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

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Waste not want not

By maBhara

4 May 2003

I recently drove to Harare via the Masvingo - Mvuma Road and had cause
to return via the Chivi - Buffalo Range Road. Having worked in all
these areas for many years I have an extensive knowledge of the
commercial farms and the communal areas, as they used to be. What I
saw told me a story.

Travelling through the Masvingo and Chatsworth farming areas what I
saw was the best grazing I have ever seen in those areas. Although
there were a very few isolated groups of settler huts there was
nothing else. There were no crops, no cattle, no people, no farmers.
The area was deserted, yet over the last few years there has been a
deliberate callous war against commercial farmers and their

On the trip back from Harare the Gutu and Masvingo commercial farming
areas were exactly the same. Just an empty void. No crops, no cattle,
no people, no wildlife, no farmers, no production. One individual farm
used to run 22,000 head of export quality cattle - now it is deserted.
Why, what was all the destruction, rhetoric, torture and harassment

When I got to the Lowveld, where the farmers are hanging on the best
they can, their farms are inundated with settlers who continue on
their course of destruction. Is this because the farmers are still
there and therefore the pressure is still being kept up? Once the
farmers are off the "settlers" have done their job of destroying
another productive unit and they leave?

I have spoken to a few farmers about this observation and this seems
to be the same throughout the country, even in the high crop producing
areas. What sacrilege. What waste.

I have just received a telephone call from [ ... ] to report that one
of the A2 settlers on his farm "dumped" two workers on his farm on
26th February and has not returned to either pay or assist with food
in this remote area. The workers had subsequently turned to poaching
to satisfy their hunger. They were caught after snaring 2 eland, 1
giraffe and a zebra. The farmer realising their plight organised
transport to drop them off at the nearest civilisation some 60km away.
They left on their own free will and the farmer therefore declined to

On my own farm we used to run 1100 head of cattle and am reduced to
23. This morning came the message that a heifer had been strangled in
a snare made from copper wire just close to the house. Police are
investigating, but a future breeding cow worth $150,000 has been lost.

To me, all this destruction of the commercial farming infrastructure
has been far more than just greed or covetousness; it has just been
destruction for a political purpose, and most certainly nothing to do
with land reform.

With hope, we have now reached the point where we can sit down with
more rational non-destructive people to plot a way forward for the
rebuilding of our wonderful country and people.
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Leave Zimbabwe's cricketers alone: Mugabe is the villain
By Graham Boynton
(Filed: 05/05/2003)

With the arrival of Zimbabwe's cricket team in England last week has come a
flurry of editorials denouncing the tour and everyone involved. Suddenly,
after months of complete silence, Zimbabwe is back in the news again.

At the centre of the ruckus is a charming, mild-mannered young man by the
name of Heath Streak. He is the Zimbabwean cricket captain and, if you were
to listen to his appeals for his team to be left alone to get on with the
game, you might think he is an apologist for the Mugabe regime.

Nothing could be further from the truth. I know the Streak family well - I
was at school and played cricket with Heath's father, Dennis, and have
watched in despair as their family farm in Matabeleland has been carved up
and occupied by Mugabe's thugs. Dennis was also thrown in jail last year
along with other local farmers, but has emerged to retain a tenuous grip on
a small unoccupied section of his farmlands.

Young Heath Streak will be required to employ a great deal of his natural
charm to get through this tour. For as the situation in Zimbabwe continues
to deteriorate - as it does daily now - there will be increasing pressure in
the coming weeks to abandon it.

The opposition political party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), is
opposed to the tour because, as Paul Themba Nyathi, its Secretary for
Information and Publicity, told me this weekend, normal sporting relations
between the two countries suggest that things are normal in Zimbabwe "and
they are clearly nothing of the kind at the moment".

Streak himself has attracted some criticism from the MDC, which feels that
he should have stood with the now former Zimbabwean cricketers, Andy Flower
and Henry Olongo, when they held their black armband protest "to mourn the
death of democracy in our beloved Zimbabwe" during the Cricket World Cup.

Mugabe's opponents might not regard this tour as a good thing, but they
cannot deny that it is proving to be useful in refocusing the attention of
international media on the county's problems.

Over the past two months, while the world has been concentrating on events
in Iraq, Mugabe has launched a massive, sustained attack on opposition
activists inside Zimbabwe in an attempt to crush the MDC once and for all.

So confident was he that international attention was elsewhere that he made
his intentions quite clear, declaring publicly in late March: "Let the MDC
and its leaders be warned that those who play with fire will not only be
burnt, but will be consumed by that fire."

Since then the army, the police and the youth militia - the notorious Green
Bombers - have gone after everyone they could identify as an opposition
activist, from Members of Parliament, through to party workers and ordinary

Just in the past few weeks, more than 500 people have been arrested,
including 11 MPs, and more than 250 have been hospitalised after sustained
beatings, torture and rape. Among those arrested were Paul Themba Nyathi and
Gibson Sibanda, the MDC's vice-president. It is the equivalent of throwing
Oliver Letwin and Theresa May in the Tower for arguing with the Prime

While all this has been going on, Zimbabwe's mismanaged economy has all but
ground to a halt. There is very little food, and almost no food production
now or in the foreseeable future, mainly because the hundreds of Mugabe
cronies who have been handed once fully functioning farms have not bothered
to do any farming over the past year.

In fact, very few of the new landowners - mainly politicians, generals and
civil servants - have taken the time to pay even cursory visits to their
farms. Without foreign currency the country cannot buy fuel and Mugabe's
recent announcements of price increases adding up to 300 per cent have
merely exacerbated the problem.

A one-way bus journey between the two main cities of Bulawayo and Harare on
the barely functioning national bus service now costs Z$15,000, more than
most Zimbabweans earn in a month.

The only thing that is keeping Mugabe's government limping from one week to
the next is his powerful southern neighbour's largesse. Almost all the
country's fuel supplies are coming through South Africa and 90 per cent of
its electricity requirements are being provided by Escom, the national
electricity supply commission.

This cannot go on indefinitely, however, and there is increasing pressure on
Thabo Mbeki, the South African president, to get Mugabe to pay his
electricity bill - now estimated to be running at US$6 million - or to
discontinue services.

Today, Mbeki and Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo arrive in Harare to
hold more talks with Mugabe, and, most significantly, for the first time to
hold a formal meeting with the MDC president, Morgan Tsvangirai.

Until now, Mbeki has refused to engage the MDC, insisting that Mugabe and
his Zanu-PF party is the legitimate government.

However, as The Daily Telegraph revealed this weekend, documents have now
come to hand supporting MDC claims that last year's elections were rigged
[report, 3 May] and, if the legal challenge to the legitimacy of the Mugabe
government makes it to the High Court in Harare, such documentary evidence
could prove embarrassing to President Mbeki, who has himself declared the
2002 elections free and fair in the face of overwhelming evidence to the

It is quite conceivable that this visit of two of Africa's Big Men is the
beginning of the endgame of Mugabe's ruinous rule over Zimbabwe. They will
no doubt attempt to persuade him to take a dignified exit and also attempt
to persuade Tsvangirai to make some concessions to allow such a retreat to
take place.

One thing is certain - Mugabe's defiant statement last week that he would
not be retiring imminently and that he would be seeing his presidential term
to completion in 2008 has a distinctly hollow ring. Even with the support of
the Big Men, it is hard to see him lasting the year.

Meanwhile, back in the British summer, it might be appropriate to go easy on
the 28-year-old fast bowler leading the Zimbabwean team through our green
and pleasant land.

The tour is really a sideshow, for the real drama is being played out in
Africa, and, after all, for the past three years the government ministers we
pay to attend to these matters have hardly done any more than Heath Streak
to get rid of Africa's top tyrant.
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The Guardian, Tanzania

      Land must benefit all Zimbabweans -Mkapa

      Monday, May 05, 2003 .


      By  Guardian Reporter

      President Benjamin Mkapa has said the major challenge for the Zimbabwe
government is to make sure that land that has been given to nationals is
utilized appropriately so as to produce enough food for the benefit of the
      The President made the statement at Mzuzu in Malawi during a press
conference on Saturday where he graced the graduation ceremony at Mzuzu
University. He was on a three- day official visit to Malawi.
      Responding to questions posed by journalists who had wanted to know
Tanzania's position regarding the political crisis in Zimbabwe, Mkapa said
that he did not believe that imposing economic sanctions on Zimbabwe was a
solution to the problem.
      "We still support diplomatic efforts as a solution to the political
crisis that would ensure peace, tranquility and national unity but we insist
that the people of Zimbabwe should have the final say in electing their own
leaders," President Mkapa explained.
      Addressing students, lecturers of Mzuzu University and other guests
who had attended the graduation ceremony, President Mkapa called upon
African countries to use education as a means to further international
cooperation so as to build formidable nations that could stand to
multi-party democracy and globalisation.
      During the ceremony President Bakili Muluzi was accorded an honorary
degree of Doctorate of Philosophy (Phd).
      Regarding bilateral relations between Malawi and Tanzania, the two
presidents agreed to establish a programme that would develop the Songwe
River Basin, an economic venture that would benefit both countries. Songwe
river marks the boundary between the two countries.
      They also agreed to step up efforts to develop the Mtwara Corridor
which would among other things open up new transport routes for Malawi.
      President Mkapa invited President Muluzi to visit Tanzania and be
guest of honour at this year's Dar es Salaam International Trade Fair. The
President returned to Dar es Salaam yesterday afternoon.
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Daily News

      Disaster fund looted

      5/5/03 6:53:24 AM (GMT +2)

      From Energy Bara in Masvingo

      Some survivors of the Masvingo bus disaster have not received a single
cent from the fund set up to benefit them, amid reports that over $5 million
donated by President Mugabe was misappropriated.

      Mugabe donated the amount to assist both the bereaved families and the

      However, concern has been raised over the manner in which the money
was used with the intended beneficiaries claiming that only $400 000
remained in the coffers .

      The Masvingo bus disaster fund was established in June last year
following one of the country's worst accidents when an articulated Mhunga
bus collided head-on with a haulage truck killing 38 people, most of them
trainee teachers from Masvingo Teachers' College.

      The two vehicles burst into flames on impact and some of the bodies
were burnt beyond recognition. A DNA test was later conducted in South
Africa and it emerged that one of the bodies was burnt to ashes.

      The accident occurred 55 kilometres north of Masvingo along the
Masvingo/Harare road.
      More than $7 million, in addition to Mugabe's contribution, was raised
for the fund.

      One of the survivors, who refused to be named for fear of
victimisation, yesterday said he had not received a single cent as
compensation from the fund and the bus operator.

      He said: "All the injured were told to compile a list of their goods
and the nature of their injuries to get compensation, but up to now we have
not been given a single cent.

      "It appears we are not going to get anything from the fund."

      The fund was mired in controversy as the Masvingo political leadership
led by provincial governor, Josaya Hungwe, refused to release the money into
the national fund, arguing that it would take too long to reach the intended

      The chairman of the Civil Protection Unit, James Murapa, refused to
comment on the allegations that at least $5 million was not properly
accounted for and referred all questions to the Masvingo provincial
administrator, Alphonse Chikurira.

      Chikurira, however, said: "The money was properly accounted for. Some
of it was used to pay hospital bills, while the bereaved families got their

      Chikurira said he was not sure whether the money pledged by Mugabe was
later deposited into the fund.

      However, Hungwe confirmed that Mugabe honoured his pledge by releasing
the money into the fund.

      Investigations by The Daily News have revealed that a total of $3,7
million was paid to the bereaved families. Hospital bills amounting to only
$2 million were settled, while others were still outstanding.

      But, it still remains unclear how more than $5 million was used.

      Another survivor said: "I used my own money to be treated, but have
not been refunded. We were advised that all those who had money were free to
pay for themselves, but would be reimbursed. It is now almost a year and I
do not know who to approach."
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Daily News

      Coal shortage hits hospital

      5/5/03 7:03:20 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      THE shortage of coal has hit Harare Central Hospital, which is now
failing to heat up its boilers for steam to sterilise instruments used in
the theatre and labour wards.

      The hospital is also now failing to adequately feed its staff,
patients and students and to clean linen in the laundry due to the shortage.

      A medical doctor, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said last
Thursday the shortage had been affecting the hospital periodically for a
long time and the institution had been without adequate coal for the past
three days.

      He said: "This is affecting operations in the theatre and the labour
wards because that's where most instruments need to be sterilised. Staff in
these departments are now using disinfectants to clean the instruments,
which is not as effective as sterilising with steam."

      A worker at the hospital's main kitchen said they were now cooking
limited food - for the patients and students only. He said sometimes they
resorted to obtaining food from Chitungwiza General Hospital.

      The doctor said women in the labour wards were sleeping on beds
without linen because of the shortage of coal to use in operating the
laundry machines.

      The hospital obtains its coal from Lakas Products, a coal merchant
company in Harare. An official at the company said he could not comment on
anything involving coal.

      Zimbabwe's largest and single producer of coal, Wankie Colliery
Company Limited, has been failing to meet the high demand for coal for the
local market.

      It has cited the shortage of railway wagons as the major impediment.

      In a statement issued in January, the company also blamed the regular
breakdown of mining equipment as the reason for the shortage. The equipment,
a dragline, cannot be timeously attended to as a result of foreign currency

      About 85 to 95 percent of the company's coal production is obtained
from the open cast mine, which depends on the dragline. The failure to
service and maintain the dragline has resulted in reduced capacity output.
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Daily News

      Ex-ZNA members' lives at risk, says lawyer

      5/5/03 7:05:01 AM (GMT +2)

      By Precious Shumba

      ARNOLD Tsunga, the director of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights
(ZLHR), says he fears that the publication of names of two former Zimbabwe
National Army (ZNA) members by the State-run Sunday Mail last week has put
them at great risk of being summarily executed by the army for allegedly
being armed and in possession of dangerous weapons.

      On 28 March, The Sunday Mail published a story saying Tenda Chawapiwa
Makota, Major Peter Guhu and Solomon Chikowero, the MDC intelligence chief,
were wanted by the police.

      Guhu has claimed that he was dismissed from the army on 29 November
2001 for allegedly being an MDC activist.

      This was at the recommendation and instructions of Lieutenant-General
Constantine Chiwenga, the army commander.

      Tsunga said his clients were innocent citizens whose lives had now
been seriously endangered by mischievous people with sinister motives.

      Makota left the army in 1998.

      Guhu's dismissal is being challenged in the High Court where he is
demanding his benefits.

      Tsunga said: "It's not possible that he can be pursuing the civil
claim against his former employers and at the same time he is said to be on
the run from them. Makota officially retired from the army and he is running
his businesses as a responsible citizen."

      The Sunday Mail advert creates grave danger for them, Tsunga said.
"They could be executed on the pretext that they are armed and dangerous
when in fact, they are genuine businessmen."

      Tsunga said the ZLHR was considering taking the two men's case as a
public interest litigation because of the "grave reality" of the advert's
threat to the right of life.

      The paper's story, headlined Wanted, claimed that the police wanted
the three in connection with incidents of public violence during the 18-19
March mass job stay-away. The advert gave Chikowero, known as Socks, and
Guhu's residential addresses. It claimed the two were believed to be heavily
armed with automatic and home-made bombs, warning they must be approached
with extreme caution."

      Tsunga said he would take the two to the CID Law and Order at Harare
Central Police Station as soon as he comes to Harare so that they clear
themselves .

      The anxiety I have is that the police might not be genuinely
interested in interviewing Makota and Guhu." he said.
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Daily News

      CIO quizzes councillors over Mudzuri's whereabouts

      5/5/03 7:06:15 AM (GMT +2)

      From Ntungamili Nkomo in Bulawayo

      THREE Harare city councillors, including the director of housing, who
were booked in a Bulawayo hotel were on Friday allegedly harassed by members
of the CIO.

      The CIO agents reportedly asked them about the whereabouts of Elias
Mudzuri, the suspended mayor of Harare.

      The councillors, who were attending the urban councils' meeting in
Bulawayo, alleged that they were picked up at midnight by the CIO for

      The ousted mayor was also in Bulawayo for the meeting but was not
booked at the same hotel with the councillors.

      Wellington Madzivanyika, the councillor for Kambuzuma Ward 14, was in
the company of Benjamin Maimba (Hatfield Ward 22), Elizabeth Marumba
(Greendale Ward 9) and Numero Mubaiwa, the director of housing. The four
were booked at Serlborne Hotel.

      Madzivanyika alleged that the CIO members violently opened the door to
their room while they were asleep and demanded that they lead them to where
Mudzuri was. "The harassment that we experienced on Friday is highly
deplorable in any democracy.

      "Surely how do you explain a situation whereby police come and harass
you in the middle of the night just because you are a member of the
opposition," said Madzivanyika.
      When the councillors professed ignorance over Mudzuri's whereabouts,
the CIO left, but returned at around 4am for further questioning.

      Madzivanyika said the CIO members were led by one Mapfure, who picked
Mubaiwa and took him to Rose Camp Police Station for questioning.

      "When we told them that we didn't know where Mudzuri was, they
threatened us with unspecified action and went away. They returned at about
4am and took Mubaiwa to the police station where they seized his mobile
phone and searched for Mudzuri's phone numbers," he said.

      Mubaiwa could not be reached for comment.

      Maimba said: "That was total harassment and it should stop," he said.

      Contacted for comment yesterday, Mudzuri alleged that Zanu PF wanted
to kill him.

      "They even came to where I was booked but I had already left after I
was tipped-off that the police were looking for me. Zanu PF is planning to
eliminate me," he said
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Daily News

      Mudzuri comes out of hiding

      5/5/03 7:07:01 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      Elias Mudzuri, the suspended Harare Executive Mayor, yesterday said he
had come out of hiding and was "back in my territory".

      Mudzuri was suspended by Ignatius Chombo, the Minister of Local
Government, Public Works and National Housing, last week for alleged
incompetence. He went into hiding on Friday after he was alerted by his
sources that the police were looking for him .

      He said: "The police just wanted to harass me. Now that people know
the police want to arrest me I hope they will give me maximum support."

      Chombo suspended Mudzuri on a number of allegations, including
misconduct, mismanagement and insubordination.

      MDC councillors met on Saturday to decide their reaction to Mudzuri's

      Sekesai Makwavarara, the deputy mayor, yesterday said: "We are meeting
tomorrow to finalise our statement."

      Only one of the 43 city councillors is Zanu PF. The rest are MDC.

      Mudzuri declined to say whether he would report for duty at Town House

      He said: "Chombo had no right to suspend me. The charges have no
meaning. What Chombo wants is for the theft and corruption to continue. We
were getting to the heart of the matter in our investigations and that is
why he suspended me."

      He said the government had targeted him for removal from office ever
since his election in March last year.

      Mudzuri said: "They say I failed to run the city, but isn't it the
government that has failed? There is no foreign currency, there is no
petrol, the government has failed to complete Kuwadzana Extension and the
government flats. If anyone should be removed for failing it is the

      Mudzuri has on several occasions been harassed by the police and Zanu
PF supporters.
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Daily News

Leader Page

      Mudzuri being persecuted for exposing corruption

      5/5/03 6:54:26 AM (GMT +2)

      Reports carried by this and other newspapers that Engineer Elias
Mudzuri, the suspended executive mayor of Harare, is in hiding make sad

      Initial indications are that Mudzuri, was suspended by Ignatius
Chombo, the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing,
last week for allegedly initiating an investigation into Chombo over land
the minister reportedly acquired in Harare's plush suburb of Umwinsdale
through the then Department of Physical Planning for about $70 000. The
plot, known as subdivision K of Nthaba and measuring almost 2 hectares, was
pegged at a cost of about $250 000 in March 1996 when Chombo acquired it.

      Chombo first reportedly occupied 1,7 hectares of that open land which
had been free space and open to residents for the past 20 years before going
for the whole hog.

      Mudzuri confirmed that he had instituted investigations on Chombo over
the matter and various other issues.

      The executive mayor was suspended for unravelling corruption within
the city council which had become deep-rooted with continuous Zanu PF
dominated councils since independence in 1980. Mudzuri said he was
contesting the suspension, widely viewed by the legal fraternity as unjust
and illegal.

      Chombo responded by filing an urgent application in the High Court to
bar Mudzuri from conducting his official duties, but quickly withdrew the
application to avoid embarrassment, for lack of evidence.

      Chombo was alleging that Mudzuri was defying the suspension and had
been seen wearing his mayoral regalia at official functions during the
just-ended Zimbabwe International Trade Fair in Bulawayo. Mudzuri's lawyer,
Beatrice Mtetwa, confirmed that the Attorney-General's Office had withdrawn
the application but had not given reasons for their about-turn.

      To the residents of Harare, Mudzuri was carrying out his duties to the
best of his abilities given the fact the Chombo had been trying to undermine
him from the time he was elected.

      Mudzuri won the mayoral election on an MDC ticket in March last year.
He had since written several letters to Chombo complaining about corruption
within the city council.

      One example that quickly comes to mind and confirms Mudzuri's
assertions that Chombo wants to protect corruption involves the reversal of
several cases of dismissal of top council officials, among them the chief
security officer, Joseph Chinotimba, for being absent from work without
official leave.

      Chombo went out of his way to defend Chinotimba and up to now, he is
still employed by the council, although it is common knowledge that
Chinotimba, the self-styled commander-in-chief of farm invasions, was absent
from work while leading the violent and chaotic land redistribution
programme which is largely responsible for the famine now gripping the

      In a concerted effort to frustrate Mudzuri, Chombo blocked the council
's efforts to secure a supplementary budget of $68 billion to run the
affairs of the city properly. Mudzuri has vowed - and rightly so - not to
leave office before his term of office expires unless the residents give him
a vote of no confidence.

      Mudzuri is definitely a pain in the side of the establishment. There
is nothing more telling than the capital city giving a ruling party a vote
of no confidence than voting an opposition mayor into office. Zanu PF could
not take that lying down, but the people had spoken.

      As a result they orchestrated a plan to make his tenure of office as
uncomfortable as possible, but unfortunately the residents stand by their
mayor and have taken steps to sue the minister and the government for
Mudzuri's illegal suspension.

      To counter that, State agents have been set on him and he is now in
hiding. He has been in hiding since last Friday in Bulawayo when the police
started hunting for him. He left the trade fair grounds in a hurry and was
not able to attend the official opening because the police were after him.
The State is maligning Mudzuri because he was about to expose a large can of
worms on their corrupt activities which have brought this once beautiful
country to its knees.

      The visiting heads of state from Malawi, Nigeria and South Africa
should be able to see for themselves what kind of repressive regime
Zimbabweans are dealing with when they fly in to meet President Mugabe and
Morgan Tsvangirai over the country's worsening socio-economic and political
crisis today.
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Daily News

Leader Page

      Guilty conscience must be removed to move ahead

      5/5/03 6:55:26 AM (GMT +2)

      By Cathy Buckle

      "We have never preached or practiced the politics of vengeance and
      "We are determined never to allow the horrors of the past to haunt and
influence the future of our country."

      These words were said on 30 April 2003 by MDC president Morgan
Tsvangirai, who was addressing senior MDC party officials, Harare city
councillors and Members of Parliament.

      These are indeed admirable words and ones which we hope will never be
forgotten either by the MDC leadership or Zimbabweans in general.

      In his address, Tsvangirai talked about all the problems facing
Zimbabwe and issues that need urgent address.

      He said the MDC were ready to govern and had policy packages ready for
the reconstruction of the economy in the agricultural, mining and tourism

      Tsvangirai said emergency plans were in place to generate jobs,
resuscitate the economy and revive education and health systems in Zimbabwe.

      He did not talk about just exactly what Zimbabwe is going to do about
all the people who have made our lives utter hell for the past three years
and I hope and pray that he and the MDC are not going to make the fatal
mistake that President Mugabe made in 1980 and just sweep everything under
the carpet, forgive and forget and start again from scratch.

      For Zimbabwe this would be as much of a disaster in 2003 as it was in

      I am sure I am not alone in wondering just exactly where Zimbabwe went
wrong way back in 1980.

      It's so easy to just blame it all on someone else, isn't it? What was
it that each and every one of us did wrong that led - over 23 years - to the
disastrous state of affairs that has become our daily hell?

      In 1980 not one of us, man, woman or teenager, black, white or brown,
had to confess our sins or admit our deeds.

      We did not have to stand up in front of our friends, neighbours and
communities and say: "This is what I did, I am sorry. Please forgive me or
punish me."

      In 1980 we did not have a Truth and Reconciliation Commission. We did
not have a War Crimes Tribunal and were never made either answerable for our
deeds or accountable for our actions.

      Instead, we all breathed an enormous and collective sigh of relief and
carried on as if nothing had ever happened. Simply put, one day we were
committing the foulest of abuses and atrocities on each other and the next
day we were supposed to all be big mates and pretend nothing had ever

      Never again must this be allowed to occur in our history. If we let it
happen again when our country finally returns to democratic governance, it
will be our children - in 20 years' time - who will again have to pay for
the sins of their fathers and mothers.

      Every man and woman who has murdered, tortured, raped, burned and
looted in three years of mayhem in Zimbabwe must be bought to justice. I am
not talking about revenge or retribution, but about justice.

      We cannot again have a nation where people are walking around with
guilty consciences and have got away with their crimes. This must even
extend to each and every household; even the men and woman, in our own
suburbs and streets, who have extorted money for Independence celebrations
and demanded party cards in order for us to be allowed to buy food.

      Even they must be made to confess, apologise for stripping people of
their dignity and make compensation to those they have stolen from.

      God forbid - when Zimbabwe returns to democracy - that the
perpetrators of crimes in the last three years are allowed to walk free. The
ordinary men and women of Zimbabwe are angry at what has been done to them
in the name of Zanu PF.

      We must not wait for people to take the law into their own hands.
Every man and woman in Zimbabwe must demand that there will be truth and
reconciliation committees, public hearings, trials and court justice.

      If, as Tsvangirai said last week, we are not going to let the horrors
of the past haunt and influence the future of the country, then justice must
be done.

      The restoration of our economy is critical, but so is the need for
truth, forgiveness and justice. Zimbabwe must never again be a nation with a
guilty conscience.

      Cathy Buckle is a housewife based in Marondera.
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Daily News

      Margarine runs out as shortages continue

      5/5/03 6:49:38 AM (GMT +2)
      Business Reporter

      THE availability of basic commodities remained critical for the past
week with the market running out of margarine.

      A survey by The Business Daily revealed that most shops in and around
Harare had no margarine.

      However, a new brand of margarine code-named Blossom has surfaced in a
few selected outlets selling at more than double the price of Stork
margarine. Blossom margarine replaces Storkspread, which graced the market
for a rather short period.

      The change in brands and packaging has been a desperate bid by some
manufacturers to circumvent price controls.

      Prices of most basic commodities had gone up an average 100 percent.
Retailers attributed the rise in prices to increased costs of production.

      One of the retailers said the continued scarcity of basic commodities
was a result of electricity load-shedding and erratic fuel supplies.

      Manufacturers were reportedly operating below capacity owing to the
power problem, which has gripped the nation, due to foreign currency
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Daily News


      No hope in sight for Zimbabwe's swelling jobless

      5/5/03 6:52:18 AM (GMT +2)

      By Lawrence Paganga

      NORMAN Mutasa, 31, of Mbare in Harare, is a typical example of the
hordes of jobless Zimbabweans.

      He has been looking for a job for the past five years since his
retrenchment in 1997.

      Five years down the line, his hopes of ever getting one are fast
fading by the day as more companies are down-sizing their operations or
closing down.

      Mutasa's case is similar to that of other millions of Zimbabweans who
are failing to get jobs in the country as the future of industry and
commerce looks bleak, gnarled by economic mismanagement.

      Blaming the land reform programme for causing the current misery in
the country, Mutasa, who is married with two children, said his prospects of
ever securing employment were now very slim.

      "The land reform programme has seen companies closing down as there is
no production taking place since this country relies mainly on agriculture,"
Mutasa said. "As a result, very few companies are recruiting workers at the

      He said his hopes of securing a job would only be after a change in
the government.

      "It is high time that we had a new leadership in this country as the
current one has failed us and we are facing more hardships because of them,"
Mutasa bemoaned.

      "Things are hard for me and my family and I don't know for how long we
are going to live like this."

      He used to work for a food processing company.

      Every morning he visits companies close to his Mbare home looking for
a job, but so far all his efforts have been in vain.

      Unemployment, conservatively estimated at 65 percent before the Zanu
PF-led government embarked on a calamitous and chaotic land redistribution
programme, has been rising in Zimbabwe as most displaced farm workers join
the swelling ranks of the unemployed.

      Economic experts put the unemployment rate at 80 percent.

      Such a high figure has spawned poverty among urban residents as they
battle to survive in a shrinking economy.

      The plight of the unemployed has been worsened by critical shortages
of basic commodities, which are only available at black market prices that
are way beyond the reach of the majority in formal or informal employment.

      Mutasa was one of the job seekers who were interviewed by The Daily
News at the Simon Mazorodze Road flyover area on the outskirts of Harare's
central business district.

      He said he relies on his relatives for support to pay rentals and
school fees for his child in primary school.

      The dependency ratio among Zimbabweans has increased dramatically
since it was officially put at eight people during the 1990s because of a
shrinking economy. On an average a Zimbabwean worker supports more than 10

      "I don't know how long I can remain dependent on my relatives for
sustenance as they also face their own problems." he said shaking his head.

      His concerns were echoed by Thomas Mombeshora, 22, who said it was
time the country had a new leadership.

      "Life has become difficult for us job seekers as there are very few
companies that are engaging workers even on a part-time basis and I think
this can only change if we have a government with new ideas," said

      Mombeshora, who also lives in Mbare, said his dreams of getting a job
and looking after his parents in Rusape had faded.

      "I was hoping that one day I would be able to fend for my parents, but
all that has failed," he said.

      Poverty has reached alarming levels in Zimbabwe as companies, hit by
the shortages of foreign currency and raw materials, continue to close or
down-size their operations. About 80 percent of the country's population is
living below the poverty datum line.

      The government has blamed Western countries for Zimbabwe's economic
meltdown, accusing the opposition of working in cahoots with these countries
to throttle the economy and cause civil unrest.

      Only a fortnight ago, President Mugabe, in a televised interview,
blamed two years of drought and sanctions for causing a stagnation in
economic growth but admitted that Zimbabweans had endured a lot of suffering
in the past three years.

      Mugabe, however, skirted around questions that corruption in high
places and a thriving patronage system, which benefited Zanu PF cronies, had
played a major role in the creating the economic malaise. Resources meant
for the benefit of the majority had benefited, but a few cronies.

      Mombeshora was expecting the ZCTU leadership to come up with a
strategy to safeguard the interests of the workers.

      Workers world-wide celebrated Workers' Day last Thursday.

      "The closure of the companies is putting the fate of the workers at
risk and the ZCTU should do something to cushion workers from more

      Most job seekers converged at the flyover in the afternoon after
spending the better part of the morning looking for jobs in the industrial
areas and the city centre.

      Taurai Guche, 18, of Tafara said: "I cannot immediately go home as my
relatives might think that I am not looking for a job. The situation is
terrible and I have no hope of getting a job if things remain as they are."

      Guche said the flyover had become a convenient resting place for the
job seekers and already he had made friends with other people who come to
the area after their futile job-hunting expeditions.

      Last year it was estimated that over 350 companies closed down
throwing more than 350 000 onto the streets in Zimbabwe.

      This was hard on the heels of the chaotic farm invasions, which cost
more than 500 000 farm workers their jobs, rendering them homeless too. The
violent farm invasions cost about 40 lives, with at least 10 of them being
commercial farmers.
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Dispatch online

'Last hope' talks for ailing Zim

HARARE -- Calls for President Robert Mugabe's retirement appear to be
gaining momentum. In fact, many people, especially Zimbabweans, are hoping
he will announce his exit strategy after his meeting with three African
heads of state today.

Mugabe is expected to meet President Thabo Mbeki and the presidents of
Malawi and Nigeria, Bakili Muluzi and Olusegun Obasanjo, in Harare.

The meeting has been hailed as the last hope for a resolution of the
Zimbabwean crisis which has resulted in the almost total collapse of the

The leaders are to meet in an attempt to facilitate discussions between
Mugabe and the main opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai.

The bid to push Mugabe and Tsvangirai -- who heads the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) -- to the negotiating table comes amid mounting
political tensions in the country.

Zimbabwe is deeply divided politically between supporters of Mugabe, who has
been in power for 23 years, and Tsvangirai backers.

Talks between the MDC and the ruling Zanu(PF) have been mooted for some time
now, but there are sticking points.

Mugabe has said he will only talk to the opposition leader if the latter
recognises him as a duly-elected head of state.

Tsvangirai, who rejects Mugabe's legitimacy as president, has ruled out
preconditions for talks.

The opposition is due to mount a court petition to Mugabe's election victory
in last year's polls.

The South African government said in a statement that the meeting was part
of efforts to "assist the people of Zimbabwe in their endeavour to find
national reconciliation".

The visit by three-man delegation, who are all strong supporters of Mugabe's
government, has sparked frenzied media speculation that they will be urging
Mugabe's early retirement.

Analysts and commentators point to an interview Mugabe gave on state
television last month, in which he hinted he was "getting to a stage" when
retirement might be thinkable.

Tsvangirai added to the speculation last week, saying his party was willing
to discuss a way for Mugabe's "smooth exit" from power and the onset of a
"post-Mugabe era".

But the government insists that Mugabe has no intention of leaving office
before his current term expires in 2008.

Information Minister Jonathan Moyo said talk of "transitional governments"
and "exit plans" for Mugabe was wishful thinking.

Mbeki's presidential spokesman, Bheki Khumalo, said South Africa also
strongly rejected the idea that Mugabe could go to another country to effect
a handover of power in Zimbabwe, adding that it was up to Mugabe himself to
deal with such issues.

While at least three top Zanu(PF) figures have been named in the press here
as possible successors to the president -- Moyo, parliamentary Speaker
Emmerson Mnangagwa and former finance minister Simba Makoni -- analysts say
none has popular support.

The opposition is however adamant that the 79-year-old president should go.

Tsvangirai and the MDC say that Mugabe's government is responsible for acts
of retribution and violence against opposition supporters ever since the
party posed the first serious challenge to Mugabe's rule in 2000
parliamentary elections.

The opposition party also accuses Mbeki and Obasanjo of not being "honest
brokers" between their party and Mugabe.

In a statement last week, Tsvangirai accused the two leaders of trying to
"ensure that Mugabe's illegitimacy remains unchallenged".

* Democratic Alliance leader Tony Leon said yesterday that Southern Africans
would be hoping the meeting between the leaders would yield positive
outcomes for Zimbabwe and the region.

"We wish President Mbeki well in his endeavours.

"There is no doubt that the crisis in Zimbabwe has become a test of
credibility of SADC and the new African Union. It is a test which our
country and region has failed too often in the past three years."

After three years of broken promises and missed deadlines, Zimbabwe was on
the brink, Leon said.

Nobody could doubt the urgent need for action. -- Sapa-AFP-DDC
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MDC hold trump card in Mugabe 'exit plan'

      May 05 2003 at 02:01AM

      By Basildon Peta

President Thabo Mbeki and other African leaders could face legal barriers in
their bid to persuade President Robert Mugabe to step down.

Mugabe might be willing to exit at once if Zimbabwe's constitution did not
require an election within 90 days of his doing so.

That is the opinion of Lovemore Madhuku, professor of constitutional law at
the University of Zimbabwe.

The constitution requires an election within 90 days if the president leaves
office between elections. Either of the two vice-presidents or the speaker
of parliament would act as president pending the election.

Madhuku believes this is the biggest stumbling block for Mbeki, Nigerian
President Olusegun Obasanjo and Malawian President Bakili Muluzi, who were
due in Harare on Monday to launch a new diplomatic push after Mugabe hinted
he might be willing to step down.

The African presidents were to meet Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan

a.. Mbeki explained the objectives of the Harare meeting on the eve of his
visit, Jeremy Michaels reports.

"The political leadership of Zimbabwe must get together to look at all these
challenges of Zimbabwe and solve them, because a solution to the problems of
Zimbabwe lies with the Zimbabweans... it doesn't lie with anybody else,"
Mbeki said.

If Mugabe is persuaded to step down, the constitution would have to be
amended because the Zimbabwean leader won't agree to an early election.

Mugabe has categorically stated that the next presidential election will be
in 2008. It is understood, however, that Mugabe could be persuaded to hold
an early election to run concurrently with Zimbabwe's parliamentary
elections in 2005, but definitely not before.

To get Mugabe's co-operation, the constitution must be amended to do away
with the 90-day requirement.

But Mugabe's ruling party is short of the two-thirds majority required to
change the constitution because it lost 57 seats to the Movement for
Democratic Change in the June 2000 parliamentary election.

Mbeki's biggest hurdle is to persuade the MDC to agree to the constitutional
amendment needed to change the 90-day law and allow Mugabe to appoint a
successor who will last until at least 2005 without holding an early
election. The opposition has so far rejected this plan, saying it wants an
early election.

If it maintains that position, Mugabe is likely to cling to power.

a.. Meanwhile, speculation is mounting as to who would succeed Mugabe.

Speaker of parliament Emmerson Mnangagwa is a key favourite. Other
contenders are former finance minister Simba Makoni, Special Affairs
Minister John Nkomo and Defence Minister Sydney Sekeramayi.

Information Minister Jonathan Moyo has been mentioned, but he is very

Mnangagwa remains Mugabe's favoured choice. His major weakness is that he is
unpopular with party members.

He is the most hated man among the Ndebele people of the Matabeleland
region, who constitute about 30 percent of the population. Mnangagwa stands
accused of masterminding the massacre of more than 20 000 Ndebeles during
the disturbances in Matabeleland in the early 1980s.

Makoni is the man believed to be favoured by Mbeki as a successor. As a
former secretary of the Southern Africa Development Community, Makoni is
respected internationally. He was fired as finance minister last year after
criticising Mugabe's economic policies.

The faction headed by former army commander General Solomon Mujuru favours
Sekeramayi, who has been accused by the UN of plundering the Democratic
Republic of Congo.

If Zanu-PF were to allow party members to choose the leader, Special Affairs
Minister John Nkomo would probably win. He is popular in the party even
though he is Ndebele. He is a moderate seen as pursuing different policies
from Mugabe.

Tsvangirai believes he could win against any candidate except Makoni. -
Independent Foreign Service
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MDC took Mugabe by surprise

      May 05 2003 at 02:32AM

      By Khathu Mamaila

As its name suggests, the Movement for Democratic Change has mobilised
Zimbabweans on the principle that things can no longer remain the same.

Clearly, two decades under Robert Mugabe's rule have not transformed
people's lives.

Within months of its formation, the MDC grew into a formidable force for
change. At first, Zanu-PF top brass thought the MDC would dissipate, like
its predecessors.

But the result of a 1999 referendum, in which Zanu wanted to change the
constitution, proved the MDC was cut from different cloth. Zanu lost and it
became clear the government needed a strategy if it were to win the 2000
general election.

Unemployment was rising and retired soldiers wanted to be paid
demobilisation funds, but Harare had no money.

The veterans organised themselves to force the government to give land to
the black people of Zimbabwe. The government could have acted against them,
but that would have meant isolating itself from its strongest constituency.
So it opted to support the land call.

It was not a difficult argument to make. About 4 000 white commercial
farmers owned about 70 percent of the most fertile land in Zimbabwe.

In many instances, police did not stop land invasions. This, and the looting
of private property, were the first steps in the undermining of the rule of

Farm production was disrupted and thousands of labourers lost their jobs.
The farm invasions almost destroyed the tobacco crop, the country's main
foreign currency earner. So Zimbabwe was unable to pay for imports like oil
and electricity.

If the land reform programme was designed solely to keep Zanu-PF in power,
it paid off. Zanu-PF narrowly won the parliamentary election in 2000, but
the MDC won in all the major cities and became a powerful opposition in

For the first time in two decades, Zanu had an effective opposition. The
tension that characterises debates in parliament often spill over to the
followers. Supporters of both main parties have been involved in violent
acts against each other.

The violence peaked around the time of last year's presidential poll, which
Mugabe won. But the opposition challenged the victory, accusing Mugabe of
stealing the election.

Amnesty International's latest report paints a gloomy picture of the
harassment of the people in Zimbabwe.

Many MDC members have been arrested. Tsvangirai is facing charges of
plotting to kill Mugabe. The MDC is challenging the legitimacy of Mugabe's
presidency in court, which has complicated dialogue between the two parties.
Zanu-PF insists it will talk to the MDC only if Mugabe's legitimacy isn't
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What happened to one of Africa's heroes?

      May 05 2003 at 02:35AM

      By Khathu Mamaila

The call for the retirement of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe appears to
be growing louder, with some voices hoping he'll disclose his exit strategy
on Monday.

Mugabe was expected to meet President Thabo Mbeki and the presidents of
Malawi and Nigeria, Bakili Muluzi and Olusegun Obasanjo, in Harare on

The meeting has been seen as the last hope for a resolution of the crisis in
Zimbabwe, which has resulted in the almost total collapse of the country's

But Mugabe has not always been a liability to Zimbabwe. He was once hailed
as a liberation hero, in the same league as Nelson Mandela, Julius Nyerere
of Tanzania and Samora Machel of Mozambique.

So what went wrong?

After his country gained independence from Britain, Mugabe embarked on a
process of national reconciliation, forming a new army from his Zanla
(Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army) troops, ex-Rhodesian fighters,
and guerrillas from Zipra (Zimbabwean People's Revolutionary Army), the
military wing of Joshua Nkomo's Zimbabwe African People's Unity.

The unity he championed was put to the test in the early 1980s when clashes
with disgruntled Zipra guerrillas spread into an all-out rebellion in
Matabeleland. Ex-Rhodesian forces were deployed to quell it.

Following the discovery of arms caches on land owned by Nkomo, who was
serving in Mugabe's cabinet, Nkomo was sacked from the government. The
rebellion in Matebeleland gained momentum. It was later crushed brutally by
the North-Korean trained Fifth Brigade.

In what was described as a commitment to unity, Mugabe again invited Nkomo
to his cabinet, appointing him as vice-president, and they later formed the
Zanu-Patriotic Front. This was the beginning of an effective one-party
state; opposition parties were not banned but were virtually nonexistent.

Mugabe continued to preach racial reconciliation and nation-building. When
his close confidant, Edgar Tekere, who was a cabinet minister and also
secretary-general of Zanu, was accused of killing a white farmer, Mugabe
sacked him.

Following media reports in 1989 linking government officials to the illegal
purchase of cars, Mugabe appointed a commission which fingered senior
government officials, including a minister.

Attempts to form an alternative opposition continued. Ndabaningi Sithole, a
former member of Zanu, continued to mobilise for his party, Zanu-Ndonga. In
what Mugabe's critics say was an elaborate plan to eliminate Zanu-Ndonga
from the political scene, Sithole was arrested for allegedly plotting to
assassinate Mugabe. Despite pleading that the charges against him were
trumped up, he was convicted and sentenced to six years in jail.

The euphoric glory of freedom was fast disappearing. Ordinary people wanted
their lives to improve. Mugabe had tried to invest in social spending, but
had to borrow heavily from the World Bank and the International Monetary

According to economists, Mugabe's problems started when his government found
itself unable to service the loans. Government expenditure was also
increased by Zimbabwe's involvement in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
to prop up the regime of Joseph Kabila, who was fighting Ugandan and
Rwandan-backed rebels.

The economy was experiencing negative growth of 6 percent in 2000. The
country was struggling to meet budgetary goals. Inflation had risen sharply
from 32% in 1998 to 59% in 1999 and 60% in 2000.

These factors created the necessary pressure for the launch of a new
opposition, the Movement for Democratic Change, under the leadership of
unionist Morgan Tsvangirai. - Political Editor
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Dispatch online

Zimbabwe: managing the end of a war

By Norman Reynolds

THE talks today in Harare cannot just be about Mugabe's "exit". It is Robert
Mugabe, yes, but also the illegal regime of his party, Zanu(PF), that has
ruined that country. One of history's shortest and steepest descents into
human rights abuses, the destruction of the economy and of massive genocide
against citizens cannot be the work of one man alone.

For too long, as a travesty of our history, of our Constitution and as a
mockery of the serious plight of Zimbabweans, our President and Minister of
Foreign Affairs have backed Mugabe. They said that Zimbabweans must sort out
their own mess whilst stating that South Africa will never criticise Mugabe.
They did this while they deliberately stood back from the illegality of his
regime and ignored the MDC that represents the great majority of

The meetings in Harare today must not attempt to provide space for Zanu(PF)
to re-organise. The depravity, human rights abuses and corruption reach well
beyond Mugabe, the cabinet and party leaders to most party functionaries,
but especially to the main contenders to replace him in the party.

It is doubtful that a Zanu(PF)-MDC venture will see much progress towards
holding decent elections. There are too many within Zanu(PF) with too much
to lose, including facing the courts and long jail terms, to move
expeditiously to prepare for elections. It would be neither right nor
realistic to sanction any further opportunity for mayhem by the likely
successors to Robert Mugabe within Zanu(PF).

Nothing must be allowed to delay the beginning of democratic rule and of
economic reconstruction.

The correct analogy is that Zimbabwe is at the end of another war. In 1980,
the British provided the interim authority to get to national elections and
to control the three armies coming to terms with peace and nationhood. Now,
the search for internal peace is more difficult because abuse and state
inspired thuggery is more pervasive. Moreover, little of the state apparatus
works or can be trusted.

The task now is to end a far more devastating and morally bankrupt war
perpetrated by Mugabe's regime against its own citizens. The party, the
police and much of officialdom have been corrupted and many are guilty of
heinous crimes and are known to the public and to human rights agencies.

The chance of any interim political arrangement succeeding, of Zimbabweans
sorting out their problems, as in South Africa, is slim, even remote. The
condition of Zimbabwe today and the desperate state of her people and
economy is such that any "Relief and Recovery" programme and the holding of
elections has to be beyond political manipulation. The levels of poverty and
of internal community trauma make it too open to abuse if any residue of
Zanu(PF) is allowed to hold power and thus to keep at bay the law and order
it fears. Like Mugabe, Mugabe's successors cannot be trusted.

It would be wrong for Mbeki and Nigerian leader Olusegun Obasanjo to seek to
advance their pet project, a national unity government. South Africa,
thereby, would yet again be meddling in Zimbabwe's internal affairs and the
right of its citizens to choose who shall rule them. The conditions for a
national unity government do not exist. Indeed, it is Mbeki and Obasanjo who
bear much of the blame for the country having sunk so low.

It would also be morally and politically wrong to present a national unity
government to the MDC as the only way forward. It is not. The MDC should
again refuse it.

There is only one pathway to fair elections. Mugabe must go but so too must
Zanu(PF) as a governing entity. The talks must seek to gain agreement to a
UN/AU- led interim administration and supervised elections. It could draw on
individual Zimbabweans of integrity but it must remove all levers of power
from Zanu(PF). This model was used successfully in 1980 in Harare to stop
the war and gain peace and then in Namibia in 1990 when South Africa
essentially pulled out. It is needed to end this more invidious war against
the citizens of Zimbabwe.
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Mail and Guardian

Rush on Zim banks as panic grips nation

      David Masunda | Harare

      02 May 2003 10:34

Zimbabwean banks ran out of cash and supermarket shelves were emptied as
panic that a new showdown between the government, the opposition and trade
unions was looming gripped the Southern African country.

The crisis has deepened to the point where South African President Thabo
Mbeki and Nigeria's President Olusegun Obasanjo are to press President
Robert Mugabe to retire, in an attempt to break the country's economic and
humanitarian deadlock.

In Harare, queues snaked in and out of banks as thousands tried to withdraw
their cash to buy and hoard basic commodities in anticipation of the
possible indefinite stayaway hinted at by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade
Unions (ZCTU), the country's largest labour movement.

Last week's ZCTU-organised three-day stayaway, to protest against fuel price
hikes of more than 300% a week before, paralysed the nation.

ZCTU president Lovemore Matombo said the union would organise indefinite
mass action unless the government reversed the new prices.

Last weekend Amos Midzi, Zimbabwe's Minister of Energy, insisted his
government would not revise the increases, saying "the ZCTU can keep on

a.. Meanwhile, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has also officially
responded to a conditional call from Mugabe for dialogue by telling the
Zanu-PF leader to denounce violence first.

"As a demonstration of its sincerity, the Mugabe regime must immediately put
a stop to all forms of state-sponsored violence, uphold the rule of law and
respect human rights," MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai said on Wednesday.

Mugabe recently said he was prepared to talk to Tsvangirai to solve the
country's economic and political crisis.

"All Zanu-PF militias must be disbanded ... and the war veterans must be
disarmed," Tsvangirai told senior party officials in Harare.

Additional reporting by The Guardian
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News Update from Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA)

Mother's Day falls on Sunday 11 May this year and has been formally
celebrated since 1911. It began in Churches and has become a day to pay
tribute to Mothers by giving them gifts to express love and gratitude. Women
of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) are organising a walk on Saturday 10th Day 2003 in
honour of Zimbabwean mothers facing the brunt in the current hardships.

Women do not have much to share and know that our families may not find
money to buy gifts so we are asking mothers to join the walk and share a
spirit of togetherness on the Saturday before.

We ask women to attend in large numbers and to carry their grass brooms
ready to sweep the street as they walk, illustrating that the time has come
for us to our house (Zimbabwe) in order. We also request support from women'
s organisations, unions and clubs.

Our major wish on our special day is that we can restore love and peace and
we are convinced that Zimbabweans have the power to give us these two gifts,
maybe not on mother's day but some day very soon.

In Zimbabwe 56% of the population is female and traditionally it is the
mother who must provide sustenance despite meager budget. We believe that it
is the women who are at the end of the suffering chain and it is they who
suffer in silence. WOZA was formed to end that silence and lobby to end the

We, the women of Zimbabwe, who are wives, mothers and sisters, appeal to you
to assist us to vocalize this torment by finding the courage to attend.

We talk of our concern for our families, of our pain when we see their pain.
We, the women, sit for days and weeks and months in queues - waiting and
waiting for food that does not arrive. While we wait, our children wander
the forests searching for roots and seeds and even insects to eat.

Share our despair, the men we love and rely on, face the humiliation because
they cannot provide for us. Eight out of ten of our husbands are without
formal employment. Those in jobs earn so little money that they can barely
buy basic foods. 200% inflation has made wages meaningless. Some of our
husbands rise at 4 am to walk 20 km to work, to avoid the taxi fares. They
work all day on nothing to eat and arrive home so late and so tired they can
do nothing. Often they beat us up just out of frustration.

We wish to tell you of our anguish as mothers of school leavers. Our
children have no hope of work, and worse still, are now being forced into
youth militia training. Last year, we were brutalised by our own youth in
our communities. Our daughters, who were forced to train as militia, were
returned to us raped and many are diseased.

Our sons have been taught the language of violence and intolerance. As
mothers, we weep privately to see our families being divided and our family
values corrupted by the men who rule our land.

We have informed the Zimbabwe Republic Police of this event and request that
they allow us our constitutional right to walk through the streets of
Zimbabwe freely and without fear. We know Zimbabweans to be people of
compassion and that members of the police force have mothers who are capable
of imagining and feeling our pain. Our children are hungry, our men are
angry and we can no longer comfort them. Help us to sow love where there is
hatred - this is the work of a mother!

Those unable to attend but wish to express their solidarity can donate
towards organising costs in cash or in kind. Petrol for mobility is our
major need.

For more information, please contact Jenni (+263) 11 213 885 (Byo) or
Getrude (+263) 11 411 842 (Harare)
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