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Harare’s new mayor Mudzuri: Eager to defy all odds

The Zimbabwe Mirror

Caiphas Chimhete

ENGINEER Elias Mudzuri, the new executive mayor of Harare, is a man working against all odds. The city council’s financial books were last audited in 1998, and the road network, sewerage and water treatment plants have all crumbled as a result of years of total neglect.

That apart, the 45-year-old mayor, who landed the city’s top job last week on an opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) ticket, would also be working against political odds. “I know that I have real challenges ahead of me. But, being a person who worked in council for 13 years, it won’t be that difficult.

“I am accustomed to the operations of the council and I will use that to my advantage,” said Mudzuri, who joined the council in 1986 as a junior engineer and stuck with the municipality until he left under a cloud in 1999.

A fellow of the Zimbabwe Institute of Engineers, Mudzuri said his first challenge is to push for an the audit of council’s financial books, followed by a “consultation process” with people on issues affecting them.

His development plan also hinges on private sector involvement and people’s participation in all the projects. Private companies and individuals would be invited to come up with developmental project proposals, particularly as regards housing and business enterprises. The gray-haired, clean-shaven mayor gave an undertaking to companies that his council would make serviced land readily available.

He believes that private sector involvement, coupled with an “intensive” programme to recover money from ratepayers and other institutions, would boost council revenue.

Although he could not say how much money the council was owed, Mudzuri lambasted the government for defaulting on payments of rates and bills amounting to more than $750 million.

“I am appealing to the government to pay up. If it continues to destroy the city by not paying the money, people will soon revolt when they feel short-changed,” said Mudzuri.

The council’s books, still believed to be in shambles, were last audited in 1998, a year before a commission chaired by Elijah Chanakira was appointed to run the affairs of Harare. Previously, the city was run by an executive led by the former elected mayor, Solomon Tawengwa. But Tawengwa and his council were relieved of their duties for alleged corruption and maladministration.

When the commission appointed by the then Minister of Local Government and National Housing, John Nkomo, took over the affairs of the council, Harare had an overdraft of over $100 million as well as debts amounting to over $229 million.

The commission, which wound up its operations last week, claims it cleared both the overdraft and debt in its first six months in office. Mudzuri realises that much needs to be done to upgrade the city’s run-down infrastructure and improve the erratic refuse collection. He is aware that the greater part of Harare’s 3 000-km road network, its sewerage and water reticulation system need urgent attention.

Also confronting the new mayor is Harare’s housing backlog standing at over 150 000. Backyard shacks constructed on premises in most high-density suburbs attest to this demand.

Mudzuri vowed to tackle the challenges head-on.

“I am actually touring the suburbs and water purification plants in Harare this afternoon to get a true picture of the situation on the ground,” he said when interviewed at Town House on Monday.

It was his first day at the office.

A Milton Park resident, the new mayor, who has already taken over the Mercedes Benz that was used by Chanakira, said he would prefer not to stay in the controversial mayoral mansion located in the leafy suburb of Gunhill. But the council should find alternative accommodation for him, he added. It was up to the council to decide what should be done about the palatial mayoral residence.

Harare has already set aside $800 million for upgrading its roads. Yet, even though the city receives an additional $60 million from the National Road Fund, the money in hand is far less than the $5 billion required to rehabilitate some roads that have outlived their life span. So far, some 52 roads were upgraded in Mbare in January and another 45 were done last month. The city also upgraded 43 roads in Sunningdale and St Martin’s.

Mudzuri acknowledged the progress made by his predecessors. “I know the commission tried its best, but a lot still needs to be done. With the co-operation of the people, everything will normalise. Harare will be a sunshine city again, devoid of litter and potholes,” he said.

Mudzuri, who also runs a civil engineering consultancy, warned that he would not allow Town House to be used as a “political playground”.

“I will work with the Town Clerk and heads of departments to instill discipline and restore normalcy here. I won’t deal directly with each and everyone here, but I will ensure that the HODs discipline their juniors,” said Mudzuri.

He held his first meeting with departmental heads on Monday.

Born in Zaka in 1957, Mudzuri trounced Zanu PF candidate Amos Midzi and Billet Magara of the National Alliance for Good Governance to become Harare’s first citizen.

He garnered 262 275 votes against Midzi’s 56 796 and Magara’s 3 457. There were 1 907 spoilt papers.

A former Zanu PF activist, Mudzuri completed his “A” level studies at Gokomere High School in Masvingo in 1977. The following year, he crossed into Botswana where he worked with Dr Tichaendepi Masaya in the party’s structures.

At independence, Mudzuri returned home and worked for several companies, including Caps Holdings and the Surveyor General’s office. Eager to further his education, Mudzuri enrolled at Sierra Leone University where he graduated with an engineering degree in 1986.

On completion, he joined Harare City Council as a junior engineer and rose through the ranks to become the chief engineer until his departure in 1999.

Despite accepting his election as Harare’s first citizen, and with it, all the trappings of high office, including the glare of publicity, Mudzuri was not prepared to divulge details of his family life. Throughout the week, he strenuously refused to yield to requests for even the slightest insight into the woman and family behind Harare’s top man. Perhaps, when the cocktail party invitations start rolling in, the new mayoress will be allowed to emerge from the shadows.

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Zimbabwe mobile market swims against the tide

March 21, 2002 4:30 PM EST
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa—Zimbabwe is a country on the threshold of total anarchy and economic collapse. With the recent elections, the world is collectively holding its breath to see if the beleaguered country will ever recover from the decades of abuse. Yet within this political, social and economic catastrophe exists a mobile operator that is, against all odds, exhibiting signs of becoming a success story—Econet Wireless.

African information technology (IT) and telecom research company BMI-TechKnowledge recently conducted studies into the state of the Zimbabwean telecommunications and IT market and found a thriving mobile industry.

"The fixed-line telephony market has yet to see the light at the end of the liberalization tunnel and the economy is flailing, yet despite the almost insurmountable troubles plaguing the country, the mobile market is managing to fashion itself into a respectable industry," explained Dobek Pater, BMI-TechKnowledge analyst.

Research has found that Econet Wireless has opened 19 communication centers in the country by converting old buses to house communications facilities, such as public phones and faxes, while in conjunction with its Internet arm, it has established a number of Internet cafes.

Econet Wireless was also the first mobile operator in Africa to offer CNN and BBC World News Service reports through mobile phones. Econet plans to introduce mobile banking and wireless Internet access services to enhance network use by customers. In conjunction with its Internet arm Ecoweb, Econet plans to offer the first mobile information services in Zimbabwe, which would allow customers to access a range of short message service (SMS) information services, such as stock exchange results and local newspaper reports.

"Econet is a forward-thinking concern. The organization plans to continue to acquire and build regional operations as successive African markets deregulate and formerly state-owned telecommunications enterprises privatize," said Pater.

Telecel Zimbabwe is the other private mobile operator. It represents a partnership between Telecel International and the Empowerment Corporation, a group of local businesses. The mobile network operator plans to double its capacity in terms of equipment installed. BMI-T estimates the subscriber base to have reached more than 100,000 by the end of 2001. These assumptions are predicated on the outcome of current negotiations for financing of expansion plans. Telecel has an agreement with Siemens worth US$15 million to procure capital equipment.

According to BMI-T findings, Telecel has conducted negotiations with state-owned Net*One regarding a potential merger to dethrone Econet from its position as market leader.

"It remains to be seen if Zimbabwe can survive the latest onslaught in its ruinous history, yet it seems that the need for effective mobile communication services surmounts these troubles. Hopefully, the country will be able to stabilize enough to ensure that commercial activity in the mobile communications field can continue to prosper," concluded Pater.

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Commonwealth can't bar Zimbabwe from Games: Aust PM Howard
CANBERRA, March 22 AAP|Published: Friday March 22, 9:11 AM

The Commonwealth lacked the power to bar Zimbabwe from attending the Commonwealth Games later this year, Prime Minister John Howard said today.

Mr Howard said he could understand why some people would want Zimbabwe banned from participating in the games, to be held at Manchester in July.

But he said the Commonwealth, which suspended Zimbabwe's membership following accusations of corruption and intimidation during the recent presidential election, did not have the power to keep it away.

"Under the rules that we are operating under, we didn't have the capacity to prevent Zimbabwe from competing. That is a matter for the Commonwealth Games Federation," he told Channel Nine from London.

"I can understand why some people would want the federation to exclude them.

"But, in the end, that is a matter for the federation to determine. We don't have the power to stop them."

Mr Howard said it was a question of working through the issues one at a time.

"The question of the future involvement of Zimbabwe in other activities is a matter that can be addressed a little further down the track," he said.

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Aust cricketers at risk in Zimbabwe - Foreign Min Downer
CANBERRA, March 21 AAP|Published: Friday March 22, 7:16 AM

Foreign Minister Alexander Downer tonight warned Australia's cricketers were at risk if they continued with a planned tour of Zimbabwe.

Mr Downer said if the Australian team played in Zimbabwe it would send the wrong signals to the government of President Robert Mugabe.

He said that as Prime Minister John Howard had played a leading role in Zimbabwe's suspension from the Commonwealth, they could become targets.

"There are real concerns within Zimbabwe about the safety of the players," he told ABC television.

"Given Mr Howard's role in engineering the suspension of Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth there could be demonstrations against our cricketers and the like so I just think in the interests of the cricketers it might be better if a neutral ground is found for them to play on.

"I think the timing is unfortunate, and it has the potential to send the wrong sorts of messages to Zimbabwe."

The Australian government issued a travel warning yesterday, saying people thinking of visiting the African nation should put off their travel plans.

Australia is due to play two tests against Zimbabwe in a series that has been planned for more than 12 months.

Mr Downer said he and his department have been in discussions with the Australian Cricket Board about the series and the possible risks facing the team.

He said the test series should be moved to another country.

"I think if there were to be two tests played between Australia and Zimbabwe it would be better if they were played on neutral ground rather than in Zimbabwe," he said.

Mr Downer said the government could not bar the series from going ahead.

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Times of India

Ghana backs Zimbabwe's suspension

AFP [ THURSDAY, MARCH 21, 2002  11:23:05 PM ]

CCRA: Ghana on Thursday said that it fully backed Zimbabwe's suspension from
the Commonwealth after controversial presidential polls and decried treason
charges levelled against main opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

Foreign Minister Hackman Owusu Agyemang said that Accra totally supported a
Commonwealth decision to suspend Zimbabwe for a year.

"Basically we are taking a principled stand," he said, adding Ghanaian
observers sent to Zimbabwe had reported the lack of a "level playing field"
and of "criteria or international standards for free and fair elections."

Longserving Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe was declared the winner of
the March 9-11 poll by a wide margin over chief rival Tsvangirai, who
immediately cried foul.

"We as members of the Commonwealth stand by the decision which suspends
Zimbabwe," the foreign minister said. "We are not saying that Zimbabwe
should be ostracised but there is a need for negotiations."

Agyemang deplored the treason charges laid against Tsvangirai, the Movement
for Democratic Change leader, who appeared in court Wednesday to face
allegations he plotted to kill Mugabe.

The state's action "has the potential of throwing everything overboard but
we are hoping that the due process of the law will be followed," he said.

"Basically the Commonwealth needs to speak to the Zimbabwean government to
try and encourage the two opposing factions to talk to each other and
accomodate each other."

Agyemang said that Ghanaian President John Kufuor was "in constant touch"
with Mugabe and Nigerian head of state Olusegun Obasanjo to try and defuse
the political tension in Zimbabwe.

The US this week added six Mugabe associates to a travel ban against members
of his party and government, bringing to 26 the number of Zimbabwean
officials, including Mugabe, who are now barred from the US.

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Mbeki Endorses Election

Mail & Guardian (Johannesburg)

March 22, 2002
Posted to the web March 21, 2002

Drew Forrest and Donwald Pressly

President Thabo Mbeki has quietly affirmed the "legitimacy" of the
Zimbabwean election, after a week's silence in which he sought to divert
world attention from his judgement on the poll by pressing for a coalition
government in Zimbabwe.

This week's Cabinet statement said: "President Mbeki has noted and accepted
the report of the South African parliamentary observer mission adopted by
Parliament and the interim report of the South African observer mission."
Both missions found that the election was a legitimate or credible
expression of the Zimbabwean people's will.

For an excerpt from the Africa 2002 guidebook, click here.
(Adobe Acrobat).

To buy the book, click here.

The statement said the government "will continue to relate to the government
of Zimbabwe as the elected government of that country".

The view of Mbeki and his party is at clear variance with his decision, as a
member of the Commonwealth "troika" of heads of state, to suspend Zimbabwe
for a year in response to the damning Commonwealth observers' report.

Calling the suspension "an acceptable compromise", African National Congress
spin doctors contrived to suggest that Mbeki won a major concession by
staving off sanctions at the London troika meeting and that there were mere
differences of emphasis between the South African and Commonwealth observer
mission reports.

Cabinet spokesperson Joel Netshitenzhe said all "labels" - including the
Commonwealth observer finding that the election outcome "did not adequately
reflect the will of Zimbabweans" - expressed "some form of displeasure on
issues of legislation, polarisation and violence". How different groups
characterised the outcome was a matter "of degree".

Diplomatic sources said this week that "smart" sanctions against Zimbabwe's
leaders by the United States and European Union remain very much on the
agenda. Britain was likely to be led by the EU.

The deciding issue was not so much the participation of Morgan Tsvangirai's
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in coalition rule, as sweeping changes
in the policies of the Zimbabwean government. These would have to include
orderly land reform under the rule of law, electoral reform and an end to
the persecution of the MDC and its supporters.

South African diplomacy this week was partly directed at goading Tsvangirai
into unity talks. Mugabe is known to blame the MDC leader's reluctance to
join a unity process for Zimbabwe's Commonwealth suspension. Mugabe's move
to rearrest Tsvangirai and charge him with treason is seen by Zimbabwean
commentators as revenge for the latter's stance on unity talks.

Reacting in a curious statement, ANC spokesperson Smuts Ngonyama said the
arrest "was part of the painful process of healing" and a chapter that would
close when Zimbabwe moved towards reconciliation, unity and peace. The
veiled threat appeared to be that the charges would stand until Tsvangirai
played ball.

Australian Prime Minister John Howard and British Foreign Secretary Jack
Straw voiced concern at Tsvangirai's arrest. "Any notion of prosecuting the
opposition leader is quite inimical to the concept of national
reconciliation," said Howard.

In a further intervention Netshitenzhe urged Zimbabweans not to participate
in civil protest. The Zimbabwean labour movement had called for a strike in
protest against the poll.

"On every detail of policy the South Africans are acting as Mugabe's
apologist," said Zimbabwe Independent editor Iden Wetherell.

Sources said Mbeki left Harare for London hoping to urge the Commonwealth to
avoid any punitive action, on the promise of a national dialogue in
Zimbabwe. His hand appears to have been forced by Howard's insistence that
the unity process had nothing to do with the status of the election.
Commonwealth ministers had made a clear decision in Coolum, Australia, to
stay their hand against Mugabe pending the observers' findings on the
conduct of the poll. Howard said later that given the mandate from the
Coolum encounter and "in relation to the flawed and undemocratic character
of the election one really had no alternative than to reach the decision we

Mugabe, who was banking on the support of Third World Commonwealth members,
is said to have been deeply upset when news of the suspension was broken to
him. He was partly mollified when told it would be coupled with economic
assistance and food aid.

Wetherell said there had been a noticeable change in ruling party
atmospherics in Zimbabwe. One sign was an editorial in Zanu-PF's media
front, The Herald, saying the two million MDC voters had to be accommodated
and urging national unity.

Mugabe appeared to show an awareness of his international isolation and of
Zimbabwe's desperate economic plight. Apart from the Commonwealth decision,
only five of 22 invited heads of state attended his inauguration.

Western diplomats hope that unity talks will start soon, but Wetherell is
pessimistic about an outcome. The MDC was reluctant to be "co-opted and
emasculated", as Joshua Nkomo's Zapu had been in 1980. It wanted fresh
elections under international supervision and a dismantling of Zanu-PF's
repressive state apparatus, including a new chief justice and police
commissioner. Mugabe was unlikely to make such concessions.

Reacting to ANC MPs' endorsement of the election this week, the Democratic
Alliance's Dene Smuts said the ANC refused to call "the rape of democracy"
in Zimbabwe by its name. "It must be very confusing for the ANC to be
instructed to vote one way, only to see the president effectively instructed
to suspend Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth on the same day."

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Mugabe's Madness

Mail & Guardian (Johannesburg)

March 22, 2002
Posted to the web March 21, 2002

Mail & Guardian Reporter

A psychometric study by a United States university has found that Robert
Mugabe suffers from a "bureaucratic-compulsive" syndrome and that he is
likely to become increasingly dogmatic, inflexible and paranoid.

The unit for the study of personality in politics, in the psychology
department of St John's University in Minnesota, based its assessment on
media reports using Theodore Millon's inventory of diagnostic criteria. The
study, conducted in October, was prepared for the BBC.

Millon says leaders with this syndrome "are noted for their officious,
high-handed bearing; intrusive, meddlesome interpersonal conduct;
unimaginative, closed-minded cognitive style; grim, imperturbable mood and
scrupulous if grandiose sense of self".

The study says Mugabe's "controlling, virtuous but moralistic upbringing
with high expectations of perfection" was influential.

Mugabe registers high scores on the diagnostic criteria of "dominant"
(asserting, controlling, aggressive), "ambitious" (confident, arrogant,
exploitative, narcissistic), "conscientious" (respectful, dutiful,
obsessive-compulsive) and "distrusting" (paranoid), with a relatively high
score for "retiring" (aloof).

On the "distrusting" scale, it finds Mugabe's score is high enough to
"suggest a dysfunctionally suspicious personality orientation".

The unit likens Mugabe to other high-dominance introverts in leadership
positions, such as former US presidents Woodrow Wilson and Herbert Hoover,
saying they divide the world between "us and them" and are quite willing to
use military force.

It concludes that Mugabe is likely to become increasingly suspicious,
thin-skinned, vengeful, self-righteous and impervious to correction.
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The Despot And the Dispossessed

Mail & Guardian (Johannesburg)

March 22, 2002
Posted to the web March 21, 2002

Sipho Seepe

When the state uses violence to suppress personal liberties, it sends the
message that it is acceptable to violate the rights of others


For an excerpt from the Africa 2002 guidebook, click here.
(Adobe Acrobat).

To buy the book, click here.

There are many reasons why the situation in Zimbabwe is disturbing. One of
these is the dissolution of that social contract between a state and its
people and its serious consequences for democracy.

"A government of the people by the people" implies a social contract between
the state and the people where each has obligations to the other. This
includes our moral code, the standard of behaviour that we are obliged to
uphold. Laws dictate these socially acceptable standards of behaviour.
Individuals are inclined to accept these obligations if they feel there
exists a social contract binding them with other individuals and with the
rest of society in general.

According to this notion, the state is formed as a consequence of our
collective recognition that a legitimate force is needed to perform such
"social contract" functions as providing police, courts and the military. On
this basis, the people are obliged to pay taxes to the state and abide by
its rules in exchange for the protection they get from the police, courts
and military. In turn, the state is obliged to protect the people. In
theory, there is both mutual agreement and obligation between the state and
the people. It requires confidence among ordinary people that the state has
integrity, that it can be trusted to act in their best interests. It
requires a respect based on an understanding that these obligations are a
function of a relationship that at its core is voluntary, where power is
lent to the state by the people.

However, when the state implements and enforces unjust and unpopular laws,
it violates the social contract. When it uses violence to suppress personal
liberties, it sends the message that it is acceptable to violate the rights
of others.

It could be argued that the prevalence of violence and the ubiquitous
distrust in today's society is a consequence of the undermining by the state
of the moral force of the social contract. In such a scenario it does not
take much to reorient institutions meant to "protect" the people to become
instruments of harassment and intimidation where the state cannot be said to
be using its force legitimately. We need look no further than South Africa's
past. The role of the courts, the military and the police in suppressing
legitimate concerns raised by the African majority is well documented. Every
conceivable instrument of coercion and suppression was unleashed to protect
the interests of the minority regime. That a simple declaration, "the people
shall govern" - which envisaged the inclusion as equals in this social
contract of all the people, irrespective of their race, class, gender, and
social origin - could be considered treasonous bears testimony to the moral
bankruptcy of apartheid.

The stigma the crime of treason carries, and the vagueness of its reach,
makes it a notorious instrument of arbitrary power and political repression.
Derived from English law, treason included, "to compass or imagine the death
of our Lord the King", or to "levy war against our Lord the King in his
realm". Imagining the king's death became a principal instrument by which
"treason" was employed in England for the most drastic "lawful" suppression
of political opposition or the expression of ideas or beliefs distasteful to
those in power.

Some countries have tried to minimise this inherent vagueness. For instance,
treason against the United States "shall consist only in levying War against
the States, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort"
(Article III, Section 3 of the US Constitution). The omission of any
provision analogous to that of plotting the king's death prevents the use of
treason trials as a political instrument. Mere expression of beliefs is not
deemed treasonous.

Local history is replete with incidences where the powerful have employed
treason indictments against individuals who stood up to them. In a sense, in
toying with the idea of treason, the ruling Zanu-PF is resorting to the same
old tactic to complement its strategies of intimidation and harassment.
Developments in Zimbabwe bear testimony to attempts by the ruling elite to
manipulate the social contract for nefarious objectives. Trust between the
state and the people it is intended to serve has been damaged, the social
contract desecrated. How do citizens accept the moral force of a social
contract under these circumstances?

Instead of being outraged by the machinations of Zimbabwe's ruling elite to
undermine democracy, the South African government has resorted to the usual
prevarication and obscurantism - arguing that, while the elections were not
entirely free or fair, they are legitimate and credible - whatever that
means. Accordingly we need to ask: how many people should actually die
before we condemn state-sponsored terror for the abominable barbarism it is?

The official observer mission of both the South African government and the
African National Congress were willing to pronounce the elections credible
despite thousands of voters being turned away and driven from the polling
stations; despite thousands of voters being illegally struck off the voters'
roll; despite thousands being displaced from their constituencies by
violence, thus losing their right to vote as a result of immoral and
unconstitutional laws forced on them by presidential decree; despite the two
years of state-sponsored terror preceding the poll; despite the clamping
down on free activity in the media. By contrast, both local and
international media were quick to declare that these elections were neither
free nor fair.

How should ordinary Zimbabweans, and other Africans for that matter, view
our claim to lead an African Renaissance when we seem unwilling to openly
affirm their human dignity? Perhaps we are expecting too much. After all,
South Africa has become the home of fictitious plots and breeder of bizarre
theories and conspiracies. Those who have lost public trust and are
politically desperate often find refuge in imagining plots and instituting
charges of treason. They need to be reminded of the fragility of the
integrity of the social contract.

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'How Can the ANC Turn Its Back On Us?'

Mail & Guardian (Johannesburg)

March 22, 2002
Posted to the web March 21, 2002

Jaspreet Kindra

Moses Mzila, a Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)MP for Plumtree North, is
a hurt man. Almost two decades ago he left his job as a schoolteacher to
become a member of Joshua Nkomo's Zimbabwe African People's Union (Zapu) and
opened his home to African National Congress freedom fighters in Bulawayo.

He was among the first to construct secret compartments in cars to smuggle
weapons out of Zimbabwe for the ANC. "My home, 12 Irene Avenue, was the base
for Operation Vula [a plan, launched in 1986, to build-up underground ANC
structures in South Africa]. Any ANC member working from Zimbabwe knew my
home from 1978 to 1992," says Mzila.

He cannot understand how the MDC can be dismissed as a puppet of the West or
how ANC members can digest Zanu-PF's "struggle credentials" and declare the
recent elections in Zimbabwe free and fair.

"We - the ANC and Zapu - were comrades in a struggle to bring freedom of
speech and association to our people - how can they [the ANC] turn their
backs on that?"

Mzila's name appeared on a list of people who the ANC felt indebted to for
having served its interests during its struggle against apartheid. He
qualified for a pension from the ANC, but could not claim it as he was not a
South African.

"I do not want the pension, only recognition for our contribution that we
were with the ANC," says Mzila. Mugabe's Zimbabwe African National Union was
then anti-ANC.

The ANC has concluded its fight, but Mzila's struggle continues.

Last November he saw two policemen carrying jerry cans near the MDC's
regional office in Bulawayo. Minutes later the offices were on fire.

Mzila gave an interview to a foreign news agency describing what he saw. Two
days later he was arrested and charged with murder. Later the charges were
changed to kidnapping an MDC supporter.

"Clearly the powers that be had seen my interview on foreign news networks,"
he says. Mzila is to appear in court next week.

Mzila lives in fear and, like many MDC MPs, is always on the move.

He says the MDC is modelled after the non-racial ethos of the ANC. "I saw
that the ANC had white, Indians and coloured members - that is why we have
people from all racial groupings in the MDC too. How can we be charged with
pandering to the West?"

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Poetry sent to me recently .................



In my throat – a Silent Scream

Of Horror and Disgust – for sights not seen!

I’ve read your words – I know they’re true –

Of what this devil has done to you!

The Death, the Fear, the Terror, the Blood and Pain

It’s back – again and again and again!

Won’t someone please turn on the light

Please end this bloody, endless night!

This Hell, this spiral of Hate and Desire

Continues to burn in Hell’s endless fire.

The nightmare doesn’t end – It’s just the same

The Rape, The Murder, The Beatings, The Pain!

Each Day is worse than the dawn before!

Your soul screams! You can take No More!

The Devil on the stage – So bold and proud!

Adorned by medals, he boasts out loud.

Promises to uphold the law and serve You well –

Yet he confines you to this living hell

Of Death and Hunger, Torture, Paine and Fear

Everything lost – Terror constant and near!

Your world turned mad – no longer sane –

ZIMBABWE – Hell by another name!


We fought our battle, we fought it well
we fought for what was right,
we fought in the blistering heat of the day,
we fought in the dark cold night.

Some were black, some were white
the world will never understand,
apartheid didn't come into it,
we fought to save our land.

Your old wounds ripped open
your life blood runs free,
run by a murderous dictator
not for the good of you or me.

From the cold Vumba mountains
to the mighty Kariba dam wall,
I watched you grow strong and brave
but now I watch you fall.

From the rain forest in Victoria falls
to the crumbling Zimbabwe ruin walls,
from the highland to the lowlands
and all thats in between,
but unless your heart's in Africa
you wont know what I mean.

Summer days at Harare Sports Club
Cheering on our cricket team
The warm sun  painting freckles on our skin
That feeling  of belonging
Of  being proud of our  friends,  countrymen &  kin
That reaction in your heart and stomach
When OUR country wins!
The  comraderie; the loud and happy times
The parties that lasted for  days on end
We thought we'd be young for ever
We hoped time would stand still
Waiting for us to catch our dreams
Our dreams are dimmed  now
Fear is our constant shadow
But somewhere in the dark
A little spark gives us hope
That our  country will always be our home
How I miss my BELOVED Zimbabwe
The place  I was  born and  raised
The heat and dust is in my soul
And no  matter where I am
My heart will always ache
For that "quiet back water"
that I call Home.
Nicola Drew
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