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

Back to Index

Back to the Top
Back to Index

      Zim spies get new toys from China

      China is supplying Zimbabwe's Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO)
with new high-tech equipment which will boost its capacity to monitor people
and  Internet traffic and jam radio signals,  reports Gugulethu Ziyaphapha.

      Senior secret service officers confirmed the acquisition to, speaking on condition of anonymity. They said CIO officers
have been receiving training from Chinese technicians on how to install,
operate and maintain the equipment.

      They said the equipment would be used to target journalists working
for the foreign press, opposition party members, human rights activists and
other influential individuals or organizations.

      "We are not only targeting opposition members but including some
suspicious and wayward Zanu (PF) members. Who knows? We may still be having
some Jonathans among us," said one of the two officers, referring to the
sacked former Information Minister Prof Jonathan Moyo.
      The spies said President Robert Mugabe's ruling party no longer
trusted its own after some senior party members were jailed for espionage.

       "The upgraded Chinese software will replace the outdated Soviet
gadgets that we have," said one of the intelligence officers.

      It is also understood that the CIO will target the private press.

      The UK-based Short Wave Radio Africa is already being jammed, and the
officers confirmed the CIO was behind this.

      A worker at a Harare internet café said some men who only identified
themselves as from the "President's Office" were warning internet users not
to open news websites by CNN, BBC and SW Radio because they spread "anti
Zimbabwe propaganda".

      "They told our clients that they would get into trouble if they are
caught opening those sites by some of their colleagues" said the Internet
Café employee.

      Short Wave Radio founder Gerry Jackson who recently won an
international award for courage in journalism told The Scotsman that "Mugabe
will do anything to stop the truth being heard in Zimbabwe".

Tuesday, 17 May, 2005
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Information is power

Greetings!  Thank you very much to all of you who have subscribed to The
Zimbabwean.  We are now three months old.  Despite much sabre-rattling from
Harare we are still selling out there every Friday - and have upped the
number going in to 15 000 a week.  We have received several reports of the
paper being sold second-hand for up to ZD10 000! (The cover price is
ZD8000).  We have always made a huge loss on this part of the operation and
now our couriers have just upped their freight bill from Joburg to Harare by
almost 100%.  We can't make any money from the Zim sales anyway without
being liable for licensing by the government.

For every subscription taken out abroad, we can get 100 more newspapers into
Zimbabwe.  You can also subscribe in the UK and have the paper sent to an
individual or institution (eg school, college or library) of your choice in
Zim. Please see our website for forms:

We MUST increase sales in the diaspora, particularly in the UK.  Surely this
is the least we can do for our suffering countrymen and women - make it
possible for them to get some independent, accurate news at an affordable
price?  We are totally dependent on sales in the diaspora to keep us going.
Our search for donor funding continues, but regretfully largely in vain.

So we appeal to you:  Please help! Please buy the paper if you ever see it.
Please badger your local newsagent to order you a copy. Please subscribe
(online at Please take out a subscription for
somebody you know who would be interested.  Please persuade your company,
local library, college or other institution to purchase a subscription.
Please tell everyone you know about The Zimbabwean.  Please help us to make
a difference back home.   Information is power, which is why the present
regime is so hell-bent on preventing accurate information getting to the

The paper is also now available in SA via Exclusive Books, CNA and RNA in
the main centers.  We also offer subscriptions from Joburg.  Please also
encourage those you know in SA to agitate for copies and to buy the paper
wherever they see it.

No-one is an island.  We need your help please.


Wilf & Trish Mbanga

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Mail and Guardian

      Another day in court for Tsvangirai

      Harare, Zimbabwe

      17 May 2005 02:39

            Zimbabwe's opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai appeared in a
magistrate's court on Tuesday for a routine remand hearing on a treason
charge over protest marches he led nearly two years ago.

            His lawyer complained that the state has taken too long to bring
the Movement for Democratic Change leader to trial and said he will apply
for his removal from remand when he returns to court on August 2.

            "We lodged our complaint that the state is delaying this matter.
So, we gave notice that at the next appearance we will be making an
application for refusal of remand," said lawyer Chris Mhike.

            If the court grants the request, it will mean Tsvangirai will
not have to appear regularly in court as he has been doing since his June
2003 arrest and subsequent release on bail.

            Tsvangirai's ordeal followed anti-government street protests he
organised in June 2003, where he allegedly called on Zimbabweans to oust
President Robert Mugabe.

            The state accused Tsvangirai of inciting his supporters to
overthrow the government and engaging in acts of public violence during the
protests dubbed the "final push".

            But Tsvangirai denied that the protests were aimed at deposing
the 81-year-old Mugabe, who has ruled the country since independence in
1980, saying they were an expression of public anger at the government's
biting economic and social policies.

            In 2003, the Southern African country experienced acute
shortages of food and fuel and a cash crunch.

            In October last year, a Harare high court acquitted Tsvangirai
of treason in a separate case filed in 2002, in which the opposition leader
was accused of plotting to assassinate Mugabe.

            Treason carries a death sentence in Zimbabwe. -- Sapa-AFP

Back to the Top
Back to Index


      Zimbabwe court asks state to speed opposition trial

      Tue May 17, 2005 12:02 PM GMT+02:00
      HARARE (Reuters) - A Zimbabwe magistrate urged state prosecutors on
Tuesday to press ahead with their treason case against opposition leader
Morgan Tsvangirai, saying she was unhappy with a further 2-1/2 month delay.

      Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), faces
a charge of treason stemming from anti-government protests in June 2003 -- a
second case after he was cleared last October of plotting to assassinate
President Robert Mugabe.

      Magistrate Priscilla Chigumba reluctantly granted a prosecution
request to remand Tsvangirai on bail until August 2, saying the further
delay was too long given that he had already been on remand for nearly two

      A state prosecutor said the Attorney General's office wanted more time
to finalise its case.

      "I am not willing to accede to a long remand ... you (prosecution)
have to do justice to the accused as well. He has his rights and he has been
on remand since 2003," Chigumba said.

      But she said she could not overrule the Attorney General unless the
defence made a specific application for her to refuse a further remand.

      Defence lawyer Cris Mhike had asked Chigumba to remand Tsvangirai only
until July 18, and said that if the state did not come up with a trial date
at the August 2 hearing, the defence would apply for the court to refuse
further remand.

      Tsvangirai faces a treason charge for anti-Mugabe protests his MDC
tried to organise in June 2003. Last October he was found not guilty of
plotting to assassinate Mugabe and to seize power before 2002 presidential

      The state later applied to the Supreme Court to contest the acquittal,
but the matter has yet to be heard.

      The MDC suffered a crushing defeat in parliamentary elections in March
that the party and some Western governments denounced as unfair.

Back to the Top
Back to Index


      UN to produce national human development report on Zimbabwe 2005-05-18 03:29:20

          HARARE, May 17 (Xinhuanet) -- The United Nations Development
Program (UNDP) is working on a national human development report on Zimbabwe
to enhance human development knowledge in the country, the official news
agency New Ziana reported on Tuesday.

          The project will focus on gender and development for the
period2005 to 2007, and is expected to pave the way for pro-poor and gender
sensitive policy-making in the country.

          "The Zimbabwe Human Development Report is an output of a broad
consultative process, rigorous research and analysis over a period of two
years," said the UNDP.

          "The publication of the report in 2006 will be followed by
extensive dissemination and advocacy campaigns to key policy makers and the
nation at large," it said.

          The Ministry of Public Service, Labor and Social Welfare, as the
government arm mandated with poverty reduction and monitoring activities,
would implement the recommendations of the report.

          The UNDP report will be crafted in line with the 1997 Heads of
State and Government of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC)
Gender and Development Declaration, which mainstreams gender in all SADC

          Zimbabwe has signed and ratified several declarations and
protocols aimed at creating an enabling environment for equal life chances
between men and women.

          These include the 1979 Convention on Elimination of All Forms of
Discrimination against Women, the 1995 Beijing Platform for Action and the
1997 SADC Declaration on Gender and Development.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Pretoria News

      When you cease to be a human being
      May 17, 2005

        By Fana Peete

      One of the alleged soldiers of fortune released from a Zimbabwean
prison at the weekend, Kashana Nazanga, has painted a grim picture of life
behind bars in Zimbabwe. "Once you are arrested in Zimbabwe you stop being a
human being," he said.

      According to Nazanga, people were sometimes sentenced before appearing
in court.

      "To the Zimbabwean government, being taken to court is a privilege and
the government has the right to deny you such privilege. The ruling of
courts is not respected, and those put in power by Mugabe can overrule the
court at any given time," said Nazanga.

      He said he could not celebrate his freedom because he kept thinking
about those he left at Chikurubi Prison.

      "The prison (is like) a hospital ward with 80% of the prisoners
suffering from pellagra and various other diseases. They sleep on empty
stomachs and have no right to complain."

      He said they were fed on porridge and a watery substance which had a
cabbage flavour. On some days they were given maize porridge with beans.

      "For the first three weeks I would count the number of beans in my
plate. I remember the highest was on the day I was given 50 and I could
count them swimming in a pool of water.

      "I later got used to that and stopped counting. I wish I could
      forget, but having been there one cannot," said Nazanga.

      Avelino Dala, whose wife Anna looked pleased to have him walking by
her side, declined to talk to the Pretoria News. Dala ignored journalists
waiting for him as he arrived at his Sunnyside flat. His wife said he did
not want to speak to anybody from the media.

      Neves Matias was yesterday morning taken to a hair salon by his wife
Kamela. They later went shopping at Menlyn Park. He too was not available
for an interview.

      Nazanga was critical of the South African Government's silence on the
human rights situation in Zimbabwe.

      "South Africa is a great country, respected by all in Africa, and it
cannot stand by and become a spectator while people in Zimbabwe are
suffering," he said.

      Nazanga said South Africa would be judged over its failure to help
those striving for democracy in Zimbabwe. "There are many South Africans who
have no picture of what is happening in Zimbabwe, and you therefore cannot
blame them for saying nothing about that country.

      "But the government of this country knows and should be doing
something. I know most of our senior officials in government still feel they
owe Zimbabwe something for being a partner during the struggle. But let them
not forget the struggle was about liberating the people.

      "People in Zimbabwe need to be liberated and the only country
positioned to do that is South Africa because it preaches human rights,"
Nazanga said.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

New Zimbabwe


      Freedom will prevail in Zimbabwe, soon

      Last updated: 05/17/2005 07:06:17
      THIS past weekend I received a lot of inspiration from one of the most
influential persons in the world today. That is none other than Nelson
'Madiba' Mandela. Honestly, I couldn't help but shed a tear or two as I
watched the man beam his highly contagious smile on television news.

      The inimitable legend was smiling right in the heart of the Big Apple.
As the glint of his surprisingly strong looking white teeth gleamed from the
pulpit of the Riverside Church in Harlem, downtown New York, I could not
help but find myself feeling a lot of warmth towards this towering figure of
history. Perhaps like many other mortals across the planet, I had once again
been tantalised by the bewitching effect of the famed Madiba magic!

      But I digress.

      There he was again. Like a strong tall athlete standing in the podium
of the ancient Greek Olympic glory. Madiba looked calm and relaxed as his
entire being appeared to revel at the rare and unique moment of unbridled
adulation from fellow humanoids. It was so glorious. So majestic! More or
less like the imperial glory associated with the ancient Julius Caesar that
once ruled Rome in its former glory.

      Then he did the most appreciable by opening his mouth to speak. The
already raving and hyped up audience screamed with tense excitement and
applause. It was as if his, was the venerated voice of a god. In fact, it
was later reported that one of the audience members actually said Madiba
reminded him of Jesus Christ! Indeed, what a fitting moment of glory it
turned out to be for this living monument of political history!

      Yet this was not the same situation sometime in 1963. The Madiba the
world saw on that fateful day was so different. Yes he was much younger and
looked dashingly handsome. But his temperament and composure was so
different. Then he looked so forlorn and crestfallen. He had no choice after
the apartheid court had found him as the 'accused person number one' and the
rest of his Revonia trial mates, guilty as charged for treason. The court
had shown the barest leniency by not condemning Madiba and his mates to the

      This of course was not merely out of a judicial consideration but more
out of a political calculation. The racist apartheid regime leaders at that
time feared the boomerang effect of making Madiba and his mates some kind of
accidental heroes. Such a fallout would lead to an increased level of
desperation among the nationalist movement members who had committed
themselves to die for a new racism-free South Africa.

      Like all other unpopular regimes littered across the annals of human
history, the apartheid regime had assumed that it would last forever. It had
convinced itself of the false belief that it was so invincible that it would
stand the test of time unto eternity.

      The regime made the unfortunate mistake of assuming that by using an
unjust legal system it would thwart the popular will of the nation. It built
a huge fence of false security on its tenure and longevity by assuming that
it could crush popular dissent by victimising leaders of a people's

      The life sentences that Madiba and other Revonia trialists received
only achieved one small gain for the racist regime -- postponement of
inevitable change. The revolution could not be stopped by the isolation of
its presumed leadership. The wheels of political change could not be
entirely derailed by transforming Robben Island into an island of political
solitary confinement and seclusion.

      As fate would have it, a new generation of heroes led by the late
Oliver Tambo, such as Tokyo Sexwale, Cyril Ramaphosa, Albertina Sisulu,
Chris Hani, Steve Biko, Thabo Mbeki and the irresistible Winnie Mandela
emerged from the lower ranks of the movement. The new leaders successfully
lifted the banner demanding for freedom and democracy to an even higher
level that the imprisoned leaders.

      By the end of the 1980s, the apartheid regime had begun to feel the
heat for political change. It was thus no serious surprise when the highly
compromised racist regime now led by Frederick De Klerk decided to release
all the Revonia trialists in 1990.

      The world then watched in awe as Madiba walked out of political prison
a very free man. What a historic sight it was to see Madiba take those first
steps that also served as part of his last laps in his long walk to freedom.

      National unity talks followed under the CODESA process. Before long,
the world watched again in utter amazement as South Africans from all racial
grouped trooped into thousands of polling stations to cast their votes in
April 1994. To put the icing on the cake, Madiba continued with his long
journey but this time it led straight into state house. A new rainbow nation
was born out of the death of an old racist regime.

      Freedom and democracy had defied all odds and triumphed at last!

      So as I write today, I have good news for all long suffering
Zimbabweans whether at home or abroad. The good news is that however
powerful and resilient the Zanu-PF regime may appear to be today, freedom is
surely coming tomorrow. Yes, they have become masters of electoral fraud,
but the reality is that they may rig as much as they want but that will not
stop the political tides from turning against them.

      No amount of rigging elections can withstand the hyper-political power
of the expressed will of the majorities. Whether Zanu-PF likes it or not,
the reality they all have to face is that a permanent place alongside the
Rhodesian Front, Nationalist Party and other rogue political parties, awaits
them in the dusty archives of political history. The people of Zimbabwe
shall be free again, sooner than later. In the end, democracy will indeed
triumph in Zimbabwe, just like it did against apartheid South Africa.
      Daniel Molokele is a lawyer and a former student leader. He is
currently based in Johannesburg, South Africa. His column appears here every

Back to the Top
Back to Index

New Zimbabwe

Lawyer fears for life over UN rights commission testimony

By Staff Reporter
Last updated: 05/17/2005 10:04:02
AN exiled human rights lawyer suing the Zimbabwean government at the United
Nations African Commission on Human and People's Rights was outraged this
week to learn the next sitting of the commission where his case is going to
be heard will be IN ZIMBABWE!

Gabriel Shumba fled to South Africa after he was severely tortured by
security services while representing an opposition legislator Job Sikhala.

Shumba brought the action against President Robert Mugabe's regime claiming
he was kidnapped, tortured and made to swear allegiance to Mugabe by
Zimbabwe's security services while representing MDC St Mary's MP Sikhala in
January last year.

He said he had exhausted all legal remedies inside Zimbabwe.

But in a major turn of events, Shumba has realised his case could now be
heard in Zimbabwe when the ACHPR holds its November session. The case was
initially pencilled to be heard during the April/May 2005 session but the
Zimbabwean government requested the case to be postponed, which suggests its
now likely to be heard during the Zimbabwe session.

In a letter to the ACHPR secretary Omari Holaki, Shumba said his life was in
danger should he travel to Zimbabwe to make his representations.

"I believe that my presence in Zimbabwe could expose me to the same threats
to my personal security as those which are the subject of this
Communication. It is for that reason that my family and I now reside in
South Africa," wrote Shumba.

"I respectfully request that a written undertaking be obtained from the
Government of Zimbabwe assuring that I as the victim of the violence
complained of in my case as well as my attorney, David Padilla, will not be
subjected to any form of harassment, intimidation, persecution, arrest
related to this case or harm whatsoever were we to attend our case in
Zimbabwe in November this year.

"I would encourage the Commission to insist on such a written guarantee of
the authorities of the Government of Zimbabwe with respect to all persons
wishing to appear before the Commission, as well as observers and
journalists of any nationality.

According to the court papers, Shumba was taking instructions from Sikhala
for legal representation of the latter in a matter involving alleged
political harassment by members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) in
January last year.

At about 2300hrs riot police accompanied by plainclothes policemen and
agents thought to be from Zimbabwe's notorious spy agency, the Central
Intelligence Organisation, stormed the room where the meeting was taking

Shumba alleges that his practising certificate, diary, files and documents
as well as his mobile phone were confiscated. He was also slapped several
times and kicked with booted feet by amongst others the officer in charge of
Saint Mary's Police Station.

"At around midday he was removed from the cell, a hood placed over his head
and thereafter he was driven for about an hour to an unknown location where
he was led down what seemed like a tunnel that led to a room underground.
The hood was removed and he was stripped naked. With his hands in handcuffs
and feet bound in a foetal position a plank was thrust between his legs and
arms. Thereafter some of about 15 interrogators began to assault him with
booted feet and gave him the option of 'telling the truth or dying a slow
and painful death'.

"During the course of his interrogation, he was electrocuted intermittently
for eight hours as a result of which he lost consciousness several times
only to be revived to continue to face the electrocution. A chemical
substance was applied to his body. He lost control of his bodily functions,
vomited blood and was forced to drink the vomit," the court papers said.

"At 7:00 p.m. he was unbound and forced to write several documents under
dictation by the interrogators in which he implicated himself and several
senior MDC members in subversive activities. He was forced to agree to work
for the Central Intelligence Organisation, to swear allegiance to President
Robert Mugabe and to promise that he would not disclose what had happened to
him to the independent press or the courts."

Shumba was only released after his lawyers won a High Court Injunction
ordering his release to court where his lawyers would be allowed access to
him after several attempts to talk to him had been thwarted.

Central to Shumba's case is the provisions of the United Nations Charter on
Human Rights which guarantees that every human being is entitled to respect
for his life and the integrity of his person.

"The electrocuting the complainant and applying of chemical substance into
his body is manifestly in direct contravention of the right to personal
integrity as guaranteed in Article 4 of the Charter. By subjecting Shumba to
conditions of physical and mental harm with such practices as electrocution,
beating and denial of food and water, the respondent subjected the applicant
to torture or otherwise cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment in
contravention to the provisions of Article 5 of the Charter," his lawyers

He is also seeking damages for trauma, injury and separation from family.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

New Zimbabwe

Open letter to Morgan Tsvangirai

Last updated: 05/17/2005 10:50:51
Dear Morgan

I HAVE written to you openly hoping you read and respond to this letter by
changing the manner the movement goes about its business.

The Movement for Democratic Change must change its strategy if it intends to
form a gorvenment ever in Zimbabwe.

The Movement has already heroically and historically achieved one major
thing - which is to refuse the agents of the dictatorship to permeate into
and disillusion the focus for regime change.

Yes, regime change, we agree. But I beg one that is African-driven by the
people of Zimbabwe for their own good towards greater transparency and
openness in the way we conduct the business and affairs of our country. The
world has witnessed many regime changes including even in the U.S and the
U.K where they have had to do away with those aspects and arms of their
system that are a source of disunity. In Zimbabwe, media repression,
corruption, violence and the hoarding of farms by former guerillas are a
cause of disunity and we are to that extent agreed.

However, the support for sanctions on the gorvenment of Zimbabwe by the
opposition is an extreme position which concerns us especially when the
wording of the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act directs the US
sanctions to work against aid or loans to Zimbabwe without providing for
alternative funding of those areas of our social amnenties that are basic to
human survival.

You must shift from an oppositional stance that spews more vernom,
bitterness and exposes a dangerous if not an awkward simplistic approach to
the needs of Zimbabweans. That Mugabe is a ruthless, cunning dictator is a
fact we all have devoted much energy and time to expose beyond doubt. There
is not much, however, we can get from continuing to harp on this "Mugabe
must go" mantra.

Surely we must now examine ourselves and critique our strategy and the
content of our own promises as well as the implications of the campaign we
conduct. That Mugabe is without support of any sort in Zimbabwe is simply
untrue false propaganda . What is true is that Zimbabweans generally are
sceptical of an opposition that comes to them in borrowed Western outfits.
That too, whether you like it or not, worries any other Southern African

I give quick reference to an unsightly and out of order printed poster by
one MDC activist/protester in South Africa that I saw last year on BBC
during George Bush 's visit to South Africa that read ''Zimbabwe next'',
openly requesting America to invade Zimbabwe Iraq-style and probably install
you as leader. What nonsense! I won't even comment on the sanity of whoever
was waiving it.

We all agree that we have a problem and that problem is of a leadership
crisis but to ask another country to invade our own, like begging for
sanctions on aid and soft loans which you did, is way too damagingly
unpatriotic. It's a classical sell-out strategy. What we expect from the MDC
is not loud, vindictive, disloyal disagreements with Zanu PF but a policy of
initiating and tabling before parliament an agenda that works to save
Zimbabwe not destroy it. We want to see the opposition leading the blind
Zanu PF through policy change initiatives. Whether Zanu PF responds or not
does not matter because the people will see what we are trying to achieve
and they will understand that the only obstacle to progress is Zanu PF.

To continue a career of disputing election results is costly
shortsightedness because it prevents evasive exposure and dialogue on the
many but individual shortcomings of the moribund regime we are fighting. It
creates a time wasteful idealogical precedent that is misdirected and
helplessly naive. You have to fight this struggle if you are to win it in
the difficult but plain acknowledgement context of working with Zanu PF to
reform its old fashioned political views so they catch up with the era in
which democracy is the watchword in politics in progressive countries. You
will have to do this by re-engaging Zanu PF and going back to the West and
ask them to review their policies on Zimbabwe. You have to use the chance
you have to engage the West into offering incentives for a modernised
Zimbabwe. Unless the West wants nothing short of regime change and you have
no say in it, then you are as well as everyone of us and Zanu PF, doomed.

Patriotic opposition my brother Morgan is the only way forward. You will
find that it is not so difficult to be a popular opposition if you work for,
not against, the welfare of the people whose future you claim drives you.


Courage Shumba

Shumba is a human rights activist and former UZ student leader currently
studying towards a Masters Degree at the London School of Business

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Malaria kills 329 people in Zimbabwe
HARARE, May 16, 2005 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Malaria has killed 329 people in
Zimbabwe since the beginning of this year, according to the malaria
statistics issued by the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare on Monday.

The statistics showed that a total of 267,396 reported malaria cases, 329
deaths were recorded from January to April of this year.

This figure is a massive reduction from the 567 deaths and 300, 021 cases
reported during the same period last year.

Minister of Health and Child Welfare David Parirenyatwa said, for a long
time people were saying they want him to show them some proof of how
effective the government's malaria control program is, especially since the
use of the so-called controversial DDT.

"While I am still not happy at the fact that malaria is still killing our
people, the reduction in the number of deaths this year makes me very
optimistic. If we scale up our control programs, we might actually win this
war," he said.

The ministry said it would intensify interventions to maintain the current
trend of declining deaths.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

----- Original Message -----
From: Free Roy Bennett Campaign


Free Roy Bennett Campaign

Bennett Moved to Maximum Security Prison
Campaign Update
~ 16 May 2005

Harare, 11 May 2005: The Zimbabwean authorities have moved Roy Bennett once again, without notice or justification, this time to the country’s maximum security jail, Chikurubi.

In the 24 hours since Roy was moved to Chikurubi, his lawyers have been denied access to their client on three separate occasions. His family has no idea why he has been moved or what conditions he is now being kept in.

Roy has spent the past six and a half months in prison after being sentenced by the Zanu-PF members of parliament to one year in jail after he pushed the Minister of Parliament, Patrick Chinamasa during a parliamentary debate.

Although Chinamasa was not hurt, he had insulted Roy and his forebears and had dismissed the numerous court orders that Roy had obtained regarding his forcible expulsion from his house and land, the Zanu-PF MPs voted for his incarceration.

The severity of the sentence in relation to the minor nature of the offence is unprecedented in parliamentary jurisdictions throughout the world and has been condemned by local and international Legal Associations and Human Rights Organisations.

Roy spent his first month in Harare Central Prison before being moved to Mutoko resulting in a five hour round trip for his family when they were allowed to visit him for 30 minutes once every two weeks.

Although conditions in Mutoko Prison are far from adequate, Chikurubi is notorious amongst Zimbabwean jails for the harsh treatment of prisoners and the appalling health and sanitary conditions.

Diseases such as tuberculosis are rife, the water supply is often contaminated and severe overcrowding assist the spread of infection.

Roy’s family have vowed to continue fighting for justice until he is released.

Further updates will follow as more information concerning Roy’s current situation is received.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

The Herald

250 cows starved to death

By Chakanetsa Chidyamatiyo
A TOTAL of 250 dairy cows worth about $2 billion died due to neglect at a
Beatrice farm in 2003 while the owner was in remand prison.

The owner of the cattle, First National Building Society (FNBS) boss Mr
Samson Ruturi, could not take care of the animals because he was in remand
prison following his arrest on charges of breaching the Prevention of
Corruption Act.

Last Friday, Mr Ruturi was cleared of charges of ill-treating and causing
the death of the 250 dairy cows at his farm.

Mr Ruturi - who was being charged under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
Act - walked out of the court a free man after the State withdrew charges
before plea because of lack of evidence linking him to the offence.

Charges against Mr Ruturi, who owns Moreless Farm in Beatrice, arose after a
report was made to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
(SPCA) in October 2003 that the dairy cows were dying.

This followed the arrest of Mr Ruturi on separate charges of breaching the
Prevention of Corruption Act.

The SPCA dispatched a veterinary surgeon to the farm where he confirmed that
the cattle, which required special feeding, were dying of malnutrition.

On November 28 last year, Mr Ruturi was quizzed in connection with a charge
of ill-treating the cows, but he explained that he was not in a position to
feed the cows because of his incarceration at remand prison.

He further explained that he could not answer to the charges since the same
farm had been put under the care of FNBS curator Mr David Scott following
his arrest in February 2003.

Mr Ruturi told the police that Mr Scott had frozen his bank accounts and had
denied him access to funds locked up in the accounts.

The State had indicated in its papers that Mr Ruturi had written letters to
the curator requesting to be allowed access to some of his money in the
frozen accounts in order to buy stock feed for the starving cows and save
them, but the requests were turned down.

The Prevention of Corruption Act, under which Mr Ruturi's bank accounts were
frozen, has a clause allowing the owner of a frozen account to withdraw
money with the consent of the curator.

Mr Scott, who was also quizzed during the investigations, denied receiving
any correspondence, but the State was furnished with copies of the letters
in which Mr Ruturi requested the curator to give him access to the accounts.

A Dairibord Zimbabwe official confirmed to the police receiving a note from
the curator Mr Scott instructing the milk processing and distributing
company to collect milk from Mr Ruturi's farm without paying.

The State papers revealed that all witnesses quizzed in connection with the
case stated that the cows' health deteriorated drastically following Mr
Ruturi's arrest.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

The Herald

Kuruneri's trial opens, State seeks to alter charges

Court Reporter
THE trial of former Finance and Economic Development Minister Chris
Kuruneri, accused of externalising large sums of foreign currency and being
a holder of a foreign passport, opened at the High Court yesterday with the
State applying for an alteration of the charges.

Justice Susan Mavangira postponed the case to today to allow Kuruneri to
instruct a lawyer of his choice to respond to the prosecution's application
for an amendment of the indictment.

Justice Mavangira made the ruling following an application by chief law
officer Mr Joseph Jagada to amend the charge sheet and the counter
application by the defence seeking sufficient time to respond to the

"The need . . . to respond to the State application to amend the charge is,
in my view, a matter of fact. However, the accused's lawyer of his choice Mr
(Jonathan) Samkange is unavailable," said Justice Mavangira.

"I will call upon the State to facilitate the interview of the accused by a
lawyer of his own choice who should be available to make a response to the
application by the State tomorrow (today) morning."

Earlier, the State had applied for the amendment of the indictment regarding
the period it alleges the crime involving two of the seven counts Kuruneri
is facing was committed.

The State was prompted to make the application after the defence had
requested the State to furnish them with further particulars of the charge
last week.

The defence wanted specification of the particular dates when Kuruneri
allegedly illegally exported foreign currency to South Africa and the exact

However, during the proceedings, the State applied to change the indictment
pertaining to counts two and three to read that the alleged offences were
committed between March 2002 and March 2004, without giving specific dates.

According to the indictment served on the defence, last February, it is
alleged on count two, Kuruneri committed the offence during the period
extending from March 2002 to March 2004, while on count three the period was
from February 2002 to April 2004.

Mr Jagada, in his submission, said from the defence position, it was clear
that it was not ready for the commencement of the trial and wanted to employ
delaying tactics by raising issues of further particulars.

He said they had ample time since February 14, the day Kuruneri was served
with indictment papers, to make their request.

The phrasing of the charge, Mr Jagada said, would not prejudice Kuruneri as
claimed by the defence.

He said the prosecution gave the period because it did not know the specific
dates on which the offences were committed.

The charge, he said, could not be said to be defective.

On the desire by Kuruneri to have a lawyer of his own choice, Mr Jagada said
he should engage other lawyers of his preference available in the country.

"Why Samkange at the inconvenience of the State?" he queried.

Mr Chris Venturas, who stood in for Mr Samkange, had sought for a
postponement to tomorrow when Mr Samkange would be available to deal with
the case.

Mr Samkange is in Namibia where he is engaged in a treason trial, but was
expected in the country today.

Mr Venturas said since the notice to amend the charge was served on them
late on Friday, they could not get access to their client at the remand
prison over the weekend.

He, however, argued that the charge was "vague and embarrassing".

He said it was Kuruneri's constitutional right to be represented by Mr
Samkange, a lawyer of his choice.

"He should know the charges against him. He has to prepare fully for the
trial that has massive ramifications on his life," said Mr Venturas.

The State has lined up eight witnesses from South Africa. The Reserve Bank
of Zimbabwe Governor, Dr Gideon Gono, is also expected to testify in the

Kuruneri was arrested in April last year during Government's anti-corruption
crusade and has been in custody since then.

He allegedly externalising large sums of foreign currency to South Africa,
part of which he allegedly used to build a mansion in that country.

The former minister, who is being charged under the Exchange Control Act,
faces another charge of breaching the Zimbabwe Citizenship Act for allegedly
being in possession of a Canadian passport in addition to his Zimbabwean
diplomatic passport.

He has made numerous attempts to obtain bail in the courts, but without

Charges against Kuruneri arose following the detection of his alleged
externalisation of US$500 000, 37 000 British pounds, 30 000 euros and 1,2
million rand.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

The Herald

Panners spill cyanide, mercury into dam

Herald Reporter
SCORES of villagers and farmers staying around Mutevekwi Dam in Shurugwi
have stopped drawing water from the dam after gold panners spilled cyanide
and mercury into it.

Cyanide is a deadly chemical used to purify gold and can kill people and
livestock within hours of drinking contaminated water.

The dam, which was a source of livelihood to more than 40 farmers and more
than 20 families, is now believed to have a high concentration of the

In an interview, Midlands Resident Minister and Governor Cde Cephas Msipa
yesterday confirmed that the water was no longer safe for both domestic and
farming purposes.

"The situation is very bad and the effects are very serious because farmers
and families depended on the river and dam in various ways.

"At least 20 families and 40 farmers have been affected by the pollution. We
are hoping something will be done as soon as possible," Cde Msipa said.

Environment and Tourism secretary Cde Margaret Sangarwe yesterday said a
team has been sent to the area to assess the situation.

"A team is in the area to see what can be done to rectify the situation,
which we know is being exacerbated by illegal gold panners and people not
practising proper methods of farming," she said.

Cde Sangarwe said her ministry was not only faced with the challenge to
ensure farmers put into practice environmental conservation measures, but
with the daunting task to rehabilitate "dead dams" and silting water
resources as well.

She mentioned, amongst other dams, Mazowe and the Save catchment area, which
stretched from Masvingo, Manicaland and Midlands provinces.

"The conservation works are ongoing, but the actual rehabilitation of some
dams, which includes the dredging process (scooping out of soil), is not
only very expensive, but would also include displacing people living near
the dams who are contributing to the destruction of these dams," Mrs
Sangarwe said.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

----- Original Message -----
From: Topper Whitehead

Be there


On Thursday 19 May 2005 at 10hrs00, Mr Mudede, the Registrar-General, faces being sent to prison by a High Court judge for five (5) years for persistently failing to obey High Court Judgments ordering him to bring to his Head Office in Harare the Ballot papers and other Election material used in the highly disputed Presidential Election held over three (3) years ago in March 2002. 

After the Presidential Election was held in March 2002, it was an essential function of the Registrar-General to comply with the provisions of the Electoral Act which compels him to bring to his Head Office in Harare “as soon as may be” the Ballot papers and other Election material in all polling stations in all constituencies in Zimbabwe at the Presidential Election.  This would have enabled Mr Tsvangira’s Party, and indeed the High Court, to scrutinise and examine these crucial documents in order to determine whether Mr Mugabe won the election, as the Registrar-General claimed at the time, or whether in fact, as we claim, Mr Tsvangirai won it. 


Since September 2002, that is over two and half years ago, we have obtained a series of High Court Orders ordering Mr Mudede to preserve the Ballot papers and Election material and to bring them to his Head Office in Harare.  However, the Registrar-General has persistently refused to comply with these Orders and, even now, over three years since the Presidential Election was held he has still not brought the Ballot papers and Election material to his Head Office in Harare. 


This has meant that Mr Tsvangirai’s Party has been unable to inspect the ballot papers and election material and the consequence of this is that it has severely handicapped Mr Tsvangarai in his Election Petition challenge to the outcome of the Presidential Election. 

We suspect that the repeated failure by Mr Mudede to comply with High Court Judgments indicates that he has something to hide and it confirms our previous claims that he is biased in favour of Mr Mugabe and against Mr Tsvangirai.

from R W  { Topper }  Whitehead
The Chinja Mechanic
"let it never be asked of any of us - what did we do when we knew another was oppressed" Nelson Mandela
Back to the Top
Back to Index