ZIMBABWE has, since last year, refused to grant refugee
status to at least 38 asylum seekers - mostly from Angola, Rwanda and the
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) - allegedly because they are suspected to
have links to rebel groups in those countries.
asylum seekers whose applications were rejected are from Burundi.The asylum
seekers were rejected after they were thoroughly interrogated by a vetting
committee, which comprises security agencies.Officials from the United
Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs, the police, the defence forces and the Central Intelligence
Organisation are involved in vetting all asylum applicants.
Zimbabwean government is suspicious of asylum seekers from countries such as
Rwanda, Burundi and eastern DRC, which is controlled by armed rebels who are
sponsored by Rwanda.
Zimbabwean troops are actively involved in the
DRC war.UNHCR officials said this week some applications were turned down
because the asylum seekers initially had registered to stay in other
countries such as Malawi and Zambia.
Tapiwa Huye, the UNHCR
assistant programme officer in Zimbabwe, said: "In some cases they would have
registered in Malawi or Zambia so once they seek asylum here we cross-check
with these countries."
On Thursday this week, Tongogara Refugee
Camp in Chipinge is expected to be a hive of activity when about 800 refugees
settled there join displaced colleagues in the international community to
celebrate World Refugee Day.
John Adu, who heads the UNHCR in
Zimbabwe, home to 9 472 refugees, said the theme of this year's celebrations
is "Refugee Woman".Adu said: "The parallel themes are 'positive contributions
of refugees' and 'a shared responsibility'." The refugee population at
Tongogara comprise mostly of nationals from Rwanda, Burundi, Angola, the DRC,
Congo Republic, Somalia, Ethiopia, Liberia and Sierra Leone, with several of
them involved in income-generating projects.
There are about 26
million uprooted people around the world. Women and children constitute
between 75 to 80 percent of refugees in the world, according to UNHCR
statistics. As of January 2001, Adu said the UNHCR was providing protection
and assistance to some 21 million refugees and 5,2 million internally
displaced persons around the world.
"Celebrating and recognising
the contribution of refugees is an important step towards breaking negative
stereotypes," Adu said. "The media attention given to refugees is often
negative."It is the drama of their plight that is usually featured while
their potential and positive contribution to society is seldom mentioned."At
Tongogara Camp, some women refugees have managed to brush aside the refugee
stigma and are engaged in thriving income-generating projects.
Sidate Kashamara, who fled violence from her home in Burundi, is engaged in a
thriving cotton growing venture. Others at the camp are running tuck
Adu said some of the activities lined up for the World
Refugee Day, at which government and non-governmental organisations are
expected to be represented, include drama, cultural displays, and soccer and
Put differences aside and source for food aid, parties
6/19/02 8:46:02 AM (GMT +2)
THE National Alliance for Good Governance-Democratic Front
(NAGG-DF) on Monday urged Zanu PF and MDC to set aside their political
differences to help the country acquire food aid.
Mufudzi Wamambo, the NAGG-DF secretary for national development in
an interview on Monday said the MDC should use its good relations with
the international community to source food for starving
Wamambo said it would be "unfortunate" if the MDC just
sat back and expected the government to feed the people."The MDC should
remember that over one million Zimbabweans voted for them in the March
presidential election," Wamambo said.He said the MDC promised the electorate
that it had mechanisms in place to feed the nation if it won the
"Even if the MDC lost the election, it is still
responsible to the 1,2 million of its supporters," Wamambo said.He said the
MDC must commit itself to Zimbabweans during this time of hunger, before the
2005 parliamentary election, or lose again to Zanu PF.
had urged both Zanu PF and the MDC in separate letters to contribute to
drought relief efforts to avert a food crisis, he said.The letters were
signed by Wamambo and Moses Mutyasira, the party's secretary for information
Church may resort to legal action to restart feeding
6/19/02 8:36:12 AM (GMT +2)
Correspondent in Bulawayo
INFORMED sources in Bulawayo said on
Monday the Roman Catholic Church may consider legal action against war
veterans who have halted its feeding programme for children and expectant
mothers in Binga District.
"The church is wondering whether
the courts should be approached to force the police to give the church
protection when they are delivering the food to the people," said the
Some of the children are reportedly fainting from hunger
while in class.Church officials said the war veterans were still camped
outside the church's warehouse, ready to pounce on delivery trucks hired to
distribute the food to about 4 000 pre-school children and expectant mothers
in the drought-prone district.
Joel Gabhuza, the local MP, said
on Monday a report had been compiled on the impact of the drought in the
region. "A number of school children are fainting from hunger and if the
situation continues people will die of starvation," he said.He said some
families were going up to one week without a solid meal. Gabhuza
said war veterans wielding sticks and stones were milling outside the
Catholic Church to stop the feeding programme.
They launched their
siege after the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National
Housing, Ignatius Chombo, ordered the Church's Catholic Commission for
Justice and Peace Commission (CCJP) to abandon the feeding programme because
it was using "structures similar to the government 's".
said he had approached the District Administrator to convene a meeting
between the church and war veterans.The Catholic Church diocese spokesman,
Bishop Robert Ndlovu, could not be reached on Monday but was expected back in
the office at the weekend.But sources said the church was considering taking
legal action to be allowed to feed the people.
In the run-up to the
March presidential election, the government announced that all food
aid from donors should be channelled through it, alleging the food was being
used to whip up support for the Movement for Democratic Change. The war
veterans' action, came shortly after an order by Chombo that the CCJP feeding
project should be disbanded.Binga villagers on Monday attacked the police for
failing to remove the war veterans who are preventing the food
distribution. A Binga businessman, who asked not to be named for fear
of victimisation, said it was unfortunate that a government which claimed
to have the interests of children at heart should watch them suffer because
He said: "If the government wants to punish people
for not having voted for Zanu PF during the March election then it is
shocking that pre-school children who are the beneficiaries of the feeding
scheme should be made to suffer". Another villager said it was high
time the people of Binga stood up "in one voice and refused to be used as
political pawns" for the sake of the children.
Government Gazette Extraordinary has been issued outlining the stringent new
regulations governing the registration of mass media organisations and
accreditation of journalists under the controversial Access to Information
and Protection of Privacy Act.
To be cited as the Access to
Information and Protection of Privacy Registration, Accreditation and Levy)
Regulations 2002, the statutes require, among other things, an application
fee of $ 20 000 for a mass media service or news agency and registration fees
of $500 000.
Local journalists working for local media institutions
are now required to pay an application fee of $1 000 and an accreditation fee
of $ 5 000 while local freelance journalists will pay half of what the
local journalists pay for both application fee and
Local journalists working for foreign media are now
required to pay an application fee of US$ 50 (about Z$4 000) and an
accreditation fee of US$ 1000 (about Z$80 000).
police in Dema have opened a docket against George Nyadzayo alias Enos
Tadyanemhandu, the man who gave The Daily News a false story claiming that
his wife, Brandina, was beheaded by suspected Zanu PF
The investigation into Nyadzayo's conduct
followed a report last week by Ben Tumbare-Mutasa, the Member of Parliament
for Seke who complained that Nyadzayo conned him of $3 000 in March just
before he lied to the paper.
Mutasa yesterday said: "I reported the
matter and the officer-in-charge of Dema Police Station assured me that the
police would arrest Nyadzayo for conning me."The officer-in-charge also
interviewed me before he assigned Constable Chimunoko to handle the case. The
case number is RRB013441."
The police in Dema yesterday
confirmed that they opened the docket against Nyadzayo following the MP's
report but said they could not reveal the details of their investigations
into the matter.Nyadzayo's fabricated story led to the arrest of two Daily
News reporters, Collin Chiwanza and Lloyd Mudiwa, as well as Andrew Meldrum,
correspondent for the British-based Guardian newspaper.
was subsequently cleared of any wrongdoing by the Harare Magistrates' Court
but Mudiwa and Meldrum are facing trial under the draconian Access to
Information and Protection of Privacy Act for allegedly publishing
falsehoods.Tumbare-Mutasa said on 16 March, Nyadzayo, using the alias George
Mazhindu, came to his house in Chitungwiza aboard the MP's truck which was
delivering bread to Zhakata shopping centre in Dema, claiming that his wife
and children were captured by 500 Zanu PF supporters who were operating a
torture base at the centre.
"He also claimed that he was assaulted
by the Zanu PF youths before they attacked six of his cattle with axes. He
said this was done because one of his daughters was found in possession of
the MDC's red card symbol," Tumbare-Mutasa said. The MP said he entertained
Nyadzayo because he had told him that he was related to Mazhindu, the late
MDC chairman for Seke, a claim that was later proved false.
Tumbare-Mutasa said because it was late that day, he allowed Nyadzayo to put
up at his house that night."On 17 March, the man knocked on my bedroom door
early in the morning and said he needed $20 000 to move his family to
Chitomborwizi, and to buy clothes and food because all his property was burnt
by the Zanu PF youths," he said.
Tumbare-Mutasa said that Nyadzayo
claimed that he would pay back the money by auctioning his remaining cattle
to the MP after his family had left the area, because they were in danger."I
was saddened by his story and I told him that we should first report the
matter at Dema Police Station so that the police could arrest the culprits
but Nyadzayo said while I went to the police he wanted to first check whether
his family was safe at the Zhakata base," he said. The MP said while at
Chikwanha shopping centre in Chitungwiza, he gave Nyadzayo $3 000 after they
agreed that he would be paid back after the latter had sold his cattle.
Nyadzayo then went to Zhakata "to rescue his family" while Tumbare-Mutasa
went to report the matter to the police.
He said the
officer-in-charge of Dema Police Station assigned a police detail to
accompany him and investigate the issue but when they arrived at Zhakata
shopping centre, Nyadzayo had absconded.They also realised that his story was
a fabrication. "I was conned by that man. He lied to me. The police should
arrest him because he has harmed many people," the MP said.
Zimbabwe white farmers urged to get out of
HARARE, June 19 - A leader of a mainly white Zimbabwean
farmers' group told growers on Wednesday to abandon politics, saying it hurt
efforts to deal with the government over its seizure of white-owned
It was the first time a white farm leader has publicly
called on the community to wave the white flag in the face of President
Robert Mugabe's land seizure drive. After two years of being
targeted by Mugabe as relics of colonialism, Zimbabwe Tobacco Association
(ZTA) President Kobus Joubert said ''farmer politicians'' posed a serious
threat to the future of commercial agriculture. ''These people are
playing with our future, our lives, our very existence,'' he told a largely
silent audience at the ZTA's annual meeting. ''The time has come to
recognise reality, that the ZTA and farmers must work with the government of
the day,'' he said. The association has about 2,000 mainly white
members, representing nearly half the country's white commercial farmers.
More than 300 tobacco farms have been forcibly closed since the beginning of
the land reform exercise. The land drive began in February 2000
when militant government supporters, led by veterans of the 1970s liberation
war, began invading hundreds of white-owned farms. At the time,
many of Zimbabwe's 4,500 white commercial farmers openly identified
themselves with the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC),
which posed the first serious threat to Mugabe's two decades in
ABANDON POLITICS But after the MDC lost parliamentary
elections in June 2000, and its leader Morgan Tsvangirai was declared the
loser in disputed presidential polls in March this year, there were reports
that many white farmers had decided to abandon politics. Battered
by the land invasions and crippling shortages of foreign exchange, some
farmers have left for neighbouring Mozambique, Zambia and South
Africa. Joubert said white farmers must recognise that Mugabe's
land redistribution drive was a reality, and that to continue farming they
must share available land with landless blacks. ''The time has come
to make a choice: We offer a subdivision (of land) and co-exist and try to
keep a productive unit or we pack our bags and go,'' he said.
Joubert said he had long advised white farmers not to get involved
in politics, but ''farmer politicians'' -- political party activists
who campaigned, raised funds or ran for office -- had refused and some
were still refusing to listen. He urged farmers to be ''completely
apolitical'' and recognise that land would be redistributed whatever their
opinion and that a racial or arrogant attitude would not help their
case. Farmers could not sit back and hope the country's political
situation would change and the status quo would remain in the countryside,
Joubert said. Joubert's comments were echoed in a speech to the
group by John Chiweshe, the black chairman of the Zimbabwe Association of
Tobacco Merchants and a member of Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party.
''Let us try not to be too clever. Let us not push the government to the wall
because we are going to lose a lot,'' he said of farmers' getting involved in
- White Zimbabwean tobacco farmers were warned on Wednesday to co-operate
with the government of President Robert Mugabe or pack their bags and leave
the country. "Time has come to realise that tobacco farmers must work with
the government of the day, that government is the ZANU-PF government," the
president of the Zimbabwe Tobacco Association, Kobus Joubert, said at an
annual congress of predominantly white large-scale tobacco
"To survive and continue farming in Zimbabwe we need to be part
of the solutions, not part of the problem," Joubert warned.
Chiweshe, head of the Zimbabwe Association of Tobacco Merchants, told the
scores of farmers gathered for the congress: "We need to be able to liaise
with the government. We should never try to be too clever".
added: "The time has come to make a choice, (either) we offer a subdivision
(of farms) and co-exist, and try to keep a productive unit, or we pack our
bags and go.
"Land will be distributed," he said, adding that the maximum
farm sizes drawn up by government for individual owners were a
Some farmers have tried resist Mugabe's controversial land
reform programme of taking land from white owners and redistributing it to
The reforms are a bid to correct longstanding inequities in land
ownership that has seen 70 percent of the country's prime farmland in the
hands of whites making up just one percent of the population.
speakers told the farmers to remain apolitical if they wanted to stay in the
tobacco business -- Zimbabwe's most lucrative crop and top foreign exchange
earner after gold.
"We must not get involved in politics. We as
large-scale farmers do not make the rules," said Joubert.
not be used by Uncle Toms," Chiweshe said, in a reference to opposition
leader Morgan Tsvangirai who has drawn considerable support from white
Although Joubert acknowledged that the land reforms had had a
"severe" impact on tobacco due to disruptions of operations, eviction of
farmers, beatings and murders of farmers, and looting and extortion, he
reminded his colleagues that the programme would proceed.
we get on and recognise these realities, the better," he said.
our biggest problem is that we have got an attitude. Arrogance is what breaks
down everything," he said.
Chiweshe also warned the farmers: "If you
think you can use it (tobacco) as a weapon, that weapon can be used against
you. Let us not push the government up the great wall bacause it will be a
big mistake. It (government) will defend itself ... and it will be us who
will be losers."
Tobacco brings in about one-third of the country's
desperately needed foreign exchange.
Zimbabwe last year was the second
largest supplier of flue-cured tobacco on the international market after
Brazil. China was third.
News (Harare) OPINION June 18, 2002 Posted to the web June 18,
2002 P. Chari, USA
It will happen if it has got to happen! You can't
stop the rain! Zanu PF leaders know this and that is why they are so
paranoid. The day is coming and their worst fear will be translated into the
horror that will accompany the change which is inevitable. I am very
disturbed by the news coming from Mutare and Chimanimani that the Central
Intelligence Organisation and the police have banned the MDC. A leaflet has
been circulated in Mutare to intimidate people not to engage in mass action.
Let me tell them so that they really understand: it's just a matter of time
before the situation explodes. Zanu PF is sitting on a time bomb. It must do
the right thing; that is respect for the will of the people. Ian Smith
thought along the same lines - that he could defy popular anger and prevent
change - but he could not stop the people's march towards freedom. What
some fail to understand is that being a leader should have the blessing of
the Most High. Believe you me, they will not succeed if they exploit
the people of God. Zimbabweans are the people of God, and God is just
letting the situation develop to a level at which no human force, even with
the most lethal weapons, can contain. That's when God will jump in and show
them that indeed a stone can be changed into bread, even Mt Nyangani can be
moved to State House. Nothing is impossible in the eyes of God. If you mess
with God's people, you are messing with God Himself! Those who kill people
every day in order to silence their calls for change so they themselves can
remain in power forever will pay dearly for their evil deeds. I know I shall
live to witness them being punished unless my God is a fool. To my fellow
sufferers, I say whatever action we take, we are being inspired by God. Let's
do what we are told by the little voice inside us that we have got to do. It
is us who must change things, not outsiders. If they are going to kill us
they will only kill a few hundred, perhaps thousands, but not all of us. We
need not be violent ourselves. The soldiers and police are also humans and
when they reach a stage where they are commanded to do the inhuman, instinct
will tell them to stop. That's when we will begin to glorify God. It's not
going to be easy, but we have got to sacrifice. When blood flows like water
in the roads, they won't keep killing otherwise they will live to rule
corpses and ghosts. They are human, not animals, that could keep doing the
inhuman indefinitely. Let's force them into becoming human once more.
TOWN, June 19 - South Africa warned neighbouring Zimbabwe on Wednesday that
its controversial political and economic policies would ruin
the country. ''We have said it to them time and again: You must
come to your senses,'' Trade and Industry Minister Alec Erwin said during
parliamentary question time.
''As Zimbabwe, you'd better
correct your policies because the punishment that is being exerted on your
economy is getting more and more serious as time goes on.'' Erwin's
comments are amongst the sharpest criticisms yet by South Africa of Zimbabwe,
where the seizure of white-owned commercial farms and the collapse of law and
order are cited as key factors behind a looming famine. In response
to a question, Erwin said the political and economic crisis in Zimbabwe would
not affect South Africa's trade relationship with the United States or the
success of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD).
Aid flows to Zimbabwe have been squeezed in protest against President Robert
Mugabe's farm seizures and the use of intimidation and violence in the run up
to March presidential elections which the opposition said the veteran leader
stole. Zimbabwe is suffering from a deepening recession, with
inflation soaring to 122 percent in the year to May and unemployment
rocketing. South African President Thabo Mbeki has been criticised at
home, in Zimbabwe and abroad for failing to publicly condemn Mugabe, but he
has insisted that constructive engagement is the best way to influence
the Harare government. Erwin said South Africa had repeatedly
warned Mugabe and the country's business leaders of the cost of policies
being implemented or tolerated by the government. ''We have pointed
out to Zimbabwe government and to business leaders time and time again: 'You
are making fundamental errors and the cost of your errors is going to be
extreme','' he said. In an apparent reference to Zimbabwe, Erwin said
African countries would have a choice whether to sign onto the peer review
process proposed in NEPAD, the programme for African economic
recovery. The programme initiated by Mbeki and fleshed out with
support from Senegal, Nigeria and Algeria, includes provision for an
African-administered ratings system. Erwin said South Africa was
optimistic that the peer review system would be adopted at the inaugural
meeting of the African Union, a successor to the Organisation of African
Unity, in Durban in July. ''We believe that many countries will make
use of the peer review mechanism during the course of this year.
''We have chosen in NEPAD to say ... we will take responsibility for our own
actions,'' he said.
HARARE, June 19
(Xinhuanet) -- Former Organization of African Union (OAU) secretary general
Salim Ahmed Salim said here on Wednesday that Africa supports Zimbabwe and
wishes the best for itat a time when it is going through
Speaking at a press briefing after meeting
President Robert Mugabe at Zimbabwe House, Salim said "From the perspective
of Africa, Zimbabwe means a lot to us and at this difficult time we wish the
best for the people of the country."
He called on
Zimbabweans to "put aside whatever political differences they have and forge
ahead for the good of the country."
He said that after his
tenure at the OAU, he was now chairman of the Mwalimu Julius Nyerere
Foundation which was dedicated to the promotion of unity and continental
Salim said the Mwalimu Nyerere Foundation
represented the unityof the continent, political and economic liberation,
things that Nyerere stood for.
The New Partnership for
Africa's Development (NEPAD) tried to see what African countries could do for
themselves and should be seen in the context of the African Union (AU), he
said, adding that Africa was trying to deal with its socio-economic and
The issues of good governance and human
rights were something that Africans should fight for and not wait to have
conditions setfor them.
"When something is wrong, Africans
should be prepared to have the courage to say that it is wrong. Other African
countries should be judges of that," Salim Said.
He said the
west could have its say but could not decide on howAfrican conducted its
business. It was important for Africans to work together, he
"What is at stake is how Africa can mobilize its own
resources and institutions so as to make a leap into the 21st century and
bepart of globalization," he said.
The NEPAD was an African
initiative, but there was need for further articulation of what lay ahead
Salim hoped that there would be constructive discussion on
the way forward at the launch of the AU in Durban in July 2002.
The NEPAD was initiated last year by Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo of
Nigeria and Thabo Mbeki of South Africa. Enditem