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

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The Times

            A no-go for Gono
            By Martin Waller

           I DETECT trouble ahead for Gideon Gono, governor of the Reserve
Bank of Zimbabwe, in London for a low-key visit this week. His arrival has
infuriated the expatriate community, whose members say he wants to raise
money to fund President Mugabe's electoral campaign next year.
            An e-mail suggests complaints are made to the Foreign &
Commonwealth Office, even though he is not on the list of Mugabe's inner
circle barred entry by the EU.

            The FCO says the matter is beyond its control. "It's a private
visit. It's certainly nothing to do with us. We're not meeting him. He's not
coming in here." But has anyone told Peter Tatchell, who memorably managed
to get beaten up by Mugabe's henchmen on an earlier visit to Brussels?

            TERRY SMITH, head of Collins Stewart, is corporate financier of
the year at the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales and
picked up his award last night. Except that he didn't, because he's in the
States. "He's a typical investment banker," said Howard Leigh, chairman of
the Institute's corporate finance faculty, who presented the awards. "He
does the pitch, he wins the mandate - then he's not around when the work
needs to be done."

            Flower power

            SPOTTED at Monday's Chelsea Flower Show, showing a degree of
culture shock: Stan O'Neal, chairman and chief executive of Merrill Lynch,
which sponsors the event. Americans always have a problem with our passion
for cramming as many plants as possible into our handkerchief-sized city
gardens, and O'Neal is unlikely to have picked up too many tips from Chelsea
for his latest spread. He has just moved into a five-acre estate in upmarket
Westchester, in New York State.

            STYLE notes from Chelsea, from my own acid-tongued fashionista
there: "The corporate executive wives have almost all left off the real
Chanel this year. There's so much fake around, and you wouldn't want anyone
to think you were in fake, would you darling?"

            Personless office

            TWO of our biggest accountants were making much a couple of
months ago of their intentions of starting up again in Iraq. Given current
conditions, I ask what progress they have made.

            "We've not got any people in Baghdad," admits KPMG, which has at
least found premises there. "We've got something lined up, but we're not
planning to occupy it at the moment."

            Ernst & Young will not give details of its staff there for
security reasons but confirms: "We have definitely got people there. The
office is open."


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Sunday Times (SA)

'SA in no position to arrest mercenaries'

Tuesday May 25, 2004 06:43 - (SA)

Defence Minister Mosiuoa Lekota hit out at opposition parties' claims
yesterday that SA should have arrested a group of suspected mercenaries
rather than let them be arrested by Zimbabwe, saying that it was not
possible to make arrests on the basis of intelligence alone.

Evidence was required that could stand up to cross-examination in court, he

The group was arrested by the Zimbabwean authorities on the basis of a
tip-off from South African intelligence.

Lekota's concession that South African intelligence led to the arrests, made
during a parliamentary media briefing, sheds further light on the role SA
played in the March 8 arrest of the men accused of planning a military coup
against the government of Equatorial Guinea.

The men are awaiting trial in Zimbabwe, with eight additional alleged
plotters being held in Equatorial Guinea.

Lekota said SA was obliged, as a member of the South African Development
Community (SADC), to notify its neighbours of a plane entering their
airspace, otherwise SA would be accused of undermining their security.

"The intelligence was such that it enabled Zimbabwe to arrest the men and
stop their movement. The exchange of intelligence between SADC countries is
not a secret," he said.

Lekota said the South African authorities were working very hard to ensure
the trials of the suspects conformed to provisions of the Geneva Convention
and South African law.

Visits by diplomatic missions were being made to the prisons where the men
were being held to ensure that international protocols were being adhered

"Efforts are being made to bring the prisoners to court as soon as possible
in the presence of international observers with a view to ensuring a fair
trial for the prisoners," Lekota said.

The minister said government had not received any official notification of
Zimbabwe's intention to extradite the men to Equatorial Guinea.

Lekota said government would oppose today's court action by families of the
accused requiring that they be extradited to SA for trial rather than be
sent to Equatorial Guinea.

Meanwhile, Democratic Alliance foreign affairs spokesman Douglas Gibson
expressed concern that government had hosted an Equatorial Guinea delegation
to assist with legal proceedings.

He said this went against the recommendations of the National Prosecuting
Authority's Jan Henning, that SA play no part in the proceedings, as it was
unlikely the accused would get a fair trial in Equatorial Guinea.

SA, Henning said, could not become involved "in what we see as an unfair
legal process".

Gibson said other organisations, including the General Council of the Bar of
SA, the Human Rights Commission and Amnesty International, had also called
for the South Africans being held in Equatorial Guinea to be returned back
to SA.
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The Star

      Back to square one on Bob
      May 25, 2004

      By Basildon Peta and Angela Quintal

      In the face of embarrassing comments from Robert Mugabe, the South
African government has insisted that it would continue with its "quiet

      Despite the political and economic crisis in Zimbabwe, Deputy Foreign
Minister Aziz Pahad yesterday said the government would remain committed to
its policy - even if President Thabo Mbeki's June deadline for political
change in Zimbabwe was not met.

      Pahad said that if a Sky News report that the Zimbabwean president had
rejected talks with the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) was correct,
then "it is clear that we will not meet the June deadline" .

      Zimbabwe's main opposition party, however, believed it was high time
South Africa changed its policy on Mugabe, as he had proved "beyond any
doubt" his lack of interest in dialogue to resolve the Zimbabwean crisis.

      MDC secretary-general Welshman Ncube said South Africa should now
apply pressure on Mugabe to reform.

      "We have said over and over again that Mugabe is not interested in
serious dialogue ... Why the South Africans keep on telling the world that
there is some kind of dialogue boggles the imagination.

      "Now that it has come from the horse's mouth (Mugabe) ... we hope the
South Africans will stop shielding Mugabe from international pressure on the
pretext of nonexistent dialogue."

      Pahad, who again rejected calls for tougher action against Mugabe,
said: "We always set time-frames as guidelines. We'll see - even if we don't
meet the deadlines - whether our efforts can still continue to bring some
progress in Zimbabwe.

      "I have no other alternative to quiet diplomacy, so we will continue
with quiet diplomacy."

      South Africa would carry on encouraging both the ruling Zanu-PF and
the MDC to begin formal dialogue, he added.

      Zimbabweans themselves, including the MDC, had not asked for sanctions
against Harare, "so who are we to impose sanctions when Zimbabweans are not
asking?" Pahad said.

      Even the European Union, which had imposed so-called smart sanctions
on Mugabe and his government, was looking for ways to open dialogue with
Zimbabwe, he said.

      When Mugabe's detractors urged South Africa, as a regional superpower,
to take tougher action, what they really expected was a regime change, Pahad

      "What people expect - they don't want to say, but they used to say
before - (is that) they seriously expect us to move in with troops to carry
out a regime change.

      "There is no way that this government will get involved in a regime
change anywhere else, let alone in Zimbabwe.

      "What we do must not be based on us trying to feel good, but trying to
achieve results."

      Mugabe also said in the Sky interview that he did not plan to stand
for re-election in 2008, although he did not have a successor in mind.

      In the interview, Mugabe asserted that he had nothing to negotiate
with the MDC.

      "If there is business to negotiate about, we will welcome
negotiations. But if there is no business, I don't see why we should talk
about negotiations," he said.

      Meanwhile Desmond Tutu's spokesperson said the cleric had seen enough
in his lifetime not to concern himself with insults from detractors such as

      In the Sky interview, Mugabe called Tutu "an angry, evil and
embittered little bishop".

      Tutu has been an outspoken critic of Mugabe and his policies, and
often comments on alleged human rights abuses in Zimbabwe.

      His spokesperson, Lavinia Crawford-Browne, said Tutu was not prepared
to comment. "He has got used to this type of thing," she said.

      Mugabe's comments followed a lengthy story in Zimbabwe's Sunday Mail,
the biggest state-controlled newspaper, which said Tutu opposed Mugabe
because he was not able to get three jailed South African saboteurs

      "When Tutu came to Zimbabwe with a plan for the three to be
transferred to South Africa to have them appear before the TRC, he was not
only snubbed, but also failed to secure an audience with President Mugabe,"
the article said.

      The newspaper quoted a government official as saying that "to this
day, he (Tutu) has not forgiven President Mugabe".

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Business Day

MDC leader slams Mugabe interview

HARARE Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader
Morgan Tsvangirai said yesterday that President Robert Mugabe's interview
with Britain's Sky News was a "shocking tale of misrepresentations and
Reacting to the interview broadcast yesterday, Tsvangirai said Mugabe had
given "a brilliant fictional account" of what was going on in the country.
He said the interview proved Mugabe was dishonest and detached from the
country's realities.

"The whole interview was a tale of misrepresentations and wildly variable
distortions of the situation in Zimbabwe," Tsvangirai said.

"He made a series of falsifications on everything from elections, food,
political violence, economic crisis and his party's youth militia to his

Tsvangirai said the interview was useful only insofar as it showed the whole
world that the Zimbabwean ruler was "intolerant, belligerent, and
anachronistic. There was nothing enlightening about his interview. It
actually showed that he is living in the past and is history."

Mugabe repeated his criticism of British Prime Minister Tony Blair, whom he
said considered himself "superhuman".

He said Blair had done "mad things" that had plunged the whole world into

Mugabe also blamed Blair for isolating him from Libyan ruler Muammar
Gaddafi. Dumisani Muleya

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Business Day

Behind smokescreen of talks'

WELSHMAN NCUBE INTERVIEW/ Peter Bruce and Jonathan Katzenellenbogen
MOVEMENT for Democratic Change secretarygeneral Welshman Ncube, who has been
the MDC's point man in talks about talks with Zimbabwean President Robert
Mugabe's ruling Zanu (PF), is highly regarded by Pretoria. Yesterday he
spoke candidly with Business Day Editor Peter Bruce and International
Affairs Editor Jonathan Katzenellenbogen.

Q: It is said drafts exist of a new Zimbabwean constitution and that your
signature, along with (Justice Minister) Patrick Chinamasa's, is on it as
proof that the MDC and Zanu (PF) are talking.

A: No, that's part of the deception doing the rounds. If you listen to
Mugabe on the Sky News interview what he is saying is there is no need for
negotiations, that the opposition should be content to remain as an
opposition in parliament. As far as they are concerned they see no need for
it (talks). In the informal dialogue if I may call it that which has been
going on for a year now on a stopstart basis, we attempted to find a way of
removing obstacles to the commitments to formal dialogue. We talked about a
range of issues; how do we confront the issue of militias, the repressive
legislation, and whether it is possible to reconcile MDC and Zanu (PF) views
on the constitution. Nothing came of it and it is clear now their attitude
is to simply buy time until the parliamentary elections.

Q: In the process was there a document drawn up that you initialled along
with Chinamasa?

A: There's definitely no such document which has been initialled by us. As I
say, the documents which are there are our draft agenda for the dialogue.

Q: The story goes that within the MDC you represent a faction that's been
infiltrated or co-opted by the South African government. And so that when
President Thabo Mbeki talks about talks going on he means talks between you
and Zanu (PF) and he doesn't really include MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

A: Let me put it this way. The entire dialogue, formal and informal, is
under the supervision of the MDC leadership, that is to say the president,
the vicepresident, the national chairman, myself, the deputy
secretary-general and treasurer. Everything each one of us does in our areas
of authority we report on a weekly basis to the MDC management committee.
Anyone who believes any one person in the MDC could operate outside that
collective framework is totally mistaken.

Q: This stuff is all coming, interestingly, not from Zanu (PF) or the South
African government . It's coming from people who want to see real change in
Zimbabwe and who one would normally expect to see supporting the MDC.

A: The South African government for a year now, said formal dialogue was
taking place we said there was no such thing. We said only informal dialogue
has been taking place, not proximity talks but direct discussions between
myself and Patrick Chinamasa, to raise those issues preventing us from
sitting around a table and confronting the issues. It hasn't gone on for
more than three months now. We haven't even touched base. We came to SA on
February 28 and met President Mbeki. Chinamasa came here on the same date.
It's common cause that when we went home we did meet to try and see whether
we could move dialogue forward, but there was such fundamental disagreement
even on our discussions with President Mbeki's office that we couldn't even
move forward at all .

We all know the South African government has been saying there's been
progress and there'll be a solution by June. And June is coming this week
and there is no solution in sight.

Q: Do you think Mbeki has any chance of meeting that deadline?

A: Listen to Mugabe. He says there's no need for dialogue and the central
point is Zanu (PF) is using the informal dialogue as a red herring to delay
and delay until it gets very close to the election next year and then the
focus will be shifted away from the dialogue. Just like before the
presidential election, they will start saying they are capable of running a
free and fair election, whereas on the ground they are doing the very
opposite of everything that they are undertaking to President Mbeki.

They are now trying to formalise the position no one shall have access to
the voters' roll as a matter of law. It becomes a state secret. They are
putting in provisions to formalise the fact the minister of justice can
appoint staff for the electoral supervisory commission. They are formalising
banning of putting up election posters on any tree, or any building without
the consent of the owner of the land where that tree is situated.

It makes all campaigning impossible. They are banning voter education by
anyone other than the supervisory commission, which they control.

All these things would not be happening if Zanu (PF) was committed to any
dialogue which might result in a reintroduction of a democratic disposition
in the country. As far as we are concerned they are just stringing us and
the global community along ahead of the elections.

Q: It's probably true that you have a better relationship with the president
of SA than Morgan Tsvangirai. Can you explain why the South African
government adopts the position that it does? Have you asked the question?

A: I'm not sure the relationship we have with the South African government
can be personalised around myself or anyone else. The relationship is
foremost between the MDC and African National Congress (ANC), and secondly
between the MDC and South African government. To the extent we have dialogue
with SA's government, the MDC leader does quite often have meetings with the
ambassador in Harare on issues concerning us.

I would say we have generally unlimited access to SA's government and the
ANC now. But of course we disagree fundamentally on how to resolve the
crisis in Zimbabwe, and agree to disagree.

Q: What would you like to see the South African government do?

A: It is necessary first of all to take a hands-on approach on the
Zimbabwean question, just as Pretoria has a hands-on approach in Burundi.
And it should be willing to put pressure on the Zimbabwean government to
return to democratic traditions.

It is not doing that and we have said it should, for instance, stop
protecting the Mugabe regime at international meetings. At the United
Nations Commission on Human Rights, it is constantly preventing action from
being taken by those willing to take action.

Q: When you ask the South African government to do that, do they tell you
why they won't?

A: The simple answer we get is that it does not believe any form of pressure
will bring the desired results and it believes it must maintain dialogue.
Zanu (PF) persuaded them, consulted them behind closed doors. The government
believes that works and that's the answer it gives.

Q: Do you think that the South African government's policy in respect of
Zimbabwe is doing damage to the country?

A: To the extent the Zimbabwean economy remains unresolved, obviously
whatever policy is pursued has not delivered desired results as far as we
see. Quiet diplomacy for us has not delivered on its promises and we do not
think Mugabe is the sort of person who responds to appeasement. It simply
encourages him to do more and more wicked things.

Q: Assume the impossible that there was a free and fair election in Zimbabwe
and the MDC won. How would relations between Harare and Pretoria alter from
what they are today?

A: As far as we are concerned we as a party share with SA the values of the
South African constitution democratic constitutionalism, nonracism, and so
on. You would think in the natural order of things the ANC would be more at
ease with the MDC philosophically speaking, and indeed what we want to do in
Zimbabwe is to introduce a sort of democratic base, a democratic
dispensation of which we are great admirers for in SA.

Q: What are your thoughts when you read that Mugabe, on arrival at the
second inauguration of Mbeki, got a standing ovation by the South African

A: I was there and my interpretation of what happened is that those who were
in the VIP section gave Mugabe the standing ovation. It's very difficult to
understand how anyone could stand up and applaud a man who has over the last
three years killed more than 350 Zimbabweans, who has caused so much
suffering that people have lost their homes, people are living in exile in
their own country. A man who is running a country with record 622%
inflation, 80% unemployment and a country where 70% of the population is
living below the poverty line, where there is a pervasive fear across the

He has destroyed agriculture in the country we all agree on the imperatives
of land reform and that the land ownership which existed was inequitable and
needed to be addressed. But you do not address that by completely destroying
agriculture to the point where 5-million of your citizens are receiving food
aid. How such a person could receive a standing ovation is something which
completely escapes my understanding, but I have no doubt that ordinary South
Africans would not applaud such a man.

Q: How do you respond to Ayanda Ntsaluba, South African director-general of
foreign affairs, who said last week talks weren't going anywhere, as neither
the MDC nor Zanu (PF) realise they need each other. Does it convey an
attitude of a misunderstanding ?

A: If someone holds the view the MDC is an obstacle to dialogue or to
progress on dialogue then we regretfully have to say that person
misunderstands or misreads the situation completely. We have said for more
than a year we are ready for dialogue anytime, anywhere, unconditionally. We
have repeatedly been assured Zanu (PF) has committed itself to that dialogue
but we still wait for them to come to the negotiating table.

Remember too that what the MDC seeks from dialogue is nothing out of the
ordinary we are simply saying let's sit down and talk about how we
reconstitute and recreate democratic space in the country, and how do we go
to a situation where minimum electoral conditions are applicable in

Q: Why are you in SA now?

A: To deal with Mugabe's attempt to go on this international public
relations thing. Sky News was allowed only a few hours in Zimbabwe and they
would have wanted to interview us to respond but were not allowed that. Yet
at the same time Mugabe claims Zimbabwe is a free country. We must come here
to respond to what he has said.

Q: On the Sky interview, he says he will not stand for another term in
office although he has not chosen a successor so he's going until 2008. What
are the messages you take from that?

A: The talks are principally about how we restore legitimacy to our election
processes so that whenever we hold the next elections we will have an
outcome acceptable to all players. Assuming we can agree, we can have an
interim constitution to create an independent electoral commission and we
can agree on how to restore the freedoms of expression, freedoms of
assembly, on how and when to disband the militias. Assuming we agree on all
those things then the next question would be when would it be best to hold a
legitimate election so that whatever is born out of that as the new
government has complete, unquestioned legitimacy.
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From The Business Tribune, 24 May

Prosecute Reward Marufu - AG

Tribune Reporters

Almost eight years after being awarded the highest single claim of more than
Z$800 000 for wounds sustained during the liberation struggle, Reward Marufu
will now finally be prosecuted for allegedly defrauding the War Victims'
Compensation Fund in 1996. As the government embarks on a clean-up exercise
to rid itself of those deemed corrupt, the net has finally closed on Marufu
with the Attorney-General's Office recalling his docket, which the police
have been sitting on for more than three years after its completion. Marufu
is brother to First Lady, Grace Mugabe. Should the prosecution take off, it
is bound to open a can of worms considering that Marufu was not alone. Some
Cabinet ministers, senior government, army, police and Central Intelligence
officials were also accused of siphoning off more than Z$23 million of the
Z$1,5 billion which is alleged to have been looted from the fund. "It's
(Marufu's docket) outstanding. It is with the police and we are waiting for
one of the officers, we tasked to bring the docket. We want to recall the
docket so that we finalise the matter. I know that it has been in the
pipeline and it has been a long pipeline," said an officer with the
Atttorney-General's Officer this week.

Despite a recommendation seven years ago by the Geoffrey Chidyausiku
Commission that Marufu be charged with defrauding the War Victim's
Compensation, he still has not been brought before the courts to face the
charges. In 1997, Marufu was hauled before the Geoffrey Chidyausiku judicial
commission to answer charges that he had defrauded the War Victims'
Compensation Fund. In his recommendations, Chidyausiku said Marufu used
false documents in his application for compensations. Marufu, who received
Z$822 668 for a 95 percent disability claim, obtained documents stating that
he had failed to join the army in 1980 because of injuries sustained during
the war when he had actually joined the army and resigned on his own in
1989. Because of the documents, Marufu was compensated at a higher rate,
which is meant for those who failed to join the army because of injuries
suffered during the war. Justice Chidyausiku in his recommendations said:
"The main issue with your claim is that you used a false statement in order
to get a higher rate. It is a criminal offence, it is up to the
Attorney-General to prosecute or not."

In 1997, the AG's Office said Marufu would not escape prosecution if he was
found to have a case to answer and since then the Attorney-General's Office
has been waiting for the docket from the police. It was only in 1999 after
Marufu was recalled from Zimbabwe's embassy in Canada over charges of
assaulting his 16-year-old daughter that the police quizzed him in
connection with the fraud allegations. During the same year, retired High
Court Judge George Smith questioned why Marufu had not been prosecuted over
the alleged fraud. The Judge's comments were contained in a ruling he gave
in a case of a civil servant, Amen Sithole, who was accused of allowing
Marufu and others to allegedly defraud the fund. In March 2000, the AG's
Office received Marufu's docket, but it was referred back to the police for
further investigations. More than 18 months later in December 2001, the
Acting Attorney-General Bharat Patel told a local weekly that Marufu had not
been prosecuted because the police were looking for him. The matter was
ready for prosecution in 2001 but three years on he still has not been
brought before the courts. Marufu's life has been dogged by controversy with
a recent case where he grabbed Leopardvlei farm near Glendale in 2002.
Political analysts are saying if President Robert Mugabe is serious about
dealing with corruption, Marufu should be prosecuted. Mugabe is on record
saying he will not shed a tear if a relative or friend is arrested for
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Business Day

Mugabe rejects talks, puts paid to Mbeki's deadline


SA's policy of quiet diplomacy towards Zimbabwe took another blow yesterday
as Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe rejected talks with the main
opposition and Pretoria conceded that it would not be able to meet President
Thabo Mbeki's self-imposed deadline of June for a resolution of the crisis.

The sheer fragility of SA's diplomatic thrust in Zimbabwe was further
confirmed in an interview with the secretary-general of the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC), Welshman Ncube , who is the opposition party's key
man in the talks.

Ncube described SA's efforts as "appeasement", and said South African
foreign affairs director-general Ayanda Ntsaluba had "misread" the situation
as he had placed the MDC in the same category as Zanu (PF) in not being
willing to talk.

This follows Ntsaluba's comments last week that neither Zanu (PF) nor the
MDC recognised that they needed each other to secure the country's future.

In the wake of an interview with Mugabe on the UK's Sky Television, in which
Mugabe repeated his intention to rule until the end of his term in 2008,
there was little indication from Pretoria last night on how it intended to
resuscitate the talks between Zimbabwe's rivals. Ncube urged SA to pressure
Mugabe to reopen the talks, and said Pretoria should campaign for the
banning of Zimbabwe from participation in international bodies such as the
United Nations Commission on Human Rights.

Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad said there was no alternative to SA's
policy of trying to encourage talks, although he conceded that Mbeki's early
June deadline would not be reached.

In its response yesterday, the MDC said it remained ready to talk, but said
it was concerned about political repression ahead of the parliamentary
elections, which Mugabe has called for March next year.

Ncube said the MDC was still considering whether or not to participate in
the coming elections. He said a proposed amendment to the electoral
legislation would make it almost impossible to campaign because it would
restrict access to the voters roll and have the effect of curbing the use of

Yesterday Ncube said there had been no contact with Zanu (PF) on the matter
of negotiations since early March. Ncube and Patrick Chinamasa, Zanu (PF)
chief negotiator and the country's justice minister, had met separately with
Mbeki at the end of February. The two then met the following week to discuss
how they should follow up the talks, but there had been no meetings since,
he said.

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai hit out at Mugabe's interview, calling it, "a
shocking tale of misrepresentations and denial".

"He made a series of falsifications on everything from elections, food,
political, violence, the economic crisis, and his party's youth militia to
his mansion," he said.
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MDC activist killers on trial
25/05/2004 20:15  - (SA)

Harare - Three men with links to Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF party charged
with the murders of two opposition supporters have gone on trial in the
eastern city of Mutare, the state-controlled Herald newspaper said on

Morris Kitsiyatota, Webster Gwama and Bernard Makuwe are accused of being
part of a 5-man militia gang that killed opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) activist Talent Mabika, as well as the driver of MDC leader
Morgan Tsvangirai, on April 15, 2000.

The two were killed when the vehicle in which they were travelling was
attacked and set ablaze while campaigning for parliamentary elections in the
south-eastern Buhera district, an MDC stronghold.

Opposition and human rights figures say the killings sparked a wave of
violence against pro-democracy supporters in which up to 300 have died, and
have sharply criticised the Mugabe administration for its reticence in
bringing the case to court.

Gang leader Joseph Mwale, a senior officer in President Robert Mugabe's
Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO), remains at large in Mutare, where
opposition figures allege he is still involved in orchestrating violence.

"Mwale is as large as life in Mutare ... and fans violence there. He hasn't
stopped since 2000," said MDC legislator Roy Bennett, adding that Mwale is
behind a "reign of terror" in the region.

"He is fully employed by the CIO and he is protected by them."

In June 2000 elections Tsvangari lost to the ruling party candidate in the
Buhera constituency, but the result was later annulled by the High Court on
the grounds that the double murder had intimidated people into voting

A ruling party appeal against the court's decision has still not been heard
by the Supreme Court, effectively barring Tsvangirai from taking his seat. -
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25 May 2004




Zimbabweans join the rest of Africa in observing Africa Day today. We are merely observing the day because of its historical significance.

We have nothing further to show for the 41 years during which the continent progressively experienced a rapid phase of decolonisation and the accompanying enjoyment of the people’s sovereignty.

In Zimbabwe, 24 years of independence have yielded a well-documented account of repression, loss of basic freedoms and economic collapse.

Poverty and insecurity have already forced an estimated 3.5 million -- more than a third of the nation’s adult population -- into exile where they live in near-slavery conditions. There is too much poverty and too little growth.

The picture is unacceptable as it fits in the bigger African story of political under-development, failed nation states and general civil strife.

Africa has terrible legacy arising from intolerance, experiments with the one-party political systems and the debt crisis. As is always the case with mismanaged and poor countries, disease especially HIV/AIDS has set in and is wreaking havoc in the continent.

Africa Day offers us an important occasion to reflect on the post-colonial state of our national development. For us in Zimbabwe, we are stunned at the manner in which the political and economic climate has become even more embattled, more beleaguered than before our independence day on 18 April 1980.

On Monday, the world watched in disbelief the Sky News interview with Robert Mugabe in which the desperate Zanu PF leader tried to paint a rosy picture of the situation in Zimbabwe.

Mugabe shut the door to all avenues for dialogue with the MDC. Despite his advanced age, he further closed off debate on his succession in his own party, thus compounding the confusion within Zanu PF about his retirement plans.

Mugabe put up a brave face, arguing that the contested 2002 Presidential election was legitimate because the African groups that observed the poll had given him the green light to assume power.

The world must have been amazed to hear Mugabe attack Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a Nobel Peace Prize winner and an indomitable fighter against apartheid. The use of such a violent and intemperate language against his critics is typical Mugabe-speak. It smacks of gross intolerance the people of Zimbabwe have been subjected to during the past 24 years.

Tutu commands immense respect among Zimbabweans. He stood up to Mugabe and has criticised the Zanu PF regime for human rights and democratic abuses. It was unfortunate that Mugabe could sink so low as to describe such an international icon as an "an angry, evil and embittered little bishop".

While we have made inroads in gaining the understanding and sympathy of the region, we believe Africa must exert more pressure on Mugabe and his Zanu PF regime to allow the people to exercise their sovereign will and to put a government of their choice into office.

When Yoweri Museveni assumed the presidency of Uganda in 1986 after a protracted civil war, he complained about Africa’s silence and inaction during Uganda’s descend into anarchy and lawlessness.

Museveni criticised the then OAU charter, in particular the clause the discouraged interference in the internal affairs of member states. He also took issue with what he called the “nationalistic camaraderie” among African heads of state and government, which led African leaders to offer blind solidarity to each other’s welfare at the expense of the people.

Much has been said about the collapse of democracy and the erosion of basic human freedoms in Zimbabwe in the past five years. Africa has opted for a cautious approach to the issue. As a continental body, the African Union (AU) has shown little interest in the plight of our people.

The challenge facing the continent stems from an apparent refusal to deal directly with post-colonial dictatorships. Having defeated the visible colonial oppression, Africans must now turn to black on black oppression.

Tiny elites who squander national resources and drive their citizens into the Diaspora at the slightest hint of opposition control nations on this continent. As a result, Africans all over the world are angry with their leaders. Africans know that despite their independence, freedom remains elusive. Corruption is endemic.

Only yesterday, Mugabe boasted that he is building a personal mansion using timber and roofing tiles from Asia, glass from South Africa and internal furnishings from all over the world. This is happening at a time when the housing backlog in Zimbabwe stands at about three million.

We appeal to the AU to place the Zimbabwean crisis in its proper context. As Africans, the AU has a duty to put pressure on Mugabe and Zanu PF in order to allow Zimbabweans to take charge of their own destiny.

Without a flourishing democracy, without the rule of law, without free and fair elections, Zimbabwe has the potential to sabotage the ideals and programmes of Nepad.

Other continents look to Africa to lead the assault of tyranny and dictatorship. Other countries expect Africans to help themselves by assisting Zimbabweans to wrestle power from a tyrannical nationalistic elite, supported by a parasitic bureaucracy, which is determined to deny the nation essential freedoms.

We urge Africa to prevail upon Mugabe and to make him realise that the use of violence and repression retarded economic development and prosperity.

Mugabe’s misrepresentation of the situation at home is a worrying point. To assume that Zimbabwe does not need food aid is simply to deceive oneself.

Our own research shows that the 1991-92 drought gave us a baseline figure for minimum consumption requirements for both our people and their livestock. During that time, the monthly sales of maize by the Grain Marketing Board peaked at 150 000 tonnes, equivalent to annual consumption of 1 800 000 tonnes of maize. In addition, the GMB was importing wheat and rice. Wheat sales stood at 480 000 per year while rice was 24 000 tonnes per year. That brought the total cereals requirement to 2 304 000 tonnes per year. This was 14 years ago.

At the beginning of the current season, there were serious shortages of seed, fuel, fertilisers and other inputs. Taking into account the failure of the early planted maize and the late season problems for small grains, our central estimate is production of 600 000 tonnes of maize plus 100 000 tonnes of sorghum. Excluding any strategic
stocks, this would imply a shortfall of 1 200 000 tonnes.

Mugabe was therefore reckless in suggesting that Zimbabwe does need to import any food, let alone appeal for donations. He is trying to cover up for a failed land reform programme that has reduced the entire commercial farmland to pieces of subsistence plots. The fact remains that up to this day, millions of people need food aid. Mugabe’s regime used food in Lupane only last week to coerce chiefs and village heads to vote for Zanu PF.

The obsession with Prime Minister Tony Blair was predictable. Surprisingly, Mugabe still thinks the solution to the Zimbabwean crisis rests with Britain – hence his plea for dialogue with Blair. It is part of his withdrawal into a denial chic, a denial mode that blurs his vision. Zimbabwe faces a crisis of governance. A lasting solution lies in free and fair elections.

From the Sky News interview, it is clear Mugabe sees nothing wrong with the manner in which Zimbabwe conducts its elections. In fact, he seems determined to go into the March 2005 Parliamentary election under the existing system. That would seal off his fate.

Flawed elections are a key source of Zimbabwe’s problems. Our country assumed the current pariah status because of the defects in our electoral process, our skewed system and inconsistent electoral results. Mugabe says he learnt nothing from that experience.

We have stated in the past that our electoral standards are a clear recipe for confrontation and perpetual contest. We have yet to raise the conduct of our elections to the SADC standards to secure a legitimate result.

Since 2000, we have constantly condemned Zimbabwe’s annual descent into thuggery, lawlessness and mayhem in the general body politic of the country. We have argued that elections, which should reflect the exercise of our sovereignty in the selection of our leaders should never become open seasons for murder, torture, beatings and violence.

As we approach an election in March, Zimbabweans remain resolute in their quest for freedom. We are preparing for those elections. All our programmes are directed at that election. We shall do everything in our power to enable Zimbabweans to enjoy our freedom.

We humbly ask Africa to assist us in this regard, in particular in making sure that the next election is held in accordance with the SADC norms and standards.

We are confident that the Mugabe regime will accede to reason and allow for a poll to be conducted on the minimum SADC standards necessary for the restoration of genuine, democratic elections.

The SADC norms and standards are an essential pre-requisite to the exercise of our fundamental human rights and must be in place well before Election Day in 2005. They include the following measures:

The restoration of the rule of law. Mugabe must end all forms of political violence and completely disband the youth militias. He must ensure that the police and security forces are impartial in the conduct of their duties. In addition, Zimbabwe needs a special court to hear and resolve electoral disputes speedily. From our experience in the past five years, the legal route, in its present form, has subverted democracy.

The restoration of Basic Freedoms and Rights. We are asking the regime to revoke those aspects of the Public Order and Security Act and the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) that curtail personal freedoms of the people. The Public Media must be open to all political parties and individual politicians. Further, all Zimbabweans living outside the country must be allowed to vote.

The establishment of an Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).  Elections are very crucial to any country. They are basic right with a potential to make or break a nation. We risk perpetuating our misery if we allow Zanu PF to continue playing games with our electoral system. Already, we are the laughing stock of the SADC region.

Because of our previous experience, the management and implementation of our electoral process cannot be left to Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede alone. Mudede has failed the nation on numerous occasions. His record contains sufficient evidence to disqualify him from handling another major election single-handedly unless Mugabe and Zanu PF are not serious about the future of Zimbabwe. We need an impartial body to run our elections.

The restoration of Public Confidence in the Electoral Process. This is a crucial matter. Zimbabweans are fast losing faith in elections because of mistrust. We need a clean and accurate voters roll. The roll must be freely available to interested persons and to all political parties. People must vote in a single day; the counting of votes must be done at the polling station immediately after voting ends. Violence must end.

The restoration of the Secrecy of the Ballot. Voting must take place in an atmosphere that ensures total secrecy. Our ballot boxes must change. We need to use translucent plastic ballot boxes of secure, single piece construction. The regime must stop abusing traditional leaders to coerce their subjects during elections.

Together, we shall win.


Morgan Tsvangirai




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Enough is Enough



We have a fundamental right to freedom of expression!


Sokwanele Comment

25 May 2004

Sky News feature on Zimbabwe

Sky News is surely to be congratulated on awarding a grand propaganda coup to one of the worlds most vicious tyrants.  Robert Gabriel Mugabe who calls himself President of Zimbabwe and is no doubt effectively ruler of that afflicted country after his partys  blatant rigging of the presidential election in 2002, was given one hour of prime time on British television this week.  One hour for Mugabe and his cronies to duck and dive from the real issues and to peddle their own obnoxious propaganda, which they did so plausibly one might almost wonder if they believed it themselves . 


Those of us who respect the freedom of others to express views quite contrary to our own (and that certainly does not include Robert  Mugabe), do not take issue with Sky News for interviewing Mugabe and his ZANU PF chefs   What we do question however is the lack of balance and fairness shown by Sky News in their reporting.  Two points in particular:


First, there was no evidence that any attempt had been made to achieve balance by allowing the opposition MDC an opportunity to respond.  In all fairness one would have expected Morgan Tsvangirai and perhaps one or two of his lieutenants to be afforded the same air time as ZANU PF.    By the same token was Sky News not under some obligation to put the Mugabe interview into context, by reporting on the situation in the ground in Zimbabwe today, at least including the violence and lawlessness that continue, the famine that threatens and the ruthless suppression of free speech in the land  ?  Or was it the price Sky News was required to pay for the interview that the oppositions point of view was not put, and that no local reporting was permitted?   In which case was the price not too high ?


The second point, which reinforces the first, is that within Zimbabwe there is effectively no freedom of assembly or expression today.  Dissent has been crushed and the alternative point of view smothered under a mix of repressive legislation, violence and intimidation.  ZANU PF exercises total control of the airwaves and of the state newspapers.  The only independent daily, the popular Daily News, was constantly threatened, bombed twice and finally shut down.  Journalists and their papers are required to be licensed by a board appointed by and answerable to none other than Mugabes own notorious spin doctor, Jonathan Moyo.  The BBC and other international media houses have been banned from the country.   Under such an intolerant and repressive regime the obligation to balance any statements made by those in power with the views of those denied a voice is surely all the greater.  For Sky News to record interviews with Mugabe and his cronies and not to afford an equal opportunity to those suffering under his cruel tyranny is like if you can imagine such an outrage a British news team visiting South Africa in the darkest days under Apartheid and giving P.W. Botha an hour of prime time viewing while not even bothering to speak to any representatives of the A.N.C.


The damage has been done and the short telephone interview belatedly and hurriedly arranged by Sky News no doubt under pressure from their own viewers - with the Secretary General of the MDC,  is not sufficient to restore the balance.  The only way to do that would be to provide the same air time as that afforded to ZANU PF to the opposition in Zimbabwe, including not only leaders of the MDC but human rights activists and Church leaders such as Archbishop Pius Ncube, who have to deal with the victims of Mugabes misrule on a daily basis.  


When will Sky News do this ?


If you think they should why dont you email the Sky News newsroom now and tell them so?




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Business Day

AU set to inaugurate peace and security council


By Beatrice Debut
ADDIS ABABA - The African Union is due to officially launch its Peace and
Security Council (PSC), the cornerstone of the continental body's ambitions
to be a robust guarantor of stability in Africa.

At least seven heads of state or government are due in the Ethiopian capital
to attend the inauguration ceremony for the council, based on the similarly
named UN body and which officials tout as the institution that does most to
distinguish the two-year-old AU from its predecessor, the Organisation of
African Unity.

"The AU has more mandate than before. We are going to start intervening in
conflicts in member states and this is prompted by the 1994 genocide in
Rwanda, when the international community did nothing," AU Peace and Security
Commission Said Djinnit said last month.

The 15-member PSC - which has been meeting regularly since March - is
empowered to mandate peacekeeping missions in conflict areas where ceasefire
accords have been signed and to recommend to the assembly of AU heads of
state that troops be deployed uninvited in cases of genocide, war crimes and
crimes against humanity.

The council has already met on the issue of Darfur, a war-ravaged region in
western Sudan where forces allied to the Khartoum government stand widely
accused of targeting civilians.

Some 10,000 people have died and a million been displaced there since April

In all, about 10 countries in Africa are in the throes of conflict and there
are currently six different UN peacekeeping missions deployed on the

By 2010, the African Union hopes to have its own standby rapid reaction
force of 15,000 men.

Djinnit believes that by ratifying the protocol establishing the PSC, "our
leaders are showing and reaffirming their determination and commitment to
handle Africa's problems by themselves."

The leaders at Tuesday's official inauguration - which coincides with Africa
Day - will sign a "declaration of commitment" to take their responsibilities
with regard to peace and security seriously.

They will then meet behind closed doors to discuss the situations in Darfur,
Ivory Coast and Somalia.

Joaquim Chissano, Mozambique's president and the current AU chairman, will
attend, along with Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and his
counterparts Omar al-Beshir of Sudan, Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria and
Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe.

The prime ministers of Ethiopia and Lesotho, Meles Zenawi and Pakalitha
Mosisili, will also be present for the ceremony, according to officials in
Addis Ababa.

Other African nations, notably South Africa and Gabon, will be represented
by their vice-president or by another minister.

Currently the AU has a military presence in two countries: Burundi, where
2,700 men from three countries have been deployed since 2003 in line with an
accord aimed at ending a decade old civil war, and in the Indian Ocean's
Comoro Islands where 58 AU troops are monitoring a complex electoral

The UN is due to take over the Burundi mission on June 1.

Under an April 8 deal between Darfur's rebels and Khartoum, the AU was meant
to lead a ceasefire commission, but this has still to be set up.

A key problem standing in the way of the council and its ambitions is

"We have capable people, but we need money and logistical aid," conceded Sam
Ibok, the director of peace and security at the AU.

This is why the UN is taking over in Burundi.

In 2003, the AU had just over six million dollars (E5 million) in its peace
fund, compared with the $2.3 billion (E1.9 billion) the UN spent on
peacekeeping in Africa.


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Debate on Mbeki's speech begins on sour note

May 25, 2004, 16:08

The parliamentary debate on President Thabo Mbeki's State of the Nation
address hit a snag just few seconds after the National Assembly resumed its
work in Cape Town today.

The trouble began when the Democratic Alliance (DA) realised that the list
of speakers had been changed to allow Manne Dipico, an ANC MP, to speak
before the leader of the opposition.

Douglas Gibson, the DA chief whip, described the changes as oppressive to
opposition parties. Gibson urged Baleka Mbete, the Speaker of the National
Assembly, to intervene, as, he argued, the matter could not be resolved by
party chief whips.

Mbethe ruled that the debate should continue as arranged and the DA's
complaint be considered tomorrow. Last year the DA also launched a similar
complaint when Mosiuoa Lekota, the defence minister, was listed to speak
before the leader of the opposition.

Frene Ginwala, the then Speaker, ruled in favour of the DA, and concluded
that Tony Leon, the DA leader, should be the first to kick-off the debate on
the President's address.

DA seeks to restrict officials move to private sector
The DA has proposed that parliament introduce legislation that would prevent
high-profile members of the government from moving straight into the private
sector. Leon said during the debate in the National Assembly that the
deployment by the ANC of its cadres in every sphere of life is dangerous for
our democracy.

Leon also criticised the government's policies on Black economic
empowerment, saying they are similar to those of the National Party (NP)
where a few people who are connected to the government get preference at the
expense of others.

Leon had earlier praised the President's address, saying it was a brave
speech. Today he lambasted Mbeki, claiming he had failed to set-up targets
on issues such the reduction of HIV/Aids victims and to begin negotiations
in Zimbabwe. The ANC members have showered praises on the President.

Mangosuthu Buthelezi, the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) leader, says the
lacklustre manner in which the government is addressing the issue of
HIV/Aids shows that South Africa is far from being a caring society.
Buthelezi accused the government of being a denialist.

He also lashed-out at the government's reluctance to address the powers of
traditional leaders in local governments. Buthelezi says President Thabo
Mbeki has been promising to address the problems of these leaders for
years - but up to now he has not done so.
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