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Enough is Enough



We have a fundamental right to freedom of expression!

Sokwanele reporter

19 October 2004

Zimbabwe’s Ailing Ministry of Justice

If Zimbabweans are unhappy about the quality of justice delivered by the country’s ailing legal system, they should know that many of those who work within the system are equally unhappy. By and large those employed by the Ministry of Justice to run the courts, including magistrates, prosecutors, clerks, interpreters, recorders and a host of minor functionaries are not a happy lot.  Political interference, poor working conditions and low salaries have led to a spate of resignations in recent months, and among those left morale is at an all-time low.


The trend has accelerated since the year 2000 with a particularly high level of resignations among magistrates. According to the Ministry of Justice’s own staffing office statistics 24 magistrates and almost as many prosecutors resigned in 2003. In the same year the Ministry lost 39 employees from the lower grades, including clerks, interpreters and recorders. And in the first 9 months of 2004 the Ministry has lost a further 12 magistrates, 10 prosecutors and 36 clerical staff.  These figures do not include deaths, dismissals and desertions which account for an average of 50 employees annually.


A significant number of the resignations can be directly attributed to political interference.  An official from the staffing office who requested anonymity, indicated that for the period 2001 to 2003 most of those resigning did so because of political intimidation.  


“The period in question saw a number of staff members resigning because of political intimidation”, the official said.  “The political atmosphere was very tense then such that it was not worth waiting.  However the resignations we are currently experiencing are as a result of poor working conditions and a small number as a result of political interference.  The morale in the Ministry is very low, so it is either one finds himself resigning or engaging in corrupt activities so as to make a meaningful living”.


Such revelations are hardly a cause of surprise though they do confirm a trend which has serious implications for the delivery of anything like a professional service from the Ministry of Justice. Earlier this year a former Administrative Court Judge, Michael Majuru, resigned and went into self-imposed exile in South Africa after being subjected to altogether unprofessional, political pressure by the Justice Minister, Patrick Chinamasa.  Majuru was ordered to delay judgment in the case concerning the banning of the Daily News and the Daily News on Sunday – a delay altogether to the advantage of the government which was a party to the case. Majuru subsequently recounted how Chinamasa shouted at him for daring to rule in favour of the Daily News which the Minister regarded as a threat to national security. Thereafter Majuru found himself being subjected to CIO surveillance.  Some time later the Judge was led into a trap, widely believed to have been set by Chinamasa himself, when he inadvertently commented on a case then pending in the presence of  certain members of the public. The Judge took the only honourable course open to him of recussing himself from the case. Subsequently he resigned his appointment and left the country.



Nor is this by any means the only instance of direct political interference and blatant intimidation leading to the resignation of a judicial officer.  From the untimely resignation of the former Chief Justice Anthony Gubbay in the wake of the parliamentary elections of 2000, there have been a number of other resignations of senior Judges due to the unconstitutional meddling of the Executive in judicial matters.  Magistrates also who have dared to rule against ZANU PF interests have frequently found themselves being hounded by mobs of supporters of the ruling party.  The case of the Chipinge Magistrate, Walter Chikwanha, comes to mind immediately.  On 16th August 2002 the unfortunate Magistrate was seized by an unruly mob of war veterans and beaten up. (It later transpired that the Chipinge CID had escorted the thugs to the court house)   ZANU PF supporters also assaulted the Kwe Kwe Magistrate, Tendayi Madanire, when he granted bail to Emmerson Mnangagwa’s protégé, Burden, who was arrested on a charges of illegally dealing in gold. And in Bindura in 2001 the late Lawrence Malimbiza, had to face an angry ZANU PF mob at the court house when he dared to rule against some local opportunist land grabbers.


Little wonder then that resignations are rife among principled magistrates and other legal functionaries or that morale is at an all-time low in the Ministry of Justice. If Zimbabweans have good cause no longer to trust the legal system to deliver justice in a professional, no-partisan manner, those who work within the system have even

better reason not to trust those now effectively in control.  The beast is ailing and no one knows that better than those who work inside the system.   




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Business Day

Land expert warns of Zimbabwe-style backlash in SA

Hardening of white attitudes in light of Mugabe's policies complicates land
redistribution attempts, MPs told
Parliamentary Editor

CAPE TOWN The land crisis in Zimbabwe had its roots in exactly the same
policy that was bedeviling SA's land-reform process, namely an unsustainable
marketdriven approach, a parliamentary committee was told yesterday.

On the third and final day of the agriculture and land affairs committee's
hearings on the pace of land reform, the belief that it was simply a land
grab was contradicted by Nhamo Samasuwo of the Institute for Global
Dialogue. He said the same bureaucratic tendencies that bogged down
Zimbabwe's land reform in the 1980s were happening in SA.

Samasuwo told the committee: " What makes the situation worse has been the
hardening of white attitudes to land reform in SA on the back of
developments in Zimbabwe.

"While landowners are worried about developments in Zimbabwe and Namibia,
few seem perturbed by the ineffectiveness of market-led land reforms."

Land Affairs and Agriculture Minister Thoko Didiza, who recently confirmed
government's commitment to redistribution on the market-based willing-buyer,
willing-seller basis, said this week that government would not be able to
raise the R13bn needed to complete the process of land restitution by 2006
as expected.

Samasuwo said an example of hardened attitudes was that in 2002, AgriSA, the
umbrella group for commercial farmers, had threatened to establish a
resistance fund to contest future toughening of land-reform laws.

"Such opposition from landowners has led to the stifling of genuine progress
towards finding an alternative approach to land reform while honest debate
on the subject itself has been drowned out by calls to maintain investor

"In other words, the same technocratic tendencies that bogged down
Zimbabwe's land reform process are now being used to buttress
apartheid-based property rights that are coming under siege, but also to
scupper efforts to revisit the marketdriven approach to land reform in
general," he said.

Samasuwo said that officials who promised that a Zimbabwean-style situation
would not happen in SA were running the risk of fuelling a "similar if not
bloodier response from the landless" than occurred in SA's troubled northern

Lourie Bosman, the p resident of AgriSA, said his organisation supported the
willing-buyer, willing-seller approach.

He said the burden for land reform should be borne by the national fiscus
and not by individual landowners. He said that inadequate funding remained
the single biggest constraint towards land reform.

"A substantial portion of commercial land is being traded every year. The
challenge is to capture a part of it for redistribution purposes. If
government has the required funding available it already has the mechanisms
at its disposal to acquire such land."

Bosman said that the pace of land reform had to be speeded up but this
should not come at the expense of lost production and instability in rural

"Expropriation should remain a measure of last resort and current owners
should receive market-related compensation for land taken in terms of land
reform programmes".

He said that there was more scope for co-operation between government and
the private sector in finalising land claims and in facilitating the
transfer of land.

Oct 21 2004 07:15:16:000AM Wyndham Hartley Business Day 1st Edition

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Zim Online

Fri 22 October 2004
      CAPE TOWN - South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki said he would this
week meet leaders of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) to
try and resolve the political impasse in Zimbabwe ahead of parliamentary
elections next March.

      Mbeki told the South African Parliament yesterday that he had been
holding regular meetings with the MDC and ZANU PF to try and resolve
political differences in Zimbabwe ahead of the March poll which the MDC has
said it would boycott unless President Mugabe
      implements genuine electoral reforms.

      "In the last four weeks we have probably had something like four
meetings with the leaders of the MDC," said Mbeki.

      "This week I'm meeting another delegation of the MDC to look at how
far they have gone and what sort of problems we can help to resolve."

      It is believed that Mbeki is trying hard to implore the MDC to contest
next year's elections despite the conditions on the ground.

      Sources in Mbeki's office say the South African leader believes that
it would be tragic for the MDC to boycott the election both for the
opposition party's own future and for efforts to reach a settlement of the
Zimbabwe crisis.

      The MDC on its part is trying to push Mbeki to use his influence to
implore Mugabe to implement new Southern Africa Development Community (SADC)
guidelines on free and fair elections as a pre-requisite for its

      It is understood Mbeki would use his latest meeting with MDC leaders,
probably led by secretary general Welshman Ncube, to reiterate his position
that the opposition party should participate in next year's polls
particularly after Morgan Tsvangirai's acquittal on charges that he plotted
to assassinate President Mugabe.

      It was unclear whether Tsvangirai himself would be part of the MDC
delegation to the talks following his acquittal which should enable the
release of his passport.

      Tsvangirai has said his acquittal could boost prospects for "national
reconciliation", although he still faces a second treason case which, like
the first, could carry a death penalty upon conviction.

      South Africa's Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamin-Zuma told reporters
at the Hague on Wednesday her government hoped the acquittal would
contribute to reconciliation efforts.

      "First of all I think it must indicate to everybody that there is rule
of law in Zimbabwe. There is a justice system that operates freely and so it
is indeed a positive thing that he was acquitted," Dlamini-Zuma told

      "We do hope, yes, this will add to whatever efforts are there towards
reconciliation," she said after a meeting of the European Union and the
South African Development Community (SADC) in the Netherlands.

      Her comments riled South Africa's main opposition party, the
Democratic Alliance, which says Tsvangirai's acquittal is a non-event as it
was based on trumped up charges in the first place.

      Analysts fear an increase in violence in the country ahead of the 2005
parliamentary elections, particularly if the MDC boycotts the polls and
calls for mass action to push for electoral reforms.

      Mbeki last year set a June 30 deadline for progress in Zimbabwe, but
it passed with no end in sight for the Zimbabwe crisis.

      Mbeki's quiet diplomacy approach has come under heavy attack from
critics who say it is not working and who suggest a more robust approach by
the South African leader. But Mbeki insists he won't drop quiet diplomacy
because there is no "workable alternative".
      - ZimOnline
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Zim Online

Mudenge attacks Western diplomats for pre-judging election
Fri 22 October 2004

      HARARE - Foreign minister Stan Mudenge has accused Western countries
of "plotting" to discredit the March 2005 parliamentary elections and
produced a document he claimed was prepared by diplomats criticising
preparations for the controversial ballot.

      "They are devising a scheme to measure the forthcoming general
elections in Zimbabwe, in which they want to inject their own ideas and
preoccupations," Mudenge told a news conference vowing that Zimbabwe would
nonetheless not take lessons on democracy from

      "Those who failed to teach us democracy or practice democracy when
they had over 100 years of ruling us are now pretending to be masters and be

      "We reject their teachings.

      "How can we have free and fair elections when they are already
planning and plotting?" asked Mudenge.

      Mudenge then went on to distribute a three-page document that did not
carry a letterhead and which criticised recently adopted electoral
guidelines for southern Africa, saying they failed "to go far enough to
fully cover the minimum standards required for genuine, democratic

      Zimbabwe has pledged to introduce electoral reforms to comply with the
guidelines adopted by leaders of the 14-nation Southern African Development
Community (SADC) at their last meeting in Mauritius.

      The MDC however insists that reforms proposed by Mudenge's government
don't go far enough.

      Without naming countries, Mudenge said the diplomats were "already
planning to pre-judge the elections. ... They are trying to write another
report on the forthcoming general elections before the elections are held."

      "The Western ambassadors are unhappy about these guidelines. They have
made a critique with nine points against the SADC guidelines,"  Mudenge

      "I want to state categorically, we reject their rejection of the SADC
guidelines, the guidelines will remain our guidelines.

      "They are ours, we are proud of them, we devised them for ourselves.
We do not want anybody to interfere in the evolution or the implementation
of these guidelines," Mudenge said.

      Mudenge's accusations are a re-play of similar criticism of the
Commonwealth report on  the 2002 presidential elections. The Zimbabwe
government accused the Commonwealth of writing an adverse report on the poll
well before the plebscite had been held.

      Zimbabwe was suspended from the Commonwealth after the report of the
club's election observer team headed by former Nigerian leader Abdul Salim

      Mudenge addressed the news conference after meeting SADC ambassadors
in Harare. He vowed that Zimbabwe would not tolerate attempts by the West to
interfere in its domestic affairs or regional relations. He questioned why
Western countries should be delving
      into the affairs of SADC.

      "We find it very odd that they should be involving themselves in
matters of SADC, which is a grouping of independent African countries
designing their destiny and their future away from colonial control," he

      Mudenge said contrary to perceptions that the SADC guidelines were
mainly targeted at Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe government had been actively
involved in their creation and adoption.

      "Any assumption that they were being designed for Zimbabwe are false.
We are very comfortable with the guidelines as they emerged. We have
incorporated them in the new (electoral) Bill before parliament," Mudenge

      Although he said diplomats from SADC had assured him that they would
not co-operate in any Western machinations to undermine Mugabe's government,
Zimbabwe would take action against anyone who took part in improper
activities against it.

      "They should not be abused to take on agendas of foreign countries, of
foreign organisations," he said.

      "Hypocrites. We will not accept, we will not tolerate that kind of
posture. We will react," added Mudenge, threatening that Zimbabwe would bar
any diplomat it found involved in undercover activities from observing the
March elections. - ZimOnline.

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Zim Online

Forty firms go under as cheap Chinese goods batter local industry
Fri 22 October 2004

      HARARE - An influx of cheaper imported goods mostly from China forced
40 companies to close down last year alone and at least 25 firms will shut
down this year, according to the findings of a survey commissioned by the
Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI).

      A total of 3 858 jobs were lost last year and at least 2 575 employees
will lose their jobs this year due to the company closures, the survey

      The confederation, regarded as the voice of business in Zimbabwe, will
discuss the findings of the survey at a meeting to be held in Harare today.

      It could not be established last night whether the confederation will
after its deliberations today recommend any measures to the government to
protect local industry from lower-priced Chinese merchandise.

      President Robert Mugabe and his government have pursued a "look-east"
policy after falling out with Europe and America, traditionally Zimbabwe's
biggest markets outside Africa.

      Worst hit by the importation of cheaper goods from China were the
textiles, leather and footwear sectors with the leather sub-sector recording
a seven percentage point downturn in growth last year.

      A report compiled by the researchers for the confederation, read in
part: "The leather and footwear sector has gone through an equally
challenging situation during the height of macro-economic instability with
consumers preferring to settle for cheaper Chinese merchandise.

      "A major downturn in sales has been recorded for the leather
sub-sector, from 10.2 percent growth in 2002 to 3.2 percent in 2003, in line
with decline in production activity in the sub-sector."

      The leather and allied industry saw 11 companies closing down, while a
total of five clothing and electronics firms collapsed last year, due to
stiff competition from cheaper foreign imports.

      The researchers note that local firms were already battling acute
viability problems with 400 firms going under in 2000 alone because of
hostile operating environment marked by severe shortages of electricity,
fuel and hard cash.

      But they said the trend was showing signs of reversing with only 150
companies closing down in 2001.

      The trend could now peak up again because of increased pressure on
local firms from cheaper goods from China as well as second-hand goods
imported into the country by informal traders from South Africa, Mozambique
and Zambia, they said.

      The researchers said some industrialists, especially in the leather
sub-sector, were calling for protectionist measures by the government to
save their companies from collapse.

      "Players in the sub-sector have advocated for a measure of protection
for the industry to ensure medium to long term viability," the researchers

      Both the confederation and the Ministry of Industry and International
Trade are expected to comment publicly on the survey after discussions
today. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

Harare council fails to pay workers on time again
Fri 22 October 2004

      HARARE - The Harare city council has failed to pay workers on time for
the third month in a row because of acute financial difficulties.

      Municipal workers told ZimOnline that city clerk Nomutsa Chideya had
circulated a memorandum to all workers saying salaries would be delayed by
about a week because the city council was facing cash flow problems.

      "The town clerk and chamber secretary Josephine Ncube have sent out
internal memorandums claiming the council was experiencing cash-flow
difficulties and will therefore be unable to pay salaries on time," said a
senior municipal official, who did not want to be named.

      The official said Harare workers, who were supposed to get their
salaries today, will only get their pay next week.

      Both Chideya and council spokesman Leslie Gwindi could not be reached
for comment on the matter.

      Harare has deteriorated rapidly in the last two years as the ruling
ZANU PF and opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) parties, wrestle
for control of the politically vital capital city.

      Social services have collapsed, the streets are potholed, water and
sewage systems malfunction because there is no money to fix these.

      Former opposition executive mayor for Harare Elias Mudzuri who
embarked on an ambitious programme to rehabilitate the city was fired by the
government, in what observers said was a move to dampen the MDC's growing
influence in the capital.

      An MDC-dominated council resigned two months ago in protest against
what councillors said was "undue interference" by the government in the
management of the city.

      Local government Minister Ignatius Chombo appointed a commission to
take charge of the city, but conditions continue to plummet. - ZimOnline
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Zim Daily


HARARE - Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), Secretary General and
legislator for Bulawayo North, Welshman Ncube, has taken over as chairman of
the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and Portfolios Committee.

Ncube replaced the late Eddison Zvobgo, the legal guru who passed away after
a long illness. Zvobgo is the man who drafted Zimbabwe 's first constitution
in 1980.The law supremo however later regretted his decision of awarding too
many executive powers to the president which are now being abused.

The other members of the committee are Kumbirai Kangai, Zanu PF member of
Buhera South and Innocent Gonese, the MDC legislator for Mutare Central.

Meanwhile soon after his waterloo, the MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, rising
out of his own political gaffers with a new lease life, has appointed
Priscilla Misihairambwi Mushonga as the party 's new shadow minister of
Foreign Affairs.

In another separate story, While the Zanu PF government is busy
orchestrating the collapse of Mutumwa Mawere 's well-established empire that
was operating well before the intervention, its own Zimbabwe Mining
Development Corporation (ZMDC) has shrunk dramatically.

Early on when the government took over Mawere 's Shabanie Mashava Mines
(SMM), it announced that it was going to take over 49 % of shareholding in
all foreign owned mining firms and that the government would demand 50%
ownership of all Zimbabwe 's mines be placed with indigenous investors.

But surprisingly most of the mines that are under ZMDC have since closed and
there are now three operating mines under the group. Most of the closed
mines have been due to mismanagement .So will the government, which claims
to have poured $100 billion in SMM, achieve anything with the mines they
hope to seize, considering its pathetic businesses record.

ZMDC in particular has been hit by staff exodus due to low remuneration and
the slow pace in implementing the organisation's turn around programme .The
only remaining Chief Executive Officer is Dominic Mubayiwa, one example of
corporate failures synonymous with most state enterprises.

Meanwhile according to reliable sources it is said the government is
backtracking from its demands for the localization of 49 % shareholding in
all foreign owned mines, but now want 20 % .The government is also proposing
that an exclusive prospecting order should cost $4,2 billion ,but analysts
said such a high fee would scare away investors.
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Zim Daily


HARARE - Zimbabwean prison guards assaulted to death a South African
prisoner who was among 68 mercenaries convicted last month, ZIMDAILY heard
this week.
The department of information and publicity claimed Ngave Jarukemo Muharukua
died from clinical menengitis early this month after being admitted into the
intensive care unit of a major hospital in the capital Harare.

But sources at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison this week revealed that
Muharuka died of assault wounds after being treated in a barbaric and
inhuman manner by prison guards. Muharukua, a Namibian national who also
held a South African passport, was being held at the high security prison
where he was serving 12 months imprisonment with labour for contravening
Zimbabwe's immigration and civil aviation laws.

Internal sources said during the six months that the "soldiers of fortune"
were remanded at Chikurubi Prison, they experienced an appalling existence
in a prison that breaches every international human rights convention, and
many national statutes. "They (mercenaries) were constantly assaulted with
wooden batons, even in the head. It was terrible," a senior prison officer
told ZIMDAILY on condition of anonymity.

Prisons spokesperson Elizabeth Banda declined to comment referring all
questions to deputy commissioner, one Chimboza. It was however not possible
to obtain comment from Chimboza.Twelve prison officers have since appeared
in court jointly charged in common cause, for assaulting the 'mercenaries'
using open hands and batons. The State case is that the prison guards
allegedly forced the suspects to remove their clothes before assaulting
them. The men were berated and criticised by the officers as having
"superior being" attitudes.

In their court testimonies last month, the prisoners said the officers
constantly heckled them. The officers have been remanded out of custody to
November 8.
South African Foreign Ministry spokesman Ronnie Mamoepa said: "We were
informed by the Zimbabwean authorities about the death of one South African.
We are still awaiting the post mortem report but we have been informed that
he died of meningitis,"

Zimbabwe's department of information said Muharukua had first been
hospitalised in September before his condition worsened early this month."His
condition worsened on October 2, 2004, and was referred to Harare Central
Hospital for further management where he was diagnosed (with) tuberculosis
meningitis," a statement from the Information ministry said.

Muharukua was one of a group of an initial 70 men accused of plotting to
overthrow the government of President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo in
Equatorial Guinea.But he and 66 others were charged and found guilty of
lesser charges of violating immigration and aviation laws while Simon Mann,
a British former special services officer leading the group, was slapped
with a seven-year jail

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Daily News online edition

      Zanu PF heavies face the boot

      Date:22-Oct, 2004

      TOP Zanu PF officials in Manicaland are battling for political
survival as young members from the party are threatening to dislodge them
from their constituencies.

      Despite attempts by the Zanu PF provincial leadership to bar young
politicians from challenging old horses, it emerged this week that the
heavyweights could lose their seats if they go through primaries.

      Mike Madiro, the Zanu PF provincial chairman in Manicaland, last month
declared that top politicians such as Didymus Mutasa and Kumbirai Kangai
should not be challenged in their constituencies.

      But Madiro's orders appear to have fallen on deaf ears as both Mutasa
and Kangai are facing stiff challenges from relatively younger politicians.

      Mutasa, the Minister of Anti-Corruption and Anti-Monopolices, who is
also a Zanu PF politburo member, faces stiff competition from James Kaunye,
a retired top soldier and the leader of war veterans in Manicaland.

      Efforts by Mutasa and his supporters to use violence to deter Kaunye
from contesting the Makoni North seat appear to have failed as the war
veterans' leader's campaign has gone into top gear.

      Kangai, a former Cabinet Minister, is being challenged by his former
political disciple, Aaron Mudekunye. Kangai is the only surviving member of
the Dare ReChimurenga (War Council) which spearheaded the war of liberation
during the turbulent 1970's.

      Efforts to restrain Mudekunye from challenging Kangai in Buhera South
have also hit a brickwall. Mudekunye lost to Kangai in the primaries in

      Another top Zanu PF politician who is fighting for political survival
is Kenneth Manyonda, the Deputy Minister of Industry and International
Trade. Manyonda, a former governor for Manicaland, faces six other Zanu PF
activists in the primaries for Buhera North.

      Sources in Buhera said Elasto Mugwadi, the Chief Immigration Officer
and a businessman identified only as a Mr Mutomba posed the greatest threat
to Manyonda in the fight for the constituency.

      Although Manyonda has dismissed the challenge saying his competitors
were "just making noise", sources said there was a likelihood he would lose
in the primaries.

      Manyonda won the seat in 2000 after beating Morgan Tsvangirai in a
poll that was marred by massive violence and intimidation.

      Gibson Munyoro, another veteran of Zanu PF politics faces a challenge
from Chinx Chingaira, a war veteran and Agriculture Minister, Joseph Made.
Ruling party sources said Chingaira could pose a threat to Munyoro as he
enjoyed the support of war veterans in the constituency.

      Made, the sources said, did not command any grassroots support and
risked the embarrassment of losing heavily at the primary polls.

      In Mutasa, politburo member and former governor, Oppah Muchinguri
locks horns with Mike Nyambuya, a retired top soldier and the incumbent
governor for Manicaland.

      Sources said Nyambuya was neglecting other parts of the province as he
was directing all resources and efforts to one district - Mutasa in a bid to
outdo Muchinguri.

      In Mutare North, forgotten politician Irene Zindi, intends to revive
her politial life but she faces formidable challenges from educationist and
businessman, Kenneth Saruchera.

      Mandi Chimene, a war veteran and Zanu PF central committee member, is
also eyeing the Mutare North seat.

      In Mutare Central, tobacco farmer, Charles Pemhenayi locks horns with
business mogul Shadreck Beta. In Chimanimani, Munacho Mutezo, the New Ziana
chairman faces economic "analyst" Samuel Undenge, businessman Misheck Beta
and two retired soldiers whose names were not readily available.

      In Chipinge North, transporter Isau Mupfumi is touted to represent
Zanu PF ahead of Moris Sakabuya, the district administrator and Gedion Goko,
a Zanu PF activist.

      In Chipinge South, Enock Porusingazi looks set to represent the ruling
party again. He lost to Wilson Khumbula, the president of Zanu (Ndonga) in
2000. Primary elections for the ruling party are likely to be held next
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One Day the Birds will Sing.

In a few days time, Victor Angelo will leave Zimbabwe to take up a posting
as the UN Under Secretary for Peace Keeping. A quiet and effective man he
has been the senior UN representative in Zimbabwe for the past 5 years.
During this time he has managed the relationship with the Zimbabwe
government with consummate skill. Kept his head when others were losing
theirs and at the same time represented the views of the world community to
a rogue State with some honesty.

This is not an easy task. However what is also not fully understood is that
Victor has been the main co-ordinator of the international response to the
humanitarian crisis which is the consequence of the "misguided policies" the
Mugabe regime. Perhaps more than anyone else he has been responsible for
saving many hundreds of thousands of lives during the past four years as the
agricultural sector here has collapsed under the weight of shortsighted and
chaotic policies. Like many good civil servants, he will receive little
recognition for this and his benefactors in Zimbabwe - the millions of the
absolute poor who live in the rural areas, will never know him or of his
role in their lives.

We said goodbye to Victor the other night at the Japanese Ambassadors home
in the company of a few others. Two things stand out for me from that very
pleasant evening.

The Japanese Ambassador, who is the epitome of courtesy, made a short speech
in which he told the following story: "Several hundred years ago, three
Feudal Warlords in Japan had the same problem - their favorite bird would
not sing. What to do? The first turned to the cage and said, "if you do not
sing, I kill you." The second addressed his bird and said equally sternly,
"if you do not sing, I will force you to sing."

"The third warlord loved his bird very much and he said to the bird as it
sat on his hand "if my bird does not sing, then I will wait for him to do

The Ambassador said, "we are waiting for Zimbabwe to sing again".

Then Victor responded in his usual way - self-depreciating, but honest. He
was going to a tough assignment he said, but he will miss Zimbabwe and its
people, he was also sorry he was going as he was sure, change was imminent.
He also said that he had felt that an important aspect of his job here had
been to keep the candle of hope burning.

MDC is often criticized for not being more militant and for not confronting
the regime en masse in order to force change. We have chosen a different
way. The path of democracy and non violent action. In doing so we have
perhaps chosen the long way, certainly not the route that would keep us in
the headlines and so it is people like these two outstanding diplomats, one
working for the UN and the other Japan, on whom we depend to understand our
crisis - to see the extent of the suffering and human tragedy, without the
benefit of the TV cameras. To understand the issues and the problems - and
do what they can to keep the light of hope alive while solutions are found.

When finally change does come (perhaps next year), these are friends who
will be ready to help us put this damaged and bleeding land back together
again. To give us a new start and to help us build a new and better

Just one other thought - as you know Morgan Tsvangirai faces yet another
treason trial shortly. This relates to a statement he made at a rally in
2002 and which was given widespread publicity in the local media. In it they
claimed, he called for the violent overthrow of the Zimbabwe regime. Those
of us who know Morgan well know that this is simply a wrong interpretation
of what he said. A deliberate distortion for their own propaganda purposes.
How they would love to find an MDC arms cache or any evidence that we
planned violence!

What the regime did not know at the time they moved to charge Morgan with
this second allegation was that the speech in question was routinely
recorded by the MDC and that we have a full video tape of the speech in
question. They now know we have this as we have to disclose our defense to
them in advance of the court hearings, but pride prevents them from doing
the right thing and quietly closing down the case. Instead, once again they
are going to spend huge amounts of State money on the case and are tying up
the MDC leadership in more futile legal battles they simply cannot hope to
win. But I guess that always was the real intention anyway.

Back to bird watching!

Eddie Cross
Bulawayo. 22nd October 2004

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Daily News online edition

      Governor*s comments cause for grave concern

      Date:22-Oct, 2004

      The provincial governor for Mashonaland Central, Ephraim Masawi
strongly believes that the political status quo in Zimbabwe should continue
ad infinitum.

      He surprised pastors of a religious sect who had gone to his offices
in Bindura recently complaining that they had been severely assaulted by
Zanu PF youths during an all night prayer meeting that he would not protect
them unless they joined the ruling party.

      What he meant, in other words is that Zimbabwe should be a de facto
one party state. There should be no opposition party at all and Zanu PF,
with its track record of tyranny, corruption and election rigging should be
left to do as it pleases.

      "If your church members are not prepared to join Zanu PF, they should
move out of the province and go elsewhere where opposition politics is
tolerated," Masawi is alleged to have said.

      This type of thinking, from a man who represents President Robert
Mugabe in a province with more than two million people is most
discomforting, to put it mildly.

      Masawi has dug his heels in support of President Mugabe and he did not
mince his words when he told the pastors that he would be happy if things
remained as they were in Mashonaland Central where the ruling party won all
seats during the last parliamentary elections.

      He needs to be reminded that one of the reasons that the MDC did not
do well was that many voters were either forced to vote for the ruling party
or ran away after they had been identified as supporters of the MDC.

      Masawi's reasoning is cause for grave concern and alarm and sends
dangerous signals to ordinary civilians. It shows lack of tolerance by
leaders who have become predators of human rights.

      The question is, where does Masawi want people who are not supporters
of Zanu PF to live?

      Ironically, Masawi, who comes from Musana communal lands and is a
former MP for Mbare West constituency in Harare, lost the constituency to
the MDC in the 2000 elections.

      Because of his strong connections within the party, he was given a
lifeline and appointed governor last year.

      Since his appointment, Masawi has joined hands with the bad boys of
Mashonaland Central, the Dick Mafioses and others to impose a reign of
terror over the people supported by the youth wing of the ruling party.

      Mashonaland Central has been declared a no go area for opposition
parties and anyone perceived to be associated with the main opposition MDC
is beaten up and harassed.

      One businessman in the Musana communal lands was forced to close down
his shops after Zanu PF youths attacked him and robbed him of his goods and
money because he is a member of the MDC.

      As the countdown to the March elections begins, the fear is that
Mashonaland Central province will experience another orgy of violence as the
ruling party shuts the door to the MDC. - Editorial
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Daily News online edition

      Return to the basics to promote recovery

      Date:21-Oct, 2004

      Siddharth Tiwari could soon join Tony Blair and George W Bush on a
black list of foreigners out to destroy Zimbabwe, according to a script
authored by President Robert Mugabe and his government.

      Anyone, Zimbabwean or foreigner, who criticises the government's
present policies stands a good chance of being branded "an enemy of the
state", their name uttered with venom and reproduced in print by the
government media with suitably poisonous adjectives.

      Siddharth Tiwari is the deputy director for the African Department of
the International Monetary Fund. He recently said Zimbabwe needs to
reintegrate itself into the international community to reclaim its credit
worthiness and donor support.

      His counsel is not new. Many Zimbabweans have offered the same advice
to Mugabe and his trouble-shooter Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor, Gideon

      The governor could disguise himself as Charlie Chaplin and walk around
the black market currency area known as The World Bank in Bulawayo and still
not have any impact on the recovery of an economy burdened with heavy
foreign and local debts, a debilitating inflation rate, scant foreign direct
investment and an unemployment rate believed to be the highest in the
Southern African development Community (Sadc) region.

      Both Mugabe and Gono must now swallow their pride and go back to the
IMF and the World Bank and ask: "What do we have to do to get back into the

      Unless both men are obsessed with self-glorification, that would be
the most logical step for them to take. But if they are not concerned with
the survival of the people of Zimbabwe, it is obvious they won't.

      Mugabe loves his portrayal by other African leaders as the man who
bashes the West on their behalf. Gono has his political ambitions which he
can now not disguise.

      For these reasons, both men could scoff at Tiwari's advice as just
"more pro-Western rhetoric".

      The reality, however, is that the economy is not recovering as
speedily as Gono's measures were envisaged to do. Something has gone wrong
and it is this stubbornness to accept reality and re-engage the world
financial institutions.

      Any leader genuinely concerned about the future of Zimbabwe would not
hesitate to abandon this self-serving personal crusade against the West and
confront reality.

      If they persist in promoting their own private and personal ambitions,
posterity could reward them with the sort of obloquy some Zimbabweans
reserve for the likes of Ian Smith and Cecil John Rhodes.

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England safety team happy with Zimbabwe consultations
Thu 21 October, 2004 19:34

DURBAN, Oct 21 (Reuters) - The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB)
delegation visiting Zimbabwe to assess safety and security ahead of
England's tour next month are satisfied they have been well briefed on the

"We've seen various embassies, the police in Bulawayo and Harare, opposition
MPs and government ministers," Richard Bevan, the chief executive of the
Professional Cricketers' Association, told Reuters from Harare on Thursday.

"We met with the minister for home affairs, the Zimbabwe Cricket Union, and
with people living in Harare."

Bevan said he was satisfied that he and ECB director of operations John
Carr, the other member of the delegation, had been informed of "a good cross
section of the issues".

"We're trying to understand where the political tensions have an impact on
the safety and security issues," Bevan said.

"It's not something we can comment on at the moment, because we need to
report back to the ECB."

Bevan and Carr are to return to England on Friday.

England, who forfeited their 2003 World Cup match against Zimbabwe in Harare
because of concerns over player safety, have come under pressure to withdraw
from the tour on moral grounds.

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      Zimbabwe ready to work with UN agencies 2004-10-22 01:58:47

          HARARE, Oct. 21 (Xinhuanet) -- Zimbabwe is ready to work with
United Nations agencies willing to work with it, President Robert Mugabe
said here Thursday.

          He made the remark when he bade farewell to United Nations
Development Program (UNDP) Resident Representative Victor Angelo at the
State House.

          He expressed personal gratitude to and appreciation for the work
done by Angelo during his four-year tour of duty to Zimbabwe.

          "The work done by Angelo is commendable," said Mugabe.

          He said although there were things to be done like correcting the
economy, Zimbabwe was better off than most African countries that have not
had any form of sanctions imposed on them.

          The country has been under sanctions for a number of years,
imposed by Britain and its allies in reprisal for Zimbabwe's land reforms,
he said.

          On his part, Angelo said he had managed to secure financial
resources for humanitarian assistance for Zimbabwe at a time when the
country was going through a rough patch.

          He said Zimbabwe had all the resources required for it to salvage
itself out of its economic difficulties.

          Angelo leaves the country for Sierra Leone to take up a
peacekeeping mission post.

          He said he would work toward transforming peacekeeping into peace
building. Enditem

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      Education key to national development in Zimbabwe: president 2004-10-22 01:58:21

          HARARE, Oct. 21 (Xinhuanet) -- Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe
said here Thursday that Zimbabwe's economy could only develop after local
people develop themselves academically first.

          He made the remarks while addressing thousands of people who
convened at Rusununguko Secondary School in Goromonzi, MashonalandEast
province, where he presented 10 computers and two printers tothe school.

          "I have come here with a gift that will help the school to further
the knowledge of its students for them to become top computer literate
people," he said. "Zimbabwe must transform its economy so that it will
become developed, and this can come about if the people are developed."

          He cautioned students to guard against mental colonization thatis
normally associated with people who utilize the cyberspace.

          He said although the government had made remarkable strides toward
the development of the education sector since independence,there was need to
continue training teachers and equipping schoolswith laboratories.

          Zimbabwe's literacy rate is above 87 percent, according to the

          Rusununguko was established in 1981 to cater for the youth who
participated in the liberation war.

          The school also catered for young children who failed to go to
school because of the war.

          Mugabe, who is also an academician himself, has been donating
computers to various schools around the country in a bid to see students
embracing technology. Enditem

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MosNews, Moscow

Russians Most Miserable People in the World, Second Only to People of
Created: 21.10.2004 16:45 MSK (GMT +3), Updated: 19:44 MSK , 3 hours 50
minutes ago


Research shows that citizens of ex-Soviet countries are the most unhappy
people in the world.

The organization World Values Survey has surveyed 81 countries, asking
people to evaluate their level of happiness and satisfaction with life.
Citizens of Russia and the former republics of the USSR are on the bottom of
the list, ahead only of Zimbabwe.

Contrary to popular belief, economic wellbeing is not a key factor in one's
happiness. People from developing countries, Mexico and Puerto Rico,
reported to enjoy their lives the most. Others from the top five include
Columbia, Ireland, and the Netherlands. The United States ranks 15th.

Russia and the CIS are at the very bottom of the list. Russia is 78th,
Armenia is 79th, Ukraine is second to last, 80th.

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Church Leader Attacks State's Muzzling of Voices of Dissent

The Daily News (Harare)

October 21, 2004
Posted to the web October 21, 2004


The head of the Anglican Diocese of Manicaland, Bishop Sebastian Bakare has
denounced government officials who abuse their power to shut out voices of
dissent from the public media.

Although he did not mention any names, Bakare's comments were widely
perceived to be a jab at Zimbabwe's information minister Jonathan Moyo. Moyo
crafted the draconian Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act in
2001 which is blamed for muzzling the private press and has seen the
shutting down of three privately-owned newspapers in the space of one year.

Bakare is also the president of the Zimbabwe Council of Churches, an
umbrella body of churches in Zimbabwe.

Bakare's remarks come in the wake of last week's letter by the Zimbabwe
Catholic Bishops Conference (ZCBC) denouncing the government's repression of
opposition political parties and civic society under the guise of protecting
Zimbabwe's sovereignty.

"The Zimbabwe Council of Churches has been shunned by the state media
because of one man's hatred of truth," Bakare said. "We have held important
national meetings and made critical statements in line with our mandate to
deliver the oppressed into the hands of the Almighty, but we have been told
that we are politically incorrect. We have no recourse as long as some of
these people are allowed to abuse their positions."

He claimed there was an unwritten rule to all staff at State media houses to
snub all events or statements by Bishops Patrick Mutume of the ZCBC and
Trevor Manhanga, the president of the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe

The ZCC president said they jointly put out a statement to all media on the
state of the nation at Christmas and Easter holidays but all they got was a
snub by the state media.

He said the EFZ, the ZCBC and the ZCC were prepared to pay for the
advertisement that was scheduled for publication in The Herald and the
Sunday Mail but they were denied even that alternative.

"The statements that we made afterwards were not even anti-government. They
were very fair and accurately reflected the situation on the ground. The
idea is to shut us out of the public media so that we are not heard across
the country. The media is not for one political party, neither is it for the
purpose of denigrating other people."

Bakare has been denounced and belittled in the State media, together with
Manhanga and Mutume for attempts to confront government on violence and
governance issues.

The trio have been at the forefront in trying to bring Zanu PF and the
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) to the negotiating table and help
resolve political, economic and social conflicts that have bedevilled
Zimbabwe for the past four years.

However, Zanu PF has refused to acknowledge the role the church leaders play
in society and have gone on an all-out assault on their personalities,
accusing them of fronting for the opposition MDC. The opposition party is
accused of being a puppet of the British and the Americans out to achieve
regime change in Zimbabwe.

Bakare said the violence in Zimbabwe's politics was a direct result of the
existence of an "unfair electoral system which has created a lot of this

"This is where we think that as the Church, unless the situation is
corrected, we will not have peace as a country," Bakare said. "Zanu PF is
not prepared for dialogue with the opposition. All they need is to win the
March 2005 parliamentary election at all costs. What we have been made to
understand is that they want to focus on that alone."

In their pastoral letter, quoted in yesterday's issue of the Daily Mirror,
the ZCBC said: "The media should serve all sections of the society. It is
important that all political parties have access to media coverage so that
they can inform the citizenry about how they intend to govern if they are
elected into power."

Moyo and Patrick Chinamasa, the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary
Affairs have made it clear that the MDC would not be given access to the
public broadcaster, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings (ZBH) because it was
a disloyal party, funded by the British and the Americans to re-colonise
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Daily News (SA)

      Majority not always right
      October 21, 2004

      There is a wide international consensus that it would not be in the
interest of the United States and its people - for that matter, the world -
if George Bush were re-elected president. And yet he is well ahead in the
opinion polls and his popularity is growing, disturbingly, also among the
young and the poor.

      Four more years for George W may be seriously bad news for world peace
and will quite likely isolate Americans further from the rest of the world,
but at least we can all learn a few lessons on human behaviour and democracy
from that. It's all very depressing.

      I have watched the debates between Bush and his Democratic Party
challenger, John Kerry. I have seen Michael Moore's disturbing documentary
film Fahrenheit 9/11. I have received several of the embarrassing video
clips of Bush's gaffs doing the rounds on the internet. I have read most of
what has been available on Bush and the Iraq war. I have no doubt in my mind
whatsoever that the man is dangerous, incompetent and a tool in the hands of
a small group of fundamentalist conservatives who are bent on military
aggression and further undermining human rights inside the United States.

      How does it happen that the American public has a completely different
picture of the man? How on earth do they overlook the voting fraud committed
four years ago? How is it that they do not see through Bush's lies about
weapons of mass destruction and the links between Al-Qaeda and Saddam

      How can they not see that the world is a much more dangerous place
today than before the invasion of Iraq? How do they miss Bush and Dick
Cheney's corporate connections who are cashing in on such a grand scale on
the war in Iraq?

      Well, for the same reasons that otherwise quite decent white South
Africans voted for Hendrik Verwoerd, John Vorster and PW Botha for decades.
Deep down they knew the policies of apartheid were evil and dangerous. The
otherwise quite decent citizens of Israel also voted for Ariel Sharon, with
George W Bush and Osama bin Laden the other major threat to world peace. And
do not be surprised if a good half or more of the otherwise quite decent
electorate of Zimbabwe vote for Robert Mugabe next year, a megalomaniac who
has destroyed the economy and social fabric of his nation and
single-handedly undermined all notions of the African Renaissance.

      Fear. Narrow, short-term self-interest. Ignorance and gullibility. The
old human instinct to follow a strong leader. A sense of being under threat,
a sense of having to defend against external enemies. And the mass media not
doing their job properly. Those, I believe, are the main reasons for nations
sometimes voting for dangerous and incompetent leaders.

      Democracy is quite a failure as a concept. What a pity it is still the
best system of government known to man. But the apparent irrationality of
voters in all the cases mentioned above tells us something important about
democracy: the majority is not always right.

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