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

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      Shamu to take over from Jonathan Moyo

      Date: 9-Dec, 2004

      WEBSTER Shamu, the Minister of Policy Implementation in the President's
Office, is heavily tipped to become the next Minister of Information and
Publicity, authoritative sources in the government told The Daily News

      Shamu is believed to be favourite to succeed the incumbent minister,
Jonathan Moyo, who has fallen out of favour with President Robert Mugabe
after he was accused of being the mastermind of a plot to block the
nomination of Joyce Mujuru as Vice-President.

      Six provincial chairpersons have since been suspended from Zanu PF for
attending the secret meeting in Tsholotsho, which was allegedly chaired by

      The Politburo is still to decide on Moyo's fate, but alarm bells have
already begun to ring after his nomination into the Zanu PF central
committee was blocked by Mugabe, giving credence to speculation that it was
only a matter of time before he was removed from Cabinet.

      "Shamu is most likely to take over that portfolio. Moyo is already out
and some of the officials in the department of information have already been
seconded to Shamu's ministry. That guy (Moyo) is definitely out," the Zanu
PF insider said.

      Others said to be facing the sack include Energy Minister July Moyo,
who was part of the six suspended provincial chairpersons, and Masvingo
governor Josaya Hungwe.

      Hungwe is accused of having swayed the Masvingo provincial executive
into voting for Mnangagwa ahead of presidential favourite, Mujuru.

      The affable Shamu, a war veteran and journalist by profession, was the
former editor of The People's Voice, the official mouthpiece of Zanu PF,
before he was appointed Minister of Policy Implementation last year.

      If he is appointed minister, expectations will be high for him to turn
the department into a people-oriented outfit which protects fundamental
freedoms such as the freedom of expression.

      He will also be expected by journalists in the independent media to
overhaul the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA),
which Moyo has used to ban independent newspapers such as The Daily News,
The Daily News on Sunday and The Tribune.

      Shamu could not be reached for comment on the latest developments.
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      Mapfumo for President, Mtukudzi for finance

      Date: 9-Dec, 2004

      JOYCE MUJURU'S elevation to the very dizzy heights of political power
has unleashed a heated debate - or so we hear, from the grapevine.

      This is not necessarily the political grapevine, for that one is
inherently corrupt. People are paid to peddle certain "cast-iron theories",
or to promote as a certainty a line of political speculation.

      Unfortunately, innocent journalists - and contrary to the often held
view that all journalists are guilty of evil even after being proven
innocent - have been duped into this game of political chance: You know that
if there was an election today, So-and-So would win hands down.

      Why? Well, you see, he has the support of...But how do you know all
this? Well, I was lunching with this top party man and.... The next day, the
newspaper carries what it claims to be an "exclusive" story about the
likelihood of this Mr or Mrs-So-and-So being elected because they have this
unassailable blah...blah...blah...

      The grapevine we are dealing with here has as its lynch-pin popularity
among people who express their support through spending their hard-earned
cash on luxuries. Who sells more music than anyone else in the country?

      Alick Macheso? Thomas Mapfumo? Oliver Mtukudzi? Not Simon Chimbetu or
Andy Brown. Since they hitched their wagons to the Zanu PF star, they have
lost much popularity.

      Even their gigs, according to this same grapevine, are attended by few
people, including close and distant relatives. Macheso is an enigma
politically. He once denied a story that he had turned down an offer from
Zanu PF to perform a certain act for them.

      It wasn't anything treasonable or obscene. But he was said to have
said NO. The story was first carried in the independent media, but the
government mouthpiece later denied it. People familiar with how these things
can be manipulated, suggested Macheso was made an offer he couldn't turn
down without risking a broken nose or worse. So, Macheso can be ruled out.
His political pedigree cannot be fathomed in his music.

      But Thomas Mapfumo and Oliver Mtukudzi are something else. They are
very successful at their chosen business and their messages, by and large,
highlight how our independence has not turned out to be the glorious heaven
on earth that we were promised it would be on 18 April, all those forgotten
years ago.

      The debate suggests that if these two men can be so successful
commercially, there is a good chance they could turn Zimbabwe into a similar

      Their touch may not have the magic of transforming one loaf of bread
into so many millions of loaves, or one lousy kapenta fish into a whole
shipload of fish, but they know something which, for instance, Herbert

      Murerwa apparently doesn't know - how to prosper on limited resources
without taxing your citizens into an early grave.

      The argument is that the politicians have failed to run Africa. It may
sound farcical to bring up the singers as alternatives, but this implies a
desperation so deep, people don't know who to turn to.

      There was apparently much distress among the citizens of the DRC when
Papa Wemba got caught in that immigration scandal. Some of them had slated
him for the job now held by Joseph Kabila.

      He is the son of Laurent Kabila, who started off well after ousting
Mobutu Sese Seke. But he got caught in the same spider's web as all the
other fallen African heroes. One of his ostensibly trusted bodyguards gave
it to him at very close range. If you care to go back in time, you will see
Zimbabwe playing a role in the aftermath of that assassination.

      In fact, if your memory has not been affected by the trauma of going
without food for days on end, or reading the falsehoods in the government
papers, you will know The Daily News was a target not only of vilification,
but of physical violence, as a result of the coverage and comment on Kabila.

      Like his predecessor, Kabila failed the people of a country whose
birth pangs included the murder of the charismatic Patrice Lumumba, the
first prime minister. So, the question is legitimate: Who can run Africa
successfully without succumbing to greed - for power and material gain?
Since 1957, when Ghana became independent, blazing the trail for the rest of
us, only men have run Africa.

      With very few exceptions - Leopold Seddar Senghor, Julius Kambarage
Nyerere, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela - African leaders have performed
lamentably. Europe has had its share of murderous rulers, especially after
the break-up of the Soviet Union and Josip Broz Tito's Yugoslavia. But that
carnage comes nowhere near what has happened in Africa since 1957.

      Moreover, some of the chaos in Africa had its origins, not in
ideological differences, but in plain ethnic hatred - Rwanda and Burundi,
Sudan's Darfur region, and Zimbabwe's "dissident" crisis - are examples.

      Women rulers in Africa are an unknown quality, let alone quantity.
Most African societies are patriarchal. African countries with Islam as
their predominant religion are even worse in subjugating their women. They
will chafe at this statement, but it will be a cold day in hell before a
woman emerges as the president of Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Sudan, Egypt or

      In reality, before Africans can contemplate political life under a
woman president, they ought to examine the reality of life under an honest,
fair-minded and democratic male leader. It is the standard explanation or
excuse for many African leaders to blame their problems on the former
colonial masters, which contains some legitimacy. But President Robert
Mugabe and, to some extent Tanzania's Benjamin Mkapa and Namibia's Sam
Nujoma, have excelled - if that is the right word - in this category. Mugabe
has gone completely overboard and pronounced the 2005 parliamentary election
as an anti-Blair poll. In some ways, this is an unforgiveable insult to the
people of Zimbabwe. It presupposes that the people are daft enough to
examine their political, economic and social problems and conclude,
logically that if they vote against Tony Blair, the prime minister of
Britain, all these problems will disappear. Is it any wonder that people
loved to believe that Mtukudzi was referring to Mugabe when he sang Bvuma
(Wasakara)? Or that Mapfumo's hit, Corruption, was about the moral turpitude
of the Mugabe regime?

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      Moyo dug his own grave, and buried himself

      Date: 9-Dec, 2004

      Jonathan Moyo, the disgraced junior Minister of State for Information
and Publicity in the President's Office is the monster that nearly devoured
its creator, President Mugabe.

      Since his appointment to that position in 2000, Jonathan Moyo
overnight became the second most powerful person within government after
Mugabe himself.

      Mugabe, believing that the learned professor would make a real U-turn
from the rabid anti-establishment position he published in vitriolic pieces
in local magazines such as Moto and Horizon, catapulted Moyo to the supreme
decision making organ of Zanu PF, the politburo.

      This was something unheard of within the ruling party. There were
grumblings from some senior members of the party, but none was man enough to
stand up and confront Mugabe about the appointment of Moyo.

      In the end, Moyo was left to do as he pleased. And he did it very
effectively, taking over control of the media turf with a strong hand.

      Moyo was everywhere, sports, music, news, poetry, politics etc.

      He appointed his own blue-eyed boys (some of whom are believed to have
unusual sexual orientations) to senior editorial positions within all
government news organizations - the six newspapers at Zimpapers, Ziana,
Ministry of Information and the all important ZBC-TV.

      Some of the blue-eyed boys became very rich overnight, getting shares
and dividends from companies they were were directors. New jingles, some
with a decidedly tribal slant, were introduced on ZTV and ZBC in an attempt
to give the government a new image.

      Several companies were formed and up to now it remains unclear how
money generated by those several companies was used. The people were
subjected to not just lies, but absolute lies and in some cases, some
foolish journalists ended up believing their own lies.

      Journalism as a profession, was overnight emasculated and those that
remain in government employ are either about to retire or have been
brain-washed and have become His Master's Voice.

      ZTV even carried very offensive and suggestive dances which were
strongly defended by the Professor.

      Senior party members called the Professor an unrepentant Mafikizolo,
but Mugabe, if he heard the complaints and remarks, never took heed or chose
not to take any action.

      Then Moyo clashed with senior members of the party, John Nkomo, Joseph
Msika, Nathan Shamuyarira and that is when he began digging his political
grave. But his undoing was the Tsholotsho meeting on the eve of the

      The rest is history.

      And Mugabe must have learnt his lesson well. In Shona they say trust
the old friend and the first wife not the new wife or newly found friend.

      It's better the devil you know. The nation awaits the punishment that
the Dear Leader will mete out to his former favourite son.

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Daily News online edition

      South African students lash out at Zanu PF, MDC

      Date: 9-Dec, 2004

      JOHANNESBURG - The South African Students Congress (SASCO) has
criticised the ruling Zanu PF for abusing the fundamental rights of

      SASCO president, Bandile Masuku told delegates at the end of the SASCO
congress that they were worried with what is happening in Zimbabwe. Masuku
also took a swipe at the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) for
accepting sponsorship from the British.

      "We know that the MDC receives its funding from the British and Zanu
PF is abusing people's fundamental human rights," said Masuku.

      He said SASCO sympathised with the suffering masses in Zimbabwe.

      "Our position on Zimbabwe has not changed. Our solidarity goes not to
Zanu PF or the MDC but to the suffering masses of Zimbabwe," said Masuku.

      President Robert Mugabe has dismissed the MDC of being a front for
Britain, the former colonial power, formed to reverse the gains of the
liberation struggle. The MDC denies the charge.

      SASCO which is the student wing of President Thabo Mbeki's African
National Congress condemned the recent deportation from Zimbabwe of the
Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) fact-finding mission which
sought to probe the alleged human rights violations in the country.

      "While we do not fully agree with COSATU's arrogance on the Zimbabwe
government, the deportation of the COSATU delegation that went to Zimbabwe
is a sign of how dictatorial the Zimbabwe government has become. Just
imagine what will happen to a person who criticises the government from
within the country," Masuku said.

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Experts to Map Out Strategy Against Foot 'N' Mouth

The Herald (Harare)

December 8, 2004
Posted to the web December 8, 2004


ZIMBABWE'S veterinary, food and agricultural officials are meeting in Nyanga
to draft a 15-year strategy for the control of foot-and-mouth disease in
Southern Africa, an official said yesterday.

Deputy director for Veterinary Services, Dr Welbourne Madzima, said Southern
Africa Development Community (Sadc) countries were also expected to draft
their own strategies in preparation for the final meeting to be held in
April next year.

The Zimbabwean meeting started on Monday and ends tomorrow.

"The objective of the Zimbabwean Sadc-FAO foot-and-mouth workshop is to
draft a 15-year strategy for the control of foot-and-mouth disease in
Southern Africa," Dr Madzima said.

He said provincial veterinary officers, head office personnel and FAO
officials were some of the participants attending the meeting.

Dr Madzima revealed that Zimbabwe received a total of 450 doses of
foot-and-mouth vaccines from the South African government last week.

He said the vaccines were procured under the SADC-FAO project for the
control of the disease in southern Africa, which started in June this year.

He said, under the same project, three more Sadc countries: Malawi, Tanzania
and Zambia were also expected to receive their share of the vaccines.

However, the amount of doses required would depend on the severity of the
disease in each country.

Foot-and-mouth is endemic in Zimbabwe and has caused great losses in terms
of foreign currency earnings from beef exports to the European Union (EU).

The EU has not lifted its ban on beef imports from Zimbabwe following the
outbreak of the disease in 2001.

The country has an annual beef export quota of 9 100 tonnes to the bloc. -
New Ziana.
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Consulting the ancestors to bring political peace

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

BULAWAYO, 8 Dec 2004 (IRIN) - Traditional leaders and civil society in
Zimbabwe have united in a call for calm and restraint as fears mount over a
possible surge in violence ahead of parliamentary elections in March 2005.

Political violence has been a feature of Zimbabwean elections since
independence in 1980. It however reached a new level in the polls of 2000
and 2002, when President Robert Mugabe and the ruling ZANU-PF faced their
first real challenge in the form of Morgan Tsvangirai and his Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC).

In its latest report, the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum noted that tension
and political violence has continued to rise ahead of next year's
parliamentary election.

As the threat of renewed clashes looms between MDC and ZANU-PF supporters,
local leaders in the Nkayi district of Matabeleland North province have
begun consulting ancestral spirits in the Njelele mountains south of

In 2000 Nkayi, an MDC stronghold, witnessed some of the worst violence in
the run-up to the parliamentary polls. Three MDC officials and an opposition
supporter disappeared. The supporter was later found beaten to death, and
three bodies were found burned beyond recognition.

Youth affiliated with ZANU-PF and 'war veterans' were allegedly involved in
the terror campaign.

Renowned traditionalist Luca Msindo Mpofu, who has spearheaded the call for
calm, told IRIN that traditional leaders were now turning to ancestral
spirits for assistance.

"A lot of people have died at the height of politically motivated violence
in the past few years, and the same is likely to happen next year unless
civil society and political leaders join hands and enforce peace and
tranquillity. As traditional leaders, we have seen fit to consult the
[spirits of] Njelele and plead with our ancestors to ensure there is peace
and harmony during and after the elections," Mpofu said.

Njelele is a shrine where traditional leaders from southern Zimbabwe have
sought divine intervention during natural disasters, such as drought or
famine. It is believed that ancestral forces have resided there since the
arrival of the Ndebele people in the country in the early 1800s.

"We believe our ancestors will intervene, and hope the ugly scenes that were
witnessed in 2000 will not return to haunt the masses," said Mpofu.

The move has also received the backing of the clergy.

"There is definitely a heightened sense of concern over the upcoming
election, especially since previous ones had, in some parts, turned violent.
But the church will appeal over the Christmas and New Year period for people
to exercise restraint and consideration," Bishop Trevor Manhanga, president
of the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe, said.

The Anglican Bishop, Sebastian Bakare, who heads the Protestant Zimbabwe
Council of Churches, Bishop Patrick Mutume of the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops'
Conference, and Manhanga have been attempting to hold talks with the two
main political parties since last year to resolve the political crisis.

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Women activists to appeal for domestic violence legislation

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

HARARE, 8 Dec 2004 (IRIN) - Zimbabwean women activists are to petition
parliament on Friday to approve a four-year-old Prevention of Domestic
Violence Bill.

The activists, frustrated with continued delays in the bill's approval, have
chosen the last day of the worldwide campaign dubbed "16 Days of Gender
Activism against Domestic Violence" to make their appeal.

Earlier attempts to lobby the justice minister, Patrick Chinamasa, who is
also the leader of the house, had been unsuccessful, the activists reported.

Director of the Musasa Project for abused women, Sheila Mahere, told
discussants at a recent round table conference called to sensitise
parliamentarians to gender violence, that according to Chinamasa the bill
would not see "the light of day" before the March 2005 elections.

The Zimbabwean government has, instead, focused its attention on
fast-tracking legislation such as the Electoral Commissions Bill, which will
set up a body appointed by the president to run the elections, and the
controversial NGO Bill.

Though parliament is expected to be dissolved shortly to make way for the
March elections, the women are determined to get a commitment on domestic
violence legislation.

"We are asking parliament to pass the bill as a matter of urgency; as soon
as possible; now. That it has not been passed in the past four years shows a
lack of commitment on the part of parliamentarians," said Netsai Mushonga,
coordinator of the Women's Coalition, an umbrella body of women's rights

The Ministry of Youth Development, Gender and Employment Creation, which
usually allows NGOs to take the lead in gender issues, is spearheading the

While government dithers, domestic violence remains a cause for concern.
Figures from the Musasa Project show that the number of visitors to their
Harare office alone rose from 2,192 in 2000 to 4,416 in 2003. In the first
five months of 2004, a further 1,607 women were assisted.

Women from a Musasa support group told IRIN they had fled their homes
because they were forbidden to work, but were beaten or harassed if they
sought money from their husbands for household expenses. Others spoke of
forced unprotected sex with unfaithful husbands; of contracting sexually
transmitted infection, and no money to undergo treatment.

Court or peace orders to compel their husbands to give them money for the
home or refrain from physical abuse were often ignored.

Even if the bill were to be tabled in this session, Mushonga said, they
anticipated a battle in parliament. Male members had already indicated that
the bill's interpretation of domestic violence was "too wide", that it would
make women "too strong", and they wanted it watered down. Women have just 10
percent representation in parliament.

The definition of domestic violence in the bill includes economic, verbal
and psychological abuse, intimidation and stalking, while domestic violence
is made a crime in its own right. Cultural practices that degrade women,
such as virginity testing, female genital mutilation and wife inheritance
are also covered. Currently, the physical and sexual abuse of women are
treated as crimes of common assault.

The activists believe the bill has already been sufficiently watered down.
The only real power the bill provides is the right to apply for a protection
order, and provision for a jail term if the order is violated by the abuser.
Although the order must be issued within 48 hours of the crime, it is valid
for only two years.

Describing the bill as "nowhere near what we want on the ground", Mahere
said that, in drafting the proposed legislation they had been guided by what
they believed would be acceptable to most women, who often did not want to
see their loved ones incarcerated.

Edna Masiiwa, director of the Women's Action Group, told IRIN that despite
the problems, the bill was at least "a starting point", a framework for
women to work with. "We are putting domestic violence on the agenda. Once we
start looking for weaknesses, we will not even be able to push for this

If the petition on Friday fails to convince parliament, Mushonga said, they
would consider engaging the newly elected vice-president, Joyce Mujuru. "She
is a woman. Every woman has suffered some form of violence, even if it meant
just being whistled at or heckled because of your weight."

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Mail and Guardian

Zim hunger crisis set to worsen

      Angus Shaw | Harare, Zimbabwe

      08 December 2004 14:26

Zimbabwe produced just a third of the food it needs this season, the main
opposition said on Wednesday, predicting the hunger crisis will worsen in
the impoverished Southern African country.

The state Grain Market Board, the sole distributor of the corn staple,
received less than 400 000 tonnes of the 1,2-million tonnes of corn and
other grain it needs by the end of the April-to-October harvest, the
Movement for Democratic Change said in its regular newsletter.

Zimbabwe consumes about 1,8-million tonnes of corn meal a year, or 5 000
tonnes a day. Without massive food imports, the opposition warned that half
the nation's 12,5-million population faces deepening hunger in coming

"Anyone who says there is enough food is lying," said Renson Gasela, the
opposition's shadow agriculture minister.

The government has said farmers are holding back large amounts of food, an
explanation questioned last month by a parliamentary panel made up of both
opposition and ruling-party lawmakers.

Agricultural production has collapsed in the four years since President
Robert Mugabe ordered the seizure of about 5 000 white-owned commercial
farms for redistribution to black Zimbabweans.

Last year, about 5,5-million Zimbabweans received food handouts from
international agencies in what was once a regional breadbasket.

The government had forecast a bumper harvest of 2,4-million tonnes of grain
this year, telling the United Nations food agency and other international
donors it no longer needed emergency assistance.

The opposition accused the government of seeking to control food aid to use
it as a political weapon in the run-up to key parliamentary elections in

Its officials in some districts of Chipinge, eastern Zimbabwe, have already
reported that corn meal is only being distributed to people carrying
ruling-party membership cards -- allegations the ruling Zanu-PF party

The opposition also warned that planting for next year's harvest is being
severely curtailed by acute shortages of seed, fertiliser, farm equipment
and financing.

The Grain Marketing Board, which refused to comment on the opposition
claims, is already said to be importing food from neighbouring countries.

The South African Grain Information Service, which monitors food movements
in Southern Africa, said that last week alone Zimbabwe bought 5 543 tonnes
of grain from Argentina. More regular shipments from South Africa and other
nations are planned, it said. -- Sapa-AP
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Only Mbeki Can Rescue Zimbabwe

Business Day (Johannesburg)

December 8, 2004
Posted to the web December 8, 2004

Robert Rotberg

ZIMBABWE is in deep, seemingly irreversible decay. How to reverse that
plunge from prosperity and growth to stagnation and starvation ought to be
of paramount concern to African, European and US policy makers.

After the immediate crises in Darfur and Côte d'Ivoire, Zimbabwe's impending
failure will inflict the most damage on Africa. The country is suffering
from four years of economic decline, with gross domestic product per capita
down about 40% from 2000. Banks are failing. Inflation continues at more
than 300%. The leadership is wildly corrupt.

Hospitals have become morgues, for lack of supplies or physicians. The
spread of HIV/AIDS is rampant, and life expectancies have fallen from an
average 55 years to 35 years. Schools are stymied by shortages of teachers
and textbooks. Unemployment is at about 80%; emigration is essential for
many professionals. The exodus to Botswana, SA and even Britain is
unremitting. Basic foodstuffs and other commodities, especially petrol and
diesel, are expensive and scarce.

President Robert Mugabe's government is in a perfect position to use food as
a political weapon. Zimbabwe's staple maize supplies are in profound deficit
after this year's terrible harvest, caused by the eviction of nearly all
commercial farmers from their land and a shortage of capital. In one eastern
district, the ruling Zanu (PF) confiscated all the grain in the local stores
and now distributes it only to those who buy party registration cards. That
pattern will continue until the parliamentary election in March.

Only a change of regime, from Mugabe's dictatorship to something much less
repressive and more democratic, will permit Zimbabweans to begin
reconstructing what was Africa's most balanced, vigorous economy and restore
opportunity to what was Africa's strongest and best-educated professional
class (on a per capita basis). Otherwise, the longer Mugabe like Alexander
Lukashenko in Belarus and the late Mobutu Sese Seko in Zaire rules the
harder it will become to prevent Zimbabwe from following Liberia, Sierra
Leone and Somalia into chaos and squalor.

Last week's open rift between Mugabe and some of his erstwhile associates in
malgovernance testified to the president's continued tyranny and an
escalating battle over the spoils of despotism. The events of the recent
Zanu (PF) annual congress and the controversy over the England cricket
team's tour imply no new enlightenment or democratic tendencies within the
party or its leadership.

Several years ago George Bush and Tony Blair both tried to chasten Mugabe
directly, and also to apply pressure to regional kingpin President Thabo
Mbeki, to bring Mugabe to heel.

But in the shadow of Iraq, Washington and London are preoccupied. And so is
the United Nations.

Mbeki seems more concerned about further mayhem in Côte d'Ivoire.
Nevertheless, he managed for the first time last month to receive Morgan
Tsvangirai, leader of Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC). That may augur a relaxation of SA's hitherto strong embrace of
Mugabe. Mbeki has long claimed an influence over Zimbabwe's leader, and
conceivably he has relied too much on promises that Mugabe would cease
brutalising his own country, particularly the opposition.

But except for Tsvangirai's recent acquittal on an old charge of treason,
which could only have been accomplished with a nod from Mugabe, there are no
signs of change.

Zimbabwe's captive parliament continues to approve legislation preventing
the opposition from campaigning, holding meetings, accessing
state-controlled media, receiving contributions and even checking voter

Despite a Southern African Development Community directive to the contrary,
the March election promises to be as uncompetitive as the 2002 presidential
election and the 2000 parliamentary elections, which were likewise rigged.

Short of a successful MDC-led rebellion, which would have the support of
urban and many rural Zimbabweans and could lead to massive bloodshed if
Mugabe's police and military retaliate, only Mbeki can restore peace and
sanity to Zimbabwe. Only he can encourage or compel the 81-year-old Mugabe
to exit, and save Zimbabwe.

Mbeki could provide safe passage to Namibia, where Mugabe has a farm, or
offer him safe haven in SA. Such an exodus by Mugabe before the March poll
would almost certainly lead to an MDC victory and a peaceful transition.
Otherwise, the MDC threatens to boycott the election, giving Mugabe and his
cronies another five years in which to continue looting and destruction of
their country.

That would be tragic for all Zimbabweans. It would weaken all of southern
Africa and damage the credibility of the new African Union and Mbeki's
muchhyped New Partnership for Africa's Development. Who needs another failed
state in Africa? Financial Times

Rotberg, director of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government programme on
intrastate conflict and president of the World Peace Foundation, is author
of "When States Fail: Causes and Consequences" (Princeton University Press).
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From The Star (SA), 8 December

Harare regime scores 'universally low' approval rating

SA opinion shows variation across race groups, and a surprising number who
simply don't know

A new survey has found a high degree of uncertainty among South Africans
concerning the Zimbabwe issue. The study, conducted by Research Surveys and
released yesterday, canvassed 2 000 adults from the seven major metropolitan
areas in interviews in their homes. Only 11% of them felt Robert Mugabe was
doing a good job as president of Zimbabwe, compared with 59% who felt Mbeki
was doing a good job in South Africa. Although there was some variation in
the figure across race groups, Mugabe's approval rating was "universally
low". Fourteen percent of black Africans felt Mugabe was doing a good job
(especially males at 18%), 8% of coloureds thought so, 8% of whites and 4%
of Indians. Only 11% felt Zimbabwe had a positive future with Mugabe in
power, with this highest among black Africans at 15% and particularly low
among white men at 2%. Seven out of ten disagreed that Mugabe was doing a
good job and that Zimbabwe had a positive future under him. A surprisingly
high number of people were not sure - one in five in both cases.

Fifty-eight percent felt that current policies in Zimbabwe ignored basic
human rights. However, while only 13% disagreed with this view, 30% did not
know, with differences among population groups high. Seventy-two percent of
whites felt that current policies in Zimbabwe ignored basic human rights,
67% of coloureds, 64% of Indians and 53% of blacks. When asked about South
Africa's role in Zimbabwe, there was ambivalence. On the question: "Should
SA be doing more to intervene in policies in Zimbabwe", 41% said "Yes"
(whites 51%, blacks and coloureds 39% and Indians 33%). Forty percent said
"No," and 19% "Don't know." On the question: "Should SA impose sanctions on
Zimbabwe?", 37% said "Yes" (whites 49%, coloureds 47%, Indians 43% and
blacks 31%). Thirty percent said "No" and 29% said "Don't know." The high
proportion of "don't knows" suggested a fair degree of uncertainty over the
issue of Zimbabwe.

On the Iraq question, only 15% of metropolitan adults felt that America was
right to invade Iraq, while 59% disagreed and a quarter were not sure.
Whites at 30% (and especially males at 37%) were the most likely to feel
America's course of action was correct; 21% of coloureds, 18 % of Indians
and only 9% of blacks felt this way. People aged 50 and older were also more
militant in this regard, with 19% agreeing. On Israel and the Palestinian
question, 26% agreed that South Africa should impose sanctions against
Israel, with 36% disagreeing and a "massive" 38% saying "Don't know". Men
were more likely to agree, especially black men at 32%. People aged 50 and
older were less likely to agree (19%), while those under the age of 24 were
more likely to agree at 29%. On Mbeki's role in foreign affairs, 68% of
people agreed that the president spent too much time out of the country
(coloureds 79%, Indians 75%, whites 73% and blacks 65%). Fifteen percent
disagreed and 17% said "Don't know." Asked if Mbeki devoted too much time to
Africa and too little to South Africa, 62% agreed (coloureds and Indians
75%, whites 70% and blacks 57%). Nineteen percent disagreed and 19% said
"Don't know."
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Enough is Enough



We have a fundamental right to freedom of expression!




Sokwanele reporter

03 December 2004 

The 2005 Budget presented to Parliament last week by the acting Finance Minister reveals a huge allocation of the country’s scarce resources to the Central Intelligence Organization (CIO), Zimbabwe’s dreaded secret service agency.  A massive Z$ 395,8 billion is allocated to this notorious force under the special services allocation which falls directly under the President’s office and is not subject to any parliamentary scrutiny.


The massive surge in expenditure by the CIO takes it to more than six times the Z$ 62 billion voted for it in 2004 – an allocation which was exceeded by over 60 per cent in any event without recourse to parliament for approval.


A separate equipment procurement account for special services is also set to increase from Z$ 10 billion in 2004 to Z$ 61,3 billion for 2005.  No information has been given to parliament or the country on the sort of equipment the spy agency is acquiring.


When the budgeted expenditure for the CIO for 2005 is added to the amount allocated to Defence (Z$ 2,3 trillion), it exceeds the entire budget for health which is given as    Z$ 2,7 trillion. This is all the more strange in a country which has not been at war for 25 years, which enjoys the most cordial relations with all its neighbours, and faces no prospect of any hostilities.  The health sector by contrast is seriously under-funded and in a state of near collapse.


The decision to swell the coffers of the CIO comes only a few months before Zimbabwe holds crucial parliamentary elections.  The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and a number of both local and international human rights organizations of the highest repute, have repeatedly accused the Mugabe regime of using the notorious spy service to crush ruthlessly any voices of dissent in the country.


The much-feared CIO stands accused of systematically master-minding the harassment and torture of opposition MDC supporters in the run up to the elections.


(Acknowledgments to Zimonline)


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