Zimbabwe government asked to ban
Harare - The government, which detained two opposition party
leaders this week, is considering a petition to ban that party's open hand
salute, state television reported Thursday. A group of ruling party lawmakers
and fundamentalist Christian clerics said the MDC's salute gives political
connotations to normal greetings and farewells. The petition, submitted
Wednesday, said the open hand waving motion meant those not affiliated to the
party were uncomfortable when meeting or leaving loved ones, the Zimbabwe
Broadcasting Corp. reported.
"Waving hands is an international symbol of happiness created
by God and using it on political grounds is a total violation of human rights,"
the petition said. The opposition party launched the open hand salute on its
formation in 1999 to denote openness against the clenched fist salute of
President Robert Mugabe's ruling party, in power since independence in 1980. The
opposition on Thursday dismissed the petition as a "laughable" propaganda ploy
nearly two years after the salute and slogans calling for change were
State television said the petition was drafted by three ruling
party lawmakers and clerics from the Emakhandeni Church of Christ, a
fundamentalist group in western Zimbabwe. In June parliamentary elections, the
opposition won 57 seats, leaving the ruling party with a slim majority of the
120 elected seats. In the previous parliament, Mugabe controlled all but three
seats. Earlier this week, police accused MDC deputy leader Gibson Sibanda and
youth wing head Nelson Chamisa of incitement to violence, which carries a fine
and possible imprisonment. The party said it was part of a continuing clampdown
on government opponents. Welshman Ncube, MDC secretary general, said both denied
charges of incitement at rallies in Bulawayo and Harare on Sunday.
From The Daily Telegraph, 9
Printing threat to paper that
Harare - The future of Zimbabwe's largest independent newspaper
as a daily publication was thrown into doubt yesterday when a state-owned
printing company abruptly announced that it was ending a deal to produce it.
Last month, the Daily News's own press was wrecked by a bomb. The National
Printing and Packaging Company came to its rescue by agreeing to share the
printing with a smaller company. Natprint's withdrawal from the deal means the
Daily News is expected to be reduced to three issues a week and may no longer be
viable. Criticism of President Mugabe has made the Daily News Zimbabwe's
biggest-selling newspaper and a target for constant harassment.
From The Star (SA), 9
World Bank, IMF reject aid for
Harare - World Bank president James Wolfensohn and IMF managing
director Horst Koehler have rejected Zimbabwe Finance Minister Simba Makoni's
pleas for urgent financial help, saying the government first had to restore the
rule of law before aid could be released. Makoni, who has not given a single
media interview since his appointment seven months ago, could not be reached for
comment on his latest effort to win back IMF and World Bank support for
Zimbabwe. But Zimbabwe's Financial Gazette, quoting Harare-based diplomats close
to the two institutions, said Koehler and Wolfensohn had told Makoni in separate
meetings in Washington last week that Harare had to stop its fast-track land
reforms, already adjudged illegal by Zimbabwe's Supreme Court.
The government should instead implement a lawful land scheme
that adheres to principles that were agreed between it and aid donors at a
Harare land summit in 1998, the diplomats said. Harare's unwillingness to
co-operate with UN Development Programme administrator Mark Malloch Brown to
find a peaceful solution to the land crisis had also contributed to the decision
by the IMF and World Bank not to help Makoni. Malloch Brown, acting on behalf of
UN secretary-general Kofi Annan, in December delivered a list of proposals to
end the crisis through orderly and lawful land reforms. But no response has been
forthcoming from Harare, which has instead pushed ahead with its controversial
The old impediments that forced the IMF to suspend aid in 1999
- a burgeoning budget deficit, a weak monetary policy and a slow pace of selling
off loss-making state firms - were also outstanding issues needing resolution
before aid was given. The refusal by the IMF and World Bank to grant financial
aid to Zimbabwe, which comes as key European nations are also halting
development aid to Harare, has all but killed Makoni's hopes of breathing new
life into an economy under siege. Makoni, who has returned to Harare, is
expected to give President Robert Mugabe and his cabinet a frank briefing on his
talks with Koehler and Wolfensohn, and what the government must do if it wants
any financial aid from an increasingly hostile international community.
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe High Court has once again ordered
police commissioner Augustine Chihuri to remove gangs of marauding war veterans
and Zanu-PF supporters who have illegally occupied prime commercial white farms
in the Hwedza farming area. Newly appointed Judge Rita Makarau's order is the
fifth such judgement passed in the High Court and Supreme Court.
From The Star (SA), 9
Zim state vows to disobey new court
Harare - The government said on Thursday it will ignore the
latest of six court orders demanding that police remove illegal squatters from
private land owned by white farmers. The High Court on Wednesday ordered Police
Commissioner Augustine Chihuri to deploy police to evict squatters who have
occupied farms in the Hwedza corn and tobacco growing district, 120 kilometres
south-east of Harare, for nearly a year. Judge Rita Makarau granted an
application by about 60 landowners asking the court to force judicial officials
and police to begin immediate evictions. But Vice President Joseph Msika told
reporters in Harare late on Thursday that police and security personnel will not
be used to carry out any evictions of black "demonstrators" on farms. "There is
no turning back. No courts will be allowed to stand in the way of a just
resolution of the land question," he said.
On Monday, the administrative court responsible for hearing
appeals against land seizures said a "fast track" programme of farm
confiscations did not follow procedures laid down in land reform laws passed by
the ruling party last year. The court held that two white-owned farms whose
owners appealed seizure could not be taken over until those laws were followed.
Ruling party militants have illegally occupied land on more than 1 700
white-owned farms since last February. In June, the government began
confiscating hundreds of the 3 000 white-owned properties it says it wants to
carve up and hand over to landless blacks. Illegal squatters led by violent
veterans of the bush war that ended white rule in 1980 have occupied many of the
remaining 1 000 white-owned farms that have not been targeted for
The two court rulings this week follow four last year that
declared land seizures illegal until laws were followed and ordered police to
remove squatters. President Robert Mugabe has repeatedly supported often-violent
occupations of the farms, calling them a legitimate protest against whites'
disproportionate ownership of land. About 4 000 whites own about one third of
the nation's productive land, where about 2 million farm workers and their
families live. About 7.5 million blacks live on the rest. According to the
government, about 60 000 black families have resettled on seized land since
June, compared with the 74 000 families resettled on former white-owned farms
during the first two decades after independence. Since 1980, the land reform
programme has been plagued by corruption and mismanagement, with many prime
farms being shared out by politicians and their cronies.
The Supreme Court in December ruled the government had not paid
compensation as required for improvements, such as roads and irrigation, on
seized properties and had not honoured landowners' constitutional rights to
reasonable notice of seizure to enable them to appeal or make other plans. It
said farmers and their workers also had been denied protection from violence and
intimidation, and their rights to carry on with farming were infringed by
squatters, ruling party militants and state officials. That ruling was among
several court judgements against the government that angered Mugabe and his
militant followers. In November, hundreds of war veterans stormed the Supreme
Court during an earlier land hearing and threatened to force judges to quit.
Earlier this month, the justice ministry forced Chief Justice Anthony Gubbay to
take early retirement. Government attacks on the long-respected judiciary have
intensified in the past year, with ruling party politicians calling for sweeping
From The Zimbabwe Independent, 9
Moyo named in donor
Minister of State for Information and Publicity in the
President's Office, Professor Jonathan Moyo, is being sued by the Ford
Foundation in connection with the alleged misappropriation of funds running into
millions of dollars while he was employed by the organisation in Nairobi, the
Zimbabwe Independent learnt yesterday. Well-placed sources said the Ford
Foundation has instructed AH Malik & Co Advocates, a Kenyan law firm based
in Nairobi, to institute legal action against Moyo who is accused of
misappropriating the money when he was a programme officer at the international
donor agency's Kenyan office.
Moyo yesterday said he was fully aware of the case in which he
said a total of six people were involved. He said he is the fifth respondent.
Moyo said papers served on him contained "scurrilous accusations" and he would
be dealing with them. A spokesman for AH Malik & Co confirmed that his law
firm was working on the case. Muin Malik Jr - the lawyer who is working on
Moyo's case - filed papers in the Kenyan High Court on January 22. "It's correct
we are acting," a spokesman said yesterday in a telephone interview from
Nairobi. "The problem is that the partner who is dealing with the case is
A spokesman for Ford Foundation in Kenya, David Raffman, also
confirmed there is a case against Moyo but declined to give details. "The
situation is that there is litigation going on and is being handled by AH Malik
& Co," Raffman said. "But the partner who is handling the case is out of the
country and will be back in his office tomorrow." It is understood that AH Malik
& Co was working on the case through a Harare correspondent law firm, Kantor
& Immerman. Efforts to get the details of the case from Kantor and Immerman
yesterday were unsuccessful.
Legal experts said the Ford Foundation is obliged by law to
serve a summons or any other court process on Moyo if their case is to proceed.
Legal experts said since Moyo is in Zimbabwe, the papers had to be sent to
Harare for service. When contacted for comment, Precious Chakasikwa, the lawyer
handling the brief at Kantor & Immerman, said: "Our brief was just to convey
the papers to the Deputy Sheriff in Harare for service." She refused to give
details as to the nature of the claim by the Ford Foundation. Sources said Moyo
is accused of siphoning money from the Ford Foundation for personal use. It was
said that Moyo used part of the money to buy a house in Johannesburg's posh
suburb of Saxonwold.
It is further alleged that Moyo may have used two trusts, one
of which is registered in South Africa, as vehicles for the alleged fraud.
Sources in South Africa and Kenya have revealed that the claim by the Ford
Foundation includes as respondents other persons associated with Moyo, some of
whom were trustees of one of the two trusts mentioned. It is believed that Moyo
is the only Zimbabwean respondent to the claim. It could not be established at
the time of going to press the exact nature of the claim against Moyo and
others. Ministers do not enjoy diplomatic immunity, and therefore now the
summons has been served on him Moyo will be obliged to engage Kenyan lawyers to
represent him before the Kenyan High Court.
Moyo said the case involved a research organisation called the
East African Alternative. He said he had been given 42 days to respond to the
papers served on him. He accused Kantor & Immerman of being unprofessional
saying: "I find it curious that 24 hours after the papers were served on me my
favourite newspaper calls me about them. It is a bit dangerous from the legal
point of view." In fact Kantor & Immerman declined to assist the Independent
in its enquiries.
Moyo left the University of Zimbabwe for Kenya in the mid-1990s
to join the Ford Foundation as programme officer and researcher. He subsequently
left the donor agency for Witwatersrand University in South Africa to undertake
a project entitled Generations: The Making of Africa. Moyo then returned home to
join the now defunct constitutional commission and later Zanu PF as campaign
manager. After the election he was appointed minister. The fresh allegations of
fraud against Moyo come as the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa was
trying to recover about $7 million which the minister used for a project he
undertook for the institution.
Moyo has denied that he owed Wits $7 million. Wits authorities
alleged that the University bank account from which Moyo's payments were made
had been overdrawn by R600 000 during the period when the professor left the
institution under controversial circumstances. Moyo last year clashed with Wits'
political studies department chair, Professor Tom Lodge, over the contract and
the money he was alleged to have not accounted for. During the work for the
defunct constitutional commission in 1999, the Independent reported that Moyo
and other top managers fought over public and donor funds. Moyo and his
colleagues proposed to pay themselves amounts ranging between $285 000 and $475
000 a month. The payments system of the commission was not transparent. Up to
now it is not clear how much Moyo and top members of the commission paid
themselves. Moyo's department had budget overruns and ended up using up to $50
million. He is said to have used about $2 million staying at the luxurious
Sheraton Hotel. The commission used about $2 billion in all.
From The Zimbabwe Independent, 9
Vets itch to oust
War veterans from the country's 10 provinces are bracing to
oust their leader, Chenjerai Hunzvi, from his position at a crucial national
congress to be held next month - a move that is likely to alarm Zanu PF
politicians, the Zimbabwe Independent has gathered. Spokesmen for provinces who
spoke to the Independent said Hunzvi's two terms of office expire in March and a
new executive from former Zanla ex-combatants was due to take over the running
of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association.
However, sources linked to the former freedom fighters said the
move to eject Hunzvi was likely to worry Zanu PF politicians who had come to
rely on war veterans when campaigning for elections. The sources said government
officials would stop at nothing to ensure that Hunzvi remained at the helm of
the association. Hunzvi has created a much-feared hit squad that displayed its
prowess in the Marondera West and Bikita West by-elections where people were
bludgeoned into voting for Zanu PF. An executive member of the war veterans
association who preferred not to be named said the ex-combatants had a
succession clause in their constitution which stipulated that the leadership of
the organisation was for two terms on a rotational basis between former Zipra
and Zanla fighters. The source said the particular clause was inserted at the
last war veterans' congress which brought Hunzvi to the helm of the
organisation. Hunzvi's predecessor, Advocate Charles Hungwe, now a High Court
judge, stood on the Zanu PF ticket.
"As far as we are concerned in the organisation, Zanla had its
tenure during the period of Hungwe's term of office. Hunzvi stood on Zipra's
ticket up to this year when his tenure is ending next month, so it's now Zanla's
turn," said the member. Other provinces were unanimous that whatever the
constitutional dictates Hunzvi had become an embarrassment to the association
through his bellicose utterances and corruption charges. "War veterans are now
viewed with contempt just because of the behaviour of one man, and that is
unacceptable," said one source. "No war veteran would organise armies to beat up
people for no reason. War veterans are honourable people. They cannot behave in
a barbaric manner," he said.
Matabeleland provinces which have long been viewed as Hunzvi's
support base also appear to have thrown their weight behind moves to secure
Hunzvi's departure. Last week the secretary-general of the Bulawayo province,
Collen Ndlovu, was assaulted during a demonstration against the Daily News by
thugs allegedly bussed to Bulawayo by Hunzvi. No reasons were given for the
assault on Ndlovu but sources said Hunzvi viewed Ndlovu and the Bulawayo
executive as an impediment to his total control of the two Matabeleland
provinces which gave him the most votes during his election in Umzingwane. An
executive member in the Bulawayo province, who also did not want to be named,
said Ndlovu's assault was a sign of desperation on the part of Hunzvi.
"Whatever Hunzvi does, he is finished in all provinces. He is
hanging onto these criminals who purport to be true war veterans. We know they
are not ex-combatants," said the official. "He thinks that if he intimidates the
executive he can impose his puppets who will elect him back into office." The
official said the association blundered in electing Hunzvi chairman since he was
not a "true war veteran". "When the time comes we will ask Hunzvi to tell us
where he trained and who trained him. All Zipra commanders do not know him so
who trained him? I was a commander myself," said the official.
Hunzvi, who was in Bulawayo last week attending a Commonwealth
parliamentary seminar, refused to talk to the Zimbabwe Independent saying the
paper wrote lies about war veterans and Zanu PF. Asked to comment on the assault
of Ndlovu, Hunzvi said he was not aware of the incident despite the fact that he
was leading the demonstration. "What you are telling me about (Ndlovu) I do not
know. I will try to find out why he was beaten and who beat him up," said Hunzvi
before switching off his cellphone. MDC legal affairs secretary David Coltart on
Tuesday during the Commonwealth seminar told the Speaker of Parliament Emmerson
Mnangagwa that Hunzvi visited his constituency where he started assaulting
people at a beer tavern. Hunzvi was at that time supposed to be attending the
seminar but was conspicuous by his
Demonstration Saturday 10th February, 2001
There will be a demonstration on Saturday 10th
February, 2001 to protest Patrick's dissapearance, the dissapearance of the
Docket pertaining to the court case, and the general intransigence of the
Authorities to bring this case to a satisfactory conclusion.
Please join us - we need to show a strong united
front! Please also let everyone know, and give people lifts wherever possible to
get into town. If you can't be with us in person, be with us in
We will be starting from the MDC Provincial Office,
145 Herbert Chitepo Street, Bulawayo at 9:00 a.m.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ MDC Support (Southern
Region), Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
MEDIA MONITORING PROJECT ZIMBABWE Media Update # 2000/5 January 29th -
February 4th 2001
SUMMARY · Only The Herald provided some insight
into the abrupt "retirement" of Chief Justice Anthony Gubbay towards the
end of the week, while ZBC responded to the news by reporting him
to be a man who had presided over controversial judgments that
had brought the judiciary into conflict with the Executive. The Daily
News' early deadlines (following the bombing) only allowed it to report
the Minister of Justice's statement announcing Gubbay's retirement
(3/2), but The Standard (4/2) featured responses to the news of him
being forced to step down from judges and the legal community. Its
state-owned counterpart, The Sunday Mail carried nothing. · Most of
the week however, reverberated with news of - and responses to - the
bombing of The Daily News press, with the government controlled media
allowing itself, once again, to be the uncritical messenger of biased
and distorted statements from government officials. The incident also
provoked debate about the campaign by Information Minister, Jonathan
Moyo, and ruling party supporters to silence the privately owned daily.
But this was only to be found in the private Press, while the
government media concentrated on trying to give credibility to their
boss's efforts to ease the hostility between - and against - media
institutions. While these reports were muddled with government's ongoing
campaign to portray the opposition MDC as a violent party, only the
privately owned press continued to give prominence to incidents of
wanton brutality against civilians by the security forces.
CHIEF JUSTICE GUBBAY "RETIRES"
Once again, another end-of-week event
provided the state- controlled media with the opportunity to break the news
of a critically important development in Zimbabwean society. The Daily
News (3/2), confined to early deadlines following the bombing of its
press and dependent on "outside" printers, carried little more than the
statement by the Minister of Justice, Patrick Chinamasa, announcing Gubbay's
retirement. However, it did mention that Gubbay had been under siege from
rowdy war veterans, Chinamasa, MP Phillip Chiyangwa and President Mugabe.
While ZBC (2/2) first reported Chinamasa's statement and reported that
the Chief Justice had been at the centre of controversy between the
judiciary and the Executive, it made no mention of the circumstances
surrounding Gubbay's sudden departure. Zimpapers' dailies (3/2) however, did
make an attempt. According to The Herald, ". events leading to the early
retirement of Chief Justice Gubbay began unfolding on January 22 ." when
he threatened to resign. The paper stressed that Government had subsequently
accepted the offer even though, according to unnamed sources, Gubbay had ".
indicated to Cde Chinamasa that when he offered to quit he had done so under
emotion". ZIMPAPERS dailies also claimed that Gubbay's "early
retirement" was precipitated by what a source described as inequitable
Supreme Court judgments involving resettled farmer Mr. Samson Mhuriro and
the challenge by the opposition MDC to the presidential decree invalidating
election petitions. No further details were provided. ZIMPAPERS' dailies
also reported that Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku had been tipped to take over
the top job in the judiciary, quoting unnamed authoritative sources who said
that the other four superior court judges were not "in the running to
succeed" their outgoing boss. The Financial Gazette (25/1) was first to
report that president Mugabe was planning to replace Gubbay with
Chidyausiku. It quoted unnamed sources who warned that the ". appointment
as chief justice of the judge president would be widely seen as a
political decision that might create divisions within the judiciary and
create negative perceptions of the administration of justice in Zimbabwe."
In a follow-up story, The Standard (4/2) gave due prominence to its
story quoting unnamed Supreme Court judges, a High Court judge, Zanu
PF's Chiyangwa and David Coltart of MDC. The paper referred to Gubbay's
resignation as "forced" and said it did not come as a surprise as he had
been subjected to intense criticism from Zanu PF, and war veterans. The
paper also chronicled circumstances that led to his forced resignation
quoting an unnamed senior judge who said last week's meeting between
Vice-President Simon Muzenda and Supreme Court judge Wilson Sandura and
Chief Justice Gubbay had been called to express concern by the judiciary at
the deteriorating state of law and order in the country. The paper also
cited as evidence, the invasion of courtrooms by the war veterans. The paper
reported the source saying the meeting was turned into an attack on the
judiciary: The Chief Justice was unprepared for that kind of
attack and in anger he said he would resign, but they refused. So it was
a real ambush, and we are very angry about it. However, the unnamed
Supreme Court judges said they would not resign, as that would be tantamount
to surrendering to Zanu PF, especially since they had done nothing
wrong. The paper also quoted Chiyangwa saying: "I am delighted, but.my
mandate is not complete without the removal of the entire Supreme Court
ZBC's coverage of Gubbay's removal a year before he
was due to retire was restricted to mere announcements quoting Justice
Chinamasa (ZBCTV, Nhau/Indaba and Radio 6pm and 8pm, 2/2). It was not
clear from the report whether his retirement was a voluntary or forced.
ZBCTV's 8pm bulletin quoted Speaker of Parliament, Emmerson Mnangagwa,
saying he wasn't worried about Gubbay's decision which, he said, the judge
was entitled to make adding - without the benefit of context -
that: "The judiciary will not provide a solution to the land issue . . .
we will still take land even if the judiciary decides
otherwise." Surprisingly, none of the media reported any attempt to obtain
comment from Gubbay himself.
2. MEDIA WARS - FOLLOW UP ON THE
DAILY NEWS BOMBING The bombing of the Daily News printing press and
the progress of investigations received wide coverage in the print media.
However, ZBC, which had reported initial government reaction on the day the
blast occurred, provided wide coverage to war veterans' comments
accusing the MDC's Rhodesian supporters of being responsible. None of
the state media linked the bombing to the campaign by government and its
supporters to silence The Daily News, an obvious possibility given the
vitriolic attacks of the paper the previous week. This angle could only be
found in the privately owned Press which debated the issue at length. And
although The Herald Comment (29/2), Lets tolerate different views, condemned
all recent attacks on the media, and especially the bombing of the press,
ZIMPAPERS' dailies (and ZBC) extensively quoted Information Minister,
Jonathan Moyo, repeatedly linking an attack on a Zimpapers' driver the day
before the bombing to his comments on the bombing itself. Moyo was the first
to label that incident as "attempted murder", an assertion not questioned
by Zimpapers dailies. For instance, Zimpapers dailies (29/01) quoted
Moyo as saying: What is particularly of major concern is that the
cowardly bomb was carried out in the wee hours and on the heels of an
apparent attempted murder of a Zimpapers crew that was delivering
newspapers in Chitungwiza. Zimpapers' dailies reported this apparent
effort to compare the gravity of the activities of a highly organized
terrorist unit with that of a marauding bunch of hooligans, stenographically
without ever reporting that the police were actually treating the assault as
attempted murder. However, this was noted in The Zimbabwe Independent's
comment (2/2): Admittedly the official spin was to place the
calculated damage inflicted on a multi-million dollar press by suspected
state-sponsored saboteurs on an equal footing with the
spontaneous assault by youths on a Herald truck- driver. Despite this
deflection, however, the nation was at one in its in revulsion at this
(While not condoning the reprehensible assault
on the Zimpapers' crew, it is noteworthy that in the initial report of the
attack, The Sunday Mail (28/1) quoted the driver after he had been
discharged from hospital as saying that he had been hit on the head by a
rock and had passed out until after the commotion had ended.)
private press not only condemned the bombing, but believed government agents
were responsible, pointing out that public pronouncements by Information
Minister Moyo, and war veterans' leader, Chenjerai Hunzvi, prior to the
bombing amounted to inciting hatred against The Daily News in particular,
and the privately- owned press in general. The same issue of The Zimbabwe
Independent noted: Moyo, Chenjerai Hunzvi and Robert Mugabe will
have a difficult time trying to convince the world that they had
absolutely nothing to do with the bombing of the Daily. All the
circumstantial evidence points strongly towards involvement by
state agents. The Zanu PF government had a motive for committing the
crime. Moyo wanted to silence the paper, while Hunzvi wanted to ban it.
Mugabe presides over a lawless regime with a record for
violence. If they were not guilty of the bombing then clearly they are
guilty of incitement. The Daily News editorial (31/1), Whodunnit? A question
for political sleuths, stated: Moyo did his bit to let the world know
that his government was so fed up with the newspaper it was time
for it to be dealt with once and for all. People can be forgiven for
believing that what Moyo meant was that the government had a plan
to 'neutralise' the newspaper. The Daily News (1/2) quoted The
African Defence Journal as saying that the nature of the damage suggested
the use of anti- tank mines and that if this was supported by forensic
evidence, it would suggest that the Zimbabwean army had now been given the
political task of destroying the enemies of government and the ruling
party: "No other group of people in Zimbabwe has access to the type of
explosives used in the blast or to the professional acumen to completely
wreck the machinery". The Zimbabwe Independent, quoting military experts,
identified the anti-tank mines and concurred with their Eastern European
manufacture. All the state-owned media ignored this angle of
investigation. Unlike Zimpapers, ZBC prominently broadcast the response to
the bombing by the war veterans association. The 6pm and 8pm (29/1) news
bulletins reported a war veterans' statement in which they were said to have
received the news of the bombing "with shock", while on Radio 1/3 they said
they were convinced "that the Rhodesian elements which support the MDC and
The Daily News were behind the attack". Although no organization had
publicly blamed the' war veterans' at the time, the statement also
criticized attempts to blame the bombing on the war veterans, saying
that "this cheap strategy is aimed at diverting attention from the real
enemies of Zimbabwe and the revolution." MDC was reported (ZBCTV, 30/1,
Nhau/Indaba and Radio 2/4, 8pm) denying that it was involved in The Daily
News bombing. But on February 2nd's 8pm ZBCTV bulletin, ZBC tried to link
the bombing with what was made out to be a "violent" demonstration in
Harare's CBD by a small group of MDC supporters. ZBC's Reuben Barwe
reported that three arrests had been made and then crossed over to police
public relations chief Wayne Bvudzijena, who was quoted as saying the MDC
had been distributing anti-government documents. But instead of asking
the police spokesman why the police continually cracked down on members of
the opposition and civil society, denying them their constitutional rights
to freedom of assembly and expression while providing police protection to
demos and marches by the so-called war veterans, Barwe suddenly asked
the policeman to comment on the investigation into the bombing.
polarity in the print media continued to manifest in the week under review,
particularly in the coverage of a meeting between Minister Moyo and the
editors of various media institutions over the attacks on the media. Like
ZBC bulletins the previous day, Zimpapers' dailies (30/1) reported that
"the meeting noted that the present hostilities against the media were
unhealthy, threatened freedom of expression and underlined lack of or
declining public confidence in the media ." They also reported that the
meeting was attended by editors from the Independent, Ziana, the Herald, the
Sunday Mail, The People's Voice and ZBC while The Financial Gazette and The
Mirror excused themselves because of prior commitments. The Financial
Gazette (1/2) article "Editors snub Jonathan Moyo's meeting" quoted
editors from all key privately-owned newspapers disavowing the contents of
The Herald article. The Daily News (3/2) and The Standard (4/2) reported that
despite police "protection" provided by government following the bombing, a
group of "war veterans" invaded The Daily News offices in Bulawayo.
Zimpapers did not report the incident and no arrests were
reported. Meanwhile, ZBCTV's 8pm bulletin (2/2) carried a gratuitous and
biased report about the persecution of the public media, presumably to
provide some balance to the evident persecution of the private Press by
government and its supporters. Following a confusing report on the break-up
of a small MDC demonstration in Harare, which also included a no-information
police progress report on the Daily News press bombing, reporter Reuben
Barwe presented "a story" claiming that people holding different opinions
were intolerant of each other. This was evidenced, he said, by attacks on
the public media. He said people holding alternative opinions were denying
public media journalists access to information. But the report focused
exclusively on incidents between the public media and the opposition and
ignored similar incidents against the private media. The report also
mysteriously stated that the public media had been barred from an MDC
meeting. It was only by listening to the radio that a clearer picture of
the event was obtained. Radio (2/2 6pm and 8pm) reported that a ZBC news
team had been barred from covering the meeting at St Luke's church in
Greendale where the ZUJ's Basildon Peta had spoken. Only Radio 2/4 quoted
Peta condemning MDC for denying ZBC access to the meeting. The report
however, also quoted ZUJ chairman, Matthew Takaona, who condemned Peta's
participation, adding that the issue would be "discussed".
JOURNALISTS' DEMONSTRATION ZBCTV ( 3/1 Nhau/Indaba and 8pm) reported that a
demonstration held by the ZUJ in support of press freedom had been stopped
by the police for fear of violence and that the demonstration had been
marred after MDC members had joined the gathering. The report quoted
state media reporters, Rueben Barwe, Matthew Takaona and Judith Makwanya,as
well as a Basildon Peta. But none of the state media journalists were
present at the demonstration and neither was the ZBC for that matter. MMPZ
attended that gathering and can state categorically that there wasn't the
threat of violence from the 50 or so people who attended. There was a
massive police presence of at least 200 riot policemen and Peta told those
present that the officer in charge had told him he was under orders to
disperse the gathering "within five minutes". No reason was given. But
like ZBC, The Sunday Mail reported that the police had "asked" the ZUJ to
call off the march after ".it emerged that non- journalists had been invited.
It had ceased to be a ZUJ affair and we have evidence that members of the
public were urged at an MDC meeting to join in." Faced with the
overwhelmingly threatening police presence, the journalists were obliged to
forsake their right to freedom of assembly and to demonstrate peacefully.
This fact, of course, was not reported anywhere.
4. ECONOMY The
Zimbabwe Independent (February 2) reported that the country had four months
of maize supply. The story quoted MDC's shadow minister for agriculture
Renson Gasela who also said 40% of the stocks currently kept by the GMB was
unfit for human consumption. However, this was disputed by GMB board
chairman Canaan Dube, who said that the country had enough reserves to
last until the next harvest and that only 1% of the maize stock was poor
quality. The paper failed to check with other sources on this important
issue. The food security situation was only given piece-meal coverage ion
ZBC. Reports have failed to give a national picture of the situation.
Instead, they have been restricted to the provinces. Radio 3 (1/1; 1pm)
quoted Minister Made saying there was enough grain to feed the country in
the event of a drought. The following report stated that villagers in
Masvingo were in need of food assistance. On the 2nd of February Radio
quoted the GMB expressing concern over the panic buying of maize in
Masvingo, adding that Zimbabwe had sufficient stocks to last until October.
ZBCTV (29/1, 8pm) reported that the crop situation in Mashonaland Central
was not encouraging, while the following day Nhau/Indaba reported crop
failure in Mashonaland East, starvation in Mberengwa and Mashonaland
5. FUEL The Sunday Mail (04/02) was first to report that
fuel queues were reappearing in the capital, although the threat of a new
fuel crisis has long been reported in the private Press. However, The Sunday
Mail article appeared to blame the oil companies for failing to import
fuel after being given the authority to do so. An unnamed spokesman
implicitly accused them of holding the country to ransom by demanding
guarantees from government that they be paid in foreign currency. Only
ZBC's radio (30/1 6am - 8am) quoted a Noczim representative "dispelling"
rumours that there was an imminent fuel shortage in the country.
PRESIDENTIAL DECREE ON THE ELECTION UNCONSTITUTIONAL Both the private
and the public media gave prominence to the annulment of the Electoral Act
(Modification) (No. 3) Notice 2000. Zimpapers dailies (31/01) gave
prominence to quotes from the lawyers representing government.
The role of the family in society is something that is being debated
throughout the world. However the situation in southern Africa puts a different
spin on the issue and I thought we could explore this today. If I were asked why
I am rather pessimistic about the prospects of South Africa as a long-term
investment destination, it would be the state of the family in that country. 40
years of apartheid destroyed black family life and the great majority of young
South Africans are growing up in fractured families or in single parent family
units. For me this was one of the worst aspects of the apartheid system and it
will take South Africa decades to recover.
In Zimbabwe we have a similar situation but its founded on poverty rather
than ideology. This was partly true in the Rhodesian era, although much of the
policy framework of the Rhodesian government was based on racial separation and
restrictions on whole family settlement in the cities. The tower blocks in Mbare
are the main monument to this inhumane system today even though families now
occupy them. In the Rhodesian days these were meant for thousands of single men
working in the city – 5 men to a room with communal toilets and cooking
facilities on each floor. Gates on the entrances that were locked after a
certain time at night. More like a prison than a home.
Families are important – not just families that have a mom and dad, but also
those that incorporate the grandparents and the wider circle. We held a family
reunion last year in Johannesburg and over 60 people came along. For our
children it was an experience to discover that we were all over the place doing
everything from fixing aircraft at Johannesburg International to running a
funeral parlor in Port Elizabeth. There were 4 generations present and it gave
everyone there a sense of continuity and belonging. A very good friend who is
the Chief Medical Officer in Botswana and the great grandson of Moffat the
missionary, took his 12 year old daughter to London on holiday – just the two of
them, as a birthday present. They went to dinners and shows and she was totally
spoiled. She will never forget that gift – not the things, but the special
effort made by her father. It’s not by chance that a girl raised with this
quality of a relationship with her parents will model her choice of companions
on her immediate family.
So what is the problem? The problem is that in Zimbabwe today (and I think
this is reflected in most third world countries) great numbers of the people
living in the cities are homeless. Not a handful as in Washington DC living over
the vents in the street, but up to 40 per cent of the total population. They try
to get by, rent a room in a house or a shack, and use the tap a kilometer away
for water and a communal toilet – in the house if they are lucky. There is no
privacy and often they have to accommodate others who come in from the rural
areas or who are worse off than they are. Most men faced with this situation
send their families home where they will live in a traditional village, the
children go to the local school and they will be able to augment what he sends
home with food grown on a plot of land or from a few cattle or goats.
The root cause of the urban homeless problem is urban poverty – minimum wages
are just too low to enable urban workers to keep their families in one place.
Policy for education and health often results in urban costs of services being
higher than in the rural areas. School and clinic fees are higher and therefore
if you cannot afford these you send your wife home with the kids to give them a
chance. Your wage may in fact be so low that you cannot afford the minimum
needed to accommodate your family or to feed them in addition to your own
minimum needs, so you send them home to live in a mud hut – it may be primitive,
but is safe and clean.
The millions of men who live separate lives like this in Africa (and perhaps
especially so in southern Africa because of our history) are then tempted to use
prostitutes or even casual long term relationships to meet their other needs.
Multiple relationships become the norm in such societies and the next problem is
Aids. That is why we have the highest incidence of Aids in the world at 25 per
cent of our adult population infected with HIV. In addition a third of the
children born are infected and almost half die before they are 5 years of age.
Our productive age group is being killed by the scourge on a scale that almost
defies the imagination. The impact on the quality of life of our people is the
equivalent of an atom bomb. If I was black, female and poor I would have died 25
years ago and my children would have less than a one in three chance of reaching
The key to fixing this problem is not a condom, although that is better than
nothing in a high-risk situation. In fact condoms may well exacerbate the
problem by encouraging people to have sex outside of a monogamous relationship
because they think it is safe. Its not, and having sex with someone who may be
infected and using a condom is a bit like playing Russian roulette with a pistol
and one bullet in a 6 round chamber. The key to this challenge is rather to
tackle the fundamental socioeconomic problems of our society.
For the MDC the situation calls for us to tackle the crisis on a number of
fronts simultaneously – we want to tackle the problem of urban homelessness with
a program of low cost housing and mass transportation which will eliminate the
housing backlog in five years. We have done the homework on this and it is
possible within our own resources. We want to make our primary schools free to
all children and of such a standard that every child (and especially the girl
child) gets a good quality of education as a start in life. We want to set up a
system of primary health care clinics that will be free and will also act as a
referral system for the hospitals. We want to ensure that minimum wages in the
cities are above the poverty datum line and free of taxes on income. This will
be facilitated by increases in productivity and slower job growth in the cities,
which must be accompanied by efforts to raise rural living standards. We want to
ensure that women have real status and independence in society.
We want the rural economy to be based on whole family settlement – just as
this is the goal for urban workers. To do this we want to empower rural peasant
farmers by giving them security of tenure and support for production. We want to
bring both the rural and urban informal sectors into the mainstream of the
economy with good policy and support measures. Can you imagine what would happen
in a society, which was able to harness the energy, and ingenuity that exists in
the informal sector of our economies?
I know what you are thinking – we are dreaming, this is utopia and is
unattainable, its not – many other countries have made the transition and in a
very short period of time. Besides if we do not dream there is no hope – for any
of us. Dreams become reality when we work towards their realization. I do not
believe we cannot do these things. Lets hold the developed countries to their
promise to help us with education and health systems, and lets use the global
economy to drive our economic growth and to use our competitive edge in many
fields to expand our industries. Let’s create an enabling environment for the
natural energy and vitality of our people to be put to work and our dreams will
become the reality.
On a more mundane subject – the bombing of the Daily News last weekend. There
are few things that are regarded in the West as being beyond the pail, bombing
an independent newspaper to try and silence it is one of those things. There is
no doubt in our minds that this was a professional hit carried out by an agency
of Government with the clear objective of silencing a independent voice that has
become too influential. Rather less well known was an incident this week when
the Police raided the offices of one of the Capital Radio promoters and "found"
47 video tapes which they were convinced contained pornography. Everything was
laid on – the publicity and the viewing and when they eventually found a video
that worked – the entire stock of tapes was absolutely blank! Someone boobed big
Now the resignation of the Chief Justice – quiet man with a simple lifestyle
and a fine mind, with no ambitions but to serve the law in Zimbabwe. A white
Zimbabwean with a lifetime of legal experience who had loyally served the Bench
for 18 years. Eventually the pressure and the threats became simply too much and
for a man like Justice Gubbay, not to have the support of the President for what
he was appointed to do was probably the final straw. Anyway he has resigned and
we are the poorer for his exit. The remaining four Supreme Court Judges are a
tough bunch and are all very experienced and sound. Even if the President
appoints a Zanu PF lackey into that position, he has the full bench to deal
with. But we are learning as a nation, all about the fundamentals of good
governance – the lesson is now well understood that we need an independent
Judiciary, which is free from political pressure and corrupt influence.
4th February 2001.
Please note that this note is personal and does not necessarily reflect the
views of the Movement for Democratic Change.
attempt is made to provide a comprehensive report of ongoing activities in
relation to farm invasions, but many incidents are unreported due to
communications constraints, fear of reprisals and a general weariness on the
part of farmers.
NATIONAL REPORT IN BRIEF: a.. There was an
orchestrated and aggressive demonstration on Chirobi Farm in Glendale by about
100 invaders at midday on 6th February immediately following the delivery of a
section 8 order. The invaders claimed immediate ownership of the farm. The
farm owner was not on the property at the time, but his wife, son and domestic
workers had to take refuge in the house. The owner's 87 year old mother was
harassed and marched to the main homestead. The invaders smashed the main water
pipe to the house and systematically broke into store rooms and sheds where the
farm workers have been forced to take shelter since they were driven from their
homes several weeks ago. Workers' personal property was destroyed and food was
seized. A group of 8-10 people, not in uniform, arrived in a police vehicle to
incite the mob. Police have subsequently confirmed that these people were not
police officials. The community, police and the DA intervened to defuse the
situation, with the DA reminding the invaders that the aqcuisition of the farms
still has to be confirmed through the courts. Six Support Unit details were
posted on the farm over night. b.. In Umzingwane, an aggressive group of 37
war vets converged on the farm house at Pioneers Rest giving the owner one week
to vacate the farm. The owner was home with his two small children. The
situation was defused through a good community response and after intervention
by police. c.. In Masvingo, a suspect, apprehended with an impala carcass
on Victoria Ranch was released by police who stated that the issue was sensitive
and that there was nothing they could do. Poaching on Cambria Ranch has been
reported to National Parks who have said there is nothing they can do about it.
d.. In Chiredzi, illegal occupiers threatened to escort all farm workers
off Dawlish Ranch. e.. A group of three people warned the owner's son on
Plumstead in Beatrice that the farm house and sheds would be burnt down if the
farmer allows MDC support on his farm. f.. The Marondera Country Club was
reopened on 6th February following a second public apology by a Club member who
expressed anti-Kabila sentiments upon the death of President Kabila. g..
Correction - In the incident reported on 5th February on Eastdale Ranch, it was
not the farm manager that had to move out for safety reasons, but the section
manager. REGIONAL REPORTS:
Mashonaland Central (A regional report was
not available today, but will be incorporated in the report on Monday 12th
Mashonaland East Beatrice - Illegal occupiers in mine
houses on Joyce Mine have reconnected the electricity which has to be paid for
by the owner of Welcome Home. A group of three people warned the owner's son on
Plumstead that the farm house and sheds would be burnt down if the farmer allows
MDC support on his farm. Bromley / Ruwa - Cattle are still restricted to
certain paddocks on Surrey and Nyamasanga farms. Enterprise - There has been
some progress towards resolving the illegal occupation of farm houses on
Lawfield and Strathlorne. 50 invaders from Mudzi arrived on
Strathlorne. Harare South - All illegal occupiers of Kinfauns have left the
farm for now. Marondera - The Marondera Country Club was reopened on 6th
February following a second public apology by a Club member who expressed
anti-Kabila sentiments upon the death of President Kabila. Wedza - Three
fish poachers were arrested on Msasa with about 30 kg's of fish and handed over
to the police. A weaner bull is missing from Scorror and is believed to have
Mashonaland West (North) Karoi - Illegal occupiers have
accused the owner of Moniack Farm of "poisoning" their crops. Chinhoyi -
Agritex officials and resident illegal occupiers have pegged residential stands
Mashonaland West (South) Norton - On Wilbered Farm the
war vets maize has been eaten by cattle not owned. These cattle do not belong
to the owner but he has been summoned to the Police station. The homestead
garden at Glentworth Farm has been occupied by war veteran Rusidzo, who carries
an AK 47 assault rifle. Mrs Rusike was seen there with Colonel Mutasa last
weekend. The dairy has also been broken into. Chegutu - On Tuesday evening
the CFU Regional Executive Officer was involved in a vehicle accident with an
unlit war vets vehicle. The REO's vehicle was badly damaged and the REO was
assaulted by war veteran Makwasha immediately after the accident. The REO was
not badly injured.
Masvingo Masvingo East and Central - Last
weekend, 4 goats were slaughtered on Beauly Farm, bringing the total stolen to
30. All fencing standards have been stolen on the boundary fence with the town
cemetery. There have been demands for compensation for damaged maize on
Shallock Park / Vredenburg Farm. A suspect, apprehended with an impala carcass
on Victoria Ranch was released by police who stated that the issue was sensitive
and that there was nothing they could do. Poaching on Cambria Ranch has been
reported to National Parks who have said there is nothing they can do about it.
Mwenezi - The situation remains unchanged. Chiredzi - Illegal occupiers
threatened to escort all farm workers off Dawlish Ranch. Police have informed
the illegal occupiers that this would be unacceptable. A Council roads that
serves a lot of the farms in the district has been blocked with large rocks that
would take two to three people to lift them up. Gutu / Chatsworth - Cattle
herds on Nyombi Farm have been mixed and threats have been made to burn tractors
if the cattle are not moved off property. Correction - In the incident
reported on 5th February on Eastdale Ranch, it was not the farm manager that
had to move out for safety reasons, but the section manager.
(this report was submitted in time for the report on 5th February, but was
omitted in error) Chipinge - On Lushoff, six doors have been removed from the
homestead and the third group of cattle have been moved onto the farm. Mutare
- The situation on Mountain Home Farm has not improved and farming operations
have been severely disrupted.
Midlands General - Apart from ongoing
occupations, tree cutting, building of huts, cattle management problems and
arguments about crops allegedly destroyed by cattle, the region has been mostly
quiet. Mvuma - People are moving on to Nyombi Farm and demanding that the
cattle be moved off. The manager has received threats that any vehicles or
tractors found in the chosen area will be burned. Somabhula - Two war vets
called on the owner of Hazeldene Farm to give notice of intention to move on.
Matabeleland Inyathi - Chief Dando has instructed his people to drive
their cattle onto Battlefields Ranch for grazing, which has serious implications
for the farmer due to scarity of grazing caused by the drought. Reallands Valley
has been totally overrun and more illegal occupiers arrived during the week to
peg and build. There are now over 150 illegal permanent structures on the
farm. Umzingwane - While police were tied up at a rally held by MP Border
Gezi in Filabusi and Police, an aggressive group of 37 war vets converged on
the farm house at Pioneers Rest giving the owner one week to vacate the farm.
The owner was home with his two small children. The situation was defused
through a good community response and after intervention by
police. Nyamandhlovu - Over 60 invaders arrived on Ulundi to challenge court
eviction notices served on them last week by police. In the process 4 cattle
have been snared in the past few days. Insiza - National Parks guards on
Mpopoti Farm have been withdrawn following suspected intimidation of the
National Parks Provincial Warden.
Harare - A Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) seminar
in Bulawayo was disrupted on Tuesday after 50 MPs from the MDC walked out in
protest against an attempt by Zimbabwean police to arrest the opposition party's
vice-president, Gibson Sibanda. Two police officers stormed into the meeting in
the morning and tried to arrest Sibanda after allegations that he incited
violence against Zanu-PF supporters at the weekend. Sibanda has denied doing so.
The 50 opposition MPs stopped the two police from arresting Sibanda while the
CPA meeting was in session, and the cops left. They promised to come back later
However, the MPs resolved to walk out of the seminar and
accompany their vice-president to court to answer the charges. They feared the
police would visit Sibanda at his home and assault him in the evening as they
did to another MP, Job Sikhala, on Monday. At the court, state prosecutor Mary
Dube failed to produce any evidence to back the allegations against Sibanda.
This forced regional magistrate Sizo Rukovo to remand Sibanda on bail until
March 5. But this was not before Dube had told the magistrate that she was under
pressure from her superiors to prosecute Sibanda. She said this pressure had not
enabled her to prepare the state's case thoroughly. The MDC, the judiciary and
the media in Zimbabwe are under siege from President Robert Mugabe's government
ahead of presidential elections next year. Opposition party's supporters have
been assaulted by police and soldiers deployed in high-density townships. The
MDC's national youth chair, Nelson Chamisa, is also in custody facing
allegations that he instigated violence against Zanu-PF supporters at the
CPA secretary-general Arthur Donohoe condemned the lawlessness.
He criticised the arrogance of police to storm into an international conference
while it was in session to arrest an opposition leader. He said the action by
police had tarnished Zimbabwe's image. The three-day seminar on parliamentary
practice and procedure is being attended by Zanu-PF and MDC parliamentarians and
various international delegates. The sessions proceeded on Tuesday without the
MDC delegates, who had accompanied their leader to court. Meanwhile, Justice
Minister Patrick Chinamasa has vowed to kick out of the judiciary judges who do
not support the ruling party's agenda to empower the black majority. He said the
government would continue revamping the judiciary after last week's forced
resignation of Chief Justice Anthony Gubbay. Chinamasa told the CPA seminar that
the judiciary in Zimbabwe needed urgent reform to ensure that it made the
national interest a
From The Daily Telegraph (UK), 8
Mugabe rival faces charge after
Harare - The deputy leader of Zimbabwe's opposition MDC has
been charged with "incitement to violence" in an escalation of President
Mugabe's action against his opponents. Gibson Sibanda appeared in a magistrate's
court in Bulawayo on Tuesday and was charged under the notorious Law and Order
(Maintenance) Act. Originally passed by the British colonial government to jail
black nationalists, including Mr Mugabe, the legislation gives the authorities
sweeping powers to act against dissidents. Mr Sibanda allegedly urged MDC
supporters to attack members of the ruling Zanu-PF party during a rally on
Sunday. He was granted bail until March 4. David Coltart, justice spokesman for
the MDC, dismissed the charges as "ridiculous".
The move came as squatters made another violent attempt to
force a white farmer to flee his land. Armed with spears and axes, a mob of 50
surrounded Chris Thorne's homestead on Irenedale farm, near Glendale, 30 miles
from Harare, which is listed for takeover by the government. Mr Thorne's mother,
Baye, 87, was bundled out of her cottage nearby and forced to take refuge in the
farmhouse, where a tense stand-off ensued. By last night, the arrival of police
and neighbouring farmers had calmed the situation.
From The Daily News, 7
Judge hits out at political
A High Court judge has condemned the bombing of The Daily News
printing press and the violent attacks on other newspaper organisations. Opening
the legal year on Monday in Masvingo, Justice Moses Chinhengo said: "Only last
weekend we witnessed violent action against newspaper organisations. In the case
of The Daily News its printing press and the premises housing it were reported
bombed. These are acts of violence this nation does not need and cannot afford."
He condemned political violence and called on the country's political leaders to
stop fanning and encouraging lawlessness.
President Mugabe has publicly threatened to deal violently with
opponents of Zanu PF. Chinhengo said: "The last general election for Members of
Parliament witnessed increased levels of political violence. It was reported
that about 30 of our citizens were killed countrywide as a result of violence in
the run-up to the general election. The recent by-election in this province,
Bikita West, also witnessed the death of one citizen as a result of politically
motivated violence." Chinhengo becomes the first senior judicial officer to
publicly voice his concern at the current high level of political violence in
Zimbabwe. "It is not an exaggeration that violence as a means to an end has
entered and lodged in the national psyche," he said. "It must be exorcised. We
need peace in our homes, in our villages and in the country. We need peace as we
go about our daily chores. We need peace and tranquillity when we elect our
leaders during national elections."
Chinhengo said he believed that judges should speak out. But in
doing so, they must be careful not to drag the Judiciary into unnecessary
controversy. "The institution of the Judiciary and other institutions of the
State in this country are still fragile and undergoing transformation in many
ways. Rather than say anything that may undermine these institutions, judges
must speak out only with a view to enhancing their effectiveness," he said. Last
month there was a public outcry when the Judge President, Godfrey Chidyausiku,
openly criticised Chief Justice Anthony Gubbay for passing a judgment against
lawlessness on the commercial farms. Gubbay, with the full consent of the other
four Supreme Court judges, publicly reprimanded Chidyausiku. Gubbay has since
been forced to resign by the government in a move, which has created more
From The Star (SA), 7
SADC to discuss defence-body's
Leaders of Southern African Development Community countries
will meet in Namibia next month to discuss proposals to restructure SADC's
controversial defence organ, currently chaired by President Robert Mugabe of
Zimbabwe. This could see Mugabe ousted as chairperson of the organ. Foreign
affairs deputy director-general Welile Nhlapo said in Pretoria on Wednesday that
there was general agreement for change so the organ could be headed by a head of
state on an annual revolving basis. "The emerging consensus is that you will
have the organ headed by a head of state, it is critical. He will also function
within the framework of a troika," Nhlapo said.
SADC foreign ministers, at a meeting in the Namibian capital of
Windhoek late last year, announced plans to restructure the organisation,
including the defence organ which has been headed by Mugabe since its inception
in 1996. SA Foreign Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said then the plan
was to make the organ a substructure of SADC. It would be chaired by a head of
state working within a troika of other senior SADC representatives, rather than
operating independently. The Organ for Politics, Defence and Security is the
body that should be responsible for formulating and co-ordinating a common SADC
response to conflicts, such as those in Angola and the DRC. However, it was
never made fully operational because of a difference of opinion on whether it
was meant to be fully independent or to be a SADC structure.
Zimbabwe maintained that the organ should function
independently - a stand which led to tension between Mugabe and former SA
president Nelson Mandela. The proposals call for all SADC organs, including that
headed by Mugabe, to report to the chairperson of the organisation, who will in
turn report to a heads of states summit. SADC is currently headed by Namibian
President Sam Nujoma. Nhlapo said cohesion should be built within SADC as this
was necessary for the organisation to facilitate development. No investor would
plough millions of rands into the continent if instability persisted, he
Nhlapo said the forthcoming summit would be an opportunity for
SADC leaders to discuss the withdrawal of foreign troops from the DRC. Several
countries have sent soldiers to that country. "We encourage the implementation
of the disengagement plan because once you have that, you are paving the way for
that withdrawal and the coming of monitors." Nhlapo said at the present time
"quiet diplomacy" was the only way to deal with conflicts on the continent, but
that this had its shortcomings. He criticised sceptics who view efforts to end
the war in the DRC as futile. "I think we are undermining the determination of
this continent to rid itself of all these problems," said Nhlapo. The flow of
refugees and xenophobia in the region also emerged as key
From The Star (SA), 7
Kabila wants his foes to take
Kinshasa - DRC President Joseph Kabila says he is ready to talk
peace with military foes Rwanda and Uganda, but wants them to take the blame for
their role in the DRC war. "What Congo wants is that the aggression must be
stopped, the occupation must be completely terminated," he said on Tuesday.
Speaking only weeks after he was catapulted to power by the assassination of his
father Laurent, he said a 1999 peace accord which failed to end the conflict in
the DRC was outdated and should be re-examined. "I am planning on engaging in
dialogue with anybody who will be in the position so that we bring peace to the
Congo," Kabila said.
"We cannot afford to be hypocrites. The country has been
invaded or has been under occupation for almost three years. Under international
law, a condemnation is necessary." Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi back rebel groups
which took up arms against Laurent Kabila in August 1998 and now control the
north and east of the vast country. Zimbabwe, Angola and Namibia fought
alongside Laurent Kabila's troops and, since he was shot dead on January 16 by a
bodyguard, have pledged to support his son Joseph. The 1999 peace deal, signed
in Lusaka, included provisions for the deployment of UN peacekeepers and called
on foreign troops to withdraw. But it collapsed amid repeated ceasefire
violations. Fighting has raged on and UN peacekeepers have never been able to
deploy, partly because Laurent Kabila refused them freedom of movement.
From Pan Africa News Agency, 7
Troops To Remain In DR
New York, UN - President Paul Kagame says Rwandan troops in DR
Congo would be withdrawn only when Rwanda's security concerns have been
addressed. Rwanda and Uganda sent their troops to then Zaire in support of the
rebellion that brought the late President Laurent-Desire Kabila to power in
1997. The two countries turned against Kabila in August 1998 and backed a
rebellion that has continued to destabilise the country. Kabila was assassinated
16 January 2001, but a peace agreement reached in Lusaka, Zambia, by the warring
parties, including his backers from Angola, Zimbabwe and Namibia in July 1999,
has failed to stop the conflict.
Speaking at a press conference at the UN Wednesday after
briefing the Security Council on the situation in the Great Lakes region, Kagame
noted that Rwanda sent troops to DR Congo to contain the activities of Rwandan
armed groups there, including those he claimed perpetrated the 1994 genocide.
Kagame's position runs contrary to the demand by the Security Council in June
2000, that Rwanda and Uganda pull out their troops from DR Congo. Kagame
maintained that Rwandan troops would be withdrawn under the terms of the 1999
peace agreement reached by the parties in Lusaka. That agreement, which he said
should be the focus of current peace efforts, called for a number of measures,
including the conduct of national dialogue among Congolese people, disarmament
of armed groups in the region, withdrawal of foreign forces from the country and
the deployment of UN troops.
Although the Security Council has asked Rwanda to immediately
withdraw its forces, Kagame said the same Security Council has not responded to
his demand for an assurance on what the international community would do on
Rwanda's security concerns when it withdraws its forces. In response to a
question on why Rwanda felt it must keep its forces in the Congo to maintain its
national security, Kagame said sending troops to DR Congo was a pre-emptive
measure against armed groups that constituted a threat to Rwanda. The groups, he
claimed, trained and armed themselves in DR Congo, from where they carry out
attacks on Rwanda. To stay out of the DR Congo, Kagame noted, would be
tantamount to Rwanda opening itself up to such attacks.
In their statements at the briefing, Security Council members
called on all the parties to the DR Congo conflict to seize the opportunity
offered by the current developments in the country to push for the
implementation of the Lusaka agreement. Some members demanded that Kagame
explain his position on such issues as violation of the human rights of the
Congolese people by Rwandan forces, illegal exploitation of Congo's natural
resources by Rwandans and the withdrawal of Rwandan troops from the Congo.
Kagame said human rights violations were occurring all over Congo and not just
in areas occupied by Rwandans, adding that Rwandan authorities have been
prosecuting any of its nationals accused of such violations. He also said that
illegal exploitation of Congo's resources had been going on over the past 50
years by individuals and organisations, which he did not
Noczim allegedly fails to honour line of credit conditions
LONG meandering fuel queues were back in Harare yesterday amid
reports that the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe has failed to honour some
of the conditions for the US$75 million line of credit extended by South
African bank ABSA last year, resulting in some fuel supplies being cut off
Fuel queues started reappearing at the weekend and
have been lengthening as more service stations run dry.
filling stations visited by The Herald in the northern suburbs of
Mount Pleasant, Borrowdale, Avondale, among others, had not received
their allocations of fuel since last week. In Norton, Snake Park and the
Central Business District some stations, according to attendants, had also
not received their fuel supplies by yesterday.
to fill their tanks at the few service stations that had petrol while some
filling station owners were accused of withholding the fuel products for
their relatives and friends.
Noczim chief executive Engineer Webster
Muriritirwa confirmed that fuel was in short supply but said Noczim was doing
everything possible to secure enough foreign currency to pay the
He said Noczim was battling to contain the fuel shortage
before it worsened.
"We have no foreign currency. We are struggling
to get the required funds. We are still discussing with other stakeholders
how to resolve the issue and ensure a free flow of fuel."
spokesman for the oil industry, Mr Tom Walter said that participants in the
joint effort to restructure the oil industry in Zimbabwe were
"Every effort is being undertaken to develop
sustainable solutions to the product shortages currently facing the country
in order to building confidence and provide support for the productive
sectors of the economy.
The secretary for Mines and Energy Mr
Nicholas Kitikiti told Ziana that he was busy running around to solve the
However, authoritative sources said Noczim had failed to
fulfil some of the conditions for the US$75 million line of credit facility
extended to it by ABSA last year.
This had resulted in some of the
suppliers of fuel products withholding large quantities of fuel stocks
intended for Zimbabwe.
It is also believed that the national oil
company failed to service its debt in local currency because of bureaucratic
Eng Muriritirwa refused to discuss the allegations levelled
against the oil firm. The ABSA-Noczim fuel deal expired on January 29 and
could not be extended since the latter failed to honour certain conditions of
the multi-million dollar fuel procurement facility, which had since
December enabled the country to stock enough fuels for the festive
Metropolitan Bank chief executive Ms Florence Sigudu said her
bank had set up a US$20 million revolving facility that allowed Engen (SA) to
provide a more consistent supply of fuel to Noczim in the southern parts of
The overland petroleum products supplies were brought
through Beitbridge from South Africa and plans were advanced for the same
facility to be utilised to provide fuel on a national scale, Ms Sigudu said
in an interview last night.
State told to produce workable land reform programme
THE Government has been instructed to produce a workable land
reform programme before the Administrative Court hears its applications
for confirmation orders to acquire farms.
The court on Monday
postponed hearing an application by the Government for confirmation orders to
acquire two farms for resettlement until the programme is
However, the Government quickly dismissed the assertion by
the court saying that was one of the reasons why the judiciary should be
The President of the Administrative Court, Mr Tendai Uchena
postponed the matter indefinitely until the Government has produced a
programme of land reform.
The court based its decision on a
Supreme Court ruling last year, which ordered the Government to stop
acquiring any more land for resettlement until it had produced a workable
land reform programme. However, the Supreme Court postponed the effect of its
ruling until July 1, this year.
"The postponement of the interdict
therefore means applicant (Government) is not to proceed without a programme
as that would not be proceeding lawfully.
"If a programme is produced
before this court then the applicant can proceed lawfully. In this case
applicant has not said he now has a programme of land reform," said Mr
He was making a ruling in an application by the Minister of
Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettle-ment seeking confirmation orders to
acquire Chirume Farm in Wedza and Balmoral Farm in Marondera.
the Minister of State for Information and Publicity Professor Jonathan Moyo
said lawyers following the Supreme Court’s observation that the Government
did not have a resettlement programme "live in another planet or they are up
to some kind of mischief which demonstrates why the judiciary must be
"It’s common cause that the Government has a clear land
resettlement programme and that under this programme close to 6 million
hectares of land have been gazetted for acquisition and that at least 60 000
families have been resettled and are tilling the land as we speak," he
In his arguments before the Administrative Court, Mr Julian
Colgrave who represented the owner of the two farms, said the applications
for confirmation orders failed to meet the deadline as they were made more
than 30 days after the minister had signed the acquisition
Mr Colgrave also said the applications were invalid because
the Supreme Court had ruled that a programme of land reform was requisite for
the compulsory acquisition of land for resettlement. Since there was
no programme the applications could not be heard.
In response, the
Attorney General Mr Andrew Chigovera, representing the minister, argued that
the applications were within the deadline, as the 30 days should be counted
from the date when the acquisition orders were served on the farm
On the land reform programme, he said that the Supreme Court
issued and suspended its ruling until July 1 meaning that until that time,
acquisitions could proceed without a programme.
MDC MPs walked out of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association meeting in
Bulawayo yesterday after police came to the conference venue to summon their
party’s vice-president Gibson Sibanda to appear in court.
Sibanda and the
party’s national youth chairman Nelson Chamisa appeared separately in court
facing allegations of contravening the Law and Order (Maintenance) Act for
making statements which could incite violence during their weekend rallies in
Bulawayo and Harare, respectively.
In apparent solidarity with
Sibanda, the MPs accompanied him to the Tredgold Building magistrates’
Two police detectives arrived at the conference venue at 3pm
to take Sibanda.
The officers entered the conference room but
about three metres away from Sibanda, they stopped, turned back and left the
They unsuccessfully ordered his lawyer, Mr David Coltart, to
take him out of the room.
After 10 minutes, Sibanda voluntarily
left the venue, and the detectives then drove off in their
In court Sibanda’s lawyer, Mr Coltart, of Webb, Low and
Barry, made an application to provincial magistrate Mr Caesar Rukobo, for
Sibanda not to be placed on remand, saying he had no case to
As Sibanda stood impassively in the dock, Mr Rukobo ruled
that the State had a prima facie case which warranted that Sibanda be placed
He said if the State proved that Sibanda made the
statement to the effect that MDC supporters should identify Zanu-PF in their
areas and beat them up as alleged, he could be convicted.
(50), of Haywood Road in Bulawayo’s Ilanda suburb, was not asked to plead and
was remanded out of custody to March 5 on free bail.
application, Mr Coltart had argued that the State was relying on a news story
published by a newspaper "which is aligned to a political party".
said that there was no offence shown in the State papers and that Sibanda had
in his warned-and-cautioned statements to the police denied ever making the
Mr Coltart said the State was "starting a
political trial", adding that when party members visited the police on
Monday, the police said they were relying on a story carried by The Chronicle
He chronicled a number of incidents, including the murder
of Nyamandlovu farmer, Mr Martin Olds, and what he termed harassment of
parliamentarians and other people in Bulawayo by a Member of Parliament he
refused to name, which were not prosecuted.
"He (the MP)
threatened some parliamentarians on Sunday and a report was made to the
police but nothing has been done. Now, through flimsy excuses from the
‘propaganda rag’ The Chronicle, my client is being dragged to court . . ."
said Mr Coltart.
He submitted that where the ruling party members
were caught on the wrong side of the law, the Attorney-General’s office never
took any positive
steps towards prosecuting the
He said the State did not have a prima facie case but was
acting with bias in pursuit of a political agenda and not the rule of
In response, the Chief Law Officer for the Western division, Mrs
Mary Zimba-Dube, said the Attorney- General’s office felt that Sibanda had a
case to answer and should be placed on remand.
She said that it
was clear from the warned-and- cautioned statements that Sibanda was aware
that the State was alleging that he incited violence.
It was also
clear, she said, from the papers provided by the State to the court that
Sibanda contravened a section of the Law and Order
"Police have identified some witnesses and are
still recording statements from them. There is no legal obligation for the
State to produce any statements at this stage. Once investigations are
complete and the docket is compiled, the defence will be made aware of this
fact," she said.
On the argument that the police were basing their
case on a newspaper story, Mrs Zimba-Dube said that behind the story was a
reporter whom the police would interview and record a statement
The case against Sibanda is that he was one of the several
speakers at an MDC rally held at White City stadium in Bulawayo on
He allegedly incited party members to form groups and
identify ZANU(PF) supporters in their areas and beat them
"Lina hlanganani likhangele amasitirithi lapho okuhlala khona
abantu be ZANU(PF) libatshaye, (You must unite and identify streets where
ZANU(PF) supporters live and assault them), he is alleged to have
There was a heavy presence of armed police at the
After the court hearing, the MDC legislators marched from the
courts to their conference hotel. They passed through The Chronicle and The
Sunday News offices, chanting party slogans and denouncing the two
The organisers of the CPA seminar said discussions would
resume today, the last day of the gathering.
Chamisa, appeared in
Harare and was not asked to plead and was remanded to tomorrow (Thursday) on
$3 000 bail.
State prosecutor, Ms Tendayi Chivaviro, told the court
that on Tuesday last week Chamisa addressed a rally in Glen Norah, Harare,
where he told thousands of MDC supporters that the party was organising a
demonstration on Friday this week in the city centre.
that Chamisa told the supporters to carry weapons in order to resist any
Government action to prevent the demonstration from being held.
Sunday, alleged Ms Chivaviro, Chamisa again addressed a rally in
Rugare high-density suburb where he encouraged MDC supporters to beat
police officers and soldiers if they patrolled the suburb.
was alleged to have told the supporters: "If policemen can be killed in
Indonesia, South Africa and Pakistan, why not in Zimbabwe?"
Innocent Chagonda of Atherstone and Cook, who represented Chamisa, said the
case should be referred to the Supreme Court because his right to freedom of
expression was being violated.
He said Chamisa should not be placed
on remand until the Supreme Court makes its ruling on the
Mr Chagonda said the Supreme Court had in the past ruled that
the Law and Order (Maintenance) Act was draconian and had no place in a
Ms Chivaviro said Chamisa should be on remand
because he exercised his freedom of expression by creating a violent and
"The constitution allows anybody freedom of
expression, but Chamisa’s utterances were likely to be taken seriously by MDC
members because of his high position in that party," said Ms
Provincial magistrate, Mr Dominic Muzawazi, said he would
make a ruling tomorrow to determine whether the case should be referred to
the Supreme Court.
BULAWAYO — The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
has petitioned the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) to intervene
over what the opposition party says is harassment of its legislators by
ruling ZANU PF party members and state security agents.
petition, handed to CPA secretary-general Arthur Donahoe who was a resource
person at the just-ended seminar here for Zimbabwean MPs, urged the
Commonwealth panel to condemn the harassment of MDC legislators by the
It asked the CPA to use its influence to force President
Robert Mugabe’s government to respect the constitution, the rule of law and
to uphold the dignity of legislators.
"We respectfully draw the
attention of CPA to the harassment of MDC parliamentarians culminating in the
attempted arrest of Mr Gibson Sibanda at this conference," part of the
The MDC petition chronicled 12 incidents in which it said
opposition members were allegedly harassed and beaten by ruling party
followers and state security agents from last September to Tuesday this week
when two security agents burst into the CPA conference in pursuit of
"Of concern is that some of the ZANU PF MPs during this period
have been responsible for the incitement of violence and assault of MDC MPs.
On the contrary, during the same period not a single ZANU PF MP has been
arrested, harassed or assaulted," the petition said.
"The MDC regrets
that despite the pleas made to the minister of justice, deputy minister of
home affairs and the clerk of Parliament that the police be instructed to
summon Mr Sibanda rather arrest him in the middle of the CPA meeting, the
government chose to ignore that and proceeded to effect an arrest on
Meanwhile, Sibanda left Harare for Washington DC yesterday to hold
talks with the new US administration of President George W Bush, where it
is believed the government’s crackdown on the opposition and disregard of
the rule of law will be discussed.
ONE of the most outrageous declarations by war
veterans chief Chenjerai Hitler Hunzvi in his latest outbursts was his threat
to exterminate targeted members of the judiciary.
"Their days are
numbered as I’m talking to you now . . . I’m telling you what the comrades
want, not what the law says," said Hunzvi in reference to white judges who
sit on the bench in the superior courts of Zimbabwe. (See Financial Gazette
quote of the week in the December 14 2000 edition).
Then the biggest
"comrade", President Robert Mugabe, granted potency to Hunzvi’s statements
when, at the ZANU PF 2000 congress, he asserted that the ruling party "must
continue to strike fear in the heart of the white man — they must
It was at the same congress that Mugabe rumbled that "no
judicial decision will stand in the way, in the political way we (comrades)
He told the nation that "macourts ngaaite zvaano-ita; ivhu
tinotora" (let the courts do what they may; the land we shall
Zimbabwe is therefore now being governed according to "what the
comrades want", not legal provisions. In other words, Zimbabwe is now being
governed on the basis of the "rule of comrades".
Yet when Information Minister Jonathan Moyo speaks on Zimbabwe
Broadcasting Corporation television or radio or in the Press (the Herald or
Sunday Mail), he claims that the nation is ruled according to the "rule of
Neither Moyo nor any government official makes mention of the
practice of "rule of comrades" which is, in fact, dominant in the governance
of the country.
In the case of Moyo, this might be so because he
himself is not a "comrade". As for other officials, it might be a case of
propaganda. It might be in both cases.
Whatever the case might be, it
is fraudulent misrepresentaion of facts, if not fraudulent diligence in
ignorance, for Moyo or anybody else to claim that the rule of law prevails in
It might be important for the purposes of this article to
define the grandiose term "rule of law". A useful definition comes from the
writer Roman Herzog, who suggests that the term describes "a state which does
not meddle with the individual and essentially exists to benefit its
In other terms, the rule of law refers to "a state where
political, civic or judicial leaders and other public officials are guided in
their governance of people by basic and widely accepted societal rules and
legal norms or regulations".
The concept of rule of law, as theorist
de Smith confirms, hinges on two features.
First, the powers exercised
by politicians and officials must have a legitimate foundation in that they
must be based on authority conferred by law.
Second, the law itself
should in turn conform to certain minimum standards of justice such as
respect for individual rights.
The ZANU PF government,
with Moyo as spokesman, adheres to an ultra-positivist approach on the
question of the rule of law, arguing that "law is law regardless of such
law’s deficiencies in terms of justice or moral standard, also regardless of
the means through which the laws in question were enacted".
ultra-positivist approach makes it possible for the ruling party to justify
evil laws and dishonest law-making procedures.
That the incumbent
government is legitimate is outside the scope of argument because it is in
office as a result of democratic — though not so free and fair — elections.
Only to that limited extent can the government claim to be upholding the rule
But the second element
fundamental for the prevalence of the rule of law, that is, that laws should
conform to minimum standards of justice, is absent.
For the government
to reach this standard of rule of law, it would have to depart from its
ultra-positivist approach to law and proceed to adopt some essential concepts
best espoused in the natural law school of thought, which maintains that laws
should be morally right, just and objectively acceptable.
simple review of the definition outlined earlier on, that the rule of law
describes "a state which does not meddle with the individual and essentially
exists to benefit its citizens", makes it axiomatic that the concept of rule
of law is substantially non-existent in Zimbabwe.
Over and over again,
the government of the day has unwarrantedly meddled with the individual, and
government officials have repeatedly demonstrated that they cling to power
essentially for self-aggrandisement and other selfish reasons, such as
protection of "what the comrades want".
A chronology of events in the
country in the past few years illustrates beyond doubt that Hunzvi’s
declaration about governance according to "what the comrades want"
Back in 1997 the "comrades" wanted payouts for the part they
played in liberating this country. The nation’s economy at that time was not
healthy enough to afford the substantial financial gratuities.
Hunzvi’s reaction to worries that inflation would soar and that
the economy might collapse was "we don’t care, all we want is our
The government then went on to print piles of money to satisfy
the "comrades". Naturally, the results were terrible and the effects of
dishing out money for non-economic reasons still haunt the Zimbabwean
Then came the farm invasions. The law stipulated that
the government would have to pay compensation for any farms acquired from
owners holding title, and that such acquisition could only be effected after
notice within a reasonable period.
The stipulations of the law were,
however, contrary to what the "comrades" wanted and it was the "rule of the
comrades" that triumphed at the end of the day. The result — chaos in the
Recently the President overturned court decisions
when he declared an amnesty for people convicted and sentenced to prison
terms for various crimes of a political nature. Most of the criminals were
ZANU PF cadres, or "comrades". Though presidential pardon is a constitutional
practice, abuse of the privilege does not fall under the classification of
rule of law.
Prosperity and progress
Now we hear of a judge who
attacks a fellow member of the judiciary for extra-legal reasons, possibly
for the amusement of the "comrades".
It appears as if all that matters in
Zimbabwe today is "what the comrades want" — the "rule of
It should forever be clear to Moyo and the rest of the nation
that the "rule of comrades" is not the same as the rule of law. History has
proved that it is the rule of law, not the "rule of comrades", which precedes
prosperity and progress for any modern state.
•Chris Mhike is a third
year law student at the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) and editor of Campus
Magazine, a publication for UZ students and other interested readers with
connections to the university.
MYSTERY yesterday still surrounded
the huge explosion heard in most parts of Harare in the early hours of
Tuesday morning. The police admitted that they had failed to pinpoint the
location of the explosion but one mines expert accused the government of
trying to cover up what he said could have been a bomb that went off
Harare residents, some from as far-flung areas as Ruwa, 30
km away, said a huge din woke them up in the early hours of Tuesday but both
the police and the army this week said the explosion still baffled
"We actually had our officers running all over the place yesterday
but we cannot pinpoint the exact position of the explosion," police spokesman
Wayne Bvudzijena told the Financial Gazette yesterday.
industrial sites were a fortnight ago rocked by a massive explosion when
bombs destroyed the printing press of the Daily News in the
Although a security guard managed to take down the registration
number of one of the trucks seen speeding off the premises just after the
bombing, police have still to make any arrests or announce any headway in
The mines expert said what exploded in the
capital on Tuesday could have been another bomb that probably went off
accidentally when its manufacturers were carrying it to its intended
"My suspicion is that it could be someone going to set off
the bomb and the bomb going off before it was supposed to: that could explain
why nobody knows what it is," said the mines expert, a retired army officer
who declined to be named.
The expert said although he had not been
able to visit the damaged Daily News printing press to carry out a proper
investigation, he doubted whether the bomb or bombs that destroyed the press
weighed the 1 000 kg that have been mentioned in previous local media
He said the bomb that destroyed the printing press was far much
smaller than the 500 kg of explosives which killed 224 people during
simultaneous bombings of American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in
Daily News editor Geoff Nyarota yesterday said there was nothing
new from the police concerning the results of their investigation into the
bombing. He said as far as he knew, only the government experts were
investigating the incident.
"We are totally reliant on the police
investigation which so far has yielded no result," he said.
By Basildon Peta, News
Editor 2/8/01 1:52:27 AM (GMT +2)
SEVERAL Zimbabwean judges have
begun searching for alternative employment elsewhere in southern Africa
because of frustration over the gover-nment’s siege on the judiciary, it was
established this week.
The move by the judges became known just as ZANU
PF announced that Vice President Simon Muzenda will tomorrow chair a caucus
meeting of ruling party legislators in Harare to consider, among other
issues, a resolution for the "removal of all the judges of the Supreme
Judges interviewed by the Financial Gazette this week said the
volatile period leading to the 2002 presidential elections could see a number
of judges quitting the bench in frustration to go into private practice or
to take more lucrative employment elsewhere in the region.
Court judge said he was being considered for a judicial job in Namibia while
another said he was scouting for alternative employment
The two judges said they knew of at least three other
colleagues who were also hunting for employment outside Zimbabwe. The judges
spoke to this newspaper on condition they are not named for ethical
"Although most of us have been determined to stay on, sometimes
you just end up telling yourself that it’s not worth it. We are being
labelled MDC judges even by some of our colleagues here," one of the judges
The Movement for De-mocratic Change (MDC) is Zimbabwe’s biggest
opposition party which nearly toppled ZANU PF in landmark parliamentary
elections last June.
"Our conditions of service have remained poor.
The greatest fear in some of us is that we might end up being eliminated
physically," the judge said.
The other judge said he had "frightening
information" on the government’s attempts to dilute the present character of
the judiciary, under incessant attack by President Robert Mugabe and Justice
Minister Patrick Chinamasa for refusing to bend the law to suit ZANU PF’s
The judge said he and colleagues, with whom he had shared this
information, no longer felt secure remaining on the Zimbabwe bench.
said he could not yet share the information with the media.
that for one to be accepted as a fair judge you have to discard the book of
rules and pass judgments in favour of the government and the ruling party.
This is skewed reasoning on the part of some political upstarts who have now
completely discredited themselves by doing more talking than thinking," the
Mugabe, Chinamasa and Information Minister Jonathan Moyo have
made no secrets the governm-ent’s intention to "revamp" the operations of
the judiciary, which they brand colonial.
One senior judge said he
understood that part of the measures being mulled by the government include
appointing more judges of appeal to the Supreme Court to "neutralise the
influence of the present justices who are perceived as anti–ZANU
Law expert Lovemore Madhuku said there was nothing in law to stop
the government from appointing more judges of appeal to the Supreme
"The Constitution does not set a maximum number of judges who can
be appointed to the Supreme Court. It only states the minimum number of
Supreme Court judges at five so there is nothing at law to stop the
government from doing that," he said.
"By appointing more ZANU PF
judges of appeal, the government can always ensure that it wins its cases. It
is however a heavy handed way of muzzling the judiciary."
chief whip Joram Gumbo said tomorrow’s caucus meeting had been called
specifically to discuss last week’s Supreme Court judgment that overruled
Mugabe’s decree which sought to nullify court challenges by the MDC against
39 parliamentary seats won by the ruling party in the
Muzenda would chair the meeting because of its
importance, he said.
Gumbo said the Supreme Court, by nullifying Mugabe’s
decree, had effectively usurped the role of the legislature in making
"The situation now confronting the nation is one in which the
Supreme Court has arrogated itself both the executive and legislative powers
and functions," he charged.
He said the caucus would consider a
resolution to remove all Supreme Court judges and ensure that the doctrine of
the separation of powers contained in the Constitution was
Meanwhile, the Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ) this week
re-affirmed its confidence in the judiciary, including the Supreme Court and
Chief Justice Anthony Gubbay, who was forced into premature retirement by the
government last week.
The society, in a resolution passed at its
annual general meeting, said it deplored all attempts by the government to
impair the independence of the judiciary and create a partisan
"Criticism of the judiciary should be legitimate and it should not
be aimed at coercing judges to hand down partisan opinions," the LSZ
It also condemned violence against the media, violence in the
redistribution of land and the government’s interference with the freedom of
procession and assembly.
LSZ head Sternford Moyo said government media
reports that the society’s meeting which agreed these resolutions was
attended by more whites than black lawyers were a complete distortion of
Many senior and highly respected black lawyers had attended the
meeting and voted in favour of the resolutions, he said.
Zimbabwean Security Agencies on Alert as Explosion Shakes Capital 2001.02.07
HARARE, February 7 (Xinhuanet) -- An isolated
explosion shook parts of Harare a few hours after midnight on Tuesday,
putting security agencies on full alert, the official newspaper the Herald
reported on Wednesday. The police stations in most parts of Harare were
busy attending to worried callers inquiring about the origin and nature of
the explosion. But, it has not yet been established by last night where the
explosion occurred exactly. The report said that the loud sound that
accompanied the explosion was uncharacteristic of events associated with
natural seismic activity within the earth's crust. Security agencies
now fear that the sound could be associated with the resting of a bomb,
possibly detonated on a farm within the peri-urban setup. Several
police teams spent hours driving around Harare's northern suburbs, believed
to have been the location of blast, to establish the source of the
sound. Assistant Commissioner Faustino Mazango, acting officer
commanding Harare, said on Tuesday: "No place had been blown up", adding:
"We have received numerous inquiries on the incident and one of our police
posts had all its manpower searching for the location of the explosion,
but without success." According to the local police, investigations
were continuing. The police appealed to members of the public to continue
supplying information on the possible location of the explosion. What
has worried the security agencies more is that the explosion comes a few
days after the bombing of The Daily News printing press in Harare.
Diplomatic ties with Sweden, Denmark threatened
Invasions, drought threaten maize crop -
Fuel shortages again - PANA
From The Star (SA), 7
MDC vice president arrested in Zim
Harare - Three members of Zimbabwe's main opposition -
including the party's vice president - were arrested late on Monday, as the
government pursued a tough clampdown on public dissent. At least one was
released on bail on Tuesday, but the outcome of the other two cases remained
uncertain late in the day. All three were accused of inciting violence at MDC
rallies during the last week, police spokesperson Wayne Bvudzijena said. The
arrests come one day after MDC lawmaker Job Sikhala - whom police have also
investigated on similar charges - was whipped with chains by armed soldiers who
burst into his home before dawn. The latest arrests include that of MDC vice
president Gibson Sibanda, whom police were still questioning late on Tuesday.
MDC youth leader Nelson Chamisa was released on bail, but the outcome of the
court hearing for Innocent Kanjenzana, secretary for Saint Mary's constituency,
was unknown. Kanjenzana also faces charges of beating two police officers at a
rally on Sunday in Chitungwiza, the satellite city outside Harare where his
constituency is located.
Police have previously attempted to charge MDC officials with
inciting violence or with violating Zimbabwe's colonial-era Law and Order
Maintenance Act, which was once used by the white minority government to
prosecute the nationalists now in power. Authorities last year declined to press
similar charges against MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai. The latest arrests come
amid an intense government effort to clamp down on public dissent with its
policies. Authorities deployed about 250 riot police, some in armored military
vehicles, to stop about 100 journalists from holding a protest on Sunday at
escalating violence against media workers. That protest was to come a week after
a bomb attack destroyed the printing press of the nation's only independent
daily and after several assaults on journalists. Weapons experts cited in
reports here have said the bomb attack appeared to use military anti-tank
landmines. Another protest by a few dozen MDC youth members on Friday ended
after riot police used truncheons to break up the group that was marching and
chanting through downtown Harare.
A week earlier, Home Minister John Nkomo had warned against
anti-government demonstrations, saying protesters would be "dealt with swiftly
and ruthlessly." Nkomo gave the warning during a strike by civil servants, who
police also refused to allow to stage public protests. Pro-government protests,
frequently led by self-styled veterans of Zimbabwe's liberation war, have been
allowed to proceed. Rights groups here have warned that the government's tough
stance on those in any way critical of its policies is curbing press freedoms
and freedom of assembly in Zimbabwe. A coalition of rights groups, known as the
Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, last week issued another report implicating the
government in political violence and rights abuses during a parliamentary
by-election in January. The regular parliamentary elections in June were also
marred by violence, in which at least 34 people died and thousands more were
beaten. Voters made the MDC Zimbabwe's first significant opposition party during
those elections, when the party won nearly half the contested seats.
From Pan Africa News Agency, 6
Zimbabwe Threatens To Review Ties
With Denmark, Sweden
Harare - Zimbabwe, angered by open support for the opposition
by Denmark and Sweden ahead of presidential elections next year, threatened
Tuesday to review diplomatic relations with the two Nordic countries. Foreign
Affairs minister Stan Mudenge said plans by Stockholm and Copenhagen to slash
bilateral aid and re-allocate it to the opposition and civic groups critical of
the government were interference in the internal affairs of the country. "We are
a sovereign nation and all foreign missions must consult us as government," he
said, adding Sweden and Denmark had stepped out of diplomatic norms by getting
entangled in domestic politics.
Sweden told Zimbabwe last week it was reducing its Z$700
million annual bilateral aid to the government by 45 percent and giving the
slashed portion to the opposition to help it prepare for the presidential
elections. Denmark, on the other hand, announced it was freezing its Z$1.2
billion annual aid to the government until after the elections, in protest at
alleged harassment of the opposition and break-down in the rule of law in the
country. Mudenge told state television the government was reviewing relations
with the two countries, a diplomatic term for possible severing of ties.
From The Daily News, 6
Grain producers allay maize shortage
VANESSA Mckay, the administrator at the Zimbabwe Grain
Producers' Association said last week it was still too early to paint a grim
picture on the maize situation in Zimbabwe, although there was a 30 percent
reduced hectarage of the crop. "We already have a serious rainfall shortage in
the Midlands, Matabeleland, Masvingo and Manicaland, but we hope to secure a
good maize crop from our green belt in Mashonaland West, East, Central and the
northern part of the country," said Mckay. She said if Zimbabwe received good
rains in the next two months, the maize situation would improve.
Professor Kay Muir, a University of Zimbabwe lecturer in the
Agricultural Economics and Extension department said rainfall had been very
sporadic and the southern part of the country could be hit by a serious food
shortage. Muir said in some parts of Masvingo the maize crop was almost a
complete write-off while parts of Matabeleland, Midlands and Manicaland were
badly affected by poor rainfall. "We are likely to face a national food shortage
which could be similar to that of 1992 and there is need for the government to
start planning early," she said.
Canaan Dube, the chairman of the Grain Marketing Board, (GMB)
said the parastatal had over 600 000 metric tonnes of maize in stock. He said
the GMB has contracted transporters and the National Railways of Zimbabwe to
move maize from Lions' Den, Chegutu, Raffingora, Manoti and Concession to
Gwanda, Mataga, Gutu, Jerera, Nandi, Beitbridge, Lutumba, Masvingo and Chipinge.
He reported panic buying in the southern region, but insisted the current maize
stocks would last beyond the next harvest. "We are limiting the purchase of
maize to one bag per individual," he said.
The MDC shadow minister for agriculture, Renson Gasela, a
former general manager of the GMB, has recently warned of a serious grain
shortage. He said his party had begun consultations with the donor community and
non-governmental organisations, who have been fully briefed on the situation.
According to the SADC food security quarterly bulletin, the region faces a
substantially reduced cereal deficit of 293 000 tonnes compared with 2,19
million tones in the last marketing year. The report said current assessments
suggest a regional cereal deficit of only 293 000 for the 2000/2001 marketing
From Pan African News Agency, 6
Fuel Shortages Come
Harare - Zimbabwe is again experiencing fuel shortages but
authorities have given no indication over the cause of the commodity's scarcity.
The country has had normal supplies in the past three months, but retail
companies started experiencing difficulties securing fuel from a government
procurement agency during the weekend. Zimbabwe has been experiencing on-off
fuel shortages for more than a year, due mainly to lack of foreign currency to
import the commodity in sufficient quantities. But the authorities, while in the
past admitting to lack of foreign currency to import fuel, have remained silent
as to the cause of the latest shortages
BOB Marley, wherever he is, must be very sad at the political
drama unfolding in Zimbabwe. Marley loved Zimbabwe so much he penned a song for
it. The fact that there were no significant celebrations of his 56th
birthday on 6 February, or just that no zanu pf mandarin has ever found it
convenient to quote Marley to justify the party’s predatory mannerisms is in
itself very ominous. Marley’s support for the liberation is there for all to
listen to. In fact, support for revolutionary "Third World" struggles is a motif
that runs through most of Marley’s songs, no wonder why most of our liberation
fighters easily found inspiration in his music. Freedom fighters found solace in
Marley’s music because it espoused the principles of the liberation struggle,
principles that are now being flouted on a daily basis.
On his visit to Zimbabwe, in April 1980, Marley discovered that
the freedom fighters knew the lyrics of his song "Zimbabwe" far better than
their own national anthem. Marley through his music inspired a lot of black
people to have more pride and more confidence in themselves as black people.
There was a strong message of freedom and justice in his music, which made most
black people realise that they were not a cursed lot after all.
Together with Marley, we sang for a new dispensation on that
blessed (or is it cursed!) April day, in 1980. Little did we know we were
singing for a new reign of terror fronted by men and women who think they fought
the war better than others. Men and women from among us, but without us. Men and
women who are using black on black violence as a tool to silence dissent, and
see nothing wrong with it.
Twenty years after our so-called independence, there is every
reason to say that Bob Marley’s soul must be sagging because of the "goings on"
in Zimbabwe. His soul must be sagging to see Zimbabwe do right. His soul must be
aching to see Zimbabwe’s head raised high up because Marley’s vision of Zimbabwe
was one full of all the best imaginable.
How many among us can sit down, or have ever thought of penning
a song dedicated to Zimbabwe? In my opinion, there are not many of us, but here
is a man from seas away, who showed us the way. This prompts me to repeat that
Marley was head over heels over Zimbabwe, and his soul will never rest at peace
until we put our house in order.
Strange how time flies, yet the same things that meant
something in the past still mean something in the present. Put simply, a browse
of the lyrics of Marley’s song "Zimbabwe" reveals that the Zimbabwe he sang of
was never born. If it were, then it was a stillborn. How else can we explain our
political "tragicomedy"? Perhaps Marley, out of his deep affection for this
country, sang of a Zimbabwe of the future – a futuristic Zimbabwe.
He sang of a Zimbabwe where each man and woman will have a
right to decide his or her own destiny. He sang of a time when the ‘real
revolutionaries’ would be found out, because he (Marley) didn’t want his people
to be tricked by "mercenaries". Does this ring a bell?
In particular, in "Zimbabwe", Marley sings of a country free
from internal power struggles because everyone will have come together. A review
of our history shows, again, that the Zimbabwe Marley sang of is not yet born.
Our post- (so-called) independence history is littered with blood and heaps of
skeletons demanding justice. This is an open secret, and it need not be repeated
for the sake of the editor’s life. Today we are witnessing more mayhem, more
mayhem and more mayhem perpetrated by those who think and believe liberated us,
and thus cannot be challenged even if they err. In the so-called new
dispensation, some are more equal than others. Is this, the Zimbabwe that Marley
envisioned and/or referred to in his song? Certainly not!
Further, in "Zimbabwe" Marley sings of a Zimbabwe of peace,
tolerance, stability, justice and freedom. A Zimbabwe in which skin colour is
not of much significance than the colour of the eyes. We have all heard the
leader of our nation assert that his party "must continue to strike fear in the
heart of the white man". Marley would not have approved of such because he
understood that in everyman’s chest beats a heart. Likewise, Marley would not
have approved the use of evil means to achieve a right. It is a bad starting
point that zanu pf has adopted in the chaotic and disempowering fast-track land
disaster, in its quest to hoodwink people so that it can cling onto power.
Marley believed in the victory of good over evil. A saying that best sums up
Marley’s thinking is: "Let no man turn aside, ever so slightly, from the broad
path of honour, on the plausible pretence that he is justified by the goodness
of his end. All good ends can be worked out by good means". History tells us
that violence can never solve anything, no matter the goodness of intention.
The Zimbabwe, Marley sang of, is not yet born. It is the
Zimbabwe of the future – a futuristic Zimbabwe. A Zimbabwe at peace. A Zimbabwe
of milk and honey, where tolerance and fair play rule the day. A Zimbabwe of
equal opportunity where everyone’s rights are respected Above all, a beautiful
Somewhere, sometime, in the future, this Zimbabwe will be
So I ‘n’ I, tell ya Bob Marley, wherever you are, that the
brothers and sistas of Zimbabwe will continue to fight for the Zimbabwe that you
sang of – a better Zimbabwe. We will not give up the fight. We will fight to end
this rat race. We will fight for the redemption of the sons and daughters of the
soil. We will fight for your song. RIP.
This article is dedicated to the memory of Bob Marley (1945 – 2001), and for
all that he represented.