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Gideon Gono “… in sheep’s clothing” :
The Role of the RBZ Governor in Murambatsvina

Sokwanele Report : 8 June 2005

No other party in Zimbabwe's history surely ever had the sheer audacity that ZANU PF displays in, on the one hand, carrying out the most dastardly acts, and on the other, dressing up those acts to look respectable. Time and again they claim the most noble motives to justify the most ignoble deeds. So in the year 2000, when the party's popularity was plunging and in order to divert attention from the chronic failures in governance that were then showing up in significant social and economic problems, they undertook a programme of violent and unlawful farm invasions. They called it the Third Chimurenga and used their state-controlled propaganda machine to portray the exercise as correcting long-standing grievances arising from historic inequalities in land holding. A mask of respectability to conceal an unpalatable truth.

So too in the last few weeks we have seen ZANU PF launch a massive blitzkrieg against urban dwellers whom they have conspicuously failed to persuade to vote for the party in the last three major elections. This is nothing other than political retribution, with no doubt a sub-plot of depopulating urban areas and forcing people back to their "rural homes" where ZANU PF thinks it can the more easily manipulate and control them. In other words social engineering by means of forced migration, and carried out with the kind of ruthless efficiency for which Hendrik Verwoerd and the founding fathers of South Africa's Apartheid were once noted. Still the spectacle of thousands of street vendors being brutally ejected from their homes and workplaces and hundreds of thousands of families rendered homeless and destitute, was never going to be a pretty sight, so ZANU PF did two things to minimize the public relations damage. First they reduced media coverage as far as possible, and second they did their best to portray the exercise as a necessary "clean-up", anti-crime operation. It was therefore given the code-name "Operation Murambatsvina" ("Operation Drive out Trash) - though this only begs the question, what in Mugabe's and ZANU PF's view is "the trash"? A working definition for them seems to be anyone foolish enough to resist ZANU PF tyranny.

One ZANU PF chef who has not been linked too closely with the "clean up" operation is the Governor of the Reserve Bank, Gideon Gono. For this gentleman is more image conscious than most in the party. He would like Zimbabweans, and the world, to think of him as a man with, as the Bible puts it "clean hands and a pure heart". Indeed Gono has gone to some pains to portray himself as very religious. He never speaks of his mission to save the economy (and Zimbabwe?) without a touch of evangelical zeal, and his speeches are littered with the most pious-sounding quotations from the Scriptures. To cite his recent Monetary Policy Framework as just one example, the writer noted no fewer than five Biblical allusions at one glance - including references to Sodom and Gomorrah and the unfortunate Lot's wife (who was turned into a pillar of salt), a rather free rendering of Jesus' experience in the Garden of Gethsemane where (according to the learned Dr Gono) God said "My Son, take it like a man …" (!) and a quotation which we have not been able to trace yet (but are sure we will be able to find eventually) to the effect that "God will help those who stand up to help themselves". Obviously Gono has a superior version of the Bible to any the writer has - perhaps "The Expanded Bible" - but the point is the man obviously takes the Christian faith with some seriousness. He ends his presentation "In the Lord's hands, I commit this Monetary Policy Framework for our economic turnaround." In a country noted for its religious observance, Gideon Gono comes across as a true believer. And such an image is certainly a political asset in Zimbabwe, as he well knows.

It is when one studies the text of Gono's recent speeches more closely that an interesting link emerges with Operation Murambatsvina. His "Post Election and Drought Mitigation Policy Framework" was delivered on May 19 and published in full in a special report carried by the state (ZANU PF) media the following day - in other words just a few days ahead of the commencement of the savage reprisals against the informal sector and poor urban classes, of which those outside the inner sanctum of ZANU PF policy-makers were then blissfully unaware. Here are a few excerpts from his speech (the italics are ours):

1.13 "Yesterday it was the financial sector in the forefront of illegalities. Today it is individuals ……….. who are in the forefront of parallel market dealings and other economic crimes."

1.14 "Today, it is the parastatals, it is the local authorities …. among others where the rot needs thorough cleansing along the same lines that we did with the financial sector. Let there be no outcry when the long arm of the law extends itself to these sectors, as indeed we believe, it will soon do."

31.1 "With the Parliamentary Elections now over, the marked peace and tranquillity prevailing in the economy forms a solid launch-pad to deepen our turnaround thrust."

The conclusion is inescapable - when formulating his Policy Framework speech the Governor of the Reserve Bank was fully appraised of the social and economic tsunami that ZANU PF was just about to unleash on the nation. Not only so, but he clearly approved the basic tenets of the policy, witness his remark: "the rot needs thorough cleansing". He knew that the blitzkrieg would cause massive upheaval and expected a strong voice of protest to be raised against it: "Let there be no outcry when the long arm of the law (sic!) extends itself to these sectors." He was also aware of the timing "…as indeed we believe it will soon do", which was no doubt deliberate; based on the ZANU PF's reading of the post-election climate "… the marked peace and tranquillity prevailing in the economy forms a solid launch-pad to deepen our turnaround thrust".

At the very least then Gideon Gono knew and thoroughly approved the massive assault on the civil liberties of the informal sector and the urban poor which was about be launched on the unsuspecting Zimbabwean public. Indeed, in terms of political philosophy and economic policy, Murambatsvina so closely fits the successive stages of the so-called anti-corruption drive of which Gono was the author that it is difficult to resist the conclusion that this too was his brain-child - perhaps the capstone of his intended reforms. So much for his professed strong Christian convictions - and the pious clichés that he trots out regularly to spruce up his personal image (as indeed do a number of other ZANU PF heavyweights who are equally guilty of the most heinous crimes against humanity). Evidently he, and they, are unaware of another strain of the Scriptures which pronounces the most severe judgment on those who oppress the poor, along the following lines:

"Woe to those who make unjust laws, and those who issue oppressive decrees, to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people, making widows their prey and robbing the fatherless …" (Isaiah 10/1-2)

And while we are quoting the Scriptures another passage comes to mind as particularly apt:

"Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter." (Isaiah 5/20)

A salutary warning surely for the ZANU PF spin-doctors, of whom Gideon Gono must be reckoned one of the foremost.

But the purpose of this article is not simply to expose Gideon Gono's appalling hypocrisy. It is to call into question the motives of all those who accommodate themselves so easily to his hypocrisy, and indeed assist him in the task of selling the most odious policies of a fascist state as nothing more than economic good sense. And here we have in mind the likes of Eric Bloch who sits on the Reserve Bank Advisory Board, and regularly sings the praises of Governor Gono. Eric Bloch well knows two things - first, that this ZANU PF administration is perpetrating unspeakable evils on the poorest and most vulnerable section of the population, and second, that his presence on the Advisory Board and his readiness to be an apologist for Gono's (and ZANU PF's) policies, tends to add some measure of respectability to the same.

We find this behaviour rather strange, particularly given Eric Bloch's own background, coming as he does from a religious minority (the Jews) who have suffered the most appalling persecution under fascist leaders like Adolf Hitler. Indeed we understand that Bloch's own parents were survivors of the Holocaust. Perhaps then he should refresh his memory on some of the atrocities committed by that other fascist dictator. As has been noted by many with an historical sense, the parallels between the Nazi dictator and our own are striking. In the context of Murambatsvina perhaps the closest historical parallel was Kristallnacht, the "Night of Broken Glass" (November 9, 1938) when Hitler's Storm Troopers went on a wild orgy of violence against Jewish persons and property, while the police were ordered not to interfere. The toll of that night's violence included 91 Jews killed, hundreds seriously injured and thousands more humiliated and terrorized. It is recorded that about 7,500 Jewish businesses were gutted while scores of synagogues were destroyed.

Let the Eric Blochs of this world know that they will be judged - indeed their fellow Zimbabweans already judge them most harshly - for their complicity in the ZANU PF persecution of the nation's poorest and most vulnerable. The same can surely be said of any who join, or remain on, the Gono gravy train. The fact is that we have long since passed the point at which giving moral, financial or any other kind of support or encouragement to this murderous regime must be considered a betrayal of the basic tenets of justice and mercy of the great Judaeo-Christian tradition.

And a final verse of Scripture for our Bible-bashing Governor of the Reserve Bank and those who do his bidding:

"(Jesus said) Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognise them" (Matthew 7/15-16)

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Mail and Guardian

      Police comb Harare before strike

      Michael Hartnack | Harare

      08 June 2005 01:40

            Hundreds of police were deployed in the Zimbabwean capital on
Wednesday and army units were reportedly on standby before a two-day strike
called by critics of President Robert Mugabe to protest his clampdown on
street traders and slum dwellers.

            The protest starting on Thursday is meant to coincide with
opening of Parliament, at which the 81-year-old president is due to make a
major policy statement. This is expected to include his plans to create a
65-seat Senate -- thus extending his pool of political patronage -- and to
cancel all private land titles, thus blocking further court action by 5 000
white farms evicted from their land by ruling party militants.

            Mugabe has the power to make sweeping legislative changes,
following general elections on March 31 that gave his Zanu-PF party the
two-thirds majority needed to amend the Constitution. He addressed 100
legislators in a closed session on Wednesday.

            Troops and pilots flying recently acquired jet fighters
rehearsed military maneuvers for the pomp-laden ceremony -- to the quiet
indignation of ordinary motorists who have to wait for days in lines for
petrol and diesel.

            Early on Wednesday, several hundred policemen were seen cycling
through Harare's industrial sites and poor townships, where hundreds of
homes have been demolished over the past two weeks.

            The United Nations estimates that more than 200 000 people have
been left homeless in the midwinter cold, while police say 30 000 roadside
vendors were arrested in the blitz.

            A loose alliance of opposition figures called the nationwide
strike on Thursday and Friday to protest the demolition.

            Police spokesperson Wayne Bvudzijena warned that anyone
appearing to support the strike would be arrested. In 1998, nine people were
killed when Mugabe deployed troops backed by tanks and helicopter gunships
to suppress countrywide food riots.

            The opposition Movement for Democratic Change has alleged the
blitz was a plan to drive its main supporters -- the urban poor -- back to
rural areas where they could be controlled by denial of access to food

            Retired army colonel Samuel Muvuti, head of the government's
Grain Marketing Board, issued a statement on Wednesday saying the country
"has enough food to feed the whole country".

            World Food Programme chief James Morris visited Mugabe last week
to discuss "an enormous humanitarian crisis" facing four million people who
need relief. But a Cabinet minister said aid was unnecessary, as 1,2-million
tonnes had been "secured" from South Africa. Muvuti said maize shipments
were already being sent to problem areas.

            Bread, cooking oil and corn meal -- staples for Zimbabwe's
11,6-million people -- are scarce. Many families survive on remittances from
the four million people who have emigrated to South Africa, Britain and
North America. - Sapa-AP

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Sunday Times, SA

Zimbabwe MP nabbed ahead of strike

Wednesday June 08, 2005 10:45 - (SA)

HARARE - Zimbabwean police briefly detained an opposition legislator and his
two aides today, the eve of a mass two-day strike against a highly
controversial urban clean-up campaign which has displaced several thousands.

"The police raided my home early this morning and arrested me, saying I sent
some youths to go round my constituency inciting people to engage in violent
protests," Job Sikhala said.

"They released me and one of my aides after four hours but they have taken
my driver to Central Investigations Department, saying he used my car to
drive around youths who were distributing flyers calling for a stay away."

A coalition of opposition, labour, students and rights groups has called for
people to stay away from work tomorrow to protest against the clean-up drive
that has also left thousands destitute, with streetside vendors' kiosks
destroyed, and led to the detention of at least 22,000.

Sikhala said: "I don't know why the police always target me. The organisers
of the protests came out in the open in newspaper articles and I am not one
of those mentioned."

Residents of Harare's residential areas woke up today to find the streets
littered with flyers urging them to join the strike as police warned they
would "deal" with the protesters.

One of the flyers read: "Stayaway on 9 and 10 June. No fuel. No Food. No
houses. No jobs. Operation Povho Yaramba. (The people say no)."

Military helicopters hovered over Harare's central business district and
residential areas at several points on Monday in what was interpreted by
many as a fear-instilling tactic.

Armed police have gone on the rampage in the last two weeks in major towns
across Zimbabwe, demolishing and torching backyard shacks and makeshift shop
stalls in a campaign that has drawn widespread condemnation.

Affected families have been sleeping in the open in several townships and
slums on the outskirts of Harare while others are battling to find transport
to take them to their rural homes.

Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the main opposition party, last week called for
protests against the clean-up campaign and called for foreign intervention
to pressure President Robert Mugabe's government to end the controversial
drive in major towns and cities.

A UN expert last week accused Harare of "a gross violation of human rights"
and of creating a "new kind of apartheid."

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----- Original Message -----
From: MDC
Sent: Wednesday, June 08, 2005 3:57 PM
Subject: MDC supports mass protests through stay away scheduled for Thursday 9 June and Friday 10 June 2005

8 June 2005

MDC supports mass protests through stay away scheduled for Thursday 9 June and Friday10 June 2005.


The MDC has joined forces with all democratic forces to organize protests against the actions of the criminal regime which is making the people of Zimbabwe suffer. We call on all the people to stay at home on Thursday and Friday this week. We call on all the people of Zimbabwe to organize themselves and protest against the actions of this regime. These protests will be peaceful democratic and lawful.


The party fully supports and endorses the initiatives being taken by all democratic forces to organize themselves to protest against the actions of this criminal state which is rendering millions of Zimbabweans homeless destitute and jobless.


This criminal regime has destroyed and stolen the properties of people who are trying to make an honest living through informal trading.


Today the criminal regime that has caused massive unemployment and critical food shortages. They have destroyed people’s homes. They have stolen people’s property. They are making families sleep in the open in cold winter nights. They are responsible for long fuel queues. They are responsible for the fact that there are no jobs. They are responsible for hunger in Zimbabwe. They have betrayed the people.


We must continue to protest in all the spheres of our life until this regime begins to listen to the people of Zimbabwe. We must protest until they give the people respect. We must protest we get food and jobs. We must protest until we get food and jobs.




          MDC National Chairman

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Cape Argus

      'Ruthless' action faces Zim strikers

      June 7, 2005

      Police have threatened tough action against anyone who takes part in a
general strike called to protest a Zimbabwean government demolition campaign
that has left at least 200 000 urban poor homeless in the middle of winter.

      The previously unknown Broad Alliance has called on people to stay
away from work on Thursday and Friday to protest countrywide shack
demolitions and the arrest of more than 30 000 street traders. The
government has said the campaign is aimed at cleaning up cities, but the
opposition says the crackdown is meant to punish its supporters among the
urban poor.

      State media said yesterday that the main opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) was behind the strike call. But the party has not
confirmed its involvement.

      Police Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena said police would deal
"ruthlessly" with anyone taking part in the planned stay-away.

      The UN estimates that at least 200 000 people, mostly urban poor, have
been made homeless. Civic groups and the MDC allege the government is trying
to force the people it sees as opponents into rural areas where they can be
more tightly controlled by the ruling party.

      Churches in the eastern Manicaland region said on Sunday that they had
been "left shocked and numbed by the utter havoc and destruction". "What we
have seen would reduce the hardest heart to tears," the churches said.

      The statement said babies, nursing mothers, the sick and the elderly
had been left amid smoking ruins to face biting cold.

      A bulldozer, protected by six truckloads of armed paramilitaries,
flattened six new brick houses in Harare's Kambazuma township over the
weekend while other mass demolitions were reported from the far west to the
east of the country. - Sapa-AP.
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Six injured after emergency landing in Johannesburg

June 08, 2005, 11:30

Six passengers were injured today after an Air Zimbabwe Boeing 737 made an
emergency landing at Johannesburg International Airport, emergency services
network ER24 said. Ashley Cook, a spokesperson, said the six were injured
when they were evacuated from the aircraft via emergency shoots.

Jacqui O'Sullivan, Airports Company South Africa spokesperson, said the
injured included a pregnant woman and an epileptic man. She said the Boeing
from Harare made an emergency landing at 8.45am when the pilot noticed smoke
in the cockpit. The 93 passengers and six crew members were immediately

O'Sullivan said the aircraft had been towed away from the runway. The
injured were taken to the airport clinic and three were discharged. The
other three were taken to Harmelia Medi-Clinic in Edenvale for treatment.

"One was suffering from back pains. The other two were taken for
observations, as the one is seven months pregnant and the other one is an
epileptic," she said. Rodney van Zyl, a clinic spokesperson, said the three
were being attended to. He said there were no visible injuries.

The aircraft was on its way to Johannesburg. - Sapa
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Zim Online

MDC to boycott Mugabe's opening of Parliament
Thu 9 June 2005

      HARARE - Zimbabwe's main opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) party, which has called on workers to stay away from work today and
tomorrow, will boycott this morning's official opening of Parliament by
President Robert Mugabe.

      MDC secretary general Welshman Ncube told ZimOnline last night that
the party's 41 Members of Parliament will not attend the opening ceremony in
line with the party's call on Zimbabweans to boycott work in protest against
worsening social and economic hardships.

      The opposition party, Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions and the
National Constitutional Assembly civic alliance jointly behind the work
boycott, say it is also being held to register Zimbabweans' anger against an
ongoing police blitz on homeless people and informal traders.

      "It does not make sense for MDC MPs to attend proceedings at
Parliament on a day when Zimbabweans including members of the MDC have
called for a stay away . . . so we are not attending," Ncube said.

      Mugabe, who denies mismanaging Zimbabwe's economy and says the police
blitz on poor and homeless people is necessary to restore the beauty of the
country's cities, will address Parliament today to mark the House's
resumption of business after adjourning days after it was elected last

      The Zimbabwean leader and his ruling ZANU PF party who control a two
thirds parliamentary majority - enabling them to make laws and unilaterally
change the constitution - have indicated they will push several key Bills
through the House including one amending Zimbabwe's constitution to bring
back the Senate abolished in 1990.

      Zimbabwe's Sixth Parliament is also expected to pass a land Bill that
will liquidate the rights of private land owners with all farmland except
conservancies virtually nationalised.

      The Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) Bill, which will severely
restrict NGOs working in the country but which Mugabe refused to sign
earlier this year, will also come up for debate in the House.

      Zimbabwe is in the throes of a severe political, social and economic
crisis blamed by many on Mugabe's failure to uphold democracy, the rule of
law and human rights.

      Mugabe denies he is responsible for Zimbabwe's multiple crises and
instead blames Western enemies of instigating crises in the country to
punish his government for seizing land from white farmers and giving it to
landless blacks. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

Soldiers deployed in suburbs to thwart stayaway
Thur 9 June 2005
  HARARE - The Zimbabwe government last night deployed more soldiers and
police in residential suburbs while hundreds of ruling ZANU PF party youths
distributed fliers urging workers to report for work in a bid to thwart a
mass job stayaway today and tomorrow.
      The country's second largest mobile phone network, owned by the
government, was also roped in later yesterday to help discourage Zimbabweans
from boycotting work today sending messages through SMS (short message
service) to subscribers that the job action had been called off.

      The work boycott was called by a loose coalition calling itself the
Broad Alliance which includes the main opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) party, Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions and the National
Constitutional Assembly (NCA) civic alliance.

      Alliance spokesman Lovemore Madhuku says the stayaway is to protest an
ongoing police blitz against homeless people and informal traders that has
seen 22 000 people arrested for selling goods without licences while
hundreds of thousands of families were left shelter-less after their
makeshift homes were razed down by the police.

      Madhuku says the job action is also to register Zimbabweans' growing
anger at the deepening food and economic crisis.

      The security forces who have already warned of stern action against
the work boycott, yesterday also increased roadblocks with checkpoints on
nearly every major route into Harare's dormitory Chitungwiza city and to the
capital's restive suburbs of Glen View, Mabvuku, Tafara, Kuwadzana,
Budiriro, Glen Norah, and Dzivarasekwa.

      The additional roadblocks were mounted yesterday after suspected
supporters and members of the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) party and civic organisations went around the suburbs distributing
fliers urging Zimbabweans to heed the call to stay at home today and

      In central Harare, police spent the better part of yesterday chasing
around youths who defiantly continued distributing fliers calling on
Zimbabweans to support the stayaway. Nine of the youths were arrested but
had not been charged by late last night.

      Police spokesman Oliver Mandipaka would not comment on police
operations yesterday saying he was still to be briefed on the day's

      "I have not been briefed of what happened today. Try calling me
 later," Mandipaka said. He could not be reached when tried on his mobile
phone later last night.

      Madhuku, who together with other organisers of the work boycott could
be jailed for calling the work stoppage, appeared confident last night
telling ZimOnline: "We are now ready to roll. We have put mechanisms to make
the stayaway successful and to ensure that there is minimum force (against
workers) from the government."

      Zimbabwe is in the grip of a severe social and economic crisis made
worse in recent weeks by the government when it sent police and soldiers
destroying informal market stalls and makeshift homes of poor families in
cities and towns.

      President Robert Mugabe says the "clean-up" operation condemned by the
United Nations and Amnesty International as inhumane and a violation of poor
people's human rights, is necessary to restore the beauty of Zimbabwean
cities and towns.

      But Zimbabwe's church leaders, human rights groups and the MDC says
the government exercise has only worsened the plight of long suffering
Zimbabweans with hundreds of thousands of families now without either
shelter or means of livelihood. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

Satellite television owners raided in blitz
Thur 9 June 2005
  BULAWAYO - The police yesterday raided home owners with access to digital
satellite television services in Bulawayo demanding to know the source of
their subscription funds.
      The subscriptions are paid in foreign currency.

      The police, who were accompanied by Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ)
officials accused the residents of stoking the illegal foreign currency
parallel market.

      The police demanded receipts of foreign currency transactions from the
central bank proving that the funds were not secured from the thriving
parallel market.

      Several residents were taken in for questioning after they failed to
produce the receipts.

      A resident, Delron Mbofana, told ZimOnline that he was grilled over
the source of funds for his DStv subscription.

      "Fortunately, I had my papers in order, but they warned me against
soliciting foreign currency from the parallel market. RBZ officials were
also present and they vowed to leave no stone unturned to nab what they
termed economic saboteurs," said Mbofana.

      Another resident who requested anonymity for fear of victimisation
said the police had ordered him to surrender his dish and decoder after he
failed to produce the receipts.

      He said efforts to convince the officers that the subscription was
being paid for by his brother who is based in South Africa failed.

      "They just would not understand, and now I've no option but to comply
with their demands," he said. Contacted for comment, Bulawayo police
spokesperson Smile Dube said: "It's our responsibility to arrest offenders
and question suspects."

      Three weeks ago, the government embarked on a "clean up" campaign in
urban areas against informal traders and illegal settlements sparking an
uproar from human rights groups and civic groups in Zimbabwe. The government
accuses the informal traders of stoking up the illegal foreign currency

      But the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change party accuses
the government of launching the campaign to punish its supporters in urban
areas for rejecting the ruling ZANU PF party in last March's election. -

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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Commuters using delivery vans to town

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Jun-09

COMMUTERS have resorted to using delivery vans and lorries to and from the
capital, as transport blues continue to haunt Harare.

While the fuel situation has slightly improved with heavy traffic in the
city and tankers delivering fuel to service stations, unroadworthy commuter
omnibuses have deserted city routes to escape the wrath of the law.
"We would rather park until the clampdown ends. We will never enter the city
centre otherwise our only means of livelihood would be grabbed by traffic
(police)," said a commuter bus conductor. Harare commuters told The Daily
Mirror that they were forking out as much as $10 000 a trip from Tafara,
Mabvuku, Ruwa and  Chitungwiza."We fork out as much as $10 000 for a single
trip and this with my paltry salary will result in my family going hungry,"
complained Mazviita Zvirahwa of Mabvuku.
City to Glen View/Budiriro commuters are parting with $8 000 as the few
commuter buses still on the road are taking advantage of the chaotic
transport situation. The new Zupco buses acquired from China are just a drop
in the ocean as they are failing to cope with the large urban population,
especially during peak periods.
Transport problems have gripped Zimbabwe since 2000 when the country started
experiencing foreign currency shortages to import fuel and motor vehicle
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Mail and Guardian

      Zim clean-up drive spreads to farms

      Harare, Zimbabwe

      08 June 2005 05:47

            Three weeks after Zimbabwe launched an unpopular urban clean-up
drive that has drawn widespread criticism and made thousands homeless and
destitute in the height of winter, authorities on Wednesday widened the
crackdown to previously white-owned farms now in the hands of blacks.

            Newly settled farmers at two farms on the outskirts of Harare -- 
Lowdale and Chitamba -- were "ordered" by police to vacate their properties
by Wednesday, the state-run daily Herald said.

            Police spokesperson Wayne Bvudzijena said the farms have been
earmarked for "peri-urban" housing settlements.

            Black settlers moved to the two farms in 2000 when the
government embarked on a land-reform programme by driving away white farmers
and redistributing their properties to landless blacks, saying it was to
correct colonial-era imbalances in land ownership.

            Witnesses at Lowdale farm reported increased activity, with
farmers frantically trying to harvest their corn before the police moved in.

            The operation, dubbed Restore Order or Clean Out Trash, was
initially interpreted by some commentators as retribution against the urban
electorate for having voted for the opposition in the March parliamentary

            But supporters of President Robert Mugabe's government also saw
their homes demolished and the crackdown has now been extended to some rural
areas, where illegal shacks and market stalls have been demolished.

            Rights groups, international organisations and foreign diplomats
have openly condemned the operation.

            "It is with great concern Sweden has noted the merciless
destruction of informal structures and dwelling in Zimbabwean cities, having
left hundreds of thousands of poor families destitute and homeless in
wintertime," said Swedish ambassador Kristina Svensson.

            "The winter is cold in Zimbabwe and it is freezingly cold for
those who now lack shelter and income," she said at a function to mark her
country's national day this week.

            A grouping of churches in the eastern province of Manicaland
said that though the churches appreciate the need to clean up cities, "we
are left shocked and numbed by the utter havoc and destruction being
currently wreaked".

            "A man-made humanitarian crisis has been created," the churches
said in a statement.

            An association of Zimbabwean NGOs, Nango, said that while no
audit has been carried out yet on the impact of the operation on the
livelihoods and welfare of people, the exercise "points to the significant
entrenchment of an already dire urban poverty, unemployment and human rights

            "By no means should the prerogative of fostering a clean
environment be allowed to override government's obligations to protect the
interests of the poor, the marginalised and the vulnerable," said Nango.

            Analysts struggled to find explanations.

            "I think a number of actions being done now don't have planning
behind them; they don't have much period of thinking and analysis," said
political commentator Heneri Dzinotyiweyi.

            "I think Mugabe wants to clean up his mess before he leaves
office," said another commentator, who asked not be named.

            Opposition lawmaker Trudy Stevenson said the agenda is to "drive
everyone out of towns and cities back into the rural areas, so they cannot
organise themselves and challenge the regime".

            Another theory making the rounds in the capital is that the
government wants people back in the villages and on the farms, which have
experienced a shortage of agricultural labour since the land reforms began
in 2000. -- Sapa-AFP

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Mail and Guardian

      Zanu-PF 'spy' says he was tortured


      08 June 2005 01:08

            An official from Zimbabwe's ruling party has told a court in
Harare he was tortured into making statements over his alleged role in
selling state secrets to South Africa, press reports said on Wednesday.

            Kenny Karidza, a security official in President Robert Mugabe's
Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF) was arrested with
four other top party members in December. He appeared in court on Tuesday.

            "Karidza ... told magistrate Mr William Kasitomo that he was
tortured and forced to sign some of the statements he allegedly made to the
arresting policemen," the state-controlled Herald newspaper said.

            "Karidza said the arresting officers would bring him written
statements which they would force him to copy in his own handwriting and
then endorse them. He said he had to comply to avert further torture," the
paper said.

            The report did not specify the nature of the torture, but said
Karidza was interrogated as to who he thought would succeed the 81-year old

            Karidza was also asked about information he allegedly passed on
to a white South African spy, described by the Zimbabwean authorities as a
key state witness.

            The privately-run Daily Mirror said Karidza had been held in an
underground cell for a fortnight.

            Three other Zanu-PF officials, including Zimbabwe's former
ambassador to South Africa, have already been sentenced to prison terms of
five and six years in connection with the case.

            A fifth member of the alleged spy ring, Phillip Chiyangwa, was
released earlier this year after the High Court said there was not enough
evidence to keep him in jail.

            A sixth man, diplomat Erasmus Moyo is said to have given
Zimbabwean state agents the slip in Geneva. - Sapa-DPA

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Eyewitness: Zimbabwe demolitions
A child jumps through the ruins of destroyed homes in Harare
Thousands of homes have been demolished in Zimbabwe's cities
The Zimbabwean government has demolished the homes and businesses of at least 200,000 people as part of a plan to evict street traders and demolish illegal townships in the country's cities, according to the UN.

The government says the move is needed to clean up the cities but some feel it is punishment for areas which voted for the opposition.

BBC Radio 4's Today programme broadcast this interview with a former resident of one of the townships, identified only as Memory.

I woke up in the morning around 6 o'clock and soon realised that the police were there and armed with AK-47's.

They had come armed to evict a defenceless people.

I asked them only one question - "Why are you doing this?"

They replied "Only the President can answer that question - go to him."

They came and destroyed my house and right now I am on the street with my children.

My daughters are only eight and four years old and now they are sleeping on the roadside.

There is no sanitation and no water and they ask me: "Dad - what is going on? When are we going home?"

It was too painful for me to answer that question.

I had lived in the township for five years and we were paying rates to the local authorities.

My neighbours are all crying - everyone is crying. Some of them have even decided to take their own lives.

I've got nowhere to go and no money. My kids are crying for food and are looking at me.

When I look at my children, the tears flow from my eyes.

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Zimbabwe to evict illegal game farm settlers
Wed Jun 8, 2005 10:41 AM BST
HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe will evict people who illegally settled on
wildlife sanctuaries during seizures of white-owned farms but did not say
whether former owners would be allowed back, state media reported on

"Our major challenge is to ensure that there are no people who have
encroached on animal corridors," Environment and Tourism Secretary Margaret
Sangarwe told the official Herald newspaper.

The state Herald newspaper said the "government will soon evict all people
who illegally settled on wildlife conservancies."

The state has seized most land owned by 4,500 white farmers under
controversial land reforms over the last five years.

But squatters have also occupied game farms and reserves, and
conservationists have reported rampant poaching and deforestation in a
country famed for its wildlife.

Squatter settlements in reserves are regarded as another blow to a once
thriving tourism industry which has contracted sharply in the wake of
sometimes violent land seizures.

"We recently made our final presentations to the Cabinet in line with the
Wildlife and Land Reform Policy which states that conservancy areas,
forestry land and plantations should also be occupied by indigenous people
in a manner that ensures the protection of wildlife and environment,"
Sangarwe said.

Sangarwe said the government also planned to give 25-year leases to new
black game farmers. Sangarwe was not immediately available for comment.

Last month central bank Governor Gideon Gono urged President Robert Mugabe's
government to allow some white farmers back on land seized for
redistribution to blacks to help revive a collapsing economy.

Zimbabwe's economy has shrunk by more than 30 percent since 1999 and critics
point to the government's land seizures for accelerating the collapse of the
once prosperous economy.

Mugabe denies charges that senior members of his ZANU-PF party have grabbed
lucrative game farms but says land reforms were necessary to redress
ownership imbalances created by Britain's 1890s colonisation of Zimbabwe.

© Reuters 2005. All Rights Reserved.
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Coup-linked SA man freed from Harare prison

          June 08 2005 at 10:11AM

      Harare - Zimbabwe has freed a South African man linked to a plot to
overthrow the government of tiny oil-producing Equatorial Guinea, his lawyer
said on Wednesday.

      Zimbabwean-born Moses Moyo, who holds a South African passport, stayed
behind in prison when President Robert Mugabe's government released 61 other
men last month after serving sentences for weapons and immigration offences.

      "I was informed by authorities that he (Moyo) was released last Friday
but I have not seen him," lawyer Jonathan Samkange told Reuters.

      Moyo had remained at Chikurubi Maximum prison after Zimbabwe
authorities said they wanted to verify his nationality.

      South African embassy officials in Harare were not immediately
available for comment but Zimbabwe's official Herald newspaper quoted an
unnamed official as saying the embassy had not seen Moyo since his release.

      The men freed last month were among 70 South African passport holders
arrested in Zimbabwe in March 2004, most of whom were jailed on weapons and
immigration charges.

      Zimbabwean prosecutors said they were part of a plot to topple the
president of Equatorial Guinea. Mark Thatcher, son of former British Prime
Minister Margaret Thatcher, has admitted to a financing role in the plot.

      South African prosecutors have said they plan to bring fresh charges
under the country's strict anti-mercenary laws against those released from
Zimbabwe last month, although they have said they believe they were merely

      The leader of the group arrested in Zimbabwe last year in March,
Briton Simon Mann, was jailed for four years on weapons charges. Two South
African pilots have a few weeks of their sentences still to serve.
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      Zimbabwe's Poor Battered by Recent Urban Clean-Up Drive
      By Tendai Maphosa
      08 June 2005

The Zimbabwean government's clean-up drive has left thousands destitute,
streetside vendors' kiosks destroyed, and led to the arrest of at least
22,000 people.  This recent crackdown is causing extreme hardship for
already impoverished urban citizens.

The government says the crackdown, called Operation Restore Order, is aimed
at ridding urban areas of illegal shelters, rooting out hoarding and illegal
trade in scarce materials and clamping down on illegal foreign currency

Street vendors, informal manufacturers and others including women selling
fruit and vegetables on the sidewalk, were the first to be ordered to leave
regardless of whether or not they had a legal license to sell their wares.

Some of the women are, however, back on the streets. Two who have been
carrying out their business at the same spot for more than 10 years spoke to
VOA on condition of anonymity. The first one said arrest is an option they
must risk as selling fruit and vegetables is their only source of income.

"We have to take the risk," one woman said, "because we have to feed our
children. The children need money for school fees. Life has become very

Playing cat and mouse with the police has its risks though. The second woman
was arrested and spent a night in jail and was released after paying a three
dollar fine.

"It's really tough, I was arrested last Friday," says a second woman. "I was
only released after paying a fine for illegal vending."

The women say they are going to respond to the government's call to apply
for new licenses, but in the meantime they will continue to do what they
must to feed their children.

After dealing with the traders, the authorities turned to illegal housing.
As a result of the lack of available homes in most urban areas in Zimbabwe,
many homeowners in the low income areas erected wooden cabins on their

Also targeted were housing cooperatives, which mushroomed on former white
farms adjacent to the capital in the wake of the land reform program
launched in 2000. Cooperatives set up by war veterans have also fallen
victim to the blitz. A reporter who witnessed the demolition of expensive
properties at one of them says the ZANU-PF Party office in the area was
first to be demolished.

Mike Davis of the Combined Harare Residents Association, a group
representing the city's residents, estimates the number of people rendered
homeless by Operation Restore Order is about a 250,000.

"Even people with employment in the city have had their structures destroyed
and been told that there is no place for them here in the city and they must
go back to their rural homes," he said.  "If you take a drive to the north
tonight you will see on the side of the roads out towards Domboshawa as many
as ten thousand people just camping in the open and as you know we are in
winter now, it's very cold. These people are suffering."

The crackdown on poor Zimbabweans comes at a time when the country is
experiencing its worst economic and political crises since independence in
1980 when President Robert Mugabe came into office. Some estimates put
unemployment at as high as more than 80 percent and inflation at more than
100 percent. The opposition has disputed the result of the March 31
parliamentary election just as it did not accept the 2000 general and 2002
presidential elections citing widespread violence, fraud and rigging.

The crackdown has been widely condemned at home and abroad. Miloon Kothari
of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights has appealed to the
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Zimbabwe to immediately stop the mass forced

A coalition of opposition groupings has called for a work stoppage Thursday
and Friday to protest what they call an onslaught on the poor. The police
have promised to deal ruthlessly with "any elements bent on disrupting peace
in this country."

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      Zimbabwe braced for strike action
      Zimbabwe is preparing for a two-day general strike called by
opposition groups in protest at a huge number of arrests across the
country's cities.
      Police say 30,000 people have been detained, while hundreds of homes
and businesses have been demolished, and many thousands are now homeless.

      A coalition of opposition groups has called for people to stay at home
on Thursday and Friday.

      Police have warned they will deal "ruthlessly" with any street

      The authorities said the security blitz was designed to clean-up
Zimbabwe's urban areas, and crack down on those involved in illegally
trading foreign currency and scarce foodstuffs like sugar.

      The sweep has been heavily criticised by church groups and opposition
parties, which have combined to form a group called the Broad Alliance and
call for the strike.

      Test of strength

      Zimbabwe's main opposition group, the Movement for Democratic Change,
threw its weight behind the strike on Wednesday.

      "We call on all the people to stay at home on Thursday and Friday this
week," it said.

      "We call on all the people of Zimbabwe to organise themselves and
protest against the actions of this regime.

      "This criminal regime has destroyed and stolen the properties of
people who are trying to make an honest living through informal trading."

      The strike coincides with the state opening of parliament on Thursday,
during which President Robert Mugabe is expected to announce constitutional
changes that could tighten his grip on power.

      The UN has demanded that Mr Mugabe stop the eviction operation, which
it describes as a new form of "apartheid".

      It has estimated that up to 200,000 people may have been made homeless
by the operation.

      The BBC's southern Africa correspondent Barnaby Phillips says Zimbabwe
is set for another test of strength between an embattled opposition and a
repressive government.

      The government has put on a show of force - with military helicopters
clattering overhead - leaving people in no doubt that those who do strike
could face punishment, he says.
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Tension between farmers undermines productivity

[ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

HARARE, 8 Jun 2005 (IRIN) - Five years after Zimbabwe's land redistribution
programme began, tension still characterises relationships between white and
black farmers.

Although most of Zimbabwe's white commercial farmers were removed from their
farms to make way for landless blacks during the government's fast-track
land reform programme, a few have remained on their land.

The Commercial Farmers Union (CFU), which represents the interests of its
mostly white members, estimates that between 500 and 600 of them continue to
operate in the country, down from a total of 4,500 prior to the start of the
land redistribution campaign in 2000.

Tim Price, 69, is one of the few who managed to hold onto some land. He was
left with 300 ha of the 1,000 ha farm he used to own in Mashonaland West
province's Chakari district, where he grew a variety of crops, among them
maize, wheat and paprika, and also reared pigs and chickens. He now produces
only paprika and maize because of the reduced size of his farm.

Price counted himself lucky to be able to continue farming, when the
majority of commercial white farmers were displaced, but he has become
somewhat disillusioned.

"I would say sharing a farm with the new farmers was a noble idea, but
co-existence with them is proving to be difficult," Price told IRIN. "There
is so much tension between them and me, and from what I gather from my
colleagues in the farming community, the situation is bad elsewhere."

Two months ago, he said, there was a misunderstanding between him and the
new farmers on the neighbouring plots when they approached him and asked to
use his tractors for winter ploughing.

"I told them that, in principle, I would have no problem with that, but I
had to finish work on my own plot before giving them the tractors. I also
indicated to them that, in these days of fuel shortages, it might also be
difficult for them to get the kind of help they expected on time," Price

However, the new farmers' delegation mistook his words for arrogance and
that evening, youths camped outside his house and sang songs denouncing him
as a racist. Their protest ended only when he compromised and promised to
lend them a tractor for a fee.

But Price said the new farmers were now refusing to pay him for the use of
his tractor, and were, instead, threatening to invade his plot.

Davison Mugabe, president of the black-dominated Zimbabwe Commercial
Farmers' Union (ZCFU), admitted that relations between the remaining white
farmers and their black counterparts have been strained.

"The situation is sad, and we don't encourage that because it is
agricultural production that suffers when the farmers fail to co-exist," he
told IRIN. "However, there are high-powered manoeuvres between government
and the farming community, and we expect to come up with a policy statement
that spells out the best way for interaction on the farms."

A member of the CFU said the tension between black and white farmers was
largely due to suspicion that arose from the manner in which the land reform
programme was carried out.

In 2000, veterans of the war against colonialism led thousands of landless
blacks onto commercial farms and forcefully removed the white farmers.

Several people died in clashes during the redistribution process, which was
roundly condemned by bodies such as the Commonwealth and led to the
suspension of Zimbabwe's membership in 2002, on the grounds of human rights

Farming equipment was also vandalised and hundreds of animals killed.

"The violent manner in which the land reform exercise took place is largely
to blame for the suspicion and, in some instances, hate between the white
farmers and the new farmers. Largely, the white farmers blame the new
farmers for torture, theft of their equipment and rape.

"And we are aware of newly resettled farmers who say the whites collaborated
with their farmworkers to beat them up when they moved onto the farms, while
accusing them of denying them the right to own prime farmland for a long
time," said the CFU member, who owns a ranch in Matebeleland province.

Before the land reform programme, the minority white population owned 75
percent of productive land, while the black majority was crowded into
overused land, mostly in communal areas, to which they were moved during
colonial rule.

Denford Chimbwanda, president of the Grain and Cereal Producers Association
(GCPA), blamed new farmers for "asking for too much" from the remaining
white farmers, who also needed help.

"I am a black farmer myself, but I think some new farmers should take the
blame for demanding too much from their white colleagues and, to make
matters worse, they go to them in large numbers. I accept that some of these
new farmers do not have implements, but they should not assume that their
white compatriots have an obligation to help them for nothing in return,
because farming is a business in which one needs to operate viably,"
Chimbwanda told IRIN.

He urged new farmers not to view white farmers as racist when they could not
help them, and pointed out that there were some farmers who lived together

A significant number of displaced white farmers have relocated to other
African countries, notably Nigeria, Zambia and Mozambique, where they have
been farming successfully.

The governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has expressed the desire to get
some specialist white farmers - most of whom have yet to be paid
compensation for the farms they lost - back onto the land to boost
production and improve foreign currency earnings through agricultural

Although relations between the farmers remain strained, the CFU member was
positive that peaceful co-existence was possible.

"It might be difficult to remove the suspicion now, but with goodwill from
everybody and determination on the part of politicians," he said, "it is
still possible to mend fences and live on the farms as fellow Zimbabweans."

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Emergency landing shakes up Moyo
          June 08 2005 at 06:59PM

      Former Zimbabwean information minister Jonathan Moyo escaped unhurt
when an Air Zimbabwe aircraft made an emergency landing on Wednesday at the
Johannesburg International Airport.

      In an interview with Sapa's Zimbabwean correspondent, Moyo said: "I am
not afraid of flying, but since I started flying I have never seen anything
like this. Gas masks fell out and some people were taken to hospital because
of shock."

      Moyo said he had come to South Africa on business and that the
incident had delayed most of his commitments. He had to cancel some of his

      Five people were injured and taken to the Harmelia Medi Clinic in
Edenvale on Wednesday when the Johannesburg-bound Boeing 737 from Harare
made an emergency landing at the airport.

       Airports Company SA spokesperson Jacqui O'Sullivan said the pilot
made the landing after he noticed smoke in the cockpit. She said 93
passengers and six crew members were evacuated from the plane.

      Six were taken to the airport clinic where three were discharged soon
afterwards. The others were taken to Harmelia where two more admitted later

      Clinic manager Rodney van Zyl said three of the five had already been
discharged and the others would be kept overnight for observation. - Sapa

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The Times

June 08, 2005

Analysis: the problem with Africa

Richard Beeston , The Times's diplomatic editor, argues that Africa will need more than just money to emerge from decades of poverty

"To identify the roots of corruption you have to go back to the post-colonial period when African states began emerging from a very difficult period of colonial rule and in many cases were abandoned to their fates.
"Then, quite quickly, in the 1960s and 1970s, in many countries military dictatorships took control: for example, Mobutu in Zaire, Idi Amin in Uganda, and Bokassa in the Central African Republic.
"These men took complete control of their countries and ran them as personal fiefdoms.
"At that time, the Cold War meant that the international community was only interested in terms of where these countries fitted into the east-west divide. In many cases, these brutal and corrupt dictators were left to their own devices as long as their patronage to either side was ensured.
"In these circumstances, a culture of graft developed almost unhindered by external intervention or the rule of law. In many places, those conditions have simply been allowed to continue and have become ingrained.
"There is also the perception by those who worked within public services that the only way they could escape from being poorly paid was by finding other means in which to line their pockets.
"Even those countries which were blessed with natural resources have since fallen from one military dictatorship to another with each successive ruler salting away profits from industry into private Swiss bank accounts.
"It is only very recently that we have moved away from this period, and an international effort has begun to encourage countries to act in a more open way and to reward good governance.
"Mozambique is often held up as a shining example of a poor country which has made great strides since its civil war to introduce reforms and openness within public life.
"Unfortunately there is no guarantee that this will always be the case. You have only to look to Zimbabwe where, in a relatively short period of time, one man has taken a country which was moderately stable in terms of its economy and democracy and put the whole process into reverse.
"The jury is still out on the concept of whether aid really works. Richer nations have been involved in aid programmes for decades, and in many cases the recipient countries have not shown any improvement at all.
"I think we have now learned from the mistakes of the past. Much is made of the Live Aid appeal of 20 years ago. Millions of pounds were raised to feed starving people in Ethiopia, but while lives were undoubtedly saved that money also went to prop up one of the most evil administrations Africa has ever known.
"President Bush seems to believe that only countries which are worth rewarding should be supported - that you can't just hand out cash blindly.
"The message from the Blair/Brown initiative runs slightly counter to that, in their proposal to wipe the debts of all African nations, no matter what their domestic circumstances are.
"Ideally, one would look at a country like India which has made huge strides in recent years on the way to transforming itself from a poor country into a global economic power. That has been achieved with virtually no outside help.
"It's no longer just a question of handing over money. You have to deal with governments and you have to address human rights issues, but the debate is still on."

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New Zimbabwe

Doing nothing is not an option

By Brighton Musonza
Last updated: 06/08/2005 23:16:35
IN SOLIDARITY with friends and families in the proposed stay away action!

It is stunning to note that most of us have failed to understand why Robert
Mugabe has stooped that low in destroying other peoples' homes and market
stalls with such a demonstration of brute force.

I think it is increasingly turning shirty, as the Mugabe juggernaut is
threatening to come to a halt, outclassing Ian Smith in the art of
institutional repression which is a sure sign of the endgames.

Mugabe is driving a sinking ship into no man's land. Hysteria or paranoia
are a little less persuading to comprehend the source of this madness. We
have to go down memory lane to understand the endgames of an embattled
pariah state.

Do we all remember Ian Smith had a Senate in his last days in Office, where
the likes of the late Chief Chirau and many of the village bully boys were
policing villages, dangling Senate badges to protect the Smith regime? Do we
all remember people where driven into 'Keep' camps, "maKipi", by Smith as
the sun set on his administration? Do we all remember Ian Smith in his last
desperate moments tried to suppress economics of demand and supply
mechanisms by barring the majority black people from the exclusive First
Street in Harare to control inflation?

Maspakisheni, (inspections) do we all remember them, in Salisbury of the
late 70s when BSAP used to kick the door open and do a quick headcount - I
was in Mbare as a kid and I know them. Do we all remember people imprisoned
when seen holding an empty bottle of castle lager in the streets?

Do we all realise that one of Mugabe's blue eyed boys, Emerson Mnangagwa,
has been given, Rural Housing and Amenities Ministry where Mugabe is trying
to drive people to, for those indoctrination processes? Are you seeing what
I am seeing fellow countrymen?

Same endgames, same tactics, one way ticket. Mugabe is on his way out,
whether he likes it or not. Nature has its limits.

All the empty revolutionary bravado is part of the beginning of the ending.
It is now the way he conducts his dilatory endgames, we have to understand
his state of mind in order to help him steady the ship in a possible crash
landing. In him, pride and self esteem brings with it all the swagger and
school ground bullish behaviour now used to bully millions into thinking in
a straight line.

Propelled by a gargantuan ego and ruthless ambition, his regime continues to
plough its claws into innocent people, leaving many of its victims homeless
and sleeping in the cold.

Word has it that Thursday and Friday are the days for people to show up
their disapproval to this man, people power must be put into perspective,
failure of which would require drastic change of strategy to fight this
tyranny. The economy is fast collapsing, big time. If reports in the Herald
of "Bread shortage looming" are anything to go by, or it is one other cruel
effort to starve those already sleeping in the streets to condemn people
into "Keep Camps". The situation could degenerate into an ugly fight!

The people must rise, and they must prevail. If many of you out there had
wondered where the 'Green Bombers' had gone, then you must by now have
realised who is destroying your livelihood in "clean up operation restore

Militias and vigilante groups! These were unemployed youths from the farm
invasions era initially used to destroy our commercial agriculture, and
touted as War Vets who created no go areas in rural areas, during the last
major national elections and have been undergoing training in police camps,
with their leaders having recently done training in Cuba. Now they want to
face the last act of trying to destroy the urban communities as part of this
grand plan by Robert Mugabe to impose Joyce Mujuru on us. Isn't it the same
Joyce Mujuru who claimed over fifty percent disability allowances from the
War victims compensation Fund whose fraud report findings where never
published by the same Mugabe?

Nein! We must resist!

Mugabe is busy behind the scenes crafting wicked and water tight
constitutional amendments that will haunt us for years. We must attack this
constitution from now till we have one people-driven document that governs

We must resist.

The basis of our resistance should be the fake two-thirds majority they are
trying to use to effect ruthless jungle law cynically directed at the poor
folks reeling from his incompetence and primitive management techniques. We
should always cast further whenever Mugabe is up to something. He didn't
pursue a violent election last March because his militias where preoccupied
and undergoing some militia training and now they have been embedded in the
state machinery. Like caged, mustard-fed bull dogs, the young kids are let
loose on their brothers, mothers and fathers to destroy their possessions.

This is the only way dictators make their presence felt, smocking out so
called pockets of resistance, mostly the poor -- stone age politics. Mugabe
is playing his last card, whether it is a poker or jugular who cares.

Mugabe has declared war on the people and the people must unleash their
thunder of discontent by some way. People might not be in the streets or be
forced to go to work, but on the day, the homeless will wave a fist to vent
their anger at flying Airforce helicopters.

These militias masquerading as police destroying property are not as lethal
as people might want to believe. They were all ill trained in a haste and
together in the front-line with fellow former War Vets who have become
victims of this devil in reincarnation, the likelihood of people's triumph
is inevitable.

Hopefully this is the beginning of the long, painful struggle!

Crying, whinging and doing nothing is the worst we can do at the moment. The
struggle starts now, let's help Mugabe control the sinking ship! Fasten your
belts, we are about to do a crash landing!
Brighton Musonza is a student in the United Kingdom and a regular guest
columnist for New

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