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

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Daily News

      Publisher detained

      3/14/2003 4:04:36 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      WILLIAM Nyamangara, the managing director of Sovereign Publishers
(Private) Limited, and Mhlabene Bhebhe, the company's origination manager,
were on Tuesday briefly detained at Harare Central Police Station for
allegedly printing subversive material.

      The company was contracted by the opposition MDC to print flyers
calling for mass protests against the government.

      Nyamangara said he was accompanied to the police station by his
lawyer, Linda Cook.
      "The police said the documents we were printing were subversive and
said we should accompany them to the law and order section at Harare Central
Police Station where they recorded statements from us."

      Nyamangara said the police released them without pressing charges
against them, saying they would proceed by way of summons.

      He said the police ransacked the company's offices and confiscated
about 120 000 flyers ready for collection by the MDC.

      On Wednesday, a policeman who answered the telephone at the law and
order section, said the two Sovereign bosses had been summoned to record
their statements, but he refused to give further details.

      The MDC leadership last week resolved to call for mass action this
week to express "discontent and disgust" over the growing economic and
political crisis, in the country, including the increased State repression
of its supporters.

      One flyer reads in part: "The time for action is up. It's 10 months
since Mugabe's government rigged the election won by MDC president Morgan
      "We continue to experience hardships every day under Mugabe's
government which we did not elect.

      "Food is in short supply and unemployment continues to rise."
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DA tactics under fire
13/03/2003 22:46  - (SA)

Willem Jordaan

Cape Town - A furious debate has erupted over a DA pamphlet issued for the
Swellendam by-election, showing disturbing photos of victims of violence in

A photo of President Robert Mugabe, raising a fist, appears next to the body
of a white Zimbabwean farmer lying under a blood-soaked blanket, and a black
man on whose back the letters MDC had been carved by Zanu-PF supporters.

The message conveyed by the pamphlet is that the ANC condones these kind of
incidents and that only the DA "stands between the ANC and a one-party state
like Zimbabwe". The pamphlet was compiled by DA strategist Ryan Coetzee.

ANC Overberg organiser, Cameron Dugmore accused the DA of launching "a
desperate attempt to once again mobilise the fears of white voters in the
crudest possible way".

According to him, there are scores of white voters who believe that the DA
is polarising communities with the pamphlets and that it could create the
kind of circumstances which gave rise to the problems Zimbabwe currently

"The pamphlet is racist and inciting and a huge set-back in the the ANC and
NNP's attempts to build unity and partnerships in communities," Dugmore

NNP media director Alie van Jaarsveld labelled the pamphlet as a
Conservative Party "swart gevaar" (black threat) type of propaganda pamphlet
and an insult to the intelligence of Swellendam voters.

"The irony is that Zimbabwe's situation is exactly the result of the kind of
approach the DA has taken in South Africa," Van Jaarsveld said.

Coetzee referred enquiries to Theuns Botha, Western Cape DA leader. Botha
claims the sharp reaction of the ANC and NNP is a sign the pamphlet struck

He said it was surprising that the two parties labelled the pamphlet as
racist when there were more black than white victims of Zanu-PF violence in

"It's in no way an attempt at mobilising white voters against a so-called
"black threat" - the fact of the matter is that the ANC's handling of the
issue is shocking," Botha said.

Responding to the question of what bearing Zanu-PF's actions in Zimbabwe had
on local issues in Swellendam, Botha said: "The DA cannot win back the
province or govern the country by means of the Swellendam by-election. It is
just a small but important step in the process demanding that people be made
aware of the direction in which South Africa's heading."
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Zim Independent

Obasanjo tells Mugabe to go
Dumisani Muleya
IN a surprise move Nigerian Pre-sident Olusegun Obasanjo has called on
President Robert Mugabe to step down after 23 years in power to make way for
a successor.

Obasanjo told the London Sunday Times last weekend that the embattled
Zimbabwean ruler should prepare his departure from office.

"It's entirely up to him but obviously he knows he has to work for a
succession," Obasanjo said.

Pointing out that he was more than a decade younger than Mugabe, Obasanjo
said the Zimbabwean leader should emulate his example.

"I don't need to tell him, but if I say I am thinking about my succession,
that is an indication that I think he should think of his. In my part of the
world, there are many ways you can tell a man to go to hell."

The issue of Zimbabwe, including Mugabe's retention of power, threatens to
cast a shadow over the Commonwealth heads of government summit due to be
held in Abuja in December. Britain has made it clear Tony Blair will not
attend if Mugabe is present, the Sunday Times reports.

Obasanjo advised the Movement for Democratic Change to abandon its electoral
court case and renew negotiations with Zanu PF.

"My solution is to get out of court and start talks for reconciliation," he

The call by Obasanjo, generally regarded as Mugabe's strongest ally on the
continent, has been met with indignation by senior Zanu PF officials who the
Independent spoke to yesterday.

Zanu PF spokesman Nathan Shamuyarira dismissed the suggestion.

"You can ask Obasanjo about that," he said. "We have not discussed that
because there is no reason to."

Zanu PF chair John Nkomo yesterday also refused to talk about Mugabe's
succession. "We have never discussed it," he said. "Why should we discuss

Obasanjo's statement follows calls from himself and South African President
Thabo Mbeki for the Commonwealth to lift Zimbabwe's suspension from the
world body. But observers suggest this more indulgent approach could be a
quid pro quo for Mugabe to exit the political scene well ahead of the next
presidential poll in 2008.

Asked by Business Day if Mbeki also thought Mugabe should go,South African
presidential spokesman Bheki Khumalo said it was up to Zimbabweans to

Obasanjo's forthright message comes amidst an escalating succession battle
in Zanu PF.

A recent report by the International Crisis Group (ICG), titled "Zimbabwe
Beyond Mugabe: Danger and Opportunity", illuminated the intensifying
struggle for power.

"Two camps have emerged in the struggle for post-Mugabe leadership of Zanu
PF," the ICG said.

"Emmerson Mnangagwa and(Zimbabwe Defence Forces com-mander General Vitalis)
Zvina-vashe are on one side, while onthe other are retired army com-mander
Solomon Mujuru, Defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi, current army commander
Constantine Chiwenga, Air Force commander Perence Shiri, and sacked Finance
minister Simba Makoni whom Mujuru has been pushing as successor to Mugabe.

"This 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," the ICG said.
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Zim Independent

Eric Bloch Column

Poverty is widespread and intensifying

THE Economic Department of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has
released distressingly illuminating economic data which, with intense
clarity, evidences the magnitude of the poverty that afflicts Zimbabwe, and
the immense extent that such poverty is intensifying. In a period of only
seven years, the Food Poverty Line (FPL), being the market cost of a food
basket providing a person 2 100 calories a day, has increased by more than 1
444%, as shown in Table 1A (below).

Thus, a minimum life-sustaining basket of food for a family of five cost
$675,27 per month in 1996, and $10 427,06 in 2002. As horrific as that cost
escalation has been, it has been even more appalling on a month-by-month
basis during the past year, with the increase in the FPL between March 2002
and January 2003 being a devastating 285%, as demonstrated in Table 1B (top

A monthly minimum basket of food for a five-person household cost $7 333,81
in March, 2002, and a huge $21 619,40 by January, 2003 (and, in practice,
markedly more than that for many, due to an inability to obtain basic foods
such as maize meal and bread at official, controlled prices but only at
considerably greater cost within the black market, or by purchase of more
costly substitutes).

In order to evaluate the impacts of these disastrous cost escalations, the
ZCTU Economics Department has identified the movement in wages, in real
terms (as correlated in relation to the Consumer Price Index) and the data
evidences incontrovertibly that wages have effectively declined over the
past seven years, as shown in Table 2 (below right).

Table 2 reflects a continuing increase in real wages until 2001, they almost
doubling in six years, but then they declined sharply in the next year and,
by January, 2003, the average real wage was only 71,9% of that in 1996,
whilst as ascertainable from Table 1B, the FPL had increased by almost

A further, very informative summary is given in Table 3, which details the
Total Poverty Line (TPL), in urban and in rural areas. It defines TPL as the
total consumption of households whose food expenditure exactly equals the
Food Poverty Line (FPL), correlating that with the consumer price index
(CPI), and shows that by January 2003 the TPL for a household of five
persons in urban areas has risen from $1 415,53 in 1996 to $44 697,31,
whilst for a similar household in rural areas the increase has been from $1
251,48 in 1996 to $38 517,18 in January, 2003.

If these devastating figures are then related to average minimum wages, it
becomes clear how widespread poverty must be, for even in a household with
two wage earners generating an average wage, monthly income is only $32
957,62 as against the minimum monthly expenditure necessary of $44 697,31.
In such a household, the joint wages amount to only 73,7% of minimum
necessary expenditures - and that is for the fortunate where two of the
family have employment. Generally that is not the case, for an estimated 70%
of the employable population is unemployed.

The tragedy is that the decimated state of Zimbabwe's economy is so
apocalyptic that very few employers can fund wage increases sufficiently to
compensate for the never-ending erosion of purchasing power and thereby lift
incomes above the TPL, and has been subjected to such destruction that there
are few opportunities of job creation for the millions who are unemployed
and, therefore, suffering the most. It prompts a query as to what exactly
the president had in mind when he said, a little over a year ago, that
nobody could have managed the economy better than he had done!

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Pakistan Daily Times

Flower, Olonga are national heroes: veteran golfer

DOHA: Zimbabwean cricketers Andy Flower and Henry Olonga should be honoured
as national heroes if and when president Robert Mugabe is ousted, the
country's veteran golfer Tony Johnstone said on Thursday.

Johnstone, a staunch critic of the Zimbabwean government, was in the
forefront of anti-Mugabe protests even before the World Cup began and laid
the blame on the International Cricket Council (ICC) for going ahead with
matches in the strife-torn African country. "Anybody who doesn't think that
Zimbabwe isn't in an absolute, unadulterated shambles, have got their heads
in the sand," the England-based Johnstone, who won the Qatar Masters in
2001, told AFP. "The ICC shouldn't have scheduled the World Cup matches in
Zimbabwe in the first place."

Flower and Olonga hit the headlines with their black armband protests
against the Mugabe regime during the World Cup and were subsequently
threatened with their removal from the squad. "The Mugabe government's
policies have been blamed for food shortages and unrest in Zimbabwe and I
think what Henry and Andy have done is simply brave," said Johnstone. "Their
criticism of the regime is right because where there is no freedom of speech
and expression. There is no democracy. "The regime there is ruthless and
these guys have been unbelievably brave because they live there with their
families. They should be declared national heroes when the situation
improves. "It's alright for me to criticise the government because I don't
live there anymore and I don't have to worry about my family. But my heart
lies in Zimbabwe."

While Flower was allowed to play all the matches in the World Cup, Olonga
was dropped after the first match and was only recalled for Wednesday's
outing aganst Kenya at Bloemfontein. Flower has already announced he will
quit international cricket after the World Cup and has sent his wife and two
children to England where he will be playing county cricket for Essex. -AFP

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Natal Witness

Zim govt 'should fall within a year'

Among the scenarios for the near future of Zimbabwe, the fall of President
Robert Mugabe's government within a year is the most likely, the SA
Institute of Race Relations heard on Thursday night.

Professor Tony Hawkins of the Graduate School of Management at the
University of Zimbabwe told an institute meeting that scenario planners
generally list three possibilities: "the status quo, the slow decline, and
accelerated decline".

Speaking as an economist, he thinks the accelerated decline and fall of the
Mugabe government "within six months to a year" is the most likely.

"All economic indicators [in Zimbabwe] except inflation and indebtedness are
heading down," and inflation is likely to rise to about 400% by the end of
the year.

Looking to how the crisis might unfold, Hawkins said there are "stirrings"
within the ruling party that suggest a possible exit strategy for Mugabe. He
discounted the possibility of a military coup and said international
pressure seems unlikely to bring change.
Publish Date: 14 March 2003
Source: SAPA

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      The Situation in Zimbabwe & Implementing Sanctions
      Friday, 14 March 2003, 10:40 am
      Press Release: US State Department

  Joint Statement Philip Reeker Washington, DC March 12, 2003
  Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Mark Bellamy and
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor J. Scott
Carpenter on the Situation in Zimbabwe and Current Steps Towards
Implementing U.S. Sanctions

  MR. REEKER: We have a special briefing for you this afternoon on the
humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe, a crisis which has been created by Robert
Mugabe and his cronies. And we have two specialists in this field to talk to
you a bit about that this afternoon.

  As you will recall, last week the President imposed certain sanctions by
Executive Order, and they will be able to expand on that a little bit as
necessary. You have that information. We will be distributing a brochure,
which highlights a number of these issues, as well as some follow-up
documents of things that have emerged since the brochure itself was

  But let me get straight to introducing our guests. We have the Principal
Deputy Assistant Secretary for African Affairs from the Department of State
Mark Bellamy, and the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy,
Human Rights and Labor Scott Carpenter. Each of our Deputy Assistant
Secretaries will have brief opening remarks and then be here to take your

  So without any further ado, why don't I turn it over to both of them.

  MR. CARPENTER: Thank you, Phil. This is the report that we are going to be
issuing today, and we are here to talk about Zimbabwe. In case anybody is
here to talk about Iraq, this is the wrong place.

  Zimbabwe is a place where human rights are violated every day and people
are still awaiting freedom, they are still awaiting prosperity. Mugabe has
brought the country of Zimbabwe untold suffering. This report catalogs what
he has done to the country.

  When Zimbabwe gained its independence in 1980, it had a model
constitution, an intact, respected judiciary which was functioning. Zimbabwe
was poised to become a success story for democracy, a success story for free
markets, something that was desperately needed in southern Africa at the

  Within three years, these bright prospects started to dim. Mugabe embarked
on a reign of terror to consolidate political power -- his political power.
Using troops trained by North Koreans, he crushed his major political
opponent, Joshua Nkomo, killing over 20,000 Zimbabweans and torturing
thousands more in the process. This bloodbath brought a decade of increasing
subservience to Mugabe, but by the mid-'90s, profound economic mismanagement
and electoral manipulation led to the emergence of a significant opposition
and a new threat to Mugabe's power.

  But, rather than change course and address underlying problems, in early
2000, Mugabe proposed a series of constitutional reforms designed to further
the referendum to entrench his power. Opposition parties and NGOs boycotted
the process and the referendum was rejected by voters despite
government-organized violence.

  Shortly afterwards, a violent campaign against real or suspected opponents
of the regime began. In the parliamentary elections, Mugabe's ZANU-PF Party
was opposed by the Movement for Democratic Change. Waves of political
violence were unable to deter voters from giving the MDC nearly 50 percent
of the seats.

  The March 2002 presidential election, a process declared fundamentally
flawed and illegitimate by international observers, as well as the South
African Development Community, resulted in Mugabe's retaining power. The
vote also resulted in an intensification of violence against Mugabe's
opponents, further restrictions on press, further restrictions on other
freedoms, and a continuation of land seizures and profound economic decline.

  The failure of Zimbabwe gives a bloody example of the primacy of human
rights -- the failure of Zimbabwe gives a bloody example of the primacy of
human rights and democratic principles. By riding roughshod over the
political and human rights of his fellow Zimbabweans, by demonstrating his
total disregard for human rights and democracy, Robert Mugabe has succeeded
in reducing a once promising nation with a bright future to a state of ruin,
desolation, and isolation.

  The publication we have prepared, "Zimbabwe's Manmade Crisis," recounts,
in at times gruesome detail, how the people of Zimbabwe have suffered, how
the people of Zimbabwe continue to suffer. It is a sterling example of how
depriving people of their human rights tears at the fabric of society,
destroys their economic well-being, and sews the seeds of chaos and perhaps
of collapse.

  Moreover, the tragic case of Zimbabwe gives further evidence, if any were
needed, of the core importance of human rights in the maintenance and
progress of nations.

  In the words of the International Crisis Group's 2002 Report on Zimbabwe,
"ZANU-PF and the Government are still systematically using violence to
punish the MDC and civil society and compel them to accept the flawed
election results. Food is becoming scarcer, and with the regional drought,
compounding the land seizure crisis. UN agencies warn of possible famines."

  That's the conclusion of my short statement. I'd invite Mark to add his
comments, and then we will take questions.

  Please, Mark.

  MR. BELLAMY: Thanks, Scott.

  Scott has described the situation in Zimbabwe, and give some background. I
would only like to say that we thought it worthwhile to talk about Zimbabwe
today because there are many other crises in Africa, which perhaps get more
attention, and global attention generally is not focused on Africa to the
same extent that it is on the Gulf, Middle East, and other areas today, but
it's important that we not lose sight of the tragedy that has overtaken
Zimbabwe, tragedy which Scott has just described to you.

  The booklet that we are releasing today catalogues the increasing
repression, coupled with the disdain for the rule of law and the
increasingly flagrant human rights abuses that have occurred in Zimbabwe
over the past couple of years. All of these are linked to the economic
collapse of the country, about which I will talk a little bit more in a few

  Last week, on March 7th, the President issued an Executive Order, which
freezes the assets of Robert Mugabe and 76 other Zimbabwean officials deemed
most responsible for the crisis in Zimbabwe. Among other things, the
Executive Order prohibits U.S. citizens from engaging in any financial
transactions with these listed individuals.

  We have a range of targeted sanctions in place on Zimbabwe, as does the EU
and a handful of other countries. These targeted sanctions can only be
effective if they are consistently and rigorously applied. This is
especially true of travel sanctions adopted by the United States and the EU.
By taking away travel and financial privileges of those most responsible for
the crisis in Zimbabwe, we raise the costs of their misrule, we underline
Zimbabwe's diplomatic isolation, and we give hope to those in Zimbabwe who
are struggling for a better future.

  Let me -- Scott has described the human rights and political crisis in
Zimbabwe. The pamphlet we are issuing today goes into much more detail. I
would just want to leave with you a few indicators of the economic ruin --
and I think ruin is not too strong a word -- that has overtaken Zimbabwe in
a very, very short time. Our latest estimates show that there may be as many
as 2 million Zimbabweans today who are displaced persons, and this includes
over a million farm workers and their families who, in the past
year-and-a-half, have lost their homes and their livelihoods. Increasingly,
we see in Zimbabwe number of people who are on the move in the country, in
search of food and work.

  Inflation in Zimbabwe is running at over 200 percent. Unemployment has
climbed to 70 percent. The economy in Zimbabwe is expected to contract by 11
percent in 2003. This is following a 12 percent contraction in GDP in 2002.
I think it's fair to say it's often said that Zimbabwe has the dubious
distinction of being the fastest contracting economy in the world today.

  Basic commodities are largely, or many basic commodities are largely
unavailable, due to price controls, a shortage of foreign exchange.
Tragically, in a country that, until only two years ago, was considered a
breadbasket of Southern Africa and was a reliable exporter of agricultural
surpluses, 7.2 million Zimbabweans, almost half the population, are today in
need of food assistance; and one of the more poignant results of the food
crisis in Zimbabwe is the fact that a Zimbabwean newly diagnosed with
HIV/AIDS today has a life expectancy of one year. Two years ago, a
Zimbabwean newly diagnosed with HIV/ AIDS had a life expectancy of seven

  This is only one indication, only a few indications of the magnitude of
the crisis that has overtaken what was once one of Africa's most promising
and prosperous economies.

  I mentioned targeted sanctions a moment ago. Sanctions are part of the
answer. They're not the entire answer. Clearly, what is needed is concerted
international pressure on the Zimbabwean Government to abandon its course of
repression and to move towards early free and fair elections, which are the
only real solution to the political crisis gripping the country.

  That's my opening statement, and I'll be happy to respond to questions. I
think Scott will -- we'll sort of do a division of responsibility here on
human rights issues and on the booklet and on other policy questions.

  QUESTION: To my knowledge, since the travel sanctions were imposed, with
the exception of one trip to New York that you guys were forced to give him
a visa for under the UN agreement, Mugabe has really only traveled to one
place, and that was to Paris, at the invitation of President Chirac.

  You talked a little bit about how you thought that these sanctions needed
to be imposed uniformly and something else --

  MR. BELLAMY: Rigorously and consistently.

  QUESTION: -- rigorously applied, consistently. I know the Secretary has
spoken about this up on the Hill, as have others. But, you know,
specifically with France, what are you saying to them now, if you're still
talking to France, considering the diatribe we had earlier?

  MR. BELLAMY: We talked about Zimbabwe with France just yesterday, as a
matter of fact, and what we said was that, to be effective, sanctions have
to be consistently and rigorously applied, and we said at the time of the
French Government's invitation to President Mugabe that we were disappointed
in the French decision and that we didn't see a justification for it.

  And we continue to feel, and we've told our French friends that the
sanctions can work if they are systematically applied.

  QUESTION: Yes, but has the French invitation and Mugabe's actual visit
there destroyed the effectiveness of --

  MR. BELLAMY: I don't think so, because my understanding is that the EU is
in the process of renewing the EU travel ban for an additional year, so the
EU travel sanctions will remain in force.

  QUESTION: Yeah, but the only reason the EU is able to do that is because
they gave the -- I mean, because they allowed the French to invite them.

  MR. BELLAMY: I'm hoping they'll do better this year than -- next year than
they did this year in enforcing them.

  QUESTION: So you don't want to take a shot at the French, I guess?

  QUESTION: The list of those affected by the asset freeze included, I
believe, the wife of Mugabe and a sister. I'm wondering, is this just
because of the familial connection or because of something that they were
involved in? And B, what is the effect of these -- of an asset freeze? Do
they have any known assets in this country?

  MR. BELLAMY: The effect of an asset freeze will be to freeze any assets
they have in this country and to prevent them from engaging in financial
transactions of any kind with U.S. citizens. I cannot answer the question as
to what assets may actually be -- they may actually have in the country.
Frankly, I don't know. Treasury has the responsibility for actually
enforcing this Executive Order and they are in the process of drawing up
their procedures for doing that right now.

  In terms of Mrs. Mugabe and others, persons -- I believe that all the
persons included in this action in their own right are considered to be
financial actors, if you will, in Zimbabwe, people who are not on the list
by virtue of being a spouse or the relative of somebody else who is on the

  QUESTION: I understand that several people on the -- several people that
are on that list have children going to school in the States. What's the
effect on them?

  MR. BELLAMY: Well, the Executive Order obviously doesn't address the
question of children in school in the States. But it does make it -- it does
make it difficult if not prohibitive for them to conduct normal financial
transactions in order to keep their children in school.

  QUESTION: As in paying tuition?

  MR. BELLAMY: Yes, that's correct.

  QUESTION: So have you -- did you guys look into this at all, the effect
that this would have? I don't know if it's a huge number of children that
are involved.

  MR. BELLAMY: We have in the past looked at this issue. We don't have a
perfectly precise picture of the number of children studying in the United
States. I don't think the number is very large, though. Our initial
indications were that it was not a large number of dependants studying here.

  QUESTION: We haven't heard much recently about the effects of the drought
and about food supplies. Can we assume from that, that generally speaking,
people are receiving enough food to keep them alive through this period, or
what's going on on the ground, is what I really mean?

  MR. BELLAMY: Our reports are that the food shortages continue to be
severe, that the Zimbabwean population are working their way through towards
the end of their coping mechanisms. That food is -- food aid is continuing
to get into the country. So while there is severe malnutrition, severe
hunger and possibly starvation in some areas, mass starvation has not

  We do know that the forecasts for crop production this year are very
grim -- as you would expect, very grim indeed. And that the crisis Zimbabwe
is in is likely to be a continuing one. Zimbabwe is going to need continued
and increased food aid through the next year. And a greater and greater
percentage of that is going to be -- well, I say increased food aid. A
greater percentage of what Zimbabweans are consuming is going to be food aid
rather than food that the government is able to import.

  QUESTION: Can you address the issue of or at least assess the level of
cooperation by South Africa and its leadership in essentially squeezing
Zimbabwe? Is it sufficient, as far as you're concerned?

  MR. BELLAMY: South Africa has pursued, for the past two years what it has
characterized as a policy of quiet diplomacy in an effort to ameliorate the
situation in Zimbabwe. We have been in fairly close and continuous contact
with South Africa over this time on the crisis in Zimbabwe. We continue to
feel that South Africa does have influence and can -- can use that influence
to shape events in Zimbabwe. And we would like South Africa to exercise that
influence towards the objectives I mentioned earlier; that is, pressing the
Zimbabwean Government more forcefully to end its policies of repression and
pressing the -- and working towards early free and fair elections in that

  QUESTION: And yet both they and the Nigerians are leading the call for the
commonwealth suspension to be -- for the suspension to be suspended.

  MR. BELLAMY: For the suspension to be suspended. We --

  QUESTION: So, you know, I don't see how you -- you know, you talked to the
French, you talked to the South Africans, presumably you talked to
Nigerians, and they're all going the wrong way on this, from your point of

  MR. BELLAMY: Several of the commonwealth members, I don't remember whether
South Africa was part -- I think Nigeria was one of the members who offered
the observation the other day that the situation in Zimbabwe appeared to be
improving. We obviously strongly disagree.

  QUESTION: The South African Foreign Minister?

  MR. BELLAMY: And I think -- I know the Nigerians also noted that.
Obviously, we have made clear to both the South Africans and the Nigerians
that we don't agree with that analysis. We think the situation in Zimbabwe
is worsening and, as I have just said, we believe now is not the time to
lift the sanctions but rather to maintain firmness and consistency and rigor
in applying those sanctions. That's obviously going to be a decision the
commonwealth has to make, and I don't want to predict how it will come out,
but I know that there are a range of different opinions within the

  QUESTION: Short of your lobbying efforts, which thus far, with all due
respect, don't seem to me particularly successful with the three countries,
South Africa, Nigeria and France that we were just talking about, is the
United States prepared to do anything else? I mean, what is there more that
you can do unilaterally aside from the sanctions that -- I'm not suggesting
regime change -- aside from the sanctions that the President put in place,
are there other things that you guys are thinking about, are exploring?

  MR. BELLAMY: I don't think it's fair to say we've been unsuccessful. We
have maintained and extended our own sanctions. The EU has maintained its
sanctions. There have been some lapses in the application of the sanctions.
But it's important that those sanctions will go on for another year. The EU,
largely because of controversy over the Zimbabwe issue, cancelled this
year's EU-Africa summit. That would have been a second occasion for Robert
Mugabe to go to Europe and he was denied that opportunity, obviously.

  The commonwealth sanctions are being debated, but they are still in place
and we are going to work to keep them in place. So I don't -- I don't think
that we've done badly in that regard. The key over the coming year will be
to keep the sanctions in place and to instill, I think, a new sense of
urgency particularly on the part of Zimbabwe's neighbors, that the
humanitarian crisis in the country is coming to a head, the pressures in
Zimbabwe itself are building, and this is the time that we need to apply
maximum pressure on the Government of Zimbabwe to abandon these repressive
policies and to begin a process of liberalization leading to early free and
fair elections.

  QUESTION: Can you give us a sense at all about the opposition in the
country and whether you think that the government -- if there's any
instability, that could lead to the fall of the government in any way?

  MR. BELLAMY: The opposition inside Zimbabwe takes many forms. There is the
opposition front, the MDC, but there are labor unions, there are student
groups, there are many elements of civil society, all of whom are subjected
to fairly severe repression; and if you've noticed, political gatherings,
political expression, political dissent in Zimbabwe is coming under
increasingly quick and severe repression wherever it occurs.

  Despite this, we believe that many Zimbabweans are continuing to hold on,
and to maintain hope, and to struggle for a better future, and I think it's
incumbent on all of us to give them hope and to give them support, without
trying to pick what the future Government of Zimbabwe will be, without
trying to choose sides in a future Zimbabwe, simply to support, broadly
speaking, all those groups in Zimbabwe who form the democratic opposition.

  QUESTION: Are you working with these groups through any kind of specific
programs, maybe through NDI or IRI or any of those?

  MR. BELLAMY: For many years, we've had relationships with many of these
groups in Zimbabwe, going back to the 1980s and the 1990s, and we continue
to maintain most of those relationships.

  QUESTION: You said that there was some starvation, and I seem to recall --
in pockets in Zimbabwe -- I seem to recall at one stage there was a proposal
for food drops with or without the approval of the Government of Zimbabwe.

  What happened to that proposal? If there are these pockets of starvation,
why have such food drops not taken place?

  MR. BELLAMY: I don't know that there was ever a proposal, or certainly not
a formal proposal, for the idea of food drops in Zimbabwe.

  We have said on a number of occasions that it's important that the
international community do everything possible to ensure that food aid is
not politicized and that the food that we give to Zimbabwe is fairly
distributed. The key to that is effective monitoring inside the country and
effective action on the part of the donors and the embassies that are in

  We've done a better job, I think, in the past three months of this
monitoring, and although we continue to be concerned about reports of
politicization of food aid or food aid being used for political purposes, we
haven't had many reported incidents recently, and this is, perhaps, a
positive trend.

  Now, I should hasten to say that that covers the aid that we, the
international community, give. We don't have good mechanisms for monitoring
what the Zimbabwe Government does with the food that it brings in on its

  QUESTION: Wasn't it, in fact, you that were pilloried by the Zimbabwean
press for that suggestion about food drops?

  MR. BELLAMY: No, I didn't specifically mention dropping food. I talked
about the importance of doing everything we could to ensure that hungry
people in Zimbabwe got food.

  QUESTION: But they interpreted it, Mugabe and his --

  MR. BELLAMY: As a threat of invasion -- yes.

  QUESTION: Yes, exactly, that the US is preparing to -- within six months,
the US is going to invade, and that's not on the table, right?

  MR. BELLAMY: That's not on the table, not today.

  QUESTION: Not today? But maybe -- no?

  MR. BELLAMY: That's not on the table.

  QUESTION: Okay. [End]

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Daily News

      ZCTU says lawlessness prevalent in companies

      3/14/2003 4:45:11 AM (GMT +2)

      By Colleen Gwari Business Reporter

      THE Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has bemoaned the lack of
good corporate governance in the country, saying lawlessness was now
prevalent in most companies.

      In an interview with The Daily News, Lovemore Matombo, the ZCTU
president, said there was no more corporate governance to talk about in most
organisations throughout the country.

      He said: "The lawlessness everyone is talking about has spread to the
business community. Very few companies are still observing principles of
good corporate governance."

      Matombo said the proposal to have minimum wage levels raised from $16
621,32 to $26 635 was woefully inadequate taking into account the escalating
cost of living.

      The labour body last week recommended to the Tripartite Negotiating
Forum that minimum wages be increased by an average of 60 percent.

      The move was, however, deemed unsustainable as most companies faced
closure owing to the harsh macro-economic environment.
      Matombo dismissed the assertions, insisting that not all companies
were under stress.
      He said: "In fact, according to a study carried out recently, the
minimum wage should be $88 000."

      According to statistics, a majority of professionals, among them
teachers, earning below $88 000 were living below the poverty datum line.
      The ZCTU said most workers were being paid slave wages and, as such,
working was no longer worth their while.

      Matombo castigated the "hypocritical stance" of some companies which
in spite of moaning about the economic hardships, still declared huge
profits and yet poorly paid their employees.

      Matombo said: "Over the past six years salaries and packages for top
managers have risen phenomenally, while those of general workers have
remained almost static."
      However, in a separate interview, Mike Bimha, the Employers'
Confederation of Zimbabwe (EMCOZ) president, said there were some companies
which were doing well and maintained principles of good corporate

      He said: "Certainly there are a number of indigenous companies that
are performing better and have managed to employ strategies to remain afloat
in a volatile environment."

      The EMCOZ boss said organisations in a profitable position should
reward their employees accordingly as it was ultimately in their best

      He, however, challenged some indigenous entrepreneurs to be innovative
and employ professionals to manage their organisations.
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Daily News

      Fuel crisis hits security companies in Mutare

      3/14/2003 4:43:30 AM (GMT +2)

      From Our Correspondent in Mutare

      THE fuel crisis has hit hard on operations of security companies in
Mutare, with many of them failing to fulfil their cash-in-transit services
with various financial institutions, executives at several firms said on

      "We cannot operate at full throttle as we have to deploy drivers to
scrounge for fuel from filling stations," said Alfred Hitschmann, the
managing director of Safeguard.

      He said: "Most of the time we fail to get fuel after spending long
hours in the queues. We lose business in the process."

      Hitschmann, whose firm runs a fleet of 16 vehicles for its
cash-in-transit services, said the company was now forced to postpone by two
to three days trips to clients in Chipinge and Nyanga.

      At Chitkem, operations manager, Howard Kamuchira said criminal
elements could use the fuel shortage to strike businesses which handled
large sums of money and relied on cash-in-transit security services.

      Said Kamuchira: "We are the only security company that offers the
service in Murehwa. We are failing to operate effectively because of the
fuel crisis. This would eventually lead criminals to pounce on our clients
in the belief they have lots of cash."

      He said some clients were now forced to offer their vehicles to
transport the cash, while the company provided an escort service.

      Other security firms echoed similar concerns, appealing to filling
stations to accord them - along with ambulances and funeral service
vehicles - preference in the allocation of petrol and disease.

      Chamu Ngwerume, the chairperson of the Harare-based Security
Association of Zimbabwe, said cash-in-transit services were the most
affected in the security industry.

      Ngwerume said: "The transportation of cash from the Reserve Bank to
banks and from bank to bank as well as from businesses to banks has been
reduced. I am afraid some banks will run out money if the crisis persists."

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Leader Page

      Musekiwa's departure is a victory for repression

      3/14/2003 4:29:34 AM (GMT +2)

      Given Tafadzwa Musekiwa's predicament, anyone would forgive the
27-year-old opposition MDC Member of Parliament for Zengeza for resigning
his seat.

      As he aptly put it, it wouldn't be wise for him to die in Zimbabwe
when he could contribute to the struggle for genuine democracy in safety
outside the country.

      His clashes with the police and ruling Zanu PF officials over the last
few years read like a litany of a hell-bound soul.

      When he announced his resignation this week, Musekiwa, who has been
living in self-imposed exile in the United Kingdom since last November, said
there had been real attempts on his life.

      A few weeks before he fled the country, the young legislator escaped
through the window from his house - naked - after it had had been
tear-gassed by the police. He sustained serious injuries on his feet and
body while fleeing that night.

      On many other occasions, he was either arrested, tortured or harassed
by the police on very spurious charges of infringement of the law. It cannot
be denied that the young man's life was in real danger.

      On 16 August last year, the outspoken but popular MP was barred from
attending his father's funeral in Chivhu. It reminds one of the time when
the Ian Smith regime denied Robert Mugabe the opportunity to leave detention
to attend the funeral of his son, Nhamodzenyika, in the early 60s.

      The irony, though, is that Mugabe's government, most of whose members
underwent severe torture and suffering under the Smith regime, is meting out
the same harsh treatment to its fellow blacks.

      But it is highly debatable whether Musekiwa's decision to escape to
the safety and comfort of the UK leaving the battlefield at home was right
or not.

      While his resignation will obviously give Zanu PF members a reason to
celebrate that one more opposition MP is out, it sends a very bad message to
the rest of the nation and the world. It is a clear testimony of what
repression can lead to.

      Torture and detention instill fear, especially in the hearts of the
young, like Musekiwa. He fell prey to the evil machinations of his political
rivals. It would be very unfortunate if others within his party follow his
in his footsteps. For that would be easy victory for Zanu PF. There would be
more celebrations.

      Zanu PF, which was given a rude shock when the newly-formed MDC won 57
of the contested 120 seats in the 2000 parliamentary election, is working
hard to have a two-thirds majority. This majority would obviously enable it
to amend the Constitution in any manner it deems fit.

      To date, the MDC is down to 51 seats following the death of Kuwadzana
MP Learnmore Jongwe, the resignation of Mike Auret (Harare Central) due to
ill health, and the
      expulsion from the party of Munyaradzi Gwisai, the MP for Highfield,
among others.
      Should anything else happen to just one more MDC legislator, then Zanu
PF, which is very experienced and shrewd in political games, will have the
desired two-thirds majority to enable it to make legitimate constitutional

      An exit package will be announced for the President and a Zanu PF
member will replace him, sealing the fate for both the MDC and the nation.

      This is very feasible.
      The MDC should urgently take a closer look at itself and its
strategies to bring about real change.

      There are justified murmurs that the MDC leadership is soft and not
prepared to sacrifice their lives in the same manner that their adversaries
within Zanu PF did during the liberation struggle of this country.

      Those murmurs should not be dismissed, but should be taken as a
genuine desire by loyal supporters who feel that their leaders should go
back to the drawing board to save the country from further economic

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