Tsvangirai: nothing has changed in Zim Basildon Peta
October 24 2004 at 02:56PM
Zimbabwe's feisty opposition leader,
Morgan Tsvangirai, is not celebrating, despite his acquittal last week on a
charge of treason. He still sees no grounds for optimism in his country,
which is preparing for a general election early next year.
"This [treason acquittal] is more of an exception than the rule as far as
the conduct of the judiciary is concerned," he says. "It was political
persecution. They never had a case against me. I never did any wrong. So you
cannot expect me to be on cloud nine over an acquittal on a fabricated case
which should not have reached the courts in the first place."
Tsvangirai, 52, was acquitted of plotting to assassinate President Robert
Mugabe, at the end of a case that effectively silenced the opposition leader
for two years.
But he is due to return to court on November 3 to
answer a new set of treason charges: that he plotted to violently overthrow
the president by means of mass protests. These charges arise from hugely
successful demonstrations that Tsvangirai, leader of the main opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), called for last year to protest
against Mugabe's tyrannical rule.
'You cannot expect me
to be on cloud nine over an acquittal on a fabricated case'
According to Tsvangirai, the situation in Zimbabwe remains grave. The rights
of citizens continue to be trampled upon. Draconian media and security laws
at the heart of Mugabe's strategy to keep in power are still very much in
place after being upheld by judges.
Claims by Mugabe's supporters
that the verdict against Tsvangirai last week was the fruit of an
"independent judiciary" is far from the truth, in the view of the opposition
leader. He points to the 37 court applications lodged by his party after the
2000 parliamentary elections. At the time, Zimbabwe had an independent
judiciary headed by the venerable white judge, Chief Justice Anthony Gubbay.
Of the 12 petitions heard by the high court, the MDC won eight after the
court nullified Mugabe's victories in the eight constituencies after it
found his Zanu-PF had used violence to win.
Had the courts
adjudicated all the 37 challenges and ruled in favour of the MDC, as had
been widely expected, Mugabe would probably have been forced out of power.
But that was not to be. Mugabe immediately begun purging the judiciary and
Gubbay was forced off the bench. Three fiercely independent judges who had
ruled in favour of the MDC in the petitions were replaced.
became a practice of Mugabe's militant supporters to storm into the offices
of judges perceived to be independent and threaten them with death. Judges
began to leave the bench in droves and many undistinguished pro-Mugabe
judges came into the high court.
The entire supreme court was
purged and Godfrey Chidyausiku, a former minister in Mugabe's government and
a close crony of the regime, was elevated to chief justice in place of
With the next parliamentary elections only six months away,
the opposition's 37 petitions have still not been scheduled for a hearing by
the pro-Mugabe bench. The ruling Zanu-PF appealed to the supreme court
against the eight won by the MDC, and Chidyausiku squashed
"There can be no greater injustice to the people of Zimbabwe
than the manner in which these electoral petitions have been handled," says
Tsvangirai, who seems careful in his choice of words about the judiciary,
mindful that he still has another treason case to answer.
"Justice delayed is justice denied. We are now facing a new election and our
electoral petitions, which should have set important precedents on the
conduct of elections in this country and probably shaped the course of
events after the 2000 elections, are now of academic interest
In the face of many other bizarre court judgments, like the
one which upheld as constitutional a draconian media law requiring all
journalists to be licensed by the government, and supreme court judgments
upholding chaotic land reforms, as well as others depriving thousands of
Zimbabweans of their citizenship, Tsvangirai is unhappy with suggestions
that his acquittal heralds the dawn of a new era for Zimbabwe and its
But despite two wasted years while he fought what
he describes as trumped-up charges, Tsvangirai says the verdict enables the
nation to look forward to a new Zimbabwe and a new start. He says the
acquittal could serve as a basis for national reconciliation.
"On a positive note, this judgment may have set a good basis for national
reconciliation and a national solution for the crisis in Zimbabwe," he says.
But he remains worried about Mugabe's commitment to dialogue to resolve the
"The Mugabe regime is not interested in any rational
steps to resolve the crisis in this country. It would rather wish the
opposition and many of its opponents away. Unfortunately that will not
Tsvangirai's acquittal will allow him to focus
on revitalising his party and doing many of the things he could not do while
he fought the treason charges.
"Our programme of action remains
focused on achieving a change of government in this country through
constitutional and democratic means at the ballot box. We are a non-violent
party and we preach non-violence, contrary to what the Mugabe regime would
want to have the world believe," he says.
He aims to pile
pressure on the government to level the political playing field ahead of the
parliamentary elections in March, but the government has shown no genuine
interest in implementing a new regional protocol on the conduct of free and
Tsvangirai dismisses proposed electoral reforms as
cosmetic. He says they fail to address the core of the electoral problem in
Zimbabwe, which centres on a flawed voters roll that has an estimated 2,5
million ghost voters.
Mugabe has proposed setting up an
"independent" electoral commission, but he will appoint it himself, under
He has also proposed reducing voting to one
day instead of two, and using translucent ballot boxes. But the voters' roll
remains untouched. Tsvangirai's party is also completely barred from the
public media in a country where the state enjoys a broadcasting monopoly.
His party has suspended participating in any elections until the opposition
can compete on an equal basis.
"That position remains. We will
assess the situation [ahead of the March elections] as we cannot take part
in a flawed electoral process and legitimise its outcome," he
Tsvangirai insists that the only solution to Zimbabwe's
problems - underpinned by nearly 400 percent inflation, the highest in the
world, 80 percent unemployment, chronic fuel and power shortages, and mass
starvation because of lack of food - is to return the country to legitimacy
through a free and fair election.
But what happens if his MDC
boycotts the polls? "It means the Zimbabwe crisis continues with no end or
solution in sight."
Tsvangirai rebuffs criticism that his party is
flawed on policy and has no clear-cut programme to return Zimbabwe to
prosperity even if it wins the election: "Such criticisms come from people
who have never bothered to read our policy documents and party programmes.
It is criticism for the sake of it."
From humble beginnings as
a textile-factory worker, Tsvangirai emerged from obscurity to become
Mugabe's most serious challenger since independence in 1980. He narrowly
lost to Mugabe in the 2002 presidential election, dismissed by many poll
observers as rigged.
Many believe he has grown into a solid leader
who would defeat Mugabe in any free and fair election. Which is why Mugabe
is not likely to allow a free and fair poll.
Mugabe has also
vowed never to allow Tsvangirai to rule Zimbabwe, accusing him of being a
British puppet. But Tsvangirai is not worried.
"Even Ian Smith used
to declare that there would never be black majority rule in Zimbabwe in a
thousand years," he says. - Foreign Service
article was originally published on page 9 of Sunday Independent on October
An artist who
uses her work to criticise the government in her native Zimbabwe has been
told she can stay in the UK indefinitely. Phati Patience Siphatisiwe
came to Britain six years ago to escape the regime of president Robert
She applied for refugee status but her application was
refused by the Home Office, which said it was safe for her to return to
Africa with her children.
The decision has now been reversed,
following an appeal hearing in London.
A government lawyer
told her the case should never have come to such a point.
They spearheaded the
liberation struggle in the 1970s and were at the forefront of land reform in
2000. Now Zimbabwe's war veterans are coveting parliamentary seats. Several
senior members of the Zimbabwe War Veterans Association are keen to contest
next March's poll on the ruling Zanu PF ticket, ostensibly to complete the
gains of the liberation struggle. During the five elections held since
independence in 1980, the former freedom fighters have been content to serve
as foot soldiers and mobilise support for the party's senior politicians.
War veterans' leader Jabulani Sibanda told the Mail & Guardian that a
"reawakening of the revolutionary spirit" among his association's members is
behind their surge for parliamentary office. "Zimbabwe is now a
revolutionary nation, country and party. To us Parliament has become a means
by which our revolution can be carried out and onwards through direct
participation in the making of laws in our country." The resolution has
unsettled senior Zanu-PF politicians and further strained relations in the
party ahead of primary elections' scheduled for the end of the year. The
former combatants are challenging senior Zanu PF officials, including
Speaker of Parliament Emmerson Mnangangwa, Minister of Foreign Affairs Stan
Mudenge, Anti-Corruption Minister Didymus Mutasa and Matabeleland North
Governor Obert Mpofu. The interest of war veterans in Parliament is but one
dimension of the election struggles within the ruling party. Senior
officials led by Vice-President Joseph Msika are trying to elbow out young
and ambitious members, known as mafikizolos. The party's supreme decision
body - the politburo - is reported to have endorsed the formation of a
committee to draw up stringent guidelines to vet party members who wish to
contest the March plebiscite and to ensure that "johnny-come-latelies" are
Tensions are being whipped up further in Matabeleland,
where allegations of tribalism, pitting Ndebele supporters against Shonas,
are resurfacing. Zanu PF secretary for the commissariat, Sikhanyiso Ndlovu,
has accused Sibanda of mobilising youth in Matabeleland to beat up former PF
Zapu Ndebeles and firing Shona-speaking civil servants working in the
region. Sibanda has refuted the allegations, dismissing them as "nonsense".
Instead, he accused Zanu PF politburo members from Matabeleland of pursuing
personal interests. "They have amassed so much personal wealth and they now
forget where they came from," said Sibanda. Elsewhere in the country,
several Zanu PF MPs are fighting to retain their seats. In Beit Bridge,
Minister of Home Affairs Kembo Mohadi is embroiled in a two-pronged assault
to fend off contenders. He has been accused of abusing his position to push
his challengers out of the race. A week ago he was reported to have ordered
the detention of war veteran Samuel Mlaudzi during a campaign rally. In
August Mohadi was accused of ordering the arrest of acting Bulawayo
provincial administrator, Edson Mbedzi. Mbedzi was acquitted of stealing
farm equipment. In Masvingo Central, Eddison Zvobgo Jnr is pitted against
the party's provincial chairperson, Daniel Shumba. Zvobgo is reported to
enjoy the support of several senior party officials, including retired Air
Marshall Josiah Tungamirai and national commissar Elliot Manyika.
TSVANGIRAI GOES ON THE OFFENSIVE Mon 25 October
JOHANNESBURG - Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader
Morgan Tsvangirai kicks off a Southern Africa Development Community (SADC)
tour to drum up support for electoral reforms in Zimbabwe with a meeting
with President Thabo Mbeki in Pretoria this morning.
arrived in Johannesburg on Saturday for the meeting which should have been
held last night but was postponed to today after Mbeki delayed his arrival
from Zambia yesterday.
Mbeki's spokesman Bekhi Khumalo confirmed
the expected meeting today but declined to discuss the agenda of the meeting
preferring to only say it was part of the ongoing meetings between Mbeki and
the Zimbabwean political leadership to help in the "Zimbabwean political
MDC secretary-general Welshman Ncube, who is part of
Tsvangirai's delegation, said he was also not at liberty to disclose what
they plan to tell Mbeki this morning because pre-empting the meeting would
He nonetheless said the whole purpose of the
regional tour was for Tsvangirai to meet regional leaders and update them on
the situation in Zimbabwe since he is now free to travel.
said from South Africa, Tsvangirai would proceed to Mauritius for a meeting
with that country's Prime Minister Paul Berenger. Other meetings are being
scheduled with leaders of Lesotho, Namibia, Botswana and
After exhausting the regional tour, Tsvangirai will
venture further inland to meet other African Union leaders who can influence
President Robert Mugabe to reform.
Tsvangirai has not been able
to travel abroad since February 2002 when he was arrested on trumped up
charges that he plotted to assassinate Mugabe.
The Zimbabwe High
Court acquitted Tsvangirai of the high treason charge.
he (Tsvangirai) is now able to travel, the idea is for him as leader of the
party to be able to reach the SADC leadership on the situation in Zimbabwe,"
said Ncube. "We want to ensure that we don't lose the window of opportunity
to resolve the Zimbabwe crisis through holding a legitimate election in
Though he refused to divulge the details of what they
plan to tell Mbeki, ZimOnline is authoritatively informed that Tsvangirai
and his delegation will tell Mbeki and other regional leaders that Mugabe
hasn't got the slightest intention of complying with the new SADC norms on
free and fair elections.
Pressure should thus be brought to
bear on the ageing Zimbabwean leader to comply and Mbeki should take the
lead. Sources say Tsvangirai and his delegation will explain to Mbeki in
detail how electoral reforms proposed by Mugabe fall far short of the SADC
Mugabe has proposed setting up an "independent" electoral
commission appointed by himself with no input from the opposition. He has
also proposed reducing polling from two to one day and using transparent
The MDC has dismissed these reforms as cosmetic. -
COSATU leaders face stormy reception Mon 25 October
HARARE - The Zimbabwe government is understood to be planning
to deport Congress of South African Trade Union (COSATU) leaders as soon as
they arrive in Harare later today against advice by the government not to
visit the country, sources told ZimOnline.
In a move likely to
test relations between Zimbabwe and South Africa to the limit, state
security agents will await COSATU vice president, Joe Nkosi, and his
21-member delegation at Harare international airport and put them on the
next flight out of Zimbabwe.
"The plan is to intercept COSATU
officials at Harare airport and tell them politely that they are not welcome
here (in Zimbabwe) and send them back with the next available flight," a
senior government official said.
Home Affairs Minister Kembo
Mohadi, in charge of Zimbabwe's police and immigration departments could not
be reached for comment on the matter.
Nkosi could also not be
reached for comment but Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions secretary general,
Wellington Chibhebhe, yesterday said COSATU would be visiting Zimbabwe
despite Harare's objections.
"The COSATU mission is purely a trade
union affair and it is none of the government's business to interfere with
such issues," Chibhebhe said.
COSATU is visiting Zimbabwe chiefly
to verify reports of repression against the country's labour movement and
also to check on the human rights situation in the country in
The powerful labour movement, which is part of South
Africa's ruling tripartite alliance that also includes the African National
Congress and the South African Communist Party, is expected to meet all
stakeholders in Zimbabwe including, the ruling ZANU PF and main
opposition Movement for Democratic Change parties.
But the Zimbabwe
government has objected to the mission saying the groups COSATU plans to
meet are anti-government and some of the issues the South African trade
union leaders wanted to raise were political and should be handled through
an agreed framework between Harare and Pretoria. - ZimOnline
Reporter TWO local financial institutions, Metropolitan Bank of Zimbabwe and
the Agricultural Development Bank of Zimbabwe have emerged as the leading
partners in the ongoing land reform program.
Metropolitan Bank has
facilitated the procurement of capital equipment worth billions of dollars
such as tractors and combine harvesters while the Land Bank has injected
billions dollars to farmers for funding the 2004 /2005 farming
The land bank has also pumped over $200 billion to assist tobacco
farmers. Officials in the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said
they expected other financial institutions to mobilise their efforts to
ensure that the ongoing agrarian reforms succeed.
Bank has also clinched a multi-million dollar deal with an Angolan Bank in a
bid to re-capitalise operations and strengthen its position on the financial
sector.Under the agreement, the Angolan bank, which can not be named pending
regulatory approval from relevant authorities, will inject a substantial
amount in hard currency in exchange of a 10 per cent equity in Metropolitan
The two banks will also exchange directors who will sit on the
board of directors for the respective financial institutions.
agreement, which was signed recently in Angola will also lead to the
attachment of staff between the two financial institutions whose task will
be to spearhead financial projects for clients in both Zimbabwe and
Angola.It is envisaged that the deal would lead to the consolidation of the
group's position on the financial market.
Met Bank is also finalising
discussions that would see a Malaysian Bank snapping up a 20 percent stake
in its local operations as part of efforts to consolidate its operations.It
is envisaged that the acquisition of the 30 percent stake by the two
financial institutions will inject the much-needed funds for the financial
institution's growth strategy.
The financial institution has since repaid
the $19,8billion loan, which it borrowed under the Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe's Troubled Banks' Fund.The deal with the Angolan bank is expected
to enhance trade between the two countries.
Government has challenged
businessmen from Zimbabwe to take up opportunities in Angola following the
end of the civil war in that country.The financial institution, which has
already opened opportunities for local businessmen in Malaysia, will also
co-ordinate trade projects between Angolan and Malaysian
Metbank's Malaysian operation is doing well with more
local businessmen taking trade opportunities in the Asian country.A number
of business delegations have already secured trade opportunities in
The financial institution has in the past sponsored trips to
secure export markets in Namibia, Mozambique, Botswana and South
The bank also secured a US$100million line of credit for the
National Oil Company of Zimbabwe (Noczim) for the procurement of petroleum
oil from Malaysia to bail out the country when foreign currency was
It also financed the purchase of buses by the Zimbabwe United
Passenger Company (Zupco), as part of efforts to alleviate transport
problems in urban and rural areas.
Metropolitan Bank assisted the
Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education in structuring payment for student
The bank posted satisfactory results for the six months
ending June 30, 2004.
Attributable profits increased by 229 percent
to $6,8billion compared to the previous period last year.
income increased significantly to $72 billion largely due to high interests
rates that prevailed during the first half of the year.
charge of bad and doubtful debts of $53,6 billion was made. The Land Bank
posted a $2,8 billion profit for the past six months of the year.
Reporter THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) is caught in a vicious cycle as
it continues to issue and reject Open Market Operation (OMO) because of high
interest rates offered.
Tomorrow the central bank floats another
batch of OMO bills aimed at raising $300 billion.
This follows the
rejection of similar bills which were issued on October 19 and were all
spurned as investors wanted high returns.
This made it the third batch of
OMO bills rejected by the RBZ after another batch was also turned down at
the end of last month.
RBZ was on the money market on Tuesday last week
with RBZ ZTB OMO Bills valued at $300 billion for 181 days.
amount of bids submitted was $3 billion, with the lowest and the highest bid
rates quoted from 125 percent to 220 percent.
At this tender, all bids
were rejected as it is against the grain of the central bank*s endeavour to
pull down interest rates.
Total bids for last week*s batch of OMO bills
showed a marked decrease in amounts raised, as a total of $4,2 billion was
tendered at the beginning of the month.
Interest rates for OMO bills
which preceded those issued on October 18 were within the 120 percent to 165
This almost gave hope that at last the investors were
realising that interest rates were going down but the sudden and sharp
increase is still worrisome.
OMO bills were introduced in August in a
bid to drain excess funds from the market and maintain a stable interest
rates regime in line with other macroeconomic fundamentals.
of $15,6 billion was tendered for on September 30 and the highest bid was
165 percent against a bottom line tender of 105 percent. OMO Bills are
special treasury bills introduced two months ago when a record $2,3 trillion
in financial bills maturities was injected into the market and threatened to
destabilise its trends.
These bills also operate as attentive mop up
instruments and avoid a potential excessive growth in money supply through
concessional financing facilities.
The bills have special features
which include being acceptable as collateral for repo and overnight
accommodation by RBZ. They are redeemed and payable to the central bank on
maturity and are also a bearer instrument.
Potential investors in the
bills include corporate bodies who are expected to invest amounts in
multiples of $100 million dollars.
Individual investors in the bills are
expected to invest amounts in multiples of $1 million.
provident funds, insurance companies, life mutuals, commercial banks as well
as individuals have been invited to invest in the bills.
Freed Zim men tell of jail hell 24/10/2004 23:23 -
Pretoria - "No one can live like that," says
Pius Kanjowa, one of the two mercenaries (of a group of 67) released shortly
before the weekend in Zimbabwe for humanitarian reasons.
and Leratu Eselumu, 46, both former Koevoet members from Namibia, were
wheeled into the arrivals hall at Johannesburg International Airport in
wheelchairs on Saturday morning.
They have been living in South Africa
Kanjowa seriously injured his foot in prison and Eselumu has
had tuberculosis for several months.
Kanjowa said: "Sometimes up to
seven days would pass without our having a drop of water to drink or to
flush the toilets with. A lot of people die there because it is so
In the prison hospital where they were treated things were not
They said patients who were not too sick had to piggy-back
the ones who could no longer walk.
Eyes glassy from
Eselumu, who speaks only Ovambo, said: "The medicine they gave us
didn't help at all."
He held grimly on to a battered plastic packet
containing his few possessions. His eyes were glassy from fever.
two men were returning to their homes - Kanjowa to Brits and Eselumu to
Warmbaths - to see their families before going for medical
Their attorney, Alwyn Griebenow, said the South African lawyer
for Simon Mann, the so-called mastermind behind the coup plan, would take
them home and give each a sum of money to "get going again".
Ngave Muharukua, 35, another member of the group, died in prison, Mann's
lawyers paid for his remains to be taken to Namibia.
Mann is still being
held in a single cell in Chikurubi and his Zimbabwean lawyer ensures that
food is taken to him in prison every day.
The rest of the men live on a
helping of porridge in the morning and rice in the afternoon and
Kanjowa said that before the men were arrested in Harare on
March 7 this year he owed only R19 000 on his house.
months without an income, he has now lost his house and furniture.
still maintains most of the men imprisoned in Zimbabwe thought they were on
their way to the Democratic Republic of Congo to work as security guards at
Slept in room with bed, toilet
"It was only in court that
we heard we were supposedly mercenaries on our way to Equatorial Guinea to
stage a coup. Now, we're going to battle to find work
Kanjowa, with clean-shaven head and a neat goatie, said with a
broad, smile that on Friday evening after their release, he had slept in a
hotel room "in a soft bed with a toilet AND toilet paper close at hand"
after months on a bare concrete floor.
According to him, as many as
10 of his friends were sick in Chikurubi Prison because of malnutrition and
bad hygiene, but Griebenow says there is no possibility of further releases
Bureau. COMMUNITIES living in the new district of Mangwe along Zimbabwe's
border with Botswana have complained of lack of Zimbabwean television and
radio reception, saying they were missing out on important information on
the state of affairs in the country.
The complaint was made by
traditional leaders from Mangwe and Zanu-PF officials who attended a meeting
at a primary school in Brunapeg in Mangwe addressed by the Minister of Local
Government, Public Works and National Housing, Dr Ignatius Chombo, on
They said the news and entertainment they were getting was from
television stations in Botswana and South Africa.
"We do not get to
see what happens elsewhere in our own country.
"Something should be done
about this,'' said one of the concerned traditional leaders.
point was buttressed by the Zanu-PF secretary for women's affairs in the
ruling party's politburo, Cde Thenjiwe Lesabe, who attended the meeting
together with another politburo member, Cde Angeline Masuku, who is also the
Provincial Governor for Matabeleland South.
"There is need for people
to have access to both Zimbabwean television and radio in this area, Cde
Minister, and we implore you to take up the matter with the relevant
authorities. We know you are an action-oriented man.
"At the same time,
however, we would like to point out that in the areas where there is access
to Zimbabwean television, we now have 75 percent local content which is
good, but some of the dances which we are subjected to as part of that 75
percent local content are not in synch with our culture.
people should wait for us to die before they get an opportunity to dance in
the manner which we have seen some do, which is against our norms,'' Cde
Lesabe said in an apparent reference to the explicitly suggestive dancing by
some upcoming musicians.
In response, Dr Chombo said he would take up the
matter about lack of television reception in Mangwe with the Minister of
Information and Publicity in the Office of the President and Cabinet,
Professor Jonathan Moyo.
"I will present your case to him,'' he
Dr Chombo said it was important for people in the area to be
informed of developments in the country.
Some of the programmes and
information from the stations in the two neighbouring countries might be
anti-Government vitriol spewed by opposition forces parroting the views of
their masters - Britain and the United States - against Zimbabwe.
the "sexually suggestive dances'' on Zimbabwean television, Dr Chombo, said
it was up to the elders like Cde Lesabe to teach the young on how these
dances go against the grain of "our culture''.
"Do not wait to die.
Talk to the young people. Although culture is dynamic, it does not mean it
has to be eroded and replaced by other cultures.
"We have to maintain the
core values that make us what we are,'' he said.
educationist, Dr Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, plans to establish a private open
learning university next year.
Dr Ndlovu revealed this during a speech
and prize-giving ceremony at Msiteli Secondary School in Mpopoma on
The proposed university's charter has already been approved by
the National Council for Higher Education and is awaiting Presidential
Dr Ndlovu said teachers should be involved in efforts to improve
their educational qualifications.
He said the university would use
the telemetric teaching method, whereby students will be learning through
the Internet and other electronic means.
The open learning centre would
have an enrolment of 50 000 students and centres countrywide.
Ndlovu said the institution would offer degree programmes with a bias
towards business and science technology.
He said the college would
work in collaboration with the Zimbabwe Computer Institute in the delivery
Speaking at the same occasion, Msiteli Secondary School
headmaster Mr Bernard Zulu said the establishment of a computer centre at
the school would benefit students.
Dr Ndlovu made several donations
to the school including $100 000 to the school choir, $60 000 and a shield
to the best science student at the school and $1 million to the computer
centre. - Bulawayo Bureau.
Youths should take interest in national politics:
From Bulawayo Bureau YOUTHS should take an active interest in the
politics of their country as it has a direct influence on their lives, the
Minister of State for Information and Publicity in the Office of the
President and Cabinet, Professor Jonathan Moyo has said.
speaking in the Matabeleland South provincial capital of Gwanda last Friday
at a speech and prize-giving ceremony held at Gwanda High School, where he
was the guest of honour.
"Sometimes you hear people telling you (young
people) that you should have nothing to do with politics as it does not
"That is not true. Politics affects you,'' Prof Moyo
He said it was important for young people to understand the history
of their country instead of just embracing and parading that of some Western
countries like the United States.
"As young people you must
understand that over the years we have become a united nation and that is
the legacy that has been given to us by the founding fathers of our nation:
the late Vice-Presidents, Cde (Joshua Mqabuko) Nkomo and (Simon) Muzenda and
"You are told that this has nothing to do with you.
That is wrong,'' Prof Moyo said.
He said young people should have
self-belief and be patriotic.
"You find some young people here in
Zimbabwe putting on T-shirts displaying an American flag and a picture of
"Do you know who George Washington was? He was the
President of the United States over 200 years ago and you are told you by
some people not to wear T-shirts with a picture of President Mugabe. I was
happy to see your Imbube group putting on T-shirts written 'Mqabuko' at the
back. That is your legacy and you should be proud of it.
nothing anyone is going to do about the fact these are the founding fathers
of our nation,'' Prof Moyo said.
He said even the opposition bent on
destroying the country could not change that piece of history.
can call themselves movement for this (or that), but they will keep moving
but will not change our founding fathers. We have President Mugabe and
others as our founding fathers. That is your heritage,'' Prof Moyo
He said there was nothing wrong with young Zimbabweans going to
learn in Western countries like Britain as long as they came back to develop
"However, we do not want you to be modern slaves
there. If you have a scholarship you can go and learn, but remember to come
back home because there is no place like home,'' Prof Moyo said.
also took the opportunity to donate three computers and a printer with a
total value of $29,5 million to Gwanda High School, where he also officially
opened a computer centre.
Prof Moyo also gave students who sang songs
and recited poems with revolutionary themes several hundreds of thousands of
dollars as well as donating $2 million to the school development
A Gwanda-based businessman, Mr. Irvine Ndlovu of Woodward
Industries, also contributed $1,6 million towards prizes for pupils who
excelled in their studies and co-curricular activities at the school this
Reporter CHILDREN will not lose valuable school time when their teachers
strike illegally since the Government has now gazetted new regulations that
will force schools to make up for the teaching time lost.
in the wake of an illegal and unsuccessful strike called last week by the
minority Progressive Teachers' Union of Zimbabwe.
Most of the schools
affected were in Matabeleland but an overwhelming majority of teachers
ignored the strike call, which had been rejected by the larger and more
professional Zimbabwe Teachers Association, which is deeply involved in
serious negotiations on new salaries for teachers.
Under the new
regulations published last Friday, the Minister of Education, Sport and
Culture may require the responsible authority of any school affected by
unlawful job action to start any school term on a date earlier than the
first day of the term. This would be for the purposes of making up for the
time lost during the unlawful collective job action.
This shall be
notified through a circular issued by or on behalf of the ministry's
secretary in the name of the minister and addressed either directly to the
responsible authority concerned or indirectly through a person employed by
the ministry who is responsible for monitoring the affected
Any responsible authority of a school that refuses to comply with
the requirement shall be a guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not
exceeding $100 000.
According to the Education (Terms for Government
and Non-Government Schools Affected by Unlawful Collective Action)
Regulations, "unlawful collective action" means any collective action by
teachers that causes classes to be abandoned or postponed.
regardless of whether the action is initiated by any national association or
union of teachers or whether it is in pursuance of any employment grievance,
but it does not include a lawful job action sanctioned under the Labour