Witch-hunt as Mugabe strikes back with new terror
Terror and torture
follow condemnation of election
Andrew Meldrum in Kadoma,
Sunday March 24, 2002
Waves of violent
retribution and repression are shuddering through Zimbabwe
in the aftermath
of the discredited presidential election as Robert Mugabe
international pressure by entrenching himself for another six years
More than 10,000 Zimbabweans are on the run, hiding from the
torture and killings of suspected opposition supporters by Mugabe's
according to human rights monitors and opposition
James Nevana, 32, was a polling agent for the opposition
party, the Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC) in the remote Gokwe East
Mugabe was declared the winner on 13 March, Nevana was
abducted by Mugabe's
youth militia and tortured at one of their 'Taliban
camps'. His genitals
were repeatedly pierced by a bicycle spoke, rupturing
one of his testicles,
and he was forced to drink a poison which is causing
him terrible stomach
pains. He was admitted to hospital on Friday.
did not commit any crime, he was working for democracy', said Wallace
26, the MDC chairman for Gokwe East who helped Nevana escape. 'Seven
were killed in my constituency during the election period. Some were
and died later, some died instantly. Nine have been abducted. In
torture camps they do inhuman things.'
Humana bravely returned to Gokwe
yesterday to try to get police to search
for the missing people, who were
taken to the militia camps.
Furiously reacting to his suspension from the
Commonwealth, Mugabe dashed
hopes of national reconciliation with the
post-election violence, in which
five MDC members have been killed, and by
formally charging MDC leader
Morgan Tsvangirai with treason for allegedly
plotting his assassination.
In addition, violence has stepped up on
white-owned farms. One farmer and
one security guard were killed last week,
50 farmers were illegally evicted
and the government seized 388 properties,
including a huge estate owned by
the South African mining magnates, the
Oppenheimer family. In Harare police
closed down weekly public discussions at
the popular Book Cafe, using the
new draconian Public Order and Security
'We are not at liberty in our own country,' said Newton Muparaganda,
fled his home in the central city of Kwekwe. 'I should be able to
the party of my choice. But I have been stoned, I have been beaten. I
leave my job and my family is in hiding. The international community
do something to help us or many people will suffer and more will be
He is one of more than 80 people staying at a three-bedroom house in
to escape continuing state-sponsored violence against anyone suspected
supporting Tsvangirai and the MDC.
The offices of Amani Trust are
flooded daily with people suffering from
post-election violence. 'It is a
witch-hunt. We have a human rights crisis
on our hands and it is growing
daily,' said Frances Lovemore of Amani, which
assists victims of violence.
'We estimate that 10,000 to 30,000 people have
fled their homes because of
violence. They are refugees in their own
country. We need to create a place
of safety for them. A tented village
under the flag of some international
organisation might protect the place
from being attacked.'
and youth militia were going from hut to hut in remote areas with
people who served as MDC polling agents and other MDC officials,
Lovemore. 'They are being hunted down across the country. Anyone
supporting the MDC, it is terrible.'
The United Nations High Commissioner
for Refugees and the Red Cross have
been approached about the desperate
situation, but so far have declined
'We need international
organisations and observers to come back', said
Evelyn Masaitian, an MP for
the MDC, who was beaten by three soldiers.
'Maybe their presence will help to
stop this post-election violence.'
Liah Makoni's bright red lipstick and
makeup cannot disguise her swollen,
bruised face . She was beaten after the
elections by the youth militia and
her Gokwe shops destroyed because she was
identified as an MDC supporter.
'They told me to go to Tony Blair because
they would kill me here in
Zimbabwe. I was lucky to escape. The police would
not help me,' she said.
She is one of 80 people staying at the Kadoma
house. The women sleep inside,
while the men take turns on watch and sleep on
newspapers and long grass
outside. Like hunted prey, their eyes brim with
fear. They rush forward to
blurt out stories of terror.
frightening,' said Makoni. 'Even here at this house, we don't know
will attack us again. Please do not forget us.'
Headman's charred remains discovered in Nkayi
Scotland on Sunday
Thousands flee Mugabe witchhunt
DECLAN WALSH IN
A PALL of fear and retribution has fallen over Zimbabwe as
shrugs off massive international condemnation to entrench
himself for a
further six years.
In the aftermath of the election, the
president has intensified a witchhunt
of perceived opposition. As Morgan
Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for
Democratic Change, was charged with
treason last week, soldiers and youth
militia carried out a door-to-door
purge of his supporters in rural areas.
In the past week five people have
been murdered . More than 10,000 people
have fled into hiding. And on Friday
the government announced the seizure of
388 new commercial farms
Security guard Richard Amon watched a cavalcade of Mugabe supporters
through Harare . They carried a coffin with Tsvangiraiís name on it.
shook his head in despair. "Another six years of this," he said. "We
even bear to think about it."
Those who dared opposed Mugabe now
feel like prey. In Kadoma, 87 miles west
of Harare, 70 people are huddled
outside a modest, four-bedroomed house.
Some have been away from home since
October, others left after the election.
There is an air of desperation and
fear. The women and children sleep in the
cramped rooms. The men sleep on
newspapers in the long grass by the maize
"Our lives are in
danger. They want to attack us here," said Felix Zifunzi,
32, whose house was
Liah Nyathi Makoni hides the bruises with thick make-up. Ten
days ago a gang
of youths from Mugabeís Zanu-PF party stoned her pick-up
truck, looted her
shop and beat her senseless.
"They told me leave
Zimbabwe and go to Tony Blair," she said, sitting
outside the house. "Please
remember us when you go. We are in big trouble."
Human rights group the
Amani Trust estimates that of the 10,000 people on
the run across the
country, some 1,250 are MDC supporters being sought by
the feared Central
Intelligence Office. The rest are non-partisan farm
workers and independent
"The government is devastated that 1.2 million people
voted for the MDC.
They want to regain control," said Dr Frances Lovemore,
the trustís medical
Those who reach the safehouse are the
lucky ones. Polling agent James Nevana
is in a Harare hospital after militia
members abducted him on the second day
of polling and pierced his testicles
with a bicycle spoke.
The Amani Trust is trying to persuade the UN and
the International Red Cross
to set up a safe zone, such as a tented camp
supervision, for internal refugees. "The numbers are just
so huge," said
Things are equally bleak in Harare. Any hopes
of pulling the economy out of
a nosedive have faded . Last year, more than
400 firms closed down and
10,000 jobs were lost as the economy contracted by
7.5%. This year it is
expected to shrink by 12%.
Food shortages are
predicted to become a full-scale famine. The government
says it is going to
import 1.5 million tonnes of maize but has no foreign
currency to pay for it.
"The country is going to implode," said leading
economist Tony Hawkins. Since
Zimbabwe was suspended from the Commonwealth
last week, Mugabe has been
running out of allies. But he can still count on
one friend - Colonel
Last July the Libyan leader signed a $360m contract to
supply Zimbabwe with
fuel. And he pledged over $1m into Mugabeís re-election
Many Zimbabweans are mystified about where their president will
hard currency to pay for the fuel deal.
In the past year
Libya has bought government shares in several government
speculation that Mugabe is swapping state assets against
fuel he cannot
afford - putting a new gloss on his railings
HARARE WILL IMPORT FOOD TO AVOID STARVATION
Zimbabwe - Officials announced plans yesterday to
import huge amounts of food
to stave off starvation caused
by drought and the chaos resulting from the
white-owned farms by ruling party militants.
Minister Joseph Made said the government was
seeking 200,000 tons of corn,
the staple food, from Kenya,
Brazil and Argentina. Over the next 18 months,
will need to import 1.5 million tons of corn, state
The fertile, southern African nation was once
breadbasket of the region.
Now Zimbabweans wait in food
lines with the hope of getting
bags of increasingly scarce corn meal. In
government ordered 200,000 tons of corn valued at
million from neighboring South Africa.
The farm occupations, along
with floods and droughts, have
decimated the country's harvest as its
Last year, Zimbabwe produced 1.54
million tons of corn, down
from 2.1 million tons in 2000.
tobacco, the main cash crop, also are expected
to be down this year by as
much as 30 percent.
Foreign loans, aid and investment have dried up.
been plagued by shortages of equipment and fuel. Tourism,
third-largest hard-currency earner, has fallen by
Emergency food distribution by the World Food Program
500,000 people facing starvation resumed Thursday in south
Zimbabwe, U.N. officials said.
The distribution was halted a week before
the March 9-11
presidential elections so as not to "coincide
political concerns," the WFP said.
results showed President Robert Mugabe
winning 56 percent of the vote to 42
percent for opposition
leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
The opposition and
international observers have charged Mr.
Mugabe with stealing the election
through intimidation and
The main labor federation,
meanwhile, conceded the failure
of its national strike to protest the
The few businesses that observed the strike
yesterday, which was to have been the last day of the
protest, said Lovemore Matombo, head of the
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade
He said new security laws hindered strike organizers
"heavy-handed" threats by the authorities, and bias
the dominant state media stopped workers joining the
meeting next month, leaders of the federation will
consider possible further
action to protest political
violence that took the lives of at least 150
persons - most
of them opposition supporters - since 2000.
yesterday, hundreds of white farmers and black farm
workers attended the
funeral of Terry Ford, 51, who was shot
in the head in an execution-style
killing Monday at his farm
west of the capital, Harare.
Mr. Ford was
the 10th white farmer killed since the
often-violent farm occupations began
two years ago.
article was mailed from The Washington Times
Can we escape the colonial past?
effort to salvage its credibility on Zimbabwe last week
puts hopes of a new
relationship between Africa and the west back on track.
But it won't secure
the organisation's future without further reform
March 24, 2002
The Commonwealth's credibility could not have survived a
further fudge last
week. To have failed to suspend Zimbabwe would have been
to claim that the
values of the Commonwealth's flagship Harare Declaration of
"democracy, the rule of law and good governance" - need not, in
cover the rights of the citizens of Harare to vote. The
the charge that it has dissolved an Empire without finding
a role often
enough. It could have had few complaints if it had been mocked
Suspending Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth for a year has
consequences. It comes too late to help Zimbabweans realise
aspirations. But symbols matter too. There is value in this
international solidarity, and an insistence that universal
to have the same meaning in Africa as elsewhere. The
observation team also played a critical role by the
simple but vital
expedient of reporting honestly what was happening in
Zimbabwe - backing the
even more critical verdict of Zimbabwe's own
independent election network,
in stark contrast to the "see no evil" approach
taken by the South Africa
and SADC observer teams. The observers forced
Commonwealth leaders, finally,
President Mugabe's great
diplomatic success had been to divide and paralyse
splitting it largely along racial lines. The charge of
worked magnificently for Mugabe, wrong-footing African
leaders and disarming
many in the west too. After all, the powerful must not
powerless. But while Zimbabwe's government portrays itself as
fender-off of the once-mighty British Empire, Mr Blair and Mr Str
aw can have
been in little doubt about their impotence. The international
"smart sanctions" may have altered President Mugabe's future
plans; they had no impact on his political progress. The
real David versus
Goliath clash took place within Zimbabwe, with no Biblical
Instead Zimbabwe's democratic opposition fears that the
real crackdown is
For the Commonwealth to do more than survive the crisis -
for it to seek to
contribute once again to the larger agendas of development
democratisation and a new relationship between north and south -
require its developed and developing world members to show that they
escape the post-colonial trap which keeps both sides enslaved by the
For African governments, post-colonial posturing has long been a
denial which helps evade responsibility. There is no shortage of
commentators who make this point regularly. While it is widely agreed
the Zimbabwe election has "divided Africa and the west", this is true
at governmental level.The acquiescence of African governments to
strategy has been challenged by critical voices from civil society
media throughout Southern Africa. Yet many westerners fall into the
accepting a new burden of post-imperial guilt which paralyses the west
infantilising Africa. To deny the universality of our shared values
just scupper organisations like the Commonwealth. It is to adopt
alternative form of liberal racism, which provides an alibi
This is the liberal racism which rejects
universalism and essentialises
difference. It is the racism which speaks of
as incomprehensible "ancient hatreds", which
unthinkingly speaks of "black
on black violence" in Africa's wars (yet never
"white on white" violence in
Northern Ireland) in a tone which betrays the
belief that such native
savagery is only to be expected. This is the liberal
racism, too, which
believes that black Africa is not yet capable of
self-government and that
the one-party rule of the strong men of liberation
provides a more
appropriate "path to democracy". It has made too many in the
for the trap set by those who speak - always, it seems, from the
House - of how they have constructed very different "Asian values"
"African values" of which they are so confident that they need not
consult their own people for confirmation.
Nigeria and South Africa
rejected this agenda of racial polarisation by
moving to suspend Zimbabwe.
This is, in one way, a watershed: African
leaders criticising their peers.
But it was no "hearts and minds" decision:
it was more like pulling teeth. It
was essential to save not just the
Commonwealth but the "Marshall Plan for
Africa" - the New Partnership for
Africa's Development (Nepad) plan which
Mbeki, Obasanjo and Blair believe
can mark a new era for Africa and the west
But that plan depends on a
Commonwealth-like formula: the willingness of
Africa's democrats, even when
in power, to back and police democracy: not
because the west fetishises
democratic processes but because nobody within
Africa or beyond believes
that development is possible without legitimate
interested in poverty, health and education.
Zimbabwe crisis has shown how uncertain Africa's regional powers are
how they can use their power on the foreign policy stage. This
is inevitable when the democratic South African state is less
than a decade
old. The Commonwealth's African members feared that Zimbabwe
could implode on
their borders, and hoped that putting stability ahead even
of democracy could
help to contain the crisis. It was the wrong call, giving
President Mugabe a
free rein to escalate the crisis. The cost has been high,
and not just in
Zimbabwe: the Rand has lost 40 per cent of its value.
To avoid making the
same mistakes in future crises wil require stronger
international cooperation. The clue as to how this can be
achieved cam be
found by understanding how the Commonwealth was able,
belatedly, to act. What
the Zimbabwe crisis has shown yet again is how the
official Commonwealth must
always tread on diplomatic eggshells, and so
always acts too timidly and too
late. Countries are suspended only following
a military coup or stolen
election, even when these events have been widely
predicted. Watching the
Commonwealth prepare to act on an international
crisis is like watching a car
crash in slow motion: it will never check a
stable door while a horse remains
But the Commonwealth prides itself on being more than an
governments, and also being about people-to-people links
across its 54
nations. You will be lucky to hear a Secretary-General's speech
not refer to this "People's Commonwealth" and the potential
offers for civil society cooperation and exchange. It was the
independent election observers, drawn from these political and
networks, who ensured that governments finally had to act,
however much they
may have preferred to prevaricate and delay.
route to earlier and more effective preventative action in
crisis - which all governments say they want - is therefore to
non-governmental inputs in the system. That would mean
insulating the Harare
principles from the diplomatic game by appointing a
credible and independent
Human Rights Commissioner who would engage with
non-governmental groups, and report to the Secretary-General
on issues of
concern before crises break. Like the election observer's report
- or the
actions of independently-minded High Commissioners like Mary
the UN system - this would create pressure for action. It
would take courage
for Commonwealth members to take such a step, and a number
might fear such
independent scrutiny. But without it, the Commonwealth's
likely to be tested, and found wanting, again.
Katwala is internet editor of The Observer and co-author of
Commonwealth (The Foreign Policy Centre).
You can email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mudenge knows he is talking nonsense
Mudenge, Zimbabwe's foreign minister, has an extremely difficult
considering all the cleaning up he has to do after Mugabe.
But that's no
excuse for him to talk nonsense. His response this week to
suspension from the Commonwealth is a case in point. In an angry
the the decision by the Commonwealth troika on Zimbabwe to
country from the Commonwealth for a year, based on the
Group report on this month's presidential election,
Mudenge flatly stated
that the Zimbabwe government rejected the report.
complained about what he said was the faulty nature of the
report produced by
the COG, then about the composition of the observer group
which he said was
heavily influenced by the secretary-general, Don McKinnon,
comprised nationals of member countries who harboured well known
dispositions and hidden agendas against Zimbabwe.
This is the first time
he has raised any such objection. To say that Nigeria
and South Africa-for
those are the countries he can only be referring
to-harboured well known
negative dispositions and hidden agendas against
Zimbabwe, while at the same
time having asked those same countries to broker
compromises on the
government's behalf, firstly with Britain, and then with
the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC), is standing logic on its head. The
truth of the
matter, of course, and the real reason for Mudenge's outrage,
is that the
countries he and his colleagues had counted on to cover up for
government at the Commonwealth, found themselves without an
to concede before the international community that Mugabe's
was a hopeless
case and that action needed to be taken. Mugabe has been
playing tricks with
many people for a long time. He has been giving
assurances and pledges even
to his African colleagues that he would restore
law and order in the country,
only to make them look stupid by reneging on
those commitments even before
their planes had left Zimbabwean airspace. And
many of his African colleagues
bent over backwards to accomodate his
childish idiosyncrasies, until it
became plainly obvious to them that the
man was just wasting their
Mudenge says the decision to suspend Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth
months undermined the credibility of the Commonwealth. We are of the
that the Commonwealth's reputation would have been more in jeopardy
not taken action against a truant administration which over a good 36
has perfected the art of ducking and diving.
There was nothing
extaordinary about the Commonwealth report on the fraud
that Mudenge and his
colleagues have been trying to sell to the
international community as a free
and fair election. The observations made
in the Commonwealth report were
noted by several other credible observers
teams, among them the Sadc
Parliamentary Forum, the African, Caribbean and
Pacific and European Union
(ACP-EU) Joint Parliamentary Assembly, and by
Hackman Owusu Agyemang, the
Ghanian foreign minister who on Friday said his
government fully supported
the suspension out of principle. Mudenge instead
seeks to point the world to
approving reports made by obscure delegations
from countries such as Namibia,
Malawi, the DRC, China, Russia, and Iran-all
of them shining examples of the
principles of democracy and good governance.
As pointed out by
independent observers, and by representatives of the
itself, the suspension means little in practical terms.
But at least one form
of protest against Mugabe's election theft has been
registered by the
civilised world, and, more importantly, a protest
supported by countries
Mugabe thought would continously write off his
excesses. No action should be
spared in bringing to book a power hungry
despot who will use all legal and
illegal means to remain in power, long
past his sell-by date.
Amnesty urges UN intervention
By our own
THE UNITED Nations has been urged to probe human rights violations
President Mugabe's government.
Amnesty International, the powerful
human rights watchdog, has called for
the inclusion of Zimbabwe on the agenda
of the 58th session of the United
Nation Commission on Human Rights, which
runs until 26 April in Geneva,
because of the human rights violations
perpetrated by Mugabe' regime.
Zimbabwe joins the ranks of countries
already labelled problematic-Colombia,
Indonesia, Israel, the Russian
Federation, Chechnya and Saudi Arabia.
The human rights watchdog said
human rights abuses by the Mugabe regime had
reached alarming levels and
could only be stopped by UN intervention.
The group said human rights
violations in Zimbabwe had been heightened by
the land invasions, inspired by
Zanu PF supporters and war veterans.
"The human rights situation in
Zimbabwe has not been scrutinised by the
commission, despite the continuing
systematic violation of fundamental human
rights in that country. During the
past year, Amnesty International has
become deeply concerned that there is
not only a clear pattern of
state-condoned or facilitated arbitrary arrest,
torture and intimidation,"
reads Amnesty International's report to the
"Amnesty International believes that the deteriorating human
situation in Zimbabwe must be addressed by the Commission on Human
The systematic and widespread violations of human rights in Zimbabwe
mandate of several thematic mechanisms of the commission."
Zanu PF baits Tsvangirai
By Farai Mutsaka
PF has decided to press on with spurious treason charges against MDC
Morgan Tsvangirai, as part of its strategy aimed at pushing the
party into a settlement which will give the Mugabe regime
recognition, The Standard has learnt.
Notable organisations and countries
which have rejected Mugabe's victory
include the Commonwealth, European
Union, the United States, the Sadc
Parliamentary Forum and Ghana. The
Commonwealth, which comprises mostly
former British colonies, last week
suspended Zimbabwe for a year because of
its failure to conduct a transparent
Zanu PF sources told The Standard this week that if Tsvangirai
cooperate, the government was prepared to work out a
"Mugabe is desperate for legitimacy. He wants to be
recognised by the
international community, but the problem is that Tsvangirai
is wielding too
much influence. Tsvangirai has refused to cooperate so now
they want to
force him into dialogue. Zanu PF knows it can get some sort of
by engaging Tsvangirai in dialogue. The plan now is to put
Tsvangirai and corner him into agreeing to dialogue. His arrest
was part of
that plan. Government is prepared to drop the charges if he
agrees to work
with them," said the source.
Tsvangirai was arrested
and formally charged with high treason for allegedly
plotting to assassinate
Mugabe. The charge carries the death sentence. The
MDC leader is jointly
charged with MDC secretary-general, Welshman Ncube and
shadow minister for
agriculture, Renson Gasela.
Ncube confirmed his party was aware of
government's machinations, but said
they would not be swayed.
course we do understand that there is an attempt by the ruling party to
the stakes through the police, not just by arresting the leadership of
MDC at all levels, but also by killing and harassing our people and
our houses. All this is intended at destroying the party and
same pressure as was applied on Zapu which eventually
disappeared into Zanu
"We are aware of such machinations but we are also cognizant of
expectations of our supporters and we will not betray them. Even if the
leadership was willing, our membership has told us that talking to Zanu
is out of the question. They don't want us to be in the same position
Zapu was in 1987," said Ncube.
Over the past days, government has
increased surveillance over Tsvangirai's
activities. He is now being trailed
by hordes of spies. About eleven
intelligence spies trailed Tsvangirai the
whole day in Bulawayo on Friday.
Why Mugabe is seen as Africa's Achilles heel
The Times, London
2002 at 08:30AM
London - Zimbabwe's suspension from the Commonwealth may have
salvaged a fig
leaf of dignity for the club of former British colonies, but
it will do
little to halt the implosion of the country's economy or boost
ambitious plans to promote Africa's revival.
President Robert Mugabe promised in his inaugural speech to press ahead
land reform, while at the same time increasing public spending and
mining, industry and tourism, a UN report on the options facing the
administration predicted a 10 percent contraction in gross domestic
over the next year.
With capital flows into Zimbabwe close to zero,
Mugabe's brand of voodoo
economics will condemn the country's 13 million
people to wholesale cutbacks
in government spending, ever smaller incomes,
increased prices for basic
commodities and accelerating
Mugabe appears to think that Zimbabwe can go it alone. But
approaching 120 percent, unemployment nearing 70 percent and a
famine across the countryside, regional analysts insist that it can
a matter of months before reality comes crashing down around
Mugabe's delusions about what can be achieved by Zimbabwe are
not shared by
his African neighbours, especially President Thabo
As the principal architect of the New Partnership for Africa's
(Nepad), Mbeki is calling on the developed world to invest about
in the continent in exchange for a commitment by African leaders
democracy, the rule of law and the promotion of good
Although Mbeki refrained from endorsing the result of the
Zimbabwe poll and
participated in the Commonwealth decision that led to
he is keenly aware that the unseemly haste with which
recognised and supported Mugabe's tainted election victory
could sound the
death knell for his hopes of an African economic
The crunch is expected to come in June, when leaders of the
Group of Eight
(G8) industrialised nations meeting in Canada are presented
with the Nepad
The document essentially proposes a
contract between Africa and the
developed world in which African leaders
promise to break with the past
track record of economic decline,
mismanagement, corruption and
authoritarianism, in favour of a collective
commitment to multiparty
democracy, respect for the rule of law, good
governance and economic growth.
Western leaders have already
indicated that they would regard Africa's
reaction to Mugabe's election
victory as the litmus test for the new African
partnership. During the
Commonwealth summit meeting in Coolum earlier this
month, British Prime
Minister Tony Blair bluntly warned African leaders that
their failure to act
against election violations in Zimbabwe would
jeopardise western economic
support for the continent.
"If there is any sense in which African
countries appear to be ambivalent
towards good governance, this is the one
thing that will undermine the
confidence of the western world in helping
them," Blair said.
Blair's warning provoked a furious response from
African leaders, who
pointed out that Africa was a continent of 54 countries
with 800 million
people, and that Blair was effectively sanctioning the
punishment" of all Africans over what was happening in Zimbabwe.
accused him of perpetuating western stereotypes that Africans
"inherently incompetent and prone to violence and
But the decision by the South African Observer
Mission, Pretoria's official
election adjudicator, to accept Mugabe's
election victory as "legitimate"
will be seen in western capitals as
precisely the kind of ambivalence that
Blair warned would lead to investors
turning their backs on Africa.
Speaking at a UN development
conference in Mexico, George Soros, the
international financier who now
devotes his energies to promoting Third Worl
d development, warned that
Africa's acceptance of Mugabe's victory had dealt
a severe blow to plans to
promote the continent's recovery.
Africa's failure to condemn the
means by which it was achieved "has cast
doubt on the ability of African
states to create suitable conditions for
private investment", he
Lamenting the damage done to Africa's hopes of a
revival by the rogue regime in Harare, Max du Preez,
the prominent South
African commentator, said: "Mugabe has done a lot more
damage than destroy
democracy in his country and cast his people into chaos
"He has cheapened and soiled the African cause at a time
when we have
started dreaming of a rebirth of our continent's freedom,
The damage to Africa's credibility is
now so great that the Financial Mail
has called on Mbeki to withdraw the
Nepad document from the the agenda of
the G8 meeting until African leaders
were prepared to uphold "its stance on
human rights and democracy". - The
Dollar to be devalued by April
THE Zimbabwe dollar is expected to be devalued soon by about
220% to enable
it to trade at 120 against the US dollar, sources in the
ministry of finance
have told Standard Business.
said the devaluation of the unit which has been artificially
pegged at 55 to
the greenback and 78 against the pound sterling, could be
effected as early
as next month.
The current exchange rate has prejudiced local firms,
especially those in
the export business, as they are paid according to the
rate yet they acquire foreign currency at a much higher
rate when importing
"There should be a decision by the
end of next month on the issue of the
local currency. It is not a matter to
be decided by one individual. It will
be put under the consideration of the
whole cabinet. By then the government
should have adopted new economic
policies which will see the country getting
back on its feet again," said the
"The discussions will not focus on the issue of the
currency only, but also
on the current economic situation. It is most likely
that the local currency
will be trading at about 120 to the US
Respected economic consultant, John Robertson, told Standard
although market sentiment pointed to an impending devaluation,
was already long overdue.
Said Robertson: "Although there
is a need for devaluation, the truth is that
it will not solve anything since
Mugabe does not have credible friends who
can help him. The information I
received is that devaluation will take place
in the next five weeks, just
before tobacco auction floors open, since it is
the major foreign currency
earner in the country. If they delay the
devaluation, farmers are likely to
hold on to their crop."
Last week, Sagit Stockbrokers said Zimbabwe's
economic recovery hinged on
the devaluation of the dollar.
Sagit: "One does not need to be a rocket scientist to see that our
overvalued. The government itself realises that there is need to
evidenced by concessions given to certain sectors of the economy.
mining industry is now operating at an effective exchange rate of
the green back, through the Gold Floor Price Support Scheme.
welcome government's efforts to help ailing sectors, we believe
devaluation should be effected right across the economy. We need to
international community to help us with balance of payments
support. Our view
is that devaluation to 250:1 on the official rate will
minimise the parallel
From The Sunday Times (SA), 24
Hunger crisis hits
Zimbabwe urgently needs at least 83-million (about
R900-million) to prevent the starvation of 600 000 citizens, according to the UN
Development Programme. The programme's resident coordinator in Harare, Victor
Angelo, said it was dealing with a "most urgent humanitarian situation". "There
are 600 000 people in dire need. These are the lowest segment and need immediate
assistance. But the amount of aid we need to provide may be much bigger once we
get a better understanding of the dimensions of the crisis." The major causes of
the crisis are a maize shortfall of one million tons as a result of the economic
downturn in Zimbabwe and the worsening drought in many parts of the country. A
series of emergency meetings involving the UNDP, World Food Programme, the UN
Food and Agriculture Organisation, the Zimbabwean government and donors were
held this week to discuss relief measures.
During Deputy President Jacob Zuma's courtesy call on
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe last week, the Zimbabwe government appealed
to South Africa to speed up the transportation of food and other emergency cargo
across the border. Angelo said the cost-estimate included food aid and other
requirements, such as basic medicines and nutritional supplements for pregnant
women and small children. "We need funding to provide aid at least until the end
of April 2003," said Angelo. Sanctions imposed by the EU, the US and Switzerland
did not affect humanitarian assistance, Angelo said, and aid agencies were
hopeful that funding would be forthcoming from traditional donors. The targeted
sanctions are mainly in the form of travel bans and freezing of assets. The head
of the World Food Programme in Zimbabwe, Pierre Saillez, said out of the
60-million his agency required to provide food aid, it had received about
20-million, mainly from the US and Britain.
From The Zimbabwe Standard, 24
Businessman pleads with US for
A dramatic exchange took place this week between a prominent
and well-known Zimbabwe business magnate and a top United States government
official over the businessman's pending inclusion on the list of individuals
targetted for US sanctions, The Standard has established. According to
impeccable sources, the businessman, who had gotten wind of his pending
inclusion on an expanded list of targetted individuals, who already include
President Robert Mugabe and 20 of his top lieutenants, telephoned US assistant
secretary of state for African affairs Walter Kansteiner in Washington,
demanding to know why he was being included on the list when he was "just an
ordinary businessman who has nothing to do with politics."
The businessman is known to have very intricate links with Zanu
PF and with top government officials, including with President Mugabe. He is
said to have spoken at length about his businesses, severely playing down his
association with the ruling party and with the government, and portraying
himself as being associated with a political administration he had little to do
with. The US is now targetting not only Zimbabwe state officials and their
families, but also individuals who are known to have benefitted from a corrupt
administration which has abandoned the rule of law, perpetrated human rights
abuses, and one which stole the recent presidential election. However, the
businessman is said to have been taken aback when Kansteiner is said to have
stopped short of calling him an unashamed liar.
Kansteiner one-by-one went through a number of deals that the
businessman was involved in with or on behalf of Zanu PF and the government,
including arms sales. Said one top source: "He (named businessman) was really
taken apart. He was shocked because he never expected Kansteiner to have that
information about him. He was trying to lobby to get himself off the list, but
he did not realise how serious and thorough the Americans have been about this
whole thing. I have not myself seen the list of individuals to be targetted, but
I understand it is quite frightening." Repeated efforts to speak to the
businessman failed this week.
Last week, The Standard reported that the United States
government was vigorously pursuing links between top Zanu PF officials involved
in illegal diamond trading in the DRC, amid reports that some of the individuals
concerned have been found to have links to the Al Queda and Hizbollah terrorist
organisations. It was reported that a number of Zimbabwean businessmen, and at
least one woman, were under intense investigation, as is one commercial bank
suspected of having been used as a front to finance the diamond trading.
Zimbabwe is under increasing international pressure due to the excesses of
President Mugabe's brutal regime, together with the fraudulent manipulation of
this month's presidential election. Switzerland has become the latest country to
impose sanctions on Zimbabwe's leaders, including a freeze on all financial
assets - a move first reported in The Standard two weeks ago, but which was
denied then by the Swiss Embassy in Harare, only to be confirmed in an official
statement by the Swiss government on Wednesday.
Now that the excitement of the election is over, has the world forgotten
They seem to be falling over themselves to give aid to Zim. That is
right into Mr. Mu Gabe's hands, because then he does not have
of getting the country out of the dwang into which he
As you know, the terrorism has escalated, and the international
to be doing nothing. We are too small to help ourselves
of course, the opposition is unarmed, so just has
to bow down to the horrors
that are being perpetrated.
new election, run and monitored by the international community, and
b] a new
water-tight constitution once a legimate government is in power.
How do we
get this across to the world.
Sorry to sound so defeatist, but that is what
we are all feeling.
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|Mugabe thugs drive opposition supporters from
Militants loyal to President Robert Mugabe have driven hundreds of opposition
supporters from their homes in a rural area of Zimbabwe.
They said the move was part of a campaign of violence launched in retribution
against those who did not support Mugabe in the elections.
Mugabe, 78, was declared the winner in the race, extending his 22-year-long
autocratic rule, despite condemnations by some observer groups who said the
election was engineered to guarantee his victory.
Hundreds of opposition Movement for Democratic Change supporters fled the
Gokwe area in central Zimbabwe after ruling party militants torched their homes
and stole their possessions, said Brighton Chipere, an opposition official.
Four opposition activists have been killed by ruling party militants since
the election ended, according to Frances Lovemore, a doctor who works for the
Amani Trust, a leading human rights group in the country.
Mr Lovemore said torture of opposition supporters has been widespread in the
election's aftermath and that the human rights group has evidence that some
1,250 opposition supporters are being "actively hunted" by militants seeking
There were also reports, cited by opposition officials, that in an area near
the Mozambican border, people accused of voting for opposition leader Morgan
Tsvangirai were ordered to pay compensation to a local pro-Mugabe chief.
The state-controlled Sunday Mail said opposition supporters had attacked
ruling party offices and vendors selling pro-government newspapers in Bulawayo,
Zimbabwe's second largest city.
Story filed: 15:51 Sunday 24th March 2002
Mugabe to reshuffle cabinet
Johannesburg - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is likely
to fire his two
vice-presidents, Simon Muzenda and Joseph Msika, as well as
Simba Makoni when he reshuffles cabinet.
reports that Mugabe is rearing to get rid of moderate elements after
victory in the recent presidential election.
Polical analyst Claude
Kabemba, a senior researcher with the Electoral
Institute of Southern Africa,
said it wouldn't be a bright move it Mugabe
did indeed get rid of bright
young thing Makoni.
"With cabinet's support, Makoni has the potential to
turn the Zimbabwe
economy around," he says. Mokoni is likely to be replaced
by July Moyo, a
party stalwart since independence.
countries put economic pressure on Zimbabwe, Mugabe turns to
the Far East for
support. "So Makoni's western free-market tendencies are
not in favour," says
Dumisani Muleya, political correspondent with the
'The dinosaurs' rubber stamp'
"Moyo, however, is a
party loyalist and will rubber stamp anything thought
up by party dinosaurs
to solve the country's economic woes," says Muleya.
In charge of foreign
affairs, Moyo would be a better ideological match to
countries like China,
North Korea and Thailand. He was at Mugabe's side on a
recent visit to these
countries when the International Monitary Fund cut aid
Other cabinet shuffles will probably include that information
Jonathan Moyo takes over foreign affairs, and foreign minister Stan
becomes the vice-president. Home affairs minister John Nkomo will
become the other vice-president.
Herbert Murerwa, minister of
trade and industry, will probably also get the
boot for being too
Kabemba regards the arrest of and treason charge against
Morgan Tsvangirai on Wednesday as a sign that nothing
remains of whatever
was wrought by President Thabo Mbeki and Nigerian
Zimbabwe's govt announces "economic recovery" plan
March 24 AFP|Published: Monday March 25, 4:41 AM
government has drawn up an ambitious "economic recovery" plan
agricultural reform which it hopes will create around a million
jobs and ease
food shortages, local press reported today.
The new plan, under which
peasants will be compensated for allowing the
government to use their land to
grow corn, is one of the first signs of an
effort by President Robert Mugabe
to achieve more economic self-sufficiency
for the country.
Zimbabwe's longtime ruler, has had little choice but to go it alone
estranging many Western donors and international financial
weeks ago when he returned to power in an election widely
According to the state-run Sunday Mail newspaper, the
government is planning
to irrigate some 100,000 hectares of land to grow some
400,000 tonnes of
corn by August, while at the same time creating around a
An aid fund will also be implemented to provide farmers
with greater access
to irrigation, farming tools, hospitals and schools, said
But for many farmers, the plan has come too late as they say
it is almost
impossible to get corn to grow during Zimbabwe's winter months
from May through to August.
The government intends on
continuing its policy of importing corn to counter
its present problems which
are weighing heavily on the economy.
Since two years now, the former
so-called bread-basket of southern Africa
has experienced 60 to 70 per cent
unemployment, 80 per cent poverty, 120 per
cent inflation and a discredited
Matters have since been aggravated by the president's
The land reforms erupted in violence when
some 10 million hectares of land
belonging to white farmers were divided up
among the black population.
Pro-mugabe Militants On Offensive
Sunday March 24, 2002 3:10
HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) - Militants loyal to President Robert Mugabe
driven hundreds of opposition supporters from their homes in a rural
Zimbabwe after the country's disputed presidential elections,
officials said Sunday.
The officials said the move was part
of a campaign of violence launched by
militants in retribution against those
who did not support Mugabe in the
March 9-11 elections.
was declared the winner in the race, extending his 22-year-long
rule, despite condemnations by some observer groups who said the
engineered to guarantee his victory.
Hundreds of opposition Movement for
Democratic Change supporters fled the
Gokwe area in central Zimbabwe after
ruling party militants torched their
homes and stole their possessions, said
Brighton Chipere, an opposition
Four opposition activists
have been killed by ruling party militants since
the election ended,
according to Frances Lovemore, a doctor who works for
the Amani Trust, a
leading human rights group in the country.
Lovemore said torture of
opposition supporters has been widespread in the
election's aftermath and
that the human rights group has evidence that some
supporters are being ``actively hunted'' by militants
There were also reports, cited by opposition officials, that in
an area near
the Mozambican border, people accused of voting for opposition
Tsvangirai were ordered to pay compensation to a local
White farmers, who along with opposition activists have
been targeted by
ruling party militants over the past two years, said huge
stretches of land
had been destroyed in the last week.
million worth of property in the Marondera-Wedza area, 72 miles
Harare had been looted or destroyed, said Jenni Williams,
spokeswoman for the
Commercial Farmers Union.
``(The) incidents were perpetrated by suspected
Zanu-PF (ruling party)
supporters and settlers who continue to harass and
farmers and farm workers in a retribution campaign of
A white farmer was killed last
week, the tenth since the often-violent farm
occupations began two years ago.
Ruling party militants, with tacit
government backing, have demanded the
farms be redistributed to landless
The country is planning to
import huge amounts of food to stave off
starvation caused by drought and the
agricultural chaos after the occupation
of white-owned farms.
government officials nor the police were available to comment on the
But the state controlled Sunday Mail said that opposition
attacked ruling party offices and vendors selling
in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second largest
The Sunday Mail also reported the government planned to respond to
food shortages and economic turmoil by helping subsidize black
growing corn, the region's staple crop.
Whites who make up
less than one percent of the population, own the majority
of the country's
farmland, but despite Mugabe's promises to redistribute the
land to the poor,
many of the seized farms have been given to government
Mugabe supporters want to send Cecil John Rhodes' remains back to
Some Zimbabweans are threatening to dig up the remains of one the
figures of British colonialism in Africa.
War veterans and locals
in the Matopos national park, where Cecil John
Rhodes is buried, say he took
the country from them.
They say they'll "take the law into their own
hands" if his remains and
memorial aren't removed and sent back to
Andrew Ndlovu, secretary of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War
said: "Cecil Rhodes is the hero of the British. He is the one who
land and left it in the hands of whites and is the reason why
been suspended from the commonwealth for trying to address a
problem that he
"We cannot find peace when we are keeping
a white demon in our midst which
is at the very core of our problems. His
grave should be returned to the
British or we will destroy it."
Shamuyarira, of President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party, said: "We
to free ourselves from all forms of colonialism and it would be a
to have Rhodes statue returned to Britain."
The Sunday Times says the
grave is guarded by police and protected as a
British adventurer made his fortune in diamond mining and became
minister of the British Cape Colony. He also gave his name to Rhodesia,
Zimbabwe was known until 22 years ago.
However he's also known been
linked to bribery and brutality and has been
accused of displacing locals
when he brought land.
Sunday, 24 March, 2002, 18:58 GMT
Tutu condemns SA stance on
Tutu said Zimbabwe's elections were
South African Nobel peace laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu
has criticised his country's decision to recognise the result of Zimbabwe's
recent controversial presidential elections.
Archbishop Tutu said he was "deeply, deeply, deeply distressed and deeply
disappointed" after South Africa declared the elections to have been free and
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe was returned to power
in the polls, which foreign and independent observer missions said were marred
by violence and intimidation.
When democracy is not being upheld, we ought, for our own
sakes, to say it is not so
Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Despite sanctioning the outcome, South Africa backed a Commonwealth decision
to suspend Zimbabwe from the organisation for a year.
Speaking on South African public television, the archbishop said: "I think we
do ourselves a very bad turn to claim that we hold to the ideals of democracy,
freedom... freedom of speech and then to endorse, as seems to have been done,
something that was so clearly flawed."
"When democracy is not being upheld, we ought, for our own sakes, to say it
is not so," said Archbishop Tutu.
He said he supported the decision to impose sanctions against Zimbabwe "with
a very heavy heart, hoping that President Mugabe and his government elected in a
flawed election will draw back from the edge of the precipice".
The Commonwealth observer group, along with European and local missions in
Zimbabwe, condemned the election
Zimbabwe has been suspended from the
However, the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) observer team said that "in
general the elections were transparent, credible, free and fair".
Meanwhile, opposition officials in Zimbabwe said on Sunday that hundreds of
their supporters have been forced out of their homes in the Gokwe region by Mr
More than 100 people have been killed in political violence blamed on Mr
Mugabe's Zanu-PF party in the past two years, including 10 white farmers
murdered when their farms were taken over by militias.
Tutu "deeply distressed" about S African stance on
JOHANNESBURG, March 24 AFP|Published: Sunday March 24, 11:38
Former archbishop Desmond Tutu today said he was deeply distressed about
South Africa's reaction to the hotly disputed elections in Zimbabwe earlier this
"I am deeply, deeply, deeply distressed and deeply disappointed that our
country could be among those who say the election was legitimate or free and
fair when we are claiming to be adherents of democracy," he told public
broadcaster SABC's Newsmaker program.
"Where democracy is not being upheld, we ought for our own sakes to say it is
not so," the former Anglican archbishop of Cape Town and chairman of the South
Africa's now defunct Truth and Reconciliation Commission said.
The World Council of Churches, the All Africa Conference of Churches, the
Commonwealth and most other observer groups had said the election was not free
and fair, Tutu said.
South Africa's own Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) head, Brigalia Bam,
was reported as saying she was unhappy with the poll, he added.
"We do ourselves a very bad turn to claim that we hold to the ideals of
democracy, freedom, the freedom of movement and the freedom of speech, and to
endorse, as seems to have been done,something that was deeply flawed," he
Tutu said he used to have very high regard for President Robert Mugabe.
"What he has been doing in recent times, is in my view totally
Asked whether he supported the Commonwealth's suspension of Zimbabwe, Tutu
said: "I do that with a very heavy heart, hoping that President Mugabe and his
government elected in a flawed election will draw back from the edge of the
On Tuesday Mbeki joined Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo and Australian
Prime Minister John Howard in suspending Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth for a
year, after Commonwealth observers said the election held on March 9-11 was
However South Africa's own observers described the vote as legitimate, and
both the ruling African National Congress and the South African National
Assembly said it represented the will of the people.