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New York Times

Hundreds Protest Mugabe's Victory in Zimbabwe's Election

Published: April 4, 2005

JOHANNESBURG, April 4 - Hundreds of supporters of Zimbabwe's political
opposition marched in Harare today to protest what they called the
fraudulent victory of President Robert G. Mugabe's ruling party in
Thursday's parliamentary elections.

There were conflicting reports on whether the police broke up the protest -
a promise Mr. Mugabe made for dealing with demonstrations - or whether the
marchers fled before they could be arrested. An official of the opposition
party, the Movement for Democratic Change, said that the police arrested 5
to 10 protesters, a number that could not be confirmed.

The march was the largest of a handful of sporadic protests that have
erupted since Mr. Mugabe's Zimbabwe African National Unity-Political Front,
or ZANU-PF, swept the legislative elections. The opposition, known by its
initials M.D.C., claims the victory is invalid,

Spokesmen for the M.D.C. said in telephone interviews that today's street
march was organized by young members of the party and not officially

Nevertheless, "I am told the demonstrations will continue," said William
Bango, the spokesman for the M.D.C.'s president, Morgan Tsvangirai,cq in an
interview this evening.

The M.D.C., which won 57 seats in the last national legislative elections in
2000, won just 41 this time, and the rival ZANU-PF racked up a two-thirds
majority in the parliament, giving it virtually absolute power.

The question of whether to urge national demonstrations against the outcome
of the election is a difficult one for the opposition. African observers who
are generally friendly to Mr. Mugabe's autocratic regime have called
Thursday's vote free and fair. The United States and many western
governments, however, have joined the M.D.C. in declaring the vote rigged.

The last time Mr. Tsvangirai called for major antigovernment protests, in
2002, the demonstrations fizzled, and he was charged with treason. This
time, Mr. Mugabe has promised to use the police or his own party's
supporters to crush any protests,, and it is not clear whether Zimbabweans,
who depends on the government for food and other basics, would risk their
stipends for the sake of making a political statement.

Mr. Bango said that Mr. Tsvangirai has ruled out trying to dispute the
election in court, because legal challenges of past elections have proven
fruitless. He has decided also against allowing defeated candidates in
individual races to contest their losses in court.

But all other options, including organizing mass protests against Mr.
Mugabe's regime, remain on the table, Mr. Tsvangirai has said.

"What he's saying is this result has to be challenged through political
means," Mr. Bango said. "The party is therefore pursuing a range of
political alternatives. He does not rule out alternatives like
demonstrations and mass protests. He doesn't rule that out at all."

Mr. Tsvangirai argues that the opposition would have won at least 90 seats,
not 41, had Thursday's election been run fairly. But four days after its
loss, the M.D.C. has yet to produce detailed evidence to back up its
argument that the election was stolen. Indeed, some M.D.C. officials said
before the vote that the opposition had put safeguards in place that would
make widespread fraud all but impossible.

Today, an M.D.C. legislator who is an attorney from Bulawayo, David Coltart,
said that the party was preparing a report on election fraud. He said it
would document "major disparities" in the vote, including an unexplained
244,000-vote increase in the reported turnout, hours after the official vote
had been announced.

Election analysts also have noted that in a number of districts where Mr.
Mugabe's candidates won narrowly, the number of people who tried to vote but
were turned away on technical grounds exceeded the margin of the opposition
candidates' defeat.

While the M.D.C. pl;ans no general legal challenge to the election's
validity, Mr. Coltart said, the party may consider contesting as many as 10
individual races, mostly to document the abuses it says occurred.
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Sokwanele - Enough is Enough - Zimbabwe

Military Crackdown
Sokwanele Report : 4 April 2005

Sokwanele earlier reported on the signs then emerging of a popular uprising in protest against the patently false election results being announced from the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission in Harare, through Friday and Saturday (April 1st and 2nd). Readers may have wondered what happened to that uprising, or had we got our facts wrong? Today we are able to bring you a report about life on the streets in Zimbabwe’s second city, Bulawayo, through the extremely tense hours following the vote, which helps to explain and put that story into context. Our informants are a number of eyewitnesses, whose individual stories we have combined into one summarised account.

In the early hours of Saturday morning the residents of the western suburbs of Bulawayo found their neighbourhood swamped with troops. The troops were in full combat gear, including steel helmets, and were brandishing AK 47 rifles. They were deployed in groups of between five and eight soldiers on the streets throughout the high-density suburbs, and to the ordinary peace-loving, law-abiding citizens their presence was extremely intimidating.

The soldiers made their presence felt in deliberate fashion, ordering even the smallest gatherings of residents in business centres, pubs and other public places, to disperse. When a local dared to comment on their presence within earshot of a group of soldiers, he was told in no uncertain terms to go home, and that the slightest disturbance would be met with ruthless force. A few hours later the soldiers boarded military vehicles which then proceeded to circle the western suburbs a number of times in the most menacing fashion.

If any proof was required of the menace behind Robert Mugabe’s words broadcast over state radio the day before, that “any mass action will be met with mass action”, here it was for all to see.

Later on Saturday morning after the troops had been withdrawn to their barracks, the citizens of Bulawayo discovered that, not only the western suburbs but now the city centre as well, was covered with an unusually large number of police patrolling in full uniform. The police, who carried radios, were deployed in groups of four or five. They remained on the streets throughout the day.

Here was a glimpse of the only authority left to Zimbabwe’s reviled dictator, and the authority by which he continues to rule against the will of his people. Here was a glimpse also of the reason the expected uprising may have been, not cancelled, but postponed for strategic reasons.

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Opposition mulls court challenge to poll result as protests break out

[ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

HARARE, 4 Apr 2005 (IRIN) - The opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) is collecting evidence of alleged irregularities during Zimbabwe's
recent legislative poll for a possible petition to the Electoral Court.

Meanwhile, more than 400 opposition supporters took to the streets of the
capital, Harare, on Monday to protest the alleged rigging of the 31 March

The demonstration erupted after it emerged that the figures announced by the
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) for the number of people who voted in
some constituencies did not tally with the total of votes for the
candidates. The protest lasted about half an hour and caught the police by

Although MDC officials were not aware of any arrests, sources said about 10
youths wearing MDC T-shirts were detained.

MDC secretary for information and publicity Paul Themba Nyathi told IRIN
that although he was unaware of the protest, "it would not surprise me
because there is a lot of anger out there". He said MDC officials were
"locked in a meeting" on Monday to consider all possible avenues, including
an Electoral Court challenge to the poll results.

"Our people are working flat-out on collecting all anomalies and
irregularities [in Thursday's elections] ... and when that is completed and
handed to the national executive committee, a decision will be taken,"
Nyathi said. "We realise the importance of doing this in a [timeous]

The MDC claims it should have won 94 out of the 120 seats contested, as
opposed to the 41 announced by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).

According to the ZEC, the ruling ZANU-PF party won 78 seats, gaining a
two-thirds majority because President Robert Mugabe is entitled to appoint a
further 30 MPs to the 150-seat parliament.

Nyathi listed a host of alleged irregularities in the conduct of the poll,
chief among them the discrepancies between "figures that were announced by
the ZEC and the final tallies of [ballots cast] in constituencies".

"In most instances the ZEC would announce that in constituency X, 23,000
people voted at the close of polling, but when the final figures were
tallied it was less than those announced by the ZEC," Nyathi explained.

"We also had a number of people whose names appeared on the voters' roll,
who were subsequently told they could not vote [on polling day] as they had
already voted. Our suspicion is: if someone has not been inked and you say
they've voted, then there must have been a fraudulent postal vote," Nyathi

He alleged that fraud and intimidation had been widespread during the
election period, and food was used as a political weapon "in the most crude
and brazen manner".

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Observer Mission said in a
statement that it believed the elections were "peaceful and credible".
However, the mission expressed concern about "the number of people who were
turned away from polling stations - it is still not clear to us exactly how
many people were affected in this way, as well as the reason for them not
being able to cast their vote".

The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) also noted counting
discrepancies in its statement on the conduct of the poll.

ZESN said in one constituency, "won by ZANU-PF, for example, the number of
votes announced by ZEC, at 2 a.m. on 1 April 2005, to have been cast by
close of polling had suddenly gone up by 62 percent from 15,611 to 25,360
when the final results were announced," ZESN pointed out.

"Another glaring example pertains to Manyame Constituency where, according
to ZEC, 14,812 had cast their ballots at the close of polling, but the
figure catapulted by 72 percent to 23,760 as the results were announced. In
Highfield, which was won by the MDC, the total number of ballots cast does
not tally with the number of votes cast for the contesting candidates.

"ZESN, therefore, urges ZEC to seriously look into these discrepancies as a
matter of extreme urgency, as this has serious implications for the
credibility of the electoral process," the NGO said.

The head of the African Union Observer Team, Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, said the
allegations of rigging should be investigated immediately.

"The MDC has alleged that there are serious discrepancies in the official
results released by the ZEC for several constituencies. It is hoped that
both the ZEC and the ESC [Electoral Supervisory Commission] will promptly
look into the allegations, with a view to assuring Zimbabweans of the
authenticity of the results of the elections," Afari-Gyan told IRIN.

Attempts to get government comment were unsuccessful.

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Zimbabwe blocks bail for Telegraph journalists
Mon Apr 4, 2005 03:55 PM BST

NORTON, Zimbabwe (Reuters) - Zimbabwe prosecutors have invoked special
powers to override a magistrate's order granting bail to two British
journalists arrested on Thursday on charges of working without official
Magistrate Never Diza had set bail of 1 million Zimbabwe dollars (80 pounds)
each for Toby Harnden, chief foreign correspondent for the Sunday Telegraph,
and photographer colleague Julian Simmonds at Monday's hearing.

But prosecutors, who had argued against bail, immediately on Monday invoked
a section of Zimbabwe's criminal procedure and evidence act which set aside
the magistrate's order and gave the government seven days to appeal against

The two journalists were taken to an awaiting truck and transported to
prison in Harare.

The pair were arrested on Thursday in Norton near the capital and charged
with covering Zimbabwe's parliamentary election without the state
accreditation required by the country's strict media laws.

© Reuters 2005. All Rights Reserved.
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Zim Online

MDC writes to election commission over discrepancies
Tue 5 April 2005

  HARARE - Zimbabwe's main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
party yesterday said it had written to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission
(ZEC) detailing glaring discrepancies in several constituencies in the
election figures produced by the commission.

      MDC secretary general Welshman Ncube said the opposition party had
also asked its legal department to look into the matter but said the party
would only decide its next move depending on how the ZEC responds to its

      But the ZEC last night professed ignorance of any letter or formal
complaint about voting figures from the MDC to add confusion to the
deepening saga over numbers in last Thursday's disputed parliamentary poll.

      Ncube said: "(We) sent the letter to ZEC in the morning . . . We have
also asked our legal department to look at these discrepancies. Our next
course of action depends on how ZEC would respond."

      The MDC, which has refused to accept the poll results alleging massive
rigging by President Robert Mugabe and his ZANU PF party, says it has
discovered serious discrepancies in the ZEC's figures for at least 35

      The opposition party, which says it should have won 94 seats instead
of the 41 it won, says it has so far established unexplained differences
between the number of people the ZEC says voted and the actual number of
ballot papers cast in Beitbridge, Goromonzi, Makoni North, Murehwa South,
Mutare South and Seke constituencies.

      Other constituencies where figures are not tallying are: Kariba,
Chinhoyi, Hurungwe, North, Guruve South, Shamva, Bindura, Chikomba, Hwedza,
Goromonzi, Buhera North, Chimanimani, Chipinge North, Makoni East, Mutare
South, Mutare West, Mutasa North, South, Marondera East, West, Mudzi West,
Murehwa North and Beitbridge.

      ZEC's spokesman Ultolile Sialigwana told ZimOnline last night: "They
have not submitted anything as yet. I have not seen it, not even at the
Electoral Commission, not even SADC observer team have been given anything.

      "Whatever they are saying we have heard it from the newspapers . . .
How can we respond to hearsay? As far as we are concerned, everything is in

      The ZEC last Friday morning first announced the total number of people
who had voted in several constituencies before abruptly stopping the
announcements. But in most of the constituencies where the total number of
people who had voted had been announced, the figure was either more or less
than the actual ballot papers cast.

      For example, the commission said that 23 896 people voted in
Chimanimani but according to the results the total number of ballot papers
cast was 27 642.

      In Beitbridge, the ZEC said 36 821 had voted but the official results
show that 21 968 people voted in that constituency.

      The same applied in Makoni constituency where the ZEC said 20 464
people voted but which is 3 000 more than the 17 340 people who voted in
that constituency according to the final result released by the same

      MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai has ruled out petitioning the courts
against the poll result but has also stopped short of calling supporters in
the MDC's urban strongholds onto the streets to force a rerun of the poll. -

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Zim Online

Police officers detained for refusing to cast votes in the presence of
Tue 5 April 2005

  BULAWAYO - Police authorities in Bulawayo have detained 25 officers for
refusing to vote in the just-ended parliamentary election while their bosses
watched, ZimOnline has established.

      The officers, who are from various police stations in Bulawayo, are
being detained at Fairbridge Station in the city where there are holding
cells for errant police officers.

      They are being held without charge but sources at the Zimbabwe
Republic Police headquarters in Harare indicated that the officers, most of
them ranking from assistant inspector and below might be charged under the
Police Act for disobeying orders.

      "They have been scrutinising the Police Act hoping to get a charge but
nothing has come up yet. These boys were just rounded up and thrown into
detention without specific charge," said a source.

      Police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena said: "I cannot confirm the incident
you are referring to. But our members are not forced to vote for a
particular party. In fact, they are not forced to vote. The police Act
empowers us to detain errant members but certainly not for refusing to

      Police officers voted on 24 and 25 March, several days before the
actual polling day last Thursday. The government said it was necessary that
the police and soldiers vote in advance because they would not have time to
do so on polling day because they will be busy on security duties.

      But senior police commanders in the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) party strongholds of Bulawayo and the surrounding Matabeleland
region made their juniors first sing the national anthem and reminded them
that they should vote to defend Zimbabwe from re-colonisation by Britain.

      President Robert Mugabe and his ruling ZANU PF party claim - without
giving evidence - that Britain wants to re-colonise Zimbabwe through the

      The senior police officers also ordered their subordinates to vote in
their presence forcing a few junior officers to refuse to vote.

      "You have to be naive to think that anyone would have voted for the
opposition. Imagine after being told where to vote, your boss is hovering
over you as you actually vote," said a junior police officer who spoke
anonymously for fear of victimisation.

      Zimbabwe Electoral Commission chairman George Chiweshe, whose
commission ran the disputed poll, could not be immediately reached for
comment on the matter yesterday.

      Several junior police officers have been victimised in the past for
refusing to support the ruling ZANU PF party with some transferred to remote
rural districts where living conditions are tough or being fired from the
police force altogether.

      ZANU PF won 78 seats to the MDC's 41. One other seat went to former
information minister Jonathan Moyo, who stood as an independent candidate.

      The opposition has however refused to accept the result saying ZANU PF
massively rigged the election. Mugabe and ZANU PF deny the charge instead
saying the poll was the most free and fair ever held in Zimbabwe since
independence in 1980. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

Eight pressure group members still hospitalised after assault
Tue 5 April 2005

  BULAWAYO - Eight members of the Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) pressure
group who were severely assaulted by the police for holding an unsanctioned
all-night prayer meeting on election day last week, are still in hospital
while 30 members were treated and discharged.

      The police last Thursday descended on the 400 women protesters who
were praying for peace during the election at the Africa Unity Square in
Harare. Under Zimbabwe's tough Public Order and Security Act (POSA), it is
an offence to hold gatherings of more than three people without seeking
police clearance.

      A WOZA official, Magodonga Mahlangu, said the eight were still being
treated for injuries sustained in the brutal attack.

      "As it is, some of them have been discharged but eight are still
admitted at a hospital in one of the cities," said Mahlangu.

      Mahlangu said the detained women were denied food and access to their
lawyers before paying admission of guilt fines the following day.

      WOZA director Jenni Williams expressed outrage over the treatment they
received from the police.

      "We were merely praying for good governance, and even to this day, we
are still shocked as to why they beat us up and incarcerated us. At the
moment, we are in consultation with our legal team and will be filing a suit
anytime from now," said Williams.

      The pressure group has been a pain in the neck for the Harare
authorities for protesting against human rights abuses in Zimbabwe. -

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Daily News online edition

      Shock results spell uncertain future

      Date: 4-Apr, 2005

      JOHANNESBURG - Last Thursday's parliamentary elections in Zimbabwe
produced some shock results which will have profound implications for the
future of individuals in both the ruling Zanu PF and opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) parties.

      Analysis by Daily News Online indicates that President Robert Mugabe's
former heir apparent , Emmerson Mnangagwa lost his bid for a parliamentary
seat, while Mugabe's propaganda chief turned arch-enemy, Professor Jonathan
Moyo made it. The opposition's chief spokesman Paul Themba Nyathi was
beaten, and so was Heather Bennet, the wife of jailed MDC MP Roy Bennet, who
was standing on her husband's behalf.

      Some of the results stretch credibility to an extent where one is
forced to sympathise with opposition claims that there was massive rigging
and stuffing of ballots in the elections. The official results gave Zanu PF
78, MDC 41 and an independent one seat, but the opposition claims it
actually won as many as 94 seats.

      If the voting patterns are to be believed, the people of Chipinge
South made a radical and difficult to explain shift in allegiance from the
small opposition Zanu Ndonga party, which they traditionally support
blindly, to Zanu PF.

      Since the first elections in Zimbabwe in 1980, the Ndau clansman of
Chipinge South have steadfastly supported the small party formed by their
favourite son, the late Reverend Ndabaningi Sithole, making sure that the
parliamentary seat is always won by Zanu Ndonga.

      Surprisingly, this time only 2 129 bothered to turn up to vote for
Zanu Ndonga, while

      16 412 opted for the ruling party and another 12 163 for MDC.

      Indeed, Manicaland province as a whole took a wild swing towards Zanu
PF, leaving MDC with only two seats, Mutare North and Mutare Central, out of

      In the capital Harare, the MDC suffered the shock loss of Harare South
constituency to the ruling party, leaving the opposition to question the
voters' register and the re-drawing of constituency boundaries.

      The remaining 17 seats in the capital, just as the entire seven
available in the second city of Bulawayo, were snatched up by MDC as

      Professor Jonathan Moyo, the sacked Information Minister whose alleged
treachery Mugabe had turned into a major campaign issue, won a tight race by
2 600 votes more than an MDC candidate who notched 5 646, while Zanu PF
garnered 6 310.

      Moyo was the only independent candidate to win a seat in the election.
This was despite Mugabe's vow that the whole Zanu PF machinery would be
unleashed on Moyo to ensure that he never won the Tsholotsho seat, and
threats to isolate the area if the people voted for Moyo.

      The internationally despised Moyo, architect of Zimbabwe's repressive
press laws, is very popular in his home district of Tsholotsho, thanks to
the numerous development projects that he initiated over the past few years.
It remains to be seen whether he will be able to sustain this or whether
Mugabe's government will punish the area with more neglect.

      The governor of Matabeleland North, Obert Mpofu, scored a surprise
victory in Bubi-Umguza, the only seat to go to the ruling party in that

      Parliamentary speaker Emmerson Mnangagwa, for a long time widely
tipped to succeed Mugabe as next president of Zimbabwe, lost in the Kwekwe
constituency. This was a massive blow and further damaged his dwindling
hopes of recovering from his recent setback which saw him demoted within the
ruling party's politburo.

      Mnangagwa lost again in the 2000 elections and had to be rescued from
political oblivion by Mugabe offering him the speaker's job. It is highly
unlikely that Mugabe will lift a finger to save Mnangagwa this time around,
since Mnangagwa was accused of being the main beneficiary of the Jonathan
Moyo-led coup plot that was supposed to elect him vice president of Zanu PF
in place of Joyce Mujuru, who was preferred by Mujuru.

      With Moyo and Mnangagwa already linked via the Tsholotsho Declaration
debacle that cost them both their bright futures in Zanu PF, it is not clear
whether they will join forces to form the nucleus of the new "third force"
political party that observers are speculating could emerge from the ranks
of disgruntled ruling party supporters and MDC defectors.

      In Chimanimani, MDC candidate Heather Bennett, the wife of jailed MP
Roy Bennett, surprisingly failed to retain the seat of her popular husband.
The MDC had reportedly hatched a plan in which Heather would win the seat
and then, through legal technicalities, surrender it to her husband later
when he is released from a 12-month jail sentence for assaulting a
government minister in a brawl in parliament.

      Zanu PF had been determined to ensure that Bennett, one of a handful
of whites in the last parliament, did not get a chance to retain his seat,
despite his initially winning a court order that postponed his election to
April, when he would be free.

      The MDC spokesman, Paul Themba-Nyathi, had his political fortunes
dealt a severe blow when he lost in the Gwanda constituency. This will make
his job of articulating party policy more difficult.

      Twenty women from Zanu PF joined parliament, the highest number so
far, after the party had deliberately reserved one third of 120 contested
seats for them.
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Daily News online edition

      Dangerous period after election result

      Date: 4-Apr, 2005

      EVEN if half the allegations made by the MDC of the 31 March elections
not being free and fair are true, Zimbabweans must know they are entering a
very dangerous period of political instability. It's most unfortunate that
both the South African observer mission, and the observer missions of the
African Union (AU) and the Southern African Development Community (Sadc)
speedily endorsed the elections as free and fair.

      One of them criticised the state of the voters' roll, but said in
general, regardless of that unsatisfactory fact, the elections were free and
fair. If the voters' roll is suspect, there ought to be something to be said
for the number of people omitted - deliberately or not - from that roll.

      There was some mention of the large number of people turned away: in
some cases their vote could have swung the result one way or the other. What
about the peculiar - to say the least - situation of a Zanu PF candidate
winning by 15 000 votes and the total number of votes cast being exactly
that number?

      The number of votes cast for the MDC candidate were ignored in the
total number of votes cast. There could be a logical explanation for all
this, and for other equally weird anomalies. But the overall effect must
surely be that things were not what they seemed.

      Zanu PF would not be doing it for the first time.

      Long before the election campaign got under way, President Mugabe
announced plans to re-introduce a Senate. He did not qualify this with the
obvious proviso "that is assuming Zanu PF has a two-thirds majority in
Parliament". He spoke as if it was a foregone conclusion that his party
would garner this majority in the election.

      Zanu PF did achieve its ambition and there probably will be a Senate
soon, dominated by Zanu PF stalwarts, long in the tooth, short on gray
matter. There will be a prime minister, dancing to the strings of the master
puppeteer, Mugabe himself.

      And when he retires in 2008, he will have no problem with anybody of
substance asking him to dig up and explain old bones. Meanwhile, the cities
which rejected Zanu PF at the polls may be in another tough time from the

      Zimbabwe's international isolation will continue and the economy will
continue to decline - no jobs, no drugs, no food, no foreign currency and no
investment. This will be a very dangerous period indeed, perhaps lasting for
a long, dreary, miserable five years.

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Zim Online

Election protest crushed in Harare
Mon 4 April 2005

  HARARE - Police in Harare yesterday put down a demonstration by
disgruntled opposition supporters who were protesting against last week's
parliamentary election results.

      Hundreds of opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) supporters
briefly took to the streets of Harare to protest against the ruling ZANU PF
party win.

      But the police quickly dispersed the group.

      The supporters toyi-toyed in Nelson Mandela Avenue near their party
headquarters and ran through the streets of Harare.

      But ZimOnline only managed to witness the police beating up some of
the demonstrators in Robert Mugabe Street in central Harare.

      It was not possible to get comment from the police. But police cars
from the Dog Section and riot police continued to patrol the streets after
breaking up the demonstration.

      Tendai Biti, an MDC national executive member said the demonstrations
were not organised by the opposition party.

      "These were Zimbabweans expressing their anger at a rigged election.
It's unfortunate that the police have to be used to stop people from
registering their displeasure," he said.

      Insiders within the MDC say there is likely to be an intensification
of demonstrations against the poll results.

      MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai warned before the election that the
people could be forced to rise against the government if ZANU PF rigged the

      Several countries including Britain and the United States have
condemned the election as flawed. But election observers, hand-picked by
Mugabe, said the polls were free and fair.

      The ruling ZANU PF party clinched 78 of the 120 contested seats in an
election rejected by the MDC as massively flawed. The MDC won 41 seats with
former Information Minister Jonathan Moyo, who stood as an independent after
falling out with Mugabe, clinching the Tsholotsho seat. - ZimOnline
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Mail and Guardian

      SA embassy not aware of mercenaries' complaints

      Harare, Zimbabwe

      04 April 2005 05:46

            The South African embassy in Harare denied knowledge on Monday
of alleged brutal treatment of 67 citizens held in prison in that country on
mercenary charges.

            "These are new allegations. We have no record of such
complaints," deputy ambassador Kingsley Sithole said in Harare.

            "I am not dismissing the allegations, but nobody has brought
them to our attention."

            Die Beeld newspaper quoted a friend of one of the alleged
mercenaries on Monday as saying the men have been without running water for
nearly a month, and were covered in lice.

            They were allegedly fed thin, watery porridge and did not have
enough water to drink or wash in.

            The friend, Sharon Wheeler, said she had reported these
conditions to the South African embassy, but has received no response.

            The men's lawyer, Alwyn Griebenow, also described their living
conditions as "horrible".

            Their prison food had no nutritional value, they slept on the
floor, and sometimes weeks went by without running water, he said on Monday.

            "Sometimes they each have a small cup of water with which to
            wash, shave, brush their teeth and drink from," Griebenow said.

            He claimed the prison authorities have refused permission to
hand over jerseys knitted especially for the men in conformance with prison
uniform regulations.

            "Overall they are all right. Just thin, cold and hungry,"
Griebenow said of his clients.

            Sithole said the men were visited by embassy staff once a week,
and the latest complaints were not shared with South African officials.

            During these regular visits, the prisoners were visited and
interviewed individually, and each was given an opportunity to raise
concerns, Sithole said.

            "Where complaints have arisen in the past, we raised them with
the prison authorities and they were attended to." Sithole said there had
been a water problem, which was "rectified" in February.

            "The next time we visit, which will be in the next seven days,
we will make enquiries about the complaints and try to determine by whom
they were made," he said.

            "If substantial, the complaints will be brought to the attention
of the authorities to be rectified."

            The men are serving their sentences at Harare's Chikurubi

            Sixty-two of them became eligible for immediate release last
month after receiving a four-month reprieve on their sentences in a
successful court appeal.

            But their return home was delayed when Zimbabwean
attorney-general Sobuza Gula-Ndebele applied successfully for leave to
appeal against the Supreme Court's reduction of the men's sentences.

            No date has been set for the appeal.

            The men were among 70 arrested in March last year over plans for
an alleged coup d'etat in Equatorial Guinea. Two were acquitted, two more
freed for medical reasons, and one died in jail.

            Of the 65 remaining, two pilots and alleged coup leader Simon
Mann received longer sentences. With the four-month reductions in their jail
terms, the pilots would become eligible for release next month and Mann in
May next year.

            Apart from the Supreme Court's four-month reduction, all 65 men
also qualified for a one-third remission of sentence for good behaviour
under Zimbabwean law.

            The group was arrested at Harare International Airport when they
landed to refuel and pick up military equipment. They were all travelling on
South African passports.

            Zimbabwean authorities said they were on their way to join 15
other suspected mercenaries -- including eight South Africans -- arrested in
Equatorial Guinea around the same time.

            They were accused of planning to overthrow Equatorial Guinea's
dictator, Teodoro Obiang Nguema.

            The men denied the charges, claiming they were going to the
Democratic Republic of Congo to guard mines. They were convicted of
breaching Zimbabwe's aviation, immigration, firearms and security laws.

            British businessman Mark Thatcher, accused of partly financing
the alleged coup plot, was fined R3-million in January after pleading guilty
to contravening South African anti-mercenary laws. -- Sapa

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Mail and Guardian

      SMS jokes keep Zimbabweans going during election day

      The just-ended Zimbabwean parliamentary elections saw a flurry of
humorous SMS messages before, during and after the key vote poking fun at
the main parties and players and their policies.

      Supporters of the country's main rival parties had their own
wordsmiths crafting clever jokes, often taking digs at themselves, like
President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party, which has been slammed for seizing
white land for redistribution to blacks.

      "First we had to fight for independence, then they created HIV to
exterminate us, then we had to seize land...I am voting Zanu-PF to prevent
another Australia with us as Aborigines," was one sent supposedly by ruling
Zanu-PF supporters.

      Then supporters of the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) party, picked their party's acronym to appeal for votes saying "M
stands for Mom, D for dad and C for children's parties - vote MDC for family
survival, food and jobs."

      On polling day last Thursday, all those who voted were conspicuous
with their ink-stained finger, and a new SMS was created: "Why do you have
blood on your hands, have you just slaughtered a cock?" The cock is the
ruling party emblem.

      Early results on Friday showed the MDC at one time ahead with some 31
seats against Zanu-PF's seven and gave birth to a message: "weather forecast
on April 1, partly MDC, partly Zanu-PF, by midday a total eclipse will
engulf Zanu-PF and there will be a thunderstorm... a tsunami wave will

      With all the elections results in on Saturday night and the ruling
Zanu-PF having achieved a crushing victory with 78 seats against the MDC's
41, there was a "further outlook: cyclone Zanu-PF will persist for five
years causing major disruptions in cities and untold suffering and further

      The MDC won most of the urban seats in the disputed March 31
elections, but lost nearly a third of the seats it won in 2000, when it was
barely a year old.

      So another SMS after the full results were out was an offer "I am
selling my relatives in the rural areas. If you buy one get 20 for free,
hurry while stocks last."

      "For zhang zhi, zhing zhong and more zhing zhong, vote Zanu-PF," said
another referring to the influx of Chinese, mainly sub-standard goods that
local producers say are killing their market. Chinese goods are locally
known as zhing-zhongs.

      The MDC has rejected the results, describing the process as
"disgusting massive fraud" and calling for fresh polls under a new

      But Zimbabwe's neighbours and regional bodies have endorsed the poll
as free and fair. -- Sapa-AFP
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Future of Trade Unionism in Zim is Bleak - Chibebe

The Post (Lusaka)

April 2, 2005
Posted to the web April 4, 2005

Chansa Kabwela

THE future of trade unionism in Zimbabwe is bleak, Zimbabwe Congress of
Trade Union (ZCTU) secretary general Wellington Chibebe has said.

And Chibebe said it was unacceptable for corporate tax to be lower than Pay
As You Earn (PAYE).

In an interview, Chibebe said trade unions in Zimbabwe were perceived as an
enemy of the government.

Chibebe said government always sought to destroy the union because they
facilitated the formation of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change

"Considering the prevailing situation where government sees us as opponents,
the future of unionism is threatened. They have been trying to destroy us
but they will fail because even if they accuse of us being is not
true. We just facilitated its formation and since then the party has been
operating freely," he said.

Chibebe said MDC was born out of government's failure to address national
issues and that the party had survived because of its organisational
capacity. He said there was no democracy in Zimbabwe.

"Government thinks the strength of MDC is ZCTU and that by destroying the
union they will have destroyed the party. That is kindergarten politics. It
is just through force that we even have multiparty politics, otherwise we
don't have any democracy. If you were watching from the terraces, you would
think all is well. How can you have a democracy with the Public Order Act
and the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act?" Chibebe asked.

"We were unable to monitor elections, we were barred. That in itself is
political suicide because workers have the largest constituency, they are
the voters. How do they expect us to vote when we have been barred from
observing the elections? Problems faced by this country are of government's

Chibebe also said there was need for the so-called liberators to accept that
even the liberated played a crucial role and that they cannot privatise
issues of liberation.

He said Zimbabwe needed a sober leadership which would realise that even
children had a key role to play in national building.

"This situation where only a few individuals feel they are omnipresent,
omniscient, and omnipotent is myopic. Poverty levels are at 80 percent,
unemployment stands over 80 percent and the country is trading on cheap
paper. What country is this that has no currency of its own? Zimbabwe has
amended its constitution sixteen times between 1980 and 2005, yet the
document is still bad. So much power is vested in the President and soon
after results are announced, he will have to appoint 30 members of
parliament. We want a nation of shared responsibility," Chibebe said.

"Despite temporary setbacks to frustrate us, we will always liberate
ourselves as workers. We might be swimming with our heads in water but we
will soon be above the waters," he said.

Chibebe said the union would never take sides in that any person was capable
of being a leader.

"You might ask if a former trade union leader can make a good leader, it is
as good as asking if an ex-political detainee can make a good leader. People
are different. For instance, your past president Chiluba had all those
colours of shoes and he is a former trade unionist. But maybe Tsvangirai
does not even wear such colours. The biggest mistake we make in Africa is
that of institutionalising the person. MDC is not Tsvangirai, neither is
Mugabe ZANU-PF," he said.

And Chibebe said there was need for government to reduce PAYE for the
workers, which had discouraged savings.

He said there would never be local investment as long as people had no
disposable income.

"Corporate tax in Zimbabwe is 30 percent, lower than PAYE which is at 40
percent. Previously it was pegged at 45 per cent and we had to fight to
reduce it to 40. During that process, people who demonstrated were
brutalised by the police.

"Three percent of PAYE is AIDS levy while there is also development levy.
Workers remit so much tax and at the end of the day, they take home only 25
percent of their salary. We are still fighting to have it reduced further,"
he said.

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Business in Africa

The power to change is in the palms of our hands

Published: 04-APR-05

By the time you read this, Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe will doubtless
be sitting back on a comfy chair, drawing contentedly on a Cuban cigar and
sipping a fine single malt whisky as he savours his victory in his country's
latest elections.

There may even be the odd deranged observer mission which declares the polls
free and fair, in spite of the litany of monstrous atrocities which have
gone unchecked in the days and months leading up to the ballot. One thing is
for certain: his fellow African leaders will nod sagely.

The more thick-skinned will even offer congratulations, and mouth platitudes
about the people of Zimbabwe having spoken, when they will, in reality, have
done no such thing at all - not with the gags on the media, the police
clampdowns on anything that looks faintly like an opposition and the ongoing
suppression of basic human rights.

Another certainty is that South African President Thabo Mbeki will continue
his policy of quiet diplomacy towards his northern neighbour, much to the
consternation of opposition groups at home and human rights organisations
across the world. What they need to realise is that he doesn't have much
choice. As a rapidly emerging world leader, it would be singularly
inappropriate for Mr Mbeki to openly chastise a fellow president,
power-crazed dictator or not. And the consequences of inciting a bloodbath
on South Africa's doorstep are terrifying, even to the most rabid
anti-Mugabe campaigner.

Mr Mbeki may be many things, but a fool he most certainly is not. So if he
successfully cajoles the cranky Mugabe into retirement, as we suspect he is
trying to do, and as he did so well with Charles Taylor in Liberia, the
world will applaud his political acumen. If there is one major criticism of
his approach, it is that he has not shared his vision with those around him.
It is impossible to buy into someone's plans if you don't know what they

Besides, the African Union has hardly been consistent when it comes to its
treatment of maverick leaders. Why should Mr Mugabe change his ways when he
sees people like Teodoro Obiang Nguema, Paul Biya and even Laurent Gbagbo
treating their countries like their personal fiefdoms, without fear of
censure? What increasing numbers of commentators are suggesting is that the
power to change Zimbabwe must come from within that country itself. Just
look at South Africa, where sustained pressure from the people themselves
was the single biggest factor in the overthrow of a fundamentally hideous
apartheid regime. Or Nigeria, which is finally forging the democratic future
it deserves after years of brutal military rule. It's not perfect by any
means, but it beats the heck out of Abacha.

What Zimbabweans do have on their side, as do millions of Africans, is a
burgeoning channel with which to interact with the outside world, do
business and change their lives. It's the muchtalked about mobile telephony
revolution, which is touching every single aspect of life on this continent
in ways that we could never have dreamed about a few years ago.

The beauty of this unstoppable GSM force is that governments have very
little control over it. Once they have taken the initial barriers down, they
can do very little to stop the sweep of cellular telephony, which is
narrowing the digital divide far more effectively than any number of
computers could do in the next century.

We touch on this phenomenon in this issue of Business in Africa, for touch
is all you can really do with a topic like this. We could fill our magazine
with the effects of mobile telephony for the next year without repeating
ourselves, if we so wished. Such is the nature of the beast.

The important point about mobile communications, that we can never make too
strongly, is its ability to act as an agent of change. It knows no formal
boundaries, respects no petty laws, rides roughshod over manmade obstacles
and restrictions. It is this ability that we as Africans should harness to
grab our rightful place at the global table, to realise our own hopes and
dreams, to expose wrongdoing and abuse, to form powerful networks of people
who want something better for themselves and their children. It is a fitting
analogy for the people of Zimbabwe who feel they are getting a rough deal.
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      Zimbabwean president brings forward date for election of chiefs 2005-04-04 21:52:46

          HARARE, April 4 (Xinhuanet) -- Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe
has brought forward to Wednesday the election of two chiefs to parliament by
the Council of Chiefs, official news agency New Ziana reported on Monday.

          When he proclaimed last Thursday as the date of the parliamentary
election, he had also set Friday this week as the date for the election of
chiefs by electoral colleges convened by the Council of Chiefs in Harare and
the provincial assembly of chiefs in the provinces.

          The election of the other eight chiefs by electoral colleges in
Mutare, Marondera, Chinhoyi, Masvingo, Ntabazinduna, Gwanda and Gweru will
still be held on Friday.

          Zimbabwe's parliament is made up of 120 elected members, 10 chiefs
chosen by their colleagues, 12 non-constituency members of parliament
appointed by the president and eight provincial governors.

          In the just ended parliamentary election, the ruling Zimbabwe
African National Union-Patriotic Front garnered 78 seats while the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change got 41 seats. The remaining seat
went to an independent candidate. Enditem

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News Tribune, Washington

DALE McFEATTERS: Zimbabwe's election charade

Scripps Howard News Service
Monday, April 4th, 2005 01:24 PM (PDT)

(SH) - The already low spirits of Zimbabwe's impoverished people surely
sagged even further when President Robert Mugabe, 81, opined that he might
stay in office until he's 100.
The actuarial tables may be the only way Zimbabwe can rid itself of his
corrupt and repressive rule, which in the last five years has seen the
once-thriving economy shrink by more than half, unemployment pass 70 percent
and the breadbasket nation unable to feed itself.

Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party won parliamentary elections last week,
garnering - if you believe the results, which few do - 78 seats to 41 for
the opposition and one independent. Along with the 30 seats Mugabe gets to
fill by appointment, that's more than enough for him to change the
constitution and consolidate his hold even more.

The election, like others, was preceded by the violent breakup of opposition
rallies and the beating of its supporters. The government gave donated food
to its own people and denied it to probable opponents. As a precaution,
thousands were turned away from the polls and the turnout was estimated at
maybe 25 percent - this, in a once-politically lively country.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, reflecting the opinion of other Western
nations, said the elections were neither free nor fair. But barring some
miracle, they are likely to stand. The opposition is thoroughly cowed.
Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change, has been
endlessly harassed by the government. He was acquitted of trumped-up treason
charges last year, but now faces a fresh set of charges.

Mugabe is a disgrace, but also disgraceful is the attitude of the
surrounding nations, especially South Africa, which indulge and endorse his
rule. Observers from the 14-nation Southern African Development Community
said the elections were conducted in an "open, transparent and professional
manner." They said the same thing about the blatantly rigged 2002
presidential election.

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UN News Centre

Secretary-General welcomes peaceful Zimbabwe poll but asks for constructive
4 April 2005 - United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today welcomed
the peaceful parliamentary voting in Zimbabwe last Thursday, contrasting it
with previous elections marred by violence.

Through his spokesman, he called on the Government to take the
"responsibility now to build a climate of confidence that will be essential
for national unity and economic recovery in Zimbabwe."

He expressed concern "that the electoral process has not countered the sense
of disadvantage felt by opposition political parties who consider the
conditions were unfair," and he called on all sides to engage in
constructive dialogue in the period ahead.
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Christian Science Monitor

Why Zimbabwe Is Not Ukraine

The Monitor's View

A world away from the White House, where President Bush Monday received the
celebrated leader of Ukraine's "orange revolution," a democratic reform
party in Africa faces a decidedly grimmer situation.
As in Ukraine in 2004, Zimbabwe's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has
just emerged as the loser in what, to any objective observer, must be
considered a rigged election.

Africa, a continent slowly climbing the democracy ladder, could use a
Ukraine-like boost. Yet, apart from the predetermined election and the
yearnings of a suppressed people, the ingredients that allowed peaceful,
democratic change in Ukraine are largely absent in Zimbabwe.

Viktor Yushchenko, who suffered near-fatal dioxin poisoning in his campaign
to unseat Ukraine's corrupt and authoritarian president, had the support of
masses of protesters. But those were healthy, well-fed masses. In Zimbabwe,
half the country is on the verge of acute hunger, and the official HIV
infection rate is 27 percent.

Mr. Yushchenko also had the backing of key institutions. The judiciary ruled
in favor of a new election, and Ukraine's security forces refused to turn
their guns on fellow citizens.

Zimbabwe's courts have yet to take up the opposition's legal challenges to
the 2002 election, and its leader has been quite willing to allow violence
against the opposition. Meanwhile, Zimbabwe has been given a whitewash by
election monitors and neighbors.

On Sunday, Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC leader, demanded new, fair
parliamentary elections. But he didn't say how this should happen. Can
anyone blame him? President Bush frequently cites Ukraine as an example for
the world. But for Zimbabwe, democratic change is not as easy as Ukraine
made it look.
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Cheering On a Farcical Tragedy

Business Day (Johannesburg)

April 4, 2005
Posted to the web April 4, 2005

Jacob Dlamini

A University of the Witwatersrand student is standing on the ledge of a tall
building in Braamfontein, threatening to kill himself. A crowd forms down on
the street and cheers him on, urging him to jump.

Moeletsi Mbeki, a businessman and political commentator who spent years
working in Zimbabwe as a journalist, likes to recount this true story each
time his Zimbabwean friends and former colleagues ask him about SA's
seemingly unprincipled support for President Robert Mugabe and his ruling
Zanu (PF).

In Mbeki's retelling of the story of the student, it is not difficult to see
who takes the role of the suicidal student and who becomes the morbid crowd
on the street: Mugabe and his Zanu (PF) are the student while the South
African government takes the place of the cheering crowd.

"Mugabe is committing suicide and the South Africans are cheering him on,"
says Mbeki.

The South African government seemed to cheer the Zimbabwean regime and
Mugabe further down the road to suicide at the weekend when it said the
results of last Thursday's parliamentary election "reflect the will of the
people" of Zimbabwe.

Government's observer mission, led by Labour Minister Membathisi Mdladlana,
did not say this but its apparent endorsement of the Zanu (PF) poll victory
seemed to rest on the assumption that a liberation movement such as Zanu
(PF) always reflected the will of the people.

But, according to Moeletsi Mbeki, SA's "quiet diplomacy" approach to the
political and economic crisis in Zimbabwe is founded on the false claim that
the African National Congress (ANC) and Zanu (PF) are allies with a shared
"political DNA".

Mbeki says: "The ANC knows nothing about Zanu (PF) and a lot of what the ANC
says about Zimbabwe is just pure speculation. The truth of the matter is
that we supported Zapu, not Zanu (PF).

"The ANC never supported Zanu (PF) and they, as a result, don't know who's
who in Zanu (PF). People who say that the ANC and Zanu (PF) are allies do
not know what they are talking about."

Mugabe knows this but is more than happy to go along with the canard that
his party and the ANC are old allies. This has allowed him to keep President
Thabo Mbeki and the ANC in his corner.

With Mbeki and the ANC on his side and armed with a "fresh mandate" from the
Zimbabwean electorate, Mugabe will no doubt push for constitutional
amendments to entrench his and Zanu (PF)'s power over Zimbabwe's political

He has offered to talk to the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) - but on
his terms. Mugabe's first condition is that the MDC be a "loyal opposition".
That is now not likely to happen as the MDC is considering going the
extraparliamentary route in its fight against Mugabe and Zanu (PF).

The extraparliamentary option would allow the MDC to correct the mistake
that some observers say it made in 2000, when it threw everything into its
election campaign against Mugabe but neglected to mobilise civil society to
counter state repression.

Michael Auret, a former MDC MP and former head of the Justice and Peace
Commission, says the only way out of the Zimbabwean crisis would be an
uprising by ordinary Zimbabweans.

"It seems to me the only way forward is (Bulawayo Catholic Archbishop) Pius
Ncube's call for a peaceful uprising, such as the one which toppled
Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines."

Auret says, however, that Zimbabwe's history of segregated housing is likely
to undermine any attempt at a successful uprising. "Unfortunately, whites
made sure that blacks were isolated in their townships and rural areas. This
means that Mugabe and the army can contain and isolate any uprising," Auret

Elinor Sisulu, who grew up in Zimbabwe and is the South African co-ordinator
of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, cautions against calling for an
uprising, saying a mass uprising would give the Zimbabwean regime the excuse
it has been looking for for the past five years to crush both the
parliamentary and extraparliamentary opposition once and for all.

"I don't think it's wise to call for an uprising in Zimbabwe when the regime
has denied people the capacity to think for themselves. If an uprising were
to start, the regime would simply blame it on outsiders. An uprising can
only come once the people determine how much they are prepared to take and
what they can do," Sisulu says.

She says she would like to see the South African government adopting a
"rights-based" approach to the crisis in Zimbabwe. "I would like to see SA
engage in politics of principle. The South African government has completely
ignored human rights violations in Zimbabwe. They need to take a
rights-based approach to Zimbabwe," she says.

However, it does not seem likely that SA will change tack any time soon.

There are strong indications that government will stick to its position that
Zanu (PF) and the MDC must work together to address Zimbabwe's myriad
economic and political problems.

The South African government is also likely to take at face value Mugabe's
claim that he is prepared to work with the MDC to resolve the Zimbabwean

But Mugabe has labelled the MDC losers and says the opposition will not be a
part of any government of national unity. For its part, the MDC has also
rejected the idea of a unity government. MDC spokesman Maxwell Zimuto says
the differences between the two parties are too sharp for them to work

What, then, is the way forward?

The MDC, which won only 41 seats in this election (down from the 57 it won
in 2000), is in a rut. The party has not managed to extend its support base
beyond its urban strongholds.

The party also seems to have lost the edge that saw it frustrate Zanu (PF)'s
machinations despite severe political repression and gerrymandering by the
ruling party in 2000.

Zanu (PF), for all its gloating about its two-thirds majority after last
week's election, has effectively lost touch with Zimbabwe's urban residents
and must rely on the peasantry to stay in power.

This means that Zimbabwe's two main parties represent two different
constituencies that are hardly talking to one another. These are the people
that the South African government expects to talk to one another.

How does the story of the suicidal university student end? He is rescued by
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, who convinces him to come down from the ledge and
to sort out his problems with university officials.

How will the Zimbabwean story, a tragedy that long ago became a farce,
eventually end?

The story is not likely to end any time soon. We are likely to get, rather,
more of the same from all the characters: Mugabe, the MDC and Thabo Mbeki.

Where is Winnie when the world needs her so desperately?

- Dlamini is political editor.
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Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to: with subject line "For: Open Letter Forum".


Thought of the Day:

"If awards were given out for successfully rigged elections Zimbabwe would
rank among the leading nations in the world. The Zimbabwe government has
become a past master of cynically manipulating elections to ensure victory
for the ruling party, ZANU-PF"

Elinor Sisulu
Sunday Times.


- RE: TESCO's Dishonesty - Myke Ashley-Cooper
- RE: TESCO's Correspondence - No Reply - Ade Williams
- RE: Gemmell's letter "We trusted you and we stayed": reply - Canaan
(Madala Inungu)


LETTER 1: RE: TESCO'S: La luta continua with these guys, received 30.3.2005

by Keith Clubb
Dear JAG

My latest correspondence with TESCO's below.

Fax to : mr Paul Lay, public relations,
                Massey Ferguson

>From : Keith Clubb, International Compensation
                t/a lwimba ranch, zambia

Your press release : mf in zimbabwe

your response dated 21 february to Mr Wright's ill judged comments in
Zimbabwe refers.

As you are aware, this issue now sits with Grain South Africa, whose 5000
membership represents 99% of South Africa's agricultural buying power.

Mr wright's comments were made directly after he emerged from a meeting
with the Zimbabwean Minister of Agriculture. They had nothing whatsoever to
do with your Zimbabwean dealer.

At the least, mr wright should by now have apologised to all of us who have
complained that he has been insensitive and stupid.

Your press release is deliberately dishonest and factually incorrect. It is
important that our members understand the extent that MF will go to protect
an employee when he has made a serious error. In this light, how much faith
can our members place in your warranties and product claims ?

Unless you come up with a proper and acceptable apology, we will request
our representatives to ensure that the full documentation along with your
response is circulated to all our members so that they can judge for
themselves whether mf is worth supporting in future.

Keith Clubb.


LETTER 2: RE: TESCO's - DISHONESTY, received 24.3.2005

by Myke Ashley-Cooper

Dear JAG

The latest in the TESCO saga below.

----- Original Message -----
From: Myke Ashley-Cooper
To: Tesco Customer Service
Sent: Monday, March 21, 2005 5:31 PM
Subject: Re: TES564902X Re: Re: TES525893X Re: re:TES368194X.

Dear TESCO's

So, basically I accuse your company of blatant dishonesty in the way you
duck and dive and refuse to reveal with whom you deal in Zimbabwe. Your
company is a disgrace to the memory of the farmers that have been murdered
and dispossessed of their farms there.

Never again will you be able to look at yourselves in mirrors and say that
you are decent human beings while you underhandedly carry on business the
way you do! I have Irish and British forebears who would be as disgusted
with you as we whites are who live in Africa. A shame on you. There is no
need to once again hypocritically thank me for my email!

Myke Ashley-Cooper

----- Original Message -----
From: Tesco Customer Service
To: Myke Ashley-Cooper
Sent: Monday, March 21, 2005 3:26 PM
Subject: TES564902X Re: Re: TES525893X Re: re:TES368194X.

Thank you for your email.

I am sorry to offer a disappointing reply but we have no further
information other than that which provided in our earlier e-mail.

If you have any further queries please do not hesitate to contact us at quoting TES564902X.


Gordon McKenzie
Tesco Customer Service


by Ade Williams

Dear JAG

Further to earlier correspondence on TESCO I have sent the following e-mail
several times now but have received no response yet.  It'l be in the post
instead tonight.

I'l keep you informed if I get a reply,



----- Original Message -----
From: adewilliams
Sent: Wednesday, March 16, 2005 4:55 PM
Subject: Fw: Zimbabwe.

Sue Shearer.


Dear Ms Shearer,
                          I understand that TESCO continues to accept
foodstuffs from Zimbabwe. During my visits to the country over the years I
was aware that TESCO sourced products from the country.

The situation in the last few years has meant that there have been disputes
over land ownership and the UK government, the EU and others have imposed
some measures against 'leading' members of the politburo of the government
of Zimbabwe.  These measures were taken after much debate and

I would like to think that TESCO is only prepared to accept trade with
Zimbabwean farmers where it can be clearly demonstrated that the crop
supplied is owned by the supplier and not stolen and that it is produced by
farmers who either have the title deed to the land upon which it was
produced or otherwise a legally drawn up agreement with the title holder
allowing its agricultural use.

I would be glad to receive your assurance that TESCO is not involved in
supporting the actions of people who are acting in an undemocratic way and
who have been rightly criticised by the UK, the EU, the USA, Canada,
Australia, countless Africans both in Zimbabwe and outside to name just a

Yours sincerely,

Ade Williams.


LETTER 4: RE: GIMMELL'S "We trusted you and we stayed letter": reply,
received 25.3.2005

by Canaan (Madala Inungu)

Dear JAG

Interesting comment made by Mr Gemmell (OLF No. 351): "We trusted you and
we stayed". So,now what?

For the life of me I cannot understand why anyone would ever think that a
leopard could change it's spots. During the 70's many of us followed
Mugabe's every word and saw the monster for what he was then and is today.
How could anyone trust him and be fooled by his lies. How could anyone
think that this man would change, given public knowledge that he already
had so much blood on his hands with the assassination of the likes of
Herbert Chitepo and much much more. Mugabe was a criminal then and he is a
criminal now.

The silence of everyone during the matabeleland genocide in the '80s should
make every Zimbabwean bow their heads in shame. That was the time to do
something but everyone was too busy having a great time in the sunshine
whilst their own countrymen, women and children in matabeleland were being
mercilessly slaughtered and their bodies dumped down mineshafts. Many talk
about the recent phenomemon of the breakdown of law and order - there never
was any law and order, unless it suited Mugabe.

The bottom line is that very early on, anyone with half a brain should have
known what this Mugabe was capable of doing. If anyone chose to ignore the
glaringly obvious, it is their loss. Now he has really done it and no one
has stopped him. He has destroyed not only the infrastructural fabric and
productive capacity of Zimbabwe, he has changed the way people think. He
has turned the bucket of logic upside down and some fools have gone along
with it. The victim has become the criminal.

Look at that complete idiot CFU chap who sent out a letter, implying a
threat to his members, requesting donations to celebrate that Mujuru
woman's promotion. That same woman told land invaders in 2000 to return
with blood on their T shirts. This CFU fool thought it was a great idea to
list the names of the farmers making the donations (and god help those who
did't donate). Another example, MDC hold a rally and some farmer's don't
give their staff time off to attend. ZanuPF hold a rally and farmers are
even supplying transport as well as time off. There are so many examples of
this twisted logic, I could go on and on but I won't. What is of obvious
concern is that even intelligent people are getting it very wrong.
Appeasement has never worked, especially with the likes Mugabe.

What's worse is that there now seems to be a quiet acceptance by so many
that "there is nothing we can do. There is no point in voting because he
will steal this election anyway". This thinking is widespread amongst our
black population. What needs to be said is that if we continue to accept
this status quo, we will all be cursed to eternity by generations that
follow us.

There is plenty you can do so get up, stand up and do what is right for the
future of our Zimbabwe and our generations that follow. It's time to
recommit, if it's not too late.

Canaan (Madala Inungu)


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