Sent: Wednesday, November 29, 2006 10:01 PM
Subject: WOZA latest news and how you can help
Below please find WOZA`s latest press release on
action taken today in Bulawayo. We are urgently
requesting you to help by trying to phone the police
station numbers given at the end of the press release.
It will probably be hard to get through but please
persevere; late night/early morning calls are likely
to be the most successful. Remember - for the cost of
a call to Zimbabwe you CAN make a difference; while
many police are brutal in obedience to the ruthless
regime, others are sympathetic to the plight of their
compatriots and we need to let both groups know that
the world is watching.
This email is followed by an email of the latest WOZAMOYA (WOZA`s
and a further email showing a copy of their People`s Charter. We plan to
a meeting in central London in the near future to
discuss the charter and plan support activities. If
you would like to attend such a meeting please reply
to this e-mail indicating your interest so that we can
judge numbers before finding a venue. Please also
indicate whether evenings (around 7pm) or weekends are
better for you.
It`s time for WOZA supporters in the diaspora to be
active and noisy!
Lois (for WOZASolidarity)
Today`s WOZA Press Release:-
At least sixty-three Women Of Zimbabwe Arise and four
Men Of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA/ MOZA) members, as well as
six babies were arrested this morning, during a
peaceful launch of the People's Charter. They were
taken to Bulawayo Central Police Station; although it
is possible that one vehicle was diverted elsewhere as
some members known to be arrested have not arrived at
Central. WOZA leaders Jenni Williams and Magodonga
Mahlangu are amongst those arrested. Lawyers have been
briefed and are in attendance.
Levels of police brutality were especially high with
many people being beaten and requiring medical
attention, including a young baby. Police took six
members to Mpilo Hospital for medical attention,
including one woman who was seriously injured and may
have a broken leg. After not receiving medical
attention at the over-extended government medical
facility, she has been transferred to a private
hospital for treatment.
Hundreds of WOZA and MOZA members marched peacefully
through central Bulawayo today to the government
offices at Mhlanhlandlela. There was an almost
carnival atmosphere to the procession with the singing
marchers handing out leaflets and copies of the
People's Charter, which were eagerly accepted by
They began to read out the People's Charter before
approximately 30 riot police arrived and began to
arrest them. In typical WOZA fashion, members sat down
peacefully and waited to be arrested. This did not
satisfy the bloodlust of the Zimbabwe Republic Police
and they began to viciously assault the peaceful group
members with batons sticks, forcefully dispersing most
of the group of over 200 that were waiting to be
There are fears that police might also have arrested a
lot of other passers-by as the police were seen
pulling a man from his car and arresting him. Among
the arrested is a pastor from the Presbyterian Church.
When members who had been dispersed tried to hand
themselves in to Central Station in solidarity, they
were denied entrance and chased away.
The People's Charter is a result of a yearlong
countrywide consultation. This day was selected as a
fitting day to launch the Charter and demand social
justice for all Zimbabweans. The protest was also
conducted in defiance of the Public Order Security Act
(POSA) but in accordance with constitutional freedoms
of assembly and expression. Bulawayo, the WOZA
stronghold, was seen as an appropriate start to a
series of protests that will roll out around Zimbabwe.
If you wish to contact the Bulawayo Police force to
ask them why they think it is necessary to beat
innocent women, you can reach them on +263 09 72515,
263 09 61706, 263 09 63061, 263 09 69860 (Central
More details will be released when they become
THE ZIMBABWE OF TODAY
Zimbabweans are living in a state of fear and uncertainty. They suffer
discrimination in all its forms and are unable to earn a living. Levels of
poverty are high; unemployment is at 82% and inflation at four figures.
Non-existent service delivery also makes life difficult. Access to
education, housing and other basic needs is now only for the rich. The
HIV/AIDS pandemic, which has created thousands of orphans and child-headed
households, is a social catastrophe compounded by a failed healthcare system
and little or no access to ARVs. Further loss of valuable human resources is
happening due to people leaving the country in large numbers. People have
been unsuccessful at holding their government accountable due to a raft of
repressive laws and shrinking freedom of expression/media space. Corruption
at all levels of government and the politicisation of all aspects of society
has led to chaos and disorganization in every sector.
WHAT IS OUR MISSION
Women and men of WOZA will initiate a non-violent campaign. Our aim is to
mobilise Zimbabweans to demand social justice from their leaders. The time
has come to put the past behind us and start building a better tomorrow. We
will hold existing leaders accountable and mobilise people to the movement
to demand leaders who will deliver all aspects of social justice and a
genuinely people-driven constitution.
WOZA CONSULTING ON SOCIAL JUSTICE
Since January 2006, WOZA has carried out consultations on social justice
across the country. In 284 meetings, almost 10,000 rural and urban people
told us what they want in a new Zimbabwe. We wrote down what they said and
the result is the People's Charter.
This is the Charter below. We want to know what you think about it. Please
read it with your family, friends and community and let us know if you agree
with what is written. If you do, please sign your support for the Charter
and the possibilities it could bring.
THIS CHARTER WAS WRITTEN BY THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE.
AND PEOPLE MUST DEMAND IT. UNITED WE CAN MAKE IT A REALITY.
Let us know what you think about the Charter by writing to us at WOZA/MOZA,
P.O. Box FM 701, Famona, Bulawayo or emailing us at email@example.com
DREAMING OF A NEW ZIMBABWE
THE PEOPLE'S CHARTER
Zimbabweans, united and resolute, announce:
That after 26 years of independence, the freedoms and equal opportunities we
were promised have not been fulfilled;
The dreams we had of a good life - of dignity, comfort and security - have
become nightmares. Zimbabweans must dream once again and turn their dreams
into a living reality.
We must keep in mind, however, that we deserve better and we must not be
afraid to believe that we have the right to a brighter future and we have
the right to contribute to building it.
And therefore, we, the people of Zimbabwe, women, men and children, of all
races, tribes and religions, come together with respect for each other and
as equals to adopt this Charter, knowing that united we can deliver its
And we undertake to work together with strength, courage and hope, until all
Zimbabweans can live in a genuinely democratic country in peace and with
We shall all be Free and Equal
All Zimbabweans shall be equal, regardless of gender, physical ability,
colour, national origin or tribe. Women's and children's rights shall be
promoted and protected;
We shall be educated about the rights and freedoms guaranteed to us by our
Constitution and by international law, both regional and universal; and
shall enjoy them freely;
We shall be free to meet, organise and speak our minds without fear or
People Participating in Governance
People shall be informed of and encouraged to participate fully in all
aspects of how the country is managed and run, fully exercising their rights
Any person born in Zimbabwe shall be allowed to become a citizen of the
country. Birth certificates, national identity documents and passports shall
be easily available for all citizens;
People shall be free to choose the leaders they want, without fear and
intimidation. Leaders at all levels shall be chosen through free and fair
elections, without rigging;
Women must also be encouraged to take up leadership positions to ensure
There shall be an independent electoral supervisory commission to oversee
the conduct of elections and elections shall be monitored by neutral
observers, both local and international;
People shall be free to belong to the political party of their choice and
shall not be discriminated against because of the party they support;
All other arms of government, especially civil servants, police and army,
shall be non-partisan and shall effectively serve the interests of the
The Leaders We Want
All leaders shall be responsible, care for the people they serve and take
their issues and problems to heart, taking action to develop their
Leaders at all levels shall respect all people equally, listen to their
concerns, consult them when making decisions and feedback to them;
Leaders shall understand that they will be held accountable and accept that
the people who elected them have the right to criticise policy;
Leaders at all levels shall publicly renounce corruption and nepotism;
Traditional leaders (chiefs and headmen) shall not be chosen by politicians
but by traditional methods. They shall be non-partisan and stay in the
communities they serve, rather than sit in Parliament.
Justice in the Law
There shall be a new constitution - written by the people of Zimbabwe for
the people of Zimbabwe;
All unjust laws that deny basic freedoms shall be repealed;
There shall be rule of law and no single person will be above the law of the
land and everyone shall have equal access to fair and just treatment under
the legal system. Law breakers will be pursued, prosecuted and punished
without regard to their political affiliation;
The judiciary shall be independent and non-partisan, committed to upholding
the law and promoting a culture of justice;
Prisoners shall be treated with dignity, kept in humane conditions and given
access to rehabilitation. Juveniles will not be treated as adults by the
police, the courts or the prisons.
This Land is our Land
The Land Redistribution Programme needs to start again and land be
distributed fairly to any Zimbabwean - of any colour or gender - who will
use it properly for the benefit of the country;
There shall be respect for property rights;
Farmers shall be helped with loans and inputs, so that they can develop the
Farmers shall receive a fair price for their produce and shall be allowed to
Wealth and Prosperity
Government shall make every effort to bring development, infrastructure and
prosperity to all parts of the country, both rural and urban, equally;
Government shall encourage investment in commerce and industry that shall
create employment and promote prosperity for all Zimbabweans;
Government shall make every effort to control inflation by promoting
Zimbabweans require a transparent and fair system of taxation with feedback
on how their taxes have been spent;
Government shall genuinely act to stamp out corruption and not let it
continue to destroy our economy;
Real currency shall return and our money shall have real value once again.
The Right to Earn a Living
All people shall have the right to earn a living so that they can be
dignified and do not need to rely on handouts to survive;
There shall be enough employment, with decent working conditions and a
liveable wage; equal pay for equal work.
There shall be access to resources to start self-help projects, especially
for youth and widows;
People should also be allowed to trade; licenses and stands shall be fairly
There will be enough food for everyone;
All basic commodities shall be available and affordable. If necessary, there
shall be price controls to make sure that everyone has access to them;
Every person shall have access to decent, affordable housing. Rents shall be
lowered and there shall be respect for property rights;
All areas, both urban and rural, shall have affordable access to the
services necessary for safe, healthy living - clean water, proper sewerage
and sanitation systems and refuse collection;
All areas, both urban and rural, shall have affordable, regular access to
There shall be a regular, affordable public transport system that provides
adequate coverage of all areas of Zimbabwe. The elderly should be allowed
free local travel;
The vulnerable in our society shall be protected; the elderly, widows,
people living with HIV/AIDS, orphans and the disabled shall be properly
cared for by the state;
All people shall have the right to rest, sports and recreation.
Educating the Nation
Every child shall have equal access to an education without any form of
discrimination. Those who cannot afford it shall have access to financial
Primary education shall be free and secondary education affordable as we
were promised in 1980;
All students shall have a good quality education, taught in classrooms with
enough resources - books, desks and equipment.
There shall be enough qualified teachers committed to educating the next
generation. We must respect their contribution enough to give them a living
We Want to be Healthy
There shall be adequate access to good healthcare, which shall be affordable
for all Zimbabweans;
Hospitals and clinics shall have enough medicines and equipment;
Those living with HIV/AIDS shall have adequate access to Anti-Retroviral
medication; those who cannot afford to pay shall be given the medicine and,
if necessary, food aid for free;
The elderly shall not have to pay for medical treatment or medicines.
There shall be enough qualified medical staff committed to treating people
with dignity and care. We must respect their contribution enough to give
them a living wage.
People shall be allowed to die with dignity; burial charges must be
Access to Information
There shall be independent radio stations, newspapers and television
stations that shall provide accurate, independent information;
News reporting shall be balanced, unbiased and all political parties shall
receive equal coverage.
Righting the Wrongs
There should be a meaningful apology made by those responsible for
Gukurahundi and a truthful explanation of why it happened;
Survivors of Gukurahundi and family members of the 'disappeared' should
The pots taken from the Njelele shrine in Matobo, Matabeleland, must be
returned and the desecration reversed with a full apology.
Those affected by Murambatsvina should receive the housing that they were
promised; they should also receive compensation;
Leaders who have looted our wealth through corruption should be brought to
Respect for Culture
All people shall have equal right to use their own language and to observe
their own culture and customs;
Zimbabweans, especially the youth, should be taught their own and other
traditions, so that there can be respect for all different cultures.
Peace and Friendship
Zimbabweans are by nature friendly people - we must once again extend a hand
of friendship to our neighbours, regionally and internationally, so that
they can help us rebuild our beloved Zimbabwe.
LET ALL THOSE WHO LOVE ZIMBABWE JOIN HANDS TO TURN OUR DREAM OF SOCIAL
JUSTICE INTO A REALITY.
Write: Box FM 701, Famona, Bulawayo
WOZA means 'Come forward'. By women for women and with women, across race,
colour, creed, class or political persuasion. Empowering women to be
courageous, caring, committed and in communication with their communities.
16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign
Theme: "Advance Human Rights - End Violence Against Women"
The Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against
Women (CEDAW) defines violence against women as 'any act of gender-based
violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or
mental harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, force or
denial of freedom, whether happening in public or in private life.'
Women of Zimbabwe Arise and Men of Zimbabwe Arise invite all Zimbabweans to
join in this year's 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, from 25
November to 10 December. The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence is
an international movement, which began in 1991. The dates 25 November
(International Day Against Violence Against Women) and 10 December
(International Human Rights Day) were chosen in order to link violence
against women and human rights and to show that such violence is an abuse of
human rights. This year, Zimbabwe will join the rest of the world in
recognising 29 November, which is International Women Human Rights Defenders
OUR SPECIAL DAY!
WHAT SHOULD WE DO: Bang Pots, Make Noise in Protest
WHEN: For 2 minutes at 8pm every night from 25 November to 10 December
WHY? It is a step forward to have the promises of the Domestic Violence Bill
delivered and put an end to state-sponsored violence so that we can
concentrate on rebuilding our country and saving lives…
Medical News Today reports: "The life expectancy for women in Zimbabwe is 34
years, the lowest in the world, according to the World Health Organization's
World Health Report 2006. Men in Zimbabwe have a life expectancy of 37,
according to the report."
Gender Violence in Zimbabwe
Women form 56% of the population in Zimbabwe and usually it is the mother
who must provide food despite the tight budget. We women bear the burden of
the economic hardship. A government official said recently that 60 per cent
of all murders in Zimbabwe were a result of domestic violence, with the
majority of them being women.
The campaign also comes after the passing of the Domestic Violence Bill in
Zimbabwe. The Bill makes domestic violence a crime and covers areas like
economic and mental abuse, threats and pestering. Cultural practices that
shame women, such virginity testing, female genital damage, wife inheritance
and the custom of offering young girls as payment in disputes between
families, will become illegal.
Violence Against Women and HIV/AIDS
According to international studies, violence against women, especially
forced sex, increases women's exposure to HIV infection. Violence and fear
of violence limits a woman's ability to discuss safe sexual behaviour, even
in agreement. Women who are infected with HIV, or who are suspected to be
infected, may also face violence and/or dumped. Fear of violence and shame
can discourage women from seeking information on HIV/AIDS, getting tested
for HIV, disclosing their HIV status and seeking treatment and counselling.
Since violence can affect women's willingness to be tested, it can also have
a negative result on larger HIV control, treatment and prevention
There are three kinds of violence, including state-sponsored violence, that
are causing Zimbabweans to die young: Violence of the FIST, Violence of the
TONGUE and Violence of the HEART.
Help us to expose this violence and hold those who practice it accountable.
Advancing Human Rights
When WOZA was formed in 2003, the founders recognised that it is mothers who
have to find a way to feed their children or to raise the morale in the home
so that the family can be peaceful and happy. So they mobilised and prepared
each other for the burden of state-sponsored violence and continue to
demonstrate against the shortage of basic foods, as well as poor governance
and our children's right to education. Instead of addressing our issues, the
government of Zimbabwe arrests us, beats us up and harasses us. All the
defenders of WOZA and MOZA require are to fully exercise their right to
Freedom of Expression, to Criticise, to Protest and to Freedom of Peaceful
The majority of Zimbabweans fought the liberation war for equality and
freedom of expression. Now state newspapers, television and radio are only
for the tongues of the politically correct. While we know that there is a
need for such a law as the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy
Act (AIPPA), it is the selective application of the law that we object to.
Where are the Daily News, The Tribune and other independent newspapers? Why
is Radio Africa and Studio 7 jammed? Even Smith did not stoop so low as to
jam Radio Chokwadi/Qiniso, broadcast from Mozambique during the liberation
war. What is wrong with our views now - why can we not also hear Radio
Africa and Studio 7? We demand our freedom of expression and we chose to
bang pots at 8pm on purpose - to 'jam' propaganda news of this regime that
does not want us to hear the truth.
Advancing - despite the risks
Although the Domestic Violence Bill could bring some relief to the many
beaten and abused women and men, WOZA, as women human rights defenders in
Zimbabwe, do not have much protection outside their homes. Harsh laws such
as the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) and the Criminal Law
(Codification and Reform) Act continue to hound them. The passing of these
unjust laws, even though most nationalists in government were arrested under
the Law and Order Maintenance Act (LOMA), shows a bad heart on their part.
Through POSA and AIPPA, government thinks it has silenced the people. But
some, like the defenders in WOZA and MOZA, are prepared to disobey what they
see as unjust laws and speak out. Despite POSA, they continue to ACT.
Despite harsh conditions in police cells and ill treatment by cruel
officers, both uniformed and non-uniformed, they continue to SPEAK OUT.
We quote a sister, Rhoda Mashavave, in her an article titled, 'Women pin
hopes on domestic violence bill', from zimbabwejournalists.com, "It is
rather unfortunate, however, that the†Bill will not cover state-sponsored
violence which continues to follow women.†Take a look at the case of Women
of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA),†the resilient women's pressure group. These women
have been on the front position, protesting against high food prices and
human rights abuses in the country. As a result, these women have become
jailbirds as they continue to be arrested each time they hold peaceful
demonstrations. They have been harassed and beaten up by the police in the
No matter what they do to us, WOZA and MOZA will continue to speak out and
act against violence against all Zimbabweans - women, men and children. We
will not suffer in silence. We need you to join us - in the words of one of
WOZA's founders, the late Sheba Dube, "Stand up, unite and call a spade a
STRIKE A WOMAN AND YOU STRIKE A ROCK
JOIN US IN SENDING A MESSAGE TO THE REGIME - MAKE NOISE IN PROTEST
WE WILL NOT SUFFER IN SILENCE - WE ARE NOT HAPPY AND WE WANT YOU TO KNOW IT
8pm every night from 25 November to 10 December
Join WOZA by sending your application letter to P.O. Box FM 701 Famona
Bulawayo. Tell us who you are and why you want to join WOZA. Write in any
local language. Send us a self-addressed with postage stamp for us to send
your Sisterhood Promise. Once you have signed this and posted it to us we
will send you your membership card in the second self-addressed and postage
paid envelope. We will then bring you into our WOZA family.
FROM THE ZIMBABWE VIGIL
CALL TO ACTION:
1. From WOZA
Today (Wednesday, 29th November) WOZA held a peaceful march in Bulawayo to
launch their People's Charter. At least 63 women, 4 men and 6 babies were
arrested. Police used brutal force - several people are hospitalised
including a baby and one woman with a suspected broken leg. WOZA leaders,
Jenni Williams and Magodonga Mahlangu, who visited us at the Vigil in
October last year, are amongst those arrested.
WOZA asks us to contact the Bulawayo Police Force to ask them why they think
it is necessary to beat innocent women. You can reach them on +263 09 72515,
263 09 61706, 263 09 63061, 263 09 69860 (Central Police Station). For a
fuller report, check SW Radio Africa on:
2. From Free-Zim Youth
Demonstration: An appeal SADC and the AU to save Zimbabweans - to defend the
people`s rights not Mugabe's abuses
Date: Monday. 4th December 2006
Time: 12:30 pm - 3 pm
Venue: Chatham House, 10 St James's Square, London SW1Y 4LE
President Armando Guebuza of Mozambique is to address African diplomats in
UK at Chatham House at 1.30 pm on Monday. Join Free-Zim Youth to put
pressure on SADC and the AU to end the human catastrophe in Zimbabwe.
For more information, contact: Alois Mbawara 07960 333 568, Wellington
Chibanguza 07706 868 955, Chipo Chaya 07904 395 496. Email:
3. From SAVE Zimbabwe Campaign
Take five minutes out to join the people of Zimbabwe in the sound of
freedom. Every Wednesday, between 1 pm and 1.25 pm - Four weeks of
- Whistle for justice.
- Hoot your horn for an end to shortages.
- Clap your hands for freedom from oppressive laws.
- Beat your pots and pans for an end to hunger.
- Shout for a new home-grown constitution.
- Pray for five minutes for salvation of Zimbabwe
Let Zimbabwe reverberate with the loud, sweet sound of freedom and
resistance. Lunch hour will never be the same!
SAVE Zimbabwe Campaign is a broad alliance of civic groups, churches and
political parties who are working together for the salvation of Zimbabwe.
Our noise is a symbol of our distress at the way Zimbabwe has been governed
and a cry of hope for transformation. Contact the SAVE Zimbabwe Campaign
Task Force at: Tel: +263-9-883414/5, +263-4-703474/738920, Email:
The vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place
every Saturdays from 14.00 - 18.00 to protest against gross violations of
human rights by the current regime in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in
October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair
elections are held in Zimbabwe. http://www.zimvigil.co.uk.
'Our society is infected by apathy, hypocrisy, petit bourgeois egotism, and
hidden cruelty. The majority of the representatives of its upper stratum -
the Party apparatus of the government and the highest, most successful
layers of the intelligentsia - cling tenaciously to their to their open
and secret privileges and are profoundly indifferent to the violations of
human rights, the interests of progress, to the security and future of
Who is writing and about what society? The reader may well recognize strong
elements fitting a description of Zimbabwe to day. In fact it is Andrei
Sakharov, the Russian nuclear physicist who played a major part in
developing the hydrogen bomb, writing in 1971 to Leonid Brezhnev, the ruler
of the Soviet Union at the time. Sakharov started out as a privileged member
of the Soviet elite but came to think his way out of the system and ended as
one of its most effective critics. In his early life he put his whole heart
and mind into giving the Soviets a weapon that would make them a world
power. But he came to see that this power was going nowhere and he
questioned it with the same energy he had used to build it.
Sakharov described the reality of life in the Soviet Union against the light
of the international treaties that that same Union had signed. In particular
he pointed to the UN Declaration of Human Rights shaming his government by
pointing to the gap between the reality and its propaganda. As a result the
secret service, the KGB, became obsessed with Sakharov, devoting huge energy
to tracking his every move and word. As the economy crumbled in the 1980s
and their soldiers died in Afghanistan, the 15 busy old men in the politburo
found time to discuss whether Sakharov's wife should be allowed to travel
abroad for an eye operation.
What the Soviet leaders feared was the power of his ideas: 'the country's
spiritual regeneration,' he wrote, 'demands the elimination of those
conditions that drive people into hypocrisy and time-serving and that lead
to feelings of impotence, discontent and disillusionment.' Sakharov and his
fellow 'dissidents' represented a threat to the Soviet Union more powerful
than the bomb he had helped to create. And in fact, despite the propaganda,
the indoctrination in schools and universities and press restrictions, most
educated Russians abandoned Marxism in the early 1990s virtually overnight.
As our economy crumbles and our people die of the effects of poverty and
hunger what is our politburo discussing? How to sort out inflation once and
for all? How to empower people to rekindle the dying embers of the economy?
Or are they simply discussing who is responsible for the importing of fake
Gideon Gono will probably be disgusted to know that his latest acquisitions
by way of mechanical equipment for the agricultural sector have become a
major source of huge fights among the national looters. The very big ones,
the ones with the political muscles, have already laid claim to some of
these machines, not so much for the purpose of increasing agricultural
productivity for the nation, but for hire to those who may be stupid enough
to try and undertake agricultural activities seriously. Gono's combine
harvesters are indeed the latest toys for the corruption gurus in Zimbabwe.
But in this contribution I wish to focus more on what Mugabe thinks is
clever political engineering on his part, but is merely kleptocracy run wild
in my view. Most people will remember that towards the end of his tenure of
office in the rotten Mugabe regime, Eddison Zvobgo was appointed Minister
Without Portfolio. We all knew that this was Mugabe's way of punishing
Zvobgo for daring to be outspoken about many issues pertaining to democracy,
justice and good governance in Zimbabwe.
What most of us seem not to have realised is that the cunning old man,
Mugabe, later took advantage of this senseless arrangement to appoint the
Zanu (PF) national political commissar, Elliot Manyika to the same position
for purely partisan purposes.
As cabinet Minister without Portfolio, Manyika drives a government vehicle,
receives all the perks and other benefits befitting a cabinet minister,
while doing absolutely nothing of national relevance. Manyika's job
description is strictly Zanu (PF) party business. The idiot even receives a
government salary for doing party business. In other words, the nation is
paying Manyika's salary and other benefits while he is merely doing his
decaying political party's business.
Mugabe thinks that he is the cleverest African president on the continent.
Some of us know that Mugabe is Africa's worst dictator, who never has a
conscience about abusing state resources for his personal and partisan
advantage. The shamelessness of his actions in appointing Manyika at state's
expense boggles the mind, indeed.
Once upon a time there was this ugly monster that used to be called the
Ministry of Political Affairs. Some of us in the civic sector fought very
hard against this ministry since it was clearly a sort of Zanu (PF)
secretariat. Mugabe claimed that he had abolished that ministry, but in its
place he created the notorious ministry of women's affairs, youth and
employment creation, or something to that effect. This entity was also
tasked with activities that benefited mainly, if not only, Zanu (PF) at the
expense of the whole nation. I personally think that Mugabe is allergic to
justice, honesty, transparency and good governance.
The abuse goes further than just appointing Manyika and creating dubious
ministries. Right now Goromonzi High School is a hive of activities by
virtually all state departments, parastatals and statutory bodies that have
nothing to do with Zanu (PF). They are all working very hard preparing for
the December consultative conference of the Mugabe party. National resources
are being used to ensure that those who will attend the feeding frenzy will
gore themselves to their satisfaction.
They might even be able to carry some leftovers home at the end of the
feast. What they will discuss at the conference will not, in any way benefit
this country. We need to remember that Zanu (PF) is now generally comprised
of men and women that are bereft of ideas and solutions for the numerous
problems facing Zimbabwe. Sooner rather than later, Zimbabweans will have to
put en end to all this nonsense. There is no alternative to regime change.
HARARE - Retired Army General Solomon Mujuru has been fingered as the
mastermind behind manoeuvres by a British-registered company to assume
control of rich diamond claims discovered recently in Marange area, on the
eastern border of Zimbabwe.
Sources from Mutare say that the company, fronted by one Warnswick and
trading under the name African Consolidated Resources but owned by top Zanu
(PF) and army chefs, has elbowed out De Beers, the South African-based
conglomerate company contracted to exploit the deposits.
More than 80 retired soldiers and police officers have been recruited to
guard the area as it emerged that top army and police officers have an
interest in the claims.
The powerful former liberation war fighter, husband of the vice president,
is reportedly using his military and political muscle to intimidate
opponents in the lucrative project and has contracted a company to fence off
He could not be reached for comment as the person who answered to his phone
said he was not in the country.
But Mines and Development deputy minister, Tinos Rusere, denies the company
has been granted a licence to exploit the area, saying no one has been given
a licence yet as his ministry is still deliberating on the deal.
The source said it would need President Robert Mugabe's intervention to end
the imbroglio as Makoni MP and Mugabe's confidante, Didymus Mutasa, has
teamed up with Manicaland governor Tinei Chigudu to prevent any intrusion by
outsiders, saying the claims should benefit the people of Manicaland.
About 15 000 people thronged the place last month as word spread that
diamond deposits had been discovered. More than 600 police officers have now
cordoned off most parts of Marange to prevent outsiders from entering.
South African-registered vehicles are to be seen parked along the nearby
highway, as villagers dodge police to sell diamonds in foreign currency. -
*Fired troops file class action *Green bombers recruited
BY GIFT PHIRI
HARARE - The elite Presidential Guard is being purged of professionals and
turned into a loyalist corps of quasi-military militia, pumped full of
A political purge targeting "unpatriotic soldiers" in the battalion has come
to light in an acrimonious District Court Martial lawsuit brought by sacked
rifleman Private Paul Chinyai, Force Number 807490F, against the commander
of the Presidential Guard, Colonel Sanyatwa.
Court documents in our possession reveal that factional plotting over the
past year has sparked the drive to discharge "unpatriotic soldiers"
replacing them with the overzealous graduands from the infamous Border Gezi
National Youth Service Training.
The court battle, which is being presided over by Court Martial Judge
President, Major Takururirwa and Judge Advocate Captain Maposa, has provided
intricate details of Mugabe's secret plan to transform the elite battalion
into his private army.
Details emerged in the 2 Brigade Harare District Court Martial this week, as
Private Chinyai, who was one of Mugabe's top snipers, fought off his
"unlawful and unfair" dismissal from the 1 Presidential Guard, State House
According to documents obtained by The Zimbabwean, Private Chinyai was
dismissed on charges of being AWOL for 97 days. He is challenging this on
the grounds that he had not wilfully gone AWOL but had fallen ill and his
superiors were fully briefed. Despite protesting his innocence he was given
a 90-day solitary confinement at Brady Barracks in Bulawayo. After being
discharged early on health reasons, he returned to his unit but the
authorities refused to accept him as a member of the Presidential Guard.
Another class action from other sacked troops is currently before the army's
lawyers at the Directorate of Legal Service.
The purge has targeted mostly the ranks of young privates and
non-commissioned officers who have been dismissed for various flimsy reasons
ranging from indiscipline, compromised loyalty and mutinous behaviour.
Sources in the discharge section of the 80-strong 1 Presidential Guard said
30 troops had been forced to quit since January and immediately replaced by
Judge President Major Takururirwa ruled that Private Chinyai be reinstated
and his ill health assessed by a Medical Board, but Sanyatwa, who has vowed
to block the return of Chinyai and other sacked soldiers, has ignored the
Chinyai, represented by prominent human rights lawyer Tafadzwa Mugabe of the
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, has now written to Army Commander, Major
General Phillip Valerio Sibanda and copied the letter to the Minister of
Defence Sydney Sekeramayi, and to the Civil Division of Attorney General's
office giving them a "notice of intention to sue." No response had been
noted at the time of going to print.
HARARE - Economists have said the National Incomes and Pricing Commission
Bill, currently before Parliament, which will allow government to fix the
prices of various goods below the cost of what they cost to produce, will
result in empty shelves.
President Robert Mugabe, himself a staunch proponent of price fixing, argues
that "runaway market forces" are leading a "vicious, all-out assault on the
He decries the modern trend of "banishing the state from the public sphere
for the benefit of big business."
Two weeks ago Mugabe was told by a visiting IMF delegation, led by Africa
executive director Peter Gakunu, that government has to balance its budget
on the backs of the poor.
Having told the IMF to "go to hell" Mugabe blatantly disregarded the advice
and is going ahead with his law to fix prices of goods below the cost of
The official estimate is that Zimbabwe's budget deficit will be about 14
percent of GDP this year; the government is frantically borrowing and
printing money to cover the shortfall. Inflation is now 1,070 percent, and
it is predicted to top 4,500 percent next year.
Mugabe argues that greedy businessmen cause price rises. His solution is
And he has brought the National Incomes and Pricing Commission Bill to
Parliament which provides for the establishment of a National Incomes and
Pricing Commission. The Commission's mandate will be to develop pricing
models for goods and services produced in Zimbabwe with a view to balancing
the viability of products and the incomes and welfare needs of the people of
The Commission will be a fully-fledged parastatal with power to make by-laws
covering a limited field, but price control regulations will continue to be
made under the Control of Goods Act, albeit on the recommendation of or
after consultation with the Commission. The Commission's staff will include
inspectors who will also function as inspectors for the purposes of the
Control of Goods Act.
Matters currently provided for in regulations made under the Control of
Goods Act are covered in the Bill, such as refusal to sell goods; display of
prices of goods on sale and conditional selling.
Economists warn that the retailers will simply stop selling the controlled
goods and "they will simply stock their shelves with toilet paper, or try to
dodge price controls by modifying their products".
For example, since bread was price-controlled, bakers have added raisins to
their dough and called it "raisin bread", which was not on the list.
Financial analyst Witness Chinyama said through the new law, government will
be empowered to extend price controls to practically everything, from
typewriters to babies' nappies.
Some things have to be imported, however, and it is hard to prevent
foreigners from profiteering.
Mugabe is anxious that petrol, for example, should be affordable; otherwise,
people will not be able to get to work. A strong currency should help, so he
has frozen the exchange rate for the past six months, and denounced as a
"saboteur" anybody who suggests devaluation. Amid a crippling forex
shortage, to keep Zimbabwe supplied with petrol, the distribution of which
is a state monopoly, the central bank chief announced a clampdown on the
black market: all money transfer agencies are to be shut. Central Bank chief
Gideon Gono immediately asked expatriate Zimbabweans to remit money home via
the central bank's HomeLink scheme, whose exchange rate is fixed, and will
confiscate almost all of it.
Zimbabweans in the diaspora prefer informal channels, such as Internet-based
firms that accept cash offshore and issue friends and relatives back in
Zimbabwe with local currency or vouchers for supermarkets.
The National and Incomes Commission Bill is expected to be passed by
Parliament without amendment.
Heads will roll, promises Mangwana
BY BAYETHE ZITHA
BEITBRIDGE - Some high-ranking police officers have been accused of
master-minding a smuggling ring operating between Zimbabwe and South Africa.
Highly-placed sources within the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) at this
small border town alleged that Deputy Commissioner Innocent Matibiri, who is
also President Robert Mugabe's nephew, Criminal Investigations Department's
Officer Commanding, Stephen Mutamba, Assistant Commissioner Justice
Chengeta, who are all based in Harare, Matabeleland North's Officer
Commanding, Edmore Veterai and Superintendent Bethel Magora, who is based at
the border town, were all involved.
The senior officers are also accused of having threatened unspecified action
against some ZIMRA officials said to be accused of "disturbing their
business" through arresting the smugglers and seizing their goods.
"Matibiri's and Mutamba's (syndicates) smuggle mostly boxes of Savanna and
Remmington Gold cigarettes into South Africa. When they come back, they
bring electrical goods, washing soap and cooking oil," alleged the source.
"While in most cases they use civilians to do the job for them, they
sometimes send junior officers in police vehicles across the border, knowing
that our staff will not them," said an immigration department official at
the border post.
"Some smugglers whom we have arrested told us that the goods do not belong
to them but to police chefs. W did not believe them at first. After
realising that police vehicles were also being misused to carry smuggled
goods, we began a thorough search and have recovered a lot of goods," said
"Two weeks ago, we had seized one of the vehicles after finding 15 boxes of
cooking oil and 14 of washing soap in it. The two police juniors warned us
that we would pay for our actions, telling us that the soap belonged to
Mutamba. The following day we were phoned by Mutamba threatening to deal
with us. Some police officers who belong to the CID and the Police Internal
Security Intelligence (PISI), who are usually deployed along the border to
assist us in arresting smugglers have also warned us that Matibiri was
threatening to use his authority to have us transferred from the post. They
also told us that they were being told by their commanders to set traps and
catch us so that they get rid of the troublesome lot," said the source.
Fearing for their jobs the officials say that they immediately released the
vehicle and the boxes, disregarding the normal procedure, which requires the
owner of seized goods to write a letter justifying why the goods should be
released. This usually happens after a period of three months from the date
of seizure of the goods.
One of the senior ZIMRA officers at the border post, who has been singled
out victimisation, is said to have written a letter to the Minister of
Finance and carbon copied it to the Minsters of Home Affairs and
Anti-corruption, citing the abuse of authority by the police officers about
a week ago.
Finance Minister, Hebert Murerwa would neither confirm nor deny the reports,
but vowed that his staff would continue its fight against corruption and
would arrest whoever is found breaking the law.
"There is no going back on this and all those involved should know it. My
staff will not be harassed by anyone into submission. They are there to
perform their duties and that is what they will do. I am glad you have even
seen it for yourself," he said.
Anti-corruption Minister, Paul Mangwana, though not willing to give names,
confirmed "receiving reports of high-ranking civil servants" who are abusing
their authority to harass ZIMRA officials into allowing them to smuggle
goods, saying that he would soon set his anti-corruption team on them.
"We have names that I cannot release at the moment and they are of people
holding positions of authority within the civil service, who are behind
corruption especially at border posts. That is why I have warned that they
will all be dealt with. There is nothing that the ZIMRA officials should
fear as long as they do their jobs with the country's interests at heart. We
will not be arm-twisted by anyone because we have the mandate of the
president in this. I tell you heads will roll soon," he said.
Police spokesman, Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena refused to comment
on the matter, referring The Zimbabwean to the "Officers involved"..
Mutamba rubbished the accusations, saying they were the work of his enemies
who did not want to see him achieve within the ZRP.
"I would not stoop so low. I have everything that I need and corruption is
not one of the ways that I achieved them, so stop wasting my time with such
malicious accusations," he said.
HARARE - Shearwater Adventures is faced with protest from wildlife activists
campaigning for a boycott of its flagship adventure tourism investment in
A group calling itself Zimactivism has been sending e-mails to tour
operators asking them not to sell Nakavongo Range as a tourist destination
due to the company's unspeakably cruel and traumatizing manner in which it
is handling wildlife.
The storm of condemnation follows the death in captivity of four juvenile
elephants captured in the Hwange National Park by Shearwater Adventures for
use in its elephant back safaris and for elephant interaction experiences.
While Shearwater claims in its brochures that the elephants it uses for its
elephant-back safaris are rescued orphans, they are in actual fact young
elephants who have been stolen from their families.
"Whilst Nakavongo Range is beautiful, one can't say the same for its owners
ShearWater Adventures and its activities," Zimactivism says. "Encourage a
Shearwater boycott - become actively involved in a 'Shame Nakavongo Range
Campaign'. In Zimbabwe you can make a difference . get involved. There are a
variety of alternative holiday resorts. Make sure your friends in South
Africa know the situation," the group says.
Based in Victoria Falls, Shearwater Adventures boasts a variety of adventure
activities including bungi jumping, white water rafting and walking with
lions among others.
Zimactivism is encouraging people to send protests to tour operators in
South Africa and the UK who market Zimbabwe.
The International Fund for Animal Welfare, the Zimbabwe National Society for
the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Zimbabwe Conservation Taskforce
have all roundly condemned Shearwater for attempting to domesticate animals
by taking them away from their families.
However, Shearwater's office in Victoria Falls this week scoffed at the
campaign saying it had no bearing on tourist arrivals at the Range.
"It is the quality that endures at the end of the day," said a company
spokesman who declined to be named. "Nakavongo is the best range in the
country and is recognised as such by travellers who do not want to bring
politics into their holiday. Our bookings are full and continue to swell
because we are the best. These people (leading the campaign) should reveal
themselves if they want us to take them seriously," he said.
"Shearwater is the flavour of this industry and people can say whatever they
want. But if all these allegations are true, why hasn't Shearwater been
prosecuted?" the spokesman asked.
WOLVERHAMPTON - Zanu (PF) agents infiltrated a recent meeting of the
Movement for Democratic Change Wolverhampton Branch and photographed
The branch chairman, Charles Masawi, told The Zimbabwean that at first he
had thought the men were simply disagreeing with what was being said at the
"We are prepared to tolerate dissenting views," he said. "But then they grew
more and more noisy and disruptive. They were photographing everybody with
their cell-phones and then ended up assaulting the vice chair, Kumbirayi
Machekanyanga, when he said that Robert Mugabe had destroyed Zimbabwe."
Masawi later discovered that the leader of the group was one Felix
Nyamayaro, of 251 Deans Road in Wolverhampton.
"I was surprised to learn that a lot of people in Wolverhampton know that he
a Zanu (PF) agent working for the CIO," said Masawi.
The thugs pushed, dragged and verbally assaulted Machekanyanga severely.
"If it not been for the timely intervention of the owner of that place and
his security officers, my deputy might have been hurt badly, if not killed,"
said a distressed Masawi. The treasurer, Theresa Sande Daniels, was also
harassed and threatened and told not to be associated with MDC at all, or
she would face the consequences.
The matter was reported to the local police who are investigating the case.
During the days following the meeting, several people began to receive
offensive text messages about the branch. Some of the messages read:
"MDC Wolverhampton Musangano wemahure", "MDC Wolverhampton. A good cause
overtaken by prostitutes. Who would want to see his proper wife there
honestly," "Sexy Wolverhampton MDC destroys families. Pass it on."
This also has been reported to the police.
Masawi said the organising secretary, Judith Mutsvairo, also received
threatening messages from Nyamayaro telling her not to be involved with the
"What really disgust me is that most of our members are refugees who are
running away from persecution from Zanu (PF) agents in Zimbabwe have now
been followed to the UK. When will this barbaric, inhuman behaviour of Zanu
(PF) ever end?" said Masawi.
HARARE - Multilateral agencies and conservation groups are refusing to fund
the Zimbabwean component of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, one of
Africa's most ambitious conversation project, because of the lawlessness of
President Robert Mugabe's regime.
Industry sources said the World Bank, the European Union and other
conversation groups have refused funding "until things change politically in
Without foreign currency reserves of its own, the Zimbabwean government has
not been able to spend any money on new infrastructure urgently needed to
allow tourists to visit the Zimbabwean sector of the park.
The government was eager to boost tourist inflows during the 2010 World Cup
showcase by promoting the Zimbabwe component of the park.
The park is to straddle three international borders, uniting game areas in
South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe into one seamless reserve through
which tourists would move without passport requirements. At 13,500 square
miles, the park is billed as the second biggest transfrontier park in Africa
and potentially one of the continent's richest wildlife areas. But while
work is proceeding apace on uniting the South African component, the Kruger
Park, and the Mozambican element, an old hunting concession called Coutada
16, Zimbabwe has been left behind.
"The problem is the funding, because Zimbabwe has no money of its own and
the foreign funders refuse to give any backing because of what is going on
there," said Prof Willem van Riet, one of the park's main backers.
Under the Mugabe regime there has been a surge in wildlife poaching and the
country's Gonarezhou national park, which was to have been its contribution
to the new game reserve, has been partly invaded by illegal squatters.
Industry officials say Zimbabwe's de facto expulsion from the project
represents an embarrassment for Thabo Mbeki, the South African president,
who has sought to present the park as a good example of co-operation between
The Zimbabwean was told that road network on the South African side is very
extensive in the Kruger Park but millions of pounds will be needed to create
similar infrastructure in Mozambique. The German government has provided
around £9 million for the project as long as it is spent in South Africa and
Mozambique and not Zimbabwe.
Two shipments of animals from the Kruger Park have already been relocated to
the Mozambican sector, which has very few animals because of years of civil
war, hunting and poaching. Ten out of 29 elephants moved to Mozambique did
not like their new surroundings, however, and trekked for more than 100
miles back to the South African sector, according to Van Riet.
Zimbabwe Council for Tourism CEO Paul Matamisa said there was a need for a
separate budget from line ministries to cater for the transfrontier park if
Zimbabwe is to get any spin-offs from the World Cup set to be hosted by
South Africa in 2010.
"Zimbabwe is basically being left behind because of what is going on there
at the political level," a senior conservation source said. "It is a great
pity but until things change politically Zimbabwe will not be involved in
PARIS - The legality of Zimbabwe's chaotic and often violent land
resettlement programme will come under the international spotlight here in
two weeks' time when the dispute between 15 aggrieved Dutch farmers and the
Zimbabwe government goes to arbitration.
The farmers, whose operations were protected by an international investment
agreement between the Netherlands and Zimbabwe, are suing the Mugabe regime
for the loss of their land, their assets and their livelihoods.
This test case will open the way for thousands of other displaced commercial
farmers to sue the government for the loss of their property.
The government has said it will not pay for the land, but only for
improvements. It has been advertising recently in the state-controlled media
for affected farmers "to contact them as a matter of urgency in connection
with their compensation".
International lawyers have advised the farmers not to respond to this as
government was offering to pay them only 10% of the real value of their
They say the government has not complied with the applicable legislation in
assessing compensation and the notice published in the newspapers was
"We remain of the opinion that unless farmers are desperate and are prepared
to accept about 10% of the value, then they should wait," advised the
The International Centre for the Settlement of Disputes (ICSID), which is
normally based in Washington, will meet in Paris on December 15. The first
hearing will be by a tribunal of three arbitrators - Dean Ron Cass, a
notable legal man and a citizen of the USA appointed by the farmers, the
Minister of Justice of Pakistan appointed by Zimbabwe, and Judge Gilbert
Guillaume of France as Chairman. Judge Guillaume is a former President of
the International Court of Justice and is a designee of the Government of
France to the ICSID Panel of Arbitrators
At this hearing they will set a timetable for the parties to present written
submissions, and for the actual hearing.
Security minister Didymus Mutasa has said in the past that the international
agreements were not worth the paper on which they were signed. - Own
HARARE - Heads of parastatals and government departments, most
of them retired soldiers, have recommended that only "patriotic Zimbabweans"
work for the civil service in a move slammed as a political witch-hunt
exercise aimed at getting rid of opposition supporters.
The heads of parastatals have asked the Public Service
Commission that anyone working for or wanting to join the civil service
should be tested on their level of loyalty to the ruling Zanu (PF) party.
Prospective entrants who fail the test will not be employed. Those who are
already employed could be dismissed.
In varied responses to the Reserve Bank's demand for details
from government departments on the causes for the crippling inefficiency in
parastatals, the retired soldiers blamed the disorganization in government
companies on the lack of patriotism within the civil service.
This latest move adds to criticism already levelled at the
Zimbabwean government, which has recently been in the news for denying food
aid to starving opposition supporters. A quarter of the country's population
is currently in need of urgent help. According to Mariyawanda Nzuwa,
Secretary of the Public Service Commission, there are too many people
working in the civil service who are not committed to the ruling party and
government. This, said Nzuwa, cannot continue - hence the new stringent
tests beginning next year.
Nicholas Goche, Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social
Welfare, is already said to have submitted proposals to the government to
introduce measures to assess the suitability of those wanting to join the
civil service. The same measures for joining are also likely to apply for
Details of how the assessment will be conducted have not yet
been given. But for the estimated 160,000 civil servants, including teachers
and nurses, it may be prudent to buy a ruling party card and start
practising the party slogans to remain employed. Recalling names of senior
Zanu (PF) officials may be an added advantage. The new measures have not
gone down well with the main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC), or some civil servants.
Two government workers told The Zimbabwean the new measures
would fail as they would simply fake support for the ruling party. According
to Paurina Mpariwa, the MDC's secretary for Labour and Social Security,
civil servants must be loyal to the nation and not to a political party. The
government has also introduced a national service for youths stipulating
that all students admitted into government tertiary colleges should first
undergo a six-month training exercise which critics say is little less than
BY PAUL PALATI
CHIKOMBEDZI - People in the Chikombedzi area are facing rapidly worsening
transport problems due to the escalating shortage of fuel and the chaotic
state of roads in their area.
Residents say many roads in the area are in a shocking condition and so
dusty that it is dangerous to use them for fear of accidents. The roads are
not maintained by the roads department and are so uneven and full of
potholes that it is difficult for vehicles to travel at a reasonable speed
without suffering serious damage.
Motorists avoid using roads in the area and vehicles like buses are seldom
seen. This has opened up the way for unscrupulous and unlicensed drivers to
move in and offer the only means of transport in the area with their
"We are sick and tired of these conmen who use their moving coffins to take
advantage of us," said Patrick Mapengo, one of the residents facing
According to residents, these unlicensed drivers and their un-roadworthy
vehicles are the main cause of accidents in the area. "These greedy gold
diggers milk us as much as they can because they know we are desperate for
transport," said Mapengo. They also frequently overload vehicles or
overcharge passengers for short distances. The chaotic state of the roads
also contributes to accidents.
Government vehicles refuse to use roads in the area thus reducing the
availability of public transport. Residents say the government is ignoring
them and does not care. Instead, the government is favoring the use of
tarred roads. All the buses were transferred to ZUPCO Zimbabwe United
Passenger Company) which also does not operate in the area.
Residents also say their area has become a popular hunting ground for
politicians who make generous promises, especially during elections
campaigns, to provide food, employment and new infrastructure. Although
grievances were raised with Aaron Baloyi, the MP in the area, people were
only made false promises before he died earlier this year.
HARARE - Zimbabwe's state-owned Grain Marketing Board (GMB) has ordered
farmers to deliver their stocks of maize and grain within two weeks or it
will seize them. Farmers were "directed to deliver all maize and wheat in
their possession to the nearest receiving GMB depot within 14 days from the
date of this invoice", the board, which has a monopoly on grain trade, said
The GMB has the sole legal right to import and export maize and wheat in
Zimbabwe. The UN World Food Programme and international donors have
criticised the GMB's monopoly of the grain trade and urged the government to
relax controls so that food imports could reach the country more quickly.
Commercial farmers say that government supporters who have seized the farms
have left grain to rot in the fields.
"On one farm alone, one family lost 600ha of wheat after they were chased
off their farm," said a spokesperson for Justice for Agriculture, a lobby
group of white commercial farmers. Zimbabwe's supreme court has reserved
judgment on a local company's challenge against the GMB monopoly over all
trade in the staple maize. Frontline Marketing has asked the country's
highest court to terminate the GMB's monopoly and allow other players to
trade in maize and wheat.
Zimbabwe's attorney-general, Sobusa Gula-Ndebele, told the court the
instrument was necessary to protect consumers against profiteering in sales
of the scarce commodities. "In order to meet the objective of ensuring
equitable distribution of maize at an affordable price, it is necessary to
control the marketing of maize as prescribed by the (GMB) act," he said.
HARARE - Water taps in several suburbs of the city - both high and
low-income areas - have run dry. Some residents in the poor suburbs of
Epworth and Kambuzuma were fetching water from streams and shallow wells
weekend, posing a health hazard.
In Harare's upmarket suburb of Borrowdale on Monday some households were
using buckets of water from wells.
"More suburbs will be without water in the coming days," the city council
has warned. The problem is being blamed on the lack of foreign currency to
purchase water purifying chemicals. Reports suggest that water rationing
could be in place by the end of the month.
Percy Toriro, Harare's city council spokesman said they had been told by
ZINWA that the water crisis was the result of shortages in water purifying
chemical Ecol 2000, the chemical used to kill harmful algae in the water
"All of the affected areas can expect the resumption of normal water
supplies later this week. But even though the central bank has provided more
than $500,000, it certainly does not meet the requirements of the water
reticulation-upgrading programme in the city. We have also experienced a
shortages of lime (required to reduce the acidity of the water), but our UK
supplier has promised to deliver a further 200 mt by Tuesday next week,"
Where has all the fuel gone?
Elsewhere in this newspaper we carry a story about the dire fuel shortages -
just a few days after President Robert Mugabe returned from a state visit to
Iran, boasting that he had secured a fuel deal with his hosts.
This is not the first time we have heard of a new fuel supply deal - but the
fuel never seems to flow into the long pipeline from Beira to Harare. If
the state-controlled press, which is quick to trumpet them, is to be
believed, there have been many other such deals - with Libya, Angola,
Venezuela, Kuwait, Sudan, Nigeria, China and Equatorial Guinea.
Every time such a headline appears, boot-licking commentators are effusive
in their praise for Mugabe's economic miracle-working prowess and the
success of his Look East policy. But the fuel queues never end.
Somehow, the wonder deals are just too good to be true and the fuel, if
there ever was any in the first place, never trickles down to the service
stations to become available to the person in the street.
Zimbabweans are perfectly justified in asking whether these so-called
fuel-sourcing foreign trips are of any benefit to the country. It would seem
they merely benefit a few individuals at the top of the food chain.
The queues get longer and longer. Sometimes it seems the only thing moving
is Mugabe's official cavalcade.
Support for Zanu (PF) unpatriotic
There have been several disturbing reports of Zanu (PF) zealots turning the
civil service and the armed forces into a party political outfit. From next
year the civil service will start conducting the so-called patriotism
testing - in other words. a test of Zanu (PF) loyalty.
The army and the police are recruiting only Border Gezi-trained thugs. And
now the school of journalism at the Harare Polytechnic, will follow suit.
This is a dangerous development. The wholesale politicisation of national
institutions to the exclusion of the majority of Zimbabweans, who no longer
support the ruling party, jeopardizes our very nationhood. It must be
resisted at all costs.
Patriotism and support for Zanu (PF) are not the same thing at all.
In fact, supporting Zanu (PF) is unpatriotic.
JOHANNESBURG - Continued violations of human rights, bad governance,
election rigging and press muzzling in most Southern African Development
Community (SADC) countries has necessitated the publication of the
book-"Outside the Ballot Box", launched here last week.
Outside the Ballot Box, edited by Jeanette Minnie, was published by the
Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) in conjunction with the
Netherlands Institute of Southern Africa (NIZA), the Humanist Institute for
Co-operation Development (HIVOS) and the Open Society Initiative for
Southern Africa (OSISA) respectively.
It contains contributions from 14 authors from nine African and two European
countries on the state of democratisation in the southern Africa, with
Zimbabwe featuring promptly.
The authors emphasise controversial subjects like strategies for change in
Zimbabwe, the growth of poverty and shack dweller protests in South Africa
and the disposition of liberation movements as governments.
At the launch Minnie urged Africa and the SADC region to tackle such
critical issues of bad governance, free and fair elections, respect of the
rule of law, peace and stability as the basis for democracy.
She urged men and women of Africa to keep fighting for all these to be
achieved, though she admitted that it was a long process to total freedom. -
BY JIMMY PHELANDS
GABORONE - Xenophobia-driven brutalities committed against Zimbabweans in
Botswana are orchestrated by the members of the Botswana Police Service and
the traditional chiefs, CAJ News can reveal.
An estimated 6 000 Zimbabweans were severely assaulted in Botswana during
September and October this year, some of them sustaining permanent injuries.
Botswana's Police Service has a paramilitary wing called Special Support
Group (SSG), which deals with cases of violence and undertakes border
The semi-literate SSG police squad manning the Botswana-Zimbabwe border told
CAJ News that they were assigned to shoot first to any Zimbabwean seen in
Botswana before asking questions later. There was no immediate comment from
the Botswana Police Commissioner, Edwin Batsu, who was said to be out of
office when CAJ News phoned him.
"This country must treat us fairly because we are managing their economy,"
said Mafa Ndiweni, an international haulage truck driver.
Recently, Sibongile Ndlovu, a pregnant women from Bulawayo, died at a
rail-road crossing in Francistown when she allegedly jumped from a
stationary police vehicle taking her and other illegal immigrants to Gerald
Holding Centre, a concentration camp building along the lines of the South
African Lindela Holding Centre.
When Senior Assistant Commissioner Mazwiduma, who commands the Francistown
and the Northern Region was contacted for a comment, his office referred
this reporter to the National Police Spokesperson Senior Superintendent
Solomon Mantswe whose office refused to comment.
Botswana Police routinely arrest Zimbabweans in the capital, Gaborone, and
transport them to distant rural areas where the traditional chiefs sentence
them to lashing in the most brutal manner.
"The Magistrates Courts are manned by Zimbabweans, so they are hesitant to
take us there because of the possibility of a fair trial," said a taxi
driver from Plumtree.
In a court case still pending in Gaborone, six soldiers of the Botswana
Defence Force have been remanded in custody for having forced 10 Zimbabwean
women and men to have sexual contacts against their will. The Zimbabweans
complied after a thorough beating by the soldiers.
Geographically Botswana shares a 624-km boundary with Zimbabwe. A few years
ago, the Botswana authorities began construction of an electrified fence
along this border under the disguise of controlling the spread of foot and
The erection of the high voltage fence started in Shashi area two years ago
is almost complete. However, it has been suspended after reaching Plumtree
Border Post because of vandalism by the locals and the massive costs
Botswana has a population of 1.5 million people. More than 90 percent of its
health institutions are manned by Zimbabweans. Sixty percent of the schools
are run by Zimbabwean teachers. Eighty percent of the construction and
transport sectors are run by Zimbabweans.
According to the World Health Organizations Southern Africa's AIDS
statistics, Botswana's labour force 400 000 is 60 percent hit by the
virus. - CAJ News
JOHANNESBURG - Forty delegates from 35 civic society groups resolved to
continue the fight for a new democratic dispensation in Zimbabwe and to hold
an international Zimbabwe Diaspora Conference in Johannesburg in
The Zimbabwe Diaspora Civic Society Organisations Forum AGM here on Saturday
emphasized its vision for a democratic Zimbabwean society where all citizens
are able to participate in the decision-making processes that have an impact
on their lives, be it at home or abroad.
Delegates also resolved to set up or strengthen a number of committees
including gender, HIV/Aids, Policy and advocacy, and humanitarian. They also
noted with concern the need for an urgent solution to the plight of
Zimbabwean refugees in South Africa, and tasked the Humanitarian Committee
to meet the Central Methodist Church leadership and the Department of Home
Affairs. - Own correspondent
JOHANNESBURG - The Zimbabwe Pastor's Forum (ZPF) in South Africa says it has
been infiltrated by enemies intent on annihilating the group and
discrediting its good work.
The infiltration was focused in four specific areas - landlords, staff,
donors and supporters and beneficiaries, said a recent ZPF statement.
"We have a vision that has threatened the interests of other organisations
and groups ( civic and political) who do not have the people at heart," said
a spokesperson, adding that that ZPF's work had put these organisations
under pressure from their donors.
Members of staff had been bribed to give evidence against the ZPF. "We had a
confession of the other staff member who in disguise came as a stranded
asylum seeker who offered to volunteer his services in ZPF. He confessed
that he is actually a Zimbabwe National Army deserter who deserted during
the DRC mission, he then came to South Africa. He said he is using the
destruction of ZPF to buy his freedom to go back to Zimbabwe," said the
Despite this, the forum remains confident it they will overcome these
difficulties. "Let it be known to the general public our enemies,
stakeholders, donors and beneficiaries that the ZPF vision will never die
and that the coming year 2007 holds great things for us." - KJW
BY STANFORD MUKASA
WASHINGTON - An open letter to Robert Gabriel Mugabe:
If you close your eyes and imagine what the mood in the country would be
like on the news of your death you may or may not be surprised to learn
about exuberant celebrations and riotous festivities taking place throughout
this country. Your ears would almost be deafened by the unending horn blasts
from all those cars.
You should try what Idi Amin Dada, Uganda's former dictator, did one time.
He spread rumours that he had died. His security chiefs took him on a
helicopter ride and he personally witnessed the ecstatic jubilation that
spread around Uganda.
Lest you think this is an unjustified accusation coming from a disgruntled
Zimbabwean living outside Zimbabwe, your very own security chiefs have
advised you that you are the most hated man in Zimbabwe today. They have
also told you that if the leadership of the opposition movement was
organized, Zimbabweans would storm State House and hang you upside down by a
meat hook like the Italians did to your fellow dictator, Benito Mussolini,
Maybe that explains why you have moved from the State House to your
multimillion-dollar mansion that you built on the backs of the struggling
masses. And maybe that also explains why you are now busy militarily
fortifying your mansion. You are a fast learner! You are probably more aware
than any of us the extent of resentment, contempt and hatred that is
levelled against you. But those underground bunkers and all those missile
defences and radar will not save you or give you peace of mind.
I do not harbour any wish for death for you. I hope you live long enough to
be brought, like Liberia's Charles Taylor, to trial at The Hague for crimes
against humanity. I would, however, prefer you were tried in Kezi at the
VERY same spot where on one fateful day back in 1983 your Fifth Brigade
soldiers gathered villagers and told them they were "serious about hunting
dissidents." And to prove their point they lined up scores of civilians and
massacred them in cold blood.
This was one of the thousands of acts of genocide committed under your watch
and which resulted in the murder of over 20,000 innocent civilians. At that
spot in Kezi I would hope that each of the surviving relatives of the
innocent civilians you butchered will come and stare at you in the face and
tell you what they think of you. And, after you are found guilty, I hope you
are saved from the people's rage and the gallows so you can serve the rest
of your miserable life in Chikurubi maximum prison.
In 1980 Zimbabweans gave you an overwhelming vote of confidence when they
voted you into office. Millions converged at the airport to meet you from
exile. Their expectation was that you would bring them out of the settler
colonialism of Ian Smith where they had no political rights.
You betrayed this hope and trust when you started behaving like Ian Smith
immediately after independence. You did not dismantle the colonial laws that
oppressed blacks. You used them to your advantage. Whatever economic gains
Zimbabwe made in the first 10 years of its so-called independence they were
a smokescreen for your real motives.
The results of your disastrous policies are everywhere around you. You only
need to roll down the windows in your bulletproof imported Mercedes Benz to
see how thousands of Zimbabwe are toiling and scavenging just to survive
from one day to the next.
Corruption is now endemic and pandemic. You have created out of state
resources and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe a gravy train for your cronies
who are living a life of unbridled luxury in a country where the vast
majority are starving and homeless. And now the pigs in the feeding trough
are stumbling on each other as the trough runs empty. In your desperation
to refill this trough you are gallivanting around the world selling
Zimbabwean resources to the highest bidder.
You have turned down, like a spoilt child, all genuine efforts at mediating
the crisis of governance that you have precipitated. You have, in what can
be termed as act of a madman from Ngomahuru, turned down efforts to give
food and shelter to victims of your disastrous policies.
If there was any chance at all that you are still capable of listening to
reason and sense this letter would demand that you step down immediately as
you have neither a constitutional nor legitimate right to rule Zimbabwe.
JOHANNESBURG - Pandemonium broke out Lindela Repatriation Camp last week
when more than 20 detainees, including 10 Zimbabweans, were tortured by
security guards after demanding to see the immigration officials.
The assault left the detainees with fractured hands and bruises after they
complained that they had been arrested while on the waiting list with the
Department of Home Affairs to get asylum permits. Many of them have been
denied treatment at the clinic within the camp.
Although they were carrying slips from Department of Home Affairs they were
threatened with deportation after being arrest by South Africa Police
Oliver Kubikwa of Zimbabwe Political Victims Association, who visited the
victims with representatives of the Refugee Ministry Centre said, "They were
severely assaulted by the security guards at Lindela. Those who had
complained of the arrest were called to an interrogation room individually
and teargas was fired on them. They had complained because they were on the
waiting list and they were supposed to be released."
Kubikwa added that the detainees were forced to inhale teargas smoke while
locked in unventilated room. Officers allegedly used clench fists and baton
sticks to assault them.
The Working Group for Refugee at Wits condemned the attacks and vowed to
take the matter up with Lawyers for Human Rights, the Human Rights
Commission and the Minister of Home Affairs. - CAJ News
LONDON - The Free Zim has vowed to put more pressure on SADC and the AU
ahead Mozambican President Armando Guebuza's visit to the UK next week. They
will demonstrate outside Chatham House, 10 St James's Square, on Monday from
1230 - 3pm.
The group's spokesman, Alois Mbawara, said they would ask the newly elected
Mozambican head of state to sympathise with the suffering of ordinary
"Mugabe is trying to divert and destroy any efforts to probe him by African
leaders hence his visit to Iran as part of his dirty tricks to align himself
with anti-West countries and to pose as a revolutionary.
"Member states have to know that Mugabe is the problem. We are pushing for
accountability, transparency and honesty from the SADC troika planning to
The group has called on all activists to support its protest, saying: "Lets
all bring pots, pans, whistles, drums and make a noise outside the event in
solidarity with the new form of protest by our fellow comrades back home." -