Sent: Sunday, May 30, 2004 12:55 AM Subject: Are you sitting
Dear Family and Friends, For four years and three
months I have faithfully written this weekly letter about events in Zimbabwe.
As Zimbabwe's laws have changed and our legislation has become ever more
oppressive and repressive, I have had to be more and more careful about
what I say and how I say it. I have documented horrors which defy belief
and understanding, talked about people I have met who have seen
and experienced hell and always I have had to guard my words, mind my
language and delete the adjectives long before you read my letter. I hope
that after 51 months people have learned to read between the lines because
never have I felt so reluctant to write this weekly letter as I do today.
It would be much easier to tell you about the weather, the thick frost
lying on the ground and the magnificent birds in my garden but after much
thought I have decided that to do so I would be lying, not only to myself
but also to you.
In the last fortnight the situation in Zimbabwe has
deteriorated dramatically. It began with an altercation in Parliament
where the opposition MP of Chimanimani finally lost his temper at the
personal abuse being thrown at him, and pushed a Zanu PF Minister to the
floor. The opposition MP happened to have a white skin and his action was
exactly what the Zimbabwean government have been waiting for. Since the
incident in Parliament there has been a blatant whipping up of rhetoric
and anti-white sentiment in the media. RACIST, RACIST, RACIST are the
screams. In a country of 11 million people generous estimates put
the number of white people still here at about 70 000 people - it is a
miniscule proportion of the population but for four years and three months
people with white skins have consistently been blamed for everything that
has gone wrong in the country. We have become the easy targets, the
incessant and obvious scapegoats.
Since the incident in Parliament the
opposition offices in Harare have been attacked, windows smashed and property
destroyed. A 35 year old white farmer has been abducted, tortured and
beaten black and blue on his back, legs, arms and buttocks. Another white
farmer, lies in hospital with two broken arms, stab wounds and a charge of
murder hanging over him. The opposition offices in Chimanimani have been
attacked, windows smashed and roofing destroyed. A white woman has had her
house stoned and been paraded through the streets, publicly humiliated and
hugely traumatized. There have been increasing reports of harassment to the
few remaining white farmers in Zimbabwe and the JAG (Justice for
Agriculture) chairman has said that "in all cases the attackers have
had a common message that whites must leave and go to
right, says Mugabe SPEAKER of Parliament Emmerson Mnangagwa's name was, at
the last minute, struck off from the list of 370 graduands who were capped at
the Midlands State University (MSU) on Friday after it was decided that the
timing was wrong, sources told The Standard.
Mnangagwa was supposed to
have been conferred with an honorary Doctorate of Law degree together with
the late Vice President Simon Muzenda, who was posthumously conferred with a
Doctor of Letters degree last Friday.
Well-placed sources told The
Standard that Mnangagwa's name was deleted from the list after MSU
vice-chancellor, Ngwabi Bhebhe held an urgent meeting with President Robert
Mugabe on Friday. They resolved to strike off the Speaker's name, sources
"With all the allegations levelled against Mnangagwa, they felt
that the timing was wrong so they had to remove his name," said the
Mnangagwa, a key political figure in the Zanu PF party and
possible successor of Mugabe, was early this year probed by police over his
alleged involvement in the looting of diamonds in the Democratic Republic of
His name also cropped up in the trial of a gold dealer,
Matthew Burden, accused of contravening the Gold Trade Act by buying gold
from millers as well as exchanging it for fuel.
Some MSU officials
said Mnangwagwa's name was dropped because proper procedures were not
followed. However, other sources within the university said Mnangagwa and
Muzenda's names were submitted using the same procedure and were approved but
the Speaker's name was dropped at the last minute.
"To say proper
procedures were not followed is not true because the two names were submitted
at the same time," said the well-placed source.
circumstances, the university council recommends the names of the people it
wants to honour to the chancellor, President Mugabe, through the Ministry of
Bhebhe could not be reached for comment at the time of
going to print. MSU registrar, Mr G T Gurira, refused to comment.
am not the spokesperson for the university, talk to the
vice-chancellor," said Gurira.
On Thursday, a day before the
graduation ceremony, Zanu PF chief whip Joram Gumbo told The Herald that
apart from being a leading figure in the Midlands province, Mnangagwa would
receive the honorary degree in recognition of his contribution to the
liberation struggle of the country.
He said Mnangawa would also be
honoured for his important work after independence as well as his immense
contribution towards the establishment of the university.
"He is also
being honoured for his impartiality as the Speaker of Parliament. As the
Speaker, his impartiality has endeared him to both Zanu PF and MDC MPs," said
However, Gumbo yesterday refused to comment. "Phone MSU
authorities or Mnangagwa. They will tell you what happened, not me," said
Mnangagwa could not be reached for a comment
After capping the graduands, Mugabe who was earlier conferred
with an honorary Doctor of Commerce degree at a bushy site at MSU said there
was little progress made on the construction of the university.
have found some progress in a sense. There are dungeons being dug, perhaps to
frighten me not to bring my pigs. I will accept that progress has started
being made," said Mugabe jokingly.
This time, the graduands were
conferred with their degrees in a soccer pitch on the campus.
Hungry Zanu PF youths turn on their masters By Richard
GWERU - Street kids and Zanu PF supporters, who had been
ferried from resettlement areas to demonstrate against MDC MP Roy Bennett who
manhandled two cabinet ministers in Parliament a week ago, destroyed war
veterans' offices in Gweru after failing to get the food they had been
promised for taking part in the demonstration.
three-hours demonstration, pandemonium broke out at the war veterans' office
when close to 3000 tired looking and hungry Zanu PF activists, who had been
singing and toyi-toying, found that the food they were promised as inducement
to demonstrate was not available.
The youths claimed that only senior
party officials "feasted" after the demonstration, leaving the rest of them
hungry outside the building.
"This is the last time I will be used by the
war veterans. They promised to give us food after the demonstration, but they
did not fulfill their promise," said an elderly woman, who preferred
anonymity fearing victimization.
Some of the demonstrators, who had
been bused into the city from nearby resettlement areas, had to use their own
money to pay for bus fare back home after the transport, which had been hired
to bring them for the demonstration, did not show up for the return
The demonstration by the ruling party was in solidarity with two
ministers, Patrick Chinamasa for Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and Didymus
Mutasa, for Anti-Corruption and Anti-Monopolies, who were floored by Bennett
after Chinamasa hailed abuse at the MDC legislator.
demonstration, the youths allegedly went berserk beating up innocent people
in the city centre and burning mock coffins and papers near the mayor's
offices. The police, who accompanied the demonstrators, watched in silence as
the demonstrators took the law into their own hands,
On Monday last week,
police officers attached to Gweru Rural Police Station, marched and toy-toyed
in the city centre while mimicking the Zimbabwe Television jingle 'Sendekera
Mwana Wevhu'. Soldiers have also become a permanent feature on the streets of
Gweru most afternoons as they march around the city singing and chanting Zanu
Contacted for comment, Lyson Mlambo, the MDC Midlands
chairperson, said according to the country's constitution, soldiers and
police officers are supposed to be non-partisan.
He said by singing
ruling party songs at parades, police officers were showing that they were
partisan and violent.
Efforts to get a comment from police spokesperson,
assistant commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena were fruitless as his mobile phone
Mlambo also hit out at chiefs who agree to be used by
Zanu PF and said such traditional leaders risked losing the respect of the
people they represent. He said some of the chiefs were only holding their
positions because of their "marriage" to the ruling party.
Empty promises irk Matabeleland elders By Savious
BULAWAYO - As next year's general election approaches, Zanu PF
has stepped up its campaign to win the hearts of the people of Matabeleland
region amid claims that President Robert Mugabe's government is using the
same old political promises it has used before to lure voters
in the Matabeleland region told The Standard this week that they
have completely lost patience with Zanu PF for making unfulfilled promises
and its failure to pay compensation to the victims of the 1980's
Among the outstanding projects in the region
that crop up towards elections is the Matabeleland-Zambezi Water Project
(MZWP), the Lupane Gas Project as well as the Bulawayo-Nkayi
Post Independence Survivors Trust (PIST) executive director, Felix
Mafa, said each time elections were at hand, Zanu PF always abuses people in
the region by telling them lies.
He said the much-awaited MZWP, which
has been on the cards for many years now, would not come to fruition unless a
new government comes to power.
In a separate interview, the Zimbabwe
Liberators Peace Initiative (ZLPI) president, Max Mkandla, said the so-called
University of Lupane and the MZWP were designed to hoodwink locals into
believing that the government is concerned about their welfare. "What
surprises me most is that in Zanu PF we have our own sons and daughters who
hold influential posts but they are doing nothing to help us.
big names like Jonathan Moyo, John Nkomo, Dumiso Dabengwa, Sikhanyiso Ndlovu,
Simon Khaya Moyo, Cain Mathema and many others but they are doing nothing
simply because they are benefiting from the Zanu PF government," said
MZWT chairman, Dumiso Dabengwa, refused to comment saying he was
"Look my friend, I will only talk to you when I come back next
week," said Dabengwa.
Law must take its course: Gono on fleeing bankers By Our
RESERVE Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Gideon Gono says he has been
asked by prominent banking officials to intervene in criminal cases facing
some of their colleagues who skipped the country amidst accusations of
illegal foreign currency dealings.
In an interview in Harare on
Friday, Gono said he had given the matter much thought but felt the right
department to deal with it was the Attorney-General's office.
the same time Gono has denied planning visits to the United Kingdom
and United States last week despite comments made in the British
Parliament suggesting he was already in the UK.
NMB Holdings Ltd
directors Julius Makoni, James Mushore, Francis Zimuto and Otto Chekeche fled
the country for the UK after government threatened to take them to court for
alleged dealings in foreign currency at parallel market
Barbican Holdings Ltd boss Mthuli Ncube and Intermarket Holdings
Ltd founder Nicholas Vingirai also fled to the UK and US for the same
"I have to consult with the AG's office first before dealing
with the issue," Gono said. "This is a legal issue and those that deal with
such items should handle it."
Gono said he had decided to take a very
tough stance on financial matters because the international community was now
demanding monthly reports on the operations of all central banks worldwide in
a bid to stop terrorism sponsorship.
He said he held regular meetings
with top officials from various international security organisations
including from the US, Europe and South Africa.
He had also held wide
consultations with various international personalities and organisations in
Harare, said Gono.
"I did not go to London and am surprised the media
decided to write about things before clarifying the facts on the ground," he
said. "I wonder where and why this information is being circulated
world-wide. Maybe it is meant to discredit me."
Media and Internet
reports this week said Gono was in London on a private visit and was
scheduled to go on to the United States to attend the Zimbabwe Expo
Gono however denied he had been invited to the US, saying it was
news to him.
His reported trip to the UK led to British
parliamentarians asking why he should be allowed to visit the country when he
should be on the list of individuals banned from travelling to the West.
I am now destitute, cries man after losing property worth
$3bn By our own staff
THE former proprietor of Turnpike Service
Station, Kenneth Greebe, says he has been left a destitute after William
Zvinavashe, the nephew of the former Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) boss,
Vitalis Zvinavashe, allegedly fraudulently took over his company and property
worth $3 billion.
Greebe said he has been living in abject poverty since
2002, when he tried to sell the company to Zvinavashe, who failed to pay the
agreed amount. But Zvinavashe now claims to be the rightful owner of Turnpike
Service Station, a house, equipment and some vehicles.
"I am now a
destitute and have to rely on gifts from family and friends to survive. I
don't have anything of my own now. My fully furnished personal family home is
gone you can imagine, everything from clothes to furniture was left at our
family home in Sublime Township, Lake Chivero," he said.
He said trouble
started when he sold his businesses to Zvinavashe but the bank disowned his
cheque. Greebe claims that when the cheque bounced he had already handed over
the keys for the business, house and motor vehicles in the hope that it would
"We had agreed he would pay R4, 164 million and had signed a
memorandum of agreement but William offered me a dishonoured cheque from
Lloyds Bank of London which proved to be fraudulent," lamented
As the ownership wrangle rages on, Greebe said Zvinavashe is
selling some of the disputed property despite that the High Court recently
reserved judgment on the matter.
Greebe in March wrote a letter to
Vice-President, Joseph Msika, seeking his assistance to enable him to
retrieve the service station, a house, furniture, equipment and vehicles from
The letter in our possession, dated March 29, 2004, was also
copied to the Commissioner of Poliace, Augustine Chihuri, Zanu PF Politburo,
the Attorney General's Office and the Minister of Anti-Corruption and
Anti-Monopolies, Didymus Mutasa.
Zvinavashe could not be reached for a
comment at the time of going to print last night.
State moves to block offensive e-mails By Caiphas
THE government is trying to force all Internet Service Providers
(ISP) in Zimbabwe to sign a contract that will oblige them to divulge the
source or block individual electronic mail (e-mail) messages deemed
politically sensitive, objectionable, unauthorised or obscene, The Standard
The latest move comes at a time when there are
vigorous efforts by President Robert Mugabe's government to feed Zimbabweans
with crude propaganda ahead of next year's crucial general
According to the contract in our possession, all ISPs
would be mandated to ensure that objectionable, obscene, communication
infringing copyright laws or those that are inconsistent with the laws of
Zimbabwe are not carried by any network.
"In particular, provider is
obliged to provide, without delay, all the tracing facilities of the nuisance
or malicious messages or communications transported through his equipment and
network, to authorised officers of TelOne and Government of Zimbabwe/State
Government, when such information is required for investigations of crimes or
in the interest of national security," reads part of the controversial
The contract also forbids the use of the network "for
anti-national activities" construed as an offence punishable under the
Zimbabwe Law or other applicable law.
However, the ISPs are resisting
the government's censorship drive.
An official with one of the ISPs said
the majority of the service providers had resolved to refuse to sign the
controversial contract since it infringes the freedom of expression and could
also drive them out of business.
"We are saying no because it is
illegal," said one ISPs, who refused to be named for fear of reprisals from
Among the country's leading ISPs are M-web, Zimbabwe Online,
Telconet, AfricaOnline, Eco-Web and E-world.
Analysts said the move is
designed to control the cyberspace, the only free avenue of communication
that has remained after government tightened screws on the print and
Already, there are widespread fears that the government
could be eavesdropping e-mail and telephones despite a Supreme Court ruling
last March that declared this to be illegal.
In the past few weeks,
Internet users have complained about blocked e-mail messages mostly those
that carried political information. One such blocked e mail was from the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)'s information department
destined to several subscribers.
"The following mail was blocked since it
contained sensitive information," read part of the blocked mail, "Recipient,
content filter has detected sensitive e-mails."
The e-mail was titled,
"Both Roy Bennett and the Minister of Justice must be held accountable for
An information technology expert said it was possible for
government to eavesdrop e-mail messages as most of them are routed through
Zanu PF youths on rampage in Chimanimani By Nyasha
ZANUPF supporters and war veterans last week ran amok destroying
people's homes, MDC offices and beating up suspected opposition party members
in Chimanimani in retribution following the scuffle in Parliament involving
two cabinet ministers and MP for the area, Roy Bennett.
activist based in Chimanimani, Birgit Kidd, said rowdy Zanu PF youths and war
veterans, numbering about 2 000, rampaged her house and looted
After that, they force-marched her to the MDC offices, which
they had destroyed and then ordered her to clean up the mess. Kidd is also
the owner of the building that is being used by MDC as offices, the group
broke down doors and windowpanes.
They also burnt everything that was
inside including important party documents.
"They were about 2 000 of
them, they destroyed the gate to gain entry into my premises. While others
were busy removing roof tiles, the rest were on my verandah singing and
dancing and throwing my garden furniture to the ground.
"They made me
carry the Zanu PF flag, force-marched me while they sang all the way to the
offices which are about 600m metres away," she said.
On arrival at the
offices Kidd was given a broom to sweep the office while the mob teased and
mocked her through the broken windows. After she cleaned the whole building,
the group ordered her to sit down in the dust together with an MDC
councillor, David Matengu to wait for their "organisers".
Up to yesterday
no report had been made to the police as the member in charge for Chimanimani
was said to be in Chipinge.
"Since yesterday (Friday) I have been trying
to report the matter but I have been told the member in charge is in
Chipinge. They are just trying to buy time. I need the docket number to give
to my lawyers," said Kidd.
MDC secretary general Welshman Ncube confirmed
that the party's Chimanimani offices were attacked. He, however, could not
say what was destroyed in the process.
"We have not established the
extent of damage but the act was barbaric," said Ncube.
Mutare council struggles to recover $2,4bn debt By Our
MUTARE - Financially troubled Mutare City Council, which is
owed $2,4 billion in unpaid revenue by residents and other debtors, has
engaged the services of the Messenger of Court in its bid to recover the
Sources within the council's treasury said chief
among the debtors were government ministries and departments.
city's treasurer, Kudzai Mumbengegwi, last week told a finance
committee meeting that the council was owed "millions of dollars" by
residents, individual companies and government
Mumbengegwi, however, declined to divulge the exact figures
of amounts involved or the names of companies and government departments
owing the council saying he was not at liberty to do so.
department would put emphasis on recovering the money owed to the council as
a first priority," he said.
However, The Standard has it on good
authority that the debtors owed the council $2,4 billion.
As a result
of defaulting by debtors, Mumbengegwi said, the council was having problems
in ensuring some of its capital projects get off the ground. Apart from that,
he said, more than half of the city's revenue was being gobbled by salaries
of council staff.
"A situation of that nature is not conducive for
efficient service provision," complained Mumbengegwi.
Mutare, with a
population of about 500 000, has only 28 000 residents paying rates to the
Last week, the Minister of Local Government and National
Housing, Ignatious Chombo, froze any further increases of the city's rates
shattering plans to improve service provision in the eastern border city and
putting planned salary increments for workers in jeopardy.
after Chombo's declaration, Mutare executive mayor, Misheck Kagurabadza,
warned that service delivery in the city would collapse.
"We had plans to
improve roads, refuse collection water reticulation, drug availability in
council clinics and hospitals and workers salaries. All this has gone with
the wind," said Kagurabadza.
He said Chombo had taken a political
decision while initially he had approved the city' $52 billion budget with
The city raised rates by 98 percent in April and was set
to increase the rates twice this year by 105 percent in July and by another
112 percent in October.
The April rates hike prompted protests from
some sections of the residents mostly Zanu PF activists who called for the
ejection of the MDC council. The demonstrations at the civic centre lasted a
month leading to Chombo's latest intervention.
riot police yesterday barred Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leaders
from holding a provincial assembly meeting for Midlands South constituency at
the opposition party's offices in Gweru.
Party officials said they had
invited all elected leaders of the party from around the country to the
meeting to educate party representatives on the electoral process ahead of
next year's general elections.
MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai described
the police's action as undemocratic and geared towards suppressing the
party's election campaign.
"It appears we are having a problem with the
police here. The commanding officer for this province is responsible for
disrupting our meeting and this is not the first time we have had this
problem in the Midlands.
The police actions are deplorable but we are not
at all intimidated. They will not stop us," a defiant Tsvangirai
William Bango, Tsvangirai's spokesman said police officers stormed
into the venue of the meeting before ordering those present to
"The meeting was blocked by police early this morning
(yesterday). They ordered everybody to disperse threatening to fire teargas
if we resisted," said Bango.
He added that the police even prevented
them from paying out bus fares to the delegates who had been invited from
other towns. The leaders had assembled at the venue of the conference on
Friday night prior to the arranged meeting yesterday.
Bango said the
party held several provincial assemblies in Harare, Masvingo, Mutare and
Bulawayo without experiencing any problems with the police.
sought police clearance for the cancelled meeting last week on Monday but by
Friday evening, police had not responded.
Under the draconian Public
Order and Security Act (Posa) any person or organisation wishing to hold a
meeting of more than five people is required to seek police clearance.
City of Harare services to ratepayers continue to deteriorate and
the mindless battle for offices at Town House rages on, acting mayor,
Sekesayi Makwavarara has come under fire from some councillors who accuse her
of profligacy and making unnecessary trips locally and abroad.
number of councillors who spoke to The Standard last week expressed dismay at
Makwavarara's behaviour of late, describing her frequent trips abroad as a
waste of council funds.
The councillors claimed Makwavarara had been
spending council money lavishly with her husband, while neglecting the
concerns of the city's ratepayers. They accused her of spending over $25
million on her last trip to Paris, France last month.
In an interview,
Linus Mushonga, the Councillor for Ward 23 in Waterfalls told The Standard
councillors were unhappy with the expenses that the acting mayor was
incurring. "This is abuse of office by Makwavarara. All those trips must be
approved by the finance committee, but it's sad that we get to know about
them after she has already left the country," Mushonga said.
said there was need to make priorities and use the council funds for the
benefit of ratepayers."It is unfortunate that we have not been able to meet
to take stock and deliberate on all these issues. This is why all this has
been happening without our knowledge," Mushonga said.
Last Maengahama, said Makwavarara had to seek the approval and abide by the
rules and regulations of the council before making trips. "We have to sit
down and see if we can finance her trips before she leaves," Maengahama
Edwin Mushoriwa, the Dzivarasekwa Member of Parliament expressed
similar sentiments saying after Mudzuri's dismissal, the acting mayor was
supposed to perform executive duties and not relegate herself to a ceremonial
When contacted for comment over these allegations, Makwavavara
said councillors had to come to her and settle matters with her and not
discuss issues through newspapers."We must not operate like that. Are
these Councillors afraid of me? I am not a lion. We must co-operate,"
She said there was nothing wrong with her travelling
with her spouse because as a mayor she was entitled to such
"I do not see any reason why these councillors should
question why I travel with my husband. I am entitled to travel with him and
moreover he has some council duties to perform," she said.
Nomutsa Chideya, defended Makwavarara saying she did not make several trips
as alleged. He said he was only aware of one trip Makwavarara made when she
visited Paris recently.
"Moreover that trip was funded by an outside
organisation through the Urban Councils Association and not the council,"
BY the words he spoke and the face he showed the world
during the infamous Sky News interview, President Mugabe will be doing
himself a lot of good if he were to step down immediately rather than clutch
straws until 2008.
To put it bluntly: the man is too old. And it showed
and is showing. We are entitled to ask President Mugabe why he continues to
cling to power when it is so evident that he has completely gone off the
rails. At 80, what strength is left in him even to write books and memoirs as
he now says he will do after retiring in 2008?
Going by what he
said on the urgent issues of our time i.e. the food crisis, the economic
crisis and the governance crisis, it is very clear to everybody that
President Mugabe is keeping himself going by self-deception. His account of
these issues on Sky News was sadly self-deluding. And we say this more in
distress and sorrow than in anger. Change of the guards should be now not in
It must be a source of pain for every patriotic Zimbabwean to see
the President becoming a hostage to the likes of Jonathan Moyo,
Patrick Chinamasa, Didymus Mutasa and many of the ilk. For that is what
President Mugabe has become: a virtual prisoner in both the State House and
his Munhumutapa Offices. It will not be long before the Johnos and Chinamasas
of this world pay a high price for this.
President Mugabe is no longer
in charge of anything. He is no longer in the driving seat. As the Sky News
interview showed, he is locked in a denial mode and is preaching a gospel
which is far removed from the reality of the suffering of the Zimbabwean
The food crisis in Zimbabwe shows no sign of abetting. And for
President Mugabe to claim that there is sufficient food in the country is a
blatant lie. Perhaps his assessment, like that of Joseph Made two years ago,
was made from some highflying aircraft above the cloud cuckoo land in which
both men appear to live. The truth is not far to find.
You have only
to travel around the country and see that very little activity is evident on
most of the former commercial areas. Conditions are far from good and in many
cases much much worse and so it boggles the mind when one listens to all the
hype about a bumper harvest.
What has to be accepted, whether we like it
or not, is that the country is in dire straits. A defiant President, locked
in a fierce row with imaginary enemies like British Prime Minister, Tony
Blair will not change anything. The President and his ruling Zanu PF party
must boldly accept and recognise that they and they alone are to blame for
the crisis that we find ourselves in. Their pathological refusal to listen to
anyone has brought us these tragic results: the demise of a once beautiful
and lovely country.
Zanu PF no longer commands either respect or
devotion. In the past, the ruling party commanded immense crowds both at the
ballot box and at ordinary political rallies. That has all changed and Zanu
PF sees this but chooses to ignore their changed status and instead unleashes
violence and mayhem on fellow Zimbabweans. Elsewhere in this issue, we
publish the shocking extent to which Zanu PF rented crowds engage in
political violence and destroy with impunity other people's
For how long can this continue? For how long can this kind of
tension go on? The truth is that as long as President Mugabe continues to be
a prisoner of people acting from the instinct of self preservation, there
will be no end to the tragedy that has engulfed Zimbabwe. The President must
go for the level of tension in the country to drop or to disappear
Besides, being President for more than twenty years must
surely take its toll in ill-health. His wrinkles and his use of the English
language during the Sky News interview showed that words have clearly become
his enemies. President Mugabe used to be one of the most articulate African
leaders on the continent but inevitably, old age and its attendant senility
must now be having an upper hand in the control of his faculties.
ignoble attacks on Archbishops Desmond Tutu and Pius Ncube were
without parallel in the 24 years of the country's independence. To describe
the good archbishops as "angry, evil and embittered little bishops" is to
push looseness of language to unacceptable levels. We can only detect illness
and anguish in State House. Both South Africans and Zimbabweans must have
been apalled by President Mugabe's attacks which even for a doddering old man
who has completely lost it, were most unbecoming.
On our own part, we
can only pray that President Mugabe has enough sense left to know that his
time is up and step down for his own sake, that of his family and more
importantly, for Zimbabwe. Everything comes to an end. Everyone has, at some
stage to narrow their horizons and bow to the passage of time.
Old friends, new enemies? overthetop By Brian
A sometimes troubled Asian nation may soon fall out with a
troubled central African country. The news that Malaysia may soon investigate
dodgy dealings in the troubled central African basket case is said to have
angered some Zany leaders.
This is because Malaysia, hardly a haven of
democratic or corruption-free governance, has traditionally been very pally
with the troubled central African police state.
And that's part of
the problem, because Malaysian politicians are wondering whether their money
may have been diverted to build the most equal of all comrade's palatial
The villa, set on the side of a leafy hill in a nouveau
riche suburb popularly known as Mbaredale Sewers, is adorned with an brightly
coloured oriental looking roof. The area is home to many Zany fat cats,
money launderers, arms dealers and crooks. It will also soon be home to the
most equal of all comrades - just as soon as his quivering, frail
hearted subordinates pluck up the courage to urge him into
Still, that may take some time now that questions are being
asked. The principle question, of course, being how the most equal of all
comrades managed to build the 25 bed roomed property on a salary of US$400 a
month? Or thereabouts.
It seems the previous Malaysian top man, a
close friend of the most equal of all comrades, may have lent a little
support to his hard up counterpart in the troubled central African
In an unusual and surprisingly gentle interview with a
foreign television station, the most equal of all comrades let slip he'd had
a little help from former Malaysian leader, Dr Mahathir Mohamad. Assistance
had also come, said the most equal of all comrades, from the Chinese. This
surprised no one because the
Chinese are well known to support anyone
who emulates their tactics at Tiananmen Square.
Still, the disclosure
did raise squawks of outrage from the emerging opposition in Malaysia, which
is better than nothing. And while the Zany Party made much of the lack of
protest from the Chinese opposition, Over The Top would like to point out
that there is no Chinese opposition. The Chinese opposition, by definition,
is either doolally, dead or in jail.
But in Malaysia, where the
opposition is excitedly finding its feet after learning how to avoid death or
imprisonment, there was much excitement. An opposition leader said there was
no moral reason to fund the troubled central African regime's 'rotten and
OTT welcomes these remarks, but points out that the
Zany regime has passed beyond the realms of corruptible into the minefields
of thoroughly corrupt.
Meanwhile troubled central Africans were hoping
the issue would not die a natural death - or even an unnatural death, that
being altogether more common these days.
"We hope the Malaysians will
force their government to investigate the issue," said an Mbaredale Sewers
resident on his satellite phone from sunny Kinshasa.
"That will take
the pressure off me because I am being investigated for externalising foreign
In a statement some months ago, the most equal of all comrades
promised a crackdown on corruption in the troubled central African basket
case. He said he did not care what quarter the corruption occurred in, how
high it rose or whether it was in his own backyard.
OTT can reveal
that the most equal of all comrades has already initiated an investigation
into corruption at his Mbaredale Sewers mansion. When the investigation is
completed, a report will state that there was no wrongdoing and that no
corruption was evident. This is because the investigators do not want to
Zim Standard Banks are fleecing us, complain Zim clients By Kumbirai
ZIMBABWEAN banks are charging more levies than many others in the
region and many clients last week urged the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to
intervene and curtail some of the charges.
Clients who spoke to
Standard Business said many of the charges were excessive and were forcing
clients to shy away from putting their money into savings accounts with
The result is that Zimbabwe has one of the lowest
savings' ratios in the world.
A snap survey conducted by Standard
Business found that there was no uniformity in the bank charges for services
such as depositing money or transacting on cheques. It also found out that
the larger traditional banks general charged more than the small, black-owned
Among the charges a client with a Zimbabwean bank has to
pay include ATM surcharges - for making any transactions at automated teller
machines - and fines for transacting third party cheques.
such as Century Bank, have recently hiked charges to
Century last week announced new charges for cheque
books of $10 750 for a 30-page book and $45 000 for 100 pages. The bank said
the increases were in line with the rise of procurement costs.
banks have hiked their service fees since March almost on a
To maintain a current account with many of the larger
commercial banks, the minimum service fee rose from $1 250 in January to $1
The minimum service fee for a personal account also went up to $5
000 from $3 500. Ordering interim statements now attract a penalty of $500
while counter cheques are levied at $2 500 each leaf.
Some of the fee
hikes have now prompted the public to clamour for an investigation into the
issue of bank fees.
They say the central bank should conduct a proper
pricing code for increasing fees and charges while some bank clients said
they felt so cheated by the banks that they have closed their accounts and
now keep their money under pillows at home.
Some of the banks however
told Standard Business that the levies were necessary because of the
increasing cost of doing business in Zimbabwe.
They said the fees and
numerous charges were used to recover, as far as possible, the real costs of
transactions and by means of differential-pricing, they want to force
customers away from expensive branch-based transactions to cheaper electronic
ways of banking.
First Banking Corporation, which is relatively young in
the financial field, said its charges range from processing fees, to take
care of cheque books and other stationary - and the issuance of ATM
Local banks say they cannot compare themselves to those in
neighbouring South Africa where banks are scrapping some of the minor bank
charges clients pay for small transactions.
"Zimbabwe is a
hyperinflationary society, unlike South Africa," says First Bank spokesperson
Bleak outlook for continent as Africa Economic Summit
opens By our own Staff
INDUSTRY and International Trade Minister
Samuel Mumbengegwi and Standard Chartered Bank chairman Honour Mkushi will
represent Zimbabwe at the World Economic Forum's 14th African Economic Summit
to be held in Maputo this week.
The duo will join more than 550
leaders from all sectors of society and from more than 43 countries that will
take part at the summit, which runs from Tuesday to
Twenty-six African nations will be represented under the
theme "Engaging Business in Development". With more than two thirds of
participants coming from the business sector, the summit will be an
opportunity to speed up the pace of economic and business reform which is
holding back the potential of many African economies.
economy has been in a tailspin for the past six years.
shortages and energy constraints have resulted in most manufacturing
companies ceasing operations. Foreign investors have since been fleeing out
of Harare. However, the Summit presents a rare opportunity for Zimbabwe and
local businessman to market the country.
The three-day summit, to be
chaired by President Joachim Chissano of Mozambique, will also be attended by
seven heads of State and government.
The business community is
particularly well represented with CEOs from across Africa and from major
global companies who have a stake in the continent expected to
More than 20 leaders of non-governmental organisations and trade
unions will also be represented.
Among key leaders from business,
politics and civil society participating in the Africa Economic Summit are
Jacob Ajekigbe, Chief Executive Officer, First Bank of Nigeria, Paul Bohoun
Bouabré, Minister of Economy and Finance of Côte d'Ivoire, Alec Erwin South
Africa's Minister of Public Enterprises and his Finance counterpart Trevor
"The Africa Economic Summit is an opportunity for the continent's
leaders, both from business and politics, to move beyond listing African
challenges to developing scalable action plans that unleash Africa's full
potential," said Haiko Alfeld, the Director for Africa at the World Economic
For more than a decade, the Africa Economic Summit has
consolidated its status as the region's premier annual gathering of leaders
from business, politics and civil society.
It has served as a unique
platform to rally the key actors in a collaborative effort to address the
major development challenges facing Africa and has galvanized a strong
business contribution in support of the New Partnership for Africa's
The co-chairs for the summit will be Sir Mark
Moody-Stuart, Chairman, Anglo American, UK, and Vincent Maphai, Chairman, BHP
Billiton, South Africa. They will join other participants at the summit to
tackle the crucial issues facing the continent.
participants will engage in dialogue aimed at producing results and advancing
the cause of Africa's reintegration into the global economy. Focusing on the
role and contribution of business in development, the summit will highlight
best practices, draw lessons, propose practical solutions and provoke
concerted action to act as a catalyst for change and impact on the African
Some of the key topics on the summit's agenda that
have been championed by business leaders who have helped shape the programme
are: showcasing African success stories; looking at the scope and scale of
South-South collaboration; infrastructure development and its financing;
African capital market development; enhancing regional integration by
removing barriers to intra-regional trade, creating larger markets; and the
global fight against HIV/Aids, tuberculosis and malaria.
One of the
key topics of discussion at the summit will be African competitiveness and
the World Economic Forum will be launching its third Africa Competitiveness
Report 2004 on the first day of the gathering.
Accelerating the pace of
development is crucial if Africa is to achieve the Millennium Development
Goals and reduce poverty, hunger and disease.
To grow, Africa requires
first-rate levels of governance, sound infrastructure, coherent policy and an
improved institutional climate for domestic and foreign
The crippling cost of doing business in Africa hinders the
private sector from fulfilling its potential as the main engine of economic
growth. A few African countries are addressing these issues, moving towards
growth rates that could lead to independence from foreign aid and enable
sustainable growth from trade and investment.
"While the political
landscape in most of sub-Saharan Africa has significantly improved in recent
years, a renaissance of Africa's economy has yet to take
"African countries have not yet succeeded in laying a foundation
of macroeconomic stability and a variety of structural and
institutional rigidities have hampered growth performance. Indeed, it is
difficult to point to a single group of African economies that have
experienced high, sustained per capita income growth," said Augusto
Lopez-Claros, Chief Economist at the World Economic Forum.
Competitiveness Report 2004 analyses some of the key challenges confronting
policy makers in the region, whether in the area of macroeconomic management
or in terms of the need to strengthen the quality of public sector
institutions, which must underpin economic reforms
Zim magistrates grapple with poverty By Angela
SHE looks tired after a hard day's work and walks home after
handing down several judgments on different suspects - some which their
relatives may consider too harsh - and turning down several bail
Fearing for her life, she walks cautiously as she is
suspicious of those around her. She might be attacked or even killed anytime
by unknown assailants.
Her attackers may be the relatives or
friends of suspects she may have denied bail or those she slapped with stiff
penalties in her court.
Tendai Nhemachena (not her real name) represents
a big chunk of magistrates in Zimbabwe, who live in abject poverty despite
their prestigious job. They cannot afford to buy cars or have decent
accommodation because they are poorly paid.
They walk to and from
work, and it is not uncommon for some of them to jostle and shove with the
crime suspects they would have dealt with in their courts at bus terminuses
as they board commuter omnibuses to and from work.
Ironically, some of
the magistrates even envy some of the accused persons who appear in their
courts because they seem to live a better life than themselves. Such is the
wretched existence of scores of senior officers in the Ministry of Justice,
Legal and Parliamentary Affairs under which they are employed.
Harare magistrate who spoke to The Standard on condition of anonymity
last week confirmed he was living a miserable life.
"We have been
asking the government to provide us with cars because our job is very risky,
but this request has fallen on deaf ears," he said.
A number of
magistrates have been harassed, beaten or threatened while others have been
forced to flee for dear life after work after delivering what the convicts
considered harsh penalties.
Among those that have been beaten or harassed
are Betty Chidziva, Felix Charamba and Sukai Tongogara. Tongogara even had
her shoes taken away by the assailants.
Magistrate Tendai Madanhire
was beaten up in Kwekwe recently while McGregor Kufa was victimised for
ruling in favour of white commercial farmers in Mwenezi by suspected war
Several magistrates have expressed dismay over the attitude of
Patrick Chinamasa, the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs,
whom they accuse of neglecting them.
A Bulawayo magistrate, who spoke
to The Standard, said on paper magistrates were entitled to a $20 million
loan each for vehicles.
"We have not yet received the loans although some
of us have applied for them. If we ask we are simply told that we are on the
waiting list," he said.
He added: "It is however sad that even if some
of us access the loans, we would not be able to pay them back because our
salaries are just too low."
He said it was better for magistrates to be
moved from the Public Service Commission (PSC) and be placed under the
Judicial Services Commission (JSC) so that they could enjoy the same benefits
as the judges.
"We hope this time the Judiciary and Legal Services Bill
will sail through because it has been tabled 14 times in Parliament, but
nothing came to fruition," he said.
Except for a few stations like
Gokwe, Plumtree and Masvingo, where magistrates have decent government
houses, magistrates in other parts of Zimbabwe were lodgers, he
"It is really embarrassing because most of us are renting from
those people we try in our courts. We are getting peanuts and this cannot go
on like this. It's high time the government respected us and realised we
are professionals, who have to be treated as such," said another magistrate,
who preferred anonymity.
Before the 250 % salary increment granted to
all civil servants effective in January this year, many magistrates said they
were getting "peanuts" after the job evaluation exercise.
a chief magistrate earned between $734 305 and $807 735 a month, while a
regional magistrate - who is in the next lower grade - earned between $385 00
to $478 391, a difference of more than $300 000. Provincial magistrates
earned about $378 000.
Last June, magistrates formally petitioned the
government over poor working conditions, low salaries and gross anomalies
resulting from the job evaluation exercise.
Enias Magate, the
Magistrates' Association of Zimbabwe secretary-general, did not respond to
the questions faxed to him by the time of going to print but late last year
he said magistrates were left worse off by the government's job evaluation
Efforts to get a comment from David Mangota, the Justice, Legal
and Parliamentary Affairs Permanent Secretary, were fruitless.
week Chinamasa was quoted in The Herald as saying the government was still
deliberating on the Judiciary and Legal Services Bill that was aimed at
improving the conditions of service in the judiciary.
Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs recently
recommended the speedy introduction and passage of the bill.
chairman and Zvishavane Member of Parliament Pearson Mbalekwa last week said
judicial officers had to be paid handsomely to stop the brain drain from
"Magistrates and prosecutors cannot afford decent houses and
they rent cottages or rooms and sometimes they preside over cases of their
landlords," Mbalekwa said.
He said his committee had learnt that some
legal clerks in the courts earned as little as $90 000 a month net, tempting
them to accept bribes.
SVERON Branislav, a
local health practitioner, who runs a surgery at Michael Gelfand Clinic in
Harare's Avenues area, was last week robbed of money and goods worth millions
of dollars by thieves about 25 km out of Harare along Masvingo
Branislav, who was on his way to Masvingo for a Zimbabwe Medical
Association conference held last weekend, said he suspects the thieves
trailed him from the city centre.
He said when he had travelled
for about 25 km along Beatrice road a white pick up truck, which had been
following behind signalled him indicating that something was wrong on his
"I pulled off the road and noticed that one of the tyres had a
puncture. Before I could settle down someone smartly dressed offered to help
me saying he was a mechanic. When I gave him the tools and he could not
assemble them, I became suspicious," said the 66-year old
The next moment, Branislav said, the man grabbed his bag
from the car and ran away.
"He grabbed my bag and ran along the road
before he was picked up by the same truck that was behind and returned back
to Harare. It was so swift that I could not figure out what was happening,"
Branislav believes the tyre puncture was caused by the thieves
Ironically, the doctor had a gun on him but said he could not
use it because he did not want to kill or injure anyone. "I had a gun on me
but I did not want to use it to wound someone because I am a doctor,"
In the bag, the doctor said, there were his spectacles, a
palmtop computer (organiser), cell phone, vehicle registration book, medical
documents for his patients and some money he had withdrawn for his friend in
Mugabe's evil-for-evil doctrine exposed Americanotes by
I WAS passing through Great Britain when I found myself faced
by President Robert Mugabe's face in The Guardian, The Times, ITV news and
the BBC hourly broadcasts. At last, I thought, perhaps they are showing the
human face of Zimbabwe's Third Chumurenga to the world. I was completely
To begin with the Sky News Network that had arranged the interview
took fifteen months to gain access to Zimbabwe. And when they finally did,
they were thrown out only to be given a reprieve.
The purpose of
the interview with President Mugabe was apparently to redeem Zimbabwe's good
name to the world.
Nobody wants a bad name as the white racists in South
Africa eventually found out to their cost. It seems, however, that President
Mugabe was not told of the questions to be asked, or the questions were
deliberately designed to provoke his anger and thus make him look like a
It may be that Dr Tafataona Mahoso and Professor Jonathan Moyo
did not grill President Mugabe before hand, which is normal practice in the
US before the President goes on television.
We assume that President
Mugabe wanted to tell the world that Zimbabwe was justified in taking back
the land that was stolen by Cecil Rhodes and that when sixty percent of the
land is occupied by foreigners, that country cannot consider itself a
sovereign State. Even a Form One student could have made such a
What the two gentlemen should have prepared the President for is
the cruelty visited on white farmers and their black farm workers when they
were driven off the land.
The white farmers, most of them citizens
were callously treated and the black farm workers were thrown out without any
job or home to go to. Rather than address this issue, it seems that President
Mugabe was side-tracked, and the news headline that came on the BBC was
rather different: President Mugabe launches a fierce attack on Tony
Mugabe accused the British Prime Minister of thinking of himself
as "superhuman, and now the world is in turmoil". The reference to turmoil
has to do with the Iraqi war, in which Blair and US President Bush, against
all the evidence and advice of wise men, went to war. Even if that is
true, British listeners will not consider us kindly if we attack their
We also assume that the aim of the interview was to
encourage businessmen and tourists to visit and invest in Zimbabwe. If that
was the aim, surely, a more conciliatory approach - that Blair misunderstood
the nature of the land issue, which had been a festering wound for ninety
years since the treacherous Rhodes seized 200 000 Matabele cattle and land in
From that point on, the interview went downhill. Mugabe is shown
as clenching his fists, whether to box Blair or to make a point is unclear.
The questions asked made him "more angry" (black English.) He was asked
if thousands of Zimbabweans had died from hunger induced by his land
policies. He denied the issue completely.
"Oh, come on, 10 000 people
(died), where did they die? Even show me a single person who died of
Further, he denied the possibility of starvation this
"We are not hungry. It (United Nations food aid) should go to
people who are hungrier than ourselves."
He denied the bloody
activities of the Green Bombers. They (the youth training centres) were
teaching "culture and respect for the African personality".
any chance that Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa and Archbishop Pius
Ncube of Bulawayo have a case in pleading with him about the treatment of
whites and blacks under his authority. About Archbishop Ncube, President
Mugabe says that: "Pius Ncube - he thinks he is holy and telling lies all
I wish President Mugabe well, but I think Mahoso and
Moyo served him badly if they did not prepare him to answer such obvious
questions. Going negative on everybody, which I have illustrated above, shows
a terrible attitude.
The saying is that a madman who joined a marching
band was out of step. When asked why he was out of step with the marchers, he
accused the band of being out of step with him - and he alone was in step.
Even if Blair is an imperialist (as shown by the Iraqi policy) President
Mugabe does not have a good word for anyone mentioned in the
In The Times, it was suggested that the Zimbabwean government
thought that Zimbabwe's case had not been given a fair hearing abroad and
that the President should address the balance. Those who prepared the
president for the interview, in my opinion, do not understand what Zimbabwe
is accused of.
There are 3,5 million Zimbabwean economic refugees abroad,
and close on a million of them in Britain.
Zimbabwe is accused of
devastating a once prosperous country into a desert and destroying the
flourishing careers of its own black citizens. Mugabe is personally accused
of encouraging an atmosphere of crony corruption.
He was asked point
blank: "Are you corrupt?" He avoided an answer.
Archbishop Tutu and
Archbishop Ncube are concerned about revenge. It is accepted that Cecil
Rhodes was an evil man and that blacks were done wrong. But, as the two
Archbishops emphasise, you achieve more by not returning evil for evil as
Nelson Mandela has done. It seems that for all those who have ears to hear,
the two Archbishops are correct.
South Africa is doing much better than
Zimbabwe precisely because it did not take the path of returning evil for
The whole interview was a waste of time. It did not make any new
converts for our cause and I cannot see any businessmen changing their minds
and hurrying with their bags of money to invest in a country they consider to
be run by madmen and cronies.
Zanu PF not interested in real dialogue Sundaytalk with
SEVERAL times, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has
invited the ruling Zanu PF party to the negotiating table in order to find a
political settlement and thus solve the country's problems.
The Sunday Mirror of April 14, 2004 quoted Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the
MDC, as saying; "as leaders we can register a significant shift in our
political mindsets and in our personal attitudes if we were to confer
directly to identify the main impediment to sincere and
In his quiet diplomacy, South African
President, Thabo Mbeki tried his best to promote dialogue between the two
major political parties without success. He had, infact, promised the world
that by June of this year, Zimbabwe's monumental problems would have been
solved through dialogue. He was way off the mark. Instead, the country's
problems have worsened and President Robert Mugabe has made it abundantly
clear that he and his party are not interested in talking to the MDC which
they regard as a creation of the British.
I and several others who
understand the Zanu PF mentality, have always said that the MDC was naive to
even think that Zanu PF would agree to participate in open minded dialogue.
They are well aware of their intellectual limitations. The only dialogue they
are interested in is for the MDC to repent and join Zanu PF in "unity". When
they speak of unity in Zimbabwe they are actually talking about capitulation.
Unity between the Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU) and ZANU came about
when Joshua Nkomo's ZAPU surrendered to join ZANU. The only change was the
addition of PF after ZANU. There was no fundamental change except for the
incorporation of a few ZAPU members into the Zanu PF cabinet.
book, The Communication of Ideas, published by the Royal Bank of Canada, one
of the writers says: "Many Canadians have come to believe that dialogue maybe
a more effective setting for nation-building, or social reform or community
survival than is the battle field. ...anyone who unswervaringly refuses to
submit his ideas to the test of dialogue will be quite unfit to meet the
demands of existence in these days.
"...The ideal society in an age of
total communication is the civilisation of the dialogue...Monologue (as we
have in Zanu PF) is the language of the primitive-brained man who thinks he
is the centre of the universe. Dialogue is constructive because it adds to
knowledge; monologue destructive because it evidences fear that a creed or
opinion is in danger of being disproved by question and answer. ...Democratic
institutions and political freedom can not survive without discussion,
criticism and deliberation.
We are all aware that Zanu PF has some very
educated people who should understand the value of dialogue in a democratic
society. Why are they so intransigent? It is not that Zanu PF does not
understand that the only way to unify the country and to bring about peace
and prosperity is through dialogue and not through the use of brute force and
propaganda composed of all manner of subterfuge. The naked truth is that the
leaders of Zanu PF are not interested in the well-being and prosperity of all
Zimbabweans. They are only interested in clinging on to power so that they
can protect their ill-gotten prosperity.
In order to do this, they
have effectively shut all doors to any form of dialogue. The print media has
been effectively muzzled by the banning of the vociferous Daily News and the
harassment of independent media journalists. Radio and TV are now the sole
preserve of opinions favourable to the ruling party only. Other ideas are not
welcome. Rallies and meetings of the opposition are strictly restricted.
There is, therefore, no real dialogue in Zimbabwe.
Zanu PF prides
itself as being a revolutionary party which is carrying the revolution
further by giving the people land. Anyone who questions the veracity of this
or its methodology is labelled an enemy of the revolution and a puppet of the
Our revolution is conceived and carried out by one
man and a close-knit group of faithfuls on behalf of us all. This is why even
our Vice-President Joseph Msika did not know the inside story regarding the
seizure of Kondozi Farm.
After talking to representatives of people of
the area,Vice-president Msika was convinced the take over of the farm by ARDA
was not in the best interests of the people. He, therefore, ordered ARDA, the
army and the police to vacate the farm and allow business to carry on. He was
immediately contradicted by a junior minister who said that the take-over of
the farm was irreversible. Msika only got to "understand the situation" after
talking to the President himself. The decision had nothing to do with the
wishes and needs of the people. It had everything to do with the political
needs and wishes of the party and the President. The people were, therefore,
not party to that revolutionary decision.
The world renowned Brazilian
educationist' Paulo Theire describes our situation graphically in his book;
"Pedagogy of the Oppressed" which was published in 1972, well before our
independence. He says: "In order to dominate, the dominator has no choice but
to deny true praxis to the people, deny them the right to say their own word
or think their own thoughts. He can not act dialogically; for him to do so
would mean either that he relinquished his power to dominate and joined the
cause of the oppressed, or that he has lost that power through
Conversely, revolutionary leaders who do not act
dialogically in their relations with the people either have retained
characteristics of the dominator (or in our case the Rhodesia Front) and are
not truly revolutionary, or they are totally misguided in their conception of
their role;... and are equally non revolutionary.
leaders who incarnate a genuine humanism have difficulties, the difficulties
and problems will be far greater for a group of leaders who try (even with
the best of intentions) to carry out the revolution for the people. To
attempt this is to carry out a revolution without the people, because the
people are drawn into the process by the same methods and procedures used to
"Dialogue with the people is radically necessary to every
authentic revolution. This is what makes it a revolution, as distinguished
from a military coup. One does not expect dialogue from a military coup,
only deceit(in order to achieve legitimacy) or force (in order to repress)
Sooner or later, a true revolution must initiate a courageous dialogue with
the people. Its very legitimacy lies in that dialogue. It cannot fear
the people, their expression, their effective participation in power. It must
be accountable to them, must speak frankly to them of its achievements,
its mistakes, its miscalculations and its difficulties.
dialogue begins, the more truly revolutionary will the movement be. This
dialogue which is radically necessary to revolution corresponds to another
radical need: that of men as beings who cannot be truly human apart from
communication, for they are essentially communicative creatures. To impede
communication is to reduce men to the status of ":things" - and that is a job
of oppressors, not of revolutionaries." Who can argue with that?