Harare: Representatives of
Zimbabwean women who have suffered rape, torture and victimisation under
President Robert Mugabe's regime have called on South African women to help
lobby President Thabo Mbeki's government to end its support for the Mugabe
The Zimbabwean women, represented by the Women of Zimbabwe
Arise (Woza) lobby group, joined South African women in celebrating Women's
Day this week.
They performed an emotional play at
Johannesburg's main Methodist church complex, depicting how Zimbabwean women
have suffered under Mugabe's regime.
At the gathering, Walter
Sisulu's daughter-in-law, Elinor, author of a biography on Walter and
Albertina Sisulu, chronicled the suffering of the Zimbabwean women and spoke
at length about how South African women could help their Zimbabwean
She also told of the suffering of women in other
parts of Africa, including the Sudan, Swaziland and the Democratic Republic
of the Congo.
Woza representatives have been arrested several
times. In their play they described the harsh treatment their leaders had
received in jail, incarcerated in tiny cells without flushing toilets. In
winter they had to sleep close to each other to keep warm after being
Last month the police stormed the Woza head
office in Harare, claiming to be searching for weapons of war, subversive
materials and inflammatory pamphlets meant to "incite the overthrow" of
Woza spokeswoman Jenni Williams said the
police had not found anything, yet had "proceeded to burn copies of the
newsletter and later arrested 73 women" She has been jailed 13
Williams said the Zimbabwean women had come to South Africa
as part of their mission to build a community of sisterhood in African
countries that could apply pressure for change in Zimbabwe.
Williams said Mugabe's late mother would most probably not have approved of
the crimes being committed by Mugabe's militia against women in Zimbabwe. She
said Mugabe knew well the power of women in mobilising against his misrule,
if they chose to do so.
Masechaba Mabaso, the founder of South
Africa's Inter-denominational Women's Prayer League, lamented the much
publicised extravagance of Mugabe's wife, Grace, while the rest of Zimbabwe's
women suffered. - Independent Foreign Service
ZIMBABWEAN President Robert Mugabe has for the first time
outlined the criteria his party will use to select his successor when he
retires in 2008.
Mugabe told his ruling Zanu (PF) mouthpiece, The Voice,
at the weekend that only "honest" candidates with liberation struggle
credentials would be considered. "I look at someone who will appeal to the
people and who the people will have chosen naturally as having the qualities
of a leader," he said.
"We must have honest leaders and that comes
The 80-year-old Zimbabwean ruler who has been in power for almost
24 years said he would not accept a corrupt leader.
Mugabe said this
week that he would continue to crack down on graft, even if it meant
arresting his relatives.
This puts potential successors in a fix.
Mugabe's perceived heir apparent, Emmerson Mnangagwa, has been linked to
several corruption cases although he has consistently denied the
Mugabe said his successor should also have a record of
participation in the struggle against British colonial rule.
be) someone naturally with a political record of participation in the
struggle and one who cherishes the principles and objectives of Zanu (PF) and
who is also people-oriented and knowledgeable in other ways,"
"We want a successor who will cherish our revolutionary gains
and ensure these are a national preserve."
This effectively shuts out
the so-called Young Turks such as former finance minister Simba Makoni. It
also thwarts ambitious junior ministers such as Information Minister Jonathan
Moyo from ascendancy.
The criteria favour the old guard and make
ministers such as John Nkomo, Sydney Sekeramayi, Didymus Mutasa and Dumiso
Dabengwa potential frontrunners in the succession race.
Mugabe said he
would not accept a "stupid fool" or people with money to buy their way into
His unusual remarks came ahead of the ruling party's December
congress, at which new leaders will be elected for five years.
congress, which party spokesman Nathan Shamuyarira has said will be
a "watershed event", is expected to come up with a major shake-up of
the party's fossilised leadership and command structure.
Pretoria - How
safe is the stability of the Southern African Development Community (SADC)?
How much pressure do the US/UK/EU governments exert on the now vulnerable
southern African state, Botswana? Which type of covert diplomatic games are
being played to manipulate interference by African armed forces to bludgeon
change on behalf of the international west in Angola, Malawi, Namibia and
Botswana played a major role towards the exclusion of
Zimbabwe from the British Commonwealth, when it was the only SADC-member that
distanced itself from SADC's unanimous decision to bring Zimbabwe back into
the mould of the said Commonwealth in Abuja, Nigeria, in December last year.
Botswana's decision was made clear in a letter construed by a certain Jeff
Ramsay, an American spokesman operating from the Office of Botswana's
President Festus Mogae. Ramsay seems to be employed by Botswana's Ministry of
Foreign Affairs and International Relations, but positioned in the Office of
the President. Highly placed officials in Gaborone explain apologetically
that it was the US Embassy in the capital that strongly recommended the
former headmaster, Ramsay, to the government of Botswana.
American professor of history at the University of New York and one of the
most celebrated intellectuals in the US, Niall Ferguson, claims in his new
book and television series under the title Colossus, that the problem of most
African states "is simply misgovernment: corrupt and lawless dictators whose
conduct makes economic development impossible", a school of thought zealously
nurtured by colonial-apartheid whites throughout sub-Saharan Africa and
elsewhere. "Intellectuals" of such "calibre" and the US Foreign Policy seem
to obviously assert to "direct rule" over sovereign countries with elected
governments that "require the imposition of some kind of external authority",
meaning that imperial Washington should ultimately govern. Today, it is
common knowledge that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) controls the
economies of most of the so-called Third World, particularly those of
sub-Saharan Africa. Poor nations were forced to structure their economies to
accommodate international financial speculators and corporate theft that
plunder Africa to the benefit of the manufacturing industries of the G-8
countries, the very same countries that are supposed to support
Well-informed sources in Gaborone, speaking as concerned
citizens, insist that Botswana, as host of SADC Headquarters, seems to be
pressurised to force its neighbour, Zimbabwe, to rid itself of President
Mugabe and his Zanu PF rule. Botswana's geo-political position in southern
Africa; its willingness to cooperate with the US/UK alliance; an unbalanced
economy perceived to be strong, which explains the neglected infrastructure;
the strength of the currency, the Pula and its position as host for the
SADC Headquarters have created a situation for that country, to be
pressurised into accepting the role of a "Trojan Horse", a role that could
endanger the stability of the region. This gives the plea of the concerned
citizens from Botswana credence, when they demand that the SADC Headquarters
should be spread throughout the SADC on a rotating basis, similar to the EU,
if the region wants the SADC to be effective.
The US/UK currently
seem to find it too difficult to directly interfere in Zimbabwe, Namibia and
Malawi, as their forces seem to have their plates filled to capacity in
Afghanistan, Iraq and the Mid-East. Despite continuous efforts by Botswana's
minister of foreign affairs, who last year went to great lengths to assure
the region that its territory is not being used as a springboard into the
region by foreign forces in their ef-forts to destabilise, it has come to the
attention of SADC member countries, according to the highly placed and
reliable sources in Gaborone, that every time members of the government of
Botswana meet with the ambassador of the US and the high commissioner of the
UK, those government officials go onto public platforms to express their
concern about the situation in Mugabe's Zimbabwe. The government in Gaborone
has also become vocal in its criticism of crimes committed by economic
refugees from Zimbabwe, who nowadays make out about one-tenth of Botswana's
population. As many Zimbabweans are detained and deported, the relations
between Botswana and Zimbabwe grow in hostility, those highly positioned and
reliable sources observe.
Meanwhile, the Botswana government has
undertaken to improve its relationship with its eastern neighbour,
particularly by developing a framework for a "Standing Committee on Defence
and Security". This would be just another covert manner to monitor
developments in Zimbabwe, the above reliable sources complain. They further
express their fears that Botswana's foreign policy of "silent diplomacy",
particularly for the SADC, allows their country to be covertly used to
initially undermine the Zanu PF led government in Zimbabwe. Well-informed
sources within the SADC member countries point out that Botswana's role
becomes clearer now, to be one that compensates for the positions lost so far
by the regional organisational structures of the international West. However,
Botswana's government does not disclaim the principle of "African
solidarity", as it is also not open about its cooperation with the US/UK/EU,
so the concerned sources in Gaborone explain. They further add that the
levels of close cooperation with the US/UK/EU include intelligence and
Meanwhile, the establishment of American
military bases and British police schools on Botswana territory have not gone
unnoticed in Harare. Zimbabwe's Ministry of Foreign Affairs is openly
critical of such developments. Another bone of contention within the SADC is
the position of the relay station of the "Voice of America" in Botswana,
blasting US-propaganda in its daily broadcasts into the region, a station
that under Reagan/Kissinger and Bush Senior described African national
liberation movements as "communist terrorists". It is thus small wonder that
informed sources in the SADC refer to Botswana as the "fifth column" of the
US/UK/EU. The latest of the above international foreign axis policy of
"anti-terrorism" provides a cynical legitimacy for interference in countries
perceived to accommodate "terrorists", or allow their territories to be
infiltrated by such "evil forces". That policy motivates the establishment of
army and more particularly, police schools in southern Africa. Highly
reliable sources in Botswana insist that the US government in particular
shares such "anti-terrorist training programmes" with its Botswana
They explain that in 2003, American instructors prepared
about 30 policemen from Botswana at an International Academy in their fight
against terrorism. In addition, the UK government assisted the Botswana
police with a programme to improve structure, methods of operation and the
sub-division of the police force. The abuse by a super-power such as the US
and its allies, of their foreign policy against world terrorism by directly
or indirectly interfering in the internal affairs of sovereign states,
renders smaller nations vulnerable and even fearful. Specially trained
anti-terrorist police sub-units of countries sympathetic to the international
West's efforts to destabilise a country and/or a region and funded by
Washington/London, could put those exposed to the wrath of such forces under
enormous pressure. The reliably informed sources also claim that particularly
leaders with a history of liberation struggle in Africa could become first
victims of the international West's "anti-terrorist operation in southern
Africa" with the help of neighbouring African armed forces and from their
territories. History will show whether Botswana and leaders from other
African countries will allow the international West to use them as their
mercenaries in covert "Trojan Horse" or "fifth column" structures to
overthrow their own kith and kin in fellow African countries that refuse to
cow tow the neo-colonial foreign poicies of the US/UK/EU and therefore are
condemned as "terrorists".
CIVIC SOCIETY SEEKS TO PUT ZIMBABWE ON SADC SUMMIT
AGENDA Thurs 12 August 2004
JOHANNESBURG - Civic and
non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Zimbabwe are trying to push the
situation in Zimbabwe on to the agenda of the annual heads of state and
government meeting of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). The
summit will be held in Mauritius next week.
Zimbabwe Lawyers for
Human Rights director Arnold Tsunga told ZimOnline they would use a provision
in the SADC Treaty to put pressure on the Council of (foreign) Ministers.
The Council meets from Friday to Sunday and will decide on the agenda for the
'The SADC protocol provides for civil society to be
involved in all SADC matters. Using articles 4 and 23 we will be able to make
submissions to the leaders and hope that from the evidence we present them,
Zimbabwe would be included on the agenda.'
Article 4 calls on
member states to uphold the rule of law, democracy and human rights. Article
23 reads in part: 'In pursuance of the objectives of this Treaty, SADC shall
seek to involve fully the people of the Region and non-governmental
organisations in the process of regional integration. SADC shall co-operate
with, and support the initiatives of the peoples of the Region and
non-governmental organisations, contributing to the objectives of this Treaty
in the areas of co-operation in order to foster closer relations among the
communities, associations and people of the Region.'
relations manager at SADC's secretariat in Gaborone Esther Kanaimba confirmed
that civil society groups could use SADC statutes to make their case heard.
Kanaimba said they would have to present their case through the SADC council
of NGOs, as individual country representatives are not allowed to address the
council of ministers.
'They can present their case or whatever
documents to the council of NGOs. It is the council of NGOs that will take
the matter up to the relevant authorities. The council of ministers is an
inter-government meeting which cannot just be addressed by
Tsunga said his group wanted to highlight ongoing human
rights abuses in Zimbabwe, continued failure by the state to uphold the rule
of law and a proposed NGO Bill that, if enacted, lawyers say would virtually
banish all civic groups involved in democracy and human rights
Zimbabwe's Foreign Affairs Minister Stan Mudenge, who is
expected to block attempts to include his country on the SADC agenda, could
not be reached for comment. ZimOnline
Zimbabwe's information chief Moyo runs into more flak from his
comrades Thurs 12 August 2004
BULAWAYO - Senior ZANU PF
politicians in the Matabeleland region are joining forces to block Minister
of Information Jonathan Moyo's growing influence in the party, ZimOnline has
Sources said ZANU PF and state Vice-President Joseph
Msika and party chairman John Nkomo were behind the effort to bring down
Moyo, who also comes from Matabeleland.
Other members of the
anti-Moyo group are Zimbabwe National War Veterans Association chairman
Jabulani Sibanda, and the governors of Matabeleland North, South and Bulawayo
provinces, Obert Mpofu, Angeline Masuku and Cain Mathema.
group has already moved to thwart Moyo by opposing his candidacy for the
Tsholotsho constituency in Matabeleland North province in next year's
general election. Instead they decided to back Mathema as ZANU
Moyo declared earlier this year that he wanted
to contest the constituency. At present he is an unelected Member of
Parliament, appointed by President Robert Mugabe under a clause in Zimbabwe's
constitution which allows the state president to personally appoint 30
parliamentarians to the House.
Analysts say as an unelected MP
despite using his control of the state's media empire to increase his
influence and power - Moyo still lacks a personal power base. He has little
chance of winning an election in his urban home, Harare, which, like all
other urban areas is a stronghold of the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC). He needs to contest and win in his rural home of Tsholotsho in
order to strengthen his position in ZANU PF.
But sources said
the ZANU PF Matabeleland leaders, whose backing Moyo needs, have even
'enlisted the help of local traditional leaders to garner support for Mathema
(Moyo's rival candidate) to ensure that they mobilize their subjects into
voting for Mathema instead of Moyo."
Mathema confirmed he was
standing for Tsholotsho. 'The people of Tsholotsho have already shown their
support for me and I am definitely going to submit my application to contest
the primary election. As far as I am concerned, there has been no confirmed
candidate for the area, hence I stand a chance of getting the sole ticket to
represent the party.'
Neither Moyo, Nkomo nor Msika could be
reached for comment on the matter. ZANU PF nominates candidates for
parliamentary elections through a system of primary elections through which
local party supporters choose their preferred candidate.
who is said to be working with the group opposed to Moyo, said the
declaration by Moyo that he wanted the Tsholotsho ticket was null and void
because Moyo could only be ZANU PF's candidate if the party chose him during
the primary elections.
"We have a way of selecting candidates to
represent us in elections. We are not going to allow anybody to use shortcuts
into representing the party. The people should choose their representative,"
Once one of Mugabe's most outspoken critics, Moyo has
emerged as the most committed defender of the Zimbabwean leader since
changing sides four years ago. But his use of state media to advance his
views and to attack senior party leaders has earned Moyo the wrath of many of
ZANU PF's big wigs. ZimOnline
University lecturers to interrupt capping ceremony Thurs 12
HARARE - Disgruntled University of Zimbabwe (UZ)
lecturers announced they will disrupt the capping of students by President
Robert Mugabe on Friday to protest poor salaries and working conditions at
the state institution.
The lecturers said they had already given
the Ministry of Higher Education, which oversees state universities, notice
of their plans. They told ZimOnline that they would also boycott lessons when
the university opens next month.
Outgoing secretary of the UZ
Association of University Teachers James Mahlaule said, "Lecturers continue
to be abused and treated as second class professionals. At our meeting
lecturers resolved to go on strike to ensure that our demands are clearly
understood. It would appear like no-one is prepared to address our
Mahlaule said the association had resolved to disrupt
the graduation ceremony presided over by Mugabe, who is chancellor of the UZ,
to force the government to act on their grievances.
vice-chancellor Levi Nyagura could not be reached for comment. A secretary in
Nyagura's office said he was out attending meetings. About 3 000 students are
expected to graduate in various disciplines. It is a long standing tradition
for Mugabe to cap graduates at the country's oldest university.
Set up by British educationists decades ago, before Zimbabwe's independence
in 1980, the UZ developed into one of the biggest and most respected
universities in Africa. Its links with the University of London helped add
prestige to the institution.
But critics say years of under-funding
and mismanagement have brought down standards. Strikes by both lecturers and
students clamouring for better pay or food have almost become an annual
[ This report does not necessarily
reflect the views of the United Nations]
JOHANNESBURG, 11 Aug 2004
(IRIN) - The South African Grain Information Service's weekly import/export
charts indicate that between 2,000 and 6,000 mt of maize was being exported
to Zimbabwe every week from April until the first week of July, a total of
almost 40,000 mt.
Over the same period, about 23,600 mt of maize from the
United States, as well as 19 mt from Argentina, also made its way through
South Africa to Zimbabwe, according to the import/export
Grain SA, the South African grain growers' association, said the
export figures included food aid donations to Zimbabwe.
government has forecast a bumper maize harvest of over two million mt since
the beginning of this year, but other analysts have consistently warned the
crop was likely to be well below national demand.
Marketing Board last week said it had received about 119,000 mt of maize from
local farmers since the beginning of the marketing season in April. The
country needs at least 100,000 mt of maize every month to feed its
Zambia's Food Reserve Agency (FRA) told IRIN last month that it
had received export queries from Zimbabwe, but Charles Chabala, FRA's
director of operations, said on Wednesday no maize had been exported,
although a trade mission was expected to visit Zimbabwe.
Vulnerability Assessment Committee calculated earlier this year that 2.5
million people in rural areas would require food assistance in the 2004/05
marketing season. A similar number of urban poor are likely to be in need of
A food relief agency official said, "The importation of almost
40,000 mt of maize is only the beginning - we expect the amount of grain
imported by Zimbabwe to increase by the end of this year."
The Southern African Catholic Bishop's Conference has urged
the international community to take stronger action including sanctions
against the governments of Zimbabwe and Sudan.
The two week conference
which ended today in Durban, also announced a total of R16 million for the
fight against Aids in the region. South Africa is home to 27 000 recognised
refugees mainly from the African continent. With the continuing violence in
Darfur, Sudan, this number is set to increase.
The plight of refugees and
the human rights abuses in Zimbabwe and Sudan topped the agenda at the
conference. It also concluded that the African Union and the United Nations
impose sanctions on these governments.
The church has pledged R16 million
to fight against Aids. Four hundred people from South Africa and Botswana are
presently receiving anti-retroviral drugs through a Catholic Church
initiative. The funds will also pay for the care of Aids orphans.
Zimbabwe's Sports Minister Aeneas Chigwedere accused
Britain on Wednesday of pressuring Greece into barring him from attending the
Athens Olympics and described the decision as "completely out of
"Olympics are an international event, they are not a European
Union thing, they are not an African Union thing, they are like the UN. In my
view it is completely out of order," Chigwedere told AFP in an
EU member Greece announced on Tuesday it would bar Chigwedere
from attending the Olympics, in line with political sanctions against
Zimbabwe for human and civil rights violations.
"We can't force our
way, but it does not make any sense that our team goes but the minister is
not allowed. I know they were put under a lot of pressure by Britain," the
Chigwedere is not allowed to enter EU countries since his
name is on a list of 95 top government officials blacklisted by the
President Robert Mugabe is also barred from the EU but
he has over the past two years been allowed to attend UN conferences in
Chigwedere was supposed to accompany the Zimbabwe team
participating in athletics, tennis and swimming competitions at the
In February, EU interior and justice ministers adopted an extended
list of 95 Zimbabwean officials who are banned from entering EU countries and
a freeze on their assets.
Sibanda Last updated: 08/11/2004 21:00:19 INFORMATION Minister, Jonathan
Moyo is today set to be arraigned before an investigating committee appointed
by Zanu PF's decision making body -- the Politburo -- over his conduct
following vitriolic attacks on senior ruling party
Politburo and other high-ranking officials were on Tuesday mum
on the issue, insisting that politburo discussions were for the politburo
alone and not for public consumption.
Nathan Shamuyarira, Zanu PF's
information and publicity secretary, said it was taboo for him and other
party and politburo members to discuss the goings-on in the politburo to
members of the public as this action had far-reaching effects.
is a politburo issue which cannot be discussed in the public domain as it is
for the party members and not for the public," he said.
refusals to discuss the issue, The Daily Mirror newspaper reports growing
despondency among senior Zanu PF officials over the manner in which Moyo has
been conducting business in recent months.
Senior party officials who
have been subjected to Moyo's tirades include national chairman, John Nkomo,
Vice President Joseph Msika (over the Kondozi farm issue), Shamuyarira and
other officials among the old guard of the former PF Zapu.
to sources, a discussion on Moyo's conduct was raised during a politburo
meeting last week by retired General Solomon Mujuru, Thenjiwe Lesabe, and
Dumiso Dabengwa, among others, who are said to have asked President Mugabe to
"cut Jonathan Moyo to size".
They said the continued attacks on the
party's senior members could have an adverse effect on the party's campaign
come next year as people could regard the goings-on as clear confusion
reigning supreme in the party.
Said one source: "Some of the politburo
members questioned Moyo's continued attack on the party's official
mouthpiece, The Voice (formerly known as The People's Voice), saying there
was supposed to be harmony between Moyo's office and that of the
Moyo attacked the paper after it reported that there were
discussions between the ruling Zanu PF and the opposition MDC over electoral
reforms proposed by the cabinet. Moyo described The Voice editor, Lovemore
Mataire as "ideologically confused" and accused him of publishing
"It is appalling that an editor of an organ of
the ruling party can get it so wrong," a statement from Moyo's office
However, Mataire hit back through a "Candid Brief from the Editor"
last week saying, "As an editor, I will not be intimidated by individuals
whose dubious past always haunts them to a level where they are now
evidently suffering from a serious megalomaniac disease - trying to cover up
for the time that they were on the other side of the political
Mataire ominously ended: "I am not a prophet, but let it be
known that the people who are watching in silence are surely not stupid or
dummies. One cannot continue insulting everyone in the party without any
reprisals. In Shona they say: Kana ngoma yoririsa inenge yoda
The Voice, which is the official mouthpiece of the ruling
party, had hitherto played second fiddle to Moyo's department even on party
matters. But this week the paper declared that it was reclaiming "its
rightful status as the mouthpiece of the party" and would, in that regard,
launch a "Presidential column to be written by the First Secretary and
President of the party, RG Mugabe."
Party sources disclosed to the
Daily Mirror that although The Voice had successfully sought an exclusive
interview with President Mugabe, which was subsequently published in this
week's issue, officials from Moyo's office sneaked in the Sunday Mail's
political editor and Moyo's blue-eyed boy, Munyaradzi Huni to also cover the
The sources said President Mugabe is said to have expressed
strong reservations at this invasion of what was essentially supposed to be
an exclusive interview with the party mouthpiece. Daily Mirror
Reporter Last updated: 08/11/2004 19:24:56 ZIMBABWE'S foreign currency
auction, which was introduced last year as part of tough economic reforms,
faces collapse due to inadequate foreign currency inflows, New Zimbabwe.com
Market analysts told New Zimbabwe.com that for the past
three months bids for the greenback, which have been averaging US$300 million
have gone unsatisfied after the Reserve Bank only managed to raise an average
According to information obtained from the
currency auction market in Harare on July 24, auction number 54, a total of
1170 business people and individuals placed bids for US$40 million while
the Reserve Bank only had US$9 million resulting in 757 people failing to
The auction market was introduced as an attempt
to snuff out the thriving parallel market which has recently seen
foreign currency rates steadily increasing over the past few
Economists predict that the foreign currency auction will get a
further knock as a scheme dubbed Homelink which enabled Zimbabweans in the
diaspora to send money home through official channels faces imminent
Patson Mashingaidze, a business man in Harare, says the failure
of the auction market has had a serious effect on business.
suffocating the parallel market at the same time failing to raise the foreign
currency. The result has been disastrous," he said.
receipts of companies associated with the Homelink programme have taken a
nose dive after Reserve Bank governor, Gideon Gono, announced that money
transfer organizations are no longer going to make pay-outs in foreign
currency. Zimbabweans living in the diaspora are reportedly snubbing the
Homelink programme and are sending their money to Zimbabwe through irregular
HARARE, Aug. 10 (Xinhuanet) -- At least 37 cars
were reduced to shells on Tuesday when a raging fire gutted two adjoining
garages along Seke Road, opposite Prospect Industrial Park in Harare, capital
Most of the burnt vehicles belonged to customers
who had brought them for servicing at AG and Kazembe Motors, and Dube Mazda
Aaron Kazembe, owner of AG and Kazembe Motors, said
about 17 cars were engulfed by the blaze at his garage while 20 others
wereburnt at the adjacent Dube Mazda Motors.
An employee of
AG and Kazembe Motors said they managed to save two cars in the
An eyewitness, who refused to be named, said the fire
started at around 4 p.m. (1400 GMT) when a five-year-old boy lit a thatched
enclosure around one of the garages.
Kazembe, however, said
he was not sure of the cause of the fire,but said some eyewitnesses told him
that it was not the child but some batteries at the garage caused the fire.