For the first time in months my letter this week is
a day late and again there are many letters from you that I have not answered. I
apologise for both. I got back this morning tired and dusty after having spent a
couple of days travelling around meeting farmers, drinking lots of cups of tea
and listening to stories that defy all reason. I cannot believe some of the
things that I have seen out on those bumpy, dusty roads that lead to the farms
where all our food is grown and all our foreign currency is earned. I have seen
things and heard stories that made my hair stand on end, made me feel nauseous,
frightened and angry - angry beyond words. I have met the most amazing people
who are courageous beyond words, more patriotic than I thought possible. I hope
that anything I say in this letter does not offend them or make them feel
violated. What I saw and what I heard must be told. The world does not know, the
people in the towns and cities of Zimbabwe do not know and they must be told. I
will not allow you to stand alone. I too love my country and for that reason
these horrors must be told. Again, I apologise to the farmers who welcomed me
into their homes if they feel betrayed - I cannot and will not give up, the
world must know.
About twenty metres from a farmers' garden gate is
the most abominable squatter dump. I cannot call it a village because it is not
that, it is a dump. A few rough branches have been hewn off the nearby trees,
tall, scraggly thatching grass has been leaned up against them and it is in this
hovel that the squatters live, make their statement to the farmer that they have
claimed this land. In another collapsing lean to is a latrine and sitting around
outside are perhaps half a dozen surly, grimy bored looking individuals. These
people are the only law on this farm. They decide which fields the farmer can
plough, can put his cattle on, can grow his crops on. The road which leads down
onto the farm is filled with vehicle tracks because every night there are plenty
of cars driving in and out. Cars with men, snares and spotlights. Every night
they come into private land, down private roads and hunt out the animals
that have survived the fires, a kudu or duiker or steenbok. Every night the
farmer lies in bed and hears the vehicles, engines revved, dust swirling and
every night he knows what they are doing but can do nothing. A little further
down the road are the ploughed and ridged tobacco fields. Fields which the
farmer has been allowed to plough by the youngsters who live in the dump. Fields
which they first said he could plant with tobacco and then when he started
planting the seedlings, they changed their minds after the first day and rapidly
erected a hut on the turned red soil, he can not plant any more.
On another farm the young couple invite me in to a
barely furnished farmhouse. For months and months they have lived with almost
none of their furniture, pictures, posessions in case they get suddenly evicted,
in case the squatters become looters. They tell me how this week their home was
assesed by two young government valuators. These men, barely out of school
arrived with two of the squatters and said they had come to value the house so
that compensation could be paid for it when they are thrown out. The owners
would not let the two squatters in, only the "official valuators". The two
youngsters measured the outside perimeter of the house and counted door and
window frames. They asked which rooms had ceramic tiles on the walls, how many
fitted cupboards, geysers, toilets and baths there were. In less than two hours
they valued a man's whole life. They did not measure the length or height of the
perimeter security fence and gates. They did not measure or record burglar bars,
electrical sockets, mains boards, pelmets, curtain rails, ceilings, woodwork
panels, taps. They did not look in the roof for timbers, supports, guttering,
wiring, plumbing, tiles. How deep is the swimming pool they asked. They did not
look at the tiles, the paving, the filters. They did not look at the garden, the
trees, the flower beds - the loving care of a lifetime.When they left, the
valuators did not give the farmer a copy of their notes, recorded on a scrap of
paper. That night the two valuators slept in a house with the 'war veterans'
squatting on the farm.
On another two farms, the farmers are doing
nothing. They are doing nothing. The planting season is now, the fields should
be full of tractors, of workers but they are empty, the farmers have been told
by the 'war veterans' that they may not plant. The farmers are doing nothing,
their workers have been sent on leave and told to come back at the end of the
month "in case we are allowed to plant". Farmers, their wives, their workers are
all saying the same to me: "Cathy, there is not going to be any food. There is
going to be massive, massive starvation." This is a fraction of what I saw and
heard. Everywhere there is fire, smoke or ash. Beautiful flocks of Boer Goats
pick through blackened fields looking for a blade of grass that has escaped.
Cattle are thin, desperately thin so that every rib can be counted and they
stand huddled in dusty, tiny paddocks as the "war veterans" have said the
farmers may not put them out to graze. A call comes in on the radio, a fire has
been started in bales of hay meant to support starving cattle. In a few minutes
Z$400 000,00 of feed is piles of ash waiting to be blown away in the wind.
Everywhere I look there are "war veterans" huts, not being lived in, in fact not
liveable in but they are everywhere. The huts are not surrounded by ploughed
fields or war veterans busy planting food, they just stand derelict, a statement
to Zimbabwe - this is OUR land and you may not grow food on it, it is
Today I am wearing my yellow ribbon for all of
Zimbabwe's farmers and for their workers. You do not suffer alone. Your anguish,
despair and frustration is mine. You do not stand alone. This week I was told by
the publishers of African Tears that the marketing of my book was not going well
because I would not stand in front of the cameras. I stand firm in my anonymity,
what is happening in the whole of Zimbabwe, to every man, woman and child is
footage for the world's cameras. The story of what happened on my farm is one
that is still unfolding on thousands of farms. For Zimbabwe's farmers the
collapse has taken 19 months.Thank you for allowing me into your homes. I cannot
say "hang in there" or "stay strong", all I can say is thank you and stay safe.
With much love, c
Harare - President Robert Mugabe's government on Sunday
rebuffed a request from the United States government for a respected private
American-based group of election specialists to visit Zimbabwe ahead of
presidential elections due next year.
"We are not taking any
examinations, we are not Talibans (students)," said information minister
Jonathan Moyo. "We have no test to pass because we fought for this country
and the only test we had was to win the war" of independence that ended in
"We will not allow people who can't run their elections to tell us
how to conduct ours here," said Moyo, referring to the confusion over the
final count in the narrowly contested American presidential elections last
He was quoted by the state-controlled Sunday Mail newspaper
following a request from the United States embassy here last week to allow a
delegation from the International Foundation for Election Systems to visit
later this month, "to conduct an initial assessment of the government's
preparations for the presidential election, in anticipation of launching its
own independent election observation effort".
On September 13 the
government expelled two senior IFES officials after Tobaiwa Mudede, the head
of the government-run elections directorate, refused to speak to them. IFES
is regarded as one of the world's leading experts on the conduct of
elections, and has observed polls all over the world, including Africa. The
embassy request asked the government to allow the IFES team into the country
and be "allowed to work unhindered".
Moyo responded: "The request is not
worth the paper it is written on. Just as America has become strict about who
enters its country, we also have the final say about who enters our
Zimbabwe wants no interference
No comment was
immediately available from the embassy. A Western diplomat said "what they
really mean is that they are not going to have anyone who they think is going
to 'interfere' with their running of elections. I think it's pretty clear
they don't want observers here next year."
There is growing anxiety that
Mugabe, 77, faced with the likelihood of losing an election for the first
time in 21 years of power, will rig the polling to ensure victory.
is to face Morgan Tsvangirai, head of the popular opposition Movement
for Democratic Change, which in parliamentary elections last year won 57 out
of 120 elected seats. Mugabe's ruling Zaby-PF party was able to ensure
a comfortable margin through constitutional provisions for him to
appoint another 30 MPs to the 150-seat chamber.
The ruling party
achieved its narrow margin in the elected constituencies after a
comprehensive campaign of violent intimidation, publicly backed by Mugabe, in
which 37 people were murdered and thousands assaulted, tortured and driven
from their homes.
The embassy statement said that "serious irregularities
have marred municipal and parliamentary elections".
by-elections and mayoral elections around the country after last year's
parliamentary elections, there were widespread reports of continuing violence
against opposition supporters, manipulation of voters' rolls and bussing of
large numbers of ruling party supporters into constituencies to vote for
The regime has dismissed outright appeals from human rights
organisations and opposition parties for an independent electoral commission
to run the country's elections.
Moyo has also warned that he plans to
ban the monitoring of elections by independent organisations, claiming they
are "biased" in favour of the MDC. Until now, volunteers from local church
groups and civic bodies have been permitted to monitor elections. -
In Zimbabwe, brides come at a price - and the price is going up
Francisco Chronicle: Sunday, October 7, 2001 Rachel L. Swarns, New York
Harare, Zimbabwe -- The church bells are pealing, the red hibiscus
flowers are blazing and the jacaranda trees are shedding so many purple
petals that the sidewalks seem awash in fairy dust. Love is in the air, and
giddy couples are drifting through Africa Unity Square while dreamy
brides-to-be are twirling in gowns at B B Boutique on Robert Mugabe
It is springtime in Zimbabwe, when hearts turn to romance and
pockets empty for "roora," the word for bride price in the local Shona
Roora is the gift offered to prospective in-laws by suitors
hoping to win a young woman's hand and the blessing of the
It is meant to be a token of appreciation, a gift that unites
two families - - loosely akin to an engagement ring. The tradition has
passed from great- grandfathers who once herded cows through green grasslands
to suit-and-tie civil servants who toil in this capital city's office
But these days, this nation racked by political and economic
turmoil has added wedding woes to its troubles as parents charge higher and
higher bride prices to earn extra income. Some people are requesting cell
phones, second- hand cars or even canisters of gasoline to sweeten the
In rural communities, men typically offer 5 to 10 cows as a bride
price; in cities, the tradition was for men to offer the cash equivalent.
But inflation has sent the price of cows from $54 a head to as much as
$200, while most salaries have not kept pace.
Local newspapers report
that some prominent families are charging thousands of dollars at a time when
the average private-sector employee earns only about $1,800 a year. Some
families, mindful of the plummeting value of the Zimbabwe dollar, are
demanding payment in American dollars.
All this has horrified both
traditional leaders and sociologists here, not to mention some potential
grooms. As for the ancestors, some people warn, they must be shaking their
heads in disgust.
"With this poverty these days, people are capitalizing
on tradition," said Richard Mhike, 33, who works as a printer. "Any
reasonable person would tell you it's just not right to charge such
exorbitant amounts of money. It's bad, bad, bad."
Mhike should know.
Three weeks ago, he was sitting in a mud hut with a black satchel full of
cash. He was negotiating a bride price for his brother, an electronics
technician who was seeking permission to marry his sweetheart, a clothing
Uncles and brothers typically negotiate on behalf of the
future groom, and aunts and sisters for the future bride. The discussions
usually take place in the rural home village, even if the lovers are city
people with brick houses and satellite dishes.
Mhike had about $545
with him, which he thought would be plenty. But when the bride's family told
him they wanted $3,800, close to his brother's entire annual salary, he
walked out in protest.
The groom-to-be threatened to cancel the wedding.
His fiancee wept. After some nail-biting negotiations, her relatives reduced
the price by 10 percent. They took the $545 as a deposit and agreed to accept
the rest in installments over the life of the marriage.
Mhike said the
bride's extended family probably needed the money to buy groceries. "If you
love her," Mhike said glumly, "you have to accept it."
But advocates for
women warn that the trend may have ugly consequences. Even before prices
started rising, they condemned the tradition, saying it leaves women
vulnerable to abusive husbands who believe they own their wives.
Mararike, a sociologist at the University of Zimbabwe, worries about what the
trend might mean for poor men. Poverty is on the rise in
which has lost some Western aid because of the
government's support for invasions of white-owned farms.
saying that this is the only chance to make a lot of money, but a poor man
must also marry," Mararike said.
Staff Writer THE European
Union is concerned that President Mugabe’s regime is not abiding to the Abuja
Agreement, which seeks to restore the rule of law in Zimbabwe, and is now
considering ways of pushing Mugabe to make good his word.
assembly of the African, Caribbean and Pacific states and the EU is now
calling for the convening of a special Commonwealth heads of
government summit to take necessary steps to suspend Zimbabwe from the club
of former British colonies.
The joint assembly is also calling on
those present at the 6 September Commonwealth Foreign Ministers meeting in
Abuja to reconvene so that they can outline measures that will be adopted if
President Mugabe fails to implement the Abuja Agreement within an agreed time
Diplomatic sources in Brussels, the Belgian capital which also
serves as the EU capital, told The Standard on Friday that a draft resolution
for the joint parliamentary assembly, which meets from 29 October to 1
November, condemns the escalation of violence in Zimbabwe and the
government’s unwillingness to end political violence and the illegal
occupation of farms despite pledges to do so at a meeting in Abuja, the
The Abuja summit saw Zimbabwe agree to, among other
things, a lawful land reform programme, restoring the rule of law and
guaranteeing a democratic electoral process, while on the other hand Britain
agreed to fund the land reform exercise provide these conditions were
Said the diplomatic sources: “The assembly is also urging the
international community to continue to focus on Zimbabwe even though the
Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (Chogm) has been postponed, and for
the Commonwealth to deliver a verdict on Zimbabwe.
“There are also
calls on the French government to adhere to the line taken by other EU states
and to reduce or suspend its financial engagement in Zimbabwe.”
is now debate on whether the EU should now move to Article 96 of the Cotonou
Partnership Agreement so that the European Council can take the necessary
measures to identify and freeze the assets of Mugabe, his family and named
associates, held in European countries.
The joint ACP-EU assembly is also
worried that the Zimbabwe government has refused to establish an Independent
Electoral Commission to conduct next year’s presidential election. The
establishment of such a body is seen as a minimum condition under which a
free and fair election can be staged.
“The assembly considers it vital
that the EU send observers to Zimbabwe’s presidential elections and requests
full EU access to observe, and calls on the Commission to start preparing a
comprehensive election monitoring mission, including the support of domestic
monitors and training of observers,” said the diplomats.
Mutsaka FOREIGN affairs permanent secretary, Willard Chiwewe, whose ministry
is supposed to lead the diplomatic offensive on the Abuja agreement,
has grabbed a farm in Shamva that had been delisted from the
compulsory acquisition list.
According to information gathered by The
Standard, Chiwewe, in collusion with Mashonaland Central governor and Zanu PF
provincial chairman, Elliot Manyika, has declared his intentions to grab the
farm from Peter Rorbye.
It is understood Chiwewe has made his intention
clear to Rorbye that he wants to swap his Chipoli Day farm for Rorbye’s farm,
which is more productive.
Chiwewe confirmed his interest in the farm
when contacted by The Standard on Friday.
After initially refusing any
knowledge about the issue Chiwewe later confirmed he wanted to grab the
“I don’t know what you are talking about. Go back to your sources
and then come back to me. I don’t take farms from people, I don’t have that
power,” said Chiwewe.
He however changed his stance after being
pressed further: “I have been visiting the farm under different circumstances
which have nothing to do with your newspaper. I am not doing it in my
personal capacity. I have been asked by the provincial leadership to go and
have a look at the farm and see if I am interested in it.
"My farm is
adjacent to a communal area so the province wants to use it for resettlement
purposes under the Model A1. So I will swap my farm for that one. I am
examining the two farms before I take a decision. The decision I take has
nothing to do with you,” said Chiwewe.
Chiwewe’s actions are in direct
violation of the Abuja agreement in which government agreed to halt all new
farm occupations and restore the rule of law.
Although Rorbye refused
to talk about the issue, The Standard has it on good authority that Chiwewe
frequently visits the farm to make ‘inspections’.
According to sources,
Chiwewe last visited the farm a fortnight ago.
So afraid of Chiwewe is
the Rorbye family that it has refused to talk to this newspaper about the
A woman at the farm yesterday pleaded with The Standard not to
publish anything regarding the issue as they feared reprisals.
issue is very sensitive and we don’t want anything published in the press. I
have a family living at the farm and I don’t want to put their lives in
danger. You will jeopardise a lot of things if you publish that story. I will
take issue with you if you write about our farm, I will take action,” said
Farming operations have been disrupted in Mashonaland Central
by war veterans and Zanu PF supporters who continue to terrorise farmers and
their workers. Farmers in the area say attempts for dialogue with the
provincial leadership have failed.
Cornelius Nduna and
Farai Mutsaka THE Zanu PF MP for Mutoko North, David Chapfika, and a
consortium of local businessmen have come under investigation from the PTA
Bank over a $41,3 million (US$750 000) loan obtained from the bank
irregularly, investigations by The Standard have revealed.
and Touche auditors in Kenya, where the bank is based, confirmed last week
that they had been contracted by the bank to investigate
Chapfika and his associates are alleged to have used
unorthodox means to borrow the money which they used to resuscitate the Boka
Tobacco Auction Floors which are now trading as Zimbabwe Tobacco Auction
Chapfika is also the chairman of the parliamentary
portfolio committee on budget, finance and economic development.
used an insider at the PTA Bank, the director for projects,
Hardwork Ndaka-senga Pemhiwa, to obtain the loan and in return Pemhiwa was
given some shareholding.
Documents in The Standard’s possession show
that Pemhiwa used his influence to push the loan to ZITAC without ensuring
that the bank was not exposed.
Sources said the $41,3 million loan to
ZITAC was insecure because the company had failed to to provide securities
for the loan. Already $22 million of the $41,3 has been disbursed to ZITAC
through a local bank.
The land on which the auction floors are built
belongs to the Harare City Council which needs $9 million just to start the
process of transferring title.
The project is the brainchild of
Chapfika, Wilson Nyabonda, Caleb Dengu and Pemhiwa, who are directors in
Thirdline Trading which gave birth to ZITAC.
The ZITAC board consists of
Nyabonda (chairman), Lovegot Tendengu, C Masango and Artwel
PTA Bank president Dr Michael Gondwe who was in Zimbabwe last
Sunday could not be reached for comment. Sources in Kenya said Gondwe, who
was booked at an Harare hotel, had flown into Zimbabwe over the ZITAC
transaction after revelations that the PTA Bank’s reputation was at stake
because of the deal.
Dr Gondwe’s secretary said the bank’s president
would only be back in Kenya on Wednesday. Pemhiwa told The Standard in a
telephone interview on Friday from Kenya that he was not authorised to speak
on matters relating to the bank and its clients.
Said Pemhiwa: “It may
well be that because the bank is going through some restructuring,
consultants have been going through our whole process.”
Asked about the
insecurity of the loan to ZITAC, Pemhiwa said: “I don’t think it will be fair
for me to discuss what is not in the public domain. Only Dr Gondwe is
qualified to speak on such matters.”
An auditor with Deloitte and Touche
(Kenya), Sammy Onyangu, said the PTA bank had given his firm some work but
refused to elaborate.
Asked whether his auditing firm had been hired to
investigate ZITAC transactions, Onyangu said: “Our work is confidential. I am
not at liberty to disclose details but the (PTA) bank engaged us to do some
Contacted for comment, Chapfika said he was not aware of any shady
deal surrounding ZITAC’s loan from the PTA bank.
“My appeal to your
paper is to protect Zimbabwe, particularly where we are dealing with a
foreign institution. Yes maybe there was some irregularity but I’m not aware
of it,” said Chapfika.
“But you must apply nationalism. This project is
beyond political boundaries. This is wealth creation, unbundling of
monopolies. Here we have 1 000 people employed. You should be fighting PTA,
not ZITAC. We should fight international institutions opposed to emerging
“We have been fighting for economic emancipation and we should
be applauded for breaking into this very critical area of tobacco. What I
know is that there have been lots of efforts to frustrate us... even
government officials have been fighting us. So I’m not surprised by the
Chapfika said the rumours of irregularities could have been
started by a secretary who had been denied some shareholding in ZITAC after
she had demanded that she be made a shareholder.
ZITAC board member
Seremani, said he was not aware that they were under investigations from the
PTA and referred all questions to ZITAC chairman, Nyabonda who could not be
reached for comment.
Nduna BRITISH Prime Minister Tony Blair has lumped President Robert
Mugabe together with the world number’s one terrorist Osama bin Laden, saying
the world has a moral obligation to fight terrorists and dictators in
In a speech at his Labour Party’s conference in Brighton
last week, Blair named President Mugabe, the Taliban militia and Slobodan
Milosevic as enemies of humanity which needed to be fought by the
international community ’s united front.
Blair said in the face of the
terror attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon last month, the
international community could no longer sit back while conflicts, human
rights abuses and other ills rock individual countries.
world, 11 September is bringing governments and people to reflect, consider
and cha-nge. And in this process, amidst all the talk of war and action there
is another dimension appearing. “There is a coming together. The power of the
community is asserting itself. We are realising how fragile our frontiers are
in the face of the world’s new challenges.
“Today conflicts rarely
stay within national boundaries. Today a tremor in one financial market is
repeated in the markets of the world.”
Blair said if the genocide that
occurred in Rwanda in 1993 was to be repeated, his country would have a moral
duty to intervene adding that it was for the same reasons that the British
went to Sierra Leone when the democratically elected government there was
The British prime minister said a partnership for Africa
could be a success if the developed world provided more aid, untied trade,
wrote off debts and helped with good governance. He however warned that
Africa had to play its part.
“But it’s a deal, on the African side:
true democracy, no more excuses for dictatorship, abuses of human rights, no
tolerance of bad governance, from the endemic corruption of some states, to
the activities of Mr Mugabe’s henchmen in Zimbabwe. Proper commercial and
Blair described that state of Africa as “a scar on
the conscience of the world” which could be healed if the world community
focused on it.
The reference to Zimbabwe follows President Mugabe’s
refusal to restore the rule of law since the eruption of state-sponsored
terror campaign in February last year.
At least 117 opposition
supporters have died since the preelection period last year as Mugabe’s
government continues its ill conceived land grab campaign aimed at giving him
an edge in next years crunch presidential election.
Zimbabwean Firms Diversify Into Regional Markets as Survival
HARARE, Oct 6, 2001 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Former president
of the Zimbabwe Economic Society Ternard Kwashirai said on Saturday that many
Zimbabwean companies were now relocating or diversifying into regional
and international markets as a survival strategy.
He told Zimbabwe
News Agency that Zimbabwe's economy "is shrinking".
"The cost of doing
business here is too high," he said, adding that "the land crisis, lack of
confidence and inconsistent government policies were driving many companies
to look for opportunities elsewhere."
Another leading local seed
producer, Seedco, had established a wholly owned subsidiary in Botswana,
Seedco International, which would be used as a platform for regional
The regional expansion would also be strengthened by contracted
seed production in Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi and South Africa.
is a response to the economic crisis that we are going through," said Kingdom
Financial Holding economist Howard Sithole."Companies are expanding to the
region to survive and generate foreign exchange to support
their activities at home."
He said it was critical for local
companies to venture into regional and international markets to survive the
economic crisis at home which had led to the closure of 400 companies and
the retrenchment of more than 100,000 workers since last
Increasing exports, opening regional branches and embarking on
joint ventures with foreign companies was one way of risk spreading losses
at home, he said.
Other economists warned that there was a danger that
some companies would relocate completely to neighboring countries if the
government did not move with speed to curb violence on farms and adopt
radical steps to save a dying economy.
Forced by President Robert Mugabe’s government to renounce any
claim to a second citizenship, Zimbabweans with British links face a double
penalty: the British High Commission in Harare is charging them at black market
rates to cut the tie. The £20 fee, translated into black market terms, is beyond
the reach of many elderly people impoverished by Mugabe's insistence that
pension funds invest in low interest funds, while hyper-inflation nears 100
percent. The fee is equivalent to more than a month's rent for a two-bedroomed
flat in Harare.
"They have got a b....y cheek," said Zimbabwean-born Peggy
Thomas, 59, who handed back the British passport she obtained in the 1980s
through her Welsh-born husband, David. She was charged more than Zimbabwe $8 000
for a letter from a British official confirming to the Zimbabwean Passport
Office that she is again a "mono-Zimbabwean" citizen. Others, faced with charges
up to Zimbabwe $13 000 as the black market rate fluctuates, cannot afford
renunciation. They thus lose Zimbabwean citizenship even if born here, reported
Derek Matyszak, legal adviser to a support group which has complained to the
High Commission. A British High Commission spokesman said the charges were
"under review" and refused to comment further.
Under a law rushed through Parliament, Zimbabweans have until
January 6 to obtain written proof from countries of which they hold
dual-citizenship that they have renounced it. If they fail to obtain proof, they
may be left stateless. As has become the case with other laws, however, the
practical application of the new law has been distorted. The citizenship
bureaucrats have also been illegally refusing applications for Zimbabwe
passports to those who have never been dual citizens, with officials claiming -
wrongly - that the new law states that even the possibility that a person might
have a claim to a second nationality is enough for them to lose their Zimbabwean
citizenship. In this way, many people end up in a Catch-22 - unable to gain
proof that they have renounced a second citizenship which they do not have, they
cannot apply for renewal of their Zimbabwe passports, and are thereby
effectively rendered stateless.
White Zimbabweans have been the most visible victims of this
latest in the series of unjust laws rubber-stamped by the Zanu PF majority in
Parliament. This fits neatly with the way in which the government has sought to
portray the violence of the last two years - as a war between "white settlers"
and the black majority. But the reality is that this new law - like the violence
itself, and everything else which has formed part of the grand Zanu PF
re-election masterplan - affects far more black than white Zimbabweans. Some 1.5
million black Zimbabwean farm workers and their families of Malawian or
Mozambican parentage and grand-parentage, are also affected by the new law - or
at least the illegal application of it. Generally regarded with suspicion by
Zanu PF, the effective disenfranchisement of this group of people, and the
probable deprivation of their nationality, is just a part of the scheme to
deprive the vote from as many people as possible who are likely to vote for the
opposition. One man - not white, and born in Zimbabwe of Zimbabwean-born
parents, has been unable to renew his Zimbabwe passport because "he has a
foreign surname". He was told to renounce his "Mexican or Italian citizenship".
He holds neither, and has thus effectively been rendered stateless. An elderly
man who has lived in Zimbabwe since he was four has also been denied a renewal
of his passport because the expired document states his place of birth as South
Africa. Even after getting the relevant document from the SA High Commission
stating that he has never been a SA citizen, his application was - illegally
- denied. He too is now stateless.
The South African High Commission has Pretoria has levied no
charges on the 1 100 Zimbabweans who have so far applied to renounce claims to
South African citizenship. At the British High Commission, officials refused to
accept the £20 sterling note Mrs. Thomas offered, and insisted she pay in
Zimbabwean notes at the "parallel" or black market rate. That day the rate was
Zimbabwe $300 to the pound, more than three times the government’s official rate
of Zimbabwe $79 to the pound. In addition, she paid a Zimbabwe $2,000 "consular
fee". "I’m not leaving this country … and perhaps if I keep my British passport
they can turn around and say you can’t own your home," said Mrs. Thomas,
referring to fears that Mugabe plans laws banning foreign nationals from working
or owning property in Zimbabwe. "The crazy thing, there I was at the High
Commission paying to give my British passport back – and the room was absolutely
crammed with people trying to get one," she added.
Getting into Britain is the prime aim of hundreds of thousands
of black Zimbabweans as political and economic conditions worsen here. As many
as 500 000 Zimbabwean are estimated to have gone to Britain already, legally or
illegally. Welsh-born Health Minister Timothy Stamps, the sole prominent white
in Mugabe's Zanu PF government, recently denounced the mass exodus of trained
doctors and nurses, saying they would find Britain "dowdy, dirty and
unwelcoming." Among whites who have decided to ignore Mugabe's January 6
deadline is former Rhodesian prime minister Ian Smith, 82. "I am just sitting
back and waiting for the dust to settle," said Smith, who was born in Zimbabwe
but has a claim to British citizenship by virtue of his father’s Scottish birth.
"I believe someone will challenge this in court so I haven't got down to
Human rights groups plan a court challenge on grounds that the
government should have to prove that Zimbabweans took active steps to claim a
foreign nationality before they can be stripped of their local citizenship. But
the Supreme Court is now packed with four Zanu PF-supporting judges, which
reduces the chance of the Mugabe-picked bench ruling against the government in
favour of individual rights.
The law as it stands:
The Citizenship Amendment Act passed earlier this year is
unjust, but it IS constitutional. It cannot be challenged in terms of the
present Constitution of Zimbabwe. Anyone who is also a citizen of another
country is required to renounce that citizenship in terms of the laws of the
other country, by 6 January 2002, if he or she wishes to remain a citizen of
If you renounced your other citizenship at the Citizenship
Office here using the form provided by the Zimbabwe government, that is no
longer sufficient. To remain a Zimbabwe citizen, you will have to go to the
Embassy or High Commission of the other country and renounce that citizenship by
whatever process the laws of that country require - and do this by 6 January
Note :If you have never claimed any other citizenship i.e.
never used another passport or enjoyed the privileges conferred by holding
another citizenship, then you are not a citizen of any other country. It is
important to be aware of this, because being entitled to another citizenship is
not the same as having that citizenship. It has come to our attention that
people are being told at the Passport Office that if either of their parents was
born outside this country, they will have to renounce the citizenship of that
country. THIS IS NOT TRUE, unless they themselves hold the citizenship in
question as described above. Anyone in this situation who is not allowed to
renew their Zimbabwe passport is recommended to seek legal relief – please
contact a lawyer if you want further advice about this.
Please also note that in terms of the Constitution, permanent
residents of Zimbabwe, who have been permanently resident since BEFORE 31
December 1985 are entitled to register to vote, despite provisions in the
Electoral Act which could be challenged. People who have become permanent
residents AFTER 1985 are not entitled to vote. If you are required to take any
action to remain a citizen of this country and this is your wish, we strongly
recommend that you do so as soon as possible, other wise you may not be able to
meet the deadline of 6 January 2002. Remember the Christmas holiday period
starts at the beginning of December, so you effectively have less than two
Commission on the assassination of Herbert Chitepo
PO Box RW 464 Ridgeway LUSAKA
His Excellency Dr Kenneth D.
Kaunda President of the Republic of Zambia State House Lusaka
Your Excellency, By Statutory Instrument No. 101 of 1975, Your
Excellency appointed us Commissioners to inquire into the events and
circumstances surrounding the death in Lusaka on the 18th March, 1975, of the
late Herbert Wiltshire Chitepo, a leading Zimbabwean nationalist leader, and to
investigate and establish other matters relating thereto as are contained in our
terms of reference.
My fellow Commissioners and I feel honoured and
privileged at having been appointed to undertake such an important task. We felt
that this Special International Commission was of great significance not only to
Zambia but to Africa as well and to the world as a whole.
We have the
honour to submit our Report herewith.
I have the honour to be, Your
Excellency’s obedient servant R. C. Kamanga Chairman.
to the Republic of Zambia Government Gazetted dated the 1st July, 1975
GOVERNMENT OF ZAMBIA Statutory Instrument No. 101 of 1975 The
Inquiries Act (Laws, Volume IV, Cap. 181)
A Commission THE
COMMISSION in the Schedule hereto, issued by His Excellency the President, is
published in accordance with the provisions of section two of the Inquiries Act.
S.J. Kazunga Secretary to the Cabinet
SCHEDULE A COMMISSION
HIS EXCELLENCY KENNETH DAVID KAUNDA, President of the Republic of Zambia —
To: REUBEN CHITANDIKA KAMANGA MATHIAS MAINZA CHONA THE
REPRESENTATIVE OF BOTSWANA THE REPRESENTATIVE OF THE CONGO THE
REPRESENTATIVE OF IVORY COST THE REPRESENTATIVE OF LIBYA THE
REPRESENTATIVE OF MALAGASY THE REPRESENTATIVE OF MOROCCO THE
REPRESENTATIVE OF MOZAMBIQUE THE REPRESENTATIVE OF RWANDA THE
REPRESENTATIVE OF SIERRA LEONE THE REPRESENTATIVE OF SOMALIA THE
REPRESENTATIVE OF TANZANIA THE REPRESENTATIVE OF ZAIRE
WHEREAS in my opinion it is advisable for the public welfare to appoint
Commissioners to inquire into the matters hereinafter set out:
THEREFORE, by virtue and in exercise of the powers conferred upon me by the
Inquiries Act, I do by this my Commission under my hand and the Public Seal of
the Republic of Zambia, appoint you the said— REUBEN CHITANDIKA KAMANGA
MATHIAS MAINZA CHONA THE REPRESENTATIVE OF BOTSWANA THE
REPRESENTATIVE OF THE CONGO THE REPRESENTATIVE OF IVORY COST THE
REPRESENTATIVE OF LIBYA THE REPRESENTATIVE OF MALAGASY THE
REPRESENTATIVE OF MOROCCO THE REPRESENTATIVE OF MOZAMBIQUE THE
REPRESENTATIVE OF RWANDA THE REPRESENTATIVE OF SIERRA LEONE THE
REPRESENTATIVE OF SOMALIA THE REPRESENTATIVE OF TANZANIA THE
REPRESENTATIVE OF ZAIRE to be Commissioners with all the powers of the said
Act conferred and I do hereby authorise and require you in the manner of the
said Act provided— To: 1. Inquire into the events and circumstance
leading to the death of the late Herbert Chitepo on the 18th March, 1975. 2.
Establish the facts of and surrounding the said death. 3. Investigate and
establish whether any racist or imperialist agents or counter-revolutionaries or
saboteurs were directly responsible for the said death. 4. Investigate and
establish the identity and the motive of the person or persons responsible for
the death. 5. Make recommendations with regard to the measures or any
additional measures that ought to be taken for the security of persons engaged
in any political activities aimed at the attainment of freedom and independence
of the people of Zimbabwe and of any other country in Africa still under
colonial or minority rule. AND I hereby direct that you the said Reuben
Chitandika Kamanga be the Chairman of the said Commission. AND I hereby
direct that the person before whom you shall take and subscribe the oath or
affirmation required by the aforesaid Act shall be the Honourable Mr Justice
Annel Muchizwa Silungwe, Chief Justice of Zambia. AND I hereby direct that
the Chairman sitting with five other Commissioners shall constitute a quorum.
AND I hereby direct the Inquiry shall be made in Lusaka and in such other
places both inside and outside of Zambia as may be deemed necessary by the
Commission. AND I hereby direct that the report of the Inquiry shall be
rendered to me after the Commissioners have concluded their deliberations and
decided upon their recommendations. AND I hereby direct that if the
Commissioners in the course of their inquiries become aware of any matter, thing
of activity which in their opinion constitutes or is likely to constitute a
danger or threat to national security or the security of any person or persons
engaged in any political activity aimed at the attainment of freedom and
independence of the people of Zimbabwe or of any other country in Africa still
under colonial or minority rule, they shall forthwith communicate full
information concerning any such matter, thing or activity and their opinion
thereon to the Minister responsible for home affairs. AND I hereby direct
that the said Inquiry shall be held in private. AND I hereby appoint Charles
Chishimba Manyema to be Secretary for the purposes of the said Inquiry. AND
I hereby authorise the Commissioners to engage the services of such advisers and
experts as they deem necessary to aid and assist them in the said Inquiry.
AND I lastly do hereby command all persons whom it may concern to take due
notice hereof and give their obedience accordingly. GIVEN under my hand and
the Public Seal of the Republic of Zambia at Lusaka this 1st day of July, the
year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and seventy-five.
THE DEATH OF HERBERT WILTSHIRE
CHITEPO On Tuesday, the 18th of March, 1975, at about 0800 hours an
explosion occurred at No. 150 Muramba Road, Chilenje South, Lusaka, the house of
the late Mr Herbert Wiltshire Chitepo, former National Chairman of Zimbabwe
African National Union (ZANU) and a leading personality in the enlarged African
National Council (ANC), which came into being on the 7th December 1974. 2.
Chitepo and his bodyguard Silas Shamiso died as a result of this explosion and a
third person, a young Zambian boy called Sambwa Chaya of No. 148 Muramba Road,
Chilenje South, died later at the University Teaching Hospital, Lusaka, from
injuries sustained as a result of the explosion. Sadat Kafumazuba, another
bodyguard of Chitepo, also sustained injuries.
HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) --A former High Court judge belatedly
released a ruling on Saturday accusing the Zimbabwean government of subverting
the rule of law, sponsoring terror and undermining judicial independence.
Judge Michael Gillespie, 49, who quit the bench in August, said in the
written judgment published Saturday he could no longer in good conscience
"administer the law only against opponents of the government."
Gillespie, a white Zimbabwean who reportedly went to England after stepping
down, deplored what he called an unduly lenient lower court sentence on a ruling
party supporter who attempted to extort $3,000 from a white former employer.
The convicted man, who two years ago received a compensation package
negotiated by government labor officers, led a mob to the employer's offices
during a wave of similar unrest earlier this year.
Reviewing the verdict, Gillespie questioned why the man was sentenced to 420
hours community sentence in place of a prison sentence. However, the law
prevented him from overturning the verdict, allowing him only to express his
Opposition officials accused the government of stirring up the urban unrest
in a calculated move to gain support for the ruling party and cow its opponents.
The opposition has accused ruling party militants, who have led the violent
occupation of 1,700 white-owned farms, of similar motives and have said the
government appeared to be trying to destroy the independence of the judiciary.
Supreme Court Chief Justice Anthony Gubbay took early retirement in March
after the government said it could not guarantee the safety of judges. Gillespie
became the third High Court judge since May to resign when he stepped down on
August 31. All three were seen as critical of the government.
In the ruling published Saturday, Gillespie also questioned why Joseph
Chinotimba -- leader of a group of veterans of Zimbabwe's liberation war and
other ruling party militants -- was allowed to continue organizing attacks on
businesses and white-owned farms despite being on bail for attempted murder of
an opposition supporter.
Chinotimba's treatment "makes a mockery of the law" and "leaves it impossible
for me to conclude ... (he) and his actions do not enjoy the full backing of the
executive," Gillespie wrote.
Gillespie also accused the ruling party of manipulating the courts to block
opposition challenges to last year's parliamentary elections, threatening white
judges, and packing the Supreme Court with supporters of President Robert
Information Minister Jonathan Moyo said Gillespie's remarks were "a
disgusting abuse of the bench ... political and racist statements that have
nothing to do with the case."
"We will not be shaken in our commitment to build a just and equitable
society as per the goals of our liberation struggle," Moyo said.
Mugabe's government has pledged to seized most of the farmland owned by
Zimbabwe's 4,000 white farmers -- nearly one-third of the country's fertile land
-- for redistribution to landless blacks.
The violent occupations and plans for the land seizures began last March
after the defeat of a constitutional referendum that would have further
entrenched the president's powers -- Mugabe's first electoral loss in his
Gillespie said the behavior of the offender brought before him was "a symptom
of the breakdown to mob rule."
"A judge who finds himself in the position where he is called upon to
administer the law only against opponents of the government and not against
government supporters faces the challenge to his conscience -- that is whether
he can still consider himself to sit as an independent judge in an impartial
court," he wrote.