A Zimbabwean has written to me telling me of an incident in a shopping centre
in the city centre recently. She was waiting in the car with her two children while a friend went into the centre to collect a parcel. She was approached by a man claiming to be a war-vet. He told her "that he "owned" the buildings and parkings in this particular
part of town. He told me had to pay his rent and if I wanted to park there, I would have to give him his
rent money or move! ". She said he started getting aggressive and her children were frightened. She refused his demands and he began using foul language and getting very nasty and a security guard came across and shoved him and told him to push off. The so-called war-vet moved
away to another vehicle and she saw him remove something from the dashboard. Fortunately at that moment her friend came out of the shopping centre and they left immediately. An unnerving experience in the city - "there is NOWHERE you can go without being harrassed".
SCORES of farm workers and
their families, evicted by war veterans and Zanu PF supporters from Chipesa
and Chakadenga farms in Marondera two weeks ago, are now living like refugees
in their own country.
They were given a 20-minute ultimatum within which
to pack all their belongings and vacate the properties.
hurriedly packing a few items, they were ferried in their employers’ lorries
and dumped at a secluded spot near Lastly Farm in Marondera West where,
together with their wives and little children, they endured the cold weather
for a week.
A Good Samaritan who drove by came to their rescue and
carried them to Harare where humanitarian organisations, including Amani
Trust and the Zimbabwe Community Development Trust, offered them food and
tents for shelter.
The farmworkers said most of their children would
not attend school next term and faced a bleak future.
42, said: “I stayed at the farm for more than 12 years and I am a Zimbabwean
by birth. I also need the land and I think it would have been fair to equally
divide the land among all those who need the land, instead of chasing us
A total of 127 workers at Chipesa were displaced and are now
camped in Msasa. The workers yesterday complained that they had no food,
clothes or decent shelter. All the workers are living in crammed shacks
provided for them by donor organisations in Harare.
said: “We are Zimbabweans. We were born and bred on those farms but Zanu
PF supporters and war veterans have told us to go to Harare where the MDC
won (during the 9 - 11 March presidential election). They said they had
opened the ballot box used in the Chipesa area during the last election
and discovered that all the farm workers had voted for the MDC.”
destitute workers alleged they were evicted by people wearing T
shirts emblazoned with the Zanu PF’s “Third Chimurenga”, wielding axes,
sticks, stones and other weapons.
The workers said they approached the
government’s Social Welfare Department and were promised assistance, but none
had been forthcoming so far.
Officials at the Ministry of Lands,
Agriculture and Rural Resettlement told the workers they would be allocated
another farm in the Nyabira or Norton areas once the people living there were
“Life is tough for us in our own motherland,” said an elderly
woman. “What puzzles us is are we not considered Zimbabweans because we have
been working for white farmers. That is our only source of earning a
livelihood and we think it is unfair for us to live like refugees in our own
Zimbabwe arrests British paper reporter over
HARARE, May 1 — Zimbabwe police on Wednesday arrested a
journalist working for a British newspaper, a day after charging two
Zimbabwean reporters over a story alleging a woman was beheaded by supporters
of President Robert Mugabe.
American Andrew Meldrum, a
correspondent for Britain's Guardian newspaper and a permanent Zimbabwe
resident, was picked up by police at around 7.40 am (0540 GMT) at his home in
the capital Harare, his wife Dolores told Reuters. ''It's about the
same story that they arrested the Daily News reporters for yesterday,'' she
said. Neither Zimbabwean police nor representatives of the Guardian
in London were immediately available for comment. The opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said last week 53-year-old Brandina
Tadyanemhandu was killed at her home in Magunje in Mashonaland West in front
of her two daughters, citing a report by the woman's husband. It blamed
supporters of Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF. On Tuesday, police arrested the
privately owned Daily News reporters Lloyd Mudiwa and Collin Chiwanza over an
April 23 story on the alleged beheading. The story was also carried
by several other international newspapers including the Guardian.
The Daily News reporters' lawyer Lawrence Chibwe said the two men had been
charged under a tough new media act which imposes tight controls on
the media. If convicted, they face a fine of Z$100,000 ($1,818) or up to
two years in jail. On Saturday the Daily News said it had doubts
about the alleged murder after failing to locate the woman's grave.
It quoted editor-in-chief Geoff Nyarota as saying it appeared the newspaper
had been misled by the husband. ''Until...Tadyanemhandu's grave is
located and positively identified, we are left with no option but to...tender
our most profound apologies to ZANU-PF, whose image was tarnished by the
report in question,'' Nyarota said. Zimbabwe human rights groups
say 54 people, most of them opposition supporters, have been killed in
political violence since the start of the year. Most of the deaths
occurred in the run up to Mugabe's controversial March presidential election
victory over MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai. Nyarota was arrested
earlier this month and charged under the new media act with publishing false
information in a story alleging Mugabe had fraudulently won the presidential
race. The law came into force just days after Mugabe extended his
22-year rule. The MDC accused Mugabe of using violence and electoral fraud to
secure another six-year term and demanded fresh elections. Western
governments have widely condemned the poll as fraudulent.
Independent daily faces economic sanctions April 30,
The Minister of Information and Publicity in the President's
office Professor Jonathan Moyo has warned government parastatals
against advertising in "The Daily News", which he alleges has created a
reputation of peddling lies, the state-owned "Herald" reported on Monday,
This comes after "The Daily News" published an article on April
23 alleging that two young girls had witnessed the beheading of their mother
by alleged Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF)
supporters in the rural area of Magunje. The story was later picked up and
published on the front page of the "Independent" of London. "The Daily News",
in a front-page story on April 27, apologised to the ruling party, ZANU PF,
and to the government after it was revealed that the husband of the victim
might have misled the paper.
Moyo said that the government could not
allow advertisers to "subsidize" the "destruction" of Zimbabwe through
outright naked lies published by "The Daily News", and added that this
incident was the worst example of what both government and the public are
"What is particularly unacceptable and something which
must now stop is the fact that there are some government owned parastatals
who advertise in a trash paper like 'The Daily News'".
He said that
the government could not continue to allow a situation whereby the taxpayers'
money is used to subsidise endless attacks on Zimbabwe. He added that if
parastatals did not stop the rot on their own, that government would ensure
the law assists them.
Moyo added that as Minister responsible for
information and publicity in the office of the president and cabinet he now
realize that the problem is not just with "The Daily News". He lashed out at
the owners of "The Daily News", among them Strive Masiyiwa and Nigel
Chanakira. He further added that "those who owned and backed "The Daily News"
were working with a "common" purpose to discredit the country. He accused
Andrew Meldrum and Basildon Peta, both correspondents for British papers in
Zimbabwe, for flashing the story worldwide.
Moyo promised to look at
the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act to see if it is
adequate to deal with "this rot". He promised to amend the Act should it
prove inadequate, vowing that no media owner or advertiser would, in his
view, be allowed to fund and subsidize the destruction
"The Herald" reports that the police have intensified
investigations inside and outside the country to track down the perpetrators
who were behind the construction and dissemination of the story. The paper
reports that the police are also investigating the opposition party the
Movement for Democratic Change's (MDC) role in connection with the
The governments of Namibia and Botswana in 2001
effected similar economic sanctions on privately owned
Namibia's President Nujoma in May last year ordered a total
ban on the purchase of "The Namibian" newspaper by the Government of the
Republic of Namibia. The directive by the President was issued hot on the
heels of an earlier Cabinet decision to ban Government line ministries from
advertising in the newspaper on grounds that it maintained an
The Botswana government in May 2001 slapped a
ban on advertising in the "Botswana Guardian" and "MidWeek Sun newspapers
because they were too critical of the country's leaders and government hoped
to demonstrate its displeasure at "irresponsible reporting and the exceeding
of editorial freedom".
However, in September 2001, in what is regarded
as a victory for media freedom and freedom of expression, the Botswana High
Court declared the ban on advertising in two newspapers
Justice IBK Lesetedi said the advertising ban by the
Botswana government on the newspapers violated the papers' constitutional
rights of "freedom of expression".
What the government was doing, said
the Judge, was telling the papers that if they wanted to continue to "enjoy
the benefit of receiving advertising from government it should conform to a
reportage that falls within what it considers to be the parameters of
Comic has last laugh over illicit arms trade with Zimbabwe
Rob Evans and
David Hencke Wednesday May 1, 2002 The Guardian
The satirist Mark
Thomas has revealed how easy it is to evade the arms embargo on Zimbabwe by
setting up a deal to sell 200 British machine guns, armed only with a mobile
phone and the name of a false company. The comedian claims that his stunt -
to be broadcast tonight on Channel 4 - has made a mockery of the government's
system for controlling arms exports and embarrassed BAE, Britain's biggest
The ruse worked so well that an arms manufacturer offered
to make him its official agent to sell more machine guns to
Thomas believes that he has uncovered two loopholes which will
not be plugged by the government's bill to tighten controls on the arms trade
which is about to be approved by parliament.
Thomas has established a
reputation in his television programme for needling government ministers and
pulling off stunts which expose wrongdoing by powerful
Posing as Mark Clifford Thomas, the director of a
London-based company, he sought to export machine guns manufactured by
Heckler and Koch, a company owned by BAE, to Zimbabwe.
Heckler and Koch's official agent in Switzerland, who turned down the deal.
But the agent then put him in touch with another agent
This agent, Olli Salo of Finnrappel Oy, was taped in
conversation with Thomas explaining how he could send the machine guns to
Zimbabwe without a licence, despite the embargo agreed by European Union
countries this year.
The consignment was to be shipped through Finland to
Zimbabwe, after being assembled in Switzerland which is outside the European
He was recorded as saying to Thomas: "It has to come outside the
European Union. If it comes from Germany, we'd need an export licence, but
when it comes outside, it does not. That's the trick." Heckler and Koch guns
are manufactured at a factory in Germany.
Yesterday, Mr Salo said
there had been a misunderstanding between him and Thomas. He had initially
agreed to help sell the arms without checking whether a licence was required
because he did not want to lose the potential business to a rival
"You have to say yes to keep the customer interested, or else
he goes to the next supplier.
"We have never shipped anything to
A BAE spokesman last night said that it abided strictly by the
export laws and any evidence of lawbreaking would be turned over to the
He added that the licence production agreements were made
before BAE purchased Heckler and Koch, and BAE did not currently derive any
profits from the agreements. Any violations of these agreements were a matter
for the German government, he said.
Rudd calls for sanctions against Zimbabwe CANBERRA, May 1
AAP|Published: Wednesday May 1, 12:07 PM
Zimbabwe's food crisis
should prompt the Australian government to impose targeted sanctions on the
regime of Robert Mugabe, Labor said today.
The food crisis was a direct
result of an appalling policy from the Mugabe regime in Zimbabwe, opposition
foreign affairs spokesman Kevin Rudd said.
Foreign Minister Alexander
Downer must enact his promise of targeted sanctions to bring about change, Mr
"Foreign Minister Downer promised the Australian parliament
and people that he would institute these targeted sanctions on Zimbabwe and
the Mugabe regime prior to the presidential elections," Mr Rudd told
"That's nearly two months ago now. We're still waiting for
The world community must respond to ensure the Zimbabwean people
did not suffer as a result of poor economic and land management policies, he
"And I would be optimistic that the Australian government would
lend financial support to that end as well," Mr Rudd said.
think it's very important that given this further crisis in Zimbabwe, brought
about by the Mugabe regime, that the Australian government once again revisit
the question of the imposition of targeted sanctions."
John Howard's talk of contributing an extra $2 million in food aid to
Zimbabwe may need to be revised upwards, Mr Rudd said.
"The time has come
and it's now long past due that the Australian government join the United
States, the European Union and Switzerland in imposing targeted sanctions on
the Mugabe regime," Mr Rudd said.
"These are sanctions which freeze the
personal financial assets of members of the regime and freeze their personal
"It's designed to bring about leverage on the
regime to encourage the regime to bring about effective political and
economic change in that country."
MDC not bothered by Zanu PF threats to quit talks - Apr
29, 2002 More MDC supporters arrested over CIO murder suspect's house bombing
- Apr 29, 2002 MDC dismisses Chronicle/Herald story - Apr 30, 2002 Only
MDC can turn around Zimbabwe’s economy - Apr 30, 2002
MDC not bothered by
Zanu PF threats to quit talks 29 April 2002
The Movement for
Democratic Change is not bothered at all by Zanu Pf threats to quit talks as
reported in today’s edition of the Herald. It is Zanu PF, which needs these
talks more than the MDC.
The reasons cited by Zanu PF spokesman Professor
Jonathan Moyo as the basis upon which the on going inter-party talks may
collapse are either blatantly unreasonable or far from
First, he insinuates that the MDC should not have gone to the
High Court to challenge Zanu Pf’s illegitimate claim to power. This view is
obviously hypocritical as Jonathan Moyo himself is on record encouraging the
MDC to go to court if it had any complaints with the election outcome. In
going to court the MDC acted in the interests of its members. At no stage
will the party act in the interest of another political party before taking
Second, Jonathan Moyo accuses Professor Welshman Ncube of
publishing adverts on the MDC position, which according to him violates rules
and procedures of the talks. This is false. The advert we are running in the
press merely summarizes the MDC’s position at the talks as pointed out in
Professor Ncube ’s opening remarks to the dialogue on 8 April 2002. Zanu Pf’s
own propaganda outfit, the Herald, published our position in full together
with the Zanu PF opening position, which came in the form of opening remarks
by Zanu PF’s secretary for legal affairs Patrick Chinamasa. Surely what rule
of procedure can be violated by restating what is already public
If there is anyone who has demeaned the integrity of the talks
by going to the media and misrepresenting facts, it is Zanu Pf’s Jonathan
Moyo who, against the rules of procedure, went to the public media and lied
that of all the items on the agenda, the MDC had only placed one
Third, the Herald alleges that the MDC recently published an advert
in the Daily News alleging an escalation of violence citing the alleged
beheading of a Magunje woman as an example. This is false. While we maintain
that there indeed is a factual escalation in post election Zanu Pf violence,
we have never published any advert that cites the alleged beheading of
the Magunje woman as evidence of that fact as claimed by the Zanu PF
Finally, Professor Jonathan Moyo accuses the MDC of
manufacturing falsehoods as one reason that might lead to the collapse of the
talks. He cites the story of the alleged beheading of a woman in Magunje as
The point has to be made here that while the MDC regrets that
a report that appears to be misleading was made on this matter, the party
acted in utmost good faith in releasing the information of the alleged murder
to the press.
The MDC has a reputation of dissemination of honesty
information and will maintain that reputation. In fact, out of reports of
over 100 MDC members and activists who have died at the hands of Zanu PF
since the run up to the June 2000 elections, this is the first murder report
we have released to the press that has turned out to be
While the MDC is currently carrying out its own
investigations in order for the party to get to the bottom of the matter, we
can however, at this stage, point out that we suspect on reasonable grounds
that the decapitation report may have been stage managed by people who wanted
the MDC to send out false information to the press so as to attack the
integrity of the party as a reliable source of accurate, honesty and truthful
What we also find to be extremely disturbing is the fact
that after the Herald ran a story in which the police denied the murder
report on April 24, Enos Tadyanemhandu, the alleged husband of the woman who
was supposed to have been murdered reappeared at MDC offices where he
dismissed the police denial and insisted that indeed the murder had taken
The MDC’s director of security personally went to Harare central
police station where he alerted the law and order section of the police that
the party had Tadyanemhandu in their custody and that the police should pick
him for questioning. Surprisingly, the police declined the invitation. It
is somewhat puzzling that the police who denied the murder report that
very day, would decline to seize an opportunity to question a man who was
adamant that his wife had been killed.
Having said this, the MDC
maintains that, it acted in good faith in handling this report. It should
however be emphasized that the fact that the report has emerged to be false
does not erode the fact that retributive post election violence is escalating
and if Zanu PF does not indeed address this the talks may truly
Learnmore Jongwe Secretary, Information and
MDC supporters arrested over CIO murder suspect's house bombing 29 April
Six more MDC supporters were yesterday arrested by Chimanimani
police in connection with the petrol bombing of the house of Joseph Mwale, a
member of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) implicated in the
murder Tichaona Chiminya, a trade unionist and MDC activist.
arrested are Tendai Sahwe, Talent Barara, Benson Mukwanya, Lovemore Mbiri,
Shaine Kidd and Morgan Mucharika. Their arrest brings to 17 the total number
of MDC supporters who have been arrested in connection with
When the lawyers representing the six, Chris Ndlovu and
Trust Mhandu, visited Chimanimani Police Station where the six are being
held, they were denied access to their clients, by a gun-wielding Mwale who
was clad in army regalia and brandishing an AK rifle as well as a
Mwale gave the two lawyers five minutes to vacate the premises.
They were force-marched to their vehicle at gun-point, leaving behind Mrs
Kidd whom they had brought because she wanted to see her
Three more activists are currently being sought by the police in
connection with the case. The three are Pardon Maguta, Tiyayi Tsodzai and
David Mungengi. The 17 are still in police custody but have not been
formally charged. Up to now their lawyers are still being denied access to
dismisses Chronicle/Herald story 30 April, 2002
The article carried by
the state newspapers, The Chronicle of Monday 29 April and The Herald of
Tuesday 30 April 2002, quoting MDC officials as having encouraged party
supporters to take up arms and overthrow the government, is a gross
misrepresentation, and should be dismissed with the contempt it
The story first appeared in The Chronicle of 29 April, and was
repeated in The Herald of 30 April. It incorrectly quotes two MDC officials
as having encouraged party cadres to take up arms and violently seize power
from the current government.
The two officials, National Women's
Assembly Chairperson Lucia Matibenga, and National Youth Assembly Chairman,
Nelson Chamisa allegedly said this at a rally, which they addressed at Mkoba
stadium in Gweru during the weekend.
The MDC would like to put it on
record that at no time during the rally did any MDC official instigate
members of the party to take up arms to fight
Furthermore, the fact that the two state-run
newspapers quote Matibenga's first name as Stella and not Lucia, is a clear
indication of the story writer's inability to capture facts as they are,
thereby casting doubt on the credibility of the article.
The MDC is
perturbed by the continued misrepresentation of facts by the state media.
Only last week, The Chronicle carried a story in which it alleged that the
MDC was planning to march to State-House and bomb several buildings in Harare
It would appear this is a deliberate ploy by the state
media to divert people's attention from the current wave of price increases
and other economic ills facing the country.
This most recent
preoccupation of the state owned media to spend precious time fabricating
articles about the MDC is both frustrating and irritating. One wonders what
the two papers are trying to achieve by misinforming the public with such
If the country were functioning properly, with the rule
of law being applied equally, the two papers would be charged under the
recently enacted Public Order and Security Act (POSA) as well as other legal
instruments for causing alarm and despondency through their reports.
Unfortunately, this is not so.
The MDC is tired of these incessant
negative reports and will get the respective editors of papers who have
published such trash to fully and personally account for their waywardness in
MDC can turn around Zimbabwe’s economy 30 April, 2002
Contrary to Zanu
PF spokesperson, Jonathan Moyo’s claim on national television yesterday
evening that Zanu PF is now geared towards turning around Zimbabwe’s economy,
all available evidence points to more joblessness, sky rocketing of prices of
basic commodities and general economic decline and the people centred
hardship and suffering in the current year. All this is a searing indictment
on the Zanu PF government.
The Ministry of Finance has recently revised
its own estimate of the expected decline in Gross Domestic Product to 9 per
cent. The majority of economists in the private sector are forecasting a
decline of about 12 per cent – the largest fall in GDP in the history of the
This dramatic fall in economic activity comes on the top of
declines in output in the past three years and will mean that at the end of
2002 Zimbabwe’s GDP will be about US$5 billion compared to over US$8 billion
per annum in 1997. Every Zimbabwean knows this even if they do not have
access to the statistics because they are feeling the fall in their own
living standards every day.
The decline in economic output is being
felt in all sectors of the economy. Tourism is down 60 per cent, industrial
production is now below the level last achieved in 1970, mining output is
falling rapidly and agriculture will have its lowest gross output this year
for over half a century. In the past three years Zimbabwe has moved from
being a net exporter of food to the point today where some 75 per cent of all
the food consumed in the current harvest year will have to be imported. By
June over half our population will require food aid to survive.
promise that Zanu PF has a recovery plan under these circumstances
is laughable. For the past three years they have been talking about a
mythical "Millenium Economic Recovery Programme" which has now been abandoned
before it even saw the light of day. Now Zanu Pf is promising a recovery in
the economy led by agriculture, even when they continue to destroy what we
have left of a farm industry worth talking about. It is now clear that the
next tobacco crop (for which land preparation should be complete) will be a
small fraction of what it has been for the past decade. This will rob
Zimbabwe of 20 per cent of its foreign earnings next year. The decision to
pay farmers for the current crop barely a quarter of what it is worth is
likely to undermine all future tobacco production – even in the small scale
sector as no farmer can grow a crop under such circumstances.
plans for a revival of agriculture range from the ridiculous to the sublime.
Farm output in the midst of growing anarchy is simply not possible. The only
output of Moyo’s recovery strategies is likely to be more hot air. Zanu PF
does not have the capacity, plan and good will to turn around Zimbabwe’s
Only an MDC government in Zimbabwe holds out any prospect of
economic recovery. Our stabilisation and recovery programme (the Bridge) is
clearly laid out and has been acknowledged by all serious people as a sound
basis for economic recovery. Only when confidence and the rule of law are
restored can there be any progress.
Learnmore Jongwe Secretary,
Information and Publicity
The MDC says Zimbabwe’s
unemployment rate will skyrocket while basic commodities and general economic
decline will continue unabated.
Zimbabwe has an unemployment rate of more
than 55 percent and the figure continues to rise as companies close due to
unsustainable production levels caused by foreign currency
In a statement yesterday, the MDC spokesman, Learnmore Jongwe,
said the general economic decline and severe hardships were now the order of
Jongwe was responding to a television statement made on Monday
by the Minister of State responsible for Information and Publicity,
Professor Jonathan Moyo.
Jongwe said: “Contrary to Zanu PF
spokesperson Jonathan Moyo’s claim on national television yesterday evening
that Zanu PF is now geared towards turning around Zimbabwe’s economy, all
available evidence points to more joblessness, skyrocketing of prices of
basic commodities and general economic decline and the people-centred
hardship and suffering in the current year. All this is a searing indictment
of the Zanu PF government.”
He said the Ministry of Finance and Economic
Development had recently revised its own estimate of the expected decline in
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to nine percent.
“The majority of
economists in the private sector are forecasting a decline of about 12
percent -the largest fall in GDP in the history of the country,” Jongwe
“This dramatic fall in economic activity comes on the top of
declines in output in the past three years and will mean that at the end
of 2002, Zimbabwe’s GDP will be about US$5 billion (Z$175 billion) compared
to over US$8 billion (Z$440 billion) per annum in 1997. Zimbabweans know
this even if they do not have access to the statistics because they are
feeling the fall in their own living standards every day.”
He said the
decline in economic activity was pervasive.
FROM the look of things,
the noble ideas borne out of the desire by some progressive people of Africa
are being muddied by just a little group of some African leaders who think
that the evil they do should not be talked about, especially by the
While some of the African leaders see no harm in
upholding the rule of law, democratic principles, affording each and everyone
protection by the police and all law enforcement agencies, others look at it
as an erosion of their power. Their whole livelihoods would end if they
followed such a noble path.
We have President Thabo Mbeki trying the
African Renaissance so that Africa moves away from being a basket case and
people live in harmony, and on the other side we have Muammar Gaddafi and
President Mugabe going full throttle for the African Union (AU) where they
are able to kill, steal a vote, plunder another country's wealth and fool the
leaders there to continue a senseless war, incite hatred and antagonise the
developed world, strike fear in the hearts of another section of their people
and kill as many opposition party supporters as possible.
help of other despots, they will tell us that Mugabe's electoral "victory" is
a victory for Africa, yet it is victory of the selfish, the plunderers, hate
mongers and racists, a stolen victory laced with the innocent blood of fellow
Africa is for Africans is their cry. Which Africans? They
have conditioned people to suffer in the name of Africanism as if Africa is
supposed to be a continent of the sufferers.
All that the developed
world is telling us is to put our houses in order, respect each other, be
answerable to the people, respect the will of the people, allowing a free and
fair electoral process.
All that Africa tries to do is use the American
election as an excuse for perpetrating electoral excesses. The American
election was not stolen but just close. There were no stuffed boxes, no
arrests of polling agents, no retribution. But some of Africa's cheating
leaders have tried to force us to believe the American vote was
If the rest of Africa would like to develop their countries they
have to come together and throw out tyrants from the AU. Otherwise the AU
will be just a grouping meant to encourage hate, murder, and human rights
abuses in the name of patriotism.
In Zimbabwe we hear ministers
fouling up everyone and blaming it on the independent Press. We have a
government that sends battalions of soldiers, troops of unprofessional and
untrained policemen to crush a peaceful demonstration calling for a new
A constitution is not about land, it is about everything.
This did not take away their right to ask for a better constitution. We have
the Public Order and Security Act whose evil surpasses Ian Smith's Law and
Order Maintenance Act. This is an Act that cannot stand a simple test. It is
an Act that calls for condemnation from the civilised world. It has nothing
to do with the opposition papers as they call them. Imagine they brutalised a
Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation reporter using this Act!
noticing that they had beaten up one of their parrots they apologised, yet we
know they are on record brutalising reporters from the independent Press and
accusing them of trying to disturb the police in their "duties".
Makwanya will go on air and say The Daily News reporter was arrested inside
the MDC offices as if it is a crime.
We do not know what Mugabe stands
for at the moment. People are lied to about how they will be very successful
with the new-found peasantry
Having been to Malawi and
seen how an agro-based economy is, I become very worried.
want money, but jobs are hard to come by. Talking to them, you will not help
but lament whether these leaders really interact with the people.
vendor occupies every square metre of the pavement. Even in front of shops,
there are so many pavement operators that there is very little room for
customers going into the shops. These pavement "entrepreneurs" will
be selling exactly what is in the shops shoes, sugar, buns, soft
drinks, clothes, fried chicken, boiled groundnuts, sweet potatoes you name
it. Is this the way to develop a country? This is exactly what
wants what was once a vibrant economy to become.
I know in Zimbabwe one
used to be a laughing stock to be seen selling apples at bus terminuses when
I was growing up. Sometimes you would not like people to know that your
mother sold apples or tomatoes at the market, not on the streets. But as
Mugabe continues on the crusade of destroying Zimbabwe, it is now a source of
pride to sell at least one tomato a day.
Every day, we are told that it
is only the West and the MDC who have refused to accept the results of the
9-11 March presidential election. No, the Southern African Development
Community refused to endorse it.
The South African Observer Mission is
divided with those who have a lot to hide saying it was free and fair and the
clean ones saying it could not have been free, fair or legitimate.
an observer mission which witnessed MDC vehicles being burnt, their
own vehicles attacked and hear on television that it was because of
provocation, can then turn up and say the election was free and fair is a
source of worry for Africa.
Mugabe and Gaddafi have an intense hatred
of the developed world because of the way they treat their own
They know the developed world wants them to share power with the
people, to share wealth with the people, to listen to the people, to cry and
enjoy with the people, to create equal opportunities for each of their
citizens, but these are things they don't like.
They would rather have
their children enjoy and get everything. They want their children to be the
soccer stars, the team captains even if they cannot kick the ball. They want
us to salute their children.
Fellow Zimbabweans, the choice is yours.
Either to remain in this yoke forever, to have unschooled children because of
escalating educational costs, to continue begging for food in your country of
vast opportunities, to live in squalor, to read a flawed history in praise of
Mugabe, to kill the future of your children, and to live in shame for the
rest of our lives.
The other is to stop this tyranny. Read the proper
history in order to avoid the mistakes made by the tyrants. This future is in
"Take my hand, gracious Lord . . ." The man's loud, whole-hearted
and melodious voice fills the crowded street.
His voice box
bulges as he churns out one gospel tune after another.
His stage is
simple, the pavement.
Passersby are touched by the melancholic strain in
his voice and, instinctively, they dip their hands into their pockets or
handbags to drop coins into the pavement vocalist's begging
Others, simply overjoyed by the man belting out their favourite
hymn, generously slip $20 or $50 notes into his hands.
This is Jethro
Gumbo, a blind street gospel musician who has achieved much fame without the
aid of the radio or television, but daily "live street shows" along Harare's
Artistes record their music and become popular through the
electronic media and live shows, but Gumbo has been driven by sheer poverty
to market his music on the streets since 1988.
He can tell you how
generous people were during those years.
Married with four children, two
of them at school, Gumbo receives some assistance from the Department of
Social Welfare like most blind people, but the money is never
"I have to pay rent, electricity, water and school fees for my
two children. I also have to buy clothes for the family. My voice has been a
big blessing indeed and I want to thank God for that," he says.
these harsh times, I have to sing even louder," Gumbo says, adding that
although life is difficult for everyone, he is grateful
Zimbabweans understand the plight of blind people.
"We can't get basic
foodstuffs and if we queue for maize-meal, policemen under the guise of
maintaining order chase us away and grab all the maize-meal instead of
concentrating on their job of arresting thieves and criminals in the city,"
Gumbo says he makes around $700 on a good day and about $250
when things are not going his way.
Near the Dominican Convent School,
an old destitute man, who survives on collecting and selling waste plastic
paper for recycling, takes a rest under a tree. His wares surround him. His
name is Wilson. He doesn't know his age.
"It's in the records office," he
says of his age.
"I would rather die selling these plastics than be a
beggar on the streets. Some people steal or gamble to survive, but I want to
live an honest life doing what I can with my hands. I am able-bodied," he
He makes a paltry $20 a day from the sale of his plastic wares
which make him look like a tramp.
"I may look mentally disturbed, but
I know what I am doing. I am helping myself."
At the Anglican
Cathedral along Nelson Mandela Avenue we meet another destitute, 45-year-old
Grant Wakfer. He is busy mending his broken sandal with a piece of
He is waiting to go into the church's soup kitchen where he gets
his daily bread.
Wakfer says although he receives R150 ($750) each
month from his sister in South Africa, it is not enough to see him
"Life is tough I tell you. I survive on the will of the good
Lord. But I find life in Bulawayo better than in Harare. People there are
more friendly and generous than in Harare," says the Kwekwe-born
Hard times have descended like a big hammer upon the majority
poor and people have become so creative and innovative in their desperate
efforts to make ends meet.
Conmen have emerged out of this desperation
At every imaginable corner either in the city, in low and
high density suburbs, there is a tuckshop, a makeshift vegetable market, soft
drinks, cigarettes and many other commodities for sale.
The main road
behind Rufaro Stadium in Mbare along the huge market place, is lined up with
traders selling all sorts of goods.
Some supermarkets and butcheries are
now selling chicken offals that used to be thrown into trash cans.
Kuwadzana, it is common practice for women to buy fat only just to
A child is sent to buy a piece of meat for baba
(father) who doesn't eat "greens" only.
If life can be so difficult
for the ordinary worker, how then are street kids, beggars and destitutes
In rural areas, the common talk is about food
Mupandawana growth point in Gutu has become another huge
market for the informal trader with all sorts of shelters dotted all over the
At Nerupiri business centre on the route to Masvingo,
villagers wonder how they will survive the starvation that stares them in the
"Normally, we start worrying around November or December, but this
time we are already short of food in April. It is unbelievable. We thought
with the presidential election over, everything would be available," says
Chipo Makuvaza, an elderly woman, of Mushairi resettlement
Nowadays, it has become common to see a wheel-chaired beggar in the
middle of the street or along the highways waving a red flag to slow down
traffic so that motorists can donate money.
providing financial and material assistance to the underprivileged, have
withdrawn their support citing political turmoil.
Jack Maravanyika, an
outreach worker with Streets Ahead, an organisation which looks after the
needs of street children, says life is now really tough for the disadvantage
In the past, the ordinary worker would spare something for the
needy, but now the economic crisis has affected most people.
Ahead is now run on a shoestring budget since its main donor, Danida of
Denmark, has withdrawn financial aid.
He says: "We have only a donor
willing to see us through to the end of the year and after that, heaven knows
where we will be with these children. We appeal to local donors to chip in.
We have abandoned the feeding scheme where children would come to our centre
to feed, bath and receive clothes."
As Maravanyika spoke, he had just
come across a 13-year-old street child, Blessed Shonhai, who joined the
street squad from Norton. Blessed says he had to leave his stepmother after
his father died.
There just wasn't enough food for the family.
father worked in Norton and he took me from Mberengwa after he and my mother
divorced. I was at school in Norton, but when my father died, I could see
that my stepmother was struggling to look after us. There was just not enough
food. I decided to leave for Harare," says Blessed who attended Mbuya Bona
primary school in Norton up to Grade Four. "I want to go back to school if I
can find someone willing to look after me. Right now I have no choice except
to feed from bins where we get enough food to survive," he
Maravanyika's job involves identifying and interviewing children
Blessed and help trace any relatives or nearest next-of-kin. Streets
Ahead has no place of its own right now and is operating from a house in
"We have no playgrounds or proper facilities for use by
street children. We now use open spaces to maintain contact with these
children. They have their own street peer leaders who supply us with
information whenever anyone of them falls ill and needs medical attention, or
when there is any abuse such as sodomy by older boys."
The country may
have celebrated its 22nd independence anniversary, but life has become most
difficult and with sanctions looming, there is no respite
State wants to save its media by killing the
5/1/02 11:00:50 AM (GMT +2)
THE threat by a
government minister to parastatals to stop advertising in The Daily News is
an act of desperation, designed to force these companies to direct all their
business to the loss-making government-controlled media houses, in order to
save them from bankruptcy.
The government is aware that their own
media operations cannot compete fairly for business on the market, hence the
But this is a worn-out strategy often resorted to by those
intolerant to critical or alternative views. Several regional despots have
tried this with no significant impact.
If The Daily News or any other
independent news media have failed to perform their duties and ceased to
serve their purpose, then the decision lies not with a government minister,
but with the business decisions of the companies in question.
the reasons why government-run companies are always struggling is because of
the interference by government.
It is an insult to the ability of those
entrusted with the running of the companies to operate on the basis of
directives, some of them utterly nonsensical to the growth and success of the
Parastatals are funded partly from public resources, not
just Zanu PF taxpayers' funds, and for a minister of the government to make
such directives, demonstrates frightening abuse of power. Public companies do
not exist to serve the interests of supporters of the ruling
They exist to serve the interests of the public.
minister's decision is taken further, it can also be used to buttress the
argument that the public have a strong position in determining where their
tax money should go.
It can also mean they have the right to withhold
their said taxes if they have cause to believe that the resources will be
channelled to causes they are unhappy with.
In any case, it should be
possible for taxpayers to mount a legal challenge to the minister's directive
But the magnitude of the crisis in this country was
demonstrated by the timing of the directive, never mind its validity: it
comes at a time when the country joins the rest of the world in celebrating
World Press Freedom Day, this Friday. Zimbabwe is signatory to the 1991
Windhoek Declaration on Press Freedom and the ministerial directive to
parastatals is a violation of the Windhoek principles.
When the world
community protests at the government's attacks on the free Press, the
government sees and concludes conspiracies, but the reality is the government
is doing its damnedest, single-handedly, to sully its character. The tragedy
is its inability to see this, and more importantly, put its house in
The statement by the minister that The Daily News is bent on the
destruction of this country is utter balderdash. It can only be made by
someone who assumes they have a monopoly on patriotism.
however, indicates is the government's frustration with its efforts to
silence, once and for all, alternative and critical voices.
past 30 months, the government has waged an offensive against the private
media, which it views as a thorn in its side. The offensive assumes different
forms: cajoling, harassment, coercion, threats, arrests and litigation
against journalists and editors from the independent media. The ultimate
objective is to gag them forever, or ensure that the drums of the Zimbabwean
story become muffled.
But there could be an ominous insinuation to the
suggestion that this newspaper is bent on the destruction of Zimbabwe. First,
there is a deliberate attempt to confuse the difference between Zimbabwe,
President Mugabe and the ruling Zanu PF, by inferring that they are one and
the same thing. The intention could be to condition the public to the
eventuality of any action the government intends taking against The Daily
News, under the guise of "protecting the realm".
The warnings could,
therefore, presage the final assault against the independent
State agents threaten lawyers representing MDC
5/1/02 10:23:25 AM (GMT +2)
From Brian Mangwende in
TWO Mutare lawyers were on Sunday forced out of Chimanimani police
station where they had gone to represent MDC supporters arrested for
allegedly petrol-bombing the house of Joseph Mwale, a Central
Intelligence Organisation officer.
Mwale is a suspect in a case in
which a group of suspected Zanu PF supporters torched two MDC activists to
death in Buhera at the height of the 2000 parliamentary election
The lawyers, Chris Ndhlovu and Trust Mhanga, were allegedly
driven out of the police station by Mwale and the officer-in-charge,
identified only as Chogugudza.
The two men accused the lawyers of
assisting “terrorists” and being anti-Zanu PF.
Ndhlovu said: “You
should have been there. It was a nightmare. Mwale and Chogugudza said we had
not seen anything yet before throwing us out of the station.
labelled us terrorists and threatened to physically harm us if we pursued the
case. I will never go back there.
“I will meet my clients in court but as
of now, I will never return to that police station on any case involving
Mwale. He is bad news.”
Mwale and a war veteran, Tom “Kitsiyatota”
Zimunya, are implicated in the murder of two MDC activists, Tichaona Tapfuma
Chiminya and Talent Mabika, near Murambinda Growth Point in Buhera on 15
Chiminya was a driver of the MDC president, Morgan
The High Court has ordered the Attorney-General, Andrew
Chigovera, to institute investigations into the case, but up to now there
seems to be no effort to pursue the matter.
It is alleged that Mwale
and Zimunya, together with a group of suspected Zanu PF supporters, doused
Chiminya and Mabika with petrol before torching them.
On Sunday, the
police in Chimanimani arrested eight more MDC supporters, bringing to 19 the
number picked up in connection with the petrol-bombing of Mwale’s house in
A door was allegedly damaged in the attack.
the attack, Mwale allegedly dashed outside and fired several shots into the
air to scare off the assailants.
Meanwhile, Chiminya’s wife, Adella, is
testifying against Zanu PF in a court in New York, in the United States of
America, for the alleged murder of her husband in the run-up to the June 2000
parliamentary election. She is one of the six Zimbabweans suing Zanu PF for
about US$400 million (Z$2,4 billion at the official rate and $132 billion on
the black market).
Soldiers in court for armed robbery, public
5/1/02 10:17:32 AM (GMT +2)
From our correspondent in
Three soldiers and six other men appeared at the Gweru magistrate’s
Court on Monday on charges of public violence and armed
Douglas Gaza, 34, Farai Vengesayi, 30, and Jefinos Muchemwa, 36,
all soldiers, are charged together with Prince Madzima, 32, Kingstone
Mangwanya, 32, Morgan Fan, 42, Nabson Hlanya, 30, Silas Chigondo, 20, and
They were all remanded to 10 May on $2 000 bail each
and were ordered to surrender their travel documents and not to interfere
The court heard that on 22 April this year, the men went
to Nash 1 Mine compound in Shurugwi, where they allegedly rounded up all the
people at gun-point.
They allegedly assaulted everybody, accusing them
of being supporters of the MDC. They then burnt down 84 huts and property
worth $500 000.
It is alleged that Gaza was armed with a 303 rifle, while
Muchemwa and Vengesayi, wearing their army uniforms, carried AK
The men then ordered everyone to leave the compound or risk being
Meanwhile, Fana and Madzima, again appeared before magistrate
Mzinyathi on charges of armed robbery. They were remanded to 10 May on $3 000
bail each and were ordered to report at the nearest Central Investigation
Department station twice a week.
The state alleges that on 22 April
this year, the accused threatened one worker at Nash l Mine compound with a
303 rifle, searched him and took $60 000 from him. They were identified by
the complainant later on and were arrested.
SUPPLEMENTARY feeding programme run by the Farm Community Trust in Zimbabwe
(FCTZ) is set to expand and include farming areas in Matabeleland where
thousands of farm workers have lost their jobs because of the
The trust has so far fed about 2 000 under-five
children whose parents are no longer in gainful employment.
areas such as Nyamandlovu, Lupane and Nkayi have been hard hit as most as war
veterans have chased away farm owners and have taken over
Thousands of farm workers have either been displaced
or remain at the farms because they have nowhere to go since they are first
or second generation immigrants.
The Commercial Farmers’ Union is
undertaking an exercise to determine the exact number affected.
300 workers at Redwood Park Farm in Nyamandlovu were dismissed in September
last year by war veterans who went on to loot from the homes of those who
fled the terror.
Chrispen Sango, a former security officer at the farm,
said his property was looted by marauding war veterans and that workers who
had nowhere to go remained behind and were continually being subjected to
kangaroo courts by the war veterans.
Production on the formerly
thriving ostrich farm has stopped, leaving the workers jobless and unable to
fend for their families.
The situation is similar in Nkayi, which has
been overrun by war veterans and resettled villagers.
also ceased in surrounding farms and hundreds of families working on the
farms are facing starvation.
Godfrey Magaramombe, the FCTZ director, said
the organisation has been running feeding programmes in Mashonaland but would
soon spread its work to affected areas including
Magaramombe said: “We are aware of the predicament of farm
workers countrywide and especially in Matabeleland, but our activities have
been slowed down by low funding.
“We have, however, been discussing
with people in Matabeleland and donors and should move in as soon as the
funding comes through,” he said.
Their current programme is sponsored by
the British government’s Department For International
Office yesterday said it would set a date soon for the trial of the MDC
president, Morgan Tsvangirai and two senior MDC officials alleged to be
linked to a plot to assassinate President Mugabe.
Welshman Ncube, the MDC secretary-general and MP for Bulawayo North-East and
Renson Gasela, the MP for Gweru Rural and the party's shadow minister of
agriculture, appeared at the Harare
Magistrates' Court yesterday and were
further remanded to 31 May.
They are facing a charge of high treason,
which carries the death penalty.
Stephen Musona, a law officer at the
AG's Office, told provincial magistrate Peter Mufunda during the remand
hearing that the State would set the MDC officials' trial date before they
appear for their next remand.
The State consented to an application by
the MDC officials' lawyer, Innocent Chagonda to have their bail conditions
As a result, Tsvangirai will now report to Avondale Police
Station once every fortnight instead of weekly, as ordered on his initial
remand, while Ncube and Gasela will report to Rhodesville and Borrowdale
police stations respectively.
Chagonda said he intended to apply for
the court to refuse to keep his clients on remand if the State failed to
provide a trial date at their next remand.
"The State can then proceed
by way of summons," the lawyer said.
Tsvangirai is on $1,5 million bail
while Ncube and Gasela were granted $500 000 bail each. The allegations
against the opposition leaders arise from a video film recorded by Ari
Ben-Menashe, the head of the
Canadian political consultancy firm, Dickens
and Madson, in which Tsvangirai allegedly plotted to assassinate
From Kelvin Jakachira recently in Windhoek,
HUNDREDS of Zimbabweans, including a 45-year-old blind man, have
sought refuge in neighbouring countries after torture and death threats by
war veterans and Zanu PF youths.
The victims have fled to
refugee camps in Botswana, South Africa, Zambia, Malawi and
Cosmos Chanda, a representative of the United Nations High
Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Botswana, said the blind man was among
53 Zimbabweans at Dukwe camp, north of Gaborone.
Chanda refused to
name the man citing security concerns.
He said the man fled the country
immediately after Zanu PF youths and war veterans embarked on a massive
retribution exercise countrywide after the presidential election last
President Mugabe was re-elected amid allegations of fraud.
Rampant intimidation and political violence marked the campaign period. His
main rival, Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC leader, and the international
community have rejected the result.
"The Zimbabweans who fled to
Botswana have clear evidence of torture," said Chanda. "They all looked very
terrified when they came here."
In an interview during a three-day
workshop in Windhoek, attended by journalists from the Sadc region, Chanda
said: "The victims had visible bruises all over their bodies."
at least one Zimbabwean fled to Botswana every week.
"Most of the
Zimbabweans who are here came after the presidential election," he
In Namibia, two Zimbabweans have applied for refugee status after
fleeing the terror.
One of them is staying at Osire refugee camp about
225km from Windhoek, while the whereabouts of the other are
The Zimbabwean, believed to be in his early 20s, was last seen
at Osire camp last month, said a UNHCR official.
official said the life of the Zimbabwean at the camp was under threat because
of the close political relations between Zimbabwe and Namibia.
a tour of Osire camp, this reporter saw a 24-year-old Zimbabwean who arrived
in Namibia three weeks ago.
He said he had campaigned for the MDC in
Mberengwa East during the presidential election.
He fled to Bulawayo
after the CIO and war veterans threatened to kill him.
He said: "About
eight men in an open truck approached me and tried to bundle me into their
truck, but I escaped and hid in a secluded place in the
The following day, he said, he fled to Botswana, then to
Namibia. UNHCR officials in Namibia said disclosing the victim's name would
further endanger his life.
An official said two Angolan refugees had
been kidnapped two years ago from the same camp after government forces were
informed of their whereabouts.
"Mentioning the details of this young man
may not be in his interest because we have an incident in which two Angolans
were kidnapped and taken away from the camp," said the official.
Madga Medina, the UNHCR senior protection officer in Namibia, and Elizabeth
Negumbo, the Namibian commissioner for refugees, insisted the safety of the
Zimbabwean was guaranteed.
Osire camp has about 23 000 refugees mainly
from Angola, Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo
Republic and Liberia.
"I will visit the camp on Tuesday to see him,"
Negumbo said. "But if he feels unsafe he can say so and we will work with the
UNHCR to transfer him to another country."
Malawi has many Zimbabwean
refugees who fled the countrywide violence.
Michael Owari, a UNHCR
official in Malawi, said there could be more than 50 Zimbabwean refugees
because some may not have reported the cases yet.
veterans and Zanu PF supporters yesterday chased Elisha Chagonda, the chief
executive officer of Chivi Rural District Council out of his office, accusing
him of supporting the MDC and failing to run the local
They seized his official car and office keys and
ordered him not to report for work until they had finished their so-called
The war veterans accused Chagonda of supporting the MDC
in the run-up to the presidential poll.
They also accused him of
stealing council assets, misusing drought relief funds and flouting tender
The veterans claimed that Chagonda deliberately failed to
release money earmarked for drought relief and it accrued interest which he
But investigations by The Daily News revealed that
drought relief funds were deposited in a council current account which does
not accrue interest.
The disgruntled former fighters met last week and
unanimously agreed to forcibly remove Chagonda from office.
them said: "We are just implementing instructions from the President that all
civil servants who do not support the government should go.
"This man is
an MDC sympathiser and we cannot continue to pay our enemies. Right now we
want to replace him with a war veteran," they said.
confirmed he was chased out of his office by the veterans.
"I am not
at work. The war veterans said they were conducting investigations and chased
me away," he said.
This is not the first time that public officials have
been forcibly removed from their jobs by war veterans.
A few months
ago, Green Nyashanu, was removed from his position as chief executive officer
of Mwenezi District Council by a group of war vets, while Angelus Dube of
Binga Rural District Council also faced the same fate.
British Airways to reintroduce Harare-London direct
5/1/02 9:51:51 AM (GMT +2)
BRITISH Airways (BA) says it will reintroduce the direct flight
from Harare to London twice a week on Sunday and Thursday.
the airline said it would withdrawing one of its three return flights a week
out of Harare.
Peter Best, the BA general manager, said in a statement
this week: "These changes have coincided with the introduction of the hi-tech
Boeing 777, the airline's aircraft that will operate the long haul route from
Zimbabwe to the United Kingdom.
"The Boeing 777 will depart Harare on
a Thursday and Sunday night at 22:20 and will arrive in London at
"Return flights from London will leave on Thursday and Sunday
morning at 09:30 and land in Harare at 20:25," he said.
Best said the
introduction of the flights would benefit businesspeople who will land in
London on Monday morning and have time to start a new week.
passengers travelling from London will experience the magnificence of
a transcontinental daylight flight," he said.
Constitutional Assembly (NCA) members appeared in court yesterday charged
with contravening the Public Order and Security Act by participating in the
organisation's demonstration last week.
Jonathan Chikukwa, 33,
and Tachiona Mharadza, 29, were not asked to plead when they appeared before
Masvingo magistrate Shortgame Musaiona who remanded them out of custody to 7
May for trial.
The state alleged that on 23 April this year the accused
persons in the company of others went on an NCA demonstration in
On the same day the accused were observed by members of the
police as they proceeded along Hofmeyer street in Masvingo town carrying
Police officers trailed behind the group which later
The two accused were arrested near the Masvingo magistrate
courts where the demonstrators had gone to hand over copies of the NCA draft
constitution to the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary
It was the State case that the police never lost sight of the
accused when they pursued the demonstrating crowd.
According to the
State, the accused had no right to be involved in an illegal gathering which
had not been sanctioned by the police.
The two were represented by
Wellington Muzenda of Mwonzora and Associates while Titus Taruvinga
TWO Daily News reporters, Lloyd Mudiwa and
Collin Chiwanza, were yesterday arrested and detained by the police over a
story given to the paper by Enos Tadyanemhandu claiming his wife, Brandina,
was beheaded by suspected Zanu PF youths in Magunje more than a week
Chiwanza, 29, and Mudiwa, 26, were picked in the morning at The
Daily News offices along Samora Machel Avenue by three officers of the CID
law and order section at Harare Central police station. Detective
Assistant Inspector Sikhova, accompanied by Detective Sergeants Jena and
Muza, arrested the journalists.
Investigations by both the police and
The Daily News have now established that Tadyanemhandu appeared to have
fabricated the story because people in Magunje have said they knew of no such
death and did not know Tadyanemhandu and his alleged beheaded
Lawrence Chibwe, of Stumbles and Rowe law firm, representing The
Daily News, said yesterday Chiwanza and Mudiwa were charged under Section 80
(1) (b) of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, Chapter
10:27 which deals with the abuse of journalistic privilege.
(b) forbids the publication of falsehoods. The section stipulates that anyone
who contravenes that section shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a
fine not exceeding $100 000 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two
Chibwe said the officer-in-charge of the law and order section at
Harare Central police station, who identified himself as Detective
Inspector Matedenge, told him the two journalists would be detained but did
not say when they would be released.
Chibwe said: “After the police
recorded warned and cautioned statements from the two, Matedenge told me that
Mudiwa and Chiwanza had committed serious offences and would be
By 6.30pm, Chibwe said he was preparing to file an urgent
application in the High Court against the detention of the two journalists.
“I think the detention is without any legal basis, but is meant to harass the
two,” he said. The controversial piece of legislation, crafted by Jonathan
Moyo, the Minister of State for Information and Publicity in President
Mugabe’s Office, was used two weeks ago to arrest Geoffrey Nyarota,
the Editor-in-Chief of The Daily News. Nyarota was arrested in connection
with a story carried in the newspaper which said there were serious
discrepancies between the total number of votes announced by the
Registrar-General, Tobaiwa Mudede, in March’s presidential election and the
actual ballots cast.
After the paper published the anomaly, about a
month after the election, Mudede announced fresh figures of the ballots