Zimbabwe govt threatens to ban white farmers'
HARARE, May 27 - The Zimbabwean government said on Monday
it was seriously considering banning a union representing the country's white
farmers for allegedly pursuing activities outside normal union
work. Agriculture Minister Joseph Made told Zimbabwe state television
that the 4,500-member Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) risked sanctions
from President Robert Mugabe's government for ''behaviour contrary to the
current agrarian programme.'' Made -- who has spearheaded Mugabe's
controversial seizures of white-owned farms for black resettlement -- did not
spell out the CFU's alleged offences. But over the last two years
the government has accused white farmers of bankrolling the main opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in a bid to stop Mugabe's land
reforms. On Monday, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) said
the government Cabinet Committee on Land had warned that the CFU could
be deregistered -- which means withdrawal of government recognition --
''for its unacceptable behaviour.'' ''The committee said the
behaviour of some commercial farmers and the CFU is unacceptable,'' the ZBC
said. Then it showed a television clip in which Made said: ''The
minister (of agriculture) has a number of options...and deregistering the
union is an option that I am seriously looking at.'' CFU officials
were not immediately available for comment on Monday on the threat from
Mugabe's government. Earlier this month, the government tightened a
law governing its land seizure programme to give it almost immediate control
of farms targeted for seizure. Mugabe, who is accused by the
opposition and many Western powers of cheating in presidential polls two
months ago, says he wants to finish his ''fast-track'' land redistribution by
August. The southern African country has been in crisis since February
2000, when pro-government militants, led by veterans of the 1970s liberation
war, began invading white-owned farms with government
encouragement. Zimbabwe is facing a severe food shortage caused by the
farm disruptions coupled with drought. Mugabe's government -- which
says it is seeking to correct imbalances in land ownership created by British
colonialism -- has targeted hundreds of white-owned farms for
seizure. Farmers say they support land redistribution but are opposed
to the methods employed by Mugabe, Zimbabwe's ruler since the former
Rhodesia gained independence in 1980
FOUR Pakistani nationals have been languishing in Harare
Remand Prison for more than a month without any charges pressed against them.
The Supreme Court has thrown out an urgent application by their lawyer to
have them released.
Advocate Charles Selemani said
yesterday Muhammad Fiaz, 23, Falak Sher, 21, Mohammed Naeem, 32, and Mirza
Zeeshain Baig, 22, were arrested in unclear circumstances by immigration
officials at the Beitbridge border post on 25 or 26 April as they were
travelling to South Africa. They were transferred to Bulawayo before
they were eventually detained at Harare Remand Prison where they have been
since then. Selemani said he heard about the Pakistanis' ordeal from their
colleague, Zufikar Hussain Mohammed, who was staying with them at a lodge in
Harare and who has since been deported.
Mohammed has been phoning
from Pakistan to ascertain their fate. The lawyer said he had been able to
elicit "very little" information about the circumstances in which the
detainees were arrested from one of them who understands a bit of English.
"The exercise achieved very little, save to establish that they have been in
detention since the 25th or 26th of April and they have not been informed of
the reason why they are in detention or the charges they are facing or why
they have not been taken to court," Selemani said in an urgent application to
have the Supreme Court compel immigration officials to have the Pakistanis
released or deported. He said the Pakistani High Commission in Harare
had not responded to his request for an interpreter.
get a comment from the High Commission of Pakistan failed yesterday. The
Supreme Court declined to hear the matter "on an urgent basis". Selemani
said his clients were having problems with the food at the prison and their
health had deteriorated astonishingly. He said their detention was unlawful
as it had exceeded the mandatory 14 days stipulated by the law for the
detention of foreigners suspected to have breached the Immigration
The lawyer said Section 8 of the Immigration Act "authorises
the detention of persons reasonably suspected of having entered Zimbabwe
in contravention of the said Act for a reasonable period not
exceeding 14 days for the specific purpose of establishing such a person's
identity, national status and any other facts as may be relevant to the
question of whether such a person is a prohibited person or
SCORES of peasants at
Maganga Estate in Marondera on Friday lost property worth thousands of
dollars when armed policemen and the provincial leadership of Zanu PF burnt
down their houses, and forcibly evicted them from the
The hapless settlers, who occupied the farm since the
government encouraged them to invade commercial farmland two years ago as
part of the fast-track land redistribution programme, and their minor
children have been sleeping in the open. The eviction came in the wake of
unconfirmed reports that a government minister had since been allocated the
land under the so-called A2 model commercial farming scheme that has
benefited mostly top government officials, their relatives and other people
linked to Zanu PF.
Evicted peasants alleged that the Zanu PF
provincial chairman for Mashonaland East, Lawrence Katsiru, was part of the
team that destroyed their property. Narrating their ordeal, some of
the settlers said armed policemen descended on their property without warning
and set their houses on fire. The settlers lost maize, clothes and utensils
during the blitz.
The peasants, enraged by the eviction, said they
would demand an audience with President Mugabe to find out whether he was
serious about evicting them from the farms which had already become their
homes. Esther Muza, 40, said: "We were persuaded to come here by the Zanu PF
leadership two years ago, but now they are chasing us away. We were very
happy here because we thought we were going to carry out our farming in
peace, not knowing that there were other plans. Now this is what is happening
to us. Our homes have now been razed and we have lost all the property that
we have worked for over the years."
Another settler, Biggie
Chinyasha, said he had lost all hope for a meaningful life under the Zanu PF
government. Chinyasha said: "We are now refugees in our own country. They
told us to occupy farms two years ago and we responded by coming here because
we desperately needed the land. It is surprising that the people who led us
here are now chasing us away. I have lost all hope in my life because I
believed that Zanu PF would save us from hunger." The settlers said they were
allocated land by the district administrator who came and demarcated the land
Muza added: "Most of the people whose homes have been
razed have nowhere to go. This had become our home and now we don't know what
to do." The evicted settlers said they had been told they were going to be
moved to another farm, which has reportedly already been occupied by other
people. Contacted for comment, David Karimanzira, the Governor for
Mashonaland East, said: "I am indisposed. Talk to the district administrator
But by last night, the district administrator could
not be reached for comment. Thousands of desperate peasants around the
country have been thrown into destitution and homelessness following a
government directive that they move out of the farms invaded after 31 March,
2001. Meanwhile, thousands of people who registered for land and whose
names were subsequently published in the State media as having been
allocated land, are still waiting for the promised land.
Learnmore Jongwe, the MDC's secretary for information and publicity, said it
was clear Zanu PF had used the land issue as a ruse to fool thousands of
gullible people into voting for Mugabe in the March election. Jongwe said:
"The government's action is hypocritical because it sanctioned, encouraged
and condoned these illegal farm occupations and settlements. "The MDC and
other rational voices pointed out at the time that farm invasions were not
land resettlement and that the government-sponsored lawlessness would
certainly backfire. Now the chickens are coming home to
AIDS and HIV sufferers to
get access to generic drugs
HARARE, Zimbabwe, May 27 - The
Zimbabwean government has declared a six-month emergency period to deal with
one of the highest rates of HIV/AIDS infections in the world. In a notice
published in the government's weekly gazette made available on Monday,
Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa said the emergency order would allow
people with HIV or AIDS to use generic drugs.
say an average 2,500 people die from AIDS every week in Zimbabwe, and that at
least 20 percent of the state's 14 million people have HIV, the virus that
causes the killer disease. "In view of the rapid spread of HIV/AIDS
among the population of Zimbabwe, the minister hereby declares an emergency
for a period of six months, with effect from the promulgation of this notice
for the purpose of enabling the state or a person authorized ... to make or
use any patented drug," Chinamasa said in the notice issued last
Friday. The minister said the declaration would also allow President
Robert Mugabe's government and other authorized people "to import any generic
drug used in the treatment of persons suffering from HIV/AIDS or
HIV/AIDS-related conditions." Zimbabwe has permitted the use of
anti-retrovivals, especially for pregnant mothers, since last
Mugabe's critics say the
78-year-old Zimbabwean leader -who is battling a severe economic and
political crisis blamed on his controversial policies - is not paying
adequate attention to the AIDS problem. But the government denies the
charge, saying Mugabe is one of the few leaders in the region to have
established an AIDS levy to deal with the epidemic.
Zimbabwe political violence-rights groups
HARARE, May 27 - A Danish rights group said on Monday
that political violence against the opposition in Zimbabwe was as serious as
before March elections, but a local coalition said the rate of torture and
killing was declining.
The Danish group Physicians for Human
Rights said the perception was wrong that government-sanctioned violence
against opposition supporters had declined since Robert Mugabe won a
controversial presidential election in March. The group said in a
report posted on the internet that supporters of the ruling ZANU-PF party
were largely to blame for the violence. But the Zimbabwe Human Rights
Non-governmental Organisations Forum, which is usually fiercely critical of
the government, said in a separate report that political violence had fallen
by 50 percent in the first two weeks of May. ZANU-PF supporters
were widely blamed for most of the violence before the March election, but
Mugabe's government has continued to deny that his supporters attack the
opposition. Police say incidents of politically motivated violence
have fallen sharply since the election, which foreign governments and
watchdog groups accuse Mugabe of stealing. The Danish group said
its findings were based on interviews with, and medical examinations of,
torture victims in Zimbabwe ''both dead and alive'' between March 15 and May
10. ''Since the elections, there has been little international
media attention to human rights abuses in Zimbabwe, and this has led to a
general misperception that the situation has improved or normalised in
the post-election period. ''This is not the case,'' the group
said. The local coalition, which groups independent and
largely anti-government human rights groups, said there was a sign of
improvement in May. ''There has been a decrease of 50 percent in
the reported cases of torture (since April). Notwithstanding this decline, it
is regrettable that two lives were reportedly lost in the first fortnight of
May,'' it said. The latest killings brought to 57 the number of
politically related deaths this year, the Zimbabwean group added.
In its report, Physicians for Human Rights said MDC supporters and their
children were ''systematically denied access to...health care, schooling and
food, including to some international donor-funded
feeding schemes.'' Aid agencies say thousands of Zimbabweans face
starvation as donor aid trickles in after a severe drought and Mugabe's
controversial seizure of white-owned commercial farms for redistribution to
blacks slashed output last season.
JOHANNESBURG - South Africa, the breadbasket of a region hard hit by food
shortages, could find itself unable to meet domestic needs should exports to
neighbours outstrip reserves.
The estimated regional maize
deficit stands at 3,3 million metric tonnes for the year. South Africa's
department of agriculture adjusted its estimate of the yield from its
domestic maize crop from 8,5 million to 8,59 million tonnes. The 91 925
tonnes increase was "based on weather conditions, as well as information
supplied by a consortium that was appointed to develop an improved crop
forecasting system", it said in a statement.
But it's an estimation
the commercial grain producers, Grain SA, have called "overly optimistic",
and warned could result in too much maize being exported, leaving less than
the required amount for domestic consumption. Grain SA's Bully Botma said:
"More than 400 000 hectares were planted during December/January. We had
unexpected early frost, on 29 March, and that has not been taken into account
in the estimate. Some of the crops currently being harvested are yielding up
to 30 percent less than estimated. "If you talk to the insurance people
they say damage from hail and frost is way above normal."
there was no immediate danger of a shortfall in meeting
domestic requirements, Botma pointed out that South Africa had already
imported significant quantities of maize (280 000 tonnes) from the European
Union and United States markets for domestic consumption. -
shortfall in food availability tends to affect women disproportionately since
their already inadequate intake will be
JOHANNESBURG - "Women's work"
like fetching food, tending crops, searching for firewood and carrying water
is considered "invisible work", according to recent studies. As millions of
southern Africans face smaller larders this year, the region's women face the
daunting task of carrying out these duties with dwindling energy reserves and
at the same time trying to keep their bodies going.
World Health Organisation (WHO) study of women in developing countries noted
that malnutrition did not affect all members of a household equally, with men
and boys often getting served first and getting more food. "Seasonal
shortfall in food availability tends to affect women disproportionately since
their already inadequate intake will be curtailed drastically," the report
"Even when more food is available, it tends to be
preferentially allocated to men, thus preventing women from accumulating any
reserves. "If seasonal shortfall coincides with pregnancy or lactation, the
implications for women and infants are particularly harsh." In Africa the
traditional division of agricultural labour assigns women specific tasks, but
their work is mostly considered "invisible", the report said.
These tasks include fetching water and cooking, walking to the fields for
planting, weeding and harvesting. They also brew beer for special occasions
and carry goods to the market. While technological changes have made
crop cultivation easier, the expansion of areas under cultivation sees women
walking further to get to the fields or to collect firewood from bordering
Social changes have left women taking on extra tasks,
while men migrate to cities and towns for work. But men are reluctant to take
on additional "women's work". While women's productivity determines how
much food is available for consumption, it doesn't determine how much
they consume, the researchers said. Often, women give the men the
nutritious food, while they settle for bulky, low calorie foods
A study of subsistence farming in Tanzania found that
women supplied a little more than half the calories consumed by the
household, while men contributed just under half. "Observations during meal
times showed that men normally received the lion's share of the food. On the
rare occasions when meals include meat, men exceptionally become the servers
and are responsible for the distribution of meat among family
As household heads, men are entitled to have the best
choice at meals, and more than their fair share when food is short.
"Furthermore, prestigious foods such as meat and eggs are often consumed by
men outside the home, in coffee shops and beer bars, thus draining household
resources," the study said. A nutritionist interviewed another
dimension: "The culture in most African countries is that the man gets
the better share. Women do this partly to protect their marriage - they don't
want the man to think he will get better food with another woman so they give
him nice food.
"We all do it a little bit, but when food is
scarce and there is a limited amount of meat or chicken it will go to the man
first," she said. "Women will spend money they earn on food for the household
but men will think, 'I need to taste some meat' and will take money and buy
some." In addition, women around the world will often feed their children
first and pretend they have already eaten when the family is
But while women in developed countries force
malnutrition on themselves to be fashionably thin, for women in developing
countries, malnutrition is a disaster bringing with it many ailments,
mostly energy-sapping anaemia. World Food Programme nutritionist
Francesco Erdelmann said: "Lack of iron is typically seen in women because of
their loss of blood.
"Without enough iron the blood can't carry
oxygen and this lowers productivity. You can't see anaemia but people feel
tired, they can't be as active as they used to. "It can be a very limiting
factor - the best available source of iron is meat but poor people can't
afford it." Erdelmann said malnutrition also posed difficulties for pregnant
women. "For African women it is business as usual," she noted.
"They are not expected to work less or eat more." Erdelmann explained that
the unborn child of a malnourished woman depends on its mother's reserves in
"If this is affected it could lead to a low birth weight
for the baby. This carries through to adolescence where many women have their
first child and the cycle of poor nutrition continues."
Erdelmann said that while experiences in extreme emergencies such as Ethiopia
and Sudan have shown that malnutrition doesn't prevent a woman
from breast-feeding, "it is an enormous drain on her reserves". For some
women who have lost too much weight, their menstrual cycle may be disrupted
or they may stop menstruating altogether.
"The body needs
certain micronutrients to function. It's not just a matter of being thin, the
immune system needs certain nutrients to function and if that is disrupted
the body can't fight infectious diseases.
"The public notices
severe weight loss, but the body can already be severely damaged before it
even gets to that point," Erdelmann said. Many of the latest aid donations
for the southern African food emergency have targeted women and children. The
European Commission recently announced emergency help for Malawi, including a
special programme for breast-feeding mothers.
said that the impact of the food shortages and malnutrition on men also
needed to be considered. "They can also be hard hit by food shortages, which
may affect their specific roles and responsibilities in the household and
community," she said. - IRIN
It is very
strange that in this day and age there are people who still support Zanu PF.
Zanu PF has done nothing for this country except ruining it. President Mugabe
has literally destroyed the pride of many Zimbabweans.
it's time for Zimbabweans to change the way Zimbabwe is being run or else we
are all doomed. We have to get rid of selfish old men who think because they
liberated Zimbabwe they have the right to ruin and destroy it.
they liberate Zimbabwe so that they could oppress the masses? It's now the
black minority oppressing the majority.
As Zimbabwean youths we
should not allow this minority to use us to further its selfish goals.
Mugabe's regime has failed the youths of Zimbabwe, the very future of the
As Zimbabweans we are being held to ransom by a group of
arrogant people who claim to have liberated us and as good Zimbabweans they
expect us to be eternally grateful.
Are we expected to just sit
and watch them gather, plunder and squander? The future of this great country
should lie in our hands.
Mugabe's regime has failed to run the
economy wisely, thereby leading to very high unemployment and crazy
inflation. After having made the youths unemployed, Mugabe is now taking
advantage of the unemployed youths by enrolling them into the fake national
service programme at the Border Gezi camp where the youths are taught the art
of killing, intimidation and torture.
After training, these
youths, armed with degrees and diplomas in violence, which Mugabe himself
boasts of possessing, are then bussed and unleashed (shoulder-to-shoulder
with the notorious war veterans) on innocent Zimbabweans to kill, maim,
mutilate, torture and intimidate anyone perceived to be anti-Zanu
These youths need to be reminded that the money they get from
Zanu PF for doing its dirty and bloody work does not mean everything in
They are being used by a very unscrupulous leader. He has now
turned them into thugs. Let them be reminded that in a civilised society we
have no place for them.
Let us think about the future, comrades.
Which investor would risk his money in a country where the youths have been
trained to be thugs, killers, rapists?
Which investor would want
to pour his money in a country where work disputes in any company are
resolved by cantankerous war veterans?
Organising and Information Secretary Liberty Party
Police defy court order to return seized
5/27/02 4:33:52 PM (GMT +2)
Highlands police on Wednesday refused to release the stone
sculptures they seized from Ambassador Arts Gallery at the Boka Tobacco
Auction Floors in February 2002 thereby defying a court
The officer-in-charge at Highlands Police Station
identified as Mazivisa and detective constable Murove allegedly told the
gallery owner, Newman Chiadzwa, his lawyer Puwayi Chiutsi, and Alex Masunda
from the Messenger of Court, that they did not know where to find the
artifacts. Mazivisa refused to comment saying he was no longer dealing with
the case. The artifacts are valued at about $1 375 000.
and Taurayi Chimba had been accused of selling fake sculptures purporting
that they were made by world-acclaimed sculptor Dominic Benhura.
They were accused of having knowingly inscribed Benhura's name on the fake
pieces before selling them to Italian art collectors, Piero Giadrossi and
Mardies Munkle at an exhibition in Frankfurt, Germany.
magistrate Stanley Ncube dismissed the allegations against the two saying
there were deficiencies in the State case. Chiutsi who represented the two,
argued the allegations were "dangerously vague". He said remanding the two on
allegations of fraud would have been a fragrant violation of their
liberty. The magistrate referred the matter to the civil
An order was subsequently issued on 17 May ordering the
police to release the seized sculptures. But Masunda, Chiadzwa and Chiutsi
failed to retrieve the artifacts on Wednesday despite serving the order
papers at Highlands Police Station. The trio said Mazivisa and Murove were
reluctant to show them where the goods were, arguing that they wanted
authority from their superiors to release them. Chiutsi confirmed that the
police had refused to release the goods despite being served with the
On Thursday, Chiadzwa said they were now applying to the
magistrate's court for a warrant of arrest against Murove and Mazivisa,
accusing them of being in contempt of court.
GOVERNMENT departments owe the
Harare City Council about $520 million in unpaid water, rates and related
charges. According to confidential Harare City Council documents, government
ministries owed the capital city $520 638 158,13 as at 9 April 2002. The
government debt has been a sore issue among urban councils as the government
owes them over $1 billion.
In Harare, the newly-elected
council has called on the government to pay up its dues so that the city
could effectively deliver services. Government departments, big corporations
and other private companies owe Harare $971 613 597,85. Officials in the
Treasury department said some of the companies had made special payment
arrangements with the city. According to the documents, water charges alone
for the government debt amount to $291 812 665,31. Though the government has
paid part of the debt, which at one time stood at over $700 million, they
still owe millions to the council.
The biggest debtor is,
ironically, the "parent ministry" of the council, the Ministry of Local
Government, Public Works and National Housing, with $300 million, and the
least is the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, with $43
952. Ignatius Chombo, the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and
National Housing could not be reached for comment. Other big government
debtors include the Airforce of Zimbabwe, with $77 977,05, the Ministry of
Defence, about $52 million and the Ministry of Health, $58 968,
The council also provides water to other local authorities such
as Norton, Ruwa, Chitungwiza and Epworth. As at 25 April 2002,
Chitungwiza Municipality owed Harare $75 824 237,27, but has arranged to
clear their arrears through post-dated cheques. Norton Town Council is yet to
pay $36 124 487,22, Ruwa Local Board $19 860 357,18 and the Epworth Local
Board $64 893 591,59.
JUSTICE Rita Makarau early this month relaxed the bail
conditions of Silas Matamisa, the MDC chairman for Mashonaland West province
and 10 party youths facing charges of public violence.
Matamisa and his colleagues were granted $2 000 bail each by the Chinhoyi
Magistrate Court last November and were not allowed to travel outside the
town. Makarau said in the High Court: "It is ordered that the bail
order granted on 12 November 2001 be and is hereby varied. The applicants
should report once every Friday at Chinhoyi Police Station between 6am and
In her ruling on 7 May, Makarau said that the 11 MDC
activists were free to move in any part of the country. They appear in court
today. Matamisa and his colleagues were arrested in October last year on
charges of assaulting Zanu PF supporters and the police in Banket. Matamisa
denied the charges, accusing the police of working together with Zanu PF
officials in a desperate bid to frustrate the MDC's campaign in the
presidential election. Meanwhile, the Chinhoyi Magistrate Court last month
granted bail to three MDC activists who were arrested by the Chinhoyi police
for allegedly stealing $441 000 meant to pay the party's polling
Washington Chimedza, the Zvimba North youth chairman and
Jafarin Ngunda, an activist, were granted bail of $20 000 and $10 000
respectively and will appear in court this week. But Ben Moyake, the security
officer for the district was remanded in custody after he failed to raise the
$10 000 bail. The three MDC activists are facing charges of theft by
conversion. The State alleged that the three converted public funds to their
own use after they failed to pay the MDC polling agents for their role in the
March presidential election.
It is alleged that on 12 March,
Chimedza, Moyake and Ngunda were given the money by the party to pay 144
polling agents. When some of the polling agents gathered at the Chinhoyi Show
Grounds to receive their money, the three told them to disperse because
alleged Zanu PF supporters were coming to attack them, the State alleged.
However, the polling agents regrouped when they realised that it was not true
that Zanu PF supporters wanted to attack them but the three culprits had
On Monday, the MDC managed to pay their polling agents
the money that was due to them.
HARARE, May 27 (Xinhuanet) --
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon told a group of foreign guests on Sunday
that Israel acceptsthe Saudi Mideast peace initiative as an overall vision,
Monday's Jerusalem Post reported.
The projects spread across
the country include Florinova, Thetford Farms and Cherry Wood and have a
total capital outlay of more than 12 million U.S. dollars.
The Export Processing Zones Authority (EPZA) said more than 36 million
U.S. dollars would be realized from the projects by the turn
"About 50 hectares are under greenhouses in these
projects and this is expected to rise to about 120 hectares by next year,"
the EPZA said.
The EPZA said the approval of Cherry Wood last
year was a watershed for more applications from flower growers and exporters
who wanted to have their projects granted the export processing zone
Cherry Wood is a joint venture between investors from
Holland and Zimbabwe. Holland is the traditional market for most of the
flowers grown in Zimbabwe.
"Their project has already
secured lucrative international markets with the first exports on the EPZA
project expected in October this year," said the EPZA.
Floriculture is one of the fastest growing sectors in the horticultural
industry and accounts for 60 percent of the fresh produce.
is projected that this season flower exports will earn Zimbabwe about 85.5
million U.S. dollars.
The director of Export Flower Growers'
Association, Mary Dunphy,recently said there was a 15 percent increase in
total export sales for this season.
Zimbabwe has also
started a project that would see new farmers entering the sector, which has
been dominated by white commercial farmers for years. Enditem
Zimbabwean Editor Wins Freedom Prize The Associated Press, Mon 27
BRUGES, Belgium (AP) - The editor of Zimbabwe's
beleaguered independent daily newspaper won the World Association of
Newspapers annual press freedom prize Monday.
Geoff Nyarota was
awarded the Golden Pen of Freedom in recognition for his ``outstanding
service to the cause of press freedom in the face of constant persecution,''
the association said.
Nyarota and his newspaper, The Daily News,
have borne the brunt of a harsh crackdown on the independent media by the
government of President Robert Mugabe.
Since the newspaper
started in 1999, it had its printing plant destroyed in a mysterious
explosion involving land mines that was never solved. Many of its reporters
were beaten by ruling party militants and arrested by police.
Nyarota himself was charged last week with publishing false information, the
tenth independent journalist arrested under harsh new media laws designed to
quash criticism of the government.
``I receive this award today on
behalf of the beleaguered and much terrorized journalists of Zimbabwe,''
Nyarota said upon receiving the award.
``It is my very sincere
hope, nay, my fervent prayer, that in the not-too-distant future the people
of Zimbabwe will collectively receive a major media award befitting of our
once prosperous nation - genuine press,'' he said.
presentation was made during the opening ceremonies of the four-day 55th
World Newspaper Congress and 9th World Editors Forum, which drew 900
newspaper publishers, senior executives and editors from
WAN, the global association of the newspaper
industry, has awarded the Golden Pen annually since 1961.
winners include Argentina's Jacobo Timerman (1980), Russia's Sergei
Grigoryants (1989), China's Gao Yu (1995), and Vietnam's Doan Viet Hoat
(1998). Last year's winners were San San Nweh and U Win Tin of
Nyarota, 50, also won UNESCO's top press freedom prize in
February for denouncing corruption and criminal activities by government
leaders in the face of death threats, arrest, detention and libel suits, the
U.N. agency said.
The southern African nation of Zimbabwe has
descended into its worst economic and political crisis ever. Inflation and
unemployment have exploded and human rights groups and international monitors
have accused Mugabe of cracking down on opponents and stealing the March
The Paris-based WAN represents 18,000
newspapers; its membership includes 71 national newspaper associations,
individual newspaper executives in 100 countries, 14 news agencies and nine
regional and worldwide press groups.
JOHANNESBURG - Politically
motivated violence appears to be decreasing in Zimbabwe, according to the
latest report by a local human rights group. The Zimbabwe Human Rights
NGO Forum's (Human Rights Forum) latest report on political violence,
released last Thursday, indicates that the number of incidents have decreased
as tensions subside.
"Reported cases and instances of
political violence have decreased in comparison to the cases reported in the
first four months of 2002. There has been a decrease of 50 percent in the
reported cases of torture, compared to the month of April," the Human Rights
Forum report stated. However, the report noted that "notwithstanding this
decline, it is regrettable that two lives were reportedly lost in the first
fortnight of May". This brought to 57 the total number of politically-related
deaths in 2002.
The Human Rights Forum, in the midst of this lull,
urges the Zimbabwean government to take meaningful steps towards achieving
an environment of peaceful political competition. "Further to this, of
critical importance is the restoration of the rule of law and the end to
impunity enjoyed by perpetrators of violence," the organisation
The Human Rights Forum is a consortium of NGOs working in the
field of human rights. One of its core members, the Amani Trust, which
specialises in documenting instances of torture and assisting victims, is to
receive an international award for its work. The Centre for Victims of
Torture (United States) are presenting their annual Eclipse Award to Amani
chair Tony Reeler in recognition of his advocacy on behalf of human rights in
Zimbabwe and the work of Amani Trust in the care of victims of
The trust said the presentation would take place in
Washington on 25 June in observance of the United Nations International Day
in Support of Victims of Torture. IRIN
Zimbabwe White Farmers Shift Investments To
By John Kakande Zimbabwean white farmers are considering
shifting their investments to Uganda, the American Washington Times newspaper
The paper, quoting Toby Madison, who grows Sweetheart roses in
Uganda for export, revealed that a group of Zimbabwean whites was due to
visit here late this month to look for farming opportunities.
paper, in the article published on Friday titled 'Investing in
Africa's Future,' gave a detailed analysis of the investment climate in
Uganda and political and economic concerns of the investors.
said he would be hosting a group of farmers from Zimbabwe - where the
government is confiscating white-owned farms, this month.
He said they
will look at farming opportunities in Uganda. He predicted that Uganda would
continue to improve at least until the next election, and most likely
"Uganda is stable," Madison said. Besides Madison, the paper also
quoted James Mulwana who said in Uganda "you could take a $100,000
retirement cheque and double it in one year."
Madison was reported to
have come to Uganda a few years ago after retiring from the British army. He
stays with his wife and two children.
"The president has done a pretty
good job. It may not be a democracy in the Western sense, but it is a
government that has behaved reasonably well," the paper quoted Madison as
"You can't say (civil unrest) will not happen here again. This is
Africa. But Uganda is stable now. It is safe. The risks are greater, but I
am looking at a return at a higher rate than I could possibly find in
another developing economy," he said.
The paper said Museveni, under
the current Constitution, could not run for a third term and must step down
"But based on his aggressive campaign rhetoric and, at times,
the violent intimidation of his political opposition, there is a growing fear
that he has decided to go the traditional way of the dictatorial "big man,"
the paper said.
"We are concerned," said an American expatriate who
spoke on the condition of anonymity, as did virtually every aid worker or
businessman in Uganda when the topic shifted to Museveni, democracy and
A missionary reported to the paper that Museveni had
recently changed. "In the election he began saying things like, 'I am the
only one who can run the country. I am the only one who can control the
army.' He has been good for Uganda, and we hope he will step down, but this
is Africa and constitutions can be changed," he
a.. Statement by MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai on
Africa Day - May 24 b.. Zanu PF decision on uniforms trivia in face of
serious challenges - May 24 c.. Evictions expose Mugabe's hypocrisy -
May 22 d.. MDC Mashonaland West Leaders arrested - May
Statement by MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai on Africa
May 24, 2002
As Africans we all dream of a great African
future. We want to be in control of our lives . our future . our destiny. We
need to reclaim our pride and walk tall in the belief that Africa can do much
better than it is currently doing.
The anger we feel at years of
colonial bondage and slavery is sensible, but we need to move on. This
continent has known challenges and surmounted them.
The formation of the
African Union and the launch of the New Partnership for Africa's Development
(Nepad) present an opportunity for Africa's development by
As we celebrate Africa Day (25 May), the MDC welcomes the
emergence of Nepad as an African-driven initiative and will throw its weight
behind the linkage between economic assistance and investment and the issues
of democracy, human rights, freedom of speech and good
Only then can a true African renaissance take place . a
renaissance of African people taking part in democracy and economic
emancipation, not a renaissance of a club of leaders among which are ruthless
dictators who do not value the sanctity of life.
For the Zimbabwean
people, the resolve must be stronger in the face of an illegitimate
government that stole an election and seeks to impose itself on the people
against their will. The very freedoms that the whole African continent and
the world is fighting for are being trampled upon by a regime whose only
answer to our calls for food, jobs, justice and healthcare is violence
against the people.
Zimbabweans should however rejoice in the fact that
someday in the not so distant a future, we will all complete the change for a
better life for all.
PF decision on uniforms trivia in face of serious challenges May 24,
The MDC is amazed by Zanu PF's ability to sink deeper and deeper
into trivia at a time when the nation yearns for more serious decisions in
the face of the tough challenges, which the nation faces. The decision by the
Ministry of Education to require a single school uniform for all students is
just one more indication of the illegitimate Mugabe regime's lack of vision
and solutions for Zimbabwe's future.
The Ministry of Education's three
major initiatives this year have been the renaming of some schools, the
requirement of the same uniform, and the banning of the Cambridge
examinations in Zimbabwe. None of these provide real solutions to the
critical problems that parents and students face today.
continue to rise to levels that make the majority of Zimbabweans unable
afford to send their children to school. Diminishing government support to
schools over the years means that there are no books or materials for
students. Even the physical infrastructure of our schools is crumbling. 22
years after independence, thousands of children still learn under
trees. Meanwhile, instead of channeling money to help uplift our education
system, the illegitimate Mugabe regime is happier spending huge amounts of
money setting up youth brigades and training them to beat up their own
The desperate and narrow-minded ZPF regime is interested only in
confining Zimbabwe's children to its limited vision of what it means to be
Moreover, the MDC questions what, if any, consultative
approach the ruling party used in making this decision. Were parents,
teachers, or students consulted before this move was made?
government's education policy will not waste its time on trivial matters such
as school names and uniforms. Nor will it alter policy without properly
consulting the interested parties. An MDC government will make education more
relevant and children more productive to meet the challenges of the changing
The ban on the Cambridge Examinations is causing
justified anxiety to parents, pupils and their teachers. The decision has
resulted in a crisis in that many families had already paid to write the
November Cambridge examination and their syllabus has been geared to this
examination for the past eighteen months. Imagine, for example, an A-level
English student having to change set books at this late stage! Our
children's entire future career is at stake, and has been thrown into
jeopardy by a bankrupt party.
The MDC recognizes the right of families to
choice in educational matters. We believe that it is healthy for our young to
have the same opportunities as the rest of the world. Only in this way can
we build a vibrant, economically sound nation able to interact and compete at
the global level of the twenty-first century.
Robert Mugabe and his regime
have exposed their hypocrisy further by evicting people they had encouraged
to resettle on farms.
During the run up to the 2000 and 2002 elections
Mugabe, who was desperate to hoodwink landless Zimbabweans to support his
re-election bid encouraged and condoned land invasions and the lawlessness
and barbarism that accompanied the exercise.
The Movement for
Democratic Change pointed out at the time that this haphazard, ill-planned
and lawless way of resettling genuinely landless people was not sustainable
and would have catastrophic consequences on the economy.
did not take heed of our advice in the same way that it arrogantly refused to
take our word, that partly due to the chaotic land reform programme, Zimbabwe
was heading for massive food shortages and starvation.
The regime felt
that taking our advice on the need for government to effect a proper, legal
and orderly land reform programme would result in its electoral defeat, as it
would not be able to posture, kill and coerce voters in the name of land
Now that through banditry and election theft the regime feels a
false sense of security, Mugabe is now beginning to pompously display his
true colours, chief among which are selfishness, arrogance and downright
The poor souls who a few months ago were called heroes and
abused in the name of the "revolution", "self-determination" and such other
high sounding phrases are now all of a sudden being labelled "impostors" by
Zanu PF chairman John Nkomo.
The MDC does not take kindly to John
Nkomo insulting Zimbabweans, not least because he is an unelected minister.
There is no need for this illegitimate government to pour scorn and insults
on Zimbabweans who genuinely need land, moreso when these Zimbabweans were
encouraged to occupy farms by none other than Mr Mugabe.
impostors that we are looking for, then we need not look further than Mugabe
and John Nkomo, who allow people to occupy farms for over a year and then
evict them on the pretext of carrying out legal land reform.
Matamisa, the MDC Chairman for Mashonaland West Province, his vice, Simon
Mudzingwa and four other MDC members were picked up by police in Chinhoyi
this morning. The six are alleged to have held a secret meeting with some
commercial farmers at Ashton farm on the outskirts of the Mashonaland West
capital on 24 April this year, where they are said to have hatched a plot to
assassinate Mr. Robert Mugabe.
The other four arrested are
Leonard Maphosa, Henry Muungani, Alexio Harinongwi, and the son of Matamisa,
Ronald Matamisa. They were picked up together with Matamisa at about 5.30 am.
Mudzingwa was picked from his home at about 4.30 am. Maphosa, Muungani and
Harinongwi are refugees who have fled their rural homes as a result of Zanu
PF sponsored violence.
The MDC views the arrest of the six as a
desperate effort by Mr. Mugabe's illegitimate regime to harass and frustrate
party officials in a bid to weaken the party. No such meeting took place as
alleged by the police, and the arrest is viewed as part of the on-going
onslaught on MDC officials by a desperate illegitimate regime. Several top
MDC officials, including the party President Morgan Tsvangirai, have had
trumped up charges laid against them.
Further details on the arrest
can be obtained from Gift Kojana, the MDC Mashonaland West Province
Administrator, on mobile number 011 808 145, or from the lawyer representing
the six, Tapiwa Muchineripi of Mushonga and Associates on 091 232
Learnmore Jongwe Secretary, Information and