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

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      Zimbabwe police chief denies political bias
      08 Mar 2005 17:54:47 GMT

      Source: Reuters

HARARE, March 8 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's police chief rejected accusations on
Tuesday that his force had sided with government supporters in political
clashes ahead of month-end elections, saying police had acted against
members of the ruling party.

The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) accused the
security forces of colluding with President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party in
attacks on its members.

It also said violence against MDC activists was on the increase in the
run-up to the March 31 parliamentary vote.

But Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri said his force was acting against
Mugabe supporters involved in violence.

"The Zimbabwe Republic Police position is that we are not going to tolerate
any political violence from any quarter ... even after elections we will
still be hunting those who ... have committed offences and we will not tire
of this obligation," Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri told a news

Chihuri said police had arrested 67 ZANU-PF members in violence-related
cases so far this year, compared to 42 MDC supporters.

Among them were 31 ruling party militants detained last month after
attacking opposition supporters, invading a police base and stabbing an
officer during a pre-election rampage.

Chihuri said campaigning had so far been 'overwhelmingly peaceful'.

But the MDC said in a statement things had taken a turn for the worse.

"Sensing defeat, ZANU-PF has intensified violence against MDC activists
countrywide. Several incidents of violence, some of them involving police
and army personnel, continue to be received from various parts of the
country," it said.

Analysts say ZANU-PF is almost certain to hang on to power this year, as it
did in 2000, when the MDC also accused it of killing, torturing and
harassing opposition supporters.

The MDC insists it would have won that election and a presidential poll two
years later were it not for attacks and vote-rigging by the ruling party.

The opposition also blames the government for a political and economic
crisis that has ruined the once prosperous southern African country.

But ZANU-PF insists it won fairly in both elections and in turn accuses the
MDC of fanning most of the election violence.

Mugabe, 81, and in power since independence from Britain in 1980, denies
mismanaging the country and says the MDC is a puppet of Western powers who
have sabotaged Zimbabwe's economy in retaliation for his policy of seizing
white-owned farms to give to landless blacks.
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Global Politician

Africa's Saddam Hussein: White Farmers and Black Farmers


By Sam Vaknin, Ph.D.
The Western press casts him in the role of an African Saddam Hussein.
Neighboring leaders supported his policies, but then succumbed to diplomacy
and world opinion and, with a few notable exceptions, shunned him. The
opposition and its mouthpieces accuse him - justly - of brutal disregard for
human, civil, and political rights and of undermining the rule of law. All
he wants, insists Comrade - his official party title - Robert Mugabe of
Zimbabwe is to right an ancient wrong by returning land, expropriated by
white settlers, to its rightful black owners.

Most of the beneficiaries, being war veterans, happen to support his party,
the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front, or ZANU-PF, and its
profligate largesse:

"We must deliver the land unencumbered by impediments to its rightful
owners. It is theirs by birth; it is theirs by natural and legal right. It
is theirs by struggle. Indeed their(s) by legacy," he thundered in a speech
he made to the Central Committee of his party in March 2001 in response to
mounting multi-annual pressures from war veteran associations.

It was Margaret Thatcher of Falklands fame who, after two decades of fierce
fighting, capitulated to rebels, headed by Mugabe. The Iron Lady handed to
them, in the Lancaster House agreement, an independent Zimbabwe - literally,
"Great Stone House". The racist Rhodesia was no more. But the agreement
enshrined the property rights of white farmers until 1990 and has, thus,
sown the seeds of the current chaos.

Many nostalgic white settlers in Zimbabwe - mostly descendents of British
invaders at the end of the 19th century - still believe in their cultural -
if not genetic - superiority. Their forefathers bought indigenous land from
commercial outfits supported by the British Crown. The blacks - their plots
and livestock confiscated - were resettled in barren "communal areas", akin
to Native-American reserves in the USA minus the gambling concessions.

Starting in 1893, successive uprisings were bloodily suppressed by the
colonizers and the British government. A particularly virulent strain of
apartheid was introduced. By 1914, notes Steve Lawton in "British
Colonialism, Zimbabwe's Land Reform and Settler Resistance", 3 percent of
the population controlled 75 percent of the land. The blacks were "harshly
restricted to a mere 23 per cent of the worst land in designated Reserves.
There were only 28,000 white settlers to nearly one million Africans in
Zimbabwe at this time."

Land ownership hasn't changed much since. The 1930 "Land Apportionment Act"
perpetuated the glaring inequality. At independence, according to
"Zimbabwe's Agricultural Revolution" edited by Mandivamba Rukuni and Carl
Eicher and published in 1994 by the University of Zimbabwe Publications,
6000 white commercial farms occupied 45 percent of all agricultural land -
compared to only 5 percent tilled by 8500 black farmers. Another 70,000
black families futilely cultivated the infertile remaining half of the soil.

As black population exploded, poverty and repression combined to give rise
to anti-white guerilla movements. The rest is history. The first
post-independence land reform and resettlement program lasted 17 years,
until 1997. It targeted refugees, internally displaced people, and squatters
and its aims were, as Petrunella Chaminuka, a researcher at SAPES Trust
Agrarian Reform Programme in Zimbabwe, summarizes a 1990 government
discussion paper in the "Workers' Weekly":

"To redress past grievances over land alienation, to alleviate population
pressure in the communal areas and to achieve national stability and
progress. The programme was designed to enhance smallholder food and cash
crop production, achieve food self-sufficiency and improve equity in income

Land reform was an act of anti-colonialist, ideologically-motivated
defiance. The first lots went to landless - and utterly unskilled - blacks.
Surprisingly, theirs was a success story. They cultivated the land ably and
production increased. Certified farmers and agronomists, though, had to wait
their turn until the National Land Policy of 1990 which allowed for
compulsory land purchases by the government. There was no master plan of
resettlement and infrastructure deficiencies combined with plot
fragmentation to render many new farms economically unviable.

As ready inventory dried up, the price of land soared. Droughts compounded
this sorry state and by the late 1980's yields were down and squatting
resurged. Unemployment forced people back into rural areas. Egged on by
multilateral lenders, white farmers, and Western commercial interests, the
government further exacerbated the situation by allocating enormous tracts
of land to horticulture, ostrich farming, crocodile farming, ranching and
tourism thus further depleting the anyhow meager stock of arable acreage.

International outcry against compulsory acquisitions or targeting of c. 1600
farms forced the Zimbabwean government and its donors to come up in 1997-9
with a second land reform and resettlement programme and the Inception Phase
Framework Plan. Contrary to disinformation in the Western media, white
farmers and NGO's were regularly consulted in the preparation of both

In what proved to be a prophetic statement, the aptly named Barbara Kafka of
the World Bank, quoted by IPS, gave this warning in the September 1998 donor

"We are delighted that the government has called this conference as a key
step in our working together to make sure that Zimbabwe reaps the results it
deserves from its land reform programme ... Nevertheless, we must not be
naive. The downside risks are high. There is abundant international
experience to show that poorly executed land reform can carry high social
and economic costs ... For instance, a programme that does not respect
property rights or does not provide sufficient support to new settlers, is
underfunded or is excessively bureaucratic and costly, or simply results in
large numbers of displaced farm workers, can have very negative outcomes in
terms of investment, production, jobs and social stability."

This second phase broke down in mutual recriminations. The government made
an election issue out of the much-heralded reform and the donors delivered
far less than they promised. Acutely aware of this friction, white farmers
declined to offer land for sale.

Even as lawless invasions of private property recommenced in earnest, the
government initiated the Fast Track Land Reform Plan in mid-2000. It
envisioned the purchase of between 5-8 million of hectares of agricultural
land, the resettlement of the rural indigent, the provision of
infrastructure, technical advice and inputs by both civil and military
authorities and the involvement of all "stakeholders" - especially white
commercial farmers - in an on-going dialog in the framework of the Zimbabwe
Joint Resettlement Initiative.

But the Plan fast deteriorated into strong-arm, threat-laden, and litigious
confiscation of white property. Following a setback in the polls - its
proposed constitution was rejected - ZANU-PF aided and abetted in the
disorderly - and, sometimes, lethal - requisitioning of farms by a mob of
war veterans, mock veterans, petty criminals, the rural dispossessed, party
hacks, and even middle class urbanites. Ironically, the very anarchic nature
of the process deterred genuine and the long term settlers.

About 2000 farms were thus impounded by the end of last year. The government
refused to compensate farmers for the land seized insisting that such
reparations should be paid by Britain. It did, however, provide pitiful sums
for infrastructure added to the land by the white settlers.

As pandemic corruption, lawlessness, and mismanagement brought the country
to the brink of insolvency and famine, Mugabe tainted with anti-Western
diatribe his merited crusade for reversing past injustices. He lashed at the
IMF and the World bank, at Britain and the USA, at white farmers and foreign
capital. Xenophobia - no less that patriotism - is the refuge of the
scoundrel in Africa.

In 1997, Britain's New Labor government ceased funding the acquisition of
land from white farmers. Donors demanded matching funds from destitute
Zimbabwe. By 1999, the entire West - spearheaded by the IMF - disengaged.
Zimbabwe was severed from the global financial system.

This was followed by sanctions threatened by the EU and partly imposed the
USA and the Commonwealth. Sanctions were also urged by prescriptive think
tanks, such as the International Crisis Group, and even by corporate and
banking groups, such as Britain's Abbey National.

Yet, discarding land reform together with Mugabe would be unwise. The
problems - some of which are ignored even by the Zimbabwean authorities -
are real. A negligible white minority owns vast swathes of forcibly obtained
prime arable land in a predominantly black country.

A comprehensive - and just - land reform would cater to farm hands as well.
They are mostly black - about one fifth of the population, counting their
dependants. They live in shantytown-like facilities on the farms with little
access to potable water, sanitation, electricity, phones, or other
amenities. They were not even entitled to resettlement until recently.

According to "Rural poverty: Commercial farm workers and Land Reform in
Zimbabwe", a paper presented at the SARPN conference on Land Reform and
Poverty Alleviation in Southern Africa, in June 2001, only about one third
of the most destitute black farm workforce have been imported as casual and
seasonal workers from neighboring countries.

The rest, contrary to government propaganda, are indigenous. Yet,
protestations to the contrary notwithstanding, the government, preoccupied
with relieving growing tensions in the communal areas and rewarding its own
supporters and cronies, refuses to incorporate farm hands fully in its Fast
Track Resettlement Program. They are being accused of causing previous
resettlement programs to fail.

The problems facing Zimbabwe's agricultural sector are reminiscent of the
situation in Mozambique, Namibia, Malawi, Swaziland, Lesotho, and South
Africa. Namibia has already threatened to emulate Zimbabwe. Sam Nujoma, the
country's president, rebuked the market mechanism as "too slow, cumbersome
and very costly". An understandable statement coming from the head of a
government which, according to Namibian news agency, NAMPA, turned down 151
farms in 2001 for lack of funds.

"Land Reform in Zimbabwe: Constraints and Prospects", edited by T.A.S.
Bowyer-Bower and Colin Stoneman, notes that development, growth, and poverty
alleviation in the continent are directly linked to the ownership and
cultivation of land - often the sole means of production. That no regional
approach to this pressing issue has arisen attests to the quality of the
self-centred, thuggish, and venal African leadership.

Politically-motivated land reform will lead to the emergence of the next
generations of the deprived and the discriminated against. Resettlement has
to be both fair and seen to be fair. It has to be based on unambiguous
criteria and transparent and even-handed procedures. It has to backed by
sufficient agricultural inputs and machinery, financial and technical
assistance, access to markets, and basic infrastructure.

The proximity of services and institutions - from schools to courts - is
critical. Above all, land reform has to look after people displaced in the
process - commercial farmers and their workers - and thus enjoy near
universal support or acquiescence. Legal title and tenure have to be
established and recorded to allow the new settlers to obtain credits and
invest in buildings, machinery, and infrastructure.

Alas, as both Human Rights Watch and the UNDP concluded in their detailed
reports, none of these requirements is observed in Zimbabwe. Hence the
recurrent failures and the blood-spattered chaos they have produced. Is
Mugabe to blame? Surely. Is he the prime mover of this debacle? Not by a
long shot. He merely encapsulates and leverages pernicious social forces in
his country and in the continent. Until the root problems of Africa are
tackled with courage and integrity Mugabe and his type of "reform" will

Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. is the author of Malignant Self Love - Narcissism
Revisited and After the Rain - How the West Lost the East. He served as a
columnist for Central Europe Review, PopMatters, Bellaonline, and eBookWeb,
a United Press International (UPI) Senior Business Correspondent, and the
editor of mental health and Central East Europe categories in The Open
Directory and Suite101.

Until recently, he served as the Economic Advisor to the Government of
Macedonia. Sam Vaknin's Web site is at
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      Zimbabwe threatens aid agencies

      Zimbabwe's government is threatening 30 non-governmental organisations
with prosecution if they do not properly account for $88m by Friday.
      State-controlled media cites unnamed sources as saying there are fears
that some funds have been channelled to the opposition or sold on the black

      The money concerned was raised in 2003 after an appeal for food

      The government has repeatedly accused NGOs of interfering in national
affairs and supporting the opposition.


      Last year, a law was passed introducing a licence for all NGOs.

      Foreign human rights groups were also banned from working in Zimbabwe.

      The list of NGOs published by the state-controlled Herald newspaper
includes well-known international agencies such as Save the Children, World
Vision and Care.

      A director of one of the NGOs, who did not want to be named, told the
BBC that they were trying to find out what exactly the government needed to
know so they could comply.

      The director said all the NGOs had specific objectives, mainly in the
health sector, and it was highly unlikely that any of them had done anything

      The NGOs are being threatened with existing legislation, but the
Zimbabwean government is preparing to promulgate a new law which will impose
much greater restrictions on their activities.

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News release – 8 March 2005 Women of Zimbabwe Arise – WOZA

ONE hundred and eighty member of Women of Zimbabwe Arise – (WOZA) met at a secret location from the 4 to 6 March 2005, to reflect on the role of women in Zimbabwean society. Members were mainly drawn from Bulawayo and Harare, but representatives came from as far a field as Nkayi and Kariba. The main resolution was to proceed with peaceful protest on 8 March 2005.

As a result of reflecting on the political and economic environment, women decided to go forward and vote to overcome the suffering faced on a daily basis by women. They resolved to “Vote on 31 March to free their sister from suffering”.

Women described the hardships they face in graphic terms: One said her eyes now remain red from perpetual crying day in and day out and she has pinned her hopes that her tears can be wiped away by casting her ballot where there is “love”.

Another women explained that her cat now sits upon her stove. Perhaps the cat remembers that food was once cooked there on a daily basis.

The WOZA membership is dominated by informal traders and one women testified about the challenges in trying to sell enough to put food on the table. She lamented that she is frequently arrested and her goods confiscated to the tables of the police officers houses. She said “they feed their children whilst I am killing mine with hunger.”

Against this background of starvation and deprivation, WOZA will continue to campaign tirelessly in the month of March to get women to go out and vote for the candidate of their choice with whom together they can create more freedom and democracy in Zimbabwe.

Recognising the grave importance of this election, the women of WOZA call on their sister to observe the cultural practice of sexual abstinence within the crucial dates of 28th March to 2nd April. This cultural practice is called “ukuzila amacansi” in Ndebele “Hapana Bonde” in Shona.

Mother WOZA, the leadership body of WOZA endorsed this resolution by saying, “Sisters do not boycott casting your ballot but boycott sexual practice for the sake of a better tomorrow. To their husbands, we say, we know you understand our culture, many a day your children go without food – we must sacrifice together. Woza Moya, Huya Mweya, Come Holy Spirit and help heal our land!”

Members of WOZA take to the street peacefully in Bulawayo and Harare to urge women and men to Vote and to lobby for the separation of men and women – a sexual boycott, come month end. The women of WOZA practice a unique brand of civil disobedience called “Tough Love” denoting their love for their country and families above all else.



8 March 2005

For more information, please contact

Bulawayo based: +263 11213885 +263 91 300 456 +263 91 362 668 +263 23 514 895

Harare based : +263 91 377 800  

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Sokwanele - Enough is Enough - Zimbabwe

Sokwanele Press Release:
Women from WOZA arrested at their homes

8 March 2005


Sokwanele has just received word that some women from a local activist group, Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA), were arrested at their homes earlier today.

The numbers arrested are so far unconfirmed.

Today, 8 March, is International Women's Day - the UN theme for International Women’s Day this year is "Gender Equality Beyond 2005: Building a More Secure Future".

WOZA were planning to march in solidarity with women all around the world. The arrest of the women at their homes means that the Zimbabwean police effectively stopped the march before it started.

This event once again highlights the fact that there is no freedom of expression or association in Zimbabwe today.

The following articles, available from our website (, cover some of WOZA's activities in the past. If you would like to receive copies of these by email, please request them by emailing

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

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:
Email Sokwanele:

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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Reporters without borders

8 March 2005

No letup in abusive media tactics three weeks before legislative elections

The coverage that Zimbabwe's state media are giving the main opposition
party during the campaign for parliamentary elections on 31 March is clearly
unfair, Reporters Without Borders said today, at the same condemning a
threat by the head of the government's press regulatory body, the MIC, to
impose sanctions on a new weekly, The Zimbabwean, on the grounds that it is
a "propaganda tool."

"It is now evident that the legislative elections will take place in climate
of intimidation and censorship," the press freedom organization said.

"There will clearly be no compliance with the democratic criteria
established by the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) and the
African Union's treaties," the organization continued. "Robert Mugabe's
government is violating the principles of free expression with impunity and
Zimbabweans will pay the price. It is time the countries of southern Africa
stopped looking passively on as one of their members sinks into the dark."

Media bias

With the election campaign already officially under way, the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) - the main opposition party, with 50 representatives
in parliament - is extremely handicapped by the lack of coverage it is
getting from the state media, when not being actively disparaged.

In reply to an MDC letter asking the state media to cover its activities,
Pikirayi Deketeke, the editor of the state-owned daily The Herald, wrote to
MDC secretary-general Welshman Ncube that it "would offer no political party
special access" to the newspaper. The request had nothing to do with the
traditional state media policy of offering special, free political
broadcasts during general elections, he said.

The Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe (MMPZ), an independent Harare-based
watchdog, reported that, during the week of 14 to 20 February, 19 of the 28
articles about the election campaign in the government press defended the
ruling Zanu-PF party and the other nine disparaged the MDC. During the week
of 21 to 27 February, 58 of the 66 articles about the election campaign were
devoted to Zanu-PF.

The editor in chief of Newsnet, a propaganda branch of the state-owned
Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holding (ZBH), told the MDC by letter that it would be
granted two interviews, on 7 and 18 March, that it could take part in a
debate on 14 March, and that there would be coverage of an MDC meeting on 25

ZBH also offered the MDC a total of 91 minutes of air time for the
broadcasting of spots lasting no more than 60 seconds each, but the MDC
would have to pay for these in cash. The privately- owned weekly, The
Zimbabwe Independent, calculated that an electoral spot would cost 3.7
million dollars (460 euros) each time it was broadcast in prime time, a
sizeable sum in Zimbabwe.

On 3 October 2004, then information minister Jonathan Moyo had said the MDC
would be refused access to the state media during the election campaign.
"Until we have a loyal opposition, it will be impossible for it to access
the public media," Moyo said.

Threats against The Zimbabwean

Tafataona Mahoso, the chairman of the government-controlled Media and
Information Commission (MIC), has meanwhile threatened sanctions against The
Zimbabwean, a privately-owned weekly that is published in London and
distributed in Zimbabwe and South Africa. The state-owned The Herald quoted
Mahoso on 7 March as saying it was a "propaganda tool" supported by "secret
funds in Europe and North America." The Zimbabwean was created by Wilf
Mbanga, the exiled founder of the leading independent Daily News.

In the article in The Herald, Mahoso and the reporter took particular issue
with the fact that the most recent issue of The Zimbabwean included an
insert published by the British parliament's lower house praising the
newspaper's management. The Herald quoted Mahoso as describing this as
"unprecedented" and likening the British parliamentarians to South Africa's
former apartheid regime.

The article did not specify what sanctions might be taken against The
Zimbabwean, simply noting that the MIC last month said it "would not
hesitate to take the necessary steps to stop those who abuse journalism by
using secret funding to produce products intended to undermine national and
sovereign publishers who are making an honest living by informing their

In January, Mahoso threatened to close the privately-owned Weekly Times just
one week after it brought out its first issue. The newspaper's licence was
withdrawn just a few weeks later, on 25 February, on the grounds that its
owners had made a false statement and failed to reveal certain facts. Mahoso
claimed that the newspaper tricked him when it registered its licence by
hiding certain aspects of its editorial line. According to its statutes, it
is a privately-owned news weekly focussing on development issues
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8 March 2005

In the Absence of Gender Equality Our National Development is Impaired

Today the world commemorates International Women's Day. In 1995 in Beijing
women from around the world gathered to formulate programmes and strategies
to advance the global struggle for equal rights for women. Much progress has
been made but there is still a long way to go.

In Zimbabwe women remain marginalized in society and continue to face
discrimination at all levels. The Government's rhetoric on women's rights
has never been matched by concrete policies aimed at advancing the status of

Claims by the government that the recent appointment of Joyce Mujuru as
Vice-President underline its commitment to the advancement of women, are
disingenuous. Her appointment had nothing to do with gender considerations
but had everything to do with advancing the political ambitions of a
particular faction within the ruling party. It was an opportunistic
political appointment dressed up as a progressive move by a party which has
never demonstrated the political will to ensure women are afforded their
equal status in society.

We face discrimination in the work place, are denied access to jobs and are
denied the same ownership and access rights to property, land and other
resources. Gender inequality is one of the main reasons why women,
especially young women, account for over half of those infected with

The women in Zimbabwe need a new beginning. We are tired of not being able
to find, or afford, enough food to feed our families. We are tired of the
lack of job opportunities and the perpetual hardship of daily life. We are
tired of being denied access to decent housing, just because we are women.

Gender equality is critical to our national development. The MDC, which
evolved out of civil society organisations, including women's groups, is
committed to making gender equality a reality. We will eliminate all
barriers that prevent women from playing an equal role in society and
enjoying equal rights.

The empowerment of women is fundamental to the MDC's vision of creating a
new Zimbabwe in which there is equal opportunity for all.

Lucia Matibenga
Chairperson, MDC Women's Assembly

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Sokwanele - Enough is Enough - Zimbabwe

Mauritius Watch
Issue 19: 7 March 2005

"On 17 August 2004, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) leaders meeting in Mauritius adopted the SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections. Zimbabwe, as a member of SADC, also signed the Declaration and committed itself to implementing the standards. The Mugabe regime claims that it is compliant with these standards and thereby invites a comparison between its own electoral and security legislation and its actions on the one hand, and the SADC Principles and Guidelines on the other.

“Mauritius Watch” provides a regular, objective and non-partisan assessment of Zimbabwe’s compliance with these principles and guidelines. In the run-up to the 2005 Parliamentary Elections we note any significant failures to adhere to the SADC standards. This is the 19th edition of the special weekly feature, and it should be read therefore in conjunction with the earlier editions. The evidence is cumulative. We invite readers to consider the larger picture, from which a very clear pattern emerges – and on which we comment below, after recording some of the more significant events of the last week.

The date for the Parliamentary Elections has been set as March 31, now less than 4 weeks away.

An opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party candidate in the forthcoming parliamentary election and another party official were on March 3 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 Muzula, were by late the following day still detained at Chinhoyi police station, 120 km north-west of Harare.

In a press statement the MDC said Chibanda was campaigning at Basset farm in Raffingora 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.

(See the full story in Zim Online: 5.03.05)

SADC standards breached


Suspected ZANU-PF activists are terrorizing people at night in the eastern border town of Mutare, demanding that they produce ruling party membership cards. Those who fail to do so risk a severe beating at the hands of the thugs unless they can bribe their way out of trouble by paying money to their tormenters.

Residents from the high-density suburbs of Chikanga, Sakubva , Dangamvura and elsewhere claim they can no longer move freely at night because of this menace. The marauding activists include ZANU-PF youth militia and (so called) war veterans.

(For the full story see the report in The Standard: 27.02.05)

SADC standards breached


Activists trying to campaign for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party report an increasing number of incidents involving the military who are setting up their own unofficial “no-go areas”, from which the opposition party is banned and any attempt to campaign on their behalf is met with violence.

Despite the difficulty in obtaining independent reports or verifying stories due to the Mugabe regime’s massive clampdown on the independent and foreign media, the stories of intimidation and harassment at the hands of the military are remarkably consistent and all-too believable within the police-state atmosphere that now prevails across Zimbabwe.

According to one account 20 soldiers recently spotted a group of MDC activists at a shopping centre about 80 km from Mutare, their distinctive red and white T-shirts revealing their political allegiance. One of the soldiers told the group it was a no-go area for MDC.

“We have been tolerating you for a long time,” he added. “Get into your car as quickly as you can and leave this place.”

As the activists started to pull away in their pickup truck, the soldiers began hurtling stones. One parliamentary candidate, Gabriel Chiwara, stumbled as he tried to climb into the front seat. Chiwara 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 whites!”

(The full report may be seen in the Washington Post, March 5: also carried in ZWNEWS: 6.03.05)

SADC standards breached


A reporter for IWPR who is forced to write under a pseudonym on account of the draconian media laws that apply within Zimbabwe, reports violence and massive intimidation in the rural areas ahead of the elections due on March 31.

The IWPR source reveals that the ZANU-PF youth militias, Robert Mugabe’s much-feared storm troopers, known among the population as Green Bombers, are now behaving with such menace in the Makoni West constituency that many villagers have fled their homes. Makoni West is a marginal constituency on the outskirts of Rusape, 135 km southeast of Harare.

Others report that they have been threatened with eviction from their recently acquired farms (seized from commercial farmers during Mugabe’s violent and lawless land grab) if they do not vote for ZANU-PF.

Matthew Ngoroma, aged 38, is one of those who have moved his family to a place nearer to Rusape to escape the threats of violence. “Some people told me I would pay the price for supporting MDC,” he said. He related how four men in ZANU-PF campaign shirts visited him a few weeks ago and threatened to burn down his house. “They said they would torch my house if I continued selling MDC cards.”

“I am not alone,” Ngoroma added. “There are others who have been beaten, threatened and intimidated. It’s a terror campaign.” Other MDC supporters have been denied food aid, fertilizer and maize seed which are being distributed by government officials loyal to ZANU-PF.

(Further details supplied in the IWPR report which is carried by ZWNEWS: 27.02.05)

SADC standards breached


In a statement carried in the state-controlled Herald newspaper police chief spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena accused the opposition MDC of making false allegations regarding an attack by soldiers on three MDC candidates and the abduction of an MDC candidate by ZANU-PF supporters in front of police officers.

Now the MDC has responded strongly to the police criticism, affirming the truth of the allegations and charging that the failure of the police to investigate the incidents in a professional and impartial manner undermines the legitimacy of the whole electoral process.

In a press release dated March 2, the MDC secretary for information and publicity, Paul Themba Nyathi, writes: “The actions of the police thus far in the election campaign have served to further erode public confidence in the electoral process and further undermine its legitimacy.” With few exceptions, the statement notes: “the police continue to behave in an overtly partisan manner.”

Referring again to 11 separate incidents of unlawful and clearly partisan actions on the part of the police and the army, Nyathi adds: “MDC candidates and activists appear to be the target of increasing police harassment as polling day approaches. This may be denied by police chiefs through the medium of the state-controlled press; however, their denials appear somewhat spurious when compared to the facts on the ground.”

(The full text of the MDC Press Release may be seen at releases/mdcresponsetopolice.htm)

SADC standards breached


The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) was last week forced to abandon a regional campaign strategic meeting for MPs in the three Matabeleland provinces after the police attempted to force themselves into the venue at a Bulawayo hotel.

Police details from the so-called “law and order” section, a euphemism for the political wing of the police that is totally subservient to the ruling ZANU-PF, arrived at the venue shortly before the opposition legislators were due to meet to discuss campaign strategies for the election. They refused to leave and insisted they had the right to sit in on the meeting, forcing the MDC to abandon the meeting temporarily so as to move to the party’s provincial headquarters.

MDC spokesperson for Bulawayo, Victor Moyo, described the behaviour of the police as “disgusting”. He also referred to the police action in recently stopping a road showboard in the Nkulumane suburb.

“The road showboard is an effective campaign tool because we will be moving along in vehicles displaying our banners and giving out fliers to the public,” said Moyo. “But the police barred us from having the road showboard, alleging that it was likely to incite public violence.”

Moyo said the MDC was not happy with the way the police handled its applications to hold meetings and rallies. ZANU-PF, he added, did not even bother to apply for police clearance to hold their rallies.

(Reported in the Zimbabwe Independent: 4.03.05)

SADC standards breached


The Mugabe regime has decided to revive cases against more than 45 journalists of the banned Daily News it accuses of having worked illegally for the paper without being registered with the Media and Information Commission.

A senior official at the Attorney General’s office who did not want to be named, said that the journalists would be dragged to court “any time after the elections” as part of the onslaught on independent journalists and foreign correspondents in the country.

The journalists were initially charged in September 2003 when the daily paper with the widest circulation in Zimbabwe was forcibly shut down and its equipment seized. The journalists always claimed that they had applied to the government media commission for registration and were awaiting a determination of their applications. The State did not at the time proceed with the cases.

(Reported in Zim Online: 4.03.05)

SADC standards breached


The Mugabe regime has taken delivery of a new consignment of arms from China, six weeks before the crunch March 31 parliamentary elections. Authoritative sources confirm that a new consignment, which includes assault rifles, military vehicles and other support material, has been secretly shipped into Harare via the Mozambican port of Beira.

Army sources said that more than one hundred Dongfeng vehicles were expected before the election. "Our army has received the equipment as part of a deal to fully equip it ahead of the March parliamentary elections," said a source within the army's procurement unit at the defence headquarters in Harare. He said Mugabe was not taking any chances and would want the army to be fully equipped ahead of the elections just in case he needs it to keep him in power.

To keep the army on his side, Mugabe has awarded soldiers substantial salary and allowance increases. Officers in the army have also been given a larger slice of seized white farmlands. The exact amount spent on the latest arms consignment could not be established but it is believed to run into several billions of Zimbabwe dollars.

(See full report in Zim Online: 22.02.05)

Note: A South African journalist who ventured into Zimbabwe under cover wrote: “… there is an all-pervasive atmosphere of resignation of the type that can only be produced by fear…. The journalist was told that ‘Every move is being watched,’ and that the country has been organized in a pyramid of cells by ZANU-PF…. A non-governmental organization employee who had just returned from a compulsory ZANU-PF meeting informed him that people had been instructed not to indulge in any violence until the election. “After March 31, there will be hell to pay,” he said.

(See full report in the Sunday Argus: 6.03.05)

SADC standards breached


SOKWANELE has produced a detailed analysis of the Zimbabwean statutes that are in breach of the SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections and the policy breaches by the ZANU-PF government.

Entitled "ZIMBABWE ELECTORAL LEGISLATION : SADC CHECK LIST", the document can be seen on our website at


We have now been measuring the performance of the Mugabe regime against the SADC Principles and Guidelines for 19 weeks. Over this period a clear pattern has emerged of a steady movement by the regime not towards, but rather away from, compliance with the regional standards on democratic elections. Though the regime would claim otherwise, this is the reality on the ground. The cumulative effect of their actions and omissions over very many months considered in conjunction with the flawed electoral laws and repressive security legislation now in place - and all within the context of the climate of massive fear that now pervades Zimbabwe - effectively renders any hope of a fair and free election on March 31, an illusion.

For this reason we were very disturbed to read the comments made by the South African President Thabo Mbeki, last week. Rejecting suggestions that Zimbabwe had failed to comply with the SADC standards Mbeki is reported as saying: “I have no reason to think … that anybody in Zimbabwe will act in a way that will militate against the elections being free and fair.”

President Mbeki’s comments have already drawn strong criticism in South Africa and around the world from those who are both well informed about the situation and capable of exercising independent judgment. We ourselves issued a press release challenging the President’s statement. Here we simply note that his views do not accord with most informed opinion within his own country. We could recite the findings of many eminent individuals and groups who are tracking the situation closely and who have first hand and recent experience of conditions within Zimbabwe, but we refer instead to just one statement issued by a fact-finding mission that has just returned to South Africa from Zimbabwe.

An informal mission, comprising eminent persons representing a wide cross section of South African civic society (including the Church) found that the electoral playing field remains heavily tilted in favour of Robert Mugabe and his ZANU-PF party, in breach of the SADC benchmark. The group’s representative, Professor Charles Villa-Vincencio, the executive director of the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR) said: “There is a downplaying of overt violence, such as the killings and harassment but this does not mean the playing fields have been leveled … the oppression, control and manipulation are now far more subtle. So the playing fields have decidedly not been leveled and the SADC principles are not strictly adhered to.”

Besides the IJR, other groups that took part in the informal fact-finding mission include the South African Council of Churches, the Institute for Democracy in South Africa and the Centre for Policy Studies. The groups work under the Zimbabwe Solidarity Network, a loose coalition of South African church and civic groups pressing for a democratic solution to Zimbabwe’s crisis.

We trust that a copy of the Zimbabwe Solidarity Network report will be brought to the attention of the Office of the President and his Foreign Minister at the earliest opportunity.

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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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For immediate release


Zimbabwe Solidarity Rally, 12 March 2005


Amnesty International South Africa, SANGOCO, CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation, and other civil society organisations announced the Zimbabwe Solidarity Rally (ZSR) to take place on 12 March 2005. This solidarity event will take place in bordering countries of Zimbabwe: Mozambique, South Africa and Zambia.  In Musina, South Africa, the ZSR will take shape as a musical concert, an over- night vigil and a protest against the abuse of fundamental rights and closure of civic space in Zimbabwe.




The Zimbabwe Solidarity Rally (ZSR) will take place on 12 March 2005 to commemorate the Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace (8 March). The Rally will provide an opportunity for the peoples of the SADC region to show their solidarity with the people of of Zimbabwe. Our solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe is small compared to the daily suffering the people of Zimbabwe have had to endure over the past few years. As a result of this millions of Zimbabweans are forced to subsist amidst a challenging socio-political situation and spiral of violence. We need our governments and our people to speak out against the abuses of human rights and make a stand for justice and peace to prevail in Zimbabwe.


The ZSR aims to mobilise with peoples organisations with the countries neighbouring the main borders of Zimbabwe in particular Mozambique, South Africa and Zambia.


South Africa will be participating in this event with a demonstration, a concert and an overnight vigil.


This is not a one night stand, as civil society organisations have been very active on a range of activities aimed at raising awareness and putting pressure on all governments to ensure that human rights and democracy prevails in Zimbabwe.


In particular, we are protesting and calling for:


·         the repeal, withdrawal and/or progressive amendment of restrictive legislation in Zimbabwe, specially, the Public Order and Security Act (POSA), the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy amendment Act (AIPPA), the Broadcasting Services Act (BSA), the Miscellaneous Offences Act, the NGO Bill, and other pieces of repressive legislation, so as to enable participatory interventions in the political and policy processes in that country;

·         the progressive reform of electoral laws to provide and create conducive conditions for a free and fair elections on 31 March 2005; 

·         a more public pronouncement on the violations of human rights in Zimbabwe and for SADC countries to condemn the systematic pattern of human rights violations and ongoing attacks on civil society

·         the authorities in Zimbabwe to stop using food as a political tool, especially in the run up to the elections

·         a constitutional review which is an inclusive participatory process involving all political parties and civil society organisations



For comments on this media release please contact Hassen Lorgat from SANGOCO on 0824112946 or David Kalete from CIVICUS on 0833027986


For more information on these events, please contact Emily Wellman on 0722362712


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Sent: Tuesday, March 08, 2005 12:56 PM
During the month of February approximately 200 articles were added to the Kubatana online archive.
If you have material that you'd like us to add to the archive, please send us an electronic copy of the documents and images.
Visit to keep yourself up to date!


A profile on human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa by Stephanie Nolen
The lawyer has a brisk and steely manner, at odds with her funky 1970s-style eyeglasses and the bubble gum she likes to snap, and an unmistakable fearlessness. Although she has represented the defence in nearly every prominent human-rights case in Zimbabwe since the country's political crisis began in the late 1990s, she has remained mostly unscathed. (One exception: She was badly beaten by a police officer, presumably because of her human-rights work, in October of 2003, when she was attempting to get help with a carjacking.) Read more or email for a copy.


Who's who in the General Election 2005?
Click here for the full line up of candidates nominated to participate in the forthcoming election.

Democratic space and state security: Zimbabwe's Public Order and Security Act (POSA)
The principle objection to POSA is the manner in which it facilitates gross executive interference in the freedoms of speech and assembly. This is largely achieved through the fact that its legislates a "hecklers veto."  Read more from Derek Matyszak or email for a copy.

An election to quicken Zim's sunset
As I entered my late 20s, a great aunt of mine sat me down to ask when I would get married. I explained that I could not find a man to fit what I wanted. I proceeded to give her these specifications in great detail. Great aunty Munjai looked me in the eye and said: "No, child of my child, you don't understand. All you need is just a man. It doesn't matter whether he is a chirema [not a very politically correct Shona term for a cripple], or if he is a drunkard, or even if he doesn't have a dog or a chicken! The important thing is you need a husband. Just get one. Anyone. All you need is something, just so the sun sets quicker, [in Shona, chaunongoda kuvidza zuva " to help get you through the day]." I never quite got round to finding the thing that would help my sun set quicker. Dozens of my friends, however, did. Their sun has set hastily many with drunks by their side. And the nights are terribly long, and are not filled with promised pleasures. But on the bright side, at least they have the dignity (their words), of being called Mrs So-and-so. The only explanation I can fathom for the Movement for Democratic Change's (MDC) participation in next month's Zimbabwean parliamentary election is that they are doing what my great-aunt advised me to do many years ago. All they need is an election, any election. Why else would they be participating in an election so flawed and so hopeless? I don't understand why the party thinks that participating in these elections will galvanize Zimbabweans and get us out of our present traumas. Writes Everjoice Win in the Mail & Guardian.
Read more
or email and we’ll send you a copy
The Gender Vote in Zimbabwe
 "As long as the women’s movement in its broadest definition does not raise the scale on the gender vote by mobilising women behind the gender vote, women will continue to vote for the political parties they are members of without demanding those parties to deliver for them. Zimbabweans are not going to vote for policies or even personalities. The voting agenda unfortunately remains unchanged from 2000 and 2002, those who want change will vote for MDC, those who are intimidated will vote for ZANU PF together with the few who really are committed to what ZANU PF used to be about. The sad thing is this time round most people may just not be bothered to go and vote. This is the greatest challenge this election faces." Janah Ncube. Read more or email for a copy.

Lower income urban earner monthly budget for a family of six
Review the cost of the basic basket of goods and overheads to lower income urban dwellers. Information provided by the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe.

When people decide they want to be free there is nothing that will stop them
I live in a community where buying bread is becoming an occasion that is reserved for visitors or over the weekend. Where if you open your mouth and say something slightly political everyone looks around to see if people are listening to you. And they stay away from you until you change the topic. A community where mother, father and children share the same room that is a bedroom, kitchen and sitting room all rolled into one. A community where if you visit relatives they become resentful, not because they don’t want to see you, but because you’re adding more stress to their life as they do not know how to feed you. 
Read more
from Judith Tsoka or email for a copy

Environmental and wildlife education and protection
Please think about supporting Chipangali. If you are a teacher why not take advantage of their educational program? They also have an animal adoption scheme that needs your support! Chipangali Wildlife Orphanage has an Educational Program that is aimed at bringing Wildlife awareness to schoolchildren.  The program in place right now involves giving visiting schools a briefing of the Orphanage, followed by a guided tour around Chipangali.  This year the program needs to expand and start targeting High School and Tertiary Educational Students.  Last year Mduduzi gave a talk and guided tour to Environmental Club Students of Hillside Teachers College, of which we are determined to follow through in 2005, involving ZINTECH in Gwanda, UCE in Bulawayo, NUST & Bulawayo Polytech. Our focus is to target teachers of tomorrow who will eventually spread that awareness on their deployment and hence boost the number of local Senior Schools visiting Chipangali.
Read about  orphan deliveries at Chipangali
Please email or visit
Streets Ahead publish Annual Report
Streets Ahead, a Harare based organised working in child welfare, have recently published a very informative annual report that discusses a variety of issues including the street environment, child related abuse and their outreach programme. If you would like a copy of this report please email or download it from the Kubatana website. If you would like to assist Streets Ahead or be in touch with them please email 
And if you have any books, videos, clothes or other items that need a good home why not give them to the Streets Ahead Drop In Centre situated at 57 Livingstone Avenue corner 6th Street in Harare.



Take Note


Take note
We are from the streets

Brown eyes brown hair

ID Card Number none
Outstanding Characteristics; beggar


Take note


We are from the streets
Yes we are from the streets

But were we born there?

Or does a street give birth to a child?
We are in the streets

Not because we want to be there

We are in there because of different problems

We came to you and asked for help

Not because we want to remain in the Streets
But we want to get out of the streets

Where to?


Take note we are from the streets
Poem By Garikayi Musekiwa (19 years)



Recent articles on Zimbabwe's forthcoming General Election
Please visit for a round up of insightful articles from a variety of journalists and sources on the 2005 General Election. These include MDC Faces Uphill Task: opposition’s tactical and strategic shortcomings mean it will struggle to win over voters in upcoming poll by Pius Nkomo in Harare

Peace, The Road To Unity And Prosperity
Some people might argue that Zimbabwe is not at war at the moment. Yes it is true, we are not in the battlefield but we have a war with us. Read more from the Student Christian Movement of Zimbabwe
Visit their fact sheet

Petition to the President on the NGO Bill
If you would like to get involved in this campaign and help NANGO in their efforts to stop the NGO Bill, please write to Bob Muchabayiwa today and ask for a copy of the petition. Email


Resources . . .

How to Run a Workshop
This manual guides activists through the decision-making and action procedures of running a workshop. It includes planning the workshop content, planning the administration and facilitating and running the workshop. See


Transparency International's Corruption Fighters' Tool Kit: Teaching Integrity to Youth - examples from 11 countries
A special edition of Transparency International’s (TI) Corruption Fighters’ Tool Kit, a compendium of practical civil society anti-corruption experiences described in accessible language, is now available. The Tool Kit presents innovative projects carried out by TI National Chapters and other civil society organisations from around the world. It highlights the potential of civil society to create mechanisms for scrutiny and control of public institutions, and to promote accountable and responsive public administration. With many illustrations, the 80 page booklet documents tools from Argentina, Brazil, Cambodia, Colombia, Georgia, Italy, Macao, Moldova , Uganda, United States of America and Zambia. Versions of the Tool Kit in PDF (free) and print (for purchase) are available at


Job opportunities . . .

Programme Advisor
Capacity building, organisational learning and documentation
Batsirai Group. Chinhoyi, Mashonaland West Province – Zimbabwe
Two-year contract

Closing date: 10th March 2005 (by 17.30)
Interviews: Late March or early April 2005

The Batsirai Group is a Zimbabwean non-governmental organisation working to strengthen community response to HIV & AIDS. Following a successful two-year placement, the organisation is currently seeking to consolidate its work in promoting community participation within its partner communities and within its own staff. The post holder will also assist in strengthening systems documentation, organisational learning and participatory monitoring and evaluation. The applicant will have a Diploma / degree in Social Sciences, Community Development or other relevant studies. The post holder will have a minimum of 3 years experience in Community Development work, involving community mobilization/training and experience in applying participatory approaches. In addition, s/he should have at least 2 years of experience in monitoring & evaluation. Good practical experience of non-formal adult education & training and mentoring is also essential. S/he will have a proven understanding of HIV & AIDS as a development and human rights issue. Good interpersonal, communication and computer skills and the ability to assist in the development of knowledge management systems are also essential. Willingness to travel extensively and to stay over in communities where there are only basic facilities is also crucial for the post. Formal training in participatory monitoring & evaluation and experience in the use of Reflect and Stepping-Stones methodologies would be highly desirable.

It is essential that you complete the application form in full, as very specific information is required and will be used to decide whether or not you will be short listed for interview.

For further information and an application form visit or email


Head of Africa Programmes: Voluntary Service Overseas
You will lead an international management team of committed and diverse staff that includes 3 Regional Programme Managers and 17 Country Directors in Africa to:

Closing date: 9th March 2005
Interview date: 18th March 2005

You will need to be a dynamic senior leader who has experience of delivering strategy, preferably in an international development in Africa. You will have a track record in successfully managing change and be confident in external networking. You’ll be a team player, keen to empower staff, flexible and committed to learning.

For more information:

Programme Co-ordinator: International NGO Training and Research Centre
Closing date: 18th March 2005

In coordination with, and with support from, the Programme Manager, you will task lead particular programme projects; efficiently administer activities; facilitate and extend International networks and build collaboration with organisational teams. Although able to generate high quality programme learning your main focus will be in programme support with a keen interest in Central and Eastern Europe. You will also be happy to prepare budgets and maintain appropriate financial records in collaboration with the finance team. Educated to masters level, preferably in a field relating to international development, you will have worked directly with local NGOs and have three years of demonstrable experience in programme/project planning development and implementation. You will have experience in working with different actors in the development field, an understanding of networking at multiple levels, experience in facilitation and training and excellent inter-cultural communication skills. You will have sound ability in Microsoft Office and be fluent in written and spoken English with other languages desirable. If you feel you have the necessary skills and could support the values of INTRAC as an organisation, please contact Shelagh Windsor-Richards for an application form and full job description. INTRAC strives to be an equal opportunities employer, although we regret our present offices do not offer appropriate access to people with certain disabilities.

Applications from outside the UK are welcomed from those who are eligible to work in the UK.

For more information please email

Head of Africa Programme (ref HeAf)
Location: London, UK
Salary range: £34,000–£42,000, plus benefits
Application Deadline: 9 March 2005

Purpose: To develop and manage Saferworld's Africa Programme.

The post-holder will be responsible for strategic planning, development, management and implementation of Saferworld's priorities across Southern Africa, the Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes regions of Africa in the following areas:

Implementing national and regional commitments to stem the proliferation of small arms and light weapons (including the development of responsible arms export controls);
Developing and implementing security sector reform and conflict prevention strategies (including the AU/NEPAD peace and security agenda);
Developing and implementing conflict-sensitive approaches to development;
Enhancing the coherence of EU (and other international institutions) policies aimed at conflict prevention and peace-building;
Capacity building of civil society and state institutions to meet the above challenges.
The post holder will be responsible for leading and inspiring the staff within the African Programme and for the line management of specific staff within the Programme.

The post holder will work with the Director and Head of Strategic Issues to ensure the effective integration of cross-cutting organisational strategies (including conflict sensitivity, police reform, small arms control and capacity building) into the Africa Programme.

Reporting to: Director

Line Manage: Two Team Leaders - one in London and one in Nairobi

The Kubatana Trust of Zimbabwe and
The NGO Network Alliance Project
PO Box GD 376

Telephone/Fax: +263-4-776008
Visit Zimbabwe's civic and human rights web site
incorporating an online directory for the non-profit sector
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Daily News online edition

      Botswana to switch on electric fence before poll

      Date: 8-Mar, 2005

      GABORONE - The Botswana government, afraid of an anticipated large
influx of Zimbabweans after the March 31 poll, wants to switch on the
controversial 480km electric fence on the border with its northern

      The project to construct an electric buffer zone between Zimbabwe and
Botswana was mooted three years ago, after the Botswana government realised
that Zimbabweans coming into the country illegally were using various
crossing points along the border.

      It was also concerned about the free crossing into Botswana of
foot-and-mouth infected cattle from Zimbabwe, risking the destruction of the
national herd and threatening the Botswana beef industry.

      The multi-billion dollar project, which culminated in the construction
of the fence, has been funded by the Botswana government, with partial
funding from the European Union.

      The fence, which will snake across 480 km of desert scrub, is
solar-powered and its effect is not fatal on human beings and animals. It
has, however, been compared to the security wall that Israel is building in
the West Bank to control the movements of Palestinians.

      Diplomatic sources in Botswana indicated that Botswana was set to
switch on the fence at a ceremony anytime from now, in an effort to control
the influx of the Zimbabweans, who are accused of becoming a menace to the

      "The Botswana government is wary of the expected influx after the
election as most the potential donors will not endorse the election result,
that is, if Zanu PF wins," said the Gaborone-based diplomat.

      He added that it had been discovered that most Zimbabwean economic
refugees fleeing to neighbouring states opted for Botswana, because it had a
better economy and did not have landmines planted along its border with

      "Zambia and Mozambique would not be favourable destinations for the
border jumpers as their economies are not as good as the Botswana economy,"
the diplomat said.

      Stringent visa requirements by the South African government and fears
of drowning or being devoured by crocodiles in the Limpopo River were among
the reasons why the South African option was not so good to the border

      The construction of the electric fence has always been criticised by
the Zimbabwean government, which argues that it is aimed at nabbing
Zimbabwean border jumpers who, when caught in Botswana, are often tried and
flogged by traditional chiefs before being deported.

      Chiefs from areas bordering Zimbabwe have complained to the Botswana
government that Zimbabweans who pass through their villages on their way to
and from Francistown and other nearby towns are becoming a bother, as they
sometimes engage in crimonal activities.

      The Botswana government, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and
International Co-operation, could neither confirm nor deny that the electric
fence was now ready and waiting to be connected.

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Daily News online edition

      More trouble for Jonathan Moyo

      Date: 8-Mar, 2005

      HARARE - It never rains but pours for disgraced and dismissed former
Information Minister Jonathan Moyo. According to well placed sources, the
former chief of propaganda for President Mugabe could be dragged to court in

      The US-based Ford Foundation, which once employed Moyo as its
programme officer in Kenya between 1993 and 1997, has filed a court
application challenging a bid by Moyo to have a civil suit against him for
embezzling donor funds dismissed.

      Moyo's lawyers have filed an appeal in Kenya arguing that the High
Court in Nairobi does not have the jurisdiction to hear the case. The
Foundation has argued that the High Court of Appeal should throw out Moyo's
appeal because it does not comply with court rules.

      Moyo has been accused by the Ford Foundation, which allegedly has
links to the CIA, of embezzling US 108 000 ( Zim $1,350 000 000) which he
transferred into a South African-based trust called Talunoza, named after
his four children.

      Moyo is alleged to have used part of the money to buy a mansion in
Johannesburg which was later sold after he failed to pay R1 million in rate

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Daily News online edition

      Define violence in electioneering

      Date: 8-Mar, 2005

      AN election in which two opposition activists are burnt to death as
they sit in their car cannot be described as anything but violent. An
election in which opposition meetings are broken up by the police and the
participants thumped with batons as they flee from the venue cannot be
described as peaceful, although the violence comes nowhere near that of the
first incident.

      In this election campaign, Zimbabwean politicians may have an
opportunity to debate the exact definition of political violence.

      Last week, the MDC listed a series of incidents which they claimed
constituted violence against its members involved in the election campaign.
George Charamba, the government spokesman, begged to differ: in so many
words, he said there had been no such violence, except in the perception of
the author of the story carried by The Standard newspaper.

      But violence is violence, by whatever definition you choose. It is
"the quality of being violent, violent conduct or treatment, outrage or
injury or unlawful exercise of physical force".

      There has been violence in all our elections since independence. When
President Robert Mugabe declared that Zanu PF had "many degrees in violence",
he meant exactly that - Zanu PF could use excessive violence against its
opponents, if it needed to.

      In this election campaign, Mugabe himself has called for an atmosphere
free of violence. By and large, his followers have taken heed of his advice.
But there will obviously be exceptions. A party with a long history of
violence cannot suddenly claim to be squeaky clean in that department.
Moreover, Zanu PF has in the past made similar declarations, but has reneged
on them with impunity.

      As for the conduct of the police, it is always instructive to remember
Augustine Chihuri's statement a few years ago. The police commissioner is an
ex-combatant and a member of Zanu PF. He has never made any secret of the
fact that he is loyal to Zanu PF. He may indeed be loyal to Zimbabwe but
loyalty to Zanu PF doesn't translate into loyalty to Zimbabwe.

      We should also remember that he and his colleagues in the uniformed
ranks vowed they would not serve under a president who did not have the
credentials of a war veteran. Some people might think this is all water
under the bridge now. But nothing much has changed on he ground.

      Reports of non-Zanu PF citizens being harassed remain prevalent, as do
reports of Zanu PF supporters being treated with leniency by the police.

      If Mugabe wants the world to believe that he has turned over a new
leaf and is not driven by violence against the opposition, then he should
punish all those of his supporters, including the police, who nakedly abuse
opposition members only because they are not convinced Zanu PF is running
this country well.
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Parly to send 20-member observation team to Zimbabwe

March 08, 2005, 16:15

Parliament has agreed to send a 20-member multi-party delegation to observe
the Zimbabwean elections. The group will have to report back to Parliament.

The decision to send the delegation was unanimously agreed upon by all
members of the National Council of Province (NCOP) in Parliament a short
while ago.

The government and the Southern African Developing Community (SADC) region
are also sending their respective delegations to observe the election, which
are to take place at the last day of this month.

The ANC delegation is already in Zimbabwe.
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MDC, Zanu-PF Get Equal Airtime

The Herald (Harare)

March 8, 2005
Posted to the web March 8, 2005


ZIMBABWE Broadcasting Holdings has allocated 91 minutes of airtime to the
MDC, the same as Zanu-PF, rubbishing claims by the opposition party that it
is not being allocated airtime in accordance with broadcasting services
regulations of 2005.

ZTV's chief marketing officer, Josephine Toro, said in a letter to MDC
secretary for information and publicity Mr Paul Themba Nyathi on February
25, that the MDC was allocated 91 minutes of airtime, which is the same
allocated to Zanu-PF.

According to the letter, the MDC could have used the airtime as from
February 26 through adverts of not more than 60 seconds.

"Would you therefore kindly inform the undersigned in writing as a matter of
urgency whether you intend to utilise the available time and to provide us
with the material for the adverts.

"In the event that you fail to do so, we shall assume that you are not
interested in making use of the available time of which we will proceed to
allocate it to other interested political parties," read part of the letter.

Subsequent correspondence on March 1 showed that discussions had been held
between ZTV and the MDC in which the MDC was advised by Newnet's
Editor-in-Chief, Tazzen Mandizvidza, that the party's manifesto would be
broadcast on television in English, Shona and Ndebele and on Radio Zimbabwe
in Shona and Ndebele as per its suggestion.

Mandizvidza also advised that the MDC manifesto was going to be read on Spot
FM and Power FM in English and on National FM in Shona and Ndebele.

In addition, Mandizvidza also furnished the opposition party with dates of
possible recording and broadcasting dates of interviews and discussions by
the MDC.

According to Mandizvidza's letter, the recording of an interview was
supposed to be done on March 7 and March 18 with the same interview being
broadcast on March 7 and March 21 while a discussion was supposed to be
recorded on March 14 and broadcast on March 15.

The second presentation of the party's manifesto was supposed to be aired on
March 25 and 28 while broadcast times were expected to be furnished in due

The Secretary for Information and Publicity, Mr George Charamba, at the
weekend said the MDC should not make unnecessary noise that they are being
denied access to radio and television when they had failed to take up slots
that had been made available to them.

Mr Charamba also dismissed as absurd and unmerited the MDC's cry for
coverage in newspapers owned by Zimbabwe Newspapers, saying there was no law
that compels a paper to carry messages of political parties free of charge.

He said that political parties that could not make news should not demand
space in the print media.

Mr Charamba said the MDC had only managed to flight a spot advert for three
days and had not taken up any slots allocated to them which raised questions
on whether they had messages to put across or musicians to do their jingles
or the finances to broadcast their material.

The Broadcasting Services Act (Access to Radio and Television during an
election) Regulations 2005 compels each channel to allocate 240 minutes of
available purchasable time during the election period to contesting
political parties and candidates.

This translates to allocating two minutes of advertising time to each

Independent candidates and parties contesting in less than 15 percent of the
constituencies would be allocated two minutes in each constituency they
field a candidate with those contesting in all 120 constituencies sharing
the balance.

ZBH has allocated 12 minutes for the broadcast of manifestos of political
parties and five minutes for independent candidates.

For interviews of political parties, 30 minutes would be allocated while
independent candidates would get five minutes.

Discussions airtime have been pegged at an hour.
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      Sanef urges more pressure on Harare

      The SA National Editors' Forum (Sanef) has called on the Zimbabwean
government to lift all restrictions on the media ahead of the election later
this month, and on the South African government to be more vocal in its
dealings with Harare over media freedom, reports Witsnews.

      At its national council meeting in Cape Town March 7, Sanef debated
what to do about its inability to secure an appointment with the Minister of
Foreign Affairs, Nkosazana Dlamini_Zuma, to discuss ongoing media repression
in Zimbabwe.  In the end, the organisation agreed to release a statement, in
which is voiced "serious concern (at) the  continuing violation of media
freedom" in that country.

      This follows the closure of another newspaper, the Weekly Times, and
after four local journalists working for foreign news organisations were
forced to flee by police harassment.

      The statement, released by Sanef chair Joe Thloloe, said: "These
actions do not bode well for free and fair parliamentary elections at the
end of March. Unfettered media are essential for the free flow of
information, the exchange of ideas and for voters to formulate opinions on
which to base their ballot decisions."

      Sanef also said that the state-owned media should be impartial in
their coverage "and also provide opportunities for direct access to the full
range of political parties and stakeholders".

      The organisation said it "regrets that public statements by the South
African government to date have not given due prominence to the importance
of Zimbabwe lifting its media restrictions as a precondition for the polls."

      In addition, Sanef said it expected "all media, South African and
foreign, to be granted access to Zimbabwe for reporting the elections and

      The group also urged the SA government to demonstrate its commitment
to media freedom in Zimbabwe and the rest of Africa, by clearly and
unequivocally supporting the principles of media freedom and decrying
publicly all attempts or actions to curtail it.

Tuesday, 08 March, 2005
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SA, SADC Poll Observers 'Will Have Real Power in Zimbabwe'

Business Day (Johannesburg)

March 8, 2005
Posted to the web March 8, 2005

Jonathan Katzenellenbogen With Sapa

DEPUTY Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad says observers from SA and the Southern
African Development Community (SADC) will have the power to intervene to
ensure a free and fair election in Zimbabwe.

A SADC observer mission is to be deployed in Zimbabwe from March 15 to help
achieve the objective of a free and fair election.

Pahad said yesterday he was confident two weeks were ample for the mission
to deal with allegations of pre-election irregularities.

The exact guidelines of the team's intervention powers were being worked
out, but it would be expected to follow up allegations of wrongdoing.

"It is important for our observers not just to write down what they hear but
to follow these things up," Pahad said.

But an election expert said that the observer missions that will oversee the
March 31 poll should have been in place some time ago if they wanted to be

"Already a lot has been missed," by observer missions not being in place
some time ago, Denis Kadima, executive director of the Electoral Institute
of Southern Africa (EISA), said yesterday.

The 50-strong SADC delegation will be led by SA's Home Affairs Minister
Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and the official South African delegation will be
headed by Labour Minister Membathisi Mdladlana.

Delegations will also be sent by SA's Parliament and the African National
Congress (ANC).

Kadima said his organisation wrote to Zimbabwe's foreign affairs ministry
and the country's electoral commission a month ago for permission to observe
the elections, but was still waiting for a reply.

Democratic Alliance MP Dianne Kohler-Barnard has been chosen as a member of
the SADC observer mission, the foreign ministry said yesterday.

"The foreign ministry has agreed with the DA that on account of the
unavailability of Mr (Marius) Swart, Dianne Kohler-Barnard will be the DA
representative on the SADC observer team," spokesman Ronnie Mamoepa said in

He said the agreement was reached in a telephonic conversation earlier in
the day.

It was earlier reported that Swart, the DA's deputy spokesman on home
affairs, had been elected to take part in the observer mission led by
Mapisa-Nqakula. Reports quoted DA chief whip Douglas Gibson as saying: "I
know absolutely nothing about it. Nobody nominates anybody to go anywhere
but me." Gibson reportedly said his nomination of Kohler-Barnard as the
party's representative on the mission had been rejected.

The DA said yesterday it was "very happy" with the outcome.

"Foreign Affairs invited us to nominate somebody, and we nominated Dianne
Kohler-Barnard," said spokesman James Lorimer.

"We later heard that she was not being invited, but instead Marius Swart -
who was oblivious of this fact and unavailable to go."

"We would be happy for the matter to be amicably resolved through discussion
because in the end, everybody must be happy with the choice of their own
candidates," Pahad said.

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SA forum not welcome in Zimbabwe - NGO    Beauregard Tromp
          March 08 2005 at 05:18PM

      Zimbabwe has banned the Southern African parliamentary forum that
damned President Robert Mugabe's election victory in 2002, a Zimbabwe non
governmental organisation has reported.

      The forum, comprising parliamentarians of all SADC states including
Zimbabwe, has traditionally observed elections in SADC countries.

      In 2002, unlike other African observer missions, it produced a
scathing report condemning violence and other unfair practices during the
presidential poll through which Mugabe, 81, won a fifth five-year term to
rule the country.

      It is suspected this is the reason for the snub.

      The African National Congress on Tuesday expressed surprise at the
decision. ANC secretary-general Kgalema Motlanthe said he was not aware that
the forum had not been invited to Zimbabwe and didn't "know what the reason
would be for excluding them".

      Zimbabwe's foreign affairs spokesperson Pavelyn Musaka told ZimOnline
on Monday that the forum would not be allowed in to witness the election.

      By late on Monday the secretary-general of the forum, Dr Kasuku
Mutukwa, had not been informed that the forum was not invited.

      "We have been ready for the past three weeks. Normally we are in the
country two or three weeks before voting," he said.

      The forum said in its 2002 report that "the electoral process could
not be said to adequately comply with the norms and standards for elections
in the SADC region".

      It also cited incidents of violence, mostly against opposition
members, voting irregularity and police partiality to the ruling Zanu-PF
party in dealing with perpetrators of violence.

      Musaka denied that Harare was being vindictive against the forum
because of its 2002 judgment, but could give no other reason why it was
being left out when the SADC official delegation was invited.

      She added: "Only those on the list will observe the election; if they
(the forum) are not there, it means they are not invited so they are not
going to observe the election."

      Zimbabwe has invited 23 countries to observe its election - SADC and
all its member countries, five Asian states, another three nations from the
Americas and only Russia from Europe.

      Ruling parties of Angola, Tanzania, Namibia, South Africa, Mozambique
and the Sudan People's Liberation Army, all of them allies of Mugabe and his
Zanu-PF party, are also invited to observe the election.

      Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, shadow foreign affairs minister of
the main Zimbabwean opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change,
said: "Mugabe is treating the election like a wedding party, where the bride
and groom invite friends to come and be merry."

      Democratic Alliance foreign affairs spokesperson Douglas Gibson
reacted with disbelief at the forum not being invited.

      "The countries belonging to the parliamentary forum must surely take
note of the fact that Zimbabwe must have something to hide," he said. "They
have been slapped in the face by the Mugabe government. The shameful action
taken before a so-called free and fair election must now be clear to most
people other than President Thabo Mbeki."

      Meanwhile, deputy foreign minister Aziz Pahad told journalists SA
would participate in four observer missions, and possibly a fifth, if the
SADC parliamentary team was invited.

      The four are a 20-member SA parliamentary observer mission, a national
delegation led by Labour Minister Membathisi Mdladlana, a group of ANC
observers and an official SADC observer team of 50 members led by Home
Affairs Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.

      The SADC team would enter Zimbabwe on March 15, enough time for them
to make their presence felt, Pahad said.

      Pahad insisted on Monday the SA observers would not just observe but
would intervene with Zimbabwean authorities to ensure they corrected
mistakes before the election.

      "It is important for our observers not just to write down what they
hear but to follow these things up."

      When it was pointed out to him that the SADC electoral guidelines do
not provide for observers to play an active role in the election, Pahad
said: "Things change." - Independent Foreign Service

         .. This article was originally published on page 1 of The Star on
March 08, 2005

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      Crunch time for Zambia maize as late drought bites

      Tue March 8, 2005 3:36 PM GMT+02:00
      By Peter Apps

      JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Zambia could face a drastic fall in its maize
crop if key growing areas do not receive rain in the next 10 days, the
national farmers union said on Tuesday.

      Zambia's government has already banned new maize exports until it can
assess how badly the country -- which has suffered serious local shortages
despite running a national surplus since fiscal 2002/03 -- will be affected.

      "Nobody predicted this drying up for the whole month of February,"
Zambian National Farmers Union chairman Guy Robinson told Reuters by

      "It really does look pretty bad. If we get a dollop of rain in the
next 10 days, we could add 110,000 tonnes to the crop. If we get rain in
three weeks time, it will be too late."

      Zambian agriculture minister Mundia Sikatana said in November Zambia
expected to double maize production to 2.4 million tonnes in the 2004/2005

      The country had gone from a severe food deficit following drought in
2002 to compete successfully against leading regional producer South Africa
for food aid and other tenders, until last week's export ban.

      Robinson said existing contracts for delivery would be honoured.

      Since government-backed farm seizures in neighbouring Zimbabwe
prompted many white farmers to flee, between 120 and 150 white Zimbabwean
farmers had moved to Zambia, he said.

      "Our tobacco production is up something like 100 percent, and that's
largely due to them," he said. "But not many of them have gone into maize."

      Instead, Robinson said the boom in maize production was due to several
years of favourable weather coupled with government backed programmes
supplying seeds and fertiliser to small scale farmers.

      But the poor rains meant farmers could see a 30 percent or more drop
in output, he said. Weather forecasts suggested rain in the days to come was
possible but not certain, he said.

      South African grain traders said Zimbabwean and aid agency buyers
might look to buy some up some of South Africa's surplus if the Zambian
export ban continued, with two cargoes of unknown size already booked by the
World Food Programme to Angola.
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“It’s a non-event.  I just can’t be bothered”
“What’s the point?  Look what happened last time.”
“I’ve lost all interest.  What difference will it make?”
“I just want to get on with my life.  I ignore politics now”
“What can I do?  I can’t change anything.  Neither will the election.”
“It’s a done deal, just like last time. The outcome is already set in stone.  Why go to all that effort again?”
“We know what will happen in rural areas so what’s the point of trying in town?”
Recently heard in Harare….
Is this you? Then ponder this:
·   As many as 2 million Zimbabweans live abroad. 
·   They thought they had no choice. 
·   They could not make a viable livelihood in their own country.
You are not one of them.  Why?
·   Because you are courageous and resourceful?
·   Because you love your country?
·   Because it’s where you belong?
·   Because you have not given up hope of change?
But are you ignoring this election?
Think again!
Fact:  All but one province of the opposition’s membership voted to participate in this election.  The exception?  Harare!
Fact:  Vote counting will this time happen at polling stations:  This makes rigging and lost ballot boxes a lot more difficult!
Fact:  In the last election more people in Zimbabwe, right across our nation, voted opposition than ruling party, in spite of all the intimidation.  We know how the outcome was twisted but the fact remains – more people voted for change than not!
Curiouser and Curiouser……..
Fact:  In February, an independent, scientifically designed survey, conducted by highly qualified professionals, in a stratified sample of three rural and three urban constituencies, revealed some curious and amazing things!!
In RURAL AREAS, motivation to vote, and to sit at the polling station until the outcome is announced, is higher than in urban areas! 
·   Fully 90% of respondents in one surveyed rural area said they would both vote and wait at the stations for results! 
·   The result was almost as high in the others!
Overall in the survey:
·   90% said they would vote
·   82% said they would wait for results.
·   In urban areas, high density dwellers showed much more resolve than low density!
Does this indicate a cowed and terrified electorate?  Hardly.
·  The MDC has 33 “safe” seats;
·  11 must be defended and
·  18 that can be won are being targeted.
·  62 constituencies won represent the majority of elected seats!
Polling stations must be manned.  To do this MDC needs $15 million per constituency.
·   Individuals make a society 
·   Society cannot change without individual responsibility
·   Let’s make a country of viable livelihoods for all Zimbabweans!
To campaign effectively at this late hour, CASH is ESSENTIAL.  The survey gathered information on how effectively to reach the people.  All methods require CASH!
Your VOTE and your HOPE are essential too.  Spread the word, boost morale, let’s get our motivation back!
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