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

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Babies hard-hit by food scarcity"...They have also become innocent
victims of Mugabe's destruction of the economy"
      By our own Staff

      THE ongoing severe food shortages are now threatening the survival of
infants and babies as it has emerged infant foods have gone out of stock in
most retail shops around the country.

      A snap survey conducted by The Standard showed that most supermarkets
had run out of baby cereals and other supplementary foods.

      Retailers and consumers blamed the shortages on the government and
challenged authorities to set up corrective measures before the situation
spirals out of control.

      Margaret Huni of Budiriro said: 'The government should work out the
solution to whatever food shortages we face because they are the ones who
caused them through their chaotic land reforms.

      'They destroyed the commercial farming industry and as a result even
our children are threatened with death because we cannot find food for them.
Come to think of it, we are likely to queue up for baby cereals in the near
future,' she said.

      Commercial farmers who used to supply most of the food in the shops
have fled Zimbabwe in droves since 2000 when President Robert Mugabe
unleashed notorious squads of self-styled war veterans to grab their land.

      Said Siduduziwe Ndlovu, whom The Standard caught shopping yesterday:
'Baby cereals have become scarce like everything else in Zimbabwe and even
when you find some, they are unaffordable.

      'Something definitely needs to be done by the powers that be to ensure
that our children get a healthy upbringing. Infants in particular are at the
most vulnerable stage where they need nutritious food but they appear to
have also become innocent victims of Mugabe's destruction of the economy.'

      Ndlovu said she has since resorted to making mealie porridge for her
one-year-old daughter, Nomvula, because she cannot find baby food in the

      At one shop in the Harare city centre where the baby food shelves were
virtually empty, this paper witnessed a 'back door' transaction involving
the sale of baby cereals as shop attendants sold the food direct from the
shop's warehouse.

      When the workers were asked about the baby food, they said anyone
could also buy it if they wanted, provided they paid a 'persuasion' fee.

      'These cereals are scarce and are actually being rationed. Customers
can only buy two boxes per person but if you want more you will have to talk
to us nicely and quickly before the (branch) manager comes,' one of the
workers quipped.

      Only imported brands of baby food could be found in most retail
outlets. A kg of soya protein food, a substitute for breast milk, costs as
much as $21 000 in most supermarkets.

      Beverley Takawira, a mother, said: "It may sound like a small matter
but the shortage of baby food is quite severe and the government needs to
step up efforts to rectify the situation.

      'We cannot feed our children on the same food we eat because it is too
solid and does not have the nutritional content that children require. The
cereals and milk in particular are the most important and yet they are not
only expensive but scarce as well,' she said.

      Anna Manyika, a buyer at the giant supermarket group, TM Supermarkets,
yesterday attributed the shortage of baby food to the price controls.

      She said: 'The main problem is that there is only one manufacturer of
baby cereals and formulae in this country, which is Nestle Foods. And
because of the price control regulations set by the government, Nestle has
apparently been forced to reduce production because they are making a huge

      'TM had also started importing the food from neighbouring countries
and abroad, but we have been forced to stop because the government enforced
Statutory Instrument 46 of 1998 and 67 of 1999 on baby foods, which outlaws
the sale of baby food whose packaging is not in the three national languages
(Ndebele, Shona and English). As a result, importing the food is not viable
for our business."
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Comment from the Zimbabwe Mirror follows this article....
Where does the Sunday Mirror stand - it is with the people or against them?

It was interesting to see an article in the Mirror with the headline "Bloodbath in the bazaar". The thrust of the article was about the damage caused by a bomb which landed in a Baghdad bazaar (street market) and caused massive and horrific civilian casualties. The first words screamed out from the page "It was an outrage, an obscenity."

One wondered if the Mirror had ever used these words in relation to the atrocities carried out by the illegitimate Mugabe regime against the ordinary people of Zimbabwe? One wonders what the editorial policy of the Mirror is? Go easy on Mugabe and his henchmen if we want to stay in business? Or is it more than that, is it a case that they are deliberately going easy on the regime out of conviction?

Underpinning the article was the unquestioning acceptance that the bomb was from the US and deliberately aimed at the market.

That reminds one of the explosives either detonated or found in the Kadoma area recently. Any Zimbabwean will know that any claim or statement by the propaganda organs of the illegitimate Mugabe regime is as a matter of certainty either a travesty of the truth or an outright lie.

Did the Mirror question the validity of these government claims? Did they consider and voice the likelihood that this was yet another in a long line of CIO setups? If not why not?

The people of Zimbabwe want to know (as George W Bush said)  "either you are for us or you are against us". Maybe the Mirror will tell us.
Zimbabwe Mirror - Comment

      MDC playing "heads I win tails you lose"
      By Zvenyika E. Mugari

      There are many different hypotheses that have been given by different
political commentators as to what really led to the opposition MDC routing
the ruling party Zanu PF in the just ended by-elections in Kuwadzana and

      Efforts to seek comments from Dr Nathan Shamuyarira on how the party
explains its defeat in the recent by-elections were unsuccessful. Dr Eddison
Zvobgo, however, declined to comment saying that commenting on why Zanu-PF
lost to MDC would amount to "working against my party".

      "Why don't you ask Jonathan Moyo or Chinotimba himself?" he said. Some
people the Sunday Mirror spoke to came up with different theories to explain
Zanu-PF's defeat. One view was that the credentials and political profiles
of the individual contestants were a key factor. But the trouncing of
Munyaradzi Gwisai in Highfield seemed to show that the individual's worth
did not count for much in those elections.

      Others were of the view that the anti-Mugabe sentiment was most
decisive. But this theory is also problematic in the sense that Zanu-PF
managed to win in some of the previous by-elections. Yet others placed the
blame squarely on campaign strategy. For example, were the Zanu-PF
candidates able to articulate party policies well enough at their campaign
meetings, instead of concentrating on dolling out mealie-meal packs to
prospective voters (that is if the allegations doing the rounds these days
were anything to go by)? Did they understand those policies themselves? How
did they explain the economic hardships people now face in urban areas? What
has their party been doing about it and what does it plan to do in the
future to tackle those problems? One stands to be corrected, but one gets
this uneasy feeling that these vexing questions remained largely unanswered
by the time people went to the polls. While each of the above factors may
have contributed to the overall result one gets the impression that there
are broader issues at play here, especially when this is considered in the
light of some Zanu-PF victories in previous by-elections. So what really
went wrong this time? What did Zanu-PF do or not do right that cost it
electoral victory in these by-elections in particular? What is most probable
is that Zanu-PF is doing something right. It has adopted a development
policy with a rural bias, a people-centred and people-driven development
policy. This is quite evident in the agrarian reform policy, which has
sought to channel more economic resources to the farming sector, which
includes the rural areas. A very recent example of this policy shift was the
hiking of producer prices for the staple maize crop from $28 000 to $130
000. Some sections of society were bound to be hurt by such a policy thrust.
The urban-based, white-owned and controlled industrial establishment was one
such casualty of this policy. The trickle down effect of this policy meant
that life would be a lot harsher for the urban peasant now than it was
before. The urban peasant is underfed, underemployed, under-productive,
underpaid, under whatever else you can think of. And naturally, this is an
angry electorate less likely to be appeased with a few bags of maize meal.
The urban electorate holds the incumbent government accountable for all
their suffering occasioned with the economic decline. It was to such
disconsolate crowds that Chinotimba and Mutasa went laden with bags full of
yellow maize meal, it is alleged, to woo them for their votes. If this is
true then, the electorate, unfortunate for them, proved less gullible. They
knew that this sudden and "targeted" charitable disposition of Chinotimba
and Mutasa would not last long enough beyond the election date. So they
accepted the donations but voted otherwise. The Herald on Tuesday, April 1
led with a front-page story headlined: "MDC wins by-elections", followed
with a subhead, "Results show Zanu-PF's consistency by maintaining its
support base". Though acknowledging MDC's victory, the story was really at
pains to prove that the polling results actually showed that Zanu-PF was
gaining in popularity in the urban constituencies and that MDC's popularity
was waning. On the other hand, other publications appeared to celebrate the
election outcome for the MDC. The question to ask is did the election
results come as a surprise to Zanu-PF or did the party anticipate the poor
show in those urban constituencies? If the party anticipated the poor
results what explanation does it have for its poor performance? Given that
there are more by-elections lined up for Zengeza and Harare Central
constituencies, are we likely to see different campaign tactics being
employed by the ruling party to win those elections? The Zanu-PF candidates
misjudged the mood of the electorate. They ought to have known better. On
the other hand, the opposition MDC, by calling for a stayaway on the eve of
that election and by threatening to call another stayaway if the outcome of
the election was not in their favour, amounted to declaring a, "heads I win
and tails you lose" double dealing. The opposition has the advantage that it
can act irresponsibly and indulge in acts, which sabotage and further
cripple the economy (stayaways and torching of buses) and still use the
negative consequences of their actions to turn the electorate against those
in government. The opposition enjoys a double advantage in that when
government responds, as indeed any other government should do under those
circumstances, by sending the police to quell the demonstrations, the
opposition cries foul. "The government is abusing the repressive state
apparatus to deny us the exercise of our democratic right," they say. When
things go haywire in the economy, partly due to such actions, again they
blame the government. But may I disabuse my friends and fellow citizens of
Harare of the belief that Tsvangirayi would be more benign in handling
protestors against his own rule or misrule once the whole state machinery is
placed under his beck and call. What is most likely, he would unleash the
police force on the people with greater zeal and enthusiasm. The lesson
which Zanu-PF should learn from these election outcomes is that the urban
electorate, though poor, is far from naïve and gullible. Those elected to
represent the party should be able to articulate party policy in terms of
how such policy will address the practical short term and long term concerns
of the electorate. Where things are not going on well, as is the case right
now, it serves no useful purpose to pretend they are. It is much better to
accept where their policies went wrong and explain what corrective measures
will be put in place to arrest the situation from further deterioration. If
they sincerely believe things went wrong due to no fault of their party then
they should clearly and most emphatically point out the source of the social
ills afflicting society. All having been said and done, the voters want to
know why they should not vote MDC, but most importantly why they should vote
Zanu-PF. Sloganeering alone won't do the trick.
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The Age

Zimbabwe says white farmers lawless
Sunday 6 April 2003, 10:05 PM

The Zimbabwe government has rounded up white farmers, accusing some of being
"British-sponsored lawless elements" behind recent mass action in the

In comments carried by the state-controlled Sunday Mail, Information
Minister Jonathan Moyo accused some white farmers of defying government
orders to leave their land.

The comments are likely to be seen as a slap in the face for the
white-dominated Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU) which last year chose to
drop most legal challenges against the government's acquisition of their
land in favour of dialogue.

Moyo also accused the farmers of being "part of the brains" behind an
opposition led strike last month that saw urban areas closed down across the

"The time has come for them to be dealt with in terms of the full wrath of
the law. Their lawlessness will no longer be entertained," he said.

Relations between the government of President Robert Mugabe and Zimbabwe's
4,500 or so white farmers have been testy since the controversial land
reform program was launched three years ago.

The CFU has recently expressed its concern over the continued eviction of
farmers and the acquisition of farms even though the government last year
declared that land acquisition was over.

Last week, the CFU claimed a farmer in the southern district of Mwenezi was
abducted and beaten by a group of around 200 "settlers" who forced him to
sign a document agreeing to leave his farm.

The union's concerns were included in a letter recently sent to Agriculture
Minister Joseph Made, the Sunday Mail reported. The letter prompted an angry
response from the government, the paper said.

Moyo was quoted as saying that the CFU no longer represents commercial
farmers "but in fact now represents unrepentant Rhodie (former white
minority Rhodesian) farmers and other lawless elements".

Around 11 million hectares of previously white-owned land has so far been
seized by the government for redistribution among new black farmers. Only
around 600 white farmers are reported to still be on their farms.

Moyo accused the farmers' union of being behind the March 18-19 strike
called by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) to protest
alleged misgovernance.

The government has received widespread criticism, including from the US
government, for its alleged crackdown on domestic opponents in the wake of
the mass action. Hundreds of opposition supporters were arrested.

©2003 AFP
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MDC abandons stayaways
      By Itai Dzamara

      IN an about-turn, the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
says it has abandoned plans for more stayaways as means to protest against
President Robert Mugabe's brutal rule and will now try to drag the Zanu PF
leader back to the negotiating table.

      Senior MDC officials yesterday told The Standard that they had
abandoned the idea of a massive street protest that was meant to get rid of
Mugabe and would now try to lure the governing Zanu PF party back into

      Zanu PF walked out of South African-backed talks with the MDC last
year after demanding that the opposition party drops its court action
against Mugabe's controversial electoral victory in the presidential

      Paul Themba Nyathi, MDC spokesman, yesterday said the party's new
strategy had the backing of the international community, including regional
leaders who are also working to get Mugabe back to the negotiating table.

      "The first mass action was very successful and we have been building
up from there for the next stage, which will not necessarily take the form
of stay aways. The people will engage in a series of various means of
democratic resistance, chief among them, boycotting Zanu PF-backed
businesses," said Nyathi.

      MDC president, Morgan Tsvangirai, emphasised the need for a carefully
planned and cautious approach in order to avoid giving Mugabe an excuse to
cause more bloodshed.

      "Mugabe is ready and viciously prepared to crush the people. We
therefore need to avoid a situation which we will later regret," Tsvangirai
told The Standard.

      The MDC leader however, said of the new strategy: "I can't say now
whether it is going to be this coming week or not. I will only announce at
the right time."

      According to other sources within the MDC, the new strategy has
already been mooted by Nigerian leader Olusegun Obasanjo and President Thabo
Mbeki of South Africa, who are believed to be working with other members of
the Commonwealth and the Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc) to
seek a solution for Mugabe's honourable exit and to stop Zimbabwe's further
economic and political decline.

      However, according to the two Commonwealth leaders who with Australia
are part of troika tasked with finding a solution in Zimbabwe, the
strategies they envisage have to avoid bloodshed and they believe that might
be inevitable given the current mood among Mugabe and his close Zanu PF

      Mugabe, who was clearly embarrassed by the success of the two-day mass
stay aways organised by the MDC last month, has vowed to crush the

      He also publicly announced that he had ordered the armed forces to
descend on "mischief makers" in the opposition in the wake of an ultimatum
issued by the MDC ordering him to restore the rule of law or face more
public action.

      A systematic wave of terror ensued in the townships and the towns
after Mugabe's pronouncements and and a number of MDC leaders, including
vice president Gibson Sibanda, were arrested, tortured or beaten up. Sibanda
is still in police custody.

      The MDC might however find that its about-turn is not going to be
popular with many Zimbabweans who had geared themselves up for the final
showdown with Mugabe and his ruling Zanu PF.

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Zim Standard

      Wafa Wafa, Wasara Wasara
      overthetop By Brian Latham

      THE opposition More Drink Coming party in a troubled central African
country last week routed the ruling Zany party. In by-elections held in two
capital city townships, the More Drink Coming party romped home to
comfortable victories against considerable odds.

      Prior to the elections, the Zany party leader, the most equal of all
comrades, assured the nation that he was confident the More Drink Coming
party would lose.

      Instead he lost.

      Analysts said the More Drink Coming Party's resounding victory proved
that someone was feeding the most equal of all comrades with information
that could only be described as dubious. Others pointed out that the Zany
party's decision to field a security guard in a grass hat as a candidate
could only be described, even charitably, as a foolish blunder.

      Residents pointed out that the only possible reason to elect the
former security guard as a lawmaker would be to turn the troubled central
African nation's parliament into a comedy show.

      Meanwhile political scientists who can't be named said that the Zany
party's pre-poll tactics could only be described as designed to confuse the
electorate."On the one hand they made thousands homeless, then raped, beat
and tortured hundreds more. On the other hand they promised food and other
luxuries. Voters were left in some doubt as to what the Zany party's agenda
was," one person told Over The Top.

      Independent observers said the polls were deeply flawed and that the
More Drink Coming party won only because the figures were so overwhelming it
wasn't possible to rig them.

      The Zany party did not comment on the results, something it does only
when it wins. It has become standard for the Zany party to declare elections
free and fair after it has won. If it loses, it says the results prove the
troubled central African regime is democratic.

      Still, the question of democracy is hotly disputed by hundreds of
torture victims who question the connection between democracy and being
wired to the national grid, whipped with barbed wire, beaten with AK47
assault rifles and dumped in the bush.

      Still, all was not smooth going for the More Drink Coming party.
Despite sailing home in the polls, angry troubled central Africans said the
party was being more than a little slow in stepping up the pressure on the
Zany party. In a spirited show of disapproval, one torture victim told OTT
that having given the most equal of all comrades an ultimatum to behave
himself, it was about time the ultimatum was put into effect.

      Given that hundreds of More Drink Coming party supporters were nursing
swollen buttocks and other wounds, it seemed reasonable that the party's
leadership should put itself on the frontline and take some of the same
punishment, one victim said.

      "What I'm feeling right now is pain in the butt after being whipped
with barbed wire. I think it only reasonable that my leaders, if they are a
people's party, should feel some of the same people's pain," he added.

      In response, the More Drink Coming party pointed out, with some
justification, that several of its leaders had been arrested or were in the
dock facing not insubstantial charges.

      Still, the remark didn't seem to hold much water with the party's
grass roots supporters. They said it was one thing to be arrested, but quite
another to endure days of torture. And they said that when one of their
leaders was tortured, he was immediately dispatched abroad for counselling,
while the povo, who suffered the same and worse treatment, had to seek
counselling services in the nearest all night drinking spot-provided the
army hadn't closed it.

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Zim Standard

      Sadc: Restoring hope for Zimbabweans

      INITIALLY scorned by the majority of Zimbabweans as unable to bring
pressure to bear on President Robert Mugabe, Sadc now appears prepared to do
something about the deteriorating situation in this country.

      Southern African foreign and defence ministers meeting in Harare last
Thursday are reported to have expressed concern over gross human rights
abuses, repressive legislation, general lawlessness and the collapse of the

      Mozambique's foreign minister, Leornado Simao, who chaired the
committee went further to say that a Sadc Taskforce would visit Zimbabwe
next week to examine the political and economic crisis with a view to
helping the country get out of its present predicament.

      Despite what the Mugabes and Mudenges say, the truth of the matter is
that the situation in Zimbabwe is not sustainable. Sadc governments must
listen to all Zimbabwe voices, not just endorse uncritically the Zimbabwe
foreign minister's ridiculous claim that the Harare authorities are
committed to the democratic process in the country.

      Our message to the Sadc Troika that will be visiting Zimbabwe is that
the proof of the pudding is in the eating. The economy has virtually
collapsed. In the recent mass stayaway and by-elections, hundreds of
Zimbabweans were assaulted allegedly by the army, the police and Central
Intelligence Organisation operatives. Not to mention the orgy of brutality,
violence and intimidation of suspected opponents of the regime that has been
unleashed by the ruling Zanu PF militia, notoriously know as the Green

      Arrests are the order of the day in this country. As we write, the
Vice-President of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Gibson Sibanda is
langushing in remand prison. It is no exaggeration to say that Zimbabweans
have come to expect heavy-handedness from the police.

      In civilised democracies, protesters and demonstrators, regardless of
party political affiliation, are escorted through the street by a police
force tolerant of diverse views and opinions. Only after acts of violence
occur do they respond-and then with carefully calculated minimal force.

      But in Zimbabwe the police are partisan when they are required to be
above party politics. Demonstrations are broken up before they even begin
and in the breaking up, extreme force is deployed, not just against the
demonstrators, but even against journalists covering the event. The
Zimbabwean police have consistently refused to stem violence using the
excuse that the crimes are political. It is a strange and weird excuse that
should be totally dismissed and rubbished out of hand.

      In a free and democratic society, there is no such thing as a
political crime-still less a political crime too sensitive to investigate.
Crimes committed in the name of politics are still crimes and should be
dealt with professionally, irrespective of who commits them.

      As things stand now, the MDC can barely speak without courting arrest
while Zanu PF can behave with loutish impunity, with little or nothing to
fear from the police or the courts. This is totally unacceptable and the
Sadc Troika needs to tell the Zimbabwe government precisely that.

      The Sadc foreign ministers who met last Thursday were also informed by
the government of Zimbabwe that the chaotic and controversial land reform
programme had been successfully completed and in the light of this
information the meeting subsequently urged the European Union (EU) to drop
sanctions. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is a base lie to say
that everything is now OK on the agriculture front.This is one of the
government's chief propaganda arguments against those opposed to it. The
Sadc Taskforce must talk to as many people as it can so that it reduces the
degree to which it is being misled.

      It was indeed heartening to hear the Mozambique foreign minister say
that the soon-to-visit Sadc taskforce would meet with the various farmers'
groups, NGOs, church leaders, civil society groups and the opposition MDC to
try to get the correct perspectives on the Zimbabwean situation. Everything
must be done to appraise the Sadc taskforce not to be hoodwinked by such
Zimbabwe government propaganda.

      We also view with alarm the fact the Thursday Sadc Committee meeting
noted the pending amendment of the Access to Information and Protection of
Privacy Act (AIPPA). Zimbabweans in general and journalists in particular
have been deeply grieved by this repressive and draconian law. We are merely
stating the obvious when we say that this wrongly and comically-named Act is
incompatible with freedom and democracy. And Zimbabwean journalists have yet
to see the so-called amendments to the Act that are being banded about.

      For the past three years, Sadc has been guilty of deliberate
withdrawal from the real world of Zimbabwe. The political leaders of the
continent in general, and the Southern African region in particular, have
stood by President Mugabe against the opinion of Zimbabweans, the EU, the
United States and the Commonwealth. It is our hope and prayer that they now
have a genuine change of attitude with this taskforce coming to our country
and to seriously investigate what has gone terribly wrong here.

      We are all for genuine and sincere dialogue and contact rather than
ostracism and isolation. It is time Sadc leaders told the Harare authorities
some home truths. The Zimbabwean government knows the truth but they just
pretend not to in their determined bid to cling to power at any cost. The
Zimbabwean struggle is an unambiguous struggle between good and evil.

      It is our earnest hope that the Sadc taskforce will be visiting
Zimbabwe with a open mind and with a view to-as the Mozambique foreign
minister rightly pointed out-"save Zimbabwe from total collapse."
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Zim Standard

      They ate and enjoyed the bait without swallowing the hook
      By Chido Makunike

      ZANU PF's defeat last week by the MDC in the Kuwadzana and Highfield
by-elections, reveals a lot about what is wrong with the ruling party, and
why it continues to lose its hold on the hearts and minds of Zimbabweans.

      Does Zanu-PF have a brain at all, or is it an organism composed
entirely of fists? Over the last few years, it has been given ample
indication of the urban voters' alienation from it, but dismally failed to
address this in its election strategy.

      Zanu PF misreads Zimbabweans by assuming that because it has been
infiltrated by mercenaries and crooks up to its highest echelons, everybody
else is for sale.

      In recent years, it has lost most of its liberation-era gloss, and
become merely a gathering of self-serving individuals and groups. Some
seeking shelter under its wings are fugitives from justice in foreign lands.
Others are pseudo business-types who use membership of the once respectable
party as a cover for their crooked deals.

      So rotten has the ruling party become that it can no longer even
conceive that people can be motivated in their actions by principles of the
common good, rather than narrow, immediate selfish interests. A disastrous
result of this misreading of the public mood was the attempt to bribe voters
by the provision of hard-to-find basic goods-for free, or at heavily
subsidised prices.

      Several things went wrong with this crude strategy. Zimbabweans are
far more intelligent than the mentally challenged ruling party gives them
credit for. The voters made complete idiots out of the vote fishermen by
eating and enjoying the bait, but without swallowing the hook. They were
happy to avail themselves of the cheap mealie meal, cooking oil, bread and
transport services, knowing very well that they would only last for the
duration of the campaign.

      Zanu PF is too alienated from the electorate, too arrogant and too
inept to have figured out that people now know all its tricks, and will now
seek to outwit rather than be taken in by them. It did not occur to them
that the voters who were lining up for the basic goods it flooded the two
constituencies with, would at the same time be asking some very hard
questions that neither the ruling party nor its hapless candidates were in a
position to answer satisfactorily.

      Questions such as: Why are these basic goods so hard to find on the
store shelves in the first place? Why are they so expensive on the rare
occasions they can be found? If Zanu PF is able to get them to attempt to
sway their vote, why does it not make them as widely and cheaply available
to the whole country, so that all of us can access them without having to
first attend a political rally and pledge allegiance to Zanu PF? Why should
we be grateful to the causers of our suffering, for temporary relief from
that suffering?

      The attempts at vote buying actually focused attention on all the
things that have gone wrong under its corrupt, incompetent rule.

      The two elections were also a referendum on Mugabe & Company's
propaganda strategy of the last few years, in which all the hardship-causing
problems are blamed on the British and other external foes. Kuwadzana and
Highfield have embarrassingly repudiated this propaganda, showing they just
don't buy it. The amatuerish state propaganda machinery failed to sell the
idea that support for the MDC was not a genuine expression of a desire for
change, but a trick by the British to unseat the 'revolutionary' government.

      David Mutasa, the ruling party's Kuwadazana candidate was as
uninspiring as the winner, the MDC's Nelson Chamisa. The contest was not
about the candidates or their capabilities, as neither of these two
gentlemen showed anything to offer in terms of intellect, political
potential, problem solving/analytical ideas or anything else. It was a case
of tweedle-dee versus tweedle-dum.

      It was more a referendum on the urban electorate's current feelings
about Zanu PF under Mugabe, than it was a reliable gauge of how people feel
about the MDC.

      Zanu PF has continued to bungle Zimbabwe's affairs since being spurned
by the urban electorate in the general and presidential elections, while the
MDC has not done anything significant in that time to increase the passion
of support for it. Zanu PF should be more worried about the implications of
its losses here and at the same time the MDC should not be over-excited
about its wins. People are sick and tired of Zanu PF, and for now, the MDC
is the only alternative conduit through which to express that sentiment.
Judged on its own merits, rather than merely as the only current alternative
to Zanu PF, the MDC remains as lacklustre and dull as it has always been.

      Highfield was a little bit different in that the ruling party's losing
candidate, Joseph Chinotimba, aroused stronger emotions than any of the
other candidates in the two elections.

      As a chief enforcer of Zanu PF's extra-judicial, strong arm
intimidatory tactics since the farm and factory invasions of the last few
years, Chinotimba is certainly widely feared inside and outside the ruling
party, and admired by some for his swashbuckling ways. He has impunity in
his actions because of the full support and approval of the highest levels
of the Zanu PF apparatus. His rejection by the voters is therefore a direct
slap in the face of Mugabe.

      Chinotimba certainly served Mugabe and Zanu PF well in thuggishly
scaring their opponents. But come on, he is hardly parliamentary material!
He may have been an effective warrior in instilling terror in the whites and
other perceived enemies of the party, but it was a silly and grievous
mistake to then attempt to mould him into something beyond that limited
enforcer role.

      It needed far more than having him wear suits instead of rags and
straw hats to repackage him as a respectable figure. He is feared and
resented even within Zanu PF for being a johnny-come-lately and buffoon who
has nevertheless been permitted by Mugabe to have intimidatory power that
eclipses that of the real party cadres.

      He has contributed a lot to Mugabe's growing reputation as a tyrant
who depends on war lords, and to Zanu PF's as a party that will stoop to any
depths to get its way. From being a municipal security guard with a modest
salary, in two years we have seen him use his Zanu PF connections to become
a man of means, driving luxury vehicles and benefiting from the system of
patronage to win government contracts out of the blue. He reeks with the
stench of all that is wrong with Zanu PF.

      Under the protection of Zanu PF, he once had to flee the constituency
he presumed to represent for having shot a woman there, something the voters
would neither have forgotten nor forgiven. Add to that, his uncouth
shallowness , and you have to marvel at how crazy it was of Zanu PF to
really believe he could win an election in Highfield at this time in our
politics, even with the help of all the underhand tactics at Zanu-PF's

      He had no chance against even the MDC's unexciting Pearson Mungofa. If
the ruling party's rigging apparatus was at work, it is just as well it
wasn't successful this time. Few people would have believed Chinotimba would
have won the seat fair and square, and he would have been a domestic and
international embarrassment as Highfield MP.

      The most pathetic of Zanu PF tactics before and after the elections
were their allegations of violence and intimidation against their supporters
by the MDC! This was patently absurd from a party that has perfected
violence against its opponents, the only thing it does well.

      We were also expected to forget that apart from the many trained
militia that enforce Zanu PF terror, the entire might of the army and the
blatantly partisan police force are on it's side. What 'violence and
intimidation' could the unarmed ruling party's opponents meaningfully use
against all the weapons and propensity for violence of Zanu PF and its
support troops?

      The Mugabe regime is spawning violence by silencing all peaceful
avenues of peaceful protest, but any random acts of violence that are taking
place pale in comparison to the organised state-sponsored violence we have
witnessed in Zimbabwe over the years. As you sow, so shall you reap.

      The MDC may not really need to do anything except point out Zanu PF's
many own goals. One strategy for them to consider is to simply stand aside
so as not to be harmed by any exploding shrapnel as Zanu PF self-destructs
from its own incompetence, internal contradictions and growing alienation
from Zimbabweans. Simply cleaning up the mess of the explosion afterwards
may be enough to get them into power, at least for one term.

      My I express my sincere condolences to ZBC TV, which showed its
partisan colours by plunging to pathetic new depths of un-professionalism in
their mourning over the election results. The Zanu PF Broadcasting
Corporation attempted to downplay the hottest story of the week by featuring
weak sports stories first, before perfunctorily mentioning the earthquake of
Zanu PF's defeat.

      The usual partisan, Mugabe-worshipping doctors and professors were not
called to try to put a spin on things as would have been the case if Zanu PF
had won. Shame!
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Zim Standard

      Zim faces vaccine crisis
      By Loughty Dube

      BULAWAYO-The Department of Veterinary Services is in dire need of more
than US$4m (Z$225m) to purchase vaccines to contain sporadic and
intermittent outbreaks of foot and mouth disease, Standard Business has

      The demand for foot and mouth (FMD) vaccines comes amidst an upsurge
in the number of outbreaks of the disease throughout the country.

      The latest outbreak occurred in a commercial farming area in Figtree,
Matabeleland South, a week ago and would further jeopardise the country's
chances of resuming beef exports to the lucrative European Union market.

      The EU suspended annual beef imports from Zimbabwe worth $1 bn in
August 2001 after intermittent foot and mouth outbreaks were reported
throughout the country. Zimbabwe was exporting an annual beef quota of 9 100
tonnes before the suspension.

      Department of Veterinary Services principal director, Stuart
Hargreaves, confirmed the shortage of vaccines in the country but said he
would comment on the issue next week.

      "The vaccines situation in the country is critical and we are working
flat out to acquire the drugs but at the moment I cannot give you further
details, but I will be ready to do so early next week," said Hargreaves.

      Zimbabwe has been getting its vaccines from the Botswana Vaccine
Institute but the country has found it difficult to sustain payment
arrangements in foreign currency, leading to supplies being discontinued .

      The veterinary department is expected to meet regional experts next
week to discuss methods of curbing the disease and how Zimbabwe could access
cheaper vaccines.

      Hargreaves confirmed the meeting but could not be drawn into giving
more details.

      "It would be best for me to comment after the meeting with SADC
experts next week," he said.

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Zim Standard

      I am not a member of the MDC

      I WAS appalled to read on Page 2 of Standard Business that I am a
"leading member of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

      I am NOT a member, leading or otherwise, of the MDC, and I have never
been. I am also not a member of any other political party, and I have no
intention of becoming a member of any political party.

      The last (and only) time that I was a member of a political party was
in 1958, when I was a member of the late Sir Garfield Todd's party, and
campaigned for a universal franchise and land reform.

      My interest in politics centres upon their impact on economic
circumstance. When government (Zanu PF) does something which I consider to
be constructive, I say so, and when it does something that I consider to be
destructive, I also say so.

      The same holds good for anything the MDC says or does which I consider
to be economically constructive or destructive.

      Only a week ago, in the Erich Bloch Column, I criticised the MDC's
"mass action" which led to a stay away from work, because I thought it to be
ill-considered in view of the very negative economic consequences and the
worsening circumstances for workers already confronted by great hardships.

      I am concerned that my writings, speeches and comments should not be
misconstrued as politically motivated, for they are not.

      Eric Bloch

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Zim Standard

      Blame it on the Rhodies!
      By Richard Musazulwa

      GWERU-The Zanu PF-dominated Gweru City Council has put the blame on
last month's bursting of sewer pipes in Mkoba 10, which resulted in the
contamination of drinking water, on Rhodesian plumbers who they say
originally designed the sewer and water pipes.

      The mishap resulted in raw sewage seeping into the water system and
about 1000 residents had to be treated for diarrhoea, vomiting and abnormal

      Minutes of the latest Gweru City Council's environmental management
committee meeting reveal that the city fathers, who are yet to make an
apology to residents, now blame Rhodesian plumbers for the problem.

      "The incident was a result of original Rhodesian-era designs where
water and sewer pipes crossed each other," said director of engineering,
Jones Nantambwe.

      He said the pipes should have been designed in such a way that they
lay parallel and distant from each other.

      To avoid such incidents in the future, Nantambwe said council would
soon hold refresher courses for all plumbers on how to handle Rhodesian
designs where sewer pipes crossed each other.
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Zim Standard

      Aids patients bear brunt of food shortages
      By Henry Makiwa

      ZIMBABWE'S economic downturn, political instability and resultant food
shortages have had a severe effect on Aids patients in public hospitals as
the institutions are unable to provide the recommended food, The Standard
has learnt.

      Patients and health workers who spoke to The Standard urged government
to step up efforts to procure more nutritious food for public hospitals that
attend to the vast majority of the country's population.

      They said there was need for government to replenish the public
hospitals' dry food stores with healthy food required by Aids patients.

      One Aids patient who requested anonymity, said: "We are always told to
go home and eat healthy food after being admitted in hospitals and yet they
don't have anything nutritious there either.

      "The current economic and political situation has worsened the plight
of HIV/Aids patients because food is just scarce for ordinary people and
when found, it is unaffordable."

      Although Jane Dadzi, an administrator at Parirenyatwa hospital was
adamant that all patients received adequate food and a balanced diet, she
admitted that the hospital did not have a diet programme specifically for
Aids patients.

      Dadzi said: "Some patients get a prescribed diet on the advice of
dietitians but we do not really have a diet for Aids patients; we just
provide food required for the ailment they are suffering from."

      Experts say at least 25% of Zimbabweans are infected with the HIV
virus that causes the killer disease, Aids.

      While the government and experts are unsure about how many lives the
disease claims each week, it is estimated that between 2 000 and 3 500
Zimbabweans die of Aids-related illnesses every week.

      A nurse at Harare General hospital said the hospital was teeming with
Aids patients who required special attention by virtue of their condition.

      "They need healthy food to boost their immune system and enable their
bodies to fight the HIV virus, and yet the government only provides mediocre
diets for them," said the nurse who refused to be named for fear of

      She added: "Here all patients are treated the same and are put on the
same diet as if they suffer from the same ailment. As a result we sadly
watch as most Aids patients waste away due to a poor diet."

      Some studies show that malnutrition contributes to between 60 and 80%
of Aids deaths.

      It is also largely agreed that many of HIV/Aids symptoms are treatable
with appropriate nutrition because many of the infections that are
associated with Aids affect food intake, digestion and absorption.
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Zim Standard

      Land grab destroys Zimbabwe beef industry
      By Itai Dzamara

      PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe's chaotic land reforms have so decimated the
national cattle herd that at least 10 years are needed for Zimbabwe to
rebuild the beef industry.

      The violent removal sinceFebruary 2000 of more than 3 000 white
commercial farmers by government-backed Zanu PF militia and landless
peasants, has seen massive destocking which has reduced the cattle herd by
60%, the Commercial Farmers Union, (CFU) says.

      In the commercial sector, the herd now stands at less than half a
million, about a million less than at its peak of about 1,5 million before
the farm seizures.

      Although the communal sector is currently estimated as having a four
million strength herd of cattle, it is almost insignificant to the country's
beef requirements-as well as the export orders-because cattle in the rural
areas are normally regarded as a measure of wealth and for other cultural
reasons and therefore are not easily disposed of.

      Zimbabwe used to earn up to $2,5 billion from annual beef exports with
the commercial sector supplying more than 80% of the cattle.

      This has all been suspended because Zimbabwe is failing to meet its 9
100 tonnes' beef quota for the European Union as well as other obligations
for the Asian, South African and Libyan markets.

      The beef exports have also been affected by the foot and mouth disease
which has been worsened because some new settlers have cut quarantine fences
and allowed carriers of the disease such as buffalo and kudu to mix with

      The Central Statistical Office (CSO) recently described the effects of
the chaotic land reforms as 'catastrophic'.

      'The commercial beef industry is under siege and the situation is
catastrophic,' said the CSO, a government body which compiles statistics on
trade, migration and other issues.

      As the attack on white commercial farmers by the new settlers and the
war veterans intensified, many of them were left with no option but to
slaughter their heifers and sell the beef on the local market.

      Derby Hilton, who used to keep 500 heifers on his farm in Chinhoyi,
said he had to quickly dispose of his herd after his farm had been invaded
by Zanu PF militia sent there by some senior party politicians.

      'There was a clear desire to grab my farm by high ranking government
officials. As soon as I had received the section eight eviction notice, they
sent their people to force me out. I had no option but to slaughter and
auction the whole herd,' said Hilton.

      The people who occupied his farm, including a senior government
official, have been trying to convert what was a cattle rearing ranch into a
crop production farm.

      At the time when most white farmers where slaughtering their herd for
fear that they they would lose them after being forcibly removed from their
properties by the war veterans, the economy experienced a flourishing
parallel beef market whose prices were relatively low.

      However, as soon as the auctioning and slaughtering had ended, bitter
reality struck the consumer as an acute beef shortage ensued and prices of
meat more than doubled. Currently, a kilogramme of beef is selling for up to
$2 000.

      The government has been trying to attribute the drastic fall in the
national herd, as well as the shortage of beef, mainly to the outbreak of
the foot and mouth disease in 2001.

      However, Stuart Hargreaves, the director of the veterinary services
department denied that the disease had caused the massive decimation of the
national herd.

      Said Hargreaves: 'The disease has not impacted on cattle numbers and
neither has it affected the supply of beef to the local market. The cattle
affected by the disease is suitable for consumption two months after being
vaccinated. The major decline in the size of the herd can only be attributed
to the disturbances on the farms.'

      Renson Gasela, a member of parliament for the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) who is also an agricultural expert, painted a gloomy
picture of the cattle industry.

      'It will take several years, probably 10 or more for the country to
resuscitate the normal herd. Since the severe 1992 drought, we had not begun
restocking,' said Gasela, who is also the MDC's shadow minister of

      He added: 'And then came the chaotic land reforms to completely
paralyse the national herd. At the moment, a young female stock is selling
at a prohibitive $150 000, and that is unaffordable for most resettled

      Another negative factor was the slaughtering of pregnant female cattle
at the height of the farm invasions, which abruptly dented the systematic
process of replenishing and sustaining the herd.

      Although the government claims to have established schemes through
which its 'new farmers' can access loans to buy cattle, the efforts fall far
short of resuscitating the national cattle herd, as there is also the need
to revive grazing pastures destroyed during the land grab.
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Zim Standard

      April issue of Police magazine banned
      By Chengetai Zvauya

      POLICE Commissioner, Augustine Chihuri, has banned the latest copy of
the monthly police magazine, Outpost, because it carries a detailed story
and pictures of the deadly anti riot gear expected to be used to crush a
mass uprising against President Robert Mugabe.

      Insiders at Police General Headquarters (PGHQ) confirmed to The
Standard yesterday that all the copies of the magazine, estimated at about
20 000, were destroyed because of fear that they might fall into the hands
of the public.

      The Standard understands that Inspector Thokozo Nyathi, the editor of
the magazine, has since been transferred to Gwanda police station where he
will undertake routine police duties not related to the running of the

      The in-house magazine, which has a circulation of about 20 000,
publishes stories relating to police duties and other in-house matters and
falls under the Press and Public Relations Department headed by Assistant
Commissioner, Wayne Bvudzijena.

      The banned story included pictures of the deadly anti riot tankers
purchased from Israel last year by the Zanu PF government in anticipation of
mass protests aimed at the overthrow of President Robert Mugabe.

      Bvudzijena yesterday said he was not at liberty to talk on the issue.

      'The Outpost is an in-house police magazine whose contents are for
policemen and should not be discussed in public or with the media,' said

      The banned issue was for April.

      The magazine bears a picture of the anti-riot tankers which the police
displayed the high density areas during the two-day stay away organised by
the Movement For Democratic Change (MDC) last month.

      It was The Standard which last year broke the story of the purchase of
the anti-riot gear from Israel.

      The Standard has seen one of the banned copies of the magazine.

      Only a few copies were made available to the police top brass.

      'The magazine is first issued to the police top brass and once they
had read the magazine, they issued a directive that the magazine was to be
stored and not distributed,' said a source.
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Zim Standard

      Masipula was a credit to the profession
      By our own Staff

      PROFESSOR Masipula Sithole, who died in the United States after
suffering a stroke, was one of Zimbabwe's most incisive minds and a leading
campaigner against the brutal Zanu PF regime which has governed Zimbabwe
since independence from Britain in 1980.

      'Masi' or 'Prof', as he was popularly known, had a sharp mind that was
amply employed at the numerous public forums that he participated in as
Zimbabweans continued to search for a peaceful solution to the country's

      A great wit who found time to joke even during the most serious of
discussions and many times breaking tense moments that might have arisen,
Sithole was also known not to suffer fools easily.

      Sithole, the young brother of the late nationalist Ndabaningi Sithole,
was a lecturer in the University of Zimbabwe's political science faculty and
was also the founder and director of the Mass Public Opinion Institute, the
first Zimbabwean polling organisation which was established in 1999.

      He sat on the board of trustees of a number of voluntary organisations
and his column 'Public Eye' which ran in a local weekly, was widely read and

      The Standard is particularly saddened that shortly before Sithole
passed away, he had visited the newspaper's Editor Bornwell Chakaodza, and
looked in very good health.

      Sithole, who was 56, is survived by his wife Alice and two
sons-Masipula (Jnr) and Chandiwana.

      According to his family, his body will arrive in Zimbabwe for burial
sometime this week.
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Zim Standard

      Mugabe has lost the magic
      newsfocus By Itai Dzamara

      IF the governing Zanu PF party thought the presence of President
Robert Mugabe, his wife Grace and the huge entourage of hangers' on at the
polling station in Highfield would influence the vote, then they must still
be shell-shocked over how Highfield residents resoundingly rejected them
last weekend.

      The people of Highfield, who like every one else in Zimbabwe are
suffering the effects of Mugabe's bad policies, were determined to tell the
aged Zanu PF leader right in his face that he was a failure and that his
time was up.

      The humiliated Zanu PF leader had obviously been hoodwinked into
believing that his presence in Highfield during the polling would crown the
resounding victory of Joseph Chinotimba-a former security guard in the
Harare municipality and the party's candidate for Highfield.

      How a veteran politician such as Mugabe could have been made to
believe that Zanu PF would win in Highfield-or Kuwadzana for that
matter-given all the winding petrol queues, the food shortages, the massive
unemployment rate, the worsening poverty and the growing anger among the
people, is difficult to fathom.

      It only goes to show that Mugabe and his advisers have lost the plot:
they no longer have their ears to the ground and have become totally
alienated from the people.

      The 79-year-old Mugabe, who becomes invigorated at election campaign
time, tried at the 11th hour to vigorously campaign for Chinotimba and David
Mutasa, the party's candidate for Kuwadzana.

      He had been fooled into believing that Zanu PF's by-elections wins in
the rural areas after the watershed 2000 general election, were the
harbinger of good times to come for the governing party.

      According to sources close to the Zanu PF leader, Mugabe seriously
believed his party was beginning to gain momentum over the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change and he wanted to be known to have been there
just before the party registered its first urban electoral victory since the
June 2000 elections.

      Instead, the Highfield and Kuwadzana electorate dampened his spirits
and worsened his fortunes when they made it very clear that Zimbabwean
urbanites-the most educated and most influential part of the population-were
angry at his mismanagement of the economy and the deterioration in living

      On the first day of voting, Chinotimba, with an permanent grin on his
face as he basked in the euphoria created by the presence of Mugabe and
Grace, boasted: "All is already water under the bridge. I have already won,
especially with the leader of the country coming to cast his vote for me."

      Chinotimba was confident that he had made it to parliament because he
had provided Highfield residents with free mealie meal, cooking oil and
other basic commodities not easily available in the shops, and Mugabe's
visible support for him would obviously be the icing on the cake.

      But Chinotimba can be forgiven for such wishful thinking because this
bearded former municipal guard-who only a few months ago wore straw hats and
was guarding municipal beerhalls-is illiterate and unsophisticated.

      Chinotimba is a simple man who found himself catapulted to dizzy
heights by Zanu PF and he was naive enough to believe that the mere presence
of Mugabe would deliver him the vote.

      But one question remains unanswered: where did Chinotimba, a man who
was earning very little just a few months ago, get the kind of money he was
splashing around Highfield, unless it was from Mugabe himself?

      According to sources within Zanu PF, Chinotimba must have spent more
than $15 million trying to buy himself into the hearts and minds of the
Highfield residents.

      As soon as news of Zanu PF's defeat in both constituencies spread,
Harare residents breathed a sigh of relief because they knew that the
protest vote in Highfield and Kuwadzana had once again thwarted the ruling
party's intentions to turn Zimbabwe into a one party state.

      "We were determined to teach these Zanu PF gangsters an important
lesson that our vote can never be bought through a few loaves of bread and
bags of mealie meal," said Lloyd Hungwa of Highfield.

      Come Tuesday, though, the comfortable but cheap Zupco buses which had
been plying the Highfield route and had been introduced just before the
by-election-and which Chinotimba boasted of having lobbied for-were nowhere
to be seen.

      Tuckshops such as Hwende Kiosk at the Old Highfield flats-a hive of
activity over the past months as Chinotimba brought in loads of bread and
mealie meal-have now suddenly turned into empty shrines.

      Chinotimba, together with his free supplies of scarce basic
commodities and the marauding gangs of Zanu PF militias that used to
accompany him, have all but disappeared from the suburb.

      In fact, when the media tried to ask Chinos, as the former municipal
guard is popularly known in governing party circles, why the Zupco buses had
been withdrawn from Highfield, his astonishing answer was: "I don't live in
Highfield," and with those words, he exposed, once again, Zanu PF's attempt
to impose upon the residents of a suburb, a candidate who did not really
have their interests at heart.

      The Zanu PF candidate for Kuwadzana, businessman Mutasa, was equally

      "What do you want from me," he barked at reporters who tried to get
comment from him on how the elections had gone. "Write what you think. Ask
me anything again and I will deal with you."
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Zim Standard

      It never rains but pours for Jabulani Sibanda
      By Loughty Dube

      BULAWAYO-Senior Zanu PF politicians in Bulawayo who last week forced
Bulawayo provincial chairman Jabulani Sibanda out of office, now want him to
vacate his position as chairman of the war veterans' association, The
Standard has learnt. The politicians, supported by some war veterans, have
threatened to desert the party en-masse unless the national war veterans'
office reverses the election of Sibanda as chairman of the province.

      The politicians and the war veterans allege that Sibanda, who was
ousted when Zanu PF's Central Committee endorsed his expulsion, was elected
at a rally, without the required quorum.

      The Bulawayo war veterans' province is made up of 13 districts that
should form a full quorum before elections are held.

      What has, however, raised eyebrows is that the issue is being
discussed only now, two years after Sibanda took over at the helm of the

      But some politicians who spoke to The Standard said the issue could
not have been raised earlier because it would have compromised Zanu PF's
campaign ahead of the crucial presidential election last year.

      However, party sources said Sibanda was "paying dearly" for openly
disobeying senior politicians whom he accused of illegally trading in maize
on the black market.

      The secretary general of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans
Association (ZNLWA) Andy Mhlanga, said he had heard the rumours of a plot to
oust Sibanda but said the issues had not been brought to him.

      "Nothing has been brought to me officially but maybe the problems in
Bulawayo are arising from the fact that Sibanda has never attended any war
veterans' meetings since he took over as chairman," Mhlanga said.

      Sources also said Sibanda was unpopular with some Bulawayo politicians
because of his close links with Zanu PF's secretary for administration,
Emmerson Mnangagwa.

      The sources said Mnangagwa was backing Sibanda, Joseph Chinotimba and
Munyaradzi Meki for top positions in the war veterans' national leadership,
something that had not gone down well with the top brass within the local

      Mhlanga, however, denied any knowledge of Sibanda's national
aspirations in the association.

      "As far as I am concerned, only Chinotimba has forwarded his name and
credentials for the national chairmanship and hence, I cannot comment on
Sibanda's aspirations," said Mhlanga.

      A vote of no confidence was passed on Sibanda after Zanu PF's Central
Committee and Politburo members in the province complained that he was
undermining the authority of senior party leaders.

      Sibanda is also accused of embezzling more than $35 million in party
campaign funds during last year's presidential election.
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Power cuts threaten ailing economy
      By Kumbirai Mafunda

      ZIMBABWE'S crippled industry could grind to a halt as the effects of
the intermittent power cuts introduced last month by the Zimbabwe
Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) take their toll.

      A visit to Harare's main industrial sites by Standard Business on
Friday revealed that ZESA was cutting off electricity supplies without prior
notification from about 8.00am to around mid-day, interrupting production
daily for about three hours.

      Most affected is the Masasa industrial area where industrialists said
although they had generators, they were unable to use them because of the
crippling fuel shortages.

      A worker at one horticulture exporting company in Masasa, said sizable
stocks of products had been damaged because of power cuts to their
coldrooms, raising fears that exporting companies might lose their market
share as a result of undelivered supplies.

      ZESA introduced load shedding two weeks ago following a reduction in
power imports from South Africa and Mozambique.

      Mozambique's hydroelectric power station, Cahora Bassa, reduced
supplies to Zimbabwe citing the country's continued default in payment for
supplies, while Snel of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and South
Africa's Eskom have also raised concern over ZESA's mounting debts with

      Company executives and industry captains said the introduction of load
shedding is contrary to government's drive in the National Economic Revival
Programme (NERP) to boost exports.

      "Government's efforts to increase exports is absolutely undermined by
the load shedding. Load shedding affects the efficiency of industry and if
you reduce efficiency you increase the cost of production, and in turn
reduce the chances of selling the final commodity," said an executive with a
company in Masasa.

      Other executives said job losses could not be ruled out following the
move by the national power utility.

      "It is a blow to economic development because industry and commerce
rely on energy to get machines going. This country's revenue is dependent on
money generated from industry. So once there is load shedding there is going
to be a drastic decline of the little profits we are still earning and we
might be forced to downsize operations and hence affect jobs," said a motor
industry executive.

      David Govere, the managing director of Harambe Holdings which operates
bakeries and a tile manufacturing company, said the power cuts were costly
and disruptive to industry. He said there was need for ZESA to work out a
managed schedule to minimise losses.

      "We never got the exact schedule. What we have are outcries from
people. We also need to look at whether we have the right management at
ZESA. Why didn't they inform us that they were getting into a knee-high
crisis," charged Govere, who is also the vice-president of ZNCC's Harare

      Phil Whitehead, the managing director of Turnall Fibre Cement which
manufactures fibre cement roofing sheets and pipes in Bulawayo, said his
firm was concerned by ZESA's move and is currently analysing the losses made
so far.

      "We have been affected by the load shedding like everybody else. Power
cuts are disastrous. If we get load shedding for three hours the cement we
would be mixing dries and we are forced to throw the cast cement away," said

      David Murangari, the chief executive of the Chamber of Mines whose
industry might shrink by 5% from last year's 7,1%, deplored the power cuts
saying they endangered workers' lives.

      "We are losing production time and some of our equipment is being
damaged like the furnaces which cost a lot of money to replace. Apart from
disruption to production which will result in failure to achieve targets,
safety is also being compromised because the switch-offs are unannounced. So
you face the problem of endangering workers' lives," Murangari said.

      CZI acting chief executive, Farai Zizhou, revealed that some companies
in Harare and Bulawayo had ceased production as a result of the power cuts,
joining a host of companies that have closed down because of the harsh
economic climate since 2000.

      "In Harare and Bulawayo there are a number of firms which run furnaces
whose production lines have stopped. They can't stop and start," said

      James Sanders, the president of the Zimbabwe National Chamber of
Commerce (ZNCC), said as a result of the load shedding, industry is
operating at 40%.

      "The impact will be very devastating," he said.

      Sanders said he signed a memorandum of understanding with ZESA last
week in which big businesses would chip in to help ZESA with foreign
currency and get rewards in the form of favourable rates in return.

      Economic analysts said the introduction of energy cuts hard on the
heels of fuel and food deficits, shows that government has been overwhelmed
by the crisis in Zimbabwe.

      They said the power cuts could be the last straw that will break the
camel's back, which is already sagging as a result of a cocktail of
shortages of raw materials, fuel and foreign currency.

      "It is a pity that we have so badly damaged our export base. The
economic consequences are as a result of political action taken by the
ruling party. They have chosen policies that make us lose money and that is
where accountability should be," said John Robertson, an independent
economic consultant.

      Robertson said government needed to realise that Zimbabwe's exports
were mainly commodities like nickel, gold, asbestos and tobacco which were
all high energy consumers.

      The resultant revenue loss from ZESA's load shedding is expected to
surpass Murerwa's projected budget deficit figure of $230,2 bn, experts
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Thriving black market for graves
      By Chengetai Zvauya

      SOME unscrupulous Harare residents and businessmen are making a
killing out of selling graves at graveyards such as Warren Hills for as much
as 10 times their normal cost, an investigation by The Standard has

      Desperate, grieving families told The Standard that Harare City
Council employees at Warren Hills had told them that they could provide
graves for their loved ones but at a cost.

      The council says Warren Hills cemetery is full and cannot accommodate
any new graves.

      City council employees are believed to be working in cahoots with
residents, businessmen and funeral homes which have bought up all the
remaining graves at the cemetery and can ask up to 10 times the $8 000 price
the council normally charges for a grave.

      According to official sources, one Harare-based businessman has bought
more than 100 graves and is doing roaring business selling them to grieving
families who prefer to bury relatives at the more picturesque Warren Hills
Cemetery rather than at the other council graveyards of Granville and

      It has been established that a grave at Warren Hills can now cost as
much as $150 000 on the black market.

      A family, which preferred anonymity, told The Standard that its
members had approached a funeral parlour to have their relative buried at
Warren Hills but were told that there were no graves.

      "They told us we could only get a grave if we paid 10 times the
stipulated fee. We had no option but to pay the money for our relative to
have a decent resting place," said the family spokesman.

      The Standard, assuming the guise of a group seeking graves at Warren
Hills, contacted the city funeral home which had helped the family to source
the grave.

      A company official there at first said there were no graves at the
cemetery but later said a resting place could be arranged for a lot more
than the city council price.

      "There are a number of people who have many graves. You can get them
as long as you can pay for them. The figure varies from time to time but you
can have a good grave if you pay $100 000," said the official at the funeral

      Contacted for comment, executive mayor of Harare, Elias Mudzuri said
he was not aware of the trade in graves at Warren Hills.

      "I will, however, instruct my officers to look into the matter," said

      Harare City Council has three large cemeteries: Greendale, Warren
Hills and Granville. At some of these burial sites, space has run out
forcing the council to expand the grounds.

      According to health experts, more than 3 000 Zimbabweans are dying
every week from diseases associated with the HIV/ Aids virus.

      The high number of deaths from Aids has created extra pressure on the
city council to find more burial space because the only other
option-cremation-is unpopular with black Zimbabweans.
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Zimbabwe Mirror

Mbeki snubs Baroness Amos
Innocent Chofamba-Sithole

SOUTH AFRICAN President Thabo Mbeki turned down a scheduled meeting with
British Minister for Africa at the Foreign Office and the Commonwealth in
London, Baroness Valerie Amos over some undiplomatic statements she is
alleged to have made in that country ahead of their meeting, the Sunday
Mirror has learnt.

Conflicting positions on the meeting between the two were also emerging from
the South African authorities, with the foreign affairs ministry confirming
that Mbeki would not meet with Amos, while the President's office said Amos
would pay the President a courtesy call yesterday afternoon (Saturday).

Authoritative sources in South Africa say the basis for the cancellation of
the meeting stems from a speech that Amos gave to the National Press Union
in Pretoria, in which she is alleged to have sharply criticised South Africa
's policy of quiet diplomacy and constructive engagement toward Zimbabwe.
The South African government did not take too kindly to Amos' statements, as
they felt that she was breaching diplomatic etiquette by pre-empting the
pending meeting with Mbeki.

In her address to the National Press Union, Amos said she had come to South
Africa partly to explain the British position on two areas of difference
with the South African government - Iraq and Zimbabwe.

According to a report published by the South African Star newspaper, Amos
said Britain's considerable assistance to Africa and its hard work in
promoting Nepad (New partnership for Africa's Development) had been
"overshadowed by an outdated belief that Britain's motives are colonialist
because of the criticism which we have levelled at Zimbabwe".

She denied that her country's criticism of Zimbabwe hinged on its desire to
protect the large share of land owned by the white minority, saying Britain
believed that land should be distributed through a transparent, lawful and
affordable programme. She said Zimbabwe had been destabilised and
impoverished not just by inequitable land distribution, but also by bad
government policies.

Turning to Nepad, Amos told the press union that foreign investors were
sceptical of the programme's capacity to work on account of the failure of
the African peer review mechanism to effectively handle cases such as
Zimbabwe's. Baroness Amos, whose week-long visit to South Africa ended
yesterday, was scheduled to hold talks with President Mbeki, Defence
Minister Mosiuoa Lekota, Foreign Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dhlamini-Zuma
and her deputy, Aziz Pahad on bilateral and regional issues.

Mbeki's spokesperson, Bheki Khumalo said on Saturday that Baroness Amos
would pay the President a courtesy call that afternoon, but would not
divulge the possible subject of their discussion. Asked to confirm or deny
whether South Africa had been dismayed by Amos' statements on his country's
handling of Zimbabwe, Khumalo said: "The Baroness has a right to hold her
views and to express them. The British must explain their position on
Zimbabwe, but we don't believe in closing the doors on dialogue." South
Africa's foreign affairs spokesperson, Ronnie Mamoepa confirmed that Amos
had met Dhlamini-Zuma and Pahad, but would also not be drawn to reveal the
substance of their discussions. Ironically, however, Mamoepa flatly denied
that Amos would meet with Mbeki.

"I can confirm that she has met our foreign affairs minister and her deputy,
but the Baroness will not be meeting the President," Mamoepa said,

The British High Commission in South Africa mentioned on its web site that
Baroness Amos would dwell on her country's policy towards Zimbabwe during
her South African visit. Her visit fell in the same week as the Southern
Africa Development Community (SADC)'s Organ for Politics, Defence and
Security meeting in Harare, which proposed sending a taskforce to meet with
Zimbabwe government officials, the opposition and various other groups to
look into problems besetting the country.

Addressing a press conference last week, Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr. Stan
Mudenge insisted that the taskforce was coming at his behest in order "to
ensure that my colleagues in SADC, who are subjected to so much propaganda .
. .do come and get a better view." Analysts expect the regional taskforce to
push for the resumption of dialogue between the ruling Zanu PF and the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change as a way of breaking the political
impasse and, according to Mamoepa, laying the basis for economic revival.
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 DA: Parliament should send delegation to Zimbabwe
            April 06, 2003, 11:15

            The South African Parliament must urgently send a delegation to
witness and investigate the current conditions in Zimbabwe, Joe Seremane,
acting leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA), said today.

            Seremane said he would request Douglas Gibson, the party's chief
whip, to communicate this request to the Speaker of Parliament. "South
Africa remains one of the success stories on the African continent,"
Seremane said.

            "We should not squander either the goodwill towards us or the
investment opportunities for us by continuing to close ranks around the
despotic Mugabe regime. The South African government should also invest the
same amount of time and energy into restoring law and order in Zimbabwe as
it did in securing peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo," he added.

            The people of Zimbabwe needed South Africa to stand up for them
by: Sending a parliamentary delegation to Zimbabwe which will meet with all
stake holders, including the opposition and civil society organisations.
Releasing Australian Prime Minister John Howard's report on the progress to
democracy in Zimbabwe and publicly and officially denouncing Robert Mugabe's
human rights abuses. It should also exclude Zimbabwe from multilateral
institutions such as Nepad, until democracy is fully restored in that
country. - Sapa

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 NSPCA: 15 cattle maimed in Zimbabwe
            April 06, 2003, 12:30

            Fifteen cows were maimed at the Charleswood Estate farm in
Zimbabwe at the weekend, allegedly to harass Movement for Democratic Change
MP Roy Bennett, the Zimbwabwean National SPCA said today.

            Meryl Harrison, the Zimbabwean National SPCA chief inspector,
said some of the cattle's head, legs and shoulders were chopped with an axe
"not to kill them, but they are trying to harass Roy Bennett. "We find this
deplorable. We sympathise with the people but we do feel that people need to
be aware of the suffering of the animals, and it seems to be escalating."

            Harrison said she had just returned from the farm in the
Chimanichimani farming area, about 400km south of Harare, where the animals
received treatment. - Sapa
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From The Sunday Times (UK), 6 April

Commonwealth plotters try to exclude Charles

Nicholas Hellen and Christopher Morgan

The Prince of Wales has been warned of a plot to prevent him succeeding the
Queen as head of the Commonwealth, one of the monarch's most influential
surviving functions. Robert Mugabe, the president of Zimbabwe, is fomenting
demands to sever ties that have bound the royal family to the Commonwealth
since its foundation in 1949. Under one option, leadership of the club for
former territories of the British empire would be rotated among its 54
members after the death of the Queen. Mugabe's allies insist that their aim
is not to humiliate Charles but to prevent Britain from abusing its historic
influence over other Commonwealth countries. They blame it for Zimbabwe's
suspension from the organisation. The position of Don McKinnon, a New
Zealander who is the Commonwealth secretary-general, is also under attack by
Mugabe's allies. South Africa has accused him of improper behaviour in
securing a 10-month extension to Zimbabwe's one-year suspension. Dr George
Shire, speaking for the Zimbabwean high commission in London, said: "The way
the Commonwealth has been run recently takes us backwards by 20 years.
African heads of state have called for reform of the club. They think the
(Queen's) titular role has become tainted by being seen to coincide with the
Labour government's position on Zimbabwe. This is not a slight on Charles."

It is thought unlikely that a formal motion on severing the link to the
British throne will be discussed in December at the biennial conference of
Commonwealth heads of government in Nigeria. But Mugabe's plan, which has
been discussed with some other African leaders, may gather momentum. Derek
Ingram, an author and veteran observer of Commonwealth politics, said: "This
is a cunning move to embarrass Britain." George Kirya, chairman of the
Commonwealth Africa group and high commissioner for Uganda, said: "One could
argue for rotating the leadership to show that the old (white) Commonwealth
and the new have become an alliance of equals." One authoritative source
said that Charles was "devastated" at the prospect of being edged out. The
Queen regards the post as one of the most important and enjoyable of her
duties. One friend said: "She throws herself into it with an enthusiasm and
verve I have not seen her show elsewhere." The Queen is credited with
playing a vital role in ensuring that divisions over South African sanctions
in the 1980s did not lead to the organisation's break-up. She also helped to
achieve debt write-offs for Third World countries to mark the turn of the

Palace sources say Charles is anxious to step up his involvement in
Commonwealth business after years of apparent indifference. One courtier
said: "He once told me that the future of Britain lay in Europe and he
wouldn't mind never going to Australia again." During the 1990s his absence
from the Commonwealth Day Observance at Westminster Abbey was noted by
politicians, and officials at Marlborough House, headquarters of the
secretariat, suspected at one point that Charles wanted to move into the
building. Last month the prince attended the service at Westminster Abbey
but failed to show up at the evening reception at Marlborough House. The
Earl and Countess of Wessex attended instead. The Queen and the Foreign
Office have approved several initiatives to improve Charles's standing
overseas, under the guidance of McKinnon. Last month the prince attended
lunch with the Caribbean group of high commissioners and there will be more
such occasions. One insider said: "Those high commissioners will send back a
cable saying, 'I talked to Prince Charles and he's showing a fantastic
interest in what's happening in Trinidad,' for example." Another said: "Of
course, it would be undignified to be seen to be lobbying." A tour of
sub-Saharan Africa has been shelved for security reasons, but Charles will
increasingly take over the burden of overseas tours from the Queen. His new
role as president of the British Red Cross will increase his links with
Africa, and the Prince's Trust, his charity for young people, will announce
an expansion into Commonwealth countries. A spokesman for the Commonwealth
secretariat said: "The heads of government will decide who they want as
their next leader when the time comes."
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Sunday Times (SA)

Zimbabwe eases media curbs as pressure builds

Neighbours to send task force to investigate human-rights abuses
Ranjeni Munusamy and Sunday Times Foreign Desk

The government of Zimbabwe is bowing to international and domestic pressure
over its draconian media legislation.

The government told the Southern African Development Community's Organ on
Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation meeting in Harare this week that
it was amending the controversial Access to Information and Protection of
Privacy Act.

An amendment Bill is now under consideration by the Zimbabwean parliament.
It takes into account some of the concerns raised by the media fraternity
about provisions that led to the arrest of a number of local and foreign
journalists. The move is being seen as an attempt to ward off a
constitutional challenge by journalists.

The SADC meeting was also told that Zimbabwe is promulgating a Citizen
Amendment Act, which will extend Zimbabwean citizenship to all SADC citizens
who were resident in that country at the time of independence.

The legislation is aimed at resolving the predicament of about two million
farm workers of Malawian, Mozambican and Zambian origin.

Zimbabwe's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Stan Mudenge, told the meeting that
there was substantial destruction of property during the opposition Movement
for Democratic Change's recent mass stayaway.

That was in response to queries by SADC foreign ministers about reports of
mass arrests and beatings, which have outraged human-rights lobby groups.

Mudenge claimed that his country's laws guaranteed the right of individuals
to "demonstrate freely", as long as they were "peaceful" and acted in
accordance with the law.

The SADC will dispatch a task force to Zimbabwe this week to investigate
human-rights abuses and state repression in a bid to resolve the deepening

Mozambican Foreign Minister Leornado Simao, who chaired the meeting of the
organ, said the task force would tackle the Zimbabwe crisis head-on.

The SADC task force, comprising South Africa, Botswana and Mozambique,
Zimbabwe's neighbours, was appointed during the group's summit in Blantyre
in August 2001.

The team will meet a wide cross-section of Zimbabwean society, including
government and ruling Zanu-PF officials, the MDC and other opposition
parties, civil society groups and various stakeholders.

Simao said the task force would also examine ways in which the SADC could
thaw relations between Harare and the European Union.

While the region appears to have taken a firmer stance against Zimbabwe in
light of widespread condemnation of its human-rights abuses, the final
communiqué appeared to whitewash the matter.

"The meeting took note that those opposed to Zimbabwe have shifted the
agenda from the core issue of land by selective diversion of attention on
governance and human rights," the document said.

The Zimbabwean government reported that its land-resettlement programme had
been completed and that it had made an appeal to Britain to honour its
commitment to compensate white farmers whose land had been expropriated.

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Zim-Gateway Newsletter - Sunday 6 April 2003

Death by a thousand cuts

It seems that the cry is out that the MDC must take the people to the streets for a final show of mass action that will flush Mugabe and his subhuman thugs out of power.
We have already seen an MDC tactical error recently when they promised to march on State House. Any card player will know that you never show your opponents what cards you are holding in your hands. The illegitimate regime then placed their agents and thugs, both uniformed and not, at all the right corners and places to ensure that any marchers would get nowhere near State House.
So there was a mistake made by the MDC on this score. Let them learn from it and move on.
While no one underestimates the stress and strain under which the MDC have to operate they need to judge carefully “when to hold them and when to show them” to use a card playing analogy again.
They need to resist the demands of the hot heads for action as it is obvious that this “advice” also comes from Zanu-PF supporters as well and is a recipe for disaster. There is nothing that the regime wants more than the opportunity to slaughter freedom loving Zimbabweans on the streets all the while knowing that they get support from Mbeki and Obasanjo for “maintaining internal security.”
It is therefore vital that the MDC be guided by “doing what is least expected.” rather than what can be predicted with reasonable certainty.
While the MDC leadership waits and judges the correct timing to strike major blows at the heart of the illegitimate Mugabe regime the people at grass roots level must keep themselves busy hindering the regimes activities at every turn and at every opportunity.
At every dinner table in every home in Zimbabwe the question must be asked of every member of the family every day, “what did you do to the regime today?” No matter how small every patriotic Zimbabwean must do something every day to hasten the demise of this brutal regime. Let it be heard at every gathering of freedom loving Zimbabweans as people are asked “what did you do today?”
This is the way to bring down this disgusting regime in a manner of “death by a thousand cuts”. No satellite guided bombs needed just the relentless daily efforts of millions of Zimbabweans to make a small cut in the hide of the grotesque beast which rules by tyranny against the wishes of the voters of and citizens of Zimbabwe.
Aluta continua ... victory is certain.

What has happened to the boycott of Zanu-PF owned business?

Was this just another flash in the pan? Just another good idea that was supported for a week, or a day or maybe even one whole hour?
At the time of the mass stayaway the organisation Zvakwana posted a list of companies and businesses that refused to close. Again, what has become of that? Nothing as far as has been heard from any source.
What is the message that Zimbabweans are sending out to the world?
That while the brutal regime abducts, tortures and murders our fathers and brothers, assaults and gang rapes our mothers and sisters Zimbos continue to pour their increasingly scarce money into the pockets of Mugabe's henchmen and other supporters of the regime through buying from their shops and supporting their businesses. No wonder so little support is forthcoming from the international community ... they must think Zimbabweans are crazy ... and quite rightly so.
The history tells us that consumer boycotts where a powerful tool in the fight against the apartheid regime in South Africa and were very, very effective.
Time will tell whether Zimbabweans as a nation are willing to stand up and throw off the chains of their subjugation or are they like sheep prepared to continue to be led to their slaughter by successive regimes.
Let history not judge us harshly. Stand up and be counted.

Baroness Amos exposes the great Zanu-PF lie

Zimbabweans have long known that nothing, repeat nothing, claimed or stated by the illegitimate Mugabe regime can be believed.
This is all rather like the current Iraq coverage on TV. While we see journalists making reports from the Baghdad airport the Iraqi equivalent of Jonathan Moyo is assuring the people of Iraq that the battlefield is littered with dead US soldiers and the rest are running for their lives.
In a recent address Baroness Amos, the British Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs stated what all Zimbabweans know whether they admit it or not.
She said: "Robert Mugabe and his government will tell you three things.
"That unfair land distribution was the sole cause of the country's problems; that the United Kingdom opposed land reform in Zimbabwe because it wanted to protect the large share of the land owned by the white minority as a legacy of colonialism; that the United Kingdom reneged on commitments made under the Lancaster House Agreement to fund the land reform programme.
"They combine these points by saying that all their country's many problems are caused by a bilateral dispute with the UK. None of this is true."
She said inequitable land distribution was not the sole cause of Zimbabwe's problems, but that the country had been destabilised and impoverished by bad governance.
Amos said the country was now poorer than it was at independence and there was widespread State-sanctioned political violence, intimidation and harassment.

ZRP traitors protect brown bombers from eviction

In another case of complicity with the illegal actions of Mugabe's thugs know as the brown bombers the ZRP have proved once again through their protection of the thugs that the violent actions of these thugs are state sponsored and the ZRP are involved.
The police last month refused to help the Harare Municipality to evict Zanu PF youths from a council library and hall in Kuwadzana, and instead, advised the council’s municipal police against evicting the youths.
The Zanu-PF thugs occupied the properties in the run-up to the parliamentary by-election in Kuwadzana on 29 and 30 March. They subsequently turned the properties into bases from which they launched raids on suspected MDC supporters in the constituency.
The traitor in the ZRP who both protected the Zanu-PF thugs from eviction and went on to threaten the Municipality can be named, he is Superintendent H Dhlakama, the Crime Prevention Officer for Harare Province. Let it be known ... vachaona gore ratichatonga.

Don’t lose hope, Chinos

I would like to say to Joseph “Chinos” Chinotimba: don’t lose hope.
Remember, President Mugabe loves losers. Amos Midzi is now a minister after losing to Elias Mudzuri.
You may be in the running to replace Swithun Mombeshora. In the meantime, perfect your English by reading novels.
Meteng - Harare.

Masipula passes - swradioafrica

Professor Masipula Sithole, a prominent political analyst and academic, passed away in Washington early this morning. He had suffered a stroke at the weekend and had been placed in intensive care at a United States hospital. He has been Professor of political science at the University of Zimbabwe since 1980, and director of the Mass Public Opinion Institute, Zimbabwe's first polling organization, since 1999.
May his soul rest in peace

If you will protest courageously, and yet with dignity and Christian love, when the history books are written in future generations, the historians will have to pause and say, "There lived a great people - a black people - who injected new meaning and dignity into the veins of civilization” - Martin Luther King, Jr.

Woman raped in Zanu-PF provincial headquarters
The sad tale of violence and subhuman thuggery continues.
Mugabe supporter and long time Zanu-PF loyalist Richard Munthuli was so angry when he heard the results of the by-elections that he grabbed a woman passing by the Zanu PF provincial headquarters, the Davies Hall carried the woman on his shoulders and went with her inside Davies Hall where he raped her twice.
This unacceptable behaviour has become a trademark of Mugabe's Zanu-PF regime. Zanu-PF has become nothing more than a collection of thieves, abductors, torturers, rapists and murderers.
One wonders how this subhuman thug, Richard Munthali, rates his chances of survival once the Mugabe regime has been consigned to the dustbin of history. Maybe he like Mwale and others know they are doomed so they no longer care about what they do and how they behave.
In the meantime the Bulawayo magistrate Fadzai Mthombeni who is hearing the case needs to be acutely aware that the eyes of the nation are upon this case and carefully watching every move to see whether justice is seen to be done. Judges, magistrates and prosecutors who are found to have sold their souls and their integrity to the illegitimate Mugabe regime must not expect mercy when their patron Robert Gabriel Mugabe is thrown into Chikurubi and they are called upon to account for their role in the crimes against humanity committed by this regime.

Security forces must respect citizens
The Zimbabwe Civic Education Trust (ZIMCET) is concerned about the state’s response to the perceived national security risk arising from the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) ultimatum.
Although it is necessary to safeguard the nation’s security, this
should be done in a way which does not infringe fundamental human rights. Reports of the police allegedly harassing, innocent civilians at roadblocks are cause for concern.
In these times when everyone is concentrating on fighting the HIV/ AIDS pandemic and workers having three percent of their salary channelled to this cause, some rogue elements masquerading as army personnel are alleged to be forcing people to have unprotected sex.
Such messy killing is not acceptable in a democratic society that claims to uphold the rule of law and responsible citizens should not accommodate such behaviour. The army’s dissociation from the bogus soldiers alone is not enough. Full investigations should be launched into these incidents.
While ZIMCET does not challenge the enforcement of law and order, it totally condemns the panic expressed by the government and the police before, during and after the mass action organised by MDC. Evidence is abundant to the effect that suspects have been seriously tortured.
The law enforcement agents should be professional and ensure that every suspected person is treated with dignity without selective application of the law.
ZIMCET urges the commissioner of police, the commander of the armed forces and the responsible ministries to urgently address these concerns.
David A Chimhini – ZIMCET

The sentiments expressed here are supported but unfortunately are typically wishy-washy which is indicative of an emasculated civil society. Why do we not hear that these so-called champions of human rights commit themselves to document and ensure prosecution through the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the absence of law and order in Mugabe's Zimbabwe? Why are these thugs and their masters not being put on notice that once the Mugabe regime collapses they will have nowhere to hide? Why are they not promised that they will be hunted down like the subhuman animals their behaviour tells us they have become? Ed

Strike the iron while it is hot
Now that the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has awoken from its political slumber, the more reason for the opposition to stay awake.
The state’s oppressive machinery is now fully in motion and they shall try by all means to force the MDC into the political wilderness.
If they fail, I am sure Chihuri and company will lose their jobs. The state has declared war on civil society, human rights and dignity.
I salute Tsvangirai for his stance — giving Mugabe an ultimatum whilst he (Tsvangirai) is facing charges of treason.
The various reports of brutal assaults going on around the country are a sign of an impending confrontation between the state and the masses. One famous African writer said: " . . . justice for the oppressed comes from a sharpened spear."
If we thought civil disobedience and unrest were not a reality in Zimbabwe, then think again, the worst is yet to come. It is now a fight for freedom, a true liberation struggle like the one against Smith’s regime.
The President, if he does not know, has very little time to act.
The police and other state agents should see the future; you honestly don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see that the end of Mugabe’s rule is imminent. All these brutal abuses are going to give us the fuel we need to sustain the flame of a mass rising. The time is near.
To the leaders of the opposition I say strike the iron while it is still hot (simbi inorohwa ichapisa).
Paradzai Hondo - UK

I used to support mugabe until i saw the light ,i realised that he cares about no one but himself and his cronies. i went to school in CHINHOYI HIGH with a certain governors son, today mercedes tomorrow cherokee, tomorrow mecedes, why because they fought in they war.
MY HEROES DIED IN ThE WAR, TONGOGARA AND THE REST, SO THAT WE WOULD STOP BEING BUTCHERED BY SMITH. THE WORLD WAS OUTRAGED BUT NOW PEOPLE SEEM TO BE CONTENT WITH mugabe (i wont even spell his name in capital letters) starving his people while a percentage of the population live in luxury, well all i have to say is, hitler fell,stalin fell, SMITH FELL,and you will fall.
at least smith was fighting with MAGAMBA EDU, who were armed, but you mugabe are slaughtering civilians like BOTHA, NGOZI UCHAIONA
Luther - UK

Mwale – the Mugabe thug with a deathwish - swradioafrica
Chimanimani CIO operative Joseph Mwale has had a busy week victimising opposition officials and supporters. On Wednesday Mwale was part of a team that brutally assaulted workers from Roy Bennett's farm, leaving a security guard named Makaza with serious injuries.
Today it is alleged that Mwale forced an employee at Agritex in Chimanimani to leave his job and get out of town. Mark Matanga is said to have helped the families that were dumped at a bus station by Mwale and inspector Chogugudza. By helping the stranded families, Matanga was accused by Mwale, of being sympathetic to the MDC.

Bennett's farm workers – the saga continues - swradioafrica
Manicaland governor Oppah Muchinguri and ZANU-PF coordinator Jen Knight made a personal visit to the families stranded at a Chimani town bus stop this afternoon.
The families were evicted illegally from Roy Bennett's Charleswood Estates by inspector Chogugudza and CIO agent Joseph Mwale last week. Muchinguri offered them their jobs back and some food after announcing that Bennett's farm now belongs to ARDA.
To her surprise, the workers refused to accept her food, and said they would not go back to Charleswood until Roy Bennett himself addressed them.

Invasion of Zim now inevitable
The ultimatum the Movement for Democratic Change has given the ZANU PF government must be taken seriously.
Here in Britain, the news is that an invasion of Zimbabwe is inevitable after the war against Iraq’s Saddam Hussein. This is already public news, as private rumours that have been circulating for months within Westminster are now been confirmed in Press reports.
It is thought that the invasion would be led from the western side — Botswana — since Bulawayo is an opposition area that can be easily liberated.
So it seems a second revolution of Zimbabwe will soon be knocking on our doorsteps, Gushungo!
Josiah Mhashuwe – London

SA churches condemn violence in Zimbabwe
THE South African Council of Churches (SACC) has deplored the deteriorating human rights situation in Zimbabwe and says it will support fellow churches in the country fighting against government repression.
Molefe Tsele, the SACC general secretary, in a solidarity message to the Zimbabwe National Pastors’ Conference, said:“The situation in Zimbabwe has been going on unabated for a period exceeding a year by now with reports of human rights violations.
“We are pained by the fact that this occurs simultaneously with the famine that has engulfed the region, therefore, inflicting pain and poverty to many who are weak and vulnerable.”
The South African clergy’s message came after riot police arrested and detained 23 pastors outside the Police General Headquarters in Harare on 28 February as they demonstrated against police harassment and brutality.
Sadly this is a case of too little too late. Apart from Catholic Archbishop Pius Ncube who has been a beacon of hope in the struggle for the rest the inactivity of the church leaders across the board has been nothing short of disgraceful. One of the processes needed in the post Mugabe era is for the churches to purge themselves of the gutless cowards who remained silent while the people of Zimbabwe were being brutalised by the subhuman Mugabe regime. Ed

Zanu-PF and Chinotimba whipped
I see zanu pf got their corrupt arses whipped by the MDC in the local elections (again) despite their blatant attempts at rigging and intimidation.
That illiterate imbecile Chinotimba has gone off with his tail between his legs (again).

Let Mugabe and his thugs be assured that their crimes against humanity will come back to haunt them - swradioafrica
As we have been reporting there has been a massive crackdown of opposition supporters in the country since the stay-away. At least 28 MDC members in Kadoma were arrested immediately after the mass action. Some of those detained include Kadoma Central MP, Austin Mundawana. He was finally granted bail Friday after spending two and a half weeks in police custody. Mrs Mupandawana says she only saw the MP 3 days after he had been arrested during the stay-away. She says during those three days, he was beaten and denied food. Mupandawana and 28 MDC members spent 2 and half weeks in police custody and were only granted bail this morning. They were denied bail even after the 7 days stipulated under the Public Order and Security Act.


The following names of members of the police force and the CIO are repeatedly being mentioned by hundreds of MDC activities who have been arrested and tortured while in custody.

We appeal to the families, relatives and friends of these officers to restrain them. Think about the future ... your futures!
Joseph Mwale Dhliwayo
Masvimbo Mavangira
Mutema Mathema
Makedenge Maranji
Chogugunda Masvongo
Mabunda Musariri
Muchaonyererwa Moyo
Khumalo Detete
Kawasekera Sibanda
Mukoli Mashavave
Tsvarai Nyatsine
1. Shirichena - DZ Police
2. Jonga - Kuwadzana
3. Chikande - Harare Central
4. Skhova - Harare Central
5. Nyathi - Southerton
6. Shumba - Harare Central
7. Chiyake - Harare Central
8. Dzowa - Harare Central
9. Dowa - Harare Central
10. Duwa - Harare Central
1. Manyengwa - Marondera Law & Order
2. Chapisa - Marondera Law & Order
3. Muuya - Marondera Law & Order
4. Mike Chinove - Marondera CIO
5. Sydney - Marondera Law & Order
6. Bvukumbwe - Marondera Law & Order
7. Andrew Muzonzini - Marondera CIO
1. Phinias Mwakaliwa - Headlands
2. Ngewa - CID Masvingo Central
3. Mlilo - CID Masvingo Central
3. Hove - ZRP Masvingo Central
4. Muchengadawa - ZRP Masvingo Central
Midlands North
1. Mudadi- Ass Insp. Head of Operations KwekweCentral Police
2. Chaminuka - (PISI)
3. Panganai - (Recently Transferred)
4. Zimbangu - (PISI) Amaveni Station
5. Dube - (PISI) Amaveni Station
6. Zvavagora - (PISI) Amaveni Station
7. Chikanda - (PISI) Amaveni Station
8. Pasipatorwa - (PISI) Mbizo Station – Now at Marondera rural
9. Sadomba - Mbizo Station - Now Marondera Rural
10. Muza - CIO Dist. Commanding Officer
11. Hungwe - CIO
12. Godfrey Sengweni - CIO
13. Mvenge
14. Chawasarira - Redcliff Police Station
15. Nkomo - Majora Police Station – Gokwe
16. Jiri - (Now at Mbizo)
17. Marange Official Commanding OperationsGokweCentral
18. Dube CIO
19. Majongosi
20. Jowa (PISI) – Kwekwe Central
21. Millies Zhombe Police
22. Cst Ncube Rio Tinto
23. Insp. Humba Gokwe East
24. Mutora Nembudziya
25. Zvavagora Amaveni
26. Mampala CIO – Kwekwe
27. Insp. Musindazi Officer in charge – Mamina
28. CST Moyo Kadoma Central
29. Dispol Miner Makaza Kadoma rural
30. Magwemise ZRP Kadoma
31. Insp. Chidhuza Gokwe Central
32. T.K. CIO Gokwe Central
Midlands South
1. Sgt Shumba
2. Munangangwa Cst - Mkomba
3. NcubeSgt - Gweru Central
4. Shereni Sgt - Gweru Central
5. Masuka Dispol – Nehanda
6. Mudenge Cst - Gweru Central
7. Ngazimbi Cst - Gweru Central
8. Mawarire Sgt - Lower Gweru
9. Ncube - Mutapa
10. Sibanda Sgt - Gweru Rural
11. Maidei Sgt - Gweru Rural
12. Moyo - Nehanda
13. Mangena - Mkomba
14. Homu - Nehanda
15. Mkwalo – OIC Nehanda
16. Mamomembe Sgt - Mkomba
17. Garidzania Sgt - Nehanda
18. Mataruse – OIC Mberengwa
19. MaguneyiSgt - Gweru Central
20. Moyo CST – Mtapa
21. Shumba Sgt – Senga
22. Ncube Sgt – Senga
Mash East
1. Masholondengu - CIO Murewa Centre
2. Banda - CIO Murewa Centre
3. Muzonzini - CIO Chivhu
4. Bison Nyagura - CIO Marondera
5. Spritantent Tsvarai - CID Marondera
6. Chipembe - CID Marondera
7. Auther Nyamuzuwe - CID Marondera
1. Marange Mbare Chief Superintendent
2. Stanley Marise Cst - Mbare Post
3. Dhliwayo Detective Insp. - Law & Order – Harare central
4. Matsvaimbo - Law & Order – Harare central
5. Makedenge - Law & Order – Harare central “
1. Mbedzi D Insp.- St. Mary’s
2. Mtombeni Insp. - Goromonzi District
3. Sanyateve Ass. Insp. - Goromonz District
1. Banda - Law & Order – Bulawayo Central
2. Gwenzi OIC – Nkukumane
3. Sibanda Law and Order – Bulawayo Central
4. Ladla Law and Order – Bulawayo Central
5. Mhene CID – Gwanda
6. Shoko Insp. – MIC – Gwanda
7. Dende CID – CABS Building – Bulawayo
8. Insp. Martin Matira Bulawayo Central
9. Ngwenya Bulawayo Central
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