The ZIMBABWE Situation Our thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.
"Silence, when you observe wrongs being committed, is the same as committing those wrongs yourself." M Moore

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Daily News

      MDC to decide what to do after ultimatum expiry

      3/28/2003 11:55:53 AM (GMT +2)

      From Our Correspondent in Bulawayo

      The MDC said it will meet after the expiry of its deadline, 31 March,
to decide on the next step in its planned programme of mass action. This
follows the ultimatum given to the government by the opposition party.

      Paul Themba Nyathi, the party's spokesman, yesterday said Zanu PF
appeared bent on ignoring the ultimatum.

      However, he said the party had not yet come up with a definite
response to the government's disregard of the deadline.

      "We will take whatever option available in response," he said.

      Nyathi could not disclose the exact course of action that the next
stage of their protest would take.

      Mugabe told mourners at the burial of former Higher and Tertiary
Education Minister Swithun Mombeshora last week that he has directed the
State security agents to crush the MDC.

      And on Tuesday, the Zanu PF politburo urged the government not to
tolerate people who organise protests.

      The MDC said the on-going campaign against the people, the brutality,
the wave of reprisals and retribution will soon be a thing of the past.

      It said it was aware that brutalities continue to be meted out on
innocent civilians by men in army uniform.

      More than 150 MDC supporters including Members of Parliament were
arrested last week following the stayaway.

      South African President Thabo Mbeki, who is on record for his
softly-softly approach has also condemned the on-going brutality against
Mugabe's critics. "Indeed, we have said to the Zimbabwean government that we
would not agree with the actions that deny the right of Zimbabweans to
protest peacefully, democratically and so on," Mbeki told Parliament on
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Subject: [zimbabwenews] Harare council undeterred by detractors

Daily News

      Harare council undeterred by detractors

      3/28/2003 11:54:21 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      The Harare City Council has vowed to "fearlessly and ruthlessly" weed
out corruption despite the "systematic and deliberate distortion of facts"
pertaining developments at Town House by the public media.

      In a statement, the council said it was committed to end the
"incompetence, laziness and indiscipline which has over the years
contributed immensely to the collapse of services in Harare and the
diabolical milking of the suffering ratepayers' money."

      On Monday a pro-Zanu PF vigilante group force-marched residents to
Town House to demand the ouster Elias Mudzuri the Executive Mayor accusing
him of maladministration.

      The group reportedly commandeered commuter omnibuses and other private
vehicles from Mbare to ferry the purported protesters into the city.

      The State-controlled media has been attacking the council for
suspending senior officials for alleged acts of misconduct.

      The officials include the town clerk, the director of health services,
a senior engineer, and three senior staff in the City treasurer's

      The council accused the public media of trying to protect the "grossly
corrupt" officials and to pave way for the suspension or dismissal of
Mudzuri and his council.

      The council said its heads of departments were empowered by the Urban
Councils Act to suspend officers for acts of misconduct pending their
appearance before a board of inquiry.

      "It is for this reason that council is at times forced to look for
impartial outsiders to handle complicated issues.

      "Therefore all cases of suspensions have, and continue to be handled
in a lawful and fair manner. Furthermore, there are lawful ways of appeal
should the employees remain unsatisfied," the council said.

      Accusing the public media of "blatant lies", the council said:
"Council will not be intimidated into abandoning its resolve to instill
financial discipline.
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ZIMBABWE: MDC call to security forces

JOHANNESBURG, 28 March (IRIN) - Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has called on the country's security forces to decide whether they are "with the people or against them" and to dissociate themselves from "militias".

In a statement following the recent anti-government two-day mass action by the MDC, the party said it was "acutely aware" of the desire by most of the security forces of Zimbabwe to conduct themselves in a "professional and non-partisan manner".

However, the MDC claimed that during the stayaway the security forces had been used to implement the ruling ZANU-PF's agenda and that their image had been further tarnished when trained youth "militias" had been dressed in army and police uniforms to control the stayaway.

"By doing so the impression is created that the Zimbabwe security forces are at war with the people. The security forces must denounce these crimes against humanity, which are being committed in their name and in their uniforms," the MDC said on the eve of two important by-elections in Harare at the weekend.


Tel: +27 11 880-4633
Fax: +27 11 447-5472
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The Herald

'Zim doesn't need outside approval'

Herald Reporter
ZIMBABWE will not seek the approval of outsiders to enforce law and order in
the country, President Mugabe said yesterday.

Addressing the 53rd ordinary session of the ruling party's central committee
at the Zanu-PF headquarters in Harare, Cde Mugabe said the recent MDC
violent stayaways had sent a clear message to the world of the nature and
character of the opposition party.

"Let us hope the world has seen enough, for we believe the point has been
made, much more than made.

"It is now time for law and order to have the upper hand, and we will not
seek the approval of outsiders to enforce law and order in our country.

"After all, some of the foreigners have been aiding and abetting the
creation of instability and disorder here and are thus part of the
lawlessness we have witnessed," he said.

The MDC, said President Mugabe, was a direct outcome of a foreign wish for
opposition in Zimbabwe and not a genuine expression of people's wish for

"It (MDC) should thus be confined to the electoral scrap heap and I hope
this happens tomorrow and Sunday."

The MDC was a violent party that murdered wives and killed women. "It is
also an infanticidal party that doesn't mind hurting children going to
creche," said the President.

Describing the MDC as terrorist, Cde Mugabe said the party was a racially
sponsored organisation that targeted and dynamited black business interests,
including tuck-shops, so white business interests could continue as
monopolies, unhindered by nascent but sprite competition from indigenous
business people.

The MDC openly employed violence and terror to achieve its mission with
funding from the British, Americans and their allies, the President said.

However, despite an orchestrated demonisation campaign by the British, the
Americans and their puppet opposition party, Zimbabwe's case remained strong
on the international scene as evidenced by the growing support the country
was receiving.

President Mugabe cited the recent Non-Aligned Movement summit in Malaysia,
which unanimously pledged support for the country and denounced the illegal
sanctions imposed on the Government.

The same support was also expressed at the recent Common Market for the
Eastern and Southern African summit held in Sudan.

"There is also a growing realisation within the European Union that the
British crusade against Zimbabwe is a lost cause,'' said Cde Mugabe.

"The racial high-handedness of the white Commonwealth has once again been
demonstrated and exposed in the recent unilateral extension of sanctions
against Zimbabwe by racist Australian Prime Minister, Howard and his New
Zealander neighbour McKinnon, who singly, is acting in a manner that
threatens to wreck the Commonwealth.

"Our stand in defence of our sovereignty remains firm and unassailable."

President Mugabe warned central committee members to desist from being
complacent and continue working in solid unity putting the wishes of the
people in the front and defend the country's sovereignty.

The party leadership was urged to discard selfish ambitions and be guided by
nothing less than the needs and interests of the people they served.

On the food security situation, Cde Mugabe said the Government's focus would
continue to be directed towards the most affected areas like Matabeleland
South in order to mitigate the effects of drought.

Although food relief was at times in short supply, the Government
complemented by some non-governmental organisations provided for all the

The current wet spell experienced in most parts of the country had brought
good prospects of better yields this year.

"I am happy that the party has remained closer to the people during this
difficult period, all the time joining them in devising measures that seek
to respond concretely to felt needs as expressed and manifested by various
communities," said President Mugabe.

The President however said the country's enemies did not hesitate to take
advantage of the situation and transform the cycles of natural calamities
into political assaults on the ruling party and the country.

Numerous attempts to take advantage of the situations of need in the country
by engendering hatred to the ruling party in order to install a neo-colonial
puppet regime designed to protect Western interests against the wishes of
the people had also been unearthed.

The country's detractors, said the President, wished that the ensuing
situation of food shortages translate into a generalised uprising triggered
by sponsored urban riots, with the ultimate objective of dislodging the
ruling party and unseating the Government.

"We have also learnt that beneath the so-called humanitarian food assistance
is a sinister agenda; a noxious, anti-people political brew meant to cajole
and mislead our people in order to mobilise for and improve the irrevocably
dim political prospects of the puppet opposition."

While the party acknowledged the good work of genuine donors, it denounced
pseudo-donors, many of whom were sponsored and sent by some Western
governments known to be hostile to Zimbabwe.

On numerous occasions, the Government intercepted opposition campaign
messages hidden in bags of grain or mealie-meal.

The so-called humanitarian assistance in some cases had turned out to be
disguised assault on the country's sovereignty.

Cde Mugabe emphasised the need to broaden the perspective on the whole
question of drought and food security.

"Clearly, it is much more than a matter of the stomach. It is about our
freedom and sovereignty; it is about our integrity and dignity as
Zimbabweans, indeed as Africans. We can no longer afford to treat this as a
technical matter divorced from our overall search for the defence of our

The President said it is a truism that a nation that cannot look after its
stomach, for whatever reason, cannot look after its borders.

"It (that nation) cannot own its politics; own its policies and therefore
own its freedom, let alone defend itself," President Mugabe said, drawing
applause from the central committee members.

The party leadership and its structures were urged to draw up plans that
ensured each district had enough land under irrigation to ensure a core crop
and a core harvest that meets food requirements of each year especially
during drought years.

Mega-projects like those being developed in Masvingo, and planned for
Mashonaland Central and Mashonaland West were commended.

Although the land reform exercise had lessened pressure on land and
decongested many communal areas, the President expressed concern that of the
11 million hectares of land acquired by the Government, not all of it had
been distributed resulting in some prime land remaining either underutilised
or unutilised.

Urgent action was needed to be taken to address the issue of non-occupancy
of farms by individuals allocated land under the A2 Model scheme.

The President said the land audit is set to begin next month and was aimed
at identifying and correcting all anomalies that arose during the
implementation of the land reform exercise.

"Our land reform programme is against monopoly land ownership by whomsoever,
and any cases of multiple land ownership or irregular possession will be
corrected in compliance with our set policy and criteria," he said.

Although there was effective occupancy of farms on the ground, there was
need to put in place legal support and ensure that the farmers had title

Many cases, said Cde Mugabe, were still outstanding at the administrative
court and that most title deeds were still in the hands of the white
commercial farmers who were hoping that the MDC will assist them in
reversing the land reform process to bring them back to the land.

"We need to address the matter rather urgently, with the same boldness that
characterised the acquisition process itself," said President Mugabe.

He said the people had remained loyal to the party because of their
possession of the most sacred asset, the land, but the challenge was to work
it all round the year and ensure that the nation would never again be
reduced to the humiliation of having to beg for its stomach.
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The Herald

President to cast vote in Highfield by-election

Herald Reporter
PRESIDENT Mugabe is today expected to cast his vote in the two-day Highfield
parliamentary by-election.

"Highfield is my constituency and I will be going tomorrow (today) to vote,"
President Mugabe said yesterday.

The Highfield by-election is running concurrently with that of Kuwadzana
this weekend.

The Highfield seat fell vacant following the expulsion of Mr Munyaradzi
Gwisai from the MDC for dissent, and in Kuwadzana the by-election is to fill
the seat left vacant following the death of Mr Learnmore Jongwe in remand
prison while awaiting trial for allegedly killing his wife with a kitchen

Addressing the 53th ordinary session of the central committee, President
Mugabe said he was confident that the party would win the two parliamentary
seats (Highfield and Kuwadzana) and reinforce its entry into urban

"Tomorrow, our people will be voting in the two by-elections of Kuwadzana
and Highfield, where our candidates Cde David Mutasa and Cde Joseph
Chinotimba respectively, will be pitted against the opposition members.

"A lot of campaign work has gone into these two by-elections and I am sure
it is our hope that we will use them to reinforce our entry into urban
constituencies," said the President.

He said the MDC was a direct outcome of foreign wish for opposition in
Zimbabwe and not a genuine expression of the people's wish for change.

In Highfield, Cde Chinotimba's main opponent is MDC's Mr Tachiveyi Pearson
Mungofa while in Kuwadzana Cde Mutasa's will battle it out with Mr Nelson
Chamisa, the MDC's national youth chairperson.
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            Zimbabwe needs to import maize: US report
            March 28, 2003, 11:15

            Zimbabwe will need to import about one million tonnes of maize
in the coming marketing season as a poor harvest looks set to worsen
critical food shortages, a US-based food security agency said.

            Half of Zimbabwe's 14 million people face food shortages, with
aid agencies pointing to drought and disruptions linked to President Robert
Mugabe's seizure of white-owned farms for redistribution to landless blacks.

            Producers, compelled by law to sell all maize and wheat to the
state board, have in the past complained that the prices set by the
government are not viable.

            Mugabe's government says the food shortages are due solely to
the drought and says its land reforms are needed to correct the imbalances
of colonialism.

            Tsvangirai's treason case postponed
            Meanwhile, the treason trial of Morgan Tsvangirai, Zimbabwe's
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader, and two senior party
colleagues, has been postponed. They are being charged with plotting to
assassinate President Robert Mugabe.

            Eskom looking at Zesa debt repayment
            Eskom has been holding talks with the cash-strapped Zimbabwe
Electricity Supply Authority, Zesa, to arrange a repayment schedule to
settle its debts. ZESA, which has bought electricity from Eskom since 1996,
has struggled since 1999 to meet its payments.

            Eskom's 2002 annual report said it was owed R159 million by
international debtors last year, down from R169 million in 2001. Eskom says
ZESA met its obligations for the better part of 2002, until September when
it began a dialogue with Eskom with a view to addressing the debt problem. -
Additional info: Reuters
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      28 Mar 2003 17:36:30 GMT
      EU condemns crackdown on opposition in Zimbabwe


ATHENS, March 28 (Reuters) - The European Union on Friday condemned
President Robert Mugabe's recent crackdown on Zimbabwe opposition and called
for an immediate end to repression.

"The EU strongly condems the unprecedented violence and repression against
the opposition after the protest actions of 18-19 March," Greece, which
currently holds the rotating EU presidency, said in a statement.

It said it was particularly concerned by a wave of arbitrary arrests of some
400 opposition supporters, many of whom it said had been mistreated and even
tortured by security forces.

The crackdown on the opposition Movement for Democractic Change (MDC)
followed a two-day strike against Mugabe's 23-year rule last week, one of
the biggest protests in recent years, and coincided with a fresh wave of
violence ahead of by-elections in Harare's Kuwadzana and Highfield

MDC has accused Mugabe of planning to rig this weekend's polls with "ghost"
voters and the EU called on the authorities to ensure that the voting
reflected "the freely expressed choice of the electorates".

Mugabe won re-election in controversial polls last year condemned as
fraudulent by the MDC and some Western governments which slapped sanctions
on the president and his inner circle.
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Mugabe Government Wants to Detain Opposition Chief
Fri March 28, 2003 03:54 PM ET
By Stella Mapenzauswa
HARARE (Reuters) - The Zimbabwe government called on Friday for the
detention of opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai for allegedly organizing
violent protests aimed at overthrowing President Robert Mugabe.

Tsvangirai is currently on trial for allegedly plotting to kill Mugabe, but
has been granted bail. He faces death if found guilty.

In a press statement, Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi accused Tsvangirai,
head of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), of trying "to cause unrest
and civil commotion" under the guise of fighting for political rights.

The MDC shook Mugabe's government last week with a massive two-day national
strike in one of the biggest protests against Mugabe since he came to power
23 years ago. They have threatened fresh protests to push Mugabe out of

A government crackdown on opposition supporters saw about 500 MDC party
members arrested, sparking widespread condemnation from rights groups and
the European Union which called on Friday for an immediate end to

Mohadi said the MDC was led by "punch-drunk" puppets sponsored by the West
to subvert Zimbabwe's national sovereignty. "This treachery has now gone
beyond all forms of decency and must be stopped," he said.

"The courts must be aware that while Morgan Tsvangirai is being tried for
treason, he is taking advantage of being out of custody to orchestrate acts
of violence," Mohadi said.

"We urge the judicial system to review this position so that he is tried
while in custody," he added.

Tsvangirai is on trial with two senior party colleagues. All three deny
plotting to kill Mugabe.

Tsvangirai was not immediately available for comment. But MDC spokesman Paul
Themba-Nyathi said the government would not be able to crush the MDC or its
program against dictatorship.

"This government has been threatening the MDC leadership for years now and
we are not frightened. We are pursuing a popular cause and they cannot crush
that," he told Reuters.


Mugabe won re-election in controversial polls last year condemned as
fraudulent by the MDC and some Western governments.

The MDC has given Mugabe's government until March 31, to begin democratic
reforms or face fresh protests.

But Mohadi warned that the government would crush any new protests, and was
hunting down all MDC members accused of being involved in violence in last
week's protest.

"Those who would like to cause unrest and civil commotion under the guise of
freedom of expression and democracy...will be dealt with severely," Mohadi

"Let it be known that we are ready for these miscreants masquerading as
political opposition members when in fact they are outright criminals."

The warning against the MDC comes on the eve of two parliamentary
by-elections in Harare's Kuwadzana and Highfield constituencies, where
rights groups say campaign violence has left hundreds of people injured.

The MDC has accused Mugabe's ZANU-PF party of planning to rig the Saturday
and Sunday poll with "ghost" voters.

Zimbabwe is in crisis with soaring unemployment and shortages of fuel,
foreign exchange and food which many Zimbabweans blame on Mugabe's policies.

Mugabe denies mismanaging Zimbabwe since winning power after the country's
independence from Britain in 1980.

He has also defended the government's seizure of white-owned commercial
farms for redistribution to landless blacks, which critics say is partly to
blame for food shortages affecting nearly half of Zimbabwe's 14 million
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Dear Farmer,
It is with regret that we write to inform you that Nigel resigned as ALB Chairman on the 20th March 2003, due to personal reasons.  His energy, determination and commitment to Agriculture will be sorely missed by everyone.
In the interim, the Board has agreed to delegate the Chairman’s duties to a Management Committee comprising:
1.                   Mr Hendrik Olivier (Director - CFU)
2.                   Mr Doug Taylor-Freeme (Vice-President Commodities)
3.                   Mrs Jules Lang (Coffee)
4.                   Mr Tony Ndoro (Executive Officer – ALB)
This management committee will be in place until a new Chairman has been appointed.
T. Ndoro
ALB Executive Officer
Unless specifically stated that this is a Commercial Farmers' Union communique, or that it is being issued or forwarded to you by the sender in an official CFU capacity, the opinions contained therein are private.  Private messages also include those sent on behalf of any organisation not directly affiliated to the Union.  The CFU does not accept any legal responsibility for private messages and opinions held by the sender and transmitted over its local area network to other CFU network users and/or to external addressees.
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Zimbabwean Group Changes Corporate Map

Business Day (Johannesburg)

March 28, 2003
Posted to the web March 28, 2003

Dumisani Muleya

Amzim takes huge strides in helping indigenes share the economic cake

ZIMBABWEAN mining company Anglo American Corporation Zimbabwe's (Amzim's)
$3,9m divestiture exercise has accelerated black economic empowerment and
reshaped the corporate map in Zimbabwe. The company, a member of the
resources group Anglo American, offloaded large chunks of equity last week
in several key companies in the mining and manufacturing sectors.

This move was hailed by business and black empowerment lobbyists as grist to
the empowerment mill. During the course of the past six years, Amzim
undertook a rigorous restructuring exercise in a bid to align its operations
with those of its parent company.

Last week, Amzim sold its gold mines, which were managed collectively by its
gold subsidiary and its pyrite operation, Iron Duke Pyrites, to Gat
Investments in a management buyout.

The sale included active operations at the Bubi, Isabella and Iron Duke
mines as well as mining rights on several private unexplored sites in the

In another empowerment transaction, Amzim also sold 21% of the National
Foods Holdings to Takepart Investments, which is owned by a consortium of
Zimbabwean businessmen.

This left Amzim with a 21% stake in the company. Although the equity is
considered noncore, it is subject to pre-emptive rights in favour of Tiger

As a result of this exercise, Takepart has become a significant stakeholder
in the milling and food industry together with Amzim, Tiger Brands which has
a 19% stake in National Foods, Old Mutual with 12%, and an employee share
trust which has 10%.

Recently, Amzim also facilitated and oversaw the entry of indigenous
investors in Willdale, which is a newly listed clay brick manufacturing

Willdale has also undertaken a restructuring exercise, comprising a rights
issue, in which the underwriter Intermarket Holdings which is owned by
prominent black entrepreneur Nicholas Vingirai took up 215-million
undersubscribed shares in the company.

This, together with a further 162million Willdale shares subsequently sold
by Amzim to Intermarket nominees, resulted in Intermarket holding a 22%
stake in the equity of Willdale on listing two weeks ago.

In addition to this, Amzim recently sold 25-million of its shares to company

Amzim said the proceeds of its recent huge divestiture exercise would be
reinvested in its remaining core activities.

The company still operates corporate giants, Bindura Nickel Corporation,
Zimbabwe Alloys and the sugar producing Hippo Valley Estates, among other
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From The Mail & Guardian (SA), 27 March

Zanu PF, MDC square off in by-elections test

Residents in two low income suburbs of the Zimbabwe capital are due to vote
in weekend by-elections, amid rising tensions between President Robert
Mugabe's Zanu-PF party and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC). The run-up to the vote has been marred by increasing violence and
political tension between the main rival parties contesting the polls, with
Mugabe's ruling Zanu PF vowing to wrest the seats from the MDC. By-elections
were called in Kuwadzana following the death last year of MDC's member of
parliament, Learnmore Jongwe, who died in jail while awaiting trial for the
murder of his wife. In Highfield, where Mugabe has a house and casts his
ballot in elections, the seat became vacant after the MDC expelled lawmaker
Munyaradzi Gwisai from the party over ideological and policy differences.
The MDC won all the parliamentary seats in Zimbabwe's major cities and towns
in the 2000 legislative polls. Typical of by-elections in Zimbabwe in recent
years, the upcoming Kuwadzana and Highfield elections have sparked another
round of beatings, intimidation and arrests, mainly of opposition members,
including lawmakers. The MDC says hundreds of its supporters have been
assaulted. Some of them, bearing the signs of brutal assaults, have been
paraded at press conferences. The attacks on its members have been conducted
by men dressed in military uniform, the MDC has said. MDC leader Morgan
Tsvangirai this week blamed the attacks on Zanu PF militias who had dressed
up as soldiers. A small opposition party, the National Alliance for Good
Governance (NAGG) which is participating in the by-elections, has also
alleged its members have been harassed and intimidated. Rabson Maserema,
spokesman for NAGG, said a number of the party's members had been victims of
harassment and intimidation by Zanu PF militias who raided their homes at
night. He warned that if his members continued to be harassed they would be
"obliged to retaliate... to defend ourselves".

The MDC has posed the strongest challenge yet to Mugabe's 23-year rule,
winning 57 of the 120 contested seats during the June 2000 parliamentary
elections. Earlier by-elections in at least seven constituencies in the past
two years have ended in victories for Zanu PF after violent campaigns. The
MDC has warned that if there are signs of electoral irregularities in the
weekend polls, it could ignite a violent backlash. The party claimed
Thursday that thousands of people from outside the constituencies had been
irregularly registered to vote in the upcoming polls. The announcement of
the results of the two votes is expected to coincide with the expiration of
a deadline by the opposition to Mugabe's government to meet certain demands.
The MDC gave the government a deadline of March 31 to reply to a 15-point
list of demands it has drawn up to try to resolve the country's economic,
political and social crises. Among the demands is a call for an end to
state-sponsored violence. "Repression has never restrained people from
acting. If at all, it has put people in a more determined position to
confront this regime," said MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai. "No amount of
beatings or thuggery is going to discourage people from engaging in an
agenda that will see this regime out," he told reporters this week. Faced
with a crumbling economy, famine and rising poverty, Mugabe has banked his
party's political future on his controversial land reform scheme, which
seeks to redress colonial-era inequities by resettling black farmers on
white-owned land.
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Zesa Introduces Load Shedding

The Herald (Harare)

March 28, 2003
Posted to the web March 28, 2003


THE Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority yesterday said it had introduced
limited load shedding countrywide owing to the reduction of power supplies
from Hydro Cabora Bassa of Mozambique and technical faults being experienced
from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

A Zesa official, Mr Daniel Maviva, was quoted by ZBC NewsNet last night as
saying the load shedding was also attributable to Zesa's failure to generate
enough foreign currency.

Zimbabwe imports 60 percent of its power needs from South Africa's Eskom,
Cabora Bassa and Snel of the DRC under the Southern Africa power pool.

Mr Maviva said Zesa was currently making arrangements to improve the
situation by negotiating with Zimbabwe's exporting companies to settle
import bills in foreign currency.

The power utility was now also working flat out to boost local power
production through the refurbishment of the Hwange Power Station and the
Kariba Hydro Power Station.

Hwange has an installed capacity to produce 920 megawatts while Kariba is
capable of supplying 666 megawatts.

The country's peak demand is about 2 000 megawatts.

The Permanent Secretary for Energy and Power Development, Mr Justin
Mupamhanga, said the country's economy was not generating enough foreign
currency to enable Zesa meet its import obligations.

There was now concern in industry and the farming community that production
processes would be adversely affected by the load shedding.

Farmers said the winter crop, which depended on irrigation would be
negatively affected.
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Crimes Against Humanity And the Transition

Zimbabwe Independent (Harare)

March 28, 2003
Posted to the web March 28, 2003

Tony Reeler

AS Zimbabwe moves inexorably into greater and greater crisis, the prospect
of a negotiated transition moves higher up the agenda of possible solutions.
There seems little consensus on the way forward however.

The Nigerian president favours the retirement of Robert Mugabe, but also
wants the MDC to drop their petition on the presidential election to remove
a potential obstacle to the transition, or is this to remove a source of
embarrassment for the African nations that validated a palpably fraudulent

There are indications that the South African government favours a government
of national unity, probably with the support of the Southern African
business community. On the other hand, the US and the EU have raised the
pressure with increased personal sanctions, and the US has now decided that
it will raise the matter at the forthcoming Human Rights Commission meeting
in Geneva. The International Bar Association believes that Robert Mugabe and
his henchmen should be tried for crimes against humanity.

The question about whether the violence in Zimbabwe would conform to
international definitions of crimes against humanity presupposes two
problems. The first is whether the evidence establishes that the violence
indicates crimes against humanity, and the second problem is whether the
definition is jurisdictionally relevant.

Essentially, the regime's position has been to minimise the scale of the
violence, to attack those documenting it as prejudiced and politically
partisan, and to continually argue that all current wrongs in Zimbabwe stem
from the land problem. Furthermore, the Mugabe regime would also argue that
there have been relatively few deaths - as compared to many other
countries - and this too presupposes that there have not been gross human
rights violations on a large-scale.

Against this view, the countervailing evidence is rather dramatic, and is
summarised from a very large number of reports from local Zimbabwean human
rights groups, international human rights bodies, and even governments. The
following is common cause:

l All reports show that the violence has been disproportionately one-sided,
and against the MDC and other groups not supporting ZanuPF;

All reports show that the violence attributed to Zanu PF is different to the
violence attributed to the other groups, both in the scale and in the

The violence attributed to Zanu PF shows evidence of systematic torture,
abductions, disappearances, summary executions and extra-judicial killings,
and this is very rarely the case with violence attributed to other groups
such as the MDC;

The systematic torture shows a strong associations with officials of the
state - members of parliament, the police, the CIO, and other officials - as
well as an association with groups closely affiliated to the Zanu PF party -
war veterans, youth militia, Zanu PF youths, Zanu PF supporters, Zanu PF
party officials, etc;

The evidence shows that plausible allegations can be made for the
involvement of senior party and government leaders, and there are many
statements from victims implicating such persons.

The evidence suggests that a strong case can be made for a planned strategy
using militia. Firstly, the war veterans were deployed to manage the farm
invasions and the parliamentary election and, secondly, a youth militia
cadre was developed and deployed initially for the presidential election,
but subsequently deployed all around the country. The evidence available
shows a very strong association between the youth militia and torture, and
it is not contested that there are training camps for the youth militia nor
that government funds have been allocated to such training.

According to the developing international legal position on crimes against
humanity, as well as other gross human rights violations such as torture,
there shall never be impunity for such crimes and there shall be universal
jurisdiction over such crimes. In practice, this is not so simple, but the
basic assumptions are relatively straightforward: that there are a class of
crimes that concern all nations and peoples, and these crimes are so
horrible that they strike at the heart of humanity and civilisation. Hence
they concern us all and cannot be only an issue for the sovereign nation in
which the crimes occurred. This was the case for apartheid, for example.

In practice, there are both definitional and jurisdictional problems.
However, the Pinochet judgements have helped with both. First, it is clear
from the UK Law Lords that the modern meaning of crimes against humanity is
that such crimes offend against all peoples and cannot be seen as merely
domestic matters. As Lord Millet stated: "Since the Second World War states
have recognised that not all criminal conduct can be left to be dealt with
as a domestic matter by the laws and the courts of the territories in which
such conduct occurs. There are some categories of crime of such gravity that
they shock the consciousness of mankind and cannot be tolerated by the
international community."

There are strong prima facie grounds for believing that the Mugabe regime's
perpetration of gross human rights violations must "shock the consciousness
of mankind", and also strong prima facie grounds for believing that these
crimes have involved "the concerted conduct of many and liable to involve
the complicity of the officials of the state in which they occur, if not of
the state itself". Furthermore, as the Law Lords pointed out, these human
rights violations are not considered to be part of the normal practice of
governments and leaders of states. The effect of the Pinochet decisions was
to quite clearly limit the immunity that could be claimed by a government or
a head of state.

The notion of immunity is clearly more complicated than this, but the
overall conclusion of the Law Lords was to point out that heads of state,
and their minions, could not commit crimes against humanity; to conclude
otherwise was to mock international law. And lest we think that the Zanu PF
view that the small number of deaths mitigates against any view that there
have been crimes against humanity, the Law Lords also pointed out that
torture would comprise a crime against humanity if perpetrated as part of a
systematic campaign or policy.

This is clearly the intent of the Convention on the Prevention and
Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, as well the Rome Statute; it is not
merely deaths on a large-scale that comprise genocide, or crimes against
humanity, it is the systematic perpetration of any of a number of cruel and
inhuman practices that constitute crimes against humanity. This is the
conclusion to be drawn from the evidence in respect of Zimbabwe.

Tony Reeler is regional human rights defender, Idasa (Kutlwan-ong Democracy
Centre), Pretoria.
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Mugabe's party 'to rig polls'
Riot policeman in Harare flees stone-throwers
Political tension has risen since last week's strike
Zimbabwe's opposition has accused the ruling Zanu-PF party of planning to rig two key by-elections in Harare this weekend.

The Movement for Democratic Change says up to 19,000 extra voters have been registered, while food stained with indelible ink would be distributed to prevent the locals from voting.

Tension is rising in Zimbabwe following last week's anti-government strike and ahead of an end-of-the-month MDC deadline for President Robert Mugabe to stop harassing the opposition.

Earlier this week, the MDC said hundreds of its supporters had been arrested and tortured around the country for organising last week's anti-government strike.

'Sugar stained'

"The government wants to inflate the voters' roll," said MDC elections director Remus Makuwaza.

He said up to 8,000 non-residents had been registered in Kuwadzana and 11,000 in Highfield, which both voted overwhelmingly for the MDC in the June 2000 parliamentary poll.

Petrol queue
Zimbabweans have to queue for everything from petrol to sugar

Mr Makuwaza accused the authorities of trying to prevent the area's genuine residents from voting by distributing rare commodities such as sugar, maize meal and cooking oil stained with indelible ink.

In order to prevent people voting more than once, voters dip their finger in indelible ink when they cast their ballots.

Anyone with indelible ink already on their hands would not be allowed to vote.

"We are aware that state agents plan to taint doors and water taps with the indelible ink in those areas which are known MDC strongholds in order to disqualify our voters," Mr Makuwaza said.

Notorious war veteran leader Joseph Chinotimba is contesting the Highfield seat.

He was one of those who led the violent occupation of white-owned farms since 2000.

The Kuwadzana seat became vacant following the death in police custody of MDC MP Learnmore Jongwe, while the MDC Highfield MP was expelled from the party for indiscipline.

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ICFTU Condemns Mugabe Regime Arrests and Torture 28/3/2003

ICFTU OnLine (Brussels, 28 March 2003): The ICFTU today condemned the
continued repression of democracy activists, including through acts of
torture and intimidation, by the regime of President Robert Mugabe in
Zimbabwe. Some 400 people were arrested by agents of the regime following
the two-day general strike on March 18 and 19, organised by the democratic

Amongst those arrested were a number of trade unionists, several of whom
were tortured. In one documented case, the husband of Viola Shamu, an
official of the agricultural and plantation workers' union was kidnapped,
severely beaten and left for dead. Her two young children were also
assaulted and she herself has had to go into hiding. Other union officials
and members report attacks on union offices, and threats against their lives
and safety.

International trade union organisations are calling for protests against the
latest acts of repression to be directed to President Robert Mugabe.
Governments in the region and worldwide are being called upon to increase
pressure on the regime to end its ongoing violations of trade union and
human rights, and to cease repression of those seeking to bring democracy to
the country.

The ICFTU represents 158 million workers in 231 affiliated organisations in
150 countries and territories. ICFTU is also a member of Global Unions:

For more information, please contact the ICFTU Press Department on +32 2 224
0232 or +32 477 580 0486.
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Zimbabwe Hampers Nepad's Efforts Official

Business Day (Johannesburg)

March 28, 2003
Posted to the web March 28, 2003

Nevin is a Freelance Reporter.

A SENIOR official in Nepad, the New Partnership for Africa's Development,
has conceded that the situation in Zimbabwe is damaging to the organisation,
and that "yellow card, red card" disciplinary action could be introduced for
offending states.

Offending states would be "put on notice and a plan worked out that outlines
how they would return to the straight and narrow", says Dave Malcomson of
the Nepad secretariat: international liaison and co-ordination.

"Wherever we go, Zimbabwe is thrown at us as the reason why Nepad's a joke,"
he says.

"But our response is that Nepad must be given a chance to work; it needs to
be supported to make sure that it does work, because it's based on the very
premise of addressing instances of bad behaviour, of making sure that we do
have a system of good governance on the continent."

In the first of a two-part interview in the April edition of African
Business, a British finance and business news magazine, Malcomson says
Zimbabwe was put forward as "a litmus test" by some media organisations.

"Certain of the G-8 states did initially bring the issue of Zimbabwe to our
attention that Zimbabwe was impeding their efforts at supporting Africa and
the Nepad programme.

"They have now reached the understanding that Zimbabwe is a present crisis,
and that various mechanisms are available for addressing it through the
Commonwealth, the Southern African Development Community or the African

Malcomson says Nepad is a process that addresses "the very issues they're
complaining about in Zimbabwe".
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JAG Security Update March 28, 2003


Wednesday 26 March approximately 4h15
Attempt to steal a hilux outside Wendy's Nursery School.  Hi-jackers
disturbed by a mother arriving to collect children.
Hi-jackers driving a light blue 323, registration number 757 991B.

Wednesday 26 March approximately 5pm.
Landcruiser pick-up belonging to Matapula Hunters was hi-jacked outside
their offices.  Due to quick response from the CID and public and a high
speed car chase, the vehicle was abandoned.  3 Hi-jackers in a light blue
mazda 232.

Wednesday 26 March - attempted hi-jacking outside Girls College.
4 hi-jackers in a silver Astra with a knife.

Thursday 27 March - New Landcruiser pick-up, white, stolen near Hilltop
Hotel.  4 hi-jackers armed with a G3 and pistol.  Landcruiser registration
number 778 938W, belonging to Brian Van Blerk..  Hi-jackers in a metallic
green corolla and a red BMW.



Please be advised that there is now a councillor in Bulawayo.
Counselling is confidential, so don't be ashamed to ask for help. There is
no charge to victims.

Contact: 09-243938
          011 701 323

Should companies/groups require a presentation,on how to avoid and what to
do if hi-jacked, please contact the above numbers for details.

HOTLINE: 091 242 512


News from Kadoma.

Things are a bit tense after the bangs last week. Over 100 people were
locked up and most of them still in chookie. The MP Austin Mpandawana is
still locked up on some obscure charge under the new POSA Laws. He has been
denied bail and was extensively beaten and tortured. They also locked up a
Rio Tinto Executive for two days over the weekend. Apparently he was guilty
of signing the leave forms of some of the people who participated in the
stayaway. Weird laws we live under!!

The news I heard from a little bird this week is an allegation that
Minister Mangwana is sitting on 25000 litres of petrol at "his" farm.
Actually it is Gus Kietsmans farm that he has stolen. No doubt the petrol
is for re-sale at extortionate prices later.

Still no-one farming but the resettlement farmers we may get 10% of the
crop that we should have from this area.

The maize price has dropped off a bit and you can get a 20 litre bucket for
about $2000 on the black market from a "war Vet". Of course he is the only
class of person able to get maize from GMB.

The maize will only last for a couple of months and the price will be back
up to the $6000 a bucket that it was 3 weeks ago.




JAG Hotlines: If you are in trouble or need advice, please don't hesitate
to contact us - we're here to help!

(011) 612 595 J Worsley-Worswick
(011) 205 374 P Worsley-Worswick
(011) 863 354 B Freeth
(091) 315 323 K Kay
(011) 207 860 W Hart
(011) 431 068 D Conolly

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The New York Review of Books
April 10, 2003

The Jewel of Africa
By Doris Lessing

"You have the jewel of Africa in your hands," said President Samora Machel
of Mozambique and President Julius Nyerere of Tanzania to Robert Mugabe, at
the moment of independence, in 1980. "Now look after it."

Twenty-three years later, the "jewel" is ruined, dishonored, disgraced.

Southern Rhodesia had fine and functioning railways, good roads; its towns
were policed and clean. It could grow anything, tropical fruit like
pineapples, mangoes, bananas, plantains, pawpaws, passion fruit, temperate
fruits like apples, peaches, plums. The staple food, maize, grew like a weed
and fed surrounding countries as well. Peanuts, sunflowers, cotton, the
millets and small grains that used to be staple foods before maize,
flourished. Minerals: gold, chromium, asbestos, platinum, and rich
coalfields. The dammed Zambezi River created the Kariba Lake, which fed
electricity north and south. A paradise, and not only for the whites. The
blacks did well, too, at least physically. Not politically: it was a police
state and a harsh one. When the blacks rebelled and won their war in 1979
they looked forward to a plenty and competence that existed nowhere else in
Africa, not even in South Africa, which was bedeviled by its many mutually
hostile tribes and its vast shantytowns. But paradise has to have a
superstructure, an infrastructure, and by now it is going, going- almost

One man is associated with the calamity, Robert Mugabe. For a while I
wondered if the word "tragedy" could be applied here, greatness brought low,
but Mugabe, despite his early reputation, was never great; he was always a
frightened little man. There is a tragedy, all right, but it is Zimbabwe's.

Mugabe is now widely execrated, and rightly, but blame for him began late.
Nothing is more astonishing than the silence about him for so many years
among liberals and well-wishers-the politically correct. What crimes have
been committed in the name of political correctness. A man may get away with
murder, if he is black. Mugabe did, for many years.


Early in his regime, we might have seen what he was when the infamous Fifth
Brigade, thugs from North Korea, hated by blacks and whites alike, became
Mugabe's bodyguards, and did his dirty work, notably when he attempted what
was virtually genocide of thousands of the Ndebele people (the
second-largest tribe) in Matabeleland. Hindsight gives us a clear picture of
his depredations: at the time mendacity ruled, all was confusion. But the
fact was, we knew the Fifth Brigade: it had already murdered and raped.

It was confusion, too, because Mugabe seemed to begin well. He was a
Marxist, true, but like other politicians before and since he said the right
things, for instance, that blacks and whites must flourish together. And he
passed a law against corruption, forbidding the top echelons of officials
from owning more than one property. When his officials only laughed, and
bought farm after farm, hotels, businesses, anything they could grab, he did
nothing. It was at that point that everyone should have said, "This is no
strongman, he is a weakling."

From the start Mugabe has been afraid to show his face out of doors without
outriders, guards, motorcades -all the defenses of paranoia. When Queen
Elizabeth visited, refused to ride with him in an armored car, and insisted
on an open one, people jeered as the frightened man clung to the sides of
the car while the insouciant sovereign smiled and waved.


Here is the heart of the tragedy. Never has a ruler come to power with more
goodwill from his people. Virtually everybody, the people who voted for him
and the ones who did not, forgot their differences and expected from him the
fulfillment of their dreams-and of his promises. He could have done
practically anything in those early years. When you traveled around the
villages in the early Eighties you heard from everyone, "Mugabe will do
this.... Comrade Mugabe will do that...." He will see the value of this or
that plan, build this shop or clinic or road, help us with our school, check
that bullying official. If Mugabe had had the sense to trust what he heard,
he could have transformed the country. But he did not know how much he was
trusted, because he was too afraid to leave his self-created prison, meeting
only sycophants and cronies, and governing through inflexible Marxist rules
taken from textbooks.

Someone allowed into his presence who came looking for evidence of Mugabe's
reputation as a well-read man would have found only Marxist tracts. He had
come to Marxism late, converted by the Mozambique independence leader Samora
Machel, who was a sensible, large-minded man, unlike Mugabe, who tended to
be narrowly doctrinaire. (Machel was murdered by the South African secret
police in 1986.) There are those who blame Mugabe's wife Sally, from Ghana,
for what seemed like a change in his personality. She was, this Mother of
the Nation, corrupt and unashamed of it. Departing the country for a trip
home to Ghana and stopped at customs with the equivalent of a million
pounds' worth of Zimbabwean money, she protested it was her money, and only
laughed when she had to leave it and travel on without. But that was when
laws were still enforced.

Mugabe gave refuge to the brutal dictator Mengistu from Ethiopia-he is still
there, safe from the people who would try him as a war criminal. And excuses
were being made, as always. Mugabe had been in a brutal prison under Ian
Smith, the repressive prime minister of Rhodesia, who refused him permission
to attend his son's funeral. He had experienced nothing soft and kind from
the whites: Why should he now show kindness? As for Mengistu, well, it was
in the finest tradition of chivalrous hospitality to shelter refugees from
justice. Mugabe became a close friend of Mahathir bin Mohammed, the infamous
prime minister of Malaysia, and attempted to sell him a controlling interest
in Zimbabwe's electricity, but the quid pro quo was not enough and the deal
fell through.

In the early Nineties there was a savage drought in Zimbabwe. When members
of Mugabe's government sold the grain from the silos and pocketed the money,
by then the popular contempt for these ministers was such that the crime was
seen as just another little item of a much larger criminal record. United
Nations officials were saying as early as the mid-Eighties that Mugabe's
government was the most rapacious bunch of thieves in Africa. Well, said his
defenders, often members of his bureaucracy, corruption was not unknown in
Europe. The secret police were arbitrary and bullying? "But you can't expect
democracy of the European type in Africa."


If you visited Zimbabwe after Mugabe took control and met only the whites
and blacks who hardly ever leave Harare or Bulawayo, you heard laments for
the corruption, the incompetence, the general collapse of services. But if
you took the trouble to visit the villages then it was impossible not to be
inspired by the people. The Shona are a sane, humorous, enterprising people,
but they have a fault: they are too patient. I have heard a famous
Zimbabwean writer complain: What is wrong with us? We put up with you whites
far too long and now we are putting up with this gang of crooks.

The villagers joked about their oppressors, and continued to dream about
better times, which they were only too ready to help bring into being by
their own efforts. In the early years, promised free primary and secondary
and university education, they were helping to build schools, unpaid, though
soon free education or, in some places, any education at all would be a
memory. For education, they did much better under the whites.

Denied a decent education, or any, they hungered for books. At least two
surveys said that what they wanted was novels, particularly classics,
science fiction, poetry, historical fiction, fairy stories, and while at the
beginning these were books that were supplied, soon rocketing inflation made
it impossible to buy anything but the cheapest and locally published
instruction books. How to Run a Shop. How to Keep Poultry. Car Repairs. That
kind of thing. A box of even elementary books may transform a village. A box
of books, sent by a humanitarian organization, may be, often is, greeted
with tears. One man complained, "They taught us how to read, but now there
are no books." Three years ago a Penguin classic cost more than a month's

But even with books that were so far from what was originally dreamed of, in
no time study classes began, liter-acy classes, math lessons, citizenship
classes. The appearance of a box of books released (will release again?)
astonishing energies. A village sunk in apathy will come to life overnight.
This is not a people who wait for handouts: a little encouragement, help,
sets them off on all kinds of projects. In January I heard from a member of
a book team with which I'm associated that distributes books in villages, "I
was out this week. I was talking about books to people who haven't eaten for
three days."

And there it is, the tragedy, one that could not have happened if Mugabe had
been even half the man people took him for. People say, "Get rid of Mugabe
and we will get back on course." But he has created a whole caste of greedy
people like himself. Get rid of him and there will be others as bad. If this
is the merest pessimism and the crooks can be got rid of, then there will
remain the damage that has been done.

Sometimes an adage dulled with age comes startlingly to life. "There is a
tide in the affairs of men...." Had Mugabe ridden the tide that was running
at Independence, Zimbabwe could have been an example to all of Africa. But
he didn't, and the shallows and the miseries are there as evidence. Nothing
can now recover that opportunity. Those of us who are old enough can only
mourn lost possibilities. Familiar words carry a history lesson as sharp as
the bitterest experience. There are indeed tides that will never repeat

The racial hatred that Mugabe has fomented will not die. Throughout the
period from Independence onward, beginning in 1980, anti-white rhetoric went
alongside the Marxist slogans that were as primitive as they would be if
Marxism had been invented in Zim-babwe. Yet what everyone remarked on was
the amiable race relations, friendliness between whites and blacks, compared
to South Africa, where apartheid created such a bitter legacy. Fiery
articles in the government press were read in the same perfunctory way as
were the public pronouncements of the Soviet government, or any Communist
government. The official rhetoric in Zimbabwe was worse than anywhere in
Africa-so said a United Nations report. "Never has rhetoric had so little to
do with what actually went on."

This anti-white rhetoric was directed at whites generally, but particularly
at the white farmers, who owned sizable tracts of land and were growing most
of the food and earning Zimbabwe's foreign currency. They were well aware of
their anomalous position, and the Commercial Farmers Union, the organization
representing white farmers and some black ones, was putting forward
proposals for a redistribution of land that would not disrupt the economy.
Not one of these proposals was ever even acknowledged by Mugabe. Meanwhile
farms that had already been acquired by the government were not being turned
over to the poor blacks; that happened only at the beginning. They were
being acquired by Mugabe's greedy cronies.

Why then, when there was no need for confrontation, did Mugabe unexpectedly
launch an attack on the white farmers, in a clear attempt to drive them from
the country? Mugabe had enjoyed seeing himself as the senior black leader in
southern Africa: he did so at a time when he was increasingly seen as an
embarrassment. When Nelson Mandela appeared and became the world's
sweetheart, Mugabe, according to many accounts, was furious. There were
ridiculous scenes where Mugabe imagined he was establishing himself as first
in importance. At lunchtime during a conference of African leaders, Mandela
got in line with everyone else at the buffet, while Mugabe sat at a table
that had been moved so that it would be prominent in the room, and had his
followers bring dishes to him. This made everyone laugh at him; but
surrounded by flatterers, he never understood why people were laughing.

He became desperate to establish himself as the Great Leader. The issue of
land had always rankled, not least because during the War of Liberation in
the 1970s he had promised land to "every man, woman, and child." Why had he
made such foolish and impossible promises? Ah, but then it was by no means
certain that he would come first in the race to be leader. But now he,
Mugabe, the great statesman, the father of his people, would throw out the
white farmers, and Mandela, that paltry figure, would be forgotten. And in
some backward parts of Africa, and other places, he became famous. He did so
at the price of ruining his country, already so misgoverned by his regime
that it was on the edge of collapse. And there remains an unanswered
question: Why did he act so destructively? Mugabe isn't stupid. His cunning
as he established his position showed a scheming, guileful man. For
instance, the war in the Congo, which impoverished Zimbabwe when it was
already on its knees, enriched him personally with the loot he got from its
mines in return for his sending troops. And it enabled him to buy off his
greatest threat, the army officers who are the only force that can dislodge

Many people said he was mad-I among them. But perhaps one has to be a
sentimental liberal to doubt that a leader, particularly one so prolific
with resounding onward-and-upward rhetoric, could be making plans that would
ruin his people. Did he really not foresee what his campaign of forcible
acquisition of land would achieve? A friend of mine, meeting a former
friend, black, a Mugabe crony, in the street, was told, "We never meant
things to get out of hand like this"-this was spoken casually as if about
some unimportant failure. "The trouble is that Robert can think of nothing
but Tony Blair. He is convinced Blair wants to ruin him, even kill him." It
is true that Blair has been critical of Mugabe, but, as my friend said, "I
doubt whether Tony Blair thinks of Mugabe for as much as half a minute a
week." "Ah, but Robert would not like to believe that," was the answer.


Now, with hindsight, it is easy to recall scenes and events that spelled
danger. First, and above all, there were the masses of unemployed black
youths. Anywhere in Zimbabwe, along the roads, in distant villages, outside
schools and colleges and missions, were very young black men just standing
about, or more often trying to sell pitiful carvings of wooden beasts-
elephants and giraffes and so forth. Also, some sculptures. Zimbabwe has
some fine black sculptors. Typical of the magical thinking that has always
bedeviled Zimbabwe were such statements as "If he can make all that money
from carving stone figures, then so can I." There are places in Zimbabwe
where sculptures cover acres. Most of it is rubbish.

The youths had no future because Mugabe's promises had come to nothing; they
were hungry and idle. It was these youths that Mugabe paid to harass and
take over the white farms (and the richer black farms too) in the name of
the war veterans. And they are still hanging around, brutalized, drunk, and
futureless, because if they have acquired a little plot of land, they have
no equipment, or seeds, or, above all, skills. Many have already drifted
back to town. They are heard to complain, "We did all these bad things for
Comrade Mugabe but now he has forgotten us."

Another scene: it is 1982, two years after Independence, and there is still
a sullen, raw, bitter postwar mood. But in an inn, formerly a white drinking
hole, in the mountains above the town of Mutare a group of young black
people are dressed for a night out. The men are in dinner jackets, the girls
in dance dresses. They look like an advertisement in a glossy magazine from
the Thirties. Nothing could be more incongruous in this homely rural
setting, which has probably never before seen a dinner jacket or a décolleté
in its life. But they are thinking that this is what the long war was about.
Here they are in a hotel, formerly a white enclave, dressed to the
nines-just like the whites, drinking fancy drinks, and, above all, waited
on, like the whites, by black menials.

For the ninety years of white occupation, the blacks, most of them roughly
torn from their village life, had watched-unreachably above them -rich
whites with their cars and their black servants. The white people they saw
as rich included many poor ones, but most blacks were so far below an
apparently cohesive white layer that they could see only riches. Effortless
riches. Take the example of a white youth who left home in Britain because
of unemployment during the depression of the 1930s and went to work as an
assistant to an established farmer. Before he tried for a loan to make the
gamble on farming on his own account, he was a man without more than his
clothes; the family in Britain was probably only too pleased to get rid of
him. To the black waiter who served that young man beer at a district Sports
Day he seemed like some rich apparition for whom everything was possible.
The whites were all rich. And the most enticing of the dreams, the
unobtainable dreams, was the life of the white farmer, the life of the
verandas. When they thought of Mugabe's promise during the War of
Liberation, that everyone would have land, this is what they wanted. A house
like a white farmer's, the spreading acres, the black menials-effortless

A fact about the white farmers that must be recorded is that most of them
were very good farmers, inventive, industrious, with an ability to make do
and mend, even when Mugabe would not allow the import of spare parts,
supplies, sufficient gasoline. To visit a white farm was to be taken around
by people proud of their resourcefulness. "I invented this," one of them
might say, referring to a process in the curing of tobacco or a bit of
machinery. There was the farmer's wife who made a cottage industry out of
delicious crystallized preserves from the gourds the cattle eat. Many built
up their farms from nothing-from raw bush. By the Nineties their attitude
toward their black employees was changing. I was brought up with the
unregenerate white farmers of the early times. At best they had maternal and
paternal attitudes toward blacks, running basic clinics or elementary
schools. At worst they were brutal. Because of the enforced exodus of the
white farmers, attempts are being made now to soften their history. This
won't work; too much has been written and recorded about their domination of
blacks. But visiting them in the late Eighties or the Nineties, I found that
they were, most of them, making attempts to change.

As the collapse of the country worsens, few, however, can resist saying, "We
told you so. We always said they couldn't run a bicycle shop, let alone a
country." Such remarks come from people who had made sure there was not
merely a glass ceiling but a steel one, preventing blacks from rising, from
getting education and experience. In old Southern Rhodesia, when there were
too many blacks on the voters' roll for the whites' comfort, the
qualifications for voters were adjusted upward to exclude them. At Zambia's
independence celebrations, I saw a district commissioner radiant with
malicious delight because the black newcomers had mismanaged a minor aspect
of the festivities. Not very nice people, some of the white settlers and
administrators. But changing. Alan Paton, in Cry the Beloved Country: "...By
the time they have come to loving, we will have come to hating."

The reporting of the transfer of farmland has been biased. All the emphasis
has been on the white farmers who are losing their land. Not nearly enough
has been said about the hundreds of thousands of black farm workers who lost
their work and their homes, and also were beaten up (and are still being
beaten up), their wives raped, and their daughters too. Well-off black
farmers-some assisted by their white neighbors-and more modest black farmers
have had their land taken from them. A key fact, hardly mentioned, is that
since Independence 80 percent of the farms have changed hands, and under the
law they had to be offered first to the government, which refused them.
Mugabe's rhetoric about white farmers grabbing land from the blacks is
contradicted by this fact.

As a result of his campaign of misinformation, moreover, you meet people who
will tell you, "The whites threw my grandparents off their farm and took
their house." At the time of the whites' arrival in the area that is now
Zimbabwe there were a quarter of a million blacks, and they lived in
villages of mud-walled, grass-roofed huts. The women grew pumpkins and the
maize imported from South America, and gathered plants from the bush. The
men hunted. When I was a girl you met the men walking through the bush,
dressed in animal skins, carrying assegais, people a step or two up from
hunter-gatherers. On a BBC program you hear a young woman, in all sincerity,
saying that the playing of the mbira (thin strips of metal on a sounding
gourd, which whites called the hand piano) was formerly forbidden under
white rule. Yet when I was growing up the tinkling of the hand piano could
be heard everywhere, including black villages. It will take a long time for
Mugabe's version of history to be corrected, if it ever is.

He has recently set up compulsory indoctrination classes in villages
throughout the country, mostly for teachers, but for other officials too,
where they are taught that they should worship Mugabe and be totally
obedient to ZANU, the ruling party. All the ills of Zimbabwe are said to be
caused by machinations of Tony Blair in cahoots with the opposition parties.
The students learn useful skills like how to murder opponents with a blow to
sensitive parts of the body, and how to strangle them with bootlaces. This
type of sadistic cruelty is not part of their own traditions and history, to
which lip service is continually paid.

Many blacks I've talked to and heard about do not like their own history,
although they talk about "our customs." In fact, many I have seen and known
cannot wait to wear dance dresses, behave like whites, live the white life,
put the bush far behind them. A group of sophisticated, urban blacks will
make sentimental remarks about photographs of a traditional village, but
they haven't been near their villages for years.


If you want to see just how much "our customs" really mean, then visit the
park in Harare on Saturday or Sunday, where dozens of wedding groups arrive,
the brides in flouncy white and veils, with bridesmaids and pages. The woman
may be very pregnant, or with several small children. But this rite of
passage into the modern world, the white man's wedding, they must have, and
the photographers are there to preserve the beautiful sight for posterity.
(It should perhaps be asked why a ritual invented by middle-class Victorians
should have conquered the world from Japan to the Virgin Islands.)

In fact, "our customs" are strongly valued when they have to do with the
subjection of women. The law of the land may say one thing on paper-
Zimbabwe's early Marxist phase, as in other Communist countries, imposed
many kinds of equality. But "our customs" still make sure that a woman has
no right to the money she has earned, or to her children. She is her
husband's vassal. When Mugabe was met at the airport by hand-clapping and
kowtowing maidens, and he was criticized (in the early days) for this sign
of backwardness, the reply was "it is our custom."

A man in a three-piece suit, in a government job, will still beat his
wife-or try to; the women are fighting back. And he will consult soothsayers
and shamans. Superstition still rules. It is "our custom" to look for the
evil eye when a family member gets sick or a cow falls lame and then pay the
witch doctor to exact revenge. It is becoming "our custom" to try to find
virgin partners if you are HIV-positive, for to have sex with them will cure
you of AIDS. (AIDS has spread widely in Zimbabwe.) The use of human parts in
medicine goes on; it is the custom.

By now the expulsion of the white farmers is nearly complete. It should be
evident that what we have been seeing is not principally about race; it is a
transfer of property. Many of the poor people who settled on white land have
been thrown off again by powerful blacks. Those still there may grow maize
and pumpkins and the plant called rape on their patches-when it rains, that
is. There is a bad drought again. The poor settlers are farming without
machinery or even, in some cases, basic implements, such as shovels. The
irrigation systems have broken down. I remember another prophetic scene from
the Eighties: a water tank of a certain school was not working. A valve had
gone. No one replaced it. The women went back to getting water from the
river, which was infested with bilharzia. Two years later the water tank had
not been mended.

The recent settlers who had depended on Mugabe ("Comrade Mugabe will look
after us"; "Comrade Mugabe will...") have no chance of getting their
children into school because school (unlike under the whites) costs a lot of
money; and how will they get money for clothes, even if they survive this
terrible time when there is nothing to eat and people are dying of hunger?
If they manage to stay on the land they will be as poor as subsistence
peasants anywhere in the world.


Every telephone conversation with people in Zimbabwe, every visitor from
there provides tales as bizarre as anything else out of Africa. The black
elite drive around the white farms and say, "I'll have that one." "No, I
want that one." Mugabe's wife had herself driven through the countryside,
picking among farms like fruit on a stall. She chose a really nice one. A
white farmer's wife watched a black woman arrive in her smart car. She was
pushed out of the way, while the interloper began measuring for curtains.
"Are you going to live here?" inquired the dispossessed wife. "Me? I
wouldn't live in this dump," the black woman said scornfully. "I'm going to
let it. I've already got three houses in Borrowdale" (the most fashionable
suburb in Harare).

Around Harare and Bulawayo, during weekends on the farms taken over by
blacks, cars arrive and out pile the city dwellers enjoying a rural
excursion. They set up a barbecue; music blares across the veld; they sing
and dance and eat, spread themselves for the night through the empty house,
and depart next morning back to Harare.

A farmer from Matabeleland, third generation, whose bore holes supplied
water not only to his laborers but to those on nearby farms, now
black-owned, saw a car driving up and some drunk black men get out. "We are
taking your farm," they said. "I shall take you to court," he said. "But we
are the law now." They had parked the car outside his gate. He asked them to
move it. "That's where the cattle come across to the dam," he said.

"We know why you want us to move. You don't like to look at black people."

"But I look at black people every day from sunup to sundown."

They drove off, returned drunk, and took over a wing of his house, where
they drank and caroused, day and night. After months the farmer gave up: he
had been maintaining the water machinery, but after he tried to show the
interlopers how to look after it, and failed, he simply left. "Why are you
taking away those ladders?" he was asked.

"They are my ladders," he said.

"No they aren't. They are our ladders. You are sabotaging us."

A farmer, observing how the white farmers around him were being stopped from
planting crops by the black mobs, thought he would accept his fate and
simply leave. But one of the leaders asked him to plant his crop, tobacco,
the chief currency earner. "What's the point, you'll only take it." "No, you
plant, you'll be safe." He planted, the crop was a good one, and when it was
reaped, baled, and ready, the mob leader told him that now he must get off
the farm. "I am taking your farm and your tobacco."


Some white farmers are in Mozambique; they had to begin again without
capital, implements, machinery. Skilled and hard-working, they will survive.
They are in Zambia, invited by the black government: white farmers in Zambia
produce nearly all the food. They are also in New Zealand, Australia,
Canada, while the people in Zimbabwe are starving.

A month ago the black occupiers of a white farm, a ranch, drove dozens of
cattle into a dam and drowned them. Traditionally Africans in Zimbabwe have
loved cattle, their "mombies" as they call them. Cattle are currency,
riches, links with the past, a promise for the future. It is hard to believe
that Africans would harm them.

Another story is more hopeful. On a pig farm the animals were dying because
they had not been fed and watered since the white farmers were thrown off
the land. Drunken blacks had hacked pieces of meat off some of the pigs and
left them to die. A white woman vet stood by weeping, forbidden to help the
pigs. But then one of the new black settlers, unseen by the others, came to
her and said, "We are townspeople, we have these animals now and don't know
how to look after them. Please help us." They had taken a couple of the
dying pigs and put them in a shed. The white woman went with him and began
showing him and his wife how to look after the animals.

The latest news is that Mugabe, under a contract with a Chinese company, is
importing Chinese farmers to grow food, since the forcibly acquired white
farms are not producing. He says this is because there is no farm machinery.
Yet all the expelled white farmers had been forced to leave behind their
machinery. If lack of machinery is the problem, then why not import some?
But is the story true? It has the tone of zany, brutal, hasty improvisation
that characterizes news from Mugabe. We can pity the Chinese, who may not be
protected against Mugabe's arbitrary cruelties. And what about the poor
blacks who will yet again watch their land being taken from them?

-March 13, 2003

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


Letter 1: Ann Hein

Thanks to Mandy Paterson for speaking out for those farmers still farming.
We are not all making deals.  Farming is no fun in this climate of
uncertainty and incredible costs, coupled with being a target for thieves,
and lousy commodity prices.

We would look pretty silly throwing in the towel and surrendering, when we
have no physical cause, or reason to do so.

Mr. Robinson is coming in for criticism, but at least he showed us what
some of the machinations were - I had no idea that was all going on.
As for Mr. Joubert, your point is taken, but while solidarity is advisable,
the "Union" is so split, it will take proof that things are changing at
CFU, to bring any confidence to those of us who feel betrayed.
P.O. Box 231 Gweru.  All messages express my personal opinions


Letter 2: Cheryl Coke Norris

I don't know if you can help me.
I have just returned from Cape Town, where I meet Ann Perioli.
She is trying to find Mrs. Robie Bennetts of Melford Farm Ruwa.
Ann is under the impression that the Bennets are off their farm.
If anyone has any information I would be very grateful.
Box 258 Mutare.


Letter 3: Philip

Dear Sir,
Please could you include this in your forum?
RE: Land Rover Roof Rack Tent

I was driving down Glenara Avenue on Tuesday 18 March around 1pm when I saw
a bundle fly off a white series 3 Land Rover Station wagon which was
driving towards me. This bundle landed in the middle of the road and was
going to be a hazard to all road users. I stopped and picked it up and it
turned out to be a rather nice roof rack tent with very minor damage. I did
wait a while to see if the owner would return. I am now seeking the owner
of this item!

Please would the owner contact Philip on email or phone
091 235579 Thank you.


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of the submitters, and do not represent the official viewpoint of Justice
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Friday, March 28 2003.

Your Excellencies, I have kindly requested your presence here today in order
to brief you on recent developments in Zimbabwe.

As you are aware, the people embarked on a mass stay away on March 18 and 19
2003 to protest against the Mugabe illegitimate regime's programme of
violent misrule and the corrupt management of the economy. The Zimbabwean
people were and are still demanding that the rogue regime accounts for its

On numerous occasions in the past, I have informed the international
community that it was going to be difficult for us in the MDC to continue
counselling patience indefinitely on a restive population. We have now
reached the stage where people's impatience, anger, and their desire for
qualitative change in their lives cannot be contained.

The mass stay away, which was premised strictly on peaceful or non-violent
modes of protest, was a resounding success. It was a clear demonstration of
the people's determination to chart the path of their own destiny and to
re-affirm the supremacy of their sovereign will, even in the face of
self-evident danger from a regime that has no scruples in its pursuit of
maintaining absolute illegitimate power.

There can be no doubt now that the mass stay away was a clear demonstration
of who holds legitimate political power and authority in our country.
Zimbabweans heeded the MDC's call and voluntarily participated in the
peaceful mass stay away and they became targets of state terror and
violence. The Mugabe regime was thus, clearly exposed as the ruthless
usurper, with no legitimate authority or mass support and clinging to power
through the naked and brute force of arms.

There can be absolutely no doubt that the people's overwhelming response to
the MDC's call for a peaceful mass action was once again a re-endorsement
that we are the legitimate political authority in Zimbabwe, representing the
freely expressed sovereign will of the people.

We alone represent the wishes of the majority of Zimbabweans. We alone speak
for the majority of Zimbabweans.

March 18 and 19 was, therefore, the people of Zimbabwe's Rubicon. There is
now no turning back from their quest to be free regardless of how many
people the regime chooses to brutalize and slaughter.

Not even the sound of gunfire or the chilling smell of cordite can derail
the people's quest for freedom. There is now a singular determination and
conviction among Zimbabweans that no price is too high to pay for freedom.

Above all, Your Excellencies, the mass stay away had a sharp message for
those who used to equivocate about the root cause of the Zimbabwe crisis.
The MDC has always maintained that the Zimbabwe crisis was a crisis of
governance in which the land issue was a symptom used as an alibi to mask
the real nature of that crisis. The recent mass stay away has vindicated and
validated the accurancy and honesty of our diagnosis.

Well after the Mugabe had announced the end of the chaotic and violent land
reform and is carrying out the so-called audit, largely to establish the
extent of benefits to cronies, the people of Zimbabwe rose up to protest
against the systematic violations of human rights, denial of democratic
rights and democratic governance, violence, murder, torture, rape and other
crimes against humanity. These are the root cause of the Zimbabwe crisis of
governance. Zimbabweans did not rise up in celebration of the end of the
violent land grab.

Your Excellencies, it is quite revealing that only recently, Mr. Thabo Mbeki
of South Africa has finally and grudgingly accepted that the rogue regime's
proclaimed end of agrarian violence has not resolved the basic crisis of
governance in Zimbabwe. We are indeed encouraged by this new re-evaluation
and correct interpretation of the Zimbabwe crisis from a key and influential
country in the region.

Land has never been and is not the central issue in the resolution of the
Zimbabwe crisis.

The Mugabe regime's violent transgressions and dictatorial rule, not land
reform and distribution, define the root cause of the Zimbabwe crisis. The
Zimbabwe crisis can only be resolved through a systematic dismantling of the
Mugabe dictatorship.

By his own public admission, Mugabe has announced that he is the moral and
practical equivalent of Adolf Hitler. The international community must not
take this announcement lightly as the musings of a geriatric. This was in
fact an announcement of the new forms of repression, the new fascism that
Mugabe is bend on implementing as the hallmark of his illegitimate rule.
This new era of repression which by Mugabe's own admission is inspired by
the atrocities and Nazi ideology of Adolf Hitler is already upon us.

As you are well aware, Your Excellencies, through the notorious Public Order
and Security Act (POSA) it is a criminal offence in Zimbabwe to demand
government accountability. The response of the Mugabe regime to the peaceful
stay away was as swift as it was predictable. The entire state machinery of
repression was unleashed on a defenceless population, peacefully protesting
in their neighbourhoods.

These pogroms are continuing. Innocent Zimbabweans are being hunted down in
their homes and places of entertainment and are routinely arrested for no
reason, brutalized and tortured.

As I speak to you now, hundreds of innocent Zimbabwe are being held as
political prisoners by the Mugabe regime under the most appalling
conditions. They are being tortured and brutalised for expressing their
democratic right to demand that the Mugabe regime be accountable for its
sustained programme of misrule. These reprisals are a clear demonstration of
the regime's determination to crush all democratic dissent in a Nazi style.

We remain unshaken by these brutalities. We have given Mugabe 15 demands
that he must address by the 31st March 2003. These are demands, which
constitute the minimum conditions that are required as the launching pad for
the process to return the country to the rule of law, democracy and

On our part there can be no going back. Mugabe has to fulfil these 15
demands or contend with the consequences of people's anger. These 15 demands
are not Mugabe's gift to the people of Zimbabwe. They are part and parcel of
the people's inalienable rights and Mugabe must fulfil them. On this score
there can be no compromise or surrender. Mugabe must unconditionally yield
or face decisive mass action from the people. We will employ methods of
peaceful mass action that will render useless the ferociousness of his
apparatus of repression and in the end the sovereignty of the people will

It no longer matters how much Nazi style repression he unleashes in denial
of people's fundamental rights. The people of Zimbabwe are no longer
prepared to live under his murderous dictatorial rule.

We are well aware that it is the Zimbabwean people who must end the
tyrannical rule that has cost them so much. However we are not blind to the
critical and much appreciated support that we have received from friends and
well-wishers throughout the international community.

We are aware and much appreciate the gallant stance taken by some countries
in the region, in Africa and the Third World, in support of and solidarity
with the people of Zimbabwe during our darkest hour. We shall never forget.

The EU has remained principled and steadfast in the face of the machinations
some countries that have now earned themselves the unenviable title of
natural and historical allies of dictatorial regimes in Zimbabwe. We are
indeed truly grateful.

The recent decision by the Commonwealth to maintain the suspension of the
illegitimate Mugabe regime from the Councils of the Commonwealth has been a
welcome boost to the struggling people of Zimbabwe. It has renewed our faith
in the moral strength of that splendid collection of nations freely bound
together by the universal values of democracy, human rights and good
governance. It was a clear demonstration that the infiltration of the double
standards and dishonesty of Mugabe's fellow travellers will never be
tolerated or allowed to defile the noble values that bind the Commonwealth.

Mugabe expected the war in Iraq to deflect international attention away from
his violent dictatorship in Zimbabwe. It is encouraging to note that on the
contrary the war in Iraq is serving to permanently maintain Mugabe's violent
illegitimate regime sharply on the radar of international attention.

Your Excellencies, the doctrine of national sovereignty has undergone
several internationally accepted and valid modifications in the past fifty
years. The international community now firmly rejects recourse to bogus
notions of sovereignty, which serve as a smokescreen behind which rogue
regimes routinely commit crimes against innocent citizens. Like other
dictatorial regimes elsewhere in the world the international community must
reject Mugabe's periodic invocation of a hollow sovereignty as an alibi for
the crimes against humanity that his regime perpetrates daily against the
people of Zimbabwe.

 In this regard we are grateful to the persistent concern expressed by the
Government of the USA on violent excesses of the Mugabe dictatorship.
Contrary to Mugabe's expectations problems in other parts of the world have
not neutralized the attention on the crisis of governance in Zimbabwe. We
say to the people and Government of the USA, walk with us the last mile
towards our freedom and together lets lay down the future foundation of
fruitful understanding, cooperation and progress.

Our suggestion for the way forward has been a matter of public record for
some time now. We believe that there is no other viable avenue of resolving
the crisis of governance in Zimbabwe outside a serious process of dialogue
designed to return the country to legitimacy and democracy. We in the MDC
remain ready for such a process provided it is based on integrity and
principle rather than sheer political expediency.

As Your Excellencies are no doubt aware, the agenda for such a process is in
place and already agreed to by both parties. It is the Mugabe regime, which
scuttled the talks citing our legal challenge to the clearly fraudulent
March 2002 presidential poll. It is therefore entirely up to Mugabe and his
associates to come back to the negotiating table. On our part we have never
cited the fate of the on-going treason trial as a condition for dialogue.

We are ready to engage in a purposeful process of dialogue even as the
treason trial and our presidential election challenge proceed in the courts
of law.

I thank you

 Morgan Tsvangirai

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Saturday 29 March 2003

Plot to rig poll exposed - By Ray Matikinye

The opposition MDC says it has unearthed elaborate plans by Zanu PF for massive rigging of the weekend by-elections in Highfield and Kuwadzana.

Remus Makuwaza, the MDC director of elections, told a Press conference in Harare yesterday that the rigging plans were with the connivance of the Registrar-General, Tobaiwa Mudede, and other State agents.

Makuwaza said more than 19 000 suspected “ghost” voters not resident in the two constituencies had been added to the voters’ roll. He showed journalists the list of the dubious voters.

The High Court ordered Mudede to release the voters’ roll to the MDC within 48 hours last Friday after a protracted wrangle.

“We knew that was the reason for his delay in giving us the voters’ roll. We are not sure whether what we got was the final roll or that there could be another supplementary voters’ roll to facilitate rigging which we were not given,” Makuwaza said.

“According to a basic analysis of the voters’ roll, there are more than 8 000 voters in Kuwadzana and 11 000 others registered in Highfield who are not necessarily resident in these constituencies. The samples are not exhaustive. We have discovered that on the voters’ roll there are a number of instances where two different names share the same national ID number.”

The MDC candidate for Highfield, Tachiveyi Mungofa, said Zanu PF had started bussing in people to within the confines of the constituency.

“More than 4 000 people are being fed at an open space in the constituency, ready for the weekend poll,” he claimed.

A sample extracted from the voters’ roll for Kuwadzana by this newspaper shows a majority of newly registered voters with alien surnames, raising suspicion that these could be ghost voters from grabbed commercial farms, the majority of whose labour was from Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia.

There are names and surnames such as Akulukaya, Arimoso, Bilimonti, Bollie, Abinal, Asavetwa, Ajala, Bitoni and others who form the bulk of the suspect voters on the roll.

The MDC did its own audit of the voters’ roll and visited residences where they discovered some of the people listed under addresses in Kuwadzana were either unknown to the occupants or had never been at those addresses.

Makuwaza said his party was aware Zanu PF would flood the constituencies with scarce basic commodities such as sugar, maize-meal and cooking oil packaged in containers soaked in indelible ink to disqualify genuine voters.

“We are aware that State agents plan to taint doors and water taps with the indelible ink in those areas which are known MDC strongholds in order to disqualify our voters,” he said.

Makuwaza said Zanu PF would deliberately slow down the voting process in known MDC strongholds to give itself unfair advantage.

The MDC spokesman, Paul Themba-Nyathi, said his party would continue to take part in elections even in the face of such evidence because the alternative would be “ghastly to contemplate”.

“We contest because the people have vested their trust in democracy. We want to teach them that change comes through democratic means and processes.”

Reparations – who should compensate the victims of gross human right abuse at the hands of Mugabe's Zanu-PF?

With the publication of the final report of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Committee the subject of reparations for the victims of apartheid and who should pay them has once again become a hot discussion topic.

Let us consider the subject of reparations, as it may be applicable to Zimbabwe. The Oxford dictionary tells us that reparation is either “making amends” or the “compensation for war damages”. Let us also proceed on the basis that certainly the white commercial farming community have through the total confiscation of their land and accumulated assets paid their reparations for the pre-independence period.

Since 1980 thousands of horrific acts of subhuman depravity have been inflicted upon the people of Zimbabwe by the thugs and agents of Mugabe’s Zanu-PF. While there has been a significant amount of documentation produced to record these atrocities it is believed that it is only the tip of the iceberg. The one common thread running through this disgusting history of gross human rights abuse is Robert Gabriel Mugabe and his Zanu-PF henchmen.

Quite clearly then just as multi-national banks and corporations are being sued for making profits during apartheid South Africa so must those individuals and companies which through their links with and patronage from the Mugabe regime made profits they would not otherwise have been made. Therefore apart from whatever criminal charges they may face it must become a foundation stone of policy that none of these individuals and the extended families must be allowed to enjoy their ill-gotten gains. From Mugabe down the best these subhuman thugs should wish for is a few acres of land to plough and access to basic health care. The accumulated reparations from Mugabe and the Zanu-PF, which will be considerable, must be placed into a “reparations fund” which can be drawn upon as the courts award compensation to the victims of Zanu-PF crimes against humanity.

Simply put the reparations must be paid by the perpetrators and not by the taxpayers of Zimbabwe among whom the victims themselves are all found. The scum who have been responsible for the shocking record of gross human rights abuse must never be allowed to live about minimum wage/subsistence level for the rest of their disgusting lives.

Uniformed thugs force patrons to have unprotected sex

Patrons of a Chitungwiza night club allege that soldiers paired revellers and forced them to have unprotected sex early this week.

The incident occurred at Royal Crown Night Club at Chikwanha shopping centre in the early hours of Monday. The night club owner, who refused to be named, said: “Yes I received reports pertaining to the forced sexual encounters. The disturbances that took place at the place have drastically affected our sales.

“People have not been entering our place for the past two days after the soldiers attacked people and did what they did. The soldiers were said to be on routine patrols.” Victims said the suspected soldiers arrived at the night club at about 2 am and surrounded the premises.

Some of the soldiers allegedly entered the night spot and ordered revellers to have unprotected sex with patrons of the opposite sex. A prominent commuter omnibus operator who operates from Chikwanha business centre was allegedly beaten up after he said he could not get an erection. The businessman was unavailable for comment.

“They ordered everyone to lie down and undress. People were beaten and the ladies were ordered to take off their panties. “They forced the patrons to have sex and those men who failed to get erections were severely assaulted.”

“I witnessed naked men and women being forced to have unprotected sex.”

There is an interesting pattern developing here and that is the depraved obsession with sexual torture and any amount of kinky sexual perversions.among supporters of the illegitimate Mugabe regime. Somehow one can expect that a regime where murder, torture, rape and sexual depravity are normal activities it will attract the scum from society. And indeed that is what comprises Zanu-PF – the scum from the bottom end of society.Ed


To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men Abraham Lincoln

Jocelyn Chiwenga’s day of reckoning is coming

It was with utter shock and disbelief that we read of the happenings here in Zimbabwe since the stayaway: Brutality that knows no bounds perpetrated on absolutely anyone and everyone who happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.

When one listens to the utterances spat out with such venom – by the “very democratically elected” President Mugabe himself at the funeral of another hero – one cannot help, but wonder where and when this madness will end.

As I write this letter, there are people all over the country who have been tortured and raped by the “army” of thugs known as the Green Bombers who are paid by us, the people of Zimbabwe. Also paid by us the taxpayers, is the venomous, evil, satanic woman who happens to be married to the army commander – the very army commander who is sworn to protect the people of Zimbabwe.

To her, I have only one, but very clear message: right now you may think you are smart and safe but know this: every circle ends where it started. Make no mistake, you will be punished for the evil deeds that you have done to others. The Bible clearly tells us that with the yardstick we use, that same yardstick will be used against us.

You will not escape and your time will come. You and so many others like you – those police and army thugs that are doing unspeakable things to innocent people – will also ultimately pay the price. It seems to me that they, the so-called rulers, have gone completely mad.

We, the taxpayers of Zimbabwe, are also completely crazy. Obviously there are some taxes we cannot escape – sales tax, for one – but if we, who are against this satanic regime, only buy what we absolutely need, the tax base will be sharply reduced.

How much sense does it make to pay the thugs who are raping, torturing and beating the hell out of the ordinary people of Zimbabwe, not to mention the deliberate starvation of the masses whilst they, the perpetrators, feast in abundance?

If the stayaway was the “flop” Mugabe says it was, why are they not ignoring it? By their reaction, it is obvious that they now know that the clock spring is wound tight and, with God’s grace, we will overcome the evil that has become the regime of Zimbabwe.

I am a Zimbabwean resident, Zimbabwe is my home. May God bless us, the people of Zimbabwe

A S - Harare

Mugabe's death squads must be identified and remembered because their time is near

Zimbabweans must move now to ensure that the criminal death squads who carry out Mugabe's policy of abduction, torture, rape and murder do not escape the noose of justice when the illegitimate regime collapses and the chefs flee the country.

Both victims and witnesses must do their level best to identify and commit to paper and voice or video recording as much evidence as they can. Where possible this must be sent out of the country for safe keeping.

This evidence will be needed when the nation awakes from the nightmare of being ruled by the subhuman tyranny that has characterised the government Mugabe and his Zanu-PF henchmen.

Great news - Massive unpaid government debt bringing Zanu-PF companies to their knees

The way things are going a boycott of Zanu-PF owned businesses by freedom loving Zimbabweans may too late as the unpaid debt by the government may do the job of ruining these business sooner rather than later.

Hundreds of millions of ZimKwatchas worth of debt to favoured suppliers remains unpaid for goods and services supplied to the illegitimate Mugabe regime. The pigs are beginning to squeal big time but the government has no money and no more paper to print worthless new ZimKwatchas.

It is time for the MDC to make a clear and categorical statement that debt accumulated by the illegitimate Mugabe regime since the fraudulent 2002 elections will not necessarily be honoured by the new government. In fact all amounts paid certainly since then would be subject to review and where necessary legislation will enacted to recover the monies paid to companies run by Zanu-PF or Zanu-PF gang members.

Uniformed services warned not to follow orders to commit crimes against humanity - By Cris Chinaka

HARARE, March 27 — Zimbabwe's main opposition party urged the army and police on Thursday to defy orders to suppress protests against President Robert Mugabe's rule.

In advertisements published in several newspapers, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said there was no role for the security forces in a ''purely political contest'' between the opposition and Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party.

The MDC says about 500 party members were detained after a two- day strike last week shut factories and sparked violence in one of the biggest protests since Mugabe came to power in 1980.

The MDC said most of the country's police and military forces wanted to remain professional, but it accused Mugabe of dragging them into a political and economic crisis of his own making.

''The uniformed forces have absolutely no constitutional or operational role to play in a purely political contest between the MDC and ZANU- PF,'' the MDC said in full-page newspaper adverts published on Thursday.

''The time has now come for the security forces to make that historic choice of either being with the people or against them,'' it said.

The MDC called on the police and army to denounce human rights abuses committed in their name, and to protest the wearing of their uniforms by Mugabe's ''green bombers'' whom it said were going around dressed as policemen and soldiers.

''The security forces must dissociate themselves from the militias whose existence is to rob, rape, assault, kill and terrorise people into submission,'' it said.

Yes it is good that the MDC has had the courage to clearly and very publicly remind the uniformed services that they run a terrible personal risk if they get involved in committing gross human rights abuses against the citizen of Zimbabwe whose sole crime is that they voted against Mugabe's subhuman regime first in the referendum and then repeatedly later in rigged elections. Each policeman and soldier needs to examine his conscience and search within himself for the courage to stand up for freedom and the rule of law.

Shame on you, lying ZBC!

“The 4 o’clock news read by Oscar Pambuka. It was business as usual in Harare and most parts of the country as people ignored the mass stayaway called by the British-sponsored MDC . . .”

This is what the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) had to say to Zimbabwe and the rest of the world.

This is what obtains in an environment where airwaves are not freed – I mean those with the monopoly can choose to lie and you do not have alternative views.

ZBC lied because the stayaway was a resounding success. If it was not, why did ZBC choose to use a file tape to show “business as usual”?

On the second day some Zanu PF sympathisers chose to be hypocritical when they were interviewed by the ZBC reporter. They claimed the stayaway was a flop when they themselves had also stayed away – all the three interviewees were at their homes. We were not shown the city centres and industries to substantiate the “business as usual” theory.

Some people find enough justification for their refusal to pay television and radio licences. Why should we pay? For ZBC falsehoods?

ZBC, your behaviour is scandalous.

It is interesting to see these ZBC propaganda agents carrying on as if they will still have their jobs after the collapse of the illegitimate Mugabe regime. Their dismissal must include the loss of all benefits including pensions.Ed

Arch thugs Chogugudza and Mwale continue to harass Bennett's workers - swradioafrica

Yesterday the farm workers at Roy Bennett's Charleswood Estate fled into the bush after a police unit invaded the farm. Their belongings and all of Roy Bennett's property were thrown outside into the rain. The police were allegedly being commanded by the Chimani excuse for a member in charge Inspector Chogugudza, and the notorious CIO thug and murderer Joseph Mwale allegedly took part in the evictions.

This action defies a court order protecting the farm from acquisition and a restraining order prohibiting Chogugudza and Mwale from harassing workers at Charleswood. It was discovered today that those families were actually driven by the police to a bus stop in Chimani town and dumped there without food or shelter.

It is obvious that these two subhuman thugs have realised that come the collapse of the illegitimate Mugabe regime that they will not be able to avoid paying the ultimate price at the hands of the angry masses. They have nothing to lose but their lives and there is little doubt that the people of Chimani will prove their worst fears to be correct. Ed

Mugabe's thugs force MP to flee for her life - swradioafrica

It seems the harassment of MDC officials is still continuing. Evelyn Masaiti, the MP for Mutasa, has fled her home and is in hiding. She says her life is in danger after state security agents started visiting her home in Harare. Violet spoke with her earlier Thursday.

Evelyn Masaiti says she has had to go into hiding after state security agents started looking for her at her home. Speaking from her hiding place Mrs Masaiti says she fears for her life and the safety of her children who are constantly being harassed by these strangers.

The MP says the harassment is part of the ongoing attacks against MDC members in the aftermath of last week's mass stayaway.

This is not the first time that Masaiti has suffered at the hands of state security agents.

Last year, just before the presidential election, she was assaulted by soldiers at Ruda Police Station in Hauna Growth point.

During the 2000 parliamentary elections Evelyn Masaiti was forces to go into hiding in the mountains after her house and car were burnt. She also says Zanu PF supporters disrupted the funeral of her husband last year.

In African politics power is not begged for, it is demanded

The great success of the massive stayaway called for by the Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC should send a strong message to President Mugabe’s brutal and ruthless regime that the people of Zimbabwe are now prepared to engage in militant confrontation to force his regime out of office.

We applaud the people of Zimbabwe for “peacefully” staying away from their “slave yards” over the two days as this has undoubtedly registered the people’s anger and disgust at the crisis of leadership that we are facing in this country.

Don’t be fooled by the propaganda being churned out by the State media telling us that the mass action will kill the economy when, in actual fact, productive workers are daily missing work in fuel queues.

The fact is that staying away is not anything new to Zimbabwean politics. It has actually been engineered by Zanu PF, who are solely to blame for the acute shortages the nation is facing today.

Clearly this economy is not being mismanaged. Rather, it is not being managed at all.

Respect for human rights is non-existent, as honourable MPs are being persecuted and savagely tortured at the hands of the State.

I think the message that was registered at State House is simple – the people of Zimbabwe are sick and tired of the extremist policies of Zanu PF, which have resulted in pain and suffering for the people of Zimbabwe.

While Jonathan Moyo is quick to blame the food crisis on the “weather” there has been a deafening silence with regards to the fuel crisis and the shortage of foreign currency. All these difficulties are clearly a result of gross mismanagement.

I wish to salute those of you who were brave enough over the two days to send home the message that Zimbabwe is not a colony and we cannot be governed by the Zanu PF government as if they are running their own small tuckshop.

I think the way forward for the opposition forces is to start mobilising the progressive cadres of Zimbabwe towards more determined and swift mass action to register our anger with Zanu PF.

We cannot afford to lose time. Now is the right time as the momentum and the national mood is at a peak.

Unless we are prepared to make sacrifices together as the people of Zimbabwe, rest assured we shall continue to wallow in misery.

We need to learn from those whom we are fighting that a liberation struggle is not won by sitting in offices or complaining in commuter omnibuses, wishing that those who are the source of our misery will somehow just resign or disappear en masse. That is wishful thinking of the worst order.

In African politics power is not begged for, it is demanded. The successful stayaway is the initial warning to our oppressors.

We have to demand good governance today. A word of advice to the opposition leadership: the stayaway must not be viewed as an end in itself but rather as a means to an end – the end of Zanu PF rule.

We demand more mass action in the very immediate future.

Charlton Dzvairo – Harare

Muscle mouth Moyo rated world's greatest censor

Eminent media terrorist Jonathan Moyo has been recognised for his single handed contribution to the advance of censorship and his systematic dismantling of the right to freedom of expression in Zimbabwe.

Moyo a political prostitute and a man of ambiguous sexuality received the dubious award from UK-based Index on Censorship. Index is a group of leading media figures, writers and people concerned with freedom of speech in the world.

“There have been many cases of journalists being detained on small charges, some deported, while some were threatened in connection with their articles.” it was stated.

Funerals are not rallies

It is disturbing to note that at 78 years of age, President Mugabe is still not wise enough to know what to say and what not to say at funerals.

When you address people at a funeral, you should tell them about the attributes of the deceased person, the times you interacted with him and how sad you are at his passing away. Please, Mr President, I beg you to stop doing your campaign rallies at funerals when other people are mourning their beloved ones.

Baba Kurai – Kwekwe

All reasonable people will agree with the sentiments expressed in this letter. However, one must sympathise with Mugabe in that as a cornered rat he strikes out as often as he can against whoever he can. This is what thugs do when they are about the be called to account for their crimes against humanity. Thanks to Mugabe for confirming our suspicions that he was too mad to understand the desperation of his situation. Does anyone take this idiot of a man seriously anymore anyway? Ed

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