The ZIMBABWE Situation
An extensive and up-to-date website containing news, views and links related to ZIMBABWE - a country in crisis
Return to INDEX page
Please note: You need to have 'Active content' enabled in your IE browser in order to see the index of articles on this webpage

Zimbabwe court adjourns coup plot case

Yahoo News

Mon Oct 15, 10:35 AM ET

HARARE (AFP) - A Zimbabwean court on Monday postponed hearing a case against
six men accused of trying to topple veteran President Robert Mugabe after
the prosecution said it was not ready.

"The accused persons are warned to attend court on October 29," magistrate
Kudakwashe Jarabini said at a hearing in Harare.

The men's lawyer Charles Warara told the court he would apply at the next
court date for refusal of further remand for his clients who have been in
detention since their arrest in June on coup plot charges.

"I ask the attorney general's representative that they be present when I
make the application," Warara said.

The six men, including a retired soldier, Alfred Matapo, were arrested in
June over an alleged attempt to topple 83-year-old Mugabe and replace him
with Rural Housing Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Mnangagwa is among those seen as Mugabe's possible successors.

The prosecution said Matapo conspired with the other suspects and recruited
various members of the security forces in preparation for the alleged coup.

Matapo allegedly planned to incite soldiers to take over the government and
later declare himself interim ruler before installing Mnangagwa as

They have denied the charges through their lawyers, saying they were
discussing the formation of a new political party when security agents
barged into their meeting in the capital and arrested them.

In June, a high court judge denied the suspects bail, saying there were
fears they could flee.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

NCA Member Organisations to Demonstrate in Harare

SW Radio Africa (London)

15 October 2007
Posted to the web 15 October 2007

Tererai Karimakwenda

The National Constitution of Assembly (NCA) has announced there will be a
peaceful demonstration in the capital this week by some of their member
civil organisations. Earnest Mudzengi, NCA National Coordinator, said the
group would not reveal the exact date of the demonstrations because the
police have taken advantage of that information in the past to block their

Mudzengi explained that the main issue is that they want a people driven
constitutional reform process and do not support the secrecy surrounding the
current talks being mediated by South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki. He
said: "We don't want a few people to sit down and write the constitution. It
should be authored by the people. And we have no problem with any mediated
efforts as long as there are no secrets and the issue of the constitution is
at the centre."

Mudzengi also pointed to Amendment 18 which was passed by both parties in
parliament this month. He described it's passage as "a dangerous precedent
that will not bring democracy to the people". Sections of the Amendment
increased the number of seats in parliament and in the Senate. Mudzengi
described this as "allocating seats to each other", and called it a "power
game" that is taking all of Zimbabwe hostage.

NCA members have taken to the streets persistently over the last few years
despite numerous arrests and severe physical assaults on the group's leaders
and activists. The government has also been on a campaign of hunting down
and abducting known NCA officials and suspected activists. Many have been
living in hiding but continue to pressure for a new constitution.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

75 Woza And Moza Activists Arrested During Protest March

SW Radio Africa (London)

15 October 2007
Posted to the web 15 October 2007

Tichaona Sibanda

At least 75 activists from Women of Zimbabwe Arise and Men of Zimbabwe Arise
were arrested outside the parliament building in central Harare, after
staging a peaceful demonstration against police brutality against its

Woza co-ordinator Jennie Williams was one of those arrested and taken to the
central police station in the capital. Patuma Sonyowa who took part in the
protest march said police needed five trucks to ferry the activists from
parliament to the central police station.

'We started our march from First Street right up the parliament door steps
where we intended to handover the report on political violence against our
activists. It was also here where police ordered us to disperse but we
refused and instead sat on the pavement. We were singing songs that
denounced police brutality and we also called for a new constitution and the
return of the rule of law,' Sonyowa said.

She said police took away all their banners and protest newsletters. Their
lawyers were denied access to the activists who were believed to be under
interrogation from the time they were picked up by the police just after

'The lawyers told us they were chased away by the police and that they were
making frantic efforts to engage more senior practitioners to handle the
case,' said Sonyowa.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Students Fail to Write Exam Due to Water And Electricity Woes

SW Radio Africa (London)

15 October 2007
Posted to the web 15 October 2007

Henry Makiwa

Students at a Harare high school on Friday failed to sit for an examination
due to lack of power and water, forcing authorities to push forward the test
into the weekend.

Ordinary level students from Kuwadzana 1 High School's Food and Nutrition
class were asked by their teachers to bring "water and portable stoves" from
home to Kuwadzana 2 High school, that had power. But according to our
correspondent, Simon Muchemwa, facilities at Kuwadzana 2 proved to be
inadequate to cope with the needs of all students, leading to some having to
sit the test the following day and others, as late as Sunday.

Demonstrating the shambles the Zimbabwean education system has become,
teachers and students where seen carrying "two-plate" stoves and containers
of water as they frantically sought an alternative venue for the
examinations. Questions have also been raised about the integrity of the
entire examination, as it is feared that some students may have learned of
its contents, from friends sitting for the same paper at different schools.

Muchemwa reported: "What the Kuwadzana township witnessed is something akin
to a sad and unfortunate circus show. It best resembles the shallow levels
Zimbabwean education has plunged into and questions the integrity of the
whole examination system."

Muchemwa added that the crisis was compounded by the absence of most
teachers from duty, as many are still sitting at home in protest at poor

Teachers in the country went on a nationwide strike in September that has
threatened to cripple the education system. They were awarded a backdated
pay increase by government a fortnight ago, which many have spurned as
inadequate, despite calls by the Zimbabwe Teachers Association for them to
return to work.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Mugabe to attend EU-Africa summit in Portugal, official says

International Herald Tribune

The Associated PressPublished: October 15, 2007

LISBON, Portugal: Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe plans to be at a
European Union-Africa summit in December despite Britain's threat to boycott
the talks if he attends, a senior Zimbabwean official said Monday.

"Our president will be at the summit," Zimbabwe's Information Minister
Sikhanyiso Ndlovu said in a telephone interview with Portugal's Renascenca
radio station. The Dec. 8-9 meeting is to take place in Lisbon.

Ndlovu urged other EU countries to oppose British prime minister Gordon
Brown's refusal to deal with Mugabe's regime, which is subject to EU

Mugabe's critics accuse him of economic mismanagement, failure to curb
corruption and contempt for democracy.

Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates, whose country holds the EU's
rotating presidency, said Monday the summit between the 27-nation EU and the
53-member African Union will address human rights and good governance.

"This summit is important because there is so much to discuss and decide,"
Socrates told European lawmakers visiting Lisbon.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

British to boycott summit if Mugabe attends

The Telegraph

By Bruno Waterfield in Luxembourg
Last Updated: 7:31pm BST 15/10/2007

The British Government will mount a total boycott of a forthcoming
European Union and Africa summit if Zimbabwe's leader Robert Mugabe attends.

David Miliband, Foreign Secretary, hit back at a Zimbabwean
declaration that Mugabe was planning to defy Britain by attending a Lisbon
meeting between EU and African leaders this December."

If Robert Mugabe decides to come the summit there will be no
ministerial representation," he said last night. "We don't think it will be
anything other than a media circus if Robert Mugabe goes and that is why we
are clear that if he goes Gordon Brown and I won't go."

The African Union of 53 countries, chaired by Ghana, is demanding that
the EU invites Zimbabwe but following a meeting of Europe's foreign
ministers in Luxembourg, Mr Miliband said that the question of Zimbabwe's
participation had not yet been settled and he insisted that Britain's
repugnance for Mugabe was shared across the EU. "There is widespread horror
at the situation in Zimbabwe. This is certainly not a bilateral UK and
Zimbabwe issue. It is an EU and Zimbabwe issue," he said.
Officials had hoped that Mugabe would spare the blushes of European
leaders by not accepting an invitation to the summit, saving EU face while
meeting African demands that Zimbabwe should be not be excluded from talks
on their continent's future by former Western colonial powers.

But earlier yesterday, a senior Zimbabwean official said that Mugabe
would attend the EU summit despite Britain's threat to boycott the talks."

"Our president will be at the summit," Zimbabwe's Information Minister
Sikhanyiso Ndlovu said in an interview with Portugal's Renascenca radio
station. Ndlovu claimed that Britian has no right to lecture Mugabe because
Mr Brown had failed to call general elections after becoming Prime Minister
this summer."Other EU countries should tell Gordon Brown to shut up," he
said. "Gordon Brown is not even qualified to talk to us on human rights and
as you can see he failed his own country's internal democracy in Britain."

Mugabe and other members of his government face a travel ban and other
sanctions in Europe. A previous summit between the African Union and EU
failed in 2003 after Britain and other EU states refused to attend if Mugabe

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zimbabwe urges EU to tell Brown to "shut up" on rights


Mon 15 Oct 2007, 12:33 GMT

LISBON, Oct 15 (Reuters) - The European Union should tell British Prime
Minister Gordon Brown to "shut up" on democracy and human rights in Zimbabwe
ahead of an Africa-EU summit in December, Zimbabwe's information minister
said on Monday.

Minister Sikhanyiso Ndlovu told Portuguese radio station Renascenca that
Brown had no right to lecture Zimbabwe when he himself was "running away"
with power by taking over from Tony Blair without an election.

"Other EU countries should tell Gordon Brown to shut up," Ndlovu told the
radio station. "Gordon Brown is not even qualified to talk to us on human
rights and as you can see he failed his own country's internal democracy in

EU president Portugal is hosting the first summit of EU and African leaders
in seven years in December but Brown has said he will not attend if
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe goes. Mugabe faces a travel ban in

The African Union supports Mugabe in attending the summit and Ndlovu said
the the issue was a closed chapter. "Noone can stand between Portugal and
inviting (all) heads of state from the African Union and European Union," he

A summit between the African Union and EU failed in 2003 after Britain and
other EU states -- who accuse Mugabe of rights abuses -- refused to attend
if Mugabe did. Portugal has said it will not discriminate in who it invites
but has yet to send the invitations.

Ndlovu said Europe had no right to accuse Zimbabwe of human rights abuses.
"European countries are not clean, they are not clean at all," he said.

"Human rights should be discussed also in the European Union, some of the
members of the European Union are the worst offenders of human rights; why
particularly Zimbabwe?" he said.

He said that during the time when Zimbabwe won its independence from
colonial power Britain, people were imprisoned and land was taken away.

"Where were all these countries (then) who are in the EU, who are clamouring
for human rights?" he said.

Critics accuse Mugabe of running down one of Africa's most promising
economies, which now has the highest inflation rate in the world at 6,600
percent and persistent food shortages.

Mugabe, who is 83 and has been in power since independence from Britain in
1980, accuses western countries of sabotaging the economy as punishment for
his seizure of white-owned farms to resettle landless blacks.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zimbabwe: kwashiorkor comes to the capital

United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs -
Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN)

Date: 15 Oct 2007

HARARE, 15 October 2007 (IRIN) - Theresa Machirori, a thirteen-year-old
student in the Zimbabwean capital, Harare, has become used to the morning
routine of washing her face and legs, putting on a tattered uniform and
going to school without breakfast.

Once one of the brightest class stars, her academic performance has declined
and she often drifts off to sleep during lessons. When she gets home in the
working class suburb of Mabvuku in the afternoon, she has a cup of black tea
before eating the evening meal of vegetables and sadza - the national
maizemeal staple - with her parents and three brothers.

It is a diet the Machirori family have subsisted on for the past three years
since the father, John, was retrenched when the cement manufacturing company
where he worked ran into financial difficulties.

"That my children fight over food is now a regular occurrence that we have
almost become used to, but when I see them quarrelling during a meal, my
heart is always filled with pain, even though I take care not to show it,"
he told IRIN.

"However, I think we are lucky, in a way, because I know there are so many
families out there that are literally surviving on water, and there are many
deaths that are taking place quietly because of lack of food," Machirori

The family is among thousands of households that Harare's municipal
authority says are surviving on one meal a day. Food insecurity in urban
areas continues to worsen as Zimbabwe's official inflation rate of more than
6,000 percent makes basic commodities both scarce and unaffordable.

Clare Zunguza, a nutritionist working for the Harare City Council's health
department, recently told the parliamentary committee on health that "Most
families are not eating anything in the morning and afternoon, and only have
one meal in the evening, hence malnutrition is now prevalent in Harare."

Kwashiorkor rising steeply

Harare local authorities recently reported that cases of kwashiorkor had
risen by 43.7 percent in 2006, compared to the previous year, and the
Zimbabwe Demographic and Health Survey said conditions such as stunting and
underweight, associated with poor food quality and quantity, were increasing
in the country's 10 provinces.

Kwashiorkor is a malnutrition disease that results from inadequate protein
intake, even when the diet is otherwise adequate. Early symptoms include
fatigue, irritability and lethargy. As protein deprivation continues, there
can be stunting, loss of muscle mass, generalised swelling, and decreased
immunity. A large, protuberant belly is common, as are skin conditions,
changes in pigmentation and thinning hair.

Zunguza said at least 30 percent of children under the age of five were
malnourished, and recommended that supplementary feeding schemes be
increased, specifically among primary school pupils most affected by food

Before the economy began its sharp decline in 2000, and the donor community
scaled down operations in the country, citing a hostile environment, most
primary schools benefited from supplementary feeding schemes; now schools in
only three of Harare's most populous suburbs receive free food supplements.

"Shortage of nutrients among pregnant women in high-density suburbs is on
the increase, resulting in them giving birth to underweight children, who
are at the risk of developing complications and infections," Zunguza said.
People living with HIV and AIDS, three-quarters of whom were the head of the
family, were also affected by the scarcity of nutritious food.

Harare's acting director of health, Dr Stanley Mungofa, said no deaths
related to malnutrition had been recorded, but admitted to a parliamentary
committee that the acute shortages of water had given rise to outbreaks of
diarrhoea and skin diseases. "We have had increases which are above what we
normally see."

The government declared 2007 a year of drought, and the Famine Early Warning
System (FEWS NET) has said Zimbabwe would have to import more than one
million metric tonnes of cereals to augment poor harvests that will leave
about 4.1 million people, or more than a third of the population, in need of
food aid by early next year.

A vegetarian nation

Murisi Zwizwai, a member of parliament for the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) who also sits on the parliamentary committee on
health, said the problem of malnutrition was a "big worry that has affected
all corners of the country".

"The majority of the people in this country live on less than US$1 per day,
meaning that the poverty datum line is pathetic; as a result they cannot
afford to buy whatever food is available," he commented.

"Add to that the fact that foodstuffs with nutritional value, such as eggs,
meat and milk, are in short supply, and where they can be found they are
being sold on the black market at exorbitant prices, and you can see the
whole scenario is tragic," Zwizwai told IRIN.

In June the government introduced price controls, forcing retailers to
reduce commodity prices by 50 percent. Manufacturers said the prices were
unrealistic; they could not produce at a loss and stay in business. Since
the rush that emptied shop shelves of whatever was available at the cheaper
prices, the shelves have mostly stayed empty.

"We have been reduced to a vegetarian country because even kapenta [a
traditionally cheap small dried fish] that is rich in protein is difficult
to obtain from traditional sources," Zwizwai said.

"The Grain Marketing Board [the state-controlled company with a monopoly on
buying and selling maize] is seizing maize from urbanites, who would have
sourced it from areas that had relatively good harvests," further tightening

He pointed out that the current commodity shortages were taking a toll on
school children, hospital patients and prison inmates, who now had to rely
on their relatives and families for food, "but that is proving difficult
because those very people who are supposed to help them are also starving".

Zwizwai said government had failed to put in place mechanisms to ensure that
vulnerable groups of society, such as AIDS patients and children, were given
priority in the distribution of the little food available.

Plight Mbiri, 44, who is living with HIV/AIDS in the small town of Kadoma,
about 200km southwest of Harare, recently moved to Harare to live with a
brother because his poor health made it increasingly difficult to fend for

Mbiri's wife left him two years ago when he became critically ill and he has
relied on donations from his brother, who works as a bank teller in Harare,
since he lost his job due to poor health.

"Harare seems to be better in terms of the availability of foodstuffs and
drugs. I was going through hell, living alone in Kadoma where I used to work
as a teacher, because having TB I needed good food to complement the drugs I
was taking, when they were available.

"I am sure my condition would be better if I could afford at least two good
meals a day and while my brother is doing his best, I know he is struggling
here in the capital," Mbiri told IRIN. "Even when money is available, it is
a struggle to get the food to buy."

[This article does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zimbabwe's ruling party insincere about talks, opposition says

Monsters and Critics

Oct 15, 2007, 16:37 GMT

Harare/Johannesburg - Zimbabwe's main opposition on Monday accused President
Robert Mugabe's party of treating with disdain key inter-party talks by
mounting a crackdown on its supporters.

'We continue to receive disturbing reports from across the country of
violence against our supporters, said Nelson Chamisa, the spokesman of the
main faction of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

The MDC is engaged in talks with the ruling ZANU-PF party hosted by
neighbouring South Africa that are aimed at defusing political tensions
ahead of presidential and parliamentary elections due next year.

outh African President Thabo Mbeki was given the mandate to mediate in the
talks by the regional SADC grouping in March.

This followed a violent crackdown against the opposition earlier that month
that left at least two people dead and dozens of opposition officials and
activists severely injured.

'The regime is working hard to shrink the democratic space of ordinary
Zimbabweans,' Chamisa charged.

The spokesman claimed that police had turned down 103 applications for
rallies made by the MDC since the talks began, despite the fact that war
veterans and other supporters of President Robert Mugabe have freely staged
marches in towns and cities countrywide.

'We condemn the incessant attempts by the regime and security agents to
tamper with the people's basic freedoms of assembly, speech and
association,' Chamisa said.

He said MDC Member of Parliament Paul Madzore had been summoned for police
questioning Monday following a weekend rally.

Last week state prosecutors withdrew terrorism charges against more than 20
opposition activists, including Madzore, who were arrested in March and
detained for several months.

The MDC has said it will demand compensation from the state for the
detention of the activists, several of whom were severely assaulted in
police custody.

© 2007 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Ailing Student Denied Bail Again

SW Radio Africa (London)

15 October 2007
Posted to the web 15 October 2007

Henry Makiwa

Edison Hlatshwayo, the secretary general for the students union at the Great
Zimbabwe University, has been in custody for nearly three weeks for
allegedly defying police authority. On Monday he was further denied bail by
a Masvingo court.

Hlatshwayo has been tortured and incarcerated at the hard criminals lockup
of Mutimurefu prison and was remanded in custody until Wednesday, after a
magistrate ruled that the police still need to investigate the case. Student
bodies and civil organizations have criticized the ruling, citing
Hlatshwayo's failing health and the lack of police evidence.

Activists at the Zimbabwe Students Union and the Students Solidarity Trust
(SST) have charged that Hlatshwayo's continued incarceration is because
security agents targeted him.

SST spokesman Simba Moyo said Hlatswayo was being denied bail as the police
was "getting back at him".

"Its unclear why the police would allege they still want to investigate
Edison. They allege he got rowdy at an event so they should simply charge
him for that and contest the case," Moyo said.

"We are aware however that there is one particular officer called Mutambiri
who harbors a grudge with Edison and wants him to languish for as long as
possible in prison. Our friend is being denied food and is not well so we
have launched a campaign to publicise his case to the outside world."

Hlatshwayo was arrested on allegations of malicious injury to property and
assault, while attending a public meeting organized by the Zimbabwe Youth
Forum at Charles Austin theatre hall in Masvingo.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Our experiences in Nigeria -Zimbabwean farmers

Vanguard, Nigeria

Posted to the Web: Monday, October 15, 2007

Taiwo Mustapha, a worker in the farm of Allan Jack

What is your name?

I am Tawio Mustapha, a native of Shonga. I have been here three years.
Since these people came there have been development.  They are building
factories at the other side. This is a store where we are keeping loads.

How will you assess their farms since they came?

They said they have problems of sales here and that is why they
embarked on the cultivation of soyabean this year, because it gives
money.The maize they planted previously did not yield much. This is because
most maize farmers in the country plant maize too.

Before you started here what were you doing?

I was working at the Bachita Sugar company .    On the relationship
with the people?

There is no problem with them at all. The idea of the farm here by the
government is commended.

Paul Reflaff, Zimbabwean farmer

How has it been here in Shonga?

We have been busy building, tilling land, tilling field
You have been here for close to four years now, how many hectares of
land have you cultivated ?

There are thirteen of us here and we have about four thousand hectares
and we have been cultivating maize, soyabeans, rice, cassava, plantain and
we have done a little bit of experimental work with groundnut and
vegetables, banana and pawpaw. On a large scale it has been maize, rice,
soyabeans and cassava.

We have been harvesting, we have made storage for the dairy, we have
made about 5000 tonnes storage for the dairy, this is going to be our second
soyabean crop now and the first soyabean crop was not that great. In fact
none of our first crop was satisfactory, but from the lessons we have learnt
from there our crops are looking much better this year.

What happened that your first crops were not that successful?

We were late in planting, the finance came late so we started planting
late, that probably was the worst problem and we had some substandard
fertilizers and the land we planted was virgin so the soil has to be worked
before it starts becoming highly productive.

In essence, in your 1st, 2nd year, you did not make yield, not to talk
of selling?

We are hoping that by the end of the third year we start getting
decent crops. By the time we get to the third year crops we start getting
good results .

On their relationship with the people?

You can see that the people are working in all the areas. Residents
are employed on the farms. At times between us we employ a couple of
thousand people and you have to ask them whether they are happy or not. We
are their employers and so we are very strict and disciplined. We are
instilling a lot of discipline and work ethics. The labourers work very hard
but they have to learn how to stick to working hours.
We have 13 farmers here and another 20 in Nassarawa. Between 13 of us
here we have cultivated about 4,000 hectares.

What is taking place here?

This is for the dairy and we are going to be producing milk and what
is standing there is the processing plant and the packaging for the dairy
products that we will be producing and then the other building for milking
the cows and housing the cows.

How many people are you likely to employ here at the end of the day?
Your guess is as good as mine. I think as long as we are developing,
the number is going to increase as things start working properly the number
will increase.

Is there any deliberate effort to train the locals on good farming
practice ?

No, we have been very busy concentrating on getting ourselves settled,
setting up these farms and what we hope is that lots of people will learn by
working for us and understanding, but we still have a long way to go before
we get this place running to a point where we start thinking of putting up
an educational centre. We are still a long way away from there, we are going
to make sure that we survive first and our priority at this stage is to get
established and get the place viable and make this farm productive. Until we
can do that we can't teach anybody anything, we are probably learning from
the locals as they are getting to learn from us.

From your experience so far, from  which of the cultivated crops did
you get the best yield and why?

I think we have been successful with everything we have done. We got
to be careful not to be disappointed with our first couple of years, but we
have gone a long way. We have done a lot of soil analysis, we have got a lot
of experts come here to advice us and what the problems are and what our
shortfalls are and each year we will continue to rectify our shortfalls
until we get it right.
We are still yet to get irrigation which is a big factor and we hope
that will start happening in the nearest future. We are still yet to get
electricity here and whole lots of things, so we still got a long way to go.

Building up the infrastructure is a master job and what I planned
doing here in 5 years took me 25 years of my life else where in Zimbabwe. We
still got a long way to go.

In the next five years, what do you think will happen here?

You can imagine this factory when it is working, there will be so much
work, and employment, there will so be much hassle and bustle and something
like this is going on in every farm, so you can get an idea of the amount of
activities that will be generated. In 5 years time, it is going to be like a
hub of activities.

Some farmers are putting up an abattoir for chicken, chicken plants,
others are putting up cassava plant, there is going to be rice mill.

How do you think African nations, especially Nigeria,  can be
self-sufficient in food?

 It is relatively simple, it just needs strong will by governments in
power, as long as the enabling environment is created, the system gets on
automatically. And I will say that Nigeria can feed itself with the right
government policy and that is what we are seeing here, we have seen a
fantastic government policy that has helped in legislation and getting the
banks to lend money. All the talk of infrastructure takes time, but it is
coming. We are the Guinea  pigs so we are trying to get all things in place
and when the next set comes, it will be quicker for them.

There is no question about Nigeria being able to feed itself. Like I
said the government gets to create the enabling environment, in other words,
there is going to be incentives for people to do it. So that a person who
puts in a day's work gets a day's return and he will be satisfied with what
he has done that day and that is the bottom line, you got to make money.


Have you been selling your grains?

We have been selling to lot of people and factories in Ibadan, Lagos
and Nassarawa where people come to buy our cassava.
On the estimate sold so far,
I can't give the estimate, but it could be up to a thousand tonnes.
On the hectares cultivated so far:
Last year we did about 2,000 hectares and we have cut down this year
because of finance as you can see we are putting money into processing plant
and the chicken processing, but next year we will be back. The banks are now
coming on board in financing.

What is going on here?

We are building a processing farm for the diary. We are talking of
employing of a large number of people.

Experience in shonga?

Coming together, the people are not working as expected but that will
come with time On the land cultivated and the crops?

Right now we are trying to cut back as we did not the financing on
time, so we have cultivated about 300 hectares in my farm, that of Mr.
Swarts and Mr. Reflaff, we are working together but because we did not bring
the cattle the year before we have got all we need already, so we don't need
to plant more this year. Next year between the three of us we are going to
be planting between 900-1000 hectares.

In the first and 2nd year what crops did you cultivate and the result?

We grew maize and soyabean. The maize in Nigeria, you have three
diseases which affect maize terribly. One is common rust and the second is
green ..... your plant breeders told me our seeds are resistance to these
diseases, but they are no way near resistance, so a lot of work has to go on
into breeding varieties that will stand the climatic condition we have here.

Have you been able to do that?

No, that will take time to do. We are not breeders, we are just

On the cultivated soyabean.
Soyabean grow well here and the harvest from maize have been slightly
harvesting, we harvested between, 3 and 4 tonnes, but this year we are
probably going to get about 5 tonnes.

On the number of people employed ?

Between the three of us, (Allan, Retzlaff and Swarts)  we have
probably employed 200-300.

On how the country can be self sufficient in food production.
The country can be, you have everything like the climate, the rain
fall, the soil, you just have to get the husbandry side of the farming a lot
better and that will improve on an annual basis.

On the challenges in Shonga?

The challenges are clearing the land, trying to get the labourers do a
decent day's work for a decent day's pay and just normal farming problems
that are on-going.

Like what?

Spare parts, there is no spare parts here, chemicals. Chemicals are
sold in liters parks we needs to be buying in 50 liters pack.

On what the place was before they got there?

It was just bush, there was nothing here, everything we have done
here, we started from the scratch and now you can see we have buildings
every where and everything is going.

On what is expected in the next five years?

This processing plant will be producing over 50000 liters of milk a
day. From the soyabean and other crops, because of the plough back into the
soil there will be improvement, the policy in nigeria is just clear and
burn, nothing plough back into the soil. We plough back and it can only


"You can see there are lots of production here. This is my third
cropping .  Soyabean mainly. I have got only soyabean this year, about 250
hectares of soyabean.

Previous seasons, i cultivated soyabean, maize, groundnuts, coffee and
we are doing a chicken project, so we will be needing all that soyabean for
the poultry. I have got enough maize from last year, so i am growing

Maize have been very disappointing because it is very tropical here,
very humid, so we got a lot of diseases in the maize. So we are not growing
maize this season, we need to go purchase maize in maize growing areas.

The market is very good very the soyabean. We are building shield for
the poultry and by march or April next year we should have completed this

The varieties of maize, we have here are not right, the right is grown
in this tropics are not suited for this area, because of the disease.
Northern black comes in and to go round it, we need to start looking at
seeds that are suited for this area, which we are probably going to get in
brazil or south America that are of the same tropics.

 There are lots of research done in those countries on maize and crops
diseases and in this country we don't have such researches. So that is how
we can over come the problem with the maize, by bringing in great seeds.

Q: On the projection for soyabean this year?

It is our second year on farming on soyabean, it will take up three
years before you get to maximum production, but we are hope for better crop
this year,  this year the crop looks promising, we are estimating between
15-20 tonnes per hectare.

It means you are expecting 3750 tonnes- 5000tonnes on your farm alone.
Q: On how the country can be self sufficient in food production?
Commercial agriculture, by growing crops, getting a good marketing
structure going. Getting good research going, and being more viable and the
banks being able to assist the farmers.

Look at your small scale farmers, all he does is to grow enough to
feed itself and he goes to do other jobs for cash. You need the bank to
support him to grow the crop commercially.

Q: Talking about financing what has been your experience like with the

The banks don't know what agriculture is, they are used to short terms
loan, if you want to go into commercial farming, you are looking at minimum
of 5 years- 15years lending, you have to buy equipment and you need to put
infrastructure in place and you cant do that in 1 year. The banks get to be
educated or change their agriculture policy to lower interest and long term

AHMED MUHAMMED, a worker in the farm of the Hunters

Q: How long have you been working here
I have been here for the past three years. I plant and work for john
sawyer. I have learnt a lot about land preparation and how to plant
accordingly as well as irrigation.

With the experience i have gotten from them i want to start my farm to
put into practice what i have learnt here.
We are about 100 people and about 500 in the entire farm one. There
are people who are into monitoring of crops, irrigation and other


I  have been for about three years and i have learnt about rice and
crop planting as well as harvesting. I also learnt about various planting
techniques. And i will like to set up my own farm too when i leave here.

In Mr. Hunter's farm, there are about 150 in his farm, he is working
on a poultry farm as the site has been cleared.

IBRHAHEEM ISSA, a cyclist,

Q: Before the coming of the Zimbabweans what was it like here
Before the coming of the Zimbabwean farmers, things have changed in
the town. I have worked with them as planter, mechanic.

Before they came, we heard they were coming to take over our land and
that they were not going to pay us, but when they came it was not the same
as we got employed in their farms and those of us who could not afford
bicycle started buying motorbikes as well as cars even building houses.

TOCHUKWU FIDELIS from Enugu state

I  was selling in the chemist here before coming to work for the
zimbabwean farmers here as they pay me 10000 naira monthly.

EMIR OF SHONGA, HRN Dr. Haliru Ndanusa Yahaya

"The farmers were supposed to be given land on the other side and
those people were to have their land prepared for them. The compensation is
not one off thing , it is a series of small incentives, like monitoring,
land preparation and that the people will benefit from spin off .

Then the road network we refused to disposed the farmers. Other
incentives, they are going to have 1000 hectare farm that will be developed
by the community. Training of the youth as part of the 13th farm to be
created by the government and that farm will be manned by the Zimbabwean to
be owned by the community, so the community has direct use of the proceed
from the farm and that is coming on stream.

"Nigeria environment funny enough does not encourage farming, the
banks are not doing anything as far as agriculture is concern as they
interested in giving money to oil sector as well as trading. So it has been
difficult to raise money for large scale farming.

The last president came with his might to get the banks to come here
to see what is happening, before the 50b naira was syndicated to the agric

"Fortunately  the IFC was able to raise some money for them and with
that they will be able to do 24 hours farming and when that starts there is
going to be lots of activities, as they will employ lot of people as all
their farming will not be mechanized.

 With this we want to encourage eco-tourism as a spin off of the farm
activities as the money that will be spent here is huge and we encourage the
state government to continue and see the whole area as a development unit as
part of their strategy for the development of Kwara state.

"In terms of the changes that have been taking place, it is quite
dramatic, but I am aware it could be more dramatic. Unfortunately, I
painted a rosier picture and therefore for them it may be is this what they
said , but all communities in that area will benefit from it. But it has to
do with funding.

  I am personally impressed. As all compensation are about being

Some are disappointed, but most people are happy in fact when they are
outside and hear how people talk about this project they cant just
appreciate they have a hidden treasures.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zanu PF has no exit strategy

  The structural economic crisis in Zimbabwe continues to spiral out of
 control. The country's economic statistics and micro-economic indicators
 continue to break all unsavoury records.

 Who would have thought that we would have real inflation in excess of 8 000
 percent and who would have thought that one day, broad money supply would
 increase by a factor of 17 073,1 percent in a space of six months?

 Equally astounding, have been the response, or lack of response by the
 regime which is intellectually hibernating at its offices along Samora
 Machel Avenue.

 For instance, who would have thought that the mainstay of dealing with the
 non-existent supply side of our economy would simply would be the printing
 of money-not even real money but bearer cheques? In addition, who would
 have thought that the solution to our stratospheric mega-inflation was to
 up business and frighten shop keepers into reducing prices?

 Indeed, the fascinating reality reflected in the cacophony of solutions
 proffered by the regime to the crisis is that the regime has no formula,
 has no method, has no system and has no value other than that of power

 The regime has no respect for fundamental and structural economic
 principles; the major one being the elementary housekeeping rule that you
 cannot spend if you cannot produce, and you cannot consume if you are not

 The regime has simply shown that it can have its cake and eat it. It has
 been spending without producing and consuming without industry.

 Put simply, as Eldred Masunungure recently argued, it is a regime that is
 not risk-averse and will assault and murder common sense and basic economic
 principles for the sake of its reproduction. In the end, it lives up to the
 paradox of failed States and all dictatorships, Burma included. That they
 are strong, vicious and risk-taking internally but are weak and
 hypocritical externally.

 Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Gideon Gono's monetary statement of 1
 October 2007, more than anything else, captures the contradictory and
 dialectical matrix of the regime.

 We find it contradictory that in a situation where inflation is rampant and
 has become the "number one enemy", that Gono would unleash an unmitigated ,
 highly expansionary monetary policy that will completely devalue savings
 and investment.

 In the recent monetary policy statement, Santa Claus Gideon Gono will be
 doling out early Christmas presents to manufacturers and farmers at 25
 percent interest rates at the same time maintaining the Treasury Bill rate
 at a pitiable 340 percent when real inflation is over 8 000 percent.

 What this means is that there will be a further increase in broad money
 supply (M3). At the same time, it will mean that the new regime of negative
 interest rates will exacerbate the savings stock in Zimbabwe. In our view,
 savings are going to be pushed to at least -15 percent of Gross Domestic
 Product when an average country like Zimbabwe requires at least 30 percent
 of GDP. Thus, one cannot expect a notable supply-side recovery of the

 To be fair to Gono, there is logic to his anarchy; the logic being that he
 has pulled a no-stop to ensure that there is no excuse for farmers not
 producing in 2007; which he has done with zero-originality through what he
 calls dubbed "the mother of all agricultural seasons."

 Indeed, farmers should have no excuse for not farming. However, there is a
 fallacy in the good Governor's logic and a horrible risk-element. A prudent
 Governor cannot put all the eggs in one basket, particularly if that basket
 is dependent on certain variables that no one controls, in this case, the

 Furthermore, it is a false development model that sees agriculture and the
 mining industry as the mainstay of supply-side recovery. The economic
 crisis on the African continent, as has been argued by people like Mbaya
 Kinkwenda, is the crisis of its accumulation model; a model based on the
production of
 raw materials and the absence of any value addition.

 Such a model is outdated, crumbling and "incapable of reproducing itself."

 We have always argued that economic policy in Zimbabwe must be driven by an
 economic model that is people-centred, anti-neo liberal and anti-poverty
 but which recognizes the centrality of value-addition, technology,
 industrialization and the complete liquidation of the rural-urban divide as
 we know it today.

 The absence of such a model means that Zimbabwe continues to hurtle from
 one crisis to the other, from one monetary statement to the other and from
 budget statement to the other without any direction, purpose or agenda. In
 simple terms, the regime has been playing blind-man's buff with the

 Gono must pray that his gamble pays off. And praying here is not a
 metaphor. He must literally kneel down and beg the Almighty's guidance
because what
 he has simply done is to sacrifice all logic and economic prudence on the
 basis of an assumed bumper harvest.

 The knives are out for him. Two or three Zanu PF factions are baying for
 his blood and there is good justification for the knives that are out.

 In his monetary statement for the second quarter in 2004, Gono spelt out a
 highly ambitious 5-year vision up to 2008 and that vision was based on
 certain key deliverables. The first was the stabilization of the
 inflationary spiral to maintain the value of the Zimbabwe dollar. Our
 Governor, where are you on this score?

 Second was the stabilization of the exchange rate and normalization of the
 foreign market exchange and trading. At the time he took over as RBZ
 governor, the US dollar was trading at 1: 56 to the Zimbabwean dollar.

 He also predicted that year-end inflation would be reduced to 150 percent
 and that his vision for 2008 would be achieved. At the time, Gono said that
 failure to turn around the economy was not an option. Sadly, the chickens
 have come home to roost and failure has become his only option.

 As a party, we have always argued against the RBZ's quasi-fiscal
 Not only are they unlawful but they are also unconstitutional. Parliament
 must approve all expenditure and allowing the RBZ to continue dabbling in
 unlawful activities is unacceptable. It is quite clear that the monetary
 statement of 1 October 2007 sounded more like the supplementary budget than
 a monetary policy statement dealing with key instruments such as the
 exchange rate, money supply and the interest rate.

 Of further concern is that the quasi-fiscal activities and the monetary
 policy statement itself were clearly crafted with 2008 elections and the
 feeding of the insatiable Zanu PF goblins in mind. Thus large sections of
 the population are going to be bribed by cheap lines of credit that is
 going to be repaid. That is the tragedy of the Zimbabwean and the African
 politician. The same is not concerned with the interests of the struggling
 poor masses but rather with personal aggrandizement, looting, patronage and

 We therefore see a further exacerbation of the economic crisis and more
 suffering of the ordinary Zimbabwean.  Those lucky enough will flee to the
 Diaspora but the majority of us will continue to live without jobs, food,
 clean water, electricity and textbooks.

 This crisis cannot continue and as we have argued elsewhere, salvation for
 Zimbabwe lies in a new, people-driven Constitution and free and fair
 elections thereafter.

 Any formula disloyal to these values has absolutely no chance.

 Hon Tendai Biti, MP

 MDC Secretary-General

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Head Or Tail, the People Lose

This Day (Lagos)

13 October 2007
Posted to the web 15 October 2007

Sunleye-Solawumi Olaleye

African intellectuals and international relations experts are beginning to
see the Somali situation as gravitating towards the level at which it can be
described as a humanitarian catastrophe.

However, despite the Somali situation and reality gradually tending towards
the worst case scenario, it is nothing in comparison to what it is happening
in Zimbabwe; a country that can now be described as being war-torn without
actually being at war.

Robert Mugabe, once the hero of the country's independence from Great
Britain and the shinning and guiding light of the brand new nation's change
from the colonial Rhodesia, has become the arch villain of a people who seem
resigned to waiting for divine providence to intercede to rescue them from
the vice- like grip of their once beloved leader, through death.

Even the international community seems resigned to such hopes in helping to
get rid of a dictator clothed in the benign camouflage of a democrat. The
situation has become so bad today in the once beautiful and potentially rich
country of milk and honey gone sour, that to buy a car, another car would be
required to load the Zimbabwean dollar sufficient enough to buy the new one.

Inflation is galloping at a world and historical record of over 1000 per
cent per year. As at stands, it is standing at about 25,000 percent. When
the Zimbabwan dollar was officially devalued, it was taken from 250
Z-dollars per US$1 to Z$30,000. But in reality, it was exchanging in the
streets, in the black market, for lower than Z$150,000 to the US dollar. So,
in practical terms, with that much difference between the official exchange
rate and the rate in the open market, it means the currency is still being
operated in voodoo form.

With a bag of money not worth a cup of rice anymore in the market; and that
is if there are people in the market with enough commodities to sell; the
union of teachers last month, thought they about had the last they could
stomach. They declared a strike for increased pay. As probably one of the
few institutions left still managing to raise its head above water, the
strongman octogenarian ruler offered them a four million Zimbabwean dollar
increase per month to take their monthly pay packet from Z$2.9million to
Z$6.9million. But for the approximately 100,000 teachers, that was not
enough. The union was demanding for a 20million-dollar increase per month to
take the average earning to Z$24.2million. This went to show the nadir that
the economy of the country had reached.

If ever a nation can be grounded, Zimbabwe is at that crossroad. Paralysed
by fear, lack of money, a currency that is not worth the ink that is smeared
on it and a welter of strikes, Mugabe last month embarked on another one of
his numerous ill-advised blueprints, this time with the intention of dealing
with hyper inflation by introducing a three-way surgical law:

- The first will lead to a 51 percent 'Real Zimbabwean Ownership' programme,
which meant no foreigners could own more than a 49percent stake in any
company or start up in the country.

- Government reserves the right to nationalise the mining industry.

- The Introduction of a new Wages and Prices Commission to have the power to
reduce commodity prices by 50percent.

Rather than ease the problem for the masses, these measures only helped to
make things worse for them. And in a country where bread is as hard to come
by as gold and diamond; where already, the only commodities that are
regularly found on stalls in shops and the few supermarkets that are yet to
close shop, are washing powder, soap, dog food, and toilet paper; and where
everything of value, can only be obtained in the black market, foodstuff and
even soaps had to follow the likes of petroleum products into that market.

As a result, an irate food manufacturing sector went up in arms and private
companies and multinationals, including Unilever, simply shut down
production lines, making a bad situation worse. Two weeks after, a flustered
Mugabe had to step back a little, allowing prices to be raised 20 percent.

Collapsed Banking System

Of course, banks are no longer operating the way banks are known to in other
normal economic climes. The situation with them has returned to more or less
that of ancient times when financial transactions are done in barter form.
With the people no longer trusting financial institutions in the country to
perform their primary duties, 80 percent of the money in circulation is kept
in bedrooms. The savings culture has become almost extinct. And since banks
have no money to give to depositors generally, depositors have learnt to
keep their millions in the house. After all, to even buy lunch for a family
of four, one may need about half a million Zimbabwean dollars.

Towards the end of last year, the Consumer Council had come up with a grim
research result, which indicated that a family of five actually needed
61,100 Z-dollars to survive for one month. However, the latest figures from
the council's eggheads showed that it would take 8.5 million Z-dollars for
the same family to feed for that period of time. With the median salary per
month being five million dollars, that means an average family of four could
not hope to survive right now in Zimbabwe unless it can live on two round
meals (straight one course meals without frills or attachments) per day.

Guerrilla Economics

If African governments are full of policy makers that would make Adam Smith
to look like a fraud, Zimbabwe seems to possess more than its fare share
operating in the same corridors of power with Mugabe. Perhaps this is only a
dictatorship phenomenon. In this, the Governor of the Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe, Gideon Gono, and the finance minister, Sam Mumbengegwi, deserve
their places in the dictator's policy making team.

On September 6, a little over a month ago, the two conspired to put Zimbabwe
in the news once again for all the wrong reasons: As the first country in
the history of Kinesianism to have concocted a supplementary budget that is
bigger than the original budget it is supplementing. Rather than get
Zimbabwe automatically listed in the Guinness World Book of Records and
superlatives, the act only shed more light on the kind of people that have
been at the helms of the poor Southern African country's economy and why the
country is at this sorry pass despite all the promise it showed at

The Supplementary Budget for 2007, went a whole 800 percent over the main
budget, released nine months earlier in December 2006 (even basic
housekeeping economics would know not engage in this kind of budgeting). If
the economic cooks of Zimbabwe were no voodoo geeks just dabbling in fiscal
occultism, then they should have known through the simple revision of their
Economics 101 at college that budgets are not just drawn, but made to be
fiscal tools grounded in policy frameworks and that in this regard,
supplementary budgets cannot - in strict, sound, economic terms - operate
their own policy framework - other than that of which it was originated to

In The Beginning

If as the cliché goes, Rome was not built in a day, then the case here can
easily be the reverse of Rome: The House of Zimbabwe was not destroyed in a
day. Zimbabwe'a social strata was built on blood letting. Way back to the
eighties when Rhodesia was being taken away from the colonial clutches of
Britain, Mugabe was a hero of independence. And because of the lopsided
colonial administration by Britain, which gave whites in Rhodesia all the
choice lands and the top grade real estates, and limited the real owners of
the land to small bad patches, at independence; Mugabe started reversing the
act by asking black families to go and seize lands. That is instead of
adopting a policy of equitable redistribution.

But the whites too were Zimbabwean citizens. So when they were being kicked
out, they had nowhere to go. They resisted this whole process. They were
Africans and did not want to leave. Bloodshed between the people started
when black families moved into the white lands and refused to leave.

However, the rapid-fire implosion process that is now ongoing, really began
in 2000 when Mugabe took the populist step of reclaiming farmlands from the
white landowning elite, resulting in economic collapse. The land was not
given to the poor masses but transferred to his cronies who knew next to
nothing about farming. Irrigation systems crumbled and cereal production
fell by 66 per cent by 2002. What used to be the bread basket of Southern
Africa soon became a net importer of grains. To keep the country afloat
Mugabe began printing money without the corresponding increase in value and
hyperinflation set in.

Waiting for Death to Do Them Part

With the most fearless of the citizens having tried in vain, all the people
of Zimbabwe can do to get rid of the 27-year dictatorship, whose head is a
sprightly 83, is to wait for divine intervention in the form death to put
them out of their misery. But while they wait, and Africa and the world
waits too, the country gradually degenerates into dangerous refugee
proportions. And if by any dint of bad luck for the continent, but a good
one for the despot, he gets blessed with even longer life, then the country,
Africa and the world can expect another decade of this misrule. By then, the
number of Zimbabweans forced to live in exile in South Africa (currently the
number is estimated to be about two million), would have doubled, in the
process slowing down a regional power that the world and Africa once looked
up to for stability.

Under the prevailing circumstances, head or tail, the people of Zimbabwe are
the losers.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

The fate of Zimbabwe - AIDS Treatment only if you belong to the approved Political Party
October 15th, 2007 by Peter Davies

Few people outside Zimbabwe realise the implications of the AIDS pandemic in Zimbabwe for its people.  On October 13, 2007 an excellent mini-documentary was published by the BBC’s Unreported World on UBTV.  This followed an undercover visit to Zimbabwe by two journalists.  (Western media, including the BBC, are banned from entering Zimbabwe by Mugabe – and all media within Zimbabwe is state controlled and censored.)
The BBC report refers to Mugabe’s “reign of terror” on his own people and says that a “major tragedy is unfolding”.  Those of us who care have been trying to bring this to the attention of the world for years.
The same report quotes from a United Nations estimate that “1.3 million children in Zimbabwe have been orphaned by AIDS”.  Zimbabwe previously had a total population of some 12 million – but over 4 million have already left the country as political or economic refugees.   Imagine a country with a resident population of 8 million including 1.3 million children orphaned by AIDS!
In some areas “more than 50 percent of all families are orphaned” because, as is the case with food aid, Zimbabwe’s HIV and AIDS infected people are only given access to treatment if they are card carrying members of Mugabe’s political party, Zanu-PF.  These children live in an area that has traditionally supported the opposition to Mugabe’s Zanu-PF.  The BBC report calls it “gerrymandering” by Mugabe and his state thugs, especially in the police and army.  But surely it is much more that that?  How about genocide?  These people also happen to belong to the “wrong” tribe – they’re Ndebele, instead of Shona (Mugabe’s tribe).
And let us not forget that life expectancy in Zimbabwe has fallen from one of the best in Africa during the Rhodesian civil war days of the 1970s, to the lowest in the entire world now – 34 years for women and 37 years for men (United Nations figures).
Meanwhile millions are suffering from malnutrition and face starvation as the
last of the commercial farmers are forced from their land under Mugabe’s Zanu-PF “land-redistribution” laws that has destroyed Zimbabwe’s once hugely successful agricultural industry see my post last week “Zimbabwe farmers face up to 2 years in prison for growing crops on their land”.  The country now has 80 percent unemployment and the highest inflation in the world.
Zimbabwe has 27 years of Mugabe’s Zanu-PF Marxist rule to thank for all this.
Peter Davies was a soldier in Rhodesia from 1963 to 1975, where he took part in the capture and interrogation of terrorists.  Davies’ novel, Scatterlings of Africa, is based on his own experience during Rhodesia’s war on terror, and personal observations of how terrorist activities impacted Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and its people.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Gvt set on breaking perceived enemies ahead of polls

15th Oct 2007 09:08 GMT

By Trust Matsilele

HARARE -  The Zimbabwe government is doing all in its power to break
perceived enemies of the state, especially those in the Non Governmental
Organisations (NGOs) who have strongly criticised the marriage between the
opposition MDC and Zanu PF on the 18th Amendment Bill.

Political scientists say the move is meant disenfranchise operations of the
NGOs thereby giving Zanu PF the smooth passage to rig the forthcoming

The Governor of Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Dr Gideon Gono recently when
presenting his monetary policy called for more strict ways of monitoring of
NGOs financial activities.

The National Constitutional Assembly National spokesperson Maddock Chivasa
questioned the logic behind this move, saying the only logical conclusion
that could be derived from the move is that the government is out to
jeopardize the work of NGOs.

"The most obvious interpretation of this arrangement is certain: by having
access to the financial transactions of civic society, especially as we head
toward the elections next year, the Zimbabwean authorities can with greater
precision be in a position to undermine the work of organisations," said

The Governor said monetary systems of NGOs would be strictly monitored by
the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe where all Foreign Currency Accounts (FCA) of
NGOs will be centrally managed by the central bank.

"There will now be strict monitoring of financing situations of NGOs," said

The Zanu PF government, which went on honeymoon recently after oppositioN
MDC parliamentarians backed its controversial 18th Amendment Bill, received
strong attacks from leading civic societies for betraying the populace by
underestimating the magnitude of the crisis in Zimbabwe to one that can be
solved by merely amending the constitution.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

What a price to restore our dignity?

15th Oct 2007 09:30 GMT

By Chenjerai Chitsaru

A FEW short years after the calamity of 2000, during which a number of black
and white people were killed, a journalist working for an independent
newspaper in Harare was reported to have relocated to Johannesburg in South

To work on a newspaper in The Golden City? Not a chance: she landed a job as
a nanny in a posh suburb outside the city.
Before 2000, she would have harrumphed at the prospect of actually accepting
such a menial job: "It's infra dig."

In Latin, that is infra dignitatem: beneath one's dignity. Today, millions
of Zimbabweans, both at home and abroad, are pursuing occupations far
beneath their dignity.

In fact, only a few citizens have the temerity to even walk tall, whether
they are in Nelson Mandela Avenue in Harare , Elof Street in Jo'burg, Bond
Street in London or Fifth Avenue in The Big Apple, hawking ties.

A few politicians, it could be true, may possess the false bravado to walk
tall - in public, at least. After all, people in their peculiar calling
thrive on mendacity.

So, even as mendicants - begging the European Union to let their beleaguered
leader attend this high profile summit in Portugal in December - they will
put up a brave front.

Yet they can hardly disguise the plaintive tone in their plea: the former
president of Zambia, Kenneth Kaunda, says he intends to raise Robert Mugabe's
presence at the EU-AU summit at a proposed meeting with the British prime
minister, Gordon Brown.

Suddenly, this is a lead story in the government's loudest mouthpiece, The
Herald. Mr Brown is not heard from: does he have time to meet this
ex-president, kicked out of power, after 27 years of undistinguished
one-party rule, in a free and fair election?

Obviously, the government media believe all Kaunda has to do is to wave his
magic white handkerchief and Voila! Mr Brown will be mesmerized into
pleading with the rest of the EU leaders to sit down with Mugabe, a man who
once called members of the British cabinet, including Mr Brown, a bunch of
gay gangsters.

There is something utterly undignified about this: disguise it as anything
else, but the truth is that, on behalf of the people of Zimbabwe, shorn of
their dignity already, the government is begging for their man to go to
Portugal .

Much more odious than this, however, is the robbery of their dignity through
the humiliation of having to beg for foreign currency, fuel, power, maize,
wheat and diplomatic support to be allowed to enter the hallowed halls
during which international conferences are held.

Before 2000, Zimbabwe would have been routinely invited to such high-powered
summits. It had its dignity intact then, a respected, respectable and
self-respecting member of the international community.

It could even afford to make its excuses for not being attend this or that
conference - "because our president has a packed schedule".

Today, they are searching all international diaries every day - from Teheran
to Timbuktu - for conferences to which they might persuade an ally to have
the president invited, even if it is on a subject as esoteric as introducing
a birth control programme for whales.

Apart from the calamitous events of 2000, there was Mugabe's decision to
tough it out over his term as president.

Instead of calmly announcing he would retire when his term expired in 2008,
what does the man do? He pretends his party is so in love with him as
president they won't let him go - not just yet.

Then there is the ultimate indignity of recruiting a disgraced former war
veterans' leader to head "trumped up" solidarity marches around the country,
ostensibly as a loud endorsement of his candidature in 2008.

This might ensure that, instead of leaving office in a blaze of glory,
Mugabe will slink off like a vanquished combatant, to the boos and jeers of
the victor's supporters - Joice Mujuru's, Emmerson Mnangagwa's or Simba

Or, most likely and most painfully for him and Zanu PF and their friends in
Sadc, Morgan Tsvangirai and the MDC.

Zimbabwe has paid s steep price in allowing Mugabe a free hand in quitting
the Commonwealth, alienating most of the European Union, the United States
and a number of Asian nations with their own political clout outside the UN.

How much are the citizens willing to pay to reverse these losses, to force
Mugabe to eat crow and declare publicly that he has ruined the country with
his one-man style of leadership, repudiated even by his erstwhile heroes in
the People's Republic of China?

There has been no one-man rule in that country since the passing into
history of The Great Helmsman.

Even Mugabe must know by now that, even conceding that the so-called
sanctions may have hurt more people than just his closest cronies and their
families,  none of this would have happened if he had been more pragmatic in
his response to the challenges.

It seems to many of his critics that his major handicap was to take every
challenge as a personal insult.

His intemperate reaction to criticisms from Tony Blair and John Howard were
examples of extremism considered totally disproportionate for someone even
aspiring remotely for statesmanship.

For Zimbabweans, who endured such horrors as Gukurahundi and Murambatsvina,
there can be no price too high to be paid to return the country to the glory
days before 2000.

Before Mugabe entered this period which some of his critics have called his
own "moments of madness", Zimbabweans were received everywhere they went as
people with quiet dignity, hard-working almost to the point of being
workaholics, and endowed with a politeness that was entirely unpretentious,
sincere and deep-seated.

Before desperation drove some of them to flee their motherland in search of
employment elsewhere, they were sought after even by the developed nations
because of their well-deserved reputation of an almost religious attachment
to hard work.

Everywhere they went, they conducted themselves with the quiet dignity of
people with little time for tomfoolery. Whatever fortune they made accrued
from their hard labour.

Later, after 2000, deprived of their dignity, forced to live by their wits,
both at home sand abroad, they acquired a reputation of being cunning,
ruthless even when there was no adversity, for being all too willing and
ready to profit from the foolishness, gullibility and carelessness of

What will it take for them to restore their dignity?

More to the point, how much are they willing to sacrifice to erase the dark
past and replace it with what most of the world saw as a golden opportunity
for an African country, emerging from 15 years of bloodshed, to chart a new
course for a non-racial nation where the worth of a citizen was measured,
not in terms of their colour or their political affiliation, but how they
were willing to help their country prosper in peace and tranquility?

Recently, Joseph Msika, one of the vice-presidents, warned "white racists"
against resisting change. Amazingly, he is blissfully aware who the culprits
resisting change really are.

The world has passed the transition from the Stone Age of the one-party
state to a pluralistic dispensation in which every citizen has the
inalienable right to decide who should run their country and how they should
do this.

Zimbabweans must know that clinging to the racist stereotypes which led to
the war of liberation in which 30 000 died is as dangerous as the xenophobia
which led to the genocide in Rwanda in 1994 in which nearly a million

In the new millennium, the dignity of the person is paramount: there can be
no harmony or peace if those favoured with positions of power arrogate to
themselves the sole right to decide the fate of the majority.

Such an injury to the dignity of the majority can only result in
conflagration as bloody as that of the liberation struggle.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

UK relief agency launches Zimbabwe emergency appeal


By staff writers
15 Oct 2007
UK relief and development agency Tearfund is launching an emergency appeal
to support Zimbabwe churches bringing help to the poorest families affected
by Zimbabwe's spiralling crisis.

Many have gone without food for weeks with even basic items unavailable in
shops. The World Food Programme has warned that over three million people
are at risk of severe food shortages.

"People are living on nothing more than cups of tea with the last of their
maize meal now gone," says Peter Grant, Tearfund's International Director.
"Churches are working tirelessly to bridge the gap, meeting the acute need.
Despite the spiralling economic crisis they are bringing relief and hope.
But they urgently need our help for this work to continue. That's why
Tearfund is appealing."

The crisis in Bulawayo has seen people scavenging for filthy water from hand
dug pits and broken pipes. Of the five reservoirs that supply Zimbabwe's
second largest city, four are now decommissioned having run dry.

Tearfund has already provided funding for Churches in Bulawayo who are
managing 20 water distribution tanks. More tanks are needed to supply
communities with essential clean water when the mains supply is cut to just
a few hours a week. "This is a desperate situation," says Mannymore, a
church pastor in Bulawayo's western suburbs. "They need water. We have taken
the responsibility of the government, making sure there is enough food and
water. But it's very difficult.

"We are thirsty for everything now. When people hear about maize meal the
whole community will come to the place. The situation is terrible. There is
no food - just no food."

Tearfund partners with churches and Christian agencies in Zimbabwe, working
through a strong network of volunteers that are in close contact with
communities. This enables food aid to get to families and individuals who
desperately need help, often in remote areas, regardless of political,
tribal or religious affiliations.

Margaret (74) lives in a sun-parched rural district about 70kms south of
Bulawayo. The riverbeds are completely dry after the rains failed last year.
She cares for four grandchildren, orphaned when her two sons died from Aids
related illnesses. The grandchildren's mothers fled to South Africa in their
desperation. Some four million Zimbabweans have left the country, the vast
majority crossing the Limpopo River in a steady yet precarious exodus to
South Africa.

Margaret says that her husband raises a little money from fixing pots and
utensils only to find nothing to buy in the store 5kms away. "I feel quite
angry. I don't have any soap to wash the children before school and we don't
even have any food. We have been surviving on melons for two months, we have
nothing else." One of her children, Thandolwenkosi (6), is sick showing
signs of chronic malnutrition. "She was supposed to go to school today but
she is too hungry to go," Margaret explains. "I feel that death is looming
for us if we don't get food."

The economic crisis situation in Zimbabwe is affecting everyone with extreme
inflation now reported at over 7000% and unemployment exceeding 80%. Basic
services such as public transport, medical care and education have become
unaffordable. Lines of vehicles wait for days, in queues a mile long, for
fuel tankers to cross the border from Botswana. What remains of Zimbabwe's
civil infrastructure has suffered systematic neglect over the last three

"The churches that we work with remain an apolitical voice in civil society
standing against the injustice," adds Peter Grant. "We support them,
committed to fighting the poverty that is no longer affecting only the
poorest in society. Zimbabwe doesn't have to be like this."

Tearfund is appealing to the British public and churches to support relief
work that must be increased to avoid an intensifying food and water crisis
that will put lives at risk.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Cape Town cops disperse Zim asylum seekers

Mail and Guardian

Cape Town, South Africa

15 October 2007 04:22

Police dispersed a group of Zimbabwean asylum seekers outside
the Department of Home Affairs refugee offices in Cape Town on Monday.

The group of about 100 Zimbabweans were protesting against the
department's reluctance to issue them with refugee-status documents.

Police confronted the demonstrators shortly after they started
toyi-toying outside the offices, ordering them to disperse as they did not
have a permit.

The group's leader, Braam Hanekom, said the group wanted to
highlight the service problems being encountered by the 2 000 Zimbabwean
asylum seekers in Cape Town.

"The majority of the refugees have been battling to get
documents for more than 10 years and this is despite the fact that they are
genuine asylum seekers escaping from persecution back home."

Hanekom said the group would now apply for permission to

The crowd dispersed without any incident. -- Sapa

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zim says no to licences for foreign broadcasters

Mail and Guardian

Harare, Zimbabwe

15 October 2007 06:13

Zimbabwe will not allow foreigners to own broadcasting stations
but could relax rules and licence locals who have been battling to meet
stringent requirements, the information minister said on Monday.

"On the issue of ownership we cannot compromise," Information
Minister Sikhanyiso Ndlovu told a committee of lawmakers.

"Why should a foreigner want to own a voice in Zimbabwe? The
government policy on broadcasting seeks to achieve strategic goals. We seek
to expose those we perceive as adversaries and win over those we see as
useful allies.

"Broadcasting seeks to build national cohesion, consensus and
defence, especially this time when the country's sovereignty is being
challenged by our erstwhile colonisers."

Zimbabwe passed tough media laws in 2002, including the Access
to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, which has been invoked to
expel foreign correspondents, shut down four newspapers and emasculate a
once-vibrant independent press.

Broadcasting laws passed in 2003 have protected the monopoly of
state television and radio, which echo the voice of veteran President Robert
Mugabe's government.

Although the law allows private companies to operate radio and
television stations, prospective broadcasters have been hamstrung by
stringent licensing requirements, including a clause that disallows foreign
funding for local media companies.

Ndlovu said the government was considering relaxing the laws in
favour of potential local broadcasters.

"We will continue inviting applications and if they continue to
fail and they are capable Zimbabweans, we will consider softening the
licensing criteria," he said.

Last month, lawmakers from Zimbabwe's main opposition struck a
compromise with the government on constitutional reforms to allow joint
legislative and presidential polls next year but called for a revamp of the
country's media laws.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

In pictures: Hardship in Zimbabwe
15 October 2007, 13:27 GMT 14:27 UK

Mother with her daughters and son - following the death of her husband, the family were forced to move from Bulawayo

Zimbabwe's most needy families are helped by NGOs and churches to survive. But the spiralling crisis means they now are also struggling to provide relief.

Zimbabwean sick father and daughter at home in a Bulawayo suburb

The economic collapse intensifies the hardship many families face. Joseph is suffering from chronic diarrhoea after drinking contaminated water. He is too weak to work.

Zimbabwean women scavenge for water from a broken pipe in a suburb of Bulawayo

Water supplies in the second city, Bulawayo, only run for a few hours a week. Communities rely on the church to distribute water. "We are thirsty for everything now," a pastor says.

Zimbabwean grandmother Margaret and one of her grandchildren

Margaret, 74 lives in a rural district. The riverbeds are dry after the rains failed last year. She cares for her four grandchildren, orphaned by Aids.

Margaret with her granddaughters - the girls are cousins

Her husband earns a little money from fixing things. But there is nothing to buy at their nearest store. Margaret says: "I don't have any soap to wash the children before school."

Zimbabwean grandmother, Margaret picking up melons with her grandchild

"And we don't even have any food. We have been surviving on melons for two months, we have nothing else," Margaret admits. "Death is looming for us if we don't get food."

An undertaker seals the coffin of nine-month-old Vincent, who died of an Aids related illness - as his father Ben (blue denim jacket) looks on

A pastor explains that currently, he is holding four or five funerals a week for those dying among his own congregation or their relatives.

Ben rides with the coffin carrying his baby son on the route to a Bulawayo cemetery

"Because of HIV, a lack of food and water, people become so vulnerable," he says.

A church pastor lowers the coffin as nine-month-old Vincent is buried among thousands of the city's newly dug child graves

UK relief and development agency Tearfund is appealing for support for churches in Zimbabwe to help them continue their work. [Pictures by Marcus Perkins,]

Teachers Vote With Their Feet

Institute for War & Peace Reporting

As qualified teaching staff leave their jobs and flood out of the country,
the schools are filling up with untrained teachers.

By Yamikani Mwando in Bulawayo (AR No. 138, 15-Oct-07)

Zimbabwe's schoolteachers once belonged to the elite who could afford houses
and cars, but increasing numbers are now joining the exodus of economic
migrants, leaving pupils in the hands of untrained replacements.

In the Eighties, when the country was still in euphoric mood after achieving
independence, teachers looked forward to a life of plenty. Today, however,
they say they have been turned into paupers by the deepening economic
crisis. Like most Zimbabweans - especially others working in the large
public sector - teachers have found their salaries eroded almost to nothing
by spiralling inflation, currently estimated at over 6,600 per cent year on

Teaching staff in state schools earn a little over three million Zimbabwe
dollars (ZWD) a month, which works out at about 100 US dollars at the
official exchange rate and but only six dollars on the parallel market,
which is a better reflection of consumer prices.

Such is the level of anger at low wages in the education sector that when
the militant Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe, PTUZ, went on strike in
September to press for higher pay, it was joined by the Zimbabwe Teachers'
Association, ZIMTA, which is seen as more closely aligned with the

PTUZ general secretary Raymond Majongwe said it was the third industrial
action this year, which was prompted by the government's continuing failure
to address teachers' concerns.

Three weeks after the strike began, however, the ZIMT - which conducted its
strike action separately from the PTUZ - announced on October 4 that it had
reached a settlement with a pay offer of 14 million ZWD a month. This was
still below the official poverty line - set at 16.7 million ZWD as of
August - which had been used as a negotiating measure, and also fell short
of the 18 million ZWD which the PTUZ was seeking.

On October 10, the PTUZ leadership passed a resolution that its members
should return to work while the union decided what to do next. This did not
amount to an acceptance of the pay offer.

Whatever the outcome of the PTUZ's deliberations, the government is unlikely
to offer teachers a significant better deal in the near future. That means
the mass outflow of teachers to neighbouring states is likely to continue.

Zimbabwean teachers are held in high regard in the region, and there is high
demand for them in South Africa's expanding education system, as well as in
Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland, and also in Mozambique, where there is
rising demand for English-speaking educationists. Further afield, many have
found teaching work in Britain and even Australia.

The PTUZ says more than 5,000 teachers resign every month in frustration
over the poor pay.

According to Majongwe, many accept manual jobs if they cannot find teaching
placements. "They find themselves as farm labourers in neighbouring Botswana
and South Africa," he said.

To fill the gap created by this exodus, the education authorities have hired
untrained relief staff, despite complaints by both parents and qualified
teachers that this is compromising children's education.

Unqualified staff have always been used to plug gaps in school timetables,
but until economic crisis set in at the end of the Nineties, young people
looked on these temporary stints as a transitional phase while they looked
for proper jobs.

In Zimbabwe's second city Bulawayo, the education department is now full of
school-leavers desperate to find work as relief teachers.

Majongwe believes the government is happy to take on more malleable workers
who, because they are on temporary contracts, are barred from taking
industrial action.

"Because the unqualified teachers are desperate for jobs, they take up these
posts," he said. "And they cannot complain about conditions because there
are no jobs in the country. They are happy."

One student in Bulawayo preparing for his Advanced Level exams, the final
school qualification, said, "We are being taught by people with mere
Advanced Levels, when we were told previously that we needed someone with a
university degree to teach us. But people with university degrees no longer
want to work here any more, because of poor salaries."

An unqualified teacher in a Bulawayo secondary school admitted he had little
option but to take this low-paid job, even though he sympathised with the
striking teachers.

"Give me any job and I will take it, but because there aren't any, this is
what I will do in the mean time," he said.

Majongwe says his union plans to work with parents and pupils to lobby the
education ministry to stop recruiting untrained teachers. However, he fears
it will be a futile exercise, because having this cheap and undemanding
labour force on hand allows the government to resist pay demands from the
trade unions.

Yamikani Mwando is the pseudonym of a reporter in Zimbabwe.

Bitter Infighting Brings Down MDC-UK National Executive

SW Radio Africa (London)

15 October 2007
Posted to the web 15 October 2007

Tichaona Sibanda

The entire national executive of the MDC-UK, led by former trade unionist
Ephraim Tapa, has been dissolved and a co-ordinating committee led by John
Nyamande has been installed in its place.

Tapa's fragile administration was undermined by a bitter power struggle and
the personal animosity between members of his executive virtually brought
the operations of the party in the UK to a halt.

This forced the standing committee of the MDC to send national chairman
Lovemore Moyo to the UK to try and resolve the crisis. But on Saturday in
Northampton, 33 out of 37 branches that attended the meeting unanimously
felt the executive needed to be dissolved because the working relationship
of its leaders had been grounded from the start by acrimonious infighting.

Moyo's first task on Saturday was to meet separately with the congress
elected women's and youth wing members, before meeting the rest of the
group, comprising four members each from the 41 branches in the UK and

The national chairman told newsreel on Monday he was satisfied he did a
fairly good job because he gave all stakeholders an opportunity to express
their views and chart the way forward. He said according to his own
analysis, the problems in the executive were not major but minor issues such
as lack of communication, which inevitably led to back stabbing.

'I told them to bury their differences and move forward. However a decision
was made and was made after consultations with all stakeholders. 33 branches
favoured the dissolution of the executive while 4 wanted the group to carry
on and be given another chance to iron out their differences,' Moyo said.

Tension prevailed before, during and after the meeting as several groups
engaged themselves in verbal duels and scuffles. The MDC's chief of security
in the UK, Taurai Chamboko had to intervene to prevent any untoward

The chairman of the incoming co-ordinating committee John Nyamande said his
first task would be to regroup all the branches and pick up from where
Tapa's executive left off, adding that his other major task would be uniting
the fractured province. Nyamande's committee will serve for six months
before an extra-ordinary congress is convened to elect substantive office

'I cannot think of a more appropriate time than now to call upon all members
of the MDC in the UK to heal the rift that opened between us in the last
couple of months and confront the major tasks that lie ahead of us including
fighting for our right to vote next year,' Nyamande said.

The national executive of the MDC-UK split into two camps after months of
internecine warfare between chairman Ephraim Tapa and secretary Julius
Mutyambizi on one side and Jaison Matewu and Matthew Nyashanu, the UK
spokesman on the other side.

Police Ban Another Play in Bulawayo

SW Radio Africa (London)

15 October 2007
Posted to the web 15 October 2007

Tererai Karimakwenda

A new play that was due to open in Bulawayo on Friday was banned by the
police as Robert Mugabe arrived in the town to cap graduating university

The play, a satire titled "Overthrown", is the latest production by Amakhosi
Theatre's producer and director Cont Mhlanga, who told Newsreel the
production had been approved by the state Censorship Board. Mhlanga
explained that he sent 6 copies of the script to the Board a month ago, even
though he was not under any obligation to do so. But this did not stop the
police ordering artists and guests to disperse just before the performance.
The reason was stated simply as "instruction from their bosses" to stop the
play. Mhlanga said the police official warned that riot police were at
Mzilikazi Station ready to deal with anyone who defied the order.

Ironically the Minister of Information and Publicity, Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, was
due at the theatre to meet the artists and interact with the producers. But
he arrived after the police had dispersed the crowds and claimed to be
unaware that the play had been banned. Mhlanga said the moment was
embarrassing because the police had lied to him that the Minister was

More importantly Mhlanga said he was angered by the loss of revenue which he
blames on the police, because people are becoming too scared to attend their
performances. He vowed to sue the police and the authorities for this
interference. He said: "People are afraid to come to the theatre now because
they think riot police are going to turn up. And this is stopping
employment. These are professional actors who work here and who pay rent.
Now they can't work."

The producer said he was also angry because Minister Ndlovu had agreed to
answer some questions relating to the shrinking democratic space in the
country, especially when it comes to discussing political issues. Amakhosi
theatrical productions have been followed by discussion periods during which
audience members debate issues addressed in the plays. Mhlanga said he
wanted the minister to be there to hear for himself what people have to say.
But Minister Ndhlovu ended up meeting privately with the production team and
he told them he was against the police shutting down the play. Mhlanga said
he was not sure whether this was sincere. "Because after all the Minister is
a politician." he added.

Amakhosi have had several plays banned by the authorities in the last year.
Actors and producers have been arrested and interrogated by police, using
various excuses to suppress the constitutional right to freedom of
expression. On one occasion producers were asked to submit a copy of the
script to the police. It was returned with virtually every scene cancelled
or disapproved.

Mhlanga said he hopes this case winds up in the courts so that once again it
can clearly be shown that the government is completely against the
constitutional right to freedom of expression.

Newspaper Comes to Zimbabwe and Vanishes

Biz-Community (Cape Town)

15 October 2007
Posted to the web 15 October 2007

Dumisani Ndlela
Cape Town

Zimbabwe's readership market had a pleasant surprise early this month after
South Africa's Sowetan newspaper hit the newspaper stands, giving them an
alternative to the state-owned dailies accused of churning out government

Harare - However, they had another surprise this week after failing to find
the newspaper on the market, sparking speculation regulators had banned its
distribution on the country's streets. But an official at Munn Marketing,
the company that was distributing the newspaper in Zimbabwe, said they had
temporarily stopped bringing the newspaper from South Africa but could
resume "anytime soon".

"We were testing the market but just keep watching because the paper might
be back soon," the official said.

Zimbabweans have had to contend with having only two state-owned daily
newspapers, the Herald and Chronicle, since the ban of the Daily News four
years ago.

On 11 September 2003, the Supreme Court passed its "dirty hands" judgment
against Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ) publishers of the banned
Daily News and Daily News on Sunday, refusing to hear the company's legal
challenge on the constitutionality of the Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) on the basis that the publishing company
had approached it with 'dirty hands' by declining to apply for registration
as required under the repressive media law.

This subsequently led to the closure of the publishing company on 12
September 2003 when police, armed with automatic rifles, burst into the
newspapers' offices in central Harare at about 5pm and ordered all staff to

"The matter is still pending before the courts as the ANZ continues with its
fight to be duly registered and licensed to resume publication as required
under the restrictive Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act
(AIPPA) in what can easily pass as one the longest unresolved court cases in
Zimbabwe's judicial history," said Nyasha Nyakunu, research and information
officer for the Media Institute of Southern Africa (Zimbabwe).

The Sowetan would have joined South Africa's mainstream newspapers, the
Sunday Times and the Mail & Guardian, which are distributed in Zimbabwe, are
hot sellers because of their consistent coverage of Zimbabwe