The ZIMBABWE Situation Our thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.

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----- Original Message -----
From: "Trudy Stevenson"
Sent: Tuesday, May 04, 2004 3:17 AM

In classic Mudede fashion, the mobile registration of VOTERS as well as
BIRTHS, DEATHS, NATIONAL ID and CHANGES OF DETAIL - eg name, address etc, is
NOW ON - with very little publicity, a very short period and in some cases
that period has ALREADY PAST!  I am currently consulting with my District
Chairman and structures on how best to deal with this, meanwhile -

 I list below the details for HARARE NORTH:

Hatcliffe Extension Clinic 1- 4 May
Hatcliffe District Office 5 May
Mt Pleasant District Office 9 - 11 May
Marlborough District Office 24 - 26 May
Alfred Beit Primary School 27 - 29 May


Highlands District Office 1 - 4 May
Avondale Primary 2 - 3 May
Belvedere Primary 4 - 7 May
David Livingstone Primary 8 - 10 May
Borrowdale District Office 6 - 8 June
New March Farm 9 - 8 June (maybe they mean 8 - 9 June!)
Gletwyn Farm 12 - 14 June
Courtney Selous Primary 15 - 17 June
Zimphos Primary - 18 - 20 June
Mabvuku community Hall 21-25 June
Old Tafara Community Hall 26-30 June
Epworth Local Board Office 5 - 8 May
Epworth Secondary - 9 - 12 May
Dzivarasekwa Community centre 12 - 15 May
Dz Extension Clinic 16 - 19 May
Warren Park 5 Primary 20 - 23 May

To register as a voter, take your birth certificate, National ID and proof
of residence.
PLEASE, CHURCHES, encourage your congregations to register.

up in any public place you can think of where people can read it - or make a
poster for your own area.

There are other centres both in Harare and throughout the country, but there
are also people employed to send out information like this ...!!

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Zimbabwe Police Order Some Private Schools Not to Reopen
Peta Thornycroft
03 May 2004, 16:12 UTC

Zimbabwe police have told a number of private schools not to reopen Tuesday
after Easter holidays. The private schools are accused of hiking fees
without prior government permission.
A principal of a leading private high school near Harare says he was visited
by police and told to keep his doors shut at the start of the second term,
or semester.

Principals of at least six schools in country's second city, Bulawayo, say
they were consulting with lawyers on the same issue.

School fees at both government and private schools have gone up by large
amounts, and principals at some government schools have already been
dismissed for increasing fees.

Most private schools have increased fees by up to 75 percent since January.
There are 38 private schools in Zimbabwe, and all but one or two are run as
not-for-profit trusts.

The private schools have about 20,000 students, most of them the children of
professionals, the middle class, and the political elite, mostly from the
ruling ZANU PF Party. Among them are President Robert Mugabe's three

One school principal, speaking on condition that neither he nor his school
was identified, says most school governing bodies regularly apply to the
Department of Education to increase fees. He says they seldom if ever
receive replies. This principal says that if the police continue to order
that schools be kept shut, then private schools would go to the courts
seeking relief.

Another school principal says he has already had to go to his local police
station where he has been warned he would be charged.

A third principal, outside of Harare, said he believed the government's
crackdown was a political gimmick before parliamentary elections scheduled
for early next year.

He said there was no alternative to increasing fees. He said staff salaries
consumed 70 percent of budgets and that retaining qualified staff was the
biggest challenge facing private schools.

The Department of Education had no officials available for comment.
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      No arbitration and we'll walk again, says Zimbabwe rebel

      Mon May 3, 2004 10:17 PM HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's rebels will
renew their boycott if the board does not agree to arbitration on the
captaincy and other concerns on Tuesday, one of the players has said.
      "If they don't agree, then we walk again," the player, who declined to
be named, told Reuters on Monday. "Arbitration is fair for both sides, and
it's final and binding."

      The 15 rebels returned to active duty on Friday, but they have given
the Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU) a deadline of Tuesday to agree to
arbitration or face a fresh boycott.

      The managing director of the ZCU, Vince Hogg, declined to comment on
the board's likely response to the players' demands.

      The walkout was sparked when Heath Streak's tenure as Zimbabwe captain
ended on April 2 after he questioned the composition of the selection panel.

      The players have demanded arbitration on the captaincy, the selection
panel and a series of transgressions they say have been committed by ZCU
board members.

      The first of two tests between Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka starts in Harare
on Thursday.

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SOUTHERN AFRICA: Zimbabwe worst media freedom offender, claims report
JOHANNESBURG, 3 May 2004 (IRIN) - Zimbabwe is allegedly the most repressive
country in the region in terms of media freedom, according to an annual
survey by the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA).

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) also included
Zimbabwe in its list of "The World's Worst Places to be a Journalist",
released on Monday to mark World Press Freedom Day.

"Last year saw the biggest blow to press freedom yet, with authorities
closing the Daily News, Zimbabwe's only independent daily and the country's
most popular paper," the CPJ said. "Zimbabwean officials have proven
particularly sensitive to coverage of political unrest and the country's
severe economic problems."

Last year the media freedom alerts received from Zimbabwe represented 54
percent of the total recorded by MISA in 10 countries. In 2002 it
contributed 57 percent of the total in 11 countries, according to the survey
findings published in a report titled "So This is Democracy? State of Media
Freedom in Southern Africa".

Zimbabwe is a test case for members of the African Union, who are attempting
to define democracy within the Pan-African context, according to Brian
Kagoro, chairman of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, an organisation
comprising NGOs and human rights activists.

From 2000 to 2003, MISA recorded 360 alerts in Zimbabwe, and described the
Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act as "one of the most
effective legal instruments of state control over the media and civil
society communication anywhere in the world".

Malawi had overtaken Zambia as the country that "normally takes second place
in MISA's charts of media rights infringements," with a recorded 18 alerts,
said the report's author, Jeanette Minnie.

"However, in national terms, the statistics in Malawi are remaining
constant, and those in Zambia have decreased. In 2000 Malawi recorded 16
alerts, 18 in 2001 and 17 in 2002," she noted.

"This is a sign of continuing and festering media freedom problems and, in a
broader democratic context, a sign of political stagnation in the country.
Journalists in Malawi continue to be beaten, censored, detained, threatened
and convicted under anti-media freedom laws," she claimed.

MISA noted another aspect of the alerts from Malawi over the last two years,
concerning alleged "attempts by the state, through the Malawi Communications
Regulatory Authority and the country's broadcasting laws, to obstruct
private and community radio stations from giving voice to opposition
political parties in the country".

"Given that six out of every ten Malawians live in a state of destitution,
and that the life expectancy of a Malawian is 39 years, it is treason to
restrain any media initiative aimed at providing empowering information, or
avenues for effective dialogue, or participation of the citizenry," alleged
Francis Chikmunkhuzeni, who wrote the Malawi section of the MISA report.

In neighbouring Zambia, it was reported that "threats, harassments and
interference continued to be the order of the day" last year.

The government banned a live TV programme, "perceived as being critical of
the government", that reviewed the front pages of all national daily
newspapers. "Government policy remained unchanged on the privatisation of
the public media, which remained under state ownership and control," noted
Herbert Macha, the author of the section on Zambia.

On a more positive note, MISA said it had received 188 alerts in 2003, or
almost 10 percent fewer than in 2002, when there were 208 alerts.

Last year saw few developments in Angola's media sector. "In a country that
recently emerged from civil war, and where great social inequities are
present, the lack of a vibrant regional and local press is blatantly
evident. At present the media serve merely as a conveyor of 'state'
information - no active investigative journalism is practiced, and there
certainly is no definitive move to review information rights," commented
Ismael Metus, author of the Angola section.

The Lesotho section, written by Thabo Motlamelle, observed that the
"government has yet to actively promote a media-friendly legislative and
policy framework through the enactment of media- friendly laws, such as a
freedom of information law and the introduction of an all-inclusive media

He added that an "uneasy" relationship existed between government and the
private independent media, which was "financially weak".

Swaziland's media practioners were "more optimistic today", noted the
report, partly because of the draft constitution produced last year, which
guaranteed freedom of expression and freedom of the press.
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      Zimbabwe 'plotters' held in irons

      The Zimbabwean authorities say 70 alleged mercenaries have been put in
leg irons round the clock after a plot was uncovered to free them from jail.
      A prosecutor said they had received information of a plan to airlift
the men from the high-security Chikurubi prison were they are being held.
They are accused of plotting to stage a coup in Equatorial Guinea.

      But the men say they were travelling to the Democratic Republic of
Congo to work as security guards.

      The group have been held since their aircraft was detained at Harare
International Airport in March, when it stopped to refuel and pick up
military equipment.

      They are mostly former members of South Africa's apartheid era
military forces.

      They are accused of being contracted by Equatorial Guinea opposition
leader Severo Moto to stage a coup against President Teodoro Obiang Nguema.

      The Zimbabwean authorities have begun legal moves to have them
extradited to Equatorial Guinea, where another group is being held on
suspicion of being involved in the same plot.

      Human rights groups say they believe at least one of the suspects held
in custody in Equatorial Guinea has been tortured to death.

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ZIMBABWE: Boom for traditional healers as health care costs rise
HARARE, 3 May 2004 (IRIN) - As the cost of medical care in Zimbabwe
continues to rise, an increasing number of patients have turned to
traditional healers for assistance.

As early as five o'clock in the morning, patients accompanied by their
relatives start arriving at the homestead of Erina Muguyo, a renowned
traditional healer in the Porta Farm area about 30 kilometres west of
Harare. Despite the chilly weather, they queue patiently until he starts
attending to them at midday.

"I went to Parirenyatwa hospital in Harare yesterday with my husband and
they could not attend to him because we failed to raise the Zim $120,000 (US
$22) deposit they needed to admit him. That is why you find that most of us
now prefer to go to traditional healers," said Monica Hamandishe, a resident
of Kuwadzana, a high-density suburb in the capital, Harare.

"At least here I pay a small consultation fee and get the herbs for free. At
the hospital you pay a hefty fee for consultation and [have] to buy the
drugs. We can't afford that," she added.

The Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals, the country's biggest referral medical
centres, requires US $22 for admissions on top of consultation fees. In
private hospitals and clinics the charges are much higher, with some
charging admission fees of over US $380.

Private doctors, meanwhile, charge consultation fees of US $11 per patient,
an amount beyond the reach of average Zimbabweans.

The president of Zimbabwe's National Traditional Healers Association
(Zinatha), Professor Gordon Chavunduka, noted that over the past two years
there had been an influx of patients seeking treatment from traditional

Zinatha has a countrywide membership of 55,000 traditional healers, each
seeing an average of 20 patients per day.

"If you go to a hospital now, people are dying because there are no doctors
or nurses, and even drugs. People prefer traditional healers because at
least they get treated," he told IRIN.

According to Chavunduka, the vast majority of people who visit traditional
healers are HIV positive.

According to official statistics, almost 3,800 people in Zimbabwe succumb to
AIDS-related diseases every week.

With regard to soaring health care costs, Chavunduka said: "As traditional
healers we are excited that we are getting big business, but it is not good
for the whole health sector."

An acute shortage of foreign currency has crippled the health system, with
the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare unable to finance the purchase of
urgently needed drugs to treat some of the most basic health conditions.

Billy Rigava, president of Zimbabwe's Medical Association (Zima) told IRIN
that although there were 2,500 doctors registered with the organisation,
only 1,200 were still working in Zimbabwe.

"The health situation in the country can now best be described as an
emergency. There is an urgent need to address the deteriorating situation by
improving the welfare of the remaining health personnel," said Rigava.

In an effort to address the skills loss, the government has made agreements
with Cuba and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

"Presently, there are about 350 foreign doctors in the country and 80
percent of them are Cubans. But the problem is, it takes a lot of time for
them to settle down," Rigava said.

There was also the additional problem of language, as doctors from Cuba and
the DRC found it difficult to converse with English speaking locals.

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New Twist to Sky News Crew Saga

The Herald (Harare)

May 3, 2004
Posted to the web May 3, 2004


IN a new twist to the saga surrounding the British Sky News crew which
arrived in the country last week, it has emerged that a Ugandan national -
and not Zanu-PF - is behind the news team.

Contrary to media reports that the ruling party had organised the visit by
the Sky News team, a Ugandan national, Dr Nyekorach Matsanga, who has been
in and out of Zimbabwe since the presidential poll in 2002 for as yet an
unknown mission, claims to be the one behind the news crew.

According to sources, Dr Matsanga said it was up to him to decide whether or
not the news crew would proceed with the interview they are seeking with the
President and other senior Zanu-PF and Government officials.

The sources said Dr Matsanga disclosed this to a senior official of the
Department of Information and Publicity in the Office of the President and
Cabinet, who had arranged for the Sky News team to meet the Minister of
Information and Publicity in the Office of the President and Cabinet,
Professor Jonathan Moyo, this afternoon.

"Dr Matsanga said the meeting (with Prof Moyo) would not take place unless
he was briefed exactly as to what would be discussed between Prof Moyo and
the Sky News crew and that he be present.

"Subsequent to this surprise intervention, the Department of Information and
Publicity cancelled the meeting pending further clarification as to the role
and interest of Dr Matsanga in the matter," a source said.

Yesterday, the Sunday Mirror reported that the Sky News crew would go ahead
with the planned documentary on Zimbabwe and the interview with the
President, quoting what it said were highly-placed sources in the ruling

However, The Herald is reliably informed that the Mirror story was based on
information and claims by Dr Matsanga.

"The documents referred to in the Mirror story were given by Dr Matsanga,
who has shared the information with many other people.

"He gave the Mirror a list of the 24 questions of the issues the Sky News
crew would have pursued but have not been given to the Department of
Information," a source said.

Asked for a comment, an official in the Department of Information said: "It
is surprising how they expected us to facilitate an interview with the
President over the questions they have never shared with us and when they
have systematically avoided direct communication with the Department despite
our having written them about the matter last month."

In a letter dated April 20, 2004 to the head of the news department at Sky
News Edwin Wells, the Department said it was excited at the possibilities of
the British news channel doing a co-production documentary on Zimbabwe with
Newsnet given the endless misrepresentation of developments in Zimbabwe by
some sections of the international media.

"We have been advised by Dr Nathan Shamuyarira, secretary for information
and publicity of the ruling party Zanu-PF, that you are interested in coming
to Zimbabwe, and, together with Newsnet Zimbabwe, do a co-production
documentary on the country.

"We understand that you intend in your proposed reportage, to give an
authentic Zimbabwe story for broadcast on Sky News TV for global audiences
and through Newsnet for Zimbabwe," the Department said.

It, however, said to facilitate the process and before the Sky News crew
could come to Zimbabwe, it required Sky to work a co-production agreement
with Newsnet.

"Your own office can either initiate the draft of the agreement or we can
ask Newsnet to do so. We look forward to hearing from you as soon as

Last week, the Department expressed dismay at the illegal entry of the Sky
News team into the country before securing accreditation despite the advice
of the Department.
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Fish Poachers Wreak Havoc At Lake Chivero

The Herald (Harare)

May 3, 2004
Posted to the web May 3, 2004


THE public has expressed concern at the rampant poaching of fish reportedly
taking place at Lake Chivero despite the presence of a National Parks and
Wild Life office at the lake.

People who spoke to The Herald said poaching was unchecked at the lake's
spillway where there are shallow waters and fish flock there during the
breeding season to lay eggs.

An environmental expert who spoke to The Herald on condition of anonymity
said fish flock to the spillway for breeding where the newly-hatched fry is
safe from prey.

"Fish breed in the shallow waters because there is safety there. In deep
waters, there is a danger that the fry can be devoured by bigger fish and
other predators," said the expert.

It is this fish that the poachers are going for, using spears and other
sharp objects to kill them.

The poachers reportedly lower each other into the waters with ropes and as
they carry out their nefarious business, others will be scattered on hills
and other high outposts, keeping a close eye on security people.

People within the lake's environs say they are now worried that the
treasured bream fish might face extinction if poaching continues unchecked.

"Poaching here is massive and what is worrying is that they are killing fish
that is supposed to be multiplying," said one fisherman.

People said they now suspect that the poachers are working in cahoots with
some officials from the Wildlife department since the place used to be
highly protected in the past and now the poa- ching is going without being

National Parks and Wildlife Management Chief Warden Mr Lovemore Mungwashu
admitted that there was poaching going on at Chivero but said his department
has done a lot and the situation is now under control.

"We have put an anti-poaching unit at Chivero and it has been conducting
patrols, which have led to the arrest of poachers", said Mr Mungwashu.

He said the department has been receiving assistance from both the police
and the army and the number of arrests made has been increasing.

"In January we made 99 arrests and we managed to recover 58 nets, 259 kg of
fish and the fines deposited totaled to over $1 million", Mr Mungwashu said.

In February, 147 poachers were arrested and 45 nets were recovered while 503
kg of fish were also recovered.

Over $2 million was deposited as fines, he said.

Mr Mungawashu said the increased arrests were due to intensified patrols by
the anti-poaching unit.

He also attributed the poaching to the increasing settlements, which are
mushrooming around the lake and said they were endangering the life of the
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Politics Aside, Nigeria Needs Refugee Farmers' Skills

Business Day (Johannesburg)

May 3, 2004
Posted to the web May 3, 2004

Dianna Games

IF SOME writers in the Nigerian media are to be believed, a group of six
white farmers from Zimbabwe have the power to destabilise their country of
about 130-million people.

Racist diatribes, in the mould of President Robert Mugabe's own thundering
speeches, have suggested the farmers invited by the Kwara State government
will only steal Nigerians' land, dupe innocent Nigerians with dangerous
genetically modified crops and spread HIV/AIDS in order to get rid of black

Others feel the invitation is tantamount to sabotaging Mugabe's land reform

"We have to recognise that the fragile thread of African unity may be broken
forever if we absorb fleeing white farmers," said one writer who was
defending continental unity from his adopted homeland where else but the
heart of whiteness, Britain. The head of the house committee on agriculture
maintained bringing the farmers to Nigeria would "plant the seed of racial
problems for our children in future".

Concerns have also been raised about how the situation will affect the
relationship between Nigeria's Olusegun Obasanjo and, interestingly, not
Mugabe but rather Thabo Mbeki, signalling the general view in Ni- geria of
the South African president as Mugabe's protector.

But the overall response has been rather less extreme. Another member of the
same agriculture committee welcomed the move: "We have no fear southern
African farmers will take over our land. We have a different history. Unlike
Zimbabwe at the time the white farmers visited them, we are independent and
we already have a government in place."

Both Obasanjo and the Kwara State governor have said their motivation was
not to take away from Zimbabwe but to keep in Africa what was good for

The governor's special assistant wrote in an article that while they were
aware of the sentimental arguments about African solidarity, they believed
solidarity was keeping skills on the continent rather than having to use
scarce resources to buy back what Africa itself could have produced.

"Most of the arguments against this plan are emotionally based rather than
rational. If African sovereignty is what is at stake, true decolonisation
would be best pursued if we create conditions to make us self-reliant,
especially in food security."

He, and other Nigerian commentators, said Mozambique and Zambia were also
closely connected to Zimbabwe's liberation struggle and yet the move by
white farmers into those countries had not been accompanied by the same
negative rhetoric.

They did not see it as sabotage of Mugabe's land policies but rather as a
way to develop their own countries.

The fact that the same furore has not followed the investment in Nigeria of
other whites shows how Mugabe's propaganda machine has influenced debate on
the continent.

But when all the politics is said and done, the issue is the fact that
Nigeria cannot feed itself. The country imports 98% of consumables, of which
food is a large proportion, despite its massive tracts of fertile land.

Last year alone, the Nigerian government spent an estimated 6bn on
agricultural imports, including $750m to import rice and about $500m on
milk. At one time it even imported food from its poorer neighbour, Burkina

Many plans to develop agriculture have been put in place but failed to yield
results mostly because of corruption and lack of seriousness from a
government obsessed with oil.

The Kwara State government backs up its decision to invite the farmers with
statistics. It says Nigeria's best agricultural yields are about 1,5 tons a
hectare, while in Zimbabwe, yields of 10 tons a hectare can be achieved on
the same land.

There will no doubt be problems with the relocation of the farmers, but
given that people's concerns have been publicly raised, it seems unlikely
the state and federal governments will not address them.

Failure to do so would render the project stillborn. And it is unlikely that
the farmers themselves would want to wade into another controversy.

Their biggest threat might not be the obvious ones but rather the entrenched
political interests in the food import game which are said to be behind much
of the negative publicity.

The farmers arrive in Nigeria this week to finalise plans for their new life
in the country. Let's hope for everyone's sake that all the bases are

Games is director of Africa@Work, a publishing, research and conferencing
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Find Solution to Law Degree Problem

The Herald (Harare)

May 3, 2004
Posted to the web May 3, 2004


The problems of the law degree offered by Great Zimbabwe University must be
sorted out, and sorted out quickly.

The innocent students cannot be blamed for the shortcomings of their
university and cannot be allowed to suffer alone.

It is now obvious that Great Zimbabwe University was grossly over-ambitious
in offering a law degree so early in its history and with so few resources
at its disposal.

Law is one of those subjects, like medicine, which require huge resources
and a large pool of highly specialist staff to do the teaching.

This is why none of the other new universities has yet introduced such
courses and why correspondence universities see the problems as almost

While medical degree courses require access to a large hospital and a sea of
specialist doctors, plus anatomy rooms and the like for the early years, a
law degree course requires an enormous library and a complementary -
therefore, huge - number of specialist academics able to cope with the large
amount of face-to-face teaching.

It appears from the report of the regulatory Council for Legal Education
that neither essential condition was met, and that the secondary conditions
of adequate lecturing and tutorial facilities were missing.

The problem, essentially, is one of those that can be solved by an injection
of a very, very large sum of money.

Even a modest law library is extraordinary expensive, as new law firms have
discovered, and the sort of library a good university needs is many times
more costly than that.

So radical solutions are going to be needed.

The most radical would be to move the whole law degree course to another
university. It might well be significantly cheaper to establish Zimbabwe's
second law school in Bulawayo, where there are a large number of law firms,
a permanent presence of the High Court and a reasonable number of retired
lawyers who might well be interested to helping out as tutors for a while.

The many law firms in the city and the Ministry of Justice might well wish
to help stock a first-class legal library that could be shared by all but
affordable by none on their own.

Another solution might be to freeze enrolment for the moment at Great
Zimbabwe and use facilities at the University of Zimbabwe in Harare during
vacations to supplement the Masvingo courses. This would, at least, allow
those who are in the degree course to earn a degree that would be acceptable
while a permanent solution is sought.

It seems to us that whatever solution is chosen, those already in the course
will have to have a year or two added to their degree course and funds will
have to be found to help them complete the degree. As everyone admits, they
carry no blame.

The saga is sad for all. We urge all concerned to find a workable solution
and we hope that all future degree courses in all subjects at all
universities will be more carefully planned and not introduced until basic
minimum conditions are met.
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3 May 2004
World Press Freedom Day:  A Day for Sober Reflection on the State of the Media in Zimbabwe
Today, on ‘World Press Freedom Day’ the MDC congratulates the thousands of brave journalists worldwide who continue to stand up to oppressive regimes and courageously expose their criminal failings, at great personal risk. We also salute the tremendous progress made to advance media freedom around the world.
The MDC congratulates in particular those journalists in Zimbabwe working for the independent media. These journalists are heroes of democracy. They face constant harassment from the authorities and operate in permanent fear of arrest, as a result of the harsh media laws that have been imposed in Zimbabwe under the internationally condemned Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA). Their only crime is writing the truth and adhering to the fundamental democratic role of the media which is to hold the Executive accountable for its actions.
The oppressive environment within which these journalists are forced to operate was confirmed in a report released last week by the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) which stated that Zimbabwe ‘had the worst record in terms of media freedoms among the ten southern African nations’.
As many countries today celebrate the impressive gains made with regards to media freedoms, we in Zimbabwe are forced to soberly reflect on the losses we have incurred over the past few years. The closure earlier this year of the independent Daily News and the announcement by Tafataona Mahosa in the state media today that the Tribune (an independent weekly newspaper) is operating illegally, underline the determined attempts by the ruling authorities to emasculate the independent media and to deny the people of Zimbabwe their democratic and constitutional right to receive and impart information.
Despite these attempts by the regime to muzzle nearly all avenues of alternative information, the people of Zimbabwe continue to view state media with the disgust it deserves and have found alternative ways of accessing accurate and credible information.
Paul Themba Nyathi
Secretary for Information and Publicity
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From Africa Confidential (UK), 30 April

Disappearing food

The government may turn away food aid as part of its ruthless election

An internal United Nations' memorandum describes Zimbabwe's latest crop
projections as 'complete nonsense' and 'quite impossible.' That's no
surprise. Fanciful agricultural forecasts are common in Agriculture Minister
Joseph Made's department but these particular projections are critical. The
forecasts were used to justify the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic
Front government's decision to turn down food aid this year. At a meeting on
30 March, a Ministry official claimed that the harvest would be 1.7 million
tonnes, an impossibly big figure. The following day, Minister of Labour Paul
Mangwana met UN officials and diplomats, reiterated the figures and
emphasised that the government had asked the UN to keep food aid out of the
humanitarian assistance appeal. Yet the current debate within ZANU-PF shows
that there are still practical constraints. Periodic fuel shortages and
scarcity of spare parts limit the government's ability to move the food
quickly to wherever it can win most votes. So a ruthless campaign to benefit
from shutting out foreign food aid could still work against the ruling
party. Politicians will lose votes if the gamble goes wrong; hungry
Zimbabweans may lose their lives.
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The date on this item is wrong....  not sure if it is meant to be 3 May or 30 April... 


Enough is Enough



We have a fundamental right to freedom of expression!

Sokwanele reporter

30 May 2004

Archaeologists often say that the most telling discoveries about the past are made in sifting through the contents of the rubbish bins of ancient civilizations. With a macabre twist, the same might be said of what Zimbabwe’s mortuaries reveal today - of the sad state of society, and more particularly of the country’s prisons.

Take the Mpilo mortuary in Bulawayo for example. Those unfortunate enough to have cause to visit the place report that bodies are piled up like so much firewood. The refrigeration system having failed some time ago there is no alternative, and the resulting stench is appalling. A recent visitor to the mortuary counted in excess of fifteen bodies piled up on the floor. Judging by the identical grey blankets in which they were wrapped they were all from the prisons. A few bodies were not in fact covered at all. They lay stark naked, without a shred of dignity or decency in death. A small boy, a green bomber graduate, now working as a mortuary attendant, explained that the prisons were giving them a real problem in the number of bodies delivered which were unclaimed.

The same picture is readily confirmed by a visit to the nearby Luveve cemetery. Attendants there report that many bodies from the prisons are given a pauper’s funeral and buried together in mass graves.

Follow the trail of death back from cemetery and mortuary to the prison house, and the cause of this distressing situation becomes plain to see. A senior officer at Khami Prison confirmed recently that on average 15 prisoners are dying each week of Tuberculosis (T.B). March was a particularly bad month in which the prison recorded 130 deaths. T.B. is a contagious disease to which the weak or malnourished are particularly prone. At certain stages of the disease patients should be isolated from others. In Khami Prison however such is the congestion and over-crowding of facilities that infected patients mix freely with others, creating a situation in which the disease can spread like wildfire. To make matters even worse the prison is short of the drugs required to treat T.B. and does not have the adequate food supplies that should be given to those receiving the drugs. All things considered the appallingly high mortality rate at the prison should not occasion any surprise.

Nor is this the full extent of the serious health hazards faced at Zimbabwe’s prisons today. The prison officer at Khami who spoke of the menace of T.B. also revealed that homosexual rape was a huge problem. If all the cases were prosecuted, he said, the whole prison would have to be closed down.

Such is life – and death - in the hell hole of a Zimbabwean prison in the year 2004.


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New Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe 'mercenaries planned jail escape'

Some of the accused men being taken to a makeshift court within the prison complex two weeks ago

By Agencies
Last updated: 05/04/2004 06:13:06 Last updated: 05/04/2004 04:14:10
PROSECUTORS told a Zimbabwe court on Monday that 70 suspected mercenaries charged with plotting a coup in Equatorial Guinea were planning to break out of jail and would from now on be held in leg irons.

State prosecutor Lawrence Phiri said information was received about a plan to airlift the men from Chikurubi Maximum Security prison on the outskirts of Harare where the group have been held since their arrest on March 7.

The 70 men were detained at Harare International Airport almost two months ago when their Boeing 727 stopped to refuel and pick up military equipment.

The Zimbabwean authorities claim they were on their way to join 15 suspected mercenaries arrested in Equatorial Guinea and charged with plotting to overthrow the government of the oil-rich central African nation.

But the 70, most of whom are from South Africa, have said they were on their way to the Democratic Republic of Congo to work as security guards at a diamond mine.

The court on Monday heard details of the alleged plan but journalists were barred from attending the hearing.

"The information was that there were plans to spring the prisoners out of Chikurubi," Phiri told the court in open session.

Phiri said the order to clamp the men back in leg irons came on Friday morning.

"The authorities saw it fit that until further notice the prisoners will be kept in leg irons," he said.

Defence lawyer Jonathan Samkange protested the move, saying "I'm certainly not prepared to have the accused tried in leg irons".

"It is not free and fair. I'm going to move that the prison officials be held in contempt of court," Samkange said.

He said the court order allowing them to appear in court without shackles was being "flagrantly disobeyed turning this place into a circus". AFP

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Pay Up Cdh Debt, Zimbank Told

The Herald (Harare)

May 3, 2004
Posted to the web May 3, 2004

Walter Muchinguri

CENTURY Discount House liquidator has told the Zimbabwe Banking Corporation
to pay its $4 billion debt as efforts to recover funds owed by the troubled
firm's debtors gather pace.

The claim arose from the alleged illegal disposal, by Zimbank, of $4 billion
worth of grain bills belonging to the discount house.

Sources privy to the developments said Century liquidator, Mr Cecil Madondo,
wrote to Zimbank on April 14 advising the financial institution that it had
15 days within which to pay up or respond to the letter.

Mr Madondo, who recently released his report on the progress of the
liquidation process, has indicated that he was shocked by the manner in
which the disposal was handled.

In his report, Mr Madondo said he was surprised that Zimbank had proceeded
to dispose of the grain bills on January 7 well before their maturity on
March 4.

He has argued that the closure of the discount house on January 2 made it
illegal for the institution to engage in any transaction with anybody.

Efforts to get a comment from Zimbank officials proved fruitless at the time
of going to press over the weekend.

It has since emerged that Century Holdings, which is the parent company of
the discount house, was last week holding discussions with Mr Madondo to
resolve the dispute.

In total, the liquidator is demanding $44 billion from Century Holdings.

The liquidator filed the lawsuit on the basis that Century Discount House
still belonged to Century Holdings since the sale of the discount house to
collapsed ENG Capital Finance had not been completed and that the sale was
not undertaken according to the Banking Act.

"We are all hopeful that we will have reached an agreement before the end of
May, but other than that, there is nothing more to say until we conclude the
talks," Mr Madondo said.

Meanwhile, Mr Madondo said that he had stepped up efforts to ensure the
availability of funds to meet payment of the first dividend due to creditors
around June or July this year.

Last week, he submitted a proposal to major creditors of the discount house
at a creditors' meeting at which he sought permission to use free residue
funds to pay off small creditors, who include individuals or companies that
are owed $300 million and below.

Free residue funds refer to money that is outside secured credits.

"My appeal is based on compassionate and moral grounds because if the major
creditors agree, then the small creditors will get 60 cents in the dollar,
which translates to 60 percent of what they have claimed.

"Our aim is to bring instant relief to these creditors because we are aware
that most of them need money for issues such as medication, food or school
fees, among other things," he said.

Mr Madondo said he was drawing up a draft document, which he would present
to the major creditors for consideration on the issue.

The liquidator, appraising the creditors on the progress of the liquidation
process, said he had managed to sell six of the 14 vehicles recovered when
the discount house was shut down as well as receiving offers for sundry
assets, which are above expectation.

He added that he had secured certificates for Zesa bonds, which were
recovered when the discount house was closed.

With regards to non-liquid bills and staff debtors, Mr Madondo said some of
the debtors have paid back what they owed while legal action is being
instituted against those who have not yet done so.

"As for the Treasury bills, we have written to the Reserve Bank to get
confirmation about their status while we have concluded negotiations with
four creditors on the issue of bank acceptances," he said.

The liquidator is in the process of disposing motor vehicles worth $1,2
billion, sundry assets such as office equipment valued at $200 million, cash
at banks amounting to $140 million, Treasury bills worth $2 billion, bank
acceptances amounting to $400 million and stocks worth $5 billion.

Apart from the update on the disposal of the property, Mr Madondo also
indicated that he was also recommending to the Master of the High Court to
reject $2,3 billion in claims as provided for in section 58 of the
Insolvency Act.

The claims, according to him, are not supported by proper documentation.

The liquidator last month unveiled a payment programme for creditors of the
discount house, which would see them getting their money in four dividend
payments spread over a two-year period.

The second dividend was expected to be paid out early next year after the
submission of the second interim liquidation and distribution account to the
office of the Master of the High Court for examination and confirmation
before the end of the year. The final dividend was expected to be paid out
sometime next year after the submission of the last interim liquidation and
distribution account to the office of the Master of the High Court.

Century Discount House, which was sold to ENG Capital for $1,5 billion in
April last year, was shut down and had its licence withdrawn by the Reserve
Bank on January 2 this year after it was discovered that it had been
defrauded of $22 billion by ENG.

A provisional order for liquidation was issued on January 20 while a final
order was issued on February 11.
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Cultural Practice Destroys Christianity: Bishop

The Herald (Harare)

May 3, 2004
Posted to the web May 3, 2004


THE cultural practice of "resting the spirit of departed relatives" (kurova
guva) is destroying Christianity, the Roman Catholic Church Bishop of
Mutare, Right Reverend Alexio Churu Muchabaiwa, has said.

The bishop's declaration was a bombshell for many of the more than 800
Catholic men gathered for the St Joseph's Guild National Congress at Regina
Mundi School in Gweru at the weekend.

Catholics in Zimbabwe have, for many years, passionately and emotively
differed on the thorny matter that has left the Church deeply divided with
battle lines drawn between priests and nuns, on the one hand, and
congregants, on the other.

Presenting a paper on the position of the Catholic Church on the age-old
ceremony to rest the spirit of the dead, Bishop Muchabaiwa said: "If there
is anything that destroys Christianity it is kurova guva. It destroys
Christianity fundamentally."

By engaging in this practice, which is linked to the belief that ancestral
spirits are capable of acting as intercessors between the living and God,
Christians were fundamentally destroying the very basis of their faith -
that Jesus Christ is the only way to get to God, said Bishop Muchabaiwa.

The highly contentious matter, which stirred heated arguments during a
two-hour long debate among the delegates at the congress, is likely to
generate further debate not only in the Catholic Church, but also other
Christian denominations, whose membership still consults spirit mediums and
n'angas (traditional diviners).

Strongly bound by the desire to uphold such cultural practices that touch on
core aspects of their lives, some delegates pointed out that it was now
extremely difficult for Christians to extricate themselves from this
practice because they were nurtured in the credo.

Said Bishop Muchabaiwa: "The biggest problem most Christians face today is
that of transition. But, fortunately, God is a God of freedom.

"As Christians we should, however, make up our minds which side we want to
belong to. Either you follow Christianity or the ancestral route --- it's
that simple."

Leading the camp of delegates who supported the practice of resting the
spirit of the dead were a sizeable number of elderly men who argued that
there was nothing wrong in partaking in such ceremonies as Christians since
this was in line with the Vatican's accculturation initiative.

However, presenting a different topic during the same congress, one of the
Catholic Church's oldest practicing priests, Father Xavier Munyongani of
Masvingo, fired a broadside at Christians who justified unChristian
practices and also taught what they did not practice.

"There are too many Christians practicing double standards who declare
during the day that they don't consult n'angas on matters of appeasing the
spirits, but secretly do so at night," said Fr Munyongani.

"If all these born again people swear that they don't talk to n'angas, where
are the n'angas getting all their money to buy all the Mercedes Benz cars
they own? Who is fooling who?" he asked.

Drawing delegates from the Church's eight dioceses of Hwange, Bulawayo,
Gokwe, Chinhoyi, Masvingo, Mutare, Gweru and Harare, the congress ended
yesterday with no clear resolution after Bishop Muchabaiwa left the issue
open for further debate.
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International Herald Tribune

      AIDS in Africa: 'Culture' is no excuse for dangerous behavior
         Yolan LaPorte IHT  Monday, May 3, 2004

WASHINGTON A few weeks ago I traveled in sub-Saharan Africa and was struck
by the incredible beauty of the wildlife, the generosity of the people, and
the potential for economic growth. But as a consultant to U.S. health
agencies fighting AIDS, I was also disheartened by the ubiquitous presence
of the disease and the acceptance of behaviors that help it spread. Nowhere
more than in sub-Saharan Africa is AIDS so vividly a disease bred by
life-threatening cultural attitudes.
There is some cause for hope in fighting AIDS in Africa. Antiretroviral
drugs are now becoming more widely available, either free or at considerably
reduced costs. The Bush administration's ambitious global AIDS initiative,
for example, will eventually provide treatment for two million HIV-infected
people, most of them in sub-Saharan Africa.
But taking antiretroviral drugs alone will not stop the spread of AIDS in
sub-Saharan Africa, where nearly 27 million are infected. Prevention needs
to be reinforced, and that will come only with a change in behaviors that
are too often excused in the name of "culture."
For example, I was told by clinic workers and others in Kenya, Zimbabwe,
Zambia and South Africa that having multiple wives and mistresses was a
cultural norm for men, as was visiting prostitutes. I was also told that
contracting a sexually transmitted disease was considered a "rite of
passage" in many places cases and that abstinence was not generally regarded
as a model behavior.
The result of holding to these cultural norms is devastating. The World
Health Organization recently confirmed that the most common cause of the
spread of HIV in Africa is unsafe heterosexual behavior. Obviously, the
"It's our culture" argument must change.
Of course, cultural change must come from within. As the West has also
learned, efforts to impose religious, linguistic and political cultures and
beliefs on others can lead to resentment, at best, and to violence at worst.
So, must we simply provide antiretroviral drugs, improve health care systems
and hope for the best?
Plainly, no. The United States' global AIDS initiative in sub-Saharan
Africa - and elsewhere - must give local and national health care workers
educational tools that will raise awareness of AIDS preventions, change
attitudes and modify behaviors that are culturally condoned but risky. And,
more broadly, the West needs to help increase educational and economic
opportunities in Africa, especially for women, who too often are forced to
turn to prostitution to survive.
The important thing to remember is that such social marketing can change
cultural attitudes - it has decreased smoking and increased seat belt use,
and, yes, it can promote safe sex. In his landmark book on the rise of AIDS
in the United States, "And the Band Played On," Randy Shilts told of the
ferocious cultural debate that took place in the San Francisco gay community
as HIV began spreading in the early 1980s. Shilts wrote that even when it
became clear that bathhouses - which promoted anonymous sex with multiple
partners - were a catalyst for the exploding rate of HIV infection in the
city, many gays wanted them to keep operating, in the belief that they were
an integral part of gay male culture. But when AIDS educators and doctors
spoke up about the bathhouses' role in spreading disease, they went out of
business. A cultural belief was transformed.
We cannot necessarily extrapolate lessons that were learned in San Francisco
20 years ago to the vastness of sub-Saharan Africa, with its intense tribal,
religious and social mixture. But what happened in one city years ago gives
us reason to hope and to act. Because antiretroviral drugs are not a cure,
and effective HIV vaccines will not be available any time soon in the United
States or anywhere else, we must help to change attitudes. Changing a
culture that casually accepts dangerous sexual behavior is the only way to
save lives.
Yolan LaPorte is an executive vice president at Ogilvy Public Relations

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Give Nuanetsi Project Priority, Says Shamu

The Herald (Harare)

May 3, 2004
Posted to the web May 3, 2004

George Maponga

GOVERNMENT, through the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and the National Oil
Company of Zimbabwe (Noczim), has been urged to give the Nuanetsi Irrigation
Project in Masvingo preferential treatment in the allocation of foreign
exchange and fuel to hasten the clearing of land.

The Minister of State for Policy Implementation in the Office of the
President and Cabinet, Cde Webster Shamu, made the call last week after
touring the irrigation project to assess progress.

Cde Shamu, who was accompanied by Masvingo Governor Cde Josaya Hungwe and
other top Government officials on the tour, said the project should be given
all the support required because it was a key and strategic national

"We must make sure that a project of this nature is a success and there must
be response at national level to the problems drawing back progress here.

"The Reserve Bank (of Zimbabwe) must avail some foreign currency for this
project that would be used to procure spare parts and pay workers of the
main contractor, China International Water and Electric Corporation. Noczim
must also make available diesel to be used here," said Cde Shamu.

"We promise to approach the ministries of Finance and Economic Development
and Energy and Power Development to make sure foreign currency and fuel are
specially set aside for the Nuanetsi project."

This was after the Chinese project director, Mr Caq Dezhi, had said they
needed about US$500 000 to purchase spares and pay their staff urgently.

"We urgently require about US$500 000 to buy spare parts for our bulldozers
pay our workers (because) some of them are refusing to come back here from
China because of non-payment," said Mr Dezhi.

The project director of the Agricultural Rural Development Authority, Mr
Joseph Zirebwa, appealed to the Government to make diesel available, whose
shortage he said, was severely affecting operations.

He said they ended up buying diesel at high prices from the market owing to
erratic supplies from Noczim, which was costing a lot of money.

Mr Zirebwa urged Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority to expedite the
electrification of the project, saying they were using diesel pumps for
irrigation because there was no electricity.

Since the start of the project, about 1 800 hectares have been cleared to
date with the main contractor having cleared 1 200 ha, while a
sub-contractor, the Central Mechanical Equipment Department, has cleared
about 600 ha.

Arda has put about 100 ha under irrigated sorghum, which is nearing

The Nuanetsi project has the capacity to produce over 2 million tonnes of
maize a year if completed and has attracted the interest of some
neighbouring countries.

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Reporters without borders

Zimbabwe - 2004 annual report

Zimbabwe continued to be by far the worst violator of press freedom in
southern Africa in 2003. The authorities closed the only independent daily
and forced foreign journalists to leave the country.

President Robert Mugabe's government won. The Daily News, the only
independent daily, was closed down after losing its battle against a
draconian press law it considered unconstitutional. Although it lodged
various legal appeals and had the support of some judges, the president
achieved his aim of reducing its irritating voice to silence. The few
remaining independent weeklies fell far short of having the same impact.
The media commission established by the government in 2002 was able to lord
it over Zimbabwe's few news media because it was responsible for issuing the
accreditations which they now all needed in order to operate legally.
Foreign journalists left the country. Those who were not expelled left
anyway, despairing of the obstacles put up by the authorities to prevent
them doing their job. The international press continued to operate inside
the country with the help of Zimbabwean journalists.
The state news media continued to produce propaganda for President Mugabe
and his government, often adding fuel to the fire and never hesitating to
attack the opposition press and accuse it of being the tool of "foreign
forces." Any hint of independence within the state media was quickly
crushed. Even wage claims were not tolerated. The state radio and TV
broadcaster, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, suspended 135 employees
in January for taking part in an illegal strike and demanding a salary
Even President Thabo Mbeki of neighbouring South Africa, who is rarely
critical of the Mugabe regime, called for an improvement in press freedom in
February. Information minister Jonathan Moyo, refused to comment on Mbeki's
statement, but announced some softening of the press law.
Zimbabwe was not invited to the Commonwealth summit in Nigeria at the end of
2003. Deeming the snub "unacceptable," President Mugabe announced Zimbabwe's
withdrawal from the Commonwealth on 8 December. It had been suspended after
he was returned to power in a controversial election in March 2002.

Three journalists imprisoned
Norna Edwards, the editor of The Mirror, a regional weekly based in the
southeastern town of Masvingo, was arrested on 3 January 2003 under the
press law for "publishing falsehoods" in a report about the arrest of four
government opponents and their ill-treatment at the hands of the police. She
was taken before a judge three days later and was released on bail. The
reporter who wrote the story, Kennedy Murwira, gave himself up to the police
and was released after being interrogated for two hours.
Fanuel Jongwe of the Daily News was arrested by police on the evening of 24
January in Zvishavane (400 km south of Harare) together with five members of
the Lutheran World Federation who had come to Zimbabwe to prepare reports on
the federation's development programmes for its magazine. Jongwe was
accompanying them on their tour of the country. The police accused all six
of "clandestine activities" and of working illegally as journalists in
Zimbabwe. Their equipment was confiscated, they were put under house arrest
in a hotel and told not to leave, and they had to go to the Zvishavane
police station several times for interrogation. On 28 January, Jongwe was
taken before a judge and was charged under the Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) with being an accomplice to the five
foreigners and working without accreditation (as his licence had expired).
The charges against him and the foreigners were eventually dropped the same
Freelance journalist Stanley Karombo was arrested by police on 19 March in
Mutare (southeast of Harare) under section 83 of the AIPPA, which bans
journalists from working without official accreditation. The police
confiscated his mobile telephone and tape-recorder in a search of his home
and allegedly beat him while he was in detention. He was freed five days
later after paying bail of 5,000 Zimbabwean dollars (6 euros).

27 journalists detained
Police detained two American journalists, Dina Kraft of the Associated Press
and Jason Beaubien, Africa correspondent of National Public Radio, and a
Zimbabwean freelance photographer, Tsvangirai Mukwazhi, in the southern town
of Bulawayo on 28 January 2003. The Americans, who were accompanying a World
Food Programme team, were accused of illegally entering a public grain depot
where food distribution had recently set off rioting. They were also accused
of photographing a security zone. The journalists said the depot's security
guards had given them permission to enter. Charles Mpofu, a Bulawayo
municipal councillor and opposition member who was acting as their guide,
was also detained. The three journalists were not allowed to contact lawyers
or the US embassy while they were held. They were released after seven
The trial of Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC), and two of his deputies, began in the Harare high
court on 3 February. They were accused of treason, a charge which could
carry the death penalty. Most of the journalists present were barred from
the courtroom and two - freelance reporter Ish Mafundikwa and Pedzisai
Ruhanya of the Daily News - were detained by police when they objected to
being excluded. They were released the next day without being charged. The
authorities also denied entry to diplomats, opposition members and
independent observers, claiming there was no room in the courtroom. But
lawyers who were allowed in said there were unoccupied seats.
The Harare police arrested photographer Tsvangirai Mukwazhi and cameraman
Peter Maringinsanwa on 7 February during an opposition demonstration against
the rapprochement between Nigeria and Zimbabwe. They were released five
hours later.
Six journalists were detained by police in Harare on 14 February while
covering a women's demonstration against violence that was billed as a
"march for love." The police confiscated the AFP reporter's camera. All the
journalists were released a few hours later.
Daily News photographer Philimon Bulawayo was detained while covering a
demonstration in Harare on 18 March. The newspaper's lawyer, Gugulethu Moyo,
was then also detained when she went to the Glen View police station in
Harare a few hours later to demand his release. She was beaten by the army
commander's wife, Jocelyn Chiwenga, and other persons present at the police
station. She and Bulawayo were finally released without being charged on 20
March on the orders of the high court, which said their arrest was illegal.
They were taken to a Harare clinic for treatment to injuries resulting from
the mistreatment they underwent while detained.
Shorai Katiwa and Martin Chimenya of the underground radio station Voice of
the People (VOP) were detained on 2 June by former combatants and young
supporters of the ruling ZANU-PF party, who interrogated them, accused them
of belonging to the opposition, seized their mobile telephones and
tape-recorders and beat them. They were then taken to a police station in
Harare where they confessed under interrogation to sending reports abroad by
means of a computer in the home of VOP coordinator John Masuku. Police
searched Masuku's home, taking the computer and some of the radio station's
administrative files. After finding nothing suspicious, the police released
the journalists and returned everything that had been confiscated.
Daily News editor in chief Nqobile Nyathi and the newspaper's distribution
manager, Simon Ngena, were detained and taken to a police station at around
9 p.m. on 12 September, a day after the supreme court had declared that the
newspaper was operating illegally. They were released shortly before
Freelance photographers Tsvangirai Mukwazhi and Paul Cadenhead were detained
on 16 September outside the offices of the Daily News as they were taking
pictures of police confiscating computers and other equipment from the
newspaper. They were held for seven hours at the Harare central police
station and charged with obstructing police work before being released on
bail in the evening.
Tsvangirai Mukwazhi was again detained the next day along with Aaron
Umfumeli of the Daily News and a third photographer while covering a
demonstration in support of calls for a constitutional amendment during
which about 100 people were arrested.
Blessing Zulu, a reporter with the Zimbabwe Independent, was detained on 22
October while covering a demonstration staged by the National Constitutional
Assembly, a civil society group opposed to the government. He was freed
after a night in custody. Three photographers, including two working for the
Herald, Simon Sithole and Takunda Mawodza, were also detained for a few
Martin Chimenya of the privately-owned radio station Voice of the People was
arrested in the southern town of Masvingo on 8 December for working without
accreditation from the government's Media and Information Commission (MIC).
His equipment was also confiscated. He was freed on bail two days later.
Voice of the People broadcasts from Europe because privately-owned radio
stations are not allowed in Zimbabwe.

Six journalists physically attacked
Daily News photographer Philimon Bulawayo was set upon by soldiers on 20
February 2003 while taking pictures of the long lines outside supermarkets.
They took him to the Harare central police station where his camera was
confiscated, he was beaten by police and he was ordered not to do any more
reporting on food shortages.
Daily News journalists Luke Tamborinyoka and Precious Shumba were stopped by
uniformed police on the night of 3 June and forced to crawl on a hard
Youths suspected of belonging to ZANU-PF attacked reporter Flata Kavinga of
the provincial weekly The Midlands Observer on 9 August, hitting him with
sticks and iron bars and accusing him of working for an opposition
newspaper. He had to spend two days in hospital for treatment to the various
injuries he received. Despite angry protestations by the Zimbabwean Union of
Journalists (ZUJ), no one was punished. Kavinga subsequently went into
hiding for fear of further violence.
Cyril Zenda of the Financial Gazette was attacked as he got off a bus on 3
October by suspected members of the ruling party, who took objection to the
legend on his T-shirt : "Free my voice, free the airwaves."
Shadeck Pongo, a photographer with the Standard, was injured by police and
his camera was smashed while he was covering a demonstration by the
opposition Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) in Harare on 18
November. Andrew Moyse, the head of a media watchdog, was briefly detained
during the same demonstration.

Harassment and obstruction
More than 500 copies of the Daily News were confiscated and destroyed by
ZANU-PF youths in the central town of Gweru on 14 January 2003. Several
thousand copies of the Daily News were torn up and burned in the course of
several days in the country's main cities in early June amid claims by
ZANU-PF veterans that it supported the opposition.
The Daily News was declared illegal on 30 January under a law stipulating
that each news media must be registered with the government - a law which
the newspaper had deliberately ignored on the grounds that it violated press
freedom. For the time being, the newspaper nonetheless continued to appear
every day.
Police began looking for South African journalist Paul Olivier in the
southeastern Masvingo region on 10 February as he was suspected of entering
Zimbabwe without permission and without press accreditation. Olivier was
investigating the increase in poaching in the Gonarezhou National Park and
its impact on a cross-border project involving Mozambique, South Africa and
Simon Briggs, a sports reporter for the London-based Daily Telegraph, was
barred from covering a cricket match between Zimbabwe and India on 19
February. He was stopped at Harare airport although he had accreditation.
The Daily Telegraph said a gunmen also aimed a revolver at Martin Johnson,
another sports journalist, as he was going to the information ministry to
extend his visa.
Charges of reporting "falsehoods" and "abuse of journalistic privileges"
pending for 11 months against Daily News reporter Lloyd Mudiwa were finally
ruled illegal and dismissed by Harare court judge Sandra Nhau on 24 March. A
different judge had issued a warrant on 23 April 2002 for the arrest of
Mudiwa and the newspaper's former managing editor, Geoffrey Nyarota, under
the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) because of a
report in which they wrongly claimed that young ZANU-PF activists beheaded a
woman in front of her daughters in Magunje. The victim's husband, Enos
Tadyanemhandu, had deliberately misled the newspaper, which had issued a
retraction a few days later.
The chairman of the government's Media and Information Commission (MIC),
Tafataona Mahoso, demanded that the Daily News' journalists return their
press accreditation cards on 7 May. He said they were breaking the AIPPA
because they were accredited for a different newspaper from the one for
which they were really working, the Daily News, which was not registered.
The lawyer acting for the journalists said Mahoso was misinterpreting the
Andrew Meldrum, an American reporter who was the correspondent of the
London-based daily The Guardian, was expelled on 16 May. After being
declared an illegal immigrant, he was put on an Air Zimbabwe flight to
London late in the evening by airport officials who refused to heed a high
court ruling obtained by his lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa, forbidding his
immediate expulsion. His wife, Dolores Maria Cortes Meldrum, had to flee the
country on 11 June after the immigration office rescinded her residence
permit and declared her persona non grata.
Eight police officers raided the Harare home of film producer and journalist
Edwina Spicer on 6 June, manhandling three of her production company's
employees and taking video cameras, recording equipment, a fax machine and
50,000 Zimbabwean dollars (about 60 euros). The police raided her home again
three days later, this time with a warrant, confiscating new video cameras,
cassettes and a computer. The police claimed they were searching for
subversive material.
The camera of Star journalist Tafireyi Shereni was confiscated on 9 June
while he was attending the trial of a member of his family in the court of
Chinhoyi, northwest of Harare. Claiming he had taking photos of convicted
detainees, court guards forcibly escorted him to Chinhoyi prison where he
had to hand over his equipment before being released.
The supreme court ruled on 11 September that the Daily News was illegal
because it was not registered with the Media and Information Commission
(MIC) as required by the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act
(AIPPA). The court ordered the Daily News and its sister edition, the Daily
News on Sunday, to register at once. The company that publishes them,
Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ), had refused to do this because it
considered the AIPPA to be illegal. Acting on the court's ruling, the police
closed down the Daily News on 12 September and sealed off the newspaper's
offices. On 16 and 17 September, police with no warrant confiscated dozens
of computers belonging to ANZ. At the same time, about 50 of the newspaper's
journalists were charged with practising their profession illegally.
On 24 October, the supreme court ordered the MIC to issue the Daily News
with a licence by 30 November. The newspaper came out again the next day,
but the police invaded the ANZ's premises a few hours later, briefly
detained some 20 journalists and technicians, and barred access to its
buildings. Washington Sansole, one of the newspaper's nine directors, was
arrested in Bulawayo on 26 October. The police announced that they would
hold him until the other directors gave themselves up. Four of the other
directors turned themselves into the police the next day and spent the night
in custody. Sansole was released. They were all charged with illegal
publishing and obstructing justice.
The president of the Bulawayo administrative court, Selo Nare, authorised
the Daily News to resume publishing on 19 December. Immediately after the
ruling's announcement, ANZ chairman Strive Masiyiwa said the group's
printing press was already turning and that an edition of the newspaper
would be on the streets of Harare that day. However, the police raided and
closed the ANZ printing works the same day. According to the government, the
court's decision was "without force or practical effect." The Daily News had
still not reappeared at the end of the year.
The police opened an investigation into the Zimbabwean section of the Media
Institute for Southern Africa (MISA), a regional press freedom organisation,
at the end of September, accusing it of not being registered with the Media
and Information Commission. Information minister Jonathan Moyo had
previously threatened the MISA on 20 August, claiming that it had fueled a
misunderstanding between the government and the privately-owned news media
and that it had tried to discredit the Zimbabwean authorities. The MISA took
the position that it was not required to register because the law only
applied to news organisations.
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State Plan On Airwaves Exposed

Zimbabwe Standard (Harare)

May 2, 2004
Posted to the web May 3, 2004

Our Own Staff

THE government is deliberately delaying to free the airwaves to suit its
political ambitions to win the 2005 general election at all costs.

This came out of a meeting between Parliamentarians and broadcasters in
Harare recently.

Despite rushing through the Broadcasting Services Act two years ago which
was meant to allow new radio and television stations, the Parliamentary
Portfolio Committee on Transport and Communications heard that the new law
in fact, impeded the establishment of new broadcasting firms.

Among participants at daylong meeting were representatives of Voice of the
People Trust - who operate the only national private radio from within
Zimbabwe - the Media Monitoring Project and the newly formed Zimbabwe
Association of Community Radio Stations.

The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport and Communications is
investigating the delay by the government-appointed Broadcasting Authority
of Zimbabwe (BAZ) to invite and issue licenses to new players in the
commercial and community-broadcasting category.

Among the concerns raised was that the Broadcasting Services Act continued
to be source of frustration for prospective broadcasters, independent
producers and BAZ itself.

The new law, it was pointed out, prohibits foreign funding of new
broadcasters and imposes harsh restrictions for potential broadcasting
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Zimbabwe May Close Another Independent Newspaper
Tendai Maphosa
03 May 2004, 12:36 UTC

As journalists the world over commemorate World Press Freedom Day, another
independent newspaper in Zimbabwe faces closure after the
government-appointed Media and Information Commission claimed it was
publishing illegally.
A report in the government controlled daily, The Herald, quotes Tafataona
Mahoso, the chairman of the Media and Information Commission, as saying the
weekly Tribune newspaper should stop publishing until it is granted a
license by his commission.

Ownership of the newspaper, which was established two years ago, changed
hands earlier this year, and Mr. Mahoso says that under terms of the Access
to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, the new owners must apply for
a license.

A Tribune staffer who spoke to VOA on condition of anonymity says the
commission was advised of the change when it happened and that there have
been no problems since.

Mr. Mahoso's announcement comes at a time when the publisher of The Tribune,
former journalist and ruling ZANU-PF party member of parliament Kindness
Paradza, is under attack by some members of his own party.

The Herald has published articles accusing Mr. Paradza of trying to get
funding from unnamed British sources and from the owners of The Daily News,
the country's biggest selling daily until it was closed last year also for
publishing without a license.

Mr. Paradza denies the allegations and insists the newspaper is wholly
locally funded.

Mr. Paradza appeared to have stepped on the toes of Minister of Information
Jonathan Moyo when he called for changes in the Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy Act and the Broadcasting Services Act, under which the
government has maintained a monopoly of the electronic media. Mr. Moyo is
seen as the author of both acts.

The Tribune, which claims it takes a "middle of the road approach," has also
been critical of the government and the ruling party.

A regional media watchdog, The Media Institute of Southern Africa, describes
the closure of the Daily News as the "worst media freedom violation recorded
in 2003" in the Southern African region.

The report also says Zimbabwe accounts for 54 percent of all media freedom
and freedom of expression violations recorded by the institute last year.
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