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

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MDC candidate tortured, detained
Sat 5 March 2005
      HARARE - An opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party
candidate in the upcoming election and another party official were on
Thursday tortured by ruling ZANU PF party militants and later detained by
the police when they attempted to press charges against their torturers.

      Prince Chibanda, who is standing for the MDC in Zvimba North
constituency and the opposition party's information officer for the area,
Paidamoyo Muzulu, were by late yesterday afternoon still detained at
Chinhoyi police station, 120 km north-west of Harare.

      In a statement yesterday, the MDC said Chibanda was campaigning at
Basset farm in Rafingora district in the constituency when a group of ZANU
PF militants led by a self-styled liberation war veteran identified only as,
Kangachepi, abducted him and his team.

      "Chibanda and his team were assaulted and taken to some torture camp
on the farm. Eight of his team members managed to escape and reported the
matter to the police while Chibanda and Paidamoyo remained under siege," the
opposition party said.

      Following the report, the police went to Basset farm and picked up the
ZANU PF militants and their MDC victims. But when Chibanda and Muzula
attempted to press charges against their torturers at the police station,
they were told that they instead were going to be detained while their
assailants were to go free.

      "The two MDC officials were taken to Chinhoyi police station together
with the ZANU PF activists but were surprised when they (MDC officials) were
told that they would have to spend the night in the cells because the
officers who were supposed to attend to their case had gone home for the
day," the MDC said.

      Police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena could not be reached for comment on
the matter yesterday.

      Violence against and victimisation of MDC candidates and supporters by
ZANU PF militants and state security forces have steadily increased in the
past two weeks as the crucial election on March 31 draws nearer.

      Two MDC candidates were arrested last week and several of the
opposition party's activists harassed for putting up campaign posters.

      The opposition party began campaigning in earnest two weeks ago after
rescinding a decision last year to boycott the parliamentary poll unless
political violence was ended and the political playing field was levelled.

      President Robert Mugabe and police commissioner, Augustine Chihuri,
have vowed not to tolerate political violence in order to ensure a peaceful,
free and fair election.

      MDC spokesman Paul Themba Nyathi yesterday said: "One wonders whether
anyone can call this a free and fair election when complainants are arrested
for reporting to the police." - ZimOnline
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Zim Online

ZANU PF extorts money from teachers
Sat 5 March 2005

      MASHONALAND CENTRAL - Ruling ZANU PF party officials in Mashonaland
Central province have ordered school teachers in the area to donate cash to
host celebrations to mark Zimbabwe's 25th year of independence on April 18.

      Correspondence from the party's provincial co-ordinating committee
shown to ZimOnline instructs school heads to ensure that all members of
staff contribute to the celebration fund adding that teachers must comply in
order "to make our silver
      jubilee celebration a resounding success."

      Primary school teachers have been ordered to pay $25 000, secondary
school teachers $40 000 and headmasters $100 000 each. They have been given
up to March 15 to pay up.

      There is no mention of punishment or retribution against those who
fail or do not wish to pay the money. But school teachers speaking on
condition they were not named said from past experience, those who fail to
pay will be labelled opposition supporters and will face serious reprisals
from ZANU PF youth militias.

      ZANU PF finance secretary, who oversees the party's fundraising
activities, David Karimanzira, would neither confirm nor deny that teachers
were being forced to pay towards the independence celebrations. He instead
referred questions on the matter to ZANU PF spokesman Nathan Shamuyarira.

      He said: "I cannot talk about party finances. Talk to party spokesman
Nathan Shamuyarira." The party spokesman could not be reached on his phone

      The Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe, one of two teachers'
representative bodies in the country, yesterday accused ZANU PF of using
terror to extort money from teachers.

      "We note with great concern that the age-old tradition of extorting
money from teachers in the rural areas as the Independence celebrations
approach has returned," a union spokesman said.

      He added: "We are appealing to all stakeholders to intervene and stop
these barbaric activities. Such activities disrupt the school calendar and
the morale of the teachers, not to mention the fact that teachers' safety is
compromised unnecessarily."

      Mashonaland central is a stronghold of ZANU PF where militant
supporters of the party regularly hunt down perceived supporters of the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change harassing and torturing them.

      Teachers, accused by ZANU PF of using their influential positions as
community leaders to sway ordinary Zimbabweans to back the MDC, are among
the worst victims of ruling party militias in the province with many of them
forced to flee their schools after being tortured or beaten up. - ZimOnline
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Zim Online

High Court to hear banned paper's appeal
Sat 5 March 2005

      BULAWAYO - The Bulawayo High Court will on Wednesday hear an appeal by
the banned Weekly Times newspaper against its forced closure.

      The community-based paper, which circulated in Zimbabwe's second
largest city of Bulawayo and its environs, was last month shut down by the
state Media and Information Commission.

      The commission registers journalists and newspapers. It closed the
Bulawayo paper accusing it of breaching its registration contract by
publishing an anti-government political newsletter instead of a general and
developmental news newspaper. The paper's publishers deny the charge.

      In papers filed at court, Weekly Times publishers want the commission
barred from interfering with the paper's operations until the finalisation
of an earlier appeal against closure at the Administrative Court.

      They also want to be allowed to distribute copies of the March 4
edition of the paper.

      The Weekly Times is the fourth paper to be shut down since 2003 for
breaching harsh state Press laws. - ZimOnline

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25 years on, Mugabe still fighting
By CNN's Jeff Koinange in Lagos, Nigeria
Friday, March 4, 2005 Posted: 5:35 AM EST (1035 GMT)

HARARE, Zimbabwe (Reuters) -- He may be 81 years old, but Robert Mugabe
still has plenty of appetite for the fight.

He has ruled Zimbabwe ever since independence 25 years ago -- first as prime
minister, then as president.

And age has not mellowed the man -- or his hatred for British Prime
Minister, Tony Blair.

Recently he said: "We must dig a grave, deep, but 12 ft deep, and bury an
effigy of Mr. Blair and the Union Jack and we should write on it ... 'Here
lies the latter day British imperialist and the Union Jack, never again to

Mugabe used his recent birthday celebrations, organized by his ruling
ZANU-PF party, to drum up support for upcoming parliamentary elections.

And he sounds confident his party will retain its majority in the National
Assembly in the face of a challenge from the opposition, the Movement for
Democratic Change or MDC. Few outside observers expect the elections to be
free or fair.

Gugulethu Moyo, of the International Bar Association, said: " There are no
fundamental freedoms that you can speak of for Zimbabweans. Mugabe has
systematically, particularly over the last five years, has shut down the
democratic space in Zimbabwe. There is no freedom of expression to speak of,
no freedom of association to speak of."

Blair has repeatedly called on the Zimbabwean president to give in to
change, often referring to Mugabe's rule as a mockery of democracy.

Once-upon-a-time, Robert Mugabe was the darling of the West. But five years
ago, he endorsed a plan by veterans of Zimbabwe's war of independence and
ZANU officials to seize white-owned commercial farms.

White farmers who resisted were beaten and some killed. Many fled to
neighboring countries; others have gone as far afield as Nigeria.

Five years later, Zimbabwe's economy is in ruins, inflation at dizzying
heights and the Zimbabwean dollar, once a stable currency, is now
practically worthless.

Yet Mugabe clings to power. His government has placed severe restrictions on
the media and banned all foreign journalists from entering Zimbabwe.

Moyo said: " Given half the chance, given the freedom, I think many
Zimbabweans would actually vote Mugabe and his regime out of power. But they
have not had that opportunity because for the last five years.

" Mugabe and his regime have systematically intimidated people into voting
for him, beaten up Zimbabweans into voting for his party and intimidated the
opposition out of really being effective."

Mugabe may be tenacious, but he may also be thinking about a possible

He recently appointed former war veteran, Alice Mujuri as his vice
president. But that set off rivalries within the ruling party, as former
loyalists were sidelined or sacked.

Despite his confidence, Mugabe may face his toughest political fight yet in
the upcoming elections -- how to rally his now splintered party in the face
of economic crisis and against an opposition that clearly has nothing to
lose. An uphill battle for any 81-year old.
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Media Suppression in Zimbabwe
      04 March 2005

The following is an editorial reflecting the views of the United States

With parliamentary elections scheduled in Zimbabwe March 31st, the
government of President Robert Mugabe continues to suppress press freedom.
The latest sign: the government-controlled Media and Information Commission
has cancelled the license of the Weekly Times newspaper.

It is the fourth independent newspaper to be closed in Zimbabwe since 2002.
The Daily News, the Daily News on Sunday, and the Tribune also have been
silenced. One reason cited by the government for closing the Weekly Times is
that it took a stand on political issues. "There is no basis for closing us
down," says Godfrey Ncube, the Times' owner. He says, "We feel it's a
political move."

A report released in 2004 by Reporters Without Borders documents dozens of
incidents of journalists in Zimbabwe being detained, attacked, and harassed.
In early February of this year, Angus Shaw of the Associated Press, Brian
Latham of the Bloomberg financial news service, and Jaan Raath, a
correspondent for a German news agency left Zimbabwe after police raided
their offices. In January, President Mugabe signed a law requiring
journalists to be accredited by the government, further restricting press

The pattern of shutting down newspapers and harassing journalists in
Zimbabwe is part of a broader campaign to stifle political opposition. The
government has not implemented regulations to provide all political parties
"reasonable" access to the broadcast media. U.S. State Department spokesman
Richard Boucher says that in Zimbabwe, there is "a climate where the
opposition.fears for its safety":

"We have. . . .called attention to the parliamentary elections that are
coming up on March 31st, and made clear, as I think others have, that there
needs to be free and fair elections and emphasized that the open environment
for journalists, the open environment for the opposition to peacefully
contest the elections needs to be ensured."

For the elections in Zimbabwe to be free and fair and for the government to
get back on the path to legitimacy, the repression of the independent media
must end and the opposition must be allowed unfettered access to the media.
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A day to remember (unless you're Zimbabwean)

Steven Lynch

March 4, 2005

Records tumbled on arguably the most one-sided first day of a Test in 128
years of international cricket. It was gruesome to watch, but at least the
statisticians had something to get excited about.

First to go was Zimbabwe's lowest Test score. Their previous-worst was 63,
at Port-of-Spain in March 2000, when they wilted in the face of what seemed
to be an easy victory target of just 99 runs. But today was worse: only
Stuart Matsikenyeri made double figures, although curiously there was only
one duck as Zimbabwe succumbed for 54.

As South Africa toyed with the bowling as if it was the Father's Match at
school, another record loomed into view. The biggest lead that a side
batting second had established by the end of the first day in any Test was
233, when England ran up 286 for 8 after bowling out Australia for 53 in 75
minutes at Lord's in 1896. That 109-year-old record was soon in tatters -
like Zimbabwe's spirits - as the runs cascaded after tea, a session in which
South Africa scored 249 in 33 overs.

Jacques Kallis, soon after smacking three successive sixes off Graeme
Cremer, hurtled to his half-century in just 24 balls - the fastest-known in
terms of balls faced, relegating Ian Botham's slaptastic 26-ball fifty at
Delhi in 1981-82 down a place.

There was also the little matter of Makhaya Ntini's 200th Test wicket - he's
the third South African (after Allan Donald and Shaun Pollock) to get there,
and the 46th from all countries - and Mark Boucher's 300th Test dismissal
behind the stumps (only Ian Healy and Rod Marsh have made more).

Wisden doesn't do records for hurt pride, or the Zimbabweans might have
clocked up a few more. But Cremer's figures of 9-0-86-3 were a candidate for
Most Unusual in Tests (Asanka Gurusinha runs him close, with a spell of
1.5-0-25-2 in 1986-87), while Tatenda Taibu's persistence with a slip and a
gully almost all day would have come in high on the mythical Most Optimistic
Field Placings table.

© Cricinfo

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Authority to Commercialise

The Herald (Harare)

March 4, 2005
Posted to the web March 4, 2005


THE Parks and Wildlife Management Authority has embarked on an ambitious
commercialisation drive aimed at reorienting its operations towards

The authority said it has already embarked on intensive staff training and
restructuring aimed at identifying profitable investment projects.

"The authority will this year focus on training (staff), equipment and
conservation of natural resources balancing it with commercialisation," said
Dr Morris Mtsambiwa, the authority's director- general.

"As an organisation we will try to balance the main objective of
conservation alongside that of profit-making," he added.

The wildlife authority has set out to train more than 1 750 rangers
countrywide to give impetus to its new commercialisation vision.

To that end, the first 35 rangers have already been trained and these
graduated in the northern region on Tuesday this week. The rest are expected
to have done so by July this year.

Investment projects to be implemented include leasing of parks lodges and
photographic sites as well as sales of wildlife. Entrance fees would also be

"Lodges and photographic sites of interest in Gonarezhou, Chizarira, Hwange
and other places will be leased to individuals to generate foreign currency.
"Animals will also be sold to people in local and foreign currency and
entrance fees will be hiked to enable the organisation to refurbish some of
its lodges," said Dr Mtsambiwa.

In the past the authority, formerly the Department National Parks and
Wildlife Management, experienced massive poaching resulting in the
organisation losing thousands of animals, notably elephant and black rhino,
and revenue amounting to billions of dollars.

The joint Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park that includes Zimbabwe, South
Africa and Mozambique is still struggling to take off on the Zimbabwean side
as the authority was funding the project from its meagre resources.

Government allocated $1,2 billion to the authority to assist in the
tripartite project but the money was used to develop roads and install
electricity within its various Gonarezhou facilities.

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      Zimbabwe's population of AIDS orphans to peak in 2008 2005-03-05 00:47:25

          HARARE, March 4 (Xinhuanet) -- Zimbabwe's population of children
orphaned by HIV/AIDS is expected to peak at 1.4 million in 2008 before
declining, a municipal official said on Friday.

          A public affairs official with Harare City Council, Madenyika
Magwenjere, said this while presenting a paper on the role of Local
Government in providing mechanisms and means for children orphaned by

          The meeting, which was organized by the Municipal Development
Partnership for Eastern and Southern Africa, was conducted
throughvideoconference with other member countries.

          Magwenjere said the number of children orphaned by the
pandemicwould decline to an estimated 1.4 million in 2018 as the figure
continued to fall.

          "In 1988 it was estimated that there were 345,000 HIV and AIDS
orphans in Zimbabwe," he said.

          "This figure is estimated to peak in 2008 but thereafter the
programs we are implementing will start to have an impact and willresult in
the decline of HIV and AIDS orphans."

          The current population of children orphaned by HIV and AIDS in the
country is estimated at just above 800,000, the majority of whom were in
urban center. Enditem

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Zimbabwe Opposition Drops Election Challenges
By  Tendai Maphosa
      04 March 2005

The Movement for Democratic Change, Zimbabwe's main opposition party, has
dropped the court challenges of more than 30 cases of the 2000 parliamentary

The MDC has decided not to further pursue legal action because of the
impending parliamentary elections on March 31.

David Coltart, the party's spokesperson for legal affairs, said they could
pursue the cases beyond the election date but the outcome would not be worth
the effort because it has already cost the party an enormous amount of

Mr. Coltart said the MDC would now focus on the challenge of the outcome of
the 2002 presidential election which Morgan Tsvangirai, the party's leader,
lost to the incumbent President Robert Mugabe.

Some international and local observers concluded both polls were neither
free nor fair because of the violence that accompanied the ruling Zanu-PF
party's campaign.

Mr. Coltart denied that the challenges were an exercise in futility saying
it had taught his party a lot in terms of how the government rigged

He also said it is one of the reasons why the regional grouping the Southern
African Development Community had come up with electoral guidelines.

The government recently announced the setting up of an Electoral Court which
would take up to six months to hear any complaints or challenges related to

Since 2000 when the MDC lodged its complaints, the High Court had only heard
11 cases. The ruling Zanu-PF victories were upheld in three cases and eight
results were nullified. But because the ruling party candidates appealed to
the Supreme Court, they still sit in parliament less than a month before the
next elections.

In the 2000 elections the MDC won 57 of the 120 contested seats in
parliament. The party claims that if the courts had acted expeditiously and
ordered reruns they could be enjoying a parliamentary majority.
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‘WEEKLY UP-DATE’ – an assessment of the extent to which the Zimbabwe Government is complying with the SADC Protocol on Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections.



Issue 8: 25 February – 4 March











(During the time-period stated above)

GRADING: 1 = No Compliance  2 = Very Minimal Progress  3 = Minimal Progress  4 = Good Progress  5 = Full Compliance

Full Participation of citizens in the political process


4 March: Nhamo Makwaza a youth in the Glen Norah Constituency was arrested at around 0300 hours for putting up MDC campaign posters. 


2 March: 11 MDC activists in Guruve North were arrested by police while distributing campaign material.


21 February: MDC activist Tendai Matsine and his wife were severely beaten up by Zanu PF youth in Huruingwe East. They were attacked after being caught putting up MDC posters. The incident was reported to the police but police informed the MDC officials that they had been given instructions by their superiors NOT TO ARREST Zanu PF activists engaged in acts of violence.


20 February: a group of MDC youth was assaulted by a group of Zanu PF youth led by Fidelis Kangwere whilst putting up posters for the MDC Makoni West candidate, Remus Mukuwaza. The MDC activists were told that Makoni West was a no-go area for the MDC.


20 February: 2 MDC youths in Hurungwe East were abducted by a group of Zanu PF youth while distributing MDC campaign material. They were taken to the local Zanu PF offices and severely assaulted.


10 February: the Government deploys more than 2,000 members of the notorious youth militia in Kamativi, a perceived MDC stronghold in Matabeleland North. The youth have already begun patrolling villages in Binga and Hwange, two areas represented by MDC legislators. Hwange MP, Jealous Sansole, reported that people in his constituency were now afraid to attend meetings due to the presence of the militia. The militia have also been registered to vote in Hwange and Binga, despite not ever having resided in either of the constituencies.


8 February: Members of the army brutally attacked 15 MDC supporters as they departed a rally in Nyanga.



Freedom of Association


The government has barred opposition and independent candidates from canvassing for support amongst members of the uniformed forces. Commanders at army, police and prison camps have in the past few weeks refuse candidates permission to hold meetings or to distribute flyers in the camps where thousands of personnel live with their families. Ruling party candidates are able to enter the camps and canvass for support. 


17 February: riot police beat up protesters, and arrested 14 of them, during a March in Harare for free and fair elections.


16 February: Police in Harare raided a training session of the MDC’s 120 candidates. Police claimed the meeting was illegal under POSA. Ian Makone, the MDC’s Director of Elections, was arrested.


12 February: police arrested 40 women in Bulawayo following a march organised by Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) ‘to spread the message of love’.


8 February: Godrich Chimbaira, the MDC candidate for Zengeza, was arrested for holding a meeting at his house with members of the local structures.  



Political Tolerance



3 March: Prince Chibanda, the MDC candidate for Zvimba North and Paidamoyo Muzulu the information and publicity secretary, were arrested and detained at Chinoyi police station.


2 March: a group of Zanu PF supporters in Harare East travelled round in a government owned bus removing Zanu PF posters.


27 February: the MDC candidate for Lupane, Njabuliso Mnuni, was arrested by police for allegedly threatening a Zanu PF official.



22 February: MDC youth activist, Thembekile Moyo, suffered a fractured leg after being attacked by Zanu PF youth in Insiza while putting up posters.


20 February: 3 MDC candidates were attacked by a group of soldiers whilst returning from the launch of the MDC’s election campaign in Masvingo. 2 were admitted to hospital to receive treatment for their injuries. The incident was reported to police but no arrests have been made.


11 February: the MDC candidate for Hurungwe West, Godfrey Gumbo, was abducted by a group of Zanu PF supporters and taken to their HQ in Harare where he was severely assaulted. Mr Gumbo was abducted along with Stanley Razaro(the District Chairperson for Hurungwe) and Masavhaya Dipuka (the Organising Secretary). ALL THIS HAPPENED IN THE PRESENCE OF THE POLICE


10 February: Zanu PF activists, led by the son of the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Abednico Ncube, ordered a church sponsored feeding programme (responsible for feeding 300 children) to be stopped on the grounds that the ‘church was working with the MDC’.


8 February: 13 MDC supporters in Gwanda were arrested and fined Z$25,000 each by police for waving their open palms at Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister, Abednico Ncube.


8 February: Chiefs in Tsholotsho, Umzingwane and Insiza (Matabeleland South) ordered their subjects to attend Zanu PF rallies only and warned those who defy the order and attend MDC rallies that they will be denied food aid. Matabeleland South is currently affected by acute food shortages with a significant proportion of the population in desperate need of food aid.

Equal opportunity for all political parties to access the state media



1 March: MDC allotted 12 minutes on ZBC to present Manifesto. The party has also been given 9 free to air slots on both radio and TV.


20 February: The launch of the MDC’s election campaign in Masvingo was not carried live by the Zimbabwe Broadcast Corporation (ZBC). Instead it gave the event four minutes coverage later that evening. This was followed by a two-hour live interview with President Mugabe on Zanu PF’s manifesto pledges. The Zanu PF launch was featured on the news for 4 days and received over 4 hours coverage on TV and radio.


This does not equate with Government claims that it has allowed opposition parties ‘reasonable’ access to the state controlled electronic media.


The Government confirmed that the new regulations will not permit access to the state controlled print media which continues to refuse to carry adverts from opposition parties. 


Constitutional and legal guarantees of freedom and rights of citizens


There has been no move to repeal those aspects of the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) and the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) that place severe limitations on citizens’ basic civil and political rights. POSA continues to be used to ban MDC meetings and prevent free political activity.


On 14 January amendments to AIPPA were signed into law by Mugabe. The amendments tighten restrictions on journalists and under the new regulations journalists who work without a licence from the state controlled Media and Information Commission, face a two-year jail sentence or a fine or both. 

Conducive environment for free, fair and peaceful elections


 Gordon Moyo, the chairman of the Bulawayo Agenda, a civic education group, last week told the media that political violence, intimidation and the use of food aid to coerce voters was increasing ahead of the elections. Moyo further alleged that voters were being told that the use of translucent ballot boxes would enable the authorities to trace each vote cast.

20 February: An article in the Zimbabwe Standard alleges that the government has ordered Chitungwiza municipality to surrender more than 1,000 housing stands to Christopher Chigumba, the Zanu PF candidate for neighbouring Zengeza.

Non-discrimination in the voters’ registration



Under the new electoral reforms the exercise of voter registration remains in the hands of the office of the Registrar General; an office which has a proven track record of gross manipulation of the voter registration process to the political advantage of the ruling party.  The Registrar General is openly supportive of Zanu PF.


The Registrar General’s office embarked on a mobile registration exercise in May 2004 but the exercise was discriminatory because in urban areas the RG’s office was only issuing birth certificates and identity documents. In the rural areas, a massive door-to-door voters’ registration exercise was conducted.



Existence of an up-dated and accessible voters’ roll



Voters have been arbitrarily removed from the voters’ roll. Inspections that have been carried out thus far on sections of the voters’ roll have revealed an alarming number of anomalies.


The Registrar General has consistently refused to provide the opposition with an updated electronic version of the voters’ roll which would enable them to check its accuracy in an efficient manner.


The discriminatory nature of the voter registration process that has been undertaken ahead of the parliamentary elections has raised deep concerns about the accuracy of the voters’ roll. These concerns have been increased by the recent boundary changes, carried out by the Mugabe appointed Delimitation Commission, on the basis of the voters’ roll submitted by the Registrar General. 


In areas perceived to be MDC strongholds the Delimitation Commission reduced the number of constituencies. For instance, Harare lost two constituencies on the spurious grounds that the number of voters had fallen by 46,780. This is absurd given that official census published by the Government last year confirmed that Harare’s population had grown by 500,000.


The areas of Manicaland, Mashonaland East and Mashonaland West, where Zanu PF is perceived to have popular support, gained three constituencies.  



Establish impartial, all-inclusive, competent and accountable national electoral bodies


The recently established Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC)  will be chaired by Justice Chiweshe whose impartiality is questionable. More importantly, the ZEC is subject to the authority of the Electoral Supervisory Commission which is entirely appointed by Mugabe. All the other electoral bodies are entirely chosen by, and beholden to, the Executive.


Ensure that adequate security is provided to all parties participating in elections


The police and other state security agents continue to discharge their respective mandates in a partisan manner and deny MDC members their right to protection under the rule of the law.


23 February: MDC candidate for Bindura, Joel Mugariri and Mashonaland Central Provincial Chairperson, Tapera Macheka, were arrested by police for putting up posters.


23 February: Hilda Mafudze, MDC candidate for Manyame, reported that 11 MDC youths were assaulted by Zanu PF supporters while distributing campaign literature. The incident was reported to Norton police station but the police refused to arrest the Zanu PF youth. 


15 February: 7 MDC supporters were arrested by police in Bulawayo for distributing MDC campaign material. All campaign material was confiscated.




The increasing number of youth militia and war veterans being incorporated into the police force further erodes public confidence in the police to act impartially.


Independence of the judiciary


In a recent statement, the civic organisation, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), expressed its concern at the increasing incidences of intimidation of the justice administration officials by state security agents. ZLHR said that most of the victims were prosecutors, lawyers and judges handling human rights-related cases or those deemed politically sensitive.


            The conduct goes to the root of the independence of the judiciary. In particular, such conduct           seriously erodes the public’s confidence in the Courts and has grave consequences for the rule of law.”

Safeguard the human and civil liberties of all citizens, including the freedom of movement, assembly, association, expression and campaigning




 22 February: MDC candidate for Shamva, Godfrey Chimombe, was arrested along with five MDC activists while putting up posters.

Counting of votes at polling stations


The Electoral Act contains a provision expressing the need for votes to be counted at polling stations; however, the Act fails to make it clear whether or not this process will be mandatory.

Voter Education


The clauses in the ZEC Act that ban civic society from engaging in voter education and ban foreign funding for civic education are unconstitutional.

Polling stations should be in neutral places


Section 51 of the Electoral Act requires only that polling stations be established at ‘convenient’ places, determined solely by constituency election officers (section 17 of the Act allows the military to be constituency officers) and even permits a polling station outside the boundaries of the constituency.

Regular intervals as provided for by the respective National Constitutions


The constitution provides for parliamentary and presidential elections every 5 years and 6 years respectively.

Take all necessary measures and precautions to prevent the perpetration of fraud, rigging or any other illegal practices throughout the whole electoral process in order to maintain peace and security


The emasculation of the independent media, the presence of youth militia and the likelihood that members of the military will act as election officers raises the possibility of widespread incidents of electoral malpractice.


The Government has raised allowances and salaries of headmen and village heads by 150%, with effect from January. This was a blatantly political move aimed at securing the loyalty of the chiefs ahead of the parliamentary elections. In recent elections chiefs and village heads have threatened villagers with expulsion if they are suspected of having voted for anyone but Zanu PF.


The government plans to spend Z$8 million to import 15,000 tonnes of maize to feed 1.5 million people until the harvest in April. The timing of the announcement has raised concerns that the ruling party will use food aid to coerce the electorate – as it has done in previous elections.


The removal of the incumbent Registrar General would go someway towards signalling the Government’s determination to prevent electoral malpractice from occurring.


The establishment of multi-party liaison committees, as provided for in the ZEC Act, potentially provides a useful mechanism for preventing or resolving conflicts and enhancing peace and security during the entire election period.






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Comment from Business Day (SA), 4 March

Nonsense from on high

President Thabo Mbeki said on Wednesday that he did not think anybody in
Zimbabwe was likely to prevent free and fair elections there on March 31,
and that he knew of nothing that had happened in Zimbabwe that was contrary
to Southern African Development Community (SADC) rules governing democratic
elections established in Mauritius last year. Clearly, talks between Mbeki
and Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) are
meaningless. The MDC regularly compiles a check sheet of Zimbabwean
government behaviour, measured against the SADC resolutions which Mbeki
supports. Most are well-known. Some recent highlights:

The SADC principles insist on "full participation of citizens in the
political process". Yet the Zimbabwean Public Order and Security Act
requires notice of intention to hold a public meeting, and the police
commonly interpret this to mean that no gathering can take place without
police permission. Even when permission is granted to opposition meetings,
onerous conditions apply. The act also gives the police the power to ban
meetings. The SADC principles insist on freedom of association. Yet the
Public Order and Safety Act is manifestly used to denigrate this principle
and the Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) Bill, which requires NGOs to
register with the Zanu PF-controlled NGO council, is a clear breach of the
principle. The SADC principles insist on political tolerance. Yet Robert
Mugabe's government often closes down newspapers (it happened again last
week) with which it disagrees by way of deregistering them - the law
requiring registration itself being a clear act of political intolerance.

The SADC principles insist on equal opportunity to exercise the right to
vote and to be voted for. Yet the restriction of postal ballots under the
Zimbabwean Electoral Act restricts postal ballots to soldiers and diplomats,
disenfranchising millions of Zimbabweans living abroad. Soldiers are
required to vote in the presence of their commanding officers. Furthermore,
independent voter education is illegal. The SADC principles insist on equal
access to state media for all political parties. Yet the opposition is
frequently refused the right of access to state media and independent
broadcasting groups have been refused licences. The SADC principles insist
on the independence of the judiciary and the impartiality of electoral
institutions. Yet all electoral officers are appointed by the president and
the independence of the Zimbabwean judiciary is highly debatable. The SADC
principles insist on constitutional and legal guarantees of the freedoms and
rights of citizens. Yet it is a criminal offence to make an abusive
statement, even if true, about the president.

The SADC principles insist on non-discrimination in voters' registration.
Yet all election officials are appointed by the president and the
registrar-general is a member of the ruling party and has allowed a voters'
roll to appear with thousands of dead people's names on it. The SADC
principles insist on the existence of an updated and accessible voters'
roll. Yet the Electoral Act, as interpreted by the supreme court, only
allows a paper register despite the fact that it is available in an
electronic format. The SADC principles insist that polling stations be in
neutral places. Yet the Electoral Act requires only that they be set up in
"convenient" places, determined solely by electoral officers, who are
appointed by the president. The SADC principles insist that counting of
votes takes place at polling stations. Yet the electoral act allows votes to
be counted in the absence of party representatives. And so on, and on, and
on. Mbeki is talking nonsense. The forthcoming election in Zimbabwe is
already unfree and unfair.

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DA observer to Zim excluded
04/03/2005 21:29  - (SA)

Cape Town - The Democratic Alliance's nominated representative to join the
Southern African Development Community's observer mission to Zimbabwe for
the election at the end of the month has been excluded.

In a statement on Friday, DA chief whip Douglas Gibson said the exclusion of
MP Dianne Kohler-Barnard was "an outrage".

"Some time ago, Foreign Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma invited the
DA to nominate a representative.

Gibson said: "But, I was advised today by deputy director-general of the
African arm of foreign affairs, Jessie Duarte, that the DA representative
had not been included.

"We were thanked for our readiness to serve."

'Who excluded DA MP?'

Gibson said he would now write to Dlamini-Zuma to establish who had excluded
the DA MP.

He said: "We must establish by whom the DA representative was excluded; was
it Minister Dlamini-Zuma, was it the SADC itself, or was it the Mugabe

"If it was either South Africa's foreign minister or the SADC, this move is
an ominous sign of a lack of tolerance for democratic diversity.

"If Mr Mugabe and his government excluded Kohler-Barnard, it is yet another
sign that a free and fair election in that country is virtually impossible."

Also on Friday, the Freedom Front Plus named MP Willie Spies as the party's
representative on the South African parliament's multiparty delegation that
will act as observers during the Zimbabwe election.

The delegation will leave for Zimbabwe on March 14, and return to South
Africa on April 3.

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      Priest suspended by Harare's Anglican bishop 'resigns'

      Friday, March 04, 2005
      [Ecumenical News International] A Zimbabwean Anglican cleric,
suspended by his bishop for allowing an opposition lawmaker to donate money
at a public thanksgiving service last year, is reported to have resigned.
      The cleric, Rev. Paul Gwese, was suspended by Bishop Nolbert Kunonga
of Harare after the thanksgiving service last December but had the
suspension lifted at the end of January following protests from parishioners
of his church in Harare's Glen Norah township.

      However, a source in the church this week told Ecumenical News
International that Gwese had left the parish two weeks ago and was now
teaching at a private college in the Zimbabwean capital.

      Gwese's wife confirmed the priest and his family had vacated the
church house in Glen Norah but referred further questions to her husband.

      Kunonga has made no secret of his support for the ruling Zimbabwe
African National Union-Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF) party of President Robert
Mugabe. He once described opponents of the president as "dogs barking at an

      The lawmaker who made the donation, Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga,
is the member of parliament for Glen Norah and foreign affairs spokesperson
for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party.

      Zimbabwe is holding parliamentary elections March 31 and the MDC was
reported on Friday to have alleged that police were making overzealous
arrests, and stifling opposition meetings.

      Gwese's parishioners had boycotted church services after the cleric's
suspension and staged protests at St Mary's and All Saints cathedral in
central Harare demanding his re-instatement.

      Church sources said Kunonga had wanted to transfer Gwese to a rural
parish in Mhondoro about 100 kilometers from Harare.

      [Stringent laws controlling media in Zimbabwe prevent effective
reporting in the country.]

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New Zimbabwe

Secrets behind the march poll

By Mordekai Chikambure
Last updated: 03/05/2005 02:13:52
THE abominable horizon of elections that Zimbabweans have all along been
taught to cringe from is now very near. Nowhere in Zimbabwe can you find the
electorate waiting expectantly for the infamous election that is already a
sham and a fraud. This is a time of the gnashing of teeth. The period behind
was moulded on the stinking premise of electoral Nazism by the people
responsible for the said election's preparations.

For that reason, the lips of the opposition and several non-governmental
organizations are already open preparing to shout "Fraud"! Zimbabwe has
created a universally unenviable precedence through the arrogance of using
the ancient Prince Machiavellian culture of manipulation, suppression and
plain aggression in a modern society that readily vomits upon that. This was
in keeping with the demand of everyone that Mugabe must go. He definitely
will - soon. Sad to say, the secret behind these elections, however infamous
they are will be: After Mugabe then what? Is it Mugabe whose old head people
want to dismantle or that together with his party? How possible will that

ZANU-PF was set to win the elections at any cost. This is a time when they
are sickly coughing their last bellows. All other theories and ideologies
having failed, they cling to their former imaginary self and hope that their
post-government avenues will not be severed and their interests dissolved.

Be that as it may, this is normally a time when it serves some purpose to
create fibs in analyses like Mahoso, Mwesiga Baregu and other kindergarten
professors who are known for writing diatribes read by fanatics pursuing
their own furies. Bound I am not, however, to lie to the fact that the
Movement for Democratic Change is likely facing the relegation zone. Indeed
they are asking for an extension of the voting -- and as always, to no one
in particular.

This, we should not miss, is a watershed poll that will allow the ZANU-PF to
delve in a lot of night adult mischief that they have been failing to do
since 2000. They will first, with moronic glee, change the constitution.
Later Mugabe will leave "honorably" leaving behind a surprise successor.
Remember the laughable laws that have been promulgated whilst ZANU PF had
slim majority? After the win there shall come laws that will be as crazy as
barring the opposition even from sneezing in parliament! ZANU-PF will drape
the constitutional robes around itself until they become threadbare.

These are elections that the MDC will have tackled with alphabetic ease had
they not slumbered and hidden behind the rhetorical doctrines of peace and
democracy. They should have done what the ZANU-PF is doing to them. They
should have done what ZANU did in the Smith era. Instead they unsubtly
hiccupped, half-stepped and dithered on whether to participate. Everyone
knew they were going to anyway. Now the time is gone.

MDC have pitiable tendencies of the inexperienced; offering only their
backside to a fight, thinking they will get pity abroad in retreat. People
who help and pity do so when there are deaths and sacrifice. When there is
no motivation for that sacrifice we the people are not even ashamed to live
in the Diaspora. The MDC have put idiots to represent constituencies and
offices that should be led by competent, radical individuals. Pursuant to
promising results they will have stormed streets of neighboring countries to
get attention.

For example, MDC's ground for meaningful advocacy that is South Africa is
led by a certain idiot called Jabulani Mkhwananzi who is the Branch Chair.
He cannot even pronounce the name "Zimbabwe" properly, he says Zimbazwe! He
came to South Africa at the famous time of "Wenela" and does not have a
scintilla of an inkling of what the present struggle entails. MDC South
Africa is seeking no audience from the SA government. The man does not allow
any actions from anyone that shows that he is thoroughly and irremediably
dim. He confronts all organisations in South Africa that try to do what MDC
should be doing. Even by this criticism the writer may be threatened with
death, as has already been done to countless others. That is our MDC with
its ZANU-moulded clowns!

This should explain why Thabo Mbeki chooses to go to Ivory Coast, Liberia
and some obscure provinces in West Africa leaving Zimbabwe burning next
door. Even Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma who many people ended thinking was in love
with Mudenge no longer crosses the border. Perhaps she was jilted!

MDC have not done anything to present their case to the free world and if it
should be thrashed in this election it should blame only itself. There are
some lax and divisive individuals in the so-called top six. The people in
the Diaspora should have been allowed to vote or at least check the voters'
role from their embassies so they would travel to vote. MDC in South Africa
should have fought for that. All that has caused a lukewarm environment that
creates a situation of hopelessness in the voting majority. Individuals find
no meaningful motivation in the result and do not go to vote as they know
that their neighbor is not voting anyway.

On the other hand ZANU has moved forward and through aggressive compulsion
will force the people to vote - or not to. Their win to themselves is a
foregone conclusion. Mugabe's conspiracy with Mbeki required that ZANU-PF
retain its stand even if it meant short period human wrongs. In the process
Mbeki lied and misrepresented Zimbabwe's issues. The result of his deaf-mute
diplomacy will come as he had planned. Mugabe will exit with the feigned
dignity of a peasant - though it's dignity anyway.

The bottom line, however, is that Zimbabwe in a month shall be very lost.
Very betrayed. All we ever wanted was peace. We were tortured by ZANU-PF for
demanding our rights. We put trust in the alternative party not because it
was only strong, but because they echoed our feeble voices. Now we mourn our
loved ones without respite because the country we shall dwell in will be
very different from the ones they fought and died for.
The writer is a Zimbabwean activist based in Johannesburg, South Africa. His
e-mail is
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Zambia tourism cashes in on Zimbabwe woes
Fri Mar 4, 2005 7:24 AM GMT

By Peter Apps

LIVINGSTONE, Zambia (Reuters) - Tourists keen to see Africa's famed Victoria
Falls but deterred by tales of political violence and economic collapse in
Zimbabwe are switching to the Zambian side, where new hotels are cashing in
on the influx.

Holidaymakers contribute roughly four percent of Zambia's economy, and
officials, tour guides and visitors all say that bad news from Zimbabwe,
once a popular holiday destination, is fuelling foreign interest.

"Why would you go to Zimbabwe when you could go to other places that are
more democratically run," said Ken Reynolds, a tourist from Sydney,
Australia. "We've heard bad things about Zimbabwe. We have friends there."

Reynolds, his wife and a friend are on a tour that has taken them to Namibia
and Botswana and will end in South Africa. It will avoid Zimbabwe, due to
hold elections at the end of March.

In February, Zambia's tourism minister Patrick Kalfungwa told a conference
that Zimbabwe's crisis was a key factor in pushing the number of tourists to
over 610,000 in 2004 from 160,000 four years earlier.

By 2010, Zambia intends to be catering for a million tourists a year.

That would be a huge boon for this poor country of 10 million as tourism is
a labour-intensive sector which creates jobs and brings in badly needed hard

Landlocked Zambia had a gross national income per capita of just $340 (178
pounds) in 2002, according to the latest World Bank data.

Decades of neglect have left much of its infrastructure in tatters but
sunshine and wildlife are big draws.


For many tourists the main appeal is the Victoria Falls, or Mosi-oa-Tunya,
loosely translated as "the smoke that thunders".

Here the mighty Zambezi river plunges almost twice the height of Niagara
into a canyon 108 metres (354 feet) deep and 1.7 kilometres (one mile) wide
on the Zambia-Zimbabwe border.

In the past, most tourists saw the falls from the Zimbabwean town of
Victoria Falls. While many backpacker lodges and hotels remain, tour
operators say prices have risen as inflation grips the country and the cost
puts people off.

The major shift came around 2002, when several large new hotels began to
open in the nearby Zambian town of Livingstone, named after the "discoverer"
of the falls -- Scottish missionary David Livingstone.

In 2000 President Robert Mugabe's government began a chaotic and sometimes
violent programme of seizing Zimbabwe's white-owned farmland, attracting
widespread western condemnation.

Inflation, chronic unemployment and food shortages linked to the farm
seizures have made matters worse, as well as a crackdown on the independent
media and violent elections which many denounced as rigged in the ruling
party's favour.

Livingstone's airport now attracts up to four flights a day and hotel staff
say that if tourists choose to visit the Zimbabwean side of the falls they
often do so only for the day, seeking accommodation in Zambia instead.

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      Moyo free to join MDC - Tsvangirai

      Date: 4-Mar, 2005

      JOHANNESBURG - Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of Zimbabwe's main
opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) says his party
will not stop Jonathan Moyo, the sacked Minister of Information, from
joining them in their fight to bring democracy to Zimbabwe.

      But Tsvangirai said there would be constitutional provisions to
curtail some of Moyo's excesses.

      Asked by journalists in Pretoria last week if Jonathan Moyo - recently
axed as Zimbabwean information minister - would be accepted into the MDC,
Tsvangirai said the party would not invite him.

      "But if he comes (asking) tomorrow, who are we to stop him?"

      To laughter Tsvangirai added: "But there would be constitutional
provisions to curtail some of his excesses."

      Political analysts in Harare view Moyo as a very ambitious individual,
who if unchecked, can undermine his superiors, anywhere, at will.

      He was fired by President Mugabe after he defied the ruling Zanu PF's
constitution to seek election in Tsholotsho as an independent candidate.

      President Mugabe has since declared Moyo as his party's "number one"

      Moyo, hated both at home and abroad for crafting draconian media laws
during his heydays, has hit back.

      He said Zanu PF has resorted to attacking him because they have no
message to take to the people ahead of a key election at the end of the

      While in Pretoria Tsvangirai called on South Africans to embark on a
campaign to ensure that all Africans can enjoy freedom.

      "Dictatorship is dictatorship, whether committed by whites or blacks,"
he said on the final day of the third Zimbabwe Solidarity conference in
Pretoria. "The borders of freedom should extend beyond the Limpopo."

      "It's very difficult for the oppressed alone to fight a regime
determined to hang on to power by any means," he said.

      Tsvangirai said although the poll would not be free and fair, his
party was participating "not necessarily to legitimise a farce, but to
respond to a popular mandate".

      He said Zimbabweans wanted to challenge President Mugabe on any

      Tsvangirai said he was disturbed by conflicting signals coming from
South Africa but would not follow it up "acrimoniously" in the public

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Daily News online edition

      Gono should consider resigning in disgrace

      Date: 4-Mar, 2005

      VERY few countries in this kind of economic malaise facing Zimbabwe
today would tolerate the presence at a beauty contest of a key figure in
solving the crisis.

      Certainly, it would be amazing if Allan Greenspan, Gono's counterpart
in the United States turned up at the Miss America beauty pageant while the
US dollar was in deep crisis.

      For Gono, his presence at the controversial Miss Tourism World contest
in Harare occurred after the government apparently implemented, obviously
with his endorsement, the pay-out of $156 billion to ex-political detainees
and restrictees.

      This scandalous Zanu PF election gimmick is bound to return to haunt
the economy in the coming months, and Gono must know that.

      This huge amount was not budgeted for and like the massive payouts in
gratuities and allowances made to the war veterans in 1997, it is bound to
cause serious damage to the strength of the already anemic dollar.

      Gono's work in trying to cure the ills which brought the economy to
its knees, after 2000, has been undone with one stroke of the pen.

      If not for fiddling at a beauty contest while the economy burns itself
out, then certainly for agreeing to this unconscionable public expenditure,
Gono must consider resigning as governor of the Reserve Bank.

      He has in the past outlined eloquently how deep the economic crisis
is. Yet he agreed to this political gimmick, in return for

      What is more urgent than strengthening the dollar, spending whatever
money is available now on rescuing the health delivery system from the
intensive care unit, and going all-out to canvass for foreign investment,
cannot be handing Zanu PF the gift of a political gimmick.

      The party, knowing it has run out of reasons to give people to vote
for it, is trying everything in its bag of political tricks. Including
probably bankrupting the country.

      Gono should resign now if he does not want to be remembered as the
Zanu PF poodle who helped destroy our economy.

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