The ZIMBABWE Situation
An extensive and up-to-date website containing news, views and links related to ZIMBABWE - a country in crisis
Return to INDEX page
Please note: You need to have 'Active content' enabled in your IE browser in order to see the index of articles on this webpage

Key politicians switch support to Mugabe's presidential rival


01/03/2008 17h00
BULAWAYO (AFP) - Two political heavyweights endorsed former minister Simba
Makoni as he launched his bid for the Zimbabwean presidency Saturday,
including a serving official with President Robert Mugabe's party.

Dumiso Dabengwa, a former home affairs minister and a member of the ruling
ZANU-PF party's key decision-making body, became the first party heavyweight
to come out in support of Makoni.

Makoni, himself a former key member of ZANU-PF, was also backed by Cyril
Ndebele, a former speaker of parliament.

Both men joined Makoni to declare their support at a press conference in
Zimbabwe's second city of Bulawayo, where he launched his campaign to
challenge Mugabe in the March 29 elections.

"It's not about Makoni's capability or strength," Dabengwa said. "It's about
the people of Zimbabwe being enabled to chart the manner in which they want
the challenges facing the country to be solved.

Speaking to a crowd of thousands at a stadium in Bulawayo on Saturday,
Makoni blamed 84-year-old veteran leader Mugabe for Zimbabwe's economic
crisis which has seen inflation rise above 100,000 percent.

"Right now we are begging for food and waiting to be given (it) by those who
sympathise with us," he said.

"Factories that used to work day and night are no longer functioning. Those
in leadership are now seeking medical attention outside and the rest of the
people in the country are not being attended to.

"Our condition today is primarily from the failure of national leadership."

Makoni said his campaign was "a movement for renewal, revival and
rededication to service", telling the cheering crowds: "We are saying, let's
get Zimbabwe working again. Let's get Zimbabwe back on track."

The former minister, who was castigated by Mugabe as "a political
prostitute", urged his supporters to campaign peacefully.

"Even if we are insulted, let's not insult back," he said.

"Let's not fight others even we are provoked. No one is worth dying for.
President Robert Mugabe is not worth dying or killing for. (Opposition
leader) Morgan Tsvangirai is not worth killing or dying for. Simba Makoni is
not worth killing or dying for."

Makoni announced early February he was challenging Mugabe for the
presidency, saying he had decided to do so "following very extensive and
intensive consultations with party members and activists countrywide and
also with others outside the party."

He had previously said he had the backing of many disillusioned party cadres
and compatriots suffering through the current economic crisis.

He could not be drawn on who else inside ZANU-PF would back him, but there
has been widespread speculation that at least one other senior figure within
the ruling party supports him.

Vice-president Joseph Msika dismissed Makoni, a former executive secretary
of the regional economic bloc SADC, as "politically bankrupt", in comments
reported in Saturday's edition of The Herald newspaper.

"Me, supporting Makoni politically?" he told the newspaper on the sidelines
of the launch of Mugabe's election campaign.

"Makoni is politically bankrupt, I would never want anything from him. In
fact, he is the one who would come to me to support me on whatever I would
be doing."

Mugabe, who has ruled the former British colony since independence in 1980,
is hoping to secure a sixth term in power.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zimbabwe blood bank running dry, official says

Earth Times

Posted : Sat, 01 Mar 2008 12:21:00 GMT
Author : DPA

Harare - Zimbabwe's blood bank has just one third of the supplies it
required the latest statistic that reveals a deepening crisis in the
national health sector, reports said Saturday. The National Blood
Transfusion Service (NBTS) has just 1,000 units of blood nstead of the
requisite 3,000 units, spokesman Emmanuel Masvikeni told the
state-controlled Herald newspaper.

"In case of any crisis, the blood is not adequate," said Masvikeni. He
said the situation would worsen when school pupils, who contribute 75 per
cent of blood to the blood bank, go on holiday ahead of elections on March

Zimbabwe has high rates of HIV/AIDS and children are considered a
safer source of blood, although all blood is screened before being sold to

The NBTS was encouraging adults to support a "noble cause" by donating
blood to boost supplies, state radio said Saturday.

This is the latest crisis to hit Zimbabwe's health sector, battered by
economic challenges that include inflation of more than 100,000 per cent,
frequent power outages and chronic shortages of hard currency to import
medical drugs.

Last week, Deputy Health Minister Edwin Muguti confirmed that the
country's biggest hospital Harare's Parirenyatwa Hospital had stopped
carrying out surgical operations due to shortages of anaesthetic drugs and
sterilising agents.

In January, it emerged that 50 per cent of medical drugs were out of
stock in pharmacies in Harare. The head of the Pharmaceutical Society of
Zimbabwe said then that most pharmacies could not afford to import drugs.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zimbabwe opposition says talks fail

Yahoo News

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - Zimbabwe's main opposition party said Saturday
that South African-mediated talks to ease a political and economic crisis
have ended in failure.

The Movement for Democratic Change said that President Robert Mugabe
violated the spirit of the dialogue by pressing ahead with the March 29 date
for presidential and parliamentary elections - and ignoring opposition
demands for a delay.

Southern African leaders last year appointed South African President Thabo
Mbeki as mediator, despite opposition concerns about his policy of quiet
diplomacy rather than public criticism toward Mugabe.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

'MDC threatening violence'


01/03/2008 12:13  - (SA)

Harare - Zimbabwe's justice minister has accused the main opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) of threatening violence ahead of the
March national polls, the state-controlled Herald newspaper reported on

Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa says he is in talks with the police for
additional measures to be taken "to thwart acts of political violence being
planned against the electoral process," the Herald reports.

Chinamasa says he has launched a complaint with the Zimbabwe Electoral
Commission (ZEC) over comments allegedly made by MDC spokesperson Nelson
Chamisa at a rally in Harare's Dzivaresekwa township in February.

The spokesperson has denied ever threatening violence and has asked the news
agency that first carried the reports to retract its story.

Chamisa says he merely congratulated Zimbabweans for resisting the
temptation to throw the country into anarchy.

But the justice minister said the government was taking the reports of
threats "seriously".

More than five million voters will go to the polls on March 29 to choose a
president, MPs, senators and local councillors from a dizzying array of

Already, tensions are rising. Mugabe, 84, is fighting for his political
survival. The Zimbabwean leader has been in power since 1980.

For the first time, he faces two strong challengers: main MDC leader Morgan
Tsvangirai and the former finance minister Simba Makoni.

Chinamasa vowed Tsvangirai and his party would lose the polls.

He said: "Everybody in Zimbabwe is aware they will lose the elections
because they are a puppet party and that they also called for economic
sanctions and sold out on the land issue and time has come for them to pay
the heavy price.

"We thank Chamisa for forewarning us of their intentions and what they are
planning with their sponsors and taking every step to forearm ourselves
against any eventuality they are planning against the people of Zimbabwe.
The state will not take kindly to such threats."

Police warned this week they were empowered to use firearms against "unruly"

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zanu Violence Rocks Manicaland

The Zimbabwean

 Saturday, 01 March 2008 14:06


The MDC Makoni South parliamentary candidate was on Wednesday viciously
brutalised by supporters of President Robert Mugabe.

The candidate, who is also MDC Manicaland provincial spokesman, Pishai
Muchauraya, and his two colleagues Michael Murapwa and Tendai Chimonya were
brutalized by war veterans and youth militia.
A Zanu (PF) goon squad, ferried by a tractor given to war veteran leaders
Choga and Masukume under the farm mechanization scheme, accosted the three
outside Lamour supermarket, a stone's throw from Africa University in Old
The Zimbabwean heard that the driver of the tractor blocked the way for
Muchauraya's truck, a Mazda B2500, and then the terror squad jumped on the
three and beat them, leaving them gravely injured, with their MDC t-Shirts
ripped to shreds.
"It was a vicious and callous attack and I'm lucky I didn't sustain serious
injuries," Muchauraya said. "But we suspect my driver Michael Murapa could
have sustained a fractured hand, while my aide Tendai Chimonya was also
injured in the attack."
Scores of opposition party officials and supporters have been harassed in
the Mutare area in the wake of a crackdown that followed the launch of the
MDC's election manifesto in the city last Saturday.
The war veterans frisked Muchauraya's vehicle and got away with a cellphone,
over 1000 party cards, Z$1,4 billion in cash, party regalia including
t-shirts and Muchauraya's information pack, which contained the manifesto
that was launched on Saturday.
Muchauraya alleged the gang was hired and alleged it could have been
commandeered from a nearby farm owned by a senator.  He is locking horns in
the legislative polls with Zanu (PF)'s Shadreck Chipanga, a former top CIO
Manicaland police were unavailable for comment.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

CIO spies on NGOs, Diplomats... to Strangle Opposition Funding

The Zimbabwean

 Saturday, 01 March 2008 15:10


The Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) is stepping up surveillance of
Harare-based Western embassies and aid agencies it suspects of coordinating
funding for the opposition, top security officials told The Zimbabwean.

They said the notorious spy agency was also stalking leaders of
non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
The umbrella National Association for Non-Governmental Organisations
(NANGO) - a coalition of more than 350 organisations operating in Zimbabwe -
has issued an alert warning its members of the surveillance operation and
urging them to remain vigilant.
Zimbabwe's ambassador to South Africa, Simon Khaya-Moyo on Tuesday told the
Institute of Security Studies, a Pretoria-based independent think-tank, that
Prime Minister Gordon Brown was stoking political tension by working with
the opposition to bring President Mugabe down.
He said government had in its possession a letter from Brown to the Law
Society of Zimbabwe confirming that the British Premier had channelled
funding to Zimbabwean groups working for "democratic change".
The Zimbabwean can reveal that the CIO is working on a dossier accusing the
NGOs of embezzling funds amounting to US$88,7 million in aid money mobilised
by the UNDP for Zimbabwe's consolidated aid appeal in 2003
The letter Khaya-Moyo mentioned at the ISS briefing is believed to be part
of the body of evidence gathered so far by the CIO, and reveals a £3,3
million donation to the LSZ from Brown via the British Law Society, whose
spokesman Steve Rudaini confirmed this week the bona fides of the letter. He
said the letter was "leaked."
Fixed telephone lines at virtually all the suspected aid agencies and
embassies have been bugged, the sources disclosed. They said the CIO was
even establishing and recording the identities and frequencies of movements
of people who visit these aid agencies and embassies, in addition to opening
mail directed to these organisations, including e-mails.
According to an official document shown to The Zimbabwean this week, top on
the list of the aid agencies being targeted by the CIO are Germany's
humanitarian foundations Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) and Friedrich
Naumann Foundation.
Also on the list is ZLHR, ZDHR, LSA, NCA, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition,
ZINASU, Hivos, CIDA, SIDA, DANIDA, MSO and Norad. Also under the CIO
microscope is USAID, WFP and DfID.
All Western embassies in Zimbabwe but particularly the United States, the
British, Swedish and the German embassies had also been put under strict
surveillance, the sources said. The movement of diplomats was also being
monitored as part of efforts to prove who they associated with.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

ZRP Officers Live Rural Life in City

The Zimbabwean

Saturday, 01 March 2008 16:39


More than 50 senior police officers and their families in Bulawayo are
living in darkness at their apartment block because a transformer that blew
up nine months ago has not been fixed.

Officers told The Zimbabwean that they had been living a rural life in
the heart of the city, using firewood for cooking and candles for light.They
said they were now fearful that, with elections approaching, they could be
attacked by opposition supporters at night, as the police had been always
accused of being aligned to the ruling party, Zanu (PF).Police Commissioner
Augustine Chihuri warned that the police would not hesitate to use force,
including firearms, against mischief-makers during the election period.
Political analysts said the statement referred to the opposition parties."It's
no longer safe for us," said another police officer. "We can be attacked any
time."Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi said he had not been told about the
issue, but would look into it.


Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Election Chaos Looms as Logistics Still Unsure

The Zimbabwean

 Saturday, 01 March 2008 15:59


Chaos could be on the cards as arrangements for the one day of voting on
March 29 cause confusion.

There is mounting concern that there will be delays and serious errors
unless urgent corrective measures are not taken with regard to ballot boxes,
polling officers, polling agents, polling stations, voter education and the
voters' roll.The law says that each polling station should have at least
three voting compartments, each containing at least one ballot box,
allocated for the use of voters whose surnames begin with the letters A to
L, M, and N to Z.But, with just 27 days to go, it is still unclear if there
will, in fact, be three booths for each set of the four-tier election, the
council, parliamentary, senate and presidential -a total of 12 polling
booths. This means each candidate would need to have four election agents,
three inside and one outside. Government says two agents per candidate would
suffice. "How can one person deal with 12 copies of the voters' roll, 12
polling booths, four queues of voters and counting of ballots from 12 booths
at the same time?" asked political commentator Ronald Shumba. "There should
have been adequate arrangements for this new electoral dispensation."
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) spokesperson Shupikai Machereni this
week claimed: "The country is readily prepared for the elections." She could
not, however, give the exact number of polling stations, saying they had not
yet conclusively established this, although reports indicate there would be
at least 11,000 stations countrywide.MDC Glen Norah candidate Priscillah
Misihairabwi-Mushonga, who is also Deputy Secretary-General of the
Mutambara-led MDC, said: "The ZEC has no capacity and what is happening is
that the same old bodies are running the election. The old national
logistics committee, which has failed us in the past, is still in charge."Most
candidates this week complained they had still not received the final copy
of the voters' roll from their constituency registrars. There was also no
supplementary voters' roll, allegedly used in the past for vote-rigging.
Voting is transparent after all?

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Civil Servants, Nurses join Teachers' Strike

The Zimbabwean

 Saturday, 01 March 2008 15:17

Things are rapidly falling apart under the world of the Zanu (PF) regime as
by Friday operations in government departments were either on a go-slow or
in some cases a virtual halt as civil servants took first steps towards
joining teachers in a full-blown strike.

In Harare it was compounded by a strike by council workers who downed tools
on Wednesday.  Nurses and doctors joined the strike set to paralyse
operations across the whole country.
The Public Service Association (PSA), which represents all civil servants,
said its members were disgruntled and forced to resort to industrial action
after having given the Mugabe regime until end of February to review their
Government sparked a furore after repeating its habit of awarding members of
the defence forces and police huge salary hikes and soft loans as a way of
buying their loyalty ahead of the elections. Some government departments,
including the CIO, did not receive the hikes, prompting further
PSA president Cecilia Alexander-Khowa said, "Our members are failing to make
ends meet and yet their counterparts in the army are earning billions.
Soldiers are not an essential service during peacetime so we wonder why they
are getting special treatment. We cannot rule out industrial action because
government employees are very bitter about the discriminatory treatment they
are getting from their employer."
The strike by teachers has paralysed operations in schools across the whole
country and the pro-government Zimbabwe Teachers Union (ZIMTA) has joined
the protest organized by the Progressive Teachers Union (PTUZ).
ZIMTA executive member, Anderson Moyo said, "Our members are failing to
commute to work so there is no option but to express our unhappiness through
industrial action. We want a salary review at the same proportion as given
to members of the army by government recently."
PTUZ secretary general Raymond Majongwe said there was no going back on the
strike unless government capitulated on the union's demand of a minimum of
Z$1,7 billion salary for teachers, currently earning around Z$400 million.
Harare council workers downed tools on Wednesday in demand of a 300% salary
increment and this paper visited the Town House to establish that
negotiations with management were failing to break the impasse and the
workers were set to continue on strike in the coming week.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zimbabwe's Lethal HIV Solution

Washington Post

Saturday, March 1, 2008; Page A13

Regarding the Feb. 20 article "African AIDS Crisis Outlives $15 Billion Bush

According to the article, "economic collapse has coincided with fundamental
social change" to decrease the rate of HIV infection in Zimbabwe.

Nevertheless, it is rising mortality -- resulting from hardship and
poverty -- that has been instrumental in effecting change. As mortality
rates increase, the pool of infected people and the risk of new infections
shrink, and -- statistically speaking -- this decreases HIV rates.

Death, then, acts as a powerful incentive for behavioral change, but it can
hardly be prescribed as the ideal antidote to AIDS. While the health
benefits of embracing monogamy are obvious, the cause of this shift
(poverty) should also be a cause for widespread concern.

Skyrocketing unemployment and social disruption have also played a part, at
once reducing mobility and increasing migration. While the former lessens
the risk of infection, the latter inflates other countries' HIV rates while
letting Zimbabwe benefit.

When a country with 150,000 percent inflation and a despotic ruler flaunts
achievements that no one else can claim, perhaps a little more caution is in

-- Ilaria Regondi


Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

KweKwe police chief disregards changes to POSA and AIPPA

By Tichaona Sibanda
29 February 2008

The police chief for KweKwe district in the Midlands, Chief Superintendent
Charles Chagonda, has said he doesn't recognise changes made to POSA and

At a meeting with all candidates for the parliamentary, senatorial and
council elections in the Midlands town recently, the police chief reportedly
told them he had the power to dictate what laws should be used in KweKwe.

MDC legislator for the town, Blessing Chebundo, said Chagonda made it clear
he was not going to follow the amended new laws, which were signed into law
by Robert Mugabe in January.

'It's a mockery of parliament that a police officer, whose job is to make
sure people follow the rules, breaks them wantonly,' Chebundo said.
He added; 'He has unilaterally banned all gatherings in the town and how do
you meet your supporters?'

The police chief went further and warned the candidates that whoever broke
his strict code would rot in prison. And true to his word, on Tuesday seven
MDC official were arrested in the town after holding peaceful door-to-door
campaigns. Five were released on Wednesday. The remaining two were only
released Thursday.

According to changes made to POSA and signed into law, those who intend to
organise public meetings, political rallies or demonstrations have to appeal
to a magistrates' court if the regulating authority (police) prohibit them
from holding the planned meetings or demonstrations. Before, they were
required to appeal to the Minister of Home Affairs.

Police would be required to enter into dialogue with the organisers of the
gathering before prohibiting the meeting from taking place. Prior to this
organisers were required to give seven days' written notice ahead of planned
gatherings, to a senior police officer designated as the regulatory
authority for the area concerned.

'It is clear that instead of following the rules, he's bending them to suit
his masters. But we are not surprised because these are the same people who
were ordered by their boss (Commissioner Chihuri) to make sure the
opposition is desrupted from carrying out its campaign activities across the
country,' Chebundo said.

SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

The Maize Crisis: The Pain Of Flirting With Zimbabwe?

Nyasa Times, Malawi

aNyakuchenya Ganda on 01 March, 2008 05:07:00

Dr. Bingu Mutharika must be congratulated for being man enough by holding a
Cabinet meeting on the looming Maize crisis in the country.  This is a very
wise move that must in all honesty be applauded by all Malawians.  We hope
this is the beginning of the change in public policy.

Be that may, Mutharika will be remembered for his bizarre ability to starve
Malawians by donating and selling our maize to Zimbabwe and other countries.
If he had listened to the national pleas for caution and patience, Mutharika
and his government would not be panicking now.

It is not surprising that the accusatory fingers are now being pointed at
Muthatika's cousin Dr. Charles Matabwa.  That is very interesting for
Mutharika has all along known Matabwa as a very inefficient PhD holder who
is good at talking nonsense, a man who can't just give women a cursory
glance, and one who promotes nepotism than performing his professional

The people that have worked with Matabwa in the Civil Service will attest to
the fact that Matabwa is good at manipulating data and misinforming even the
people who work with him.  He is a double-faced liar who will even lie to
the president as long as he knows that will save his back from being
scorched for his inefficiencies.

Matabwa is not supposed to be running anybody's organization.  This man is
fit to be shackled in a soil science lab looking in the microscope or
washing petri dishes and test tubes.  This man needs to get out of bed!

Equally to blame are the Officials at the Agricultural Ministry who seem to
be working in isolation from their ADMARC counterparts.  One wonders why
they cannot refresh their maize estimates data by using the national daily
sales and stock level reports from ADMARC.

With the computerized system that ADMARC has it should be possible to pull
together and refresh all the market and stocks data by the close of the day.
But as always these people are so obsessed with data from outdated monthly
reports and pretend to be surprised when they are hit by acute maize
shortages.  These are just saboteurs!

It is not the duty of the President to ask for data from ADMARC and his
ministry officials.  They should always have the statistics and distribution
matrices ready for any eventuality.  We don't want Patricia Kaliati
delivering maize at places like T.A. Kasakula as a face saving tool when it
is the whole nation facing acute shortages of the product.

Some people have spoken and written about Malawians using other alternative
foods.  Fair.  But what some of these people forget is that maize is our
staple food as a result we need it to provide us with the food security we
always talk about.

Most Malawians normally consume a half-pound even more of maize and its
products every day. Any misappropriation of this item and interruption in
its supply, either at the farm level or to the markets, has critical
penalties for the most susceptible.

Erratic rainfall, chronic famine, and loss of soil richness have all made
the maize harvests in Malawi tentative.  To compound these problems with man
made negligent creations like selling the maize to Zimbabwe is almost

I am yet to be schooled by the "food diversity experts" how I can keep my
sweet potatoes and other perishables for twelve months using traditional

Equally important are the by products of this crop that can be stored for a
long time and be used as animal feed and building materials.  There are so
many tradable artifacts that can be made using these by-materials. On top of
that it has been proven to be a viable cash crop.

Moreover, the mere fact that we can substitute our staple food with other
perishables, does not give license to government to wantonly donate and sell
our maize to other countries before the national requirements are met. Talk
about inconsistency!

Like what the President said, that receiving food donation deprives families
of their dignity and restraints progress; in future our government must make
thorough consultations with all stake holders so that we avoid the situation
we are trying to fend off now.

The last time I was doing a survey in rural Zimbabwe I was almost
tire-lynched when the Morgan Tshvangirai diehards learned that I was a
Malawian.  These people feel so betrayed by our selling maize to their
country, which is being used as a weapon of political manipulation of the
opposition by the Mugabe associates.

These Zimbabweans find our "Mugabe Pampering Policy" as our contribution
towards the consolidation and continued dictatorship of Mugabe on their
country. Who can blame them?

Once again, Mutharika must be commended for convening maize crisis cabinet

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

MDC Scores Own Goals

The Zimbabwean

 Saturday, 01 March 2008 15:21

When the MDC was formed through the aegis of civil society, the people were
ready.  ZANU (PF), which had gallantly fought the war of liberation had
proved to be a failure at governing the fledging independent state.

From being the breadbasket of the region under white rule it fast becoming a
poor pariah state under its new black rulers who did not care a hoot about
the ordinary people.  Their only goal was to plunder and to enrich
The people flocked to the MDC under Morgan Tsvangirai, the former Secretary
General of the powerful Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions.  They had had
enough of ZANU (PF)'s arrogance, cruelty and self-aggrandizing policies,
which were arbitrarily imposed without involving all the stakeholders in the
social and political arena.

By the year 2000 the MDC had become a monolith party ready to wrest power
from the ruling ZANU (PF).  It was the party of the downtrodden and the
poor.  It demonstrated its people power when it campaigned successfully for
a "NO" vote in the referendum for a ZANU (PF) constitution which was indeed

In the general elections under the old constitution, the MDC won, hands
down, but the election was stolen through heavy and obvious rigging.  The
Movement for Democratic Change, however, did not despair. It soldiered on
under its brave leader.  Arrests, beatings and torture did not deter them.
Emancipation from ZANU (PF) tyranny was their avowed goal.

As was inevitable, under the profligate and flamboyant life style of ZANU
(PF) leaders, the once robust Zimbabwean economy finally crashed.  Commerce
and industry has been systematically destroyed.  The agricultural
infrastructure which was a showpiece to the world was dismantled and the
rate of inflation is now the highest in the world.

The people were fed up.  The scenario was all set for change.  Even from
within ZANU (PF), rumblings of discontent could be heard.  Stories of party
dissenters disappearing or dying in suspicious accidents oiled the rumour
mill.  The free press was gagged and a crude propaganda machine set up to
churn out lies that all our problems were caused by Western imperialist
powers.  Nobody believes this drivel, not even the most gullible of the ZANU
(PF) supporters, of course.

The people are saying enough is enough.  On the other hand, any kind of
reform has been thwarted by the Machiavellian leader, President Robert
Gabriel Mugabe, who wants the very status quo to remain with him in power
until he dies.  As the Shona say, "Chisingapere chinoshura." Change is
coming. Today there is open dissent within that impenetrable party.
Insiders say 90% of the politburo are behind Simba Makoni, the upstart
economist who has dared to openly challenge Robert Mugabe.  ZANU (PF) is
indeed in disarray and open to defeat.  Some say their rigging machinery is
now in shambles.

Instead of gearing up to deliver the coup-de-grace at the next elections,
unfree and unfair as they are, what is the MDC doing?  It is indeed painful
for us political observers to watch while that giant of a party scores one
own goal after another.

The first goal was when some leaders broke away over participation in
senatorial elections.  The second goal was when they entered into
negotiations with ZANU (PF) without their civil society partners and were
tricked into signing the 18th Constitutional Amendment by the will Thabo
Mbeki, President of South Africa who regards Robert Mugabe as his godfather.
The latest own goal is when party leaders they imposed candidates upon the
people to fight the elections next month.

Just after nominations closed, I visited some of my MDC friends in
Dzivarasekwa.  They were sad.  They told me that they had expected their own
man, Peter Karimakwenda, to stand as their parliamentary candidate.  He was
a founder member of the MDC and understood their needs.  He is the
vice-chairperson of the district.  Last year his house, a bus and his
grinding mill was burnt down by ZANU (PF) operatives to stop him from
working for the party.  At one time he was abducted, tortured and thrown
into the bush to die.  He recovered after several weeks in hospital.  After
the people of Dzivarasekwa asked him to stand, he submitted his CV to the
party headquarters.  This was a formality since he had been the councilor
for the area before councillors were dismissed by ZANU (PF).

When he was ready, with other aspirants to go for primary elections the
people were told by the party hierarchy that there would be no primaries.  A
Mrs Masaiti, whom they hardly knew, was going to be their candidate.

When the people of Dzivarasekwa protested, they were told that his was in
line with the party's new gender equality policy. One resident told me,
"Wakatama, the way the people at the top use us and then ignore our views is
frustrating.  Since I wont be able to vote for Peter Karimakwenda, I will
vote for Simba Makoni.  I don't know this Evelyn Masaiti we are being asked
for support.  I only know that she was the wife of a now deceased MDC

Peter Karimakwenda said, "I am sad.  I so much wanted to represent my home
in parliament.  However, I can't destroy the party after all I have gone
through.  I will campaign for Masaiti so that the MDC can win.  We have
suffered enough.  We cannot afford to loose."

Please Morgan Tsvangirai, listen to the Peter Karimakwendas in the party.
They are the true heroes of the struggle.   Gender equality is important,
yes, but it's not the priority at this stage.

He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Cauldron bubble

Saturday 1st March 2008

Dear Family and Friends,

"Double double, toil and trouble;
fire burn and cauldron bubble."

These two lines from Macbeth are particularly appropriate for Zimbabwe this
week as elections draw nearer and the ruling party condemn their opponents,
point accusing fingers and talk of witches, political prostitutes and

Two minutes before President Mugabe stepped up to the podium to launch his
party's election manifesto, the electricity came back on in my home town. It
had been off for the past ten hours in a week where it's been off more than
Wearing a black and red baseball cap and a green shirt covered with pictures
of himself on it, Mr Mugabe leant on the podium and looked out at the
Many of them were also wearing clothes decorated with Mr Mugabe's face and
they waved little paper flags as their leader raised his clenched fist.

"Pasi na Morgan!" (Down with Morgan Tsvangirai) He called out and waited for
the traditional echoed, damning response.
"Pasi na Makoni!" (Down with Simba Makoni) he shouted next and again the
response was immediate. This then was the start of yet another angry,
divisive, Zanu PF campaign - nothing new for our beleaguered country and
people here.

The posters in the stands expose the prevailing Zanu PF thinking nine years
into our country's deep crisis: "No to Sanctions!" said one; "See the
revolution through Cde R.G. Mugabe!" said another. "They only give sanctions
not freedom!"
proclaimed a third but none offered solutions to a hundred thousand percent
inflation, no food in the shops, scarce electricity and water or a quarter
of the population living in exile around the world. The Zanu PF theme for
the coming elections is: "Defending our land and sovereignty."

Mr Mugabe spoke for an hour and a half - about the past, the Independence
struggle, religion, the old days and at one point went into a lengthy aside
about the fact that he couldn't speak French and neither could anyone in his
offices. The audience were largely quiet during the ninety minutes and there
were few interruptions for cheers or clapping - that is until the insults
The crowd came to life when Mr Mugabe started condemning his opponents.
Portly women and big bellied men roared with laughter, ululated and
applauded when the President called on them to: "Reject the bootlicking
British stooges, the political witches and political prostitutes."

Ten minutes after the end of the live Zanu PF election campaign launch, the
electricity went off and everything shuddered to a stop again. One thing
stayed in my mind from Mr Mugabe's speech and that was his statement that
"every child must go back to school." The words are a far, far cry from the
reality of this weekend in education in Zimbabwe. Across the country our
children have come home for half term with additional accounts for "Top-Up"
school fees. Most schools face imminent collapse this term as they cannot
cope with over a hundred thousand percent inflation. The Top Ups range from
thirty million for children at rural government schools to hundreds of
millions for urban schools and billions for some private schools. Children
whose parents are unable to pay the extra fees before Tuesday will not be
allowed back into school. At the same time government school teachers are
about to go on strike. Their salaries are not even enough to buy basic food.
One heartbreaking report this week tells of teachers at a rural primary
school signing up for emergency food aid. They say it is embarrassing to
have to do so and they are being laughed at but it is better than fainting
in class.

This is a tragic state of affairs for a country whose education was always a
shining beacon in the whole of Southern Africa. We can only hope and pray
that come March 29th we can begin repairing the damage and restore our
teachers to their rightful places of dignity and respect in our society.
Until next week, thanks for reading, love cathy.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

A letter from the diaspora

1 st March 2008

Dear Friends.

Browsing through the acres of print from the chattering class in Zimbabwe on
the subject of the elections and Simba Makoni's participation in particular
I found a description of him as a 'stalking horse'. Unsure exactly what it
meant, I checked and discovered that it's a hunting term. It means to hide
behind something while stalking one's prey, it conveys the idea of
concealment, of hiding one's true intentions. So, in politics the term
refers to a candidate put forward specifically to divide the opposition or
to mask the identity of the real candidate in whose favour the stalking
horse would then withdraw.

The problem for the Zimbabwean electorate is to decide whether this is
an accurate description of Simba Makoni. He claims that he stands for no
party, his partnership is with the suffering masses, he says. And that may
be true. Simba Makoni may indeed be his own man but that does not exclude
the possibility that someone else is using him as a cover to draw out
Mugabe's enemies. As yet none of the thousands Makoni says are behind him
have shown their faces. Makoni has given no facts or figures to prove his
claim that he has the backing of other Zanu PF insiders.

At his birthday celebration, Mugabe described Makoni as no better than a
prostitute; she at least has clients, Mugabe told his supporters bussed in
for the party. We have become used to such tasteless language from the old
man. On the same occasion the 84 year-old dismissed Tsvangirai as 'just in
it for the money'. Coming from Robert Mugabe, that's pretty hard to swallow
after the brutality that Tsvangirai and his party have suffered at Mugabe's
hands. The truth is that Mugabe just cannot bear to acknowledge that anyone
other than himself can possibly have Zimbabwe's best interests at heart.

Which brings us back to Simba Makoni. Is he genuine or is he the stalking
horse to draw out the president's enemies so that Mugabe can afterwards see
that they are dealt with in his usual ruthless manner. Remember how he
invited all those with an interest in being president to declare themselves
openly and honestly? And when they did they were picked off like so many
rabbits caught in the glare of the presidential Merc's headlights.
Mugabe's cops and Youth Militia are already dealing with the official
opposition as we have seen just this week again with MDC supporters beaten
up and arrested all over the country and Augustine Chihuri declaring that
his police force have the right to use live ammunition where 'other methods
are ineffective or inappropriate'. Mugabe's greatest fear now is not the
opposition but the enemy within his own ranks; quite literally he does not
know who they are, he isn't even sure if he can trust them to rig the
election for him. What better way to force them to expose themselves than
with a 'stalking horse'?

Meanwhile, the Zimbabwean economy collapses still further and to quote the
Scotsman (UK) ' a desperate Robert Mugabe has asked China for a £25 billion
loan to help repair Zimbabwe's shattered economy' The Chinese - and the
Israelis - have already assisted him with weapons, water canons and purple
dye to repress any future unrest that may follow a rigged election.
Yet, in spite of all the evidence to the contrary, there are still people
who hail Mugabe as the saviour of Africa, they have swallowed his rhetoric
that he was the man who single handed brought an end to colonial rule.
Mugabe's influence has spread far wider than Zimbabwe or even Africa.
Pan-Africanists everywhere have taken up Mugabe's anti-colonial stance and
used it as a cover for all that is wrong in Africa. The Kenyan Minister of
Justice used the tactic just this last week when he responded to criticism
by reminding the British 'We are not a colony and they should.not interfere
with sovereign states.'
'Trying to pull a Mugabe' was how one European diplomat described the Kenyan
Minister's remarks and it is surely a sad reflection of the state of affairs
in Zimbabwe when the President's name is associated with cheap tricks
instead of the good governance that the country so desperately needs.
Despite all the rigging and violence already in place all we can hope is
that Zimbabweans find the courage to turn out in their thousands on March
29th to vote for honest men and women who genuinely have the country's best
interests at heart.
Yours in the struggle PH.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

No bridge too far for shopping Zimbabweans


     March 01 2008 at 12:16PM

By Justine Gerardy

The absurd surrealism of Zimbabwe's functional collapse lies in a
dimly lit hall just across the Limpopo River. Fuelled by bleating electronic
jingles, rows of men throw coins into slot machines that glow in the bad
light. There is little glamour at the Beitbridge Casino, but it's
operational. A notice on the wall states that the casino tables will open in
the evening.

A few kilometres away, a 29-year-old Zimbabwean man had travelled
south from Masvingo to shop in South Africa's border town of Musina.
"There's nothing to buy there," he said while perusing tins of instant
coffee. He travels to Musina every three months to shop for basic goods.

"Others come to buy to sell, but I come to buy groceries for my
family," he said.

The two buffer towns between the world's highest inflation rate and
Africa's strongest economy are studies in incongruity and mutual dependence.

The economic meltdown in Zimbabwe has spawned disparate knock-on
effects, such as a business boom in Musina, the maguma guma industry of
smuggling (and robbing) people into SA, and constant repairing of the fence
along the border.

The official 24-hour Beit Bridge border takes Zimbabweans to Musina's
supermarkets where fully stocked shelves have not been crippled by the 100
000 percent inflation rate. Some cross just for a few hours to buy goods.

Yellow Zimbabwean vehicle registration plates rival official Limpopo
plates in the town's streets and parking lots.

For those using public transport, there is a 24-hour bus and taxi rank
at the South African border gate market to travel the few kilometres into
Musina. And those on foot can pick up goods right at the gate, turn around
and go home.

In Beitbridge, a SuperSpar had mountains of fluffy cream doughnuts on
sale in its under-lit aisles, but its dairy fridges were empty. A petrol
station had shut off access to some of its filling bays. A curio market had
no shoppers.

A faded upbeat slogan on the wall of a still-surviving eatery on the
edge of town evoked a Hillbrow-esque nostalgia of former heyday trade to
hungry and parched border traffic.

Heady red kitchen tiles and a map of Zimbabwe with demarcated tourist
sites painted on a wall - where men sat at empty tables - added to the retro

Two cups of black tea, decorously brought in individual pots on a
tray, cost R5 when using the parallel black-market rate. The tab should have
been R1 000 according to the official exchange rate.

The hand-written menu tacked above the counter mostly had variants of
sadza or pap-based dishes. A pork breakfast was Z$35-million (R22) and beef
stew with sadza and veg was Z$15-million. A sausage cost Z$10-million. A
queen cake, Z$1,5-million.

In Musina, a fried-chicken outlet was booming and tables at the local
steakhouse were packed at night.

With his bakkie at the border at 11pm last Saturday was Thohoyandou
farmer Lieba Alpheus, who was waiting for Zimbabwean workers, who he had
earlier hired, to cross the border. "Why? To be honest, they're
hard-working. Even if you're not there and you show them the job, it's well
done," he said.

In Musina, a 29-year-old Zimbabwean said he gave up his job as a
pharmacy assistant to sell carved stone curios.

"Tourists aren't coming to Zim anymore because of the politics, so we
followed them here," he said, adding that he makes about R10 000 a month.

Musina SuperSpar manager Pieter Koekemoer said the supermarket had
seen an average of 40% growth in the past year.

Indeed, the store has now revamped itself to sell bulk packs of
groceries and added another storeroom.

It is believed a new mall is to built, anchored by Shoprite Checkers
as Spar's first major opposition, something that Koekemoer welcomes: "The
load is getting too big, it needs to be shared. We're getting to a point
that we are overtraded with the size of floorspace and parking area we've

"Business this side is very good," said the Bangladeshi owner of Mr
Cheap, Wasif Khan (36), who moved to Musina three years ago due its booming

With old-style trading store atmospheres, the Musina supermarkets
stock basic necessities such as rice, sugar, dairy creamer and clothes.

The acerbic smell of giant rectangular slabs of green soap fills the

At the border, a bus driver who was making his way to Joburg from
Harare was slicing a mango into bite-sized strips. "There's a great
difference," he said. "On that Zim side, there's nothing. Here you can buy
food and eat."

Just below the pedestrian bridge, however, the reality of border
crossings that has spawned a smuggling industry was playing out in a
blocked-off section in the lower tier of the bridge.

Three men were moving about in the prohibited area where they charge
Zimbabweans to get across the border. The men lower a rope to the South
African soil below for people to clamber down and head to cross the fence.
For R100, one offered to show how it was done.

"The problem is that if we catch and deport them today, tomorrow
they're back here. It just carries on," said an armed South African soldier.

The fences along the border bear the brunt of fence jumpers. One
battered section has a clearly worn track from behind the fence to the bush
on the opposite road where a little girl's pink boot lay discarded. The mesh
fence of another section was propped up by rocks, while another had a
200-metre gap in the outer fence.

Two policemen who jog daily along the border fence at 6.30am said they
often came across fence-jumpers, as did officers at a nearby army outpost.

A lifelong Musina resident, Jacob Matakanye, of the Musina Legal
Advice Office, said between 100 and 200 were crossing illegally every day. A
person could be arrested and deported up to three times a month, he added.

"The situation is out of hand - they're always maintaining the fence.
Things are getting worse in Zimbabwe every day. Yesterday I was told that a
professional teacher was getting R1 100 per month. Everything is worse than

Musina has no refugee reception office and few people were aware of a
14-day permit which could be applied for once in SA. The permit gives 14
days for people to apply for asylum - in this case, at the only Gauteng
office processing new asylum applications, hours away in Pretoria.

Ironically, nearly all Zimbabweans want to return to home.

"The Zimbabweans coming here don't want to stay here forever. They
want to go back," said Matakanye. "We're busy lobbying the government to
relax the law with Zimbabwe so that people can apply for asylum because of
economic reasons."

People in Musina appeared sympathetic to the Zimbabweans, with much
shared blood between the borders. Many spoke of their pain. If there were
xenophobic feelings, they were dormant, unlike recent violent anti-foreigner
sentiments seen elsewhere in SA.

For some, being exposed to the realities of life in Zimbabwe brought
home what could happen if the tables had to turn. "If there was war here
too, maybe we would have fled. They have to come here," said Morris
Netshitade (20). "Most people here know and see what kind of difficulties
they face there. Life there is very difficult, you can see the situation."

Scores of unaccompanied children - like a barefoot, 8-year-old boy
with a bloodied nose and clothes crusted with dirt - cross the border to

"I feel pity for them. They're black like us," said a taxi driver Edmo
Chari (26), who ferries people to Musina from the border.

But a worker at a nearby Big Five game park opened his phone to reveal
a video clip filmed in September of an old man being beaten to force him
into an overloaded van near the police station.

"They treat them like donkeys. They don't care. I don't like seeing
people treated like that."

He believed SA was wasting its time and money by arresting and
deporting Zimbabweans. "It's not the right solution. We don't know what will
happen in South Africa in the future. If we received the same treatment, if
we were treated as nonexistent, as they're doing here, then it won't be

An hour later, a truck with dozens of hands clamped onto the mesh
windows was heading for the border.

At sunset the next day, the pedestrian bridge remained full of
Zimbabweans crossing into SA. Others were returning home. Chatting,
laughing, walking calmly, and carrying heavy bags.

On the South African side, the flawless, rich black tarmac of the N1
stretches off into the distance, beautifully marked with painted road signs
and thoroughly policed.

On the Zim side, the road to the north is pallid, potholed, grey and
lifeless, the vista broken only by the occasional donkey.

This article was originally published on page 13 of The Star on March
01, 2008

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Online  Poll Puts Morgan Top

The Zimbabwean

 Saturday, 01 March 2008 14:44

HARARE - MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai is more popular and would win a
majority out of the presidential election involving three other candidates,
according to an online poll conducted on the website of The
The poll was conducted as a dip-stick survey to give some idea of the
feeling of Zimbabweans, but by its nature has been limited to those with
internet access. It is therefore not fully representative.
Some 1 200 votes had been cast by Friday in response to the question, "Who
would you vote for to be the next president of Zimbabwe?" A total of 629
voters chose Tsvangirai as their choice, representing a 51,5%, followed by
independent candidate Simba Makoni, who had 482 votes, which is 39,5% of the
total number of cast votes.
Aged Zanu (PF) leader Robert Mugabe, the incumbent head of state who has
been in power for 28 years but now widely condemned for ruining a once
prosperous country had only received 56 votes, which is a 4,6% share from
the total. Leader of the other MDC formation Arthur Mutambara, who pulled
out of the presidential race but was included on the online poll had
received 11 votes by Friday, representing 0,9%, even less than the 43 voters
who said none of the four candidates would be their choice.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Kunonga Loses Ground

The Zimbabwean

 Saturday, 01 March 2008 14:50

Ousted Harare Anglican Diocese bishop, Nolbert Kunonga has lost ground in
his battle against Bishop Sebastian Bakare, and has also lost all moral
authority among parishioners, senior clergyman in the embattled church said
this week.
Kunonga - who as Bishop of Harare tried to use the pulpit to defend
President Mugabe's insane policies - was dismissed by the Anglican synod of
Central Africa after he attempted to withdraw the Diocese of Harare from the
The synod, the Church's supreme authority in the region, appointed retired
Bishop Bakare as caretaker head of the Harare diocese, a move Kunonga is
fiercely resisting.
"The majority of priests are backing Dr. Bakare, and were present at his
installation and enthronement," said the chancellor of the Diocese of
Harare, Robert Stumbles.
"Almost all those priests who were unlawfully and autocratically dismissed
by Dr Kunonga, and who remained in Zimbabwe, have once again joined the
growing band who show loyalty to Bishop Bakare and are delighted at the turn
of events. They regarded Dr. Kunonga as a persecutor," Stumbles said.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Forces Should Disobey Silly Instructions

The Zimbabwean

 Saturday, 01 March 2008 13:28

Senior officers in the uniformed services are falling over each other in a
competition to ingratiate themselves at this time, by being seen to instruct
their subordinates to vote for Mugabe at the forthcoming elections.

This is a clear abuse of office. They have no right to do this, and such
silly instructions should be ignored. Members of the uniformed services, as
any other Zimbabwean, should be free to choose whomsoever he or she wishes
to vote for.
Every citizen should vote for a candidate of his or her choice. That is what
free and fair elections are all about - the freedom to choose.
If the winning candidate is to be chosen only by these pompous, be-medalled,
praise-singers what is the point in having elections at all.
We are pleased to see that the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) has
been quick to condemn the reckless statements made by the Defence Forces
Chief and Retired Major-General Paradzayi Zimondi and others.
As the NCA correctly points out, Zimondi, who is paid from our taxes, is not
allowed to make political statements.
The Herald of 29 February quotes Zimondi as saying: "I am giving you an
order to vote for President Mugabe and do not be distracted."
Zimondi parroted his master's voice when he said supporting Simba Makoni or
Morgan Tsvangirai was tantamount to supporting former colonial master
Most Zimbabweans are, as indeed they should be, appalled at such idiotic
pronouncements by people in such positions of power and authority. Let us
not forget that the reason they make such self-serving statements is because
they have amassed huge wealth at the expense of ordinary Zimbabweans, whose
average life expectancy is now the lowest in the world.
We notice The Herald was quick to fan the false fears that Makoni and
Tsvangirai would give the farms back to the white commercial farmers. Both
these other candidates have clear policies for handling the land reform
issue - with the corruption, violence and chaos that has marred Mugabe's
handling of it.
The heart of the matter is that these men are terrified of losing their
ill-gotten gains. They believe, erroneously, that the re-election of Mugabe
as president will protect them and their riches.  How wrong they are!
Already the moths of inflation have eaten more than half their wealth.
We agree with the NCA that statements like these, reported widely in the
official media, should cause those who had already prepared to legitimize
the coming elections as free and fair to think again. With such threats from
leaders of the armed forces, how can voters cast their ballots without fear.
Ominously, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, remains silent through it all.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Land Reform - Eight years of destruction

The Zimbabwean

 Saturday, 01 March 2008 17:46

In February 2000, the war veterans led by the late Chenjerai Hunzvi charged
into the white owned farms, looting, killing and torturing people as they
grabbed white owned farms. Here is an eyewitness account of what happened in
Goromonzi and Shamva.

Upon entering Glebe farm now owned by a Zanu (PF) official, one is welcomed
by the sorry sight of a field of wilting tobacco heavily outgrown by weeds.
Further into the farm, there are dilapidated tobacco barns that have turned
into a play ground for goats and chicken.
But eight years ago, before it was reallocated under the fast track land
reform programme, Glebe farm was a hive of activity, producing tons of
foreign currency-generating tobacco and other crops.
"Since the farm was taken there has not been much production and he (the new
owner) always has excuses like the rains have not been good, inputs have not
been there and so on," commented Theresa Masoke, a worker at the farm.
This is the situation across the country.
A survey by The Zimbabwean revealed that many of the newly resettled farmers
have struggled to produce enough to feed the nation, with many of them
failing to utilise fully the farms they were allocated.
Last year the government allocated farm implements to farmers under their
mechanisation programme. The aim was to boost the capacity of the mew
farmers but just like in the initial process of land reform there were so
many loopholes and those who benefited ended up abusing the implements.
A new farmer in Shamva admitted that he had sold the scotch cart he was
"I sold the cart to a friend who lives nearby and in case the government
officials come to inspect it, I will just get it from my friend and return
to him when the inspectors are gone," said the farmer.
Asked if he did not need it for his operations at his A1 farm, the new
farmer said he had sold the cart to supplement the fees for his school-going
Economic analysts have pointed out that the process was flawed as land was
given to Zanu (PF) supporters, not on a merit basis.
"If the government genuinely wanted to give the land they should have handed
it to those who could produce enough but it was based on how much you
supported the party and eight years later look at what has happened to the
farms, there is destruction. How can they expect an economic turnaround when
there is no production in the farms,' commented a top economic analyst who
preferred anonymity.
The situation is worse in Shamva where many resettled war veterans have
turned the once highly productive farms into bushy grasslands.
Chabweno farm is now a pale shadow of the tobacco giants that it used to be.
The barns are now in a state of disrepair, as they have been lying idle from
the day the former owner was chased.
Further down is Umritsur Farm where the new owners are cultivating
vegetables only on a small portion. The rest of the farmland is now an empty
grassland. Production of citrus fruits at Ceres farm, acquired by Public
Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Nicholas Goche, has since
stopped and the tree plantations have dried up due to neglect.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

A nation without a moral foundation is like a ship without a compass

The Zimbabwean

 Saturday, 01 March 2008 17:49


The crisis we are experiencing in our country has taught us that we must
re-examine all our values. Our commonly accepted standards have proved to be

 We desperately need a new quality of life. Some superior quality of life
that is above resentment, jealousy and greedy. The best way to do this is to
have leaders who confess their own shortcomings instead of spotlighting that
of others.
The leaders we have today are failing to do that. President Mugabe is always
shouting at Bush, Blair and now Gordon. There is no problem in highlighting
the mistakes of fellow leaders such as the invasion of Iraq. However, this
does not mean you should fail to recognize the log in your own eye. Mugabe
blames everything on sanctions, but he does not want to admit that his
colleagues are thieves and are also corrupt. This has also contributed to
the free fall of the economy.
We have totally failed to win the war against corruption. When Gono began
fighting corruption he received threats from some people. Is there any
ordinary man who can threaten Gono? Many parastatals in this country were
paralyzed by corruption. Some of the examples are Noczim, Zesa, GMB, and PTC
only to mention a few.
The culprits were never brought to book because they are powerful people.
Presidential aspirant Dr Simba Makoni said, "National institutions have been
corrupted, privatized and politicized. There is a scourge of patronage and
gross abuse of power and culture of chiefdom. This is the Zimbabwe we have
today. We need to create a new dawn in Zimbabwe that will put food on the
In 2004 the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development was given Z$1, 5
trillion by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe. This money was for the procurement
of tractors and combine harvesters, upgrading irrigation facilities as well
as purchasing fertilizer meant for new farmers. Government officials,
politicians and civil servants allocated themselves the equipment that was
acquired by RBZ for the new farmers.
Some of the new farmers who had grown wheat even failed to access combine
harvesters allocated to ARDA resulting in the crop being damaged by early
rains. We go around the world spreading the gospel of land yet we give our
farm workers Z$40 million that is not even enough to buy 2 litres of cooking
oil. The subsidized fuel allocated to new farmers is being diverted on the
black market.
Towards the end of 2007 our country experienced massive cash shortages.
According to RBZ Governor out of Z$67 trillion that was printed only Z$2
trillion was in circulation. By that time majority of Zimbabweans were
earning about 50 million. Even though they could not get that 50 million
since the banks had no money. Where was the rest of the money? It was with
the cash barons who are the chefs in influential positions.
When Gono took some measures to recover the money, many people expected that
high-ranking officials would be arrested but none of that happened. During
that year's Zanu (PF) congress, Gono had this to say, " Nyika ino iri
kurasikirwa nemari yakawanda chaizvo pamusana pedu isu vamunoti machef ,
kana kuti vamakaisa pazvigaro zvinokosha , mungave muhurumende , muparty ,
mumapraststal , mulocal government kana mumabhizimisi kusanganisira
The real truth is that the so-called chefs are the people who have destroyed
the country. Mugabe has just extended the terms of army generals and that of
Chihuri. He wants them on his side. They protect each other for they have
been buddies of the unholy alliance for a long time.
This affects the running of the whole nation because from the executive,
judiciary and legislature there is gross abuse of power and corruption. No
matter how many cases of corruption that arises nothing will be done about
it. There is only one solution to all this and that is the removal of Mugabe
and all these people. 29 March is the day for every Zimbabwean to do that.
All chefs must go. What justice do you expect from the people who have been
at the helm of power for the last 28 years? A lot has happened no one has
the power to punish another because either way one knows the other's
secrets. So the only way is for them is to stick together.

Back to the Top
Back to Index