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

Back to Index

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

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.

Tsvangirai, the 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

"Reports 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 state-sponsored event."

However, deputy war veterans leader Joseph Chinotimba said ex-combatants
would respect the court verdict.

"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."

But Nyathi insisted that Zanu PF militia in collaboration with "rogue war
veterans and misguided state security agents" were planning violence.

"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.

Home Affairs minister Kembo Mohadi said police would be on high alert.

Tsvangirai - 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 evidence.

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 government.

However, Tsvangirai denied the charges, saying they were part of a sting
operation to destroy his political career.

Despite panic gripping the MDC, Tsvangirai's spokesman William Bango said
his boss believed he would be acquitted.

"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 day."

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."

Misihairabwi-Mushonga said 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 orders.

"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.

"This case has all the hallmarks of Mugabe's legendary ruthlessness,
opportunism and moral deficiency."

She said Tsvangirai's trial on the basis of evidence supplied by a
discredited witness was a "scandalous waste of public resources".

"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 said.

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 election.

"This is all a terrible miscalculation."

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

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 parliament.

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.

All 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 turnaround plans.

"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.

In terms of the Audit and Exchequer Act (Chapter 22:03), ".no designated
corporate body may borrow money temporarily or otherwise without the
approval of the appropriate minister..."

"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.

The 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.

The committee 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 be entertained."
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

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

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.

The Zimbabwe 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.

Pressed on to divulge who was distributing the cards and where they were
coming from, Shumba said he did not want to assassinate characters.

"Obviously party cards are not printed in Masvingo. They are printed in
Harare and distributed by the commissariat," he said.

"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.

A record-breaking 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

In Makoni 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 seat.

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 December.

Chiyangwa belongs to the so-called "Net*One" camp that has Ignatious Chombo,
Edna Madzongwe, Bright Matonga and Sylvester Nguni.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

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 said.

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 quarry.

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 Halifax.

Canadian officials said there were seven people on board but the airline's
managing director Wisdom Ametepe put the number at six.

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.

Investigators 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 runway.

"(The tail) left the aircraft relatively early ... it is still within the
confines, as I understand it, of the airport," he told reporters.

"I haven't any formal information that suggests there was an explosion."

Ghanaian aviation officials said MK Airlines had been operating in Ghana
since 1994 and had 16 planes registered in the former British colony.

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.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

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 participating.

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

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 said.

DP president Wurayayi Zembe said they had joined the MDC and civil society
in denouncing Zanu PF's cosmetic electoral reforms.

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 guidelines.

"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 protocol.

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.

"There 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.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

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

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.

The amendments 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 amendment says.

Issues of governance, according to the amendments, also entail "activities
aimed at public transparency and accountability".

The new amendments define governance as activities aimed at strengthening
public support for an "understanding on anti-corruption programmes".

Governance means "furthering and facilitating the interest or activities of
a political party", says the amendment.

Constitutional law expect Lovemore Madhuku said the new definition of
governance was a way of barring foreign funding for the local NGO sector.

"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 said.

The Bill, if enacted into law, will also outlaw the registration of foreign
NGOs whose "sole or principal objects involve or include issues of

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
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

      Zanu PF primary poll fights get nasty
      Staff Writer

      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 parliamentary seat.

      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 meeting.

      "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 said.

      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 opponents.

      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

      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

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

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 bail.

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 paper.

"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 said.

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
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

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 said.

"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 tobacco."

Some of the farmers who could not get space in the barns have started moving
back to their destroyed properties.

The High Court last week ruled that the evicted farmers should return to
their pieces of land until government found them alternative land.

Takaruza 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 season."

There are mixed feelings among the farmers on whether to start planting or
not following the first rains this week.

"To make 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 hunger.

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.

New 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.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

 Mugabe's two-faced electoral image
Itai Dzamara

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 election.

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 scene.

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.

Two Bills 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 framework.

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

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 months.

"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 election".

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 opposition.

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 society.

Zapu leader Paul Siwela said opposition parties and civil society must
continue lobbying for the rejection of Mugabe's schemes.

"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

"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 community."

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 for democracy.

"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."

National Constitutional 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 struggle."

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 and letter".

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.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent


Professor Moyo's pyrrhic victory in Addis

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 record.

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 contents.

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 heart!

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.

The 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.

Zimbabwe's 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 for?

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 report.

Sapes Trust which helped to prepare the report this week said the document
was handed to the Ministry of Foreign Affair prior to the meeting.

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 review.

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.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

Erich Bloch Column

 Regime change needed for recovery

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

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 beneficial.

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 against me.

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 correct.

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 meaningless.

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 matters.

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 do so.

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 be achieved.

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 me.

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 recovery.

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 sustained.

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 are misdirected.

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 upon himself.

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 opinion.

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 with him.

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 else.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent


Finally Lowani has seen the light

DIVISIONS are deepening in Zanu PF ahead of the parliamentary election next
year. There is no hiding them anymore.

One example 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 can explain.

Unless we accept the "how to kill a presidential challenge" theory that
Phathisa Nyathi has offered.

Talking of 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 nose.

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.

Last week 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 doing.

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 Falls.

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."

It 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.

Muckraker was 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.

"Those values should never be changed and must be used as a means to
recognise us as a unique society."

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

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 people.

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 ruse.

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

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 the country".

He said it was a "matter of national security" that the opposition was
denied access to the public media.

"I will 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.

But 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 country?

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

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 theories.

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 betrayal.

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.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

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 development.

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.

Mashonaland Holdings chairman, Abner Botsh, confirmed that the company had
approached the government over the issue.

"We have approached the government over the recent developments," said

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 Botch.

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 past.

"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.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent


They are stealing nation's resources

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 madness?

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.

All of 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 around."

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 equality.

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 worthless, anyway).

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 Airport.

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 self-serving leaders.

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

* More 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.

For 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 Squadron.

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 TA-commissioned officer.

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

John V Austin,

Middlesex, England.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent


Only Hogg can save the day

I SALUTE Vince Hogg, ex-managing director of the Zimbabwe Cricket Union
(ZCU), who has emerged with some strong accusations of racism in the
on-going debacle between the ZCU and its players.

This is the strength of character to be admired because he well knows the
pressure and intimidation it may subject him to.

How will the hopeless ZCU officials debunk Hogg's evidence to the
International Cricket Council (ICC)?

His word as one who was present in the meetings as a top man of the ZCU will
carry great credibility.

He is also the only one in the entire ZCU hierarchy who played cricket at
national level and understands the game well.

Hogg can single-handedly save the day for Zimbabwe cricket. And it looks
like he has the guts to do that. Bravo Vince!

ARJ Butcher,

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent


Open letter to President Mugabe

The 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 replaced ambulances.

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

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

Adriaan van Es, MD

IFHHRO secretary.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

Editor's Memo

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.

But 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 economic growth.

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 wrong.

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 eased.

"We are now, day-by-day, regaining a noteworthy political and economic

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 mend?

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 considered

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 presume.

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 Zimbabwe.

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.

Now 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 now.

Failures are not of our making. We are born winners.

The 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 past".

But imagine this summation by Voltaire being enacted close to home in the

21st century.

"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,

Tous est bien.
Back to the Top
Back to Index


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.

The report, "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 aid.

"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."

The 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.

"The GMB 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 pay."

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 process.

"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 ceased.

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 years.

"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.

The 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.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

The Times

            Zimbabwe 'rebels' lose foothold in racism inquiry
            By John Westerby

            MALCOLM 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 was conducted.

            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.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

The Herald

'Parastatals defy Treasury'

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 loans.

"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 said.

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 treasury requirements.

Ms Misihairabwi-Mushonga, who is also Glen Norah MP (MDC), was presenting
the second special report on the committee on parastatals.

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.

The RBZ 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 processing.

Noczim applied for $167,2 billion while for NRZ no amount was indicated.

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 strategies.

The MP said line ministries should closely and tightly monitor the
operations of parastatals in order to ensure their accountability.

The committee recommended that in the event of parastatals failing to submit
the annual financial reports to the House line ministries should be made

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 parastatals.

Ms Misihairabwi-Mushonga lamented the lack of seriousness by some
parastatals in taking on board recommendations by the committee.

Seconding the motion, Buhera South MP Mr Kumbirai Kangai (Zanu-PF) urged
parastatals to comply with the provisions that governed their operations.

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 followed.

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.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Observer

      Foreigners implicated in gold scam
      by STAFF EDITORS (10/14/2004)

 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 panning belts.

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

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 recently.

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 the area.

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 trade.

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 countries.

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 local industry.

There have also been some unproven accusations that they were using their
shops as mere fronts to enable them to carry out illegal businesses.

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.

Source: Daily Mirror By Shame Makoshori
Back to the Top
Back to Index

The Herald

RG's Office decentralises

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

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

"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

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 Matobo districts.

Mr Mudede said the new system would also make it easy to identify "rogue"
Zimbabweans who use fake documents when applying for passports.

"We have deployed some officers to their home districts or to those they are
familiar with to monitor and screen the applicants," he said.

"The issue of documents is a serious because it determines the level of
security within a country, with social and economic implications."

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 Mudede said.

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.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

The Herald

State warns MDC

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.

Police, the 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 judgment today.

Tsvangirai allegedly plotted to assassinate President Mugabe ahead of the
March 2002 presidential election.

Judge President 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.

Cde Charamba said the Government would not allow this to happen and all
those involved in organising such an outcome were advised to take note.

"Those 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 panic.

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.

The minister's 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.

One 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."

The three 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

"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 yesterday.

Officer Commanding Crime in Harare Assistant Commissioner Killian Mandisodza
said the three students were in police custody.

He 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 Tsvangirai.

"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 treason.

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 said.

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

"There should 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 tolerated."

The minister said the police would be on a standby countrywide.

"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.

For 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

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 reason.

"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 said.

He urged those attending the court hearing to maintain a code of behaviour.

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 lawyers.

Charges against Tsvangirai arose after the opposition leader allegedly
plotted to kill the President before the presidential election.

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.

But observers from most of African countries, the Third World and those from
Russia and China hailed the election as free and fair.

Tsvangirai is 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

During 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.

But in 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 States.

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 Nemadire.

Back to the Top
Back to Index


      Zimbabwean govt. announces huge financing package for farmers 2004-10-15 02:15:07

          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 season.

          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 chemicals.

          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 season.

          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 currency

          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 stakeholders.Enditem

Back to the Top
Back to Index