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

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A Round-the-Veldt Tour in Splendid Isolation

By brad zembic

Publish Date: 9-Dec-2004

Hwange National Park.  Brad Zembic photo

Hwange National Park. Brad Zembic photo

If you wish to contact the author - click here to email me and I will forward your communication on to him.
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††††† Zimbabwe approves law to ban foreign rights groups
††††† 09 Dec 2004 16:06:32 GMT

††††† Source: Reuters

HARARE, Dec 9 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's parliament voted on Thursday to pass a
law banning foreign funded rights groups in the country.

President Robert Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF used its majority in parliament to
vote 48 to the opposition's 28 to approve the law, which critics say is part
of a government battle against its political opponents.

Mugabe's government -- which accuses Britain and other Western powers of
using non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in a campaign against it -- says
the bill would ban foreign funding of rights activists and require
organisations operating in the country to register with a state-appointed
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Mail and Guardian

Zim legal system 'compromised'

††††† Ellen Hollemans and Sapa-AP

††††† 09 December 2004 13:58

Zimbabwe's government is subverting the country's legal system in order to
stay in power, according to an international group of lawyers who recently
visited the Southern African state.

In a report, Stephen Irwin, chairperson of the Bar of England and Wales,
says the group found that judges and the courts have been "profoundly

"We have concluded that the Zimbabwean justice system has ceased to be
independent and impartial," the report on the state of justice in Zimbabwe

"None of the petitions of electorates regarding alleged electoral abuse in
the 2004 parliamentary elections have been brought to conclusion," Irwin
told the Mail & Guardian Online on Thursday.

"That means that Zimbabwe will choose a new Parliament in March without
knowing whether all aspects of the previous elections have been conducted
lawfully," he added.

"Many of those within the system have been driven out by some kind of
pressure, and much of the legal system of Zimbabwe has been subverted by the
Zanu-PF government [of President Robert Mugabe], in an effort to frustrate
the proper working of democracy and to hold on to power," says Irwin, who
was part of the delegation, in the group's report on the visit.

"There are still judges and lawyers in the system that are very courageous
and brave and act according to the law, but these people are in danger,
which can even mean they fear for their lives."

The report says it was clear to the delegation "that the judicial system in
Zimbabwe has become profoundly compromised over the past four years".

"It is not too late for Zimbabwe's judiciary. There is still a legal system,
courts operate and judges rule. If the political will is there, Zimbabwe can
still be a democratic operating state abiding by the rule of law," Irwin
told the M&G Online.

"But governments in the region and especially the South African government
should speak out against what is happening in Zimbabwe. How can Mbeki keep
quiet? We cannot forget about Zimbabwe.

"And I think that even in Zimbabwe itself there are political voices that
want to speak up and make sure that the rule of law is restored.

"Does Mugabe want to end his career as a tyrant? He was always seen as the
liberator, and that image is changing to that of a tyrant. Is that really
what he wants?"

"We are lawyers and we have no political interest whatsoever. We care about
the legal system of Zimbabwe."

Other members of the delegation were Glenn Martin, president of the
Queensland Bar Association in Australia; vice-chairperson of the South
African Bar Justice Poswa; vice-dean of the Faculty of Advocates of Scotland
Roy Martin; and Conor Maguire, chairperson of the Irish Bar.

Some judges have even been given land at nominal rents under the
government's farm-reallocation scheme, the report states.

Magistrates and prosecutors perceived as unsympathetic to Mugabe's
government also have faced attacks on their families and property, it says.

"The legal culture has been subverted for political ends."

Zimbabwe is facing its worst political and economic crisis since
independence, with Mugabe's autocratic regime cracking down on dissent ahead
of parliamentary elections in March.

Agricultural production has collapsed in the four years since Mugabe ordered
the seizure of about 5 000 white-owned commercial farms for redistribution
to black Zimbabweans.
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Mugabe says economy recovering, warns investors
††††† 09 Dec 2004 18:38:57 GMT

††††† Source: Reuters

By Stella Mapenzauswa

HARARE, Dec 9 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe said on Thursday
his nation's ailing economy was on track for recovery but hinted those who
failed to utilise their claims in the mining sector might lose out to "more
serious" investors.

In an end-of-year address to parliament, Mugabe said mineral production
increased during the last 12 months in response to higher global prices,
increased production and the reopening of mines that had closed under a
harsh operating climate.

"Our platinum mining activities should pull this sector to full recovery as
well as leading the way in terms of mineral processing," he said, adding
Zimbabwe, with the world's second largest deposits of platinum, should
strive for capacity to process platinum locally.

Mugabe urged foreigners with mining interests in Zimbabwe to be "proactive",
warning: "Those foreigners intent on holding to our wealth embedded
underground for speculative or other shady reasons must make way for others
who mean serious business.

Zimbabwe wants to implement a mining policy which would see locals assuming
a larger stake in the sector, where foreign multinationals still play a
leading role.

The southern African state has been plagued by an economic crisis widely
blamed on government mismanagement and shown in three-digit inflation,
record unemployment and chronic shortages of foreign currency and fuel.

The government says the economy has received a lifeline from a new monetary
policy regime which has seen annual inflation subside to 209 percent from an
all-time peak of 628 percent in January.

Foreign currency auctions introduced at the start of the year have also
increased the flow of money through the formal system from a
previously-thriving black market.

"On balance the economy has performed commendably under adverse conditions
of illegal sanctions, diminished official development assistance inflows and
other forms of balance of payment support," he said.

Zimbabwe's problems have been worsened by the suspension of key aid from the
international community in response to Mugabe's controversial seizure of
white-owned farms for redistribution to landless blacks and his disputed
re-election in 2002 polls.

"We have relied on our own ingenuity and means which are occasionally
supplemented by genuine friends," said Mugabe, who accuses the West of
sabotaging Zimbabwe's economy.

But Mugabe had none of his usual acerbic words for the opposition Movement
for Democratic Change, which he labels a puppet of his foreign opponents.

In a rare conciliatory tone, Mugabe urged all Zimbabweans to pull together
in reviving the economy, saying: "We are one nation, with one economy and no
doubt working together we can make Zimbabwe great."
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Mugabe bars Western observers from vote
05:57 AEDT Fri Dec 10 2004

AP - Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe vowed not to allow Western observers
to monitor next year's parliamentary elections, saying only "fair-minded"
countries would be asked to monitor the key vote.

"Outside observers will be coming in strictly on the basis of invitation,"
Mugabe said in a state-of-the-nation address to Parliament.

Mugabe accuses Britain and other Western countries of unfair criticism of
his country's record on human rights and democracy.

"We continue to make our case with the fair-minded members of the
international community who, thankfully, are in the majority," he said.

Independent observers said the last parliamentary elections in 2000 and
presidential polls in 2002 were marred by vote rigging and intimidation
blamed mostly on ruling party militants.

Mugabe's ZANU-PF party currently holds 98 of Parliament's 150 seats.

The next legislative vote is scheduled for March. It comes at a time of
economic and political crisis.

The agriculture-based economy has collapsed in the four years since Mugabe
ordered the often-violent seizure of some 5,000 white-owned commercial farms
for redistribution to black Zimbabweans.

Mugabe pledged to wrest a greater share of mining investments from foreign
owners he accused of using them for "speculative or other shady reasons".

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe's parliament passed an electoral reform bill which will
give Mugabe the right to appoint key members of a poll commission to oversee
the parliamentary elections.

The bill is part of an effort by Zimbabwe to effect electoral reforms in
line with standards set by the Southern African Development Community
regional bloc.

The bill outlaws foreign funding for voter education unless it is channelled
through the electoral commission and gives Mugabe the right to pick the five
members of the electoral commission out of a list of seven people
recommended by a parliamentary committee.

The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party has described
the bill as a "facade."
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Harvard University Gazette

Journalism conference looks at truth, lies, and narrative
How to assess truth in storytelling
By Jennifer Ehrlich
Special to the Harvard News Office

War and truth telling dominated last weekend's Nieman Conference on
Narrative Journalism (Dec. 3-5). The ongoing violence in Iraq and
postelection timing lent a sense of urgency to the many lectures, panel
discussions, and question sessions about improving the craft and content of
news writing.

The Nieman Foundation's annual conference is devoted to storytelling, or
narrative. But this was a year in which many journalists - from prize
winners to neighborhood beat reporters - were compelled to tell stories that
were, more often than not, tragic. The reporting legacy of World War II and
the Vietnam War were recurring reference points in conference discussions
about how to depict reality in the midst of military battles - and the
battle for hearts and minds.

"'Reality' is a word that's in danger of being lost. The only bright side
is, for most people, 'reality' isn't a word that lifts the heart. It's
slightly depressing," said novelist Norman Mailer '43 (one of four keynote
speakers), delivering Saturday's address to the 1,000 journalists, editors,
and scholars from around the world who assembled at the Hyatt Regency Hotel
in Cambridge.

The origins of the narrative journalism movement are rarely mentioned
without crediting Mailer, author of the seminal "nonfiction novels" "The
Armies of the Night" and "Miami and the Siege of Chicago." He delivered a
speech contrasting what he calls the "myths" America has been offered to
justify the war with "hypotheses" that require inquiry or verification.

"May many good questions prevail," he said in closing. "They are in peril."

Industry introspection

It's easy to spot the impact of the narrative journalism movement in
newspaper stories. They are the ones that seem to live and breathe on the
page, that pull you in from the first paragraph like a good book you can't
put down.

Yet industry introspection about the integrity of reporting and the ethics
of sourcing were central themes of the conference, in a year when even the
nation's leading news organizations admitted to faulty reporting based on
inaccurate, unverified "official" information.

The spectrum of opinion and charged atmosphere was reflected in the
responses of Saturday morning's keynote panel to the assigned question: "In
wartime, do journalists become propagandists?"

"No," was the self-described "simplistic" response from David Finkel, a
Washington Post writer who has reported from Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq.
He described the mission of battlefield reporting as capturing the truth
through all possible lenses, passing the cumulative vision on to the reader.

"We are trying in our various ways to just get at the truth of what is going
on," Finkel said.

Daniel Ellsberg countered that simply seeking truth is no guarantee of the
accuracy of what you find. Propaganda, he claimed, is delivered on a
government level: "And the press, seeking the truth, didn't seek very well
and failed."

Ellsberg is known primarily for his role as a source of classified
information during the Nixon era. In 1967, as an analyst at the RAND Corp.,
Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers, the top-secret study of U.S.
decisionmaking in Vietnam, to the press.

He illustrated his point that reporters are easily diverted with a magic
trick, opening and closing his empty palm then producing a yellow silk scarf
from his fist. Ellsberg encouraged the press to assume the "humble but
vastly heroic" role of the dog Toto in the "Wizard of Oz," and pull back the
curtain to unveil the truth.

Photographer and Nieman Fellow Molly Bingham described the reality of
covering a war under the threat of kidnapping. In Iraq, she suggested,
journalists end up inhibiting their ability to report freely in exchange for
the safety and access of being embedded within the military forces.

"We aren't bothering to figure out the other side," said Bingham, who spent
10 months last year on an in-depth story about Iraqi insurgents. She has
reported from Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and
the Gaza Strip, and was Al Gore's official photographer.

Bingham said reliance on official sources meant that even though Iraqis
stood at the prison gates with tales of prisoner abuse in Abu Ghraib months
before the stories were disseminated by the press, it was only when American
soldiers produced photos that reporters began to take the news seriously.

Writing - and photographing - war

Veteran narrative journalism coach Roy Peter Clark from The Poynter
Institute traced the evolving role of the journalist in wartime from World
War II to Vietnam.

World War II journalists embraced the role of journalist as loyal
propagandist, he said, a wartime role changed by Vietnam where, Clark
asserted, the scale of losses turned the press corps toward actively
exposing misinformation through fact.

"The belief that what we do is not propaganda but truth telling is a form of
propaganda itself," said Clark, noting that intervening in Sudan, for
example, would require a kind of biased information campaign that many would
view as positive.

But the conference wasn't only devoted to text. Editors constantly make
critical narrative choices in the selection and placement of photos.

"The Iraq war for the last year has been waged on the back of images," said
former journalist Barbie Zelizer, Raymond Williams Professor of
Communication at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of

Zelizer, whose research focus is news images in times of crisis, highlighted
the role of images of kidnapped Americans before beheading. The images were
used to mobilize troops and support, but the sources of the photos were
kidnappers who effectively usurped the role of journalists in conveying the
wartime message.

Former Nieman Fellow Geoffrey Nyarota told the story of a critical "Page
One" photo choice at the Daily News, a newspaper he co-founded in 1999 as
Zimbabwe's only independent newspaper.

A female supporter of one political party was kidnapped by supporters of
another party, Nyarota said, and forced to sit on a hotplate in a kitchen.
When the photo of the mutilated woman turned up on his desk, the editorial
staff engaged in discussion about whether to run it. Was it too shocking and
revolting to appear in the paper, or would such an offensive photo confront
the public with the reality of the consequences of political violence?

Nyarota said the solution they came up with was to make copies of the photos
and send them home with editors to gauge the responses from their families.
Then they'd decide.

"Three days later, they all came back and there was unanimous assent that we
should print this picture, and print it on page one," said Nyarota.

The reaction was tremendous from both sides of the political divide, with a
consensus that the political violence had gone too far, he said.

Nyarota came to Harvard as a Nieman Fellow after he fled to South Africa to
escape his seventh arrest during Zimbabwe President Mugabe's campaign
against freedom of the press. He is now a fellow at the Carr Center for
Human Rights at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government.

"By protecting the public we mislead them into thinking there is no violence
in war," he warned, echoing the feeling among many journalists at the
conference, that part of telling a story effectively is having the courage
and diligence to tell the story at all.
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Kentucky Post

Commission of human wrongs


The United Nations has recognized that its 53-member Commission on Human
Rights is in dire need of reform.
A report prepared for Secretary General Kofi Annan accurately noted that
some of the grosser human rights violators are seeking commission seats as a
way of deflecting and avoiding criticism of their records.

Sudan, guilty of tolerating both slavery and genocide, is serving a third
term as a member. Sudan's man at the United Nations said the United States
was in no position to criticize Sudan's abysmal record on human rights
because of the Abu Ghraib prison scandals. That's a truly bizarre assertion
of moral equivalence.

Cuba won uncontested re-election to the commission even as the Castro regime
was pointedly jailing dissidents. Libya was even commission chair for a
term. Zimbabwe was given a seat over U.S. objections.

Having these members on board further paralyzes a body whose activities on
behalf of human rights can best be described as sluggish.

The best solution would be for the United Nations to confront its worst
members by establishing standards for membership -- the rule of law, a free
press, an independent judiciary, a humane criminal justice system. Like
membership in NATO or the European Union, candidates would be expected to
meet certain criteria.

But the reforms proposed to Annan would go the other direction. There would
be no standards and membership would be thrown open to any U.N. member who
wanted to serve. This is as good as having no commission at all -- an option
that begins to look more and more attractive as the commission grows more
and more ineffectual.

And that would be too bad because, for all the organization's faults, many
millions of people really do look to it for help.

But given the current state of the United Nations, none at all will be
coming, for example, to the people of Sudan.

Publication Date: 12-09-2004
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'Why I support Mugabe'
††††††††† December 09 2004 at 01:26PM

††††† By Moshoeshoe Monare

††††† Casting a conspicuous figure in the sweltering, stuffy International
Convention Centre in Harare, the bearded Zanu-PF member raises his clenched
fist every time the speaker screams "Viva Zanu-PF, Viva".

††††† With a Zanu-coloured scarf wrapped around his neck, he sings the
liberation slogans with a wide smile, unleashing passion and loyalty to the

††††† He is conspicuous because he is white in a party congress full of
black members whose leaders - from President Robert Mugabe to Zanu Harare
provincial chairperson Amos Midzi - punctuate their emotional addresses with
invective against whites.

††††† And ironically, he is of British descent and two-thirds of Mugabe's
speech was against British "imperialism" and Tony Blair's "gay" government.

††††† However, Ian Deddowes is equally against what President Mugabe and the
Zanu-PF leaders are obsessed about - whites and Britain.

††††† He was not surprised when I called him out of the hall for an
interview, because most of foreigners and to an extent locals who did not
know about him thought he was misplaced or ingratiating to the Zanu-PF
government as a protection fee.

††††† He admits that he is getting tired of having to explain the reason for
being a member of Zanu-PF.

††††† But the 61-year-old father of three from Bulawayo says he has
dedicated his political life to Zanu-PF and owes his allegiance to the most
vilified party and government.

††††† In fact, the construction site manager is secretary for economic
affairs for the party in Masiyephambili district, Bulawayo.

††††† He claims he is not the only white Zanu-PF member in Harare. "Perhaps
I am one of the best known," he says.

††††† He defends Zanu-PF, saying the ruling party is not anti-white.

††††† "The whites in Zimbabwe, the whites of Rhodesian origin, have created
their own problems. They had the chance, for instance, on the question of
the land to support the referendum for a new constitution but they worked
together with the British government, which gave them an immense amount of
money to try and destabilise the country over the land issue.

††††† "Unfortunately, we lost that referendum by 10 000 votes nationally. As
a result, our war veterans quite correctly went directly on to the land
because this could not hold off any longer. Had the white population
supported the government and the new constitution, the land would have been
taken through negotiations, not by intervention of war veterans, not by
militant actions," he says.

††††† The referendum was held in February 2000 on whether the population
agreed with government's constitutional and land reforms.

††††† He says contrary to the media reports, only nine white farmers were
killed in Zimbabwe, compared to hundreds in South Africa.

††††† "If you study internationally the land question, you will find that
our land reform was almost non-violent by world standards; our country is
far less violent than South Africa."

††††† Deddowes says many of the whites regret their stance during the
referendum and their rejection of Mugabe and Zanu-PF.

††††† "I have friends among the old white Rhodesians and many of those guys
who always lived here say they don't want to go anywhere else.

††††† "Within the old white community there is a section which is now saying
they made a mistake by supporting the opposition Movement for Democratic

††††† "They say the British government has never been our friends, therefore
we must make our peace with the Zanu-PF government," he says.

††††† His adoration for Mugabe and resentment for Blair makes him a hardcore
Zanu-PF member.

††††† "I don't trust the British government. I'm British by origin, the
working class in Britain has fought the ruling class since 1391, the peasant
revolt. And no way, I can never support something coming from the racist
government like the government of Tony Blair."

††††† The vilification of Mugabe, he says, by the super powers is the same
disdainful treatment they handed former Zapu president and the late
Zimbabwean statesman, Joshua Nkomo.

††††† "In my view, comrade Mugabe is the most important African leader since
Nkomo. Under his leadership, he challenged the imperialists," he says,
venting his feelings.

††††† His decision to join Zanu-PF stems from the fact that he grew up in
leftist politics and the communist party of Britain, having been recruited
by Ronnie Kasrils, South African minister of intelligence.

††††† "During my travels I met a Zimbabwean lady. As a communist, there is
one party I can belong to in Zimbabwe, that is Zanu-PF.

††††† "I first joined the party in 1989 when I was outside the country in
Botswana. I started becoming active again in 1998," says Deddowes.

††††† Born in Birmingham, England, in his 20s Deddowes lived in London and
was an active member of the Communist Party of Great Britain and the
construction unions.

††††† "I was very close to the African National Congress in South Africa and
I came to Zimbabwe in 1985. I went to Angola for military training under
Mkhonto we Sizwe and then moved to Swaziland."

††††† During our interview, some black Zanu-PF members were raising their
fists and shouting pamberi ne (forward with) comrade Deddowes.

††††† To him Zanu is not just a party that makes him feel safe and protected
in the politically volatile Zimbabwe, but a political and ideological home.

††††† This article was originally published on page 23 of Daily News on
December 09, 2004
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Zim 64 win right to appeal
09/12/2004 13:09† - (SA)

Harare - Sixty-four suspected mercenaries accused of participating in a
foiled coup plot in oil-rich Equatorial Guinea won the right to appeal their
sentences for minor offences in Zimbabwe, court officials said on Thursday.

Judge Chenembiri Bhunu granted their request to appeal to the Supreme Court
on Wednesday. No date was set.

The 64 - mostly South Africans - were arrested when their plane landed in
Zimbabwe in March, allegedly en route to the west African nation to
overthrow President Teodoro Obiang.

The men insisted they were headed to Congo to guard mining installations.
They were convicted on minor immigration and aviation charges and sentenced
to 12-16 months in prison.

Simon Mann, a former British special forces commander and the alleged coup
leader, is seeking a separate appeal against his seven-year sentence for
security and firearms violations in Zimbabwe.

Equatorial Guinea has sentenced 24 other suspected mercenaries from European
and African nations to lengthy jail terms.

Mark Thatcher, son of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, was
charged in South Africa with helping to finance the plot - allegations he
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Daily News online edition

††††† Moyo plotted Mugabe*s ouster

††††† Date: 9-Dec, 2004

††††† HARARE - Information and Publicity Minister in the Office of the
President and Cabinet, Jonathan Moyo and the six suspended ruling Zanu PF
provincial chairmen wanted to remove President Robert Mugabe as first
secretary and leader of the party, highly placed sources in the party said
on Wednesday.

††††† They told Daily News Online that Moyo and the chairmen wanted to
spring a surprise for Mugabe at the Zanu PF congress by proposing that he
steps down for a young and energetic leader.

††††† "The Tsholotsho meeting was not about blocking Cde Mujuru's
candidature to the vice-presidency but it was about something big. These
guys actually wanted to topple our president and that is why they were
suspended," said one senior Zanu PF official.

††††† He said Mugabe was so incensed at the fact that some people who had
purported to support him so much were planning to kick him out of office.

††††† "The President supported Mujuru and what it means is if Moyo and his
cronies had succeeded in going against him they could also vote him out,"
said the official.

††††† The Zanu PF supreme body, the politburo suspended six chairmen shortly
before the congress over a meeting they held in Moyo's home area to block
Joyce Mujuru's ascendancy to the post of vice-president and to discuss the
party's status after Mugabe's departure.

††††† The six suspended chairmen are July Moyo for Midlands province, Mike
Madiro, Manicaland; Themba Ncube, Bulawayo; Daniel Shumba, Masvingo; Llyod
Siyoka, Matabeleland South and Jacob Mudenda, Matabeleland

††††† North.

††††† Asked why Moyo was not suspended, the official said Moyo could not be
suspended because he had never been a member of Zanu PF.

††††† "How do you suspend someone who does not belong to the party? He has
never been one of us and we have finished with him. He will not take part in
any of our business," said the official.

††††† The official could however not say why the party and Mugabe had
sneaked Moyo into the party when his credentials had appeared dubious from
the start.

††††† Zanu PF spokesman Nathan Shamuyarira could not be reached for comment.

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Daily News online edition

††††† Confirmed at last: Gono a political bank governor

††††† Date: 10-Dec, 2004

††††† PRESIDENT Mugabe may not have realised it immediately, but his open
and gushing praise this week of Gideon Gono, the governor of the Reserve
Bank of Zimbabwe, is unlikely to improve that man's stature in the world of
high finance.

††††† Mugabe virtually baptised Gono as a member of the highest
decision-making organs of Zanu PF - the central committee and the politburo.

††††† In simple, political parlance, Gono is a man Mugabe and the rest of
the Zanu PF bigwigs can comfortably call "one of us".

††††† He will do the party's bidding without question. The RBZ is ideally
expected to be autonomous, to be independent of government influence to the
extent of acting only when the national interests are served - not Zanu PF's,
not Mr and Mrs Mugabe's, not the central committee, not the politburo's.

††††† Mugabe's criticism of the former governor, Leonard Tsumba did not
relate to any incompetence or dereliction of duty, but to embracing fiscal
policies anchored in tried and tested principles.

††††† Only time will tell whether Gono's unorthodox methods - some would
call them quack practices - are the proper remedy for what ails this
economy - a monstrous bureaucracy which gobbles up a huge chunk of the
national budget, and a bunch of bloated and incompetently-run parastatals
which have been so steeped in corruption since independence nobody can
calculate accurately how much they have cost us.

††††† Gono's style as almost eccentric when compared with Tsumba's, who had
no time for the "breakfast shows" on national television which have become
so fashionable under Gono.

††††† Tsumba's was a staid, sober, cautious and ultimately well-reasoned
approach to finance. Gono's is almost as if it had been choreographed by the
Zanu PF politburo which it probably is, most of the time.

††††† This is not to disparage Gono's methods outright. There have been
innovative highlights and his tough stance on miscreant banks and other
financial institutions have restored some confidence in the finance houses.

††††† But some of his critics say he has a political agenda. His public
posturing, indeed, suggests he will not be content with ending his public
life as the RBZ governor.

††††† He is only in his 40s and, as they say, the sky is the limit.

††††† But there is nothing inherently wrong with ambition. Other critics say
Gono's formula is an example of tinkering with the problem. Zimbabwe must
re-engage the international community.

††††† It has made mincing steps towards this goal, but much more needs to be
done, politically.

††††† The political playing field must be levelled. Mugabe is still
contemptuous of the advantages of dealing honestly with the IMF and the
World Bank, whose methods he despises.

††††† On the basis that nearly 80 percent of the people are living below the
poverty datum line, it will be a long time before most analysts can speak of
Gono's miracle - not as long as he toes the Zanu PF line without question.

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Zim Online

Mugabe calls for violence-free poll
Thur 9 December 2004
† HARARE - A confident President Robert Mugabe yesterday called for a
violence-free general election in Zimbabwe next year.
††††† Breaking from his usual vitriol against the country's main opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party and Western nations he accuses of
ganging up against his government, Mugabe told parliament during his state
of the nation address that he was determined to ensure the March 2005 ballot
was peaceful.

††††† "I want to reiterate government's determination that this impending
poll should not be marred by incidents of violence from whatever quarters,"
said the Zimbabwean leader, who is accused by opponents of using violence
and fraud to win elections.

††††† Mugabe also told Parliament that the election will be held in March
apparently rejecting demands by MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai that the poll
be postponed to allow time for the country's flawed electoral laws to be
reformed and brought in line with new Southern African Development Community
guidelines for elections.

††††† "In keeping with our tradition, we are going to hold our sixth
parliamentary elections in March next year on a date to be announced in due
course," he said.

††††† Mugabe said a new Zimbabwe Electoral Commission proposed by the
government will bring the country's electoral process in line with SADC
requirements that independent commissions run elections.

††††† The MDC has dismissed the proposed commission saying it will not be
independent from Mugabe who will still have powers to hire or fire its

††††† The other four commissioners of the five-member electoral body will be
nominated by a parliamentary committee that is dominated by the ruling ZANU
PF party, which the MDC says makes the commissioners beholden to the ruling

††††† The MDC has suspended participation in elections until Zimbabwe's
electoral laws are fully democratised and political violence ended.

††††† Political violence and human rights abuses mostly blamed on militant
ZANU PF supporters is on the rise in Zimbabwe as next year's election draws
near. - ZimOnline

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Mugabe: Of course we'll win
09/12/2004 09:26† - (SA)

Harare - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on Wednesday said he expects his
ruling party to sweep to power in elections next year which he predicted
would be peaceful.

"We will certainly win the elections," Mugabe was quoted by the official New
Ziana news agency as telling a gathering of his country's ambassadors at his
official Harare residence.

"I don't see any reason why we should not have the elections in a peaceful
environment. We have to instil into the minds of our youths especially, that
an election is an exercise that can only succeed if there is peace.

"This time we don't know whether our enemies will find any reasons to reject
the outcome of the elections," added the longtime southern African leader.

Western observers, as well as the Commonwealth grouping of former British
colonies, said both parliamentary polls in 2000 and presidential polls in
2002 were flawed.

Mugabe's Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF)
narrowly won the violence-marred elections in 2000 from the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) - then a fledgling opposition party.

Oposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has challenged Mugabe's presidential poll
victory in 2002 in court, claiming victory was stolen from him through
intimidation and rigging.

The MDC has threatened to boycott next year's election unless Mugabe's
government carries out electoral reforms in accordance with standards
observed by other countries in the Southern African Development Community

Last week Mugabe ruled out inviting "imperialist" countries to observe next
year's crunch poll, saying Zimbabwe is a Third World country whose elections
should not be "judged by the First World". - AFP
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††††† Zimbabwe appoints commission to run Harare

††††† 2004-12-10 01:29:30

††††††††† HARARE, Dec. 9 (Xinhuanet) -- Zimbabwean Minister of Local
Government Ignatius Chombo said Thursday he has appointed an eight-member
commission led by the acting executive mayor, Sekesayi Makwavarara, to run
the capital Harare for the next two years.

††††††††† The commission, which is expected to devise strategic turnaround
measures for the city, will work with the remaining city councilors after
the majority resigned during the course of the year.

††††††††† The city of Harare has been dogged by various problems such as
water cuts, uncollected refuse, poor roads and lighting, leading to
deterioration in service delivery.

††††††††† The commission is expected to implement the turnaround program,
which has been crafted by a task team appointed in June, complete the City's
formulation of the 2005 national budget, explore additional revenue sources
and transfer the water supply system to the Zimbabwe National Water

††††††††† The commission has also been tasked with rationalizing the staff
complement of the council and finalizing the City's computerization program.

††††††††† "The idea of rationalizing staff for effectiveness and efficiency
as well as managing the salaries and wages bill needs no over emphasis," he
said. Enditem

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††††† Zimbabwe cricket faces new crisis

††††† All first-class cricket in Zimbabwe has been suspended after calls for
a vote of no confidence in officials who run the game.
††††† The Mashonaland Cricket Association claims the Zimbabae Cricket Union
recently rebranded itself without prior consultation with provincial bodies.

††††† The MCA also says the move resulted in the squandering of £72,000.

††††† They are now pressing for an emergency general meeting in order to
propose a motion of no confidence.

††††† MCA chairman Tavengwa Mukhlani, who is also a member of the Zimbabwe
Cricket Board, was recently forced to step down.

††††† "Under the constitution, the change of name should have been debated
at all levels, club and provincial, and the provincial chairmen should have
been able to meet so as to ratify it.

††††† "This did not happen," 19 of the 20 clubs which make up the MCA wrote
in a joint letter.

††††† The biggest club, Takashinga of Highfields, has called a meeting on
Saturday and invited Zimbabwe Cricket chairman Peter Chingoka and acting
managing director Ozvias Bvute.

††††† The invitattions carried the slogan: "You can lie to some of the
people some of the time, but you can't lie to all the people all the time."

††††† The crisis is the latest in a series to hit cricket in Zimbabwe this

††††† In April the sacking of national team captain Heath Streak led to a
boycott by a group of white Test players.

††††† Tatenda Taibu was put in charge of a new-look team of inexperienced
youngsters, but Zimbabwe's Test status was put on hold for the rest of the
year and they have lost every one-day game they have played.

††††† There was further controversy over England's tour, which eventually
went ahead last month but only after the Zimbabwe government lifted a ban on
a number of members of the English media.
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Mugabe Admits Sanctions Biting

Financial Gazette (Harare)

December 9, 2004
Posted to the web December 9, 2004

Felix Njini

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has admitted that sanctions slapped on his
government by the United Kingdom, the European Union (EU) and the United
States of America are hurting Zimbabwe and pleaded with Britain to "renege"
and lift the ban.

Addressing 9 000 ZANU PF supporters attending the ruling party's fourth
five-yearly congress, President Mugabe, whose regime is facing stiff
opposition from the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), said:

"Blair and his government have grown desperate and naÔve as they go about
vilifying our country and imposing sanctions. Their naivete becomes clear.
They are a majority here, leading (more) comfortable lives than that of the
average Zimbabwean."

"There are 400 British companies operating here, making profits and
dividends being remitted to Britain. The sanctions are affecting these
companies as well," he said.

"One would have hoped that the British government would renege on its course
of wanting the Zimbabwean economy to collapse and ensure that the
international environment is made more congenial so that these companies and
the Zimbabwean economy can prosper," President Mugabe added.

The EU imposed "smart sanctions" on the Zimbabwean leader and some of his
party officials in 2002 amid allegations of human rights violations and
election rigging.

The sanctions included a ban on the sale and supply of arms and equipment to
Zimbabwe which could be used for internal repression.

President Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe since independence from Britain in
1980, denies he has run down a once prosperous economy and accuses the
former colonial master of masterminding a plot to topple him from power
using the MDC.

The Zimbabwean leader said Britain was using the sanctions to "sabotage"
Zimbabwe's economy as punishment for the redistribution of farmland from
white farmers, most of them of British origin, to less blacks.

The call for the removal of sanctions comes at a time Zimbabwe is trying to
mend ties with global financiers such as the International Monetary Fund

Last week, IMF officials arrived in Harare for talks with government and
banking officials before the fund's executive committee reviews the
country's possible expulsion from the group. Zimbabwe, which is grappling
with its worst economic crisis ever, has been without IMF aid since 1997
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Down a Familiar Path Into the Heart of Darkness

Business Day (Johannesburg)

December 9, 2004
Posted to the web December 9, 2004


ANYONE interested in understanding why most postcolonial African countries
struggle with institutionalising and consolidating democracy, should read
Mahmood Mamdani's When Victims Become Killers, Robert Guest's The Shackled
Continent and Michela Wrong's In the Footsteps of Mr Kurtz.

These books sum up what happens when ruling parties stay in power forever.
The leitmotif in all of them is that a career in politics is the quickest
road to wealth, a tendency endorsed by Smuts Ngonyama's recent utterances.
To want to be wealthy is not necessarily wrong, but the tendency for
politicians to become numb to the poverty and suffering around us seems to
be part of the package.

In the past 50 years politicians in southern Africa have in their utterances
shown an astonishingly callous indifference to the plight of the poor, the
ill and dying and towards their political opponents. And this heartlessness
starts with seemingly innocent comments.

In the UDI era of the 1960s Rhodesian leader Ian Smith incarcerated a white
critic of his regime, Judith Todd. When Todd went on a hunger strike she was
drugged and force-fed. When questioned on this, Smith said he was "unaware"
of the hunger strike, and told an interviewer that: "If Miss Todd does not
wish to eat the food given her, that doesn't worry me a good deal."

A decade later, National Party justice minister Jimmy Kruger, deliberately
misinformed by security police that the charismatic Steve Biko had died as a
result of a hunger strike, told the Transvaal congress of the National Party
in Pretoria that: "I am not pleased, nor am I sorry. It leaves me cold."

The insouciant cruelty of Kruger's remark incensed even the usually
supportive Afrikaans press, and the English liberal press justifiably flayed

What, then, is one to make of the silence of our newspapers on a remark that
left me dumbfounded and convinced that it had been printed in error?

I refer to an interview in the Sunday Times ( September 19) with Mojanku
Gumbi, legal adviser to President Thabo Mbeki. In the article, Burning the
midnight oil, she is quoted as saying: "On AIDS and Zimbabwe I have never
lain awake at night on either issue."

Shocked, I bought the following week's issue convinced I was going to read
her angry rebuttal and a humble apology by the newspaper for misquoting her.

There was neither. Having just commemorated World AIDS Day and been shocked
by government's lame roll-out of antiretroviral medicines across the
country, I find Gumbi's remarks reverberate around me as I witness people
suffering, despairing and dying, without hope of ever receiving medical care
or help.

Gumbi's remarks resonated with the monstrous statements of Smith and Kruger,
even though I know Gumbi is not like them. Perhaps my surprise was based on

After all, the only two issues raised by Archbishop Desmond Tutu in his
Nelson Mandela address to which Mbeki declined to respond were HIV/AIDS and

Furthermore, we know that the African National Congress (ANC) has repeatedly
stymied attempts in Commonwealth and United Nations forums not only to apply
sanctions against Robert Mugabe's brutal and corrupt regime, but even to
criticise it.

It is also a matter of record that Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma
has said Zanu (PF) is a "progressive" regime, which she considers beyond
criticism. She also supported plans by Mugabe to have all journalists
registered, something that would have nullified what little press freedom
remains in Zimbabwe.

On the AIDS question, may we assume that Gumbi's declared indifference to
the plight of AIDS sufferers and those orphaned by the disease is clearly
and similarly manifest in the ANC's squandering of immense amounts of
taxpayers' money to defend court cases launched by the Treatment Action
Campaign and other civicminded organisations?

Do politicians like Gumbi find the widespread starvation in Zimbabwe and the
increasing number of AIDS orphans the next best thing to Mogadon for
ensuring untroubled sleep? Does the contemplation of the estimated 20000
Ndebele victims of Mugabe's Korean-trained Fifth Brigade's Gukurahundi
campaign in the early '80s and all the subsequent abuses provide a soporific
that is superior to the traditional hot toddy?

Do the women in government find the fact that Mugabe, through his
state-supported Green Bomber youth movement, has made rape a ubiquitous
political tool, in the tradition of Slobodan Milosevic's murderous troops in
Bosnia, a matter that does not concern them?

Gumbi's words may well come back to haunt her.

All it will take is one angry and charismatic HIV-positive person a Steve
Biko with AIDS to prove the folly of Jacob Zuma's crass assumption that the
ANC will rule, "until Jesus comes".

Kadalie is a human rights activist based in Cape Town.
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From The Daily Mirror, 9 December

Things fall apart for Moyo

Mirror Reporters

The Minister of State for Information and Publicity, Jonathan Moyo, ejected
from the ruling party's central committee last week, will now have to start
afresh as it emerged yesterday that he is unlikely to be appointed into a
new look Politburo expected to be announced soon. Moyo's name was deleted as
a central committee nominee by the Presidency he allegedly attempted to
undermine by "clandestinely" inviting senior members of the party, including
provincial governors and party provincial chairpersons, to a "high-powered
meeting" in Tsholotsho a few days before Zanu PF's National People's
Congress. Highly placed sources within the ruling party said the only person
who could throw Moyo a lifeline was the man who thrust him into the high
echelons of the party, President Mugabe who, however, has reprimanded him
for hosting the Tsholotsho meeting. What irked the Presidency, the source
said, was that after having been caught with his pants down, Moyo wrote a
letter exonerating himself from the alleged coup attempt to remove the
founding fathers of the party and copied it to The Chronicle for
publication, before the Presidency had a chance to respond.

His target audience still remained a mystery, the source said, as it was an
internal matter. "He thinks the presidium is comprised of fools," the source
said. "Good luck, to the person or people he was targeting when he abused
his control over the newspaper. It's unfortunate, but he will have to start
afresh and regain the support of the party. He will have to go back to the
grassroots and start afresh if he is a genuine party cadre and not a plant."
Contacted for comment on whether Moyo had written a letter to the Presidency
exonerating himself, party national chairman John Nkomo said: "Moyo's letter
is a nonevent." Moyo, known to step on the toes of all and sundry, including
the ruling party's presidency and the media, has been accused of propagating
hate-speech in the media. However, his political flirtation with the ruling
party is now waning, with sources in Zanu PF saying that the party's top
leadership had decided that Moyo, like everybody else, should rekindle his
faltering political career from the grassroots.

"Moyo cannot be appointed into the Politburo. All members of the Politburo
will come from the central committee and this effectively means the minister
has to start from the grassroots if he is aspiring for a position of
influence in the party. When we talk of the grassroots, we mean the cell,"
said another highly placed source. His exclusion from the central committee,
the sources said, was punishment for the associate professor for allegedly
organising an unsanctioned meeting in Tsholotsho, Matabeleland North, last
month to plot to scuttle the nomination of Vice-President Joyce Mujuru and
block the re-nomination of Vice-President Joseph Msika and national chairman
John Nkomo into the party presidium. Moyo was allegedly backing Speaker of
Parliament Emmerson Mnangagwa and women's league boss Thenjiwe Lesabe as the
party's two vice-presidents and Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa as
national chairman. Six Zanu PF provincial chairpersons who also attended the
meeting that came up with the alleged "Tsholotsho Declaration" have since
been suspended from the party for six months. Zimbabwe National Liberation
War Veterans' Association (ZNLWVA) leader Jabulani Sibanda, who took part in
the meeting, was slapped with a four-year suspension.

The sources said Moyo worsened his case when he leaked a report he had
written to Zanu PF's Politburo explaining his involvement in the Tsholotsho
meeting to The Chronicle, a state-controlled newspaper based in Bulawayo.
The Zanu PF leadership, the sources added, questioned Moyo on why he had
leaked the report if it was meant for the Politburo and accused him of
attempting to mislead the party. "He publicised his report in The Chronicle.
It was the Presidency that struck him off the central committee list and it
is likely that he will be barred from contesting in the party's primary
parliamentary elections," the source added. Chronicle editor Stephen Ndlovu
has since been censured by the Secretary for Information and Publicity in
the Office of the President and Cabinet, George Charamba, for publishing the
"leaked" document. Moyo, who has since fallen out with President Mugabe as
his spin-doctor, is eyeing Tsholotsho constituency. "Even if he wins the
primaries, he still has to go for vetting and that is where it is key," the
source said. Efforts to get comment from Moyo, a critic of the private
media, proved fruitless last night.
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