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This cartoon is by Stidy (ex-Umtali) and is appeared in the Natal Witness
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From CNN, 8 February

Zimbabwe government asked to ban opposition salute

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 adopted.

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 February

Printing threat to paper that opposes Mugabe

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 February

World Bank, IMF reject aid for Zimbabwe

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 fast-track scheme.

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 February

Zim state vows to disobey new court order

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 confiscation.

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 judicial reforms.

From The Zimbabwe Independent, 9 February

Moyo named in donor fraud

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 overseas."

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 February

Vets itch to oust Hunzvi

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 absence.

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Patrick Nabanyama 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 spirit!
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
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Media Update # 2000/5
January 29th - February 4th 2001

·   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.


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
    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, 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.

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
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 naked

(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.)

The 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
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.

The 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".

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.

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 West.

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.

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. 

This report was produced and circulated by the Media Monitoring
Project Zimbabwe, 221 Fife Avenue, Harare, Tel/fax: 263 4 734207,
733486, E-mail:, Web:

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Zimbabwe this Week.

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 adulthood.

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 time!

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.

Eddie Cross

4th February 2001.

Please note that this note is personal and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Movement for Democratic Change.

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Farm Invasions and Security Report
Thursday 8th February 2001


Every 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. 

  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.

Mashonaland Central (A regional report was not available today, but will be incorporated in the report on Monday 12th February)

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 been poached.

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 Hunyani Farm.
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 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.
Manicaland (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.

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. 

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.

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From The Star (SA), 7 February

Zim police storm Commonwealth conference

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 for Sibanda.

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 weekend.

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 priority.

From The Daily Telegraph (UK), 8 February

Mugabe rival faces charge after rally

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 February

Judge hits out at political leaders

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 acrimony.

From The Star (SA), 7 February

SADC to discuss defence-body's structure

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 noted.

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 themes.

From The Star (SA), 7 February

Kabila wants his foes to take blame

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 February

Troops To Remain In DR Congo

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 name. 

Noczim allegedly fails to honour line of credit conditions

Herald Reporter

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 to

Fuel queues started reappearing at the weekend and have been lengthening as
more service stations run dry.

Some 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.

Motorists jostled 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 suppliers.

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."

A spokesman for the oil industry, Mr Tom Walter said that participants in
the joint effort to restructure the oil industry in Zimbabwe were making

"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 crisis.

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 bungling.

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 period.

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

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

Herald Reporter

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 produced.

However, the Government quickly dismissed the assertion by the court saying
that was one of the reasons why the judiciary should be revamped.

The President of the Administrative Court, Mr Tendai Uchena postponed the
matter indefinitely until the Government has produced a programme of land

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 Uchena.

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.

But 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 revamped".

"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 said.

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 orders.

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 owners.

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.

From the Herald

50 MDC MPs walk out of CPA meeting

Move comes as police summon Sibanda

— Bulawayo Bureau-Herald Reporter.

ABOUT 50 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’ courts.

Two police detectives arrived at the conference venue at 3pm to take

The officers entered the conference room but about three metres away from
Sibanda, they stopped, turned back and left the room.

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 vehicle.

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 answer.

As Sibanda stood impassively in the dock, Mr Rukobo ruled that the State had
a prima facie case which warranted that Sibanda be placed on remand.

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.

Sibanda (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.

In his 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".

He 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 alleged statements.

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 on Monday.

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 culprits.

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 law.

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 (Maintenance)

"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 from.

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 Sunday.

He allegedly incited party members to form groups and identify ZANU(PF)
supporters in their areas and beat them up.

"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 said.

There was a heavy presence of armed police at the courts.

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 newspapers.

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.

She alleged that Chamisa told the supporters to carry weapons in order to
resist any Government action to prevent the demonstration from being held.

On 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.

Chamisa was alleged to have told the supporters: "If policemen can be killed
in Indonesia, South Africa and Pakistan, why not in Zimbabwe?"

Mr 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 matter.

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 democratic

Ms Chivaviro said Chamisa should be on remand because he exercised his
freedom of expression by creating a violent and lawless situation.

"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 Chivaviro.

Provincial magistrate, Mr Dominic Muzawazi, said he would make a ruling
tomorrow to determine whether the case should be referred to the Supreme

MDC petitions C’wealth on violence

Staff Reporter
2/8/01 1:56:39 AM (GMT +2)

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.

The three-page 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 government.

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 petition said.

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 Sibanda.

"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 him."

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.


Rule of comrades is not rule of law

Chris Mhike
2/8/01 3:08:26 AM (GMT +2)

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 tremble’’!

It was at the same congress that Mugabe rumbled that "no judicial decision
will stand in the way, in the political way we (comrades) have adopted".

He told the nation that "macourts ngaaite zvaano-ita; ivhu tinotora" (let
the courts do what they may; the land we shall take).

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".

Not a ‘comrade’

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 law".

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

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 Zimbabwe.

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 citizens".

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

The concept of rule of law, as theorist de Smith confirms, hinges on two

First, the powers exercised by politicians and officials must have a
legitimate foundation in that they must be based on authority conferred by

Second, the law itself should in turn conform to certain minimum standards
of justice such as respect for individual rights.

Evil laws

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".

This 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 of law.

Minimum standards

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

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

Further, a 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" prevails.

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.

Piles of money

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 money".

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 econ-omy

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 agricultural sector.

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 comrades".

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 surrounds Tuesday’s explosion

Staff Reporter
2/8/01 1:59:21 AM (GMT +2)

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 accidentally.

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 them.

"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.

Harare’s industrial sites were a fortnight ago rocked by a massive explosion
when bombs destroyed the printing press of the Daily News in the area.

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 their

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 destination.

"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 reports.

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 1998.

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.


Exodus of judges looms

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 Court".

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.

One High Court judge said he was being considered for a judicial job in
Namibia while another said he was scouting for alternative employment in

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 reasons.

"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 said.

The Movement for De-mocratic Change (MDC) is Zimbabwe’s biggest opposition
party which nearly toppled ZANU PF in landmark parliamentary elections last

"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 whims.

The judge said he and colleagues, with whom he had shared this information,
no longer felt secure remaining on the Zimbabwe bench.

He said he could not yet share the information with the media.

"It seems 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 judge said.

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 PF".

Law expert Lovemore Madhuku said there was nothing in law to stop the
government from appointing more judges of appeal to the Supreme Court.

"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."

ZANU PF’s 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 June

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 laws.

"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 maintained.

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 bench.

"Criticism of the judiciary should be legitimate and it should not be aimed
at coercing judges to hand down partisan opinions," the LSZ said.

It also condemned violence against the media, violence in the redistribution
of land and the government’s interference with the freedom of procession and

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 facts.

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 16:08:13

   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
   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

  • Sibanda arrested - Star
  • Diplomatic ties with Sweden, Denmark threatened - PANA
  • Invasions, drought threaten maize crop - DNews
  • Fuel shortages again - PANA

From The Star (SA), 7 February

MDC vice president arrested in Zim clampdown

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 February

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 February

Grain producers allay maize shortage fears

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 year.

From Pan African News Agency, 6 February

Fuel Shortages Come Again

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

To the Memory of Bob Marley

K. Masimba Biriwasha

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 Zimbabwe.

Somewhere, sometime, in the future, this Zimbabwe will be born.

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.