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

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Zim Online

Tue 26 October 2004

      HARARE - State security agents detained 14 Congress of South African
Trade Unions (COSATU) leaders at Harare international airport for close to
two hours demanding they undertake not to meet some non-governmental
organisations (NGOs) in Zimbabwe before they could be allowed to enter the

      COSATU international relations secretary Simon Boshiel told
journalists the delegation had stood its ground, forcing the agents to let
them through without any guarantees they were not going to meet the NGOs
during their four-day fact finding mission in Zimbabwe.

      Boshiel said: "They wanted us to guarantee them that we will not meet
with Crisis Coalition of Zimbabwe (CCZ), National Constitutional Assembly
(NCA) and the Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC).

      "We could not give them the guarantee because we did not know who they
were and we did not understand why this was necessary."

      The CCZ groups together labour, churches, opposition political
parties, media, civic and human rights groups working for a negotiated
solution to Zimbabwe's economic and political crisis.

      The NCA is an alliance of several groups including political
organisations that campaigns for a new and democratic constitution for
Zimbabwe. And the ZCC is the biggest representative body for churches in the

      COSATU second vice-president Violet Seboni, who is leading the mission
to Zimbabwe called the encounter with the security agents hostile and
uncalled for. She said: "The hostile reception was uncalled for. We are
Africans, ordinary workers and after all harmless."

      The delegation is in Zimbabwe on a fact-finding mission on the
country's deepening economic and political crisis.

      Zimbabwe's Labour Ministry however wrote to COSATU last week advising
the powerful union not to visit Zimbabwe because it planned to meet
anti-government organisations.

      And it was also feared immigration authorities would deport the COSATU
leaders back to Johannesburg on arrival at Harare international airport.

      But COSATU had vowed to proceed with the mission saying it did not
need permission from the government of Zimbabwe to visit the country to meet
with its colleagues at the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions and with other
lawful organisations in the country.

      Speaking in Johannesburg earlier yesterday COSATU spokesman, Pat
Craven, said: "COSATU did not need permission for a visit which aims to meet
a broad range of organisations representing labour, civic society and
government, get an accurate picture of the situation in the country and make
a contribution to resolving some of the problems facing Zimbabwe,
particularly its trade unions." - ZimOnline
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Zim Online

Top ZANU PF politician quits
Tue 26 October 2004

      HARARE - One of the ruling ZANU PF party's most senior leaders from
Zimbabwe's minority Ndebele tribe, Dumiso Dabengwa, has quit active

      Dabengwa, seen by many as the de facto leader of the Ndebeles, after
the death of the founder of Zimbabwean nationalism, Joshua Nkomo, told
ZimOnline yesterday that he was quitting politics because he had "made
sufficient contribution" and was leaving room for
      fresh blood to take over.

      The Ndebeles, the largest minority group in Zimbabwe, make up about 14
percent of the country's 12 million people.

      "I will not be participating in any future elections because I believe
I have made sufficient contribution in parliament. I have people that can
take over from where I left in the constituency," Dabengwa said.

      He however said he would remain a member of ZANU PF and would be
available to assist the party if required to do so.

      But sources said, Dabengwa - who was once jailed in the early eighties
by President Robert Mugabe and his government on trumped up charges of high
treason - was leaving politics because of mounting frustration at what he
saw as Mugabe's sidelining of himself and his
      colleagues from Nkomo's former PF ZAPU party.

      Dabengwa was released in 1986 as part of the negotiations leading to
the Unity Accord signed between PF ZAPU and ZANU PF. PF ZAPU and Mugabe's
ZANU PF party merged in December 1987 which saw Dabengwa together with other
former ZAPU leaders being appointed into government.

      The agreement also saw the ending of an armed rebellion against
Mugabe's rule in the Matabeleland and Midlands provinces, home of the
Ndebele people.

      Dabengwa is also said to have been frustrated by the government's lack
of urgency in implementing the Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project, an
ambitious project to draw water from the Zambezi river down to arid

      Trained in the old Soviet Union, Dabengwa was the feared intelligence
supremo of Nkomo's armed wing the Zimbabwe People's Revolutionary Army,
which together with Mugabe's Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army,
fought for the country's independence. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

Mujuru edges closer to vice-presidency
Tue 26 October 2004

      HARARE - The ruling ZANU PF party women's league will meet next month
to formally nominate former guerrilla fighter and long-serving government
minister, Joyce Mujuru, for the vacant post of party vice-president.

      The powerful league is pushing for Mujuru to succeed the late Simon
Muzenda as one of President Robert Mugabe's deputies in the party and also
possibly in government, in a move observers said was linked to a silently
raging battle within ZANU PF for the succession of Mugabe both as party and
national president.

      The league had at its last congress in September announced that it
wanted Mujuru to assume the post of vice-president.

      Mujuru's ascendancy to the vice-presidency would block the party's
secretary for administration, Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is also eyeing the
same post which he reportedly wants to use as a stepping stone to Mugabe's

      A member of the league's national executive told ZimOnline that Mugabe
had already assured the women's wing that he would accept Mujuru if they
nominated her and she was elected by the ZANU PF national congress in

      The congress elects the party's leadership every five years.

      "The first step was to sway the support of the president which we
managed to do last week. He assured us that he would accept Mujuru if
congress agreed and elected her as ZANU PF's second vice president," said
the executive, who requested anonymity.

      Both ZANU PF women's affairs secretary Thenjiwe Lesabe and chairman,
John Nkomo, could not be reached for comment on the matter.

      The special women's assembly, whose date is still to be set, will be
attended by women members of ZANU PF's politburo, central committee and
members of provincial and district executive committees, sources said.

      The women's league, which forms the cutting edge of ZANU PF's election
campaign strategy, has been pushing for a woman to be appointed to at least
one of the ruling party's top four posts.

      ZANU PF insiders also say Mugabe would back Mujuru's candidature for
the vice-presidency because he wanted to use her appointment to the key post
as a carrot to curry favour with women voters ahead of a crucial general
election scheduled for March.

      Mujuru is also backed by her husband, Solomon, who is the former
commander of the Zimbabwe National Army and wields immense influence in ZANU
PF politics. - ZimOnline
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Zim Online

Zimbabwe's envoy protests over Mugabe jab
Tue 26 October 2004

      GABORONE - Zimbabwe's ambassador to Botswana, Phekezela Phoko, has
officially protested against comments by a senior politician of the ruling
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) describing President Robert Mugabe as

      In a strongly worded letter to Botswana's Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
Phoko accused BDP official, Patrick Balopi, of being arrogant and hostile to

      He added that Balopi's criticism of Mugabe was contrary to the good
relations between Harare and Gaborone and accused the Botswana politician of
parroting Western countries opposed to Mugabe's land reforms.

      The statement, which was also widely reported by the media here, read
in part: "Botswana and Zimbabwe enjoy very cordial relations and the
relations between BDP and ZANU PF are good.

      "The embassy is very much aware that all the criticism levelled
against President Mugabe emanates from the Land Reform Programme where
President Mugabe redistributed land to the landless majority, from multiple
commercial farm owners.

      "As a result, political clowns and intellectual parasites who have
nothing to offer beyond parroting designed positions have surfaced."

      Balopi, who is a former member of President Festus Mogae's Cabinet
could not be reached for comment but BDP executive secretary, Botsalo
Ntuane, told the Press that the ruling party official was within his rights
in criticising Mugabe.

      Addressing a political rally here about two weeks ago, Balopi called
Mugabe a greedy leader who had ruined his country and wanted to cling to
power at all costs.

      Relations between Zimbabwe and Botswana have been strained chiefly
because of Gaborone's outspokenness against Mugabe's controversial
policies. - ZimOnline
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Zim Online

Journalists to appeal to African Commission to help repeal harsh Press law
Tue 26 October 2004
      MASVINGO - Zimbabwean journalists say they will appeal to the African
Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights to help pressure Harare to repeal
repressive media laws.

      At a meeting here at the weekend, journalists from the country's
private media and human rights lawyers drafted a letter of appeal to be
presented to the commission when it meets for its 36th session next month in
the west African state of Gambia.

      A lawyer with the Media Institute of Southern Africa's Zimbabwe
chapter, Silas Dzike, said the media groups were citing a case brought to
the country's Supreme Court by the Independent Journalists Association of
Zimbabwe (IJAZ) two years ago.

      In the matter, IJAZ challenged several sections of the government's
Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act as unconstitutional. The
court ruled against the journalists.

      Dzike said: "The objective of the Masvingo workshop was to come up
with a draft communication based on the IJAZ case for the African

      He said among other key issues the journalists and human rights
lawyers were going to push for repeal were requirements under Section 79 of
the press Act that journalists register before they can practice in

      They would also cite Section 80 of the same law which Dzike said
sought to criminalise journalism as it sought to punish journalists who
publish falsehoods. - ZimOnline
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New Zimbabwe

      The Zimbabwe Leanmore Jongwe wanted

      Last updated: 10/26/2004 06:09:36
      THIS week has been a very sentimental one for me. I was remembering
the tragic and rather untimely death of one of the most influential young
people in the history of Zimbabwe ever.

      This week I was in deep mourning but also somewhat, celebrating the
life and times of the late Learnmore Judah Jongwe. The late young national
hero died under mysterious circumstances at the Harare Remand Prison on 22nd
October 2002. This was after his indefinite detention in the aftermath of
the tragic murder of his wife, Rutendo, under very acrimonious

      I had the privilege of being one of the last people to see him alive.
I had visited him and spoken to him in his very last afternoon in this
planet. This was to be the end of a political friendship and rivalry that I
had shared and cherished with him for several years.

      I first met Jongwe in March 1995 when we were both admitted at the
faculty of law at the University of Zimbabwe (UZ). I was his classmate and
peer until his graduation day ceremony, when I had the honour of sitting
next to him during the entire academic ritual in August 1999.

      But I must confess that I have a very limited number of memories of
Jongwe as my classmate. The Jongwe I knew most was a politician. During our
stay at college, we had a lot of political experiences together. Suffice for
me to say that I served as his Vice President both at the levels of the UZ
Students Union and Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU).

      Jongwe is obviously one of the brightest political prospects ever to
emerge from the ranks of the Zimbabwean students movement. He was a
naturallly born leader. He was a very talented, intelligent and ambitious
young man. He was also very articulate, an orator extra-ordinaire who had a
very lyrical voice.

      His clarity of purpose, vision and direction so much belied his tender
age. It is obvious that at the time of his sad death, he had achieved much
more than many people double or even treble his age would have ever dreamt
of achieving in their entire long lives.

      In fact until his untimely death, many political observers in Zimbabwe
easily regarded him as far ahead of his peers. But perhaps, he was even

      It was thus no surprise that during his four-year tenure as a law
student at the University of Zimbabwe, Jongwe rose through the ranks of the
student leadership with such ease.

      He was first elected as an executive member of the Zimbabwe Law
Students Association at the end of his first year. Towards the end of his
second year, he was elected overwhelmingly as the President of the entire
university student union.

      At the beginning of his third year, he was also elected as the
first-ever national President of the revived ZINASU. During his final year
at law school, he also served as the Sub-warden of the university's most
luxurious hall of residence, the New Hall.

      Shortly after he left the university, he got a good job as a
Professional Assistant in what was then regarded as the biggest firm of
legal practitioners in Zimbabwe, Gill Gerrans and Godlontons.

      Outside legal practice, Jongwe's political career continued to
flourish. In October 1999, he was among the founding members of the nation's
main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). As a
result, he was duly elected as the first ever Youth Chairperson of the MDC
in the interim leadership of the party.

      The high level of his popularity was affirmed when the MDC held its
first ever People's Congress. During the subsequent elections for a
substantive leadership, he was overwhelmingly elected as the new MDC
Secretary for Information and Publicity. It was after he assumed this
venerated role as the MDC's public face and spokes-person that the world at
large started to notice his brilliant political acumen.

      As if it was not enough, Jongwe's ever growing reputation was further
enhanced during the controversial June 2000 Parliamentary elections. The
young man earned more kudos for himself when he successfully vied for a seat
in the fifth Parliament of the country. He was overwhelmingly elected as the
Member of Parliament for Kuwadzana, a high-density suburb in Harare.

            "The Jongwe legacy is a lifelong quest for a full transition
towards a truly peaceful and democratic Zimbabwe. We owe this not only to
Jongwe but our own posterity"

      But for me, as a person who had shared a lot of intimate political
experiences with him during his illustrious days as a student leader, it did
not come much as a big surprise. I had always expected a lot from him. I was
thus only pleased to note that he had already begun to realize his full
potential as a prospective source of future national leadership for

      But as we all know, Jongwe never lived to realize his fullest
potential. Tragically, death dealt him its cruel blow just as his political
career was beginning to take off. In fact, it was just when many were
beginning to tout him as a potential successor to Morgan Tsvangirai.

      Indeed, many thought that Jongwe was a President in waiting, not only
at an MDC level but also at a national level. It is therefore doubtless that
had he lived long enough, he would have managed to storm into the corridors
of power at the State House itself.

      As such, Jongwe did not only represent the future of MDC, his party
but also that of Zimbabwe as a nation at large.

      So when he died, I can dare say that his death did not only rob his
family of a breadwinner, his party of a charismatic leader, but also the
nation, was robbed of a potential national leader and statesman.

      Having said that, I wish to suggest that Jongwe did not go down to his
grave with the future of Zimbabwe. He may have died but his dreams for a new
Zimbabwe did not die with him. They in fact, remain with us today, as his
legacy for our posterity.

      Jongwe dreamt of and hoped to see a Zimbabwe that was the complete
apposite of what we see today. The Zimbabwe he wanted is still not here with
us. It remains elusive, like a desert mirage, hiding somewhere in our

      The Zimbabwe he wanted was completely different from the Zimbabwe that
the likes of Mugabe have led us unto, today. The Zimbabwe he wanted was a
new country with a new political culture founded on the premises of freedom,
tolerance, integrity and self-respect.

      He always dreamt that one day there would be a new Zimbabwe that would
celebrate plurality, diversity and all-inclusiveness as the foundation of
the entire nation human fabric.

      He always envisioned a new Zimbabwe that would be bereft of the
retrogressive politics of hatred, violence, cronyism and patronage. He
always aspired for a new Zimbabwe that would seek to promote and sustain all
efforts of individual and national human endeavor on the basis of diligence
and excellence.

      The Zimbabwe he wanted would have to be a completely new one. It would
be a Zimbabwe that would be like the Biblical Canaan, flowing with rivers of
justice and dripping with the milk and honey of peace and democracy.

      I therefore appeal to all Zimbabweans, whether at home or in the
Diaspora. More so even to the youths and students, to strive to continue
with his legacy.

      The Jongwe legacy is a lifelong quest for a full transition towards a
truly peaceful and democratic Zimbabwe. We owe this not only to Jongwe but
our own posterity. History will judge us harshly if we fail to rise up to
this crucial but inevitable challenge for our generation.

      Let us therefore do whatever we can, in our very own personal way and
make our contributions towards the birth of the new nation. I mean, the new
Zimbabwe we all want to have.

      No matter how discouraging the situation in Zimbabwe might seem today,
let us not allow ourselves to wallow in the murky waters of political
despair. Let us not agonise but seek to organize ourselves.

      Let us all rise up and join forces in the on-going struggle for a new
Zimbabwe. And as Jongwe would have loved it, let us all seek to fight for
our country until final victory. "Vincere caritate!" We all have no excuse
because whether we like it or not, the struggle remains our birthright -
      Daniel Molokela is the National Co-ordinator of the Peace and
Democracy Project
      Johannesburg, South Africa. His column appears here every Monday
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Sporting Life

The tour the England and Wales Cricket Board have been dreading and trying
to wriggle out of for almost two years is almost upon us.

England have made no secret of their desire not to travel to Zimbabwe and
explored numerous avenues to avoid doing so in what has been a long and
tedious - but ultimately very sad - saga.

The time has now come for the England players to pack their kit and fly to
Africa to prepare for a series of matches that has blighted the ECB's recent

The side have enjoyed phenomenal on-field success this summer, but the
Zimbabwe issue has always been looming in the background.

Dealing with it has been put off and put off, always deferred to later
meetings in the hope that someone or something may intervene in the meantime
to prevent it happening.

The ECB have been stuck between a rock and a hard place over the issue since
it first surfaced. On the one hand there are serious moral objections to
playing in the country but on the other they have obligations to the
International Cricket Council that their failure to keep would incur heavy

But there has been no Government action, no security threats and little
International Cricket Council action over the woeful state of the Zimbabwe
side, all of which could have spared England the trip.

The last glimmer of hope was removed last week when an inquiry commissioned
by the ICC reported that there was no evidence that the Zimbabwe Cricket
Union were selecting sides on racial lines.

That meant that Zimbabwe, albeit in their severely weakened state after the
loss of 15 players due to a dispute with the board, would not be excluded
from international cricket. Their Test status had been suspended but it was
announced it would be restored in January.

That is too late for the two Tests initially scheduled against England to be
rearranged but the five one-day matches remain.

A security delegation is currently assessing safety issues in the country
for the ECB but Australia toured there earlier this year and left without

With Steve Harmison pulling out of the tour on moral grounds and with Andrew
Flintoff and Marcus Trescothick rested, England travel with a few
inexperienced players but they should still win the series convincingly.

Zimbabwe have always been one of the makeweights of international cricket
but they are now one of the weakest sides ever to take to the field at the
top level.

The loss of the 15 'rebels', who walked out and were later sacked after
Heath Streak was removed as captain, left Tatenda Taibu, then 20, as the
youngest Test skipper in history leading a side containing several

They have been routinely hammered since and there are few signs of things
improving in the near future.

Taibu, an agile wicketkeeper and competent batsman, was already an
international class player before the dispute but him aside, quality is thin
on the ground.

Mark Vermeulen and Doug Hondo have found themselves quickly elevated to the
ranks of senior professionals even though they are still finding their feet
in the international game.

The likes of opener Brendan Taylor and all-rounder Elton Chigumbura are
promising players and would have found their way into the side but they have
been thrown in at the deep end.

Taibu is a confident character and believes that in two years' time Zimbabwe
will again be competitive.

He is right to have faith in some of the talent in his side because it does
exist. Not all of the 'rebel' players were established internationals and
some of the young black players were deserving of a chance.

Yet losing the likes of Streak, Andy Blignaut, Sean Ervine and Ray Price has
left a big hole and it is difficult to see them winning a game in the near

Anything less than an overwhelming England victory would be a surprise from
a series likely to prove as one-sided as any ever staged.
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Protesters target England matches

Wisden Cricinfo staff

October 25, 2004

In the same week that the England & Wales Cricket Board is likely to
announce that it is happy with security arrangements surrounding its tour of
Zimbabwe, a protester who was beaten by police after waving an
anti-government banner during a World Cup match last year said that he was
planning another demonstration during England's trip.

The Sunday Telegraph reported how 19-year-old Kindness Moto was arrested and
tortured after protesting against Robert Mugabe during Zimbabwe's match
against Netherlands at Bulawayo in March, 2003. The newspaper said that he
was held by the police for four days and "raped by officers, starved,
electrocuted and beaten on the soles of his feet before being thrown from a
moving car." He has subsequently been arrested and beaten on three more

Moto's story reflects that of Edsion Mukwasi, the 29-year-old former
official of the Movement for Democratic Change, who was arrested outside the
Harare Sports Club - where England will play three ODIs - during Zimbabwe's
match against Pakistan in November 2002 for distributing leaflets
highlighting human rights abuses. While in custody it is claimed he was
repeatedly tortured, and he died three months later from lung and liver
injuries resulting from those beatings.

Moto claimed that potential protesters are already being rounded up ahead of
England's visit, although he insisted that the demonstrations would still go
ahead. With no free media inside Zimbabwe, and with foreign journalists
subjected to considerable restrictions, opponents say that this rare
exposure to the international community has to be seized on.

And, Moto added, with few locals likely to attend - recent one-day
internationals have been played out in front of dozens rather than even
hundreds of spectators - the ruling Zanu-PF are planning to fill the stands
with schoolchildren to give the impression that all is well.

© Wisden Cricinfo Ltd
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From: "Trudy Stevenson"
Sent: Tuesday, October 26, 2004 3:45 AM
Subject: Voter registration etc at Mt Pleasant District Office and other

In view of the forthcoming General Election scheduled for March next year
(although MDC is pushing for it to be postponed to enable changes to make it
free and fair) it is important that as many people as possible are properly
registered to vote in that election, including young people as soon as they
turn eighteen.  Please note that once the election date is announced, voter
registration is normally closed for that election, therefore it is important
to do any changes, new registrations etc NOW.

I have discovered that there are four convenient Sub-Offices of the
Registrar-General's Office here in Harare, where you can register to vote as
well as obtain/correct ID, birth certificate, death certificate for
relatives, etc:

Mount Pleasant District Office
Hatfield District Office
Mabvuku District Office
Machipisa District Office

as well as the usual Market Square and Makombe Building.  Note that voters
rolls are not yet available for inspection - these offices are offering
registration and corrections only at present.  Don't forget to take the
relevant documents.

These offices are open weekdays 8 am - 4pm or so, closed 1-2 pm for lunch.
At Mount Pleasant (Boardroom behind the main District Office) there is no
queue whatsoever, so please go there if you need this service.

Please pass this information on, especially to secondary schools and
colleges.  If possible, make a poster and put up at your local school,
supermarket, church, club etc.  Thank you!

Trudy Stevenson MP
Harare North Constituency
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Daily News online edition

      NGO to besiege detention centre in protest

      Date:23-Oct, 2004

      JOHANNESBURG - Members of locally-based non-governmental organisations
plan to march to Lindela detention camp just outside Johannesburg to protest
against the deaths and ill-treatment of illegal Zimbabwean immigrants by
South African authorities.

      The South African Women's Institute for Migration Affairs (SAWIMA)
director, Joyce Dube told the Daily News Online that it was concerned about
the state of affairs and condition of illegal immigrants.

      She said they were living in crowded conditions and had poor diet
which made them susceptible to disease.

      Dube said they would be carrying coffins on the march as a way of
mourning all those who died at Lindela as well as praying for the sick at
the camp.

      "Some of them die but we are not able to ascertain the number because
some of them do not have relevant identification documents but we have
occasionally gone there to collect bodies of the immigrants for repatriation
home," said Dube.

      It is estimated that at least three Zimbabweans die at Lindela every
month but the exact number is not known. A senior official at the centre
this week told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation that they also did not
know how many Zimbabwean immigrants were dying at the centre.

      Immigrants without identification papers were given paupers' burials
while those whose bodies could be collected by their relatives were given
the same type of burial.

      Dube said a recent visit to Leratho hospital where sick immigrants
from Lindela were admitted had revealed that most, if not all were suffering
from diseases that are caused by poor hygiene, poor living conditions and
poor diet.

      She said SAWIMA was willing to work with authorities at Lindela to
explore ways of assisting illegal immigrants' access proper treatment and
return to their homes.

      "But one of our major problems is that some of the immigrants do not
want to go back home because they will be arrested. We have some youths who
ran away from National Youth Training Centres and once they get home they
will be arrested," said Dube.

      There are more that two million Zimbabweans living in South Africa,
the majority of them are staying here illegally.

      Lindela is a centre just outside Johannesburg where illegal immigrants
are kept before deportation.

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Zim Online

Mon 25 October 2004

      JOHANNESBURG - Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan
Tsvangirai has asked President Thabo Mbeki to persuade President Robert
Mugabe to postpone the March 2005 parliamentary elections to create enough
time to level the electoral playing field.

      Tsvangirai made his request at a meeting with Mbeki in Pretoria early
today. The meeting is Tsvangirai's first with a foreign leader on foreign
soil after the seizure of his passport in early 2002 over trumped up charges
that he plotted to assassinate the 80-year-old Mugabe.

      Mbeki's spokesman Bheki Khumalo confirmed the meeting but refused to
divulge details saying they were confidential.

      "There is nothing to be gained from disclosing details of confidential
deliberations," said Khumalo.

      MDC secretary general Welshman Ncube also refused to go on record over
the meeting. "All I can say is we have met the President and we had fruitful
deliberations," Ncube told ZimOnline.

      However, ZimOnline is authoritatively informed that Tsvangirai asked
Mbeki to put more pressure on Mugabe and ensure that he implements the
recently adopted Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) norms on free
and fair elections ahead of crucial parliamentary elections next year.

      But Tsvangirai particularly wants Mbeki and other regional leaders to
persuade Mugabe to postpone next year's elections to create enough time to
create the appropriate environment for free and fair elections. These would
include re-drawing a completely new voters' roll.

      Mbeki is understood to have advised the MDC leadership to participate
in next year's elections at all costs. He is said to have promised the MDC
leadership that he would keep trying to push for dialogue between the ZANU
PF and the MDC.

      "Mbeki is of the view that the appropriate framework for elections
should come out of negotiations but the MDC has advised him there is no
chance of such dialogue because Mugabe is not interested," said an
authoritative source. "The MDC told the President (Mbeki) that all Mugabe
wants is to win a rigged election and then afterwards resume dialogue with a
cowed opposition."

      Tsvangirai is also understood to have reinforced his party's stance
that the MDC would only participate in  any elections if the playing field
was levelled.

      The MDC leadership dismissed the electoral reforms being implemented
by Mugabe as merely "tinkering at the edges".

      Mugabe has proposed setting up an "independent" electoral commission
appointed by himself to replace the army-dominated Electoral Supervisory
Commission (ESC).

      He has also proposed reducing polling from two to one day and using
transparent ballot boxes, reforms rejected by the MDC as being "cosmetic".

      The MDC is completely shut from the public media and a voters' roll
which it was finally granted access to two weeks ago allegedly has more than
one million ghost voters.

      Tsvangirai is expected to proceed to Mauritius to meet that country's
Prime Minister Paul Berenger before meeting the leaders of Lesotho, Namibia,
Botswana and Tanzania. - ZimOnline.

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NGO calls for elections to be delayed

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

JOHANNESBURG, 25 Oct 2004 (IRIN) - Zimbabwe's parliamentary elections,
scheduled for March next year, should be delayed, a local poll observer
network told IRIN on Monday.

Reginald Machaba-Hove of the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) told
IRIN that the implementation of new electoral reforms, such as voting in one
day, transparent ballot boxes and increasing polling stations, "cannot be
done in time by March".

"There's no way we can have elections by March next year, and say the
conditions were free and fair. We're calling for the elections to be delayed
beyond March, so as to allow for sufficient time for all the necessary
consultations to take place with all stakeholders, including the opposition
and NGOs, and to make the adjustments [required by new legislation]. Our
point is that it will take time to have adequate consultations,"
Machaba-Hove added.

This follows doubts raised by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) over the validity of the voters' roll, and news reports quoting
Zimbabwe's foreign minister as saying that foreign powers were attempting to
discredit the legislative poll before it was held.

Media reports quoted MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai as saying that analysis
of a hard copy of the voters' roll indicated it "has been manipulated to
secure even further reductions in urban seats".

The roll was not consistent with the 2002 census, as it showed increased
voter registrations in rural areas and a decrease in urban areas, where the
MDC has traditionally been strong. Tsvangirai called for an independent
audit of the voters' roll.

The ruling ZANU-PF party's secretary for information, Nathan Shamuyarira,
rejected Tsvangirai's accusation, adding that "we [the government] are
setting up an independent commission to conduct the elections and they [the
MDC] can complain there".

Machaba-Hove, meanwhile, said ZESN "have not seen any copy of the voters'
roll, and our position has been and still is that, as far as we are
concerned, a voter registration exercise is still to be done properly, and
it is strange if the roll is completed already".

He added that there "are fears that there could be gerrymandering".

On Friday the official Herald newspaper reported that Foreign Minister Stan
Mudenge believed some Western countries and organisations were attempting to
discredit next year's parliamentary elections, and were trying to influence
the composition of the Southern African Development Community (SADC)
election observer team.

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Mail and Guardian

We're not broke, say Zim propagandists

      Harare, Zimbabwe

      25 October 2004 14:53

Zimbabwe's state broadcaster has denied its news department, a key
propaganda arm of the government, is unable to pay its journalists and faces
bankruptcy, state radio reported on Monday.

Chris Chivinge -- head of Newsnet, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings news
department -- dismissed as false independent newspaper reports saying that
Newsnet is broke and relying on loans from the only one of its four state
radio stations that makes a profit to meet its monthly salaries.

The sole state broadcaster has a television channel and four radio stations,
with the biggest listenership and revenues from advertising held by Radio
Zimbabwe, a service in the local Shona and Ndebele languages.

The troubled state broadcaster has acknowledged in recent months that it is
facing financial problems. Although the government still owns the main
stake, it partially privatised the formally wholly state-owned Zimbabwe
Broadcasting Corporation.

Zimbabwe has also appealed to Iran and other donor countries to replace the
broadcaster's ageing equipment.

Broadcast staff have repeatedly complained that their salaries are paid
late, sometimes by several weeks.

The radio said Chivinge on Monday also defended Newsnet's decision to send
five journalists to cover a cultural gala in neighbouring Mozambique earlier
this month.

The gala, at Chimoio, about 100km from Zimbabwe's eastern border, was held
to honour Zimbabwean guerrillas who died at a rebel base there during the
Zimbabwe bush war that led to independence in 1980.

Chivinge said the state broadcaster always strives to remind Zimbabweans of
their nation's liberation struggle against colonial rule.

He said Newsnet's coverage of the Chimoio music and dance gala was "grossly
inadequate". A lack of finances prevented Newsnet sending more than five

The Information Ministry, which controls the state broadcaster, has been
accused of wasting Z$2,7-billion (about R2,92-million) on a series of recent
cultural galas used for government propaganda.

After near five years of political and economic turmoil, Zimbabwe is facing
its worst economic crisis since independence in 1980. -- Sapa-AP
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Communication Workers Union

25 October 2004
Zimbabwe : Harassment and Intimidation of Workers Exercising their Legal
Right to Strike at ZIMPOST and TEL-ONE.

UNI has been informed by their affiliate, the Communication & Allied
Services Workers' Union (CASWUZ) that striking workers in the Postal and
Telecom companies (Zimpost and Tel-One) are being intimidated and harassed
by the government.

Management with Government officials are even following workers home to
coerce them back to work. The government are again using the Miscellaneous
Offences Act against union officials and workers based on flimsy and made up

We call on all affiliates to help these workers, who need our support and
solidarity and spend a few minutes to complete an online protest message to
the President of Zimbabwe, Zimpost and Tel-One to demand that this
harassment ceases immediately.

To send a message please visit :

Thank you for your support.

Yours sincerely,

Philip J. Jennings
UNI General Secretary

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New Zimbabwe

Dialogue will correct wrongs

By Msekiwa Makwanya
Last updated: 10/26/2004 04:28:28
IT is the duty of the government to make it difficult for people to do
wrong, and make it easy to do right. No matter how far we have gone down
wrong, we can still turn back and I have no doubt that dialogue remains the
most appropriate option to put things right in our only beloved country.

Morgan Tsvangirai said that the "not guilty" verdict, initially denounced as
a travesty of justice by Patrick Chinamasa the Justice Minister , could
"free up political space" for his party, the Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC), to take part in the poll. "It may provide the basis for rapprochement
and dialogue in seeking a resolution to a national crisis that has been
dragging on for far too long," Tsvangirai said.

Addressing the Victoria Falls gathering Speaker of Parliament Emmerson
Mnangagwa confirmed that talks were under way between the two parties.
Mnangagwa told the gathering that they should develop skills and techniques
to tackle the issues that faced the country in a constructive and positive
fashion through negotiation, joint problem-solving and consensus building.
Echoing Mnangagwa's words Mugabe said Zimbabwe's problems could only be
resolved internally through dialogue.

Speaking at the burial of the late Vice President Simon Muzenda, President
Robert Mugabe acknowledged that Zanu Pf and MDC is made up of Zimbabweans,
of course apart from his (Mugabe) party's perception that the MDC are
working with the Tony Blair and George Bush to remove him from power.

"We would like to welcome MDC leaders here. You are Zimbabweans. You eat the
same sadza (maize-meal) that we eat, munodya matumbu embudzi (you also eat
goats' innards). We are all sons of the soil and as sons of the soil, you
should behave like sons of the soil. We should not fight against each other;
we should sit down like brothers.

"As brothers and as the elder brother, I should be able to give you advice
and you should also tell me as your big brother where I am going wrong in
our house. You should not rush to (British Prime Minister) Tony Blair. We
should resolve our problems internally, that's all we want."

Zanu PF hawks led by Professor Jonathan Moyo, and his other forms and shapes
believed to be Lowani Ndlovu, Nathaniel Manheru seem to believe that Zanu PF
should not negotiate with the MDC. In the process, I believe that the
professor confused dialogue with debate. There is no harm in trying to
explain the difference to those who do not appreciate or might not realise
the difference.

The word "dialogue" derives from two roots: "dia" which means "through" and
"logos" which means "the word", or more particularly, "the meaning of the
word." The image it gives is of a river of meaning flowing around and
through the participants. Effective dialogue creates better conversation as
opposed to debate. Dialogue is a conversation in which people think together
in relationship. Thinking together implies that you no longer take your own
opinion as final. You relax your grip on certainty and listen to
possibilities that result from being in a relationship with
others---possibilities that might not otherwise have occurred.

Dialogue is collaborative; multiple sides work toward shared understanding,
debate is oppositional; two opposing sides try to prove each other wrong. In
dialogue, one listens to understand, to make meaning, and to find common
ground; in debate, one listens to find flows, to spot differences, and to
counter arguments. In the end dialogue enlarges and possibly changes a
participant's point of view while debate affirms a participant's point of

I have no doubt that there has been enough debate on the situation in
Zimbabwe organized by various interest groups and Non Governmental
Organisations. It is common cause that Zanu Pf and the MDC have not been
keen to share the platform in these conferences and workshops for
understandable reasons such justified fear of being vilified or being
targeted depending on the participants. Patrick Chinamasa and Professor Moyo
have taken a very unfortunate view that the MDC should not be accorded
access to the public media.

If we do not change direction, then we are likely to end up where we are
headed. Clearly there are issues that Zimbabweans do not disagree on and an
outsider who has some degree of independence from the situation, although
not always neutral, can bring us together. Zimbabweans naturally welcome A
SOUTHERN African Development Committee (Sadc) troika, led by South African
President, Thabo Mbeki, is expected in Zimbabwe soon to resolve the
political impasse between ZANU PF and the MDC and to push for the Zimbabwean
government's implementation of the regional block's electoral norms.

If you have disagreements with other people the options are; to ignore them
and wake up tomorrow to face up to the same problem; fight and put lives at
serious risk; debate and prove them wrong or engage in dialogue, and submit
one's best thinking, expecting that other people's reflections will help
improve it rather than threaten it.

I know that there are people who believe that it is waste time to talk to
Mugabe because PF Zapu led by the late Dr Nkomo did it and they were
swallowed as they saying goes. "I am not here suggested talking to someone,
rather I am suggesting talking with someone - that is dialogue. We will not
need to agree on everything but we can reach an understanding". We still
have the chance to talk about the SADCC protocols on elections and when
Mbeki leading the Sadc troika both the Zanu Pf and the MDC will have to
respond with principled flexibility and above all pragmatism.
The writer is a social commentator based in London

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Ecumenical News International

Malawian president halts prayer vigil for troubled Zimbabwe

(ENI). Malawi President Bingu wa Mutharika has ordered a stop to
interdenominational prayers organized jointly by civil society activists and
churches to seek divine intervention for neighbouring Zimbabwe's political
Government officials claimed the prayers were stopped for security reasons
that had nothing to do with prayers.

The candle-lit vigils were initiated by the Civil Liberties Committee
(Cilic), the Centre for Human Rights Rehabilitation and the Institute for
Policy Interaction and had been scheduled for 18 October in Malawi's
commercial capital, Blantyre.

Human rights activists in Malawi are particularly concerned with an amended
NGO bill which Zimbabwe President, Robert Mugabe is seeking to enact in
parliament, restricting donor aid to non-governmental organizations.

The Malawian civil society groups have condemned the proposed law which is
seen as seeking to stifle human rights groups and enabling the perpetuation
of abuses of the rights of citizens already suffering serious violation of

The Malawi groups urged South African President Thabo Mbeki and his Nigerian
counterpart Olusegun Obasanjo to cease their long running "quiet diplomacy"
approach and to press President Mugabe to adhere to the United Nations Human
Rights Charter.

"We were after all not holding a demonstration and we don't see why the
president had to order police to disrupt the prayers," said Emmie Chanika,
the director of Cilic. She said that it was time Malawians woke up as what
was happening in their neighbouring Zimbabwe could also repeat itself at

But Malawi's special assistant to the president on religious matters, Malan
Mtonga dismissed claims that the president had foiled the prayers.

"There was no way the president could have stopped the prayers," said
Mtonga, adding, "he is a man who loves God and peace. He in fact encourages
people to pray for crises in other nations and issues in Zimbabwe. It could
be that the prayers were stopped for security reasons."

Activists have since indicated they will apply for a High Court order to
restrain police from aborting prayers scheduled for another date.

Sources at the Malawi president's office told the civil society members that
it was feared the prayer event would sour relations between Zimbabwe's
President Mugabe and the newly elected Mutharika.

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SADC Protocol Watch

On August 17 2004, SADC leaders, meeting in Mauritius, adopted a protocol on guidelines and principles governing democratic elections.
On 25 August the MDC National Executive unanimously agreed to suspend the party’s participation in all elections pending the government’s full compliance with the new SADC protocol. 
On the seventeenth day of each month, the MDC will publish a report, assessing the extent to which the Zimbabwe Government is failing to comply with the SADC Protocol. 
The second monthly report is available HERE

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