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

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Daily News online edition

      Gono devalues Zimdollar

      Date:29-Oct, 2004

      THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor has devalued the Zimbabwe
dollar from the obtaining Z$5 600/US$1 to Z$6 200 to the greenback, with
plans afoot to further fall the currency in the New Year, if called for.

      Presenting his monetary policy for the third quarter of the year, RBZ
governor Gideon Gono said the initiative had been undertaken to further
promote foreign currency remittances under the Homelink system.

      "The diaspora floor price of foreign exchange will be managed between
the current auction rate of Z$5 600/US$1 and Z$6 200 per US dollar, to 31
January, 2005," Gono said.

      "After 31 January, 2005, it is expected that the country's foreign
exchange situation will have further improved significantly in response to
export support being implemented since December 2003. This, coupled with the
targeted deceleration of inflation, is expected to arrest further pressures
in the foreign exchange market," he said.

      The shortage of foreign currency in the country has seen the emergence
of a thriving parallel market, where the greenback is trading at Z$7 900.

      Gono said the central bank, in consultation with government, was
consulting to "ensure that regulatory provisions around parallel market
dealing are tightened further".

      He fired broadsides at individuals and corporates whom he accused of
fueling the parallel foreign currency market in a bid to earn "windfall"
gains for no productivity by dealing in fake US dollars.

      "Areas where this practice has been tangibly uncovered include
Victoria Falls, Kariba, Masvingo, Bulawayo and Road Port in Harare,
Beitbridge, Plumtree Border Post and Mutare," he said.

      Gono said the first nine months of the year had seen foreign exchange
inflows into the official market amounting to US$1.249 billion, compared to
a total of only US$250.1 million for the same period in 2003.

      "The growth in foreign exchange inflows has been enhanced by
significant gold deliveries, which saw cumulative gold sales reaching
US$210.7 million by the end of September 2004, compared to US$117.7 million
for the same period in 2003.

      The central bank governor said developments in the financial sector
over the past 10 months had left some market players likening them to an
"earthquake" in the industry, following the introduction of stringent
supervision and surveillance standards.

      "These measures, which have seen six institutions being placed under
curatorship, are being implemented with the core objective of creating a
stable, reliable and development-oriented financial system that is run along
eh virtues of transparency, prudence, accountability and international best
practices," he said.

      He said with effect from January 2005, the RBZ would implement a
comprehensive Troubled Bank Resolution (TBR) POlicy, to decisively deal with
the troubled banks who would have failed to tread out of their difficulties.

      Among the new measures would include the conversion of monies owed the
RBZ into equity; the creation of a special Purpose Vehicle to hold the
equity in the troubled banking institutions; and the amalgamation of the
troubled banking institutions into one entity under the name Zimbabwe Allied
Banking Group.

      Gono said the monetary authorities were "deeply encouraged" that
considerable progress was being made on the fight against inflation, which
he called the country's declared enemy number one.

      The marked slowdown in monthly inflation had seen annual inflation
sharply decline, from a peak of 622.8 percent in January 2004, to 314.4
percent in August 2004 and further down to 251.5 percent in September 2004.

      "It is imperative that labour markets, manufacturers, retailers and
service providers break away from static and backward looking pricing
frameworks and benchmark viability strategies on future rather that
historical inflation trends," he said.

      On mining, the governor said he will abolish offshore accounts for
platinum producers operating in the country.

      "Platinum producers will be required to open special local FCA's
(Foreign Currency Accounts) in which all proceeds will be deposited under a
structure that will ensure a smooth transition from the prevailing all
offshore accounts arrangements," Gono said.

      "All offshore accounts for Zimbabwe-based platinum will cease to
operate and all previous exchange control dispensations or government
approvals allowing for the creation and holding of these accounts outside
Zimbabwe are hereby rescinded," he said.

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City Council Cuts Water Supply to Harare Central Hospital, Prison

The Herald (Harare)

October 28, 2004
Posted to the web October 28, 2004


HARARE City Council yesterday disconnected water supplies at Harare Central
Hospital and Harare Central Prison over unpaid water bills.

Harare Hospital, a major referral hospital in the country, had been battling
to pay its bills in the past few months as it had run out of funds.

Council workers disconnected water supplies to the entire hospital despite
appeals by senior hospital officials that such a move would virtually
disrupt operations at the hospital.

The hospital*s medical superintendent, Mr Chris Tapfumaneyi said the
hospital was owing council $800 million, but had paid $600 million on
Monday, leaving a balance of $200 million.

"We had assured them that they will have the rest of the money on Monday
since we have received another $4 billion to pay our bills from the
Government, but I guess they disregarded our plight," Mr Tapfumaneyi said.

Mr Tapfumaneyi said the hospital could not operate without water.

He said he was convinced there was someone within council who was up to
something "not proper".

"This is pure sabotage of a Government institution, whoever gave orders to
disconnect water has a hidden agenda."

Council also disconnected water supplies to Harare Central Prison complex,
which comprises remand prison and prison for convicted inmates in a move,
which is likely to pose a serious health hazard to inmates and residents at
the complex.

Council disconnected the water supplies over an undisclosed amount it is
owed in unpaid water bills.

But prison officials said they made an undertaking to pay the outstanding
amount in full today , which was ignored by the local authority.

Deputy public relations officer, Principal Prison Officer Simbarashe
Mudzviti said the decision by council to disconnect water to the complex was
likely to cause a major disease outbreak among inmates and residents.

"Water is a necessity and the implications of the water cuts are too ghastly
to contemplate as tomorrow (today) our prison inmates would want to bath
before they go to the courts and they would also need to eat.

"How are we going to prepare their food under such circumstances," said PPO
Mudzviti. He appealed to the local authority to reconnect water supplies
while the issue of payment was being sorted out.

Harare public relations manager Mr Leslie Gwindi said council was
intensifying revenue collection and would stop at nothing in recovering what
was due to council.

Mr Gwindi brushed off allegations that some council officials had hidden

"I don*t respond to allegations that some people within council harboured
hidden agendas, but the issue here is whether they owe us or not. If they
owe us then they have to pay. It*s as simple as that.

"Council has to collect what it is owed if service delivery is to improve.
How are going to bring water to the people if we cannot get revenue," he
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Zim Govt Disbands ZESA

The Post (Lusaka)

October 28, 2004
Posted to the web October 28, 2004

Kingsley Kaswende

THE Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) has been disbanded and the
government has appointed a holding company to assume the company's debts,
including the US $3.5 million owed to Zesco Limited.

The Zimbabwean government has also appointed a regulatory commission, the
Zimbabwe Electricity Regulatory Commission (ZERC) to regulate the
electricity industry in that country.

ZERC commissioner general Charity Machimbidzofa said in an interview that
the holding company, ZESA Holdings, would assume all ZESA debts and credits.

"The purpose is to ensure that everything that has been disrupted due to the
deregulation of ZESA runs smoothly," she said.

Before being disbanded, ZESA owed Zesco US$3.5 million, Mozambique's Cabora
Bassa Hydro US$ 31.5 million, Eskom of South Africa US $16 million, Snel of
the Democratic Republic of the Congo US $5 million.

Machimbidzofa said the Zimbabwean government decided to deregulate ZESA,
which had perpetuated an electricity monopoly.

She said the restructuring would increase private sector participation and
increase competition in the electricity sector with a view to having a wider
customer choice.

She said ZESA had been unbundled into various companies which include the
Zimbabwe Power Company (generation), Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission
Company (transmission), Zimbabwe Electricity Distribution Company

She said a caretaker commission made up of individuals from various
disciplines is currently running ZERC, which will be largely independent.

Machimbidzofa said so far, new consumer codes and a tariff pricing study had
been done as at August 1, 2004.

She said the pricing study was currently under cabinet consideration and
that once considered, it would be important in setting up a regulatory
framework for electricity pricing.

Machimbidzofa said all power generation in that country would have to go
through a single buyer (ZPC) to ensure that the buyer controls all imports
and exports.

Machimbidzofa appealed for assistance in form of capacity building from
countries in the region.
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Zim Online

One more bank shut down
Thur 28 October 2004

      HARARE - The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) last night shut down Time
Bank, bringing to five the number of banks that have gone under as
instability rocks Zimbabwe's fragile financial sector.

      In a statement the central bank said the locally-owned Time Bank was
no longer financially sound and was facing collapse because of poor
corporate governance, poor risk management and imprudent banking practices.

      Time Bank will remain closed for six months. An RBZ-appointed curator
or independent regulator will take charge of the affairs of the bank for the
six-month period.

      The curator will ensure depositors' funds and the bank's assets are
protected and is tasked to work out a plan to save the institution from
total collapse, the statement said.

      Police were also investigating the alleged abuse of depositors' funds
by four of Time Bank's directors. In September, the central bank put another
private bank, Trust Bank, under the curatorship of an independent accounting
expert and said its assets were being frozen for six months.

      The RBZ has also forced three other locally-owned banks to shut down
while its curators work out recovery plans to save the banks from collapse.

      The five suspended banks are among a dozen local banks licensed to
black owners after the government said it wanted to break a banking monopoly
traditionally held by the main international banks.

      All in all, seven financial institutions are now under the supervision
of RBZ curators while two more are being wound up by liquidators.

      Zimbabwe is grappling with an acute economic crisis that has
manifested itself in shortages of everything from essential medical drugs,
fuel, electricity, food and hard cash. - ZimOnline
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Exiled Zimbabweans Criticize Mugabe Expulsion Of COSATU Delegates By William
      28 October 2004

The government of zimbabwe this week expelled a visiting delegation from
south africa's cosatu trade union.

The group from the congress of south african trade unions had gone to harare
on fact-finding mission to assess political, labor and human rights issues.
It had decided make the trip despite warnings by the government of Zimbabwe
that cosatu's 13-member delegation was neither "welcome nor acceptable."

The country's cabinet ordered the group's deportation after it refused to
guarantee it would not meet with certain civic groups critical of the
administration of President Robert Mugabe.

The African branch of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions,
which represents over 15 million members in 45 African countries, criticized
the expulsion.   In a letter to president mugabe, it called the action a
"barbaric and undemocratic act."   The South African Communist Party said it
was outraged and angered.

English to Africa reporter William Eagle spoke with Daniel Molokela of the
Peace and Democracy Project in Johannesburg, South Africa.   He said the
incident adds credence to his group's claim that quiet diplomacy on the part
of the South African government is not working - and that the governments of
southern Africa need to take a tougher stand against Harare.
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Deportation Clear Indicator of State of Affairs in Zimbabwe

The Daily News (Harare)

October 28, 2004
Posted to the web October 28, 2004

THE detention and subsequent deportation of the COSATU delegation by the
Zimbabwe authorities should be an eye-opener to our southern neighbour and
President Thabo Mbeki in particular, on the state of affairs north of the

Zimbabwe's dictatorial tendencies, long assumed to be part of the
"demonisation of the country" by the independent media, has been unleashed
first hand on one long seen as a brother in arms.

That this should happen to a key ally of the ruling ANC party is so much the
better for it puts into perspective what we have said all along - that
Harare does not deserve to be treated with kid gloves. That Harare does not
respect any law but unto itself. That there is no freedom of association in
the country, and the respect of human rights is but a dream.

Free countries welcome fact-finding missions, particularly from countries
that are favourably disposed to them. Zimbabwe has chosen to show its
arrogance and underline its ignorance pertaining to matters of state.

This hostile act of a regime that has a questionable human rights record is
not only directed at COSATU but is an act of hostility towards the entire
South Africa.

The government accused the COSATU delegation of purporting to be
representing labour issues but where in Zimbabwe to further the interests of
the United Kingdom and the United States.

Zimbabwe believes the UK and the USA sent the COSATU delegation to lay the
ground for "regime change". The fact that it took a Cabinet decision to
force the 14-member delegation out of the country speaks volumes of the
level of tolerance the regime has; not only for its citizens but for anybody
deemed to be an enemy of the state and a friend of the British.

And all the arms of the state - the army, police and intelligence
services -were roped in to ensure the Cabinet decision against an unarmed,
peaceful and lawful delegation was effected.

By fighting with COSATU, Harare is by extension also fighting against the
ANC. Cosatu, the SA Communist Party and ANC are members of South Africa's
tripartite alliance.

The deportation was unwise, untimely and not necessary. The idea is to
engage and not to disengage as what has happened now. But who is prepared to

COSATU is a major player in South Africa's politics and it is the last thing
one should tamper with. The incident showed that President Robert Mugabe is
being poorly advised.

The incident emphasises the Mugabe regime's long-standing preference for the
use of strong arm tactics to crush any possible threat - real or imagined -
to its rule.

The COSATU delegation jetted into the country on Monday for meetings with
the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, Crisis Coalition, National
Constitutional Assembly, Zimbabwe Election Support Network, Zimbabwe Lawyers
for Human Rights and Zimbabwe Council of Churches as well as political

The propaganda being peddled by Information minister Jonathan Moyo that
Cosatu is working with "Tony Blair's and well known anti-Zimbabwe,
pro-western interests" merely highlights the fact that similar charges
leveled against the MDC are vile propaganda by Zanu PF against legitimate

Government said it had taken appropriate action to remove the "intrusive
individuals" purporting to represent Cosatu.

"This defiant visit, facilitated by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions,
itself an affiliate of the Western-sponsored opposition Movement for
Democratic Change, constitutes a direct and most frontal challenge to the
sovereignty of the Republic of Zimbabwe by individuals purporting to be
African and trade unionists on 'a fact-finding mission' when, in reality,
they are an integral part of Britain's disguised maneuvers to meddle in the
politics and internal affairs of Zimbabwe in order to reverse her hard-won
independence and gains of the land reform programme through so-called regime
change," Moyo said.

We couldn't agree more with COSATU spokesman Patrick Craven when he said in
response to Moyo's statement: "This is utterly ludicrous. We reject this
with contempt."

And even the existence of a High Court order that the COSATU delegation be
allowed to spend an extra day in the country was ignored. Nobody was willing
to be served with the order. And in the meantime government was busy driving
the delegation in the middle of the night to Beitbridge, there to be dumped
by the border post.

Commentators have rightfully declared that the action taken was particularly
deplorable, for in any normal democracy a government would not react in such
an intolerant and heavy-handed manner to a visit from a legitimate
organisation from a key neighbouring state.

The incident further illustrates how dim the prospects are of next year's
parliamentary elections being free and fair.

If the Mugabe regime is prepared to run the risk of antagonising its most
powerful neighbour by meting out ill-treatment of this nature to members of
COSATU, then there can be little doubt that it will not hesitate to act in
such a repressive manner when dealing with the MDC.
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                                CHARLESWOOD ESTATE

                                         THE FACTS

The following is a very brief synopsis of crimes committed by state
sponsored agents against the Hon. Roy Bennett, his family, his employees and
their families, and their livestock and the theft of his crops and property
since 10th May, 2000 to August, 2004.

In the majority of the cases, the perpetrators are known and yet, as of this
date, no arrests have been made and no body has been brought to the Courts
for their crimes.

89 illegal farm invasions
2 illegal arrests and 3 assaults on the Hon. R. Bennett MP
3 rapes on young farm women employees
the murder (by the ZNA) of 24 year old Shemmy Chimbarara - shot in the head
shot and wounded - John Kayitano - farm employee
arson - Manager Amos Makaza's house burnt to the ground by land invaders and
ZNA personell
displacement and dispossession of over 800 men, women and children from
Charleswood Estate on a number of occasions
cattle -  1 Bull axed/died, 36 cows/calves axed or speared, Security manager's
dog beaten (broken leg) and cat burned alive; numerous cattle were
hamstrung, axed or snared and over 700 head stolen
150 tons of coffee stolen and sold by ARDA
Hon. R. Bennett's home looted and trashed.


The newly appointed ZANU PF Governor for Manicaland Maj. Gen. Mike Nyambuya
has publicly stated that he is taking BENNETT's farm.

NYAMBUYA has appointed Major MOSEBEYA as "his farm manager" and he is
currently illegally occupying Mr. and Mrs.Bennett's homestead.

NYAMBUYA has fired 6 of Bennett's Managers.

POLICE SGT. NASHO, Chamunorwa, Mvusha, Karenyi and Mabumba were all involved
in the Assaults and Rapes of two young women on Charleswood.

SGT. NASHO (ZRP) all involve in Assaulting
various employees of Charleswood.


office), Captain HANI (ZNA), Mr. CHIKUKUWA and CIO operatives JOSEPH MWALE,


It must be reiterated that the facts alluded to above are only a tip of the
iceberg - BENNETT and his entire FARM work force have been under siege,
illegally harassed, assaulted, arrested, detained, displaced and
dispossessed etc. for over four years, with absolutely no recourse to the

                                   WHERE IS THE JUSTICE ????????

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The continued deterioration of Zimbabwe’s socio-economic and political environment is well documented. People have been stripped of their hard earned basic freedoms and forced to live in an environment characterized by poverty, hunger, fear, oppression and an absence of the rule of law.
Our economy is in a mess: unemployment is approaching 80%, inflation is at 280%, we have experienced negative GDP growth for the past 6 years, there is a chronic shortage of foreign exchange and the fiscal deficit continues to grow at a dangerous rate. Our public services have all but collapsed and we are faced with the very real prospect of famine in certain parts of the country in the first half of next year.
Zimbabwe’s political context is one of police brutality, political violence and a virtual erosion of the democratic space. The culture of impunity that exists for those guilty of perpetrating gross human rights abuses will leave a permanent scar on our political landscape. Repressive legislation has placed severe curbs on citizens basic democratic right to assemble freely and receive and impart information of their choice.
The orchestrated system of repression, that now characterizes Zimbabwe, resulted in the shameless deportation on Wednesday of this week of the COSATU delegation, which had arrived in Zimbabwe on a fact-finding mission. We condemn this treatment of COSATU officials in the strongest terms. The deportation of this delegation underlines just how far Zimbabwe has sunk in relation to respecting peoples’ basic rights and freedoms.
It is important to point out however, that what the COSATU delegation encountered is what thousands of Zimbabweans have been experiencing on a daily basis for the past five years.
I have spent the past week (accompanied by the MDC Secretary General and MDC Deputy Secretary General) engaging political leaders and key players within civic society in the SADC, up-dating them on the current situation in Zimbabwe.
On Monday we met with President Thabo Mbeki. On Wednesday we met Mauritian Prime Minister Paul Berenger who is the current chair of SADC.
The various meetings that took place provided an opportunity to explain the situation in Zimbabwe. We explained how the dynamics that currently exist on the ground, vis-à-vis the political environment, are woefully inconsistent with the standards expected under the SADC Protocol on Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections.
We explained how Zimbabwe’s democratic deficit continues to widen at an alarming rate, making a free and fair election impossible under the current circumstances.
Since the SADC Protocol was signed by all member states on 17 August there has been no serious attempt by the Zimbabwe Government to implement measures which will ensure full compliance with the new SADC electoral standards. 
In order to provide a degree of clarity with regards to the extent of non-compliance the MDC publishes a scorecard (called SADC Protocol Watch) on the 17th day of each month which assesses the levels of compliance. The scorecards make depressing reading. They underline how the situation in Zimbabwe has actually deteriorated since Mugabe gave his undertakings in Mauritius.
In our meetings therefore, with SADC leaders, we engaged in discussions on how the SADC leadership could assist the process of encouraging the government to comply with the SADC protocol.
We also briefed SADC leaders on the context of the unanimous decision taken by the MDC National Executive on 25 August to suspend participation in all elections pending the government’s full compliance with the SADC elections’ charter.
We explained how the timing of our decision was deliberately aimed at giving the government sufficient time to address the severe deficits that exist with regards to complying with the SADC standards. Prominent deficits such as the absence of the rule of law, political violence, repressive legislation that curtails basic civil and political liberties and an inaccurate voters’ roll cannot be addressed immediately prior to polling day.
They need to be tackled at least six months, or more, prior to an election if public confidence and legitimacy are to be harnessed to the entire electoral process.
In all the meetings that took place with both SADC leaders as well as civic society organizations, we appealed for solidarity with the suffering people of Zimbabwe. Our people are hungry, they have no jobs. They desire a new beginning, a new Zimbabwe, whereby they can re-build their shattered lives and look forward to a future of opportunity and prosperity.
The critical issue in Zimbabwe is to build a national consensus on the way forward so that we can usher in the new beginning desired by the people. This national consensus can only come about through a process of meaningful dialogue, premised on clear objectives.
As MDC we acknowledge Mugabe’s initial commitment to allowing a process of inter-party dialogue, albeit informal, to take place. It is deeply regretful that Zanu PF has now chosen to disengage from this process.
We urge SADC leaders to engage Mugabe and encourage him to honour the undertakings that he has given them in the past vis-à-vis his commitment to dialogue.
In the absence of a process of principled and meaningful dialogue we will fail to achieve the crucial consensus that is necessary to tackle the crisis in Zimbabwe. In the absence of this consensus the Zimbabwe crisis risks deteriorating to a level that poses a severe threat to the regions’ development goals as well as its overall stability. 
I want to see a Zimbabwe that is equipped to play a proactive role in helping the SADC region and the wider African continent tackle the twin evils of poverty and inequality that continue to blight the lives of millions of Africans.
I want a see a Zimbabwe that plays a meaningful role in meeting the goals of the African renaissance. 
In the first decade after independence, Zimbabwe, through the policies pursued by Mugabe, was making good progress towards tackling the poverty and inequality that we inherited from the colonial era.
As MDC we acknowledge Mugabe’s contribution to the liberation of Zimbabwe and his transformation efforts in the immediate post independence period. Mugabe now however is tarnishing his legacy and eroding his transformation achievements by pursuing a violent, coercive and expedient political agenda that is driving Zimbabwe into poverty and causing unprecedented suffering amongst the people.
I would like to finish by stating that the MDC remains hopeful that the government can be persuaded to implement the political and electoral reforms that will enable the MDC to participate in next year’s parliamentary elections. That is why we are continuing to prepare for the elections
We look forward to fighting in a free and fair election on the issues of the day – food and jobs.  These are the issues that really matter to Zimbabweans.
Through our economic recovery plan, RESTART (Reconstruction, Stabilisation, Recovery and Transformation), we possess a comprehensive set of policies that will enable us to stimulate the economic recovery that Zimbabwe so desperately needs to kick start a new beginn ing.SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> 
We are confident that our detailed policy programmes contained in RESTART will ensure that the MDC is able to create jobs and ensure food security for all.
We have the policies to shape the new beginning in Zimbabwe and build a new, inclusive, Zimbabwe, in which no-one is left behind.
The new Zimbabwe we envisage will be premised on democracy and the rule of law and anchored on a people driven constitution that enshrines and protect peoples’ fundamental human rights.
I thank you.
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Dallas Demo continues  Dallas Demo continues Dallas Demo continues

 Dallas Demo continues Dallas Demo continues Dallas Demo Continues
COSATU is on our side. Lets Persist until there are free and fair elections In Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe must conform to the SADC Protocol on a free and fair electoral process

Lets demand for the right to vote from abroad.

NO Homelink Without VoteLink. No To POSA. NO To AIPPA. No To Muzzling of The Press. NO To Torture. No To Corruption. No To Cosmetic Electoral Reforms. No To The NGO Bill. No to the youth Militia. No to Human Rights Violations. No To Politivcally Motivated Arrests.

Yes to Freedom of Association. Yes to Freedom of the Press. Yes to an Independent Electoral commission. Yes to Freedom of Expression. Yes to Dignity
VENUE : Downtown Dallas at FERRIS PLAZA, 400 S Houston Street DATE:October 30, 2004  TIME : 12-6pm
See You there.

Best Regards,

Andrew Mudzingwa


Phone: 214-458-6066, mudzingwa@
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Daily News online edition

      Tsvangirai urges SADC to tighten screws on Mugabe

      Date:29-Oct, 2004

      JOHANNESBURG - Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), says he met with SADC leaders to
implore them to resolve the crisis in Zimbabwe and ensure that President
Robert Mugabe's government creates conditions for free and fair elections
next March.

      Tsvangirai who met with South African President, Thabo Mbeki and
Mauritius Prime Minister Paul Berenger this week told hordes of journalists
yesterday he engaged the two leaders to explore ways through which SADC
could help resolve the crisis in Zimbabwe and pave way for free and fair

      He said talks with the two leaders centred on how the main political
parties in the country could continue with dialogue and resolve the crisis
and create an environment for free and fair elections in line with the SADC
principles and guidelines on elections.

      "In all the meetings that took place with both SADC leaders as well as
civic society organizations, we appealed for solidarity with the suffering
people of Zimbabwe. Our people are hungry, they have no jobs. They desire a
new Zimbabwe whereby they can re-build their shattered lives and look
forward to a future of opportunity and prosperity," Tsvangirai said.

      Tsvangirai said he believes the MDC had a historic opportunity to free
Zimbabwe through next year's elections.

      "When the crisis is resolved, the MDC will form the next government
and start all over again," he said.

      Tsvangirai said the MDC wanted SADC leaders to engage Mugabe to
encourage him to honour the undertakings that he made when he signed the
SADC protocol in Mauritius.

      He reiterated that the MDC would not take part in the elections if
Mugabe did not comply with the SADC protocol.

      On the proposed electoral changes by Mugabe, Tsvangirai said the MDC
wanted SADC to verify whether the conditions in Zimbabwe comply with the
regional body's protocol on free and fair elections before they can

      Tsvangirai said the orchestrated system of repression that
characterised Zimbabwe was demonstrated by the "shameless" deportation of
the COSATU fact-finding mission by the Zimbabwe government.

      "We condemn this treatment of COSATU officials in the strongest terms.
The deportation underlines just how far Zimbabwe has sunk in relation to
respecting people's basic rights and freedoms," Tsvangirai said.

      He said it was important to point out that the COSATU delegation
encountered what thousands of Zimbabweans have been experiencing daily for
the past five years.

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Mail and Guardian

Tsvangirai revises his opinion of Mbeki


      28 October 2004 09:08

Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan
Tsvangirai said on Thursday he had revised his opinion of President Thabo
Mbeki's attitude to the crisis in that country, calling their recent talks
"very productive".

The MDC has often been frustrated by Mbeki's policy of quiet diplomacy
towards the political and economic problems in Zimbabwe.

"I found the engagement with President Mbeki very productive and found his
attitude to be open, concerned, and of course to be committed to finding a

Mbeki met Tsvangirai this week in his capacity as chairperson of the
Southern African Development Community's (SADC) organ for defence, politics
and security.

Tsvangirai has been touring the SADC region ahead of elections in Zimbabwe
next march. On Thursday he returned from a meeting in Mauritius with Paul
Berenger who is the current chairperson of SADC, and held a short press
conference in Johannesburg before his return to Zimbabwe where he was
recently acquitted of treason charges.

"I have had to revise my view of my attitude towards Mbeki and I found him
to be more robust," Tsvangirai said.

He criticised the Zimbabwe government's decision to deport a visiting
Congress of South Arfrican Trade Unions delegation and not allow them to
meet the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions and civic organisations.

"Our view is that it is abhorrent and not acceptable. It reflects the extent
to which the Zimbabwe government has become paranoid," said Tsvangirai, a
former trade union leader himself.

He said his party was not boycotting the March elections. It had "suspended"
its participation until concerns about election mechanisms were addressed.

This included a worry that an independent electoral commission would not be
in place in time for the polls. - Sapa
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Zim elections may have to be delayed - MDC
          October 28 2004 at 07:55PM

      By Andrew Quinn

      Johannesburg - Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai said on
Thursday key parliamentary polls scheduled for March may have to be delayed
if they are to meet regional standards for freedom and fairness.

      Tsvangirai, speaking in Johannesburg at the end of a tour of
Zimbabwe's southern African neighbours, said it was unclear if President
Robert Mugabe's proposed electoral reforms can be enacted in time to
guarantee a fair vote.

      "We are of course concerned that there might not be sufficient time
between now and March," Tsvangirai, who heads the Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC), told a news conference in Johannesburg.

      "The reality is there may be need to reconsider the time frame for
elections because of the limitations on the institutions that will run these

      Tsvangirai, acquitted this month of treason charges in connection with
an alleged plot on Mugabe's life, said the MDC had made no final decision on
whether it would participate in the March vote.

      The MDC is regarded by many political analysts as the most potent
threat to Mugabe's rule since independence from Britain in 1980. But the
party announced in August it was suspending participation in elections until
"real" reforms are implemented.

      Zimbabwe is battling its worst political and economic crisis in
decades, with unemployment estimated at 70 percent, soaring inflation, and
acute fuel and foreign exchange shortages.

      Western countries and Tsvangirai blame Mugabe for the crisis and
accuse him of rigging recent polls, including his 2002 re-election as

      Mugabe in turn has accused Britain, Zimbabwe's former colonial power,
of undermining Zimbabwe as retribution for his policy of seizing white-owned
farms to give to landless blacks.

      Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party, under pressure from the Southern
African Development Community (SADC) has proposed reforms such as setting up
an electoral commission, increasing the number of polling stations, reducing
polling from two days to one day and using transparent ballot boxes.

      But implementation of the changes has been slow, leading some regional
analysts to question whether the proposed March vote can meet the SADC

      The Harare government demonstrated its continuing tough stance this
week when it deported a team from South Africa's main Cosatu trade union - a
key ally of Mbeki's ruling ANC, which was in Harare on a political
fact-finding mission.

      Tsvangirai began a four-day regional trip on Monday with a meeting
with South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki, whom he has criticised in the
past for failing to take a tough enough stance on Zimbabwe's crisis. He
later travelled to Mauritius to meet Prime Minister Paul Berenger, the
current head of SADC.

      Tsvangirai said he sensed a "more robust" attitude from Mbeki on the
Zimbabwe crisis, and that the SADC and particularly South Africa would play
a crucial role in helping to guarantee the country's next elections.

      "If we miss this historical opportunity it means that we will have to
wait until (the next scheduled polls in) 2008, by which time the country
will have fallen into a precipice," he said.

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Zim Doesn't Need Population Control

The Herald (Harare)

October 28, 2004
Posted to the web October 28, 2004

Donald T. Charumbira

RECENT indications of a population decline in Zimbabwe have been hailed in
some quarters, but I beg to differ with the opinion that a declining
population is a positive development.

Whilst it is true that a smaller population means lower public expenditure,
it does not necessarily amount to economic development or an increase in per
capita income. Many of the world's poorest countries have low populations
that illustrate this paradigm.

The myth of smaller families is not consistent with our African values.

Today, population control organisations tell us that we should have smaller
families so that we will be able to feed and educate all our children.

We are told that big families are unsustainable, and we should not have more
than two or three children.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

There are many parents with less than three children, yet they are failing
to feed them properly.

There are many large families, with more than six children, yet all have
access to education and food.

This is so even in families with the same income levels.

Necessity is the mother of all invention. Having more children and, thus,
the necessity of making more money, is motivation enough to drive a parent
to work harder to ensure that the children have their basic needs met. With
the land reform programme as well as traditional communal land tenure
structures, families are able to grow their own food requirements.

Before colonialism, it was more respectable to have a big number of children
as they would also be able to assist with work on the land when they came of

Family planning only came about as a result of colonial policies aimed at
boosting the population ratio of the white man.

There is no reason for us to continue to promote this policy, under the
guise of family planning, in an independent Zimbabwe.

There is little interrelation between population and the level of
unemployment in a country. Nigeria, which is Africa's most populous country,
also has the lowest level of unemployment on the continent.

Less than 3 percent of Nigeria's 137 million people are unemployed - one of
the lowest unemployment rates in the world.

Conversely, a small country like Lesotho, with a population of 1,8 million,
has 45 percent unemployment rate.

Botswana, with a population of 1,5 million, has more than 40 percent

It is, therefore, incorrect to assume that a bigger population equates to
higher unemployment.

In Zimbabwe, every child is entitled to education, even those from families
without sufficient funds.

I believe it is better to have more children and send them to an average
Government or missionary school than to have less children and send them to
an expensive private school.

Whilst many parts of Africa are speaking of family planning and promoting
smaller families, Europe is calling for higher levels of fertility as a
counter to its ageing population.

Also in Asia, tiny Singapore, which is only 20 square kilometres in area,
the government offers cash incentives for couples to have more children
despite already having a population of four million.

Malaysia's former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohammad called for higher
fertility to increase the national population from the current 22 million to
70 million.

So why are we calling for family planning in Africa? There is the
possibility of a wider international conspiracy.

First we are annihilated by HIV/Aids; now we are calling for family
planning. Perhaps someone wants to see less Africans in this world? Of this
we can never be absolutely certain, but we can be sure that smaller families
are not what Zimbabwe needs.

We have such vast land area that there is no way that we can fully realise
our economic potential with a population of 12 million as is presently the

It is essential for Zimbabwe to raise its fertility rate. There may be
short-term difficulties resulting from a surge in population, but in the
long-term it will result in higher national productivity. Foreign investment
is also more attracted to countries with higher populations as this makes
the internal market bigger.

Boosting fertility may not make sense now, when we have high unemployment
and declining domestic production, but when we are fully recovered, where
shall our labour come from? Shall we go back to the colonial era of
importing labour from Mozambique and Malawi? If we do not address our
long-term population growth now, it will come back to haunt us in the coming

There is no limit to the population that Zimbabwe can play host to.

The main imperative is proper planning in local governments to cater for
megacities of the future.

It is critical to promote rural and urban developments which disperse
investments and jobs across the country to prevent concentrated population
explosions in major cities.

It is safe to say that, given efficient local government planning and
administration, Zimbabwe can host a population of over 100 million people.

If we want future generations of Zimbabweans to continue to be a dominant
force in southern Africa and the world, we need to ensure that our
population continues to grow.

A more populous Zimbabwe could very well be a more productive Zimbabwe!
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Jesuits Turn On Mugabe Over Media Suppression

The Daily News (Harare)

October 28, 2004
Posted to the web October 28, 2004

THE Communications Committee of the Jesuits in Zimbabwe has painted a grim
picture of the media and political environment in Zimbabwe.

In a presentation to Catholic journalists assembled for their World Congress
in Bangkok, Thailand, the Zimbabwe committee said media operations in the
country had been severely curtailed by the

government following the closure of independent newspapers.

The committee, represented by Joyce Kazembe, chronicled the shrinking media
environment, harassment and assaults of journalists, the bombing of printing
presses of independent newspapers and the burning of these papers by ruling
party thugs.

"A few independent weeklies still exist, but they serve almost exclusively
urban professional people," the report said.

"The urban working class and the rural majority have access only to the
completely government-controlled broadcasting media which propagates daily
and hourly government policy and deny people the chance to express
themselves freely."

Despite the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe declaring the state broadcasting
station's monopoly unconstitutional, the committee said in theory it was
possible for independent community broadcasters and others to get a licence.

"But in practice no licence has been given. The police immediately
suppressed the few attempts at independent broadcasting," the report said.

The report said many journalists had abandoned Zimbabwe to seek employment
elsewhere, while others had ventured into public relations and other fields
to escape the repressive Access to Information and Protection of Privacy

"Telephones are regularly tapped and the regime is threatening to monitor
and control all e-mails. Religious programmes on the state broadcasting are
much reduced and dominated by religious groups

considered 'politically safe'," the committee's report said, adding that
people's rights had been sacrificed to perpetuate the ruling party's

Food ditribution had now been politicised. "We fear worse; the country is
suffering food shortages again this year, and the ruling party insists on
controlling the distribution of what food there is in order to manipulate
the elections due in March 2005," the committee said.

"Opposition politicians and their supporters suffer violence almost daily.
In this situation, the people need a voice and they are being denied it,"
said the committee.

President Robert Mugabe, whose government has come under severe criticism
for denying citizens their fundamental rights, is himself a Catholic.
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Chigwedere And the National Dress

Financial Gazette (Harare)

October 28, 2004
Posted to the web October 28, 2004

Mavis Makuni

If, as announced by the Education, Sport and Culture Minister Aeneas
Chigwedere recently, Zimbabwe has a national dress or costume by the end of
the year, the idea will have taken more than 20 years to come to fruition.

Chigwedere said three weeks ago that in response to "the cry by the nation"
for a national dress his ministry was inviting individuals and organisations
to submit entries. More than $100 million has been set aside in prize money
to encourage entrants to come up with designs that "tend to unite" rather
than divide Zimbabweans.

The idea of a national dress was first mooted by Zimbabwe's first
post-independence Education and Cul-ture Minister, Dzin-gai Mutumbuka in

Calling for desi-gns with distinctive local features, Mutu-mbuka was quoted
as saying: "Clothing is a basic necessity in any society, it is the mirror
of the culture of the people".

It is not clear whether the idea would have come to fruition much earlier if
Mutumbuka had not left government following his implication in the
Willowvale car scandal in 1988.

A pertinent question to ask, however, is whether an idea that has failed to
take off after 22 years of debate is a burning issue and therefore a

Some Zimba-bweans feel it is not a priority and argue that instead of
spending millions of dollars on the project, such funds should be
re-channeled towards addressing problems besetting the education system.

One observer, a former school teacher, said Chig-wedere should direct his
efforts towards addressing the chaotic situation within the education

He said Chigwe-dere's priorities were "upside down" if he thought it was
more important to have a national dress when pupils did not have textbooks
and dilapidated infrastructure at most schools needed to be refurbished.

The critic said following Chigwe-dere's earlier proposal of one universal
school uniform for the whole country which was greeted with widespread
derision, it was difficult to take his latest pronouncements on the national
dress seriously.

A more important question, however is, whether a national costume that comes
about by government decree can "catch on." In this regard, it is useful to
look at countries where this approach has been attempted to see how they
have fared.

At the height of his power, President Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire (now
Democratic Republic of Congo) embarked on a campaign to reduce Western
influence and create an authentic Zairean identity.

Mobutu, whose original first name was Joseph, ordered Zaireans to drop
Western-style Christian names and replace them with ethnic ones.

He introduced a form of national dress and decreed that it should be worn in
place of suits and other Western-style ensembles. At one stage women were
ordered not to wear trousers, wigs and cosmetics as these were symbols of
Western "decadence".

But even long before Mobutu was deposed by Laurent Kabila in 1998, Zaireans
had defied the government and reverted to Western-style dress, forsaking the
traditional garb prescribed by Mobutu.

Two other former dictators, Kamuzu Banda of Malawi and Idi Amin of Uganda,
tried to introduce national dresses for women were required. Amin decreed
that women should cover their knees or else they would be dealt with. This
was mainly in line with Amin's Islamic faith although he was president of a
predominantly Christian country.

Malawian women were required to abandon western style dresses and wear
ankle-length wrap-arounds emblazoned with pictures of the "Ngwazi"

Over in Tanzania, mini-skirts and make-up were once banned and a national
dress was once adopted for men.

Ironically, this was in the form of the definitely western-style safari
suit, which was the country's then leader, Julius Nyerere's favourite

Interestingly, resistance to imposed cultural change has also occurred when
some African governments have tried to force certain ethnic groups to
abandon their traditional lifestyles for a more modern Western way of life.

The Kenyan government faced similar resistance when the nomadic Masai defied
calls to abandon their traditional culture, including wearing trousers in
place of blanket wrappers, and adopt a Western lifestlye.

The campaign had to be abandoned. The push for a national dress by
Chigwe-dere's Ministry definitely sends confusing signals in a country where
the country's politicians love Western-style designer suits and accessories.
It is difficult to imagine any of our political leaders dressing like
Nigerian president Olusegen Obasanjo, who is never seen in public in
anything but the flowing and colourful robes that have become his trademark.
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Arrested Zim opposition MP apologises

          October 28 2004 at 06:19PM

      Harare - A leading white Zimbabwean lawmaker on Thursday apologised to
parliament for shoving a government minister during a parliamentary debate
in May, as the house prepared to vote on whether or not to impose a prison
sentence on him.

      Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) lawmaker Roy Bennett, who was
arrested on Thursday morning as he was preparing to leave the country, was
responding to a parliamentary report a day earlier that recommended he be
sent to jail for at least 12 months.

      Bennett was brought to parliament from a Harare police station and
made a 35-minute speech.

      He apologised to Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa, whom he had
pushed to the ground, and the speaker of parliament.

      "I'm extremely sorry for the disturbances that I caused to this house.
I apologise to you Mr Speaker, I apologise to Honourable Chinamasa," Bennett

      In May Bennett, a commercial farmer, lost his temper and pushed
Chinamasa to the floor after the minister said his ancestors were "thieves".

      Bennett was probed for contempt of parliament and was due to be
sentenced later on Thursday.

      "I have nothing against this government," Bennett, who claims he was
subjected to extreme provocation, told parliament.

      "I want to assist this government. This political party (President
Robert Mugabe's ruling Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front)
didn't want me. They chased me away, so I went to a political party where
there's no racial hatred.

      "I don't know what I've done. Why do you hate me so much?" Bennett

      Earlier on Thursday Bennett was arrested at Harare International
Airport as he prepared to leave the country.

      His lawyer in Harare denied he was trying to skip Zimbabwe, arguing
that he wanted to seek legal counsel in neighbouring South Africa.

      Police have slapped him with a separate charge of attempting to defeat
the course of justice.

      Bennett challenged parliament, which is dominated by Zanu-PF
legislators, to impose a custodial sentence.

      "Mr Speaker I'm ready to go to jail for 12 months. Sentence me," he

      In their report, the parliamentary committee probing Bennett,
described his spat with the justice minister, which made international news,
as "the worst attack on the dignity" of the Zimbabwean parliament.

      It rejected Bennett's plea that he reacted to verbal abuse by

      Under Zimbabwean law, parliament has the authority to sit as a court
and impose penalties, although legal experts say it may infringe on the
constitutional rights of Zimbabweans to receive a fair trial.

      Bennett read out a statement before parliament from one of his lawyers
saying that his client was a first offender and that "imprisonment for a
common assault is highly inappropriate".

      Common assault would usually attract a small fine, but under
Zimbabwean law parliament is given rights to protect its dignity by sitting
as a court and imposing various penalties.

      "Parliament seems to have been given powers that violate the
foundation of democracy," one of Bennett's lawyers, Arnold Tsunga told AFP.

      The committee that recommended a minimum one-year jail term for
Bennett comprised three ruling party and two opposition lawmakers.

      Bennett is a lawmaker for the southeastern constituency of
Chimanimani, where he also owned a coffee farm, which was occupied by ruling
party supporters who have refused to vacate despite several court orders.

      He told the special parliamentary committee that he had "reacted to
insults from Honourable Chinamasa and the years of harassment he had endured
in the hands of the state."

      But the head of the special committee, Paul Mangwana, dismissed
Bennett's argument that he had been provoked.

      "The language used by Chinamasa was robust, but that is expected in
parliamentary debates," he said. "The defense of provocation was not
sustainable in this case." - Sapa-AFP

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What We Black Women Ought to Tell This President

Business Day (Johannesburg)

October 28, 2004
Posted to the web October 28, 2004

Rhoda Kadalie

NOTHING gets President Thabo Mbeki's knickers in a knot as much as
utterances he construes to be racist. More frighteningly, he lashes out
histrionically at those he thinks guilty of the sin.

A recent target, among others, is an "anonymous" white woman, whom we all
know is Charlene Smith, a feminist African National Congress (ANC) activist
whose loyalty to issues of justice has always preceded that of loyalty to
the party.

She has the knack of sending our president into an apoplectic rage over a
seemingly innocent statement that still offends him after four years! It
reads: "Here (in Africa), (AIDS) is spread primarily by heterosexual sex
spurred by men's attitudes towards women. We won't end this epidemic until
we understand the role of tradition and religion and of a culture in which
rape is endemic and has become a prime means of transmitting disease, to
young women as well as children."

Whether Mbeki likes it or not, this view underpins the high rates of sexual
and domestic violence, HIV infections, femicide and family murders
experienced by South African women on a daily basis. The scourge of violence
against women is not the prerogative of any ethnic group. In all groups men
rely on patriarchal culture, religion and tradition to justify treating
women as chattels and second-class citizens. This attitude has come a long

Even the great philosophers of our time believed women were genetically
inferior, legally and politically incompetent. The radical Proudhon believed
women had two functions in life: housewife and prostitute.

So what Smith says is unmitigated fact. To accuse her of saying, "African
traditions, indigenous religions and culture prescribe and institutionalise
rape" and implying that "African men are inherently potential rapists and
barbaric savages" when no such evidence exists is libellous and

Such far-fetched rubbish I have not heard in a long time. Racist
interpretations of innocent statements such as hers smack of obsession at
best and paranoia at worst. They resemble the incantations of a rabid
African nationalist, not of someone described by the media as an

Surely this kind of response is out of kilter with the office of president
and enough to strike the fear of God into the hearts of any ordinary
citizens who dare to voice their opinions?

If a puny little white activist is capable of sending the president into
continual fits of rage, what does this say of Mbeki?

Maybe the time has come to call a spade a shovel.

Maybe we black women should start telling the president most black men treat
black women badly, as borne out by the startling evidence of domestic
violence, default on maintenance, sexual offences and the criminal courts of
the land.

Maybe we should tell the president sexual autonomy for women is a myth, men
do not accept "NO" for an answer, and many think women are their property.

Maybe we should tell the president the reason more young women than men are
infected with the AIDS virus is because most men sleep around with more than
one woman and refuse to use condoms.

Maybe we should tell the president girl children on school benches are
sexually abused by teachers when they should be learning, according to a
report of the education department.

Yes, Mr President, most of these men are black they violate not because they
are black but because the majority of men in this country are black.

Mr President, I suggest you undergo some serious antiracism training so that
you can identify the sin when you see it. Lashing out at activists who dare
to call abuse by its regular name weakens you and not them. Why are you
selectively vociferous about some matters and not others? Why do you not
similarly trumpet the promotion of safe sex, antiretroviral medicines and
sympathy for those infected with HIV?

Why do the HIV/AIDS pandemic and gross human rights violations in Zimbabwe
not similarly move you? Why do you not condemn men for infecting multiples
of women at the same time?

Your presidential letters are obsessed with your own notions of race and
what it means to be African and how others, mainly whites, misinterpret this
"sacrosanct idea" that only you, Thabo Mbeki, understand. Even your
congratulatory letter to Wangari Maathai is misdirected.

After reading it, all I can say to you is, Mr President, is get a life!

Kadalie is a human rights activist based in Cape Town.
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Mail and Guardian

'Things are not well in Zimbabwe'

      Leon Engelbrecht | Johannesburg, South Africa

      28 October 2004 17:14

This week's short-lived fact-finding mission by the Congress of South
African Trade Unions (Cosatu) to Zimbabwe proved things are not well in
Zimbabwe, Cosatu deputy secretary general Bheki Ntshalintshali said on

He told a press conference at Cosatu's Braamfontein offices that the mission
was not there long enough and did not speak to enough people to determine
whether free and fair elections are possible next year.

But he said that if held tomorrow, "it would be a very difficult issue" on
which to comment.

He and his colleagues said the Zimbabwean government is not at present
respecting the rule of law, human rights or Zimbabwe's international

The 13-member Cosatu mission was deported from Zimbabwe on Tuesday.

Said Ntshalintshali: "The police invasion of the offices of the Zimbabwe
Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), the arrest of the Cosatu mission and their
ill treatment at the hands of the police all proved beyond doubt that the
government had no respect for human rights and the freedom of trade unions
to function freely within the law."

Earlier, Ntshalintshali had congratulated the 13-strong team for its
"heroism and commitment".

"Their courage in the face of harassment, threats and assault from the
Zimbabwe security forces was in the finest traditions of the trade-union

"We thank them all for their refusal to be intimidated and to stick to their
mission in the face of brutal repression."

Later in the briefing, Cosatu national gender coordinator Nkemeleng Mzibomvu
gave meaning to the words by explaining how police at the airport had
mistreated her and a colleague.

She was pulled by the hair and he was grabbed by the genitals -- for no
apparent reason.

Ntshalintshali said Cosatu condemns the actions of the Zimbabwe government,
"which revealed its utter contempt not only for the principles of respect
for human rights and civil liberties, but for the rule of law, when it
brushed aside an order of the Harare High Court interdicting them from
deporting the members of the Cosatu mission".

Cosatu also criticised Department of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Ronnie
Mamoepa for saying "Zimbabwe is an independent, sovereign state that has an
inalienable right to determine and to apply its immigration legislation as
it may deem appropriate and in its own interest".

Ntshalintshali pointed out that Zimbabwe is a signatory to several
international conventions that guarantee basic human rights, including
freedom of movement, assembly and speech.

"The government's conduct this week has attacked all these rights. No
democratic government has the right to deny entry and free movement to
visitors who, like the Cosatu mission, do not contravene any immigration
laws and who obey the laws of the land," he said.

Cosatu's mission was lawful, and as South Africans they did not require
visas for Zimbabwe.

There were no grounds for denying the delegation entry, and the delegation
was right to reject conditions stipulating whom they could meet.

"We accept that the African National Congress government shares with Cosatu
the common goal of restoring democracy in Zimbabwe, but that it is pursuing
a different route from Cosatu towards achieving this goal.

"Ronnie Mamoepa also said, on Radio 702, that the solution to the problems
of Zimbabwe had to come about through amicable discussion with the parties
involved -- precisely what the Cosatu mission was trying to do."

Asked whether the mission was another triumph for quiet diplomacy, mission
leader Violet Seboni, Cosatu's second deputy president, said it is not for
the trade federation to pressure the government.

"We respect the government with regard to 'quiet diplomacy'. Cosatu can tell
workers what to do, not government," she said.

Cosatu to keep on campaigning
Ntshalintshali, meanwhile, recommitted Cosatu to campaign publicly in
support of the ZCTU and the country's workers.

"We will be ready, if called upon by the ZCTU, to take solidarity action in
support of their struggle for the right to meet, demonstrate and organise,
free of any interference from the state, in line with the International
Labour Organisation and United Nations conventions. And we shall also
campaign for the restoration of democracy and for free and fair elections."

Isaac Ramputa of finance union Sasbo said Cosatu's central committee will
next month decide on further action.

He said speculation on border blockades and other action against Zimbabwe by
Cosatu is therefore premature.

ZCTU secretary general Wellington Chebebe, also at the media conference,
said what he would like Cosatu to do is continue to "unmask [the lies of]
the Zimbabwe government", as it has done through its visit. -- Sapa
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