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 Standard

      Zimbabwe: a ghost of its former self

      It is disturbing to note that dictators all over the world have
continuously ignored the simple fact that dictatorship as a crude system of
governance has never succeeded. Just where does Mugabe think he is leading
us as a nation. Why is it that he is refusing to listen to voices of wisdom.
These two questions form the core of my contribution.

      That our country is in deep social, economic and political crisis is
undebatable. The meltdown of our economy is due to Mugabe's political
ineptitude which ever way one looks at it. Politicians make and formulate
economic policies and ministers only implement those policies. It is sad
that two decades down the line our economy has all but collapsed. President
Robert Mugabe and his team, all leaders of the Zanu PF government since
independence, are entirely to blame for the ills afflicting us.

      Like all dictators all over the world, Mugabe has learnt to muzzle the
media, politicise the police force and the army. To cap it all, he has
managed to create an atmosphere of patronage to his party. Mugabe is
effectively minister of everything and only gives orders to his appointees
who are regarded as ministers of the different ministries. Above all, Mugabe
has learnt to be the law unto himself.

      Armed with these earthly powers, Mugabe has single-handedly destroyed
our once glorious country rendering it the pariah State that it is today.
Zimbabwe today is a mere ghost of its former self.

      Corruption in high places, intolerance of opposing views, arrogance
and selfishness by Zanu PF hierarchy under the leadership of a now fully
fledged dictatorship have all seriously contributed to the demise of our
once vibrant economy. With an inflation rate now hovering around 300 % and
an unemployment rate of over 80 % not to mention the starvation now ravaging
our land threatening to decimate our population, there is no doubt that we
are headed for disaster.

      But does Mugabe care? Well, facts on the ground suggest otherwise.
Faced with an economic challenge such as our situation, why would a sensible
leader channel scarce resources to useless youth-reorientation programmes
that benefit no one in the long run except turn the participants into
murderers and rapists. Why would a caring leader order his supporters to
harass, intimidate, kidnap, torture and even kill those holding a different
view from his own.

      Why is it that Mugabe refuses to recognise the MDC as a legal
political party formed by Zimbabweans with a vision. It is Mugabe's fear of
losing power. He sees the MDC as the demise of his political career not
withstanding the number of degrees in violence he claims to have. He cannot
stomach the idea of power in some else's hands.

      As the situation stands, Mugabe is prepared to go down with the
nation. as long has the title President' remains attached to his name. The
welfare of the country is not his priority. His is that of holding on to
power at whatever cost to the nation. Scores of other dictators before him
have taken this path only to discover, to their eternal chagrin, that it
leads to a dead end.

      What can no longer be in doubt now is that Mugabe has to go. He is
supposed to have gone yesterday. He is now a liability to our country's bid
for social and economic survival. We can not continue to suffer as a nation
because of one mortal being in the name of Mugabe. This country is bigger
than any individual and that includes Mugabe himself.

      Zimbabwe will still be there, long after Mugabe is history.

      It is also unfortunate that some of us have allowed ourselves to be
used by Mugabe at the expense of the majority. There are those among us who
are prepared to cheer Mugabe even as he goes berserk in destroying our once
glorious country. The Green Bombers, like the Storm Troopers of the Nazi
Germany in Hitler's days, are prepared to do his bidding no matter how
destructive to the majority.

      All those of this ilk, be warned that history will judge you harshly
in the not too distant future.

      Mamuse Maunganidze Mlambo

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard

      Zimbabweans protest through graffiti
      By our own Staff

      GAGGED Zimbabweans, who are finding it increasingly dangerous to
openly discuss their opinions on the politics of the country in public due
to mounting repression by the Zanu PF regime, are resorting to venting their
anger on the walls of many buildings in Harare.

      A snap survey by The Standard in Harare last week showed that many
walls in the country's capital had become platforms of airing heaving
political discontent.

      Giant graffiti messages inscribed on buildings, roads, durawalls and
billboards, have become perfect stages to project the telltale signs of the
country's depressing political and economic environment.

      Such features are often placed at "strategic" locations across the
sprawling city, home to about one and half million people.

      One such message is a bold plaque on an electric cabin along the
Harare-Bulawayo Road which reads: "Mugabe Zvakwana Chienda!" (Mugabe we have
suffered enough. Go now!) while the others on near by rock boulders read:
"Zanu PF Zvakwana. Enough is enough.

      Alfred Mutembo of Kuwadzana, said of the mushrooming graffiti: "The
writing is on the wall for Mugabe. He has for long delayed his departure
from office.

      "The graffiti messages simply mean that even if you try to silence
people in whatever repressive manners, they will always find other
alternative means to air out their views".

      Chamunorwa Shangwe of Kuwadzana says though the graffiti artists are
largely anonymous, they apparently inscribed their messages to vent out
their anger at the way the country is being run.

      He said: "The people who write these messages are faceless and
nameless but their issues are clearly stated. They are reflecting the
feelings and anger of the majority of Zimbabweans about this regime
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard

      Malaria threat stalks so called new farmers
      By Valentine Maponga

      ZIMBABWE could be hit by a malaria epidemic in the former commercial
farms where landless peasants have been resettled without adequate health
facilities being put in place, it has emerged.

      The outbreak, which has been detected in most southern African
countries, is likely to hit Zimbabwe hardest given the presence of peasants
in some areas that were previously inhabitable for human beings.

      Some of these areas fell under the vast conservancies that were set
aside for wildlife by the former commercial farmers who were kicked out of
their farms by the Zanu PF government.

      As most of the developed plots were grabbed by cronies of the ruling
party, desperate peasants were left with no option but to take up the areas
which have no basic infrastructure such as roads, clinics and schools.

      "It is these peasants who may unfortunately be seriously affected by
the looming malaria epidemic. We shudder to think what would happen to
people who contract malaria in areas which are sometimes up to 50 km from
clinics," said a health expert in Harare yesterday.

      The Southern Africa Malaria Control Unit has already issued a warning
of looming epidemics in the region stressing that Zimbabwe was one of the
countries which was going to be hard hit by malaria.

      It warned the Cyclone Japhet-induced heavy rains and flooding that
occurred between January and March had a potential of increasing malaria

      Secretary for the ministry of Health and Child Welfare, Elizabeth
Xaba, spurned The Standard's questions about the fate of the resettled
people on farms where there are no health facilities.

      "I do not talk about such matters over the phone," Xaba said before
hanging up.

      In the past, low-lying areas such as Zambezi Valley, Chiredzi, Mwenezi
and Muzarabani have been most affected by malaria outbreaks.

      These areas are prone to flooding during rain seasons, which provide
conditions that are favourable for the breeding of the mosquito, the insect
that transmits malaria.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard

      Zimbabwe flunks democracy test
      By our own Staff

      ZIMBABWE will fail to meet the common standard.s of democracy and the
norms of election management that have been drafted by the African Union
(AU), The Standard has learnt.

      Key on the country's major shortcomings is the silence of Zimbabwe's
1979 Lancaster House Constitution on the number of terms a head of state
should stand for re-election.

      This emerged at a conference held in Pretoria, South Africa, recently
to map out clear strategies in promoting dialogue and common understanding
on issues relating to elections, democracy and good governance in Africa.

      The four-day meeting, which was attended by more than 350 delegates
representing African governments, AU representatives, members of the civic
society and representatives of election management bodies, resolved that
national constitutions across the continent should enshrine clauses that
clearly stated the number of terms a president is allowed to stand for

      "Constitutions and legal frameworks should determine the tenure and
number of terms that a head of state and government can stand for
 elections," says part of the resolution issued by the AU after the meeting.

      The Zimbabwean constitution does not state the number of terms a
president can stand for election.

      President Robert Mugabe has been in power for the past 23 years since
independence from Britain in 1980 amid growing voices of discontent over the
manner that he won his fifth term last March.

      The conference also emphasised the importance of a fair media during
elections and that the voices of opposition parties should also be heard in
the public media.

      "There should be equitable access to the public media by all parties
contesting an election," say part of the AU's resolution.

      "Political parties should allow the media to cover all public meetings
and events and guarantee the safety of journalists and ensure that coverage
of elections is fair and accurate."

      The Pretoria conference also called on African governments to set up
independent election management bodies that are impartial and transparent.

      National constitutions and legal frameworks should establish
independent election management bodies and independent institutions that
support and entrench democracy such as a national human rights commission,
anti-corruption bodies and independent judiciaries.

      In Zimbabwe, both the Election Supervisory Commission and the
Registrar-General, Tobaiwa Mudede, are appointed by Mugabe, raising
suspicion of their fairness and objectivity during election time.

      Delegates at the Pretoria conference implored governments to consult
all political parties in the designing, administration and adjudication of
rules for elections through structured processes.

      They also agreed that political parties should be financed through
public funds to ensure adequate participation in elections.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Letter received :
No Man is an Island...

"The reason why I love South Africa (Zimbabwe) is that no-one knows what's going on. Confusion is the national state of mind. In times of uncertainty, people need leadership like they need oxygen. Without it, they will perish. So today, how can you lead someone through the confusion? How can you help somebody deal with their crisis? How can you shine your light on them? Remember, if you want to master your fear, help someone else master theirs."
                                                                           - Mike Lipkin -
Whilst flipping through Mike Lipkin's book, these words jumped out at me with enormous significance! Surely confusion represents massive challenges for those of us with an appetite for the unknown? Zimbabweans are desperate for people who can help them to help themselves through the confusion. However, helping is not quite enough!
Lipkin's quote reminds me of another wonderful piece of wisdom from a dying professor ...Morrie Schwartz "Love each other or perish."
So here we are, more confused than ever before about what our future holds for us in Zimbabwe and times have never been more uncertain! Pam, a recently returned Zimbabwean who toured Oz and New Zealand for a few months for a look-see, recently compared our existence here to that of a free-range chicken as opposed to a battery-reared one .... although the latter has security, shelter and food supplied in a technologically advanced clinical system at regular intervals, we are running around freely (with no restrictions on how or where we can go)searching for food (bread and milk to mention a few!) dodging the dangerous predators (you know who!). Pam also decided, like many of us, that she's happier being free-range and living in the chaos we have come to know and love as Africa!
 Rising from all this confusion is the very real feeling that we are having to start from scratch again as a community and as a nation. The basic tenets being helping each other and unconditional love for each other. Never before have we had so many opportunities to make a difference in so many lives. The smallest gesture of goodwill leads to the biggest ripples as far as nation-building goes. I gave a lift to a group of people who had been waiting for a commuter bus for an hour and a half (this was at 7.30am!) on the side of the road during the stayaway .... by the time  I dropped them off at Chisipite, we had exchanged a number of serious views on Zim's situation as well as a few laughs. Their gratitude knew no bounds for my seemingly insignificant gesture ... but we parted ways as friends and somewhat more enlightened as to just how similar our shared vision for a new Zimbabwe really is!
All around me on a daily basis this week, I have met with, and spoken to so many emerging leaders (at all levels in the social strata) in this confusion. What if, through all the pain, the loss and the uncertainty, we came to really appreciate all that we had taken for granted in the past?
What if we reclaimed Zimbabwean heritage and family social values?What if we recreated new laws and a new moral and ethical code about which we could feel proud once more? What if the police and the army could be seen as upholders of the law again and feel pride in the job and rank that they hold. What if, by going through just about every savagery and abuse of human rights, we fought harder than we have ever fought in our lives to make real the dream of a new social standing where we have learned that above all, our survival depends on the extent to which each of us is prepared to sacrifice our selfish ways in order to build up the people and the community around us?
 Believe, me there are many, many wonderful, committed people out there both here in Zimbabwe and outside of her borders doing just that ... and that's why "Our Zimbabwe" will prevail. Every day brings us closer ... every hour counts ... are we contributing to nation building or are we wasting all those opportunities? We are one people, one nation ... every thought, every act gains or takes from sacred ground ... by reaching out and helping and by unconditionally loving each other ... let us all build a safe holy place where we can raise our families, celebrate our friends who constitute our community and proudly call our new creation "home".
"... any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and do not send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee."
                                                                          - John Donne -
[This story is about a little wave, bobbing along in the ocean, having a grand old time. He's enjoying the wind and the fresh air - until he notices the other waves in front of him, crashing against the shore.
"My God, this is terrible," the wave says. "Look what's going to happen to me!"
Then along comes another wave. It sees the first wave, looking grim, and it says to him, "Why do you look so sad?"
The first wave says, "You don't understand! We're all going to crash! All of us waves are going to be nothing! Isn't it terrible?"
The second wave says, "No, you don't understand. You're not a wave, you're a part of the ocean."]
                                              - Prof. Morrie Schwartz -
Here's to you, the power of one and the strength of our emerging new nation!
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Letter received :
Old Folks...
Dear All,
Sorry I have been out of touch for a while - please don't think this means we have not been looking after our senior citizens. 
We have been very active this year, even though we haven't been shopping.  It has been decided that it does leave us wide open to abuse, which actually spoils the outing for everyone.
We have, though, arranged several adoptions and are currently looking for help for a mother and daughter (aged 95 and 60-something) who are living in one of the homes.  If you would like to help please contact me for more details.
We also know of an old guy who is driving about in his car with very bald tyres.  We are looking for 2nd hand 13" tyres for him, if you can help there.
I have been in touch with a lady in the states (ex Zimbo) who has arranged 2 adoptions through her church for oldies living here.  This is great, but Im sure there are more of us here who can support our own community??!
I have also been in contact with a retired couple in Knysna.  They have joined a walking club, and they would like to help us with money.  They are also ex-Zimbabwean.  Due to the costs of telephone calls, I am waiting for them to arrange a email facility, and we will be able to correspond easier.
I was lucky enough to be invited to a fund raising function in Jo'burg last month, and we are hoping that there is going to be a way to receive funds from that function for the Zim (they call them ZOPS!)  pensioners. 
I found all the South Africans at the event to be most concerned about our oldies, and very willing to help.  I hope that opens doors for us - maybe even in commodities, if not cash.  I thank them once again - even if I cant say too much - for their hospitality and caring.  If there is anyone who might be able to make a plan here, please contact me. 
We are still to arrange our lunchtime get together at Hot Rock, and hope Ralph still has that wine for us!  We will arrange this with the owner of Hot Rock, and let you know.
I was at a business function a few weeks ago, and was given nearly a whole pig, that was left over from the day, for the old folks.  This was taken to the Dorothy Duncan Home.  They were delighted, thank you Rod and Mike. (Please see attached photo)
We sent out Chocolates for Easter (and for "just because")  to many of the homes, as well as some Avo's from our tree at home.  The chocolate stash is nearly finished, and I dont have any "oldies money" at all - if you would like to contribute, in cash or goods, please contact me.
We spend a lovely evening at the Moth Cottages playing darts with the pensioners there.  We were made to feel very welcome, and I hope we made a small difference to their lives.  We were quite "chatted out" by the time we got home!  Of course your company will always be well received if you cant afford to give anything else.
We were invited to a lunch at the Blue Kerry Home, where we were shown all around the cottages and the High Care unit - they really have a super place there.  We have adopted one of their residents recently, and hope to be able to do more to help the folk living there.
Well, hope this brings everyone up to date about whats been happening, please dont forget about these old people - they really need us... now more than ever,
If anyone wants to contact Di about helping the old folks in Zim her e-mail address is
Our Zimbabwe...
At the Opening Ceremony of HIFA today, Henry Olonga's "Our Zimbabwe" was sung most beautifully - what a wonderful tribute to him!  And to all the others who have suffered to make our dream of Our Zimbabwe come true.  Quite a few tears were shed, as we remembered.
Let us complete the change...for their sakes, as well as our own.
Back to the Top
Back to Index