lawyers, advocates Eric Morris, Edith Mushore, Deepak
Mehta and Happias Zhou opposed the application, saying it would prejudice
their clients.
      Morris dismissed the claim by Kandemiri that the defence knew the new
witnesses were going to be called as “nonsense” and accused he state of
seeking to delay the conclusion of the case.

      Morris said: “What the state wishes to do is to delay the
administration of justice.”

      According to Mushore, the defence had received a six-paragraph outline
of Mhlope’s evidence.

      Mehta castigated the state for allegedly adopting a “piecemeal”
approach to the whole case.

      The state was aware since January this year when the trial of the MDC
activists commenced that the warned and cautioned statements were going to
be challenged and should not be allowed to bring in fresh witnesses after
several other witnesses had already given evidence, Zhou said.

      He said there was a risk that the witnesses would only be responding
to evidence already given by others.

      Before the trial adjourned for a week yesterday, state witness
detective inspector Lewis Maphosa told the court under cross-examination by
Zhou that he and a colleague had not taken Sazini Mpofu for indications at
Nkala’s residence because “we feared for the accused person’s life and for
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Daily News

      EU calls for dialogue to resolve Zimbabwe crisis

      6/21/2003 3:14:21 PM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      EUROPEAN Union (EU) head of delegation in Harare Francesica Mosca this
week said the powerful bloc backed efforts to find a solution to Zimbabwe’s
worsening political and economic crisis through dialogue.

      Mosca, who said the group was constantly reviewing the Zimbabwe
crisis, told The Daily News: “The EU, faithful to the principle of dialogue,
urges both the government and the opposition to opt for this highly
democratic process.”

      One of Zimbabwe’s biggest trading and development partners, the EU
last year cut all non-humanitarian aid to the country and imposed punitive
      sanctions against Zimbabwe’s leaders after disagreeing on land
reforms, human rights, the rule of law and democracy.

      Mosca said a travel and financial ban slapped by the EU on President
Robert Mugabe, his wife Grace and officials of his government was under
constant review by the European body.

      The EU’s top diplomat in Harare said: “The sanctions are kept under
constant review and are renewable every six months.”

      Several development and trade meetings between the EU and the regional
Southern African Development Community have been aborted because the
European body would not participate in such meetings if Zimbabwe was also
included while the African countries argued they did not want to ostracise
Zimbabwe out of issues affecting the region.

      But several Zimbabwean government officials have exploited United
Nations gatherings to to visit EU territory.

      Mosca refused to speak on the effectiveness of the EU sanctions in
bringing Mugabe and his government to change their controversial policies.

      Once a showcase economy for Africa, Zimbabwe is crumbling because
international investors and capital have fled political violence and human
rights abuses in the country.
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Daily News

      MDC supporters flee terror in Nkayi

      6/21/2003 3:15:42 PM (GMT +2)

      Our Correspondent

      The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party yesterdays
said several of its supporters in Nkayi communal lands in Matabeleland South
province have fled their homes after being attacked by suspected ruling ZANU
PF party militias.

      MDC Member of Parliament for Nkayi Abednico Bhebhe said many of the
villagers had fled to Bulawayo where they have sought sanctuary with
relatives and friends.

      Ncube, who claimed that some of the vehicles that have been used to
ferry the youths to their victims’ homes appeared to have been painted in
Zimbabwe Republic Police colours, accused the law enforcement agency of
turning a blind eye to the marauding youths.

      He said, “Vehicles (painted like) police vehicles are being used to
ferry the youths who carrying out the attacks.”

      Police at Nkayi however dismissed the allegations that police vehicles
had been used to transport the marauding youths. “Why should the police
involve themselves in politics? We don’t have such a report,” an officer at
Nkayi Police Station said.

      Some of the villagers who escaped the youths told this newspaper of
how their relatives and loved ones were severely tortured by the militia men
and of how they themselves were lucky to escape to the safety of Bulawayo.

      MDC secretary for Nkayi district Aleck Nkiwane recounted how he fled
to Bulawayo after being tipped off that the suspected ZANU PF militias were
looking for him. But the opposition official said the pro-government mob
kidnapped his wife whom they are now holding as ransom until Nkiwane
surrenders himself to them.

      Nkiwane said: “I heard that there was a meeting where it was discussed
that they wanted me so I fled. But I have heard they are holding my wife to
force me to surrender myself.”

      Another MDC official Vita Masuku, who contested last year’s rural
council election on behalf of the opposition party but lost, said she fled
at the middle of the night after being informed that the suspected ZANU PF
militias were planning to raid her home in Nkayi.

      Masuku, who said several villagers from her area had been severely
injured during torture sessions by the militias, said, “They are taking
people to their base near Ngwalande Clinic where they torture them. Some of
my neighbours are actually living in the bush for fear of the youths.”

      Political violence and human rights abuses have escalated across
Zimbabwe with the Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum (ZHRF) this week reporting
that five people, four of them supporters of MDC, had been killed because of
political violence since January this year.

      The ZHRF, which brings together nine of the biggest human and civic
rights groups in Zimbabwe, said in a report released this week that state
security agents had allegedly taken the leading role in human rights

      Most of the mainly opposition supporters victimised for their
political beliefs had reported that their attackers were people dressed in
ZRP or Zimbabwe National Arm uniform, the ZHRF said in the report.
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Daily News

      Armed police storm schools’ debating contest

      6/21/2003 3:16:47 PM (GMT +2)

      Our Correspondent

      Heavily armed police yesterday stormed a schools’ public speaking
competition here, sending terrified children and their teachers scurrying
for cover before arresting the organisers and judges of the contest.

      Students and officials from 29 schools from around Matabeleland region
were gathered at the Bulawayo Theatre here for the public speaking contest
organised by a local non-governmental organisation, Bulawayo Dialogue, when
armed police details descended and forcibly broke up the gathering.

      Under the government’s draconian Public Order and Security Act (POSA),
Zimbabweans must seek approval from police before they can hold political

      But professional and social organisations such as churches, schools,
members of professional body like doctors or lawyers do not need
authorisation by the police before they can meet over issues to do with
their limited interests.

      Zimbabweans are also permitted to gather at funerals without having to
seek approval from the government first. Bulawayo lawyer Robert Ndlovu
representing some of the people arrested by the police for attending or
organising the schools contest said he was yet to find out from the police
the charges they were pressing against his clients.

      Police at the station refused to comment on the arrests. One of the
people who helped organise the schools contest Qhubani Moyo, two officials
judging the competition, a cameramen filming the event and two people who
were operating the public address system were among the group of people
arrested by the police yesterday.

      The police stormed into the theatre hall after about seven students
had presented speeches on two topics: What options are there to stop the
(HIV/AIDS) disease? and The Role of Youths in The Democratisation and
Development of Zimbabwe.

      A student lucky not to have been arrested said: “We were all shocked
to see armed police storming into the theatre and ordering an end to the
proceedings. There were screams and shouts from some terrified students
resulting in a stampede.”

      The student, who preferred not to be named for fear of victimisation,
said several of his schoolmates were injured as they ran away from the
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Daily News

      Only one doctor left for Bulawayo

      6/21/2003 3:17:33 PM (GMT +2)

      Our Correspondent

      BULAWAYO – The Bulawayo City Council’s 26 clinics are operating with
only one full time doctor due to the severe staff shortage which has
crippled health services in the city, an official with the city’s Health
Department said here yesterday.

      The city needs not less than five full time doctors at any given time.
      An official with the health department, Misheck Sibanda, said about
six clinical medical officers’ posts in the department have been vacant for
the past six months despite repeated advertisements for the positions.
      Sibanda was presenting a paper at a workshop organised by the
Community Working Group on Health (CWGH) in Bulawayo yesterday.

      He said due to the harsh economic situation prevailing in the country,
the health department had lost doctors, nurses, environmental officers and
other specialist staff.

      The three other doctors working in the council are in administration
and they
      include the director of health services, Rita Dlodlo, and her two
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Natal Witness

Mugabe on P.W. Botha

Some twenty years ago, when I was a student at Cambridge University, another
student by the name of Tsitsi Dangaremga, (now the world famous author of
Nervous Conditions), and I were friends. Not so much, I think, because we
had such a great deal in common, but because we were both Africans stranded
in that dreadful, alienating place called Britain. She would come over to my
room and light up a self-rolled cigarette and we would moan about the
British, the weather, the food and anything else we could find to moan

It was the time of the Lancaster House Agreement and Robert Mugabe, dapper
as ever, and Joshua Nkomo would be seen day after day on the news, entering
and exiting wherever it was they were doing during their negotiations. I
was, at the time, rather na?ve about most things. I kind of knew that
Rhodesia had to end and Zimbabwe needed to be brought to birth. I sort of
also knew that much the same would need to happen in South Africa as well,
but couldn't imagine how it would ever happen peacefully. Tsitsi was
probably less na?ve.

"They are messing it up," she would say. "I am so depressed about it, I
can't tell you!" I didn't really know what the issues were or why she was
upset, or even really what she was upset about. The discussion never went
very far. But I remembered Tsitsi the other day, when I watched a lengthy
interview of President Robert Mugabe by Phil Molefe on television.

Mugabe is not by any means inarticulate. His English is impeccable and he
uses his words carefully and in a measured way. He waves his hands around to
give impetus to what he is saying, theatrically, almost delicately. And,
without due regard for context, if one were listening to him without any
knowledge of what is going on in the country he rules, one might well be
swayed by some of his argument.

Indeed, it is difficult not to be swayed by some of his argument. For
instance, the key idea on which he bases most of what he has to say, is that
the Lancaster House Agreement made careful provision for Britain to fund the
process of land reform and to compensate people who had their land
expropriated for the purpose of land reform.

The response of the government of Zimbabwe, was to press ahead with land
reform without compensation and to leave that part of the agreement to the
party which had agreed to it Britain. This is key to his argument.

If Britain can flout the agreement, why should the government of Zimbabwe
pay any attention to anything Britain or anyone else for that matter, should
have to say? And if one is going to censure the government of Zimbabwe for
reckless behaviour, should one not also be doing the same to Britain?

I watched this man, cool, collected, assured. He explained that the essence
of the struggle had been the land issue. He started to generalise wildly.
The whites had done this and the whites had done that. Today, the whites
were doing much the same.

"Of course, it is unfortunate that we have to manage with such a high
inflation rate" he said. "It is a miracle that we have gone as far as we

Molefe crept so far up Mugabe's anal passage, during the interview that by
the end of it all you could see were his feet.

But I started to get an odd feeling of d?ja vu. Where had I seen this
before? And then it struck me. P. W. Botha. Don't you remember? He was
exactly the same sort of figure. Fearless, quaint, laughable. One would have
found him extraordinarily funny, had it not been for what he was doing,
which was unutterably demonic.

Do you remember the interviews he gave, even at the very last, about how the
ANC wanted to destroy civilisation. Do you remember the lickspittle
reporters they found from God-knows-where to interview him?

And do you remember, white South Africa, how much and with what fervour you
supported that lunatic?

Alas, it is the same thing. I hear black voices all over the place. Yes, the
ones I hear do not appear to be the most informed people in the world. True,
they might not be the most educated either, but they support Mugabe in much
the same way as white people supported P. W. Botha when he was governing
this country, even when they were informed. Why? Because he is seen to be
working in their interests, in much the same way as P. W. Botha was seen to
be working in the interests of whites.

And so it will be here, if wealth is not shared, if land is not
redistributed, if the bounty of the country is not reasonably shared with
the people who are living today in circumstances not very different to what
they were during P. W. Botha's time. Patience will run out and democracy be
damned, chaos will surely follow. Because, it is only reasonable to suppose
that democracy will only be valued if it delivers a substantially better
life for all.

And no, he didn't mention the beatings his government doles out. Nor did he
mention the corruption of his ministers, or the rape of the economy. He
didn't need to mention it, because in the minds of the audience to whom he
was appealing, these things are not of any substance. No different from what
we had here before. No different at all.

So, would all the whites who moan daily in print and on the radio, about the
tragedy of Zimbabwe, please rather put a little more effort into making
things right here. And would the blacks who would see Mugabe as a latter day
saviour, think just a little on the spectre of P. W. Botha. Maybe then we
could both get a little perspective.
a.. Michael Worsnip is programme manager for the Cradle of Humankind World
Heritage Site, run by the Gauteng Department of Agriculture, Conservation
and Environment and Land Affairs.

Publish Date: 21 June 2003
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Prison Guards Confiscate Film From Journalist

International Freedom of Expression Exchange Clearing House (Toronto)

June 19, 2003
Posted to the web June 20, 2003


Prison guards in the town of Chinhoyi confiscated a film from Tafireyi
Shereni, a journalist with the Star, a weekly publication based in Chinhoyi.

In a report to MISA-Zimbabwe Shereni said that he had gone to the Magistrate
's Court in Chinhoyi on January 6, 2003 to attend a remand hearing of a
relative. He had a camera held by a belt around his neck. When the court
session was over he moved outside the courtroom to an open space near where
the prisoners were being led away by the prison officers. At this time the
officers charged at him and manhandled him, asking why he was taking
pictures. Shereni said that although he explained to the officials that he
was just looking at his relative who was among the prisoners being led away,
they refused to accept his explanation. Shereni said that the officers
forcibly took him to Prison Officer in-charge, Jarawena, at the Chinhoyi
prison complex for an explanation. Jarawana demanded the film from Shereni
and he surrendered it. Soon after, he was released with a promise that the
officers would contact him once they had developed the film.

Contacted for comment by MISA-Zimbabwe, Prison-Officer in-charge Jarawana
said that they have developed the film and found it blank. He was however
adamant that Shereni had taken pictures. Jarawana said that their superiors
in Harare told him that no journalists must take pictures of prisoners and
also that anyone found doing that should have his camera confiscated.

Jawarana said that he has tried to tell journalists this but they are not
listening - hence the Shereni incident. He added that they have been looking
for Shereni to tell him of the outcome of the developed film to no avail.

MISA-Zimbabwe's consultation with media lawyers reveals that there is no
clause in the legislation of Zimbabwe to prevent a journalist from aking
photos in a public arena, such as outside of a court room.

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Sent: Saturday, June 21, 2003 6:40 PM
Subject: Short memories

Dear Family and Friends,
This week started in Marondera in complete and utter silence. An electrical fire in our local telephone exchange left us completely cut off from the country and the world. It was amazing how something as simple as this suddenly gripped our little town with gossip, whispers and paranoia. Government supporters and youths have still banned all independent newspapers from our town so with no papers, telephones, emails or internet it felt very much like the end of the world. Everywhere you went people were asking what had happened, what the news was and wondering if we still had a country. For two days and nights, with the exception of the life saving evening broadcasts from short wave radio africa, we had no communications at all and it was very frightening. Not so long ago a quick trip to Harare would have helped put everything in perspective but with the continued unavailability of fuel we were like a community in solitary confinement in prison.
Each day the country waited with baited breath to hear if opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai would be released on bail. Finally, fourteen days after his arrest and detention, Mr Tsvangirai was released on a staggering Z$10 million bail plus having to provide title deeds and assets to the value of  Z$100 million in surety. With our banks still having no big notes, it was unbelievable to watch a line of men arriving at the Harare High Court with big cardboard boxes stuffed with the cash bail. The Friday bailed release of Mr Tsvanagirai caused an almost audible national sigh of relief and the fever of our nation to see the man being freed is probably comparable to the release of the latest Harry Potter book in the UK this weekend. Instead of seeing a man thin, cold, broken and exhausted after two weeks in prison, we saw a man even more filled with resolve. His face wreathed in smiles, surrounded by journalists and friends, Morgan Tsvangirai said that after his detention his resolve to continue to struggle for democracy was only increased. So if the Zimbabwe government had intended to humiliate, intimidate or break the man, they ended up by achieving exactly the opposite and making Morgan Tsvangirai more popular than ever before. As someone just old enough to remember the adoration people had for Robert Mugabe when he was released from prison in 1974, I am amazed that our present leaders have such sort memories as to how they themselves soared to popularity because of their incarceration.
I should think that when Morgan Tsvangirai goes grocery shopping in the days ahead he will be as shocked as we all are about the sudden massive increase in prices of everything. The official inflation rate hit 301% this week and the only words that I can think of to describe our situation now are horror and despair. In a week the price of a bar of laundry soap has shot up from 1700 dollars to two thousand two hundred dollars and a litre of pasteurized milk now costs one thousand dollars.
I continue to wear a scrappy little yellow ribbon pinned to my shirt in silent support of people suffering and in protest at lawlessness. This week my ribbon is for a blind university student who was severely beaten by riot police in the recent stay aways because he could not see which way to run in order to get away from them. The young man later died in hospital and I do not know his name but my ribbon is for him and his grieving family in the days ahead. Until next week, with love, cathy. Copyright cathy buckle 21st June 2003.
 "African Tears" and "Beyond Tears" are available in Europe, Canada and the US via ; in Aus and NZ through and in Africa from and
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