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

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MDC blamed for general strike bombs
By Peta Thornycroft in Harare
(Filed: 20/03/2003)

Up to 200 people were arrested in Zimbabwe yesterday as a general strike
entered its second day, with police saying the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change had set off bombs at supermarkets.

A police spokesman said the strike, called by the MDC, had "turned
sinister". He said home-made bombs exploded at two supermarkets in Kadoma,
about 60 miles south-west of Harare. "We have also recovered several
unexploded devices."

The strike has crippled Zimbabwe - with most shops and banks closed
yesterday - and the MDC said it was "just the beginning of a sustained
programme of resistance" against the rule of President Robert Mugabe.

The MDC called on him to release political prisoners, repeal repressive
security and media legislation, distribute food in a non-partisan way, and
restore the rule of law.

It said Mr Mugabe and his officials were now "nervous" and would soon begin
"packing their bags".

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Mugabe critics spurred on by strike

Andrew Meldrum in Harare
Thursday March 20, 2003
The Guardian

After a two-day anti-government strike, Zimbabwe's Movement for Democratic
Change yesterday vowed to escalate "mass action" to force President Mugabe's
government to reform or leave office.
The national strike was the biggest protest for more than two years against
Robert Mugabe's 23-year rule, shuttng factories, shops, banks and other
businesses in protest at alleged human rights abuses and the economic

More than 400 opposition figures, including a member of parliament, were
arrested over the two days, said civic groups. Police would not confirm the
number of arrests, but said that "mysterious explosions" near the city of
Kadoma had damaged a supermarket, three shops, a bar and a bridge.
"Thirty-three people were arrested in Kadoma, including Austin Mupandawana,
the MDC member of parliament," the police said.

Re-invigorated by the strike, the opposition MDC issued the Mugabe
government with a list of 15 demands to restore democratic rights by March
31 or face "popular mass action to regain the people's liberties, freedoms
and dignity".

Critics accuse Mr Mugabe's regime of human rights abuses, rigging his
re-election, and causing mass hunger by seizing the white minority's farms.
Two-thirds of Zimbabwe's 12 million people are threatened with starvation,
according to government figures.

"Over the past two days the people of Zimbabwe in their millions bravely
demonstrated that they are no longer willing to live under tyranny and
poverty," said Paul Themba Nyathi, an MDC spokesman. "The violence, the
torture, murder and all other brutalities can no longer stop the people's
desire to be free."

Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC president, now standing trial for treason,
thanked the people for backing the call for a strike: "You have demon
strated beyond any doubt to the regime that we, the people of Zimbabwe, have
no fear and will take concrete steps to reclaim our power.

"This regime is nervous. Their bags are now packed as they realise who has
the power. We have to prepare for the final push and they will run ... We
should prepare for the final onslaught for a people's victory."

Brian Raftopoulos, chairman of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, said civic
groups fully supported the demand for the Mugabe government to step down.

The Commonwealth, meanwhile, has extended Zimbabwe's year-long suspension
until December when the 54-nation group meets in Nigeria. The suspension,
due to have expired yesterday, highlights Mr Mugabe's failure to split the
Commonwealth on race lines.
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Sydney Morning Herald
Second day of mass anti-government action in Zimbabwe

March 20 2003

Fidelis Mapisa of Harare shows how he was assaulted and had his truck's windscreen smashed by unknown youths for carrying people to work during a mass protest against the government. Photo: AFP

A mass work stoppage called for by Zimbabwe's opposition to protest over President Robert Mugabe's government entered its second day yesterday, with the majority of businesses remaining shut, especially in the capital Harare.

Large supermarkets and department stores also remained closed, as did most commercial banks.

Industrial sites were at a virtual standstill and most transport companies grounded their fleets following the burning and stoning of several buses on Tuesday, when the two-day strike called for by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) began.

Many Zimbabweans heeded the MDC's call to stay away from work on Tuesday, making the first day of the strike the opposition's most widely followed protest action against Mugabe's government for years.

The MDC had called for peaceful mass "action for national survival" to protest Zimbabwe's deepening socio-political and economic crisis, which has forced the majority of Zimbabweans into abject poverty.

"When people lose their dignity through despair, injustice, hunger and oppression, they have to resort to desperate measures to survive," the party said.

Dozens of opposition supporters, including two lawmakers, were arrested across the southern African country on Tuesday for various offences ranging from barricading roads to burning cars.

State media on Tuesday reported that a minibus carrying kindergarten children was burnt in Chitungwiza, a town 25 kilometres south-east of the capital. The children escaped unhurt.

A group calling itself "Zvakwana Sokwanele" - which means "Enough" in the local vernacular - said two buses were "badly damaged" early this morning.

The group also announced in an email message yesterday that there would be demonstrations across the country, but did not give details.

Mugabe's government has linked the mass work stoppage to the extension of Zimbabwe's suspension from the Commonwealth.

"The planned opposition mass action has been calculated to coincide with today's Commonwealth report on Zimbabwe's suspension from the councils of the 54-member grouping and America's push to have Zimbabwe condemned for alleged human rights abuses," the state-run Herald newspaper said on Tuesday.

Pro-government commentators have blamed former colonial power Britain for being behind the mass protests, in a bid to increase hardships for Zimbabweans.


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Daily News

      MDC issues Ultimatum

      3/20/2003 1:59:53 AM (GMT +2)

      By Pedzisai Ruhanya and Brian Mangwende

      RIDING on the success of its two-day mass action, the opposition MDC
yesterday issued an ultimatum to the government - restore the rule of law by
31 March or face civil unrest.

      Paul Themba Nyathi, the MDC spokesperson, listed 15 demands the
government must meet without fail - or all hell would break loose. The MDC's
demands include: the immediate release of all political prisoners, including
those arrested for exercising their constitutional right to demonstrate
against violence, torture and misrule; and the government's agreement to a
programme clearly designed to restore the legitimacy of government and an
end to all State-sponsored violence against the people, including the
torture of suspects in police custody.

      But the government immediately dismissed the demands as Nyathi's
"admiration" of United States President George W Bush, who this week issued
an ultimatum to Iraq's President Saddam Hussein, to leave his country within
48 hours or face war. The Iraqi leader is reported to have rejected the

      Reacting to the MDC demands, Nathan Shamuyarira, the ruling Zanu PF's
spokesperson, said: "I'll respond only when I have the demands on my desk. I
'll have to read them and then come up with a detailed response, but only
after I have seen the demands."

      George Charamba, President Mugabe's spokesperson, scoffed at the MDC's
demands and ultimatum. He laughed and then said: "I don't care whether they
are 50 or 100 demands. Tell Paul Nyathi to be reasonable in his admiration
of George W Bush. Obviously he is inspired by Bush's ultimatum to Saddam
Hussein, except that Bush is the president of a powerful country while
Nyathi is a spokesman of a disintegrating political party. That's all."

      The other demands from the MDC are for the government to restore all
the political and civil liberties of the people, including the freedoms of
assembly, association, expression and movement and, in particular, the
repeal of the draconian Public Order and Security Act and the Access to
Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

      The MDC demanded the depoliticisation of relief food aid; disbandment
of the militia groups and restoration of war veterans to a non-political
role; an end to the persecution of workers, women and youths; and the
reversion of the police, army and prison service to a professional and
non-partisan role.

      Nyathi said the government must stop the political persecution of
professional soldiers, the police, prison officers, judges, church leaders
and interference with the freedom of worship; restore law and order; repeal
the Broadcasting Act and free the airwaves; restore the academic freedom and
autonomy of the University of Zimbabwe; and halt the ongoing State-sponsored
electoral violence and fraud.

      Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC president, said yesterday his party would
fight to restore law and order. He said: "This action has demonstrated
beyond any doubt to the regime that we, the people of Zimbabwe, have no fear
and will take concrete steps to reclaim our power. The regime is now
nervous. Their bags are packed as they realise who has the power. We have to
prepare for the final push and they will run."

      The MDC's last demand is for the government to stop the persecution of
civil society and to respect the human rights of all Zimbabweans.
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Daily News

      Residents blow whistle on Zesa cable thefts

      3/20/2003 1:43:43 AM (GMT +2)

      By Precious Shumba

      HARARE residents yesterday said the allegations of corruption at the
Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) needed thorough investigations
by independent auditors.

      The residents said suspicious activities were going on at several
houses in Hatfield and Bluff Hill where Zesa employees were heavily involved
in the systematic thefts of copper and aluminium wires.

      Two women in Bluff Hill said they wanted Zesa authorities to
investigate activities at a house in Faber Road in the suburb from which, at
least three times a week, 30-tonne trucks drove out of the premises with
stolen cables. One of them said: "In the afternoon, not much happens at the
premises but during the night we fail to sleep due to noise emanating from
there. "We have seen four or five men busy cutting and bending the wires
into small sizes for packaging into some boxes."

      According to sources at the Zesa head office, identified men at houses
in Hatfield were receiving stolen transformers from Zesa officials which
they exported or sold to private companies in the country. Sources said a
Datsun 1800 vehicle and a red Toyota Hilux, usually without registration
numbers were used to ferry the stolen cables. The latest revelations bring
to six the number of houses where there are reportedly suspicious activities
involving copper cables.

      Stephen Pieron, the Zesa area manager for Harare said Zesa was fully
aware of the activities at the houses mentioned but it was proving "very
difficult" to put a stop to the systematic cable thefts. He said they have
regular arrests of people involved but the penalties were too lenient to be
a deterrent. "We work together with the gold section in the police," he
said. "We have been monitoring the activities at the suspected houses. Most
of the houses are well- known to Zesa and the police."
      Pieron said due to rampant cable thefts, the government last year
banned the export of copper after realising that 100 percent of it was
stolen. He said the stolen copper was being sold in South Africa and
Mozambique where the perpetrators earned scarce foreign currency.

      Pieron said from Zesa's viewpoint, the suspects were being protected
by unidentified police officers. He said at one point they arrested two
Hatfield suspects but within days they were released. However, Zesa cables
worth millions of dollars were recovered.

      A fortnight ago, a Zesa employee driving a T35 vehicle from the
projects department went to a house in Hatfield to drop four cable drums of
copper wire. Employees at Zesa said the cables were moved from Ardbennie
under the pretext that they were to be used in the Rural Electrification
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Daily News

      Magistrate faces $50 000 bribery charge

      3/20/2003 1:44:44 AM (GMT +2)

      Court Reporter

      MAXWELL Manyanhaire, a Harare magistrate, allegedly solicited for a
$50 000 bribe from a defendant in return for a light sentence.

      Manyanhaire yesterday appeared before fellow magistrate Mishrod
Guvamombe, facing charges of corruption. Prosecutor Elizabeth Mwatse, of the
Attorney General's Office, said some time last week Manyanhaire presided
over Norman Mudzinganyama's case of assault with intent to cause grievous
bodily harm. Mudzinganyama pleaded guilty. Manyanhaire, however, did not
sentence him, but remanded him out of custody to 19 March on $5 000 bail for
sentence, the court heard.

      It is alleged that on 17 March, Manyanhaire phoned Mudzinganyama
during working hours and told him he wanted about $50 000 from him so he
could give him a favourable sentence. On Tuesday this week, Mudzinganyama
reported the matter to the Criminal Investigation Department Headquarters
and a trap was set. Mudzinganyama then met Manyanhaire at CABS Harare Street
branch that same day where he gave him $10 000, it is alleged.

      Manyanhaire was later arrested by the police who found him in
possession of the money which had been marked. By accepting the bribe, the
State said, Manyanhaire abused his position as a public officer. Guvamombe
remanded him out of custody to 7 April on $10 000 bail.
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Daily News

      Whereabouts of arrested ANZ staffers not known

      3/20/2003 1:45:10 AM (GMT +2)

      By Columbus Mavhunga

      The whereabouts of the Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ)
Corporate Affairs Director, Gugulethu Moyo, and Daily News photographer,
Philimon Bulawayo, were unknown last night following their arrest on Tuesday
morning. They were last seen yesterday afternoon at the Harare Central
Police Station.

      Moyo and Bulawayo who were assaulted at Glen View Police Station, were
denied medical treatment on Tuesday. Last night the two could not be located
as lawyer Kay Ncube made frantic efforts to secure their release. Moyo was
arrested at Glen View Police Station when she tried to have Bulawayo
released after his arrest while covering the mass action in Budiriro.

      The two were severely assaulted by Jocelyn Chiwenga, the wife of army
commander, Lieutenant-General Constantine Chiwenga, and Kelvin Chadenyika,
at the police station. Sources yesterday said Chadenyika is a messenger at
Zimsafe (Private) Limited, a company owned by Jocelyn.

      The ANZ lawyer and the photographer were later moved to Harare Central
Police Station. Ncube yesterday made frantic but fruitless efforts to have
the two released or taken to Parirenyatwa Hospital for treatment.

      He said last night: "We are likely to have the matter heard before
Justice George Smith as an urgent matter. We can't locate Moyo and Bulawayo
and we can't tell whether they were eventually taken for medical treatment."

      Earlier in the day, Moyo, speaking from the cells on her mobile said
Mrs Chiwenga had "visited" them in the morning: "She wanted to check whether
we are still here for sure. It seems we will not be going anywhere. "We are
in great pain because we have not been taken to a hospital for treatment.
"It seems the circumstances under which we were arrested are not clear to
the police and they want to investigate that. But the police must first
investigate before they arrest people."

      Efforts to get comment from the police were fruitless yesterday.

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Daily News

      Army put on alert

      3/20/2003 1:48:40 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporters

      The two-day mass action called by the opposition MDC went full into
throttle yesterday as businesses nationwide heeded the calls for a complete
shutdown to protest against the worsening economic situation and abuse of
human rights.

      The army was on high alert as police tankers, equipped with water and
tear-gas cannons, were on standby in Harare. The deployment of the soldiers
was in apparent response to the violence that occurred in Harare on
Tuesday - the first day of the mass action.

      Two water and tear-gas cannons were spotted parked at Southerton
Police Station when a Daily News crew drove past the station. Businesses
which had remained open in Gweru, Mutare and Kwekwe on the first day of the
stayaway, closed yesterday as workers did not report for duty.

      In Mutare most business came to a halt, but State security agents
forced some to open. The police later arrested Giles Mutsekwa, the MP for
Mutare North (MDC) and shadow minister for defence. Mutsekwa said the police
refused to disclose the charges against him.

      Meanwhile, most industries and retail outlets in the major cities and
towns did not open for business yesterday. In Bulawayo, heavily armed
soldiers patrolled the streets of Luveve, Gwabalanda and Pumula, creating an
intimidating atmosphere in the high-density suburbs. Schools closed early
after students and teachers failed to turn up as commuter omnibus operators
parked their vehicles. The atmosphere in Harare's city centre resembled that
of a Sunday afternoon as most shops were closed. Most banks, including those
owned by individuals known to be sympathetic to the government, were closed
as well.

      At Glen View 1 and Glen View 2 high schools pupils were sent home
after lessons were disrupted by groups of unidentified people urging them to
join the mass action. Industries in Msasa, Willowvale and Graniteside were
shut. The police in Kadoma yesterday refused to comment on the whereabouts
of Austin Mupandawana, the MP for Kadoma Central, and about 100 MDC youths
arrested on Tuesday morning. Business was at a standstill in the town.

      The industrial areas in Kadoma, Gweru and Kwekwe were virtually
deserted. In Masvingo, the situation was the same as in other major towns.
Shaky Matake, the MDC deputy provincial chairman in Masvingo, and 20 party
youths were arrested yesterday on charges that could not be immediately
established. "I am at the police station," Matake said on his cellphone. "I
have been arrested together with other party members, but the message is
clear: Mugabe must go!"

      Silas Mangono, the MP for Masvingo Central (MDC), arrested on Tuesday,
but freed the same day without charge, was re-arrested yesterday for
allegedly ordering the continuation of the mass action.

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Daily News

      NCA slams police bias

      3/20/2003 1:49:17 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      THE National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) says the violence that
rocked Harare at the weekend exposed the open bias of the police against the
MDC in favour of Zanu PF.

      The NCA said the police openly supported Zanu PF supporters in
disrupting MDC rallies in Kuwadzana and Highfield where the party's
candidates in the 29-30 March by-elections were campaigning.

      Douglas Mwonzora, the NCA spokesperson, said the violence in the two
constituencies following the inter-party clashes, were clear acts of voter
intimidation ahead of the by-elections. He said the police and Zanu PF
militias joined forces in disrupting the MDC rally in Kuwadzana. Mwonzora
said: "It is disturbing to note that the police could sink so low to
manifest their partisanship by opening fire on unarmed MDC supporters who
were attending the rally, before charging at them with batons and guns at
the ready."The use of State-sanctioned violence where perpetrators of the
violence did so with impunity, to tilt the electoral playing field, has
remained a Zanu PF strategy since the 2000 general elections and the 2002
presidential elections."

      The NCA urged the residents of Kuwadzana and Highfield to turn out in
their thousands to vote in the by-elections, despite the violence and
intimidation. The Kuwadzana seat fell vacant following the death of former
MDC spokesperson, Learnmore Jongwe, in a prison cell at Harare Remand
Prison. The Highfield seat is up for grabs after the expulsion of the former
MP Munyaradzi Gwisai from the MDC.
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Daily News

      Annan petitioned

      3/20/2003 1:50:33 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      THE United Nations has been asked to intervene in solving students'
problems in Zimbabwe.

      In a strongly-worded petition, the Zimbabwe National Students' Union
(Zinasu) told UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, they were concerned at the
manner in which the government was handling students' problems.

      Zinasu said it had tried to engage the government in dialogue but had
failed. "We wrote petitions, boycotted classes and demonstrated in demand of
education, but there is no improvement," said Zinasu. "This freewill and
complete disregard of our right to education and other chartered rights has
made us to declare the government of Zimbabwe as anti-people."

      The students' union said it was concerned at the government's
priorities which made education "play second fiddle" to other sectors. "We
cannot continue suffering when the children of the ruling elite are getting
quality education in Europe," it said. "We cannot rest our brains when the
government buys bullets, guns, tear-gas and armoured cars to choke us, when
education and health services have been grounded.

      "Secretary-General, we write to you with peace, justice and
development. However, because it is more painful to see evil every day than
it is to face bullets in pursuit of liberation, we will not sit and watch
our future perish. "We seek your assistance, as time is not on our side."

      The petition, copied to the Southern African Development Community
secretary-general, the International Union of Students and the Parliament of
Zimbabwe, said the government must address the issue of lowly-paid lecturers
and make education affordable to the poor. Zinasu complained about last week
's indefinite closure of the University of Zimbabwe, after the government
failed to resolve a strike by lecturers over a 50 percent retention
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Daily News

      Flood victims appeal for State assistance

      3/20/2003 1:52:47 AM (GMT +2)

      From Energy Bara in Masvingo

      Hundreds of people displaced by the heavy floods in Masvingo province
are starving as the government has not provided them with food and other
basic necessities.

      Over 200 people face serious food shortages and have appealed to the
government for assistance. Nobert Musunga, one of the victims, said: "We
have not received any help from the government. "We are really starving
since most of our food and crops were washed away by the floods. We are
appealing to the government to help us."

      A government official said: "It is difficult to assist the families
because the floods were not declared a national disaster. If they had been
declared a national disaster government funding could have been provided."

      The Civil Protection Unit, the government arm which deals with
disasters, has not been able to assist the victims of the Cyclone
Japhet-induced floods. Only the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society has helped them
with food. Dzikamai Mavhaire, the Red Cross Society provincial chairman in
Masvingo, said although his organisation was providing assistance to the
affected families, other stakeholders still needed to come in and help.

      Mavhaire said: "We are giving the families basics such as food,
blankets and shelter but we believe our efforts should be complemented by
other organisations and even the government." James Murapa, the Masvingo
Civil Protection Unit co-ordinator could not be reached for comment
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Daily News

      MDC defence queries lack of report to police

      3/20/2003 1:46:05 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      DICKENS and Madson, the Canadian political consultancy headed by Ari
Ben-Menashe, obstructed investigations by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police
(RCMP) into the alleged criminal conspiracy by MDC leaders to assassinate
President Mugabe, the defence said yesterday.

      Advocate Chris Andersen, cross-examining Tara Thomas, a State witness,
said the company obstructed the course of justice when it did not provide
the Mounties with an audio-tape and transcript of the second meeting held in
London between its representatives and MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai in
November 2001. They withheld the evidence because the alleged scheme to
assassinate Mugabe was a set-up, Andersen said.

      Andersen said: "That the evidence was withheld would be very strange.
It would be tantamount to obstruction of justice meant to prevent the
Canadian police from investigating a criminal conspiracy to murder that
happened in their jurisdiction. "That obstruction would have been
deliberate, showing that there was a scam, a fraudulent exercise or
entrapment of the MDC members."

      Tsvangirai, his party's secretary-general Welshman Ncube, and shadow
minister for agriculture Renson Gasela, are accused of plotting Mugabe's
assassination and the ouster of his government in November and December

      Thomas, a personal assistant to political lobbyist Ben-Menashe,
objected to the use of the words scam and entrapment, saying: "I don't
believe you can trap anyone to say those things." To this Andersen retorted
that they failed to get Tsvangirai to say explicitly what they wanted him

      The RCMP investigated allegations of the plot reportedly hatched
during a meeting at Dickens and Madson's headquarters in Montreal on 4
December 2001, which was screened on a programme on Australian television on
13 February 2002. The trial continues today.
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Daily News

Leader Page

      How Mrs Chiwenga harms Zanu PF's reputation

      3/20/2003 1:58:17 AM (GMT +2)

      That Jocelyn, the wife of the army commander, Lieutenant-General
Constantine Chiwenga, would stoop so low as to join the police in brutally
assaulting a lawyer is not only reprehensible, but must raise questions
about her status in President Mugabe's government: is her role as undefined
as that of the Green Bombers?

      It is to be wondered if she stopped to think of the consequences of
her actions and what impact they would have on her husband. Or perhaps, like
the Green Bombers, she is now so prone to unleashing violence on innocent
citizens, such thoughts hardly cross her mind.

      Her latest violent escapade involves joining the police in Glen View
to savagely attack Gugulethu Moyo, the Corporate Affairs Director of
Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe, publishers of The Daily News. Moyo had
gone to the police station to secure the release of the newspaper's
photographer, Philimon Bulawayo, arrested while going about his legitimate
job as a Press photographer, covering the mass action called by the MDC, the
main opposition party. Bulawayo, too, did not escape the wrath of Chiwenga
and Kelvin Chadenyika, the former assistant coach of Darryn T Football Club.

      As far as the police and Zanu PF zealots are concerned, the mass
action called for by the MDC is illegal and any journalist covering the
event to let the world know how successful or unsuccessful it has been
should be dealt with in the most brutal and savage manner possible. As far
as the ruling Zanu PF and the State media are
      concerned, the mass action was a major flop and any media organisation
depicting a contrary view should be crushed with all the might and force at
the State's disposal. And now the army commander's wife, known for her
intemperate streaks, joins the fray.

      Mrs Chiwenga has benefited - and continues to benefit - from the
political status quo and would like to see it continue. She will use any
means necessary to protect and defend the Establishment - and what better
way of doing so than by beating up two innocent citizens, one of them a
lawyer who posed no threat whatsoever to Jocelyn herself nor to the security
of this country. Mrs Chiwenga has benefited from the Zanu PF gravy train as
she is alleged to have seized a farm, Chakoma Estates, in Goromonzi in April
last year.

      She reportedly grabbed the farm from Roger Staunton, a director of
Shepherd Hill Farm (Pvt) Ltd, which operates the estate, worth over $1
billion. She took over produce on the farm valued at $125 million and sold
it to Sainsbury's supermarkets in the United Kingdom, clearly reaping where
she did not sow. The chaotic, violent land reform has benefited other Zanu
PF adherents in this same manner and like them, Jocelyn Chiwenga would
always defend the government and Zanu PF.
      She is reported to have seized the farm in the company of men armed
with AK-47 rifles and, in the process, allegedly warned Staunton that she
had not "tasted white blood since 1980 and missed the experience", according
to documents lodged in court.

      It is, incidentally, this same Jocelyn Chiwenga who quite often spoke
on behalf of an obscure organisation called Heritage Zimbabwe. Their
statements frequently attacked any organisation or even any newspaper
critical of Zanu PF and the government.

      Zanu PF may be past caring about its reputation both here and abroad.
But if it allows people like Jocelyn Chiwenga to hurl even more filth on
that tattered reputation, by behaving like a Green Bomber in public, it
could lose more than just its reputation.
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Daily News

Leader Page

      Political leaders have the Devil's full blessings

      3/20/2003 1:59:02 AM (GMT +2)

      By A Special Correspondent

      Many perceive this nation's present predicament as purely political.
They watch as racial, cultural, historical and agrarian ingredients are
angrily tossed into that political cauldron.

      From the steam and stench of this boiling concoction, the spectres of
MDC and Zanu PF rise. But any religious onlooker will look behind the
visible and physical faces of the combatants and detect that we are in the
centre of a spiritual battle.

      Most religions believe in an enemy who opposes God. The
Christian/Judaeo "Satan"; the Muslim reads in the Quran of "Shaytan"; the
Buddhist in "Mara" and so on. Sadly, this belief is dismissed as
inconsequential. We are duped into a caricature of the person of Satan. We
joke about "old Nick" or snigger at illustrations of a cheeky little imp
with a long tail and horns.

      Every person can empathise with the Apostle Paul in his experience of
conflict in his life: "I don't do the good I want to do, instead I do the
evil that I do not want to do." But we need more than experiential knowledge
about the person and strategy of Satan. Christians believe that God has
communicated with mankind in revelation - the innerant, inspired Word of

      Thus, I, as a Christian, base my beliefs about Satan and his demonic
army on both experience and, more importantly, on the Scriptures. Some of
those beliefs follow. He was originally created by God, a perfect model,
beautiful to look at, full of wisdom. He then coveted equality with God,
proudly believing himself God's equal. As a result, God cast him out of
heaven with millions of angels who had sided with him. These angels (a third
of the heavenly host) we now refer to as Demons.He now operates in the
universe with a system that opposes God and goodness. He is a murderer and
the father of lies.

      Of all his evil strategies - discrediting God, getting people to rebel
against God, skewing the truth, etc, etc - I want, for the purpose of this
article, to concentrate on just one aspect as it relates to Zimbabwe. Jesus
Himself acknowledged that Satan was the "ruler of this world", the cosmos.
As such, Satan and his demons influence the election of leaders and their
behaviour. Thus, every citizen, Christians included, lives in a nation
controlled by leaders selected and appointed by demonic forces.

      Is it any surprise that these forces would oppose any semblance of law
and order? So, it's a struggle, and in that struggle we must be aware of the
protection we need and the offensive actions we must take. Paul says it
perfectly: "Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand
against the devil's schemes. For we struggle not against flesh and blood,
but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this
dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."

      When Jesus was being tempted by Satan, Satan "showed Him in a second
all the kingdoms of the world. 'I will give you all this power and wealth,'
he said, 'it has all been handed over to me, and I can give it to anyone I

      Here then is the Christian's dilemma (and anyone of whatever faith who
is instructed to pray for leaders): How does one pray for leaders when we
are aware that they are likely in positions of leadership courtesy of Satan?
What sort of determination and urgency are we prepared to make to do so?

      Let me hasten to state here that I do not denigrate my country in
comparison with others. There are no "Christian" governments, not in the
United States of America, not in Britain, not in South Africa and not in
Zimbabwe. Any government that legislates actions and behaviour contrary to
divine commandments indicates it is living independently of and opposed to

      When Daniel prayed, his prayer was immediately heard and an angel was
dispatched to attend to it. Yet it took 21 days for the angel to arrive. The
reason was not due to a sight-seeing detour. The angel was prevented in his
advance by "the Prince of Persia". (This is understood to be a powerful
demon whose responsibility was to oversee that region.) After that conflict.
the angel had to proceed to combat the "Prince of Greece". That angel had to
call for assistance from the Archangel Michael - such was the resistance
from these "principalities and powers".

      So, we who believe in the effectiveness of prayer are called to pray
"for Kings and those in authority". But you say: "I can't honestly pray with
any sincerity for leaders for whom I have no respect and possibly even hate.
I have prayed, yet I have not seen an end to any of the demonic activities.
This nation is drenched in evil from the father of lies."

      We have witnessed those evil deeds: theft, fraud, assault, rape,
murder, and ancestral worship. But if we stopped praying, imagine how wide
the gates of hell would swing open to unleash the bile it contains.

      "So let us not become tired of doing good: for if we do not give up,
the time will come when we will reap the harvest."
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Daily News

      State hikes volume of fuel imports for motorists

      3/20/2003 2:04:34 AM (GMT +2)

      By Chris Mhike Business Reporter

      THE Ministry of Industry and International Trade has increased the
maximum volume of fuel importable by individuals from 200 to 500 litres a

      In a statement released on Monday on behalf of the ministry, Geshem
Pasi, the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority Commissioner-General said motorists
aged 16 years and above would be allowed through a government dispensation,
to import up to 500 litres of fuel, for personal use. Importations for
resale would however not be permissible.

      Pasi said: "It is a condition for granting this dispensation that the
beneficiary enters the country with the fuel in his/her vehicle and observes
all safety regulations."
      The dispensation would not affect the payment of duty in cases of
excesses on allowable duty free imports.

      Importations of quantities in excess of the stipulated volume would
have to be covered by an import licence issued by the ministry. The facility
would however not extend to passengers of any motor vehicle, bus, train or
aircraft, a measure seemingly designed to eliminate fuel-related fire
accidents. Yesterday's dispensation followed an announcement made two weeks
ago by Herbert Murerwa, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development,
that the limit for individual fuel imports had been raised 10-fold, from 20
litres to 200 litres. That was part of the New Economic Revival Programme.

      Murerwa said the upward revisions on limits were made "in light of the
difficulties faced by cross-border travellers." Although this latest move
could slightly ease fuel problems in border towns, economists and motorists
have however dismissed the upward revision of volumes as a desperate
measure. They said the government had to be more innovative and pragmatic in
addressing the fuel supply situation.

      Economist John Robertson said: "It is important to consider the number
of individuals with the sort of vehicles that can carry 500 litres of fuel.
Questions about the number of individuals with sufficient foreign currency,
or the sort of containers necessary for such imports are also relevant." He
said the move was unlikely to effect any improvements on the fuel situation.
Peter Rukodzi, a Harare motorist commended the government for doing
something about the fuel problem. He however went on to say the revision of
maximum individual import volumes to 500 litres still fell short of a
panacea to the problem.

      "We appreciate the efforts being made, but the government should
realise that not all motorists can cross the border for fuel. The few who
can, face the risk of fire as the product is highly flammable."

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