Mugabe rattled but not on the run just
yet Dumisani Muleya
THE two-day stayaway last week paralysed
business and brought the country to a near standstill, but it failed to shake
the foundations of President Robert Mugabe's entrenched rule.
say the Movement for Democratic Change now needs to sharpen its methods of
resistance to weaken, with a view to eventually cracking, the foundations of
Mugabe's monolithic political edifice.
University of Zimbabwe analyst
Masipula Sithole said the MDC should heighten pressure on government through
increased resistance to repression.
"The stayaway revealed something
about the distribution of political power in Zimbabwe," Sithole said. "It
showed we have a condominium leadership in this country: one that commands
the forces of coercion and the other that commands the moral authority of the
Sithole said the MDC needs to bolster its campaign against
Mugabe's rule through mass action.
Analysts say resistance to
authoritarianism is usually effective when targeted against the dictator's
Achilles' heel than his strong points.
They suggest the MDC should avoid
engaging Zanu PF on its own terms and turf such as in violent combat because
it has greater capacity in that.
They say the MDC should "shape the
battlefield" by taking the struggle to Zanu PF at its own time and place.
Zanu PF spokesman Nathan Shamuyarira put it aptly a few years ago when he
warned the MDC that: "Zanu PF has a long and successful history of
Sithole said the best option for the MDC was to mount South
African anti-apartheid-style mass action to bring pressure to bear on the
incumbent regime. But he warned the MDC has to be prepared to pay a heavy
political price for it.
"Their strategy should now grow from stayaways
to demonstrations and marches to symbols of power such as parliament, State
House and Munhumutapa Building (the president's office)," Sithole
"But the opposition should be prepared to pay a heavy political
price. It's not going to be a picnic."
Cracks only began to appear in
the apartheid wall towards the end of the 1970s when mass action, which was
not a spontaneous expression of popular anger but part of a sustained,
well-organised campaign to undermine the political and socio-economic order
to render the country ungovernable, intensified.
Analysts say the MDC
leadership needs to realise that international measures alone would not work
without sufficient internal pressure. They say the opposition leadership has
to start managing events instead of being managed by them.
also say the MDC should stop believing that "the best way to win a struggle
is to triumph without fighting".
South Africa's Institute of Security
Studies analyst, Richard Cornwell, said the MDC has to plan discreetly and
time their moves well. He also said they have to realise that anti-apartheid
dynamics were different from those in Zimbabwe today.
was fairly effective in mobilising internal pressure and drawing
international attention," he said. "A change of strategy is necessary but
mass action on the South African scale might trigger a violent backlash and a
lethal reaction by Zimbabwean state security forces."
anti-apartheid campaigns worked because they had internal, regional and
international support. The Zimbabwean scenario is different, he said, because
there is no similar backing for the opposition, especially from the
"The region has not supported the democratic movement in Zimbabwe
for reasons which elude me," he said. "And while the international
community's measures have so far been of great nuisance value, they have not
But Cornwell admitted keeping Zimbabwe in the
international spotlight has helped. He said the MDC currently needs to lie
low during the Iraq war because mass action at this time could be a mistake
as government's "lethal reaction" would certainly go unnoticed.
week the MDC gave government a 15-point March 31 ultimatum demanding
an immediate restoration of the rule of law and a sudden halt of repression
or face mass action.
But Mugabe on Friday reacted with indignation to
this. He warned law enforcement agents would crush "dangerous
In remarks reminiscent of his warning before he
unleashed the Gukurahundi campaign in Matabeleland in the early '80s where
over 20 000 civilians were massacred, Mugabe claimed the MDC was stuck in a
quagmire from which it could not climb, except weakened.
"Let the MDC
and its leaders be warned that those who play with fire will not only be
burnt but consumed by that fire," he said.
author, Gene Sharp, in his book From Dictatorship to Democracy, offers
salutary lessons on how to deal with tyrants.
"When one wants to bring
down a dictatorship most effectively and with the least cost then one has
four immediate tasks," Sharp writes. "One must strengthen the oppressed
population themselves in their determination, self-confidence, and resistance
skills; one must strengthen the independent social groups and institutions of
the oppressed people; one must create a powerful internal resistance force;
and one must develop a wise grand strategic plan for liberation and implement
Sharp says a democratic struggle provides time for
self-reliance and showing internal public power.
As Charles Stewart
Parnell exclaimed during the Irish rent-strike campaign in 1879/80,
organissed resistance is key in dismantling absolute rule.
"It is no use
relying on the government. You must only rely upon your own determination,"
he said. "Help yourselves by standing together . . . strengthen those amongst
yourselves who are weak, band yourselves together, organise yourselves . . .
and you must win."
Sharp says dictatorships usually crumble when faced
with a strong self-reliant force, given wise strategy, disciplined and
courageous action, and genuine strength.
"Minimally, however, the
above requirements must be fulfilled," he writes.
dictatorships ultimately depends on the people's ability to liberate
Sharp indicates despots need public assistance to rule,
without which they cannot secure and maintain political power. Once popular
support is no longer guaranteed, dictators become vulnerable.
cooperation, obedience, and support will increase the availability of the
needed sources of power and, consequently expand the power capacity of any
government," he says.
"On the other hand, withdrawal of popular and
institutional cooperation with aggressors and dictators diminishes, and may
sever the availability of the sources of power on which all rulers depend.
Without availability of those sources, the rulers' power weakens and finally
Political scientist Karl W Deutsch wrote in 1953 that even
totalitarian dictatorships depend on popular support for long
"Totalitarian power is strong only if it does not have to be used
too often. If totalitarian power must be used at all times against the
entire population, it is unlikely to remain powerful for long," he
THE success of last week's stayaway can be measured by
the savagery of the government's response. The crackdown under way is not the
behaviour of a regime comfortably ensconced in the affections of its
We have witnessed in the past 10 days unprecedented violence by
the state, including police, army and militias, against the people they are
charged to protect. Farm workers, MPs, lawyers, and ordinary MDC supporters
have been targeted for arrest and beatings. Women and children have not been
spared. The MDC's provincial leadership is under siege.
this campaign of retribution - arguably inciting it - is none other than the
head of state. President Mugabe appears to have taken last week's mass action
as a personal affront and has urged his security chiefs to arrest
"mischief-makers". Using his customary incendiary language, Mugabe warned
that those who "play with fire will not only be burnt but consumed".
was remarkable about the stayaway, the product of deep anger with Mugabe's
damaging economic policies that have spawned 220% inflation,
70% unemployment, and shortages of everything except corruption, was how
little violence there actually was.
Cars were stoned, a bus was burnt
and there have been some questionable police reports about explosives, but
generally the stayaway was remarkable for its restraint.
prevent Mugabe at Heroes Acre from accusing the MDC of violence and
threatening the full force of the law. Claiming he could be a "black Hitler
tenfold", he has certainly provided evidence of his regime's
While the MDC may indeed have used coercive tactics
in some instances, it hardly needed to use force to persuade the residents of
Zimbabwe's cities of the their plight - or where it originates. Furthermore,
the growing use of violence by the state and its supporters has been
well-documented over the past few years. Invariably violence has been
unleashed in response to an electoral threat to Zanu PF and it has been
systematically-orchestrated and not some random party-political excess. In
over 90% of cases, MDC supporters have been on the receiving end. Where there
have been deaths those responsible have rarely been brought to
In the circumstances, attempts by Mugabe and his increasingly
complicit police chiefs to claim that it is the opposition which is promoting
violence can be dismissed as nothing more than a fig-leaf justification for
arbitrary arrests, brutality and political subjugation.
and its agencies are now in open and contemptuous breach of the law in their
handling of the current crackdown. And it is no longer hidden.
we welcome expressions of concern on Wednesday by President Thabo Mbeki and
his foreign minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma about state-sponsored human
rights violations in Zimbabwe, that concern is vitiated by Dlamini-Zuma's
qualification that Pretoria was not aware of any "systematic violation" of
It is difficult to know what it is that neutralises her
every statement on Zimbabwe. What we are experiencing is self-evidently
systematic and we have no doubt that High Commissioner Jeremiah Ndou can see
what everybody else can. These are not isolated or spontaneous attacks on MPs
and MDC officials. Meanwhile, attempts by South African diplomats such as
Lindiwe Mabuza to shield the Mugabe regime from the consequences of its
lawlessness at a time when officially-sponsored violence is escalating are
Given Zanu PF's attempts to manipulate the outcome of
this weekend's Harare by-elections by packing the voters' roll with
supporters who live outside the constituencies' delimited boundaries,
unleashing militia supporters and creating a reign of terror, popular anger
is likely to mount. It must be clear to all that the ruling party is
incapable of winning an election without the help of the Registrar-General's
office, the military, militias and ZBC. Perhaps the most serious outcome of
all this is that the young people Mugabe referred to so resentfully at Heroes
Acre are beginning to feel that voting is a futile exercise. That may be the
intention. But the consequences of their alienation from the electoral
process is something Zanu PF has not fully appreciated.
state's response to this, it is unlikely to succeed in crushing a sullen and
restive nation. Any thought that it could get away with thuggery unnoticed
because of the war in Iraq will have been disabused by this week's US State
Department statement demanding that "the Zimbabwe government immediately
cease its campaign of violent repression" and bring to justice perpetrators
of human rights abuses.
This is pertinent. Political criminals are now in
charge of an increasingly criminal state. As last week's events in Glen View
show, the police are unable or unwilling to defend citizens from rogue
politicians boasting of their power and wealth.
Those within the
government and ruling party who do not approve of this lawlessness and
violence had better say so now lest they be forever tarnished by their
association with a regime claiming Hitlerian
Economy cannot take much
more of this LAST week's politically-motivated work stoppages and
stayaways may have been well-intentioned, but they achieved nothing positive
and yielded massively negative economic results. The declared objective of
the mass action called for by the political opposition was to demonstrate
anger against government' s undemocratic, oppressive and economically
damaging policies and actions. In order to voice that challenge, the Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC) called for what was tantamount to a complete
cessation of all economic activity for two days, concurrently with near total
disruption of all normal life. This was to be achieved by all workers staying
away from their places of employment, thereby bringing all Zimbabwe to a
However, the intended message did not materialise and, if
anything, the very call for the mass action resolved government to be even
more obdurate and dogmatic in its continuing pursuit to entrench its
dictatorial authority and control for all time, and to stamp out all
That resolve was undoubtedly reinforced by the insignificant
extent to which, at the commencement of the proposed stayaway, the workers of
Zimbabwe heeded the call. In the early hours of the first day of the
stayaway, the main thoroughfares into the commercial and industrial areas of
the cities were reportedly as thronged as is normally the case with workers
wending their way to their places of employment, on foot, on bicycles and
in hundreds of commuter omnibuses.
That they did so was not
necessarily indicative of a lack of support for the MDC, or for the
principles upon which the call for the mass action was founded. And that they
did so was not necessarily indicative of support for the ruling party. All
indications are that most of those who ignored the call to stay away from
work did so entirely on economic grounds, and were it not for those grounds
many would not have gone to work.
This was reported widely to employers
by workers' committees. The hard facts were that the economy has been so
abysmally mismanaged by government that it is in a very distressed state.
That made it near impossible for most employers to pay wages for services not
received. When businesses are struggling for survival, every cent of
expenditure has to be productively spent, contributing to the continuing
operations of the businesses.
But workers could not afford to forfeit two
days's pay. With inflation having been soaring upwards unceasingly for over
five years to the hyperinflationary levels of 220% per annum and above, and
salaries and wages being unable to keep pace with the endless rise in cost of
living, almost all workers are battling to make ends meet. They are
struggling to meet the costs of the bare essentials of life and necessities
of themselves, their families and ever greater numbers of indigent
Losing two days' pay is nothing short of catastrophic for
most. So, whether or not they agreed with the reasons for the MDC call for
mass action (and undoubtedly the numbers who were in support were very great,
for it is no secret that hundreds and thousands are dissatisfied in the
extreme with Zimbabwe's prevailing circumstances, and hold government
accountable), nevertheless, poverty caused Zimbabwe's labour forces to
contain their anger and to proceed to work.
As the first day of the
intended stayaway progressed, first thousands, then tens of thousands, and
later even more, subordinated their fears of loss of income and threats and
intimidation came to the fore. Telephone calls to businesses came fast and
furious, threatening to close the businesses forcibly if they did not halt
Worker's committee members were contacted and
subjected to menacing demands that they ensured that all stopped work. Over
the last 30 years or more, Zimbabweans have frequently demonstrated how
vulnerable they were, and are, to intimidation.
The threats and the
intimidatory actions of last week's mass action were no exception. One after
another of enterprises throughout commerce and industry felt that they had no
alternative but to shut down their operations for that and the following day,
and soon the streets were thronging with workers making their way home. The
economy came to a near standstill.
Of course, it was inevitable that
government propaganda and brainwashing machinery would, in the initial phases
of the intended stayaway, claim that lack of worker support for the proposed
mass action demonstrated the absence of any substantive support for the MDC,
and the magnitude of the support for Zanu PF. The Minister of Fiction, Fable
and Myth and his lackeys unhesitatingly exploited the opportunity.
MDC had played right into the hands of the ruling party. Then the outburst of
intimidation turned the failed action into an apparent success. Government
rapidly accused the MDC of organising the intimidation, whilst many in MDC
denied that and said that the intimidators were Zanu PF youths bent upon
discrediting the MDC.
Whichever may have been the case, the intimidation
was unlawful, but the alleged guardians of law and order did virtually
nothing to contain it, and several outbreaks of violence and destruction of
The direct economic consequences of the stayaway will
have been relatively minimal. Few factories in Zimbabwe are currently
operating at capacity levels, and therefore the lost production can soon be
recovered. Similarly, most of the sales lost by commercial enterprise would
have materialised after the conclusion of the stayaway, as people would then
buy that which they need (with the exception of those who did forfeit wages
through the stayaway and therefore have had to cut back their spending, even
on necessities, to their prejudice and to that of their suppliers
However, the indirect repercussions of the stayaway upon the
economy are very great indeed. First of all, there is the cost of the damage
to property in the outbursts of violence in Harare, including the destruction
of a bus and several motor vehicles.
That cost will have impacted upon
the owners of the property, upon their insurers, and upon Zimbabwe's already
insignificant foreign exchange resources, for replacement of the destroyed
property will require foreign currency.
Secondly, the outbreaks of
violence resulting from the stayaway and the concomitant intimidation will
undoubtedly serve to discourage some potential tourists from visiting
Zimbabwe. The tourism industry has worked very energetically to rebuild
international support, severely damaged by Zimbabwe 's most negative image
over the last five years. Its energetic efforts have yielded positive
results, with a progressive increase in regional and international visitors
over the past 12 to 18 months. But the improved image, achieved at very great
cost and with considerable effort is, as yet, still very fragile and easily
As was experienced in 1991 during the Gulf War, there will
undoubtedly be a sharp decline globally in international tourism during the
current Iraq war which will have adverse impacts upon numbers of tourists to
Zimbabwe. Last week's outbreaks of violence will compound the reticence of
many to travel to Zimbabwe in the foreseeable future, thereby curbing and
delaying the recovery of the tourist industry.
In addition, last
week's events are another blow to business confidence, which is a
prerequisite to economic growth, and another deterrent to international
investment and aid to Zimbabwe. Thus, the stayaway not only yielded no
political or sociological gains, but was highly counterproductive. It caused
hardship for many, and it further eroded a shrinking economy and further
It cannot be gainsaid that abuses of the political system,
destruction of democracy, disregard for the fundamentals of law and order,
and the other characteristics of the Zimbabwean political environment must be
contested. But it is pointless to do so in ways that are counterproductive,
destructive and harmful to the majority of the population. In particular, the
economy cannot withstand many more blows.
'All judges know Jocelyn
Chiwenga' DAVID Blair, previously based in Zimbabwe but then, after
his eviction from here, posted to Pakistan from where he covers events in
Iraq, wrote an enlightening account of Saddam Hussein's background in the
Telegraph last week.
He explained how Saddam was the product of a
violent upbringing in an obscure corner of poor, lawless rural Iraq.
Influenced by a radical uncle, he first came to prominence as a hit man for
the Ba'athist party. But his first assignment didn't turn out so well. Told
to assassinate the country's ruler, General Qassem, he planned to drive a car
into the path of the general's motorcade and open fire. But one of his three
collaborators, the would-be driver, forgot the keys to the car. So they
blazed away at the presidential motorcade from the roadside, wounding Qassem,
killing his driver and shooting each other in the process. Indeed, Saddam may
well have killed one of his fellow assassins, according to some accounts. But
instead of punishing him the Ba'athist party promoted him.
to Syria and returned to play an instrumental role in the coup of 1968 in
which the Ba'athists sized power. He became vice-president. Eleven years
later he consolidated his position by announcing a wholly fictitious Syrian
plot and having 66 colleagues led out and shot.
Inspired by stories of
Nebuchadnezzar, he launched a war against the ancient Persian foe in 1980.
While steeped in Arab folklore he proved a less able general. He had made
himself a field marshal after assuming the presidency despite having failed
the entrance exam to the Baghdad military academy in 1956. Eight years and a
million lives later, Saddam's campaign spluttered to a halt despite Western
Nevertheless he declared victory over the Iranians and built a
monument to commemorate what most Iraqis regarded as a monumental disaster.
He adopted a similar approach to Kuwait in 1990. Despite numerous
opportunities for an honourable retreat brokered by Arab allies, he chose to
stand firm, telling his generals: "I see the gates of Jerusalem opening
before me." Three days later the Allied forces began the destruction of his
Obdurate, entirely delusional, wedded to absolute power for 24
years, and his country's economy a wreck, what parallels spring to
The Daily News this week carried lawyer Gugulethu Moyo's account of
her treatment at the Glen View police station where she was assaulted by
Jocelyn Chiwenga and then incarcerated on her orders. The London Observer
also carried an interview with her in which she described her ordeal (See
For us, the most revealing of the remarks attributed to the
Heritage harridan were these: "I will beat you and nothing will happen. You
can go to court, all the judges know Jocelyn Chiwenga, wife of the (army)
commander. The judges will do nothing. I can even kill you, I have a
Ramming her fist into Moyo, she continued: "I have everything. I am
filthy rich, you hear me? I have farms, many businesses and more than 10
kombis that operate in Glen View. No one can touch me. I am the general's
wife.If you call your people I will call helicopters."
and soldiers stood by and watched the beating and the threats.
hope the reports of Moyo's ordeal are circulated as widely as possible in the
Commonwealth where Thabo Mbeki and Olusegun Obasanjo are attempting to
persuade fellow club leaders that the rule of law has been restored
in Zimbabwe. Nothing better illustrates the depths to which this regime
has sunk: the wife of the army commander and her companion beating a
lawyer carrying out her professional duties while at the same time giving
the police instructions to detain her - which they did. That says it
Last week we drew attention to the Catholic church's collaboration
with Zanu PF newspapers in regard to advertisements for church-related posts.
This week we were shocked to see in the Sunday Mail an advertisement in the
form of a cartoon, that looked as if it had been drawn by a six-year-old,
making a number of scurrilous claims.
Here is one example: "Feminist
organisations are often given money by racist donor organisations from abroad
to convince people in Zimbabwe to have abortions. Under the disguise of
reproductive health, these racist organisations want there to be fewer people
in Africa as they are scared if black people increase in number then it will
be harder for the Western nations to exploit Africa's resources."
advertisement, which is "inserted as a community service" by the Guadaloupe
Association of Zimbabwe, says post-abortion syndrome can lead to suicidal or
homicidal tendencies, promiscuity, an inability to enjoy functions that
include children such as christenings, birthdays or Christmas, and
"Once a killer begins killing, they may get a taste for it,"
the ad warns. "Do not be fooled by those who want you to kill your
The Guadaloupe Association gives its address as Africa Synod
House, Fourth St, Harare. Africa Synod House is also the address of the
Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference.
While it is one thing for the
Catholic church to market dishonest and simplistic propaganda of this sort,
we would expect something more discerning from an academic like Vimbai
Chivaura. Alas, in a tirade against "Europeans", the best he could do was
this: "Let's turn to religion. They killed Christ and say the whole world,
including Africans, killed him too. Jesus was black. He was our kin and we
did not kill him. They did. They must accept responsibility and take full
blame for lynching our kith and kin. But they never stop killing.No race on
earth can surpass whites in the science of killing."
This comes from a
university lecturer with some claim to intelligence! But perhaps we should
not expect too much of him. Chivaura proceeds to claim that "a governor of
Rhodesia in the '50s, Lord Malvern, once said 'the African is my brother, I
am the elder brother. He is the horse, I am the rider'."
Lord Malvern did say something like that. But what makes you think he was "a
governor of Rhodesia"? How far did your education go at Fletcher? And why did
you change your name from "European" Chivaura which is what you were known as
at school, so we are told, to Vimbai Gukwe? Can we have an explanation
We were amused by a headline that suggested South Africa might
leave the Commonwealth. Does anybody recall the threats to do the same thing
by African states over Rhodesia? Did any of them go? African leaders
cannot resist the opportunity to strut upon the international stage. Why do
you think Robert Mugabe is so keen for Zimbabwe's suspension to be
But the article in the Sunday Mirror did contain a useful quote
from the Commonwealth Secretariat's spokesman Joel Kibazo who said in
response to claims of African solidarity: "Even in Africa there were
divergent views and it would be naïve to say individual member states'
opinions were shaped by where they are located
Indeed, it might be useful to do as the South Africans
suggest and find out which way member states inclined, because we can be sure
that with reference to Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, the Caribbean and Asia,
opinions were not as favourable to Zimbabwe as South Africa's High
Commissioner to London assumes. A reality check might be useful for those in
Harare and Pretoria anxious to play the solidarity card!
Sunday Mirror raised the obvious point: Why did Mbeki get his
High Commissioner to London to cast aspersions on the McKinnon report instead
of commenting himself? Could it be because he accepts that the majority
view was for the suspension to continue? But in order to propitiate Mugabe,
Mbeki empowers his officials to denounce McKinnon. As Peter Fabricius pointed
out in the Star this week, this is clumsy and dishonest diplomacy which does
not reflect well on South Africa.
At least we have Mbeki's statement
this week that there is agreement with the Zimbabwe government that "they
should attend to the pieces of legislation that are said to offend human
rights, the press".
In other words, Posa and Aippa. But has our
government admitted to giving an assurance to Mbeki that it would amend that
legislation? Instead of pontificating on how the media should cover the war
against Iraq - which is none of his business - Jonathan Moyo should tell the
public what assurances the government has given to President Mbeki on the
amendment of security and media laws. Why is the garrulous minister silent on
issues that do concern him? He was suggesting a few weeks ago that there had
been no pressure at all on Harare to amend Aippa, just a slight change in
temperature. He didn't mention Posa.
Why should Zimbabweans learn of
the government's legislative agenda from neighbouring heads of state? While
we are at it, let's also welcome Mbeki's statement, made again this week,
that land reform in Zimbabwe "was not handled in a way that we thought was
The government media has been claiming support from South Africa
on the land issue. Should we now add Mbeki's comments to those of James
Morris, the Japanese ambassador and the French ambassador as evidence of
falsification of their actual positions on support for Zimbabwe? Perhaps the
Information department could comment.
Undoubtedly the most shocking
remarks of recent weeks come from ICC boss Malcolm Speed. He wrote to ZRP
Senior Assistant Commissioner Fortune Zengeni congratulating "you and your
officers for providing a high level of security for all of the matches". The
matches had passed off without any threat to the safety and security of the
players, he said.
And what about the safety and security of others like
those protesting outside the Bulawayo grounds? What about those reportedly
assaulted at a police post inside the grounds, one of whom was an official of
the ICC? He had not been protesting but had gone to the police post to
enquire after a member of the Queen's Club who had been arrested for asking
someone who was not a member to leave the members' enclosure. He and two
others were viciously assaulted by police officers, they claimed at their
What is Speed's response to that? How much brutality
is he prepared to overlook?
With the demise of Swithun Mombeshora who
was chairman of the Zimbabwe Red Cross the hunt is on for a successor. Given
the Red Cross's record of inappropriate selections to head the organisation,
can we anticipate the nomination of Joseph Chinotimba; or Jocelyn
Finally, what hoax headline can we expect from the Herald on
April 1? Look out for such pranks as "Zanu PF wins
Zimbabwe Army leads 'brutal
From Jan Raath in
UNITS of Zimbabwe's Army are carrying out the most brutal campaign yet
against opposition activists as President Mugabe fights to stall looming mass
A report by an alliance of civic groups due to be released today describes a
comprehensive operation in which squads of mostly uniformed soldiers are
deployed in urban townships to drag members of the Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) from their homes and subject them to
The 250 victims treated in emergency wards in Harare in the four days that
followed the MDC's successful protests last week was "far greater than any
number previously seen in that period", the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition
"This is the first time in three years (since the start of Mr Mugabe's
continuing campaign of repression) that the military have constituted the
highest percentage of perpetrators," it
"There has been no slowdown in the brutalisation," Paul Themba Nyathi, the
MDC spokesman, said yesterday. "It is
The party has given Mr Mugabe a 15-point ultimatum to restore the country to
the rule of law by Monday or face further "popular mass action to regain the
people's freedoms and
"I have never seen such consistently bad injuries," said a doctor in a city
hospital, who asked not to be named. About a third of the victims were women.
"They get beaten harder," he said.
March 27 (Reuters) - Ministers from the Southern Africa Development Community
(SADC) will meet in Harare next week to try to help Zimbabwe resolve a biting
economic and political crisis, Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano said on
Chissano told Reuters the Zimbabwe crisis continued to have an
adverse effect on southern Africa and its relations with Western donors, and
the 14-member SADC was keen to resolve the problem as soon as
He said foreign, defence and possibly interior ministers from
SADCÂ´s task force on Zimbabwe would hold meetings with the government, the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and representatives of civil
"We are in contact within SADC on Zimbabwe. There is contact at
a ministerial level and among heads of state. Ministers will visit next
week so they can assess the situation and agree how to move forward,"
"The idea is to get in contact with all the local and
external players and try to fix the very vexing problems affecting Zimbabwe,"
A senior Chissano aide said the idea was to try to assess
ZimbabweÂ´s current situation and arrange a meeting between Zimbabwean and
British officials, possibly mediated by the leaders of Portugal, Germany and
But he said the Iraq war had soured relations between France and
Britain and it was not known whether Paris would be willing to intervene with
London on behalf of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. Britain criticised
France for inviting Mugabe to a Franco-African summit last month.
Zimbabwe crisis threatens the annual SADC-European Union summit, due to be
held in Portugal in April. SADC leaders say they will not attend if Zimbabwe
is excluded but the EU insists it will not invite Mugabe.
Union, the United States and Australia have slapped "smart" travel sanctions
on Mugabe and top members of his administration in protest against Mugabe's
controversial victory in 2002 presidential elections and his redistribution
of white-owned farms to landless blacks.
Speaking about another African
trouble spot -- Burundi -- Chissano said his country would contribute only a
single company of soldiers to a peacekeeping mission there.
African President Thabo Mbeki said earlier this week that deployment by South
African, Mozambican and Ethiopian trooops in the African peacekeeping force
would start next week.
But Chissano said logistics problems had not yet
been sorted out and it was still uncertain whether any peacekeepers would be
deployed before all belligerents signed a truce. One rebel group has so far
refused to sign a ceasefire.
"We will send a small force, an enlarged
company," he said, indicating a force of just over 100
Mugabe gave white farms to 'violent'
associates By Basildon Peta Southern Africa Correspondent 28
An inquiry into President Robert Mugabe's land reforms in
Zimbabwe has uncovered massive corruption in the allocation of farms seized
from white farmers, ostensibly for the resettlement of landless black
The black farmers, originally resettled on the farms, are being
evicted to pave the way for Mr Mugabe's cronies, many of whom own up to five
In Zimbabwe's tobacco-producing Mashonaland province, about 90
formerly productive white farms are lying idle because Mr Mugabe's associates
are arguing about how to carve up the spoils.
Mr Mugabe ordered the
land audit report - a full copy of which was obtained exclusively by The
Independent - but is unlikely to act on it, according to an official. The
report details how Abednico Ncube, the Deputy Foreign Minister and one of Mr
Mugabe's chief associates,ordered officials responsible for confiscating land
in his province to designate two white-owned hotels in the area for seizure.
This was "a violation of the National Land Policy and the Land Acquisition
Act", the report said.
The report also found that Chris Pasipamire, a
Mugabe supporter and senior official of an association representing Mr
Mugabe's war veterans, had "violently" evicted 36 peasants resettled on a
Sithembiso Nyoni, a junior minister, had seized a farm with
an established infrastructure to produce poultry, livestock and citrus. The
farm had been earmarked to become an agricultural skills training centre for
"It is disturbing to note that violence is the
order of the day on this farm with hired thugs driven in ... by the honorable
minister," the report said. Edward Chindori-Chininga a minister and Mugabe
loyalist, removed peasants and expropriated a 500ha farm.
Kasukuwere, the deputy head of Mr Mugabe's violent youth wing, owns three
farms. He had also evicted peasants who had been resettled, according to the
Perence Shiri, commander of the air force, was allocated a farm
at the expense of 96 families who were evicted. Twenty-one peasant families
have been evicted to make way forSydney Sekeramayi, the Defence
Kembo Mohadi, the Home Affairs Minister, Ignatius Chombo, the
Local Government Minister, Josiah Hungwe, a minister for Masvingo province,
Elliot Manyika, a minister in the department of employment and his deputy
Shuvai Mahofa, Jonathan Moyo, the Information Minister and many more friends
of Mr Mugabe are owners of anything between two to five farms each. Mr
Mugabe's sister, Sabina, has three.
The inquiry asked Mr Mugabe to
take action but middle-ranking officials in the Ministry of Agriculture said
Mr Mugabe had done nothing. The report was handed to him about two months
"If he had to act, he will probably have to fire his entire cabinet
and he would be left with no cronies to boot-lick him. It's unlikely he will
do that," said one official. "There are many of his close associates
involved in this mass-scale looting who are not even mentioned in the
This morning we let a uniformed policeman and
2 plainclothes men into our yard because they had had info that our gardener
and another employee were suspected of dealing in dagga. They went to search
their quarters, and then came to Jo and me and said that they had found the
dope and wanted to question them in our lounge. I refused, and one of the
plainclothes guys started pushing his way through the front door. I, of
course resisted and we got involved in a shoving match at the front door. He
then started shouting at me saying that I was getting in the way of the
police doing their duty, and I was denying it saying do your interrogation
outside. He then said he would shoot me and pulled out a pistol from his
waistband and shouted "this is an armed robbery, get on the floor, lie down",
whereupon the uniformed policeman lifted up his trouser leg and pulled out
another pistol, followed by the other plainclothes man, and we knew there was
a bit of--- in the land.
They trussed up Jo and I, the maid and
another African visitor very well, and we were all on the lounge floor, with
pistols at our head, with these guys demanding to know where the money was. I
said to them that they should untie me and then I could show them. The threat
of the pistol being shoved up my nose soon shut me up, and they took a key
and ransacked a cupboard where there was a bit of money, took all Jo's
jewellery, cameras, radio, and some other stuff from the bedroom. Meanwhile
Anne Freshman came to visit in the middle of the holdup and was immediately
trussed up with the rest of us. One guy stayed with us whilst the others were
ransacking the place, and he systematically pulled off any jewellery, watches
and cellphones that he could find, all the time saying he was going to
shoot us. expletive!!! then suddenly the others came running out saying, "go
go go" and they were gone. Jo managed to pull her hands out of her bonds,
got a knife and we were free and
Perhaps the CFU will establish how many actual
"members" they have, and how many of them actually support their policy of
Perhaps, for sake of openness these results could be
letters published on the open Letter Forum are the views and opinions of the
submitters, and do not represent the official viewpoint of Justice for
for Agriculture mailing list To subscribe/unsubscribe: Please write to
JAG SECURITY REPORT: March 27,
the 26th March, 2003, during the afternoon, Army and Police raided
the Chimanimani Farm of Roy Bennett MP. Using DDF (Dist. Dev. Fund)
lorries and tractors, trailers and lorries commandeered from Bennett's
farmyard, they evicted all the employees - 350 families which included men,
women and children. They were then transported to the Chimanimani
village and unceremoniously dumped in the pouring rain with no access to
shelter, food or blankets. Bennett's farm office and home were raided
and all his papers strewn all over the yard.
This morning Thursday
27th March, 2003 Shane and Birgot Kidd, together with 4 MDC members were on
their way from Chimanimani to court in Chipinge, when their vehicle was
pulled over by the notorious Joseph Mwale (CIO). Mr Kidd got out of his
car to see why they had pulled him over. He was then told by Mwale to
walk back to his car and whilst doing so was beaten by Mwale, Sylvester
Mashayamombe and Brighton. Birgot was pushed around by the assailants
but not injured. The MDC members were not touched. Mr. Kidd was
attended to at Chipinge
JAG Security Communiqué March 27,
to joggers, walkers, cyclists etc
Please do not go out on your own if you
jog, walk, cycle etc for recreation, and beware of gangs of men/youths in
vehicles or otherwise pretending to be MDC who may approach you to
"chat". They are not MDC, and they may try to harm or threaten
This is a period to be on maximum alert and to be extra cautious -
better safe than sorry!
Please pass this message on to those at
Please see a letter signed and sent to Secretary of State Colin
Powell today by leading US Congressmen and women urging the American
delegation to push for a resolution to address human rights abuses in
Zimbabwe at the annual meeting of the UN Commission on Human
March 18, 2003
Secretary Colin L. Powell U.S.
Department of State 2201 C St. NW Washington, DC 20520
We respectfully urge the U.S. Delegation to the U.N.
Commission on Human Rights to facilitate the passage of a Resolution that
addresses human rights abuses perpetrated by the government of Zimbabwe at
the upcoming U.N. Commission on Human Rights annual meeting. While the
Commission is the principal international forum for discussion of human
rights violations, it has not taken decisive action concerning Zimbabwe's
deterioration in human rights conditions over the last three
President Mugabe's government is on a campaign to retain power at
any cost. James Morris, the director of the World Food Program, stated that
six million people face starvation in Zimbabwe and the government
patently refuses to undertake reforms suggested by the World Food Program
that could return the country to sustaining its own population. The
extraordinarily high rate of HIV/AIDS infections in Zimbabwe, coupled with
food shortages, has put the health of average Zimbabweans at extreme
risk. The government has robbed its citizens of their ability to
exercise basic political and social rights and freedoms.
Well-documented cases of state-sponsored torture, rape, murder, arbitrary
detention, and manipulation of food aid exist and demand exposure.
is time for the international community to recognize the governance crisis in
Zimbabwe and actively investigate and examine allegations of human rights
abuses. Exposing President Mugabe's human rights abuses at the United Nations
is critical to the United State's policy of isolating this regime. We
applaud the Administration's targeted sanctions against those responsible for
the breakdown of democracy in Zimbabwe. Yet it is imperative that we
work multilaterally through the Commission to present a unified voice against
these grave abuses of power.
Thank you for your consideration of our
MARK GREEN, Member Committee on
DIANE WATSON Ranking Member, Subcommittee on
Human Rights and Wellness
CHRIS SMITH, Vice-Chairman Committee on
EDWARD R. ROYCE, Chairman Subcommittee on
AMO HOUGHTON, Vice-Chairman Subcommittee on Africa
GALLEGLY, Chairman Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Human
I was interested in a few economic matters
that have arisen recently:
1 Government has decided to pay the producer
$130 000/t for this seasons maize crop but has also decided to keep the price
to the consumer from the GMB at $9 600 per tonne.
2 the Reserve Bank
has been instructed to buy us$ on the market at $824 per us$ but has to sell
the us$ to Government at $55 per us$.
3 the Tobacco Growers Trust has
acquired 200 tractors which will be sold on the market to new farmers at
prices ranging from $5 million to $1,5 million as against $70 million to $20
million which the new farmers would pay on the open market.
to be amazed at Government's generosity to its ardent supporters at the
expense of the common man in Zimbabwe.
Where, oh where, will the money
come from to run our country? And how, in the name of sanity, does the
government hope to maintain this madness.
There will be an end to the
madness and sanity will