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

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PAC marches in solidarity with Zimbabwe

March 03, 2005, 16:00

Between 50 and 100 members of the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) are marching
from Pretoria's CBD to the Union Builings where they intend handing over a
memorandum on Zimbabwe for President Thabo Mbeki's attention. Ntsie Mohloai,
the PAC national organizer, says marchers will then hand over a letter of
solidarity to Zimbabwe authorities at that country's embassy.

In its memorandum to Mbeki, the PAC demands that government not allow the
country to be used as a springboard for the re-colonisation of Africa. It
also demands that the government not allow Cosatu and the MDC to use South
Africa as a base in "undermining and destabilising the sovereignity of

The PAC wants Mark Thatcher, a British businessman and son of Margaret
Thatcher, the former British prime minister, banned from South Africa
permanently and wants all Apla political prisoners released. The PAC is also
demanding that its former liberation fighters be integrated into the SAPS
and the traffic department.

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Neighbors 'Unconcerned' by Zimbabwe Media Clampdown
Nairobi, Kenya ( - A continuing media clampdown in Zimbabwe has
prompted fresh concerns among journalists in Africa that other repressive
regimes on the continent may follow suit.

Mitch Odero, the head of the Media Council of Kenya, said the harassment of
media organizations by President Robert Mugabe's government was even more
worrying than it would otherwise be, because none of the neighboring
countries appeared to be particularly concerned.

Ahead of parliamentary elections on March 31, Zimbabwe has stepped up a
long-running campaign to control the media.

In the most recent case, a government-controlled media commission shut down
an independent newspaper; the Weekly Times, after just eight weeks of
publication, saying the paper violated media laws.

Three other papers, the Daily News, the Daily News on Sunday, and the Weekly
Tribune have also been closed over the past two years.

Foreign correspondents, and some Zimbabwean journalists, have left the
country, citing harassment by the state security officials.

Odero said free communication was an important human right. Without it,
Zimbabweans would face "the worst form of colonization -- that of the mind."

Mugabe frequently rails at the outside world -- primarily at former colonial
power Britain and the United States -- accusing the governments are
promoting "colonization."

Zimbabwe is a member of a regional body known as Southern Africa Development
Community (SADC), which has a protocol designed to promote human rights.
Other members are South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Angola, Mozambique,
Zambia, Malawi, Swaziland and Lesotho.

Odero questioned neighboring states' silence. "Zimbabwe is breaking this
protocol and yet the other SADC members do not seem to be acting. That
bothers me much more."

In Cape Town Wednesday, South African President Thabo Mbeki told reporters
that Zimbabwe was adhering to the SADC protocol, and claimed that issues
like "access to the public media ... have been addressed."

Speaking alongside Mbeki, another SADC state leader, Namibian President Sam
Nujoma, said of Zimbabwe: "There is really no serious problem there, no
problem there."

State Department spokesman Richard Boucher recently condemned what he called
"a pattern of shutting down newspapers, shutting down civil society,
restrictions on civil society, [and] a climate where the opposition ...
fears for its safety."

"Open environment for journalists, the open environment for the opposition
to peacefully contest the elections needs to be ensured," he said.

Mugabe has vowed to "bury" the opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) in the election. MDC members have in past elections been attacked, and
even killed, by Mugabe party loyalists.

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said the Mugabe
government's repeated use of repressive laws and harassment of reporters
made clear its intention to silence views that differ from its official
version of events.

"The African and international communities should condemn this very
unfortunate pattern," said CPJ executive director Ann Cooper.

Many African journalists feel a wider use of online journalism would counter
efforts by repressive governments to stifle unpopular views.

Reuben Kyama, a political scientist and journalist, said international
support for online journalism in Africa was needed, because insecure regimes
were trying to restrict the free flow of information.

"African media needs to establish a common voice to fight dictatorship
regimes," he said. "What is happening in Zimbabwe will definitely send wrong
signals to other dictators in Africa."

Kellys Kaunda, the head of the Zambian chapter of the Media Institute of
Southern Africa (MISA-Zambia) said the African Union must to pressure Mugabe
to repeal the tough media laws.

Parliament in 2002 passed the Access to Information and Protection of
Privacy Act, under which journalists can be jailed for up to two years if
they work without being registered with the state's media commission.

Zimbabwean journalists caught freelancing for foreign media can also be
jailed for two years.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice earlier this year labeled Zimbabwe an
"outpost of tyranny."

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The Australian

Mugabe's retirement mansion fit for a despot
Gavin du Venage, Johannesburg
March 04, 2005
CHINESE, Arab and South African interior decorators are putting the
finishing touches to Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's retirement
mansion - turning the residence into a fortress that can house a small army.

Construction of the $US12million ($15.3 million) mansion on 17ha has been
under way for several years and it is almost ready for occupation, according
to a report this week by the Institute for War and Peace Reporting.

All that is left to do are the finishing touches, and the institute says
specialists have been brought in to design formidable defences to protect Mr
Mugabe as he enjoys his sunshine years in his retirement home. The defences
include chemical and biological sensors to warn of a poison or germ attack.

Radiation detectors are located around the house, and the guards carry
sensors on their belts to record levels of radiation within the premises.

Sniffer dogs patrol the boundary to check for bombs. At least 50 full-time
riot police will be stationed in luxury barracks on the grounds and their
ranks will be boosted by members of Mr Mugabe's feared secret police, the
Central Intelligence Office.

The skies above the mansion already have their own helicopter and aircraft
patrols, and some of the recently acquired jetfighters bought from China
last year will be placed on duty to keep the airspace above the mansion free
of intruders.

The property is located in the exclusive Borrowdale suburb of Harare, where
most of Zimbabwe's wealthy elite live. It has taken three years to build and
is said to be lavishly furnished with items Mr Mugabe's wife, Grace, has
collected over the years on her shopping trips to Asia, and, before the
British imposed a ban on her, Harrods in London.

Mr Mugabe says no tax money has been used to build the home, which he plans
to live in when he retires. Instead, the state media reports, gifts from
countries such as China, Serbia and Malaysia have made construction of the
home possible.

The President is expected to hand over power to an as-yet unnamed successor
in the next few years.

News of the mansion's completion came as the US announced it would extend a
freeze of assets belonging to Mr Mugabe and about 80 other Zimbabwean

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Agricultural relief aid must improve, says study

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

JOHANNESBURG, 3 Mar 2005 (IRIN) - The efficacy of agricultural relief
programmes run in response to recurring drought and food shortages in
Zimbabwe could be greatly improved, says a report by the International Crops
Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT).

The report titled 'The Distribution of Relief Seed and Fertiliser in
Zimbabwe: Lessons Derived from the 2003/04 Season', highlighted the need for
improved targeting and monitoring of agricultural relief programmes.

"Despite the frequency of agricultural relief programmes, little is know
about their efficacy. Seed distribution is assumed to contribute to an
expansion of cropped area. But it is difficult to find independent data
measuring such gains. Fertiliser is assumed to increase production levels
and productivity. But most relief programmes simply assume these gains.
Nonetheless, each year drought re-occurs, these programmes are simply
started afresh," the report said.

The authors noted that "while the relief seed and fertiliser [distributed in
the country] were generally well used, there remain substantial
opportunities for improving the effectiveness and impact of these input
distribution programmes".

One key area they identified was the importance of draught power for
improved crop yields.

Zimbabwe experiences recurring droughts, and in intervening years, parts of
the country are periodically affected by floods.
As a result the country frequently benefits from relief programmes aimed at
assisting the recovery of smallholder agriculture.

"The most common programmes, involving the distribution of seed and
fertiliser, have been implemented in one or another part of the country
during at least 10 of the 24 years since the country achieved its
independence in 1980," the study said.

The country experienced drought again during the 2001/02 and 2002/03
cropping seasons, "the impact of these recent droughts was measurably
worsened by a rise in unemployment, high (100-500 percent) rates of
inflation, a decline in gross domestic product, and an estimated 26 percent
rate of HIV/AIDS incidence among adults".

Maize import and price controls contributed to severe shortages of grain on
both urban and rural markets.


The study, based on the results of three major farm surveys designed to
assess the distribution of seed and fertiliser inputs during the 2003/04
cropping season, reveals that while relief seed and fertiliser were
generally well used, the targeting of households destined to receive relief
needs improvement.

"While many of the NGOs distributing inputs identified explicit criteria for
the selection of needy households, these lists were difficult to implement
in practice. In consequence, there was little difference in the poverty
levels of households that received relief inputs compared with those that
did not receive these inputs.

Many NGOs tried to target households affected by HIV/AIDS. Yet households
with orphans, or female-headed families were just as likely to have received
relief inputs as male-headed households or those without orphans," the
report noted.

Almost 15 percent of households received input packages from more than one
NGO and "in some districts, more than 25 percent of households received
similar packages or relief inputs from multiple NGOs," the report said.

The authors argued that targeting of relief inputs could be improved through
better information sharing on needs and the relief activities of NGOs.

They also pointed out that the distribution of seed did not appear to have
resulted in a significant expansion of the area cropped during the 2003/04

"Instead, much of the relief seed appears to have replaced stocks available
on local markets. This includes seed saved by many households from their
previous harvest. Despite shortages of grain on the local market, and
despite two consecutive years of drought, many households were still able to
retain seed stocks," the study said.

Farmers, however, appear to have benefited from the distribution of new,
improved varieties of seed.

"This was the first season in more than two decades that relief agencies
were allowed to distribute open pollinated maize varieties. While virtually
all smallholders had adopted hybrid maize, the rising costs of this seed in
recent years had led many to replant seed derived from their previous
season's grain production. This was contributing to a decline in average
maize yields. The delivery of open pollinated varieties offered farmers a
cheaper, more sustainable, alternative," the study found.

However, in some cases there were problems with the quality of relief seed.
During the 2003/04 season, much of the seed distributed, especially for
crops other than maize, was of questionable origin.

"In at least two cases, seed of poorly adapted varieties was imported and
distributed to farmers. This produced limited yields late in the production
season (which fortunately was prolonged by late rains). In these cases, the
recipients of relief seed would have been better off planting seed available
on local markets. These problems were worsened by poor and incomplete seed
labelling, and in some cases, wrong labelling," the report said.

Beyond the impact of seed deliveries, the study revealed that substantial
gains in production and productivity were derived from the targeted
application of small quantities of chemical fertiliser. "In effect, small
doses of nitrogen-based fertiliser appear to offer much higher returns than
the delivery of seed - particularly if this seed is of uncertain origin,"
the report noted.


The report found that "the major determinant of the area planted by poorer
households was not the availability of relief seed, but access to draught

It said families owning cattle or donkeys planted 60 percent more land than
those without. This was linked with an 80 percent average increase in grain

"A key inference to be drawn from this data is that efforts to expand area
planted following a drought should concentrate less on distributing seed and
more on improving access to draught power.

"NGOs could provide vouchers encouraging the sharing of available animals,
perhaps in exchange for supplementary feed and veterinary care.
Alternatively, relief programmes should concentrate more effort on improving
the stability and productivity of production on a smaller area," the report

Larger gains could also be achieved by strengthening the technical
assistance provided with agricultural relief programmes, as "less than
one-quarter of the recipients of relief inputs received any kind of
extension advice. And the majority of these extension contacts occurred only
once," the study found.

Overall, the evidence strongly suggested that agricultural relief programmes
need to move away from an emphasis on handouts to encompass the pursuit of
more explicit development goals.

"These programmes may still target subsidised assistance to poorer
households most severely affected by poor rains or socio-economic
constraints. Yet many of these households are likely to remain chronically
poor unless they are more methodically assisted with improved varieties,
better extension advice or strengthened markets," the report concluded.

Larger, more sustained gains could be achieved by improving the quality of
agricultural relief assistance, "rather than concentrating ... on the
numbers of households assisted, and the numbers of input packages
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Canada Free Press

30 Days until the election:
Why the World should watch Zimbabwe Closely
by Scott Morgan

Thursday, March 3, 2005

There are approximately 30 days until the mid-term elections in Zimbabwe.
These elections are very crucial as they may determine not only the future
of democracy in that nation, but also the stability of Southern Africa
itself. If the elections go as many insiders believe they will then Zimbabwe
will be an authoritarian government with a rubber stamp Parliament.

One of the first areas that should be watched with great scrutiny is the
assault on the independent media. Within the last two weeks, four
journalists have been forced to flee the country. Also another independent
newspaper, the Weekly Times has been ordered to cease publication by the
Media and Information Commission. Zimbabwe has a very repressive law. AIPPA
(Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act) has been used to
shield Government members and supporters from the media. The Media
Commission certifies journalists and news outlets and has been able to
silence voices that have been critical of the ruling ZANU-PF (Zimbabwe
African National Union-Patriotic Front). There are rumors that the
commission is planning on targeting yet another newspaper.

Another area of concern is the targeting of NGOs. In December, 2004 the
Parliament passed a controversial bill regulating these organizations. At
this time, the legislation has not been signed into law by President Mugabe.
There are major problems with this legislation. A Parliamentary Committee
found that this bill violated at least a dozen sections of the Zimbabwean
Constitution. This bill tries to prevent foreign funding of NGOs. On Feb.
25th, the Public Welfare Minister announced that 30 NGOs may be closed down
because of misappropriation of funds. It is felt that this is an attempt to
make ordinary Zimbabweans more dependent on Government sources for food,
legal services and medical care. A challenge to the bill of the President by
a group of NGOs has not been answered as yet. IF this is signed, it will not
be the answer that they want.

There is an ominous sign on the horizon and it is the potential involvement
of the Armed Forces of Zimbabwe. They have gone on record as saying that the
Opposition would not take power even if they won any elections. That
statement is bold and should concern people. There also have been two large
arms shipments from the People's Republic of China delivered in recent
weeks. Most of the equipment delivered is designed for crowd control. Also
retirees have been called back to service for duty. There are also rumors of
a potential coup if things go bad. This is a crucial scenario.

Lastly, there is a new outside enemy. One of the planks of this campaign
used by ZANU-PF has been anti-Tony Blair. Britain has been a long-standing
target of the Government, but there is a new target now. It seems that they
are now taking shots at the United States. In recent weeks, the Government
has taken some shots at Condeleeza Rice referring to her as a fascist and a
slave to President Bush. The Government of Zimbabwe and President Mbeki of
South Africa have taken offense to the testimony of Ms. Rice when she
referred to Zimbabwe as an "Outpost of Tyranny". It is the position of the
United States and others that these elections be free and fair, but these
elections may not be.

These are some indications that there is a concerted effort to limit the
free flow of information and to prepare for a crackdown after the official
results are released. It also appears that instead of attacking London, the
authorities are intent on blaming President Bush and his administration for
the problems that plague Zimbabwe. Regional actors have been silent
regarding the procedures for elections, so questions can be asked of them
after the elections.

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From Business Day (SA), 2 March

SADC Forum outraged at exclusion from poll

Johannesburg - Confrontation is looming between Zimbabwe and the Southern
African Development Community (SADC) Parliamentary Forum over Zimbabwe's
general election due later this month. The forum, which includes permanent
representatives from most countries in the region, wrote to Zimbabwean
President Robert Mugabe last week expressing outrage at its omission from
the list of invited observers. Secretary-general Kasuka Mutukwa reportedly
asked why his group had been excluded when it had always monitored elections
in SADC countries. The SADC forum declared Zimbabwe's hotly disputed 2002
presidential election not free and fair. It was widely attacked by Mugabe's
government for its decision - which was similar to that of other observers
such as Commonwealth, invited European Union countries, Japan and some
African countries including Ghana and Senegal. SA and other SADC countries,
China and Russia gave the election a clean bill of health. It is understood
Mugabe has not yet replied to the letter.

Zimbabwean parliamentary speaker Emmerson Mnangagwa led SADC's election team
to observe the Malawian election last year. Zimbabwe, is already on a
collision course with SADC countries over its refusal to adequately comply
with the regional bloc's election guidelines. The dispute between Mugabe's
government and the SADC forum came as Zimbabwe started accrediting local and
foreign observers yesterday after weeks of uncertainty over the issue.
Zimbabwe has only invited 23 African countries, five from Asia, three from
the Americas and only Russia from Europe to observe its election. After a
lot of uncertainty, Zimbabwe finally sent out invitation letters to
observers last week. President Thabo Mbeki, who chairs the SADC organ on
politics, defence and security, is currently trying to form the regional
grouping's observer mission. SA, trying to help to ensure a free and fair
election in Zimbabwe, will also send a parliamentary and a ruling African
National Congress team to the country to observe the election.
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Daily News online edition

      US extends sanctions on Mugabe

      Date: 3-Mar, 2005

      JOHANNESBURG - The United States of America has extended by one year
personal sanctions and a freeze on assets belonging to President Robert
Mugabe and 80 other Zimbabweans close to him, the White House has announced.

      The punitive actions were initially imposed on 6 March 2003, in
response to anti-democratic measures taken by the Zanu PF government in
Harare. The US said the freeze would be extended for another year, beginning
March 6.

      The White House said in a statement, issued on Wednesday, the
Zimbabwean government's "actions and policies pose a continuing unusual and
extraordinary threat to the foreign policy of the United States".

      The decision by the United States to extend travel sanctions on Mugabe
and his officials comes two weeks after the European Union (EU) resolved to
extend sanctions against the 81-year-old former guerilla leader, accusing
him of rigging parliamentary polls five years ago as well as his own
re-election in 2002.

      Both the United States and the EU accuse Mugabe and his allies, such
as the youth militias and veterans of the war of liberation, of using
violence to silence supporters of the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) during the run-up to the 2000 parliamentary and 2002
presidential elections.

      President Mugabe is on record defending his government, saying the
sanctions by both the US and EU are designed to punish him for seizing land
from white commercial farmers to resettle black Zimbabweans, who President
Mugabe says are the rightful owners of the land.

      The latest measures by US against President Mugabe and his top
officials are calculated to force him to introduce democratic reforms in
Zimbabwe, a country once touted as a role model in Africa in the 1980's.

      The advent of the MDC as a formidable opposition to Zanu PF rule shook
Mugabe and his officials. Sensing imminent loss of power, Zanu PF, youth
militias and war veterans unleashed a reign of terror against perceived
enemies of the ruling party, during the run-up to both the 2000
parliamentary and 2002 presidential elections.

      International observers, with the exception of regional ones from
countries with close ties to Zimbabwe, condemned the results of the polls as
neither free nor fair. The MDC won 57 seats, close to half of the 120
contested ones, while its leader Morgan Tsvangirai has gone to court
challenging his alleged defeat by Mugabe.

      Zanu PF has also been accused of using violence and other foul methods
in effort to win the forthcoming March 31 parliamentary elections.

      Although Mugabe has announced he wants a violence-free campaign,
incidents of beatings and intimidation against opposition supporters
continue to be reported in Zimbabwe.

      The independent press and international journalists have also been
targeted by President Mugabe's government in its bid to silence any critics
ahead of the poll. A recently launched newspaper , The Weekly Times, has
been closed while four correspondents of foreign news media have been
hounded out of the country.

      Although Zanu PF and its sympathizers insist that the party has done a
lot to meet regional guidelines on holding free and fair elections, the
opposition says this is all a smokescreen. The reality on the ground is that
measures are being implemented to rig or steal the elections once again.
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Daily News online edition

      MDC fumes at Mbeki*s views on polls

      Date: 3-Mar, 2005

      JOHANNESBURG - The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has lashed out
at South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki, accusing him of being totally
misinformed about political events in Zimbabwe.

      Paul Themba Nyathi, the party's spokesman, made the remarks in
response to reports from South Africa that quoted President Mbeki as saying
he believed the forthcoming elections in Zimbabwe would be free and fair.

      This was in direct contrast to the views of opposition Democratic
Alliance (DA) leader, Tony Leon, who claimed the March 31 polls had already
been rigged in favour of President Robert Mugabe's ruling Zanu PF party.

      Themba-Nyathi said he was stunned to hear Mbeki's comments in the
run-up to the parliamentary election. "It's wrong. President Thabo Mbeki is
totally misinformed," he told the BBC.

      "He probably knows things that those of us who are on the ground do
not know," he said. "Trying to reward Zanu PF by pre-empting the results on
31st is not helpful."

      Themba-Nyathi said the electoral changes Mbeki spoke about were
superficial. For example, state media news broadcasts continued to ignore
opposition rallies and give blanket coverage to Zanu-PF, although he
admitted that MDC adverts were now being broadcast.

      Mbeki, speaking after meeting outgoing Namibian President Sam Nujoma
in Cape Town on Wednesday, said the Mugabe government was complying with a
new Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) protocol on free and fair

      "I have no reason to think that anybody in Zimbabwe will act in a way
that will militate against the elections being free and fair," said Mbeki,
rejecting suggestions that Zimbabwe had failed to comply with the SADC
protocol on elections.

      "I don't know what has happened in Zimbabwe which is a violation of
the SADC protocol," said Mbeki. "As far as I know, things like an
independent electoral commission, access to the public media, the absence of
violence and intimidation ... those matters have been addressed. What SADC
is interested in is a free and fair election in Zimbabwe, as in all of its
member states."

      South Africa's official opposition party, the DA, has come out in
support of the MDC saying the March 31 elections have already been rigged in
favour of President Mugabe's Zanu PF.

      Tony Leon, the DA leader, said the elections would be neither free,
fair nor legitimate. While addressing the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats
for Europe in the Belgian capital Brussels, on Wednesday, Leon said the
behaviour of the Zimbabwean government in recent times had left little room
for doubt.

      Leon insisted Harare has violated all of the most basic conditions for
elections it agreed to at the meeting of the Southern African Development
Community (SADC) in Mauritius in August last year.

      While Pretoria has come to President Mugabe's support, the United
States and the European Union have extended personal sanctions against
President Mugabe and 80 of his top officials, accusing Harare of applying
undemocratic means to remain in power.

      International and local human rights organizations have also come in
full force accusing President Mugabe of using violence and intimidation to
cow supporters of the MDC.

      Authorities in Harare have been accused of denying the MDC access to
the public media and enacting laws that make it impossible for the
opposition to campaign freely.

      The independent media and foreign correspondents have also been
targeted by the ruling party in its quest to crush dissent ahead of the
crucial poll.

      South Africa is seen as a key player in efforts to end Zimbabwe's
crisis. As the regional power, it has considerable influence but Mbeki has
consistently refused to openly criticise Mugabe, who is accused of using
fraud and violence to ensure victory in the 2000 and 2002 elections.

      Mbeki insists that his policy of "quiet diplomacy" is more effective.
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      Zimbabwe, Italy discuss Italian owned farms affected by land reform 2005-03-04 00:51:09

          HARARE, March 3 (Xinhuanet) -- Zimbabwe's land reform has touched
on Italian owned farms that have been listed for acquisition underthe
program, Italy's Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mario Bologna said on Thursday.

          "The land reform program is a decision taken by the Zimbabwean
government and it touched on some Italian owned farms," the ambassador told
journalists soon after paying a courtesy call on Vice President Joseph

          "We agreed that the problem would be solved in due course
according to the agreement between Zimbabwe and Italy on protection of
investments," he said, adding that the meeting with the vice president
touched on various issues, including bilateral relations between the two

          Zimbabwe embarked on the land reform program in 2000 to
acquirewhite owned land and resettle landless blacks. The controversial
reform was heavily criticized by western countries such as Britain.

          Commenting on Zimbabwe's forth-coming parliamentary elections on
March 31, Bologna said Italy would also send observers to the poll.

          "We hope everything will go well and that the outcome will be
supported by the international community," he said. Enditem
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Singh flees arrest

Joseph Katete
issue date :2005-Mar-04

MISS Tourism World president John Singh, against whom a writ of arrest was
issued by the High Court on Wednesday evening, sneaked out of the country
hardly three hours after the order was granted.
He left aboard an Air Zimbabwe flight to London at around 10 pm the same
Justice Antonia Guvava issued the writ following an urgent application by a
London-based television station, Original Black Entertainment Television
(OBE TV), to stop him leaving the country before he met his financial
obligation with the station.
The application was made after Singh allegedly refused to pay 10 percent
from the deal he had entered into with the television station to promote
Miss Tourism World pageant held in Harare at the weekend.
Asked why Singh was refusing to pay, OBE TV's director of strategic
business, Michael Orji, said the pageant president argued he had contracted
a South African company - Diversity Management Company - to do the
production and stagework for the finals instead of OBE TV as initially
When the television station realised that Singh was due to leave the country
on Wednesday, it filed an urgent court application to bar his departure
before he settled the debt.
The High Court gave Singh up to 7 pm to respond, but he did not.
When The Daily Mirror contacted him on his Harare mobile number (011606248),
he said he was in a meeting at a local hotel and asked this reporter to call
back at around10.30 pm.
This would have been 30 minutes after his scheduled departure for London.
OBE TV's lawyer, Aston Musunga of Musunga and Associates, alleged that a
police officer stationed at the Harare International Airport denied the
Deputy Sheriff, Everton Kunze, entry into the VIP lounge, where Singh was
waiting for his flight, to serve the writ.
However, there was no immediate comment from Police General Headquarters
concerning Musunga's allegation.
According to Musunga, OBE TV was supposed to be paid 10 percent of the US$2
million licence fee Singh was paid by the Zimbabwean government to host the
He was also alleged to have refused to pay another 6 890 British pounds for
expenses incurred by Singh and the first batch of contestants to arrive in
Zimbabwe. Soon after Guvava issued the writ, Kunze, Orji and Musunga made
their way to the airport, but were allegedly barred by the policeman from
entering the VIP lounge.
Kunze confirmed that their efforts to stop and arrest Singh on Wednesday
night were fruitless but refused to give details on what had prevented him
from effecting the order.
"The nature of our job does not allow us to talk to the press, but perhaps
Mr Musunga can help you with what happened," said Kunze.
Musunga said soon after the order was granted, they proceeded to the airport
after being told that Singh had checked out of the Sheraton Harare Hotel.
He said they arrived at the airport about 45 minutes before the London
flight, but officers manning the VIP lounge denied them entry.
Orji blamed the police for letting Singh out of the country.
"The way the police officer blatantly refused to let us in and in the
process stopped the Deputy Sheriff from carrying the order that the High
Court had given to have him (Singh) stopped is a slap on the face of the
country's judicial system," said Orji.
The officer had argued that the High Court judge should have specified her
name, title and office of jurisdiction for him to allow the men into the
He said he was disappointed by the officer's action, as it would now be
difficult for them to recover their money.
He said it was highly unlikely that Singh would be extradited to Zimbabwe.
Orji said it was imperative for them to press charges against Singh in
Zimbabwe as the contract between the two parties was signed here, and that
the country had hosted the pageant.
An employee at Air Zimbabwe said Singh flew out of the country aboard an Air
Zimbabwe plane at 10 pm on Wednesday.
Contacted for comment, police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Wayne
Bvudzijena professed ignorance of the whole matter.
"I don't have any comment as I did not receive any reports," said
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

'Don't dare campaign for deserters'

From Pamenus Tuso in Bulawayo
issue date :2005-Mar-04

WITH the general elections just around the corner, Zimbabwe's war veterans
have warned fellow members against campaigning for disgruntled ruling party
members who opted to stand as independent candidates, in particular former
information minister Jonathan Moyo, who is eyeing the Tsholotsho
parliamentary seat. The Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans
Association's (ZNLWVA) interim chairman, Andrew Ndlovu, yesterday chided
"misguided" war veterans and threatened to read the riot act if they dare
campaign for "deserters" in the run-up to this month's watershed general
He blasted colleagues accused of being aligned to Moyo's camp and other
discontented Zanu PF members standing as independents after losing party
primaries, that they risked losing their monthly pensions from the War
Veterans Fund.
"Any war veteran who is benefiting from our Zanu PF government and is seen
clandestinely campaigning for Moyo should be prepared to face the
consequences. These people if they continue with their game could lose their
pension benefits," Ndlovu warned.
"Moyo and those other independents are now history in the party and war vets
should not bite the hand that is feeding them by aiding these people in
their campaigns."
The warning comes in the wake of claims that some war veterans, ex-detainees
and war collaborators were campaigning for the Zanu PF rejects in Tsholotsho
and Beitbridge. Dismissed ruling party Matabeleland South chairperson Lloyd
Siyoka, will battle it out as an independent against Zanu PF's Kembo Mohadi,
the incumbent MP, and Murunwa Siphuma of MDC.
Ndlovu said war veterans in Matabeleland North will soon descend on
Tsholotsho and Binga to mount vigorous door-to-door campaigns.
"The thing is we want to concentrate in the area as we feel the enemy has an
upper hand.  As war veterans we have agreed to work together and extinguish
the enemy in this region," he added.
He said due to the increase in the arrests of war veterans on 'dubious'
charges, the association had since recommended the setting up of a committee
made up of members from both former Zipra and Zanla to deal with all such
cases before they are forwarded to the police for prosecution.
He also called on the government to vet some of the former freedom fighters,
especially  Zipra cadres, he claimed were left in the initial exercise in
1999 for various reasons.
"I know some cadres whom I trained together with who have not been vetted.
Some were out of the country when the exercise was completed while others
had been in jail or hospitals when the exercise was carried out," said
Ndlovu, who also urged the government to seriously consider vetting living
spouses and children of deceased war vets. Moyo fell out of favour with the
ruling party after he defied President Robert Mugabe and his vice, Joyce
Mujuru not to stand as an independent in Tsholotsho.
That seat among others, had been reserved for women in accordance with the
ruling party's rules and regulations.
However, Moyo thought otherwise and ostracised himself from Zanu PF when he
filed his nomination papers to stand as an independent. He was then booted
out of the government and soon from the President's guesthouse in Gunhill
where he enjoyed maximum protection.
Other benefits Moyo  enjoyed from the government will soon be retrieved, The
Daily Mirror was told.

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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

NCA regional chair in court

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Mar-04

THE regional chairperson of the combative National Constitutional Assembly
(NCA) Farai Jiji, who has reportedly encouraged the electorate in Marondera
to boycott this month's parliamentary polls, was dragged to court early this
week on allegations of breaching the Public Order and Security Act (POSA).
Allegations against Jiji (35) are that on February 23 this year at a local
hotel in Marondera, he organised a public meeting without notifying the
regulatory authority for the area in accordance with the requirements of
At the meeting, Jiji and seven other accused persons from the NCA allegedly
discussed matters pertaining to the March parliamentary elections and the
need to educate the public against voting.The State is also alleging that
the group discussed the need to change the country's current constitution.
Jiji and his co-accused were remanded out of custody on free bail to April
26.The NCA is against the holding of elections in Zimbabwe under the current
constitution and has staged a number of demonstrations in Harare demanding
the promulgation of a new supreme law.

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