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The Telegraph

Jailed MP's wife fights Mugabe so that suffering is not in vain
By Peta Thornycroft in Harare
(Filed: 05/03/2005)

After losing her home, suffering a miscarriage and seeing her husband
imprisoned in one of Zimbabwe's fetid jails, Heather Bennett wonders whether
she is going slightly mad.

The question has preyed on her mind ever since she decided to defy brutal
intimidation and stand in her husband's place as an opposition candidate in
the country's general election due on March 31.

"If I didn't stand in his place, what was the point of so much suffering?"
Mrs Bennett, 42, asked.

Her husband, Roy, 48, is the MP for Chimanimani. Perhaps because he is a
white farmer with an enormous following among his overwhelmingly black
electorate, he has become a hate figure for President Robert Mugabe.

Even by the standards of Zimbabwe's regime, the Bennett family has faced a
ferocious campaign of intimidation, with Mr Bennett branded a criminal.

His wife will today pay her fortnightly 30-minute visit to Mutoko jail.

The couple will, as usual, hide their tears from the guards. Their composure
restored, they will talk quickly about their son, Charles, 19, and daughter,
Casey, 16. "Roy doesn't want to talk about politics now, he only wants to
hear news of family, friends, even the dogs," said Mrs Bennett. "Our
daughter cannot cope seeing her father in prison. She sobs all the way

Mr Bennett was jailed for 12 months with hard labour in October. His crime
was to have pushed over a cabinet minister in response to a tirade of abuse
during a heated debate.

Mr Mugabe's Zanu-PF party looked forward to recapturing Chimanimani, once
among its safest seats. But after weeks of agonising, Mrs Bennett decided to
stand for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

"It's so unfair, that's what really gets to me. Roy wanted me to stand
because he said too many people had lost too much in the last five years for
us to abandon the seat to Zanu-PF. He said it was up to me to decide.

"I hoped Roy's campaign manager would stand in his place, but MDC supporters
sent me a message that if Roy couldn't stand, then any other Bennett would

No one expected that Mr Mugabe would respond with such ferocity when the MDC
challenged him. The campaign against Mr Bennett began immediately after he
was chosen to contest Chima-nimani in the 2000 election.

On May 10, 2000, the family's farm was invaded. Mrs Bennett, five months'
pregnant, was alone when mobs loyal to Mr Mugabe stormed their land.

"They grabbed us and made us dance and chant and sing party songs, and they
beat the workers. They kept on hitting one man with an axe handle and it was
unbearable. I begged them to stop so they pushed a spear against my neck and
forced me down," said Mrs Bennett.

"That night the pain began. I lost the baby. It was a boy."

This invasion subsided, but over the next four years the Bennetts recorded
89 attacks on themselves and their property.

Two of their black workers, Stephen Tonera and Shemmy Chimbaraa, were
murdered. Three women who lived on the farm were raped. Mr Bennett was
arrested in 2002 and tortured for four days by the notorious Central
Intelligence Organisation.

Scores of cows were speared to death, their cat was burned alive. The farm
workers and their families - about 1,000 people - were kicked out of their
homes and forced to live in nearby caves.

Last October, officials from the agriculture ministry stole Mr Bennett's
coffee harvest and sold it for £67,000.

In late 2002, the Bennetts left the Charleswood farm, their home for almost
10 years. Everything they owned was stolen, the farm buildings and equipment
vandalised or looted.

Mrs Bennett learned last week that gangs were chopping down the coffee

Today, Mr Bennett tends the prison's vegetable garden. "It is better than
doing nothing. He is thin and walks in a weary sort of way. He has a beard
and his hair is long to protect him from the sun," said Mrs Bennett.

Tomorrow, she will address her first MDC rally. She is less fluent than her
husband in Zimbabwe's main language, Shona, and nervous of "disappointing"
people. "Roy is so noisy, so full of life, so funny, people are drawn to
him. I am a quiet person."
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Washington Post

Zimbabwean Activists Tell of Beatings
Campaign Activities Banned or Perilous, Opposition Says

By Craig Timberg
Washington Post Foreign Service
Saturday, March 5, 2005; Page A12

MUTARE, Zimbabwe -- Activists from Zimbabwe's main opposition party, the
Movement for Democratic Change, were returning from a campaign rally
recently when they stopped at a shopping center in search of some cold
drinks. What they found instead, they said, were about 20 government
soldiers in no mood for the niceties of democracy.

One soldier, spotting the party's distinctive red-and-white T-shirts,
announced, "This is a no-go area for MDC." According to the activists, who
later described the encounter, the soldier added brusquely, "We've been
tolerating you for a long time. Get into your car as quickly as you can and
leave this place."

Then, as the activists started to pull away in their pickup truck, the
soldiers began hurling stones. One candidate for parliament, Gabriel
Chiwara, 39, stumbled as he tried to climb into the front seat. Chiwara, an
electrician, said the soldiers tackled him to the ground and kicked him for
several minutes with their boots. As he begged for mercy, he said, the
soldiers shouted: "You have to die! You are selling the country to the

As Zimbabwe approaches elections March 31, encountering "no-go areas" and
official hostility has become a common experience for members of the
opposition party. Despite promises from President Robert Mugabe to make
certain the polling is "free and fair," opposition candidates said almost
any form of campaigning puts them at risk of arrest, harassment and

The Feb. 20 attack at the shopping center, about 50 miles from this
northeastern city, was one of several reported since Mugabe, who is
struggling to keep his party's edge in parliament after nearly 25 years of
unbroken rule, publicly vowed that the coming elections would be free of

The account of the attack was based on interviews with party activists who
were present. Because of government threats to jail foreign correspondents
working in Zimbabwe, it was not possible to confirm the story with
officials, but it resembles numerous reports of beatings of opposition
activists compiled by journalists and human rights groups in recent years.

Mugabe has worked in recent months to convince international leaders,
especially from friendly African governments, that this vote will be
different from those in 2000 and 2002, when elections were condemned by
international groups as unfairly slanted toward the ruling party. He has
instituted several reforms, including the use of translucent voting boxes
and one-day voting.

South African President Thabo Mbeki, the region's diplomatic leader, has
often defended Mugabe. He recently criticized U.S. Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice for calling Zimbabwe one of the world's "outposts of

Yet opposition leaders in this nation of 13 million said almost every form
of campaigning either has been restricted or is dangerous. They also said
they have scant access to mass media because the government controls all
radio stations, television broadcasting and daily newspapers.

Perhaps most important, they said, voters have become discouraged and
frightened by the rough tactics of Mugabe's party.

It is often not clear whether the attacks have been orchestrated by Mugabe's
party or merely inspired by his vitriolic rhetoric. Mugabe regularly accuses
opponents of being traitors seeking to return Zimbabwe to the control of
Britain, the colonial ruler here until 1980.

"The terrain is very tough, and we think it is getting harsher and harsher,"
said Pishai Muchauraya, 31, one of the opposition candidates who were
attacked. His mother, he said, has been denied government food handouts
because of his affiliation.

In recent weeks, opposition party activists have reportedly been arrested
for putting up campaign posters. One youth leader was arrested for
criticizing Mugabe. Party planning meetings have been raided by police. And
entire sections of the country -- mainly the rural areas where Mugabe's
crude calls to patriotism find the greatest support -- have been deemed too
dangerous for campaigning.

Even in the cities, where opposition support runs strong, candidates cannot
hold rallies, hand out pamphlets or knock on doors without obtaining prior
approval from police, who have wide latitude to approve or deny such
requests. When the police do approve an event, a list of conditions is
issued, including a prohibition on using "language likely to undermine the
authority of the President of Zimbabwe."

Opposition candidates said that they gather with supporters mostly at night
in private homes and that they rely on volunteers to quietly contact voters
who might be interested in hearing campaign appeals.
The election comes at a volatile time for Zimbabwe, which faces a devastated
economy and growing hunger. The ruling party, the Zimbabwe African National
Union-Patriotic Front, suffered its greatest public rift in December,
leading to the estrangement of several party officials.

Among those who left was Mugabe's information minister, Jonathan Moyo, who
has since become an independent candidate for parliament. Moyo has turned
his acid tongue on the ruling party, saying Mugabe is surrounded by
"deadwood" who would have lost power years earlier without his help.

Zimbabweans also are beginning to feel the effects of widespread hunger. In
the vast cornfields that provide their staple food, the plants appear pale
and stunted from drought. The nation's agricultural yield has not recovered
from the disorder caused by Mugabe's five-year-old program of land reform,
in which the acreage of white commercial farmers was seized -- often
violently -- by veterans of the nation's independence war and others.

"The corn is all gone now," said one elderly man in a village south of here.

Rampant inflation continues as well, despite a decline in the official
inflation rate to 134 percent. Prices for food and other products are rising
far faster than most salaries, while less than half of adults have steady

But despite widespread frustration, Zimbabweans express little optimism that
conditions will change after the elections.

The ruling party altered the election law to allow soldiers under Mugabe's
command to run rural polling stations. The opposition party charges that
lists of registered voters have been rigged to pad totals in rural areas,
where Mugabe's support is stronger, and hold them down in cities. The
millions of Zimbabweans living abroad, who overwhelmingly oppose Mugabe,
have been prohibited from voting.

Even if the opposition party gains a majority of votes, Mugabe and members
of his government may legally appoint 30 of the 150 seats in parliament,
giving him a comfortable margin if the election goes poorly.

Yet opposition candidates said their main opponent was not Mugabe, but the
apathy and fear created by years of increasingly authoritarian rule. Many
voters, they said, will not risk crossing the ruling party if attacks on
dissidents remain common.

The Feb. 20 incident, as recounted by opposition activists, was especially
brutal. One victim, Josphat Munhuumwe, 32, said he was inside a shop when he
saw the soldiers attack Chiwara. He ran outside, he said, and they soon
began kicking him brutally. Finally, he said, a man who appeared to be in
command told the soldiers to stop, and they fled into the nearby woods.

"They left me for dead," Munhuumwe said.

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Sokwanele - Enough is Enough - Zimbabwe

Sokwanele Press Release
Sokwanele's response to statements made by President Mbeki
4 March 2005


President Thabo Mbeki said this week that he has every confidence in Zimbabwe’s ability to hold free and fair elections, and that the country’s new electoral law is the first to adhere to SADC’s principles and guidelines governing democratic elections.

As President, not only of the most powerful nation within the SADC group, but also the nation which chairs the SADC organ on defence, security and politics, and which for this reason is to head the observer mission to Zimbabwe, his comments deserve the most serious attention.

President Mbeki is quoted as saying:

“I have no reason to think that anything will happen … that anybody in Zimbabwe will act in a way that will militate against the elections being free and fair.”

Asked how this was possible given that Zimbabwe was already contravening SADC’s new electoral regime, he said:

“I don’t know what has happened in Zimbabwe which is a violation of the SADC protocol. 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.”

Like other commentators around the world, we have to say that we are astounded at the President’s remarks. Indeed dumbfounded. We ask, how can it be that a person of Mbeki’s stature, with access to all the information at his disposal, can be so woefully ignorant of the facts ? Leaving aside his intelligence sources which must, if they are of the caliber we believe them to be, confirm the massive electoral rigging already taking place – leaving aside all the President’s special sources of information, the facts are plain for all to see. Those facts, as we and many other non-partisan reporters and analysts have consistently recorded over a period of many months, all point to one, and only one conclusion – that ZANU-PF have seized control of and deployed all the resources of the state, including the army, police, intelligence services, the civil service, judiciary, state-controlled media, and the Grain Marketing Board which has a monopoly control over the supply and distribution of the staple foods, not to mention its own youth militia – to secure a ZANU-PF victory at whatever cost to the nation.

The evidence is clear and indisputable. For example we ourselves have tracked, not all by any means but a significant number, of serious breaches of the SADC guidelines, week by week, over an 18 week period in our special “Mauritius Watch” feature. The catalogue of serious breaches has continued unabated. Specifically we have provided numerous examples of the violence and intimidation which President Mbeki says are “matters (that) have been addressed.” Nor has anyone contradicted the evidence or ever challenged us on the facts reported.

Time and again we have reported on ZANU-PF’s abuse of its monopoly power over the state media and its relentless attack upon the independent media. Indeed only this week in our “Mauritius Watch – No 18” edition we mentioned the story of the closing down of yet another independent paper, The Weekly Times (after publishing just eight editions) by the ZANU-PF controlled Media and Information Commission. The previous week we had reported on the unlawful harassment and severe intimidation which finally forced three international journalists to flee the country. Robert Mugabe’s government is therefore in flagrant breach of the SADC standard requiring “equal opportunity for all political parties to access the state media” – another matter which President Mbeki states “has been addressed.”

Other contraventions of the SADC principles and guidelines too numerous to mention have been reported week by week. Here we confine ourselves to the specific areas highlighted in the President’s statement.

Most worrying of all is Mbeki’s claim that the matter of an independent electoral commission has also “been addressed”. Here we move from the realm of reported events (which, however well documented, may always be challenged by someone), to the solid ground of the law and just what the law says. The question, does Zimbabwe’s electoral legislation comply with the SADC requirements for “the independence of the Judiciary and impartiality of the electoral institutions” is surely a matter upon which all but the most partisan of lawyers are bound to agree – and we would add, do agree. The answer has to be a resounding “No”. In our own carefully researched 18 page document entitled “SADC Checklist” we have set down, side by side, the SADC standards and the Zimbabwean electoral and security legislation, pointing out the clear discrepancies between the two. To cite but one example, that mentioned by President Mbeki, how can it possibly be said that Zimbabwe now has an independent electoral commission when the chairman and members of the supreme electoral body, the Electoral Supervisory Commission, are all directly appointed by the President without any input from opposition parties or civic society ? And when all the members of the Delimitation Commission, the chairman of the (subservient) Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and the Registrar-General are appointed in broadly similar fashion ? Therefore to state that the electoral bodies in control of the parliamentary election are partisan, is to state an incontrovertible fact.

We refer readers again to the SADC Checklist* which is available from our website or on request from for easy reference. In view of the way the position is still being misrepresented, whether intentionally or not, we urge readers to draw the contents of this document to the attention of as many as possible.

We refer also to Zimbabwe’s exclusion of the SADC Parliamentary Forum which observed the 2002 presidential election and had every reason to expect an invitation to observe the forthcoming parliamentary election. It is indeed surprising that that the deliberate exclusion of this group of eminent persons has not prompted even the mildest protest either from President Mbeki or any of the other SADC heads of state.

Which brings us back to President Mbeki’s incredible statement on Zimbabwe’s compliance with the electoral standards set by and for the region. Many have concluded quite simply that the President is determined to whitewash Mugabe’s fraud come what may. Will you prove them wrong, Mr President ?

*The Zimbabwe Electoral Legislation: SADC Check List, is available to download from our website along with other supporting documents. Please note that Sokwanele is in the process of upgrading its website and mailing facilities. Our full website will be live to the public early next week, but we have made these key documents available now. Please contact us if you'd like to receive a copy of the Check List by email.

---------- ### ----------

About Sokwanele:

Sokwanele - Zvakwana - Enough is Enough is a peoples' movement, embracing supporters of all pro-democratic political parties, civic organizations and institutions.

Sokwanele - Zvakwana - Enough is Enough will never aspire to political office.

Sokwanele - Zvakwana - Enough is Enough is a peoples' force through which democracy will be restored to the country and protected jealously for future generations to ensure that Zimbabweans will never be oppressed again.

Visit our website:
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We have a fundamental right to freedom of expression!

Sokwanele does not endorse the editorial policy of any source or website except its own. It retains full copyright on its own articles, which may be reproduced or distributed but may not be materially altered in any way. Reproduced articles must clearly show the source and owner of copyright, together with any other notices originally contained therein, as well as the original date of publication. Sokwanele does not accept responsibility for any loss or damage arising in any way from receipt of this email or use thereof. This document, or any part thereof, may not be distributed for profit.

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Harare's Budget Announcement Postponed

The Herald (Harare)

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


THE announcement of Harare City Council's 2005 budget was on Wednesday
postponed to Monday next week following the death of Harare Metropolitan
Resident Minister Cde Witness Mangwende.

Cde Mangwende, who was declared a national hero, was buried at the National
Heroes Acre on Wednesday.

Some of the commissioners for Harare spent the greater part of the week
attending proceedings of Cde Mangwende's funeral, thus denying them time to
concentrate on the budget presentation.

The presentation of the budget has previously been deferred owing to a
number of reasons, among them a directive by the Government that the rates,
tariffs and supplementary charges should be reviewed within the inflationary

Deputy chairperson of the commission running the affairs of Harare City
Council, Cde Tendai Savanhu, said it would have been improper for the city
fathers to convene the budget meeting soon after burying Cde Mangwende.

"We worked with him very well and we would not have respected his
contributions by rushing to announce the budget on the day of his burial",
said Cde Savanhu.

Town clerk Mr Nomutsa Chideya added that some of the commissioners had not
received the necessary documents making it difficult to call for the

This is the fourth time the announcement of the budget has been deferred.

Mr Chideya said all the paperwork was ready and the presentation would go
ahead as scheduled on Monday.

Council last week completed consultations with residents on the proposed
tariffs, rates and supplementary charges.

There were fears that delays in implementing the budget could have
prejudiced council of more than $400 billion between January and March.
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Tough Choices: Food or Condoms

AfricaWoman (Nairobi)

September 1, 2004
Posted to the web March 4, 2005

HIV/Aids awareness posters plastered in hospitals, clinics and other offices
urge men and women to follow the A, B and C of safe sex. For many Zimbabwean
women, however, the options end abruptly at the point of behaviour change.
Using condoms is out for these women, and not necessarily because they are
averse to either the male or female versions.

For a start, the female condom is not readily available. In Bulawayo,
Zimbabwe's second city, the local authority's health department distributes
an average 72,000 male condoms a month compared with 81 female condoms. The
price difference is staggering: a pack of three male condoms sells for
ZM$100 (two US cents) while a box of two female condoms costs ZM$7,600, the
equivalent of US$1.43.

In a hyperinflationary environment, ZM$100 cannot buy much. The cheapest
sweets cost ZM$200. You can get a loaf of bread and a packet of milk out of
ZM7,600. The same amount of money will buy you half a kilogramme of beef.

This means that women have no access to a contraceptive that they have
direct control over. Because of the cost, many women choose not to use the
female condom each time they have sex. It is reserved for "special
occasions". Besides, women who can afford it complain that the female condom
is not user-friendly. According to the findings of a study on female condom
use by the Horizons Project of the Population Council and Population
Services International, "fifty seven percent of women reported some
difficulty with use, such as problems with insertion, discomfort during sex
and excess lubrication".

Married women said they would want to use the female condom to avoid
contracting HIV from promiscuous husbands but they could not broach the
subject with their partners. Said the report: "While some women,
particularly married women, are interested in the female condom for disease
prevention, they are not comfortable discussing this openly with their
partner. Instead, they reported using strategies such as telling their
partner that sex would be more enjoyable than with a male condom or that sex
would be possible during menstruation."

Clearly, there are issues of pricing and power relations that must be
resolved before Zimbabwean women can stop being vulnerable to HIV/Aids and
other sexually transmitted diseases.

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Institute for War and Peace Reporting

ZANU PF Admits Food Crisis

Acknowledgement comes after regime long claimed that it had no need for
foreign agricultural aid.

By Brian Latham in London (Africa Reports: Zimbabwe Elections No 12,

The ZANU PF government this month admitted that it faced serious food
shortages ahead of the traditional May harvest, confounding President Robert
Mugabe's frequent boasts of an expected bumper harvest.

A statement carried in the state-controlled Herald newspaper said that about
1.5 million people would need emergency supplies of maize corn, the staple
diet, in the western and eastern provinces of Matabeleland and Manicaland.

But the main famine and weather-monitoring organisation in southern Africa
said the situation was many times worse than indicated by the government
mouthpiece. The Johannesburg-based Famine Early Warning System Network,
FEWSNET, said 4.8 million Zimbabweans, nearly half the current population,
urgently require food aid or they could starve.

FEWSNET confirmed that the situation was particularly serious in rural areas
of the drier provinces of Matabeleland, Masvingo and Manicaland and also in
some parts of the lower Zambezi Valley. But the food situation is also
deteriorating in towns, where inflation of 400 per cent is causing food
prices to skyrocket against falling real incomes, FEWSNET said.

For almost two years, the government has claimed Zimbabwe had sufficient
homegrown maize to feed its 11.5 million people.

Last year, Mugabe told British television, "We are not hungry. Why foist
this food on us? We don't want to be choked. We have enough." His statement
caused fear among donors that millions would possibly go hungry.

Mugabe's hard-line information minister Jonathan Moyo, sacked last month,
used the state-controlled press to say the country would produce about 2.4
million tonnes of maize this summer season, more than the country's normal
1.8 million tonne requirement. The harvest will, in fact, be less than
850,000 tonnes, according to independent estimates.

Bulawayo City Council reported in the minutes of its last meeting that at
least ten people, most of them children under five, were known to have died
recently of starvation. Mayor Japhet Ndabeni-Ncube said many more would
perish in the coming months from illnesses induced by lack of food.

Archbishop Pius Ncube, the outspoken Roman Catholic prelate of Bulawayo,
accused Mugabe of withholding food for electoral purposes, distributing it
only in areas where people could be bribed to vote for the ruling ZANU PF
party. "They want to control the food and politicise it," he said. "They'd
rather kill people for the sake of power."

Many other critics of the troubled southern African nation say Zimbabwe's
food security has been heavily compromised by politics and propaganda.

On the one hand, Mugabe cannot accept food aid from the same western
governments he accuses of trying to "recolonise" his country. On the other,
ZANU PF must show the world that its often violent seizure of about 4,000
white-owned farms has, far from leading to food shortages, led to a food

Nevertheless, in January, maize meal [ground maize] again disappeared from
supermarket shelves in towns across the country. The much promised food
surplus had come to nothing and disgruntled shoppers were forced to buy
imported rice or flour at prices they could barely afford. Thousands of once
productive fields throughout the country have turned brown and are overgrown
with weeds.

Paul Themba Nyathi, spokesman for the main opposition party, the Movement
for Democratic Change, said, "The government is already using food as an
election weapon. It is telling communities, 'If you vote against the
government, if you vote for the opposition, you won't get food.'"

The shortage prompted the government to blame millers, accusing them of
stockpiling maize in an effort to force a price increase.

Zimbabwe's independent press took up the issue for the first time in
January. The weekly Zimbabwe Independent pointed out that the South African
Grain Information Service, Sagis, published weekly statistics on grain and
wheat exports to the region. Zimbabwe was the biggest recipient of both
maize and wheat, some of it imported from as far away as Argentina.

Commercial Farmers' Union economist Kuda Ndoro told IWPR that food imports
to Zimbabwe continue unabated.

"If you go to the government Grain Marketing Board depot in Harare, you'll
see queues of trucks from Zambia and South Africa," Ndoro said. "They're all
loaded with maize and wheat."

Since Zimbabwe's farm invasions began in February 2000 the country has lost
its status as the region's breadbasket. From a net exporter of food, it now
imports to feed its increasingly impoverished millions.

Meanwhile tobacco, the commodity that once drove the country's economy, has
slumped to a meagre output of about 60 million kilogrammes, down from more
than 230 million five years ago.

Once the world's number two producer of high grade Virginia leaf, Zimbabwe
no longer produces a crop of either quality or weight. ZANU PF's self-styled
war veterans have forced some 1,400 large-scale tobacco growers off their
farms. Scores of farmers and their families stood helplessly by while angry
mobs destroyed homes and pillaged equipment.

As many as a million farm workers and their families may have been made
homeless in a process that saw thousands tortured, beaten and raped while
workers' houses were burned to the ground by angry mobs of ZANU PF

The result has been predictable, economists say. Tobacco, the engine that
has driven the economy since the 1960s, has failed. Efforts by the central
bank to revive the crop will not succeed, say ex-farmers. A programme
ambitiously called "Vision 160" unveiled by central bank governor Gideon
Gono aimed to increase production to 160 million kilogrammes of the golden
leaf. But coal shortages for curing and fertiliser shortages are likely to
lead to an even smaller crop this year.

"It's more likely to be closer to 40 million kilogrammes," said ex-farmer
and member of lobby group Justice for Agriculture Bruce Gemmill. "There are
no proper inputs and the new farmers lack the capital to borrow enough to
grow a sizeable crop."

The demise of Zimbabwe's farming sector has seen white farmers head for the

Deprived of their livelihoods, some have moved into the capital Harare to
start new businesses. Others have been welcomed elsewhere in Africa.
Hundreds of farmers moved to neighbouring Zambia, others to Mozambique,
Botswana and Malawi. Others have gone further still to Nigeria.

Some African leaders have encouraged Zimbabwe's farmers to move, but,
fearful of criticism from Mugabe, have done so discreetly. In Nigeria,
farmers can claim up to 1,000 hectares of fertile land and borrow over one
million US dollars at very low rates to get them started in the country's
most populous nation.

"It's an attractive offer. The markets up there are enormous and the demand
for food huge," said Gemmill.

Brian Latham was a freelance correspondent for Bloomberg News in Zimbabwe.
He recently fled the country and has for the time being sought refuge in

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Institute for War and Peace Reporting

Moyo Versus Mugabe

Why did information minister Jonathan Moyo get himself sacked and take on
his old boss?

By Bernard Takawira in Harare (Africa Reports: Zimbabwe Elections No 12,

Professor Jonathan Moyo, as President Robert Mugabe's aggressive and
energetic information minister, shaped the raft of oppressive laws and
policies which enabled Zimbabwe's ruling ZANU PF party to subdue and then
crush the growing opposition Movement for Democratic Change, MDC.

The workaholic Moyo was labelled by critics as "Mugabe's Goebbels", a
reference to Adolf Hitler's infamous propaganda chief, and likened his hate
messages directed at political opponents and independently-minded
journalists to incitement by Hutu militants ahead of the Rwandan genocide of

In Machiavellian style, Moyo manoeuvred the expulsion of foreign
correspondents and the intimidation, imprisonment and torture of
independent-minded judges and reporters.

Mugabe liked Moyo, by far the most hard working minister in a largely inept
cabinet. Moyo was one of his most trusted and powerful lieutenants, an
eloquent and rabid defender of his policies.

In short, Mugabe considered Moyo indispensable following the shock he
received when, in 2000, Zimbabwe's electorate rejected in a referendum a
proposed constitution that would have greatly increased his power, and then
nearly toppled his government in a parliamentary election.

But on the weekend of March 5-6, in an extraordinary and unexpected
turnaround, Moyo is launching his parliamentary election campaign as an
opponent of Mugabe.

In the biggest split in ZANU PF since it came to power at independence in
1980, Mugabe has vowed to destroy his favourite son, whom he has now dubbed
"enemy number one".

The former minister, in turn, has warned his erstwhile mentor that it was
he, Moyo, who had saved ZANU PF from collapse back in 2000. He said he was
not interested in staying aboard Mugabe's "gravy train" and then, changing
metaphors, compared ZANU PF to "a sinking ship that's heading for ground
after its captain has been left alone by his crew".

The Mugabe-Moyo rift is sprinkling some hot spice on an election campaign
whose outcome is otherwise viewed as a foregone conclusion, since it has
already been rigged by the ruling ZANU PF government.

The spectacular bust up began last November when Moyo convened a meeting in
his home village of Tsholotsho, 120 kilometres northwest of Bulawayo, to
form a ZANU PF group opposed to Mugabe's decision to make Joyce Mujuru the
first female vice-president of Zimbabwe. The post had become vacant with the
death of Mugabe's long-time aide and ally, Simon Muzenda, at the age of 80.

Moyo was shocked at the appointment of Mujuru, who bore the nom de guerre
"Spillblood" when she was a guerrilla leader in the Seventies. In the
internal struggle within ZANU PF, Moyo had lent his weight to the powerful
parliamentary speaker Emmerson Mnangagwa to replace 81-year-old Mugabe when
he either dies or retires.

Moyo, who owed his seat in parliament to the president's right to directly
appoint 30 of the 150 members, was incensed when he was not made the ZANU PF
parliamentary candidate in his Tsholotsho home, and a woman was nominated

In a spectacular public fallout of the kind ZANU PF managed to avoid
throughout its first 25 years in power, Moyo declared that he would stand as
an independent candidate in Tsholotsho against the sitting MDC member of
parliament and the female ZANU PF candidate.

Mugabe responded by sacking Moyo from the cabinet and the 50-member
politburo of ZANU PF, the party's top policy-making body.

Moyo lost his grace-and-favour mansion, his official car, driver and
bodyguards. He was also stripped of two farms and a game lodge that he was
given after white farmers were driven from their land in 2000 - an
expropriation campaign that he himself launched by engineering the removal
of white judges he alleged were biased in favour of the farmers.

Mugabe recruited Moyo, who had previously worked for the Ford Foundation in
Nairobi and as a lecturer at the University of Witwatersrand in
Johannesburg, in late 1999 to spearhead his various parliamentary and
presidential election campaigns.

It was Moyo who drafted media legislation, including the notorious Access to
Information and Protection of Privacy Act, AIPPA, which was used to close
down newspapers and to arrest and deport scores of journalists. AIPPA
remains the major weapon used by Mugabe against any significant press

In 2001, Moyo encouraged hundreds of ZANU PF supporters to parade through
the streets of Harare demanding the closure of the Daily News, the country's
only independent daily and by the far the country's best-selling newspaper
of any kind.

Meanwhile, Moyo himself wrote articles in the government-owned Herald daily
accusing the editor of the Daily News of being "unpatriotic". On state TV he
warned the editor that the title would be silenced, and within a few hours
the printing presses of the Daily News were destroyed by bombs made from
military explosives.

The newspaper limped on, but in 2002 it was silenced for ever when Moyo
applied one of the clauses of AIPPA.

It is unclear what Moyo hopes to achieve by going independent. He has become
a hate figure among the many ZANU PF members who continue to cling to
Mugabe. And he is widely reviled by journalists and members of opposition

"Moyo was ruthless, and single-handedly changed a lot of things for ever,
though not necessarily for the better," wrote Mavis Makuni, a columnist on
the weekly Financial Gazette, one of only two independent newspapers left in
Zimbabwe. "He defended his action [resignation] by saying he was doing it on
principle. But with a chequered political history like his, we could be
forgiven for asking what exactly his principles are.

"Moyo now mutters about there being no democracy in the ruling party and the
country. Is this the same Moyo who mercilessly mocked anyone who questioned
government policies by labelling them as sell-outs or agents of foreign

What Moyo has perhaps unwittingly demonstrated is the emerging turmoil
inside the apparently monolithic ZANU PF as the struggle to succeed Mugabe
intensifies and ideological and tribal differences begin to surface.

"At least Moyo has ensured that this poll will be different from past ones,"
concluded Makuni. "This time it's not just a question of going through the
motions. There will be fireworks in Tsholotsho, thanks to our maverick

Bernard Takawira is a pseudonym for an IWPR contributor in Zimbabwe.
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World Peace Herald

U.S., South Africa discuss Zimbabwe vote

Published March 4, 2005

WASHINGTON -- Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice stressed to her South
African counterpart U.S. concerns over the elections in Zimbabwe, the State
Department said Friday.

    "We've expressed, I think, our concerns about some of the developments
in Zimbabwe that we think make it difficult to have a free and fair
election," spokesman Richard Boucher said.

    Earlier this week, South African President Thabo Mbeki said the March 31
election would be fair despite calls from Zimbabwean opposition leaders that
the government of President Robert Mugabe has stifled democracy.

    Rice met with South African Foreign Affairs Minister Nkosazana
Dlamini-Zuma earlier in the day, but did not take questions from reporters.
Boucher said the two sides also discussed the Israeli-Palestinian issues,
the Millennium Challenge Account and human rights.

    South Africa and other southern African nations are sending observers to
the March 31 election in Zimbabwe.
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Today's Herald (Friday 4th March 2005) contains a new Section 5 notice Lot
164, listing 17 properties which are contained below.

There is also today a repeat listing of: - Section 7 notices (Lot 12 with
117 farms);

As announced, please note that there is an anomaly in that Lot 12 (Section
notice) has now been used twice.

LOT 164

1., 6348/86, John Henry Du Rand, Chipinga, Lot 4 of Smithfield, 207.2186.
1., 1346/89, Glengarry Estate P/L, Chipinga, Glengarry Estate, 813.5786 ha.
2., 8453/02, Blowland Farming P/L, Chipinga, Lot 2 of Liliesvlei of De Rust
of Avontuur Extenstion, 125.6011 ha.
3., 1487/73, Chiredzi Investments P/l, Chipinga, Lot 11 of Newcastle,
202.3866 ha.
4., 1481/80, Nicholas folliott Douglas Powell, Chipinga, S/D B of Morgenson
of Avontuur, 170.2654 ha.

5., 4152/77, Usk Farm P/L, Inyanga, Lot 23 of Britannia, 51.0796 ha.
6., 7833/98, Coolridge Estate P/L, Inyanga, Lot 24 of Britannia, 408.7413
7., 7712/97, Mudzoro Farm P/L, Lot 1 of Mudzoro, 124.8528 ha.
8., 1659/70, Robert Dunley Owen, Inyanga, Lot 14 of Britannia, 85.9824

9., 5128/74, Dagbreek Estates P/L, Makoni, Dagbreek, 486.5422 ha.
10., 1468/84, Lesbury Estates P/L, Makoni, Lesbury, 2 032.45 morgen.

11., 3718/75, Chibara P/L, Mazoe, Granite, 1 257.8025 ha.

12., 4045/86., Perkings P/L, Melsetter, Remaining Extent of Schaap Plaats,
152.1323 ha.
13., 9073/95, Elangeni Farm P/L, Melsetter, Tank Neil Portion of Moodies
Nek Portion of Hendriksdal, 452.7723 ha.

14., 2963/93, B.A.M.P.H., Salisbury, R/E of S/D A of Faraway of Mayfair,
24.9418 ha.
15., 2125/75, Red Dane Dairy P/L, Salisbury, Suum Cuique A, 1 858.3412 ha.

16., 8586/91, C P Bezuidenhout P/L, Umtali, Welverdiend Estate, 533.0075
17., 424/63, Mapor Estates P/L, Umtali, Lot 3 of Mapembi Estate, 3 077.3022

End LOT 164 Section 5 SCHEDULE Listing 4.3.2005



JAG Hotlines:
+263 (011) 205 374 If you are in trouble or need advice,
                                  please don't hesitate to contact us -
                                  we're here to help!
+263 (04) 799 410 Office Lines

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


Thought of the Day:

"The man who promises everything is sure to fulfil nothing, and everyone
who promises too much is in danger of using evil means in order to carry
out his promises, and is already on the road to perdition"

Carl Jung.


- RE: Demand Right to Vote - Comment - ZIMOZ

LETTER 1: RE: Demand Right to Vote (OLF 342) - Comment, received 3.3.2005


Dear Simply Simon

The Zimbabwe Consulate in Australia said they Do Not have a Voters Roll, in
fact they told me to go back to Zimbabwe and back to the constituency where
we originally enrolled and Voted in the last 2002 Elections. so this Same
Ruling applied even then. I wonder how many other Zimbabweans like myself
have actually taken the time to call the Consulate to enquire about the
Voters roll too ?

However, if one was able to vote they would have to travel to Canberra in
Person to cast their vote and many of us couldn't afford the trip anyway
because of travelling expenses and distances involved - i.e - Brisbane to
Canberra alone is 1200 km and 15 hours non-stop driving or 3.5 hours by
plane - further than Harare to Joburg. Perth and Darwin to Canberra is
double that by plane and a lot further by road. New Zealand is even further
- no consulate there - all representation must be made in person in

Postal Votes are not allowed either.

Its probably cheaper for Zimbabweans to fly back to Zimbabwe to place their
vote and quite honestly I can't see many who would want to do that knowing
their vote - although it may stand for their Constitutional Right - might
not end up in the ballot box? How can this Election be fair when even here
in Australia and in New Zealand we have our hands tied with the same twine
that ties those in Zimbabwe?

Realistically its like a Cat chasing its own tail.



JAG Hotlines:
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Spotlight falls on corruption of Africa

Madeleine Bunting
Saturday March 5, 2005
The Guardian

Forty-six countries in the world are listed as politically "fragile" by the
Department for International Development, and 23 of them are in sub-Saharan
That accounts for nearly half the countries of the region. In the last forty
years, more wars have been fought in this corner of the world than anywhere

This is the scale of the crisis of governance in Africa which Tony Blair's
Commission on Africa had to consider.

The Democratic Republic of Congo has been in the grip of a bloody civil war,
and Zimbabwe's economy has spectacularly collapsed in recent years, bringing
starvation to a country which was once one of the continent's agricultural
success stories.

One of the hardest challenges lies in Nigeria (see John Vidal's report
below), where enormous oil wealth has failed to alleviate chronic poverty.
Political instability, endemic corruption and high levels of violence have
crippled Nigeria's economy, leaving one of the biggest - 117 million - and
fastest growing populations in Africa million trapped in poverty.

Large scale international aid and debt relief are a distant hope for such
countries as long as the international community is sceptical that its money
will be well spent.

But the recommendations of the Commission for Africa, whose report is due to
be published on Friday, take on the task of identifying what may be the
first steps in turning the corner.

Rather than putting the blame solely on African governments, which has been
the common tendency of some western governments, the commission makes a
significant shift in the other direction.

It moves towards accepting that a share of the responsibility for the
political instability and war on the continent lies in the developed world,
where the money is laundered, huge sums are hidden in secret bank accounts,
and the arms deals are done.

"It's not enough to say Africans are corrupt, you have to ask who is
corrupting them? It's not enough to say Africans are stealing money, you
have to ask who is banking that money for them?" one of the commission
members, Anna Tibaijuka, said at a press conference last month.

Although the report urges African countries to develop more transparent
public financial management and African civil society to play a big role in
holding their governments to account, it also makes a series of concrete
proposals for the developed world to clean up its own act.

It particularly recognises the relationship between plentiful natural
resources, such as oil and diamonds, and how, historically, their presence
in Africa has facilitated wars while much of the wealth they generate has
ended up in western bank accounts.

It picks out the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and
urges more financial and political support for this self-regulation scheme
for transparency in payments to governments by corporations operating in
African countries with resources.

It wants the EITI, which was set up by Britain in 2002, to be extended to
resources such as timber and fishing.

In one of its toughest passages, the report calls on all G8 countries to
repatriate illicitly acquired funds and assets held in their countries and
dependent territories, to make "specific commitments in 2005", and to report
back on "concrete progress, including sums repatriated, in 2006".

Export credit agencies, the government departments that underwrite companies
exporting to unstable countries - another popular target of development
campaigners, are also criticised. Notoriously secretive, these agencies are
urged to be more transparent in their dealings.

It calls for international negotiations on an arms trade treaty no later
than 2006, and urges the international community to adopt more effective and
legally binding agreements on arms brokering, its monitoring, and the
enforcement of rules.

The commission's report reflects a hope that a new generation of leaders in
countries such as South Africa, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Tanzania and Uganda
can prove a crucial alliance to lever an improvement throughout the
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There's No Justice in the Streets

AfricaWoman (Nairobi)

September 1, 2004
Posted to the web March 4, 2005

Ropafadzo Mapimhidze

Africa Unity Square Park in Harare city centre is one of the most beautiful
open spaces in Zimbabwe's capital. It is a renowned tourist attraction,
particularly in spring, when the colourful jacaranda trees are in full
bloom. Meikles Hotel, once voted the best in Africa, overlooks this
recreational area that boasts all kinds of trees and flowers.

In recent times, however, the park has become a haven for the destitute,
particularly young women. They have taken advantage of the thickets in the
park, where they deliver babies-sometimes in broad daylight.

Sheila Sakala, 22, has lived on Harare streets ever since she was 12. She
has two children, one aged four and the other barely one. "When I developed
labour pains, my friends and I called the emergency service but, as soon as
the ambulance crew realised I was a person of no fixed abode, they slammed
the phone in our ears," she says, clutching her baby to her chest.

Three hours later, Sakala delivered her baby near a bench in the park with
the help of Alice Danisi and Gogo Chitima, who are also homeless. Says
Danisi: "I have never delivered a baby, but I found myself playing midwife
with the assistance of Gogo Chitima, an elderly destitute who has assisted
with childbirth on the streets. Chitima bought a razor blade, surgical
spirit and twine that we used to tie the umbilical cord. The cries of the
newborn attracted some clergymen at the Anglican Cathedral that lies across
the park, who called an ambulance that eventually came after they had
assured them of the fees."

Mother and baby were ferried to a council clinic in Mbare in Western Harare,
where Sakala was insulted by the nursing staff. "They all asked me why I had
fallen pregnant and also why I did not have clothes for the newborn. I did
not have answers to those questions," she says.

Contraceptives are the last thing that street people think of, their first
instinct being survival - and that means searching for food at all costs.
"It is even tougher for much younger girls, who are driven into sex with
older boys for food. The older boys also offer some form of protection,"
says Danisi, who also has two children with different fathers. "But
pregnancy is the result."

Sexually transmitted infections are rampant among women and girls living in
the streets. An average 150 aged between nine and 16 are treated every
month, according to Masimba Mwazha, who offers free medical services to
street people. This has been one of the biggest drawbacks in the fight
against HIV/Aids..

Recently, five teenagers raped a woman walking home from college at around
7pm after dragging her into one of the dark alleys along Julius Nyerere Way
in the city centre. Three of them later tested HIV-positive. Danisi adds:
"Abuse is rife and no girl can light a night on the street without being
sexually abused either by the older street kids or regular men who take them
to their apartments. We are aware of the dangers of unprotected sex, but
that is something that comes as an afterthought."

Most of them are lured by offers of money and food, and many do not know who
fathered their children. Getting them off the streets is not a long-term
option since the children inevitably return almost immediately, according to
Health and Child Welfare Minister David Parirenyatwa. A clean-up operation
early this year following the gang rape ended up being a waste of time as
the people were back on the streets within no time.

"What we need is a proper budget that will deal with the problem," said
Parirenyatwa. "This problem involves many stakeholders and needs to be
addressed in a wholesome manner in order for us to effectively get rid of
the menace. It is a matter of great concern.what we need is a stakeholders'
meeting that will come up with a comprehensive approach."

Many children on the streets are there due to circumstances beyond their
control, says Naira Khan, director of the Child Law Foundation, and they
need help. Sakala is Zambian and went to the streets when her mother died
when she was just 10. Danisi fled from a stepmother who was driving her into
prostitution. Their backgrounds may be different, but they have several
things in common-neglect, desperation, lost hope and shattered dreams. No
one wants to take responsibility for them and many have grown to accept life
simply as a matter of survival of the fittest or most brutal.

According to Busie Bhebhe of the Child Protection Society in Zimbabwe,
children comprise 5.8 million of the population of 12 million. About 5,000
live in institutions and 12,000 are out in the streets. Zimbabwe has
adequate policies for child protection, she says, but the greatest challenge
is implementation. "There is need for money to support policies and
legislation for many services, including health, justice delivery,
psychological support, food security, establishing a child welfare council,
reintegration of street children and training of teachers on child rights,"
she says.
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Mail and Guardian

Zanu aims for two-thirds

Godwin Gandu and Dumisani Muleya | Harare

04 March 2005 11:59

The ruling Zanu-PF in Zimbabwe has set its sights on achieving a two-thirds
majority in the parliamentary elections scheduled to take place on March 31.
The party's secretary for administration, Didymus Mutasa, told the Mail &
Guardian that "judging by the situation on the ground and the turnout at our
rallies, the opposition presence in Parliament will be cut to 15 seats".

The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has, however, hit back with claims
that it will turn the tables on Zanu-PF in its traditional rural
strongholds, particularly in the Midlands and Masvingo provinces, where MDC
leader Morgan Tsvangirai has been leading its campaign. MDC secretary
Welshman Ncube claims they have been "drawing crowds of between 4 000 to 6
000 at rallies in rural districts". The MDC is confident it will secure "no
less than 70 seats" out of the 120 constituencies being contested.

"It's an unpredictable election," said Professor Henry Dzinotyiwei of the
University of Zimbabwe. "A lot will depend on whether people will be
enthusiastic to go and vote. Voter apathy in rural districts will work in
the opposition's favour, apathy in urban areas will benefit the ruling

Both Zanu-PF and the MDC recorded more than 10 000 people at their manifesto
launch rallies, held a week apart. President Robert Mugabe took a break from
the campaign trail this week to celebrate his 81st birthday in Marondera,
60km east of Harare. He has spent the past few weeks criss-crossing the
country addressing public meetings and donating computers to schools to woo
votes in the provinces whose chairpersons were suspended after the
controversial Tsholotsho gathering. MDC spokesperson Paul Themba Nyathi
accused Zanu-PF of trying to buy votes by "donating computers when schools
hardly had any textbooks and roofing material".

Tsvangirai will be venturing into Mugabe's home province of Mashonaland West
at the weekend.

Axed former minister of information, Jonathan Moyo is gearing up for a rally
on Saturday in Tsholotsho - where he will stand as an independent. Moyo, who
was given his marching orders by Zanu-PF for registering to contest the
seat, currently held by the MDC, is defiant of the ruling party's decision
to reserve the constituency for a woman.

On Wednesday, Mugabe laid into his erstwhile spin doctor: "The real
Tsholotsho does not belong to this man."

Speaking at the funeral of a former minister and Harare provincial governor
Witness Mangwende, he said: "The chiefs there don't even know him. When we
asked the chiefs, they said we do not know this man. You are the ones who
brought him to us saying he will represent the party."

Moyo, revered by friends and reviled by enemies with almost equal intensity,
was the man who reinvigorated Zanu-PF during the 2 000 election campaign
with his sabre-rattling speeches and his heavy-handedness with the media and
any other public critic of the government. After his dismissal from the
party, he declared that he had saved Zanu-PF from collapse. "I did not join
a Zanu-PF gravy train, but jumped from a sinking ship that's heading for
ground after its captain had been left alone by his crew."

Zanu-PF's Didymus Mutasa, while acknowledging that Moyo had helped ensure
the party's survival, dismissed suggestions that his departure would hamper
its election campaign. "Moyo had lots of energy, ran around and worked very
hard for the party, but no one is indispensable."

University of Zimbabwe political analyst Eldred Masunungure is of the view
that Zanu-PF and the government would be the poorer without Moyo, but noted
that his own political prospects were "very bleak" outside the ruling party.
He said Zimbabwe was rapidly "evolving into an entrenched two-party system
with little or no room for independent politicians". Masunungure said it is
a "clear exaggeration to say he [Moyo] saved Zanu-PF from collapse".

When Moyo was a Zanu-PF campaign manager in 2000, the party was struggling
to deal with a deepening political and economic crisis after it had been
shaken to its foundations by a shock electoral defeat in a constitutional
referendum in February 2000.

Facing a grim future after the emergence of the opposition MDC in September
1999, Zanu-PF urgently needed rejuvenation and Moyo, a rabid critic of
Mugabe in the past, stepped up to the plate. His first mission was to revive
Mugabe's failed totalitarian project, of the Eighties, with key elements
including a de facto one-party state, a command economy and a virtually
closed society.

Poll watch

Zimbabwe's former information minister Jonathan Moyo has taken legal steps
to stop his eviction from a government house. He has been given a two-week

The MDC has been restricted from campaigning among Zimbabwe's armed forces
and denied access to their families.

The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation gave four minutes of coverage to the
MDC election campaign launch and a two-hour slot to Mugabe to discuss
Zanu-PF's election promises.

Zimbabwean paper, the Weekly Times, was shut down last week for allegedly
violating the country's media laws. The Bulawayo-based paper had only
published eight editions.

The Zimbabwe Liberators Platform (ZLP), a civil society organisation that
claims to represent 12 000 war veterans, was in South Africa this week as
part of a tour to former liberation fighters in the SADC region. It has
distanced itself from Robert Mugabe and Zanu-PF in the election campaign.

A new coalition of independent candidates emerged to contest the election as
a united front. It has been formed from candidates expelled from the MDC and

The SADC Parliamentary Forum was informed that it will not be allowed to
send an observer mission to monitor the elections. The mother body is,
however, on the approved list, as is the African Union and the Non-Aligned
Movement. The Commonwealth, from which Zimbabwe has withdrawn, the European
Union and the United States, which recently branded Zimbabwe an "outpost of
tyranny" have not cracked an invite. The invitations were sent out at least
fifty days later than prescribed by the SADC protocol on elections.

Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions' secretary general, Wellington Chibebe,
appeared in court this week on charges of contravening the Public Order and
Security Act in August last year. The case was withdrawn after the state's
key witness, a police officer, crumbled under cross examination.
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