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

Back to Index

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

'More Fire' turns blue as chefs perform

THE much publicised Independence Gala, dubbed "More Fire" after the Zanu PF
slogan, turned out to be just what many had anticipated - more rubbish.

Elliot Manyika, minister-turned-crooner, put on a dismal performance.
Instead of singing, he drawled. Bryan Mteki's attempts to cover up for him
only worsened the matter.

Manyika's performance led people to ask if he had genuinely recorded the
song, Nora, in the first place without some help from the dubbing
department. The video version is fine. So what accounted for the minister's
inability to repeat the performance live?

Stage fright could have been a factor. But things didn't get any better the
next day when he sang it unaccompanied at a party to thank Zanu PF cadres
for voting for the sole ruling party councillor in Harare, Hubert Nyanhongo.
We hope the minister will practise his vocal skills so he can team up with
Koffi Olomide to campaign for Kabila next year in the DRC.

Saviour Kasukuwere, the MP for Mt Darwin, shocked many people - even the
rent-a-crowd which he hired - when he paid $200 000 to Last Chiangwa, aka
Tambaoga, for the thoroughly disgusting song, Agirimendi, in which the
musician poured scorn on Tony Blair.

No prizes for guessing who inspired this fortune-seeker. The song's lyrics
went as follows: "The only Blair that I know is a toilet."

But this wasn't the limit to his talent. Tambaoga went further in another
song using words that are best left in the toilet.

For an MP to pay that amount for a repeat performance of a song that could
not rise above obscenities is a mockery to thousands of Zimbabweans starving
to death as a result of Zanu PF's abuse of power.

Think what you like of Tony Blair, he didn't have to kill anybody to stay in
office. Nor are his people starving.

While Manyika sang his way to the top, Kasukuwere wants to do it on the
dance floor in the style of a former Information minister. His antics though
did not amuse anyone as his performance was distinctly lacklustre.

Kasukuwere's exertions and those of his foul-mouthed songster were beamed
live into people's homes by ZTV at prime viewing time when children were
watching. Where's Tafataona Mahoso and his ethics committee when we need

Nazi propaganda minister Josef Goebbels believed that a lie repeated often
enough quickly secured a purchase on the public mind. Zanu PF has
successfully adopted this approach in its propaganda offensive on land.

In a speech to mark Independence Day in Pretoria, High Commissioner SK Moyo
was reported to have said "a situation where 1% of the population, which
happens to be white, continues to own 70% of all fertile and arable land is

At least he didn't suggest, as other government spokesmen do, that whites
own 70% of all land in Zimbabwe. He qualified it by specifying "all fertile
and arable" land. But while that may have been partly true (it ignores the
state's own vast holdings) two years ago, it certainly isn't true today when
90% of commercial farmers have seen their land designated or seized by Zanu
PF gangs. Today, 70% of the country's best arable land is in the possession
of the government and its supporters.

While some of that land has been allocated to peasant farmers and A2
recipients, much has been arbitrarily seized by chefs. Every day we read of
new depredations by ministers, police chiefs, security personnel and other
well-connected officials of the Zanu PF regime.

The South African public needs to be told these facts so they don't allow
our diplomats abroad to continue getting away with false claims. What is
happening in Zimbabwe is pure theft accompanied by threats of violence and
actual violence.

In addition to the human victims of this lawlessness - the farmers, their
families and their workers - there is another casualty. Forty percent of the
country's wildlife has been destroyed, it is estimated, and with it
irreplaceable habitat lost as a result of tree felling and grass burning.
That will impact on tourism. Everywhere, Zanu PF has created a desert where
once there was life.

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights recently published a full-page statement
in this newspaper setting out their conclusions on the various court cases
that were heard on issues relating to citizenship and the vote. The
statement noted Justice Adam's ruling extending the deadline for
renunciation of foreign citizenship to August 6 and declaring that
Zimbabwean citizens by birth do not have to renounce a potential foreign
citizenship unless they actually hold the said foreign citizenship. This was
in line with another ruling by Justice Makarau.

ZLHR says the logic of Justice Adam's ruling could be applied equally to
those Zimbabweans who were born in a foreign country but have lost their
foreign citizenship by operation of the law when they acquired Zimbabwean
citizenship. ZLHR points out that the RG's office has subsequently conceded
that those Zimbabwean citizens who do not hold a foreign citizenship should
not lose their entitlement to vote simply because they did not renounce an
entitlement to a foreign citizenship.

But people are still being denied passports and even birth certificates for
their children on the grounds they have not renounced their entitlement to
foreign citizenship, ZLHR notes. Such people are being asked to reapply for
Zimbabwe citizenship on payment of $25 000 and are told they will have to
wait 18 months.

"It is our opinion," ZLHR says, "that the case law indicates that such
action is incorrect and that a logical interpretation of the Citizenship Act
as amended is that unless you actually hold a foreign citizenship you cannot
lose your Zimbabwean citizenship. We feel the error should be corrected
voluntarily by the Registrar-General's Office…"

These conclusions have enormous ramifications. Justice Adam's ruling has
been suspended while the state appeals. But if his ruling stands it will
mean the RG's office has wrongly obliged thousands of people to go through
an arbitrary, confusing and hugely inconvenient process on the basis of a
deficient interpretation of the law. The consequences for many could be
"catastrophic", ZLHR points out.

That will provide all those concerned with no option but to seek civil
redress against the RG. The state is currently mobilising the dubious Access
to Information Act against the Daily News over its coverage of the RG's
handling of the electoral process. If the chance arises for the public to
secure some measure of justice for the way they have been treated by an
arbitrary and partisan manipulation of the law by state officials, they
should seize it.

What ranks do Robert Mugabe Jnr and his little brother Chatunga hold in the
Zimbabwe Republic Police? They were shown on the front page of the Herald
decked out in their uniforms for the Independence Day ceremony at the
National Sports Stadium. The Herald's reporter described them as
"resplendent in police attire".

No doubt we will be told that this was a harmless indulgence of no great
significance; that the "First Family" have no military ambitions for their
offspring; that we are not about to be arrested by little Mugabes!

But their father has shown a marked reluctance of late to relinquish the
reins of office despite 22 years of failure. Indeed, he regards the recent
presidential poll, plagued by coercion and manipulation, as a mandate to go
on misgoverning the country for another six years.

The succession is a taboo topic among his followers. Nobody is allowed to
mention the "S" word. So when we see his kids dressed as police officers we
can perhaps better appreciate the stance by the security forces hierarchy
when they said they would salute no other candidate.

Is this a dynasty in the making? And should those who thought the top job
would fall to them in the fullness of time worry about their prospects?
Didymus Mutasa's much-mocked comment in 1996 that "Mugabe is our king" may
now prove prescient!

We were sorry to hear that the Independence Flame went out yet again during
last Thursday's ceremony. It has suffered the indignity of going out a
number of times in the past. Readers may recall the various attempts to keep
it alive after its inaugural appearance at Rufaro Stadium in 1980. There
were various experiments with gas cylinders. Then it was parked by the
toposcope on the Kopje where, flameless, it was guarded by police. But that
didn't prevent the toposcope itself falling victim to crime and grime.

Perhaps it is symbolic that the flickering flame has become a witness to the
sort of environmental decay Zimbabwe as a nation is suffering.

Mugabe could of course have kept it alight by breathing on it. But some
other temporary gaseous expedient was no doubt adopted that saw it flicker
for a few moments before being returned to the Kopje, flameless and
forgotten for another year.

We hate, by the way, to deprive Herald writers of their illusions, but the
Kopje was not "where the Pioneer Column hoisted the Union Jack more than a
century ago". If Elton Dzikiti looks out his office window he will see the
spot. It is marked by a flagpole!

The NGO, Women and Law in Southern Africa, need to be warned that they are
in danger of sowing the seeds of division when they invite ministers to
their book launches and let them abuse their hospitality by attacking other

Patrick Chinamasa used the launch of of WLSA's latest publication to
threaten legislative intervention to ensure NGOs conformed to Zanu PF's
self-serving view of patriotism.

The last time the government introduced a law of this sort it was thrown out
by the courts. Did WLSA members take up Chinamasa's claim that government
policy should guide NGOs and ask him whether that included lawlessness,
repression and policies that pauperise women?

We were however interested to see Chinamasa this week saying he could not
yet respond to the Law Society's comments on the independence of the
judiciary because he had not been officially notified of them. But that
hadn't prevented Information minister Jonathan Moyo from making what the
Legal Resources Foundation called "abusive and intemperate attacks" on Law
Society president Sternford Moyo for reflecting the concerns of legal
practioners that the government was packing the Supreme Court with its

"Unelected" Minister Moyo threatened to amend the Law Society's governing
statute in remarks which the LRF said reflected his "unfortunate tendency to
viciously denigrate statements with which he disagrees".

So why does Chinamasa need to comment? Is he not aware that Moyo speaks for
him - and for the Home Affairs minister, the Foreign Affairs minister, the
Attorney-General, the police and just about everybody else?

In fact, do we need ministers when Moyo is trespassing on everybody else's
patch? Perhaps Chinamasa could tell us.

Leading Zanu PF "academic and social commentator" Chris Mutsvanga had better
brush up on his maths before he next goes on ZTV.

On Sunday he proved that he is an academic from the University of Outer
Space. He claimed that Harare's budget was bigger than Malawi's.

Does he have any idea what he's talking about? Or is it possible to get away
with this sort of nonsense without any challenge on ZTV nowadays?

Perhaps he is confusing Malawi's budget with the money his wife Monica spent
trying to get elected as a city councillor?

Has anybody heard of Africa Strategy, claiming to be a UK-based observer
group? Its director, David Nyekorach-Matsanga, claims the Commonwealth
Observer Group's head, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, told him he felt
betrayed by the Commonwealth team and that their report was not the correct

Abubakar had been under "immense pressure", we are told, to produce a
"doctored document". Needless to say, Abubakar has said no such thing to
anybody else!

The image of the Commonwealth had been dented, Africa Strategy alleges, by
the chairmanship of Abubakar, "a former Nigerian dictator who detests
democratic elections anywhere on earth".

Other allegations include the Commonwealth Observer Group sharing office
facilities with the MDC at Meikles and womanising.

It alleged that "the male staff of the Commonwealth were engaged in heavy
social sprees with most South African women journalists who had been
enlisted by the MDC as their sympathisers".

Really scientific stuff this!

And what methodology did Africa Strategy use to test the air during the
election. Matsanga and his friends wore Zanu PF T-shirts to an MDC rally and
"could have been lynched" had they not produced their accreditation cards.

Our question: For how long had Matsanga and his associates been wearing
their Zanu PF T-shirts?

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

Elusive Ben-Menashe flip-flops over trial
Vincent Kahiya

CANADIAN businessman and lobbyist for the government of Zimbabwe, Ari
Ben-Menashe, has continued to send mixed signals this week over his role in
the pending treason trial of Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan
Ben-Menashe, a master schemer, said in an interview with the Independent
last week that he no longer had anything to do with the case.

"We no longer have anything to do with the MDC and Morgan Tsvangirai's
case," he said last Thursday.

"We have nothing to do with that anymore."

In a subsequent interview with Georgina Godwin of SW Africa Radio on
Friday - monitored by the Media Monitoring Project - he confirmed that he
was no longer involved in the treason case. Excerpts from the transcript of
the interview read as follows:
Godwin: "Mr Ben-Menashe I understand that you are saying that you are no
longer involved in the Morgan Tsvangirai treason case?"

Ben-Menashe: "That's right."
Godwin: "But I understand that you were to appear as Zanu PF's star
Ben-Menashe: "I'm not...I don't work for Zanu PF."

Godwin: "But I understand you were to appear as a witness at the trial so
what has changed?"

Ben-Menashe: "You see, I really don't want to discuss any of's
all, you know it's before the courts and let them decide whatever
they want."

Godwin: "But will you be appearing for the prosecution?"

Ben-Menashe: "I really don't want to discuss our position because, I mean we
really did not have any contact with the Zimbabwe government about this

However, Ben-Menashe subsequently told Canadian newspapers he was not
pulling out.

"I was astonished to read the article concerning myself, and the comments I
am alleged to have made regarding the treason charges against Morgan
Tsvangirai in Zimbabwe," he told the Toronto Globe & Mail in a statement.

"Because Mr Tsvangirai has been formally indicted for high treason, and
because members of this firm might be required as witnesses with respect to
certain evidence against him, we believe it would be inappropriate, so long
as the matter is sub judice, for myself or any member of our firm to comment
on the case.
"The comments attributed to me in the attached article do not reflect my
views," he said.

He also told the Ottawa Citizen: "I did not pull out."

Ben-Menashe told the Independent last Thursday he had signed a contract with
the government to do some lobbying work.
Asked by SW Africa Radio what this entailed, he said: "Doing lobbying work

Godwin: "Do you think that either yourselves or Zanu PF have any credibility
left either in Zimbabwe or abroad?"

Ben-Menashe: "Why are you being so nasty about us?"

Godwin: "Well I'm not nasty at all. I'm just asking you the question. Do you
think that is the case?"

Ben-Menashe: "I don't question... answer, the question, you know, I ...In
Africa, at least African people think that certain things were done right."

Godwin: "And what things would those be?"

Ben-Menashe: (Silence).

Yesterday, Ben-Menashe declined to say anything further to the Independent,
pointing to his formal statement to the Canadian press.

"We have released a statement on the issue. That's the furthest we can
Meanwhile, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, who are investigating whether
any crime has been committed in Canada in connection with the alleged
treason plot, said yesterday they were still verifying the authenticity of
the allegations.
"At this point the issue remains as allegations," RCMP media relations
spokesman, Richard Huard, said. "We are still verifying whether those
allegations are true or not before committing ourselves to an

Huard said the RCMP would consider the context of Zimbabwean politics and
the people involved.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

Zanu PF militias loot MDC members' Bindura homes
Blessing Zulu

THE Zanu PF militia which had invaded homes belonging to members of the
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in Bindura and turned some into torture
camps, have finally moved out after the intervention of the courts. But they
left a trail of destruction in their wake, the Zimbabwe Independent has
The saga still continues, though, as the owners are now afraid to go back
since the militia is still on the prowl openly threatening to kill them.

The militia has now moved to Tendai Hall, just a kilometre away from some of
the homes.
The Independent this week visited Bindura with members of the six affected
families and found their homes cleaned-out of all belongings.

Some of the ringleaders were milling around, sporting Zanu PF campaign
T-shirts. The militiamen openly boasted that there was nothing the police
could do to them.
"Those who vote for the MDC must relocate to Harare from Mashonaland
Central," said one youth standing outside Abedinico Chikuvanyanga's house.
Chikuvanyanga is one of the victims.
"We are going to deal with you decisively. Come and surrender your party
cards at our camp and you may stay here," the youth said.

The militia first occupied homes in Bindura at the time of the 2000
parliamentary election. Property worth millions of dollars was looted.

Sofas, tables, beds, wardrobes and any wooden furniture were either looted
or turned into firewood by the militia.
The roofs to all the six houses were destroyed, windows shattered and wooden
doors turned into firewood.
The houses now resemble those of a ghost town, with the outside grass
growing wild. The MDC members broke into tears as this sad sight greeted
them. All their clothes were stolen. Household property including radios,
televisions, refrigerators, stoves and other electrical items were missing
from their homes.
"We are trying to assess the damage and I have thus instructed the families
to compile a list of what they lost," said Shepherd Mushonga, the lawyer
representing the six.
"We will then go to the police and press theft and malicious injury to
property charges. We may even go to the civil court as well. We hope to
recover a few items," said Mushonga.
Four of the affected families, all from Chiwaridzo Township, have so far
managed to get quotations for the damages to their homes.

Godfrey Mumbamarwo's house will cost $960 000 to repair while that of
Chikuvanyanga is estimated to cost $105 450.
Joyce Dokotera's bill runs to $972 241 and that of Andreat Mhunza is $176
588. The other two, Transwell Koti and Clemence Masawi, are still compiling
the figures.
Chikuvanyanga and Masawi got "their" electricity bill from Zesa.
Chikuvanyanga's is $6 465 for the four months the house was occupied.
Masawi's bill is $7 729 for the same period and he is the only one who
managed to get a rental bill ($9 528) from Bindura Town Council. Other bills
were just left lying on the floor.
Children of all the affected families have not been able to attend school
since the homes were occupied.
The MDC had to seek the intervention of the courts after the ZRP refused to
assist their members. Police spokesperson, Chief Inspector Tarwirei Tirivavi
told the Independent earlier this year that they could not act because it
was an "ownership wrangle".
Bindura magistrate Lawrence Malimbiza last week ordered the militia to move
out of the houses. He ordered members of the Criminal Investigation
Department in Bindura to accompany the Messenger of Court to carry out the
evictions and ensure the safe return of the owners. They were given 48 hours
to vacate the homes.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent
Hands off invaded farms, chefs tell police
Blessing Zulu/Loughty Dube

SENIOR Zanu PF officials have instructed police not to get involved in cases
where farmers are being stripped of their land and property, the Zimbabwe
Independent has learnt.
The Commercial Farmers Union claims that Matabeleland South Governor Stephen
Nkomo, Beitbridge MP Kembo Mohadi, and the District Administrator for
Beitbridge Eddison Mbedzi addressed police officers at the Beitbridge police
station and other provincial stations and warned them not to intervene in
events that were politically driven.
"The trio addressed Beitbridge police officers and it is said they told the
police not to intervene in events that were politically motivated, including
the eviction of farmers," the CFU said this week.
"Several reports from other areas around the country also indicate that
police reaction only occurs after authorisation from district
administrators, local government officials who report to the provincial

In Mashonaland West province, farmers had resolved to move their equipment
to secure places but this could not be done.
"Our equipment was being looted and we decided to move it to a secure place
in Chinhoyi, but the officials forcibly seized it," said Francois de
Chalain, a farmer in the province.
The move to seize the property involved senior government officials in the
"Those who came to collect our equipment included the provincial
administrator, the district administrator and two members from the Zimbabwe
Republic Police," de Chalain said.
Government vehicles were being used in the latest exercise.

"These officials loaded about 400 irrigation pipes into government vehicles.
They also seized a Vicon fertiliser and wheat spreader. The lorries used to
ferry the pipes were government vehicles with registration numbers GLM 2357
and GLM 2796. The tractor, which carried the Vicon spreader, was from the
District Development Fund and the registration number is 739-586x. We do not
know where the equipment was taken to," said de Chalain.
CFU spokesperson Jenni Williams said there was confusion on the farms.

"As at April 17, the net listed farms were 5 069 representing 10 198 174
hectares," said Williams.
"Throughout the country 449 farms, which translates to about 854 505
hectares, were delisted and 342 farms which is 770 487 hectares were
"The amount of farms relisted has dramatically increased by 291 from 51
farms reflected at the beginning of March to 342 farms in this update," she
Several top Zanu PF officials have already been reportedly involved in
illegal farm seizures.
Marondera West MP, Retired Brigadier Ambrose Mutinhiri, forcibly seized
equipment valued at $400 million from Waltondale Farm, according to reports.
Retired army general Solomon Mujuru allegedly auctioned farm equipment worth
$40 million at Alamein Farm under the guise of providing gratuity packages
to farm workers.
Police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena, however, said police have always
intervened in political cases but it was the CFU that was creating alarm and
"Police have investigated political cases and a good example is the Cain
Nkala case that we are still pursuing but the CFU has certain interests that
they are trying to protect by portraying the police in the eyes of the
public as ineffective," he said.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

Farm seizures cost Zim $72b
Augustine Mukaro

ZIMBABWE is set to lose $72 billion this year in gross domestic product
(GDP) as government proceeds to seize all remaining white- owned farms.
President Robert Mugabe has said Zimbabwe's economic recovery hinges on his
agrarian revolution but the implementation of the land reform programme has
failed to guarantee continuity in production levels, instead threatening
food security and foreign currency earnings.

Zimbabwe has a GDP of $488 billion and, before the orgy of farm invasions
started two years ago, the contribution of commercial farm production was
Acting Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) president Doug Taylor-Fremme this week
said if, as anticipated, 90% of farmers stopped farming, $72 billion (or 14%
of GDP) would be lost.
He said last year Zimbabwe exported goods worth US$2 billion in which the
commercial farming sector contributed US$765 million or 38% of the total
forex earnings. With 90% of the farmers expected to cease production, at
least US$689 million in foreign currency will be lost.
In the livestock category, the commercial farming sector produces 80% of the
export beef, contributes 95% of pork and pork products, 99% of ostriches,
90% of dairy and 100% of chicken including foundation stock to the country's
total output.
For crops it contributes 90% of tobacco, 95% of tea, 99% of coffee, 97% of
sugar, and 90% of paprika, while in the cereals category it contributes 95%
of soya beans, 90% of wheat, and 95% of barley. It currently provides 90% of
urban consumption needs.
Apart from heavy losses to foreign currency reserves, economists have said
the demise of commercial agriculture would trigger a serious social crisis
stemming from unemployment.
The commercial farming sector employed more than 350 000 workers with an
annual wage bill of $15,1 billion as of January 2000. The appropriation of
commercial farmland has resulted in retrenchments of 90% of the workforce,
which translates to the loss of $13,6 billion spending power due to the
lay-offs resulting from farm occupations.
The retrenchments mean that the government has to spend more on welfare.
Economists say at least 60% of Zimbabwe's total population could soon be on
welfare due to crop failure induced by drought and stalled production.
Economist John Robertson said GDP shrunk significantly in all sectors over
the past two years and is expected to shrink further if the current damaging
agrarian policies are pursued.
"GDP shrunk by 4,5% in the year 2000 and 7,5% in 2001 despite the fact that
weather conditions were favourable in the two years. It is forecast to
shrink by between 10% to 12% this year mainly because of farm invasions but
the inter-linkages of all sectors would result in further decline," he said.

Another economist who requested anonymity said the crisis which Zimbabwe
faced was a result of inappropriate macro-economic policies resulting in
investors and donors shunning the country, hence the dramatic shrinkage of
"In the past GDP used to have a positive relationship with good rains but
since 2000 it has been shrinking which makes us question the policies at
play," he said.
"The food shortages are not a result of this year's drought but a build-up
from the prevailing political atmosphere."
He said the country was set to plunge into an even worse crisis if
fundamental issues such as restoration of investor confidence, reducing
uncertainties and risks, restoration of the rule of law and the preservation
of property rights were not addressed.
"There is a high possibility that by next year there won't be any export of
agricultural products, including the main foreign currency earner tobacco,
if government goes ahead and designates the remaining commercial farms," he

Back to the Top
Back to Index


Zanu-PF faces huge claims
New York - A United States Federal Court has found Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF
party liable for human rights abuses.

These include beatings, torture, intimidation and extra-judicial killings in
the run-up to the country's June 2000 parliamentary election.

The case, to be heard in Manhattan in New York City, offers a unique,
potentially precedent-setting finding of liability against a foreign
political party for human rights violations.

According to one of the American lawyers working on the case: "Based on
prior judgments, we believe that very substantial damages, in the tens of
millions of US dollars, are warranted."

The amount of the award, however, sits with the judge who will decide on the
basis of written submissions from the plaintiffs and live testimony which
will be presented on Thursday.

First-hand testimony

Several plaintiffs will be present in the US district courthouse to give
first-hand testimony about the human-rights abuses they suffered and saw.

The plaintiffs testifying on April 25 include family members of individuals
who were attacked, beaten, tortured and killed by Zanu-PF.

Witnesses include Adella Chiminya, whose husband was doused with fuel and
burned in the run-up to the parliamentary election in June 2000; Elliot
Pfebve, executive committee member of the MDC (Movement for Democratic
Change) who stood as a candidate opposing Zanu-PF in the same election and
whose brother was assassinated by Zanu-PF supporters in a case of mistaken
identity; and Sanderson Makombe, a witness to murder.

The witnesses will describe their personal experiences and the organised
campaign of terror designed to intimidate all of Zanu-PF's political
opposition through harassment, physical attacks, and the assassination of
targeted individuals.

Zanu-PF failed to appear before court

The district court for the Southern District of New York has already entered
an order of default judgment against Zanu-PF for its failure to appear
before the court and contest the allegations of gross and pervasive
violations of the rights of the citizens of Zimbabwe.

All that remains is for the plaintiffs to provide evidence as to the extent
of the abuses and for the court to set a dollar amount on the judgment that
will be entered against Zanu-PF.

A similar case against Serbian, Radovan Karadzic, was decided in August 2000
and resulted in a judgment of $745 million in compensatory and punitive
damages as was reported by leading international media organisations
including CNN, National Public Radio in the US, the BBC and the New York

In recent months, the government of Zimbabwe has been widely featured in the
international press as a poster child for democracy gone wrong.

Well-documented violence

This case against Zanu-PF and Zimbabwe leader Robert Mugabe, seeks justice
against a political party that has intimidated, injured, terrorised,
tortured and even murdered its political opponents.

The victims of this well-documented violence were wholly unable to obtain
any measure of justice in their home country and have turned to the laws of
the United States as their last resort.

This case originally named Robert Mugabe, the de facto President of Zimbabwe
and head of Zanu-PF, as well as other government ministers, as defendants.
Because of US state department intervention in this suit, the claims against
Mugabe have been dismissed.

In previous developments, the US state department submitted a "Suggestion of
Immunity" to the district court asserting that Mugabe should be afforded
immunity from suit due to his status as a foreign head of state.

However, a contested presidential election in March of 2002 resulted in an
international outcry about election irregularities and a statement from
President George W Bush himself that the United States did not recognise the
validity of Mugabe's re-election.

The hearing on the April 25 will finally provide these victims with their
day in court and an opportunity to speak to the world of the human rights
abuses they have suffered.

Back to the Top
Back to Index


Libya denies land-for-oil deal

Harare - Libya's ambassador to Zimbabwe has denied his country is supplying
oil to the southern African nation in exchange for thousands of hectares of
farm land owned by whites, the state-run Herald reported on Friday.

"No Libyan owns a single grain of land in Zimbabwe and I am surprised where
these reports are coming from," Ambassador Mahmoud Azzabi told the Herald.

"It surprises us that our economic relations with other African countries do
not attract the same attention as Zimbabwe."

"We can only reach the conclusion that there are some people who do not want
us to forge bilateral relations because we both (Libya and Zimbabwe) benefit
from the links," he said.

The independent weekly Standard newspaper reported last weekend that
Zimbabwe had offered 10 000ha of farm land and several Harare flats to Libya
in exchange for desperately needed fuel supplies.

Mugabe 'sold' country to Libya - Tsvangirai

Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi visited several white-owned farms during a trip
to Zimbabwe in July 2001. But Azzabi said the visits had been made only to
assess President Robert Mugabe's land reform programme, which aims to hand
over white-owned farms to blacks.

"It is not true that he toured the farms to identify land which he would be
offered in exchange for fuel supplies," said Azzabi.

Zimbabwe's opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai said earlier this month that
Mugabe had "sold" the country to Libya.

The European Union and the United States have imposed sanctions on Mugabe
and his inner circle, prompting the longtime leader to seek better relations
with Libya, which now provides 70 percent of the nation's fuel. - Sapa-AFP

Back to the Top
Back to Index


56th violence victim dies

Harare - A provincial official in Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) died early on Friday from injuries he suffered
during an attack before last month's presidential poll, the party said in a

Davies Mtetwa, provincial secretary for Harare's satellite city Chitungwiza,
was tortured by intelligence agency officers ahead of the March 9-11 poll,
MDC spokesperson Learnmore Jongwe said.

His death brings to 56 the number killed this year in political violence,
which rights groups said has mainly targeted MDC supporters.

Jongwe also said the party was "dismayed" that Zambian President Levy
Mwanawasa had endorsed the election results, in a speech reported on Friday
by the state-run Herald newspaper.

MDC has rejected President Robert Mugabe's re-election, saying the poll was
marred by widespread political violence and vote fraud. Independent
Zimbabwean observers, as well as most western nations and the Commonwealth,
have taken a similar stance. - Sapa-AFP

Back to the Top
Back to Index


Mugabe calls Blair 'arrogant little fellow'

April 25 2002 at 07:42PM

London - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has called British Prime
Minister Tony Blair "an arrogant little fellow", in an interview with the
journal "New African".

"I am not the only one who has discovered that he is an arrogant fellow,"
Mugabe told May's edition of the monthly magazine. "Quite a number of my
neighbours, they won't tell you, but I will tell you what he is, they say so
to me."

Mugabe also hits out over former British colonial rule of Zimbabwe and the
threat of further EU sanctions in response to what the body sees as
continuing politically motivated violence against opposition supporters.

He also spoke about his own future after 22 years as leader of the Zanu PF

'Who do we listen to, the Europeans who yesterday were our oppressors?'
"Our people can never, never allow themselves to come once again under
British control, remote control or direct control, never!" said Mugabe.

"I look back with regret that for all we did to forgive those we could have
held responsible for the loss of life and the treason that this country saw,
and for all the acts of oppression, suppression and repression that our
people suffered from, that hand we extended, the hand of reconciliation and
the policy of forgiveness we pursued, have not yielded reciprocity," he

Regarding the threat of further sanctions, he said: "If this is what we are
going to pay, we will pay it for sustaining our principle and the right of
people to be sovereign over their resources, yes."

"Who do we listen to, the Europeans who yesterday were our oppressors and
still want to be our oppressors today? Or to our own people who are genuine
and would want Zimbabwe to prosper alongside their own countries? Of course,
we will listen to our African brothers," said Mugabe.

Although Mugabe stated that Zanu PF "is here to stay", he was less clear on
his own future within the party and whether he would stay until the end of h
is new six-year term following his landslide election victory in March.
"I don't know about that... If we can decide on a successor some day, well,
sure, I will be willing to retire and rest and do a bit of reading and
writing." - Sapa-AFP
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Amnesty International

Amnesty International regrets inaction by United Nations Commission on Human

Amnesty International expressed its deep regret at the decision by members
of the UN Commission on Human Rights in Geneva to vote in favour of a
"no-action motion" to avoid a discussion of a draft resolution on Zimbabwe
during the 58th session of the UNCHR.
"The UN Commission on Human Rights is a forum in which human rights
violations should be discussed in an open and cooperative way to establish
accountability and work towards ending impunity", the organisation said.
"Voting items off the agenda of the Commission which relate to open, grave
and flagrant violations of human rights will only contribute to the
perpetuation of impunity which is the root cause for the ongoing violation
of human rights in Zimbabwe and a threat to regional stability", Amnesty
International added.

Amnesty International, with many other organizations, has impartially
documented and reported numerous cases of killings, acts of torture,
arbitrary arrests and discrimination on grounds of political opinion in
Zimbabwe over the past years, including the period of the parliamentary
elections in 2000 and the recent presidential elections in March 2002.

The draft resolution asked for government assurances "of full respect for
freedom of opinion and expression, including freedom of the press in
relation to all types of mass media". It also called for the UN's human
rights experts to visit the country and carry out independent, impartial
investigations into allegations of "political killings, acts of torture and
widespread intimidation of opposition supporters and human rights activists
by government supported militia". Following consultation with members of
African delegations the draft text also recognised "the importance of fair,
just and sustainable land reform".

The vote was narrowly split between 26 votes for the motion, 24 against it,
and three abstentions. With the exception of Cameroon, abstaining, all
African countries supported the motion, as did many Asian countries. The
vote resulted in blocking the discussion on the draft resolution submitted
by Spain on behalf of the European Union.

Back to the Top
Back to Index


Mugabe hints he may not stay full six-year term

LONDON, April 26 — Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, who won a fresh term
in office in controversial elections in March, has hinted he may not serve
the full six years.
       In an interview with the monthly New African Magazine, published in
London, the 78-year-old former guerrilla said he had no immediate intention
of stepping down but might consider doing so if a suitable successor came
       ''I don't know about that. If we can decide on a successor some day,
well, sure, I will be willing to retire and rest and do a bit of reading and
writing,'' he told editor Baffour Ankomah in reply to a question whether he
would stay the full term.
       But he said there was no active search within his ruling ZANU-PF
party to find a successor.
       ''No, no, no. The party hasn't been talking about that. We naturally
look at ourselves within the party and we see people who are aspiring to,
but there has not been any choice yet. No,'' he said.
       Mugabe, in power since independence from Britain in 1980, has been
vilified by Britain and suspended from the Commonwealth of 54 mainly former
British colonies since the elections that were widely seen as being deeply
       However, Zimbabwe's African neighbours have supported Mugabe's
continued tenure despite rising lawlessness in the former Rhodesia, a
collapsing economy, looming famine and the prospect of a flood of refugees
crossing their borders.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

Sandura, Chidyausiku differ
Dumisani Muleya

SUPREME Court judge Justice Wilson Sandura has disagreed with Chief Justice
Godfrey Chidyausiku's ruling that opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai was
not entitled to seek legal redress against President Robert Mugabe's
arbitrary changes of electoral rules before the recent presidential

In a dissenting judgement, Sandura - the most experienced judge of appeal
remaining after a spate of forced resignations - said Tsvangirai, who leads
the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), had locus standi (legal standing).
"The applicant had the right to demand that the presidential election be
conducted in terms of the Electoral Law passed by parliament as required by
S28(4) of the constitution," Sandura said.
"In the circumstances, he had the right to approach this court directly in
terms of S24(1) of the constitution and had the locus standi to file the
Tsvangirai had applied to the court seeking the nullification of Section 158
of the Electoral Act under which Mugabe made the changes. He also wanted
Statutory Instrument 41D of 2002 containing the modifications to be declared
Mugabe proclaimed the alterations after the Supreme Court, presided over by
the Justice Ahmed Ebrahim in Chidyausiku's absence, set aside the General
Laws Amendment Act, which had introduced the changes, as unprocedural.
Tsvangirai had said in his application that "there has been and there
continues to be serious breaches of the Declaration of Rights as set out in
the constitution".
But Chidyausiku, with the agreement of three other Supreme Court justices
appointed last year, said the opposition leader had no locus standi.
"In the present case, the applicant has not shown that his right to
protection of the law has been infringed by the enactments which he seeks to
impugn," he said in his ruling.
Tsvangirai said his supporters were denied the right to register as voters
after January 10, while Mugabe's followers were allowed to do so.
Chidyausiku said the MDC chief could not seek redress on behalf of his
"He cannot be a torch bearer for them," he said.
However, Sandura insisted Tsvangirai was entitled to redress.
"I wish to say that in the past this court has taken a broad view of locus
standi in applications of this nature in order to determine the real issues
raised where the applicant has a real and substantial interest in the
matter," he said.
"In the circumstances, as the applicant had locus standi, the court should
have determined the real issues raised in this application before the
presidential election was held."
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zimbabwe, Zambia Demand Withdrawal of Israeli Forces From Palestinian Territories
Xinhuanet 2002-04-27 04:10:02
   HARARE, April 26 (Xinhuanet) -- Zimbabwe and Zambia on Friday
demand the immediate withdrawal of Israeli forces from all
Palestinian territories and the immediate cessation of Israel's
military campaign in Palestine.
    In a joint communique issued on Friday evening in Bulawayo,
the second largest city of Zimbabwe, President Robert Mugabe and
his Zambian counterpart Levy Mwanawasa said that they paid close
attention on the situation in the Middle East and the occupied
Palestinian territories.
  The two presidents also noted with concern the continued
marginality of African countries in the increasingly globally
economy dominated by the West and reaffirmed their commitment to
collective self-reliance within the context of regional and
international organizations such as the Southern African
Development Community (SADC), the Common Market for Eastern and
Southern Africa (COMESA), the African Union (AU) and the Non-
Aligned Movement.
   Mwanawasa arrived in Harare on Wednesday morning for a four-day
state visit. He will leave Zimbabwe on Saturday for South Africa.
Back to the Top
Back to Index