|The ZIMBABWE Situation||Our
thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe |
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.
On the 25th of October the South African Foreign Minister will be in London and we will be staging a demo under the banner of ‘End the Silence – Stop the Violence’. We are calling upon South Africa to break the silence and condemn human rights abuse in Zimbabwe. The demo is initiated by Zimbabwean and International Human Rights activists and is supported by Amnesty International.
Saturday 25th October 2003 ‘End the Silence – Stop the Violence’
12 noon: Rally outside the Queen Elizabeth Conference Centre, Broad Sanctuary, London SW1
1pm March to Trafalgar Square and demonstrate outside the South African High Commission.
African Church Information Service
October 13, 2003
Posted to the web October 14, 2003
The Zimbabwean government has hinted that it would clamp down on all private
media refusing to tow the official line.
Information minister, Professor Jonathan Moyo, told journalists here about a
week ago that the government was in the process of outlawing two other
publications, The Independent (formally The Zimbabwe Independent) and The
Standard, and a private radio station beaming into Zimbabwe from the United
States, for allegedly "peddling western propaganda".
minister, who is the architect of the draconian Access to Information
and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) recently used to shut down a popular
newspaper in the country, said the newspapers were publishing trash that
would not be published anywhere overseas.
Last month, a government appointed media commission, working in cahoots with
the police, closed the offices of The Daily News, after the country's
Supreme Court refused to hear a case in which the paper challenged sections
of the AIPPA requiring newspapers to register with the commission.
The court ordered the paper to register with the commission before its case
could be heard. The commission and the government interpreted the ruling to
mean the paper was operating illegally, and went ahead to close its
Lawyers and media experts, both local and international, condemned the
closure as a misinterpretation of the court ruling. Others called for the
isolation of Zimbabwe on the grounds that it was stifling freedom of
But Mugabe's regime appears unfazed, and is determined to press ahead with
its efforts to eradicate private media.
Speaking at the official launch of New Ziana, a multi-media state
organisation established to publish pro-ZANU-PF information, Prof Moyo made
it clear that after the closure of The Daily News and its Sunday sister, he
was now after The Standard and The Independent.
He said the two papers were fronts for imperialism and they needed to be
silenced for degrading the country's ruling elite.
"They call the President (Mugabe) a thief. Why don't they say George Bush
(United States President) is a thief and Tony Blair (British Prime Minister)
is a thief?" charged the minister.
He also took a swipe at Studio 7, a Voice of America (VOA) news broadcasting
station that beams to Zimbabwe.
"Studio 7 will die. It faces death. They think we are sleeping, we want to
see where they are going with Studio 7," he warned.
The minister, well known for launching vitriol at his proclaimed enemies,
said The Standard and The Independent were just like The Daily News that was
closed down on September 11.
"They publish trash just like The Daily News. They are not different from
it. Just to show their clear identity, The Independent has dropped Zimbabwe,
which was part of its name, while the national flag that was on The Standard
masthead has been blown by the wind, the British wind.
It is no longer there anymore. They are serving their masters and we are
clearly aware of that," claimed Prof Moyo.
The publishers had argued that the changes were a result of a marketing
strategy aimed at making them appears more appealing.
The chairman of the media commission, Dr Tafataona Mahoso, who also attended
the launch, confirmed that a clampdown on The Standard was imminent.
Said he to a journalist from The Standard: "Oh, you are from The Standard.
We will be coming to you. We will be writing to you soon. You are writing
lies, carrying stories with initials as by-lines."
The Zimbabwe government maintains a tight stranglehold on media and still
refuses to open the broadcasting industry to private players.
There is only one television station and four radio stations, all controlled
by the government.
October 14, 2003
~~~ Newsletter 042
Remember that you must be connected to the internet to view the pictures in this newsletter.
Over 400% inflation
"If you are not
living on the edge, you take up too much room."
~ Native American saying
people know what they want, but what will they do to get it?
The Mass Public Opinion Institute (MPOI) recently conducted a survey on issues surrounding the formation of a transitional government. The survey found that there is a desire for change and that 51.3% think that mugabe should retire now. 54.8% do not believe his comments on retirement are sincere. These responses came from both ZANU and MDC strongholds. The survey also found that there is a desire for a transitional government that would organise a re-run of the presidential elections (69.9%) and most people favour concurrent presidential and parliamentary elections (59.2%). The majority (59.8%) would like fresh elections held immediately. The two parties are expected to compromise through dialogue (80% wants the talks resumed) and the people expect a democratic selection process in the ZANU succession issue (they want the party to choose the successor, not the President), with Simba Makoni being the candidate people feel would fare best against the opposition. When asked who you would vote for if there was a Presidential election, the largest percentage went to Tsvangirai (35.8%), then other (25.5%) and finally to Makoni (15.2%). 55.6% said that they supported a Government of National Unity (GNU) which is down from 73.7% in 2000. For those that do not want a GNU, the main reasons are because "an opposition is needed" and they are afraid "ZANU will manipulate the MDC." Email MPOI for a copy of the survey firstname.lastname@example.org
Johnny stands tall
Did you hear that mugabe's immigration department were yet again seen to be trying to chase people from this country. This time Johnny Rodriguez who is number 1 conservation activist got a phone call to demand his attendance at Linquenda House. Having some brains he decided to talk to his lawyer who took the situation in hand and put the officials in their rightful place. Johnny's crime is that he has been exposing the fact that some senior politicians are involved in destroying our wildlife, and thereby our tourism. As if they haven't done enough damage already. So Johnny has some very big files containing facts and figures on this situation. Get involved in helping stamp out the pillaging of our resources and contact Johnny for more information and get on his mailing list email@example.com. Please click here to see his firebrand lawyer's letter to the Linquenda Immigration Imbeciles.
Whichever way we travel, we're heading for change. Jump on . . .
New Farmers Trap SA High Commissioner
The South African High Commissioner to Zimbabwe, Jeremiah Ndou was trapped on a Mashonaland West farm by angry new farmers when he paid an unexpected visit to that farm. Ndou went to the farm on 9 October with a television crew from the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC). The High Commissioner had gone to the farm to meet with both the former owner and some of the new farmers. Other settlers on the farm, however, reacted violently to the arrival of the High Commissioner and the news crew, frustrated that they had not been given advanced warning of this visit. Ndou was later summoned to Zimbabwe's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where he was advised that he had not been given clearance to visit the area.
Contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and ask what they're hiding: Box 4240, Harare
Contact High Commissioner Ndou and encourage him to continue to make such visits:
firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Box A1654, Avondale, Harare, Zimbabwe
National Day of Prayer for Peace in Zimbabwe
The vice chairperson of the Solidarity Peace Trust, Bishop Rubin Phillip is proposing 16 November 2003 as a National Day of Prayer for Peace and Justice in Zimbabwe. This will be a national campaign in SA, when churches will focus on Zimbabwe. There was a strong feeling among activists that the campaign should be extended to include Zimbabwean churches. This morning I spoke with representatives of the Zimbabwe National Pastors Conference and the Ecumenical Support Services in Zimbabwe and was encouraged to learn that they gave 100% support to this effort and also asked that it be extended to Zambia, Botswana, Malawi , Mozambique and Swaziland. We seek your support in spreading this information to NGO's churches and church organisations to support this campaign. Should you require more information please feel free to contact Selvan Chetty of the Solidarity Peace Trust on +27 39 6825869 or Mr Jonah Gokova of the Ecumenical Support Services on +263 4 703 474.
Yours in sruggle for a free, peaceful Zimbabwe.
Solidarity Peace Trust
the junior minister spying on fellow politicians in Da House
Zimbabwean petition for UN investigation
A 15,000 signature petition has been handed over in London calling on the United Nations to send a team to Zimbabwe to investigate human rights abuses. The signatures were collected by the Zimbabwe Vigil Coalition, a group of Zimbabwean refugees and sympathisers, who have mounted a vigil outside the Zimbabwe High Commission in London every Saturday since 12 October 2002. To mark the anniversary of the vigil on 11 October, the petition was handed to the Labour MP, Kate Hooey, a former minister who recently visited Zimbabwe under cover. She said she'd been shocked by the situation there and since her visit there was every sign that things had got worse. Kate Hooey is to pass the petition on to the United Nations. It is the second batch of 15,000 signatures collected by the vigil. There has so far been no response to the earlier submission.
Pictures of vigil available on Zimbabwe Vigil web site: www.zimvigil.co.uk
takes a revolution to make a solution;
Too much confusion, so much frustration, eh!
I don't wanna live in the park
Can't trust no shadows after dark, yeah-eh!
So, my friend, I wish that you could see,
Like a bird in the tree, the prisoners must be free, yeah!
Never make a
politician grant you a favour;
They will always want to control you forever, eh! (forever, forever)
So if a fire make it burn (make it burn, make it burn)
Zimbabwe Labour Unions Threaten More Protests
Zimbabwe's main labour union says it plans to launch a fresh wave of protests against the government's economic policies. The head of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), Lovemore Matombo, told the French News Agency the protests will take place before the government announces its 2004 budget later this month. The ZCTU has led a number of strikes and protests against the government of President Robert Mugabe, which it accuses of mis-managing the economy. Mr. Mugabe denies the charges, accusing his opponents, who he says are being manipulated by western powers, of trying to destroy the country. Last week, police detained dozens of demonstrators, including union leaders, as they trying to launch protests over high taxes, a chronic public transport crisis, cash shortages and alleged human rights abuses. Zimbabwe is grappling with acute shortages of foreign currency, food and fuel. Unemployment stands at over 70 percent and inflation is near 430 percent.
Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.
If Mbeki won't help, others will
Swift and vocal support came to the aid of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions during last week's demonstration against high taxation, inflation, no cash and the like. Both the South African Trade Union organisation (COSATU) and the South African Communist Party (SACP) quickly condemned the repressive manner in which the ZCTU demo was dealt with by the Zimbabwean authorities. Mugabe and his cronies must be warned once again that they are sitting on the very dangerous time bomb of the people's anger. Nothing will stop this explosion so hold on to your bum-cheeks.
Extract from COSATU statement
"If the arrested trade unionists are not released within 24 hours, COSATU
will embark upon a process of solidarity action similar to that which it
organised in support of the Swaziland Federation of Trade Unions in August
2003, and calls upon its partners in the Southern African Trade Union
Coordination Council to do the same."
Extract from SACP statement
"The South African Communist Party expresses its deep concern at the
detention of 41 Zimbabwean Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU) leaders today. The
SACP calls for their immediate release. The authorities in Harare need to
know that there is widespread outrage in South Africa about the detention of
trade unionists, the closure of newspapers, and the brutal harassment of
civilians, including very worrying reports about the systematic rape of
women and girls by rampaging youth militias."
To learn more,
but what is this onward looking from the side-lines
There we have the whole of the ZCTU top brasses out on the streets showing true and courageous leadership. Trade unionists were putting their bodies on the tarmac protesting the harrowing conditions we are languishing under in Zimbabwe. Yet milling around on the sidelines were these weak kneed Zimbabweans pointing and laughing. Either you must get used to a hard life of poverty and despair or you must join into a protest when you see it starting up. The more people do this means it will be more difficult for the rotten authorities to quell the disturbance. We will not get anywhere if we do not support the organisations and individuals trying to make a difference. So if you didn't join in or if you are thinking that it is a good thing to show your solidarity, at least email the ZCTU and give them strength in more actions: email@example.com
Vakomana I am disappointed. Tirikuita chii nhai weduwe!? On Wednesday 8 October I stood on Union Avenue outside the post office. My heart jumped and I watched with excitement as vanaMatombo started their demo. And then I watched in silence as riot police carted them off. Ndakaita chii in support of macomrades angu? Hapana. Isusu mabystanders takatarisa chete. Ahoy comrades! Next time ngatirambidzei mapurisa kuita izvi. If they want to arrest the demonstrators, then let them arrest all of us!
Machingura, Zvakwana subscriber
Still even among this repression that we are experiencing activists are braving the streets in defiance. In Bulawayo on 30th September there was a vibrant demonstration against the cash crisis. Pictured on the left are some WOZA women carrying placards saying enough is very much enough, we need to get at our money!
Some Riot Police approached me and one said to me, "Mama Sizaku Karaba" meaning 'Mother we will scrub you'. I was irritated and replied that I only know of pigs being scrubbed not humans. I told them - 'you will not scrub me!' I then saw Jenni walking with plain clothes and riot policemen and she told me that they wanted to arrest her alone. I told her that they would take me too. Women were so brave that day; I saw more and more join us under voluntary arrest. Some even walked the eight blocks to Central Police Station to be arrested with us until we numbered forty-eight.
From Patricia Tshabalala, a member of Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA)
Zvakwana! Sokwanele! Enough! of these shortages. Nothing is affordable anymore.
SW Radio Africa: In
Zimbabwe, tune in to the short-wave broadcast at 4880 KHz in the 60m band.
Outside the broadcast area, listen over the internet at www.swradioafrica.com. Broadcasts are between 6pm and 9pm
Zimbabwe time daily.
VOA Studio: In Zimbabwe, tune in to the short-wave broadcast at 13600 KHz and 17895 Khz, and at 909 AM. Outside the broadcast area, listen over the internet at www.voanews.com. Broadcasts are between 7pm and 8pm Zimbabwe time, Monday to Friday.
Asking NGOs why they are not leading by example
Zvakwana is noticing that the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) and ZIMCODD are donating their donor funds to junior minister moyo's propaganda newspaper in the form of advertising. There are many other ways to communicate messages to the people. Haven't these organisations thought about leaflets, posters, fax messages, email and the like. Zvakwana says enough is enough with this practise. Email your complaints to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
New meaning to going Down-Under
MELBOURNE, Australia -- Gun-toting granny Ava Estelle, 81, was so ticked off when two thugs raped her 18-year-old granddaughter that she tracked the unsuspecting ex-cons down - - and shot off their testicles. The old lady spent a week hunting those men down -- and when she found them, she took revenge on them in her own special way, said Melbourne police investigator Evan Delp. Then she took a taxi to the nearest police station, laid the gun on the sergeant's desk and told him as calm as could be: 'Those bastards will never rape anybody again, by God.' Cops say convicted rapist and robber Davis Furth, 33, lost both his penis and his testicles when outraged Ava opened fire with a 9 mm pistol in the hotel room where he and former prison cellmate Stanley Thomas, 29, were holed up. The wrinkled avenger also blew Thomas' testicles to kingdom come, but doctors managed to save his mangled penis, police said. Zvakwana is arranging for the deportation of the granny gunner to Zimbabwe to assist our failing rule of law.
Watch out for Zvakwana weekend papers hitting the streets!
Your Action, Your Country, Your Decision, Things are on the move
Please remember Zvakwana welcomes feedback, ideas and support for actions.
Enough is enough, Zvakwana, Sokwanele.
By Michael Hartnack
Fighting among self-styled
war veterans outside at Harare High Court last
week provided a timely reminder of how the huge handouts they received five
years ago started the current avalanche of inflation. At the same time as
the war veterans' fracas, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trades Unions tried to
launch nationwide protests against the chronic misgovernance that has
impoverished almost everyone. Paramilitary police with batons, tear gas
canisters and riot guns were at every street corner to seize token groups of
ZCTU representatives the moment they attempted peaceful marches in Harare,
Bulawayo, Mutare, Gweru, Chinhoyi and Masvingo. They spent the night in
cells and, although freed the following morning, face prosecution under the
newly-passed Public Order and Security Act for holding unauthorised
demonstrations. If found guilty, they may be sentenced to five years in
However, no arrests were made
when ex-guerillas turned violent - they were
once again deemed to be above the law. The state-controlled Zimbabwe
Broadcasting Corporation reported that Endy Mahlanga, secretary general of
the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association, "had to run for
dear life" when he was assaulted by members, mostly from Bulawayo, at a
creditors' meeting. It was admitted Z$68 million had disappeared from a
company, ZEXCOM, in which ex-guerillas invested their controversial 1998
gratuities (then, Zimbabwe $68 million was worth US$2 million). Police "had
to intervene to restore sanity", said the ZBC, when association members
accused Mahlanga of mishandling or squandering their money. The war veterans
' association, formerly headed by the late Hitler Hunzvi, was at the
forefront of state-sponsored violence and seizure of 5 000 white owned farms
following Robert Mugabe's defeat in the February 2000 constitutional
It was unbudgeted payments of $50
000 each to some 50 000 self-styled
"veterans" which triggered the 1998 crash in the value of the Zimbabwe
dollar. Some recipients were in their early 20s and could never have seen
combat in the 1960-80 war to end white rule in former Rhodesia. Mugabe
ordered the payout to placate militants who were outraged that people with
non-existent war records - including his near- relatives - had plundered a
"disabilities compensation fund.'' The regime now chooses to blame economic
collapse on "sanctions", poor international commodity prices, or refusal of
the International Monetary Fund to renew loans. But it was this extravagant
distribution of largesse that started the course towards what is now
hyper-inflation. And the payouts that wreaked so much harm on the national
economy did little for ex-guerillas, real or bogus, but were dissipated in
an orgy of reckless consumption and dud investment schemes.
Events last week also illustrated what South Africans can do
when they put
their minds to it - as opposed to President Thabo Mbeki's "quiet diplomacy".
While the police were grabbing trades unionists and the veterans association
members were chasing Comrade Endy, South African High Commissioner to
Zimbabwe Jeremiah Ndou was having a torrid time at Hillpath Farm near
Chinhoyi, 200 km north west of Harare. To his enormous credit, Ndou had gone
in his official Mercedes Benz (with diplomatic numberplates) to Hillpath
where a South African farmer, Jan Kotze, and his wife, have been besieged
since a retired Zimbabwe army officer cast covetous eyes on their property.
A visiting SABC television crew tagged along and witnessed Ndou being held
hostage at the homestead for two hours while the militants, including about
30 jeering youths from Mugabe's Zanu PF party, shouted "blood will be
spilled here today" because Ndou was "collaborating with whites". They said
Ndou was manufacturing "negative publicity for Zimbabwe" in cahoots with the
international news media. African National Congress sources tell me that
Ndou, who was posted to Zimbabwe four years ago, is a former operative with
the party's military wing, Mkhonto we Sizwe. If so, Ndou must have found the
abuse ironic. Peter Chanetsa, governor of Mashonaland West province,
eventually showed up and told the militants to back off.
Only Italy has previously intervened successfully on behalf of
whose farms, it said, are protected from seizure by a bilateral investment
agreement. It is bizarre that foreigners should be spared when stated object
of "fast track land reform" - under which thousands of farms have been
seized from white Zimbabweans - is the eradication of "foreign" ownership.
Zimbabwe state radio said Ndou was later summoned to the foreign ministry to
explain his unsanctioned visit to Hillpath Farm. However, it was reported in
Pretoria that South Africa planned a diplomatic protest to the Mugabe
regime - the first of its kind since violence again in 2000. While Ndou got
the militants to back off - for the moment - at Hillpath Farm, Cosatu
announced that if the arrested Zimbabwean trades unionists were not freed
within 24 hours, it would repeat the solidarity action it undertook with
Swazi pro-democracy activists. his included a blockade of border posts. The
Zimbabwean unionists were freed before the Cosatu ultimatum expired. It was
double-proof that South Africans are not impotent in these situations.
But only animal welfare activists could raise their
voices about conditions
at a seized dairy farm 100 km south of Harare where workers have not been
paid for three months and 600 cows and calves have been left to starve by a
new owner. Since feed ran out -- shortly after he was arrested for fraud -
workers have been trying to collect acacia pods for the cattle. Records show
359 head have already died, said the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to
Animals. "It is heartbreaking to see these cows just lying there waiting to
die," said Pippa van Reenen, a helper. With the water supply broken, "the
cows were trying frantically to drink from puddles," she said. Dairy hygiene
had long since collapsed from neglect. The society plans to prosecute for
cruelty but may be frustrated. In 2000 when Zanu PF militants were
photographed beating farm dogs to death, a presidential amnesty order
bracketed the crime as trivial "malicious injury to property". Meanwhile,
throughout Zimbabwe there is a serious shortage of milk, underlying the
point that the sort of person, black or white, who is going to seize an
enterprise with violence is unlikely to make a going concern of it. Common
bandits do not make good manufacturing entrepreneurs.
Zimbabwe Republic Police Still as brutal
Councillor Khumalo, who is the chairperson for the Communication and Aligned Services Workers Union of Zimbabwe, is now recovering from home.
The demonstration, Councillor Khumalo says, was meant to protest to the government over high levels of taxation; high cost of living; shortage and high cost of transport as a result of the fuel price increases; shortage of cash and the gross violation of human and trade union rights.
Khumalo was among several trade union leaders who had
gathered to hand over the petition with the issues to government officials in
While at Drill Hall Police Station, the police asked one of the trade unionists in the group to reveal the person who had informed him about the demonstration. The trade unionist gave out the name of one union member who works for Tel One. Councillor Khumalo and his colleagues were then transferred to Stops Police Camp in Bulawayo in a police vehicle before being taken to Tel One offices where they picked the unionist who had been named as having spread information about the intention to hand over a petition.
truck then drove the unionists along
The police vehicle stopped in the Nyamandlovu area and all the trade unionists were blindfolded before the vehicle turned into the bush to a spot where the trade unionists were told to disembark from the vehicle. After disembarking from the police vehicle, the trade unionists were taken to another place where they were asked to take off their shoes. They were severely assaulted all over their bodies, made to chant Zanu PF slogans and sing the Zanu PF song “Rambai Makashinga.”
assaulting the trade unionists, the police then drove off and left them in the
bush. For an hour, the trade unionists struggled to walk to the main road. They
managed to phone one trade unionist in
Councillor Khumalo can be reached on 263 9 400 562 or on his mobile number 293 91 924 094.
Message for Bob
By Steve Hanke
Inflation is currently 365 percent and rising in Zimbabwe,
where the largest
denomination note, the Z$500 bill, is officially worth only 60 US cents.
Zimbabwe has run out of ink and special paper to print more notes. Without
the ability to run the printing presses, perhaps a solution to stop the
inflation is at hand.
This brings back memories of
Yugoslavia and my days as an advisor to
Montenegro’s President Milo Djukanovic. Starting in January 1992, what was
left of Yugoslavia (which included Montenegro) endured the second-highest
and second-longest hyperinflation in world history. It peaked in January
1994, when the official monthly inflation rate was 313 million percent. Only
Hungary, in July 1946, ever recorded a higher monthly rate. The Yugoslav
hyperinflation lasted 24 months, only two months shorter than the Soviet
hyperinflation in the early 1920s. Yugoslavia’s hyperinflation was far more
virulent than the much touted 1922-23 hyperinflation in Weimar Germany. The
accompanying data of the Yugoslav dinar’s devaluations tells the story of
Slobodan Milosevic’s monetary madness. In the period covered, the dinar was
officially devalued 18 times, and 22 zeros were removed from that unit of
Date & Devaluation from prior pegged rate
January 1, 1991: 12.0%
April 19, 1991: 39.9%
January 25, 1992: 78.3%
March 1, 1992: 26.3%
April 12, 1992: 57.5%
July 1, 1992: 83.6%
November 14, 1992: 73.3%
April 9, 1993: 98.4%
June 16, 1993: 95.6%
July 2, 1993: 54.2%
July 22, 1993: 82.4%
August 18, 1993: 87.1%
October 1, 1993: 79.0%
November 9, 1993: 99.9%
December 29, 1993: 99.99%
January 24, 1994: 99.99%
November 26, 1995: 62.6%
April 1, 1998: 57.9%
By December 1993, the end was in sight. The Topcider mint was working at
full capacity, turning out 900,000 bank notes a month, but they were
worthless before the ink had dried. On December 23, 500-billion-dinar bills
rolled off the press, worth 4.15 German marks when printed. But by the time
they could be stuffed into pay packets, they were hardly worth spare change.
The dinar was re-denominated on December 29; nine zeros were lopped off in
the third re-denomination since July 1992. Finally, the mint’s physical
capacity began constraining inflation. The authorities could not print
enough cash to keep up. On January 6, 1994, the dinar officially collapsed.
The government declared the German mark legal tender for payment of all
financial transactions, including taxes. The adoption of the German mark
didn’t last long, however. On January 24, 1994, Yugoslavia issued a new
"super-dinar." It was pegged to the German mark at a rate of one-to-one and
was worth 13 million old dinars. But that peg didn’t last long. Less than
two years after its introduction, the official devaluations of the
super-dinar began. Even though physical constraints on printing notes will
stop hyperinflation, it’s not a real solution for monetary mischief. The
best way to stop inflation is to abandon a domestic currency and permanently
replace it with a sound foreign currency. That’s what Montenegro did in
November 1999, when the German mark was unilaterally declared to be
Montenegro’s official currency, even though Montenegro was still part of
Yugoslavia. Today, Montenegro uses the euro. The lesson is clear: The world
needs fewer junk currencies.
Steve H. Hanke is a
Professor of Applied Economics at the Johns Hopkins
University in Baltimore and a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute
Comment from The Times (UK), 14 October
Mugabe's judges are paper
A ruling by Zimbabwe's Chief Justice has denied a newspaper the right to
appear in court and challenge the State
By Sir Louis Blom-Cooper
Whatever hopes might have been entertained that the
judiciary in Zimbabwe
would curb the worst excesses of President Mugabe’s regime have been dashed
by a decision last month of the Supreme Court which can be characterised
only as astonishing.
Associated Newspapers of
Zimbabwe, which owns and until now operated the
country’s only independent daily newspaper, The Daily News, challenged the
Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (which came into force
in March 2002) on several grounds of violating the Constitution’s guarantees
of freedom of expression. The newspaper resolutely refused to apply for its
publication to be registered (and for its journalists to be accredited) by a
statutory body, the Media and Information Commission, and was therefore
potentially breaking the law. But the Chief Justice, Godfrey Chidyausiku,
and his four colleagues on the bench denied the newspaper access to the
court for a declaration that many parts of the press legislation were
unconstitutional, so long as the newspaper remained unregistered. After the
ruling, the newspaper applied for registration but was turned down by the
commission - an appeal is pending against that decision.
In his ruling (to which the four judges nodded
formal consent), the Chief
Justice did at least acknowledge that while the registration provision in
the Act was "not blatantly unconstitutional", its constitutionality was
"debatable". So what could possibly bar the newspaper’s way to asking the
court to engage in justified debate? The court’s refusal to entertain the
constitutional challenge is frankly implausible, if not what Jeremy Bentham
would call "grimgribber nonsense". The court said that the newspaper was in
defiance of the law in declining to register and was hence in contempt of
the law. It came to court with "dirty hands", a deLatinised version of the
legal doctrine of ex turpi causa non oritur actio. That doctrine, which
denies any remedy to a litigant who does not come to court with clean hands,
applies exclusively in private law. Yet no one seriously supposes that in
the field of public law, especially where the issue is of constitutional
proportion, the clean-hands approach has any application.
The Zimbabwean judges’ approach does not even have
historical support, let
alone modern authority. When John Hampden in 1635 refused to pay money in
response to the decree of Charles I commanding support to furnish the Navy’s
ships, the judges heard the case. After argument in the Exchequer Chamber,
seven judges found for the King, holding that the monetary exaction was
justifiable; five judges found for Hampden. The majority took the absolute
view that the King can do no wrong - and certainly not during a state of
emergency. Parliament’s consent for taxation was held to be not necessary.
The majority decision was reversed by the Long Parliament and the Bill of
Rights declared that it was illegal to raise money without parliamentary
approval. Doubtless, the Zimbabwean judges would say that Hampden had been
defying the law of the land and could not challenge the King’s edict in his
Even if it can be said that defiance
of the law constitutes outlawry, that
concept was abolished in civil proceedings in 1879 and in criminal in 1938,
but had been in disuse long before these dates. What is more depressing
about the decision is the failure of the Chief Justice to apply the law as
laid down by one of his predecessors. In a case in 1983, Minister of Home
Affairs v Bickle, in which, coincidently, I appeared as leading counsel for
the minister, the Supreme Court held that a person who may be guilty of
contempt of court will not ordinarily be precluded from instituting a
constitutional challenge, in that case an expropriation of a farmer’s
property. Sir John Fieldsend, the first Chief Justice of Zimbabwe after
independence in April 1980, said: "It is a strong thing for a court to
refuse to hear a party to a cause and it is only to be justified by grave
consideration of public policy. It is a step which the court will only take
when the contempt itself impedes the course of justice and there is no other
effective means of securing his compliance."
The behaviour of the owners of The Daily News
constitutes no conceivable
impediment to justice being done. If the legislation restricting the
fundamental freedom of the press in Zimbabwe is unconstitutional, the
Supreme Court must say so. Refusal to hear the case on some spurious device
to deny an individual citizen the fundamental right of access to the courts
cannot be treated seriously by the democratic world. The judges, therefore,
now have an opportunity to redeem themselves and demonstrate that their
judicial oath requires them to adjudicate on the paper’s challenge.
The author, a QC, was a deputy High Court judge
from 1992 to 1996
Manufacturing Sector Declines - Study
October 15, 2003
Posted to the web October 15, 2003
A STUDY by the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) has revealed a
general decline in the manufacturing sector for the year 2002 and urged
Government to introduce policy measures aimed at preventing the situation
from further deteriorating.
In a report submitted after the survey, CZI said there was a marked slowdown
in productivity in the manufacturing sector with output increasing by only
The survey, which involved 43 companies showed that there was an average
capacity utilisation rate of 60 percent, with about 30 percent of this
sample recording excess capacity of around 30 percent.
"There has been a dramatic decline in investment at company level, with 60
percent of the surveyed companies indicating that they had not made any form
"The 58 percent of the investment made in 2002 was in the form of machinery
and equipment and 52 percent of the investment was for replacements," the
business lobby said.
Exports from the manufacturing sector declined by 17 percent as a percentage
of turnover in both 2001 and 2002 while employment levels declined by 16
percent in the surveyed companies.
"A total of 1 343 employees were retrenched in the manufacturing sector in
2002 and a total of 63 employees were retrenched from the engineering, food
and allied industries in the first quarter of 2003.
"However, figures from the other industrial sectors for 2003 were not yet
There were 249 recorded company closures in 2002. According to the survey,
reasons cited for closure were lack of foreign currency, high operating
costs, lack of demand, competition from imports and lack of raw materials.
Other reasons cited included the fixed exchange rate policy, which has led
to the loss of export competitiveness, very high inflation and price
controls, which has adversely impacted on the viability of the manufacturing
In view of the findings in the report, the CZI said there was an urgent need
to review the exchange rate policy, which is likely to act as an incentive
towards the generation of foreign currency.
"For that to be possible, the exchange rate policy has to be clear and
dependable. The exchange rate should be managed in accordance with
macroeconomic fundamentals," CZI said. The organisation also recommended the
removal of price controls on non-basic goods.
For basic goods, the whole supply chain should be controlled.
"The controls must take into account the need to keep businesses viable and
must be of a short-term nature as measures are taken to bring inflation
under control. Inflation needs to be urgently addressed.
"The only sustainable way of reducing inflation is by instilling greater
fiscal discipline, which will reduce the need for the Government to borrow,"
the CZI said.
Other recommendations included the improvement of the supply of fuel and
other energy sources by allowing economically viable prices to be charged
and allowing private sector players to participate in the supply of energy.
"These measures should be implemented in a liberalised foreign exchange
"Interest rate policy should be reviewed so that it promotes productive
investment while encouraging savings," read the report.
The study incorporated primary data from 43 companies, National Employment
Councils (NECs), Industrial Associations and secondary data from the Central
Statistical Office, Zimbabwe Investment Centre and various Government
Mail and Guardian
Commonwealth urges national dialogue in Zimbabwe
Alexandra Zavis | Johannesburg
15 October 2003 14:27
If Zimbabwe wants to end its exclusion from the
decision-making councils, it must start by engaging in dialogue with
political opponents, the group's secretary-general said on Wednesday.
Zimbabwe was suspended from the councils of the 54-nation group of Britain
and its former colonies after President Robert Mugabe's government was
accused of intimidation and vote rigging in the March 2002 presidential
Commonwealth Secretary-General Don McKinnon, who is meeting with African
leaders ahead of a December summit in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, listed
five requirements for Zimbabwe to return to the fold.
They included repealing or amending legislation restricting free speech;
ending harassment of political opposition and civil society groups;
addressing recommendations made by Commonwealth election observers; and
working with the Commonwealth and United Nations on land reform.
But before anything else could happen, McKinnon said there must be
"substantial dialogue" between Mugabe's Zanu-PF party and the opposition
Movement for Democratic change.
Commonwealth members are divided over the exclusion of Zimbabwe, which has
not been invited to the December summit.
Australian Prime Minister John Howard has been among those urging tougher
measures against Mugabe, whom he has called an "unelected despot." South
Africa has pressed for more diplomatic steps.
"The role of the Commonwealth is always to help and assist its member
countries," McKinnon told journalists in Johannesburg. "When a country is
suspended from the councils of the Commonwealth, the aim is never to punish
that country or its people, but to help it return to a democratic order."
Zimbabwe is in the throes of political and economic crisis, with 70%
unemployment and acute shortages of food, fuel and medicine.
A state programme to seize thousands of white-owned farms for redistribution
to landless blacks has crippled the agriculture-based economy.
Mugabe's government has also stepped up its crackdown on dissent, charging
opposition leaders with treason and shutting down the country's only
independent daily newspaper. - Sapa
Commonwealth split over Zimbabwe
Wed 15 October, 2003 13:27 BST
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - The Commonwealth remains split over
suspension as member states prepare for their annual summit in December, the
group's chief says.
The 54-nation body of mostly former British colonies suspended Zimbabwe for
a year from March 2002 after the re-election of President Robert Mugabe in a
poll critics said was rigged.
Commonwealth Secretary-General Don McKinnon has told reporters on Wednesday
African leaders lacked a common approach to the crisis.
"There is no real consensus now. I have always said there are about three or
four or five different views amongst African leaders about how to actually
deal with Zimbabwe," he told the Foreign Correspondents' Association in
South Africa favours "quiet diplomacy" to resolve the political and economic
crisis that is crippling Zimbabwe, its northern neighbour. It opposed the
decision to extend the Commonwealth suspension, excluding Mugabe from the
December 5-8 heads of government meeting (CHOGM) in Nigeria.
Australia leads the anti-Mugabe camp.
South Africa's softly-softly policy has yet to yield any tangible dividends.
Mugabe's government closed the country's leading opposition newspaper in
September, dashing the hopes of those who predicted it would repeal harsh
McKinnon, a former New Zealand foreign minister, said that his relationship
with Mugabe had broken down.
"It is with regret that I have not had any dialogue with President Mugabe
for probably a couple of years," he said.
"Sadly, our overtures have been spurned. President Mugabe's government has
chosen to keep us at arm's length."
Speaking after a tour of East Africa, McKinnon said most Commonwealth
leaders were keen to prevent the Zimbabwe issue dominating another CHOGM.
"We want to make sure this CHOGM is all about development and democracy. We
don't want it overshadowed by Zimbabwe."
But diplomats in Africa expect Zimbabwe to dominate again, particularly if
powerful South Africa backs efforts to have the suspension lifted.
'No paper to report on us'
15/10/2003 19:30 - (SA)
Harare - Zimbabwean police seem to be even more brutal now that
independent Daily News is not publishing anymore, said a member of the
country's opposition Movement for Democratic Change party.
The country's only private daily paper was shut down last month after being
denied an operating licence.
Eddie Cross, the MDC's economic advisor, said leaders of the the Zimbabwe
Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), who were arrested during a protest march
last week, were assaulted until blood flowed.
Samuel Khumalo, one of the union leaders, was dragged by his dreadlocks for
more than a kilometre to the Drill Hall police station in Bulawayo.
Khumalo, a member of the ZCTU and a city councilor, was arrested and later
blindfolded and taken to an open field.
According to Cross, police said since Daily News was banned, there was no
newspaper to report on what they were doing to union members.
"Union members are very brave and are ready to talk despite the police's
threats," Cross wrote in an internet newsletter on the situation in
Meanwhile, a Zimbabwe court is set to hear an appeal on Thursday by the
Daily News, a lawyer said Wednesday.
Armed police forcibly shut down the Daily News and its sister paper the
Daily News on Sunday on September 12 after the Supreme Court ruled that the
papers were illegal because they were not registered with a
Subsequently, the paper's parent company Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe
(ANZ) submitted an application but it was rejected.
The ANZ is seeking an order directing the commission to register it.
The appeal has been set down for a hearing on Thursday, said ANZ legal
adviser Gugulethu Moyo.
The paper was pronounced illegal when it went to the Supreme Court arguing
that the media law was unconstitutional.
Moyo, while still challenging the constitutionality of the media law, is
hopeful of a favourable ruling on Thursday.
"Our hope is that tomorrow's decision will result in ANZ being licensed to
operate so that we can resume publication as soon as possible," she said.
"However, registration is not an end in itself for us. We still maintain
that this law has to be whittled down by the Supreme Court, it is too
far-reaching to be justifiable in a democratic society," she said.
The ANZ argues that the decision not to register it was politically
motivated, and that the head of the commission "is hostile and biased"
The paper will further argue that the commission was not properly
constituted to give fair and proper consideration to its application.
The media law also bars foreign journalists from operating in Zimbabwe on a
long-term basis. - Media24 Africa News/Sapa-AFP
Zim labour threatens strike
15/10/2003 08:39 - (SA)
Kodzevu Sithole, Media24 Africa Service
Zimbabwe's umbrella labour body, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade
Unions (ZCTU) has promised crippling nation-wide demonstrations before the
presentation of the 2004 national budget to protest against high taxation,
inflation and the general economic decay.
The resolution comes barely a week after the police heavy-handedly quashed
another protest masterminded by the labour body to force president Robert
Mugabe's government to resolve the economic crisis and cut personal tax as
well as stop human rights abuses by government agents.
ZCTU president Lovemore Matombo said the union would take to the streets
whether or not the police granted them permission to demonstrate.
"The protests will take place before (Finance minister Herbert) Murerwa
presents the budget. We want to knock sense into them so that they can see
that workers are suffering," said Matombo.
Murerwa is scheduled to unveil the 2004 national budget to parliament late
this month or early November.
Matombo said the ZCTU would not be cowed into silence by the "barbaric"
manner in which the police handled last week's mass protest that saw the
arrest of 55 people.
"We are definitely going to apply for permission from the police but if they
refuse, we will go ahead," said Matombo.
He said he was aware state security agents were tailing him and other senior
union officials, and he had also seen "suspicious" cars parked near his
Matombo and the union's secretary general, Wellington Chibebe, were among
those arrested last week after heavily-armed police foiled a demonstration
called by the labour body. They were charged under the Miscellaneous
Offences Act and then released.
He said the current problems bedevilling Zimbabwe were a direct result of
the lack of economic planning by Mugabe and his ministers.
Zimbabwe's economy has shrunk by 30%, unemployment is over 75% while 85% of
Zimbabwe's 12.5 million people are now living well below the poverty line.
The ZCTU is demanding a 10% point tax cut as well as widening tax brackets
to cushion workers from the deteriorating economic downturn. It is also
demanding that government sets aside at least Z$20bn to compensate farm
workers who were displaced during the chaotic land reform programme.
Feel the pinch
ZCTU secretary-general Chibebe said the union had always conducted its
demonstrations as workers "without having to consult any political party on
the need to do so".
He was responding to allegations in certain quarters that there was a split
between the labour body and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change
party, which evolved from the ZCTU.
"Those who feel the pinch of the current problems can join our
demonstrations, be they the MDC, the National constitutional Assembly or
whoever. They can also hold their own demonstrations without having to rely
on us." he said.
"This is the 13th time that Zimbabwe has been debated in this chamber during
this session. It is a testament not just to the importance that we attach to
Zimbabwe, but, alas, to our impotence to do anything about that country."
These were the opening words to a debate in the house of commons on July 15
This wringing of hands has been going on since thousands of Matabele were
machine-gunned into their graves in the 1980s.
Recently, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe eliminated the independent
press. There is no end to the trauma.
The rest of the world can still do one practical thing. It can plan for the
post-Mugabe era. SA is positioned to co-ordinate this.
Our constitution is a model for the return to democracy in Zimbabwe. Our
Development Bank of Southern Africa has experience in planning and
installing infrastructure. Our Industrial Development Corporation is
experienced in bolstering private enterprise.
If the Commonwealth can complement its smart sanctions with the necessary
pledges at its next conference in December, the New Partnership for Africa's
Development may cease to be a distant dream.
Harare hails victory' over UK
ZIMBABWE has hailed the cancellation of a high-profile Inter-Parliamentary
Union meeting in London as a diplomatic victory.
The meeting, scheduled for early next year, was to be addressed by Britain's
Queen Elizabeth and former South African president Nelson Mandela.
Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa, who led the Zimbabwean delegation to the
parliamentary union meeting at the group's headquarters in Geneva,
Switzerland, said he had led the rejection of British attempts to bar
President Robert Mugabe's Zanu (PF) MPs from the London meeting. "I spoke
against the notion to exclude Zimbabwe in defence of the constitution of the
(parliamentary union) and our country's rights and privileges, which entitle
us to participate fully in such international meetings," he said.
Britain, which said it had spent a lot of time preparing to host next year's
110th meeting, refused to invite Zanu (PF) MPs who are on a European Union
(EU) travel ban list. But 132 countries voted in Geneva on October 3 for the
inclusion of Zimbabwe in the next meeting on the basis that the
parliamentary union offered members unqualified privilege of participation,
while 87 countries supported the ban of Zanu (PF) MPs.
Despite this, Britain maintained it would not allow Zimbabwe's ruling party
legislators on its soil, leading to cancellation of the meeting. Thailand
will now host the next meeting.
The union is the forum for worldwide parliamentary dialogue and works for
peace and co-operation, as well as the establishment of representative
It was founded in 1889 by two MPs one British and one French.
The shifting of the meeting is not the first time the line drawn between
Mugabe's international supporters and detractors has led to a shift in
venues, suggesting that Zimbabwe is becoming of greater international
In November last year, an EUSouthern African Development Community (SADC)
meeting had to be moved from Copenhagen, Denmark, to Maputo, Mozambique,
following a similar problem over Zimbabwe.
In April, an EU-Africa summit scheduled for Lisbon, Portugal, had to be
cancelled after yet another clash over whether or not to invite Mugabe.
There was also an international row in February after French President
Jacques Chirac invited Mugabe to the Franco-Africa summit in Paris.
Another storm is looming over the EU-SADC meeting in Rome, Italy, which
British and other politicians have raised objections to Zimbabwe's
Zim farmers flood Mozambique
14/10/2003 21:50 - (SA)
Maputo - The Mozambique government is under pressure to provide
displaced white Zimbabwe farmers, with new areas being opened up for them, a
senior government official said on Tuesday.
Soares Nhaca, the governor of Manica Province in central Mozambique, told
AFP that the demand for land in his province was so high that they had had
to look to other provinces with good climate and soil.
"We have come under increasing pressure from Zimbabwean farmers seeking land
in Manica in recent months," Nhaca said, adding that offers of land had been
made in the neighbouring province of Zambezia.
Around 60 white Zimbabwean farmers, forced off their farms by a
controversial land reform programme back home, have settled in various parts
of Manica and are already producing crops and cattle.
The province, just across Zimbabwe's eastern border, has provided some of
the farmers with a new home. According to Nhaca, one Zimbabwean has set up a
factory to produce agricultural implements including tractors.
The majority of Zimbabwe's 4 500 white commercial farmers have lost their
land after the government launched a programme of seizing white-owned land
for redistribution among new black farmers.
Zim prisons a HIV nightmare
14/10/2003 21:49 - (SA)
Harare - Up to 70% of Zimbabwean prisoners are involved in
jails where the HIV prevalence rate is estimated to be 60%, the state-owned
Ziana news agency said on Tuesday.
The news agency cited a doctor from a government referral hospital who said
many prisoners who seek medical attention have been involved in
homosexuality, which is illegal in the southern African country.
"Out of all the prisoners that we attend to on a daily basis, about 60-70%
of them admit to have had sex with other males at one time or the other,"
Blessing Mukumba was quoted as saying.
Sixty percent of the prisoners admitted to the hospitals are infected with
HIV, according to research done by the referral hospitals, Ziana said.
A prisons officer said was widespread in the overcrowded jails, but said it
was difficult to detect despite regular patrols.
In 1993 a lawmaker and now deputy speaker of parliament, Edna Madzongwe,
suggested the provision of condoms for prisoners to curb the spread of HIV,
but was rebuffed because such a move would would be tantamount to legalising
homosexuality in prisons.
In January the country's prisons held 24 500 inmates, far exceeding their
capacity of 16 000.
The government in July revised the HIV/Aids tally putting the percentage of
Zimbabwean adults infected with the HIV virus or Aids at 24.9%, down from
33.7% recorded in 2000 by the United Nations.
It however remains one of the countries worst affected by the pandemic in
An average of more than 3 000 Aids deaths occur each week in Zimbabwe.
ZIMBABWE: Feature on corruption fears
[ This report does not
necessarily reflect the views of the United
HARARE, 15 Oct 2003 (IRIN) - In a further blow to business confidence,
Zimbabwe was recently ranked among the world's most corrupt countries by the
anti-corruption watchdog, Transparency International (TI).
In a damning report, TI's Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) for 2003 ranked
Zimbabwe at 106 out of 133 countries sampled. In Southern Africa it stood as
second-worst after Angola. The TI index is determined by the perceptions of
business people who are directly doing business with the sampled countries
or are potential investors.
Commenting on the latest index, the local chapter of the international body,
Transparency International Zimbabwe (TI-Z), said the perceptions of graft
were the result of a number of factors.
"Matters relating to political and civic participation, media operating
environment, access to information, judicial independence - which is crucial
to the enforcement of all rights and particularly property rights - all play
a major role in forming a perception about the state of fair play, or lack
of it, in Zimbabwe," said a TI-Z statement.
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe and his key lieutenants were last year
slapped with travel restrictions and had their offshore accounts frozen by
the United States and the European Union over alleged human rights excesses,
a disorderly and violent land redistribution programme, and electoral fraud.
The country is also under suspension from the councils of the Commonwealth
after the organisation accused the government of rigging the 2002
Zimbabwe's rating on the CPI has steadily worsened over the years. The
country was ranked 43 in 1998 and moved two places down two years later,
before plummeting to 71 in 2002. The slump indicated in this year's CPI
represents the country's sharpest fall yet.
Analysts say the current rating will have a drastic impact on the economy,
which is already burdened with company closures and downsizing, a runaway
inflation rate predicted to hit 600 percent before the end of the year, lack
of foreign currency and shortages of even basic commodities.
"The implications [of the latest CPI ratings] are dire for the country,"
Andrew Nongogo, TI-Z's executive director, told IRIN. "It should be
understood right from the start that Transparency International's index is
based on perceptions of business people. As a result, there will be a big
knock on investor confidence, and following from that will be reduced
investment levels in the country, because business people want to put their
money where they are sure it will yield results."
He cited the fast-track land allocation programme, which started in 2000, as
one of the reasons why perceptions were so negative, saying the government
had shown the world it had no respect for private property rights. Under the
reforms, criticised for being lawless and politically manipulated, about
4,000 commercial white farmers were forced off their estates to make way for
thousands of land-hungry black Zimbabweans.
Nongogo noted that corruption was rampant in both the private and public
sectors, but that perceptions about graft mostly related to how public
office was used for personal enrichment. "The knock-on effect is larger in
the public sector. Lost income has to be recovered somehow, and the tendency
is to pass the buck over to the taxpayer. The higher the level of
corruption, the greater the need to increase taxes. This is unlike in the
private sector, where the prejudice is mostly limited to the corporate
establishment," he said.
An economic analyst, speaking on condition of anonymity, told IRIN: "Whereas
in the private sector culprits can be dealt with in a more or less
transparent manner, the story is different in the public domain. Considering
that most of the culprits in the latter sector are influential figures with
political clout, the police's powers tend to be limited."
He cited the case of police inaction when formerly white-owned farms were
illegally invaded, especially when top government officials were allegedly
involved in occupying the land and seizing farm equipment.
Two government-sanctioned land audits have found that some government
ministers, senior police officers, provincial governors and President Robert
Mugabe's own relatives have acquired more than one farm, contrary to stated
government policy, in the land redistribution exercise. Although Mugabe has
publicly ordered the culprits to relinquish the extra farms, in some cases
his call has reportedly not been heeded.
Critics charge that the government lacks the will to stem corruption. An
anti-corruption commission is provided for by section 108A of the
constitution, but the relevant government authorities have been accused of
dragging their feet in establishing a law that would regulate the
In March, a former cabinet minister and influential ruling ZANU-PF
legislator, Eddison Zvobgo, introduced a parliamentary motion for the
establishment of the commission. Despite its backing by Mugabe and Finance
Minister Herbert Murerwa, no debate has yet taken place on the motion.
"There is need to establish an anti-corruption commission as a matter of
urgency. The commission would be used to fight corruption, abuse of power,
theft and misappropriation, and other improprieties in both the public and
private sectors," said Nongogo.
He added that the commission should carry out investigations on its own
initiative. "In addition, there is need for the commission to have a high
degree of independence. Commissioners need not be appointed by the
president, as is the case with most commissions.
"The commission should report to parliament and measures ought to be put in
place to make sure that the attorney-general's office does not interfere
with its operations," Nongogo said. He also recommended that the commission
should have its own vote in the national budget, as a way of ensuring its
In addition to setting up a commission, TI-Z has called for a
"whistleblower's" fund. "The rationale of setting up the fund is to
alleviate the fear of blowing the whistle. This is the fear of
recrimination, loss of one's job and loss of income," said the organisation.
The government and ZANU-PF have, however, dismissed TI's report, saying the
organisation was working closely with Britain and the United States to
tarnish the image of the country.
Phillip Chiyangwa, former head of an anti-corruption taskforce working under
the government- controlled National Economic Consultative Forum, and a
ZANU-PF member of parliament, questioned how TI had come up with its
"Transparency International's ratings should be dismissed with the contempt
they deserve. How do they rate the countries they would have sampled? Is it
not a mere case of perception, and if it is so, who is barred from forming
perceptions? Obviously, the people who conducted the survey have never been
to Zimbabwe," said Chiyangwa.
"Zimbabweans are more respectful of the law than most of the countries that
were surveyed by Transparency International, and one tends to wonder why we
should continue being bastardised by partisan organisations such as TI," he
noted, adding that TI-Z put too much emphasis on public corruption, ignoring
sleaze in the private sector.
Plea for Action as Zimbabwe Inflation Hits 450%
By Anthony Looch, Lords Staff, PA News
Zimbabwe’s inflation rate has hit
450% and the country is running out of
local currency as well as foreign currency, the Leader of the Lords,
Baroness Amos, told peers.
Replying to call for further pressure on the Zimbabwe government, Lady Amos,
recently the International Development Secretary, said: “The British
Government’s relationship with the Zimbabwe government is such that very
often what we say is not taken seriously.”
Liberal Democrat spokesman Lord Watson of Richmond, asked what was being
done to ensure that food relief for the people would not come under the
control of the ruling party, Zanu-PF.
Lady Amos replied that the United Nations, the European Union and other
donors had made it clear to the Zimbabwe government “that we will not
tolerate political interference in the distribution of food aid.
“Humanitarian support is entering its third year and we remain confident
that systems are in place to ensure that no such relief provided by the UK,
and our donor partners, can come under Zanu-PF control.”
Lord Watson said: “The UN estimates that by January of next year 5.5 million
Zimbabweans will be dependent on food distribution. That gives Mr Mugabe and
Zanu-PF the opportunity to hold the nation by its throat.”
Lord Watson asked for an assurance that “compared with the ineffectiveness
of sanctions and other actions to date”, real pressure would be brought to
bear by the British Government and the international community.
Lady Amos said she appreciated that there was “a great deal of impatience
that nothing appears to have been delivered,” but the British Government
would continue to make strenuous efforts.
Opposition spokesman Lord Howell of Guildford said there were still
“unending violations of human rights and the crushing of liberties,” in
He added: “The economy is in tatters and people there are now living on
roots and berries. It has been called The Land of the Empty Plate.”
JUSTICE FOR AGRICULTURE
COMMUNIQUES - October 15, 2003
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
SECURITY COMMUNIQUE AND APPEAL
On Friday 10 October 2003 on Maynard Estate in Selous the homestead was
burnt down. Mr Meyer, who owns the property, had Mr Museka move in to the
second homestead on the property after Mr Meyer's son moved out due to not
being allowed to farm. Mr Museka has officially moved in as the
"caretaker". We understand that he is from the president's office. A lot
of the roofing of sheds and other infrastructure have been stripped since
On Friday bamboo was being burnt in a high wind in the second homestead's
garden. The fire caught the thatch of the cottage and then subsequently
the thatch on the main homestead, which is a double storey building. The
electricity went off so water couldn't be pumped. As a result the fire
could not be put out in the main homestead. The cottage however was saved.
Mr Meyer managed to get a few items out but basically has had all his and
his wife's possessions, built up over a lifetime, go up in smoke.
We are appealing for any assistance whatsoever to set him back up again. He
is determined to stay on the farm in the cottage as he has no other home to
HUMAN RIGHTS COMMUNIQUE
Under the auspices of Fast track "land reform" Zimbabwean citizens have
seen some of the worst human rights violations perpetrated against them
since the early 1980's. They have to all intents and purposes been
emasculated by having no recourse to the law. Justice has been selective
and on most occasions, when attempting to make a report to the Police, the
complainant becomes the accused. The very people who are mandated to
protect the citizens of Zimbabwe have in many cases either been complicit
directly, or by default. This is a very serious indictment on our Police
Force, a Force that was once rated second in the world.
The following are observations made by Human Rights Watch in their report
"Fast Track Land Reform in Zimbabwe" of March, 2002.
· Findings (and those of other International Human Rights Organizations)
have confirmed that the Police have at best failed to take action against
alleged perpetrators of violent crimes, and in some cases have actively
assisted illegal actions.
· The Army has played a role in organizing and facilitating farm
occupations without providing any check on the violence.
· The access to the forms for applying for land were party-politically
controlled and discriminatory and partisan.
· The role of the Zanu(PF) militia and war veterans in distributing and
allocating land with the accompanying intimidation and violence.
· The farm workers were generally excluded from benefiting from land
· The disruption to commercial agriculture caused by Fast track land reform
has endangered food security in Zimbabwe.
· The government has defied Court orders requiring Police to remove farm
occupiers where land was not acquired in accordance with lawful procedures.
· Zimbabweans right to equal protection of the law has been violated.
· While international attention has focused on the plight of white farm
owners, it is the poor, rural black people, who have suffered the most from
the violence that has accompanied the fast track process.
The above points are but a few of the findings of this Human Rights
It is eighteen months since this report was produced and the chaos,
lawlessness and human rights violations continue unabated. Farm workers and
farmers and their families have not only suffered physical violence, (and
continue to do so) but have seen their homes stolen and looted, their
livelihoods taken away, their crops and stock stolen all in the name of
Fast track land reform. These are all gross Human Rights violations. So
what can you do about it? You can send details of any incidents relating to
political violence (including intimidation, theft of property, failure to
perform duty etc) to:-
The Accountability Commission:
JAG remains committed to transparent, lawful and economically sustainable
Kerry Kay, Human Rights, JAG Team.
Bush 'not satisfied' with situation in Zimbabwe
October 3, 2003
Washington: US President George Bush yesterday declared himself "not
satisfied" with efforts so far to promote human rights and political
reforms in Zimbabwe and urged its neighbours to keep up pressure for
"The only time that this government and I, personally, will be satisfied is
when there is an honest government, reformed government in Zimbabwe," he
told African reporters. "That hasn't happened yet; therefore, we're not
Prodded, Bush said he was not pleased "with the process" and "certainly
not" with Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, whose country lies in the
grips of a festering political and social crisis, with the economy in chaos
and more than five million people in need of donated food.
He also said he hoped President Thabo Mbeki - with whom he met during a
July trip to Africa - would continue to lead efforts to put pressure on
"Our government has not changed our opinion about the need for the region
to deal with Zimbabwe and the leadership there," said Bush, who added that
he had sent the same message to Mozambique's President Joaquim Chissano
when they met last month on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New
"When President Mbeki says they are working on it, to achieve this goal, I
take him for his word. And I am going to remind all parties that the goal
is a reformed and fair government. And that hasn't been achieved yet. And
we'll continue to press the issue, both privately and publicly," said Bush.
The US president was speaking at a round table with African media to set
the stage for Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki's October 6 state visit to the
United States. - Sapa-AFP
Thank you for your assistance on the John Lockwood article, which I'm glad
was picked up by the Daily News (before its sad demise).
I was speaking to the Law Society here on a different matter and mentioned
the Lockwood case. They are keen to hear from farmers who wish to make
Extract from Email from Law Society:
"Re the Zimbabwean farmers, your original article was noted by our
investigations people when it appeared. We would be very interested to
hear from anybody who wishes to give us evidence about John Lockwood.
I suggest they write to me:
The Law Society
8 Dormer Place
Of they can email or fax me (number below).
Please ask them not to send original documentation, only copies, in case
it gets lost in the post.
Press & Public Relations Officer
Office for the Supervision of Solicitors
phone 01926 822043 (internal 2243)
fax 01926 822148
mobile 07980 725580
JAG OPEN LETTER FORUM
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to
firstname.lastname@example.org with "For Open Letter Forum" in the subject line.
Letter 1: Re: Deindividuation
What we are witnessing in Zimbabwe amongst the ruling elite and their
supporters is something known as DEINDIVIDUATION.
We normally carry our sense of identity around with us and are thus well
aware of how we are relating to other people. There are ways, however of
losing ourselves, including: becoming a part of a large group, such as a
mob, army or political party. Deindividuation into a group results in a
loss of individual identity and a gaining of the social identity of the
group. Nazi Germany is a case in point.
The effects of mobs are particularly alarming as lynchings, beatings, riots
and wartime atrocities have all been done during periods of
deindividuation. Crowds give individuals the opportunity to hide and also
allow them to share the blame, reducing the sense of individual
responsibility. Uniforms and war paint also helps them hide their true
identities. Even sunglasses can support aggressive attitudes as they hide
the eyes, a very important part of the individual.
Significant external stimulation helps deindividuation as it distracts
individuals from internal chatter and rumination. This is one reason that
pop and rock music (and orchestral music, for that matter) is often played
loudly along with dramatic visual lighting effects. You have probably
heard the mob chanting as they walked up the road to your farm and it is
The three most important factors for deindividuation in a group of people
are: (1) anonymity, so I cannot be found out; (2) diffused responsibility,
so I am not responsible for my actions; and (3) GROUP SIZE, as a larger
group INCREASES the first two factors. Since there is no longer any free
press in Zimbabwe, deindividuation is likely to increase because one of the
tools for holding people accountable for their actions has been removed. As
it increases, people join the group to protect themselves.
As we are all aware, the economic situation in Zimbabwe will not improve
until there is significant change. This change is unlikely to happen until
Mugabe and his party step down. I say it again - deindividuation is likely
to increase in Zimbabwe. This will mean the mob is likely to pick out
victims to blame for their plight when things do not improve. And believe
me when I say that they will not hold themselves accountable.
I don't want to sound like the purveyor of doom and gloom. Instead, I
would like to galvanize action to overcome group inertia. Most of the
messages I have read in this forum have been about assigning blame or "feel
good" messages. This is NOT the time for healing of blaming people. This
is a time for MEASURABLE ACTION explained below.
There are ways of dealing with deindividuation. To reduce deindividuation
in others, make them more self-aware. Use their name. Tell them what they
are doing. Mugabe knows what he has done and has proven immune to these
techniques. He feels that he will be able to either maintain power or
negotiate favorable terms of surrender. However, his subordinates will be
less confident of their individual circumstances. Therefore any campaign
launched to destroy deindividuation and promote individuation should be
aimed at Mugabe's subordinate power base.
Since there is no press in Zimbabwe, and the international press cannot or
will not cite individual names, the Internet is one of two ways to hold
people accountable. This could be accomplished in the following ways:
1. 1. Document and publish the report and individual's photograph on
2. 2. Send a letter to the accused together with the Internet
3. 3. Explain the resources that will be used to hold them
accountable for whatever they are accused of;
4. 4. Give them a way to remedy the situation by returning the land
to the formal owners or upholding the law if they are a judge or police
The second way would be to print "Wanted" posters in Shona with the report
and individual's photograph. These would be distributed on the ground.
This is a far more dangerous strategy because it involves printing and
distribution risks in Zimbabwe.
To be effective, this needs to happen very quickly. Every individual in
Zimbabwe that is opposed to what is happening can be a member of a vast
intelligence enterprise. Call it the JAG Intelligence Unit if you will.
This Intelligence Unit needs to be organized into certain divisions. At
first pass, I would propose the following:
1. 1. Strategy & Planning
2. 2. Technology Infrastructure
3. 3. Intelligence Gathering
4. 4. Intelligence Analysis
5. 5. Intelligence Dissemination
Each group would be staffed with volunteers. Initially, volunteers would
be needed to head each group and focus on building their manpower
resources. I could provide an executive overview of the functions of each
of these resources to eliminate divisional overlap and responsibilities.
Divisional heads would then build out their policies and procedures to run
efficiently and effectively.
My preference would be to have this spearheaded by JAG as they have proven
to be effective at organizing their existing activities. At this stage, I
have directed communications through JAG Assuming they would be interested
in leading this strategy. I may be an ASS in making this assumption
because they probably have their hands full with their current activities.
If they are not interested, I would propose forming a new group and taking
things from there.
If you believe this strategy is viable, volunteer your time and lets make
Regards Stuart Brazier
Letter 2: Re Open Letters Forum No. 163 dated 11 October
I would like to commend the sentiments of "Townie".
Very little of the Kinnaird debate has touched on the fundamental problems
of our Country. These are not predominantly about land, or about
commercial farmers (or Townies). They are mainly about attitudes in our
own heads and how we relate to ALL other people in Zimbabwe. Townie has
taken the trouble, over the years, to acquaint him/herself with what has
really happened, and is happening in our Country. He/she has then tried,
in their own small way, to do something about it. If more of us had taken
this route we would not be in our present crisis. It is not too late. More
and more people are getting off the fence and moving into the New Zimbabwe.
Keith Battye's letter concerns me a little. I can sympathise with many of
his feelings about the collective white farming ethos but in the end of his
letter he apparently accuses me of not only losing my own business, to his
detriment, but, by extension, of also causing the imminent loss of his own
non-essential endeavours. Now, it would be hard not to be arrogant if I
had that much power over his life, but methinks that we might all be caught
in a socio-political power struggle that pays scant regard for the size or
quality of our contribution to the well being of our fellow man, our
compassion or our arrogance.
Letter 4: Re Open Letters Forum No. 164 dated 13 October
Surely we don't need a new "association" of farmers off the land to keep in
touch. We have one already, just join JAG, and put your precious money into
All letters published on the open Letter Forum are the views and opinions
of the submitters, and do not represent the official viewpoint of Justice
Students study wrong set books
By Peter Matambanadzo
Ordinary level English literature students at Mabelreign Girls High School
who are set to sit for their final examinations next month have been
studying the wrong set books.
At least 40 pupils are affected and have less than a month to make amends.
The subject teacher told the students last week that they had been studying
the wrong set books. The anormally was discovered after the teacher tried to
exchange past examination papers with a neighbouring school.
Out of the three set books prescribed, the students only studied one
prescribed, affecting their ability to sit for the examination.
The students were supposed to study Waiting For The Rain by Charles Mungoshi
and I Will Marry When I Want by Ngugi waMirii, but studied Things Fall Apart
by Chinua Achebe, Great Expectations by Charles Dickens and Twelfth Night by
William Shakespeare. Twelfth Night is the only correct set book.
When The Herald called the school, the deputy headmistress identified as a
Mrs Mugadza declined to comment referring all questions to the Ministry of
Education, Sport and Culture.
"Makaiwana kupi nyaya iyoyo? Inobuda kupi . . . makabvumirwa nani kunyora
izvozvo . . . makazvinzwa nani izvozvo? (Where did you get that story and
who gave you permission to write that story?) You should talk to the
ministry not to us, we are not allowed to speak to the Press like I am
doing," Mrs Mugadza said.
However, an official at the school who spoke on condition of anonymity
confirmed that the students had studied the wrong set books.
"We are very sorry for the inconvenience caused…we were not aware of this
error only until a teacher found out. We did not see a circular from the
Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council which gave a list of the set books to
be studied by the students," the official said.
The official said the school had bought the correct set books and the
students have already started reading them.
Parents of the concerned pupils are fuming saying their children had lost
two years studying the wrong books.
"We want an explanation and those responsible should be fired,’’ a parent
who spoke on condition of anonymity in fear of victimisation of his child
told The Herald.
Other parents also queried how their children would sit for an examination
without adequately preparing for it.
"O-Level is a two-year course. How do they expect our children to pass after
reading for less than a month? We do not want such kind of confusion at such
institutions. The Ministry of Education, Sport and Culture should urgently
look into this issue,’’ the parent said.
In a related case early this month, a class of Advanced Level pupils at
Montrose Girls School in Bulawayo failed to sit for a final examination
because it had been doing the wrong syllabus for the past two years.
About 20 girls who were supposed to sit for a Secretarial Studies
examination found themselves in a dilemma after the Higher Education
Examination Council (HEXCO) advised the school authorities that the pupils
could not sit for the examination as it was only offered by polytechnics and
not high schools.
The pupils were supposed to write the national certificate examination, but
the ministry advised the school that it was supposed to offer the national
foundation certificate since the national certificate was the preserve of
polytechnics and other tertiary institutions.
Efforts to get a comment from the Harare regional director of education, Mr
Thomas Dobha, were fruitless as he was said to be in Bulawayo.