Comment from ZWNEWS, 1 November
The lie of the land
Daily, Zimbabwe's state-run media proclaims the
success of the now-completed
land reforms, which, they say, has roused the
envy of the British
government, the independent media and all the other
opponents of Robert
Mugabe. As ever, the issue of land redistribution is
mired in propaganda and
misinformation. In any case, the threat of famine has
vastly more immediate
importance to 12 million Zimbabweans struggling to find
supplies of maize
meal, bread, sugar, cooking oil, salt. As the first rains
of the season fell
a week ago, the state-owned Herald carried full-page
old-established communal area and newly resettled
farmers where to obtain
free seed and fertiliser. For an optimum harvest come
March 2003, these
should have been distributed two months ago. The Famine
Network say most land recipients have no seed, nor any idea
when they will
be able to obtain it. Ruling Zanu PF party officials admit up
to half of
those allocated land have not occupied the farms seized from white
or made any move to work the soil. Critics of Mugabe put the figure
higher, with up to 90 percent of the 8 million commandeered hectares
fallow. Only 600 of the 5 000 white farmers are still attempting to
crops, many on extremely limited areas alongside fields that have
pegged by militants, but left to go derelict. "The rest have been
out," says Jerry Grant of the Commercial Farmers Union. With them have
250 000 farm workers and up to 2 million dependants, and of these only
percent have found a place to squat on abandoned white
Despite efforts to encourage production by the new farmers,
tobacco, which traditionally earned a third of Zimbabwe's foreign
is expected to fall from more than 200 million kg to between 70 and
million kg. Commercial farmers' maize crop will decline from 810 000
in 2000 to virtually nil in 2003. While production in resettlement
not taking off, that in the established 20 million hectare communal
declining due to AIDS deaths, resulting labour shortages, and
incomes, say development agencies. Peasant maize production
depended heavily on the ability of the now near-bankrupt state
provide subsidies in various forms. Those with the best chance of
meaningful crops in 2003 are the members of the wealthy black elite
seized farms. They include Jocelyn Chiwenga, wife of army
Constantine Chiwenga, who has already been selling, to the British
store Sainsburys, produce grown by the farmer she
This tiny, wealthy minority have the capital and the capacity
agricultural graduates - in some cases ex-commercial farmers - as
The commercial banks are giving them finance on the strength of
assets, such as up-market houses, although realists warn that
these assets is likely to be resisted at gunpoint should the
owners prove to
be a bad risk. The morality or otherwise of the banks'
the so-called "fat cat land grabbers" may come to haunt
sector in years ahead. Their bankability must run out
with the regime. And
the new large-scale landowners - hardly the landless
peasants who were
supposed to be the principal beneficiaries of land
redistribution - will
have difficulty cashing in on export crops, since
foreign buyers are wary of
being sued in their home countries for receiving
stolen produce. Sainsburys
has said it thought the farmer had been
compensated, and will now review the
deal. However, the black elite should be
well placed to plant food crops for
local consumption with planned subsidies
totalling Z$50 billion. An
"Agri-bond" for this amount is being forced on the
pension funds despite
economists' warnings this may leave thousands of
worthless annuities in their declining years. Inflation is
percent and the IMF forecast it may go to 522 percent next
year. One thing
is for sure, everything that goes wrong with production under
the Fast Track
Land Reform will be blamed on others, ranging from sabotage by
whites to Western governments' responsibility for climate
Price controls fail economy
10:26:33 AM (GMT +2)
From Zerubabel Mudzingwa
government yesterday publicly admitted that the price controls for
commodities introduced last year had failed to revive the economy.
Dr Samuel Mumbengegwi, the Minister of Industry and International
delegates at a National Economic Consultative Forum meeting in
yesterday that the government was now pursuing other avenues in an
cushion indigenous businesses and revive the economy as price
failed to produce the desired results.
The meeting, which was
attended by Cabinet ministers, senior
government officials and captains of
industry, was officially opened by
"Last year, we
had to introduce price controls on basic commodities
because of rampant price
increases that were fuelled by profiteering and
black market exchange rate
escalations. However, the price controls have
failed to work," Mumbengegwi
He, however, could not be drawn to say whether or not the
would now lift the price controls on basic
Mumbengegwi said the economy had remained subdued
because of severe
shortages of foreign currency, smuggling of goods outside
excessive profiteering, high conspicuous consumption levels,
what he called politically-motivated closures of certain
He said the government's much-talked-about
had also been severely affected by the shortage of
foreign currency, lack of
collateral, inadequate funding and dependence on
Mumbengegwi said the government had set aside a
$2 billion facility to
assist distresses indigenous-owned companies facing
collapse and to further
"The money," he said, "attracted a concessionary
interest rate of
between 15 and 25 percent."
Speaking at the
same occasion, Mugabe urged government departments and
the private sector to
co-operate towards a common-shared vision of economic
"In order to deepen the process of economic empowerment and,
existing social and economic imbalances as well as
sustainable economic growth and development, it is vital that
stakeholders play their part. Short of this common vision, all
objectives we seek to achieve will be futile and vain," Mugabe
He singled out multinational companies in the energy sector
accused them of sitting on the fence instead of being involved in
importation of fuel.
At the moment, the government imports fuel
through the National Oil
Company of Zimbabwe and the multi-national companies
buy the fuel from
government for distribution. He said the government had no
business in fuel
procurement as it was not getting any profits from
"For how long shall I continue to superintend the game of Tom
They (multinational companies) should invest in fuel because they
ones who enjoy the profits. They too must import fuel because they
foreign currency," Mugabe said.
Daily News - Leader Page
MDC right to stay calm under gross
11/1/02 9:45:33 AM (GMT +2)
AFFAIRS of state are played like a game of chess, move,
and the occasional stalemate or checkmate. As the players play
real people suffer, starve and die.
As the game
proceeds, the real issues are very soon forgotten as the
players strive to
outmanoeuvre each other while sticking to the rules of the
people starve and die.
The players, the national leaders, move the
pieces around and are
happy to sacrifice these "pieces" to achieve their
goal, forgetting that
these are not "pieces", but living human beings. The
situation in Zimbabwe
is desperate, that is clear to all. The cause of the
disaster is also clear
to all, and that is the "Killer" Party and its
If it were not a "game", the logical move would be to
remove the key
pieces rapidly and permanently because, as everyone knows,
that would bring
an instant solution.
But the rules of the game
prohibit that, so the suffering and the
have President Mugabe saying that he will hold another
"if the MDC challenge is upheld by the courts".
move, because his judges are exceedingly unlikely to
rule against him, and in
the unlikely event that they do, we will just have
a repeat of the mayhem we
saw in both the first presidential election and
the recent council elections.
So more time is bought to terrorise and cow
in their frustration have criticised Morgan Tsvangirai and the
Democratic Change (MDC) for "doing nothing".
I can see the MDC's
frustration too, but they are doing the right
thing for the country in the
longer term, and that is what really matters.
If they resorted to
bombs and bullets we would sink into civil war in
exactly the same way as
other African countries have done.
Do we want another Mozambique,
Angola, Uganda, Ethiopia or Congo?
The MDC are showing more maturity
than has ever been seen before in
Africa, and those who are so quick to
criticise should realise that it is
very difficult not to retaliate when
one's members are being beaten, raped,
starved and murdered.
can only hope that they manage to stick to this path under
A problem that arises is that the abused
people may form violent
groups to strike back at the Killer Party's
One can sympathise with any person who chooses to strike
violently if his sister or mother has been raped or his brother, son
Farmers whose life work has been stolen cannot
be feeling too happy
I think the Killer Party has
miscalculated the amount of hatred it has
Because I am not as mature and tolerant as the MDC, if I
were a lot
younger I would take to the bush in anger and
I am not a patient chess player, and I have never felt
about eliminating vermin, especially if this would save our
country from the
Wars against oppression are
indeed just wars. We also have to realise
that we must make our own
salvation. Help - material or military - is very
unlikely to come from
Nigeria may be a big and wealthy country by African
standards, but it
also sets the world standard for corruption. President
Thabo Mbeki and South
Africa could no doubt terminate the regime in a matter
of months, should
they wish to do so. But they do not wish to do
Those who have visited South Africa will know that it is still
hotbed of racial hatred going both ways. The outside world does not
what a powder keg of anti-white hate has been built up there over
Therefore, it is a cunning move for the Killer
Party to pose as
anti-white, even though we in Zimbabwe know it is in reality
Added to this, Mbeki is not half the man
Nelson Mandela is.
We cannot expect any help from South Africa
unless the outside world
squeezes them so hard their eyes water. It is
hopeful though that pressure
is being brought to bear by the United States of
America and the European
Union (EU), though whether they will have the moral
courage to pursue it I
The record is not
encouraging. It is also surprising in a way that the
EU and the US have not
been so forthright in their criticism of the Killer
Party. Notable for its
low profile has been the United Kingdom, despite
diversionary attacks on its prime minister.
I think he knows that
an outspoken attack on the US could very rapidly
lead to a first-hand
evaluation of the accuracy or otherwise of US guided
Meanwhile, I guess all we can do is try and survive as we wait
From The Star (SA), 1 November
Expats scoff at Mugabe's plan to tax
By Basildon Peta
Harare - President Robert Mugabe's cash-strapped
government is planning to
levy taxes on three-million Zimbabweans working
abroad in a desperate bid to
raise cash for fuel and electricity imports. But
expatriate Zimbabweans are
mostly scoffing at the attempt, noting that the
same government had banned
them from voting in the March presidential
election. "No taxation without
representation" is the unofficial response. "I
am not prepared to subsidise
Mugabe's regime when I was denied my inalienable
right to vote," Jeremy Dube
said in Johannesburg on Thursday. Others
circulated emails among themselves
dismissing the planned taxation. Deputy
Finance Minister Chris Kuruneri said
the Zimbabwean government was planning
to levy income tax on Zimbabweans
working abroad "in a bid to benefit from
the brain drain and strengthen the
country's revenue base". The government's
rationale is that the state
invested in their education, and so is entitled
to a return in the form of
taxes. It was unclear how the government intends
to enforce the new
expatriate tax, which it hopes to implement early in 2003.
It claims that
foreign governments will help, but, given Zimbabwe's world
seems wishful thinking. Most Zimbabweans working abroad were
driven out by
the harsh economic climate, including inflation of 140
unemployment, and shortages of basic foodstuffs such as bread and
Mugabe orders firms to import
- President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe said on Friday his government
longer procure fuel for the country, in a move analysts have dubbed
admission of failure of fuel procurement policies.
"The fuel comes in the
name of the government. When the fuel comes we are
worried about its
duration, whether we have enough stocks. And what do we
do? We call in
multinational companies. They sell and make profits," the
newspaper quoted Mugabe as saying.
He said his government would no longer
"crack" their heads over procuring
fuel for resale by foreign
"They must import and not wait for government to do it for
them. They have
the foreign exchange. In true partnership they should play
their part," he
Eddie Cross, the secretary of economic affairs
in the opposition Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC), said Mugabe's
statement was an admission of
"It's the first significant
admission of failure and collapse by the
government," Cross said. He said
Mugabe's statement signaled the
government's "special relationship with Libya
is no longer functioning".
Zimbabwe receives 70$ of its fuel imports from
Libya. In September the
government renewed a deal with the North African
country, trading fuel for
produce from Zimbabwe.
A front page article
on Friday in the private Zimbabwe Independent newspaper
read: "Libyan fuel
deal faces collapse."
The paper quoted unnamed industry sources as saying
US$360-million line of credit with Libya had "failed to operate
because of Zimbabwe's failure to pay dues on time".
nearly three years Zimbabwe has suffered from regular fuel shortages,
a lack of foreign currency and corruption at the state fuel
The country, which burns 1.2 million litres of petrol and 1.5
of diesel a day, reportedly needs US$600-million a year to pay
for its fuel
Daily News - Feature
Strife-torn Africa searching for elusive
11/1/02 10:21:32 AM (GMT +2)
"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called
the children of
The South African deputy president Jacob
Zuma quoted from the Bible
and stole the hearts of African religious leaders
attending an Inter-Faith
Peace Summit recently in Johannesburg.
Zuma, the guest of honour, said Africa needed peace - perfect
Africans could engage in an indaba the way they did at the
in Benoni, then there is real hope for peace on the
But can this be achieved with all the numerous
ethnic cleansing, tribal wars and violence that are rife
on the continent?
It is with such concerns in mind that the
Geneva-based Lutheran World
Federation, in collaboration with other
faith-based organisations, sponsored
this first-ever meeting of African
religious and traditional leaders aimed
at practical strategies for peace
promotion and conflict resolution in
Religious Leaders Forum of South Africa was the summit's
local host while the
government of Finland provided financial support.
whose theme was "Embracing the Gift of Peace," was
indeed an historical
It was the first time ever that church and religious leaders
African continent came and worshiped together. It was also the first
that the African religious and traditional leadership had spearheaded
need to talk about peace with such a concerted effort and on a united
Even the venue was appropriate. It was Kopanong - a
for a "place of meeting or conferring
"It is the first time that faith leaders from so many
traditions and parts of Africa have gathered to engage in
dialogue and cooperation for peace in Africa," said the General
the Lutheran World Federation, Dr Ishmael Noko. "We are an image
rainbow nature of religious expression in Africa."
here that more than 100 leaders of diverse religious and
persuasions across Africa, put their heads together in a bid to
to this war-torn piece of the planet.
Moslems, Christians, Baha'is,
Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, African
traditionalists - all were there.
significant number of women and youth participants together
international observers and resource persons, also made up the
"It is often the women and youths of our communities who
the key role in furthering practical inter-faith action for
the limits of rhetoric. This is despite the fact that women,
youth have often been marginalised or even mistreated in our
communities," Noko said.
Perhaps Zuma set the tone and zeal of
the meeting: "I am filled with
pride as an African to become part of this
first African Inter-Faith Peace
Summit as you deliberate on the role of the
faith community in entrenching
peace in our beloved African continent. We are
indeed encouraged by this
conference as it indicates to us that the faith
community fully recognises
its key role and responsibility in fostering a
culture of peace and
fellowship in the continent."
Zuma said the
new African Union leadership had made a commitment to
work tirelessly for the
regeneration of Africa which entailed efforts at
ridding the continent of
conflicts and wars.
"I must emphasise that there is one common
thread in all the peace
efforts being pursued in Africa. It is the fact that
solutions being sought
are African solutions," Zuma said. He said liberation
struggles in Africa
were mostly driven by church and religious leaders and
their roles could
never be undermined.
"Our struggles were
sustained by prayers and the actions of thousands
and thousands of men and
women. If we achieve peace in our continent, then
this can only be a blessing
to humanity, a blessing to our continent which
will be cherished by
generations to come."
The Finnish ambassador to South Africa,
Kirsti Lintonen said when it
came to armed conflict, Africa was the worst
This has caused distress to millions of people and
development but churches and other religious organisations had an
role to play in securing and building peace, she said.
"Faith can move mountains, often through painstaking patient work,
sometimes in a short time, when the time is ripe. Churches
crucially to the peaceful transition from communism to democracy
"You know that they also had a role in the
peace negotiations in
Mozambique and in securing a peaceful end to apartheid
in South Africa.
People listen to you. You have an authority based on faith
and word, ethics
and morality," she said.
"Churches have more
credibility than political movements."
The five-day conference
discussed conflict resolution and mediation
techniques, the role of
inter-faith dialogue in promoting peace, relations
communities and the State, African women against conflict,
traditional methods of conflict resolution and reconciliation among
Ambassador Bethuel Kiplagat of Kenya told the conference that
cause of conflict has to do with the issue of governance.
Injustice and the lack of a level playing field are always at the root
"Those in power may have emerged through a rebellion, a
rigged elections. Constitutions have often been amended to suit
retention of power by the incumbent. We do have long-serving presidents
this continent and there is no way of removing them through the ballot
Kiplagat said to much applause.
He said out of the 53
countries that are members of the AU, 35 have
suffered from conflicts, mostly
rebellion against the state - that is groups
organised by region, ideology,
race or ethnicity taking up arms against the
state - and 27 countries fall
into this category.
At least 23 African heads of states or
government come from military
backgrounds including those who have led armed
rebellions against the state.
Seventeen countries have had leaders
assassinated, with some having up
to three assassinations bringing the total
killed to 26.
Nigeria and Ethiopia lead with three each, followed
Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi and Liberia with two each,
Delegates exchanged ideas, shared experiences and
studies of areas where peace has been achieved through
councils comprising different church and community
Houna Agbessi Daagbo Hounon of the Vodun Hwendo spiritual
Benin, said the summit was a good thing for Africa. "Why should
we kill each
other? We must learn to live like brothers and sisters," said
colourfully-dressed traditional leader.
Although modern weapons
were not the principal cause of conflict, the
summit urged religious
traditions and communities not to be used as weapons
against each other. A
strong message should be sent to manufacturers of
deadly "tools of death"
like landmines, rifles and other small arms.
Chavhunduka who represented the Zimbabwe National
Association says he was delighted that all major
churches in Africa who
attended the summit, agreed that traditional religion
medicine, were important and could never be left out in
"Delegates passed a resolution which said that people
who are not
Christians can no longer be referred to as heathens. Now they
understand that these people belong to the African religion which
is one of
the largest in Africa. In fact it was the only one in Africa
missionaries came. This was a great achievement of the conference,"
A landmine survivor and a former child
soldier, narrated their
first-hand accounts of people caught in war in
As the conference ended, it passed The Johannesburg
Declaration and adopted a plan of action advocating the
path of peace and
measures to actively engage governments in dialogue towards
resolution, peace promotion and sustaining democratic
Dr Noko said follow-ups on conflict areas in Africa
would be made to
make this an action-oriented summit and not just one of
those "talk shops".
"There is an urgent need for religious leaders
to be given a voice on
conflict issues. We need concrete action," he
So much hope, but so much work to be done. Could peace be
on the crimson-coloured African horizon and signal a saving of
Friday, 1 November 2002
responses will be more muted
ZIMBABWE’S recently appointed Minister of Finance and Economic Development,
Herbert Murerwa, is not new to the post, for it was held by him prior to the
appointment of his predecessor, Simba Makoni. And during his previous term in
office, he suffered the same constraints as prevented Makoni from attaining an
economic upturn, and bringing about substantive strength in the fiscal
When Murerwa was previously charged with the responsibilities which are
now, once again, his heavy burden, he demonstrated on many occasions that he was
very well aware of the causes of Zimbabwe’s economic distress, and of the
constraints which made addressing those causes effectively exceptionally
difficult. Most of all, he evidenced clearly that he knew the actions that had
to be taken to halt the accelerating decline.
Unfortunately, despite that knowledge, he was recurrently prevented from
implementing the necessary measures by the president, cabinet or politburo, all
of whom were obdurate adherents to ideologies and antiquarian economic theories
wholly unsuited to the Zimbabwean environment and to the needs of the masses
struggling to survive and craving for improved economic circumstance.
It is well-known that Makoni had high aspirations of turning the economy
around, and very determinedly tried to do so, but was continuously obstructed in
his endeavours and frustrated in almost every potentially constructive step he
tried to take. Presumably he believed that in some way or other he would be able
to persuade his colleagues of the merits of economic policies diametrically
opposite to those which they avowed. Regrettably, the best will in the world,
consolidated by good intentions, does not suffice to convince those who either
had contrary vested intentions or were such dogmatic adherents to their
ideologies that they were unable to accept any need for change.
Eventually, and undoubtedly with very considerable regret, Makoni must have
concluded that he was fruitlessly beating his head against a brick wall of
bigoted inability to recognise realities. He must have reached a stage of
recognition that no matter how correct his recommended policies and measures may
have been, his recommendations would be continuously rejected. Eventually he
resorted to the inevitable and resigned, only to be replaced by one who had
previously been confronted with virtually identical obstacles.
Hopefully, his previous inability to motivate his cabinet colleagues to
accept facts as facts, and to stimulate resolution amongst them to try
alternative economic policies, as those that have prevailed and as still exist
have proved themselves to be total failures, will not deter him from continuing
"the good fight" and persevering in efforts to bring about change. And yet,
first indications are to the contrary.
They suggest that, instead, his colleagues may have convinced him of the
non-existent merits of the destructive economic policies which bedevil Zimbabwe.
If that is so, one must hope that his undoubted intellect will cause him to
revert to pressurising for policies as are effective, in contradistinction to
those which are negative and rapidly bringing Zimbabwe’s economy to the brink of
An instance in which it appears that Murerwa has been diverted from
perception of the essential was when he, last week, responded to the questions
from Members of Parliament at a pre-budget workshop. He is reported to have said
that he was "not convinced that devaluation under these circumstances and in
this kind of environment will translate into supply responses … Of course, we
need to have the right exchange rate so that the economy can perform but doing
this now would have adverse effects, particularly in an environment of poor
supply and negative market sentiment".
He was totally correct when he stated that Zimbabwe requires the right
exchange rate if the economy is to perform, although obviously the establishment
of a realistic rate is only one of many actions necessary for sound economic
performance to be regained. He was also correct when he said that devaluation
now would have adverse effects. That cannot be denied.
However, in the absence of devaluation now, the effects of that inaction
will be far, far worse. Government’s puppet economists striving to ingratiate
themselves recurrently suggest otherwise, and yet the volume of evidence, that
the ludicrous exchange rate that has been rigidly maintained by government for
over two years is a major contributor to the continuing economic collapse, is
The harsh fact is that Zimbabwe is sustaining a very severe reduction in
exports and, therefore, in critically needed foreign exchange generation. There
are several causes of the falling export performance, including such great
destruction of the agricultural sector that less and less agricultural outputs
are forthcoming for export. (Concurrently, the agricultural havoc created by
government is of such magnitude that Zimbabwe has to import commodities which
previously were produced by the agricultural sector, thereby creating a massive
drain of already insufficient foreign exchange).
Inflation has soared higher and higher since 1997. As a direct consequence,
production costs have also soared. Wages and salaries have had to be increased
radically in order to counter, if only in part, the ravages of inflation.
Energy, telecommunication and other direct and indirect production costs and
overheads have similarly risen very considerably. As a result, and in the
absence of devaluation, exporters have had to increase their selling prices to
such an extent that most exports are now offered at prices which are
uncompetitive as against those offered by producers elsewhere.
In turn, export volumes would increase, yielding increased production and
therefore increased productivity which would assist in containing inflation, for
most producers also produce for the domestic market. And, most importantly,
greater inflows of foreign exchange would enhance the very supply responses
which Murerwa acknowledges are presently poor. Thus, although it is a certainty
that the poor supply and negative market sentiment to which he referred will
endure for some time after devaluation, and although further devaluations will
be progressively required, nevertheless devaluation will translate into better
supply responses and, in time, if accompanied by other necessary measures into
positive market sentiment. But failure to devalue will unarguably translate the
present poor supply responses into markedly worse, very muted ones, for foreign
currency will become increasingly scarce, and market sentiment will deteriorate
from its already extremely low levels to never before reached depths.
And when Murerwa acknowledged that the foreign currency crisis has fuelled
the parallel market, he is correct. But if Zimbabwe does not devalue, and ensure
a realistic exchange rate, the parallel market is the only vehicle to keep some
exporters in business. They cannot survive at current rates. Neither will those
reliant upon imports as, until foreign currency generation increases
sufficiently, all exchange entering the official market will be commandeered for
government and its parastatals.
At the workshop Murerwa also attributed some of the economic problems to
Zimbabwe’s negative image, and that is certainly so. Most donor states have
discontinued their support of Zimbabwe, as has the International Monetary Fund,
the World Bank and many others. Foreign direct investment has plummeted to
almost insignificant levels. But the minister was only partially correct when he
told the parliamentarians that "the international community takes signals from
what you say about the country". Far greater signals are taken from the
pronounced evidence of massive breakdowns in law and order, and from serious
doubts as to the substance of Zimbabwean democracy. The signals of
government-provoked and condoned racism, vast corruption, contempt for most of
the international community, resistance to change, are all signals of far
greater visibility to the international community than are the mouthings of
parliamentarians, although it is probable that those signals are also
Friday, 1 November 2002
Mugabe’s dream turns into nation’s
MUCKRAKER recently commented on President Robert Mugabe’s claim
that there was no place in Zimbabwe for David Coltart or Roy Bennett except in
prison. Coltart was in fact invited to return to Zimbabwe by Mugabe himself
after completing his studies at the University of Cape Town.
Coltart headed the Zimbabwe Society on campus and had written to the new
prime minister in August 1981 to tell him many students at UCT were ready and
willing to return home.
Mugabe thanked him for his letter and said the government intended to
establish "a non-racial society based on equality". He said Zimbabweans must
"put aside the hatreds and animosities of the past and approach the future in a
positive, constructive frame of mind.
"As we struggle to rebuild our country out of the destruction of war," he
told Coltart, "we look to young people like yourselves to assist us achieve our
objective of establishing a prosperous, harmonious and humane society in this
country…I hardly need to remind you that this is as much your home as it is
In an unattributed quote from Franklin D Roosevelt, Mugabe concluded by
saying that in returning to Zimbabwe "you have nothing to fear but fear
How times change! Now he wants everybody to fear him. And Zimbabwe is the
symbol of pulverised prosperity, disharmony and inhumanity. One man’s dreams of
eternal power have become the nation’s nightmare.
Muckraker has been wondering why the Sunday Hate Mail’s
intellectually-bankrupt "Under the Surface" has been missing in action for a
fortnight. It now transpires that it had something to do with the Insiza
electioneering. Jonathan Moyo and his semi-literate parrot, Munyaradzi Huni,
were not around, we are told by sources at the propaganda factory — Herald
That’s why the column was not featuring on the tedious pages of the Siberia
of Zimbabwean journalism. But watch out for the next edition of the Hate Mail.
"Under the Surface" would be back from the Insiza backwoods with his rustic
humour sharpened. You can surely expect more tired jokes and gullible political
Gullibility is the hallmark of Huni’s writing. Last week he was pretending
in his weekly political make-believe stories that he had a secret anti-Zimbabwe
document authored by the British which had been rejected by the international
community. Muckraker has now given up on this semi-literate Huni’s Mukadoda
stories. But for the sake of readers, the document referred to was actually a
record of proceedings in a recent House of Lords debate. The Independent
recently published the remarks by Baroness Valerie Amos and British peers on the
Zimbabwe crisis debate — not once but twice.
For the past two weeks the hungry people of Insiza got used to seeing
chauffeur-driven parasitic strangers who would appear very early every morning
in flashy 4x4s and Land Rovers from their Bulawayo hotels clad in multi-coloured
shirts and T-shirts emblazoned with the images of the country’s ruler. The
visitors, who are members of the Zanu PF locust class, would then drive around
the Mahole area addressing angry and hungry villagers.
Moyo’s media delegation was interesting. The loquacious and quarrelsome
minister traversed the constituency like a feudal aristocrat surrounded by his
journalistic serfs whose reports reflected nothing but increasing derangement.
The team of journalistic dinosaurs included Huni (deadwood), ZBC’s Sifiso
Sibanda and Makhosini Hlongwani, prominent Chronicle official eulogist, Innocent
Madonko and the other bootlickers from government’s regional publications which
are still evidently handcuffed to the past.
President Mugabe also dispatched his own gang. Moyo was part of it, so was
Nicholas Goche, whose job is to gather intelligence using the antiquated CIO
machinery, Joseph Made, the great author of starvation, Ignatius Chombo, Elliot
Manyika, Josiya "Padare" Hungwe and other parasites who went around pleading
with villagers to allow them to persist with their corrosive raid on national
Still on Insiza, the Hate Mail reported that even police deputy
commissioner (operations and crime) Griffiths Mpofu was there to direct the
police operations! Muckraker wonders how he coordinated with his friend Moyo who
he wanted to beat the hell out of only last year.
Town House insiders say Harare mayor Elias Mudzuri enjoyed the break
because Chombo, who likes to meddle in council affairs, was also engaged in the
Insiza by-election with other Zanu PF mandarins. The talk in town is that the
two will never be able to work together amicably. Their doctrines and agendas
are diametrically-opposed. Mudzuri has been resurfacing roads around Harare’s
suburbs which were destroyed by Zanu PF councillors who were eventually fired en
mass for alleged incompetence.
These were succeeded by unelected commissioners whose duty, it seems, was
to buy more cars for themselves and employ many unemployable loafers from the
Zanu PF stable. Now rebuilding the city for the benefit of ratepayers has never
been a Zanu PF agenda. The mayor is expected to ruin the city, not run it. That
is why Chombo is trying to foist a team to help turn around the council. Where
was this team when Zanu PF was destroying the Sunshine City, we wonder?
Muckraker thinks the Swazi King, Mswati III, who stands accused of
abducting teenage girls and turning them into wives, should give the Swazi
people a break. Mswati, whose sole distinction in history is being Africa’s
remaining absolute monarch, should understand that it is no longer possible to
continue clinging onto hidebound cultural traditions. Why marry youngsters under
duress? Mswati has no defence on moral and democratic grounds because the
mothers of the abducted kids are complaining.
Kings, if they want to remain relevant, should understand that
anachronistic cultural practices and traditions have to be discarded if only for
the sake of enlightened leadership.
Of course Mswati is not the only one who dragoons young women into his
bedroom. Muckraker recalls the story of a local political baron who captured his
secretary and turned her into his wife amid national ridicule and protest. Such
abuse of authority should never be tolerated. Let it be heard in the corridors
of power in Mbabane and Harare! Do these absolutist dictators have no other
national business than ogle at poor little girls going about their appointed
The Herald on Saturday told us that a 16-year old schoolgirl was abducted
and gang-raped by eight men. According to the report, the girl was pounced upon
in a Harare suburb by a man who powdered her on the nose and mouth before
throwing her into a car. She was driven out of Harare and taken into a derelict
hut built out of planks and gang-raped.
Although the girl couldn’t identify where she was taken to, at least she
provided the clue as to who could be the perpetrators of the crime. Muckraker
remembers that there was a gang of thugs who chased away farmers and allocated
themselves stands in Harare’s outskirts and beyond. The girl suspects she was
taken to Beatrice along the Masvingo road.
Is there anyone who doesn’t know which group of people in Zimbabwe is
associated with abduction, rape, looting, blindfolding and drugging or poisoning
their victims? The police shouldn’t waste time. Come on Giffiths, get
Mandaza’s Ibboring Sunday Mirror never ceases to amaze us. The sun-burnt
publication was at it again on Sunday with a ridiculous elementary mistake. In
one of its front page pictures the Mirror had England’s Sheffield United forward
Peter Ndlovu. The caption read: "He is among the top eleven (in journalism it’s
11) soccer stars of the year — Page 24." Before turning to the page, readers
would have known that Peter was not among the soccer stars. What did you find on
the back page — Caps United goalkeeper Energy Murambadoro. How Peter came in,
it’s anybody’s guess. You can’t put such things beyond the Mirror. Like the
Herald on Tuesday telling us on its front page that Stephen Nkomo is
Matabeleland North provincial governor. When propaganda gets too much even its
purveyors can’t tell where the truth lies.
Why does the French embassy think Ibbo Mandaza works at the Independent?
This week the French ambassador dispatched an invitation to the Independent
addressed to Mr and Mrs Ibbo Mandaza, "the chief editor" — whatever that means —
of the Independent. Did Mandaza tell them he had an office at the Independent or
the French embassy just assumed, for whatever reason, that he is based here? No,
Ibbo does not work here. For the record, he works in Workington just next to
Jongwe Printers! The other invitation was correctly addressed to Iden Wetherell,
"the editor". What a combination!
A reader has sent the following piece: A farmer knocked at the Pearly
Gates. His face was scarred and old. He stood before the man of fate for
admission to the fold. "What have you done," St Peter asked, "to gain admission
here?" "I’ve been a farmer Sir," he said, "for many and many a year." The Pearly
Gates swung open wide as St Peter touched the bell. "Come in," he said, "and
choose your harp. You’ve had your taste of hell."
Thanks to those readers still sending in e-mails from Nigerian fraudsters.
The latest is from "Dr Clement Kaba" who says he is an accountant with the
Federal Ministry of Finance in Abuja. He has millions of dollars left over from
contract awards, he says.
The other is from the "secretary of the African White Farmers Co-operative
of Zimbabwe", Kelvin Philips.
He writes: "After the last general elections in our country, where the
incumbent president, Robert Mugabe, won the presidential election, the
government has adopted a very aggressive land reform programme. This programme
is solely aimed at taking the land owned by white African farmers for
redistribution to black Africans. As such, this programme has attracted
worldwide condemnation from the UN, world leaders including the British prime
minister and the American president. This has also forced several white farmers
to flee the country for fear of victimisation and physical abuse.
"About a couple of weeks ago, our headquarters in Harare was attacked and
looted by supporters of the government of Mugabe and in the process they burnt
down the whole building. Fortunately, we had a large portion of our collective
savings kept in a safety deposit vault at the local bank…"
The rest is not difficult to guess at. What amazes us is that people still
fall for these scams. And the Nigerian government, which likes to complain about
the "undeserved" reputation Nigerians have abroad, does nothing.
With reference to Bishop Kunonga’s attempts to crush dissent in the
Anglican Church, we have received the following queries from a faithful member
of the Anglican flock:
l Can a bishop "ban" a choir? Has a "choir" ever been banned before? In
such an instance, whom would the Anglican Church support — the choir, and
members of the congregation, or the bishop?
lWhy would a bishop take the course of going to court to get a choir banned
— is he not the head honcho of that particular church?
l On what legal grounds would a court actually "ban" a choir from attending
Our correspondent says he can understand a court of law prohibiting persons
from presenting themselves at a private domicile, but what would the opinion be
of the Archbishop of Canterbury with regards to a bishop requesting a court of
law to prohibit persons from attending church? Is this ethical?
The appeal to "ban" the choir has come about because, apparently, they
would not sing when the bishop wanted them to, and then sang when he did not
want them to. Isn’t this a bit odd, he asks?
To my mind, he should just re-arrange his own requirements regarding the
actual times of singing, so that his requirements and the perceptions of the
choir regarding his requirements, and the performance of such perceptions, take
place more or less at the same time. I suppose he has to follow some sort of
programme in order to vacate the building for other events, such as weddings,
funerals, coronations, etc, but maybe a quota system regarding time spent
singing, and time spent NOT singing could be derived, after consultation, of
course with the errant choir, so that all parties enjoy a measure of
"togetherness" regarding singing, and the timing thereof. This way he won’t get
his cassock in such a knot.
I would assume, of course, that when this particular choir does actually
sing, regardless of whether such singing is at the behest, or otherwise, of the
bishop, that they all sing the same thing, and in conjunction with each other.
If not, then I can fully understand the bishop’s frustration. And assuming,
further, that such unison of singing is in accordance with the words commonly
accepted as belonging to the hymns or songs being sung, as opposed to the little
game we used to play at school, wherein we made up our own words to the hymns as
we went along. (Although this may happen at Christmas with carols, I sincerely
doubt that the choir of the foremost Anglican Church in the country would be as
puerile as this.)
Given the assumptions above, I would recommend that instead of "banning"
the choir, it should be agreed to overlook the bishop’s requirements regarding
the actual time of singing providing the times for praying, kneeling, sitting,
sermoning and collection plate all have timetables controlled by him in
deference to his superior earthlyposition in terms of the hierarchical structure
of the church to which they all belong.
Confused? Yup — so’m I!
Guess it’s a question of "how the Mitre are fallen"!"
Friday, 1 November 2002
Insiza outcome mirrors national paralysis
PF has again smashed its way into parliament in Insiza. It was the same brutal
force used to grab the Bikita West constituency in February last year. In
insiza, as in Bikita West, the election went without any incidents of violence,
according to the police and the state media. Both have been instructed to hear
no evil, see no evil, report no evil, an admonition they have adhered to with
And to ensure there is no evil, the government has made sure
privately-owned newspapers have no access to these "war zones". That ensures
that there are no atrocities and certainly no casualties.
But that is a fallacy Zimbabweans have allowed the government to perpetuate
with vainglorious impunity. It would have been naïve in the extreme for anyone,
let alone the MDC, to expect victory in the Insiza by-election. That would have
been a perfect miracle of our time. Most of the MDC election agents and polling
officers were arrested or harassed out of the constituency during the campaign
While Zanu PF’s propensity for violence is well-documented, not a single
member of its agents was arrested for violence. Not even its candidate, Andrew
Langa, who shot and wounded an MDC election agent only a few days before the
Instead, it was the victim of the shooting who was taken in for
questioning. That incident alone serves as a microcosm of the plight of the
embattled Insiza folk who have been beaten up, harassed and deprived of food so
that they learn a lesson not to vote for the opposition. Come voting day and all
of Insiza was overflowing with food which all along was nowhere to be found.
This was the act of a magnanimous, people-oriented party that must be voted back
So the outcome was as predictable as the sun will rise again tomorrow. The
people of Insiza voted with their stomachs and terror behind them. If Zanu PF
lost there would be more terror, torture and starvation. That was the message
President Robert Mugabe’s war cabinet made clear to the people of Insiza. They
were all ready for an all out onslaught against a starving and terrorised rural
community far removed from the obscene glare of international publicity.
The most depressing thing about the electoral process and its outcome in
Insiza is its symbolic mirror of the national paralysis in the face of Zanu PF
thuggery, the arrogance of its officials and Mugabe’s majestical disdain for the
After his controversial re-election in March, people expected Mugabe to
tread carefully while trying to bring the people together after the brutalities
of both the parliamentary and presidential elections.
Instead we have all been subjected to one insult after another in the name
of his party and the chaotic so-called agrarian reform.
The youth militia trained at a huge cost to the taxpayer, themselves
victims of ever-rising unemployment in a crumbling economy, are being used
systematically to subdue the whole nation and buy Mugabe more time in power.
This Zanu PF problem is not for the people of Insiza or Kuwadzana or Mbare
to solve. If we wanted to be charitable, we could say it has become an
international or a regional problem. But the truth is that Mugabe has become a
problem for the people of this potentially prosperous nation to deal with.
Sooner rather later, the people of Zimbabwe must confront Mugabe’s brutality
head on and stop apportioning blame to either Thabo Mbeki or Olusegun Obasanjo
or the MDC.
It is not Mbeki, Obasanjo or the MDC whose rights and liberties are
violated on a daily basis. We are the victims and it is only ourselves who can
reclaim those rights and liberties and restore dignity and sanity to our
If Mugabe does not respect the people’s wishes and quest for democracy, it
is because he has realised none of us deserves them.
Otherwise we should be ready to stand up for what we believe to be
politically and morally right. Why should the people of Insiza sacrifice their
own puny lives for the rest of the nation?
Friday, 1 November 2002
Zim journalists caught in a dilemma
THE decision by journalists to accredit with the government-controlled
Media and Information Commission to continue working could plunge the pressmen
into a dangerous minefield.
But at the same refusing to be licensed — which is what the official
understanding of accreditation boils down to — could also have been equally
perilous. Journalists would have been exposed to criminal charges and banned if
they rejected the process.
The issue of accreditation thus effectively presents a conundrum for the
embattled journalists. It has now transpired that the matter was simply the
proverbial case of being caught in between a deep blue sea and the devil.
But journalists had made a decision and it was for accreditation. The prize
for compliance could be heavy inasmuch as the reward for defiance could have
been severe. The new deadline for accreditation is now November 21.
A paper done for the Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa)-Zimbabwe by
legal expert Irene Petras for presentation at the journalists’ recent conference
in Harare where the decision to register was taken, was enlightening insofar as
the implications of accrediting and refusing to be licensed were
Once a journalist has been accredit he can work in Zimbabwe with the right
to enquire, gather, receive, and disseminate information. The journalist can
visit public bodies to investigate stories and interview individuals in those
institutions. He can record audio or video footage and take photographs or film.
According Information minister Jonathan Moyo’s legislation, a journalist
has the right to refuse to prepare reports or materials inconsistent with his
convictions under their name, remove their name or prohibit the publication of a
report prepared by him but distorted in the process of editing. A journalist can
also write under a pseudonym.
An accredited journalist’s name would appear on the roll of journalists and
he would receive a certificate of accreditation. This all sounds great but the
overall intent of the law is ominous.
Herein lies the danger. Petras explains:
"An accredited journalist would be obliged to observe a code of conduct,
which is enforceable by the commission. This code of conduct is drafted by the
commission in consultations with organisations it considers to be representative
of the profession.
"It is not mandatory for the commission to accept their input, and all
journalistic bodies and representative organisations not approached by the
commission have absolutely no say as to what constitutes acceptable conduct.
"This code of conduct has not yet been prepared, and therefore the
journalist would be agreeing in advance to a document containing rights and
duties of which he has no knowledge, and which could be contrary to his
Moyo’s commission is chaired by Harare Polytechnic journalism lecturer
Tafataona Mahoso whose media record is not only vague but also untraceable
beyond his weekly Sunday Mail columns and seminars. It is also stuffed with
several other government apologists.
Petras says the powers of the commission should be the primary concern for
"To accredit, or not to accredit? That is not the first question," she
said. "Before a journalist can begin to consider this he should make himself
aware of how the authority responsible for accreditation is constituted and
controlled, and its aims and objectives."
The commission is appointed by Moyo in consultation with the president. The
minister fixes the period of the appointment of commissioners, terms and
conditions of engagement, and their remuneration and allowances. He can suspend
or dismiss members of the commission.
The commission, which is there to "ensure that Zimbabweans have effective
control of mass media services", can act against journalists on comments — not
proven evidence — from the public about the administration and performance of
the media. It is empowered to "investigate, adjudicate and enforce their
decisions by any means, save for detention in custody".
The legal parliamentary committee, which included sharp attorneys Eddison
Zvobgo and Welshman Ncube, earlier this year ruled that the powers bestowed upon
Moyo’s self-serving commission were unconstitutional. Journalists are
challenging the purported media regulator’s powers in the courts. Petras says
forcing a journalist to sign a contract with the commission on the basis of a
non-existent set of rules and regulations would be simply illegal.
"To require a journalist to agree in advance to terms and conditions which
are not only vague, but also completely undefined, is contrary to the law," she
"If there is no certainty about obligations to be created by the contract,
then there can be no meeting of minds, and thus no agreement."
Petras observes that journalists should not be dragooned into registration
under obscure terms.
"Therefore it could be argued that a journalist should not be obliged to
enter into an agreement of accreditation with the authorities as the terms and
conditions are uncertain," she said.
"The ordinary law of contract, an agreement can be set aside on the basis
that it is vague. In this manner the obligation to accredit could be challenged
and, if successful, set aside by the courts."
Observers say by agreeing to be licensed journalists have become part of
the problem of engaging in unlawful contracts with the commission, while trying
to challenge the same unconstitutional registration requirements.
But the more serious consequence of this decision is that by registering,
journalists would put themselves at the mercy of the commission, which has the
power to punish them for breaking the yet undefined regulations or, worse still,
If the journalist is found, in the discretion of the commission, to have
breached the code of conduct, he is subject to any of the following measures:
deletion of his name from the register; suspension; restricted practice; payment
of a penalty of up to $50 000 or prosecution by the Attorney-General.
"The journalist would also be subject to section 80 dealing with the abuse
of journalistic privilege and open to criminal sanctions in the event that any
of the provisions are contravened," Petras said.
However, Petras notes the ramifications of refusing to accredit could have
"The implications of failing to accredit severely restrict — in fact make
it almost impossible — a journalist to practise his profession in this country,"
she said. "An unaccredited journalist cannot enquire, gather, receive, and
disseminate information, which effectively restricts him from carrying out his
There are further sanctions for declining to accredit. Journalists become
liable to criminal charges, including a jail term of up to two years.
"Whilst a journalist’s name is deleted from the roll, or whilst he is
suspended, he cannot practise directly or indirectly by himself or in
partnership or association or be employed in any capacity as a journalistic
professional except with the written consent of the commission," Petras
Rejecting accreditation also affects media houses.
"An unaccredited journalist cannot practise as a journalist or be employed
as such by a mass media service," she said.
"Apart from the effect on the journalist, this also has serious
implications on mass media services, as their certificates of registration can
be suspended, withdrawn or refused if they are employing an unaccredited
A mass media service operating without a valid certificate is also liable
to a criminal offence and payment of a fine or imprisonment for up to two years,
or both, as well the forfeiture of its products, equipment or apparatus to the
There are grounds for challenging the issue of accreditation, Petras said.
Apart from a constitutional attack against accreditation — which by intent and
design amounts to licensing — there are also other clear grounds for challenging
the mandatory registration requirement.
"There is also the argument that one cannot consent to being accredited and
bound to a non-existent code of conduct, as this would constitute a contract
that would be void for uncertainty," Petras observed. If a journalist decides
not to seek accreditation, there also exists the argument that section 79 of Act
violates one’s freedom of expression."
In one of its recent rulings, the Supreme Court stated that "freedom of
expression constitutes one of the essential foundations of a democratic society
and that is applicable not only to information and ideas that are favourably
received or regarded as inoffensive or as a matter of indifference, but also to
those that offend, shock or disturb the state or any sector of the
The court went further: "Such are the demands of that pluralism, tolerance
and broadmindedness, without which there is no democratic society."
Local News Friday, 1 November 2002
Bulawayo unveils $16 billion budget
THE cash-strapped Bulawayo City Council this week unveiled a $16 billion
budget that will see rates and other tariffs raised by over 145% in the coming
The 2003 budget, tabled at the beginning of the week, comes against a $640
million budget deficit carried forward from this financial year.
The $16 billion budget will focus on on-going capital projects which
include construction of schools, rehabilitation of city infrastructure,
maintenance of the road network, procurement of sewerage equipment and
completion of the Millenium Housing Scheme.
The budget was passed without incident after MDC and Zanu PF
councillors were earlier on divided over procedures allegedly used by the
chairman of the finance and development committee, Charles Mpofu before
presentation of the budget.
Some councillors argued that Mpofu, a Movement for Democratic Change
councillor, had not adequately consulted all stakeholders before tabling the
The budget will be funded from rate increments that would see
ratepayers fork out more in supplementary charges, refuse removal, sewerage
charges and water.
The increments will be effected in two stages with the first 95% coming
in January and the remainder in July.
Presenting the budget in the council chambers, chairman of the finance
and development committee Mpofu said the increments were inevitable as a result
of high interest rates and inflation.
"With inflation hovering around 139% and continuously rising, it would
be an understatement to mention the need for a review of tariffs and charges,"
"Granted that the proposed increases are not what could be considered
to be generous, consideration has to be given to the available choices, namely
the collapse of the city or its survival.
"We deemed it appropriate to raise charges to these levels in order for
the city to survive and with the speed with which the purchasing power of
currency is being eroded, this could render the new charges immaterial," he
The Bulawayo City Council, owed over $400 million by the government and
ratepayers, has relied on the open market for money to fund its capital
Local News Friday, 1 November 2002
Mid Airlines off to Jo'burg
MID Airlines, a local commercial passenger and cargo carrier, has expanded
its service routes after launching its Harare-Johannesburg flight yesterday.
The company's managing director, Arnold Ndebele, said yesterday the
Harare-Johannesburg flight would be on daily on a Boeing 737-217 with the
capacity to carry 109 passengers.
"We wish to advise the flying public in Zimbabwe and the region that
this is the beginning of greater things to come from Mid Airlines. We invite
everyone to come and experience our art of exceptional flying," Ndebele
Mid Airlines also flies to Lusaka from Harare four times a week using a
10-seater plane and is enjoying "commendable support" from the Zambian flying
public, Ndebele said.
He said: "Our passenger and cargo loads between Harare and Lusaka have
been growing since we started flying this route at the beginning of October."
Mid Airlines head of public relations, Fortune Ncube, said the company was in
the initial stages of expanding operations.
"We are working on establishing and scheduling a Victoria
Falls-Johannesburg flight as well as a Harare-Kinshasa route," Ncube said.
He said Mid Airlines had travel agents in Lusaka and Johannesburg that were
helping them by making the public aware of what the aircraft service had to
Letters Friday, 1 November 2002
Open letter to President Robert Mugabe
I AM writing to you as a member of Amnesty International - group 157,
an impartial, non-political organisation concerned solely with the human rights
of the people whom it works to protect.
Amnesty International has recently issued a new report on Zimbabwe titled
Zimbabwe: The toll of impunity. I express concern at the on-going level of human
rights violations in your country.
Amnesty International is deeply concerned that the perpetrators of past
violations have not been held accountable for their actions and that this has
promoted a culture of impunity, which is facilitating further violations.
Amnesty International's research indicates that many of these human
rights violations, including threats, assaults, abductions, torture and
killings, have been and are being carried out by state-sponsored militias
composed of supporters of the ruling Zanu PF party, members of the Zimbabwe
National Liberation War Veterans Association and unemployed rural youths; and
that by the end of 2001 these informal militia groups were supplemented with
government-trained members of the Border Gezi Training Centre.
I express concern that these militia groups have established many bases
throughout Zimbabwe from where they are able to commit human rights violations
I express concern that the activities of militia have created "no-go
areas" for journalists of the independent media and for civil society
organisations wishing to investigate and report on a range of issues.
Evidence gathered by Amnesty International also shows that these
militia groups commit human rights violations with the active support and/or
acquiescence of government security officers.
I call on you to take immediate steps to end impunity for members of
militia groups and take all possible steps to ensure that Zimbabwean residents,
regardless of their political beliefs, are safe from human rights violations
such as threats, abductions and torture.
I appeal for thorough, independent and impartial investigation of the
activities of militias and for alleged perpetrators of human rights violations
among them to be brought to justice. Finally, I urge you to take urgent steps to
ensure that there are no no-go areas in Zimbabwe for local civil society
organisations, journalists or international bodies to monitor and document
allegations of human rights violations and to ensure that the police work
impartially and professionally with local or foreign investigators, such as
representatives from the African Commission, the Commonwealth, the Southern
African Development Community, or Special Reporters of the United Nations to end
impunity and bring the perpetrators of human rights violations to justice.
I also call upon you, President, to rescind or repeal the Presidential
Clemency order no. 1 of October 6 2000, so that perpetrators of violence
protected by that order can be brought to justice without further delay.
Mile Nogues Dominique,