The ZIMBABWE Situation Our thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.

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The Spectator

Readers may remember the story of Tom Bayley, an 88-year-old Zimbabwean
farmer whom this magazine interviewed in mid-April. He was then sitting in
the living-room of his homestead at Masowe, near Harare, where he had been
under siege by Robert Mugabe's thugs for more than a month. With tears
running down his cheeks, the old man explained that he had come to Rhodesia
in 1930, and bought his first small plot of land for 5. He described how he
had built up the farm, to the point where he had generally been able to
expect a thousand tons of maize every year. This year, though, there will be
no harvest at the Bayleys' farm.

After 35 days in which neither he nor his wife was able to leave their
house, Tom Bayley has died, bullied to death by a dozen or so malodorous
'war veterans'. They illegally invaded his property, and illegally prevented
the visits of their children. They ate the seedcorn, butchered the cattle,
and kept up a nightly barrage of threats and taunts. One day in May the old
white farmer fell, broke his hip, and died from complications in hospital.
When he spoke to this magazine, he described the last years of his life as a
'torture'. He felt cast adrift, abandoned by Britain. As for the Zimbabwean
police, it was clear that they actively connived with the brigands. They
wanted the Bayleys off the land, thought to have been earmarked for an
important member of the Mugabe regime, and they did no more to help Mr
Bayley than they helped Charles Anderson, who became, on Sunday, the twelfth
white farmer to be killed by the mobs.

After two years of pogroms, Mr Mugabe has now succeeded in expelling 3,000
white farmers from the land they cultivated. All the rest are in theory due
to leave by 10 August, or else face a two-year sentence in prison. It would
be naive, of course, to think that it is only whites who have suffered. A
total of 800,000 black workers have also lost their livelihoods; and since
the land has been given over to a total of 560,000 invaders, there has been
a substantial net loss of employment for black workers, too. The damage to
the Zimbabwean economy has been incalculable. This was once among the most
robust economies in Africa. It is now on the brink of starvation, with six
million in need of food aid. In the space of the last two weeks, the
Zimbabwean dollar has depreciated from 250 to the US dollar, to 500.

It is not just the chaos and bloodshed that should make us angry. It is the
seeming indifference of the British government, and of the media. Britain
has just celebrated 50 years of the Queen's rule; indeed, the Jubilee has
gone stunningly well, a devastating rebuke to the republicans. What we seem
to have forgotten, in this jovial orgy of self-congratulation, is that there
are British people, with British passports, who are being killed and driven
from their farms in what was a British colony. Why is it that we were
prepared to spend three months bombing Serbia and Kosovo on behalf of the
Kosovo Liberation Army, which now turns out to have links with the al-Qa'eda
network, when we do absolutely nothing to help people like Tom Bayley? There
are supposed to be some EU sanctions in place against Mugabe. They are a
joke. With the explicit knowledge and connivance of the British government,
Mugabe's chief of police, Mr Augustine Chihuri, was allowed recently to
attend a meeting of Interpol in Lyons. What price the travel ban on senior
members of the Mugabe regime? Where was the outrage from Jack Straw? Chihuri
is a man whose corrupt and sniggering police have overseen the robbery and
murder of white farmers, and he is waved through by the French without a
blink, and shown to his table in the restaurants of Lyons.

It is arrant nonsense to say that Britain can do nothing. It remains true
now, as it was in the 1970s, that the Zimbabwean economy is dependent on
South Africa. If he so chose, Thabo Mbeki could pull the plug on Mugabe
overnight, just as John Vorster eventually pulled the plug on Ian Smith.
Britain is the single biggest investor in South Africa, and remains hugely
influential. And yet we are doing nothing to put pressure on Mbeki to end
the madness north of the Limpopo.

South Africa must be made to see that it was not enough to suspend Zimbabwe
from the Commonwealth; and that the agricultural catastrophe in Zimbabwe is
affecting the whole of southern Africa. This month Mbeki will be at the G8
summit in Canada, holding out the begging bowl for the New Project for
African Development. He should not get a penny until he shows a firmer
resolve in dealing with the election-stealing thuggery of Mugabe.

The reason so much of black Africa is a disaster is nothing to do with
colonialism, or droughts. The trouble is the despotic behaviour of Africa's
rulers. It suits Mbeki, and it suits Blair, quietly to forget about the
horrors of Zimbabwe. They must not be forgotten.
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Zim Standard

Mugabe running scared, say critics

By our own Staff

THE possibility of mass action against the Mugabe regime has set alarm
bells ringing in the corridors of the ruling party, say the government's

Panic stricken Mugabe loyalists have stepped up efforts to quash
rising dissent among the population in an effort to avert a popular

Apart from rubber stamping cruel new laws like the Public Order and
Security Act, (POSA), and the Access to Information and Protection of
Privacy Act, (AIPPA), through parliament, the state has also acted
ruthlessly against attempts to question the 78-year-old president's right to
govern the country.

Zimbabwe's increasingly partisan police have charged journalists on at
least 12 occasions in the last three months, using the controversial media
act to silence the press. Several lawyers, opposition leaders and members of
civic society have also been charged under POSA as government cracks down on

John Makumbe, a leading political scientist, told The Standard he
would not be surprised if Mugabe had made plans to flee the country.

"He's very nervous. Mugabe expected mass action straight after the
election and it didn't happen. That's left him confused, but all this talk
of mass action frightens him and I honestly think he's made contingency
plans to leave the country. There's a heightened state of insecurity and he
doesn't know whom to trust," said the outspoken Makumbe.

Adding weight to Makumbe's claim is the fact that Mugabe has not
appointed a new cabinet since the controversial March poll.

Meanwhile former Zanu PF chief whip Moses Mvenge told The Standard
that Mugabe is running scared.

"He's obsessed with power," said Mvenge. "The man is motivated by it,
but the end could be near. He's insecure and can't take criticism because he
believes everyone is his enemy, even his shadow."

In recent months Mugabe has stepped up what was already a massive
security network for his personal protection. He recently acquired a state
of the art armour plated Mercedes limousine, while the country's riot cops
have been armed with high powered water canons to suppress popular protests
against his increasingly intolerant regime.

"History is repeating itself," said Mvenge, a former liberation war
commander. "The situation we lived in during colonial times are the same as
those we're enduring now. Enacting laws to curtail political activity in any
country is like setting a time bomb and soon you won't even need to mobilise
the people."

Meanwhile John Makumbe said, "The country is a powder keg waiting to
explode. Zimbabweans aren't docile and people have nothing to lose but their
chains. As things stand now, Mugabe knows that police and the military won't
be able to contain the people. Zimbabweans can literally march into State
House and there's nothing he can do about it."

Commenting on Mugabe's fears, MDC secretary general Welshman Ncube

"Mass action will work because Mugabe hasn't a clue how to solve the
country's problems. It'll work because the people know that he's a hypocrite
who promised land to the people and is now taking it away from them and
giving it to his cronies."
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Zim Standard

Staff exodus hits Zimpapers

Staff Writer

A MASSIVE staff exodus is set to hit the State-controlled Zimpapers
following the impending launch of another weekly newspaper, The Standard has

Insiders at Herald House told The Standard last week that the launch
of the new paper would leave newsrooms at Herald House virtually empty.

Insiders said journalists at the government mouthpieces were jostling
to join the new venture, which they saw as an avenue to escape information
minister, Jonathan Moyo's stranglehold.

Moyo has of late been acting as if he was the editor-chief of all the
government-controlled newspapers, even giving assignments to reporters, a
function usually performed by a News Editor.

"It has become a nightmare working under Moyo and people are seeing
the launch of this new paper as an escape route. A number of us have been
approached and will be leaving. The conditions here are horrible," said one

The anticipated Saturday newspaper will be owned by a consortium of
local businessmen led by Mutumwa Mawere. Reports indicate that the paper
will be edited by former Sunday Mail editor, Funny Mushava.

Apart from the impending Saturday paper, Mawere is understood to be
planning a business paper for Thursdays.

Most affected by the staff exodus would be the sports departments of
The Herald and The Sunday Mail, where it is understood the bulk of
journalists working in these departments had been offered jobs.

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Zim Standard

Tobacco merchants fail to secure credit

By Kumbirai Mafunda

LOCAL tobacco merchants could fail to get the best crop on the auction
floors as commercial banks are finding it difficult to access offshore lines
of credit, The Standard has learnt.

Under a new government policy gazetted in May, established merchants
are required to purchase tobacco using foreign currency raised outside
Zimbabwe, with indigenous merchants accessing the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe's
Memorandum of Deposit (M.O.D) facility.

Although the RBZ faced a hostile reaction mainly from the indigenous
tobacco buyers who felt the measures would not help their plight, the RBZ
argued that the facility was meant to enable indigenous merchants to get
lines of credit from local commercial banks or international banks, with the
RBZ acting as the guarantor.

However commercial banks are reportedly refusing to help merchants,
citing the risk of accepting the M.O.D.

"The government's facility has failed to receive the support of the
banks and speculation is high that the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe might issue
a directive to the banks. It is all quite complex. The merchant concerned
must first of all satisfy the bank that he has got an order for the tobacco
that he wants to buy. The bank is unlikely to lend without security to
recover the money," said a source with a commercial bank.

The delay in accessing offshore lines of credit and processing of
local merchants applications for M.O.D's raises fears that indigenous
buyers, whose number had markedly increased this year, may be eliminated as
players in the tobacco industry.

A commercial banker who refused to be named said: "The country's
indigenous drive is being thwarted by the RBZ policy which is running
parallel to the indigenous merchants' initiatives.''

An interim financing arrangement which was put in place by the RBZ for
merchants who may fail to establish offshore lines of credit, so that they
could borrow a maximum of US$1 million from their banks, expired at the end
of May.

However the reluctance by corresponding banks to process local
merchants' applications has forced the central bank to extend the deadline
for this arrangement.

"In order to allow for the completion of this process, it has been
decided to extend the deadline for the interim financing arrangements to 14
June," said Ignatius Mabasa, the head of the public affairs department in
the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

John Chiweshe the president of the Zimbabwe Association of Tobacco
Merchants (ZATM), said the failure by commercial banks to secure offshore
lines of credit was prohibiting them from buying tobacco on the floors. He
added that the interim financing arrangement was inadequate.

"It depends very much on the success of our local banks but there is
no coreponding foreign bank that is interested in doing business with our
banks. The loans we are currently getting tend to be small because they are
measured on our ability to repay in case the M.O.D fails to be accessed,''
said Chiweshe.

Chiweshe rapped the M.O.D facility, saying if the country had ready
foreign markets there was no need for the facility.

Said Chiweshe: "It is not even required if there are markets. It
doesn't help Zimbabwe because it locks up money to other sectors. The
missing link is the difficulty in accessing foreign markets. Using M.O.D to
buy tobacco is not selling it.

He decried the absence of a department in the Ministry of Industry and
International Trade that develops counter- trading to create foreign

Kingdom Bank chief economist, Witness Chinyama, said the government's
retrogressive foreign policy was curtailing trade and financial relations
resulting in local banks failing to get offshore lines of credit from
corresponding banks.

"The continued worsening of the country's credit rating has to do with
government's foreign policy," said Chinyama.

Zimbabwe severed balance of payments support with the IMF and the
World Bank in 1999.The country's declining credit rating and investment risk
has forced local banks and other financial institutions to open branches in
other countries to circumvent the foreign currency shortages.

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Zim Standard

Zimbabwe to lose Victoria Falls?

By Grey Moyo

BULAWAYO-EROSION taking place at Victoria Falls' Devil's Cataract may
result in Zimbabwe losing its side of the falls to Zambia in the future, a
report by the Zambia National Monuments Commission (ZNMC) says.

The report, based on the commission's research findings, says the loss
of the falls to Zambia will take place gradually as erosion has already
started eating away the Devil's Cataract. The cataract is the lowest point
on the 103- metre high falls which form a water curtain between Zambia and

The report adds that a gorge running between what is now the Devil's
Cataract and Rainbow lodge on the Zambian sides is being formed by the
continuing process of erosion.

"Fifty thousand years of continuous erosion by the Zambezi river have
cut along joints or vertical cracks on underlying basalt rocks. The joints
were shrinkage cracks when the lava forming the basalt layer cooled... This
way zones of very close jointing were formed, some of them being flooded
with material almost as soft as clay. It is along these very soft tissue
that successive gorges and waterfalls have gradually developed through water
scooping out the soft materials and weakening the rock outcrop," reads part
of the report.

As if doom to the Zimbabwean side is not enough, the commission fears
that there is a possibility that the entire Victoria Falls will eventually
disappear from the face of the earth.

"...eventually there will be no falls at all. What will remain is a
gradually deepening gorge along the entire area," the ZNMC says.

The Victoria Falls is one of Zimbabwe's recognised World Heritage
sites alongside such monuments as Great Zimbabwe and the Matopos nature
reserve. The loss of the falls would seriously affect the country's tourism

Zambia seems to be preparing for the coming of the falls to its side.
The country has upgraded its side of the Victoria falls and added new
facilities when tourists deserted Zimbabwe at the height of the violent 2000
parliamentary election.

The upgrading of facilities on the Zambian side has already provided
stiff competition as Zambians, who took advantage of the political turmoil
in Zimbabwe, have embarked on an aggressive marketing of their side in
addition to its new facilities.

The two countries have an agreement to maintain their sides of the
Victoria falls in their natural state by protecting them from large scale
commercial exploitation.

The only monument which Zimbabwe will remain with is the statue of
David Livingstone, the Scottish explorer whose claim to have discovered the
falls was disputed by the Tonga people. They named it "Mosi -a Tunya",
meaning "the smoke that thunders".

The report of the ZNMC follows on the heels of another 2000 report
entitled "The State of Ecology in the Zambezi Valley" which raised serious
concern that the entire ecological set up along the course of the Zambezi
has deteriorate to alarming levels.
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Zim Standard

Police steal panners' gold

By our own Staff

GWANDA-Four West Nicholson policemen allegedly mounted illegal raids
at the Valley Mine gold mining camps and converted to their personal use, 40
bags of gold ore left by fleeing panners.

The four, Mandla Gumbo, 37, Steven Ndou, 31, Jorum Sithole, 32 and
Qhabu Mlotshwa, 28, recently appeared at the Gwanda magistrates court and
were formally charged for contravening Section 4 of the Prevention of
Corruption Act.

According to a state outline obtained by The Standard, on 24 April,
the four who are based at West Nicholson, reported a fake road accident to
their officer-in-charge, identified as Inspector Shoko and were given
permission to use a police defender to attend the scene of the accident.

The accused then picked up a gold-panning friend named Jagrace Ncube
and headed for Valley Mine where a bustling gold mining camp exists.

Upon arrival, they found 16 panners who ran away leaving 20 bags of
gold ore which were then impounded by the police officers for their personal

The state alleges that the officers took the ore away in the police
truck, hid it in a secluded spot and returned for their second raid of the

This time, they netted 20 bags of ore before driving back to the camp
to surrender the vehicle. Using private vehicles, the policemen took the ore
to Bills Luck Mine in Filabusi where it was processed. The state has
produced milling records as evidence.

The four who appeared on initial remand were not asked to plead and
were remanded out of custody.
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Zim Standard

Gays speak out on Moyo

By Walter Marwizi

THE Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ) have broken their silence
over the alleged Moyo and Mpofu homosexual relationship.

This week, Keith Goddard, the director of programmes told The Standard
that they had heard the rumour before but said Moyo was not on their
membership list.

"No and he never has been," said Goddard in a written response to
questions from The Standard.

Asked whether he had heard about the rumour by opposition MDC MP Job
Sikhala in Court last week, he said: "Yes, but these rumours have not been
substantiated by any evidence and GALZ does not trade in rumours."

Goddard however confirmed, over two months ago, that the disgraced
former ZBC CEO Mpofu was a member of GALZ.

On whether the issue of the alleged relationship between the two, who
at one time were both in South Africa should be probed, Goddard said GALZ
did not support witch hunts of any sort.

"Nevertheless, as in the case of Alum Mpofu where GALZ did have
evidence, the association felt no qualms about confirming the truth:
homosexuals who condone or facilitate the persecution of gays and lesbian
people are hypocritical and they deserve no sympathy," he said.

Meanwhile, many ordinary Harare residents favour a probe into the

A street survey by The Standard revealed that the majority of
respondents in Harare feel that the allegations needed to be probed rather
than brushed aside.

Many people who responded to the survey noted that since Moyo was a
public figure working in a government that detested homosexuals, it was
imperative that there be debate on his sexual orientation.

A Harare woman who identified herself only as Grace, said for the sake
of transparency and to clear Moyo's name government should launch a probe
into the allegations.

"Jonathan Moyo brags about our constitutional democracy and I think
this is the time for him to demonstrate his commitment to that democracy by
allowing a probe into the matter. Job Sikhala should be hauled before an
independent body and made to explain the origins of the rumoured homosexual
relationship between the minister and Mpofu. If there is nothing to hide,
Moyo should welcome this as it will clear his name," she said.

However, other residents felt that Job Sikhala was not a credible
source of information and that whatever he said in court or outside should
not be taken seriously.

"Some of us who were at University with Sikhala know that 'Wiwa' is
good at smearing dirt over anyone who crosses his path. I am sure he has
done what he is good at," said a 26- year old man who preferred anonymity.

President Mugabe has openly expressed his contempt of homosexuals whom
he describes as worse than dogs and pigs.
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Zim Standard

Penalty for Bulawayo toxic discharge

By Loughty Dube

THE cash-strapped Bulawayo city council is set to rein in companies
guilty of discharging toxic waste into the city's water system with its
introduction of a new Trade and Effluent Tariff Scheme, expected to rake in
the $300 million needed for the upkeep of the city's aging water treatment

The scheme, introduced in April under the council's by-laws will see
companies pay between $ 500 000 and $1 million for the discharge of
untreated industrial waste into the water system.

The company has so far identified 41 companies it deems responsible
for the pollution bedevilling the city's water system.

"The new tariffs are aimed at industries which are generating toxic
effluent into the system and these will be charged fines depending on the
quantity and quality of effluent they discharge because, as it is, some
companies release more toxic effluent than others," said Peter Sibanda the
new director of the city's Engineering Services Department.

He added that under the new scheme, all industries found to be
generating toxic effluent, would be made to contribute towards the
conveyance and treatment of the effluent in the city.

This has seen the council spending $ 800 million annually in the
treatment of effluent and the maintenance of sewers.

The city of Bulawayo is also awaiting local government approval of a
$2 billion loan from the open market for the financing of its capital

It hopes to use $300 million of this in upgrading the Aisbley waste
treatment plant, the main sewer plant in the city
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Zim Standard

Anti-immigration sentiments

London Line By Ken Tendayi Mano

TWO British papers are waging a serious campaign against asylum
seekers who enter Britain through France's Channel Tunnel and Belgium's
Zeebrugge and Ostend.

The asylum seekers, mostly from war ravaged Afghanistan, China, parts
of the former Russian Union, Iraq, Sri Lanka and Pakistan, reside at the
Sangatte Red Cross Camp near Calais before illegally boarding freight trains
and trucks bound for Britain.

Others enter through the Belgium port of Zeebrugge, a container and
ferry port close to a busy truck stop where drivers take a rest on their way
to Britain.

Zeebrugge is connected to the British ports of Dagenham, Dover,
Felixstowe, Hull, Purfleet and Teeside and will soon be connected to

It is reported that each day, about 300 asylum seekers leave for
Britain from Sangatte alone and about 100 from Zeebrugge and of these, three
quarters make it while the rest are arrested.

Although no Zimbabweans enter Britain via the Channel Tunnel or
Zeebrugge, our country is one of the top countries on the list of those with
the highest number of people applying for asylum. The other countries are
Iraq, Somalia, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka.

The two newspapers are calling for the closure of Sangatte and the
temporary shut down of the Channel Tunnel until the French, who have been
under fire for letting these illegal immigrants into Britain, have sorted
out their mess.

The papers have also raised fears that terrorists could be among the
hundreds of asylum seekers entering the country illegally. With reports of
Bin Laden's men targeting Britain for attack, the papers have called on all
concerned citizens to write to Blair urging him to find a workable solution
to the Sangatte crisis.

Sangatte, now a Red Cross holding centre, was a warehouse during the
construction of the Channel Tunnel and it is from here that most asylum
seekers gain entry, sometimes through threatening violence and disrupting
freight operations.

According to the English, Welsh and Irish railway authorities,
business has been badly affected with losses of more than o500 000 being

In December last year, more than 500 asylum seekers unsuccessfully
stormed the tunnel disrupting train services for about 10 hours. In March
this year, hundreds of asylum seekers overwhelmed the guards on duty and
halted freight services for hours. May 3 saw more than eighty asylum seekers
coming through the channel on one freight train.

Britain is considered one of the most lenient countries in the world
for asylum seekers. If one does get asylum status, one receives a weekly
payout of about o40 plus food vouchers, paid accommodation and free
education up to A Level. So Britain is the asylum seeker's favourite
destination because in addition to all these benefits one can obtain a
well-paid job and live really well.

Already in January and April, 24 000 people applied for asylum status
but the number for rejected asylum seekers over the years has risen to 50
000. All those denied asylum are, by British law, allowed to remain in the
country on full government benefit, pending the outcome of their appeals.

And to date, there is a backlog of about 71 000 appeals against
deportations which, according to the National Association of Citizens
Bureau, will probably take 21 years to clear at the current pace at which
appeals are being handled.

But most asylum seekers are known to disappear before their appeals
have been heard or when they are told that they have lost the appeal. They
either change their names or go underground where they will not be
discovered unless and until they fall into mischief and are caught.

Tony Blair's government, overwhelmed by the situation, has made plans
to have dubious asylum seekers deported within days of their arrival so that
they may apply for asylum from abroad.

It has been suggested that the air force and army be deployed at
Belgian and French ports to deal with asylum seekers there. It's not clear
whether the government has deployed them yet. Critics have slammed this
suggestion as unworkable, unethical, ill conceived and morally wrong.

Simon Hughes, the home affairs spokesman for the Liberal Democrats
says asylum seekers must be allowed to appeal from within Britain.

Anti-immigrant groups, however, blame immigrants for the poor social
services being offered by the British government today, for overcrowding in
residential areas and for higher taxation. They also complain about the
dangers of pollution of the British culture. One survey carried out recently
even showed that a British meal today would be incomplete without curry!

The rise of far right parties has also been used to justify the
anti-immigrant sentiments everywhere.

The papers point to the rise of the slain Dutch leader, Pim Fortuyn
whose Pim Fortuyn List party won 26% of the vote in Holland's May poll and
will be part of the coalition government. They also point t the rise of Jean
Marie Le Pen, leader of the French racist National Front which garnered 6
million votes in the first round of the French poll. There is also the
racist Freedom Party of Jorg Haider of Austria which today holds six cabinet
posts. And then there is the British National Party which scraped through
council elections this May.

However, critics argue that Britain benefited from the work of
immigrants in the past and will continue to do so.

Widely quoted is the story of a man who now runs one of Europe's most
successful chain stores, Marks & Spencer. Mark came to England years ago
from the Middle East when he boarded the wrong ship. Once in England, he got
to work and today he has contributed much to the British retail industry.

According to Humphrey Malins, the Conservative home affairs spokesman,
immigrants are entrepreneurial and hard working and have contributed about
o2,5 billion to the economy over the years.
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Zim Standard

Moyo: You have lost the plot

IN the tortuous world of Zimbabwean journalism, the ultimate
foolishness has to be Jonathan Moyo's desire to force his deplorable beliefs
on the private press and foreign correspondents. It won't happen.

No matter how often he resorts to his grotesque Access to Information
and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA), and no matter how many lawsuits he
files against privately-owned newspapers and no matter how many
pseudo-journalists on the lunatic fringe he appoints to his media
commission, it still won't happen.

Jonathan Moyo believes that freedom of the press means a united effort
to consolidate the alleged gains of the last two decades. He believes it
means forcing his interpretation of African culture down the throats of the
public. And he believes it means continuously singing the praises of the
ruling Zanu PF party.

Well now.all his beliefs are fallacious. While there have been gains
during the last 22 years, notably in education, there have also been massive
setbacks. Moyo needs to know that almost all Zimbabweans are more than a
little perturbed by the fact that they earned more money under the
quasi-fascist regime of Ian Smith than they do now.

He also needs to know that the lack of freedom under President
Mugabe's regime is the source of increasing anger. So no, Jonathan Moyo, we
will not sing the praises of the last 20 years because that would be

In his anxiety to control everything, much in the manner of pariah
leaders the world over, Jonathan Moyo has lost the plot. And for that
reason, certain things need to be spelt out plainly so that even he can
understand them. Firstly, the independent press will defy him, his crass
legislation-and his cronies. Independent journalists will not seek
registration because that would mean acceding to the rest of the draconian
AIPPA. It is also most improbable that any self-respecting proprietor or
publisher will seek registration for his newspapers under the monster
created by Moyo and his cronies.

Any law must be demonstrably and reasonably justified in a democratic
society. This one, together with the Pubic Order and Security Act (POSA), is
not and can never be. AIPPA places journalists in the intolerable dilemma of
having to choose between respect for the law or respect for standards of
journalism. Any journalist, editor or publisher worth his salt will simply
ignore the restrictions of the Access to Information and Protection of
Privacy Act.

In any event, it's impossible in this age of the Internet and
satellite communication for governments to control information and to keep
information private. People who choose to be in public office must accept
that their intimate private lives are fair game for scrutiny by the news

The point must be made that politics is one occupation which does not
require any professional qualifications except of course, the skill to study
one's own interests. Therefore, freedom of the press can never be a
negotiated commodity.

As for editors succumbing to scrutiny by a media commission, that,
surely, has to be the most amusing of all. It's not just the fact that there
will be a commission; it's also the composition of the commission that has
editors and journalists smiling.

The general public stopped taking Tafataona Mahoso seriously when he
continued writing those rambling apologies to the ruling party in the
fawning state-controlled press-and when the same public, night after night,
rushed for the off button on their TV sets rather than be subjected to hours
of torture and deadly boredom from Claude Mararike's National Ethos and
Nhaka Yedu programmes.

Of course, the whole business is couched in hypocrisy. The independent
press has suffered a rash of arrests and harassment by the Zimbabwe Republic
Police since Moyo had his AIPPA rushed through parliament.

To no one's great surprise, no journalist from the state-controlled
press has yet seen the inside of a stinking Harare Central cell. That's
true, despite the wealth of inaccurate and sometimes downright fibs that
proliferate Jonathan Moyo's so-called newspapers. So this is hypocrisy on a
massive scale.

We were told by the government-controlled press not so long ago, that
the opposition and those curiously hard to find ex-Selous Scouts were
planning to eradicate the ruling elite with anthrax. When it was discovered
that the strange substance at the post office was probably less dangerous
than baby powder, there was deafening silence from both the department of
information and the police. In any democratic country, that silence would
have led to Jonathan Moyo's sudden departure from cabinet, but in Zimbabwe
no such thing happened. Still, no great surprise there.

And still less of a surprise when another state-controlled mouthpiece,
The Chronicle assured its dwindling readers that the Movement for Democratic
Change was about to embark on a massive bombing campaign. Apparently various
urban landmarks were to be razed to the ground in an effort to destabilise
the Zanu PF government or The Herald telling the nation that a farmer had
poisoned maize when he hadn't.

Not surprisingly, police backsides remained glued firmly to their
chairs when those stories appeared in the government-controlled press. AIPPA
was never invoked to prevent the state-controlled press from telling lies.
Rather it exists to force the independent press to toe Jonathan Moyo's line,
to discredit the opposition and any free-thinking individual who might argue
with the new men in Mugabe's cabinet-the visitors and strangers in Zanu PF.

The result of all Moyo's machinations is that harassment and jail is
the reward for professional journalism in Zimbabwe. But if that is the way
it has to be, then so be it. It is a better option than the selling out of
our traditions and ethics to political upstarts who would want to turn all
newspapers into government gazettes like the current comics in the
Zimpapers' stable.

Someday, Zimbabwe shall again be free, but not before all of us close
ranks to fight this absolutely ridiculous piece of legislation-the Access to
Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA).

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Zim Standard

Mudenge and Moyo play the fool

On Sunday with Chido Makunike

FOR a party that should confidently be getting on with the business of
solving the country's problems after what it says was its presidential
candidate's resounding victory, Zanu PF appears to be proceeding nervously.

Many of the deeds and actions of its members seem to indicate a
recognition that it is now the underdog, as far as its hold on the opinions
of Zimbabweans is concerned.

The Public Order and Security Act and Jonathan Moyo's Information Act,
are not suggestive of a party confident of its hold on the hearts and minds
of Zimbabweans, but of an increasingly embattled clique that must resort to
ever more repressive measures to contain what it knows is a widespread
national rage against it which will become more and more difficult to

It has never been necessary for Zanu PF to resort to measures as
desperate as those it currently employs to contain all the voices in
opposition to it, because those voices have never been as many and strong as
they are now.

One has the impression of a government that is ruling in the strictest
sense of being in control of the most obvious symbols of power, such as who
is jailed and prosecuted and for what crime, and who it allows to do what.

Yet it all seems to be done in a very nervous way, by a ruling clique
which at some level knows that the uneasy status quo cannot continue, or at
least not without great cost, including to the ruling clique itself.

Ruling party officials derive smug satisfaction out of the most petty
things, and are so defensive in the way they exercise their power that they
take offence at the most minor of provocations.

President Mugabe garnered widespread derision when he recently went to
New York for a UN conference, seemingly only to show that he could find a
loophole in the travel sanctions imposed on him and many of his top aides by
the West. Foreign minister Mudenge went to town about how ineffective the
so-called sanctions were.

The fact that sanctions have always been porous and relatively easy to
get around became more of a gloating point than the far more serious fact of
the continued blocking off of credit and aid to a country economically on
its knees. Even if every Mugabe minister were able to visit any western
capital of their choice despite the sanctions imposed on them, it would
still be an empty victory in no way diminishing the fact that Mugabe and his
government are in a fix they seem unable to extricate themselves from, hence
the increased threats against and arrests of opponents both real and

There is the implicit recognition that the explosive social and
economic pressures caused by the Mugabe regime which have made it a pariah
government in much of the world will sooner or later be uncontainable by
conventional means.

Speaking of Mudenge, the once gloating minister recently looked
absolutely pathetic when he had to use the press to lobby and plead for a
visa from his in-laws, the Germans, in order to attend his daughter's
wedding in their country. He may grovel to such an extent that they have no
option but grant him the visa in disgust.

But how demeaning! Just as demeaning as having the bravado of saying:
"Look at me, here I am in New York City despite the travel ban on me" while
losing sight of the wider picture-the great depredations your citizens are
being forced to experience as a result of your being considered an
international outlaw.

Mudenge, take your revenge on these rude, disrespectful German
vakwashas of yours by charging them 10 times the lobola you had already
charged. Ngati wa ripise.

An additional condition must be that the lobola be paid in US dollars,
strictly bank notes so that we don't have to process the money through the
bank, where it will yield very little since the regime of which you are a
part has made our currency virtually worthless. Better get it in cash so
that you can convert it on the black market which you will find operating on
any street corner.

Another option would be to deposit it in Germany under the name of
your German son-in-law. That way, if Mugabe is ever unceremoniously kicked
out of power, you have a nice nest egg for your exile where you can continue
to live in the comfort to which you have become accustomed as a result of
having fed at the public trough for so long.

One of the many ways in which the MDC is different from previous
opposition parties is in the confidence it derives from its large support
base. Unlike previous opposition parties, many of the MDC officials do not
feel forced to turn the other cheek when slapped by Zanu PF. Many of the
party's 'Young Turks' are quite prepared to respond in kind to the
provocations the ruling party has become accustomed to inflicting with

However, in spite of all this, Mugabe is now protected by new laws
which allow him to keep on insulting those who have little respect for him
and are not afraid to say so, while permitting the authorities to
immediately jump on people who give him a taste of his own medicine. Is this
being tough, or merely chicken?

Mugabe propagandist, Jonathan Moyo, also enjoys talking tough like his
boss and often in the crudest of terms. Yet let anybody fight him on the
same level-which is in the mud-and he will not react like the tough
politician he likes to think he is but will go to his lawyers crying: "My
ego and feelings have been hurt, please sue all the people who have
responded in kind to my insults."

It is said that you can judge the strength and character of a person
by how quickly they take offence. A bully with some power advantage over
people will terrorise them with impunity until someone with the courage to
challenge him and whip him at his own game comes along, then he goes crying
off somewhere for protection.

Speaking of Moyo, one of the things Zanu PF will not have to worry
about any more, now that the talks between the party and the MDC have broken
off, is that he may defect to the opposition. Moyo, once Mugabe's staunchest
critic, was somehow persuaded to become Mugabe's staunchest defender,
complete with ministerial post, official Mercedes Benz, and the power to
cause woe and trepidation to all those Zimbabweans who dared say the same
things about Mugabe that Moyo so eloquently said just a few years ago!

I must admit that during the talks, I was very worried for poor
embattled Mugabe and Zanu PF that the temperamental Moyo would suddenly
leave the ruling party's side and bolt to the opposition party. A rather
cynical Zanu PF friend of mine dismissed my concerns with, "You're crazy. At
the moment, Zanu PF has deep pockets and can offer anyone more protection
than can the MDC."

Speaking of which, given the power Moyo has to turn people off with
his intemperate language, even when making a perfectly valid point, I
shudder to think what will become of him when he no longer has Mugabe's
protective skirts to cling to.

The Ford Foundation in Kenya and the US, not to mention Wits
University in South Africa, are eager to get their hands on him about what
they allege are millions that went missing while he worked for them.

Locally, a lot of daggers are drawn out for poor Moyo.
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Zim Standard

Unemployment rate exceeds 70%

By Paul Nyakazeya

MASSIVE retrenchments and company closures have pushed Zimbabwe's
unemployment rate to an unprecedented 7O% rate, economists have said.

Economic analysts told Standard Business last week that the high
inflationary environment and the government's reluctance to tackle economic
problems were negatively impacting on companies, leading to reduced

This has resulted in companies retrenching workers or reducing working
hours in order to cut down on production costs.The worst affected companies
have been forced to close down, throwing thousands of workers onto the

A survey by Standard Business in Harare's industrial sites revealed
that several companies had closed down, with many of them retrenching their
staff and reducing working hours.

Workers who spoke to this paper said operations at their companies
were difficult and that prospects of recovery were not bright.

Grey Rakafa, who was retrenched from Willowvale Mazda Motor Industries
(WMMI), said he was considering migrating to Botswana.

"I don't think I can still get a job here. I have to go outside the
country and look for something to do," Rakafa said.

A spokesman of the Employers Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries
(EMCOZ) told Standard Business that there were slim chances of companies
performing to their full capacity because of the acute foreign currency
shortages and the isolation of the country by major foreign partners.

Economic consultant, John Robertson, said the rise in unemployment
rate was not surprising considering the invasion into companies by
self-styled war veterans last year, foreign currency shortages and price
controls, among other things, which were burdening non-performing companies.

Said Robertson: " The job market will disappear very soon. It is vital
to stimulate job creation. There are a lot of students from colleges and
universities coming out with flying colours, who are looking for employment.

Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) economist Godfrey Kanyenze
said: "While we expect unemployment to be addressed through the promotion of
opportunities to create jobs, it is apparent there have been no concerted
efforts to address the problem such that in the long term, we fear the rate
of unemployment will escalate to over 70%."

According the the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI), more
than 450 companies closed operations last year because of the prohibitive
operational conditions characterised by high input costs, hard currency
shortages, high levels of interest rates, inflationary levels as well as the
uncompetitive export market.

It is against this background that the government called for renewed
vigour in the promotion of the informal sector. But many do not believe that
this sector can turn around the fortunes of the economy.

The United Nations Human rights development report (2002) cites
Zimbabwe as the country in the Southern African Development Community (SADC)
region with the highest number of labour emigrants.
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Zim Standard

Over the top

By Brian Latham

THE legal profession in a troubled central African nation
is in disarray following moves to make letter-writing illegal. Lawyers point
out that the move is more sinister than it looks. The lawyers claim that
from time to time men in dark glasses and nylon suits write letters on your
behalf, send them off and then have you arrested for writing letters you
never wrote.

Meanwhile, the leaders of the Zany party are crowing with
delight over their brilliant ploy, saying it's almost as clever as playing
around with video footage. At least with letters there are no digital
numbers that make time run backwards.

Still, the lawyers aren't pleased. For a start, the
grammar is terrible, said one legal expert of the men in dark glasses and
cheap nylon suits. The least they could do would be to get someone with a
working knowledge of English.

The letter writing scheme comes in the wake of an
increasing number of arrests of lawyers and journalists in the troubled
central African country. It has become a matter of honour to be hauled down
to the cop shop, said one journalist, adding that the company in the cells
was an improvement on the company in the charge office.

But the government of the troubled central African country
expressed puzzlement over the lawyers' concerns. We thought they'd be
pleased that we're making their work easier, said a spokesman from the
ministry of misinformation. After all, we know that most lawyers are
dangerous subversives in the pay of capitalist imperialists. They'd have
eventually written those letters themselves, so all we've done is speed up
the wheels of justice a little.

And in another surprising move, foreign lawyers have been
declared enemies of the state. They join a long list that includes five
million urban citizens, so-called independent journalists, farmers who
aren't members of the Zany party, minority groups and anyone who has imposed
sanctions on the troubled central African country's troubled leaders.

Speaking to a handful of party loyalists recently, the
troubled central African nation's injustice minister, Comrade Pat O'China
banned judges from visiting neighbouring countries to attend subversive
meetings. The move followed an application by a leading judge to visit
colleagues for a friendly chat. We know these people are responsible for the
fact that the most equal of all comrades can't take his wife to
Bloomingdale's and for that they need to be punished, said O'China.

An increasing number of Zany party leaders and their wives
are appearing on lists in western nations, it has been reported. Those
affected say that having one's name on a list makes life very troublesome.
It is very difficult now, complained the wife of one of the country's less
educated generals, after reading the letter to her husband. What's the point
in living in this God forsaken place if we can't dash over to that muddy
little island between Ireland and France for a bit of shopping? The troubled
general's troubled wife said at the rate things were going there would be
six billion enemies of the state against the six remaining members of the
Zany party, and then where would she be?

And in a desperate effort to placate his wife, the general
asked her to shut up before someone in dark glasses and a nasty nylon suit
overheard her remarks. "Before you know it," he whispered, "You'll discover
that you've written a letter to an imperialist power threatening to overturn
the state unless your account at Harrods is reinstated.

Then I know exactly where we'll be. The general said she
better get used to shopping in Kinshasa where he knew they did a brisk trade
in small shiny stones to see them through the lean times.
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Mugabe targets the media as economy sinks

Andrew Meldrum in Harare
Sunday June 9, 2002
The Observer

Zimbabwe, once one of Africa's most prosperous economies, is now one of its
basket cases. The extent of its economic decline as President Robert Mugabe
clings to power is highlighted in the latest quarterly report by the
Economist Intelligence Unit, to be released tomorrow.
The report says that 'the political crisis and ad hoc, confused economic
policy will continue to drive a rapid economic decline'.

Over the past few years Zimbabwe's economy has shrunk by at least a third
and will soon be only half its former size. Finance Minister Simba Makoni
recently spelled out to parliament the severity of the economic problems,
saying that every major sector shrank by at least 5 per cent in 2001 and was
heading for the same decline this year.

In 1990 Zimbabwe was the third largest economy in the 15-nation Southern
African Development Community. But years of mismanagement by the Mugabe
government have been exacerbated by two years of crisis marked by invasions
of white-owned commercial farms, disruptions in industry and state-sponsored
violence in the 2000 parliamentary elections and 2002 presidential race.

The report estimates that Zimbabwe's economy is outperformed by once smaller
economies, such as Ghana, Tanzania and Uganda. Its inflation rate has been
more than 100 per cent for two years, and unemployment has soared to 60 per

'Even as Mr Mugabe further entrenches himself in power, the sheer scale of
the country's economic problems, the growing food crisis and international
isolation may eventually force him to seek a solution to the political
impasse,' says the EIU.

The US government threatened last week to tighten its sanctions against the
Mugabe regime in reply to its recent crackdown on the press and lawyers. In
the 11 weeks since a repressive new media act became law, the government has
arrested 12 journalists and pressed 21 charges against 11 of them. I am
among their number, and face trial in Harare this week.

Last week it jailed the president and secretary of the Law Society of
Zimbabwe and charged them with plotting to topple the government, along with
the British Government and the opposition party, the Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC). As evidence, the police submitted letters from the Law Society
to the British High Commission. Diplomats and lawyers have dismissed the
letters as 'crude forgeries'.

The International Bar Association also criticised the arrests, saying the
harsh laws are 'not reasonably justifiable in a democratic society'.
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From The Zimbabwe Standard, 9 June

Governor's wife defies price controls

Masvingo - Ruth Hungwe, the wife of the Masvingo provincial governor Josiah Hungwe, is defying government price controls by selling mealie meal at above stipulated prices, residents of Masvingo have alleged. Ruth, a retired nurse turned businesswoman is reported to be charging exorbitant prices for the staple food. Masvingo provincial police spokesman, Inspector Learn Ncube, said if the governor's wife was found to be violating price controls, the law would take its course. "Law is law, and it should apply to everybody regardless of the fact that one is the governor or the governor's wife," he said. The residents claim that the businesswoman, who owns a grinding mill in Rujeko high density suburb, acquires maize from the Grain marketing Board at controlled prices and grinds it for resale as mealie meal. A Standard correspondent who went to the grinding mill, posing as a desperate man looking for mealie meal was told that a 20 kg of the scarce commodity was going for $800 instead of government pegged price of $495. Contacted for a comment Ruth denied that she was buying maize from the GMB and reselling it at exorbitant prices. "I have since stopped buying from GMB. People come with their own maize to be grinded at my mill," she said. A GMB worker who preferred not to be named also confirmed that Ruth was buying mealie meal in bulk. "If retailers come here, we do not check whether their intention is to make a killing or not,' he said.

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Mugabe targets the media as economy sinks

Andrew Meldrum in Harare
Sunday June 9, 2002
The Observer

Zimbabwe, once one of Africa's most prosperous economies, is now one of its basket cases. The extent of its economic decline as President Robert Mugabe clings to power is highlighted in the latest quarterly report by the Economist Intelligence Unit, to be released tomorrow.

The report says that 'the political crisis and ad hoc, confused economic policy will continue to drive a rapid economic decline'.

Over the past few years Zimbabwe's economy has shrunk by at least a third and will soon be only half its former size. Finance Minister Simba Makoni recently spelled out to parliament the severity of the economic problems, saying that every major sector shrank by at least 5 per cent in 2001 and was heading for the same decline this year.

In 1990 Zimbabwe was the third largest economy in the 15-nation Southern African Development Community. But years of mismanagement by the Mugabe government have been exacerbated by two years of crisis marked by invasions of white-owned commercial farms, disruptions in industry and state-sponsored violence in the 2000 parliamentary elections and 2002 presidential race.

The report estimates that Zimbabwe's economy is outperformed by once smaller economies, such as Ghana, Tanzania and Uganda. Its inflation rate has been more than 100 per cent for two years, and unemployment has soared to 60 per cent.

'Even as Mr Mugabe further entrenches himself in power, the sheer scale of the country's economic problems, the growing food crisis and international isolation may eventually force him to seek a solution to the political impasse,' says the EIU.

The US government threatened last week to tighten its sanctions against the Mugabe regime in reply to its recent crackdown on the press and lawyers. In the 11 weeks since a repressive new media act became law, the government has arrested 12 journalists and pressed 21 charges against 11 of them. I am among their number, and face trial in Harare this week.

Last week it jailed the president and secretary of the Law Society of Zimbabwe and charged them with plotting to topple the government, along with the British Government and the opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). As evidence, the police submitted letters from the Law Society to the British High Commission. Diplomats and lawyers have dismissed the letters as 'crude forgeries'.

The International Bar Association also criticised the arrests, saying the harsh laws are 'not reasonably justifiable in a democratic society'.

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Mugabe starving the opposition: MDC

HARARE - Zimbabwe's opposition has accused President Mugabe of withholding food aid from its supporters even as the country is experiencing a major food crisis.

Distribution of food packages have been halted by the government in several areas known as opposition strongholds, said Welchman Ncube, a leading official of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

The government has denied the opposition claims, but independent aid workers and human rights groups have raised concerns over unfair distribution and interference in relief programs by local state officials and ruling party militants.

"Mugabe is responsible for the hunger of children across Zimbabwe on the basis (of whether or not) their parents support the MDC," Ncube said.

Ncube's accusations came as Mugabe arrived in Rome for a UN food summit that is scheduled to begin tomorrow.

Zimbabwe is among several southern African countries seeking food aid to avert starvation among their people.

Ncube described Mugabe's trip to Rome as a cynical ploy to skirt a European Union travel ban on Mugabe and top officials imposed to protest human and democratic rights violations following disputed presidential elections in March.

"(Mugabe) has the gall to say he is going to a food conference when he has destroyed agriculture and food security in this country," Ncube said.

Severe food shortages have been caused by erratic rains and farm disruptions in a government program to nationalize 95 percent of white-owned farms.

The US-funded Famine Early Warning System Network estimates nearly one fourth of Zimbabwe's 12.5 million people are currently facing hunger.

The World Food Program estimates half the population will need food aid to avert starvation this year.


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From The Sunday Times (SA), 9 June

High noon for the press in Zimbabwe

A major showdown is looming between the Zimbabwean government and the independent press over the licensing of media houses and journalists, which is to start in a few days. The battle lines were already drawn as independent press proprietors, journalist unions and media watchdogs began mobilising this week to challenge the government on the press legislation. They want to avoid closures and job losses if they are denied registration. In terms of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, media companies and journalists have to be licensed with effect from June 16 to be able to continue operating. The Act stipulates that no one will be allowed to own or run a "mass media service" such as a newspaper, news agency, radio or television station, film company, advertising agency or publishing concern unless it is registered with the government-controlled Media and Information Commission, which was set up to regulate the media. It also states that foreigners are not allowed to own or run a media organisation. Journalists will have to be accredited by the commission to continue working.

According to the independent media, the commission, headed by media lecturer Tafataona Mahoso, is packed with supporters of the government. Its members were handpicked by Information Minister Jonathan Moyo, who has been locked in combat with the independent media since his appointment in 2000. Legal experts say it is almost certain that the press law is unconstitutional in many areas. A parliamentary legal committee, chaired by veteran politician and lawyer Eddison Zvobgo, said the requirement for media houses to be registered was designed to limit the free flow of information and freedom of expression. The committee, which included opposition MP Welshman Ncube, said: "It should be obvious that the only possible reason for this provision is to impose control by government over mass media owners and their products." "They cannot operate without registration. To that extent, this provision restricts the freedom of expression of mass media owners," it said. The Act says that if a media house's registration certificate is cancelled, it must cease to operate and may not reapply for registration for two years. "This restriction is wholly arbitrary and, for that reason, unconstitutional," the committee said. It also said attempts to license journalists were ultra vires.

The Zimbabwean branch of the Media Institute of Southern Africa expressed outrage at the appointment to the commission of pro-government "political activists whose hatred of sections of the Zimbabwean media is well known". The institute said the commission's impartiality was questionable: "It is doubtful whether the commission will be able to act impartially when it is stuffed with political activists and those with intolerant tendencies whose contempt of dissent is well documented." The Media Monitoring Project of Zimbabwe said the commission had a huge credibility gap. "The commission itself is not an independent body since it is appointed by a government minister and is entirely accountable to him," it said. "While the commission purports to encourage and enforce ethical and professional journalistic practice, its functions serve to restrict the public's constitutional rights to freedom of expression."

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