|The ZIMBABWE Situation||Our
thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe |
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.
Springtime in Harare, and winds of dissent
blow with new vigour
John Simpson reports on the growing dissent in Zimbabwe and
the opposition's increasing determination to confront Mugabe and force him to
'We're back!" The headline on the front of yesterday's Daily News was huge. Though the paper contained only eight pages, dozens of people in the centre of Harare pushed and shoved to buy their copy at exorbitant prices.
A cartoon showed Zimbabwe's information minister, Jonathan Moyo, being crushed by the paper, which, though fallen, was resprouting like a tree in spring. It is spring in Harare now, and the opposition is beginning to take heart.
The News was closed in early September by the government's Media and Information Commission, but on Friday a judge in Harare ruled that the MIC had lacked the legal authority to deny the newspaper a publishing licence.
Within hours of the judgment, the editor decided to bring out at least one edition of the paper before the government could ban it again.
That haste was well judged. Yesterday, only hours after the paper had reached the streets, armed police raided the Daily News offices and arrested up to 18 journalists and other staff.
The raid came as little surprise after state radio declared the issue of the Daily News was "in contempt of court". But the police action looks unlikely to curb a renewed groundswell of opposition.
The paper's reappearance had been the culmination of an important week for President Mugabe's opponents; a week in which they have shown that the fierce clampdown that began two months ago has not silenced them after all. The National Constitutional Assembly, which represents the main opposition groups, took the difficult decision to act outside the law.
As a result, the NCA held a demonstration last Wednesday near the parliament building in Harare, without asking permission.
The demonstration was entirely peaceful, but 300 people were arrested. Many of them, according to an NCA official, were later beaten on their backs, hands and feet. Among those tortured in this way was the assembly's chairman, Lovemore Madhuku.
The demonstration represents a particularly important straw in the wind. Opposition leaders such as Madhuku, and the leader of the Movement for Democratic Change, Morgan Tsvangirai, have been reluctant in the past to break the law, partly on ethical grounds and partly because of the danger of dividing their supporters. But there is a growing feeling that only outright confrontation, peaceful but resolute, can force President Mugabe to step down.
The situation in Zimbabwe is getting worse. By the end of the year, a third of the population will require food aid to survive. Last week, the New York-based Human Rights Watch accused the government of denying its opponents access to food supplies.
In a report entitled The Politicisation of Food in Zimbabwe, the group said that Zanu-PF party officials were manipulating the distribution of subsidised grain and the registration of those eligible for international food aid.
Zanu-PF's information secretary, Nathan Shamuyarira, denied it hotly. "There are so many people, as you know, who write false reports about Zimbabwe," he said. "I can assure you that there is no politicisation of food."
But last week Mr Shamuyarira and his colleagues also announced that President Mugabe's land reform programme had been an outstanding success, when its own figures show that it is a clear failure.
The official commission that reviewed the government's four-year campaign to take over farms owned by whites discovered that fewer than 40 per cent of the 350,000 resettled families and fewer than a tenth of the 50,000 Zanu-PF officials had moved on to the land allocated to them.
Other realities from Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe emerged this week. Several young, hungry, homeless refugees from his regime told their stories to the South African press.
Themba Ndlovu was one of them: an illegal immigrant, aged 22, who had escaped from Zimbabwe because, he said, he couldn't bear what he was doing any longer. His story is an ugly one. He was one of the so-called Green Bombers, the thugs recruited by Zanu-PF for its campaign of rape, murder, and arson and beating.
Themba says that he and the others were promised jobs, land and cash for joining Zimbabwe's National Youth Service, which the government presented to the public as a kind of peace corps.
According to Themba, he and his friends were given crowbars and firearms and ordered to burn down farms. They were told they would die if they ran away. "I have not killed," Themba said, "but I have raped. I raped a 12-year-old girl. We have attacked many people. I need to change my life. That is why I ran away from Zimbabwe."
These are still dark days in Zimbabwe. But the more the realities of President Mugabe's regime are brought to light, and the more people decide they have to take action to change things, the more heart it gives the opposition. After the events of this past week, it's hard to be altogether pessimistic about Zimbabwe's future.
Tensions are rising in Zimbabwe as the country's main opposition
Morgan Tsvangirai, prepares to fight a possible death penalty for treason in
an alleged plot to kill President Robert Mugabe.
Mr Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), begins
his defence tomorrow in Harare's High Court after Zimbabwe's Judge
President, Paddington Garwe, ruled that he had a case to answer. This will
be the first time that he has been in the dock since his arrest in February
Many have dismissed the charges as trumped up by Mr Mugabe's regime to
destroy the staunchest opponent it has faced since independence from Britain
in 1980. The evidence against the MDC leader centres on a grainy video of a
meeting he held in Montreal with a Canadian-based Israeli political
consultant, Ari Ben-Menashe, at which the alleged plot was discussed. But
George Bizos, Mr Tsvangirai's lawyer, argues that the tape was blatantly
tampered with to frame his client.
"There is no indication in the transcript as to how the assassination would
take place and by whom," said Mr Bizos, a prominent South African lawyer who
represented Nelson Mandela at his treason trial 40 years ago. He points out
the words "assassination", "kill", or "murder" are never used.
Mr Ben-Menashe, the prosecution's main witness who was once dismissed by the
Jerusalem Post as "delusional and a chronic liar", has already finished
giving his evidence, in which he claimed Britain backed the plot. He
admitted being paid $600,000 (£355,000) for work as a political consultant
to the government, money Mr Bizos argues was for framing Mr Tsvangirai.
The trial coincides with worsening political and economic crises in
Zimbabwe, with inflation now at nearly 500 per cent. The Daily News, the
country's only independent paper, was back on the streets yesterday after a
ban was overturned, but a police raid immediately shut it down again.
* Exiled Zimbabweans marched through central London yesterday in protest
against Mr Mugabe's regime.
24th October 2003
NCA members wrongly fined
The seventy-seven members of the NCA who had remained in police custody
after the NCA demonstration of Wednesday 22nd October 2003 have been
released after being coerced into paying fines of $5 000 each. The NCA
Chairperson, Dr Lovemore Madhuku, however, remains in police custody after
refusing to pay the fine for the simple reason that he has not committed any
The police spuriously charged Dr Madhuku and 77 other NCA members under
Section 19 of the Public Order and Security Act (POSA), which gives
reference to gatherings conducive to violence. Notable is how the police
have failed to bring up a charge of violence against the NCA members. What
the police have done is to simply abuse an obscure section of POSA to
justify their wanton atrocities against peaceful citizens demanding nothing
by basic freedoms. This is because the alleged offence of simply gathering
is not proportionate to the brutality with which the police responded to the
NCA's peaceful procession.
The fines that have been imposed on our members by the police are,
therefore, baseless and we are moving to nullify the so-called admissions of
guilty through legal channels. If anything the imposition of such dubious
fines has become part of the government's overall strategy to silence us by
trying to bleed the NCA financial coffers dry.
Let it be known that the NCA cause will not be paralysed by these ZANU PF
inspired medieval political tactics. The NCA will continue in its resolve to
fight for a democratic constitution in Zimbabwe. Together with the NCA
partners in the progressive branch of civic society, we are co-ordinating on
how the struggle for democracy should best proceed in the wake of the ZANU
PF government's latest atrocities against the citizens of Zimbabwe and
A special press conference on the Way Forward will be addressed by Dr
Lovemore Madhuku and other strategic players in the struggle against
political repression on Monday 27th October 2003, 10 00 hours at the NCA
Head Office, 348 Herbert Chitepo Avenue, Harare.
Members of the press and other interested parties are invited to attend.
NCA Information and Publicity Department
Rainbow nation fears new bloodbath of whites
WHEN Nelson Mandela came to power in 1994 he declared South
Africa would be
a "rainbow nation" free from the hatred brought by years of apartheid.
But now a very different African leader’s influence threatens to shatter the
dream of a racially-tolerant country with increasing numbers of white
farmers being murdered by impoverished blacks inspired by Zimbabwean
President Robert Mugabe’s policy of taking away their land by force.
In South Africa, more than 1,500 white farmers have been killed since 1994,
compared to 14 murdered by Mugabe’s supporters in three years of violence in
Most have died during robberies, but, according to a devastating report
commissioned by South African President Thabo Mbeki’s government, they are
increasingly being killed by farm workers who want land of their own.
In Pretoria on November 4, a cross-section of that country’s top security
officers, academics and lawyers will meet to discuss what is seen as a
serious threat to national security and the future of organised agriculture
in South Africa.
They plan to tell the deeply worried Mbeki that he must take immediate
action to meet the aspirations of millions of landless black South Africans.
A decade after the African National Congress (ANC) came to power promising
blacks an end to white political and economic rule, some 40,000 whites
dominate almost all aspects of food production. Mbeki recently condemned
what he called the "two societies" that still exist in post-apartheid South
But black activists like Supho Makhombothi, of the Mpoumalanga Labour
Tenants’ Association (MLTA) which represents landless farm labourers in the
impoverished Piet Retief and Wakkerstroom districts, are tired of rhetoric.
"We have waited long enough. Nothing has happened despite all the promises
made by the African National Congress (ANC) about returning the land to us,"
"We are still living in slavery. We have therefore given the government an
ultimatum to give us land or we will simply follow the example of our
brothers in Zimbabwe and invade."
Leaders of the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) - whose pre-independence slogan
was ‘one settler, one bullet’ - are calling on Mugabe to tour the country’s
rural areas and address landless blacks.
Makhombothi, who the South African Government calls a "lawless thug", said:
"President Mugabe has supported what we believe is the best solution for
returning land to black farmers. We want to hear him speak and learn from
Police are boosting local capacity after these threats by the MLTA. There
have been reports, denied by police, that unemployed and criminal-minded
blacks are paid almost £200 a time to ambush, slaughter and then kill white
farmers, their wives and children.
Werner Weber, chairman of a pan-agricultural union pressure group called
Action: Stop the Farm Attacks, said: "They’re shown how to kill by watching
videos made by some anti-white organisation called Black Jack."
Confirming that the police and army are developing emergency contingency
plans to prevent threatened Zimbabwe-style land invasions, South African
National Defence Commander Colonel Anton Kritzinger confirmed that plans
were underway for the mobilisation of a rapid response army unit. "We
obviously hope it is not necessary but we are developing contingency plans
to deploy troops if the situation is too big for the police to handle," he
On the eve of the next Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in
Abuja, Nigeria, sources close to the Commonwealth Secretariat in London told
Scotland on Sunday that despite all the predictions that he would step down
this December, Mugabe was becoming an increasingly influential figure.
"It’s not just landless Africans who admire him," the source said.
"Aborigines, Maoris and even Mexicans think he is a fighter for economic
justice in the Third World."
Baroness Amos, who has a long association with African developments since
1997, said that it was time Africa woke up to Mugabe.
A senior Commonwealth source said: "Mugabe is going to use the land
ownership issue at CHOGM to rally support for the landless against white
power in Africa and there’s still plenty of white economic power in South
"He is quite capable of appealing to the black masses over the head of Thabo
Mbeki if he is ever seriously criticised by the South African Government.
"Hence Mbeki’s desire to pursue his largely ineffectual quiet diplomacy on
the Zimbabwean issue."
One of the men who has the ear of Mbeki on the land issue and the growing
fear of Zimbabwean-style invasions is Dr Edward Latiff, a prominent academic
with the Programme for Land and Agrarian Studies at the University of
"Mugabe has raised the profile of land reform," he said." It was an issue
that hardly existed on the political landscape in 1998. At the grassroots
level, there has been an incredible increase in militancy with the formation
of the Landless People’s Movement and a series of threatened land
Mbeki tries to play down the fears, telling would-be investors that the
deaths of so many white farmers is not the start of an ethnic cleansing
campaign, but part of the general breakdown of law and order.
There are over 25,000 murders every year in South Africa, a rape occurs
every minute and break-ins are a fact of life in Johannesburg, Cape Town,
Durban and other urban areas of a country where the contrast between the
"haves" and "have nots" is terrifying.
Sunday Times (SA)
Minister flouts Mugabe's 'one man, one farm' policy
apparently blatant violation of a decree by President Robert
Zimbabwe's Justice Minister, Patrick Chinamasa, has seized a second farm for
himself within nine months.
Chinamasa is one of several high-ranking Zanu-PF members who have stubbornly
clung to their properties.
In February, Chinamasa sent Zimbabwean police to arrest
farmer Peter Baker
for refusing to vacate his farm, Rocklands, in Marondera. Baker had
successfully challenged Rocklands' seizure in court and refused to leave the
property. Upon receiving news of his impending arrest, he went into hiding.
Police searched for him for two months but no charges were ever filed.
Eight months after the seizure, the farm's water supply has
been exhausted ,
undermining the property's future and that of neighbouring farms.
"Having taken and destroyed my farm, the minister was
obviously looking for
a new property," Baker said this week, commenting on Chinamasa's seizure
last weekend of Richard and Cally Yates's Lawrencedale 3 Farm in Headlands,
150km east of Harare.
This week, Chinamasa was
still defending his latest acquisition and said: "I
was allocated the Headlands farm in July this year to become my first since
the land reform programme started. My wife, who is an ex-detainee, agreed to
surrender the Rocklands farm in Marondera, which she was allocated last
year, so we remain with one farm."
But Chinamasa's latest acquisition clearly
contradicted a ruling by Mugabe
earlier this year that senior officials in the ruling Zanu-PF party must
conform to his land reform programme's "one man, one farm" policy.
In July, the state-controlled Herald newspaper
reported that Mugabe wanted
any extra farms to be relinquished within two weeks.
However, some officials, especially senior military officers,
would not surrender extra farms they had fought for. Others, like
Information Minister Jonathan Moyo, have denied owning more than one farm
and claimed other properties linked to them were owned by relatives.
In the case of the Yates farm, there were no legal grounds
for Chinamasa to
seize the property.
According to a Telegraph
report, Yates had accepted a government offer in
July last year to subdivide his farm between himself and state-appointed
"settlers" in return for being allowed to stay. "I had a good working
relationship with the settlers . . . and we all managed to produce a
successful harvest," he said.
Yates believed he had made his compromise and that his future
was secure. -
The Telegraph, Sunday Times Foreign Desk
October 26, 2003
~~~ Newsletter 043
It takes two to toyi-toyi
Remember that you must be connected to the internet to view the pictures in this newsletter.
Have you seen this man?
Zvakwana is getting many enquiries about baba chatunga having left the land of the living. All we can say is that rumours are as popular here as burial cheques. We need them to keep going especially hopeful ones like baba c sleeping forever. Talking about sleeping, please have a look at this video clip that is good evidence of the illegitimate president not coping up. Maybe it is time for mugabe to hire another crowd and stage a public appearance to squash these rumours. You can also visit www.zvakwana.org to see all Zvakwana pictures and watch this video.
Muzenda is alive and well . . . according to the official government of Zimbabwe web site. When we looked at this web site last week muzenda was seen to still be the smiling and happy vice president. Now we notice that there is no getting onto this web site. Maybe moyo is needing to replace more than just muzenda's picture?
Zvakwana activists are everywhere!
If you have read the latest Mail and Guardian newspaper from South Africa you will notice a photograph of Zimbabwe Media Commission chairperson tafataona mahoso on page 14. In the photograph mahoso is clearly seen standing by some Zvakwana street level action stickers firmly placed on the walls of the Administrative Court in Harare. If you would like Zvakwana stickers send us your postal address and we'll send you some. Email email@example.com
takes two to toyi-toyi
Zvakwana has been informed that the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) will be engaging in a press conference to discuss the Way Forward on Monday 27th October at their offices in Harare being 348 Herbert Chitepo Avenue. The start off is 10am. Zvakwana activists will be there and we are hoping to see full support coming from the onlookers within civil society and the like. The NCA protest on Wednesday last week was evidence of the group's strength and determination. They deserve great support. Zvakwana activists report that the spirits in the cells and central police station on Wednesday were very high with joyous singing claiming change cannot be stopped. Let us not forget that power concedes nothing without a demand. The more we let ourselves be oppressed the more that mugabe and his cronies will push our tolerance levels. Street level actions are rising up.
Sumukai! Chenjerai! Shamwari dzangu I am sick and tired of waiting. This talk about talks is just zanu pf blowing hot air. Havadi kutaura. Vanoda kuchengeta masimba avo. Don't be fooled. Its been how many months and we're no closer to a solution. Lets stop waiting and start demonstrating.
~ Masimba, Zvakwana subscriber
Hidden beneath the mask of
apathy, there is an unsuspected energy and a great human,
moral and spiritual charge. Detaining and repressing people cannot change the soul of a nation. It may dampen it and disguise the reality outwardly, but history has repeatedly taught us the lesson that change often arrives unexpectedly.
~ Vaclav Havel, former president of the Czech Republic
Zvakwana condemns harassment of activists in various
We are receiving large numbers of replies telling us that Zvakwana Street Sheets are being well received by Zimbabweans around the country and that they are being gobbled up as good sources of information. However, as is the case whichever way you turn in this country, mugabe's thugs are stamping out our rights. Zvakwana activists are being harassed due to handing out our publications. Never mind, we are strong and will continue. In fact we are increasing so as to provide written materials where they are needed the most - on the street!
It was good to see your news sheet. There is little enough informative reading matter these days. Keep up the good work.
- Brian, Zvakwana subscriber
Parliament of Zimbabwe, government buildings and the Nigerian High Commission get the hand treatment
Just some days ago pro-democracy activists decided to apply a warning of changing times to buildings in central Harare. If you have a look at the Parliament building on Nelson Mandela Avenue, as well as government buildings on the corner of Samora Machel Ave and 4th Street and then again the Nigerian High Commission on Samora Machel Avenue you will notice very many patches where government painters have covered over the MDC hands. On the night when activists touched the Parliament building the street was cordoned off and in a matter of some few hours the painters were busy removing the hands.
Talking about hands . . . .
Even on her wedding day grace was showing clear signs of her allegiance.
up the pressure, courageous Daily News staff
Zvakwana activists moving around the country on Saturday noticed the joy and ecstasy on the faces of the thousands of people proudly carrying their 8 page Daily News. It is a testament to the commitment and strength of these journalists that we were receiving another paper over the weekend. The Daily News was despatched as far as Hwange and Chiredzi. Vendors in Harare quickly started selling the most popular newspaper in Zimbabwe and by midday all 100 000 copies were sold out. Meanwhile mugabe's wives were running around with their tongues hanging out trying desperately to enforce his illegitimate rule. By the afternoon the police had again descended on the Daily News offices to stop the Sunday paper. Meanwhile they arrested Sam Nkomo's niece when failing to find him. Later on Sam was also picked up, as were other ANZ board members around the country.
Zvakwana tip-offs working nicely
Thank you to everyone who is keeping us informed either with names of CIOs, politicians and business people involved in dubious activities. We are also pleased to be receiving continuous supply of pictures including these showing the historic re-emergence of the Daily News. Material can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
On the printing press
And on the
Savage attack on Bulawayo Trade Unionist
Trade unionist and Bulawayo ward 13 (Pelandaba) councillor, Samuel Khumalo, was among the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) officials who were brutalized by officers of the Zimbabwe Republic Police over the peaceful demonstration planned by the labour body on 8 October. The demonstration was in protest of high levels of taxation; high cost of living; shortage and high cost of transport as a result of the fuel price increases; shortage of cash and the gross violation of human and trade union rights. Khumalo was among several trade union leaders who had gathered to hand over the petition with the issues to government officials in Bulawayo. Riot police suddenly arrived, and started assaulting the trade unionists who had gathered. Councillor Khumalo was struck several times on the forehead, and blood started oozing out of his nose. The blood oozing from Councillor Khumalo's nose was not enough to deter the police officers from further assaulting Councillor Khumalo. Police dragged him by his hair for about one kilometer to Drill Hall Police Station, where he was ordered to wash off the blood. Some of Councillor Khumalo's dreadlocks were pulled off as he was being dragged to Drill Hall Police Station.
Thug Alert! Borrowdale Police Station
Human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa was severely assaulted by police at a police station after surviving an attack by car jackers on Sunday 12 October. It was the second time she had been car jacked in two weeks. Mtetwa said police officers who attended the scene of the car jacking recognised her and accused her of being drunk. "The police were not concerned about my motor vehicle or my fate and I protested at this behaviour and was recording names and offices of all those officers I came into contact with and threatened to report them to the Commissioner. This seemed to incense one of the police details, the one I later learnt is Mutumwa and he started his assault on me." Mtetwa says the assault continued in the vehicle and at Borrowdale Police Station. Mtetwa sustained injuries to the head, face, arms, back and thighs.
She has lodged a complaint with the Officer in Charge at Borrowdale Police Station, who allocated the case for investigation. Sternford Moyo, president of the Law Society of Zimbabwe said: "All is lost when lawlessness enters police stations. The conclusion that Mrs Mtetwa was attacked because she is a human rights defender is irresistible."
In February, TIZ Chair John Makumbe, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition Co-ordinator Brian Kagoro and EFZ President Bishop Trevor Manhanga were detained with other activists at Borrowdale police station for holding an "illegal" public meeting. Inspector Shoko beat Dr Makumbe across his face when he answered his mobile phone.
Harare North Member of Parliament Trudy Stevenson phoned Borrowdale Police Station to protest against police brutality in her constituency. When she phoned, Officer-in-Charge Superintendent Bonyongwe said that she was not aware of the incident, as she had not been on duty that night. Bonyongwe said that she could not be held responsible for everything that happened at her station.
There may be good cops, but they're not at Borrowdale Police Station! The behaviour of Mutumwe is unacceptable. Officer-in-Charge Bonyongwe should take care that her officers do not give Borrowdale Police Station a reputation for lawlessness and unprofessional policing.
Contact them and voice your concerns. Phone +263-4-860 061/7 or write to them at Borrowdale Police Station, Helensvale, Harare.
Zvinonyadza zvakaitwa naofficer Mutumwa nemamwe mapurisa
ekuBorrowdale Police Station kugweta Mai Beatrice Mtetwa. Mapurisa aya anoziva kumiririra kunoitwa naMai Mtetwa mavictoms epolitical violence nehuman rights abuses muno muHarare. Asi pakaenda Mai Mtetwa kumapurisa nezve matsotsi anga avabira, ivo ndivo vakazenge vorohwa zvakashata nemapurisa aya. Zvakwana! Hatingarege mapurisa achitinoesa nhamo. Vanofanirwa kunge vachitichengeta!
~ Kudzai, Zvakwana subscriber
Visit the official CHOGM 2003 web site and you will see this message:
Zimbabwe will not be represented at CHOGM following its suspension from the councils of the Commonwealth.
Transparency International Zimbabwe march hits the streets of Harare on Saturday
Zvakwana is impressed by Transparency getting out onto the streets to draw attention to the levels of corruption in Zimbabwe. It is no joke how we have become one of the most corrupt countries in the entire world. Zimbabwe has become a country where you can buy anything: a driver's licence, a birth certificate, protection from mugabe's militia, a new telephone line as well as countless other things. As Zvakwana is saying on the streets, how much do you take responsibility for the U in CorrUption? Each of us plays a role.
When you . . .
--buy or sell cash
--use the parallel market
--purchase from a corrupt supplier
--buy your way to the front of a queue
You participate in corruption. Yes, many chefs are the chief culprits. But corruption won't end until we all refuse to play a role in it - either as the dealer or the dealt!
Zvakwana is also pleased to
see members of the ZRP helping to marshal the march. It is exactly public
expressions like this that must exist so that we may live in a democratic
Become a Zvakwana community reporter
Would you like to join our team of community reporters? Zvakwana is encouraging you to become an energetic reporter in your community, investigating and writing up reports on what conditions are like in your area. You can talk about water, sanitation, police brutality, corruption, and the like. Make sure that you have good facts. If we use your story then we will make payment for it. Send information to email@example.com
This morning soldiers were walking on foot, from 4th street / Samora Machel Ave where they are usually picked, which shows lack of fuel for the regime. Night security police for VIPs were still in large numbers especially along Rhodesville Ave because of lack of transport. Those are the people used to suppress us saka zvavabatavo nhasi!
~ Elias, Zvakwana subscriber
Deaths from malnutrition continue in Bulawayo
zanu pf continues to claim success in the land reform programme. But if it has been so successful, how can people still be dying from hunger? Zimbabwe used to be a grain exporter. Now we cannot even feed our own citizens. What more? What next? Zvakwana! Sokwanele! A report by the Bulawayo city council indicates that in August, 12 people died from malnutrition, and 31 people in September. That means that in September, more than one person died from hunger everyday in the City of Kings. Of the deaths, 23 were children aged between one and four years. In some cases, families in Bulawayo say they have resorted to having porridge with only lemon juice but no sugar or bread. Hunger continues to stalk both urban and rural residents alike. Even where food is available for purchase, it is largely unaffordable These are not the first deaths in Bulawayo due to food shortages this year. Bulawayo health services officials have previously said more than 40 people died from malnutrition earlier this year.
Contact our so-called
leaders and ask them how we can be starving in our own country.
Ministry of Health and Child Welfare
Box CY 1122, Harare, Telephone: +263-4-736 918-5 or
Ministry of Lands and Agriculture
P/Bag 7701, Telephone: +263-4-251 322-5
Harare city council is being set up to fail. chombo suspended Mayor Mudzuri in April this year. At least 8 other councillors have been suspended. The council is trying to fire the town clerk, but zanu pf keeps putting him back there. In what other company do you fire the CEO and half the management, bring back someone no one wants to work with and then expect the company to operate? It would be like a soccer coach putting all of the best players on the bench and then blaming the captain when the team loses. Is it any wonder the roads are in disrepair, rubbish is not being collected and water supplies are worsening? zanu pf is allowing the city to fall apart so that they can blame Mudzuri and the MDC council. Don't believe their lies! Support your councillor and the work of the Harare City Council.
Contact the City Council
Box 990, Harare. Tel: +263-4-752 577/9 or
email the mayor: firstname.lastname@example.org
And contact minister of
local government ignatius chombo and tell him to stop meddling in Harare's
P Bag CY 7706, Harare. Tel: +263-4-704 561/9 or Fax: 792 307
Radio Africa - change of broadcast frequency
From Sun Oct 26, 2003, SW Radio Africa will be changing back their summer frequency of 6145KHz in the 49m band.
Watch out for Zvakwana papers on the streets!
Your Action, Your Country, Your Decision, Things are on the move
Please remember Zvakwana welcomes feedback, ideas and support for actions.
Enough is enough, Zvakwana, Sokwanele.
October 26, 2003
Posted to the web October 26, 2003
FEARS have been expressed that the crippling transport problems being
experienced in all the urban centres are likely to affect the Ordinary and
Advanced level examinations that are starting this week.
Most students interviewed by The Standard yesterday said that they are
worried that they are likely to arrive at their respective schools late for
their final examinations if the current transport problems continue. Most
examinations normally start at 900 am.
"I will have
to stay with my sister who stays in the Avenues during the exam
period because I am always late from Chitungwiza," said an 'O'level student
at Denmark College in Harare.
"I have already excused myself to the headmaster because I stay in Norton
and learn at a college in Chitungwiza" said another student.
Parents who spoke to The Standard noted that it was most likely that their
children would not make it to schools in time for examinations.
"The Ministry of Education should organise with the bus operators to provide
transport especially for school students from designated points during the
time of examinations," said one concerned parent.
"Parents and the school authorities can also arrange for transport from
areas like Chitungwiza, Highfield, Kuwadzana so as to avoid the case of
students arriving late for the examinations," she said.
Most sectors in the country have been affected by the shortage of fuel. For
the past three weeks, the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe has been dry,
leaving the black market as the only source of fuel.
Efforts to get a comment from the Ministry of Education proved fruitless.
Zimbabwe police arrest Daily News director
October 26, 2003, 02:19 PM
Zimbabwe police today arrested Washington Sansole, a former Zimbabwe high
court judge and a director of the independent Daily News after the newspaper
appeared yesterday for the first time after a six-week banning.
Sansole was arrested at his home in the western city of Bulawayo just before
10am, said Gugulethu Moyo, the lawyer for Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe
(ANZ), which owns the Daily News. "They told him they will detain him until
the other directors turn themselves in," she said. "They are holding him
She also said police continued to hold the niece of Sam Sipepa Nkomo, ANZ's
chief executive, who they arrested last night in a bid to force Nkomo to
present himself to authorities. Tulepi Nkomo, said to be in her early 20s,
was arrested at Nkomo's home when nine police officers went there to arrest
the publishing executive on charges of "publishing a newspaper without a
"They are still denying her access to lawyers," Moyo said. "We are anxious
about her safety because witnesses said they were quite rough with her when
they took her away. We don't know what they are going to do to her when
there are no witnesses. "They say she was rude to them."
Police told lawyers they were going to charge her under the notorious
Rhodesia-era Public Order and Security Act, which gives police sweeping
powers of arrest and detention. The arrests followed the forcible re-closure
yesterday of the Daily News , the country's biggest circulation daily
newspaper, hours after it restarted publishing in the wake of a high court
ruling on Friday which said that the decision by the state press control
authority to ban the news paper was "biased."
Judge Michael Majuru also dissolved the government's Media and Information
Commission because it was "improperly constituted" and ordered it to issue
the Daily News with a licence after the body had been properly reconstituted
by the end of next month. On the strength of the judge's ruling, the Daily
News reappeared with headlines proclaiming, "We're back," as Zimbabweans
snapped up nearly all 120 000 copies printed.
However, by midday yesterday armed police had again raided the newspaper's
offices and printing press and closed them. Eighteen journalists at work in
the paper were arrested but released after four hours as police went in
search of Nkomo and other directors. - Sapa
Reporters without borders
Mugabe asked to release Daily News director at once
Reporters Without Borders today called on President Mugabe to immediately
release Washington Sansole, a director of the Daily News who was arrested
earlier today, and Tulepi Nkomo, another director's niece who was arrested
Their arrests, preceded by the detention of 18 of the newspaper's employees
for several hours yesterday, are the latest round in an unrelenting drive by
the government to close the Daily News down for good.
"We are outraged by these arrests, which show the Zimbabwean authorities
will stop at nothing to prevent the country's sole independent daily from
appearing," Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Robert Ménard said.
"They must halt this series of arbitrary arrests and this unacceptable
harassment of the newspaper's directors and employees," he added.
Sansole was arrested in Bulawayo. AFP quoted police as saying he would be
held until the other directors presented themselves. However, four of the
newspaper's nine directors have already left the country.
Tulepi Nkomo was arrested last night at the home of her uncle, Samuel Nkomo.
The newspaper's legal adviser, Gugulethu Moyo, said she had no professional
relationship with the Daily News. There has been no word of her since her
Earlier yesterday, police also arrested 18 of the newspaper's journalists
and staff members a few hours after it brought out its first issue since it
was banned on 12 September. Reuters said they were released several hours
later. However, they reportedly had to sign statements that they work for
the Daily News, who might be a first step towards their being prosecuted.
The newspaper said in yesterday's edition that the Zimbabwean authorities
wanted submissive news media that see nothing, hear nothing and say nothing
bad about the government. The front page had a cartoon of the information
minister being crushed by a pile of copies of the Daily News.
Police are reportedly still occupying the premises of the Daily News. The
newspaper's legal adviser told Reuters the arrests were acts of revenge by a
government that preaches the rule of the law but practices the law of the
jungle. They come after the Harare administrative court ruled that the
government's media commission had shown bias when banning the newspaper and
that the ban was illegal.
Report clears Mugabe's cronies of land grabs
October 26 2003 at 10:27AM
By Basildon Peta
A committee of inquiry into Zimbabwe's land reforms decided to omit names of
President Robert Mugabe's cronies who had each seized several farms to save
the Zimbabwean leader from embarrassment, it has been established.
The report of the inquiry headed by Mugabe's former cabinet secretary and
close ally, Charles Utete, is now public but it does not contain information
about Mugabe's inner circle which had been anticipated.
Mugabe had ordered his cronies, some of whom have seized as many as five
prime farms each, to surrender them and keep only one, on the basis of the
initial findings of the inquiry.
This had raised speculation that the final report of the inquiry would
include a damning list of such cronies and even force the Zimbabwean leader
to fire some of his cabinet allies to salvage his reputation.
But impeccable sources privy to the inquiry said a last-minute decision had
been taken to omit the names of cronies because this would have made a
mockery of Mugabe's entire land reform exercise and his claim that it is
meant to empower ordinary Zimbabweans. The sources could, however, not say
whether Mugabe had himself had a hand in the decision to omit the names.
"What became clear to the inquiry was the extent of damage any publication
of names would have made to the entire land reform exercise and to the
president himself," said a source close to the committee.
"However, information about the extent of abuse of the land reform policy
and the names of culprits have been made available to him in confidence and
it's up to him to act if he so wishes."
Influential people who had acquired more than one prime farm each not only
included government ministers but Zanu-PF members of parliament and
businessmen linked to the ruling party. None was mentioned in the Utete
report but many were named in the first report compiled by junior minister
of state Flora Bhuka.
The decision to omit names in Utete's report could provide a safety net for
the cronies as there is no longer any pressure on Mugabe to act against
them, the sources said. None has so far obeyed Mugabe's order, issued in
July, to surrender extra farms.
Mugabe's land seizures are blamed for the drastic fall in agricultural
output which has plunged Zimbabwe into unprecedented hunger. But the
Zimbabwean leader justifies his land seizures by saying he is reversing
"colonial settler robbery" of black-owned resources.
It is understood that land allocation officials who had been bullied into
distributing multiple prime farms to cronies had helped the Utete inquiry
with information. Some of the cronies had used names of relatives and
children to acquire extra farms.
Although Utete, who served as Mugabe's cabinet secretary and closest adviser
for 23 years before he retired early this year, did confirm reports that
fewer families than the 300 000 claimed by the government had been
resettled - the report mentioned a figure of only 127 000.
But the sources said the number of beneficiaries could still be far less
than the 127 000 figure because many families had abandoned their allocated
land after being dumped there without back-up infrastructure. Many had opted
to go back to their communal areas, where they at least had access to
resources such as boreholes, schools and clinics.
The report also states that only 7 260 new farmers have been resettled under
the A2 programme to promote large-scale black commercial farming. The figure
is far below the government's own claim that 50 000 large-scale black
commercial farmers had been resettled under this programme.
Even after the committee had submitted its report, cronies continued to
seize prime farms with justice minister Patrick Chinamasa confiscating one
from its white owner last week. - Independent Foreign Service
From The Sunday Times (UK), 26 October
Anglican bishop grabs white farm in Zimbabwe
Brian Latham and Jon Swain
bishop has seized a previously white-owned farm for himself and
his family in one of Zimbabwe’s prime agricultural districts. In the
process, Nolbert Kunonga, the Bishop of Harare and a close associate of
President Robert Mugabe, has evicted more than 50 black workers and their
families to make way for his own staff. Senior figures believe Kunonga’s
actions will damage the international reputation of Anglicanism. "The
Anglican Church is going to be compromised by this action. It will
debilitate our authority," said a source close to Rowan Williams, the
Archbishop of Canterbury. "Dr Williams is determined Anglicans should
provide a solution and not a problem to the crisis in Zimbabwe." St Marnock’
s farm, which Kunonga has taken over, is just 10 miles from the old
stone-clad cathedral of St Mary’s in the centre of Harare, the capital, from
where he officiates. Since his controversial election in April 2001, Kunonga
has been one of the most wayward figures in Anglicanism and a worry for
Williams. The archbishop has taken a close interest in Zimbabwe and was
briefed on the situation there earlier this year by Pius Ncube, the Catholic
Archishop of Bulawayo and a critic of Kunonga. Ncube once accused the
Anglican Church in Zimbabwe of aligning itself with the "forces of evil".
Visitors to St Marnock’s said yesterday that
Kunonga’s son had moved into
the seven-bedroom farmhouse overlooking a dam and what were once 2,000 acres
of wheat and soya bean fields, now abandoned. "I’d love to get back there to
farm again, but I can’t see it happening soon," said Marcus Hale, 25, the
legal owner of St Marnock’s, who studied at the Royal Agricultural College
in Cirencester, Gloucestershire. "There’s nothing happening there now. The
machinery is all lying useless in the sheds and they won’t let me take it.
No one has done anything about planting a crop for this season." Hale was
kicked off his farm some months before the 49- year-old bishop took it over.
"I think Kunonga wants the farm because it’s so close to Harare and he
thinks he can use it for property development," he said. It is believed
Kunonga was given Hale’s farm as a reward for his outspoken support for
Mugabe. He has mocked the president’s black opponents as "puppets of the
West". Mugabe’s policy of land seizures, which has plunged the country into
its worst crisis since independence from Britain in 1980, is largely being
blamed for a two-year hunger crisis that threatens the lives of 5.5m
Additional reporting: Christopher Morgan
Obert Mpofu Seizes Conservancy - Report
October 26, 2003
Posted to the web October 26, 2003
The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force (ZCTF) has named Matabeleland North
Governor Obert Mpofu as one of the influential people in government who have
claimed ownership of protected wildlife sanctuaries bordering the Hwange
National Park in the last two months.
In its latest report, ZCTF says it received reports in September that Mpofu
had claimed ownership of Khatshana and Kanondo conservancies and proceeded
to acquire hunting permits from the Department of National Parks for an area
that has previously been utilised for photographic safaris and game drives
"We have now been informed that Governor Mpofu is still in possession of his
hunting permit and has commenced hunting operations in the protected area,"
reads the ZCTF report.
"There are apparently several hunting vehicles in the area and some of his
clients are South African," added the report.
According to the ZCTF report, Mpofu's hunting quota includes species such as
lions, elephants, giraffes, sables, kudu, impala, civet and genets.
The Governor, according to the report, is alleged to have banned a local
company - Touch the Wild Safaris - which was previously conducting
photographic safaris and game drives from doing any business at the two
"The Governor has taken over their (Touch the Wild) Kanondo safari lodge and
banned them from doing any game drives in the Kanondo area, because he is
hunting there," the report alleges.
"The safari lodge previously run by Touch the Wild is owned by Zimsun and it
is feared that someone very high up in the Zimbabwe Sun group, whose name is
not yet known, is involved with the Governor because he recently also
acquired a hunting concession in the area." The revelations come as the new
farmers are accused of wreaking havoc in the Gwayi Valley, Bubiana and Save
conservancies and others throughout the country.
Conservancy groups have reported that the presidential herd of about 300
elephants at the Hwange National Park, that borders the safari operators, is
facing decimation as a result of unauthorised hunts by new safari operators,
most of them senior Zanu PF officials.
Mpofu could not be reached for comment at the time of going to press.
Ambitious Zanu PF Chefs Court Tekere
October 26, 2003
Posted to the web October 26, 2003
BRINGING veteran politician Edgar Tekere back to the Zanu PF fold after
years in the political wilderness could be a calculated move by Manicaland
politicians aspiring for high political offices, it emerged yesterday.
Party sources told The Standard that Tekere, the fiery former Zanu PF
secretary general and a veteran of the liberation struggle, was regarded as
the most senior politician who could help garner support for stalwarts from
Manicaland keen to occupy high positions after President Robert Mugabe
turned his back on Zanu PF since 1990, castigating it as a
corrupt party that was bent on establishing a one party state in Zimbabwe.
Official sources said it was Zanu PF's secretary for external affairs and
Manicaland Politburo member, Didymus Mutasa, who was pulling the strings for
Tekere's return into the ruling party's fold.
Mutasa, a long time ally and "homeboy" of Tekere, has already made it clear
that he wants to be the country's Vice President at the party's next meeting
"It is hoped that if we retain Tekere back into the provincial party
structures before the annual conference in December, he may emerge as the
region's major trump card at the meeting in Masvingo where the succession
issue will be decided," said a senior Zanu PF Manicaland member who refused
to be named.
"Tekere is actually as good as back, though. We were with him at the Heroes'
Day celebrations where he chanted pro-Zanu PF slogans together with everyone
else," he said.
On Friday, Tekere was edgy when asked by The Standard why he wanted to
rejoin Zanu PF, a party that he has condemned since he was fired by Mugabe
and formed the country's first meaningful opposition party, the Zimbabwe
Unity Movement (ZUM) in 1990.
Only in January this year, Tekere was among the notable Zimbabweans who
predicted that Mugabe would not last this year in office.
Though Tekere, 66, admitted he was being courted by "top Zanu PF
politicians" in Manicaland province, he was evasive as to whether he had
accepted their invitation or not.
"Hazvisati zvati hwe-e ba (It is not yet clear). I can't say I am returning
yet ... but what the State media has been reporting is too far ahead," said
the veteran politician known as 'Twoboy'.
Reports in The Herald last week had Mutasa confirming that Tekere had agreed
to rejoin Zanu PF and that the ruling party's secretary for administration
and Speaker of Parliament, Emmerson Mnangagwa, had approved the move.
The reports also suggested that the veteran nationalist had become a
frequent visitor to the Zanu PF Mutare offices.
According to Tekere, this is all because he still has friends in the party.
"I still find more friendship and respect in many within Zanu PF than in all
the other political groupings put together. That is why they are saying I'm
a regular feature at their offices," Tekere told The Standard.
The firebrand politician was very popular in the late 1980s when he
championed a crusade against corruption in government and Mugabe's then
obsession:the introduction of a one party state in Zimbabwe.
At the time, he alleged that "vampire-type" corrupt ministers surrounded
Mugabe and that the country's democracy was in the "intensive care unit" -
after the ruling party had merged with its major political nemesis, PF Zapu,
in December 1987.
Zvobgo Critically Ill
Zimbabwe Standard (Harare)
October 26, 2003
Posted to the web October 26, 2003
EDDISON Mudadirwa Zvobgo, the Zanu PF founder member long considered the
heir apparent to President Robert Mugabe, is seriously ill and had to be
flown out of the country to South Africa where he is receiving specialist
treatment, The Standard has established.
Zvobgo, the Member of Parliament for Masvingo South, was last week rushed to
a South African hospital and is now in a private ward at Constantiaberg
Clinic in Cape Town, relatives said.
The relatives said Zvobgo, a former close adviser of President Robert Mugabe
until he fell out in the late 1980s, was not able to talk or walk when he
The Standard however managed to speak to him yesterday, and in a hoarse and
barely audible voice, the veteran politician could only say: "I am feeling
much better now as compared to how I felt five days ago. That is all I can
say right now," he said before switching off his mobile phone.
Zvobgo's wife, Julia, who is also in Cape Town, said South African doctors
had operated on the veteran politician who is suffering from an undisclosed
ailment. Some relatives and aides said he might have a liver disease.
Staff at the Cape Town hospital on Friday confirmed that Zvobgo had arrived
at the institution in a "worrying" condition.
"I have not been to his room this morning to see how he is doing but what I
have noticed is that he looked much better than yesterday. I am going to
dress him right now and I think he is going to be fine," said a nurse at the
Zvobgo was last seen publicly at Vice President Simon Muzenda's funeral last
month, walking with the assistance of an aide supporting him by the arm.
He recently escaped a disciplinary hearing before Zanu PF's supreme
Politburo to answer accusations that he had undermined Mugabe's re-election
campaign last year.
Analysts though say the accusations against Zvobgo stemmed from fear in Zanu
PF circles that he would one day challenge Mugabe.
As head of Parliament's legal committee, Zvobgo clashed with Information
Minister Jonathan Moyo over the constitutionality of the draconian Access to
Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA).
The Harvard-trained lawyer described the Act - which is being challenged in
the courts - as, "the most calculated and determined assault on our
Police Mount Siege On Daily News Offices
October 26, 2003
Posted to the web October 26, 2003
By Our Own Staff
ARMED police have taken control of the Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe
(ANZ) offices in Harare effectively preventing journalists from producing
The Daily News on Sunday yesterday after arresting, and later releasing, 18
workers and journalists at the two newspapers.
"They are using brute force to achieve what they failed to achieve with the
law," noted Gugulethu Moyo, the legal advisor of ANZ, the publisher of the
Early yesterday, police swooped on the ANZ offices in central Harare and
arrested 18 journalists and other workers who were in the premises. All were
later released without charge.
Their joy was however short- lived as they soon realised that police would
not allow them to get into their newsroom.
Police manned the entrances to all the five floors of the building, making
it impossible for anyone to enter The Daily News or the Daily News on Sunday
Moyo said this was clearly an illegal move by the police, coming only a day
after the Administrative Court ruled that the Media and Information
Commission (MIC), which denied the two newspapers operating licences, was
The court also ordered the establishment of a new commission charged with
registering the two titles by November 30, failure of which would result in
their automatic registration.
Yesterday the ANZ published a special edition of The Daily News that
announced that the two newspapers' were "back" in business.
Moyo said the Adminstrative Court ruling had done away with the regulatory
regime, which could only come into force when a properly constituted media
commission was set up.
ANZ journalists, who were harassed by police, were working on today's
edition of The Daily News on Sunday. Contacted for a comment, police
spokesperson Wayne Bvudzijena claimed the Administrative Court's ruling
provided for police interference if The Daily News was published.
"Don't be misled, you should read yesterday's (Friday) judgement and you
will understand why we had to act," said Bvudzijena.
Gweru Cops Demanded Cellphones for Bribe
October 26, 2003
Posted to the web October 26, 2003
Lust for the latest telecommunication gadgets has landed three Gweru members
of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) in court for inducing a
suspect to buy them three Nokia 5110 cellphones and Buddie airtime cards in
exchange for his release from police custody.
The officers, Assistant Inspector Emmanuel Simbanegavi, Philip Machemedze
and Sergeant Alex Chipangura, are now facing charges of contravening the
prevention of Corruption Act.
According to court records, the three CID officers were investigating a case
of theft of a motor vehicle which was found in the possession of Amon Ndou.
The officers allegedly induced Ndou to buy for them three Nokia 5110
cellphones and $50 000 worth of Buddie airtime so that they would drop the
charges against him and treat him as a State witness.
Ndou allegedly bought the three Nokia cellphones and Buddie airtime, all
valued at $650 000, and was released from police custody.
Simbanegavi and Machemedze were later caught up in a trap set up by the
police after they signed a receipt at Econet Shop in the city while
collecting the three Nokia cellphones and Buddie airtime. They were remanded
to November 3 on $50 000 bail each.
Numerous cases of corruption involving the police are being reported
throughout Zimbabwe as the harsh economic conditions continue to take their
In Gweru, Assistant Inspector Sarah Sakutombo and another officer from the
Gweru Central Police Station's traffic department are on trial facing
allegations of embezzling more than $1 million in deposit fines.
Keep Politics Out of Food Aid - British Envoy
October 26, 2003
Posted to the web October 26, 2003
By Our Own Staff
THE British High Commission to Zimbawe has stressed the need to eliminate
political interference in the distribution of food relief and to ensure the
provision of donations to the needy and underprivileged.
Speaking at the presentation of a United Kingdom's £5 million famine support
pledge last week, the British High Commissioner to Zimbawe, Brian Donnelly
said he expected the grant to be administered without the political bias
that has characterised earlier donations in the past three years.
He said: "I should stress that the British government is firmly committed to
the apolitical distribution of all humanitarian assistance. I look forward
to the day when the British government can resume a long term development
partnership with Zimbabwe." The British pledge was formally made to the
World Food Programme and the United Nations Children's Fund in Harare.
Donnelly also pledged £1,88 million for essential children's vaccines during
the same event.
Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch, a New York based-rights lobby group, charged
that Zimbabwean authorities discriminated against perceived political
opponents by denying them access to food programmes.
In a 51-page report released on Friday, entitled "Not Eligible: The
Politicization of Food in Zimbabwe," Human Rights Watch documents how food
is denied to suspected supporters of Zimbabwe's main opposition party and to
residents of former commercial farms resettled under the country's
"fast-track" land reform programme.
The report examines the widespread politicisation of the government's
subsidised grain programme, managed by the Grain Marketing Board, as well as
the far less extensive manipulation of international food aid.
According to the report, government authorities and party officials of the
ruling Zanu-PF manipulate the supply and distribution of
government-subsidised grain and the registration of recipients for
international food aid.
"Select groups of people are being denied access to food," said Peter
Takirambudde, executive director of the Africa division of Human Rights
Watch. "This is a human rights violation as serious as arbitrary
imprisonment or torture." Today, notes the report, "one-half of Zimbabwe's
population of nearly 14 million is considered 'food-insecure,' living in
households that are unable to obtain enough food to meet basic needs. The
international community has spent hundreds of millions of dollars pouring
food aid into Zimbabwe, yet thousands continue to go hungry.