Grisly murder By Tsitsi Matope THE Allanson couple,
reported missing since January, was axed to death and the bodies were
concealed in a metal box before being burnt to ashes, allegedly by their
Police have since arrested the female domestic worker
aged 40, her son 19 and her nephew aged 21 at Mr and Mrs Hillary Kenneth
Allansonís Marlborough home where they were still staying after the murder
and had moved into the main house.
Hillary Allanson 52 and her husband
Kenneth Allanson were reported missing for several weeks in the Press and
their disappearance had remained a mystery.
Police homicide chief
spokesman, Chief Superintendent Shepherd Maruta yesterday described the
murder as one of the classical murders of the decade where all evidence had
been cleaned out.
He said after an intense interrogation, the two young
men had confessed to having plotted with their female relative to get rid of
their employers and inherit their property since they had no known relatives
in the country.
"They led us where they buried their remains which only
consisted of the skulls and other bones," he said.
Also recovered was
a metal box where the two bodies were concealed and later burnt with firewood
and petrol the whole night.
In the metal box, police detectives
identified some strands of hair which surprisingly were not completely burnt
The Allansonsí are believed to have children based in the United
States and another distant relative who lives in the country.
Supt Maruta said investigations carried out so far have revealed that on the
Wednesday of January 8, Kenneth left his wife at home and went to play
While he was away, their female domestic worker and her two
accomplices attacked Mrs Allanson with an axe on the head and killed her
They dragged her body to an empty swimming pool and placed it
in a two metre metal box.
At around 8pm, Mr Allanson returned from
playing golf and the female worker allegedly opened the gate for him and
walked him into the house.
While they were still in the passageway, the
two cousins came from behind and attacked him with an axe before dumping his
body in the metal box where they had placed his wifeís body.
indeed a well-plotted murder case because according to the two young suspects
and from what we saw in the house, all the evidence linking the suspects to
the crime had been wiped clean.
"The lounge carpet which we believe was
smeared with blood was burnt the same night," Chief Supt Maruta
After placing the bodies in a metal box, the three suspects placed
the metal box in a bonfire and placed some burning charcoal on top of the
The Allansonsí had more than 30 litres of petrol reserved in
their garage, which the trio took and poured onto the fire to burn the bodies
The two male suspects indicated that they had buried the ashes
and other remains in a bush where they were recovered on
Chief Supt Maruta said at the time when the couple went
missing, the workers were interviewed by the police and were not suspected of
any involvement in the disappearance.
"They had continued to stay in
the house and they even had the nerve to move into the main house," Chief
Supt Maruta said.
He said a team of nine detectives was set up to
intelligently monitor the situation at the house and it came out that this
month, the trio had relaxed and thought the case was water under the
"They started selling some household goods that belonged to the
couple obviously aware that they were not ever returning
Household goods that included a television set, VCR, a motor boat,
firearms, clothes and other utensils had already been sold at the time of the
Police approached the suspects on Thursday and arrested them
after they had failed to explain why they were selling the household
One detective who was in plain clothes had gone to the house
during investigations wanting to buy the lounge suite and was told by one of
the suspects to return the following day with the deposit.
convinced this was a well-orchestrated gruesome murder whose motive was to
steal the property or even permanently stay at the coupleís
"There were no bodies, there was no evidence that they were
killed until now," Chief Supt Maruta said.
The female domestic worker
who was shaking and could hardly stand on her feet yesterday professed
ignorance about the murder.
"I arrived at home that evening and found the
boys burning the bodies, I was not involved in the murder," she
"I saw smoke and smelt something was being burnt. Vana
vakandiparira zvimwe ava kupisa varungu (The boys did a terrible thing by
burning the whites)," the woman said before she was constrained to say more
by her defence counsel.
According to the police, the woman could not
explain why they were selling the coupleís property if she knew nothing about
"If they had taken over the house to protect it from the
thieves, why were they selling the household property?" Chief Supt Maruta
Last year, several white elderly couples were killed while
others were maimed by armed robbers especially in the Avondale
The Phelps brother and sister were strangled to death at their
Avondale home after some armed robbers broke into their house at
It is suspected their gardener who came once a month was also
involved in the murder.
None of the suspects were
Another elderly man in his late 70ís was attacked and killed by
his gardener and his son at his Mazowe Mansions flat in October last
The gardener was arrested after his son was seen by neighbours
loading part of the dead manís property onto his vehicle.
Harare - Police raided a print shop and seized fliers calling
for a nationwide strike and anti-government protests next week,
Zimbabwe's opposition party, MDC, said on Friday.
Paul Themba Nyathi,
spokesperson for the Movement for Democratic Change, said police alleged the
fliers were "subversive material" likely to incite violence.
at the private printer in Harare were summoned to the Central Police station
for questioning, but were released without charge.
About 120 000 printed
sheets, some still to be cut into fliers, were confiscated.
were not immediately available for comment. The government has said it will
not tolerate protests that breach stringent security laws banning political
Nyathi said a meeting of opposition leaders on Tuesday
agreed to go ahead with national protests, known as "mass action", against
the government. An announcement on the timing of the protests is expected to
be made over the weekend.
Opposition officials said privately,
however, a national work stoppage will be called on Tuesday, the first of
several days of protests.
At least 4 million fliers had been
Many were being distributed before the police raided the Harare
printers on Tuesday.
One complained that Zimbabweans were tired of
economic mismanagement and state oppression and said: "The time for action is
Others referred to disputed presidential elections last March that
gave President Robert Mugabe another six-year term.
Morgan Tsvangirai narrowly lost that poll which independent election
observers said was swayed in Mugabe's favour by political violence,
intimidation and vote rigging.
As Zimbabwe suffers its worst economic
crisis since independence in 1980, with massive shortages of food, fuel and
essential imports, the opposition has been under growing pressure to stage
Another flier said: "We continue to experience
hardships everyday under Mugabe's government which we did not
Tsvangirai, as head of the main labour federation in 1998,
organised a series of national strikes that shut down the economy.
opposition has called for new internationally supervised elections, and says
it does not recognise Mugabe's victory by a slender 400 000 votes of about
2.8 million ballots cast last year.
Prominent South African church
leader, the Njongonkulu Ndungane, the Anglican archbishop of Cape Town, on
Thursday announced a new mediation initiative aimed at restarting dialogue on
a settlement in Zimbabwe.
But the state media on Friday accused him of
bias against the government.
"The so-called political and human rights
crisis only exists in the eyes of the opposition and its legion of clerics,"
the state Herald newspaper said.
A month of talks between Mugabe's ruling
party and the main opposition collapsed in acrimony over human rights
violations and curbs on democratic rights.
An often violent campaign
launched by the government in 2000 to confiscate 95% of farmland owned by
white farmers, disrupted the agriculture-based economy.
slashed harvests of corn, the staple food. At least 7 million people, more
than half the population, need emergency food aid.
The opposition accuses
the government of stifling its activities through violence, police torture,
intimidation and stringent security and media laws.
In the past month
at least 300 people, including church clerics on a peace march, have been
arrested for staging political demonstrations declared illegal under the
security laws. - Sapa-AP
MANAGING editor of
Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN) Mr Obi Anyadike yesterday
paid a courtesy call on the Minister of State for Information and Publicity,
Professor Jonathan Moyo, to explain the role of the news agency.
is a United Nations agency under the UN office for the co-ordination
of humanitarian affairs. Mr Anyadike refused to speak to the Press
after meeting Prof Moyo, but it is understood that his visit is a follow-up
to the one held between the Minister and the director of the United
Nations Information Centre in Zimbabwe recently.
At that meeting Prof
Moyo expressed concern over the nature of IRIN's reporting, which was seen as
biased against the Government. During yesterday's meeting Prof Moyo
reiterated his concern at the ideological stance of the news
The news agency is supposed to be inter-governmental under the UN
and to have a reconciliatory tone.
But its reportage of Zimbabwe is
viewed as not so different from other foreign news agencies that denigrate
the Govern-ment. As an organisation born out of the experience of the
problems in the Great Lakes region particularly after Rwanda's genocide, IRIN
was expected to promote dialogue and unite nations instead of dividing them,
observers say. It is understood that Mr Anyadike took note of the
Government's concerns and promised to present them to the director of
††††† Well said Patrick Chinamasa †††††
††††† THE Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary
Affairs Patrick Chinamasa deserves a lot of credit for clearly and eloquently
demonstrating a distinction between committing a criminal offence rendering
one liable to prosecution on the one hand and an act of misbehaviour or
misconduct rendering a person liable to disciplinary inquiry on the
††††† We are, of course, referring to the sharp exchanges about a
week ago between Chinamasa and 10 High Court judges who had queried
the constitutionality of the arrest of their colleague Justice Benjamin
Paradza, at his chambers on February 24.
††††† Justice Paradza was
arrested on allegations of having tried to influence a fellow judge to
release the passport of his business partner which was being held as part of
his bail conditions. The judge's business partner is facing murder
††††† Justice Paradza did not himself help matters by wanting to
appear as a judicial monarch above the law. His emotional outbursts regarding
his so called status in society and of being "humiliated and degraded as a
sitting judge", was uncalled for and most unfortunate. Silence is golden,
Justice Paradza. Keeping one's cards close to one's chest is a virtue. You
should have let your colleagues fight the case on your behalf which they did
in a signed public statement. Your conduct, then, cannot be other
††††† By going public the way you did and
before investigations had been completed, you were taking a real risk Your
Lordship. The consequences may be significant. Your remarks and those of your
colleagues boil down to the defensiveness of a closed institution. The 10
judges who sprang to your defence appear to have this innate belief that the
traditions and practices of this hallowed institution cannot be called into
††††† You are wrong, pure and simple. And Patrick Chinamasa is
right-only this once in almost three years of bungling, assaulting and
bastardising a judicial system, once the envy of the world.
had always mistrusted your motives Chinamasa. This time we must give credit
where it is due. You really put your finger on the shortcomings and
weaknesses of the 10 judges who put out a public statement in defence
of Justice Paradza.
††††† Like you rightly pointed out: "I am not
aware of any domestic or international legal instruments which provide that
judges can commit crimes-serious crimes for that matter-with impunityS
Judges, like all of us are mere mortals and as mortals we are prone to
committing all sorts of crimes including murder, rape, corruption and drug
††††† Well said Patrick. How we wish the ruling Zanu PF
party had all along applied this ideal in both word and deed. You went on to
agree with the 10 judges "that arresting a judge in his chambers or within
the precincts of the court building is not sensitive to the need to uphold
the independence of the judiciary".
††††† We agree. And we also agree
with you that "to preserve the integrity, stature and independence of the
judiciary, we should mend our law to provide for the protection of judges
from arrest from their chambers or from within the precincts of the court
††††† But, of course, this must relate only to arrests in the
judges' chambers. Anywhere else, including in their homes, judges must be
arrested if they commit serious crimes. Not even for one minute should the
police take into account their status or standing in society. We are all
equal before the law and the judges who are the guardians of our constitution
must be in the forefront of emphasising equality before the law.
Otherwise, if we become two nations (which is in fact what we are now) in
terms of the law, then the entire judiciary will be brought into disrepute.
Judges must be fair game as everyone else and our judiciary must be severely
criticised for the good of the country. No one, not even the sitting
president, must consider himself or herself above criticism.
Indeed, there was constitutionally nothing wrong with the police arresting
Justice Paradza at his chambers. It is just a matter of how the judiciary
will be perceived by the public both nationally and internationally if a
sitting judge is arrested in his chambers. It is an issue of appearance
rather than of substance.
††††† The 'learned' judges should have known
that Section 87 of the Constitution which has procedures laid down for
handling allegations of misconduct against a judge, does not preclude
criminal procedures running parallel with disciplinary processes. If the 10
judges accept as they do that they are not above the law and are not immune
from arrest by the police, then they must not at the same time think that
whenever they commit serious crimes, they must be subjected to a special
process outside the country's criminal justice system.
this will be an affront to true law.
††††† What the whole Paradza saga
also shows is the masterly and trickery of Zanu PF in coopting and seducing
people into their system and the ease with which one is discarded once their
purpose has been achieved.
††††† There is no straight line in Zanu PF.
Where were you Justice Paradza when some of the judges in the team of the
former Chief Justice Anthony Gubbay were forced to relinquish their positions
because they had become a major obstacle to the machinations of Zanu PF? Did
you ever think that once coopted you would be treated this way several months
down the road?
††††† That's Zanu PF for you-Comrade! Zanu PF
††††† A shocking total lack of shame ††††† By Chido
††††† THE long queues of unhappy people in fuel and public
transportation queues, the shortages of all kinds of basic goods, and prices
that continue to rise beyond the means of the majority of people are just
some of the most obvious signs of the breakdown of what had been a reasonably
††††† Garbage piles up in the cities, it takes
commuters hours instead of minutes to get to and from work, and productivity
is vastly reduced as the fuel shortage takes its toll. This problem alone
will make nonsense of the umpteenth economic plan currently being marketed by
††††† The self-serving politicians, and the hopeful
romantics among the rest of us, say the decline is all a necessary part of a
revolution that will empower the majority tomorrow, even if it impoverishes
them and robs them of dignity today. To try to make us forget that the
upheavals that have negatively affected every facet of life in Zimbabwe began
with President Robert Mugabe's reaction to the first real prospect of him
losing power at the last election, the word "revolution" is bastardised at
††††† There are many other less obvious signs of the decay of
Zimbabwe as a society that functions for the benefit of its people, but whose
effects will be just as dire.
††††† One of those signs is the utter
lack of a sense of shame and embarrassment among our rulers. Apart from the
fear of punishment for doing wrong, most people are kept in check in what
they say and do by an internal sense of wanting to do what is right, to keep
a good name and image before their peers.
††††† When we lapse in that
effort, most of us will feel and show guilt. That alone, even in situations
where we are not able to undo whatever wrong we have done another party, or
to make amends, is recognised as at least a mild form of saying "I am
embarrassed by what I said/did, and I am sorry for it."
ability to experience the uncomfortable feeling of shame, and the consequent
efforts we put to avoid putting ourselves in situations where we have to
experience it is therefore a lubricant that helps smoothen out
human interactions. It can be considered a sign of one's development as a
human being, the extent to which he avoids bringing shame on himself, and
also the extent to which he shows contrition when he does something he knows
to be wrong, and therefore shameful.
††††† All religions and cultures
try to foster this quality, and respect is given to those who have a highly
developed sense of it.
††††† One of the ways in which the Zimbabwe of
today is remarkable is in the seeming total lack of the feeling of shame in
the highest levels of its government. Even if one bought the lie that all our
great and worsening problems are simply because much of the world has turned
against us for wanting to correct colonial injustices and economically
empower ourselves, one would still be turned off by how our rulers downplay
the real day to day crises that many Zimbabweans are dealing with. There is
simply no sense of urgency in trying to solve the escalating problems,
regardless of what you consider to be their cause, that one would expect from
a government that constantly assures us is people centred.
think I would be ashamed to be the haughty, grand-standing, loud-mouthed
president of a country that the whole world can painfully see is not working
very well. For the normal person who is capable of feeling shame, surely the
embarrassment of widespread official violence, hunger, shortages, worsening
poverty and unemployment would make that person draw more into himself to
seek ways of grappling with those problems.
††††† Instead, in Zimbabwe we
have the fascinating situation of a ruler who wants to be more noticed by the
world, in direct proportion to the growing evidence of his failures and lack
of concern at the plight of his subjects! No sense of shame is evident at all
at this dichotomy.
††††† When we cheat, most of us do it furtively,
trying to make sure what we are doing that we know to be wrong is not
discovered. Our conscience may bother us, but at least we hope to save
ourselves the shame of being publicly discovered. None of this seems to
bother the regime ruling over Zimbabwe.
††††† Huge electoral and
financial scandals are committed right out in the open. The system of every
kind of corruption in the highest institutions of the land has become
entrenched and commonplace. Where before there would be pretences of
"crackdowns on corruption" or commissions of inquiry, albeit just to fool the
public, now there is none of that.
††††† The attitude of the rulers, and
the powerful minority of their appendages who are benefiting from the misery
being experienced by the majority of Zimbabweans is now "we know you know we
are stealing and cheating, but so what?" That is how bald-faced the lack of
shame has become in Zimbabwe.
††††† One minister talked about licensed
money changers being the major cause of foreign currency not flowing into the
system, when it was public knowledge that his ministerial colleagues were the
major players in that sector. The government introduces fines for merchants
exceeding price controls that are universally agreed to be unrealistic and
ineffective, worsening shortages and the viability of companies. Yet
officials of that same government ignore price controls themselves, as was
recently shown by one minister who was caught contravening them, as are all
the others who have just not been similarly publicly embarrassed
††††† There is no longer any effort to try to maintain some
consistency between what makes sense and that which is politically expedient,
or between what government says and what it and its officials
††††† Some of the ministers who craft, explain and selectively
apply partisan and oppressive laws are themselves of shady backgrounds and in
a normal, fair society in which the rule of law applied would be behind
bars, and certainly not serving in the country's cabinet. There is no longer
any sense of embarrassment about appointing mercenaries to positions of
power and responsibility.
††††† Now that the euphoria of being seen to
be telling off the British is evaporating amidst starvation, shortages and
international isolation, our tough regime goes to virtually anybody in the
world, and grabs at any straw to "mend ties" with the British. Strong
statements are issued, conditions are made as if it is we who have the upper
hand in the diplomatic standoff. There is no shame at all at the evidence
that despite all the shouting, the life of the average Zimbabwean is affected
far more and far worse over the childish diplomatic behaviour of our
government than that of any resident of Britain.
††††† Instead of
showing toughness and being "right" in the methods it chose to show off its
"sovereignty" by then making a success of those methods, we get the continual
whining and finger pointing. There is no shame expressed that drought or no
drought, a country that is not only sovereign but boasts about it at every
turn, must now depend on food handouts from those it says are its
††††† This lack of shame is one of the worst ways that the decay
of Zimbabwe manifests itself.
WELL dear countrymen, patriots and people of our dear government,
the government of the people takes great delight in informing you about our
Dear Leader's recent visit to France and other pertinent issues.
Comrades, it has come to our attention that our enemies are at it again,
attempting to assassinate the indomitable, impeccable character and stature
of our Dear Leader. The foreign funded opposition press, working in cahoots
with the British is spreading vicious and malicious rumours about our Dear
Leader's recent visit to France where he was accompanied by our vivacious and
gracious First Lady. Elements in the opposition press, which is not even
worth the paper on which it publishes its lies and falsehoods, allege that
the president and his stately, regal entourage were met by
††††† Nothing could be further from the truth
comrades, countrymen and colleagues. Contrary to these malignant rumours
comrades, our Dear Leader received a red carpet welcome from the French
people. In fact, hundreds of those people who waited patiently at the airport
were eagerly awaiting the arrival of the world's Dearest Leader.
You should have been there for yourselves to see the glee on the faces of the
French people when they caught site of His Excellency and the adorable First
Lady by his side. It was only a few malcontents led by that gay gangster,
Peter, What's His Name, who attempted to disrupt an otherwise overwhelming
reception. Chave Chimurenga comrades, right there on the
††††† Some mischievous elements in the foreign funded
opposition press actually allege that our Dear Colleague, Jacques the Dear
Leader of the French people, did not give our Dear Leader the traditional
Gaelic kiss. Comrades, what a lamentable act of cardinal mischief of the
first capital order. Do they not know our Dear Leader's position on public
expressions of affection between people of the same sex? Besides, Jacques did
give His Excellency a most hearty handshake, which is our African way of
expression filial gratitude. Hugs and kisses comrades, are totally un-African
and not befitting of a self-respecting African leader. They are actually a
mark of colonialist cultural slavery and imperialism originating straight
from Downing Street. Our French colleague, Jacques understands only too well
that our Dear Leader prefers our own ways of expressing affection, our
own handshakes and, yes comrades, the virtues of our own homegrown
††††† Chave Chimurenga comrades, right there in Paris. An
African handshake right there in Europe, what more could we have asked
††††† The opposition press, no doubt in cahoots with foreign spy
agencies, also decided to focus on trivial issues such as the hotel
accommodation of our Dear Leader and his esteemed entourage, as if that was
an issue at all. Did they not see the First Lady's outfit? Did they see how
immaculate our Dear Leader was in his designer suit? Indeed the first couple
were the envy and admiration of all. Was that not a revolution in itself? The
First Lady caused a stir in Paris, the fashion capital of the world comrades,
††††† Our detractors went on to lambast, lampoon and
lacerate the First Family for revelling in the lap of the luxury of Paris's
best hotels. Why is it that our detractors make such an issue when not a
single Zimbabwean cent was spent and not a dollar was used of our taxpayers
money? Our taxpayers are too valuable to be burdened with such expense when
their money can be put to good use by ensuring that our Dear Leader is still
able to visit important destinations such as Thailand and
††††† His Excellency travels with large contingents and huge
finances are required for this, seeing that our Dear Leader will be promoting
and protecting the sovereign interests of the people's government and the
people of the government.
††††† In actual fact, what is wrong with the
First Family occasionally enjoying a bit of comfort, here and there? Is it
not an undeniable fact that when our Dear Leader and His Dear Wife are
enjoying the luxuries of Paris, they are actually doing so on behalf of the
entire Zimbabwean nation? How many people complain about the opulence of
Queen Elizabeth and her consorts at Buckingham Palace?
detractors seem keen on undermining the inimitable leadership of His
Excellency just because he is African. If it were Blair or Howard the coward,
then that kind of luxury would be justified. It is quite clear even to those
who are not rocket scientists that the British are out to reverse the gains
of our struggle. They make noise when our Dear Leader is treated like the
king that he is and yet keep quiet when their own leaders revel in the lap of
††††† By the way comrades, His Excellency actually had the best
hotel in Paris reserved for him and his worthy entourage. Our Dear Leader was
a cut above the rest. Is that not a revolution in itself comrades? In actual
fact, it's not that Our Dear Leader enjoys luxury, he would rather stay in
Mbare or Makokoba but the dictates of his office forbid that.
††††† AS the days
draw nearer for the Kuwadzana by-election, strange things are
††††† Zanu PF is taking advantage of the shortage of maize to
try and steal the election from the MDC. First of all, where are they getting
the maize from? Secondly, why are the Zanu PF youths and their seniors asking
people to produce their IDs before they can buy mealie meal, and then noting
their names down?
††††† Is it their way of getting Zanu PF thugs from
other areas other than Kuwadzana to cast their votes using the names of some
††††† It is painful to see how our mothers and
fathers are treated by the Zanu PF youth whenever they need to buy mealie
meal. These arrogant youths are perpetrating violence. The elections will not
††††† Insiza picks up the pieces ††††† By Cynthia
††††† BULAWAYO-The people of Insiza are slowly picking up the
pieces after last year's by-election, characterised by an unprecedented reign
of terror which wreaked havoc on their lives.
††††† Insiza, a once
peaceful communal area largely forgotten by the authorities, suddenly bounced
into the spotlight when the ruling Zanu PF party and the opposition Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC) squared up for a parliamentary by-election which
transformed the area into a mini war zone.
††††† The Zanu PF militia
invaded Insiza and caused havoc in the area by beating up suspected
opposition supporters and destroying their property.
††††† Hundreds of
MDC activists were forced to flee their homes as the militia rampaged through
††††† To make matters worse, thousands of Insiza
residents suddenly found themselves staring starvation in the face when the
World Food Programme decided to suspend its relief programme to the area
because of the politicisation of food aid.
††††† Zanu PF supporters
had looted a food consignment belonging to the WFP, prompting the agency to
stop its activities in the area.
††††† But a visit by The Standard to the
Sanali area has revealed that the Insiza people, some of whom were forced to
flee their homes at the height of the terror campaign, are putting their past
political differences firmly behind them and are uniting in an attempt to
improve their lives through community projects.
††††† Last week,
thousands of people from Sanali came together to witness the commissioning of
a project which will see the community using biogas as an energy
††††† The biogas project was funded by the Canadian
International Development Agency and will benefit families from Mpumulelo,
Kutula, Bamabanani and Sanali villages.
††††† The project consists of
20 biogas digesters whose number is to be increased to cover more
††††† Sibusiso Ncube of Saneli ward said she was pleased that life
was slowly returning to normal. "Most people still find it hard to speak
about the terrible things they experienced during the by-election. But we are
all focused on rebuilding our lives and developing the
††††† At the same function, 20 families who had initiated
successful farming projects received cattle and seed from Heifer Programme
International and Funds for Development Cooperation.
††††† The biogas
digester project was handed over by the Canadian High Commissioner, John
Schram, who said his office was prepared to fund projects that were
environmentally friendly and of benefit to the poor and
††††† Police brutality on women slammed ††††† By Loughty
††††† BULAWAYO-Women's pressure groups have criticised the
heavy-handed manner in which police in Bulawayo broke up a demonstration to
commemorate the International Women's Day in the city, two weeks
††††† Armed riot police, wielding baton sticks, assaulted over
500 women-some of them with children on their backs-and arrested 15
organisers of the demonstration, leaving scores injured.
of Zimbabwe Arise (Woza) spokesperson, Jenni Williams, said some women
suffered facial injuries after the unprovoked attack by riot
††††† Last month, police arrested 47 women in Harare and dozens
of others in Bulawayo for taking part in a protest march against violence on
††††† The women's organisations said the action by
the police showed that women in Zimbabwe were far from being emancipated and
could not freely celebrate a day recognised worldwide and set aside for their
††††† Provincial co-ordinator of the Federation of African
Media Women in Zimbabwe (FAMWZ), Qonda Moyo, told The Standard that
Saturday's action by the police was cause for concern for women.
"The police are not clear on how people should conduct themselves when it
comes to demonstrations. The women in Bulawayo were assaulted and arrested
despite the fact that they were granted permission to hold the demonstration
by the very same police," said Moyo.
††††† Women's Action Group
spokesperson, Abigail Dube, said it was now evident that women in Zimbabwe
had no rights and it was the police and men who held those rights
††††† Mugabe urged to lift Nyarota's arrest order †††††
By our own Staff
††††† PARIS-The World Association of Newspapers (WAN)
and the World Editors Forum (WEF) have asked President Robert Mugabe to
rescind an arrest order for Golden Pen of Freedom laureate Geoffrey Nyarota,
who is currently at Harvard University on a fellowship.
††††† In a
letter to President Robert Mugabe, the Paris-based WAN and the WEF said the
media law under which Nyarota has been charged "contravenes the basic
principles of freedom of expression."
††††† Nyarota, the 2002 winner of
the WAN Golden Pen of Freedom and former editor-in-chief of Zimbabwe's
independent daily newspaper, The Daily News, is being charged with "abusing
journalistic privilege and publishing falsehoods".
††††† The letter to
the President reads :
††††† "The charges of abusing journalistic
privileges and publishing falsehoods arose after a report appeared in The
Daily News last April describing how a woman had allegedly beheaded in front
of her daughters by pro-government militias. The story later proved false and
The Daily News then printed a retraction of the story.
respectfully remind you that the media law under which Nyarota has been
charged contravenes the basic principles of freedom of expression, including
the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
††††† The Paris-based WAN, the
global organisation for the newspaper industry, defends and promotes press
freedom world-wide. It represents 18 000 newspapers. Its membership includes
71 national newspaper associations, individual newspaper executives in 100
countries, 13 news agencies and nine regional and world-wide press
††††† More convicted at Zimsec ††††† By our own
††††† THE saga at the Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council (Zimsec)
took another twist last week when two more employees of the
beleaguered examinations body appeared before the Harare Magistrates court
and were found guilty of contravening the Prevention of Corruption
††††† Simon Mbeu (34) and Begun Nhendere (27), pleaded guilty to
charges of breaching the Zimbabwe Schools Examination Act by forging 'O'
level results for six individuals who neither registered nor sat for the
††††† Mbeu was slapped with a $70 000 fine or
seven months imprisonment and Nhendere with a $25 000 fine or four months
imprisonment. They opted to pay the fines and were given up to 19 March to
raise the money.
††††† The two, both clerks in the Department of
Examination and Administration at Zimsec, forged and printed 'O' level
results for six people last year, in return for cash.
††††† The court
heard that the six, whose names were not readily available yesterday, had
neither registered nor sat for the examinations in question.
††††† A few
weeks ago, two other Zimsec staffers, Jeffres Chawaguta and Beven Kuimba,
were convicted of forging 'A' level results and were slapped with a $100 000
fine or eight months imprisonment.
††††† Cholera outbreak feared ††††† By our own
††††† A HEALTH time bomb is ticking away in Harare as refuse
collection has been abandoned in many areas owing to the shortage of
††††† The situation has become desperate in many high density
suburbs where rubbish has not been collected for about two weeks. City
council officials, however, attribute the problem to the current fuel
††††† Health officials fear that the lack of transport for the
collection of refuse might cause an outbreak of diseases such as dysentery
††††† This week, The Standard found that refuse had not been
collected for days in suburbs such as Glen Norah A and B, Warren Park,
Braeside and the overcrowded Mbare, among many others.
residents, impatient at the non-appearance of the refuse trucks, were
emptying their bins at street corners and storm drains.
††††† Said a
middle-aged woman at Mbare Musika who identified herself as Amai
††††† "For how long can the bins remain like this? What has become
of our once clean and shiny city? City fathers-where are you?"
††††† THE president of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC),
Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday confirmed that mass action against the
worsening political and economic situation in Zimbabwe will be from Tuesday,
setting the stage for a showdown with the ruling Zanu PF party that could
have far reaching consequences for a country riven by conflict since
††††† In an interview with The Standard, Tsvangirai disclosed that
after much consultation with the ordinary people, trade unions, civil society
and the business community, his party had decided to embark on mass action
to register people's anger against Mugabe's regime.
Tsvangirai: "We have planned mass action for Tuesday. However, we can't
disclose the form it will take. The people know what they are supposed to do
to register their anger. We have been preparing for this mass action over a
long period and have been consulting with the people."
Tsvangirai refused to disclose the forms the mass action will take, The
Standard has it on good authority that people will be asked to stay away from
their work places to force a shut down in all the major cities.
This action is intended to be a replica of the historic stay aways called by
the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) in 1998 when Tsvangirai was its
secretary general, and which almost paralysed the country.
Documents in the possession of this paper reveal that the MDC has consulted
widely over the past month and gained the support of captains of industry as
well as civil society for its intended mass action.
Zimbabweans have demanded action from Tsvangirai every time that he has gone
on his meet-the-people tours, setting the stage for a possible popular
uprising against President Robert Mugabe's government.
††††† In an advert
carried in this issue, the MDC had this to say on its planned mass action:
"This is a call for peaceful action carefully calculated to express
discontent and disgust with the state of affairs within our nation. We
therefore ask all Zimbabweans to register their anger against the oppressive
system and show the regime that you have power to determine your destiny. We
must take up the challenge and engage in the most visible form of democratic
resistance until our rights, freedom, dignity and the right to live in peace
are won back.
††††† "On Tuesday, 18 March 2003, and Wednesday, 19 March,
2003, and thereafter people must demand change through action if we are to
survive in these trying times. "
††††† Yesterday, Anthony Mandiwanza,
the president of the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries, (CZI) would not be
drawn into saying whether or not his organisation supported the mass
††††† Said Mandiwanza: "We will respond to the issue when we have
been formally approached. Right now, I can't give a definite
††††† Wellington Chibhebhe, the secretary general of the ZCTU
could not be reached for comment yesterday, but insiders said the labour body
fully supported the move.
††††† Raymond Majongwe, the secretary
general of the Progressive Teachers Union (PTUZ), said the union would give
its blessings to members who engaged in the mass action.
Majongwe: "We honestly believe that Zimbabweans are quite free to exercise
their right to ignore such laws as POSA. We will therefore not stand in the
way of members who wish to participate in the mass action. The situation we
find ourselves in is terrible and people must be free to express their
opinion or demand some action."
††††† Runaway inflation, the
unavailability of basic commodities such as fuel, mealie meal and sugar as a
result of Mugabe's chaotic land reforms, and an acute shortage of foreign
currency, have pushed the nation to the brink of collapse.
has been swelling against Mugabe, who was controversially reelected last
year, because despite numerous promises, the aging president has failed to
pull Zimbabwe out of its economic quagmire.
Ancram: The real risks and real threats we cannot
Speech to Conservative Party Spring Conference
session has inevitably centred on Iraq. It has been a serious debate. Iain
Duncan Smith set the scene for us. Bernard Jenkin and Caroline Spelman have
enlarged upon it.
It has also rightly ranged wider.
We must never
forget the war against international terrorism. The Chairman reminded us of
the horrors of September 11 last year. We must continue to work with the
international community to hunt down the terrorists and to ensure that they
have nowhere to hide.
We welcome the recent arrests in Pakistan even if
they are only the tip of the iceberg.
We have seen from recent alerts
in Britain that the threat to us is real.
The first responsibility of
government is the protection of its citizens. We will ensure that the
Government does not take their eye off this ball.
Iraq however is the
immediate priority. I make no excuse for returning to it again.
course we are concerned.
None of us want war. Some of us have spent
significant parts of our lives working for peace. War must always be the last
resort - when there is no better way of achieving what must be
That sad reality now stares us in the face. I still pray that
Saddam Hussein will finally see that he has run out of road, and that even at
this late date he will disarm.
His attitude has to change. If it does
not, then the international community must act.
There are many
questions and doubts. I take them very seriously. I believe the Government
should have done much more to answer the questions and to meet the doubts
from the outset.
They have not. So let me share with you our
Does Saddam really pose a risk to international peace and
The UN certainly thinks so - and has done so for the last 12
All 17 resolutions passed against Iraq fall under Chapter VII of
the UN Charter which specifically and exclusively deals with threats to
internation al peace and security and in Article 42 specifically permits the
use of military force if necessary to deal with it.. Indeed Resolution
1441 deliberately replicates the language of Article 42.
signed up for it, including France, can be in any doubt as to what it means.
They knew at the time they signed, and they still know it now.
that the threat a danger to us? There may be no obvious smoking gun yet. But
I learned in Northern Ireland the value and importance of intelligence
advice. They are our eyes where we cannot see and our ears where we cannot
hear. They have told the PM that the threat is real, present and endangers
us. We would be unwise to seek to second-guess them.
And even if the
smoking gun is not there, there is certainly smoke is.
There is the
further evidence produced in written form by Dr Hans Blix a week ago. It
lists a blood-chilling number of unaccounted for weapons and biological and
chemical stockpiles. Tonnes of anthrax and the nerve agent VX were present
four years ago. In the absence of evidence to the contrary, we can only
assume that they are still there. Today's Iraqi letter at first sight seems
once again a propaganda device, too little and too late.
are simple to use either in Iraqi hands or in the hands of terrorists,
particularly those who are careless of their own lives. They can be easily
developed into even more lethal agents. They are easily transported and
These are the real risks and real threats we cannot
So why now?
There can never be an absolutely right time.
But history teaches us that action delayed or postponed is rarely action
that putting off what needs to be done almost always leads to
worse challenges later on.
If we leave Saddam Hussein armed with WMD
now, he will still have to be dealt with later when the risks will almost
inevitably be much higher and the dangers infinitely greater.
I do not
believe we have a right to pass this lethal buck on to those who will come
after us. It would be contemptible, and as Conservatives must never tread
that dishonourable path.
We support efforts to achieve a Second
Resolution to implement Resolution 1441 within a given timetable. But a
second resolution is not, and has never been, a legal prerequisite for
We therefore will support whatever action - in
conformity with international law - is necessary to remove Saddam Hussein's
weapons of mass destruction.
There is another aspect we should not
There are inevitably feelings of destabilisation throughout the
Gulf. We should not underestimate how much of a running sore the unresolved
problem of Israel/Palestine remains.
If we are to demonstrate that
this is not a war against Islam we must support President Bush in his call
for real progress on achieving two states west of the Jordan, a secure Israel
and a viable Palestinian state, and the ending of settlement
We must applaud his decision yesterday to publish the
long-awaited 'road-map' to achieve this. We must add our weight, and press an
ending of violence and a resumption of talks.
And as Caroline Spelman
has said we must not lose sight of our obligations to help Iraq get back on
its feet once this is all over.
We support the Prime Minister on Iraq.
That support is not unconditional. Nor does it come easily. How politically
tempting it would be to ride public opinion and oppose. It would also be
dishonourable, irresponsible and wrong. As have been the Liberal Democrats
throughout this crisis, facing in all directions at the same time. Their
behaviour has been despicable. It has even outdone their own usual low
Hostile to Saddam at one moment, sympathetic at another. For
the UN route last September, against the UN route in February, back in favour
of it now. Against military action yesterday, apparently morally supporting
it to day. What will his position be tomorrow?
He claims to have been
consistent, when their only consistency has been their inconsistency. Kennedy
makes the Grand Old Duke of York look like a paragon of
The Liberal Democrats are the 'weather-vaners', swinging
with every shift of the popular wind.
Well we will not take that easy
and dishonourable path. We will support Tony Blair on Iraq as long as he is
acting in the national interest and is doing what is right.
is as far as we will support him.
Where he's wrong as he has been on
Gibraltar we will oppose him. We will stand by the people of Gibraltar and
their rights to remain British. We will not betray them. And nor should the
Prime Minister even for a moment think that he can trade Gibraltar's
sovereignty tomorrow for Spain's support today
And then there is the
government's desertion of Zimbabwe. I cannot help feeling a profound sense of
shame at how Britain under the lily-livered leadership of a government
transfixed by its post-colonial guilt has abandoned that once great
Tony Blair told us that it was his moral duty to act in Zimbabwe.
In practice he has done nothing.
On the cricket world cup he
disgracefully tried to walk by on the other side. I hope he felt ashamed in
the face of the courage of the Zimbabwean cricketers Andy Flower and Henry
Olongo in their black arm-banded protest on the field against what is being
done to their land. I salute those two brave cricketers.
may have abandoned the people of Zimbabwe in their hour of need. These two
brave men did not. And nor shall we.
And we will oppose this Government
on the future shape of Europe.
How many of us here are really aware of
what is happening in Europe at this time?
How many of you know that
the firm recommendations emanating from those charged with recommending the
future shape of Europe are:
a legal personality which is the first
prerequisite of a European state,
a fully fledged constitution complete
with legally enforceable fundamental rights which is the second
and the subjugation of our foreign and defence policy to
the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice which is the final
These together form a Rubicon between the original and
acceptable concept of a Europe of Nations - the Europe we joined - and a
European political union which ultimately will sound the death knell of our
rights of self-determination.
I am horrified at the speed in which
this Europe is being developed. Ministers who originally told us that they
would resist such moves are now busy preparing the ground for a shameful
volte-face and a despicable surrender.
Sadly Parliament with its
overwhelming government majority can't stop it. But it must be totally
against the spirit of the unwritten British constitution that basic
sovereignty can in this way be surrendered without the democratically
expressed consent of the British people .
That is why I have demanded,
and demand again today, a referendum before any treaty embodying such
surrender is ratified.
Let me make this clear. We are not anti-Europe. We
believe in a Europe built from the bottom up, with power flowing from the
nation states - as was always originally intended.
We believe in a
partnership of sovereign nations within which the single market is completed,
where directives are framework rather than specific,
where there is far
greater parliamentary accountability over Euro-decisions, where we retain our
where we cooperate on matters of mutual interest, but where
we accept and indeed value our differences
And where we retain our
basic rights of self-determination not least on Foreign policy and
We must now go out and fight for this Europe as a genuine
Indeed when this current crisis is over there will be much
restructuring to be done, much weakness to be repaired - on Europe, on Nato
and on the UN. We will have a crucial role to play in all of these exercises.
We must be ready.
And while Iraq inevitably preoccupies us, we must
make sure that it does not allow this wretched government to get away with it
on other international or European fronts.
And we will do so as part
of that wider campaign to see this discredited bunch on their way.
Labour has failed. Their much-vaunted pledges of standing up for Britain and
their ethical foreign policy are now in tatters. They have not only failed
domestically. They have failed in the international arena as well.
are a derelict government, a government with no purpose. A government that
I am sick and tired of living in a Britain that is being
inexorably undermined by a Government that has lost its way.
I am sick
and tired of a government that has lost all sense of national pride and which
settles for the second rate.
I am sick and tired of a government that
seeks to make us ashamed of our history, our traditions, our culture, our
currency and our very Britishness.
As Conservatives we believe in
Britain. We long for a country where people matter again, where values and
standards once more count for something.
We want to be proud of our
country without being called extremist, proud of our history without being
We long for a country where freedom, nationally
and internationally, means what it says rather than what political
correctness tells us it means.
We are starting the march back to
We will need self-confidence. We will need self-belief. Above all
we will need to work together as one, loyal to each other, and true to our
leader Iain Duncan Smith.
We owe it to our country to send this rotten
It is time for us to take them head on. The
surrenderers in Europe, the betrayers of trust in Zimbabwe and of loyalty in
Gibraltar. And the destroyers of national pride here at home. It is time they
Our resolution must be clear. To have strength, to have
conviction, to have hope. To stand firm in defence of our national interests.
And when this crisis is over, to go out and win.
††††† Olonga "scared" into retirement 15/03/03 ††††† Bowler
gets threatening e-mails after protest ††††† Zimbabwe fast bowler Henry
Olonga followed team-mate Andy Flower into retirement from International
Cricket Saturday, saying he feared being persecuted for his anti-government
††††† The 27-year old Olonga made the announcement at
the conclusion of Zimababwe's last World Cup match against Sri Lanka, which
Zimababwe lsot by 74 runs.
††††† "It is with great sadness that I am
officially announcing my retirement from international cricket," the
26-year-old said in a statement.
††††† "I have been receiving threatening
e-mails since the protests which I believe have made it dangerous for me to
return to Zimbabwe," Olonga said.
††††† Olonga and team-mate Andy Flower,
who has also announced his retirement from International cricket, wore black
armbands "to mourn the death of democracy"† during their first World Cup
match in Harare.
††††† Olonga also said he ethical objections to playing
for Zimbabwe as he did not want to be seen as supporting the current
government by playing for his country.
††††† "I was never under the
illusion that my stand would have no consequences but I believe that one
should have the courage of one's convictions in life and do all one can to
††††† "I believe that if I were to continue to play for
Zimbabwe in the midst of the prevailing crisis I would do so only by
neglecting the voice of my conscience."
††††† Olonga was reprimanded
for his criticism of Mugabe's governement and played just two World Cup
matches. He was also rejected by his domestic club in Bulawayo after refusing
to abandon his protest.
Africa is not adopting a tough stance and turning up the heat on
the government of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, nor is the
goverment abandoning its approach of quiet diplomacy.
This is the
message from President Thabo Mbeki's office, as early interpretation
suggested that South Africa was likely to abandon its long-held position of
quiet diplomacy for what many describe as "megaphone diplomacy".
suggestion that government was likely to change its position came following
Mbeki's three-day state visit to Botswana this week, where he was seen to
have blasted the Zimbabwean government for its handling of its
land redistribution programme.
Mbeki said Mugabe's government was not
handling the situation correctly.
Mbeki's pronouncements also came after
Home Affairs Minister Mangosuthu Buthelezi also turned up the heat regarding
developments in Zimbabwe, raising concern about the government and Mugabe's
human rights record.
Mbeki said he together with other leaders "have seen
for some time now that the matter (land redistribution) is not being handled
"(Botswana) President Festus Mogae and myself have been in
Harare and said directly to the government of Zimbabwe, privately and
publicly, that it needs to be handled in a way that is not confrontational;
in a way that addresses the land needs of both black and white Zimbabweans,"
"It is now a matter of how to conclude the situation of land
distribution in Zimbabwe; and we continue to discuss it with them. We must
establish what remains to be done so we can come to a situation of normalcy
in that country as soon as possible."
But presidential spokesperson
Bheki Khumalo said there was nothing new in Mbeki's comments.
the president said in Botswana is the kind of message he has been saying all
along. Unfortunately nobody wanted to listen to what the president was
Khumalo said the government would not abandon its position on
engaging the Zimbabwean government.
"We are once again reiterating
government's message to promote dialogue among political parties in Zimbabwe
to resolve their political problems. We will not be forced to adopt megaphone
diplomacy as there is no other option than to engage them."
government continued to hold the view their position was correct one and
there was no need to change it.
In a joint statement following their
meeting, both Mbeki and Mogae "expressed the need to work together to assist
the people of Zimbabwe in addressing the problems confronting their
Mbeki, meanwhile, applauded Botswana for upholding the
principles of democracy, good governance and economic development on the
"Botswana is a living example of what Africa can
achieve on these principles. The world should be made aware that Africa had
role models such as Botswana that we can all be proud of," he said.
††††† Those ungrateful French ††††† overthetop By Brian
††††† IT is inevitable that the French will cause trouble. It's in
their genes. Last month, they were toadying to the troublesome dictator of
a troubled central African nation-and this month, they're making
life difficult for the British and Americans.
††††† It all seems a
little ungrateful. Had it not been for soldiers from the English-speaking
world, the French would now be speaking German.
††††† Predictably, the
Germans are also making life difficult for the Brits and the Yanks, but
that's their job and no one expects anything different from
††††† For those who're out of touch with events beyond the borders
of the troubled central African regime, the French, the Germans and those
ludicrous Russians are trying to stop the English-speaking world from bombing
Iraq back into the Stone Age.
††††† It's all nonsense, of course, and
if Messrs Blair and Bush have any sense they'll dismiss the whining Euros and
get on with the business of separating Mr Sadly Insane's head from the rest
of his body.
††††† And if they're really clever, they'll postpone that
gratifying job for a week and bomb France first.
††††† History has
shown that overrunning France takes a couple of days. The French are
generally too busy filling their faces with garlic-flavoured frogs or
producing more French people to put up much of a fight.
they're about it, they might as well take a swing across Germany as
††††† It's 60 years since they last raised their ugly heads above
the parapet, so they might as well be cut down to size now before they try
their funny business again.
††††† As for Russia; well, it's a bit of a
nonentity. The only difference between Russia and the troubled central
African nation is that Russia is intolerably cold.
††††† Both are
Third World countries with chaotic economies, though Russia does have a few
rotting nukes in its arsenal.
††††† Either way, these mewling Euros are
depriving the rest of the world from some excellent TV. Billions of people
across the planet are waiting impatiently for pictures of powerful American
aeroplanes dropping bombs on Iraqi orphanages and hospitals. And
††††† They also want to see Sadly Insane's head on a stake
outside the Baghdad city walls.
††††† All this wonderful voyeurism is
being denied us because the French have decided to flex their feeble muscles.
This appalling nation, having fouled much of Africa (a job it continues to do
with zealous disregard for common sense), now wants to do the same to the
††††† Even more extraordinary, the French have veto powers
on the United Nations' Security Council. Quite how this happened is a
mystery, but no doubt in the 1940s someone optimistically assumed the French
would overcome their phobia for soap and water and join the rest of the
††††† You might as well give veto powers to Funafuti-and
yes, there really is such a place and you can be sure the residents there
wash regularly and don't reek of stale cheese, garlic and
††††† A brief survey by OTT revealed that residents of the
troubled central African country were all for war in Iraq, hoping the
subsequent blood lust might cause attentions to be diverted to their own
††††† Mind you, despite reports to the contrary, OTT can reveal
that most Brits are also very keen to see Sadly Insane meet his maker. While
500,000 Poms may have taken to the streets of London to protest against the
war, a quick survey reveals that 53,5 million people didn't-figures that
indicate overwhelming support for some good old-fashioned blood letting.
††††† Foot and mouth disease proves stubborn ††††† By our
††††† THE Department of Livestock and Veterinary Services
critically needs about US$4,375 million (Z$5,2 billion at the parallel
market) to contain the outbreak of the foot and mouth disease which is
threatening to spread to the Mashonaland provinces, Standard Business has
††††† Stuart Hargreaves, the principal director in the
department, told Standard Business that the outbreak of foot and mouth in
Manicaland province was threatening to spread to nearby areas.
Hargreaves said although his department had secured about 590 000 doses of
vaccine last month, it still fell short of what was needed to contain the
††††† Last month, the Botswana Vaccine Institute
released 250 000 doses to Zimbabwe after the Reserve Bank paid about US$400
000. The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) also came to the
department's rescue by releasing about 340 000 doses of
††††† "It is still short of what we require. We have made a
strong appeal to the Sadc region. We had initially appealed for 2,5 million
doses but we now require 3,5 million doses. We have also appealed for
discounted rates of vaccine from manufacturers," Hargreaves
††††† Problematic areas where the department is battling to control
the disease are Mutare, Buhera, Bikita and parts of Gutu in
††††† Hargreaves said of all the areas, Buhera was the most
difficult because it was a massive communal area and cattle movement was
linked with areas such as Zaka and Bikita.
††††† "We need millions of
doses to vaccinate all areas. If dairy herds get infected, it will be
devastating and catastrophic. We must prevent the disease getting to the
Mashonaland provinces because we export some beef from this area. So it is
important for us to control the disease," he added.
††††† Last year's
outbreak of foot and mouth was blamed on the violent farm seizures as the new
settlers cut down fences at ranches and game parks thus exposing livestock to
carriers of foot and mouth disease such as buffaloes.
††††† Zimbabwe has
been battling to combat the disease since last year and has already lost
millions of dollars through cancelled beef exports to the European Union and
††††† Last year, Colcom Holdings, the country's pork
processor, lost some of its market share in the region owing to weak demand
for the group's products following the outbreak of the disease.
††††† Flawed NERP doomed to fail ††††† By Kumbirai
††††† AS long as government designs economic blueprints that do
not address the restoration of ties with key international development
partners, these policies are doomed to fail, economic experts said this week
in reaction to government's recently announced National Economic Revival
††††† "The 'parallel market' will not disappear until a
holistic economic revival programme, encompassing all sectors and markets of
the economy, is put in place," said Kingdom Holdings chairman, Richard
Muirimi, in the group's review of the economic climate.
tandem with the implementation of a comprehensive economic revival programme,
a parallel initiative to stabilise the political environment needs to be
undertaken to lure foreign investors," he said.
††††† "Likewise, a
re-engagement of the Bretton Woods institutions needs to be done as a matter
of urgency. Once these issues are comprehensively addressed, we believe that
our economy will be in a position to commence its journey to recovery,"
††††† Another bank chief, NMB's Paddy Zhanda, called for
the strict monitoring of money supply and the restoration of relations with
the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund as some of the main
initiatives the government should embark on.
††††† "To salvage the
economy from the current crisis and encourage growth the following key
factors are necessary: Arresting money supply growth and the resultant
runaway inflation S (and) mending the country's relationships with the
international community, including the IMF, World Bank and other multilateral
lending agencies," said Zhanda.
††††† Zimbabwe severed ties with the IMF
and the World Bank in 1999 after failing to arrest its appetite for spending.
Since then, the country has defaulted on its loan repayment obligations to
the Bretton Woods institutions, further denting the country's credit rating
and its ability to access offshore credit lines from international lenders
who take a cue from the two institutions.
††††† Exports have also
tumbled from US$3,1 billion in 1996 to about US$1,2 billion last year,
resulting in a severe foreign currency squeeze. External arrears, which stood
at US$800 million early last year, have since soared to about US$1,5
††††† "This accumulation of arrears is discouraging foreign
investment as corporates are struggling to repatriate their dividends," Trust
Holdings' chairman, Tichaendepi Masaya, said in the group's end of year
††††† "Efforts should also be made to improve
relations with the international community and enhance international
partnerships," Masaya added.
††††† Economic analysts concurred with
the bankers, saying the government's new economic recovery plan was doomed to
fail unless it began to engage to key international partners.
"That programme (NERP) is just for public consumption. Any economic policy
has to recognise the whole system of recovery and adjustment. There is no
country that isolates itself from the rest of the world. The more you isolate
yourself the more you dollarise," said Daniel Ndlela, an economic consultant
††††† The opposition Movement for Democratic Change has
also dismissed NERP as "high sounding".
††††† "This export led growth
strategy will not revive the economy because the measures have come too late
after the export capacity has been decimated by a prolonged period under a
fixed exchange rate," said an MDC official.
††††† Other experts say NERP,
which is based on agrarian reforms, would naturally take longer-if it were
successful-to become effective because of the government's chaotic land
††††† UZ student finds bullets, death threat at
††††† 3/15/2003 9:07:14 AM (GMT +2)
††††† By John
††††† NKULULEKO Nyoni, the secretary for the University of
Zimbabwe (UZ) Student Executive Council (SEC), was shocked on Wednesday night
when he found an envelope with two bullets and a note at the doorstep of his
††††† Nyoni said he discovered the khaki envelope,
addressed to him, as he returned from the dining hall with fellow SEC member
††††† Nyoni said: "The envelope contained two bullets
numbered PMP 10.380 and ASC 73-1 and a note written: 'Tshomi: your excesses
are too much, start praying for the next world'."
Karonga, the UZ director of information yesterday said: "I can confirm the
incident. The security and the dean of students have all confirmed that the
student received the bullets and the note. The matter is now in the hands of
the police at Avondale Police Station."
††††† A Constable Mugadza of
Avondale Police Station said a docket was opened but the case had been
referred to the CID homicide department which deals with cases involving
††††† Nyoni said: "I fear for my life. This institution is
riddled with State security agents bent on silencing the voice of reason. I
don't underestimate their capabilities."
††††† He alleges that at one
time Machirori's room was ransacked by unknown people "who were probably
looking for SEC documents".
††††† Nyoni said the death threat against him
was an intimidation tactic to stop him from representing students on issues
affecting their academic life.
††††† He accused the authorities and the
government of failing to run the institution in a transparent
††††† The UZ was closed indefinitely as the strike by 700
lecturers continued with no resolution of their pay demands in sight.