Zim's darkest hour Dumisani Muleya/Gift
Phiri OPPOSITION Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan
Tsvangirai faces his darkest hour in politics yet ahead of the High Court
ruling on his landmark treason trial this morning.
combativeformer trade unionist-turned-swash-buckling politician in 1999,
faces a possible death penalty or life sentence for allegedly plotting to
assassinate President Robert Mugabe in 2001.
Diplomats, civil society
and opposition party leaders are expected to pack the High Court amid tight
security for the critical ruling, which could have grave political
consequences for Zimbabwe.
There were fears of clashes between the
MDC and Zanu PF over the ruling. MDC spokesman Paul Themba Nyathi said
yesterday Zanu PF was planning an orgy of violence.
reaching us indicate that Zanu PF is planning to stir up trouble at the High
Court. We are aware of a series of meetings since Friday last week at the
Zanu PF provincial headquarters in Fourth Street and at the party's head
office at Rotten Row in Harare at which a plan was hatched to cause mayhem
regardless of the verdict," Nyathi said.
"The idea is to heighten
tension at the court, create confusion, and in the melee, cause harm to
Tsvangirai. We can only hope for the best and expect the worst out of such a
However, deputy war veterans leader Joseph
Chinotimba said ex-combatants would respect the court
"We are not interested in seeing a particular ruling on the
case," he said. "We will respect whatever judgement. The only thing is that
we hate Tsvangirai for opposing the land reform programme."
Nyathi insisted that Zanu PF militia in collaboration with "rogue war
veterans and misguided state security agents" were planning
"New clothing has been procured for the militias to enable them
to gain access to the High Court, fill up the courtroom and then execute
their plan," he said. "Altogether, 600 Zanu PF activists are to be deployed
for this operation."
Last night the Zimbabwe Independent was
informed that the MDC was also mobilising its supporters to attend the court
session and demonstrate outside court. This set the platform for a potential
clash between supporters of the two parties.
minister Kembo Mohadi said police would be on high alert.
who was on Wednesday remanded to November 3 on his second treason charge
involving alleged subversion - was arraigned in February 2002 after an
Australian television first aired the alleged plot to assassinate
The charges, formally made by government's shadowy
Canadian political consultant Ari Ben-Menashe, came in the run-up to the
hotly disputed 2002 presidential election.
Two other senior MDC
officials, secretary-general Welshman Ncube and agriculture secretary Renson
Gasela, were also charged but were acquitted for lack of
Ben-Menashe, an ex-Israeli spy linked to a series of
international scandals, claimed Tsvangirai had approached his firm, Dickens
& Madson, to assist in killing Mugabe.
He produced as
evidence a heavily doctored fuzzy videotape of a December 2001 meeting in
Montreal, Canada, where Mugabe's "elimination" was allegedly discussed. He
also delivered an unintelligible audiotape and was paid US$200 000 by
However, Tsvangirai denied the charges, saying they were
part of a sting operation to destroy his political
Despite panic gripping the MDC, Tsvangirai's spokesman
William Bango said his boss believed he would be
"Tsvangirai believes strongly that he will be vindicated,"
Bango said. "He
has maintained over the past two-and-a-half years that he
is innocent and he believes justice will prevail."
The MDC was
yesterday on tenterhooks ahead of the judgement and its national executive
council said it would rally behind Tsvangirai.
"The council reaffirmed
the MDC view that it is democracy on trial, not the president as an
individual," the MDC said.
"The MDC national council resolved that it
will stand in solidarity with the president on judgement
MDC foreign secretary Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga told
diplomats in Harare yesterday the treason saga was more a "trial of
democracy and the judiciary" than Tsvangirai.
"The whole trial
was nothing but a political show specifically designed to cripple the
opposition by targeting the leadership in the hope of eventually paralysing
and ultimately destroying the MDC," she said.
"The Mugabe regime has
a well-established record of using trumped-up accusations of treason to
destroy opposition parties in this country."
the late veteran nationalists Joshua Nkomo and Ndabaningi Sithole were also
victims of Zanu PF's "wicked machinations".
Former Home Affairs
minister Dumiso Dabengwa and ex-Zimbabwe National Army deputy commander
Lookout Masuku were tried and acquitted on treason charges of plotting to
overthrow government in the early 1980s but remained in jail on Mugabe's
"In line with the political behaviour of despots the world
over, this particular dictator regards criticism and opposition to his
tyranny as treasonous," Misihairabwi-Mushonga said.
has all the hallmarks of Mugabe's legendary ruthlessness, opportunism and
She said Tsvangirai's trial on the basis of
evidence supplied by a discredited witness was a "scandalous waste of public
"The lengthy trial was unnecessary and a criminal abuse
of public funds and a clear demonstration of the extent to which pillars of
the state, state institutions, and law enforcement agencies have been
politicised and subverted in the service of a brutal tyranny," she
Misihairabwi-Mushonga said Mugabe's Zanu PF regime hoped
Tsvangirai's conviction would paralyse the MDC's organisational structure,
weaken its leadership and divert its focus from next year's general
RBZ breaks own rules Conrad Dube THE Reserve Bank
of Zimbabwe (RBZ) ignored parliament's portfolio committee on public
accounts' recommendations against doling out taxpayers' funds to troubled
parastatals which are not in a position to repay the loans.
In its second
special report on parastatals tabled before parliament this week, the
committee said it was worried that such parastatals had continued to borrow
from the Reserve Bank without addressing issues of corporate governance. The
comptroller and auditor-general has also refused to sign hurriedly prepared
financial statements from parastatals.
The public accounts committee
monitors the use of public funds.
After producing audited accounts,
parastatals are expected to submit them to line ministries which should
table them in parliament. The portfolio committee then scrutinises the
accounts and compiles a report that is deliberated on in
Parastatals that have so far benefited from the RBZ's
$122,5 billion lifeline under the Productive Sector Facility include Zesa
($50 billion), National Railways of Zimbabwe ($20 billion), the Agricultural
and Rural Development Authority ($25 billion), Air Zimbabwe ($7,5 billion)
while local authorities have received a total of $20 billion.
of them have not submitted audited reports to the comptroller and
RBZ governor Gideon Gono, in his second monetary
policy review in July, said parastatals wishing to borrow funds from the RBZ
must produce turnaround strategies and externally audited accounts. The
public bodies were also required to submit quarterly reports on their
"Your committee was also concerned that some
institutions, like Zesa for example, had received loans from the RBZ even
though they had not submitted their audited financial statements to the
Ministry of Finance and Economic Development. According to the comptroller
and auditor-general, the financial statements could not be signed because of
the complications arising from the non-existence of a board (of directors)
at Zesa," the report says.
The report states that further enquiries
by the portfolio committee revealed that the parent ministry could not
confirm receipt of Zesa's audited financial statements.
of the Audit and Exchequer Act (Chapter 22:03), ".no designated corporate
body may borrow money temporarily or otherwise without the approval of the
"Your committee wonders what report was used
to evaluate the Zesa turnaround strategy. Audited accounts of parastatals
have to be submitted timeously and their reports submitted as required by
the law without any exceptions at all," the report says.
portfolio committee said it was riled to learn that parastatals had produced
"up to date audited accounts" just after Gono set this as a condition for
them to get money. Almost all parastatals had been failing to submit audited
financial statements going back more than five years.
recommended to parliament that "loans to parastatals should be thoroughly
audited. In addition, treasury instructions and procedures have to be
adhered to at all times and no crisis management of such loans should ever
Turmoil ahead of Masvingo primaries Staff
Writer ALL is not well in Masvingo Central where Zanu PF stalwarts in the
province have trained their attention ahead of party primaries to be held at
the end of the year.
Eddison Zvobgo (jnr) and Zanu PF Masvingo
provincial chairman Daniel Shumba have both laid claim to the seat,
currently in the hands of the opposition MDC.
It emerged this
week that retired Air Marshall Josiah Tungamirai has thrown his weight
behind Zvobgo, who also enjoys the support of the new Masvingo South MP
Walter Mzembi and national commissar Elliot Manyika.
Independent this week heard that the party's commissariat had started
distributing party cards in Masvingo town without the involvement of
Shumba's executive. Sources said Shumba viewed this as a ploy to undermine
his authority ahead of primary elections.
Yesterday Shumba said
the distribution of cards was meant to make "certain people vote against
him" in the primary election for the constituency.
"I am reliably
informed that there are cards being distributed to people who are ganging up
against me," said Shumba. "This is being done outside official lines because
all cards should be distributed through the provincial executive." Only
card-carrying members are eligible to vote in the primaries.
on to divulge who was distributing the cards and where they were coming
from, Shumba said he did not want to assassinate
"Obviously party cards are not printed in Masvingo. They
are printed in Harare and distributed by the commissariat," he
"They have to be distributed by the provincial executive. I
will follow the party line in correcting that."
Shumba said he
would still win the primary election anyway.
Meanwhile, battles for
constituencies have intensified in Zanu PF where an average of three
candidates have shown an interest in a single seat.
four candidates have registered their interest to contest in Mhondoro,
Makoni West and Mazowe West.
In Mhondoro, former legislator Mavis
Chidzonga, Mashonaland West party vice-chairman John Mafa, businessman
Sylvester Nguni and Chamu Mutyambizi are campaigning for a ticket to
represent Zanu PF in the 2005 parliamentary election.
West, sitting MP Gibson Munyoro is under immense pressure. Five candidates -
Agriculture minister Joseph Made, singer Chinx Chingaira, Nation
Madongorere, David Jura and one Musendo - are fighting for the
Sources told the Independent this week that campaigning for the
Mhondoro seat had intensified and Nguni had allegedly injected over $50
million to fund his campaign.
The Independent also heard this
week that there were plans to relieve Philip Chiyangwa of his provincial
chairmanship in Mashonaland West ahead of the congress in
Chiyangwa belongs to the so-called "Net*One" camp that has
Ignatious Chombo, Edna Madzongwe, Bright Matonga and Sylvester Nguni.
6 Zimbabweans die in plane crash Staff
Writer/Reuter SIX Zimbabweans and one South African were last night confirmed
dead when a Ghanaian-registered Boeing 747 cargo jet crashed and burst into
flames on take off from Halifax airport in eastern Canada yesterday, police
The MK Airlines jet was taking off for Spain with a cargo of
seafood when it ran into trouble. The tail section broke off near the end of
the runway before the rest of the plane smashed into a nearby rock
Television images showed firefighters working amid the
plane's charred and twisted fuselage.
"We have recovered some of
the remains at the scene.... we can confirm that all seven who were on board
have passed away," Canadian police spokesman Joe Taplin told reporters in
Canadian officials said there were seven people on board but
the airline's managing director Wisdom Ametepe put the number at
Ametepe told Reuters in Accra that the crew had come from
Zimbabwe and Britain. But a company spokesman in England said the crew had
consisted of one South African and six Zimbabweans.
said it was too early to say what had happened but added they had no reason
to believe an explosion had brought down the plane.
Bill Fowler of
the Transportation Safety Board said a video of the accident scene seemed to
show that part of the aircraft's fuselage had come in contact with the
"(The tail) left the aircraft relatively early ... it is
still within the confines, as I understand it, of the airport," he told
"I haven't any formal information that suggests there was
Ghanaian aviation officials said MK Airlines had been
operating in Ghana since 1994 and had 16 planes registered in the former
Halifax airport was shut down after the accident but
some flights resumed
during the morning.
In Ottawa, federal
Transport minister Jean Lapierre said government officials would check that
the airline was complying with Canadian aviation regulations and the
conditions of its air operator certificate.
The MK Airlines spokesman
in England said the flight originated in New York with general freight and
tractors. It flew to Halifax where it picked up fresh fish and was heading
to Zaragoza in Spain to offload.
Political parties join MDC election boycott Itai
Dzamara SMALLER opposition political parties in Zimbabwe have joined the
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in threats to boycott next year's
general election unless government overhauls the electoral framework. The
parties this week said they would not legitimise the 2005 poll by
The Zanu PF government has already tabled in parliament
two bills which it claims will complement each other in fulfilling the
requirements of the Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc) guidelines
on the conduct of elections. Opposition parties have dismissed the reforms
as mere window-dressing.
Government this week gazetted the
Electoral Bill, which it said would complement the Zimbabwe Electoral
Commission Bill already before parliament.
The Democratic Party (DP)
this week issued a statement addressed to the citizens of Zimbabwe calling
for a boycott of next year's election. "Boycott all bogus elections held
under the expired colonial Lancaster House constitution. Your boycott is
your democratic voice. Don't be cheated. Don't commit suicide. Keep out of
bogus elections held under a one-party dictatorship," the statement
DP president Wurayayi Zembe said they had joined the MDC and
civil society in denouncing Zanu PF's cosmetic electoral
Zapu leader Paul Siwela said although his party had launched
campaigns for next year's election, it would only participate if the
electoral framework was reformed to comply with the Sadc
"All political parties should reject attempts by Zanu PF
to rig another election," Siwela said. "We will not participate unless the
electoral laws are acceptable and in sync with the Sadc
Zanu leader Wilson Kumbula said his party would only
confirm its participation after reviewing the political situation and
establishing if there was free environment for elections.
is continuous violence perpetrated by Zanu PF and the ruling party doesn't
seem to be committed to creating a democratic framework," Kumbula
"Participation under these conditions would be a mere
endorsement of the rigging process."
The political parties
committee under the National Constitutional Assembly also said in a
statement that all its constituent opposition parties would boycott next
year's general election unless Zanu PF implements genuine reforms. "The
opposition parties agreed they would not legitimise a rigging process. It
was agreed that participation would only be on the basis of genuine
reforms," said Zembe, who is the chairman of the committee.
Government to amend NGO Bill Godfrey
Marawanyika GOVERNMENT intends to amend the Non-Governmental Organisations
Bill to streamline the targeted institutions by defining the contentious
issues of governance.
The original Bill went through its first
reading in parliament last week.
The proposed legislation will repeal the
Private Voluntary Organisations Act to make it illegal for NGOs involved in
issues of governance to receive foreign funding.
have now defined issues of governance as "issues stipulated in the first
generation rights as contained in the International Convenant on Civil and
political rights and also as spelt out under the African Charter 2-23", the
Issues of governance, according to the amendments,
also entail "activities aimed at public transparency and
The new amendments define governance as activities
aimed at strengthening public support for an "understanding on
Governance means "furthering and
facilitating the interest or activities of a political party", says the
Constitutional law expect Lovemore Madhuku said the new
definition of governance was a way of barring foreign funding for the local
"The government has now decided to be more specific on what
it means by human rights. By amending the Bill they have streamlined who is
targeted and they want to divide the NGO sector, " Madhuku
The Bill, if enacted into law, will also outlaw the
registration of foreign NGOs whose "sole or principal objects involve or
include issues of governance".
Civic groups likely to be affected
include Crisis Coalition, Human Rights Trust of Southern Africa,
Transparency International and Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights. In the
Bill, civic groups dealing with media rights and advocacy are not covered
under the definition of a non-governmental organisation.
††††† AS Zanu PF primary election wars intensify
countrywide, a senior war veterans leader in Beitbridge district was last
week briefly detained for allegedly disturbing a political rally Home
Affairs minister Kembo Mohadi was addressing.
††††† The incident
occurred on Saturday at Dite business centre where Mohadi was addressing a
campaign rally to boost his chances of retaining the Beitbridge
††††† Witnesses said the war veteran, Samuel
Mlaudzi, was manhandled by Mohadi's personal bodyguards and party youths. He
was saved from beating by police details who locked him away in the back of
a police vehicle for the duration of the three-hour
††††† "Mohadi was livid when he saw Mlaudzi who was among
the crowd that attended his campaign rally and he allegedly ordered party
youths and the police to take him away," an eyewitness
††††† Mohadi is alleged to have accused Mlaudzi of being part
of a rival team that is campaigning for former Beitbridge district
administrator, Edson Mbedzi, who is eyeing Mohadi's seat.
Mohadi allegedly charged that Mlaudzi was there to disrupt his
††††† Mlaudzi, who is also the Zimbabwe National Liberation
War Veterans Association secretary for security in Beitbridge, confirmed his
detentiion and said Mohadi was acting out of desperation.
"The incident is unfortunate coming from a government minister. It is
fortunate that the police who were on duty were reasonable as Mohadi wanted
me assaulted before my arrest," said Mlaudzi.
††††† Efforts to
contact Mohadi proved fruitless as he was said to be on leave in his
constituency in Beitbridge.
††††† This is not the first time that
Mohadi has been accused of abusing his position to fix political
††††† In August acting Bulawayo provincial administrator,
Mbedzi, alleged that Mohadi had ordered his arrest on allegations of
stealing farm equipment worth millions of dollars and for allocating himself
land in a fraudulent manner.
††††† However Mbedzi was acquitted
after the courts ruled that the charges could not be substantiated. Mbedzi
and a Beitbridge headmaster, Ntshaveni Simutha, have openly declared their
interest to wrest the seat from Mohadi.
††††† War veterans have vowed to
take on senior party officials in primary elections scheduled for December.
This has caused discomfort among the party leaders.
Two Nkala accused flee Staff Writer TWO of the six
people accused in the Cain Nkala murder case have fled the country following
threats on their lives by state security agents over publication in a South
African newspaper of their ill-treatment in prison.
The two, Remember
Moyo and Sazini Mpofu, who were prime suspects in the murder trial, fled the
country three weeks ago.
Moyo and Mpofu were part of six suspects
with Lobengula/Magwegwe MP, Fletcher Ncube, Army Zulu, Nicholas Masera and
Khethani Sibanda, alleged to have murdered war veterans leader for Bulawayo,
Nkala in November 2001.
The two, together with Khethani Sibanda, were
detained for a long period while others were released on
They were staying in a safe house in Bulawayo after they were
acquitted by the High Court in August this year.
High Court judge
Sandra Mungwira ruled that state evidence against the six was extracted
under duress and was not admissible in a competent court of
MDC spokesperson for Bulawayo province, Victor Moyo,
confirmed the two had fled the country after being stalked by unknown people
following publication of a story of their ordeal in a South African
"The two gave an interview a month ago to a South African
newspaper outlining the terrible conditions and their ill-treatment while in
prison. Since that day, they have been threatened and followed continuously
by unknown people. Fearing for their safety, they fled the country," Moyo
He said the two were initially warned by the South African
reporter who wrote the story that there were people in South Africa who
approached him seeking information on where the two stayed, their general
movements and how they could be contacted.
"Things worsened after
Moyo was approached by unknown people who interrogated him on their motives
for giving the interview to the South African press. From then both Moyo and
Mpofu were followed by suspicious people and cars were always parked outside
the house where they stayed," Moyo said.
Moyo and Mpofu,
according to party sources, could be headed for the United States where they
might seek political asylum.
The highly-dramatised Nkala case was
used by the government to launch its anti-terror war that led to the burning
of the MDC provincial office in Bulawayo and the arrest of many activists
before the 2002 presidential election.
Evicted farm settlers live in squalor Augustine
Mukaro SEVERAL thousandfamilies left homeless when soldiers and police burnt
their settlements on Little England, Inkomo and other surrounding farms are
living in squalor, the Zimbabwe Independent can reveal.
A visit to
the farms on Tuesday revealed that the families who were left in the open
along the Harare-Chinhoyi highway for over two weeks after their evictions,
had been moved into tobacco barns.
Stephen Chasiya, whose property has
been dumped in one of the barns at Sodibury farm, said government vehicles
ferried the families and their belongings from the highway to tobacco barns
at the nearest farm.
"Government realised that donors and people
outside Zimbabwe were coming to take pictures of us every day," Chasiya
"Confusion in the land reform was being exposed so government
decided to hide us here. The truth is that conditions in here are more
deplorable than in the open. You can hardly breathe because of the decayed
Some of the farmers who could not get space in the barns
have started moving back to their destroyed properties.
Court last week ruled that the evicted farmers should return to their pieces
of land until government found them alternative land.
Nhaiwa, one of the farmers who was putting a plastic roof on the remains of
his gutted hut, said the majority of the farmers won't produce anything this
season even if they obey the High Court order.
"There is no way we
can work in the fields before we have somewhere reasonable to stay in,"
Nhaiwa said. "We can't continue staying in the open during the wet
There are mixed feelings among the farmers on whether to start
planting or not following the first rains this week.
matters worse, most of us do not have draught power to prepare the land.
Farmers who had brought their cattle to the new settlements have either
taken them back or lost their animals two weeks ago when police and soldiers
chased us off," Nhaiwa said.
Reports reaching the Independent from
across the country where government evicted thousands of black families from
the farms they occupied four years ago show that they are slowly returning
to their properties in response to the High Court ruling.Government has
justified the eviction of newly resettled farmers on the grounds that they
had illegally settled themselves.
The families occupied the farms in
2000 with the encouragement of President Robert Mugabe and his government
who at the time defended the actions as a "peaceful demonstration" of land
Government never indicated to the invading peasants that it was
going to evict them from the farms. Instead it promised that land experts
would be sent to properly plan settlements on the farms.
farmers from Banket, Darwendale, Karoi and Chinhoyi in Mashonaland West
province and in Lower Gweru in Midlands who were evicted have accused the
government of using them during the farm invasions to pave way for Zanu PF
and government officials.
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe continues with his mission to crack down
on the opposition, civil society and the media despite pretending to be
committed to democratic reforms. It's business as usual and the Zanu PF
government is singing the same oppressive song ahead of next year's general
But Mugabe seems to have further backed himself into a
cul-de-sac as he fights for legitimacy both at home and on the international
He has been giving all he can towards obtaining the sympathy
and endorsement of his colleagues in the Southern African Development
Community (Sadc). But while he is marketing himself as a reforming democrat
in the region, he has maintained his iron-fisted grip on coercive
instruments of state to cow dissenting voices at home.
on electoral reforms and non-governmental organisations are currently before
parliament. The Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) Bill is aimed at
whipping into line Zimbabwe's vibrant civil society which has given
President Robert Mugabe a tough time in the areas of human rights, democracy
and media advocacy. The government wants to introduce mandatory registration
of all NGOs and to block foreign funding.
Mugabe has not been
apologetic in his intentions to entrench his power through clipping the
wings of the NGO sector. "Some of the NGOs are being used to further
imperialists goals," Mugabe said during the opening of the current session
of parliament in June.
The Zanu PF leader has however been claiming
to be complying with the Sadc guidelines on the conduct of democratic
elections. It was for purposes of being seen to be doing so that his party
came up with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) Bill. He has been
consistent in claiming that the Bill will democratise the electoral
Government this week gazetted yet another Bill, the
Electoral Bill, which it says will complement the ZEC Bill in implementing
the Sadc guidelines. The Electoral Bill proposes to decentralise vote
counting to polling stations as opposed to the current system of having one
counting centre in constituencies.
The NGOs and ZEC Bills were
almost outpaced on the way to parliament by a series of demonstrations
against Zanu PF's latest attempts to entrench dictatorship, which could be a
harbinger of the turbulent times that the nation can expect in the next five
"It's clear that what Mugabe says becomes policy, never mind
what they put before parliament," said Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions
secretary-general Wellington Chibebe.
"He has declared the
election as anti-Blair and has indicated that it will be bloody. Claims that
he wants to comply with the Sadc principles are mere window dressing. The
elections, as far as we are concerned, have already been rigged. We will
continue rejecting such treachery and Mugabe's claim to
The workers' constituency was increasingly getting
disgruntled especially by Mugabe's failure to revive the economy over the
past four years, Chibebe said. He warned the simmering discontent could deny
Mugabe legitimacy and peace even if he "steals another
Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa has since backtracked
on his earlier pledge that government would order the opening up of the
public media to opposition parties. A swift response by Information minister
Jonathan Moyo denying Chinamasa's claims reminded the whole nation about
Zanu PF's uncompromising stance towards the
Meanwhile, the Public Order and Security Act continues to
be a handy tool in the hands of Zanu PF to hit the opposition and civil
Zapu leader Paul Siwela said opposition parties and civil
society must continue lobbying for the rejection of Mugabe's
"As far as we are concerned these Bills will only entrench
Mugabe's dictatorship. All opposition parties and civil society members
should reject these attempts at hoodwinking the world," he said. "We have to
continue lobbying Sadc leaders to reject Mugabe's tricks and claim to
legitimacy," he said.
"If he is going to push forward and declare
his party as victorious we will have to reject him as our legitimate leader
and make the statement clear to the international
Women of Zimbabwe Arise (Woza) leader, Jenni Williams,
who led a group of 55 women in a protest walk from Bulawayo to Harare last
month, said arrests and police brutality would not deter them from fighting
"We will not be deterred. We will continue pushing for
the rejection of unjust laws," she said. "As long as our families need food,
clothing and accommodation we will continue to fight for our rights. We
won't accept an illegitimate leadership."
Assembly chairman Lovemore Madhuku said Mugabe's claims of reforming
electoral laws were not consistent with reality and cited the chaos in the
delimitation exercise and voter registration.
"Our plan is to
delegitimise the regime and what it is doing," said Madhuku. "We are making
it clear that claims by Mugabe do not meet our demands and
"For example, the Delimitation Commission says that
it is drawing up constituency boundaries when there is controversy over the
voter registration exercise, which government says was done and completed.
We will continue protesting against this mischief and if the worst comes to
the worst and Zanu PF rigs the elections we will pick up the
MDC secretary-general Welshman Ncube said his party would
not relent in denouncing Zanu PF's cosmetic electoral reforms as well as the
crackdown on civil society. He said the MDC would not participate in
elections "until the ruling party implements the Sadc protocol to the spirit
Zanu PF spokesman Nathan Shamuyarira said the ruling
party would hold next year's election even if the MDC boycotts. "The
elections will be held whether they (MDC) participate or not. The people of
Zimbabwe will have another opportunity to choose those they want to
represent them in parliament," he said.
INFORMATION minister Jonathan Moyo this week scored a
diplomatic victory for Zimbabwe after he deflected from public scrutiny
another international indictment of Zimbabwe's governance
A report by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa
dubbed "Progress Towards Good Governance" presented in Ethiopia brought out
the best of Moyo's pettiness.
His delegation, which included
Labour minister Paul Mangwana and sidekick Tafataona Mahoso, felt
"ambushed". They argued the report had been †"smuggled" into the meeting
before Zimbabwe was afforded the opportunity to respond to its
The same mantra was used at the African Union summit in
Addis Ababa three months ago when Foreign Affairs minister Stan Mudenge
opposed the tabling of a report by the African Commission on Human and
Peoples' Rights on the specious grounds that it had not been shown to
Zimbabwe prior to meeting. This now appears to be the official line to avoid
embarrassing truths. Zimbabwe's control freaks want to edit or, better
still, author all reports about the country to be presented at international
gatherings. But the devil can never exorcise the evil in his own
Allegations of poor governance contained in the ECA report are
not new. This does not make them any less important. In fact, they bolster
other reports which have been prepared on Zimbabwe before.
state media back home was celebrating Moyo's attack on the report and the
"applause" he received from delegates. We were also offered excerpts of Moyo
and Mangwana's jagged exchanges with the ECA secretariat. Men of valour in a
distant land or just bully-boys holding fort for the incumbent? Zimbabwean
diplomacy has become consistent with the character of a serial bully who
wants to undermine and destroy anyone perceived to be an adversary, a
potential threat or who can see through the mask.
government ministers are becoming past masters of this subterfuge and
getting more brazen about it back home.
But this will not cleanse
Zimbabwe of the bad boy image it has earned over the years courtesy of poor
governance and economic mismanagement.
Officials at international
fora who have buckled under pressure and admitted that Zimbabwe should be
treated differently, have become hostage to fortune. We did not hear many
complaints by other countries mentioned in bad light in the report, except
Kenya which argued that it was in fact doing more than most other African
countries to fight corruption. We still don't know what Zimbabwe was accused
of or what Moyo and his team were mad about. What was the applause
Lack of a strong rebuttal by other Africans have served to
bolster Zimbabwe's conspiracy theories that all negative reports on the
country are compiled by our enemies feeding from the hands of Tony Blair and
George W Bush.
The Zimbabwe government has alleged, albeit
libellously, that the ACHPR report was compiled by local NGOs and
individuals such as former Law Society of Zimbabwe president Sternford Moyo.
Conspiracy theories are also being concocted to rubbish the latest
Sapes Trust which helped to prepare the report this week said
the document was handed to the Ministry of Foreign Affair prior to the
Zimbabwe has as a result escaped censure, creating an ideal
environment in which to incubate retrogressive systems of governance at
home. Regional countries have not voiced concern over Zimbabwe's blatant
disregard of tenets of the Sadc Electoral Principles and Guidelines recently
signed by President Mugabe.
Other countries on the continent have
opened themselves up to peer review. They are prepared to defend the issues
coming out of reports and, if need be, make corrections. The success of the
Nepad peer review mechanism (which Zimbabwe can never join in its current
state of paranoia) depends largely on states submitting themselves to peer
Nepad steering committee chair Prof Wiseman Nkuhlu in April
told the second African Investment Forum in Johannesburg, South Africa that
"part of the purpose of the peer review mechanism is to show why countries
such as Botswana and Tanzania are able to attract foreign investment while
others are not able to do so". Countries that set up good governance systems
are rewarded with increased investment.
Zimbabwe's manoeuvres to
black out all reports critical of the state and the incumbent are poor
diplomacy in every respect. Blocking reports on Zimbabwe will not move the
country beyond the radar of international attention. In fact, it is an
advertisement of diplomatic thuggery that will not endear the country to the
international community. Zimbabwe badly needs investors, markets for its
primary goods and balance of payment support. Cheerleaders do not bring food
on the table.
This infantile preoccupation with swaggering and
bluster has become the hallmark of our foreign policy. The world is watching
the charade and waiting for the next prank - probably at the ACHPR's 36th
Ordinary Session in Dakar, Senegal next month.
YET again RES Cook has seen it fit to attack me (Zimbabwe
Independent of October 1, 2004). He has every right to despise me and the
views that I express.
One of the principal motivations to my
writing of this weekly column is to provoke and promote dialogue for, as
none can know it all, exchange of opinions can usually only be
However, I have found over the years that the differences
of opinion between Cook and myself are so great that they are irreconcilable
and even when - on rare occasions - we are of like opinion, he will allow
his contempt for me and that which I write to blind him on any issues upon
which we agree for, to do so, would deprive him of the opportunity to launch
yet another diatribe against me.
My experiences in that direction
have been such that I eventually recognised the pointlessness of responding
to his missives of castigation and denigration that he so often launches
He is welcome to do so, but over the years I learned that
no matter what responses I may give him, he will reject them, for naught
will satisfy him but that I agree with him and that I advocate a regime
change in Zimbabwe.
However his letter to the editor showed such
total disregard for the many times that I have said that economic wellbeing
cannot be attained unless there is a change of government, or change in
government, that a failure by me to respond would be interpreted as an
admission, by default, of his accusations being well-founded and
Therefore, exceptionally on this occasion I do respond,
although I have little doubt that Cook's rigid, fixed pre-conceptions
against me will, to a major extent, render my response
In the first instance, I should deal with his comment
that I remind "ad nauseum of all that is wrong with the economy including
the regime's role in all that has gone wrong". Yes, Cook, that is the
substance of my columns, for my mandate from the Independent ever since its
very first issue, has been that I should write about economic and financial
If something is well about the economy, I say so, but
regrettably the opportunities to do so are few and far apart. If something
economic is, in my considered opinion, done correctly by the government, I
say so, and I very deeply regret that it is very rare that I am enabled to
Likewise, when there is something wrong, which unfortunately
is generally the case, I say so and, as criticism in isolation is not
constructive, I seek to identify the causes of that "something wrong", its
perpetrators (usually the government) and how I believe rectification should
If that is "ad nauseum", which is defined by the Concise
Oxford Dictionary as being "to a disgusting extent, nasty, loathsome and
offensive", then perhaps Cook should release himself from that suffering by
ceasing to read my column. I am sure that even if he does not read my
column, he will still be able to find grounds to attack others and
Secondly, his principal quarrel with me, if his last letter is
the indicator, is that I fail "to address the issue of whether there will be
an economic recovery without regime change". However, I have done so on many
Only two months ago I wrote that Zimbabwe has a
critical need for governmental change. I have consistently stated that I
have no political axe to grind, my interest in politics being centred only
upon the interaction of politics with the economy and upon the economy on
politics. I have therefore openly stated in this column, not once but on
many occasions, that governmental change is a prerequisite of economic
However, I have also stated that that change could either
be a change of government or, in the alternative, a radical change in
government. A change in government, as distinct from a change of government,
would necessitate that the government discontinues its endless destructive
policies and actions and embarks upon those as necessitated by the
distraught circumstances of the economy.
However, I readily
acknowledge the great unlikelihood of that occurring, and that in the
improbable event that it did happen, that it would be
However, very evidently Cook has been, and is, oblivious
to my many statements to that end, and it appears that he cannot be
satisfied unless I emphasised the need for change in each and every article
that write. That I will not do.
Cook apparently also takes
exception to my commending Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono
from time to time, caustically alleging that Gono is my "financial hero".
Yet again this reflects Cook's profound ability to misconstrue my writings
when they do not accord with his perceptions.
I have unhesitatingly
commended Gono when he takes actions which I consider to be desirable,
positive and constructive. But, in like vein, I have unhesitatingly voiced
my disagreement with Gono when I think that any of his statements or actions
Having said that, I believe that he has some very
impressive traits for which he is deserving of admiration, and he
nevertheless must, on occasion, be challenged for some of his statements and
actions. Very few, if any, can credibly doubt the immense depth of his
motivation to restore Zimbabwe's economic wellbeing.
I, for one,
admire him for the intensity of that motivation and dedication, which drives
him to work untiringly, very often for more than 18 hours a day. He has been
sufficiently driven by his anxiety to bring about an economic metamorphosis
that he has been prepared to adopt policies and to take actions which are
unpalatable to the government, irrespective of any negative consequences
I believe his attributes far outweigh his negatives,
and Cook does him a great - and undeserved - discredit when he suggests that
advocating a regime change would upset Gono. Irrespective of whether or not
he would consider such a change to be necessary, he would respect my right
to have such an opinion, and my right to express that
Gono may not be my "financial hero", but that does not
detract from my admiring him for much that he says and does, and does not
dissuade me from telling him, when I consider necessary, that I disagree
The bottom line is that I do believe that a regime change
is needed for economic recovery, either by a democratically effected change
of the regime, or by an unlikely change within the regime, and despite
Cook's allegations to the contrary, I have said so. I will continue to do so
whensoever I consider necessary, but will not do so to the exclusion of all
DIVISIONS are deepening in Zanu PF ahead of the parliamentary
election next year. There is no hiding them anymore.
is Makoni North where Didymus Mutasa is engaged in mortal combat with war
veterans who want to take over his seat. Dickson Chingaira wants to
challenge Gibson Munyoro in Makoni West, who is reportedly "too old" to
represent the constituency.
The battles promise to be equally
gory in Mashonaland West. In some constituencies there are as many as five
people vying for a single seat.
It is still a mystery how Walter
Muzembi landed the Masvingo South seat. He was suspended, faced grave
allegations of insubordination and expulsion from the party. But last week
there was a sudden volte-face and a settlement. It was a speedy, suspicious
and painfully sweet a deal to be believed.
Muckraker doesn't know
much about Muzembi's war credentials, but we can't understand how such a
mafikizolo fits the political stature and intellectual perspicacity of the
late Eddison Zvobgo. Only the masters of deception and intrigue in Zanu PF
Unless we accept the "how to kill a presidential
challenge" theory that Phathisa Nyathi has offered.
mafikizolo reminds us of a policy somersault by one Lowani Ndlovu. In the
past he has tried in vain to bend principle to suit his propaganda tactics.
Last week the truth became so stark he was forced to hit it with his
We have always argued that the problem with Zimbabwe's land
reform programme was in the methodology used. There was never a quarrel
about the need for land distribution. That was a myth started and nurtured
by Zanu PF to further its selfish electoral agenda.
Lowani was forced to recant in the face of on-going farm evictions. In his
own words: "If these evictions are necessary, they are certainly being done
the wrong way," he wrote in the Sunday Mail.
"In politics, and
particularly in policy implementation, the wrong way of doing the right
thing is just not acceptable but also dangerous because it always increases
the risk of making the right thing wrong. So, what is right can end up being
wrong if the method of implementation is wrong."
These are not legal
truths. They are simple matters of principle which an ordinary villager
would be aware of from the law of natural justice.
We wonder why it
took Lowani four years to see the light. A wrong method can spoil a noble
cause. Unless the "ignorance" was calculated to give the reform process
revolutionary zeal and maintain a veil of ideological cohesion, which is
fast peeling off.
While Lowani in the Sunday Mail is protesting the
mass eviction of peasants so that he can justify his own multiple farm
ownership, Nathaniel Manheru in the Herald is celebrating the overwhelming
success of the "revolution". It's a war between the lumpen proletariat and
the newly-propertied class. Chinks are manifest in Zanu PF's ideological
armour. Chaos art thy name! The right hand knoweth not what the left is
Sunday Metro last week gave us interesting testimonies about
the cleanliness of Zimbabwe's smaller towns and cities but refused to give
the true explanation. In its City Check column the paper claimed to have
visited Bulawayo, Chegutu, Kadoma, Kwekwe and Victoria
Here is the testimony after the tour: "There is less or no
litter at all on streets. Roads have no potholes. There is no sewer flowing
on the streets and no vendors obstructing pedestrians on pavements in the
city centres. Public toilets and main bus termini are clean."
was suggested the Harare council could "learn a lesson or two" on how to
maintain a city. City Check is very wrong. The reason the other urban
centres are cleaner is because they have not been plagued by the Ignatious
Chombo bug. It's that simple and that is why Bulawayo residents are wary of
Chombo trying to spread the Harare virus.
fascinated by Information minister Jonathan Moyo's defence of his so-called
100% local content policy in the media. It was critical in "preserving our
unchanging values which are permanent", declared Moyo recently to a group of
bemused soldiers from the Zimbabwe Staff College.
should never be changed and must be used as a means to recognise us as a
He couldn't pinpoint what it was that was
"unchanging". Culture evolves over time. That is music, games, the way we
greet each other and the way parents and children relate to each change. So
has our appreciation, evaluation and attitude towards Zimbabwe's liberation
war evolved since 1980. The only permanent thing is Zimbabwe that we must
preserve for posterity. Or so we thought.
The revelation was
sobering: "What is permanent about that society is the regime of that
society," cried Moyo in true imitation of George Orwell's Squealer in Animal
Farm. "We need to understand what is permanent about our society and make a
policy about that."
So Moyo's sole aim in his fight against NGOs,
civil society, academics, journalists, private media houses and the MDC is
to preserve a "permanent" one-party "regime"? Regime in its pejorative,
repellent sense as a ruling clique that has no popular mandate, not the
masked ogre Lowani Ndlovu has been deviously trying to get us inured to in
his Sunday Mail column.
A regime is by definition the nearest thing
to a junta. It has the added danger of a pretence to election and laying a
claim to legitimacy. It can therefore create militias in the name of the
Lowani's attempt to sanitise a regime as "a people's way of
life" is a chimera. And Moyo appears to have fallen for this
Is there something that Zanu PF politicians are given so that
they lose part of their brain? This is not an idle question after what Legal
Affairs minister Patrick Chinamasa said of the MDC and the people of
Zimbabwe last week.
Asked whether opposition parties would be
given access to the public media ahead of the March election, Chinamasa
reportedly claimed such access would be accorded only to parties "loyal to
He said it was a "matter of national security" that the
opposition was denied access to the public media.
reiterate that there is no way the US government will allow al-Qaeda space
on its public media," he said, "and similarly there is no way the Zimbabwe
government will allow the opposition the opportunity to undermine the
government of the day."
Since when has Zimbabwe used the US as a
yardstick for setting its policies? When was al-Qaeda voted into the US
congress Cde Chinamasa? So John Kerry is head of al-Qaeda? At least we now
understand why Roy Bennett did what he did in parliament.
more to the point, Zimbabweans wonder how Chinamasa is qualified to judge
their loyalty. It looks more like the fear of losing to the opposition than
national security. How does a minister whose government has abused its
citizens in every imaginable way claim to be most loyal to the
Muckraker normally does not want to embarrass fellow
strugglers in the media. But we were irritated that Tendai Chari can't get
simple facts correct when he claims to be a media studies lecturer at the
University of Zimbabwe.
In his opening paragraph of an opinion
piece in the Sunday Mirror this week he said he was responding to an article
by Dumisani Ndlela of "October 30 2004". How was that possible? One of the
reasons people refer to newspapers is because they believe they are accurate
sources of information.
Chari then claimed Ndlela had failed to
engage him "in a scholarly debate" over theories of mass communication. So
he has been boring us with those rambling weekly articles in the Sunday
Mirror because he thinks they are scholarly material? What vanity. It's like
Lawrence Moyo of the Herald boasting that he is now "a complete journalist"
because he has been to Lord's in England and to Pakistan. Give readers a
chance to pass compliments. What's the hurry?
Nor are we
impressed by thought terrorists masquerading as media and cultural workers.
Ngugi wa Mirii's self-interest leads him to believe whoever criticises
government policy should be closed down. He claims to be "working in the
media" but celebrates the closure of the Daily News because he didn't like
what it wrote.
"For how long shall society continue to stand national
humiliation in the name of free and democratic press?" lamented Ngugi in a
long article in the Sunday Mirror in praise of Tendai Chari's media
We know he ran away like a fugitive from Daniel arap Moi's
brute dictatorship in Kenya while others fought for their freedom. Now he is
ashamed to return to his native country because of that
Maybe his countrymen have use for his totalitarian ideas
about the media and his so-called culture. We certainly don't although we
know he has to justify his inclusion on various dubious clubs feeding from
Jonathan Moyo's table.
Ngugi wa Thiong'o should be ashamed of his
turncoat, pennywise erstwhile friend. At least with Moyo they share a
similar background. So he is in good company! That's how far the whore of
capitalism addles the mind! Kwaheri.
Mash Holds appeals over grabbed land Roadwin
Chirara PROPERTY firm, Mashonaland Holdings, is appealing to government over
the recent take over of its property.
The property, situated in the
outskirts of Harare, was taken over by the government for housing
The take over follows an announcement in a September 24
government gazette that government had acquired 40 farms in and around
Harare belonging to various companies.
chairman, Abner Botsh, confirmed that the company had approached the
government over the issue.
"We have approached the government over
the recent developments," said Botsh.
He said the company's
management team was holding discussions with the government in the hope of
coming up with a positive result.
"My management team has held
discussions with the government over the
issue and consultations are
still progressing. We are positive of the outcome," said
He however said the take over of the properties had not
impacted on the company's operations.
He said recent problems at
the company, including the board wrangles and a proposed deal with
beleaguered Intermarkert Holdings, were now a thing of the
"All those issues are things of the past now, and as a company
we are looking towards the future," said Botch.
He said the
company was looking for opportunities outside Zimbabwe. "We are a property
company and like everyone else, if opportunities present themselves, even
external ones, we will consider them," said Botsh.
THE recently published "bribes" for ex-combatants prior to the
forthcoming election in Zimbabwe, was very interesting - breathtaking in
fact. When will Zimbabweans put a blunt and democratic stop to this
I was born in Harare on February 17 1949 at Lady Chancellor (now
Mbuya Nehanda Hospital), as were each of my three children - one in
Rhodesia, one in Zimbabwe-Rhodesia, and one in Zimbabwe.
my kids consider themselves to be "born free" - even if they are "white"
Zimbabweans. Now we are all in forced exile in the UK.
To see how the
former guerillas are permitted to continue manipulating Zanu PF and, through
its criminal structure, continue stealing Zimbabwe's diminishing resources,
is worse than scandalous.
What is happening is being watched. There
will be a day of reckoning eventually! These tsotsis who see themselves as
above the law now will one day find themselves very much dealt with by it.
That goes for the top hierarchy too.
The former guerillas should
have been rewarded and pensioned but it must have been a one-off deal. To
allow them to keep on holding a financial bullet to the nation is not only
insane, it is patently criminal.
These thugs will be held accountable
one day. There is a saying in English: "What goes around, comes
Whilst having grown up within the privilege of white
colonial Rhodesia as a family, we chose to stay in the new "reconciled"
Zimbabwe of Robert Mugabe to contribute to the new regime of
Not only has Zanu PF destroyed my career and life in
Zimbabwe, forcing me to migrate to England.
Now that I am
externally-based, I have watched Mugabe and the Jongwe octopus wrap its
tentacles around my dear country and systematically and deliberately
strangle, rape, torture, steal it, and nowadays kill our
This must stop before our nation dies.
* worked for
Zimbabwe for 22 years as a career civil servant in the Customs & Excise
departement. I stayed on at Independence in 1980 and progressed to the grade
of assistant controller (director, these days I believe), responsible for
the operations of Collector of Customs & Excise, Harare
At the time, Obert Moses Mpofu (a presidential appointee)
was my underling and when he went into politics, it was I who gave him a
crash course on how to properly use his Togorev pistol - issued to him by
"the party" for personal security (for he hadn't a clue - so much for "hard"
liberation movement credentials).
It was Mpofu who told me that
his ascendancy in the political world was due to his relationship with
Speaker of Parliament Emmerson Mnangagwa.
He told me that he and
Mnangagwa were related through their wives. Mpofu went into politics, in a
Jongwe sort of way while I remained in my career. However, Mugabe,
Mnangagwa, et al, destroyed that career.
I was wrongly labelled a South
African spy, wrongly detained without trial for two years, and wrongly
pensioned off (into a pension I no longer receive and which is almost
This was done to cover up criminal activities
concerning regional luxury car thefts and smuggling north of South Africa,
mandrax smuggling to SA and the Zimbabwe and Air India direct involvement in
sanctions-busting fruit exports for the former apartheid regime via Harare
Certainly the time for change is long overdue. Zimbabweans
desperately need to know about their chefs' misdemeanours and to act to get
these thugs off the levers of power.
The last time I received my
pension in the UK of about £5 ($478) was in February 2003, over 18 months
ago. This is quite scandalous.
I was force-retired (via Chikurubi) as
a very senior civil servant; and yet I "officially" get a pittance which,
actually, I do not get at all - because Zimbabwe is in the hands of
Anyway, I read recently about the war
collaborators' gratuity and pension scheme. It went like this:
A bucket load of millions of dollars as a one-off gratuity; and
millions of dollars plus allowances as a pension for life.
I would like
to know if I can exchange my now worthless civil service pension, which is
non-index-linked and which the current regime doesn't pay to anyone abroad
anyway, for a former collaborator's gratuity and pension scheme such as Zanu
PF is mooting currently.
I believe the criteria are that one has to
be Zimbabwean and have a proven record in the liberation war.
me that is easy. Besides being born in Harare, my involvement in the
liberation war can be verified from my RA/pay sheet at 2 Engineer
The records will show that I was demobilised long after the
election in Zimbabwe; that I was awarded three medals - the RGSM, the TRM
and the ZIM - and that I was retained on nominal strength in the Zimbabwe
National Army long after majority rule.
My military numbers are
48223 as an "other rank" national serviceman (ex 1966) and V3400 as a
Please could you send me the appropriate
application forms so that I can apply for my slice of the ex-combatant's
cake before all the money is stolen again.
International Federation of Health and Human Rights Organisations (IFHHRO)
promotes international co-operation for the protection and promotion of
health-related human rights. As such, IFHHRO wishes to express its concern
about the deteriorating situation in Zimbabwe with regard to human rights
defenders and the shrinking democratic space in which they must
IFHHRO shares the view that the Non-Governmental
Organisation Bill 2004 represents a needlessly intrusive set of rules
designed to outlaw certain non-governmental organisations and to criminalise
fund-raising activities by their members.
IFHHRO notes that the
government of Zimbabwe has already overseen the passage of suppressive
legislation such as the Public Order and Security Act (Posa), the Access to
Information and Protection of Privacy Act (Aippa) and the Broadcasting
Services Act (BSA).
The most recent Amnesty International report on
Zimbabwe observed an escalation in state-sponsored attacks on critics of the
government, a clampdown on freedom of speech and political manipulation of
food aid by the ruling Zanu PF.
The socio-economic situation is
such that almost 80% of the population exists below the poverty line and the
national health system is so ravaged that wooden oxen-drawn carts have
The present climate in Zimbabwe constitutes an
axis of repression in which all human rights - civil, political, economic,
social and cultural - are undermined. Every effort must be made to protect
and promote the work of human rights defenders and the non-governmental
organisations through which they work.
IFHHRO supports the
peaceful responses of the non-governmental organisations in Zimbabwe, and
the specific work of associations such as the Zimbabwe Association of
Doctors for Human Rights which, as an IFHHRO affiliate, shares our mandate
for the promotion of the right to health.
IFHHRO calls on the government
of Zimbabwe to uphold its commitments to protect and promote human rights
under international and regional agreements.
In this regard we
refer specifically to the Grand Bay (Mauritius) and Kigali Declarations
which recognise the role of human rights defenders and Nepad which
emphasises the importance of observance of human rights, good governance and
the rule of law as a basis for sustainable economic
All is good Vincent
Kahiya MANY people argue that dictatorships offer the best hope for rapid
economic growth in poor countries, often citing the experience of Asian
Tigers in their theses.
Malaysia and Indonesia have become models of
this experience, which many leaders from poor countries liberally cite to
justify authoritarian rule. It is argued that open political systems like
multi-partyism are not necessary for economic growth.
political instability is a major impediment to economic growth. Instability,
implying risk, limits investments and hence growth.
Zimbabwe has over
the years been experiencing severe political instability which has inhibited
Exponents of authoritarian rule have been quick to
point the world to their immense achievements, which they always claim can
never be attained in the so-called democracies. And even when the record is
there for all to see, strongmen would like the world to believe that they
are busy-bodies toiling to achieve common good. They insist their economies
are on a recovery path even when the opposite is true. All problems are
externally generated by those opposed to their rule. They are never
President Mugabe, who was in Maputo, Mozambique, on a
three-day official visit this week, is a disciple of this subterfuge - all
is good in Zimbabwe.
He told journalists just before his departure from
Maputo that the economy was on the mend and political tension had
"We are now, day-by-day, regaining a noteworthy political and
stability," he said.
".Political tension in Zimbabwe
is easing, the economy is growing," he said.
But in which direction Mr
President? How many jobs have been created or saved? How many new investors
have come into the country over the past four years? Why are we scrounging
for foreign currency in the diaspora if the economy is on the
There are more poignant truths to debunk these presidential
assertions. Perhaps the subjugation of civil society through strong-arm
tactics and promulgation of archaic laws to counter dissent can be
Mugabe does not need to look
far for signs of instability. War veterans have taken up the cudgels against
the old-guard in Zanu PF. Violent campaigns by Zanu PF cadres have been
reported in Mutasa and parts of Matabeleland as jockeying for the 2005
election builds up.
What about the tension created by Mugabe's
silence on his retirement plans? The opposition MDC's decision to keep the
nation on a knife's edge by setting conditionalities for participating in
next year's poll has also added to the stability, we
Zanu PF in its infinite wisdom has already declared that it
will not accommodate a key MDC demand of access to the public media. Zanu PF
has also bunked SA-sponsored talks meant to thaw relations with the MDC. And
with it stability is being restored by day?
All is good in
The country has never had problems of its own making. The
only instances we have admitted to having problems are when there is a
drought or floods. Cyclone Eline-induced floods were the source of all our
problems for a good three years.
At the height of the fuel
shortages two years ago we were told Britain was "hijacking ships" on high
seas and paying higher prices for fuel destined for Zimbabwe.
we have been told the country has a grain surplus. The government has
imported thousands of tractors from China, France and Iran to ensure tillage
problems are "a thing of the past". All winter wheat will be harvested on
time because there are enough combine harvesters. The best judges of this
effort are farmers on the ground. We do not have to wait long for the
There is even more deception. The country will acquire
planes from China. The Chinese would like to build the Harare-Chitungwiza
railway line. Plans to implement the Matabeleland Zambezi Water project and
the Kunzvi Dam project have been at an advanced stage for over two years
Failures are not of our making. We are born winners.
latest excuse for our problems is Tony Blair and George W Bush. Next year's
poll has even been dubbed an anti-Blair election. How about this campaign
message to the Zimbabwe electorate - "Vote against Tony Blair for jobs,
housing and better health facilities"?
If his Labour Party loses the
election next year, all our suffering will be a "thing of the
But imagine this summation by Voltaire being enacted close to
home in the
"A Lucullus in good health, dining
well with his friends and his mistress in the house of Apollo, can say
laughingly that there is no devil; but let him put his head out of the
window and he will see unhappy people; let him suffer a fever and he will be
unhappy himself. - Philosophical Dictionary, 1764.
AI Index: AFR 46/029/2004
(Public) News Service No: 250 15 October 2004
Embargo Date: 15
October 2004 12:00 GMT
Zimbabwe: Violations of the right to
food Policies and practices of the Government of Zimbabwe are undermining
peoples' access to food, and violate Zimbabwe's obligations under
international human rights law a new report released by Amnesty
International on the eve of World Food Day concluded.
"Zimbabwe: Power and Hunger, Violations of the Right to Food", examines a
number of government policies and how their implementation has resulted in
the violation of basic rights. These include the controversial "fast track
land reform programme", and the operations of the government-controlled
Grain Marketing Board (GMB).
"Implementation of the 'fast track land
reform programme' has been marred by violence, corruption and a blatant
disregard for the rule of law. Hundreds have lost their lives; tens of
thousands have lost their livelihoods and, with it, their ability to have
access to adequate food," Amnesty International said.
As a result of
the way in which the land reform programme has been implemented agriculture
has been disrupted, fertile land has gone unplanted and thousands of
agricultural jobs have been lost. All this at a time when poverty and food
insecurity meant millions of people in Zimbabwe were dependent on food
"Land reform can be vital to realizing human rights, including the
right to food," Amnesty International's report says. "However, any program
of land reform should not result in violations of human rights."
report also criticizes the government's response to the food crisis in
Zimbabwe. The near-monopoly of the state-controlled Grain Marketing Board
(GMB) on trade in and distribution of maize - the staple food for millions
of people in Zimbabwe has been used by the government to control food
supplies and to manipulate food for political purposes.
distribution system has been used to discriminate against supporters of the
political opposition. In numerous cases only those who can prove membership
of ZANU-PF have been allowed to access maize distributed by the GMB. During
election campaigns voters' access to food has been threatened unless they
vote for ZANU-PF," says the report. "Farm workers have also been
discriminated against by the GMB distribution system, reportedly in an
attempt to force them to work for the newly resettled farms at low rates of
Discrimination has also been a problem in the international food
aid programme. While donors have sought to prevent manipulation of
international food aid by the government and its supporters, they have
themselves been unwilling to provide food aid to newly resettled farms in
need, reportedly because they believe this would legitimise the land reform
"By allowing political motives to interfere with the provision
of assistance to those in need, donors may also have undermined the efforts
of those humanitarian actors who distribute assistance without
discrimination, thus further denying the population of Zimbabwe badly needed
help," Amnesty International said.
There is mounting evidence that
people in Zimbabwe continue to suffer from hunger. Although the government
has claimed that the 2004 harvest was a "bumper crop", many independent
monitors, including the UN and local and international non-governmental
organizations involved in food security, dispute the government's figures.
However, the government has insisted it does not need international food aid
and, since mid 2004, most food aid distribution in Zimbabwe has
Amnesty International is concerned that the cessation of most
international food aid distribution is leaving millions of people dependent
on grain distributed via the GMB. It is unclear whether the GMB has
sufficient resources to meet needs.
The organization is further
concerned about potential further violations of the rights to adequate food
and freedom from hunger in the context of the 2005 elections, given the
GMB's history of discriminatory distribution of grain it controls and the
pattern of abuse of access to food at times of elections over the past two
"The government must allow independent monitoring of the food
security situation in Zimbabwe and ensure transparency and accountability in
the operations of the GMB," says the report.
Amnesty International is
calling on the Zimbabwe government, as a party to the International Covenant
on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICSECR), the African Charter on
Human and Peoples' Rights (ACHPR) and other international treaties under
which it is obliged to uphold the right to food, to take immediate steps to
fulfil its obligations without discrimination of any kind.
organization also calls on international donors to ensure that both
development and humanitarian aid policies are based on human rights
principles, including ensuring non-discrimination.
††††††††††† Zimbabwe 'rebels' lose foothold in racism
inquiry ††††††††††† By John Westerby
SPEED, the chief executive of the ICC, has condemned what he saw as a
"schoolboy attempt" to undermine the inquiry into racism allegations against
the Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU) by the lawyer representing the "rebel"
white players. ††††††††††† Speed was responding to a letter from Chris
Venturas, the players' lawyer, which was also leaked to the media,
highlighting concerns about how the inquiry's abortive hearing in Zimbabwe
††††††††††† The hearing was abandoned on September
30 when the players and the ZCU were unable to agree on procedural
conditions. The inquiry thus decided to rely on written submissions to
determine its findings, which will be heard at the ICC board meeting in
Lahore this weekend.
††††††††††† "The process that the ICC put in place
has provided you and your clients with repeated opportunities, beyond a
single hearing in Zimbabwe, to provide this essential evidence to support
your claims," Speed wrote. "Your letter is premature and pre-empts the
findings of the panel. The decision to provide it to the media is another
schoolboy attempt to manipulate public opinion in your favour to the
detriment of finding a solution."
††††††††††† Peter Martin, the
Lancashire and former England seam bowler, has retired because of a knee
injury. "The time is right to bring my career to a close," Martin, 35, who
won eight Test caps between 1995 and 1997, said. In 212 first-class matches
he took 606 wickets, 17 in Test matches.
By Tandayi Motsi THE
Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee has recommended that loans availed
to parastatals by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) under the Productive
Sector Facility be thoroughly audited.
The committee's chairperson Ms
Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga told Parliament on Tuesday that some
parastatals were not following treasury instructions when applying for such
"Your committee was concerned to note that some of the financial
statements that had been done by contracted auditors were sent to the RBZ
without the Comptroller and Auditor-General having seen them," she
The MP cited the example of Zesa Holdings which she said had
received a loan from the RBZ without submitting its audited financial
statements to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development as per
Ms Misihairabwi-Mushonga, who is also Glen Norah
MP (MDC), was presenting the second special report on the committee on
She said according to information made available to the
committee the central bank had as of August disbursed a total of $28,2
billion to three local authorities and one parastatal.
disbursed $10 billion to Zesa Holdings, $8,3 billion to the City of
Bulawayo, $5,8 billion to Chitungwiza Municipality while the City of Kwekwe
received $4,1 billion.
Other parastatals such as the National
Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) and the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe (Noczim)
had applied for loans but these were not yet ready for
Noczim applied for $167,2 billion while for NRZ no amount was
Ms Misihairabwi-Mushonga said the committee also noted with
concern that parastatals had failed over the years to submit their annual
financial statements for scrutiny by the House but were now submitting such
information to the RBZ within a short period.
It is a requirement by
the central bank that institutions keen to access funds under the Productive
Sector Facility should submit their audited accounts and turnaround
The MP said line ministries should closely and tightly
monitor the operations of parastatals in order to ensure their
The committee recommended that in the event of
parastatals failing to submit the annual financial reports to the House line
ministries should be made accountable.
There was also need to
harmonise the operations of parastatals and the Ministry of Finance and
Economic Development was urged to effectively play its supervisory role when
it comes to submission of financial statements and annual reports by the
Ms Misihairabwi-Mushonga lamented the lack of seriousness by
some parastatals in taking on board recommendations by the
Seconding the motion, Buhera South MP Mr Kumbirai Kangai
(Zanu-PF) urged parastatals to comply with the provisions that governed
He said the institutions were required to table their
annual reports in Parliament 10 days after submitting the audited accounts
to their line ministries but in most cases this was not being
Contributing to the debate, Nkulumane MP and MDC leader in the
House Mr Gibson Sibanda said there was need to harness operations of
parastatals since they were contributing to the runway Government
expenditure through unsound practises.
††††† Foreigners implicated in gold scam ††††† by STAFF
†CHINESE nationals are alleged to have joined
the illegal trade in gold, an industry that has become a hit in Zimbabwe, at
the expense of the country's environment. Reports from Chimanimani, one of
the regions where minerals, vegetation and wildlife resources are threatened
with extinction due to uncontrolled exploitation by illegal gold dealers,
indicate that there has been a marked presence of the Chinese in the gold
Gold panning activities are among some of the worst
threats to the environment in the country, due to the rising costs of
living, many unemployed people have turned to the informal mining sector as
a source of income.
The Minister of Mines and Mining Development,
Amos Midzi last month encouraged gold panners to reclaim the trenches that
are left after extracting the mineral, as this would go some way in reducing
the ugly effects of gold panning.
"They do not spare the time to
verify if they are given the right weight, as they appear to be always in a
rush when dealing with the panners," said a source that visited the area
Police in Chimanimani, however,yesterday said that although
there had been reports of illegal gold trade involving foreign nationals in
the area, it was difficult to verify whether Chinese nationals are part of
the illegal trade as no arrests had been made so far.
"We are about
70 kilometres away from the gold panning fields and we rarely go out
there,so it is difficult to tell you what is taking place," said the member
in charge of Chimanimani police station. Zimbabweans resident in neighbouring
South Africa, Botswana and Mozambique are also said to have been lured to
In addition, traders from the three mentioned Sadc members, who
frequent areas such as Chipinge, Chimanimani, Rusitu and Kurwaisimba
business centres are reported to have rushed to join the lucrative
Gold fetches about $87 000 per gram from the sole official buyer,
Fidelity Printers, but gold panners are allegedly lured by the strength of
foreign currency offered by nationals from neighbouring
The Chinese pay in local currency but at a price much higher
than the official price. Such a situation has heightened the illegal
marketing and selling of the mineral.
The issue of the presence of
the Chinese nationals doing business in Zimbabwe has sparked heated debate
in the country with local business people complaining that they were
bringing in cheaper and lower quality products that threaten to kill the
There have also been some unproven accusations that they
were using their shops as mere fronts to enable them to carry out illegal
Zimbabwe, like the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), has
gone through a sad episode of wealth prejudice.
Two truckloads of
platinum recently disappeared while nickel extraction giant Bindura Nickel
Corporation also experienced the same problem.
Statistics indicate that
since the impetus on gold marketing controls was stepped up this year,
Zimbabwe has harvested an extra one tonne of the precious metal every month
compared to previous years.
Gold output has risen to 1.8 tonnes per month
from 900 kilogrammes per month last year.
Herald Reporter THE
Registrar-General's Office has designated 63 district offices around the
country to issue forms to applicants for passports and other personal
Registrar-General Mr Tobaiwa Mudede said the offices would
lessen pressure on the main Harare offices as chaos usually reigns at the
queue to buy the forms.
Each form costs $5 000.
"The queue to
buy the forms is always the longest. To lessen pressure on the Harare
Office, we have designated district offices countrywide for people to
conveniently access the forms and go through all other procedures before the
information is sent to us for the printing of their passports," Mr Mudede
He said a survey conducted by his office had shown that many
people would prefer to apply for passports and other documents from
provinces they come from or live within. The Registrar-General said the
decentralisation to district offices would not affect the period in which
passports would be processed.
"If you have paid for your passport to
be processed in two weeks, you will still collect it at the stipulated time
and save some money by not travelling far. Nothing is going to negatively
impact on this new development."
Some of the new offices will be at
the Highfield and Chizhanje (Mabvuku) community centres, Mount Darwin,
Rushinga, Uzumba-Maramba-Pfungwe, Karoi, Kariba, Mwenezi, Chitungwiza,
Chipinge, Mberengwa, Binga, Umguza, Lupane, Bulilimamangwe, Insiza and
Mr Mudede said the new system would also make it easy
to identify "rogue" Zimbabweans who use fake documents when applying for
"We have deployed some officers to their home districts or to
those they are familiar with to monitor and screen the applicants," he
"The issue of documents is a serious because it determines the
level of security within a country, with social and economic
He said foreign elements who infiltrated Zimbabwe with
bogus documents masquerading as professionals posed grave danger as they
could wreck the country without compunction because they had no ties of
loyalty to Zimbabwe.
He confirmed that his office was grappling with an
influx of fraudulent citizenship applications by some foreigners wishing to
illegally acquire Zimbabwean documents. Fraudulent applications included
those for birth and marriage certificates and passports by foreigners "who
have been misled into thinking that it is easy to penetrate our system", Mr
Without disclosing the names of the countries where the
applicants originate from, Mr Mudede said foreign faces applying for birth
certificates are detected all the time.
"There are foreigners who
want to be 'Zimbabweans' using fraudulent means and sometimes using some of
our officers here.
"The good thing about technology though is you can
conduct an audit trail on the computer and be able to establish where and
how a scam started and where it ended," Mr Mudede said.
On the four
workers from the passport office's processing department who were recently
arrested for producing fake passports, Mr Mudede said his security officers
were in the process of checking whether there were any such passports and
other documents that were issued out.
Herald Reporters GOVERNMENT
yesterday strongly warned the opposition MDC after it issued statements
inciting people to engage in violence today when the High Court delivers
judgment in the treason case of its leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
Government said, are prepared to deal with any attempts by MDC hooligans to
disturb peace and stability in the country before or after the delivery of
Tsvangirai allegedly plotted to assassinate President
Mugabe ahead of the March 2002 presidential election.
Paddington Garwe is expected to hand down judgment in the high-profile
treason case today.
In a statement yesterday, the Secretary for
Information and Publicity in the Office of the President and Cabinet, Cde
George Charamba, said the public pronouncements were intended to unleash
violence and subvert the peace that obtains in the country.
Charamba said the Government would not allow this to happen and all those
involved in organising such an outcome were advised to take note.
who deliberately seek to act in breach of the laws of the land will only
have themselves to blame for what is sure to follow," Cde Charamba
He said the MDC statements and pronouncements reflected dire
Cde Charamba said for well over a year, the MDC had subjected
itself to court processes, which have proceeded unimpeded, and it was
surprising that it now sought to undermine that very process which is
entering its final and conclusive stage.
"Such a baffling posture
suggests a party which either believes the whole legal process was unfair,
or has already passed a guilty verdict on the accused - in this case its
leader - well ahead of the judgment to be delivered in the High Court
tomorrow (today), and whose contents the rest of the nation does not, and
will not, know until after it has been delivered."
Cde Charamba said what
was more reprehensible was the fact that the pronouncements by the MDC
appeared calculated to intimidate and instill fear in those whose
constitutional mandate was to administer justice in the country, including
the judge concerned.
"This is in clear contempt of the country's courts,
and blatant undermining of the rule of law which the MDC and its sponsors
claim to respect, uphold and encourage. Government will ensure there is
order at the courts and in the country, indeed ensure that judgments in
this, and all other cases, are handed down in an environment that is
conducive to, and promotive of, the rule of law."
The Minister of
Home Affairs, Cde Kembo Mohadi, assured the nation that police were prepared
to deal with any people bent on causing violence.
statement came as three University of Zimbabwe (UZ) students were arrested
outside Groombridge Primary School in Mt Pleasant when they were caught
writing messages to incite MDC supporters to be violent if the High Court
convicts Tsvangirai of treason.
The opposition party has also been
distributing flyers and pamphlets inciting people to be violent.
of the flyers urges MDC supporters not to sit back when "the hand-picked
judge delivers his flawed judgement".
"Look in your area and target
all the pillars that support this regime. Its pillars of support include
those who maim people, the Green Bombers. Disempower them."
UZ students were spotted by some teachers writing on the school's pre-cast
wall urging members of the opposition MDC to go to court today and "act on
an unfavourable outcome".
According to the police, some of the messages
were full of hate and incited people to become violent and disrespect the
High Court if Tsvangirai is convicted.
"The tone and purpose of the
messages was illegal and the three had no right to paint messages on
people's walls without their consent," police in Borrowdale said
Officer Commanding Crime in Harare Assistant Commissioner
Killian Mandisodza said the three students were in police custody.
said instead of reading their books the students were found illegally
painting Groombridge Primary School's walls.
"We are charging the
students under the Public Order and Security Act and we have since recovered
a 300-millilitre container which had the white paint they used to smear the
walls," Asst Comm Mandisodza said.
He said during an interview with the
police, the three had indicated their actions were in support of
"We have also made several arrests of people who were
smearing the central business area with similar messages. We are strongly
warning any elements who feel putting dirt on our walls can make them feel
better that we will be on the lookout for them.
"It is very
unbecoming and we will deal with them because what they are doing does not
help anybody," Asst Comm Mandisodza said.
Tsvangirai, whose trial lasted
for eight months, faces the death penalty if found guilty of
Addressing a Press conference in Harare yesterday, the Minister
of Home Affairs, Cde Mohadi, urged members of the public to maintain peace
and behave themselves.
"Intelligence reports reaching me indicate
that some malcontents and mischief makers, whatever the decision of the
court, are determined to ensure that there is lawlessness within the
vicinity of the High Court and in other parts of the country," he
Cde Mohadi assured the nation that there would be peace and
security and reminded them to remain calm.
"Those with an inclination
towards disorder are strongly warned against such behaviour and law-abiding
citizens are assured of peace and stability," he said.
be no panic whatsoever. Whatever the court's decision, everyone is reminded
to remain calm as any breakdown in law and order will not be
The minister said the police would be on a standby
"The business community and the general public are assured
of their safety. Any behaviour or conduct threatening their activities
should immediately be reported to the police," said Cde Mohadi.
the purposes of orderliness, he said, the police would ensure that those who
would like to listen to the proceedings would be allowed into the
"The MDC leadership could make arrangements with the
police on their members who would like to hear proceedings for entry into
the courtroom," said Cde Mohadi.
He said other people could also be
allowed into the courtroom.
The minister said that the people should
remember and appreciate that the courtroom can only sit a specified number
of people and that the number would not be exceeded for any
"Everyone else can listen to the news to learn about the judgment
and this will be availed to the nation at the earliest opportunity," he
He urged those attending the court hearing to maintain a code of
Tsvangirai went on trial in February last year jointly charged
with MDC secretary-general Professor Welshman Ncube and Gweru Rural Member
of Parliament Mr Renson Gasela.
However, the two were acquitted at
the close of the State case.
Justice Garwe reserved judgment in the case
that captured public and international interest in February this year to
study the evidence adduced by both the State and defence
Charges against Tsvangirai arose after the opposition leader
allegedly plotted to kill the President before the presidential
Tsvangirai lost the election to President Mugabe by more than
400 000 votes, but the opposition leader, together with his Western allies,
have refused to accept the results, claiming the poll was rigged.
observers from most of African countries, the Third World and those from
Russia and China hailed the election as free and fair.
challenging Cde Mugabe's victory in the same court.
An attempt by
Tsvangirai to have the President's election nullified after the hearing of
legal arguments without getting to factual arguments of the case failed
after the court dismissed his application in June.
The application was
dismissed with costs on the basis that none of the arguments presented by
Tsvangirai warranted the invalidation of the election results.
the treason trial, the prosecution alleged that the opposition leader
requested a Canadian-based political consultant, Mr Ari Ben-Menashe, to
organise the President's assassination and a military coup.
his defence Tsvangirai claimed his party sought to engage Mr Ben-Menashe's
firm to lobby for support and source funds for the MDC in the United
South African Advocate George Bizos led the defence team
comprising Advocates Chris Andersen and Eric Matinenga, instructed by Mr
Innocent Chagonda of Atherstone and Cook.
Acting Attorney General Mr
Bharat Patel led the prosecution team made up of the director of public
prosecutions Mr Joseph Musakwa and chief law officer Mr Morgen
††††††††† HARARE, Oct. 14 (Xinhuanet) -- The
Zimbabwean government on Thursday announced a huge
3.2-trillion-Zimbabwean-dollar (about 570 million US dollars) financing
package for farmers in the forthcoming 2004/2005 farming
††††††††† Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development Permanent
Secretary Ngoni Masoka said the money would be released in tranches, and
earmarked for inputs such as seed, fertilizers and
††††††††† He said 600 billion Zimbabwean dollars (about 107
million US dollars) had already been released to banks for onward lending to
farmers, most of whom were resettled by the government in the lastfive years
on farms acquired from white farmers.
††††††††† "This is just an
initial allocation to ensure that preparationsfor the season are done on
time," said Masoka.
††††††††† "The rest of the money will be disbursed as
the season progresses, because at the moment, the priority is providing
tillage, seed and fertilizers," he said.
††††††††† Part of the money
would be paid directly to input suppliers such as seed and fertilizer
companies, some of whom had complainedof lack of capital to expand
production to meet high demand from farmers.
††††††††† This is by far the
biggest financing package put up by the government for farmers, as it moves
to consolidate its land reforms, anchored on resettlement.
Independently, several banks and agro-processing companies havealso put in
place financing schemes for farmers, the latest being Agribank which
announced last week it had mobilized 232 billion Zimbabwean dollars (about
41 million US dollars) for tobacco growers for the forthcoming cropping
††††††††† Production of tobacco, Zimbabwe's main export crop, had
gone down in recent years due to under-funding, drought and lack of farming
experience by the new farmers, badly impacting on the country's foreign
††††††††† Industry planners say, however, tobacco
output in the forthcoming season will treble to 160 million kg, after
adequate funding was put in place by the government and other