Murder as retribution campaign gains momentum Mon 02 May
††††† HURUNGWE -- An opposition supporter was last Friday abducted
and murdered in Hurungwe East constituency as ruling ZANU PF party militants
intensify retribution against the opposition while the international
spotlight focuses on Zimbabwe's worsening food and humanitarian
††††† Opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party
member Moffat Ibrahim was a few days before his death first summoned to
attend a village court hearing by the headman in Ward six of Hurungwe
district, more than 200 km north of Harare.
††††† The headman, one D.
Mupanedengu, allegedly told Ibrahim that he was no longer welcome in the
area because he belonged to the MDC and had voted for the opposition party
in the March 31 election.
††††† Before Ibrahim could flee his village to
the neighbouring Karoi town where dozens of other MDC supporters have fled
since the retribution campaign began a week after the election, he was
waylaid and kidnapped by 16 ZANU PF militants who murdered him in cold
††††† "He had alerted the police that his life was inn danger at
the time he was summoned to the village court," a local MDC leader Biggie
Haurovi told ZimOnline yesterday.
††††† A police inspector Khumalo at
Karoi police station, which oversees Hurungwe, confirmed the murder of
Ibrahim. He said no one had by yesterday been arrested over the murder but
said investigations into the matter where still in
††††† ZANU PF spokesman Nathan Shamuyarira
could not be reached yesterday for comment on the matter. But Shamuyarira
has in the past denied claims of retribution by ZANU PF militants against
††††† With the attention of the international Press,
local church and human rights groups that have in the past highlighted human
rights abuses in Zimbabwe drawn to the country's unfolding humanitarian
disaster, ZANU PF militants especially in Matabeleland South, Mashonaland
West and Manicaland provinces have taken advantage to mete out retribution
on MDC supporters.
††††† Hurungwe East constituency falls under
Mashonaland West province. Haurovi, who was also the MDC's candidate in the
constituency in last month's controversial election, said he was struggling
to provide for dozens of families living at his house in Karoi town after
being forced by ZANU PF militants to flee their homes.
ZimOnline reported last week that dozens of opposition supporters from
Chipinge town in Manicaland province had also fled their homes for dear life
as war veterans and ruling ZANU PF militants there stepped up a crackdown
against MDC members in the town and surrounding districts.
of the families, who said they had fled after receiving death threats from
ZANU PF militants, alleged that some members of the police in Chipinge were
actively assisting the ruling party militants in persecuting people
suspected of having voted for the MDC in the March poll.
††††† A church
minister in Mutare city, who did not want his name or that of his church
mentioned for fear of reprisals, said his church was looking after at least
12 families that had fled to the city, about 200 km north of
††††† In Gwanda in Matabeleland South, deputy Foreign
Affairs Minister Abednico Ncube is allegedly leading a witch hunt against
MDC supporters in the area and is said to have instructed government food
distribution officials in the area to deny food to opposition supporters.
More than 7000 teachers die because of HIV/AIDS Mon 2 May
2005 † BULAWAYO - More than 7 000 teachers nationwide have died due to
HIV/AIDS related illness in the last five years, according to the
Progressive Teachers' Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ).
††††† PTUZ secretary
general Raymond Majonwge told workers gathered in Bulawayo city yesterday to
mark May Day that a survey by his union showed that nearly every school in
the country had lost at least two teachers to the scourge since
††††† "The economy is continuously declining and the issue of Aids
remains dire .we have (established) that at least 7 000 teachers have died
of the pandemic in the past five years," said Majongwe, whose PTUZ is one of
two bodies that represent teachers in the country.
††††† Health and
Child Welfare Minister David Parirenyatwa could not be immediately reached
yesterday for comment on the union's findings and statistics on HIV/AIDS
deaths among the teaching profession.
††††† Majongwe said while teachers
had better information on the disease and on ways of preventing contracting
the virus, lack of antiretroviral (ARV) drugs especially for infected
teachers based in schools in remote rural areas had led to the high death
rate among the profession.
††††† "As a union, we are therefore saying we
need ARVs to be made available to teachers and should be affordable.other
ways the continuous death of teachers spells doom for this nation," the PTUZ
††††† Zimbabwe has one of the highest HIV/AIDS infection
rates in the world. Food shortages plus a crumbling public health system
amid a five-year economic recession have only helped exacerbate the HIV/AIDS
pandemic in Zimbabwe where the diseases kills more than 2000 people every
Zimbabwe moves to end brain drain Mon 2 May 2005 † HARARE - The Zimbabwe
government plans to bond all professionals trained at state funded
institutions in a bid to end a severe brain drain that has seen hundreds of
thousands of skilled Zimbabweans skipping the country to take menial but
better paying jobs abroad.
††††† The state-run Sunday Mail newspaper
yesterday quoted Ministry of Higher Education permanent secretary Washington
Mbizvo as saying that a draft document of the new bonding regulations was
already with President Robert Mugabe and his Cabinet for their consideration
before the proposed regulations can become effective.
government already bonds health professionals for several years before they
can be allowed to leave the country or government service. The planned
regulations which Mbizvo did not indicate when they are likely to become
effective, will affect professionals such as lawyers, engineers and
technicians trained at government universities and polytechnic
††††† More than three million Zimbabweans or more than a
quarter of the country's 12 million people leave and work outside the
country mostly in South Africa, Britain, United States, New Zealand,
Australia and Canada.
††††† Most of the highly qualified professionals
are however forced to take up menial jobs in their host countries to survive
after fleeing home because of poor working conditions and political
War veterans leader threatens soccer officials Mon 2 May
2005 † HARARE -- Controversial war veteran and vice-chairman of the ruling
ZANU PF party-sponsored Zimbabwe Federation of Trade Unions (ZFTU) Joseph
Chinotimba has threatened Premier Soccer League (PSL) and Dynamos football
club officials after they refused to allow the popular Harare club play army
side Black Rhinos at ZFTU hosted May Day celebrations
††††† Sources told ZimOnline that Chinotimba, known for
leading violent invasions of white-owned farms in the last three years, had
wanted to use the soccer match to attract a bigger crowd at the ZFTU
celebrations that were being held at Rufaro stadium.
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, the country's main labour body, held
separate and better attended celebrations to mark Workers' Day at Gwanzura
stadium just across town.
††††† Sources said Chinotimba attempted to arm
twist PSL fixtures secretary, Godfrey Japajapa, and Dynamos chairman
Morrison Sifelani both of whom however refused to be intimidated by the
self-styled commander-in-chief of farm invasions.
††††† A PSL
management committee member, who spoke anonymously, said: "Chinotimba phoned
the PSL last week and demanded that Dynamos should play Black Rhinos at his
rally but we refused because as far as we are concerned, the club will play
their league match against AmaZulu in Bulawayo on Monday. There is no way
Dynamos can play on Sunday and Monday.
††††† "He threatened to deal with
some members of the management committee saying that they were refusing to
support government initiatives. He even made ridiculous claims that the PSL
management committee was made up of (main opposition) Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) party members and that he would request ZANU PF
politicians to deal with us."
††††† A Dynamos official said Sifelani also
stood firm against Chinotimba telling the war veteran leader that he did not
want Dynamos used to prop up the ZFTU because it was a "useless
††††† After failing to cajole the PSL and Dynamos to help
attract people to his rally Chinotimba later settle for Black Rhinos and
AirForce of Zimbabwe side, Chapungu. ZimOnline.
THE Zimbabwe Electoral
Commission (ZEC) has set June 11 as the date for elections in 18 wards in
various rural and urban councils. In a statement on Friday, ZEC chief
elections officer Lovemore Sekeramayi said nomination courts for interested
candidates would sit on May 13. "Nomination courts shall sit on Friday, 13
May, 2005, commencing at 10 o'clock in the morning at the places specified
for purposes of receiving nominations of candidates for election to the
office of councillors aforesaid. "Polling shall take place on Saturday 11th
June, 2005, if a poll becomes necessary after the close of nomination
courts," Sekeramayi said. Inspection of the voters' roll† closed on Saturday
last week. Rural district councils in which there would be elections include,
Chipinge (Ward 8), Buhera (Ward 21) Nyanga (Wards 4 and 30), Muzarabani
(19), Shamva (23), Mudzi (9 and 10), Mutoko (13), Hurungwe (12), Bikita
(18), Mwenezi (7), Bubi (1), Tsholotsho (1 and 5) and Bulilima (11). For
the municipalities, polls will be held in Kariba's ward 4, Gwanda (7),
Kwekwe (7), Mutare (26) and Chegutu (7).
Zim unions issue May Day distress call ††††††††† May 01 2005 at
††††† By Susan Njanji
††††† Harare - Union leaders urged
Zimbabweans on Sunday to take action to stave off famine and economic
collapse, warning that they may not make it to next year's May Day due to
worsening food shortages.
††††† Zimbabwe has over the past two weeks
faced crippling shortages of fuel, and power and water outages, while basic
foodstuffs such as maize grain are in short supply.
††††† "Let's take
action whilst we still can, otherwise we will not even make it for next
year's May Day celebrations due to hunger," said Lovemore Matombo, president
of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU,) at a May Day rally in the
††††† About 3 000 people turned out at the rally,
held under the theme "Protect our rights, save our economy and our jobs" and
which unions said was a call to action to halt the deterioration in living
standards of workers.
††††† President Robert Mugabe's government
blames the shortages, which have worsened in the aftermath of the March 30
parliamentary elections, on a drought but critics say bad policies are also
††††† "Last year government announced that there was enough
food and ...right now the strategic grain reserves are empty and Zimbabweans
are hungry with no food in sight," said Matombo.
††††† The government
announced last week that it will take delivery of 1,2 tons of imported
staple corn to augment its stocks but it has not approached international
agencies such as the UN World Food Programme for assistance.
Harare shops, the national staple cornmeal is snapped up within hours if
available, while margarine and even toothpaste have run out. Milk and butter
supplies are erratic.
††††† Fuel shortages have paralysed the transport
industry with workers spending up to five hours waiting for buses to get to
or from work, while motorists spend nights in queues at fuel pumps to fill
††††† Zimbabwe's Reserve Bank said that the fuel crisis was caused by
a foreign currency crunch and that the situation would improve in the coming
††††† "It's not a secret that our resources got a little bit
over-stretched during the just-ended election, especially in the area of
foreign currency," Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono told the state-owned
††††† "With respect to fuel, the situation should normalise
over the next one-and-half to two weeks," he said.
supply has also been erratic and officials say the power cuts are set to
persist as one of the country's main power generators broke down last week
and parts needed to repair it must be imported.
††††† Water cuts have
been so severe in some parts of the country that schools in one Harare
suburb were reportedly sending children home after only three hours of
classes due to fear of disease outbreak.
††††† "From here, let us take
time to start thinking seriously about what to do to improve the situation
in the country. Our problems are just too many," said Matombo.
"Last year we vowed that if prices rose further, we would take to the
streets. What streets are you still waiting for?" asked ZCTU secretary
general Wellington Chibebe.
††††† ZCTU also called for a sharp
increase of the minimum wage from the current equivalent of US$96 (about
R584) US dollars to US$387, a cut in personal income tax and free anti-AIDS
drugs to help the 2,3 million Zimbabweans living with HIV and
††††† The European Union announced in March that it would give
?15-million euros in humanitarian aid to Zimbabwe.
Wheels come off in Zimbabwe ††††††††† May 01 2005 at
††††† By Peta Thornycroft
††††† Harare - Just weeks after
a disputed national poll returned President Robert Mugabe to power, Zimbabwe
is falling further into economic meltdown amid a crippling shortage of
††††† Fuel as well as the nation's staple food, maize
meal, and other basics like cooking oil, sugar and margarine have run out
across the country.
††††† Zimbabwe's shortage of food has become an
emergency, according to a famine warning network that issued an alert this
weekend saying most people can no longer afford to eat.
meal is largely unavailable, except on the black market, according to
USAid's Famine Early Warning Systems Network (Fewsnet). Its statement on the
perilous food situation is the first assessment of Zimbabwe's summer
harvest, which is "insufficient to satisfy consumption needs" for the next
†††††† Fewsnet is a long-established regional food monitor and its
cautiously worded statement is confirmation of what farmers and rural
Zimbabweans already knew.
††††† Patchy rain and drought in
traditionally dry parts of the country aside, the harvest was the worst in
decades, economists say.
††††† "It is urgent that objective assessments
of the magnitude of the problem be undertaken to help the government of
Zimbabwe determine whether it will need outside help to close the food gap,"
††††† For several months western countries have tried
quietly to prod the Zimbabwean government to sign an agreement allowing
donors to launch an international appeal.
††††† Mugabe said last year
that donors should divert resources to other countries as Zimbabweans would
"choke" if any more food aid was delivered.
††††† This week Renson
Gasela, the opposition Movement for Democratic Change's agriculture
secretary, was grim-faced when he addressed a news conference and gave his
second food crisis warning of the past month. "Donors have not been
approached, nor has a signal been given that the government would welcome
††††† He estimated that Zimbabwe needed to urgently import a
million tons of maize as it had grown less than a third of its annual
consumption of 1,8 million tons.
††††† "Maize is now treated like a
security item on which the country must be kept in ignorance," Gasela
††††† The only legal grain trader, the government's Grain Marketing
Board, is not allowed to divulge maize statistics and its senior positions
are mostly filled by members of the Zimbabwean national army.
"We have fuel shortages and no sugar. There is no cooking oil, no milk. Only
totalitarian, oppressive regimes would keep citizens in ignorance of the
food supply situation," Gasela said.
††††† Much of the 2004-5 maize crop
was planted late, up to the end of January, and even short-season varieties
did not enjoy enough heat in the soil for long enough to produce decent
yields, according to cereal growers.
††††† Former security minister
Nicholas Goche, now labour minister, who heads up a food task force, said
the government had bought 150 000 tons of maize from South Africa. Poor
international prices for cotton, and a hugely decreased crop size for
2004-5, have deepened Zimbabwe's agricultural woes.
††††† The tobacco
crop is unlikely to reach more than 65 million kilograms and many
small-scale growers refuse to sell at the annual auctions because they say
the US dollar price is too low, and the exchange rate of $1 to ZIM$6 000
prevents them from meeting costs.
††††† Most irrigation schemes left on
former white commercial farms when their owners were evicted are no longer
working. All wheat in Zimbabwe is grown under irrigation.
season Zimbabwe produced about 80 000 tons good enough for milling, down
from a high of more than 350 000 tons four years ago.
Basildon Peta reports that most suburbs of the capital, Harare, have been
without water for two weeks and schools are shutting down to avoid outbreaks
††††† Power blackouts have become the order of the day,
forcing more companies to consider closing or putting workers on short
††††† One of the country's main gold producers has shut
down due to erratic power supplies and soaring production costs, bringing to
10 the number of major mining companies that have closed in the past four
years, leaving thousands jobless.
††††† The meltdown comes at a time
when Zimbabwe has taken delivery of six Chinese jet fighters worth $120
million (about R7,2 billion). Mugabe justified the purchase of the jets by
saying Zimbabwe needed to prepare to defend itself.
This article was originally published on page 1 of Sunday Independent on May
††††† 'Long arm' of the government threatens media in
††††† By Robyn Curnow International Herald Tribune
MONDAY, MAY 2, 2005
††††† LONDON Zimbabwe holds the dubious
distinction of being one of the worst places in the world to be a
††††† That "honor" was bestowed on the country by the
Committee to Protect Journalists, a U.S.-based organization that promotes
freedom of the press. For 2004, Zimbabwe placed third on the list, behind
Iraq and Cuba.
††††† With the exception of two weeklies, The Standard and
The Independent, all newspapers, radio and television stations in Zimbabwe
are government-controlled. The popular independent daily newspaper The Daily
News, which had the largest circulation of any paper in the country, was
forced to close in 2003.
††††† Since 2002, it has become a criminal
offense to practice journalism without a license, granted - and revoked - at
the discretion of the government-controlled Media and Information
††††† For many in Zimbabwe's press corps, losing the license
is just one threat; the possibility of arrest, beatings and intimidation is
also ever present. Authorities are quick to harass journalists who report
what the state calls "lies" about human rights abuses, economic ills or the
opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change.
††††† These are
just some of the abuses highlighted by the International Press Institute, a
global network of editors, journalists and media executives. The institute
has Zimbabwe on a watch list for violating press freedoms.
Even foreign media organizations have been hounded out of the country. In
February, reporters for The Associated Press, The Times of London and
Bloomberg News fled the country. They feared they would be jailed after
being subjected to hours of harassment and what one of the correspondents
described as "not-so-veiled threats." All three are Zimbabwean
††††† And for non-Zimbabwean reporters who think they can slip
into the country on a tourist visa, the prospect of spending as much as two
years in a Zimbabwean jail makes many think again.
††††† In April,
two British journalists from The Sunday Telegraph were freed after spending
10 days in a squalid Harare jail. They were acquitted after the state failed
to prove they had been working as journalists ahead of the March 31
††††† The legislative backbone behind the muzzling of the
media in Zimbabwe is the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy
Act, which was tightened in 2004, and the Criminal (Codification and Reform)
Act, which calls for 20 years' imprisonment and/or heavy fines for those who
publish "false" information about the state. Dozens of journalists have been
detained and harassed under these laws, but none have been
††††† The result of this sustained assault on press freedoms
is that Zimbabwe's free media now operate outside the country's
††††† The Zimbabwean newspaper and SW Radio Africa are two media
outlets that have decamped to Britain. On the other side of the Atlantic,
Voice of America's Studio 7 station has broadcasts to Zimbabwe in the
mornings and evenings and on weekends.
††††† Studio 7 is aired in
Shona, Ndebele and English, the main languages spoken in
††††† Studio 7 was introduced in 2003 and is based in
Washington. SW Radio Africa has been up and running since 2001 and is based
in London. The Zimbabwean was started in February and is based in
††††† These outlets have all found innovative ways
around the Zimbabwean government's restrictive laws.
Zimbabwean, a weekly tabloid, is edited and printed in London. Currently
50,000 copies are distributed every Thursday in South Africa, Botswana and
††††† The editor, Wilf Mbanga, said the paper was allowed to
distribute in Zimbabwe because of a loophole in the Access to Information
and Privacy Act: because it is published and printed outside the country,
The Zimbabwean and its journalists, based both inside and outside the
country, do not have to be accredited.
††††† Mbanga said distributing
as an international publication was, for now, one of the few ways to dodge
the media laws, which he says are "used to deny information, not protect
it." It is a strategy that Mbanga said was working; growing numbers of
Zimbabweans are reading his weekly.
††††† Of the 50,000 copies printed,
40,000 are sold to the Zimbabwean diaspora, who live mainly in South Africa,
Botswana and Britain. The other 10,000 copies are flown to Zimbabwe each
week and sold at shops and street vendors across the country, alongside the
state-run newspapers, The Herald and The Chronicle. The price per copy is
4,000 Zimbabwean dollars, or 68 cents at the official exchange
††††† Mbanga said the newspapers were selling - and reselling.
"People are buying a copy for 4,000 Zimbabwe dollars, reading it and then
selling it for 5,000 dollars. You can't give it away. It's gold," he said
with a chuckle.
††††† Further proof of the newspaper's success, Mbanga
said, is the negative response he and the paper have received from the Media
and Information Commission.
††††† "They've denounced us," Mbanga said
gleefully. "They've issued statements saying I am Blair's puppet and
receiving slush funds from America," he said, referring to Prime Minister
Tony Blair of Britain.
††††† But Mbanga points out that those helping
him to "tell the truth" are not the British or American governments. The
Zimbabwean is funded by three Dutch nongovernment organizations. The groups,
Netherlands Institute of Southern Africa, Press Now and Free Voice, have
each donated ?10,000, or about $13,000.
††††† Recently, the Open
Society Institute, a foundation started by the financier George Soros to
promote democratic governance, also stepped in with a special grant to cover
the paper's printing bill until the end of the year.
Zimbabwean also earns money from subscriptions and advertising. Money is
tight, so articles are written on a volunteer basis.
††††† The content of
The Zimbabwean, and on www.thezimbabwean.co.uk, reflects
deep resentment toward the Mugabe government. Articles chide Zimbabwe's
human rights record, and editorials warn of the dangers of an "emasculated"
judiciary. Cartoons mock President Robert Mugabe.
††††† Many of the
correspondents use pseudonyms. They still fear for their safety, even if
they are based in Britain or South Africa.
††††† Mbanga said he and his
volunteer staff were aware that they were still within reach of what he
calls the "long arm of Mugabe."
††††† That long arm caught up with SW
Radio Africa in London: three weeks before the parliamentary elections at
the end of March, SW Radio frequencies were jammed.
††††† SW Radio
Africa offers news coverage and political talk shows, with topics ranging
from women's rights to religion to Mugabe. Zimbabwean listeners to SW Radio
Africa can phone in using a local number.
††††† Studio 7, which continues
to broadcast without interference, bills itself less as a platform for
democracy and more as a news organization.
††††† "We're trying to cover
the news like we're based in Harare," said Brendan Murphy, the program
coordinator for Studio 7. Murphy's staff, as well as SW Radio Africa's, is
made up almost entirely of Zimbabwean journalists.
stations broadcast via short-wave and medium-wave radio frequencies, which
are easily picked up on African radio sets.
††††† Gerry Jackson, the
founder and editor at SW Radio Africa, insists that the Zimbabwean
government is behind the jamming. On the station's Web site, www.swradioafrica.com, listeners are
told of alternative frequencies on medium wave that have not yet been
††††† Jackson is nervously monitoring reports in the Zimbabwean
press that the government is about to launch an all-day propaganda station
to be called Radio 24-7, on short-wave frequencies inside and outside
††††† "This is to counteract so-called negative information put
out by organizations like us," he said. "It is a big media push, which is
quite clever, but quite disturbing."
††††† Mbanga, for his part, is
keeping a close eye on South African media reports that the editor of the
state-run newspaper The Herald was recently making inquiries into printing
and distributing that newspaper in Johannesburg.
worried about our influence in South Africa," he said. "It is to compete
directly with us. We welcome it. It would give readers a choice."
††††† Zimbabwe c.bank sees fuel crisis over soon -
††††† Sun May 1, 2005 1:59 PM GMT+02:00 ††††† HARARE (Reuters) -
Zimbabwe's central bank believes the fuel crisis gripping the country will
end within a fortnight, saying March parliamentary elections over-stretched
limited foreign exchange reserves, state media reported.
crisis-ridden southern African nation started to run low on fuel and other
basic commodities soon after the March 31 poll which returned President
Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party to power amid opposition cries of
††††† "Its not a secret that our resources got a little bit
over-stretched during the just-ended election, especially in the area of
foreign currency," Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono told the Sunday
††††† "With respect to fuel, the situation should normalise over
the next one-and-half to two weeks. Therefore, motorists need not panic as
the situation will be brought back to normal."
††††† Zimbabwe has
suffered erratic fuel supplies since 1999, when key donors led by the
International Monetary Fund withdrew support over policy differences with
††††† Critics say Mugabe, in power since independence
from Britain in 1980, has crippled a once-vibrant economy through skewed
policy decisions including the controversial seizure of white-owned
commercial farms for landless blacks, a programme they say has destroyed the
mainstay agriculture sector.
††††† Mugabe denies misruling the
country over the past 25 years, arguing the economy has fallen victim to
domestic and foreign opponents of his farm seizures.
Govt descends on workers' leaders By Foster Dongozi and
oScores arrested in nationwide blitz THE government
last week unleashed a blitz against leaders of the mainstream labour
movement amid mounting concern that it was anxious to pre-empt
demonstrations against shortages of all basic commodities by urban dwellers
during today's May Day celebrations.
Several labour activists, meeting to
plan today's commemorations, were arrested last week for allegedly holding
unsanctioned meetings. The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU)
secretary-general, Wellington Chibebe, said he was worried by the rate at
which labour activists were being arrested. He also said the government had
launched a sustained campaign to infiltrate and sponsor some members of the
affiliated unions in order to cause chaos.
"Right now we are still
coming up with figures on the exact number of our members who have been
"Certainly the police have descended on our members and are
arresting them on issues connected to May Day. The harassment of ZCTU
members is not a new thing. They fear that the ZCTU could mobilise the
workers to demonstrate on May Day and that is what has terrified them into
making the arrests," Chibebe said.
Six ZCTU officials were arrested
in Mutare last week for holding a preparatory meeting for today's Workers'
Day. They were released after four hours.
Helarious Ruyi, a general
council member; Eria Mwandipe (regional chairperson); Tambaoga Nyazika
(regional officer); a Mr Chandakabata, (regional treasurer); Superior Boka,
(district chairperson); and Medicine Muringi (district organiser) were
arrested last Wednesday for meeting at Mutare's Hellenics Sports
Ruyi said the police stormed the meetings' venue and told them they
were holding an illegal gathering because they had not sought police
Innocent Gonese, a Mutare lawyer, who accompanied the six to
the police station, said the detentions were illegal since ZCTU, as a labour
body, did not require police clearance to hold its meetings.
unfortunate that the police do not know the provisions of the law. The
provisions of POSA (Public Order and Security Act) are quite clear on who is
supposed to apply for police clearance and who is not," Gonese said.
rapped the police for disrupting the meeting, saying this had been costly to
the organisation as they had paid for the venue but had not concluded their
He blamed the police for what he said was "overzealous
In Harare, ZCTU's Health and Safety Co-ordinator, Nathan
Banda, and three other workers of the labour movement were on Wednesday
morning briefly detained by the police while commemorating the World Day for
Safety and Health at Work.
Mulamuleli Sibanda, the ZCTU spokesperson,
said the four and two other unidentified members from the Associated Mining
Workers Union were just about to march from Harare City Centre to the
National Social Security Authority (NSSA) House along Sam Nujoma Street when
police pounced on them.
"The police detained them for more than an hour
and asked them not to proceed with the march. They were left with no choice
but to abandon the march," Sibanda said.
He said the peaceful
demonstrations were organised by NSSA and the Associated Mining Workers, an
affiliate of the ZCTU.
The three other workers from the ZCTU are: Elijah
Mutemeri; Nyikadzino Madzonga; and Vimbai Mushongera.
Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) condemned the arrests saying the harassment
of labour activists was a clear and contemptuous violation of workers'
"It is common cause that workers the world over mark and
commemorate these days and they have the inalienable right to do so. The
State has no right to effectively delete all these rights at whim, as has
been the case in Zimbabwe recently," the lawyers said in a
Ordinary Zimbabweans are suffering due worsening economic
problems characterised by crippling fuel and water crisis, electricity
blackouts and the scarcity of sugar, cooking oil, soft drinks and maize, the
country's staple food.
Prices of the few available commodities have
sky rocketed beyond the reach of ordinary Zimbabweans while the parallel
market has resurfaced.
Transport shortages have worsened in most urban
centres, with commuters spending hours in queues while others foot to and
from their work places.
The Standard also observed riot police
controlling fuel queues at several service stations in Harare's central
business district (CBD) to ensure there are no riots as the shortages
persist. Roadblocks have been set up along routes leading into the city
centre during the past week in a show of strength that the ZCTU says is
intended to send warning signals to organisers of today's Workers' Day
MDC decries Zanu PF 'retribution' By Caiphas
THE Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) says the ruling Zanu PF
party has intensified post-elections retribution against the opposition
party's supporters, mostly in rural areas, in order to cow the disgruntled
The party claims its chairman for Ward 6 in Karoi,
Ebrahim Moffat, was murdered by suspected Zanu PF supporters on Friday, as
the ruling party tries to ensure complete dominance in rural areas. Zanu
PF won 78 seats while MDC got 41 seats in the disputed 31 March
Paul Themba-Nyathi, MDC spokesperson said
the murder of Moffat was one of the several cases of post elections
retribution by the ruling party.
He said Zanu PF was targeting people who
were MDC poll agents in the 31 March 2005 parliamentary
"While the Zanu PF leadership is trying to give an impression
that there is peace in the post-election era, we continue to receive reports
of MDC activists who are being assaulted, intimidated and threatened
throughout the country," Themba-Nyathi said.
Oliver Mandipaka, said he had not details of the alleged murder case as he
was attending the Zimbabwe International Trade Affair (ZITF) in
"I don't have details of that case, but you can get in touch
with Assistant Commissioner Bvudzijena he should be back in Harare by now,"
Efforts to get a comment from Bvudzijena were
Themba-Nyathi said retribution was worst in resettlement
areas where the people are afraid of loosing land they received.
said MDC election agent in the 31 March, Sam Komala (25), at Sanya Primary
School in Shamva and his wife, Patience Maungire, who was a polling agent at
Soma Resettlement area in the same constituency had their tuckshop looted of
goods worth millions of dollars by a group of suspected Zanu PF supporters
on 18 April 2005, the day Zimbabwe celebrated its 25th
"It (retribution) is actually worst in the resettlement
areas where people are held hostages. Zanu PF tells them that because they
are on the resettlement schemes they have not right to support an opposition
party," Themba-Nyathi said.
The MDC spokesperson said the ruling
party was harassing and beating up people in the rural areas because the
opposition party had made inroads in the rural areas, once viewed as a Zanu
"They know they do not have support anywhere in the
country so they have to get it through intimidation, abuse of traditional
structures and food, which is being used as a weapon of force,"
The MDC also claims that Washington Wengai Hwiza of
Hoyuyu in Murehwa South, who worked as an election agent at Karumazondo
Primary School during the past elections, was severely assaulted by a group
of four Zanu PF functionaries at a tuckshop he operates in Gwishiri Village
In Guruve, North MDC youth chairman for Ward 6 in Guruve
North, Alfred Chideme, had his property removed from his house and dumped at
his father's home by a group of Zanu PF youths allegedly on the instructions
of a Zanu PF councillor.
"When Chideme initially reported the
incident at Mahuwe Police Station, the officer who heard the case said there
was nothing they could do to help as the officer responsible for such cases
had left the station.
" A second report was made to Constable Usika by
Chideme's uncle, upon which the case was reported as RRB 0337049. However,
no arrests have been made to date," said the MDC.
Chideme has since
fled the area following threats by the youths, said the MDC.
national chairman, John Nkomo, refused to comment referring all questions to
the party's spokesperson, Nathan Shamuyarira, who could not be reached by
the time of going to print.
Guebuza hails NEPAD but Mugabe 'looks East' By our own
VISITING Mozambican President, Armando Guebuza, has challenged
African leaders to uphold the principles of the New Partnership for Africa's
Development (Nepad), saying it would help develop the continent and
alleviate worsening poverty.
Speaking at a reception held at
State House on Thursday evening, Guebuza, who is in the country for a
four-day State visit, said African leaders are playing a more prominent role
in the fight against poverty and in the promotion of sustainable
"Nepad represents our renewed commitment to peace and
stability and to entrenching democracy and raising standards of good
political, economic and corporate governance," he said.
through Nepad, African leaders would be telling the rest of the world that
they are ready to confront all their problems head-on.
"Nepad is a cry
for help from someone who is not looking by, but who is clear as to what he
or she wants to achieve. It is a cry for help from someone who wants to take
full responsibility for his or her own fate firmly in his or her own hands,"
said Guebuza, who officially opened this year's Zimbabwe International Trade
Fair (ZITF) on Friday.
He said Nepad symbolises the call for true and
genuine partnership that Africa wants to build with the rest of the
Zimbabwe has so far not yet signed up for the African Peer Review
Mechanism (APRM), a voluntary undertaking by member states that would
facilitate periodic peer reviews and be guided by agreed parameters for good
governance at both political and economic levels.
Mugabe, speaking at the same function took the opportunity to announce that
his crisis-wracked country now had a "special bias towards the Far East,
with countries like China, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia playing a
leading role as development partners".
Mugabe spoke about the importance
of ties between Mozambique and Zimbabwe with the former playing a pivotal
role as Zimbabwe's shortest gateway to the rest of the world.
have a few outstanding areas we need to work hard on, which include the
joint vision for Beira, but one often stymied by lethargic bureaucracies in
our two countries," he said.
He said he was happy that Mozambique was
exhibiting at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF), which ended
The success of NEPAD is expected to ensure that Africa
develops and eradicates poverty, which has brought many social ills to the
'No money for you'- Parastatals wait in vain for Gono's
promised billions By Kumbirai Mafunda
HALF the number of Zimbabwe's
loss making parasatals have not received a cent from the ambitious $10
trillion the central bank pledged in January, Standard Business has
Central bank Governor Gideon Gono - who three months ago unveiled
an ambitious plan to dole out a whopping $10 trillion to more than 16
financially crippled parastatals - said at the time that targeted outlays
under the programme would primarily be for the specific uplifting of
worn-out public enterprises and human resource rationalisation and
development. Official sources said the central bank has failed to raise
the unbudgeted funds and instead has only $5 trillion, which it has parceled
to a few parastatals.
Among the few beneficiaries was Hwange Colliery
Company, which received $95 billion, a fraction of the $400 billion Gono had
said would go to the country's sole coal miner.
Hwange MD on Friday confirmed receiving the funds, which he said had
"brought up our production".
Some local authorities were also said to be
among the early recipients of the funds. However others such as Mutare, that
was promised $40 billion, haven't received a cent.
"We have heard
about it on radio and read about it newspapers," is all that Mutare
Executive Mayor Misheck Kagurabadza said when Standard Business solicited
for his comment.
Electricity supplier, ZESA, which had hoped to embark on
a number of projects with the central bank money, says it has not yet
received its promised allocation. Because of that ZESA has stopped work in
Shawasha Hills, Ruwa and many other suburbs.
Most of the
electrification work has stopped because ZESA has no money to buy
transformers and companies that used to supply it on credit have frozen ZESA
accounts because of non-payment, sources told Standard Business.
Corporate Affairs Manager Obert Nyatanga on Friday said the electricity
supplier was still to receive its $1 trillion tranche from Gono.
not yet received the money," said Nyatanga. "They are still processing and
we are likely to get it soon," he added.
Almost all loss making
institutions such as NRZ, ZISCO, GMB, ZUPCO and Air Zimbabwe are in line for
a massive capital injection under Gono's ambitious reform
Critics however say several rescue packages for State enterprises
in the past have either failed to take off ground or bear any fruits because
of mismanagement and lack of fiscal discipline. The analysts warn that
unless corporate governance issues are addressed the $10 trillion rescue
package is tantamount to taxpayers' funds being poured into a bottomless
Other analysts attributed the RBZ's failure to raise the much-needed
rescue funds to under subscription of the central bank's stock on the
"The market can not obtain that much," said Daniel Ndlela
economic consultant at Zimconsult.
Independent economic consultant
John Robertson blamed the loss of national savings brought up by negative
real interest rates, as the main cause the RBZ cannot easily raise funds. He
said the government is saddled with other pressing commitments that it will
be difficult for the central bank to raise the $10 trillion.
Business failed to get the normally easily accessible Gono's comment before
going to print despite repeated efforts to contact him.
- Zimbabwe's annual trade exhibition, Zimbabwe International Trade Fair
(ZITF) ended on what many concluded was a disappointing note.
survey conducted by The Standard yesterday revealed that most exhibitors did
not conclude many deals. The exhibitors only reported having received
inquiries. In an interview, Zambia's first secretary for economic affairs,
Dyriss Kabwita, said about 10 Zambian companies, which participated in this
year's ZITF, were yet to conclude deals.
"We are yet to clinch
concrete deals. We have only received inquiries about our products. We were
given a few promising contacts.
"From my observation of this year's show,
the participation was low though I don't really know the cause," Kabwita
Ten Zambian companies, which exhibited at the ZITF under the
Zambian embassy stand, comprise Aminita Private Limited, which specialises
in the production of cooking oil and chips; Trade Kings, which manufactures
detergents, mahewu drink and other consumables.
Other companies such
as Rivonia Private Limited, Zambia Sugar Company, Zambia Breweries, Plascom
Paints, Dulux, Vitretext (Pvt) Ltd, Zambia-China Mulungushi Textiles (ZCMT)
and the International Drug Company were among the foreign companies, which
The other Zambian firm which said it failed to clinch deals
was the International Drug Company of Zambia. It said the bigger markets in
the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) made up for the disappointment
suffered at this year's ZITF.
Zambian Counsellor Chembe Nyangu said
although most companies did not conclude deals, they would in future benefit
from the contacts they made.
Malawi's Export Promotion Council Senior
Manager, Daisy Pamela Mthindi, said she was still to reflect on the business
concluded at the Trade Fair.
"As you can see, I am still compiling the
list of orders made during the week. Off hand, I can't say much except that
the business was low," Mthindi said.
Imperial and Commercial
Refrigeration, a local company, said it had only sold four refrigerators
during the exhibition.
The company's sales representative, Johnson
Chipfunde, said the four refrigerators were valued at $90 million.
would not want to say much, but we sold four refrigerators here. The level
of participation was okay but as Imperial and Commercial Refrigeration, we
are experiencing serious foreign currency challenges.
"We have since
scaled down operations as a result of the shortage of foreign currency,"
Car Guard Company's technician at the ZITF, Richard Moyo,
said: "Sales have gone down but we have to pull up our socks to visit
clients from the targeted companies. The other issue that should be
implemented is thorough advertising as well as visiting people on the
ground," Moyo said.
Mozambican President Armando Guebuza officially
opened the show on Friday.
He said the ZITF was a clear manifestation of
the strength of the people of Zimbabwe to overcome obstacles in their
Bulawayo, Masvingo council budgets approved By our own
BULAWAYO - THE government has finally approved the budgets for
Bulawayo and Masvingo cities but it might take long before they are
implemented because they need to be gazetted first, The Standard has
The budgets were supposed to have been approved by December
last year so that implementation would start at the beginning of
2005. Bulawayo executive mayor, Japhet Ndabeni-Ncube, confirmed that the
city's budget had been approved but the council was still waiting for it to
be gazetted, before implementation.
He said the delay in approving
the budget had cost the council several millions of dollars in
"We incurred some heavy loses during the past four months when
we were waiting for our budget to be approved. As it is right now, we cannot
implement the budget unless gazetted first.
"We are still in a
difficult position. Right now we don't really know when our budget will be
gazetted so that we start the implementation," he said.
matters, the city of Bulawayo budget was slashed from $775 billion to $515
billion, a move that has raised grave concern with local
The executive mayor of Masvingo, Alois Chaimiti, also
confirmed that his city's $45 billion budget was approved but pointed out
that it was yet to be gazetted.
"Right now we can not implement the
budget because it is not yet gazetted," Chaimiti said.
Authorities mum on fuel shortage By Bertha Shoko and
THE government yesterday failed to provide a
satisfactory explanation on when the current fuel crisis is likely to end as
queues during the whole of yesterday appeared the longest since the crisis
Justin Mupamhanga, permanent secretary for the Ministry of
Energy and Power Development, said the obstacles that have been affecting
the fuel industry for the past two years were still the same. He asked
The Standard news crew if they were not aware of the current problems
affecting the country.
"What was the situation two years ago? The fuel
industry, like any other industry has constraints, which is what the
government is working to address," said an apparently irritated and
He added: "I have not changed my position
concerning what I told the Press last week. Government is making efforts to
address the situation. The foreign currency situation is our major
constraint, where this issue is concerned."
Mupamhanga said the fuel
crisis was no longer news anymore because the problem has been affecting the
country for a couple of years now.
Mupamhanga, however, said the
government was working on logistics to ensure constant and timely delivery
National Oil Company of Zimbabwe spokesperson, Zvikomborero
Sibanda, said the issue is now a national problem and was being handled at
ministry level. "Noczim is no longer the sole fuel procurement company in
the country. There are other companies now. I think you should talk to the
ministry," Sibanda said.
Gordon Musarira of the Petroleum Marketers'
Association of Zimbabwe (PMAZ) could not be reached for comment.
the fuel problems persisted, threatening to enter a second week running,
long and winding queues of desperate motorists at petrol stations and
garages have become a common phenomenon countrywide.
have led to the emergency of a thriving parallel market. Five litres of
petrol is reportedly now selling at $60 000 at the illegal market.
late as 11PM, commuters were milling around in Harare's central business
district in search of transport to go home after knocking off from work as
early as 4 PM.
Mutare council workers threaten strike By our own
MUTARE - The cash-strapped Mutare City Council was by late last
week scrounging around for money to pay its increasingly restive workers in
a bid to avert an imminent strike by its employees.
last week wrote to the city fathers warning them that failure to pay them a
140 percent salary increase by the end of last week would be an invitation
to them to down tools. In a letter addressed to Morgan Chawawa, the City's
Town Clerk, the workers said if council fails to comply with their demands
they would be left with no option but to go on industrial action.
employees, who exceed 1 000, are demanding a 140 percent salary adjustment
backdated to January, that an arbitrator granted them early this
Council and workers took their salary dispute for arbitration
after collective bargaining became deadlocked.
Mutare Executive Mayor
Misheck Kagurabadza said his council had by last week secured 70 percent of
the 140 percent workers were demanding.
He blamed the city's woes on the
delay by the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and Urban
Development to approve its 2005 budget.
The ministry's permanent
secretary, David Munyoro, recently ordered the MDC-led council to revert to
the 2004 rates after the council had increased rates without its approval.
But Kagurabadza said the 2004 figures had been crafted in 2003.
2005 budget has not been approved and this is making it very hard for us to
operate," lamented Kagurabadza.
The Executive Mayor said it was not
feasible to award workers such an increase although he fully understands
"It is impossible to do that with the 2004 rates," he
Local Government, Public Works and Urban Development Minister
Ignatious Chombo quashed the council's attempts to raise rates in
Kagurabadza said service delivery was being slowed down by the rate
freeze since the cost of service and goods had risen sharply.
government, eager to reduce support of the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) in urban cities has on numerous counts appointed
committees and commissions to run most urban cities.
In 2004 the
government appointed a four-member committee to take over the running of the
Mutare City Council from the MDC-controlled council.
is still executing his duties as the city's Mayor, the appointment of the
committee raised fears that the government is on the verge of taking total
control of the city council
NSSA plan for health insurance slammed By Emmanuel
THE National Social Security Authority (NSSA)'s proposal to
launch a national health insurance scheme is another of the government's
numerous ploys to squander workers' hard-earned money, civic organisations
The parastatal has said it intends to introduce a national
health insurance scheme, under which every worker would be obliged to
contribute a certain percentage of his or her monthly salary. It has
approached the Tender Board for approval to engage consultants to update a
1996 report on the cost of health services. According to Amod Takawira,
NSSA's acting general manager, the consultants would help in determining the
levels of the contributions to the scheme.
If the Tender Board considers
the request before May, the outcome of the consultants' work could be known
by June next year.
It is expected that the consultants' brief would be to
establish the monthly cost of providing health services to an individual
The rationale for establishing a national health insurance scheme
is that many people were failing to access health services due to rising
costs of health care.
However, drawing parallels from past
experiences with NSSA's existing pension and funeral funds, civic
organisations said the parastatal is not the best organisation to administer
Lovemore Matombo, president of the Zimbabwe Congress of
Trade Unions (ZCTU) cited lack of transparency in the way NSSA conducts
business as one reason for the parastatal's mismanagement of the workers'
contributions to schemes under its administration.
unable to access funds from existing schemes currently administered by NSSA,
which makes one wonder who exactly or which group of people are benefiting
from these schemes," Matombo said.
Matombo argued that the normal process
was for NSSA to consult all the stakeholders before implementation of such
"We (as workers' representatives) have not been given the
opportunity to forward the names of people to represent the workers. It's
just another of the government's ways of squandering the people's money,"
Dr Billy Rigava, president of the Zimbabwe Medical
Association (Zima) said the national health insurance scheme is a noble idea
but added that he had reservations arising from NSSA's history of
"It is a very good idea, probably the way to go, but NSSA
is not the right organisation to administer the scheme.
failed to be transparent with the funds they have now, why should people
trust them to administer the national health scheme?" asked Rigava.
Bimha, the president of Employers' Confederation of Zimbabwe (Emcoz), in his
capacity as a NSSA board member laid the blame on the prevailing economic
environment, insisting that the benefits were being eroded by
"We need to get our economy right. Unless we turn the
economy around the benefits from any scheme will be insignificant," Bimha
NSSA's Takawira, however, labelled all those critical of the
parastatal launching a medical scheme as detractors, who were opposed to
"Those people are well up and can afford to pay fees being
charged by private doctors. How about those in the clothing industry, for
example, can they afford to pay for an X-ray?
"The reason NSSA has
decided to offer a medical scheme is to ensure that people are covered for
the rest of their lives by one service provider, even if they change
employment," Takawira said.
NSSA's medical scheme will first target those
in formal employment before it rolls out to the informal sector.
must first of all come up with a strategy on how those in informal sector
can contribute to the scheme," Takawira said.
Late last year, a
Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Public Accounts observed that NSSA had
"no proper investment register" for its holdings in equities, prescribed
assets and other properties.
Such loopholes, the committee said, meant
that the authority was susceptible to manipulation.
State raids NGOs By Foster Dongozi and Rutendo
NON Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and the Zimbabwe Congress of
Trade Unions are under siege from the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and
Social Welfare, which they allege is out to destroy them.
Ministry is headed by former State Security Minister, Nicholas Goche,
believed by the two organisations to have been re-assigned in the recent
Cabinet reshuffle to 'deal' with the two groups. Operatives from the
Central Intelligence Organisation, appointed as government inspectors, last
week raided offices of several NGOs and demanded to go through their
Under the Private Voluntary Organisations Act, the minister can
appoint any officers in the Public Service as Inspecting
The National Association of Non Governmental Organisation
(NANGO) was raided last week.
A statement issued by NANGO said: "We
understand that the Probe Team also includes representatives from line
ministries as well as the Central Intelligence Organisation."
added that the raids appeared to have a political dimension.
analysis of the list of organisations that have already been probed
indicates that one of the organisations had a former founder board member
who is now a key figure in the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.
Another organisation is one set up by the Commercial Farmers' Union while
another is a prominent and outspoken human rights organisation."
said NGOs faced a challenge of contesting the political objectives of the
"The raids on NGOs can be used as a vindictive and punitive
response to what has been termed as subversive activities by
Goche, The Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare
told The Standard that investigations were still going on although he could
not be drawn to disclose the number of NGO's that had been
"The commission is continuing with the investigations but I have
not met them to discuss their findings and which NGO's have been
Sources in the NGO sector said Probe Teams swooped on
close to 15 NGOs.
"About thirteen NGO's have been visited including
NANGO, Zimrights, World Vision and Farm Orphan Support Trust but some of the
NGOs are afraid to come out in the open and say what exactly transpired for
fear of victimisation."
Several organisations contacted to confirm the
raids said they could not comment for fear of reprisals.
of ZimRights, Munyaradzi Bidi, confirmed that government inspectors swooped
on his offices last week.
"Four people, one woman and three males
claiming they had been sent by the Ministry of Labour called at our offices
saying they had been appointed inspectors to verify the affairs of the
private voluntary organisations."
He said among the issues that the
inspectors wanted to scrutinise was their activities, sources of income,
books of accounts, major donors and foreign currency
Bidi said the government was jittery because a lot of NGOs
were close to the people. "The government's discomfort stems from the fact
that NGOs are more in touch with the people at grassroots level than
Abisha Makondo the administration and finance manager at the
Farm OrphanSupport Trust could neither confirm nor deny the raids to this
paper. Makondo said: "I am not at liberty to disclose that information over
An official with NANGO said several organisations had
been cowed into silence by the visits.
Court last week issued an interdict barring the Minister of Education, Sport
and Culture, Aeneas Chigwedere, from interfering in the affairs of Happy
Home plot in Marondera, The Standard has established.
Happy Home plot is
owned by Rhoda Mhute, who says Chigwedere is interfering with the operations
at her plot, which is situated next to Chigwedere's Mildebron Farm in
Marondera. She also says Chigwedere was harassing her family and
High Court Justice Alphas Chitakunye ordered Chigwedere to stop
the interference, as well as meet the costs of the case. "The respondent
(Chigwedere), his employees or agents be and are hereby interdicted from
interfering with the applicant's peaceful possession or occupation of Lot 1
of Happy Home of Waterval of Wenimbi Estate," Chitakunye
According to High Court documents Mhute, argued that her
problems started after Chigwedere occupied his allocated Mildebron Estate in
2002. In the application Mhute sought an order that would bar Chigwedere
from interfering with the running of affairs at her farm.
she bought the farm from Eris Richard Nilson, who is the previous owner of
the small folding plot, after Joseph Made, then Minister of Lands,
Agriculture and Land Reform, cleared it by issuing a Certificate of No
Chigwedere argued that Mhute had mistakenly cited
him in her application instead of the people from the Land Task Force which,
until the new cabinet announced two weeks ago, fell under the Ministry of
Lands, Agriculture and Rural Development.
Chigwedere had said Mhute
made baseless allegations that the people from the Land Task Force had been
sent by him.
to Protect Journalists (CPJ) named Zimbabwe one of the "World's Worst Places
to Be a Journalist" in 2004, with the government of President Robert Mugabe
continuing to crack down on the private media.
Repressive legislation was
used to close the country's only independent daily newspaper, The Daily
News, and to detain and harass journalists. Authorities were particularly
sensitive to reporting on human rights, economic woes, and political
opposition to the regime. No foreign correspondents reported from Zimbabwe in
2004 after the last remaining one, Andrew Meldrum of the London-based
Guardian newspaper, was deemed "undesirable" and deported in 2003. Local
journalists known to be filing for foreign news organizations have been
subjected to frequent harassment; in February, three journalists from the
state-owned daily The Herald were fired for working for the US
government-funded broadcaster Voice of America.
In March 2005 three
correspondents for foreign news organisations - Angus Shaw, Brian Latham and
Jan Raath, fled Zimbabwe after their security was threatened. Police had
been to their offices and houses looking for them.
Parliament passed a measure banning foreign-funded, nongovernmental
organizations that promote human rights and good government. Independent
journalists in Zimbabwe and abroad feared that the legislation would deprive
them of important sources on crucial issues. It was but one in a series of
repressive new laws rushed through Parliament in the run-up to the
elections. Others include the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act,
which imposes up to 20 years' imprisonment, heavy fines, or both for
publishing or communicating "false" information deemed prejudicial to the
state. Journalists fear that the law could be used broadly against any
Zimbabwean who communicates with news outlets or organizations based
Another measure passed in November toughened the already strict
Access to Information and Public Privacy Act (AIPPA), a 2002 law that
criminalized practising journalism without a licence from the
government-controlled Media and Information Commission (MIC). The 2004
amendments allow authorities to jail any journalist found working without
MIC accreditation for up to two years. During parliamentary debate, MDC
members called for the repeal of AIPPA, according to South Africa's Mail and
Guardian. One MDC parliamentarian noted that AIPPA did not conform to
Southern African Development Community (SADC) principles on good government
and free press. The SADC comprises 14 southern and central African
countries, including Zimbabwe, and promotes sustainable development,
democracy, peace, and security.
However, SADC countries, including
Zimbabwe's powerful neighbour, South Africa, have been reluctant to
criticize Mugabe, with whom they have long-standing ties. South African
President Thabo Mbeki has remained publicly supportive of Mugabe and has
pressed ahead with a policy of "quiet diplomacy".
Zimbabwe's Supreme Court upheld AIPPA in a constitutional challenge brought
by the Independent Journalists Association of Zimbabwe. The association had
argued that compulsory registration violated journalists' constitutional
rights to free expression. A separate challenge to the law by ANZ, the
company that owns The Daily News, was pending at year's end.
Daily News first closed in September 2003, when the Supreme Court ruled that
it was violating the law by not registering with the MIC. Police occupied
the newspaper's offices to enforce the ban. The daily briefly resumed
publication in January 2004 but was closed and local journalists held out
little hope that it could reopen before the March 2005 elections. The Daily
News continued to publish an online edition from South Africa.
Saidi of The Daily News, said AIPPA was being used to destroy his paper.
"The Daily News had overtaken the government's newspaper The Herald in
circulation and was accused of influencing the elections in 2002, so as some
form of punishment, the government decided they would ban The Daily News,"
he told the BBC in July. Mugabe was re-elected in the 2002 vote, which
foreign observers said was marred by violence and intimidation.
authorities closed the private weekly Tribune for a year, saying it had
violated AIPPA by failing to notify the MIC of changes in ownership and
frequency of publication. Tribune Publisher Kindness Paradza told CPJ the
closure was politically motivated, and local journalists noted that Tribune
published articles critical of former Information Minister Jonathan Moyo.
Paradza, who until March 2005 was a member of Parliament with the ruling
Zanu-PF, said in March that Zimbabwe's media laws should be
Moyo lashed out at two other independent weekly newspapers, The
Standard and The Independent, calling them "running dogs of imperialism."
The editors of both newspapers faced charges under restrictive press and
security laws. CPJ sources said authorities targeted the two publications in
the run-up to the 2005 March parliamentary elections, noting that with the
closing of The Daily News, the weeklies were the country's only remaining
Still, government harassment has not silenced
the papers' critical reporting. In October, for example, The Independent
wrote that Zimbabwe was "hurtling towards fascist rule" with the
introduction of "new despotic laws that analysts ... said were calculated to
cripple civil society and the opposition." - CPJ.
year's Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) has been a further
disappointment. It reflects poorly on us when we invite a foreign Head of
State to come and officially open a near- deserted event.
The ZITF is
supposed to be a multi-national and intra-regional trade exhibition centre -
the showcase of trade this side of the Sahara. During the 2004 ZITF, 680
exhibitors took part, as compared to 734 during 2003. This year the ZITF
could only manage 600 companies. The figures tell a sad story of a
progressive decline in one of the most prestigious trade calendar events. In
actual fact, the exhibitors this year equal those of three years ago, when
it drew participation from countries such as Austria, Botswana, China, the
DRC, Egypt, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa and
Such was once the significance and popularity of the ZITF that
exhibitors jostled each other for space or they found accommodation under
the umbrella of participants from their various countries. Travelling to
Bulawayo during the Trade Fair and finding accommodation was simply a
nightmare. It used to be a very hectic period. This year, the numerous
service providers, among them lodges that benefit from the overflow from the
trade centrepiece will have been disappointed because of reduced
The main reason for inviting foreign leaders is to maximise on
opportunities for trade with businesses from the countries whose leaders
come to officially open the Trade Fair. The foreign leaders are normally
accompanied by a high-powered business delegation - emphasising the
commitment to promote and improve business relations with
Overseas foreign companies made a bee-line to the ZITF because
they realised that it was a unique platform that brought together so many of
the businesses in the region. Participation offered them value for
But this year's Trade Fair should serve as a warning signal to
either re-invent itself or go the way of many other companies and
institutions in that crumbling city.
It is unfair to the Mozambican
leader, President Armando Guebuza, to be asked to preside over an event that
is either predominantly empty or overly populated by quasi-flea market
Both the Trade Fair authorities and the government could do
well to reflect on why a once premier event has lost its gloss. The Trade
Fair authorities might not have the courage to explain the reason - it is a
Zimbabwean affliction to duck reality and seek refuge in politically correct
explanations. The disappointing turn out reflects how the region and the
world perceive Zimbabwe.
While the government cannot be expected to
do much because it is the cause of the image that Zimbabwe is getting, it
nevertheless needs to reflect on whether this is really what this country,
once described as the "Switzerland of Africa", deserves.
exhibitors are said to have booked their participation at this year's Trade
Fair, what in essence they have done is merely to reserve their stands for
when things return to normal.
Zimbabwean companies would have shown less
enthusiasm for participation at an event dominated by small and medium scale
enterprises (SMEs) or flea market operators, while for the SMEs, the fees
for participation would have the effect of limiting
For the larger companies, participation and exposure would
have been good for their order books, but the reality is that given the
foreign currency crisis, getting orders when one is not able to fulfil them
is meaningless. In fact, it could end up being costly because they can be
sued for failing to deliver or for misrepresentation.
might better illustrate their predicament: the amount of foreign currency
available on the auction floor as of last week was US$11million. This is
against a demand for 6 436 rejected bids for US$215 million. Given such a
scenario, companies reasoned that while they would be able to attract
orders, they would not be able to fulfil those orders because they require
foreign currency in order for them to import raw materials necessary in
fulfilling the orders from the Trade Fair. They opted to wait for an
The shrill voices claiming sabotage conveniently overlook
and seek to mask the real problems. The government, ever fond of conspiracy
theories, will plead that this is another indication of how the West is busy
trying to derail Zimbabwe's efforts at economic turnaround. But the truth is
that even our new-found friends are not exactly falling over each other
trying to take over the role once played and occupied by the West.
is the failure to secure critical raw material imports that explains why
despite attendances by Presidents Jose Eduardo dos Santos of Angola in 2003,
Levy Mwanawasa of Zambia in 2002, Sam Nujoma of Namibia and leaders from the
DRC, that Zimbabwe is not enjoying roaring trade with businesses from these
countries. There is need for an audit of the investment made in getting
foreign leaders and their business delegations to the ZITF. We must be frank
in confronting the reasons why there is no appreciable return on our
The way forward is for the ZITF authorities and industry
to sit down and work out how ZITF 2006 can mark the beginning of regaining
lost ground. In contrast, the Harare International Festival of the Arts
seems to have done exceedingly well from both the viewpoint of business and
public attendances. There could be instructive lessons for the ZITF in
Freedonia's revolution goes into overdrive By Dumisani
FREEDONIA'S Revolutionary Party (FRP) was concerned about the
voting preferences of its urban dwellers. It was an issue that puzzled and
exercised their minds a lot.
A Commission was set up to investigate
why the urban dwellers were not so enthusiastic in their support for the
revolutionary party. The answer was not long coming. One day, a person from
the FRP's Commissariat hit upon an idea. "Fellow revolutionaries", his voice
shrieked. "I propose that we dilute the stranglehold that the opposition has
maintained on our urban areas." As far as the FRP was concerned, they owned
everything and they would have loved to claim ownership of the people as
"The government should allow local authorities to increase
rates, rentals and fees for other services to levels that would render it
impossible for most of the residents to afford living in the urban
"Given the current hardships, caused by our enemies, such measures
will drive out the residents to the rural areas, where we shall entice them
with the rural electrification programmes, boreholes and road
The commissar explained that this strategy would serve
two things: The first would result in depriving the opposition of its
support base, who were essentially urban dwellers; The second was, once the
urban dwellers merged with rural communities, their political rebelliousness
would end - the rural communities, who were predominantly supporters of the
FRP would ensure the new arrivals converted to the ruling party. In order
for one to survive in the rural areas, one had to be a member of the
Freedonia's Revolutionary Party - this guaranteed access to goods and
services, which no one outside the urban areas could not survive
For example, membership of the FRP guaranteed one access to all
the necessary resources to be able to carry out farming activities.
Membership was also the only way that one was able to sell the products from
Driving everyone out of the towns and onto the farms was good
propaganda for Freedonia's leadership. "There is such an overwhelming demand
for land among our citizens such that even city dwellers are deserting the
cities in preference to farms. Our agrarian revolution enjoys 120 percent
support of our people," explained Freedonia's spokespersons. It was one way
of ensuring the urban dwellers rallied behind what was described as the
But as was the case with the leadership of this
nation, no one stopped to think about how they were going to make up for
lost revenue from residents who would be relocating to the rural areas. The
funds for implementing the programme to bring electricity to the rural areas
were from levies charged urban dwellers. The relocation to rural areas would
result in less revenue from this revenue base. But that was the least of the
worries for Freedonia's leadership. Power and control mattered most and
everything else was secondary.
The Don of Freedonia's revolution was
pushing one of his pet projects. In reality, it was part of a strategy
designed to consolidate the FRP's hold on power and secure the future of the
Addressing a gathering in the amphitheatre in the capital
of Freedonia, he thundered to choreographed cheers and applause from the
ruling party's young pioneers: "Fellow Freedonians. Those of us who are
privileged to travel abroad are struck by the pride and identity of our
brothers and sisters on the continent.
"Accordingly, we, your wise
leadership have agreed that Freedonians adopt a national dress. We want
Freedonians to stand out from the crowd and be noticed and recognised as
revolutionary sons and daughters of the soil wherever they may be. Our
designers at the highest institution of political correctness and national
guidance are busy finalising the designs. These should be ready when we next
meet to remember our fallen liberators."
He said the national dress was
more than just a question of identity. In fact, imported designs and foreign
clothing would be banned and all Freedonians would be compelled to wear the
national dress. Failure to do so would be punishable by two weeks' hard
labour on the newly resettled farms.
foreign currency on the foreign currency auction market has swelled over the
past three weeks as the market takes a position in anticipation of the
overdue devaluation of the Zimbabwean dollar which is expected to be
announced in the next monetary policy review statement.
Total amount of
bids have been averaging US$200 million on the foreign currency auction
market compared to US$50 million in January this year and US$70 million in
March. Although the amount on offer at each auction floor has remained static
at US$11 million it is now glaringly insufficient to meet a fraction of the
needs of the bidders.
There were 7 481 bids on the auction held on
April 21 this year and 7 402 were rejected because demand outstripped supply
by more than 2000%. On Thursday more than 90% of the bids were rejected. Out
of the 6 508 bids, 6 436 bids were rejected.
Dealers said the surge
in demand was being driven by the speculation of an imminent devaluation of
the local currency against the American greenback. They said some banks were
also holding on to their foreign currency reserves with the intention of
capitalising on the devaluation to declare more profits.
the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor, is expected to devalue the
Zimbabwean dollar by more than 100% as per recommendations of different
stakeholders in the economic sector.
The Zimbabwean dollar is fixed at
around $6 100 against the United States dollar at the auction market while
on the parallel market it is changing hands for as much as
Economic analysts warned that a devaluation would swell the
production costs for local industries by between 80% and 100%.
Robertson, independent economic analyst at Robertson Economic Information
Services, said the surge in the applications was being pushed by a number of
different factors being at play in the economy.
He says many of the
applications are by people who had had their applications initially
"Many of the applications are refused and what we are seeing is
a build up of unsatisfied applications," Robertson said.
that the price of the American greenback was very attractive and many people
were eager to access the money at favourable rates.
In the next monetary
policy review statement the RBZ is expected to increase the amount on offer
at each auction market to US$30 million but analysts have said this will
still be insufficient.
Nothing to celebrate on May Day, say workers By our own
BULWAYO - Today, Benson Moyo expects to join his working colleagues
affiliated to the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) at White City
Stadium to commemorate Workers' Day.
Moyo, who has spent the last 11
years repairing carriages at the National Railways of Zimbabwe's workshops
in Bulawayo, said he would be attending the activities out of habit. A paid
up member of the Zimbabwe Amalgamated Railway Union, Moyo is frustrated by
his working conditions which he complained are falling everyday. He is
particularly bitter that for the past year, he has been receiving his wages
two weeks late. The railway worker and thousands of other workers in various
sectors in Bulawayo told Standard Business they were keen to hear what the
ZCTU leaders will have to say about their deteriorating plight.
workers are also hoping the union leaders will have good news to lift their
spirits as inflation has eroded much of their earning power, pride and
"Working in Zimbabwe is no longer a prestigious issue. We
are just working for the sake of maybe just going to get that little for our
families. But saying you work in Zimbabwe is no longer something that you
can go around boasting about. It's really a disappointment working in
Zimbabwe," noted Moyo.
But there might be little coming from the
labour movement's leadership to cheer up the depressed workers. The ZCTU
national executive is presently embroiled in a power struggle that has seen
the labour movement's internal politics making regular headlines and very
little about workers' welfare.
Leaders of 19 out of the 34 ZCTU affiliate
unions are demanding that four national executive members step down. The
affiliates want ZCTU president Lovemore Matombo, first vice-president Lucia
Matibenga, secretary general Wellington Chibebe and Women's Advisory Council
head, Tabitha Khumalo out of the labour movement.
On the other hand,
the embattled leadership accuse the dissident affiliates of being tools of
the government. The four maintain that those spearheading their removal have
been "bought" by government to neutralise the ZCTU by preventing its top
officials from attending a June meeting organised by the International
Matters came to a head during a general council
meeting in Bulawayo last Saturday when hired thugs beat up some of the
officials before police were called in to restore order. The melee led to
the meeting starting two hours late and adjourning without concluding its
The infighting is confusing and worrying ZCTU members who
said they want to see their leaders channelling their efforts towards
revitalising the economy to ensure workers remain
"Personally, as a worker, I see the events as a disgrace, if I
may use that word. It seems from my own assumptions, anyway, there are dirty
hands behind all this of which us, as workers we should stand up and raise
our concerns," said Moyo.
He added that the friction was bad for the
image of workers both locally and abroad.
Gracious Dube works as a
clothing factory in the country's second largest city. Dube acknowledged
knowing little about the ZCTU's internal problems or politics but said she
would want to see the unions' leaders working together to fight for workers'
"Right now the $600 000 that I earn is not enough for anything
except taking me to work. I am lucky I live with my mom but I can't even
help buying food. I can't afford clothes or think of buying property. I am
working to go to work," complained Dube.
Other workers who declined
to be named said they were looking forward to meeting their leaders today to
discuss various issues. Many said they were anxious to hear what wage
increase and improved working conditions the ZCTU has negotiated for the
The ZCTU is commemorating May Day under the theme: "Protect
Our Rights: Save The Economy And Our Jobs"
The labour body lists its
major demands for this year are as follows: Wages above the poverty datum
line (PDL); affordable, quality sanitary pads; the right to organise and
freedom of association; the right to safe working environment; democracy in
the workplace; free anti-retroviral drugs; industrial pension in all
sectors; an efficient, affordable and reliable transport system; an
organised and efficient public health delivery system and a review of the
taxation system to include the removal of tax on pensions, benefits,
retrenchment packages, wages below the PDL, transport and housing
allowances, education allowances, motoring benefits and maternity leave and
But with the internal politics threatening to tear
apart the leadership, it remains to be seen whether the ZCTU will be able to
deliver on members' expectations.
††††††††††††††††††††††† Thieves run riot as cowardice
rules ††††††††††††††††††††††† By William Gwata
THERE is a lot of cowardice about us. In fact cowardice is now in fashion,
thanks to well meaning but short-sighted security advisers. Their standard
prescription for dealing with carjackers is: "Just give them the
††††††††††††††††††††††† I beg to differ! This has led to the
absurd situation where carjacking is now easier than shoplifting! With
shoplifting there is always a security guard to challenge the
culprits. ††††††††††††††††††††††† In March 2005 my 80-year-old mother
wrestled and single-handedly managed to fend off a burglar. She inflicted a
scar on him that later facilitated his arrest. I am very proud of her
because she succeeded where many younger agile-bodied individuals would have
††††††††††††††††††††††† Earlier in the year, Frances,
a friend in Pretoria successfully repulsed an army of carjackers. She drove
off with one of her assailants dangling from her smashed car
††††††††††††††††††††††† The story has been told of a lady who
pulled off a similar stunt at the Coke Corner in Harare a few years
††††††††††††††††††††††† Contrary to popular belief, ladies appear to
have more mettle than men!
††††††††††††††††††††††† Yet another common
fallacy is that modern man is superior to primitive man. The so-called
primitive man was miles more courageous than today's yuppie. I know because
I went to school with the last of the Neanderthals. His name was Eddy
Mazambani but was better known as Missing Link, Loose Ends or Gori (short
for gorilla). He had a characteristic jaw and a menacing deportment that
made him look the part.
††††††††††††††††††††††† He was equally savage
too. Even some teachers were believed to be afraid of him. Yet underneath
all this we all held him in awe born of a combination of fear and admiration
of his courage. When he was ultimately expelled Fletcher High School was
never the same again. Generations of students were subsequently churned out
without a role model of true courage.
††††††††††††††††††††††† In the
eighties, carjacking was what you did prior to changing a tyre. Somewhere
along the way, it assumed new meaning and the rest is
††††††††††††††††††††††† We are incessantly advised to, "Just
give them the keys". That is not good advice. With all due respect to those
who have followed it, there once was a context when it was appropriate
advice. However, it has had its day. Appeasement does not work in the long
run, as Neville Chamberlain discovered to his cost. It is tantamount to
paying protection fees to a bully! Courage is a much higher virtue than mere
††††††††††††††††††††††† In nature if vermin is not checked
it will proliferate to plague proportions. By just giving them the keys we
are fuelling the genesis of a plague. I say aggressors should always be
confronted. Extortion in any form should never be
††††††††††††††††††††††† The Asian water buffalo has been
domesticated for centuries because it is docile. In contrast nobody messes
around with the African buffalo. There can be no doubt that attempts were
made to tame it back in the mists of history. A few African buffalo will
have no doubt suffered and even died in their resistance then. Thanks to
their sacrifice, the African buffalo remains a free animal to this
††††††††††††††††††††††† Similarly as we resist the scourge of
carjacking a few of us are bound to suffer or even die. However, that is the
stuff that heroes are made of. There is more to fear if we do nothing. Do
not just give them the keys! Resist in whatever way you can. You would be
amazed by how much you can achieve with even just a wheel spanner. You do
not necessarily need sophisticated tools to win the
††††††††††††††††††††††† Sure, carjackers are potentially dangerous
but I suspect they also ride on a fair amount of mystique and brow-beating.
They are flesh and blood after all. We should call their bluff at every
turn. This is bound to stunt their proliferation. Carjackers in South Africa
are reputed to be a lot more ruthless but even they are not beyond
challenge. Frances is living proof that it can be
††††††††††††††††††††††† There is no royal road to security and
peace of mind (with apologies to Aristotle). Every campaign comes with a
price tag. There is nothing new in that. Every threat throughout history has
called for sacrifice by a few for the good of society and generations to
follow. A few of us might be hurt or even killed as we confront the
††††††††††††††††††††††† But then again it is much better to
live a short life of bravery than a long life of cowardice and subjugation.
For all his weaknesses, Benito Mussolini put it very well, "» meglio vivere
un giorno da leone che cent'anni da pecora" (roughly translates to, It is
better to live a short life as a lion than a long life as a
††††††††††††††††††††††† The whole idea is to raise the cost to
the carjacker. If this is achieved consistently the industry is bound to
shrink before too long. If prey becomes costly to catch, the population of
predators will dwindle. If prey becomes impossible to catch, the predators
††††††††††††††††††††††† This article is dedicated to
Mrs Edith Gwata of Marondera, Miss Frances Boshoff of Pretoria and the
gallant unknown soldier of Coke Corner, Harare. They are the leading edge of
an incipient revolution we should not allow to die. If we emulate them we
will establish a legacy of courage that will benefit not only us, but
generations to come.
††††††††††††††††††††††† Friend, would you be a water
buffalo or an African buffalo? The choice is
††††††††††††††††††††††† As for me I am an African buffalo. I will
never give my car away without resistance, whatever the
MDC must adopt a new paradigm Americannotes By Ken
WE know that the reason the MDC has lost the last two elections
has nothing to do with the economic wizardry of the Zanu PF
Judging from two case studies, Michael Manley's Jamaican
assault on the American Bauxite Companies (1971-75) and Idi Amin's assault
on the Asian merchants in Uganda (1971-1979), the Mugabe land experiment in
Zimbabwe has no chance whatever of succeeding. The MDC, as the opposition
party, must therefore search for a new paradigm.
Let us start with
the agreed facts. Imperialists do exist and it is true that they do not wish
us any good. Their methods are the same, and similarly, the reaction of
their victims has been foreseen. In Jamaica, Manley's attempt to partially
nationalize the bauxite mines brought a swift reaction from the
The $250 million surplus he had achieved by the act of
nationalization was wiped out within two years when the Jamaican dollar was
killed by the International Monetary Fund and its ally, the World Bank.
Further the Jamaican monetary unit, which had been backed by the English
pound was no longer convertible. The Jamaican dollar depreciated from US$1
to 45J even as we speak.
Car prices jumped from $2 000 for a Madza
truck in 1973 to $5 000 overnight. There was no end in sight.
a long story short, with sugar, vegetable, banana and beef shortages
becoming a daily occurrence, it was the price of mortgages that finally
impressed all young Jamaicans that they were better off as second class
citizens in New York, Toronto and London than they were as militant
nationalists in Jamaica. In my department of history, of the 13 professors,
eleven found alternative employment abroad in the same year that I left.
Today, there are more Jamaicans in New York than there are in
Then as now, the majority of people of colour sympathized with
Manley. The great sugar company, Tate and Lyle, was driven away and their
land given over to sugar share croppers. These share croppers could be seen
standing by the wayside, selling one or two sticks of sugar cane. They
regarded themselves as unemployed since the departure of their former
employer, Tate and Lyle, despite the fact that they now owned the
Today, President Thabo Mbeki, and I suspect every man who has some
African blood in his veins, quietly wishes Mugabe success even if he knows
that the facts are against that possibility. Here are the new facts which
Mugabe and his cronies refuse to accept.
After a hundred years of
colonization, cultures have changed. The majority of young Africans want to
make their career in the banking and air-conditioned world of the city
rather than on the land. That is a fact.
The so-called chefs are no
exception. Surely, they consider their careers to be bound with politics,
even if they want to visit a bushy place they call a farm over weekends.
Because of technological advances, farming has become a specialized field
for agronomists and chemists rather than an occupation of unschooled
The facts of politics, which the MDC must now face, are that
Zanu PF and Mugabe are in politics till death doth us part. In order to win
an election, one must assume that the government is willing to lose. If a
government is not willing to lose power, and does not hold the same values
of democratic change, as the opposition does, surely, it is a waste of time
to argue the case. "How can you lose if you are counting the votes," is a
We have to accept that we are dealing with a generation of
leaders that has no shame. We must accept that we are our own liberators.
President Mbeki and the rest of the African leaders believe that black
oppression is acceptable and is in the nature of reality. They also
genuinely hate European domination. A loss for Mugabe is a bad example for
them. No help can be expected from them.
What is even more amiss is
that we cannot expect any help from the European Union either. The old
liberal spirit has been wiped out of Europe and the United States by a
concerted effort of propagandists like Rupert Murdoch and the devil. The old
liberal parties have been converted to imperialism. But even if they wanted
to help, they cannot help unless the Zanu PF party is in a predicament from
which it has no escape.
At the moment, there is no such threat, and if I
were in their shoes, I would not be in a mood to negotiate either. It was
not for love of peace that Ian Smith negotiated with the black nationalists.
Nor was it for the love of peace that Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
negotiated with us. It was Nigeria had threatened to nationalize BP five
billion dollar investments in Nigeria that drove Thatcher to negotiate. From
a white population of 250 000, Smith was left with a remnant of 100 000.
That population was facing annihilation from an insurgent guerilla war. We
must look for a new paradigm or nothing will change.