Zimbabwean nationalism' is the brainchild of exploitative
OF my favourite political essays is Isaiah Berlin's The Bent Twig.Berlin
borrowed the metaphor from Friedrich Schiller's explanation of theferocity
of German nationalism as a reaction to humiliation by the French
in18thcentury Europe. Thus, while nationalism represents the straightening
ofbent twigs or bent backs among formerly oppressed people, we also know
fromGerman history that the backlash can be vicious.Berlin says
nationalism as a backlash can even "create a mood in which menprefer to be
ordered about, even if this entails ill treatment, by membersof their own
faith or nation or class, to tutelage, however benevolent, onthe part of
ultimately patronising superiors from a foreign land or alienclass or
milieu". Indeed. How else do we explain political and intellectualdefences
of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe in SA? Unfortunately,political and
cultural nationalism also becomes the basis for aselfinterested economic
In his book, Reclaiming Zimbabwe, the radical Africanist
scholar HoraceCampbell traces the "executive lawlessness" in Zimbabwe to a
"conceptualincarceration" through which post-independent leaders maintained
theexploitative and coercive production regimes of colonial
Immediately after independence, Mugabe had particularly
close relations withZimbabwe's largest landowner and Zanu-PF donor, Tiny
Rowlands of Lonrho, andconsulted Anglo American on land reforms.
philosophical basis for the protection of white large landowners wasthat
they provided desperately needed foreign exchange, a bias thatcontinued even
after the 10-year limitations of the Lancaster Houseagreement had expired.
Even under the agreement, the government was allowedto acquire underutilised
land but did nothing. It complained about lack offunding but spent $250m
reequipping its air force. And donor support camewith a bias towards
large-scale, market-oriented land policies that hadnothing to do with the
Meanwhile, the black elite was growing restive at its minimal
participationin the accumulation process, and organised itself under bodies
such as theIndigenous Business Development Centre and the Affirmative Action
Group,leading to what some called "a clash between elite black males and
But government support for largescale white
commercial farmers in the exportsector continued under the structural
adjustment programme of 1991. Beingnon-farmers and therefore unable to adapt
to structural adjustment, theblack economic nationalists cried foul again.
They tied their fortunes tothe social movements that were protesting against
Mugabe in the late 1990s,fuelling the government's support for farm
What we in SA know as black economic empowerment had become
the vehicle fora virulent, self-interested economic nationalism.
the poor were duped again. Less than 2% of the land that was confiscatedwas
given to farm workers, most of whom were disenfranchised women
What emerges from all of this history is what Campbell
describes as "a classof African capitalists who treated the rural workers
(in relation to wages,healthcare, housing and exploitation of children) in
the same manner as thewhite settlers did".
Given this history of an
exploitative, manipulative, self-enriching elite, Ido not know how President
Thabo Mbeki gets to conclude that "the economiccrisis affecting Zimbabwe did
not come from a reckless political leadershipbut out of a genuine concern to
help the black poor".
I cannot conclude this column without pointing to
the whitewash or is it ablackwash? of the true pioneers of Pan Africanism
such as Robert Sobukwefrom an Africa Day advertisement government took out
on the weekend.
Purporting to speak for all of us, the advertisement says
that "thepresident and the people of SA join the continent in honouring" a
whole hostof African heads of state, and then, "as well as Albert Luthuli,
OliverTambo, Charlotte Maxeke, Walter Sisulu, Nelson Mandela and many others
whoblazed the trail towards the great African future that beckons". Who
arethese nameless others, I ask?
I fear that our present rulers have
adjusted all too well to the "conceptualincarceration" of denial that has
thus far been the province of their formeroppressors.
They ignore at
their peril Immanuel Kant's admonition that "out of timber socrooked as that
from which man is made nothing entirely straight can becarved". Kant was
warning against the nationalist tendency to imposeideological uniformity on
diverse political societies.
At another time I hope to return to the
subject of how to build ademocratic, pluralistic, tolerant nationalism so
that a great future for ourcontinent can beckon on the basis of a true, fair
representation of ourhistory.
Mangcu is executive director of the
Steve Biko FoundationMay 29 2003 07:18:10:000AM† Business Day 1st
THE PRESIDENTíS MESSAGE TO THE NATION.
ACTION FOR NATIONAL SURVIVAL.
You are all aware of the new dimensions of the political and economic crises
that have gripped Zimbabwe over the last few weeks:
- There is virtually no fuel in the country;
- There is no money in the banks;
- The supply of electricity has become even more erratic;
- Industry is now virtually on its knees and there are no jobs;
- We all know that the Mugabe regime has become the largest dealer in foreign
currency on the black market.
- The black market is incapable of meeting the national needs in terms of hard
The Mugabe regime has neither the imagination, the capacity nor
policy package to get out of the crisis.
Poverty, hunger, joblessness and disease have reached dangerous
levels, destroying the social fabric of our nation.
Against this background the MDC, which carries the mandate of
the majority, appeals to all Zimbabweans, across race, religion, ethnicity, age,
gender and political affiliation to register your concern over the current state
Guided by our non-violent conviction and approach to the
resolution of the crisis we call upon you to take charge of your destiny.
- Participate in the on-going prayer sessions for our bleeding nation. In your
villages, growth points, towns and cities, seek divine guidance and intervention
to lay a healing hand upon our nation.
- From Monday, 2nd June 2003 to Friday 6th June 2003,
rise up in your millions and take part in nationwide peaceful protest marches
for DEMOCRACY and GOOD GOVERNANCE to encourage ZANU PF to take dialogue
- Donít go to work for the whole week.
- Stand-up and be counted. Demonstrate your anger
- Action must take place everywhere in Zimbabwe.
Be peaceful. Be disciplined. Be vigilant. Be courageous.
ZANU PF, the so-called war veterans and the Green Bombers are actively
planning to start violence.
- Do not be provoked. Exercise maximum restraint.
- Beware of the ZANU PF merchants of violence.
ZIMBABWE: Focus on the succession debate
††††† IRINnews Africa, Thu 29 May
††††† ©† Anthony Mitchell
††††† President Robert Mugabe
has led Zimbabwe for 23 years
††††† JOHANNESBURG, - President Robert
Mugabe's call for open debate over
his succession within the ruling ZANU-PF
party has led to a spate of media
reports suggesting that he could leave
office before the expiry of his term
††††† "It's not normal,
in a country where the president still has five
years to run, that everybody
is publicly discussing his succession -
something is happening," a
Harare-based diplomat told IRIN.
††††† Mugabe, 79, who has ruled Zimbabwe
for the past 23 years, is currently
touring the provinces, meeting ZANU-PF
supporters in what the media has
described as a "lap of honour". During
rallies last week, while calling on
party leaders to end clandestine
campaigning for his job, he also extolled
the success of fast-track land
reform, a programme he has elevated to the
signature achievement of his
††††† "Mugabe has in the past prayed to God that he be given
a longer life
to ensure that land is returned to the black majority. That was
justification to remain in power. And even though I feel that the
reform has not even begun, he thinks otherwise, hence his
encouragement to people to discuss his succession," political
Shakespeare Maya told IRIN.
††††† Mugabe opened the door to
public discussion of a new presidential
candidate for ZANU-PF, a previously
taboo subject in the party, in an April
interview on state-run television to
mark the country's 23rd independence
information and publicity chief, Nathan Shamuyarira,
that the president was sincere. Shamuyarira was quoted
by the pro-opposition
Daily News as saying the process to choose a successor
would start in the
provinces, move to the central committee and, finally,
the party's supreme
decision-making body, the politburo.
††††† But pressure is increasingly mounting on Mugabe to
quit well before
††††† The economy is in serious difficulty,
with acute currency shortages,
fuel, electricity and basic commodities.
Inflation is threatening to shoot
beyond 300 percent. A humanitarian crisis,
driven partly by drought but
also, according to UN agencies, the government's
land reform programme and
aspects of economic policy, has left more than half
of the population in
need of food aid.
††††† On the political front,
the opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC), which is disputing the
result of last year's presidential election in
the courts, is planning
anti-government street protests next week. The
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade
Unions is reported to be considering
collaborating with work
††††† Panic buying has been reported as Zimbabweans stock up
ahead of what
the MDC has billed as "the final push", a week of street
which are illegal under the Public Order and Security Act. The
have warned they will crack down on any unlawful protest action,
prospect of violent political confrontation.
Neighbouring countries, led by South Africa, have stepped up
encouragement of a political resolution to the country's crisis, which
reportedly focussed on a proposed "transitional arrangement" that
the MDC, to run Zimbabwe until fresh polls can be
††††† But Mugabe has refused to negotiate with the MDC until
its legal challenge over the 2002 election, while the opposition
demanded Mugabe's retirement and an end to political violence as the
for its participation.
††††† Some analysts suggest that with the
military, police and the
pro-government youth brigades under his control,
Mugabe is in a far stronger
position than generally appreciated, and can
dictate the pace of events.
These analysts maintain that change can only come
from within ZANU-PF,
rather than being imposed by the
††††† There has been much speculation about a "succession
plan" in which
Mugabe chooses his replacement, leaving office with dignity.
arrangement, the post of an executive prime minister would be
Mugabe possibly staying on as a titular head of state until
elections in 2005. Critics of this scenario argue it would mean
continuation of ZANU-PF rule, the party blamed in many quarters for
country's current crisis.
††††† CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM
But whether change will come as part of a process controlled by
in a deal encompassing the opposition, attention has
increasingly focussed on
the need for constitutional reform. Should Mugabe
quit before 2008, the
constitution demands fresh elections within three
months, a period considered
too short by civil society groups to institute
the kind of democratic reforms
needed, they say, before a new election can
††††† "The issue
of the constitution is central in any exit plan. There is
absolutely no way
in which Zimbabwe should achieve leadership change without
the current constitution," Lovemore Madhuku, the leader of
anti-government National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) told IRIN.
Ironically it was the NCA that helped mobilise public rejection of
government-approved constitutional reform proposal in 2000, which
the post of an executive prime minister. Mugabe accepted the "No"
the referendum and has since made it clear he is no hurry to come up
††††† David Chimhini, a lawyer and human
rights activist, has warned against
a hurried exit arrangement, saying
careful consideration should be made in
drafting a new constitution which
should serve to dilute the extensive
powers currently held by the president.
It should not be "owned" by any
political party, but instead be "the product
of popular participation by
††††† Ibbo Mandaza,
publisher and ZANU-PF loyalist, who is reportedly
leading a team of academics
to explore workable strategies for Mugabe's
eventual exit, also says
constitutional reform is necessary.
††††† "Zimbabwe's 'road map' to
2005", when presidential and parliamentary
elections are expected to be held,
should "hinge on the centrality of
constitutional reform and the need to put
in place the attendant
institutions". These institutions, Mandaza adds, must
commissions on human rights, the election process, gender
and the media.
††††† However, at a briefing this week to ambassadors of
G8 countries in
Harare, MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai rejected the idea of a
arrangement. In an apparent hardening of the party's position,
stressed the MDC would "neither be part[y] to a dubious process
to expand and sanitise ZANU-PF's illegitimate rule, nor will we
secondary role in any so-called transitional
††††† Rather than a transitional government, the MDC's
position was that the
current constitution should be adhered to, should
Mugabe announce his
††††† "An interim/acting president,
logically from the ruling party, would
take over the office of the president,
and the presidential polls shall be
held within a period of 90 days to choose
a new and substantive president.
This is a cast-iron constitutional provision
and there are no compelling
reasons to deviate from it... The issue of a
constitutional amendment to
enable the formation of a so-called transitional
government therefore does
not arise," an MDC statement quoted Tsvangirai as
††††† Brian Kagoro, a leader of the civil society-led Crisis in
Committee, said he was surprised by Tsvangirai's comments, which
contradict the MDC's earlier stated position on the need for
reform prior to elections.
††††† "It's inconceivable that
within three months [a caretaker government]
could have a new voters'
register, reconstitute the electoral institutions,
repeal repressive laws and
end political violence [all previously MDC
demands]," Kagoro told
††††† He added: "Looking at it positively, our hope is that
statement is not cast in stone, and it was made just to
heighten the stakes
to make the Mugabe regime realise the opposition is not
ready to come to the
table without putting up a fight."
††††† FEAR OF
††††† While the issue of the constitution is a sticking
point, analysts also
point out that Mugabe's early exit could depend on other
factors, among them
the president's own reservations and fears.
One of his much-stated concerns is the possibility of a split in
along ethnic or factional lines. "If Mugabe is convinced that the
fall apart, he might delay as much as possible his departure. He
himself as a figurehead that has managed to sustain an acceptable
unity in the party," Maya noted.
††††† Zimbabwe is broadly comprised of
two ethnic groups: the Ndebele, who
make up around 17 percent of the
population, and the majority Shona at 80
percent. It was not until the early
20th century that the peoples speaking
several mutually intelligible
languages were united under the Shona name.
The six main language clusters
are Korekore, Zeseru, Manyika, Ndau, Kalanga
since the Unity Accord of 1987, when ZANU-PF merged with
Ndebele-dominated rival ZAPU, the party has enjoyed relative
However, analysts allege, cracks are beginning to emerge as
candidates jockey for position.
††††† Should Mugabe
resign, his two vice-presidents, Simon Muzenda and
Joseph Msika, who are also
in their 70s, would be expected to quit as well,
political observers say. The
next in line in the party pecking order is John
Nkomo, ZANU-PF party chairman
and cousin to veteran nationalist and ZAPU
leader, Joshua Nkomo.
However, Mugabe is widely believed to favour parliamentary speaker
Mnangagwa, a lawyer and former intelligence chief. Nkomo beat him
ZANU-PF party chairmanship election in 1999, and Mnangagwa was
parliament by Mugabe after he lost his seat in parliamentary
2000. He ranks fifth in the party hierarchy.
††††† The military, which
reportedly has a powerful voice within ZANU-PF, is
not united behind a single
candidate. Prominent names in the armed forces
have thrown their weight
behind different factions in the succession debate,
††††† Mugabe rival calls week-long strike
††††† The main
opposition party has urged Zimbabweans to "rise up in their
President Robert Mugabe next week.
††††† The Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) has called a week-long strike
so people can take part in prayer
meetings and "democracy marches".
††††† The MDC accuses Mr Mugabe of
rigging elections last year and using
state security agents to persecute his
††††† The government, the army and pro-Mugabe militias have
all said they
will crush any protests.
††††† In a statement published
in the state-run Herald newspaper on
Thursday, the army said it would "bring
to bear its full force upon those
perpetrators of uncalled for
†††† MDC spokesman Paul Themba Nyathi said the
protests would not stop
until "Mr Mugabe gives a clear signal that he will
††††† This is the first time the MDC will engage in
mass action against the
††††† The MDC leadership has been
criticised by some of its activists for
not doing more to make life difficult
for Mr Mugabe.
††††† 'Western plot'
††††† Analysts say Zimbabwe's
economy is on the brink of collapse - the
latest evidence being a shortage of
††††† Last week, there were long queues outside banks despite
limits on cash
††††† There have been shortages of basic
commodities such as bread, sugar
and petrol for several
††††† The latest statistics show annual inflation is
running at 269%.
††††† Some eight million people require food aid,
according to aid agencies.
††††† The opposition blame the shortages on
economic mismanagement, while Mr
Mugabe says they are a result of a Western
plot to bring him down.
††††† As the pressure on Mr Mugabe's Government
has increased, so-called
"war veterans" loyal to his Zanu-PF Party have
threatened to use force to
prevent any opposition protests.
"Using our military experience, we will mobilise," warned Patrick
chairman of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War
††††† "We are ready to crush any demonstrations
which will lead to the
destruction of property or is a threat to national
security," Home Affairs
Minister Kembo Mohadi said earlier this
††††† But MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai told thousands of supporters
was not afraid.
††††† "We must be prepared to be arrested, we
must be prepared to make a
mark to ensure that we will never again be
oppressed," he said.
††††† The main trade union umbrella organisation has
urged workers to stock
up on the staple food, maize-meal, and cash ahead of
the mass protests.
Army warns it will crackdown on unrest
††††† IRINnews Africa, Thu 29 May 2003
††††† The army and police say they will quell violent street
††††† JOHANNESBURG, - The Zimbabwe Defence Force (ZDF) has
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) that it will not
be "an idle
observer" during next week's protests planned by the
††††† On Monday the opposition plans to start the "final push" in
campaign of stayaways to force the government to accede to its demands
political and economic reform. It hopes to sustain the protest until
††††† The police, the Department of Home Affairs, the National
War Veterans' Association and now the military, have vowed to
protests, with force if necessary.
††††† The Herald reported
on Thursday that the ZDF said it took "serious
exception" to MDC
advertisements urging them to join the opposition's side
and claimed previous
stayaways had turned violent.
††††† "In the light of this, the ZDF will
not be an idle observer. Instead,
it will bring to bear its full force upon
those perpetrators of uncalled-for
violence," the Herald quoted a ZDF
statement as saying.
††††† In calling for the stayaway, MDC president
Morgan Tsvangirai warned
participants of the potential for violence, urged
them not to be provoked,
and to "exercise maximum restraint".
The planned protests and stay-aways are considered illegal under
controversial Public Order and Security Act because the MDC did not
††††† However, party spokesman Paul Themba
Nyathi told IRIN: "We didn't
bother to apply because we know it will be
futile. And it is our democratic
and constitutional right to protest - and it
is not just for the party, but
for the citizens of Zimbabwe."
Mugabe is arming war veterans - reports
††††† May 29 2003 at
†††† By Basildon Peta
President Robert Mugabe is surreptitiously arming his war
violent youth brigades with guns so that they can crush the
protests to topple his regime next week.
The street protests have been
dubbed "the final push for freedom" by the
promised chaos and bloodshed on a scale never seen before if
to march into Mugabe's official residence in Harare.
The Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) said it would begin street protests
from Monday to
force Mugabe out of office, but Mugabe's militant war veteran
vowed to crush them. They said they would use their military
ensure the MDC protests "don't even take off".
According to sources,
Mugabe has "opened army barracks" to the war veterans
and youth militias. The
sources said Mugabe was taking the MDC threats
seriously. They said Mugabe
was well aware that the last national strike
called by the opposition had
been an overwhelming success.
He was therefore taking into account the
possibility of an overwhelming
response to the latest call.
resolve to crush any challenge to his authority must not be
said a middle ranking army official, who preferred not to
"He has ordered the army to give weapons to his war veterans
and the youth
brigades for his defence," added the official, insisting that
they would use
these guns only if necessary.
A senior army officer
said there was nothing wrong with arming war veterans
and youth brigades
because they were considered a reserve force of the
"You may recall that the war veterans have been constituted into a
force of the army. They are entitled to weapons, if this is necessary
them to defend their leader."
Officials say Mugabe trusts the war
veterans more than the young soldiers
who joined the army in large numbers
after independence from Britain in
1980. He feels the war veterans are more
loyal to him and more reliable than
young soldiers who did not fight in
Zimbabwe's liberation struggle, say the
The notorious war
veterans, who spearheaded Mugabe's often violent farm
invasions, last week
vowed to use "military tactics" to thwart the planned
National Liberation War Veterans' Association leader, Patrick
said his militias would forcefully resist the MDC "final push for
"We have stood aside and observed you for too long and this
time we will
not," said Nyaruwata. "This time, using our own military
experience, we will
mobilise against you. I do not mince my
Nyaruwata added: "The consequences of any mass action will be
grave. We will
co-ordinate with state security agents to fight you
"Remember that most top security agents in defence, the police and
Central Intelligence Organisation are war veterans and we will
co-ordinating with them."
The MDC has vowed to press ahead with its
protests, despite the threats. Its
spokesperson, Paul Themba Nyathi, said
there was nothing wrong with the
people of Zimbabwe using peaceful mass
protests to free themselves from
"this rogue regime".
However, the MDC
is not taking Mugabe's threats lightly. It has been placing
advertisements in Zimbabwe's independent press, urging the
uniformed services not to allow themselves to be used against the
opposition party is telling the army to disobey illegal orders,
those who partake in Mugabe's repression will face serious
a "future" MDC government. - Independent Foreign Service
††††††††††† Zimbabwe: people get
†††††††††††† Mary Ndlovu
††††††††††† 28 - 5 -
††††††††††† Political repression and economic meltdown are
s people to breaking-point. They have come to understand
that freedom from
Mugabe's evil regime is in their own
†††††††† The long-suffering, patient,
apathetic Zimbabweans have had
enough. Finally, they are reacting to the
horrors of the past three years.
The mix of menace and jubilation, of terror,
fear, anger and defiance, is
††††††††††† A year
ago the mood was different. An election which most
thought would relieve us
of deepening poverty and intensifying government
abuse had been stolen. The
sacrifices which had been made by thousands of
committed opposition cadres
stretching their energies to the breaking-point
seemed to have been made in
vain. We stared into a dark future, afraid,
confused and deeply
††††††††††† And our fears were justified. The past year has
The government has used the Public Order and Security Act to
organised activity by the opposition, as well as all civil
organisations, even during campaigning for by-elections. Opposition
have been continuously hounded, arrested, harassed and brutally
while their supporters have been beaten, abducted, raped, and
††††††††††† The justice system has been
subverted, with the police
selectively arresting members of civil society and
the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) without any evidence of crime, while
watching government supporters commit the worst atrocities.
judges have been hounded out of office and replaced by those who
††††††††††† When these don't satisfy their Zanu
(PF) bosses, they too can be
arrested. Cases which threaten to embarrass the
government never get hearing
dates, with the result that some election
petitions from the 2000
parliamentary elections have yet to be heard, and one
year later we are
still waiting for the court challenge to the presidential
Constitutional challenges to restrictive press laws are also still
The courts are rather spending their energies harassing opposition
with spurious charges ranging from fraud to murder and
††††††††††† The civil service has been systematically purged
non-government supporters. Those in senior posts are expected to
show approval of Zanu policies and make appearances at party
Hundreds if not thousands of teachers have been chased from their
suspected opposition supporters. Graduates of the government
have been trained in propaganda, brutality and torture methods
infiltrated into all government offices and placed on salaries,
they have no relevant skills. Teachers colleges, nursing
polytechnics and vocational schools have instructions to give
militia graduates: if they do not satisfy the entry requirements,
problem; just finish them before completing the course in order to get
certificate. These torturers and abusers are to be unleashed into
schools to prepare our children for life!
††††††††††† On top of that, there is the economy. A year ago
70%; today it is 220% - officially. Unofficially probably over
farms function at above subsistence level. Jobs are unobtainable;
"informal sector" rules. Those living on pensions or savings are
only the lucky ones have children living outside the country
or dollars, or rands. Those who can still afford to own cars
cannot pay for
insurance, and they cannot buy petrol. Eight days in a queue
Those who rely on public transport must be on the street before
6am to get
to work by 8, and even then they are often very late. School
leave home at 5am and return at 6pm. Goods are scarce, and
††††††††††† The government's answer to inflation was to
control prices, when
inputs cannot be controlled. The result was predictable
- a further collapse
of production and a flourishing black market, frequently
controlled by Zanu
bosses. Exports from the manufacturing sector have dropped
The foreign exchange which they should earn to pay for fuel
imports is not available. We are producing less of our own
to the break down of machinery and lack of foreign exchange
to buy spare
parts. A very vicious circle prevails, producing what has been
††††††††††† The so-called land reform is a
distant memory. The agricultural
sector is drastically diminished. No one is
sure what is happening on the
farms: settlers, war vets, Zanu thugs, genuine
land-hungry villagers and
government cronies are all battling for a share of
the spoils, which no
longer exist, since all the movable property and crops
have been plundered
and few of the beneficiaries really wanted to farm. Those
who do are
struggling with lack of inputs. Poor rains at the beginning of the
reduced the output of those who succeeded in planting crops, while
the crop is being stolen from the fields by starving villagers and
former farm workers. The prospect for the next planting season
year is grim, because very little seed maize has been planted and
will be available for use, as it is being eaten.
Donors are distributing food aid in many rural parts of the
country, while in
others, hunger and even starvation is common. The
government continues to
attempt to interfere, but has in most cases not
succeeded. In towns, staple
food is scarce and only obtained through
"connections", political and
otherwise. Long queues have frequently been
attacked by riot police beating
people (mainly women) with batons and
chasing them away.
The daily struggle for food and transport in towns is what has
people to the breaking point. Women have progressively amended
feeding to omit more and more items - cheese, milk, chicken,
meat, fruit -
not affordable; mealie meal, flour, margarine, bread,
vegetables, sugar - not
available. We are left with beans and rice. And for
most people rice is also
not affordable. As the position worsens by the
week, the government has
become increasingly repressive.
††††††††††† We have the
††††††††††† Zimbabweans did not easily give up hope that President
the ANC would finally understand the true nature of our distress.
finally it has become clear that it was not a question of
but deliberate prevarication in order to positively support
††††††††††† The shift began with cricket.
Failure to get the world to
acknowledge the need to boycott Mugabe by
shifting the World Cup matches
made it very plain that our salvation would
only come from ourselves. And so
the protests finally began. Henry Olonga and
Andy Flower set it off, as if
singing the overture, at the first Harare
cricket match. Since then
demonstrations and stay-aways have become a regular
feature of our lives.
Brutally suppressed, they have taught beleaguered
Zimbabweans the most
important lesson: we have the power, we can face arrest,
we can even face
torture. Now the people are waiting for the mass action
which will finally
bring the end of this evil regime. It cannot come soon
††††††††††† This article was first published in the
Witness don't have to say
29/05/2003 20:48† -
Tsvangirai ruled Thursday that a key State witness
would not be required to
disclose sensitive information, the Ziana news
The decision followed a request from Security Minister
Nicholas Goche, who
argued that Happyton Bonyongwe, director of Zimbabwe's
Organisation, should not have to answer questions
relating to State
Justice Paddington Garwe upheld the
request when Tsvangirai's trial resumed
on Thursday, state Ziana news agency
Tsvangirai and two top officials of his Movement for Democratic
party are accused of plotting to assassinate President Robert
of presidential elections last year.
They both deny the
charges, which carry a possible death penalty.
Tsvangirai's party claims
to have been set up by Canada-based political
consultant Ari Ben Menashe,
whom it hired to carry out public relations work
and now believes to have
been working for Mugabe's government at the time.
wanted Bonyongwe to disclose the nature of the work
that Ben Menashe's firm,
Dickens and Madson, performed for the Zimbabwe
government for a payment of
But the security minister argued that such information was
secret and could not be disclosed in court, Ziana
"The clandestine activities of security organisations the world
over are not
ordinarily for public disclosure in such places as the courts,"
agreed in his Thursday ruling.
Zim printing more money
29/05/2003 20:14† -
Harare - The head of Zimbabwe's central bank said on Thursday
the country is
printing money "at full capacity" in an urgent bid to
alleviate chronic cash
shortages gripping the southern African
Leonard Tsumba, governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, told a
conference that his bank is due to inject Z$24bn into the economy
But soaring inflation rates mean the problem is likely to
persist, he said.
Shortages of bank notes are currently crippling
operations in business and
industry. Hundreds of people again queued on
Thursday in central Harare in a
bid to withdraw cash from banks.
have limited cash withdrawals, amid reports a black market has arisen
Tsumba said the situation was "abnormal".
said that while measures were being taken to inject fresh cash into
economy, the problem was likely to remain given Zimbabwe's soaring
Inflation in Zimbabwe is now 269% and rising.
trying to do is guard against unnecessary panic," Tsumba said.
with people and businesses to bank their cash. Many have been
amid fears they will not be able to access it.
Cash shortages first
surfaced after a mass stayaway last month and new
protests are planned for
"An economy that operates on cash alone is a retrogressive
said. He urged people to use cheques and credit cards
A new 1 000 Zimbabwe dollar note is to be introduced in November,
banking official said.