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

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Zim Online

Tues 31 August 2004

      HARARE - The Zimbabwe government is understood to have put the police
on high alert to thwart protests planned for tomorrow by the National
Constitutional Assembly (NCA) against a proposed new law that will severely
restrict non-governmental organisations (NGOs) activities in the country.

      The NCA is a coalition of churches, labour, opposition political
parties, civic and human rights bodies. The group four years ago
successfully mobilised Zimbabweans to reject a government draft constitution
which it said would have further entrenched President Robert Mugabe's hold
on power.

      Police spokesman Oliver Mandipaka confirmed that the law  enforcement
agency had received a letter from NCA
      chairman Lovemore Madhuku giving notice of the planned protest. But he
would not confirm nor deny that the police were on high alert to stop the

      Under the government's Public Order and Security Act, Zimbabweans must
seek police approval before holding political meetings or demonstrations.

      Government sources told ZimOnline that all  police officers who were
on leave or off duty this week had been recalled and put on standby as the
law enforcement agency mobilised resources and manpower to stop the

      "We will not allow it (protest) to go ahead. As we speak we are
recalling all the officers who are on leave and off duty to be on stand by,"
said one senior police officer.

      In a letter to the police this week, Madhuku wrote: "The demonstration
is seeking to communicate our disapproval of the NGO Bill which was gazetted
on 20 August 2004.

      "The NCA believes the Bill is a piece of madness in which the
government seeks to take away rights and freedoms bestowed upon us by the
Creator. This is the point we will make in a very peaceful  way."

      Madhuku said demonstrators will march from Harare's Africa Unity
Square to the Parliament building.

      The NGO Bill, which is expected to be signed into law when Parliament
resumes in October, requires NGOs to register with a government-appointed
council. NGOs will also be banned from receiving foreign funding and from
undertaking work related to human rights and governance issues. ZimOnline

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Zim Online

State seeks to impound suspected mercenaries' plane
Tues 31 August 2004

      HARARE - The government will next month seek court approval to
confiscate a Boeing 727 aircraft and equipment seized from 69 suspected
mercenaries arrested at Harare International airport earlier this year.

      The equipment which includes military boots, clothing and cash was
seized from the suspected mercenaries after their arrest in February.

      Harare magistrate Mishrod Guvamombe has already cleared the men of
charges that they landed in Harare to pick up weapons they wanted to use to
topple Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo.

      Guvamombe will on September 10 sentence the men on lesser charges of
violating Zimbabwe's immigration and aviation laws. The men, most of whom
hold South African passports, have already pleaded guilty to the charges.

      Senior officials at the Attorney General (AG)'s office, who did not
want to be named, told ZimOnline that state prosecutors will ask Guvamombe
to grant the government permission to impound the plane, cash and other
goods illegally brought into country by the 69 men.

      "The state will apply for permission to confiscate the plane, cash,
clothing and boots taken from the mercenaries. This will be done on 10
September when the final judgment will be delivered," said one senior
official at the AG's office.

      It could not be immediately established how much cash was seized from
the suspected mercenaries.

      Former British Premier, Margaret Thatcher's son, Mark, is being held
in South Africa on allegations of having helped bankroll the aborted coup.

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Zim Online

Electoral commission fails to pay monitors
Tues 31 August 2004

      HARARE - The Electoral Supervisory Commission is failing to raise more
than Z$1 billion in allowances for thousands of civil servants it hired to
monitor registration of voters between May and July this year.

      The civil servants on whom the commission relies to monitor elections
were each promised a daily allowance of $130 000 for 75 days from May 1 to
July 14.

      Commission spokesman Thomas Bvuma confirmed it still had not paid the
civil servants: "Yes I can confirm that the monitors who supervised the
voter registration exercise early this year still have not been paid but we
hope to do so in the near future."

      Bvuma said money originally allocated to the commission for use in
monitoring voter registration was used up supervising by-elections in
Zengeza, Gutu North and Lupane constituencies.

      He said the commission had requested for more money from the
government but could not say when the government was likely to release the

      The commission, which is appointed by President Robert Mugabe and is
controlled by former military men, is tasked with ensuring that elections
are free and fair.

      Critics accuse the commission of being too beholden to Mugabe and his
ruling ZANU PF party to be fair. They also say the commission is seriously
under-funded thereby compromising its effectiveness.

      The government has however indicated that it will set up a new
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission that it says will be independent and will have
enough resources to ensure democratic elections in the country. ZimOnline
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Zim Online

Doves strike halts burials
Tues 31 August 2004

      HARARE - Hundreds of bereaved relatives and friends failed to bury
their dead yesterday after workers at Zimbabwe's largest funeral company,
Doves Crocker Morgan, went on strike for more pay.

      The bereaved, some of them weeping, could be seen yesterday
desperately pleading with officials at Doves' Kwame Nkrumah Avenue branch to
be allowed to take the bodies of their deceased relatives to other funeral

      The Doves branch normally conducts 20 burials a day compared to only
five burials yesterday.

      Chairman of Doves' 450 workers, Simplisius Chirinda, said: "We downed
tools today after realising that management had failed to effect the 25
percent increment awarded to us. The industrial action has affected all
Doves branches and we will only return to work after management pays."

      The funeral industry has agreed to award workers a 25 percent salary
increment to cushion them against an ever rising cost of living. Management
at Doves could not be reached to establish why the company had not awarded
its workers the agreed salary raise.

      But the funeral home has like most Zimbabwe companies been reportedly
facing financial difficulties because of the harsh operating environment.

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Zim Online

Churches in bid to pursuade Mugabe to drop NGO bill
Mon 30 August 2004

      BULAWAYO - The Catholic Church in Zimbabwe plans to meet President
Robert Mugabe and Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa to persuade them to
drop a proposed new law that will severely restrict non-governmental
organisations (NGOs) as well as churches from carrying out human rights

      Archbishop Pius Ncube told a meeting of NGOs and other denominations
last Saturday that a delegation comprising two Catholic bishops will soon
approach Mugabe and Chinamasa's offices to try and set up the meetings.

      Ncube said leaders from other churches in Zimbabwe are also going to
be invited to the proposed meetings which could be arranged within the next
two weeks.

      The church leaders will also approach other government departments
that work with NGOs and churches to oppose the bill.

      Observers say the clergymen face a mammoth task in persuading the
government to drop the proposed new legislation.  Yesterday, Mugabe told
mourners attending the burial of late ZANU PF politician, Eddison Zvobgo,
that his government was going to toughen its stance on NGOs. He accused them
of being used by Britain and the USA against his government.

      The bill introduces compulsory state registration for NGOs active in
the field of human rights and governance.  In addition, the proposed new law
will bar NGOs from receiving foreign funding.

      From the 1970s, when churches,  especially the Catholic church,
supported Mugabe and his guerilla army fighting for independence, religious
groups have continued to play an important role in human rights work.  The
Catholic Church's Justice and Peace Commission is one of Zimbabwe's biggest
and most respected human rights watchdogs.

      Christians Together for Justice and Peace hosted the Bulawayo meeting.
Its Secretary general Reverend Graham Shaw told  ZimOnline: "It (the NGO
Bill) fails to recognise that part of our work and mission is to respond -
in practical and material terms - to human needs. That is where the conflict
is bound to arise." ZimOnline
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Zim Online

Goods worth US$ 125.000 recovered at Botswana border post
Mon 30 August 2004

      FRANCISTOWN, Botswana -  Police in Botswana have recovered stolen
goods worth 500 000 pulas (about US$ 125.000) along the Zimbabwe border.

      The goods were discovered last week hidden in bushes close to the
border near Francistown. Police Assistant Superintendent Brian Tome said
they suspected illegal immigrants from Zimbabwe might have stolen and
stashed away the goods.

      The goods included computers, DVD players, refrigerators, bedroom
suites, HI-FI and television sets,  and various other household appliances.

      "We are still investigating where the goods might have been stolen
from. We call upon members of the public to come forward and identify their
goods as this will assist us in our investigations", Tome said.

      He said crime in villages close to Botswana's frontier with Zimbabwe
was on the increase and police would intensify patrols along the border.

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The Scotsman

Alleged coup leader Mann 'tortured'


BRITISH soldier of fortune and former Scots Guard officer Simon Mann, the
alleged leader of a failed African coup d'état, has been specially targeted
for systematic torture by guards in Zimbabwe's notorious Chikurubi Prison,
according to two suspected mercenaries released from the jail this weekend.

"Simon is bearing the brunt of the torture," said Harry Carlse on arrival at
Johannesburg International Airport from Harare, the Zimbabwe capital. "But
he's strong. He's holding up as best he can."

Mr Carlse was one of 70 alleged mercenaries arrested in Zimbabwe on 7 March
and charged with firearms and immigration offences in connection with an
alleged plot to overthrow Teodoro Obiang Nguema, the dictator president of
Equatorial Guinea, a small state with such vast newly discovered oil
reserves that it has a per capita income greater than that of Saudi Arabia
and an annual economic growth rate of 65 per cent.

Mr Carlse and fellow South African Jacobus Horn were the only two imprisoned
men to be found not guilty of all charges as the mercenary trial reached its
end in Chikurubi last Friday. Mann faces a jail sentence of up to 15 years
after he was convicted of firearms and immigration offences. He will be
sentenced in two weeks time.

Both Mr Carlse and Mr Horn said they were stripped naked and beaten during
interrogations in Chikurubi and threatened with electrocution if they did
not answer questions.

"Chikurubi is a terrible place," said 40-year-old Mr Carlse, who owns a
Johannesburg security company. "All prisoners there are treated in a
completely inhumane way. They beat us up with sticks for the first three
weeks before we got access to our lawyers. I slept in leg irons and
handcuffs for a week and a half."

Mr Carlse said prisoners were frequently denied water and he and 24 fellow
prisoners in a collective cell had been unable to flush their toilet for up
to two weeks at a time. Food was abysmal, an unvarying diet of maize, gruel
and cabbage which had contributed to his 14 kg weight loss.

"Guys got ill because of malnutrition, and a lot of them are going down with
malaria," said Mr Horn, who formerly worked as a bodyguard to Nelson Mandela
and the South African president, Thabo Mbeki.

As details of the elaborate alleged plot to overthrow Mr Nguema trickle out,
the Scorpions, South Africa's crack anti-corruption squad, which arrested
Mark Thatcher in Cape Town last Wednesday in connection with the alleged
coup, said the key allegation against him concerned an aircraft leasing
company, Triple A Aviation, he owns in Bethlehem, a small rural town in the
Free State.

Thatcher, son of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, is under
house arrest until he pays a record £165,000 bail before he reappears in a
Cape Town court in three months time.

The Scorpions' accusation is that Thatcher, 51, put one of Triple A's
twin-engine King Air turboprop planes at the disposal of Severo Moto, the
leader of an Equatorial Guinea government-in-exile in Spain. The plane flew
Mr Moto from Spain to the West African country of Mali last March. The plan,
according to the Scorpions, was for Mann to launch his coup against Mr
Nguema in the dead of the night of 7 March in Malabo, the Equatorial Guinea
capital. Thirty minutes after Mann's men began storming the presidential
palace, Mr Moto was to be flown in from Mali aboard the King Air to be
declared the new president.

Thatcher's arrest and Mann's conviction has caused a storm of conjecture,
much of it contradictory, in South Africa and innumerable cartoons and
satirical columns.

Today, the trial of eight South Africans, six Armenians and five Equatorial
Guineans continues in Equatorial Guinea in a gaudy meeting hall redesigned
for the occasion and guarded by soldiers.

Equatorial Guinea has not asked for Thatcher's extradition and says it will
not consider doing so until it has weighed all the evidence. But it has
asked Zimbabwe to extradite Mann.

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Pretoria News

      Pair tell of horror jail conditions
      August 30, 2004

      By Thomas Hartleb

      When they arrived at Johannesburg International Airport at the
weekend, two of the alleged 70 mercenaries detained in Zimbabwe recounted
the abuse suffered at the hands of Zimbabwean authorities.

      Harry Carelse and Jacobus Horn were released from Harare's Chikurubi
Maximum Security Prison after having been acquitted by a Zimbabwe magistrate
on charges of "conspiracy to possess dangerous weapons".

      However, they will present themselves to the Scorpions today as they
could be charged in South Africa under laws preventing citizens from being
involved in mercenary activities.

      The two were part of a group of 70 alleged mercenaries arrested on
March 7 at Harare International Airport.

      Carelse and Horn arrived with their lawyer on a scheduled South
African Airways flight from Harare.

      They received a jubilant reception from friends and family and were
mobbed by reporters and photographers.

      Looking tired but clean, Carelse told reporters he had lost 14kg in
Chikurubi prison under conditions he described as "terrible" where
overcrowding and disease were rife and nutrition and access to medical care

      He also told of how he had been stripped naked and interrogated,
beaten and forced to sleep in handcuffs and leg irons.

      "The justice system in Zim sucks," said the security consultant from
Randburg, adding that they were given no access to legal representation
during the first three weeks after their arrest.

      Horn told how they had been forced, under threat of electric shock
treatment, to make statements to police.

      Their lawyer, Alwyn Griebenow, said the two men still had criminal
charges pending in South Africa.

      "We've been in contact with the Scorpions for the past four months and
there is a case we will have to answer to," he said, adding that they would
present themselves at the Scorpions' office today.

      Asked how the remainder of the prisoners back in Harare were feeling
now that the two of them had been released, Carelse said: "They are
overjoyed that some of us are out because they see it as a sign that they
will soon be released too."

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The Herald

Fuel prices go up

Fuel prices went up at the weekend with private oil importers citing the
massive recent price increases on the international market.

Petrol at most filling stations is now being sold at around $3 500 a litre,
up from $3 200, and diesel now costs an average of $3 600 a litre, from the
previous $3 100 before the increase.

However, some outlets still had old stock which they were selling at the
unchanged price, consequently drawing long queues and conducting brisk

Fuel retail companies set prices independently after the Government
liberalised the oil industry last year, but the difference in pricing
between them rarely amounts to more than $200 per litre.

This is the first fuel price increase this year after a marginal drop at the
beginning of the year following the strengthening of the local currency
against most major currencies, particularly the United States dollar, when
the auction system was introduced.

Private importers cited the astronomical fuel price increases on the
international market for the upward review of prices of fuel and said a
weakening local currency had also contributed to the increase.

Oil prices hit 21-year highs of over US$46 a barrel in the last two weeks,
driven by production uncertainties in Iraq and Russia, two of the world's
major exporters.

The prices have since eased back slightly, but the benefit for oil importing
nations like Zimbabwe would only be felt months from now because of forward
trading of the commodity on the international market.

The Zimbabwean dollar has weakened in recent days, under heavy importer
demand at the Reserve Bank auction floor, contributing to the spiralling
import costs of fuel retail companies.

The Petroleum Marketers Association of Zimbabwe - whose members import the
bulk of the country's fuel needs - recently said a rise in the price of fuel
was inevitable in view of the two factors.

Association chairman Mr Masimba Kambarami said existing prices were no
longer viable due to rising procurement costs, and an adjustment in price
was unavoidable.

He was unavailable for comment yesterday.

The Minister of Energy and Power Development, Cde July Moyo, said Government
would keep watching fuel price movements to prevent profiteering by fuel

"Yes, the price has gone up and it is because of the rising procurement
costs. The price of fuel on international markets has gone up by between
five and seven US cents, and, therefore, an adjustment couldn't be avoided,"
he said.

He said Government would crack down on oil companies found profiteering.

"We are watching and monitoring the situation. We don't expect the companies
to take advantage of the situation and profiteer," he said.

Cde Moyo urged fuel companies to make more use of the pipelines from Beira
to Harare to reduce transport costs.

The bulk of the fuel in Zimbabwe is brought into the country by road, which
is very expensive and increases the retail price to the end-consumer.

Cde Moyo and the Acting Finance and Economic Development Minister Cde
Herbert Murerwa said the fuel price increase would have a negative effect on
the economy, which is showing increasing signs of recovery from a long

This was likely to be more the case in the country's battle against
inflation, currently at 362 percent.

"Clearly this will have a negative effect on the economy, and will have to
be addressed quickly," said Cde Murerwa. - New Ziana.
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The Herald

Norton Town Council losing millions: audit

Herald Reporter
A SPECIAL audit on the operations of Norton Town Council over the past six
months has revealed that the local authority is losing millions of dollars
through fraud, embezzlement and mismanagement.

The report alleges massive fraud schemes involving some of the council
workers, officials and councillors and that this could also involve some
Agricultural Development Bank of Zimbabwe (Agribank) employees.

Scanning the council's bank accounts, revenue collection records, payments
and investments for the period October 1 2003 to March 31 2004, the audit
report unearthed astounding mistakes and anomalies in the council

"Not all deposits made by the council were reflected on the bank statements.
This was despite the fact that the deposit slips would have been stamped by
the bank teller as deposits received," reads part of the report.

Some of the deposits not reflected on bank statements but confirmed by the
bank teller's stamp and signature on cheque and deposit slips indicate that
the council lost over $10,3 million in just eight days.

"There were also incidents when individuals sometimes made transfers from
personal accounts to the council's accounts or vice versa," said the audit.

Suspecting "some degree of connivance between the council employees and the
bank employees", the auditors expressed "alarm" at the frequency and
magnitude of identified mistakes and anomalies.

The audit report added that while bank statements show a malfunction of the
council bankers' system, "however, the magnitude and frequency of the
occurrences leaves the council's administration to blame since this depicts
lack of a cash control measure".

The council reportedly also lost undisclosed millions through fraudulent
activities, whereby authorisation of payments were made by the recipients or
payees of the cheques and councillors usurping administrative
responsibilities of council officials by authorising payments of all council

The 11-page audit report also revealed said: "In 90 percent of the payments
checked, payments were made on the basis of quotations, requisitions,
photocopied or faxed invoices. This system is prone to double payments and

The report gave 12 examples of cases were payments worth more $28 million
were made where there were no invoices, no quotations, or any supporting

The council could have also lost more millions through its flawed fuel
allocation system with individuals being allocated cash to purchase fuel but
not obliged to produce receipts as proof that the fuel was purchased.

Acknowledging that the 10 days during which the audit team conducted its
findings were not enough to "disclose all the prejudices the council
suffered", the auditors, however, added that:

"We note with concern that the council is incurring some expenses which are
irrational considering the market value of the transactions."

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The All-Africa Students Union, AASU, the commanding height of all students’ organizations in Africa, representing over fifty four member unions across Africa, wishes to register its concerns over the continued attack against her member, the Zimbabwe National Students Union.
AASU notes with great concern that students in Zimbabwe are being denied the right to organize, assemble and express themselves which right have been seriously eroded by the various laws enacted by the government of Zimbabwe.
We also note that a number of Students in Zimbabwe have been allegedly tortured, beaten or threatened by the alleged agents of the state or those acting with the states’ tacit support. A case we actively followed through the International Union of Students. Batanai Hadzizi, a student of University of Zimbabwe who was brutally murdered by member of the Zimbabwe Republic Police in a room at University still concern us. No prosecution has been made to date despite a court inquest ruling that a student was murdered. We are still disturbed by the murder of Lameck Chemvura by members of the Zimbabwe National Army in 2001.
Further, we are disturbed by the continued harassment and arbitrary arrests of Students leaders and activists. We note that in the past three years, over seventy student leaders have been suspended or expelled from Universities and colleges for political and other reasons.
AASU notes the report of the African Union on Human Rights violations in Zimbabwe and is informed in its policy towards Zimbabwe by this and other reports. We believe that reports of rights violations coming out on Zimbabwe cannot lightly be dismissed as propaganda. We instead believe that the best way to refute such allegations is to stop the violations.
We implore the government of Zimbawe to safeguard the very freedoms on which our African independence is founded. We are deeply convinced that as a continent we can never move forward if we keep our people shackled through the same instruments on which the colonizer relied on.
In this regards, we call on the government of Zimbawe to give respect to the African Union Charter on Human People’s Rights, the NEPAD charter, the SADC conventions ECOWAS, and other regional and continental charters which define the relationship of the state and organized society.
We salute the effort of the new Chairman of the African Union, President Olusegun Obasanjo and we hope that he will continue his intervention. While we call on our member Unions other friendly organizations to be steadfast and rise in Unison against the evil been perpetrated in Zimbawe. Our victory is certain.
Aluta continua!
Issued at the United Nations Headquarter, New York on Thursday 26 August 2004 and signed by:
Amb. OGUNLANA, Oludare
Secretary-General, AASU
27th August 2004.
End Persecution of Non-governmental Organizations
We the students of the West African sub-region under the aegies of the West African Students' Union (WASU) are seriously concerned that the proposed Non-Governmental Organisation Bill of the government of Zimbabwe's ruling party ZANU-PF threatens the independence of non-governmental organizations, in particular of those organizations that work to promote and protect basic human rights.  President Robert Mugabe's government should demonstrate its commitment to assisting the Zimbabwean people by cooperating with and supporting civil society groups, rather than seeking to control and attack them.

The requirement that all NGOs submit applications for registration to a government-controlled council would adversely undermine the essential ingredients for the independence of NGOs.  Such a council could refuse such applications on broad, promidial and vague grounds, or can delay its decision for months, effectively blocking an organization's activities.
The board can also choose to cancel an organization's registration on broad grounds, or impose restrictive conditions upon it.  Decisions of the board can be appealed only to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare.  The Minister also has the power to interfere in the running of an organization by, among other things, suspending members of its Executive Committee.  As you are well aware, this particular power was declared unconstitutional in 1997 by Zimbabwe's Supreme Court.
The right to freedom of association, enshrined in Article 22 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as well as in Article 21 of the Zimbabwean Constitution, includes the right of an association to operate effectively and independently.   The Non-Governmental Organisation Bill would severely restrict the enjoyment of this right to association and would unduly burden and intimidate both non-governmental organizations and human rights defenders with heavy government control and interference in their activities and funding.
The proposed Non-Governmental Organisation Bill illustrates a disregard for the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders and Crusaders, which recognizes that "for the purpose of promoting and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms, everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, at the national and international levels:
(a) to meet or assemble peacefully;
(b) to form, join and participate in non-governmental organizations, associations or groups;
(c) to communicate with non-governmental or intergovernmental organizations."
We hereby urge the government of Zimbabwe to end its persecution of non-governmental organizations and individual human rights defenders.  The government must ensure respect for freedom of _expression, assembly and association, as guaranteed in the Zimbabwean Constitution and international human rights treaties to which it is a party and signatory.  The government should act in accordance with the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders and ensure that individuals and organizations working to promote human rights in Zimbabwe are able to operate without let or hindrance or threat of retaliation.  At this time of crisis in the country, the efforts of NGOs are particularly important.  The government should demonstrate its commitment to assisting the Zimbabwean people by cooperating with and supporting civil society groups, rather than seeking to control and attack them.
From our regional office, we shall continue to monitor these issues closely.  Thank you for your attention to these most serious matter.
Com. O'Seun A. R. ODEWALE mpin., mcsn., macs.
Exec Sec-Gen, West African Students' Union (WASU)
Civil Society Focal Point, ECOWAS Secretariat,
60, Yakubu Gowon Crescent, Asokoro District,
PMB 401, Abuja(91001)-NGR
m-NGR +234.803.452.0020; m-GH +233.244.729.130
fax +234.9.314.3005; +234.9.523.5120
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Sunday Times (SA)

PE lawyer tells of Zimbabwe ordeal

Monday August 30, 2004 09:13 - (SA)

By Lourens Schoeman

Port Elizabeth lawyer Alwyn Griebenow last night told of the trauma he
endured while representing the men in Chikurubi prison in Zimbabwe.

Speaking from his home, Griebenow said representing the 70 men - accused of
planning to overthrow the government of Equatorial Guinea - had been the
most emotionally draining experience of his career.

"There were many days when I felt I was fighting a brick wall and wanted to
quit. But then I looked at the faces and into the pleading eyes of the men
sitting opposite me and I knew I dare not give up - that I had to continue
to fight for them to the bitter end," he said.

"It was very difficult, especially in the beginning when there were so many
questions, not only from the men in jail, but from their families as well.
Every one had their own needs and much of my work did not involve legal
representation, but dealing with their families' emotions."

Griebenow said one of the pilots, Herman Hamman, for example had a cattle
farm and he was basically running the farm from the prison cell.

Griebenow said the past few days, and Friday in particular, had been very
emotional, mainly after the acquittal of Harry Carlse and Lourens Horn.

"The men are very happy for Harry and Lourens, but also very sad and
depressed because they had to return to their cells until September 10."

He said the men were clinging to the little hope that existed.

"There is no real optimism among them because they have learnt the hard way
that promises made there do not necessarily happen," said Griebenow.

"I am positive that all will end well, as I believe that all the prayers
that have gone up for the men in the past six months will bring them home
just as it did Harry and Lourens."

The spontaneous cheers as he and the two acquitted men entered the SAA plane
in Harare and the popping of champagne corks when they were on their way to
Johannesburg International Airport, were happy moments he would always
cherish, he said.

"I will also remember how I saw the shoulders of Harry's brother Johnny,
sitting a row or two in front of me, shake uncontrollably as he wept with
joy at having his brother on the plane with him after months of almost no

It was, however, not plain sailing for them to board the plane.

"The plane had to be held back for us as the customs people would not let us
through. They held us at the airport from 11am till after 1pm and at one
stage tried to separate me from them by taking my passport and saying that I
must go with them to sort the matter out. They stamped my passport and said
I must board the plane. I realised something was wrong and I ran to where
Harry and Lourens were. Shortly afterwards they escorted us to the plane and
only left once the doors were closed behind us," he said.

Griebenow said accused Louis du Preez's twin brother, who always accompanied
him to Zimbabwe, was happy for the two freed men, but upset that his brother
had to stay behind.

The case also had a huge impact on Griebenow's own family - his wife, Ronel,
eight-year-old son Alwyn, and daughter Anmarie, 11.

"I had to go to Zimbabwe about four times a month and the one time I had to
stay there for three weeks. It was a huge disruption, but they stuck with me
throughout the ordeal."

Griebenow will represent the two freed men at a meeting with the Scorpions
in Johannesburg today.

Eastern Province Herald
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Business Day

False new dawn for Zimbabwe

THE protocol on principles and guidelines governing democratic elections,
agreed on by Southern African Development Community (SADC) leaders at their
recent summit in Mauritius, represents a landmark in the region's democratic
transition. It offers Zimbabwe a chance to break with the past and make a
new beginning to ensure security, freedom, liberty, prosperity and a better
life for its people.

Before the summit, Zimbabwe's opposition party, the Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC), urged regional leaders to focus on securing consensus around a
set of standards that could have a meaningful effect on strengthening the
region's nascent democratic culture, institutions and processes.

The protocol that was agreed on provides the SADC with a regulatory
framework within which it can achieve these democratic objectives.

The SADC consensus on comprehensive election standards and the African
Union's declaration on the principles governing democratic elections in
Africa send out an unequivocal message to the outside world that Africa is
moving in the right direction.

This concept of a new beginning filters down to the micro level. The people
of Zimbabwe desire a new beginning so they can get jobs, food on their
tables and enjoy secure and prosperous lives by ending the cycle of chronic

But these aspirations can be achieved only in a stable and democratic
political dispensation that protects and promotes fundamental civil and
political rights, particularly their right to choose a government in free
and fair elections. The government's signing of the Mauritius protocol in
theory lays the foundations for a new Zimbabwe. If the government acts in
the spirit of the agreement, Zimbabwe's latent democracy will flourish.

However, President Robert Mugabe's signing of the protocol was an exercise
in political expediency. If his government subscribed to the principles in
the agreement Mugabe would have returned to Zimbabwe and committed himself
to comprehensive political and electoral reforms. This did not happen.

Instead, just after his return to Zimbabwe his government signalled its
contempt for democratic values by gazetting a draft nongovernment
organisation bill containing provisions that continue the government's
sustained determination to crush all organised centres of opinion at
variance with that of the Zanu (PF) government.

It is this death of tangible evidence that the Mugabe government is prepared
to enforce the SADC guidelines that prompted the MDC's national executive to
unanimously agree to suspend the MDC's participation in all forms of
elections in Zimbabwe.

We believe it is the height of hypocrisy for any leader to sign an agreement
endorsing these democratic freedoms when in his own backyard he is
simultaneously sanctioning the organic growth of a framework of repression
that has thus far spawned a violent youth militia, resulted in the closure
of three independent papers and stripped citizens of their basic rights of
freedom of speech, assembly and association.

For the people of Zimbabwe the resultant loss of democratic space caused by
this violent and self-serving political agenda is no longer the primary
source of their pain. They have gone beyond this. This agenda provoked the
scarcity of jobs and food. Democratic concerns are now subordinate to the
needs of basic survival. This is how far Zimbabwe has sunk under Zanu (PF)
rule. This is how retarded Zimbabwe's national development has become. This
is why we need a new beginning.

Mugabe's intransigence visà-vis acting in accordance with the spirit of
Mauritius and kick-starting a new beginning for Zimbabwe to alleviate the
suffering of the people makes it incumbent on other SADC leaders to put
diplomatic pressure on the Zanu (PF) government to comply fully with the
elections charter. Internal and international pressure must be applied
resolutely to be enough to bring Mugabe and his government to their senses
and restore the democratic freedoms of the people of Zimbabwe freedoms that
were secured through the heroic liberation struggle whose primary purpose
was to secure the sovereignty of the people to select and constitute a
government of their choice through regular, free and fair democratic

The credibility of the SADC will be on the line if Zimbabwe fails to comply
in full with the agreement on elections standards. SADC leaders must send
the Zimbabwe government a clear message that the country risks diplomatic
isolation at the regional level if the government refuses to honour the
undertakings made in Mauritius.

If Africa is to build on the solid foundations created by the establishment
of the African Union and the adoption of the New Partnership for Africa's
Development, the progressive leaders who were at the vanguard of these
developments and who are leading Africa's renaissance now need to take a
firmer stance against those who make a mockery of the standards on which the
African renaissance is founded. Zimbabwe should not be allowed to hold the
SADC and Africa to ransom while hiding behind violent, intolerant, cynical
and selfserving pseudo-nationalist and panAfricanist ideology born out of
nothing more than a desperation to hold on to power against the wishes of
the people.

Zimbabwe desperately needs a new beginning for an economic recovery that can
bring jobs, food security and prosperity to all. That new beginning requires
as a first step restoration of democratic elections and general freedoms
through the application of the SADC protocol on elections as adopted in

Prof Ncube is MDC secretary-general.
Aug 30 2004 07:48:53:000AM  Business Day 1st Edition

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S.Africa Charges 'Mercenaries' Freed by Zimbabwe
Mon Aug 30, 2004 10:14 AM ET

By Peter Apps
PRETORIA (Reuters) - South Africa charged two of its nationals under
anti-mercenary laws Monday, three days after they were freed by a Zimbabwean
court hearing accusations they were plotting a coup in Equatorial Guinea,
their lawyer said.

Harry Carlse and Lourens Horn returned home at the weekend after being
acquitted on a weapons charge by a court in Zimbabwe, where the pair say
they were stripped, beaten and threatened with electric shocks in a top
security jail.

"They have been charged under the Regulation of Foreign Military Assistance
Act. They will receive a summons to appear in court, most probably next
week," lawyer Alwyn Griebenow said after meeting police in Pretoria with
Carlse and Horn.

"We have negotiated that they will not be arrested today," he said.
"Obviously we are liaising with the Scorpions and the investigating team and
we will do what is best for our clients," he said, referring to South
Africa's equivalent of the FBI.

Officials said the two men might be able to strike a plea bargain.

Mark Thatcher, son of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, was
arrested in Cape Town last week, accused of financing the March coup attempt
in oil-rich Equatorial Guinea.

Griebenow said another 68 South Africans in the case and awaiting sentencing
in Zimbabwe, most for contravening immigration laws, would also likely be
charged on their return.

Equatorial Guinea is trying a separate group of 19 men, mostly foreigners,
it accuses of involvement in the coup plot. The man accused of leading the
group, South African Nick du Toit, has admitted taking part and prosecutors
are pressing for the death penalty.

Griebenow said Carlse and Horn could face up to 15 years in jail if

But Makhosini Nkosi, spokesman for the National Prosecuting Authority, said
previous convictions under the anti-mercenary legislation had not resulted
in jail terms.

"We believe they have contravened the Regulation of Foreign Military
Assistance Act. The act prohibits people from taking part in any military
activity outside the borders of the republic without the permission of the
authorities. They had no permission," Nkosi said.

Asked if a plea bargain was possible, he said: "The door is open. If they
would give us information that we would not otherwise have, that would make
their situation better."

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From The Daily News Online Edition, 30 August

War vets leader turns heat on ministers

A senior war veterans'leader has accused senior Zanu PF officials and
Cabinet ministers of using criminal methods to retain their parliamentary
seats ahead of next year's legislative polls. Jabulani Sibanda, the national
chairman of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association
(ZNLWVA) said war veterans felt betrayed and exposed in the face of
calculated terror campaigns against them by senior Zanu PF politicians. His
comments come in the wake of an orgy of violence perpetrated against war
veterans and Zanu PF supporters by a terror group led by Anti-Corruption and
Anti-Monopolies Minister and Makoni North Member of Parliament Didymus
Mutasa and Shadreck Chipanga, the Makoni East MP. Chipanga is a former
director general of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) and also the
Deputy Minister of Home Affairs. The war veterans chairman singled out
national party chairman John Nkomo whom he accused of neglecting his
responsibilities. Nkomo was unavailable for comment yesterday. His mobile
was not being answered.

Sibanda said: "We have criminals that daily purport to be politicians. Some
of these people have been hiding for a number of years as top politicians
yet in reality they are top criminals. The party will defend itself against
these kinds of people. I can assure you that these criminals who claim to be
senior politicians will be exposed. Genuine cadres will prevail. There are
some people who have acquired positions and maintained close links with
criminals to secure their positions. It is quite stupid for somebody at that
level who claims to be a national leader to remain silent when things get
bad. The national chairman does not need to be urged to investigate the
violence against Cde Kaunye and other party supporters." A senior Zanu PF
official in Manicaland on Friday said the provincial Zanu PF executive would
appeal to Nkomo to set up a commission of inquiry to establish how Mutasa,
Chipanga, the vice-chairman of Zanu PF and other members of the District
Coordinating Committee (DCC) became involved in the violence that rocked

But Sibanda said the leadership positions Nkomo and others held meant they
had to be responsive to the needs and aspirations of the grassroots people.
"That is irresponsibility at its highest level," Sibanda said. "Where should
we go to complain if senior people like Mutasa, who is a member of the
politburo go on to terrorise others. These people believe the general people
merely exist to vote them into power. Leadership is responding to
responsibilities. If Nkomo fails to respond to these issues, there would be
no reason for him to remain as national chairman." Meanwhile retired Major
James Kaunye, the provincial chairman for the ZNLWVA in Manicaland and the
aspiring Member of Parliament for Makoni North on Friday vowed to instill
discipline among members of his association who allowed themselves to be
used in violent terror campaigns. Kaunye's comments follow the attack on him
and his supporters in Makoni by Mutasa. Last Sunday, Mutasa led a
five-vehicle convoy of his supporters that included Chipanga, to attack
individual war veterans and Zanu PF activists who are backing Kaunye and
Nathaniel Mhiripiri ahead of the party's primary elections set for October.

Kaunye said: "Mutasa is now a warlord in Makoni where he terrorises people
who support us. He is losing ground and I will not rest until he is out of
that constituency. I have managed to woo support through sincere meetings
and sound campaign messages. War veterans who allow themselves to be weapons
of cruelty and torture against fellow party members will be disciplined
accordingly." He said his assailants left him for dead. Kaunye said he
identified army deserter Maxwell Chidzambwa, a war veteran, as the leader of
the "hit squad" that beat him up. Kaunye said the whole violence that
erupted in Rusape, Chiendambuya, Mayo and Headlands was clearly planned to
intimidate him. "Mutasa is running scared," Kaunye said. "He thinks my
standing against him in Makoni North is a sin. Things have really been bad
for him politically where he has failed to gather enough people for his
rallies. Since I came out in the open to say I want to stand in the poll,
Mutasa has re-grouped his terror group to intimidate all those people
campaigning for me. He has launched a campaign of intimidation." He said
they held an emergency meeting with other members of the war veterans'
executive in Makoni where it was resolved that a demonstration against
Mutasa would be staged in both Makoni North and Makoni East where Mutasa
hails from. The official said Mutasa has been going about masquerading as
the incoming vice-president of the party. Yesterday, sources in Rusape said
armed riot police were on standby to quell any violent clashes between rival
Zanu PF supporters and war veterans. The sources said a demonstration that
had been scheduled in Rusape against Mutasa was postponed after police
expressed fears of bloody clashes.
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From The Times, 30 August

Mercenaries tortured in Zimbabwe prison

By Zan Rice

Suspected coup plotters were beaten for three weeks

Two suspected mercenaries accused of plotting a coup d'état in Equatorial
Guinea claimed yesterday that they were stripped, beaten and forced to sleep
in leg-irons during six months of detention in a Zimbabwe jail. Harry Carlse
and Lourens Horn were arrested at Harare international airport in March as
they awaited an aircraft carrying 67 other South Africans who were due to
pick up arms and ammunition. The two men were freed from the
maximum-security Chikurubi prison on Friday after being acquitted on a
charge of attempting to purchase dangerous weapons. They are expected to be
questioned by South African police today. Simon Mann, the former SAS officer
who was also waiting at the airport and is alleged to have organised the
operation, was found guilty of the charge and faces up to ten years in jail
when he is sentenced on September 10. Mr Horn, 30, said that the 70
prisoners had been beaten by police for three weeks until they were allowed
to see their lawyers. "There was physical torture as well as mental
torture," he said. "They said if we refused to make a statement they would
give us electric shocks." Mr Carlse, 40, confirmed the allegations. "I was
stripped naked and beaten with a stick. I slept in leg-irons for a week and
a half," he said. The men, who were met at Johannesburg international
airport on Saturday by jubilant relatives, said that the living conditions
at the jail were dire. They claimed that prisoners survived on a diet of
porridge and cabbage, and that overcrowding and disease were rife. "You
could go without (running) water for two weeks, so you couldn't flush the
toilet," Mr Horn said. The botched coup attempt has attracted international
attention after the arrest at his home in Cape Town last week of Sir Mark
Thatcher, the 51-year-old son of the former Conservative Prime Minister. Sir
Mark, a close friend of Mr Mann, is accused of helping to fund the
operation. He is under house arrest and faces up to 15 years in jail for
contravening the Foreign Military Assistance Act, which prohibits South
African residents from acting as private soldiers abroad. However, the new
allegations of torture will cast some doubt over the information that
authorities in Zimbabwe and Equatorial Guinea have extracted from the
prisoners, linking them and others to plans to overthrow President Obiang.
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Concern Over New Law Extends Beyond Zimbabwe's Borders

Wilson Johwa

HARARE, Aug 30 (IPS) - A proposed new law that's set to curtail the
activities of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Zimbabwe has grabbed
the attention of many among Southern Africa's human rights defenders.

Expected to become law before the end of the year, the NGO bill 2004 makes
it mandatory for all charities, NGOs and community-based associations to
register under a government-controlled authority. Many fear this will allow
the Zimbabwe government to deny accreditation to organisations likely to
question its human rights record.

The proposed legislation chillingly resembles a draconian law that has all
but destroyed critical journalism, resulting in the media watchdog,
Reporters Without Borders, placing Zimbabwe next only to Iraq and Cuba for
its hostile media environment in 2003.

The government has used the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy
Act (AIPPA) under which journalists and media houses have to register, to
deny accreditation to individuals and organisations it is uncomfortable
with. For instance, foreign journalists have been denied registration, as
have two independent newspapers.

In much the same way, should the NGO bill become law, as expected; hundreds
of NGOs will have to register under a government-dominated 15-member
council. Defying the law will attract a jail sentence of up to six months.

But the most far-reaching clause in the proposed law is the requirement that
local NGOs engaged in ''governance'' work - the state's term for human
rights defenders and civic educators - receive no external funding. Foreign
NGOs involved in such work will not be registered at all.

''It's the kind of bill we wouldn't expect at this time and age, especially
in the context of the overall SADC (the Southern African Development
Community) and African Union protocols,'' says Abie Ditlakhe,
secretary-general of the Botswana-based SADC NGO Council, an independent
association of the region's national NGO bodies.

In the last four years, as Zimbabwe's political climate deteriorated,
following a violent land-reform programme and disputed parliamentary and
presidential elections in 2000 and 2002, human rights and other civic
pressure groups have proliferated. Most survive on outside funding.

To date they have been able to avoid official prying by operating as trusts.
But the majority now faces closure. The result, says lawyer Brian Crozier,
is that ''tyranny will continue unchecked by civil society and unobserved by
all except its victims.''

Concern has extended beyond Zimbabwe's borders to neighbouring states where
lobbying against the new law is taking place. But the government says the
legislation is essential for national security, to protect the southern
African country from ''foreign values'' championed by ''local puppets''.

Hassen Lorgat of the Johannesburg-based South African Non-Governmental
Organisations Council (SANGOCO) likens the bill to South Africa's
apartheid-era legislation.

He says NGOs in the SADC region are in agreement that there's no problem
with regulation in itself. But they disapprove the proposed law ''in a
context of violence and the systematic violations of human rights, as is the
case of Zimbabwe.''

Lorgat adds SANGOCO is disseminating information about the proposed law. It'
s also organising a summit in Johannesburg late September ''to tackle issues
of human rights violations as a whole in Zimbabwe and (also) in the

Zimbabwean civil society lobbied heads of state and government gathered for
a summit of the 13-member Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) in
Mauritius earlier this month.

In a statement, the largest NGO umbrella organisation in Zimbabwe, the
National Association of Non-governmental Organisations (NANGO), said the
proposed law criminalises a sector that's providing safety nets to a lot of
communities hit-hard by social, economic and political turmoil. It warned
the bill had implications on illegal cross-border trading, economic refugees
and increased prostitution as well as the spread of HIV-AIDS.

Ditlakhe says he has received many calls from many coalitions in different
countries, enquiring about the bill and what to do about it. The council
would send a fact-finding mission to Zimbabwe that would seek to build on
the representations already done by civil society within the country.

Analysts, many of whom have described the law as oppressive and
unconstitutional, say the proposed law is aimed at paving the way for the
ruling ZANU-PF party to steal next March's parliamentary elections.

"It's all about elections," says Brian Kagoro, chairman of Harare-based
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, a collection of civil society organisations.
He says with the independent press all but emasculated, the new law is meant
to ensure the elections take place with no local or international NGOs to
contradict a victory for President Robert Mugabe's party.

''This will wholly prevent any outside NGO from monitoring elections in
Zimbabwe unless explicitly invited by the Zimbabwe government,'' Lorgat

Violence, intimidation and coercion, mainly through the use of food, have
characterised most elections since 2000.

However, discouraged by what it has termed an uneven playing field, the main
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) announced this week it will
not participate in elections until political space has been opened up. It
said although the Zimbabwe government is a signatory to the new SADC
protocol on elections, the party's executive does not believe the government
acted in good faith and consequently harbours serious doubts as to the
government's commitment to enforcing the electoral standards contained in
the protocol.

But the implications of the proposed NGO Act extend beyond elections. For
instance, ''foreign non-governmental organisations that are providing food
aid will not be able to continue doing so unless they are charities which
have no interest whatsoever in governance,'' Crozier points out.

Despite official claims of a bumper harvest, independent assessments say
about 2.2 million rural Zimbabweans need food aid this year.

Crozier says the definition of NGO makes no distinction between non-profit
and profit organisations. It is ''extremely wide and covers associations and
institutions with every conceivable type of object.'' These, he says, range
from medical and veterinary practices (unless they are one-person) concerns,
to pension funds and sports clubs.

Exempted by the new law will be trade unions and churches "in respect of
activities confined to religious work". Crozier says the Jesuits, for
example, will have to register their society if they are to continue running
schools and providing education in secular subjects.

The Zimbabwe Red Cross Society and other associations will also be exempt as
will political parties, but only "in respect of work confined to political

If, the new law is passed by the ruling party-dominated parliament in
October, it will replace the present Private Voluntary Organisation Act.
Ironically, NGOs had for long complained that the existing law is draconian,
in that it gives too much power to the Minister of Labour, Manpower Planning
and Social Welfare to interfere in their activities.

The new legislation entrenches ministerial authority. The minister may
dissolve any NGO where he sees fit as well as rule on appeals brought by
aggrieved registered NGOs.

Kagoro says the law will increase the number of voices skeptical of Zimbabwe
's recovery. ''It will not do any good to the government's image even within
Africa,'' he says. (END/2004)
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