~~~ Newsletter 041
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One of the
many peaceful Zvakwana street demos protesting the closure of the Daily
"Why not go out
on a limb? Isn't that where the fruit is?"
~ Frank Scully
vice president simon muzenda dies aged 81
Vice president simon muzenda long
a loyal aide to mugabe died Sept. 20, state radio reported. He was 81.The report
said muzenda died at the main Parirenyatwa hospital in Harare. It gave no cause
of death. Local media had reported in recent months that muzenda was ill, but
earlier this month the official Herald newspaper said he was making ''remarkable
progress'' and dismissed reports that his condition was serious.
Freedom of Expression is
a human right! Just as the report above indicates, the Herald has been
pulling the wool over our eyes. It is important to be aware of how information
can be manipulated. Don't believe everything you read in The Herald. In fact,
why even buy it?
Herald spins muzenda's death
Of course it is not so nice to be
pleased with another's demise but Zvakwana must reject the junior minister
moyo's assertion that muzenda is a startling loss to the nation (Herald 22/9).
It is true he has some longstanding involvement in political affairs and that he
might be a loss to the top heavy geriatric zanu pf but muzenda's contempt of the
people of Zimbabwe was shown very clearly in 2000. He stated at a rally in
Masvingo that "even if zanu pf put a baboon as a parliamentary candidate then
that is who the people should vote for".
things to do this summer!
1) Get healthy. You need to be fit to
run from the riot at the next demo.
2) Make your work place more beautiful!
Take down the presidential portrait in your office, bank or building
3) Support street vendors wherever you can. Times are hard.
Switch off state-controlled propaganda: listen to cassettes instead.
poetry. Find ways and means to express yourself. Exercise your vocal
6) Question the behaviour of your elected leaders, as well as your
7) Get to know your councillor.
8) Make love, don't hate.
the change you want to see in Zimbabwe.
10) Reduce how much you take,
increase how much you give.
mugabe uses muzenda church service for cheap
He is such a predictable old dictator that we have to
stifle our yawns. mugabe was saying on Sunday 21 September that puppets will
never rule Zimbabwe. Zvakwana is in agreement with this. But we also do not want
jokers offering up cockeye policies ruling our nation. mugabe goes on to say
"rule by remote control will not be tolerated". Meanwhile he has destroyed our
agricultural base by installing weekend farmers who dictate what and what by
cell phone to their impoverished and under resourced slave farm managers. Never
mind now we have an even newer brand of agricultural worker: firewood farmers.
This is another example of Zimbabweans blind eyed view of the future.
Crocodile tears from Zimbabwe's cricketers
activists moving around on Sunday had their eyes pop out when witnessing
Mashonaland playing Matabeleland in the Logan Cup at Harare Sports Club. Every
man on the field was putting on a black armband in so-called "sorrow" at mzee's
passing to the next life. Here we have this fawning collective behaviour when no
team mates could be seen to be supporting Olonga and Flower during their black
armband protest during the world cup cricket. Whilst marking the death of a
person is important surely standing up for issues like democracy and justice as
done by Olonga and Flower are worth supporting? Zimbabwean cricket cannot reach
further murky depths. Email the Zimbabwe Cricket Union email@example.com and ask them to explain how this
mzee armband gesture is in keeping with their pathetic squeaking that politics
and sport don't mix.
I must be frank here. We have
become so self-centred that we are not concerned about the welfare of the nation
as a whole but our own self-preservation. "Siyana nezvepolitics unangane
nehupenyu hwako chete" is the common wisdom because politics is dangerous.
The truth is that politics affects your life whether you are involved directly
or indirectly and by not actively participating you are actually participating.
The difference is that if you are not actively involved you are surrendering
your destiny and that of your wife or husband and your children to
Read the full contribution later in this email .
Moyo's mouthpiece not worth a cent
Everywhere Zimbabweans are saying that they are too scared to do this or that
because of this brutal regime. Stopping buying the Herald is a small sacrifice
in the face of the trampling of freedom of expression in Zimbabwe. If newspapers
register with the regime's media commission, the commission can then interfere
in the content of the said registered paper. This is not acceptable. The Daily
News should be congratulated for saying No! to
registration whilst all around others scurry to obey an illegitimate government.
It is our duty to reject unjust and unconstitutional laws. Today's Herald is but
14 pages in length and most of that is taken up by advertising. Are you so bored
that you must pick up and read this stinking propaganda? And then the
advertisers, what of them? Must business always come before principles?
Advertisers in the Herald are giving the junior minister moyo extra cash to
spend on clear beer. Zvakwana!
You can decide to either
email or boycott some of these companies advertising in the Herald
Of course the regime is just
making life even harder for itself. When you act unreasonably like this
illegitimate government is by shutting down the Daily News, then you make your
people find new and crafty ways as to how to continue to communicate with each
other. If they had many brain cells they would just leave the traditional press
alone. Look what the underground did to Hitler.
Hokoyo zanu - we're everywhere.
- You have to take your own
linen if you are admitted to a government hospital.
- The petrol in your tank may
be worth more than your car.
- You can do your monthly
shopping on the pavement.
On Monday 25 August Tsvangirai gave zanu pf the
deadline of October 1st over dialogue. "Let's talk or else" he said. We're
asking for some clarity on this talking situation. It is our right to be kept
informed. And what does "or else" mean? We are hearing that there is a
possibility of an "elite deal" being struck between zanu pf and the MDC. While
many Zimbabweans being on their knees through hardship might like to see any
kind of deal being struck there are still some important non-negotiable elements
to be recognising. For example, on the point of amnesty for the old dictator and
his elite band of thieves. How is the MDC gathering feedback from its
constituencies on key points involved in transition? Are we the people just
going to be left out in the passage ways? As fighters for freedom we must keep
up the pressure so that both political parties recognise the collective voice of
Zimbabweans, that we have a place at the table too. As a regular Zvakwana
"Talks". They should only be
concerned with removing the corrupt and brutal regime that is directly and
deliberately responsible for bringing Zimbabwe to its knees - and they should
not be relied upon to achieve that objective without the direct action that the
MDC and others have shown themselves capable of. Without pressure Zanu PF will
Zimbabwe to keep old bank notes
The Zimbabwe government, faced with a
chronic shortage of bank notes, has said it will keep old notes in circulation
until the end of the year, reversing an earlier decision, state-run media said
today. Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa said last July that Zimbabwe's most
common 500-dollar note (worth around 60 US cents, 50 euro cents) would be
withdrawn at the end of September and replaced with a new banknote. The Herald
said the decision to extend the deadline "was reached after consultation with
various stakeholders." Zimbabwe is four months into its cash crisis, and
government measures have not alleviated the long waits for people queuing to
withdraw money from banks. Independent economists blame Zimbabwe's soaring
inflation rate, now standing at 426%, for the note shortages.
what's a dirty
word with a C in it?
We Zimbabweans feel
extremely flattered when we receive compliments. Because of the political,
social and economic turmoil we were led into by Mukoma Jerry and Company, we
have almost achieved a defacto award for resilience, patience and peacefulness.
Even among ourselves we get so carried away about our being peaceful, resilient
and all those feel good stimulants as if such compliments will solve the
catastrophic problems that we have. In fact we have played the greater part in
destroying our own country by creating an environment in which Mukoma Jerry
& Company have managed to run riot, systematically infecting and killing
every vital organ of our nation.
It is well known that too
much of anything is no good. What is good is the right amount of a thing to suit
a particular situation. If you have a disease, a doctor will assess the severity
of the sickness and recommend the right amount of medicine that you should take
to cure that disease. Medicine is good in that it cures, but if you take more
than what you are supposed to take, that medicine kill you. Extremes are no
good. In our case too much patience in excess of what our situation requires is
a poison. Therefore we continue to be partners to Mukoma J and Company in
destroying our country. Actually, by being over patient we ourselves are
patients who need a cure from this disease afflicting us.
And until we cure
ourselves from this disease we cannot cure our nation.
We are peace loving? Seka
nhamo yerugare mwana waBere iwe! We are not at peace. The truth is that we
don't know the colour of true peace. True peace is a state of the mind and
experience. Does struggling every second to get food, money and fuel bring a
feeling of peace in your mind? Is going to the bank to get your money and being
told you cannot get it, peace? Does being forced to listen to what you don't
want bring you a state of peace? Does being tortured and murdered bring you a
feeling of peace? Is living in the fear of expressing what you think and
honestly criticising what is wrong, unjust and brutal, peace?
I must be frank here. We
have become so self-centred that we are not concerned about the welfare of the
nation as a whole but our own self-preservation. "Siyana nezvepolitics unangane
nehupenyu hwako chete" is the common wisdom because politics is dangerous. The
truth is that politics affects your life whether you are involved directly or
indirectly and by not actively participating you are actually participating. The
difference is that if you are not actively involved you are surrendering your
destiny and that of your wife or husband and your children to others. So when
your child does not get food and faces hardships because those you have
surrendered your fate to have fooled you, first blame yourself for being
irresponsible by not actively participating in the first place. Then ask
yourself if you want to continue being irresponsible or you want to repent and
take part in steering the nation back on course so that you will be able to make
the best for children and your spouse.
Simon, a Zvakwana subscriber
of reply: Q Tees management responds to criticism
Firstly we thank
Mr Christen for the compliment regarding our longstanding record of
'scrumptious' foods and we thank him for his custom. It was with sadness that we
read his letter, sadness not at his comments but that his letter so eloquently
expresses the frustration of many Zimbabweans trying to live normal lives in
these hard and trying times. The greatest challenge, we as business people face,
is to find a way to have heart for our customers whilst safeguarding the
survival of our business enterprise. Q Tees management has always had a policy
of not accepting cheque payments unless they were from large wholesale
customers. However of late customers appealed for assistance with several making
the suggestion of a levy to offset the long delays in cheque clearing being
experienced. It is this customer driven initiative that was communicated to Mr
Christen, a suggestion he declined to take up. Q Tees management remain
committed to the preparation of tasty foods with minimal inconvenience to our
customers, and only ask that our customers meet us half way in ensuring
continuity and standards of our service. For our part we will continue to strive
to have balance between the business and social environment.
Zvakwana, Sokwanele, Enough!!
Your Action, Your Country, Your Decision, Things are on the
Please remember Zvakwana
welcomes feedback, ideas and support for actions.
Enough is enough,
International Herlad Tribune
Robert Mugabe must go
September 23, 2003
In The Daily News of Zimbabwe readers could
follow the long, cheerless saga
of President Robert Mugabe's slide into
dictatorship. But the most telling
illustration of Zimbabwe's decline is the
case of the newspaper itself. The
four-year-old daily, the only one not
controlled by the government, was
bombed twice, its staff and distributors
beaten and harassed, its founding
editor driven into exile. Now the
government has closed the paper, using
undemocratic laws to extinguish one of
the last embers of free speech in
Mugabe's current assault
on Zimbabwe's most popular newspaper is built
around a 2002 law that compels
media to register. The government has used
the law to bring charges against
or deny accreditation to critical
journalists. The Daily News argued that the
requirement was unconstitutional
and refused to register. On Sept. 11, the
Supreme Court ruled that if the
newspaper wanted to challenge the media law,
it must register first. Last
week the paper did - and it was promptly denied
a license to operate. It is
now appealing to the courts, but it is unlikely
to be successful in a
justice system controlled by Mugabe.
years as president, Mugabe has gone from independence hero to
Zimbabweans now go hungry, in part because his policy of
white-owned farms has led to food shortages. The once-strong
economy is near
collapse. Mugabe rigged his own re-election last year, and
courts are now
prosecuting Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the democratic
treason - a charge that can carry the death
So far, the near-united opposition of the outside world has had
But one reason is that the nation with the most influence has not
Although South Africa has leverage - it controls Zimbabwe's
for one thing - President Thabo Mbeki argues that diplomacy
effective than sanctions. Mbeki, who refuses to criticize a fellow
Africa's liberation struggles, should reconsider. The collapse of
is affecting all southern Africa. For the good of the entire region,
must step down.
Last Update: Tuesday, September 23, 2003. 8:15am
Zimbabwe civic groups seek media alternative
groups said they plan to meet this week to find alternative
publishing information following the closure of the country's
independent daily paper, threatening a boycott of one of the
President Robert Mugabe's government shut down
the Daily News last week on
grounds that it was operating without a licence,
The paper's subsequent
application to register was rejected.
The head of the Crisis in Zimbabwe
Coalition, Brian Raftopoulous told a news
conference the group would discuss
this week how to go forward from here,
with one possibility the boycott of
the state-run Herald.
"If you are in a situation where your so-called
government prevents you
having the right to seek alternative sources of
information, then we have
the right to call for the boycott of the existing
monopoly of information
sources," he said.
The Herald is the only mass
circulation daily paper remaining in Zimbabwe,
along with its sister paper,
the Chronicle, published in the country's
second city of
There are, however, five independent weeklies.
coalition said the banning of the Daily News "deprives large numbers
Zimbabweans of a daily source of information and an alternative to
virulent propaganda disseminated by the state-controlled
"There is no doubt that the primary objective of the Mugabe
banning the Daily News is to ensure that Zimbabweans, and indeed
international community, do not receive information about the
continued abuse of power, repression, violence and grave abuse of
rights," said the coalition.
Civic organisations deploring the
closure of the paper expressed fears that
they might be the next target in
the crackdown on dissent.
"The next likely target of the ongoing campaign
to snuff out alternative
voices will be civil society organisations," said
More than 100 pro-democracy demonstrators were last week
charged for taking to the streets to protest against the closure
The government is working on a new law which
say is aimed at increasing state control of
Last year the government enacted a strict new law, the
Access to Information
and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA), aimed at
governing the operations of
"AIPPA was intended
to strangle the private press by subjecting it to
stifling controls and
restrictions and by creating various serious criminal
offences that can be
committed by media houses and journalists," the
Publishers of the Daily News were on Monday questioned and
operating a media house without licence, as police again raided
The paper was closed after the Supreme Court
ruled that it was operating
An application for registration
was submitted immediately after the closure,
but it was turned down
Officials at the Daily News said they will appeal against
the decision to
deny them a licence.
"Without an independent daily
newspaper to comment on and expose ...
injustices, attacks on human rights
and constitutional freedoms are likely
to intensify," said the Crisis
Zim Daily News raided again
22/09/2003 21:35 -
Harare - Police in Zimbabwe on Monday made a fresh raid on the
Zimbabwe's only private daily, while four of the paper's
charged for illegally operating a media business, an official
Gugulethu Moyo, legal advisor of the Associated Newspapers of
(ANZ) - the publishers of the Daily News and the Daily News on
Sunday - said
police had returned to the offices armed with a search warrant
seizing more equipment.
Hours earlier, four of the paper's
nine directors had been questioned and
charged with publishing a paper
without a licence as is required by strict
media laws passed last year in the
southern African country.
"Four directors of ANZ were called in (by the
police) for questioning...
(and) charged for running a mass media service
without a licence," Gugulethu
Moyo told a news conference.
Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA),
signed into law
by President Robert Mugabe soon after his re-election last
newspapers and journalists must be registered with a
Last week police closed the Daily News and confiscated its
the Supreme Court ruled it was operating illegally because it
applied for a licence.
The Daily News promptly applied for a
licence - but was turned down straight
The High Court had last
week ruled that the paper could continue publishing
and that the seized
equipment be returned.
Some of the equipment was returned to the paper's
offices in central Harare,
according to officials.
state, which had filed an appeal against the High Court order,
did not show
up at the appeal hearing on Monday morning.
The shutdown of the Daily
News has sparked international and local outrage
New York Times
A Bleak Ride Home for Zimbabwe Deportees
N ROUTE TO ZIMBABWE, in South Africa, Sept. 18 — Every time
14-car train slows to a crawl — which is often — the policeman
in Car 6
barks an order and 50 men bend over in their seats, heads between
until the pace picks up again. Back in Car 10, the luggage racks
festooned with the occupants' belts, dangling above them like snakes.
trousers are too big," one officer said. "They won't try to escape
The police say they have any number
of ways to keep the 952 passengers on
the train to Zimbabwe in their seats.
But as the engine lumbers out of one
station at 9:15 p.m., two shadows tumble
from a window near the center of
the train, then sprint into the inky
A half-hour later, at another stop, 10 more plunge onto the rocky
then another 5, then 4 or 5 more. A few cars away, a policeman
neck out the window and guffaws. "They'd rather die than go home,"
Indeed, one of the train's coughing passengers did just that,
not an hour
This is the overnight train from Johannesburg to
Messina, which twice a
month hauls about 1,000 illegal migrants from South
detention camp back to the Zimbabwe border — or tries to.
What the policeman
says is very nearly true: life in Zimbabwe these days is
so hard, and
sometimes so terrifying, that the passengers say death is almost
to returning to hunger, oppression, disease and hopelessness.
"It's like to
die," a despairing Xolani Masuko, 18, being deported for the
second time in
less than a year, said of his homeland. "I don't have money. I
food. I don't have everything. The whole family died of
South African officials say that the country deports at least
Zimbabweans each month, on the train and in trucks.
But the true
number of illegal immigrants is far higher, experts say. They
work in menial
jobs, as street vendors, in tenement-style sewing factories
sending their paychecks back to destitute relatives.
Zimbabwe has been
plummeting into economic and political purgatory for at
least three years,
since its president, Robert Mugabe, now 79, started a
race-driven campaign to purge the country of white influence
political opposition. Both targets have been gravely wounded.
But in a
night of conversations with Zimbabweans loaded onto the train back
recurring theme was that ordinary people have been hit hardest.
Masuko said he vastly preferred sharing a plastic-and-mud shack in
Diepsloot squatter's camp north of Johannesburg to subsisting in
Zimbabwe's second-largest city and once a major economic
In Johannesburg, he earned about $30 a week working as a security
guard in a
well-heeled suburb. Life in Bulawayo consisted of cleaning auto
collecting less than a dollar a day in the country's wildly
currency. Some days, he said, there was not enough even to buy
the ground-up corn that, boiled into a paste, feeds much of
The first time he was deported, Mr. Masuko
was back inside South Africa
within a day, so determined to return that he
missed his mother's funeral.
This time, he said, he will return too. Everyone
interviewed during the
train's 15-hour trek to the border had the same
"Tomorrow, we are in Zimbabwe," Bitwe Sikhola, 24, a delivery
Johannesburg police caught him, said as he slouched late Wednesday
train's bench seat. "Friday, we are back here."
Mr. Mugabe won
global fame 20 years ago by freeing Zimbabwe from oppressive
rule. Since 2000, his government has seized and redistributed
peasants — sometimes violently — most of the remaining
But the fallout has been grievous. By United Nations estimates,
on large-scale commercial farms has shriveled to 10 percent of its
level, and as many as 900,000 of the nation's 15 million people have
their jobs or homes. Unemployment now exceeds 70 percent. Production
tobacco, the major cash crop, has collapsed.
MDC denies breakthrough deal with Zanu-PF
September 23, 2003
By Brian Latham and Basildon Peta
Opposition politicians in Zimbabwe have been quick to deny a South
press report that they had reached an agreement with the ruling
Zanu-PF on a
draft transitional constitution.
The opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) suggested
yesterday that the SA government might have
put out the report to help
secure an invitation for Zimbabwean President
Robert Mugabe to attend the
Commonwealth summit in Nigeria in December. He is
The Sapa report said Zanu-PF and the MDC were
"headed for a
breakthrough following an agreement by the two parties to draft
constitution that would make way for a transitional
It quoted MDC spokesperson Paul Themba Nyathi as a
Nyathi insisted "most categorically that no such agreement
reached". In fact, there wasn't even dialogue taking place between
and the MDC at the moment.
alleged agreement is a complete fabrication without
any foundation in facts
or truth. At no time did I indicate that there was
any such agreement. There
isn't even an agreement on what is to be on the
agenda of the proposed
A senior MDC official said there were "people in
Zanu-PF" who wanted
to end the crisis in Zimbabwe.
people informally meet with the MDC and discuss ways of
resolving the crisis,
including revising the constitution as the first step
transitional process, such informal discussions don't amount to
No one from Zanu-PF was available for comment at the
time of going to
press. - Independent Foreign Service
No News is bad news
Britain has quietly de-escalated its war of words
with Robert Mugabe's
regime in Zimbabwe
Former foreign office minister Peter Hain, the
hard man of King Charles
Street, has moved on to higher things. Former
foreign secretary Robin Cook
is busy selling his memoirs. Mr Mugabe
characterised London's criticism as
the racist ranting of a thwarted colonial
power and used it at home to
justify his numerous abuses. Abroad, he tried to
outflank Britain by
exploiting old Anglo-French rivalries in Africa.
fiercer Britain's condemnation of Mr Mugabe's excesses, the more
appeared when its strictures were contemptuously tossed back in
Since 9/11, Britain has in any case been focused on changing
In this sense, civil and democratic rights in Zimbabwe are
Afghan and Iraqi
collateral war damage. These days, the government tends to
concerns under cover of the EU or the
Foreign secretary Jack Straw's restrained statement on the
weekend banning of Zimbabwe's last independent newspaper, the
largely reiterated a position already adopted by
This approach may mean the government is less directly exposed
fire from Mr Mugabe. But it does not mean that anything more
forceful will be done to revive press freedom, or end the
persecution of the
opposition and its leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, or curb
violations, or fortify the much traduced judiciary, or finally
Mugabe's long-overdue retirement.
It just means that the
opprobrium arising from Zimbabwe's accelerating
failure is more widely spread
and less keenly felt. It sometimes seems that
the country will have to
descend into Liberian or Sierra Leone-style anarchy
before anything is
Is this collapse inevitable? No. If a fraction of the willpower,
and incentives directed at Iraq were used to underwrite a strong
initiative led by South Africa, and if its blinkered leader, Thabo
could only see where his nation's and Africa's true interest lies, Mr
might soon be writing his memoirs, too.