Zimbabweans must get act together: Pahad
March 10, 2003, 23:15
Zimbabweans should get their act
together to help find solutions for the problems in their country, Aziz
Pahad, the South African Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister said
"Zimbabweans across the political spectrum have to
begin to analyse the crisis in which they are, both politically and
economically," Pahad said in Pretoria. They should give leadership which the
rest of the world could support.
Pahad told reporters
South Africa remained "seized" with Zimbabwe's problems. Instability in that
country would have serious consequences for South Africa.
"There is an unreal debate about quiet diplomacy and aggressive diplomacy.
What we need is a solution."
This could be done through
organisations such the Commonwealth, the Southern African Development
Community, and the African Union. "Most importantly, the Zimbabweans must get
their act together," Pahad said.
He said he doubted whether
new sanctions imposed against Zimbabwe by the US would contribute to the
George W. Bush, the US President announced economic
sanctions on Friday against Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and 76 other
Pahad said earlier US travel restrictions against
Zimbabweans had not achieved much.
"We now want to see
what these new sanctions are going to achieve. If this is the route some
countries want to go that is their decision. We want to find solutions,"
Pahad said. - Sapa
Africans must wise up to
Mugabe President Bush has acted appropriately when others would not by
freezing the assets of Zimbabwean President Mugabe and 76 government
officials and prohibiting Americans from doing business with
Mugabe's policies, Bush notes, are "contributing to the deliberate
breakdown in the rule of law in Zimbabwe, to politically motivated violence
and intimidation in that country and to political and economic
Last month, the European Union took a similar step when it
renewed travel restrictions on Mugabe and his government leaders, banned arms
sales to Zimbabwe and froze the country's assets in Europe. The Commonwealth
of Britain and its former colonies have also suspended Zimbabwe
Predictably, Zimbabwe's leadership is crying foul
over the imposition of sanctions against the dictator and his cronies.
Mugabe's allies describe the U.S. sanctions as a "white racist" attack, and
Mugabe characterizes outside critics of his regime as imperialists who want
to impose a new form of colonialism on developing nations, even as he himself
brutally represses his own people.
What's discouraging is that the
presidents of South Africa and Nigeria, two nations with their own tragic
experience with tyranny, are urging the Commonwealth to end its suspension of
Zimbabwe's membership. They cite the country's "progress" since the rigged
elections last March, a theme reiterated in speeches Sunday at a summit of
African leaders in Abuja, Nigeria.
The next day -- U.N. International
Women's Day -- baton-wielding police in Zimbabwe attacked women marching to
protest violations of women's rights.
Today, nearly half of Zimbabwe's 13
million people face starvation amid a drought aggravated by Mugabe's
authoritarian actions: seizing the productive lands of white farmers to give
to inexperienced supporters, repressing the opposition and stifling the
media. Soon, Zimbabweans may not even own their country: Mugabe is selling
off agricultural, banking and other assets to Libya in return for
Sadly, the lack of initiative from fellow African leaders has
historical precedent, but this is supposed to be a new era. The continued
pandering to Mugabe is outrageous and deserves to be harshly criticized. They
act as if saving a crony's rear end is of greater importance than
Cash-strapped Zimbabwe wants forex for its
fuel Independent Foreign Service March 11 2003 at 08:01AM Johannesburg
- In a bizarre act of desperation to raise hard currency to buy fuel, the
Zimbabwe government wants foreign motorists, including tourists, travelling
through the country to pay for fuel at filling stations in foreign
The proposal has been made by the ministry of energy and power
development to improve the fuel shortages in Zimbabwe.
It has since
been submitted to the government-business-labour Tripartite Negotiating Forum
for further discussion. It was not possible to ascertain from energy minister
Amos Midzi how this system would work.
The weekly Financial Gazette
speculated that measures would involve foreign motorists being asked to pay
foreign exchange at points of entry into Zimbabwe. They would then be given
coupons to redeem at chosen service stations around Zimbabwe.
document on the proposed policy quoted by the Financial Gazette said
the ministry of energy argued that the measure would stop Zimbabwe
from subsidising foreigners' fuel purchases and curb the illegal
cross-border trade in fuel.
It said: "Foreigners have taken advantage
of the existence of the foreign currency parallel market, which has made
Zimbabwe's fuel cheaper for them.
"Foreign motorists therefore drive into
the country with empty tanks for them to fuel in Zimbabwe.
ensuring that foreigners pay in hard currency, this will make them pay
a reasonable price for the fuel and will go a long way in channelling
foreign currency into the formal market.
"The ministry is therefore
recommending that foreigners should pay in hard currency."
have lived with fuel shortages for close to three years now, since the farm
seizures began in 2000.
The Zimbabwe government almost doubled the price
of fuel last month but the measure has not helped to improve fuel supplies.
The country remains without foreign currency.
The shortages have
become more acute after Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi cut fuel supplies four
His country's oil company, Tamoil, is owed more than $100
million by the state procurement company, the National Oil Company of
Reports say Gaddafi has now demanded that President
Robert Mugabe surrender all Noczim assets in Zimbabwe and hand them to Libya
before supplies are resumed.
He has reportedly demanded that Mugabe
seize the assets of multinational oil firms and hand them over to
The ministry of energy argued that a system in which foreigners
paid in forex for goods and services in Zimbabwe was not new and was
already operational in the tourism industry.
Foreigners are normally
required to pay their hotel bills in foreign currency in
Analysts cautioned that foreigners might be unwilling to part
with their money at entry points, since holding coupons would not guarantee
they could secure fuel once in Zimbabwe.
Witness Chinyama, the chief
economist of Kingdom Financial Holdings, said: "This scheme has to be worked
out properly, otherwise it could create trade division instead of trade
promotion." - Independent Foreign Service
Archbishop Pius Ncube said the situation in his country was worsening each
day and had become "very much like communist China with everything totally
controlled by the State".
Speaking to Sapa on Monday night, the Catholic
Archbishop, who is in South Africa on private business, said hundreds of
people were detained on a daily basis for various incidents.
than 300 people were arrested over the weekend during Women's
Day celebrations and marches and some detained for five days. A 15-year-old
boy was beaten up and shocked and then taken to a police camp after
he apparently protested at a cricket match, while one woman was
"The government has become so harsh that they
don't care about their people who are starving and suffering."
said poverty was one of the major problem areas in Zimbabwe. There is not
much harvest due to the crippling drought and no input in the fields. There
will not be much of a crop this year.
"Zimbabweans are in a very
difficult position and there is not much the people can do because of the
government's trickery and deceit. They make it very difficult for people, and
those who are outspoken and protest suffer the most. "They are followed and
intimidated with death while their telephones are tapped and constantly
"Mugabe has an army of some 40 000 soldiers whom he could just
call to shoot people. The county has become much like communist China, with
everything totally controlled by the state."
Ncube said the crisis had
become so severe that professionals were moving abroad while the poor were
coming to South Africa and Botswana to find jobs. - Sapa
Harare - The main state witness in the treason trial of
Zimbabwe's opposition leader ended four weeks on the stand Monday, but
defence lawyers said they wanted to question him again, saying he withheld
key facts in an alleged plot to kill President Robert Mugabe.
attorney George Bizos said Ari Ben Menashe, a Canadian-based political
consultant who said he was asked to help arrange an assassination of Mugabe,
refused to reveal details of bank transfers involved, the identities of
government security officials he dealt with, and information about key
"The witness has withheld important information that would
enable us to lead rebuttal evidence," said Bizos, representing opposition
leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
Earlier, Ben Menashe told the court he
refused to hand over his passport for examination by the defence. The defence
asked for it to corroborate trips he said he made to Zimbabwe and the Congo,
where he said the opposition Movement for Democratic Change sought to enlist
Zimbabwean soldiers serving there to help stage a coup.
private. My travels are not a matter of public knowledge," Ben Menashe told
the High Court.
Ben Menashe has accused Tsvangirai and two other
opposition leaders of hiring him to help them kill Mugabe.
The opposition officials deny the charges, saying Ben Menashe was
secretly on the government payroll and framed them. Tsvangirai and his two
co-accused could face the death penalty if convicted.
why Ben Menashe had not mentioned the plan to recruit soldiers in Congo in
his main statement to Zimbabwean investigators.
The main evidence offered
by the state in the treason trial, now in its fifth week, is a secretly
recorded 4 1/2 hour video of a meeting between Tsvangirai and Ben Menashe in
Montreal on December 4, 2001.
Tsvangirai was charged with treason two
weeks before he ran against Mugabe in presidential elections last
Mugabe won the election, which international observers said was
swayed by rigging and political intimidation.
Ben Menashe has
testified he received US$200 000 from the government two weeks after he
handed the secretly recorded video to Zimbabwe agents.
however, that he was not working with the government to entrap the
opposition. - Sapa-AP
Witness: Mugabe Rival Wanted Death to Look
March 11 - By Cris
HARARE, Zimbabwe (Reuters) - A key witness in the treason
trial of Zimbabwe's Morgan Tsvangirai said on Tuesday the opposition leader
had proposed that President Robert Mugabe be assassinated in a way to make
it look like a natural death.
Tsvangirai and two senior
colleagues could face death sentences if convicted of plotting to kill
Mugabe. All three deny the charges.
"Mr. Tsvangirai said the
elimination must look like an accident or as natural causes, say a heart
attack," Tara Thomas, a personal assistant to star witness Ari Ben-Menashe,
told the High Court.
"It was his belief that if it did not look
like an accident or natural, the army would step in and there would be no
possibility of a smooth transitional arrangement," she said.
Thomas went into the witness box on Tuesday soon after Ben-Menashe left for
Canada after being cross-examined for over a month by Tsvangirai's defense
lawyer George Bizos.
The 32-year-old Thomas said she was employed
by Ben-Menashe's Dickens and Madson consultancy firm as a personal assistant
and research analyst. She accompanied her boss to a London meeting in
November 2001 where she said Tsvangirai talked about his plans to assassinate
Thomas said she was there to record the meeting, but
the tape-recording was hardly audible as nearby construction work had made
the meeting room "very noisy."
The state has submitted this
tape-recording as part of its evidence against Tsvangirai and his
But the government's treason case against the Movement
for Democratic Change leaders rests mainly on a grainy video tape of a
meeting in Canada between Ben-Menashe and Tsvangirai, who allegedly discussed
The tape was recorded just before
Ben-Menashe's firm signed a contract with the Zimbabwe
Ben-Menashe has said he taped the meeting solely to get
incriminating evidence for Mugabe's government, but he denies entrapping
The defense says the tape was doctored to implicate
Tsvangirai and discredit the opposition as Zimbabwe spirals into its worst
crisis since independence from Britain in 1980, which many blame on
Copyright 2003 Reuters News Service.
All rights reserved.
COLIN FREEZE - The key
Canadian witness in the treason trial of Zimbabwe's opposition leader said
Monday that his role in the case has wrecked his marriage, a remark that his
wife's divorce lawyer later rejected as "not true."
"I am in the
middle of a very, very nasty divorce case that has been created partly
because of this case," Ari Ben Menashe, a Montrealer, told a Harare court
Among other things, Mr. Ben Menashe said that his wife,
Haya Chetrit, has received "telephone calls from lots of people that if her
husband appeared as a witness in Zimbabwe, she and her child will be in
danger." This, he said, placed a strain on their marriage.
Contacted by The Globe and Mail, Ms. Chetrit's lawyer, Anne-France Goldwater,
said she was surprised to hear this. She checked with her client and said no
elaborate foreign controversies were involved in the
"This case [in Zimbabwe] has nothing to do
with anything between them," Ms. Goldwater said.
should ask himself, as a human being, what contributed to wrecking his
marriage. . . . We don't start blaming political opposition leaders several
thousand of kilometres away as to why we wreck our marriages," Ms. Goldwater
She denied that Ms. Chetrit received threatening telephone
calls from strangers.
There are, however, accounts of her own
husband threatening her.
This past August, after receiving
complaints from Mr. Ben Menashe's wife and mother-in-law, Quebec police
charged him with two counts of assault and one count of threatening death or
harm. That matter is still before the courts.
Israeli, Mr. Ben Menashe came to Canada more than 10 years ago after becoming
persona non grata in the United States. Shortly after arriving in Montreal he
married Ms. Chetrit, a lawyer who is now a stay-at-home mother.
Mr. Ben Menashe is one half of a controversial consultancy duo in Montreal
who once boasted of doing $50-million in global business.
not been charged with a crime in Canada until the recent charges. These
prompted him to sign an undertaking to "be of good behaviour" and to keep 300
metres away from his wife, according to documents obtained by Toronto-based
The investigative agency has been hired by
Zimbabwe's Movement for Democratic Change to probe Mr. Ben Menashe's
controversial business activities. He and the MDC were once on better
In December, 2001, Mr. Ben Menashe filmed MDC Opposition
Leader Morgan Tsvangirai by means of a camera hidden in the ceiling of a
Montreal boardroom. A month later he signed a contract to work for Mr.
Tsvangirai's archrival, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe.
videotape is now the basis for the treason charges against the opposition
leader and two other party members, all of whom could be executed if
Mr. Ben Menashe has been giving testimony in Harare for
weeks, and at times has shown frustration at the MDC's myriad attempts to
prove he is not a credible witness.
Monday, he told reporters
that his wife perpetrated a kidnapping of his young child, which precipitated
the charges against him.
Ms. Goldwater, the divorce lawyer, said
that is not true. Mr. Ben Menashe made allegations that resulted in Ms.
Chetrit's arrest, she said, but no charges were ever laid against her. "The
whole thing was trumped up to begin with," Ms. Goldwater said.
She added that her client didn't want publicity but rather hoped to set the
record straight after Mr. Ben Menashe's remarks were carried around the world
by news-wire services Monday.
I would like to share a letter we received from
a very dear black Zimbabwean friend living in exile in the UK - his letters
over the past three years have always been a great source of
We still have the little photo of the small hill on
Chipesa Farm, which you gave us a long time ago - the little hill at which L.
said she would like to be buried. Why am I telling you this? I am telling you
this because I have watched over and over again the BBC2 documentary, which
showed the destruction, rather, the raping of Chipesa Farm. Oh how I wish I
had never seen that documentary so I could live with the sweet memories of
the time we spent at Chipesa.
What sort of people have we become? We
are supposed to be the better-educated lot on the dark continent - but
surprise surprise we have become the most brutal and for all intents and
purposes the least civilized.
I hope one day - soon - every tainted
hand will be called upon to answer for their sins of commission and will
those of us who have stood silently on the sidelines live with an easy
conscience for the rest of our lives. Of course the tragedy of Chipesa has
been played out all over the country but, still, each situation remains
painfully unique in the gravity of it trauma for each individual family. So
last week another family lost their home. If I could find the right words to
say I would say them over and over and over again if that would lessen your
pain. All I can say is I am really sorry - and I love you all very
I don't know who wrote this, but
I thought you might find it of interest. A.R.BW.
night I listened to a radio programme on Stalin, it's now fifty years since
he expired. One of the world's really nasty people, he apparently killed more
people than anyone else, ever in history (an estimated sixty million
I heard Malcolm Muggerige describe a trip though Russia during
the time of the suppression of the Kulaks. The Kulaks were the commercial
farmers of Russia, and Stalin had decided to eliminate them and give their
farms to the peasants. Unfortunately, in Muggerige's words the peasants
were generally "too stupid, too greedy and too lazy" and all they did was
steal everything they could from the farms and destroy the
Muggerige described how their train passed a small station, and one
of the journalists threw a gnawed chicken bone out of the window. Immediately
the peasants standing on the platform all dived for the bone, as they
were starving. More than seven million Russians died of starvation due to
the elimination of the Kulaks, the skilled farmers who were the backbone
of Russian agricultural
Dear Colin and Hendrik, FOKUS interview - another
disappointment, but what more do we expect? Strange that you did not mention
the rule of law, that people are being arrested, tortured, raped and beaten
every day, the fact that land was not the issue but maintaining power at all
costs was, that it is a man-made genocide by starvation, that dialogue has
not saved lives or farms in the past and is not doing so now?! You did say
however that 341 farms had been section'd since the end of
Perhaps Bredenkamps advice is construed by the CFU as more
credible than that of others with a real and genuine stake in the country and
its future? When will the CFU have the courage of its convictions to call a
meeting of the remaining few farmers left in the country and seek their
mandate?. To think that you are representing your members is farcical - what
Regional Chairman meets with his members monthly before your councils - Mash
It would be appreciated if you would reply to Iain's
letter, my one of two weeks ago, and this one at the same time, as there are
questions that we need answered.
The road to success is not
straight, There is a curve called failure, A loop called
confusion, Speed bumps call friends, Red lights call enemies, and
caution lights called family, You will have flats called jobs, but if
you have a spare called DETERMINATION an engine called
PERSEVERANCE Insurance called FAITH and a driver called JESUS you
will make it to a place called
letters published on the open Letter Forum are the views and opinions of the
submitters, and do not represent the official viewpoint of Justice for
for Agriculture mailing list To subscribe/unsubscribe: Please write to firstname.lastname@example.org
Group Meets to Discuss Zimbabwe's Political Future Peta
Thornycroft Harare 11 Mar 2003, 16:22 UTC
For three days
last week, about 50 Zimbabweans met in South Africa to discuss the economic
and political situation in their country, as well as what steps are necessary
to establish real democracy there.
The Zimbabweans met at a game park
outside Pretoria. One of the remarkable things about the meeting, several of
the participants said, was that they had no fear of being arrested. If it had
taken place in their country, it would have been illegal.
was organized by the Institute for Democracy in South Africa, which played a
prominent role in that country's transition from apartheid to democracy, and
is now widely seen by analysts as an effective democracy watchdog. Members of
Zimbabwe's ruling ZANU-PF party had been invited to attend the conference,
For many of the participants, politicians, religious
leaders, trade unionists, commercial farmers, lawyers and human rights
activists, the meeting marked the first time they could discuss their
country's future in relaxed circumstances.
By the end of the three
days of talks, all the participants had reached a consensus that the best way
forward for Zimbabwe was the creation of a transitional authority leading to
new elections in the country.
Though all agreed that this was the best
way to proceed, they also agreed that a major obstacle remained. None of the
delegates was able to say how the ruling ZANU-PF party and its leader,
President Robert Mugabe, could be encouraged, or forced, to the negotiating
One of the final resolutions from the conference included a call
for the establishment of a group to help negotiate the difficult road to
a transitional authority.
Though the Zimbabweans at the meeting
considered it an important milestone for their country, several of them
expressed one disappointment. They say about a dozen members of South
Africa's ruling African National Congress had been invited to attend the
conference, but most declined at the last moment.
Short's Department for International Development has come under fire from
senior MPs over Zimbabwe.
Short was criticised for not
doing more to highlight the misery Zimbabwe is causing by prolonging food
shortages in southern Africa.
development committee urged her to do more to explain how the controversial
policies Mugabe's regime, such as land reform, were adding to the crisis
facing the region.
"We believe that the UK
government is failing to communicate clearly the ways in which Zimbabwe is
exacerbating food insecurity in southern Africa," they
"DfID should explain clearly the culpability of
Robert Mugabe's policies on land reform, and emphasise too that restrictions
placed on the movement of genetically-modified maize had hampered the relief
effort and contributed to the deteriorating situation across the
But the committee's report did praise Short
for "responding generously" to the crisis in Southern Africa last
Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique, Lesotho
and Swaziland are all facing a humanitarian crisis caused by food shortages
and the Aids epidemic.
The Mugabe government's
programme of land redistribution and only giving food to Zanu PF supporters
has left more than half the population in need of food
Added to this, 35 per cent of adults are
Short's department is expected to
spend £25 million this year on the humanitarian effort in
The committee warned that Africa is now the
only continent moving backwards and failing to reach the Millennium
MPs gave their support to the
department's strategy of taking a regional approach to giving early warnings
to the international community of food crises.
warned the same organised strategy was not being followed by international
governments and non-governmental organisations.
part of its evaluation of the UK response to the southern Africa emergency,
DfID should assess the effectiveness of its working relationships with
international, regional and national partners, including NGOs, and should
draw lessons for improved co-ordination," they said.
banks have hiked their minimum lending rates, ending months of market
The Zimbabwe Banking Corpora-tion and Kingdom Bank this week
increased their minimum lending rates to 45 percent, an increase of about 6
Other commercial banking houses are likely to take
cue and announce their own minimum lending rates in the near
The market had been bracing for a sharp increase in interest
rates after the announcement by the Reserve bank of Zimbabwe in November last
year of a new dual interest rate policy.
The policy, meant to
discourage non-essential and consumptive borrowing while at the same time
boosting production by offering concessionary interest rates for producers
and exporters, paved the way for market-determined lending
Borrowing for export and productive purposes now attract interest
rates of 5 percent and 15 percent, respectively.
It was largely
expected that a sharp rate increase was in the offing as banks have always
argued that the rate of interest should be linked to inflation if savings
were to be encouraged.
The year-on-year inflation figure as at the end of
January stood at 208 percent, making it virtually impossible for the interest
rates to track inflation as this would push a lot of people into
Bankers Association of Zimbabwe vice president Mr Jerry
Tsodzai denied that there had been confusion in the sector on the lending
rates following the RBZ's dual interest rate policy, saying it was up to
individual banks to determine their own rates on the basis of their
assessment of the cost of funds.
"There was no confusion whatsoever,
except that banks were assessing the cost of funds on the money market before
coming up with appropriate rates.
"As you know, the rates are currently
on the upward move and individual banks will take their positions basing on
their own assessment of the cost of funds," Mr Tsodzai said.
said the new rates were indicative of firming rates on the money market,
saying the trend should continue unless the Govern-ment comes to the market
"That is not likely to happen in the foreseeable future as the
Government might feel it has sufficiently met the need to finance the
agrarian reforms and might not need cheap funds at the moment," market
analyst Mr Loyd Kazunga said.
He added that the movement of the
lending rates was in the right direction towards closing down the gap between
the rates of inflation and interest.
"The moves will provide an incentive
for savers and, in turn, a growing pool of savings is an incentive for
investment, while at the same time speculative borrowing will be discouraged
as this is inflationary.
"So this development, coupled with a positive
response from the supply side, could stabilise prices and, consequently, slow
down inflation," Mr Kazunga said.
The attractiveness of the return on
savings would, however, depend on the margin between deposits and lending
rates, which is usually a huge gap.
11th March, 2003 Democratically elected Parliamentarian attacked by Zanu PF
Abednigo Malinga, the MDC Member of Parliament for Silobela was
last night attacked by seven ZANU PF thugs at a fuel station in Kwekwe. The
incident took place at around 18.30 hours. Honorable Malinga was filling his car
at a fuel station when seven ZANU PF youths emerged and demanded that he should
not fill his car.
The ZANU PF youths accused Hon Malinga and the MDC of
advocating for sanctions against Zimbabwe and demanded that he should not fill
his car. As he was walking towards his car with the intention of leaving the
filling station, he was hit on the head with an empty bottle. He fled into the
darkness and sought help from the police who took him to his car.
Despite the fact that the police had stayed behind guarding the vehicle,
the ZANU PF criminals still managed to smash the front windscreen of the vehicle
and even attempted to burn the vehicle. A docket has been opened at Kwekwe
Central police station.
Malinga was rushed to Redcliff Medical Hospital
where he is receiving treatment.
This incident serves to demonstrate the
extent to which ZANU PF criminals are holding the country at ransom. We condemn
this criminal act and call upon the police to ensure that these criminals are
brought to book
Paul Themba Nyathi Secretary for Information and