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

Back to Index

Back to the Top
Back to Index


Commonwealth head keen on Zimbabwe poll

March 22, 2005, 18:00

Don McKinnon, the Commonwealth secretary-general, says he will watch with
keen interest the upcoming Zimbabwean elections to see if they do deliver on
the mandate of being free and fair. McKinnon is in South Africa on a short
visit. He privately met with President Thabo Mbeki at the Union Buildings in
Pretoria today.

McKinnon says Zimbabwe's exclusion from the Commonwealth will not be debated
at its next heads of government summit to be staged in Malta in November. He
also dispelled the possibility of engaging Robert Mugabe, the Zimbabwean
president, in formal talks. Zimbabwe's unstable political environment led to
the country's suspension from the Commonwealth in 2003. Harare then decided
to quit the body.

At a meeting in December 2003 in Nigeria, the Commonwealth not only
suspended Zimbabwe's membership, but also re-elected McKinnon because, among
other things, they liked his tough stance on Mugabe's government. On the
other side there was a group of African leaders, President Thabo Mbeki among
them, who said Zimbabwe's continued suspension from the 53-member club would
not necessarily resolve its problems. The episode sparked rife speculation
about the future of the Commonwealth.
Back to the Top
Back to Index


Zimbabwe demands proof of police poll violence

March 22, 2005, 16:00

Zimbabwe police has asked a leading activist to prove allegations that
security forces are involved in pre-election violence, saying the charges
were aimed at smearing the government before the March 31 vote. President
Robert Mugabe's government has been fighting international isolation for
five years amid charges it rigged the last major parliamentary vote and
Mugabe's re-election in 2002, which were both marred by violence against the

The run-up to next week's parliamentary polls has been largely peaceful - a
point Mugabe's government hopes will help persuade the world and Zimbabwe's
own electorate that the vote will be free and fair. Augustine Chihuri, the
Zimbabwe police commissioner, has demanded evidence within two days to back
charges by political activist Lovemore Madhuku, whose National
Constitutional Assembly group released a report last week implicating the
police, the secret Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) and the army in
pre-election abuses.

Madhuku was summoned by the police on Sunday over the report, which also
charges that Mugabe's ruling Zanu-PF party is using food as a political tool
by demanding party cards from hungry voters before the election. "So far,
despite two meetings and phone calls, he has failed to furnish us with this
information (evidence). But yet he has told the media that he has confirmed
every paragraph and full stop in the report," Chihuri told a news

The police commissioner said Madhuku who was unavailable for immediate
comment today could face legal proceedings if he failed to provide evidence
to the police. "We will have no alternative but to allow the law to take its
course," he said, but refused to elaborate.

Madhuku's report detailed what it called "widespread" political violence in
which the Zimbabwe Republic Police and Zanu-PF supporters were cited as
offenders, including murder, abductions, unlawful arrest and detentions,
sexual assault and torture. Overseas rights groups including Amnesty
International and Human Rights Watch have also documented what they say is
official intimidation of opposition supporters ahead of the vote, although
reports of outright violence are rare. - Reuters
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Reporters sans frontieres

UN system body asked to intervene in Zimbabwe's jamming of radio broadcasts
from London

Reporters Without Borders today said it was "outraged" by Zimbabwe's jamming
since 7 March of short-wave broadcasts by SW Radio Africa, a privately-owned
radio station based in London which employs Zimbabwean journalists living in

In a letter to the Geneva-based International Telecommunication Union (ITU),
the press freedom organization asked this UN system body "to seriously
examine this situation, which constitutes a grave violation of Harare's
undertakings towards the United Nations."

The letter urged ITU secretary-general Yoshio Utsumi "to demand official and
credible explanations from Zimbabwe, which is a member state of the ITU
since 18 February 1981 and, as such, obliged to conform to the provisions of
its constitution, conventions and administrative regulations."

Reporters Without Borders added : "Thanks to support from China, which
exports its repressive expertise, Robert Mugabe's government has yet again
just proved itself to be one of the most active predators of press freedom.
Although in the middle of an electoral campaign, Zimbabwe has not only
flouted the Southern African Development Community's democratic principles,
it is now also displaying open contempt for its undertakings towards the ITU
and the UN conventions it has signed."

The Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe (MMPZ), a Harare-based independent
watchdog, said the jamming of SW Radio Africa's broadcasts is being carried
out from Thornhill airbase - located outside the southwestern town of Gweru,
between Harare and Bulawayo - where the government has a transmission

According to the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB), a US federal
government entity, the equipment being used for the jamming comes from
China, which has close trade links with Zimbabwe, especially in the
telecommunications domain.

BBC Monitoring (a BBC offshoot that monitors news media throughout the
world) said it established on 16 March that SW Radio Africa's three daily
broadcasts were being "deliberately jammed." The 1600 GMT broadcast on
11.845 kHz was drowned by a 1 kHz signal. The 1700 and 1800 GMT broadcasts
were jammed by interference of a "rotary" kind.

ITU regulation 1.166 defines interference as : "The effect of unwanted
energy due to one or a combination of emissions, radiations, or inductions
upon reception in a radiocommunication system, manifested by any performance
degradation, misinterpretation, or loss of information which could be
extracted in the absence of such unwanted energy."

Article 1003 of the annex of the ITU constitution defines "harmful
interference" as one that "obstructs or repeatedly interrupts a
radiocommunication service."
Back to the Top
Back to Index


SA observers 'disillusioned' with Zimbabwe
          March 22 2005 at 12:32PM

      South African civil society groups came back from Zimbabwe
disillusioned about the state of democracy in the country, they said on

      After meeting over 20 organisation and attending public meetings and
rallies the six member delegation decided that "only the most optimistic
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) politicians" could hope for
political change through free and fair elections, a statement from the group

      At a press briefing in Johannesburg Anti-Privatisation Forum (APF)
member Nicolas Dieltiens described some of the tactics the ruling Zanu-PF
party was using to ensure that it remained in power after March 31.

      These included: no voter education by anyone except the
government-dominated electoral commission; only a handful of international
observers; only announcing the approved Zimbabwean observers two days before
the elections; prevention of access to the voters' roll, which is rumoured
to be highly inflated.

      The group took a "strategic decision" not to meet any Zanu-PF
representatives after the way a delegation from the Congress of South
African Trade Unions was treated last month when they tried to enter the
country, Laurence Ntuli, also from APF, said.

      The group was invited by the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition and involved
the APF, the Landless People's Movement and Jubilee South Africa. - Sapa
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Financial Mail (SA)

      18 March 2005


      IF NOT BOB, WHO?

      By Trevor Ncube

      MDC is seen as a dead duck, but South-South co-operation could
confound Zanu-PF

     While the world follows the election in Zimbabwe on March 31 with keen
interest, it is the days and months afterwards that will be important for
the country. Will the leadership that emerges have the capacity to embark on
a huge rebuilding project that will reverse the damage wrought on the nation
and its economy by President Robert Mugabe's regime, particularly since
1998, or will it be business as usual?

      The challenges of creating a new Zimbabwe are daunting and require a
new kind of leadership, a democratic dispensation and a radical shift within

      Mugabe has been at the helm for nearly 25 years. His government's
mismanagement of the economy has made per capita GDP fall to levels below
those of the mid-1970s, agricultural self-sufficiency sacrificed on the
altar of partisan needs, and post- independence achievements in health and
education reversed as hospitals decay and qualified personnel seek greener
pastures. A recent census estimated 3m Zimbabweans live outside the country,
suggesting they are voting with their feet.

      The next government will have to return the heavily polarised society
to normalcy. National discourse and interaction will have to return to
pre-1998 days, when a nascent democracy was taking root. The national psyche
will have to be liberated from the toxic and pervasive influence of Zanu-PF.

      The country will have to rebuild national institutions such as the
army, the police force and intelligence services, which have been
personalised and privatised by Mugabe and his henchmen, then set against the
society. Professionalism and a sense of public duty and service will have to
be injected into these institutions, and the public will have to be
encouraged to trust them.

      Central to the nation-building project will be a new democratic
constitution to replace the self-serving Lancaster House document that has
been amended countless times, usurping people's liberties and giving more
power to the executive. Zimbabweans yearn for a constitution that guarantees
them freedom of expression, freedom of association, freedom from arbitrary
arrest, accountable governance and a judiciary prepared to uphold their

      Parliament and other democratic institutions will have to be empowered
to serve and protect the public interest. Zimbabweans will have to learn to
trust democracy again. The judiciary will have to be reconstructed to
cleanse it of the unprofessional influences of Zanu-PF.

      The nation-building project will require an entirely new political
mind-set. Politics, as practised in Zimbabwe over the past five years, is
not sustainable. That kind of politics will not attract local and foreign
investment or create economic growth and jobs. For Zimbabwe to deliver on
the expectations of its people requires a new generation of leaders able to
deal in a civilised manner with the rest of humanity.

      Mugabe has demonstrated that he does not have what it takes to usher
Zimbabwe into a new era. But he could use residual influence and authority
to sculpture a politically astute Zanu-PF to begin a national

      This requires a recasting of himself as the statesman he was at
independence. He could use his influence to build a government of national
unity which could tap from within Zanu-PF, the Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) and civil society. The 30 members of parliament whom he
appoints directly could be put to good use to aid the nation-building . Such
a move would enable him to address the leadership crisis.

      But Mugabe knows the dangers of unleashing democratic forces in the
country. Zanu-PF's setbacks in the 2000 election were a product partly of
the democratic awakening that swept the continent in the 1990s. By 1990, the
one-party state system was tarnished by economic failure. More importantly,
civil society, supported by a robust judiciary, had flexed its muscles in
dealing with the more egregious dimensions of Zanu-PF's "guided democracy".
Trade unions were permitted to demonstrate without police permission,
newspapers were told it was okay to satirise the leadership, and gays could
argue their case at the Harare Book Fair.

      The decade of 1990-2000 saw a burgeoning middle class, itself a
product of Zanu-PF rule, taking advantage of new liberties, emboldened by
the collapse of Mugabe's communist allies in Eastern Europe and a second
wind of change blowing across the region, particularly the advent of
democracy in SA.

      Zanu-PF was prepared to tolerate much of this until February 2000,
when its electoral buttressing was undermined by a coalition of trade unions
and civic rights activists grouped together under the MDC led by Morgan
Tsvangirai. Mugabe's response was swift and brutal. War veterans were
unleashed against white farmers seen as instrumental in the ruling party's
humiliating defeat in a referendum on a new constitution, while under
information minister Jonathan Moyo's Machiavellian direction, civil society
and the press were subjected to intense harassment. Punitive laws such as
the Public Order & Security Act and the Access to Information & Protection
of Privacy Act were crafted to deal with dissent . Journalists were
imprisoned, demonstrators beaten and arrested, and look-alike civic
institutions such as the Zimbabwe Federation of Trade Unions were created to
supersede genuine unions. The police command structure was purged of
professional officers, the judiciary suborned by land leases and the press
muzzled. Within five years the achievements of the 1990s were reversed.

      Now decay has set in within the ruling party due to a lack of
leadership renewal. The party revolt late last year led by speaker of
parliament Emmerson Mnangagwa and Moyo has opened a Pandora's box. Mugabe's
autocratic reaction to this failed coup has opened fissures within the old
and tired party.

      Six Zanu-PF provincial chairmen were suspended for their role in the
so-called Tsholotsho Declaration - the name given to a meeting (seen as an
attempted palace coup) held in the Matabeleland constituency of Tsholotsho.
Had Mugabe embraced the new blood proposed by the group , Zanu-PF would have
been ready to face the rebuilding challenge . But he saw a threat to his own
political tenure and hit back with a vengeance. The result is a divided and
weak party.

      A victory for Moyo in his Tsholotsho constituency on March 31 could
give him space to lead a coalition of independent candidates with the
potential to form an opposition party. His hard work and intellect make him
a strong contender to lead a national opposition political party. But he
would have to sober up and mature very quickly .

      After the election, the Karanga - who make up 35% of Zimbabwe's
population and have been purged in the past five years - could be critical
in deciding the country's political landscape. They have several choices.
They could seek accommodation within Zanu-PF; join the loose formation of
independent candidates; constitute the force around which a third political
power could coalesce; or join the MDC. Many are rumoured to be campaigning
for the opposition covertly.

      The Karanga played a critical role in Zimbabwe's liberation struggle.
They were foot soldiers as well as high-ranking officers in Zanla, the armed
wing of Zanu-PF. Until recently they headed the army and air force and still
dominate the second layer of the uniformed services.

      There has been a reversal over the past five years with the Zezurus,
who constitute 25% of the population, taking over. Mugabe is Zezuru and so
are his two deputies. The army and air force commanders are also Zezurus, as
is the police commissioner.

      The Karanga and the Zezuru make up the bulk of the broader Shona

      An even more intriguing possibility opens up once Mugabe is out of the
picture. The political landscape could be altered by the development of the
so-called SouthSouth co-operation - a traditional alliance between the
Karangas and Ndebeles (who make up 15% of the population). The Tsholotsho
Declaration had all the makings of a South-South co-operation as Moyo and
Mnang agwa are from the Ndebele- and Karanga-dominated south respectively.
Those currently suspended or expelled from the party are political
heavyweights from the south.

      Whatever the outcome of this realignment of forces, Zanu-PF will have
to adapt and change if it is to remain relevant after the March 31 election.
That is the grim reality it faces. Absurd as it sounds, Mugabe is the only
thing keeping the wounded Zanu-PF intact . Will he see victory at the polls
as an opportunity to reinvigorate the party and leave a lasting legacy, or
will he remain his stubborn self?

      It is paramount that he gives change a chance while he is at the helm,
for without him Zanu-PF looks set to disintegrate into anarchy, with
disastrous consequences for the nation. There is nobody in the party ,
except marginalised Mnangagwa, with the vision, presence, charisma and
leadership qualities to move Zanu-PF into the knowledge society that we all
live in.

      The dilemma for Zimbabwe is that the MDC is in a similar, if not
worse, position. It suffers an acute leadership crisis and above all is in
the grip of paralysing political squabbling. A faction led by trade
unionists is laying claim to the soul of the party and elbowing everybody
aside . An onslaught is being waged against party secretary-general Welshman
Ncube and those perceived to be his supporters.

      In essence the party has lost focus and is committing suicide. The
people's struggle has been put on the back burner . Though unlikely, an MDC
victory would be unfortunate for Zimbabwe. This is because weak leadership
and the lack of a strategy and vision suggest it is not ready for power.

      Yet a performance significantly worse than the last parliamentary
election would consign the MDC to oblivion.

      There is thus little to choose between Zanu-PF and the MDC . Voter
apathy cannot be ruled out. If people vote for the MDC, it will be because
their desire for change blinds them to its shortcomings . For the MDC to
win, the people will have to overcome the intimidation and political
violence that they have been subjected to over the past six years. Indeed,
an MDC victory would entail the masses turning up in full force to
neutralise any rigging . A surprise factor in an election of this sort which
could sweep the opposition into power cannot be ruled out. This happened in
Zambia and Malawi, confounding the analysts.

        .. Ncube is a Zimbabwean publisher and former journalist

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Harare election blog II: Music in the air
In the run-up to Zimbabwe's parliamentary elections on 31 March, 22-year-old receptionist Lucy Gomo (not her real name) is keeping a diary about life in Harare.

Tuesday 22 March

I've got a cold - like everybody else. The overcast weather seems to have brought along flu with it. But it hasn't dampened people's spirits too much as there is a hint now of election excitement.

Ruling party Zanu-PF supporters in Zimbabwe, March 2005
The concert was a trap, as it turned out to be a Zanu-PF rally

I've seen a lot more people wearing T-shirts supporting both the ruling party and opposition; while radio stations keep playing a song in support of the ruling Zanu-PF.

Before the weekend everyone in Harare was talking about a free music concert to take place on Saturday afternoon - it sounded as if it was going to be big with loads of local artists billed.

I was meant to be going, but one of my friends got too drunk and we didn't bother in the end.

So I was surprised to hear afterwards that it had all been a trap, as it turned out to be a Zanu-PF campaign rally.

Loads of those who did go said they'd been misled and one of my colleagues was saying it had nothing to do with music.

Not advertised

Otherwise, life in Harare goes on as usual. I find it tiring fitting in work with night school.

Opposition MDC supporters in Zimbabwe, March 2005
Many more people are wearing election T-shirts around Harare now

I spent time on Sunday trying to find new accommodation and went to have a look at a small cottage, but it was too expensive.

Some monthly cottage rents are as high as $2.5m Zimbabwean dollars (US$415). My limit is Z$600,000 (US$100) but it's proving tough to find something - and I've been searching since January.

Last night the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) had an interview on state-run television at 9 o'clock. I missed it as I was out at college - and it wasn't advertised.

My friend, who was watching TV at the time, rang to tell me it was on.

I haven't spoken to her since, so I don't know what it was like and nobody at work today seems to have watched it either.

National dress

The ruling party, meanwhile, calls its campaign an "Anti-Blair" campaign - in reference to UK Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Are we going to be able to eat that?

Most days when I read the state-run Herald newspapers it lists on its inside pages what anti-Blair means: "getting back your land; an end to racist factory closures; an end to politically motivated price increases; an end to sanctions; no safe havens for corrupt bankers; no disruption of fuel supplies; no to political interference; an end to Blair's MDC; keeping our Zimbabwe".

While I was reading the paper this morning, I was looking at a photograph of a new national dress that's been launched.

It's a long robe with horizontal stripes - I think in the colour of the national flag, although this was a black and white picture.

Anyway, we were having a giggle about it, when a customer came in, leaned over to look at the article and said: "Are we going to be able to eat that?"

Will you be voting in Zimbabwe's parliamentary elections? Please send us your comments on this blog and your own experiences using the form below.

A selection of your comments will be posted below.

The assumption is that all those outside the country are opposition supporters which is not only unguided but very untrue
Ken, England
I wish the government would allow every Zimbabwean to express his/her democratic right of choosing those who govern them irrespective of where they are. The assumption is that all those outside the country are opposition supporters which is not only unguided but very untrue. We want to support our integrity and let's grow up and respect each other irrespective of our political differences. At the end of the day we are all equally Zimbabweans, no one is more important than the other.
Ken, England

We really need help from Britain and the US otherwise we can never dream of change in this country. All you people outside the country, please help us to remove this regime. Oppression is on the increase. Never think there is no violence, intimidation is at its peak. Surely this will never be a free and fair election
Tawanda Gutu, Harare, Zimbabwe

I feel Zimbabwe is very much OK right now. There is no violence that's worth fussing about and elections are going to be very free and fair. All contesting parties have been and are being given adequate airtime on the television and radio. That's good news.
Justin von Mahlahla, Zimbabwe

I know this is slightly off the point, but thought it worth mentioning considering South Africa is Zimbabwe's key friend. As a South African citizen in New Zealand on a work permit I am not entitled to vote in a South African election. Does this qualify South Africa as being undemocratic?
Jonathan Lord, Wellington, New Zealand

I have not been to Zimbabwe since 1998. I always found the people of this beautiful country to be friendly, enthusiastic and vibrant. However, you could see the decay beginning around the edges. Certain foods were becoming scarce. The exchange rates were beginning to change at a rapid pace and modern materials such as computers and such were becoming exceedingly rare to see in modern cities like Bulawayo. The game parks which I loved were becoming empty because of the uncertainty and the fact that no foreigners were coming to this country. Today the animals are gone, the people are hungry and Mugabe is still there. Desperate measures must be taken by the Zimbabweans and remove Mugabe and his cronies at any cost. When this occurs, all of the nations of the world must aid in rebuilding this beautiful nation and bring dignity to its people.
Jim Redmond, Nictaux, Nova Scotia, Canada

Compared to most African countries, I see a thriving democracy in Zimbabwe contrary to western countries and media positions. Yes the land issue could have been handle better by the ruling party but everything else has been democratic so far. Since when did it became an issue that Africans abroad did or did not vote? Can you tell me about any other African country that facilitate this? The land issue have been dealt with and folks around the world should learn to accept and respect the democratic will of the majority which in this case did not favour the affluent white farmers!
Alan Ik, Canada

Back to the Top
Back to Index

A Campaign Tailor-Made for the Ruling Party

Inter Press Service (Johannesburg)

March 22, 2005
Posted to the web March 22, 2005

Moyiga Nduru

A routine visit to a relative living in a rural area is, in most parts of
Africa, a private family matter. Not so in Zimbabwe, says Tiseke Kasambala,
a researcher with Human Rights Watch.

According to the New-York based non-governmental organisation, rural areas
become off limits to urban visitors during election campaigns, city dwellers
being collectively viewed as opposition sympathisers. A parliamentary poll
is scheduled to take place in Zimbabwe on Mar. 31.

The ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) draws
most of its support from rural areas. As a result, says Human Rights Watch
(HRW), ZANU-PF members and their allies do not hesitate to take action if
they believe this support is being challenged.

"There is a woman whose uncle visited her from the city. After her uncle had
left, ZANU-PF activists went and interrogated her about the...reasons for
the visit. And she was made to go to the chief's house for further
interrogation," Kasambala told journalists Monday.

"Many rural Zimbabweans are scared and don't want to go through such an
ordeal," she added. Kasambala was speaking at the Johannesburg release of a
new paper by HRW entitled 'Not a Level Playing Field: Zimbabwe's 2005
Parliamentary Elections'.

Kasambala and several HRW colleagues spent over three weeks in Zimbabwe in
December 2004 and February 2005, during which they interviewed 135
representatives of the ruling party, opposition and civil society.

Their findings, recorded in the paper, were that opposition supporters and
other Zimbabweans had been intimidated by ZANU-PF and government officials
in the run up to parliamentary elections.

This continued a pattern of repression that had characterized the past five
years in Zimbabwe.

The 2000 parliamentary poll and the 2002 presidential election were preceded
by widespread violence, most of it directed against the opposition. While
many observers agree the level of intimidation ahead of the Mar. 31 vote is
lower, they believe this may reflect assurance of victory on the part of
ZANU-PF, which now faces an opposition hamstrung by years of repression.

HRW condemns the Harare government's use of restrictive laws such as the
Public Order and Security Act, which undermines the opposition's ability to
campaign - and the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act. This
law has been used to muzzle the independent press.

"In short...the playing field for the 2005 election has not been level,"
says the HRW paper.

The group has also expressed concern about voter registration and education,
and the arrangements for election monitoring, noting that "Major
problems...that marred previous elections have not been remedied."

These include the fact that too few inspection centres were available where
the voters' roll could be scrutinized.

This difficulty notwithstanding, a Harare-based organisation called the
FreeZim Support Group has done an analysis of the roll which indicates that
more than two million of its 5.6 million names are suspect. In addition,
Zimbabwe's substantial expatriate community will not be allowed to cast

Inasmuch as attention has focused on the Zimbabwean government's actions
ahead of Mar. 31, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) has also
found itself coming under pressure in connection with the poll.

Last year, SADC - of which Zimbabwe is a member - drew up a set of electoral
guidelines to ensure that polling in the region would be free and fair.
Southern African countries are now obliged to ensure political tolerance
ahead of elections, provide all parties with access to state media - and set
up impartial electoral institutions, amongst other measures.

The Mugabe administration claims it is adhering to the SADC protocol. But,
HRW begs to differ.

"(With) only days remaining before voters go to the polls," says HRW, "it is
clear that the government has not adequately met the benchmarks set by the
SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections."

SADC observers are expected to comment on Zimbabwe's election environment
within the next 10 days. In light of this, HRW has called on the 13-member
organisation to look beyond the relative calm that prevails in Zimbabwe at
present when giving its verdict on polling preparations.

"They must also take into account the effects of the past five years of
violence, recent reports of intimidation, continuing electoral
irregularities and the use of restrictive legislation," says HRW.

Michael Clough, HRW advocacy director for Africa, believes that political
repression in Zimbabwe is proving an acid test for SADC.

"I think the credibility of SADC is on the line. And, I think South Africa's
commitment to spread democracy in the region is on the line," he told
journalists in Johannesburg last week.

HRW has also urged SADC states to ensure that campaigning in the final days
before the parliamentary poll is allowed to proceed unhindered.

Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe, who has been head of state since his
country received independence from Britain in 1980, frequently accuses the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) of being a front for Western
interests. (The MDC is Zimbabwe's main opposition group.)

However, the president's critics claim he has eroded the gains of his
initial years in office with economic mismanagement and increasingly
authoritarian rule.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

SW Radio Africa : Work is continuing to counter the Zimbabwe government's
jamming of the short-wave frequencies. Please try the following frequencies:
3230 kHz and 3300 kHz in the 90m band;4880 kHz in the 60m band; 6145 kHz in
the 49m band; 11845 kHz, 11705 kHz and 11995 kHz in the 25m band. Please
also see for up to date information. The medium-wave
broadcast between 5am and 7am each morning, at 1197 kHz, is not being
jammed. Outside the broadcast area, listen over the internet at .

VOA Studio 7 : In Zimbabwe, tune in to the short-wave broadcast at 13600 KHz
and 17895 KHz, and at 909 AM. Outside the broadcast area, listen over the
internet at . Broadcasts are between 7pm and 8pm Zimbabwe
time, Monday to Friday.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily News online edition

      MDC scoffs at Zanu PF propaganda

      Date: 22-Mar, 2005

      JOHANNESBURG - The main opposition political party in Zimbabwe the
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has denied allegations raised by the
ruling Zanu PF that the MDC, together with some non-governmental
organisations, were training thugs to violently disrupt the March 31
parliamentary poll.

      The MDC said the allegations were a calculated attempt by President
Mugabe's government to tarnish the MDC's image ahead of the crucial poll.

      The government-controlled Sunday Mail reported that the MDC together
with some non- governmental organisations were training some "desperate and
unemployed" young Zimbabweans to unleash violence during the elections.

      The Zanu PF election spokesman, Webster Shamu, was quoted in the
weekly saying the "thugs" and "hooligans" had been assigned various missions
around the country, including to put on the ruling party regalia and wield
placards when they engage in violent activities.

      To buttress the allegations The Herald, another State-owned newspaper,
announced in a front page report that five MDC thugs had "turned themselves"
to the police on Sunday.

      Police Assistant Commissioner Boysen Matema was quoted in the paper as
saying the group were trained in the use of firearms and explosives.

      But the MDC spokesman, Paul Themba-Nyathi dismissed the report saying:
"The youths have nothing to do with the MDC. This pathetic saga has been
stage-managed by the Mugabe regime to discredit the MDC."

      Themba-Nyathi said their own investigations suggest the Central
Intelligence Organisation (CIO) was involved in stage -managing the
purported surrender of the trained youths.

      "The MDC's unequivocal commitment to non-violence and democracy
underlines the absurdity of claims that the MDC is training youths in South
Africa with the aim to distabilise Zimbabwe," Themba-Nyathi said.

      He said the "nefarious" tactic was not new, as it had been used before
by the Zanu PF government.

      Zimbabwe holds a crucial parliamentary poll next week which has
courted international attention amid allegations the electoral playing field
is heavily tilted in favour of President Mugabe's Zanu PF party.

      The ruling party faces a strong challenge from the MDC which is led by
former trade union leader, Morgan Tsvangirai.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Online

Moyo wants Mugabe's wings clipped
Wed 23 March 2005
      BULAWAYO - President Robert Mugabe's former propaganda chief, Jonathan
Moyo, says he will push for his former boss' wide-ranging executive powers
to be trimmed if he wins on an independent ticket in next week's general

      In an election manifesto that seeks to thrust the unresolved question
of Mugabe's succession as the central issue of the March 31 election, Moyo
criticises the way in which Mugabe and a coterie of his Zezuru clan imposed
Joyce Mujuru as second vice-president of the ruling ZANU PF party and

      With Mugabe and his first Vice-President Joseph Msika expected to
retire at the same time in 2008, Mujuru is widely seen as the best placed to
take over as leader of ZANU PF and possibly Zimbabwe.

      Moyo, who fell out with Mugabe after opposing Mujuru's appointment,
called on Zimbabweans not to allow an undemocratic ZANU PF to decide who
should be the country's next president. Instead, Zimbabweans should demand a
new constitution that ensures only a democratically elected candidate takes
over from Mugabe.

      According to Moyo's manifesto, the new constitution should be enacted
while Mugabe is still in office and well before the next presidential
election in 2008. It should limit presidential terms and also curtail
executive powers presumably to guard against the possibility of Mugabe and
his Zezuru clan imposing Mujuru on Zimbabweans.

      "How will the next President of Zimbabwe be chosen, given the
self-evident lack of intra-party democracy within ZANU PF as witnessed by
the manner in which Joyce Mujuru was imposed as vice-president against the
popular will of the grassroots, and against the ZANU PF constitution, which
had to be changed to suit her at the eleventh hour and un-procedurally?"
Moyo's manifesto reads in part.

      Promising to vigorously lobby for a new constitutional reform
exercise, Moyo says in his manifesto that such a constitution should "limit
executive powers and Presidential tenure and ensure that nobody is able to
occupy a leadership role at local, provincial and national levels without
being directly and democratically elected by the people to whom all leaders
must be accountable."

      Moyo contemptuously dismisses claims by Mugabe and ZANU PF that next
week's ballot is a vote against British Premier Tony Blair who they accuse
of using London's influence to sabotage Zimbabwe's economy in retaliation
for Harare's seizure of white farmland for redistribution to landless

      "There cannot be a more sinister and more dangerous internal enemy
than the tribal clique that wants to monopolise state power in its own hands
while monopolising everyone else. The March 31 elections are not anti-Blair
since we defeated the external enemy long ago. But they are anti-tribal and
against the politics of patronage," Moyo says.

      ZANU PF information secretary Nathan Shamuyarira dismissed Moyo's
claims as preposterous. "Those are preposterous claims and we don't want to
be answering them at all. They are not worth our time," Shamuyarira told

      Moyo, the most senior casualty of vicious infighting over Mugabe's
succession, was fired from ZANU PF's internal politburo cabinet after
attempting to rally the party's provincial executives against the ascendancy
of Mujuru whom Mugabe was openly backing for the vice-presidency.

      When ZANU PF leaders blocked him from standing for the party in his
Tsholotsho rural home constituency, Moyo elected to stand as an independent.
He was promptly fired from the job of information minister by Mugabe for
standing as an independent. - ZimOnline

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Online

Law society rules out free and fair election
Wed 23 March 2005
  HARARE - The Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ) says there will not be free and
fair elections in Zimbabwe next week as long as tough legislation stifling
robust political activity remains firmly in place.

      In a statement to the press, LSZ president Joseph James said the
situation on the ground made it impossible to hold free and fair elections.

      The law society becomes the latest group to add its voice to the
increasing criticism of the Zimbabwe election. Churches and human rights
groups have also condemned the election because of the skewed political
landscape in Zimbabwe which favours the ruling ZANU PF party.

      "The situation is not normal, nor is it conducive to a free and fair
election," said the law society.

      "The right of assembly and association is enshrined in our
constitution, but the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) . . . curtails
that right. The police seem to believe that that they have the right to
authorise public meetings."

      Under POSA, it is an offence to hold meetings of more than three
people without police approval. Civic groups and the main opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party accuse Mugabe of using the tough
law to stifle legitimate political activity.

      Under the tough law, opposition supporters have been arrested and
several meetings of the opposition party banned. But the law enforcement
agency, which is accused of applying the law selectively, is still to bar
any ZANU PF meetings.

      Criticising Mugabe is also a jailable offence under the same Act. The
law society said such legislation impedes legitimate political activity and
robs the election of its vibrancy. In a normal democracy, Mugabe must
"receive criticism not only from the opposition parties but from concerned
citizens," said the society.

      The law society is part of a group of civic organisations which were
allowed to observe next week's election. Mugabe has generally barred
critical voices of society from the polls while allowing "friendly" groups.

      The society also took a swipe at the Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) which they said impeded political parties
from effectively communicating with potential voters.

      On the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) which will run next week's
poll, the Law Society said: "Regrettably, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission
does not project an image of independence and non-partisanship."

      The ZEC whose commissioners were appointed by Mugabe early this year
is accused of lacking sufficient clout to make independent decisions. -

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Online

ZANU PF thugs get two-year jail terms
Wed 23 March 2005
  KAROI - A magistrate here has sentenced five ruling ZANU PF aligned
gangsters to more than two years in prison each with a sixth gangster
getting a lesser term for political violence and robbery committed three
years ago.

      The six, who were known by the local community as the "Top Six,"
unleashed a reign of terror against suspected supporters of the main
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party during the run-up to a
parliamentary by-election held in September 2002 in Hurungwe West
constituency, under which Karoi falls.

      The six, aged between 21 and 35 years, are Domnic Muramba, Josephat
James, Jimmy Kambara, Admire Ndolvu, Gift Danda and Josephat Chiweshe. They
were all jailed for 29 months with the exception of James who was committed
to 10 months in prison.

      They were convicted of assaulting and robbing Charles Tendaupenyu at
Magunje rural business centre in the constituency after accusing him of
being a member of the MDC. The six men were also convicted of assaulting two
police officers at the business centre whom they accused of sympathising
with the MDC.

      Delivering judgment, the court noted that: "All the accused had taken
advantage of the popularity in political life to go against the laws of the
country . . . the ( term) 'Top Six' was well connected to violence that is
unwarranted in a free society."

      The six ZANU PF activists are among the unlucky few to be punished for
political violence after President Robert Mugabe gave amnesty to thousands
of militant supporters of the ruling party and some state security agents
who committed violence and murder in the run-up to the 2000 parliamentary
and 2002 presidential elections.

      For example, state secret service Central Intelligence Organisation
agent, Joseph Mwale, who murdered MDC activist Talent Chiminya during the
run up to the 2000 election, has not been punished and is in fact still on
the state payroll. - ZimOnline

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Online

Ultimatum for pressure group boss
Wed 23 March 2005
  HARARE - Zimbabwe police commissioner Augustine Chihuri has given leader
of the local National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) rights group, Lovemore
Madhuku, until tomorrow to prove claims of political violence or face
unspecified tough punishment.

      A visibly angry Chihuri labelled Madhuku a "deceitful person" whose
NCA released a report last week falsely claiming political violence and
killings in Zimbabwe ahead of a key election on March 31 to please financial
handlers in Europe.

      Chihuri told journalists in Harare yesterday: "This (NCA) report is
meant for the European Union and the United Kingdom to form a basis for
denouncing the elections. It is full of wish-wash and rumours. We have had
enough of this.

      "We are extending the deadline to Thursday March 24 2005, for him
(Madhuku) to come forth with the information (backing claims of political
violence) failure of which we will have no alternative but to allow the law
to take its course."

      Pressed on what action the police planned to take should Madhuku fail
to prove the contents of the NCA report, a fuming Chihuri simply said: "The
law will take its course, just wait for Thursday."

      Madhuku, who was briefly held by the police last Sunday over the
report, could not be reached for comment.

      The NCA is a coalition of churches, human rights groups, women's
organisations, opposition parties, student and labour movements and
campaigns for a new and democratic constitution for Zimbabwe.

      In a report last week, the group said the political playing field
remained heavily tilted in favour of President Robert Mugabe and his ZANU PF
party and that the government-appointed Zimbabwe Electoral Commission had
not carried out extensive voter education to enlighten voters about their

      The NCA said there were incidents of political violence including
political killings and politically motivated sexual harassment. - ZimOnline

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Online

ZANU PF apologist to 'protect' freedom of expression at AU
Wed 23 March 2005
  HARARE - Zimbabwe's former attorney general and government apologist,
Andrew Chigovera, has been appointed as the first ever special rapporteur
for freedom of expression for the African Commission on Human and People's
Rights (ACHPR), an arm of the African Union.

      Chigovera was Zimbabwe's attorney general at the height of the chaotic
farm invasions and disputed elections of 2000 and 2002. His new position,
which includes the daunting task of recommending fact-finding missions to
the commission and encouraging AU member states to abide by freedom of
expression laws, was created at an AU meeting in Senegal last year.

      Chigovera, as Zimbabwe's attorney general, has been criticised for
failing to prosecute hordes of ZANU PF activists who went on a rampage
during the 2000 and 2002 parliamentary and presidential elections.

      One of the most notable cases to have come before him, was the brutal
murder of two Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) activists, Talent Mabika
and Tichaona Chiminya, who were torched by known ZANU PF activists.

      In his ruling, nullifying the hotly disputed elections in Buhera South
constituency, Justice Devitte ordered Chigovera to prosecute, among others,
Kainos Tom Kitsiyatota Zimunya, a veteran of Zimbabwe's armed struggle and
Joseph Mwale, a Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) operative.

      Chigovera did not prosecute the duo until his resignation in 2002.

      Speaking after his appointment, Chigovera said his mandate would be to
monitor free speech violations and facilitate media training programmes.

      "Although my office does not have adequate resources because the ACHPR
charter does not provide for my position, as there is no formal budget yet
for its operations, I will strive to work for the betterment of African
journalists," said Chigovera.

      So far, Chigovera has already visited his Latin American counterpart,
Eduardo Bertoni, the special rapporteur for freedom of expression of the
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the Organisation of
American States (OAS).

      During the visit last week, the two issued a joint declaration
reaffirming the importance of global freedom of expression and criticised
the enactment of criminal defamation laws in most African countries.

      "Criminal defamation laws are frequently used in Africa and in the
Americas to silence public criticism of officials. Such laws intimidate
individuals from exposing wrongdoing by public officials and do not belong
in democracies," they said. - ZimOnline

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Online

SA churches attack Zimbabwe Electoral Commission
Tue 22 March 2005
      JOHANNESBURG - The South African Council of Churches (SACC) has
expressed disappointment over the absence of an independent electoral
commission to oversee next week's election in Zimbabwe.

      SACC envoy to Zimbabwe and Anglican Bishop of KwaZulu-Natal Rubin
Phillip, who visited the country recently, said there was a sense of
hopelessness among the ordinary people that the election will be free and
fair as to usher in political change.

      "We need to have an independent electoral commission. The one that is
in place is terribly biased. It is not impartial, nor inclusive and it is
certainly not independent.

      "Furthermore the airwaves need to be opened up. I think if we had at
least those two things, we would have made a reasonable start," said the

      Critics say the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, in charge of elections,
lacks independence as its commissioners were appointed by President Robert
Mugabe. The church, regarded as society's voice of conscience, has been at
the forefront in criticising Mugabe's human rights abuses in Zimbabwe.

      The church leader expressed disappointment that Harare continued to
use food aid as a political weapon ahead of the election. The main
opposition Movement for Democratic Change party accuses Mugabe of denying
food aid to its supporters, charges the Zimbabwean leader denies. -

Back to the Top
Back to Index

New Zimbabwe

Mugabe's man in SA, and media that believes no more

By Os Moroka
Last updated: 03/22/2005 09:48:57
JOHANNESBURG: One man I would never want to be is my dear old friend, Simon
Khaya Moyo, whose business address is listed as the Zimbabwean High
Commissioner in Pretoria.

A previously respectable but largely docile fellow, SK is the only
ambassador in SA whose positions can be described as sitting between the
devil and the deep sea, meshed between a rock and a very hard place.

Not very long ago SK would strut his figure up and down the streets of
Pretoria, enjoying the freedom of the city and its first world shopping

But nowadays SK is serving some sort of house arrest. He can't go out of the
embassy as he fears the constant pickets and demonstrations by civic society
groups and the Congress of South African Trade Unions. The pickets have
created a fresh problem for SK and he just doesn't have the answers that can
make it go away.

Being the ambassador of a troubled nation in a country with a vibrant,
no-hold-barred type of media creates problems in that they ask unpleasant
questions that are not "patriotic", in the Mugabeian sense.

Not very long ago, SK would grant interviews trying to convince the local
media that Zimbabwe is Africa's model of democracy and the land seizures
were just what every African country had to do if it was to beat poverty and
empower its people. It was quite easy to fool some then because there was
nothing to see, only confusing and often misleading reports that can bring
turmoil into any normal brain set-up.

But the latest installment in SK's heap of troubles is the demonstrations
that are occurring weekly in-front of the Zimbabwe embassy in Pretoria. The
venue of the game has changed; and so has the rules of reporting and
commenting on it. For SK it was easy to deny chaos in the land reform
exercise as no SA journalists dared risk their heads in going to "see for
themselves" as Professor Jonathan Moyo would say in his heydays as defender
of the throne.

This time the SA media is seeing things for themselves, covering the
demonstrations and bringing it out on the front-page the following day.
But desperate as SK has become, he has resorted to issuing press statements
denying the very demos that make the front-page photo and story.

According to SK and The Bulawayo Chronicle and the People's Voice (which are
the only rags that swallow SK's statements), the demos are a just a storm in
a tea cup.

But to Zimbabweans here, Zimbabwe's ambassador is an unpatriotic coward who
runs away, bolts the entrance to the embassy, draws up the shutters and
calls the South African Police Services each time demonstrators want to hand
him a petition.

Like Paul Mangwana, SK has run out of words to say beyond stating the
obvious about Zimbabwe not being a province of SA. Most Zimbabweans know
that Zimbabwe does not have a boundary dispute with COSATU, which is not
even a country but a mere trade union. They know it is about the way SK's
boss Robert Mugabe has been running the country into the ground and
converting it into a nation of malnourished, diseased paupers presided over
by pot-bellied 54-room-mansion owners spotting perfume-loving wives who are
less than half their own ages. Call it the abuse of minors, and please
report it to the Women's League.

But defending the indefensible, seeing success where even the blind can sees
failure and denying border demonstrations when border jumpers can testify to
them is a tall order for SK. To save face, SK has come up with the press
releases which unfortunately have no takers around here.

I sympathize fully with him; for I know how much of a nuisance some
journalists can be whenever the Zimbabwe debate crops up. So its OK, SK,
churn out press releases feed them your own line and make sure you are not
in office when they call for clarifications.

But SK's problem is not the negative SA media as he often puts it. It has
more to do with his shifty bosses in Harare. I am sure SK would not have to
be forced to stand up to 'nonsensical questions' if his masters were not
being nonsensical in the first place. Long used to the parroty, kowtowy
interview styles of ZANU PF's public relations officers masquerading as
journalists at Zimpapers and the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings (ZBH), SK
finds the SA media most "unAfrican", so "unpatriotic" and

As a result any interview sounds like a horrid interrogation at the Mhondoro
CIO torture chambers. But his problems are a result of the policies and the
actions of his masters in Harare. The media cannot create problems for
Zimbabwe. They can only report the good and bad policies of the sovereign
government in Harare. And as a cadre SK has to stand up to all of it, good,
bad and promising. But he has failed; there is no better way to put it.

But SK in not new in the business of not putting his words where his mouth
is for he does have a long history of failure, deceit and unfulfilled
promises back at home.

Apart from being a persistent bootlicker of President Mugabe, there is no
other reason why SK would still be in Pretoria. He also loves gravy and like
his boss, he doesn't want out of the gravy train. Till death do them apart.
In life we assume nasty roles for various reasons, which only psychologists
can explain. Some reputations are conceived in optimism, born of hope and
fed by expectation, but a realistic SK would have long ago seen that there
was no hope in ZANU PF, so much that to have expectations that the party can
deliver a better Zimbabwe after all the damage done would have sounded like
the thought of a honey-gatherer somewhere south of planet Mars.

I do envy SK's freedom when so many of his ZANU PF bosses are home-stuck,
but I don't envy his peril. For the gravy, he has shredded his reputation as
he would rather keep on peddling naked lies rather than face life as an
unsuccessful communal farmer in Madlambudzi if Mugabe loses power.
The tattered reputation of Zimbabwe has become SK's identity in SA. Being
the only ambassador whose business can be disrupted without notice by his
own hungry, jobless citizens does not endear him very much to other
diplomats, which explains why all of them are giving the Zimbabwe Embassy
and its residents a wide, sanitary berth.

The only visitors still trickling into SK's diplomatic quarter are some
Pink-faced fellows from a very big but still overpopulated country east of
India. They call with enquiries about possible joint ventures or take-alls
in construction projects. Smart fellows, these Mandarins,(if you ignore the
Zhing-Zhongs). They can see that a once proud Southern African country has
been placed in self-destruct mode by its government, and they see the need
for re-construction in the near future.

They know the government does not have money but the reason for their
interest is that they know it can mortgage crucial resources and
infrastructure in build, operate and transfer deals which usually translate
to winner-takes-all arrangement when one is dealing with Chinesse Triads and
the Mafia from Malaysia.

SK's communication predicament in Pretoria has on several occasions been
worsened by ZANU PF's lack of coherent policy when changing old official
positions and coming up with new ones. ZANU PF leaders, especially Robert
Mugabe, have often shifted official positions without informing SK when they
know the barrage of unpopular questions he faces after every Mugabe
utterance. I called a ministerial friend the other day and he is also very
sorry for SK.

Fine examples of sudden shifts abound. Most famous were the SK press
releases telling the world just how silly it was of Bulawayo mayor Japhet
Ndabeni Ncube to suggest that hunger was still killing people in the city
three years after the successful conclusion of the all-empowering land
reform exercise. He parroted the official line that Zimbabwe was expecting a
great harvest of 2.4 million metric tonnes of maize!

Just as the ink had not dried on the statement proclaiming a glorious
harvest, the whole ZANU PF presidium shifted, this time acknowledging the
hunger crisis and the need to import to feed 1.5 million people although aid
agencies say 4.8 million Zimbabweans need food aid right now.

Egg in face, Simon! Can we have a press release on this, SK?

Dismal failure has been the password for SK, and things will certainly get

How do you go about denying a hunger crisis in Zimbabwe, that the health
system is all but dead, government has invited long-timers in demo-crush to
observe the end of elections, that militias rape people when some can
produce babies as evidence of the sex-shops at the militia camps? How can
one say all is well in Zimbabwe when 2000 nationals every month make the
perilous Limpopo River crossing into South Africa just to escape hunger and
political violence? Just how poor SK?
Contact the writer:

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zimbabwean farmers move on to new pastures north of the Equator

[ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]


John Sawyer (pictured right) takes a tour of the farmland in central Nigeria allocated to him and other Zimbabwean farmers

SHONGA, 22 Mar 2005 (IRIN) - On a steamy day in central Nigeria, four white Zimbabwean farmers who were kicked off their land back home, are carving out a new future -- mapping out fields, building houses and drilling boreholes.

They may have moved north of the Equator and more than 4,000 km from Zimbabwe but farming is familiar territory.

"We are very happy to have this place. The land is rich," said farmer John Sawyer, pointing to the dark soil of the land that runs alongside the River Niger near the town of Shonga.

Sawyer and his three companions were chased off their farms in Zimbabwe by machete-wielding supporters of President Robert Mugabe, who has made land redistribution one of the tenets of his increasingly-criticised rule.

Many white farmers, despairing of ever getting their homesteads back, have quit farming and headed for a better life in Australia or New Zealand. Others have opted to start afresh in other Southern African countries like Zambia and Mozambique. But Sawyer and his cohorts are the first to venture so far north and west.

Their destination: Kwara State, Nigeria, where the local governor has allocated some 16,000 hectares to 15 Zimbabwean farmers on a 25-year lease.

Sawyer and three colleagues are the advance party, with the others set to follow later in the year along with their families, 50 black Zimbabwean farmhands and 2,000 cattle. They will run dairy farms and grow maize, rice and soybeans.

Authorities and farmers alike are bent on avoiding tensions between the newcomers and local Nigerians.

"We recommended them to be settlers not as sole proprietors of land," Agriculture Minister Adamu Bello told state-owned Radio Nigeria. "We want to benefit from their wealth of knowledge but we would not allow anybody to become lords over our people."

Training centre

Alongside the 15 Zimbabwean farms, there will be a 16th farm which will act as a government-funded training centre, where Zimbabwean farmers will teach Nigeria's largely-subsistence farmers the techniques of modern mass-scale farming.

"I think the project will be very successful and we hope to impart our knowledge to help the Nigerian local farmer," Sawyer told IRIN.

Kwara State Governor Busola Saraki has said he also expects the farmers to generate jobs for local people and help boost Nigeria's agricultural production.

Some officials have talked about the area becoming the breadbasket of West Africa, pumping out crops of maize, rice and soybeans. Prior to independence and before oil warped Nigeria's economy, the country's fertile soils provided the nations wealth.

The Zimbabwean farmers have the credentials to bring about that change. Aid workers blame current food shortages in Zimbabwe on their eviction from farms that once fed much of the surrounding region and whose produce was exported worldwide.

Among the 8,000 or so residents of Shonga, hopes are equally high. The immediate expectations are for jobs and improved earnings.

"We are willing to leave our farms to go and work for them for a monthly wage," said Idris Hassan, a subsistence farmer working small plots as is the practice in most of Nigeria. He wants to learn about the latest farming equipment and methods by working for the Zimbabweans.

The incoming farmers have said they hope to employ hundreds of local Nigerians, but have avoided setting a specific target.

Aside from the direct knock-on effect of employment, Shonga residents also hope the arrival of the Zimbabweans will focus national government efforts on an improvement in basic infrastructure and services.

"We've not been making money from our farms mainly because of the difficulties we face transporting our produce to town," he explained.

Poor roads, no electricity, scarce water

The only paved road in Shonga is the one that runs from the state capital, Ilorin, but it is in poor shape and has collapsed in some places.

The town, which lies 400 kilometres north of Nigeria's de facto capital Lagos, has been without electricity for the last decade since a previous government agricultural project collapsed.
People rely on streams and a scattering of boreholes for drinking water.

All these things need addressing, explained Halina Yahaya, the traditional Emir ruler of Shonga.

"We expect that this project will bring development to the villagers," he told IRIN.

But the precedents are not encouraging. A previous government attempt to spur development --- the construction of the Bacita Sugar Factory in the late 1970s -- collapsed after it became embroiled in massive corruption and mismanagement scandals.

"Bacita was a big disappointment to our people," said Yahaya. "I hope this time the vision of the government is not thwarted by corrupt people."

And many people have their doubts about the whole Zimbabwean farming endeavour. Tayo Olagoke, a businessman who hails from Shonga but now lives in Lagos, believes that Nigerians could do the work of the foreigners, given the right support from the government.

"With this move to bring white farmers, the government is making us look stupid," Olagoke told IRIN. "If the roads were good and I was able to raise soft loans to acquire tractors and other equipment, I wouldn't have gone to Lagos in search of better fortunes."

He predicted that discontent would bubble up quickly in Shonga if the local people's earnings from the Zimbabwean farms did not meet their expectations.

Discontent on the horizon?

Already not everyone is jumping on the Zimbabwe farming bandwagon. Some residents in Shonga, fearful that the foreigners will become landlords, have petitioned the federal government in Abuja about the project.

The Fulani nomads, who are used to freely grazing their cattle on the land that has been assigned to the Zimbabweans, are also a potential problem area.

Fulani herder leads cattle to graze on the farmland allocated to the Zimbabwe farmers

Kwara State government spokesman Mohammed Kanga acknowledged the Zimbabwean farmers have already expressed concern about the presence of the nomads. "We have held a series of meetings with the Fulani chiefs and they have promised not to tread on the farmlands as long as they are provided an area where their cattle can graze," he said.

Even the law under which the land was assigned is controversial. The 1978 Land Use Act was passed as a military decree by Obasanjo, who was then a military and not democratically-elected ruler, and gives all power over Nigerian land to the state government.

Under the law any piece of land required by the government can be acquired. Compensation is paid for crops or buildings that are razed, but not for the use of the land itself.

To date, the law has been used most in the southern Niger Delta oil region of Nigeria to the bitter opposition of the inhabitants.

The law has remained a major source of friction between locals and oil multinationals operating on delta land, and some analysts fear that similar friction may occur in the central region where the Zimbabwean farmers have been given land.

"If all goes well all the aims outlined by the government in inviting the white farmers may be achieved," Val Okeke, a real estate lawyer, told IRIN. "But there is a worst case scenario, where their presence might breed discontent and the unrest of the oil region is replicated around Shonga."

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Secret police look into logo change

Cricinfo staff

March 22, 2005

The new Zimbabwe logo: not as innocent as it seems? © Zimbabwe Cricket

Daily life in Zimbabwe throws up some bizarre stories, but few as odd as the one doing the rounds this week concerning the Zimbabwe Cricket Union's new logo.

Introduced in November as part of a brand re-launch, the new logo has apparently attracted the attention of the government's infamous Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) who, so the reports go, held an investigation into a possible hidden agenda.

The logo appears harmless at first glance, featuring three stumps, a white line (representing a boundary line) on a green background, and a cricket ball. But that innocence was lost on the CIO which saw more in the emblem than most. Instead of three stumps, it saw a letter M; the cricket ball became a D; and the boundary line became a C. That spelt out the initials of the Movement for Democratic Change, Zimbabwe's major opposition party.

A source close to the ZCU told Cricinfo that the matter had been raised at a board meeting although that was categorically denied by Lovemore Banda, the ZCU's media manager. It is inconceivable that the ZCU (patron, Robert Mugabe) would in any way be linked with such a potentially embarrassing situation. It is probably more an indication of how paranoid the authorities have become about anyone opposing the government.

But the incident has a darker side. A former Zimbabwe Cricket employee told Cricinfo how he was nearly beaten up by ruling ZANU PF supporters when he was spotted wearing a Zimbabwe one-day replica shirt with the new logo. The supporters asked him why he was wearing an MDC T-shirt and he had to do some fast-talking to avoid being attacked. He said that the situation was inflamed by the colour of the T-shirt. Red is synonymous with the MDC.

© Cricinfo

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

High Court to hear Gasela application

Court Reporter
issue date :2005-Mar-23

THE High Court is expected today to hear an application by MDC legislator
for Gweru Rural Renson Gasela, who is seeking the disqualification of his
Zanu PF rival Josphat Madubeko in the March 31 parliamentary polls. Gasela
wants Madubeko - a headman - disqualified on the grounds that he could not
stand for elections in terms of the Traditional Leaders Act.
Nicholas Mathonsi, Gasela's lawyer said yesterday the case was initially to
be heard by Justice Maphios Cheda, but was later transferred to Justice
Nicholas Ndou.
"It will be heard tomorrow," said Mathonsi. Gasela filed the High Court
application after the Electoral Court declined to hear it.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Commission assesses election readiness

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Mar-23

THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) chairman, Justice George Chiweshe
and commissioners, have embarked on a tour of all the country's provinces to
assess the preparedness of the commission for the March 31 general election.
In a statement yesterday, ZEC said the commissioners began their visits on
Monday and would meet all provincial elections committees throughout the
country and also assess the progress
of voter education
that started on March 14.
According to the statement, the commissioners will visit the provinces and
meet with provincial elections committees throughout the country to discuss
the preparations. The visits will be completed on March 28.
The commissioners are also expected to get a feel of the political
atmosphere during campaigns by competing political parties and individuals
that were now in full swing.
However, ZEC said they were happy with the prevailing political atmosphere.
It said: "So far the commission has noted that campaigning is peaceful
throughout the country.
"This is commendable and ZEC hopes this peaceful atmosphere will prevail
through this period of campaigning as well as during and after polling."

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Election Watch

issue date :2005-Mar-23

Zanu PF Harare ZANU PF held six rallies in Harare and Chitungwiza over the
 In Chitungwiza, the meetings took place at Zengeza 4 Crèche and Seke Unit
'A' Creche and were addressed by Christopher Chigumba and Brighton Marongwe,
candidates for the Zengeza and Chitungwiza constituencies respectively.
Harare Central candidate, Florence Chideya, addressed a meeting at Divaris
Shopping Centre and Hubert Nyanhongo, Harare South candidate, addressed a
meeting at Sunningdale Open Ground.
Mary Chatibura, the Zanu PF Harare Provincial Women's League chairperson,
addressed a meeting held at Mai Musodzi Hall in Mbare and Francis Muchada,
candidate for Dzivaresekwa, addressed a meeting at Dzivaresekwa 2 Community
Zanu PF also held a meeting at Muguta Secondary School in Epworth yesterday.
The party's aspiring candidate for the constituency, Amos Midzi, addressed
the meeting. In his address Midzi urged the electorate to vote for the
ruling party in the forthcoming parliamentary elections. He promised that he
would initiate a number of projects to benefit the majority in the area.
Mashonaland East
Zanu PF held a rally in the province on Monday at Nyamuzuwe Mission in
Mutoko North constituency addressed by vice president Joyce Mujuru.
Mujuru was campaigning for Mutoko North candidate David Chapfika and Mutoko
South's Olivia Muchena.
She urged people to embark on self-help projects to supplement government's
She also said women should participate in the country's economic growth and
encouraged them  to be involved in much cross border trading. She said
stories were abound that some women cross border traders were involved in
extra-marital affairs on trips to Botswana and South Africa, leading to
A series of meetings were held in Bulawayo over the weekend.  Vice president
Joseph Msika addressed two meetings at Masotsha Secondary School and
Emganwini Esihlahleni.
Absolom Sikhosana, candidate for Nkulumane, held three meetings in the
constituency at Amaveni Primary School, Yellow House and Queen Elizabeth
Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, candidate for Mpopoma-Pelandaba, addressed a meeting at
Induba Primary School.
Nine MDC youths renounced their membership at the Masotsha Secondary School
Two campaign rallies were held at Chitombo Secondary School and Mataga
Growth Point.  At Gokwe Sengwa, President Robert Mugabe addressed the
At Mataga Growth Point, President Mugabe and Emmerson Mnangagwa, the Zanu PF
candidate for Kwekwe constituency, addressed the meeting.
President Mugabe donated 50 computers to secondary schools in Gokwe Sengwa,
Mberengwa East and West, Chirumhanzu, Gweru Rural and Shurugwi
Matabeleland North
Two Zanu PF campaign meetings were held in the province over the weekend.
Spiwe Mapfuwa, the candidate for Hwange West, held a meeting at Nengasha
Stadium. William Munsaka, Binga Centre vice chairman and Linda Makinzi,
women's league chairperson for Binga Centre, addressed a meeting at Binga
council chambers.
The MDC held five campaign meetings in the province at Murime, Chenhungure,
Mbizo 7 Ground, Munyati Power Station and Gafa Grounds, Mtapa.
Simon Dick, MDC candidate for Zvishavane, addressed the meeting at
Chenhungure Business Centre. Blessing Chebundo who is standing for election
in Kwekwe and candidates for Gokwe Sengwa, Kadoma and Sanyati addressed a
meeting at Mbizo 7 Ground.
Lyson Mlambo, MDC Midlands South provincial chairman and Renson Gasela,
Gweru rural constituency candidate addressed a meeting at Gafa Grounds.
Mashonaland East
Four meetings were held in the province over the weekend at Gonami,
Mverechena, Tamutsa and Arcturus Mine.
Hatinahama Madyembwa, MDC Chikomba district chairman addressed the meeting
at Gonami.
Job Sikhala, candidate for St Mary's, addressed the meetings at Mverechena
and Arcturus Mine.
Mashonaland West
MDC held rallies in both Guruve North and South last weekend.
In Guruve South, the rally was held at Mudhindo Shopping Centre while in
Guruve North it was held at Kachuta Shopping Centre.
The candidate for Guruve North, Alan McCormick, centred mainly on the party's
manifesto. He criticised the government for politicising food in the area
and promised the people that he would provide food if he was elected into
The MDC held two rallies at Corner Store Shopping Centre and Domboramwari
grounds in Hatfield/Epworth constituency at the weekend. The outgoing MP for
the constituency Tapiwa Mashakada and Kuwadzana MP Nelson Chamisa addressed
the rallies.
In his address Mashakada spelt out the party's manifesto and urged the
people to vote for the MDC for development in the area.
New Ziana

Back to the Top
Back to Index

MMPZ Special Report on Quality of Access to national public broadcasting
stations between ZANU PF and MDC:  February 26th - March 17th 2005

March 20 2005

A participatory democracy depends upon the electorate being able to make
informed choices about who they wish to vote for. Media diversity is
instrumental in providing this information. But in Zimbabwe where 60% of the
people in the rural areas depend upon radio for information, all the
electronic media are government-controlled.
* This situation has remained, despite the fact that the Supreme Court
ruled as unconstitutional the monopoly of the airwaves enjoyed by the
national public broadcasting corporation (now known as ZBH) five years ago.
* No other broadcasting entity has been allowed in Zimbabwe since
* ZBH has been used as a propaganda tool for the ruling party in the
last two national elections (2000 and 2002) and the referendum before that.
* This situation persists today and only very limited access has been
granted to the political opposition (see detailed study of airtime
allocation below).

The SADC guidelines state that all political parties should be given equal
access to the electronic media; Zimbabwe's regulations state that they
should be given "equal opportunities" to access the public media with regard
to the broadcast of election matter. Zimbabwe's regulations also state that
news coverage of political parties during an election should be fair,
balanced, accurate and complete.

In regard to both these regulations the situation is being severely
While all the main political parties have been granted 12 minutes each to
present their manifestoes (on ZTV), the presenter misinformed the public
about the broadcast time for the MDC manifesto. The TV station stated that
an independent candidate would present his manifesto at a certain time (1/3)
but then broadcast the MDC manifesto. As a result, those wishing to hear
what the MDC's policies were missed the presentation.

With regard to election programmes relating to interviews and discussion
programmes aired by the national public broadcaster, these have been used to
attack the opposition MDC, which has not been given a fair chance to respond
to allegations made by the panelists. In one instance the transmission of an
interview with a senior MDC official was suddenly lost to Bulawayo
(Zimbabwe's second city) and severely compromised in other main centres of
the country, including Mutare. The ruling party has only appeared once in
such discussion programmes and interviews compared to two times for the MDC.

News bulletins are heavily dominated by favourable coverage of ZANU PF
campaign activities, while the MDC receive brief and inadequate reports,
albeit generally neutral. Coverage of the ruling party activities frequently
includes disparaging attacks against the MDC, which is not given the right
of reply.

Coverage of ZANU PF and MDC on ZBH

The coverage of the country's two main political parties on the national
broadcaster, ZBH, since the election period begun on February 26th till
March 17th was heavily tilted in favour of ZANU PF.
Apart from giving both ZANU PF and the MDC 12 minutes each to air their
policies to the electorate, the broadcaster's news coverage of the two
parties has favoured ZANU PF.
For instance, of 142 reports on the broadcaster (ZTV, Power FM and Radio
Zimbabwe) carried on the two parties' campaigns, 116 (82%) were on ZANU PF,
while the remaining 26 (18%) were on the MDC.
All reports on ZANU PF were positive pieces about the ruling party. While
reports on the MDC were largely neutral, the party was denigrated in almost
all the reports on ZANU PF campaigns.

Fig. 1 ZANU PF and MDC campaign stories on ZBH

The broadcaster's bias was also reflected in the time allocated to the two
parties. Of the 2 hours and 22 minutes allocated to the two parties on ZTV's
main 8pm bulletins 2 hours and four minutes (87%) minutes were devoted to
ZANU PF campaign events while only 18 minutes was allocated to the MDC.

The lack of balance on ZBH's coverage of the two parties' activities was
clearly illustrated by the manner the broadcaster handled the launch of
their election campaigns.
When ZANU PF launched its campaign on February 11, ZTV and Spot FM (11/2)
changed their mid-morning programming to accommodate four hours of live
coverage of the ruling party's event. On the same day ZTV allocated 18
minutes of its 8pm bulletin to the event. In addition, ZTV devoted 13
minutes 15 seconds in its subsequent evening news bulletins of February 12
and 13 to the ruling party's campaign launch.
ZTV also carried 30-minute repeats of the event after its main bulletin on
Friday (11/2) and on Sunday morning.
Spot FM & Power FM adopted a similar trend. These stations each carried two
reports of the launch on February 11. They then carried six reports of the
event on February 12 and 13.
Similarly, Radio Zimbabwe carried 10 stories on the launch between February
11th and February 13th.
By comparison, the national broadcaster allocated 2 minutes 35 seconds to
the MDC's election launch on ZTV's main news bulletin of February 20, the
day of the event.
Unlike ZANU PF's launch, no other reports of the event were carried in ZBH's
subsequent news bulletins.
Spot FM, Power FM and Radio Zimbabwe carried a single story each on the MDC
launch in their main news bulletins on February 20.
Power FM and Spot FM carried a repeat of the report the following morning.

Election programmes
Although ZTV has so far granted the MDC 1 hour and 30 minutes to feature in
its interviews and discussion programmes, the time has been mainly used to
try to embarrass and discredit the policies of the MDC. MDC officials were
given inadequate time to express themselves as the panelists kept
Notably, the first discussion programme carried on ZTV and featuring the
MDC's secretary for economic affairs, Tendai Biti, was only clearly
transmitted in Harare and Masvingo after transmission was lost in Bulawayo
and other southern districts immediately before the programme. Transmedia,
the government-controlled signal carrier company, has never explained this
unprecedented break in transmission - or the severe interference the ZBH
signal suffered from in Mutare and other parts of the country, effectively
obliterating the debate.
In contrast, ZANU PF was treated differently in the 30-minute slot allocated
to them so far. The ruling party official was given time to respond to
questions with minimal interjections. In addition, the programme was mainly
used to give the ruling party a platform to discredit MDC's policies and not
to discuss ZANU PF's manifesto.

All election advertisements that have been broadcast so far on ZTV are from
ZANU PF. These are carried mainly before the news, during newsbreaks and
after all bulletins.
Other parties have yet to advertise on ZTV. It is not clear whether they
have chosen not to buy airtime, or because the prohibitive cost of buying
advertising space has put advertising beyond the reach of the opposition.
The trend is slightly different on ZBH's radio stations. Although ZANU PF
also dominates advertising time, MDC advertisements have been featured on
Power FM and Radio Zimbabwe. However, the adverts were generally fewer than
those of the ruling party.

While other parties can only air their policies through buying advertising
space, ZANU PF has the opportunity to sell its policies and vilify the MDC
through songs that are incessantly played across all ZBH's radio stations.
Most prominent is ZANU PF National Commissar Elliot Manyika's campaign
album, whose song, Mbiri Yechigandanga, is on Power FM's Top 40 songs.
The video of the song, which celebrates ZANU PF's liberation struggle
credentials - the party's campaign theme - has also been played on ZTV's
musical programme, Ezomgido.

Other programmes
ZBH has also used its current affairs programmes to amplify ZANU PF's
policies. For instance, ZTV's Media Watch has given a platform to pro-ZANU
PF analysts, such as the government-appointed Media and Information
Commission chairman, Dr.Tafataona Mahoso, to defend the policies of the
ruling party while disparaging the MDC. The MDC has never been given the
opportunity to defend itself in the programme.
The station also carries a 30-minute New Ziana programme on the liberation
struggle every Sunday evening. Like Manyika's songs, the programme glorifies
ZANU PF's liberation war record, which the party is using in its campaigns.
Radio Zimbabwe and Spot FM also have similar programmes.

Clearly, ZBH is not living up to the spirit and letter of the SADC
guidelines relating to equal access to the electronic media; nor is it
complying with government regulations relating to fair and balanced coverage
to the main contesting parties

For further information please contact:

Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe
15 Duthie Ave
Alexandra Park
Tel/Fax: 263-4-703702
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

ZEC appeals against Bennett judgment

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Mar-23

THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has appealed to the Supreme Court to
overturn a High Court judgment granting Chimanimani lawmaker Roy Bennett the
right to contest next week's general elections.
Zimbabwe is due to hold its sixth parliamentary polls on March 31 2005,
widely believed to be a two-horse race between the governing Zanu PF and
Through their lawyer, George Chikumbirike, ZEC is seeking an order: "that
the judgment of the Electoral Court handed down on March 15 2005 be and is
hereby set aside. That the Election for the Chimanimani constituency
proceeds on the March 31 as already set down by Presidential Proclamation.
The first respondent pays costs of suit in this court and in the Electoral
The applicants in the matter are Justice George Chiweshe and the Chimanimani
constituency elections officer while presiding Judge of the Electoral Court
Tendai Uchena and Bennett are cited as respondents.
All, except Bennett, will appear in their official capacity.
On March 15 2005, Uchena ruled that Bennett was eligible to stand as an MP
in Chimanimani setting aside a decision by the Nomination Court to the
The judge also moved the Chimanimani polls from March 31 to April 30 and set
April 4 as the nomination date for aspiring candidates.
Last week, President Robert Mugabe criticised Uchena's judgment as
 Prominent Harare lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa of Kantor and Immerman is
representing Bennett.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

FROM: The Collapse of Zimbabwe in the Wake of the 2000-2003 Land Reforms
(Edwin Mellen Press, 2004)

Monday, March 28, 2005
12:00 PM (Luncheon to follow)

Featuring the author, Craig Richardson, Associate Professor, Department of
Economics, Salem College, with comments by Roger Bate, Fellow, American
Enterprise Institute, and moderated by Marian Tupy, Assistant Director,
Project on Global Economic Liberty, Cato Institute

The Cato Institute
1000 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001

Zimbabwe's general election comes at a time of unprecedented political and
economic crisis. With the opposition violently suppressed, it is very
likely that the government of Robert Mugabe will once again rig the March
31 poll. In the early years after its independence, Zimbabwe, with its vast
wealth of minerals and rich farmland, seemed poised to be an African
success story. Today it is one of the most rapidly deteriorating countries
in Africa. How did that happen? According to Craig Richardson, President
Robert Mugabe's decision to seize commercial farmland in 2000 sent the
country on a downward spiral, with foreign investors fleeing, unemployment
skyrocketing, life expectancies dropping, and inflation reaching 500
percent. Please join us for a discussion of a book that Hernando de Soto
called "crucially important. [in] letting us know how badly the ignorance
of the role of property rights in development can hurt a nation."

Cato book forums and luncheons are free of charge.

To register for this event, please fill out the form below and click submit
or email, fax (202) 371-0841, or call (202) 789-5229 by
12:00 PM, Friday, March 25, 2005.

Please arrive early. Seating is limited and not guaranteed. News media
inquiries only (no registrations), please call (202) 789-5200. If you can't
make it to the Cato Institute, watch this forum live online.
Back to the Top
Back to Index



Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to: with subject line "For: Open Letter Forum".


Thought of the Day:

"God will not seek thy race Nor will he ask thy birth, Alone he will demand
of thee -- What hast thou done with the land I gave thee?

Ancient Persian Proverb.


- TESCO's - a proposal for action - Traffic Wild


LETTER 1: TESCO's - a proposal for action

by Traffic Wild

Dear Sirs

I have been following the various correspondence between some readers and
Tesco and would like to propose the following.

Tesco's, like Massey Ferguson, will not give a straight answer and their
only concern is making profit by offering customers a choice of product
range. The solution is quite simple; when you shop at Tesco do not buy ANY
produce that is grown in Zimbabwe and put a small but visible note on the
Zimbabwe product range that reads " This product is grown on farms that
have been stolen from the legitimate owners by the Robert Mugabe Regime ".

The shops are so big no one will see you placing the note and you are not
really committing as big a crime as the original thieves and the public
need to be made aware of the situation in any case. I guarantee the sales
will plummet to such an extent they will have to reconsider their position
on sourcing illegally procured product.

Try this and see the reaction as I am confident it will have the desired
effect and before you know it the papers will pick it up and you get free
advertising and highlight the unethical practises that most of the British
conglomerates practise.

Traffic Wild


JAG Hotlines:
+263 (011) 205 374 If you are in trouble or need advice,
                                  please don't hesitate to contact us -
                                  we're here to help!
+263 (04) 799 410 Office Lines
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Press Release

ZIMArts - Zimbabwe Variety Show

Tues 12th April Queen Elizabeth Hall

The Event
WEZIMBABWE launches ZIMArts, a variety showcase which reveals the
breathtaking range of contemporary Zimbabwean performing arts. Forming part
of the Southbank Africa Remix programme, ZIMArts is a focal point for
entertainers and audiences alike, a place to meet and grow and a chance to
rekindle the fires of Zimbabwean goodwill and celebrate its flavours.

The Performers
The programme has been carefully chosen to highlight various Zimbabwean
artistic forms; from traditional instruments such as the Marimba and Mbira,
to the more contemporary sounds of Kwaito and Rock. You will be enchanted by
the vitality of the dancer Anna Mudeka; you'll be moved by the deep soul and
charisma of Afro Jazz act Paul Lunga and have your spirits lifted by the
fusion afro-folk music of KYO Tribe. Rock Group Mann Friday will play a set
of their beloved songs including their forthcoming single, '15 Minutes of
Shame.' Kwaito collective Mangesto will then bump it up with Kwaito beats
and urban dance moves. The ZIMArts team have other surprises in store, such
as an MC, and celebrity appearances, all adding up to a truly unforgettable

We Zimbabwe
WEZIMBABWE is a charitable organisation, run by Zimbabweans for Zimbabweans.
We work regionally, nationally and internationally to ensure dignity,
respect, unity and prosperity for the Zimbabwean people and Zimbabwe as a
nation. We support community projects in Zimbabwe.

Times: 19.15 - 22.30

Venue: Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX

Tickets: £10, £12.50, £15, £17.50

Box office: 08703800400

Press contact: Gordon Glyn-Jones - 0208 789 6099


Mann Friday

In February 2002, rock band Mann Friday retreated into the African
wilderness to record their debut album, the Orchard. Born out of life on the
Continent, the songs inspired a show, and Mann Friday performed Zimbabwe
Ruins for the first time at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival in July
2002. Encouraged by its success, the band made a decision to bring Zimbabwe
Ruins to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2003 and relocate to the UK. The
hour-long rock musical narrative attracted significant media attention in
its opening week in Edinburgh, including full features run by both The Times
and The Scotsman. The band continues to build on its already strong fan base
and are currently playing their particular brand of 'rock with a conscience'
on the UK gig circuit. Their forthcoming single, '15 Minutes of Shame' has
left their audiences begging for more. (

Paul Lunga

In Zimbabwe, Paul Lunga is known as the undisputed "king of jazz horns".
Born and raised in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, Paul developed a lifelong passion for
jazz music. He began as a percussionist in the 2nd grade, and he progressed
to a trumpeter after his high school music teacher discovered his raw
talent. Later, he joined the All-Stars Jazz Band and studied under David
Charles Gambe. Finally, he mastered his trumpeting skills after completing a
home study course with the Royal School of Music in England where he also
learned how to read and compose formal music. In 1990, after putting his
children through college, Paul decided to begin a professional career as an
Afro Jazz performer and form his own band named "Jazz Impacto". Shortly
after, Paul made a name for himself as a "jazz great" in Zimbabwe. Paul has
played live performances in Zimbabwe, Botswana, Portugal, England, Germany,
France, the Netherlands, and the USA. In between performing internationally,
Paul found time to compose and record his first album titled "Zimbabwe Jive",
which was released by Phaphama Promotions and has sold over 70,000 copies.
After having an album that did so well in Zimbabwe, Paul was inspired to
record his second album titled "Ketchup", which he released on July 12, 2002
at the  2002 Zimbabwean Music Festival at the world famous Seattle Center.

Kyo Tribe

Kyo Tribe are no strangers to the Zimfest stage. The Kyo Tribe phenomenon
continues to dissolve musical boundaries across the United Kingdom. Their
eclectic blend of Afro-Soul meets nu jazz, is leaving audiences
spellbound.You will hear the mystic Zimbabwean Mbira, Flamenco inspired
acoustic guitar riffs, sleek Rhodes piano, masterful percussion & a storming
drum kit section - all interlaced with sumptuous bass-lines and moving
vocals sung by new sensation, Debbie Rivett. The KYO TRIBE sound is new. It's
fresh and naturally stylish. It is the grand epitome of a new generation of
young live musicians who aren't following trends but defining groundbreaking
genres altogether.  At the moment, they are hot on the performance circuit,
playing regularly at festivals and venues across the UK. "What we are doing
is creating a sound that is representative of a global village". Call it
what you like - World, Rock, Jazz, the fact remains that KYO are a band that
deliver riveting performances. (

Anna Mudeka

Anna Mudeka has been a professional singer, dancer, drummer, and Mbira
player since the age of fourteen. She has toured Japan with {the late} Ephat
Mujuru one of Africa's best-known and respected Mbira players. Anna was also
a member of Thomas Mapfumo's Blacks Unlimited. She has worked and performed
with a number of well known Zimbabwean musicians such as Chartwell Dutiro,
Wedzerai Zvirevo, Torera Mpedzisi and many others. In Zimbabwe she is best
known for her energetic dance performances with Thomas Mapfumo and with
Idwala Elikhulu a fifteen-piece dance group. Since coming to the U.K. in '95
she has assembled the group BabaSimba to perform both traditional and
original modern Zimbabwean music.


Mangesto, 23, grew up in Bulawayo's high density suburb of Luveve but has
recently completed a Maths degree at Bolton University, Manchester. He was
hooked on kwaito from a young age and was inspired by M'du and other kwaito
greats leading to him producing and writing the songs on the album Ezami (My
Own). Mangesto has received early endorsement from triple-platinum-selling
South African kwaito star Mzekezeke and top DJ Ezra Tshisa Sibanda. Already
he has backed established artists like Mzekezeke, Mafikizolo and M'du on
their UK tours and performed solo shows in Manchester and Leeds.

For details and further reference goto:
Back to the Top
Back to Index