End of the run
3/12/2003 10:17:55 PM (GMT
By Margaret Chinowaita and Angela Makamure
18-day run of Elliot Tumbwi, the director of Unity Furniture, and
Mapfumo, accused of murdering Ellen Zendanemago, who fell to her
death from a
high-rise building in Harare last month, has ended.
The pair were
arrested on Monday at a farm in Norton.
Harare magistrate Judith Tsamba
yesterday remanded Tumbwi and Mapfumo,
Zendanemago's former friend, out of
custody to 28 March on $150 000 bail
each, when they appeared in court facing
Zendanemago was Tumbwi's secretary.
Tumbwi, 45, and Mapfumo, 30, were ordered to continue residing at
in Mandara and Chitungwiza, respectively, and to report twice a
week at their
respective nearest police stations.
Prosecutor Mehluli Tshuma said
that on 22 February this year, Tumbwi
and Mapfumo are suspected to have
caused the death of Zendanemago.
It is alleged the two pushed
Zendanemago through a window on the 7th
floor of Trustee House, along Samora
Machel Avenue, from where she fell to
earlier collected Zendanemago from her Cranborne home on
Business came to a near-standstill at Trustee House yesterday
workers streamed out of their offices when Tumbwi and Mapfumo were
to the building and taken to the 7th floor by the police for
Their arrival was not without drama either.
Zendanemago's cousin, Kenny Chivandire, who was in the company of the
attacked Tumbwi as he was making indications in his office.
Chivandire was restrained by the police, who temporarily handcuffed
prevent him from meting out his own justice on Tumbwi.
emotionally-charged Chivandire broke down in tears soon after the
removed the handcuffs in the car park at the back of Trustee House.
Daily Record (UK)
ASYLUM SEEKER AIDS CON Mar 12 2003
can fix fake HIV tests for illegals
AN ASYLUM seeker is selling false AIDS-test results to
refugees for £1500 a
Zimbabwean Maggie Sawyer provides
immigrants with documents saying they are
HIV- positive to help their bid to
stay in Scotland.
Asylum seekers have exceptional grounds to remain in
Britain if they are
being treated for HIV or AIDS on the NHS and can prove
there is no medical
treatment in their home countries. The medical
are like gold dust to healthy refugees desperate to boost their
winning permission to stay in Scotland.
And Sawyer, 36, is
only too happy to exploit the demand for false papers
among her fellow asylum
The mother-of-three maintains a respectable facade, representing
which supports genuine HIV and AIDS patients' asylum
She has even attended women's conferences and lobbied MSPs on
infected women and children.
But Sawyer - who is HIV
positive - also runs a sick money-making enterprise
off the backs of
We found her out when a Record investigation team
posed as asylum seekers
looking for ways to improve their chances of staying
We approached Sawyer claiming we had been told she was the
person who could
help us - and we were swiftly offered false AIDS diagnoses
for hard cash.
Sawyer told us: "I can get you the stuff to say you have
HIV - a false test.
I know people who can arrange it.
"I'll handle it
all. I can get the paperwork and everything you need for a
total cost of
Sawyer and her three children are facing deportation from the UK
immigration authorities rejected her claim for political
They later discovered she was working illegally in
She dreamed up her cash-for-AIDS-papers con to get money after
stopped her benefits.
A female source said: "Maggie claims
she can fix it for anyone to get a
false HIV case for £1500.
she pays a Nigerian contact £1500 in London to arrange it in the
the authorities will be more sympathetic to asylum seekers.
the contact arranges for a blood sample from someone who really
positive to be submitted for testing."
Sawyer has enlisted campaigners at
Glasgow-based HIV support charity Body
Positive Strathclyde into fighting her
case to remain in Scotland.
She even represented them on Monday at an
International Women's Day
conference in Edinburgh with Social Justice
Minister Margaret Curran.
There, Sawyer handed out leaflets promoting the
charity and protested that
African HIV women would die from the lack of
medical treatment if sent back
to their homelands.
attends the Brownlee Centre - an HIV outpatients' clinic at
Hospital in Glasgow.
She told the conference: "While many women are busy
enjoying Women's Day
there are others who are crying out for help, and
"Some of these women are facing deportation and some have
children with HIV.
"If they are sent back to Africa there is no treatment
for them. It is like
sending them back to the gas chamber. Most of the women
who are HIV positive
have been raped yet when they come here on a political
issue they are
refused to be allowed to stay."
But just hours earlier,
Sawyer had been using the terrible illness to make
She told our undercover reporter she could arrange a bogus HIV
test for a
female African we claimed was trying to get from Uganda to
She said that for a cash payment, the fraud would be carried
out with the
help of a Jamaican fixer based in Glasgow and a London-based
Sawyer said: "The guy is in London who does this, I know him.
I tell the
Glasgow go- between I want A-B-C and he knows me.
be helping, I'll go through with them. I did it already with three
from Kenya and Ghana. Everything is included in £1500."
Sawyer's rackets is selling false passports for £100 to African
to flee their homeland.
She told one of our investigators she could get
her a false Malawi passport
in order to help her travel to
The scam involves a contact on the Malawi side providing forged
Sawyer told us: "I can get a passport no problem.
long as she has money to travel to Malawi and £100 to pay for the
can help - definitely.
"I can get her a new Malawian passport because now
in Malawi, they don't
require a visa.
"She comes here as if she's
coming on holiday. When the lady is in Malawi I
tell you where you put the
money in an account.
"All you have to tell me is when is she ready. I
make a phone call to Malawi
and that's it."
Sawyer has told friends
she lived in Zimbabwe and South Africa before
fleeing to Britain two years
Her three sons - aged 15, 11 and five - joined her later from
immigration authorities put the family up in a high- rise flat
south side last year.
But her application for asylum was
unsuccessful and she now faces
deportation after losing an appeal. Sawyer
complains that the National
Asylum Support Service stopped her cash benefits
after discovering she was
The Record has discovered
that Sawyer was working for Monarch Security Ltd
as a security guard at a
Glasgow health centre.
A spokesman for the company in Tollcross confirmed
they had employed Sawyer
for two months last year.
He said: "We
thought she was above board but she was unreliable and didn't
turn up at
jobs. We just got rid of her."
Last night, a female former friend of
Sawyer said: "I have a lot of sympathy
for asylum seekers but what Maggie
Sawyer is doing is a disgrace.
"She is doing nothing to help the image of
genuine refugees in need."
When we confronted Sawyer with the results of
our inquiries, she refused to
But a spokesman for Body
Positive pledged to investigate.
Senior project worker Collins McKay
said: "If someone set up a scam outside,
it's personal responsibility - but
we would find it unacceptable."
Record : The fake HIV test you mentioned, you can get us
Sawyer: I can do this for you. You pay £1500. I have a guy who
test and I'll organise things
Record: What do we get for
Sawyer: Everything - the paperwork is included in the £1500.
All I need is
the money - it's as simple as that.
Let's Protect the Uninfected
March 12, 2003
Posted to the web March 12,
Retired Brigadier General David Chiweza
It is two
years ago when we launched the Citizens Aids Survival Trust
year has passed in the usual manner - so much talking about
HIV infection on
one hand and increasing infections and deaths on the other.
demonstrate the sense of despair, many early HIV campaigners lost
enthusiasm and have since left for achievable goals
In the last twelve years, we have watched HIV infection
thirty times from 100 000 in 1990 to approximately 3
million in 2002.
According to the latest updates from the US government's
Intelligence Agency (CIA) Fact Book, Zimbabwe is now losing more than
000 people a year to this deadly virus.
With all the deaths that
Zimbabweans witness daily around them, who can
The question is: When will Zimbabweans conclude that this
amount of death is
unacceptable? When will talk translate to
When CAST was launched two years ago, it was clear that no
organisation in Zimbabwe had a prevention strategy similar to
Many of the current HIV prevention programmes do not amount to
programmes per se.
Of the 130 HIV/Aids organisations
analysed by CAST, only a handful had
active HIV prevention programmes in
voluntary HIV counselling and testing
Most of the
organisations which purported to be into HIV prevention were
involved in pre and post infection programmes such as
dissemination, care and treatment of people living with HIV and
The much relied upon voluntary counselling and testing programme
much like the proverbial story of one man who was trying to make
difference by throwing back into the sea one shellfish at a time when
sea is simultaneously washing millions ashore.
Much of his heroic
act is praiseworthy but common sense tells you that you
can't save the
species that way until every other person is picking up his
or her shellfish
and throwing it back into the sea.
It is for the above reasons that CAST
has continued and will continue to be
relevant to the HIV situation facing
the nation today.
For example, the most shocking revelation this year is
that the VCT
strategy, upon which the fate of the nation heavily relies,
managed to test
only 110 000 people in Zimbabwe from its inception in 1999 to
This amounts to 37 000 HIV tests per year or 3 000 persons
per month or 100
people per day against the backdrop of the existence of 3
carriers in the nation daily.
CAST has always insisted
that "We must defend the present uninfected persons
as if we are defending
the last 1 000 of our people".
The danger posed by the current national
mood is that there may never be any
commitment to defend, protect and
preserve that remnant of our people for
It seems we have
all resigned to death and share the comfort of a group
fate. To be certain
that this will not be the case, CAST urges the nation to
threshold, that is,the point of infection levels that triggers
of emergency measures.
What we would like to see is the rekindling of a
selfless commitment to a
national existence, even if it means that the
benefits will not accrue to us
as a generation.
We can no longer rest
in the comfort that the dead will not be held
We owe our
existence to those who went before us. We dread that we are in
leaving a heritage of a dying nation to the future generation.
current HIV trend continues for another decade, the nation will
We in CAST take this opportunity of our second anniversary to
proclaim a strategy that is biblically, scientifically,
This year we will continue to
uphold this as the only practical response to
our HIV problem at
At the same time we will aggressively question the negation
constitutional provisions on infectious disease prevention and
abrogation of provisions of the Health Act.
It is our sincere hope
that by continuously questioning and pointing to the
truth we may one day win
the support of those who have the power to reverse
the undesirable destiny
set before us.
This, to all CAST members, is a duty that has been carried
out with a lot of
sacrifice of time and resources.
At a time when most
non-governmental organisations have retreated due to
budgetary cutbacks by
their sponsors, I am grateful to God that CAST members
and well-wishers have
contributed to its continued existence.
In the last year, CAST has
continued to share the vision with stakeholders
at all levels. For the first
time CAST reached the rural folk with its
Highlights of the
year's vision-sharing activities included the high profile
dialogue with the
National Aids Council. Many other stakeholder groups were
rise to substantial capacity building for the organisation.
life and recognises that the measures it recommends are a lesser
evil to the
inhuman destruction of life taking place.
Through the "embryo effect"
strategy, CAST hopes to extricate the nation's
minds from an "awareness
campaign syndrome" to a "compliance campaign".
The "embryo effect"
strategy will bring in the elements of accountability,
manageability by all citizens.
It is my sincere hope that all CAST
members will this year emphasise this
theme as the guiding principles of HIV
prevention from this year forthwith.
The verdict is clear. "Do not blame
HIV, question the solution".
A virus does not have the brains to outwit a
determined human being. The
nation desperately needs the liberating
experience of valuing life more than
basic human rights.
Only when we
begin to value life will we begin to win against HIV.
Evidence that life
is not valued is found among those who say that it is
better to die than be
tested for HIV; it is better to lose the whole nation
to death than to lose
our right to liberty and; we can't implement this
programme because we are
Well, as we go into our third year, we would like to warn the
you lose your people you will cease to be a nation
Presently, America will send men and women to die for a threat to
is presently only perceived.
In Zimbabwe, the HIV damage to
the nation is currently at the level thirty
times the lives killed by the
nuclear bomb that was dropped at Hiroshima.
What is your response?
there is any test to a people's wisdom, if there is any inclination
adaptability, survival and any sense of sacrifice, it is needed now
than tomorrow. Anything short of that simply means we have
Under these circumstances, no amount of fire, no
amount of prodding and no
amount of stimuli will cause us to react to this
state of extreme suffering.
We invite all who have the capacity to
comprehend, to act and to guide work
with an HIV prevention organisation that
is local, original and seriously
committed to stopping death and
To the nation, all CAST members, friends, leaders and
nation's future lies in the efforts of those who choose to
those who choose to be inconvenienced rather than be
Such people are the ones who understand that not testing HIV is a
another unsuspecting neighbour. In all this, let God be your
deny yourself for the good of others. Zimbabwe must
About the author: Retired Brigadier General David Chiweza is the
director of the Citizens Aids Survival Trust.
Wages cannot rise if economy is in
3/12/2003 10:20:20 PM (GMT +2)
latest calculations show that 80 percent of Zimbabweans are living
poverty datum line (PDL).
In practical terms, this means that the
majority are living from hand
The calculations also show
that the inflation rate is now more than
200 percent. This means that not
many of the 20 percent living above the PDL
can buy enough food every month
to feed their families.
As for those living below the PDL, the
inflation rate has probably
reduced them to scavengers for food in the
dustbins of the affluent. For, in
the midst of this desolation, there are
still pockets of obscene wealth,
particularly among the ruling
But this graphic portrait of a nation in the grip of the
in its history cannot be isolated from the incompetence of a
which insists on planning for the future without taking account of
realities on the ground.
For instance, it is highly
desirable for all workers to be given a
boost in their wages. Most of them
cannot cope with life on their present
As a result many are
up to their necks in debt and, according to the
statistics, are being hauled
into court for failing to honour their
The rise in both white and blue-collar crime cannot be isolated from
grinding poverty into which a once booming economy has been plunged by
corrupt, inept and
the minimum wage, as suggested in proposals tabled before
National Forum of the government, business and labour last
week, can be
if it is accompanied by a commitment by the government
to re-enter the
Industry and commerce
are short of foreign currency for vital inputs
to generate wealth. Their
profit margins have been slashed by the decline in
the economy, plagued by
shortages of fuel and foreign currency, which drive
Even if they wanted to, they could not increase their workers' wages
meaningful levels not without resorting to retrenchments.
time the economy goes through a dark patch and this is one of
patches ever the tendency by commerce and industry is to hold
down wage rises
and freeze recruitment altogether.
For any employer to raise wages
by 60 percent right now would almost
be suicidal, unless they are among the
fortunate few benefiting from
government largess, most likely based on
perceived political correctness.
What the government has to accept
is that the key shortages in the
economy fuel and foreign currency could flow
back into the country if its
political policies became more
The rest of the world, excluding parts of Africa
which insist that
good governance is alien to the continent, is waiting to
politically and economically, once the government stops
violence against its
own people, against the judiciary, against political
opponents and against
the private media.
The government may do
lots of chest-thumping over President Mugabe's
performance at the recent
Non-Aligned Movement summit in Kuala Lumpur, or
the endorsement by the Sadc
Council of Ministers in Luanda of the appeals by
Presidents Thabo Mbeki and
Olusegun Obasanjo that sanctions against Zimbabwe
be lifted on the nebulous
grounds that things have returned to normal.
But the people of
Zimbabwe know the truth: there is nothing normal
about political violence,
about the politicisation of donated food aid
distribution, about fuel and
foreign currency shortages, which translate
into starvation and death for
Fortunately, the rest of the world recognises the
misery into which
the government has plunged the people.
government itself may not take steps to normalise its relations
with the rest
of the world. It may be up to the people to take up the
MDC youth feared dead
3/12/2003 9:36:44 PM
From Chris Gande in Bulawayo
Mloyi, an MDC youth, is feared dead after he was kidnapped by
veterans in Nkayi on Saturday.
Mloyi's clothes, including his
underwear, were on Sunday found where
he was believed to have been abducted.
The incident occurred at Nkabayinde
Business Centre a few kilometres from
Nkayi Growth Point.
Several other MDC youths, who were preparing
for a rally to have been
addressed by the opposition party's vice-president,
Gibson Sibanda, escaped
from a group of armed war veterans who are former
The rally was cancelled after the group of 20 marauding
veterans went berserk at Nkayi, assaulting suspected MDC
Villagers who witnessed the incident said the Zanu PF
by a former dissident identified as Khiwa, pounced on Mloyi
and other youths
as he was putting up posters.
Khiwa was one of
the former dissidents who launched a reign of terror
in the run-up to the
2002 presidential election, controversially won by
The group allegedly dragged Mloyi to a District Development
which had no number plates. After brief consultations with State
agents prowling the area, they bundled him into the
The MDC said a report was made at Nkayi Police Station, but
the police refused to comment.
Paul Themba Nyathi, the
MDC spokesman, said the party was concerned
that Mloyi, who is a former ward
chairman, could have been killed by the
"We are equally astounded that Jonathan Moyo (the
Minister of State
for Information and Publicity) has the audacity to call
this a normal and
peaceful country where innocent young men are kidnapped in
their crime being that they support the opposition,'' Nyathi
No legal recourse over newly-listed farms
3/12/2003 9:53:36 PM (GMT +2)
Justice for Agriculture (JAG) is concerned that there are some
especially those with recent Section 8 orders, some of which may be
reissues who have no procedural or irregularity grounds for
A legal communique issued by the organisation said: "It
is of concern
also that many farmers in this position are financially
exposed with a crop in the ground, possibly exacerbated by the
they did not receive financial assistance from their banks this
JAG recommended that farmers get their legal ducks in a row
light of recent evictions, many of which resulted in farmers only
allowed to remove their household goods and the fact that litigation
time. "This is important in that the foundation of future legal
(that is, High Court injunctions, restricting orders, eviction
contempt of court rulings culminating in civil damages litigation)
remaining the legal rightful owner of your property. This is
pertinent if one has a crop in the ground and doubly so when faced
seven-day reissue Section 8 order."
JAG said those
farmers who had no procedural irregularity grounds for
challenge should seriously consider bringing an individual
challenge along the lines of the Quinnell case, citing one or
two of the
constitutional issues therein that pertain to them.
said: "This will be relatively inexpensive ($120
000-$150 000) in
most of the legal investigative work has been done with the
"Likewise with the Quinnell case being imminent
there is little
likelihood of one's coming to court in that the Quinnell case
resolve the issue. Knowing this there is a great deal of merit
the same interim relief as was granted to Quinnell in the
challenge along this line will, in conjunction with the
Justice Cheda ruling, keep one on the farm."
The commonique however warned: "Failing this it will at least allow
removal of moveable assets and crops. Retrospective challenge after
is far less effective."
Ben-Menashe allowed to leave
9:37:22 PM (GMT +2)
was finally discharged and allowed to return to his
Montreal base yesterday
after a record 22 days on the stand as the key
prosecution witness in the
treason trial of MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai,
and two senior party
The Canadian-based political consultant wore a wide grin
as he stepped
down from the witness stand after he was discharged by High
Still smiling, an obviously
relieved Ben-Menashe walked over to the
bar to say goodbye to the prosecution
team led by deputy Attorney-General
George Bizos said the defence had no objection to Ben-Menashe
subject to his undertaking to return if he is recalled by the
the defence find new evidence to rebut the charges.
last week, he stunned the court when he accused both the
prosecution and the
defence lawyers of abusing him by keeping him on the
witness stand for too
He begged Garwe to immediately release him.
sprung another surprise on Monday, taking the judge to task
the judge release him "as you promised here in this court".
trial resumed in the afternoon with evidence from Tara Thomas, the
The 32-year-old university drop-out and former
bartender recounted how
she clandestinely tape-recorded the meeting at the
Royal Automobile Club in
London between Tsvangirai, Ben-Menashe and Rupert
"I had the recorder in my purse and I pressed the 'record'
She alleged Tsvangirai announced at the
beginning of the meeting that
the agenda was to arrange the elimination of
"And the transitional government would follow,"
she said. "One of the
things that stuck in my mind is that in order to have a
the elimination had to appear to be an accident or as
natural otherwise the
army would step in to defend the President."
Thomas and Ben-Menashe concurred in their description of Johnson as
ex-Rhodesian and an ex-member of the Selous Scouts."
his co-accused Welshman Ncube and Renson Gasela said,
in their defence
outline, Rupert Johnson approached Gasela claiming he was a
Dickens and Madson and that he could assist the MDC in raising
funds for the
presidential election campaign.
Ben-Menashe disowned Johnson saying
he was a member of the MDC.
The trial continues today.
Treason: Witness wavering
12/03/2003 21:04 -
Harare - A state witness in the treason trial of Zimbabwe's
leader testified on Wednesday she could not be sure opposition
tried to kill her, as he employer insisted in his
Tara Thomas, an assistant of Ari Ben Menashe, the
consultant who claims opposition leader Morgan
Tsvangirai sought his help to
assassinate the Zimbabwean president Robert
Mugabe, said she was hurt in a
bicycle accident near her home in Montreal in
July last year.
Ben Menashe, in his month long testimony in the Harare
High Court, said
Thomas was injured in an assassination attempt by the
opposition in a
Montreal park to stop her testifying against
Thomas, 32, said: "one second I was on my bike, the next I
was on the ground
in great pain and shock ... It was a very strange accident.
I haven't fallen
off my bike since I was seven."
She then saw two men
standing over her.
"They were black men. They started speaking to me in
English. They didn't
have French accents," she told Judge Paddington
The men walked away when a passing motorist stopped and offered to
to the hospital, she said.
She said private investigators
hired by Ben Menashe linked the incident to
English speakers from Zimbabwe, a
former British colony.
Garwe agreed it was inadmissible hearsay after
defence attorney George Bizos
protested the private investigators were paid
by Ben Menashe and there was
evidently no official police
Thomas said she was not sure if the incident was linked to the
Ben Menashe has accused Tsvangirai and two other opposition
hiring him to help them kill Mugabe.
officials deny the charges, saying Ben Menashe was secretly
on the government
payroll and framed them. The three could face the death
Tsvangirai was charged with treason two
weeks before he ran against Mugabe
in presidential elections last
Mugabe, who has been president since Zimbabwe became independent
Britain in 1980, won the election, which international observers said
swayed by rigging and political intimidation.
Thomas said she
worked for Ben Menashe as an assistant and researcher. She
was asked to help
with two secretly recorded meetings in which the state
conspired to have Mugabe killed and take over power.
Thomas testified on
Tuesday that a tape recorder hidden in her purse
malfunctioned during a key
portion of a London meeting at which she said the
assassination plot was
Because that audio recording failed, another meeting held on
2001 was secretly videotaped at the consultancy firm's Montreal
Menashe said he recorded the meeting to gather evidence on the
plot so he could hand it over to Canadian, US and Zimbabwean
He insisted he was not working with the government to entrap
He has since testified he received US$200 000 from the
two weeks after he gave the secretly recorded tape to
Defence lawyers say the grainy video, also of poor audio
quality, does not
contain any mention by Tsvangirai of an illegal conspiracy.
Tony Yengeni, a prosthetic leg and a
3/12/2003 9:43:55 PM (GMT +2)
back when, quite a number of Zimbabweans always thought South
cleverer than they were even during apartheid, which the South
endured long after Zimbabweans had wrested power from the white
A Zimbabwean who spent time in South Africa, either
studying or making
money as a waiter or a tsotsi (petty criminal), was
near-reverence back home: he supposedly knew so much more about
money, women, music and how to obtain all three without committing
Zimbabweans who aped South Africans in dress,
music, song and dance
were highly admired by their peers. In those days South
Africa was the place
to be, to dream of, to imitate.
As I have
said elsewhere, a Zimbabwean who had a South African
girlfriend, let alone a
South African wife, had "arrived". Today, little has
changed, except that we
hear that South African women prefer Zimbabwean men
as their permanent
Zimbabwean women will probably howl with derisive
laughter at this,
but their men are supposed to be more sensitive,
considerate and chivalrous
than South African men according to the South
But the good news for today is that a young
trader claims to have tamed the meanness of her South
African customers by
using good, old-fashioned bluff.
customer kept postponing payment for her doilies by
pleading: "I have no
money today. Come next week." This went on for weeks.
Then, at the end of her
tether with the duplicity, this ingenious woman
thought up a grand strategy
to recover her money.
She steeled herself for a real showdown with
the customer, a typical
male chauvinist. As if in a trance, she told her
customer: "If you don't pay
me now, I swear you will follow me to Zimbabwe to
pay me. Your life will be
so unbearable you will search high and low for me
in Zimbabwe. I swear this
on my mother's grave."
Then she left
the customer without waiting for a response. On the way
to the bus terminus,
she heard frantic footsteps behind her. It was the
customer, waving thousands
of rands in his hand. "Here is the money. Please
take it." Fear of the
Unknown was etched on his face.
The next customer had a prosthetic
leg. He too kept promising to pay
her but never did. She threatened him with
lightning, but he would not
budge. So she grabbed the prosthetic leg, which
he had detached from his
thigh, and walked off to the bus stop. He would not
follow her, managing
only to shout himself hoarse as she strode off into the
The bus had just arrived when the man ploughed into her,
having used a
pair of old crutches to hop after her. "Take the money,
please!" he said
from the ground, the crutches at sixes and sevens, eyes
out of breath. "Take the money and give me back my leg,
She scored a good one for Zimbabwean women and all women,
International Day was celebrated last week.
Earlier in the
month, I spent time in Sri Lanka, at one time ruled by
one of the most
formidable politicians in the world Sirimavo Bandaranaike,
Solomon, was assassinated. Today, the president of Sri Lanka
is her daughter,
Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga. We didn't get to see
her at the
Commonwealth Press Union (CPU) Editors' Forum in Kandy or the
conference in Colombo. She lost an eye in a bomb blast in an
attempt launched by the Tamil Tigers of Eelam, who waged a
rebel war for 20
years until last year.
Sri Lanka, the former Ceylon of Ceylon tea
fame, is a beautiful,
resplendent island of 19 million people.
Wherever Commonwealth people presidents, prime ministers,
lawyers or doctors meet these days, three countries dominate
Zimbabwe and its mentors, South Africa and Nigeria.
Sri Lanka was no different: why were the South African and Nigerian
pretending that their colleague, President Mugabe, ran a
democracy when it was clear to all the man was clinging to
power through the
use of violence and intimidation against the opposition,
the judiciary, the
legislature, the media and the people?
For the umpteenth time, I
was reminded of the only meeting I had with
Thabo Mbeki. It was back in the
1970s at The Times of Zambia and he was a
big wheel in the African National
Congress (ANC), which he now leads.
We met in the newspaper offices
in Cairo Road, the main street of
Lusaka. We talked politics, specifically
the South African liberation
movements' politics all were then based in
Lusaka, including the ANC and the
Pan-Africanist Congress (PAC), then admired
because of the charisma of its
founder, Robert Mangaliso
Kenneth Kaunda, then President of Zambia, had a soft spot
for the ANC,
just as he favoured Joshua Nkomo's Zapu over Zanu. My
recollection of our
conversation is a little hazy, but I believe Mbeki
pleaded for fair coverage
of the ANC in our newspapers, as all the other
liberation movements did, The
Times and its Sunday stable-mate being the
largest-selling newspapers in the
It would not
surprise me if Mbeki had little recollection of our
conversation back then.
But I have always wondered how he would react today
if I asked him if he had
any idea then that he would end up as president, or
that a compatriot of his
named Tony Yengeni would earn the opprobrium of
many Zimbabweans for
endorsing so unreservedly the 2000 parliamentary
I would ask him about his African Renaissance dream and
believes a man like Yengeni fits into it, as an example of an
upright and clean-living South African
I would then proceed to ask him if Yengeni, whose
has been the subject of media comment, is the archetypical
Yengeni was recently embroiled in a scandal, in which he was
eventually brought to court on charges of corruption, forgery
related to a massive arms deal.
Yengeni was the
chief whip of the ANC in parliament, a pretty
influential political job. To
escape prison, he made a deal with the law,
including his resignation from
parliament, the details of which are neither
here nor there.
many Zimbabweans, Yengeni's humiliation must give Mbeki cause for
his relentless defence of Mugabe's policies of violence against his
Like the cross-border trader who took her South African
prosthetic leg to force him to pay up, Zimbabweans may have the
Tony Yengeni must be wondering day and
night if the fates would have
been kinder to him if he had not endorsed the
violent, non-free, non-fair
2000 election in Zimbabwe.
From ICG, 10
The one new element that suggests early and positive change in
Zimbabwe’s critical situation may just be possible involves reports that began
to surface in January 2003 that senior ZANU-PF officials were seriously
exploring possible retirement scenarios for President Mugabe. Widespread
enthusiasm greeted the notion that Mugabe might step down. The news of a
potential deal boosted Zimbabwe’s stock exchange. A subsequent poll by the
Harare-based Mass Public Opinion Institute found 65 per cent of respondents
wanted Mugabe, who is 79 and whose term runs to 2008, to announce his plans for
retirement immediately. As the story of ZANU-PF manoeuvring began to emerge, it
was learned that in November 2002, Fr. Fidelis Mukonori, a Jesuit priest in
Harare, approached Morgan Tsvangirai on behalf of Mugabe, with a message that
the president was considering retirement and wanted to meet with the MDC leader.
Although nothing came of it, retired Zimbabwean Army Colonel Lionel Dyck
confirmed to ICG that he spoke to Tsvangirai a month later on behalf of Speaker
of the House and former head of the security services Emmerson Mnangagwa and
armed forces chief General Vitalis Zvinavashe. Both men have been close to
Mugabe and appeared to indicate that they could offer assurances that he would
accept early retirement and possibly exile. Since Mugabe was known to have been
saying privately that he was willing to step down, and key elements within the
ruling party had indicated a desire to break the political impasse, this
initiative appeared somewhat credible. Colonel Dyck, at the behest of the two,
inquired if Tsvangirai would be willing to agree that, if he retired, the
president and other top ZANU-PF officials would have immunity from prosecution
for human rights abuses and corruption. Tsvangirai was also reportedly asked if
he would be willing to join a transitional authority if Mugabe left power.
Tsvangirai rejected this offer and, concerned that a trap was
being set and he was being used in a power struggle within ZANU-PF, revealed it
to journalists and civic leaders. Tsvangirai told ICG that the offer was
unacceptable and Zimbabwe would need to return to democracy through a process
that was transparent and accountable, not a backroom deal that presupposed
Mnangagwa as the new president. The MDC and most civil society leaders have
consistently argued that top officials of Mugabe’s government must be held
accountable for their actions, particularly Mnangagwa and Zvinavashe, who were
involved in the mass killings in Matabeleland in the 1980s and, more recently,
in the looting of diamonds in the Congo. Tsvangirai has told ICG, with some
ambiguity, that the MDC would not pursue the prosecution of Mugabe should he
step down, but also that any decision would need to be fully and openly debated
in a national forum. He has not extended any kind of promise to other members of
ZANU-PF. There are two problems with
any amnesty or non-prosecution assurance. First, it would be a difficult sell to
some members of the MDC, who want Mugabe held accountable. Secondly, Mugabe does
not trust the Tsvangirai’s ability to make good on immunity since he knows there
are Zimbabweans who would pursue action against him whatever deal was struck. At
the least, any arrangement would probably not preclude the possibility that
Mugabe could be investigated and the likely highly embarrassing results made
The revelations surrounding Dyck’s mission brought into the
open long-suspected divisions within the ruling party. Two camps have emerged in
the struggle for post-Mugabe leadership of ZANU-PF. Mnangagwa and Zvinavashe are
on one side, while on the other are retired Army Commander Solomon "Rex" Mujuru,
Defence Minister Sydney Sekeramayi, current Army Commander Constantine Chiwenga,
Air Force Commander Perence Shiri, sacked Finance Minister Simba Makoni (whom
Mujuru has been pushing as successor to Mugabe), former Home Affairs Minister
John Nkomo, ZANU-PF businessman Ibbo Mandaza, and elder statesman Eddison
Zvobgo. This second group seeks initially to consolidate its control of the army
by ensuring that Shiri succeeds Zvinavashe when the latter retires this summer,
though the impatience of the top military brass over the political stalemate is
growing, adding to the general aura of uncertainty. If this manoeuvre succeeds,
the group will then concentrate on ensuring that Mnangagwa is not well
positioned to succeed Mugabe. A third group will ultimately play only a spoiler
role at most. It is led by the trio of Information Minister Jonathan Moyo,
Agriculture Minister Joseph Made and Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa. None of
these has a major support base inside the party, much less in the broader
public, but they have retained President Mugabe’s favour due to their vociferous
defence of his policies.
Conventional wisdom has always had Mnangagwa as Mugabe’s
hand-picked successor, but the recent events have placed this in doubt. It
appears that his faction approached the MDC without the president’s blessing on
something of a fishing expedition. Recent Mugabe statements ("there are those
that seek to divide us from within") indicate that some things have gone on
behind his back. He said that the plot to exile him could have been orchestrated
by ZANU-PF officials: "Those rumours came from people who wanted to reverse our
land reform program, or maybe it came from some of our party members who want to
sow seeds of division". As Africa Confidential concluded, "Mugabe's
greatest fear is an exit strategy he doesn't control: that the mass food and
fuel shortages, along with the rising death toll from starvation and HIV/AIDS,
will finally propel his opponents onto the streets for a Ceaucescu-like
showdown". If Mugabe directed the feelers to Tsvangirai, it is likely he is
indeed ready to retire; if not, then it is probable that the long knives are
already being drawn in the succession battle. Mugabe may also see these events
as a plot by the Karanga ethnic group, to which Mnangagwa, Zvinavashe, Mutumwa
Mawere (a key business associate of Mnangagwa in Zimbabwe and the Congo), and
Foreign Minister Stan Mudenge belong. Other factions within ZANU-PF are stoking
his fears about the intentions of Mnangagwa and Zvinavashe. The degree to which
Mugabe will be able to control the fallout from these manoeuvres is
General Zvinavashe raised the stakes early in 2003 by
announcing that the "military will assist" in addressing the economic crisis in
Zimbabwe. "[W]e must do something about it … it is not right to keep quiet and
let nature take its course". While this could be a bluff to cow opposition to
the planned elevation of Mnangagwa to the presidency, his proposal to form a
national task force to find solutions to the country’s problems was widely taken
in Zimbabwe as an extraordinary admission of awareness of widespread
dissatisfaction with Mugabe. It probably is just the tip of the iceberg,
however, in terms of the unhappiness within the military, particularly those who
have returned from the Congo, and segments of the ZANU-PF leadership that are
experiencing diminishing benefits as a result of Zimbabwe’s political isolation
and weakening economy. These forces want to manage a process of change that
builds a bridge back to international legitimacy, aid, debt relief, trade and
investment, while maintaining their personal authority. There is increasing
belief, at least within the ruling party, that Mugabe’s retirement is the only
way to accomplish that goal. The Mujuru faction is vehemently opposed to
Mnangagwa as Mugabe’s successor. In the first week of February 2003, Mujuru and
Air Marshall Shiri asked Mugabe when he intended to retire and conveyed their
desire for a more open succession process. It should be remembered that in Kenya
a pattern of ignoring the will of the party leadership on the Moi succession
issue resulted in the recent decisive election defeat. Party pressure on Mugabe
to devise an exit strategy is thus likely to continue to build. If an acceptable
process does not materialise, Mujuru’s faction might bolt from ZANU-PF, form its
own party, and try to attract others as the Rainbow Coalition did in Kenya. Some
of the less radical war veterans also are organising and could provide another
point of independent opposition to ZANU-PF over the coming months.
Both major factions within ZANU-PF believe that the other
faction will try to make a deal with the MDC that would leave them out in the
cold. The one thing that unites them, however, is their desire to see Mugabe off
the scene. Their leaders share the view that he is a liability to the party, the
country, and, most importantly, their personal fortunes. "They are aware that
with Mugabe at the helm the entire regime is pushed to their last supper",
observed a Zimbabwean analyst. "The sacrificial game has now begun". Some
ZANU-PF officials will attempt to place all blame on Mugabe but no one should be
fooled that Zimbabwe’s problems result from one person. Any solution will have
to deal with reform of the entire system, not just changing the guard. South
Africa is active behind the scenes in promoting a succession plan. Its
preference appears to be a quiet deal that would be arranged within and
primarily by ZANU-PF with a relatively minimal role for the opposition. It has
severely alienated the MDC by not meeting directly with it while pushing it to
drop its court challenge to the legitimacy of the March 2002 presidential
election. It has been working on behalf of one specific successor, Mnangagwa,
who has spent considerable time in South Africa and was embraced by President
Mbeki embraced recently at the African National Congress (ANC) annual
conference. Mnangagwa has given the South Africans the questionable assurance
that he has the army on his side.
However, South Africa may have initially underestimated the
unpopularity of Mnangagwa, who in 2000 lost the parliament contest in his
hometown of Kwekwe and later in the year the ZANU-PF chairmanship to John Nkomo.
It has now widened its search for a credible replacement for Mugabe, recently
hosting, for example, Simba Makoni, a member of the ZANU-PF politburo and the
Mujuru faction’s apparently preferred candidate. Makoni is increasingly viewed
in Zimbabwe and the region as a viable alternative to Mugabe, someone not
tainted with the scandals, state looting, and human rights violations of the
last two decades. One ZANU-PF parliamentarian said, "People applaud him before
he even speaks. They say, ‘He has new ideas, let him try’. They say he is a
decent person without so many rumours and scandals about his wheeling and
dealing. But he may not be strong enough to cope with the ZANU-PF heavyweights".
After the meetings in South Africa, Makoni said that the ruling and opposition
parties should work together: "[A] country should have a national government
mandated by the people of that country to govern it. There is a difference
between a government of national unity and a national government".
Notwithstanding Makoni’s admonition, President Mbeki continued his pursuit of a
government of national unity, and received support from France at the
Wear black on 18 April
We are a few Zimbabweans who are deeply
saddened and angered by what has
happened, and is still happening to our
beloved country Zimbabwe.
We are campaigning for people to show
their disapproval of what is
We are asking all
Zimbabweans at home and abroad to wear black on 18 April
as a sign of
mourning for the death of democracy in Zimbabwe. We are asking
reads this letter to spread the message.
Zimbabwean Patriots in
the UK (and all over the world)
(Let's all do this to make it
work - diarise the date and WEAR BLACK)
Wednesday 12 March 2003
Zimbabwe is like communist China
Zimbabwean 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".
"More 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 beaten unconscious.
"The government has become so harsh that
they don't care about their people who are starving and
"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 checked.
"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."
Brutality on demonstrating women far worse than rape
I was really touched by the brutal treatment that was meted out by police
to women demonstrating over the unavailability of sanitary pads in Zimbabwe.
Our culture emphasises respect for women to such an extent that they are
considered almost sacred and their bodies must be treated respectfully.
As a young boy I was once told by my mother never to kick my sister
because, so she said, zvinoyera (it is taboo). It is a shame that 28 women were
stripped naked, beaten up on their buttocks and private parts until some of them
menstruated. How can these police officers sink so low?
This is a gross violation of their bodies and humiliation that must be seen
as worse than rape. To make it worse, the officers ended their orgy of violence
by imposing fines on their victims. How unbearable!
President Mugabe must realise that izvi ndizvo zvipoko chaizvo zvaaifanira
kunongedzera (these are the real ghosts which he once talked about that must be
Mugabe has really lost any sense of decency. How could he and his wife go
around buying designer clothing in Paris while our mothers and sisters are being
made to pay a heavy price for demanding that basic women’s needs be made
available as a matter of urgency?
While Grace Mugabe walks around wearing designer clothes and holding her
up like an ostrich she must know she is a disgrace to tall womankind.
In Shona they say mwana asingachemi anofira mumbereko (one has to stand up
for one’s beliefs). We know the subject of sanitary pads is taboo in our
culture. For these women to have come out and demonstrated was an act of
tremendous courage. Grace Mugabe is a woman and she must be ashamed of the way
her husband is humiliating other women.
Next time it shouldn’t be just women demonstrating but men as well. It is
our women, mothers, wives, daughters who are being assaulted by Mugabe’s brutal
We men must also take to the streets in their support. Somehow it seems
police officers are sadists who gratify their perversions by stripping and
beating up defenceless women. No decent man could ever do that.
They do it knowing they cannot be prosecuted because they belong to Mugabe
Has the President totally lost all sanity to the extent that he fails to
respect our women?
Ashamed Zimbabwean - Harare
Time to say enough is enough
Allow me space in your widely read paper to voice my concern about the
suffering we are undergoing here in Zimbabwe.
I think now is the time for the people of this country to wake up from the
deep slumber they are in. We are now so saturated with poverty that we cannot
take any more.
We should stand up and say exeunt omnes (get out all of you) to the current
Shakespeare once said, “Cowards die many times before their death”. Are we
all cowards who are afraid of telling President Mugabe that we are not
Ours is now a nation of endless queues. For how long shall we suffer in
silence while Zanu PF cronies get richer by the day?
Onias Chiwanja - Harare
Useless Zanu-PF MP criticised
Marumahoko is doing nothing for us.
I am a villager from the remote area of Chibara and I am deeply concerned
at how our MP is neglecting his duties as far as the betterment of his
constituency is concerned.
Many problems need to be addressed by you Marumahoko but you cannot be
aware of these problems since you do not visit your constituency. People in
Chibara are starving and you, our MP, are not helping us to seek food aid. Since
you were voted in as MP of Hurungwe West, you have done nothing to curb the
transport problems. We only have one bus for the area which is often filled to
capacity during holidays and the problem is made even worse when the bus breaks
It's also now nearly four years since a clinic was built at Chibara and yet
the clinic is not yet functioning. We need development in our area. The
villagers are the ones doing their best to bring development. It was they who
worked for the clinic and it is they who are now looking after the needs of the
school. But we need your hand in all this, Mr Marumahoko. You are our MP. You
are not in parliament as a place holder. You have duties to do. It is the
electorate which brought you to where you are, right now, so don't neglect your
people, do your duty. If you feel you are not able to do so, then step down for
those who can.
Concerned Villager - Chibara area
ZIMBABWE MUST SURVIVE!!
This is an appeal to all businessmen and -women in
Zimbabwe. Your business may be thriving. Many around you are collapsing because
of bad governance and gross disregard for the rule of law. There is no need to
go into the detail of the corruption, state-sponsored political violence and
dictatorship that has brought this country to its knees. If we allow the
situation to continue, our country will take years to recover and there will be
no winners. There is also the moral argument. Thousands have died since
independence. The “liberator” has become the oppressor and his behaviour is such
that he will devour anyone depending on which side he drops out of bed. It is
time to stop the rot. It is time for the nation to stand up to these bullies and
to ensure the nation’s long-term survival.
Soon and very soon, there will be an unmistakeable
call for action. We ask you to support it by:
Promising not to deduct your
employees’ wages when they do not turn up for work.
Closing your business in
support of the act of lawful democratic resistance.
Ceasing to operate in
the government press.
Remaining committed to a sustained act of lawful
Spreading the word and encouraging your colleagues to
support this act of lawful democratic resistance.
This is an end game. We have been abandoned by
Mbeki, Obasanjo and much of the rest of the world. It is the time for more
home-grown heroes like Olonga and Flower to come to the party. Your chance to do
something for your country has come. Please do not spurn it, lest our children
spit on our graves.
ZIMBABWE WILL SURVIVE!!
ZIMBABWE: Divisions allow Mugabe to win PR battle:
JOHANNESBURG, 12 Mar 2003 (IRIN) - Divisions within the
community over its approach to Zimbabwe has allowed President
to win the public relations and political battle, the latest
Crisis Group (ICG) report said.
It is also depriving the
international community of a chance to influence
what increasingly appears to
be the onset of a serious succession battle
within Mugabe's ruling
Following extensive research on the latest developments in the
Brussels-based group said that while the crisis in Zimbabwe
international response had become more divided.
Commonwealth, leading members South Africa and Nigeria were arguing
all the evidence" that Zimbabwe's suspension should be lifted
situation had improved. The relevant regional and continental
organisations, the Southern African Development Community and
Union (AU) respectively, had yet to engage meaningfully. And the
Union (EU) is "rent by divisions" after France's invitation to
participate in a recent pan-African summit in Paris.
The report said the
US remained a weak actor, able to implement a promised
asset freeze only
after nearly a year's delay because of internal mid-level
"The international response has been divided, overstated,
and largely ineffectual. Since the ICG's last report [in
divisions have widened, not just between Africa and the West,
increasingly within the West.
"The issue of Zimbabwe is
dividing international organisations and creating
embarrassing public debates
over trivial issues such as participation in a
cricket championship, that
deflect attention from the serious erosion
occurring within the country," the
Areas of concern were severe food shortages, rampant
shortages, continued land seizures, extremely low harvest
threats to the judiciary and the media.
Warning of a
"potential state collapse", the ICG said that one new element
positive change may be possible involves reports that began to
January 2003 that senior ZANU-PF officials were seriously
retirement for Mugabe.
The ICG suggested that much of the desire for
change was driven by the
effects the economic crisis was having on
high-ranking officials' personal
interests as well as a desire to lure back
donor assistance and restore
the reports, opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
Tsvangirai was sounded out by representatives of the Speaker
Emmerson Mnangagwa and armed forces chief General Vitalis
Zvinavashe on the
possibility of joining a transitionary authority if Mugabe
alleged deal involved certain ZANU-PF officials receiving
prosecution for human rights abuses.
Tsvangirai reportedly rejected this
offer saying Zimbabwe would need to
return to democracy through a process
that was transparent and accountable,
not a "backroom deal" that presupposed
Mnangagwa as the new president.
The revelations surrounding the meetings
brought into the open long
suspected divisions with the ruling party, the
report said. It detailed two
camps of contenders and a possible third
"spoiler" camp involved in the
Recent statements from
Mugabe - like "there are those that seek to divide us
from within" - indicate
that "some things have gone on behind his back", the
warned that unless an acceptable process materialised, one of the
"might bolt from ZANU-PF, form its own party and try to attract
others as the
Rainbow Coalition did in Kenya". It added that some of the
less radical war
veterans were also organising and could provide another
point of independent
opposition to ZANU-PF over the coming months.
The ICG said that South
Africa was active behind the scenes in promoting a
succession plan, but it
appeared to prefer a "quiet deal that would be
arranged within and primarily
by ZANU-PF with a relatively minimal role for
Reducing international pressure on ZANU-PF now would be a
great mistake and
would only lower the chance of peaceful or positive change,
the report said.
Recommendations put forward include formalising all
informal contacts into
one mediation channel fully backed by the region and
community. Negotiations between ZANU-PF and the MDC
should be restarted and
an AU initiative should be constructed to broker a
administration that involves the opposition and civil society,
rule of law and prepares the ground for early elections. Part of
have to be an exit strategy for Mugabe and some of his close
The initiative should involve countries such as Ghana, Senegal
or Kenya who
have undergone a recent transition of power for a liberation-era
the opposition. For these measures to work, there was a need for
pressure from outside Africa on ZANU-PF and its commercial
increased citizen pressure from with Zimbabwe, the report
It also recommended that the government of Zimbabwe stop
aid delivery though the parastatal Grain Marketing Board
and called on UN
Secretary-General Kofi Annan and WFP head James Morris to
authorise a UN
monitoring mission to ensure the distribution of food in
For the full report:
Zimbabwe minister says to amend tough media laws
HARARE, March 12 - Zimbabwe's information minister said on
government would soon amend tough media laws which critics say
are aimed at
muzzling the press, but he gave no details of the proposed
Information and Publicity Minister Jonathan Moyo said the
would also issue licences to private organisations to run
broadcasting stations -- breaking the state's monopoly in radio
Several journalists have been detained under the
media laws, which
make it an offence to publish a ''false story,'' compel
journalists to apply
for licences and bar foreigners from working in the
country except for short
periods of time.
In the latest incident,
authorities barred a British journalist from
entering Zimbabwe to cover a
World Cup cricket match earlier this month.
Moyo said the Access to
Information and Protection of Privacy Act,
signed into law shortly after
President Robert Mugabe's controversial
re-election in March 2002, was aimed
at defending Zimbabwe against a
Western-backed opposition movement.
He said the government now felt comfortable enough to consider
the media laws, although the changes ''will not leave the
''We are not amending it because someone has put us
Moyo said in a speech to senior army officers.
''We are amending it because we realise that at the time we enacted
political temperatures were very high...but when the storm has gone
back and rationalise, and we are rationalising this now and the
are coming soon.''
The publisher of Daily News, Zimbabwe's top
launched a legal fight against the media laws in January.
A group of
independent journalists have also gone to the Supreme Court to
constitutionality of the act.
Mugabe has accused
independent local and foreign media of backing the
main opposition Movement
for Democratic Change and driving a Western
propaganda campaign over his
seizure of white-owned farms for redistribution
to landless blacks.
Mugabe beat MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai last year in a poll
condemned by the
opposition and some Western governments as fraudulent.
Moyo said the
media laws were necessary to help fight a propaganda
campaign led by former
colonial ruler Britain, which he said included
attempts to set up a radio
station in the southern African country.
Authorities raided a private
radio station that had set up in a
Harare hotel in August 2000 and stopped it
Zimbabwe opened the door to private broadcasters in
2001, but it has
so far not issued any operating licences.
end of the year we are going to license some community radio
High Time to Swim Together Or Sink
March 12, 2003
Posted to the web March 12,
socioeconomic crisis calls for foreign mediation and
internal political will
THE economic meltdown, a government-created food crisis
statesponsored violence that has plagued Zimbabwe in the year
President Robert Mugabe's ruling party rigged the presidential
continue to point in one ominous direction potential state
One of Africa's most highly developed formal economies is
Despite price and wage controls, the inflation rate may hit
500% before the
year is out. Severe food shortages resulting from the
destruction of the
commercial farm sector and the use of food as a political
weapon have turned
one of Africa's breadbaskets into a beggar nation subject
There is also a real risk that deterioration of
command and control over the
war veterans and youth militias the government
has used against its
opponents will lead to a rapid increase in unstructured
While the crisis deepens, the
international response has become more
divided. The Commonwealth's very
purpose is being called into question.
Though the principles on which it
is based are being flouted, leading
members SA and Nigeria are arguing
against all the evidence that Zimbabwe's
suspension should be lifted because
the situation has improved.
The relevant regional and continental
international bodies (Southern African
Development Community and the African
Union respectively) have yet to engage
meaningfully, while SA and Nigeria set
The European Union is divided, with France's invitation to
Mugabe for a
pan-African summit in Paris having engendered a controversy that
ended the targeted sanctions set up shortly before Mugabe's
The US remains a weak actor, able to implement a promised
component in its own targeted sanctions regime only after nearly
delay because of internal mid-level policy disagreements. Western
still need to break down suspicions about their agenda that have
common action with Africa on Zimbabwe, not least by showing they
the emotive aspects of the land issue across the
The international community's inaction deprives it of a chance
what increasingly appears to be the onset of a serious
within Mugabe's ruling Zanu (PF) party. Leading officials
are engaged in
bitter debates and some in clandestine diplomacy about how to
The tension, which might well lead to a Zanu (PF)
break-up, is driven
primarily by the accelerating erosion of the state and
the economy, which
threatens the viability of the spoils system from which
party leaders have
benefited. They result partly, however, also from
international pressure and
isolation, as divided and inconsistent as these
Reducing international pressure on Zanu (PF) now, just when it
is some prospect the political situation inside Zimbabwe is
moving, would be
a great mistake, one that would only lower the chance that
the change will
be peaceful or positive.
New efforts to co-ordinate
African and wider international efforts are
called for. The practical focus
should be to restart, ideally under new
sponsorship, talks between Zanu (PF)
and the opposing Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) that SA and Nigeria
fitfully facilitated, and then
dropped, in the first half of last
So how can democracy be advanced in Zimbabwe?
Union should invite the wider international community to create
with it a new
mediation effort that involves all relevant Zimbabwean
stakeholders and aims
to restore legitimacy to the Harare government.
There must also be a
focus on creating a transitional administration,
restoring the rule of law,
finding an electoral compromise, reforming
economic policies, ensuring a more
orderly land reform programme and
crafting an exit strategy for
For their part, Zanu (PF) and the MDC should engage seriously and
faith with a new interparty negotiations process, while the
Zimbabwe must stop politicising food-aid delivery and halt the
use of war
veterans, youth militias, police and others in attacking
supporters and representatives of civil
Prendergast is Co-Director of the Africa Programme at the
International Crisis Group. This is part of a more comprehensive
Zimbabwe released by the group last week.
JAG Sitrep March 12,
Reports in from Matepatepa indicate that 8 to 10 new Section 8 orders
issued this past weekend. All residual operative farmers were
Likewise, residual farmers in Middle Sabi have all received new
Reports in from South Marondera/Wedza confirm
increased illegal eviction
pressure on the 6 or so residual farmers operative
there, giving them up to
month end to vacate.
Furthermore, six fresh
Section 8 Orders were issued recently in the
SATURDAY 08/03/03: A lorry and two pickups, with
a large crowd invaded
Chibara Farm residence having broken the locks of the
gates. The General
Manager, his wife, their six year old son, and the
managed to persuade them to wait by the gates, whilst they
came out of the
house. After locking up the house, they tried to drive
through the gates.
The invaders tried to lock the gate on the car, thus
damaging it, and tried
to smash the windscreen with a crowbar. On leaving the
farm, they proceeded
to the local police station for assistance. On return to
the farm, with a
police detail it was found that the homestead had been
broken into and
extensive damage and looting of property perpetrated by the
Support unit attended, but only after some time. They removed
intruders. Farm guards were installed overnight whilst the family
to Harare. This is the second incident on the property, which
jambanjied the weekend
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THE LIGHTER SIDE:
The Lesson Of The Geese
This fall, when you see
geese heading south for the winter flying along in
the "V" formation, you
might consider what science has discovered as to why
they fly that
FACT: As each bird flaps its wings, it creates an "uplift" for the
immediately following. By flying in the "V" formation, the whole flock
at least 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew on its
LESSON: People who share a common direction and sense of community
where they are going more quickly and easily because they are
the thrust of one another.
FACT: When a goose flies out
of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and
resistance of trying to go it
alone. It quickly gets back into formation to
take advantage of the lifting
power of the bird in front of it.
LESSON: If we have as much common sense
as a goose, we stay in formation
with those headed where we want to go. We
are willing to accept their help
and give our help to others. It is harder to
do something alone than
FACT: When the lead goose gets
tired, it rotates back into the formation,
and another goose flies to the
LESSON: It is sensible to take turns doing the hard and
demanding tasks and
sharing leadership. As with geese, people are
interdependent on each
other's skills, capabilities, and unique arrangements
of gifts, talents, or
FACT: The geese flying in formation
honk from behind to encourage those up
front to keep up their
LESSON: We need to make sure our honking is encouraging. In groups
there is encouragement, the production is much greater. The power
encouragement (to stand by one's heart or core values and encourage
heart and core of others) is the quality of honking we seek. We need
make sure our honking is encouraging and not discouraging.
When a goose gets sick, wounded, or shot down, two other geese will
of formation with that goose and follow it down to lend help and
They stay with the fallen goose until it dies or is able to fly
they launch out on their own, or with another formation to
catch up with
LESSON: If we have the sense of a goose, we will stand by
and each other in difficult times as well as in
letters published on the open Letter Forum are the views and opinions
submitters, and do not represent the official viewpoint of Justice
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Zimbabwean Clergy Respond To Political Crisis
12 Mar 2003, 16:40 UTC
Last month, 21 Zimbabwean
clergymen were briefly detained while protesting
police harassment of priests
and disruptions of religious gatherings. Their
protest followed growing
criticism from Zimbabweans that the clergy had
failed to take a strong stand
against government human rights violations.
From Harare, Tendai Maphosa
reports on further steps the clergy is taking to
respond to the growing
Pastor Joseph Munemo of the Apostolic Faith Mission in
criticism of the clergy for its silence in the face of serious
human rights abuses is justified. But Pastor Munemo, who is the
of the Zimbabwe National Pastors Conference, and who was one of
protesters last month, says some members of the clergy have been
He says, "I think the criticism is justified to an extent but
there is Archbishop Pius Ncube [of the Catholic church] who has
a lot things and his words were reaching human rights abusers but
now we are
starting something [new].
Pastor Munemo says the Zimbabwe
National Pastors Conference was formed by
ordinary clerics because there has
been reluctance by most senior church
leaders in Zimbabwe to confront the
government over human rights abuses.
He says, "I cannot say they are
afraid but the thing is there is a lot of
compromise within the leadership of
the church but the grassroots pastors
definitely they are ready for
Pastor Munemo says the clerics will soon call a national day of
the clergy to protest government oppression. He says the pastors
urge ordinary Zimbabweans to protest by staying away from work and
prayer services instead. He says the clerics will take that step so
though it is illegal in Zimbabwe to encourage people to stay away from
SA, Zimbabwe to relax visa requirements
March 12, 2003, 21:15
South Africa and Zimbabwe have
agreed to relax visa requirements
between the two countries. Mangosuthu
Buthelezi, the Home Affairs Minister,
and Kembo Mohadi, his Zimbabwean
counterpart, have agreed that holders of
diplomatic and official passports,
as well as business people, will not need
visas to enter either
In addition, South Africa has agreed to issue
permits to Zimbabwean students. The two ministers also
discussed the need to
make it easier for people with family ties in either
country to visit the
The details of these
agreements are to be discussed by officials
from the two departments who will
then report to the ministers.