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Thursday, 21 March, 2002, 06:53 GMT
US keeps up pressure on Mugabe
Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai outside the court in Harare
Mr Tsvangirai says the election was rigged
The United States has condemned what it describes as an orchestrated campaign of violence and intimidation against the opposition in Zimbabwe.

The State Department spokesman, Richard Boucher, said the US was unaware of "any convincing evidence" for the treason charge against Zimbabwe's main opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai.

He was released on bail on Wednesday after being formally charged with treason in a court in the capital, Harare.

Robert Mugabe
Mugabe has defied intense international pressure
Mr Boucher described the charge as "the latest example of a kind of retaliation against opposition and supporters that we're seeing under way in the aftermath of the election".

"We condemn this campaign of violence and intimidation," he said.

Mr Tsvangirai, who mounted a strong challenge to Robert Mugabe in last week's presidential ballot, was ordered to pay 1.5 million Zimbabwean dollars (about $27,000), and surrender deeds to property and his passport.

Mr Tsvangirai denies plotting to kill Mr Mugabe.


Last month Washington imposed a ban on travel to the US by Mr Mugabe and 19 of his top aides, in protest at the conduct of the elections.

Commonwealth observers' findings

  • High level of politically motivated violence and intimidation
  • Zanu-PF's paramilitary youth group largely responsible for intimidation
  • Restrictions on independent local observers
  • Lack of transparency in the registration process
  • Polling stations reduced in urban areas
  • Many unable to vote in Harare and Chitungwiza because process was too slow
  • Limitations on freedom of speech and movement hampered opposition campaign

      Click here for observers' findings

  • Mr Boucher said further sanctions were being reviewed.

    BBC Southern Africa correspondent Barnaby Phillips says the treason charge against Mr Tsvangirai destroys any immediate prospect of reconciliation between government and opposition.

    Zimbabwe's Information Minister, Jonathan Moyo, said that nobody was above the law and Mr Tsvangirai had to answer the charges against him.

    Wednesday saw a lukewarm response on the first day of a three-day general strike called by Zimbabwe trade unions - the first public test of opposition support since the election.

    Police have declared the action illegal.

    It was launched in protest at what the unions say is harassment of pro-opposition workers since the election.

    The shadow lands and agriculture minister for Mr Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), Renson Gasela, was also charged with treason on Wednesday.

    Mr Tsvangirai's deputy, Welshman Ncube, was charged and granted bail the day before the election, which Mr Mugabe officially won with 56% of the vote.

    The three opposition politicians were ordered to appear in court on 30 April.

    Commonwealth action

    Australian Prime Minister John Howard - one of the leaders who announced Zimbabwe's suspension from the Commonwealth on Tuesday - had described the prosecution of the opposition leader as damaging to the process of reconciliation in the country.

    And Mr Tsvangirai's lawyer, Eric Matinenga, described the court appearance as "continued harassment" and "a knee-jerk reaction to the events that unfolded yesterday in London".

    Mr Tsvangirai's summons came after another Commonwealth leader, Nigeria's President Olusegun Obasanjo, told the BBC that the governing and opposition parties in Zimbabwe had agreed to discuss a plan put forward by the Commonwealth to resolve the political crisis.

    Mr Obasanjo said this envisaged setting up a coalition government to promote reconciliation, with a new election to be held at an unspecified future date.

    Secret video

    The treason charge against Mr Tsvangirai carries a possible death penalty.

    The MDC leader says the charges - based on a videotape which purports to show him discussing the assassination of Mr Mugabe with a political consultant - were fabricated to try to remove him from the political scene.

    The allegations against Mr Tsvangirai were made by a Canadian political consultancy, Dickens and Madson, headed by former Israeli intelligence officer and Mugabe lobbyist Ari Ben-Menashe.

    But there have been suggestions the videotape was heavily edited.

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    Daily News

    Zanu PF continues to train militant youths

    3/21/02 8:34:29 AM (GMT +2)

    Staff Reporter

    HUNDREDS of Zanu PF youths are still being trained at torture camps
    scattered around Mashonaland Central, especially in Bindura.

    In Bindura on Tuesday, scores of the Zanu PF youths, averaging 16 years of
    age, wielding long sticks, were seen in training at a shopping centre near
    Bradley Institute.

    It was not immediately clear who was in charge of the training.

    Already the youths are reported to have attacked villagers around Bindura,
    accusing them of having voted for MDC’s Morgan Tsvangirai, in last week’s
    presidential election.

    Most of the villagers have fled their homes after the youths threatened to
    kill them.

    The MDC has called on Zanu PF to disband the youth brigades, trained at the
    Border Gezi youth training centre in Mt Darwin, as they were beating up
    innocent people in rural constituencies.

    In an attempt to stop the violence, Elliot Pfebve, the losing MDC
    parliamentary candidate in the 2000 general election met Elliot Manyika, the
    MP for Bindura, during which Manyika, the Minister of Youth Development,
    Gender and Employment Creation, agreed to stop the violence.

    Pfebve said: “These people have engaged in serious retribution, in spite of
    whatever they are saying through the media.

    “For them to attack the same people from whom they stole votes is extremely
    cruel. If they don’t stop beating up people, we are going to take the
    necessary measures to protect all our supporters.”

    During the meeting, Manyika was told the MDC would mobilise its supporters
    to fight back.

    Manyika indicated he would travel to Bindura to meet with the Zanu PF
    leadership to stop the violence.
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    Daily News

    Tsvangirai charged with high treason

    3/21/02 7:56:48 AM (GMT +2)

    By Pedzisai Ruhanya Chief Reporter

    MORGAN Tsvangirai, the MDC president, was yesterday arrested and, in an
    unprecedented move, quickly hauled into the Harare Magistrates’ Court where
    he was granted bail of $1,5 million on allegations of plotting to
    assassinate President Mugabe.

    Later, the MDC secretary-general, Professor Welshman Ncube, described the
    arrest and appearance in court of the MDC top brass as “an attempt to
    continue harassing the MDC leadership in order to stop us from resisting an
    illegitimate election process”.

    Renson Gasela, the MP for Gweru Rural and the MDC’s shadow minister of
    agriculture, was also brought before the same court and granted $500 000

    Unlike Gasela, Tsvangirai was yesterday first called to Harare Central
    police station where the police took his fingerprints before taking him to

    Tsvangirai, Gasela and Ncube, who has already appeared before the court, are
    facing allegations of high treason. The three MDC leaders will appear in
    court again on 30 April.

    Harare magistrate Dominic Muzavazi ordered Tsvangirai to surrender the title
    deeds of his immovable property worth $3 million by the end of business

    The MDC leader was also ordered to surrender his passport and any other
    travel documents and to stay at his Avondale home while reporting to
    Avondale police station every Monday between 6am and 6pm.

    Gasela was ordered to surrender his passport, report every Friday at
    Borrowdale police station and stay at his Borrowdale house.

    Muzavazi had to intervene after the State, led by Stephen Musona from the
    Attorney General’s Office, and Advocate Eric Matinenga, for the MDC men,
    failed to agree on some points.

    Matinenga refused to accept the State’s demand to have Tsvangirai placed on
    a $2 million bail and to surrender title deeds of immovable property worth
    $5 million.

    Musona argued that Tsvangirai’s bail had to be high because he was the
    principal accused person in the matter which he said was a serious offence.

    Musona said he could not change the conditions because it was an instruction
    from his superiors.

    But Matinenga told the court that the conditions set against Tsvangirai were
    too harsh and unwarranted.

    He said Tsvangirai’s arrest was linked to Tuesday’s suspension of Zimbabwe
    from the Commonwealth, after the controversial election described by the
    MDC, many local observers and the international community as highly flawed
    and fraudulent.

    Matinenga said: “It is not disputed that the State became aware of the
    alleged plot in November.

    “If the story could be believed, one wonders why the information was made
    public only two weeks before a crucial presidential election.

    “This particular appearance is simply a continuous harassment of Tsvangirai
    and members of his party.”

    He told the court there should be no suggestion that Tsvangirai could run
    away from the country because he has the support of more than 1,2 million
    people and controls almost half of the country’s elected Members of

    Addressing the media outside the court building immediately after Tsvangirai
    was granted bail, Ncube said: “This is an attempt to continue harassing the
    MDC leadership in order to stop us from resisting an illegitimate election

    Contrary to ZBC news reports last night that Tsvangirai was arrested as he
    attempted to flee the country, the MDC leader voluntarily reported at Harare
    Central police station after being summoned by the police before he was
    formally charged.

    The allegations against the three opposition leaders emanate from the grainy
    video film which was recorded by Ari Ben-Menashe, the head of the Canadian
    political consultancy firm, Dickens and Madson, in which Tsvangirai
    allegedly plotted to kill Mugabe, a charge that he denies.

    Meanwhile, in what appears to be a related development, Ben-Menashe, who is
    the State’s prime witness in the alleged assassination plot, arrived in the
    country on Tuesday afternoon.

    The Daily News yesterday learnt that Ben-Menashe arrived in the country on
    Tuesday afternoon aboard a South African Airways flight.

    He was reportedly swiftly whisked away in a government registered vehicle.

    Menashe’s credibility became dubious when it was revealed that he had been
    Mugabe’s long-time ally in unspecified deals.

    He has also been linked to shady deals with ex-Zambian president Frederick
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    From the MDC

    In this update

    -          Morgan Tsvangirai speaks out about the flawed presidential
    election – Mar 13

    -          Two abducted, one hospitalized in post election violence – Mar 14

    -          Police raid Mkoba MP's house – Mar 14

    -          Return to legitimacy key – Mar 19

    -          MDC Applauds Commonwealth Action – Mar 20

    -          A brief guide to the Rigging of the Zimbabwean Presidential
    Election 2002

    Statement by Morgan Tsvangirai on the flawed presidential election

    13 March, 2002

    You have by now heard the results of the national presidential election as
    announced by the Registrar General. As we have always maintained the
    conditions for a free and fair election in Zimbabwe did not exist.

    We want to state that the election was flawed due to the following:

    State sponsored terrorism

    State sponsored terrorism on the people with the government using the state
    institutions to terrorise the people especially so in the rural areas. I
    want to dispel the notion that ZANU (PF) is stronger in the rural areas and
    that therefore it’s showing in the election is a reflection of the feelings
    of the rural populace. Far from it. The truth of the matter is that it’s
    showing was based on fear inculcated through state terrorism on the people
    and the selective application of the rule of law. For over two years now the
    opposition was barred access to the rural areas of the Mashonaland provinces
    and the people there were subjected to both psychological and physical
    assaults as well as intimidation and abuse. I want to remind all of you that
    in the history of this country we have witnessed how the people can be
    driven to vote through fear and intimidation. During the internal settlement
    the masses were coerced through terrorism to attend and cast votes in an
    election that you are all agreed was a farce. So was the case in this just
    ended election.

    Politicised administration of election processes

    Secondly, we have maintained that the administration of the election
    processes in the country is politicised to the detriment of the opposition.
    Against the facts on the ground the allocation of polling stations was
    thrown into total disarray purely for the purpose of creating administrative
    obstacles in MDC strongholds. Among other things the supplementary voters
    roll has up to this present moment not been availed to the opposition. This
    is a supplementary voter’s roll, which was done secretly by the ruling

    The Electoral Supervisory Commission remains a toothless bulldog. I want to
    immediately dispel the notion that the ESC is not able to act because the
    political parties could not adopt a code of conduct. The truth of the matter
    is that for a free and fair election to take place in this country what is
    needed is the rule of law and not a code of conduct. Tied to this the
    elections should be run by an independent body and not by a partisan

    Deliberate disenfranchisement

    Thirdly, this election was marred by deliberate disenfranchisement of the
    citizens of the country. As you are aware in Harare and other urban centres
    people were openly denied the opportunity to cast their vote either by
    frustration through long queues and the closure of polling stations as they
    waited in those long queues. In many instances in urban centers people who
    were queuing to vote were either tear gassed or beaten up by Riot police and
    Zanu PF militias in a bid to discourage them from voting. What the
    government alleges to administrative nightmares is simply an excuse.

    Obstructions to the deployment of polling agents

    At least 40% of all the rural constituencies were not manned by our polling
    agents. As they were either detained for no good reasons by state
    institutions or physically removed by Zanu PF militia from the stations in
    full view of the police who did not move to protect them from attacks. As a
    result all those stations were not manned meaning that the boxes were open
    to abuse and manipulation.

    In view of these and other problems that we have stated in the past few
    months, we reject these results as well as the process that gave birth to
    them. We reject them as flawed and a complete denial of the will of the
    people of Zimbabwe. It is sad that Zimbabwe’s government continues to close
    all democratic avenues for the people. We are now under pressure from the
    multitudes of our supporters who now wish to pursue alternative and
    confrontational means to reclaim their power.

    We shall continue to pursue this democratic path. We are as of now
    consulting as a party as to what action to take in the face of the denial of
    the people’s will.

    I want to state for the avoidance of doubt that this matter is purely
    political. It is a national tragedy with regional connotations. As long as
    the governance issues are not resolved this country cannot move forward.

    I want to reassure the nation that a solution has to be found and indeed a
    solution will be found. We will not abandon the people at this hour of
    greatest need. We call on all your energies and resourcefulness, so that we
    can stand together more firmly and resolutely against this evil. The people’
    s will shall be heard.

    Together we will complete the change for a better life for all Zimbabweans.
    The power is in our hands.

    MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai


    Two abducted, one hospitalized in post election violence

    14 March, 2002

    Zanu PF militia abduct winning MDC councillor

    The winning candidate for ward 39, Dzivarasekwa, in the just ended Harare
    municipal elections, Aleck Masomera, was this morning abducted from his home
    by Zanu PF militia at about 8.00am.

    Masomera, who had been in hiding for the past week following threats on his
    life by members of the Zanu PF militia, arrived home at about 8.00am this
    morning when a group of Zanu PF militia suddenly descended on him and
    abducted him.

    The matter has been reported to Dzivarasekwa Police Station.

    Suspected MDC Supporter Abducted in Musana

    Eliot Motsi of Musana Village, Bindura, was abducted by a group of Zanu PF
    militia led by Kudzanai Chikono on Tuesday afternoon, after they accused him
    of voting for the MDC in the just-ended presidential elections.

    The group of militias arrived at Motsi's home at about 3.00pm on Tuesday and
    accused him for having voted for the MDC. They burnt a hut at his homestead
    before leaving with him.

    The matter was reported at Nyava Police Station, but the police, ironically,
    attempted to arrest Makundwei Muzavazi, who had reported the matter.
    Muzavazi managed to escape and avoid arrest.

    Zanu PF militia assault MDC youth

    Stewart Chidavaenzi, an MDC activist, suffered four broken ribs and severe
    head injuries after being attacked by Zanu PF militia on Monday evening.

    Chidavaenzi was travelling with a group of MDC supporters who were providing
    logistical support to polling agents in the area, when they were suddenly
    ambushed and beaten by members of the militia.

    Although the other MDC supporters managed to escape with minor injuries,
    Chidavaenzi was badly wounded and is recovering at the Avenues Clinic, where
    he was admitted on Tuesday morning.

    The MDC is worried by these incidents of post election violence being
    perpetrated by Zanu PF, even after the elections. It had been assumed that
    these violent acts would cease after Zanu PF successfully stole the election
    from the people. We therefore appeal to Zanu PF to allow peace, tranquility,
    law and order to prevail.


    Police raid Mkoba MP's house
    14 March, 2002

    Police on Monday afternoon raided Mkoba Member of Parliament (MP) Bethel
    Makwembere's house in Gweru where they threw tear-gas into the lounge before
    taking 200 MDC T-Shirts, a cell-phone and presidential campaign posters.

    The event occurred at about 2:30pm and was reported to a Mr Mbengwa, the
    officer-in-charge at Mbuya Nehanda police station, who referred the matter
    to another officer, although no action has been taken so far.

    The MDC is not clear on what the police intend to do with the T-shirts and
    the posters. We are indeed very worried about the destination of our
    T-shirts given the police's unholy alliance with Zanu PF's militia. We hope
    these T-shirts will not be used perpetrate barbaric acts in the name of the

    Mr Makwembere is contactable on 023 274 838.


    Return to legitimacy key

    19 March 2002

    The MDC’s National Council met today to consider reports from MDC’s
    provinces and to be updated on the meetings that the MDC leadership has had
    with South Africa’s President Thabo Mbeki and Nigeria’s President Olusegun

    The central point in the discussions with the leaders from Africa was that
    there was a need for the MDC to engage in talks with Zanu PF.

    The MDC National Council noted that, at the present moment conditions for
    successful talks do not exist since:

    a) Zanu PF is continuing with its violent agenda of beating up MDC members,
    destroying their properties and burning their homes and is currently engaged
    in retribution against members of the MDC and anyone suspected of having
    voted for the MDC. This must be stopped forthwith.
    b) General lawlessness in the country is continuing with some members of the
    police and the army assaulting perceived MDC supporters. This must stop.
    c) The demonisation of the MDC leadership, its members and its supporters
    continues unabated in the state media. This must stop.

    The National Council decided that the only way to resolve the Zimbabwean
    crisis must involve a return to legitimacy.

    We thank all Zimbabweans for their courage and determination. As MDC we
    remain committed to completing the change for a better life for all

    Professor Welshman Ncube,


    MDC Applauds Commonwealth Action

    20 March, 2002

    The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) welcomes the action taken by the
    Commonwealth to suspend Zimbabwe. The position taken by the Commonwealth
    indicates the same view that we hold that the presidential elections held on
    March 9 and 10 March were not free and fair. This therefore makes the result
    illegitimate and Robert Mugabe's tenure as president illegitimate.

    We appeal to the rest of the international community not to recognise this
    illegitimate regime and to step up efforts in isolating it until it
    recognises the will of the people of Zimbabwe.

    We continue to appeal to President Mugabe and his party to recognise that it
    is not too late to pull back from the brink. Zanu PF and President Mugabe
    should recognise the demands of people of Zimbabwe, that a fresh election
    must be called and the people allowed to choose their leaders in a free,
    fair and peaceful environment.

    We are saddened that despite being illegitimately declared the winner of the
    presidential election President Mugabe instead of working to heal the
    country and work for development, he has instead engaged in a full-scale
    retributive agenda against MDC supporters who are currently experiencing a
    fresh wave of violence in various parts of the country.

    President Mugabe and Zanu PF must realise that the onus and responsibility
    to solve the crisis in Zimbabwe rests squarely on their shoulders.

    Welshman Ncube,
    MDC Secretary General.

    A brief guide to the Rigging of the Zimbabwean Presidential Election 2002

    This is by no means an exhaustive description, but will hopefully begin to
    explain to those not familiar with the Zimbabwean electoral process how
    fraud on such a large scale was perpetrated.  This does not cover the use of
    violence and intimidation that was prevalent across the country, and which
    was a major factor in these elections being deemed not free and fair.

    a) MDC polling agents could not carry out their duties, and be with the
    polling boxes from the start to the finish of the voting process

    There were 4689 polling stations in Zimbabwe (as given in a list by the
    Registrar General on 6 March 2002). At each one, the presidential candidate
    had the right to have polling agents present to validate the integrity of
    the voting process. We estimate that at least 52% of the ballot boxes were
    not watched by polling agents for all or part of the time. There are files
    full of examples where the MDC was prevented from deploying and accrediting
    their agents. In the cases where they were deployed and accredited, they
    were often not allowed to make identifying marks or make their unique seal
    on the box. Where they did make a seal, we have examples where that seal was

    At some stations, the agents were harassed by war vets, militia youth and
    high ranking Zanu PF officials. There are several examples where polling
    agents were forced to leave the polling station by one of these people.

    Polling agents were often not present at the counting station to verify
    their boxes as a Presidential decree meant that they were unable to be on
    the vehicle that transported the boxes. Several of the support vehicles that
    had been arranged to overcome this issue, were impounded by police, burnt
    out or their drivers detained and/or arrested.

    b) Election Agents could not carry out their duties

    In each of the 120 Constituencies, the presidential candidate has the right
    to have an Election Agent who can observe the counting. Election agents were
    abducted, arrested and prevented from being present for the entire counting
    period in at least 5% of the constituencies. It is in these constituencies
    that the greatest fraud has taken place, although there is evidence of
    rigging in each and every one of the 120 constituencies.

    At least one of the Election Agents had all his polling agent and
    constituency papers taken away from him at the counting station (thereby
    taking away the evidence of the rigging). There have been raids on MDC
    offices where papers have been held, and further evidence has been lost.

    In light of a) and b), there were many instances where there was no-one to
    monitor the boxes at polling stations and verify the count at counting
    stations, and ensure that:

    It was real people who were voting
    People were voting only once
    Extra ballots were not being put into boxes

    c) The Supplementary voters roll

    400 000 additional people were registered after the election date was
    announced between the end of January and March 3rd.  These names make up the
    controversial supplementary voters roll. No-one has been allowed sight of
    this roll (let alone the full Voters Roll – which is a legal right of the
    opposition) However, we do know that some were registered at gun point, some
    were duplicate registrations and that some people may exist only in name.

    At this stage, this cannot be verified. The only fact is that there are
    400,000 people on this supplementary list (bear in mind that that’s about 3%
    of the total population, and that over half the population is under the age
    of 16, and that there were already 5,2million names on the January Voters

    It was these names that Robert Mugabe needed as a minimum to balance the
    difference between himself and his opponent. All that he needed now was a
    number of ways to stuff ballot boxes, and this was possible, particularly in
    the rural areas where we had no agents present. There is a separate 1 page
    summary detailing the techniques of stuffing boxes in these areas, these
    include people arriving with pre-prepared ballots in the sequence of the
    ballots already cast (ref: Gwiwa polling station).

    d) The difference between Actual Voters Seen (ESC) and Votes claimed to be
    Cast (Registrar General’s number)

    This is the Registrar General (Mudede)’s Credibility Gap. There is a wide
    discrepancy between the ESC (Electoral Support Commission) official count of
    voters and the total numbers polled as given by the Registrar General. In
    the areas where the MDC has received the body count of people voting from
    their polling agents, these often do not support the counts given by the
    Registrar General.

    e) Duplicate ballot books

    Prior to the election, there were reports of duplicate ballot books being
    printed. There is a considerable amount of evidence that points to the use
    of duplicate ballot books.  On an individual basis, in the rural areas,
    people were given a ballot already marked and told to come out with an
    unmarked ballot. The militia/war vets easily monitored this.

    In the urban areas, particularly Harare, it is highly possible that as
    stations were closed during the mayhem of the long queues, when stations
    were closed down that votes were switched with the use of duplicate ballot
    papers (at least 2 stations in each of the 19 constituencies closed down
    during the voting process – a large majority on the Saturday). Please see
    the one page summary of the occurrences at Mount Pleasant District Office in
    the Harare North constituency that illustrates this. We have evidence to
    show that this occurred at a number of stations in Harare and Chitungwiza.

    f) Missing ballot books

    At the beginning of the voting process the polling agent is allowed to
    inspect the ballot books that are to be used.  These should be in sequence.
    There are a number of examples where a ballot book was missing in the
    sequence. It would be quite easy, at a later stage, to put those ballots
    into the box – particularly where there was no MDC polling agent present.
    Having extra voters on the supplementary roll would allow the vote count to
    tally with the registered voter count.

    g) Voter Manipulation and Intimidation

    There is a separate one page summary that details the techniques, ranging
    from voting in villages where people were told that the numbers on the
    ballots would be monitored and if there were any votes for another party
    apart from ZANU PF that their village would receive the wrath of the militia
    to being told that Zanu PF voting days were on the 9th and 10th and MDC
    voting days were 11th and 12th. In addition, for a country that claims to
    have the best-educated population in Africa the high incidence of people
    claiming to need “assistance” is not comprehensible. A voter requesting
    “assistance” has to go into the voting booth accompanied by the presiding
    officer and tell them who they want to vote for. The vote is then recorded
    by the officer on the ballot paper.

    The high correlation between the location of militia base camps and that of
    polling stations cannot be ignored.

    The world cannot let the results of this election stand. If the leaders of
    Africa and the Commonwealth are to gain any respect from the people of their
    own countries, they need to now stand up for the rights of all Zimbabweans.
    We do not want Robert Mugabe as our president for the next 6 years. The
    majority of us did not vote for him. We do not want a continuation of the
    violence that has wracked our land. We are not violent people. We want
    another election. We want it administered by an outside group of people who
    will ensure that it is free and fair.

    … and we also need food for all the people who are starving – through no
    fault of their own, but because the world outside has refused to take a
    stand against the tyranny of one man, his cronies and his love of money and
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    Climate of terror unnerves CFU

    Staff Reporter
    3/21/02 1:40:49 AM (GMT +2)

    ZIMBABWE’S commercial farmers this week said signals coming from President
    Robert Mugabe’s government and the murder of one of their members made it
    difficult for the key sector to continue normal production.

    Colin Cloete, president of the Commercial Farmers’ Union (CFU), said farmers
    were only concerned with producing food for Zimbabwe and not in the country’
    s politics, and CFU members were thus dismayed by the continuing lawlessness
    on farms.

    "If the government wants to have a land reform programme, let’s have a real
    land reform programme and not anything else," he said, referring to the
    murder on Monday of farmer Terry Ford, who was allegedly killed by war
    veterans and settlers.

    "We have had many farmers being chased away from their farms in the last
    week and in Marondera in particular the police have not been determined to
    help us," Cloete said.

    "We are glad that the (presidential) elections are over but what is coming
    from the government doesn’t inspire us. There is loss of any incentive for
    farmers to plant crops."

    Cloete spoke as it emerged that the veterans and ruling ZANU PF party mobs
    occupying commercial farms were continuing to evict CFU members from their
    properties, accusing the farmers of backing the opposition Movement for
    Democratic Change.

    The CFU chief said more than 15 commercial farmers had been chased away from
    their properties in the past week alone, mostly in Mashonaland East
    province. This brings to 115 the number of farmers who have been evicted in
    the last seven weeks.

    Cloete said following Monday’s death of Ford, farmers were now uncertain
    about their security.

    Ford became the 10th farmer to be killed in the past two years. His death
    was announced a day after Mugabe vowed during his swearing-in as head of
    state for another six-year term that he planned to speed up his
    controversial land reforms.

    The land reforms have been accompanied by violence by ZANU PF followers who
    have been seizing farms in the name of land hunger since February 2000.

    The twin problems have disrupted farming operations, leading to the current
    severe food shortages in a sector which generates 45 percent of Zimbabwe’s
    hard cash earnings.

    The CFU said Mugabe should move speedily to restore law and order on farms
    by cracking down on opportunists taking advantage of the haphazard land

    "What we want to know is how the President will move ahead with the land
    reform programme and how he will act on opportunistic elements taking
    advantage of the programme," a senior CFU official said.

    The official, preferring not to be named, said the CFU had received reports
    of looting on some farms but could not quantify how much had been lost and
    how many farmers had been affected.

    White farmers in Mashonaland West province last year lost millions of
    dollars when their properties were looted after clashing with government

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    Zimbabwe’s industry faces decimation

    By Joseph Ngwawi Business News Editor
    3/21/02 1:22:11 AM (GMT +2)

    ZIMBABWE’S already troubled industry faces decimation in the next few months
    as several companies have closed or are contemplating relocating to
    neighbouring southern African states in the aftermath of a controversial
    election win by President Robert Mugabe, it was established this week.

    Sources in the manufacturing sector this week said several firms have not
    opened since the announcement of the poll results last week and others could
    follow suit in the coming few weeks as operating conditions deteriorate

    Another company, Johnson and Johnson, this week said it was closing its
    consumer products division with effect from May 1 2002 and would appoint
    agents who would buy the products direct from South Africa for resale in

    Johnson and Johnson chief executive Davis Kanyama said the company, which
    closed its manufacturing division in 2000, would however continue to have a
    representative office in Zimbabwe.

    "This decision is part of an ongoing exercise and was taken well before the
    elections," Kanyama told the Financial Gazette.

    Several other Harare-based firms, particularly those in the food industry,
    are said to be mulling relocating to other southern African countries
    because of shortages of essential inputs such as sugar, cooking oil and
    maize meal.

    Reports from the western Matabeleland region say about half of the heavy
    industrial companies could close by May if Zimbabwe’s economic conditions do
    not improve.

    The Matabeleland Chamber of Industries (MCI), an umbrella body of
    manufacturing concerns in the western part of Zimbabwe, said the majority of
    its members had indicated that they would not survive until May under the
    present conditions.

    "Things are very bad in the region. Half of our members are in a desperate
    situation," outgoing MCI president Anthony Rawlands said.

    Rawlands’ comments come in the wake of reports that at least 10 Bulawayo
    companies sent their workers back home after the ballot result which most
    countries say Mugabe stole from his challenger Morgan Tsvangirai.

    No comment was available from the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries this

    The industrial body, which last year revealed that more than 400 firms shut
    down in 2000, has just commissioned a study of the impact of the present
    hostile macroeconomic climate on the manufacturing sector.

    Zimbabwe has been in crisis since Mugabe, 78, endorsed the seizure of
    white-owned farms by his supporters in 2000.

    The crisis has been dramatised by severe shortages of foreign currency and
    food, runaway inflation and rising unemployment now estimated at more than
    70 percent.

    It is feared that Mugabe’s victory will widen the rift between Harare and
    the international community, further compounding the country’s foreign
    currency woes.

    Economist Eric Bloch this week warned that most Zimbabwean firms were on the
    verge of collapse and are in desperate need of positive economic policies by
    the government.

    "Until and unless such time that the country starts implementing realistic
    economic policies such as the devaluation of the dollar, the removal of
    price controls, keeping inflation in check and restoring the rule of law,
    all the doom and gloom will continue," Bloch told the Financial Gazette.

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    Mugabe must be confronted with constitution issue

    Lovemore Madhuku
    3/21/02 1:40:54 AM (GMT +2)

    IT will be a monumental tragedy for Zimbabwe and the future of the
    democratisation process if we fail to draw proper and useful lessons from
    the debacle surrounding the just-concluded presidential election.

    I must warn at the outset that there are two groups of persons whose
    analyses must be handled with caution. The first group is the media. The
    second group is that of "winning" and "losing" politicians.

    These two groups dominated the pre-election period with all sorts of
    analyses and predictions whose value is yet to be ascertained.

    Yet I must declare my interests at the outset. From those very first days
    sometime in early 1997 when, alongside colleagues like Tendai Biti, Welshman
    Ncube, Brian Kagoro, Priscilla Misihairabwi, Everjoice Win and Tawanda
    Mutasa, I participated in formulating the concept of the National
    Constitutional Assembly (NCA), it has been clear to me that the sole purpose
    of the current Zimbabwean constitution is to preserve and protect the rule
    of ZANU PF.

    My view then, and indeed those of my colleagues, was that a democratic
    environment in which free and fair elections are the norm, and in which
    citizens enjoy real freedoms, could only be created if a new, democratic and
    people-driven constitution were put in place. In terms of that view, it is
    almost impossible to change the government through an election conducted in
    terms of the current constitution.

    This is the view I still hold so strongly that I must confess it may cloud
    my assessment of the just-concluded presidential elections.

    There is little doubt that the presidential election was neither free nor
    fair. An election which fails to meet the standard of being "free and fair"
    produces an illegitimate outcome.

    This much must be regarded as admitting of no doubt. However, this says
    nothing about the way forward. This election was not stolen on March 9 and
    10 2002, nor is the outcome illegitimate merely on the allegations of
    rigging arising from the events of the polling days.

    The lesson to be learnt from this poll is that until Zimbabwe has a
    genuinely democratic constitution enshrining universally recognised norms
    and institutions for the holding of an election, a free and fair ballot will
    remain a mirage.

    Politicians who in the run-up to the election peddled theories about how the
    "will" of the people would prevail notwithstanding the labyrinth of
    constitutional provisions loaded against a free and fair election must now
    admit that they were wrong. Most of the problems faced in this election have
    their roots in the defective nature of our constitutional framework. I now
    proceed to illustrate this truth.

    First, the voter registration process was not transparent and was conducted
    in such a way as to favour the ruling party. The main reason for this lack
    of transparency is that in terms of the current constitution and laws, voter
    registration is conducted by officials appointed by, and answerable to, the

    In other countries, this process is handled by an Independent Electoral
    Commission which is an impartial body and whose independence is guaranteed
    by the constitution. In our case, the so-called "supplementary voters’ roll"
    was nothing but a list of names of ZANU PF supporters compiled under dubious
    circumstances but it was given legal validity by President Robert Mugabe
    acting is terms of the current constitution and laws.

    Secondly, the designation of polling stations, as is now well known, was
    specifically done in a way that favoured ZANU PF by granting ridiculously
    few polling stations in urban areas. This was done by officials appointed
    by, and answerable to, Mugabe. In other countries, this is done by an
    Independent Electoral Commission, which is constitutionally enjoined to act

    Third, it is alleged that some key election officials such as presiding
    officers were Central Intelligence Organisation operatives. In other
    countries, there is no scope for such madness. An Independent Electoral
    Commission appoints professional election officials.

    Fourth, there were the so-called "no-go areas" in Mashonaland Central, West,
    East and some parts of the Midlands. Parliament also passed the Public Order
    and Security Act which the police deliberately misinterpreted to suppress
    the opposition.

    Our constitution does not specifically provide for political rights such as
    free and equal campaigning platforms for competing political parties. If
    such rights had been enshrined, it would have given the opposition the right
    to approach the courts for orders directing the police to facilitate free
    campaigning in the so-called no-go areas.

    Fifth, equal access to the public media is not guaranteed by our
    constitution. This enabled the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation to abuse
    its position by broadcasting ZANU PF propaganda only.

    Finally, and more significantly, the President enjoys enormous powers under
    the current constitution which he used to further his electoral chances. It
    was the President who directed that there be tripartite elections in Harare.
    And in doing this, he overrode court orders to the contrary.

    The tripartite elections contributed to what ultimately became a "low"
    turnout in Harare.

    After the Supreme Court nullified the General Laws Amendment Act, the
    President used his powers to reinstate most of its provisions through a
    statutory instrument. Thus, it was the President who banned postal voting by
    all Zimbabweans outside their constituencies except members of the army and
    the police. The latter are alleged to have voted for Mugabe.

    The ban on monitoring of elections by civic society was also reinstated.
    There were other countless examples of the President’s use of the powers he
    enjoys under the current constitution to mould the electoral process in his

    The conclusion to be reached from this whole picture is that under the
    current constitutional and legal framework for the holding of presidential
    elections, it is almost impossible to vote out an incumbent President. It
    was naïve for the Movement for Democratic Change to believe that the people’
    s anger against Mugabe was, in itself, sufficient to carry the day in an
    election, whatever the circumstances.

    The issue is not about Mugabe. If Mugabe were to announce his retirement
    before the expiry of his six-year term and ZANU PF were to field any of his
    less illustrious colleagues as a presidential candidate, without a
    fundamental change to the rules, Zimbabweans will learn an even more bitter
    lesson: ZANU PF will "steal" that election again.

    We do not need to wait for that scenario before we embrace the need to fight
    for a new constitution. We have learnt our lesson and it will be
    irresponsible to seek to dispute this clear fact.

    This brings us to the way forward. Two points must be made.

    First, there has been no spontaneous uprising against Mugabe notwithstanding
    the widespread disbelief that greeted his victory among many voters,
    particularly those in urban areas. ZANU PF had anticipated such an uprising,
    hence the massive intimidatory show of force that was evident in the
    deployment of security forces in every part of the country during and after
    the announcement of the election results.

    Secondly, key African countries have accepted Mugabe’s victory while almost
    the entire Western world has "rejected" the election results. These two
    points are crucial in any discussion of the way forward.

    Various options have been discussed, but the better way forward is to
    confront the Mugabe regime with the constitutional question. Constitutional
    reform is at the heart of any new democratic discourse in Zimbabwe.

    Mugabe must be forced to yield to a new process of constitutional reform
    leading to a new constitution. There must be mass action for a new

    Mass action for a new constitution places Mugabe in a difficult situation.
    He cannot be heard to defend the current constitution, which has been
    roundly condemned by all. He has used the current constitution to stay in

    Even the African observers who endorsed Mugabe’s re-election have also
    criticised the constitutional framework governing elections in Zimbabwe.

    More fundamentally, the struggle for a new constitution is a question of
    principle, not personalities. It is a legitimate struggle which Mugabe
    cannot dismiss as a Western imperialist ploy because its demands are clear
    and unambiguous: a more democratic system of government, a more democratic
    framework for conducting elections, an expanded Bill of Rights and so on.

    Mugabe has no moral excuse for shooting people merely demanding a new

    The masses required for such a struggle to succeed need not be substantial.
    This struggle does not need a spontaneous uprising. A core of determined and
    committed Zimbabweans is sufficient for this purpose.

    It is critical that a new constitution be in place as soon as possible so
    that any future election is held in a transparent and credible manner.

    A presidential election is not necessarily six years away. Under the current
    constitution, the President has no powers to designate a successor, should
    he decide to retire. A fresh election must be held within 90 days.

    The same situation arises if the President dies while in office. Never again
    should Zimbabweans go into an election under the current constitution.

    A criticism which has been levelled against this way forward is that mass
    action aimed at confronting Mugabe with a demand for a new constitution
    translates into recognising him when in fact his government is illegitimate.
    This is useless sophistry.

    Mugabe is a political fact. In legal jargon, to those who do not recognise
    his presidency, he remains the de facto President. It is him who must be
    confronted with such a demand as constitutional reform.

    The NCA last December completed a draft constitution which Mugabe, through
    Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa, refused to receive. That draft must be
    forced on Mugabe and the NCA hopes that Zimbabweans will join in this noble
    cause to put in place a secure framework for good governance in Zimbabwe.

    Lovemore Madhuku is taskforce chairperson of the National Constitutional
    Assembly and a lecturer in law at the University of Zimbabwe.
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    FinGaz - Comment

    Mugabe’s options

    3/21/02 1:23:13 AM (GMT +2)

    EVEN before he took the oath of office to start a new six-year term,
    President Robert Mugabe last week signalled the direction of his government
    by immediately signing into law the controversial Access to Information and
    Protection of Privacy Bill.
    The new law, bulldozed through Parliament just before the presidential
    election, not only stifles Press freedom in Zimbabwe but threatens to shut
    down the country’s entire independent news media.

    Then in speeches at the weekend during his swearing-in ceremony and at a
    post-election celebration by his ZANU PF party, Mugabe vowed to purge the
    civil service of all opposition members.

    These actions all but killed his pledge, also made during his installation
    as head of state, to work together with his chief political foe Morgan
    Tsvangirai for the good of Zimbabwe.

    For how can the President reconcile the fact that on one hand he wants
    cooperation from the opposition while on the other he launches a crackdown
    on its members?

    Indeed, how can a conciliatory President who is determined to heal the
    nation’s bloodletting and palpable pain of those who regard his election as
    stolen go ahead with a Bill which deprives the nation of information that is
    so vital to decision-making?

    Yet in the midst of all this, there has been heightened talk of the need to
    form a government of national unity by the highly polarised and opposing

    Mugabe’s options to sustain his disputed presidency after the ballot were
    limited in the first place, given Tsvangirai’s emphatic refusal to accept
    the results of the ballot, the chorus of international condemnation of the
    President’s win and targeted global sanctions already hanging over his head.

    Now, with his latest two steps, Mugabe’s options narrow even further,
    virtually ruling out the formation of a national unity government, which he
    had hoped to use to buy both domestic and external legitimacy.

    Perhaps the only other option still open to him is to form a transitional
    government with the opposition Movement for Democratic Change to prepare for
    a fresh, transparent and fair ballot within a very short time.

    But even this option could disappear quickly unless the President
    demonstrates beyond doubt that he has had a sea change on how he views his
    political opponents.

    The belief by ZANU PF hardliners that their party can somehow ride the
    international storm of protest and Mugabe’s non-recognition by the world is
    both short-sighted and unsustainable, and they should know it.

    No amount of panel-beating the flawed poll will ever win Mugabe global
    support and the sooner decisive steps are taken to move away from this
    tragic chapter of the country’s history, the better for the President and
    all Zimbabweans.

    The challenge facing Mugabe and his allies in Africa who want to broker a
    quick-fix solution to Zimbabwe’s political crisis is how to break the
    current impasse and take steps which, though painful at the moment, will
    bear long-term fruit.

    Undoubtedly Zimbabwe’s neighbours — no matter how strong their nationalist
    solidarity with Mugabe is now — will sooner rather than later have to come
    to terms with the reality posed by Zimbabwe’s deepening crisis on their own

    It is known that leaders such as South Africa’s Thabo Mbeki are relieved
    that the post-election period has not sparked more bloodshed and a surge of
    refugees into neighbouring nations, but the reality is that these leaders
    are merely postponing judgment day.

    The longer Zimbabwe’s economic and political haemorrhaging is allowed to go
    on, the bigger and more profound will be the inevitable fallout which will
    no doubt engulf the entire southern Africa region.
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    Zim army ordered to stay on high alert

    3/21/02 3:15:22 AM (GMT +2)

    ZIMBABWEAN troops remained on high alert this week as tension heightened
    after opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai was formally charged yesterday
    with plotting to kill President Robert Mugabe in December.

    Military sources said troops were ordered to remain on high alert and to be
    in full combat gear while all leave applications were cancelled as defence
    force chiefs prepared for possible riots because of last week’s flawed poll
    won by Mugabe and because of Tsvangirai’s prosecution.

    Tension has been high in Zimbabwe following the controversial win by Mugabe
    of the March 9-11 presidential vote. Tsvangirai and most of the world say
    the veteran ZANU PF leader stole the vote by instigating state-sponsored
    violence and stopping urban dwellers from voting. Mugabe has been backed by
    some African countries.

    The Zimbabwean government yesterday ignored pleas by neighbouring countries
    to drop treason charges against Tsvangirai, the leader of the opposition
    Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), to allow for reconciliation and the
    possibility of a government of national unity.

    MDC spokesman Nkanyiso Maqeda said Tsvangirai was summoned to appear in
    court yesterday to be formally charged with treason over a videotape shot in
    Canada in December which purports to show him plotting Mugabe’s

    The MDC leader denies the allegation and says the governing party and the
    Canadian firm which filmed him and is employed by ZANU PF set him up.

    — Staff Reporter
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    Donors reject food aid pleas

    Staff Reporter
    3/21/02 3:12:52 AM (GMT +2)

    PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe and his administration this week quietly sent a
    distress call to the international community for emergency aid worth US$83
    million to avert an unfolding humanitarian disaster caused by the state’s
    seizures of farms and a drought.

    Diplomatic sources said Finance Minister Simba Makoni and Social Welfare
    Minister July Moyo this week led separate initiatives to try to convince the
    United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to intercede on behalf of Harare
    by appealing to donors, who are shunning Zimbabwe, to provide urgent
    humanitarian aid.

    The ministers’ missions were approved by Mugabe, sworn in this week after
    winning what Western nations have condemned as a blatantly fraudulent
    presidential ballot last week.

    The sources said UNDP administrator Mark Malloch Brown told Makoni when the
    two met on Tuesday on the sidelines of the United Nations Conference on
    Financing for Development in Mexico that donors were unwilling to assist
    Zimbabwe unless the government abandoned or changed some of its
    controversial policies.

    As Malloch Brown met Makoni, Moyo was on the same day pleading with UNDP
    resident representative in Zimbabwe Victor Angelo to mobilise international
    support on behalf of the government to prevent famine in a country which
    once exported food to poorer neighbours.

    Angelo reportedly delivered the same message to Moyo, telling him that
    international donor countries and organisations were unwilling to commit
    significant resources to Zimbabwe because there was no possibility of the
    country ever recovering, unless the government re-examined some of its

    Makoni could not be reached for comment in Mexico yesterday while Moyo was
    reportedly busy in meetings. Neither Angelo nor Malloch Brown could also be

    But the sources said representatives of donors had also repeated the same
    message to the Zimbabwe authorities during a regular meeting in Harare

    The representatives had also sought assurance that all aid given so far is
    reaching all its intended beneficiaries and not selected government
    supporters, the sources said.

    The government first approached the UNDP for aid last November, seeking the
    UN agency to help mobilize US$60 million to buy more than 500 000 tonnes of
    maize and other cereals to feed 2.5 million Zimbabweans threatened with
    starvation this year.

    But the response by the international community has been at best lukewarm,
    with only Japan, Australia and Britain responding with donations totalling
    slightly over US$10 million to the appeal.

    The UN’s anti-hunger agency, the World Food Programme, donated US$3.5
    million and the United States government chipped in with nearly 30 000
    tonnes of food aid.

    Harare’s alleged failure to uphold human rights and the rule of law and its
    policy of seizing private farms has angered donors, forcing many to cut or
    suspend aid.

    Denmark this week announced it was closing its Harare embassy and cutting
    all aid to the country during a week in which Germany also cut off aid,
    Switzerland imposed sanctions on the government and the Commonwealth
    suspended Zimbabwe for a year.

    The measures against the government follow a controversial March 9-11
    presidential ballot won by Mugabe which most of the world says was deeply
    fraudulent, although some African states have backed it.

    Zimbabwe faces a food crisis blamed on the occupation of commercial farms by
    government supporters and the accompanying seizures of farms by the state,
    as well as a severe drought

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    We need a fresh presidential election

    Diana Mitchell
    3/21/02 1:39:45 AM (GMT +2)

    DEMOCRACY’S front line in Zimbabwe’s so-called "Third Chimurenga" has been
    held, and is still holding. In last week’s skirmish, it was defended by men
    and women of vision and immense courage.

    Who can have doubted that the aggressors, fearing their own people and drunk
    with power, would overplay their hand?

    We have endured their mind-numbing "commercials" in state-controlled print
    and electronic media and at their post-pungwe rallies. All of this has not
    obscured the truth — that the people desperately want change.

    Steal the numbers

    We saw and experienced the aggressors transparently and rather ineptly steal
    the numbers in what was quickly claimed by state agents, even before the
    observer missions had completed their reports, as a "free and fair"

    We noticed that the expensive printed programme for the inauguration of the
    President had been produced well before the results of the contest could
    have been known.

    By whatever standards, the absence of free-ness and fair-ness had become
    glaringly obvious as years and months of violence, obstruction and deception
    gave way to days of unprecedented abandonment of every democratic norm.

    Foreign observers of the "election" — even those handpicked as potential
    collaborators — cannot fail to be embarrassed, except where they are
    wilfully blind and deaf, as the truth has emerged.

    Somebody in charge of the aggressors’ strategic planning should have been
    sacked for failing to anticipate the eventual negative consequences of the
    usual overkill.

    Thin disguise

    The continuing official tolerance of murder, rape and pillage overwhelmingly
    perpetrated against the supporters of a popular opposition party being
    presented by the scriptwriter as an African renaissance has already been
    stripped of its thin disguise. The good news is that Africa is casting off
    its colonial mentality and will forever not be so clumsily duped.

    Political polemics, mere words, however, are no substitute for continued
    action. We need fresh elections, freely conducted under a new constitution.
    Even as I write, we await the verdict of the Commonwealth troika which will
    determine our future and that of our African neighbours, especially those
    among them whose intervention can help to avert a possible bloody struggle.

    It may conceivably determine the fate of the Commonwealth itself. The
    consequences of a collapse of peaceful manoeuvres for the region and for the
    hopes of economic advancement for of all sub-Saharan Africa and for the
    viability of the New Partnership for African Development are well

    No observer or participant in the current contest between a shamed past and
    a hopeful beginning to restore the good name of Zimbabwe — to put it very
    simply — in this little African enclave can confidently predict the outcome.


    Smart sanctions? What can they achieve? National unity, bringing democracy
    and tyranny to co-exist? Impossible. Armed intervention by Southern Africa
    Development Community or similar forces? Oh dear, that seems unthinkable,
    especially if massive bloodshed is to be avoided.

    Anxious speculation on the conclusion of unfinished business in the pursuit
    of full freedom preoccupies all democratic Zimbabweans. Will it be civil
    disorder? Or popular resistance aimed at bringing "robust assistance" (John
    Prendergast of the International Crisis Group) from the international

    What if there are spontaneous and/or mass demonstrations, with Zimbabweans
    braving the possibility of civilian and paramilitary casualties?

    Will the starving and unemployed urban dwellers be driven to retaliate after
    the recent months of merciless bullying by the pathetically youthful

    Tribal chiefs

    Will the rural folk, whose even more pathetically propagandised tribal
    chiefs and headmen, similarly encouraged (or bought?) by the ruling party
    and paid by the taxpayer, in printed money, continue to suffer passively
    while promises of heaven on earth remain unfulfilled?

    All these questions remain unanswered even as the restored agricultural land
    fails to yield the expected bounty of food for the nation and instant wealth
    for the peasantry.

    All that remains clear right now is that the legitimacy of the government is
    being debated within and outside Zimbabwe while the democratic forces have
    visibly maintained the advantage of occupying the high moral ground.

    ‘Cold Chimurenga’

    With hindsight and in spite of the general acute disappointment and mild
    depression that followed in the wake of the anti-climatic conclusion — which
    is not yet a conclusion, of course — to our country’s latest struggle for
    freedom, there is much to be thankful for. I am thinking especially of the
    opportunity for uncorrupted Zimbabweans — the majority, in fact — to have
    been able to demonstrate what they are made of.

    People who should have been worn down over the past two years — we might
    describe it as a kind of "Cold Chimurenga" — still had the strength and
    endurance to take the fight on to the centre stage where the world’s
    spotlight could be trained upon them, notwithstanding the outrage of
    September 11 and the crisis in the Middle East.

    So powerful was the glare that the darkest corners where vile deeds which
    might previously have been hidden — like the torching of Morgan Tsvangirai’s
    great friend, campaign driver Tich Chiminya, with his assistant, and the
    violent deaths of more than a hundred others to date, believed to be at the
    hands of ruling party supporters — have been clearly observed. Against this,
    the tragic deaths of ZANU PF’s Cain Nkala and one Luphahla in Matabeleland
    are not exactly a balancing counter-argument.

    No, it is not over yet. That is the general consensus. It could get worse
    before it gets better, but once again, as in the liberation war, Zimbabweans
    have shown how acutely conscious they are of the importance of standing up
    against oppression, wherever it comes from and whatever the odds.

    And so Tsvangirai and his unarmed and most vulnerable warriors have been
    able to survive both personally and politically an onslaught which would
    have floored lesser mortals.

    Zimbabwe should be proud of such men and women.

    Diana Mitchell is an independent Zimbabwean political commentator.

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    Tsvangirai stronger after flawed poll

    By David Masunda Deputy Editor-in-Chief
    3/21/02 1:56:54 AM (GMT +2)

    MORGAN Tsvangirai, the vanquished leader of the Movement for Democratic
    Change (MDC) who lost a close but flawed election to President Robert Mugabe
    last week, is likely to emerge stronger and the real winner in the long run,
    analysts said this week.

    Tsvangirai insists he was robbed of victory by Mugabe who he says abused
    state machinery to rig the poll through pre-election violence and
    intimidation and by denying thousands of urban voters the chance to cast
    their ballots.

    Now in tatters

    The analysts said Mugabe’s international reputation was now in tatters and
    that the 78-year-old ZANU PF leader was more isolated now than before the
    poll, widely condemned in Western capitals and in Zimbabwe as heavily

    On the other hand Tsvangirai, who turned 50 last week, is emerging as the
    real power broker in Zimbabwe, if not the power behind the throne, said
    University of Zimbabwe (UZ) political analyst Elphas Mukonoweshuro.

    Mukonoweshuro said Tsvangirai’s emergence as a major player in Zimbabwean
    politics was demonstrated by the flurry of activity among African leaders
    now anxious to meet the MDC leader but who in the past had shunned him.

    Clear demonstration

    Malawian President Bakili Muluzi and Mozambique’s Joaquim Chissano, the
    leaders of the Southern Africa Development Community, took time from
    celebrating Mugabe’s victory in Harare on Sunday to visit Tsvangirai.

    South African leader Thabo Mbeki and his Nigerian counterpart Olusegun
    Obasanjo, part of the troika that make the Commonwealth’s special team on
    Zimbabwe, on Monday joined the well beaten track to meet Tsvangirai for

    "The meetings between Tsvangirai and the African leaders are a clear
    demonstration that in any equation which needs to be put in place in order
    to resolve the Zimbabwean crisis, Tsvangirai will have to feature very
    prominently," Mukonoweshuro observed.

    Brian Raftopoulos, another UZ political analyst, said the MDC leader’s huge
    support base shown by his strong run for Mugabe’s office in the just-ended
    poll had finally convinced regional and African leaders that he was a man to
    reckon with.

    Few options left

    "There is now recognition among African leaders that Tsvangirai is a force
    and the MDC is a force that needs to be respected," Raftopoulos told the
    Financial Gazette.

    He said Tsvangirai could emerge much stronger from the current political
    crisis in Zimbabwe because senior officials of his party had rallied around

    Mass stayaways

    Raftopoulos said there were few options left for Tsvangirai to force a
    re-run of the election because many Zimbabweans were tired of mass stayaways
    and Mugabe had enough power to thwart any moves to remove him from power.

    "Obviously Tsvangirai is in a very difficult situation because the state
    machinery is still very intact and Mugabe has the support of the regional
    leaders," he said.

    Mukonoweshuro however said the MDC leader could adopt a wait-and-see
    attitude because he would not lose much by refusing to participate in the
    proposed government of national unity that would, in the eyes of many,
    legitimise Mugabe’s administration.

    "Tsvangirai does not have to do anything because anyone can see that
    although ZANU PF has political power, it does not have the capacity to
    manage," said Mukonoweshuro.

    He said Mugabe would always be haunted by the fact that he did not have the
    legitimacy to govern because his victory was only recognised by a few
    African countries.

    Both Mukonoweshuro and Raftopoulos cautioned Tsvangirai from bowing to
    pressure from African leaders and some Zimbabweans to join the proposed
    government of national unity.

    So while under normal circumstances it is the victor who takes the spoils,
    in Zimbabwe it might be Tsvangirai — and not Mugabe — who will emerge as the
    real winner in the long run after the country’s most bitterly contested
    election in 22 years.

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    Canada opposition wants Mugabe tried as a criminal

    3/21/02 1:55:45 AM (GMT +2)

    OTTAWA — The Canadian government has warmly welcomed the Commonwealth’s
    decision to suspend Zimbabwe but opposition members this week slammed Ottawa
    and the 54-nation grouping for not doing enough.

    Many Canadian legislators responded with a standing ovation when Prime
    Minister Jean Chretien told Parliament about the year-long suspension, which
    was imposed to punish Harare for President Robert Mugabe’s controversial
    election victory.

    Denis Paradis, the junior foreign minister responsible for Africa, said the
    move was "completely appropriate" and would put pressure on Mugabe after an
    election that Commonwealth observers said had been seriously manipulated.

    "We’re pushing him on values of democracy and good governance and human
    rights," Paradis told reporters.

    Officials in Chretien’s office shrugged off criticism that the Commonwealth
    had mishandled the case by refusing to suspend Zimbabwe until after the
    election had been held.

    But the Canadian government has come under fire for talking tough last year
    about abuses in Zimbabwe and then noticeably toning down its criticism once
    it became clear the Commonwealth was split on the issue.

    At a summit of Commonwealth leaders in Australia earlier this month,
    Chretien resisted moves to immediately suspend Zimbabwe, only to take a
    harder line once the election was over.

    "I don’t think Canada has distinguished itself in its leadership on this
    issue. The prime minister changed his position three times in the course of
    a week," said Joe Clark, a former prime minister and foreign minister, who
    heads the minority Conservative Party.

    Chretien spokesman Duncan Fulton denied there was any wavering on the part
    of his boss.

    "I would vehemently argue that his position has been clear, consistent and
    unchanged from the outset. He said from the first day in Australia that he
    would support suspension if the election proved to be not fair or
    democratic," Fulton told Reuters.

    Clark also welcomed the fact that the Commonwealth had managed to overcome
    deep differences between member states over whether to take any action
    against Zimbabwe.

    "The question now is: what other actions are taken to ensure there is a
    review of the electoral process?" he said.

    Keith Martin, a foreign affairs spokesman for the official opposition
    Canadian Alliance party, said the suspension was an inadequate slap on the
    wrist from the Commonwealth.

    "They need to continue taking a hard line to isolate Mr Mugabe and make the
    people of Zimbabwe and his own party know that he is an international
    pariah, he’s a thug, a murderer and has no legitimacy in or out of Zimbabwe.
    He needs to step down and be prosecuted as a criminal," he said.

    "In order to save lives in Zimbabwe Mr Chretien and the international
    community must continue to take a very hard line with Mr Mugabe, implement
    the suspension indefinitely, call for an arms embargo and a travel ban on Mr

    Canada, which has already suspended most of its development aid to Zimbabwe,
    said last week it would bar members of Mugabe’s government.

    — Reuter

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    Danes close embassy

    3/21/02 1:49:39 AM (GMT +2)

    COPENHAGEN — Denmark said this week it has decided to close its embassy in
    Zimbabwe and cease development aid to the country in reaction to the
    disputed re-election of President Robert Mugabe.

    "Reports from national and international observers clearly show that it was
    not a free and fair election," the Danish Foreign Ministry said in a
    statement. "Therefore Denmark will abolish the embassy in Harare during the

    Western critics have characterised the presidential vote in Zimbabwe last
    week as blatant election fraud by Mugabe. Western countries and leaders of
    the European Union have said they would consider targeted measures against
    the government.

    Since August, Denmark has frozen most of its aid to Zimbabwe. The rest of
    its development cooperation with the country will be phased out as quickly
    as possible due to "constant violations of human rights and democratic

    Danish aid to Zimbabwe in 2001 was 120 million crowns (US$14 million). —

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    State agents fuel violence, says US

    Staff Reporter
    3/21/02 1:48:55 AM (GMT +2)

    THE United States (US) election observer mission has blasted Zimbabwe’s
    presidential election as flawed and not free and fair, adding to mounting
    international condemnation of the poll officially won by President Robert

    In a damning report on the March 9-11 poll just released, Washington said
    Zimbabwe government security agents had acquiesced or aided militias of
    Mugabe’s ZANU PF party in intimidating supporters of the opposition Movement
    for Democratic Change (MDC) headed by Morgan Tsvangirai.

    It said government officials had routinely prevented MDC campaign rallies by
    denying the party permission to hold them.

    US President George W Bush has already refused to accept the election or to
    recognise Mugabe’s victory, saying the ballot was grossly flawed.

    Some African leaders have hailed the election as having been free and fair,
    but the MDC, the 15-nation European Union, the 54-nation Commonwealth, the
    United States, Switzerland, Japan and most of the world have castigated it
    as a blatant fraud.

    Denmark, a long-time supporter of Zimbabwe, this week announced it was
    closing its embassy in Harare and cutting all aid to the southern African
    nation in protest against the flawed vote.

    The US poll observers said in an interim report: "ZANU PF youth militias,
    with the aid or acquiescence of police and/or military units, operated
    freely throughout the country, engaging in a violent campaign of
    intimidation directed against opposition supporters or those perceived to be

    The 18-member team, comprising staff of the US embassy in Harare which began
    its observation work across the country from February 18, said in many parts
    of Zimbabwe ruling party youths established "no-go" areas for the MDC.

    The mission noted: "In all provinces, embassy teams noted that in the days
    leading up to the election, only those who could show ZANU PF party cards
    were allowed to purchase scarce maize meal."

    Maize meal, which this year is in short supply, is the staple for

    It said MDC supporters were routinely beaten up while their national
    identity cards required for balloting were seized by the militias, who also
    often violently broke up opposition rallies and meetings.

    It said the militia barred independent newspapers from being distributed in
    most rural areas, leaving a large segment of the population without access
    to information but government propaganda.

    Echoing the views of most Zimbabweans about the effectiveness of the
    Electoral Supervisory Commission (ESC) appointed by Mugabe to stage
    elections, the US observers said the ESC lacked the necessary independence
    to oversee a genuinely democratic electoral process.

    They said ZANU PF had laid the groundwork for a flawed election from two
    years ago during which the rule of law was allowed to collapse, serious
    human rights abuses were perpetrated against opponents and the judiciary and
    the independent media were subverted.
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    Zimbabwe journalists to fight draconian law

    Staff Reporter
    3/21/02 1:47:17 AM (GMT +2)

    ZIMBABWEAN journalists have built a war chest to lodge a concerted legal
    challenge within two weeks to some sections of the draconian Access to
    Information and Protection of Privacy Act signed by President Robert Mugabe
    last week, it has been established.

    Sarah Chiumbu, the director of the Zimbabwe chapter of the Media Institute
    of Southern Africa (MISA), told the Financial Gazette this week that about
    $1 million had been raised from donors to set up the Media Defence Fund that
    would be tapped into to challenge the new media law in court.

    MISA is coordinating all legal challenges to the Act signed by Mugabe before
    his installation for a new six-year term as President at the weekend.

    The media law, sponsored by Information Minister Jonathan Moyo, aims to
    register journalists and publishing houses, scrutinise their operations and
    punish them heavily for any infringement of a still-to-be-published code of
    ethics that will be administered by a government-appointed commission.

    Analysts argue that the law’s real intention is to silence Zimbabwe’s small
    but vibrant private media, curtail the operations of foreign journalists in
    the country and promote and nurture a subservient pro-government Press.

    The Bill was heavily debated in Parliament after efforts by Moyo to
    fast-track it failed. It was only passed when the Parliamentary Legal
    Committee had forced in some changes.

    Most Zimbabwean journalists feel that even those changes were cosmetic and
    did not take into account most of their concerns.

    Chiumbu said lawyers appointed by MISA were now studying the omnibus
    legislation to pick out the aspects that clearly infringe on the rights of
    journalists so as to challenge these in court one by one.

    Abel Mutsakani, the president of the Independent Journalists Association of
    Zimbabwe, said the first legal challenge against the new Act might be in two
    weeks’ time.

    Jaan Rath, the spokesman of the Foreign Correspondents Association of
    Zimbabwe, said his members were still to discuss how to react to the Act but
    they still viewed the new law "as unacceptable in any democracy".

    Foreign journalists, just as their Zimbabwean counterparts, are required to
    register with the state’s Media and Information Commission.

    The Act says only Zimbabweans or Zimbabwean holders of permanent residence
    permits are allowed to work as foreign correspondents.

    Chiumbu said although only slightly more than $1 million (US$19 000) had
    been secured from donors so far to fight the Act in court, more money would
    be available in the long run.

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    Swiss probe Mugabe, 19 others

    Staff Reporter
    3/21/02 1:45:11 AM (GMT +2)

    THE Swiss government has blacklisted 20 Zimbabweans, including President
    Robert Mugabe, who it is now probing for possible ownership of foreign
    accounts or assets in that country which will be frozen this week, a senior
    Swiss official said yesterday.

    Switzerland on Tuesday announced that it was imposing sanctions against
    Mugabe and his close advisers after concerns in the West that the veteran
    ZANU PF leader had trashed electoral rules to snatch this month’s highly
    contested presidential election.

    The measures include the freezing of all assets that might belong to senior
    ZANU PF leaders and Mugabe, as well as those in government, and a blanket
    travel ban on all the 20.

    Daniela Stoffel-Fatzer, a spokesman for the Swiss government, said Swiss
    bankers were now investigating Mugabe and 19 others to check if they
    possessed any such accounts or assets in her country.

    Once these assets or foreign accounts had been identified, they would be
    frozen, Stoffel-Fatzer told the Financial Gazette by telephone from Bern.

    She said Zimbabwe becomes only the third country in the world after Burma
    and Yugoslavia to have the assets of its political leaders frozen by her

    Swiss banks, notorious for their secrecy, are a haven for tax evaders and
    many African despots such as the late Mobutu Sese Seko, who after his death
    was found to have stashed billions in the Alpine country.

    Mugabe insists he does not own any foreign assets and has challenged anyone
    with information to the contrary to expose him.

    Meanwhile the United States government has said it is still investigating
    allegations that some Zimbabweans might be involved in the smuggling of
    so-called Congolese blood diamonds.

    A US official said it was too early for investigators to come out with the
    names of the Zimbabwean army generals and businessmen who might be
    implicated in the lucrative scam that is blamed for fuelling the conflict in
    the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

    Zimbabwe has more than 11 000 troops in the vast Central African country who
    were deployed by Mugabe in 1998 after an appeal from former DRC president
    Laurent Kabila, then under siege from rebels supported by Rwanda, Burundi
    and Uganda.
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    C’wealth decision could split ZANU PF

    By Cris Chinaka
    3/21/02 1:42:48 AM (GMT +2)

    Zimbabwe’s suspension from the Commonwealth and the mounting foreign
    pressure on President Robert Mugabe’s government could split his ruling
    party and embolden his rivals, political analysts said yesterday.

    But some said the Commonwealth’s decision to punish him for stealing victory
    in last week’s presidential election could harden his attitude towards his
    challenger’s opposition party.

    Apparently bearing out this view, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
    said its leader, the defeated presidential candidate Morgan Tsvangirai, had
    been called to court yesterday to be formally indicted on a treason charge.

    Tsvangirai was named ahead of last week’s election in a treason probe linked
    to a secretly filmed video purporting to show him discussing Mugabe’s

    He has denied the charge and yesterday’s move dashed hopes that it would be
    dropped following Mugabe’s victory.

    The move this week to suspend Zimbabwe from the 54-member Commonwealth was
    seen to be largely symbolic — it includes no penalty for the nation’s
    hard-pressed people.

    But the fallout from the decision could be devastating for Mugabe as more
    countries follow the Commonwealth lead and impose targeted personal
    sanctions against him and his inner circle.

    John Makumbe, a fierce critic of Mugabe’s ZANU PF government, said personal
    travel and foreign banking restrictions on Mugabe and his closest aides were
    likely to split the ruling ZANU PF, especially if they were widened.

    "If the breadth and depth of these sanctions is increased, we are going to
    get to a stage where some of his lieutenants are going to ask whether their
    sacrifices are worth it," said Makumbe, a University of Zimbabwe political
    science lecturer and chairman of a pressure group called Crisis Zimbabwe.

    "As the sanctions bite, there is going to be more and more debate within
    ZANU PF about how long they can survive. There is going to be more and more
    finger-pointing . . . and some people might break away," he said.

    Brian Raftopoulos, an analyst accused of opposition bias by the government,
    said Mugabe was likely to blame his domestic critics for his plight.

    "In the short term, I think the rising pressure against Mugabe — the
    suspension, the sanctions and the criticism — is bound to harden his
    attitude towards the opposition.

    "It’s now his nature to blame the opposition for his problems, and I think
    he is going to be very vindictive in his approach," said Raftopoulos, an
    associate professor at the Zimbabwe Institute of Development Studies.

    Zimbabwe’s one-year suspension from the Commonwealth was handed down by a
    three-man committee notably including the leaders of Nigeria and South
    Africa, who have until now stood by Mugabe in the face of foreign criticism.

    "For the opposition, the fact that Nigeria and South Africa came on board —
    unexpectedly — on a decision questioning the legitimacy of the elections is
    very encouraging and can only give them strength to continue the struggle,"
    Raftopoulos said.

    Tsvangirai, Mugabe’s main political rival, has branded Mugabe’s victory in
    the March 9-11 presidential election "daylight robbery" and called for a
    re-run of the poll.

    Tsvangirai’s MDC accuses Mugabe of rigging the vote and sanctioning a
    violent campaign by his supporters against the opposition.

    But Mugabe, clutching at the endorsement of the result by several African
    governments, has called his win "a stunning defeat against Western

    MDC secretary-general Welshman Ncube, who also faces the treason charge,
    said the Commonwealth had sent an unambiguous message to Mugabe that the
    international community was committed to democracy worldwide.

    But Ncube said the Commonwealth decision should be backed by increased
    sanctions on the government to help stop Mugabe’s supporters from cracking
    down on the opposition.

    "Thousands of our supporters and MDC activists have been forced to flee
    their homes since the elections . . . and there is a general sense of
    insecurity," he said.

    A sense of international support for the plight of the ordinary people could
    sustain them, he said.

    In the first direct domestic challenge to Mugabe since his re-election for
    another six-year term, Zimbabwe’s biggest labour federation has called a
    three-day general strike from yesterday.

    Police have declared the stoppage illegal and accused unions of trying to
    whip up public emotion against Mugabe’s ruling ZANU PF government.

    Information Minister Jonathan Moyo told state television the Commonwealth
    decision was based on a "heavily opinionated and one-sided report" by the
    body’s election observer team.

    Moyo said the strike call by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU)
    was a stupid move sponsored by those seeking to undermine the country’s

    "It’s a desperate act by stupid leaders who are trying to get through the
    backdoor what they could not get through the ballot box," he told state

    The United States this week attacked the lingering African support for
    Mugabe, saying it was "somewhat disappointed that some African countries
    professing to support and practise democratic values have turned a blind eye
    to the blatant abuse of those values which have occurred in the Zimbabwean

    — Reuter

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    Daily News

    Zimbabwe’s economic environment in a mess

    3/21/02 8:05:54 AM (GMT +2)

    By Ngoni Chanakira

    ZIMBABWE’S macro-economic environment is a complete mess, as reflected by
    key indicators such as inflation, money supply and the exchange rate,
    stockbrokers have said.

    In a commentary after this year’s presidential poll and result, Sagit
    Stockbrokers (Pvt) Ltd, said the current interest rate policy had distorted
    exchange rate and inflation expectations.

    Zimbabwe’s inflation is pegged at 116,3 percent but is expected to increase
    following price controls introduced by the Minister of Industry and
    International Trade, Dr Herbert Murerwa, last year.

    Sagit said: “The event that had occupied the minds of most of us, day and
    night, in the last four months or so came to pass over the weekend of March
    9 and 10. As we already know, the incumbent President retained his position
    and life goes on as if nothing has happened.

    “The election euphoria that had gripped the nation is slowly evaporating,
    and Zimbabweans are digesting the results and taking stock. The uncertainty
    that had become almost endemic to the financial markets is also slowly

    Not that the government has acted to provide clarity in fiscal and monetary
    policies - but that investors are resigned to the status quo!” Zanu PF
    candidate, Mugabe beat his strongest challenger, MDC president, Morgan
    Tsvangirai, by 56,2 percent to 42 percent, according to the disputed poll

    The election result is, however,being challenged by Tsvangirai who says he
    was “robbed of a clear victory”. Sagit said: “As we have said before,
    elections come and go but life has to go on.

    We contend that players in the financial markets will now concentrate on
    specific investment vehicles that are likely to give them good returns
    despite the economic malaise that the country is in.

    “There are and will always be opportunities in chaos - Zimbabwean companies
    have managed to make money over the last three years despite the fast
    deteriorating fundamentals.”

    The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries has also asked that business
    executives concentrate on making business move instead of brooding over the
    election result.

    It has also told members that business is here to stay unlike politics,
    which only comes up when individuals need election or re-election. Sagit
    said: “The macro-economic environment is a complete mess, as reflected by
    key indicators such as inflation, money supply and the exchange rate.

    The current interest rate policy has distorted exchange rate and inflation
    expectations. Now that electioneering is out of the way, the government must
    urgently revisit fiscal and monetary policies if an economic meltdown is to
    be avoided.

    “Some people do not believe that things can get any worse - yet they might
    and even faster too!”. The stockbroking firm said the current monetary
    policy of low interest rates, without attacking inflation and instilling
    confidence will not revive the economy -neither will it increase investment,
    foreign or otherwise,” Sagit said.

    “Business has not responded to the low interest rates to increase production
    capacity due to chronic foreign currency shortages, high inflation and
    depressed demand. Furthermore, lack of clear economic policies has made it
    absolutely impossible for long-term planning.

    “It is not surprising, therefore, that business has chased short-term
    profitability objectives and thus has helped push up inflation through price

    The company said for all these facilities to improve there needed to be a
    relationship based on trust between business and the government. “We think
    this is currently lacking and encourage both sides to come to the table for
    the sake of our economy,” Sagit said.

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    Daily News

    No lessons learnt from the Mozambique disaster

    3/21/02 8:03:50 AM (GMT +2)

    THERE is gloom all over - not only in Zimbabwe, but also in other countries
    in the region that host Zimbabweans.

    The result of the presidential election does not only affect Zimbabweans.

    It affects even other countries.

    Zimbabweans should have been the last nation to ignore the importance of
    global co-existence, especially after having witnessed the chaotic situation
    that used to haunt our eastern neighbour, Mozambique.

    The reason for the sorry state of Mozambique then was largely due to the
    late Samora Machel’s policies.

    I am not trying to downplay the importance of this great man in the quest
    for Mozambique’s freedom.

    But I would also like to bring to light that normally a very small wayward
    act may overshadow all the great works a man will have bravely fought for
    throughout his life.

    This is true in the case of Machel, who is remembered nowadays only as a man
    who chased away the Portuguese, only to plunge the country into a mess.

    Initially, to the black people of Mozambique, it seemed good and sweet

    Little did they know that there were short-lived benefits. Nature took over
    its demonstration of man’s inability to exist without the help of another
    man. The Mozambicans were shocked as they watched their country crumble
    around them. Soon they were running away from it.

    It then took President Joaquim Chissano’s pragmatism to bring about the
    much-needed change. In no time, he turned Mozambique into one of the fastest
    growing economies in the world.

    Zimbabwe is headed for where Mozambique was. Zanu PF’s victory is a victory
    of insanity over sanity; it is a victory of suppression over freedom.

    Admittedly, there are several faces smiling now, the faces of Zanu PF and
    their supporters, but what they do not know is that they are smiling at the
    very devil that is soon going to feed on them.

    In Shona we call it kupemberera gona nerinobata amai (celebrating
    prematurely). Who is going to be affected by this so-called victory? It is
    the same people who are celebrating today.

    I will not and shall never acknowledge this victory. From day one I have
    always feared that the election was going to be tampered with. And it

    At first Zanu PF banned Zimbabwean citizens resident in foreign countries
    from exercising their right to elect a leader of their choice.

    Then they had soldiers and the police to vote for them as many times as
    possible. Then they simply reduced the polling stations in areas they deemed
    a threat to their survival.

    As if this was not enough, they instructed their hand-picked election
    officers to be on a go-slow. The result -10 people taking an average time of
    two hours to vote.

    Now calculate this.

    We have 24 hours in a day and 48 hours in the two days of voting. This gives
    an average of 120 people voting a day at a given polling station!

    The result is a massive manipulation of votes through these impediments.
    Add the numbers who failed to vote to the numbers of citizens in foreign
    countries who were refused the right to vote and you have far more than the
    400 000 votes given to President Mugabe, even before adding the number of
    rural people who were intimidated into voting for Zanu PF against their

    The likes of Dr Sam Motsuenyane, the head of the South African observer
    mission, where completely outwitted. They could only foolishly declare the
    election free and fair. Foolishly, because even though they could see that
    there was some element of fraud, they could not exactly figure out the
    fraudulent “thing” that haunted their conscience.

    The danger is that the people of Zimbabwe will not take lightly to this.

    Secondly, the international community will not forsake the people of
    Zimbabwe as simple as South Africa and Nigeria might have been made to
    believe by Mugabe.

    My wish is that this spares Botswana, a real pinnacle of democracy in
    Africa, and Mozambique, a very promising democracy “student”.

    The policy of dividing the people of Zimbabwe on a racial basis should be
    completely rejected.

    I would also recommend the setting up of an international commission to
    investigate the poll irregularities in the event that Morgan Tsvangirai
    decides to go to court to contest the result. The courts in Zimbabwe cannot
    be relied upon to make any sound judgment on a crucial issue like this.

    This is what Zimbabweans are demanding. This international tribune or
    commission should be composed of any nation anywhere that volunteers
    suitably qualified personnel such as Sir Quett Masire of Botswana and former
    United States President Bill Clinton among others. This way a peaceful
    solution to the crisis can be worked out to the benefit of everyone in the
    Southern African Development Community states.

    Should this fail, and the people of Zimbabwe will be left to battle it alone
    through the heavily biased courts. Then the people will know what to do when
    the moment comes.

    This is the only chance for the world to show that it cares for Africa and
    the Africans.

    We don’t want a civil war. We don’t want to live in terror. We don’t want a
    bloodbath in Zimbabwe. We won’t recognise the results of a rigged election.

    We, therefore, appeal to the international community to exercise their minds
    on the dilemma in our country.

    The next six years are going to be too much for Mugabe’s aging nerves if he
    refuses to sit down with the people his system deliberately disenfranchised.

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