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

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      Mugabe's party attacks archbishop
      Monday, March 28, 2005 Posted: 5:42 AM EST (1042 GMT)

      BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe -- A spokesman for Robert Mugabe's party has
branded a prominent Roman Catholic archbishop "a mad, inveterate liar" after
he called for street protests aimed at overthrowing the long-time ruler.

      Pius Ncube, bishop of Zimbabwe's second-largest city of Bulawayo, and
an outspoken critic of Mugabe, told reporters that parliamentary elections
due to be held Thursday were certain to be rigged.

      ZANU-PF information secretary Nathan Shamuyarira, a retired foreign
minister, attacked Ncube's calls for "a non-violent popular uprising" if the
elections fail to unseat the government.

      "He is a mad, inveterate liar. He has been lying for the past two
years," Shamuyarira said.

      Shamuyarira pledged to release figures on distribution of food to
drought hit areas of the country that would refute the archbishop's
allegations that those suspected of supporting the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change were being denied food aid.

      "He, however, fits into the scheme of the British and Americans, who
are calling for regime change and are feeding him with these wild ideas," he

      "Archbishop Ncube's open call for an unconstitutional uprising shows
he is an instrument of the West's illegal regime change agenda," he added.

      Access to food has become a key issue during the election campaign,
with ZANU-PF party chairman John Nkomo telling a weekend rally in Gweru that
the government would deal with those responsible for the shortages," the
Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corp. reported Monday.

      "Employees of the (state monopoly) Grain Marketing Board are causing
shortages by withholding grain or selling it on the black market for
personal profit," Nkomo was quoted saying.

      The marketing board has said it was importing 1.5 million metric tons
of maize from neighboring South Africa to ensure "no-one would starve."

      The government owned national daily newspaper, The Herald, reported
that Shamuyarira had criticized London-based Sky News, which was among news
organizations which reported the archbishop's comments.

      Shamuyarira said the government would not "take any measures against
the news crew," which had been given accreditation to cover the elections,
but demanded they substantiate the archbishop's claims.

      Representatives of many leading newspapers and media organizations
were refused permission to enter Zimbabwe for the poll, according to The
Associated Press.

      Observers from international bodies and governments that have been
critical in the past, including the European Union, Commonwealth, and United
States, have been banned.

      Under Mugabe's recently passed Public Order and Security Act anyone
calling for unauthorized demonstrations or any form of "coercion" of the
government faces up to 20 years' imprisonment. Shamuyarira, however, made no
threats to have the outspoken archbishop prosecuted.

      Meanwhile, Zimbabwe's main opposition party says it fears voter apathy
and lingering concerns about political violence may keep many of its
supporters away from the polls.

      "Our biggest challenge is that Zimbabweans have never experienced any
form of free and fair elections and have had 25 years of broken promises and
betrayed dreams," Movement for Democratic Change Information Secretary Paul
Themba-Nyathi told Reuters.

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An Army of the Poor.

We go to the polls here in Zimbabwe in three days time! Those of us who are
deeply involved with the MDC are totally exhausted, many are hoarse from
speaking at meetings two and three times a day for weeks, many are both
physically and mentally exhausted by the effort they have put into the

I have often pointed out to any who will listen, that the MDC is a Party of
the Poor. If you had visited a Zanu rally you would have been astonished at
the variety of vehicles in the vicinity - army, police, CIO, Mercedes, BMW,
every form of 4x4 and luxury twin cab you can name and few you probably have
never seen. By contrast at the MDC rally on Saturday - with 35 000 people
crammed into a stadium that holds 15 000, there were a handful of battered
pick-ups and the now familiar armored twin cab that carries the President.

On Wednesday evening we will deploy our own army to their posts. An army of
peasant farmers, widows, grandmothers and low-income workers. This army -
numbering 35 000 have all volunteered to have their names printed in the
newspaper for all to see, along with their ID numbers and physical addresses
and will go out to witness and supervise the elections at 8 300 polling

They will have to walk to their stations in most cases; many will sleep at
the stations they are looking after because they live too far away. Only a
handful will have their own transport and the MDC simply cannot move them to
their stations because they themselves have no "wheels".

They will vary from illiterate people who cannot write their names to
teachers and headmasters who have defied their government employers to help.
They will carry small packs - a candle, a box of matches, some toilet paper,
2 kilograms of maize meal and some form of "relish" to go with it. Perhaps
some water in a plastic bottle.

They will have to man their stations for up to 24 hours straight - no sleep
as people will vote all day and in some cases well into the night. They run
the risk of physical violence and intimidation and offers of money to
abandon their posts or allow the operation of the station to be subverted
while they are there.

After the election they have been threatened with the loss of their jobs,
transfers to hostile places and the denial of food and medicine for their
families. In Masvingo the Head of the Armed forces said this past week that
the "bushes would become soldiers and MDC supporters beheaded".

At their polling stations they will enter a totally hostile environment.
There will be police present, probably youth militia, peasant farmers will
be faced with their traditional leaders all of who are paid to work for the
State and Zanu PF. All the officials in the polling station will be
hostile - probably drawn from the army or the CIO. Even the staff of the
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission will be vetted by Zanu PF and will be proven
Zanu supporters and cadres.

And into this situation will march our rag tag army of polling agents - some
barefoot or in sandals made out of old tyres, wearing their best clothes
because this is an honor. They will be armed with two pens, some stationary
and their commitment to democratic principles and a free and fair
environment for our people to vote in. They will only be allowed one at a
time into the polling station itself and there they will watch the whole
voting process. They will be alert for any actions that may result in the
returns for that station being subverted in some way.

They will have had a days training from the MDC and a couple of hours with
the ZEC. They are the only way we can stop the kind of activity that we saw
and experienced in 2000 and 2002 and which resulted in the election being
stolen from the democrats. For that is what we are - we are the only
democrats in this race - for the others, this is not a test of public
opinion, it is just a front for electoral fraud on a massive scale.

What astonishes me and gives me hope for Zimbabwe and for Africa is that the
commitment to real democracy at this level of our society is so strong and
alive. These may be the poor, but we have found that they not only fully
understand the value of democracy but also want it to work for them. Ask any
group of poor Zimbabweans if they are "ready". You do not have to explain,
they know you are asking "are you ready to vote?" and the answer without
exception is yes!

So here you have an army of the poor, going once again into battle for their
future, the future of their children and their country. A battle that they
have fought twice before and been beaten - not by fair means but by foul. An
army that has not given up despite propaganda, threats, hunger and worse.
Hundreds of thousands tortured, hundreds beaten or even killed. They go
against armed forces numbering 120 000, armed with AK 47's and strutting
with pride and arrogance. They go against a State controlled system that has
been designed and built to frustrate their desires and will.

They are in small groups - three per station, in lonely places, many
kilometers from the nearest town. They are armed only with their principles
and pens. They cannot call on reinforcements if they get into trouble and we
may not even get news of them for hours after any incidents. But these are
the people who are holding the line for democracy in Africa and I am so
proud to be one of them.

Eddie Cross

Bulawayo, 28th March 2005.

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Harare's water supply threatened

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

HARARE, 28 Mar 2005 (IRIN) - The spread of the fast growing water hyacinth
weed in Harare's Lake Chivero is threatening the capital city's main water

The floating weed, one metre tall in places, covers 40 percent of the lake
and is soaking up oxygen and sunlight, killing fish and reducing both the
quality and volume of water in the lake.

Water hyacinth has become a major pest in waterways around the world. Its
rampant growth can destroy native habitats, and high rates of transpiration
through the weed's leaves during summer can cause up to four times the loss
of water from normal water surface evaporation.

Environmentalists in Harare blame the spread of the weed on the discharge of
effluent, particularly raw sewage, into lake Chivero. They have called for
an integrated approach to tackle the problem.

The Environmental Management Act exists to provide strict guidelines on
policy implementation and ensure that stakeholders carry out their mandate
with respect to pollution control and preservation of the environment.
Pollution beyond accepted limits carries a five-year imprisonment penalty.

However, the provisions of the act, passed in March 2003, are still to be
effectively used. As a result, progress on controlling the discharge of
effluent into the lake and efforts to get rid of the hyacinth have so far
been unsuccessful.

The department of National Parks and Wildlife has been trying to control the
weed by using herbicides and removing it manually and with harvesting
machines. However, these methods require regular follow-up operations to
prevent re-infestation.

Progress was hampered because "the effluent has the effect of putting
fertiliser onto something you are trying to get rid of", National Parks
official Edward Mbewe told IRIN.

"The effluent impact is [evident] by the way we are losing fish. There is
now a lack of oxygen for them," he added.

The Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA), responsible for national
water pollution control, blames the Harare city council and is preparing to
force the council to pay for clean-up efforts.

The water hyacinth is concentrated on the eastern side of the lake, around
the discharge points for the Harare city council's sewage disposal works,
Shamiso Mtisi, a lawyer with the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association
(ZELA) told IRIN. Mtisi added that ZINWA lacked the resources and manpower
to carry out effective monitoring on the ground.

According to the "polluter pays principle" of the Water Act, ZINWA can issue
permits at a cost to bodies wishing to discharge pollutants into water
sources after industrial use, but the polluted water must be recycled and
the pollutants reduced to harmless levels before the water is released into

ZINWA has stripped the council of its permit, is accusing it of discharging
insufficiently treated effluent into the lake and of doing so without a
discharge permit.

A ZINWA official said court action could force the council to release funds
for the upgrading of its sewage works. The Water Act also allows ZINWA to
pay for the clean up of pollution and recoup costs from the offender.

City council spokesman Leslie Gwindi told IRIN the council was carrying out
its mandate with respect to pollution control. He said there had been
equipment failure at two sewage works and the council was "working on them"
and had been "on top of the situation even before ZINWA's involvement".

Gwindi denied that council effluent was chiefly responsible for the growth
of the hyacinth in Lake Chivero. "The weed is feeding on a lot of things. It
is simply difficult to destroy because of the microcosms that exist in the
water," he explained.

Mtisi, the ZELA lawyer, however, said existing waste water treatment
facilities were increasingly overloaded and prone to collapse because of
ever-increasing volumes of waste generated by a growing urban population.
The council, generally lacking in resources, has been struggling to pay for
refurbishments to its water works.

Although litigation induced "a sense of fear in other would-be polluters",
it was costly and time-consuming and it was unclear whether the penalties
were a sufficient deterrent, he added.

Mbewe at the National Parks agency believes litigation to be a waste of
resources that could be better used for pollution control. "While the law
suit against the Harare council is being prepared, the effluent in Lake
Chivero remains. While the court action is happening, there will be more
pollution," he told IRIN.

Barney Mawire of the NGO Environment Africa said a major step in arresting
the pollution in Lake Chivero would be to rehabilitate the swampy wetlands
which, during rainy periods, acted as a sponge and filtered water headed for
the lake. But the increasing use of the wetlands for agriculture was
arresting their ability to clear the water.
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Water Shortage Hits Harare Suburbs

Zimbabwe Standard (Harare)

March 27, 2005
Posted to the web March 28, 2005

A CRITICAL water shortage has hit Harare, with most suburbs in the city
having gone for the past two weeks without running water. The situation
poses a serious health hazard for residents of the capital.

Harare residents who spoke to The Standard last week said the situation had
gone out of hand and they feared for their health.

Among the affected areas are the low-density suburbs of Borrowdale,
Chisipite, Gunhill, Greendale, Avondale, Hogerty Hill and Mainway Meadows in

Eastern suburbs of Mabvuku, Tafara, Zimre Park and Msasa Park have been
without water for the whole of last week.

Combined Harare Residents' Association (CHRA) vice chairperson, Israel
Mabhoo, said the water crisis showed that the local authorities were not
concerned about the residents' welfare.

He said the association had on several occasions raised concerns with the
relevant authorities but no improvement had been done.

"The council continues to cut water supplies without even notifying
residents despite our persistent calls. Everyone knows that the whole water
system is now old and needs an overhaul but the people at the top are very
arrogant," he said.

Mabhoo said people who stay in affluent northern suburbs have drilled
boreholes on their properties while those in areas such as Tafara and
Mabvuku fetch water from streams and unprotected wells exposing themselves
to water-borne diseases.

"People deserve to know if there is a problem. We don't rule out that there
might be some mechanical problems sometimes but this has gone for too long,"
he said.

Msasa Park and Mainway Meadows had been without water for the better part of
the past two weeks and residents in the areas say the situation has gotten
out of hand.

"We don't know why the council cuts water supplies without notifying us. Can
you imagine going for days without water in an urban set up, where almost
everything requires water," said Steven Mapanzure of Msasa Park.

Shamiso Manyadza of Greendale said residents of that area were now relying
on water from boreholes and swimming pools to cater for domestic use.

"We have been facing these water problems since 2003 and the council seems
to have failed to resolve them," Manyadza said.

A senior official in the Harare City Council said the problems started after
a transformer failure at the Morton Jaffray Water Treatment Works two weeks
ago. There are only two transformers at Morton Jaffray, the main one and a
standby unit.

The stand-by unit (transformer) had been sent to Bulawayo for repairs, said
the official who requested anonymity.

"As we speak most of the reservoirs are empty and it will take some weeks
for the problem to be rectified. The problem is not only in the few suburbs
you mentioned but the whole town has been dry," said the official.

City council spokesperson, Leslie Gwindi could not be reached for a comment.

Harare's water supply system has been dogged by problems ranging from
obsolete equipment, lack of proper planning and poor maintenance.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe's second largest city, Bulawayo, is facing a critical
shortage of water because water levels at all major dams which supply the
city dropped to well below what is normal this time of year, The Standard
has learnt.

The Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) said on Wednesday the low
water levels in most dams in Matabeleland region were a cause for concern.

Most dams in the region have not received enough inflows since the beginning
of the rainy season.

Bulawayo executive mayor, Japhet Ndabeni-Ncube, said :"The water situation
is very critical. All major dams here have low water levels and it's not
healthy. We are left with water supply for less than 15 months."

ZINWA catchment manager for Gwayi (Matabeleland north province), Richard
Msendo, said dams such as Umguza, Tshongko and Mananda were less that 15
percent full.

Shangani dam, which is 93 percent full, is the only water source left in the

Msendo said the low water levels were likely to have a negative impact on
agriculture in the province as most farmers relied on irrigation. "Tshongoko
dam is of major concern to us because most farming operations that depend on
it for irrigation have been severely threatened," said Msendo.

He said Tshongoko provides water for both irrigation and domestic use to
residents of Matabeleland North province.

Mzingwane Catchment Manager (Matabeleland south province), Tommy Rosen, said
dams such as Silalabuhwa, Upper Insiza, Antelope and Mangwe had not received
significant inflows due to the ravaging drought.

He said the water levels had drastically dropped and it was unlikely that
the valiable water would last to the next rainy season, unless significant
inflows were recorded soon.

The shortage of water in Matabeleland region has become an annual problem.
The Matabeleland-Zambezi Water Project (MZWP), initiated by the government
to alleviate the water crisis in the region, remains on the drawing board.

The MZWP chairman, Dumiso Dabengwa, was not immediately available for

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Joining the Political Fray

Zimbabwe Standard (Harare)

March 27, 2005
Posted to the web March 28, 2005

Stewart Chabwinja

AFTER a brief respite from the trials and tribulations of watching
hypertension-inducing stunts that Dead BC has made its trademark, we're

Yours truly was coaxed into an earlier-than-planned return following
readers' incessant calls demanding to know what had become of their weekly
what's on air diet. We had no idea how popular this column is.

Now I'm kicking myself all over. Popularity is the ideal launch pad for a
political career and had I known, I would have tried my luck in the rat race
we call the parliamentary polls. Having watched some of the lifeless
contestants, especially of the 'independent' variety who often later turn
out to be Zanu PF, as they presented their miserable "manifestos" on TV,
we're convinced some of them are not even capable of running their own

But don't despair; hope is not lost: The Presidential elections are in 2008
and yours truly is seriously contemplating giving it a go and running
against the aging Guvnor. Yes, against Tony "Bleyah" too, should he have the
temerity to also run for the Zimbabwe Presidency, in addition to our
parliamentary elections which we are told he is contesting in.

You just keep watching this space for details.

I missed most of the interviews held by Dead BC's partisan panel, whose
political affiliation is the world's worst kept secret. But I watched the
trio having fun at the expense of one Isabel Madangera, president of the
Zimbabwe People's Democratic Party. It was clear from the first interview
that the ambitious old lady had no idea of what was expected from her as a
politician and could not answer even simple questions, but the panel still
invited her for a second bashing.

They gleefully exposed her, and battled to suppress laughter at her wayward
responses. From the smirk on one panelist's face you could read the
following thought: "Goodness me. She's totally nuts, ain't she?"

But "big up" the two chaps from ZIYA who were interviewed by Robson Mhandu
and Happison Muchechetere for giving the interviewers hell, leaving them
sweating. Their responses had to be heard to be believed.

On how they would defend the country in the absence of a strong army which
they said was a waste of taxpayers' money: "Iwe, kana tikaatakwa
tinozvionera ipapo, zvinoita zvega. Inga ana mai Mujuru vakangoyambuka wani
vari vana vadiki vakaenda kuhondo?"

Pressed on how they would manage a small army: "(Pointing) Iwe Happison,
haikona kuita semwana mudiki mhani...

Pressed again to answer another question: "I also asked you a question; my
question is at the back of your question."

Your prediction for the polls; how many seats do you think you will win?

Answer: "Any!"

You could almost feel it coming. With the polls so near, someone at Dead BC
will for once put his thinking cap on, and produce an entertaining piece of
fiction in aid of the ruling party's campaign.

Jog your memory a bit, back to the last polls: You may recall Newshour's
feature production, Rogue Soldiers. On consecutive days some poor fellas
were paraded before Dead BC cameras and identified as the culprits
responsible for pre-poll violence in an attempt to tarnish the image of the
country. The Newshour script witers, as usual, linked them to the MDC.

The amateur production proved good for laughs in these hard times and a
talking point in public places. What had some viewers falling off their
seats in bouts of laughter, or their jaws hanging in disbelief, was that the
comedians in the Rogue Soldiers drama looked so civilian they would have had
trouble doing the left- right- left -right march, or locating the trigger on
a firearm.

In keeping with the adage that you don't change a winning formula, this
year's script has retained the same theme. Picture this: The opposition MDC
sends five - yep, only five - youths to an unknown location in South Africa
for military training so they can destabilise the country ahead of
elections. To ensure they are extremely dangerous, they major in "pistols"
and "explosive handling" - whatever that involves.

Monday night we learnt from Newshour the five had handed themselves over to
the police, confessing about their mission. But watching the "suspects" on
TV as a cop read out a statement, one could only conclude that the
"suspects" had enjoyed five-star treatment while in custody. The
squeaky-clean youths appeared totally relaxed during the briefing, even
treating viewers to a smile or two. They had apparently enjoyed a good
night's sleep, possibly followed by a three-course meal prior to the
briefing - hardly conditions associated with being under police custody.

"As they were about to be deployed from their base in South Africa to
Zimbabwe as a terror group the youths, for some unknown reasons, decided
against the idea and exposed the plot," read the statement.

Oh come of it, please! Find out the reason, using the usual methods of
extracting information from suspects. And if those fail, you can always
connect their reproductive anatomy to the national electricity grid!

There she goes again, flogging another dead horse. That's my Chisamba for
you. Last week she was threatening to drag her loyal followers, who meet at
the usual "garoziva" pick-up point en-route to Pockets Hill, into another
petty discussion on the issue of demanding compensation before burial.

Well we've got news for her. Sure, the practice was rife a couple years back
and was the subject of intense national debate and media coverage.
Legislators eventually decided it was cruel to use a dead body to exact
compensation, and enacted an appropriate law which the cops enforce
vigorously. Which is why such cases have become rare.

As we say in the news business, there's no story here. Period.

How about taking that long overdue break you keep promising yourself.

Some bad news. Those self-indulgent old men are back with another pedantic
discursive programme. I'm referring to the nerdy academics who brought us
the ho-hum called National Ethos, so boring that Dead BC admitted a survey
had revealed it was the least watched programme.

When you thought you'd seen the last of colourless National Ethos anchor,
Claude Mararike, saying (very slowly), "VaMupepereki chingotii dzambe
dzambe, nguva dzedu dzadyana," the learned men spring a cruel surprise.

Their new programme is a reincarnation of National Ethos: they simply
changed the name to National Agenda. Last Thursday the quartet - Tafataona
Mahoso, Mararike, Ngugi Wa Mirii and Mupepereki - showed of their grasp of
theories as they discussed "the existence of the knowledge base in
Zimbabwe", "sovereignty being on the permanent agenda", and "thought

Just to rub it all in, Mararike wrapped up the programme by revealing that
they were merely discussing what topics the programme would in future
discuss, and they would continue this exercise in the next episode.

You're right. We're in in for it, again.

On a parting note, a little, not-so-dirty poem that is timely, from a

I will do it again this year

In a tiny room while noone is watching

Yes, I will do it standing, using my right hand.

It will feel good and I won't be ashamed

I will vote !
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28 March 2005


MDC President Addresses Record Crowds


MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai rounded up the party's campaign for the March 31 parliamentary elections this Easter weekend and received an overwhelming response from the people. 



People from all walks of life braved the scorching heat by turning out in their thousands to listen to the MDC leader.


The huge turn out at the rallies held by the MDC around the country, since the party launched its campaign in Masvingo on 21 February, is a clear testimony that the people of Zimbabwe want change. Even in Zanu PF’s supposed heartlands of Mashonaland West and Mashonaland Central the MDC has drawn big crowds.



The people have shown great courage; they are determined not be silenced. The national momentum for a new beginning and a new Zimbabwe is unstoppable. 



The people have shown that they are sick and tired of Zanu PF’s empty rhetoric and false promises.



On the morning of Easter Saturday, Tsvangirai accompanied by his deputy, Gibson Sibanda, addressed over 15 000 people at Mkoba Stadium in Gweru before moving on to Bulawayo to address another rally at White City Stadium where over 35 000 people were in attendance.


On Easter Sunday, Tsvangirai addressed a crowd of over 40,000 at the Zimbabwe Grounds in Harare. The turnout was larger than during the star rally held during the presidential elections in 2002.



During these star rallies, Tsvangirai appealed to the people of Zimbabwe to turn-out in their millions and vote for a New Zimbabwe and a New Beginning.



"By having a majority in parliament, the MDC will be able to provide jobs, food, housing and medicine, as we have through RESTART, a programme to turn around the country and solve the national crisis," Tsvangirai said to the thousands of people who were gathered at the Zimbabwe Grounds.



The MDC president also accused Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe of privatising Zimbabwe and said it had now been turned into Robert Mugabe Private Limited.



"But he [Mugabe] should realise that all that is about to end and should retreat to his rural home in Zvimba," he said.



Tsvangirai promised that once the party had a majority in parliament it would change the Constitution of Zimbabwe and do away with oppressive Acts such as POSA, AIPPA and the proposed NGO Bill.



"NGOs will come back into the country and help in providing food aid as the country is facing serious food shortages," he said.



Tsvangirai said it was also the MDC's plan to see that corruption, which has seen a number of prominent Zanu PF members being arrested, is effectively tackled and eradicated at all levels.



Paul Themba Nyathi

MDC Secretary for Information and Publicity


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Zim Online

Court to decide on COSATU anti-Mugabe protest
Tue 29 March 2005
      JOHANNESBURG - The Pretoria High Court is today expected to hear an
application by the South African Police Service seeking the court to bar the
Congress of South African Trade Union (COSATU) from demonstrating at
Beitbridge border post on the eve of Zimbabwe's election.

      The police, who in the past have unsuccessfully sought to stop similar
demonstrations by COSATU, want the March 30 demonstrations barred saying it
could disturb road traffic and safety in the area.

      COSATU plans to hold demonstration at Beitbridge and to hold a night
vigil by the border against human and worker rights abuses by President
Robert Mugabe and his government and also to highlight the skewed political
playing field in Zimbabwe ahead of the country's general election the
following day.

      The planned demonstration will be a wrap of a series of protests and
picketing at Beitbridge border post and at Zimbabwe's embassy in Pretoria by
COSATU since last month.

      COSATU, which is in a ruling alliance with President Thabo Mbeki's
African National Congress (ANC) party and the South African Communist Party,
has led open criticism against Mugabe and his policies.

      The powerful union on two occasions attempted to send fact-finding
missions to Zimbabwe to asses the human rights situation in that country but
its delegations were deported out of the country.

      The SACP backs COSATU's robust approach against Mugabe while Mbeki and
his ANC refuse to openly condemn the Zimbabwean leader. ZimOnline.
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Zim Online

Jobless Zimbabweans could punish ZANU PF next Thursday
Tue 29 March 2005
  DOMBOSHAVA -TWENTY-FIVE-year old Peter Buzuze from Domboshava rural
district, about 80 km northeast of Harare, says he hopes his vote in two
days time will help usher in "change."

      And this is how Buzuze, who holds a diploma in human resources
management from the Harare Polytechnic College where he finished studies six
years ago, explains what he means by "change," "I have been unemployed since
leaving college in 1999. This government has failed to provide a job for me
or most of my friends. My situation is getting desperate. I am getting old
and I need to marry and also start a family."

      After pausing for a while to take a long gulp from a two litre mug of
opaque traditional beer he is sharing with a friend at the local
council-owned Domboshava Beer Hall, Buzuze picks up his story: "Now, can you
tell me how I am going to marry and start up a family when I have no job or
any other stable source of income? I want to use this election to rekindle
hope. I will put my vote on my future."

      Zimbabweans choose a new parliament next Thursday in an election
President Robert Mugabe and his ruling ZANU PF party say is all about
defending the country's hard won independence by defeating the main
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party they accuse of being
sponsored by Britain in a bid to re-colonise the country.

      Mugabe and ZANU PF, who have officially dubbed their campaign for the
March 31 ballot the "Anti Tony Blair Campaign" claim the British Premier
wants them ousted as punishment for seizing white farmland and
redistributing it to landless blacks.

      The MDC denies it is conniving with London to unseat the government
and says such claims were a desperate attempt by Mugabe to sway away voters'
attention from food shortages and economic crisis the opposition party
blames solely on mismanagement and wrong policies by the government.

      Countering ZANU PF propaganda the MDC insists the upcoming election is
not about Blair. It is about pulling back Zimbabwe from the brink, giving
the crisis-sapped nation an opportunity to start afresh, according to MDC

      Whatever the heated political rhetoric ahead of the keenly awaited
ballot the millions of Zimbabwe's jobless youths appear to have a different
priority list from the politicians. As Buzuze, one of the multitudes of
qualified young Zimbabweans who have never held a formal job since leaving
college puts it:

      "I really do not care much about this talk of defending our hard won
independence. In fact I would be only too happy if that Blair was able to
give me a job," Buzuze said referring to ZANU PF's campaign message
emphasizing defending the country's independence.

      He added, "I think what some of us would want to hear is how these
politicians are going to revive the economy to ensure jobs for all who want
to work. To be honest, the MDC has not spelt out a clear and convincing
strategy on the issue of job creation but I could just give it my vote in
the hope that a new broom will sweep better."

      With no scientific survey ever carried out to gauge which way the
unemployed are likely to vote it remains to be seen next Thursday whether
Buzuze and millions of other jobless people will turn their anger into a
vote against Mugabe and ZANU PF.

      But the jobless vote could turn out to be a key factor in a country
where unemployment is around 70 percent. -- ZimOnline.
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      Zimbabwe: A Tale of Two Campaigns
      By Tendai Maphosa
      28 March 2005

As the March 30 deadline approaches for Zimbabwe's parliamentary election
campaigns, the country's political parties are still drawing election battle

President Robert Mugabe, who heads the Zimbabwe African National Union
Patriotic Front, is charging that the opposition Movement for a Democratic
Change is a front for the British governments maneuvers to re-colonize

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai has consistently dismissed Mr. Mugabe's
allegations, saying he is using the British prime minister as a decoy for
the economic and political crises facing the country. He says President
Mugabe and his party created Zimbabwe's problems and are now unable to solve

"No one can tell me that I am less a patriot than Robert Mugabe," he said.
"Tony Blair has nothing to do with Zimbabwe. If Mugabe wants to contest Tony
Blair he should go to Britain."

Mr. Tsvangirai says it is Mr. Mugabe who is beholden to the British, noting
that the government has not changed the independence constitution negotiated
with the British, 25 years ago.

Mr. Mugabe has doled out hundreds of computers for schools at every campaign
stop. He has been quick to tell the recipients of the computers that the
donations are a personal, rather than a political initiative.

Critics of Mr. Mugabe say the school children need books, rather than
computers. They say some of the schools receiving the computers do not have
the electricity needed to run them.

It was during this campaign that Mr. Mugabe admitted that Zimbabwe will
harvest less than enough to feed its 12.5 million citizens. However, he says
the government will import enough food to feed everyone.

Exhorting the electorate to vote for change, Mr. Tsvangirai says his party
is the antidote to the ills facing Zimbabwe.

"You have a right to choose your own leadership, you have a right to choose
your own government. Go and vote for food. Go and vote for hope," he said.
"Go and vote for MDC. Go and vote for your future."

Unlike the 2000 general and 2002 presidential elections, this campaign has
been largely peaceful. Mr. Tsvangirai has taken his campaign to what had
been "no-go" areas for his party and - according to media reports - has
attracted sizable audiences there.

The results of both the 2000 and 2002 polls revealed a rural-versus-urban
divide, with the ruling ZANU-PF party doing well in most rural areas and the
MDC getting the majority of urban seats. At stake Thursday are 120 seats in
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Poached Ivory Stockpile Tops Nine Tonnes

The Herald (Harare)

March 28, 2005
Posted to the web March 28, 2005


ZIMBABWE'S poached ivory stockpile has reached nine tonnes, worth over
US$2,3 million, but the country can neither export nor sell the lot locally
due to restrictions imposed by the Convention on International Trade in
Endangered Species (Cites).

National Parks and Wildlife Authority director-general Dr Morris Mtsambiwa
told Herald Business last week that the stockpile had grown to nine tonnes,
but the authority could not dispose of it without clearance from Cites,
which he described as a cumbersome process fraught with bureaucratic red

"Poached ivory is not for sale since getting a market for it is not easy as
one has to go through Cites.

"The ivory (poached) would have been confiscated from poachers and Cites
require that it be accounted for before being sold and the process is very

"Cites fears that if (poached ivory) is disposed of too easily then people
could use poaching as a scapegoat to unsanctioned elephant killing.

"At the moment the stockpile from poached ivory stands at nine tonnes but we
cannot dispose of it," said Dr Mtsambiwa.

Convincing Cites on the need to sell ivory, which sometimes deteriorates in
quality while in storage, would always be an uphill task considering that it
took South Africa no less than 10 years, until the breakthrough in 2002, to
conduct a one-off sale of its quota of legally harvested ivory stockpile.

Stringent regulatory requirements of Cites have also spawned several
environment conservation headaches for Zimbabwe and other Southern African
countries like Namibia and Botswana, which have large elephant populations.

Dr Mtsambiwa said Zimbabwe had an elephant population of well over 100 000
yet its carrying capacity could only sustain half the present number.

"For instance, Hwange National Park has a total elephant population of
between 45 to 50 000 over a total land area of 14 000 square kilometres.

"But for sustainable conservation of the environment a single elephant
requires an area of about one square kilometre.

"From that you can easily see that the park is holding more than three times
its carrying capacity," he said.

Dr Mtsambiwa said although they were able to trade in ivory locally by
selling to authorised dealers who later sell to carvers who in turn make
artefacts for sale, which is more profitable, that could not reduce the
growth in the population of elephants at a rate fast enough for the country
to remain with a sustainable elephant population.

He added that the situation was compounded by the fact that tourists, the
major buyers of ivory artefacts, were allowed to get out of the country with
only US$500 worth of ivory artefacts, which means domestic trade in ivory,
with licensed dealers, was still not the answer to the country's large
elephant population.

He said a study carried out in conjunction with a local research institution
had established that Zimbabwe's elephant population stood at about 89 000,
but considering a growth rate of 5 percent per annum it was likely the
actual figure stood at more than 100 000.

Zimbabwe, he said, could only reduce the size of her elephant population in
three main ways: through killing problem animals that cannot live in harmony
with people, through management off-takes, that is killing ailing animals,
and culling.

In 2003, a kilogramme of raw ivory (unmanufactured) was going for about
US$45 in Africa, in general, and US$250 in East Asia, one of the thriving
markets for ivory.

There are fears, the world over, that speculation about the possible
extinction of the African elephant is likely to lead to increased ivory
poaching and storage resulting in inevitable rises in ivory prices

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe did not submit a proposal for her quota of ivory exports
at the recently held Bangkok meeting, but Namibia and Botswana did, paving
way for the approval of their proposals.

The three countries' elephant management and ivory trade systems fall in
Appendix II of the Cites protocol on controlled commercial trade in ivory,
which means they must obtain its consent before exporting their approved

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SACC general secretary denied entry into Zimbabwe

March 28, 2005, 21:30

The South African Council of Churches (SACC) says Molefe Tsele, its general
secretary, has been refused permission to enter Zimbabwe at the Beit Bridge
border post.

The SACC says Tsele had been invited by the Zimbabwe Council of Churches to
take part in an ecumenical delegation to observe Thursday's general
election. An SACC statement says Zimbabwean immigration officials told Tsele
his name did not appear on the Zimbabwean government's list of accredited
election observers.

The council says it applied to the Zimbabwean government for accreditation
14 days ago.
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Independent candidates compete in Zimbabwe poll

March 28, 2005, 18:30

There are 25 independent candidates contesting Zimbabwe's parliamentary
poll, and they all believe they have the solution to the problems caused in
areas where either the opposition is in control or the ruling party is in

Tsholotsho is a dry, dusty and impoverished town over 100km west of
Bulawayo. The town that houses about 50 000 voters could chart a new chapter
in Zimbabwean politics. There will be a three candidate race for the
Tsholotsho parliamentary seat, and the one that is drawing much interest is
Jonathan Moyo, who is running as an independent candidate.

Moyo has gone from being Robert Mugabe's critic, to cabinet minister and to
being dumped by the ruling party. His hometown played host to a secret
meeting of Zanu(PF) officials that led to his departure and now it could
give him back a political career. However Moyo was not too happy with the
media attention. "Can't speak to you now, unlike you I have an election to
run in a few days... No No No."

Independent candidates taking advantage
In Chitungwiza city the residents have problems with sewage, which poses
great health risks. This and other infrastructural problems have been
attributed to the tug of war between the Zanu(PF) and the MDC, and the
independent candidates are milking the situations to their advantage.

Even though most of the candidates do not have great support and financial
backing, they are not giving up. Tendekayi Maswata, and independent
candidate, said: "The number 25 is a big number. Judging from the past
election, there were just two independents, now we have moved from 2 to 25."

Whether or not the independent candidates are up to the challenge, will be
seen once the results have been released. However the country's challenges
go beyond providing basic services as they include job creation and economic

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The Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe
Print and Electronic Daily Media Update # 6



1. Daily Print Media Update No 6.  March 28, 2005

MMPZ was unable to obtain a copy of The Chronicle in time to include its
content in this report.

a) Campaigns.

TODAY'S Herald continued its partisan coverage of political parties'
campaigns by reporting only on ZANU PF activities while ignoring those of
the main opposition MDC, smaller opposition parties and independent
This resulted in the paper even ignoring a major MDC rally held at the
Zimbabwe Grounds in Highfield yesterday, whose attendance many observers
estimated at around 20,000.

For example, out of the seven campaign-related stories the paper carried,
five were on the ruling party rallies and the rest were public relations
stories passively endorsing ZANU PF's rule. An example of The Herald's
failure to fulfil its basic journalistic duties appeared in its story about
the unveiling of a housing scheme at Nel Farm in Norton by ZANU PF candidate
for Manyame Patrick Zhuwawo.
Instead of questioning the timing and motive behind this event, the paper
led with a Press conference story in which ZANU PF Secretary for Information
Dr Nathan Shamuyarira dismissed Archbishop Pius Ncube's claims, contained in
a news report by London-based Sky News, that government was deliberately
starving opposition supporters in Matabeleland to force them to vote for the
ruling party. Ncube, whom Shamuyarira described as "a mad, inveterate liar"
was never given the right of reply. Nor were the authors of the report.
In fact, the details of the Sky News report were never given.

The paper's unprofessional conduct was equally reflected by its blatant
disregard for balance and fairness when sourcing for comments in its
campaign stories, as shown in Fig 1.

Fig 1 Voice distribution in The Herald

ZANU PF MDC Other Opposition Traditional Leader
12 0 0 1

While The Daily Mirror also failed to balance Shamuyarira's accusations with
details from Sky News or comments from Archbishop Ncube, it ran a side story
in which it reported MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai calling on government to
"relax its crackdown on NGOs, through the NGO Bill, to resume full-scale
food distribution to lessen the impact of a looming drought".
Otherwise, the paper gave a balanced presentation of the campaigns of ZANU
PF and the MDC although it carried none on the activities of the other
contesting parties and independents.
The paper carried nine campaign related stories, five of which were on ZANU
PF, three on the MDC and the other was a general opinion article focusing on
how various candidates that have since been featured on ZTV have fared. The
ZANU PF stories comprised three rallies and a statement defending the
party's policies.
The three MDC stories were made up of five rallies the MDC held in Mabvuku
(one), Manicaland (three) and an unspecified one. Because of the paper's
failure to explain where the rally took place, MMPZ was unable to ascertain
whether it was the one the opposition party held in Highfield yesterday.

A direct reference to the MDC rally was only made in the paper's comment,
but only in the context of buttressing the theme that the run-up to the
election has been peaceful. The paper merely noted: "MDC supporters going to
a rally addressed by Morgan Tsvangirai at Zimbabwe Grounds and a host of
ZANU PF supporters in party regalia came face to face, but none chided the
other for being in the opposite camp."
This notwithstanding, the paper made a fair attempt in sourcing its voices
by citing ZANU PF 14 times and the MDC nine times in its stories, all
clearly enunciating their party's policies.

None of the media carried news that police had arrested 150 MDC supporters
after the Highfield rally for behaviour likely to cause a breach of the
peace and that about 70 of them had been detained. International reports
noted that the remainder had paid admission of guilt fines and had been

b) Administrative Issues

THE Herald carried two stories on administrative issues, which superficially
depicted the electoral environment as favourable.
One of them merely reported on the SADC observer team leader Phumzile
Mlambo-Ngcuka commending Zimbabweans for the peaceful environment ahead of
the elections after a meeting with President Mugabe.

The second story, a comment in the paper, hailed the Zimbabwe Electoral
Commission's "new poll measures as laudable" and "best organised" in
Zimbabwe's 25 years of "democracy". The critique however narrowly focused on
the positive while ignoring several electoral concerns raised on the matter
by various stakeholders.
The Daily Mirror did not carry any stories on the electoral framework.

c) Political Violence

THE Herald did not carry any stories on politically motivated violence or
rights abuses today.
But the privately owned Daily Mirror did. It carried two stories on the
topic and recorded one incident of rights abuse by the police. The alleged
incident stemmed from claims by outgoing ZANU PF Kadoma West MP Paul
Mangwana that riot police had brutalised villagers in the constituency for
backing him during the ZANU PF primaries, which he lost to Brighton Matonga.

Although the paper quoted Matonga and police spokesperson Wayne Bvudzijena
as denying any knowledge of the matter, an unnamed Kadoma-based policeman
was recorded in the same story confirming the beatings. However, he denied
there was a political motive to the beatings, saying those assaulted by the
police were illegal gold panners.
Said the police detail: "According to the information I have, there were
some gold panners arrested by the police. However, gold panners usually
resist arrest resulting in the police applying minimum force."
The remaining story by the paper was an editorial reiterating the peace
prevailing in the country and commending the police for a job well done.

2. Electronic Daily Update: March 27th 2005

ZTV rebroadcast five-minute long repeats of manifestos by independent
candidates Silas Mangono (Masvingo Central) and Charles Mpofu (Bulawayo

a. Campaigns

WITH four days before polling, ZBH continued to give more space to ZANU PF
in its news bulletins.
For example, 14 (74%) out of 19 reports ZTV carried in its 6pm and 8pm
bulletins were on ZANU PF, while four (21%) were on the MDC and one (5%) on
independent candidate for St Mary's Tendai Maswata. Two of the four stories
on the MDC were belated reports on the party's rally in Bulawayo, which was
held the previous day.

Even then, the broadcaster suffocated attendance figures and used close-up
shots of the party's leadership addressing the rally without giving a full
view to indicate the size of the crowd in its footage. The other two were on
a rally addressed by the party's candidate for Zengeza. There was still no
report on another main rally the opposition held in Gweru.
So biased was ZTV that it chose to cover a small ZANU PF rally in Highfield
and ignored the MDC's star rally in the same area attended by thousands of
opposition supporters.
Its pro-ZANU PF stance was reflected in the time the station allocated to
different parties in its 6pm and 8pm bulletins. For example, 72% of the 29
minutes ZTV devoted to campaigns were on ZANU PF campaign activities while
six minutes (21%) were allocated to the MDC rallies. The remaining two
minutes were devoted to independent candidate Maswata.

Radio Zimbabwe and Power FM were no different. Eight of their 10 campaign
stories were on ZANU PF, while the remaining two were on the MDC. The two
stories on the MDC merely mentioned in passing that the party held rallies
in Highfield and Bindura without giving details.
Apart from giving more space to ZANU PF in its bulletins, ZTV also gave
Lands Minister John Nkomo a platform through its one hour-long current
affairs programme, Talking Farming, to justify and sell to the electorate
his party's land reforms. The programme usually features agricultural
experts to discuss various farming issues.

Conversely, Studio 7 carried two detailed campaign stories on the MDC. One
was on the party's Highfield rally and an interview with MDC candidate for
Chimanimani Heather Bennett on her campaigns in the constituency. The
station only mentioned in passing two ZANU PF campaigns in Rushinga and

Fig 1. Campaign stories on ZBH stations and Studio 7

Media Total ZANU PF MDC Independents
ZTV 19 14 4 1
Power FM 5 4 1 0
Radio Zimbabwe 5 4 1 0
Studio 7 2 0 2 0

b. Administrative Issues

ZBH carried 14 reports on administrative issues, all of which appeared on
Power FM and Radio Zimbabwe. The reports were merely announcements on the
arrival of African Union observers, the deployment of police to various
provinces in the country and updates on the training of polling officers by
the Electoral Supervisory Commission. The stations simply restricted
themselves to such announcements without asking pertinent questions. For
instance, they failed to question who the polling officers were nor
explained how many will be present at each polling station.
ZTV and Studio 7 steered clear of these issues.

c. Political violence

THERE were no reports on incidents of political violence on ZBH. The
broadcaster only carried two reports on the police's efforts to maintain
peace and ensure a violence-free poll.
Studio 7 carried a report in which Heather Bennett alleged that ZANU-PF was
using food to campaign in Chimanimani. However, ZANU PF secretary for
information Nathan Shamuyarira was quoted on ZTV denying such allegations.

The MEDIA UPDATE was produced and circulated by the Media Monitoring Project
Zimbabwe, 15 Duthie Avenue, Alexandra Park, Harare, Tel/fax: 263 4 703702,
E-mail: <>

Feel free to write to MMPZ. We may not able to respond to everything but we
will look at each message.  For previous MMPZ reports, and more information
about the Project, please visit our website at
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Deep divisions in Zimbabwe could have been averted

March 28, 2005, 16:00

The deep divisions Zimbabwe is facing could have been averted if something
similar to the Truth Commission was held there. That is according to George
Bizos, a human rights lawyer, who was speaking at a conference on
Transitional Justice which has drawn delegations from conflict-ridden
countries across the world.

"During the 1970s the Rhodesian security forces who killed freedom fighters
would tie them behind their vehicles and take them to the nearest bus stop.
Nothing was done in two decades after liberation to hold to account those
atrocities committed during Ian Smith's regime."

Bizos believes some of the problems Zimbabwe is facing may have been solved
if the perpetrators had been held accountable. He believes that the decision
to grant amnesty to South African perpetrators who owned up to their crimes
had averted a civil war.

Many of the delegates at the conference have witnessed the horrors of war.
They come from as far as Uganda, Sierra Leone, Rwanda and East Timor. They
are learning from each other's experiences of pain and reconciliation; and
hope to leave with a vision of justice and peace, instead of anger and
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      Has Mbeki's Quiet Diplomacy Brought Changes To Zimbabwe?
      By Joe De Capua
      28 March 2005

In recent years, South African president Thabo Mbeki has used what he calls
quiet diplomacy to deal with the political situation in Zimbabwe. In recent
days, as Zimbabwe's parliamentary elections approach, some are questioning
the effectiveness of that policy.

For an analysis, English to Africa reporter Joe De Capua spoke with John
Stremlau, head of international relations at the University of
Witwatersrand.  Professor Stremlau, who's visiting Washington, DC, spoke of
the possible effects of the Mbeki policy.

He says, "It's very hard to understand whether there's been impact because
we don't know what quietly has gone on between the two countries. One
suspects that Mbeki along the way had received assurances that movements
toward a government of national unity would have been underway by now.  But
the wily 'ol Mugabe, who has only his own survival at stake, doesn't operate
in as complex an equation as Mbeki, who's worried about domestic
constituencies, regional opinion and of course international opinion. And it's
hurt him to be perceived as soft on the failure of democracy next door in

Does President Mbeki have much to lose with his policy? Professor Stremlau
replies, " It's not so much what he has to lose, it's what could he
accomplish. His options are very limited. He's not going to send in the
military. The Zimbabwean military at this stage would give the South African
forces a run for their money. He wouldn't have the political support to do
so in any event. And he would send in sanctions because the consequences of
that are considered by Pretoria to be hurtful to those least deserving. No,
he has a strategy in place right now it appears. It may be seen as cynical
by some, but the expectation is if you can get beyond the March 31st
elections that there is enough now political cross currents in play in
Zimbabwe to ease Mugabe out and to move to a government of national unity
and prevent a worse catastrophe."

 Professor Stremlau agrees that the ruling ZANU-PF Party will win the
parliamentary election, but he's not convinced the party will win big.  He
says in any case, the winner of the election will rule a country with many
economic and political problems and may be looking for solutions with a
possible government of national unity.

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From The Sunday Times (SA), 27 March

Jailed former minister could lose penthouse

Bonny Schoonakker

Zimbabwe's jailed former finance minister is about to lose his luxury
sea-front penthouse in Cape Town for defaulting on the property's levies.
This week, the body corporate of Ocean View, a block in Sea Point's Beach
Road, will start court proceedings to allow them to sell the property on
auction almost a year after Christopher Kuruneri was jailed. President
Robert Mugabe fired Kuruneri shortly after his arrest in April. The former
finance minister has since been in police custody without bail and is yet to
face trial on foreign-exchange charges related to his acquisition of
property in the Cape, despite Zimbabwean laws forbidding ownership of
foreign assets. He last appeared in court on Tuesday for a "routine remand
hearing", according to the Zimbabwean newspaper The Herald. While in jail,
Kuruneri has accumulated a R30000 debt to Ocean View's body corporate, in
whose Sea Point block he bought a three-bedroom apartment in July 2002. The
flat is one of three properties in Kuruneri's multimillion-rand Cape
property portfolio, which includes two properties on the Atlantic seaboard.

Brian Kirsch, chairman of Ocean View's body corporate, confirmed that a
court bid was under way to take away Kuruneri's ownership of the property.
He said Kuruneri's levies had not been paid since the minister's arrest in
Zimbabwe in April, despite Kuruneri renting out the flat to a tenant. Kirsch
said he appreciated that Kuruneri's predicament prevented him from paying
the levies due to Ocean View's body corporate. This was "a sad situation",
he said, "but that's not our problem". According to Kirsch, the flat is
occupied by Cape Town property developer Neill Bernstein, who sold the flat
to Kuruneri. Bernstein continued living in the flat after Kuruneri bought
it. Bernstein's attorney, Brian Aronoff of Mallinicks, said the rent
Bernstein owed Kuruneri was being held in the firm's trust account, on the
instructions of Bernstein. No money was paid towards Ocean View's levies
"and we are under no obligation to do so". He said the money was paid into
the trust account because Bernstein and Kuruneri had been in dispute,
shortly before Kuruneri was arrested, over Kuruneri's refusal to extend the
lease. Kirsch said he had instructed Ocean View's managing agents, Sandak
Lewin, to begin legal proceedings against the flat's owner, to recover the
unpaid levies. Mark Spires, for Sandak Lewin, confirmed that he had
instructed a Bellville attorney, Gary Newmark, to begin legal steps to
acquire the property.

Newmark said on Thursday he had filed an application in the Cape Town
Magistrate's Court to attach the shares in the company that owns Kuruneri's
apartment. He said the matter would be heard on Wednesday. Should the body
corporate be awarded the right to attach the shares, these could then be
sold on public auction. Newmark did not know if anyone would oppose the
application on Kuruneri's behalf. Estate agents in the Sea Point area
estimate that the property should fetch between R1.5 and R2-million, earning
Kuruneri at least a R1-million profit - provided the money ever finds its
way to him. Chris Chikumbirike, an advocate in Harare representing Kuruneri
in his attempts to get bail, said he was unaware of the attempt to seize his
client's property in Cape Town. He referred further queries to Gollop &
Blank, the Harare law firm representing Kuruneri. However, calls to the firm
went unanswered by the end of the week.
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From ZWNEWS, 28 March
Mock elections

Mock elections will be held in South Africa and the United Kingdom this
week. Details are as follows:

South Africa

Date and time: Tuesday 29 March 2005, 10h00 to 14h00
Venue: Outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in Pretoria, 798 Merton Street cnr East
Street, Arcadia, Pretoria.
Documents required: Nil
Alternative: SMS vote from cell phones on all SA networks, send to: 34383
with name of chosen political party. Voice mail vote: phone 082 234 8683

United Kingdom

Date and time: Wednesday 30 March 2005 - all night vigil from 20h00.
Thursday 31 March 2005 - mock ballot from 05h00 to 17h00
Venue: Outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in the Strand in London
Documents required: Nil
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News Advisory – 28th March 2005





Zimbabweans in exile in the United Kingdom are to cast their vote in the Zimbabwean parliamentary elections on Thursday, 31st March, at a mock polling station outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London.


The polling station will be open from 6 am to 6 pm (BST) to mirror the voting hours in Zimbabwe.  There are hundreds of thousands of Zimbabwean exiles in the UK – a sizeable proportion of the estimated 3.4 million who have fled Robert Mugabe’s reign of terror in Zimbabwe.  This comprises about half the electorate, but they have been denied a vote in the elections. 


A recent attempt by Zimbabwean exiles to gain access to the voters’ roll at the Embassy was denied and the Embassy was promptly closed.  It is believed that some two million names on the voters’ roll of 5.7 million are those of dead people, people who have fled or are purely fictitious.  The army is believed at this moment to be busily filling in ballot papers for these ghost names. 


An attempt will be made to hand over the results of the dummy ballot to the Zimbabwe Embassy the following day – appropriately April Fools’ Day. 


The mock ballot will be preceded by an all-night Vigil starting at 8 pm, coinciding with protests against the rigged Zimbabwe elections organised by COSATU, the Congress of South African Trade Unions.  COSATU representatives have been prevented from visiting Zimbabwe to observe the elections and are highly critical of the ANC-led South African government for its declared readiness to rubber-stamp the elections.





Patson Muzuwa                     07908 066 923, 0116 292 1575

Julius Mutyambizimoya        07984254 830, 020 7720 6614

Dennis Benton                       07932 193 467, 020 7272 1015

Wiz Bishop                            07963 521 160

Rose Benton                          07970 996 003, 020 7272 1015 

Vigil co-ordinators
The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights by the current regime in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe.
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New Zimbabwe

Trevor has lost the plot

Veteran journalist Trevor Ncube has put forward a 'third force' argument as
the only route to rescue Zimbabwe. Another journalist Geoff Nyarota has put
forward a similar view. The curious timing of their arguments - just days
before an important election - has got many of you talking. 'It's sabotage,"
Lance Guma argues today

By Lance Guma
Last updated: 03/29/2005 06:10:27
TREVOR Ncube, the publisher of the Zimind Group and CEO of the Mail and
Guardian must have been stung by the level of criticism and hate mail from
Zimbabweans over his 'third way' article.
He has complained bitterly about the level of intolerance in the country's
politics and tried to peddle the excuse he was merely airing his views. I
have thought long and hard on how best to answer Trevor and waited patiently
to gauge from the subsequent interviews, he has dished out with inspired
abandon, whether I and many others misunderstood him. I had nothing but
respect for Trevor prior to his article but all that went to the gutter.

We see things differently and should always defend to death our various
individual rights to free expression. This however means when you open your
mouth and speak make your words sweet and reasonable for one day you may
have to eat them. Trevor should in as much he spoke freely accept the
stinging criticism he is getting from people in response. If he could
savagely attack the MDC the way he did he can not whimper in protest at also
being attacked by its supporters who feel offended their suffering and
sacrifices are being belittled by a seemingly aloof and wealthy businessman
comfortably holed up in South Africa far from the madding crowd.

The critical point is the timing of Trevor's attack on the MDC and his
suggestion only Mugabe can solve the crisis in the country. This squandered
any chance people would perceive it as constructive debate but rather
sabotage. Why discourage voters at the eleventh hour with options he could
have recommended at other junctures especially last year when the opposition
had announced a possible election boycott. During this consultative period
the national mood was open to suggestions. People have since closed up and
engaged the frameset and hope the devil might have just had his last supper
in this election after all. Along comes Trevor with what can only be
described as salt in the sugar.

He suggests the third way option must be explored after the election. So
then why did he not mention it after the poll? Did he want to make a
suggestion and create the environment to fulfil its validity simultaneously.
This is why people doubt the benevolence of his intentions. Could Trevor
approach the families of assassinated activists Talent Mabika, Tichaona
Chiminya, Mathew Pfebve, Patrick Nabanyama, Mtandazo Ndema Ngwenya and tell
them to their face a reformed Mugabe is the solution to their grief.

Trevor used skimpy examples to attack Morgan Tsvangirai's judgement. He says
dealing with discredited former Israeli spy, Ari Ben Menashe in the famed
but clumsy treason trial was a reflection of bad judgement by the MDC
leader. Is he the only person in Zimbabwe who does not know that Tsvangirai
was acquitted on those charges? Is he the only person who does not know what
really went down in Canada and how Mugabe sought to squeeze political
mileage from the case. It is like me saying it was bad judgement on Trevor's
part to have Jonathan Moyo as his best man, 'munyai' when he married his
wife in the traditional ceremony. This is because he had no way of knowing
what Moyo would become and how his own journalists would be persecuted by
that 'friend'. The same applies to his attack on Tsvangirai.

It is a reflection of bad judgement to try and compare a ruling party with
the entire might of state resources and machinery at its disposal with an
opposition that relies on the will of brutalised people. Trevor Ncube is
akin to football spectators who appoint themselves experts on the game and
wish to give direction to the actual footballers who play the game. You can
never really appreciate the hurdles when you are on the stands watching and

The former journalist turned publisher says an 'insider MP' told him there
was a clique in the MDC unhappy at growing Ndebele influence. So here is a
seasoned journalist passing an 'insider' MP's opinion about tribalism as
fact. In essence he gave credibility to someones opinion while he himself is
not in the party. How do we know this is not a disgruntled individual who
had his personal goals blocked by someone from another tribe and cried foul
in the easiest manner possible. Trevor does not seem to know how politicians
work. When they want to discredit an individual they speak off the record to
journalists and hope the innuendo is converted to fact.

Is Trevor, owner of the last remaining two independent newspapers in
Zimbabwe now a conduit for a third force. He seems to be parroting the
stance of the international community and maybe his donors who are sick and
tired with the Zimbabwean crisis and just wish it would go away. Will the
third force candidates please stand up! Who are you and where are you? If
you are hiding in this time of need when the struggle is at high noon we
certainly do not need you feeding on the carcasses of those who have died
for the current cause.

In all the interviews Trevor has given he has the distinct disadvantage of
an overly pompous sounding voice which further alienates him from people
seeking humility from community leaders. Media owners tend to enter
politics. If this was Trevor's long awaited entrance, the best he can now be
is a councillor in the city of Bulawayo. His views mirror those of a
priviliged few scrounging around for shortcuts to our political problems for
the sake of their businesses while ignoring the common person's
N.B. The author works as a Producer/Presenter for SW Radio Africa. Every
week on Thursday he hosts a show called 'Behind the Headlines', were he
looks at individuals and issues dominating the news. The views expressed
here are his own

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