|The ZIMBABWE Situation||Our
thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe |
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.
Zimbabwe's Mugabe visits Egypt
October 3, 2003
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak discussed the
situation in Liberia
and developments in Sudan with his Zimbabwean counterpart Robert Mugabe, the
official al-Gumhuriya newspaper reported.
In its Friday edition, the newspaper said Mugabe had stopped over in
Cairo on his way back from New York, where he addressed the United Nations
Mugabe has been widely criticized for his rule of Zimbabwe, which was
suspended from the Commonwealth over its poor human rights record and the
president's contentious re-election in a vote widely condemned as rigged.
However Mugabe still has some support in Africa.
He made a private visit to Egypt in June, when he also held talks with
ABC News, Australia
Friday, October 3, 2003. 9:15am (AEST)
Zimbabwe court sets date for paper to challenge closure
A court in Zimbabwe says it will begin in two weeks hearing a challenge by
the country's only independent newspaper, the Daily News, against the
state's refusal to grant it a license, which led to the paper's closure.
The court ruled that it would start hearing the Daily News's case on October
16, after lawyers for the paper applied to the court for the matter to be
"The application is granted," the magistrate said in his ruling.
Last month the Supreme Court ruled that the paper, a fierce critic of
President Robert Mugabe's government, was operating illegally because it had
not registered with a state-appointed media commission as required by law.
The Daily News had challenged the law on the grounds it was
unconstitutional, but the court ordered the paper to comply with the Access
to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) before challenging it.
The paper's subsequent application to register with the commission was then
rejected, and the paper immediately appealed to the country's administrative
court for an urgent hearing, which was granted Thursday.
The paper's lawyers argued that the paper was losing millions of Zimbabwe
dollars in revenue every day following its closure by the authorities on
"This is one very important step towards final victory," Gugulethu Moyo, the
paper's legal director told reporters outside the court.
The media commission had opposed the paper's application, saying the Daily
News had deliberately defied the law by refusing to register with them.
Media freedom in the southern African country was thrust into the
international spotlight last month when armed police raided the Daily News
offices and seized equipment.
The forced closure caused an outcry both at home and abroad.
Days later the High Court ordered that the paper should be allowed to reopen
and that police should return the confiscated equipment.
Some of the seized equipment was returned but police occupied the paper's
offices and prevented staff from producing a paper, as the government
prepared to lodge an appeal against the High Court ruling.
Police returned to the paper's offices after that rejection and, armed with
a warrant, which they did not have during earlier raids, took away more
Thursday's ruling in favour of the Daily News comes a day after the Harare
High Court quashed an application by the paper to have equipment returned
that had been seized during the succession of police raids.
UN 'letting torturer escape'
Andrew Meldrum in Pretoria
Friday October 3, 2003
The United Nations broke its own anti-torture convention by allowing a
Zimbabwean police officer accused of torture to leave its peace force in
Kosovo and return to Zimbabwe where he will probably not face investigation.
Henry Dowa, a Zimbawe chief inspector, was named by several victims as
having directed their torture, which included prolonged beatings on the
soles of their feet and electric shocks causing convulsions. The victims'
allegations were backed by medical examinations.
Human rights groups urged the UN to arrest Chief Insp Dowa and put him on
trial for torture. The UN declined, citing a lack of funds, and sent him
back to Zimbabwe.
There had been plans to get Mr Dowa extradited to stand trial in Britain
where some of his alleged victims now live.
Redress, the London organisation which works for justice for survivors of
torture, claimed that the UN had managed to break its own treaty by allowing
Mr Dowa to evade arrest.
The group said yesterday it was unlikely Mr Dowa would be "held accountable
for his alleged crimes, as torture is endemic and part of the Zanu-PF
government's strategy to stay in power".
Last week Mr Dowa was seen driving a police Land Rover in Harare.
"What is the UN doing? By sending him back here they are allowing him to
torture another day. If the UN does not help us, who is going to protect us
from known torturers?" a Zimbabwean journalist said.
|03 Oct 2003 00:47:00
World Vision supplementary feeding eases child malnutrition
The White House (Washington,
October 2, 2003
Posted to the web October 2, 2003
9:30 A.M. EDT, The Roosevelt Room
THE PRESIDENT: Listen, thanks. Just a couple of thoughts and then I'll
answer your questions.
I'm really looking forward to welcoming President Kibaki here to Washington
for a State Dinner. It's quite a dramatic event, I think the President will
really enjoy the ceremony we have. My first hope is that the weather
accommodates the arrival, because it is impressive. And it's a way for us
to send a strong message, not only to the President, but to the people of
Kenya, that, one, we respect the friendship; two, we like the cooperation
that we have, particularly on counter-terrorism; three, we respect democracy
in our country, and we like leaders who uphold the democratic traditions --
the President has done that, it was a good, clean election, he won
overwhelmingly. He is following through on some of his campaign pledges,
which is an important part of democracy. One of the campaign pledges, as
you know, is he's interested in fighting corruption. And he's taking
Our visit is a chance to signal clearly that our strategy on the continent
of Africa to work with nations to help solve regional disputes, and
particularly in this case, the Sudan, where the Kenyan government has been
most helpful and very constructive. So this is an important visit for us.
It comes on the heels of my trip to the continent. It was an impressive
trip for me; I remember it, and will remember it for a long time.
There are issues on the continent that are important for America, and there
are opportunities on the continent that are important for the people on the
continent and the world. And Kenya is a key player and a leader in East
Africa. So that's why he's coming, and I look forward to it, it's going to
be a grand day.
Let me answer a couple of questions, we'll go around and save Charlie until
the last here. Martin.
Mr. President, it's a pleasure to be here. Overall -
THE PRESIDENT: Please don't take it personally, Charlie. (Laughter.)
- Overall, how does Kenya rank on your scorecard, since a new government
took over in January? And in that light, how do you -- what would you say
about recent events where three journalists were arrested and intimidated
into talking about, you know, where they got a source. Kenya has a leak
issue of it's own. (Laughter.) That kind of seemed to --
THE PRESIDENT: Yes. I'm against leaks, Martin. (Laughter.) And I would
suggest all governments get to the bottom of every leak of classified
information. (Laughter.) And, by the way, if you know anything, Martin,
would you please bring it forward and help solve the problem? (Laughter.)
In this particular case, it's actually the method with which they went
around dealing with it. That kind of, like, sent a chilling message.
THE PRESIDENT: No, I understand. First, the fact that Kenya is coming, the
President is coming for a State Dinner, as I say, is a sign of our respect
for the President and for the importance of Kenya, and meeting common goals
and common objectives.
Our country believes in a free press, a free, unfettered press. And we
believe that part of having a society which is able to battle corruption is
a society in which the press flourishes. And I must say, I don't know all
the particulars, so it's hard for me to comment about this particular
incident -- but I will make the case that a free press is essential to a
democratic and free and honest government. The press, you know, has got the
capability, a very powerful capability of holding people to account and I
respect that element in the press.
So, again, I don't know the particulars, but the President will hear me talk
about all aspects of democracy.
Yes. Mr. President, thank you very much for inviting me. I appreciate it
You mentioned in your opening remarks about Kenya's cooperation with the
United States on counter-terrorism matters. You're, no doubt, well aware,
too, that Kenya has been harmed, economically harmed by the many travel
advisories -- both by the United States and Britain that have been issued --
no doubt for warranted reasons. But, at the same time, is there a way that
the United States can be helpful to Kenya in this respect?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, first of all, a lot of Americans love to travel to
Kenya. It is a spectacular destination spot. We have an obligation as a
government to call it as we see it, though, when it comes to security
matters. It's very important for us as a government to maintain our
credibility with the American people and to say -- you know, to make
assessments. And we have made the assessment that at the moment, Kenya is a
place where our citizens should be wary of traveling. And the bombing of
Mombassa is clearly an example of what we're talking about.
However, we also believe it's important to work with Kenya to relieve the
situation. It's not only for our own national interests, it's for Kenya's
interest that we mutually deal with terrorists. That's why we put fort the
$100 million on the East African Counter-terrorism initiative. Kenya will
be a key player in that. Kenya has been very cooperative on intel, we're
The intent of the terrorists, of course, is to spread fear. That's one of
their weapons, in that they're willing to kill innocent people; in that,
they're willing to murder anybody who is convenient to murder, they then are
able to spread fear. And one of the consequences of terrorist activity is
to create an environment of fear. We're working with Kenya to relieve the
And, you know, we had a restriction on our families at the embassy -- that
has been changed. So in other words, things are improving. And at some
point in time, hopefully, soon, we'll be able to make a declaration about
Kenya. But we will do so, you know, by keeping, kind of, the real situation
in mind. And I do want to emphasize, though, that, obviously, we don't
believe that the situation is permanent. Otherwise, we wouldn't be dealing
with the President like we are, in kind of a very public way. And we
believe that together we can change circumstances. We have seen
circumstances change from lack of security to security, a place where it was
hard to travel, to a place where it's easy to recommend travel. And I
believe that can happen here in Kenya.
But I understand fully the concerns of people who make a living as a result
of U.S. citizens and citizens from Great Britain traveling.
Right, right. And if I may, I mean, the government -- the Kenyan government
obviously looks to the United States to be supportive and helpful. And the
advisories have had the opposite effect. I recognize that you're trying to
do what you can --
THE PRESIDENT: No, actually, I'm sure the President will bring this up. I
hope he does bring this up because we will be able to explore ways to work
to create the conditions so that the advisories can come off.
And we just want -- but we err on the side of caution when it comes to
issuing advisories. You know, we'd all like to -- we certainly don't want
to damage our friend, unnecessarily damage our friend. On the other hand,
we have an obligation to be frank and honest with the American people. So
we'll work through it.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Kevin. Esther.
Thank you, Mr. President, for this opportunity to talk to you this morning.
Looking back, Mr. President, you've talked about your trip in Africa. And
I'm wondering whether there's anything that you look back and say the U.S.
did not involve itself with Africa and which you would like to do now, when
you're in the office?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I felt like we needed to expand the AIDS Initiative.
But I felt that way before I want. And so when I went, I was, one,
delivering the message that we will help. We will help to the tune of $15
billion over five years. There's been, you know, debate about whether or
not I meant $15 billion over five. I do mean it. But some have suggested,
well, maybe the best way to spend that money is divide $15 billion by five,
and it will be $3 billion a year. We think there's a better way to do it,
and we're working with Congress to get the appropriations out as we speak.
The judgment from the administration's perspective and listening to the
experts is it's best to ramp up, start slower and end up with more in the
end, in order to make sure the dollars are spent efficiently and that help
is delivered in a way that saves lives. And that's what we're working
through with the Congress right now, through the appropriations process.
But my message was is that we're very sincere about this program, and that
the United States must expand its efforts.
I also was really, as best as I could, calibrating the delivery systems in
some of the countries we went to. In other words, it's one thing to provide
the aid and the money and the medicines. The other question is, can they
actually get to the people that need help? The vibrancy of the faith-based
programs or the charities or the NGOs -- how strong are they in these
receptive countries? How receptive is the government to receive the help?
Will the government be counterproductive to our efforts?
And, you know, look, admittedly, I didn't go to every single country that's
going to receive help from this Emergency AIDS Initiative. But it gave me a
sense to then be able to listen to others who had been to the countries and
to calibrate and to get a sense of what the infrastructures look like.
Kenya is a part of this initiative. And I look forward to talking to the
President about this initiative. It is a vital initiative.
Mr. President, I'm wondering about the 58th session of the U.N. General
Assembly, where you talked about illegal trade of human trafficking, which
is rampant in West Africa, like Togo, Benin, and Burkina Faso. And I'm
wondering what the U.S. government is doing in collaboration with the Africa
n governments to eradicate this problem, which also comes about because of
poverty -- some parents willing to give out their children to go and work as
sex slaves or do cheap labor, because they have no money.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, no, I appreciate that. It's hard to believe a parent
would be willing to send their daughter into sex slavery, willingly. But
in -- yes, I mean, as a dad, it's just hard for me to fathom.
They probably won't know what happens to their children, but they give them
THE PRESIDENT: Well, yes, they're not specifically -- that's what I
thought. I mean, I doubt that they would -- you know, I don't know. Look,
first, it's to improve the economic of the continent by trade. AGOA is a
real opportunity, and we're sincere about AGOA, and we believe in AGOA, and
we're leading the way on AGOA. And that will help, hopefully, alleviate the
poverty that sends people into such desperate straits that they're willing
to sell their child -- in essence, is what you're saying.
Secondly, in terms of the role of the United States in terms of sex slavery,
it is very essential for the United States to start with the big megaphone,
which is what I did. And I called upon the Security Council, kind of the
collection of nations to speak with one voice. And then we can start
working bilaterally. It's not just in Western Africa where there's an
issue, there's an issue in parts of Europe, there's an issue in parts of the
Far East. And I intend to bring this issue up as I meet with leaders,
particularly in affected areas.
I've met with -- gosh, I don't know how many leaders of African nations I
have met with. I would say, a lot.
DR. FRAZER: Over 26.
THE PRESIDENT: My only point is, is that I'm constantly meeting with
leaders, which will give me an opportunity to bring this issue up. In order
to solve the problem, it's not only the need to address poverty, it's also
the need for governments to deal with those who are the slave traders, or
the slave masters, however you want to call them. We've dealt with this
issue once in our civilized history. Unfortunately, as I mentioned, we need
to deal with it again.
So this is an effort where it's going to take a collective effort around the
world. The United States alone cannot change. We can do our part about
sending signals. We can do our part about helping alleviate poverty. We
can do our part about -- and by the way, we've got a program, one of the
most active programs -- we're the active nation in the world when it comes
to helping alleviate hunger, for example. Maybe that's part of the root
cause of -- I know it's part of the root cause of desperation, as well as
disease. But we also pass laws and hold people to account. In other words,
it's one thing to call for action, but then we must do it ourselves. And
we've got the laws on the books to do so, and will.
Charlie, it's about time. (Laughter.)
Yes, sir. On your trip to Africa, after your meeting with President Mbeki
in South Africa, we felt that your attitude or stance was that you would let
President Mbeki and the regional leaders in Southern Africa take the lead on
THE PRESIDENT: Zimbabwe, yes.
Yes. Zimbabwe, if anything, has gotten worse. Are you satisfied with the
kind of pressures that Mbeki has -- President Mbeki has placed, or the
countries of the neighborhood has placed on Zimbabwe, some additional
THE PRESIDENT: Let me review the history of this. I did speak very clearly
to President Mbeki about Zimbabwe. I said, you and the neighborhood must
deal with this man, you're sending a bad signal to the world. Along with
Prime Minister Blair, we've been the two most outspoken leaders on this
issue. And then our Secretary of State has followed up consistently.
I know there was an impression at the press conference, where I publicly
said, Mr. Mbeki assures me he'll deal with this issue, in essence is what I
said. But, no, our government has not changed our opinion about the need
for the region to deal with Zimbabwe and the leadership there. In order for
there to be a country, a prosperous country, it is -- this is a country
which was a food exporter, in a region that needs food. It's a country
where the economy has fallen apart as the result of bad governance.
And we're constantly making the point to leadership that comes in. I made
the point in New York to the leader of Mozambique, who is in the
Oops, my tape -- don't worry.
THE PRESIDENT: I'm just getting -- cranking up, Charlie. (Laughter.)
I will remember. (Laughter.)
THE PRESIDENT: No, you won't remember. It's impossible to remember
eloquence. (Laughter.) You must capture it. (Laughter.) No, nobody should
read any -- look, we are pressing the issue regularly.
Are you satisfied, though, with what Mr. Mbeki and the other people are
THE PRESIDENT: The only time that this government and I, personally, will
be satisfied is when there is an honest government, reformed government in
Zimbabwe, that's our goal. That's the definition of satisfaction. And that
hasn't happened yet; therefore, we're not satisfied.
With Mr. Mugabe or Mr. Mbeki?
THE PRESIDENT: With the process. Well, certainly not with Mr. Mugabe. And
when President Mbeki says they are working on it, to achieve this goal, I
take him for his word. And I am going to remind all parties that the goal
is a reformed and fair government. And that hasn't been achieved yet. And
we'll continue to press the issue, both privately and publicly, which I just
Mr. President, can I ask about --
THE PRESIDENT: Not yet. (Laughter.) We're having an orderly discussion.
It reminds me of an American press conference. When I ask the journalists,
please ask one question, and they ask four or five at the same time, in the
same breath. It's hard to believe -- there's a tremendous lack of
discipline in the U.S. press corps. (Laughter.) Like the other day, I was
embarrassed when the AP -- a fantastic organization, a wonderful reporter --
was able to ask four questions in one breath -- (laughter) -- setting a
terrible precedent for the Russian press that followed up.
I have four today, sir. (Laughter.)
THE PRESIDENT: I'm sure you do. You've already asked one, "how's the
Three, then. (Laughter.) Mr. President, you mentioned AGOA and how it's
anticipated that it will help alleviate poverty in Africa. However, most
countries in Africa are still struggling just to begin to export products
and don't seem to have the capacity to fully exploit what AGOA promises.
And that seems to be an ongoing issue. If it's textiles, there's no
capacity to reach the maximum quotas reserved for Africa. And by
THE PRESIDENT: So far.
Right. And AGOA seems to be Africa's stepping stone to globalization. Now,
just recently, the World Trade Organization meeting collapsed, and that
seemed to symbolize a growing frustration among most developing countries,
and particularly in Africa, that globalization and AGOA in the same -- is
not really fair, it's not a level playing field. Does this whole process
need to be rethought to try to give them a little more capacity, to probably
go in and try and build structures so that they can compete?
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, listen, here -- we've got a full-scale strategy on
dealing with economic opportunity. First let me talk about the Millennium
Challenge Account, which is a central part of the strategy, which basically
says we're willing to add aid if countries develop the habits necessary to
be able to develop a just and honorable society: transparency,
anti-corruption, focus on the people, a market orientation to their economy.
Secondly, AGOA creates opportunity. It's up to the nations to seize the
opportunity. Our aid will help. We're more than willing to work with
nations to help develop an entrepreneurial class that is able to seize the
moment. And AGOA treats African nations fairly when it comes to our
markets. And so our strategy is to help African nations develop the
infrastructure necessary to achieve the markets.
And it starts with good governance, in our judgment. That's the best thing
we can affect -- and fight corruption, going to insist upon transparency,
insist upon education practices that will help and we provide help for this.
On a wide range of areas we help nations help themselves develop the economy
necessary to take advantage of trade.
I believe that trade is the only way to help nations grow out of poverty.
And so we've been open with our markets. The bilateral relationship between
the United States and the continent of Africa is a strong relationship. I
was sorry to see that there was a setback at the World Trade Organization,
because I think that global trade will benefit the African continent, as
well. It's important to open up markets, and that will provide opportunity
for the African business sector.
And there's been good progress in many countries, by the way, as a result of
AGOA. The amount of trade that is coming to the United States from the
continent is dramatic. I can't cite the statistic exactly right this
second. If I'm not mistaken, the trade from Kenya to the United States is
upward of $400 million.
Yes, it's up substantially.
THE PRESIDENT: That's substantial. Martin, that's good progress. I think
expectations ought to be realistic that market-oriented economies aren't
going to happen instantly. It takes -- there's a process that will help,
but the fact that trade is up $400 million in Kenya is very positive. It
means there's more activity, more jobs, more hope, more opportunity, all of
which can be fostered by good, honest government, by the way. Or it can be
squandered by corrupt government. And that's one of the reasons why the
Millennium Challenge Account is part of our strategy on the continent, is to
promote the habits of good and honest, decent government.
Yes, thank you, Mr. President. You mentioned Sudan at the outset and the
importance of Kenya and moving negotiations forward. Kenya has often seen
itself as an island of stability surrounded by countries that have had
serious conflicts and continue to have. Is the United States going to be
discussing that with Mr. Kibaki and perhaps offering some specific
assistance as Kenya tries to bring peace to Somalia, Sudan and the Great
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, interesting. Absolutely, we'll be talking about this,
because I view that the best role the United States can play is be
supportive of regional leaders and/or the capacity, for example, of African
peacekeeping forces to carry the task of dealing with civil dispute. And
Kenya is playing a vital role in the Sudan, along with former Senator Jack
Danforth. They work closely together. It's a vital role to play.
And we will be encouraging President Kibaki to continue on being a regional
leader. We will discuss it. If he has got suggestions about how our State
Department and AID programs can help him do a better job as a regional
leader, we're interested in listening.
We also believe that we ought to continue training forces such as ECOWAS, as
an example, to be prepared to take on peacekeeping missions on the
Liberia is another -- am I answering your question, Charlie? (Laughter.)
No, I've got it in my head here. (Laughter.)
THE PRESIDENT: I'll save it. That way I won't force you to have to think
of another question. (Laughter.) You might have to slip into the baseball
Anyway, yes, we will talk about that. It's a key role. You see, I believe
that Africa is plenty capable -- African nations are plenty capable of
dealing with dispute. I believe there are very capable leaders on the
continent who are good, strong leaders. And the role of the United States
is not to supplant them as problem-solvers, but to help them solve problems.
And one of the reasons why I think AGOA is such a strong statement by the
United States is it says we have faith in the capacity of the people to take
advantage of this opportunity.
I talked about the potential of the African continent. It's way beyond --
oftentimes people talk about the potential of Africa as resource potential.
I view it as people potential. And so this country takes a supportive role
in dealing with the leadership, and recognizing that there are some strong
leaders that are capable of handling the problems, as opposed to supplanting
THE PRESIDENT: Esther.
Mr. President, I'm wondering, as Africa joins the rest of the world in
fighting terrorism, whether there are any plans to involve not only the
governments, but also the civil society and religious leaders who reach the
THE PRESIDENT: Yes. You know, the answer is, of course. And let me put it
this way to you -- and I say this a lot, Esther, as I explain to the
American people why we make the decisions we make. Free societies are
societies which will not support terror. Free societies are societies which
aren't at war with their neighbors. I mean, freedom has the capacity to
change the behavior of the people.
So, you bet. I mean, a free society is a society which, in itself,
recognizes the value of civil society. Free societies are societies in
which the civil society is the strength of the society. And to the extent
that there are religious leaders preaching hatred that go beyond the scope
of free speech and free religion, we try to work with leaders to work with
their religious counterparts not to preach hatred and violence. But the
United States is committed to the overall spread of free, honest, open
government. That's the heart of the Millennium Challenge Account.
The Millennium Challenge Account -- again, this is -- I'm trying to share
with you as much of my philosophy about dealing with the continent as
anything else. I believe -- obviously, I believe that people are plenty
capable of developing honest government and transparent government, and
focusing resources where they need to be focused. That's why we have laid
out the initiative. That's why we've created this entirely new approach to
foreign aid on the continent -- and elsewhere, by the way.
It essentially says, I believe in the inherent goodness of men and women and
their capacity to govern themselves. And, therefore, we want to work with
governments that make that choice. I recognize not everybody is going to
make that choice, and I recognize sometimes the path of least resistance is
corruption. And it's very tempting to take -- you know, the head of a
government to be corrupt, as Kenya has learned. And you've got a leader now
who is willing to stand up and fight corruption. You've got an
anti-corruption czar in Kenya, which is a positive development. Now the
person must do their work. You've got anti-corruption legislation, which is
And so one of the key messages from this visit is, Mr. Kibaki, you're
proving our point. You're leading. You're showing what is possible. And
to the extent that we work with civil -- that in itself spurs a civil
society which is vibrant and strong. A civil society -- kind of the
underpinnings of a free society as opposed to a centralized government. And
the habits of freedom change the attitudes of people.
Now, look, I readily concede there must be economic vitality and growth
along with that in order to alleviate poverty. And part of the central
component of our AIDS initiative is recognizing that a pandemic that sweeps
through a continent will destroy the hopes of people. It's incredibly
debilitating to the spirit when kids grow up as orphans after their parents
have died a tough death. And this pandemic is wiping out a generation.
And that's why I feel so passionate about leading the world -- not just the
United States, but the world must step up and help in a way that actually
works, in a way that changes the attitudes toward AIDS and save lives.
THE PRESIDENT: They ever call you "Charles"?
I had a school teacher once call me Charles. (Laughter.)
THE PRESIDENT: I'll join the crowd. Charles, what's on your mind.
I'm open to learning. (Laughter.) I do, indeed, have a Liberia question.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, sir. I was hoping you would bring it up. This
isn't the first time you've asked me about Liberia.
No, nor the last.
THE PRESIDENT: Nor the last, yes, I was about to say. (Laughter.)
There was gun play in Monrovia, I guess, yesterday.
THE PRESIDENT: There was.
There's deep suspicion of this process in the sense that -- among
Liberians -- that these rebel groups aren't much better than Charles Taylor.
And without getting some significant control of the country, independent, if
you will, anything free and fair seems remote. And there's puzzlement --
which is my question to you, at the -- well, what one Liberian characterized
as the aloofness of this administration toward the Liberian situation in
terms of concrete people on the ground. There's puzzlement over this. How
do you respond?
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, I respond this way, Charles.
THE PRESIDENT: I made it very clear from the beginning our strategy in
Liberia. Now, remember, I have just told you that I believe on the
continent of Africa is -- African nations are plenty capable of dealing with
issues such -- of civil unrest, like in Liberia.
And I believe it's very important for our government to be consistent in our
message, that we will help, we will help train troops. And I said from day
one, Charlie, that we would provide help to ECOWAS. By the way, a group of
folks we helped train in the past, and we would provide enough presence to
enable ECOWAS to come in and do their job. And we moved a Marine group of
troops in, secured the port. Remember the first issue was the port? Would
the United States act to secure the airport and port? Yes, we did. Would
we create the conditions necessary for ECOWAS to move in, and then
eventually blue helmet the operation, which happened yesterday, and that
encouraged others to participate along with the United Nations? You bet we
Now, we've kept a presence there. We've kept a presence there to help
ECOWAS. So we've done everything we said we would do. And the strategy has
worked. I recognize there was sporadic fire, or however you want to
describe it, yesterday. And I suspect that that may happen on an infrequent
But the process is working. The United Nations will move in. They will
help supervise the elections. Hopefully, they will be free and fair. This
is a good role for the United Nations. And in the meantime, more troops
will be coming in. We worked collaboratively with the United Nations to
help sign up nations to blue helmet -- to be blue helmeted. And so I'm
pleased with the progress we have made in Liberia. We have kept our word.
We have done exactly what we said we would do.
Just not exactly what you were asked to do.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, sometimes, Charlie, we don't do exactly what everybody
asks us to do. We get a lot of requests. And, in this case, it fit -- the
strategy was a part of a larger strategy on the continent to help people
help, in this case, the regional situation to resolve it.
Ecowas has done a very good job. President Obasanjo gets a lot of credit
for responding and moving Nigerian troops in and providing the command
structure along with our help. I think the situation has turned out a lot
better than people assumed it was going to, and there's progress still to be
done. And the United Nations is now in charge of the process, but we're
keeping people there to help with our Nigerian friends.
Thank you, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all, yes. I guess it's over. (Laughter.)
END 10:03 A.M. EDT
14 police recruits discharged for mutinous behaviour
Chief Reporter Lovemore Mataire
FOURTEEN police recruits at Morris Depot in Harare were recently discharged
from the Zimbabwe Republic Police for engaging in mutinous behaviour and
refusing to take lawful orders from their superiors.
Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena confirmed the
dismissal of the officers saying none of the recruits had appealed against
"The fourteen were discharged for inciting or joining in a mutiny, or
conspiring to cause mutinous behaviour," said Asst Com Bvudzijena.
He said this was the first time since independence that a whole squadron of
university graduates had been dismissed for behaviour deemed unfit for
The 14 recruits were University of Zimbabwe graduates and had just been left
with a few months to complete the one-year training programme.
They were just about to go on attachment at various police stations before
returning to the Depot for the final examinations.
Asst Com Bvudzijena said refusal to take lawful instructions and engaging in
a mutinous act were serious offences that usually call for automatic
He said after refusing to take lawful orders, the recruits had to appear
before a police administrative court where they were charged for inciting
mutinous behaviour under the Police Act and Regulations.
Although each of the trainees was charged separately, they were all found
guilty and later issued with dismissal letters.
"Some people are beginning to insinuate that the officers were victimised
but the truth of the matter is that we cannot tolerate such kind of
behaviour in the ZRP.
"We have people who joined the force with doctorate degrees but they had to
adhere to the norms and values of the ZRP," said Asst Com Bvudzijena.
After completing the course, the trainees were supposed to start as
constables before being promoted.
The requirement was in line with the ZRP’s single entry point adopted in
1989, which stipulates that all police officers start at the rank of
President Mugabe has in the past urged police to remain alert and firm in
safeguarding the peace and stability in the country in view of the threats
posed by internal and external forces.
In July, the President told 478 graduating new police recruits at Morris
Depot that they should continue being loyal to the Government, the law and
the country for which many people lost their lives during the liberation
He said unlike the British South Africa Police which was an avowed enemy of
the people, the birth of the ZRP in 1980 signaled the end of the heartless
"The Zimbabwe Republic Police, as protectors of a once dispossessed people,
should not dither in its support for Government and the administration of
the laws of the country," Cde Mugabe said.
He said police should be honest in discharging their duties and those found
guilty of dishonesty should face stiff penalties.
Zupco to lose 200 new buses, $7bn
THE future of the Zimbabwe United Passenger Company now hangs in the balance
following its failure to finance the acquisition of imported new buses which
were expected to turn around the fortunes of the bus company.
Zupco stands to lose over 200 new buses and $7 billion advanced to Pioneer
Motor Company as cash cover for the purchase of its fleet of 250 Marcopolo
buses following the expiry on Wednesday of the deadline to raise the foreign
currency required for the transaction. The new buses were key to the
turnaround of Zupco since most of its buses had either been run down or
Although no comment could be obtained from Zupco, it is understood that the
foreign currency repayment has been bogged down in bureaucracy and heavy
lobbying by some local bus manufacturers and their "agents" to stop the bus
deal from going through.
The passenger bus company has only taken delivery of 48 buses that were
currently plying Zimbabwe’s roads, including the one that was burnt down
during the riots early this year.
A report compiled by an independent investigator appointed by the chairman
of the State Procurement Board to look into the procurement of the 250
Scania buses by Zupco last year, noted that the supply agreement for the
buses required that Zupco should have paid Scania/Pioneer Motor Company for
the buses in foreign currency.
"If by September end 2003, this payment has not been effected, then Zupco
stands to lose over $7 billion advanced to PMC as cash cover for the buses.
"This development is prejudicial to the financial and operational interests
of Zupco," said the report.
According to the report, the cost of the 48 buses that were delivered to
Zupco was US$4 685 000, which would translate to Z$257 675 000 at a
concessionary rate of Z$55 to the US dollar.
At the export support rate of Z$824 to the US dollar, Zupco would be
required to pay $3,86 billion to finance the 48 buses.
"The current option based on the cash cover concept means that Zupco was
bound to part with $7,2 billion for the 48 buses.
"In this event, Zupco will not be able to turn the corner because the number
of buses available have no capacity to service interest repayments," said
The bus company’s recapitalisation plan assumed a cost of $40 million per
bus and 250 buses in operation inorder to finance the loan.
It is understood that the State Procurement Board, which initiated the
investigation was refusing to condone the transaction arguing that the
procurement of the buses was done irregularly by Zupco as it did not go
through the tender board.
However, the report noted that the green-light to purchase the buses was
given by a Cabinet Action Committee at its meeting of August 5, 2002 where
it was reiterated that this issue was a "matter of urgency to avoid the
total collapse of the transport sector."
Although there was a standing Government requirement that Government
organisations should procure vehicles from local assemblies, Zupco sought
assistance from the Ministry of Transport and Communications to obtain
authority from the President’s Office in procuring the Scania buses from
According to the report, Zupco was advised through a letter from the
Ministry of Transport which said: "Having given due consideration to this
request, and with the concurrence of the Office of the President and
Cabinet, the Ministry of Transport and Communications has in terms of
Cabinet Circular No.2 of 2002, authorised Zupco to purchase the first 70
buses from South Africa."
The investigator cleared Zupco of any criminal intention and recommended
that the bus company be condoned to the extent of the 48 buses purchased so
"Since the agreement with Scania covers 250 buses, it is important that all
the other intended purchases should be done through the State Procurement
"It is further recommended that to the extent of the US$4 million due to
Scania, Government through the Reserve Bank should provide foreign currency
at a concessionary rate or at most at the export support rate of Z$824 to
the US dollar.
"Failure to bail out Zupco on this aspect implies that each bus would cost
Z$150 million in terms of the agreement between Zupco, Metropolitan Bank and
Pioneer Motor Company, such cost would not be sustainable.
"Even though the current market cost of buses is well above the $150 million
range, Zupco needs to capitalise on the fact that their deal with Scania is
pegged in foreign currency and it can be possible to source this foreign
"Another practical option is for the Reserve Bank to pay for the buses and
consider the payment as a long-term loan which Zupco will gradually
liquidate using forex earnings from the company’s cross border activities,"
said the report.
Deal with Zim, Bush tells SA
03/10/2003 08:43 - (SA)
Washington - US President George W Bush on Thursday declared
satisfied" with efforts so far to promote human rights and political reforms
in Zimbabwe and urged its neighbours to keep up pressure for change.
"The only time that this government and I, personally, will be satisfied is
when there is an honest government, reformed government in Zimbabwe," he
told African reporters. "That hasn't happened yet; therefore, we're not
Prodded, Bush said he was not pleased "with the process" and "certainly not"
with Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, whose country lies in the grips of a
festering political and social crisis, with the economy in chaos and more
than five million people in need of donated food.
He also indicated he hoped South African President Thabo Mbeki - with whom
he met during a July trip to Africa - would continue to lead regional
efforts to put pressure on Mugabe.
'Deal with it'
"Our government has not changed our opinion about the need for the region to
deal with Zimbabwe and the leadership there," said Bush, who added that he
had sent the same message to Mozambique's President Joaquim Chissano when
they met last month on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.
"When President Mbeki says they are working on it, to achieve this goal, I
take him for his word. And I am going to remind all parties that the goal is
a reformed and fair government. And that hasn't been achieved yet. And we'll
continue to press the issue, both privately and publicly," said Bush.
The US president was speaking at a roundtable with African media to set the
stage for Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki's October 6 state visit to the United
Suspended Zim journos 'didn't show respect'
October 03 2003 at 04:25AM
By Basildon Peta
journalists at the state-owned Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation have
been suspended because they were not solemn enough after the death of
President Robert Mugabe's deputy, Simon Muzenda.
The Financial Gazette reported on Thursday that the ZBC's acting head of
radio and television services, Susan Makore, and head of production
services, Douglas Dhliwayo, had been suspended.
"After the president had announced the death of Vice-President Muzenda, ZTV
(the television station) and radio stations did not immediately switch to
solemn programmes and music," one ZBC staffer told the newspaper.
"This is what led to their suspension."
Efforts to get comment from the ZBC and the two suspended staffers failed.
Muzenda was declared a national hero and buried last week. The death of a
senior government minister in Zimbabwe is often treated as a very solemn
During the mourning and burial period, the government-owned ZBC was expected
to switch to revolutionary songs and omit hip-hop, soul and other music that
is considered disrespectful.
Shortly after Mugabe announced the death of his other vice-president, Joshua
Nkomo, in July 2001, the ZBC began airing revolutionary songs and repeated
several speeches made by Nkomo during the liberation struggle. - Independent
Moyo fraud case opens
MINISTER of State for Information and Publicity Jonathan Moyo's fraud case
in Kenya, where he stands accused of siphoning US$108 000 from his former
employer, the Ford Foundation, has finally got under way.
The hearing into
the case began on Tuesday before the Kenyan High Court but
Justice Onesmus Mutungi postponed the matter to allow parties involved to
prepare for four consecutive days of trial, reports from Nairobi say.
are expected from the United States, where the Ford
Foundation is based, to testify in a civil action filed on January 22, 2001.
The Ford Foundation has been suing Moyo and five others for allegedly
misusing US$414 000 advanced to the Series on Alternative Research in East
Africa Trust (Sareat) for studies on policy issues.
Others sued in the case include Sareat
director Mutahi Ngunyi, Joshua
Nyunya, Milka Wanjiru Njuguna-Okidi, Monicah Wanjiru and Talunoza Trust.
Talunoza, an organisation named after
Moyo's children, was allegedly used as
a conduit to transfer funds that the minister later used to buy a house in
South Africa. Moyo has strongly denied the allegations.
Moyo was a programme officerat the Ford Foundation
in Nairobifrom September
15 1993 to Dece-mber 31 1997 before he moved toSouth Africa's Witwatersrand
University in 1998.
Ford Foundation alleged
Moyo, in collusion with Sareat trustees and an
accountant at the donor agency's Kenyan office, received US$108 000 either
in person or through his nominee.
Moyo was said to have later set up Talunoza Trust to siphon
Sareat for his personal use.
Ford has alleged Moyo
received US$10 000 from Sareat directly into his
personal bank account through a bank telegraphic transfer dated January 23,
1998. On February 4, 1998 he is said to have obtained US$58 000 through a
"nominated account" in South Africa. On the same date, Moyo also received
US$40 000 by bank telegraphic transfer, it was claimed.
Ford alleged that Moyo
"unlawfully" received in total US$108 000either by
himself or through his nominee. It also claimed Moyo, either in collusion or
partnership with Sareat and Ngunyi, directed US$98 000 to be paid to his
nominated account in South Africa.
Moyo in 2001 failed in a court bid to prevent the Zimbabwe
reporting on his case in Kenya.
ruled that whatever the merits of the case, the Kenya
summons clearly alleged fraud and misappropriation.
Mugabe/Tsvangirai close to
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe and Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
leader Morgan Tsvangirai are close to a face-to-face meeting ahead of the
resumption of talks between the ruling party and the opposition.
Sources close to the talks said church leaders had secured a meeting
with Mugabe, expected to take place as early as next week.
After meeting Mugabe, the church leaders also expect
Tsvangirai before the leaders of Zimbabwe's main political parties come
"The church leaders are very close to having
Mugabe and Tsvangirai
meet as there is now clear interest from both sides to talk," a source said.
The meeting would break the ice for the
resumption of the inter-party
talks that collapsed in May last year. There have been various initiatives
to resuscitate dialogue ever since.
The church leaders, Bishop Sebastian Bakare, Bishop
and Bishop Patrick Mutume, have been meeting Zanu PF leaders over the past
couple of weeks in a bid to convince the ruling party to return to the
Talks between Zanu PF and the
church leaders suffered a setback in
August when the ruling party's head of delegation to the talks with the MDC,
Patrick Chinamasa, accused them of being opposition agents.
Manhanga yesterday could not give details but said: "We are very happy
with the progress that has been made to date."
MDC and Zanu PF leaders have reportedly been meeting to
obstacles to dialogue.
Opposition leaders two weeks
ago demonstrated their commitment to
talks with Zanu PF by attending the late Vice-President Simon Muzenda's
funeral. Mugabe appreciated the MDC's gesture and made conciliatory remarks
during Muzenda's burial.
Sources say the church leaders have so far managed to push Zanu PF to
submit its agenda document after the ruling party showed signs of reluctance
to do so. The MDC submitted its position paper in July and has been waiting
for Zanu PF to do the same before talks can resume.
Dialogue was initially expected to restart last week but is now
anticipated to resume anytime now.
Zvinavashe to quit top military post
THE commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) General Vitalis
Zvinavashe, one of only three commissioned full generals after Independence,
is expected to retire at the end of the year after more than 10 years at the
helm, it emerged yesterday.
Official sources said Zvinavashe, who replaced General Solomon Mujuru as
army commander before he was elevated to head both the Zimbabwe National
Army and Airforce of Zimbabwe, would quit in December after two decades of
service in the military.
Zvinavashe, retired ZNA commander Solomon Mujuru and former
chief Peter Walls are the only commissioned full generals since
News of Zvinavashe's pending retirement comes
against a background of
controversy in which he was earlier this year implicated in a soft-landing
plan to ease Mugabe out of office in a power-sharing deal with opposition
Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
Zvinavashe and Zanu PF secretary for
administration Emmerson Mnangagwa were
named as the hidden hand behind retired Colonel Lionel Dyck's approach late
last year to Tsvangirai over the initiative.
Both Mnangagwa and Zvinavashe have denied allegations of
an attempted palace
Zvinavashe was also embroiled in
controversy last year before the disputed
presidential election in March when he announced at a press conference that
the security agencies - the army, airforce, intelligence and police - would
not salute an elected president who had no liberation struggle credentials.
President Robert Mugabe is
understood to have referred to Zvinavashe's
departure during his recent visit to Havana, Cuba, for the sixth session of
the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat
Desertification and Drought. Mugabe was in Cuba on September 1-6.
A diplomat who closely followed Mugabe's
trip said the president indicated
that Zvinavashe was going during a meeting with Zimbabwean embassy staff and
students at the ambassador's house in Havana.
Zimbabwe's ambassador to Cuba, retired Major-General Jevan
Environment and Tourism minister Francis Nhema, CIO director-general
Happyton Bonyongwe, Information and Publicity permanent secretary George
Charamba, and other members of the presidential entourage were present when
Mugabe reportedly suggested Zvinavashe would be leaving.
Contacted for comment yesterday, Zvinavashe said he was not
in a position to
comment on the issue.
"If you heard the rumour
just write but as you know I don't determine that.
Ask those at the top. If there is nothing official, then it means there is
no substance to that," he said. "It's just like in a football match, players
don't determine the time of play, the referee does. I'm a player and not the
Govt asked to probe torturer Dowa
THE United Nations has asked the government to investigate a senior member
of the Zimbabwe Republic Police who was serving in Kosovo for his alleged
involvement in torture, the Zimbabwe Independent has learnt.
Henry Dowa, a chief inspector in the Criminal Investigation Department (Law
and Order Section) at the ZRP Harare Central Police station, is reported to
be back in Zimbabwe.
In a press statement, Redress,
a group which helps to seek justice for
torture victims, said it had put pressure on the United Nations Interim
Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) to act on Dowa. Dowa was seconded
to Kosovo as part of the Zimbabwe contingent to UNMIK to help train the
local police force.
alleged that in 2001 and 2002 he was directly involved in serious
acts of torture, including the use of electric shocks and beatings on the
bare soles of the feet," Redress said in a statement.
Redress has expressed
concern that the Zimbabwe government would not take
appropriate action against Dowa.
"Redress submitted that if Dowa was allowed to return
to Zimbabwe, he would
not be held accountable for alleged crimes as torture is endemic and is part
of the Zanu PF government's strategy to stay in power," the statement says.
Redress said after it had complained to
UN secretary-general Kofi Annan it
received a letter from the Department of Peace-Keeping Operations at the UN
in New York acknowledging that it had taken note of the allegations against
The letter confirmed
that the UN Convention against torture was part of the
applicable law in Kosovo. An internal inquiry was launched in Kosovo, which
included an interview with Dowa, and it was forwarded to the Kosovo
Department of Justice as the competent authority in Kosovo to investigate
and possibly prosecute him.
The UN Department of Justice said it "lacked the necessary human
financial resources to conduct a satisfactory investigation". It also noted
that though Redress had asked for a third country to extradite Dowa, no
request for this had been received and it said only Zimbabwe could do this.
The UN formally requested the government of Zimbabwe to withdraw Dowa from
service in Kosovo.
Police spokesperson Assistant
Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena said it was
difficult for him to comment on the matter.
"If the UN has written to the government it would be improper
for me to
comment on the matter," Bvudzijena said.
Peer review in December
NIGERIAN president Olusegun Obasanjo says the New Partnership for Africa's
Development will launch the first phase of its peer review mechanism
sometime in December.
"The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) panel held its inaugural meeting
in July and is now preparing for the first reviews to be initiated,
hopefully in the next three months," said Obasanjo.
said 16 African countries had already voluntarily acceded to the APRM
that efforts were under way to seek and encourage more accessions.
Speaking at the Third Tokyo International Conference on
Obasanjo also emphasised the need for good governance to enhance African
development through the New Partnership for Africa's Development.
"The Nepad leadership has launched the African Peer
Review Mechanism in
pursuance of the governance agenda," said Obasanjo. "It is a unique
development in African politics and represents a renewed commitment to good
governance, transparency and accountability."
It was however the thorny issue of peer review that
took centre stage at the
meeting. The United Nations Development Programme, the World Bank and other
key donor countries emphasised the need for African countries to show
commitment to the mechanism to develop a solid democracy and human rights
which they said were at the core of Nepad's success.
Obasanjo's remarks come at a time when Zimbabwe's political
deteriorated, with the government pursuing its crackdown on the media and
Tutu urges action
LEADING South African cleric, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, has called on African
leaders to increase pressure on Robert Mugabe.
Speaking to the IPS news service earlier this week during a visit to Malawi,
Tutu said: "The time has come for African leaders to stand up and express
their concern over deteriorating human rights abuses in Zimbabwe.
If human rights abuses continue to worsen, the political
and economic crisis
in Zimbabwe will be difficult to heal."
commending Malawian president Bakili Muluzi for the interest he was
taking in the deteriorating political and humanitarian conditions in
Zimbabwe, Tutu stressed that more needs to be done. "The Zimbabwe crisis has
affected the entire southern Africa region and there is need for African
leaders to find quick solutions to the crisis," he said.
"When things are going
wrong, we should be able to stand up and say that
this is going wrong." Muluzi, along with Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and
Thabo Mbeki, are the main regional brokers in the Zimbabwean crisis. - IPS.
Obasanjo calls for 'sea change' in Zim
NIGERIAN president and incoming Commonwealth chair Olusegun Obasanjo says
President Robert Mugabe will not be invited to the club's summit in Abuja in
December unless there is a positive "sea change" in Zimbabwe.
Obasanjo said in New York on Monday there has to be
far-reaching changes in Zimbabwe if Mugabe was to be invited.
So far Nigeria has said Mugabe and Pakistan President
Musharraf who seized power through a military coup in 1999 are not welcome
at the meeting.
Obasanjo was responding to a question
as to whether he would reconsider
Mugabe's ban as South African President Thabo Mbeki had initially urged.
"Well, it's a decision for me but it's not really a decision for me alone,"
Obasanjo said. "It's a decision for me with the Commonwealth leaders and for
now, after appropriate consultations, I believe there has to be a sea change
in Zimbabwe for an invitation to be sent."
Asked about the sea change represented by the closure of the
Obasanjo said: "I would say if that qualifies to be called a sea change at
all, then it's a negative sea change."
Africa's initial protests over Mugabe's exclusion, Mbeki's
spokesman Bheki Khumalo was this week quoted in the press accepting
Khumalo said Mbeki was among those consulted by Obasanjo
over the Mugabe
"The president accepts President Obasanjo's
decision," he said "It is up to
Nigeria to decide whether or not to invite President Mugabe."
Outgoing Commonwealth chair John Howard of
Australia said inviting Mugabe to
the Abuja summit when he was in blatant breach of the Commonwealth Harare
Declaration principles on democracy, human rights and elections would be a
South Africa initially
protested over Mugabe's exclusion before realising it
was fighting a lone battle. Its official position on the issue has so far
shifted no less than three times. But now Pretoria has accepted it is
unlikely to change the club's stance on Mugabe.
On suggestions that Mbeki could boycott the
summit over Mugabe's ban,
Khumalo said: "There is no question of the president boycotting the event.
That notion is a dead duck. He will be there with the other Commonwealth
leaders to engage the issues."
Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) which met on September 27
in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly said
Zimbabwe's suspension from the Commonwealth for electoral fraud would be
reviewed in Abuja.
But CMAG said Zimbabwe was still suspended and would not be
invited to the
meeting. Mbeki recently claimed in parliament that Harare's ban ended in
CMAG members, Botswana, Malta, India,
Bangladesh, Bahamas, Samoa, Nigeria
and Australia, said there was little chance of Zimbabwe rejoining the
councils of the Commonwealth because it remained in material breach of the
club's principles and has failed to address key issues of concern.
Instead, they said Pakistan stood a
better chance of bouncing back to the
club earlier than Zimbabwe.
Australian Foreign minister Alexander Downer, who has taken
a tough position
on Mugabe, prepared a document for CMAG showing that Zimbabwe has not
measured up to the Commonwealth "benchmarks" for its readmission.
He circulated the document demonstrating Zimbabwe's lack
of progress in
meeting Commonwealth benchmarks for democratic reform and insisted Mugabe
has to comply with the club's principles.
has made it clear Zimbabwe should not be readmitted until "the
disappearance of Mugabe's government".
Plans afoot to fill Daily News void
IN a bid to fill the void created by the banning of the Daily News,
pro-government individuals and institutions have made overtures to revive
Media industry sources this week said the government wants to see the
revival of the Daily News, but in different hands, for the sake of appearing
to promote media diversity and avoiding international censure.
"There is therefore manipulation for
politically correct individuals to bid
for the takeover of ANZ," said a source following the moves.
Another alternative, the source said, was
to push the Media Africa Group
(MAG), publishers of the Business Tribune and Weekend Tribune, to turn one
of their titles into a daily paper.
Strive Masiyiwa, owner of Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe
publishers of the Daily News and the Daily News on Sunday, wrote to his
employees last week stating that he would resist offers by a consortium of
business people who are interested in ANZ. It is understood that the
consortium comprises prominent bankers Gideon Gono and Enock Kamushinda who
have close links to the Zanu PF government.
Gono has denied
any interest in ANZ whilst Kamushinda wasn't available
MAG is believed to be considering starting a daily
paper to fill the void
left by the Daily News.
said that they were contemplating starting a daily
paper," said an insider at MAG. "They said consultations were being carried
out after which a definite decision would be reached."
MAG is linked to business magnate Mutumwa
Mawere, a Zanu PF sympathiser.
Efforts to obtain comment from MAG chief operating officer, Kindness
Paradza, were unsuccessful as he was said on several occasions to be out of
his office and didn't return calls.
Meanwhile, as the race to fill the daily paper's void
Mandaza's Daily Mirror is understood to be making a comeback, but with a
change in ownership and editorial leadership.
Former Daily News editor Geoff Nyarota yesterday strongly
linking him to moves to revive the Daily Mirror. "Not only have I not
accepted any such appointment," he said in a statement from Harvard in the
US, "I have not in any way communicated with either of the two entrepreneurs
concerned. I therefore wish to make it known that I categorically deny this
on Wednesday that efforts to revive the Daily Mirror were
at an advanced stage.
"Preparations are at an advanced stage," said Mandaza. "It is
not true that
Nyarota will be coming in. The paper will still be under Sappho and the
previous editorial leadership."
Mandaza's Southern African
Printing and Publishing House, publishers of the
Daily Mirror and the Sunday Mirror, had difficulty sustaining the daily
Police harass Woza over cash protest
POLICE in Bulawayo have launched a crackdown on members of Women of Zimbabwe
Arise (Woza) who staged a demonstration over the persistent cash crisis
outside the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) branch in the city, the Zimbabwe
Independent has learnt.
The women, numbering over 200, on Tuesday demonstrated briefly outside the
RBZ and chanted slogans denouncing government's failure to deal with the
cash crisis bedevilling the nation.
Woza national spokesperson, Patricia Khanye, confirmed the police crackdown.
"Since Tuesday police have been visiting some of
our members at their homes
but have not found them. As it is, we are waiting for them to strike at any
moment," Khanye told the Independent.
The women took mid-day shoppers by surprise when they
pulled out banners and
posters and started denouncing the decision to introduce travellers' and
bearer cheques instead of bank notes
women quickly dispersed before armed riot police arrived at the
Police spokesman in Bulawayo, Smile Dube, said the police wanted to find out
the motive for the demonstration.
investigating the women to find out who organised the
demonstration and what the motive was," he said.
But Khanye said her organisation would
continue the demonstrations until the
government acted on the four-month cash crisis that has affected both
businesses and consumers across the country.
"What we are saying is that we want a lasting solution to
the cash crisis
and travellers' and bearer cheques are temporary measures that have had no
impact on the availability of cash in the country since they were
introduced," Khanye said.
This is not the first time women
from Woza have found themselves in trouble
with the police. In May armed police broke up a peaceful demonstration
called to commemorate World Women's Day in Bulawayo.
ZCTU mulls mass protest
THE Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has called on workers to
prepare for a mass protest against the government's failure to address the
country's economic crisis.
ZCTU president Lovemore Ma-tombo said in a statement to the Zimbabwe
Independent that the economic crisis was a cause for deep concern.
"We are aware of the dangers of this protest, yet the
suffering now demands
that we act together," he said.
accused the government of lacking seriousness in addressing the
"The government should by now know that Zimbabweans can no
mischievous and childish propaganda.
is a day in which all Zimbabweans remember and mourn the crisis
of our economy and seek invigorated inspiration to change the behaviour of
our government," he said.
Matombo said the government had reduced the country to a "taxation state".
"If a union negotiates for a 100% wage
increase, in reality people get 60%
and 40% goes to the government."
He said the protest was also against the cash crisis,
hikes in fuel and the
violations of trade union rights.
said trade unionists were now living in fear and cited the case of
the general-secretary of the Railway Artisans Union, David Sambare, who
received death threats "from suspected government operatives".
The country is
in its fourth year of recession, unemployment is over 75% and
inflation around 427%.
Muzenda's business empire faces test
SURVIVAL of the late veteran nationalist Vice-President Simon Muzenda's
business empire hangs in the balance following his death two weeks ago.
Muzenda, who has been a sole-proprietor in his ventures, left behind
businesses dotted across the country trading as Murefu Investments and
Without the political influence which had
spared it from collapse over the
years the business empire now faces a real test of a crumbling economy under
the management of his children.
Even during his heyday Muzenda struggled to keep his
businesses in tact and
had to be dragged before the courts for failing to repay loans advanced by
banks. In April 1999 he was sued by Zimbank as it tried to recover $3,3
million relating to his three businesses in Masvingo.
In February 2000 Muzenda was ordered by the High Court to
service his debt
of $912 798 owed to the Central Africa Building Society. The terms of the
court were that Muzenda should pay $19 500 a month and his property stand,
subdivision A of Chomfuli farm, be auctioned.
bulk of his businesses are concentrated in and around Gutu-Mpandawana
Growth point, his home area.
Muzenda was the owner of Chekesai Goods
Transporters (Pvt) Ltd, which was
incorporated in 1991. The haulage company transports goods throughout the
Sadc region. Currently his haulage trucks are involved in the transportation
of fuel to Murefu service stations along Simon Mazorodze Way.
The late vice-president also owned other filling
stations and shops at
Zvavahera and Chinyika business centres in Gutu.
He had purchased a filling station in Beatrice 55 km from the
the Harare-Masvingo highway to service his haulage trucks.
Over the past five years Muzenda had expanded his business
anticipation of retirement from active politics after the disputed 2002
presidential election. His bid to leave office was however rejected by
President Robert Mugabe last year on the pretext of needing to ensure that
the chaotic land reform programme was completed.
way of expanding his business holdings in preparation for retirement,
Muzenda opened shops in the Soti-Source resettlement areas which include
Chitepo and Tongogara resettlement scheme, north-east of the growth point,
which sold agricultural inputs to the resettled farmers.
He had also formed a
security company registered as Experts (EGGS)
Securities run by businessman Sam Mabika. The company has taken over
virtually all security work at Mpandawana growth point.
In Mpandawana Muzenda had renovated his
Paradise Park Motel to modern
standards. He had also upgraded a service station, which he established at
the peak of the fuel crisis in 2000, and built several houses in the
low-density residential area of the growth point.
The biggest property development is the outstanding
multi-million dollar "retirement village" built in 2001.
At his rural home in Zvavahera village, 15 km east of
Mpandawana, he had
upgraded his pig-rearing project. The project supplies an average of 50
animals a fortnight to butcheries in Masvingo.
MDC mayors ready for Chombo
A CLASH looms between Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo and Movement
for Democratic Change mayors who he has summoned to a meeting to lay down
Sources in Chombo's ministry revealed that the minister would be holding
meetings with the newly-elected mayors to give them guidelines on how he
expects them to manage municipal affairs.
"The minister plans
to hold meetings with all the newly-elected mayors,
probably starting this weekend," said a source.
"The intention is to provide them with
guidelines on how he expects councils
to be run."
Government spokesman Gabriel Chaibva said the mayors were ready to
resist Chombo's attempts to interfere in council affairs as he had done in
Harare and Chegutu.
"We are equipping our mayors on how to handle Chombo,"
"They (the mayors) will attend the meetings called by him, but will resist
his attempts to incapacitate their election. It would be unfortunate if
Chombo wants to meet the mayors outside the premises of the Urban Councils
Act, and we will not accept that."
Elias Mudzuri was in April suspended by Chombo on allegations
of insubordination. Chombo's interference in the running of Harare has
hampered the turnaround strategy launched by Mudzuri and the predominantly
MDC Harare City Council.
Chaibva blames Chombo for the chaos that prevails in
the Chegutu council,
where an MDC mayor, Francis Dhlakama, has escaped several attempts on his
life by the ruling party.
case is a clear sign of what Zanu PF intends to do in towns and
cities in order to prevent its collapse," said Chaibva.
"The MDC mayor in
Chegutu has been harassed, and actually survived attempts
on his life in order to scare him into capitulating to Zanu PF's
intentions," he said.
"In the August elections, Zanu PF prevented our candidates from
nomination courts so the Chegutu council is controlled by their
Meanwhile, Chaibva said the MDC would file an
appeal to the Supreme Court
soon against the ruling made by High Court judge Ben Hlatshwayo on the
Chegutu nomination process.
dismissed an application by 11 members of the MDC challenging the
nomination process in Chegutu where they were barred by a Zanu PF mob. Zanu
PF subsequently won the 11 wards in Chegutu unopposed.